A Glorious DIY Pedicure…

Hola,

How are my darlings doing? I’m hoping everyone is doing superb. I am doing great. After weeks of unexplained exhaustion, my docs finally figured out the culprit/s and I am back to feeling better and energetic. Plus the awful cold that caught me last week is gone. Thank the good lord because I have lots of shit to do. I mean I’m on my way to building my empire and I can’t stop now. 😉

Since we’re all doing fabulous, did everyone have a chance to read my last two posts? I mention my last two because it’s been twenty days since I’ve last published anything so y’all had ample time to catch up :). My second to last was called “Oh Summer… What’s Trending” and it was dedicated to the ladies. It featured tons of cute stuff that are “IN” this season and as I mentioned throughout, I am going to try a bunch of them. The last post is called “Summer Trends for the Gents” and of course, that one was dedicated to the fellas. I have to say it was a bit hard finding anything to suggest because the men don’t have much options. However, I think y’all can make the styles work for you if you’d like to. When you’re done reading this, go on over and check those out if you haven’t already and let me know what you think.

So obvi, the title of this post gives away today’s topic. Since sandal and beach season are in effect, I’m going to share with you my “at home” pedicure secrets. LOL well, not so much secrets but great info if you’re looking to save on expensive pedicures. I’ve done my own nails since like forever and I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. The compliments I get range from “fabulous” to “you do a better job than the nail salon chicks” so I MUST be doing something right. This is not to say that I never pamper myself and splurge on a nail salon pedi. I do once in a while, but the end result is never satisfying with the exception of the wonderful foot massage that lasts about a minute. 🙂 So if you can go without the massage, this seven step routine is for you and will leave your footsies soft as butter. Trust me… Here we go:

AT HOME DIY PEDICURE

The steps are pretty much the same as any nail technician would do except that I take my time and I go all in:

STEP ONE – CUT AND FILE NAILS

Use a nail clipper to cut your nails. I prefer my toenails to be short and square. I feel like they look so much daintier that way. Follow by filing and smoothing the nails. You can also file the top of the nails if they’re rough or have ridges to smoothen them. I like the metal nail files as they last longer and you don’t have to file so much.

STEP TWO – REMOVE EXCESS SKIN AROUND THE NAILS/HANG NAILS

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With a cuticle cutter, I go around the nail and remove any excess or rough skin including hang nails if any. I go all in during this step because I like the nails to look super clean. Never cut your cuticles though. They’re there to protect the nail bed. Be careful with super pointy cutters as cutting/digging too much can cause bleeding. I purchased my cuticle cutter at Sephora.

STEP THREE – GLORIOUS FOOT SOAK

This is by far, the BEST part of this pedicure. Now is your time to sit back and relax and let the above products do their magic. If you have a foot spa tub or a basin, fill it with hot water, as hot as you can take it. Add half a cup of epsom salt and baking soda as well as 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar.

Note: When you add the apple cider vinegar, the water will fizz a little bit. Don’t fret about this, it’s just the reaction of the mixture.

This mixture is wonderful. Not only will the entire mixture soften your feet, but the epsom salt will relax and soothe them. If your feet are achy or in my case, I’ve sprained both my ankles and still have muscle aches at times so the salts relieve any pain. The baking soda combined with the apple cider vinegar will remove excess skin from the soles of your feet and around your heels, and is the ingredient that takes the credit for making your feet soft as butter. The apple cider vinegar will also loosen rough cuticles and makes it easy to remove any remaining rough skin. Plus if you have any cuts, the vinegar will heal them quicker. It may sting a bit but it will help.

Now soak your feet in this heaven for about 20 minutes or until the water turns tepid. Close your eyes, sit back, read a book and/or listen to music. Do anything that relaxes you. 🙂

Note II: Do not throw out the mixture once you’re done as you’ll need it again in the next step.

AHHH…. JUST RELAX NOW…. CHILL FOR A WHILE… THINK HAPPY THOUGHTS… 🙂

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How did those twenty minutes feel? Good huh? That soak is pretty freakin’ awesome and if you try this, PLEASE come back and let me know your results.

STEP FOUR – APPLY CUTICLE REMOVER AND PUSH BACK CUTICLES

The next step is to apply cuticle remover and push back your cuticles. The soak would have softened them up so it should be easy. I love Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover. I like to do this step one foot at a time. So apply the remover around all your cuticles to one foot first, wait one minute, gently push back your cuticles (here too I prefer a metal cuticle pusher) and place your foot back in the warm water for a minute so the apple cider vinegar can do more magic to your cuticles. Remove, pat dry and using your cuticle cutter, go around the nail and remove ALL the excess skin that was lifted. You’ll see that it’s a lot sometimes. Repeat this step with the other foot.

STEP FIVE – SAY YES TO THE PUMICE STONE

The glorious pampering continues with this step. Go to your bathtub, run warm water and grab your favorite soap or body wash. Grab a pumice stone, lather it up and gently scrub it on the soles of your feet, heels, ankles, the top of your foot and the tops of your toes. With your hand, apply some pressure while massaging your feet in circular motions. Next, use a nail brush to remove any lingering excess skin, rinse your feet with warm water and towel dry.

STEP SIX – MOISTURIZE

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The next step is to moisturize. I adore “Stress Relief – Eucalyptus Spearmint” lotion by Bath & Body. One of my best girls (ahem, my love bug) put me on to it and I’ve been hooked ever since. This lotion will leave a tingly feeling on your footsies and they will feel super fabulous. Apply abundantly all over your feet and massage into your soles, heels, and between your toes. I know the massage part doesn’t feel the same as when someone else does it for you, but this lotion will compensate for that just a lil bit. 😉

STEP SEVEN – APPLY NAIL COLOR

The last step is to apply your choice of nail color. Once you’ve towel-dried your feet, take a Q-tip and dip it in apple cider vinegar and run it across your nails. This will remove oils and residue from the lotion and will prep them for your color. I prefer using vinegar as opposed to polish remover because the latter will dry your nails. The vinegar will also help your color last longer. Now, insert some cute, girly toe dividers and you’re ready to add color.

If your nails have ridges (I usually do this step on my fingernails so you can skip this step if you don’t need it), prime with a “Ridge Filler” by Essie. I prefer Essie products but it’s your choice. Next Use a base coat. I love Essie’s “Grow Stronger.” Follow with your choice of nail color and last, with a top coat. Again, I adore Essie’s “Good to Go” top coat because not only does it add shine but it dries your color super quickly. I can attest to this. No smudging or anything of the sort.

Note III: Use a toothpick to carefully run around the cuticle edge or around the nail if you get excess color. The Q-tips are great to clean off color from your skin if it gets messy. Wait until your color has set and dried then dip the Q-tip in nail polish remover and swipe carefully.

DASSIT! 🙂 – Your pedicure should look like this:

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Absolutely lovely! 🙂 😉 – I love the above photo (found on Pinterest) because of the colors.

…The End…

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There you have it dolls! The seven step glorious at home, DIY pedicure that will leave your feet as soft as butter and as pretty as can be. Will you try it?

I’ve got this routine down and sometimes I modify it if I’m pressed for time. I will skip step three (the glorious soak) and just go on to step four (Push back cuticles) because you can still pamper your feet a lil bit in step five while using the pumice stone. Since I’ve been doing this for so long, the whole process will take me 45 minutes to complete.

Well…. Who is down to give this a try? It’s completely inexpensive and you get great results. If you’re into doing your own pedicures, this is perfect for you. 😉

So y’all know the drill. Comment below and let me know your thoughts. How often do you get pedicures? Are you psyched to try this or do you prefer to visit the nail salon and have someone do your pedis? If you do at-homes, what do you do different? I’m thinking of adding scented oil to my moisturizing step the next time to change things up. I would love it if you would share your pedicure routine in the comments. For me, this is one of the most relaxing things I do whether it’s on a Friday night or during the weekend. Plus, nothing beats being well-groomed and looking pretty especially during the summer months when we mostly wear sandals and spend time at the beach. Alrighty then, please share your thoughts and let’s have some fun conversation. I look forward to your feedback. Let’s chat. Go! #engage

Don’t forget to click on the “widgets” section up top to follow my blog on WordPress or via email and to follow me on social media. Thank You! 🙂

Gracias,

AnnaCris ❤

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My Experience With Coconut Oil and Argan Oil

Hola,

It’s been quite a while since we’ve met here… Five months and three days to be exact. I know, I know it’s totally my bad. I’ve been lazy and I also allowed myself to fall into a downward spiral of depression and anger because of certain situations and just wouldn’t get out of it. The good thing is that I went on a wonderful vacation in Orlando with family and that lifted all my spirits and brought me back to the good place. To being ME! Sometimes that is all you need to get back on track. So I’m back and hopefully for good because I really have to get this whole building my “empire” thing going and this blog is an important part of it. 🙂

Now that I’ve explained my absence, let’s get down to the fun stuff. You would think that I would start off with a fashion post but nope, as usual after I disappear for a while, I seem to lean towards a beauty or life post instead to make a comeback so let’s continue with that tradition… 😉

If you’ve followed my blog, you’ll remember (or go back to that previous post and check) that back in March in my “Look At These Cool Beauty Products” post I mentioned that I had just started using both coconut oil and argan oil and that I’d get back to you with long-term results. Well my loves, I’m back with those results and they are positive. Let’s do this:

COCONUT OIL

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Coconut oil has been the rave lately and it has not lost its “oomph.” There are countless articles that list many benefits of this oil and I wanted to try it. You all know that I have no problem being my own “guinea pig” before advising about any beauty products as I refuse to write about and recommend anything that I have not tested personally.

As I said in that previous post, I already knew the benefits of coconut oil for hair. If your hair is falling out, feels weak and thin or has lost its luster, this oil does wonders for it. You can apply it weekly for 20-60 minutes before washing your hair and the results will be glorious. I also mentioned that coconut oil is wonderful as a skin moisturizer and for dry, chapped lips. I still stand by this. I alternate between coconut oil, argan oil, vitamin E oil and my Olay Regenerist line of moisturizers for my skin and all are excellent.

So on to “oil pulling” … THIS is the reason I wanted to try coconut oil. I heard that it also helped with sinus problems. If you’ve come to know me via my blog or if you know me personally, you’ll know my eternal battle with nasal polyps. In fact, I had my third surgery in May to remove them and so far so good. After the surgery, I made it a point to do the oil pulling at least three times per week just to see if it indeed helped the sinuses. The word on the streets was that it pulled down and helped thin out any mucus and made it easier to expel (I know it sounds “grossies” but alas). Speaking for myself, I have to say that oil pulling has been an added help in my mission to control these nasal polyps. In conjunction with my visits to my ENT Specialist (who, by the way, is completely awesome) to check/clean out the polyps if any, as well as with the Neil Med Sinus Rinse prescribed by him, I’ve noticed a positive difference. It also helps if you suffer from post nasal drip because it does thin the mucus out a bit. If you have sinus issues as bad as I do, you should at least give oil pulling a try. It’s weird at first because it’s hard to just swish the oil in your mouth and 15-20 minutes seems like a lifetime, but if you do it while in the shower, it’s not bad.

Now let’s discuss teeth whitening… It’s been said that oil pulling helps whiten teeth and gets rid of cavities. I whitened my teeth about eight years ago and have pretty much maintained them. However, they have lost their total whiteness lately and I have to say that the oil pulling has helped quite a lot. I’ve noticed a huge difference and it is consistent. So if you oil pull for 3-5 days straight, you will see a noticeable difference and needless to say, that if you keep going (if your teeth are really yellow) you will see that your teeth are a shade whiter than when you started. Give it a try and let me know if this is the case for you. Everything works different for each individual. It was easier for me to notice the difference because I had already whitened my teeth professionally and maintained them but as I said earlier, my teeth weren’t as white as they were and trying this, I’ve noticed that they’re back to how I want them.

Last, as far as the cavities go, I have yet to visit my dentist for a clean-up but I have to say that sometimes my teeth do feel a bit sensitive since I have been eating more candy than usual (darn those snickers and butterfingers bars), and when I oil pull, the sensitivity does go away. I’m going to schedule a visit with my dentist in the next week or two so I will follow up with you on the cavity issue and hope that my seven year, no cavities record stands. 😉 🙂

ARGAN OIL

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Argan oil has also been the rave lately. If you haven’t read my “Look At These Cool Beauty Products” post, here’s a little information about this oil:

Argan oil is a plant oil produced from the kernel of the argan tree that is endemic to Morocco. World-wide, it is gaining a reputation both as an ingredient in high-end, personal-care products and as a heart-healthy gourmet product. It is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamins A and E. * Wikipedia

This oil is wonderful and I love it because it’s light and not greasy so the skin absorbs it quite quickly. Some of the benefits I listed before were the following:

As a moisturizer – It absorbs quickly, it’s not oily, it’s safe to use around the eyes. I use it every night as my night time moisturizer and I see the difference.

As an exfoliator – Use with sugar or brown sugar to exfoliate your face and it’ll leave you with a radiant glow.

It’s great for acne, this oil can lighten dark spots (tried and tested), and it’s a wonderful lip and hair conditioner as well as great for your nails/cuticles. Rub oil into your nail/cuticles before going to bed to moisturize and soften them.

Eleven months since the time I first purchased this oil, I have to say that I adore it. It does wonders for my skin at night. I prefer to use it at night because it’s light and does not rub off on my pillows. My skin is smoother, softer and has a natural glow about it. *side note: You can also use this oil all over your body. I just use it on my face and neck though.

I usually do not get acne except for one or two during those certain times of the month and this oil gets to work on those lil suckers quickly. By the next day, the zits are gone.

I’ve also used argan oil on my hair a bunch of times throughout the summer when I wear my hair curly and it gave my hair wonderful shine and strength. As an exfoliator, it’s great for sensitive skin. Gently rub a mix of oil and sugar/brown sugar on your face, wash with warm water and your skin will have a radiant glow. You can then moisturize with the oil as well.

Last, my cuticles have been awful (peeling and dry) so often that it’s driving me mad. I have no idea why but lately I’ve started rubbing this oil on them at night and it’s relieved this problem some.

*Please keep in mind that if you are allergic to peanuts, argan oil may cause an allergic reaction so I would not advise that you use it.

…The End…

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Alrighty then… As you’ve read, I have nothing but wonderful reviews about coconut and argan oil. I love using anything natural as opposed to products that contain weird chemicals and you should go this route as well. In a world where what we put on our skin, what we eat and drink can contain so many harmful chemicals more so than “good stuff,” we need to be mindful of using more natural products. Be aware of the best way to remain healthy and beauty products should also be considered in this way. The skin absorbs everything so what we apply, goes right into our bodies.

Remember also that the object of using any product is consistency. You have to make it a point to incorporate these in your daily routine or at least 3-4 times per week to see the results. If you only use them once a month, obviously they will not work properly and you won’t see any difference. So if you’re down to try something new, remember consistency.

If you’re interested in using either of these products, I purchased both at Mountain Rose Herbs. This website offers high-quality organic products that have been certified. I’ve used several of their herbs, teas, oils, bath and body items and I love them. Click the link and check them out.

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Well there you have it my darlings. I hope you’re satisfied with my reviews of both and that you will try them. My next “guinea pig” adventure is “warm lemon water” in the mornings and “Nature’s Bounty beautiful hair, skin & nails” 30-day challenge. I’m using the latter mostly to see if my weak, brittle nails will improve. I chose the tablet form but also available are the soft gels and gummies. I take one tablet with food twice per day. Check out the link here if you’re interested Nature’s Bounty. Stay tuned in about a month or two for my results on both.

If you’ve forgotten the drill because let’s face, it HAS been a long time, please feel free to comment below or ask any questions that I haven’t answered. If you’ve already tried these products, comment below and let us know your results and whether you like or disliked. Also, please share any other beauty secrets pertaining to coconut and argan oil that I haven’t mentioned. We all want to look and feel beautiful and healthy and there’s nothing wrong with helping each other out. I look forward to reading your comments. Let’s chat. Go! #engage

Until next time…

Gracias,

AnnaCris ❤

What Do You Bring To My Table?

Hola,

What’s the haps my lovelies? How is everyone doing? Have you all noticed the new look to my blog? Do you like it? I’m still working on it to customize it to my taste but I’m happy with it so far. It’s so “fashioney” #NewWord, and so me. 😉

Have you all had a chance to read my last post “Look At These Cool New Products?” If you haven’t, I think you should finish reading this one then go visit that post and let me know what you think. You may find something new that you’d like to try or maybe you’re already using some. Whatever the case, go have a look and give me some feedback. 😘

So the title of this post is a dead giveaway that I am veering off of the topic of fashion and beauty. I have my moments when I want to write about certain life issues or my own life experiences and this is one of them. I am about to go IN 💣, so adjust your cute butts in that chair you’re sitting on and let’s do this.

“What do you bring to my table?” I have a meme saved on my phone that I love that’s worded a lil bit differently. It goes like this:

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Bwahahaa… This gets me ALL the time. It’s so me. However, while this meme could probably be a future post about dating or the ever fabulous independent woman blah, blah, I’m going to use it in a different context because I’ve had it with people in general who think that they can treat you a certain way, usually completely shitty, just because they think they can and that this is acceptable. Well… It’s NOT! 👎

Here’s the thing… Which I thought of the other night and I meant to post it as a facebook status but alas… “I believe that the way you treat those who have NOTHING to do with what you’re going through speaks VOLUMES about your character and your personality.” You could act like or be the nicest person on earth but your attitude towards others when you have your undies in bunch says so much about you. Oh and let’s be clear, this is not about random strangers but about people you know and deal with frequently. They could be family, friends, co-workers, your boo. Basically, anyone you interact with daily.

What I’m getting at is this… I get that we all have things that bring us down. Things that maybe we don’t want to share with anyone but that are hurting us. I understand that we all have bad days. I get that any random action by another can ruin our day like maybe the jerk that cut you off on the road, you missed your train/bus and were super late to work or a meeting. If you live in New York City, lord knows we all have to deal with the HORRID morning commute with issue after issue on the trains making you even later to your destination. I understand being upset because you had a run in with an idiot which turned into an argument (people can be rude), maybe your boss yelled at you, maybe you’re having problems at home, maybe you’re having financial issues, you could be sick… I mean the list is endless. I’ve been there plenty of times but my mommy taught me at a young age never to take my shit out on innocent bystanders, and I try to live by that as much as I can. When I’m having a bad day, I always get super quiet. That’s how people know something is wrong with me. I hardly ever take my woes out on those who have nothing to do with them. However, It seems like this is a hard thing for people to be mindful of these days. Why is that? Someone enlighten me please.

I just don’t understand how people think that they have a right to treat others in such a way because they are angry, sad, hurt, etc. The killer is placing blame on someone who is not involved or is not the cause of your issue. If you didn’t handle your business and got called out on it, if you’re having personal problems, whatever the case may be, please do not take it out on the next available or the closest person to you just because you think you can. Unless the person is the direct reason for your distress, you are being extremely unfair. HOW is your situation another person’s fault? Did they directly or indirectly cause it? If you cannot answer these questions with a yes and/or a specific reason then again, you are being unfair, spiteful and you are showing your underlying character/personality, and guess what… It’s not a nice picture. People like this are not allowed in my close circle. Why? Because these are the types that you never know what you’re going to get on any given day. They’re cool with you one day and turn into Mr. Hyde the next without cause. They drain you of positive energy. It’s too much work and I have NO patience for this BS!

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I’m a firm believer of the above quote. “You get what you give.” We all know karma all too well, however, I relate this quote to every day issues. Your actions bring about the same actions… I’m not saying that we should be mean or rude. Never step down to that level with anyone unless you’re being threatened. Whenever possible, kill people with kindness. However, there are times when kindness is not the answer. There are times when you have to put your foot down and show people that their actions are going to bring about the same in return. If they can dish it, they better be able to take it because let’s face it, life is not a one-way street. One person cannot always be the taker and another always the giver. It’s got to be give and take. So anyone who thinks that they can be unkind to others should not be surprised if they get resistance from the person in question. You get what you give…

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So back to “What Do You Bring To My Table?” I have decided and so should you, that from now on people in my life, with the exception of my mommy because she’s my queen and she can do anything she wants 💖, do not get to treat me like crap just because they think they can (btw, my mommy is always nice to me :)😍). Ask yourself the question “what does this person bring to MY table?” If the answer is nothing of value that you’d miss not having, if their presence has no impact and has no relevance in your life, if you do not need them to survive, then what they bring to YOUR table is of no importance and their attitude should not affect you. Let their actions guide you. If they don’t talk to you, fine. If they’re mean, ignore. If they’re distant, be distant. Let them do them. You do YOU. I don’t know about you, but I’m an expert at ignoring people. Like the above quote says “my attitude depends on you.” I will kindly brush my shoulders off, adjust this fabulous crown 👑 on my head and keep it moving. Especially if I know that I did nothing to deserve someone’s attitude. I certainly REFUSE to kiss anybody’s ass and I’m not about to start. You should commit to doing the same. Save yourself the aggravation. Show them that two can play the game. Like I said, “if they can dish it, they better be able to take it” and some people can’t take it. Be prepared for them to be taken aback, to be shocked even or go as far as to play the victim or the innocent fool like they did nothing to deserve YOUR behavior. Regardless of this, pay them no mind. Continue your day as if you haven’t a care in the world. Trust that this will get to them more than any blow up or confrontation. It’s a good lesson and if they care or even pay attention, they will realize they’ve been unfair and may not do it again. If not, there’s always this:

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Don’t take it personally. Look at the source. If they’re worth it, maybe have a talk with them in a day or two. If it’s immediate family, your love interest or a long time-friendship, definitely try and work it out with them. Those relationships are special and deserve effort. However, if in your heart you feel the person in question is irrelevant to your life’s table, I repeat…. brush your shoulders off, adjust your crown 👑 and go about your day and try your best not to take these actions personally. ;)👋

So there you have it my loves. Just thought I’d share my point of view on this subject. I’m sure each of us has been in a situation like this at some point. Let me add that perhaps the person may not realize they’re doing this but that’s like a 1 out of 10 chance. Usually they pick a scapegoat and go with it so be aware how they treat you as opposed to others around them. That will be the giveaway. Then ask yourself “What does this person bring to MY table?” Whatever your answer is, act accordingly…

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Alrighty then, what are your thoughts on this topic? Do you agree with me or disagree? How have you handled situations like these? Do you confront or ignore? Maybe you’re guilty of these actions. Why do you choose to handle your misfortune by treating others this way? Do you realize you’re doing this? OMG, I could ask so many more questions. In any case, you all know the drill my sweets. Share your thoughts. This could be a good discussion if you’re willing to share your stories. So go ahead and share. Let’s discuss and try to make our daily lives better.

Remember… Don’t blame innocents for your troubles. Take ownership of those troubles instead and handle them. If you’re going through something, lay low for a bit. Stop taking your problems out on people who haven’t caused them. And try your best to treat everybody with kindness because you never know what someone is going through! Plus, I’m sure you’d like to be treated as such so give what you’d like to receive. Okay, it’s time for opinions. Let’s chat. Go! #engage

Until next time…

Gracias,

AnnaCris 💛