The Skincare Routine That Helps Me Fall Asleep at Night

I am meticulous about maintaining standard skincare routines, such as washing your face before bed, applying various topicals daily, using masks several times a week, but there is one thing I realized I have been completely overlooking: my feet.

I rarely give second thought to the strain that my feet endure. I run most days, and then spend the rest of the day on my feet in some sort of flat or dress shoe while teaching. After school, I am often climbing, which has me in tight shoes that squish my toes, which I am then putting all of my weight directly onto those squished toes. As soon as I stop wearing a winter coat, I start wearing sandals, and I don’t look back until I need that coat again. At the end of the day my feet are always very tired, and in sandal weather, they are also dirty.

My mom has always recognized the value of foot care. When I was little, after a muddy soccer game in restrictive cleats, she would have me soak my feet in the bath tub and then she would rub an invigorating lotion on- usually grapefruit, or mint. This was a thoughtful and refreshing gesture, but somehow I have never been self-inspired to care for my feet myself.

Yesterday my feet were the usual after-school soreness, and really dirty from playing outside with the kindergarteners, so I soaked my feet in a bath salt/ baking soda combo.

Here is the DIY game changer: I filled a small bowl with sugar, and squeezed half a lemon into that bowl of sugar just before scrubbing my feet with said lemon-sugar. This was AMAZING. My feet tingled and my muscles relaxed; the dirt and dead skin was easily removed from my feet, and my legs and feet completely relaxed from the mini-massage. I used the whole bowl of my lemon-sugar scrub, and exfoliated my ankles and calves, too. Bonus: follow up with a tingly mint lotion for ultimate relaxation and easy sleeping. Sometimes I hesitate to lotion up because my feet still feel a little gross from the day (I am a morning shower kind of person) but I will no longer neglect my tired achey feet.

The only other times I have done this were in extreme situations, like right after finishing a hike in the grand canyon or after days of walking in a European city. My sister jokes that the dirt specs tan onto my feet, so my feet look perpetually dirty, even when they are clean. This lemon-sugar scrub minimizes that look!

Do you have a self-care routine that helps you relax instantly? I would love to hear about it!

Cold Remedy or Summer Treat?

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Lemonade is all anyone wants after a hot day in the sun. However, I hate the aftertaste or sugar and chemicals that comes with store bought lemonade. The walk to the grocery store was a long and hot one, and I started craving lemonade. As I bought the lemons, I realized that I was on the path to the perfect home remedy to the sinus infection I had been battling. Armed with a heavy dose of vitamin C and nature’s best antibiotic, I headed home to brew some lemonade.

Cold Cure Lemonade 

Makes 1-2 glasses
If you have more lemons, double or quadruple the recipe and fill a carafe!

-Juice of 1-2 lemons
-Honey equal to half the juice of lemons
-Ice cubes & water

Juice your lemons and pour the juice in something you can shake or stir. Your total volume of lemon juice equals 2 parts. Add 1 part honey, taste it, add another part if you like it a little sweeter (tasting at this stage will be very tart, as you haven’t diluted it yet.) Mix the lemon juice and honey- I like to shake a giant jar together if that option is available. If it is proving difficult to combine the two, feel free to heat the liquid up in the microwave or on the stove to melt the honey and ease the mixing process. Finally, add loads of ice to cool it instantly, especially if it is hot, or some water and some ice. Add enough liquid to essentially double your liquid, or more according to your taste preferences.

Enjoy! Take as a tonic for your health or a sweet and tangy summer treat.

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