Happy Garlic Day!

Posted by Maria on April 19, 2017 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Esthetics School, Face, Feet, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

When you think of a spa, you probably don’t think about garlic at the same time, but did you know that garlic is actually a supernatural spa ingredient?

In honour of National Garlic Day on April 19th, here’s a quick snapshot about how garlic is used in cosmetics and how it can be used in the home spa.

GARLIC (Allium sativum):

  • Home spa recipes: extracts, baths, lotions. Garlic among the roses.
  • Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning, masking.
  • Baths: Add whole cloves with their peel to bathwater for antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, and to treat ACNE scars.
  • Body: Add extract to a lotion to rub Rheumatic pain and to disinfect insect bites.
  • Feet: Apply to feet to heal corns and bunyans.
  • Food: Eat for flavour and nutrition and to help with colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, digestive problems, high blood pressure, vericose veins, Rheumatism, and to support healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Balances: Root (1st) and Third Eye (6th) chakras plus reduces Vata (Infinity/Air), Increases Pitta (Fire), Reduces Kapha (Water/Earth).
  • Find in: Healthfood stores, grocery stores, markets, wellness centres, pharmacies, cosmetics, food products, medications/supplements, gardens.
  • Caution: Garlic’s odour may be overpowering to the people around you.

Here’s a quote that talks about the aromatherapy side of garlic:

“I could smell garlic, butter, and wine – the world’s most delicious flavor combination. It made me feel warm, like the first few sips of wine always do,”
~ Sarah Jio, The Violets of March

So as you can see, even though it’s known as the “smelly rose,” garlic is still loved by millions around the world and has been regarded as both a food and a remedy since ancient times.

Don’t Let Jet Lag Keep You Grounded

Posted by Maria on August 16, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Creating Wellness ebook, Energy Healing, Fitness, Gemstones & Crystals, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

I’ve got travel on my mind!

First, with the Summer Olympics being a big draw, the International Olympic Committee has predicted that 480,000+ tourists and sports fans will travel from all corners of the earth to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August, 2016. That’s a lot of zig-zagging across the planet!

Also, many of my friends are currently travelling for their summer vacations, getting one last trip in before school starts, to all kinds of wonderful places all over the world, and I love hearing about their adventures.

As for me, I’m in the process of planning a Transformation is Possible Cruise to Alaska in August, 2017, which will be all about coaching and wellness, which I’ll tell you more about in the coming months, because you’re invited to join me!

Anyway, with all of this talk of travel, I thought it would be nice to write a blog post on how to minimize Jet Lag so everyone can enjoy their trips more fully.

don't let jet lag keep you grounded.

I don’t want Jet Lag to keep anyone grounded.

The formal name for Jet lag is “desynchronosis” which is a fancy way of saying, “out of sync” which makes sense. It’s also called “flight fatigue.”

Jet Lag is not fun. Thank goodness it’s only temporary! This sleep disorder happens when our body’s natural circadian rhythms aren’t matching up with the local time and the delay can feel quite debilitating.

Symptoms of Jet Lag include:

  1. fatigue
  2. digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea,
  3. dehydration,
  4. anxiety,
  5. disorientation, confusion, and inability to concentrate,
  6. dizziness & grogginess,
  7. headache,
  8. irritability,
  9. sweating,
  10. general malaise,
  11. mild depression, and
  12. insomnia, disrupted sleep, and irregular sleep patterns.

Depending on whether you’re heading West or East and the time of day you’re travelling, it takes about one day for each time zone you’ve crossed to realign your body clock to your new (or regular) time zone.

Although some Jet Lag is unavoidable while traveling great distances by airplane, it’s still possible to keep disruption to a minimum and get the circadian rhythms humming again sooner rather than later.

9 Tips to Minimize Jet Lag

1. Stay hydrated:

Cabin air can be very dehydrating and being dehydrated is already uncomfortable. Symptoms from dehydration overlap with symptoms of Jet Lag and you don’t want to amplify your Jet Lag by starting off as weak and dehydrated. So, even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink at least one glass of water for every hour you’re in the air. Also, avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol during your flight.

2. Use ginger:

Ginger is good for nausea and headaches so if you can, bring some ginger essential oil with you (perhaps in a pump spray bottle), or drink ginger ale or ginger tea, or eat some Sushi with pickled ginger before your flight at the airport.

3. Consider melatonin:

To ease your transition to the new time zone and to reset your body clock, consider taking melatonin, either as a nonprescription drug or from a food source like cherries. Please see my blog post, “Top of your day with a cherry”

4. Try Reflexology:

Speaking of melatonin, you can also use Reflexology to stimulate the production of this sleep-regulating hormone by applying pressure to the Pineal gland points on your hands, feet, or ears. To work this reflexology point on the feet, use your index finger and press in and down on the outside edge (or medial side) of your big toe, just above the midway bump at the base of the nail.

5. Get some pre-flight life coaching:

If you’re feeling anxious about flying and are a nervous traveller, book a session with a life coach like me before your trip. A coach can be very calming and reassuring. On top of that, voicing your concerns and imagining a smooth flight without any complications, including Jet Lag, ahead of time, will also work wonders.

6. Wear gemstone jewellery:

Travellers have been carrying healing crystals for their protective and healing properties on their journeys for thousands of years. Wearing gemstone and crystal jewellery is an excellent and easy way to ensure a safe and pleasant voyage. Crystal jewellery also looks nice and makes a great conversation starter. I recommend Turquoise to safeguard your possessions and to facilitate communication, Yellow Jasper to calm nausea or motion sickness, and silvery-black Hematite to help get rid of Jet Lag. Of course, there’s also the perfectly-named Jet stone which offers protection, helps clear negativity, and brings good luck.

7. Get up and stretch:

Every few hours, take about 15 minutes to stretch your muscles from head to toe. Roll your neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles and twist at your waist from side to side. All the better if you practice yoga. You can stretch while seated of course, but it’s even better when you get up mid flight and walk up and down the aisle a few times to get your circulation going and stretch while standing up.

8. Go outside when you can:

Once you arrive, spend time outside in nature and then you’ll receive natural cues from the environment that will help your body reset itself to your new surroundings. Also, if you happen to catch some rays, you’ll also get some Vitamin D which will help boost your immunity. Please read my blog post, “It’s Vitamin D Day”.

9. Get a massage:

As a massage practitioner, I recommend getting a massage to minimize the amount of time it takes to recover from Jet Lag. Nowadays, you can get a chair massage at the airport or you can book a more extravagant massage at a spa at your destination. Either way, a massage will help you release tension and sleep better at night.

I hope these 9 tips will help you reduce and even avoid Jet Lag on your next trip. And if you have any tips to share, feel free to add your comments about minimizing Jet Lag below. Thanks!

Best Crystal for Transformation: Lapis Lazuli

Posted by Maria on July 7, 2016 under Books, Magazines, Music, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Gemstones & Crystals, Gift Ideas, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Wellness | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Coach, Healer, Author

In my short story ebook, The Call of the Lapis Lazuli, I tell the story of the moment before I was even born, when I first met with my mystical mentor, my Guardian Angel, Caliel, to inspire my readers to consider their own life’s purpose, potential, and calling, and if you’re interested, you can find my ebook on Amazon.

Here’s the inspiration for the story, my own lapis lazuli stone. Isn’t it beautiful? I love the colour of the golden pyrite flecks against the royal blue canvas. It’s like stars in the night sky.

Lapis Lazuli

I love gemstones because they embody many wonderful metaphysical properties and I keep them close at hand to remind me to focus on the qualities I want to embrace in my life. The Lapis Lazuli holds great significance for me because it’s all about communication, creativity, and self-expression. For me, the lapis lazuli also emits an energy of transformation because change can’t happen until you start speaking your truth.

This video is the first of a series where I’ll be talking about my fascination with crystals and gemstones and sharing the jewells of my collection.

Video: the Call of the Lapis Lazuli with extra photos

Here’s the transcript from the video:

Hi, my name is Maria Koropecky and I’m a coach, healer, and author and the owner of Homespunspa Mobile Spa. Today I’d like to talk about the hero’s journey.

Have you ever read a book or watched a movie or heard a story that was so riveting and exciting that you couldn’t wait to find out what happens next? Well, it was probably about someone on a hero’s or heroine’s journey.

These stories are timeless and they appeal to people across cultures and generations and they have certain things in common like a call to adventure and meeting with a mentor and encountering other supernatural characters. Then the hero goes through a series of trials and then there’s a big showdown and then the hero wins and then goes back home to the ordinary world to share the treasure with others.

Stories like Star Wars, The Odyssey, and the Alchemist…

There’s something about these stories that resonate deeply within us because hero’s journeys are not just for characters in epic novels. We’re all on our own journey of self-discovery and adventure. We’re all heros and heroines in our own lives.

Unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way, and we get distracted, and we procrastinate, and we put those dreams on hold indefintely.

Well, today’s the today for you to take those dreams and yourself off the shelf.

As a coach, healer, and author, I help sensitive and creative introverts – people who like to spend time alone – but who are also hearing a call to service or adventure – work through reluctance and resitance, so they feel empowered to move further along their hero’s journey and ultimately transform their lives, fullfill their mission, and share the elixir they’ve found with the rest of the world.

I can relate because I’m an introvert, too.

Perhaps you’re at a place in life where:

  1. You’re in transition and are thinking about the next chapter in your life; or
  2. You feel like adventure is calling or like you’re being called to service or you just feel like you need to get yourself out there in the world and you’re tired of settling for mediocre but don’t know your next steps; or
  3. You’re looking for a transformational experience that will catapult you on to your hero’s or heroine’s journey.

I want you to get out of the audience and into the play and get off the sidelines and get in the game and feel what it’s like to be authentically alive, while still maintaining the best of what it means to be an introvert. The world needs introverts and here’s your chance to expand your reach.

I want you to be excited about what happens next in your life and coaching is the ticket to getting your whole life to change.

Every hero needs a coach. Just look at Luke Skywalker and Yoda!

In my short story ebook, “The Call of the Lapis Lazuli,” I tell the story of my own journey when I first met with my mystical mentor, my Guardian Angel, before I was born, to inspire my readers to consider their own life’s purpose and potential and calling, and if you’re interested, you can find my ebook on Amazon.

Mt. Baker

The photo above that I took of Mt. Baker is the cover and here’s the inspiration for the story, [see top photo] my lapis lazuli. Isn’t it wonderful?

The Lapis Lazuli holds great significance for me because it’s all about communication, creativity, and self-expression and this video is the first of a series where I’ll be talking about my fascination with crystals and gemstones and sharing the jewells of my collection.

If you want my help to transform your life and experience the hero’s journey first hand, please contact me, Maria, and we’ll set up a time to chat. It would be my joy to walk beside you on your journey.

To get the ball rolling, sign up for a free, 30-minute “Transform your life” coaching consultation apppointment with me.

and we’ll work together to…

* Create a crystal clear vision for your ultimate life so you know exactly what you want, where you’re headed, and what you need to do to make it happen.

* Uncover hidden challenges that may be slowing down your progress in your ability to make positive changes that last.

* And you’ll leave our coaching sessions feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to finally achieve the transformation you seek, once and for all.

Transformation is possible.

Please contact me and book your “Transform Your Life” session and let’s get you on that hero’s journey! You can find me at homespunspa.com. I’m looking forward to meeting you!

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

Dry Shampoo Recipe for Camping

Posted by Maria on June 3, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Dear Homespunspa, Green Living, Hair, Home spa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Canadians love to go camping in the summertime, (although some of us would prefer “glamping” but that’s a post for another time. :) )

To kick off the camping season, I thought I’d share a dry shampoo recipe that you can take with you on your camping trips anywhere across this beautiful country of ours.

Dry shampoos are good to use in the great outdoors because:

  • dry shampoo recipe from Homespunspa.the powder is lightweight and easy to pack;
  • the natural ingredients will not harm the environment;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes don’t contain industrial chemicals like commercially-made shampoos;
  • homemade dry shampoo recipes aren’t over-packaged;
  • the powder does not generate extra garbage;
  • the recipes work for men, women and kids;
  • will cleanse greasy or oily hair without stripping the hair;
  • there’s no water required.

Dry shampoos are not just good for camping and of course, you can always use your dry shampoo at home anytime of year. I keep some on hand in case I need to go out and look presentable but don’t have time to take a shower and wash and dry my hair. And sometimes, if I’m planning to workout later in the day and don’t want to take two showers in a day, I’ll apply some dry shampoo in the morning to refresh my hair. Dry shampoo is a great alternative to wearing hats or pony tails.

Dry Shampoo Recipe by Maria Koropecky

Ingredients:

  • 1 TB Bentonite Clay — a natural clay that absorbs oils and is good for skin and hair.
  • 1 tsp cornstarch — this absorbant powder lends a silky feel to home spa recipes.
  • 1 tsp baking soda — soothes itchy skin and clears blemishes.
  • 1 tsp orrisroot powder — has a slight violet aroma and is used to fix other scents in the recipe.
  • 1/4 tsp myrrh gum powder — is good for dry skin and the exotic aroma warms the senses.

optional ingredients:

  • You can substitute myrrh essential oil for the myrrh gum powder or not use either.
  • If you have dark hair, you can add 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • If you have auburn hair, you can add 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  • If you have grey or white hair, you can use white China clay instead of Bentonite clay.

Method:

Measure and combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well and store in a sterilized jar like a salt shaker. You can also put the recipe in a plastic, ziplock, baggy while camping. The shelf life is indefinite as most, if not all of these ingredients, contain some natural preservative properties.

Manner:

This can get a little messy so it’s best to do this outside. I don’t recommend applying this clay powder over a sink because eventually it will clog your drains.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in a salt shaker, bend at the waist and simply shake some powder on your head near the roots. Let it sit for a minute and then brush it out.

If you’re keeping your dry shampoo in another container, scoop some out with a spoon, bend at the waist, sprinkle over your head, wait a minute or two, and then brush everything out.

Apply more dry shampoo as needed and brush your hair thoroughly. Once you notice a difference and feel your hair is clean, remove any excess powder that may have landed on your neck and shoulders during application.

Voila! Your hair is clean and you’re good to go. I hope you enjoy the myrrh and orrisroot fragrance.

Let me know what you think of this dry shampoo recipe and I’d love to hear about your camping trip, too!

My Interview with Spray Tan Artist, Anna

Posted by Maria on March 27, 2015 under Esthetics School, Guest Bloggers, Home spa, Ingredients, Mobile Spa, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa Party, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Uncategorized | 6 Comments to Read

By Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

We have a new member on our team at Homespunspa Mobile Spa! Let me introduce you to Anna Pretto, a professional Airbrush Spray Tan Artist who is certified in Spray Tanning, Lash Extensions, and Hair Threading.

Anna will be offering spray tanning as part of our new Saturna Island Spa Party Package. Because you may have some questions about spray tanning, I thought it would be a nice idea to interview Anna to find out more about this fun spa service.

Hi Anna, I’m so excited that you have joined the Homespunspa Mobile Spa team and you will be giving spray tans as part of our new Saturna Island spa party package. Welcome!

I’d like to ask you some questions on behalf of our customers to introduce you to everyone and to show how spray tanning works.

1. What’s your favourite part of being a airbrush spray tan artist?

Seeing the immediate, great results that clients receive from a spray tan.

Spray Tan Artist, Anna

2. What lead you to become a professional airbrush spray tan artist?

Because of my love of all things esthetics, I wanted to add another service to my menu. I chose spray tanning because it is a healthy and safe alternative to traditional tanning methods and I feel proud that I can offer that to my clients.

3. Do you have any memories of tanning when you were growing up?

Yes! Being of Greek descent, every year that summer would come around I remember from even when I was a child that my olive skin would radiate when I started to tan.

4. What is a spray tan?

Sunless spray tanning is the spray/mist application of sunless tanning solution to desired areas of your body. When applied, DHA (the active ingredient in sunless tanning solution) reacts with the proteins in the skin’s superficial layer to form a golden brown colour. Your skin begins to darken 2 to 3 hours after application and reaches its peak colour within 24 hours. The colour will gradually fade through natural exfoliation, just like a tan from the sun.

5. What are the benefits of getting a spray tan?

There are lots of benefits with getting a spray tan:
An even, streak-free tan — the fine mist allows an even application all over, with no patchiness, and without going orange;
• Improved appearance — a spray tan helps you to look good year round, look thinner and healthier instantly, and it boosts self confidence;
• Even skin tone — A spray tan evens out skin tone and hides blemishes and imperfections, including stretch marks and varicose veins;
• Fast application — It’s fast: in just 15 minutes you can go from being pale and white to having a deep bronzed tan.

6. Is spray tanning safe?

Yes! DHA is non-toxic and non-carcinogenic. It’s made from sugar and is also used in the food industry. Spray tanning with DHA as the active tanning agent is approved and recommended by all the major medical associations and skin cancer associations around the world.

7. What spray tan product do you use and why did you choose this brand?

I use Aviva Natural Spray Tanning Solutions which is organic and is even used by celebrities. Here are the following reasons why we use only the safest of solutions:
1. Doctor formulated.
2. Natural-looking and long lasting.
3. Even-fading.
4. Oil-free.
5. Fragrance-free.
6. Alcohol-free.
7. Erythrulose-free.
8. Only made with FDA approved Ingredients.
9. All natural.
10. Composed of the highest quality, premium grade DHA.
11. Water-based.
12. Fast-drying.
13. Vegan.
14. Not tested on Animals.
15. Free of harsh dyes and chemicals.
16. Nut-free and allergen-free.
17. Non-comedogenic
18. Hypoallergenic.

8. That’s quite a list! Does the spray tanning solution give off an odour?

Aviva spray tan solution doesn’t give off any odour at all.

9. Can you customize the tints? Can I (the guest) choose how tanned I want to be?

Yes, I’ll evaluate your skin type to help you achieve your best sunless colour possible and I’ll consult with you to find what kind of colour you are looking to achieve.

10. Do the spa party guests have to remove all of their clothes to get their spray tan and how do you maintain privacy?

You can wear a swimsuit, undergarments or no clothes at all, whatever you’re comfortable with!

Also, here’s a photo of the spray tent –>. To maintain privacy and for those guests who are feeling modest, the tent can be placed in a more private area of the spa party venue.

11. Can the spray tan stain furniture and if so, is there anything you do to prevent that?

The spray tent keeps the spray inside the tent. For whatever reason, should there be any overspray on furniture, for example, it’s easily washed off with a wet cloth as it’s all organic. For the spa parties, we have some cloths on hand and would just clean things up right away.

12. How much space is required for you to set up your spray tanning tent?

Luckily, spray tanning doesn’t require much space at all! My mobile spray tanning tent can be set up virtually anywhere while protecting anything outside of it from spray.

13. What’s the difference between Air Brush Tanning and Spray Booths?

Booth – whatever your body size or height, a spray booth will spray you with the exact same motion and amount of spray.

Airbrush – The amount of spray can be adjusted and tailored to your body type and for your needs.
• Airbrush tanning is much more accurate than booth sprays;
• Airbrushing can be done in the comfort of your home;
• What a booth does in 30-60 seconds, airbrushing takes between 10-15 minutes;
• Airbrush tanning allows for a precise application of the solution evenly across your body, ensuring the best results;
• Airbrush tanning is also cleaner than booth sprays;
• Airbrushing tends to last longer;
• Barrier creams are not necessary;
• No head caps or booties are needed.

14. Is there anything the spa party guests have to do before getting their spray tan?

• Wax or shave 24 hours before your spray tan as this will allow the pores to close before your tan;
• Do not apply deodorants, moisturizers or perfumes the day of your appointment or spa party as these can prevent proper absorption of the tanning solution.
• Exfoliate 24 hours before to remove any dead skin cells.

15. What if the spa party guests don’t have a chance to exfoliate their skin before the spa party?

If by chance the skin hasn’t been exfoliated 24 hours prior to the tan, we have the option to exfoliate at the time of the tan at the spa party; however, I cannot guarantee that the results would be as good, as the skin hasn’t had a chance to recover.

Yes, we have an exfoliation treatment option and make-up removal option built into the spa party theme (instead of getting the chair massage) in case someone needs to take those steps before getting their spray tan at the spa party.

16. Are there any contraindications (like eczema or some sort of skin rash, burn, scar or health condition) that will prevent you from applying the spray tan to someone?

No. In an organic spray tan such as this one, wrinkles, dry skin, irritation, rashes and other skin problems are diminished. The spray binds the moisture in the skin and repairs skin cells that have been damaged by harsh sun rays. It eliminates the formation of dried-out skin which normally occurs after traditional spray tanning.

17. How long will the spray tan last?

Your body is always shedding dead skin cells. This is why even a natural sun tans fade over a few days. Spray tanning affects only the outer skin layer, so just like a natural sun tan the spray tan fades as your skin cells are shed. Your spray tan will usually last between 5 to 10 days.

18. Do you have any tips on making the spray tan last longer?

1. Bring loose, baggy clothing to wear after your appointment. Tight clothing will rub against your skin and may cause patches.
2. To avoid strap marks, I recommend you do not wear your bra after you appointment, until your tan has fully developed and you have washed it off.
3. Bring flip-flops to wear after your appointment, as shoes/socks will cause the tan to rub off/leave patches.
4. Wait at least 8 hours before showering after your spray tan.
5. Moisturize with an oil free moisturizer.

19. Wow! We’ve covered a lot of territory in this interview, Anna. Of course, people may still have more questions and if so, how can they reach you?

For more information about Anna and spray tans, please visit Lash and Glow or call 250-857-7837 and be sure to say, “I’m looking forward to hosting a Saturna Island spa party!”

And if you’re ready to book your Saturna Island Spa Party theme package right away, please call Maria at Homespunspa Mobile Spa at 250-812-3487 or email at homespunspa@shaw.ca.

Thank you, Anna, I’m sure spa lovers from Sooke to Sidney will enjoy our Saturna Island Spa Party Theme Package. I think adding spray tanning to the Homespunspa mobile spa menu is a great idea and the spa parties are going to be a blast!

Help, I’m Losing My Hair!

Posted by Maria on January 10, 2015 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Fitness, Green Living, Home spa, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | 2 Comments to Read

by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Help! I'm losing my hair.Linda gathered some of her shoulder-length, strawberry-blonde hair, ran her fingers through it, and pulled out several strands to show us. “Look,” she said. “But this is nothing compared to what normally happens when I brush my hair and check the brush.”

My friend Linda was recently talking about her significant hair loss and as someone in the business of helping people manage stress with Homespunspa Mobile Spa, my ears perked up.

Linda is a new mom in her early 30’s. She also works outside the home as a manager in a stressful office job. She’s a smoker and is overweight but exercises a couple of times a week.

Losing hair can be quite traumatic for many people and my friend’s rapidly thinning hair was really bothering her. She figured it had something to do with a recent stressful event in her life.

I thought I’d do some research on female hair loss to help her out and yes, sometimes hair loss can stem from stress.

Telogen effluvium is considered to be the most common type of stress-related hair loss. In this case, a stressful event may pre-maturely send hair follicles into the resting phase of the growth cycle which stops the hair from growing any further. The hair will start to fall out after a few months and the time lapse makes it difficult to tie the hair loss back to a specific event and to know the root cause that triggered the stress symptoms in the first place.

The stressful event that triggers the hair loss a few months down the road can be physiological and/or emotional in nature — something like a car accident, illness, surgery, a move, a job loss, or giving birth. The good news is, often times, the hair will start to grow back once the body has had enough time to recover from the trauma.

5 Ways to Encourage Healthy Hair Growth

There are certain things you can do starting today that can stimulate hair growth including Managing Stress, Getting Enough Sleep, Fueling your Body with Nutritious Foods, Moving your Body, and Taking Care of Your Hair.

1. Manage Stress

In my opinion, managing stress is the key to living a healthy life and getting regular massages is a great way to alleviate stress. The benefits of massage include:

  • reduced muscular tension and stiffness;
  • chronic pain management;
  • relief from tension headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • reduced fatigue, anxiety and depression;
  • boost of endorphins (the feel-good hormone);
  • increased circulation;
  • detoxification;
  • better posture to name a few.

If you’ve never had a professional massage before, you’re in for a real treat. But if you’re unsure about whether or not you’d enjoy a massage, I recommend looking into chair massages to start. All you have to do is sit in a special kind of chair and you don’t even have to disrobe at all and that’s what I recommended for Linda.

Talking to a professional therapist or coach is another great way to minimize stress. I guarantee that if you get whatever you’ve been thinking and worrying about off your chest, you will feel better. It’s just a matter of finding someone who will actively listen without judgment in a safe and sacred space.

If you’re looking to work with a coach, I’m offering a zero cost, GET THINGS OFF YOUR CHEST, 30-minute introductory coaching session to people who are feeling stressed out, so please check out the coaching page on www.homespunspa.com and contact me, if you’re interested.

2. Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your health and your hair. No matter what day of the week it is, try to keep a regular sleep schedule from night to night and aim for seven to eight hours of sleep a night.

3. Fuel Your Body with Nutritious Foods

A poor diet will show up in your hair one way or another and eating healthy foods each and every day goes a long way toward looking and feeling your best.

Starting with breakfast, eat at least three meals a day that are well-balanced and include lean protein and fruits and vegetables. Avoid processed foods, sugary foods, and foods that are high in trans fats.

Also, consider taking vitamin and mineral supplements, especially:

  • B complex vitamins (which are good for stress);
  • vitamins C and E, (which are good for skin and hair);
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, and Selenium, (which are good for skin and hair); and
  • Magnesium and Zinc (which are also good for stress).

Also re-evaluate your medications. Sometimes, hair loss can be a side-effect of certain meds and if you suspect your prescriptions are contributing to your hair loss, talk to your doctor to see about making some adjustments.

4. Move your body

Our bodies are built to move and exercising is a great way to release stress. There are thousands of different activities to try like stretching, walking, running, swimming, and dancing so do something that you enjoy several times a week.

The benefits of regular exercise include:

  • better balance and coordination;
  • healthy body weight;
  • better mood;
  • healthier heart;
  • lower blood pressure;
  • increased energy; and
  • improved appearance to name a few.

5. Take care of your hair

A visit to a hair salon every couple of months not only keeps your hair looking good, but getting that massage during the shampoo time will increase circulation in the scalp which promotes hair growth. And chatting with your hair stylist can do wonders for your mood, too.

Also, don’t add any unnecessary stress or tension to your hair, especially if you’re going through a period of hair loss. For the time being, avoid harsh chemical treatments or using styling instruments that involve heat (like blow-dryers and flat irons), and try not to constantly wear your hair in a pony tail all day either.

Use Hair Care Products with these Ingredients

Look for shampoos and conditioners with the following ingredients on their labels to stimulate hair growth. If you can’t find suitable hair care products in any stores, make your own customized recipes for your hair type:

  • Amla, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Basil, Basil Essential Oil, Bay Laurel Essential Oil, Bayberry Root Bark, Catnip, Cedarwood Essential Oil, Chamomile, Chamomile Essential Oil, Gotu Kola, Hibiscus, Honeysuckle, Juniper Berry Essential Oil, Melissa (Lemon Balm) Essential Oil, Nettles, Passionfruit Seed Oil, Quinine, Rosemary, Rosemary Essential Oil, Sage, Sea Buckthorn, Sorrel, Southernwood, Soy Milk, Soybeans, Spanish Sage Essential Oil, Spearmint, Spearmint Essential Oil, Stevia, Thyme, Thyme Essential Oil, Tonic Water, Walnut Oil, Yarrow, Yarrow Essential Oil, and Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

Our hair gives us clues about our health and if you are noticing changes in your hair, like hair loss (more than 50 to 100 strands a day) or dandruff, or too many bad hair days in a row, then evaluate what’s going on and take steps to remedy your situation as soon as you can.

Hair loss doesn’t have to be permanent and there are many ways you can encourage your hair to grow again naturally.

Unravel the Mysteries of Female Hair Loss: I’ve come across this really great ebook (affiliate product) if you’re interested in learning tips for successful hair regrowth. Click Here!

Have you ever experienced significant hair loss? If yes, what did you do about it? Please leave your comments. Thanks and I hope my blog post, “Help, I’m losing my hair” was helpful.

Feeling Stuck in the Mud? Try the Kneeling, Standing, & Sitting Method

Posted by Maria on October 13, 2014 under Energy Healing, Green Living, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Meditation, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Wellness, Yoga | 4 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

My mother likes me to go to church with her on Sundays. Sometimes I’d rather watch Super Soul Sundays on tv instead but I’ve been going to church more often these days.

When I’m at church, I mostly sit in contemplation. Last Sunday, I was reminded of a conversation I had when I was 6 with my 9 year-old neighbour, Patty. We were comparing notes about our churches — I’m Ukrainian and she’s Irish — and I was saying something like, “We do a lot of kneeling, standing, and sitting — stand, sit, kneel, stand, kneel, sit, stand, sit, stand, sit, kneel, stand, sit… oh brother,” rolling my eyes — “and if it was up to me, I like to sit.”

These days, I still prefer to sit. After a long sermon, hauling myself out of my pew to stand for what feels like hours without relief, seems like a lot of effort. And getting back up from kneeling is a different ballgame altogether when you’re in your 40’s. :) .

So while I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that there’s actually a rhyme and reason behind these postures.

And since it’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada, I’m going to use a metaphor of a farmer couple, Fred and Frida, to illustrate my theory.

Kneeling

It all starts with a prayer. Prayer lets you get centered. It’s the “asking” side of the equation. Basically, you’re just having a conversation with yourself and with God (if you’re so inclined) to get clear about what you want. Praying helps strengthen your faith that whatever it is you’re asking for, you will eventually have, even if you haven’t noticed any physical evidence yet.

Farmers Fred & Frida

Our farmers, Fred and Frida, have just acquired a plot of land in a community garden. They want to start growing vegetables for their growing family and maybe sell the surplus at markets. First, they have to figure out what sorts of vegetables they’d like to plant and they have lots of options to choose from. They figure it wouldn’t hurt to pray about it so in their own way, they each take a few moments to gather their thoughts and ask for ideas, good weather (like enough sunshine and enough rain) for the crops, good health for themselves so they can do the labour, and the knowledge to solve any challenges that will come up, etc. etc. They’re also able to visualize what their garden looks like in full bloom and how they’re feeling as they share their bounty with friends, family, and neighbours.

Meanwhile, the land and the seeds of the plants represent pure potential. Prayer is what’s inside the acorn (the code inside the seed) before it cracks open and becomes the grande oak tree.

But it doesn’t stop there. Praying by itself isn’t enough. If you want results, you also need to take action — thoughtful, consistent, and repeated action.

Standing

There’s an African proverb that says, “When you pray, move your feet.” Everybody knows that you can’t get anywhere without taking some sort of action steps along the way. Getting up on your feet is about taking a stand for what you believe in, showing others that you mean business, declaring out loud what you want, and taking action. Also, a lot of times, action is about reaching out, giving, and being of service.

Farmers Fred & Frida

By now, Fred and Frida have procured their seeds and have designed the layout of their garden. They’ve come to the community garden prepared and are wearing the proper clothes for the job and have brought all of the equipment they’ll need for planting. The kale will go here, the zucchini will go there, the tomatoes over there near the basil. They’ve rolled up their sleeves and are working hard all day.

They come back to their garden rain or shine, day after day, week after week, and make sure the plants are getting enough nourishment and care. At first, the soil looks pretty much the same as it did in the beginning, but all of a sudden, there’s colour and little green leaves are starting to break through. Fred and Frida are excited about their progress and they’re motivated to keep going.

Eventually, after all of their hard work, the vegetables are awesome and the garden is ready to be harvested. The growing part may be over but there’s still a lot of work to do so that these vegetables and all of that effort don’t go to waste.

Sitting

After kneeling (praying) and standing (taking action), the next step is sitting (receiving). Sitting is deceptively simple, but some people skip this step. Sitting is about relaxing, resting, and receiving. You can’t just give, give, give all of the time. You also have to be able to receive the gifts that others are trying to give you.

Farmers Fred & Frida

Fred and Frida are grateful that they have had a good growing season. They have plenty of healthy vegetables for their family meals and like to share the best veggies and recipes with their friends. They’ve also opened a stand at the local farmers’ market and are receiving compliments and cash for their quality produce and they plan to expand their plots next year.

I think, all in all, Fred and Frida are successful because they prayed, worked hard, and accepted the blessings that came to them.

So, if you’re feeling stuck in the mud of life and are ready for a positive change, try the kneeling, standing, and sitting method.

Thanksgiving

But you may be thinking to yourself, “I don’t know how to pray,” or “I can’t remember the last time I prayed and I don’t know what to say.”

Well here’s a good place to start: “There’s nothing greater that you can say to God than thank you, thank you,” ~ Maya Angelou.

And then you’ll be able to know which steps you’ll need to take that will yield the best results.

So, I’d like to take this moment and say “thank you” for all of the blessings of my life, and for all of the Homespunspa customers I’ve met over the years, and all of the readers of my blog. That’s what I’m most grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving. Now have a seat at the table and pass the turkey and the stuffing, and the mashed potatoes, and the gravy, and the the brussels sprouts, and the cranberry sauce, and the pumpkin pie, and ENJOY the fruits of your labours with your loved ones.

My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)

Posted by Maria on July 1, 2014 under Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Facials, Home spa, Homespunspa, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Manicures, Massages, Nutrition, Pedicures, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Happy Canada Day!

You may be surprised by my pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada in 2014.

I’m going to go out on a limb and not pick something obvious. I’ve decided to go with Holly Oil (Ilex aquifolium) this year.

Yes, I realize Holly is an invasive species and the berries are poisonous for humans to eat and it’s more associated with December 25th than with July 1st, but Holly berries are the same lively red as our Canadian flag and Holly oil is a great Canadian spa product.

Since 1993, Holly oil has been manufactured in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada by All Deep Neuromuscular Massage as a massage oil.

Pressed from Holly leaves and branches, Holly Oil makes an excellent massage oil because it’s a clear, lightweight, non-scented, and non-staining massage oil that travels well over skin. And it will not cause allergic reactions because it’s not a nut-based oil. And it will not clog pores or leave an oily residue on skin. Holly oil is also easily absorbed by the skin and has an unlimited shelf life.

Chances are, when you get a massage at a spa, the massage therapist is using Holly oil.

Holly Oil Profile:

Here are some applications for Holly oil.

Home spa recipes: massage oils, aromatherapy blends, creams, lotions, soaps.

Role in cosmetic formulation: skin conditioning.

Face: Add to facials to moisturize skin, relax facial expression, de-stress.

Skin Types: Use especially on NORMAL or OILY skin.

Massage Oil: Add to massage oil and body care products to nourish, condition, heal and soothe the skin, rub sore muscles, preserve blend, carry ingredients.

Hands & Feet: Add to manicure or pedicure to cleanse, moisturize, condition skin, for massage, to treat nails.

Soap: Add to soap recipes.

Balances: Kapha Dosha and Water/Earth Elemental Natures and Root Chakra.

Region: Canada

Find: online and in spas.

So that’s Holly oil in a nutshell.  Let me know if you agree or disagree with my 2014 pick for the #1 spa ingredient native to Canada.

Nothing Beats Beets!

Posted by Maria on January 13, 2014 under Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Dating, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Nutrition, Recipes, Self-Care, Uncategorized, Weight Management, Wellness | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

Many years ago, I invited a guy over to my apartment for dinner and asked him if there was any food he didn’t like. He said, “I don’t know…beets?” I said, “OK, I won’t serve beets,” (not that I would have anyway that night) but now that I’m reminiscing about my younger years, I can’t help but think this guy is missing out on a really yummy root vegetable. And because I love it so much, I’m going to expand on my earlier post, “Nothing beats borscht” and talk about beets again! In my opinion, nothing beats beets!

Right now, I’m writing a book called “Supernatural Spa Ingredients” and here’s what I know about beets:

BEETS & BEET ROOT POWDER (Beta vulgaris): Beets are highly nutritious and detoxifying. Beet juice can be rinsed through hair to achieve brilliant red results and beet powder makes soap turn rosy.

Home spa recipes: hair colour rinses, soaps, lip balms, blush, eyeshadow.

Role in cosmetic formulation: antioxidant, binding, cosmetic colourant, hair conditioning, hair dying, skin conditioning, skin protecting.

Hair: Infuse into a hair rinse as a colouring agent.

Soap: Add to soap recipes.

Make-up: Add to lip balms and makeup for colour.

Food: Blend in a smoothie for iron and antioxidants. Eat for nutrition.

Balances: Vata dosha, Infinity/Air Elemental Natures, Root Chakra.

Region: North America, Central America, Europe, North Africa.

Find: Grocery store, health food store, garden.

Caution: May stain.

And here’s a home spa recipe for Rosy Guest Soaps that I’ve taken from my first book, “How to Throw a Home Spa Pajama Party the Homespunspa Way.”

Rosy Guest Soaps

I like to use plastic molds in the shape of sheep for these little beauties but you can use whatever you have on hand and your soap will turn out just as sweet.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup glycerin (melt & pour) – A by-product of soap-making which is used as a soap base foundation in quick, easy, and re-batched soap recipes.
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter – Used in skincare for its moisturizing and cleansing properties.
  • 1/4 cup beeswax – Can be used in many applications around the spa but is most often used for its comforting scent and to thicken cosmetics.
  • 1 TB evening primrose oil – Use externally to help skin.
  • 1/2 tsp vitamin E – Prevents scar tissue and may reduce anxiety. Also acts as a preservative.
  • 1/4 tsp beet root powder – Highly nutritious and detoxifying and makes soap turn rosy.
  • 10 drops rosewood essential oil – Calming, head-clearing and relaxing. Often included in romance-eliciting fragrances.

Method: In a double boiler, (I use a metal bowl resting on a pot with one inch of water on the stovetop), gently and slowly melt the “melt & pour” soap base, cocoa butter, and beeswax over low heat and add the evening primrose oil. Keep the pot covered to conserve moisture and try not to stir the ingredients too much because that will add bubbles to your finished product. Once the solid ingredients have turned to liquid, remove from heat and take out a spoonful of the soap and pour it in a Pyrex container. To the spoonful of soap, add the vitamin E and beet powder and mix until well blended. The powder will want to clump, so gently break it up. Pour the rosy liquid back into the rest of the soap and whisk in. By now the liquid soap should be cool enough for the essential oils, so add 10 drops of rosewood essential oil at this time. Mix gently. Have your molds lined up on your counter. You can find plastic molds at craft and candy-making stores in all kinds of shapes and dimensions. I like to use sheep and/or hearts about the size of a box of matches. Pour the liquid soap into the molds. The cocoa butter may separate out a bit but that just creates a pleasant double-decker, marbled effect. Once the soap has hardened, unmold the shapes.

Manner: Wash your hands with the soap and rinse.

Storage / Shelf Life: Unless you plan to use the soap right away, wrap the soaps in plastic to keep the moisture in. Will keep for at least 6 months.

As you can see, beets are lovely and can be added to any spa, wellness and nutrition program. If you’d like to learn more home spa recipes or keep up to date on the progress of my book or to find out about upcoming, “Make Your Own Cosmetics Workshops,” please sign up for my mailing list at the top right corner of this blog to keep in touch. Thanks.

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