Guide to Camping

Now that the school year is coming to a close, only one thing is on everyone’s mind…vacation! If you already blew through your tax refund, no worries! Today I am going to talk to you about camping. I am relatively new to the camping world, so I got some advice from my friends to bring you money saving tips and tricks.

I will never forget my first camping experience, Brownie camping weekend. I was miserable and on the phone begging to come home. 14 years later, I have opened my mind to the outdoors.

The past two years I visited the 1000 Islands. Located along the border of Northern New York State and Southeastern Ontario, Canada, it’s a beautiful vacation destination. Fresh out of college I cannot quite afford a vacation house to rent, so this year I am packing up and going camping! Here’s how…

Visit the site: https://parks.ny.gov/parks/52/details.aspx

Here you are able to book your reservation for a campsite. I choose Wellesley Island State Park. You can stay in a cabin or you can reserve a campsite. The campsites go for around $24 a night. The cabins are pricier at $73.50 a night. I booked a reservation for 3 nights at the beginning of May and only spent a total of $98. Try renting a house for that price!

On the site is an interactive map; you are able to select your exact spot. We chose a spot right on the water. Because I booked so early in May, I had many options but also a few downfalls. In early May the water is freezing! The days can range from mid 40s-high 60’s with a high chance of rain.

During the day you can:

  • Rent kayaks
  • Go boating
  • Take a scenic hike
  • Go fishing
  • Take a bike ride
  • Go for a motorcycle ride
  • Take a day trip into Canada on a ferry
  • Relax by the water (my favorite)

There are so many things to do; I am crossing my fingers for a beautiful weekend!

I am letting my boyfriend do the packing, like I said I am new to camping and would definitely leave essential items out.

Here is Colin’s must have list:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags
  • Air mattress (optional)
  • Charcoal grill for cooking- There is one provided at the campsite!
  • Cooler
  • Water, burgers, hot dogs
  • Hammock
  • Bug Net
  • Utility knife
  • Flash lights
  • Rain gear
  • Bug Spray
  • SUN SCREEN!!!!! (OK I wrote this one…)

This camping trip is a celebration of graduation and I am looking forward to it! It will defiantly beat Girl Scout camp.  State parks are beautiful and we must treat them with respect for future generations to enjoy. Consider making a donation to a New York state park here: https://nht.wufoo.com/forms/thank-you-for-your-support/?utm_source=RA%2520Facility%2520Page&utm_medium=Banner&utm_campaign=Donation%2520

**The NHT is a 501 (c) (3) charitable trust created to receive and administer gifts in support of parks, land, and water conservation and historic preservation in New York State. Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Or keep up on your safety here: https://newyorkstateparks.reserveamerica.com/ny/state/campgrounds/r/campgroundDirectoryList.do?contractCode=NY

Happy Camping!!

Vacation Vibes:

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Skin Glowing Foods

Spring is finally here and with the changing season our skin can still be stuck in winter mode. Today I am going to share with you a few skin “glowing” foods, and the best part is how affordable they are! Pick up these items on your next grocery trip and let’s start glowing.

Carrots-The ultimate glow food! Carrots have Vitamin A, an essential vitamin that protects our skin from damage. In addition to vitamin A, just one cup of carrots contains: Biotin, vitamin K, fiber, molybdenum, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese. vitamin B3, vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, copper, phosphorus, folate, vitamin B, vitamin E…Wow!!

Grace Tip: Try adding a cup of carrots into your day. Whenever I go to the grocery store I pick up a $0.99 bag of carrots and eat them throughout the week. You can snack on them, add them to smoothies, and of course, make a facemask!!

This mask will help with hyperpigmentation, a condition that causes skin discoloration. This carrot mask will help you regenerate new skin cells for fresh and glowing skin.

You need:

  • One large carrot or a handful of baby carrots.
  • Coconut Oil or Olive Oil (about a tablespoon)
  • Honey (optional)
  1. Peel your carrot and chop into small pieces.
  2. Boil the carrots in water until you are able to mash them with a fork easily.
  3. Drain the water, and begin mashing the carrots. Add the oil and honey for smoothness.
  4. Apply the mixture onto your face and wait 10 minutes.
  5. Rinse with warm water.

Grace Tip: make sure the carrots have cooled before you put them on your face!!

Lemon- Lemons are full of vitamin C. In the morning try drinking hot water with lemon. This will help to boost your immune system. When you drink lemon water on an empty stomach you will better absorb vitamins throughout your day. Some other benefits include:

 

  • Reduced appetite
    • Contains fiber which helps you to feel fuller longer
    • Reduces your calorie intake
    • Boosts metabolism
  • Aids in digestion
    • Loosens toxins in the digestive tract
    • Helps with heartburn and bloating
    • Relieves constipation
  • Blemish-free glowing skin!
    • The antioxidants protect your skin cells from sun damage
    • Reduces wrinkles
    • Reduces dark spots

 

Spinach- Low in fat and cholesterol, spinach contains the vitamins: niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.

  • Spinach can minimize acne
  • Prevent premature aging of the skin
  • Help protect our skin from sun damage
  • Aid in the regrowth of skin cells
  • Dry skin relief

 

Grace Tip: You can add spinach into your diet by putting it in your smoothies, omelets, replacing regular lettuce with spinach, or mixing it into tuna salad-my favorite!

These are just a few of my favorite foods for glowing skin. In the last week, I have increased my intake of vitamin C and vitamin A in an effort to get ready for the upcoming summer season! I put lemons into my water, eat berries, and put a baggie of carrots into my lunch every day. Small steps make a huge difference! If you have any suggestions for skin glowing foods, feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

Happy Spring and wear your sunscreen!!

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6 Ways to add coconut oil to your routine

Once I discovered coconut oil, there was no going back! I use coconut oil for everything from beauty to cooking. I’m going to share with you 6 ways to incorporate coconut oil into your beauty routine! And the best part is a jar only costs about $6. I personally use the unrefined organic brands.

1. Moisturize your hair and scalp. Winter can be such a drag. And there is nothing more uncomfortable than a dry scalp. I have hair that gets super brittle in the winter. Before bed, put a dollop of coconut oil on your scalp and rub it in. You can sleep with it like this, just make sure you rinse really well in the morning. Oh and there’s a bonus to this! Shiny, healthy, and frizz free hair! Coconut oil helps to improve the health and strength of your hair by reducing breakage.

2. Moisturize your skin. Replace your lotion with coconut oil! You can put it on right out of the shower when your skin is still damp, or you can use it on dry skin. This will give your skin hydration and a healthy glow! Just make sure you let it soak in for about 10 minutes.

3. Replace your shaving cream. Coconut oil provides a great lubricant for shaving. It will eliminate razor burn and give hydration to your skin. It is perfect for sensitive skin! You can also use it as an aftershave.

4. Reduce the appearance of age spots and skin discoloration. If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you may notice sun spots or discoloration. Coconut oil provides excellent hydration to take care of these problems.

Grace Tip: Use sunscreen! I’m serious! Who do you think you are up against the sun?! It’s the sun!!

5. Use coconut oil in place of lip balm. This is an all natural approach to moisturizing your lips. Do you ever feel like you keep loading on lip balm and you still need more? Not with coconut oil. This will keep your lips smooth and hydrated all day.

6. Remove your makeup. Rub coconut oil on your face and let it sit for about one minute. Take a towel and rub it off and you will be amazed how much makeup comes off. And coconut oil is antibacterial, so you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores and causing breakouts.

Putting coconut oil all over is an amazing way to keep your skin healthy in an all natural way. Just make sure you put it on in moderation…or else you will never hear the end of it from your significant other when there is oil on absolutely every surface…oops.

Expectation:

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Reality:

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(If you don’t understand this Always Sunny reference we cannot be friends)

These are just a few of my daily uses. Do you have any that you think should be on my list? Send me a comment or a message and let me know your coconut oil experience!

Mini Cheesecake

Hi! Today I am going to show you how to make easy mini cheesecakes. Perfect for Valentines day! They only take about 35 minutes and are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here is what you need:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • Keebler Ready Crust Pie Crust 6 pack
  • Fruit to put on top

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy. Fill each graham cracker liner with this mixture, almost to the top.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes. Let it cool in the fridge.
  4. Put on whatever fruit you would like!

Healthy tip: To save some calories look for low-fat cream cheese and buy plain fresh berries.

Non-healthy tip: Add some sugar to your fruit and sprinkle some sugar on top!

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Extra Filling? No problem!

I filled up my 6 graham cups and realize I had way more left over. I did not want the batter to go to waste so I ran to the store and picked up:

  • Cupcake liners
  • Graham crackers
  1. Put oil in the cupcake liners.
  2. Crush up the graham crackers and put them in the bottom of the cupcake liner.
  3. Pour in the filling, almost to the top.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Let it cool in the fridge.

Tip: The cupcake liners I bought were not the strongest. I improvised by adding one or two extra cupcake liners.

I crushed up some raspberries and added sugar to make a paste. Then I put a raspberry on top. They do not turn out as cute, but they are still delicious!

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Happy Valentines Day to all of my followers 🙂 I hope you have a sweet day and spread some love.

Hello everyone!!

Today I am sharing some of my super cheap beauty tips! Today’s focus is hair masks. We are all unique and each person comes with their own hair insecurities. Unless you are a mermaid..then you are pretty much set and I totally want to be your best friend…

Weather can take a negative toll on hair, especially during the winter. I will be using common ingredients that I have in my college apartment. You may have these at home but if not they are affordable and available at your local grocery store. These hair masks are sure to leave you feeling like you just left the salon. Treat yo’ self!!

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Add together all of the ingredients in a bowl.  Work through slightly damp hair. Cover your hair with a shower cap a towel. Leave on for 20 minutes, rinse out and shampoo.

Tip: Make sure you rinse out with cold water. Hot water will cause the egg to start to cook!

“Honey is great for retaining moisture in your hair and preventing hair fall-out – this is because it has a high sugar content. It’s also an emollient, which helps smoothen and soften your hair, and brings back any lost sheen and shine to your hair!” -Luxy Hair

 

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The Brown Sugar Mask will help aid dry, itchy or flaky scalps and remove any dead skin cells.

Mix all ingredients into a bowl. Apply to your hair from top to bottom. Let it sit for 15-20 mins 5. Rinse.

“Extra Virgin Olive Oil has always been used as a natural conditioner – it also produces soft and shiny hair by locking in the moisture and preventing dryness of the scalp. It’s a great resource for preventing hair breakage, split ends, and even fly-aways!” -Luxy Hair

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Combine ingredients in a blender or whisk together until blended. Apply the mask through damp hair. If you have long hair, tie it up or use a clip. Cover hair with a shower cap or towel and let the mask sit for 30 minutes. Wash out the mask with shampoo & conditioner.

Tip: If you have long hair, make sure to double the recipe!

“The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is a potent antimicrobial which can kill bacteria and fungus, common underlying causes of dandruff and hair loss, making it a fantastic natural cure.” -Naturallivingideas.com

Those are my top three favorite masks. I usually do a hair mask once a week; it is fun to switch it up! The best part is you are not limited to these recipes. Feel free to experiment and see what works for you. Like I said, you are unique and deserve to be treated as so. This blog was created to empower creative and beautiful people. My goal for you is to stay happy, healthy, and honest…on a budget!! Leave comments or suggestions. I would love to get your feedback on these recipes 🙂

 

xo Grace