Monday, July 25, 2011

Maxin' and Relaxin'...Favorites!

So, I've been asked to start a series called 'Favorites'.  Favorite mom/me things and favorite family/toddler things. Since I normally focus so much on toddler, I thought I would switch it up a bit and go first.

I like CALM. I like de-stressing. I like BATHS.

Here's a shot of my favorite area in our house. It wasn't exactly this straight/neat before I took the photo (dusted, removed crap that didn't belong and faced labels out)...c'mon, you know I'm a mom of a toddler- right?

This is in our bathroom corner near the tub. It's MY space. MY stuff. ALL mine. All about relaxing. Well, some of this stuff I actually use for house cleaning too (that's not so relaxing), but you get the idea.

Anyway, here are my favorite bath items. But, before I go into detail...let me assure you that while some of this stuff 'looks' expensive, it 'aint.

So, starting from the top left and working right:

A natural sea sponge. I've had this  particular one for almost 3 years. Sea sponges are great because they naturally resist bacteria/mold, have no harmful chemicals like synthetic sponges and they lather much better (saving you soap). If taken good care of, a sea sponge can last up to 10 years. For those with sensitive skin, this is great too (perfect for babies). I just love the texture and the clean smell.  Favorite place to buy from is Natural Bath and Body. You can get a sampler pack of 3 for $20 (you will want to get at least a 5-6" sponge).

-One with Nature Soap. My favorite is Dead Sea Salt Lavender. It's a $3 bar of soap from Vitacost, although you can probably find it anywhere online.  This stuff is natural, has a great lasting scent (not over powering) and lathers great.  Their entire line is nice & it's super affordable. I love to give them as gifts too, in a homemade bath themed gift basket.

-Dead Sea Mineral Bath Salt. Oh man, if you've never soaked in a mineral bath - stop reading this and do it NOW. A giant container of unscented Masada salts. $20, lasts me several months (I don't use this in every bath). Takes away aches and pains, relaxes you and exfoliates the skin..

- Pure Essential Oils. I use Plantlife brand. You can buy them separately or in a gift set. Well worth the $5 per bottle (if you buy singles). A little goes a LONG way. Some drops in the tub, in your spray bottle for cleaning, or premixed with your bath salts to add scent. I also have a mist aromatherapy diffuser that I use with them...really helps put a calm, light scent in the air. I use this in my toddlers room some nights with lavender to help her relax or eucalyptus if she has a cold.

- C Booth Oil, and Jojoba Oils. Seals in moisture and keeps you smooth/soft in bath and/or after bath. Super awesome stuff, inexpensive and natural. You can also mix in the essential scent oils if you wanted to.

- A bath candle and a back scrubber! I like Pickwick candles (a Kansas City company), but any candle is great as long as it's a relaxing scent ! For the back scrubber, I like a  good wooden one that will last! To be honest, my REAL back scrubber (aka:hubby) does the best job...hee-hee. Ewe. Sorry about that.

- Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Soap. Saving the best for last. This is by FAR my favorite product in here. I've used this brand for years. One gallon lasts me over a year (with daily use of it). It's pure so you have to dilute it. I just refill my bottles with water and add the recommended amount of soap in. I use it for shower/bath (everyone in our family uses it), and some basic cleaning around the house. Lavender is my favorite, but I also get the smaller container in tea tree for cleaning/tub use too. We save a ton of money this way and I prefer the product, it's fantastic! They are also organic, fair trade and they do a ton of activism. The product packaging is an entertaining read too.

All of these things priced together comes out FAR cheaper than what I used to spend on bottles of shower/bath gels, multiple shampoos, scented lotions, oils, loofahs, sponges and bath salts in one year.  Not only do these products last much longer, they are natural, quality and have multiple uses outside of bath/shower as well.  

 A favorite accessory to bathtime is Natural Calm Tea. If you want to wind down proper, check this out. It's a powder magnesium nutrient drink so it dissolves in water- I drink it warm - but you can also drink it cold. I can't say enough good things about this stuff, I urge you to read the reviews and give it a try. Many of us are deficient and don't know it, thus causing a myriad of symptoms we wouldn't think could be connected. Even if you aren't deficient, it can work wonders on relaxing muscles, helping with tension, headaches and sending you off to a good nights sleep. I drink this nearly every night (with or without bath).

Lastly, not pictured in the bath item lineup is a DOVE chocolate bar. Really, any type of chocolate while you're in a bath is just fabulous (especially at the end of a very stressful day)!

What are your favorite bath/spa go-to items?


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