All Posts by Robin Lemon

Garden Story- Grandma’s Peonies

My garden is my special place and all of the plants have a story.  Other than the veggies and a hanging basket, I don't really bother with annuals. I feel a real connection with the plants that withstand hard times, but are strong enough to survive and bloom when it's their time.

I look forward to inspecting my garden every day checking for new growth and beauty.  My grandpa would be proud.

I once posted on Facebook about the Peonies I transplanted from my grandma's yard a few years ago and how excited I was when they finally bloomed. I am so glad I was able to dig some up before her house was sold.   She always enlisted me as the one to cut them down in the fall for her and she would hold the lawn bag for me.  I sure miss her a lot. Who knows, maybe one of the cardinals that visit the big, beautiful butterfly bush is her checking up on me and the pineys (that is how she pronounced it).



10 Rules for Healthy Skin

1. Never go to bed without cleansing your skin. 

2. Don't smoke

3. Practice safe sun exposure and do not use a tanning bed.

4. Use safe skincare products.

5. Visit a skin care professional regularly. 

6. Get a good night’s sleep. 

7. Gently exfoliate your skin 1-3 times a week. 

8. Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day, even if it’s just a fast-paced walk. 

9. Focus on an anti-inflammatory diet:

  • high quality protein such as lean meats and fish
  • colorful fresh fruits and vegetables
  • whole grains such as old-fashioned oatmeal, legumes such as beans and lentils
  • healthy fats (wild Alaskan salmon ,nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut and olive oil) 

10. Drink plenty of water and anti-oxidant rich teas such as green, white and rooibos.

Organic Gardening Tips

Water is wasted and chemicals are poured into the environment by large agricultural producers and small home gardeners every year. Incorporating organic gardening methods is not as hard or expensive at it may seem.

Here are some tips that you can use to help your own garden, and the planet by avoiding the use of fertilizers and pesticides.

Native plants. Not all plants are appropriate for where you live so be sure to research and plan accordingly. Growing plants that are native to your area might help you to avoid using fertilizers and save on water as well.  Hardy plants are more resistant and healthy.

Weeds. We’re all looking for a quick and easy way to safely get rid of weeds without chemicals, but the good old fashioned way is still very effective, pull them.

If you make time for gardening every day to pull the weeds you find it will only take a few minutes. Depending on what time of the day it is you can make this a time to begin your day with positive thoughts and feelings  or reflect on your blessings at the end of the day.


Being in nature has the ability to improve our thoughts and emotions.


Using mulch is another option for weed control and plant protection, but be sure to read more about mulch types to be sure you aren't causing issues by using one that has seeds like hay or creating an acidic environment with pine needles.

Crop rotation. Farmers use crop rotation to naturally fertilize plants. Plants use different nutrients and put other nutrients back into the soil. If you rotate crops that replace the nutrients the other plants use, you will have to fertilize the soil less. 

You can use this same concept in your garden by planting different plants every year, or just rotating where you put specific plants in the garden. You might be surprised to see an abundance in your veggie harvest by making one small change


Natural repelling plants. You don’t need to rely on poisons to keep away garden ruining insects and pests. Many plants produce chemicals that repel pests naturally and some even bring more flavor to certain vegetables. By putting repelling plants in or around you garden, you can keep your garden safe with little effort and no chemicals. I love to see gardens bordered by flowers with purpose and beauty.

Lavender, basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, catnip, citronella and marigolds are some common pest repelling plants to place near or in your garden.

BONUS- you can pick parts of these plants and use them to make products to keep insects away from the garden and away from yourself while working in the garden!

To create a bug repellant spray for your garden, soak leaves or plant parts in a bucket of water overnight then strain and place in a large spray bottle. Or, dilute essential oils with water and make a spray.

Here is one of the essential oil blends I use to repel bugs, but there are so many to choose from depending on which type of  insects or bugs you need to repel.

Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Citronella are inexpensive and I usually have all three of these on hand.

Always use be sure you
- use oils that are skin safe and properly diluted if you plan on spraying your body.  
-research child safe essential oils before using on kids under 12
-refrain from using certain citrus oils on the skin with sun exposure to prevent a phototoxicity burn

No matter how small your garden is you can make a difference by making changes towards organic gardening practices. Teach your kids and tell your neighbors! Every little bit helps make it a better, safer, healthier world.

My Skin Buddy

Have you seen this hashtag #breakupwithyourbrush ?

Honestly, cleansing brushes have never appealed to me and I have never personally used or promoted one. I even stopped using mask brushes in my facial treatments.

Brushes + bacteria = freak me out.

Instead of brush cleansing,  MYSKINBUDDY has a smooth metal surface that releases ions to gently, but deeply cleanse the skin. It also has skin aging benefits and can help calm redness and acne bacteria using LED light and thermal heat therapy.

What is MYSKINBUDDY?

MYSKINBUDDY is the revolutionary facial device that utilizes four proven technologies to help you achieve a more clear complexion, brighter and even skin tone, and a more youthful appearance.

Why use MYSKINBUDDY?
  • Deeply cleanse and exfoliate dead skin cells
  • Enhance product penetration
  • Reduce redness and inflammation
  • Kills P. acnes bacteria that leads to acne formation⁣
  • Stimulate collagen renewal and skin rejuvenation⁣
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and pores⁣
How does MYSKINBUDDY work?
  • The ultrasonic vibration provides a mini massage while breaking up dead skin cells, lifting, firming and tightening the skin.
  • The beneficial wavelengths of LED light therapy have been proven and shown to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, fight bacteria that leads to acne, reduce redness, promote brightening and even skin tone.
  • Gently, yet effectively, positively charged ions work to attract and
    pull impurities from the skin while negatively-charged ions enhance
    product penetration
  • The combination of heat with the deep cleansing ions aids in
    emulsifying dirt and oil so that it can easily be swept away. Thermal
    heat therapy has also been shown to improve with skin tightening,
    promoting more oxygen to the cells by improving blood circulation and
    the reducing appearance of pore size
Other reasons to invest in MYSKINBUDDY
  • Easy to clean
  • Safe and gentle for daily use⁣
  • Lifetime Warranty⁣
  • Happiness Guarantee⁣!

Stress and Your Skin

Stress runs deeper than your emotions.

You have heard it over and over how stress can kill you right? It's true, but let's not get so morbid in this article. Stress related conditions can range from headaches to heart disease and it is a serious matter that needs your attention. 

Good news though - you can always work towards lowering your stress level and health risks:)

Let's talk about acne breakouts since stress is the primary trigger in adult acne.

When your body stays in a constant, high level of stress, it over works the adrenal glands which can increase sebum production contributing to the development of acne.

When the sebaceous glands produce too much oil, the excess oil holds onto dead skin cells that are meant to be shed. The dead skin and oil clog the pores, preventing oxygen from entering and setting up a perfect environment for bacteria to grow, in turn causing the inflammation that is visible as redness and swelling.

Too much stress can be hard on the immune system, causing slower skin healing and potential for infection.  In psoriasis, new cells are produced rapidly leading to thick and scaly skin.

Stress also ages skin. Studies show that free radicals and shortened telomeres cause skin aging.

-A free radical is an atom with an unpaired electron. There are many things in our daily lives that cause free radicals, stress is just one of them.  Oxidation is free radical damage and causes cell and tissue damage.  

-A telomere is the  protective cap at the end of a DNA strand. Chronic stress has been linked to shorter telomeres.

Here are 5 Quick ways to de-stress

1. Sip Tea  L-theanine, an amino acid found in tea relaxes the mind without inducing drowsiness. 

2. Take a quick walk. Just changing the scenery and moving your body in a stressful time will help clear your head and boost endorphins.

3. Eat Chocolate.  Studies show dark chocolate reduces the stress hormone cortisol, as well as being rich in antioxidants

4. Sniff Essential Oils.  Use an aromatherapy inhaler or just place a drop of essential oil into the palm of your hands, cup your hands and breathe in. This type of aromatherapy is the most simple and quickest way to get to the brain. Citrus or lavender are great for calming.

5. Massage your Ears. Start at the lobe and work up to the top of ear, it is very relaxing.

Make an effort to find more ways to calm your stress for the sake of your health.








NYR Organic Facial Cleansers

Choosing a facial cleanser doesn't have to be so hard, but sometimes we just need a little guidance. As an esthetician who uses a variety of cleansers on many people with different skin type/condition combos, I am happy to give you a little direction before your next purchase.

First, let me say you do not need a crazy expensive facial cleanser by any means. You just need one that suits your skin type and conditions. I highly recommend choosing one that you enjoy using, so that you can create a nice self-love and self-care ritual that you look forward to every day.

There are a few things to factor into your purchase choice.  Some of these will be determined by whether you have problematic skin or not.

-Do you want a different cleanser for morning and night? As in one for the shower and one for over the sink?
-Do you want one that serves as a makeup remover also?
-How about a creamy wipe off one or foamy rinse off? 

In my experience, I have used Rose Facial Wash on more clients and myself than any other NYR cleanser. It's just a perfect match for normal, combination, dehydrated and sensitive skin. I keep this one in my shower at home. 

The NYR rose products are so LOVELY. Before I met NYR Products you would not have heard me talking nice about anything rose.  I am very sensitive to floral scents.  Once you experience REAL rose ingredients in skincare and not gaggy and toxic artifical fragrance, you will understand what I am saying.

Next runner up is the very creamy Calendula Cleanser. This one is suitable for mature, dry and sensitive skin, but I love using it as a nice oil based first cleanse on many clients except problematic acne skin. It has cocoa butter, coconut, olive , jojoba and sunflower oils. I apply it on dry skin, massage well and then wipe with a nice steam towel.  For home use it can be used as a daily cleanser, make-up and eye make-up remover. 

I do like the Frankincense Refining Cleanser for a night-time routine. It has a similiar creamy consistency as the calendula cleanser, but has the benefits of firming and toning from the frankincense and peptides. This cleanser also comes with a muslin cloth to be used to wipe away the product to create a smoothing effect. Great for dry, mature and normal skin. I wouldn't recommend it for sensitive because of the peptides or acne prone because of the cocoa butter.

The Orange Flower Facial  Wash is another good choice for dry skin even though I have been known to use it myself when I run out of the Rose Facial wash. My daughter with super sensitive skin is currently using this one for the winter months because she is more dry. Its a gentle foaming lotion type cleanser. 

If you are looking for a calming cleanser for sensitive types, the Soothing Starflower Cleansing Milk is perfect. It is formulated without any essential oils to be as mild as possible. 

The Palmarosa Facial Wash is great for those that have oily, combination or congested skin. It smells very fresh and herbally.

I do not use a separate eye-makeup remover in my treatment room or at home because I just use the facial cleansers or oils that can be applied on the eyes. I am a minimalist when it comes to my own routine. I know many people that use and love the Organic Eye Makeup Remover and I have tried it just for the sake of trying it and it was nice and effective.

I feel very comfortable suggesting NYR products because they are organic and safe. They are certified by Cruelty Free International.  Most of their items are vegan, fair-trade  and dermatologically tested.

If you need help choosing an NYR Organic cleanser, just contact me I am happy to help.

Happy Cleansing!



Jaw Tension Self-Care

One thing that has recently created problems for me is jaw discomfort. I know I clench frequently and my body seems tense all of the time. Not too long ago the pain was so severe that it was going into my ear. At one point, I went to the ENT doctor because I thought it was something wrong with my ear. Once I started using this remedy, I was able to break through the tension and get my jaw relaxed. Now, if I even feel the slightest tension starting I hop on my self-care ritual right away so I can nip it in the bud quickly.

I have been able to help clients and customers that were having severe jaw discomfort by sharing this with them. After that, I decided I should keep the info handy for those who might be experiencing the same thing.

First I use a blend of essential oils that are known to be muscle soothing and tension taming.  Lavender and peppermint essential oils are great to have on hand for a wide range of wellness needs and can be used in so many other ways in your daily life. I personally make this blend diluted in a “short term” usage  percentage of 3% in a jojoba oil (for ages 12 and up). I like to use a roller bottle to apply this blend down my jawline and down my neck from under my ear. It is skin safe and ready to use.

Lavender and Mint Essential Oil Roller Bottle Blend
Lavender and Mint Essential Oil Roller Bottle Blend

Herbal heat therapy pillows are AMAZING and I have been making them since 2005, before I became an esthetician.

It all started by making a few for gifts, but the demand was incredible and it turned into a mini business because people wanted them!  I couldn’t even keep up with the sewing at one point and had to hire my good friend and sewing extraordinaire VickiG to help me. You have probably seen them before, it’s not something unique and they are sold many places.  It took me many years to perfect the size and style that worked well for me and my customers, but the fact that they really help calm, soothe and relax the body is not even in question.

Anyway, this one size pillow 6″ x 12 ” filled generously with flax seeds, lavender buds and peppermint leaves is my personal favorite. I sleep with it every night, it’s like a warm hug on my body and to help take the chill from a cold bed so I can relax and get to sleep easier.  This pillow is thick and squishy, perfect for placing on the jaw to help relax those muscles in that area. You can definitely use the pillow without the essential oil blend, but the two together work like a dream.


Facial massage techniques have a lot of power behind them and one is the ability to relax the jaw muscles. Whether you are doing it at home or you are getting a service from an esthetician or a massage therapist, a facial massage is AMAZING.  I love to use awesome massage tools like the Kansa Wand and gemstone rollers in my services and on myself at home.


Jaw tension can also cause or increase dull skin, acne and puffiness because it restricts blood and lymphatic flow. The lymph fluid cannot drain and the cellular waste will sit stagnant increasing the toxins.

If you suffer from a tense jaw I would highly recommend you try one or all of these suggestions. They are simple and inexpensive ideas to get relief and practice self-care.

 

 

 

So Well Gift Giving is So Easy

Think about how many people do not purchase self-care, wellness or pampering type of items for themselves. What a perfect time to choose a gift that will encourage the recipient to create their own moments of self-love.

The SoWell company has really did an outstanding job of putting together a collection of products that inspire feel-good wellness. I am so glad to have found a trustworthy resource for items that I love to use and share with others.

As we approach the busy shopping season, it’s hard to not become overwhelmed with all of the sales and commercialized holiday hoopla. Buying loads of stuff that most people don’t need, overspending and getting stressed is NOT a good way to experience the joy of the season.

I created this SoWell Gift Guide in hopes that I can help you purchase gifts that you feel good about buying and giving. I feel especially good about sharing this with you so lets keep passing that feeling on down the line by sharing it with others! 

Himalayan Salt Lights and Salt Therapy !

Beautiful, handmade and fair trade Himalayan salt lamps available in amber, gray and white $25 & up

so well mini USB salt lamp

Look at these cute mini USB lamps!  I think this is a great way to show someone that you love and care about their health. It also brings some natural decor to their desk or workstation.

Give someone a reason to relax in the bath with these pure himalayan bath salts and mineral soaks. Choose from Daily Detox, Stress Relief, Pain Relief or the Healthy Boosting Foot Soak.

Neti pots are great to have on hand during the flu and cold season when many people are seeking relief from nasal congestion. This is a unique gift that your loved ones will appreciate.

Soups On: Hearty Minestrone Soup with Fresh Arugula

 

This satisfying minestrone soup features a classic combination of fresh herbs, vegetables, white beans, and pasta. Although this recipe is delicious as written, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with the ingredients. This dish is a great way to use up any extra fresh herbs and vegetables you have available.

Tip: For best results, cook the pasta separately, rather than in the same pot with the rest of the ingredients. This extra step yields more consistent results by eliminating the release of excess starch into the soup. It also prevents the noodles from becoming too soft and mushy, which means more appetizing leftovers the next day and better results when freezing for future use.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 50-55 minutes

Serves: 6-8

 

Ingredients:

3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced

½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped

3 medium carrots, finely chopped

3 large stalks celery, finely chopped

1 28-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes, undrained

1 15.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

4 c. organic vegetable broth*

2 whole bay leaves

1 T. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (or 1 t. dried)

1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)

1 T. fresh oregano leaves (or 1 t. dried)

½ T. crushed red pepper flakes

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional: 3” Parmesan cheese rind

2 c. Fusilli pasta

2 c. fresh green beans, cut into ½” pieces

2 c. fresh arugula

Optional Garnish:
¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

* Use additional vegetable broth to reach desired consistency, if needed

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and garlic in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or just until garlic starts to turn golden brown.
  2. Add chopped onion, carrot, and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are soft and tender.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, cannellini beans, 4 cups vegetable broth, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and red pepper flakes to pot and stir to combine. Add Parmesan cheese rind, if desired, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes.
  4. While soup is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid before draining pasta. Rinse pasta and transfer to a medium bowl and toss with remaining olive oil. Cover and set aside.
  5. Remove cover from pot or Dutch oven and add green beans and the reserved pasta cooking liquid. Stir to combine and continue cooking, uncovered, another 20-25 minutes or until green beans are crisp tender.
  6. Add arugula and additional vegetable broth, if needed, and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until arugula begins to wilt.
  7. To serve, divide cooked pasta among individual serving bowls and top with hot soup. Top with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with crusty bread and/or a crisp, green side salad for a hearty meal.
  8. Enjoy!