When Life Gives you Lemons- Anxiety and Resilience


So before I begin I must apologise for the radio silence these past few months. Aside from the usual issues of life and work getting in the way, I had to take a time out due to anxiety issues.

I have struggled with anxiety for just about a year now and I have so far managed to cope without the use of medication. It is a tough road and there are still bumps in the road every now and then, some worse than others. It does mean however that when it hits bad I struggle to maintain my usual routines and pace, having to take time out to concentrate on getting back on track.

This is what has prompted me to write this post as  mental health is equally important as physical and emotional health and with everything so intrinsically linked I feel it is important to address.

When it comes to overcoming my ‘blips’ with the anxiety, time and again it involves allowing myself to go through the necessary stages before taking control and picking myself up again.

Anyone struggling with any form of mental illness will understand that everyone has their own ways of overcoming their issues and there no miracle cure or process to follow. Its as personal to the individual as any other however there are steps i found that really help with managing my own recovery.

Resilience and Anxiety

  1. Give yourself permission to feel.
    Allow yourself to feel your emotions and thoughts. Accept and acknowledge them.
    Allow yourself this time to understand where the triggers lie.
    Believe it or not, the simple act of giving yourself permission feels like the first step towards controlling your illness and not letting it control you.
  2. Recognise the triggers.
    Take control of each trigger, one at a time. Identify what it is about each trigger that causes the anxiety.
  3. Take control.
    Take control of your triggers and formulate steps that you can take to minimise the effects they have over you. Whether it means taking a time out, reminding yourself of its place in the bigger place or simply making the decision not to care. Again, having the chance to feel that you are in control of your situation helps you control your anxiety.
  4. Guidelines not goalposts.
    See your steps as guidelines not goalposts. They are flexible and changeable, not concrete pillars for you to aim between.
    Ensure you re-evaluate and change your guidelines depending on what works and what doesn’t. Anxiety is changeable therefore so too should your steps.
  5. Accept Support
    Do not be afraid to seek support from loved ones or your doctor. You are in control and accepting support is simply another way of ensuring you retain control.
    Do not be afraid to go to your doctor if you feel you need extra support.


I hope this proves useful in some way to anyone who is struggling with the same issues i am.

I would like to make the point that i am not an expert and this is simply what i have found helps me with my process. I would very much welcome any comments with further suggestions on how to deal with anxiety.

Begin The Day the Right Way


I have recently discovered that beginning your day in the right way can have a marked improvement on how the rest of the day goes and how you react and respond to obstacles. I am aware that I am more than a little late to the party on this one however after looking online for suggestions on how best to start your day, I have realised just how wrong I was doing things.

Without going into too much detail, for the past few months I have struggled with depression and anxiety and it wasn’t until I had a week off work that I realised how detrimental my morning routine actually was for my mental well being, especially when I was feeling so low.
The below steps are what helped me get over my depression and anxiety issues. It didn’t all happen in a week however it was the starting point and by continuing to make sure I did as many of these things as possible every morning I began to feel happier in myself.


6 Steps To a Happier You
These six steps helped me sort my head and my issues out and because I was doing them for me and no one else, it allowed me to feel like I had gained a sense of self back, something I felt I had lost in amongst all my daily responsibilities and routines.

There are of course other things you can do to promote inner well being such as getting fresh air, smiling, drinking lots of water and eating healthily. However, with so much around these days concerning healthy living, these should already be in peoples peripheral and pretty much a no-brainer!

I would just like to point out that these steps helped me get over my depression and anxiety issues however they are not a cure all solution. There was a  point I was struggling and I did consult with my doctor.
If you are struggling, please don’t hesitate to seek help. Strength does come from within however it is the support from people around us that keeps us strong.


Health Kick: H2O Fruit Infusions

Fruit Infusions

So with my family holiday to Malta fast approaching and being very aware that I have yet to get on the exercise bike even half as much as I told myself I would, I have been scouting the world of Pinterest to find easy solutions to aid in a bit of healthy weight loss that I can fit around work.

It’s not rocket science to figure out that drinking more water throughout your day will help flush toxins from your body, re-hydrate dry and tired skin, and fill you up so you don’t need feel the need to eat as much.
My issue is that while I like water, I don’t like it enough to look forward to it like I would a cup of tea and have to force myself to chose water over tea at work.

After browsing Pinterest I came to realise just how many delicious veggie / fruity water infusions there are out there and thought to myself that I really must share some of these ideas.

I have one of those fruit infuser water bottles and for the past two weeks I have been drinking green tea and lime infused water at work which I prepare the night before and let infuse in the fridge overnight.
I am currently getting through about 4 pints of it at work and I do feel healthier- although my trips to the ladies has increased somewhat, but I am told that will eventually subside!

I can honestly say I really can’t get enough of my green tea and lime drink at the moment and this has helped in motivating me to drink it daily. Unfortunately I am aware that I am only human and eventually I will tire of this combination and decide to change things up.

Sharing is Caring

Figuring that I am probably not the only one that bores of plain ole’ water, I thought I would share some websites I found that provide some interesting ideas for fruit infused water which I fully intend to try once my green tea and lime gets ‘so last week’.

I found a fantastic page on 54Health.com where they have compiled and listed 50 fruit infused water suggestions from numerous sources on the internet. They also provide a small paragraph on each detailing the benefits of the components to each drink allowing you to chose the infusion that will benefit you the most depending on what you’re looking for.

Several other sites I have found listing some lovely suggestions of fruit infused water are SheUncovered.com, cloudywithachanceofwine.com, and PioneerSettler.com

Fruit Infusion for the Lazy Individual (like me!)

A neat infusion I have recently discovered and literally bought the ingredients for this morning (apparently we had no honey!) is the Lazy person’s weight loss infusion.

Not gripped yet? How about if I tell you that it will help you lose weight while you sleep? Thought that would interest you. As I’ve said I haven’t tried this yet however I do plan to tonight so will keep you posted about whether or not it does what it says on the tin, but in the meantime check it out at tidbitsfrommarcus.wordpress.com and let me know how you get on if you give it a go!



Fresh & Fruity Grapefruit & Kiwi Moisturiser

Fresh & Fruity

For heavenly silky smooth skin try this whipped moisturiser. A little goes a long way and provides insanely gentle soft skin you won’t be able to resist stroking.

Equal quantities of:
Coconut Oil
Shea Butter

Grapefruit & Kiwi Essential Oil

Jar x1
Whisk x1
Microwave proof bowl x1

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Gently melt the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter, mixing periodically. Once it is fully melted add the Grapefruit and Kiwi Essential Oil- as much or as little as you like depending on your preference.

Put in the fridge to chill and once the colour of the mixture turns a white / cream get the whisk on it and  whisk until it thickens, stiffens and the whisk leaves a trail. Transfer to your jar and enjoy silky soft skin!

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Quick Crafts: Orange & Cinnamon Lip Balm

Orange & Cinnamon Lip Balm

So you have a spare 10 minutes? Make some Orange & Cinnamon Lip Balm for a fruity luscious silky soft pout.


Equal Measures of:
Coconut Oil
Shea Butter

3 drops of Cinnamon & Orange Essential Oils
Orange Mica Powder



Melt the Coconut Oil and Shea Butter. Add as many or as few crops of the essential oils, depending on the strength of the fragrance you want.

Add the Orange mica powder to colour .

Pour into a lip balm container and leave in a cool place to harden and set.

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Luxury Grapefruit & Kiwi Soap


A creamy and fruity soap that really does leave your skin feeling luxuriously silky smooth with an exotically fruity scent.



Equal parts of:
Coconut Oil
Shea Butter
Goats Milk Soap Base

Grapefruit & Kiwi Essential Oil
Green Mica Colouring Powder

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Put the Coconut Oil, Shea Butter and Goats Milk Soap Base into a microwave proof dish and gently melt it.

Once it is melted add the Grapefruit and Kiwi Essential Oil- as much or as little as you want depending on how subtle a scent you want. I put in about 10 drops as I like my soaps to have a strong fragrance if they’re fruity- and mix.
Finally add your mica powder and colour it to your preference.

Once mixed in, pour into your mould and leave to set.

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Why Pinterest is the Place To Be if You’re Crafty


I won’t lie, I truly adore Pinterest and spend far too long perusing all the pins on numerous topics and subjects! I find it the best form of inspiration and instruction to satisfy my creative tendencies.

So if you are of the crafty persuasion and love nothing more than turning your hand to things why is Pinterest the place to go?

Pinterest is pretty much a  virtual cork board / recipe / scrapbook that you can ‘pin’ anything on the internet that interests you, to a single account. It saves you from having to take further measures as you would normally, to save the information (such as emailing it to yourself or bookmarking the page to your browser).


You can install the Pinterest ‘button’ to your web browse so that when you come across a web page you would like to look at in more detail later on, you click the button on your browser and it will automatically save it to your Pinterest account. It really is that easy!

You can also search for specific topics through the Pinterest platform itself and being very visually orientated you will find just how quick and easy it is to find what you’re looking for.

You can search for pretty much everything from DIY crafts, to beauty tutorials, clothes, home improvement, photographs, news articles- you name it and I’m pretty certain Pinterest will have a whole library of content for your perusal! You can also invite and follow friends, family and like minded individuals to really create a sense of community where you can share boards and pins with one another.


Still interested? Good! So how do you get started?

Katie Kavulla on She Knows has created a very simple ‘How To’ guide on getting up and running on Pinterest and she advises the following:

How do I get started pinning?

The first thing you’ll need to do is get a Pinterest account. You can go to the Pinterest website.

Once you’re on, the next thing you’ll need is the “Pin It” button installed in your browser toolbar. This magic little button is what allows you to pin things online. Installing the button is very easy — when you’re in your Pinterest account, look to the upper right-hand corner and hover above “About,” then click on “Pin It Button” and follow the directions to drag the button into your toolbar.

Or instead of using the “Pin It” button, you can also copy and paste links from sites you like, and it will search for photos from that page, which you can then pin. You can also upload photos from your computer.

What am I suppose to pin?

Here’s the great thing about Pinterest — you can pin anything you want! Everyone uses it for different things — from saving recipes that you want to make to saving articles that you want to reference later (we can, ahem, certainly suggest some you should pin!) to all of the shoes you’d love to add to your closet for spring — so Pinterest can easily be whatever you want it to be.

As you start pinning, create “Boards” that categorize your pins, making them easy for you to find later. Pinterest suggests some to get you started, but usually you’ll want to create your own to fit what you love to pin. It takes a while to get the hang of creating boards — they need to be the perfect combination of general and specific — but we promise that the more you pin, the better your boards will become.

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the “Repin” function on Pinterest! Once you’ve added friends to your Pinterest account — you follow them as you follow Facebook or Twitter friends — you will have a customized feed where you can see all of the fantastic things that they’re pinning too. See an idea you love? Just hover over that pin in the feed and click on the “Repin” button to add it to one of your boards.

Once you have your account set up you are good to go!



A Beginners Guide to: Essential Oils

Essential Oils- Explained perfectly by wikipedia as “”essential” in the sense that it contains the “essence of” the plant’s fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived”.

With so many versatile uses and just as many health benefits it is easy to see why they are loved by all DIY Beauty Crafters- myself included!

Now as a novice in the art of using Essential Oils I have come to realise that with so many oils out there it is very difficult not to get confused as to which oils go with what, what their benefits are and how they can best be used.
This is why I thought it would be a good idea to make a post for all beginners out there looking for some information to give them a head start on using essential oils without the science.

Oils and their Benefits

Starting out in soap making it became clear to me very quickly that different oils had different holistic benefits and if I wanted my ingredients to compliment one another, I needed a guide to instruct me on the benefits of each of the oils I was using.
I have to admit I spent a while looking around the internet trying to find a user friendly guide and the table below was by far the easiest to understand. I found it on The Aroma Blog, an aromatherapy blog by a woman who really knows her stuff!

Essential Oil Benefits


If you find this table as useful as I did, you can download a PDF version from The Aroma Blog.

Once I had the list above all I needed to know was which oil combinations provided the best compliment so that I could tailor my combinations to maximum effect scent- wise and benefit wise.

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21 Things You Should Know About Essential Oils

The below list is taken from Crunchy Betty and I found this very helpful, informative and easy to understand. It offers useful advise and guidance on how to use Essential Oils and how not to use them.

  • Essential oils are not really oils. They do not contain the fatty acids that constitute what we would consider an actual oil. Valerie Gennari Cooksley, author of Aromatherapy: Soothing Remedies to Restore, Rejuvenate and Heal defines essential oils as “highly concentrated plant constituents possessing potent medicinal and cosmetic qualities.” However, I think Stephanie Tourles nailed it in Organic Body Care recipes when she said, “I consider essential oils the life forceor the soul of the plant.”
  • Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties: This makes them an excellent addition to your homemade cleaning preparations. Oils that are best for cleaning are: Lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and rosemary.
  • Essential oils are miniscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to heal, soften, and nourish. However, they do not accumulate in the body over time – they simply offer up their healing properties and then pass on through.
  • Scientific studies have shown that rosemary essential oil helps your brain perform.Specifically, smelling rosemary essential oil helps memory recall and performance on tests. Interestingly, this study also showed that groups that inhaled either rosemary or lavender essential oil felt much more relaxed than those who inhaled no odor at all.
  • Fragrance oils and essential oils are NOT the same thing. As a rule of thumb, if you see the word “fragrance” or “fragrance oil” or even “perfume” on anything, you can assume this is synthetic and NOT natural. (Even if it says natural fragrance.)
  • Essential oils are wholly natural and cannot be patented; which means that you’ll never see an essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug. As such, you can expect that the vast majority of mainstream healthcare practitioners will never recommend essential oils as therapeutic alternatives to drugs. More importantly, because essential oils cannot be patented, drug companies will not waste money studying them. This limits our scientific knowledge of essential oils GREATLY, and the majority of what we know about them are things that have been passed down through thousands of years of personal use and experimentation.
  • Enormous amounts of plants are needed to produce essential oil. In fact, on the extreme end, it takes 4000 pounds of Bulgarian roses to produce 1 pound of essential oil. Other plants like lavender only take 100 pounds of plant material to produce a pound of essential oil. Still, can you imagine how concentrated essential oils must be, in light of how many plants are used to produce them?
  • Most essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin. Instead, they should be combined with “real” oils (called carrier oils), waxes, butters, alcohols, or other diluting measures. Because they’re so concentrated, if you don’t dilute, you may end up with an unfortunate reaction (and unhappy skin).
  • There are a few essential oils that are generally recognized as safe to use undiluted. Of course, there has to be a few exceptions to the rule. Again, in Organic Body Care Recipes, the author points out that the only essential oils that are widely acknowledged as safe to use undiluted (sparingly) are: lavender, German chamomile, tea tree, sandalwood, and rose geranium.
  • Never use an undiluted essential oil on a baby or child. Children have much thinner, more delicate skin than adults have, and tend to be very sensitive to the potency of essential oils. In fact, even if you do use essential oil in a recipe for children, only use half of the essential oil recommended in the recipe. That’s all they’ll need, anyway. (Here is a list of 19 essential oils that are safe for babies and children.)
  • Avoid the following essential oils while pregnant or nursing (and skip EOs completely in your first trimester): Aniseed, cedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, clove, ginger, jasmine, lemon, nutmeg, rosemary, sage (this is only a partial list of some of the more common essential oils – view the full one here).
  • To test if you’re sensitive to an essential oil (which is probably best to do before using it in a skincare preparation): Combine one drop of essential oil with 1/2 tsp carrier oil (like olive, jojoba, or sweet almond). Rub this on the inside, upper portion of your arm and wait a few hours. If no redness or itching develops, you’re most likely not sensitive to that essential oil.
  • Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children – and avoid contact with your eyes.This is just standard safety precautions, but must be mentioned.
  • Do not take essential oils internally, especially oils like wintergreen and eucalyptus.While some essential oils may be used well-diluted in something like toothpaste with safety, it’s generally recognized that there’s no need to take essential oils internally. In fact, there are several toxic essential oils that should be avoided even through skin contact. Luckily, these are NOT common essential oils, and most of them you’ll never find in the store.
  • Not all essential oils are created equally, nor does more expensive necessarily mean “better.” There are certain brands I will use in a less therapeutic fashion (like for cleaning), because they’re far less expensive than their counterparts. When you see a wide fluctuation in price between, say, lavender essential oils, you can bet that the far less expensive one is likely lower in quality. However, a small variation in price differences on the higher end will NOT mean a better essential oil. It will just mean a higher price. (A little birdie also told me that there are also only a handful of essential oil distilleries in the world, which means that most essential oils come from the exact same places – thus there is little difference in quality between the more “typically priced” EOs.) What I’m saying here is: Understand that you DO have to pay for quality, but that if you’re just using essential oils in non-therapeutic fashions, it’s okay to use less expensive oils (like the Beeyoutiful ones pictured at the top of this post, or NOW brand essential oils). But if you want high quality, I suggest using Mountain Rose Herbs or another ethical supplier that offers organic essential oils (grown without pesticides or toxic fertilizers).
  • To test your essential oil to see how “pure” it is, put a single drop of it on a piece of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes).
  • Essential oils will last for at least 5 years (if not 10), so one bottle could literally last you a decade. Hopefully that thought will help mitigate the cost involved in purchasing some essential oils. Because they are SO concentrated and only a tiny amount is needed in anything you do, they’ll last you a very, very long time. The only exception to this rule is citrus oils, which will see a reduction in potency after a year or two.
  • Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles (which they were probably packaged in) and out of direct sunlight. This is simply to help preserve their potency.
  • Remember that what you’re allergic to in food, you will be allergic to in essential oils.So if, for some reason, you can’t eat sage without breaking out in a rash, steer clear of sage essential oil (or any product containing it).
  • Use Essential Oils to Help Your Mood. Lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, chamomile, lemon, ylang-ylang all help produce happy, joyous moods. Clary sage helps with PMS (although there have been reports that overuse of clary sage can lead to intoxication). Rosemary increases focus and concentration. Don’t forget the mood benefits of essential oils. Here’s an information packed aromatherapy reference chart to refer to.
  • The recommended usage of many essential oils is hotly contested throughout the aromatherapy profession. The majority of oils you find in the supermarket are absolutely safe (though you should research them before using them); however, once you start digging into the world of essential oils, you’ll find that professionals – even within the same organization – debate extensively over the use of certain oils. If you’re ever unsure about an oil or its use, do the research you can, and if you still cannot make up your mind as to its safety – avoid it. But, by all means, do NOT be afraid of essential oils. Just use them with care and respect, and all will be fine.

If you found the above helpful and wish to know more, I would strongly recommend visiting The Aroma Blog and Crunchy Betty to learn more about Essential Oils.


Melt & Pour: Lemon and Poppy Seed Soap Bar

Poppy Seed


Smells great, looks great and leaves your skin feeling soft and sparkling new.

The Lemon and Poppy Seed Soap Bar- I personally can’t get enough of this one and use it all the time. I just love the smell and feeling of my skin after using this and I am excited to see what else I can do with this Lemon and poppy seed combo!

As with my previous post this is another Melt & Pour recipe however this time using white beeswax instead of the Goats Milk Soap Base – Just thought I’d mix things up a little- as beeswax has many beneficial properties that I felt complimented the other ingredients too well not to be included.


Lemon Rind:Containing vitamins, minerals and fibre, it brightens the skin, can whiten your nails, lightens age spots and softens dry skin.

Poppy Seeds: Fantastic agents against Eczema they boost anti-inflammatory  properties while moisturising and clearing the skin of dirt and grime to leave it radiant.

Shea Butter: Fantastic against blemishes and skin conditions, Shea Butter leaves the skin feeling moisturised, soft and smooth.

Coconut Oil: Acting as an exfoliant, Coconut Oil softens and smooths dry skin while helping to repair and protect it.

White Beeswax: A fantastic aid against allergies, beeswax contains non-allergenic properties that helps to protect and moisturise the skin. It also proves effective against stretch marks and dry skin conditions such as Eczema.

Goats Milk Soap Base: I think the most important point to using Goats Milk Soap Base is that it isn’t a chemical counterfeit. It delays the signs of ageing by working with the skin rather than against it. It also has anti inflammatory properties and can help treat acne.


Melt equal measures of the beeswax, Coconut Oil and Shea Butter gently in the microwave along with double the measure of the above, of Goats Milk Soap Base. Make sure to melt gently in twenty second intervals and stir in between. Once melted together pour your mixture into your soap moulds.

Then mix as much (or as little) Lemon Rind and Poppy Seeds together before adding to your mould. Mix into the mixture and then leave it to cool completely in a cool place.

It usually only takes a few hours in a cool place to set however I usually leave it overnight just for good measure.

Once they have completely cooled and solidified enjoy the health benefits of your Lemon and Poppy Seed Soap Bar.