un aguacate a la vez

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5 Cheap and Easy Ways to Have a Spa Retreat at Home

wellness, Podcast, LifestyleMaría Elena RodríguezComment
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If you've been listening to my new podcast, Un aguacate a la vez, which I co-host with my friend Silvia Vallejo, you may have noticed that lately I've been reaaaally into self-care. I just keep coming back to this thought over and over again: Self Care is the new luxury. You don't need to have a trust fund, a fancy home or a sports car; you just need TIME, time for the most important person in your life: yourself. What better way to celebrate yourself than with self-care? So if for any reason you can't getaway this spring break, here are some ideas that will help you have a rejuvenating and luxurious experience at home. The best part? You can do this by yourself or with a loved one. Enjoy!

1. Turn off all your electronics

Want to feel renewed after this experience? I'm sorry but binge watching Netflix won't do it! Get rid of all the blue lights and electronics that take over our daily lives and make yourself a priority. This includes your phone, iPad, TV, Kindle, laptop and even your smart watch! 

Cost: $0

2. Give yourself an ayurvedic massage

Ever since I purchased The Idiot's Guide to Ayurveda by Sahara Rose, I can't stop giving myself spa rituals at home. My favorite ritual? Dry brushing and oil massaging! If you have been reading me since 2013, you know that I tried dry brushing a while back but I stopped very quickly (I even deleted that post lol). I guess it wasn't the right time for me. But now? I dry brush after showering for about ten minutes. It's not hard, all you need is a brush like this $5 one!  Here's a great article on how to dry brush. 

ayurveda sahara rose

After dry brushing, I grab some coconut oil or almond oil and spend a good 10-15 minutes just massaging the oil through my body. Why oil and not a cream moisturizer? According to Ayurveda, you shouldn't put anything in your body that you wouldn't eat because you don't want toxins in the biggest organ of your body, which is your skin. Makes sense doesn't it? Just as I thought putting oils on my face was crazy and now I can't get enough of it, I used to think that using oil as a body moisturizer was going to be a mess! But I promise it isn't, you just need to sit still for a few minutes afterwards to let the oil absorb and that's it! I like to do it right before bed and curl up with a book. You will wake up with the softest skin ever. 

By the way, you don't need any fancy department store body oil in order to achieve this. My favorite places to find good quality oils are Costco, Freshmart or my most recent obsession: iHerb.com, which I happen to have a discount code (AFU8252) if you want 5% off your purchase! You just need an organic, pure and unrefined oil (like this almond oil or this coconut oil) which are usually much cheaper than then ones branded as a beauty staple.

Cost: $0 if you already own a dry brush and oil. $30 at most if you need to purchase these items. Shop them here:

3. Practice Restorative or yin Yoga

I already talked about doing yoga at home in this post, but here's a more relaxing way of practicing yoga at home: Restorative or yin yoga. In the video above you will go over the basics of yin yoga, but it is basically a way to calm down and restore the body from all the stress. It is basically the rest day of your yoga practice. In order to achieve an easy and cheap restorative yoga practice at home you will need at least a yoga mat, a comfy pillow and a good connection to the internet for some free youtube videos like these. 

healing crystals

If you want to take your at home yoga practice to another level (I'm talking #BrujitasDeCloset level) here are some ideas:

You can read more about at home yoga practices here. 

Cost: You decide! My recommendation is to start with a good quality yoga mat and slowly start creating your yoga space. Here are some alternatives:

Cook your favorite food and invite your friends and family over

Self care is not just about enjoying yourself alone, it is also about enjoying yourself surrounded by the people who make you feel good. You know that dinner party you've been meaning to host for a while? Go ahead and plan it! Want to host a brunch with your friends? Do it! Whatever you do for your friends and family, make them feel special and let them know how happy you are to have them in your life. 

Cost: You decide! 

Go for a long walk or hike

Don't ever underestimate the power of bonding with nature. Nothing compares to feeling the breeze brush your skin and smelling the flowers and the grass as you go by. Why do you think I enjoy running outside so much?! It is a grounding experience that we should all prioritize at least 10 minutes daily. On your day off, dedicate an hour to this! Thank me later. 

Cost: You can buy a comfortable pair of tennis shoes for less than $100. (Brooks will always be my #1 choice!)

Finally I wanted to give a heads up that I will be beginning a 30 Day Ayurveda Challenge for Silvia this April, so let me know if you are interested in joining us! Make sure you follow our podcast, Un aguacate a la vez on  FacebookInstagram and Twitter so you don't miss when it happens.

Besos, 

María Elena

Top Beauty Products of 2015

BeautyMaría ElenaComment

Yes people! I am alive. Want to know why I was missing? Because I don't think its fair for me or for you guys to post without any inspiration don't you think? The content would have been terrible. 

But to be 100% honest, I turned 25 this past November and I can't say I haven't had a mini quarter life crisis, even though I had a drafted post of "How I Got Over My Quarter Life Crisis Before it Happened" HA! I can be so optimistic at times. So as you can imagine, a lot of thinking, soul searching (super cheesy, I know) and after a weekend of cleaning, sleeping and just being with myself I can finally say I'm ready to start updating Ambinity for good this 2016! Sounds good right? 

Now, enough about the boring stuff... So what better way to start the year than by talking about all the good things from 2015?! YAAAS please. So here you go, my top beauty products from 2015:

 

Marshmallow Fireside Candle by Bath and Body Works

Why do I call this a "Beauty Favorite"? Because it helps me unwind before going to sleep. And we all know how important a good night sleep is for your beauty routine! This candle has been a favorite ever since BBW store opened in Puerto Rico. It's just how I like my candles: warm, vanilla-ish and with just a hint of spice. Heaven, just heaven. Fun Fact: I even like it more than my $65 candle. Yikes!

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

I finally purchased this after watching Tati aka Glam Life Guru on Youtube rave about this on a First Impressions video. Even though this is definitely not a cheap foundation it is perfect for someone wanting save money due to its versatility. Just one drop mixed with your favorite moisturizer or sunblock makes it a tinted moisturizer. Want a bit more coverage? Upgrade to two, three or even four drops. Want a luminous look? Mix it in with your favorite liquid highlighter or facial oil. So many possibilities... I just love it!

Tarte 100% Maracuja Oil

Surprise? I don't think so. I don't know why but I kept trying different facial oils to see if it worked better, but nope! This oil loves my skin and I have been mixing it in with my Cover FX Custom Drops, which is working like magic. This would not be the first time I say this, but if you have oily skin, you need to try this asap

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra Nourishing Lip Balm

Although this is not 100% animal cruelty free, I had to include it because I have been using it every night throughout all 2015 (I purchased this before I officially became cruelty-free).  I am already looking for a dupe for this lip balm that actually compares to how velvety my lips felt even after cold and dry air. So I just ordered Glossier's The Balm Dot Com to see how it goes... As always, I'll keep you guys posted.

Sonia Kashuk's Eye Shadow Brush 

I've always thought you could apply eyeshadow with anything. Even your fingers, which is true. But when I got this brush everything changed. Not only does it feel super luxurious, it deposits the product on my eyelids perfectly. I've been specially loving this with my Josie Maran Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow.

Chloé Eau de Parfum

2015 is the year when I found my signature scent after years of wanting to switch from Miss Dior Cherie. It's not that I didn't like that scent, it's just that I smelled like that since High School and I was so over it! Chloe's scent is sophisticated yet youthful. It has a sweet but soft scent with a hint of spice I would say, but just go ahead and smell it by yourself. It could also be your signature scent. :)

Living Proof Sating Hair Serum

As you all know, I'm pretty low maintance with my hair, so I went from not wearing anything on my hair after I washed it to be entirely dependent on this stuff! It smells great and air drys my hair to perfection.

BeautyBlender

The original one. I tried the Real Techniques version of this for a while and I liked it, but not until I got the BeatyBlender on Sephora's VIB Sale. There should be a saying about "once you go beauty blender, you never go back", because let me tell you, I'm never using a brush to blend my foundation again.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal

If you've ever had a dull face day, you should buy this. Even if you have oily skin. I have oily skin and this gives my face a subtle glow that makes it look like I had 8 hours of sleep every day. I would suggest going for the travel size ($19) since a little goes a long way and that way you can really test it out before buying the $41 bottle.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum Collagen Booster

I never knew I needed a serum until I tried this. I love how it smells and how it makes my skin look and feel every morning after I've used this the night before. I have a complete review here.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

Another super raved mascara that I was super excited to purchase since I found out this brand is cruelty-free! I don't know if it is better than sex but, it is definitely a great mascara. It's super dark, voluminizing and it can go from day to night with just one more coat. I will definitely be re-purchasing.

So that's it guys. I must say that I really missed writing, and I will definitely keep updating Ambinity throughout 2016, but with some changes. I'll keep you guys posted. ;)

See you soon!

María Elena

Ole Henriksen