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Shutdown Stories – A Day in the Life of a USCG Family

At least for me and my circle of friends, the hot topic of discussion is the government shutdown. The profound effects of this partial shutdown have reached its fingers throughout more than just families of the Coast Guard. And while I would never wish to minimize or ignore the effect it has had on other families and other jobs, I can only speak from my own experience and the experience of those around me.

The Stories

“I’m not sure we can get this right now,” I say aloud to my husband, holding a pack of a feminine pads in my hands, realizing how ridiculous it is once it is spoken.

We went to Wal-Mart with the intention of only getting the bare necessities: flour, yeast, (so we can make homemade bread) and my prescriptions (particularly needed after just having surgery less than a month ago).

We chuckle as we checkout, putting the purchase on a credit card, just in case.

The fact is, this shutdown is difficult. In addition to the seemingly endless timeline and financial burdens, there are people online who harass Coast Guard families by saying things like, “you should have had a savings!” or “well, you’re not real military.” Etc. Etc. Most people don’t realize that the majority of those in the military make very little and live paycheck to paycheck, as do most of Americans. In my family’s case, we make what is considered below the poverty line. This has never bothered us, as we have done so for a very long time in the civilian sector. I always mentally chuckle when people assume we “make so much” working for the military. I made more on my own working part time for a bank than my husband does now, risking his life to save people around the clock. (To be fair, most of the time it isn’t an endangering job. But the possibility exists.) We all are aware of the potential, and for many, that is a constant mental burden. We believe that God called us to this life for a reason (which is to glorify and point others to Him!) and we trust that He will take care of us. But many people do not have a faith to cling to or a heavenly Father to trust in as we do.

Currently, leadership at our station up here in the frigid north has changed the work schedules to be as open to “days off” as possible to allow its members the opportunity to work a second job.

The S family here has two young daughters. Their father is enlisted at the station. He now has all of his time away from his duties spent working two other jobs.

The B family has two young boys. Their father is looking for work while managing his passion for volunteering at his local church. Their mother has taken on two additional jobs while managing their home education and learning about her chronic health condition. She was at the hospital this past week.

The H family has two young boys. As we approach potentially record-breaking cold, the furnace in their house has stopped working. While I can offer them my kid-safe space heater, it will do little against the upcoming cold. Now they must choose to use their savings for making up for their lack of pay or repairing their heating.

The W family has three children. Their enlisted father is away at required specialized training and is unable to get additional income for his family. Mrs. W could choose to get a job, but in this area, it is the off season, and the income must greatly exceed the cost of daycare for her three preschool aged children.

I personally have started doing commission work again, as it is something I can do with little physical exertion and I can do it from home.

There are two main reasons why I share this with you: 1. I want you to see that there is a severe problem with this situation, and 2. I want you to be amazed at how God has provided for my family.

We are not strangers to going without or having to rely on the goodness of God displayed in the generosity of family and friends. Within our first year of marriage, we were unexpectedly homeless. After 5 years of being in a our own house, my husband’s secure and well-paying job informed him that there were ignoring his contract and eliminating his position, just days after Christmas. The unemployment continued for nine months. And all throughout this, we were met with kindness and understanding, covered in prayer, and never went without a need being met. We never went hungry. We never went without a roof over our heads. I’m not saying it wasn’t tight or difficult. There were times where we had to decide how badly we needed to make the trip to the store because gas was short. My husband walked places to get what we needed. There were tears. Frustrated tears, yes, but also grateful tears. When my neighbor and friends gave me a box of cereal or had me over for dinner, it touched my heart in ways that, in a time of plenty, it could not have.

God took those bad situations and turned them into an opportunity to show me His power.

After his months of unemployment, he went to boot camp, and for the first time in my life, I lived alone. I was blessed with a part time job.

In the first three weeks, my dog and I were attacked by a dog on my normal walk, had vet expenses, listed my house for sale, was verbally harassed by lewd and sexual advances while at work, and had a miscarriage, all while being alone and without any contact with my husband.

When it came time for his paycheck, it was unexpectedly small. An error in paperwork meant he was receiving less than half of what he should have received – and which meant I could not pay the bills. All the while, I am cleaning and doing everything I can to pack up our house and prepare it for selling. When there were just two weeks left of boot camp, I finally knew where we would be living, and I immediately began searching for housing several states away.

And then came hurricane Irma.

That blue dot is where we lived. The dotted line was Irma’s projected path.

My family and I packed up headed out of state. Gas stations were backed up or out of gas. The road was filled with brake lights for miles.

In our tiny hotel room, where the door didn’t lock and my dad had to fix it, we housed me, my dog, my grandma, her dog, my parents and their two dogs, and my baby niece. I purchased an air mattress so I would have someplace to sleep.

We returned home to my parent’s home being completely trashed by fallen trees and debris. Even part of the fence had been picked up thrown away as a tornado went through their yard. It was the grace of God that kept every single one of those trees away from the house itself.

My air conditioner had been overworked during the storm, probably from debris and electrical surges, and it died two days after I returned. Insurance adjusters decided it wasn’t due to the hurricane, and I would have to either purchase a new AC for the house I was about to sell, or try to sell it in the middle of summer in FL without AC.

Friends, I do not tell you this to make me look good. It was hard. I did not get through it because I’m tough or resilient (although God has used these things to make me into a better person). I got through it because miraculously, through each circumstance, God placed people and events in my life to help me.

When we got to our a new station, God literally had a house saved just for us. When we met our landlords, they said, “You know, we’ve been praying for the right people, and we feel like God was having us hold out just for you.” Even with all of the other applicants, God worked for us to have a home right away in a foreign place, far away from any family or networks.

God took those bad situations and turned them into an opportunity to show me how He keeps His word and to build my trust in Him.

So no paycheck for a month? Two? My God has got this. He’s seen us through much, much worse! Since the beginning of the shutdown, we have seen our little community come together, blessing our station with food donations, gift cards, toiletries, baby supplies, and so much more.

I recognize that there are a lot of people who don’t have the community or network of support that has come through for me and shown me the love of Christ in action. I understand that there are those who are truly suffering.

So there are two things I do, and I would ask you to do the same.

1. Look for someone in need and offer what you can.

All of us in our little Coast Guard family are in the same situation. But in my case, I cut my husband’s hair. I’ve done hair cuts for three other people. It’s not much, but it saves so much money for others! Maybe you’re not the hair cutting type, but you can watch someone’s kids for a day while they job hunt, or even just spend some time watching Netflix together so you both don’t feel so alone.

2. Pray for our leaders.

There are so many things you can do to change the political climate of our culture and country, but none of it will make any lasting effect. While we should still do our part, the most effective thing you can do is make a lasting difference by introducing people to Jesus and by praying for those who make the decisions that shape this nation.

If you’ve read this far, thank you so much for being a part of my journey in some small way. I hope that this encourages you.

Get The Facts

There are several misunderstood facts about the Coast Guard, the shutdown, and everything in between.

The USCG is a military branch, equal and in partnership with the other four branches.[1][2]Unlike the Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marines, which are all under the Department of Defense (DoD), the Coast Guard is under Homeland Security (HS). Unique to the USCG is its “maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set.”[2] Basically, in order to do what we do here as law enforcement, we must be a part of HS so that we can enforce and act as a law in the civilian sector without martial law being declared. It also gives us the freedom to patrol waters not accessible to our Naval vessels without it being considered an act of war. And, as necessary, our vessels can be taken under command of the Navy at a moment’s notice, so that we can have a “head start” into an engagement. An Alaskan rescue swimmer said, “In the Navy, it was all about the mission. Practicing for war, training for war. In the Coast Guard, it was, take care of our people and the mission will take care of itself.”[4] Unlike other branches which train and prepare for missions that may come, the Coast Guard trains and prepares for missions that happen on a daily basis, such a Search and Rescue (SAR), operating the National Response Center (NSC), interdict illegal immigrants, drug operations, or sex trafficking, among many other things.[5]

This is the first time in modern history that an armed service has gone without pay. [6][7]

Democratic leadership opposed paying the military.[8][9] No matter what side you fall on (or any place in between), paying those who risk their lives and must still be forced to work and who cannot claim unemployment, should be a non-partisan issue.


  1. “10 USC §101. Definitions” (PDF). Government Printing Office. 2011. (a)(4).
  2. U.S. Department of Defense website, accessed on January 25, 2019.
  3. Wikipedia, accessed on January 25, 2019.
  4. The Coast Guard Gets It Right Amanda Ripley. TIME. 23 October 2005.
  5. 2013 U.S. Coast Guard Facts Archived 2014-11-07 at the Wayback Machine
  6., accessed January 25, 2019
  7., accessed January 25, 2019
  8., accessed Jan. 25, 2019
  9., accessed Jan. 25, 2019
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January BoxyCharm Review

Have you been considering a beauty subscription to BoxyCharm? Take a peek at what I received and how I used it!

The January box contained five full-sized products as well as two Tatcha masks. And with the look I created, I used all of them! (Except the masks.)

This look is perfect for glasses and glam! I used my regular Anastasia of Beverly Hills dip brow pomade and Maybelline concealer to do my brows.

In the crease of my eyelid, I used Malibu, the dark hazelnut shade. On my lid, I used Heat Wave, the pinkish shade to the right of Malibu. And in my inner corner, I pressed a good amount of Treasure to really make sure it popped behind my lenses. Then with a liner brush, I smudged more Malibu into my lash line on both my upper and lower lashes, focusing on the outside corner. It darkened it up just enough to bring attention to my eyes without closing them in. (When it comes to wearing glasses, a lot of times, less is more!) Then, to finish it off, I put on mascara.

The real focus of this look is the GORGEOUS lipstick by Ofra! This beautiful shade, Havana Nights, not only is perfect for the winter, but it also feels amazing. 

This is my second month of getting BoxyCharm, and I am in love! I have done beauty subscription boxes before. I have even done Ipsy. But because of the full size products, premier brands, and better curated content, the value in BoxyCharm is SO worth the additional ten dollars! Still not sold? Consider this: the Tarte palette alone retails for $36! That’s incredible! And on the rare chance I get something I’m sure I won’t use (haha) or something I already own, I know it will be quality products that will make amazing gifts to my girlfriends throughout the year. Win win!

Are you ready to check out more? Then go to BoxyCharm‘s website. I’m not an affiliate or anything like that. But if you do sign up with my link, we both get a little extra lovin’ from BoxyCharm as a thank you! So go check them out!

Until next time,

"XOXO, Amber" in hand-styled script
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Is the Good Thing a God Thing?

Photo by 
Ben White on Unsplash

If we get right down to it, knowing a good thing from a bad thing is elementary, and the Christian walk is easily summarized in Micah 6:8, where all we must remember is “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.”

Why then do we trip over ourselves when opportunity comes our way, wondering if it is from God?

It is good to consider and to seek godly council when a door opens. But you probably know that’s not what I mean. I mean the running around in our minds, our thoughts in circles, reciting “what ifs” and “but thens” until we’ve reasoned ourself in and out of agreement with the possibilities ten times over. It would be so much easier if a neon sign dropped down from heaven, flashing “Go here” with a handy directional arrow to save me the act of choosing. (Ya feel me?) So if something is good, and it could help people, how are we supposed to know how to move forward without a literal sign from heaven?

Remember, friends, that Satan is a clever deceiver. He knows better than to tempt the children of God who seek to walk with Him with outright rebellion. Recall his interactions with Christ in the wilderness? He tempted Christ with “good” things: to eat bread when he was hungry and to display His godhood, all things that are inherently not sin. But they would have been sinful to Christ, because it was against God’s plan.

So how do we know?

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

After reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer (the book inspired by the movie War Room), I had taken to the task of studying my weakness that the Enemy likes to exploit and curating targeted prayers against his attacks.

Only a few months later, I had the opportunity to utilize these battle planning tactics in order to help me better understand whether an opportunity was just a good thing or a God thing.

While there is certainly no “one size fits all” version of how God will direct His children’s paths, we can always count on Scripture to give us the principles we need to make righteous, eternally effective decisions. Remember, some things are good and lawful, but not expedient (1 Cor. 6:12). defines “expedient” as “tending to promote some proposed or desired object; fit or suitable for the purpose; proper under the circumstances.”

In other words, good things aren’t always good for you.

I don’t know about you, but that takes a huge weight off my shoulders! Have you ever heard the phrase, “You might be the only bible someone may ever read.” A thought provoking concept, and it’s intent is good to be sure, but what an erroneous thought, that we could be as effective as the Living Word Itself in showing needy human hearts the condition of their soul and their relationship to the Creator! Or maybe you’ve heard it said, “If you can do it, you should?” Well friends, that’s not biblical. And yet, as for myself and many other Christian women, this tends to be the standard by which we fill our agenda.

Nursery ministry? Good. Visitation? Good. Cooking for our families? Good. Volunteering as a chaperone for youth night? Good. Writing that devotional for the ladies’ Sunday school? Good. Good, good, good.

And so on and so on. We fill our agenda up seeking to do good with this pseudo sense of responsibility and validation.

Good things aren’t always good for you.

As kindly as I can say it (and I do mean it to be a relief to you, friend!), God doesn’t need you. He doesn’t need me and he doesn’t need the church. He said the rocks would declare him if we didn’t! (Luke 19:40) It is a privelege and blessing that God will allow us to be a part of His kingdom building. I mean, think about it! We sinful yet redeemed, imperfect yet pardoned creations get to witness the miraculous each time God lets us be a part of his work. Remember, His burden is light! It should be a joy to do the work we do. Nothing will turn people away from the Truth faster than a sour Christian. (I mean, we all know someone who is suffering for the Lord and wears it on their grimaced face like some sort of badge. They mask complaining with a veil of false spirituality, and it sucks the life right out of you!)

It cannot be explained. That’s the beauty of God’s work. It is light. It is a cross. There will be suffering mingled with joy. But my favorite part is this: you only have to do what He asks of you! Listen again: what GOD asks of you. Not the church. Not religion. Not your own internalized expectations of what “good Christians” should do.

So here is the tactic I came up with for use in my own life. I encourage you to read Fervent before coming up with your own plan of attack, and feel free to print off this plan if it resonates with your spirit. Edit it, make it your own, etc. The Scripture and prayer are key, so don’t skip!

Battle Plan for Opportunity

I. Get alone (Edwards, Religious Affections; Ps. 63; Matt. 4:1; Matt. 14:23; Mark 1:35)

II. Make room for God
(Ps. 46:10) Be still! Don’t spend your time apart doing all the talking. Invite God into this time with you.

III. Get specific – PRAYORITIZE!
Tell God the opportunity that has come your way. Tell Him everything! What you are excited for, concerned about . . . God wants to hear it all!

IV. Cross-reference your calling
You already have responsibilities. Does this enhance or improve your current priorities? If there is a conflict, are any of your current obligations not a true priority?
Relational priorities:
1. God (Ps. 37:4) Am I delighting in God?
2. Spouse – am I displaying God to my . . .
3. Family
4. Vocation
5. Church/Community

What is your spiritual gift(s)? Does this align with that?

V. Confess sins
Why do I want this opportunity? Who am I aiming to glorify? Are there any sins in my life that would prevent me from hearing God?

IV. Consult desires
What do I really want? (Ps. 37:4)

Remember, fear does not equal doubt. Fear is a tool of the Enemy! Doubt is simply a yellow light. Slow down, get all the facts, and yield to the Holy Spirit.

That is what I have taped up in my prayer closet to remind me how to proceed when opportunity comes my way. I hope that you find it helpful.

Book Recommendations

For further study and learning to listen to God better, these three books have made a huge impact in my life.

Fervent by Priscilla Shirer

By teaching you the ways that our Enemy seeks to weaken us, Priscilla leads you through soul and Scripture searching exercises to help you craft a plan of attack for each scenario before you encounter it. We are in a spiritual war. She helps me get serious!

The Journey of Desire by John Eldredge

In The Journey of Desire, John walks you through ways that God uses our desires to point us to Him – and the path He wants for us. With personal, discipleship like advice, John opens his heart and soul and gets straight the heart of desire.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst

If you’ve ever felt “thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread,”¹ it’s time to learn what sort of “yeses” belong in your life. This book was instrumental to me in learning to use my time to make the biggest difference without feeling overwhelmed.

I honestly highly recommend all of these books. They are full of invaluable information all sourced from Scripture. When I pick up these books, they all feel like I’m getting to sit down with a wise friend and learn over a cup of coffee. Have you read them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Tell me how you choose between good and best in the comments below.

Until next time,

"XOXO, Amber" in hand-styled script

¹ . J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Train your brain to be POSITIVE!

Whether you are a boss babe, a mom, a college student . . . wherever you are at in life, you can start changing your outlook today.

Let’s talk about WORDS!

I have made a life-changing habit of creating positive expectations that has turned my health and business around. And it’s important enough that I want to share.

If someone bumps into you and you spill your coffee, it reveals what was already inside the cup. Coffee spilled out because it was full of coffee. If bumps and challenges jostle your cart, what spills out is a great tool for knowing yourself better.

Ask yourself: what spills out when you get jostled by life? Stress? Anger? Jealousy? Defeat? Worry?

If it is anything but good, healthful thoughts, you know where to start!

This post may contain affiliate links. For more on that, check here.

Does that mean you can’t express an opinion? Of course not! Disappointment is sad, and it is something everyone of us will experience in life and in business. But commiserating is not healthy for you or anyone else. 💕 If you need to vent or have a listening ear, any leader will tell you to complain UP and praise DOWN! Talk to your leadership/manager to see how they would like to help you work out your disappointments.

What spills out is a great tool for knowing yourself better.

But venting (in the break room, online forums, work emails, or the home) is not a good business practice. You are a boss babe, a killah queen, a warrior princess. We all are. And we are in this together. 💕

If you want to express your feelings critically, also follow up with a solution so that it is constructive versus destructive. Here are some examples:

“I feel like in meetings we go over the exact same things that was said in the email. There are huge benefits to gathering collaboratively, but if we don’t get a chance to voice our input and share our experiences, the email is sufficient.”

“I have asked in the past if you would help me by putting the laundry in the hamper instead of on the floor. When you don’t, I feel ignored. When you do, I feel like we’re a team. What can I do to help without nagging?”

I totally am not scolding you, even though it might seem like it. I’ve been a Negative Nancy and didn’t even know it. You really do reap what you sow! Ever hear of self-fulfilling prophecies? So I’m telling you as a converted Positive Polly that you will be AMAZED at the GOOD things that start coming your way as if by “luck” when you change what energy you send out into the universe.

Want some more info on what helped me change? I highly recommend the books, “The Energy Bus,” and the pair “Successful Women Think Differently” and “Successful Women Speak Differently” by Valorie Burton.

A good place to start is asking yourself, “This bothers me. What can I do to fix it?” And, “Is what I’m about to say leading me to a solution?” You might find yourself the million dollar answer!

“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on THESE things.” -Phil. 4:8 (emphasis mine)

Until next time,

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Buh-Bye Winter Woes

And hello to nourished, hydrated skin!

It’s that time of year again. Depending on where you are in the world, you might be experiencing one of the more frustrating beauty hurdles of winter:


And it’s just dry everything! 

Dry hair, dry scalp, dry skin . . . what’s gal to do? Well, after battling this beast for a while now, I’ve come up with a list of my favorite things for different winter issues.

This post may contain affiliate links. For more on that, check here.

First, you have to get rid of dry, dead skin. You can’t bring it back to life, but you can help it along so that your new, fresh skin below can really shine.

Body Care

  1. Flake Away body scrub by Soap and Glory

I stumbled upon this at Target and later spied it Ulta as well. To make it easier for you, I’ve got a nifty link to find it online, but you might want to check out stores just in case.

What’s good?

  • Delicate, uplifting scent
  • Lightly scented
  • Eco-friendly
  • Scrubs the flakes away

(Because the only thing that should flake in winter is snow.)

If you’re being price conscious, you can make your own scrub at home using things you probably already have around the house. A word of caution: some things should NOT go down the drain, like certain oils or coffee beans, even though they make great scrubs. Always check before it goes down the drain!

Psst! If body scrubs aren’t your thing, get a natural loofa sponge! Not only are they completely organic and biodegradable, but they’re great for cleaning and scrubbing around the house, too!

2. The Righteous Butter by Soap and Glory

Together, the Flake Away and Righteous Butter make a killer combo! A real one-two punch, a hadouken to K.O. your winter woes!

Seriously, I’m pretty particular (i.e. picky) about lotions and anything scented. Not only because of my scent-triggered migraines, but also because of my “super sniffer” of a nose.

I have the sort of sniffer that makes going to the laundry aisle or anywhere within a two-block radius of Bath N Body Works or Yankee Candle a nightmare. (Anyone else feel me???)

But this. I couldn’t stop smelling it! It’s surprisingly complex, delicate, and just a joy to smell. The Righteous Body Butter is definitely one of my top faves!

Hair and Scalp Care

3. Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub

At a pretty penny, this would definitely be considered an investment into your beauty routine and self-care regimen. It does say you can use on body, but because of the price, I like to save it just for my scalp.

It is scented with their incredible Melrose Place perfume, a delicate blend of bergamot, rose, lychee, and cedar wood, that makes me feel like I’m leaving an upscale salon in New York after a lavish treatment. It is classy, and for that reason, plus how well it handles scalp flakes, it is my first fave on the list for hair and scalp.

2. The Doux Sucka-Free Shampoo

I’ve been using this since August 2018 and it has revolutionized my curly girl routine. It gets rid of all the buildup (and the flakes you just rubbed off) and leaves your hair a fresh, clean canvas for your next step. Cleansing properly is key to getting moisture in the cuticle of the hair where it is needed. If there is anything left on the hair, that lovely conditioner or mask isn’t going to be able to do it’s job.

This gets it done.

Simply scrub your hair, paying attention to the scalp, mid, and ends as separate areas to cleanse to make sure you don’t miss a spot. Just remember: “get squeaky clean.” Once you rinse out the shampoo, if your finger can squeak on the hair on your scalp, you’re done!

Seriously, you need this stuff. Not only is it amazing and the only thing I use now, but it is also a woman run business, and she specializes in natural hair. So go get it! Right now!

3. Scalp & Shampoo Brush by MAXSOFT

If you’re really struggling with a case of winter flakes on your scalp, get yourself one of these! Yes, I know they are sort of making a resurgence on social media, but they’ve been around forever. They are affordable and help make sure that you really stimulate and cleanse the scalp. And for around $8, it’s a good investment!

Pro tip: this is a great tool to help keep your nails in good condition!

4. Deep Treatment Masque by Shea Moisture

Did you know? You should always do your masks before you condition! When you condition, the hair cuticle soaks up all the conditioner it can hold, making a masque simply get washed down the drain without getting the full benefit.

I use this hair mask and a gel heat cap to really open the hair cuticles and give this a chance to work. If you want a more consistent heat without having to put your cap back in the microwave, this is the best one out there.

The Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque is well worth the investment. It has lasted me for months with a once to twice a month regimen!

5. Fresh Rinse conditioner by The Doux

After you rinse that mask away, it’s time to leave a little sumthin’ sumthin’ on your hair to protect it during the heat of styling or the cold harshness of winter weather. That’s where this conditioner comes in. It has been the most effective conditioner to help me detangle. (And when your hair is down to your waist, you need all the help you can get!) I used to run out of hot water before I finished combing through half of my hair. But now with the Fresh Rinse and the power of my Brush with the Best, I get it done in less than half the time!

6. Scalp Oil by Shea Moisture

Scalp oil is going to be your best friend during winter. I love the Shea Moisture line of products, and this is no exception.

To use, part your hair into sections. In each part, place a few drops of oil onto the scalp, avoiding the hair as much as possible. Use the pads of your fingers to massage it in.

Depending on your hair needs, you can put this on prior to styling, fifteen to thirty minutes before your shower, and the night before wash day for a deep conditioning scalp treatment.

Hand, Feet, and Nail Care

  1. Stainless Steel Pedicure File

For all that is good and holy, please STOP putting those cheese grater things to your poor feet!!!

They are actually illegal for salons in many states to even use because of how dangerous they are! Medical professionals in the linked article suggest even using a nail file, which is basically what this bad boy is, except large enough to do your foot in a few strokes instead of hundreds. And since it is stainless steel, I keep mine in the shower ready for use!

Pro tip: for extra smooth results, first soak feet in a hot water bath filled with baking soda and a few drops of your favorite essential oil! Or, if you don’t want to science things up, here’s my favorite foot soak.

2. Cuticle Oil

You know those dry, scaly cracks and crevices next to your nails that sometimes peel into the worst hangnail of your life???

You need this.

I’m bad at remembering to use it, but when I do, it is a world of difference! No more frustrated picking at my cuticles! No more bleeding!

Pro tip: I’ve started keeping mine on a table next to the front door. I give each nail a quick swipe and run it in a bit. With my hands occupied on the wheel, driving is the perfect time for them to soak it all up!

3. Tocca Mini Hand Cream

Hand lotion is a bit of a luxury for me, and I don’t normally notice it until I’m away from the house (and anything I can do about it). So my favorite lotions are small enough to drop in my purse and creamy enough to nourish my skin without any greasy residue. (Because eww.)

You’ll love this lotion by Tocca! You can snag it at Anthropologie, or you can use the link above.

So there you have it! My favorite ways to beat winter dryness from head to toe. In the comments, let me know what has worked for you!