Primavera Skin Care

A couple months ago, I posted about my experience at Glen Ivy Day Spa in Corona, CA. The very last treatment I got on the day of my visit was a facial, where it was brought to my attention that my dry skin issues stemmed from inadequate water consumption. When the esthetician walked me out of my appointment, she took me to the salon shop where I purchased a few of the products she suggested for taking care of my face. Normally, I don’t swear by a line of products when it comes to cosmetics or beauty. I’ve found in the past that many brands release one item that’s golden, but the rest don’t work for me. If I like your shampoo, I probably won’t like your conditioner. One face wash works great, but the moisturizer and toner from the same company don’t do it for me. Thankfully, Primavera’s line meets all of my skin care needs.


The three products I now swear by: Primavera's balancing sage grape seed gel cleanser, revitalizing facial scrub, and balancing sage grape seed toner.

The three products I now swear by: Primavera’s balancing sage grape seed gel cleanser, revitalizing facial scrub, and balancing sage grape seed toner.

The biggest problem I was having, and that most people with skin issues have, is that I wasn’t completely cleaning my skin with each wash of my face. The products I was using in the past were wiping things from the surface, but really cleansing my pores and leaving my skin squeaky? Not so much. This is the first product I’ve used where I can actually see the cleanliness of my pores after I rinse it off.

Something else that I like is that these products are made from primarily natural ingredients – items like chamomile, peppermint, aloe, and lavender. There are other ingredients, too, but comparing the labels to my old products didn’t show as many components plucked from nature. Because I use items from Primavera’s “Balancing” line, mostly, they’ve helped to even out my skin’s tone, and reduce oiliness. Couple this with all of the water I’ve been drinking, and my skin’s texture is the best it’s been in a while.

The products work well, so I don’t need a lot of them to get the job done. In the words of Ms. Jessica Simpson, “Just a little dab” is really all it takes. The items I bought back in June are not even close to being depleted yet, which is reassuring for me, since each bottle runs about $28.00.

If you’re looking for a new line of skin care products to try, I recommend giving Primavera a look. There’s a reason they’re sold in spas. The line also sells products such as overnight masks, moisturizers, and eye creams, but I didn’t go for the entire shebang when I purchased. Perhaps I will in the future. Their label and website indicate that they do not test on animals, which is a plus. Primavera is also based out of Germany, and anyone who has met me, seen my car, or met my husband, knows how much I like things that are German. 🙂


Neti Pot

I’m at the tail end of fighting this virus, which has dissipated with a steady regimen of Emergen-C vitamin C packs and at least two doses of apple cider vinegar a day, utilizing the recipe I first talked about here:

As with most bouts with colds or the flu, the end stage is the body ridding itself of the illness through “draining” with coughing and nose running. The result can be lots of frogs in the throat, lots of phlegm that breaks loose with coughing, and blowing the nose to clear the sinuses.

With this bout, I found that my end stage came along with an unfortunate nasal voice that hung on for about five days. I sounded so much worse than I actually felt, and I wanted to do something about it. When I was pregnant, I had read about neti pots for nasal congestion and the prevention of bacteria build up. However, I didn’t try the neti when I was pregnant because I was fearful of how it would feel and whether I’d be able to do it properly. Because I will be reading names at my college’s graduation next week, I decided I needed to kick the Fran Drescher voice, ASAP. I picked out a neti pot from that my husband ordered for me. Once it arrived, we both decided to try it together.


neti pot


So it’s worth mentioning that my main fear over using the neti pot was that it would irritate my sensitive sinuses. I always had issues at the pool as a child trying to swim underwater, and ever since I got clued in to this quirk about myself, I’ve always been cautious about immersing my head. The good news is that even those with sensitive sinuses can successfully use the neti pot. Just note that water temperature, salt mixture, and head position play very key factors to a positive neti experience.

Start by adding warm FILTERED water to your neti pot, and dissolve one heaping scoop of neti salt into the pot. Yes, the water must be filtered. Tap water is not okay here. The scoop you use for the neti salt should come with your container, but if you should lose it, a recommended 1/4 teaspoon is the amount.

The directions that came with my pot explained that you can employ the same rules you would for heating a baby’s bottle to determining the appropriate temperature for your water. Slightly warmer than room temp is great, but not scalding hot. Too cold is not good for your nasal passages either.

Lean forward over a sink and tilt your head to 45 degrees. This is crucial. You want to lean forward so that the water flows through your nasal passages only, and tilting your head too much can cause the flow of water to make your eyes and head burn. This happened to me twice. I almost wrote a blog post about how neti pots don’t work for me!

Breathe through your mouth while pouring the contents of the neti pot through one nostril. It may seem like it’s taking a while, but stay calm and continue to breathe. If the flow starts to slow down or does not make it through to the other nostril, lift the pot higher – don’t tilt your head further. Remember the burning I mentioned earlier?

After the pot is empty, place your hands above your knees, slightly bend them, and continue to lean forward over the sink. Exhale through the nose to clear your nasal passages. You can also blow your nose to help clean them out. The solution may still be flowing through your nose, so keep leaning forward so that any excess is caught in your sink. When the flow has stopped, refill the pot and pour through the other nostril.

After you’ve flushed out both nostrils, step away from the sink and stand up straight with your arms extended at your sides. Bend forward to touch your left toes with your right hand, then return to center with your arms extended. Repeat the exercise on the other side. Do a few of these exercises to ensure that the solution has flowed out of your nose entirely.

Stretching may seem pointless afterwards, but it’s crucial to getting the solution out of your nose. Leaving the solution in your nasal passages can cause bacteria buildup, and these simple stretches can help the solution drain completely.

We agreed that the neti pot definitely cleaned out our nasal passages, and we’re happy to utilize it more to help ward off sinus issues. I recommend everyone check it out as an alternative to nasal sprays. Just be sure to use it correctly, and also keep it clean.



Steam Fresh

Once the tile floors were installed in our house, I started looking into the many options available for cleaning them. I wanted to find something that would clean and disinfect them while also preserving the finish and grout color. Many chemicals can change the color of tile grout, or even cause the grout to deteriorate if not used properly. Also, given that we have a 9-month old crawler/cruiser baby, I wasn’t too keen on using chemicals to clean the surface she sits on, lies on, and, to my dismay, will often eat from.


My best friend recommended a steam mop, as she has used one on her tile floors for the past two years and loved it. I perused reviews on Amazon and ordered the Bissell Steam Mop Select. There were other models out there that were much more expensive, such as Hoover, Dyson, Haan, and Shark,  but upon closer look, their reviews were not great, and they did not come with reusable pads. Given the frequency I will be using this mop, I didn’t want to have to buy replacement cloths for it. Those purchases can add up over time!

Okay, so given the mechanics of how a steam mop works, I figured this would be a nice opportunity to also diffuse some essential oils into my home while also cleaning. I decided to place some lemon essential oil into the steam mop’s tank along with water to provide a pleasant aroma along with chemical-free disinfectant.

tile floor

Oh. My. Gosh. Not only is the steam mop easy to use and so effective with keeping our floors clean, but when used with essential oil, I can disinfect and diffuse aromas that are beneficial for deterring pests! I’ve used the mop to clean our floors twice now, and it’s an easy way to mop and disinfect floors in one easy step. I’m glad I had someone around me to clue me in to this safe and effective cleaning method!


Apple Cider Vinegar!

I realize that I’m very late to the party on this one, but I’ve recently been turned on to the incredible healing powers of apple cider vinegar! As I expand my repertoire of natural remedies, I feel inclined to share on my experiences with this one.

During my Mother’s Day weekend getaway with K, I came down with what I thought was the flu. By Monday, I was taking medicine around the clock to fight it, and I was dreading the plane trip back home. While the meds seemed to do wonders with knocking me out and taking a bit of the edge off, my illness stayed steady with me for six days. I haven’t been sick for a steady six days since I was very young. My immune system is generally pretty strong, so I was starting to feel alarmed.

I began reading up on some natural remedies to take, as zonking myself with medication wasn’t doing the trick, and also wasn’t allowing for much productivity from me. I read some intriguing information on essential oils that I will likely revisit, but the apple cider vinegar remedy stuck out as particularly inviting. A student of mine had told me in the past that he swears by the stuff, and we happened to have a large bottle of it in the pantry, compliments of my chef husband. The ingredients for the sore throat gargle were fairly simple:


1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup of warm water

In addition to trying this, I also decided to go with a dilution mixture to drink, much like tea:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 fresh lemon slice (for juice)

1 teaspoon honey

2 cups warm water

Mix the vinegar and lemon juice in water and heat. Stir honey into hot water and sip.

Apple cider vinegar is potent, but within an hour my throat was no longer scratchy and sore. After drinking the mixture above, I began feeling more like myself – a bit congested still, but very much on the mend. I plan to keep drinking the mixture until whatever this virus is gets stamped out. Thank goodness for NATURAL remedies!!