My Favorite Five Friday — Volume 4

Fancy seeing you here!

It’s been a while and I’m glad to jump back into this monthly feature! Since I’m all about self-care and I want to practice what I preach, I’ve changed this feature to once a month on the first Friday of every month rather than once of week. Sometimes it’s necessary to create more space–even if that means less of a good thing–so you can have room to REST.


The theme of this Friday Five is just that– Rest.

The holiday season is in full swing and that usually means hustle, hustle hustle. At work we’re working double shifts to get our students ready for the holiday recitals and at home I’m trying to order all my gifts, send out Christmas cards, and mark out time in my calendar for various holiday parties. It’s the most wonderful time of the year and don’t get me wrong– Christmas is my favorite holiday. Ever. But– it can also be the busiest time of the year. There is plenty of obligation and stress sprinkled in with the glittering tinsel and peppermint mochas. With that to say– I devoted this week to finding small ways to rest. Here are some of my favorite restful products…

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel


I’ll be honest–budgeting for an apartment all by myself is definitely more of a financial burden than splitting the rent with someone else, so, I’ve had to eliminate a lot of my unnecessary creature comforts. One of those things being: getting my nails professionally done every few weeks. I just don’t have the money in my budget to spend $20 to sometimes $50 on a manicure. However, I LOVE having painted nails. I find the process relaxing. Not to mention, the little girl inside me always thinks back to how my mom had nicely manicured nails growing up and how I thought that was a sign of adulthood. Chipping away at polish and nail biting are habits of Anxiety Ridden Childish Gina, not Young Professional Gina Who Has Her Life Together. Fortunately, a great compromise for this dilemma has been using Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel. You can pick up a bottle at any drugstore and the polish lasts–seriously–twice as long as regular non-gel polish. And you know what? With a steady hand, I think my nails look just as good with this drugstore polish than if I got them done at a salon. For $9.99 a bottle, it’s a deal! (The festive color featured above is Terra-Coppa)

Trader Joe’s Facial Toner


This is seriously the best bang for my buck I’ve experienced in a while. Fun fact: I have very angry skin that loooooves to announce to the world with resentful adult acne that I’m stressed and/or on my period. Fantastic. So, now that I’m ballin’ on a budget, how am I supposed to treat myself to proper skin care and NOT go flat broke? Well, my mom introduced me to Trader Joe’s Rose Water Facial Toner. Ya’ll. You can get it at any Trader Joe’s for only $3.99! You read that correctly. I’m embarrassed to tell you just how much I’ve spent in the past for toners… (shhh! But it’s been upwards of $40…). I didn’t even know that Trader Joe’s had a health and beauty section, did you? What I love about this toner is that my face feels refreshed, hydrated, and it doesn’t sting or irritate. The scent is lovely and subtle. I use it every morning and evening after washing my face.

Bath & Body Works

Aromatherapy Foam Bath


Have I gushed about how much a saving grace it is to have a bathtub in my apartment? I have lived most of my adult life without access to a bathtub and I swear I will never go without again. Baths. Are. Therapy. This Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Bath Foam in Lavender and Cedarwood is the perfect addition to a warm, relaxing bath right before bedtime. It’s so soothing that you’ll want to drift off to sleep before you even drain the tub and dry off. Retailing at around $14.00, it’s worth every penny because a little bit goes a long way.

There must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.

–Sylvia Plath

Moni’s Coconut Scrub


Did you know that the average women puts anywhere from 170-500 chemicals on herself daily from makeup to self care products? I sure didn’t until I investigated Moni’s Natural Skin Care’s website. Maybe the reason I’m obsessed with the way this coconut and green tea scrub feels on my face is because all of Moni’s products are completely free from these chemicals and only made from natural ingredients. Better still, a portion of each purchase goes towards the charity, Feeding America. Check out creator, Monika’s, awesome line of skin care products and her super informative wellness blog! If treating yourself AND giving back weren’t good enough, let me assure you that your purchase will make your wallet happy as well. The coconut scrub seen above retails for only $8.00!

Teabloom Teas


My grand finale goes to this stunner… A blooming green tea by Teabloom. Not only was the green tea itself tasty and fulfilling, but making the tea and watching the flower bloom was an truly beautiful experience. Any tea enthusiast will lose their mind when they visit Teabloom’s website and check out the wide variety of products they have available. They’ve got all the teaware you can imagine, gift sets, and canisters of 12 tea packets… you just might find the perfectly unique Christmas gift (and something for yourself, of course)! A canister of 12 packets runs at about $20.00.

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