Skin Scrubs for winter

As the seasons change so does our skin. A little bit of maintenance goes a long way in preserving skin tissue. Exfoliation is an excellent way to not only prevent dryness and flakiness but promote cell renewal and elasticity in the skin.

Here is a winter inspired DIY skin scrub recipe I use for my natural skincare line, Moroccan Life Products. I’ll add links to where to purchase the raw materials. If you are not into making your own products here scroll below for few links of great skin scrubs that work wonders.

You will need a metal bowl, wooden spoon, and measuring utensils.

1 cup of dead sea salt (fine)

1/2 cup of dendritic salt

1/2 cup of dead sea salt (ultrafine)

1/3 cup of crushed apricot shells

1/3 cup of luffa

mix all these ingredients together. Add carrier oils. I love fractionated coconut oil for its diversity. It is light, non greasy, and has an excellent shelf life. I use this in all of my products. Add 1/3 cup of fractionated coconut oil and 1/4th cup of grapeseed oil as a preservative. If you want to add another carrier oil such as Argan oil, or Jojoba it can be added as well. If the solution is too runny you can add more dendritic salt until you get the texture you want. If you want a very liquidy solution add some water normally 4-6  tablespoons will do the job. Coffee grinds are also a great exfoliating element if you want to add them to your solution. After your scrub is fully mixed you can add some natural essential oils. These oils are more potent and strong, so you only need a few drops, if you add too many it can irritate the skin. Below is some great combos that are refreshing for the winter season.

Cedarwood Atlas, Laurel Leaf, and Davana, for a very herby yet fresh outdoor mountain scent. This will wake up your senses.

Lemongrass, sweet basil, and grapefruit, is a relaxing and citrus coed smell.

Rosemary, spearmint, and eucalyptus is a zesty clean smell.

Sandlewood, ylang ylang, and jasmine are soft florals a bit of musk, and very feminine.

If you don’t mind some synthetic scents you can blend them with essentials as well. I love these scents from New Directions Aromatics and they only cost around $2-3 for a 1 ounce sample. You only need 10 – 12 drops so one ounce goes the distance when it comes to making natural products.

Bamboo and Teak: Think of a warm sauna, sexy and cozy. A rich and luxurious aroma with hints of sandalwood, cedar wood, musk, floral and sweet fruit.

Hawaiian Lei: This reminds me of the W Hotel Bliss spa, its devine. A delicate blend of gardenia and plumeria with top citrus notes of orange and lime ending with base notes of light vanilla.

Maple Sugar: Is simple yet sweet.  Enjoy the aroma of sweet, warm maple sugar and butter. This scent is extremely rich, complex, and long lasting.

Woodland Themes: Similar to my first essential oil combo, yet a fraction of the price, it is earthy yet refreshing. A fresh, warm woody fragrance. Ozone floral top notes with citrus and balsam. Heart notes of spice, cedarwood and eucalyptus. Musk and moss at the base.

These skin scrubs go the distance:

For a feminine and soft skin scrub try Ramburi Yang Ylang and Jasmine Salt Scrub. $15.25

*New* Ramburi (Thailand) Ylang Ylang & Jasmine Salt Scrub 250ml (8.45oz)

Double Love Scrub uses pink Himalayan salts. $24

Tree Hut firming sugar scrub is just that, it is sweet and promotes elasticity with its Macadamia oil, Evening prime rose oil and caffeine.

Moroccan Life Products, Sahara Sea Salt is a product from my personal product line. It is  with based with sea salt, Mediterranean luffa, walnut shell, and African honey. The lavish botanicals of Morocco, Argan, Wild Verbana, Thyme, Spearmint, Myrtle, and Eucalyptus will nourish skin while promoting cell renewal. $19.00


There are basic skin fundamentals to keeping your skin supple and healthy in harsh weather conditions.

First and foremost is water. You can never really get enough as water and skin care go hand and hand. It should be a staple element in your daily regimen. Not only does water prevent dehydration which causes lack of tone and wrinkles in the skin, but it flushes out toxins both consumed and airborne. Water also assists in carrying nutrients to our vital organs.

Second is sunscreen. Sunscreen is both effective and necessary all seasons of the year. In winter the suns rays are just as harsh as in the summer and they reflect off of the snow. The same goes for cloudy days, so applying sunscreen on a regular basis will help prevent future breakdown of cellular tissue.

Exfoliation is an effective habit that not only washes away dry skin and flakiness, but promotes healthy skin and cell renewal. Citric acid is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates collagen production. Exfoliation enhances the skin’s elasticity which results in firmer radiant skin and also prevents stretch marks.

Proper moisturizer is essential during the winter season. Our skin is exposed to harsher conditions even if we barely go outside. Inside the air is dryer, while outside the wind, rain, and snow all can have negative affects on our skin. A thicker moisturizer can add extra protection which will preserve the skin long term.

Natural oils are amazing on your face and body. I am a huge fan of Tamanu, Sea buckthorn oil, and Argan. I never breakout, my skin looks healthy and the compliments I receive prove that the results are visible. Using natural oils on a regular basis literally melts my wrinkles away. The great aspect about using oils is that the results are rather quick. Normally I see changes in under ten days, and they carry no harmful chemicals. Check out my post on natural oils.

Wild hearts and wild horses are two of a kind

I don’t consider myself too irrationally crazy, although a handful of others may disagree, but I LOVE LIFE! While I can be overly organized (my clothes are color and purpose coordinated), overly neurotic, and even at times pessimistic, I am a free spirit lover of the greater universe. When I am happy I skip and leap for joy. #noshame.

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When I’m in a pickle I plan A,B,&C. I’m always dreaming and scheming. Sometimes I feel as if I was an animal I’d be a wild horse. I would just want to run and never look back. In Costa Rica you will find wild horses all over.

Some are a bit weathered

tolem cr 2010 camera 2 324Some are young and full of life

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But they all know what it’s like to live life without any boundaries.

I was lucky enough to make a friend in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica. After some sweet talking and positive energy she was kind enough to let me kiss her after ten minutes of telepathically pleading, please I swear I’m wild like you. She kicked her hooves up almost embarrassed as her five friends neighed and waited for her. I didn’t get a bareback ride down the beach, but maybe someday our paths will cross again.

Even wild horses slow down for a break.

With a little patience….


We connect on a rustic beach….


And she let her guard down and trusted me…. Kiss!


Here are some destinations around the world you can find wild horses.

1) Virgina City, Nevada. Off of Route 341. Nevada has the most wild horses in the United States with over 15,000 horses living in the meadows and mountains. They are not always easy to see, but they are in different parts of the state as well.

2) The Bahamas, wild horses have been known to run on the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas, so pack some carrots with your sunscreen.

3) Sable Island, Canada. Wild horses have been living here since approximately the early 1700s. The island is protected by the government so you will need permission to visit.

4) Koniks, near Amsterdam, wild horses can be found near the Koniks and other places not too far from a day trip from Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

5) Assateague Island National Seashore, which extends from Virginia into Maryland, is home to probably the best known wild horses of the Southeast.

6) Costa Rica, this rustic pristine jungle environment is the perfect home for wild horses. They can romp on the beach, swim in the ocean, roll in the never ending valleys and eat mangos and bananas all day.

7)  Pilot Butte, Wyoming. Here you can drive through 23 miles of wild horse country, through the wild horse loop. You may even see some extras such as coyotes, eagles, elk, and deer.

Have you encountered wild horses in your travels? Share your spots!

A crisp yet lush French white blend.


I am a lover of Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy tasting ones that are crisp with lemongrass undertones. I normally steer towards the New Zealand brands, but was recently surprised to find one from France with the perfect balance of tropical flavors and herbs. Pyrene Cuvee, the color is a medium gold, and the body is slightly fuller than the normal white wines I tend to drink. It leaves a slight linger of earthy tones on the palate while balancing well with grapefruit undertones. It is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Colombard, and Gros Manseng.

* The price point is $11.25-13.50

Writer’s block

It seems to have a mind of its own. It comes and goes on its own terms and doesn’t give a damn whether it was invited or not …writer’s block.

Whether you are a college student trying to wrap up your thesis, a seasoned novelist, or a witty blogger with a great following, writer’s block has haunted us all. It’s paralyzing, my pen won’t move, my mind won’t think, then the anxiety sinks in. What if I never write again? Insecurities follow, what if my pride and joy piece was a one hit wonder? What if I just had a taste of beginner’s luck? The what ifs and what could be take over and that is when it hits you, you have gotten a case of writers’s block.

Writer’s block isn’t biased and will select its victims randomly like a bad karma tax audit. Here’s the good news, it happens to the best of us and it doesn’t last forever. There are reasons for writer’s block, and no it’s not because your creativity and journalism skills are tapped out.

1) You just have too much going on in your mind.

2) You haven’t worked the engine in awhile or you aren’t writing enough on a regular basis.

3) The universe is telling you to step outside your comfort zone. Let something inspire you to write.

4) You are putting too much pressure on yourself to preform.

It’s like being put on the spot. If I tell people I’ve had some crazy adventures in my life, they reply with well what’s your craziest story? Bam my mind freezes. Sure I have almost been kidnapped, I’ve hung off chandeliers at private parties, and jumped off bridges in the country, but my mind freezes.


If I tell someone I wrote a self help book and they ask me a question I get caught up on stage fright and can’t seem to remember a single word that was written. Writer’s block can get the best of us all.

I’m a bit old fashioned in the sense that when I get writer’s block I literally can’t write a thing that pertains to my topic since I hand write all articles before typing. Handwriting is just how the words choose to flow out. I can tell when I had writer’s block because the words on the paper are so visibly clear and neat. They of course accompany a side of doodles and my name and birth date written over and over. Emily Turner 1-23-1981.

I can easily tell when editing when the creative juices were flowing and the good content was pouring out onto the paper because the words are barely eligible. I can’t write as fast as the thoughts pop into my head. That’s when I know I broke through writers’ block. I think back when I got my first taste of writer’s block shortly after high school. In high school I excelled at communications and journalism.

After high school I went on to become a flight attendant and was so consumed with the outside world beyond my small town I took a break from writing. Back in 99 we didn’t have the luxury of smart phones, laptops, and tablets. I sometimes wonder what moments and thoughts I would have captured with those wonderful things we now can not live without. After a few lofty years of being a flight attendant I decided to get grounded and go back to school. After studying in film school the creative inspiration swept over me like an epiphany in the night. I began carrying a notebook and pen around regularly for all the random thoughts and inspirations that came my way.

When you take a break from writing and you decide it’s time to dive back in into the pool of words, the first few pages can be brutal. Some days when I’d edit I’d be like who wrote this a first grader? But I didn’t stop writing and neither should you. Here are some of my own tips for writers’s block. They may not work for everyone, but they work for me.

1) Create your own writer’s mantra. Create it, say it, believe it and most importantly believe in yourself. Mine is, “You are a writer. Never forget it.” Yes I may work in an office, or I may be a bartender to save up for school, but writing is me, it is a part of who I am. Never let the flame die, because it only takes one spark to ignite a fire.

2) Create a writing ritual. Once your in it, your whole being knows it is writing time. Maybe it’s writing on a bench in the park at sundown, or going to a particular coffee shop. I normally designate a writing space. I have my pens, notebooks, chapstick and tea or wine all lined up. No computers, cell phones, or clocks. Then a few snacks and I’m ready to get lost in my words.

3) Write on! Write through your writer’s block. Even if it is three words an hour. Do not get up. Don’t push too hard, Rome wasn’t built overnight, but keep writing through it. Picture yourself as a tiny snow blower plowing your way through an avalanche. There will be a break through and believe me when it happens you won’t look back and regret sitting in a chair writing six words in two hours. You will pride yourself on not giving up. You can always edit and cut out the irrelevant struggling words that accompanied the writer’s block.

Writer’s block go away!

It is determination, motivation, and perseverance.