9 Ways to Have a Home That is Always Organized Effortlessly

This blog post contains affiliate links . If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend tools that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.

Can you imagine what  it would be like to come home to a home that is always organized? This is achievable, and you can do it with little effort if you follow these tips.

My own home is not perfect by any means but the following advice helps me reduce the amount of time I spend organizing and cleaning each day (which gives me more time for relaxing and blogging!).

An organized home can have a positive impact on your life by reducing your stress. You will be able to relax more without fifty projects or chores you have been meaning to start staring you in the face.

If you are curious about how to achieve this quickly and easily, keep reading.

Get Rid of the Excess

The more things you have laying around, the harder it will be to maintain a neat space.

Before organizing, de-clutter each room until you are satisfied that everything you have adds value to your life. If you are saving an item “just in case”, it’s time to let it go.

Keep Cleaning Supplies In Every Room

If you have cleaning supplies wherever you will need them, cleaning up takes just a few minutes and feels less daunting.

Consider keeping all purpose spray and reusable rags “hidden” in an attractive container in each room to streamline the process.

You can also keep trash bags under the current trash liner so that whenever you take out the trash a fresh bag is waiting right there. These little hacks will add up over time.

Clean as you go

If you go to the kitchen to make some tea, wash the dishes or wipe down the counter while you are waiting for the water to boil.

This method of completing small tasks throughout the day allows you to get a lot done alongside your normal routine.

Make a Weekly Cleaning Schedule

If you are cleaning as you go, you shouldn’t have much cleaning and organizing left to do at the end of the day.

Make a cleaning schedule for larger chores such as laundry, cleaning bathrooms, and vacuuming. This way, you only have one official chore of the day and then you can relax knowing everything will get done during the week.

This will take a lot of the pressure off of you to get everything done at once. This is what keeps many of us from getting started. We feel overwhelmed by everything we have to do and this leads to us doing nothing. Avoid this by focusing on small, achievable tasks.

Make a Meal Plan

Plan out breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a week using your favorite recipes and a shopping list.

This will save you money by limiting impulse purchases and save you time because you will only need to shop once a week.

For bonus points, use Walmart’s grocery pick up to save even more time and to make sure you don’t forget anything.

Don’t forget household essentials like trahs bags and dish soap, etc and check out my article on easy ways to save money on groceries here.

Pick up as you go

As you are walking through your home, take a few extra seconds to grab items that are out of place and put them where they belong.

It sounds simple, and it is. Picking up as you go keeps your home clutter free and takes very little time and energy.

Get it over with

Dreading a task? Do it first. Most tasks will take you less than half an hour if you are following your cleaning schedule and don’t live in a mansion.

Getting it over with will save you stress and set the rest of the day up for success. Now that you have vaccumed, a few more chores or errands doesn’t seem so bad.

Do the Dishes After Eating

After you are done eating, take a couple of minutes to do the dishes. Doing small amounts of dishes more frequently keeps the task from becoming overwhelming.

It also feels much better to go to bed at night and wake up in the morning with the dishes already done.

Store Items out of Sight

When organizing a room, you should be able to store everything in the area where you use it and keep it out of sight (in a drawer, etc.).

This will keep your rooms looking tidy and clean. Rooms look so much better without piles of stuff laying around.

Final Thoughts

Keeping your home organized should be about living joyfully and should not be adding extra stress to your life.

I hope that these tips help keep your household organization manageable so that you can move on to more important things.

Share your best tips and hacks in the comments below.

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9 Lazy Cleaning Hacks You Need in Your Life

You can get a clean, fresh-smelling home in no time flat with these lazy cleaning hacks.

These hacks use things you probably already have around the house so you can skip the trip to the store and start cleaning now.

Grapefruit Shower Cleaner

To get a fresh, delicious smelling bathroom fast cut a grapefruit in half. Add a bit of salt and use it like a sponge. Let it sit for a bit and rinse with water. Viola! The acidity of the fruit and the texture of the salt will remove any unwanted dirt and bacteria quickly and easily. A lemon would also work well.

Clean Your Mattress

Hopefully by the time you are reading this you are in the habit of washing your sheets regularly. Take it one step further by cleaning your mattress the next time you change your sheets.

Scrub any stains with hydrogen peroxide and a toothbrush (which can be bought in bulk from the dollar store). Apply a layer of baking soda, wait 30 minutes, and then vacuum off. Your mattress is how clean and fresh smelling.

Clean Your Blinds

Use a dryer sheet or your upholstery attachment on your vacuum to clean your blinds. This removes dust quickly and effectively.

Steam Clean Your Microwave

Microwave a bowl full of water and half a lemon for 3 minutes. When you are done, clean the microwave with a sponge a sponge and anything gross should wipe off easily.

Clean Your Vents

Use a butter knife to hold a rag sprayed with your favorite antibacterial cleaner to quickly clean your vents. This will keep your house smelling fresh and reduce the dust in the air.

Clean Your Toilet Brush

Add a bit of Pinesol or Fabuloso to your toilet brush holder. This will keep it clean, smelling fresh, and ready to use.

Clean Your Oven

Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to your oven. Let it sit overnight. Wash it out with a sponge and finish with a spritz of vinegar diluted 50/50 with water. Your oven will be like new.

Clean White Sneakers

To keep your white sneakers looking fresh easily, scrub any dirty spots with a tooth brush and toothpaste. Wash off with a damp rag or sponge and your shoes will be white as snow and minty-fresh.

Scrub Your Shower (Again)

Buy a cheap dish scrubber that has an area to fill with soap. Fill with a 50/50 mixture of dish soap and vinegar. Now you can easily give your shower or tub a quick scrubbing. Let the mixture sit for at least 5 minutes then rinse with water. All done.

Final Thoughts

I hope that these cleaning hacks save you time. Now you can enjoy your clean space and move on to more important things!

If you have an amazing cleaning hack we probably have never heard before, please share it in the comments below.

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The Best Money Saving App: Earn Cashback with Rakuten Today

This blog post contains affiliate links . If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend tools that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interest at heart.

Rakuten Ebates is a free app that will help you save money. How awesome would it be to get around five percent (or more!) cash back on everyday purchases with very little effort? Sounds great, right?

You may have heard of the Ebates app, which is now Rakuten Ebates. If you sign up now, you can claim your free welcome bonus of 10 dollars and start earning cash back today.

Why I love this money saving app

  • I am saving money on retailers I already use (Amazon, Walmart, Lyft, etc) on purchases I was going to make. You can also find awesome deals on trending retailers and companies you may not have purchased from before.
  • The design is user friendly and very easy to use.
  • You can save money both in store and online.
  • It’s easy to take advantage of special promotions.

Save Money Online

You can browse the extensive list of retailers or search for your favorite store and simply select it to view how much cash back you can earn on your purchase (exclusions may apply and are listed on the page).

You can even view how much the average cash back per offer is for the specific company you are going to shop at.

Save Money In Stores

If you prefer to shop in store, you can easily link your card and take advantage of cash back and deals listed in the ‘In-Store’ section.

How does this work?

  • Which retailers are featured? There are currently oner 2500 stores featured, including Amazon, Walmart, Macy’s, Sephora, and more.
  • When and how will I get my cash back? Every three months you will receive a check or PayPal transfer.
  • Is this website/ app really legitimate? Yes. Rakuten receives a commission from the listed stores for sending them customers, and they reward customers for signing up. It’s a win- win for everyone, really.

Ready to start saving? Sign up now and collect your $10 welcome bonus!

For more ideas about how to save money, check out the articles I have written here.

Happy shopping.

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September Goals: How to Set and Slay Your Monthly Goals the Smart Way


I don’t know where you are reading this from, but it’s so hot here it’s hard to imagine  we are about to say goodbye to summer.

Now is the perfect time to squeeze in anything you didn’t manage to get to so far this summer. With that in mind, it’s a great time to set some goals for September.

With a few quick tips, you can set goals you will actually achieve and you will be as excited as I am to start working on them now.

Goals Worth Pursuing

The first step is going to be to make sure your goals are worth the time you are going to spend on them.

Life is too short to base anything on how others see you. Make sure that this goal is something that speaks to you. You have to want it for yourself. Bad.

If you pick something that doesn’t resonate with you, chances are you will ‘fall off the wagon’ immediately, if you start any work on the goal at all.

Be brutal and be honest with yourself about why you are contemplating doing what you are doing.

Keep It Manageable and Realistic

You want to choose something you actually have a chance of achieving with a measurable outcome.

For example, instead of writing a complete novel (unless you are some kind of superhuman content creator and you have done it all in a month before) focus on writing for an hour a day.

Writing a whole novel? I feel stressed already just thinking about it. Writing for one hour a day? I could commit to that.

I could also track that because it is a specific, measurable outcome. I will know whether I have written for an hour today but I would not know how much I need to write every day to complete my novel-there are too many variables.

I would also suggest sticking to one big main goal.

You can focus your energy where it will have the most impact and won’t feel overwhelmed, especially if this is your first month in a while of killing your monthly goals.

If you want to make more goals, keep them small and with a lesser time commitment required every day.

Break Your Goals Down and Decide How You Will Track Them

  • Now that you know what you want to achieve, think of a quantifiable way to track your goals (I.e. do this task once every week day for x minutes).
  • Will you do it in the morning before work? When you get home? On the weekend?
  • Don’t forget to plan a few days off. You need a break from all the hard work now and again.
  • If you are attending an important event or have a family event coming off, give yourself the day off so you can really be present and enjoy the moment.
  • You can track your goal in your journal or bullet journal, using the calendar in your phone, or using an app specifically designed for this ( I like Goal Tracker+ Habit List+ Workout Calendar by Intrasoft for android users).

Reflect

At the end of the month, reflect on the progress you have made. Don’t worry about it if you missed a day or two- it doesn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things and you are only human.

Ask yourself what worked and what didn’t work. What do you want to tackle next?

Don’t forget to relax and reward yourself! Take an afternoon off and go out into the world or binge your favorite Netflix show.

Speaking of goals, I am working on an ebook and could really use your help.

I have a short reader survey here that will help me immensely with what I am working on. Thank you in advance for your feedback, and have fun slaying your goals!

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Reap All of the Surprising Benefits of Journaling in Just 15 Minutes a Day: 30 Journal Prompts for September

Do you need some inspiration for your journaling this month? I have got you covered!

If you are still toying with the idea of keeping a journal but have not started yet, use this article to get started today.

1. Monthly Goals. Review your goals from last month. What went well? What was harder for you, and how do you plan to handle it in the future? Any Surprises?

Next, decide what you want to achieve this month. Limit yourself to a few goals that are critical and have measurable outcomes, i.e. write for 30 minutes daily or write 8 blog posts rather than just aiming to write each day.

You can design a fun tracker on the same page to help keep you motivated and to see how close you are to achieving your goals.

2. Find a poem or quote about Fall or write your own.

3. Make a list of things you want to do this Fall or reflect on a past Fall.

4. Say Goodbye to Summer. Write a letter to summer or your past or future summer self.

5. Write a review of a book you are currently reading or have recently read.

6. What does the world need most?

7. What is making you stressed? What do you plan to do about it?

8. List 10 questions you have for someone in your life.

9. Go outside and pick a subject. Describe it in as much detail as possible.

10. What kind of business would you like to start? Make a business plan.

11. What is the kindest thing anyone has done for you?

12. You won the lottery. What would you do with the money?

13. Write a comic.

14. If you could be any movie or book character,who would you be? Why?

15. Who would you never want to be?

16. Write about a book, movie, or song that changed the way you look at the world.

17. What do you value most?

18. Does your life currently reflect these values? How? What areas need improvement?

19. What could you simplify in your life today?

20. Are you kind to yourself?

21. Who have you not forgiven?

22. What summer memory do you want to hold on to?

23. What would your ideal job be like?

24. Do you use your money wisely?

25. Write about someone who drives you crazy.

26. Describe someone you adore.

27. What are you grateful for?

28. What worries you? Do you have any control over it?

29. If you had the chance to start life over again, what would you do differently? What would you do again?

30. Find something random and beautiful. Describe it or try to explain why it was so moving.

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Why You Need a Journal: Brilliant Methods to Achieve Your Goals, Develop Your Dreams, Reduce Stress, and Communicate Better

This blog post contains affiliate links from Amazon . If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend tools that I personally use and love and I always have my readers’
best interest at heart.

Surprising Benefits Journaling Can Offer You

A journal is a tool for self-discovery and growth. There are many, many things you could write  What is appropriate? Anything in the universe . You are completely free when writing in your journal. You don’t have to be nice or funny or entertaining.

You can use your journal to track your goals, de-stress, and develop your dreams. The act of writing things down allows us to reflect and can lead to a better understanding of ourselves, which can help you communicate more effectively.

Still not convinced journaling is for you? Check out the benefits below.

Consider Starting a Journal for these reasons:

1. Enjoy the process of creating. Whether you write a letter you will never send, a poem, or use writing as a way to work through your ideas and feelings creating something is fascinating and rewarding. The process of taking a thought, expanding on it, and editing is a journey that changes your life (or at least entertains. you for a while!).

2. To purge your emotions. If you are overwhelmed, livid, despondent, or feeling anything at all you can write about it and lose yourself in the process of choosing the right words. When you re-read what you have written you may be surprised by the perspective you have on what happened and you may have a better understanding of what actually triggered that emotion.

3. To become a better writer. You can’t do that without writing. Period.

4. It Feels Good! Whether you are venting, breaking down your goals, or just enjoying the process of writing and the joy of language this one speaks for itself.

5. To plan and strategize. When you come up with your many brilliant ideas you can plan out all of the details of the ebook you are writing, your ideal December playlist, your new workout routine, etc .

6. To track and monitor progress toward your goals. This is the most crucial step in creating goals you will actually achieve. You want to break up your big dream into several trackable mini-goals. Then break each chunk into smaller daily or weekly goals. The goal needs to be realistic. Most people don’t have two hours per day to workout. It also needs to be specific and measurable (i.e 30 mins of journaling versus just writing in your journal).

7. To encourage reflection. The unexamined life is really not worth living. When was the last time you made time to reflect on what really matters in your life?

8. To keep your thoughts organized. The act of writing your thoughts down will help you remember key points and when you are re-reading your journal later you will find inspiration.

9. To Relieve Stress. The act of expressing yourself without fear of judgement or censure and the act of recording your thoughts will help you relax and think more clearly.

10. You will have a place to store your ideas and thoughts quickly when you are on the go. Some of your most valuable ideas may come from things you scribbled in the margins.

What Should You Write?

Here are a few things you might want to include:

  • Lists. Top Ten ways to get out of doing housework,what you would buy if you made one million dollars,  grocery lists, lists of what you want to accomplish this week or month or year, lists of beautiful and pointless things.

  • Write down poems or quotes or passages you want to remember. A sweet sense of nostalgia can be yours as you look back over all the things you used to love. You can make a  book of things that made you feel alive or things you wish you had written. In six months when a specific quote you used to know is haunting you and you can’t find it you can simply grab your journal.

  • Ideas. Your journal is an awesome way to record your idea for the next Greatest American Novel, the greatest joke ever told, or a snippet of a poem in seconds before it is lost forever.

  • Record emotional outbursts. Writing can be a way to purge your emotions. If someone really pisses you off, write them a letter in your journal. You will feel better and have a better understanding of what you are feeling and what you want to do about it.  I personally usually calm down after finding the right words to express myself.

  • Write a poem. Write a short story. Start writing a book. The process of writing is it’s own reward. You will feel alive. You will become a better writer. You will have fun.

  • Notes on things you have researched, words you have looked up, books you want to read, recipes you want to try.

What notebook and writing utensils should I use?

    I could go on and on but those are just a few things I use my journal for. In terms of the journal itself, you can used a handmade journal, an inexpensive spiral notebook, an electronic document on your phone or computer, or a combination of all of the above. Again, the important thing is to write.

If you prefer to keep everything digital, I adore the free OneNote app. It is easy to make sections and to customize every detail of your journal. You can also sync your writing across multiple devices and log in anywhere.

If you prefer a physical book like I sometimes do, here are my top picks:

1. Black Ruled Notebook

2. Adventurer/ Pirate Themed Journal

3. Elephant Journal

4. Flower Journal

5. Baroque

What should I write on the all-important first page?

    The first page of your journal can be a bit intimidating. You can write “journals are stupid and I love them” in your fanciest cursive or copy down a favorite quote or song that’s been running through your mind. I also like to copy down a section out of a favorite book or poem.

Now that you have that first step out of the way you are free to write anything.

Help! I can’t think of anything to write!

    If you can’t think of anything to write, try one of the following prompts.

  •     Write a letter. Write to your significant other, your past self, your future self, your boss, a dead celebrity. Offer unwanted advice. Tell them how you really feel. Try your hand at a love letter to your favorite cereal or your favorite author or the man who lives in the apartment below you.
  • Think about a goal you want to accomplish. What are the benefits? How long will it take? What is the first step? Plan it out and get started. Track your progress.
  • Make a list. Try ten books or songs that saved my life. Ten reasons why being an adult sucks or rules. Ten secrets. Ten reasons why I love you. Ten reasons I love or hate lists.
  • Respond to something you have read. Rewrite a scene from a book you are reading. Write a review. Write a rant. Expand on ideas or concepts that stood out to you. Write character biographies.

Final Thoughts

I personally have found keeping a journal to be beneficial in all of the ways listed in this article. If you have always wanted to start a journal, what are you waiting for? Dig up some writing materials and write now.

If you have any stories about your experiences journaling, share them in the comments below. If you haven’t started yet, let me know what is stopping you!

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9 Reasons to Make Your Own Deodorant (#9 is the Most Important) and an Easy, Money-Saving Recipe

Witch hazel, friend and ingredient

Disclaimer: In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog post contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for me (at no extra cost for you).

Why would you want to make your own deodorant, you ask? Here are a few good reasons:


1. You ran out of the store bought variety and need an easy replacement.

2. It is inexpensive, even with the optional ingredients.

3. You propably have at least some of these ingredients on hand.

4. You can make your own custom scent and it smells amazing.

5. Reduce your waste- you don’t need to use all the plastic and packaging traditional deodorant comes with.

6. It is so easy to make. Anyone can do it with minimal effort.

7. DIY beauty products are fun to make.

8. DIY beauty products make great gifts. However, I would not give a friend deodorant by itself or they may develop a complex!

9. For your health. I am not claiming to be an expert on the subject matter, but the national cancer institutes website states:

Because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer (3). In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue (4).

Better safe than sorry, right?


Recipe


Convinced?  Here is my favorite recipe for spray-on deodorant with links to my top picks for the ingredients on Amazon for convenience:


Spray bottle
Witch Hazel (or rubbing alcohol)
20 Drops essential oil ( I like to mix lemon and lavendar, but the possibilities are endless!)
Optional: 2 tablespoons aloe vera

Put the ingredients in the spray bottle and shake well. Enjoy!

*Warning* Do not apply directly after shaving or you will may experience some stinging.

FAQ’s

 

  • Will this deodorant last all day?
  • I occasionally re-apply it after a     strenuous workout or on very hot days. Everyone is different, and if you are concerned you might want to try keeping a small travel sized bottle, like  this one, in your purse or bag.
  • What types of essential oils work best?
  • Go crazy, my friend. Try one or a combination of the following scents: peppermint, spearmint, rose, lavender, lemon, lime, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, rosemary, orange, grapefruit, thieves and many, many more.
  • Is this recipe safe?
  • You control the ingredients so it is more likely to be ‘safe’ than anything you buy commercially, and you can do a spot test on one small patch of skin first to determine if your skin my react negatively to any of the ingredients.
  • How do I apply it?
  • You can spritz a few sprays under your arms and anywhere else that needs de-odorizing. It makes a great facial toner as well.



If you try the recipe,  feel free to brag about your success in the comments below. I would love to hear about new scent combinations you come up with!


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How To Save Money with these DIY Body Scrub Recipes: Amazingly Easy and Luxurious

Why you should D.I.Y and the benefits of using a body scrub

I spent ten minutes staring at a container of body scrub in a discount retail store that shall remain nameless trying to figure out why it was 16 dollars for 8 ounces. It was not a name brand. It was tiny. The ingredients did not list gold, frankincense, or myrrh.

    I knew that I could whip up something for much less and have fun doing it (and so can you!).

This is one of my favorite DIY recipes because it is so quick and easy and the possibilities in terms of scents and ingredients is almost limitless.

    The following recipes will reinvigorate your skin and make you smell delicious! Body and facial scrubs remove dead skins cells and moisturize dry skin .

The ingredients are things you may already have at home and are very inexpensive compared to many commercial products. The recipes below can be used on your face and your body.

Ingredients

    When making your own scrubs, there are a few basic ingredients you want to have. The first thing you need  is a container. I prefer something short and wide because scrubs are hard to get out of a taller container in the shower without a spoon .You can repurpose old scrub containers , use a simple Tupperware container or a mason jar. I have also found beautiful glass containers at my local thrift stores for under a dollar.

 The next thing you will want to select is an exfoliant. I have used and enjoyed table salt, finely ground sea salt, ground Epsom salt, oatmeal (ground in a food processor or blender), ground coffee, white sugar and brown sugar. My personal favorite exfoliant is brown sugar because it smells great and does not require any extra preparation.

 The next thing you need is an oil. There are many choices available including olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil , grapeseed oil, and sweet almond oil. It is really up to you if you want to use what you already have or if you want to make a trip to your local health food store or order something more exotic online.

I personally favor olive, grape seed, and coconut oil because they are very inexpensive and are available at the grocery store I do almost all of my shopping at. The basic ratio for your exfoliants and oils is about ÂĽ cup oil per cup of exfoliant. You want the exfoliant to be saturated but you don’t want extra oil.

 The last thing you may (which is completely optional but makes your scrub positively luxurious) is a fragrance and extra additives. I use about 20 drops of essential oil (any will do, but I like lavender, lemon, eucalyptus, or peppermint) per 2 cups of exfoliant. When adding your fragrance, less is more. Try a few drops and add more if you desire.

You can buy essential oils inexpensively online or at a health food store and you can use them for homemade cleaning and beauty products (including almost all of the DIY recipes on this website). If you are new to essential oils you can pick just one fragrance or buy a small sample sized started kit. Other options include vanilla essence (imitation is fine), cocoa powder, or the juice of one lemon or lime.

     Extra additives include dried herbs such as lavender or mint, food dyes, or even cocoa butter and shea butter for extra moisture.

Quick Tips

   Substitutions are not only acceptable but encouraged! Don’t be afraid to experiment with different oils and exfoliants or scents. I have not yet made a  batch that was unusable.

      Your scrubs can be as complicated or as simple as you like. The recipes I have experimented with below are frugal and simple so that you don’t need to waste a lot of money or energy.

     You can also consider giving these scrubs as gifts. Simply put them in a mason jar with a ribbon. If you are feeling creative you can make your own beautiful labels or gift tags.

Happy Scrubbing!

Recipes

Brown Sugar and Vanilla Cake Scrub

2/3 cup oil of your choice

2 cups brown sugar

5 drops of vanilla extract

A jar/container


Chocolate Lovers

 â…” cup coconut oil

  2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

A jar or container


Lemon Goddess

  â…” cup Olive oil

  2 cups table salt

The juice of one lemon or 1 tablespoon preserved lemon juice


Mint Refresher

â…” cup grapeseed oil

2 cups ground Epsom salt or sea salt

20 drops peppermint essential oil

Simply mix the ingredients together with spoon. Easy, right? The trick with these recipes is to make sure you don’t add too much oil. If you do, simply add more exfoliant . The ideal texture is similar to beach sand.

    Please be aware that if you use these in the shower or bath the surface might get a little oil on it and become slippery. Be safe.

I would love to hear about any scent combinations you came up with in the comments.  Enjoy!

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