Easy DIY nail and cuticle oil recipe

Easy DIY nail and cuticle oil recipe

When it is cold my cuticles get dry and the temptation to pick them is tremendous.

I have always cared for my hands and nails. I have fond memories of ‘doing my nails’ with my grandmother. We’d have a happy time filing our nails, pushing back the cuticles and rubbing nourishing oils into them.  Granny used to say: “Care for your hands and nails as it’s the easiest way of looking old if you don’t!”

Create an at-home spa manicure treatment.




First I soak my hands in a bowl of warm water with a drop of olive oil or apricot seed oil. Then I use a little wooden cuticle stick to push back my cuticles – I never cut them!

I rarely wear polish mainly as there are numerous toxic chemicals in polish including formaldehyde, and phthalates – which are thought to be hormone disruptors – and none of us need any more of those in our life.

I make my own DIY nail oil, it’s an inexpensive way to care for your nails with locally bought ingredients from your local health food shop.


The key with any nail oil is simple:

it will not work sitting on your dressing table or night stand, you actually have to apply an oil and massage it into your hands and nails for it to work!


Nail care techniques:

If you are anything like me you have bought fabulous products that you vow you’ll use and then they gather dust on your dressing table, or maybe that is just me?

When filing the nails go in one direction rather than sawing back and forth.

I read in a reflexology book that rubbing the backs of your nails back and forth stimulates nail growth, who knows if it really does but it keeps me warm whilst waiting for the bus!

Daily exercise for healthy nails

Daily exercise is important for healthy nails, and a healthy body for that matter. It is so easy to enjoy a long walk when it’s gloriously sunny like it has been recently.

Eating well also benefits the nails so a balanced diet with a wide variety of foods is essential.

If you are sitting indulging in a TV extravaganza why not massage some nail oil into your hands and cuticles.

For a rich overnight treatment combine a little nail oil with a dab of shea butter and rub it into the cuticles and hands. Don’t then go and read a library book as shea butter is greasy!


Caring for your body need not involve fabulously expensive products, like many things in life simplicity often wins.


Nail oil recipe postcard from Actual Organics

DIY Nail and Cuticle Oil Recipe.


50ml dropper bottle

40mls jojoba oil, apricot kernel oil or sunflower oil

5 drops lemon essential oil, optional

2 vitamin E capsule contents or a teaspoon of vitamin E oil. If you wish to ward off fungal infections add a few drops of neem oil.


Put the ingredients in the bottle, put the lid on and give a good shake.

Rub the oil into your nails morning and night, and ideally after washing your hands.



I have added in a little castor oil, ten drops of so to really give my nails a boost, it does make the oil a little stickier but I like that as it seems to stay on the hands more easily.


Further reading:

DIY hair oil, easy to make at home.

DIY beauty recipes, including ebook

DIY Cleaning recipes that work, including ebook


To read the newspaper article in full, please visit: http://www.whistlerquestion.com/opinion/columnists/non-toxic-living-easy-diy-nail-and-cuticle-oil-recipe-1.1772198


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photo credit: http://www.istockphoto.com/profile/starush

Why being unbusy is worth mastering

Multi-tasking is common today, chatting on the phone whilst eating lunch or scrolling through your Facebook account whilst standing in a supermarket queue but is being busy all the time good for us and what can you do to quit being so busy?

This is the year many people around the world are embracing being ‘unbusy’ [1] and pootling about [2] or as I call it: pottering. Learn why so many of us are s l o w i n g down.


Why being unbusy is worth mastering


Are you multitasking your way through life? Is it time to be 'unbusy'? www.ActualOrganics.com


I have undertaken this month to be unbusy, pootle about more, and adopt the art of not multitasking.

It is all about the art of letting the unnecessary distractions in my life go.  As I talk about in my book (published 2013) I have set boundaries and I no longer accept every invitation I get, I can say no and have time for myself and my husband.  I can not do everything that looks vaguely appealing.

I have been avidly clearing my cupboards for a while now (which ironically involves busily clearing things out!) and that has led to more time as things are neater and I have less stuff to manage. I don’t need a busy bedroom (learn to simplify yours) or an inbox monstrously full of emails, learn to deal with your inbox.


I am decluttering my life, I’m even writing a book on simplifying life to lessen our stress and impact on the planet. It will be out in time for Christmas so you can avoid buying clutter!

I contemplated recently… why are we, in North America, so stupidly busy?


Why being unbusy is worth mastering:


When did you last just “drift and dream” as a dear Australian friend of mine says.  “Joanna, take a little time to “drift and dream” see where things take you.” I loved those hours. I still do.



 Say no to busy-ness

Busy is a much over-used word; “I’m too busy”, “I can’t, I’m too busy”.  I recognise saying those phrases in the past and now it is like a bell goes off as I catch myself contemplating saying it! Being busy is a distraction and I am sure that doing nothing is a good cure for modern life.

I talk more about the issue of busy-ness in my book on pages 49 and 50 – get your copy here.

Practice the art of pottering, pootling about giving you time to enjoy life. www.ActualOrganics.com



Unbusy is:

Drinking your coffee without looking at your cell phone

Doing the washing up without the radio on or chatting on the phone simply washing up and looking out the window

Going for a walk without your mobile phone ‘catching up on calls’, just enjoy the peace and quiet

Going to bed earlier and accepting that the washing up will wait until morning

Taking time out to fold the washing and just fold without doing anything else

Relaxing, as you complete one task and then can gather your thoughts and move onto the next, reducing stress [2]

More productive. Multitasking is not actually productive and raises our stress levels! [3]


Dave Crenshaw author of “The Myth of Multitasking” says:

Multitasking: “You actually take much longer to accomplish things, make more mistakes and increase your stress,”

learn more


Unbusy: focussing on doing one thing well at a time. Stop multitasking!



Can you begin to practice the art of unbusy in your life? www.ActualOrganics.com


So will you quit the multitasking and set a boundary to be less busy this year?

Will you take time to potter about in your day? Perhaps get up earlier and walk to work, or take your full lunch hour and go for a gentle walk around the block (without your cell phone!).

If you need more reasons to adopt being unbusy here are some:


do you need more time off? www.ActualOrganics.com


Let me know how you get on on Twitter or Facebook.  I was so surprised that when actively allowed some time (half an hour or so) to potter, I got more done when I was at work. Time out is valuable!


Further reading:

Simplify your Inbox, more

30 days to change your life, more



[1] Being unbusy http://www.becomingminimalist.com/un-busy/

[2]In praise of pootling why we should all slow down. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/society/11388406/In-praise-of-pootling-why-we-should-all-slow-down-stop-pushing-ourselves-and-spend-time-doing-nothing.html

[3] http://www.mindful.org/news/4-reasons-why-you-should-break-free-from-being-too-busy

[4] http://www.theguardian.com/money/2009/oct/05/avoid-multitasking


Photo credits:



Three square meals a day diet

The unglamorous, three square meals a day ‘diet’

Weight loss regimes and all things diet-related are a multi-billion dollar industry, companies market their products to us from dawn ‘till dusk.

Detox fads percolate through society and before long ‘detoxing’ and eating kale are suddenly the ‘in’ thing.

You can’t package a balanced diet and good night’s sleep in a glossy box so sawdust-like, green stuff in a box keeps flying off the shelves.

To be clear I am not a nutritionist, I merely write about the way I see modern life, please do not confuse this article as a substitute for sound, personalised advice from your medical professional!

For years fad-diets have made headline news; more recently celebrities’ detox diets are taken as gospel but I’ve given up paying much attention to the latest celebrity diets, detoxes and trends as each one appears to contradict the other; resulting in confusions and, I can only imagine, feeling rather hungry.


The Three Quare meals a day diet: www.Actualorganics.com

Variety of foods


I simply prefer a wide variety of foods as part of a balanced diet; boring I know.  We eat hearty, home-made stock-based stews and soups, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, a little meat, some cheese, and the occasional brownie – which lasts us for at least three days!

Perhaps one reason many diets fail is boredom. I enjoy my food.

Enjoying food is part of life; cultures the world over celebrate with preparing, sharing and enjoying a variety of foods within their community. There is joy in eating and rightly so, just thinking of your favourite food causes your mouth to produce saliva which aids digestion. Sticking only to ‘healthy’ (according to whom?) food or certain food groups is boring, and potentially detrimental.

The trendiest diet - love your body. ActualOrganics.com

Just eat food, don’t label it!



I’m not a vegan, nor a raw-foodie – well other than fruit and some salad I suppose.

Some days I feel like eating a big baked potato for lunch, another day a little bowl of soup appeals or perhaps a cheese sandwich, breakfast might be fruit and yoghurt, maybe porridge or occasionally bacon and eggs, they all have their place just not the same thing each and every day.



I eat smaller portions than most places serve and I also eat slowly, some say that is the key to good digestion.

A healthy body has it’s own detox system which includes the liver, kidneys, lungs, gut and skin. We just need to drink adequate liquid, eat a variety of fresh, wholesome foods, get sound sleep and take some exercise to help our body do it’s job.


The Mayo Clinic say that stress affects our digestion by suppressing it,[1]  we need sound digestion to process the food and benefit from it.  So reducing stress seems like a wise idea for all aspects of our life.


If your current way of eating causes you stress perhaps it is time to simplify things?

I’ll stick with my unglamorous ‘three square meals’ a day diet.


Further Reading:

5 reasons to embrace nature

Don’t skip your lunch hour, here’s why.

The Guardian: You can’t detox your body, so how do you get healthy? Read more.

[1] http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037

5 reasons why you need to embrace nature


Stress is commonplace and it is even affecting our empathy and ability to show compassion to others, we need more compassion not less (read more).


Can you reduce stress in your life? Learn more. www.ActualOrganics.com


Lack of exercise and inactivity (as it is now known) is thought to kill more people than obesity (learn more).

Just 20 minutes brisk walking a day is enough to keep us on the right path to health but factoring it into your day is key, there’s no point sitting at a desk for eight hours and then flogging the gym. Learn more here.


Space and silence:

Time in solitude and silence is really important for our well being, it balances out the hectic ‘go go go’ lifestyle that many of us live; pulled in all directions by job commitments, pings on a smart phone (learn how to detox technology here), and our personal life.

Spending time in nature and walking, no head phones just peace and quiet helps to reduce the stress we feel.

In your lunch hour, take your lunch and walk to a park bench or walk around the block before you eat your lunch?

We actually recall memories better when we stop and close our eyes (learn more here).  I am a fan of palming the eyes and taking a break for five minutes, you can just blink a few times too and look out of the window give your eyes a different perspective to look at. Change is as good as a rest, so ‘they’ say!  I talk more about this in my book.


do you take a lunch break to eat and get fresh air?

Time out

When was the last time you had a cell phone ‘free’ day? Or is it the first thing you look at when you wake? Taking time out and changing our routine is no bad thing, it gives us an opportunity to assess if we are really doing what is best for our health and well being or simply ‘going through the motions’ of life.

Taking a lunch hour is really important, here’s why.

Ways you can take time out today, learn more.


Fresh air

Our homes in winter are an area where many chemicals – toxic and other wise – are found not least as we tend to open our windows a lot less in winter. Here are ways to detox your home by using non-toxic household cleaners and opting for simple, unrefined skin care.


Enjoy nature, get out into the countryside for your own wellbeing. www.ActualOrganics.com

Further reading:

Benefits of silence, learn more

Find time to do nothing today, learn more.

Are you wishing away time? Learn more

Buy The Radiant Woman’s Handbook here



Reset your life with simplicity

Reset your life with simplicity does it sound appealing?

It’s possible and will change your life. It takes commitment but here are some simple ways to get started and ensure that you stick with it.

No one is suggesting you do it all at once, starting slowly may suit you but also doing it in one go may suit you. We are all different.

I have found that it builds so starting to de-clutter a drawer inspires me to look at my clothes and get rid of (to a consignment store or charity shop) sweaters I do not use any more, for example.

That leads to me thinking: “Ooh I’ll tidy a kitchen drawer” and that looks ends up looking fantastic that I then tidy a bookshelf the next day or weekend. I don’t do it all day everyday (obviously) but I am de-cluttering more often than not these days. The result?

I get joy when I look about the house, I feel at peace that I am not surrounded by things I do not use or want. I have books I refer to and enjoy reading, and clothes I enjoy wearing. I also realise I do not, repeat NOT, need to go shopping!


How you can start…

Download my free decluttering-plan

Decide you’ll do it, that is half the battle committing to starting, or at least it was for me!



Simplify your life, de-clutter, budget and reset with these simple tricks. www.ActualOrganics.com


There is too much choice, and that overwhelms us and can prevent us from making decisions. Cutting back on choice through limiting the amount of media we consume is one way to start.

Think about the choices you make everyday, can you simplify them?


Can choice be too much? Simplify things! www.ActualOrganics.com


Consumerism and comparisons

Consumerism is everywhere, television, mobile phones, internet and magazines, the radio all vying for our attention and hard-earnt money.  Learn how to avoid getting caught up in consumerism.

Consumerism,  as I say in my book, is designed to make us feel inadequate so that we buy something.  Learn more.

Shops are sneaky and manipulate how their structure their prices and offers, this is a must-read article it will change how you look at a restaurant menu and pricing in stores and online!

Comparisons can be healthy and drive us to make changes but when they are constant and result in negative self-talk that is when it is wise to quit the comparisons.


Could you have a day where you 'buy nothing'? www.ActualOrganics.com


Buy Nothing Month

This is one way to reset your life, literally buying nothing for a month, only essential fresh food is allowed! It helps to get us out of the habit of buying, which is a money-saving tip too!

Learn more about a Buy Nothing Month.

Learn to simplify your bedroom

How to simplify your email inbox


Further reading:

FREE DOWNLOAD  Actual-Organics-decluttering-plan

Meal planning guide download, download it here.

How to create a healthy habit

3 ways consumerism ruins us, learn more.
Follow us: @actualorganics on Twitter | actualorganics on Facebook
©Actual OrganicsTM -2015 This article is © Copyright – All rights reserved – ActualOrganics


Choice enemy of happiness


As I was deciding what to watch on television while I did the ironing today, I realized there’s too much choice.

I recently joined Netflix Canada and WOW there is a huge amount of choice, fortunately including all the great British TV dramas.


Can choice be too much? Simplify things! www.ActualOrganics.com

Choice: enemy of happiness.

We have the illusion that choice is a good thing. I am not sure that too much choice is a good thing. We are hugely fortunate, living in British Columbia, where we have an inordinate number of choices about everything in all areas of our life.

So many places throughout the world are struggling to breaking point; either through war, ripping the very fabric of society apart, creating refugees and immense suffering, or horrific illness taking hold, bringing fear, division and crippling grief.


Immense material choice can be toxic and create unhappiness when really there is no real reason for it.  (tweet that!) 

If there were only two kinds of coffee beans in the shop, we’d buy one or other and likely be grateful for having them. Having a choice of organic, fair trade, shade-grown and 40 different brands means we stand wondering, “Did I buy the right one?”

Yes, we’ve all been there! On matters larger than our bag of coffee such as phones, clothes, cars and other “necessities” the stress or anxiety can be proportionally greater.

I’m not suggesting we get all “Pollyanna,” but simplifying life and having less stuff means we have to make less choices. This can bring a deep sense of gratitude and peace when vast choice becomes less appealing.

Acceptance of “enough” is just that, enough. (Brene Brown writes more about this).


Why choice is the enemy of happiness

As I say in more depth in my book: “advertising gives the impression that you are not good enough, young enough, clever enough or healthy enough or whatever the advert is selling.”

Such choice creates a sense of inadequacy, which is largely unfounded.

You are you, not perfect, likely a bit of a mess (we all are, aren’t we?) and perhaps need a bit more sleep, but you’re you. Unique. As it says in Ephesians 2:10 “I am God’s workmanship.” Pretty cool to know, or at least I think so!


This January, I am taking my own advice and adopting simplicity, being organized and doing less. I’m also doing a Buy Nothing January.


You read that right, I am doing less. Less is more. I am not overloading my schedule; I am accepting I can’t do it all.


I am savouring the simple things: a walk with a friend, a letter from family, a home-cooked meal and leaving the washing up until morning!

I am meal planning (download a free planner) which takes away the choice of “what’s for dinner” at 5 p.m. I already know at 9 a.m. and the day feels easier, somehow, having planned meals for the day and week.

Happiness is not my circumstances, happiness is a conscious personal decision to seek peace through simplicity each day rather than putting immense pressure on myself and feeling bad.

You have a choice today. Will you grab the fun, crazy, messy thing that is called life? Yes? Good, the world needs you to be you.

– See more at: http://www.whistlerquestion.com/opinion/columnists/non-toxic-living-why-choice-is-the-enemy-of-happiness-1.1728684#sthash.Yc1pGxMB.dpuf