Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas: Organic Body Souffle

Winter is truly encroaching on our soft hands game.  As much as we would loveee to get a mani and pedi every week, our pocket books shiver at the thought.  There are other ways, however, that you can pamper your pretty toes and fingers (men too, don’t be afraid to feel pretty).  Inner Sanctum + Wellness, a local small business in Oak Park, reached out to us to try a sample of their Organic Whipped Body Souffle and give an honest review.

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Regina Thomas Dillard, owner, was inspired to create her natural beauty line due to her holistic upbringing.  Her maternal grandmother and mother collected herbs and roots to heal the body and for topical skin treatments and Regina observed carefully.

After her baby daughter was born with an acute case of eczema, Regina turned to researching her mother and grandmother’s remedies and found curative results.  She later became a teacher at the Oak Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, facilitating workshops like “Cooking with Herbs.”  Regina delved deeper exploring more natural remedies for the skin.

Regina muses about the care she takes in creating her products: “When I select oils, I try at best to find purveyors in the countries where the oils are sourced.  For instance, I currently purchase my lavender oils from a supplier in the Southern region of France and my tea tree oil from a supplier in Auckland, Australia. While oils vary greatly, as many claim to be the best on the market, I’m always on the lookout for essential oils which are high in quality, but cost-effective in order maintain a competitive price point”.

First thoughts:

Monica doesn’t utilize lotion that much and Kate is picky with her scents sooo we got some dry snaky skin over here, no lie.  Body butters can be a turn off too when they are too greasy and you find your skin sticking to your couch.

The Body Butta’ Breakdown

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Our Body Souffle: Ritual

Ingredients:

Vitamin E for healthy skin, almond and avocado oils, with mango butter, swirled with essential oils.

Appearance:

All of Inner Sanctum + Wellness Body Souffles are Whhhhippped (like Stewie Griffin says) to perfection.   Kate kept joking that she was going to take a sample taste (note: don’t do this…it isn’t edible) as it looks like whipped butter or light fluffy whipped cream.

Texture:

Luxurious with a soft and creamy feel.  The body butter was non-greasy and massaged into the skin quite easily.

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Scent:

Monica and Kate’s husband battled over who would keep the body butter because of its woodsy winter scent.  Ritual blends frankincense and myrrh for a delicate aroma that stays lightly on the skin.  Kate is more of fruity person so she snatched the mini lavender eucalyptus scent and breathed in deeply to destress and decongest.

Other Available Products:

Inner Sanctum + Wellness carries bath and body oils, exfoliators, milk baths, and even home products like (YAY) yoga mat sprays.

Final thoughts?

Ready to slather yourself in butter?  Sexy body butter that is…just in time for Valentine’s dayyy (cue the Barry White music).  Inner Sanctum + Wellness products can be found at events around Chicagoland and on Etsy or shop directly at http://www.shop-isw.com/ and signup for updates.

Upcoming Events featuring Inner Sanctum and Wellness:

JANUARY
23 An Evening of Giving Back Event (7pm-1am)
One-Stop Productions, Chicago, IL

FEBRUARY
11 Sweets For the Sweetie Valentine’s Event (6-10pm)
Normandy Banquets, Elmhurst, IL

13 Married Couples Cross-Fit Event (8am-3pm)
Oak Brook Hills Resort, Oak Brook, IL

 

 

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Mastering the Chaturanga

2014 has already been a whirlwind of activity.  So much so, we didn’t even have time to sketch out some resolutions to ditch after January.  One thing that we consider a continued necessity in the big ’14 and not a temporary resolution is practicing yoga.  Both of us initially connected over our interest in not only getting some exercise at yoga class, but also reaping the relaxing benefits of being on the mat.  As relaxing as it can be,the dreaded asana, chaturanga, has never been the yoga move that made us swoon.  In fact, it has been of particular frustration at times, especially after 12 Sun Salutations  in a row (*shaking fist at yoga teachers!!).

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Chaturanga (chah-tuur-ANGH-uh) Dandasana (dahn-DAHS-uh-nuh) means “four limbs staff pose” and is part of the sun salutation sequence.  Corepower Yoga in Oak Park/River Forest recently put on a Chaturanga workshop and we were intrigued as well as afraid.  Mon ended up welcoming a new family into the world the eve of the workshop (YAAAY!), so I was left on my own to brave the unknown.

Julia and Laura were the fearless yoga leaders who walked the class through a crazy amount of variations of chatarungas.  Some of the most important points they made were*:

1) No need to do chaturangas every day.  This could lead to a possible tennis elbow injury or overuse of the shoulder (aka dang my rotator cuff is jacked).

2) A strap could be your best yoga bud for this pose.  If you wrap it around your forearms, when you go down to the bottom of the chaturanga pose with your 90% elbows at the sides of your ribcage, it gently pushes on the front of the rib cage and shows you if you’re in the right position.

*Since I am not a personal trainer or yoga teacher, do not take my advice and start slugging it out as I don’t have to money to pay for your urgent care bills.  Here’s Mind Body Yoga’s step-by-step how-to on correct form or watch the video by Lululemon.

I was surprised because we actually got a full workout during the workshop and talked through all these variations of chaturanga.

  1. Basic chaturanga – Got it down!
  2. 1 legged chaturanga – A little harder
  3. Crow to chaturanga – Umm I flopped around like an injured crow.  Best advice was use your core not your legs to propel yourself out.  At least the girl in front of me was flopping too.
  4. Forward fold to chaturanga – Somehow managed to fake it
  5. Standing splits to chaturanga – Yeah I just watched and admired the class at this point.

Even if you’ve been practicing yoga for a long time, I think it’s pretty essential to get some walk through on proper form and in my yoga class on Sunday, I felt more confident and comfortable when completing my chaturangas.  Want to get your own yoga scholar time on?  Corepower Yoga is being awesome to the community and offering another free workshop on February 8th for back bends.  Contact the studio for more details.

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Reverse Warrior sequence with Corepower Yoga OPRF Julia (left) and Laura (right).

Thanks to Julia, Laura and Morgan, studio owner of Corepower Yoga OPRF, for hosting me.  See y’all on the mat!