Let's face it, we are all busy. As women whether we work outside of the home, are stay at home moms, are going back to school or entrepreneurs, we can all use some down time. What better time to practice self-love and pamper ourselves than during this season of love? Here are 5 No-Cost ways to pamper yourself this Valentines:
1. Light a candle and soak in the tub.
The scent of the candle and flicker of the flame will engage the senses for a relaxing time. No candles on hand? No worries. Boil slices of oranges and lemons to create a wonderful citrus scent.
2. Give yourself an at-home facial.
You can make amazing skin care products with the stuff that's already in your pantry. Make a quick face scrub with coffee grounds and olive oil, or try this wonderful avocado mask recipe at the end of our Cayenne Pepper acne fighting blog. Add to the spa feel with some soothing music while you lay on the couch.
3. Cozy up to your favorite movie with your beverage of choice.
Tea, coffee, wine? It doesn't matter. As long as you enjoy it and the movie makes you laugh, cry, dream or all of the above.
4. Dance with fuzzy slippers like no-one's watching.
Remember those days when you were in to pop culture and knew the latest songs and dance moves? Even if it's been a while, your favorite oldies song is just a click away on YouTube. I dare you to leave work a half hour early put on your favorite fuzzy slippers, blast that music and shake those hips down memory lane.
5. Dress up just because you can.
We all love those days when we can stay in pajamas all day. But doesn't it feel good to get really dressed up sometimes? Who cares if you have nowhere to go? Even if your husband and children are the only ones who see you, it will be worth it. Take selfies or better yet, get your family or girl-friends involved. Have them take pictures and turn it into a mini glamour shoot.
We hope you feel the love this Valentines. Enjoy the roses and chocolate but remember to take the time to love yourself.
"Remember that great love and great achievements involve risk" - Dalai Lama
People often ask me how I could leave a successful, decade long career in engineering and management to embark on a risky venture to serve survivors of human trafficking through Apple Rose Beauty. To be honest, in my low moments of doubt the question fleetingly crosses my own mind.
The answer is always the same, though. I was and am "compelled by love". For me it has always been a question of "how could I not do everything I know how to do to help save even a few?"
From the moment my heart was broken for the cause of human trafficking in Thailand when I met Apple, a young woman trapped in human trafficking, and where I lived for a month, teaching survivors English, I knew I would spend the rest of my life serving them and fighting for them.
On a cool, quiet Thursday night, crimes of all types unfurl on South Figueroa Street.
This is one of the main tracks for prostitution in Los Angeles, a strip where sex can be purchased from teenage girls on almost any given corner, where pimps, some of them gang affiliated, carefully guard their turf and property.
At about 200 blocks, most of them rough, the Fig, as it’s called, can hide a lot. In April it was hiding a 16-year-old named Stacey, missing since December.
She contacted a cousin on Facebook earlier that month, using someone else’s phone. She was with a pimp, she said. Then a big break: She called her mother from a blocked number, saying she didn’t know where she was and that she was scared.
As you know, Apple Rose Beauty was founded to address the crime of human trafficking, perpetuated mostly against women. Another crime that targets mostly women is domestic violence. But what many of us were unaware of was the link between this crime and animal abuse. According to a recent article by Huffington Post, there seems to be a direct link between occurrences of animal abuse and domestic violence.
"It is common for abusers to attack their victim's loved pets during the onset or the aftermath of incidents of domestic violence. In these cases, the abuser seems to be sending the message, 'See what you make me do?' But contrary to his claim that he 'lost control', or 'was provoked,' the abuser is actually attempting to exert control by choosing behavior that is designed to frighten, terrorize, or punish his partner. As one abuser, who had left his wife with two black eyes, once related when I asked if he had punched his wife, "No I would never hit her like a man!" If in fact, he really 'lost control', as he claimed, he would have been able to consistently choose his violent behavior, or to seek credit for slapping rather than punching his partner. One victim told me, "It's always my cat that gets kicked, never his."
The underlying logic of such violence is to punish his partner for her defiance by telling her, "That could have been you," or "You're next," or by proclaiming, "See what happens when you make me mad?" In these cases, pets are used as props for reinforcing the abuser's rules, whether these are explicit or implied. It is no accident that the abuser is targeting his partner's and/or his children's cherished pets. Injuring or killing a pet represents a step-up from damaging or destroying the victim's inanimate property."
Allure Magazine just came out with the "20 Funniest Beauty Memes Ever". I had to share this good laugh with you. Happy Monday, Hump day or whatever day you're reading this. Below are my favorites and the link to the article with the others :)
Funny how that happens!
It's the age of the selfie - they can come in handy.
I hope you enjoyed these. Check out the others on Allure's website here.
Just five years ago Alyssa Beck never thought she would be working in finance and administration at Rethreaded, a non-profit organization in Jacksonville, FL. Five years ago she was a victim of Human Trafficking. Today she is a survivor and shares her story to pave the way for other girls. Her goal? "To show them (survivors) that there is nothing to be ashamed of and it is possible to heal."
Rethreaded is one of the organizations that you support with your purchase of Apple Rose Beauty organic skin care. Your Apple Rose Beauty purchases support the fight to end human trafficking by providing life-giving work for human trafficking survivors and financial support for organizations involved in their rescue and rehabilitation. We partner with organizations around the globe to see true freedom brought to the lives of men, women and children trapped in this atrocious system of modern day slavery. We want to open your eyes to the impact you are making and share the amazing stories of lives changed by your support. This is the second story in our Survivor Story Series. See the last story here.
Ok, so Apple Rose Beauty has nothing to do with desserts, or anything edible for that matter - well other than the fact that our skin care formulations are made with natural and organic ingredients that may be food grade :). Apple and Rose were actually the names of two women caught in human trafficking that I met in Thailand ... but I digress. When a friend of mine posted this Baked Apple Roses video to my Facebook timeline I couldn't help but share it on this site! Seriously it's so creative and looks so yummy. Try it for the holidays and let me know if it's a hit with your family and friends!
As you know, your Apple Rose Beauty purchases support the fight to end human trafficking by providing life-giving work for human trafficking survivors and financial support for organizations involved in their rescue and rehabilitation. We partner with organizations around the globe to see true freedom brought to the lives of men, women and children trapped in this atrocious system of modern day slavery. We want to open your eyes to the impact you are making and share the amazing stories of lives changed by your support. So we are introducing our Survivor Story Series. Many of these stories will be told in the voice of the survivor as they have shared them with us.
Today we would like to introduce you to Jo. Jo is from Thailand and was rescued from a life of coercion and exploitation by one of our partner organizations in Thailand, Samaritan Creations. I (Kristy) have personally met Jo and worked alongside her at Samaritan Creations in Bangkok. She has one of the biggest, most generous hearts I have come across. When in the presence of her contagious smile and warm conversation, it is hard to imagine the hardships she has lived through and survived. But survived she has and she helps others as she lives and tells her story. Here's Jo …
"My name is Jo and I am 36 years old. Growing up, home was not a safe place. My father was an abusive alcoholic and gambling addict. Neither of my parents cared much for me or helped me grow up. I came to Bangkok for the first time after I dropped out of school in 6th grade. My first job was in construction. I worked long hours mixing concrete and carrying wood and metal around the construction site.
When I saw others my age who had happy lives with families who cared and provided for them, I felt so rejected by my own family. People would tell me how ugly I was which only added to my feelings of worthlessness.
I got married when I was 17. I thought he was the love of my life and that he would take care of me and our children. We were very poor so he went to work in Singapore, leaving me to take care of our three kids. He worked there for four years, returning once for a visit two years in. During that visit, I learned that he frequently visited prostitutes while he was in Singapore. By the end of his time in Singapore, our family was completely broken.
I started drinking, gambling, and sleeping with other men to cope. I thought I was justified since he cheated on me first. It did not take long for our relationship to end permanently.
I realized that, with all my gambling and drinking, I was not providing for my children as I needed to. I left them with my mother so I could go find work.
I went to Pattaya, a town in Thailand known for its bars and prostitution. The man who drove me there said he had connections and could get me a job, if I slept with him first. I worked at the bar that he brought me to for two and a half months, servicing men. I lived in the space above the bar with many of the other girls. It was miserable. It was so small and everyone was on drugs and addicted to alcohol.
Because I was so ugly, I made very little money at the bar. I sent almost all of the money back home to my mother and children. I was miserable. Every day before my shift started, I walked along the beach praying to the spirits in the trees. I begged for a better life. But the trees were silent.
I moved back to Bangkok, hoping to make more money there. I thought my life would be better there, but it only got worse. I could not get customers at the bars so I had to go to the streets which threw me in the path of the worst men. I would sleep with men who refused to pay me afterwards or with men who were horribly abusive and used me for their own sadistic sport. I wanted to leave the bars, but I didn’t have any other way to support myself or my family. I felt trapped.
One day a group from Samaritan Creations came and told me that they had a ministry that could help me. They would teach me to sew and make jewelry and pay me. I decided to accept their help. Shortly after, I left the bar and came to live and work at the organization. 9 years ago, God met me there and began to remake my life. I finally found the love that I had been looking for. For the first time in my life, I experienced the love of God and of people who wanted the best for me.
I was so broken and empty when I left the bar. I never thought I would find people who cared about me. I married a godly man and we have four children together. I plan to go back to my village to care for my aging mother and share Jesus with her and the rest of my village."
Jo has been working at Samaritan Creations for 9 years now. Her dignity is restored and her life is restored. Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jo.
Are you in the medical field or work in healthcare? Did you know that nurses and physicians are often in a unique position to identify and help a victim of human trafficking? According to a 2014 study, 88% of human trafficking survivors reported having some kind of contact with the healthcare system while they were trafficked. Sadly, though, a survey conducted by Physicians Against Human Trafficking (PATH), showed that more than 70% of physicians claimed they would not know what to do if they encountered a victim of sex trafficking.
Here are the top 10 things medical practitioners should look for to help identify a human trafficking victim, according to a recent article in Physicians Weekly:
Bruising, scars, burns, cuts, especially those in non-apparent places
Multiple STD or pregnancy tests
Fearful, anxious or depressed mood
Cash payments, no insurance
A third party may speak for the patient and not allow them to speak
Substance addiction or the appearance of withdrawal symptoms
Lying about age
Patient transient or no address (or the patient doesn’t know what city he/she is in)
Tattoo of a name or strange symbol
“Trafficking victims are frequently tattooed with the name of their trafficker, or the trafficker has some sort of tag that’s an identifying tag, so that if the victim tries to run away she can be readily identified by other pimps as the property of her trafficker,” says Lori Cohen, Director, Anti-Trafficking Initiative Sanctuary for Families in a PATH video. “If a healthcare provider asks the right questions in an environment that’s not judgmental and where a message is being communicated that this is being asked to help the individual, in many cases, a victim will be able to disclose what her experience has been.”
The article also lists the following intervention techniques:
Do not react in the moment or act shocked if a young person decides to disclose their situation. This can be interpreted the wrong way, as a reaction or disgust toward the victim.
Protect the patient’s identity and privacy even before anyone else is called in: the moment the healthcare provider suspects the patient trafficking victim, change the patient’s name in the records, providing alias.
Write the patient a prescription for a follow up for some medical indication, otherwise you may never see that patient again.
Get the patient alone, especially if they are accompanied by a controlling companion who insists on answering providers’ questions.
Ask your patient if s/he’d like the police involved. Patients should be assured that what they are telling physicians will be kept confidential. They should also be aware that there are times when they are a mandatory reporter.
Avoid the rescue fantasy. This impulse is normal and harmful. Intervening prematurely or without patient consent compromises trust. Physicians can’t fix the situation but may be able to provide a stepping stone in a potentially long path. “Intervening can be very complicated. Trust is key. If a doctor can continue to communicate that they are concerned about you—we want to help you, we’re not going to force you to do anything you don’t want to do—it gives the patient space to believe that this is someone who really cares about her,” says Cohen.
How to Report Human Trafficking
National Human Trafficking Resource Center (888-3737-888)
Text “BeFree” (233733)
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (800-THE-LOST)
Do you know that the packaging your skin-care products are in can determine whether the product works for you and for how long it remains effective? Here is an excerpt from an Allure Magazine article I read last week:
"The world of skin-care packaging is a little like online dating: A pretty appearance can draw you in, but that doesn't mean it's going to last. Some packages make products expire faster than you'd think."
At Apple Rose Beauty, we pay a lot of attention to selecting the right packaging for our products. Not only is our packaging environmentally friendly, but because our products are natural and organic, like anything in nature that's not stuffed with preservatives, they can break down quickly if not adequately protected. This is why many of our products come in airtight pumps and our vitamin C serum comes in an amber colored glass pump bottle. We want them to work for you for as long as you use them.
According to the article, "Air tight pumps are good for Anti-aging products with ingredients like peptides, growth factors, antioxidants, and retinol; formulas intended for use on sensitive skin (since they are less likely to become contaminated by potential irritants).
Medicine droppers are not good for supersensitive ingredients, like vitamin C. Serums with the unstable ingredient are nonetheless sometimes packaged in this type of dispenser because they give the feeling of a professional treatment. But because they don't protect against air exposure, droppers can cause those types of formulas to expire more rapidly."
Note: Scroll to the bottom for a DIY Cayenne Face Mask recipe.
I must admit. I like spicy food. If you're familiar with the Apple Rose Beauty story you know that it was named after two women caught in the web of human trafficking who I met in Thailand. I loved meeting Apple and Rose but another reason I fell in love with Thailand was their abundance of spicy, flavorful foods. In many places where spicy food is common, like the Caribbean and South America, the key ingredient is the spice, Cayenne. However, did you know that Cayenne doesn't just add flavor to foods, but it also has healing properties? In fact, in the U.S. Cayenne played an important role in Native American medicine for many years.
Put cayenne to the test for your acne and acne scars. You can try a generous sample of our organic skin care's cayenne cleanser in our basic skincare kit for $10. You will also receive a $10 coupon that you can use to purchase the full-size product if you like it. So the sample kit is essentially free!
Prince of Spices
Cayenne is one of those secret herbs known as “the price of spices” that has been used for centuries and is now backed by science to address numerous medical issues. It has been used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines to help treat circulatory problems and increase appetite. There is even research, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, that shows that the active ingredient in Cayenne, capsaicin, can effectively treat serious skin issues like psoriasis. Capsaicin is also commonly used for the treatment of aches and pains of the muscles and joints.
But psoriasis is not the only skin ailment that Cayenne is known to treat. It is also used to treat acne and acne scars.
Keep reading to see why it works and how you can try a diy recipe yourself. Also check out the amazing reviews on our cayenne infused Nourish Naturally Cleanser!
Why does it work for Acne?
According to medical news today not only does Cayenne contain the amazing capsaicin active ingredient, but it is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, potassium, manganese and antioxidants called flavanoids. All of these vitamins and antioxidants have numerous benefits to the skin such as vitamin C increasing collagen production and reducing acne discoloration and vitamin B6 soothing redness and fading dark spots. Capsaicin is also a counter-irritant in that it brings blood to the surface and allows the toxins to be taken away. It is anti-inflammatory and therefore soothing. It's richness in vitamins and antioxidants and its soothing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-allergen and anti-irritant properties make Cayenne perfect for tackling acne and acne scars. And that's not all, capsaicin is also a great natural preservative, perfect for increasing the shelf-life of natural skin care products, making them effective in fighting acne longer.
If you're on the more adventurous DIY side, try the natural cayenne face-mask recipe below.
DIY Cayenne Mask
This natural recipe from A Girl's Gotta Spa website contains Cayenne and is balanced with avocado to help fight acne breakouts. Be careful with how much cayenne you use!
½ Riped Avocado 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (if you have sensitive skin, use 1/2 teaspoon) 1 teaspoon of raw cocoa powder
Directions: Mix raw cocoa powder and cayenne pepper then blend avocado into mix until the texture is smooth.
Use it to: Increase blood flow and circulation and fight off breakouts. It is enriched with vitamins A and C, beta-carotene and antioxidants.
So there you have it. The list of medical uses of Cayenne goes on and on and reads like a who's who list of ailments. Who knew? It is used to heal ulcers, boost the immune system, aid digestion, treat nausea, scrofula, shingles, rheumatism, arthritis, pleurisy, Raynauds disease, bunions, pleuritis and pericarditis. It is used as a tonic for the heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach, and has been indicated for preventing heart disease. It can be used as a general stimulant to build up resistance at the beginning of a cold, tonsillitis, laryngitis, hoarseness and for swollen lymph glands. Recently, Cayenne has even been used successfully to treat patients with cluster headaches, a particularly painful type of headache. Wow is there anything this spice can't do?
Add some Cayenne to your diet and skin care routine and let us know how it works for you! Or have you used Cayenne before to help with medical issues? We would love to hear about your experience.
Child sex trafficking and exploitation would not exist if there was not a demand side to the equation. The horrific recent developments surrounding Subway's ex pitchman, Jared Fogle, shows that demand still exists. Apple Rose Beauty's vision, to employ survivors of human trafficking and donate to organizations involved in their rescue and rehabilitation, addresses the supply-side of the equation. What are your thoughts on ways to address the demand?