Home Tips: Indoor Plant Care

A huge trend during the pandemic is buying houseplants! Some of us already had numerous “plant children” while others are just discovering the beauty that is an indoor plant. Indoor plants can elevate the mood and look of any room in the interior of your home along with naturally purifying the air. Check out our basic tips on how to maintain your new indoor houseplants!

MODERATION

Our most crucial tip before jumping into plant parenthood would be– everything in moderation. All plants require water, light, and food, but the trick to success is to practice moderation! Additionally, let’s think about the native climate for the majority of our houseplants. Your goal is to imitate that environment as closely as possible without going overboard.

SOIL

Contrary to popular belief, there is not a one size fits all soil for plants. Most plants do thrive in an organic soil, while orchids are incredibly picky when it comes to soil. Make sure you do research on the most ideal soil specific to your houseplant breed.

WATERING

Most of the time, people are concerned they aren’t watering enough, when in fact they are watering far too much! Unless noted otherwise, most houseplants would prefer being slightly dry than soaking wet. That means a watering schedule of once or twice a week is suitable for most plants, where you water the plant thoroughly but infrequently. It is best to pour water onto the soil at a slow, deliberate pace, until the water starts escaping from the drainage holes of the container. That’s your signal to stop watering!

LIGHTING

Light is just as important as water. All plants need light to carry out their necessary biological processes. It is a process called– photosynthesis. Although all plants need some light to grow, some plants require a lot less than others. Think again of their native habitat and imagine the dark undergrowth where these plants thrive. They receive heavily filtered light but still keep on kicking.

FERTILIZING

Although plants carry out photosynthesis to process the sugars they need to survive, they also need a more direct form of food to carry out growing processes. Providing fertilizers to your houseplants helps ensure they will remain happy and healthy. The food can be delivered via a granule that breaks down over time, or it can be added more directly via a water soluble fertilizer. Granules generally need to be applied once every few months, while water soluble fertilizers should be applied every two weeks or so. Read the directions on a specific fertilizer to see what is recommended.

TEMPERATURE, AIR FLOW, & ROTATING

Aim to keep the plant in a warm environment with some air circulation, and rotate its face. Almost all houseplants need a minimum temperature of 55ºF to survive. Keep plants away from areas of cold drafts in the winter. The warmer it gets for houseplants, the happier they are! Rotate your plant every few days to keep everything in balance.

 

 

Streaming: Father’s Day Movies

Some of us are spending more and more time with our families during this quarantine while others may be physically far away from their families under different circumstances. Nonetheless, these Father’s Day Movies can be watched together, separately, or just for kicks. Fathers and father figures look different depending on the family, but there are enough movies to celebrate all these differences. Check out our list of movies that celebrate the dads in your life, no matter what “dad” means to you! 

 

Daddy Day Care 

This early 2000s comedy stars Eddie Murphy as the ultimate stay-at-home dad. After losing his job, Charlie Hinton (Murphy) is conflicted about how to care for his young son, and settles on starting a home childcare center for him and other neighborhood children. He might have to deal with overprotective parents, mischievous kids, and the threat of getting shut down by the authorities, but he still gets to spend quality time with his son.

 

Father’s Day 

Jack (Billy Crystal), a cynical lawyer, and Dale (Robin Williams), a depressed writer, have one thing in common: Collette (Nastassja Kinski), the woman they each dated. When Collette enlists them to help her search for her runaway teenage son, Scott, there might also be a little paternity issue at stake.

 

Cheaper By the Dozen

An iconic American family manages to steal our hearts despite their crazy antics in this 2003 comedy. Steve Martin stars as the head of an unusually large household, which has to relocate thanks to his character’s new job. After settling into a new town, new house, and a new school, the kids face the challenge of making friends, battling bullies, and sticking together as a family.

 

Big Daddy 

Sonny (Adam Sandler) is 32 but doesn’t act his age. That is, until he has to care for an abandoned five-year-old (played by baby Dylan and Cole Sprouse), who turns out to be the biological child of his out-of-town roommate. Sonny fills in as a paternal figure in the meantime and ends up teaching the kid some, um, unconventional lessons. But it’s Big Daddy who does most of the growing up.

 

Mrs. Doubtfire

Sometimes fatherly love means dressing in drag to get to spend more time with your children. When divorcé Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) is given limited face time with his children, he comes up with a plan to still be their parent—kind of. He dresses up as an old woman and gets hired as their nanny, of course. Mrs. Doubtfire is one of Williams’ iconic roles, and it’s still a squirmer to watch him switch between his dad self and his alter-ego, getting in and out of wigs and sticking his face in cakes.

Status on Reopening of Gyms, Movie Theaters, and Schools

As we enter the next phase of the reopening of California within Los Angeles, there are many guidelines unique to the particular place of interest that we will need to follow. The Mayor of Los Angeles issued a statement on social media regarding what will be open on June 12th, and what he is holding off on. 

In alignment with the County of L.A., gyms and fitness centers, museums, galleries, hotels for leisure and day camps, and their pools within the City of L.A. may reopen Friday. Film, TV, and music production can resume. Stadiums and arenas can resume without spectators.

Every business that is reopening is required to implement the County’s detailed public health protocols. Physical distancing and wearing face coverings will be required. Protocols and guidelines can be found at Coronavirus.LACity.org/Business.

There are still many types of businesses and activities that will remain closed: nail salons, tattoo shops, bars and wineries, movie theaters, concert halls, arcades, and bowling alleys. All gatherings and parties, inside or outside, are still not allowed.”

OPEN IN LOS ANGELES:

Gyms

In order to reopen, fitness facilities are told that they should require patrons to wear face coverings (at least while they enter and exit the facility). During the work out it is optional to wear face masks but encouraged to do so if they can do so. It was common courtesy at the gym is for the patron to wipe down the equipment after they use it — this is something that is now required. Equipment is required to be spaced out by at least six feet. 

See more guidelines here: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-fitness.pdf 

Have yet to open in LOS ANGELES:

Movie Theaters (and other family entertainment establishments) 

Movie theaters, bowling alleys, miniature golf courses, batting cages, and arcades are allowed to reopen on Friday, June 12th in the state of CA. However, the city of Los Angeles is postponing the opening of these establishments. When they do open, they are all required to cap their capacity at a much lower rate. For example, movie theaters are limited to 25% of the theater or a maximum of 100 people — whichever number is lower. Theaters are encouraged to promote physical distancing, use disposable or washable seat covers, and provide the means to disinfect hands for patrons. 

See more guidelines here: https://covid19.ca.gov/pdf/guidance-family-entertainment.pdf 

Schools 

Schools in California will be allowed to reopen on June 12th, but most won’t reopen until the next school year as most are already out on a summer break. School districts are currently convening to make sure they are in compliance with the list of health and safety guidelines released by the Department of Education. Within the list of guidelines that they must remain compliant on are keeping students spaced out by at least 6 feet in the classroom, staff to wear a face mask or shield, eliminating self-service buffets, and implementing a staggering of start times by grade or class to lower the number of bodies passing by others. 

See more guidelines here: https://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/hn/documents/strongertogether.pdf

 

Out and About: Santa Ynez Valley Wine Trip

With your vacation plans on hold perhaps you’re up for a day trip!  Many Santa Ynez Valley wineries are open and waiting to host you. It’s been a tough, lonely time in the wine country.
On May 29 they were permitted to reopen! Many wineries are open. Traditional tastings are not permitted. What is permitted is even better. Wineries must serve food, so relax and enjoy it! Rather than traditional tastings, there is wine by the bottle or glass. Some wineries have wine flights. The County of Santa Barbara helped wineries that have not traditionally served food to get rushed permits. If you have been to the Santa Barbara wine country, we are sure you’re ready for a trip back!  If not your in for a treat. The food and wine are great, but the real treat is the beauty of the area and the short drive! Hotels are open as well.

Below is a list of some of the wineries that are currently open. Most are only open Friday to Sunday. To maintain proper social distancing they are limiting the number of guests, so check their websites and make an appointment!

Alma Rosa Winery
Babcock Winery & Vineyards
Brick Barn Wine Estate
Casa Dumetz Wines
Dierberg & Star Lane
Epiphany Wine Co.
Hitching Post Wines
Laetitia Vineyards and Winery
Jamie Slone Wines
Lafond Winery & Vineyards
Margerum Wine Company
Melville Winery
Pence Vineyards & Winery
Presqu’ile Winery
SAMsARA Wine Co.
Santa Barbara Winery
Stolpman Vineyards
Photo by George Rose/Getty Images
Sunstone Winery 
The Vincent Family Estate Vineyards & Winery

Streaming: Newly Added Movies on Major Streaming Platforms

When it comes to streaming services, each major streaming platform offers a large variety of movies and television shows to stream. As things get more and more competitive than ever with streaming viewers on the rise, these platforms are constantly adding more and more content to their platforms to remain up to date with their competitors. Check out these movies coming to the major streaming platforms in June 2020. 

Knives Out 

Available on Amazon Prime to stream June 12th.

Storyline: When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. Written by Lionsgate

 

Ad Astra 

Available on HBO Max to stream June 6th. 

Storyline: Astronaut Roy McBride (Brad Pitt) travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet. His journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our place in the cosmos.

 

Shirley

Available to stream on Hulu June 5th. 

Storyline: As renowned for her morose nature as she is for her horror fiction, writer Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss) is crafting yet another masterpiece when the arrival of newlyweds Fred and Rose disrupt her creative process and marriage to a literary critic – and philandering professor – Stanley Hyman (Michael Stuhlbarg). As Stanley spars to maintain academic dominance over his would-be protégé Fred, Rose attempts to dampen her own ambitions and adjust to married life while living under the roof of their fiery intellectual hosts with quicksilver loyalties and myriad neuroses. When the motives of Shirley’s literary muse prove elusive, Rose’s curiosity and trusting nature make her tender prey for a brilliant author whose only allegiance is to her work. Written by Mae Moreno

 

Lady Bird 

Available to stream on Netflix June 3rd. 

Storyline: Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a high school senior from the “wrong side of the tracks”. She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds none of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. This movie follows the title character’s senior year in high school, including her first romance, her participation in the school play, and most importantly, her applying for college. Written by Dehlia

 

Artemis Fowl 

Available to stream on DisneyPlus June 12th. 

Storyline: Artemis Fowl, a young criminal prodigy, hunts down a secret society of fairies to find his missing father. Perfect movie for the family that will be premiering on DisneyPlus! 

 

Home Tips: Outdoor Living in Style

Quarantine or not, for many people, this will be the summer of the staycation. And if you are planning to spend the next few months at home — rather than hop on a plane or venture to a not-so-socially-distant destination — now may also be the time to update your outdoor living area. With a little work, whatever space you have can be transformed into a modern getaway-at-home with fresh air and style to spare. Here are a few upgrades and current trends to consider:

Fire it up

Who doesn’t love gathering with friends and family around a fire under the stars? So is it any surprise fire pits and outdoor fireplaces continue to endure — and grow — in popularity? First, they provide a center of interest and activity. Second, they give you more time to spend enjoying the outdoors —into the night and throughout the cooler months. And if you don’t want to burn wood and clean up ash, gas-fueled fireplaces eliminate the need altogether. Plus, creative homeowners can customize using different building materials other than simple brick and stone.

Movies al fresco

Drive-in theaters are surging in popularity, but there are also other ways to adapt to shuttered cinemas during what would normally be the kickoff to the summer movie season. One possibility: creating your own outdoor movie theater at home. By investing in a screen and projector, loved ones can gather to thrill to a blockbuster under the stars.

Show your colors

Faced with a concrete patio floor as flat and plain as, well, concrete? Add some life and texture with masonry stain or even resurface it with slate tiles. For a less work-intensive solution, splash some color around — whether with a sustainable, water-proof outdoor rug, pillows for the patio furniture or a deck umbrella to provide both personality and shade. And as always, plants can be relied upon to generate bursts of color and warmth in even the dreariest of spaces.

Take the party outside

With the current emphasis on staying at home as well as maintaining a physical distance from others, it only makes sense homeowners would turn to their own backyards to throw parties and entertain friends and family. Not surprisingly then, online searches for outdoor bars have reportedly more than doubled year over year. As well, online searches for outdoor kitchens have increased. And as we all know, the heart of any great party is the kitchen.

Turn on the lights

Outdoor lighting can be key to creating aura and atmosphere. String lighting, for instance, is an especially popular choice. While there are plug-in kits that are simple to install, you might also want to consider solar lights, which require neither batteries nor wiring. LEDs have made solar lights especially appealing to homeowners because they consume less power and can therefore last for hours on stored-up energy alone.

Mixing and matching

Whether in the form of furniture or as a decorative element, rope has emerged as a hot design trend for outdoor spaces, allowing homeowners to experiment with mixing and matching fabrics and materials — from wood and wicker to string and aluminum. Used judiciously, woven rope can add a touch of warmth and compliment colder materials such as steel. More practically, rope is durable, meaning it can weather wind and rain for years.

Streaming: Classic Summer Movies

If summer is a state of mind, it can’t truly be cancelled. So despite the uncertainty surrounding the next few months, what better way to rekindle the mood and possibly a few memories of summers past than by sitting down to enjoy a classic summer movie? From camp counselors to amusement parks to kids (and parents) facing the prospect of those dreaded family vacations, it’s the next best thing to lugging the surf, sand and hot sun into your home.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Streaming On: Netflix

“Righteous dude” Ferris Bueller gives Matthew Broderick his signature role as a slick suburban slacker with everything: a wise, beautiful girlfriend, a loyal best friend, a penchant for cutting classes, and the near-superhuman ability to never suffer the consequences. With graduation nearing, Ferris takes one last day off to enjoy the city of Chicago in a “borrowed” Ferrari. The late director John Hughes is known for deeply-felt teen films like The Breakfast Club, but with this clever, fourth-wall-breaking comedy, he delivered his masterwork. FOR AGES: 12 and up

Stand By Me

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

Adapted from Stephen King’s short story The Body, Rob Reiner’s coming-of-age drama finds four friends confronting life, death and their own demons during the 1959 Labor Day weekend — after which they will be set on different paths as young men. To paraphrase the film’s narrator, “I never had friends like the ones I had at 12. Does anyone?” FOR AGES: 13 and up

Dirty Dancing

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

A drowsy resort in the Catskills becomes the unlikely stage for a sweaty, salsa-stepping romance between spoiled teenager Baby (Jennifer Grey) and roguish dance instructor Johnny (Patrick Swayze). The movie’s iconic moments continue to be referenced elsewhere — from the climatic “Lift” to Johnny’s declaration, “Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” FOR AGES: 12 and up

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

Hapless family man Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) insists on driving his wife and kids from Chicago to Los Angeles only to have his well-intended attempt at “quality time” go horribly wrong at every turn. Directed by Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters), the humor is broad and crude, but for anyone who has ever endured a forced summer getaway with their family, it’s impossible not to relate — and laugh. FOR AGES: 13 and up

Wet Hot American Summer

Streaming On: Hulu

This raunch-a-thon about summer camp counselors in the 1980s bombed when it was released in 2001, but developed such a cult following that Netflix revived it as a series in 2015. Of course, it helps when your largely-unknown cast includes such now-A-listers as Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler. As the title suggests, it aims to spoof the teen sex comedies of the era. FOR AGES: 16 and up

Dazed and Confused

Streaming On: Hulu

“Alright, alright, alright” — this 1993 Richard Linklater film is best remembered for Matthew McConaughey’s breakout turn as 20-something, high school hanger-on David Wooderson, who observes of high school girls, “I get older, they stay the same age.” Set during the last day of school in 1976, the film also counts a pre-fame Ben Affleck among its ensemble. FOR AGES: 16 and up 

Adventureland

Streaming On: Hulu

When his parents tell him that he needs to get a summer job instead of traveling to Europe, James (Jesse Eisenberg) winds up working at a run-down amusement park where he meets — and bonds with — a co-worker named Emily (Kristen Stewart). Ryan Reynolds turns up in a supporting role as the park’s sleazy maintenance man. FOR AGES: 16 and up

Now and Then

Streaming On: Amazon Prime

Four childhood friends — played by Demi Moore, Rosie O’Donnell, Melanie Griffith and Rita Wilson — reunite to recall a pivotal summer in their lives. Although a critical flop in 1995, this sentimental, female-led, coming-of-age story has developed a loyal following in the decades since its release. FOR AGES: 12 and up

Home Tips: Building Your Home Gym

Maybe you’ve been waiting for the lockdown on your gym to be lifted. Or you thought a weekly energetic stroll around the neighborhood would suffice. But let’s face it: it’s been two months since your last squat or lunge and it’s finally time to assemble your own exercise regiment. But before you shop online for expensive treadmills and bikes, think again. Instead, opt for some multipurpose equipment. Here are five essentials you will want when building your home gym.

A MAT

A critical component for bodyweight work, especially pilates, stretching and, of course, yoga. After all, if you’re not comfortable on your floor kneeling and contorting, then you’re going to resist the idea of working out at all. An online search will point you to the best mats — from thick to really, really thick. Not surprisingly, they are proving quite in-demand these days.

RESISTANCE BANDS

If you want to shape your body without overspending or taking up too much space in your home, you’ll need to pick up some resistance bands. These will give you the flexibility to perform a broad range of workouts. Rowing and pulling motions will work the upper back and core, for example. For more strenuous routines such as squats, you can double or triple up on bands.

A SKIPPING ROPE

It sounds deceptively easy, but a rudimentary skipping rope can give you a worthwhile cardio workout. Skipping for half an hour or more actually increases your aerobic fortitude. It also tones the upper arms and shoulders and boosts coordination. (There is a reason why every Rocky movie includes skipping as part of the climatic workout.) More practically, you take a skipping rope wherever you go and challenge yourself with increasingly intensive moves as you improve.

KETTLEBELLS

If bodyweight training does not appeal to you, a kettlebell can offer a range of strength-focused options. It is also an effective alternative to the professional gym equipment you have been locked away from. These cannonball-shaped weights have handles, so you can grip them with one or both hands. They are measured in “pood.” One pood is the equivalent of 36.1 lbs.

A MIRROR

You don’t need a personal trainer when you have a mirror. Watching yourself work out will help you adapt your form and reduce the chance of injury. But if you want something more than that slate of glass hanging on your wall, you could opt for the screen-turned-trainer digital program, Mirror, which transforms a mirror into a screen that plays live and recorded workouts. At $1,500, it isn’t cheap, but if you love working out to YouTube videos, it’s irresistible.

 

Streaming: Digital Summer Movie Preview

Black Widow is webbed up. Wonder Woman has been lassoed until August (at least). And James Bond’s license to kill is suspended until November. So what is a filmgoer to do? Basically, spend summer at home. With movie theaters shut down due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Hollywood has all but mothballed its blockbuster line-up. And the films that haven’t been postponed are instead headed straight to on-demand platforms, joining the original productions already planned to debut digitally on various streaming services. So while it may be the strangest summer movie season in memory, there will still be plenty to watch. Here are nine of the ones to look for while we wait for big screens everywhere to reopen.

Scoob! 

Debuts: May 15, VOD

Zoinks! Originally planned for a theatrical release, this computer-animated comedy is now beaming directly to on-demand platforms. Along with those meddling kids from the Mystery Machine — Scooby-Doo (Frank Welker), Shaggy (Will Forte), Velma (Gina Rodriguez), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Fred (Zac Efron) — longtime fans can look for cameos from such other Hanna-Barbera characters as Dynomutt (Ken Jeong) and Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg).

The Lovebirds 

Debuts: May 22, Netflix

A newly-shredded Kumail Nanjiani stars with Issa Rae in this action-comedy about a couple on the verge of splitting up who becomes ensnared in a murder mystery when they witness a crime. Can they save their relationship — and their own lives? Promisingly, The Lovebirds is helmed by Michael Showalter, who previously directed Nanjiani in the 2017 indie hit The Big Sick.

The Vast of Night

Debuts: May 29, Amazon Prime

Actually, Amazon is opening this 1950s-set science-fiction mystery in theaters before its Prime Video launch — drive-in theaters, across the country May 15 and 16. (Moreover, tickets for each car will be priced at 50 cents.) Drive-ins have been surging in popularity as they allow people to gather while also maintaining a social distance. Plus, the 1950s marked the pinnacle of the drive-in’s popularity. In the movie, a small-town switchboard operator Fay (Sierra McCormick) and a radio DJ Everett (Jake Horowitz) attempt to trace a frequency that may be alien in origin.

Artemis Fowl 

Debuts: June 12, Disney Plus

When his villainous father (Colin Farrell) goes missing, 12-year-old genius and budding criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl (Ferdia Shaw) sets out to confront the mysterious, supernatural forces who may be responsible for his father’s disappearance. Kenneth Branagh directs this first installment of what presumably could be a franchise, considering that Eoin Colfer’s bestselling fantasy series spans eight novels.

Da 5 Bloods 

Debuts: June 12, Netflix

Lured by the promise of buried gold and still haunted by the Vietnam war, four African American veterans — Delroy Lindo, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis and Isiah Whitlock, Jr. — return to the country to search for the remains of their squad leader (Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman). Filmmaker Spike Lee directs what many expect to emerge as a serious Oscar contender.

The King of Staten Island 

 

Debuts: June 12, VOD

Following everyone from Bill Murray and Eddie Murphy to Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader, Pete Davidson is the latest Saturday Night Live star to leap to the big screen. Or at least he was supposed to be before movie theaters shut down around the world. Now this semi-autobiographical comedy is bound for on-demand platforms. Judd Apatow (who previously launched the film careers of Seth Rogen, Steve Carrell and Amy Schumer) directs.

7500

Debuts: June 19, Amazon Prime

Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Looper, The Dark Knight Rises) stars in this confined nail-biter about the co-pilot of a packed international flight who finds himself locked in the cockpit during a terrorist attack. Unable to make an emergency landing, he must save himself, the passengers and what’s left of his crew without letting the hostage-takers seize control of the plane.

Hamilton

Debuts: July 3, Disney Plus

Disney — which reportedly paid $75 million for the rights to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smash musical — will debut Hamilton on its streaming service almost a year ahead of its previously-announced theatrical bow. Unlike such other musical adaptations as Mamma Mia, the Hamilton movie is an actual recording of a staged performance with the original Broadway cast. Nevertheless, it is expected to be event viewing — especially since tickets to a live production of the Broadway phenomenon can cost hundreds of dollars.

The Old Guard 

Debuts: July 10, Netflix

Once again cracking skulls and thumping bad guys after roles in Mad Max: Fury Road and Atomic Blonde, Charlize Theron — who is also the producer of this action-heavy graphic novel adaptation — stars as an immortal mercenary whose team of fellow immortal warriors has been protecting us mere mortals throughout the centuries.

Out & About: Bringing the Spa Day Home

Whether you’re sore after spending weeks at your new home office — otherwise known as the sofa and coffee table — or simply stressed about the state of the world, we could probably all use a spa day right about now. So while the businesses themselves remain temporarily shut down — along with most vacation plans involving oceanside massage tables — why not bring the spa experience home to you? For one thing, it’s not complicated (because it’s not like you need another thing to stress about). And for another, a little wellness can do wonders — even if it’s from the normalcy of your own bathtub.

EMBRACE THE ESSENTIAL OILS

Known for their revitalizing properties, these flower and plant extracts can boost skin health as well as restore its vitality. At the spa, you will find them in everything from moisturizers to body scrubs. If you don’t have any essential oils at home, turn to your kitchen cupboards for such alternatives as salt (preferably sea salt, but even table salt will do) and sugar (which moisturizes while removing toxins), as well as olive oil and coconut oil. From there, choose from any number of recipes for making home-made bath salts or scrubs.

TREAT YOUR SCALP

By now we could all probably use a massage therapist to help unknot our tense, tired muscles. But how about a simple scalp massage instead? Studies have shown that scalp massage can boost serotonin levels as well as relieve chronic migraines. If you’ve been hunkered down at your desk or on your laptop while working remotely, it can ease the strain suffered by both your neck and eyes. And if you’re self-isolating alone, with no one to lend their helpful hands, there are video tutorials to teach you how to give one to yourself.

MAKE YOUR OWN FACIAL MASK

For a homemade facial mask, look no further than your fridge. Whether it’s honey (with its antibacterial properties) or avocado, matcha or green tea, olive oil or egg yolk, oatmeal or orange juice, your kitchen is packed with possibilities. Got powdered milk? Mix well with water. And if you don’t know what to do with those bananas you have? Mash them into a paste with orange juice and honey. And those are just some of the facial mask possibilities.

SET THE MOOD 

Scented wellness candles containing essential oils will not only provide the appropriately-dim, stress-freeing illumination but also produce a pleasing aroma. From lavender to peppermint to rose, there’s probably a scent suited for you, so confirm you will enjoy it before you light it. Now that you’ve arranged the stage, fill the room with soft, ubiquitous music. A soothing soundtrack will lower your heart rate and blood pressure as well as set your mind adrift.

SOAK IT UP

Once you’ve introduced the bath salts or essential oils (possibly in the form of a bath bomb, which will also add fragrances and color to the water), lit the candles and cued up your spa-like sounds, you’re ready to slip into the tub for a long, hot steep. Although many of the benefits of taking a bath are obvious — such as improving your mood or reducing aching muscles — others are less so. For example, because heat can boost blood flow, you are actually burning calories while you soak — roughly the same amount as if you had gone for a walk instead.