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DIY Face masks for Winter Skin

We admit it, by February, we’re kind of over winter. By now, the holidays are over, the snow has turned dingy, and the weather seems to have sucked all the moisture out of our skin. 

But even us bubble babes who live in the south have some time before it’s truly spring. Floridians still have frozen iguanas falling from the trees. Yes, it’s a thing, and yes, they’re okay. 

In the meantime, our skin is starting to resemble that of the frozen iguanas, so we’ve gathered up some DIY face masks formulas that can fix all of our skin woes. Not only are they nourishing for winter skin, but they’re full of everyday items that we already have in the kitchen. 

The Magic of Oatmeal

Oatmeal is pretty amazing. We all know it’s a healthy breakfast option, but it’s also amazing for winter skin. Oatmeal has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that soothe itchy, dry, and irritated skin. 

Oatmeal is so good for your skin that you can create a face mask using just oatmeal to both cleanse and moisturize. Just take 2-3 tablespoons of rolled oats and process them in a food processor or even a coffee grinder to form an oatmeal powder. Then, add just enough hot water to form a paste and cool to room temperature. 

Once cooled, apply to the face and neck and massage gently into the skin. Let the paste dry for 5-10 minutes, then rinse. 

Honey for Sweet Skin

Raw honey is packed with skin-soothing goodness. Its natural antibacterial properties are an effective acne fighter. In addition, it works to heal skin cells to reduce inflammation and speed healing, especially from acne scars. 

Raw honey also works as a natural exfoliant, revealing bright, glowing skin and removing dead skin cells. Lastly, honey is a salve for dry winter skin. A natural ​​humectant, honey can prevent moisture loss and leave your skin feeling soft and smooth. 

A simple honey-based face mask just needs two ingredients: honey and cinnamon. Mix three parts honey to one part cinnamon, and briefly warm the mixture in the microwave (15 seconds should be plenty) so it’s easier to apply. Gently smooth over clean skin and sit 10-15 minutes before rinsing with warm water. 

Firm Up Your Skin with Egg Whites

Egg whites are nutritional powerhouses full of essential vitamins and minerals like calcium, magnesium, and folate. In addition, egg whites can tighten and firm aging skin and clarify pores. 

For a pore-cleaning, skin-tightening DIY face mask, mix up one egg white, one tablespoon of white sugar, and two teaspoons of corn starch. Apply the mixture to your face, and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Then, slowly and gently peel the mask off, revealing clearer, firmer skin. Finish by rinsing with warm water. 

There are hundreds of ways you can treat yourself without any expensive spa visits, and mixing up the perfect kitchen face mask, grabbing a new novel, and then sinking into a warm bath seems like the ideal way to beat the winter blues. 


A few of our favorite things…

While we all love some raindrops on roses, we wanted to share what’s been filling our free time this past year, all while getting to know your Bubbles and Books team a little better! Each of us Bubble Babes are giving you the rundown on five pressing questions, sharing what we’re loving right now!

It’s safe to say Debbie doesn’t have a lot of downtime, she juggles so much, Cirque de Solei should come calling any day now! Our Super Soaker (aka Owner) has so much going on that when she finally slows down to take time for herself, we’re all ears on what’s worth a break. Here are her current worthy distractions:

What are you reading right now?

Fortune and Glory by Janet Evanovich (I love Stephanie Plum!)

What’s the best book you read this year?

The Nashville series by Inglath Cooper

What’s your favorite scent right now?

This time of year I like holiday scents like christmas trees, cranberry, sugar cookies, apple pie.

What’s your bubble bath beverage of choice?

Oh… it changes all the time! Sometimes a glass of Malbec wine… sometimes a Mojito that I make from scratch… sometimes plain seltzer water with lime.

What’s your favorite holiday recipe?

Anything someone else makes! 🙂 But I make buckeye balls (like peanut butter cups!) around this time every year and enjoy those.

Chances are, if you’ve interacted with our social media at all – you’re talking to Amy! She is our Social Soaker, on top of all things FB, IG and more! It’s amazing that Amy can make these things happen, while also running her own shop and raising three boys, but she does it! With her finger on the pulse of the social media world, Amy always knows the best things around!

What are you reading right now?

Still Here by Amy Stuart (from the November box!)

What’s the best book you read this year?

Watch me Disappear by Janelle Brown

What’s your favorite scent right now?

Coffee- anything coffee/mocha (inhaling Emmie Moes soapy scrub thing we had a couple months ago)

What’s your bubble bath beverage of choice?

Rex Goliath Pinot Noir

What’s your favorite holiday recipe?

Whatever someone else makes (no, Amy didn’t see Debbie’s answer!) I do not enjoy baking or cooking. Mac and cheese is my favorite food – Druther’s loaded Mac being #1.

Newsletters, sales, author interviews and more! Bridget designs most of our emails, writes all of the fun little articles for the blog, and gets the word out about new sales and other exciting updates for Bubble Babes!

What are you reading right now?

Every Waking Hour by Joanna Schaffhausen (#4 in the Ellery Hathaway series that I can’t get enough of!)

What’s the best book you read this year?

Just one? I read so many books that it’s hard for me to pin down a favorite! I loved Jenny Lawson’s Broken, after interviewing Jennifer Hillier I read everything of hers I can get my hands on, and ended up re-reading a lot of Agatha Christie this year, because the classics are the classics for a reason!

What’s your favorite scent right now?

I typically go for all things citrus and coconut! I just always want to feel like I’m on a tropical island,

What’s your bubble bath beverage of choice?

I love nothing more than a signature cocktail, so part of my bubble bath experience is always picking the drink that fits my mood – that can be anything from a dirty martini to a mai tai to a cup of warm tea.

What’s your favorite holiday recipe?

I could eat my weight in Muddy Buddies and still go back for more. It’s hands down my favorite holiday treat!


Bathing with Benefits: The Perks of bathtime

Surely you don’t need to convince us that taking a bath is a good idea, but with rumors swirling around that bathtime may have benefits beyond the basics, we felt it was important to dig a little deeper. While there’s no doubt that being clean is good for your overall health, it turns out that science is finding some big-time health perks to your soaking. 

While a long bath may not be doable (or even desirable) on an everyday basis, it’s worth taking the time regularly to enjoy the physical and mental benefits of submerging yourself in a steamy bath. (Always check with your doctor regarding your health and wellness).

Here are just some of the ways your bath time brings out the best in your overall wellness:

  1. Have you heard the rumors that a warm bath can be as good for you as a workout? It’s not all wishful thinking according to several studies that found immersing yourself in a warm bath can simulate the effects of exercises like walking, jogging, or cycling.


The heat from sinking into a warm bath has been shown to elevate heart rate, blood flow, and overall body temperature, which are all also elevated when you exercise. Check with your doctor to see if bath benefits can improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure, inflammation, and even help diabetes patients lower blood sugar. If there’s even a chance at experiencing these health benefits it’s totally worth making time for a luxurious bath!  (Always call your doctor or seek emergency medical care for any cardiovascular concerns and for diabetes management.)

  1. Looking to breathe easier? Turns out, a hot bath might help with that as well. The hot steam from your bath can clear your sinuses and chest, making bath time especially rewarding when you’re feeling a little under the weather. 
  1. Feeling tight? A bath is the perfect remedy for pain and tension in your muscles, joints, and bones. Soaking in a hot tub may lower inflammation, allowing you to bring ease back into your body. Check with your doctor if warm baths can offer relief if you’re suffering from arthritis or fibromyalgia, too.

As an added benefit, soaking in a warm tub can reduce stress, which also may cause tightening of muscles. Those experiencing physical or mental strains may find relief during and after a long, relaxing bath.

  1. For those struggling to sleep when their head hits the pillow, a pre-bedtime bath may be the answer to insomnia. Simply schedule your bath for about 90 minutes before you hope to sleep, then let the hot water change your body’s core temperature (as it does naturally).

When you finish your soak, your lower core temperature helps signal to your body that it’s time to sleep. Not only will you fall asleep quicker, but you may even experience a higher quality of sleep. (If insomnia is a regular occurrence for you, check with your doctor about any underlying causes and your best treatment options.)

  1. Everybody wants soft, moisturized skin. Soaking in a bath with some of your favorite products is a surefire way to make your skin silky smooth. With the steam from your bath opening your pores and then providing an excellent opportunity for your moisturizing soaps, lotions, and salts to deeply penetrate your skin, taking a bath will no doubt bring your skin to the next level of softness and smoothness. 

This should go without saying, but we’re not doctors at Bubbles & Books – don’t take anything we’ve included here as medical advice and always check with your doctor with any medical questions.  But we do consider ourselves bath and relaxation experts – and if you can experience a moment of relaxation thanks to your bath? We think that’s the best benefit of all.


Fair Dinkum Coffee

We were lucky enough to not just collaborate with Fair Dinkum’s Founder, President, and Roastmaster, Chris Clark, but also to have a good chat about what makes Fair Dinkum stand out above the rest. Fair Dinkum is roasting coffee with a purpose, operating as a non-profit with a goal of giving back to the community. Chris and his team have led the way in making a difference in his hometown of Deer Park, Texas, and their philanthropy is extended even further, as they are currently collecting donations for the Cajun Navy‘s response to Hurricane Ida. For inspiration on everything from coffee orders to starting your own business, Chris has a little something for everyone!

Fair Dinkum’s Founder, President, and Roast Master Chris Clark

How did you get started roasting coffee?

This is actually kind of funny, I drink coffee literally all day long and one night I was laying in my bed and ask myself the question if I could grow my own coffee here in the US. Well after some very brief research I figured out that that is definitely not the case. And then after months and months and months of research, I figured out that there’s an extreme science behind growing and roasting coffee! After that, I was hooked! 

You’ve mentioned your whole goal has been to invest in your community, can you tell us some of what you’ve accomplished there? 

So after one year of market research and two years of being in production, we have been able to donate upwards of $10,000 back into our community. To some, that may seem like a very small number but the one thing that we have done is grow this company from the ground up with zero debt and zero investors. So not only have we been able to sustain during one of the worst economic crises since the great depression but we’ve also been able to give back almost $10,000 to the children of our community! 

How many people volunteer their time at Fair Dinkum?

There are three members of our board myself -President, John Sheffield- Vice President and Stacye Hughes – secretary. 

All three of us volunteer times and do not receive a paycheck. This is how we are able to invest as much as we do back in the community!

How do you determine where to donate to your community? 

Every quarter we have a board meeting and determine where our funds will be allocated to. There are times where things pop up and people need our help sooner than every quarter and we always step up and take care of that if we can! 

There’s a lot of competition in the coffee world, what makes Fair Dinkum stand out?

Nine out of 10 companies nowadays aren’t for themselves. Their goal is to put $1 million in their pockets. Our goal is the complete opposite our goal is to help 1 million people. That’s what separates us and will continue to separate us from every other company out there. Not to mention our strenuous quality control and top-of-the-line products!

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m am a hype person, the smallest things will get me extremely excited! I watch Gary Vee almost every day and that dude keeps me inspired! I love to watch things unfold from start to finish so new products and marketing is my specialty! 

What’s the best advice you were given when starting Fair Dinkum? 

Don’t take out any loans or take on any investors! 

What advice would you give a friend starting their own business?

Don’t be scared to ask questions! get on social media and find groups of your specific interest! Stop thinking about everything that can go wrong and start getting excited about what can go right and last but not least just start, if you’re waiting for the stars to align and things to be perfect your idea will go to the grave with you! 

Take a chance on something! Take a chance on yourself! 

What 3 websites do you check every day? Why?

Shopify – sales and abandon carts

Etsy – sales 

All social media platforms – To post Valuable content and talk with our customers! 

What’s your coffee order? What about your team?

Chris – sugar-free caramel fudge waffle cone cold brew from Fair Dinkum Coffee Co 🙂 

John –  Hot black coffee 

Stacye – Hot coffee with butter pecan creamer 


Sharing the Love: How to plan the Ultimate book swap

It’s the plight of the book-lover. Our shelves runneth over with our favorite novels, and yet we can’t seem to stop ourselves from acquiring more. As any book lover can attest, the fun parts are selecting, buying, and reading the books, but parting ways with your old tomes is always, inevitably, a drag. 

How to make your book goodbyes as butterfly-inducing as when you first locked eyes? With a party of course! We’re breaking down the basics so that your book swap will soon be such a success, your friends are clamoring for the next one. Obviously, scheduled for after you read all of your new finds!

Step 1: The Guest List

The most important step in planning a party is always deciding who should come, but for a book swap, this may be the easiest. Simply select your most avid book-lovers. The friends who saw no issue with camping outside of a bookstore when the last Harry Potter book came out? Definitely. The ones who always seem to have read the novel you brought to the pool? Absolutely! The teachers and librarians? A no-brainer!

Your fellow book-lovers will be just as excited as you are to share their favorite stories and make some new discoveries. Both in the written word and in new book buddies.

Step 2: The Space

You’ll want to provide as much horizontal space as possible in order to show off everyone’s selections. Ensuring that every book has its cover visible will allow for easy browsing. 

It’s also helpful to sort books by genre, or even sub-genre, so guests can easily find the books that appeal to them. Having a plan to organize books prior to everyone arriving will make the sorting process a breeze. To ensure there are no hard feelings, ask guests to wait until all of the books are sorted before they browse.

Step 3: Make it Personal

As any reader knows, a good book can become meaningful to its readers. Supply guests with a stack of index cards to include notes about their favorites (no spoilers!), or even just let them take the floor to give their books a short farewell. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Step 4: Don’t Skip the Snacks

Refreshments are vital for any good gathering, but that doesn’t mean you need to go crazy with a 7-course meal. Let the book swap take the stage and keep the noshes light and easy. No drippy sauces, no utensils required.

If you’re hoping to solidify your status as the supreme hostess of book swaps everywhere, you can play up the theme with some light foods and drinks inspired by the books themselves. Think honey cornbread to go with The Secret Lives of Bees, “Peeta” (pita) chips for The Hunger Games, and champagne for The Great Gatsby

Step 5: Stay Flexible

This is your book swap, so you can customize it however you like. Is there a book that multiple readers have their eye on? Keep a small stack of bookmarks on the table so that guests can use them to write down who gets that book next. 

Worried about keeping the conversation going? Be prepared with different conversation starters that keep with the theme, like asking guests about the last book that made them cry, their favorite “guilty pleasure” genre, or their all-time favorite literary character. 

Step 6: Parting Gifts

It’s hard to top going home with a stack of books that you can’t wait to dive into. But adding a little mystery to the party is sure to send guests home on a high note. Have each guest bring one book that’s wrapped up tight. Place each book in a basket by the door, and as your reading BFF’s make their way home, they can select a surprise book from the basket. There’s nothing like a little anticipation to keep that party high going all night long. 

Step 7: Keep Sharing

Having a plan for the leftover books is twofold. Firstly, it keeps your bookshelves from perpetually groaning over the weight of your book collection. Secondly, it allows your guests to know their books will end up in grateful hands no matter what. 

Nursing homes, prisons, soldiers stationed overseas,  and little free libraries are all great options for sharing your beloved reads. 

Step 8: Have Fun!

A book swap is a great way to make new connections with friends and to meet new people. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy all of your hard work prepping and planning. Afterward, you can reward yourself by curling up with a good book!