tea and sugar

Witch Tips for City Witches

City Witch Tips for all of my fellow witches stuck in apartments, dorms or other city areas.

  • If you can’t burn incense you can make your own sprayable incense by mixing alcohol (usually vodka or rubbing) with essential oils and a bit of oil, spray in the air to act like incense
  • If you are unable to go outside for whatever reason to get rain water (in my case just no where to collect it safely), fill a jar or glass with regular water and keep it near a cracked window to charge it with the wind, sound and scent of the rain outside. Same goes for storm water
  • Trapped in city and unable to get ocean water? Sea salt mixed with rain/storm water can be an excellent substitute
  • To continue on with water substitutes, if you can’t collect snow crushed ice from your fridge will suffice
  • Low key warding/protection you can use: spray moon water, salt water or sprayable incense about your apartment or dorm, place sigils under doormats, furniture, inside cupboards, etc; place crystals about hidden or out in the open, sweep and dust out the door or towards windows
  • If you need melted wax to seal a jar or for any other magical purpose, but can’t burn candles, by a wax melter and melt that wax and imagine the light from the burner acting like a flame (plus they are rather cheap, I got mine for 25 bucks)
  • Need stars in your craft but too much light pollution? Glow in the dark stars on your ceiling or wall can work just as well for visualization. Print out pictures of your favorite constellations or planets and place them up on your walls or on your altar. Live video feed of the night sky can also be easily found on the internet
  • Bath magic is amazing for low-key ‘in the woods’ witches. Use teas, milk, oils, herbs, bath bombs, bubble baths, salts, etc that relate to your intent. It is also a good place to meditate if you have roommates or family around that would disturb you otherwise
  • If you do for whatever reason need to burn a candle, birthday candles are small, melt fast, and don’t create a lot of smoke or smokey scent
  • Sigils are another great low-key form of magic. To boost them up, use color magic related to the color you draw them in, write them using quills made of feathers related to your intent, use colored paper, rub a drop of essential oil on them, charge them with crystals or in your windowsill
  • You don’t have to burn sigils to activate them, which is hardly an option when you are in a dorm or apartment. Other options are: Shredding them, erasing them, soaking them in a bath or shower, using body heat or your own pulse, etc
  • Miss having the outdoors and plants around? Windowsill gardens can really help. Small plants you can consider keeping in your windowsill or counter-tops: succulents, cacti, bamboo, lemongrass, basic, rosemary, mint, rosemary, mosses, aloe, snake plant, pothos (and other vines), carrots, beets, shallots, lettuce, spinach, garlic, chives, parsley, oregano, thyme, and marigold
  • Open your window to let the wind and air from outside to help energize you and clear out negative energies inside
  • Fun places to put sigils: under furniture, carved into soap, onto shampoo/conditioner bottles, on your make up, inside phone cases, in shoes, under bandages, sewn into pillow cases and blankets, behind pictures in frames, underside of nail polish, carved into wax squares for your wax melter, keys and keychains, behind mirrors or in medicine cabinets, on bookmarks, on or in binders and pencil cases, on medicine bottles, and water bottles/travel mugs
  • Easy to make and dispose of poppets: carrot sticks (one of my personal favorites), apples or other fruit, clothe, paper, popsicle sticks, paper towels/napkins, toilet paper rolls, eggs, celery stocks, and cotton balls
  • The internet is an amazing thing. Need some sounds to help you focus or meditate? Easily look up the sounds of rain, storms, wind, ocean waves, jungles, forests, etc
  • Christmas lights are fun and great way to use discrete witchcraft. Select ones in the colors you wish for them to bring ie green for growth, yellow for inspiration, white for protection, purple for psychic abilities, etc. 
  • Some everyday things you can use for discrete witchcraft that don’t cost much at all or that you most likely already have: water, table salt, black pepper, paper, crayons/pencils/pens/markers, vinegar, milk, tea, highlighters, make up and beauty supplies, shampoo and conditioner, rubber bands, paperclips, thumbtacks, computer/phone/tablet, music/music player, playing cards, dice, air freshener, perfumes, toothpaste, rice, flour, sugar, honey, and all kitchen herbs and seasonings.
  • Can’t afford gemstones or crystals on college budget? Crackle and dyed quartz you can find super cheap at craftstores and online. I bought a whole bag for 4 bucks. Use them based on their colors and shapes. Can’t afford that but still want to use rocks in your craft? Find some rocks you like outside, again use their colors and shapes to determine their correspondences. Want to use them for a specific purpose? Paint sigils on them in the color that corresponds with what you want! Charge them in your windowsill or with your own energy and intent. There you go!
  • Pocket mirrors are cheap, easy to carry around and great for glamours and on the go magic. 
  • Seriously though, glamour spells are going to be a good option for you. use your make up, skin products, hair care products, brushes/combs, perfume, mirrors, toothbrush/toothepaste and intent. Good to do while you are getting ready for your day
  • Dream magic is another friend of the city witch! Use crystals, sigils, herbs, etc near your bed before you go to sleep, drink some chamomile, get yourself a dream journal (mine is literally a notebook with construction paper on it), keep it and a pen near you. In the morning write down your dreams, your thoughts, how you feel (tired, refreshed, groggy, etc), and interpret them. 
  • Can’t afford tarot cards? Print out some, you can usually find them online and they won’t last as long as a real deck but it is a good temporary solution. Want a Ouija board but can’t keep one or need it to be easily hidden? Print one out, draw on one on paper or cardboard, fold it up and store it once you are done. Want a pendulum but can’t afford one? Use your favorite necklace, bracelet or keychain!
  • Tea and coffee magic is great, make your own tea blends with the herbs you like. Or just buy simple green or black tea and add sugar, milk, etc depending on your intentions
  • As I said before, crock pot magic. The Modern Cauldron: brew and cook all day with it, fill your apartment with the scent of the herbs and food to fill it with the energies they correspond with and you get a delicious meal to come home to! Most dorms allow them. Rice cookers also work well.
  • Can’t afford fresh food? Have to survive on ramen, canned soup, and microwaved meals? That is okay! They even correspond with things! Tomato soup for love, beauty and passion. Beef ramen noodles for strength, courage and longevity. Microwave mac n cheese for beauty and feminity. Look at their ingredients and what they correspond with. Sure its not as glamorous as a making a huge made by scratch traditional meal but its kitchen magic none the less. Stir it with your intent while you cook. It isn’t fancy but it works just as well!
  • Use a notebook or binder for a nice grimoire, decorate it as much as you want on the inside. Print out pictures of nature, animals, planets, stars, places, crystals, etc that you cant’ access/afford and use them in your craft. Spell books and grimoires are powerful tools
  • Don’t have a wand? Use a wooden spoon. Tie a colored string or ribbon to it to correspond with what energy you want it to have and move and flick it as you would a wand. 
  • Knitting, crocheting, and knot magic is very apartment friendly. As well as sewing and embroidering plus it is super calming.
  • Glitter, sequins, and beads are great in witchcraft! Use their colors to determine their correspondences. Put them in spell jars, sachets, bottles, etc. Glitter tip: if you spill any don’t fret, get some packing tape, wrap it around your hand with the sticky part outwards and dab at that glitter spill. You will literally pick up all of the glitter in seconds!
  • Enchant and charge your pots, pans, skillets, and other cookware to make every meal magical
  • Make moonwater in your windowsills. Use it for cleansing, beauty, divination, clarity, protection and purification
  • Take walks. Even if it is a city there is still nature about. Pigeons flying about, potted flowers outside of stores, grass growing in front lawns, etc. Enjoy yourself, even if it is not some wild, vast forest you can still connect with your local nature.
  • Pick up litter or garbage you see outside, being in the city we all see it. The natural world around you will appreciate you helping out. Bring a bag with you when you take your walks or travel and fill it with wrappers you see on the ground.

I hope this was helpful to all of my fellow city and dorm witches!

Spring Witchy Recipes

Here are some recipes I have made or have been trying out for spring!

Three Flower Sugar -

  • 1 oz lavender
  • 1 dried rose, just the petals
  • 1 oz dried chamomile or honeysuckle

Grind in a mortal and pestle, add ½ cup of sugar and grind until powder fine. Store in pink jar for love spells, self care spells, and to amplify the properties of the flowers.

Uses: Sprinkle on sugar cookies for Beltane rituals, stir into an herbal tea, sprinkle over offerings for the fae, use in a self care spell jar, use in spells to sweeten relationships or communication, etc.

Floral Tincture -

Great for making drinks, baking, or use in potions for Spring celebrations.

  • equal parts dried lavender, honeysuckle, chamomile, elder flowers, roses etc (I used chamomile, elder flowers, and honeysuckle.)
  • 1 jar (dark jar if possible)
  •  just enough vodka or other 180 proof alcohol to just cover the flowers, maybe ½ in over the dried materials
  1. Place flowers into jar, cover with alcohol and shake vigorously.
  2. Store in a dark cool place.
  3. Shake periodically
  4. let steep for 4 weeks or more
  5. Strain through a fine mesh strainer/coffee filter or muslin cloth, squeeze excess out of the flowers.
  6. Strain through coffee filter or muslin cloth once more and bottle in a glass bottle/jar. 

 Uses: Use in cooking recipes like you would vanilla extract or other baking flavorings, use an eye dropper to drop into sparkling water/tea for a refreshing drink, use like bitters in a martini recipe, use for potions or spells, etc.

Lavender Meyer Lemon Mint Tea -

From the book “infuse” 

  • 8 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 4 sprigs dried lavender
  • 4 Meyer lemon peels
  • 30 oz of water

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher in the refrigerator over night (for at least 10 hours). A relaxing and refreshing drink for  all spring celebrations. :) Also can be used for cleansing and purifying properties to boost your Spring Cleaning, from the inside out. 

guess who ;)

How to Successfully Adopt a Lifestyle Change

Not a diet. Diet implies temporary, and what we need to do is form a set of new, sustainable habits for the rest of our life.

A lot of you probably have a daydream of taking a black, billowy trash bag and planning a SWAT-style assault on your fridge and cupboards and then setting fire to the dumpster you hurl it into. Naturally, you’ll dash over to the grocery store and purchase a ton of strange-looking foods you don’t regularly eat, or never eat! Then you’ll slap on a pair of shiny new shoes and go run a 5K. This works for–some people. Honestly, few people.

The reality for many people; however, is they get off their foray after a few weeks. Why is that?

Think about it. How long did it take you to really get into the groove of your current habits? Months? Years? If you’re trying to simultaneously kiss soda and chip’s ass good-bye, change every bite of food you eat, and start a fitness routine. Guess what? Stress, stress, stress! Your stomach was used to those portion sizes (whether too large or too small) and some of your favorite snacks, your brain is literally addicted to it. A lot of people will reach nuclear meltdown levels trying to transition to a healthy lifestyle this way.

Just like it took you time to form your current habits, it’s going to take some time to form your new habits. I truly do empathize with the feelings of wanting everything to be different right now, but realistically we can only handle a certain amount of stressors and change at one time.

Start With Nutrition Habits: While I really would recommend finding a few cheeky ways to get more active, you’ve probably heard some variant of “can’t outrun your fork,” or “it’s 80% nutrition.” Well, it really is true. Being more active is absolutely crucial to improving overall health in the “endgame,”  but we’re still playing the “tutorial” and the dietary aspects of our lifestyle change are the bulk of the impact. It goes beyond that, though. I’ve written more about it here, but being a beginner can be genuinely hard at times!  It takes a lot of time and effort to get oneself to a point where they can physically and mentally handle what entails “regular, moderate exercise.” One part of making that transition easier will be better nutrition and hydration.

Start With an Easy Target: I always tell people if they drink a lot of soda, juice, or sweetened tea/coffee to start here. Sugar provides us pretty much no nutrition and removing the pulp from fruit makes juice not that great for us, either. Drinking more water is not negotiable and replacing these beverages with water will do a surprising amount of good for how you feel–all by itself. I recognize how hard this one can be to kick, but sweetened beverages really do load many people’s lifestyles with a lot of bad juju.

If you don’t have a beverage problem, maybe you do have a condiment/dressing problem and can reduce the quantities and find alternatives. Maybe you party-hardy a little too much and need to cut down on alcohol. While I said “easy target,” no one said it would be that easy, but you probably have an idea where most of these so called “empty” nutrients are coming from.

Transition Bad Habits a Few at a Time: The opening of this probably already made it clear, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. You probably have an idea of what some of your most problematic habits are, so choose one; maybe two, and see how you adjust over a week or two before considering the next step.

Small Swaps: Start switching out various items in your pantries, fridges, and lunchboxes with simple alternatives. Change white breads, rices, and pastas to brown. Take the bag of chips from your lunch and turn it into a few servings of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Pick out a leaner cut of meat and use a little less dairy, if you eat them. Little changes can have massive results.

Learn Moderation: Remember that whole sustainable part at the very beginning? Our lifestyles do need to reflect our real lives. Well, my real life has a love of chocolates, pastries, and candies. So, it’s not realistic for me to say “no chocolate, pastries, or candies.” Food molarity can be a pretty toxic outlook on eating and life in general. Instead of labeling foods as “bad,” just learn and respect the limits. There are times where you have to say, “enough, is enough,” but living in a constant state of “no” is not realistic or mentally healthy for most people. It’s OK to love indulgent food. Think about how long your life is going to be. So, now think about how dinky an occasional treat will be in retrospect.

Depending on Your Struggles, Consider Therapy: As we know, many aspects of unhealthy eating habits are actually unhealthy mental habits. Depending on the severity and exact nature of those problems, never be embarrassed to seek professional help. I struggled with stress eating and even binge eating for most of my adolescence, and finally getting help for my anxiety disorder played a pretty crucial role in improving both my physical and mental health. If it’s not a possibility at this time, consider journaling.

Walk Before Your Run: Literally and figuratively. I’m going to recommend this previous post I recently wrote again, but when you’ve gotten a few habits cracked and feel like you’re ready to start amping up your activity, start with low impact and low equipment exercises. If it has been years, or if you’ve never exercised, it takes some easing into it. I recommend walking to all beginners because we already know how to do it, have what we need to do it, and probably won’t hurt ourselves.

So, there you have it. Tackle small challenges and get your body acclimated to them before you consider some of the overarching and holistic goals you have for your lifestyle. That said, we’re all different. If you still want to try and do that 180-flip, I can’t stop you and some people are successful that way. No two people or personality types have the exact same problems or strategy for overcoming them. However, if you’ve gotten frustrated and thrown in the towel a time or two, consider the scope of change and how to realistically implement it over a period of time.  We didn’t form our old habits overnight.

cold weather survival tips so y’all can start the new year with soft glowy skin

I posted a list of beauty tips for hot weather on my old blog at the beginning of the summer and it went over really well, so I thought I’d do a cold weather version now that we’re in peak chapped-lips-and-cracked-hands season.

  • Do yourself a favor by going to the nearest drugstore and buying the biggest tub of Vaseline/petroleum jelly you can find. 90% of Dry Skin Problems™ can be solved by slapping some Vaseline on there. 
  • Seriously. Chapped lips? Use Vaseline as a lip balm. Dry, cracked heels? Slather those feetsies with Vaseline right before you go to bed (just put socks on to keep from getting your sheets all sticky) for an overnight moisturizing treatment. (You can do the same thing on your hands if they’re dry and cracked!) I’ve even used Vaseline to fix severe dry patches on my face and neck. This stuff is a lifesaver. 
  • (You might also wanna get one of those tiny mini tubs to keep in your jacket pocket or in your bag, so you’ll always have it on you. It works way better than lip balm and is the only thing that can keep my lips from cracking and bleeding all winter long.)
  • While you’re at the store, it’s a good idea to invest in a good lotion. Most scented lotions (especially Bath & Body Works brand) actually make my dry skin worse because of the perfume in them, so you might want to look into an unscented formula. Try to avoid formulas that contain alcohol (which is sometimes used to make the lotion absorb faster) because they’ll dry you out worse than before. 
  • I always recommend using lotions and moisturizers made for sensitive skin even if your skin isn’t actually sensitive, because they don’t have as many harsh ingredients that might draw moisture out of your skin! Looking for formulas with all-natural ingredients (like Burt’s Bees and Yes To) is another good way to avoid heavy chemicals.
  • Replace your makeup remover with olive oil. It melts makeup right off, and you don’t have to scrub at your face like you do with a lot of makeup removers. It’s also super hydrating and makes my skin feel SO SOFT after I use it. (Just be sure to wash it off with a cleanser before you go to bed.) A lot of people use coconut oil the same way, but I’ve never tried it so I can’t speak for how well it works compared to olive oil. 
  • If your foundation sticks really noticeably to the dry patches on your face, a good hydrating makeup primer can help a lot. e.l.f. has really good, really cheap primers that I swear by, and they even have one specifically made for dry skin! (And you can find them at Walmart and most drugstores, so you can swing by and pick it up while you’re getting your groceries.)
  • Avoid “matte” or “mattifying” foundation formulas in general if your skin is really dry, because they’ll just make your dry patches more noticeable. Use a “satin finish” or “dewy finish” foundation instead, and if you want to make it look more matte you can always set it with a powder to take away the shine! 
  • If your lips are really dry and scaly, the best thing to do is just exfoliate the dead skin away. You can make your own lip scrub really easily by mixing sugar with either olive oil or honey, and just rub it on your lips to buff off the dry skin. Be sure to follow with Vaseline or a good lip balm!
  • As a matter of fact, you should really be exfoliating your entire face once or twice a week, especially if you have really dry skin. You can buy exfoliating scrubs at the store for a few bucks or make your own. (My favorite is a homemade scrub with 1 tablespoon of cooled green tea, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and a few drops of tea tree oil. It makes my skin soooo soft and helps fade my acne scars.)
  • Consider replacing your moisturizer with a face-safe oil like jojoba or rosehip at night. (I wouldn’t recommend using olive oil or coconut oil for this though, because they’re a little too heavy.) I started using rosehip oil every night to help with the scarring on my face, and it makes my skin feel so good. It doesn’t absorb right away, so it’s almost like sleeping in a face mask every night, and you wake up with a baby-soft face. This is the first winter I haven’t had really dry patches on my face, and I think using facial oils has a lot to do with it.
  • If your lipstick is drying out your lips, use a very light layer of Vaseline as a lip primer! This also makes the lipstick go on smoother – I’ve been using this trick for chalky/streaky lipsticks for years. (I told you, Vaseline is a lifesaver.)
  • I know everyone on tumblr is always saying this, but it really is important; you gotta stay hydrated. Drink water. (Drinks like soda actually dehydrate you, so it really does have to be water.) If your skin is just feeling a little dryer than usual, it could be because you just aren’t getting enough water. Increasing your water intake is a really easy, completely free way to help your skin out. 
  • And fyi, these tips aren’t just for girls! If you’re a guy with dry skin, feel free to use any and all of the things I talked about in this post! Taking care of your body is gender neutral and everybody deserves to have nice skin.