Thyme Acne-Fighting Toner

thyme acne toner with witch hazelI've struggled with acne my entire life. I've tried it all: Proactive, SkinID, countless over-the-counter creams, cleansers, and toners. Nothing has worked! Instead of moping, I've decided to take my skin destiny in my own hands and use Mother Nature to get a shining, clear face.

Below is a simple recipe to create a skin toner with Thyme. Total initial cost may be around $10, depending on where you shop.

Why Thyme? A study from the Society for General Microbiology shows that Thyme is more effective than prescription creams to treat blemishes caused by bacteria. It's nature's benzoyl peroxide. (Benzoyl peroxide is a popular ingredient in acne-fighting creams that is designed to dry up blemishes quickly.) 

LediaMedia's Thyme Acne-Fighting Toner

What you will need:
  • Dried thyme
  • Witch Hazel
  • Glass bottle or jar for storage
  • Cotton rounds or reusable facial pad
  • Eyedropper that fits bottle you choose (optional)
  • Funnel (optional, makes pouring easier)
  • Strainer (optional)
Where to find these items:
  • Dried thyme can be found online or at health food stores. I bought mine in bulk off Amazon. You can also grow your own and dry it!
  • Witch Hazel is available at most drug and grocery stores. Be sure to buy Witch Hazel without alcohol so it doesn't over dry your skin.
  • Glass bottles and jars can be found in the cosmetic section at health food stores, online, or at The Container Store.

Creating Your Thyme Witch Hazel Toner
Thyme, Witch Hazel, bottle for toner
Thyme to fight acne with nature
  1. Sterilize a small jar or bottle by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. Be sure to dry it completely.
  2. Once your bottle is dry, pour 1 tablespoon of dried thyme using a funnel to ensure you don't spill.
  3. Pour 4 tablespoons of alcohol-free Witch Hazel over the top of the Thyme. Shake well.
  4. Let toner steep for 20 minutes before use. The Witch Hazel will start to look like brown tea.
  5. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a month.
I recommend letting the Thyme steep in the Witch Hazel for a few days before straining it out to make sure you get the most cleansing power. If you don't have a strainer -- no worries! This is not required. Leaving the Thyme inside the bottle will not have a negative effect. 

How To Use Thyme Toner
  1. Pour a small amount of toner onto a cotton round or reusable facial pad and swipe all over your cleaned face. Avoid the area around your eyes.
  2. Use toner once a day. You can use it once in the morning and evening depending on the severity of your blemishes.
  3. You can use an eyedropper instead of pouring if that's your forte. Either way, make sure the cotton round is sufficiently wet before application. Don't soak the cotton round but don't be stingy, either.

That's it! Pretty simple, right?

Please share any of your homemade toner recipes in the comments below. Special thanks to Crunchy Betty for this recipe! 

Halloween Playlist

Halloween Playlist
It's that time of year again! The nights (and days) are growing colder and scary movies are arriving from my Netflix queue. Who else loves spiced apple cider and pumpkin carving? Good, me too.

Halloween is my favorite holiday and in celebration I've compiled the perfect Halloween playlist. Ghouls, goblins, and Jack-o-Lanterns deserve a killer soundtrack. My Halloween playlist track list is below; it's got a little bit of something for everyone. Happy haunting!

Happy Halloween- A Mix by @lediamedia
1. Halloween Theme John Carpenter
2. Monster Mash Dr. Demento
3. Ghostbusters   
4. This Is Halloween Danny Elfman
5. Jump in The Line Harry Belafonte
6. Halloween Wade Denning & Kay Lande
7. I Put A Spell On You Bette Midler
8. Superstition Stevie Wonder
9. Thriller 2011 (DJ Flight & DJ Favorite Special Intro Mix) Michael Jackson
10. The Boogie Monster Gnarls Barkley
11. Don't Fear The Reaper Blue Oyster Cult
12. The Twilight Zone Theme
13. Time Warp Rocky Horror Picture Show
14. Evil Night Together Jill Tracy
15. Disturbia Rihanna
16. Zombie Natalia Kills
17. Monster Lady Gaga
18. Howlin' For You The Black Keys
19. Feed My Frankenstein Alice Cooper
20. Danse macabre, Op. 40 Camille Saint-Saƫns
21. Howl Florence + The Machine
22. Somebody's Watching Me Rockwell
23. Murder in the Red Barn Tom Waits
24. Werewolves Of London Warren Zevon
25. Spooky Jookie Man Man
26. Halloween Siouxsie & The Banshees
27. I Put A Spell On You The Screamin' Jay Hawks
28. Dracula's Wedding (Feat. Kelis) Andre 3000
29. Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor Johann Sebastian Bach
30. Vampire Smile Kyla La Grange
31. The Horror Of Our Love Ludo
32. The Allure Beats Antique
33. Step into My Coffin Zombie Ghost Train
34. Dead Man's Party Oingo Boingo
35. Blood Theme Daniel Licht
36. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) David Bowie
37. Seven Devils Florence + The Machine
38. Dig Up Her Bones Misfits
39. Werewolf Cat Power
40. The Exorcist Theme

download (.zip) | (free) registration is required
download (.zip) | no registration required

What are your favorite Halloween tracks? Please share in the comments below.

IWL Women’s Leadership Conference 2012: Two Key Takeaways

I had the pleasure of attending the Indiana’s Women Leaders Conference on October 2, 2012. Traffic was an absolute nightmare because even the slightest sprinkle of rain sends Indiana drivers into a world of panic and I foolishly under dressed for this auspicious occasion. The normal attire for SEO conferences is a nice shirt and jeans – nerds don’t go all out.

Fashion issue aside, the conference was full of great information. Speaker presentations and breakout sessions related to the conference theme, “Present & Future: Choices, Chances, and Changes”.

Key Takeaways

Networking is super important, y’all. If you aren’t networking or are networking incorrectly, your chance for professional success diminishes.
  • Colleges, universities tell students that networking is important but they don’t take the time to teach them HOW to network. Isn’t that silly?
  • Hazel Walker shared a pretty cool statistic from her new book “Business Networking and Sex (it's not what you think)": 12K people were asked, “Has networking played a role in your success?”  91% responded “Yes”.
  • It’s better to build your network when you don’t need it than start one when you do need it and it’s too late.

Here are a few ideas on how to groom and grow you network:  
  1. Ask for what you want. What’s the point of having a network if you aren’t going to use it? Be clear and make sure to explain how you can help them in the future.
  2. Create a list of accomplishments and update this list frequently. Be ready and prepared to brag about recent accomplishments with your current and potential contacts, employers, etc.
  3. Perfect your handshake. The correct handshake has nothing to do with how hard you shake: it’s about wrapping your hand completely around the other person’s hand with purpose.
  4.  Follow up with everyone you meet. Don’t let any opportunities pass you by because you forgot to follow up!
Communicate your career needs, wants, and aspirations. Every panel member, and most of the speakers, stressed the importance of communicating your needs, wants, and aspirations to your employer and your mentor. It’s critical to take the time to figure out your career priorities (both short and long term) and then have a conversation to figure out how to take action on those priorities.
  • If you aren’t happy with your current situation, it’s on you to make a change. No one else is going to do it for you. Be the master of your career destiny!
  • Stretch yourself to take on intimidating challenges – you learn as much from failure as you do from success.

Suggestions for next year 

I have three suggestions for the event next year – mainly, embrace the world of social media.
  • Include social media handles and information for all presenters in both the packet and on presentation slides.
    • I like to credit quotes to the speakers but this information was not readily available. I had to search for their handles during the presentation and I’m sure I missed some awesome knowledge bombs!
    • I couldn’t find the conference hashtag! It didn’t appear anywhere on the presentation slides or inside the conference packet. It wasn’t on any of the signage, either.
  • Do not host a keynote speaker at lunch. I was interested in what she had to say but also wanted to network and socialize. Socializing won.
  • WIFI! Please for the love of GOD give me WIFI! The Indiana Conference Center wanted $99 for a single day’s use. Perhaps there is a way to incorporate this into registration fees? I’d pay more for internet.