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Professional pedicures are pricey, and if you live in a secluded area, they’re also inconvenient. You can get all of the same benefits that a professional would offer in the comfort of your own home by following a few simple tips.

Clip and file

Before you do anything, you need to prep your nails. Remove any old nail polish. Then clip them to your desired length. Lastly, file with a high-quality nail file to achieve an even shape.

Soak, soak, soak

This is, hands down, the most important step to achieving a professional-looking pedicure. An aesthetician would never paint your nails without first letting them soak. It helps soften your cuticles and the rest of your feet, which makes each subsequent step much more effective. The other benefit of a hot soak? It immediately puts you in a relaxed mood—a key ingredient for the complete spa experience.

The easiest method is to fill a dish tub with hot water, adding just a tiny bit of the soap of your choice. That way, you can soak your feet while sitting in your favorite comfy chair. Let your feet hang out for a generous 10 minutes, then dry them off.

Clean, trim and buff

Now that your feet are prepared, it’s time to remove all that dead skin. First clean underneath each nail using an orangewood stick. Use a cuticle trimmer to remove the excess dead skin from your cuticles if necessary. Then buff the bottoms of your feet, especially your heels and any other callouses. You can also use a gentle scrub at this stage.

Get baby-smooth

Almost there! Your feet should be looking brand new by now, so it’s time to restore all the moisture that was lost during the hot water soak and buffing process. Any rich, creamy lotion will work perfectly for this step, though you can buy a special foot cream if you’re feeling fancy. If you prefer to go natural, shea butter or coconut oil will both work well.

Final touches

If you prefer a natural, polish-free look, you can skip this step or add a simple nourishing oil to your nails instead. If, however, you like to jazz up your toes, then now is the time to choose your color and apply it to your nails. Don’t forget to use a base coat and top coat for longer-lasting results. Then sit back and relax—there’s nothing worse than smudging your pedicure a few minutes after you finally finished!

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How to Begin the Day without Stress

If you’re like most of us who are working on your farm and still keep a regular job to make ends meet, then stress is something you are sure to experience from day to day. First, there’s a fight for space in the bathroom to use sink or mirror. People get in each other’s way and chaos follows. At other times, morning mayhem comes from simply being disorganized. You can’t find your briefcase, you’ve just run out of breakfast cereal, and you forgot to arrange day-care for the kids the night before. And if that weren’t enough you get to participate in the morning rush to work. It’s all one big headache that makes you want to turn around and head back home, right? But there is a way to begin the day with a smile instead of a grimace. Here’s how to enjoy mornings and create a positive mood, no matter what the morning has in store for you.

Grab “me time” in the morning

You might not realize mornings are ripe for “me time.” The rest of the day may be filled with chores, but when you open your eyes, you can affirm your sanity and peace of mind. Rise and shine before your family gets up or the neighbors are noisy.

Get up and greet the morning with a mug of coffee and ease into the day. Or meditate, use positive affirmations, and set a healthy intention to take into the rest of the day.

Prepare for a terrific day

Gather all you need for the day the night before so you are ready. Not needing to panic will give you space to breathe calmly and enjoy the morning without dashing. Also, your preparation will make you feel positive and capable. Having gathered all the tools required to make sure your day goes well, you’ll be off to a good start and continue to be upbeat and organized.

Remember to get tiresome chores out the way you would rather not deal with in the morning the day before too. Make necessary phone calls and arrangements, prepare your packed lunch, and take out the trash so your to-do list isn’t chock-a-block when you rise.

Don’t begin the morning with stress. Otherwise, your mood will be negative and you won’t have a good day. Prepare and organize the night before and set the alarm to wake you a little earlier than normal so you can enjoy time to yourself. As a result, you’ll start the day without anxiety.

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