Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I hope you are celebrating love even if you don’t have a someone special. Actually you do. You have you! And you are the most important person in your life! How about you doing a little self care and lavish yourself in raw chocolate? And guess what? IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!!!! Continue reading
It’s that time of year again, when we turn up the heat. When the heat comes on, it feels like our bodies become drained of moisture. Our skin becomes dry, flakey and cracked. Here are some tips to nourish your skin and keep it looking healthy and beautiful!!
Tip #1. Beauty starts from the inside out! Drink plenty of water. Water helps carry nutrients to the skin, which aids in skin repair and rejuvenation. It also helps with muscle tone which equals to less sagging skin! It is also important to eat clean and lots of greens, and be sure to take Omega 3 to help to keep the skin moist. Omega 3 aids the skin in retaining moisture, which plumps out wrinkles and gives the skin a smooth appearance.
Tip #2. Avoid hot showers and baths. For those of us in really cold climates this is a challenge, and I for one LOVE a hot shower. However, hot water breaks down the skin’s natural moisturizing lipids and leaves the skin dry. Do you remember our mother’s telling us not to go outside with wet hair? She was right! Hair can freeze in the cold, which can cause damage to the scalp and the hair can break off.
Tip #3. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!! Switch using organic butters or oils, and use them at least twice a day, more if needed. Be sure to use products free of harsh chemicals. If you can, apply moisturizer before going outside and be sure to always apply moisturizer after cleansing the skin.
Suggested Butters: Cocoa, Hemp Seed, Macadamia, Mango or Shea
Suggested Oils: Jojoba, Sea Buckthorn, Rosehip, Hemp Seed or Castor
Tip #4. Go beyond moisturizing. Give you skin a little love twice a week with a cream mask. Avoid using harsh scrubs or drying masks. I suggest using a creamy tea mask, which is hydrating and helps to draw toxins out of the skin. Or create mask using avocados, bananas, honey and essential oils. Try out the avocado mask recipe from It’s ok to Play with Your Food.
Tip #5. Hydrate your environment. Invest in a humidifier. This is helpful for not only your sinuses but your skin as well. Placing plants with large leaves in your bedroom or areas you spend the most time in also helps increase the moisture in the air.
Tip #6. Give your hands a hand. The winter brings cold and flu season. So we tend to be more vigilant about washing our hands, which is very drying to the skin. Applying a moisturizer after washing hands and throughout the day will help keep the skin supple and smooth. Make sure to wear gloves when out in the cold and avoid rough materials such a wool, and cotton that will absorb moisture.
Tip #7. Keep exfoliation to a minimum. Avoid using harsh scrubs and exfoliants during winter months, even when your skin appears flaky. Using a cream cleanser with a soft cloth with small circular strokes is enough to slough off dry patchy skin without being abrasive.
Tip #8. Love your lips. Lips get dry and chapped because they have no sweat gland to lubricate the delicate skin and are sensitive to temperature changes. It’s import not to lick your lips, which will cause chapping. Instead keep soothing lip balms in your purse, car, drawers at work, next to your bed, or anywhere that you can access it. Apply often.
Tip # 9. Astaxanthin Supplement. Astaxanthin (pronounced “asta-ZAN-thin”) is a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment that is found in marine plants and animals, such as shrimp, lobster, and crabs. It is considered to be one of the most powerful antioxidants in nature. Astaxanthin has MANY health benefits, but for specifically for the skin, it protects the cells from damage, aids with skin moisture levels, smoothness, elasticity, and wrinkles. Astaxanthin acts as an internal sunscreen by reducing the UVA damage.
I can’t believe I am posting this with my hair sticking straight out of my head!!!! But here’s to being brave!!! I did a quick video on how I am creating my dreads, because I’ve been getting some questions about it. I apologize for the quality of the video.
I have wanted dreadlocks for so long!! However, when I attended cosmetology school (I’m not sure I should announce that I am a cosmetology with my hair looking like this!! ) I pixie cut my hair, and it has been short ever since. This is the longest my hair has been in 19 years!!!!
I have added synthetic dreadlocks extension while it grows out. And I will make a video on how I created the extensions and install them.
I used the pull and tear method to start, then back combed (if you grew up in the 80’s you know ALL about back combing!!), and then I used a highlight needle, (you could also use a crochet hook) to pull the hairs to the inside of the dread making it tight. It’s been a VERY LONG process!!!
My latest mission has been to reuse, recycle, up-cycle, and not waste anything. So as I was cleaning out my fridge tonight, I found leftover avocado from 2 days ago. As much as I LOVE avocado, I’m not a fan of eating it unless it is fresh and it’s rare that I have leftovers! So what better way to use up avocado then to do a face mask. This is perfect timing because we have been running the wood stove constantly and my skin is really dry.
Here are some of the benefits of avocados:
- They contain a natural carotenoid called lutein and its antioxidant properties help protect the skin from UV-B induced damage
- Polyphenols help reduce free radicals that cause cell damage
- Vitamin C and E helps improve the skin collagen and prevent premature formation of wrinkles
- The rich source of oleic acid plays a great role in the defense of the skin and is a great moisturizer
- It is a very effective cream for sun burnt or damaged skin.
- The chemical composition in Avocado helps to quickly regenerate and rejuvenate the skin.
- For individuals with blemished skin, aged skin or sun damaged skin, the sterolins found in avocado helps heal and hydrate the skin.
- It also contains proteins, fatty acids, Omega 3 and folic acid. It has the treasures of Vitamin A, B, C and Vitamin E to help the skin look vibrant.
How I applied:
I mixed 1/2 of a mashed up avocado with 2 table spoons of olive oil, and a teaspoon of Vitamin E, with 2 drops of Roman Chamomile, 2 drop of Myrrh, and 1 drop of Geranium Essential Oils. I massaged the mixture to my face and neck, and let it set for about 10 minutes. I then washed my face with warm water and applied my Chaga oil mixture (which I will post another time). My skin feels delicious, soft, and hydrated.
So the next time your mom tells you not to play with your food, be a rebel and play away!!!!
It was a year ago today, I was working the evening shift at a job I absolutely hated. At about 6:00 p.m. I became violently ill and had to leave. Before leaving work I returned to my desk, and saw I had 2 missed messages from Jason, but I didn’t response to them until I got to my vehicle. That’s when I got the frantic message from Jason to “GET HOME NOW!”
I tried calling his cell phone a couple of times, but he didn’t pick up. So I called the house, where my oldest son answered the phone. He said Jason was on his was to his parent’s house and had left the baby at home with him. At that point I knew something bad had happened. Jason’s step father, Joe had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer 2 months prior and he had been traveling to Boston for treatments and doing well. I was 15 minutes into my 40 minute drive home, when Jason finally called me and told me that Joe had passed away. I was in shock. How could this amazing man so full of life, be gone? We had just been at their house 2 days before putting up the Christmas tree. We had family plans, he had grandchildren to play with and spoil, golf games to play, and so much more life to live.
This year has been a struggle and a blessing. So many things have changed, I have experienced so much growth and Joe’s passing taught me some important lessons. Most importantly :
1.) Life is truly a gift. In our every day life, there are so many struggles, from juggling work, home, kids, bills, and so many other responsibilities. We forget how precious it is and the abundance of magic that surrounds us. I now treasure the chaos and craziness of it all. I love that my house is messy and there are dishes in the sink, laundry piling up, when before I would stress about it all. Now a feel blessed that we have toys all over the floor which means I have a healthy active 2 year old using his imagination. The dishes in the sink means I have the money to fill the belly’s of my family, and the 10 loads of laundry means the ability to be able to provide clothes for all of us. And also that I have 13 year old daughter who needs a new outfit for every hour.
2.)The present moment is where life occurs. I use to spend so much time, thinking of the past, the mistakes I had made, how or what I would do to fix them, and being full of regrets. The reality is, I could never go back or do anything to fix them. This would only leave me feeling inadequate and depressed. When I began living in the moment, I enjoyed being a mom even more, I felt connected to Jason, life was sweeter and less stressful. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have bad days, loose my temper, or get sad. That is what living in the moment is all about. Just allowing the experience to happen and be with your feelings, good or bad. This is what makes you grow as a person.
3.) Allowing yourself to feel. We live in a society where we are so quick to take a pill to numb the pain, or throw ourselves into work or other vices to distract from what we really feel. No one can ever heal this way. We need to accept that it’s ok to feel sad, angry and alone when someone we love passes. And that 3 day of bereavement time is NOT enough time to “get over” a loss. I admit that it is scary to sit with your emotions and just allow yourself to feel the loss of someone you love. Sometimes the pain can be so overwhelming. But if you just sit with it and breathe through it, that’s when the real healing begins and you can release the pain. I don’t think that feeling of loss ever goes away, but it becomes bearable. Instead of being overcome with the pain, a shift takes place and your are able to honor their memory by remembering the wonderful times you shared and what they offered the world.
4.) Being Fearless. No one is promised tomorrow! You can make excuses of why you can’t or don’t want to do things you KNOW will make you happy, or continue to not to participate in life, but where does that lead you? To an unhappy, unfulfilled, lonely space and full of regret. I wouldn’t do a lot of things by myself, because I was afraid to put myself out there. I became very isolated and shut off from the world. This year I began making myself attend workshops and events that I found interesting. It was uncomfortable for me at first, but it changed my life. I have created some magical friendships, I am now excited to go places and do things I have never done before, and my confidence has grown. Life is too short to be unhappy, and to beautiful not to experience it. Don’t let fear take it away from you.
So tonight I honor Joseph “Popo” Graham and thank him for touching my life and accepting me as part of your family. Thank you for sharing your light and kindness with the world and with me. I love and miss you…
Update on my Surrogacy Journey and life…. Looking forward to 2016!!!
For more information on the Manifestation through Vision Boards
This past weekend I attended a Shamanic weekend workshop. It was a powerful and life changing experience. We journeyed, we sang, we dance, we opened our hearts to perfect strangers, and we healed. I am still processing the whole experience and plan to write or do a vlog about it soon.
We were asked to bring snacks to share with everyone. It was recommended to bring something gluten free, nut free, dairy free, and vegans due to the dietary needs within the group. A few months ago I saw on a website, a recipe for brownies made with black beans, but I didn’t write it down. So I thought I would wing it and hope for the best! So here is what you need to make these spirit nourishing morsels….
2 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 can canned pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 vanilla bean scrapped or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup, room temperature
1 cup old fashioned gluten free oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cacao powder or cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag of Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 9.5×13.5 inch non-stick square baking pan.
- Combine everything in the food processor except chocolate chips. Process until very smooth. Stir in chocolate chips 3/4 of the bag, then the last 1/4 of the bag sprinkle over the top of the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared baking pan and top with more chocolate chips.
Bake for 28-30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.
- They are best when stored in the fridge.
They came out AMAZING!!!! So fudgy and dense. Not only are they out of this world delicious, but they are healthy for you too. These brownies a packed full of protein, fiber, magnesium, and iron.