I realize that many people don’t love India. It’s a tough country for those coming from the west. It’s often dirty, super busy, and filled with poverty. I too have been caught with a case of DelhiBelly and it isn’t fun.
At the same time, I LOVE the people, the laid back atmosphere, and the overall feeling throughout the country that “everything is going to be okay”. The religious philosophy of the people spreads into their everyday lives and movements. They nod their heads with happiness from left to right and immediately a feeling of peace comes over me.
One of the most magnificent celebrations in India is Holi Week where people congregate on a field and throw powder paints at each other for hours. At the end of the day, you are covered in all colors of the rainbow and you can’t help but be happy. It’s a celebration of life and like one that is not seen in any other country around the world.
This week, I got a pair of silicone spatulas for the kitchen and which are called “Holi In the Kitchen”. I love them. Not only do they jump out at me when I open up the drawer filled with steel and other drab colors, but I feel happiness when I use them. They are light, great quality, and joyful. I feel like I am at a Holi celebration everyday.
Today, I tried Starbucks latest drink fad and was nicely entertained. It contains antioxidants, a sustained caffeine buzz, and works well with your metabolism. What is not to love?
Like all drinks at Starbucks besides the drip coffee, I am skeptical and again, I was right. I found this blog that outlines why it’s not that great for you: http://thenakedlabel.com/blog/2013/10/11/starbucks-matcha-green-tea-soy-latte-undressed-6-questionable-ingredients-in-your-healthy-latte/.
Thank goodness I had already ordered my own matcha powder for the house. I’m not sitting at home enjoying the benefits without the additives!
As you may know, my husband doesn’t love to eat fruits and vegetables. I find he can often go many days surviving on just protein and carbs. Thus, recently I have been trying to get him to eat some fruits and veggies in any form. My latest favorite recipe is anything having to do with a fruit crisp.
I have gone through three dozen apples in the last two weeks in this delectable baked dish. I add minimal sugar and just let him eat up the oats and good vitamins. Here is a recipe from Martha Stewart that I am going to try this week, plus try using some Yacan syrup to replace the sugar completely!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, oats, and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until coarse crumbs form.
In a shallow 2-quart baking dish, toss plums with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon flour; sprinkle with oat topping. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until topping is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes before serving.
This week I got sent some rosehip oil and I was at a loss initially with what to do with it. My dad drinks rosehip tea to help alleviate swelling in his ankles, but you can’t drink the oil. I did some online research and was pleased to find similar reactions to the essential oil:
-corrects UV damage from the sun
-reduces appearance of scars
-burns and stretch marks
-improves elasticity of skin
-treats fine lines and wrinkles
-hydrates dry skin
-great for eczema and psoriasis
-evens skin tone
I came across this recipe for a body butter and am going to give it a shot this week. I am going to add rosehip oil to my sunscreen as well in order to help keep my skin looking young.
It is so refreshing when one finds a company that has good customer service. I get so excited to receive and endorse their products because they have formed a relationship with me. I feel like the customer service is almost equally important as the product itself.
I think often of the resort that I attended a few years ago in Sardinia, Italy. Rooms typically run $3000/night in the high season of July and August. It was beautiful, the food was delicious, and the ambiance was exquisite. But, what really creates such outrageous rates at this famous hotel is the customer service. The staff is very well trained on how to best serve the clientele. At the Cala di Volpe, the people make you feel like you are special.
These days, I often help out a friend of my mothers with her online business. She has put me in charge of customer service where I answer emails for her from disgruntled customers. I see from the other side now how easy it is truly to make the customer feel unique and special. They are concerned about their order and we should be too.
Last week, I received a thermometer to measure the temperature of meat when it’s cooking in the oven. The thermometer is great and I’m very happy with it. When I go order another kitchen product again, I am going to reach out first to Frazoni. They are so nice. When I messed up the ordering process, they were quick to help me fix it. I’ve never met them, but I feel like they are friends and I want to buy from people that I know.
Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above in exchange for review from Giveaway Service website. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. Reference ID: pm34186e9eb70e30487210b962e867b742
This week, I received some reusable pouches for smoothies and I’m excited to use them (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QRGZQWI). Eating these smoothies in these pouches will be much easier than putting the smoothie in a to-go bottle. My husband is also often skeptical to eat vegetables so I’m hoping to sneak a few in without him noticing as well.
Here’s a recipe that I am looking forward to using from www.littlegreenpouch.com:
My husband works often out of his car. He visits clients all day and uses his car as a quiet space to make phone calls, review his email, or check his calendar. For this reason, he also keeps snacks in the car such as nuts or protein bars.
Last week, he said that he didn’t have time to stop for lunch and was caught eating his snacks until he got home for dinner. This week, I gave him a whey protein powder single dosage packet which he can pour into a bottle of water and shake for an instant meal. He loved it.
I realize that often we are “on the go”. Things happen and sometimes we don’t have enough time to stop for a meal or take care of other daily necessities. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I love spending time with my dad because he is very good about scheduling the day to ensure we sit down for three meals. I was always a healthy weight growing up and one time a dietitian remarked that this was probably why.
My sister-in-law lives in Boston and this year they are certainly are in need of some self-tanner. With the record amount of snow, they have barely seen the light of day. They have for certain not seen any sun in weeks.
She asked if I knew a recipe for self-tanner and after some quick research, I found one that I liked for the ingredients. I sent it to her, but I was curious how it turned out. I popped into my kitchen and very quickly I was looking bronze. Here it is:
– 4 black tea bags
– 3/4 cup water for steeping your tea
– 1/2 cup coconut oil
– 1/2 cup cocoa butter
– 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
I got the recipe from http://thebeautybean.com/skin-2/diy-faux-glow-3-steps-to-streak-free-all-natural-self-tanner where they give further details, but in essence, you steep your tea and then combine all the ingredients in a blender.
I’ve been wearing it for the past few days and I really like it. It’s nourishing and hydrating for my skin and gives it a nice warm glow. I used fractionated coconut oil as I always do in these recipes and it works out great. My only piece of advice is that the recipe creates a lot. I have enough now for my sister-in-law and I both for two winters!
Ever since I was a child, I have steered away from aluminum in products. Antiperspirant is one of the products that heavily uses it and additionally uses it to block pores from perspiration, which makes me think it even more easily can get into the blood stream. Both of my grandmothers suffered from Alzheimers’ disease and although it has not been proven, there are many theories that aluminum can contribute to the failing of nerves that communicate brainwaves and thoughts. Thus, for most of my adult life I have been on the lookout for an antiperspirant that didn’t contain this ingredient.
As many of you know, there is a popular white crystal that is a natural solution and can be found in many health food stores. In my experience, this stick is a nuisance due to having to wet it under the sink each time you want to use it. This not only is often inconvenient, but I found it dripped water on my clothing in the path from the sink to my arm. Thus, I didn’t love it.
Then, last year, I heard about a recipe to make homemade version of deodorant and I have finally found a solution. This recipe uses natural products found in your kitchen cabinet and works like a charm. Since I started using it, I have made 2-3 batches, and it never fails.
I adapted this recipe from WellnessMama:
I hope you like it as much as I do!
Over the last year, I have been making my own sunscreen because I feel it allows me to avoid chemicals used in manufactured creams and to better control what I am putting on my skin. Initially, I was concerned about it not creating enough coverage and/or being inconsistent. Now, after over twelve months of making 2-3 batches, I am confident in saying that it fits my needs perfectly, plus feeling good to the skin.
Many critics of homemade sunscreen say that large manufacturing plants spend many years of research and technology into creating a cream that is consistent throughout. In my experience, my creams are consistent if I keep them at room temperature. For example, the jar sitting in my medicine cabinet is great, but the travel size that I leave in my car and that heats up and cools down everyday now is most often separated between the different ingredients. For this reason, I depend more on the version that I keep at home or in my purse, but that’s fine. It works, and at the end of the day, I don’t feel like I have manufactured chemicals on my skin, but natural ingredients that contribute to softer, healthier faces.
Here is the recipe that I use that I adapted from WellnessMama:
As a guideline, the following ingredients contribute the following amount of SPF:
As a note, I use defractioned coconut oil because it doesn’t smell like Hawaii and isn’t as having. You are welcome to use cooking coconut oil, but the defractioned allows me to keep the sunscreen all day without feeling like it’s “caked” on as well as put it on under makeup.