Sunday, April 13, 2014

Face Cream Giveaway Winner Announced!



Congrats to knmkendall who is the winner of the 
2oz jar of Jamie Sager's Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizing Face Cream! 

Please email me at plumeberry(at)gmail(dot)com to claim your prize. 

For those who did not win, remember... you can use the coupon code ANNEBROWN and receive a 30% discount on the cream at her 
Etsy Store.

Thanks for reading!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Bathroom Makeover, 5 Bathroom Must-Haves, and a GIVEAWAY

Whew! That's a lot packed into one post! Let's get started... (Scroll to the bottom for the giveaway.)

After moving to our new house almost one year ago, the to-do list has been never ending. A bathroom remodel was on the list and after a few months we got to it. Well, we got to hiring someone to do the bulk of it! We did paint, change light fixtures, and decorate.



While spending more time in my newly renovated bathroom, I got thinking about which bathroom items I absolutely love and wanted to share.

1. Clarisonic MIA Cleansing Device


The first time I used my MIA it felt like I had unveiled a new layer of skin. I compared the old way I was washing my face (just using some soap and my fingers) to brushing my teeth with just my finger. I don't know why it took me so long to find out about this tool! Hopefully, you'll take my tip and get one too, so your skin can feel fresh, clean, and healthier than ever!

2. Coconut Oil


I have a little bowl full of coconut oil on my countertop that is my go-to body lotion every morning after the shower. You can also use it to oil pull if you start feeling a little under the weather. Just take 1-2 fingerfuls and swish around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. I had a sore throat coming on and noticed a big improvement after doing this. You can Google the term "oil pulling" if you want to learn more. 

3.  Squatty Potty


After hearing about this product a few times and chalking it up as gross, I finally decided to take the plunge (pun intended). And I'm glad I did! I won't go into details, because that would be TMI. I'll leave it at - I love it! You can learn more about it here.

4.  Redmond Clay Toothpaste & Face Mask

 

I am a huge fan of Redmond Heritage Farms. They own my favorite grocery store, Real Foods, where they sell their raw milk and cheese. They are the manufacturers of many fabulous products, including Real Salt and Redmond Clay.

I love the Redmond Clay toothpaste in Peppermint. Katie loves it too - in any flavor. And I don't have to worry if she swallows it because it is completely natural and beneficial. I let her have a couple toothbrushes full and she gets her daily dose of clay.

I also love their clay used as a face mask. I just mix it 1 part clay to 2 parts water, apply it to my face liberally, wait 10 minutes and wash it off. My face feels tingly, clean, detoxed and fresher than ever. I notice a huge improvement on any blemishes after using the mask.

5. Jamie Sager's All Natural Wrinkle Cream Moisturizing Face Cream


I met Jamie when I was teaching an intro to Dressing Your Truth at a retreat my friend was hosting and she so kindly gave me a free bottle of her hand-crafted face cream. I was excited to try it, as it is made of all natural ingredients featuring oils, herbs, and essential oils specifically chosen to improve the elasticity of the skin. After applying my skin gets tingly and I can feel the natural ingredients working their magic on my face!

Well, those are my top 5 bathroom faves! I am still on the hunt for a favorite face wash. Please share any face wash suggestions! And share your bathroom favorites!

Now, onto the GIVEAWAY!!!

Jamie (the creator of the magic face cream) has been so kind to donate a 2 oz. bottle worth $24 to one lucky reader. Thank you, Jamie! She has also extended a 30% off coupon code for all readers that can be used at her Etsy Store. Use the code: ANNEBROWN to get the discount.


To enter the giveaway do one or all of the following:

1. Make a comment
2. Subscribe to my blog
3. Share this post on Facebook

(If you do #2 and/or #3 comment to say you did it and that will enter you in the giveaway up to 3 times.)

A winner will be chosen next Sunday, April 13th.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 3, 2014

25 Inspiring Ways to Recognize the Love You Give!

When Katie was just born I had some people tell me that everyday would get better, I wasn't sure it was possible. But they were right! Everyday with my little Katie Claire is sweeter than the day before! 

Today she did something cute, I can't remember what exactly, but it made me laugh and I thought "I smile everyday thanks to this little girl!"

It's pretty amazing that such a little person can bring so much joy! And I imagine it will just keep getting better, right?!

Unfortunately, sometimes I forget to slow down, or stop what I'm doing to enjoy it all a little more.

Please tell me I'm not the only one that struggles with this! I constantly feel at odds with myself - when I'm playing with Katie I feel a nagging that I need to get things done and once I start do get things done I feel another nagging feeling that I should stop and play with Katie (maybe it's the little hands grabbing at me??)! This inner battle gets really annoying!

I realize that there are many roles I play in life that need my attention, and being a good mom doesn't require me to sit and play "peek-a-boo" all day long! I am working on finding more balance with this struggle. (Any tips welcome.)

The greatest tool I have learned to help manage this is listening to those little nudges that come throughout the day. "Stop cleaning and go play with Katie." It works the other way too - "Now's a good time to do the dishes." The days I follow those promptings closely are always satisfying days! 

I think it's also important for me to recognize that everything I am doing I am really doing for Katie - keeping a clean house, making good food, working hard to create a good life for us, etc. etc. I am just having this insight for the first time now! (There go the little voices again.) I am so grateful for this insight I am having! Hallelujah! Perhaps this will bring a little more peace the next time I find myself in the kitchen a little longer than planned. ;)

I want to share a book with you that I was honored to be a part of called How Do I Love You: Let Me Count the Days. It is meant to be used as an inspiration and provide ideas of how you can show a little more love to your family throughout the month of February. But you can also use it in another way - as you read the ideas recognize and honor yourself for all that you're already doing to show your love to your family each and everyday. And then find a few more fun ideas along the way!

You can get it for free here. If you start today the 25 ideas will take you all the way through February!

Happy Valentine's, you amazing person, you!


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Healthy Travels

Today I have my first guest poster! Cole from colemill.blogspot.com is sharing his tips for healthier traveling.
Being an avid traveler myself, I am excited to share his tips. When I was younger, it was a tradition of mine to get a Cinnabon Pecan Bun every time I went on vacation. It was a special treat and part of the whole exotic experience. But then I learned more about what is actually in those buns and started traveling a lot more and decided a Cinnabon a month was really too much. So I stopped my tradition of indulging in highly-processed sugary bun and have applied some healthier habits including some of the tips mentioned below by Cole...
Airports are a prime location for the luring attacks of sugary drinks, snacks and fast food.  Most people, who are often in a rush, forget to either eat prior to their airport arrival or to grab healthier snack to hold them over.  Consequently, this makes them prime targets for those energy sucking foods that never fail to add those unwanted pounds.  

Staying hydrated also important to avoiding unnecessary snacking.  Although airport security will not allow water bottles through the security gate, they will allow an empty bottle through which can be filled once inside the gate.  Most places in the airport do sell water but the bottles are often small and usually overpriced.  Either way, your stomach, and bladder, will thank you for choosing water rather than caffeinated drinks which tend to run right through you with, sometimes, with some very uncomfortable side effects.
Now realistically, life doesn’t always allow the time for us to eat prior to airport arrival.  That most often being the case, a great first step for any airport travel is to take a quick peek at your airports website.  Find out what kind of restaurants and snack bars are going to be available.  A quick peek will allow you to know, in advance, exactly where to go for a nutritious meal that will satisfy your taste buds.  Also learn about the restaurants and hotels in the nearby area. You never know when you are going to be stuck over night on a layover. I had a flight cancelled recently while I was in Boston after a Red Sox game and thought I was in a trouble. I did a quick search and found a great list of hotels and restaurants in Boston that could cater to the health conscious. Researching everything is extremely important.  By doing this, you'll be better able to gauge the availability of health-conscious menu items. Steer clear of places serving junk foods, barbecue, fried foods and other health nightmares. You're much better off with places that serve Mediterranean fare, salads, soups and lean meats.
Yes, it is true that airports are ideal locations to catch up on reading or to jump on a laptop to get a few more minutes of work done.  It is a proven fact, however, that exercise will boost not only your emotions but also your work ethic.  Taking a quick stroll around the airport, perhaps even browsing through a few of the airport shops, will keep both your mind and body in motion.  Carrying your bags instead of rolling them beside you adds resistance, and taking the stairs instead of the escalator will get your blood flowing.  Increased blood flow not only makes your heart happy but also you will notice yourself relax and smile with each new step. 
All in all, the bottom line is to know what to avoid and what to enjoy.  Fried foods, those delicious smelling cinnamon rolls, or too much caffeine can leave you lacking in energy, cringing from heartburn, or constantly rushing to the bathroom.  Healthier choices like fruit, crackers, perhaps a sandwich or wrap, and plenty of water will keep up your nutrition and your health.  Movement, like a quick stroll or even skipping steps up the stairwell, will keep your energy up and your mind clear for the journey that lies ahead of you.
In addition to Cole's great tips, here are a few of my own. As a general rule, I only order water when I fly. When I made that switch I felt like I was missing out a little bit - I mean it's free, it's kind of a treat to get some soda or juice, but anything else will just make my already prone to swelling feet worse. Plus, the taste really isn't worth all the processed sugar in my system, so now I don't even miss it. 
I usually don't eat the pretzels because of the highly-processed white flour and I don't even like pretzels. Don't make the mistake of eating the snacks because their free - be picky and make smart choices! I also try and stay away from meals with meat when ordering anything at the airport. Actually, I stay away from most meats outside of what I cook at home (unless I know it's organic/grass-fed/local) because I don't know where it came from and how processed it is. You will always find some meat-less option. 
I usually pack a bag of nuts, a health bar or two, some fruit, and maybe a sandwich if it's a longer flight. I feel much better when I eat healthier while I am traveling and it is worth the extra prep beforehand. 
Healthy travels to all!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Doing Time in the Kitchen

I spent about 5 hours in the kitchen yesterday after Katie got sick over the weekend. I was out of town for a week and then didn't get around to (or maybe just didn't want to) go shopping the next so we were eating a lot of snacks around the house. It wasn't junk food, just nothing super nutritious. We didn't have much to eat besides a gallon of raw milk, some bread slices, eggs, condiments and 17 jars of homemade pickles.  I was left eating ProBars and almonds for a lot of the time.

And then Katie got sick over the weekend. She was cutting a tooth, so she already had a high fever, then got a bronchial virus so she was feeling pretty crummy for a few days. I realized then that chips and turkey slices were not helping her health and something needed to change!

That was all the motivation I needed!

So I spent about 1 hour on Sunday making my week's plan and then 3 hours in the morning and another 2 in the afternoon on Monday.

I usually don't do all my cooking on one day, but I really don't like dishes, so I thought if I had everything out I might as well make a bunch of stuff!

After I was done I took it all back out to look at my results and took a picture!



Here's what I made:

(Front row left to right...)
Green Smoothie and Yogurt/Berry smoothies are in the Little Green Pouches and popsicle molds. I put them in the freezer and plan to thaw them before feeding them to Katie.

I made a batch of Apple Spice Muffins and froze most of them for future meals. Next time I would double the batch. They are really tasty!! It will be easy to thaw a few to go with a soup or have as a snack.

My go-to cookie snack - Banana cookies (on the pdf). I used raisins and almonds in place of chocolate chips.

2 batches of whole wheat pizza dough. I used a recipe from the Diet Rebel's Cookbook. I also have frozen mozzarella from Costco (they have the best value), so it will be easy to thaw those and make a yummy pizza!

Behind the pizza is a crust for this Chicken Pot Pie. I tripled the recipe for this because it is so good, but takes a long time to make the whole thing. I wanted to make the filling as well, but didn't get around to it. But having the crust done cuts out time and dishes!

The final item on the front row is popcorn - a favorite snack of Katie's! I made about 5 more cups and plan to make this caramel corn for Real Food Market's Halloween party.

(Back row left to right...)

In the first stack of tupperware, I have soaked oatmeal, tuna (ready for quick sandwiches), a spinach salad for tomorrow's lunch, and cooked and shredded chicken for the pot pie.

Moving on, I have sliced carrots and celery ready for fresh eating or adding to the pot pie filling, and a few hard boiled eggs for snacks.

Next stack I've got egg salad for sandwiches, and cooked quinoa with peppers and cilantro. In front of those Tupperware there is a little bag of cilantro that I bought fresh then dried in my dehydrator because organic cilantro gets really pricey and is hard to find in the coming Winter months. I know I'll be glad to have some on hand!

In the final stack, I have ravioli (I didn't homemake this. I bought it frozen at Sprouts, but I did prepare it that day!), chopped peppers for adding to salads and a seeded pomegranate for fresh eating or adding to salads.

Wow. I'm getting tired just reading this! But guess what?! Breakfast took 2 minutes to throw together today. I had oatmeal with Udi's granola and raw milk. Lunch was spinach salad, egg salad sandwiches, and banana cookies and it was packed and ready to go! I didn't make dinner tonight because I do a trade with my sister-in-law and tonight was her night. But preparing tomorrow's pot pie should be quick and easy and I don't have to pull out my mixer and flour! Yay!

And best of all, we will be eating a warm, nutritious meal!

If I am determined to stay healthy this season I gotta do what I can!!

I hope this inspires you to make some healthy changes too!