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Archive for July 21, 2014

It’s my birthday and I’m hosting a giveaway!

Woo hoo!  Happy birthday to me!

This year’s birthday wasn’t as spectacular as my 50th birthday last year.  Last year I was in Hawaii and went snorkelling with turtles on my birthday.

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Hard to top snorkelling with turtles!

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This year, I worked at Seaport Village. And although I was working, it was about as perfect a day as you can get at work… clear skies, slight breeze, happy vacationers… and I found a package of googly eyes and drew this panda on a little girl who was also celebrating her birthday!

A great day at the office!

A great day at the office!

So I decided to share the love on my birthday with a lucky winner:

My gift to one of you!

My gift to one of you!

In the bag:

  • A full-sized Makana Artisanal Soy Candle in a yummy Grapefruit/Lychee scent.
  • A Mineral Fusion Mini Nail Polish kit in the hot summer colors of Trinket (a red-purple cream), Lagoon (a carribean ocean green) and Blaze (a glorious red-orange cream)
  • A sample bottle of Acure Pure Organic Argan Oil
  • A sample of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint soap
  • Two teabags of Yogi Tea
  • Other stuff as strikes my fancy between now and the time a winner is chosen.

To enter, just tell me about your best birthday celebration.  You can enter more than once, but I’d appreciate a different answer per entry (just coz I read them all!)

Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

When the spouse is away….

I shall have a spa day!

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It has been ages since I had a whole day off all by myself!  Hubby is in Tucson at a meeting, and I had a surprise cancellation.  Woo hoo!

My spa day actually started yesterday evening with an hour-long massage from Nell at Spa 33, followed by a half hour in the sauna.  Then I had a spa dinner of stir-fry over quinoa and read magazines with the cats.  Heaven!

This morning I got up at my usual time and slathered my hair with a mixture of coconut oil and camellia oil (available on Amazon and at Asian groceries) — and covered it with a plastic bag.  Then I went for my walk.  You would never know that my hair was getting beautified underneath my walking hat!

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Doing the hot oil treatment and getting fit, too!

Having the kitchen to myself for a few days seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a new diet.  I saw this book at the library and could not resist the title: Happy Hormones, Slim Belly: Over 40? Lose 7 lbs the First Week, and then 2 lbs. Weekly – Guaranteed. by Jorge Cruise.  The premise, in a nutshell, is that women start craving sugar (meaning sugar in a global sense — everything that breaks down into sugars in the digestive system, so sugars, fruit, carbs, etc.) to help boost their serotonin levels which are going haywire during peri-menopause. The result is weight gain and difficulty sticking to diets which make us miserable.  Jorge’s answer: what he calls carb-cycling.  It sounds like a modified marriage of the Atkins Diet and the Fast Diet — 2 days a week, you avoid all “sugars” (eating as much meat, dairy and vegetables as you want) and then the other 5 days you eat a sensible Mediterranean diet.

My hormones certainly are going haywire… and my weight is currently plateaued at 20lbs more than what the Dr. considers healthy…

So I’m on the second day of the Diet which has 2 “Slim Days” and 5 “Happy Days”  Today is a “Slim Day” — and it’s going well.  I have some fruit cravings, but have almonds instead. And the avocado with lunch really helped fill me up.

Tomorrow I get to have tortillas again!  It seems fairly easy to work around the spouse.  He will be happy with the increase in bacon consumption… All I really have to do is not eat the carbs on my slim days, but in practice, I’m not sure I can watch my husband eat bread without having some myself….

I am dubious about the losing 7 lbs in one week part…. and I’m pretty sure the guarantee won’t apply to me since it was a library book… but we’ll see how it goes.

So, back to the spa part….

I made a simple scrub by adding some Hawaiian red salt to Alba’s Coconut Milk Facial Wash.

 

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Ingredients: Aqua (Water), C14-22 Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit Extract*, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Oil*, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, C12-20 Alkyl Glucoside, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Panthenol, Polysorbate 60, Potassium Hydroxide, Tocopheryl Acetate, Alcohol*, Benzoic Acid, Dehydroacetic Acid, Phenoxyethanol , Coumarin, Fragrance (Parfum) * Certified Organic Ingredient

Then followed that with the Honey Girl Organics Rejuvenating Mask (which although is clay-based, has enough oils and honey that it is actually not drying at all)

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Ingredients: Raw Pupukea Honey, French green clay, organic diatomaceous earth, Hawaiian blue green algae, Royal Jelly, propolis.

Then washed the oil out of my hair with Whole Foods 365 Lavender Shampoo — which has no sulfates or other nasty stuff. It left my hair soft and clean, but not squeaky and stripped.  This was one of the freebies I got from the Whole Foods Blogger event last month.

365 Shampoo for dry and normal hair "lavender blend": water, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium cocoamphacetate, wheat germ amidopropyl, betaine, sodium chloride, benzyl alcohol, glycerine, citric acid, dehydroacetic acid, burdock root extract, panthenol, vitamin E, hydrolyzed soy protein, rosemary, lavender, tangerine

365 Shampoo for dry and normal hair “lavender blend”: water, sodium laureth sulfate, sodium cocoamphacetate, wheat germ amidopropyl, betaine, sodium chloride, benzyl alcohol, glycerine, citric acid, dehydroacetic acid, burdock root extract, panthenol, vitamin E, hydrolyzed soy protein, rosemary, lavender, tangerine

I also tried the Whole Foods 365 French Milled Organic Lavender Soap (also a sample freebie from the Blogger event) — and it was delightful!  Nice lather, and a fresh lavender scent. Definitely a keeper!

Wholefoods_LavenderSoapAlas, being at home is not the same as being at The Golden Door, so there were still chores to be done.

But my hair and skin feel fantastic, and after a bowl of hearty soup, there is a Disney Princess movie marathon (on the couch with the cats in a pile) on the agenda…

I feel ready to face the next 5 weeks (without a day off)!

Natasha’s Thai-Inspired Spa Chicken Vegetable Soup

In a soup pot:

Sautee
1 tbl coconut oil
1 chicken breast, chopped
1 tbl (or so) of fresh chopped garlic
1 tbl chopped ginger (I like the ginger cubes that I found at our local Asian market)

Then add:
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbl chopped ginger (I like the ginger cubes that I found at our local Asian market)
1/2 lemon, sliced
1 cup frozen spinach
1/2 yellow squash, chopped
2 chopped fresh tomatoes
1 celery stick, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas

Sriracha sauce to taste

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Happy 4th of July!

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Wishing you and yours a joyous and fun-filled holiday!

 

A day at the Del Mar Fair

The Del Mar Fair -- the theme this year is: The Fab Fair, showcasing the Beatles.

The Del Mar Fair — the theme this year is: The Fab Fair, showcasing the Beatles.

I had the wonderful opportunity to work for the lovely ladies of Skin Tight Body Art in their henna booth at the Del Mar Fair today.

Skin Tight Body Art's Henna Booth at the Del Mar Fair

Skin Tight Body Art’s Henna Booth at the Del Mar Fair

The fair is a place of sensory overload:

The fairway

The fairway

The Gingerbread House

The Gingerbread House

Oh myyyy...

Oh myyyy…

As the County fair, there are livestock and plant exhibitions and contests in addition to the booths that sell silly things you can’t get anywhere else and fun stuff, like henna tattoos.

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Prize flower

Prize flower

Healthy fare was hard to find -- but the Pineapple Express had several delightful options: this is the Maui Chicken Pineapple...

Healthy fare was hard to find — but the Pineapple Express had several delightful options: this is the Maui Chicken Pineapple…

I hadn’t worked the fair in 6 years — and hadn’t gone to visit in 6 years, either!  After the initial overwhelm, I got hooked… and signed up to work a few days for Skin Tight Body Art at the Orange County fair in a couple weeks…

Glutton for punishment…

Probably…

A super fun design.  I love the creative vibe at both the fair and this booth!

A super fun design. I love the creative vibe at both the fair and this booth!

Cetaphil Gift Basket: We have a winner!

Congratulations to Julie Ruamthong of Alexandria, Virginia for participating in the Cetaphil Gift Basket giveaway!

The Cetaphil Gift Basket of full-sized goodies!

The Cetaphil Gift Basket of full-sized goodies!

Her name was selected at random by Rafflecopter, which offers a range of plans and giveaway packages from free to $60/month. (I use the free version and it is super easy to use!)

Stay tuned for more giveaways — I’ve got one in the works for the middle of the month!

And thanks again for reading my blog!