April 28, 2016

A Healthy, Longer, Beautiful Life with American Heart Association!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of American Heart Association for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

I want to live a healthier, longer life. Who doesn't, right? But it's not always easy to do the right things - eating right, exercise, and making sure that you and your family have everything you need to make those healthy choices!

I've said for a long time that knowing what to eat is CONFUSING! Low calorie, high fiber? High protein, low carbohydrate? No fat, low fat, what fats are healthy? Just tell me what's healthy!
Guess what? I've found the resource I've been looking for at the American Heart Association's website Heart.org Life Is Why!

I want to be a healthy mom and see my boys thrive! They've grown into amazing young men and I know that they want me to be healthy. My husband and I recently made a solid commitment to add more vegetables to our diet, cut back on unhealthy sweets and sugary drinks, and try to lose some weight. So far so good! We're each down over 5 pounds already!

For me, the hardest thing is trying to come up with dinner ideas besides a boneless, skinless chicken breast on a salad. I wander the produce department and the meat section at the grocery store and always end up making the same choices. I've never been very creative when it comes to cooking! My favorite new resource is the American Heart Association's Pinterest page. Who knew that there were so many awesome and healthy recipes all in one place? How about this recipe for SPRING GREENS WITH SALMON AND APRICOT GINGER VINAIGRETTE?

Now before I go to the grocery store, I browse the site and find new things to try! I make a list and I can even go back to the site while I'm at the store on my cell phone if I'm not sure about something.
There are so many other great resources on Heart.org too, including a nutritious page that breaks it all down and tells you how to eat healthy based on American Heart Association research. We already know, right? Well, I didn't!

image from American Heart Association
What I appreciate the most is that they don't say that you can never have a sweet treat. They don't say that you can never eat bread.

They say that you should LIMIT the amount of sweets that you eat. For me, that means that if I have something sweet, I'm not on a binge day, I'm not ruining my "diet" - I'm simply having a treat balanced by overall healthy eating.

There's so much to learn about eating right, so many health reasons why it's important for me to eat right, and it's totally worth the extra work it takes.

Especially when there's a great resource like the American Heart Association to help make it easier.

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Seven New Beauty Ideals from Happinez Magazine

I found this wonderful list on the Happinez Blog. Make sure that you head over there to check them out, and check out their awesome new magazine. Their message is SO IMPORTANT! In fact, this post is so good, I didn't want to change a single word of it, so I'm copying it verbatim. 

Alright, so maybe looks are just as important as your inner nature and vice versa, but where can we draw the line? How essential is that expensive cream really, or those leather shoes while you just donated money to an animal protection organization? It's high time for a makeover of the seven beauty ideals!

1. Be grateful
Gratitude is a more potent beautifier than any cream on earth. Pausing to consider the miracle of your body will smooth out all the wrinkles of dissatisfaction. Be grateful for how your organs digest your food, how your muscles take you where you need to go, and how your mind, eyes and heart enable you to be in touch with the world. You could almost trip over your body – it is that close – so don’t take it for granted, even if it doesn’t always exactly do what you want.

2. Be eco-fabulous
Being pretty at the expense of something or someone else is obviously not great. Choose products that are made with respect for humans, animals and nature.

3. Experiment
The best way to find a balance between your so-called outer and inner appearance is by regularly going to extremes in one or the other. Give yourself a crew cut. Send a week meditating in the same jogging pants. Attend a party in a killer outfit. You are guaranteed to learn a few new steps in the tango of form and content.

4. Boost your confidence

Self-confidence was beauty tip number one, psychologist Dr. Vivian Diller discovered in her study into what makes women beautiful from the inside. As a former top model, she could confirm this from personal experience: ‘Early on I learned that being the prettiest doesn’t determine the success of a model, because everyone was beautiful. Being perfect wouldn’t do it either, because nobody was perfect. Your success was determined by your behavior and confidence.

5. Focus on what you have, not on what you do not have
Here’s another tip from Dr. Diller, taken from her book Face It: What Women Really Feel As Their Looks Change(highly recommended, incidentally). You may tend to be upset by the parts of your body you don’t like, but the key to confidence is to put emphasis on what you do like. Do you have good posture? Beautiful hair, radiant eyes? Build your outfits around them and focus on those parts. N.B. this also works in all other areas of life.

6. Behave stylishly, even when you’re alone

One of my teachers emphasizes the importance of stylish behavior, even when you are alone. To me, this was a life-changing lesson. Can you behave with as much dignity when you’re lying on the couch in a onesie as when you’re attending a posh dinner? How much self-respect do you show when you’re in the toilet? Act stylishly at all times, and see how it makes you feel.

7. Like inwards, like outwards
This is the ultimate beauty tip. Approach your look with all the noble qualities that you can also use for you inner hygiene: kindness, respect, creativity and compassion. Treat your skin, your heart, your home and your hair with the same joyful appreciation.

Thank you so much to Happinez blog for this incredible post!
Text by Geertje Couwenberg
Read more on the meaning of beauty in issue 2 of Happinez 'Peace of mind'

April 26, 2016

Clean Green Beauty is Finally Real! Introducing Silk Therapeutics

This post brought to you by Silk Therapeutics. The content and opinions expressed below are that of http://www.abeautifullittlelife.com/.

The products that you put on your skin are as important as the food that you put in your body. Finding a good skin care line that is free of harsh chemicals and preservatives that actually works is totally golden. I'm happy to a new line of anti-aging products from Silk Therapeutics that is not only totally CLEAN but it's super luxurious! They use pure, natural silk in liquid form to produce a wonderful product that is perfect for all skin types, but especially perfect for those who have the most sensitive skin.

The founders of Silk Therapeutics are actually biotech scientists who wanted to create products that are safe for users during that are vulnerable - including pregnant women, those going through any cancer treatments, etc. (one of the founders is a cancer survivor herself)

LIQUID SILK? Wait, what? Silk molecules are unique because they are innately compatible with human skin, so they sink in deeply to support collagen production. Even better, Silk Therapeutics is a top rated brand on EWG’s (EWG = Environmental Working Group) Skin Deep list! Currently Silk Therapeutics offers 6 products including a peel, smoothing face and eye cream, moisturizer, serum and their innovative Fine Line Lifting Film – a dissolvable gel film that delivers 30% vitamin C to instantly erase lines, firm and brighten.

I love the way that they bundle the products to take the guesswork out of skin care. This is the "Refresh & Recharge" Bundle that targets fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots and uneven skin tone. It includes:
Lemongrass Renewing Peel, a weekly treatment that transforms your skin by exfoliating the outer layer. Contains only 5 natural ingredients!
Unscented Nurture + Age Defying Treatment A super powered moisturizer that contains only 8 natural ingredients!
Lemongrass C Advace Treatment An anti-aging treatment that increases collagen production. Contains 7 natural ingredients. So good!

Hello! No more ingredient lists that read like an advanced chemistry manual. I'm talking ingredients like SILK, Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, Aspen Bark Extract, Essential Oils... totally pure and totally natural. That makes this product line TOTALLY AMAZING.

There are bundles, and there are specialty products like the Silk + C30 Film. The 10-minute highly concentrated treatment provides 20% vitamin C and it IMMEDIATELY addresses visible signs of aging. The uneven skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles... all gone! The dissolving film contains just TWO INGREDIENTS - silk and vitamin C - and you can target your problems areas that need special attention. It makes your skin brighter, firmer, and beautifully renewed.
  If you're like me, you're looking at the ingredient list and maybe thinking "I could make something like this myself!" Reality check. Liquid silk. Ok, so I can't make it myself. And that also explains why these products cost a bit more than what I'm using now. The thing about it is that the pure silk protein in these products helps your skin produce more collage, while actively firming, smoothing, and locking in moisture!

One more awesome tidbit I picked up while on their website... Silk provides their clean, luxury skincare to an oncology patient with every purchase. That means that someone whose immune system is incredibly vulnerable receives this fabulous skincare line that is free of the harsh chemicals and preservatives that could harm them, at a time when they need it the most. That is so AWESOME!

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A Murder Mystery in Minneapolis...

So ever since I saw Neil and Sam on "Married at First Sight" go to a Murder Mystery Theater on a date, I wondered what it would be like... And when I had the chance to check it out for myself right here in Minneapolis, I said "Heck, yea!"

April 22, 2016

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

I consider myself to be extremely fortunate, (most of the time) to live in Minnesota, where we seem to feel a stronger connection to nature than many other places - especially in the Minneapolis area where, for an urban community, we are fortunate to have so many parks and lakes. 

This Earth Day, I'm being pulled outside and even though my heart is still heavy after the death of Prince, I know that turning off the nonstop TV coverage and getting outdoors is the best thing for me.

I started searching for the best ways to celebrate Earth Day and came across this post from Free People that I thought I'd share. Happy Earth Day All!