Category Archives: Health and Wellness

Christmas: A Time for Miracles

christmas-miracles

Check out my new review for this eBook: Christmas Miracles, especially if you are in need of some hope and inspiration.

I really enjoyed the holiday-themed stories in this eBook

In a world that often seems to have gone mad (just watch the news!!) it’s so easy to give up on goodwill, hope and miracles, big and small. But the world IS filled with all kinds of good people and wonderful things, we just need to be open to seeing and believing that’s true. 

I wish you all… a magical and memorable holiday season!!

 

Some of My “Fun in the Sun” Favs! :-)

cute-smiling-sunshine-clip-art_622974

Stop by My Real Life Reviews to read about some of my all-time fav summertime products and books.

Summer…it’s almost here! 🙂 Have a good one. 

On the Menu: Beet and Fresh Dill Layered Salad

I  ♥ BEETS! 😉

12165604296_fb9b93e426_z

And the simple marinated beet salad (see recipe below) featured in my cookbook:

The Groovy Green Kitchen I: Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker,

and is one of my fav ways to prepare and enjoy them. 🙂

Beet and Fresh Dill Layered Salad

A flavorful marinated salad, especially good to make when garden dill and beets are at their peak. Keeps for several days, covered in the refrigerator. A perfect side dish with all kinds of main dishes. Adds a brilliant color contrast on your plate too. Serves 6.

12 medium fresh (preferred) beets: precooked, peeled and cut into thin circles (or use equivalent amount of whole canned beets with no salt added, thoroughly rinsed and drained, then sliced)

1 medium red Bermuda onion, thinly sliced in rings

3 -4 T. chopped fresh dill-weed

Red Wine Marinade:

1/3 C. extra-virgin olive oil

5 T. red wine vinegar

1 teas. Mrs. Dash Original Blend Seasoning

1/2- 1 teas. sea salt

½ teas. freshly-ground black pepper

In a large bowl (that has a secure cover) layer 1/3 of the sliced beets, topped by ½ of the onion rings, then ½ of the dill-weed. Repeat layers, ending with the last 1/3 of the beets on top.

Combine marinade ingredients in a jar and shake thoroughly. Pour over vegetables, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. Shake container gently to re-distribute marinade evenly before serving, especially if storing for a longer period of time.

*****

Last night, I made this beet salad, along with an orzo salad for supper. It was soooo good. 🙂

I also like to serve this with my: German Sauerkraut Feast (click to enjoy that slow cooker recipe).

If you ♥  beets too, you might want to give this one a try! 😉

Happy Cooking!

BEET PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR

Product Review: Andalou Sunflower & Citrus Styling Gel

THE BEST HAIR GEL I’VE EVER USED! 😉

Andalou Naturals Sunflower & Citrus Medium Hold Styling Gel - 6.8 oz

Andalou Sunflower & Citrus Styling Gel

I’ve tried a LOT of hair gels over the years and this product is the best I’ve found to date, mainly due to its first/main ingredient being: organic aloe juice, NOT some unpronounceable chemical, as is usually the case with these types of products. 

It also “does the job” with thick, unruly hair like mine.

So many styling products I’ve tried didn’t actually do much, especially the more natural options. But this one from Andalou really tames the frizzies and keeps my hair looking smooth in almost all types of weather. NOTHING really works when it’s super humid! 😦

Reasonably priced, at Amazon I noted this product is currently less than $10. for a 6.8 oz tube.

And a little of this product goes a long way! 🙂

If you’ve been looking for a better option for hair gel than the chemically-laden mainstream brands, you might want to give this one a try. I’m glad I did. 

From the Amazon product page:

Sunflower & Citrus Styling Gel from Andalou Naturals improves hair vitality from root to tip and allows for controlled styling with extra body, texture and definition.

It works for straight or curly hair, and is color-safe for vibrant hair.

It moisturizes, controls static and shields against humidity, frizz and fly-aways.

Non-GMO, gluten free, no paraben preservatives, sulfates or phthalates.

Vegetarian & cruelty free.

Made in the USA.

Ingredient List:

Aloe Barbadensis Juice*, Cyamopsis Tetragonolobus (Guar) Gum*, Sodium Alginate (Algin), Glycine Soja (Soy) Protein, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower), Chamomilla Recutita (Chamomile), and Pyrus Cydonia (Quince) Extracts*, Fruit Stem Cells (Malus Domestica, Solar Vitis) and BioActive 8 Berry Complex*, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) and Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Extracts*†, Phenethyl Alcohol, Vegetable Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) and Citrus Tangerina (Tangerine) Oils*
* Certified Organic
† Fair Trade

10 Under $20: Holiday Gift Suggestion List 2015 :-)

The
first of
December
brought thoughts
of Christmas magic.
The Day, so soon to arrive.
Our expectations ran high.
Through snow days and blizzards.
Making a list and checking it twice.
Santa’s letter printed and ready to mail.
Christmas baking: heady, wonderful aromas.
Pageants at school, with costumes of many colors.
The tall lush evergreen, centerpiece of the season.
We decorated so carefully; each bough lovingly adorned.
With some old, some new, every one used and none forgotten.
The long days of dark December. Finally, homework complete.
Sitting in the darkened living room; time alone to drift away.
Marvelling at the masterpiece of lights and shining ornaments.
Gazing far beyond to the bliss to follow. Hurry, hurry, hurry!
Christmas eve: midnight mass and carolling.Treats aplenty!
Then the long awaited, special treasures.
The secrets of shining boxes and ribbons.
Finally revealed and always worth the wait.
Off to sleep, to dream of a perfect snowy Christmas Day.
Now content, to still remember these childhood memories.
On
this
November day.

*** 

This is a Christmas-themed poem that I wrote, several years ago.
These lines still conjure up some wonderful holiday memories for me, from long ago. I hope you enjoy it too. 😉

 ***

My Holiday Gift Suggestion List for 2015 (all under $20) including links to my reviews.

                TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Hitchcock Thrillers (Suspicion / Strangers on a Train / The Wrong Man / I Confess)

TCM: Hitchcock Thrillers DVD

A must-have DVD collection for the “Hitch” fan on your list!

reiki

The Power of Reiki

One of the best books on Reiki I’ve ever read! 

Down & Dirty (gardening book)

My all-time fav gardening book.

Fun and Easy Gardening for even the “green thumb challenged“! 😉

Crafting with Cat Hair  >^^<

A Mr. Cheddar Approved Title! 

Never Too Late to Go Vegan

Enlightening and Informative. Recipes Too! 

Seven Year Pen - Bee Happy

The Seven Year Pen

Wonderful Pens! Mine Are Still Going Strong, Years Later! 🙂

Check out our Green Gifts Guide for tons of eco-friendly seed paper gift ideas for the season.

Botanical Paperworks

Beautiful Eco-Friendly Stationary, with a Difference!

Larry Payne's Prime of Life Yoga- Immune Booster and General Conditioning - Level One

Larry Payne’s Prime of Life Yoga DVDs

Yoga CAN Be For Almost Everyone! 

Badger Sleep Balm 2 oz Tin - Lavender and Bergamot

Badger Sleep Balm

Sooooo relaxing!!! ZZZZZzzzzz…. 😉

Suncoat Peelable Nail Polish Kit

My Go-To Tootsie Polish! It’s Great.

***

♥Happy Shopping and Holidays♥ 

Healthy November: Wheat Free Recipes

Don’t these look delish? 😉

I’m not gluten-intolerant but I know a LOT of people are.

Happy (Gluten-Free) Cooking! G

Product Review: Badger Sleep Balm

THIS REALLY WORKS! 🙂

Badger Sleep Balm 2 oz Tin - Lavender and Bergamot

BADGER SLEEP BALM

Here’s my review:

I’m a big fan of several Badger products, especially their Damascus Rose Face Oil (click to read my review).

But when it came to this Sleep Balm, I must admit, I was a bit skeptical.How nice to find out that it works great! 😉

I am not a good sleeper on many a night. 😦 But when I apply Badger Sleep Balm under my nose (and sometimes a bit on my forehead too) I am relaxed,sleepy and ready to sleep, only a short time later.

It really does help to calm my mind, unwind and fall asleep.Helps me to stay asleep longer too, with a deeper sleep. 

My only (minor) complaint: I wish the scent of lavender was just a bit stronger but that’s a small thing and I’d much rather have a product with less scent than too much. 😉

An all organic ingredient list and reasonable price are bonuses too!

And I love their pretty, reusable containers; perfect for little gifts too.

If you have trouble falling asleep and/or staying asleep, give this product a try.

♥♥

And some additional info. from the Amazon product page:

  • The fragrance of the essential oils in this special balm helps to calm thoughts and clear the mind, allowing sleep to come naturally.
  • There are no drugs in this product – no side-effects to worry about. It is safe and natural.
  • The cute and portable tin makes an ideal travelling companion.

Sweet Dreams! Zzzz…… 😉

Root Veggies! Don’t Ya Just ♥ Them? ;-)

Autumn root vegetables

I SURE DO!!! 😉

And here are some of my fav ways to prepare and serve these oh,so yummy “gems” from the fall harvest! 

DSCN0899

Sam’s Famous Carrot Cake with My (NOT Too Sweet) Cream Cheese Icing

My favorite cake, no contest!

Russian Beet Borscht

Just add dark rye bread and you’re good to go! 😉

Bubbies SAUERKRAUT

German Sauerkraut Feast 

One of my fav slow cooker recipes from the Groovy Green Kitchen I.

I make this one a lot. Quick to prepare, hearty and delicious. 

And, it includes: onions, garlic and potatoes: all fav rooties! 🙂

Kasha and Beet Salad with Celery and Feta (page 92)

Kasha and Beet Salad with Celery and Feta

A delish and elegant salad; brimming with flavor!

Sweet Potato Lasagna

A twist on traditional lasagna, again from the slow cooker. Hearty and delish!

HAPPY COOKING and AUTUMN!

Harvest vegetable photo, courtesy of FLICKR

Do You ♥ MRS. Dash BUT Want Organic?

mrs dash cropped

I have been using Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend for many years, including adding this blend to numerous recipes in my:

Groovy Green Kitchen cookbooks,

Weeknight Veggie Slow Cooker (Volume 1) 

and  

Simply, Super, Supper Soups (Volume 2) 

It is a versatile, basic seasoning blend that worked well in a number or recipes.

Unfortunately, it is NOT organic and for me, that was definitely a negative, when it came to using Mrs. Dash.

I have been looking for a GOOD alternative that was ORGANIC for a long time and recently I finally found it! 🙂

Splendor Garden

is a herb and spice company based in Saskatchewan, Canada where I also grew up!

Stop by their site to check out all their certified organic herbs and spices and other fine culinary products. Also, where to buy in your area or online, see the store location and contact pages.  

I  just ♥ browsing their site!

So many culinary goodies to choose from and ones that I can REALLY feel good about using too. 😉

And, as far as a perfect ORGANIC substitute for Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning Blend, I like:

Garlic Herb Seasoning BagGarlic Herb Seasoning

 Splendor Garden Garlic Herb Seasoning SF (salt free)

It is VERY similar to Mrs. Dash in flavor, color and texture and best of all, all organic ingredients!

Can you tell I’m pumped about finding out about this company? 😉 I really am!

I’ve also tried and enjoyed their: Vegetable Seasoning, All Purpose Seasoning SF and Lemon Pepper Seasoning, so far.

Lemon Pepper BagLemon Pepper Seasoning

Loved them all too, especially the Lemon Pepper Seasoning.

It has a nice “zing” to it and adds a fresh, slightly citrus note to all kinds of savory recipes. 

I recently tried the Lemon Pepper Seasoning in my Tangy Barley Buttermilk Soup recipe and it worked great!

BARLEY BUTTERMILK GGK 2

This easy, oh-so-satisfying soup recipe is featured in the:

GGK II cover (front )

The Groovy Green Kitchen: Simply, Super, Supper Soups,

my new soup cookbook and also in this previous recipe post.

I added some to the soup when it was cooking and also a sprinkle over each serving to add color, just before serving.

Yummy, tummy-satisfying good! 🙂

Happy (ORGANIC and HEALTHY) Cooking! 

Why I’m Back at Lumosity :-)

A few years ago, I posted this review about Lumosity, a popular brain-training site. 

After I posted that review at My Real Life Reviews, I continued with the program for just over a year.

I found it helpful and saw a definite improvement in my brain functioning overall.

But what I didn’t enjoy at that time was the same games showing up for my training sessions, again and again and again. I wrote to Lumosity customer service about this issue a couple of times and was assured by them that they were working on several new games and that they would be available to their members in the near future.

But that didn’t happen as quickly as I hoped and after a while, I got to a point that I was so bored by the repetition of these same games and gave up my membership.

But in the past few months, I had been thinking about giving Lumosity another try and I’m so glad that I did.

They have added a LOTS of new and fun games to their program and it is far from boring, doing workouts there again. Three training sessions a week is recommended for optimal results but you can workout every day if you like and play your fav games as much as you want too.

I’m addicted to: Trouble Brewing, right now and usually play that one every day and more than once too. 😉

If you haven’t given Lumosity a try or are just curious to find out more, visit their site here. It is a very popular web-stop with millions of members around the world.

And if they continue to keep up with adding new games and programs as seems to be the case now, I plan to be a member for a long time to come. 🙂

Check out the trial offers (I got 2 weeks free when I started), single and family membership rates and also retail promo discount codes online to get even a better price.

I paid less than $80 for me and Joe to use the program for a year (family rate plus a promo code I found online) and I consider that a bargain for what you get.

We all want to keep our brains sharp and working at full potential.

Lumosity is a great way to improve overall brain function and to see ongoing and significant results in this area.

Happy Brain Training! 🙂