Monday, April 29, 2013

Celebrating Motherhood With A DIY Honey And Yogurt Face Mask

May is Pregnancy Awareness month and whether you’re currently expecting or your little ones are all grown up, it’s a great time to celebrate healthy and holistic treatments for mamas. My babies are getting bigger everyday, but staying healthy and stress free is more important to me now more than ever.

When I was working full time in the travel industry, I would utilize the relaxing spas located at many of the world’s best resorts to recover from jet lag.  Now as a full-time mother, with precious lives in my hands, I am a lot more conscious of how to live a more holistic lifestyle year round. I have always loved a good spa treatment, and with the joys of motherhood causing my "laugh lines" to grow deeper, I love the anti-aging benefits of rejuvenating face masks. Since spring always adds extra activities to my family’s already hectic schedule, it is during this time that I love to pull out my tried and true at-home beauty treatments when I can't make it to the spa.

Today’s beauty treatment was inspired by the Kahala's Hotel, Resort and Spa, one of the best hotels in Honolulu. Their signature anti-aging facial uses only the best all-natural ingredients, which left my skin feeling strong and renewed. Using the finest products Mother Nature has to offer, you too can feel the healing powers of one Honolulu’s best-kept secrets.

Below you will find the recipe for the Honey and Yogurt Moisturizing Face Mask to keep you looking and feeling young. 

Honey and Yogurt Moisturizing Face Mask

•    1/2 cup plain yogurt
•    2 Tablespoons Aloe Vera gel
•    1 Tablespoon honey
•    1/2 peeled cucumber
•    a few drops of chamomile oil

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor, just until combined. Apply liberally all over face and neck, making sure to avoid eyes. Leave on for at least 15 minutes to give it time to fully penetrate the skin and work its magic. Rinse off in the shower or remove with a soft, damp cloth. If you don’t use the entire
mask, you may store in a tightly sealed container in
the refrigerator for a few days until you’re able to
rejuvenate again. Enjoy!

By Kendra Thornton, guest writer

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I Run And Now I Run For Boston

Since I pride on being able to call myself a runner, and running is the ONLY thing that I will take time and do for myself, the events at the Boston Marathon have really affected me.

I know that terrible things happen in the world, and I am always saddened and trouble by heinous acts that happen on a daily basis (so much I rarely watch the news,) but this one really got to me.

Since I have run a number of race events, my last half marathon was two weeks ago, I felt sheer horror when I saw what happened at the Boston Marathon. I had been watching the race online since it started. I watched the men’s, women’s and push winners cross the finish line. I asked my hubby if he thought Boston was a realistic goal for me. I dreamed.

And then the bombings occurred. I immediately knew what it felt like to run in a race knowing that your loved ones were waiting at the finish line. I couldn’t imagine being in the situation. My heart broke and my stomach turned over.

After some time, I had to turn the television off.

I am going to cut to the good part. And there is one. During times that seem to be the very darkest, humans always pull together to help part the clouds and let the sunshine in. So many events popped up via social media to honor, to unite, and to take a stand. I wanted to do them all.

I came across a movement called Run For Boston. It was simple, and I liked that. There were three things to do. First, run. Second, wear blue or yellow on your run. Third, make a Run For Boston sign with the name of your city on it and upload it to the Facebook page. Easy peasy.

Runners for Boston - Long Beach, CA
On Wednesday night, a group gathered at a local park. Some were part of my Galloway running group. Others just wanted to Run For Boston. We are now all friends. We had our strollers, our dogs, and the kids. It was a family affair.

We walked and ran for Boston along with thousands across the country.  We put Long Beach, CA on the map for Run For Boston.

I don’t know why I am always surprised at the compassion and love of others. I was tickled that strangers chose to come out on their own to take a run in honor of the Boston Marathon Bombings. We even had people at the park thank us for doing what we are doing.

Most importantly, our kids got to see the good that can come out of people. With the terrible events monopolizing the news, it is important that they know that love does prevail, as does compassion and strength.

There were other groups that came together this week for the same reasons. Some running groups gathered hundreds while some runners grabbed their neighbor. But to me, numbers don’t matter because in this event, we are all united for Boston.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Add Some Fun To Your Fruits and Vegetables

Getting most kids to eat fruits and vegetables can be a difficult task.  While we all know that it’s important, I know that many parents give up the fight because sometimes, after a long day, they just don’t have the energy.

Stella and now little Carter have always been decent eaters. Stella eats fruits and vegetables but definitely has to be in the mood for them.  If she feels like carrots, and carrots are on menu, then she’s gobbling them down. If she wants brussel sprouts and I serve carrots, then she’s choking them down as if I gave her dirt to eat.

Stella laying out her new delivery.
Carter, although we are still on baby food, seems to eat anything we put in front of him. I can tell his distaste by nothing more than a small grimace at first bite. He still eats the stuff anyway. Since he is my second child, I know this may not last for long.

One of the best things that I have done for my family is to sign up for a produce delivery service. There are many of these coming into existence ranging from services that support local services to larger services that full produce from various regions.

The great thing about the produce service is that is shows up on my doorstep early Tuesday mornings. Stella loves to wake up and look through the box. I then will let her choose what fruits and vegetables she wants us to eat for a snack or dinner. I have found that her interest in eating fruits and vegetables has grown immensely.

We are not eating things that I normally would never buy – rainbow chard, grapefruit, parsnips are showing up at the table (and being eaten) in addition to some family favorites like strawberries, apples, asparagus and brussel sprouts.

It may not be for everyone, but for us, having fresh produce delivered to our home and gotten us to eat our fruits and vegetables “outside the box” and has proven to be some fun for the little ones too.