Month: December 2010

Giveaway Winner!

And the winner of the Alaska Glacial Mud Co. giveaway is Allison Taylor of {My Style Advise}. Congrats, Allison!!

Allison, I hope you enjoy the products! Let me know what you think…

Here is a highlight of some of the therapeutic, natural ingredients that Alaska Glacial Co. uses (in addition to mineral-rich and pure mud):

Kelp Kelp (Macrocystis Pyrifera) Extract. This brown sea algae extract contains a natural source of minerals that help remove surface toxins, improve cellular circulation and soothe skin.
Elderflower Elderflower (Sambucus Nigra) Extract. This infused blossom is known for refining complexion, purifying skin and healing targeted trouble areas.
Nettle Nettle (Urtica Dioica) Extract. The immunoprotective and restorative properties of the leaves of this plant soothe and cleanse sensitive or dry skin.
Horsetail Horsetail (Equisetum Hiemale) Leaf/Stem Extract. This hardy wetland plant is known for its soothing, regenerating properties as well as its toning and astringent qualities.
Cranberry Cranberry (Vaccinium Macrocarpon) Extract. This beneficial berry is a natural anti-oxidant that promotes healthy cellular regeneration.
Blueberry Blueberry (Vaccinium Angustifolium) Extract. This beneficial berry is a natural anti-oxidant that promotes healthy cellular regeneration.
Yarrow Yarrow (Achillea Millefolium) Extract. This wildflower extract helps firm the skin.
Vitamins Vitamins B5, E. Moisturizer and anti-oxidant agents that protect skin and help to build collagen and diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

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A special thank you to Alaska Glacial Mud Co. for sponsoring this giveaway and to all of the readers who entered!

Improve Your Toothpaste

Here is some great info from The 1Dental.com Blog on a very common ingredient found in most toothpastes, as well as many beauty products.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate: This strange-sounding chemical is actually SOAP. Unfortunately, you would never consider brushing your teeth with soap, but billions of people do it every day because it’s a very common component in most toothpaste formulas. It was put into basic toothpaste formulas over 100 years ago in order to create a foaming action so that consumers “believe” something is happening in their mouth as they brush. It is completely unnecessary for oral health. But, since it is a very harsh soap, two unfortunate side effects may take place: Dry Mouth (remember, this is SOAP) and canker sores. Studies show that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate literally eats away at the lining of the mouth, causing micro damage – otherwise known as painful canker sores.

This is one key reason to go natural when it comes to taking care of your pearly whites (and your gums)!

An Excellent Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free Option:

Neem & Pomegranate Toothpaste – Organique by Himalaya($4.99)

  • SLS Free
  • Saccharin Free
  • Pomegranate Extract – Supports healthy gums. Strong antioxidant.
  • Neem Leaf Extract – Neem twigs have been used for centuries to clean teeth.
  • Thyme Leaves – Derived from thyme leaf oil as a purifier.
  • Click here: {More key ingredients & info}

An Optimal Foot Massage

The next time you’re giving or hopefully receiving a foot massage, it’s great to keep this reflexology chart in mind to make the massage even more therapeutic. I’m a huge fan of acupressure. If done correctly, you can find relief from such a wide range of ailments including hormonal imbalances, breathing disorders, back aches, circulatory problems and so much more! Make it even better: soak your feet  in warm water right before the massage.

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Another Giveaway!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Alaska Glacial Mud Company, a truly unique company with some seriously stellar and therapeutic products featuring you guessed it — mineral-rich, glacial mud from Alaska!

The winner will have the pleasure of testing out the Glacial Facial Purifying Mineral Mud Masque in Vanilla Lavender (masque brush included) and the Exfoliating Mineral Soap Bar:

How to win:

  1. Be a follower of AllNaturalAnnie.com
  2. Leave a comment below
  3. “Like” Alaska Glacial Mud Company on Facebook (if you have a Facebook account)
  4. Tweet about this giveaway to receive an extra entry (Please leave a separate comment letting me know that you tweeted about it)
  5. “Like” this post to receive an extra entry (Again, please leave a separate comment to let me know)

You have until 6pm EST on Wednesday, December 29th to enter. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on December 30th. Good luck!!

Cutest Greenest Post Today

I just saw these pics on one of my fav blogs (acreativemint) and had to share. Who would have ever thought that a paper bag could be turned into SUCH cute wrapping paper?! This is a world apart from what I usually do with Trader Joe’s bags (I usually reuse them as garbage cans – ha!)

Just too cute…

Photo Credits: acreativemint

Green Tea Face Mask

This is such a simple mask that is excellent for infusing skin with antioxidants and reducing inflammation.

How to:

  • Simply combine the contents of one tea bag of green tea with high quality H20 (for normal skin), whole milk (for sensitive/dry skin), or apple cider vinegar (for oily/blemish-prone).

I saved the bag from a cup of green tea I made earlier (love making something even more useful and beneficial!) and I tried it for the first time last night. While it didn’t create as much of a paste as I hoped, it stayed put and definitely seemed to have a positive affect on my skin after leaving it on for just 5 minutes.

I like to do a face mask AT LEAST 1x or 2x per week. When was the last time you did a face mask?

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Giveaway Winner…

And the winner of the Kaylala Organic Apothecary Face Sampler giveaway is Priscila of {Priscila Peters Decor} Congrats Priscila!! I’ll be in touch soon and I really hope you enjoy trying all of the great products!


Thank you to everyone for entering and stay tuned for another giveaway next week! Have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Thursday!

Hope everyone is having a great week! We’re supposed to get our first significant bit of snow in the DC area today…MAYBE a Friday snowday on the horizon?! :)

p.s. Kaylala giveaway winner announced tomorrow morning! (Entries valid until 5pm EST tonight)

If you haven’t entered already: First Giveaway – Kaylala Organic Apothecary

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Sleep Better Tonight!

One of the worst and most common occurrences for many is having trouble falling asleep (and staying asleep). The latest ideal quota is 7-8 hours per night. Aside from the usual suggestions of a dark room, comfy bedding, avoiding caffeine, here are some snack ideas that aren’t just healthy, but actually encourage a restful night’s sleep!

Your body and brain will thank you in the morning for choosing one of these:

  • Unbuttered Popcorn – The carbs help to create serotonin, a key relaxing neurochemical. Try this recipe I previously posted: A Tasty & Nutritious Snack
  • Oatmeal with Sliced Banana – Sleep is inspired by the hormone melatonin, but stress or excitement can disrupt melatonin’s release.  Both oatmeal and bananas contain sleep-inspiring melatonin. Bananas also contain serotonin and magnesium (a muscle relaxant).
  • Sesame Seeds – These little guys are one of the best natural sources of tryptophan aka that sleep-inducing amino acid we always associate with Thanksgiving’s main course (turkey). Try sprinkling them on salads, sandwiches, etc. I also love buying whole grain bread that has an outer coating of sesame seeds.
  • A 4-ounce Glass of Unsweetened Cherry Juice or Fresh Cherries – Cherries naturally have serotonin-inducing carbohydrates as well as melatonin. Try having some cherry juice/fresh cherries an hour before bedtime (in case you feel a small jolt of energy from the sugar) for some high quality zzz’s. Trader Joe’s “Just Cherry Juice” is a great option.
  • Red Bell Peppers - Researchers have found that vitamin C is excellent at reducing the secretion of cortisol, a hormone released in your body when you’re stressed. Calorie for calorie, red bell peppers give you more vitamin C than any other vegetable or fruit! If you can reduce your overall stress levels you are much more likely to have a restful night’s sleep.

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Did you sleep well last night? If not, I really hope that these recommendations will help you!

First Giveaway – Kaylala Organic Apothecary

I’m very excited to announce that my first giveaway begins today! One lucky reader will have the pleasure of trying out the full organic, handcrafted face care system from Kaylala Organic Apothecary.

The Face Sampler includes:

(1) #7 Afterglow Rejuvenating Serum
(2) Nectar Renewal Moisturizing Creme
(3) Dew Kissed Cleansing Creme with AHA
(4) Green with Envy Clarifying Face Mask
(5) Orange You Glad It’s Toner
(6) Sweet Cheeks Face Polish

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How to win:

  1. Be a follower of AllNaturalAnnie.com
  2. Leave a comment below, including your email address so I can contact you if you win!
  3. Like Kaylala on Facebook /follow them on Twitter (if you have a Facebook/Twitter account)
  4. Tweet about this giveaway to receive an extra entry (Please leave a separate comment letting me know that you tweeted about it)
  5. “Like” this post to receive an extra entry (Again, please leave a separate comment to let me know)

Entries can be made until 5pm next Thursday, December 16th. The winner will be chose at random and announced on the 17th. Good luck readers!

A special thank you to Kaylala Organic Apothecary for hosting this first giveaway of many to come :)

1 Minute Stress Relievers

Stress flushes the body with cortisol and adrenaline, too much of which can raise blood pressure hence negatively affecting your cardiovascular and digestive systems. Sometimes it takes a while to feel really stressed out, but hopefully with these tips you can cool down much quicker than you heated up.

Here are some quick tips to keep stress away:

#1 (BY FAR) BREATHE
Take a few slow, deep cleansing breaths. Sit up straight, but not rigidly. Imagine slowly blowing your abdomen up like a balloon, moving the breath into your solar plexus, then up into your shoulders. Breathe out, consciously moving the air back out in the opposite order.

#2 RELAX

Particularly your muscles. Scan your body from the top of your head to each of your toes to monitor tension. Thinking specifically about each one leads it to relax. So say to yourself,  “head relax”, “shoulders relax”… until you do every part of your body.

#3 STRETCH
Any old stretch will do. I’m sure you have some old standbys. Just get yourself loosened up whether you’re at your desk, around the house or in the car stuck in traffic. Less muscle tension = a more relaxed you!

#4 FOCUS
Shut off that incessant chatter in your brain by focusing intently on anything: a picture, a cloud, a candle.. Now, don’t think.  Not easy I know, but if any thoughts drift into your mind just try to gently let them float by. This can really help clear your mind.

Take the Bitter Out of Those Greens!

I have to admit that I sometimes pass up super healthy, dark green veggies like mustard greens, turnip greens and dandelion greens because they seem to always turn out on the ultra bitter side. Not anymore! Now I know the right way to cook them - simply quick boil* them in unsalted water. No steaming  and no adding salt while they’re cooking because both methods lead to a more bitter product. So just save the salt for sprinkling or a dressing after cooking.

I’m happy to be rid of any excuse for passing up such healthy and tasty (when cooked right) greens. Hope this helps you too!

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*To quick-boil greens, bring about two quarts of water to a boil. Submerge the leaves whole into the boiling H20. Time varies from veggie to veggie, but basically when the leaves are wilted yet still brightly colored they should be done.  For mustard greens it should only be about 30 to 60 seconds, but for a variety with thicker leaves, like collard greens, it can take up to about 5 minutes. Once you remove the leaves from the pot, gently run cool water over them to halt cooking.

Happy Birthday!!

Speaking of BFFs, tomorrow is Nikki‘s birthday! As most of you might already know, we’ve been the best of friends since we were 7. We always get very, very excited  for our birthdays, which are coincidentally only about a month apart.  Currently we are not living in the same state, but having grown to be like sisters, we are really never very far apart. I am so blessed to have her in my life and am so happy to celebrate another year of her wonderful self!

I wish you…

the most perfect cup of coffee to start your day

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fun times and delicious treats with the people you love

hoped for and surprise presents :)

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a delicious, celebratory cocktail or two

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good health and lots of time for relaxation all year long

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 and everything happy and wonderful under the sun always!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY NIC!  I LOVE YOU! XO

Rosemary + Meat = BFFs

I keep reading how the common herb we warmly know as rosemary seems to stop cancer cold in its tracks. More specifically, food scientists have found that rosemary inhibits the formation of HCAs – carcinogenic compounds that form when you cook protein – by as much as 79%! (This study in particular took place at Kansas State University) Include rosemary in your next marinade, especially when bbq-ing or cooking at high temperatures, for a significantly healthier meal! Other herbs that reduce cancer causing compounds include: basil, mint, sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, garlic and thyme.

{Rosemary Infused Grilled Chicken Breasts – Image & Recipe from GrillingCompanion.com}

Here are some more tips from Natural News for reducing the risk of cancer from cooked meats:
  1. Cook at lower temperatures. The higher the temperature the more HCAs and other cancer causing compounds are formed.
  2. Bake whenever possible. With baking it is easier to control temperature and the highest amount of cancer causing compounds are produced by grilling, barbecuing and pan frying.
  3. Don’t make gravy from meat drippings. The National Cancer Institute warns that meat drippings – even from meats cooked at lower temperatures – contain substantial amounts of HCAs.
  4. Limit consumption of meats, especially high-fat meats, reduce the portion sizes, select lean cuts and trim the fat on meats.
  5. Avoid charring meat and eating charred parts.
  6. Be sure to eat at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables.