Month: March 2013

Smile to Relieve Pain

When you’re in pain – physically or mentally – there is something very simple you can do to help yourself and you can do it anywhere at anytime – SMILE!  Why is this helpful? Smiling releases endorphins and serotonin.  Endorphins are the body’s natural form of pain relief while serotonin is a type of neurotransmitter that can positively affect your mood.

I know it might sound too simple or too easy, but usually the easiest and simplest remedies are some of the best.  So don’t forget to smile more :)


Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”― Leo F. Buscaglia

Where is Spring?!

After saying “Happy Spring” last week and posting pictures of flowering trees, it was quite shocking to step outside this morning and see the beautiful, fully-in-bloom trees covered with snow! It was a pretty sight to see, but I’m REALLY ready for warm, sunny weather. My friend and fellow blogger, Lauren, was telling me that the St. Louis area also got some unexpected snow.  It really seems like winter has been especially long this year and now I know it’s not just in our heads!

How’s the weather by you?

Goodbye to Puffy Eyes

I recently discovered Odacité, a skincare line that not only uses high quality organic ingredients, but their products are also freshly made and dated! Pretty awesome. Also awesome – Monika Peters, Odacité esthetician and skin coach, was kind enough to provide me with some very easy and natural ways to address a very common problem – puffy eyes. She told me that puffiness under the eyes appears for a number of reasons including lack of sleep, a high salt diet, hormone fluctuation, inflammation, fatigue, dehydration, and/or genetics.

Monika’s DIY Tips:

  • Organic green, white or rooibos tea reduce puffiness and rejuvenate the eyes by refreshing them. I like to freeze green tea water to make ice cubes. Keep these ice cubes on the eyes in a cotton cloth for 20 minutes.
  • Potato and cucumber juice also work wonders. Apply with a cotton ball around the eyes. If you can’t juice them: lie down, close your eyes, and apply cold cucumber or potato slices to your lids. Leave on for ten minutes and remove. Wash the area with cold water. This soothes tired eyes instantly, and helps boost blood circulation in the under-eye area.
  • If you practice yoga, inverted asana postures are helpful (like the one below).

{via}

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water everyday. We can’t stress this enough. If you do not drink at least eight glasses of water everyday, you are not providing your body with as much water as it requires for flushing out toxins. Do not wait until you are thirsty before drinking, by the time your body cries “I’m thirsty,” you are already severely dehydrated.
  • Avoid beverages that contain caffeine.
  • Avoid smoking and second hand smoke.
  • Gently tap your skin where puffy, as this can encourage fluid build up to release and drain more easily.
  • Avoid artificial sweeteners, as these can cause your body to retain more fluid. (So give up those diet drinks stat!!)
  • Be sure you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night – too little sleep will lead to dark circles and puffiness.

Thank you for the wonderful tips, Monika! Odacité review coming soon.

Try out some of these tips this weekend and rejuvenate that delicate eye area! Happy Friday :)

Happy Monday

When I was in San Diego last month (can’t believe that was over a month ago already), the weather wasn’t as warm as I hoped for the first couple of days.. Then, on the third day, the sun was finally full blast and I found a nice place to sit out of the wind, looked up at the sky, and saw this. It doesn’t get much better than a sunny sky smiling back at you :)

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Queen Bee of Green Tea

It always seems that the DC area gets its worst storm of the season right when we think winter is over. Our “worst storm” turned out to be a lot more bark (large snowflakes & wind) than bite (zero accumulation). I’m not complaining at all though. It gave me good reason to stay inside and cozy in my pajamas all day. It also lead to the creation of two firsts: (1) a matcha green tea face mask and (2) a matcha green tea latte. For those of you not familiar, matcha is a Japanese finely-milled green tea.

Matcha Face Mask:

  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 2 tsp rose water or good quality water (I used rose water)

How to:  Mix ingredients until you have a nice smooth paste. Apply to clean skin. Leave on for 10 minutes . Wash off gently with warm water. Pat (never rub!) skin dry. 

I noticed my skin was brighter and smoother right away. Such an antioxidant overload (in a good way) for your face! This mask is beneficial for all skin types.

Matcha Latte:

  • 12 – 16 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I use Trader Joe’s) + a splash of organic whole milk (milk amount based on mug size)
  • 2 teaspoons of matcha powder (I got mine here)
  • honey to taste – I used 1 heaping teaspoon  (I’m currently using Trader Joe’s Organic Wild Collected Raw Honey, which has a very interesting nutty flavor)

How to:  Heat milk in a small pot on medium heat until nearly boiled. Add matcha and honey. Whisk vigorously until tea is frothy. 

I know I didn’t do this the 100% proper way (read here), but it turned out really great. Although, I think sifting the matcha first would have helped with not having left over matcha at bottom of the latte or maybe I just didn’t put enough elbow grease into the whisking :)

Healthy benefits: Matcha is believed to boost metabolism and  lower cholesterol levels when consumed on a regular basis. Matcha’s powerful punch can largely be attributed to the fact that the whole tea leaf is ingested. This means that it delivers a much higher potency of chlorophyll, catechinsand antioxidants.