How To Stay In Love

I’m a hopeless romantic.  My mom once said to me, “you are in love with love.”  Indeed, she was right.  Unfortunately, this has led to some heart breaks for me and, I’m ashamed to say, for the other person:(  It’s easy to fall in love, the challenge is to stay in love.  After many years of life and learning, I think I have found my secret to staying in love.

One of the things that’s really important is to enjoy sharing everyday life with the one you love.  A tradition that my fiance’ and I have is to go to our favorite breakfast spot at least 1-2 times a week, or the Waffle House if I’m starving😂  We don’t even chat a lot, we simply enjoy each others company.

Here is our favorite romantic breakfast spot.

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Abita Roasting co.  504 Water St. Madisonville, Louisiana

We always get the same thing every time.  I love their scrambled eggs and muffin top!  I was reading Throne of Glass on my Kindle. I’m a bit of a sci-fi nerd.

FullSizeRender (11)The friendly service here and the atmosphere, and of course the delicious food, is what keeps us coming back:)

💓The real secret I’ve found to staying in love is being able to laugh together.  I’m in 100% agreement with Audrey Hepburn who said,

I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.

It seemed like my man and me needed a good dose of fun today, so when he went out on an errand, here’s what I did… hehe;)

FullSizeRender (10)OMG, it was so much FUN!!  When I saw his car pulling up I quickly hid in the pantry closet and tried my darndest not to laugh.  When he came in the door, the game was on!  I think I laughed the whole time we were firing at each other.  Needless to say, I’m the dishwasher tonight;) LOL.  But it was so worth it!

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The Art of Making Tea-Beginner

16265627_1317595031654592_6083181443600359016_nI’ve always been a coffee lover but, I have to admit, the health and wellness benefits of tea are appealing. There is something sweet and romantic about tea that I find intriguing.  A couple of weeks ago I saw an ad that a local yoga studio was hosting a workshop on the ‘Art of Tea Making’ so I was excited to satisfy my curiosity.

Herbologist and Yoga Instructor, Brandy Manguno, led the half yoga and half tea making workshop.  It was magnificent!  I left feeling relaxed and empowered to begin my tea adventure!

Brandy began by sharing how Earth gives healing to us by way of her plantlife.  king-pigeonIt’s so easy to pop a pill for our ailments, but if you want to give your body a chance to receive God-given organic methods for healing, tea making is a way to do that.

Whatever your issue there seems to be a tea remedy, i.e. cold–lemon balm; depression— skullcap; insect repellant–lavender; PMS–chamomile.

Here are some of the basics I learned from Brandy’s, “Art Of Tea Making Tea-Beginner” workshop:

Tea Basics 101

What you need:

  1. Make sure your tea is fresh and organic.  Here are websites that provide quality herbs: http://www.wildweeds.com http://www.jeansgreens.com http://www.mountainroseherbs.com
  2. The scoop on prepackaged tea bags: The downside of tea bags is that the plants become more oxidized so they lose a large portion of their flavor and medicinal value.  The positive side is the convenience.  Selecting organic brands will ensure fewer chemicals and pesticides will make their way into your hot cup.
  3. Begin with 2- 3 ingredients.  A general guide is that your daytime base should include green tea and a nighttime base a chamomile.
  4. Brandy provided mesh tea balls for everyone.  I have found it easy to use for a newbie like me. Here is a link for a small mesh tea bag infuser: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/catalog/teas/accessories#product-1698
  5. Tea should be stored in a sealed container as air tight as possible and in a cool, dark place.

How to steep your tea:

  1. Fill your mesh ball half to 3/4 full with herbs.  The herbs will expand in the water.
  2. Pour hot water, not boiling, over leaves, flowers and stems.  Pour boiling water over roots.
  3. Put a plate over your cup and let it steep for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Lick your plate! A lot of the nutrients are there;)
  5. Add honey, lemon, milk and enjoy!

Later on that week I shared with Brandy that I made tea from the herbs I mixed in class and it was nasty!😝  I gave it another shot and used less of my blend and it was much better.

Brandy said, give your tea a chance for your palatte to accept.  Treat tea making just like cooking.  You are learning to put a little more of this and a little less of that.

The Romantic Aspects of Tea:

The act of drinking tea can be a luxurious experience.  Savoring the smell and taking time to sip your tea is very soothing and relaxing. It’s a simple way for all of us busy folks to ground ourselves and have a bright spot in our day.

With Valentine’s Day almost here you might be wondering about a ‘modern day love potion.’

e70d0feb032d7941406e7510ac604c0aThere are many herbs that can boost libido for women and men.  A tea that Brandy mentioned for women is hops and for men, red clover, but there are many more!

When you live with many stresses in life it can take the passion out of your sails. Including tea time as a regular part of your day can recharge your batteries and provide a mental, physical and spiritual boost.  It’s a simple way to take control of your health.

If you would like more information on Brandy, her workshops, or a consultation her website is http://yoga-llc.com/about/

Her tea blends are sold at Cosmic Karma in Mandeville.

Tea making is more of an adventure that I ever realized!  I hope this inspires you to take a plunge into the world of tea.  Enjoy Your Tea Adventure!

 

 

ABC Ab Exercise

Want a fun way to eliminate a stubborn lower-belly pooch?  ABC abs will do the trick but be prepared, this might sound like child’s play but it will challenge you!  What makes this exercise fun is to go through the alphabet with a group of friends and think of a healthy food for each letter:-) It serves as a positive distraction from the fire in the abs.

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I’m always on the look out for creative ways to challenge my fitness class and they had a blast with it!  Class ended with lots of chatter and laughs which is music to a coach’s ears.

Here’s how you do ABC Abs:

  1. Lie on your back, extend your legs and pretend that your toes are like pencils and write the A, B, Cs with your feet.  You could even do it old school style and write in cursive;)  The bigger you make your letters the harder you will work.
  2. Place your hands under your lower back to provide support.  If you feel too much tension in your back, or if your hamstrings are tight, go ahead and bend your knees a little bit.
  3. Imagine you have a belt strapped to your waist that anchors you to the floor.  You don’t want your lower back to come off the floor unless you are doing a hip lift to dot the letter ‘I.”
  4. As you write out your letters name a healthy food, for example, ‘A’ avocado.  If you are doing it with a group, take turns.  The longer it takes the person to think of a food, the more time spent holding a contraction!  Yowza!

ABC abs with the kiddos!

I’m thinking I could have a blast doing this with these lil’ angels!  LOL!  This would be a fun way to share fitness and teach them about healthy foods.

img_1824You could have them make letters standing up with their arms in a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ pose;)  Let me know how you share the fun with your little ones!

 

The Technique To Burn Fat and Build Muscle Fast!

If you’ve hit a plateau with weight loss or are just bored as heck with your workouts and need something to light things up, you should give cardio accelerations a try!

What is cardio acceleration?

Cardio acceleration is when you combine high-intensity cardio with strength training.  Instead of taking a typical rest break between your lifts, you do some type of cardio, all out, for one minute.   I prefer to jump rope, however, you could do any type exercise for your cardio acceleration.  Here are some examples: running in place next to the bench, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, skaters, dumbbell cleans, step-ups, etc.

fullsizerender-1Jumping rope is hands down my favorite tool for keeping my body conditioned and agile.  Read more about the benefits for jumping rope along with training tips here: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/jump-in-lean-out-with-jump-rope-training/

What is the benefit?

I got turned on to this training technique when I did Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Shred program.  His program did get me shredded.  Another benefit is that there is no hem hawing around waiting for the next set, which is perfect for my adult ADD;) LOL.

My hubby always teases me because if I’m not doing cardio intervals between sets, I’m stretching;)  This was him poking fun of me yesterday when I was stretching between my bench presses.  LOL

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One thing I REALLY love about this technique is that it fills in for my 20-30 minutes of cardio on the step mill or treadmill!

  • Check this out, 20-30 minutes of these high-intensity intervals burns more fat than spending that amount of time on a treadmill. Trust me, your metabolic rate will be up the entire workout and that means you are burning a lot of calories during and after your workout!

I now cycle through this program twice a year, and lately, I’ve been throwing in cardio accelerations with my leg day once a week.

After doing a set of squats, I do 100-200 revolutions jumping rope.  (BTW, I’ve been performing squats recently with a box to make sure I’m nailing my form and getting good and low).

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If you’re worried that the cardio could take away from the strength of your lifts, here is research that Stoppani shares from his Shortcut To Shred Training Overview:

A University of California, Santa Cruz, study found that when subjects did cardio between weightlifting sets, they were able to recover better because of increased blood flow. Cardio acceleration elevates your heart rate, which means more blood pumps to your working muscles throughout your workout.

Ready to HIIT it now?  Let’s go!!

Skinny Peppermint Mocha

The other day my routine was changed and I can’t believe how it caused me to experience a series of missteps.  I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say my morning was a hot mess.  I stopped to get a coffee to help me regroup.  I made sure to lock all the doors because my husband had a talk with me the night before about that.  Wouldn’t you know it, I locked my keys in the car!

15193690_1115804685205782_4856398437908955152_nWhile I waited on my hubby to come to my rescue with a spare key, I decided to try a skinny peppermint mocha. It just sounded so good to me and it did not disappoint!  I’m now hooked and ever since last week I’ve been experimenting to find an even healthier recipe to make at home.

As I sat with my skinny peppermint mocha and egg white sandwich, I decided that I was going to turn the day around!  Maybe the peppermint had a little something to do with it.  Peppermint has a calming effect on the body.  Actually there are few body, health, and mind issues that it cannot help.

Factoid: Peppermint is mentioned in Greek mythology where water nymph Mentha was transformed into an herb by Pluto who had fallen in love with her and wanted people to appreciate her for years to come.

All of this makes me feel even better about stumbling across my new Christmas indulgence:)  This recipe includes a skinny peppermint syrup that provides for several servings to have on hand for whenever your craving hits.  Your wallet and waistline will thank you!

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Ingredients for Skinny Chocolate Peppermint Syrup:

1 cup water
4 peppermint tea bags
1 cup sweetener (I used stevia)
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

*Once it cools off pour in a jar or bottle and store in refrigerator

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat a cup of water until it starts to a boil, then add the tea bags, cover and let steep for  5 minutes.
  2. Discard the tea bags and add the sweetener, cocoa powder and peppermint extract. Bring to a boil, and stir until everything dissolves.  Boil for a few minutes then remove from heat.

Ingredients for one Skinny Peppermint Mocha

2/3 cup dark roast coffee
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tbsp skinny chocolate syrup
To prepare your mocha latte:

1. Brew coffee, I used the smallest cup setting on my Keurig (be sure to use a large coffee mug)
2. Heat milk until hot and pour in a blender: Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute until mixture becomes frothy and foamy
3. Add chocolate peppermint syrup to coffee
4. Gently pour in the frothy milk

Tip: If you want to make a protein peppermint mocha add in 1-2 tbsp of your favorite protein powder.💪

DIY Christmas Gifts

Hey everyone!  If you didn’t get all your shopping done on Black Friday or if you just need a few more gifts to finish off everyone on your list, I might be able to help!  I have a few simple ‘do it yourself’ ideas that would work great in gift baskets, as stocking stuffers or as gifts for everyone at work.  You might even want to make one of each for yourself;)  img_3937

Animal Winter Hat (aka: Toboggan or Beanie Hat)

My husband didn’t know what a toboggan was until last Winter when we were in Ohio;)  Both of us are sun lovers.☀️

This hat is so adorable, and I can’t wait to give it to my granddaughter.  I’m sure she will want to make some for her friends:)

What you need:

  • Yarn any color you like
  • Hat (spruce up your old ones, or find affordable ones at a local store)
  • Buttons
  • needle and black thread (for button eyes so they look like pupils;)
  • fabric glue
  • scissors

Step 1:  wrap any color of yarn around the palm of your hand 100x.

Step 2: tightly tie a piece of yard in the middle

Step 3: but the ends then shape them up until pretty balls

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Step 4: sew on eyes

Step 5: make an oval nose and put a 2 small dots of fabric glue to hold it in place

Step 6: make a wave for the mouth and use 5 or so small dots with fabric glue to hold in place

Step 7: admire your cute animal creation!  I hope you can tell this is a bear? LOL

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Makeup Refresher Setting Spray

I’ve tried many drugstore and expensive moisturizers, and this homemade moisturizer is my favorite.  You can also use it as a setting spray for your makeup and as a refresher spray during the day to give you a nice dewy look.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable glycerine (if your skin is dry you could use 1 tbsp)
  • a little under 3oz rosewater or purified water
  • 2 drops of vitamin e to extend the shelf life 4-6 weeks

*keep this in a cool dark space.

Make a body lotion by using equal parts glycerin & rosewater (or plain water).

img_3930Vegetable glycerine is great for any skin type; it’s a humectant meaning it helps to draw and retain moisture. It’s water-soluble, so it’s not a heavy oil, and it leaves your skin super soft.

Rose water also helps hydrate, revitalize and moisturize the skin giving it with that refreshed look. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness and acne.  Rosewater is especially good for mature skin.

Lavender Pillow Spray

Who doesn’t want to get a restful night’s sleep, so this would make a great gift for anyone:)
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Ingredients:

  • equal parts witch hazel and water
  • 10-15 drops of lavender essential oil

I wrote the recipe for each of these DIY sprays in the gift cards:

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These were so easy and fun to make.  Hope you enjoy this season of giving!

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25

Tips To De-clutter Your Home

d40976d70bc1349d65879f5ec45cac2bThis week I decided to use some vacation time to declutter my home.  It was an overwhelming project because our home is filled with stuff that accumulated over a lifetime, but so worthwhile. I didn’t read any books or videos about how the pros suggest doing it, I simply started.

Here are some tips that worked for me:

Tip #1  Start small

Decluttering and organizing one small space will help you overcome inertia.  This could be a kitchen drawer, your car, purse, or book shelf.  For me, I started with my makeup drawer because I was so annoyed with rummaging through it trying to find something.

img_3883-1Tip #2  Recycle items for storage

I know the first inclination you will have is to go to the Dollar Store or Target to pick up cute containers, DON’T DO IT!  You will be amazed what you already have in your own home that you can recycle and use for organizing.  I found some empty cigar and wooden boxes in our attic and used those to separate my hair ties and makeup in my bathroom drawers.

Cups, jars, and pencil containers make for great storage.

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Once you declutter areas of your home you will have all kinds of baskets, boxes and plastic containers freed up to use for items you want to keep.img_3886

Tip #3 Rediscover Treasures

I found this adorable coat rack in the attic and love using it to display some of my most worn hats:)

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I also uncovered plenty of empty notebooks, games and art supplies that were unseen and stuffed away in boxes or closets that I’ve organized for the grandkids to enjoy.

After cleaning out my bathroom drawers and cabinets I was on fire and eager to get started on my closet.  I hung my purses up so I could visually see them and will likely use them more often.  I also found some money as I was hanging up my bags!  LOL

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With a clean and organized closet, I don’t dread putting my clothes away.

Tip #4 Keep an empty bag or box for items to be donated

In the back corner, I have a bag for clothes I plan to donate.  Once it gets full I will drop it off at the Goodwill.  You could do this in every room of your home.

Tip #5 Purging your kitchen and home can help you lose weight!

I truly believe that being overweight is not just a physical issue, it’s a lifestyle issue and that’s why I’m passionate about my work as a health and lifestyle fitness coach.

Clutter in our minds, calendars, kitchens, etc. leads to stress and weight gain.  What I discovered is that my energy was unblocked as I started cleaning out unused and expired items.   It’s like the subconscious weight of distractions was removed.  Now I feel more mindful, clear minded, and motivated.

After cleaning out and organizing my kitchen I have more joy in preparing meals and even going to the grocery store.

Tip #6 Don’t buy boxes instead ask your area bookstore or grocery store for their empty boxes

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I was lucky enough to get some from Barnes and Nobles and they worked out wonderfully with sorting  items to keep, donate and throw away.

Tip #7 Less is more

Some of the surprising gifts of decluttering:

Less stress and More PEACE

Less negativity and more JOY

Less griping and more GRATITUDE

Less mess and more TIME

Less apathy and more ENERGY

Tip #8 Bless your home

As you are decluttering envision what you want your home to be like.  What energies do you want your home to exude?  What experiences do you want to have in your home?  How do you want to feel in your home?

And by knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.  Proverbs 24:4