My journey to return to Self-Care | Face, Body & Bath Detox.

My skin has been under attack these past few weeks. Perhaps it’s still recovering from the holiday season. Yes, the season is practically three.months.ago. I for one do not ascribe to excuses, however, if I’m going to be honest, I have to factor in all possibilities. And the fact that I over indulged in a few nameless items here and there, once or twice. Three or four times… well, needless to say, I’m paying the price for it all now.

After conducting my usual research, I came to the conclusion that I need to keep it simple. In honor of my new #minimalism lifestyle ( more on that in an upcoming blog post ) I opted to use what I already own and only purchasing items that are absolute necessities.

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So to start things off, I used my tried and true Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay  ( AKA Aztec Healing Clay ). It’s a wonderful Hair Conditioner and Skin healer as the clay absorbs impurities and/or toxins, heavy metals and other waste products.

I mixed in Organic Apple Cider Vinegar ( ACV ) with “the mother”. This powerful liquid banishes fine lines and wrinkles, acne, and removes toxins from your skin.

The additional Powders I also used are as follows:

Organic Turmeric This wonder root aids in evening out the skin tone and is high in antioxidants, thus slows down cellular damage.

 

Organic Raw Red Maca Root Powder  this powerful powder is loaded with beneficial nutrients including vitamins B1, B2, C, and E. As well as minerals and trace elements: calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, tin, iodine, phosphorus, sulfur, silicon and bismuth aaaand complex alkaloids. That’s pretty amazing!
Organic Raw Ashwagandha Powder is known to reduce inflammation, boost your supply of antioxidants and has antibacterial properties.
Organic Raw Chlorella Powder aids in detoxing  heavy metals and greatly reduces oxidant stress, thus giving you a more youthful glow!
I added in some Fresh brewed cooled Organic Green Tea for it’s soothing and additional antioxidant properties ( that coupled with the fact that I also drink it everyday). You could also use Fresh Brewed and cooled coffee/espresso.
The pièce de résistance in my humble opinion is this incredible Organic Skin Nourishing Oil from this delightful organic, vegan and cruelty free company Grace Within Me.

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I added this wonderful skin oil into my detox paste to add in more hydration for my natural combination skin. It balanced out my dry areas.

Let’s begin! First things first, the skin prep.

1) I used a hot towel to open up my pores ( soaked in water for a few minutes and repeated as the towel cooled down).

2) I then used my extractor to clear away any black heads (I’ll spare you the unsightly images).

I used the left over mask for my bath. It doubles as a great detox soak.

I applied the skin mask with a make up/ paint brush to achieve a smooth look & it’s less messy.

It’s a good idea to continue the mask onto your neck and décolleté. **Your integumentary system being the largest organ, you could actually apply this mask all over your entire body, if you ever feel so inclined.

The main push I felt towards this step in the journey is #self-care, and the fact that I had allowed it and its awareness to slip through my hands.

I had become over stressed,  over worked, sleep deprived and my diet ( albeit primarily plant based ) wasn’t adequately meeting my daily nutritional needs. I have been a wreck…

I vowed to improve.

This day I dedicated to myself. It was very much needed and well deserved. It also earned a permanent place on my calendar as a weekly must do, on the list.

What else is on the menu?, you may ask.

Prayer. Meditation. Nutrition. Yoga. Skin Detoxes. Baths. Self-Love. Laughs. Repeat.

 

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Check out my YouTube Video of this routine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Lunch Date at Au Fudge

I’ve been planning outings here and there now that the little one is getting older and more active. So we decided to check out a new restaurant Au Fudge in Los Angeles. I had heard about the place a few months back and was eager to give it a try.

I compiled a list of the major points that I typically make note of whenever I visit some place new.

Location – West Hollywood ( on Melrose )

Parking – Street ( metered ) parking; $1.50/hr. There is Valet available, however, it appeared they only have Valet available in the evenings and probably on the weekends when parking is more in demand. We went during happy hour; school days 3pm-6pm and there was ample parking right across the street.

Ambience – From the moment we walked in, It felt very warm and welcoming.

Décor- BEAUTIFUL. simply BEAUTIFUL. I didn’t have a high powered DSLR camera with me, so the picture doesn’t quite do it justice. However, the view from our table was so pretty. I felt like we were in an enchanted forest and the only thing we were missing was our flower crowns made of baby’s breath.

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Au Fudge Bar and Dining Room

Staff – Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. Our waitress and the Au Pair in the creative space took their time to explain everything in great detail ( since this being our first time here ) and ensuring that we had all we needed and were comfortable. They even alerted me when our food arrived at our table while we were busy playing inside the creative space.

Food – To be honest, it wasn’t anything to write home about. But I’m not saying it was bad, it was more of a *meh*. I chocked it up to being tantamount to taking the kiddos to chuck-e-cheese; where you don’t really go for the food. However, my mind was at ease knowing the food and all of its ingredients were prepared fresh, were organic and sustainably sourced and not pumped full of hormones, dyes and additives. Not to mention, the personalized Au Fudge plate ware was a nice touch.

 

 

Creative Space –  $15/2 hours and $10/2 hours during happy hour. The only drawback is the space is more for children 18 months and older. I wouldn’t come here with very young children ( unless you have older children as well who could take advantage and enjoy the play area). There really isn’t sufficient amount of space for a stroller, so leave that in the car. On that note, the dining area doesn’t provide much room for one either, in my opinion. I would elect to bring the car seat only for very small babies. Side note: We went while it was not very busy, so we had plenty of space, I am speaking in terms of if you were planning to come on or during a busier day/time.

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Au Fudge Creative Space
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Au Fudge Creative Space Doll House

 

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Baby Girl Having Fun in The Arts and Crafts Station

Restrooms –  I know this may sound a bit weird to mention the restrooms in a review. However, I couldn’t leave it out simply due to the fact that it was planned out with such care and I was pleasantly surprised that the Baby Changing area was extremely well stocked with all of the essentials and must haves. And when I say well stocked, I mean with complimentary Honest Company Baby Products. Yep, that included Honest Diapers, Honest Baby wipes, Honest Baby Power, Honest Soothing Bottom Wash, Honest Hand Lotion, and Honest Hand Sanitizer. I was in awe. I could tell a lot of thought went into the planning for their customers ( especially those with little ones who have yet to be potty trained. )

 

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Honest Company Loves Au Fudge sign right above the Baby Changing Station
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Baby Changing Station
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Complimentary Honest Company  Diapers ( in her size )

 

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Complimentary Honest Company Baby Powder & Soothing Bottom Wash

 

The Marketplace – Be sure to bring your pocket book. Majority of the items here come with a price tag that rivals a high end toy store.

Dessert – We didn’t order anything from the actual dessert menu, however they offer some yummy dessert options inside of the small bakery that is located directly within the marketplace. They had a few vegan options as well.

Our trip was made complete by serendipitously meeting Jessica Biel and her son Silas. Jess as she introduced herself while she shook my hand, is one of the co-owners  of Au Fudge and was just casually hanging out in the creative space with Justin’s mom and her dad and baby Silas. It was one of the rare moments of ” umm… okay, so that happened.” I was so excited, yet wasn’t trying to come across as a weirdo, lol. But I’ve been such a huge fan of her and Justin’s ( since the NSYNC days 🙂 ) It was just so wonderful to bump into someone you practically grew up with watching on TV and in Film and to see they are just human like you and I, as well as a mommy.

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Overall, our visit to Au Fudge was hands down amazing. I left super excited to look up their activity calendar online to see which classes we could come back and attend. I was recommended the Toddler French Music Class.

 

Check out our VLOG:

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New Mommy Life | Lunch Date Vlog 

#newmommylife

 

On Dealing with Our Childhood Emotions

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As the second year of motherhood is approaching. I have been catching up on my reading list and have been putting forth more of an effort to get back to my center. What prompted this for me was my feeling of loss of self. Not to sound too dramatic, however, I have noticed these past few weeks my patience has been wearing thin. I felt as if the slightest little thing would or could set me off. I felt moody and slightly more irritable. My cycle has been on and off and I know that can be a huge contributor to mood swings as well as anything along the lines of hormonal imbalance(s), but I’ll have to save all of that for a future blog post, as that is an entire topic I wish to discuss at a later date.

I came to the realization that I had allowed my emotions and circumstances to back me into a corner and that I had been harboring a lot of feelings of animosity towards myself (as well as a few others) that coupled with stress and insomnia  —  in addition to the many things going on in life, had finally caught up to me; as they often times will do.

Everything was manifesting itself into me being over the top moody and/or completely shut down and despondent. There wasn’t much of a happy medium. The one who was truly suffering through my emotional roller coaster ride was my little one. my angel. my heart. She’s innocent in all of this, yet I found myself losing my cool over things that normally didn’t phase me. Sadly, I felt, I had become the very parent that I swore I would never become. I would even speak to her about this while she was still in utero.

I broke down and cried.

How could I have broken my promise? How could I have let her down? and let myself down? I felt like a failure of a mom. I felt lost and had no idea what to do. I ran a bath, lit some candles and placed my rose quartz stones nearby. I took a few deep breaths, said a quiet prayer and spoke to God. I asked Him for forgiveness and to help me do better from here on out. I then apologized to my little Khy berry and she welcomed me with open arms, as she always does.

Children are so resilient. But they shouldn’t have to be.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

How is it as parents, we have such high expectations of our little ones and demand that they “get it together” at the drop of a hat during a time of great emotion or chaos? They are simply learning as they go and we are teaching them by the example we set. We expect their emotional maturity to be perfected and evolved, when we ourselves are battling through that very thing every day.

Many of us were not taught nor had any one ever mention emotional intelligence or emotional maturity to us. It’s not even really taught at the university level. It’s something you must actively seek out, pursue and make a commitment in your life to achieve. 

You have to be the change you want to see. It doesn’t just occur out of the blue with some pixie dust being sprinkled into the air.

 When little people are overwhelmed with big emotions. It’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.” – L.R. Knost

 

This quote really hit home with me. It made me take several steps back and calm myself. If you are a mom and have been struggling with this lately, I hope it can provide some comfort and clarity for you as well.

 

#newmommylife

 

 

 

 

100%Pure Silk Pillow Cases for Soft Curls

I discovered a lovely new product line London Ivy Products and their 100% Pure Silk Pillow Cases have been doing wonders for my curls. They are softer, more manageable and have a lot less frizz.

I’ll periodically pop up as I plan on adding to this list as I discover or am introduced to new products and services that I would like to share!

A HUGE part of Curly Hair Routine is using a silk wrap and or pillow case as night. They provide protection, minimize frizz and help preserve my natural curl pattern and integrity, so I don’t have to re-do my hair each and every morning. No one has time to style their hair from scratch everyday, especially being a mom. So It’s extremely important to preserve your curls as much as you can ( not to mention the expense of the products themselves.) Hey, no one ever said just because you decide to wear your natural hair that you would skimp out on hair products all together.

Happy Curls!

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My Curly Hair Routine Using New Kenra Products

 

 

 

 

Parents Could be Jailed for Feeding Their Children a Vegan Diet?

Yes. You read that correctly.

Parents could potentially be jailed for feeding their children a vegan diet.

How? you might ask.

The Proposed Bill  ( written in Italian ) was introduced by Italian parliament member Elvira Savino ( pictured below ) of the centre-right Forza Italia party.

who stated:

“There is no objection if the person making this choice is an informed adult. The problem arises when children are involved… The vegetarian or vegan diet is, in fact, deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and omega-3.”

I concur with Ms. Savino that parents should be held accountable for their children(s) health and wellness. However to single out the “Vegetarian/Vegan Diet” sounds a bit fishy to me ( pun intended.) Why is it such an issue to feed a child copious amounts of fruits and vegetables, yet no one bats an eyelash at children shoving fast food into their mouths on a daily basis?

Not to mention, if said “informed adult” is raising their child(ren) on a Vegan diet, then why would they purposefully withhold or conceal the knowledge and information they have from their child(ren) and feed them a poor diet?; especially since they themselves know better?

The conglomerate of the Meat and Dairy Industries are not going to simply roll over without a fight. However,  It seems to be a bit astonishing that they seem to be threatened by a mere 10% of Italians who have documented their choice of following either a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

Which is slightly less than what is reported in the United States.According to Public Policy Polling: Overall 13% of the people we surveyed consider themselves to be either vegetarians (6%) or vegans (7%).

This all came about after several reports of Malnourishment in children occurred over a span of 18 months after allegedly ( and I say allegedly because who can know for sure ) being fed a vegan diet, according the the BBC. However, I find it hard to believe that these “vegan” children were the one and only cases of malnutrition that were discovered. Yet for some reason, it seems that they are the sole cases being given so much attention.

It makes one wonder…

The part I find difficult to *ahem* digest in her statement : “… The vegetarian or vegan diet is, in fact, deficient in Zinc, Iron, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Omega-3.”

 

That being said , let us take a look into the validity of her statement, shall we?

 

Below is a list of plant-base sourced nutrients in which a Vegan/Vegetarian Diet is accused of being deficient.

1.Plant-Based ZINC Sources: 

  • Beans
  • Nuts, Seeds and Nut Butters
  • Wheat germ
  • Grains and Bread
  • Leafy Green vegetables.

 

2. Plant-Based IRON Sources:

Dark Chocolate — Yummers!  — (70-85% cacao solids contains more iron ounce for ounce than beef; a lot more! Beef comprised of 70% lean meat & 30% fat contains 2.11 mg of iron, while 3 oz. of dark chocolate boasts 10.12 mg. whoo hoo!) also Cocoa is a great option ( Powder, nibs, pieces etc.) Not to mention Chocolate pairs nicely with various fruit i.e. strawberries, raspberries, oranges etc., so it is quite easy to improve the Iron absorption rate by adding in the Vitamin C from the fruit.

Other great sources: Dried Fruit, Dark Leafy Greens, Tofu, Whole Grains, Legumes, Nuts, Seeds, Spirulina and Black Strap Molasses.

 

3.Plant-Based VITAMIN D Sources:  

Although there are Vegan D3 Supplements available, along with Vitamin D fortified Food, One of the best ways to get enough is from sunlight, with just 15 minutes per day providing great benefits. Since it’s absorbed through our skin and is a fat soluble vitamin, it’s important that we eat healthy fats ( like nuts and avocados ) and that we get enough time outside whenever possible ( just don’t over do it; use a sunscreen and avoid or limit sun exposure during peak hours; between 10 am – 2 pm.)

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For Good Measure and to ensure that I have covered all of the Nutritional Bases, I use:

Child Life Vitamin D3 Dropshttp://amzn.to/2c2PTFk.  I simply pour 1 (one) drop into her Sippy cup whenever she has either Flax or Soy milk at nap times.

and

Child Life Multivitamin Dropshttp://amzn.to/2c2PXoS . I usually give her 5ml with a meal ( preferably during or right after breakfast). The recommended dosage is 10ml, however, because I track her daily nutrient intake, I personally do not feel the need to give her 10ml since I am confident she is receiving the bulk of her daily vitamins from food, also it being a “supplement” I administer it as such. Use your discernment regarding any and all supplementation.

 

 

4.Plant-Based VITAMIN B12 Sources:

Fortunately, you don’t need to eat vast quantities to avoid deficiency. Nutritional yeast is a great source as well as fortified non-dairy milks and cereals all of which contain B12—just be sure to double check the label.

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I sprinkle and add Bragg’s Nutritional Yeasthttp://amzn.to/2bZ9WFT  to many of the meals I prepare. It adds a hint of flavor and has a slight cheesy taste to it, however, it is Vegan and not too overpowering.

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I mix in some Happy Baby ProBiotic Oatmeal, Brown Rice or Multi-Grain Cereal http://amzn.to/2c7sa9U  into her Flax or Soy milk ( soy milk is also another great source of Vitamin B12  & protein) or I’ll prepare it as a traditional oatmeal and mix in some ground Flax, Chia seeds & Hemp hearts as well as her favorite non-dairy yogurt. It makes a great breakfast and snack! 

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5.Plant-Based Omega-3 Sources: 

Flax seeds ( I prefer to use ground flax while cooking ) Chia Seeds and Hemp Seeds are all phenomenal choices when it comes to omega-3.  They are rich in fiber, protein as well as other nutrients that all provide many benefits.

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Just taking a glimpse at the nutrition facts, Hemp Hearts http://amzn.to/2c7tY2T alone pack a pretty powerful punch!

Chia Seeds are a great source of proteinhttp://amzn.to/2c6vWj7

Ground Flax Seeds are also a great source of fiber http://amzn.to/2bP058v

 

As you can see, with proper education and a little preparation a Plant-Based and or Vegan/Vegetarian Diet is fully capable of supplying each and every nutrient a child needs in order to grow and thrive!

Children are our future and their nutrition should reflect that. Separating families due to misinformation or an isolated incident of a parent(s)  not having the proper education is clearly NOT the solution to the problem.

 

#newmommylife

 

 

 

Success – Altruism & Inspiration

Success.

It seems like a simple enough process, right? There are plenty of books on the subject, blog posts, newspaper and magazine articles, tweets and even Instagram posts or Memes… the list goes on and on.

I’ve been intrigued by the seemingly ever eluding notion of success. I didn’t grow up around people who wanted it, nor wanted better for themselves. They seemed to only be content with taking what is given to them, smiling  and later complaining about it behind closed doors. I didn’t get it???

If you’re that miserable in life, why not actually do something about it?

I decided to start a small blog and coupled it with a YouTube channel, because well, not necessarily to be ‘the next big thing’  but because I had a story to tell and things I feel passionate about, so I created my own platform in which to be able to speak my mind and hopefully connect with other like minded individuals.

Here are just a few thoughts and tips about achieving successful in whatever avenue you choose. This has been derived from my personal experiences in life, hopefully you can receive some useful information to assist you on whatever path you may be currently following.