Sunday, June 22, 2014

First day of summer

In the Pacific Northwest, we trek through the endless months of rain awaiting the arrival of summer. It's gorgeous, and it makes me want to be active and get outside.

Oliver behaves pretty well during bath time, however, he has never been swimming. I got him a lifejackets, and off we went.
He did not enjoy the water. I thought all puppies were meant to swim! 
I think he'll need a couple more practice sessions.
He did however, enjoy the ride in the kayak!
And now, he's tired from all the excitement of the day. It's bedtime.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Healthy clean skincare

I've been slowly creating a healthy happy environment. I have loved skincare and makeup since I was a young one. But only recently have I started paying attention to the ingredients. I have exceedingly finicky skin--eczema and acne on my face. My arms are all chicken-y skin appearing, also known as keratosis pilaris. 
More annoying than any of this, I have dermatographia. This means any little scratch on my skin leaves a bright red mark. Itchy nose leaves me with a Rudolph nose, or if I rub my itchy allergy eyes, I look like I've been punched. See, here I just ran my nails on my forearm:

So it's no wonder I am really careful with skincare. I'm not so sure where I first heard about May Lindstrom Skincare but it sounded lovely--natural and handmade by a woman who has lived with sensitive skin herself. and the packaging! I was immediately taken. 

 Her cleanser, The Clean Dirt, is amazing. It's a dry clay based cleaner--you mix in your own water to make a paste. I like to keep it on while I shower to get a nice deep clean. It smells warm and inviting, and my skin is so happy with it. ingredients include: marshmallow root, calendula flower, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, turmeric, ginger, vanilla, and cacao
Lately I've been using the Blue Cocoon frequently at night. My allergies have been acting up and my nose is irritated, red, blotchy and peeling. This calming balm has relieved and brought balance once again to my skin. ingredients include: camellia seed oil, marula oil, blue tansy oil, geranium
And lastly, May is amazingly sweet. I have emailed her with lots of skin questions, and all her products come lovingly packaged with a sweet note:

Yes, it's pricey. But these items have lasted me a while (no fillers and so I use less of it!) and I love to see an ingredient list of items I can pronounce!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

I was never much of a jam/jelly/preserves girl. Mainly because I would look at nutrition labels and be shocked by the amount of calories and sugar.
Last year, I started going to pick fruit--and honestly, there's only so much of it you can eat.. Or freeze. So I started making my own jam. I found many jam recipes that required almost a 1:1 ratio of strawberries to sugar. I always thought sugar was a necessary evil to activate the jelling process. Turns out, it's not. And when your fruit is amazing, there's no need for that much sugar. This has changed my life.
So anyways, last weekend, I went and picked strawberries from the Pumpkin Patch and picked a ton of strawberries. Now double this. Yes, I went a little crazy. :)
It was a gorgeous day here, and the berries were perfect and oh-so-beautiful and fresh. The afternoon was then spent washing and hulling and making strawberry creations.
By the evening, many, MANY jars of jam were ready. We made several varieties, including strawberry basil, strawberry honey, and a plain very berry strawberry.
 My favorite recipe? Vanilla Balsamic Strawberry jam. (makes 4 pints, but it just depends on how long you cook it down)
  • 10 cups of chopped strawberries
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split
  • 4 tablespoons of balsamic
Follow instructions from the Ball No/Low Sugar Pectin.  I did process my jars, and so hopefully this will last me for a while!  Perfect for breakfast, mixed with my favorite, Fage 0% Total. And with this ratio of strawberries and sugar, it's only about 5 calories per teaspoon!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014


This past month, I met up with some friends from years ago. He reminded me of this:
From: Journal of Emergency Medicine
This early letter-to-the-editor was published in a scientific journal, and actually records my weight from 2007. Although it's been seven years, this now defines my goal. It's not just the number. It reminds me of a time when I felt healthy.

These past few months, I have started working on becoming a healthier, happier version of myself. I know this is not a sprint, and there are no shortcuts (and I'll even share some of those that I've tried and failed). I'm in it for the long haul.