Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spa Gift Baskets Feature All Natural Bath and Body Products

This week we're kicking off our Winter into Spring promotion with free shipping on all spa gift baskets!

I usually try not to sound like a gift basket commercial here in the blog, but just for today, I might! But that's only because we are so selective about the bath and body products that we choose.  Each of the products that we currently offer are worth a little bragging ;)

So here goes...

Good Fortune Soap - These natural skincare products are handcrafted in Tennessee, good for your skin, multi-purpose, as in good for adults or kids, men or women! They also come in Eco-friendly packaging and from a socially conscious company! What more is there to brag about! You can learn more about their story here. This is how we've turned their products into an awesome gift for guys!

Good Fortune Soap - Gift Set for Men
Good Fortune Soap - Gift Set for Men

Homespun Naturals - All natural, made in America, paraben-free, no animal testing. Homespun Naturals has unique collections for men, women and babies. And we love them all! They're also quite affordable so we can mix them with loads of other awesome gift items! Check these out:

Baby Bath Spa - Baby Gift Basket

Indulge and Inspire Spa Gift Basket

Shower and Shave Gift Set for Men

European Soaps - We've also chosen a collection of soaps and lotions from Pre de Provence. Naturally made in France, these are beautifully designed, beautifully packaged, made from natural ingredients and aromatherapy concepts. These are a bit more expensive but well worth it! We include full size bottles and bar soaps for truly pampering designs.

Pamper Me Spa Gift Basket

All of these spa gift baskets and more make wonderful "Winter into Spring" gifts, so if you have spring birthdays, bridal showers, baby showers, or are planning ahead for Mother's Day, consider a beautiful spa gift basket with free shipping through March 21st!

So there, my commercial is done. Thanks for staying with it. 

Have a happy day!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Add Heart Healthy Meals to Your Day

It doesn't have to be hard, tasteless or boring to add heart healthy meals to your day. It really just takes a little knowledge of what foods are best and a handful of recipes and simple tips.  These are a few of my favorites:

Oatmeal is a great way to start your day! Add some fresh berries and slivered almonds to your oatmeal for a delicious, heart-healthy breakfast.  I love this video from Randa4Health on making a delicious oatmeal trifle with lots of great health tips along the way.

Photo credit to Randa4Health

Beans are a super heart healthy food. Fresh green beans and chickpeas are one of my favorites! There are many great recipes for a hearty bean salad that makes a great lunch any day of the week. A favorite of mine is a bit more gourmet, but if you have the time and inclination, try this delicious Chickpea Salad with Tomatoes, Olives, Basil and Parsley from kalynskitchen.com. Go light on the olives to reduce sodium.

Photo credit to Kalynskitchen

Broccoli makes a great stir-fry, either as your main dish or dinner side dish. I love this recipe from SimplyRecipes.com.  It's simple and very tasty.  I also love to add toasted almonds or pine nuts to broccoli stir-fry.
Photo credit to SimplyRecipes

Fish is also a super food when it comes to heart health.  A personal favorite recipe which combines several super foods is this delicious Bistro-style Salmon with Brothy Beans and Spinach. I found it in the Chicago Tribune food guide a couple years ago and have made it twice since.  The second time was just last week.  It's hearty, healthy and comforting - a great winter dish!

For many more healthy and delicious recipes, and to learn more about heart super foods, go to goredforwomen.org

Have a happy day! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Healthy Heart Month - Commit to Exercise!

How many years have you made it your New Year's Resolution to start and maintain a solid exercise plan? Was it on your list this year?  It certainly was on mine, and as of today, February 11th, I am still not solid! If I had a dime for every time I tell myself, "I should work out today," I'd have enough to hire a personal trainer - permanently!

So the story goes, for many of us.  Yet, as I have been promoting my campaign for the American Heart Association this month, I am reminded of the necessity of exercise for long term good health! It's not about being thin or having a model body; it's about living a long healthy life. And that statement right there should make it easier to stick to a plan. Why, you ask?

When we strive to have a model body, we are usually comparing ourselves to some false ideal seen in a magazine. A regular gal like me doesn't have time or money to work with a personal trainer for hours a day, which is what it would take to have a model body! I am a wife, a business owner, and a caregiver.  When do I have time to exercise?  If I strive to be healthy, it doesn't mean hours a day in the gym, but rather a simpler commitment to 30 minutes a day 5 days a week. As a wife, business owner, and caregiver, I truly can commit to 30 minutes a day.

So that covers timing and my "too busy" excuse.  The next hurdle is what do I do in that 30 minutes? Go for a walk? Lift weights? Take an aerobics class?  The best answer is all of the above - on alternate days. I choose my favorite activities, and schedule them on a chart for 5 days each week.  I put it in a prominent place where I'm always reminded to put in my 30 minutes. Like this:

If you're already committed to your exercise schedule, my hat's off to you! If you're struggling, like me, to stick to a plan, join me in creating your own schedule of the activities you enjoy, and get started!

And actually, my next week looks something like this:

And after all that snow, I'll be back to my full month schedule!

Have a happy day!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Going Red: 8 Ways to Relieve Stress

This month we're partnering with the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women campaign to raise funds and awareness on the prevalence of heart disease. Did you know that heart disease is the number 1 cause of death in women?  More women in the United States die of heart disease than all types of cancer combined.

Although that is a somber fact, there is much we can do to improve our health and prevent heart disease. Throughout this month I plan to bring you information, tips, and more to help all of us maintain our happy, healthy hearts!

Wife, Mom, Professional, Caregiver, Daughter, Sister, Friend. Whatever stage you are at in life, you have stress. When stress is constant, your body stays in high gear on and off for days, weeks, or months at a time. Chronic stress that causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure may damage the artery walls. There are many ways to relieve stress. Many of them are as individual as you. Find what relaxes you and practice it on a regular basis.  Here are 8 ways to relieve stress that I am personally fond of - you may be too!

  1. Go for a walk - It can be a little as 10 minutes or as long as 60. Take what time you can afford, go to a peaceful place such as a nature or forest preserve, and walk. Try not to think about that which stresses you. Just let your mind be at peace and enjoy your surroundings.
  2. Give yourself a plant - Or treat yourself to a bouquet of flowers.  Choose your favorite plant or floral, set it in a prominent place in your home, take in the fragrance, and enjoy.  
  3. Take a warm bath - Give yourself at least 30 minutes to soak in a warm, fragrant bath. Light candles, sip a cup of tea, find a good read, or just close your eyes and relax.
  4. Yoga - Find a yoga class or buy a DVD to do at home.  Commit to yoga at least once a week for 30 minutes.  Yoga is both relaxing and strengthening, and its long-term effects will benefit you both physically and mentally.
  5. Dark chocolate - Indulge in a bit of dark chocolate.  Dark chocolate is higher in cacao than milk or white chocolate, so dark is the healthy one.  Cacao is filled with healthy nutrients and for the chocolate lover (like me) the taste is heavenly.  Instant relaxation and longer term healthy benefits!
  6. Laugh - Share a good laugh with a good friend or a good book!
  7. Give yourself a spa treatment - Pedicure, manicure, facial, bath, whether you go to a spa or DIY it at home, give yourself a 30 minute treatment and enjoy.
  8. Make time for your hobbies - It is easy to get caught up in our daily tasks, and we feel there are never enough hours in the day.  But it's important to make time for hobbies. Whether you're a reader, gardener, painter, crafter, athlete, cook, musician, or other; make time to enjoy your hobbies.  You will find relaxation and gratification in taking time to do something you love.

For more information on stress and your health visit Go Red for Women.

Have a happy (and stress-free!) day!