Happy Earth Day…Cosmetics and a Tea Sale

Hi Friends,

Happy Earth Day!  We are all looking for ways to better our lives and we have been working towards going green with our personal care and cosmetic products.  So, I thought some of you might be interested in taking advantage of some of the sales going on today.  Now is your time to stock up!

 Green Beauty Lovers…

Original Moxie (Natural Hair Care)

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2014 Zoya Nail Polish Exchange

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Osmia Organics Earth Day Box

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Juice Beauty

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Pacifica (Beauty and Perfumes)

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I didn’t forget my tea lovers…

Arbor Teas

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You still have time to catch some of these great deals.  Many of these companies donate a percentage of their profits to support some excellent causes.  So, you have the opportunity to try some new products and do good at the same time.

Happy Earth Day!

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Simple Mango Lassi Recipe

madewithOver-26I don’t know about you guys but I already have this Easter weekend on my mind.  I’m thinking of relaxation, good food, quality couple time and remembering the things that matter most.  So, I decided to start things off on this Thursday afternoon with a simple treat that I love, a mango lassi.  This recipe is super easy and doesn’t use any refined sugar.  Although you could use white sugar instead of honey if you prefer.

Please let me know if you if try this recipe or have one of your own that you want to share.

Ingredients:

1 ripe mango (peeled, seeded and diced)

1 cup of greek yoghurt

1/4 cup of honey

1/2 cup of ice

 

Directions:

Add all ingredients to your blender and mix until you reach a smooth consistency. Garnish with bits of mango for extra flavor.

*If your mango is not very ripe  you may want to blend it first before adding your other ingredients.

 

Have a safe and happy Easter weekend!

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Day 5: Green Beauty Books…Learning in Progress

The thing you have to remember about making any lifestyle change is that it’s a work in progress (constantly…). As a part of my journey I read a lot and try to absorb information that will help me make beneficial changes. So, this week I want to share some books that I am aware of that should assist you in  learning more about how to detoxify your cosmetics stash.   This list is by no means all-inclusive but it will give you a solid start. As I learn about others I will be sure to share them.

No More Dirty Looks: The Truth About Your Beauty Products–and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics by Siobhan O’Connor & Alexandra Spunt 

 

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This book is one of the latest that I’ve come across.  A friend mentioned it to me and I’m glad that she did.  The authors’  journey started with their discovery that  one of their favorite salon treatments contained the harmful chemical, formaldehyde.  As a result they began to research a wide range of products to uncover any dirty ingredient lurking in their midsts.  In this book they share their findings as well as suggestions on how to detoxify your beauty regimen.

 

Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry  by Stacy Malkan

 

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Not Just a Pretty Face takes a look into the dark side of the beauty industry including the use of  hormone-disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals that may contribute to breast cancer, even by companies that market themselves as pink ribbon leaders in the fight against breast cancer. This book also examines how products used by men and women of childbearing age contain chemicals linked to birth defects and infertility. Most importantly, this book offers some hope for the future by suggesting ways in which individuals can push the cosmetic industry and the government towards a safe cosmetics makeover.

 

Toxic Beauty: How Cosmetics and Personal-Care Products Endanger Your Health….and What You Can Do About It by Samuel S. Epstein, MD

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Toxic Beauty investigates the health risks present within the cosmetics industry.  It  takes a look at some of the toxic ingredients in anti-aging products for women, men’s deodorant, aftershave,  cologne, etc. This is a good resource for learning how to identify harmful ingredients and make better decisions for yourself and your entire family.

 

There you go….If you know of any other books please share them in the comments below.  Later, I will share some of my go-to web links and bloggers.  Until then, be safe, happy and healthy!

 

*Side Notes: I want to remind you about my post a few weeks ago where I shared a couple of databases that are great resources for safe cosmetics and personal care products research. I also want to make you all aware of another app that I’ve recently added, Think Dirty.  You might want to give it a try as well.   Also for those that missed them, click on the “Green Beauty” category to the right to view the other days in our green beauty journey.

 

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Almond Flour Brownies – Experimenting….

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One difficulty in trying to eat right is finding great desserts.  It seems that nothing beats white flour, refined sugar and a big stick of butter.  Still, I want to experiment with ways to make great desserts that use alternate ingredients.  In this instance I was looking for a way to avoid the use of refined sugar.  I wasn’t looking for a grain free recipe but during my search I came across a recipe for Almond Flour Brownies on Pinterest.  The  original version of this recipe comes from Grain Free Foodies and I figured since I had all of the simple ingredients I would give it a shot.

We love walnuts in brownies, along with a dollop of ice cream.  However, for the sake of experimenting I went forward with neither.  I have tried other “healthier” brownie options including low cholesterol and black bean varieties. So far, this is the best brownie alternative that I’ve found.  They have a rich flavor and are very moist.  I can’t wait to try these again with nuts and maybe a mix of almond and coconut flours.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup honey
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix honey, coconut oil, vanilla and eggs until smooth. Beat eggs until foamy before adding to wet ingredients.

3.  Add almond flour, cocoa and sea salt. Stir to blend.

4.  Poor into greased 8x8x2 inch pan. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the top feels cakey.

5.  Cool on a wire rack at least until sides pull away from the edge of the pan before cutting.

*Find the original recipe which includes other options here.

As I continue to experiment I’ll be sure to share my finds.  If you know of any “healthier” dessert recipes please share them with us in the comments.

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Book Review: True Gold by M. M. Justus

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Author: M. M. Justus

Series: Time in Yellowstone

Publisher: Carbon River Press

Summary:  A young lady, Karin Myre, tired of being her family’s work horse, longs for a better life on her own terms. So, she steals away aboard a ship in Seattle  bound for rivers overflowing with gold and untethered adventure in the Klondike. Like many that took this journey she finds that it is not without it’s share of hardships and unexpected conflict. Fortunately, by chance or destiny she  happens among two men ( a photographer and young prospector)  that become her partners and allies along this arduous path. Together they forge North in search of their own brands of fortune. Karin finds her fortune and learns that “true gold” takes a form much different that she expected.

My Thoughts: 

This book is actually the second in the series and it appealed to my interest in historical fiction.  The search for gold in the western part of the U.S. and Canada is a familiar theme in American literature, as is love stories that come out of this backdrop.  However, this story definitely has it’s own take on this popular period in history.  What I appreciate is that author zooms in on particular facets of the journey to the Klondike.  She artfully takes the reader through the difficulty of the actual journey. Details such as the hardships of getting ashore, traversing steep paths and waiting seasons to cross treacherous rivers, takes this iconic piece of history and somehow makes it more relatable.  By zeroing in on the aspirations of three characters and their day to day activities turns idealized historical fiction into a tangible journey of perseverance and determination.

Speaking of the characters, one of the characters is based on a photographer of the time.  It’s his photo that graces the cover of the book.  He is integral to the story but he does not overshadow it.  This nod to historical accuracy without a dependency on his celebrity is a hard line to walk.  I must say that M. M. Justus walks it expertly which demonstrates both her commitment to historical detail and artistic license.

I also enjoyed her depiction of the heroine, Karin.  Women of her time were expected to follow certain codes of conduct and follow the directions of the men in their lives.  It was unheard of for a young woman to strike out on her own, much less to attempt the trek to the Klondike.  The fact that she does so sets a feminine tone but a realistic one. She encounters difficulty because of her sex.  However, unlike heroines of other novels the author still manages to portray her strength and determination without paining her as “another silly woman”.  She is in essence the Tom Sawyer of the Yukon without the need to relinquish her femininity.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read which has renewed my interest in this historical period.  I look forward to reading more from her and have already downloaded the next novel in the series.  If you enjoy tales from the West of adventure, searches for treasure and relationships I suggest that you give this series a try. You will appreciate the intelligence of the author’s mix of history, storytelling and romance.

Purchase this book and others in the series from Amazon or Smashwords.

*Disclaimer: This book was given to me by the author in participation with Library Thing’s Member Giveaway Program. However, this review solely represents my thoughts and opinions. I did not receive any compensation for this review. Photo courtesy of http://mmjustus.com.

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Liebster Award Nominee!!


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Last month, Honey Lemon Tea, was nominated for the Liebster Award!  I want to thank Nature’s Pulchritude for the nomination and the support.  If you are interested in natural and organic beauty products and lifestyle you will love her blog!   For those that don’t know (because I didn’t) this award is an award passed around the blogging community to  recognize newbie bloggers or bloggers that you think deserve more recognition. So, it is truly an honor to be recognized by other bloggers and appreciated for our efforts.

The Rules:

  1. Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and display the award.
  2. Answer eleven questions the blogger gives you.
  3. Give eleven random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate eleven blogs you think are worthy of the award (but they must have less than 200 followers.) **This rule is a little misleading since twitter followers may be included as well.  So, you might not be able to tell the true number of “blog followers”.  Make a guess and choose who you love.
  5. Let the bloggers know you nominated them.
  6. Give them eleven questions to answer.

 

Questions via Nature’s Pulchritude:

1. What is your favorite place to visit? The beach!

2. Are you double jointed? No.

3. What is your favorite nail polish color?  Ali by Zoya (bright pink)

4. What 3 topics interest you most? This is a hard one!  If I had to only select three I would say: fiction writing, organic beauty and cooking.

5. Have you ever milked a cow? Um, no.

6. What has been an important life lesson for you? I’ve learned that it’s important to understand that progress doesn’t happen over night.  You have to constantly cultivate patience and celebrate small victories.

7. If you were stranded on a island, what two items are you bringing? I’m assuming we are not counting people here. So, if stranded on an island I am bringing my pre-packaged survival kit (still counts as one item) and a journal with pen.

8. Do you bake (cookies, cakes, bread, etc.)? Yes, I do bake.  I mostly bake cookies and occasionally a coffee cake or yearly birthday cake.

9. Have you ever been scuba diving? No and I can’t see myself ever doing so.  The older I get the more “scary” I become.

10. When was the last time you went to a zoo? Johnny and I went to the zoo in 2011.

11. What is the strangest food you have ever tasted? I would probably have to say, escargot.  I know it’s a delicacy but the bottom line is that they are still snails.

 

11 Facts About Me:

1. I like the way it smells outside just after the rain.

2. I don’t like beets.

3. I have one brother and one sister.

4. Their Eyes Were Watching God is the only book I’ve read more than twice.

5.  I think work weeks should be four days.

6. I didn’t get my license until I was in college (very strange in the South).

7.  I’m afraid of scary movies.

8. I’m a light sleeper.

9.  I have a dog named Harley Davidson (I got her when I really wanted a motorcycle).

10.  I don’t like shopping with other people.

11.  I prefer the sound of records to other forms of media.

 

Questions for Nominated Bloggers:

1.  Why did you start blogging?

2. What was your favorite television show as a child?

3. Are you allergic to any foods?

4.  What is one of your guilty pleasures?

5.  What is your favorite sport?

6.  What is your favorite season of the year?

7.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

8.  Tea or coffee?

9. What is the last book you read?

10.  What is your favorite comfort food?

11.  If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?

 

Honey Lemon Tea has nominated (drumroll, please….)  :)

* This list is in no particular order.  Some of you may have more than 200 followers but it can be hard to tell based on how numbers are tabulated.  Anyway, I love what you do.

Simply Me Dri

Cardigan-Clad Culinary

Peace on the Skin & Peace Within

Cook’s Reviews 

Word and Rhyme

Easy Recipes Before and After Work

The Natural Junkie

Hey Natural Beauties 

Naturally Marcy

Tea in the Ancient World

Diary of an Eager Reader

Congrats!! :)

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Tea of the Month: March 2014


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We are already into April and I didn’t want too many days to pass by without telling you all which tea was my favorite the past month.  I didn’t do too much experimentation in March and actually my morning tea was simply Tetley British Blend.

040214125612-mainbritish_blend_lThis particular Tetley blend is actually one of my favorite bag-filtered teas.  The round stringless bags contain more tea than traditional tea bags which results in a cup of tea with a punch.

I find that I get a very fast infusion from these bags which is great during those morning when I just want a quick cup before beginning work. I just steep, add organic raw honey and cream, then get the day started. The resulting flavor is full and strong.  If you want to try having tea in the morning instead of coffee, this may be a great transitional tea for you.

Comment below if you like this blend or have another quick to-go tea for busy mornings.

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