Monday, July 2, 2018

Canyon Coffee Wakes me Up!

Nothing wakes you up like an amazing cup of coffee.  I know there are doubters, but bear with me here,  Caffeine-friendly, or a decaf kind of person, you will find your cuppa with Canyon Coffee.  Started by who might be the most beautiful couple ever, this coffee company is dedicated to pleasing every palette.  

Good coffee takes love, and that starts on the farm with the people growing and tending to the beans. It's our aspiration to have relationships with farms so we can help ensure the well-being of the farmers and their families whose livelihood depends on the coffee trade. That aspiration became real with our first visit to Guatemala in February 2018 to meet farmers and start to establish friendships with producers.

I was sent both the Decaf Tatama and the Limu Cosa, Ethiopia.  I was all "yeah, I only do decaf." Then, a few days in, as I savored my last drops of decaf, I had to try the fully fueled Limu Cosa.  The Decaf Tatama is so chocolatey, that it feels almost sinful to be drinking it.  the taste is amazing, simply put. It is Swiss Water Processed.  What does that all mean? read below:
ABOUT:  This is an organic Colombia decaf Excelso from the village of Apia in the Risaralda district of Armenia. The coffee was produced by the Asociacion de Cultivadores de Apia. ABOUT SWISS WATER PROCESS: The Swiss Water® Process uses pure green coffee extract and proprietary carbon technology to remove caffeine from green coffee beans. The beans are first soaked in very hot water and caffeine is leached out of the beans' cellular material to create green coffee extract. The solution is then passed through a carbon filter. They have specified the pore size of the carbon to match the caffeine molecule to ensure only the caffeine is trapped when the caffeine is captured from the green coffee extract. The Swiss Water Process is certified organic and 100% chemical free. In addition, they are also certified Kosher by the Kosher Overseers Association. 

I did not think anything could be better and then I went to the Limu Cosa, Ethiopia.  It has notes of peaches, caramel and molasses. 

This coffee took the case in a series of blind cuppings, tasting seasonal beans from all over the world.
Limu Kosa comes from a family-owned farm that has been growing coffee for over 40 years. The beans were grown at an altitude between 1800-2200 meters. Process: washed. Certifications: organic. 
I am officially addicted to Canyon Coffee now.  It tastes so much purer and refined than anything I have ever tried.  I love that it is a small company and that they are so involved with their suppliers.  You really won't find a better cup. 

Saturday, April 21, 2018

VitaJuwel infused with Magic

I have long been someone who believes in the healing and restorative properties of gemstones.  I have no less than four shelves in my home dedicated to my collection.  I wear gemstones, make crystal grids and cleanse them on a regular basis.  When I first heard about VitaJuwel, I was more than a little intrigued.  Here was a company adding my favorite things, gemstones, to purify and infuse water.  The best part is, they do it safely.  Some powerful crystals cannot be put directly into items we ingest, because they leak certain chemicals (ie. Malachite contains arsenic when exposed to water).  

 The use of gems to vitalize water is a traditional art which was already known to the ancient Greek and wise men and women during medieval times. Recently, this old tradition has been  rediscovered. Gemstones have the ability to store energy. That effect makes quartz watches work, for example. Each type of gem, by nature, has its unique kind of energetic information. The gems inside the VitaJuwel vials transfer their information to the water that surrounds the vial and, thus, improve the waters' vitalization level. An effect which regular water drinkers might even be able to taste!VitaJuwel – The Advantageshygienic, economical, perfectly shaped, distinguished

  1. Gemstones don't have to be put directly into the water.
  2. The vial keeps your water safe from possible impurities of contaminated gemstones and from splinters.
  3. No more time-consuming cleansing of the gemstones.
  4. Lifelong pleasure by precious gemstones.
 Create your own fresh and pure gemstone water!
Rediscover one of nature's most valuable secrets with unique VitaJuwel gemstone vials – An ancient way to energize water with the healing power of hand-picked gemstones.
 Patented worldwide, designed in Germany, manufactured in the EU using lead-free bohemian glass and fair-traded, conflict-free gemstones.
Currently,  VitaJuwel offers GemWater Bottles and GemVials that you can put directly into water to taste the magic.  I say magic, because it really feels like it is.  The water actually tastes different!  Plus you can use the GemVials in your wine!  VitaJuwel offers decanters for just that purpose.  I have  a GemWater Bottle in Wellness.  It has a pod in the bottom with amethyst, rose quartz and clear quartz.  It is the recommended bottle if you are not sure which one to get.  I am obsessed and use it daily.  The water actually tastes cleaner and more pure. The gemstone blend found in my bottle is meant to keep you calm, and it works.

The other product I own, and use daily is the Gem Vial in Focus.  It has a combination of red jasper, sodalite, orsnge calcite, borwn agate and aventurine quartz.  

I find myself using the  Gem Vial everyday.  I actually crave the purity and taste of that water.

I cannot recommend these products enough  There is so much power and vitality to be harnessed from gemstones.  I cant imagine my water without them.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Wrap Yourself in Comfort

I don't know what it is about winter that I love.  I enjoy the silence.  I enjoy the fact that I am forced to slow down and spend time in my home reading, writing and just being.  Of course I spend time outdoors enjoying some of my favorite winter sports like skiing and ice skating.  My skin does not seem to enjoy the winter like I do.  Isun is a company I have written about in the past, and one I have an affinity with.  The very mission of the company speaks to me:

To create true, high performance products in harmony with nature and our bodies that do no harm. To produce the most advanced, highest integrity wildcrafted organic and natural skin care products teeming with life and energy, for the purpose of restoring, rejuvenating and giving pure vitality to one’s skin, senses, health and total well-being.

Our hand-crafted, high performance, alchemical creations are made with pure wildcrafted and organic plant ingredients teeming with nutrients and inherent life-force energy kept alive with cold-processing and enhanced with energy techniques.

Isun Skin Restore Body Oil is literally heaven sent. 

This inviting, sensuous aromatic body moisturizer is made of 100% active ingredients to nourish and protect skin from environmental damage and to support repair of tissues. Phenol-rich protective herbs, calming and restorative herbs and flowers are infused into a vitamin & nutrient-rich oil base to replenish skin.

It has a deep earthy aroma.  I usually put this on directly out of the bath on moist skin.  I breathe in the scent and let it relax me.  Between the vetiver, patchouli, sandwalwood and ylang ylang, this is really an experience for both skin and senses.  It makes my skin incredibly soft and moisturized (no small feat in this cold New England weather), and I even use it on my face and the ends of my hair.  It wraps me in comfort. 

All Isun products are hand-crafted in Colorado in the company's own pristine facility. I love every product I have ever tried!  Stay tuned for more reviews of this wonderful line.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Winter Retreat

My skin has taken a hard blow this winter.  I of the combination skin suddenly had peeling skin around my nose and cheeks.  I was scrambling for what to do.  I have never had skin this dry before.  I turned to my good friends at Evan Healy.  They sent over some amazing products that I credit with healing my skin within days. 

The Coconut Cream Cleanser might just be my new best friend.  I was a little leery about using coconut oil on my face.  I have done oil pulling and I use it all over my food, but my face?  Well, it worked wonders! It made me a believer. 

Our certified organic, RAW, unrefined virgin coconut oil is naturally fragrant and brimming with living lipids and nutrients to deeply nourish skin and lashes. We’ve added the gently uplifting aromas of sweet orange and vetiver to calm and relax facial muscles.

My skin feels amazing and it even removed the toughest mascara.  I saw a difference within days.  I also love the scent.  I am almost done with my first jar (you only need a tiny amount!) and I plan on
stocking up with a lot more.  It literally melts in my hands and comes easily off with a washcloth.                                                                                                              

After cleansing, I am slathering my face in the most decadent product ever.  The Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf is like heaven in a jar.  This is my new night cream. 

Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf rejuvenates and protects extremely dry and dehydrated skin, having a remarkable effect on wrinkles, softening and smoothing fine lines, all signs of stress held in our face and eye area. After a few days of consistent use skin appears noticeably improved. Our Whipped Shea Butter, rich in essential fatty acids, cinnamic acid, and vitamins C, E, and K, heals dry, sensitive skin conditions while providing maximum barrier protection without a heavy feeling or clogging tiny dermal pores. It is especially effective when treating red/angry skin conditions. 

I also noticed that for the first time my nails and hands are not peeling this winter.  I know it it the work of this magic butter. 

If I feel like I need some extra healing, I apply the Organic Rosehip Treatment Serum. I usually apply it before or, mixed with,   The Whipped Shea Butter with Olive Leaf

Our remarkable, certified organic rosehip seed oil comes from the Chilean Andes. Known as rosa rubiginosa or rosa mosqueta, this silky oil of the rose hip seed has been used for centuries to treat sun-damaged, scarred or burned skin.

I am so thankful that my skin no longer looks as horrible as it did at the start of winter.  I am even more thankful that I could cure my skin ails with the remarkably natural and wonderful Evan Healy.

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Teething babies put everything, and I mean EVERYTHING in their mouths.  More than one item of mine met the trash bin when my daughter was teething. Chewbeads has the perfect solution.  let's face it, we still want to look fashionable and if those delicious bits of jewelry we wear just happen to double as chew toy, well, we are killing it!  Created by a mom!
The idea for Chewbeads began in 2009 shortly after the birth of my son. Like most babies, he loved to put everything in his mouth and my necklaces were a favorite. Like most moms, I didn't feel comfortable letting him chew on them, with concern that they might break or have unwanted chemicals. As a veteran of the fashion industry, I had an amazing collection of necklaces and bracelets, so with those as my inspiration, I set out to create soft, non-toxic jewelry, which was colorful, chic and, above all else safe. Hence, Chewbeads!
  • Beads are made with 100% silicone (similar to pacifiers & nipples)
  • Soft on babies gums and emerging teeth
  • Easily cleaned with dish soap & water, also dishwasher safe!
  • No BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Cadmium, or Lead
  • Necklaces have a breakaway clasp for added safety
  • Necklaces are a great sensory tool to help your baby focus while nursing
  • Bracelets are a colorful reminder of which side you've just nursed

 My daughter is long out of teething territory, but I still wear my Astor Teething necklace in fuchsia (and I get a ton of compliments). I am officially obsessed.  As a side note, I work with lots of children with sensory disorders and have fond that these are perfect to keep them from biting themselves or other harmful objects.  Who says we can't be moms and still look good?!

A Story for Your Hair

No matter your hair type, you have no doubt been lectured that washing your hair daily is not only ill-advised, but harmful.  Standard shampoos are harsh and can actually strip the hair of oils you need for healthy hair and scalp.  Enter Hair StoryHair Story has come up with an amazing product that is a one-stop to gorgeous hair called New WashNew Wash is amazing and will change the way you wash your hair.

No matter what type of hair you have, detergent has an adverse effect across the board. New Wash, on the other hand, stops the damage and balances every type of hair with essential oils that act with the same mechanism as detergent (the ability to remove undesired substances), but they do so selectively: They distinguish between the good and the bad, only removing what is necessary. Everyone thinks they need conditioner, when in fact they don’t. Conditioners and masques are merely band-aids for the damage caused by shampoo. We thought there must be a better, more modern way. We needed to get rid of the detergent and that's what we did. New Wash is allowing people to discover their hair; its personality comes out, and you’ll be amazed at how great it looks. Biodegradable formula.
I was skeptical of New Wash  the first time.  I figured I would step out of the shower with greasy hair that still smelled like my last workout.  I was so wrong.  My hair was not only clean and felt soft, it smelled so fresh.  I did not even have to use one detangler or hair product to coax my natural curls into obedience.  I am a convert.  I only need the smallest amount to do the job, thus saving me literal hundreds in hair products from Shampoo to curl cream.  I love the natural ingredients, and I love that I can take this everywhere and cut my time in half.  Grab a bottle and join the Hair Story revolution.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Handmade and Ethereal by Design: An interview with Kuri Yasuno an Etsy Goddess

I have always been a huge proponent of buying handmade items.  Etsy was like a godsend for someone like me (and many others).  I was on Instagram one day when the most gorgeous necklace caught my eye.  I immediately contacted the creator of said necklace and ordered right away.  Since that time, I have purchased more, and each creation that comes is more and more beautiful.  The holiday season is fast upon us, and I can wholeheartedly recommend surprising that special person in your life with a creation by Kuri Yasuno.  I was interested to know what made this gem genius tick.  What inspired her?  She was gracious enough to let us in on some of her secrets.  Take a read and then go on over to her Etsy shop and treat yourself and everyone on your list. (I included the current pieces I own for you to swoon over).

The necklace that started it for me: Tangerine Quartz.  Be still my heart.

I came to the States when I was 5 years old with my family from Japan. I arrived speaking no English and being dropped in to school with a bunch of American children. That was a fascinating experience.  There were so many things that were different. Names, food, sports, clothes, everything. When I arrived here, we realized that a lot of the clothing didn’t fit me because I was pretty small, so my mom made a lot of my clothes for me, specifically party dresses and such. She’s very creative. She picks up new crafts time and time again. She just finished knitting handbags and moved onto hand woven slippers (zori). My grandmother was also creative and was always crafting all sorts of things. It appears I come from a line of very creative women.  Other than jewelry design, I have a few loves. I love languages and music. I was a language major in college and have a music and fine arts double minor. My main instrument growing up was the piano but I also can play the cello and sing proficiently. Currently I am a mom of two boys 12 and 10 and one of my favorite things to do is to teach them to sing in 3 part harmony. Its a great party trick.  I love to doodle but I can’t say that I am a great artist. I just love looking at pretty things and I find myself always creating.

How did you start designing jewelry?
When I was in High School, I did a summer college program. (can we say nerd? I was that too.) anyway, I met a girl (now woman) who showed me how to bead. At that time, I was just playing with seed beads. Then I kind of forgot about it.  YEARS later, about 5 years ago, I was in a shop in California with a friend of mine. She showed me some beautiful pieces. I said I think I know how to do this. After that trip, I started wire wrapping gemstones and sent her a necklace.  After that, I just got hooked. I started making more pieces and then I started making gifts. Soon after, people were purchasing my pieces for gifts and here I am today with my little etsy shop and my dining room table “workshop."

 What inspires you?
I love all the different colors I see in nature. Looking at water, plants, trees and the sky I see all the colors swirl around. Then I lay out my beads and see what I like together that may resemble what I saw.
Other times, the gemstones themselves make me think up of different combinations and colors.

 What are some of your favorite gems?This is a tough question.
I feel like labradorite and moonstone are some of my favorite. they go with everything and have that internal flash.
On the more higher end, i love tourmaline. the colors of that gem are so beautiful, anything i create with it is just gorgeous.

I also have a soft spot for all the blue of apatite, the soft greens of moss aquamarine and pink topaz.

 First piece your created?
I think it was that necklace I made for my friend. it was iolites, I believe.  The first piece i sold tho, was a kyanite piece.

Favorite piece?
My favorite piece has to be my “one of everything” necklace that I wear often. Its a random selection of gemstones all wire wrapped into one simple but colorful necklace.

Ocean Jasper.  I feel like a forest princess when I wear this.

Product Mommy's newest piece from Kuri.  Sapphire Blue Iolite and Moonstone. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Behind the Mask

I know I have mentioned I suffer from PCOS, so even though I may seem way too old to be getting a blemish, I most certainly still do.  I have hormonal breakouts, and in the summer, certain sunscreens can cause them as well.  I don't like to use conventional blemish creams on my face because they usually contain alcohol, which is too drying, and other harsh chemicals that leave my skin peeling. 

Evan Healy Blemish Purifying Serum is step one in my battle to defeat the spots. It contains no alcohol and is certified organic.  It contains oils such as thyme, lavender, rosehip and rosemary.  It is a tiny bottle that packs a big punch.  Spots go away within a day when I dab this powerhouse on.  It actually smells amazing as well.

When my skin really needs some TLC, I turn to the Hibiscus Willow Face Mask.  I am obsessed with this mask.  It is the most gorgeous mauve color, and it is magic for the skin. 

Flower, bark, root and clay. This harmonizing botanical + mineral quintet work to smooth, calm, clarify and nourish all skin. Marshmallow Root + Oat smooth and soothe. Hibiscus cools and enlivens. Willow purifies, exfoliates and rejuvenates. Kaolin Clay mineralizes, tones and calms. Once activated with liquid, this dusty-rose herbal powder blossoms to a deep fuchsia as it awakens, nurtures, and illuminates while infusing the skin with a profound serenity.

This mask can be used on all skin types.  I find it really clarifies my skin without irritating it further.  Some masks leave skin too dry, this one is just right.  I have even used it after all day in the sun to soothe my skin.  It feels luxurious, and is so effective.  I usually do this mask once to twice a week while taking some "me time" and enjoying a long bath, or even while cleaning up after my pre-teen.  Do yourself a favor, grab this for your beauty and self-care arsenal.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Between the Fine Lines

I hate to admit it, but I am only a few years away from the big 4-0.  That was once my "scary age", like the age I thought my parents were old.  The thing is, I know 40 is no big deal anymore.  I don't feel old, and I like to believe the kids I work with when they (lie) tell me I look young.  Some of that may be in part to good genes.  My Nana is 92 and you would never know.  The other part is good skincare.  I don't do chemicals, and I don't personally believe that they are the only anti-aging answer for my skin.  Evan Healy is always a go-to for my skin care.  When I started noticing a few "life lines" on my face, I started upping my skincare game. 

The Sea Algae Serum is a must for my daily skincare.  I use it at night, and I am so pleased with the effect. 

Formulated with fresh raspberry leaf extract, known for its skin firming effect, to better target signs of intrinsic aging and Hyaluronic acid, which holds moisture to skin forming a protective barrier. Seaweed, algae, and sea buckthorn berry oil combine to firm, nourish, and tonify the skin, and Gotu Kola supports the body’s synthesis of collagen, and connective tissue maintenance.
Described by one customer as: "deep yoga for skin", our Sea Algae Serum visibly transforms wrinkles and fine lines into silky, smooth, radiant skin. Used consistently it helps protect and soften the skin. Sea Algae Serum revitalizes skin damaged by sun, pollutants, and aging.

I use this under my daily moisturizer (more on that in a minute), and I love how it makes my skin look and feel.  I have noticed plumper skin and less of those lines.  My skin feels incredibly moisturized. 
                                             (sea buckthorn berry)                                            (sea algae and seaweed)

For my daily moisturizing needs, I use the Light Moisture Replenishing Fluid.  I have yet to find a moisturizer that feels as good as this does for my skin.  It is light enough for my combo skin, but feels deeply moisturizing (even after being in the pool and ocean all summer).  It never congests the skin and my skin drinks it up.  It also smells so amazing! It features organic and sustainable Argan oil from Morocco’s Berber Women’s Co-Operatives, along with Tamanu and Pomegranate Seed Oil, and is energized with Flower Essences.

(Evan Healy at the Berber Women's Cooperative)
With this two in my arsenal, I am one happy camper.  I can kiss fine lines goodbye and embrace my skin.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Flip Brew Yourself a Cold Drink

I am known to drink either iced green tea or iced decaf coffee all summer and fall long.  I also suffer for this because I spend what seems like a small fortune on purchasing these cups of goodness.  I was sent a Flip Brew by Zing Anything to try out.  The Flip Brew has honestly changed my life!  Yes, dramatic sounding, but so true!  I make my own iced tea and iced decaf right at home and it actually tastes better.  Using Flip Brew I can cold brew my coffee.  What does that mean? Well,  the Cold brewing means a better tasting, less acidic, and more concentrated coffee compared to traditional brewing.  Even better, the Flip Brew  is BPA/Halogen/EA & Phthalate free Eastman Tritan Plastic.  It is so easy to use, just fill the included basket with either coffee grounds or tea, hot water, flip brew, and enjoy!  What could be more simple? 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sun Goddess with a Side of Shade

I am a devoted Evan Healy skincare fan.  I use so many of her products, it prompted my husband to ask if I secretly work for her without his knowledge.  She is just that good and giving the world amazing skincare.  We have all been warned about what the sun does to our skin.  It has made more than a few of us afraid to go into the sun.  I am a pale gal.  I also worship the sun.  I love the beach, and being outside.  I am also a massive hypochondriac with a history of skin cancer on the maternal side.  I wear a high SPF at all times.  I don't tan, I burn.  That being said, I don't avoid the sun, I just protect myself as wisely as I can.  Evan Healy came out with the Sheer Tint Sun Stick.  I am obsessed.
Oils, waxes, butters, and minerals - These are the only ingredients that make up our Sheer Tint Sun Stick. This creamy balm-like formula is completely free of preservatives and designed to protect and nourish all faces. Non-nano Zinc Oxide acts the sole mineral solar-protectant, bouncing sunbeams away from your precious countenance.
Antioxidant-drenched red raspberry seed oil combines with two of our most beloved ingredients — Al Amal Co-operative argan oil and Kpersi Village shea butter — to add a hefty dose of essential fatty acids, vitamins and phytonutrients. The subtle mineral tint blends with all skin tones and is only included to diminish the white cast that is caused when using zinc oxide alone.

This blends seamlessly into the skin. The above pic is to show it heavily applied and not blended yet.  It smells incredible.  My daughter claims it smells just like an orange creamsicle.  I use this daily, and it is the only sunscreen my daughter does not fight me on when I lather up her nose.  This is a product I will be taking on beach vacations.  With the convenient size it is TSA-approved and perfect to throw in a purse.  You have no excuse to not protect that gorgeous skin.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


If you are like our household, you have at least one mason jar (or ten lying around).  We are a bottle carrying family as well.  We never buy plastic bottles of water for numerous reasons, but mainly waste and leaching chemicals.  Zing Anything has come up with genius JarGo

Transform mason jars into portable, drinkable bottles with the JarGo. From cold brew coffee to morning smoothies, the JarGo makes sipping out of your mason jars easy, stylish, and fun.
This 23 ounce container adds to the volume of a standard mason jar, with a leak-proof cap, and an easy-carrying loop. Add some fruit to your water or iced tea for a refreshing drink, or pour some milk and coffee over iced for a delicious morning jump start.
Take glass jars on-the-go!

As I mentioned, we love bottles in this house, and when the JarGo arrived, we actually fought over who could have it.  The ten year old won!  She uses it every single day.  I did manage to pry it from her once and I love it.  I plan on buying more.  It has been really spill-proof for us, and even better, it has no weird taste some metal bottles can leave.  This is a truly amazing product.  Grab one and hydrate!

Back...back in the blogging groove!

It has been almost eight months since you last heard from me.  It was a long and arduous eight months of dealing with some stressful situations. My husband dealt with some minor health issues and a major change in jobs.  We also moved to a home more suited to our needs.  While we love our new place, we did not love packing and dealing with all that entailed.  The new place has a gorgeous fenced in back yard with room for lots of plants (and a VERY persistent groundhog who loves eating them).  My daughter spends most days outside practicing soccer (futbol for my European friends) and playing on various ride-on toys.  We have been enjoying summer, but I decided its time to get back to blogging to and to what I love.  I love sharing new products that my family uses with you, my readers.  I cannot wait to share some exciting new products.  Drop me a line and let me know how you are doing and what you do to deal with stressful situations like health issues, moving and job changes.  I have missed you!

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