Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Savoring Favorite Childhood Summertime Memories

I recently have been reviewing old family photos and reminiscing some favorite holidays and moment when my children were young and carefree.  Seeing their sweet faces and smiles of joy dressed in costumes, playing in the summer garden, swimming in the pool, building sandcastles on beaches and playing with bubbles in the bath tub at the end of the day at various summertime vacation locations made me think of my own childhood summers.

Of all the summer fun my sister and I, my favorite memory is of our annual birthday swim and slumber parties.  My sister and I enjoy our birthdays five days apart, at the end of August.  This meant two huge parties in two consecutive weekends.  These were epoch parties in that we swam for hours and hours, rode bikes in our huge semicircular driveway, played all kinds of pretend games in the huge garden, had water balloon fights and then all camped in our enormous back yard.  Italian immigrants on 7/8th of an acre built our brick house in the 1930’s.  They planted all the herbs, fruit and nut trees indigenous to their area of origin in Italy.  These huge trees provided ample shade in the 110-degree weather, jungle gyms for climbing and a continuous feast.  Our grandparents bought us a tent and sleeping bags in pinks and oranges, made just for girls enjoying a summer camp out in their backyard.  I have yet to uncover photos of these memorable parties and I will one day.  It gives me a sense of well being as I picture those parties in my mind at a time when I was carefree and simple.  I look forward to the new memories I will make this summer with my family and friends and will try to keep the theme of carefree and simple since that seems to bring me happiness and contentment.

Joy's Summer Memory: 
I grew up in Minnesota  - the land of (over) 10,000 lakes. Like many families, my family had a cabin on a gorgeous lake in central MN. From the time I was 10 years old, every weekend of every summer we were at the cabin swimming, reading, tubing, skiing, boating, snorkeling, (some but not much fishing). I have to say my sister and I became serious tubing champions over the years. My dad has sort of a tubing routine which we have learned where to hang on super tight or where you (meaning me) can kick your sister’s tube. However the highlight of every summer was the 4th of July. We usually had some family or friends come up for the day, grilling, and enjoying the lake goodness. The day always ended with a fire and s'mores while waiting for the fireworks. There was a huge show on a nearby lake and many shows on our lake. No Fire danger in MN!!  If you ever get the chance to do a family vacation – consider going to rent a cabin in MN and enjoy the beauty and family fun that MN lakes can offer! 
Health Tip:  Herbal Insect Repellant

If at all possible, it is best to try to avoid using DEET-based products to keep from getting insect bites during the summer.  DEET-based products occasionally give me hives, which is telling me it is bad for my body.  Instead, I make my own using essential oils and 190-proof grain alcohol, found in liquor stores.  Here is a list of oils from which to choose.  Be sure to test each out for skin allergy by a placing a small amount on your skin before you cover yourself and to see which oils work with your personal chemistry.

Basil    Lemon Balm  Catnip Myrrh Clove   Neem  Citronella       Palmarosa
Eucalyptus     Peppermint    Garlic  Pine     Geranium       Rosemary       Lavender

2 1/2 teaspoons total of any combination of these oils

1-cup 190-proof grain alcohol, found in liquor stores

Place ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously.  Transfer to small bottles, can be a small spray bottle for storage.  To use, shake vigorously, then rub a small amount on exposed skin, dab or spray on clothing.  You will not smell good to the mosquitoes but to your friends and family without using toxic poison.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Soften and Purify your Skin By Getting Muddy!

Whether we are young or old, male or female, nothing improves your skin texture quicker than a good mud mask.  Since my sister and I were teenagers, we have coveted a good mud mask for clear, smooth skin!  We both feel the same way today.  Over the years I have searched high and low for the mud mask that delivers all it promises.  However, with so many products on the market, which one do you choose?  I believe I have finally found “the one” to give me tighter, smoother, beautiful skin.  Don’t just take it from me, at my spa party last month the mud mask was a huge hit!

The key ingredients in this mask are:

Glacial marine mud obtained from a remote glacial estuary in the Pacific Northwest to absorb impurities from the skin – dirt, excess oil – and remove dead cells.  This mud also attracts water to hydrate the skin.

Algae extract to keep skin moisturized while providing protection against harmful irritants

Deposits more than 50 skin beneficial minerals and trace elements to nurture the skin such as:

Copper to improve skin strength
Zinc is an essential mineral for healthy skin, especially acne suffers because it controls oil production.
Magnesium to promote cell energy for faster cell turnover for more youthful appearing skin
Silver to help skin fight off harmful bacteria

For more information or to buy this epoch mud mask please email me at
My Preferred Customer Pricing - $17.75 (a $5 savings from the website price!) 

The coolest part of using this mud mask is that a portion of every purchase of this product NuSkin donates $0.25 to the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation, a skin disorder that primarily affects children, causing the development of blisters or open sores on as much as 75% of the body.  To date, more than $1,299,050 has been given to the foundation.

Help find a cure for this disease and enjoy clearer, smoother, tighter softer younger looking skin when you purchase this fabulous mud mask. PS: Don't forget your sunscreen this summer. :)

FREE PRODUCTS: By hosting your own Spa Party! (in the Sacramento, CA area)

Health Tip: Getting Rid of Pool Hair
 Found this tip on Pinterest! Click here to see the pin.

"Swimming in a chlorinated pool can have a noticeable, and often unpleasing, effect on your hair coloring if you have light-colored hair. But you can usually return your hair to its former shade by dissolving six to eight Aspirins in a glass of warm water. Rub the solution thoroughly into your hair, and let it set for 10-15 minutes."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kickstart Your Summer Workouts!

Sick of the gym? Enjoy the summer sun and get out of the house for your workouts! Spend more time with family and friends and try new activities (and get off the couch!)

1.       Rent paddle boards and try this fantastic sport (Joy loves this!) They offer these to rent at many places including Santa Cruz (love this place), Lake Tahoe, and more!
2.       Lotus, CA has some great White Water Rafting for all skill levels – Feel the rush as you ride the rapids! Check out this Video!
3.       Learn how to climb a rock wall! Sacramento has many options -
4.       Hiking is such a great option for those at all fitness levels. Explore a new part of the state and get some cute hiking gear! My favorite new spot to hike is Loon Lake. This remote location is bound to test your endurance as you trek over the beautiful terrain.
5.       Set up your own obstacle course in your yard! During that barbeque have your friends/family join you in setting your best time. Don’t forget the classics like a hula hoop, hopscotch, and jump ropes in this course!
   6.     Netflix has lots of workouts for you to try. Try doing a different one every day so you don’t get bored! Most are only 30 mins! Remember it only takes 30 minutes a day of exercise to stay fit and healthy. (UPDATE: As of August 1, 2012 Netflix instant is not offering the wonderful 30 minutes workouts. At least the DVDs are cheap!)
   7.       Date and a workout at the same time? Have you and your honey tried out ballroom dancing classes? Joy and her husband took classes before their wedding and wowed their guests with a routine! 

8.       Kayaking at Lake Natoma – or for the really adventurous try wind surfing lessons! All classes taught by young professionals, mostly students from CSUS.
9.       Catch a wave at Half Moon Bay with surfing lessons.   Spend the weekend at one of the quaintest beach towns in NorCal and learn to surf! How Cali!
10.   Biker? At North Star try mountain biking – be sure to wear a helmet (and maybe other pads too). 

Health Tip: Post Workout Smoothie!
Julie's Morning smoothie (In a blender):
1 banana
1 peach
1 kiwi
½ cup raspberries
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp of local bee pollen, it helps my allergies and is full of protein and antioxidants
2 tbls maca root powder, aids in mental acuity, energy and helps modulate hormones plus it adds protein
3 -4 tbl of full, fat, plain greek yogurt *Fat free and low fat yogurt is not good for you if you are trying to maintain or lose weight.   Studies now show everyone needs a percentage of “good” fat or else your body will start to store fat.
½ cup of crushed ice
It’s a great way to cool off after a fun workout, and get those antioxidants everyone needs!

Here is Joy's tasty recipe ratios!
Add whatever combo of frozen (I like it icy and they are cheaper) fruit you want (she always adds a banana), a scoop of plain yogurt for creaminess, and liquid like almond milk. Enjoy!