*~: That Bee-a-u-tiful Glow:~*

“I hope you can all forgive my absence, especially after posting about all the lovely benefits I was getting out of bathing in honey! This pregnancy has been a crazy one, perhaps because it is my first, but a crazy one none the less. In little under four weeks, we will be welcoming baby Mali Nevaeh into the world, and thanks to this absolutely amazing honey and coconut oil sugar scrub, I have managed to keep my stretch marks to from setting in, and even reversed the appearance a bit!  (This is normally where I would post the before and after pictures of my stretch marks that I had taken, but unfortunately THIS girl broke her phone earlier in the week and will have to wait until it is sent back repaired to post those pictures).”

 

Honey Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
4 tsp Raw Honey
2 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-4 Cups Sugar
Scented Essential oils (optional) (i used 6-10 drops of Lavender oil and half of a lemon)

Coconut oil, if you’ve never had to handle it before, looks very similar to crisco when you first see it in its container. I don’t use anything particularly fancy, just Lou Anna’s Coconut oil (because it is within my budget) but you are welcome to use what ever grade, or type of coconut oil you are comfortable with.  Handling it is very similar to handling raw honey, in that it will need to be warm to be able to mix in with the sugar.  Remember, what ever you do, do NOT heat in the microwave, doing so destroys all the lovely enzymes and molecules that will help keep your skin lush! 

I find it’s easiest for me to measure the coconut oil and the honey into the container I will be keeping the scrub in, sealing it and submerging it in a sink of hot water.  It does not take long at all before you’ll notice that the warm water  has made both ingredients liquid and easy to combine.  Remember to dry off the container and your hands before opening it, and adding the EVOO what ever scents you have chosen (if any at all) until you are happy with the scent.  When adding the sugar, you should start slow, and only add as much as you need to get the texture you like.  

To use it in the shower, just apply a small bit in circular motion to the skin. I use this on every bit of my body, face included! concentrate on areas that are scaly or otherwise dryer than the rest of your skin, or places where you notice blemishes and marks. The stimulation from the sugar and the nutrients from the oil help to increase circulation and repair the skin, thus giving you that gorgeous honey kissed glow! Do not worry about feeling a little oily after rinsing. You really only want to rinse until the sugar is gone (using luke warm water). Afterward, rub the oil into your skin before patting dry with a towel. You will notice that you feel moisturized and lush rather than oily once you pat dry! For those who have never used a sugar scrub this will be a new sensation, but one you grow used to and start to crave in no time!

*:~Bee-e-a-utiful~:*

Fantastic news boys and girls: this wahine  is about to be a Mommy! . . . in late March.  It seems a little late in the game to be informing the world just now, however, I was not informed of the little miracle until week twenty (20)!  With all of the changes, and adjustments to this new development, and trying to prepare for a soon to be new life,  I have not had a whole lot of time to update .  Not everything they say about pregnancy has been true for me, thus far. Morning sickness was fairly benign, cravings are minimal, and often times healthy, and putting on weight, well I managed to go in the opposite direction BEFORE growing a bump. However, my skin has suffered in the moisture department.  Finally, at month 7, my poor belly is developing stretch marks; and I think it’s about time to nurture Mommy a bit before baby girl gets here!

Enter. . . my the recent BUZZ with Honey!

Honey is an absolute skin miracle.  Naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial it’s excellent for removing any lingering nastiness from your hard day at work. Heavily moisturizing, and yet slightly drying so it is excellent for drying up any developing breakouts while kissing your skin with enough moisture to make you GLOW.  That is right, darlings, you too can get the glow of pregnancy without the bumps! And for those us of who have some lingering scars from acne, honey helps naturally repair skin and lessen the look of said marks and pocks!

Before I start posting the recipes for your honey soaked adventure; a moment to educate you in the differences in the ingredients you use.

Completely Raw Honey
Completely raw honey is unheated, unfiltered, and un-strained and will often times still contain bits of honey comb, propolis, wax and pollen. It crystallizes easily, but do not fret, crystallizing does not mean that your honey has gone bad.  This is the most beneficial form of honey as it still has all of its enzymes and good bacteria in tact. While some whole foods stores will carry honey similar to this, I encourage you to shop your local farmers market.  Not only are you giving back to your local farmers, but you know where the honey is coming from and that it is every bit as raw as they say it is! And your wallet will thank you too.

Raw Unfiltered Honey
Raw unfiltered honey is strained to get the larger pieces of honeycomb, propolis (the sticky substance used to seal beehives which is also a very effective anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial substance), wax and pollen out of it. It may have also been heated to just below the the “acceptable” raw standard to aid in the straining process.  Thankfully this process is not totally damaging to the enzymes and so this is a great second choice if completely raw honey is not available to you.

Creamed or Spun Honey
While delicious, creamed or spun honey has most likely been pasteurized, crystallized and ‘spun’ to give it that creamy spreadable texture. Most of the beneficial properties of honey have been removed in the heating process and while you can still reap the glowing affects of honey kissed skin, you’re not doing yourself any favors by shooting for this breakfast table staple.

Keep in mind that honey does NOT go bad. If it crystallizes  never fear, placing the sealed jar or container in a bowl of warm water for a bit will smooth it out and give you back that smooth honey you so crave. Also, don’t let the flowery labels confuse you. The flower distinction does not affect the enzyme/vitamin content of your honey. It does however give each one their own unique flavor. I still highly recommend trying the whole range of flowery honeys, not just for your skin, but your tummy as well. It’s the most delicious experiment around!

 

 

~^~Water Side Farmers’ Market~^~

The Shrimp Boat

Located at the back of this building was Salty Hawg, the grille where we enjoyed ice cold fresh oysters and delicious cat fish, dockside.

Now that the air is warming up, the sun is shining longer and the sweet smell of magnolias is in the air, Summer is in full swing here in the south.  Not only is this an excellent time to bring out the bold colors, and skin baring clothing, but also a time when out door events become their most popular. One of these being Panama City’s Water side Farmers’ market.  Each Saturday morning (8am-12pm) local farmers and artists set up their stalls and put on their biggest smiles. Local fishermen dock in the salty marina and begin preparing their haul to sell to those searching for the freshest fish in all of Bay County.  It is a great way to get the family out and connecting on Saturday afternoons as they have everything from your usual produce, crafts and home wares, to fun things for the kids: zucchini box car racing and crafts.

I have taken to going out early each Saturday with my Sister and her Hubby, and I am looking forward to my own fella joining me in the very near future. Today was not an exception. We slept in a tad later than usual, but made it just in time for a delicious dockside lunch of fresh, ice cold oysters and breaded catfish at a local bar/grille The Salty Hawg.  The puppy was in attendance also, munching rather noisily on a smuggled in Chicken nugget.  After we had finished stuffing our bellies with some of the most deliciously fresh sea food we could find, we ventured away from the farmers’ market to a road a little less traveled and boy were we rewarded for it.

Nestled along the banks of the bayou tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main street we found Little Village, a small cluster of buildings housing local artists crafts, and a yoga studio that also sells New Leaf Smoothies, complete with an amazing little sitting area with a view of the bayou. The puppy was rather intrigued by the scrap metal artwork, welded into the shapes of a Frog Mariachi band, or flying pigs.  That is, until he ran face first into the steely plume of a scrap metal rooster.

Three little shacks stood in bright colors on one side of the walk way, their little decks bedazzled with Sea shell chimes, and inside, their walls were decorated with hand sculpted wall art.  On the other side of the walk way a covered entrance shaded a nice Tea table with several wicker high backed chairs and the doorway into the yoga studio. The other side of the structure housed the small kitchen where Kaysea Lindsey produces New Leaf Smoothies. And just beyond the tea table a sturdy beautifully crafted deck stretched out over the water, the seating area for New Leaf smoothies.  The trees overhanging the deck were draped with glass baubles and fishing nets, hand made chimes and any other gloriously creative hand made wares that would hang from their branches.

We basked in the cool shade of Little Village, until the pup spotted another rascal approaching from across the walk way. We had to scurry away as to not frighten off the new pup toting patrons. Across the street stood an old structure that was, once upon a time, the first skating rink in Panama City, Florida. It’s tall doorway standing wide open, a view of it’s all wooden insides open for the whole world. out front antiques and pieces of salvaged iron work lined its drive way, begging to be picked through and taken to a loving home. Design Salvage, a sign up the street had advertised it. The couple that owns it makes a living salvaging antiques and interesting structure pieces from old southern homes. Among the treasures were many many old cabinets, kitchen islands, old chandeliers, and odds and ends of furniture pieces you can only find in old southern homes, and example being the Snake Cradle we found out front.  In the old south, when homes were still built with cross breezes and breeze ways in mind, dwellers were faced with more than a cooling problem. In the summer months when the doors and windows were left open to enjoy the steamy bayou air, often times predators – especially snakes in the bayous- would find their way into the home, and eventually the cradle or the crib.  To remedy this, cradles were soon made with shutter like structures on the top, lined with fine mesh and latched. While they look like some awful Pie safe for infants, they were quite a clever, life saving invention. I almost wanted to take this gem home simply for its rarity.

By the time we finished scouring the old building for treasures, it was late in the afternoon, and the heat was finally starting to set in to our already sun-kissed skin. The pup was more than happy to express how hot and tired he was by dragging us over to the largest shade tree he could find and flopping down, spread eagle in the cool sand.  We decided to call it a day, but we are looking forward to next Saturday.  Today was exactly what I needed after a very very busy couple of weeks, and I will be looking into taking up Yoga classes at Little village. Doing yoga with a group once a week might help change things up and add a challenge to my usual practice!

*^~Inner Strife~^*

 

‘Ika aku, ‘ike mai, kokua aku kokua mai; pela iho ka nohana ‘ohana.
(Recognize others, be recognized, help others, be helped, such is a family relationship)

“This is the lesson I bring to you today, ducklings. It is a lesson that you will see touched upon quite often on my blog, and should be practiced often in life.  We live in a society that never sits still, never settles, and views happiness and joy as a luxury to be had only by children, and by adults on specific days of the year.  We, as a species, have adapted by bonding in complaints, and shared negativity. It’s such a commonality among us that it’s the quickest and easiest form of connecting with each other.  

It was a habit I noticed in myself while working at Margaritaville.  I would clock in, and within the first five minutes of walking through my office door, I was already pouring out my misery of the days events (no matter how early). Never mind the fellow who held the door open for me on the way in. Never mind the Executive Chef who had prepared a snack for me because it was obvious I was not having a good day. No, I was focused on that one person in traffic that felt compelled to cut me off, or that one employee who hit just the wrong nerve. And the rest of the day was downhill from there until I was home, and complaining as I walked in the door. It’s a miserable existence, and it wasn’t until the day I quit, and felt the weight lift off my shoulders that it occurred to me: I was feeding the wrong wolf.

Now, that sounds obscure, so please, allow me to clarify. In native American folk lore, a wise man tells his Grandson that within us all there are two wolves, a vicious, angry wolf; and a kind, noble wolf, forever fighting a battle. The young boy asks him “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”  and his answer is clear, simple, and wise “The one you feed”.   We are a nation of dark wolves.  But feeding your noble wolf isn’t as difficult as we make it.  I could write on and on and on forever about all the little details, but, for the sake of those of you who are busy like myself,  I will keep them short and concise. Try at least 3 of them each day, and you’ll find yourself in a better disposition each day. By improving others happiness around yourself, you improve your own happiness. As a wise man once said. In order for happiness to flow to you, it must flow from you.”

  • Try to accept people with an open mind, and refrain from making judgments, which are generally wrong anyway.
  • Let them know how much you appreciate them.
  • Any deed done for someone is a kind one when you don’t expect something in return.
  • Do little things, like holding open doors. Little things can often make the biggest difference in someone else’s day.
  • Accept them for who they are, and who they strive to be.
  • Let them know they’ve made you smile.
  • Be with them when they need you, and for the rest of the time let them be free.
  • Tell them the truth.
  • Tell them why they make a difference in your life that one one else possibly could.
  • Help them help themselves, and be independent.
  • Believe in them, and give them hope.
  • Give a simple, well meaning smile.
  • The kindest thing you can do for someone else, is to take good care of your own mind, body and soul.
  • Spend time listening with the intent of learning.
  • Be there for them when they fall, and not to say “I told you so”.
  • Give them space to be.
  • Lend your shoulder to cry on.
  • Thank them for being themselves.
  • Take time to send someone a note, thanking them, for something they have done for you in the past.
  • Respect each person’s individuality.
  • Offer encouragement after failure.
  • Forgive
  • Pay attention to them.
  • Listen to someone without trying to fix their problems.

“Years ago I developed a close friendship, and it has blossomed over time.  In life, we don’t always go about things properly, nor do we always think thing through to every detail, especially in matters of the heart.  He and I are firm believers in these rules, and practice them as often as we can. It has gotten us through many many trials and tribulations. Trials that most people would have crumbled under, but we have managed to dig our way out, and continue the good fight.  

This year I enrolled myself in school, found a job that is more like a second home, the people more like a second family, and when I walk in there, the idea of complaining is silly.  I am finally getting to be with the person whose hand I have held, as a friend and a lover through so much. And the future is bright.  A year ago, the idea of this ever happening seemed so far out of reach that I felt like I was drowning.  It is amazing the difference that changing your own actions, your own environment and the way you respond to things can have.  Don’t live in a state of hyper-reaction to every situation. If you can change it, you can change it by being positive and patient. If you cannot change it, then reacting to it, especially negatively, will only bloat your “dark wolf”. Focus on the little things through out the day, that pretty flower you found on the way to work, a scent on the wind that reminds you of childhood, a child who smiled at you when you passed them in the street.  The smallest things can have the largest impact.”

 

Blooming from early summer to late autumn, the Plumeria symbolizes Spring time and new beginnings.

*~Lavender Lemonade~*

“With Spring gracefully fanning it’s breezes through my opened french doors each morning, it is absolutely too difficult to NOT start looking for delicious spring produce and recipes! Along with crisp produce and delicious breezy afternoons comes a mood that begs for a nice chilled drink, sweating in the sunlight as it waits to feel your lips. I have started compiling my “Recipes to Try: Spring 2012″ Binder, and this little gem is at the top of the list.”

Lavender Lemonade

3/4 Cup Vodka
3/4 Cup Lillet Blanc
1/2 Cup Lavender Syrup (recipe to follow)
1/2 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup Chilled Soda water (per glass)

Combine the first 4 ingredients with a spoon.
Pour over ice, add the chilled soda water, and garnish with Fresh Lavender or a Lemon wedge.

Lavender Syrup

4 Cups Water
4 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup dried food grade Lavender

Boil over medium heat for 1 minute, remove from heat and let steep for an hour. 

I absolutely cannot wait to serve this in my recently etched glassware on my patio, surrounded by my spring herbs that should be sprouting any time now!”

~*One but Many*~

Using Sand, plastic and enamel, Katie Grinnan creates a sculpture that is representative of time and form. Each split second of these poses is layered onto the last, creating a form that is both singular and many.

~*Yummy in the New Year*~

“To Support my New Year “Solution” I have been scouring Pinterest for ideas and yummy recipes! Recently my search has brought me across some very nice recipes to kick off Spring!”

Iced Tangerine Green Tea
(Dr.Oz’s weight-orade)

The antioxidants and nutrients in green tea and citrus fruits has been proven to not only help cleanse and help your body, but also stimulate your metabolism and speed it up by 12%!

4 Green Tea Bags
1/2 Tangerine, sliced
Fresh mint leaves
Honey, to taste
Water, Just boiling
Ice

While heating the water: Get out 2 (32 oz) Mason Jars. Fill one with 2 cups of ice and place 4 teabags in the other. Slice the Tangerine and rinse the mint leaves.  Pour the hot water over the green tea bags and steep according to package directions (generally 3-4 minutes) OR, use this lovely Tea Timer offered free by Google Apps on Chrome. Squeeze the teabag between a regular and slotted spoon to get out every last drop of goodness. Add honey while the tea is warm, it is much much easier this way. Allow the tea to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, add the tangerine and the mint  to the ice jar. After letting cool, pour the tea into the iced jar and store in the fridge over night. It is recommended that you drink 1 pitcher daily! 

“If you are like me, you enjoy your morning smoothies. They are less troubling on your stomach (especially if you work out in the morning) and easy to take with you if you’re always on the go! But some mornings there just isn’t enough time to gather all the ingredients and measure them out and tinker with the recipe to get the right balance. So here is a neat trick I learned from MuffinTinMania.com

Coconut Green Smoothie Cups!

2 Cups Coconut water
1/3 Cup Almonds
2 Cups Spinach
2 Celery Stalks, chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Mint
1/2 Orange, peeled
1 Tbsp. Honey
1/2 tsp. Ginger powder
2 Cups frozen mango cubes

Combine and blend all ingredients until smooth. Divide into 12 muffin cups and freeze. When you’re ready for a refreshing drink, place 1 cup of Coconut water, or chilled Green Tea, in the blender with 2 muffin cups and blend into a yummy smoothie!!

Neat Fact: Coconut water is a great way to beat boredom with every day water! The chemical makeup is so similar to that of human blood that it was used during war times in IV bags! Also, it’s a great source for potassium!