Thursday, January 31, 2013

Did somebody say "National Hot Chocolate Day?"

Hey, did you hear that it's National Hot Chocolate Day? I believe I saw a few tweets about it today, so of course, the kids and I had to celebrate. They had our usual hot cocoa (I reposted the video of Hayden and I making it the other day), and later, I whipped up this quick superfood version. I just put some warm almond milk, along with the following ingredients in my Tribest, and soon found myself sipping on this intense cacao concoction. It's not very sweet, but it satisfied my hot chocolate craving.

Spontaneous Superfood Hot Chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups warm almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder (for some reason I think the cocoa and raw cacao powders together is an interesting combo)
  • 1 tsp. lucuma powder
  • 1 tsp. maca powder
  • 1 tsp. spirulina
  • cinnamon and ginger, to taste
Put all the ingredients in a personal-size blender. Blend until combined and frothy. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

*These are estimated measurements, as I basically just tossed them in my blender on the fly. Feel free to adjust to your taste and add your favorite natural sweetener, if necessary. You can also add rice protein or a protein blend like Vega, Amazing Grasses Amazing Meal, etc.


Speaking of protein hot chocolate, the Tone It Up girls have a good recipe worth trying. I'm also wondering if one of the chocolate products I received in my latest Eco Emi would work well in a hot chocolate. I've got a lot more winter days ahead of me to find out.

Who else is staying warm with some yummy hot chocolate?      


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spending time with someone special

Everyday with Hayden is special, especially when we get to film our Eco Emi unboxing video together. This month's box had a Valentine's Day theme, urging recipients to spend some time with someone special, whether it be a friend, relative or someone who just gave you a compliment. I'm lucky that my special someone was all three (Hayden is my daughter, friend and compliment-giving extraordinaire).

You can spend some time with us, too, by watching our video. It's a bit blurry, though (my camera has seen better days), so you'll probably like to check out a clearer view of the products with my thoughts below:

Organic Pinot Lip Tint by Wine Country Organics: This lip tint is a sleek and slender size, perfect for slipping in your pocket on the way to the restroom to freshen up after a dinner date. It is a natural sheer bronze shade that shimmers in the light.

Pink Gold Vegan Eyeshadow by The All Natural Face: I've been a big fan of all of the All Natural Face products I've received so far in past Eco Emi boxes. This eye shadow was no exception. It's a light pink with a hint of gold sparkle. It's subtle, but sexy for Valentine's Day.
White Camellia Hydrating Bath Bar by Aubrey Organics: Hayden already ran off with this one. She really likes the floral scent and the fact that the sample bar is the perfect size for bathing her baby dolls. Ha ha :-)
Mandarin Body Butter by Lisa Ann Skin Care: This body butter is so heavenly. It smells delicious and is a fluffy whipped consistency. It makes my skin feel soft and touchable. I need a whole tub of this stuff.
Organic Face Mask by 7th Heaven: Hayden was so funny when we opened this one. Sometimes she thinks face masks are silly and other times scary. I guess I'll have to wait a while to try this one, although she did get a kick out of the TIU Avocado Face Mask I did the other day. Gotta love a pampering facial.
Volumizing Shampoo in Vanilla & Sweet Orange by Hugo Naturals: One of my favorite Eco Emi finds has been Hugo Naturals French Lavender Essential Mist, so of course, I have high hopes for this product. I like that it is clear and has a lovely vanilla and orange scent.
Milled Flaxseed, Cocoa and Berries by Linwoods: This is right up my alley. I never seem to go a day without flax, cocoa and berries. I might have to come up with a recipe for this one.
Pink Pepper and Citrus Chocolate by Madecasse Chocolate: It's no secret that I love chocolate. If I was on a desert island (I almost typed "dessert" island. Ha ha), I'd have to bring it with me. I can't wait to sample this bar. I just adore pink peppercorns in chocolate.
Bedtime and Kava Stress Relief Tea by Yogi Tea: I've been drinking Yogi Tea for a while. These are quite nice to relax with at the end of the day.

Hope you are spending time with someone special today, too :-)    

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday fun day

If you are a Tone It Up member like me (I'm happy with my weight, but like to stay in shape), you know that Sundays are run days and/or fun days. As part of Karena and Katrina's #LoveYourBody challenge, I got up and did my morning cardio before church, but I reserved later in the day for a fun day. Now that Hayden is well enough to go outside to play in the snow (in my last post, I showed you how we brought the snow inside to her), we turned it into a family event.

The neighbors must have thought we were crazy, as most of the snow on our street has already melted. Although the house across the street was nearly snow-free (as you can see behind Jacob in the above pic), our yard looked like a winter wonderland, so we took full advantage of it by sledding, making snow angels and having a snowball fight. Here are some pics from our day:

Jacob, of course, is a pro at sledding, so my hubby Matthew helped him get Hayden ready for a ride. She was quite the natural, holding her hands up in the air the whole time as if she was on a roller coaster.

Matthew also convinced me to go down the hill with him, too (Jacob took this shot; he's pretty good with the camera).

Jacob showed Hayden how to make a snow angel (he looks like he's ready to take a nap, though) ...

... and then Hayden made one of her own (so cute).

Then, my little "angels" had a snow fight ...

... and Hayden attacked the cameraman (Matthew) with more snow.

After a cold day in the snow, we had some hot cocoa to warm us up. I just had to re-post this blast-from-the-past video of when Hayden and I demonstrated how to make it. 

Who else had a Sunday fun day in the snow? What did you do?


Oh, and I also enjoyed some more natural spa treatments this weekend, courtesy of Tone It Up (Remember the bath scrub from a couple weeks ago?). Check out the avocado hair and face masks from one of K&K's latest posts. Avocado does the body and, in this case hair, good. I even tweeted my good hair day yesterday. What do you think?

Speaking of doing your body good, I picked up the cookbook "Superfood Kitchen" by Julie Morris last night. I can't wait to make some recipes from it. Yum! 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Bring in the snow

My kids were so excited when they woke up yesterday morning to see a blanket of fresh white snow on the ground. Since we barely had a dusting last year, so it was extra special to finally have a snow day (Jacob was getting worried that global warming was going to keep the snow away for good; I guess he's been learning about it in school).

The last time Hayden played in the snow was before she could walk. Therefore, most of what she knows about snow is from pictures and what she sees in the cartoons. You can imagine the look on her face when she saw the real thing.

Unfortunately, she has a cold, and it was bad enough yesterday to keep her inside. As a result, we brought some snow inside to her, so she could experience what it's like to form snowballs (yes, she even threw them, wondering why everything was getting wet) and build a tiny snowman.

Here Hayden is forming her first snowball ...

... and then holding it up right before she threw it at me.

Here's her first snowman (she insisted on the carrot nose).

Let's take a closer look.

This kept her occupied while my hubby was kind enough to take Jacob out sledding. He even snapped some cute pics and took video of them going down the hill together. Hayden got a kick out of it, too. She can't wait until it's her turn :-) 

On another note, I actually got a chance to step outside and take a pic of my smoothie (a ton of parsley with strawberry, banana, fresh ginger root, cinnamon and lemon). A little snow won't keep me away from a this cool green beverage. Yum!

Anyone else drink green smoothies year-round?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tiptoeing Tiny Dancer

My little lady has certainly been keeping me on my toes lately. As a result, I'm finally getting around to sharing some pics from last week's Parent Observation Day at Hayden's dance class. She's certainly come a long way since that first class (Remember those tears in her eyes when she realized I wouldn't be going in with her?). I'm so proud of my tiny dancer.

When Hayden first started taking dance classes during the summer, I posted some ballet pics, along with the smoothies I was making while taking part in the Colourful Palate Smoothie Challenge (the kids and I had a blast photographing my daily smoothies with their stuffed animals). Now that the weather is cooler, I thought I'd take a similar approach with today's post, adding a warm version of a "smoothie."

Lately, Hayden and I have been sipping almond and/or coconut milk-based hot chocolate. When we want to change things up a bit, sometimes we just blend a big scoop of natural peanut butter with some warm almond milk and vanilla (my Tribest or Magic Bullet work great for this). There's no need for sweetener when pb is involved. I also have been known to add some rice protein like Sunwarrior or Perfect Fit to the mix (when I add Perfect Fit Protein, I refer to it as "Perfectly Hot PB"). Then, it's like having a protein-packed smoothie that keeps you warm on a cold winter's day.

How are you staying warm?


wednesday, january 23, 2013 cont. ...

Look what I found :-)

I just got back from picking up a few items at what Hayden refers to as "the little grocery store" (a tiny grocery/liquor store near our house). Although small, I'm amazed at some of "the finds" I've discovered there. It's definitely not a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, but I have been impressed with their organic grapes and various other healthy surprises.

For example, today, I found these Brad's Raw Leafy Kale (usually I have to make a trip to Whole Foods for these). I must admit, I impulsively picked up both the nacho and vampire killer flavors (they also had one other flavor). It's good to know these are here when I want a simple Super Bowl snack. I'm also thinking about making Judita's Heavenly Nacho Cheese. Yum! 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ballet & body scrub

Happy belated new year everyone! I thought I would have posted sooner, but better now than not at all. Things have been busy, as usual, especially since Hayden is growing into a life of her own. She's going to preschool, dance, birthday parties and more. I'm just along for the ride. Ha ha :-)

Speaking of dance, she has an another parent observation day tomorrow, so I can't wait to see all she has learned. Lately, she has been teaching me her dance moves and doing the latest HautePnk ballet workout with me. I had added it to my workout rotation during Tone It Up's #LoveYourBody challenge running though Valentine's Day. I am happy with how my body looks, but I think these challenges help keep you motivated and feeling great, as well. It's good to keep active even in these cold winter months (okay, so maybe it hasn't been that cold quite yet, but I still believe it is coming eventually). I tend to be "solar-powered," so exercise keeps my battery charged when the sun is not out.

In addition to staying active, I also believe it is important to relax and take care of yourself. As part of the #LoveYourBody challenge, Karena and Katrina recommended having a spa day this weekend, posting this scrumptious Sweet & Salty Body Scrub on their blog. Hayden and I decided to add some pink Himalayan sea salt to the scrub to make it extra special. I can't wait to use it (along with the cruelty-free kitty aromatherapy eye pillow I made in my last post), so I guess I'll be ending this post now. Enjoy the rest of your day, and don't forget to watch the Golden Globes tonight. I always do :-)