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5 Facial Care Products I Use for My Daily Routine

Introduction

Do you have your own set of facial care products that you like to use? For a while, I did not. At least, up until recently. One thing about facial care products is that what works for one person does not necessarily work for the next. Three years ago, Whole Foods had Beauty Week sometime close to Christmas. My daughter and I bought one of their make-up bags that contained over $100 worth of facial care products in a cute blue and white bag for $30. I still have the bag; I use it for other personal care items now.

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Photo by Katina Horton

As part of my immediate morning self-care routine, I take care of my face, grab a cup of orange juice and two brazil nuts, and nourish my soul through reading. As for my facial self-care, I use the following items:

  • Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Foaming Facial Wash
  • Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Face Lotion
  • Derma-E Hydrating Night Cream
  • Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner
  • Dr. Hauschka Eye Make-up Remover

The Shea Moisture Facial Wash leaves my face with a light, clean feeling. The Dr. Hauschka Facial Toner makes my face tighten up a little bit and overall, refreshes it.

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Photo by Katina Horton

Enough about me, I would love to hear about what products you like to use as part of your facial care routine. Down below, I included a picture of myself from this morning after finishing up my routine. NO makeup.

Other Wellness Posts

10 Things for Starting Your Morning Earlier

5 Reasons I Like Everyone Products

4 Tips to Feel Healthier in 2021

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Photo by Katina Horton

God bless you,

Katina

Avocado Breakfast Wrap

Recently, me and my son, niece, and mother did a social distanced visit with my sister. Because we both have busy lives, it had been a while since we had seen each other. We had plenty of food, sweets, and drinks. I had brought pumpkin spice bread, blueberry banana chocolate chip nut bread, juice, and a chicken sausage with stir-fried vegetable mix. My sister and one of her friends made avocado tacos. And boy, were they good. Make you wanna slap your momma kind of good.

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Photo by Katina Horton

Within a couple of weeks, that avocado taco inspired me to come up with my own avocado breakfast wrap. I took one bite and was immediately feeling some kind of way. Before I get to the recipe, I would like to share with you about a book that I read lately. The name of the book was entitled Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi.

I enjoyed it from start to finish. Although the book was an easy read as far as the wording was concerned, the characters were anything but easy. But, isn’t that how life is? Our lives look like a simple formula on the outside, but they are anything but. One area of brokenness leads to another area, and before you know it, we have historical trauma, generational trauma, and everything else in between.

Here is the recipe for the Avocado Breakfast Wrap:

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ingredients for 8 servings:

  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of rice
  • small can of mushrooms -1
  • 1 can of low sodium black beans
  • 5 avocados
  • 1 pack of cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of ginger, turmeric, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, and chili powder
  • 2 packs of Super Soft Mission Tacos

Directions:

  • Boil one cup of rice.
  • While the rice is boiling, saute the mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and beans in avocado oil.
  • Scramble the eggs, adding milk to it to make it stretch. ( I used yellow liquid eggs in order to avoid the cholesterol)
  • Once the eggs and rice are done, dump them over into the big pot of sautéed vegetables.
  • Add all the seasonings to the mixture, and then plenty of cheese on top.
  • Heat up the tortillas in avocado oil for a few seconds on each side, making sure that the edges are a little crispy. Stuff the tortillas with the breakfast crumble. And don’t forget to add the avocado to the inside.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top for some added fun.
  • Optional: cut into slices with a pizza cutter.

Other breakfast recipes:

Breakfast Quiche

Sunflower and Chia Seed Pancakes

Four Inexpensive Hobbies to Try Right Now with Online Support

Introduction to Four Inexpensive Hobbies to Try Right Now with Online Support

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Happy Monday all! Today, I am featuring a guest blog post from fellow blogger Gabriel Patel. He enjoys writing about health and wellness, and co-founded Health Well Wise with a group of friends who share the desire to help people live happy, healthy lives. Have a blessed rest of your Monday.

If you’re in a rut and struggling to fill your days with meaningful, enriching activities, then perhaps you need a new hobby. There are thousands of hobbies that keep millions of people engaged, so what should you choose? You may want to start with something fun, relatively cheap, and easily learned through online resources. Here are some of your best bets.

Pick Up Jogging/Running or Walking

You can gain tremendous health benefits from moving your legs at any pace, and whether you run, jog, or walk is completely up to your fitness level. However, as long as you get up and get moving, running or walking is a hobby that will be forever cheap and forever satisfying. From weight maintenance to the release of feel-good brain chemicals, strapping on some decent shoes, and pounding the pavement is a great idea.

Very few hobbies are cheaper and more convenient than this. All you need are those aforementioned shoes (decent ones to avoid injury) and nature is your playground — or more aptly put, your treadmill. When you’re ready to go, there are a whole host of free apps to help train you, log your progress, and keep you motivated, including Strava, Runkeeper, MapMyRun, and C25K!

Learn to Play the Ukulele

Few hobbies are more rewarding than playing a musical instrument, and few instruments are better for beginning adults than the ukulele. That’s because it only has four strings (as opposed to six on a standard guitar), works for people of all hand/finger sizes, and is light and portable. Plus, as TakeLessons.com notes, once you learn the ukulele, it becomes easier to pick up other, more intricate stringed instruments.

The other great thing about the ukulele: It’s relatively cheap when compared to other musical instruments (especially if you purchase one used). Still, the learning of any instrument is the important thing, so if the ukulele doesn’t sound like it’s up your alley, try something else. Free tutorials and music learning classes (both instrument-specific and theory) are abundant online. Beyond that, there are tons of free apps to supplement your instruction.

Become Multilingual

What could be more rewarding than learning to speak another language? Well, speaking it fluently or at least conversationally may be. If the definition of a good hobby is one that occupies a good amount of time, doesn’t cost a lot, is fun, and is a wellspring of possibilities, then learning a new language is a very good hobby.

Although you may remember expensive language learning software being all the rage years ago, things have shifted to a free (or at least freemium) model as of late. Duolingo is the most well-known language learning software out there (free), but many more exist; Babbel, Tandem, and Memrise are just a few. The best thing about making multilingualism a hobby is that there will always be more languages to tackle. Get good at French? Move on to Japanese! Most of these free apps and software support dozens of languages. You can also search out discounts and coupons for language lessons through sites like Groupon.

Convert your Creative Outlet into Cash Flow

Enjoying a hobby has the potential to become a career. People frequently realize that their job can be a source of enjoyment, and reward them well for their work, regardless of whether it’s a side hustle or full-time operation. In both of these cases, an important consideration is to consider the type of business you plan to establish. LLC Illinois formation is a popular option due to its flexibility, tax benefits, and smaller amount of paperwork.

While there are several steps involved such as submitting forms for an EIN, this varies by state. If you’re eager to get started, there are some options that will help you with the process, such as hiring an attorney – or utilizing a formation company, which for simpler entity types is a much more cost-effective option.

It’s much easier to stick with a hobby if that hobby doesn’t deplete your wallet. It’s also easier to make progress if that hobby is well-represented online and through free apps. Any of these hobbies fit that bill, and they all have the bonus perk of enriching you — body, mind, or spirit.

Photo by SJ Baren on Unsplash


Use These 4 Tips — That Aren’t Diet or Fitness Related — to Feel Healthier in 2021

Happy Monday all! Today, I am featuring a guest blog post from a fellow blogger. His name is Gabriel Patel. He enjoys writing about health and wellness, and co-founded Health Well Wise with a group of friends who share the desire to help people live happy, healthy lives. Have a blessed rest of your Monday.

Use These 4 Tips — That Aren’t Diet or Fitness Related — to Feel Healthier in 2021

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(Photo via Pexels)

Introduction

As the tumultuous year that was 2020 draws to a close, people around the globe are looking to 2021 as a much-needed fresh start. Like the beginning of any year, people will undoubtedly set goals to reach their full potential at work, in relationships, and especially with their health.

In fact, according to YouGov, 50% of individuals who set New Year’s resolutions at the end of 2019 said that they wanted to exercise more, 43% wanted to eat healthier, and 37% wanted to lose weight. Most of the time, a heavy emphasis is placed on physical health resolutions rather than overall well-being.

If your goal for 2021 is to improve every facet of your health, explore the following four research-backed wellness tips from Valley of Grace to help you feel healthier in the New Year.

Meditate

Over the last few years, meditation and mindfulness have earned serious accolades in the scientific community. According to The Harvard Gazette, meditation has been shown to improve a wide array of physical and mental health conditions, including anxiety, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome. It has also been proven effective in reducing stress, enhancing body image, and improving cognition.

To take full advantage of the benefits of mindfulness and meditation, it is best to start with guided meditations. Beginner meditations can be found on various apps and on YouTube. It also doesn’t take long to feel the full range of benefits. By practicing for only 10-20 minutes per day, you’ll be on your way to feeling peaceful and healthier.

Turn your home into a stress-free zone

Research has revealed that your home and work environment can play a significant role in your overall mood and wellbeing. Although you likely won’t be able to change much about your work environment, you can make positive changes within your home.

To turn your living space into a stress-free zone, start adding elements that make each room feel fresh and vibrant. You can do this by regularly opening windows, eliminating messes and clutter, and by displaying items that bring you joy. This simple goal can help both you and your family argue less, interact more, and feel at ease while at home.

Set a weekly self-care routine

While it may just sound like a fun way to pamper yourself, self-care is now being backed more than ever before by psychologists and other medical professionals. When practiced routinely, those who have a self-care ritual can expect to experience decreased anxiety, improved self-confidence, lower stress levels, and higher productivity.

A self-care activity is anything that promotes your physical and spiritual well-being. This could include journaling, quality time with your partner, getting plenty of sleep, and praying.

Take more deep breaths

If you are like most people, you probably take breathing for granted. It isn’t often that a person stops in the middle of their workday to appreciate their body’s ability to inhale and exhale. In addition to keeping you alive, each breath has the power to positively affect your health.

Proper breathing techniques have been shown to calm insomnia and anxiety and to lower cortisol levels. To begin deep breathing as a practice, schedule times in your day to sit in a quiet spot and use your favorite guided breathing techniques.

What’s even better about using the tips listed above is that they don’t require a significant time commitment. Simply finding 10 minutes for daily meditation, or 5 minutes for deep breathing, can have a surprising effect on your emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. In conjunction with a healthy diet and a solid fitness routine, these habits can put you on the fast track to feeling your best in 2021.

Honey Garlic Chicken

I’m not sure if you are a meat lover or not.  I wouldn’t consider myself a meat lover,  but, I love chicken wings.  And not just chicken wings.  Fried chicken wings!!!  It gets very tricky when it comes to buying fried chicken wings because some restaurants make them too greasy, or you end up with hardly any meat attached to the bones. 

Shopify Photo

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That defeats the purpose to me.  Up until about 20 years ago, when I ate chicken wings, I had to have them with hot sauce.  Now, I eat them with honey mustard sauce because I can no longer tolerate the hot sauce. 

Shopify Photo

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A couple of weeks ago, I had a taste for some chicken.  This time it was for honey garlic chicken.  This is a super quick recipe.  It satisfied my taste for chicken, gave me a boost of protein, and I had something sweet to eat at the same time.  That’s what I call a win-win situation.

Photo by Katina Horton

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Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons of minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of
  • onion and garlic powder
  • black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil

Directions:

  • Cut the two chicken breasts into chunks and season them.
  • Mix all of the above ingredients, except the honey, into a skillet of heated olive oil.  
  • When the breasts are browned, add the honey, mixing it well with a wooden spoon.
  • Optional:  Add parsley flakes to the mixture after it’s done for garnishing.
  • Enjoy!

Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

The following is a post that I wrote a year and a half ago on another website. Enjoy! God bless!

Book Adventures

I am in the process of reading a book by Peter Mayle entitled, “French Lessons”.  It is one that is filled with a lot of humor, surprises, and vivid introductions to French cuisine.  The one thing that made me stop and think is a scene where Peter is in a restaurant with two friends, and they are discussing how to make an omelette.  The conversation intensifies because one person is insisting on saying that you can only make omelettes with a fork.  Another person insists on the fact that they have been making omelettes all their life with a spatula.  

This conversation ends, and then the conversation begins on what cookware should be used for the omelette.  There was a toss up between cast iron and copper pots.  The person with the copper pots said that everyone else was at a loss for the best omelette without using one.  Peter leaves the scene feeling like he needs to get one fast.

Isn’t this how it is in life?  Instead of us learning about all the different ways that we can say or do something, we have to impose our ways on everyone else, instead of celebrating the differences.  This leaves the people who are different feeling as if they are missing out on something.  It helps when we get into conversations like this, if we could take a moment and think about how it would make us feel if we were the “oddball out”.

On to the recipe:

Background on the Whole Wheat Pancakes

Last week, I had to wait for an hour for my daughter to pick me up.  To kill time, I decided to look around in two sections of the grocery store.  The first section was the magazines and books.  Featured on the front of one of the magazines was a picture of blueberry whole wheat pancakes.  The picture left me with a taste in my mouth that I couldn’t get rid of.  I decided that since I had some pancake mix and blueberries at home, that I would go home, and have fun making them.

They turned out really good!  And I praised God for that!  It is just the little things in life.  Instead of using an egg like the recipe calls for, I used 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal.  Then, I added 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds, 3/4 cup of cashew milk, and blueberries.  For the oil for the pancake mixture, I used grape seed oil.  I used coconut spread to cook and top the pancakes with.  Lastly, since I didn’t have syrup, I substituted with honey.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Red Mill Organic HIgh Fiber Pancake & Waffle Whole Grain Mix

Their recipes:

  • Blend 1 cup mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3/4 cup of cold milk
  • Mix until blended.
  • Cook on preheated griddle on medium heat.

My recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cup of mix
  • 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal
  • 1 tablespoon of grape seed oil
  • 3/4 cup of Cashewmilk
  • 1 cup of Blueberries
  • 1/3 cup of sunflowers
  • Mix until blended.
  • Cook on preheated griddle on medium heat with 2 tablespoons of Earth balance Coconut Spread.
  • Top with  Earth balance Coconut Spread, blueberries, and honey.

Enjoy!

 Other pancake recipes:

Vegan Sunflower and Chia Seed Pancakes

Simple Vegan Chili

Have you ever made simple vegan chili? I know. Simple sounds very attractive. The two words simple and chili together sounds even better. That’s why I decided to make it.

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Photo by Katina Horton

Ingredients

  • 1 small bag of corn
  • 3 cans of low-sodium black beans
  • 3 cans of low-sodium Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 1/2 cans of Diced tomatoes with onions, celery, and green peppers
  • 3/4 cup of quinoa
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons of onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, turmeric, ginger powder, curry, and cumin
  • 5 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 1/2 cup of avocado oil

Directions

  • Dump all of the above ingredients into your slow cooker and let it cook for 4 hours on high.  If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can put it into a big pot, and it should all be ready within 1 hour.  
  • Enjoy!!

****** I don’t use salt, so if you taste it, and it seems like something is missing, more onion powder always does the trick.

Other Healthy Recipes

Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes

Simple Stuffing

Simple Chicken Burgers

Pasta, Black Bean, and Vegetable Mix

Pasta, Black Bean, and Vegetable Mix

Check out this recipe on-the-fly that came about this past week:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of thin spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons of italian seasoning, onion, chili, and garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil
  • herb and garlic pasta sauce
  • vegetable pasta sauce
  • 1 1/2 cans of black beans
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 1/2 cans of diced tomatoes

Directions:

  • Boil a pot of water, adding the thin spaghetti and a tablespoon of oil after the water has started boiling.
  • Rinse the excess water off the pasta when it is done.
  • Add the Herb and garlic and vegetable pasta sauce.
  • After cutting the zucchinis into chunks, saute them, along with the diced tomatoes and black beans.
  • Dump the vegetable and bean mix into the spaghetti mix, adding the seasonings, and then combining the ingredients.
  • Enjoy!

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Hope you guys are doing well on this beautiful Sunday afternoon in the Midwest. Be blessed! Here is a recipe for Chocolate Chunk Cookies:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of oatmeal
  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate chip chunks
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/3 cup of coconut flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal
  • 1/3 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup of sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk
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Directions

  • Grab a large bowl, mixing all of the above ingredients.
  • Place parchment paper onto two cookie sheets.
  • Scoop the mixture with a small ice-cream scooper, making sure that you press the sides of the scooper against the bowl in order to drain off excess liquid before placing the scoop on the parchment paper.
  • Bake at 320 degrees for about 25 minutes.
  • Enjoy!

Mediterranean Dish

About a year ago, I decided to come up with a quick meal based upon the few ingredients that I had at home.  And guess what?  It turned out pretty good.  My son stated that it tasted Mediterranean, so I decided to go with that.    I hope that you enjoy the rest of your Saturday.  

Here is the recipe:

  • Mediterranean Dish
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cups of rice
  • 1 1/2 cans of cut-leaf spinach
  • 3 tablespoons of onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and curry
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  1. Cut the chicken into chunks.
  2. Place the oil and breasts in a skillet, frying them for about 20 minutes.
  3. While the breasts are frying, boil the rice.
  4. Saute the cut-leaf spinach in oil.
  5. Place all of the above ingredients into a crock pot for an hour, along with a half cup of water to give a mashed effect and enjoy!