Sunday, May 30, 2010

Summer Bring Along Dish

Today I had to take my kids to our neighborhood outing. We have an unbelievable circle of people who keep spirits of our community alive. Cider and donuts for Halloween, Fire truck and bicycle parade for 4th of July and wine events for adults. And this Memorial Weekend was no exception - grilling and good times at one of our courts.
My favorite dish to bring to any summer event is my cold pasta salad with yummy veggies, whole grain pasta and turkey pepperoni!

1 box of Whole Grain Pasta boiled in salty water;
1 cup - chopped turkey or original pepperoni (Mini Pepperoni saves a lot of time);
2-3 cup - chopped red, yellow bell pepper;
1 cup - chopped white onion (or to taste);
1 cup - chopped green and black olives;
1 1/2 jars - chopped marinated artichoke hearts;
2 cups - string or any fine shredded cheese to garnish.

Before serving add more dressing and cheese. Done! If you never tried pasta salads, this one is a must! It is definitely a crowd pleaser and excellent finger food :)

Happy Memorial Weekend! REFLECT, REMEMBER and APPRECIATE!

Till next time,

Revised: Duh! I forgot to mention which dressing to use :) I always use Ken's Zesty Italian.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Skin Care Regiment

During hot summer months we all have to adjust our skin care regiment. As a nicer and hotter weather moves in more people break out due to increased perspiration and increased time we spend outside. Because of this, our skin produces extra oils and accumulates extra dirt and debris, thus allowing more pimple-causing bacteria to grow. My skin type is combination and I find summer the most challenging time for my facial care. All I'm trying to do during summer is to keep my oil production down and milia or tiny bumps (with white heads or without) under control. You can't really cure these problems, all you can do is prevent them. During hot months make it a habit to wash your face with soapy water a number of times a day. If you have oily skin, wash your face at least twice a day with our Tea Tree Cucumber facial bar or Geranium facial bar. If you have dry skin, wash your face not only in the morning but also at bedtime to remove excess oil and makeup. Creamy Classic Lavender facial bar or Milk ‘n Honey bar would be your best choices. If you have combination skin, I recommend using Geranium facial bar or Milk ‘n Honey twice a day during hot summer months. You can also use our All-Natural astringent toners to clean your face as many times as you need. And here is a hint on how to get the most out of your toner: during especially hot days keep your toner in a refrigerator and use it all over your face and neck to wipe out the dirt, to replenish and refresh your skin.

Everyone spends more time outdoors during the summer, which means that environmental debris and pollutants can have an additional impact on your skin's ability to remain elastic, free of bacteria and excess sebum. I personally notice more problem spots after a day of gardening or day at the outdoor art show. The great way to deep cleanse, sooth, draw out extra oils and firm your skin would be to use of our All-Natural Clay Facial Masks once a week and even more often during summer. Clays are widely used in spas all over the world. I love them especially for their ability to detoxify tone, gently exfoliate and deep cleanse our skin. They are full of rare minerals and they are designed by nature to absorb impurities from skin as they dry. After 15 minutes of our clay mask treatment you will wash away (together with clay) extra sebum and dirt, and add a few years to your looks by returning natural elasticity to your skin. Oily Skin owners: Sea Kelp Detox is for you. Dry and sensitive skin owners: Strawberry Fig would benefit you best. Combination skin: Banana Mango would work great for your skin.

Due to hotter weather you may feel less need to use your moisturizers and it is perfectly fine. For our Facial Serum users I would suggest to play with your usage amounts or maybe even postpone use of it completely during the summer. Try using less drops per area and spread it thinner on your face. Just recently I started using my serum every other day instead of every day and I am thinking about cutting it down to once a week. I just wash my face with Milk 'n Honey soap (in my soap dish now) as many times as I need , use my new favorite Apple Twist Toner and I am good to go until evening! For Oily or Combination Skin owners I would recommend replacing your moisturizers completely with our All-Natural gentle Facial Toners. They are light, refreshing, soothing and moisturizing.

If you have extra oily areas, you can dry problem areas with Glycolic Acid pads. 10% Glycolic Acid and 5% Cylicilic Acid formulation is mild enough to not give you any skin irritations. You can get pads at your dermatologist office or online. Read list of ingredients carefully to make sure there is no Acetone!

Adjust your makeup regimen to the summer climate and your outdoor activities as well. Select powder blushes and eye shadows rather than cream products because they are less irritating and more likely to hold up in hot and humid weather. Use mineral foundations that will double you as SPF protection. If you need a good mineral foundation you can find some here and here. Learn how to apply natural-looking, barely there makeup for those outdoor occasions.

Enjoy your summer friends! Till next time,

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sixth Fan Page Giveaway

Our number of fans has finally reached 200 mark. It has been jumping up and down due to recent changes on Facebook, but I think it is safe to assume that it is a solid mark now. This giveaway is all about summer! The winner of the sixth giveaway will get a $25 Gift Certificate to our store. Please feel free to share this giveaway with your friends, however there are some rules: to enroll in MH's 6th Fan Page Giveaway you must be a Marmalade Hills fan on Facebook; you must be 18 years of age or older; and you have to leave a comment to this post on our blog.

Please leave your comment and tell us: what is your favorite summer scent? It can either be your favorite fruit, flower, food or simply a scent that can instantly remind you of summer even during coldest winter months.

Please leave your comment underneath this post. If you leave a comment as anonymous, don't forget to sign your comment. This giveaway will be closed for comments exactly one week from today-June 1st. As always random winner will be announced on our Fan Page.

I am looking forward to your comments! Good luck!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Clean Sweep 2010 with my family

As you may remember, during the Earth Day weekend my family participated in our locally organized Clean Sweep 2010. In the prior years we used to go for walks in the neighborhood and collect litter whenever we felt like doing it. It was a great way to get some fresh air and do a good thing. And as our daughter got older and learned about Earth Day and taking care of Earth at school, we have decided to make our random family litter hunts more official. So I called our township hall and signed us up. They were providing garbage bags and official t-shirts in XL sizes (don’t ask me why XL).
That Sunday was one of the gloomiest days this Spring. It rained the whole morning and it was chili, wet and sticky in the afternoon. But we were determined to do it. So we got our gloves, rain gear, sweaters, blankets, garbage bags and a magic grabber tool that my husband got at the hospital after his back surgery a few weeks prior to this event. If you are planning on doing Clean Sweep with your family you HAVE to have one and I you can buy one in any drug store or on the internet. This tool came extremely handy when picking up plastic bottles from hard to reach, thick bushes or soaking wet plastic bags from the ditches, our daughter had lots of fun with it. Most of the items that ended up in our garbage bags were fast food packaging, Styrofoam cups, plastic bags and lots of plastic bottles! You wouldn’t have believed the amount of plastic bottles we found! It is disturbing to think that someone can just abandon these things in the middle of the street with no shame.
So here is what we got after two hours of walking just 1 mile distance in a nice family oriented, suburban neighborhood: two full 30 lb garbage bags! All rinsed off with a hose and sorted into recycling bins for garbage collection day.
After two hours of wet and gloomy outside we came home with red cheeks and had the most awesome Carrot Cake with Green Tea! It was all worth it!

Till next time friends,

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Chicken Sausage and Bell Peppers Spaghetti

Every busy mom loves easy, healthy recipes and here is one of my favorites! This recipe will provide a dinner for a small family of four and it is a great way to make your kids eat vegetables - with pasta! Everything goes with pasta, right?

You will need 4 chicken sausages from your favorite market; box of your favorite spaghetti; 3 bell peppers: yellow, orange or red work best (not green bell pepper); 1 large white onion; 1/4 cup of Olive Oil; grated parmesan.

1. Add full sausages to non-stick pan (no oil required).
2. Brown sausages on each side. Just wait for them to become semi-firm and lightly browned on each side. Do not overcook.
3. Slice your peppers medium and onion medium thin.
4. Take out cooked sausages and let them rest for few minutes on a cutting board.
5. You can start a pot with water for cooking spaghetti now.
6. Add Olive Oil and sliced vegetables to the same pan. Cook until they turn translucent and soft.
7. Slice cooked sausages in an angle and add sausage slices to the pan with vegetables. Stir well and let everything cook on medium heat for 7 minutes, or just enough for juices to blend and get absorbed by meat.
8. Serve vegetable-sausage mix over hot spaghetti and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese! Done!

Can you say YUM-O?

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