I have been slowly switching out certain cosmetics and other
beauty products for more natural options as well as waste free items. It has
been interesting to try out so many different things to see what works and what
doesn’t. Today I want to talk about this one product that I have really liked
and about the company who makes it. The product is by a company named Alaffia
and it is a deliciously coconut rose scented whipped shea butter to be used for
skin and hair! I bought a small container to try it out and I am OBSESSED. At first,
I was like, this little 1.5 oz container is not going to last, but it is crazy because
you have to rub it on your palms to warm it up before you spread it on your
hair or skin and it becomes oily, so you don’t need as much. This fabulous
product leaves your skin and hair crazy soft, and you can feel confident that
no crazy chemicals will harm you and that the product comes from an ethical
company. Alaffia has been For Life certified for fair trade, MADE SAFE
certified for products without known or suspected toxins to harm the health of
humans, animals, or the ecosystem, and it is Non-GMO verified. I mean, it
really can’t get better than that right?! I see all those super sad videos of
animals being killed or injured by our waste that I know a change needs to
happen, so finding companies like this one is very exciting.
A company with purpose
I invite you to visit the Alaffia website and read about their commitment
to the consumers, communities, and the planet because it is great to learn
about a company that cares and that is doing something to give back. Since the
company was started in 2003, Alaffia has implemented educational projects,
opened schools in African communities, and even has a complete line that
supports a foundation that rehabilitates women that have been victims of sex
trafficking. Even their logo is absolutely cool as it represents protection,
security and love.
It’s been a while since I address the chakras in the blog, so
today I will tell you about the fifth chakra. This is also known as the throat
vishuddha chakra and it is associated expression and communication. I am a big
communicator, verbal, non-verbal, to people, to animals, plants, myself… well
you get the point. This energy center is located in the center of the neck at
the level of the throat and it is the chakra that allows the energy of all the
other chakras in the body to flow; because of this it can cause issues that
would normally be attributed to other chakras. Some other issues it can cause
include sore throat, neck tension, jaw problems, thyroid disorder, and severe
headaches. The unbalance of this chakra is also linked to not been able to
express oneself properly, poor communication skills, timid voice, lies, and
secretiveness. On the other hand, if the throat chakra is balanced, we speak
the truth, make ourselves heard, we have communication with purpose, and we can
fully express what we feel or think. We are also more likely to find our motivation
to act on our desires when this chakra is well balanced. The throat chakra is
usually represented by the color blue and the element of sound.
How to balance the throat chakra?
Because this chakra is related to self-expression
and communication, singing and talking are very god for balancing the chakra
Clean eating and drinking water is the best you
can do, not only for the chakra, but for your entire body
Meditation is key, you can also do yoga
Aromatherapy! Jasmine and sandalwood are a
couple of great scents that help the throat chakra
Some stones you can use are: turquoise,
aquamarine, and lapis lazuli
Check out this great meditation music by Meditative Mind, I have listened to it before when I’m ready to go to bed and it is super relaxing while it helps you balance your chakra. Let me know what you think!
I am not going to lie, I don’t always dress up to go to work. After five years of working at a pretty laid-back company, one becomes more and more comfortable dressing down instead of dressing up to play the part. I do have my moments though, meetings, lunches, after work events, etc. I do believe that an outfit can completely change your mood, the way you handle yourself with others and can even make you feel empowered. For a business environment, you don’t have to play it safe with plain/dull colors, have some fun, wear bold shades, don’t be afraid to wear skirts, cool tights (not pantyhose :/), play with patterns, accessories, and blazers. It is comfortable to stick to darker colors, but a bit of a brightness makes a huge difference, giving a boring outfit the WOW factor. Start by wearing brighter/bolder colors here and there, maybe in accessories or scarves until you feel more comfortable and rock it sister! Feel awesome and love what you see in the mirror… BTW who doesn’t love a pair of bright-colored shoes? I know I do.
Miracles do happen! I have been cooking a bit more lately, trying to improve my kitchen skills and oh my… I have to say that I’ve had many fails. A few months ago I tried making this same dish and it went completely south ☹ but today I totally redeemed myself!! Some of you will make fun of me, but I honestly didn’t know there was such thing as a “spaghetti squash”! I thought the dish was called “spaghetti squash” because the squash was made into little spaghetti like strings with a fork, but I was completely mistaken! I bought something called butternut squash and the end result was a mashed potato looking paste. The consistency was kind of gross and nobody ate it… it ended up being a take-out kind of day.
My bestie’s husband was kind enough to make fun of my mistake and point out that I used the wrong type of squash … thank you Gus, I got the right one this time!
Ingredients (serves 4-5 people):
2 spaghetti squash
2 cups of diced mushrooms
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 clove of garlic
1 cup diced onion
1 small piece of onion
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cube of vegan chicken flavor bouillon (if desired)
Plant based ground meat (optional)
Olive oil cooking spray
Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds and sprinkle
them with salt and pepper. Spray all halves with the cooking spray and bake
them at 350° for 30 minutes or until soft. Once this is done, grab a fork and
scrape the strands.
For the sauce: blend the tomatoes, the clove of garlic, the small piece of onion, a cube of bouillon, and a bit of salt.
Sautee the diced onions with olive oil and the ground meat, then
add the carrots, mushrooms and celery. Add the sauce and cook for a good five
minutes with medium heat while constantly stirring; add salt and pepper to
taste. Cover it up and let simmer until the tomato sauce has a bit of a deeper
red color and has thickened a bit.
Serve the spaghetti squash and top it off with the sauce mix. Enjoy!
I am no chef, but I truly loved this dish and hope you do as well. I avoided using canned tomato paste or sauce, but I did end up using the plant-based meat to trick my daughter into eating it since she eats meat lol and the bouillon for a bit of extra flavor. I don’t believe those are necessary, so if you want something 100% natural skip those and voila!
Do you have any other recipes with spaghetti squash for me to try?
Would love to see them!
I am absolutely crazy about rompers and love wearing them as much
as I can during summer. What do I do during the cold weather you ask? Well, if it is not freezing cold and I just
feel like rocking a romper, I just pair it with some nice tights, boots, a nice
jacket and a scarf. You can make the look as casual or as fancy as you like, it
is all in the details. For this outfit, I decided to dress it up by wearing a
nice leather jacket and a fancy scarf with gold as the accent color… I know, I
know, I look fabulous! 😉
Solid color rompers are an easy go-to because you can easily play
with color combinations in accessories, coverups, belts, etc. Try to be bold and
wear a bright colored jacket, a nice cardigan or blazer, a belt around your waist,
or some nice jewelry. It is all about letting your personality shine!
Advantages of wearing a romper
If you get the right style for your body
shape, it helps create the illusion of a leaner, taller body.
Wear some high heels and make your legs look a
One romper is all you need to create several
Super comfortable, you can do pretty much any
activity wearing a romper… except going to the bathroom that is lol
Choose the right romper for your body type
(heavier around mid-section): Select a romper that cinches in the waist to
create the illusion of a smaller waist.
(balanced curves): This is the easiest body type because pretty
much every romper style looks great. Show off your figure and opt for a fitted
style, v-neck or a romper with a cinched
Boy shape (almost no curves all over): It is
all about creating the illusion of curves by wearing rompers with bows,
ruffles, or flared bottoms.
Pear-shaped (curvy on the bottom and smaller
on the top): Same concept of ruffles, bows, etc, except that only focus that on
the top half of the romper. You want to balance your body shape by adding
volume on the top and showing off your natural shape on the bottom.
heavy (curvy on the top and smaller bottom): a v-neck or off the shoulder
rompers with are best options to take
away all the focus from the top half of the body and create a more even silhouette.
Gross but yeah, pores are crazy important. You need to make sure
to clean your pores of impurities constantly in order to have healthy looking
skin, minimize black heads and pimples. If you let your pores get all clogged
up, your skin is going to look less than appealing, oily and dirty. The
charcoal peel off mask is one of my favorite face masks because on top of being
crazy satisfying to take it off, it is great at pulling dirt, blackheads,
bacteria, dead cells, and all sorts of impurities from the skin. Now, do BEWARE
because although the mask is great at removing impurities, it takes all of the
oils from the skin when you peel it off and that is not recommended, it can
also irritate your skin, so you have to be gentle when applying and taking it
off. On top of that, once you have peeled off the mask, you need to make sure
to wash your face to remove all mask residues, use a toner to seal off your pores
and moisturize. I also wouldn’t recommend using this type of mask too
frequently as it can make your face look dry and irritated if you overuse it. Twice
a month or just as needed should be good.
OMG! I had to share this with you because this dish turned out to be super good. Now, If you know me, you know that I am a total disgrace when it comes to cooking. My daughter hates my cooking, my mother is ashamed because I didn’t inherit her Mexican culinary skills, and because I almost need to make you sign a waiver before you have a taste of my food.
There are very few dishes that I can actually make and they tend to be very basic, but lately I have been trying to practice more, determined to get to a decent cooking level. Well, one of my dear (cooking challenged) friends shared a simple recipe with me and I added a little twist to make it my own. This thing was so good that both my daughter and mother decided to try it, and not only that, they even had seconds and asked for me to pack them some for lunch! Now that I feel like a chef goddess, I want to share my simple recipe with you.
Plantains (they can be green for a more savory
taste or brown for a sweeter dish) – I used 6 for a 9.5’’ pie plate
Salt to taste
1 cup of yellow corn
2 cups of mozzarella cheese (or as much as you
Olive oil cooking spray
If you are using green plantains, boil them until soft; brown plantains are already very soft, so no boiling is needed. Spray the baking dish with cooking oil. Mash the plantains to create a soft paste and create a “crust” layer covering the baking dish. Once you have a thick layer of plantain paste, top it with lots of cheese and corn. Cover the filling ingredients with a layer of plantain, sprinkle a bit of salt, and spray some cooking oil on top.
Bake the pie at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the plantain pie is spongy but solid and somewhat brown. Serve immediately and enjoy!