Paige’s World’s Best Pasta Salad

26 Feb

Paige’s World’s Best Pasta Salad.

Hope you enjoy one of my favorite recipes!


Paige’s World’s Best Pasta Salad

26 Feb

Pasta Salad

Period. The end.  Since I was a child I have always loved and adored a delicious pasta salad.  In my youth, I became an expert at making different variations of one of my favorite any-time snacks; so much so that when girlfriends would come over, they would always ask me to make said pasta.  So… after years of experimenting and perfecting, I am sharing it with you!!

This pasta salad recipe is a stand-alone recipe, but please note that I have used just about every kind of veggie in the fridge to create a version of this recipe.  So that means, if it includes something you don’t like, omit it (with a few caveats which I’ll make note of) and if you want to add something else, by all means do!

by DaisyChic via ETSY

by DaisyChic via ETSY


Veggies: ALL RAW

The veggies I am mentioning are my favorites, and the ones I always include when making this recipe.  However, if you have extra squash or zucchini, you can always add them as well.

  • Cherry Tomatoes: halved if large, whole if small (use however many you want! I usually use a whole pint for 1 box of pasta, but I do love a tomato)! In the summer, mine includes heirloom tomaters as well! Yum!
  • Chopped Carrots (I have even used the ones already shredded in the bag in the produce section before, so easy!)
  • Broccoli ~1-2 heads: chopped into florets, if you are trying to make this lower carb, I’d go for 2 heads!
  • ½Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper: Chopped (MUST)
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes: chopped, I do about a cup for one box of pasta (makes sure to get the ones that ARE NOT in the oil!)
  • 1-2 Cloves of Fresh RAW Garlic: minced (MUST!)
  • Raw Cauliflower: Chopped (optional)
  • Fresh Basil (optional)
  • Fresh Black Kalmata Olives (optional)


  • Pinenuts: Just enough to sprinkle (optional)
  • 4 Sticks of Pepper jack or fresh Mozzarella Cheese: Chopped (I find the sticks are easy to chop into little cubes and add a buttery richness)
  • Salt and Pepper: to taste
  • A pinch of Sugar (MUST)
  • Olive Oil (MUST)
  • A good Balsamic Vinegar (I have used other kinds before, depending on the style of salad, but balsamic is the best!) (MUST)
  • 1 Box of Pasta: cooked Al Dente, according to packaged directions, rinsed and drained with cold water after cooking.  (I prefer Bowtie)
  • Meat (salami, summer sausage, or diced chicken) (Optional, I usually make this vegetarian)

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  1. In a large bowl, big enough to hold all veggies and extras, chop and mix prepared tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, garlic and cauliflower (if using).
  2. Season mixture from Step 1 with salt and pepper and a quick glug of balsamic, just enough to coat.
  3. After pasta is cooked and rinsed so there is no heat left, toss with a few glugs of olive oil to lightly coat.  Put pasta in with veggie mixture and toss to combine.
  4. After mixture is fairly evenly distributed.  Add salt and pepper to taste, toss in a pinch of sugar, cheese, olives, and a little extra olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.  Mix. Do not be too heavy handed with the vinegar, since much of it settles to the bottom and just needs to be redistributed. (I store this in a Tupperware so I can give it a good shake as it settles)
  5. Add fresh basil if using at the end!


As you can see there are no EXACT measurements for this recipe, which can be hard if you’re not a great cook.  Trust me though, just put as much veggies as you want in this recipe! The more the better! You really can’t mess it up unless you add too much garlic or sauce! Use your little tongue to decide how much is just right! LESS IS MORE!

Also, the 1-2 cloves of garlic goes A LONG WAY, but it’s the secret to this recipe, so don’t skip it!

The next day, you might need to add a touch more vinegar, so taste before you add!

This is so great for large crowds! And it can be put together in less than 20 minutes! I prep the veggies while the pasta is cooking.  I’ve used it for parties, work events, and baby showers and always have people asking for the recipe! Enjoy!

“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

21 Feb

Etsy by DaisyChic

Hello my fabulous Glitterati… Long time no BLOG! I know, you can’t believe it, after nearly 2 weeks of web silence… I think I am back.  I’m pretty sure I’ve decided for this post, I might get a little more personal, and share with you what I’ve learned in these last two weeks… because yes, it is certainly surprising what you can learn in two weeks when life manages to throw you a few curve balls… Sometimes, even in spite of all your best efforts, it’s hard to find your happiness DARN IT!

About a year and a half ago, I lost one of the best friends of my life, very suddenly.  And I am telling you this because this week, I’ve thought about my dear friend Christine quite a bit and was reminded of some of the best lessons we learned together in our 10-year friendship…  To start, I remember talking to Christine once about some of the struggles we have endured in our lives, and how now and then, no matter how much work is done to heal; emotionally, through therapy, or just via the wonderful nature of time and growth, sometimes these struggles of our youths or those of our lives can suddenly and without warning come right back to rear their ugly little heads.

I remember describing it to Christine, one day when she was nursing some of her own ‘stuff’, as a deep wound that has been mended and even though the pain is gone and the skin is smooth something large or small happens in life, and almost if by magic the wound is reopened and you have to deal with it.  This is just part of life, and it’s good to be aware of those spots in our lives so we can remember two things: 1) Time will heal most things, including re-opened wounds (thank the Lord!) and 2) “Be kind; Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle (Plato).”

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These last 2 weeks have been hard for me, some of my oldest and newest wounds were reopened, and I just wasn’t prepared.  And, life being… well, life, my husband was also having a difficult two weeks too.  If any of you are married to your best friend like I am, this means you take on your spouse’s burden too, and vise versa… The good news is, generally, we can lean on each other, another lesson I learned from my friend Christine “We can’t all collapse at the same time, we need to fall apart at different times so we can slap each other out of it!” Of course, sometimes this just doesn’t happen, and the people we normally lean into are struggling too… Which can make things much more difficult.

Next, an ugly situation arose… A person who I use to call friend, committed what in my eyes is an “Unforgivable Curse” (I may be watching too much Harry Potter).  After standing up for what I felt was right in an uncomfortable situation (and to be fair this person thought they were doing the same thing as well) this … ehem, friend, basically slandered my FULL name on The Facebook. I was so saddened and mortified… But I learned a few things from this that I want to share with you all, I think they are things you already know, but I realized I hadn’t really ever thought about them… 1) DO NOT EVER POST SOMEONE’S NAME IN A PUBLIC FORUM SO THAT YOU CAN FEEL VALIDATED, no matter how wronged you may feel.  It’s just not right, and that is all I have to say about that.  2) If one of your friends doesn’t follow rule number #1 and slanders a friend, or a person in a public forum, think about what I am about to say.  Most likely, you do not know both sides of the story, so commenting in a negative manor, or ‘liking’ said post, doesn’t really do anything positive for the poster, even if you feel that you are helping.  How would you feel if the rolls were reversed? 3) Stand up for yourself! It’s not ok to give in to people who bully you!!  This is what was so sad about this post, I felt as if this person didn’t get what they wanted, to so they decided to potentially harm me emotionally, or even professionally.

Winston Churchill once said “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” While I don’t think one should go about making enemies, and you must always ask yourself how an enemy was created and take responsibility on your end if you did wrong in YOUR EYES; it’s taken me a long time to be ok with having them.  You just can’t please everyone all of the time and still have a life that is fulfilling FOR YOU.  And trust me here, no one but you is accountable for the life you live and the happiness you obtain therein.  I read something along these lines in a commencement speech once, which unfortunately I cannot find, but these words really put my heart at ease, simply because it’s the TRUTH!  It’s OK to be disliked by some people; sometimes it’s just a byproduct of standing up for yourself, or standing strong for something you believe in. (However, it’s not an excuse to be a jerk 🙂 )

At the end of these weeks, both my hubby and me were just feeling drained, or what my beloved Lucy from ‘I Love Lucy’ would say “BLAHHHHHH”. The two of us had a full-blown case of the Blahs. I might even use the word depressed… Yep, I know, this beacon of happiness got VERY BLUE, and I knew it, but I couldn’t get out of it… So I put some plans in action!!

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First, I took stock of what I had; one of the things that literally touched me into tears was that some people had stood up for me in the afore mentioned post.  Really, people didn’t have to, they really didn’t… I mean these were brave people to speak out against this, and when I saw it, I was so uplifted.  And that was step one; Next, I decided I needed a break, and so, even though I hated to do it because I LOVE my clients, and of course it’s how I pay my bills, I decided to take a day off.  I cannot tell you how an impromptu day off can lift the spirits…  It did so in the same way I always say a good night’s sleep or a nice hot shower does.  Finally, my hubby and I decided to not watch anything on T.V. that would jostle our delicate senses… So we watched Harry Potter… full of childlike fantasy and magic, it took our minds right off the daily stresses and helped lighten the mood.

Just to round it out, here is the biggest secret for getting out of the blues, and it’s something you already know, something I already knew, and something I talked in depth about with my dear friend days before she passed.  The secret is to let go of what you cannot control.  And what dear friends can you control? Not a thing. NOT A THING.  This IS easier said than done, and really it can’t be forced, you have to go through the range of emotions, even if you have it in your head and know it to be true, you have to arrive at the place of letting-go before the burden of a bad day or a week can suddenly and swiftly take flight from your being.

So here I am, sharing this with you, in case any of you are having a hard time or will and hopefully these words will bring you comfort.  It’s going to be ok. I promise. It really is, things tend to end up in the rights. Take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself and your support. Ask for help, even if it’s just an ear, or someone to make you dinner… It’s ok if someone doesn’t like you. You’ll live, and they’ll live. Sometimes it can be fixed, and sometimes it just can’t, and that’s ok too. You’re going to be ok.

Happy Thursday Everyone!

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Skincare Tip: The Importance of Masks!

6 Feb


So…  If you’ve read my take on The Basic Five Skincare Regime  you know  I didn’t include MASKS as part of the most basic of skincare plans.   However, this does NOT mean they aren’t important!  In fact, while taking an advanced skincare course, one of the product knowledge consultants mentioned that in their recent skincare studies the products that encouraged the most positive changes in the skin were a combination of serums and MASKS.

Serums, I wasn’t surprised by… Anyone who knows me knows how much I LOVE me a serum… Masks though, I was impressed!

I’ve been doing masks on my face ever since elementary school. Back then I used Noxzema or a thick, gloppy little number called a Mint Julep that my Mammaw bought me at the local beauty store…

Nowadays our mask selections are ENDLESS! Each one claiming a multitude of miracles; anywhere from erasing wrinkles to ending the next world war that has erupted on your face.  But it’s so difficult to wade through the hordes of promises and figure out which mask (or in my opinion MASKS) are the best for YOU, and when to use it/them.

Last week, while forcing my husband (who’s skin was parched from all the flying he does) to smear an Aloe Gel Mask on(From Bloom, which I also love and has a small price tag), I noticed he was concerned that it wasn’t DRYING.  Let me say here, right now, most masks of today aren’t meant to dry (mind blowing I know), unless it’s of the deeply purifying variety, which is meant to draw out impurities (mostly reserved for me occasionally AND teens).

The next thing I am going to say MIGHT sound excessive, and for some it will be, but for me, and I am a serious beauty aficionado and hopeful preventer of skincare problems and Imageaging, this wisdom is invaluable and in the end money saving (since you won’t keep buying this or that and never knowing how to use or when to use them!)… Here it is: Most of us need 3 masks in our beauty arsenal. 

Let me explain…

I rarely EVER see a skin that is ALWAYS in revolt or ALWAYS dry.  I would venture to say that 95% of the skin I see is in varying degrees of dryness, dehydration, and/or other problems such as acne.

That said, my three-mask belief can be easily explained and perfectly executed.

First, you need an EXFOLIATING MASK.  This is generally in the form of an enzyme or fruit acid (AHA, BHA) which will help the second mask you put on be more effective.  The reason for this is simple, exfoliation helps to slough off dead skin cells that might be clogging your pores and/or causing dryness, thus allowing anything you follow up with, like a mask to better treat the fresher skin below. Oh yeah, and this mask, this is the one that is going to help decrease the appearance of large pores and fine lines, soGET ONE OF THESE! (Use this mask at least once a week)

1. REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Mask: One of my FAVORITES!

2. FRESH: Sugar Face Polish: This is so luxurious and leaves your face feeling the same way your body does after a good scrub!

One of the other 2 masks should be one that you can turn to when you’re experiencing breakouts, or skin that needs EXTRA DETOXIFICATION.  These often include clays, tee tree oils, or other inflammation fighting ingredients.  Even if you aren’t acne prone, there are always times when you need extra purifying.  Whether it’s after a long trip or a stressful week, this is the mask for you!

1. PTR: Therapeutic Sulfur Masque: You REALLY feel this one! It’s great to use as a spot treatment, or when you have some MAJOR breakouts! Not for everyone!

2. Eminence: Clear Skin Probiotic Masque: This is the one I have in my shower ALL THE TIME.  It’s my go to detox mask because it doesn’t dehydrate!

3. BOSCIA: Luminizing Black Mask: Maybe this “Luminizes” because it peels off all your hair, lol, but I LOVED it! It did make my eyes water a bit, maybe that’s why I was glowing too…Image

In contrast, your third mask should be the one you turn to when you need a HYDRATION BOOST and a fabulous GLOW! This is usually a gel-type mask that will contain ingredients that should refresh the skin and infuse it with vitamins and boosters.

1. Eminence: Pink Grapefruit Vitality Masque: Also a GO-TO for me! Perfect for that hydration and glowing skin! Good for everyone, even my acne prone skin!

2. FRESH: Rose Face Mask: Nothing says lux like Rose to me, and this one pairs really well with the sugar scrub for a super hydrated glow! LOVE!

3. Eminence: Bright Skin Masque: This is a great line for targeting very specific issues, which means when you run out, you can try another hydrating treatment mask! This one helps brighten you up!


Sometimes I use all three in one sitting depending on what’s going on with my skin, but I ALWAYS use the exfoliating mask first (if I’m using the EXFOLIATING mask and at least one of the other types), followed by the detox and then the hydration mask if I’m using all three.

Some tips: Obviously not everyone has the time it takes to do something like this once a week, and actually most of us could use a treatment mask (Detox or HYDRATING) 2-3 times a week.  How then, can one accomplish this with everything else there is to do in a day, in a week!? The way I have accomplished this feat is by keeping my masks in the shower.  I wash my face first when I hop in, and then put the mask or masks on and leave them on for 2-5 (7-10 is better) minutes each while I’m cleaning all the other bits.  This is a great way to get your mask on, and change your skin for the better!

I’ve included some of my favorite masks in this blog so you have an idea of exactly what to get! As a general rule though, the masks don’t have to be expensive either, if you’re buying from a drugstore, keep in mind the tips presented herein… Exfoliating formulas will have enzymes or acids, Detox versions will contain clays, muds, or acne fighters, and Hydrating masks will be in the form of a clear gel or a cream!

Happiness Tip: Live Your Happiness OUT LOUD ~ Fake it Till You Make it!

3 Feb


by DAZYCHIC via Etsy

Well my dearest friends, I really do think we live in a funny little world.

I have found that days or weeks could go by without ever hearing anyone say anything truly spectacular about their everyday lives.

I mean, I cannot tell you how often I ask people “How have you been” and hear in response a regurgitation of all the awful things that happen or have happened to them in the last year, month, day, or hour… The thing is, and I’ve said this before, I think we live in a society that loves to hear the crappy stuff. Now that’s a bold and spikey statement to swallow… You’re thinking right now, “That’s not true, I love to hear positive things” but let me elaborate…

From a young age I was taught not to be boastful or a braggart; not to be conceited or over-confident in myself or in the life I live…Meanwhile, in the same breath, I was told to have self-confidence and self-esteem, to be both happy and positive as well as grateful for all the things that I have… But here’s the question: How can we do and be all those things if all we hear around us is negative? Or put simply: How can we focus on the positive if all we talk about is the negative?

And now, a story: Once I met a woman who I asked very casually, as I do most people I meet, “How are you?” … To my utter and complete surprise, this seemingly normal gal beamed right back at me “I am sooo good!”

WOW!!! I was so taken aback that I instantly smiled and let her know how rare it was to get such a radiant and cheerful answer like hers back. She proceeded to tell me why she was so good… She hadn’t won the lotto or married her perfect mate… nor did she have the job of her dreams… but she was happy with the day, with the sun and some free time, and yes, her husband who she loved and her small child who she was happy to be away from at the moment… This proclamation really got me thinking about ME. How do I respond when people ask me about ME?

Not long ago, I had fallen victim to the daily ‘bitch-session” with some of my close friends. We didn’t talk about the happy or wonderful things in our lives, only about the rotten things. I would leave the conversations feeling low and dull, not at all happy and uplifted… Not how I felt when I left the conversation with the cheerful stranger mentioned before (who I never saw again but clearly changed my thinking pattern! Thanks stranger!!!!)… With these friends, I rarely brought the good stuff up because I didn’t think anyone wanted to hear it… Think about it, when someone says how in love they are or how happy they are, often we say some smart-ass comment about a genuine and truly positive feeling (I even do this!). We don’t mean to do it; we’ve just been programmed that way!

From that moment on, I vowed to really think about how I was going to answer that question when asked, and how I would speak about a life I really do love (in spite of some really crappy things that can, and do, and will happen).

DISCLAIMER: I’m not suggesting that you lie here people. You’re allowed to have crappy days, or a broken heart, PMS, or just run of the mill bad luck! I’m not implying that you should become a pre-programed Stepford wife! If something’s wrong, and you have friends that you trust who can support you and you can lean into, then tell them; I want to know, I want to help if I can. But DO NOT LET THESE THINGS CONSUME YOU OR YOUR RELATIONSHIPS!!!! You have to make the choice yourself, your peers won’t do that for you, your spouse can’t even do it for you. If you are the somebody who only dishes the negative, trust me, you are doing your relationships AND yourself a disservice.

This week try to Live Your Happiness OUT LOUD, Live Your Life out loud. I’m going to do the same thing! If you’re stuck in the habit of sharing only the crappy parts, sharing the good stuff will feel like bragging at first, it won’t come easy, but FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT (something I learned from my dear friend Christine). That is, just TRY to be MORE positive. Positivity is infectious AND it grows exponentially once shared, especially with people you love and adore. Trust me on this (or you can just be miserable); I’ve been on both ends of the spectrum!


Happy Friday!

1 Feb

Happy Friday!

Happiest Friday Giltterati!

Hope you have lovely plans for the weekend, ours, of course include THE SUPERBOWL! I think it’s gonna be a great day and weekend :0).

I’m keeping this little print in my mind all day to make me smile:)
by DazyChic on Etsy:)

Basic Five-Product Skincare System

25 Jan


click photo for close up!

As an Esthetician I always have a hard time convincing people just how important it is to take great care of your skin at HOME.  A skincare regime will help to prolong your facial results, and just plain keep your skin in good shape! It’s the same advice I give to all my girlfriends; I’m ALWAYS insisting to them that it’s imperative to take care of your face!  Our faces just aren’t a great place to skimp since we don’t live in a society where covered faces are the norm… 

Now, I’m not suggesting that you need to spend hundreds of dollars on your skincare regime, I’m not even insisting that you need 15 different products to care for your skin; but what you do need to do is make some thoughtful choices about AT-HOME skincare if you want to keep your skin looking and feeling nicer, for longer.

After 12 years in the skincare industry, I feel that I have a fairly good grasp when it comes to what the most important products EVERYONE should own are.  Below is my tried and true basic system that I feel even the lowest maintenance, busiest person can do.

 In my opinion you should spend a little more on certain products, although even a cheaper version of those mentioned is so much better than nothing!  This is not what I would call a “comprehensive” skincare regime, but it’s a great start for those who don’t currently have one, and a good foundation to build on for those beauty mavens, like me.

The Basics:

 1.     A DEEP CLEANSER: Your deep cleanser should be appropriate for YOUR skin type.  If it’s on the oily side, get a gel cleanser, if it’s dry choose a creamier version. The point is, you want something that will deep clean for YOU and help take off the daily grime without stripping! Expensive cleansers are not that important (in my opinion), cleansers just aren’t on your skin long enough to REALLY make a huge difference, but picking the right one for your skin IS very important.

2.     A GOOD HYDRATER: This is a moisturizer that you can use both day and night if needed.  Some of you will prefer a thinner oil-free version and some need something richer.  You might have to change this depending on the season but you DO NOT want this to contain SPF because you may need to use it at night.  I don’t care what type of skin you have, whether it’s acne-prone or sensitive and beyond, moisture has gotten a raw deal when it come to skin problems and it is a step that should not be avoided!

3.     A GOOD SPF: For everyday, my personal opinion is that for MOST of us SPF15 is just fine, and it’s usually found in most of our foundations.  However, it is important to have a great SPF30 in your skincare arsenal.  I personally don’t believe in SPF’s that are higher (I know, there’s a gasp heard round the world).  There are a lot of people who disagree with me here, but I believe higher SPF provides both a false sense of security when you’re in the sun (you need to reapply or get the heck out of it!), and opens you up to irritation and/or breakouts. There are tons of options out there, from powders to creams; I’ve tried both and think they both work well, but I generally spend a little more for something that won’t cause problems for my skin, even if it’s at the drugstore.

4.     A GOOD EXFOLIATOR: Exfoliants are often found in 2 different forms, either a manual scrub (one with beads present), or acids (such as AHA’s or BHA’s).  I exfoliate every single day, which is fine for some but not for everyone! Most people find their exfoliation-sweet-spot somewhere between 1-3 times weekly. Exfoliation is my big secret in combination with hydration, so do not skip this! Exfoliants are what make your skin look bright and clear!

5.     A CORRECTING PRODUCT AKA TREATMENT: This is generally some sort of serum, which you might want to change fairly regularly, or seasonally depending on what’s going on with your skin. Correcting products generally contain retinols, glycolics, anti-agers, or other high-powered ingredients aimed at targeting whatever might be going on with your skin at any given moment.  This one is gonna be the most expensive because you need it to do the most work, and that often costs money!


There it is!  Again, this is very basic; you don’t want to even know what I have in my skincare cabinet!  I’m happy to help anyone with more specific questions or concerns in the comment section as time permits.  What I want my readers to take away from this article is that facials are important, regularly, or seasonally to help get your skin in great shape.  Think of facials as maintenance for your face; however, at-home-skincare is even more important because it’s something you do every single day! (And that’s from me, an Esthetician, who wants you to come in for facials telling you that what you do at home is even more important!)

 Products: Most can be found at


1. Purity by Philosophy, great at deep cleaning but not too drying!

2. Yonka Lait Nettoyant Cleansing Milk ( Perfectly gentle for dryer sensitive types, and on of my favorite Estheticians favorite cleansers!

3. Josie Maran: Argan Cleansing Oil: I LOVE cleansing OILS! These are good for everyone if you pick the right brands, but really great for dryer types! Do be scared of OIL!


4. Hope in a Jar by Philosophy: I love this cream, it’s great for normal and combo types, and they have one called “When Hope is Not Enough’ for even dryer types.

5.Peter Thomas Roth: Ultra Lite Oil Free Moisturizer: This is great for skin that is prone to breakouts or gets very oil, it can always be boosted with a serum if you need a touch more hydration!


6.Dermalogica Super Sensitive Sunblock SPF 30: This travels well, soaks in, and is great for men!

7.Jan Marini Anti-Oxidant SPF 30: This is my go to EXTRA sunscreen; I take it with me to the pool, to the beach, or on a day in my convertible, and REAPPLY people!

8. Kiss My Face: SPF 30: Great for sensitive skin, water RESISITANT, and a lot cheaper than the other ones… this goes traveling with me too!


9. Jurlique Enzyme Exfoliator: Smells great, feels great, good for just about anyone!

10. Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish: This is the one I use every single day.  I’m not recommending you do it that often, but this one is just lovely!


11. Clear Skin Ultra Gel (Bloom Skincare, Los Altos): Around here we call this liquid gold.  I have just about all my favorite people in the world using this to help curb breakouts (clears you up without drying you out!).  It’s not crazy expensive and it lasts a LONG time.  Perfect for adult breakouts… I wear mine daily under my moisturizer.

12. Cell Youth Actif (Bloom Skincare, Los Altos): Ok peeps, I begged my boss to get this.  We all tried it and loved it!  It’s got all sorts for new anti-agers, plumpers, and brighteners in it and it’s a great time to start using it for a wonderful glow.  This is a PERFECT example of what a treatment product should look like! But it will cost you!

Happiness Tip: If it FEELS Unhealthy, it Probably IS!

22 Jan




One of the best pieces of advice I’ve EVER received was given to me while I was going through one of the most difficult times in my life.  It was simple and yet MIND-BLOWING:  IF IT FEELS TOXIC, IT PROBABLY IS. This was an epiphany to me! Of course! How could I have not seen it before, I just kept trying to fix things that just were not fixable; and people, these thing DO exist in the world.  It IS ok to let some people and things go.

I had spent so much time thinking and beating myself up… ‘what am I doing wrong’ ‘how could I have saved this friendship, moment, day, etc… (fill in the blank)’; sometimes relationships are just plan UNHEALTHY.  It’s not your fault souly or theirs, but if it can’t be fixed (and I mean by a good dose of communication and work from both ends), it IS ok to let it go.

This piece of advice is guiding me through the next phase of my life, both in my relationships AND in life choices.  When I am making a decision, I find myself really checking in with ME and asking ‘Does this feel like a HEALTHY choice?’ Whether it’s with food or if I’m pushing myself towards one more social event that might take me right over the deep end, I’m trying to make better decisions which really does lead to less stress and MORE HAPPINESS!  Life has been so much better since I let the unhealthy parts go and have begun to apply this simple philosophy to my life.

Thanks Dani for this gem, you probably had no idea you changed my life.


Happiness is a CHOICE

18 Jan


I’m pretty certain, on most days that happiness is a choice. Today is Friday, so for most of us that’s reason to be enough to be happy… But what if you work on Saturday? How can you achieve the same level of happiness all day that the rest of the weekend lovers have?

I say, really, CHOOSE happiness today. No matter what!

For me, it’s the knowledge that I am having dinner after work with a dear friend AND get to see so many people AT work that I adore AND actually, my co-workers make me laugh!!

Find your happiness today no matter how small it is!
Happy weekend Y’all!

Flu BE~GONE: Ginger/Lemongrass Soup

17 Jan


Get-Better-Soon ~or~ Never-Get-Sick

Lemongrass/Ginger Soup Recipe

So, I am seeing so many of you are sick L. This makes me sad, especially since AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT!  I am going to give you my go to recipe for getting over that flu quick, or trying to ward it away from your homestead.  I will say that I got the idea for this recipe from a dear friend and client, but hers is probably much better and involves a lot more time as she makes her stock from scratch, but I say again, when you’re sick AIN’T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT! 

This is so simple to make, that I have literally dragged my near-lifeless zombie-fied body to the kitchen and created a bubbling cauldron of healing goodness.  I ALWAYS have the ingredients on hand in the winter and I believe you should too! It’s even delicious with a  BLT or Grilled Cheese!

Here’s what you need!

  • Ginger, peeled and smashed, cut into 2ish inch cubes (I use a lot or a little depending on how serious I am, more is better! Sometimes you can even use the immersion blender at the end if you want it in the soup… but the soup isn’t as yummy then, ginger is NO JOKE!)
  • Lemongrass (2 sticks, I rinse them, take off the outermost layer after cutting into 2.5 inch pieces)
  • ½ White Onion, chopped
  • 1-3 Cloves of smashed or chopped Garlic (depending on what you can take!)
  • 2-4Tblsp of white vinegar
  • Juice of one Lime
  • 1 Carton of Chicken Stock 32 OZ
  • 2Tblsp of one of my FAVORITE ingredients, Better Than Bouillon (BTB) CHICKEN *
  • 1 Can of White Meat Chicken, rinsed (I know, canned chicken, but actually it’s not bad and when you are sick it’s perfect. Just rinse it first… or throw last nights chicken breast in)
  • 1 Serrano Pepper (Optional, I literally just cut the tips off and float it in the broth for the tiniest bit of heat)
  • Oil for pan
  • Cut Spaghetti Noodles, as few or as much as you want, I caution not to use too much.


  1. Prep your ingredients, you’re sick! Just rough chop all that crap up! Put those bad boys on the cutting board and put your pot on the stove at Medium with just a little twist of olive oil to coat.
  2. Drop the white onion in and let it cook, about 1 minute, coating in the fat, add garlic and cook one more minute.  I like to keep everything in this fresh and white.
  3. Add chicken stock and 2Tblsp of BTB, sir until dissolved.
  4. Drop in Lemongrass and Ginger, bring to a boil; then, reduce to simmer.
    1. (Drop in option pepper here too if you want a little heat)
    2. Add rinsed chicken as well as salt if needed and pepper if you want, and desired amount of vinegar and a hand full of noodles.
    3. Let simmer for 10 minutes to an hour, remove ginger and lemongrass or if you’re too exhausted eat around it… Sometimes I need the soup right then and there, and it’s perfect! You don’t have to let it simmer forever!

This seems involved, but once I developed it, I can make it in a snap and my hubby swears it’s a cure-all!

*Note: Better Than Bouillon is something I have in all three flavors at all times in my kitchen: beef, chicken, and veggie. They make it in a variety of styles including gluten free and organic.  I can’t tell you how often I add it to a soup or sauce, or even as a little something salty and warm in the evening if I’m craving it! Enjoy!


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