Monday, September 23, 2013

Preparing your skin for the colder months


Fall skin care

 Whether I like it or not, autumn is fast approaching and the seasonal change trigger stress symptoms in the body, leading to dry, dehydrated skin, and acne breakouts.  Here are some tips to transition your skin to the cooler crisper weather.  

Battle the dry…
Don’t let your skin go thirsty! Drink water, water, water and eat water rich foods!
Hydrating your skin from within by drinking lots of water is vital to combating dryness. High water content foods like fresh salads with cucumbers, and tomatoes, fresh fruits and vegetables (emphasis on fresh and ideally organic) will do wonders for your skin.
Make it easy on yourself by carrying a glass or BPA free plastic bottle with you when you go outside. And snack on healthy fresh fruits and veggies like carrot sticks, grapes, or apple slices.

Humidifier...
One good option would be to put moisture back into the air. A humidifying system can help your skin remain supple instead of cracked and dry. You can buy a system from your local drug store. Be sure to use distilled water!

Sunscreen...
Don’t say goodbye to your sunscreen just because summer is over. Before you leave your house, apply a sunscreen with at least an SPF of 15 or more. This will protect your skin from the elements. Alternatively, choose a product can combines a sunscreen with a moisturizer.

 
Oil bath...
Now how does a jojoba oil or sweet almond bath sound to you? Relaxing isn’t it! Nourish you skin by adding a few drops of these oils into your everyday bath. It will do wonders for your skin.

 Coconut oil

In the cooler months your skin will become much drier; here’s a great trick for applying coconut oil. After a shower or bath, keep the bathroom door closed to preserve the steam. Gently towel dry your body and apply moisturizer to skin that's still slightly damp."

To reduce dryness as the weather becomes cooler, avoid products with alcohol because they can be too drying. Try switching to a toner made with witch hazel rather than alcohol. This will help to prevent stripping of the skin."
Transition your skin from summer to fall by focusing on serums that help to even skin tone, replenish hydration levels, and enhance radiance. By the end of summer, skin is combating the consequences of months of sun exposure, including sunburn, peeling, redness, and dry skin.

 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall has arrived!


Hello Dolls and Dudes!

Since I am not a lover of fall and winter, I have made up my mind to figure out some things that I do enjoy about the cooler seasons and relish in them, starting with autumn.

On the top of my list, is my birthday; I was born in the crisp cool month of October and to see and celebrate another year of life is a beautiful blessing.

With all of my pondering about the perquisites of fall, I came to realize that perhaps I do enjoy it a little more than I ever thought.  One of the things that I enjoy and appreciate is Sunday afternoon football with friends, great food and flavorful harvest beers.

Who can forget fall fashion? And although I hate to put away the open toe sandals, I rather enjoy breaking out the boots short and long to pair with dark sexy jeans, oversized cardigans and dark sunnies for a relaxed glam look.  Not to mention sultry dark nail polishes in hues of deep purple and plum.

Some other noteworthy things to look forward to? Hot chocolate, candy apples, big hearty pots of vegetarian chili, cute little trick or treaters at Halloween, big hoodies, The Charlie Brown Pumpkin special, Thanksgiving break from work and yum, candy corn!

So goodbye summer solstice (I will be waiting for you next year in my white sun dress) and hello Fall Equinox, here we come.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

5 ways to get out of the fast food rut (and the vending machines)



1. Be prepared for the day- every sassy kitten knows that to maintain her coke bottle figure, she MUST avoid that fatty foods from the local chains she encounters throughout the day; and the best way to do that is to be tempted by your own wares. We have all heard of the “booty bag”, well what about the “foodie bag”. Yes, dolls, having a convenient insulated bag filled with your favorite snacks is the answer. Pile the healthy snacks and treats like fruit, pretzels and peanut butter cupsxe3, protein/fiber bars, etc. into your foodie bag and then toss can toss it into your sexy snakeskin hobo bag so you will have all that you need when you’re ready to nibble so you won’t feel that ravenous hunger when you’re out and about.

2. Don’t be fooled: the media has been very convincing and has led us to believe that the lower calorie options on their menu is the way to lose weight and be healthier but is it really the best option? Let’s get this straight girls, the best option will always be made right from your own kitchen where you can account for the way your food was handled and cared for. Washing your vegetables really well and properly cooked (non processed) meat is important and key to avoiding the dreaded food poisoning. Haven’t we all been to the subway counter and seen the vegetables looking less that fresh? Think about it.

3. Eat at home- sometimes taking a little extra time to make breakfast before leaving out will not only help you to avoid the hunger pains and cravings. A breakfast that is well balanced and packed with protein will be a great boost for your metabolism and give you fantastic energy. And don’t forget to pack your lunch with last night’s leftovers.

4. Get creative with your lunch- Nothing is worse than having a peanut butter sandwich at lunch when everyone around you is chomping down on something that looks and smells tempting from Panera Bread. Make something for your lunch that you will look forward to; make a special dessert with fresh strawberries and bite sized pieces of pound cake. Swap your regular sandwich bread for tortilla wraps, pita pockets, cabiatta breads etc. and your regular salads antipasto salads, hummus vegetables and pita chips, hearty barbeque chicken salad.

5. Leave the cash at home- if you just can’t bear to ‘drive pass’ without ‘driving thru’, then leave yourself with no other options. If you make it difficult to make a fast food purchase then you will force yourself to rely on your foodie bag supply!











Monday, August 27, 2012

Labor Day Barbeque




Most people can’t resist the Labor Day backyard barbeque foods; just the smells alone make you want to cast caution to the grill smoke and dive into a burger and plate of potato salad with total abandon. You can enjoy your favorite end of the summer bbqs without wrecking your diet.

Skip the heavy fattening mayo on the burgers and top your burger with a fresh mango salsa and summer salads can be made with a lower cal dressing for a tangy kick.

Tip If you are planning the menu, make sure to use lean meats for grilling.

Or skip the burgers all together and try a grilled portabella mushroom burger with fresh garlic, olive oil and Mozzarella cheese, peppers and onions.

By the way chicken, shrimp and vegetable skewers and tuna steaks also make a tasty backyard barbeque favorite.

Even adult beverages can be low calorie with the many options available for lighter drinks, like the Skinny Girl Cocktail drinks sold in liquor stores.

And for frozen desserts, frozen yogurt is just as easy to make as ice cream.

Or add Stoneyfield nonfat frozen Yogurts to the grocery list.





Friday, August 24, 2012

Sweet tooth for the Sweet Girls

I admit that I am a bit of a lover of all things sweet but I realize as every other smart and sassy diva has that refined sugary foods are not best for the body or skin. So what’s a girl to do? I mean, for those sweet attacks that grab you and refuse to let you go until you satisfy its naughty little head with a slice of cheesecake drizzled in raspberry sauce… Snack healthy but well. I have tried out a few granola recipes but this one satisfies the craving for something salty and sweet. Give this one a try lovies and let me know what you think.
TROPICAL GRANOLA


3 cups rolled oats

2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1/2 cup dice dried mango

1/2 cup dice dried papaya

½ cup dried pineapple



Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the oatmeal, coconut, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside. Heat the honey, oil, and vanilla in a small sauce pan and stir to combine. Drizzle over the oat mixture and mix until the it is thoroughly coated and there are no clumps.

Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Transfer the granola to a large heatproof bowl. Add the mango and papaya or pineapple and stir to combine. Let the granola cool for 20 minutes. Break the granola into small clumps, and then let it cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Impromptu cocktail party?

I dare you divas to slip into your favorite little black cocktail dress and call up your besties for an impromptu cocktail party. We only live once! Cork open a bottle of cab and break out the spirits. Do'nt worry about planing and preparation. A party is a aprty because you will be hosting it doll face!
The menu you ask? Dig this: Salsa and chips and a decadent box of liqour filled chocolates. What more do you need? Kisses

6 Ways to doctor up a jar of salsa:


1. Squeeze in some fresh lime juice and chopped avocado, or mango, or a can of drained crushed pineapple if you have it. Toss is some fresh cilantro and voila.

2. Stir in a can of drained yellow corn or frozen and a can of black beans (drained) for a quick corn salsa.

3. Stir in fresh chopped tomato and some cumin

4. Stir in chopped, smoked chipotle pepper for a hot and smoky taste.

5. Mix in a can of roasted red pepper, balsamic vinegar and some basil.

6. Add a few tablespoons of yogurt, chopped cucumber and cumin and serve with pita bread.







Picture from candystilettos.com

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Give your grocery list a facelift

6 Easy Ways
1. Produce- Skip the grocery store and consider the farmers market for your produce. Not only will you find the best locally grown (in season) produce, it’s likely you will find other add ins from your community like fresh raw honey, cheese, special butters and preserves. I love the farmers market and when I am really busy, I tap into my local product delivery service. Myproduceguy.com

2. Learn how to make your own bread and shop for flour instead. Not only does your flour last a lot longer than a store bought loaf of bread but you can make the bread to your liking. Shop the thrift and discount close out stores for a bread machine and start experimenting with your favorite ingredients. Think Rosemary and sea salt bread. Search for new recipes and experiment with pizza dough, flat breads, biscuits; whatever you’re into.

3. Organic- pesticide and chemical free is always the healthier option

4. Change it up- if you buy- hemp seeds consider chia seeds, regular yogurt can be swapped out for Greek yogurt, and bottles of iced tea don’t hold a candle to the herbal teas that you can make yourself.

5. Skip the sugary juices and hit the frozen drink section a try. Frozen condensed juices and lemonades can be doctored up with some very tasty add- ins like fresh blueberries, basil, and can be made to your liking without the extra sugar.

6. Swap out the store bought dressings and buy the ingredients to make your own; the individual ingredients can be used for other recipes and the dressing will be much healthier for you. See this recipe for a simple balsamic dressing


Do it yourself balsamic dressing

½ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

A pinch of salt and pepper

1 clove crushed garlic

Whisk together in a bowl and store covered in the fridge. Will store for ten days. Just let the dressing come to room temperature just before serving.





Monday, August 20, 2012

Chocolate Balls

 Go ahead girl, have him by the, ahem, balls. (wink) Chocolate Whiskey  Balls that is. Bid adieu to just making your man’s favorite cake for his next birthday and consider the finger-feeding-licking treat of whiskey balls. So easy and so simple to make. He will thank you for them (wink again) and you will thank me later after he has licked the chocolate from your finger tips. Ha! Smooches-Christina

CHOCOLATE WHISKEY BALLS

1 cup pecans

1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

1 cup confectioners sugar

1-1/2 Tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 cup whisky

Powdered sugar for rolling

Grind the pecans and the chocolate wafers coarsely in a food processor and empty into a large bowl.

Mix in the sugar, corn syrup, and whisky very thoroughly. Shape the mixture into balls the size of a quarter and roll in powdered sugar.
Keep in an airtight container in a cool place, or freeze on a baking sheet until each is firm and store in tightly sealed plastic bags.



Friday, August 17, 2012

Make-up Optional Skin

Every fabulous woman knows that skin that is fresh, clear and smooth is a sign of vitality not to mention sexy. But what about all of the many products on the store shelves and dermatology offices; do they work? Most importantly what is in them?


Forgo the cortisone injections from your dermatologist and the pricey products from the beauty counters and consider some natural methods for making skin vibrant and acne free. Did you know that raw honey zaps pimples with its antibacterial properties? Or that you could soak a cotton ball in warm chamomile tea and it works as an antiseptic.

Witch hazel makes a great toner and homemade scrubs make great exfoliators.

Above all, a healthy diet free of greasy, fried and sugary foods is essential in putting your best face forward.

See Cooking in High Heels with Christina for facial recipes.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Start with the best!

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Whenever I want to prepare an impressive dinner, I shop for the highest quality food possible. What I have learned over the years is that the quality of your ingredients is what makes the meal. Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables that are locally grown are usually where I begin. A cook is no better than her tools and ingredients; you pay for what you get so get the very best.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Dolls and Dudes! I hope it was filled with magic and all things spectacular. I was thinking about some of my favorite New Year's Eve and New Year's day memories. Some memories were filled with Champagne and sequin and others with warm blankets, good food and fire places. What are some of your favorite New Year memories? Care to share? Did you have black eyed peas and collard grrens for dinner today? Well? Kissses-

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Shopping brings forth great ideas

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I can get an idea for a new meal simply by doing one of my favorite things. Shopping!! Just the other day, I was at the market and saw a vanilla bean dip that would be perfect for dipping. After reading the ingredients, I decided that I would make it for myself, minus the additives and high fructose cornsyrup. Check out the recipe.
Vanilla Dip
1 8 ounce reduced fat cream cheese softened

1/2 cup low-fat coconut milk vanilla yogurt

3/4-1 cup powdered sugar (adjust amount to taste)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine cream cheese, vanilla yogurt, powdered sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Mix on high speed with a hand mixer until combined and fluffy. Serve with strawberries.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Old Fashion Breakfast

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Whenever I am home or when my mom or granny come to visit me, I have to get them to make one of my favorite breakfast meals, salmon cakes and grits. Whenever I make them for myself or a guest it makes me feel like I am back at the old kitchen table I grew up sitting at. Today I add my own little flavor by adding Parmesan to my grits and fresh dill and sweet onion to my cakes. Also, I serve it with a side of Monkey Bread. It's just one of those old home cooked meals that I adore; my family will be in town for a visit in July and I have high hopes for some Salmon Cakes and Grits... old school style!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fresh Herbs makes everything better!

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There is nothing better in the world to me than freshly prepared food. As some of you may know I have ventured into growing my own herb and vegetable garden right on my patio and from this garden I have been able to have the convinience of adding fresh herbs to make my dishes fabulous on a whim. It has taken some time to cultivate but it has been so worth it. Not only is it fun, fab and most importantly green, it has given me a new cusine weapon to add to my arsenal. Consider it for yourself!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is your chocolate green?

Every fab and environmentally conscious diva of the twenty first century knows the importance of being fair to all, especially the wonderful farmers who produce yummy things for us to eat like chocolate! Since chocolate should be no exception to the rule of fair trade, I thought I would explain the importance of fair trade for all you dolls who distinctively know that in addition to diamonds, chocolate is a girl's best friend.
So what is fair trade chocolate? In short, fair trade chocolate is chocolate that a fair trade organization looked at and can assure you that it is a product that meets the criteria of trying to make the world a better place.
Fair trade is a concept that basically says products that are labeled fair trade certified products meet standards that promote the following goals:

- They are produced in ways that support eco-friendly practices and sustainable living and farming
- They are farmed by marginalized workers in economically challenged countries. Fair trade organizations look out for these workers by trying to reduce the cut that aggressive middle men take in importing or exporting their goods, and they work with retailers to promote those products.

- The farmers or workers use a certain amount of the profits from their fair trade products to put back into development for their nations and communities.
- The farmers and producers don’t exploit workers or use child labor.

Chocolate companies usually purchase cocoa from farmers at low prices, not allowing them to meet their families’ needs and making them appeal to forced and illegal child workforce. The Fair Trade Chocolate refers to those companies which overcome this fact by obtaining the cocoa at fair prices from the farmers.

Therefore, by purchasing Fair Trade Certified Chocolate, we can help farming families to meet their basic needs, besides helping the environment, as sustainable production methods are required!

Some of my favorites are :

Trader Joe's

Super Dark, 73 percent cocoa
Certifications: Organic and Fair Trade
Price: $2.00/3 oz

Divine Chocolate