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Alive Expo Review – Atlanta 2011 May 24, 2011

Saturday was hot so I started the day with a $1.00 rapture beer at Jack’s Pizza & Wings. Then I took shelter in the air conditioning at the Alive EXPO.  My friend, Britt N.E. and I had a great day. We had a massage, sipped some wine and got a makeover. Here are some of my favorite highlights:

  • Conceived By Nature was a pleasant surprise. They are a line of natural shampoos and conditioners made by trusty old Mane & Tail. They gave out samples of their Lavender & Rosemary products. I can’t wait to try them. I loved mane and tail when I was a kid.
  •  Squattie Pottie. The idea is that women can go anywhere anytime with a pocket-sized potty. I’m not sure if I really need one but I was definitely amused and interested. (I have  two little boys; the word potty is very funny to me.)  I didn’t buy one but the price was right.
  • Jennifer of Red Hair Girl Designs, introduced me to keynote speaker Kat James. She was a lovely person and has done a terrific job helping my friend achieve her goals.
  • Aubrey Organics  is a classic in the natural health world. I had a great time getting my make-up retouched and picked up a few samples to review on here. Bonus: I scored some Gaia Adrenal Health samples from Tina after the show. Yeah!
  • Ron from Earthshine sales and marketing was showing seasonally appropriate Greenerways Organic Bug Spray. They have a USDA organic label on this product and I can’t wait to try it out. I’m always looking for safer ways to protect my kiddos.

I enjoyed failing the bean bag toss at the Organic Valley booth. I need to brush up on my lawn games this summer. But they gave me yo-yos for my boys and some awesome coupons despite my lack of skill. Of course, a natural products show must have yummy food and beverage samples. I scored samples of Larabars, Cascadian Farm Granola, Natalie’s Orange Juice & Naked Grape Wine to name just a few.

  • Top 3. I loved Relax Wraps! Relax wraps are flax filled hot & cold therapy pillows. These were very relaxing but a little pricey for my taste. I know what flax seeds cost so I couldn’t justify the pricing. But they felt terrific. These wraps are the perfect safe alternative to heating pads and electric blankets for loosening tight muscles. And the weight of the flax applies pressure in all the perfect places. I definitely wanted to visit this booth again after receiving a harsh massage from a masseuse who was upset with her man. Lol.
  • In my top 2, Rooibee Red Tea was a new name in the tea market to me and they had some terrific flavors. I particularly loved the cranberry pomegranate flavor and they are all organic. This flavor got a thumbs up from my friend Britt N. E. too. Organic and tea almost always get a thumbs up from me!
  • My favorite booth goes to Esther’s Beauty Secrets. If this line can keep up with demand, I think they will go far. They were very clean. It didn’t irritate my extremely sensitive skin. And they work for all ethnic skin types. Plus the price was definitely right! I loved the scrubs and body oil. And I really want to give the natural deodorant a try. If I was a buyer, this is a product line I would definitely pick up. I plan to buy some soon.
At the end of the day, I felt great.  I had a wonderful time with my friend and found a few new things along the way. Hooray!

A Great Weekend To Be Alive May 19, 2011

I am looking forward to visiting the Marietta Farmer’s Market this weekend with my Brian. I live less than three miles from it and still somehow rarely manage to make it there. *sigh* But this weekend I WILL get up and go.

I will follow up the morning with my annual expedition to the Alive Expo in Atlanta. This time my friend Brit N.E. will be attending with me. Yay! I am looking forward to trying some fun new products and spending an afternoon with a good friend.

I’ve had a tough week. A weekend with the people I love is just what I need. It’s a great weekend to be alive!


Beware the C.A.T. May 11, 2011

A double dose is an overdose. Do you suffer any of these?

The list of symptoms goes on and on. If you haven’t guessed, C. stands for caffeine. Caffeine is considered a psychoactive stimulant not a food. Cut back today. Skip the grande and grab a tea. Watch the serving sizes. More than one serving a day can and most likely will have adverse effects. If those aren’t enough to stop you, maybe vanity will. Caffeine dilates your blood vessels causing redness in the face and making blemishes more apparent.

Drink responsibly does not mean don’t get caught.

In the past 3 years I have known 5 people affected or killed by alcohol use and 3 who just felt the need to join AA. A. is for alcohol and I have cut back my drinking to almost sober due to these events which are very common. Chances are you know someone who has had one of these things happen. None of these people were considered full-out alcoholics by their friends and family. And none of these people thought they had a real problem:

    • An underage adult who lost their license. It hurts when you can’t get to your job.
    • A twenty something who had to seek medical attention for blood sugar and blood pressure.
    • A diabetic who passes out regularly due to “moderate”  intake of wine at dinner.
    • A relative who died of liver failure.
    • A YOUNG in-law who died of a brain aneurysm.

Just because you’ve never been caught doesn’t make you a responsible drinker. Its time for us to stop acting like stupid sheep at the party. There is no reason to have more than one serving size (not a giant serving) of alcohol to  “liven up.” If it takes you more than one, you’re already drinking too much. And please stop the “one for the road” nonsense. You don’t need to be loose on the road. Alcohol directly kills more than 23,000 Americans per year. I also don’t care if red wine has resveratrol or not, one 6 oz SERVING twice a week is what doctors consider moderate. No more than that. And if you have blood sugar problems, just don’t.

I shouldn’t even have to say this.

T. is for tobacco. Tobacco directly kills more than 435,000 Americans every year! IT IS THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF DEATH IN THE U.S. It yellows and browns your teeth and skin. It causes blood pressure and circulation issues. It’s the dumbest waste of money, I’ve ever seen. You know the facts on tobacco. I am soooo sorely disappointed every time I see someone my age, who I know knows what they are doing, pick up a cigarette. Stop it. Just stop it. You’re killing yourself, poisoning others and polluting the earth. Is the short-term jolt really worth feeling run down the rest of the time and destroying your immune system? Is it worth the ugliness? Is it worth a month’s groceries every year? There is no such thing as moderate smoking. You have to give it up. For resources on quitting, please visit

I know this will be an unpopular post with many of the people I know. And if you’re angry or off put by it, you probably need it most. I’ll take your scathing remarks because if it makes one person think twice, its worth it.

Live well and Be well.


Tummy Friendly Vegetarian Chili May 9, 2011

Filed under: Natural Living,Recipes — njr711 @ 10:35 pm
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I know the last thing the world needs is another non-original chili recipe but…

Recently, I tried to stretch a few pantry ingredients and made a sort of chili/salsa. It was light enough for the warmer weather. It ended up being delicious and satisfying. Very satisfying! We were all pleasantly full but not bloated. It gave us that cellular hum of digestive peace that you only get after eating light, nutritious and satisfying meals. So here it is. Enjoy!

  • 14oz can of black beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 14oz can of pinto beans, rinsed thoroughly
  • 6-8oz can of corn niblets, drained
  • 14oz can of diced tomatoes, you can substitute sweet potato puree here
  • 1 packet of low sodium chili seasoning, MSG free
  1. Bring all ingredients to a BOIL for 2-3 minutes. This essential to making gas free beans.
  2. Stir, bring pot to a low simmer and cover for at least 10 minutes. The longer the better!
  3. Serve over corn bread with just a dab of sour cream or cheddar cheese.
  4. Eat up!


A Laugh for Mother’s Day May 6, 2011

Filed under: Babies & Motherhood,Natural Living — njr711 @ 3:37 pm
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“Whatever you give a woman, she will make greater. If you give her sperm, she’ll give you a baby.If you give her a house, she’ll give you a home. If you give her groceries, she’ll give you a meal. If you give her a smile, she’ll give you her heart. She multiplies and enlarges what is given to her. So, if you give her any crap, be ready to receive a ton of shit!”

~author unknown


Milling Around

I’ve spent a good deal of time on or near a treadmill. I’ve maintained them, cleaned them and showed many people how to properly use them. I developed great contempt for them and only use them when all of the ellipticals and bikes are taken at the gym. Did you know that one of’s definitions for milling is “to move around aimlessly, slowly or confusedly, as a herd of cattle?” Aimless and slow are not exactly my goal at the gym!

This month I discovered the muscles supporting my right knee are imbalanced due to recent inactivity. I had to develop a new personal workout routine. I tried something that I have seen in a handful of fitness articles but never actually done for fear of drawing too much attention to myself. I used the treadmill sideways. It was love at first workout! In just 3 workouts the pain in my knee is gone. Plus after a few minutes you can really feel that burn in your inner and outer thighs.  It doesn’t exactly count as a full cardio routine but I suggest adding 10-20 minutes of this to your routine:

  • Attach the emergency stop cord!
  • Stand parallel to the machine belt.
  • Start slow and build your way up as you gain better balance.
  • Lead with the leg closest to the front of the treadmill.
  • Stop the machine and switch directions.
  • Repeat leading with the opposite leg (which should now be closest to the front) for an equal amount of time.

Don’t just treadmill, tread sideways!

*If you’ve had a severe injury or knee replacement you should consult a physical therapist before trying this exercise.


Sweet Vegetable Tea May 5, 2011

My pregnancy with my first son was magnificent and nauseating. I lived off ginger ale and saltines for several months until a co-worker gifted me a book called, “Bless the Baby” by Melanie Waxman. Now my lovely sister is pregnant with her first child and suffering the same stomach issues.

Crackers themselves are hardly the breakfast of champions and a new mom should attempt to provide better nourishment to the new life developing inside of them. This is a terrific recipe for pregnant women and nursing moms to drink along with eating crackers.

Sweet Vegetable Tea adapted from “Bless the Baby”

  • 4 cups spring water
  • half an organic onion, finely sliced
  • one organic carrot with tops, washed and finely sliced
  • one cup organic cabbage, washed and shredded
  • one cup of organic winter squash, seeded, washed and finely sliced   *Substitute 1 extra carrot for winter squash if squash is unavailable.
  1. Bring water to a boil.
  2. Add all vegetables and boil for approximately two minutes.
  3. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove vegetables and drink warm.

This warm beverage is not exclusively for pregnant women; It is great for anyone suffering from constipation or blood sugar issues.  This is also a terrific cleansing tea. Enjoy!


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