Not Quite Zen

{But Working On It}

Just a modern day momma trying to find the balance between life's craziness and zen, with a little bit of fun along the way.

Finding What's Right For You

Remarkable. That's Me.

Many people look at me, I wonder what they see. Do they see a woman, a wife, Or a simple mother of three? A remarkable being, Is what I hope to be. I’m not built like a model, Or as tall as a tree. But I am as rare as a gem As sweet as a honey bee. I am a remarkable woman, My loved ones would agree. It’s the love that I give, The hugs they receive. The food that I cook. And the goals I help them achieve. I am classy, intelligent, Ambitious and sexy. I am charismatic, creative, Selfless, and sometimes cheeky. When people look at me, I already know what they see They see a remarkable woman, a dutiful wife, And a wonderful mother of three.

The Center of Your Own Universe

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year! Good Bye 2014. Hello 2015.

2014 has been a great year for me.  As a family we have accomplished so much, and I pray that the new year brings even more blessings. May your life be continuously blessed and may you reach all of your goals in 2015.

Here are a few New Years Eve toasts for you and your family.

Here’s a toast to the future, a toast to the past, and a toast to our friends, far and near. May the future be pleasant, the past a bright dream. May our friends remain faithful and dear.

May you never lie, cheat, or drink.
But if you must lie, lie in each other’s arms.
If you must cheat, cheat death.
And if you must drink, drink with all of us because we love you

Here's a toast to the future A toast to the past, And a toast to our friends, far and near. The past a bright dream; May our friends remain faithful and clear.

Here’s wishing you more happiness than all my words can tell, not just alone for New Year’s Eve but for all the year as well.

Here's to the bright New Year and a fond farewell to the old; Here's to the things that are yet to come and to the memories that we hold. 

Now a little something I put together:

Thank you lord for everything that you have given me.  
Thank you for my friends and wonderful family.  
Thank you for the laughs.  
Thank you for the tears.  
Thank you for the strength you have given me 
To conquer my fears. 
Tonight we will rejoice and we will cheer.
May you bless my loved ones in the coming new year.
-Maritza Levy

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year, New Me

The new year is just around the corner, and with the new year come new goals, or maybe re-establishing old ones.  I know for me, during this time I tend to review the year.  What have I done? What could I have done differently? Am I where I want to be?  Am I who I want to be? Where do I want to be this time next year? What do I want to accomplish in the new year?

Many people don't really stick to New Year's Resolutions. I know because I am one of them.  I would much rather say that I have new year goals.  Things that I can aspire to.  Things that will give me motivation to keep working toward.

Photo courtesy of
When you look back at some of the movies that were made, they thought we would totally be in a different place than where we are right now.  I for sure thought that we would have seen a hover board by now (thanks to Back to the Future) or we would be fighting off robots for our freedom.  Thank goodness none of that is going on.  But todays science is on the verge of tapping into unknown worlds every single day.  We just don't know about it.  So I am going to stay in my blissful ignorance and just live my life to the fullest.
Back to the Future Hoverboards? FINALLY!
Ok, so let's dive right in.  What have I accompished in 2014?  Well, this year was my very first year as a stay at home mom.  I had a lot of adjusting to do, but I think things are coming along.  I don't feel as glamorous anymore, but that's to be expected since I don't have to wear heals and dress in office attire every single day. But all in all, I'd say that being at home was great.  Not only for me but for my family as well.

One major thing I can probably say that I have achieved this year is putting in the effort to take care of ME. I find myself taking the time out to do little things that make me happy.  I am still struggling a bit with making sure I follow through, but for the most part, things have been good.  Not to mention, I started this wonderful blog. This really gives me a way to express myself.  It gives me a sense of empowerment.  A sense of value. This gives me a voice.  For a few minutes a day, I have your undivided attention.  I am able to put down in words exactly how I am feeling, when I am feeling it.  And it reaches you.  Some people can identify, some just simply read on.  But for those few moments or so, you decided to read what I have to say. And that is huge. People, keep in mind that I spend all day with an infant. Then I have to deal with 2 divas and their daddy. Trust me when I say, this is no simple task. But the fact that I can take a few minutes at night or anytime I get a chance to just vent or recap something funny that just happened is a blessing.

Alright, now that I got that out of my system, lets get talking about my goals.  One thing I did notice this year was that I was pretty laid back. I did things when they needed to be done.  I was not really proactive. I tried to be, but couldn't keep that momentum. I feel that I was very reactive.  Not sure if that has anything to do with having the new baby around and adjusting to caring for 3 kids as opposed to just 2 (trust me, that one extra child makes one heck of a big difference). Whatever the reason may be, I am not going to make any excuses anymore. My family will not be my weakness. They will be my strength. I always try to make things easy for my girls.  I don't ask them to do much around the house because I usually take care of it.  But in the new year, they WILL be helping me out a lot more when it comes to housework.  It is time my oldest stepped up and take on some chores. I want to make sure my household is in tip top shape.  This means cleaning, cooking (which I will continue to take my food photos of course.  This has surprisingly turned into a new hobby of mine. But more on that later), making sure school work is on point, and basically just being an all around support for my husband.

Which brings me to my next goal...I want to get back to how I used to be before baby #3.  I want to be that wife that took care of business, held her husband down and looked damn good doing it.  Lately I have been a t-shirt, jeans or sweat pants kind of girl. I want to get back to making sure I look good and feel good.  I want to make sure that I am the best partner my husband can have. Being that my husband is the only one working, I want to be able to help him out as best as I can. I want to be that "go getter". No matter how much he tells me not to worry about that stuff, I still feel like I should do whatever I can to contribute.  I have worked for my own money for a while. So I have to admit, it feels really weird not having a job.  I have always been independent, so it is in my nature to want to do something so that I feel I still have that individuality/independence.  So for the new year I want to work towards getting my strut back. Here comes a boss chick.

A successful, independent woman who knows what she wants in this world. She will not stop until she is satisfied. She never settles for anything less than everything. This girl knows what she is talking about and can easily intimidate you. She speaks her mind in every situation. She stands up for what she believes in and won't stop until she is finished. This woman is always on the top of her game; whether that is in school, work, or family. She thrives on what she has and she won't stop until she reaches the top.
-Courtesy of Urban Dictionary

And last, but not least, I want to be sure to continue in my journey to loving the skin I am an and finding my zen. Currently I am making strides towards this, and I will be taking you along on that journey with me. So hopefully I will continue on the right path.

2015 is just around the corner, what will your goals be?

Friday, December 26, 2014

Are you the same person after kids?

A while ago I heard someone say that once you have kids, you become a completely different person.  That got me thinking, and I couldn't help but feel some type of way.  

I know some people may feel that once you have kids, your life ends. You are not able to do the things you used to do. You won't be able to go out. You won't be able to enjoy life. Your life won't belong to you anymore. The list goes on and on. To be honest, your life DOES change, but not for the worst like some people may think. I honestly believe that it depends on your level of maturity. It depends on whether or not you are ready and willing to take on the extra responsibilities. Now that I am in my 30's and I have my own family, I see things a little bit differently. I see the importance of responsibility. I see the importance of putting others before yourself. I see the importance of being a good role model.

Some people think that when you have kids, you have to stop being yourself. You no longer associate with people you once did before.  And for some, this may be a good thing. A VERY good thing. Again, it goes back to your maturity. If you had reckless friends that just did what they want whenever they want, then yeah, maybe those types of friends are not for you anymore. But it is perfectly fine to have friends that you can turn to when you need a night out (and trust me, those days will come). It is ok to still keep in contact with those people that you used to hang out with before you had kids. You can't lose yourself. It is so important that you keep your identity.       

Am I the same person I was 10 years ago? I hope not.  I hope that in the past 10 years I would have evolved. I hope that in the past 10 years, I have become wiser. Before I had kids, I didn't think about tomorrow. Before I had kids, I didn't know what it was to truly love someone with all of your being. Today, I try to enjoy every minute of my life because I understand, now, how really precious it is. I am more patient, grateful and understanding. If I get a chance to go out with my friends, I am more responsible.  But I still keep true to who I am.  I am still that clumsy person that loves to laugh and dance. Every now and then I enjoy a drink. Does that make me a bad person? NO. I didn't have to change who I was.  I just had to grow up. There is a difference.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas Everybody!

What is it about the holidays that make you really reflect on life, family and everything else in between? 

Tonight we are hosting Christmas Eve for everyone. Just days after little man's birthday party.  I don't know what I was thinking.  But it is all good.  The important thing is that the family will be together during this time, instead of separated like we were on Thanksgiving.  Growing up, the holidays were always so important.  It was a time for laughter.  A time for festive music and dancing. There were massive amounts of food.  GOOD FOOD.  Mmmm, just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  I really miss those days.  These past few years it feels like we have been drifting apart a little, so tonight I just hope that we all have a good time. Everyone is bringing a dish and we are going to pull together to make this a great Christmas.  Bring on the food.  Bring on the music. And hopefully, bring on the dancing. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Health Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon

In today's day and age, there have been an increase in the need for prescription drugs and over the counter medications. Hundreds of years ago, people would rely on natural remedies to cure/treat their ailments. Among some of the many natural ingredients available to us, we are going to focus a moment on CINNAMON and HONEY.

Ok, let us begin with honey. It has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of ailments. Some of these include athletes foot, arthritis and yeast infection. One of the most known benefits of honey is its antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. So it helps stop the growth of certain bacteria and helps fight against infections. Honey can be a very powerful immune system booster. It helps improve digestive systems and help you stay healthy and fight disease.

Honey is known for instantly boosting energy because it is a natural source of carbohydrates. According to studies, the glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost. Another great benefit is that honey has been found to keep blood sugar levels pretty constant when compared to other types of sugar.

One thing that I learned and found pretty interesting is that honey contains carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumor properties. Now, don't get it twisted, it cannot cure cancer, but it can be a part of your preventative regimen.

Ok, enough about honey, now let's give cinnamon some love.

Another ingredient that has been used for thousands of years is cinnamon. It can also help fight against bacterial and fungal infections. Studies have also shown that having cinnamon, as part of your regular diet, helps reduce the body's negative response to a high fat diet (courtesy of

A huge benefit that cinnamon provides is that it may help improve glucose levels in diabetes patients. Also, like honey, it can help fight against yeast infections. Because cinnamon is such a great defense against bacteria, it can also be used as a remedy against a stomach bug and irritable bowel syndrome.

Cinnamon can also be used as a tool in your efforts to lose weight because making it a part of your regular diet can speed up your metabolism. But you have to be sure to not overdo the ingestion of cinnamon since too much of it can cause liver damage. You know, that whole "too much of a good thing is bad for you".

Now that you know some of the benefits of these two natural ingredients, here are some remedies that you can try at home:

Blend honey, orange juice and natural yogurt until smooth and drink.

Cleansing Tonic:
Before breakfast, mix a spoonful of honey and lemon juice into a cup of warm water and drink.

Bladder Infections:
Mix two tablespoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water and drink.

Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of cinnamon mixed in 16 oz of tea water and drink.

Colds and sinuses:
Mix one tablespoon honey and 1/4 tablespoon cinnamon and take for three days.

Weight loss:
Every morning 30 minutes before breakfast on an empty stomach and a night before going to bed, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. Do this regularly.

Interested in finding out more natural remedies for honey and lemon, check out these sites below:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Love The Skin You're In...

Today I really wanted to write about loving the skin we are in.  I got ready to do a little photo shoot with my husband.  I needed to feel sexy.  I needed to look how I felt.  I was super excited because I had all these ideas in my head on what poses to strike and how I wanted my photos to look.  I was gonna be a bad ass chick.

The reality...I hated the pictures.  I looked horrible.  I looked fat.  My face looked tired.  My hair was stringy.  Any flaw you could think of, I found it.  It was so discouraging.  My husband on the other hand thought I looked hot.  He thought the pictures were great.  So what was wrong with me?  How can I tell people to love the skin they are in if I am so unhappy with mine?

About 1 year ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  Unfortunately, I had to have a c-section for the third time.  So my stomach has never been the same.  I am sure most of it has to do with genetics, since I see many woman who have had c-sections and were able to bounce back.  But that's all good.  This is what I have to work with, so I am not going to wish I had anyone else's body.  But, for some reason, this time around, this "baby weight" (if that's what you want to call it) has been so difficult to loose. Why is it so hard for me to really stick to a routine the way I have been able to do in the past?  To be honest, I stopped weighing myself.  Seriously.  That number was just too depressing to see. So basically it was one of those "out of sight, out of mind" deals.  So that is what happened.  I stopped thinking about it.  Until, I saw those pictures.

Now, I have 2 beautiful girls to raise.  I want them to grow up loving themselves no matter what.  I want them to see a confident, strong, beautiful woman when they look at me.  I have to give them something to look up to.  I have to teach them the right way to treat your body by actually practicing what I preach.  And if there is one thing I want them to learn, it's that it is more important to be healthy, than to worry about how skinny your are.  I want them to feel good about themselves.  I want them to love who they are and how they look.  When I was growing up, I always wished I looked like my friends.  They were skinny and could wear whatever they wanted. I was always the chubby one in the group.  Trust me, this is really embarrassing to admit.  But if I am going to do this, I have to be brutally honest.  Fully exposed...well, not fully.  You get the idea. I have always struggled with self confidence.  My husband can vouch for that. So today I am taking a stand.  I am making a promise to myself.  No more being sad about how I look.  No more struggling to find clothes that fit nice. No more being out of breath when I run around with the kids. No more feeling ashamed and ugly. I always tell people "if you are unhappy with something, then change it". Only I have the power to do something about it.  So I will.

Parts of finding my Zen is achieving inner peace and spiritual growth.  This is a journey that I must go through. This is something that I have to do for myself and my family.  I need to be the best version of me, so that I can be the mother and wife my family deserves. The first step is to cut out the bad.  That means chips, soda, fast foods, etc.  I need to just stop with all the junk.  Being at home with the baby makes it too easy to snack on all that crap.  So I am going to change what I have in my house to eat. Step two, I have to keep active. So I am going to start going back to the gym.  I mean, I am paying for this damn membership for a reason. Step three, stick with the damn plan.  Following through is going to be the hardest part.

So with that said, this is just the beginning. I need to love the skin I am in.  I am not quite there, but i'm working on it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Weekend Recap

Hey guys. Another weekend has past and we are that much closer to little man's 1st birthday and the holidays.

This weekend I received some of my Oriental Trading purchases for little man's race car themed party. Everything seems to be coming along great. This week the focus is to get the house cleaned and the decorations up before Friday. That way I have time to adjust, if needed, since his party is on Saturday. I cannot wait.

Saturday I decided to make a nice diner for the family. My beautiful grandmother decided to spend some time with us, so you know I had to do something different. I know she loves lasagna (not to mention I have been craving it as well, so why not use her as an excuse. Shhhh), so I decided to do a little riff on a recipe that I saw on Skinny Taste. Gina is great. And her recipes are awesome and healthy.

So here is my version of Lasagna Rollatini:


It was delicious. I tweaked the normal lasagna recipe a little by making it with ground turkey instead of ground beef and added some spinach. Even my picky eaters wiped their plates clean. 

I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but cooking is one of my passions. I really enjoy preparing food for family and friends. Just knowing that they are enjoying what I have created for them is so satisfying. When I am in the kitchen, I enter a stress free zone. I don't focus or think about anything else. All of my heart and attention goes into the dish I am making. My goal is to actually create a family cookbook for my girls and little man (I have to make sure he gets some of momma's home cooking when he leaves the nest). Now a'days it is so very rare that you see the new generation carry on the family traditions and recipes.  So being that our children are of Puerto Rican and Jamaican descent, I want to make sure they carry on some traditional dishes along with some not so traditional family favorites. So I try to document my meals as much as I can. You can see some of those pictures on my Instagram account.

Sunday we decided to take the kids to Disney World for a little fun day out. Let. Me. Tell. You. I know Disney is supposed to be the happiest place on earth. But seriously, everyone seemed to be on "Beast Mode". Getting into the park felt like we were being herded like cattle. There was pushing. There was shoving. I mean, people did not care that I had a stroller. They pushed. They hopped in front. They blocked my pathway to make way for their party. Even though I had the right of way. It was survival of the fittest. Which was totally unfair since I stand at a staggering 4'11". You can totally see over my head. So to be fair, they probably didn't even know I was standing there. Thank goodness for my 5'11" husband. He held it down for us. 

Bryce taking a selfie
Touching a canon ball from Pirate's of the Caribbean

Daddy was a Galactic Hero
My little Divas
Once we got in the park, it was smooth sailing. Even though it was extremely crowded (you can thank the holidays for that) we had a great time. The kids were happy. The hubby took some cute pictures. We got home at a reasonable time. All in all, it was a good day. What more can a girl ask for? Oh yeah, some quiet, alone time to finish off the day. Which is exactly what I was able to get. Everyone was so exhausted from their day out that they were all in bed by 9pm. Ahhhhh. This is exactly what I needed.  A great way to start the week. I am now ready to tackle the world.

Here are some great ways to start the week off stress free :

1.  Avoid the snooze button
Hitting the snooze button can actually make you more groggy in the morning. So get your butt up and attack the day already. You can't stay in bed forever.  So just deal with it.  And I say that with a smile.

Go on, get 'em!
Courtesy of

2.  Breathe
I know, I know.  Here she goes with the breathing again. Seriously though, practice taking deep breathes throughout the day.  

3.  Unplug
Having all this technology around us makes it hard to unwind. If the thought of unplugging seems too extreme, then start with baby steps. Just put your phone on silent for 30 minutes. A little bit goes a long way.


4.  Clean is good
Try to eat as clean as possible. The less processed your foods are, the more energy you will have.

5.  Sweat it out
Try squeezing in a workout. Exercise release some feel good hormones, so this helps with stress relief. If you don't have time for a full workout, try to go for a short speed walk. Anything. Just get that heart pumping. 

So go ahead. Make this week your b****h!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mood Boosting Foods

If you are feeling a little blue, there are certain foods that can help get you out of that funk. Studies have shown that the following foods may helps ease depression and reduce anxiety.

  1. Mango
Actually, any food that is rich in vitamin C has immune boosting power. This also helps improve your mood by helping your body recover faster from stress.  So go ahead and enjoy a nice juicy mango, or any citrus in the morning.

  1. Chocolate
I know I said it before, but eating dark chocolate contains stress reducing hormones.  It is also loaded with antioxidants.  Just be sure to not overdo it.  The calories can creep up on you, then you will be stressing out about something else.

  1. Walnuts and pumpkin seeds
These healthy snacks are rich in omega-3’s and have been proven to improve your mood. So not only are they a satisfying snack, but they also make you feel great.  Other great sources of omega-3 include fish like salmon, sardines, tuna and rainbow trout.

  1. Celery
I know you know that celery can be a great snack for when you are dieting.  But what many people don’t know is that celery contains a chemical that lowers the number of stress hormones in your blood. So on your next snack time, go ahead and munch on some crunchy celery.

  1. Carbs
Yes! Finally a reason to eat a little bit of that forbidden food. Not only does a highly restrictive low-carb diet increase stress levels, but there have been some research that shows that carbs promote the production of serotonin.  You know, that feel-good hormone.

  1. Honey
Honey helps reduce inflammation, which can also contribute to depression. The sugars in honey can give you an instant mood boost, stop depression and reduce anxiety.

  1. Coconut
Coconut contains a chemical chain that causes your body to use it as instant brain fuel.  This is why it will not get stored as fat.  It is such a great mood boosting food that even the scent of coconut can reduce stress and anxiety.

These are just a few examples of how food can really affect your mind and body. Even though I may not always follow my own advice, it is important to eat things that make us feel good. Next time you are feeling sad, anxious, or just in a slump, take a look at what you are eating.  It may be time to change up some of your eating habits.  It’s all about taking care of yourself.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Beating Holiday Stress

Between trying to find the perfect gift for your loved ones, the constant pressure to stick to your diet, the outrageous lines at the stores, and the decorating, its no wonder that many people feel seriously stressed around this time of year.  Lately people have really lost sight of what the holidays are about. Every year the media focuses more and more on the retail aspect of it all.  It has become all so easy to forget true meaning of the holidays. But, since we all can’t forget about the gifts, beating the crowds, decorating, cooking,  the diets and the New Years resolutions, here are some tips to help get you through the holiday stress…

  1. Take a walk outside, or enjoy some time in the sun (if weather permits).  Being outside is an instant picker upper because it helps stimulate that “feel good” hormone serotonin. A lot of times we forget our health goals during this time.  So taking a walk can help keep us on the right track.  In turn, we won’t feel as guilty when we hit up the buffet line for a second helping. Come on. You know you want to.

  1. Essential oils are a great secret weapon to have on hand to fight off various ailments.  One thing that can help fight that stressed out or depressed feeling are citrus fragrances.  Taking a whiff of citrus helps increase the levels of mood hormones, so they help the feeling of well-being.  If you have an essential oil on hand, dab a couple of drops into a handkerchief or onto your wrists so you can take a whiff whenever you need a little “pick me up”.

  1. Why don’t you try your hand at a little acupressure.  In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that there are special points on your body that, when pressure is applied to, have a direct effect on your mood.  One of these points is the fleshy area between your thumb and your pointer. Just apply firm pressure for about 30 seconds. That’s all it takes to reduce stress and tension from your upper body.  Don’t forget to breath deeply.

  1. This one might be a little obvious, but it still needs to be said. Why don’t you just relax?  Try not to take on so much.  Don’t go overboard with the number of dishes you are making.  You don’t have to attend each and every holiday event. Keep decorations to a minimum. Again, this is when you should be enjoying your loved ones and spending quality time with them.  Not stressing about gifts, etc. Try to prioritize.  Don’t forget about your normal routine. Don’t put off time with the family or going to the gym just to get some extra shopping time in.  You are forgetting the whole point of the holidays.

  1. Stop trying to be perfect.  So what the cookies you were baking came out looking like they were baked by your 4 year old.  Don’t worry about dinner being a few minutes late. The world is not going to end because the house is not in tip top shape. Focus on what’s important in your life and the people around you.  Not sweating the small stuff allows you to enjoy the holidays that much more.

  1. If you must take on all these tasks, then please do yourself a favor and ASK FOR HELP.  No one expects you to be superwoman. So stop acting like it.

Photo courtesy of

The main thing you want to remember is to think positively.  This is the time of the year when we put all woes aside and just enjoy one another.  Be grateful for the people we have around us and the things we have in our lives.  Remember the reason for the season.  Its not about the coolest gifts.  Its not about shopping. Its not about the parties.  Its about love. Its about family. Its about giving. Everything else will fall into place.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Weekly Zen

Facials are not only great for your skin, but they also play a part in relaxing the mind and body.  Which brings me to today's Zen moment: Getting a facial. Not everyone is able to go to a fancy spa on a regular basis. So here is a simply way you can reap all the benefits that a fancy spa offers right in the comfort of your own home.   

First things first.  Make sure you set the mood.  That’s right. Break out those candles.  Burn that incense.  Take of your clothes and slip on that lush robe, if you have one (we are trying to conjure up that spa feeling remember?).  Whatever you do, just make sure you go all out.  This is YOUR time to relax.  Make sure you take advantage.  Take some nice deep breaths and let’s get started.

Here are some things you are going to need and directions:

  1. A basic facial cleanser   Try to make sure it is the right one for your skin type.
Using warm water, you want to wash your face using your fingers or wash clothe in tiny circular motions. Rinse well.  
  1. An exfoliator   This is the key to smooth skin. Local drug stores have plenty on hand that are pretty cost effective.
Again, using about a dime size on your fingers, apply to your skin using a circular motion.  I don’t think I need to tell you this, but be careful to not get in your eyes.  You also may want to focus on your neck and chest also. These areas also need some love.
  1. A hot damp towel   Gotta get those pores to open up so we can get them nice and clean.
Roll the towel up and wrap around your face, leaving a small hole in the middle for your nose. Lay down and relax for a few minutes. Don’t forget to breathe deeply.
  1. Apply facial mask   Again, you want to make sure you got the right one for your skin type. This is also something you can get at a drug store, or you can make your own with some ingredients you may have in your pantry.
Just simply apply all over face avoiding eyes.  Give the mask about 10 minutes to work its magic.

Yes, I know I look ridiculous. But I am just one step closer to having radiant skin.

  1. Rinse off the mask using a warm wet towel. Make sure you get it all off. Pay special attention to the area around your nose and hairline.
  2. Moisturizer   One of the secrets to radiant skin is hydration.  Always make sure you apply moisturizer, especially during the cold winter months.
The last step is to apply moisturizer.  You can take this opportunity to give yourself a little facial massage during this step.  Just don’t over do it with the moisturizer.  You just spent all that time making sure your face was gunk free. Don’t reset everything by slathering on the lotion.

Some optional supplies you can have on hand are cucumber slices or used tea bags for your eyes while you lay down with the mask on.  Essential oil can also be a great idea to get the whole aromatherapy feel (just simply drop a few drops onto the hot towel that you have on your face). Relaxing music is also great to set the mood.

Don't I look radiant? So fresh and so clean.

So there you have it. A simple, yet relaxing, facial.  Remember, you don’t have to spend loads of money in order to feel like a million bucks.  Just take some the time out to take care of that beautiful face of yours.

This was my Zen moment of the week.  What will yours be?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Good Family Weekend

Part of keeping up with your well-being is to be sure you make time for family.  A loving family is one of life's precious gifts.  Make sure you nurture and teach your children how important they are to you.  Show them that no matter what you have going on, you are never too busy for them.  Let them see the love between you and your husband/wife (or your significant other). Being surrounded by loving relationships is very important for their development.  It teaches them how to maintain healthy relationships as adults and shows them what love looks like.

So this past weekend the hubby and I made sure to do just that. We made time to just relax and enjoy life. Our main goals were to finally get our tree up,  get my husband to relax a little (he has been working nonstop on his projects), plan little man's 1st birthday, and to just spend time with the kids.

Friday was a success. I finally got our tree up with the help of my mom and grandmother.  So basically it took 3 generations to put up one tree.  But I loved it.  We had a good laugh since I am so anal about decorating.  I have my own little procedures that I need to follow and everything has to be done the way I like to do them (I know. It's one of my many quirks). So here I am, bossing these two grown women around. But we all had a great time.  Not to mention little man crawling all around us trying to get hold of the decorations we were trying so hard to put up.  I have got to tell you. He absolutely loves the holidays.  He gets so mesmerized by all the lights and decorations.  All you hear is "ooohh. ooohhh". That's his new thing as he points to the tree. I don't blame him one bit.  Our tree is simple, but beautiful.  I love it.

Our tree during the day
Little man's birthday planning is coming along.  I was able to go to Party City and order some stuff on, so I am almost done with the decorations.  All that is left is for me to put the menu together and then just execute.  But I have about 2 more weeks left, so plenty of time to get it all ironed out. One of the most important ingredients of a successful party is a beautiful, over the top cake.  Thankfully, my aunt is an extremely talented cake decorator.  She is awesome and they taste great too.  So I cannot wait to see what she creates for little man.  Don't worry, pictures WILL be posted of the entire celebration.

Saturday's weather was beautiful.  The sun was shining, there was a warm breeze. The birds were chirping. My mother and I took the opportunity to take a nice walk with the kids.  I couldn't help but to stop and take in some of nature's beauty.

Great view from the walkway
Beautiful bush growing in our front garden
My youngest daughter had a project for school due today and she was very adamant on having Daddy help her out.  I have got to tell you, it came out great.  They had to decorate a unique gingerbread person. So collectively we put our heads together to come up with something different.  We were pretty sure that everyone was going to go the same route and do a Santa or elf gingerbread man.  So we came up with a Minion gingerbread man.  If you have ever seen Despicable Me, you know exactly what I am talking about. Here is what they created together:

Pretty good huh?  Our youngest daughter was so proud of their creation. It is so cute to see her and daddy working together on something.  They had their heads together working diligently.  The sight was too cute, I wish I had gotten a picture of it.

Sunday was all about rest.  One of our traditions is to sit around the tree and watch a movie while drinking hot cocoa.  We didn't do the hot cocoa, but we had another little surprise.  My oldest daughter (9 years old) prepared dinner for us!  Under my supervision of course. But she did everything herself.  She was so proud and it came out delicious.  Great job baby!

So that was our weekend.  The best part about it was being with the family.  We finally got into the Christmas mode and found time to sit back and enjoy each other.  It was perfect.