Archive for the ‘Treasures are Found in Simple Things’ Category

I  have a special guest for you today.

Traveler and blogger, Cole Millen, has some helpful advice on how to maintain a nutritious diet while traveling. 

If you’re looking for ways to stay healthy, trim, and stress free while on vacation, you will appreciate what Cole has to offer. 

Cole 1

Thank you Cole for sharing your travel tips with our readers. 

So you’re finally ready for your vacation. You’ve saved up, you’ve packed and – most importantly – you’ve got your beach body in top form. So now that you’re in rocking shape, how do you avoid gorging yourself while on vacation and coming back with extra pounds in tow?

Fruits image Cole Millen article

If you want to avoid packing on the pounds you worked so hard to get off before your trip, all it takes is a little bit of planning and a whole lot of self control. Neither should be a problem, as you’ve likely exercised plenty of both in order to get in shape for the trip over the past few months.

It starts on the plane, where you can avoid eating unhealthy, over-processed meals by having a home-cooked meal beforehand or simply bringing one with you. You can also burn excess calories by walking around the airport rather than taking lifts or moving walkways. If you’re in for a long trip, consider bringing healthy snacks like dried fruit or trail mix along in your carry on luggage.

You also want to make sure the place you’re staying is relatively health conscious. After all, not every hotel at every vacation destination is a 24/7 buffet. The best way that I have found to receive the most accurate information regarding these needs is through consumer reviews. I recently found a great site that listed extremely helpful reviews for Las Vegas hotels. This ultimately led to me finding a hotel in sin city with a fitness center as well as a gluten free restaurant! These amenities were so extremely helpful to maintaining my healthy lifestyle. Many places offer full gyms, spas and tons of outdoor activities like hiking, canoeing and swimming, which will entice you to stay active instead of stuffing your face poolside. You can also stock your hotel’s fridge up with healthy food in order to avoid late night snacking from the mini bar. Smart travelers will minimize both unhealthy eating and spending by bringing along a simple crockpot when they travel. With a cheap plug in model, you can prepare chicken, rice and steamed vegetables easily, even if your room doesn’t have a kitchenette.

Going out to eat is part of the vacation experience, and you shouldn’t go out of your way to deprive yourself of exotic foods and beverages. However, you can control what you eat when you’re dining out. Check menus before you arrive for healthy options, and avoid going places with “all you can eat” signs or excessively unhealthy menus. Also, having a small healthy snack such as an apple before you go out can make sure you’re not tempted to overeat. Once you get to the restaurant, feel free to ask questions about the origins of the food, the cooking style and the ingredients. You may feel like a tourist at first, but you’ll feel better knowing exactly what you’re putting in your body.

Alcohol is also a huge calorie contributor on vacations. Not having any responsibilities can lead to excessive drinking throughout the day, leaving you bloated, tired and hung-over come the morning. Temper your tendency to start drinking too early by making sure you stay active (swimming, hiking, boating) during the day. Save the relaxing – including the drinks – for the evening. Follow these suggestions, and you’ll be sure to come back relaxed, fit and feeling better than ever.  

If you wish to contact Cole, send him an email at  colemillen@gmail.com

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From the moment I first sipped Red Rooibos tea, I was hooked. On the lookout for a tea with interest, I had found one. Rich in taste, full of flavor, and loaded with antioxidants, this tea has a lot to offer.  That was several years ago.

While taking in the many sights, sounds and tastes of the 2012 West Coast Women’s Show, I made a point of paying a visit to Liz Bandelin’s Tega Tea booth. A welcome stop after spending the last few hours enjoying the endless displays of just about everything a woman could want – jewels, clothing, cosmetics, skincare, food, drink, entertainment and adult beverages.

The world slowed down as I enjoyed the tea tasting, along with a little flavorful chat. I treasured the moment.

I was pleased to see new additions to Liz’s already rich combinations and varieties – Chocolate Mint, Chai, Orange Spice, Lemon Hibiscus, Wild Berry and Green Rooibos teas to name a few. Based on my tasting, I decided to purchase the Winter Berry Blend and the Tropical Sunrise. I was already looking forward to a cup before retiring later that evening.

Tega Teas are the #1 ranked fair trade teas in Canada.  To learn why and to learn more about Rooibos and its many health benefits, go to    http://www.nu-tea.com

My next stop of interest –

Epic Cosmetics and their Clear 60 Minute Skin Care line.

We “mature” women are always on the look out for that special something – the miracle in a bottle that will fix it all. Well, maybe not all, but if it erased even a few years of lines and wrinkles (oh, it almost hurts to say that word) we are all over it.

Now, having said that, this “miracle in a bottle” must pass several very stringent tests. Having educated ourselves in the fine art of healthy living, we “mature” women, have become very discerning.

Not only does this miracle in a bottle have to be effective, it must be natural and toxin-free. No more sacrificing inner body health for outer body beauty. Those days are long gone.

Mladen and Tanya, a local scientist and his beautiful wife, work tirelessly to bring us this “miracle in a bottle”. Clear Skin Care is 100% natural, safe and toxin free, highly effective and loaded with anti-oxidants. Clear Skin Care is making its mark and flying off the shelves of local stores.

Did I mention it is effective? You see, I discovered this skin rejuvenating serum a year ago.

I haven’t even touched on the skin clearing capability this remarkable product has. Chronic problems like psoriasis, eczema, hives and various unknown skin conditions are erased or eliminated within hours or days.

Here’s a little secret. It’s not just for woman, nor is it just for the “mature” woman. Check out their website at  http://www.epic-cosmetics.com/

The treasures one can find at the West Coast Women’s Show are endless. If you missed this year’s show, be sure to make it a priority next year.

What do Tega Tea and Clear 60 Minute Skin Care have in common?

Me for one.


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A friend and I met for tea this morning and she reminded me that today was the last day of January!

2012 Carrie ©

The comment caught me off guard for a moment. 1/12th of the year is already behind us!

“Where have the last 31 days gone?” I asked myself. Before I could answer, my friend said, “the next thing you know, it’ll be Christmas.”

I gasped, and then quickly recovered, realizing we really do have almost 11 more months to prepare.

Every year many of us declare that December suddenly just “appeared” on our doorstep. How stupid is that? It comes around every year, exactly once every 12 months, or every 365 days; accept for this year which will be 366 days. There are no surprises here.

So this year, I am making a decision. No more surprises.

This year I am putting in my calender that I will start to organize myself today, so that I’m ready for December.

What will that look like?

Does that mean I will do more busy stuff to prepare for Christmas?

Here’s what that might look like, and NO, I do not intend to do more. It merely means that I intend to get the most out of the season, and I will not be caught off guard for the umpteenth time.

More questions come to mind…

Does that mean that I won’t still get the most out of the other months and seasons of the year, because I’m preoccupied with that one month of the year?

Enjoying the beauty of the moment - Jan 2012 Carrie ©

On the contrary, this will be a reminder  to enjoy the moment and season that comes with it.

Does that mean I will spend more money on Christmas?

Most certainly not. I intend to have the time to thoughtfully decide what it is I want to spend on Christmas, and, what I don’t want to spend on Christmas.

Another way to make the most of this wonderful month of the year is by intentionally thinking about who I want to spend it with.

Umm, not sure where aunt Susan fits in… but we’ve got almost 11 months to figure that out.

What about the preoccupation with gifts?

Throughout the year, many fabulous craft fairs and trade shows pop up  just about everywhere in the county. If I’m thinking creatively and ahead, gift giving can actually be fun to do.  I still believe that it’s the thought that counts, not the “how much did it cost?”.

So, that’s my decision.

2012 Carrie ©

January, you’ve done well. As you can see, I’ve had plenty of time to enjoy this season.

February, I have a very good reason to look forward to your extra day.

Yes, I’m ready for the rest of the 11 months.

December, 2012 is starting to look pretty inviting.

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Yes, Mennonite girls can make New Year’s Cookies

This tasty donut like treat is a bit of a project to make, but well worth the time and effort.

This recipe is not on the top of  my healthy foods list, but is a family favorite that comes around only once a year.

There’s something about tradition that speaks it’s own language.

New Year's Cookies

New Year’s Cookies

(AKA fritters or Portselkje)

  • Dissolve 1 tsp. sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. Sprinkle 1 pkg. dry yeast (.25 ounce) on water and let stand for 10 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups warm water
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter melted
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups raisins or more
  • Stir in enough flour to make a fairly thick batter.  Let rise until double in bulk. (I use light Rye flour)
  • Drop by spoonfuls into hot oil. The batter will sink to the bottom and rise to the top.
  • Flip once
  • When golden brown scoop the cookies out of the hot oil and place onto a paper towel or drip tray.
  • Roll in icing sugar if desired.
The key is to have the oil hot enough so that it does not soak into the batter. (about 375F or 190C)
A couple of years ago, our son made New Year’s Cookies for a New Year’s Eve party.
Being innovative, he stuck a chocolate square into the centre of each cookie.
Needless to say, the cookies were a big hit.

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Happy December is here…

… my favorite month of the year.

Let it snow - 2011 Carrie ©

Nothing can beat the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas.

Here’s how to have a happy December.

  • Dance to the music – put on the  Bony M Christmas CD and dance.
  • String up some lights and leave them on during the day. Pick your favorite color. The color that makes you feel “happy” and instills anticipation.
  • Plan an Advent evening with some friends.  Have dinner and light the candles.
  • Keep gift giving to a minimum. Set aside your Christmas budget and stick with it.
  • If you give a gift, make it a meaningful one.
  • Don’t use your credit card.
  • On December 24th take the family and attend a Christmas candlelight service.
  • If it snows, play in it.
  •  Make home made apple cider
  • Make Christmas cards and give them to your neighbors.
  • Smell up the house with baking. Make cookies and give some to a neighbor.
  • Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas”
  • Watch Christmas classics .

Homemade Nativity Scene we made in 1984. We still use it today - 2011 Carrie ©

Do you have a “how to be happy this December” suggestion?
What’s your favorite Christmas Classic?

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Toxins in my makeup?  

Did you know that what’s on your skin and in your bathroom could kill you?

Fact:  Most cosmetics on the market today are loaded with  toxic chemical potions, often referred to as 
The Dirty Dozen.

The word ‘natural’ on the front label means very little when the dirty dozen, (below) are listed on the back of the label.

1. Bisphenol-A: Also called BPA. Used in moisturizers and makeup as antioxidants and preservatives. It’s associated with tumour growth and hormone disfunction of humans. Harmful to wildlife.

2. Coal Tar Dyes: Appearing on bottles as
“p-phenylenediamine” or colours listed as “CI” followed by five digits, this chemical is common in hair dyes and is linked to cancer. It also contains low levels of heavy metals.

3. DEA: Diethanolamine makes products soapy, sudsy or creamy, but also irritates skin and may be toxic to the immune and nervous systems of humans and fish and wildlife.

4. Dibutyl phthalate: Found in nail polish, it enhances the capacity of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations of humans. Harmful to fish and wildlife.

5. Formaldehyde-releasing agents: These irritate skin and eyes and harm marine life. Examples are DMDM

hydantoin, diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, methenamine, quarternium-15 and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate.

6. Parfum/perfume: Fragrances are considered “trade secrets” and could contain any number of chemicals.

7. Parabens: Used as a preservative in makeup, parabens are linked to breast cancer and hormone problems, particularly in women of childbearing age.

8. PEG compounds: Polyethylene glyco compounds open skin’s pores, allowing other harmful chemicals to penetrate more deeply. This chemical is often found in creams and is linked to cancer.

9. Petrolatum: Also called mineral oil jelly, this chemical carcinogen is common in moisturizers and lip balms for providing shine and a moisture barrier.

10. Siloxanes: Used in cosmetics to soften, smooth and moisten, these compounds can irritate the skin, eyes and lungs and are harmful humans, fish and wildlife.

11. Sodium laureth sulfate: Used to create foam, this chemical may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane, both of which cause cancer. It can be found in soaps, shampoos and toothpaste.

12. Triclosan: Found in antiperspirants, deodorants, cleansers and hand sanitizer as a preservative and antibacterial agent. It interferes with hormone function in humans. Harmful to fish and other wildlife.

Switching to toxin free skin care products isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. 

Today my toxin-free skin care is loaded with mangosteen goodness,  and works to restore, rejuvenate, and protect the skin.

No “dirt” here!

contact: carrie@wachsmannstudios.com

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Recently bill C – 474 was defeated.!!

This bill, Bill C474,  was a safeguard for our Canadian Farmers!

Bill C-474 was a private member’s bill that would have required an analysis of market harm before new Genetically Modified (GM) varieties are released.

Most people want to the assurance that the food they eat is REAL, wholesome, and good for them.

Baskets of REAL, fresh organic foods - Carrie ©

How can we be sure that what we are eating is just that?

REAL – and good for me.

If you are concerned about what you eat and what you feed your family,  you may want to consider going organic.

How does one “go organic”?

Zucchini growing in my organic garden 2010 - Carrie ©

This article,  Back to simplicity-basic, nutritious, wholesome food”, tells you how.

You’ll find a list of practical steps to help you on your journey to “go organic”.

Every effort is worth the effort. Your body will thank you. Your family will thank you.

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