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The Cost of Beauty

Ok!  So, I semi-stole this title from Dr. OZ.  Last month, one of his shows featured products that we all love and use to make ourselves a bit more beautiful.  Anyone out there use mineral powder, wrinkle cream, or lip gloss?!?!?!  If you do, you’ll want to check out his site for how these products could be harming your health.  There is also a Dr. OZ cheat sheet that can help you pick products that are not harmful.

Isn’t it sad that we can just go to the store and trust that what we are purchasing won’t harm our health??? 

This is why tomorrow I will be hosting an Arbonne Party for my friends and family (although I doubt my dad and brothers will come!).  Arbonne is a beauty, health and wellness company that specializes in products that consist of pure and safe botanical ingredients.

“At Arbonne, beauty begins with premium botanical ingredients, innovative scientific discovery, and an unwavering commitment to pure, safe and beneficial products. Arbonne creates personal care and wellness products that preserve and enhance the skin, body and mind for an integrative approach to beauty. Working closely with scientists around the world and our Arbonne Institute of Research and Development (AIRD®) facility in Switzerland, we continually explore and develop scientifically advanced, botanically based proprietary formulas that meet our exacting standards for quality, safety and sustainability.” (Source)

My friend Kelly at Best of Nature by Kelly will be the consultant for this party, and let me tell you, she has AWESOME skin!  She literally glows! 

As you can tell by my post yesterday, it is very important to me that I use products that are sustainable, and that do not cause harm to animals.  I’ve been using the Arbonne FC5 Oil-Absorbing Day Lotion with SPF 20 and I love it!  I can’t wait to try more of their products.  I’ll fill you in on more tomorrow!

I’ve spent this evening shopping for treats to serve at the shindig tomorrow, and getting the house ready.  Sorry for such a short post! 

Check back tomorrow to learn more about Arbonne, and for a new healthy party recipe.

Enjoy your FRIDAY evening!!!! 


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!


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magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Back to the Grind- Take 2

Howdy, folks!  ;)  How was your Tuesday? 

It was back to the grind for me…  again! 

After almost an entire week off of work for snow, we went in for another half day today.  And get this!  It’s sleeting as we speak, and they are calling for another 3-6 inches of snow by tomorrow afternoon.  Ugh! 

Who wants to take a trip with me???

Last night I had the best of intentions.  After waiting all day to work out, just in case the mail lady came with P90X, I decided to browse the videos On Demand at Exercise TV

When I came across the description I was sold!

“Jeanette Jenkins will sculpt your entire body while burning calories with this high energy interval training workout.  Jeanette will have you alternating between kickboxing combinations and weight training moves to maximize your workout.” ~Exercise TV On Demand Description

And high energy it was!  I haven’t sweat like that in a while! 

Here’s a 40 second snippet of some of the weight training:


After 51 minutes of kicking butt, and girl-power punching, I burned over 700 calories!  My heart rate was between 88-97% the entire time!  Workout videos are not for sissies! 

After that, I was ready for some nutrients. 

I made Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Shitake Mushrooms, and FennelDSC01148 adapted from Clean Food by Terry Walters.

Brussels sprouts, shitake mushrooms, fennel bulb, EVOO, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and a pinch of sea salt roasted for 25 mins at 425, tossed and roasted for another 25 mins.  Yummers!


I also made Quinoa and Sweet Corn from the same cookbook.


Frozen sweet corn, quinoa, and sautéed onions.




An irresistible combo full of color, flavor and texture!  


After a delicious and relaxing dinner with the hubbers, I decided to put into action my plan to get more rest.  I started my bed routine at 9:30.  Crawled into bed at 9:45, turned the TV off at 10:30, and stayed awake until… 11:30!

I just can NOT rest my mind. 

I decided to “do a little research.”  I am the Queen of Google of course!

I would like to see how I can use Yoga to help me calm my mind and relax my body before bed.

I found an article that is very much in line with what I have already put into place from Yoga Journal.  It recommends activities such as setting up rituals, getting to bed earlier, and keeping a journal. 

But here are three ideas I have not tried, but will try to incorporate beginning tonight:


Create a Wind-Down Period

The next step is to create some space between your busy day and sleep time. "You can’t just work until 9 at night, and then stick your head on the pillow and fall asleep," Khalsa says. So turn off the television, computer, and radio. Cut down on or eliminate evening classes and exercise that leaves you feeling amped up. When you come home, honor this transition by playing relaxing music, lighting candles, or putting on your favorite pajamas. Think of the yoga precept of pratyahara: Withdraw your senses in order to turn inward.

If your schedule allows you to practice yoga only in the evening and you enjoy a vigorous practice, be sure to end your session with a sequence of slow, passive poses. (Go to and type "Yin Yoga" or "restorative yoga" in the search box for sequence ideas.)


Breathe for Ease

Breathwork is another excellent addition to your nightly sleep routine. "Every time you exhale, it slows your heartbeat and that helps calm you down," says Roger Cole, an Iyengar Yoga teacher and a research scientist specializing in the physiology of sleep. Try two parts exhalation to one part inhalation. For example, start by exhaling through your nose to the count of 6 and then inhale through your nose to the count of 3. Do this for 5 to 30 minutes before bed.


Guide Your Relaxation

After getting into bed, try a body scan as you lie in Savasana (Corpse Pose): Progressively tense and then relax each part of your body. If you have trouble doing this on your own, get an audio CD of meditations, guided imagery, or Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep), to help. "This is good for people who have mental chatter," says Cole. "It takes their mind in a different direction."

Once you’ve chosen your specific nighttime ritual, repeat it every night to cue your body that it’s time for sleep. Khalsa says that after a few weeks of practice, your sleep will improve. "These things don’t work instantly, but over time you normalize arousal and sleep starts to get better." And as opposed to suffering from side effects such as headaches, dizziness, daytime drowsiness, and long-term dependence on drugs, you’ll feel better overall, instead of worse, with your nighttime routine. "It improves individuals on a holistic level, and other problems that they might have had also might start to dissipate," says Khalsa. Now that sounds like a side effect we can all live with.

It’s worth a shot!  I think tonight I will try to do some yoga poses before climbing into bed, and practice deep breathing.

So sweet dreams, my friends!  Breath deep and relax!  Summer is only 130 days away! 

What is your favorite way to wind down after a long day of work?


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!


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The Magic Bottle

“I wish there was some way to magically bottle up the rest, energy, and calm I experience during breaks, and spread it out over the workweek.”


I’ve only had to work 1/2 a day since Friday, February 5th.  Huge snowstorms have kept me snowed in, warm and cozy by the fire.


It’ll be nice to get back into a normal routine, but I have to admit this long “snow break” has been wonderful.  I’ve been able to work out every day, clean the house sporadically as needed, read quietly by the fire, and I have even found some time to do arts and crafts

Last Thursday, I began thinking about devising a plan to help me magically bottle up this feeling of rest, energy, and calm for the workweek. 

There is actually no magic to it.  Just simple common sense, science, and good ole fashion will power. 

I’ve decided to take it slow and work on one piece of the puzzle at a time.  My goal for this week is rest.


I have the hardest time falling asleep at night.  I toss and turn, and my mind races about a million miles an hour.  I think about all of the things I have to do, all of the things I didn’t get to that I should have, what I’m going to wear the next day, all of the mistakes I’ve made over the past 28 years, etc., etc., etc……. 

It is a serious problem.      

I feel that until I tackle this problem I will never be able to achieve the other two.  It is impossible to feel full of energy if you have not rested well.  You can not feel calm if you are dragging yourself around trying to accomplish the day’s tasks.

So, here is the plan:

  1. 1.  Begin my night time routine no later than 9:30 PM.
  2. Each night I do the usual get-ready-for-bed routine.  I wash my face, moisturize, take out my contacts, brush my teeth, make Sleepy Time Tea, etc.  But I do not always do this at the same time every night. 

Hopefully, this new, scheduled routine will let my body know that it is time to wind down.


  2. 2.  Turn the TV off no later than 10:30 PM every single night.
  3. This is seriously one of the worst habits that I have developed since college.  Because night time seems to be when my thoughts are most active and uncontrollable, I have taken to falling asleep watching TV.  If I am listening to a show, I am less likely to be driving myself crazy with mental to-dos. 
  5. However, this has created quite a different effect.  It does calm my mind, but I often end up staying up late listening to TV!     


3.  If I wake in the middle of the night, I will acknowledge my thoughts by writing them down.  If I find that I am still awake after 30 minutes, I will read until I feel that I am unable to keep my eyes open.

Enough said 🙂

This list is short and sweet for the time being.  I’m sure I’ll face further obstacles in this quest for better rest, but I’ll handle them as they come.  This week I plan on chronicling my journal for a more restful night.  

By getting enough rest, I feel I will more easily be able to attain my second and third goal: increased energy and a stronger sense of calm. 

Do you have trouble falling asleep at night?  What do you do when you are having difficulties? 

  1. ~Jen

    magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!

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Bridesmaids Dresses and Salads Dressed

While Dallas lounged by the fire,


and Larry tried to get Lucy to give kisses (She’s very particular about who she kisses.  He was trying to blow candy breath in her face, which usually works, but not tonight),


I was making a masterpiece of a salad.

shapes salad (Source)

Although our salad did not turn out as beautiful as the one above, I’m pretty confident that it tasted just about the same 🙂

I found this recipe in a Shape Magazine a few months back.  It was adapted from  the Beach House at the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in Maui, Hawaii (1 Ritz-Cartlon Drive,

I only made three changes to the recipe.  1) I used agave nectar instead of sugar in the dressing.  2) I marinated and grilled a portabella mushroom for me along with a steak for Larry.  3) I did not using dressing on the mushroom version of this salad, because the grilled mushroom was so juicy that it provided its own “dressing.”

Sesame steak salad

Serves: 4 (Serving size: 2 ½ cups salad mixture, 4 oz. steak)

Prep Time: 45 minutesCook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Nutrition Score per serving:

381 calories, 21 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 19 g carbs, 29 g protein, 3 g fiber, 88 mg calcium, 4 mg iron, 782 mg sodium


For marinade and steak

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

1 teaspoon thinly sliced green onion

1/8 teaspoon pepper

16-ounce flank steak

For dressing

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon chile flakes

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons canola oil

For salad

8 cups baby spinach

3/4 cup diced papaya

1/4 cup julienned radicchio

1/4 cup julienned carrots

2 tablespoons daikon sprouts

2 tablespoons julienned red pepper

2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 tablespoon cilantro


In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sugar, ginger, sesame oil, cilantro, garlic, green onion, and pepper. Put mixture and steak in a zip top plastic bag; refrigerate 45 minutes, turning once or twice.

Meanwhile, to make dressing, heat water and sugar on the stove until reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk in lime juice, oyster sauce, lemon juice, chile flakes, and garlic. Whisk in oil; set aside.

Preheat grill or grill pan. Grill steak for 2 minutes per side for medium rare.

In a large bowl, combine spinach, papaya, radicchio, carrots, daikon sprouts, red pepper, peanuts, mint, and cilantro. Toss with dressing. Place 2 1/2 cups of salad mixture onto four plates. Slice steak thinly on the diagonal and divide the slices evenly between each salad. (Source)

It was simply amazing!


This is my mushroom version.


DSC01097 DSC01086 This is a must try salad.

The cilantro, mint leaf, and radicchio make the salad so flavorful, that you don’t even need a dressing!

Speaking of Dressing!

I need to pick a Bridesmaids Dress for my friend Beth’s wedding in June.

As you can see, Beth is incredibly beautiful and fashionable.  I do not want to let her down.

So, I’m asking for your help.  I’ve narrowed the picks down to two dresses.

Dress 1

dress 1 dress 2 alt (Source)

Dress 2

dress 2 dress 1 alt (Source)

Larry has cast his vote.  Let’s see what your vote is!


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Sometime back in October or November, I stumbled into the world of health, fitness, and food blogging.  Instantly I was hooked.  I no longer had to wait each month for a new Shape Magazine to come in the mail (although I still do!  you know about the mail lady and me!).  This information was available to me at my finger tips daily. 

I found a few blogs that became favorites, and I kept going back for more.  I found personal trainers and certified nutritionists who were willing to share this information with  me each and every day.  This world, that is still new to me, has enriched my life in so many ways. 

I’ve learned so much about nutrition, eating clean, and about being a vegetarian.  I’ve learned new recipes and have tried new workouts.  I’ve read reviews for workout DVDs, almond butter, books, and more.

Most importantly blogging has enriched my life by providing me the opportunity to share and to be creative.

Don’t get me wrong.  I am still learning about the blogging world and how it works, but I thought I’d put together a few tips for people who are even newer to this world than me.

#1 Blog Roll

As I mentioned earlier, I found a few favorite blogs that I read every day.  In the beginning there were only two that I read regularly: The Fitnessista and Oh She Glows.  However, occasionally these girls would comment about other blogs that they read.  I also noticed that many of the girls seemed to “know” each other.  I had found a community of like-minded girls striving for common goals.   

I then started visiting these other blogs and clicking on their blog rolls.  A blog roll is a list of blogs that the blogger recommends or follows.  Each day I tried to visit a new blog by clicking on one of the links in someone’s blog roll.  Quickly, I learned that there are hundreds of sites dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle!  You can not imagine how much I have learned! 

A new blog that I just found, and can not get enough of, is Peas and Thank You!  This is written by a woman who has changed her lifestyle to lead a better example for her two adorable daughters.  At this time in my life, when the possibility of children is on the horizon (a few years, mom!), it is wonderful to find such an amazing role model for myself!  Oh, and did I mention that every time I read her posts I laugh my tush off! 

So, if you enjoy reading my very mediocre blog, please visit some of the links listed in my blog roll!  You will find many talented women sharing a wealth of information! 

#2 Subscriptions

If you find blogs that you enjoy reading, you can subscribe to receive updates as they are made.  You can do this two ways (that I know of!).  You can subscribe to receive email updates each time a blogger makes a post.  Most blogs have a subscribe button in the sidebar.   

Another way to receive updates is through an RSS feed.  When you subscribe to an RRS feed, it is added to a Common Feed List. Updated information from the feed is automatically downloaded to your computer and can be viewed in Internet Explorer and other programs.  On Happy Heart, Happy Mind I have links for both the posts and comments feeds available in the sidebar. I will say, however, the RSS feeds are not quite as pretty.   😉

Another way to keep up with your favorite blogs, is to create a Health Blog Folder under your favorites.



There is nothing more exciting for me than to open my blog and to see that I have comments!  To me this means that there are people out there reading what I have written and they want to talk about it! 

When I first starting reading blogs I never left comments.  I’m not exactly sure why.  Part of me was afraid that someone might think that what I had to say was stupid.  Another part of me was afraid that my inbox would soon fill with SPAM and other nonsense.  However, after starting a blog, I realized that this is not the case.  By leaving a comment you are in no way committing to receive any kind of email or SPAM.  It is simply a comment.

One of the reasons I began this blog was to start a conversation about both mental and physical health.  Please feel free to leave comments any time!  I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, or suggestions!  Is there anything you would like for me to write about more often?  Less often? 

#4 Contests!

This is something I have just discovered!  Many bloggers sponsor giveaways of their favorite products.  I’ve seen givewaways for Lululemon, nut butter, tea, soups, socks, sports bags, recipe books, the works!  I’ve yet to actually win one, but that doesn’t stop me from trying!  Keep checking your favorite blogs for new giveaways…  Right now there is a tea giveaway at Confessions of a Health Nut.

Who knows?  Maybe there’ll be a giveaway on Happy Heart, Happy Mind one day!

So, there you have!  4 tidbits of info about blogs you may, or may not, have known. 

I’m off to make a salad that is seriously out of this world.  Here’s a sneak peak of the mushrooms and the meat (for Larry, of course!) that have been marinating since last night!  Check back later for the recipe!


Do you have a favorite blog?  If so, what makes you want to continue visiting a blog on a regular basis?  Is it the style of writing?  The information shared?  The Photography?


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!


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Crazy, Dumb-Dumb Award

Today started out lovely.  The weather was so bad that Larry got to stay home from work.  He works every Saturday, so this was an extra special treat!  We slept in until about 8 AM, and then we got up to make waffles.

I followed a regular ol’ waffle recipe, but I substituted the following:

  • 2 egg whites instead of 1 whole egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour instead of waffleswhite flour
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce instead of 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar instead of 2 tbsp white sugar

I topped mine with one smashed banana, 1 tablespoon almond butter, and a whole bunch of cinnamon (I accidentally dumped it out of the big hole instead of sprinkling it!).  Larry went the old fashioned route with warm maple syrup.

Then we got an incredibly crazy idea! 

I got a hankering for some duck boots, so I could play in the snow, and Larry wanted a snow shovel, so he doesn’t have to use the digging shovel he has been using.  So, we did what turned out to be the first slightly dumb move of the day.  We jumped into his truck and drove to Lowes and Wally-World.  (Don’t worry, Mama Bush and Mama Sanders!  We made it there and back safely!) 

On the way there I realized that I hadn’t charged my camera battery (dumb- dumb move numero dos).  So, all of the pics into today’s post are taken with my phone camera.  They actually turned out way better than I thought!

driving in the snow Here’s the nail biting ride to the stores!

Once at the store, we just couldn’t be stopped! We bought the dogs new bones, which they promptly began stealing from one another as soon as we got home.  Back and forth, back and forth.  We also  bought Dallas a Fling It Ball Thrower Thing-a-ma-jig.  We bought enough logs to keep a fire going for a few days (central heat is for sissies! ;)), a new snow shovel, but no duck boots.  Duck Boots were simply no where to be found. 😦

I did get this incredibly awesome herb garden!  🙂grow your own gardenAfter spending what seems like a ka-zillion dollars on fresh herbs at the grocery store, I finally bought a planter to grow my own.  This kit includes cilantro (my one true love), basil, oregano, chives, and parsley.

It may be snowing outside, but that didn’t stop me from trying on my Gardner Jen pants. 

planting herb garden  


I stuck that baby in the sink and got down and dirty



 in the sun


Now, we wait to see if I have a green thumb, or if I just bought a really pretty blue pot full of red soil.      



 Here is the most incredible Dumb-Dumb move of the day. 

After coming in from running around like crazy in the snow with Dallas (wearing Larry’s work boots), I changed into a gi-normous sweat shirt, pajama pants and slippers.  Though, that’s not the dumb part. 

The dumb part was when I saw the mail lady pulling in front of our house, and I did not go out to meet her.  Instead, I danced around the house singing, “P90X is finally here!  We’re going to get so buff!”  in the most sing-songy voice imaginable!

I thought she was leaving the package on the porch.  Not so, my friends.  Not so.  Instead she left us a pretty pink slip of paper that said “Sorry We Missed You.” 

Now we have to wait ‘till Monday.  Oh, well!  At least we know we can start next week! 

For the rest of the day, I plan on sitting by the fire reading Percy Jackson with my wonderful husband, and listening to the dogs galloping around upstairs stealing each other’s bones.

Happy (Snowy) Saturday! And in the words of my Yogi Tea tag, “Take time to enjoy this moment.”  


magnolia Remember, Be Happy, Be Healthy, Be You!!!


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