Thursday, April 30, 2009

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

Lisa Ackel Judge forwarded this recipe to me for a 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake. I had to try it immediately! I didn't have chocolate chips so I added some Hershey's chocolate syrup in the cake batter and drizzled it on top of the cake & ice cream. Yum! This can easily serve 2 people.


4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise. Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Jojoba Oil....liquid Gold

Author: Gregg Waldron

The Jojoba plant, pronounced ho-ho-bah, grows in the deserts of the Southwestern U.S. and Mexico. The plant produces a bean pod that when heated, secretes an oil. Actually, the oil is really a wax that becomes liquid at room temperature. The oil has a similar chemical make-up to the sebum oil that our skin produces naturally. Jojoba oil is one of the most easily absorbed oils found. It is biodegradale and non-toxic.

Because of the amazing properties of Jojoba, it is commonly used in skin care and hair products. In fact, Native Americans have used Jojoba oil for centuries for everything from a treatment for cuts, to sunburn relief.

The benefits of jojoba on the skin are numerous. It penetrates the skin rapidly and helps reduce water loss. It can clean clogged pores and restore the skin"s natural pH balance. It can help reduce wrinkles and minimize stretch marks. Jojoba is also very helpful in treating eczema, acne and many other skin problems. It can help fight skin surface roughness, flakiness and fine lines.

Most people would assume that an oil would make their acne worse, but this is not the case with jojoba oil. Because of jojoba's unique molecular structure, it mixes nicely with the skin's natural oils. Jojoba's anti-bacterial properties help inhibit the growth of acne causing bacteria.

Jojoba is also very beneficial to hair. It is a natural moisturizer and conditioner because it's structure is so similar to the natural oil produced by the sebaceous glands in the scalp. Jojoba oil is able to penetrate the hair shaft to loosen and dissolve sebum build-up.

Jojoba oil continues to show what a great discovery it has been. It is helping people all over the world improve the looks of their skin and hair. Be it in skin care products or in hair care products, jojoba is an essential part of the personal care industry.

Article Source:

About the Author:
Gregg Waldron lives in Phoenix Arizona with his family. He is a published author and owner of Desert Soap Company.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Many Health Benefits Of Coconut Oil

Author: Dianne Ronnow

Have you heard about coconut oil yet? People are adding coconut oil to their diets and are getting incredible results. They are losing weight, getting more energy, and getting healthier.

Coconut oil is safe to use, and does not turn to fat in your body. It raises the metabolism, so you burn more fat and have more energy. It does not increase your cholesterol, but actually helps lower it. Coconut oil is wonderful diet addition for just about everyone.

Coconut oil is full of healthy benefits. Next to mother's milk, it is nature's highest source of medium chain fatty acids (MTC's), which raise the body's metabolism, leading to weight loss. It has fatty acids such as lauric acid and monoglycerides, similar to mother's breast milk.

When lauric acid is consumed in the body, whether through mother's milk or coconut oil, it enhances the immune system to help the body fight infections, diseases, bad bacteria and yeast invasions. Lauric aid is known to be anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial.

Coconut oil raises the metabolism, which helps people who are trying to lose weight and people suffering from thyroid problems. Coconut stabilizes the blood sugar levels, helping with diabetes. It also protects the heart cells from damage.

Coconut oil helps relieve the symptoms of menopause, and pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS). Many women who suffer the effects of PMS have found the symptoms lessened when coconut oil was consumed often in their diet.

Coconut oil does not raise cholesterol. Studies have shown that people who use coconut oil have lower cholesterol than those who do not, even when the people consuming coconut also eat other high cholesterol foods like eggs and meat.

Coconut oil smells good, tastes pleasant and is so good for our bodies that some people consume it straight, by the tablespoon, and use it in place of other oils on their salads. Many people also use it as an ingredient when juicing or making smoothies.

If all this good news isn't enough, coconut oil one of the best things you can apply directly on your skin and hair. It not only gives temporary relief to skin problems like rashes, but it aids in healing and restoring skin to a younger appearance. It has also been known to help with people who suffer from yeast infections in the skin, and there is solid research that shows the MCTs in coconut oil do overcome yeast infections. Coconut oil also makes an excellent massage oil.

Article Source:

About the Author:
By Dianne Ronnow, © 2005 Mohave Publishing. From the FREE ebook on coconut oil found at Discover the secrets of coconut oil and weight loss at now!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Earth Day! Take A Walk On The Green Side..

Just in time for Earth Day...

Check out my
Take A Walk On The Green Side


Green Your Life Store

Take A Walk On The Green Side Women's T-Shirt
Order your one-of-a-kind Take A Walk on the Green Side t-shirt here!
Check out all the fun merchandise here

Honeybee Gardens: All Natural Body Care & Cosmetics

"I'd like to encourage other women to not be afraid to pursue their dreams. If you really believe in it, you can achieve it. The only one that holds you back is yourself."
Melissa Hertzler
Honeybee Gardens, Inc.
All Natural Body Care & Cosmetics

CELESTE: How did you come up with the name Honeybee Gardens?

MELISSA: Actually, my husband did. Everything I did stemmed from the herbs I grew in my little garden. In Greek, the name Melissa means Honeybee. Since everything came from "Melissa's Gardens" he thought it was a good idea to call the business Honeybee Gardens. I liked the sound of it. The simple innocence exemplified how I want my products to be perceived.

My Honeybee Gardens order arrived quickly and I couldn't wait to sample everything!

My Experience:
JobaColors Eye Liner pencils->>Brown Sugar..Belgian Chocolate. The names are sweet and so are the products. These rich jojoba-based eye liners glide on super smooth. 5 shades/$6.99/each.

Luscious Lip Gloss->>Smells so good I want to eat it! Do you see a pattern here? I chose the Glam I am which features a mango flavor. Finally a paraben-free lip gloss with cocoa butter, olive oil and shea butter. Or maybe you want to try Viper w/raspberry flavor, Hollywood w/orange flavor, Innocence w/watermelon flavor or Eternity w/mint flavor. $8.99/each.

Vegan PowderColors Stackable Mineral Colors->>These are so versatile! I chose the Flirtatious (very light matte pink) to use as cheek blush and a pop of eye shadow. The darker brown and lighter shade I'll use as eyeshadow. Did you know these can also be used as eyeliner, lip gloss or nail polish? See directions on this page:
15 shades/$4.99 each.

Under no circumstances do we do animal testing, our packaging is made from 100% recyclable materials, and our raw material suppliers practice responsible harvesting.

WaterColors Nail Enamel:
A water-based nail color with NO formaldehyde,
toluene, xylene, dibutyl phthlate or FD & C colors.
Non-toxic and safe for the environment.
20 colors/$6.99 each.

Acetone-free fragrance-free formula is enriched with horsetail extract to strengthen nails, and fortified with vitamin E and aloe to soothe and protect cuticles.
This totally odorless blend of alcohols works to remove the
WaterColors Nail Enamel as well as conventional polish.

CELESTE: Share some Honeybee background.

MELISSA: Okay, here's the abbreviated version. After graduating from college and being disenfranchised by my chosen profession, I knew I needed to do something I loved. And I love herb gardening. Also, I was newly married to a husband who hated shaving. His skin would become so red and irritated, and I wanted to create something that would relieve his suffering. I was also learning about the harmful chemicals found in so many body care and cosmetic products, so I knew the local department store wasn't the answer. My knowledge of herbs lead me to develop an aftershave formula (after much trial and error!) that allowed him to shave with zero redness, no pain, no irritation. Our very first product and hence my own business was born.

CELESTE: Is Honeybee Gardens organic or natural?

MELISSA: Both. But we don't put organic on our labels. Mostly because it is too volatile of a word right now in our industry, and still loosely defined. But also because I can't always get the organic ingredients I need. So if 90% of the time I can get the organic peppermint we use in our aftershave, but 10% of the time I can't, then I'd be lying on our label if I listed it as organic. I won't do that.

Natural is Better

Honeybee Gardens products are created entirely of natural materials. You can actually pronounce our ingredients! We reuse and recycle as much as possible and, perhaps most importantly, we DO NOT test ANY of our products on animals (those are strict orders from our dachshund 'Ginger', ten pussycats, 'Pekoe' the lovebird, 'Tortuga' the turtle and 'Dim Sum' the Chinese hamster)!

We take great pride in providing our customers with the finest herbal products and customer service. We sincerely welcome comments and opinions, and are available to help with any questions you may have. So try our all-natural herbal body care products and experience nature's supremacy.

CELESTE: What sets Honeybee Gardens apart from other natural companies?

MELISSA: We're not just here to sell a product. We really believe in what we're doing. I want to create the healthiest, safest products, while still making sure they're effective and fun. Too often I would hear about health store brands being boring or 'that natural stuff doesn't work'. I knew I could do better. I knew I could create a lip balm that would honestly relieve chapped lips and cosmetics that were as fashionable as they were fun. Natural doesn't have to mean dull or second-rate. I want natural to be number one!

We're not your typical cosmetics company. We don't make products that follow the hottest new trends. We don't make false advertising claims or try to convince you that our products can perform miracles. All we do is make really good products made from really good ingredients that really work. That's it. We try to satisfy the real needs of real people. Oh yeah, we have really great customer service too.

CELESTE: Tell us about your private label products.

MELISSA: We do get lots of request for private label. In fact, I started a new company in 2001 just to handle our private label business. Unfortunately, it's harder for us to do private label for very small companies. Our batch sizes tend to be too big for their needs. I've been approached about creating a private label brand - something standard that small companies could just buy a few units of whenever they needed it, and I am considering that.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Great Green Wedding

Author: Paige Green

A great green wedding

weddingDressed in white can have a green twist. There are a number of ways to make your perfect day as environmentally friendly as possible. Here are some important ideas to consider for a great green wedding:

Invitations - everyone knows that the right paper stock is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to pre wedding day planning. But instead of going for a heavy card stock with environmentally damaging gloss or matte, consider if you need to have paper invitations at all!

Many wedding websites have sprung up to allow couples to plan their day and give guests all the information they need in paper saving electronic format. Couples can upload photos, tell their special story and direct guests to their registry on line. Many also have an RSVP feature so you can manage your list with a few clicks of the mouse. You and your mother can argue over background colours and menu patterns to your hearts 'content!

Dress - The right dress makes the memories. That doesn't mean you need to spend a small fortune (not to mention create a heavy environmental cost) with a tailor made piece that will just sit in your wardrobe for years to come. Consider vintage pieces or family pieces, there is nothing more sentimental to your mother, than walking down the aisle in same dress she wore back in the day. (You can tailor and amend it to suit your own taste and fashion of course!) Meanwhile, some companies create beautiful custom made pieces from sustainable fabrics , such as hemp, bamboo or organic cotton. Some even "upcycle" older gowns.

Gifts - Do you really want to face the possibility of ending up with two chip dippers or a variety of toasters that you'll have some trouble returning? You can use your special day to promote some well deserving charities and eco causes. Ask your guests to make a donation to your favourite in lieu of presents, then you can be sure you're getting the exact model of kettle you want!

Flowers - Consider the season when picking your flower arrangements. Out of season arrangements are often shipped from overseas adding to miles and emissions. There are also a number of issues regarding the ethics of the cut flower industry, with many sources citing cheap labour and unfair work conditions. Australia is abundant with beautiful species of wattles, banksias and colourful kangaroo paws for a truly unique look. Better yet, go organic!

Food - Organic caterers are all the rage. They provide some of the best food that you know is pesticide free and delightfully delicious. Look for a baker that uses organic eggs and flour and other sustainable ingredients.

Venue and transport - Pick a venue that's easy to get to and encourage your guests to carpool, or better yet, provide some shuttle bus transport yourself. Having the reception in the same place as the ceremony also cuts down on travel and emissions.

Rings - Eco is a girl's best friend. Lots of great companies "up cycle" jewellery from older pieces. Take in an old family heirloom and have it recrafted to create your own one of a kind piece.

Find more green wedding ideas from the Green Pages, Australia's number one green directory.

Article Source:

About the Author:
Australia's number one green directory and environmental news source at

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jewel. Singer. Songwriter.

One of my fave singers, Jewel.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Author Interview: Through The Eyes Of Fear: Domestic Abuse Survivor Tells All

I had the opportunity to interview J.K., author of Through The Eyes of Fear, a gripping true life domestic abuse story. I welcome you to watch the interview and pick up a copy of this powerful book here to learn more about domestic violence abuse which affects children, teens, adults and elders.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Where Does Your Food Come From?

Where does our food come from?
This question is being asked now more than ever by people around the globe. Do we really know how the food on our plate got there? From beginning to end?

Michael Pollan, tackles this question in his book, The Omnivore's Dilemma. After reading this book, I was inspired to take a closer look at the foods I was eating & how they were being produced.

My journey started at Natural Living Health Food Store, located in Antigo, Wisconsin, a store known for specializing in organic and locally grown produce.
Pam & Pete Augustyn grow some of the produce themselves in their 31,000 square foot hydroponic greenhouse which holds 7656 plants!

I asked for a tour of the greenhouse...what did I see?

*Augustyns' hydroponic greenhouse*
I saw beautiful tomatoes...

Hot red (and green) jalapeno peppers...

Hydroponic greenhouses are soil-less controlled environments.
Instead of soil, the Augustyns' use perlite, a white volcanic rock which holds oxygen & moisture while providing space for the plant to grow- making it an ideal component for soil-less growing.

long skinny cukes

The Augustyns' feed the plants with major nutrients for optimal health & growth including: calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, monopotassium phosphate (good source of calcium-also found in Gatorade), manganese, boron, copper, zinc, & molybdenum.

This is the 13th year the Augustyns' have been operating their hydroponic greenhouse.
Congratulations on their success!

magnificent red, yellow, orange & green bell peppers
[I also saw lettuce, basil and mini cukes!]

  • Hydroponic = No harmful pesticides or herbicides.
  • Hydroponic = Controlled nutrients provides bigger, brighter, & healthier fruits and vegetables.
  • Hydroponic= Cuts down on soil-borne diseases.
  • Hydroponic=Uses less water than conventional agriculture.
  • Hydroponic= Healthy for you & the environment.
From the greenhouse to my plate. Beautiful tomatoes & mini cukes.

When you buy from a local grower, you know where your food comes from.