Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NEW Strawberry Pomegranate Dry Clay Mask!! (and a chance to score a sample!)

I am super, super, SUPER excited to be presenting a NEW He Qi Naturals product..

... the Strawberry Pomegranate Dry Clay Mask!!

This mask has been in the work for months-- I've been tweaking and tweaking and I am very happy with the results. My face is so soft and smooth after use, I want to keep touching my face, knowing that the oils from my hands are probably not too awesome for my face...

Here's a shot of me... mid treatment :)

One teaspoon full per application

I am offering samples of this as well, for those who would prefer to try it on a small scale first :)

I am giving away 2 samples to lucky blog readers!
Enter between now and Oct 1!! ENJOY!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you prefer to not enter using Rafflecopter, please leave a comment below with your name, location, and a note that you'd like to enter the giveaway :)

Thank you very much for dropping by today!


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making of He Qi Naturals Salves & Stuffed Zucchinis!

I always find process photos fascinating.. it's always interesting getting a glimpse of how things are made!

When I was making my Vanilla Lavender salve last week, I snapped a few photos and wanted to share them with you.

Everything begins with a super clean table-- I do this on my kitchen table that's covered with glass and I Lysol the crap out of it to prepare and get the surface clean.

I get all my ingredients and measuring devices ready, and of course make sure my recipe book is open to the right recipe.

I do keep a book with ALL of my recipes in them. Experimental ones included! It's kind of a bath/beauty diary :). The large block of wax is beeswax, the three little pieces of cream ish looking things are cocoa butter medallions :)

Everything get melted together, and when the temperature is right, I add in the essential oils.

And carefully pour into the individual tins:

Let cool naturally at room temperature, package and label... and we get our Vanilla Lavender salve!

I made some beautiful custom muslin bags to go with He Qi Naturals orders and decided it was time to offer a 3-lip balm gift set on my ETSY account:
I'll be soon adding it to the He Qi Website--- these make truly thoughtful and guilt-free stocking stuffers for the upcoming Holiday season!

About a week ago I also added another Charmed bracelet with pearl and bow:

And some cute Baubles in Pink and Peach:

In other news, the Tough Mudder is on the 29th of this month... we've been eating clean and working out with our usual fervor. One of the most recent, most delicious things I've cooked that's quite very healthy and nutrient + protein rich are these stuffed zucchinis:

Ingredients (use whatever you want, really, for your taste buds-- omit meat if that's not for you)
These are some of the things I used-- not pictured is seasoning (salt, pepper, minced garlic)

If eating meat is OK-- I HIGHLY recommend using bacon or panchetta in this-- it adds a lot of flavor and a little goes a long way.

I also used quinoa as a grain in the stuffing.

Feel free to prepare the quinoa up to a day in advance and store in the fridge. You'll be warming this up later.

Prepare your Zucchinies-- cut length-wise and scoop out the insides/cut them out, whatever is easier for you. I used a metal teaspoon and it worked beautifully.

Keep the innards of your zucchini and chop is up a little bit (not much), and also chop up your onions.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Put some salt, pepper and olive oil on your hollowed out zucchini and place in preheated oven for 10 minutes. MEANWHILE, cook your stuffing!

Cook your panchetta or meat if you have any, and then add the onions and chopped zucchini.y67

I added chili peppers, you can flavor however you prefer.
Add in all the rest of your stuffing goods while your hollowed zucchini are baking in the oven.
This is quinoa added to the base of tomatoes, onions, zucchini, panchetta.

Take your baked zucchini out of the oven, and fill them generously with stuffing. You might having leftovers but I promise the stuffing is delish on its own :) (coming from someone who ate the stuffing by itself... hehe)

Gotta stuff them all...

Sprinkle cheese over the top if desired.

Return to oven for another 15 minutes at 400 degrees F. Broil for a few minutes to crisp up the tops if you desire.
And.. then you're done!!
And there you have it. A really awesome way of getting all your food groups into your diet and give you plenty of clean energy for your workouts.

I've realized over the last few weeks that the days are slowly getting shorter and it's darker when I'm up at 6.... hope everyone here enjoys the fall! I am so, so excited to be in a house this year and the Holidays are truly right around the corners. VERY exciting!!!


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Thoughts on education

I never, truly understood the value of a college education until I started working. It suddenly really hit me why my parents wanted me to study hard, do well in school.

From the moment grades mattered, I guess middle school, I just plainly did not understand why the heck I should get A's when I could be passing with a C. There was definitely confusion and slight resentment toward my parents who expected nothing less than an A. It was frustrating as a kid because you do these things and don't have the capacity to understand why.

As I got older, I looked back and it all really hit me when I started working: that those A's got me into a good high school. Those A's and AP classes from high school got me into a good University. Because of those grades, I got to choose where I wanted to take my life. Studying Biomedical Engineering gave me an advantage during job hunting because it's not a degree or area that a lot of people know. Getting those A's in middle school helped build the foundation for the kind of lifestyle that I can afford because of my work. Getting those A's gave me stability, comfort, food, shelter, and all material things that make life pleasant. (I'm not addressing the mental/emotional well-being portion yet)

Do well as kid = higher chance of doing well as an adult-- this is the simplest way I see things right now.

What we pay for when we go to college is NOT (entirely) the course work. We are paying to learn HOW TO LEARN. Each discipline challenges the brain in a different manner. Engineers are trained to problem solve; and no, I don't mean differential equations; they are taught to think about problems logically. Real-life engineers rarely spend their entire day on technical math problems; this is what computers are for. But the process of how to get the answer; that's real-life engineering. I would imagine that it's a similar idea for other disciplines.

OK, so what about emotional/mental fulfillment from all this?
Everything's connected, and this is how I see it... Being educated generally gives you an edge in the job market, allowing you to make life for yourself, not be a burden on your family (become financially independent) and honestly, this takes a lot of worry and stress out of your life. People can say that money doesn't matter, love and family is all you need, but when it comes down to reality, are you truly happy when you can't live comfortably and eat well? Being able to satisfy these basic human needs REALLY helps your mental state.

The bottom line is that I am extremely, extremely thankful and grateful for the opportunities I've been given, and it would be a crime to squander what I have when there are so many others out there dying for a similar chance.

I hope that if you are stuck wondering why you're doing what you're doing, this post helps nudge you a little to work slightly harder now for a better future.

And really, it DOES NOT MATTER what you do, so long as you are fulfilled by it, makes you happy, and allows you to live the kind of life you want. You CAN be a successful artist, blogger, what not-- and you CAN make this your lifestyle-- but educate yourself in whatever you do so you can really make the most out of it.

Am I done rambling? I think so, for now. I don't often write these posts a lot because I don't want to potentially offend anyone; but this is a topic close to my heart and I wanted to share my thoughts. My intention is good!

Does anyone feel the same way? Or drastically different? Would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email if you don't want to post your comment.