Suggestions from an organically, well-moisturized girl

I found Mia's Natural Beauty products on eBay. My husband and I use several of the products regularly. We purchase face creams, body lotions, body washes, and masks. The hypoallergenic, and organic products contain all natural ingredients including minerals and vitamins, offer sun protection, are free of alcohol, ammonia, formaldehyde, paraben, silicon, and sulfate. Most products are offered as unscented or scented with natural oils.

My two favorite products are the face cream and the mask.

Face cream ingredients include Shea Butter, Goats Milk, Honey, Rose Water, Argan Oil, Aloe Vera Extract, Vitamin E Oil, Water, and Coconut Oil. I use the face cream daily. I have combination/sensitive skin. Between my daily face scrub, see my post on the scrub, and this face cream, I've dramatically reduced the dead, dry flakes that were on my skin and have noticed that my skin is soft and supple each day. I'm really not used to that.

Link to Face Cream:

The face mask is described as a pure dead sea mud facial and body mask. The ingredients are

Dead Sea Mud, Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, German Chamomile Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, and Lavender Essential Oil. I love how tight and clean my pores feel after the mask. I'd like to use it at least once a week although I don't always get a chance to. I've never tried it, but it's noted that the mask can be used directly on the scalp.

Link to Mask:

On occasion, I have asked for some customization, I know big shocker, and she has accommodated. 

Link to eBay Store:

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Comfort food that warms a girl from the inside out ... Lasagna

I stumbled across a lasagna recipe a few years ago. Instead of using cottage or ricotta cheese, you use cream of mushroom soup. It's still very creamy and the mushroom soup adds great flavor.

I add some Italian cheese to the soup mix and the last time I made it I added some kale to the meat and veggie mix, I had planned on spinach but I had kale on hand, it turned out great.

I also mix some ground pork sausage with the ground turkey, but you can just use one meat if you prefer.

I do purchase spaghetti sauce, but I am considering starting to make my own in the future. I watch Tia Mowry at Home on the Cooking Channel and she has a very simple recipe for homemade sauce.

1.5 lbs of ground turkey
.5 lb of ground pork sausage
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
Garlic (fresh, from a jar, or garlic powder works)
1/2 cup chopped spinach or kale
1 can of low sodium cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup of milk
2 - 8 oz. packages of shredded Italian cheese
9 lasagna noodles
Two jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (or your homemade sauce if you like)
Italian Seasoning
Salt and Pepper

Cook lasagna noodles in over stove in boiling water until soft (I have tried the noodles that you don't pre-boil, but I'm never satisfied with how they turn out.)

While the noodles are cooking, saute vegetables and garlic in a pan for about 7 to 10 minutes on medium heat until they soften. Add the meat to the vegetable mixture and cook all the way through. Add the salt, pepper, and seasoning to the mix. Drain the meat to remove excess grease. Add half the sauce to the meat and veggie mixture and cook for about 5 minutes.

In a medium size bowl, mix the cream of mushroom soup, 3/4 of a bag of cheese, and the milk.

Spray the lasagna pan with non-stick spray and spoon a little sauce in the bottom. Lay 3 noodles flat in the bottom of the lasagna pan. Spread half of the soup mix on the noodles, then layer half of the meat and veggie mixture on top. Next, layer 3 more noodles on top and repeat with the rest of the soup mix and then rest of the meat and veggie mix. Layer the last 3 noodles on top. Cover the noodles with the rest of the spaghetti sauce and cover with the rest of the Italian Cheese.

When baking, I often place a cookie sheet under the lasagna pan so that it doesn't slop in the oven. I also cook on the bottom rack in the oven so the cheese bakes to a golden brown and doesn't get too dark.

Bake for 45 minutes on 350.

I think lasagna is best the next day, sometimes I will make it a day ahead. I also like to do a variation and make lasagna rolls. For the rolls you do everything the same but when you get to the layering, you just do one noodle at a time and once you place the mixes on the noodle, you roll it. Then you cover all the rolls with sauce.

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Michigan Girl's Le-Vel Thrive four day trial (Day 4)

Today is the final day of my Le-Vel Thrive trial. I only did the Premium Lifestyle DFT Patch today. I didn't have any of my own protein shakes, so no shake this morning. I took my own supplements. My energy level again felt a little higher today and my hunger stayed about the same as yesterday.

I'm going to look more closely at the products, I'm very interested in continuing. We have a vacation coming up, but I'm thinking when I get back I'll buy a full month's supply of product. I'd like to try the newest Black DFT that have more of the energy boost with more green tea.

If anyone else has had experience with Thrive, I'd love to hear about it.

If anyone is interested in the Aloha protein drinks that I mentioned yesterday, I've shared the link to the site below. Aloha makes organic, vegan protein powder that is thoughtfully sourced from plants including hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and peas. Aloha does not include harsh chemicals, fillers, or artificial sweeteners.

I ordered a free sample kit that came with a vanilla protein shake, a green drink mix, and a trail mix nut pack. Yesterday, I mixed the vanilla shake and the greens drink mix with water, a scoop of greek yogurt and a few strawberries. The mix was very tasty.

I like the ingredients and the company. If you order the free sample kit, the company asks you to pay shipping and then enrolls you an auto refill/reorder program. You can cancel at any time though. I canceled right away.

Check in tomorrow, I'll share a recipe for a great lasagna that I make with cream of mushroom soup instead of ricotta or cottage cheese.

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Michigan Girl's Le-Vel Thrive four day trial (Day 3)

Third day on the Le-Vel Thrive program. I think today I've actually seen an additional increase in my energy level. Again today, I'm noticing a decrease in how hungry I am.

The only Thrive product I'm using today is Premium Lifestyle DFT Patch. As I shared yesterday, the trial sample pack did not include enough shakes or supplements for the full four days.

This morning, instead of a Thrive shake, I made a different protein shake that I had. It was by Aloha. It didn't have everything in that the Thrive shade had, but it had minerals, protein and vitamins.

For supplements I took a Vitamin B complex and a Green Tea Supplement. Tonight I'll take my standard mix of a Multivitamin, Vitamin D, Iron, Calcium, Fish Oil, and Glucosamine.

Looking forward to my fourth day and a decision about if I'll continue on any of the Thrive products.

I've attached pictures from the back of the Shake packet (sorry, that one is a little blurry) and the back of the Supplement packet to show the ingredients.

Link to Le-Vel website:

Supplement Ingredient List
Shake Ingredient List

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Michigan Girl's Le-Vel Thrive four day trial (Day 2)

I'm on the second day of my 4 day trial of the Le-Vel Thrive program. As I started day two, I realized that the four day trial falls a little short. The trial has four patches, but only two shakes. There are two packets of the supplements with two pills each. The standard dose would be two pills a day, you can take one a day though and make it stretch over the 4 day period.  It seems like this might not be a true test if you do this.

I did not see much of an increase in energy today. I did notice that I seemed to be a little less hungry than usual. I have not had any adverse reactions either. I did forget to check my weight on Monday when I started to see if there is any change in my weight over the 4 days, but I wasn't expecting a change there. I was expecting more of any increase in energy and overall more healthy feeling.

I should note that I'm trying the Premium Lifestyle DFT Patch, the new DFT Black Label patch was not available in the test. Le-Vel also offers a Ultra Patch.

I do like the ingredients that these products offer, but I'm not yet seeing much results. Check back for Day 3 results.

Here is a link to the Le-Vel website for more information:

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Michigan Girl's Le-Vel Thrive four day trial (Day 1)

While at the Dewitt Michigan Ox Roast Festival this weekend, I stopped at booth for the company Le-Vel. I have been looking at the Le-Vel Thrive program and have considered trying it. Thrive is a program consisting of shakes, drink mixes, supplements, and a patch that provide vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, plant extracts, enzymes, pro-biotics, and amino acids. The supplements are specific to gender, the other products are not.

While stopping at the booth, they offered a 4 day trial kit for $10. I bought it and started it today. The trial kit comes with shakes, supplements, and patches. I still want to talk it over with my doctor at my next appointment to see if she has any concerns. From my research, the ingredients seem to be natural and I haven't heard too much negative feedback other than pricing or comments about the selling process.

I have been pretty tired lately, so I'm hoping for a real boost of energy during this trial period. As a

Bariatric patient, it's important for me to get in specific supplements and protein each day, so Thrive will fulfill some of my daily requirements. So far, I'm feeling good. I'm not tired, but I'm not feeling an overabundance of energy or feeling shaky.

I'll be sure to update each day on the progress and any additional information I have. I'm interested to hear if anyone else has tried Thrive or heard anything about, please share if you have.

Here is a link to the Le-Vel website for more information: 

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I have enough clothes. I don't need to go shopping ... said no girl ever ... almost

I read an interesting story recently. A lady was discussing how much goes into managing a professional wardrobe for work. Buying clothes and accessories and picking them out each day. This can be quite stressful and sometimes even expensive. She is an art director at a firm in New York. She is able to wear whatever she likes.

In an attempt to make things easier, she decided to wear the same thing to work each day. Now, not the exact same items, but basically a uniform. She admitted that when purchasing all the items at one time, it was costly, but in the long run, it saved her money.

I have to admit, this doesn't seem like the worst idea. It can not only be stressful but it can also be a lot of pressure to figure out what to wear each day to work. I'm not sure I'd go with it, I really like clothes. However, the thought of just knowing what you would wear to work each day, no stress, only replacing items when needed, not constantly looking for new things to buy, is somewhat appealing.

I try to be thrifty and sell clothes that I no longer wear. This is quite a process too. Iron, take to the consignment shop when they are open, hope they want everything you take, but they rarely take everything. Consign what they don't take somewhere else or donate.

I found the story, it's on Harper's Bazaar's website:

The author also references another story discussing why successful men wear the same thing everyday. In this story, Mark Zukerburg shares that he doesn't want to waste time and energy on what he wears. Even the president is quoted saying that he has too many other, much more important decisions to make.

I'm pretty sure I won't go this route any time soon, but it's something to think about. Certainly opens the door for some stress reduction and money saving.
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Strawberry pie that sticks to a girls lips but not a girls hips

Just made a great strawberry pie and like most of my recipe posts - this one is easy! Are you noticing a trend?

3 Tablespoons of Butter
12 Ounces Crushed Graham Crackers

12 Ounces (1 container) frozen fat-free or lite whipped topping, thawed
8 Ounces of Greek Yogurt/Cream Cheese (I purchased this from Kroger)
3 Tablespoons No Sugar Added Strawberry Jelly or Jam (I used some from a local farmers market)

1 Cup Fresh Cut Strawberries
4 Ounces Water
3 Tablespoons No Sugar Added Strawberry Jelly or Jam

Melt butter and mix with graham crackers to form crust in the bottom of a pie plate.

Soften cream cheese. Mix with whipped topping and jelly. Once mixed to a smooth consistency, pour the mixture on top of the crust. Place in freezer for at least one hour.

Mix strawberries, water, and jam in a blender.

I keep this pie in the freezer and remove about an hour to thirty minutes before serving. I like to store the topping in a separate dish in the refrigerator and place on the individual slices of pie before serving.

I'd post pics of my food but I often forget to take one before we start eating or they don't always look pretty enough for pictures. They always taste good though! This pie is slightly tart and not overly sweet. Using the lower sugar, lower fat items keep the calories down too.

More to come from the mind of ...

Meandering Michigan Series: Tavern 109, Williamston

Last Thursday I had the day off to take my dad for a colonoscopy. I bet that is not where you expected this post to start when you read the title! My dad's medical care is through the VA, Veteran's Affairs, so we had to travel about 45 minutes to the appointment.

I prepared for a long day of sitting in a waiting room, bringing my laptop and my tablet to keep me company. His appointment was at 9:45 a.m. I was pleasantly surprised that because everything went well, we were able to leave the hospital by lunch time.

On the way to the appointment, we made plans to stop on our way home in Williamston, Michigan at Tavern 109 to eat. As we were leaving, I mentioned that there was a Whole Foods close by and that I hadn't been there in quite a long time. We decided to stop. My dad had never been there before. My dad is more of a frugal shopper looking for good deals and prices than a healthy shopper looking for eco-friendlly, organic, healthy products. Needless to say, he was a little overwhelmed by the prices in the store, but enjoyed tasting a few sample products and looking around. He would have gotten some pizza from the deli if we hadn't already planned on stopping somewhere to eat.

On our way home we stopped at Tavern 109 as planned. I introduced my dad to the Cubano sandwich. I ordered a side of the Mac 'N Cheese, one of my favorite dishes anywhere if it's made well, and my dad got a side of fries. He was tempted to change up the sandwich but I convinced him to try it as is.

Now, if you have read my Blog "I'm that girl, please don't spit in my food," you are probably shocked by this comment. The first time I had this sandwich, my mom brought it over and I didn't have the opportunity to change anything, and I'm glad, I love it as is. It's packed with ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and Dijon mustard on ciabatta bread. My dad was very happy with the Cubano as well, he wouldn't add or get rid of anything but he does think they should do a little something more with roast pork. I wouldn't disagree with that. The pork is heavy and a little plain. I would still give this Cubano a 9 out of 10. I do have to say that this sandwich is usually between 3 to 5 meals for me, as it's a pretty heavy sandwich. My mom and my husband usually end up with 2 meals, but could finish in 1 setting if they were willing to be miserably full. The Mac 'N Cheese is also a 9 out of 10. The ingredients are fontina cheese, cream, chives, panko crumbs, and I believe white truffle oil. They list the ingredients for the Lobster Mac 'N Cheese on the menu but not the side regular order that comes without the Lobster. I'm not sure if the truffle oil is used in the side order, but I think it is.

Additional Pics from Tavern 109:

After a satisfying late lunch with plenty of food to bring home for dinner, we headed home. On our way, we passed Roma Bakery and Deli in Lansing and made an additional stop for dessert. If you are interested in Roma Bakery, see post from last week. It's a great little bakery and deli in Lansing that's been around since 1969. Great breads, pastas, and baked goods.

I see my dad at least once a week for dinner usually followed by board games or the Wii, but it was really nice to get out and spend some time at a few fun Michigan spots. The best part was the next day when my he texted me to tell me say thank you for taking him and tell me that he enjoyed spending the day with me. I know that like many, I do take things for granted at times. I'm very thankful and blessed to have a great family and wonderful friends and to live in a great, beautiful state like Michigan.

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Michigan Girl's crispy baked chicken dinner

Today we had my dad over for dinner and my husband made some great crispy baked chicken. The best part of the chicken was the flavor. I do not like hot sauce, but amazingly, you can't even taste it in this dish.

Here is the recipe. Use more or less of any of the ingredients as you see fit. We marinade for 2-4 hours, but I've read several recipes where the chicken is marinaded overnight.

3 to 4 lbs chicken (use whatever pieces you prefer - drums, wings, breasts, thighs)
2 cups buttermilk
5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons hot sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups instant potato flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons onion salt
1/2 teaspoon celery flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons butter

After washing the chicken, place in a large, shallow dish. Rub the hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce on the chicken. Pour the apple cider vinegar and buttermilk over the chicken, completely covering the meat. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the butter in a large, shallow baking dish in in the oven. Remove as soon as butter melts.

Beat eggs in a shallow dish. Pour potato flags into a separate shallow dish.

Remove chicken, roll in egg, season with onion salt, celery flakes, and garlic powder. Then roll in the potato flakes and place in the baking dish into the melted butter.

Bake for 30 minutes. Check chicken and make sure it's not sticking and coating is staying on. If not, add more butter to dish. If chicken coating doesn't peel off, turn pieces. Cook for 30 more minutes, or until cooked thoroughly.


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Meandering Michigan Series: Roma Bakery, Lansing

For those of you that have not visited Roma Bakery and Deli in Lansing, you are missing out! Sostine and Mena Castriciano have owned and operated this family business since 1969. Roma is well known in Lansing for European style breads, rum cake tortes, cannoli, almond paste cookies and many other favorites. Roma services many local business with bread including Horrocks, Kings Subs, King of the Grill, Franks and Merindorf 's. You may have had a sandwich on their bread already unknowingly.

I recently stopped into Roma, I hadn't been there is probably twenty years or more. I've tried to stop in a few times in the last couple of months, but haven't been able to make it before closing. This week, I finally had the opportunity to make it in. The store is small but full of exceptional food and worth the visit.

My dad and I stopped in to look around. I was very impressed with the selection of products and brands on the few small grocery aisles. They offer pasta sauces, pastas, rice, grains, oils, breading, olives, pickles, candies, cookies, and many other selections.

The deli offers fine meats, cheeses, and olives. There are also dine-in or take out options for salads including Garden, Greek, Pasta, and Antipasto as well as specialty subs and other daily specials.

When you move from the deli to the baked goods and desserts, you can easily be overwhelmed by the offerings. There are doughnuts, cookies, fruit tarts, eclairs, biscottis, cannolis, brownies, and of course rum cake tortes in probably ten or more flavors. I chose a spumoni torte, my dad chose a turtle like cake, and I selected a brownie to take home to my husband. The torte surprised me because I didn't realize it was a rum torte. The frosting was thick, rich and creamy. The torte was moist and full of flavor with four layers. My father and husband very much enjoyed their desserts as well.

The refridgerated and frozen section includes Roma's homemade products including pasta sauces, tortellinis, raviolis, manicottis and other pastas. There are also frozen pierogis to take home, one of my all time favorites! The pierogies come in several flavors from chedder, potato and onion, to bacon.

Roma also has a very large selection of cakes, ready for you to take home. You can also pick up a copy of Mena Castriciano's cook book of her favorite Italian receipes from Calabria & Sicily.

More information can be found on Roma's website, Facebook or Twitter.

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Meandering Michigan Series: Coloma

A few weeks ago, on my way home from Chicago, I noticed a sign for The Chocolate Garden at the Coloma, Michigan Exit 39 off I-94. I remembered that my mom and I passed that exit on our way home from St. Joseph one time. We had the truffles from The Chocolate Garden before and wanted to stop, but we missed the exit and kept going.

I decided to stop. To my surprise, this exit was full of great little treasures. As I drove to the The Chocolate Garden, I passed two large fruit and vegetable stands, various orchards, and another chocolate shop, Vineyards Gourmet. I knew I'd be making a few more stops on my way back to the highway.

The Chocolate Garden
The Chocolate Garden sells truffles. AMAZING truffles. They have been featured on the Food Network as well as many other shows and sites. The truffles are sorted by the darks, the milks, and the whites. They offer 26 different flavors. And although they offer outstanding flavors like White Chocolate Strawberry, Sticky Bun, and Dark Chocolate Mint, I think my favorite is Milk Chocolate Carmel.

There is a tasting bar where you can pay to taste various truffles before you purchase. The owner, Tina, has been recognized for her charitable efforts. She has raised over $100,000 for cystic fibrosis. I highly recommend a visit, or at least, an online order!

Vineyards Gourmet
After leaving The Chocolate Garden, I stopped at Vineyards Gourmet , for more sweet treats! Vineyards offers handmade chocolates, fudges and specialty candies. You can see them making the candy when you walk in. For specialty candy you can find brittle, cake balls, turtles, barks, clusters, and haystacks. They also have a selection of chocolate covered fruit and nuts as well as sugar-free sweets, which I neglected to try on this visit. I left with some turtles, chocolate covered Oreos, cake balls, and chocolate with bacon in it for my nephew.

Next time I'll also bring home the haystacks, which are chocolate covered potato chips, and the chocolate dipped Nutter Butter Cookies. The prices are very reasonable, not as pricey as The Chocolate Garden. Most everything is priced by the weight. Unfortunately, Vineyards Gourmet doesn't offer online ordering, so you'll have to stop in!

Fruit Acres Farm Market
Before getting back on the highway, I stopped at a great fruit and vegetable stand, Fruit Acres Farm Market. They had free samples of most of the fruits and some of the veggies. I had a mini-plum/apricot cross-bread fruit that was so good. I love plums and nectarines, but I can never seem to tell when they are exactly ripe. I always eat them too early or wait too long. This little cross-bread fruit was perfect and just the right size to pop in your mouth rather than bite. In addition to this gem, I left with strawberries, cherries, peaches, and nectarines. If you are in the area, I highly suggest you stop here too!

I didn't make it to the any other places, but I'll be making another trip to Coloma and I'll be sure to share my other adventures.

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A freshly scrubbed girl

While searching eBay, I've found several people that make their own products that are outstanding. I'm using a great face scrub right now that I love. It's called Naturally Rosy Brown Sugar Face and Lip Scrub.

The scrub ingredients are brown sugar, grapeseed oil, rose oil, chamomile, and green tea. The scrub is recommended for all skin types. I have combination skin and very often, chapped lips. This scrub not only gets gets rid of any dead, flaky skin, it also leaves my skin and my lips feeling very soft and supple after. The oils make my skin smooth and shiny without feeling overly greasy. I use it once every day, in the shower.

Brown sugar is a natural humectant so it absorbs moisture from your environment and deposits it into your skin. Hydrating and conditioning, brown sugar helps to keep the moisture locked in. It also guards your skin from destructive toxins and keeps it healthy, nourished and glowing.

This scrub and the ingredients are also helpful with acne, dark circles, neutralizing the damage done by exposure to UV rays, and overall skin health. For more information see the site and full description.

Something I've learned is that a lot products claim to use 100% rose water. However, rose oil diluted with water is what they commonly use. Since water and oil do mix, there must be chemicals or a synthetic additive used to mix it correctly.

The seller has and eBay Store and and Etsy Shop, here are the web addresses:

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Michigan Girl's stumbling upon a tasty, easy, lettuce wrap

As I recently shared, during a three-day lean red meat and green vegetable cleanse, I stumbled upon a lettuce wrap that I love. A few people have asked for more details so here is how I made it.

3-4 oz. Lean Steak
1/3 cup Chopped Green Pepper
1/4 cup Chopped Green Onion
3 Large Romaine Lettuce Heart Leaves
Salt Free Seasoning
Asian Sesame Vinaigrette (I purchased the Simple Organic Brand from Kroger)

Season the steak with the salt free seasoning. Marinate the steak in the vinaigrette dressing. Place in the refrigerator while marinating. (I chose to marinate over night, but a few hours would suffice)

Heat skillet and cook steak to desired internal temperature. (I prefer a medium temperature that is pink on the inside)

After the steak has rested, chop the steak. Mix the steak, green pepper, and green onions in a bowl and coat with the vinaigrette dressing. Let the mix cool to room temperature. Stir a few times while cooling.

Scoop mixture on to the lettuce leafs and enjoy!

Use lettuce, not kale. The kale is not nearly as good as the lettuce. The kale flavor is too strong and the ruffly leaves make it difficult to eat.

Adjust the amount of veggies to your liking. 

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A more conscious, organically beautiful girl's guide to beauty products

In my effort to be more conscious of the products I use on my body, I have found several brands that I like to use. I encourage people try different products to see what works best for you.

I try to find products listed as vegan and that are eco-friendly. I look for products that are color safe, sulfate free, paraben free, biodegradable, phthalate free, and avoid synthetic fragrance. That can be a real challenge

Here is a list of brands that I recommend and use consistently:
Pangea Organics (This brand can be a little pricey)
Sanitas (Also a pricey brand)
Dessert Essence
Bare Minerals
Burt's Bees (Burt's Bees has a great line for men and babies too!)

Brands that I like, but I'm still researching:
I like some of the Vegan Ion and One 'N Only products sold by Sally's Beauty Supply. Not all meet the standards that I look for and I continue to research these as the list of ingredients is still not as natural as the brands I've listed above.

I've purchased mineral makeup from E.L.F. Cosmetics. The line has great prices, but I'm again, still researching the ingredients and this company.

Like many others, I often find products on eBay or Amazon. I am a huge eBay shopper! Here two other sites that I frequent for prices.

Bulk Apothecary
I'm a big fan of Argan Oil. I have found that Bulk Apothecary has the best prices on any oils that you need. I learned of this online store from a friend who makes his own soap. I recently paid $26.55 (including shipping) for a 15 oz. bottle of Argan Oil. This is a GREAT price! The store is now selling supplements along with soap and candle making supplies and other specialty ingredients.

All Star Health
All Star Health has a $5.00 flat rate shipping and great prices. This site has many products to offer including supplements, sports nutrition, weight loss, herbs, bath and body, pet products, and much more.

I hope you find this information helpful. Please share other sites and brands that you like. I'll continue to do the same.

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I'm that girl, please don't spit in my food

So, I'm that girl. When I order off the menu, it's pretty common for me to ask for changes from how the food is prepared.

My husband hates going to drive thru restaurants with me and especially hates going to get food for me. For the longest time, he was sure I worked at Taco Bell in high school or something. He couldn't believe I knew the name of the sauces they used on their food. I always asked for extra red sauce, no pico. It's rare that I eat at Taco Bell these days, I'm more of a Chipolte girl, but I know that pico is now called fiesta. I just pay attention when I ask to have something added or removed and usually remember what they call it.

Recently, while staying at the Grand Hyatt in Tampa I ate at Armani's. The waiter let us know that if we wanted something prepared differently or any changes to an entree, just let him know. I was like, well, he opened the door. I only requested one change, spinach instead of eggplant in my pasta. It was an excellent choice. Everything we had there was phenomenal. The other restaurant, 1823 Kitchen and Bar, was phenomenal as well!

People always say, "you know they are spitting in your food, right?" I really hope not. I just know what I like and what I want.

More to come from the mind of...

First post from the Michigan Girl

I'm sure I'm like the millionth person in the world to say this, but hear is my first blog ... my first post ... my first sharing of my thoughts publicly in a very long time. My hope ... that I can find time to keep this going ... that I can share information that others will find interesting, valuable, helpful, maybe even funny. So here goes ... from the Mind of a Michigan Girl ...

Getting to know me...
I'm 37, soon to be 38 years old. I've been married for 9 years and have been with my husband 17 years. I have a 21 year old step-daughter. We spend a great deal of time with family. I love my friends and always wish we could see each other more. I tend to me more of a Facebook stalker than sharer, but it really does help me keep up a little in everyone's daily lives.

My mother and I love to travel around Michigan. We enjoy finding locally made products and going to art festivals, craft shows, farmers markets, and of course ... LOVE food. We are always looking for a great place to eat. My mom has helped inspire me to be more cognizant of what I put in and on my body and what we use in and around our home.

My life journey has included not only working towards more healthy living, but also weight loss and weight management through a more balanced diet and exercise. Notice I use "more" frequently. It's a journey, a process, and it's never perfect. I love gourmet and organic products but I'll also drink a Coke, yeah that's not good for you, but not every day.

My husband and I just completed a three day lean red meat and green vegetable cleanse. I'm sure if either of my parents read this or my aunt, they are really going to think that's funny. There might be a million storied about trying to get me to eat vegetables growing up!

The cleanse wasn't too bad, there might have been a cheat of a bite of something else, but it inspired us. We came up with a great steak lettuce wrap that we cannot wait to share with his parents. One tip, the kale wrap was not nearly as good as the lettuce wrap. The kale was too strong and the ruffly leaves made it difficult to eat. I'm all about green onions again too ... YUM!

I've managed people for a very long time. I think it started very early in life, I was quite often the leader. I enjoy personal and professional development. I'm trying to share what I find and learn with others. I recently attended a seminar for women in leadership. The speaker was great. She reminded us that if we've been in our field for 5 to 10 years, we know what we are doing, she may have even called us experts. She encouraged us to write about what we know and to get more involved outside of our organization, in our field.

This morning I started my first article. I'm sharing tips for successful job interviews. I'm hoping to have it published in one of our local papers. So today is a day is more than one first for me.

I'm also getting more active on twitter. I even found a few inspiring and funny accounts to follow and have some done some retweeting.

I was just checking out a friend's blog, Raising Two Rock Stars, for inspiration to see how he ended one of his blogs. It ended with comments about his son's circumcisions, I leave the details to those that read the post ... but that was NO help.

As a side note, he's a copyeditor and an avid writer, so I'm not sure I want him reading and critiquing my blog, but I'll probably let him know about my blog anyway.

I think I'll just go with this:

More to come from the mind of...