Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How to Get a Good Night's Sleep!

I've realized recently that the stress in my daily life is really affecting my ability to sleep deeply. And anyone who has experienced Sleep Deprived Bethany knows to steer clear of her!
So, in an effort to improve my sleep habits, I have adopted a nightly (or most nights) "get ready for bed" ritual.
Now, my previous "get ready for bed" ritual was pretty straightforward: 
1. Lie in bed for hours watching You Tube videos
2. Groggily eye clock and realize it's time to remove makeup
3. Take out face wipe from bedside table and remove makeup
4. Slather on closest moisturizer and eye cream
5. Read a few pages from latest book
6. Fall asleep reading said book
7. Wake up a little while later completely unable to fall back to sleep!
8. Eventually fall into fitful sleep, only to awake the following morning even more tired!

It seems like it would be a fail safe routine, but alas, it is not! Apparently, it is wise to prepare your body and mind for sleep. Who knew???

Here's what I've been trying lately, and I am already enjoying more positive results!

1. Light candles in bedroom
My favorite candle right now is Marshmallow Fireside from Bath & Body Works
2. Take a long, hot, shower or bath (also with candles)
3. Slather on body cream
 (always a good option: Calm to Your Senses)
4. Slather on moisturizer and eye cream
(Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre & Nuance Anti-Aging Eye Cream)
5. Dress in PJ's and proceed to bedroom to practice a 30 minute yoga session
Love this candle too! Calming Lavender Vanilla

This is a great yoga DVD for beginners! Element: Hatha & Flow
6. Feel delightfully drowsy
7. Read a few pages from latest book
8. Fall into blissful slumber
9. Wake refreshed!
(Sometimes, I might also have some hot tea while reading)
I'm not a big fan of chamomile, so this one does the trick for me! Numi Pu-erh Chocolate Tea

And on that note, I'm feeling very sleeeepy!
 Namaste, peaceful dreams, and goodnight!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Yummy Mini-Meal/Snack

One evening recently, I had eaten a very early dinner and by 9pm was starving! I didn't want to eat too much right before bed, but I wanted a little something substantial too, ya know?
After a little root around the old pantry, this is what I came up with;
 PB & Spiced Banana Sandwich.
1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
Arnold Flax & Fiber Sandwich Thins
about 1/2 a banana
sprinkle with Pumpkin Pie Spice or just plain cinnamon
This snack packs a decent amount of fiber into a small portion coming in at about 7 grams, and more is more when it comes to fiber! Plus it's filling and delicious! I've eaten it several more times since that first discovery. I think it will be my new go-to quickie meal!

Friday, November 9, 2012

What's All the Fuss About Bioderma?

If you are into beauty trends and follow any sort of beauty blogs, you'll have heard rave reviews about Bioderma Crealine H20. 

ALL of my favorite beauty bloggers seem to love the stuff and it's a professional makeup kit 
must-have, apparently. After hearing so many amazing things about Bioderma, I felt that I would be quite remiss not to buy it! (Ah, the dangers of following beauty blogs...)
My beauty peers have said that Bioderma is the end all and be all of makeup removers/waterless cleansers! It is supposed to be wonderful for quickly and effortlessly cleansing the skin of any and all traces of makeup. It's also said to be great for both acne prone and sensitive skins alike. All of that and you don't even need water! You simply soak a cotton pad with the solution and swipe away!
Ok, well, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that, while it is good, it's not my favorite! Gasp, gulp, horror!
I do love it for quick eye makeup removal, and it is completely unscented so it doesn't irritate even those with sensitive skin around their eyes. I can give it a solid A+ on those points!
But for use all over the face, I find that it leaves a little bit of a sticky feel to the skin, and since I like my skin to feel, umm, CLEAN after I CLEANSE it, this aspect of Bioderma definitely turns me off. 

But I wouldn't go on and on about something I don't love without telling you about something that I DO love, and so I give you (well i don't, the company does, but as I was saying...!), La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution!

In my opinion, this one does everything that Bioderma does except make my skin feel sticky! Hooray! Now, the La Roche-Posay water does contain a fragrance which normally I am not a fan of, but this one is very light and fresh. It has never caused any irritation whatsoever on myself or others on whom I've tried it. I've used every last drop of my bottle and am currently saving my pennies to get more! This is a product that I definitely don't want to be without, and I would say it's a great one to have on hand for many purposes. I like to have it on my bedside table for those nights when I'm so tired and just can't bring myself to get up and wash my face. I also love it on my makeup table for quick makeup corrections, and it is also wonderful to travel with when you want to clean your face but don't have access to water.
I've taken a good look at both of these products side by side and while they contain very similar ingredients, my guess is that the Castor Oil in Bioderma is what causes it to be slightly sticky. Then again, many skincare products do contain castor oil as a hydrating ingredient and it is not always a bad thing. You can take a look at the ingredients and decide for yourself.
Bioderma Ingredients
La Roche-Posay Physiological Micellar Solution Ingredients
I got both my bottles from Amazon but sometimes you can also find the La Roche-Posay at a cheaper price on and CVS. Bioderma is a French brand and a little more difficult to buy in America.
I will definitely put my Bioderma to good use and it finish it all, but between the two
 the La Roche has my heart!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Cooking to Combat the Blues

A few things before I jump into the recipes:
  1. Last week was a bad, bad week, the kind you want to erase from the history of your life.
  2. I do not particularly enjoy cooking.
  3. I've decided I need to start limiting my intake of sodium.    
  4. I hate it when we Fall Back and the days become so dark and short. I need sunlight!
So, with those points in your mind, let me proceed...
Last night the time changed, and while most people are super excited about the prospect of gaining an extra hour of sleep, I always dread the time change because I personally would rather lose an hour of sleep and continue having long sunny days! Every year I go through what I call my "Hibernation Period". This morning I woke up already blue from the lingering effects of my awful last week and with the knowledge that the day would be so short. But as I was drinking my coffee, I decided that I would not allow myself to succumb to the winter blues! (Sometimes you just have to chant in your head "I will be happy, I will be happy, I will be happy" until you actually start to feel that way.) Therefore, I went from window to window opening all the blinds letting in as much light as possible, turned on my Sunday Mix and peered at the contents of my fridge. That's when I realized I had the ingredients to make not one but TWO fabulous meals that would most likely last me all week. Hooray! With a renewed sense of purpose I began to create the recipes. 
Now, last week when I was grocery shopping, I really didn't have any specific recipes in mind so I just threw a bunch of ingredients that looked enticing into the basket thinking I could figure out what to do with them later. And as I pulled everything out onto the counter, I knew a recipe wasn't really needed, I could just throw everything in and it would be tasty! That's the way I like to cook. I may be a planner in other areas of my life, but when it comes to cooking, I just can't be bothered to plan it all out!
First, I put together what I will call...
Chicken Curry and Vegetables
6 frozen chicken breast tenderloins
1 can lite coconut milk
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 12oz. bag vegetable medley
1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped into large chunks
1 heaping tsp. curry powder (or add to taste)

I threw all the ingredients into the Crock Pot, turned it on High and went on to recipe #2.

Beef with Broccoli Soup
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped into large chunks
6 new potatoes
about half of an 8 oz bag of Tyson Grilled & Ready Steak Strips (you could definitely use the whole bag, but I only had half left, or skip this entirely)
1 12oz bag of Broccoli & Cauliflower (you could chop your own but I got these bags BOGO!)
1 32oz box of reduced sodium beef broth
3 cups water

First, I sauteed the minced garlic with the onions in a little drizzle of olive oil.

Then I chopped the new potatoes in half. You could chop them into smaller pieces, but I do not like to chop! Plus, when they are cooked you can easily cut them up smaller with your spoon!

Add those to the pot, then add the beef broth and water. Finally, dump in the vegetables and give everything a stir.

It should look something like this:

Simmer at a soft boil for about 30 mintues. (You can let it simmer on low for as long as you want to let the flavors marry)
Finally at the end, I topped my individual bowl with a tiny dash of salt and pepper (see #3 above) and some bean sprouts. 
They give the soup a nice little crunch! 
(I will also add some of these to my Chicken Curry when that is ready!)

And here is the final result!

You can also add rice to the curry, but it tastes great without rice too!

I divided these up into one serving containers and put them in the fridge so that during the week I can just grab them and go! And since I am sure to be suffering from Seasonal Affected Disorder in the week ahead (NO! "I will be happy, I will be happy, I will be happy!"), those ready made meals are sure to come in handy!
Let me know if you try the recipes and how you like them!
Now, the sun has mostly gone and the day is growing dark, so I'm off to light some candles and eat some soup!