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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Raw Beauty

One of my favorite things about this time of year are the Farmer’s Markets that crop up all over! With the plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables abounding it is the perfect time to clean up my diet and start eating healthier. Eating raw is getting more and more popular. I am seeing green smoothies on Pinterest daily now! Besides whittling away at your waistline, eating raw also has some big benefits for your skin that you may not have known about.
  • Orange and Yellow fruits are high in beta-carotene an ingredient in Vitamin A which is good for your skin and your eyes. They are also rich in Vitamin C, zeaxanthin, lycopene and other antioxidants that fight the aging process in our skin. 
  • Spinach and other green leafy vegetables are rich sources of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium as well as vitamins A, C, E, K and many of the B vitamins. The high fiber content helps the body eliminate toxins and carcinogens. Elimination is by in far one of the most important things for clear skin. 
  • Red fruits and vegetables are rich in in lycopene which is a carotene that protects from ovarian and prostate cancer as well as heart disease. Lycopene has also been shown to reduce sun-related skin damage. 
  • Purple fruits and vegetables are know for their flavanois which is a class of anti-oxidants. These have a postitive effect on the skin structure and protect against UV rays. Flavanois are also known to improve elasticity by increasing collagen production. 
  • Kale if you haven’t heard, is the new wonder veggie. Yes, I know it is green but I am giving it it’s own category as it is being hailed the “new super food”.  This super food helps to detoxify enzymes in the liver that play an important part in neutralizing carcinogenic substances. Another key element in kale is isothiocyanates. These have been linked to inhibit carcinogenesis that cause cancer cells to actually shrink. Kale also ranks highest among all vegetables in its concentration of carotenoids, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Want to read more? Here is a fascinating page I found on all the bennies of kale. 
I know without a doubt when I am being good and I fill my plate with 75% fruits and veggies and leave only 25% or less for the meat and carbs... I lose weight. But now upon further examination, the fact that they all benefit your skin so much is just an added bonus!

Here is a link to the best farmer’s markets here in Reno. I am not sure why they are not including the one at the Summit Mall,  I beleive that one is on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9am to 3pm weekly. I for one, am excited to start eating fresh and enjoying the abundance of my own garden as well as the farmers market. It is nice to see so many joining the gardening movement.  I have a ton to learn but it is a fun process, especially since my kids do most of the work.
haha ;)
And yes we are planting kale!
Please feel free to share any markets that may not be on the list. Or share your favorite, fresh recipe. I will be sharing more recipes this summer as well. So stay tuned!
Thanks for stopping by,
Michon :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spa Toscana Review

I am sharing a review with you this week. A review of one of the best spa’s in Reno! Remember a couple of posts back when I talked about what I was going to get my mother for Mother’s Day?
Well, a spa day was the gift that won out. So today we went with a couple of other girlfriends from the salon and played hooky all day! I have to tell you it is without a doubt the most opulent spa I have ever been in! Here is a short list of the best parts of the experience.

  • The price! So my pedicure was a hefty $65 with a 10% tip that they added on automatically for me. (nice of them, I thought) So the bill at first glance is a pedicure for $71 and some change. That is a little on the high side I thought, BUT you also get a day pass to the entire spa for that price! So if we do a little math... the day pass by itself would run you $36 if you are a local and you have a player’s card from them. So if we subtract that from the pedicure it comes to only $35.50! No way you can beat that price if you plan on spending the rest of the day relaxing anyway.  
  • Outside entrance. I loved that I could enter from the outside parking area without ever going through a smoke filled casino to get to the spa! The parking is right outside the main entrance to the salon/spa making it easy access with nothing polluting your lungs or hair before you arrive! Good planning Peppermill! If you have an appointment anytime that day you can check into the spa as early as you wish before your appointment! They open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m. 
  • The Caldarium. This lovely facility hosts an indoor pool (for those of us allergic to the sun), waterfalls, cool/hot tubs and showers that are an experience in and of themselves! Children under the age of 12 are not allowed. There is an outdoor terrace for sunbathing for those looking to catch some rays in the peace and quite of the spa. The beds in the Secret Garden are awesome and completely adjustable. They are filled with the rhythms of the soothing spa iPod/music that is attached to each bed, with earphones. Honestly I could have slept there all day! 
  • Refreshments. At first glance this doesn’t look like much but honestly if you didn’t want to order up something special from the very nice menu of spa cuisine you could make it through your day easily with the goodies they have available on this little snack area. Fruits, nuts, dried berries, juices, coffee, teas, and fruit infused waters are everywhere on every level. We even found the cookie room on the 3rd floor! Yes cookies and tea! Who needs lunch, really? 
  • The Finishing Touch. As you can see my mother is looking very sad that our day is over but my review is not. The end of the day the experience just gets better. The showers are stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, lotion, disposable razors and of course towels and washcloths. Then you go into the salon area and you have blowdryers, flat irons, curling irons, hairspray, deodorant, mouthwash, mints, disposable brushes with mirrors attached, hair gel and lighted makeup mirrors.  It was really so sad to leave... :(
So this is my first of many spa reviews. I will be checking out other spas here in Reno and offering up my recommendations. I highly recommend this spa to anyone! Go try it out! 

If you have been to a spa here in Reno that you thought was over the top I would love to hear about it. 
Please leave a comment below and let me know what your recommendations are. 
I really think I could be a spa reviewer full time. 
Do you think there is such a job? 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pedicures and a Give-away!

Most of us think of a pedicure as a simple process of applying fresh polish to those tacky toes. But there is actually a purpose to this process that is often understated. The health and protection of your feet and skin need to be kept in mind as you prepare your tootsies for this season. Whether you are a do it yourself at home pedi or a salon maven, these are the tips to keep in mind for a season of toe baring bliss!

  1. Use a pumice stone.Walking around in our flip flops all summer does a number on your feet. It dries your feet out causing that lovely sandpaper feeling on your heels after only a couple of weeks. For some it will eventually lead to cracked and bleeding heels. The best way to combat this occurrence is to use a pumice stone on your heels. Sand them gently every day in your shower to keep the build up from occurring.  
  2. Protect your heels. If you can sleep at least half the night with a pair of aloe socks on, your heels will love you for it! Cover your feet and especially your heels with a thick coat of body butter and put your socks on before bed. 
  3. Clean up the cuticle. Push back the cuticles with a fresh orange-wood stick or a metal cuticle pusher only after they have been soaking or when you get out of the shower first thing. The skin will be soft and easy to push back. Be very careful in doing this that you don’t end up breaking the skin. This will prevent your cuticle from getting overgrown and peeling away.
  4. Trim the nails. Toenails are very susceptible to becoming ingrown if you do not tend to them. By keeping the nails at a shorter length but not too short you will decrease your chance of creating an environment for painful, ingrown nails.  
  5. Be salon savvy. Play it safe when you go to a salon for a pedicure. Watch to see how thorough the pedicure spa is being cleaned. I prefer it when the salon runs bleach or some other EPA sterilizer through a short cycle with the jets on between clients. But many will not take the time to do this. Ask or watch to be sure.
  6. Save the shave. If you are not sure about sterilization of the foot spa, don’t shave your legs right before a pedicure. Bacteria can live in the pipes. Your skin is a strong barrier that keeps bacteria out. Shaving creates microscopic cuts on your legs. Shave after the pedi or do it at least 2-3 days before. 
  7. Massage. Need I say more? The one thing you can’t really get at home if you are the DIY type, is the relaxing massage that you can get at the salon. The massage helps to move the fluids around, preventing cankles or fluid build up in the legs. And we all know that massage is a wonderful stress reducer. 
Enjoy your season of sandals and sand! Hope you get time to head to Tahoe and enjoy the lake with pretty new toes sometime soon. I know I plan to! Have a great week. 
Thanks for stopping by the blog. 
Leave a comment for a chance to win a free pedicure! 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mothers are Special

Moms everywhere deserve to have a beautiful day this Sunday! I made a long list of things I wish I could give to my mother, whom I love and adore. I want her feel extra special on this day. The list was long and some of the things were pretty expensive so I paired it down a bit.  The cruise to Alaska and the trip to Ireland are just not in the cards this year. I thought I would share the short list of some less expensive and very much last minute ideas you could do for your mother. Things that will let her know your heart is really in it even if your wallet is not.
  • Flowers are predictable, but defiantly easy. You could step it up just a notch by buying a rose bush or a beautiful hydrangea this year and actually showing up to plant it for her! Then she would be thinking of you all year round when she looks at it! 
  • Breakfast in bed. This is my favorite treat! My girls are awesome for this most years. This is a great way to make the woman that usually tends to every meal in the house feel appreciated and loved, like she deserves to be! Follow up by making sure that all the dishes get done and taken care of. It will mean more than you think. 
  • Gift certificates. My mother loves to eat out! If you can’t take her out to dinner or lunch consider sending or giving her a card to a place that she loves to eat at. Don’t underestimate the beauty of this gift. The reason women love to eat out is because we are always the ones cooking, setting the table and cleaning up when it is all over. It is so nice when that part of the equation is taken out for us and we can just sit back and enjoy. 
  • A picnic. This is right up there with the no dishes, no planning part, for us moms. Think about where you could take her. Plan the menu, pack the meal and haul her out the house to a surprise picnic. What a lovely way to spend mother’s day! Creating memories for a lifetime with a woman that is all about creating memories for you. 
  • Salon services. Nothing says pamper and taking care of you like a salon service. Whether it is a body massage, manicure, pedicure or facial these are typically things some women hesitate to spend the extra money for themselves. Us girls all love being pampered in this way but it is hard for us to justify spending the extra money on ourselves when we could be buying shoes for our children or purchasing some other, always pressing household necessity. 
  • Acknowledgement. Especially if you don’t have much money, I would put this as number one. It is just nice when my family takes the time and goes through the steps to show me that they truly appreciate how hard I try to make the rest of the family feel special on their day. So honestly any effort that looks and feels like they spent a day or two thinking about it and planning it is the best gift ever! 
So there are my suggestions for a flawless mother’s day. Incorporate any one of these suggestions and I give you my guarantee that you will be making some mother a very happy girl this Sunday! 
Thank you for stopping by my blog! 
Hope you have a fabulous week and mother’s day weekend. 
Michon :)