Favorite Skin Products for Acne-Prone Skin

Friday, June 15, 2018

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You know what is the most amazing thing about getting closer to forty years than to twenty? You get to keep your acne while at the same time developing wrinkles! The joy of keeping one foot in your teens and another dabbling in your future! Talk about perspective!

Well, that would be great if it did not involve your face! That same one that welcomes you in the mirror every morning, before you apply 3 layers of makeup and 2 layers of digital filters. The truth has a way of staring you in the face, every single morning, a little reminder that our true beauty must lay inside, in case we forget it!

Back to practical matters, not trying to reach perfection, just smoother surfaces, I have tried a few too many skin products and found a few favorites for this season of my life. Maybe one of my suggestions will also help you find that almost miracle product that you have been looking for! Or maybe not.

Here is my list of favorites skin and makeup products for acne-prone skin:

Apple Cider Vinegar - In case you wondered if you had to sell your car to afford a smoother skin let's start with the most economical option. Just mix some apple cider vinegar with water and you got an amazing toner to apply to your skin after cleansing your face at the end of the day. Really, try it, it is great and does wonders! You may smell like a salad but it is a small price to pay and no dangerous chemicals here. I like this one that is organic.

Pure Calcium Bentonite Clay Powder - You can eat this stuff, really, I have done once in a while mixed with water, but it is great for a fancy relaxing evening face mask. Just mix a little clay powder with apple cider vinegar and make a smooth paste. Don't use any metal tools when preparing this, just a wooden spatula to spread on your face. It feels so good and cooling and refreshing and tightening! After it dries out, wash it out, without clogging your sink (!) and go to sleep. Next morning your skin will be glowing! I like to get wet paper towels and spread over my face after the clay is dry so it gets wet again and I can wipe it off and throw then in the garbage, instead of down the drain. Your skin will look very red when you remove the clay but that is not a bad sign, just the clay doing its work.

Kinara Red Carpet Facial Kit - This one is the opposite of the Apple Cider Vinegar, because for this one you may have to sell a piece of furniture to afford it! It used to be cheaper when I got it, but it does last almost a year if you do every other week. And it gives you about the same results as going for an expensive facial, it really does! Your face will be glowing next day! So if you think of this one as a facial, then it is much cheaper than any facial out there. If I have any special event to go, this is my go-to for a next day perfect skin.

Deep Cleaning Oil - Who knew that you don't have to wash your face with soap to clean it!? I love this oil, it melts down all makeup and cleans the skin without stripping its natural oils. Sometimes I also use a gentle liquid soap after this one, but it helps the skin regulate its natural barriers.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 - I don't like to wear foundation or heavy makeup, so this is three steps in one: moisturizes, adds some coverage with a tint and provides sun protection! My last bottle lasted forever!! I got a new one and noticed that it is a little different, but still as good. The ingredients are mostly natural and it is also good for sensitive skin.

Now, if you thought the only way to improve your acne prone-skin was to spread creams and lotions on your face, you will be surprised to learn about the next three products you take through your mouth:

Olive Leaf Extract - Amazing for so many things that you may as well take it every day! It reverses skin damage, eliminates toxins and may protect against skin cancer. I find that it helps with acne too.

Hum Daily Cleanse - I have recently started taking this one. I love that it gently detox the liver and the skin at the same time. I read lots of good reviews about this one, and you also get zinc and selenium from it, great for treating acne and decreasing inflammation.

Collagen Peptides - It may be the new health trend out there, but I have noticed gains all over my body by adding this powder to my daily protein drink. It has no taste so you can mix in with anything.

Now, if you are looking for ways to reduce wrinkles I highly recommend cutting sugar and refined carbs from your diet. Sugar damages elastin and collagen, making your skin look older. One month without sugar will do more good for your skin than any expensive wrinkle product. Remember that alcohol is also not skin friendly, so less is more.

Now, my skin is not perfect and I still struggle with bad skin days, which also has to do with hormonal cycles, but thankfully there are concrete ways to wake up to a smoother face welcoming me in the morning!

What are your secret products for acne-prone skin?
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How to Teach Your Kids To Cook Real Dinners

Thursday, May 24, 2018

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My oldest son knows how to cook an egg, bake cookies and boil macaroni and cheese, but research shows that the level of cooking skills a teenager has can predict his/her nutritional well-being in the future.

After reading the research, I realized that it is my responsibility to teach my kids how to cook real foods, real dinners with real ingredients. To my surprise, my kids were much more excited than I expected when I proposed them the idea of them cooking dinners for the week!

First, I chose two cookbooks they could choose two recipes each to cook. One is Whole 30 Cookbook and the other is Make Ahead Paleo. There are so many easy and healthy recipes inside, so I knew that whatever they picked, it would be a great choice.

After they chose their two best, we divided the week between them, alternating evenings, so they could cook their dish covering four weekdays.

Next, they read through the ingredient list and wrote down anything needed to be purchased from the grocery store. On Monday, we went to the grocery store and they got the missing ingredients (with some help.)

These are the recipes they picked to cook plus a side dish:

Tuesday: Steak with Caraway-Peppercorn Rub with a side of Green Beans

Wednesday: Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine with a side of Rice

Thursday: Cowboy Burgers inside a Bun with sliced tomatoes, cheese and lettuce

Friday: Herb Marinated Skirt Steak with a side of Potatoes

So far they have cooked one dish each and are so excited to cook their next dish! I make sure that during the cooking time I give one on one attention, so only one child is allowed in the kitchen.

It is very tempting to do some steps for them, but I tried my best to step back and just give advise and demonstrate the skills, allowing them to struggle a little to feel they can overcome their difficulties. I am also trying to teach them to clean up as they cook to keep the mess contained.

They were so proud of their dishes during dinner time and made comments about the taste, how much salt to use next time and how the experience went.

I realized that it is actually easier to cook dinner teaching one of them, than trying to cook dinner with two kids freely roaming around the house!

Summer is a great time to start teaching your kids how to cook as they can make some dishes on the grill (with parental supervision), get fresh herbs from outside, and are less stressed out about homework or school.

I think it is also important to teach that cooking is not just about fun sugary dishes, but about every day staples that are healthy and essential for a dinner meal.

What is your experience teaching your kids how to cook? Do you remember cooking with an adult while growing up?

You may also enjoy reading Teach Your Kids How to Do Their Own Laundry and How To Get Kids Excited About Drinking Smoothies

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5 Board Games To Play With Kids That Will Sharpen Your Brain!

Friday, May 4, 2018

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My boys love playing board games, but let's be honest, some games put me right in sleep mode sometimes. So around here, we have found some games we can all agree on playing and at the same time will help keep our minds (mine exactly!) sharp. Because trust me, these kids have caught up with me and are starting to win more times than I want to admit!

So here are Five Games to Play with your kids over Spring evenings or Summer vacation that will help your brain stay sharp!

1. Chess: I did not play this game for decades but my kids love playing it now at least once a week. I had to relearn rules and strategies, just to make sure I don't lose too bad!

2. Bird Bingo: For some reason, this game is perfect to relax while at the same time learn the name of different birds. And if I am going to spend my final elderly days in a nursing home playing bingo, I should just as well start practicing my skills now!

3. Clue: Nothing new here, every person from my generation has probably already played this game! I find that it still takes deep thinking to keep track of all the options and find out who really committed the crime! 

4. Shouts: This is a new game for me. You basically match random pictures with random letters and come up with words that describe something in the picture. After that, each player has to try to figure out what the word is by what is seen in the picture. This game is really hard, and it strengthens creativity, vocabulary, and imagination. Great fun playing together!

5. WildCraft: I don't really remember how I found about this game, but we have all learned so much about medicinal plants and their uses by matching symptoms with wild herbs. You always learn something new playing this game!

What are your favorite board games to play with kids?

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