Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I received 13 flavors of soda concentrate and one Sodastream machine from Sodastream's public relations department recently. Getting this machine was truly like Christmas in July.   The way this machine works is very simple.  You add filtered or tap water (if you trust your city’s water supply) to the bottle they provide and then use the unit to inject CO2 gas bubbles into it.  Then the instructions say to add your choice of flavoring to the bottle to make the soda flavor of your choice.  The first time I tried it, I didn’t push down the CO2 injector button down long enough to produce the desired bubbles in the soda for me.  So, I prematurely judged this to be a gimmick because the soda tasted very flat.

The second time I tried the machine, I produced a fresh tasting fizzy tropical soda with their Mango Orange flavor concentrate.  It was just the right amount of sweet and tart for my taste. My next favorite in the array that Sodastream offers was the energy drink concentrate. This is Sodastream’s nod to the Red Bull lovers out there.  I was not always a Red Bull lover, but cramming for medical school exams made me into one!  I would say this is where the practical aspect of the Sodastream system kicks in. It would save me a ton of money if I were to just make my own energy drinks as opposed to buying my token four Red Bulls before every exam. 
The other good thing about the flavors offered by the company is that they are lower in sugar than the leading full sugar soft drinks. Meaning they replace half the sugar with Splenda brand sweetner.  This is good news for diabetes or low glycemic index dieters that want to watch their sugar intake.  However, I am not promoting this quite yet as any type of health product.  I would love to see Sodastream execs add options of sweetners like Agave nectar and Stevia to their products.  This would satisfy the granola munching yuppie in me!
The tree hugger in me loves that by using this product, I do not have to recycle aluminum cans and two liter plastic bottles.  This is quite a great “green” angle that the company markets on.  The other side of this story is that the flavor bottles are infact heavy to ship.  When considering freight charges and fuel cost to ship this product intitially, it kind of starts making me feel a little guilty.  The CO2 unit can be refilled at various locations that you can look up on their website. 
All in all, this is a great new concept that many will find useful especially in families that consume a lot of soda.  They provide a wide variety of flavors that ensures that there will be something for everyone’s tastes!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You know that free flowing wavy look your hair has after drying from the salt water on the beach?  That's Beach Sexy Mermaid Hair!

I am definitely not one of those women who spend hours on their hair. My mop would consider itself lucky if I took the time to style it.  This is why I love to take advantage of the slight wave in my hair by using light sprays on it and then I pray that it behaves.

One such product that fits the bill is David Babaii's Bohemian Beach Spray.  This product helps to add texture and volume to my locks without drying it out.  The spray is microfine and evenly coats all strands and adds just the right amount of texture without dryness.

Inspired by the remarkable beauty in nature, these innovative products are exclusive blends of exotic natural ingredients, from rich Volcanic Ash to Mango and Kiwi fruit Extract. They support the beauty in nature by donating 10% percent of profits to WildAid, the global wildlife conservation organization.  David Babaii for WildAid icon is free of Sulfates, Parabens, Petrochemicals, animal products and animal testing.

Yet of course, I cannot rest there dear readers.  I had an idea to see if I could make my own Beach Sexy Mermaid Hair spray.  After all, how could salt water and some additions be hard to recreate? I used Green tea as a base because it has been shown to decrease hair shedding post shampoo. I am happy to tell you I was successful and I can also say that my beach spray is free of Sulfates, Parabens, Petrochemicals, animal products and animal testing(tested on one mammal, me).  My hair was manageable and shiny with the right amount of hold!


4 Green tea bags
6 ounces of water
Small squirt of your favorite Conditioner 
1 heaping tablespoon of sea salt
1 four fl. ounce spray bottle with fine spray nozzle (I used an old empty product bottle)


Bring water to a boil, add Green tea bags
Add salt and turn off heat
When tea is lukewarm, dissolve your conditioner in it and stir around
Leave tea bags soaking in solution overnight
Next day, pour into spray bottle and add essential oils
Shake well before application

Styling Advice

Spray a liberal amount onto hair after shampooing and conditioning
I waited until my hair was about 50 percent dry
Then I clipped my hair half up and just dried my roots with the blow dryer on the cool setting
Scrunch hair in your hands to help curls form, or section them and twist around fingers into large spirals
Let hair air dry naturally
Do not brush through—finger comb only if you need to.


I used Salada brand Green tea bags
I have globules of conditioner floating in my spray, don't worry-just shake well before use
Any of the essential oils can be substituted
The amount of salt can be increased to add more stiffness or decreased for lighter hold 

Are any of you do it yourself diva's inspired?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The idea of this refreshing salad came to me since the heat outside is beginning to get pretty heady. This salad also kept me surprisingly full for a long time and that is no small feat as one of my friends once said, ”You can really put it away, girl!” Now, imagine the face I made at my friend.

I’m like a mad scientist in the kitchen so my ingredients are hardly ever exact, play around with the proportions it’s more fun that way!

Serves: 4


½ of a lemon juiced
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Big pinch of salt
Big pinch of black pepper
Small drizzle of honey


Ten ounce bag of baby spinach
Large orange peeled and slivered
4 tablespoons of toasted Macadamia nuts
4 tablespoons of a crumbled soft cheese like Goat or Feta


1) Toast Macadamia nuts in a hot pan over medium heat until just light brown. Set aside to cool, then chop
2) Wisk the dressing together, taste to adjust seasonings
3)  Empty the baby spinach into a bowl
4) Peel and slice the orange into thin slices and add to bowl 
5) Finish with sprinkling on toasted macadamia nuts, cheese and dressing
6) Serve chilled

The benefits to name a few:

Spinach is one of the top heavy weights of the Superfoods list. I want it on my plate for hemoglobin and hair benefitting iron.

Oranges have a lot of vitamin C and help the absorption of iron in spinach. Without vitamin C, most plant forms of iron are very hard for our body to absorb.

Macadamia nuts and Olive oil have high amount of monounsaturated fat. Foods containing monounsaturated fats reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, while possibly increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Cheese adds a small amount of protein and fat which helps keep me fuller longer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ah, Summer... birds chirping, sunshine warming my soul and booming sneezes from my allergies shattering the peaceful. This is when I know to come out of hibernation.  In addition to getting my wardrobe summer ready, I also have to retire my winter body cream in search for something lighter for the warmer weather.  Enter: Alba botanical body lotion. 

I bought the 12 fl oz  bottle with the pump and it is very convenient to dispense and spread on. The feeling of this lotion is light and it leaves no greasy residue on my skin showing that my skin is indeed drinking it in! The smell is pleasant and not too strong and reminds me of a light Jasmine flower scent.

I was doubtful that a formula this light would last on my skin all day. The sweet almond oil in this does a great job of keeping skin soft and smooth to the touch for the entire day. The skeptic in me found that even at the end of the day my skin stays well hydrated with Alba. 

What's more is that this product is paraben free, mostly organic and has gentle acids (alpha hydroxy acids) that can slowly exfoliate dull skin for a smoother look and feel. Alba's alpha hydroxy acids are polishing my dull skin.  I'm already saying," Later, Alligator!" to my winter skin!

P.S. All things I mention on this blog can be found in the "Burn After Reading Recommended" box on this page.
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