Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blueberry Mango Muffins


A few months ago Sprouts was having a sale on berries and I made some scones. They were not a huge hit at home so I brought the rest of them to my office (my co-workers will eat anything). Laurel loved them and has been asking me to make them ever since. 
This week they had Blueberries on sale so I picked some up planning on making them for her again. I also had a ton of mango that I wanted to use. I was thinking about putting them in the scones but thought it would probably add too much moisture to the scone. I found this recipe on another blog - Ryan Bakes. I made them last night and they were a huge hit... I did bring one to Laurel! I didn't make the streusel because I didn't have any coconut on hand but I did have sugar in the raw that I sprinkled on top. I think these would be great made with any type of berries.


For the Steusel Topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbs. white sugar
3 tbs. sweetened flaked coconut, chopped
1 pinch salt
2 tbs. butter

For the Muffins:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup mango- peeled, seeded, and diced

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease 14-16 muffin cups or line with muffin liners.

2. Combine 1/4 cup flour, cinnamon, 1 tbs. sugar, the coconut, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl.  Cut in 2 tbs. of butter and incorporate completely until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Use either a fork or your fingers to work the butter into the flour mixture.

3. Beat the unsalted butter, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and 1/2 tsp. of salt with an electric mixer in a large bowl until smooth.  Beat the first egg into the butter until completely blended before adding the second; continue mixing until light and fluffy.  Combine 1 3/4 cups of flour with the baking powder. Stir into the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk. Only mix until just incorporated-- be careful to not overmix. Toss the blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour; stir into the batter along with the mango.  Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins; sprinkle with the coconut streusel.

4.  Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 to 35 minutes.

Adapted from

Tinted Moisturizer - The professional weighs in!

The Jane Iredale product is by far the best semi-conscious choice from a healthy ingredient standpoint!  It blows the other two out the water!  Laura Mercier is one of the top sellers and so many women I know have tried it, but if you look at the ingredients, you have to get pretty far down the list before you find any word that is easily understood. Definitely a red flag!  As far as Boots, the first in the list of ingredients that pops out is petrolatum.  As more research is done on petrolatum, a derivative of petroleum, it has been found that this ingredient can aggravate acne, actually dry the skin, and decrease oxygen in the bloodstream.  According to, there has been evidence of the product in breast tumors, so this it one of those ingredients that we find in so many products, but causes some doubt if it could be dangerous long-term.

As far as the Jane Iredale, the only questionable ingredient is dimethicone.  This is a silicone used in lots of beauty products to give them a luxurious feel.  It doesn't have much toxicity warning, but can clog pores for some people because of the residue it leaves behind.    Otherwise, the DreamTint is packed with healthy oils and fruit extracts which are nutritious for your skin.  Personally, I don't like the coverage of the Jane Iredale Dream Tint and I thought it had an off-putting fragrance.  So, I will tell you my faves!

Physician's Formula Organic Wear Tinted Moisturizer. The company describes it as "a 100% natural origin tinted moisturizer, formulated with 80% certified organic ingredients, including jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, and shea butter to moisturize the skin."  I have oilier/acne prone skin and this product does not feel greasy and has a very natural finish.  It is made with environmentally-conscious ingredients and contains physical (not chemical) sun filters.  It has an herbal aroma that I like, but once it absorbs, I don't notice a fragrance. $9-$12 in drugstores or online at (we'll save my obsession with that site for another post).

Favorite Moisturizer+Loose Powder.  Okay, so this one takes more work, could be messy, and isn't consistent.  However, if you want to control the hue and the ingredients used on your skin, this is the best way.  Grab an emollient moisturizer (i.e. Juice Beauty Green Apple Moisturizer) and your loose mineral powder (i.e Juice Beauty Loose Finishing Powder).  You can use a plastic lid or container if its easier, but I use my palm.  Squeeze a little moisturizer and shake a little powder, mix them together and smooth over your skin.  Then layer your loose finishing powder over the top for a little glow!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beauty Tip/Review - Tinted Moisturizer

Summer is by far my favorite season of the year. It brings back such wonderful feelings for me. When I reminisce about my past some of my most vivid memories are of things that occurred during the hot summer months. Although I made good grades (I wish I had put more effort into my studies as I did my extracurricular activities) I was never really excited about school. I was happiest enjoying the carefree days of all the school breaks. I was very blessed that my parents took us on wonderful vacations every summer, my birthday is in July, and I love the warmth of the sun. Growing up in San Diego we basically have two seasons, warm and hot. To be more specific I grew up in what I call "East La Jolla" and when I say "East La Jolla", I really mean Santee. For those of you who are not familiar with Santee, it is a valley and in the summer it is hot! I love, love, love the water and this weather enabled to me spend a lot of time in the water.

Let me preface this with a quick apology to my mom. Sorry mom. Growing up my mom wasn't really into skincare and sun damage. This was probably more just because of the times rather than anything else. I am Mexican, Filipino, Caucasian, have always tanned easily, and never really burned too badly. While growing up there was really only one option when it came to sunscreen; it came in a pink bottle with a logo of a little girl and dog on it. We now have hundreds of sunscreen products available.

Even if I have a "no make-up day", I will ALWAYS put on sunscreen. If you asked me for one beauty/skincare/make-up tip; it would be this! Never leave the house without sunscreen on. It is even possible to incur sun damage through windows in your home. My favorite beauty product is tinted moisturizer. With such a crazy schedule this is a "can't live without product". You are moisturizing, protecting and getting a little bit of color correction in one easy step. I have three recommendations that can fit every one's budget.

Laura Mercier is my favorite of the three but it is my pocketbook's least favorite. It goes on very evenly and doesn't leave that "sunscreen" type feeling. It comes in a variety of shades and in an Oil Free formula as well. You can purchase it at Nordstroms, online, but I prefer Sephora. Sephora has a Beauty Insider program that you can earn free products with your purchases. If you spend $50 or more the shipping is free AND they send you free samples with your order. The Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is $42 for a 1.5 oz tube or $58 for 3.4 oz tube. It is SPF 20 and gives decent coverage.

I am currently using Jane Iredale Dream Tint - SPF 15. This is my semi-conscious choice. It is is a light weight MINERAL tinted moisturizer. It comes in less shades than the Laura Mercier but I feel that the color is more forgiving. It has won an Allure Reader's Choice Award AND is Skin Cancer Foundation recommended (as well as Analisa recommended and IMO that is what really counts) haha! According to the website - This super-absorbent tinted moisturizer not only hydrates, but prevents water loss, calms inflammation and improves the skin's elasticity. Plus, Dream Tint creates a soft-focus effect that minimizes the look of large pores and fine lines. You can purchase it online, in medical offices, and at some Nordstroms. It is $36 ( I think it is for 3 oz).

My third choice would be for Boots No7 Soft and Sheer Tinted Moisturizer. I found this product at Target for the price it is great. It has a SPF 15 protection, it is unscented and gives a very sheer coverage. It is 1.69oz for $11.99 online.Can't beat the price.

My dear friend, Laurel is an uber knowledgeable aesthetician. I have learned so much about not only skin care but about health and nutrition as well. I have asked her to join me in creating this blog and share her knowledge with you as well. She has assisted me on my journey to becoming more conscious. She has been holding my hand (no...not literally) every step of the way and has helped empower me to this better way of life! - Look for her post soon!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Semi-Conscious - Food Review -Costco -Quinoa Salad

Approximately 7 weeks ago my co-workers and I embarked on a get healthy challenge. It is a friendly way that we have been able to motivate each other to not only lose weight (my personal primary goal) but more importantly to increase our overall well being. I will explain more about this later, as it has been pretty successful.

On this journey I have found many  great healthy food options AND some not so good ones(soydogs).

After about the fourth week of only whole fruits and veggies (nothing processed, no dairy, no carbs, and very little lean protein), we were looking for something that would go well with grilled eggplant. I have had quinoa before but in soups never as a salad. At Costco, while my son enjoyed pepperoni pizza ( yes, I am salivating right now) we found this Quinoa Salad. It contains cucumber, tomatoes, red quinoa, red bell peppers, mung beans, white quinoa, bulger wheat, red lentil, parsley, soybean oil, cilantro, and a fresh lemon vinaigrette. For being so healthy not only is very refreshing but also delicious. Everything is diced into about quarter inch pieces and it is refrigerated. It would make a great side dish for any protein. I am sure it won't tickle every ones palette but if you are trying to be semi- health conscious it will compliment a big fat ribeye!

If you have never had quinoa, it is a grain like seed. It is the only plant protein that is made of the same 9 amino acids as a meat protein. According to Wikepedia - Quinoa was of great nutritional importance in pre-Columbian Andean civilizations, secondary only to the potato, and was followed in importance by maize. In contemporary times, this crop has become highly appreciated for its nutritional value, as its protein content is very high (18%). Nutritional evaluations of quinoa indicate that it is a source of complete protein.[14][15] It is a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is gluten-free and considered easy to digest. Because of all these characteristics, quinoa is being considered a possible crop in NASA's Controlled Ecological Life Support System for long-duration human occupied spaceflights

About Me

Wow...where do I begin? I was sure this would be the easiest post I would ever write. I am a mommy of two awesome kids. I have a 4 year old son Kainoa and 17 month old daughter Khloe. I am married to a great guy who stole my heart when I was 17 years old.

I work full time as a surgery and finance coordinator for San Diego's largest Lasik and Cosmetic center. About a year ago my husband Mitch and I started a catering company Wok and Rolls. We specialize in Hawaiian BBQ and Filipino food. You can check it out at! We have been blessed enough for him to be able to stay home with the kids. He does work as a caregiver to my 93 and 91 year old grandparents. We were enrolled in a Biblical finance class at church and were very encouraged. We decided to create a new stream of revenue to supplement our income in order for one of us to stay at home with the kids. Wok and Rolls has been great!
I have never been one that is too aware (well let me rephrase that) I have never been one that has cared too much about how my decisions now will effect my future and the future of others. To be real honest, I have never really cared about paper or plastic, BPA -free or not, organic or full of pesticides, cloth diapers or disposable, I think you probably get my point.

I have recently had a revelation of sorts. I had my first child in 2007 and I think this is when I started becoming SEMI - CONSCIOUS. I have become conscious of the fact that my decisions are not only affecting my self but the well being of others. I have also made the decision to start with myself; to start from within! I have not turned into a "granola" but I am definitely semi-conscious. I can tell  you I have recently spent a lot of time with Jillian Michael's pod casts. I am making more informed decisions regarding the food we (my family) eat, the beauty products I use,  and the products we buy. It is my goal  to share the information I have gained primarily about food, beauty products, and baby products. I hope you find helpful information on becoming more conscious too!