Author Archives: Lesley Cain

Safe-ing Face: What’s In My Makeup Bag?

I consider myself a makeup minimalist, who is a little obsessed with organization.  I used to maintain two makeup bags: one containing conventional products for my acting and modeling work, and the other containing green beauty products for my “off-duty” use.  This year, Melissa, owner of Citrine Natural Beauty Bar, introduced me to some ah-mazing non-toxic product lines.  So, I made it my mission to address all of my makeup needs in one green beauty bag.

Looking to “green” your makeup routine?  What you COULD do is toss out the toxic products, and replace them with safer substitutes.

The variety of green beauty options available now makes it easy to do a swap.

IMG_9660After searching for a travel-sized cosmetic bag to hold my brushes and makeup, I chose the Stephanie Johnson Grace Brush Case in Galapagos Grey. This textured faux reptilian case has 5 slots for makeup brushes on one side, with a protective flap to cover them, and an open compartment for makeup. Love. This. Case.

IMG_9664Face

Cheeks

Eyes

Lips

Tools

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The tools listed above stay in my makeup bag, so that I can grab it and go at anytime.  I also have a set of Ecotools brushes for at-home use.  Unless I need it for work or travel purposes, I apply my makeup at home and leave the majority of it there.  In my purse, I usually carry a smaller pouch with my lip color of the day, lip balm, and blotting papers inside.  I tend to change my lip color the most, depending on the time of day, my outfit, or my mood.

Which green beauty brands and products have you tried?  Which ones are your favorites?

Please comment and share!

XOXO

 

 

Juice Ranch

image9Are you in Southern California, and thirsty for 100% organic, locally-sourced, glass-bottled, cold-pressed juice, in bountiful blends?

What you COULD do is mosey on over to Juice Ranch!

image2Recently, I visited the Westlake Village location (twice) and tried some of their “beverages with benefits.” These drinks are green-based, fruit-based, carrot-based, beet-based, or nutmilk-based.  Sooooo many choices…so little bladder capacity…*sigh*

image5Yeah…I did that.  The folks at Juice Ranch support sampling, and are generous to boot!  Notice the number of empty sample bottles in the above pics…*hangs head in shame*

image1I love how they organize their menu!  You can pick your potion based on the blend or the benefits.  This, combined with samples, makes the decision process a little easier.  Greens N’ Ginger, Jalapina, and Strawberry Pearl are just a few of my faves.  YAY and YUM!!!

Juice Ranch also offers a variety of shots and cleanse packages, to help meet your health needs, all served with a smile.  And, when you consider their glass bottle credit offer…

Y’all have to go back now, ya hear?

XOXO

 

 

 

Nightly Rituals

I don’t know about you, but I have a difficult time relaxing and quieting my mind at night. Ironically, I work hard to ease into a restful state.  In doing so, I’ve noticed that there are certain rituals that I must follow.

Do you have a restless mind, and need to unwind?

What you COULD do is establish nightly rituals that let your body and mind know that it’s time for bed.

Here are 3 things that I do, before I go to sleep:

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1. Treat my feet: I always wash my feet before bedtime. I have a deeply-rooted need to crawl into bed with clean feet. In addition, I moisturize them with organic jojoba oil, then cover them with socks. It never fails to relax and reassure me.

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2. Diffuse essential oils that make “scents”: I select one, or more, essential oils to scent my room at night.  Lavender is my favorite, due to its sleep-promoting properties. However, lately, I’ve been using frankincense for its meditative benefits.  Each of these oils has served as a base for my calming combinations.

3. Cue the music: I play relaxation music in my bedroom, which also helps to create a calming atmosphere.   I’m currently loving the Calm Radio Om, Spa, and Sleep channels.  Their soothing sounds help me to drift-off to dream land.

What are YOUR nightly rituals?

Please comment and share!

XOXO

Travel Tips: Las Vegas

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Ravenous for a romantic getaway?

Longing to luxuriate in Las Vegas?

Eager for engaging entertainment?

In search of a veg-friendly vacation venue?

What you COULD do is cut the Craps, hit the Strip, and go for the Wynn!

The majority of my trips to Vegas have been for business purposes.  Recently, I returned for a romantic weekend getaway with my husband.  This was my Mother’s Day gift, and I had a FABULOUS time!  Here is a rundown of recommendations, based on my visit:

IMG_7928Stay

We thoroughly enjoyed our accommodations at the Wynn Hotel.  Spacious suite + vegetarian/vegan menus + spectacular spa = WYNN-ING!

IMG_7890Sup

One of my favorite meals was on the patio at La Cave Wine & Food Hideaway.  Here, I ordered the vegan Mushroom Tortellini with Arugula and Cashew Cream Sauce.  Sooooo good!

Other noteworthy vegan meals included:  Le Cirque at Bellagio (we splurged on their Vegan Menu, with wine pairing); Botero at Encore (we ended one of our evenings here with a vegan dessert); Terrace Pointe Cafe (Wynn) for breakfast; and Tableau (Wynn) for brunch.  It was nice to not have to stress-out over where to eat, or agonize over the menus.

IMG_7842Shows

Ooooo YES I DID!!!  I finally got to see “O” by Cirque du Soleil, and I loved it!  This was the second part of an amazing date night with my husband, after dinner at Le Cirque.

IMG_7869Spa

During our romantic getaway, we treated ourselves to 80-minute Custom Massages, and marinated for more than half of the day at the Wynn Spa.  The facilities were beautiful, and the amenities were plentiful.  As someone who worked in the spa industry, with a passion for all things spa-related, I appreciate that.

Shop

The primary focus of our trip was experiences, versus stuff.  However, I had the opportunity to pick up a couple of items while exploring The Shoppes at The Palazzo and The Shops at Crystals.  I received excellent customer service in both places.

During this romantic getaway, we were inspired to plan a kid-friendly Vegas summer vacation.  Stay tuned for more details in another post.

It’s great to be back on the blog.

Thanks for reading!

XOXO

 

 

 

 

My “Surgi-versary”

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)

One year after my surgery saga, I’m healthy and feeling incredibly blessed.  At the same time, I’ve felt emotional as I recall where I was this time last year.  I met and worked with some amazing health practitioners and business owners, who helped me through this ordeal.  So, to celebrate my “surgi-versary,” I planned to visit each of my “health heroes” to personally thank them for the specific ways that they contributed to my surgical outcome and overall well-being.  Although I was unable to connect with everyone, today’s results were very encouraging…

IMG_7615My first stop was The Center for True Harmony Wellness & Medicine.  Here, I expressed my heartfelt appreciation to Christine Brass-Jones DO OB/GYN and Dr. Denise Grobe ND.  Dr. Brass-Jones referred me to the right gynecological oncologist to perform my surgery.  She listened carefully to my concerns and persevered with me, as I weighed my options, trusted my gut, and moved forward in this process.  Dr. Grobe gave me some excellent advice on how to prepare my body for surgery and how to manage my recovery in different case scenarios.  In addition, she had the insight to have me take a cancer gene test.  Both of these ladies were caring, supportive, proactive, and informative.  Women empowering other women…YES!!!

IMG_7617Next, I went to Pomegranate Cafe for a friend’s birthday lunch, and to express my gratitude to owner Cassie Tolman.  Before and after my surgery, Cassie and the “Pom” staff were my “anti-inflammatory allies.”  They kept the Abundance Juice flowing, with plenty of lemon, ginger, and turmeric, along with a whole lotta healthy food options.  Their team always serves with smiles and promotes positivity.  LOVE THEM!!!

IMG_7618IMG_7620You didn’t think I’d leave out my lunch, did you?!?  Today, I celebrated with an Abundance Juice (naturally) and Mermaid Salad.  YUM!!!

IMG_7622Finally, I stopped by Desert Sage Herbs to thank Brittney for an herbal consultation that had me armed and ready for my surgical procedure and healing process.  The teas, tonics, and essential oils that she custom-blended for me, along with her compassion and concern, were a tremendous help.  Today, Andrea graciously accepted my sentiments on Brittney’s behalf…and re-filled my french lavender oil.  Mission accomplished!!!

Do you personally, and specifically, thank those who have helped you overcome life challenges?

Encourage others, and be encouraged!

XOXO

Travel Tips: London

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Are you looking for a more urban, international travel experience?

Are you lousy with languages, yet longing for a taste of Europe?

What you COULD do is visit London!

I have visited this fashion capital and economic epi-center twice; and there is still sooo much more to explore.  Here are some of my recommendations, based on my most recent trip:

Eat

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Flat White – This is a cool little cafe with good coffee in the SOHO area.

Busaba Eathai – Here, they serve tasty Thai in a modern-ethnic setting.

Princi – A Milanese bakery and pizzeria, serving Italian dishes, baked goods, and delicious desserts.

Brown’s Hotel – Choose from a variety of teas, pastries, and sandwiches, for a traditional afternoon tea experience, in an old-meets-new setting.

Pray

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St. Paul’s Cathedral

Westminster Abbey

Look

National Portrait Gallery

National Gallery

Tate Britain

Watch

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Queens Theatre – It was a short walk from my hotel, and Les Miserables was playing.  I HAD to go!!!

Shop (window or otherwise)

Harrod’s

Harvey Nichols

Oxford Street

Bond Street

Stay

Soho Hotel – An urban retreat with cute decor, cozy atmosphere, and a convenient location.

How do you like to experience London?  Please comment and share!

Cheers, and have a great week!

XOXO

 

 
 
 

 

Let It Go: Highlights from 2014

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

Me in my master bedroom on Mother's Day 2014.

Me in my master bedroom on Mother’s Day 2014.

As this year comes to an end, and I look ahead to 2015, I can’t help but reflect on all that has happened. Although I booked more jobs than ever in 2014, my biggest moment of the year was my cancer scare and the major surgery that followed. My faith and fortitude were tested in ways that I never expected. I am so grateful to God, my family, friends,  colleagues, and health practitioners, who saw me through this scary ordeal. I blogged about my experience here.

At church, last Sunday, my minister preached a sermon titled “Let It Go,” and encouraged us to deal with any unresolved issues from this year. After service, I told him that I planned to contact the first Gynecological Oncologist (GYN-ONC #1) that I consulted with during my health crisis. My intention was to contact his office earlier; but I wasn’t ready to “go there” emotionally. I am happy and relieved to report that I spoke with GYN-ONC #1’s nurse yesterday, then spoke with their Nurse Manager today. I informed them of the outcome of my situation, and the surgical approach that was taken by GYN-ONC #2. In addition, I took the opportunity to point out some of the circumstances around my consultation with them that were off-putting to me, in hopes that they might improve their services. I was humble, vulnerable, yet forthright in delivering my message.  I had great conversations with both nurses, and felt that my feedback was well-received.  I felt so free!

I am so relieved and excited to ring in the new year, having dealt with one of the biggest burdens on my heart from 2014.  Whatever unresolved issues that you may have from this year, I hope and pray that you are able to “Let It Go,” and start fresh in 2015.

I wish you a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year!

Travel Tips: Paris

Recently, some friends of mine traveled to Paris.  Some were newbies, others were “repeat offenders.”  Having visited “The City of Light” on 3 different occasions myself, I sent them a list of things to do and see.  I love receiving and giving personal recommendations, as it takes some of the guesswork out of travel planning.  However, I realize that some folks may enjoy more spontaneity during their vacations, and that’s all good too.  Regardless of how you roll, here are my travel tips for Paris:

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PERFECT TIMING
I love Paris in the…SHOULDER SEASON!  Seriously.  I’m talking April – June, and September – October.  Having visited during Spring, Summer, and Fall, I enjoyed myself more when I avoided the summer crowds.
TALK THE TALK
Yes, many folks speak English.  However, I challenge you to learn some French before you go, so that you can engage in basic conversation with locals.  It goes a long way.
READY. SET. GO!
Go to a tourism office and purchase a L‘Open Tour bus ticket for a ride around the city that can help you to get your bearings and take in some sights.  While you’re there, purchase a museum pass for 2,4,or 6 days of access to museums and monuments, depending on the duration of your stay.
DAY TRIPPIN’
Versailles :  It’s an easy train ride from Paris to see this opulent palace and explore the town.
Loire Valley :  Take a minibus tour to see the chateaux…MAGNIFIQUE!
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EAT
Angelina, an institution with AH-MAZING hot chocolate, has packaged products which you may purchase and take home!
404 serves delicious North African food in a cool setting.
Go to Ile St. Louis and get some Berthillion Ice Cream.
Enjoy Parisian people-watching at Cafe de Flore.
La Varangue is a tiny restaurant, with great food, that is owned by a nice guy named Philippe.
Make reservations in advance, and savor Afternoon Tea at The Ritz-Place Vendome.
Try the famous macaroons at Laduree.
Gentle Gourmet Cafe offers vegan cuisine that is “strong” in presentation and flavor.
A must for any vegetarian, Le Grenier de Notre Dame is Paris’ first vegetarian and macrobiotic spot.
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PRAY (OR SIMPLY ‘PRECIATE THE ARCHITECTURE)
La Mosquee (Psst…they have a hammam and tea room there.)
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LOOK
Louvre:  You could spend hours…days…looking at all of the permanent collections housed in this museum.  However, if you have “been there, done that,” then why not check out their special exhibit and pick up some gifts at the shops?
Musee D’Orsay:  This former railway station is home to art work dating from 1848 to 1914.
Musee de Cluny:  Head to the 5th Arrondissement for a look at the Medieval art housed here.
Musee des Arts Decoratifs:  Check out furniture, interior design, altar pieces, religious paintings, objets d’arts, tapestries, wallpaper, ceramics and glassware, plus toys from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Eiffel Tower:  No explanation needed.  Just. Go.
Tuileries:  Enjoy people-watching and/or promenading in this Parisian public garden.
Seine River cruise:  See Paris at night during a Bateaux Mouches excursion.
SHOP (WINDOW OR OTHERWISE)
Printemps and Galeries Lafayette:  So many departments, so little time.
Champs Elysees:  Stroll. Shop. Sup. Stay.
Marche Aux Puces:  One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  And it’s ALL about the hunt…
What are your favorite things to do and see in Paris?  Please comment and share!
Merci et bon weekend!  XOXO
 

 

Holistically Healthy in the Hospital

Hospital Symbol

As I mentioned before, I am a total germaphobe, who feels incredibly uncomfortable in hospitals.  So, when I had to have surgery, I was forced to get over it for the duration of my procedure and overnight stay.  *Shudders*

Here are 8 things that I did to stay holistically healthy in the hospital:

1.  Probiotics:  I used ReNew Life’s Ultimate Flora Critical Care variety ahead of time to boost my immune system.

2.  Arnica:  Before my surgery date, I took some homeopathic pellets for their anti-inflammatory benefits.

3.  Shoe covers:  You know the disposable ones that are worn in hospitals?  Well, yours truly asked for a pair to use so that my “special socks” wouldn’t touch the hospital floors…Ewww!

4.  Humor:  My situation was no laughing matter; however, I managed to share a few laughs with my team before surgery.  This helped me to stay positive, as I faced some of my greatest fears.

5.  Human touch:  I needed it when I woke up dazed, confused, and panicked about my surgical outcome.  I repeatedly asked my husband to kiss my forehead, and his presence and touch calmed and comforted me.  Before he was brought to my bedside, I tried to ask a nurse to do this; but I couldn’t get the words out…LOL!!!

6.  Aromatherapy:  “Calming” essential oil blend + diffuser + “Nighty Night” spritzer from Desert Sage Herbs = “Best Smelling Room on the Floor,” as voted by my nurses.  *Takes a bow*

7.  Called for clean-up:  I had to call 3 times, to be exact (Why???).  I insisted on having our bathroom cleaned after my roommate’s husband spent the night and used our facilities…multiple times…REALLY?!?!

8.  BYOF:  Despite being pressured to consume the hospital fare, I politely declined and had my husband bring me food and drinks from a local Whole Foods Market.  I requested coconut water; fresh green juice with lemon, ginger, jicama, and turmeric; seaweed snacks; raw kale salad; and vegetable soup.  The nourishment from the coconut water, green juice, and seaweed snacks alone brought my body back to life and set me on a course for early discharge.  Hallelujah!

What would you do to stay holistically healthy in a conventional hospital environment?

Have a happy, safe, and fun holiday weekend!

XOXO

 

 

 

 

Sage Advice

IMG_4330In preparation for my surgery, and to create a healing oasis at home, I went to Desert Sage Herbs.  Brittney Sounart and her mother, Vicki Greener, opened this holistic center in 1999; and have provided me and my family with healing help for the past 9 years.  They offer classes, holistic health services, and a retail shop.  It feels like home, and it smells soooo good inside!

IMG_4266One week prior to my surgery, I scheduled an herbal consultation with Brittney.  During this time, I shared the details of my situation, and told her that I wanted to purchase some products to help me heal quickly and completely after my procedure.  We laughed, cried (Well, I did.), hugged, and re-grouped, as we developed a plan together.  The plan was as follows:  to support healing of my tissues after surgery, while supporting my adrenals and nervous system; liver detoxification; lymphatic and immune system support.  Once our plan was in place, Brittney proceeded to custom-blend all sorts of goodies for me…

IMG_4160Brittney suggested that I take arnica, before and after surgery, for its anti-inflammatory properties.  She also created an herbal “Healing Tea” (nettle leaf, holy basil, linden flower, calendula flower, red raspberry leaf, slippery elm bark, and horsetail) for me.  In addition, she concocted a “Healing Tonic” (gotu kola, milk thistle, milky oats, cleavers, horse chestnut, echinacea root, and ginger root).  And, since I love smoothies, Brittney whipped up a “Smoothie Powder” (ashwagandha root, shatavari root, maca root, and spirulina) too.  YAHTZEE!!!

Brittney Sounart, Clinical Herbalist at Desert Sage Herbs.

Brittney Sounart, Clinical Herbalist at Desert Sage Herbs.

I am all about aromatherapy.  So, Brittney suggested their “Nighty-Night” spritzer for use at home, in the hospital, or on the go.   She also whipped-up a “Calming” essential oil blend of lavender, clary sage, and bergamot.  I place 10-12 drops on the pad of my new aromatherapy diffuser, plug it into an outlet, and the results are “spa-like.”  I love my diffuser so much that when I found out that there was a smaller version for cars, I pounced!  Don’t judge me…

IMG_4166Honestly, I could have gone crazy and done a LOT more damage.  But I decided to be good and to stay focused on what was absolutely necessary to get me through my surgery and healing process.  I believe that the items that I purchased have helped me tremendously.

IMG_4285I am so grateful to Brittney for her caring heart and expertise.  LOVE HER!!!

Desert Sage Herbs is located at 1728 N Alma School Rd, Chandler, AZ 85224.

Pssst…Don’t trip!…They ship!!!  😉

Have a wonderful weekend!

XOXO

 

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