June faves

Aaah, summer is finally officially here!  Hope you’re enjoying a lovely weekend.  Unfortunately, I’ve caught a little summer cold and am feeling a bit under the weather today 😦  I still made it to the gym this morning but I’m feeling pretty wiped out.

However, one of my current faves is being put to good use right now to ease my sore throat:

1.  Hot and cold teas:

Throat Coat tea is a lifesaver when you’re dealing with a scratchy, sore throat!  It’s naturally sweet and very soothing.  It contains licorice root and slippery elm bark,  which is a homeopathic remedy for sore throats.  I also read that a lot of singers use Throat Coat tea to help them sing for longer periods of time without problems.  I’m drinking a lot of this tea right now to help with this cold!

However, since it’s summer, and I’m orignally a Southern girl, you know I love my iced tea too!  Growing up, we always drank “sweet tea,” which was basically strong-brewed black tea with a TON of sugar in it.  Up here in PA, you really can’t find sweet tea anywhere, which is probably a good thing because it’s really not good for you!  However, I like to make my own “sweet tea,” using my Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker:

(I’ve had my iced tea maker for so many years that I guess it’s an outdated model now…the pic above must be the newer version of it)

My current favorite morning drink (in lieu of hot coffee) is a big cup of plain iced green tea, shaken up with a scoop or two of my Isagenix Want More Energy Mix.  So yummy and refreshing!

2.  Digestive supplements:

Ever since my competition, I don’t know what’s been up with my stomach.  I’ve been battling some pretty annoying digestive issues!  I was having heartburn to the point that I was on Web MD looking for symptoms of a heart attack, and have been bloated and just generally uncomfortable after eating.  I also used to have a stress-related ulcer, and don’t want to start having issues with that again.

I recently read Kimberly Snyder’s Beauty Detox Solution book, and she recommends using a probiotic and a digestive enzyme supplement to help ease some of these issues.  So, here’s what I’m using (so far with good results!):

PB 8 Probiotic Supplement (vegetarian):

Rainbow Light Advanced Enzyme System:

 3.  Summery skin:

This might possibly be your new cult favorite lotion for the summer – you can thank me later 🙂

Mario Badescu Summer Shine Body Lotion is so delicious.  It smells like coconut and summertime, and has such a beautiful sparkle (but not too glittery!).  It’s not greasy at all and I just love using this on my legs when I’m wearing a short skirt or shorts.  Love this!

4.  Summer reading:

Well, I think I’ve already explained why I’m not reading 50 Shades of Grey like everyone else is this summer 😉  Instead, I picked up a book I’ve been wanting to read for a while by one of my favorite authors, Rebecca Wells:

The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder is such a lovely summer read.   I’ve laughed outloud and shed quite a few tears reading this book, and I haven’t even finished it yet.  I won’t give too much away if you care to read it for yourself, but it’s the story of a sweet girl named Calla Lily Ponder who was born and raised in a small town in Louisiana and and who goes on a journey to find herself in the Big Easy.  (Hint:  I got the hardback book for $5.98 on sale at Barnes & Noble!)

5.  An awesome new app:

Songza is my new favorite music app!  How cool is this:

You tell Songza what you’re doing and what you’re in the mood to hear, and it creates the perfect playlist of music for you. So, so smart!!  If you have an iPhone or iPad, download this app asap!

So these are my faves for the month of June…hope you enjoyed! What are you loving right now? 

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Why I stopped reading 50 Shades of Grey

I’ve been debating about writing this post for a while now.  If you haven’t heard about the book 50 Shades of Grey, you must be living on another planet!  I was intrigued when I first heard discussion about this book on the Today Show.  Then I heard whispers of 50 Shades of Grey from coworkers, and friends posted on Facebook about staying up all night for days on end to read the trilogy.  I love to read and, although erotica is not my literary category of choice, I decided to download 50 Shades onto my Kindle for poolside reading while on our vacation in Mexico.

Well, I must tell you, I got about 6 chapters in and just had to call it quits.  To be fair, this is not a review of the book – as I couldn’t didn’t finish the whole book!  However, this is my reasoning for why I chose not to read the book in its entirety.

Truthfully?  I’m seriously tired of today’s literary heroine.

Can Anastasia even be called a heroine?  She blushes at the drop of a hat and can’t speak a sentence without stammering and biting her lip.  She can’t walk across the street without tripping over her own feet, only to be caught in the arms of a dashing  young man.  Did I mention she has an incredibly annoying habit of biting her lip OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN?  She’s 21 years old and seems to have lived in a bubble for 2 decades.  To me, she comes across as juvenile, unempowered, and weak.

Guess who this reminds me of?  Oh yeah, Bella from the Twilight series.  I did actually read the entire series of the Twilight books – they weren’t quite so painful.  But I felt the same way about her character:  she couldn’t eat, sleep, or breathe on her own without Edward.  She constantly had to be “rescued” at every turn.  She fainted at the drop of a hat.  Her body was even completely overtaken by her lover’s spawn when she became pregnant, for goodness sake!

Ugh, enough of these weaklings, I say!  What happened to the days of Jane Eyre, Jo March, even Scarlett O’Hara??  These were WOMEN in my estimation.  They understood their power, their intelligence, their sexuality.  Even though these characters “lived” in an era of a male-dominated world, they knew how to use their strengths and their wiles to get what they wanted and needed.  They worked hard and pulled themselves up by their bootstraps when times got tough.  They were beautiful and feminine and lovely but dammit they were tenacious.  That’s who I want to read about!

(I think this may be why I enjoyed the Hunger Games series so much.  Katniss is a character I can cheer for.  By the way, I promise I do read books other than young juvenile literature, ha!)

So in conclusion, I’ve had it with vulnerable, delicate flowers starring as the protagonists of today’s popular books.  Enough of thin, unbelievable plot-lines where the males are always 1) incredibly handsome, 2) incredibly rich, 3) incredibly strong, and 4) incredibly boring.  And I don’t care to spend any more of my precious time reading about naive, vanilla girls with creepy, borderline stalker boyfriends 😉

Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?  What did you think?  Oh, and can you recommend a more interesting book to load on my Kindle?