Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mini-Ayurvedic Facial

So I'm going to make every effort to blog more. I'm also making an effort to take more picture... That actually include me! I was trying to think of what to blog about as I had my hand on face and realized I hadn't given myself any type of facial in a-g-e-s. So the light bulb went on, DING!

I've given myself this facial a few times, and my sister and sister-in-law have also both tried it. It's a pretty economical do-it-yourself facial... If you can find the ingredients. I live relatively close to "Little India" in Artesia, CA and I had a hard time tracking down the garbanzo bean powder, which is also known as chick peas. Trying to hunt it down is a story all in itself. Most of the time I just received blank stares when I asked for garbanzo or chick pea flour. Then finally a man stepped in did some translating. Anyway, here's the how to..

I forgot to add that you should really use an old t-shirt when doing the facial because you'll end up with yellow stains. And don't plan on going out, because you skin takes on a yellow cast for a few hours... You've been warned! :)

Mini-Ayurvedic Facial

by Grace Wilson, IntentBlog

The garbanzo flour is mildly scratchy, gently exfoliating the skin, and helps to draw out fluids and debris from the pores. Turmeric has antibacterial properties.

Supplies needed:
1 – 2 tsp simple cleanser (mixture of three parts garbanzo flour to one part turmeric, you can make a larger quantity and keep it in a zip-lock bag)

  • Pot of boiling water
  • Tea towel
  • Rose water in a spray bottle
  • Five drops oil (sesame for Vata, coconut for Pitta, safflower or sunflower for Kapha)
  • Optional: a drop of essential oil for your steam (lavender, eucalyptus, rose geranium); a drop of Tea Tree oil for oily skin

Put a small pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. You only need a cup or two of water. While it heats, begin the facial by cleansing your face.

Put one to two teaspoons of the simple cleanser in the palm of your hand. Add a couple drops of water and mix with your finger to make a paste. Apply the paste to your face and throat, and using your fingertips, gently cleanse and exfoliate the skin with small circular strokes. Rinse with warm water.

Sit at a table or desk with the pot of boiling water on a pot holder or trivet right in front of you. Drape the tea towel over your head to make a steam tent. Lean over the hot water and allow the steam to envelop your face. This will help to open up your pores and relax your facial muscles.

Close your eyes and breathe long and deep. Sit and steam for two or three minutes, or as long as it feels comfortable. This is a great opportunity to indulge in some aromatherapy, so as an option, consider adding a drop of your favorite essential oil to the boiling water.

Lavender and rose geranium are great for the skin as well as relaxing and uplifting. Eucalyptus is great for clearing the mind (and the sinuses) – particularly beneficial if you’ve had a recent cold or sinus condition.

After steaming, rinse your face with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a towel.

Put three to five drops of oil in the palm of your hand. (If you have oily skin and are worried about applying oil to your face, add one drop of tea tree oil to the facial oil in your hand.) Before applying it to your face, spray your face with rose water.

While your face is still damp, apply a light layer of oil, and spend a minute or two massaging and rubbing it into the face and neck. The extra minute of massage will help bring oxygenated blood to the facial tissues, keeping your face looking vital and fresh.

Friday, July 25, 2008

And I thought Cristina without an "h" was bad enough

I remember as a teen joking with friends about naming our future kids odd names. Names like Elvis, PinCushion, or Zoink!. Those were jokes. If I ever had children I knew I would give them names that I wouldn't mind growing up with if I was in their shoes. I wonder if Tulula's mother thought the same thing? "Tulula" it self isn't a bad name, but when you add "Does the Hula From Hawaii", now that's just plain cruel.

I wonder if Violence and Bus Shelter are changing their names as well?

My sister-in-law always joked, kinda, about naming my niece "Boomshieka". We all pretty much told her we'd cause her bodily harm if she did. Thank goodness she settled on Celeste Isabel instead.

My cousin, who lives in Mexico, named her son "Iñaki" which is normally used as a nickname for Jose Ignacio, which is a Spanish name. Her husband is from Spain and his name is Jose Ignacio, but goes by Iñaki, pronounced \i-nə-ˈyak-ˈē\. So they figured cut out the middle-man and just call their kid Iñaki. Most people have never heard of the name and ask them to spell it. Oddly enough the definition of his name suits him GREATLY, if by "fiery" they mean brat. lol Their second son didn't get it much easier, he ended up with "Iker", pronounced \i-ˈker\.

My sister's name is Socorro, pronounced
\sə-ˈkr-(ˌ)ō\. Merriam-Webster has the audio pronunciation of Socorro. Socorro is my dad's middle name. It is typically a male name. Unsure why they decided to name her that. My father's mother's name is quite unique as well, it's Praxedis. I assume the pronunciation would look something like \ˈprä-ˈ-ˌdis\.

What are some "uncommon" names in your family? They can be ethnic or just plan unusual.

* I couldn't find the pronunciation of a lot of these names online, so I had to piece them together.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I say I'm alive because there were a couple of times during our Grand Canyon experience where I thought I was going to die. Really. I did.

A few things I learned on this trip:
* It’s Kaibab, not kabob.
* Gizmo, my mule, is a grump, but a sure footed one at that.
* I now understand why it's called the the Hail Mary corner.
* Don't hand someone your camera as you're getting into a very slippery creek, especially if it has a video option. Although, a video of you slipping is better than a wet camera.
* When the mule wrangler tells you it's a grueling ride... It's a grueling ride.
* DUDE = deposition, uplift, downcut & erosion
* How to tell the difference between a California condor and a turkey vulture.
* I love the Grand Canyon.

Friday, July 11, 2008

On vacation 'til July 16th

I'll be the one grasping her hands tightly around the mule saddle horn thingy. (Yeah, like I know what I'm talking about!) All I know is that the Grand Canyon has been on my to do list FOREVER. I get to finally visit. Joy! :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Oxnard Strawberry Festival frivolities

So the long awaited Oxnard Strawberry Festival photos have arrived, i.e., my friend sent me copies. I think he got sick and tired of my asking. ;-)

I may have recalled this story to a few of you, but let me say it again. We arrive, after having a relatively easy time finding parking, so the day was looking good. lol We enter through the back gate, near the children's rides. LOADS of kids everywhere. We finally make our way through the swarm, er, kids. And there, facing us is the bungee jump crane. I nervously eye it. I believe this is where he catches my eyes. He then proceeds to say, "Hey, you mentioned that you've never bungeed, and that you'd be interested in it." I hesitantly say "Yes." He then says, "No better time than now. We're here. It's here. Just do it." Nike would be proud. I hemmed and hawed a bit, considered the price, and oh, death! And he was right. No reason to say no.

As soon as they started suiting me up, my stomach did a few quick flips. Thank goodness he wasn't nearby to see the hesitancy in my face. He had gone off to stake out a good photo spot. :)

Well when I'm in the cage at the very top. The guys says, "Ok Miss. I'm going to open this door, and you''re going to step out on this here platform. No matter what you do, DO NOT LOOK DOWN. 60% of the people that look down at this point, do not end up jumping." So what does this bonehead do? Yeap. I catch myself a glimpse of the tiny people far, far, far below me. My stomach does some more flips at this point. The guy continues, "As you step out on to the platform, you're going to place your hands on these handles, and I'm going to close the door behind you. I'll then unlatch the safety harness from the cage, and you're only be connected by the bungee. You're going to lean forward and when I count to three, just let yourself go. You don't have to jump, just let gravity do it's thing.". Bonehead looks down again. I sudden have to pee. lol So he continues, "Ok, Miss. Ready? One. Two. Three!" Pause. Bonehead doesn't budge. "Miss, you were supposed to let go when I said 'three'." I say, "I know, but I wasn't ready yet." He then says, "Ok. I'm going to count down again, but you really need to jump this time, we can't stay up here forever." I look at him and say, "Don't rush me! I'll jump when I'm ready. Besides the girl that was on here before me took like a whole 5 minutes!" Yeah, that was me rationalizing my fear of jumping. I should have apologized to the guy for snapping. He then says, "Will it help if I push you?" At that point I realize I was being lame, and I just needed to let go. I say, "It's not necessary. Let's count." In unison, "One. Two. Threeeeeeeeee!" I'm now free falling. I have no solid ground below me, well yes I do, but far below me. I hear rushing of air. I feel my hair flailing. I open my eyes because I realized they were practically sewn shut. I then instinctually bring my hands to my face to cover the fact that I'm falling. It all happened so fast, yet I felt like I could count the minutes of my descent. I then told myself to remove my hands from my face. That I was missing the best part. It was awesome.

The rest of the day was good. Very hot. I think we almost melted. We had a few frozen lemonades, some yummy treats, of course the mandatory kettle corn, and lots of interesting people watching.

Nothing beat the bungee jump. IT WAS AWESOME.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Holy Skinny Cow Batman!

I just discovered Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches and they are deliciously fab-u-lous!

I had seen them in the grocery store, but I always thought, "Ugh! Those can't be good. They probably taste like cardboard." You ask, "Hey Cristina, how would you know? Have you ever eaten cardboard?" To which I'd probably respond, "Why no, I've never actually eaten cardboard." :)

Anyway, I digress.

Yes, my friend. I finally bought a package of the ice cream sandwiches and I wanted to kick myself for waiting as long as I did to finally try them. I think I had an ice cream big O standing in my kitchen. lol You think I kid?

The nutritional information isn't too bad either.
Serving Size: Sandwich
Calories from Fat15
Total Fat1.5g
Total Fat Percentage3%
Saturated Fat0.5g
Saturated Fat Percentage4%
Cholesterol 1mg

Although, Skinny Cow is a funny name... It's still a cow. lol

**Edit - IMHO the Skinny Cow vanilla ice cream sandwiches are better tasting than the chocolate ones... Even though I normally prefer chocolate. The chocolate ones had more of an artificial taste to them.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Romeo and Juliet... by some giggling junior high kids

I was perusing my niece Samantha's MySpace page and came across a video she and a friend Lauren made. Sam is Romeo*, and her BFF** Lauren in Juliet.

Sam is into drama. She's actually quite good. She's had the lead role in several of her school's plays as well as some roles in community theater. Her latest role was of Annie. I wasn't able to make it to that performance but I hear she sang and acted her heart out. You turn a camera on and Sam's instantly in front of it. Hence, my nickname for her, Sam the Ham.

Their video made me laugh. It actually made me very happy to know she's able to be 100% herself in front of her friends. At the same time, it made me realize how much she's grown since they moved to Temecula.

* Samantha recently got braces, so you can hear her struggle with pronunciation now and then. Kinda cute.
** In case you're wondering, "BFF" means best friend forever.