Friday, June 19, 2009

Welcome Summer!

Thanks to the refreshing cool weather we've had the last few weeks here in Southern California, some of us may be caught by surprise that suddenly Summer has arrived! This Sunday not only marks the day we celebrate all those special Dads, but around 6pm on June 21st, we also celebrate the Summer Solstice! This will be the longest day of the year--Make it memorable!

Summer--It's the time of the year to share special moments with friends and family; and time to let the sun invigorate you and help renew goals set months ago! Get ready for BBQ season, backyard parties and picnics, warm nights at the Beach, gorgeous sunsets, and lots of Bare Skin! I have a few green tips to keep in mind while planning your fun Summer Activities!

  • BBQ: Your skin and your physique will thank you if you consider throwing a few more veggies on the BBQ this year! Try Veggie Kabobs (some stores even carry them pre-packaged & ready for you), try grilling eggplant, portobellos, squash, Veggie burger patties, and even pineapple for a luau theme!

  • Party drinks: Think Fresh & Cool & of course, Green! Melon, Mint, Lime, Avocado--all of these make yummy smoothies or cocktails! Try a Hibiscus Mojito, Rum Punch, or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc or Moscato d'Asti. I try to choose wines from growers that practice sustainable growing and for cocktails, I add natural, organic ingredients like Agave Nectar, Ginger, and Wild Flowers. (Did you know that Vanilla Beans actually come from a wild Orchid?)
  • Planning Parties & Picnics: Lots of garbage is left behind at parks and finds it's way into streams and eventually into the ocean where animals live! Our landfills are overflowing with plastic water bottles, stryofoam cups/plates, plastic utensils, and plastic bags used only once. You'll actually save money by using eco-friendly products that are reusable and use less petroleum to produce. Key Word to look for when shopping: Biodegradeable! Buy products that will easily degrade unlike Styrofoam. Why buy disposable if we can save money by buying washable & reusable products? I love the new lines of ecofriendly, BPA free water bottles, and I love taking my picnic basket full of bamboo utensils, plates, and cloth napkins!

  • Don't forget your Skin: 15 minutes in the sun can provide you with your day's supply of Vitamin D, but without UV ray protection, it also oxidizes the layers of your skin causing free radicals to form. This means wrinkles, fine lines, and premature signs of aging. Choose moisturizers with SPF 30 or higher and stay hydrated! Quick tip: make a homemade face mask rich in Retinol (Vit A) found in many PRICEY creams on the market. Steam some carrots, mash with Agave nectar and apply to face for 10 mins. Retinol stimulates the production of Collagen and Elastin in our deepest skin layers! Result: more youthful smoother skin!

This year is all about Saving Green and Going Green! The BEST part about throwing your own Green Get-together is you can save money by going to your local store and picking up crowd-pleasing ingredients without going broke! There's no corkage fee at a dinner party in the comfort of your own home! Enjoy your first Weekend of Summer! Here's a recipe for a tasty new twist on the Delicious Mojito:

Karinna's Hibiscus Mojito - It's Wild and Exotic!

2 oz Light Rum (Like Bacardi)

1 oz Hibiscus Syrup

1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

4 Mint Leaves

2 Hibiscus Flowers

2 Lime Wedges

Soda Water

Muddle Mint, Hibiscus Flowers, and Lime Wedges. Add Ice, Fill with Rum, Syrup and Lime Juice. Splash with Soda Water.


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