Heartbreak… Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Maybe you were dumped, diagnosed with a life threatening illness, suffered loss, financial downturn, or simply gave in to fear. It’s that moment when you feel completely numb, isolated and alone, desperate for something or someone to give you faith. My own heartbreak and battle with heart disease led me to create Voices To Share… Healing Hearts One Voice at a Time. Together we'll banish self-pity, and invite prosperity in all matters of the heart. As a Heart Coach, I will share: inspirational stories that will give you courage, tips to shift your fears into love, recipes and products to live a heart healthy life.

4/11/14

Food, Inc.

Photo taken from TakePart.com.

Thanks to Netflix, I finally watched Food, Inc. last night.  I've seen all the news segments over the years talking about the food industry, and read the articles.  This documentary is so eye opening.  I tried to force my hubby, who doesn't understand where I'm coming from when I talk about GMOs and buying organic products, to watch it.  Unfortunately, he fell asleep but before doing so he agreed that our entire family should be eating less meat.

It's not just about the meat and poultry industry.  It's about how our entire food supply is controlled by a small handful of companies.  In short, read labels and educate yourself about what's in your food.  I've written about this before.  We all have a right to know what's in our food, and we have the power to implement change three times a day when we eat.  I understand that it's difficult when fast food is cheap and every single penny counts, but eating cleaner is always heart healthy.  Also, check out this summary about the movie on TakePart.com.


4/8/14

Heart Healthy Spring Break in Sedona, AZ


Last week we took a girls trip to Sedona, Arizona for spring break.  My mom, two daughters and I flew from Los Angeles to Phoenix where we began our adventure.  Mom grew up in a small mining town called Baghdad, Arizona which we didn't get to visit on this trip.  We did explore the entire Verde Valley though which is where she moved in her teens.  A little different from Los Angeles, and the perfect escape!

Photo taken on Pink Jeep Tour through the Broken Arrow trail.

Enchantment Hotel - Sedona, AZ

There are tons of places to stay in Sedona, AZ but if you can swing it, and I know it's pricey, the Enchantment Hotel is gorgeous.  Nestled amongst the Red Rocks, the hotel is situated in the heart of Boynton Canyon.  The spa, Mii Amo is relaxing and they offer all kinds of treatments from typical massage to auyverdic treatments and aura readings, as well as fitness classes.  If you're not familiar with any of the spiritual healing, Sedona may be a fun place to explore the new age treatments.  You can walk into pretty much any store for a tarot card reading too.   

It's hard to enjoy the spa when you have kids, but the Enchantment Hotel has Camp Coyote for kids ages 4 to 11.  Mom and I dropped off the girls and they spent the day decorating paper tepees, playing outside and crafting dream catchers.  They didn't want to leave when we arrived for the 3.30 pm pickup.

The beauty of Sedona is that all buildings must fade into the canyon.  Photo taken from Enchantment Hotel website.

Montezuma's Well and Castle

On Tuesday morning, we loaded up in our rental car and drove to Montezuma's well which was about 45 minutes from our hotel.  We parked and started exploring the well.  Make sure you hike all around because there's a beautiful spot by the river below where we took off our shoes and just sat, taking in the red rocks.

From Montezuma's well, we jumped back on the freeway and headed to Montezuma's castle.  We stopped to try some Indian fry bread along the way.  We didn't spend as much time at the castle, but it's a great spot to bring the kids and teach them a little bit about Native American history.  When my mom was little she actually climbed a ladder up to the castle, but now you have to see from a distance.

Hiking down to the riverbed at Montezuma's Well.  Someone doesn't like to smile for the camera anymore.  Oh, and she doesn't like to walk either.  She loved the thrift store backpack I bought on the side of the road in Sedona.

My favorite spot at Montezuma's well was off the beaten path.  We climbed down to the riverbed and the girls took this photo.

It was so cool that Gaga (my mom) climbed up to Montezuma's castle when she was little.


Jerome

We picked up my mom's cousin for lunch and drove to one of my favorite small towns, Jerome.  It's a ghost town on a steep hill and the home of Mingus Union High School, where mom was one of probably 60 in the graduating class.  We had lunch at the Mile High Grill & Inn.  My favorite shop there is the Nellie Bly II.  They have the most beautiful kaleidoscopes.  I also found a great fluorite crystal at Arizona Discoveries.  The prices were way better than Sedona, which is always a plus.

Photo of Jerome taken by James Feliciano and purchased at Dreamstime.com.

Tuzigoot National Monument, Clarkdale

After lunch we drove by Tuzigoot.  It was super windy, but we ventured to the ruins.  That night we had room service and were asleep by 8.  It was a long day!

Olivia running up to catch her sister.

Here's a photo I took at Tuzigoot at the ruins.

Day of Relaxation

On Wednesday the girls went to Camp Coyote, which they loved and we hit up Mii Amo Spa.  It rained, so it was perfect for a spa day.  We both tried a Dosha wrap, where they dry brush your body then have you pick an ayuverdic oil, for the massage portion.  Then we indulged in deep tissue massages.  It was heaven!  After we picked up the girls, we went to the bar area of the hotel and played a game of checkers.

Mom and I split the chicken enchiladas from Tii Gavo at the hotel.  They were amazing, so was the salsa verde.  Arizona is known for having good Mexican food.  We also ate at Javelina Cantina the first night.  It was voted the best Mexican food restaurant in Sedona.  We went big and tried the pork carnitas and beef fajitas.  Definitely not heart healthy but they were the specialties.  We barely made a dent in the entrees...  It's always good to share, and cut down portion sizes.

Living in Los Angeles, I rarely see many stars at night.  In Sedona the night's sky is magical.  I even found an app called Sky Guide that helps identify all the constellations.

Pink Jeep Tour, Broken Arrow

Thursday morning we awoke to snow on the ground and on our windshield.  Fortunately, there was a maintenance worker with a towel around to help us scrape the snow off because we were cutting it close to our 8am Pink Jeep Tour.  Not sure what my little one would've done if we missed it.  We had spent most of the trip counting passing pink and red jeeps.

Fortunately, I brought the girls hats because it was cold!  We ended up buying them gloves too for the early morning ride.  The pink jeep tour wasn't just a ride, it was more like a roller coaster.  We maneuvered up and down narrow, steep hiking trails.  The views were amazing!  

I didn't realize we would be hiking some on the tour.  Definitely wear hiking boots or tennis shoes, that is if you can get your kids to wear them.

If you can't tell, this Jeep is parked right on the edge of a cliff!

All the rocks have different names, one is snoopy another is a carousel.  It's fun for the kids to point out shapes and name the rocks themselves too.


Tlaquepaque Shopping

After the Pink Jeep tour we walked through the town of Sedona and bought some fun crystals.  Then we headed over to another one of my favorite spots, Tlaquepaque.  We had lunch at a little cafe called Rene at Tlaquepaque, after all the meat we split a falafel sandwich and quinoa salad.  It was good.  They also have a kids menu.  My favorite store there by far is the Bear Cloud Gallery.  I could spend hours in that store!  The girls got to bang on the drums while we explored the artwork.

There are statues everywhere.  The girls chose to play by the water fountain.

Red Rock Crossing, Crescent Moon Picnic Site 

We didn't have a chance to hike far up Red Rock Crossing because we were on our way to dinner with family, but I would definitely recommend it.  The view of Cathedral Rock is gorgeous.  It's easy for the kids, and we walked by the river.  

Hiking through Red Rock Crossing.


Hiking in Boynton Canyon

Before leaving the hotel, we decided to take one more hike just in Boynton Canyon. There was hardly anyone on the trail.  We played games, hid and chased after each other.  My little one wants to be a "hugger of trees" when she grows up.  While we were hiking, she was sad this tree was cut down and said she wanted to hug it.  We all joined her.  It was the perfect way to say goodbye to Sedona, Arizona for our tree hugging family.




2/3/14

Listen to Your Heart...

Last week my friend hosted a seminar led by Pattie Fitzgerald of Safely Ever After.  She talks about child safety in a palatable way that doesn't freak out the kids.  Or at least it doesn't seem to...  Rather than just talking about stranger danger, Pattie talks about listening to that "yucky" or "uh oh" feeling you get when you're around someone who doesn't feel right.  "Stay away from tricky people," she said.  Whether you're 5 or 50 these are lessons for everyone to take to heart.  The world is a safe place, but let your heart be your guide.  If you get that "yucky" feeling then run, yell, leave...

Pattie Fitzgerald teaching the kids how to be the Boss!

1/30/14

Vision Board Girls Night In...


So I've been working on several different Heart Healthy Mom workshops and one of them is "Vision Board Girls Night In".  Five women came over for a night of guided meditation and vision boarding.  After I walked them through a meditation, we went through tons of old magazines for inspiration and started cutting out pictures for the board.  Of course living heart healthy means eating well and exercising, but it's also about following your heart and pursing your dreams.  The last photo is a vision board I created that inspires me.








1/27/14

Gardening Birthday Party

Yesterday I took the girls to one of the cutest birthday parties ever!  It was a gardening party by Little Saplings.  The girls picked their planter, added soil, potted their little plants, watered them and decorated everything.  We now have two beautiful new plants in our kitchen.  My oldest daughter wants to steal the idea for her next bday.  Thanks Syd for an amazing party. 





1/25/14

New Year, New You!



Three years ago I put together this vision board for inspiration.  You should try it...  Write down your goals for the new year, create a vision board with pictures, words and sayings that inspire you.  Then take time out every day to work on your goals.  I'm the first to tell you that it takes a lot of hard work, and there are times when you'll want to give up... Believe me, I've been there  Just take a step back, rewrite the plan and create a new vision board.

1/22/14

Love these Heart Mugs and Bowls!

Love these cute heart mugs and bowls at West Elm.  They're perfect for Valentine's Day and heart month, which is in February plus you get an extra 10% off if you register your email address.  Happy Heart Healthy Shopping!