Spring: A Fresh Start

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a weekend off and can finally free my mind to write a blog post. I guess you could say I’ve been busy living life. And that’s the truth. Life is so beautiful and precious. I used to write in my journal every night, until I went off to college, then I wrote an entire book! And then I began to live my life. Fell in love. Bought a home. Got married! Oh, yeah I’ve been waiting for 10 years to put on that wedding dress! Life is good.

There are so many things about my life now that are completely different than when I first started my writing journey. I’ve somehow bloomed into a healthy lifestyle fanatic, loving the tastes of flavorful and healthy foods like avocado, freshly chopped cilantro, and yes that squeezed lime juice! I’ve also become obsessed with a toxic-free home, especially cleaning supplies, because no one likes a dirty home! You’ll see that I have a love for ewg.org and all my friends know this! I’m really just me. I love when products are green, safe for the environment, our reproductive health, and safe if exposed to animals. Many of these products like my favorite Native deodorant & cleaning products by Puracy and Seventh Generation I plan on sharing here on Her Healthy Habits. her_healthy_habits__nametag

The way I define Her Healthy Habits is simply finding that balance between loving where you are mentally and physically balancing everyday habits in a healthy, productive way so as to feel absolutely happy with your life. This is how I feel. I love my life. That doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days where I cry, because I certainly do. Crying is a part of life, and happy people cry. We just have to get through it together.

All through my writing journey, my heart has remained the same. I have so much I’d like to share with others. Many things that I feel very passionate about, in hopes to help others. My mother has always said I see the beauty in everything. It’s true, I really do. I could sit for hours just listening to sounds of the peaceful outdoors, until a beautiful hummingbird wisps by me-I always jump a little when they do that. (I’m also so excited for spring!) My mom has actually been the one to always help me on my writing journey. She’s always proof-read everything and taught me so much about how to publish my work. She still writes today, even after going through her rough round of breast cancer. I’m so proud of her.

My latest read was Jessica Simpson’s Open Book. It has inspired me in so many ways. First, I have always loved Jessica Simpson. Second she is so open about the raw details of her life which makes it so beautiful. And third, it isn’t fake. I’ve really enjoyed listening to her tell her story on audible on Amazon. (You’ll learn I’m a huge fan of Amazon). But I also bought her signed copy from Target for only $10 with a coupon. (I’m also a great shopper!) But in all seriousness, I feel like I know so much now than when I was a teenager and biggest fan of Jessica Simpson. It’s a great book, I recommend it to all her fans!

There’s something meaningful that hits me this time of the year. Just before the lilacs bloom. I get this spring cleaning vibe that I can only describe as having a fresh start. I love planning where the flowers will go, and which ones to get. I’m hoping we get our lilacs blooming that we planted last year at our new home. We’ve been fighting with the deer and I’ve been getting pretty crafty at keeping them out. I think lilacs are so meaningful because the bloom only happens once a year and for only about two weeks or so. It reminds me of my favorite quote by John Keats, “I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days- three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”

So as we all start cleaning our homes to get that fresh start and clean air, keep Her Healthy Habits in mind. I’ll be sharing all kinds of tips on cleaning supplies for a toxic-free home. One simple thing I love to do is put lemons in the garbage disposal instead of a harsh chemical. It also smells way better! More to come…

Heather Blynn

My Secret SOPHi Nail Polish


Have you ever wanted to paint your nails but you were stuck inside and didn’t want to make the whole house smell like a harsh chemical? I think we’ve all been there.

I used to avoid painting my nails because of this. However, since I’ve discovered SOPHi nail polish from the amazing Kris Carr website, I now am not hesitant to paint my nails inside my home. This is because SOPHi has no toxic smell whatsoever.

It’s even free of toxins and comes in some pretty summer colors. SOPHi is also a vegan nail polish being cruelty-free and made in the U.S.A. It does not contain phthalates, BPA, or ethyl acetate and no nasty formaldehyde.

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I could tell right away that it was different than other nail polishes because it was like painting (feeling more water-based) instead of applying a chemical substance. It does chip off after a day or two, but I easily apply right over to touch up. I really love this nail polish and have even started gifting it to friends and family because of its unique feature of no smell.

Now you all know my secret healthy nail polish. Go ahead and get started on your healthy beauty living as well! I get mine from Amazon (another reason to love Amazon Prime for free 1-day shipping) Enjoy!

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A Lesson on Cookware

Over the past several weeks my mom and I have been visiting with my new baby nephew. Between it being breast cancer awareness month and seeing my mom’s hair grow back after chemotherapy, and little nephew’s sweet eyes, I’ve somehow started to become one of those “crazy health geeks,” or maybe always have been.

All through my sister’s pregnancy we’d go over things like “what’s the healthiest bottle?” and “what’s the safest pacifier?” So many health questions begin when we are just little babies that it got me thinking about all the unhealthy stuff I was exposed to as a kid, such as plastic that was not bpa-free, nasty Teflon from pots and pans, possible lead in dinnerware, and even second-hand smoke.

We all have to eat in order to live. Health, in my opinion, starts in the kitchen. So I’ve done some research to answer many of my questions about cookware, dinnerware, and food. I’m still researching today. It can be exhausting, but the point is to never give up on learning something new, especially when it deals with your health.

Having a nice set of cookware is essential in a kitchen. It can also be extremely expensive. Luckily, Henry and I were in need of a new set after only two years of using a nicer set of hard-anodized pots and pans. Plus, my birthday was just around the corner, and well, that’s all I had my eyes on. Here’s what I learned…pretty much everything out there is bad for you. The good news is that there are some BETTER options to choose from.

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Le Creuset cookware is fabulous. It’s cast iron with a beautiful glaze that allows no harmful chemicals to leach through into your food. WAY better than any aluminum pots and pans. All pieces are made in France. I purchased mine here…

Le Creuset of America 5 Piece Signature Enameled Cast Iron Cookware Set, Hibiscus

HOWEVER, don’t get carried away with the bakeware sets that are stoneware because they are NOT made in France like the enameled cast iron, which means you don’t know how much lead is in the glaze, technically. This is why I suggest Fiesta dinnerware and bakeware.

They are made in the United States, Lead-free, microwave-safe, dishwasher-safer, even oven-safe! They also come with a five year

warranty against chips or cracking. They are beautiful in color, and the bottoms are smooth so you can stack them and not worry about scratching. We bought ours through Kohls during a 30% discount! Lead-free is loosely stated, however. I must mention this. I trust these dishes, yes, but there’s still an extremely tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny amount of lead naturally, or

may be. See the confusion here? That’s why I say, it’s all about making “the healthiest choice.”

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Now, I’m not going to go on and on about all the reasons I didn’t choose any other cookware because I literally could go on and on. But, I will tell you all the main points which are exhaustively stated everywhere nowadays, which is a good thing! Aluminum pots and pans are bad for cooking, especially when they are scratched and peeling or when you cook with tomato-based sauces. The tomato-based sauces in spaghetti, tacos, chili, etc. react with aluminum and leach into the food, hence into our bodies. Stainless steel may be better than aluminum but it can leach Nickel into foods. Cast iron can leach iron that’s not really the real form of iron our bodies need, however for someone who is anemic there might be benefits. Ceramic coated pots and pans are just a joke. Then, you have all ceramic, I mean the REAL all ceramic like Xtrema, which I was going to buy, however, I noticed they are not made in the United States and they are extremely fragile and expensive, so I crossed it off my list. Maybe for others this is a good choice.

This is how I came to Le Creuset cast iron. We bought the 3-piece set from amazon and packaging was excellent! It’s made in France, lifetime warranty, been around for years, are heirlooms, and they pass the hardest test for lead in California. Apparently there are higher amounts of lead (though extremely lower than low) are in the red and orange colored glazes (the blue and purple don’t have that higher amount). Now when I say “higher amount of lead” I don’t mean it’s bad, I just mean there’s more than the other colors, but still so low in amount that it “probably” will never leach into foods. This again, is why I say, “choose the best option.” Now, I’m no expert, just a regular consumer looking for the best option out there. If you disagree with me, I’d love to hear your reasoning! There’s always something new to learn. I am truly in love with my Le Creuset set and Fiesta dishes.

My favorite piece by far is the Dutch Oven. I’ve cooked Chicken Rice Soup (Grandma’s recipe) so far, Yum! Always use wooden utensils, too. I ditched all the plastic and went with wood and silicone, though, I’m still curious on silicone. Le Creuset cookware does get hot, which is why we bought a silicone handle for the skillet and saucepan. For the dutch oven, you’ll need hot pads! This type of cookware has to be slowly heated (never higher than medium heat), which does take time when you are hungry, but it’s a price you have to pay for assurance that nothing bad is going into your food. The skillet I’ve used for cooking chicken breasts, and the saucepan for slowly steaming veggies. So much more to cook!

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The night before life goes on…

There are ups, there are downs…but life continues like a roller coaster, a thrill, a scare, a great adventure. The more we ride along, the more we learn to enjoy, let loose and raise our hands in the air without a care. Nothing will ever go as we expected. Sometimes, just sometimes, it might go a little better. And those sometimes are as sweet as biting into a fresh summer strawberry.

Life. Breathe in, breathe out. Smile and go to work. Get home and enjoy the company of loved ones. Life is beautiful, life is sweet. Life is continuous…until it isn’t. But until that end, life goes on. We have to grab hold of our lives and love all the flaws that come with it.

This is how define life.

Some may say that I see life through rose colored glasses, that I’m a hopeless romantic and find beauty and meaning in everything.  And I do. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. When one thing knocks me down, I don’t cry about it. Instead, I see it as a sign that something better will come along. And usually it does.

Recently, I’ve graduated from college. I now hold a Bachelors of Science degree. Do I feel any smarter than a week ago? Probably. I had along side me, my boyfriend of now almost five years. When we moved in together to share an apartment after three years of dating, I thought that life didn’t get better than that. I had the love of my life, a bright future ahead of me, and my own space. But now that graduation is over, I’ve written a book, and I’m weeks away from moving into a bigger loft apartment with my love, I know that life just keeps getting better if you let it.

Boxes upon boxes lay sprawled out in my small downtown apartment, blocks away from the University. It’s the night before life goes on. Remember how I said life continues and how life has ups and downs? Well, tomorrow my boyfriend and I go back to our hometown and start work. We both must wait two weeks before our new apartment is ready for us. This is the point in time where I’m down near the bottom of that roller coaster, waiting and waiting to see the top. I want to be at the top and see that sweet summer horizon.

Until then, for two weeks, I stay with my Dad. Ironically, my second book is all about the summer my main character, Emma, spends with her Dad. Coincidence? Maybe. Life is full of surprises. And..there’s so much to be grateful for. The night before life goes on, I ponder on this poem I wrote years ago and found just today while rummaging through my old boxes…ironically it’s titled “Life.”

Someday. This day. Our day.

Life

Someday my heart won’t be beating anymore.

Someday I won’t have the courage to scream.

Someday I will grow old, as all of these people do.

Someday my life will be gone.

Someday we can all look on.

It is some day that makes us grateful for this day.

This day we shall never look back and regret.

This day we should carry on.

This day we should follow our hearts.

This day we should follow and lead and grow.

This day is our day.

Our day is our life.

Here, I stand. I’ve reached the break in the woods and see the other forests, the other challenges I can journey to and try. Life is continuous. Life must be carried on. What I’ve learned thus far is that life is the following, leading, and the growth in all of us. Whether we are following our loved ones, or just following our hearts. We all have a steady beating we call life. It’s the beating in our hearts. The night before life goes on, I remember this. I remember those four years of college, and all the wonderful memories. I carry on, following, leading, and most importantly, growing, because life is continuous. Life is a roller coaster, and I’m enjoying the ride.

Women: Be your own kind of beautiful

Nowadays, the pressures young women feel to be “someone” and figure out who they are can be overwhelming. Women feel pressures to be a perfect soccer mom, or a perfect wife or girlfriend. We’re really just looking for acceptance in everything we do and everywhere we go. Think about it, the first thing we do in a conversation is discover similarities with someone. We love having things in common with others, especially other women. Women relate to other women for so many reasons, and we love to talk.. So, why do some women feel the pressures of their society? Maybe it’s acceptance. Maybe we should just accept ourselves already and be our own kind of beautiful.

I’m talking to the women who try to be perfect and don’t even realize it, me included. Nearly no one today wants to be perfect, unless you’re Kim Kardashian, but even she accepts herself for who she is. It can be exhausting to excel in perfection. So why do we do it? Is it because we want people to think positively about us? Or is it that we don’t hear enough positive comments that we thrive to be perfect, or do we just want to please everyone? What is it? I think it has to do with acceptance, and not just others’ acceptance either, because most of us accept everyone for who they are. Those who try to be perfect haven’t fully accepted themselves the way they are, flaws and all. This is why they continue the attempt of being perfect and/or improving when they don’t need to.

Why attempt to look for something that is already there? We were born beautiful and unique, every single one of us. We all have flaws, curves, and tempers, but together, it creates us, a vintage kind of beautiful. The thing that we need to discover in ourselves is what we like and who we are, not how others will perceive us. By doing so we will accept ourselves. It may seem selfish, but it’s not. When we learn what we love, such as loving kindness because we love seeing smiles on friends and family, we end up learning about each other, too.

We all need to stop mastering the art of perfection in everything, and start learning our flaws and imperfections. They make us who we are-our own kind of beautiful. Embrace these flaws and learn to love who you are. Whether that’s someone who hates to cook and clean or whatever one might dislike or not be so good at. It’s a flaw you should embrace. Accept yourself because others already have-and even if they haven’t, your own acceptance for yourself is more powerful than what anyone else has to think of you. Be your own kind of beautiful.

When you love what you have….

for blog postWhen you love what you have, you have everything you need. I hold strongly to these words that are written on a sign over my bed as a daily reminder. Being grateful means by definition to warmly or deeply appreciate the kindness or benefit being received. It’s not only being thankful as the dictionary states, but being grateful also is pleasing to the mind. It’s something you can take in with all the senses. It’s completely refreshing and one of my constant reminders when things get tough. Not to worry. We always have each other.

Life has hit me friends. The real world that is. And every time I feel like giving up, I turn to this quote. I physically turn to those I’m grateful for and the simple sight of my loved ones refreshes every doubt or trouble I have.

It’s very easy to get caught up in the life of always wanting “more.” Maybe it’s not things or money, maybe it’s experiences we want. Or maybe it’s more from life itself, like that boyfriend of nine years who hasn’t proposed yet. Wait, maybe that’s just me. Anyways. It’s really easy to always want more. Currently, my boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a home and as easy as it is to get caught up in all the excitement, I instead slow down. I mean, yes, I do want a house for our little family, but I also love what we have right now too. But, in the midst of all this waiting and back and forth with realtors and loan officers and paperwork and saving, I keep to this quote that hangs above my headboard.

When you love what you have…then you have everything you need.

So, even if this house doesn’t go through for some reason or another, hey, it happens, life will still be just as good because I already love what I have. Maybe it’s the “millennial” talking in me, the voice inside that all too many like to criticize. Yeah, maybe my boyfriend and I have been together for nine years and haven’t got married and had a dozen babies. Yeah, maybe we are buying a house for our cat. But, at least we are happy with what we have. I mean, why wouldn’t we be? We have each other and that’s all we need.

So wherever you are at with your life, just remember to be grateful for what you already have. Keep striving to be and do better, but always remember to slow down and truly realize what you already have is beautiful.

P.S. We got the house!

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One Raindrop

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Inside one raindrop the world changes.

Beginning as droplets on chipped windowsills

bringing their forgiveness, happiness, or sadness.

Not because the translucent angel tears

seep emotions out with the rain,

but because it is the rain.

Sunny days are beautiful, but the rain…

the rain reveals true feelings

while rainbows are proof of promise.

Such a beautiful thing in this world is

raindrops on soft and fragrant flower petals

the kind that only bloom for a week or two all year.

It’s a dream.

A dream that replays like a favorite black and white movie.

Maybe it’s a memory? And finally waking up is inevitable

while the sun of a new day beams down its glory.

It’s that one little raindrop filled with life…

that just disappears.

It evaporates into the air

or soaks its way into the stem of that flower.

Here it will forever live on and come back in memory.

Only on another rainy day

will I see that one raindrop,

and be chasing the lilac dream.