Healthy Gadget Girl: Mindfulness Apps

Through most of my life, I’ve been an optimist. I’ve always chosen to find joy in the little things…a scribbled picture from a loved one, an episode of Days of Our Lives or a goofy gesture from a friend. It was these simple items or acts that originally helped me be present, smile and find the calmness in my life. When my cancer returned, filling days with stress and uncertainty, I sought out Zen practices. I thought about how I needed to find peace from within, rather than relying on these acts/items to provide it. In the last few years, I’ve found small tools that not only increase positivity; they have also helped me find peace and calm during stressful situations. Yesterday, I spoke about this and my favorite smartphone apps that focus on mindfulness on WTNH-TV’s CT Style.

Healthy Gadget Girl: Tools for Holiday Zen

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…insert music and bright flashing lights here. Then pull the curtain back and you see reality. Rushing from urgent work meetings to children’s holiday concerts, then to festive parties and last-minute bargain shopping events, this season is filled with joy and plenty of stress. Being an achiever, I’ve always tried to get it all done with a smile. Though, no matter how many errands I delegate or projects I put off until next year, I still feel a little anxious in the scurry to get it all done. This year, I put my super healthy gadget girl powers to the test and tried a few devices to help de-stress. I even spoke about this, finding a little zen during the holiday season, on CT Style our local ABC affiliate award-winning lifestyle morning show. Below are some of my favorites gadgets and tools.

2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season is well under way. If you haven’t started shopping, there’s still time to buy online or run to the mall to beat the crowds and out-of-stock shelves. Knowing many parents start shopping first with kids in mind, we premiered our 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for Kids last week. Now, we’re releasing the grown-up version, the 2015 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide. As I mentioned in last year’s feature, since I’ve embraced an organic, low-toxin lifestyle, I always investigate and experiment with new products and services that focus on health and wellness. I’ve attended seminars, events, and researched the latest guides in search of unique gift ideas that won’t break the bank. Here are some of my favorite items that focus on wellness.

KIDS: Healthy Holiday Gift Guide 2015

How do you holiday shop for your kids?

Do you urge them to create a list and then shop-til-you-drop searching for those top items?

Or, do you look for the hottest sales and find toys that you know your child will love?

I’ve found a middle of the road approach. I, too, love providing my son with what he really wants. I’m sure this year the holiday ninjas will be dropping a few Ninjago Legos upon our door. However, I’m also on a quest for presents that educate and inspire him to understand healthy living – think toys, games and other kiddie activities that teach a lesson, while focusing on fun. We shared our ideas last year on PrettyWellness.com with our first Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for Kids. Since it was a success, we’re making this an annual feature.

Infused Water: Recipes & Tools

I used to be addicted to soda pop. As early as junior high, I saved my babysitting money to buy Diet Orange Sunkist. Fast-forward, this habit continued well into adulthood. At my former job, I ran into meetings double fisted with two Diet Dr. Peppers. I thought I needed the caffeine to replenish my energy and the sweet taste to satisfy my cravings. However, once I dived into researching all the detriments of a diet filled with chemicals in packaged foods and drinks, I quit soda immediately. I still missed the taste, though, so looked for alternatives. I tried to rationalize why buying fun, fizzy and hip drinks were right for me. Though when it came down to it, spring water provided the highest number of benefits including detoxification, hydration and skin beautification without any of the toxic “natural flavors.” So, to make it taste good, I started infusing different fruits and vegetables with my water. I love it so much that I recommended it as a substitute for sugary drinks when I appeared on The Dr. Oz Show.

8 Mother’s Day Gifts for the Wellness Enthusiast

I love to celebrate and create happy times around the holidays. So the Mother’s Day countdown has begun in our house. My son has started coloring cards and is already planning a trip to the store to buy my gift. What I love most about these holidays isn’t always the present itself, but the sentiment behind it. Sure, if I was sent a brand new diamond-studded Apple watch, the healthy gadget girl in me would jump for joy. However, it would be much more meaningful if the giver attached a note saying, “we know you love to power walk for hours; this watch will keep you on time and connected while also tracking your health data.” Thoughtful. Useful. Fun.

Knowing we all can’t buy each other Apple watches for various reasons, and because I love to create thoughtful gift ideas, here’s a list of useful, fun and healthy Mother’s Day gifts for the wellness enthusiast.