Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


The Sunshine Award

I am proud to say that I have been nominated for a Sunshine Award.  Blogger awards are a great way to share a little bit about yourself, and to pay it forward by calling attention to other great blogs.  I am tickled pink that Ashlee over at Willfully Disobedient chose to include my blog on her list of nominees!  Thank you, Ashlee!

Sunshine Award

Sunshine Award

The Rules

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer & let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

11 Random Facts

  1. I love baking and cooking.
  2. I am a bookworm at heart.
  3. I once jumped out of a plane, willingly!  I was sky diving.
  4. I dream about travelling and always look forward to my next trip.
  5. I have donated my hair twice.  It’s been used to make wigs for cancer patients.
  6. I am slowly removing the chemicals from my family’s daily life.  It’s a slow process.
  7. My favorite workout these days is Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30.
  8. I really want to be fluent in Spanish, but have so far to go!
  9. I plan to perfect my skin care products and one day sell them.
  10. Since I was 10, I have always had a small business venture on the side.
  11. I volunteered at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.

Ashlee’s Questions

– If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
I would like in a place where winter barely brushes up against the freezing mark. I love my city, but I always have a hard time adjusting to the -20 degree days in the winter months.
– Who is your favorite actor/actress? Why?
I love watching Denzel Washington.  He always gives such a convincing and authentic performance.
– What song always cheers you up when you’re sad?
With my little son, I sing a lot of children’s songs.  They all cheer me up – everything from Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to When you’re Happy and You Know It.
– What is your favorite toy from your childhood?
I loved playing with dolls.
– What is your least favorite thing about being an adult?
There’s a lot of responsibility that comes with being an adult.  Is there a way to pass some of that onto someone else?
– Someone is going to take you out to dinner, any restaurant you like. Where would you go?
My husband and I have a favorite Lebanese restaurant in town.  It’s not a fancy or expensive place.  The food is great and the atmosphere is welcoming.  We head there anytime we have a chance for a treat.
– If you have kids, how did you decide on names?
We chose names that other family members already had.  My son is named after my husband and after my grandfather.
– What is your favorite holiday?
I love Christmas.  It’s a great time for family.  I also love to give gifts!
– What is your favorite book?
Oh boy – I don’t think I could name just one!  I love reading!  I recently read Prisoner of Tehran and I loved it.  I’m not sure if it’s my all time favorite, but I definitely recommend it!
– How much sleep do you absolutely have to have to function?
Since getting pregnant, I’ve learned to function with a lot less sleep than ever before.  I can get by for a few days on 4 hours of sleep.  After that, the wear and tear starts to show!
– What is your favorite way to de-stress?
Working out is the best way for me to relax.  If I can’t do that, a good movie with a bowl of popcorn will do the trick!

11 Questions for my Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite food?
  2. How do you maintain balance in your life?
  3. What is/are your favorite brand(s) of makeup?
  4. Do you speak a second language?  If so, what is it?
  5. Where is your dream vacation?
  6. How do you get healthy when you have a cold or a flu?
  7. What is more important in a beauty product – packaging or price?
  8. What do you love most about blogging?
  9. Have you ever had the chance to meet a follower of your blog that you didn’t know before you started writing your blog?
  10. What is your favorite way to exercise?
  11. Do you have a bucket list and if yes, how much progress have you made on it?

And My 11 Nominees Are:

Thank you again to Ashlee for the nomination!
Congratulations to my 11 nominees! I hope you’ll find some time to answer the questions so I can get to know each of you a little bit better.
If nothing else, please check out these 11 blogs.  They are all full of great information!


The Leibster Blog Award

Thank you to Isabelle at Ginger and Aloe for nominating my blog for the Liebster Blog Award.  I am honoured and thankful for the nomination.

Blog Awards are a great way to share a bit about ourselves with other bloggers.  They are also a great vehicle for paying it forward and calling attention to other fabulous blogs out there.


1) Acknowledge and link back to the blogger who nominated you
2) Answer the 10-11 questions posed by the nominator(s)
3) Nominate 5-11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers
4) Create your own 10-11 questions for the nominees
5) Leave a comment on your nominee’s blog that you nominated them

Isabelle’s Questions

1.  Who or what inspired you to start blogging?

I was inspired to start blogging by a good friend of mine.  She wrote a blog for many years and eventually, I decided to jump on the bandwagon.  It has been a great way to share my skin care experiments.

2. What is your favorite make up?
I love the Jane Iredale line.  I also like the All Natural Face.
3. What is your favorite body lotion?
I make my own body lotion.  By far, it’s my favorite. I just can’t find anything else that works as well on my dry skin.
4. What is your favorite fruit?
5. Favorite time of the day to work out?
First thing in the morning.  It gets me going and ready for the day.
6. Favorite drink of the moment?
I love a cup of Hot Lemon Water.
7. What do you think about juice cleanse?
I do a lot of juicing using my Hurom Juice Press.  I think it’s very healthy to incorporate freshly squeezed juices into your daily routine.  I always feel best when I am juicing regularly.
8. Favorite song?
I don’t have one.  I like music, but can never recall the name or artist of a song that I like.  It’s a part of my brain that just doesn’t function…ever.

9. Your favorite place?

My favorite place is home.  Home is with my family, wherever that my be.

10. Favorite inspirational quote?

“Hope is not a plan of action”.

I love this quote.  It’s a reminder to me that I need to make my dreams come true, rather than wait and hope that things turn out how I want.

My Ten Questions

1.  How do you keep your skin clean and fresh?

2.  If you could travel to one place in the world, where would it be?

3.  What is your favorite animal?

4.  What is your favorite type of food?

5.  How do you motivate yourself to get difficult tasks done?

6.  How many times do you wash your hair in a week?

7.  Who do you admire the most and why?

8.  What is your favorite brand of make up?

9.  What is the one word that describes you the best?

10.  What is your favorite book?

And the Nominees Are:

Zen in the Big City 

Little Steps

Day Dreaming on a Dime

Tomatoes and Jasmine 

Green For Baby 

Please take a moment to visit these five fabulous blogs!  I’ve enjoyed each of them and I hope you will too!


Thank you so much to Lisa at Sapphire Reviews for nominating my blog for the Liebster Blog Award!  It’s always such an honour to be nominated by a fellow blogger.  It’s also a great opportunity to pay it forward and call attention to other great blogs.  Thank you!

Liebster Blog Award

The Rules

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog: (
  2.  Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions asked of you, and create 11 new questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  3.  Nominate 11 blogs you think deserve to be noticed, and leave comments for them letting them know that they’ve been chosen.
  4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
  5. No tag-backs.

Questions Posed by Lisa

Why did you start blogging?

I wanted to start sharing my homemade skin care experiments.  It just seemed like the best forum to share my ideas and learn from others.

If you could be anywhere in the world now, where would that be?

I could be anywhere, just as long as I’m with my family.

Dark, Milk or white chocolate?

I used to be an exclusive milk chocolate fan.  More recently, I’ve been enjoying dark chocolate more.  Changing tastes?

Shoes or bags?


What’s your profession?

I negotiate for a living.

Favourite colour?


What’s your favourite movie?

Moulin Rouge

Favourite TV Show?

Arrested Development

Favourite food?

Oh — there are so many!  If forced to choose, I’d go with my grandma’s Chicken Curry.  It’s the best!

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in two places.  I spent a good part of my childhood in Malaysia.  I spent the rest of my time growing up in Canada.

What do you want to be when you’ve grown up?

Still trying to figure that out.  If nothing else, I want to be the best mom I can be!

My Nominees

My Questions

1.  What is your favorite colour?

2.  What was your scariest moment?

3.  What was your happiest moment?

4.  What do you do to relax?

5.  What book would recommend?

6.  What inspires you to continue blogging?

7.  What is your dream vacation?

8.  Who do you admire the most?

9.  What is the most effective way you’ve found to promote your blog?

10.  What is your profession?

11.  If you had just one day left to live, how would you spend it?

Thank you again to Lisa for the nomination and congratulation to each of my 11 nominees!


Beautiful Blogger and Very Inspiring Blogger Awards

I am honoured.  I have been nominated once again for two blogger awards.  Thank you to Barbara over at Life in the Foothills for the nominations!  She was kind enough to name my blog for the Beautiful Blogger Award and the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  Thank you!

Beautiful Blogger Award

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Now there are rules for these awards. They are:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you. – Thanks again to Barbara over at Life in the Foothills!  Please go check out her blog.  You won’t be disappointed!

3. State 7 things about yourself.

  • I love to cook and create, both food and skincare products.
  • I love to read.
  • I am a new mom of a delightful 5-month old.
  • I love to spend time in the mountains.
  • I am desperately trying to learn Spanish.
  • I love to volunteer my time.
  • My favorite sound is my son’s giggle.

4. Nominate 7-15 bloggers for this award and notify those bloggers of the nomination.  I am nominating these 9 blogs for these awards. I have enjoyed following every single one of them and I hope you will too!

Pixi Wishes and Forehead Kisses 

What Tina Loves



Beauty Expression by Luchessa

The Haute Frugalista

Jessiker Bakes

Fit and Beyond 40

Mrs Gaeul


Versatile Blogger Award

Earlier this month, I was nominated by three different bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award!  Thank you to Hair and Flair, Bronze Goddess and Mademoiselle Snow for the nominations!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

I love blog awards. They are a great way to spread the word about great blogs that you’ve discovered.  Of course, it’s such a lovely feeling to be nominated!  Thank you!

The rules:

  • Insert the logos of the awards on your blog.
  • Link back the person who nominated you.
  • Post 7 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers and link them in your post.
  • Notify these bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirement.

The 7 things about me:

  1. I just welcomed a baby boy into this world.  He’s the light of my life these days.
  2. I make my own skin care products!
  3. I have very dry skin, which was one of the reasons I learned to make my own natural skincare products.
  4. I am a morning person.
  5. I am on a never-ending quest to learn Spanish.
  6. I use coconut oil in almost every aspect of my life.
  7. My favorite color is red.

The 15 bloggers I nominate:

  1. Chrystal Love Vintage
  2. Belleza Kisses
  3. Chiffon Souffle
  4. Fine Hair Design
  5. What Tina Loves
  6. Angies Grapevine 
  7. A Lot on Your Plate  
  8. Peachy Milk Tea  
  9. Nade in the Kitchen 
  10. Perfect Shine Housekeeping  
  11. Organic Lassie 
  12. Beauty Expression by Luchessa 
  13. Farm, Foodie, and Fitness  
  14. Blowing Off Steam  
  15. Simple Sustenance

Congratulations to all of the nominated bloggers and thank you once again for all the love!


Five Stars for Blog of the Year

Thank you to all of you who nominated me for the Blog of the Year Award.  They are:

Sweet Jelly Bean

Blowing Off Steam…and More

Blackbox Cosmetics

Modest is the Hottest

Storybook Apothecary

Please click on the links to check out their awesome blogs!

Blog of the Year Award 5 star

Blog of the Year Award 5 star

In the end, I got five stars and I am so grateful.  Given the new addition to our family last month, I’ve been a bit absent from my blog.  Despite being away, you still nominated me five times!  Truly, I appreciate all of your support.

Happy New Year!


Blog of the Year 2012 Award

Blog Awards

Blog Awards are a great way of paying it forward.  As D. at Sweet Jelly Bean put it so well, it’s a great way to let someone know how much you appreciate their blog, love to see what they write, and how much you look forward to their posts.  This year, I’ve been nominated for a few blog awards.  Each one of them has warmed my heart.  It’s just great to know that people are paying attention to my blog!  Of course, it also gave me a great opportunity to recognize all the blogs that I have started following in the past months.  In short, when it comes to blog awards, I’m a fan.

Blog of the Year 2012 Award

D. at Sweet Jelly Bean  and Rynnie at Modest is the Hottest both nominated my blog, among a host of many other fabulous blogs, for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award.  Thank you to you both!  This is a unique award that allows a blog to be nominated several times.  Each time your blog is nominated, you earn yourself a star, which you can proudly display on your blog.  Sounds like fun, right?

Blog of the Year Award

Blog of the Year Award

The Rules for this award are simple:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award –    and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5 You can now also join our Facebook group — click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6 As a winner of the award — please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award — and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – thumbnails

Here are the 6 awards in thumbnail size for your sidebar – feel free to Right Click and save any of the images on this page:

My Nominations for Blog of Year Award – 2012

Now that the rules of the game are set out, let’s get down to business.  There are so many blogs that I have been lucky enough to discover this year.  I’ve enjoyed all of them and learned a lot.  It’s also been a pleasant surprise to share stories and common experiences with so many great bloggers.  Each of these bloggers regularly shares their own bits of wisdom from their everyday lives.    I’ve nominated my favorite ones here:

Sweet Jelly Bean

Homemade Wellbeing

Story Book Apothecary

Lightly Crunchy

Blowing Off Steam

Blackbox Cosmetics

Natural New Age Mum

Robyn Peoples

Bronze Goddess

Modest is the Hottest


Pay it Forward!

Congratulations to all of these wonderful bloggers for being nominated.  I love following your blogs and look forward to more of your great posts in the new year! And now, it’s your turn to pay it forward and nominate your favorite blogs!


Chosen for an Inspiring Blog Award

A big Thank You to Tianna at Story Book Apothecary for nominated my blog for the Inspiring Blog award!

Answer the Following Questions:

  • What clothing item makes you feel at your best?  I love dresses, especially when I have a special event to attend.
  • When are you most energetic? Without a doubt, in the morning!
  • Time to kick back and relax! What’s your pick-me-up food/drink?  A handful of nuts or roasted seeds gives me a good boost in the afternoons.  A cup of hot tea is perfect when I need a drink!
  • Your favorite kind of chocolate?  The edible kind!
  • To follow-up on that, what’s your favorite pastime?  I love making things…right now, I’m pretty focused on soaps and lotions!
  • What sound do you love? Rain falling outside, as long as I’m inside.
  • If you could pack your bags and leave right now, what country or city would you go to? Somewhere warm…winter is just starting here!
  • There’s an album called “soundtrack to your life”, what songs have to be on it?  Too many to count!
  • Do you have any bad habits?  I procrastinate.
  • What’s one habit others do that you absolutely can’t stand?  My number one pet peeve is when people are moving in a different direction than where they are looking.  People do this while walking, driving, running etc…and it drives me up the wall!


I am pleased to nominate these five blogs for this award.  I look forward to these folks’ blog posts every day!  Congratulations!


Robyn Peoples

Green People Blog

The Beauty Department

Holistic Green Beauty


Super Sweet Blogging Award – A Double Nomination!

I was lucky enough to be nominated by two of my fellow bloggers for the Super Sweet Blogger Award!

Thank you to both Barbara at Life in the Foothills and to The Sapphire Witch at The Nemeton!   Please be sure to stop by both of their blogs and check them out!

This award requires the following:

1 – That I give credit to the person who nominated me. Again thank you to both the Sapphire Witch and to Barbara!

2 – That I answer the super sweet questions. Here are the questions and answers:

Cookies or cake?

Cake, without a doubt.  I can savor a good piece of cake for way longer than any old cookie!

Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate…anytime, anywhere.  Is that really a question?!

What is my favorite sweet treat?

My mom makes a delicious chocolate cheesecake.  It’s divine.

When do I crave sweet things the most?

I always get a craving for something sweet in the afternoon.

If you had a sweet nickname what would it be?

Chocoholic? I can’t think of a more fitting sweet nickname than that!

3 – The last part of this award is that I nominate a Baker’s Dozen of super sweet bloggers.  Here they are!  Congratulations!  I love following each and every one of your blogs!

Sweet Jelly Bean

Serving up Fairy Dust with All Things Beauty, Health, and Lifestyle…  

Simply Stated Blogs 

Say Yes To Happy

Natural New Age Mum

Well Beauty Blog

Beauty – The Missing Manual

Modesty is the Hottest


CT Esthetic

Work Play Polish 

Peace Love and Glitter

Beauty Crazed


Now that you’ve been nominated, here are the rules of the award:

Choose 13 of your favorite blogs. Write a post like this one, listing all 13 and answering the questions above.  Then, send your chosen blogs the nomination for the Super Sweet Blogging Award by commenting on one of their posts.  That’s it.  You are done.  Congratulations!