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September Newsletter

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Hello EveryGirl!

During these past few weeks, I spent time with my mother in LA while my dad and Keven were in Connecticut doing some renovations on our home. This was the first time since I was a child that I had my mother to myself so it was very special to me. During her stay, I made it my mission to take her healing to the next level. She learned how to meditate, began writing a daily journal, created a vision board for the upcoming year and had healing and therapy sessions. We also celebrated her 64th birthday which was beautiful. Last year my friend took her painting and she LOVED it. She often referred back to that experience saying she wanted to do another paint night, so we decided to have paint night come to her and threw her a surprise paint and brunch party at my home. We even customized the painting so that my mother could paint her hometown of Kalamata Greece. The day turned out to be better than ever and my mother had so much fun!

She and I also attended Stand Up To Cancer which holds a special place in both our hearts. Two years ago she and I were watching Stand Up To Cancer from her hospital bed after she had brain surgery to remove her tumor. I remember sitting in the hospital bed looking at my mother and feeling overwhelmed with fear as I thought about what was ahead for us. The journey was and continues to be challenging for everyone in my family, but we will continue to fight until her tumor is a distant memory. Miracles DO happen, and my mother is a walking example of a miracle. After her diagnosis, we were told to let her eat what she wanted–insinuating that she didn’t have much time left. We of course, did not let that happen. Instead, we cut all sugars out of her diet (the fuel cancer feeds on) and started her on a new path in life–one in which nutrition and emotional health were a daily priority. Two years later I was again looking at my mother as we watched Stand Up To Cancer, only this time, it wasn’t fear I felt, it was happiness.

I want to let you know that this will be my last newsletter until after the new year as I will be getting married in Greece, going on my honeymoon and spending time with family. I am so grateful to all of you for your continual support, prayers & beautiful messages and look forward to connecting with you again after the new year. <3


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Have you checked out my podcast Conversations with Maria?

It features the best-of my Sirius XM interviews, life changing tips, expert advice & so much more!

Click here to listen ! New episodes drop every Friday on Apple Podcasts!
 

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There’s a million things to consider when designing a space. From wall art, cabinetry, fabrics, hardware, furniture and everything in between, the task can be overwhelming to say the least. Moreover, with so many apps, and ideas coming at you from every corner, it’s easy to get distracted. Luckily, I’ve gathered some of the best apps for simplifying the process.

Houzz– Ever wish you could see how things would look in your space before buying them? Well now you can with the Houzz app. From gathering design ideas, virtually designing your space, or finding professionals and designers to work with, it’s a great tool for all of your architecture and design needs. I never properly learned how to use Houzz but then my friend and I dug in and I fell in love with it. My friend uses the app to browse for furniture and then virtually places the furniture into her space to see how it looks (see photos below). If you like the furniture, you also have the option of purchasing directly from the app.

Here’s some before and after photos using Houzz:

Added some shelves, a mirror, chair, lighting & accessories to this wall in the bathroom to see what it would look like as a storage/vanity space.

Played around with some art pieces to see what this blank wall would look like with some color.

Played with a textured wallpaper behind the existing furniture, & added a mirror and lamp to compliment it.

Experimented with textured pillows on the couch.

Pinterest– My first love will always be Pinterest! When I was renovating my kitchen and living room, I made boards on my Pinterest to organize my ideas and then was able to show them to my interior designer Kelli Ellis so that we could incorporate them into her designs. I’ve shared some photos below from my Pinterest board of the original ideas I saved and the end result from my kitchen. My main goal was to keep everything organized and easily accessible without looking cluttered.

By hiding everything from my coffees, teas, coffee machines and mugs behind a cabinet, I was able to keep it all in one area for ease and accessibility. I also added a roller so that I can pull the machines out instead of having to reach in. This turned out to be one of my favorite spots in the kitchen that I look forward to visiting every morning for a hot cup of coffee. =)

Coffee bar I found on Pinterest

My coffee bar

Below you can see the spice rack I saved to my board and what it ended up looking like once we incorporated it into my kitchen. I wanted everything to be simplified, so having my spices next to me in easy to pull cabinets makes cooking so much easier. Because we built two on either side of the stove, there’s enough room for every spice to be easily seen.

Spice rack I found on Pinterest My spice rack

I love keeping my plates in place with pegboards. When I saw this on Pinterest I knew it was going to be a game changer. My drawers always look organized, I can easily find everything and plates are never smashing into each other when I open and close the drawers.

Pegboard idea I found on Pinterest

My pegboard drawer

HomePolish– I recently heard about HopePolish but haven’t used it yet. The website allows you to virtually connect and work with an interior designer from the beginning to the end of your project. They’ll even source contractors and architects when needed so that they can partner with your HomePolish interior designer to manage the details. The cool thing about this is that they have options to suit different budget needs and you can even browse rooms designed by different designers so that you can get a feel for their work.


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Founder of Amen Clinics, Dr. Daniel Amen, is a double board certified psychiatrist, brain health expert, 10x New York Times bestselling author, and was the first to study brain trauma in active and retired NFL players. He was a recent guest on my podcast “Conversations with Maria” (click here for the episode) & shared his vast knowledge about the foods, supplements, lifestyle choices & treatments to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation, help prevent Alzheimer’s, brain aging, memory loss & much more.


Amen Clinics holds the worlds largest brain scan database of SPECT imaging. SPECT imaging is used to look at brain activity and blood flow patterns in order to get to the root of the problem. Once determined, they will come up with a personalized treatment plan to heal your brain.

WHAT CAN SPECT IMAGING DETECT?

  1. areas of the brain that work well.
  2. areas of the brain that are low in activity.
  3. areas of the brain that are high in activity.
  4. screen for any vulnerabilities.
  5. help with early detection of Alzheimer’s up to 9 years before you have any symptoms.”

Here are some of the things you can be doing for a healthier brain…

1.) Boost your blood flow by:

  • Working out. (Don’t be a couch potato).
  • Hyperbaric oxygen treatment.
  • Eating beats, rosemary and cayenne pepper.
  • Taking the supplement Ginkgo.

2.) Decrease inflammation:

  • Eating high-fiber foods such as root vegetables, asparagus, artichokes and cabbage.
  • Eating foods rich in probiotics such as sauerkraut, kombucha tea, kimchi and kefir.
  • Check the inflammation in your body by going to your doctor to have a blood test for C-Reactive Protein (CRP) or Omega-3 Index (a measure of EPA and DHA in red blood cells).
  • For more information about decreasing inflammation: click here

3.) Foods for a healthier brain:

  • Eating brassica detoxifying vegetables such as kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards and broccoli.
  • Eating beats, rosemary and cayenne pepper.

4.) Foods to boost your mood:

  • Eating berries, beans, fish, leafy greens, dark chocolate and whole fruits.

5.) Supplements for a healthier brain: 

  • Omega-3s– according to amenclinics.com, omega-3s are, “good for multiple areas of the brain and body” including the heart, skin, hair, nails and overall health. Moreover, they help maintain an “ideal attention span” and are effective in people prone to mood swings and stress.
  • Huperzine-A- boosts Acetylcholine (the neurotransmitter in the brain that helps you learn and remember things by connecting the neurons in your temporal nerves).
  • Ginkgo Biloba- keeps your memory strong.

6.) Support the 4 organs of detoxification:

  • Drink more water and flush it out through kidneys.
  • Eat more fiber and flush it out through your gut.
  • Stay away from alcohol to protect your liver.
  • Work up a sweat by exercising or taking saunas for your skin.

7.) Eliminate toxic household products:

  • Dr. Amen uses the ThinkDirty app (no it’s not what you think), it’s an app that scans the products in your household and rates them on a scale of 1-10 of how much the product is killing your brain cells. Dr. Amen said on my podcast that he threw out most of the products in his home after using the app, so I’m anxious to try it.

8.) Remember the 11 risk factors that can damage your brain:

Amen Clinics has come up with the “BRIGHT Minds Program”, which is designed to help you remember 11 of the risk factors that can damage your brain and increase memory loss. The words “bright minds” stand for:

B – Blood Flow
R – Retirement/Aging
I – Inflammation
G – Genetics
H – Head Trauma
T – Toxins
M – Mental Health
I – Immunity/Infection Issues
N – Neurohormone Deficiencies
D – Diabesity
S – Sleep Issues

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Last week I took my mother and my friend Ashley to get their auras read with me. If you’ve never heard of an aura reading, basically it is a reading of the electromagnetic energy field around a person. The photo of you and your aura is taken using vintage analog technology that captures on film that is no longer made.

For our readings, we went to Halo Auragraphic in Downtown Los Angeles which is owned and operated by Sharon and Michael Walker. When we arrived, Sharon greeted us and brought us into the waiting area where she and Michael briefly explained what we were about to do as well as what the colors of the auras signify.

Once we knew what to expect, one by one each of us went into the room to get our auras read. When you step into the room, you are seated on a chair in front of the vintage camera where you place both your hands on sensors that read your electromagnetic energy and transmit it through the camera onto the film.

After all of our photos were taken, Michael took the time to explain what the colors of each of our auras meant (which you can see below in the video I share of my aura reading).

What I learned is that the right side of your body represents the masculine side and the energy you are giving out, while the left side represents the feminine side and is the energy you are taking in. For a full interpretation of the colors and areas of the body click here.

I was fascinated by how accurate each of our readings were and would like to go back at some point to have it done again so that I can compare it to this one because aura readings are reflective of your aura at the moment you get the photo taken–something that can change over time depending on your current life and the circumstances you’re dealing with.

Below is an image of what each color means in your aura, a video of the explanation of my aura reading and a screen grab of the HALO Auragraphic website which shows some of the different color auras captured.

To follow HALO Auragraphic on Instagram click here

HALO Auragraphic website click here

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As I mentioned in my letter, we celebrated my mothers 64th birthday last weekend which was so much fun! As you all know, my mother has been battling stage 4 Glioblastoma for the past 2 years and I am so grateful that her health is continually improving. She loves painting–something we recently discovered when she went to a paint night with our friend Ashley, so we decided to surprise her and brought the paint party to her. We did a Sunday brunch surrounded by close friends. The best part of all was that we painted her hometown of Kalamata Greece which was very special to her. Shout out to Kristine at Paint ‘n Sip for making this happen for my mom! Below are some photos and videos from the day. =)

Final paintings (mom was napping by this point since it was so hot out)

moms sugarless chocolate cake thanks to DIY and baking queen Tamara Berg (p.s. this was delicious…so light and yet so chocolatey!  

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“My dad did my makeup” is something I NEVER thought I would say but here I am saying it! I was traveling back east a few weeks ago and decided to ask my dad to do my makeup after seeing a lot of YouTube videos of dads doing their daughters makeup. My dad is a very creative man and is always up for a good laugh, so it was easy to convince him to do it! Without giving any more away, click the below link and see for yourself what happened when my dad did my makeup! =)

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There are 2 giveaways so be sure to scroll down to see everything!


1.) I’m excited to be partnering with Home Chef to kick off their Meal Makeover challenge.

All you have to do to participate is cook with Home Chef for 4 weeks before November 16th, for a chance to win big! I’ll also be sharing my cooking tips on Home Chef’s social channels. Follow @realhomechef on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to learn more!

Wanna try it for yourself?

Go to homechef.com/maria for $30 off your first box.

Plus, I’m giving away 4 weeks worth of meals to one lucky reader.

Stay tuned for the winner announcement next week!



2.) After the segment I did on my radio show with Sonya Passi, the CEO of the non-profit organization Freefrom.org, I decided to buy a few of these ADORE boxes and give them away to you guys as an early holiday gift idea. Freefrom.org helps domestic violence survivors start their own businesses to gain financial independence, and 70% of the cost of each box goes directly to the survivor entrepreneurs who hand make the products inside. I have a box of my own and fell in love with the products!

3 WINNERS WILL RECEIVE:

-An ADORE box filled with all-natural hand-made products.

EACH BOX CONTAINS:

Coconut & Rose Soaking Salts: Made with epsom salts, organic extra virgin coconut oil, rose oil, organic rose buds and petals by mother-daughter duo, Brown Sugar Honey Child

A Dozen Roses Body Soufflé: Made with shea and kokum butters and double whipped by mamma of one and another on the way, PACT Bodycare

Coconut & Rose Moisturizing Soap: Made with organic extra virgin coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic avocado oil, organic aloe vera, and rose oil by mother-daughter duo, Brown Sugar Honey Child

Love Potion Essential Oil Roll-On: Made with rose, geranium and lavender essential oils and organic coconut oil by mamma of four, Ithiaely.

HOW TO ENTER:

-Follow @freefromdotorg & @mariamenounos on Instagram

-Email conversationswithmaria@gmail.com by September 26, 2018 with the subject line: “ADORE Giveaway” and let us know why you want to win. Please include your name, city/state and Instagram handle in the email.

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Maria Menounos

Maria Menounos

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