Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve Party Ideas

Tip Junkie has some really fun party ideas for New Year's Eve. Check them out at:
http://ow.ly/R6j4
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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Resolutions for the New Year


Another year means another list of New Year's resolutions. How long is your list this year? Here are some resolutions to try. Don’t attempt them all but choose a few to get your year off to a great start.

BE REALISTIC
Too many people start the New Year with a list of goals about their weight, smoking etc. While it’s good to have goals it’s also important to remember enjoy the present and not let the future rob you of today’s joy. Set realistic goals that you can manage.

TAKE MORE WALKS
If you haven't taken a walk for awhile, get moving! I bet you'll feel more refreshed and less stressed about the world. The simple act of walking – away from your office or home - allows you to enjoy nature and exercise all at once.

WATCH LESS TV
I’m not going to suggest that you give up TV but a few less hours a week wouldn't hurt. Evidence links TV viewing to unhealthy outcomes such as obesity. So turn off the TV now and then. You’ll find lots to do with the extra time!

MAKE TIME TO PLAY
Games whether it’s a board game, crossword puzzle or even a new sport can help to keep your mind sharp. Playing games with your kids or significant other helps you to stay connected and can help you to relax.

SPOIL YOURSELF
Schedule a vacation, plan a date night, or just commit to taking an hour or so at least once a week and relaxing all by yourself. You're worth it.

The two that I am going to work on are “Watching Less TV” and “Spoiling Myself”. I know I can make better use of my time by cutting out meaningless tv. After this past busy Christmas season I could really use some pampering—so, I’m going to treat myself to a massage regularly and find time to unwind with my new itouch.

Care to share any of your resolutions?
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

How to Eliminate Hat Head


A New Year, a new do. I just got my hair cut short so I am excited to try wearing some winter hats. (My in-between length didn't work with hats before.) But the one thing I hate with hats is having my hair fly-away with static.

The December issue of Prevention (http://www.prevention.com/) magazine listed some ways to take care of winter hat head. These tips are from Marcos Diaz, a New York City stylist.

*Use a leave in conditioner.
*Rub the inside of your hat with an unscented dryer sheet.
*After removing your hat, flip your head upside down and finger comb out.

I'm for sure going to try the dryer sheet tip since it sounds like it would really work. I don't know about the leave in conditioner. That would take some getting used to.

Prevention also mentions that 25% of women wear winter hats to look stylin'. Do you wear a winter hat--for style or warmth?
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


I cherish all of my Blog Fans and are sending thoughts of gratitude and good cheer to you all. May your holiday be full of love and peace!
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Where to Wear Your Fragrance


There are several places that work best to wear your favorite fragrance. (Mine is on my pulse points.)

*Pulse Points.
Apply your scent to your neck, wrist, back of your knees and behind your ears.

*On Your Hair
Your hair works great to carry your scent. It can dry your hair so spray it on only occasionally.

*In the Air
Spray a cloud of perfume and then walk into it. The scent will cling to your skin. This will give you a lighter scent.

Wearing your fragrance on your skin is the best. The natural warmth of your body helps distribute oils from the perfume.

Putting perfume on your wrists and then rubbing them together actually breaks down the mixture of materials that make up your scent. You want to avoid this.

What is your favorite place to wear your scent?

Respond to this blog post and enter to win one of Gathered From The Garden's Gift Sets (your choice of fragrance).
Please leave a comment and your email by Sunday at 9:00 p.m CST We’ll pick a comment at random and notify the winner. You can also let us know if you'd like to receive our online newsletter.

Time to pamper yourself! Good Luck!
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


This view on my way to work. Usually it's totally dark on my commute during the winter months. Can you make out the barn and silo?
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gifts for Your Favorite Neighbors


On one side we have a family of four that are just delightful. On the other side we have neighbors that can't stand us. (It's a long and sad story...) Anyway, I wanted to give our friendly neighbors something different for Christmas. I found this list over at http://www.partiesandholidays.blogspot.com/
She said she has compiled the list over the years and can't really give credit to anyone but I'll give her some credit for blogging the list so I could copy it. :)

Here are some fun ideas:

1- Make some Chex Muddie Buddies or buy a bag of Chex mix and attach a tag that says, "Santa Chex his list twice to see whose been naughty or nice...so be good for goodness sake!"

2- Attach a tag to a roll of cookie dough that says, "Here is some extra dough for Christmas!"

3- Attach a tag to a box of popcorn that says, "Just popping by to wish you a Merry Christmas!"

4- Attach a tag to a 2-Liter bottle of sprite that says, "May your holidays be Merry and Sprite!"

5- Attach a tag to a scented candle that says, "We hope you have a SCENTsational Christmas!" or "May your Christmas be Merry and Bright!"

6- Attach a tag to a soup mix that says, "Wishing you a SOUPER holiday season!"

7- Put a sugar cookie mix in a hot pad pocket and tie a cookie cutter to the loop on the hot pad with a ribbon.

8- Put Hershey Kisses in a wire whisk and wrap cellophane around the whisk. Attach a tag that says, "We WHISK you a merry KISSmas and a happy new year!"

9- Attach a tag to a bag of Jolly Ranchers that says, "Have a Holly "Jolly" Christmas!"

10- Attach a tag to a measuring cup filled with a Christmas treat that says, "Wishing you joy beyond measure this holiday season!"

11- Attach a tag to a bottle of sparkling cider that says, "Wishing you a sparkling Holiday season!"

12- Put Hershey Kisses and Hugs in a jar and attach a tag that says, "Holiday Hugs and Kisses to you!"

13- Attach a tag to a plate of homemade goodies that says, "Wishing you a season filled with sweetness!"

14-Attach a tag to a jar of homemade salsa that says, "Here's to add a little spice to your holiday season!"

15- Attach a tag to a cheese grater and a block of cheese that says, "Wishing Grate neighbors a Merry Christmas!"

16- Attach a tag to a jar or box of cocoa mix that says, "Wishing you a warm and wonderful holiday season!"

17- Attach a tag to a bag of pasta that says, "Have a Pasta-tively Merry Christmas!"

18- Attach a tag to a brownie, cookie or soup mix that says, "Whip up this mix for a wonderful holiday mix!"

19- Attach a tag to a plate of fudge (or bottle of homemade fudge sauce) that says, "Fudge a little on the calories and enjoy the holiday season!"

20- Attach a tag to a plate of warm cinnamon rolls that says, "Here's a sweet treat "Rolled" up with warm holiday wishes!"

21- Attach a tag to a bag or jar of seasoning that says, "Hoping your holidays are "spiced" just right!"

22- Attach a tag to a bottle of jam that says, "Hope your holidays are jam packed with cheer!"






Aren't these fun? I like #1--I'll make a double batch. One to give away and one to eat here!


Do you have any neighbors that deserve a treat?
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Sunday, December 6, 2009

Festive Candy Cane Cocktail



Our German heritage has us celebrating the feast of St.Nicholas today. When our children were little St.Nick used to knock on the doors and windows. He always left a big bag of treats on the front step.

Treats shouldn't just be for children so I am sharing with you a recipe and photo from Martha. (www.marthastewart.com/candy-cane-cocktail)

Ingredients
Makes one cocktail
1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish
2 ounces of strawberry vodka
4 dashes of white creme de menthe
2 1/2 ounces of cranberry juice
Ice cubes
Directions
Place the crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.
In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into prepared glass; serve immediately.


This would be a great drink to have on any feast day, not just St.Nick's!
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Stain Busters


With the holidays coming up, lots of parties to attend, food to eat, fancy drinks to try, what's a girl to do if she spills on her favorite holiday outfit?Try one of these inexpensive stain busters...

Vinegar is great for coffee or tea stains. Pour on some vinegar mixed with cold water. Let it sit for half an hour then rinse. This also works on cola stains.

Use dishwashing liquid for grease stains. Scrape off the excess with a butter knife. Place the stain face-down on a plain white paper towel. Squeeze a small amount of dishwashing liquid on the back of the stain and wait about a minute. Pretreat the the stain with detergent, and wash it on the warmest water setting that particular fabric can endure.

Chocolate stain? Scrape off the chocolate. Then put a little hydrogen peroxide on the stain. Gently scrub--a soft toothbrush works well. Rinse.

Try regular bar soap for a lipstick stain. Rub white soap on the stain. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then rinse.

Wine spill? If it's red wine, rinse it with white wine. Repeat until the stain fades.

Pizza on your lap? Scrape off any residue then rinse with cold water. Then pour on a little lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes, rinse again.

Gravy stain? Sprinkle on some cornstarch. After an hour, discard the powder and flush with hot water.

With a nail polish spill you should first rub with acetone (nail-polish remover), and then send through the laundry cycle.


For more spot cleaning tips go to http://www.mrscleanusa.com/
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Friday, November 27, 2009

15 Ways To Look and Feel Good For The Holiday Season


According to the American Psychological Association, nearly 90% of American women think they are going to be stressed at some point this holiday season. Here are some tips to help you be your best...


1. Wrapping gifts? Ripping tape? Help keep your nails in shape by filing in one direction.

2. Get a fresh haircut. If you change your part, your hair will have more body.

3. Keep your energy level up by exercising. Working out with a friend is more fun and
will help keep you motivated.

4. Indulge in some dark chocolate. It’s healthy for your heart since it’s loaded with
lavonoids. The key is moderation!!

5. Find some peace and quiet. Light a candle, put on soothing music--take a few minutes
to recenter during this busy season.

6. Take care of your lips. Exfoliate lips once or twice a week by gently circling over them
with a soft toothbrush after you have brushed your teeth. Apply lip balm immediately afterwards.

7. Dress festively. Plan an outfit ahead of time so you don’t wind up
wearing anything unflattering at the last minute.

8. Remember, there is no substitute for sleep. Take the night off. If you are wound up,relax with light exercise.

9. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! (Gathered From The Garden has an awesome Facial Moisturizer.)

10.Try a new winter activity. Taking your workout outdoors on a chilly day burns 12 % more calories!

11. Repeat: “I am not Martha Stewart.”

12. Helping others will remind you of the true meaning of the season. Researchers say that volunteering can lift your spirits instantly!

13. When in doubt, wear black. It’s always chic and slimming.

14. Apply some body lotion that contains shimmer to your arms, shoulders and décolletage.

15. It’s time for something festive so paint your nails red. Then wear a cuff jeweled bracelet to draw attention to your fresh manicure.

And if these don't help your stress level--don't be afraid to ask for help. Tell those you love most exactly how they can help ease your load.

How would you have answered the APA's survey? Do you expect to be stressed this holiday season?
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I am Thankful For

Moms, dad, son, son-in-laws, daughters,grandkids,sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews,friends, neighbors. A family that chose to host Thanksgiving for all of us this year. It makes a girl glad to be part of a great town, a great family.

Raw natural beauty. We spent part of July in Alaska. Seeing the glaciers and mountains put me more in awe of God's creation. Driving to and from school through farm country makes me realize how even the simple corn fields are a wonder of God's creation too.

Today I am thankful for all of you. Thanks for making my year so much richer.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick Take

According to the Old Farmer's Almanac:

Cranberries contain malic acid, a natural astringent. Cut open a cranberry and rub it over your chapped lips. This will help strip away dead skin cells while at the same time infusing your lips with protective antioxidants.

I've got whole cranberries in the freezer right now. I'm going to thaw some and give it a try. My lips aren't chapped but I'd like to see how it feels. Anyone else game enough to try it?
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Sunday, November 22, 2009

A List of Things to Be Thankful For


Some have attributed it to Mother (Saint) Theresa, which suits me just fine. I'm thankful I found it and have the ability to pass it along.

Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means you have enough to eat.

Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party, because it means you have been surrounded by friends.

Be thankful for the taxes you pay, because it means you're employed.

Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.

Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.

Be thankful for the laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.

Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you can walk.

Be thankful for the lady who sings off key behind you in church, because it means you can hear.

Be thankful for the alarm that goes off in the early morning, because it means you are alive.

And finally, here is mine: I'm thankful to be able to post this on a blog and have readers like you who read and respond!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Brown Bag Project


I recently joined the Bloggers Unite group. They ask bloggers to pick something to blog about, only for one day and this is what I have chosen. The Brown Bag Project takes place on November 21, 2009.

This year on 11/21/09, BlogCatalog.com and HalfHourMeals.com are helping fight hunger. They are asking bloggers from around the world to join in. You can use your blog to promote this and to help make people aware of the hunger that is happening right before us. If you don't have a blog you can still help.

Here are a few ways that the Bloggers Unite suggested how we can help out.

1) Donate food or money to a local food bank.

2) Sponsor a food drive.

3) Volunteer at a local food bank or kitchen that helps to feed the hungry.

4) Deliver a meal to a hungry family.

5) Donate to a charity that fights to end hunger.


I'm telling you this early so that you will have time to plan. It could be as easy as donating to your church or asking your local school principal if they know a family who could use a little extra help this year. Thanks for reading! Enjoy your day~
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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Great Sources of Holiday Ideas


Here's another 10 blogs for you to check out for fun and creative holiday ideas. From crafts to cookies...you'll find lots of inspiration!


http://www.partywishesscv.blogspot.com/ Fun ideas for creative parties.
http://www.theidearoom.com/ Craft ideas and projects.



http://www.craftbits.com/ Can't have too many ideas!

http://www.alphamom.com/ Click on "Once Upon a Holiday".

http://www.eddieross.com/ Click on Crafts.

http://www.blogntell.blogspot.com/ Crafts and other stuff.

http://www.oneperfectbite.blogspot.com/ Simple and tasty recipes.

http://www.thepioneerwoman.com/ I think everyone's heard of her but in case you haven't...


There you have it,10 more great blogs to check out. You can't help but get into the holiday spirit with all of the great craft and food ideas you'll find on these blogs. Let us know if you try out a craft or recipe from one of these blogs!









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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Workout For The Sole

When it comes to exercises, we tend to neglect our feet. Walking and pressure can lead to the weakening and fatigue of our foot muscles. Performing simple foot exercises can go a long way in building muscle tone, relieving fatigue, preventing cramping, and foot pain.You can practice a number of exercises to strengthen your feet. Here are some great moves to keep your tootsies feeling their best: (Jerry graciously agreed to be my foot model!)

Stretch
This feels great after having your toes squeezed together all day.

How to do it: Sit in a chair. Take your foot and thread the fingers of your opposite hand through your toes. Use your fingers to press inbetween your toes. This will help relax the muscles in your foot.


Strengthen
You can to this with a rubber ball like Jerry did or you can use Foot Wakers (http://www.yamunabodyrolling.com/).

How to do it: Put the ball under your heel and exert pressure on the center of your heel for 5-10 seconds. Rock back and lift your toes, then roll the foot down.


Next, put the arch of your foot on the ball and rock back and forth over it.

Flexibility

Marble Pick-up
How to do it: Place about 20 marbles on the floor. Try picking up those marble with the help of the fingers of your feet. This exercise provides flexibility to your feet and also helps strengthens it.

So keep your feet happy and healthy. Another tip I have for you is to go visit your chiropractor and ask about orthodics for your shoes. I have a pair and they have made the world of difference for me. I ask a lot of my feet--standing all day, running and walking--they deserve some pampering!

Speaking of pampering...check out Gathered From The Garden's Pedi-Balm and Flip Flop Foot Cream. http://www.gatheredfromthegardenllc.4t.com/
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This Veterans Day, we give special thanks to the men & women who protect the health & safety of our nation. We appreciate your dedication!
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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Skin Care For Everyone!


My granddaughter got her first American Girl Doll today. We drove over an hour to get to the Mall of America's store. Inside the store it was packed with little girls and big girls oohing and ahhing over the dolls and accessories. I hadn't been in there before so I was in for a big surprise. The biggest being the price tag on the dolls and accessories(and boy are there accessories)! The dolls are almost $100 a piece and the outfits and other fun stuff you can purchase are all very spendy. Once you buy your doll you can bring her back to get her ears pierced or her hair styled, all for a price of course. There is a cute little Bistro where you can get a bit to eat and your doll gets served food too.


Being in the bath and body product business I noticed what else you can buy for your doll. A skin care kit! Yes, even your doll needs facial products to keep her looking her best!


All this is said with tongue-in-cheek. When my own children were young they wanted Cabbage Patch Kid Dolls. I'm just jealous that someone else came up with the American Girl Doll idea. They are raking in the cash while making little girls happy.


Do your daughters have American Girl Dolls? Do you? (If I had one, I'd pick Ivy or Kit.)
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Monday, November 2, 2009

A "Skinny" Sangria Recipe

My new goal is to cut down on my sugar consumption. (Of course I waited until Halloween was over...) I've just been reading too much about how hard sugar is on your body. As I was checking on some of my favorite sites I came across this recipe.

By Bethenny Frankel
From Health magazine (http://www.health.com/)
Make yourself a lighter red sangria by ditching the sugar and replacing some of the wine and high-calorie liqueur with sugar-free soda.

Just slice up 4 apples and 3 oranges. Combine fruit with 1 pound red grapes, halved; 3 bottles light- to medium-bodied red wine; 1 can Fresca (or any diet lemon soda); and 1 can club soda. Chill mixture, and serve over ice for 16 servings of scrumptiousness.

Here’s the best part: Each serving has only 173 calories—that’s 125 calories saved.
So I can do some entertaining and watch my sugar intake. I'm still trying to figure out how to use agave nectar instead of sugar in my baking/cooking. Has anyone tried it?
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Steps to Minimize the Risk of H1N1

We’ve all been hearing so much about the H1N1 flu. Maybe you saw Dr.Oz on Oprah telling us to take Vitamin D. Other advice is to take a probiotic each day, get plenty of rest, eat healthy, cover your cough and keep your hands clean. Here at Gathered we are working on all-natural products to help fight the flu virus.

Being a certified aromatherapist I am always looking for good information about health. On Aroma Web's site they have some excellent advice about minimizing the risk of H1N1 using essential oils. They also have some really good general advice that anyone can use. To read article go to: http://ow.ly/yqUa

Knock on wood--I have not been sick yet. I think it's a combo of extra Vitamin D, keeping my hands washed,getting enough sleep and using Gathered's Sanitizer Spray in my classroom. I really have to work on cutting back on my sugar intake. Easier said then done, looking at left-over Halloween candy!

What have you been doing to minimize the risk of the flu?
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Make Your Own Shampoo and Conditioner

From an article on www.Care2.com

By Elizabeth Seward, Planet Green

Oh, shampoo and conditioner. They keep our hair clean and smelling great. While we all love being clean, shampoos and conditioners aren’t totally innocent products. Most of them are filled with chemicals that aren’t any good for our planet. Since they get washed down our drains, these are important things to think about! On top of that, the containers they come in are typically plastic. Sure, we can always recycle plastic, but isn’t it better to reduce the production of plastic in the areas that we can? I think so.

The answer? Try making your own shampoo and conditioner! You’ll save money and use more natural ingredients. And isn’t it better to know exactly what you’re using on your body?

Here’s a basic recipe for shampoo. Feel free to alter the recipe to make it work the best for your hair type.

You need:
1 empty bottle
3 cups of soap flakes (which you can get almost anywhere)
Water
Essential Oil of Lavender
Essential Oil of Rosemary

Directions:
Mix the soap flakes with the water and then add 4 drops of each oil.

For conditioner, the ingredients are probably already in your house.

You need:
1 empty bottle
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon of baby oil
Water

Directions:
Mix the above ingredients together and you’re good to go!

This post was inspired by Hollywood Green

I haven't tried the above recipes but they do look interesting. Way back in my younger days I did try beer as a rinse and mayo to condition. More recently I have used vinegar as a rinse. Have you used any other home-based products on your hair?
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Top Ten Favorite Links of Pamper U


Hey, my hubby says I spend way too much time on the computer. Little does he know that I love reading other people's blogs. I've come away with inspiration, great recipes, beauty tips, craft ideas, decorating ideas,homemaking tips and ideas for my own blog articles.

So I thought I'd pass along some of my favorites:

http://www.bakerella.com/ a fabulous site if you love really cute baking ideas such as cake pops

http://www.cinnamonandeverythingnice.blogspot.com/ how to make the perfect pie crust (even with her help I don't think there's any hope for me!)

http://www.bitemebaker.blogspot.com/ a thirteen-year-old's blog. She's a creative baker.

http://www.hostessblog.com/ simple chic fall decorating ideas

David J. Pollay's blog http://ow.ly/wnw great inspirational reads

http://www.naughtysecretaryclub.blogspot.com/ I'd check it out just becuz the name is fun. This blog is too!


http://www.happynews.com/ Sometimes you just need some happy news!
Jerry shouldn't complain about my time on the computer. This week he's had a great rice/black bean dish, a pan of fantastic Nanaimo bars and I found an easy Halloween costume idea for him. Although if he figured out how much fun blogs are to read, I might never get a turn on the computer again!
What are some of your favorite blogs?



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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween Nail Art


I found my black nail polish from last year's Halloween. Not too creative--just slap on the black. I was looking for a little more pizzazz and came across Bella Sugar's website. Bella Sugar has posted a fun guide to Halloween nail polishes! Also included are other cute things like decals. I love the candy corn idea. Now if I can just get Jerry to paint my right hand...


Check out: http://www.bellasugar.com/5390380 for Halloween nail ideas. Let us know if you decide to try one and how it turns out.
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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fragrance Fun Facts

When you are shopping for a new fragrance, sniffing many of them can be sensory overload. To prevent this,breathe into a lightly worn t-shirt between inhales. Your own scent will help neutralize the air.

When spritzing a fragrance on focus on your pulse points and let the liquid soak into the skin. Don't rub the fragrance in. This can break down the fragrance's formula which in turn can alter the smell. I didn't know this but the skin behind your ear doesn't hold scent very well at all. I am guilty of spray my perfume there, but no more!

Store your fragrance away from light and heat. These can change your perfume's color and aroma. Keep your bottles in a cool area away from windows, not in your steamy bathroom.

Another important tip: while you may just love the perfume you wear, others might not. Go easy on the amount you use! Your perfume shouldn't outlast your presence.

What's your favorite scent to wear?
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Treat for Your Feet

Someone asked...why do we use kaolin clay in our products?
White Kaolin Clay is found in virtually all powdered and dry cosmetics and most wet cosmetics. Its natural absorbent properties makes it essential in hygiene products and is often found in soaps, scrubs, poultices, deodorants, facial powders and masks. It is the mildest of all clays and is suitable to add to products created for people with sensitive skin. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it. It does not draw oils from the skin, so it can also be used on dry skin types without negative results.

Kaolin Clay is high in calcium, silica, zinc and magnesium, which are beneficial for oily, blemished skin. The clay's mildly drying and disinfectant properties help heal existing blemishes and inflammations, while preventing new ones from forming.

Now comes the fun part! You get to decide where you want to use it! You can apply it to your face like a typical clay mask OR you can apply it to your feet! My feet!? Yep, your feet! Why? Multiple reasons actually; clay is drawing, meaning that it is going to pull impurities from the skin. Got feet that don't smell so sweet? Do you take your shoes off and think “omg is that MY feet!?” This will help!

The feet are one of the places on the body that will absorb essential oils the quickest. Lavender essential oil is well known for its calming properties. Add 1 drop or two of lavender to 1-2 T. of the clay (& liquid) to make a mask. As the clay is detoxing your skin, the lavender essential oil will be absorbed and work its magic to calm/soothe the nerves, making this a relaxing ritual.
Let the clay dry for 5-10 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Your feet will feel a pulling and tightening sensation.
(This mask can also be applied to the back or chest area where there may be problem skin.)


TIP: Mix 1/2 cup sugar & 1/4 cup of honey in a small bowl. Add 1 squirt of liquid hand/body soap (the amount you would use to wash your hands). Mix well. Wet your feet, scoop some of your sugar mix onto your fingertips and rub in small circles on your feet. This will not only help to remove the clay mask a bit quicker, but it will also exfoliate and soften your feet while rinsing clean!

So in addition to using our clay for a wonderful facial mask you can also use it for a sweet treat for your feet! Gathered From The Garden's White Clay is $8.00 for 4 oz. You can add yogurt, honey or milk to make it more moisturizing or just add water. Very simple!
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Pumpkin's Not Just For Pie


Pumpkin makes a great pie or jack-o-lantern but it's also good for your skin. It contains antioxidants that can help keep you looking young. Here's a recipe for a fun face and body mask.

Mix Together
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4cup bentonite clay or kaolin clay
1 T. honey
2 T. water
1 T. Almond Oil
2 tsp.cinnamon

Apply to your face or anywhere else you'd like to smooth. Leave on for about 10 minutes than rinse. The clay will draw out impurities, almond oil moisturizes,cinnamon improves circulation (and smells great) and honey is good for replenishing collagen.

Just remember to put it on your face/body, not eat it! Do you have any favorite pumpkin recipes (ones that you can eat too!) you'd like to share?


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Thursday, October 15, 2009

More Pink News

October 16 is National Mammography Day. Find a clinic near you--www.nbcam.org
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Let Your Hands Do The Talking...


Do your hands reveal your age, disguise your age or do they add years to your look?
What makes hands look older than their years? They actually get more use and abuse and less pampering than your face. Here are some solutions to make your hands look timeless and beautiful.

Sunspots—UV damages pigment producing cells causing brown spots to form. Slather on that sunscreen!!

Veins—To minimize the color contrast between your skin and the dark veins try using a concealer or use a self tanner. Jewelry and manicures help give you a younger look too. Keep nails short (1/8 inch long). Shorter nails soften the appearance of veins.

Dryness—As we age our skin produces less lubricating oil and loses its ability to hold moisture.
Apply lotion throughout the day. Rub it on immediately after washing your hands to seal in moisture. Before using household cleaners or doing dishes apply lotion or a hand cream and pull on cotton-lined gloves.


Gathered From The Garden has the most wonderful Goat Milk and Honey Lotion. It’s our best seller! It is loved by doctors, nurses, teachers, and others who need to do frequent hand-washing. It comes in many fantastic fragrances. Once you try this lotion, you’ll never try another! $11.00/8oz. or $4.50for a 2 oz. purse size.


Our Satin and Silk Shea Butter Lotion is excellent for dry skin too. $12.00/8 oz.


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Friday, October 9, 2009

October--Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I am seeing pink everywhere this month! From our MN Vikings to the check-out fella at the grocery store. So here are some facts and info about breast cancer to go along with the pink.

*Vigorous exercise can cut breast cancer risk by 30%! Brisk walking just 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes can make such a difference. Just get out there and move!

*Watch your alcohol intake. Scientists know that there's a clear link between even moderate drinking (yes,red wine too) and an increased risk of breast cancer. Cutting down is very worthwhile!

*Keep your girlish figure. Gaining a significant amount of weight in your 20's-50's doubles your risk of breast cancer.

*Drink more tea. Women who regularly drink tea get some protection against breast cancer.

*Up the fiber! Fiber reduces the risk of breast cancer and keep fibrocystic breast condition and mastalgia (breast pain) at bay. Aim for 28 grams every day. (men should aim for 38)

*Take Vitamin D. This vitamin keeps cancerous cells from multiplying, tells tumor cells to kill each other and produces a tumor-suppressing protein.

*Add lots of fruits,veggies and whole grains to your diet.

*Regular mammograms after age 40 may reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer.


I wasn't aware of this until I read it on the Susan G. Komen (http://ww5.komen.org/BreastCancer) website. "Age is a well-established risk factor for breast cancer. The older a woman is, the more likely she is to develop the disease. In general, rates of breast cancer are low in women under age 40, begin to increase after age 40 and are highest in women over age 70. In the United States, 95 percent of the women diagnosed with breast cancer each year are age 40 or older. Age is also a risk factor for male breast cancer. However, breast cancer is less common in men than in women ." There is a wealth of information on this website.

Check out the sister website (http://www.shopkomen.com/) where you can buy all kinds of neat pink stuff. 25 percent of your merchandise purchase price will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure® in the fight against breast cancer.

I'm sure there are lots of other great things in pink to buy that benefit Breast Cancer research. Have you seen or purchased anything fun?
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Sunday, October 4, 2009

Are You Cool or Warm?


I've often wondered about that. Back many years ago, it was a big deal to know if your skin tone was warm or cool. I think there were even parties that you could go to and the hostess would determine that for you. I hadn't given it much thought until I recently read an article about it.
(Was Mona Lisa cool or warm?)

You're probably warm if:

*your eyes are black,brown or hazel.
*your complexion has an ivory or yellowish cast (if light) or an olive cast (if dark).
*gold jewelry looks better on you than silver or white-gold.
*you look better in earth tones such as rust,olive and teal.
*in natural light the veins on the underside of
your wrist appear a greenish color
*you looked washed out in black

Some famous "warm" examples: Nicole Kidman, Meg Ryan, Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Hough, Marcia Cross, Calista Flockhart, Rebecca Romjin.


You're probably cool if:

*your eyes are blue,green or gray.
*your skin (if light) has a pinkish cast, (if dark) has a bluish cast.
*silver and white-gold jewelry looks better on you.
*you look good in jewel-toned clothing such as ruby,emerald and purple.
*in natural light the veins are your wrist are bluish.
*you can easily wear black

Famous "cool" examples: Demi Moore, Anne Hathaway, Courtney Cox, Sandra Bullock, Terri Hatcher, Kirstin Davis, America Fererra, Keira Knightley, Eva Longoria.
***(Cool coloring is much more common than warm. I'm pretty sure I am a "cool" gal!)

You're probably neutral if:

*you look great in both cool and warm colors.

(Remember, these categories have nothing to do with your personality. It simply identifies your natural skin tone.)


Why is this important?

With the correct colors (in cosmetics and clothing):

Your skin tone will appear radiant and glowing
Your eyes will appear brighter and clearer
Your hair will reflect highlights

With the wrong colors (in cosmetics and clothing) :

Your skin tone will appear tired and drained
Your eyes may appear shadowed, dark circles
Even your teeth can appear with a slight yellow hue


You can use the above as a general guide when picking your makeup colors (especially when it comes to lipstick). If you're warm, you're going to tend to look best in brick reds, roses and corals. If you're cool, you'll do best with cooler pinks (like fuchsia) and brighter or truer reds.

Did you know if you were warm or cool before today? Let us know if you are warm or cool!
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Keep Your Pearly Whites White!



One of the easiest ways to impress people and make the best first impression is to have whiter teeth. Studies show that whitening or bleaching your teeth can be hard on your enamel. To keep your smile brilliant try these techniques. (These are in no particular order.)

*Clean out your mouth right after sipping teeth-staining liquids like coffee, tea, red wine and colas. If you can't brush right away, swish your teeth with water.

*Cut back on acid-forming foods such as meat, dairy and sweets. Plaque build-up is promoted by these foods. Increase your veggies and whole grains.

*Use baking soda on your brush before cleaning your teeth. You can mix baking soda with a dash of salt and add a little vinegar to make a homemade tooth whitener.
Some toothpastes also contain baking soda for whitening.

*Avoid tobacco use.

*Make regular appointments to get your teeth cleaned. Getting rid of the plaque build-up will make your teeth look whiter.

*Some fruits such as strawberries are excellent tooth whiteners. Strawberries can be rubbed on the teeth or mashed up in a paste and brushed on. Leave on the teeth for five minutes. Rinse well and brush.

* Take care when choosing a mouthwash. Most have alcohol in them, and some even have ingredients such as chlorhexidine that can discolor teeth. Herbal antibacterial mouthwashes are available that kill germs and freshen breath without harmful chemicals

*An apple a day keeps the doctor away- this goes for stains too! Eating an apple gives your body vitamins and minerals and also brushes your teeth and whitens them.

Remember that results won't become visible over night and that patience and consistency are a must!
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Friday, September 25, 2009

What's the Scoop on Facial Toners?


Do I really need to use a Facial Toner you ask? Yep, you do! These skin refreshers have two important tasks. Toner removes any dirt or residue left behind after cleansing. The best way to use it is on a cotton pad, not a cotton ball. (It soaks up more of the toner so you end up using more.) Toner may also help restore your skin's natural pH. (acidic) Many soaps and cleansers are alkaline so apply an acidic solution like toner can keep your skin balanced.Toners that contain essential oils can also help with issues like blemishes.



Gathered From The Garden makes an all-natural toner with just a hint of lavender. Check it out at http://www.gatheredfromthegardenllc.4t.com/
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How To Make Your Clothing Last Longer


Tips that help extend the life of your wardrobe By Jennifer Tzeses

Everyday wear and tear can leave your clothes looking drab. After all the time and effort spent shopping for the perfect outfit, the last thing you want is to have to put them in a garage sale after just a season or two. Knowing how to properly store and care for your clothes can make for a great wardrobe . Here are some of the tips from Jennifer’s article. To read more helpful tips go to http://www.womansday.com/

*You may think you’re protecting your clothes by stashing them in the plastic from the dry cleaner’s, but letting your clothing stay under cover is one of the worst things you can do. Fibers need to breathe

*Cramming clothes into every last crevice of your closet will only end up crushing your clothes. (Oh boy, I’m glad you can’t see my closet…guess this one was meant for me!)

*Resist the urge to spritz perfume or hairspray as your last step to getting dressed. The alcohol within can stain and take the color out of what you’re wearing, especially if it’s silk.

*Sort your stuff before washing. It works wonders to preserve the color.

*Cottons have a tendency to wrinkle, so it’s a good idea to add a liquid starch to the final rinse to make the fabric crisper when ironing it.

There are some wonderful tips to care for your jeans and more advice on caring for Cotton in this article. Do you have any tips for helping to make your clothes look great longer? Care to share what your closet looks like? Be brave!
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Say It Isn't So...Summer Can't Be Over

I can't believe that summer is supposed to be officially over this week. I saw sure signs that summer is alive and well this weekend. Here's my proof:


It's still warm enough to have a picnic lunch.



We enjoyed sunshine, wine, music and good company on the outsidepatio at Woodland Hill Winery.



Still warm enough for a ride.


The grass is never this green in the fall.



Lots of flowers still blooming in my gardens.

How many of you are still seeing signs of summer? Maybe it's because I just don't like our Minnesota winters that I'm trying so hard to hang on to summer. Then again, maybe Mother Nature is feeling the same way I am and she's giving us a gift of lingering summer temps!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

365 Days, One Dress


Could you wear the same dress every day for a year? Change it up a bit with accessories? I think I wouldn't last more than a couple of weeks (days, maybe)! But Sheena Matheiken did just that to raise money for the Akanksha Foundation which helps fund education for underprivileged Indian children. Her friend designed a black dress that Sheena has been wearing every day since May 1. She adds layers and accessories to add some variety. To see what she's wearing go to http://www.theuniformproject.com/
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Moisturizers are a Must


A Moisturizer is absolutely essential to the skin to keep it healthy, soft, supple, smooth and firm. The most important part of the skin care routine is moisturizing. The skin has the abillity to retain moisture and to moisturize itself. However, various influences can cause depletion of moisture and make the skin dehydrated and dry. With the lack of moisture in the skin over a period of time, the cells of the outer layer become dry and shrivel up. This makes the skin texture rough and crepey. The skin becomes fragile leaving the inner layer exposed to further loss of moisture.

Gathered From The Garden makes a Facial Moisturizer that contains cucumber and aloe along with other great ingredients for your skin. Aloe has long been considered to be moisturizing and healing. Cucumber is a natural source for photolytic enzymes, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin C - all of which help skin problems such as pimples, black heads, wrinkles, and dryness. Sunflower oil is rich in Vitamin E and helps moisturize the skin. Allantoin stimulates growth of healthy tissue while making skin softer. This moisturizer does not contain mineral oil.

Our Moisturizer is unscented $9.00 for 8oz. http://www.gatheredfromthegardenllc.4t.com/
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Friday, September 11, 2009

Are You Making Yourself Old?

Here are some instant agers and tips to look younger:

1. Wearing heavy foundation makes wrinkles stand out. Since older skin dries out faster, use a brush and loose powder for foundation. Stay away from anything called “matte”.

2. Clumpy mascara creates a dated look. Try this method: curl lashes, then starting at the base of your lashes, rock the mascara wand horizontally back and forth and roll it out to the tip of each lash. Avoid waterproof mascara since you'll have to rub hard to get it off, which can stress your delicate/aging skin.

3. Blush high on the cheekbones is very dated. For a younger look, put your blush just on the apples of your cheeks.

4. Light-washed jeans. The darker the color, the more flattering the look. Go for a mid-rise waist and boot-cut legs.

5. Anything Boxy or Tight works against your figure. Choose what fits your curves. Ignore size numbers.

6. Trim your eyebrows. Splurge and let a pro do it the first time or two until you learn the tricks. If your eyebrows are the wrong shape, they can actually make you look older and even sadder. You should never wax your brows since that pulls on the skin and will make you look older.

7. Use a light-colored eye shadow to open up your eyes and make them look bigger--but avoid anything shiny because it's artificial looking.

8. If you regularly get only a few hours of sleep at night, it will hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging,

9. Flaunt your figure. Once you hit 40, don't be too covered up. Show your clavicles or some cleavage, but make sure to wear a well-fitting bra for support. If you're letting a little show on top, wear a longer skirt or slacks. You don't want to look trashy. (Trousers that are slightly too big make you look much skinnier than trousers that are a bit too tight.)

10. Touch Your Feet. Reflexology, or stimulating the pressure points on your feet, reduces stress. If you're relaxed, you look younger. To relieve stress instantly, press your thumb into your solar plexus point, located just below the ball of your foot. Hold for one minute and repeat on your other foot.

I’m going to give all of these a try but I’m not sure of my comfort level for #6 or 9! I’ve given away my light-colored jeans and I’ve done reflexology in the past so I know it does work. I’ve had trouble with “clumpy” mascara so I’m anxious to give #2 a go. Which of these will you try?
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Friday, September 4, 2009

How Do You Store Your Earrings?


A funny thing happened. I went to the Kashi cereal website (http://kashi.com) to sign up for a free sample and instead found a great thread about how to store your earrings. This was meant for me--mine are sort of organized (well,not really) so I could use some help!

On the site is a "challenge" page. Challenges are small steps you can take toward living a more natural, healthy life it says and the challenge for the day was how to keep your earrings detangled.

The site said,"You can give your ear jewelry a new lease on life by hanging each pair separately—without buying anything new. Hanging will also prevent metals from tarnishing. Today, challenge yourself to clear off a shelf inside your medicine cabinet and tape a piece of strong nylon dental floss across it. Voila! Instant, free earring holder that takes up no additional space."

Other people had great comments about what works for them. One person uses a pill
sorter found in pharmacies. Each “day” is the perfect size to keep 1 pair of earrings. Another person used plastic ice cube trays for earring and necklace storage because they are inexpensive, come in different colors & cube sizes and they stack. Still another person said they hung an unused chain link necklace from a hook on the wall next to their vanity. Each link holds a pair perfectly!

How do you store your earrings? My little granddaughter is going to get her ears pierced for her birthday next weekend. I'm sure she'll have lots of little earrings to store. I'd love to have a great idea to share with her. (I'm not sure the ice cube trays would work for a 6 year old.)

By the way, I never did find where to sign up for their cereal sample but if you sign up for their newsletter you can print some coupons.
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hair Color Boosters

Ok, I promise this will be the last post on hair color--at least for a very long while! :)

In the Sept. issue of Body + Soul magazine they give some great DIY recipes for boosting your hair color at home.

Blondes can squeeze the juice from 1 lemon, grate a small raw potato and mix the two. Then add 1/2 cup of chamomile tea. Shampoo, then spread the mask on your hair. Cover with a shower cap and heat with a hair dryer for 2-3 minutes. Rinse out.

Brunettes can whisk together 1/2 cup cocoa powder,1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 teas. honey and 1 teas. apple cider vinegar. Shampoo your hair, squeeze out the water and put on the "cocoa mask". Keep it on 2-3 minutes. Keep off skin as it may stain. Rinse out.

Redheads can chop raw carrots in a food processor. Then add 2 T. honey and 3 T. plain yogurt. Mix well. Shampoo then spread the "mask" on hair. Leave on 2-3 minutes and rinse.

To get more information about this DIY hair color boost and the facts about why it works check out Body + Soul magazine. (www.wholeliving.com)

Let us know if you try any of these and how it turned out...We'd love to hear from you!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Another Post on Hair Color!

Ok, I don't want to overdo it but I read an interesting article on hair color. It seems that a salon color brand from Frederick Fekkai (used in salons to color your hair) is going to be sold in department stores,Sephora and the internet. It is going to cost $30 as compared to my L'Oreal for about $7 at Walmart.

Would you pay that to color your own hair? This is not even an easy-to-use, shampoo in color--because that's not how they do it in classy salons. I personally see no benefit in using their product. In test ads, not much is said about how this product is worth it's money. I think they are hoping women who are used to going to a salon to get their hair colored will feel they are saving some money and will try this at home.

Let's see your vote: Yes, I'd try this product at home. No, I will stick to my current method of hair coloring....





On another note: There are new nail art pens from Sally Hansen. I have a set of nail art pens that I bought a few years ago at the MN State Fair. They've been easy and fun to work with. I see that the Sally Hansen pens wipe off instantly if you make a mistake. I'd like that. The pens are $7.95 each and come in 8 colors. They have white which would be good for French Manicures. For more info go to: http://www.sallyhansen.com/

After you're done with your nails try Gathered From The Garden's Goat Milk Honey Lotion. Your hands will think they've died and gone to heaven! http://www.gatheredfromthegardenllc.4t.com/
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Pantone's Color Report


Pantone, Inc, is the world-renowned authority on color. For more than 45 years, Pantone has been inspiring design professionals with products, services and technology. Pantone releases a guide each year at no charge. Each season, Pantone surveys the designers of New York Fashion Week to determine the 10 most directional colors. These are some of the top colors they listed in the report. American Beauty, a true red, is good for all skin tones. Purple Heart works well paired with American Beauty. Honey Yellow paired with Purple Heart will surely cause a surprising flair. Burnt Sienna is an earthy shade of orange, reminding us of autumn sunsets. Rapture Rose is a blend of fuchsia and soft pink. Warm Olive makes other colors come alive. Majolica Blue is a mysterious shade of teal that can be paired with Burnt Sienna or Purple Heart.

Pantone’s newest partner is http://www.handbagdesigner101.com/. Here you’ll find undiscovered handbags by independent designers and learn about the latest handbag trends. (There are some truly awesome handbags at this site!)

I really love looking at the fashion drawings, reading descriptions of the colors and seeing examples of the colors. To see for yourself, download the entire PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2009 (as a printable pdf) at http://www.pantone.com .
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Perfect 10 Revisited

Ok, it's been two weeks since I colored my hair with Perfect 10 by Clairol. You will remember that I said it was messy but did color my hair in 10 minutes. However, I am going to have to color my hair again this week...major gray showing! I was very careful to stay out of the sun so the color wouldn't fade and I used a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. So I will be going back to L'Oreal and a 45 minute wait. Had such high hopes...
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French Skin Care


Last year at this time, my husband and I were in Paris! After seeing the movie Julie and Julia (which takes place partly in Paris) many, many memories came back. Here is what I remember about French women and their skin.

Compared to the average American woman, the French view investing in their appearance as an absolute necessity, not an optional luxury. They're more inclined to pamper themselves. Their biggest focus is on developing a beautiful, glowing complexion. French women take pride in their skin, whether that means getting regular facials or buying the best moisturizer their budget allows. (I think this in part to combat the effects of their smoking.) They use sunscreen religiously.

Fighting cellulite is a big deal for French women—much more so than for Americans. Any Parisian drugstore is stocked with various creams, lotions and other products meant to minimize cellulite. The French are known for preferring a natural face over a "done" one. While French women do wear makeup, they do so in a way that isn't necessarily obvious. So while you might start with foundation (to give a flawless-skin finish), you'd go easy on the blush, dab on some mascara and a light lip gloss. We rarely saw eyeliner/shadow at all in Paris. At night, they might favor a little bolder look but still less is more.

The French in major cities (Paris, Nice, etc) tend to be much thinner than their American counterparts in major US cities because they walk everywhere. We felt like we had walked miles and miles each day. Using the metro requires many staircases and lots of walking to get to your train! The French utilize portion control, and don't snack. We never went hungry at any cafĂ© or restaurant we ate at but we didn’t need a doggie bag when we left either. We never saw a sign to “super-size” anything!

So-- to look as fabulous as some of the French women we saw, we recommend using Gathered From The Garden's Facial Moisturizer, Toner and Clay/Dead Sea Masks to give your skin a beautiful, glowing complexion. Don’t smoke, use sunscreen, go easy on the make-up and snacks. Add some extra steps to your daily rountine. (http://www.gatheredfromthegardenllc.4t.com/)

And be sure to go see Julie and Julia!!
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Relaxation Day?


I guess there is a Hallmark Card for every occasion or an occasion for every Hallmark Card. Anyway, I have been informed that August 15 is Relaxation Day. (Good thing it's on a Sat. this year.)

As I was thinking about relaxing with a glass of wine tonight (which would actually be celebrating the day a little early...) I thought about how relaxing during the day is important but how truly necessary it is for us to relax at night. Have you thought about the quality of your sleep? Here are some tips to make sure you're able to experience true rest and relaxation every night.

* Stick to a schedule. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. This helps reinforce your body's sleep schedule.

*Keep your bedroom for sleeping and romance. It should be cool, dark and comfortable.
Not a good idea to watch tv in bed.

*No large meals in the evening, but keep the blood sugar level up with a light carbohydrate snack. If you're prone to heartburn, avoid spicy or fatty foods, which can make your heartburn flare and prevent a restful sleep. Also, limit how much you drink before bed. Too much liquid can cause you to wake up repeatedly during the night for trips to the bathroom.

*Go to bed when you're tired and turn out the lights. If you don't fall asleep within 15 to 20 minutes, get up and do something else. Go back to bed when you're tired and feel ready to fall asleep quickly.

*Don't sleep the day away.Daytime naps may steal hours from nighttime slumber. Limit daytime sleep to about a half-hour and make it during midafternoon.

*Exercise regularly. Regular physical activity, especially aerobic exercise, can help you fall asleep faster and make your sleep more restful. However, don't exercise within 3 hours of bedtime; you may find it more difficult to fall asleep.

*The Right Sleep Position. The position that is least stressful on your body is sleeping on your back, ideally with a pillow tucked under your knees. Bent knees support the lower spine. The next best position is sleeping on your side with a pillow tucked between your knees. The worst position is sleeping on your stomach because you have to turn your head to either side to breathe. This stresses your neck and spine. It's hard to change how you sleep but it can be done.

Sleep is an essential activity for normal body and brain functioning. Although our sleep needs vary, most people need 6-7 hours of sleep. There are more than 70 known sleep disorders and many people don't even know they suffer from these. If you suspect that you or someone you sleep with has a problem you should consult your doctor.

For more tips on quality sleep check out this site:http://mayoclinic.com/health/sleep/HQ01387
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Monday, August 10, 2009

This and That


I've been doing a lot of summer reading and have come across a bunch of interesting little tips. I thought I would share them with you...

*If you toe nails are stained by that dark polish you've been wearing, gently scrub your nails with an old toothbrush and whitening toothpaste.

*To clean your white leather purse, use a small amount of non-gel toothpaste on an old toothbrush and carefully scrub until any discoloration disappears.

*To invigorate your scalp mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt into an ounce of shampoo. Gently massage the mixture into your scalp for a few minutes, then rinse.

*Did you know that lip balm could be used to moisturize cuticles? Try some natural lip balms, the kinds with shea butter and vitamin E, as these work best.

*Strawberries are a well-known remedy for whitening teeth. They contain malic acid, which is a natural stain remover. You can rub the strawberries directly on your teeth or mash them into a paste and brush them on. Leave the paste on your teeth for about five minutes then rinse well and smile.

*Store your nailpolish in the refrigerator and it will last much longer than keeping it at room temperature.

*Run out of hair conditioner? Use some fabric softner to make your hair silky smooth.

*Before you toss that old tube of mascara,save the wand. Wash it off and use it to separate and de-clump your lashes.

*If you save the wand from volumizing mascara you can use it in a tube of cheaper mascara. It's the wand that makes the difference, not the mascara itself.

I haven't tried all of these tips. I'm not sure how you would really clean off a mascara wand so that you wouldn't be contaminating new mascara. Anyone have an idea how to do that? Have you read any interesting tips you'd like to share?
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Watermelon--Juicy Health Benefits


Big or small, seedless or not, nothing says summer like a big, juicy watermelon (or a seed-spitting contest off the deck). But there is a lot more to this melon than water. Turns out it's packed with phytonutrients, vitamins A, C, and a good hit of potassium, plus some B6 and thiamine -- everything except fat, sodium and calories. Juicy, sweet with a bright pinkish-red flesh dotted with black and white seeds, watermelon is messy—but that’s part of the fun.

The health and nutrition benefits of watermelon are many!

*Achieve that younger-looking skin with just 2-cups of watermelon daily. Research showed that watermelon cuts the risk of sun related skin damage by 40%. That's because watermelon is nature's richest source of lycopene, an antioxidant that scavenges the UV-induced free radicals that cause sunburn and wrinkling.

*Eating watermelon is a safe alternative to taking energy drinks prior to exercise. It also hydrates you due to its high water content as opposed to caffeine filled energy drinks that dehydrate you.

*Watermelon will also help protect your eyes against macular degeneration , It fights the age-related symptoms of vision loss. Studies show that eating watermelon is actually more healthy for your eyes than eating carrots. That is true in both short-term and long-term vision loss.

*Watermelon is very low in calories, making it the perfect snack for those who are trying to lose weight.

*Supplementing watermelon into your diet can help prevent and fight cancer, particularly colon cancer. It does this because of its rich antioxidant profile. The antioxidants of the watermelon are very concentrated and kill the cancer causing free radicals.

*Another incredible health benefit of eating watermelon flesh is, "Watermelon may be a natural Viagra", according to webmd.com.

Store uncut watermelons at room temperature. They continue to develop nutrients after picking and refrigeration halts the process.To guarantee the tastiest fruit, place watermelon in the fridge for 30 minutes before slicing it. A quick chill causes the fruit's cells to constrict. This means the juice stays in the slices instead of running out onto the cutting board.


EASY WATERMELON SLUSHIES
4 servings
3 cups diced watermelon
2 Tbs. lime juice
1 Tbs. sugar
1 cup crushed ice
½ cup water
Dash of black pepper or cayenne -- optional flavor twist for heat-lovers
Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend into a frosty slush.

If eating watermelon seeds raw doesn't appeal to you, you can toast them and sprinkle them on your salads. Place a half-cup of watermelon seeds in a skillet with a quarter-cup of water. Cook them over medium heat until the water has evaporated- about 10 minutes. Let them cool before you use them.

What's your favorite watermelon--seeds or seedless, red or yellow? Do you eat the seeds or spit them? How about the rind? I've never eaten it but I've heard it actually contains lots of nutrients too!
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Monday, August 3, 2009

Clairol's Perfect 10

I have been coloring my own hair at home for some time now. I just can't see paying the high salon fees, spending all that time there and then not having them always cover all the gray. I've been using L'Oreal (which I've been satisfied with) but the thought of being done in 10 minutes instead of 45 was very appealing. So I decided to try Clairol's Perfect 10.

I opted for the same shade "Medium Golden Brown". The instructions were very similar to L'Oreal's. The big difference was the time. In 10 minutes I was ready to wash the color out! The color is very similar to L'Oreal's "Medium Golden Brown". The gray coverage pretty much the same. One thing I didn't like is the runny consistency of the color. It was messier than L'Oreal's. (They have a very nice thick mixture.)

I would use it again just for the time. I'm hoping that L'Oreal figures out a way to make their color process in 10 minutes too. I'll be curious to see how long the color lasts. I usually have to color every 4-5 weeks. (My hair grows very fast and those darn gray roots are showing.) That will be another deciding factor. I'll have to let you know in a month how much fading occurred.

Has anyone else tried the Perfect 10? What results did you have?
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Friday, July 31, 2009

What Every Woman Should Have In Her Purse


I take my grandkids to Storytime at the library every Tues. morning. This past Tues. little Braeden fell on the sidewalk and skinned his knees. You can imagine how this grandma felt faced with a little blood and lots of tears. Luckily, I had some lavender essential oil (I always have this with me) and some band-aids. Braeden was soon patched up and he had fun at storytime.

This made me think of the baby shower I went to where one of the games was to weigh our purses. Mine was very heavy! So what do I have that I could take out and what do I have that needs to stay in?

I think every woman should have band-aids, lavender essential oil ( I now have a little spray bottle with lavender and witch hazel),kleenex, wallet,mirror,nail clippers,pen...along with a cell phone and keys. Now you know why my purse was so heavy! I also think men should carry their own purse so that I wouldn't have to carry all of this stuff for them to use. (My husband is always asking for these things.)

What do you think every woman really needs to have in their purse? What do you have in yours that you couldn't leave home without?
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Monday, July 27, 2009

I Got to Wear the Star of Alaska!


As long as I was showing you my hands, I had to show you this picture! When we docked in Ketchikan Jerry and I went into the Diamonds International Jewelry Store. Through a connection we made on our cruise ship I was able to convince the sales person to let me try on the Star of Alaska (and take a picture of it!). It is a 24-carat yellow diamond worth about $1.3 million dollars. I know I'll never ever have the opportunity to wear something like that again. But for just 30 seconds I could dream...

Now you also need to know that my hands are so smooth because I use Gathered From The Garden's great Goat Milk and Honey Lotion. I just need a good manicure!
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Yoga For Your Hands

Mudras are healing hand postures and are a powerful aspect of yoga. Hindus have been using these specific hand gestures called mudras for thousands of years. These work because they stimulate acupressure points on the tips of your fingers.

You can benefit from as little as 5 minutes each day with hand yoga. Calm your nerves, release tension or prevent exhaustion, just to name a few. They can be done anywhere, anytime. According to Dr Dharma Singh Khalsa author of Meditation As Medicine: Activate the Power of Your Natural Healing Force “A map of the brain shows that the nerve endings on your fingertips correspond to more areas of the brain than any other body area, except perhaps the tongue and lips.”
Mudras are to be performed with both hands at the same time. Hold the pose for one to two minutes. Deep breathing before and during the pose is encouraged. Fingers should remain comfortable during the procedure and not held stiffly or tight.

I've chosen just a few to start with. (Pardon the hand photos—it’s hard to do the mudras AND photograph them yourself! )



Gyan MudraFall asleep sooner.
Description: The thumb and index finger are brought together gently while all the other fingers remain upright.
This stimulates the brain’s pineal gland which regulates the brain’s sleep center.









Rudra Mudra-A confidence boost.
Description: Place tips of pinky finger and ring finger together on top of the tip of thumb, with other fingers extended comfortably. (BOTH HANDS)
This targets the pressure points for your eyes and head which boosts energy,insight and mental clarity.












Prithvi Mudra-Help with weight loss.
Description: Place the tip of the ring finger on top of the tip of the thumb. Extend all the other fingers and keep them comfortably straight as possible.
(BOTH HANDS
This pushes on the acupressure point connected to the thyroid, which helps speed metabolism and calorie-burning. The thyroid is linked to mood so it can even help ease anxiety and help you relax, not snack.



Varuna Mudra
-Feel more energized.
Description: Join your little finger to the tip of your thumb. Keep other fingers comfortably straight.
This stimulates the somatosensory cortex which processes sensory inpout and triggers the release of hormones that make you feel more focused and alert.












For more information on Hand Yoga Gertrud Hirschi has written a book called Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands.
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