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.
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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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pamper Your Spirit

After getting back from an awesome Alaskan cruise I realized just how much we need to pamper our spirits as well as our bodies. (Although Jerry won a spa treatment worth $195 the first day of our cruise. It was a sea-algae wrap and massage. Talk about being pampered!!!)

Being on a cruise you obviously pamper your body--especially with the incredible food--but on this cruise my spirit was so pampered also.

When you see views like this (Mendenhall Glacier):

Your spirit is just filled with joy and awe. You know there has to be a higher presence and you can't help but send thanks for the opportunity to see this spectacular scenery.

I have a list of life goals that I hope to accomplish. (Jerry has one he calls his "bucket list".) One of the things on my life goals list is to see whales up close. On this trip I was able to do just that. We took a whale watching trip. We saw humpbacks and orcas breach. It was so breath-taking that it actually brought me to tears. We got to see humpbacks "bubble-feeding". Our naturalist told us that most people in the world will never see this! I wondered if my spirit could be filled with any more joy...

Our last stop was Skagway where we took a train ride up into the mountains. This was a little more low-key after seeing the whales and the Margarie Glacier "calve" but still quite impressive. The scenery was beautiful and you had to marvel at the work someone did to be able to put a railroad track up that mountain. (The flowers you see here are called "Fireweed". They were blooming everywhere.)

I have come back refreshed in mind, body and spirit. It was truly a vacation to remember. I hope you all take time to pamper your spirit even if it isn't a life-changing experience for you. Do you have an experience you'd like to share with us? How have you pampered your spirit this summer?
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hiding Behind Your Sunglasses

Under eye circles can form for a number of reasons— long hours at work, bad sleeping habits, a poor diet, stress or genetics. And while those chic sunglasses might do a great job of hiding your under eye area, they can’t stay on all day. I’ve had this problem most of my adult life so I decided it’s time to take care of it.

Finding the right concealer—not the right sunglasses— is key in conquering those under eye circles. Concealer should be yellow toned and one shade lighter than your foundation. Avoid too white or pink concealers that will only appear that color when applied. Concealers are effective at hiding dark under-eye circles because they're opaque (they don't let light through). Normal make-up isn't a match for truly dark under-eye circles.

Before you apply your concealer (or any other part of your beautifying process for that matter), you want to make sure you cleanse and moisturize your face right before with a nice, light weight eye cream. This keeps skin dewy and moist, which will help make-up from settling into fine lines.

Only put the concealer where you need it. For example, only dab the concealer where you have darkness. Use your finger or a make-up brush to apply in thin layers starting at the inner corner of your eye. Cover up all of the dark area and finish at the outer edge of your lower lash line. Check the color in the mirror. If it doesn’t look right yet, add another thin layer until the darkness is concealed.
Lightly dust a pale yellow powder (good for most of our complexions) over the concealer.

* If you are feeling a little extra tired, dab a bit of concealer on the inside of the bridge of your nose or apply eye shadow to inner corners of the eyes. Soft pinks, golds and silvers work best.

*I haven’t tried these but here are some recommendations for eye enhancers:

Benefit Powderflage Set, $32. (brush included),
Mally Beauty Cancellation Concealer 3-piece System $35.
Bare Essentials, Well-rested for Eyes, $18.

Do you have a concealer that works well for you?

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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dry Brushing Your Skin

If you’ve ever wanted softer skin (and who hasn’t!) try this simple method to improve your skin tone. I’ve started doing it every morning and it feels great! It’s called “Dry Brushing” because you are brushing your skin dry, usually before a bath or shower.

Giving your body a firm brush all over makes the skin glow by removing the top dull, dead layer of skin and encouraging new cells to regenerate. The gentle massaging motion of the bristles also has a beneficial effect on areas of cellulite and it is an effective treatment for helping eliminate toxins from the body.

The technique is a simple one, and you need only a body brush with natural bristles, such as those of goat or boar, or a loofah. You will need a brush with a handle so that you can reach all the inaccessible parts of your back. You need a much softer brush for the face.

*Skin brushing is carried out on dry skin. Start at the soles of your feet and work upwards, brushing the legs, then buttocks, your arms, then on to the chest and stomach, your back and finally the face. Brush more gently where the skin is thinnest and always brush towards the heart. Don’t brush any areas of broken skin or rash. (I have a very gentle facial brush that I use. Some people skip brushing their face.)

*Brushing your whole body in this way will take you between three and five minutes, depending on how many strokes you give to each area. Try to keep a rhythm going and brush for up to five minutes every day and preferably immediately before you have a bath or shower so that the dead cells are washed away. Skin brushing is best done in the morning as the acceleration of blood flow has quite an invigorating effect. You should be able to see the difference in your skin after just a few sessions - it will become very soft and develop an attractive rosy glow.

A good follow-up for after your shower is Gathered From The Garden's Satin and Silk Shea Butter Lotion. It’s like a body butter and is SO moisturizing!
Check out our website for more great products:

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