Sunday, January 31, 2010

Great and Ingenious Uses for a Tea Bag!

After our walk at the mall today (it was pretty cold to walk outside and I needed some new scenery and a break from my treadmill...) Jerry and I stopped for a cup of tea. He's actually the tea drinker. I just had water. But after reading this, I may have to start drinking tea too!

*Better than expensive face creams—for nothing more than the price of a tea bag, EGCG, the major polyphenol contained in tea, works brilliantly at reactivating dying skin cells. The vitamin B2, also contained in tea, has a stimulating effect on skin as well—making it brighter and more resilient.
*Looking a bit puffy-eyed? Try this old-fashioned method (still used by top models today). Lie back with a used tea bag over each closed eyelid for 15 minutes. When you remove the tea bags your eyes will feel and look great and you’ll be able to face the world without a concealer.
*Freshen your breath with mint tea.
*Get subtle highlights and lustrous shine for your hair. Rinse your hair in strong brewed tea to add gentle and natural-looking highlights. Black tea adds golden highlights for brunettes—chamomile tea is good for blonds.
*Use a tea bag to help with acne. Brew up a pint of tea then leave it to cool. Wash your face in it to soothe irritation and get to the root of acne.
*For a lip toner, just apply a warm tea bag to clean lips for five minutes.
*In a recent study, people who drank green tea burned more calories than those who consumed caffeine alone. Now is that a good reason or what!
*For fresh-smelling feet, use a tea foot soak. Tea is a natural astringent and the tannic acid helps kill odor-causing bacteria.
*Tea fights plaque causing dental bacteria. Green and black tea even help to fight cavities.
*Get rid of corns on your feet with used tea bags. Tape one on for half an hour each day (while you’re looking at Gathered From The Garden's website, or brochure) and the corn should be gone in a week or two.

*Tips taken from an article by Steeper’s—The Tea People. (

Are you a tea drinker? What is your favorite kind of tea? (Jerry had a green tea "Cinnamint" flavor today.)

post signature I found one more use--put a tea bag in your closets to act as a sachet!

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thursday's Top Ten Plus One

I just have to add one more great blog site because we are getting close to Valentine's Day. It's filled with all kinds of fun romantic stuff. Enjoy!

post signatureFollow us on facebook. :)

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday's Top Ten

Here are 10 more really fun blogs in no particular order: Just plain fun! Where do they find these people? A guide to style When professional cakes go horribly wrong! A great site for cooking with kids. Instructions for making crafts--no special skills or expensive materials needed. (My kind of crafts!) Beautiful wedding and engagement pics. Fun products are their store and a creative blog. One of the top ten bridal blogs as sited in Brides' Magazine. Advice on family travel,girlfriend get-aways and romantic escapes. Lots of fun party ideas.
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Smart Packing for That Tropical Vacation

Pack-smart Beach Essentials for Stylish Chicks from an article by Kathryn D'Imperio

Dashing off to the beach for vacation or a weekend getaway? Not so fast! Be sure you’ve packed all the essential items you’ll need to stay stylish and chic during your time in the sun! To maximize your fun, minimize the number of beauty accessories you lug along to you vacation location with these helpful packing hints.

Skin Care
* No matter how badly you want a tan, bring suntan lotion to protect your precious skin from overexposure! Though they are possibly the most obvious item, don’t forget your sunglasses!
* Just in case you do get some sunburn, do your body a favor and slap on some aloe. (Gathered has a great “Too Much Fun in the Sun” aloe vera spray.)
• Have you ever been caught in a sand storm? Well I have, and I can’t stress enough about the value of a bottle of eye drops in case those pesky particles of sand find their way into your eyes.
• Don’t forget your normal necessities such as toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant or antiperspirant, towels, shaving gel and razors, tweezers, body wash, etc.

Hair Care
• Remember to pack your shampoo and conditioner, brush and comb, elastic bands and/or barrettes.
* When you spend time in the ocean or playing on the beach, what happens to the top of your head is likely the last thing on your mind. To help prevent sunburn on your scalp, consider packing a hat of some sort, a bandana or a hair scarf.

And Clothes!
• For a flirty appearance, bring a cute sarong or wrap to wear to the beach, or simply pack a pair of comfy shorts if you hope to beat up on the guys in football and Frisbee!
• Take two towels: one to lie on and one that is sand-free for when you need to dry off. A beach blanket or beach mat also serve a handy purpose for shore-goers.
• An old T-shirt doubles as an escape from the sun’s powerful rays when you just want to relax and enjoy the sounds of the surf. Also, a T-shirt is good to have on hand as it is important to cover exposed skin when the sun has already burned it.
• Normal clothes that you should be sure to bring: Shorts and tanks/tees, jeans or other long pants, perhaps a long-sleeve shirt and a hooded sweatshirt, a sundress, pajamas, bathing suit and underclothes. Don’t forget to bring a windbreaker or light jacket for those chilly nights off the coast!
• Footwear: Bring sandals or flip-flops, sneakers and shoes to go with at least one nice outfit. (Hint: Try to pack outfits that look nice with the same sandals to reduce the need for extra shoes. As long as you can help it, you should not be toting an entire bag dedicated to shoes alone!)
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Love for Haiti Project by Skip To My Lou

Cindy from Skip to my Lou is offering to email this adorable Valentine's Day kit to anyone who will make a contribution to a charity of their choice. (for Haiti) The kit includes printable heart cupcake toppers, printable valentine papers and digital files that you can manipulate. For more details go to . If you haven't already donated to this cause please consider doing so. If you already have, bless you!

(I have just started really getting into cupcakes so I was excited to see this! I can imagine all kinds of fun things to make for Valentine's Day with her kit.)
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Self-Massage Treatments

I am following one of my New Year's Resolutions so I scheduled a massage for Sat. morning. It's been too long since I enjoyed that pampering! While my budget and sometimes my schedule don't allow for massages more often, I've read about a way to give yourself a massage. It would help during those inbetween times until the next real massage.

While a self-massage will never be as relaxing as the real thing, it still has some benefits. You can do it where and when you want and you don't require anyone else's assistance. It can be done in the tub, on your bed, or even at your desk.Use self-massage to energize yourself before school or work in the morning, or to unwind in the evening. You can massage your feet while watching TV, or massage your hands while talking on the phone. You do not need to undress, but you must be comfortable. Use massage oil if you are massaging on bare skin. The easiest areas to work on are your feet, neck, shoulders, arms and hands.

To relieve headaches

Cup your hands over your eyes and look into the darkness. Circle your temples with the pads of your middle fingers. Then sweep your fingers from the center of your forehead out towards the sides.

To relax your shoulders

Raise your shoulders up and down a few times, using a circular motion. Gently move your head from side to side. Rub your neck, shoulders and scalp firmly with both hands using your fingertips to massage with small circling movements. Tilt your head to the side and massage the opposite shoulder down to the arm to the elbow. Repeat on the other side. (You can do this at your desk.)

Loosely clench your left hand into a fist and gently pound your right shoulder. Keep your wrist flexible. This can be very invigorating if you are tired. Repeat on the other side.

Put one hand on the top of your foot and the other under the sole. Stroke smoothly from your toes to your ankles. Glide your hands back to your toes and repeat.

Support your foot with one hand and work on each toe individually. Squeeze each toe firmly, and gently stretch with a gentle pull.

With one thumb on top of the other, do a line of firm pressures down the center of the sole and lines on either side. Then, with one thumb, do circular pressures on the arch and ball.

Support your foot with one hand and make the other into a loose fist. Do knuckling movements all over the sole by rippling your fingers around in small circular movements.
As an alternative, massage your feet with a tennis, golf, or other small ball. Run each foot over a ball for a minute or two, pressing and holding on tender or tight areas.


Stroke the back of your hand, pushing firmly up toward the wrist and gliding back gently. Then squeeze the hand all over, pressing it between your palm and your fingers.

Squeeze each finger and make circular pressures over the joints with your thumb. Then hold the finger at its base and pull it gently to stretch it, sliding your grip up the finger and off the tip.

Turn your hand over and support the back with your fingers. Do firm circular and static pressures with your thumb, working all over the palm and around the wrist.

Be gentle and go slow. “A little goes a long way and if you are not careful, you can over-do it. Pressing hard is not always necessary.

Important: If anything is painful, don't do it. Be careful if you have recently been injured or seriously ill. If in doubt, consult a massage therapist or other healthcare professional.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

10 Winterproof Skin Saving Tips

If you are prone to dry skin you need to give a little extra care to your skin this winter. Follow these tips for simple ways to keep your skin looking beautiful this season. (Taken from The Herbal Thymes Newsletter--from Greenridge Organics--

1. Use a Humidifier. This helps to place moisture back into the room especially at night preventing skin from becomming cracked and itchy.
2. Moisturize more frequently. Apply a heavy layer before going outside to the face and hands.
3. Accessorize with Gloves & Sunglasses. Just because it's winter don't forget those sunglasses! We have to protect our eyes as much as possible especially in winter when the sun can be very bright. Wearing gloves really helps to not only keep hands warm but plays an important role in preventing flare ups. Make sure to wear cotton gloves that do not irritate your skin.
4. Layers. Dressing in layers before you go outside helps to keep you in a comfortable temperature throughout the day and also prevents that dry/itchy cycle caused by sweating and overheating.
5. Moisturize after hand washing. Keep a bottle of lotion or cream in the bathroom or kitchen by where you wash your hands so you won't forget. Keeping those hands nourished throughout the day is a necessity in winter. I keep a plastic bottle in my purse of Shea Butter lotion (from a sampler we did a few months ago) for when I wash my hands in public places. Often times the soaps at those places are extremely harsh. Sometimes I even keep my own hand soap in my purse!
6. Exfoliate on a Weekly or Semi-weekly Basis. Keeping the skin fresh and exfoliated is the key to a moisturizer working its best. When our skin is invigorated with gentle exfoliation the pores are clean so impurities and dirt cannot get in the way.
7. Butter your Lips. Ah, the area of our face that can really take a beating. Usually dry lips are a first sign of dehydration. Exfoliating your lips (with our Kiss me over the Garden Gate Lip Scrub) first helps to remove dead flakes and prepare them for locked-in moisture. A toothbrush works too! Bring your lip balm with you all the time and don't lick the lips!
8. Moisturize after Bathing. Moisturizing five minutes after bathing helps to seal in moisture longer since the pores are open and relaxed. Water you bathe in (especially hot and soapy) strips your skin of its oils and starts the evaporation process. Five minutes after your shower your skin will be drier than before you bathed. Moisturize after toweling off before that water has time to evaporate.
9. Don't underesimate the power of a good soap. If you aren't using a natural soap but using our organic body treaments you are doing yourself a disservice. Organic natural soaps are the key to keeping the skin in its natural harmony unlike other harsh soaps that strip the skin of its natural protective oils, which in turn allows more rapid evaporation.
10. Find time in your day to enjoy a cup of warm herbal tea with lemon. A lemon helps with it's antioxidants and Vitamin C and it's nice to capture a moment of the day to help you relax, which will help your skin relax too.
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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Borrowed New Year's Resolutions

Just when I thought I had figured out my New Year's Resolutions I read the most inspiring post on The Dear Diary Stories blog. ( Marta said she let her ideas "slow cook" and then came up with a fantastic list. Yes, a list, not just one or two. The really amazing thing is that almost all of them could be my resolutions too.

Even if you have your resolutions all in place, you should go check out her list. Her writing style is just so fun! I tweaked her list and I'm going to hang it somewhere I can see it first thing in the morning.

Check it out and let me know if you think it's inspiring too!
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Friday, January 15, 2010

The citizens of Haiti are currently dealing with devastation and suffering that few of us can even imagine. Tuesday's earthquake has reduced large parts of the the country's capitol, Port Au Prince, to rubble and devastated their already poor infrastructure making the task of delivering aid extremely difficult.

Official estimates from the region say that approximately 3 million people have been affected by this disaster and that somewhere between 45,00 to 50,000 people are may have died as a result of the earthquake. (It's so hard to watch the news or read the newspapers and see the suffering, isn't it?)

The most important thing you can do is donate to organizations providing aid to the citizens of Haiti. Doctors Without Borders is one of the organizations in the best position to provide critical medical care to those affected by this disaster.

An inflatable MSF field hospital, equipped with two operating theatres, is expected to arrive by air in the next 24 hours. Crucial personnel, including surgeons and anesthetists, and supplementary stocks of medical supplies are on the way as well.

There are many other great organizations that you can donate to. The American Red Cross(, CARE (, Unicef (, Catholic Relief Services ( to name a few. The important thing is to help!
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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Be Cute For You!

These were the words from Jesse Garza and Joe Lupo on Oprah's show today. (The show also featured Rita Wilson giving fashion advice.) Aren't those words inspiring?

To take it a little bit farther, I went to Oprah's website ( and read Rita's Top Ten Fashion tips. I like this one: "Trust your personal style." It's so easy to look at magazines or even watch Oprah's show and think about changing your wardrobe. One of the women getting a make-over actually didn't like some of the outfits they had picked out for her. So they finally found something she could wear and be comfortable in. I thought that was great! While I'm all for being fashionable, I think we each have to decide on a look for ourselves. (It doesn't hurt to solicit advice from friends and family though.)

Another one of her tips is "Your haircut and color tell people a lot about you." Do you really want to look like your high school graduation picture? What does that tell people? (Someone close to me still does!) One of Oprah's guests had gone premature gray. After coloring for awhile she decided to go natural. That is, until she started getting hit on by 65 year-old guys! She let Oprah's hairstylists color her hair a shade of blond .She said she's never going to be gray again. There are so many options for cuts and colors. Don't get caught in a time warp!

"If you haven't worn it for a year, get rid of it." You've heard this one before and so have I. But...when looking in my closet I found items that need to go.

Take a look at this short skirt! That should have gone years ago!

What about this vest? I loved to wear it around Christmas time--it has cute little holly berries on it. I tried it on and you know it doesn't even fit. Why has that been taking up room in my closet? You can't keep clothes just because they have some sentimental value...unless it's your wedding dress!

How about these shoes? Aren't they great? Don't you love the color? I can't even remember why I have gold shoes in my closet. A past New Year's outfit maybe? If I can't remember, then they must have been in there a long time!

Now to the title of my blog post. Another point they made on the show is that many women don't bother to get dressed up or put on make-up especially if they work from home or are a stay-at-home mom. 'Cuz you know, no one is going to see them. don't need to always look good for someone else. Look good, be cute for you! Don't you deserve to see a fabulous women staring back at you in the mirror?

For more of Rita's Fashion tips you can go to Oprah's website. There are also more tips on looking good at any age.

Tell me now, what's been in your closet too long?

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Monday, January 11, 2010

I Need To Pump It Up

Help! I need your help. I got a new itouch for Christmas and an itunes gift card. Now what songs do I download on it? I run most days of the week so I'm looking for some good work-out tunes. Can you suggest some? What's your favorite song to really keep you going? Something by Lady Gaga? Black-eyed Peas? I'd love to know what songs you are listening to. (and if you have a favorite just to listen to, not to work out to, I'd like to know that too!) Thanks!!!
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Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Bad Hair Day Captured Forever!

My future daughter-in-law Angela asked me to dig out some old family photos. While I had fun taking a trip down memory lane, I was really kind of shocked at some of my hair styles! I really thought I was pretty with it but some of those styles really weren’t the best for me. So I’m thinking, what should I be doing now to avoid future hair blunders?
I’ve put together some tips for anyone concerned about their appearance as they age.

*Take a look at a photo of yourself from 10 years ago. Now look in the mirror. If the hairstyle you see in both places is the same, you are due for an update. (I think we all know someone like that...) That doesn’t mean you have to go in for a completely new look—the fix could be as simple as tweaking your current style.

*Hair too long can drag your features down—kind of like the anti-face lift. Long hair parted in the middle sort of says you’re stuck in the “me” decade.

*Adding years doesn’t mean taking away inches. Plenty of mature women look great in longer hair. If you want to go shorter, keep it soft. (Sharon Stone has hers slightly shaggy.)

*As you start to go gray, hair can look a bit dull and washed out, so by getting your hair colored a rich, glossy shade, you’ll take 10 years off your look. Going too dark will age you. Dark hair against a light scalp makes thinning more visible. Try going 2 or 8 shades lighter or get highlights around your face. (Good Housekeeping magazine suggests adding “No Gray For Women” to your hair color if you color your own hair. It will provide much better gray coverage. Guess what I am going to try?)

*Take a good look in the mirror. Is your hair color the same tone as your skin? You may look washed out, especially in the winter. Choose a base color that's at least two shades darker than your skin tone, even if your hair is blond. (Notice Madonna going a few shades darker?) If you‘re too light, add some rich caramel low lights.

*As we age, our hair starts losing its luster. To help rejuvenate it, don’t use too many drying products on it, like mousse or hairspray. Buy a SHINE spray to apply styling. Shiny says healthy and vibrant!

*Even if your cut is short you can add a few wispy longer strands in the back to draw attention away from your neck wrinkles.

*Keep in mind that not only does your hair change as you age but also your face changes. (My grays are very coarse and harder to work with. Yuck) So choose a style that compliments your face and also is easy to maintain.

*If you choose to keep your natural gray using the right shampoo can take the yellow out and add shine. If you are more than 50% gray, use a shampoo that has blue or violet undertones.

*Bangs usually make a person look younger. Try putting your hand over your forehead when you look in the mirror.Then take your hand away. Which do you think looks better? Bangs that are full, not wispy and that reach the center of your brows are the best but side swept ones are attractive too. They can help move attention away from forehead wrinkles and draw attention to your eyes.

If you go to you’ll see a slideshow of hand-picked celebrity hairstyles that can make you look younger ....and those that will simply add years on.

(What’s the worst hairstyle you ever had? Mine—a very,very tightly curled perm. What was I thinking? Why didn’t the stylist advise against it? Why did I keep the pictures? Oh well, I’m the wiser for it I guess. Guess which pictures I didn't give Angela!)
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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pamper Yourself in the Kitchen

This is a little different topic than I usually write about. I saw this video on Youtube and just had to share it with you! If you hate to peel potatoes like I do, this is a great way to creatively "peel" potatoes. Pampering yourself anywhere is always a good idea. :)
(Thanks to for directing me there.)
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Monday, January 4, 2010

Easy Ways to Exercise

Is one of your New Year's Resolutions to get more exercise? Here are some easy to follow exercise tips which you can follow during your day to day activities. Staying healthy can be easy!

Walk 10 Minutes a Day and Increase Your Fitness Level
New studies show that even short bouts of activity can increase your fitness level, especially if you're new at working out. A brisk walk will burn the same amount of calories per mile that jogging does (approx. 100 calories). It’s important to get your heart pumping during a walk. Remember to stretch!

Park and Walk
Whenever you have an errand, park your car as far away as you can handle and walk to the store. (My husband has been doing that for years. He has never been one to drive around to find a closer spot! I guess I'll have to follow his example.)At the mall, park at the farthest end and walk the length of the mall. Use every opportunity to walk. At the end of the day, it all adds up to better fitness.

Climb Stairs
Try climbing plain old stairs. This can be done at home, in your office, apartment building, or on stair-climbing machines in the gym. Climbing two steps at a time is good for building the quadriceps (thigh muscles) and the gluteus (butt). Going down steps builds strength in the quadriceps and to a lesser extent, the hamstrings.

Recliner Reps
Put a couple hand weights by your recliner and while you're watching television or a movie, grab the hand weights and do some arm curls. You'd be amazed at how creative you can get in finding ways to work different muscles while sitting in a recliner. Even if you only do it during the commercials you're still exercising. (I did hear of someone that replaced their recliner with a stationary bike...)

Do The Flex
Can you flex your abs? your butt? Try this each time something happens. For example, flex your abs every time you answer the phone or text. Or when driving, flex your butt every time you turn.

The benefits of exercise are many. It strengthens the heart muscle, builds energy levels, lowers blood pressure, improves muscle tone and strength, helps reduce body fat, makes you look healthy, fit…even sexy! Really, there's no good reason not to exercise!

Have you got a creative way to sneak in some exercise? We'd love to hear about it!
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Sunday, January 3, 2010

Forming Lasting Habits

Anne-Marie (The Soap Queen) writes on her blog about a New Year's resolution last year that became a habit for her. A simple one of flossing her teeth everyday. She saw the statistics that said she could increase her life by flossing. So she added it to her daily routine.

I think that's a great way to pick a resolution. Anne-Marie lists some ideas on how to go about picking goals/resolutions. She says they should be SMART. ( I'm going to follow her advice. Since I already floss my teeth everyday, I'm going to add exfoliating my face twice a week. I've read that it's one way for "mature skin" (yeah, a nice way to put it) to look a little younger. I've got ingredients to make an exfoliant that I would like and use.

So try thinking about those New Year's resolutions as a new habit that you want to form!
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2010 Wedding Trends and Colors

I have a son getting married in May so I am always interested in wedding articles. My future daughter-in-law is having fun with the wedding plans. I found this information about spring weddings and wanted to share it with her and with any of you involved in wedding planning.
According to the Pantone Color Report designers are bringing splashes of sunshine for spring weddings in 2010. To read more about the colors and trends you can go to the Party Blog and read her great post. She also has lots of great photos of colors, decorations, clothes and more.
If you have other wedding blogs to recommend, we'd appreciate you leaving a comment for us. Our wedding is in May so we have some time to plan yet.
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