Monday, May 31, 2010

To Poo or Not to Poo

That title sounds pretty bad,doesn’t it? But I’ve been reading about people who don’t shampoo their hair or have cut way back on the amount of shampooing that they do. (hence, “no poo”)
Some people can't imagine not washing every day, even if their hair isn't oily. Is it just psychological? People get in the shower and think they have to wash from head to toe. People don't want to be 'dirty.’

Most women know that harsh chemicals can damage your face, hands and skin so why should your hair be any different? Chemicals found in shampoos may actually be drying out our hair. Indeed, nothing kills your color faster than frequent lathers, especially for red or brunette colored hair. (I know that for a fact!) Supposedly when you over-shampoo your hair, your hair is over-secreting oil in order to survive.

Doing some research I found that coarse, curly, dense textured-hair can go longer without washing because that type of hair is more dry and it absorbs the oil. It's more beneficial for people with that hair to not wash every day. Moisturized hair is cooperative hair. It will be shinier and have curl and style memory.

Ok, so how long can we go between shampoos and what’s the best way to go about this? Talking to a cosmetologist he suggested starting out at the end of the week. If you’re not busy on Saturday, try it Saturday morning. If you’re comfortable, go without again on Sunday. The more days in between your shampoos, the more beneficial it can be for your hair.

His recommendation is to wet your hair everyday and condition from the roots to the scalp. He feels that conditioning every day is very important. You should allow enough time for the water to really soak your hair. After your hair is wet, condition hair from the roots to the scalp, working the conditioner in. Do not place the conditioner directly onto your scalp—your hair will look greasy. You need to thoroughly rinse out the conditioner. Your hair should not feel slick or slippery.

I’ve tried skipping one day but that’s the bravest I’ve been. Maybe now that I’m done teaching I’ll experiment and try going longer between shampoos this summer. What do you think? Would you ever try going a week without shampooing, or are you addicted to a daily lather? Leave a comment and tell us!

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

20 Worst Drinks in America

I saw a Twitter post (thanks, Anne-Marie at Brambleberry) that had a link to an astonishing article on what we are drinking. For instance, Sobe Green Tea has the same equivalent sugar as four pieces of pie! For more eye-opening facts go to

I'll stick with plain ol' water--although I like to jazz it up with lemon. Do you add anything to your water?

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Me,Myself and Eye

Follow these easy tips for the prettiest eyes ever.
* Mascara frames your eyes and can make your face come alive. To apply mascara look straight into your mirror with your chin slightly lifted so you can see your lashes. Insert the wand only once and twist, don't pump. Pumping can break the brush bristles and distribute the mascara unevenly and will dry out the mascara faster. Start by rolling the wand from root to tip in a slow upward motion.
*Put mascara on upper lashes only to get that wide-eyed look. (This has been hard for me to get used to. I've always put mascara on both upper and lower lashes.)
*Use an eyelash curler to give lift to lashes. Apply a coat of mascara to set it that way.
*Eyeliners are meant to define the eyes so they should do just that; not be the focal point of your makeup. For a smudged effect use a sponge tip shadow applicator or an eye shadow brush. When your pencils are too soft refrigerate them. When they are too hard soften them by holding them between your fingers. Never line the inside rim of your lower lashes; this will make eyes look even smaller.
*If your neck can tolerate it, use an extra pillow when you lay your head down to sleep. The extra elevation prevents fluid accumulating under your eyes. Fluid retention makes the eyes look puffy.
*Tired Looking Eyes? Another late night out? Rise and shine by applying white eye shadow to your inner eye and eyelids. The color will brighten your look, make eyes really pop, and erase and effects from the night before.
* Use a base before applying your eye shadow of choice. The eye shadow base is not only helpful in keeping your eye makeup longer, but also in preventing your eye makeup from creasing and smudging. Light shadow colors cause the eyes to open, dark colors will cause the eyes to recede.
*If you want to emphasize your eyes, make sure to use lighter shades of lip gloss or lipstick. However, if you want to put emphasis on your lips, make sure you use a neutral or light-colored eye shadow.
*Tame your arcs with a brow brush. If you don't have any, a clean toothbrush will do the trick.

Share with us what color eyes you have and what's your favorite eye shadow color.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sex and the City Cupcakes

If you're a fan, you have to check out Hostess with the Mostess' Blog. She's got the cutest Sex and the City Cupcakes. A recipe and cupcake toppers. Too fun! (and even if you're not a fan of the movie--you'd still enjoy the blog post .)

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Melanoma Awareness Month

May is "Melanoma Awareness Month." My mother and my sister-in-law have both dealt with melanoma. Surprising since my mother always wore a hot outside and usually long sleeves. I have really been trying to be more sun smart. There are lots of cute hats out there and the spray-on sunscreen is really easy to use. Spray on tans have come a long way to looking more natural. Plus, sitting in the shade is way cooler!

I read about Spa Finder's Melanoma Awareness Initiative 2010. It's goal is to spread the word on the importance of being sun smart, wearing sunscreen year-round, performing self-examinations, and getting yearly full-body checkups from a dermatologist.

SpaFinder’s “I Will Reflect” melanoma bracelets have been hugely popular in promoting melanoma prevention and serving as a vigilant reminder about sun protection. These photosensitive bracelets change color when exposed to harmful UV rays and can be purchased for $4.95 each. SpaFinder provides financial support for melanoma research and programs to raise awareness of this deadly but preventable disease. You can order the bracelets at

Did you know?
*UV exposure is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. It is also greatest in the summer,
at higher altitudes, and near the equator.
*Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate light clouds, mist, and fog.
*Fresh snow reflects back about 85% of the sun’s rays; water reflects back about 5%;
and concrete reflects back 10-12% of the sun’s rays. (I always thought water's percentage was higher.)
*Protecting your skin during the first 18 years of life can reduce the risk of some
types of skin cancer by up to 78%. (That's huge! We can help those little ones stay protected by religiously using sunscreen on them.)

Enjoy the sun but be smart--you can help keep yourself safe from melanoma.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Spring in Minnesota--if only it came sooner and lasted longer!

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'll Have Milk With Mine

Isn't this a great picture? It's my mom back in her younger days when she helped out on the family farm. She was the youngest of 16. Her mother was widowed at an early age so I guess everyone had to help out.

Following somewhat in my mother's footsteps I grew up on a dairy farm too. Luckily for me, I have four younger brothers who ended up doing most of the work in the barn! I could usually be found in my room reading until someone discovered me and off I went to help out too.

I was reading in an old issue of Health magazine ( about the amazing benefits of milk. Not only did it provide our family with an income, it also kept us healthy. I know milk helps grow healthy teeth and bones but was surprised to find out other ways it's good for us. Here are some other benefits:

It's a PMS fighter. Women who drink milk all month long have lower risks of developing PMS.

It can work as an eye gel. Dip cotton balls into cold whole milk, wring them out and apply to your eyelids. Milk's fat hydrates dry skin and reduces swelling. Would cream work too?

It helps rehydrate. The body needs to be replenished with liquids at regular intervals. It is very essential for growing children. They should drink at least six to eight glasses of fluids every day. Milk contains a good quantity of water molecules and is considered the best fluid for rehydration.
Trying to lose weight, especially around the midsection? A study published in the April 2004 issue of Obesity Research suggests that eating more calcium-rich foods, especially low fat dairy foods such as cow's milk, yogurt and kefir, may really help. With today’s youth suffering an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases, a wholesome beverage, like milk, can contribute to weight loss, strong bones and overall health. (Our local high school has put in a milk machine next to the pop machine.)

Thanks to the vitamins in milk, it can soften even the driest skin. Drizzle 1/2 cup honey into running water as you fill the tub. Then add 2 cups of warm whole milk. Your skin will thank you!

A fertility booster? I had not heard of this. In a Harvard study, women who ate more than one daily serving of high-fat dairy were less likely to suffer ovulation problems than those who ate less than one serving a week.

How can you add more milk to your day?

1. Start your day with milk. Add milk to your morning cereal or oatmeal. You can also add milk to a smoothie to boost the creaminess and the nutrition.

2. Drink milk as a snack. Milk is perfect as an afternoon snack – a great balance of quality protein and carbohydrates, mildly sweet and lots of nutrition.

3. Change your coffee habit. Have a café au lait or tea au lait instead of a latte. A café au lait is 1/2 coffee and 1/2 milk, giving you that great coffee taste, while reducing your caffeine content and increasing the beverage's nutritional value.

4. Take the edge off your hunger. Before a party, have a glass of skim milk. It’s filling and “takes the edge off” hunger, helping you make smarter choices on food and drink once you arrive.

5. Milk is an excellent post-exercise beverage. The balance of nutrients in milk can help refuel the muscles after a workout as effectively as some commercial exercise beverages. Wouldn't that be a great drink after a 5K! I've never been to a race that has offered it.

6. Have milk before bed. A good bedtime routine can really help you fall asleep and stay asleep better.

So add some milk to your day. Drinking milk everyday will do your body good!

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Would You Like A Little Wine With That...?

Check out these cute products! You can dress up your bottles and drinks with Wine Wear.( It’ll catch people’s attention and add to the decor for your parties. You can use them for any event, holiday, occasion or just for fun. There's even one for the bride and groom that would have been fun to have at our wedding last weekend.

They offer:

Wine bottle Wear for gifting wine bottles with personal flare and fun. Customize your wine gifts and stand out from everyone else! Greeting cards on a wine bottle--how clever!

Wine glass Wear looks like so much fun. (I love the flip flops!) Just place the Wine Wear on your glass and peal it off when done.

Wine fashion Wear, their fashionable clothing line for wine bottles are the perfect decorations.

Pamper yourself or someone else with these wine glass/bottle embellishments. Wouldn't these be a fun hostess gift? (Or Father's Day coming up?)

“No sample product(s) or promotional payment has been received in consideration of an endorsement for mentioning products or services in this blog.”

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Monday, May 10, 2010

A Few Skin and Facial Myths

*Facial exercises tone facial muscles and make a person appear younger.
The face is the only part of the body where muscles are attached directly to the skin; there are no facial ligaments and tissue. Constant facial exercise and tugging contribute to additional lines. Actually, wrinkles often form along expression lines caused by facial movements.

*Cucumbers help reduce puffiness around the eyes.
The principle ingredient in cucumbers is 90% water with the balance being inert fiber. They can be soothing and, with moisture, hydrate skin temporarily. The same results can be obtained from a cold compress

*Preservatives in skin care products are bad.
Preservatives help prevent the growth of bacteria, fungi and other organisms that can not only deteriorate a product’s effectiveness and spoil the product itself, but also allow harmful bacteria to get on or in the skin. Parabens are found throughout nature; for example, many fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, are naturally full of parabens.

*Chocolate and greasy foods cause acne.
Eating chocolate does not cause acne. Hormonal factors, bacteria and skin cells are at the root of problematic skin, and stress can exacerbate flare ups. Some individuals may have allergic reactions to foods that can cause inflammation, as well.

*Get a base tan to prevent burning before going on vacation.
Any tan is a scar, and there is no such thing as a healthy, safe tan. Self-tanners are the safest way to obtain tanned skin.

*Indoor tanning is safe.
The argument that tanning beds and booths do not cause skin mutations that may cause cancerous lesions to develop is patently false. UVA rays found in indoor tanning lead to deeper, more harmful skin damage. You do not have to have a sunburn to create damage to skin cells.

*Skin damage and signs of aging can be cleared up quickly.
If a product sounds too good to be true, you can bet its claims are false. The damage did not happen overnight, and it cannot be magically repaired. Expect at least three skin cycles—a cycle can be between 21–40 days, depending on age—to begin to see measurable results.

*Skin repair only happens at night.
A good night’s sleep is certainly helpful to skin health; however, skin repair is ongoing. Inadequate sleep can cause stress, skin puffiness and can slow the natural development of collagen.

I'm sure there are more facial and skin myths out there. Do you have any to share?

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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Only One Mother
Hundreds of stars in the pretty sky,
Hundreds of shells on the shore together,
Hundreds of birds that go singing by,
Hundreds of lambs in the sunny weather.
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the world wide over.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mother's that have influenced our lives!

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Operation Hi Mom

One of my colleagues at school has two sons in the military. Barb's son Adam returned from a tour of Iraq in Dec. just about the time that his brother Scott was headed back there for his second tour of Iraq. She was very supportive of me when my son Jon was in Iraq so I have tried to return the favor.

I read in Woman's Day magazine about a wonderful project sponsored by So I emailed Scott to tell him about it. Today, Barb was surprised to receive a box containing a picture of her two sons (who happened to have one week's overlap at the same base!) in their military gear printed on a 11 X 13 canvas! It is so awesome! She of course was totally overwhelmed. I'm guessing she is going to find a very special place to display it.

I wish the folks at Canvas on Demand could have seen Barb's face when she first saw the canvas! This is from their website:

Operation Hi Mom awards hundreds of our deployed men and women a free fine art canvas, printed from a favorite photo, which will be presented to their moms on Mother’s Day. Deployed soldiers can simply go to a specially-designed webpage to submit a request, write their mother an endearing message, and upload a photo. It’s a way for soldiers to say to their mom, I love you…and it’s a way for Canvas on Demand to say to our troops, Thanks for a job well-done!

I'd like to say to Canvas on Demand, "Thank you for a job well-done!" You really brightened Barb's day and mine! You helped to restore my faith in the kindness of strangers.

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Well, maybe just a few words. This is my new daughter-in-law being surprised by my adorable son. He managed to drop off the bouquet of tulips and a gift in the room the girls were using to get dressed before we all arrived. Angela opened a card from Jon that was so romantic. Then she opened the gift only to find a set of pearls for her to wear with her dress. I love that I captured her expression here. More details of the wedding to follow...

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