Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Believe in Pink

I Believe in pink.
I Believe that laughing is
the best calorie burner.
I Believe in kissing,
kissing a lot.
I Believe in being strong
when everything seems to
be going wrong.
I Believe that happy girls
are the prettiest girls.
I Believe that tomorrow is
another day, and
I Believe in miracles.
Audrey Hepburn

Isn't this just the loveliest poem. Have a great weekend! Be Happy!

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Friday, July 30, 2010

The Right Way To Blow-Dry Your Hair

Why is it that my hairstylist can work wonders with my hair but when I try it at home it looks a little different? Perhaps because she knows the right way to use a blow-dryer? I'm going to give these tips a try.

Get the Tools
The right dryer : Don’t distort curls with too much power―1,400 watts is enough. Curls don’t call for a high temperature, either. Stick with the low and medium settings for temperature and air. Medium heat is best for pre-drying hair. High heat manipulates your hair’s shape, and air sets a style.

Nozzle/Diffuser: Don’t discard this. It is key to a smooth look and keeps hair from getting too close to the heat.

Round brush or paddle brush: Straighten strands, make ends flip, or create waves with this tool. The bigger the surface area of a brush, the faster the drying time. Use a great brush – boars bristle brushes will give you shine, nylon brushes will give you control.

Use the Right Styling Products
Fine and thin strands do better with lighter products such as mousse or gel mousse combinations.

Medium textured hair can behave well with lighter products such as mousse or gel mousse as well as with regular gel, glaze, liquids and creams.

Thickly textured hair needs heavier products such as extra strength mousse, gel, creams or wax.

*A general rule of thumb – the finer your hair, the less product you can use.

*Keep in mind that the less styling products that you use, the softer the set.

Straight Hair
Step 1: Pre-dry and Section
• After toweling your wet hair, set your dryer on medium heat. Blow hair until it’s 80 percent dry.
• Gather the hair on top of your crown and secure it with a clip. Begin drying the lower layers with a brush, using more heat. Point the dryer’s nozzle downward to help smooth hair and create shine.

Step 2: Dry Top Layers
• Remove the clip and use it to hold the now-dry lower layers back and away
• Blow-dry the top section. Aim at the roots to add volume, then work toward the ends, using the brush to pull hair forward and out.

Step 3: Shape Ends and Finish
• Remove the clip. Flip all hair back. Part and dry hair around the forehead.
• Blast with heat, and set with cold air. For a straight finish mist with hair spray.

Curly Hair
Step 1: Apply Leave-in Conditioner
• After applying a leave-in conditioner through wet (but not sopping) strands, flip most of your hair to one side. With your fingers, work it into four manageable sections, from roots down to tips. Finally, hold the ends, shake your hands from side to side, then release to allow curls to spring back up to the roots.

Step 2: Diffuse at the Roots
• Set your dryer to low or medium heat.
• Place the diffuser right at the roots, starting at the nape of your neck. Gently hold ends away from the dryer, letting them dry naturally (blow-drying curly ends, which tend to be dehydrated, makes them frizzy). Move the diffuser around until all roots are dry.

Step 3: Smooth and Finish
• Put a pea-size drop of pomade on your palm and rub your hands together.
• Grasp your hair in front, as if you were sweeping it into a ponytail, and run your hands from the hairline to the ends. Then let the curls go. Massage your scalp at the roots to add fullness.
• Naturally curly strands should be touched as little as possible by the hands and fingers when diffusing or drying.

A Few More Tips
*Allow plenty of time to blow dry so that you create your dream style. Speed blow drying can cause frizz and other issues to pop up.
*Use a heat protectant product if hair is prone to damage.
*If your hair is prone to frizz, keep your fingers out of your hair until it is 100% dry.
*Finishing a section with a blast of cool/cold air from the blow dryer will help to close the newly created texture or lock in the straightness of the section.
*Always try and use the dryer downwards because using it upwards can cause frizzy hair.
*To control static in your hair, spray hairspray on your hairbrush and brush it through your hair from the roots to the ends.
*Begin styling the hair when the scalp is completely dry and 80% of the hair is dry. (I never have time to do this...)
*Get rid of any blow dryer older than five years. The older the blow dryer, the higher the chance that the temperature gauge is damaged.
*Give your hair a break once in awhile and let it just dry naturally.

If you follow these tips, you should have celebrity-styled hair right?

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Someone's feet were a sweet treat for mosquitoes! Good thing grandma knows a quick natural way to take away the itch.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking A Chance and Stretching

This past week I did something that was not feeling very comfortable to me. I love to formulate products, write product descriptions, make up orders and write my blog and newsletter. However, I am NOT a salesperson.

My hubby on the other hand can talk to anyone. So...I sent him in to scout out a cute new boutique downtown where he works. I was looking for another place to sell my products. This seemed like the perfect fit. (He reported back that they had no products like mine.)
I put off going down there for some time coming up with all kinds of excuses. Finally, I just decided to go for it. I knew my lotion would sell (it's great!) if I could just sell! I worked really hard to look my best and I practiced my speech in the car as I drove. The butterflies were really at work in my tummy I tell ya! I took along a sample to leave with the owner and some big lotion bottles so she could see what the finished product looks and smells like.

I must have done something right. She ordered a bunch right on the spot! The store is just so fun, I'm hoping that she does really well in that location. When I went to deliver the lotion yesterday, I sort of pretended that I was hubby and tried a little schmoozing and lots of small talk. It actually was kind of fun after I got over my initial nervousness.

So, sometimes it's good to step out of our comfort zone and take a risk. I will probably be just as nervous the next time I try this but at least I'll have had a little experience with it and some success too.

Have you had to step out of your comfort zone this summer?

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summer Bucket List

I have stopped and smelled the roses this summer.

I was reading a post at Rebekah's blog about her Summer Bucket List. It made me think about how fast my summer is going too and all of the things I want to accomplish yet. So I made my own Summer Bucket List.

1. Visit my 90 year old aunt who still maintains her own flower gardens.
2. Go see a MN Twins game in their new stadium.
3. Put up a vinyl quote on one of my family room walls.
4. Finish at least 4 of the books on the stack by my bed.
5. Trim out some of my flower beds.
6. At least once this summer sleep until I wake up (without an alarm).
7. Learn to frost a cupcake with a pastry bag.
8. Be able to run 4 miles without stopping to catch my breath.
9. Get a really good haircut.
10.Laminate and hang some of my grandkids artwork.
11.Clean up some of the clutter in our office.
12.Have a nice dinner with my hubby at our favorite Italian Restaurant.

Whew! If I can accomplish all of this by the end of August I will be one happy (and surprised)lady! I think I can do it but may need a few reminders to keep on track.
What would be on your Summer Bucket List?

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Lovely Little Poem

I would like to share a cute poem that I came across. I don’t know the author so I can’t give anyone credit…

A Lovely Little Poem
~A dear old lady was asked what she used to make her complexion so beautiful and her whole being so bright and attractive.
~She answered:
I use for my lips, truth
I use for my voice, kindness
I use for my ears, compassion
I use for my hands, charity
I use for my figure, uprightness
I use for my heart, love
I use for any who do not like me, prayer.

If you’ve tried all of those and your complexion could still use a little help, Gathered has two great products for you to try. Our facial moisturizer is made from cucumber and aloe. It goes on silky smooth. Our lavender facial toner is so refreshing and it contains no alcohol.

For those of you who haven’t tried a toner you are missing out! A toner is a skin care product that you apply to the face after you cleanse and before you moisturize. Toners restore the pH balance of the skin, remove any makeup that was not fully removed, or any soap residue. Toners leave skin feeling very refreshed and clean. You should look for a toner that does not contain alcohol, as it can dry your skin.

Pamper yourself today!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What Fun! Teacupcakes!

I just love these!!!
TEACUPCAKES by Fred & Friends… ultra-clever bake & serve cupcake molds that come with matching saucers for an “elegant” presentation! Great gift idea for your friends that love to bake – or for yourself, especially if you like to make cupcakes like I do. ($17.95/set of 4 at heliotrope)

Wouldn't these be cute used as “vases” for tiny flower arrangements? (I think they would be adorable to take when you are visiting someone sick for example.) Can you think of any more creative ways to use them?

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sugar, Sugar....

Americans consume a staggering 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day (that's 17% of the average American's daily calories. Consuming too much sugar can cause fatigue, digestive issues, headaches, brain fog…you might even be addicted to it!

I have been thinking about this for some time. I know I eat too much sugar. I’m not a big soda drinker (Soda and sweetened drinks are the biggest offenders) but I love to have a dessert with every meal. I’m also married to someone with a huge sweet tooth—that doesn’t help! My goal is to start limiting the amount of sugar I eat by a little more each day.

What's so bad about that? It's not just the extra calories. Sugar added to food ages you (so much for all the anti-aging lotions and creams) and takes the place of healthy foods, making it tricky to get the nutrients you need. Sugar is attracted to collagen, a structural protein in your skin. Normally, collagen keeps skin elastic and supple. But when it hooks up with sugar, its structure changes and it can't do its job properly, so you end up with a face that looks older.

When you eat more sugar than your body can burn, your liver repackages it into fat. Your liver then takes that fat and dumps it into your bloodstream, where it clogs up your arteries. Sugar can lower your good cholesterol and raise the bad.

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. has written a book called Beat Sugar Addiction Now! He believes that here are 4 kinds of sugar addicts. An Energy Loan Shark feels tired and needs regular hits of caffeine and sugar. The Feed Me Now or I’ll Kill You has depleted adrenal glands. The Happy Ho-Ho Hunter searches for sugar because of an overgrowth of yeast in the body. The Depressed and Craving Carbs desire for sweets is linked to changing hormones. (You can read more details in his book to find out which type fits you.)

**To find out how much sugar is in a food, divide the grams of sugar by four.

( 1 teaspoon= 4 grams therefore 1/4 teaspoon= 1 gram
One cup of granulated sugar is 200 grams
1 gram of sugar equals 4 calories
There are 3-4 grams of sugar in a packet of sugar)

Here are some examples:

Flipsides Pretzel Crackers (Townhouse) 1g of sugar divided by 4 = ¼ g/serving

Oreos 14g of sugar divided by 4 = 3.5g/serving

Multi-grain Cheerios 6g of sugar divided by 4 = 1.5 g/serving (My breakfast cereal)

Reese’s Miniatures 23g of sugar divided by 4 = 5.75g/serving

This maybe doesn’t seem like much but if you kept track of how much sugar you eat in a day, it would add up. You should try to limit your daily total to 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Check labels: don’t buy it if any of the first three ingredients ends in “ose” (fructose,glucose,dextrose).

Dr. Teitelbaum suggests using sugar substitutes such as Stevia, Erythritol and xylitol but says to be sure to check the substitution equivalents. (One pkg. of Truvia provides the same sweetness as 2 teas. of sugar.) I have not personally used sugar substitutes mainly because I haven’t researched them. Do you use them?

(I might have to change my sign to "Keep Calm and have a Carrot", sigh)

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chic Click Carnival--Fabulous New Peeps!

This week I'm participating in the Chic Click Carnival. I'm Carol {from Pamper-U} and this is my personal blog where I share lots of ideas for pampering yourself. (We all know you deserve it!)

My most exciting post on my blog right now is how to get a free Kodak Flip Book! I made one using pics of my three adorable grandchildren.

My favorite peep of the week is Krista from The Gathering Place Design Blog. I love her ideas on decorating. She has a really sweet way to preserve some of the 120 roses her hubby gave her for their anniversary! Can you imagine getting that many?

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Free Flip Book From Kodak

I saw this offer on the net and couldn't resist trying it out. Kodak will make the cutest flip book for you for free--you just need to paying the shipping of $1.99. But hurry the offers ends on July 20.

Let me show you the flip book and how I personalized it for my grandkids.
Here is what the front cover looks like. You get to pick which photo to put on the front and a title. (I wish I would have put the year on.)

These are two inside pages. Now I thought it would be fun to add some captions especially since my oldest granddaughter is learning to read. So I typed up a sentence or two for each page.

Then I used a "wacky" scissors to cut around each caption and used double-sided tape to label each page.

Here is a page with the caption taped in.

You also get to choose a picture for a little spot on the back cover. Isn't this just the cutest? I can't wait to show the kids when they come for an overnight tomorrow! Easy and cheap--it doesn't get much better!

Visit Kodak: Now go have some fun!
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I am a third of the way through Elizabeth Gilbert's book Eat, Love, Pray. I enjoyed the first part about her trip to Italy. I am SO hoping to travel there next summer. So far the hubs has agreed to it so soon I'll start the serious planning! (My son and daughter-in-law went there on their honeymoon--totally enjoyed it!)

The second third of the book is about Gilbert's experiences in India. She travels to an Ashram and one of the things she does there is work on her meditating. I tried that once many years ago (cuz Ophrah did a show on it)but it just didn't seem for me. But after reading about how the author learns to meditate the right way I might give it another go.

As fate would have it, I received in the mail a magazine called LiveSpa ( and it contained an article about meditations. It listed a meditation for each month and some inspirational notes about each one. They are very simple yet meant to be "a guide on your journey to a". July's is Be Willing to Forgive. They say not only to forgive others but forgive yourself. Some of the others are "Be an Example of Inner Peace, Make Joy Your Constant Companion and Turn Every Experience Into an Opportunity." Maybe having a theme will help me.

I'm not as anxious to read the third part about Indonesia but maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. I don't know much about that part of the world and probably have some preconceived notions that are wrong. I am anxious to get to the end to see how the author's year of travels ends--happily?

Julia Roberts is starring in the movie version which is due out in August. You can be sure I'll go see it. If the movie is anything like the book, it'll be a hit. (Besides, Julia Roberts is one of my favorite actresses along with Meryl Streep.)

Have you read the book? What was your favorite third?

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Another Post on Hair Color?!?!

I know,I know, another post on hair color. It's not like I'm obsessed or anything. But I came across some good tips in an old issue of Family Circle Magazine (May '09)and I just had to pass them along!

*Use an old toothbrush to gently stroke your color onto the fine hairs around your face. (These are the ones that always go gray first on me!)

*Use chapstick around your hairline before you begin to prevent forehead stains. (I had read that petroleum jelly works too but that always seemed so messy.)

*Use a kitchen sponge to distribute color evenly once applied.

*If your skin gets itchy when using hair color, throw two packets of Sweet 'N Low in the color and shake it up. (Splenda and Equal don't work.)

*If your forehead gets stained use an astringet to remove hair color.

*If you're a sloppy gal, line your bathroom floor with trash bags to catch spills. (The first couple of times I colored my own hair I ruined a rug and put a stain on the floor. You'd think I'd learn...)

*There are a few more tips if you can find an old issue. (Your doctor's office maybe?)

I hope these tips help. I can't promise I'll never write about hair color again but really, I will try to find other topics to blog about. :)

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Saturday, July 10, 2010

How To Survive Swimsuit Season

I just read a fun post by Brooke of the "i wanna talk about brooke" blog. She is a guest poster over at Marta's blog. For tips on "How to Survive Swimsuit Season" go to: Is there any woman who really likes shopping for a swimsuit?

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

10 Great Ways to Beat the Heat

As the temps climb much of our country is looking for a way to stay cool. Here in MN it hasn’t been unbearably hot. However, my son and daughter-in-law are traveling to Wash DC and I know they could use some tips for dealing with the heat there.

Here are a few ideas for them and for you to keep your cool.

1. Eat something spicy. They’ll make you sweat for when all your sweat evaporates, you’ll feel cooler.

2. Make a cool dessert. You can buy popsicles or dilly bars or make your own cold summer treats. (Check out the mini frozen fruit kabobs,mini ice sandwiches and mini cones at

3. Visit the library or a mall. Love yourself in the stacks of books and enjoy the air-conditioning.

4. Keep your windows and blinds closed while the sun is up. Keeping windows and doors closed will allow the house to stay as cool as possible for the longest amount of time.

5. Staying downstairs can also keep you cooler. Heat rises to the upper floors of your household, so staying downstairs makes a big difference.

6. Limit your physical activity, as well as your child's, to the coolest times of the day -- early morning or late evening.

7. Spritz yourself. Keep a spray bottle in the refrigerator, and when the going gets hot, give yourself a good squirt. As the water evaporates, it cools you. Gathered From The Garden makes wonderful Moisturinzing Mists in your favorite fragrance that you can refrigerate. Then just spritz yourself after exercising or sports activities. Keep one in your cooler!

8. Go barefoot. As the sweat on your feet evaporates, it cools the skin and the blood in your feet.

9. Make a cold compress. Fill a cotton sock with rice, tie the sock and freeze it for two hours before bedtime. Then slide it between the sheets. Rice retains cold for a long period because it's dense and starchy. (I’m going to try this to help with my night sweats!)

10. Close your eyes and imagine yourself somewhere really cool.

*Remember symptoms of heat stroke include a headache, fatigue, muscle cramps, nausea or vomiting and dizziness or fainting. You should probably seek medical attention if you suffer any of these and you’ve been in the heat.

What’s your favorite way to beat the heat? (I sat in the wading pool yesterday with my grandkids!)

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Monday, July 5, 2010

Why 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.

This is 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 stinky-sandal wearing-going barefoot-summer feet? 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’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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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Red, White and Blue Ideas

Hey, it seems like everyone online is gearing up for the Fourth! I've seen some great ideas for recipes and crafts so I thought I'd pass them along.

Leigh Ann of Your Homebased Mom ( ) has a great recipe for Strawberry pizza.

How about using your jeans to make red,white and blue jean flowers. The tutorial is over at Greenbean's blog (

Firecracker Favors to make for your July 4th events this weekend. This adorable idea was on Family Fun and Texas Monkeywanted to share the tutorial with you. (

Red, White and Blue Rice Krispies treats from How Does She?( )

A ton of July Fourth inspiration over at Imperfectly Beautiful! (

For the kids--Fireworks in a Jar video from Martha. (

Hope you have fun plans to celebrate our Nation's Independence. I have a friend whose son-in-law is here visiting from England. He is so excited to see how we celebrate the holiday. The family has big plans so I don't think he'll be disappointed! How are you spending the Fourth?

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