Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Need More Fun

There is a set of stairs, with a moving escalator next to it .... both of which lead to the same spot on the floor of the upper level. At first no one took the stairs, almost 97% of the people took the escalator. Okay. That  could be a normal expected result.

Then a group of engineers got together, and decided they wanted to change the percentage around.

Notice what these scientists did. Clever huh. And now they have reversed the percentages, as a whopping 66% more people take the stairs, than ride the escalator.

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CSN Stores Gift Certicate Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the CSN Stores $25 Gift Certificate Giveaway! (I wish I had a gift certificate for each one of you!) I used to generate the winner.
The lucky gal is Ann.  She said "Though I really like your boot selection, I think the gladiator sandals are great! Perhaps our choices are a reflection of weather differences. It is 79 degrees in sunny Florida -- about an 85 degree difference from Minnesota. (Hope everyone is staying warm!)"

Happy Shopping Ann!
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tell Your Guy "you da man" Valentines

My hubby has such a sweet tooth. He has a dessert after dessert. So when I saw this cute candy bar wrapper I knew I had to make one for him. Won't it be fun for him to see that "he's the man"!  (There's a free download courtesy of Jeanne.)

Do you have something in mind for Valentine's Day for your special guy?

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Launch Some Healthy Habits in 2011

My daughter crossing the finish line of a half-marathon. Her family cheering her on. What a great role model!

Another new year, another set of resolutions. How many of us have the same ones year after year? Lose weight, exercise more…Try to wear off that Christmas fudge. Maybe this is the year to really keep that resolution. In this post, we are going to look at exercise.

I’m realizing that as I age, it isn’t as easy to stay in shape. It is a very real commitment for me to keep up my running. But I know that the benefits are so great—keeping my heart strong and my weight down. (Heart disease is a major factor in my family.) I’m looking at maybe taking a “Hoops” class or Zumba class through our Community Ed. just to mix things up a bit.

So how to make exercise a way of life. Here are some quick tips:

*Walk whenever and wherever you can. Before work, after work, at work. Walk on your breaks. (The suggested number of steps is 10,000 to stay fit. To lose weight you would need to increase that and also the intensity/speed of your walking.)
*Take the stairs. Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator. (On our last cruise we never used the elevator. To get to any food we usually had to walk about 15-18 flights of stairs. It did help to keep some of the chocolate desserts off my hips.)
*Take a break from technology. Put down the phone, move away from your PC, turn off the TV. Get up and move around. Go talk to someone instead.
*Finish chores while building muscles. Doing everyday chores like cleaning the house, grocery shopping, laundry, gardening, and walking the dog are great ways to stay fit.
*Split up your workout. If you don't have time to spend an hour at the gym try exercising for 10 minutes when you get up (maybe with some slow stretches) walk during your breaks at work or take a 10 minute walk and squeeze in another 10 minutes before or after dinner to finish the day.
*Pick up the pace. Doing an everyday activity at a slightly faster pace can increase the number of calories you burn. Just don't overdo it. Vacuuming, taking the stairs or grocery shopping a little faster than you normally do could raise your heart.
*Have fun! Exercise doesn't have to be a chore. Exercising with a friend, taking a new class, or trying a new activity will keep your motivation up. Combining weekend fun or vacation time with exercise by going swimming, canoeing, playing Frisbee is also a great way to stay on track.

Just a note for parents: You can be a great role model for your children. (Practice what you preach!) Instead of just watching your child participate in a sport, you could walk around the field, court or rink while your child is playing. Seeing you add some exercise to your daily routine will let them know that you value your health.

So…how about it? Are you going to keep that resolution to exercise?
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Friday, January 21, 2011

This is the Stuff

I was reading a post from the "Scribbles From Emily" blog. She had this to say....

"A fun song for a Friday, "This is The Stuff" by Francesca Battistelli. Love, love, love this song! It's so catchy, and I can totally relate to the first verse! It's the perfect song if you're having one of those days, those days when nothing goes as planned.

After a week of those days, I'm so glad the weekend is here!" 

These are my sentiments exactly! Thought maybe you'd enjoy the song too! Happy Friday!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Give-Away Time!

I love giveaways! Jocelyn from the CSN store contacted me about a unique opportunity for both me and for all of my Pamper-U readers. CSN stores has over 200 online stories where you can find anything you need from swingsets to fitness equipment or even cute cookware!’ They offer literally everything you could ever need. I'm not exaggerating one bit. If you have not visited this site, I recommend you do for the many great deals it offers!

So how would you like a $25 gift certificate to spend any way you wish at ANY of the 200 CSN stores? Here's your chance to "Pamper-U"!

How To Enter:
* Leave a comment along with your email address. Visit CSN stores and let me know if you won what would you spend the gift certificate on?

or for another chance to win:

*Become a Pamper-U Follower. If you are already a follower just comment that you are.

What are you waiting for?!  Enter today. (Contest runs Jan.18-Jan.25.)

Here's what I have my eye on--
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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Splish Splash: Take a Safe Bath

January is recognized as National Bath Safety Month. It’s a good time to take a look around and see how you can make your bathroom safer.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, on an average, 370 people of all ages suffer bathtub or shower-related injuries each day in the United States. Drowning is the leading cause for unintentional injury deaths of children age 4 and younger, and in children 14 and younger, drowning is the second leading cause for unintentional injury fatalities.

Bathroom safety tips

• Keep bathroom doors closed and secure toilet lids with lid locks.
• Never leave small children alone around any container of water. This includes toilets, tubs, wading pools, spas, aquariums, and buckets.
• Safeguard bathtubs and sinks used for bathing by using faucet covers and nonskid mats or decals.
• Before bathing children, gather the soap, shampoo, toys, towel, diaper, clothing, and any other needed items you might need before running the bath water. Place these items so you can easily reach them.
• After running bath water, check the water temperature before placing the child in the bath water. Set the hot water temperature lower than 115 degrees if there are babies, toddlers and children in the house.
• Some people who are elderly may have less sensation in their hands and therefore may misjudge water temperature. If you have a loved one who is elderly, check the water temperature in their home to avoid scalding injuries.
• Once your child is in the bath, don’t leave for any reason. Children can drown in just a small amount of water. They can easily topple into the tub or toilet. It only takes a few seconds for a drowning to happen.
• If you must leave the room for the telephone or door, take the child with you after taking the child out of the water and wrapping him in a towel.
• To avoid falls and slipping under the water, always keep one hand firmly around the child when bathing him and keep the child sitting.
• For people who are elderly or have disabilities, AARP recommends installing grab bars on walls around the tub and beside the toilet and a portable, hand-held shower head. Install non skid tile or use non-skid bath mats.
*Put away any objects that can harm little ones (pretty much anything they can get their hands on!). Razors, nail clippers, and other adult items should never be within reach of little fingers.

Take advantage of National Bath Safety Week to evaluate your bathroom and make sure that you have taken as many safety precautions as possible. Taking proactive steps to ensure bath safety will help create a safer, healthier environment for you and your family.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Thoughts For The New Year

I like this poem by Lillian Gray:

Thoughts for the New Year

Let us walk softly, friend;
For strange paths lie before us all untrod:
For New Year, spotless from the hand of God,
Is thine and mine, O friend.

Let us walk straightly, friend;
Forget the crooked paths behind us now.
Press on with steadier purpose on our brow,
To better deeds, O friend.

Let us walk gladly, friend;
Perchance some greater good than we have known
Is waiting for us, or some fair hope flown,
Shall yet return, O friend.

Let us walk humbly, friend;
Slight not the heart's-ease blooming round our feat:
The laurel blossoms are not half so sweet
Or lightly, gathered, friend.

Let us walk kindly, friend;
We cannot tell how long this life shall last,
How soon these precious years, be overpast:
Let Love walk with us, friend.

Let us walk quickly, friend;
Work our mite while lasts our little stay,
And help some halting comrade along the way:
And may God guide us, friend!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Healthy Touch, Healthy You

I recently had the privilege of being with my 92 year-old godmother during her final days. Being an aromatherapist, I brought along a blend of lavender and a citrus oil. I used this blend to massage the tops of her feet and her hands. She had been unresponsive for the nurses but when my mother and I spent time with her she asked for water and seemed a little calmer. This made me realize the importance of touch for all of us, at any age and at any stage in our lives.

Touch is the earliest of the five senses to be developed in the human embryo and the most developed of all our senses at birth. Babies that are placed on their mother right after birth have lower stress hormones, cry less and are more likely to be successful at breast-feeding. Preemies who get ‘kangaroo” care spend fewer days in the hospital. (Massage can help shorten labor.)

Scientists are finding the amount of body contact in our lives plays a vital role in our mental and physical development as infants and in our happiness and vigor as adults. Gentle touch has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, increase the ability to cope, and can increase immune function. Studies show that holding someone’s wrist can lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Getting a rub down has many benefits. Massage can improve your blood circulation, improve your lymph flow (helping your body get rid of wastes and toxins), boost your immune system, improve your skin health and reduce your heart rate. In a relaxed state your body is able to regroup and recharge.

Touching can reassure us, relax us, comfort us, or arouse us. We have all experienced moments when the touch of a hand on our shoulder, holding someone’s hand or a reassuring hug was all that was needed to reduce our fear, anxiety, or loneliness. A hug floods our bodies with oxytocin which makes people feel secure and trusting toward one another. A recent study showed that intervention consisting of therapeutic touch significantly reduced anxiety and restlessness in alzheimers patients.

Pet owners can reduce stress, improve their immune function and ease pain all by focusing on their animal and less on themselves. When petting or scratching their animal behind the ears, research has shown that the pet owner’s blood pressure dropped. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of pet is snuggled with.

Most of us would probably jump at the chance to have a professional massage. But if you can’t afford one or don’t have the time, you can actually give yourself a massage.

Here are some DIY tips:
Give your hands a massage every day -- whenever you put on lotion. Start with the bottoms of your palms by clasping your fingers and rubbing the heels of your palms together in a circular motion. Then, with your hands still clasped, take one thumb and massage the area just below your other thumb in circular motions, moving outward to the center of the palm. Repeat with the other hand. Then release your fingers and use your thumbs and index fingers to knead your palms, wrists, and the webbing between your fingers. With one hand, gently pull each finger of the other hand.

Use a tennis ball. Roll it over your legs and arms. (This is especially good for your muscles before exercising.) Stick the tennis ball between your shoulder blades, then slide up and down a wall.

For neck and shoulders-- Apply lotion to your hands. Gently, but firmly, work your fingers in small circles. Start at the back of your head and work down towards the shoulders. When you feel a knot, work it out in small circles with your fingers. Keep your fingers well lubricated and breathe slowly and evenly. After you have worked out all the knots, stretch out your shoulder blades by gently "hugging yourself.

For your tired tootsies-- Pour the marbles into a dishpan, and fill it with enough with water to completely cover your feet. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil, and while sitting in a comfortable chair, give yourself a foot massage by rolling the soles of sore aching feet over the marbles. Or try this: apply lotion to your hands. Dig your thumbs in a circular motion into the soles of your feet. Don't forget the bottoms of your toes too! On the other side, start at your ankle and rub your thumbs outwards across the top of your feet and down the toes. Roll your feet to stretch the ankles.

I think a good resolution for this New Year would be to use more touch to help improve our own health and those around us. Wish I could give you a hug right now!
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Do You Love Cosmos? You'll Love This!

I didn't see this post by Darla over at Bakingdom until now or I would have shared it with you earlier. She posted a sweet way to ring in the New Year but I think these cupcakes would be so fun for a girls' night out or a bridal shower or just because...
I love anything pink but she does tell you how to tone them down a little (white) and also how to make them vegan. I'm thinking they would be fun around Valentine's Day too.
Whatta ya think? Care to join me for cupcake happy hour?
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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Remedies for Chapped Skin

• In winter, use a humidifier to counteract the moisture loss created by central heating.
• A healthy diet is essential for healthy skin. Here is where fruits and veggies come in. Vitamin C is required for collagen production; beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, a substance essential for maintaining skin tissue; vitamin E is vital for skin condition; and vitamin B helps repair the skin.
• Get sufficient sleep as the skin's cellular repair activity is at its optimum during this resting phase.
• Exercise benefits skin as it boosts circulation and encourages blood flow. Regular exercise will nourish and cleanse your skin from within.
• Dry brush skin in the mornings to stimulate circulation and the sebaceous glands.
• At bedtime use a moisturizer on your face and a lotion/moisturizing cream on your hands and feet.
• Limit the use of soap, because soap dissolves the fats from the skin and takes them away from the surface.
• 15 minutes of sun exposure in the early morning or late afternoon is healthy for the skin, and activates the production of vitamin D in the body which, in turn, will promote healthy skin.
• Half an hour before you take your bath, massage yourself with a bath oil or if taking a shower, apply a bath oil immediately after. Blot yourself dry; do not rub vigorously with a bath towel.
• Wear gloves in cold weather to help prevent chapped hands.

Gathered From The Garden has some great products to heal chapped skin.  Our Goat Milk and Honey Lotion works great during the day to soothe dry skin. Our Satin & Silk Lotion works great for dry, chapped skin on legs and arms.  Our Flip Flop Foot Cream is not only great for sandal feet but for dry, chapped feet in fall and winter as well.  For the guys, we have our wonderful Guy Grease for hands/body.
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