Thursday, March 31, 2011

Least Favorite Color

The excerpted graphic above shows the least favorite colors reported by men on the left and women on the right.

My least favorite color is yellow. It's not that I don't think it's a sunny color or the color of a fruit I like--lemons. It's just that I would never think of wearing that color. It doesn't work with my skin tones and I've never found anything yellow that I wanted to wear.

It was interesting reading over at the TECHI site about color preferences. Studies show that orange is the color 38% of women picked as their least favorite. (I don't necessarily wear orange but I love to wear shades of orange like coral...) Yellow scored 13% as a least favorite color. I think it's also interesting that orange is supposed to be the hot color for spring 2011.

So what color will you be avoiding this spring? What's your least favorite color?

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Richer than me you will never be, I had a mother (and sister) who read to me.

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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lessons From The Farm

My mom and my youngest sister Pam. Both are natural nurturers ( is that a word?).

Growing up the oldest of 10 children on a farm in central MN was a lot of work but at times a lot of fun too. I learned many lessons that I still heed today.

You're never too old to change gears. I saw my mother get a job outside of our home and my dad leave a tough factory job for a job outdoors on a farm. They both took a chance at change and were successful. The time to make change in your life wasn't 10 years ago or 10 years from now. It's right now. Do what feels like you need to do! ( I am working on learning more about aromatherapy and dabbling in photography.)

Friendships, like good rich soil need tending. Don't lose touch with those people that ground you, give you strength and will be with you through the storms in life. Some of my fondest memories are times spent with my best friend Gail.

Find something to nurture and get your hands dirty. Too many of us are caught up in the world of technology which usually keeps us indoors. Take a moment to enjoy the world around you. Plant something, tend it and watch it grow!

Hard work never killed anybody or so my older relatives used to say. Thinking back to working on the farm I learned how to share burdens, use humor to brighten the load and to appreciate a job well done. I learned many skills that helped me to become very self-sufficient. (Of course at the time, it just seemed like work!)

My parents taught us to persevere and to take pride in what we accomplished. Out of the 10 children in my family, two are doctors, one is a cpa and owns his own business, two others farm together in a huge operation, three are teachers, one ran the marketing dept. of a pharmaceutical co. and one is a finance wizard. Hard work helped all of us get to where we are today. We are very proud of it too!

We are working hard at Gathered From The Garden to make products that can pamper you. Check out our website to find something for you or someone special in your life. Send us an email to subscribe to our online newsletter. We'd love to hear from you.
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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Why Do They Call Them "Love Handles"?

Ugh. I've been running for almost two years and I haven't lost much weight or gotten ride of my "budda belly" and "Love Handles".(I do not love them.) I would like to blame it on a slow thyroid but I think the real cause is menopause.
So what to do? I guess I have to add some core strenghtening exercises to my day. Oh the joys of getting older. I've checked out some ab toning exercises and might try some of these:

Oblique Crunches
Lie on your back and cross the left foot over the right knee, hands behind your head.
Keeping lower back pressed into the floor, lift your shoulder blades off the floor and then curl your upper body diagonally across your body towards your left knee.
Contract your abs and obliques as hard as you can at the top of the movement.
Resist on the way back down.
Repeat for 12-16 reps before switching sides.

Trunk Twist
Stand with your feet at shoulder width and your knees slightly bent.
Place your hands in front of you with palms facing away from you (as if you're about to push something away).
Twist your torso to the left, until your face (and hands) are facing in the opposite direction. (Don't force yourself to go too far - you don't want to injure yourself.).
Now twist all the way around to the right.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you've completed the desired number of reps.

Crossover Standing Abs
Stand with your feet hip width apart.
Bend each elbow at a 90-degree angle beside your head, as if you’re pretending to be a football goal.
Contract your abs.
Now slowly pull your left knee up toward your right elbow as far as you comfortably can.
Pause, then slowly lower your left leg to the floor.
Now repeat on the opposite side, bringing your right knee toward your left elbow.
Continue alternating sides. (Each alternating side equals one rep.)

Plank Exercise
Get into a push up position.
Instead of your hands being on the floor, you will be lying on your elbows.
The key is to keep your head, neck, spine, butt, hips, and legs in a straight line.
Make sure to keep your body off the ground.
The only points of contact should be your toes, elbows, forearms and hands.
Try to work up to 1 minute in this position before trying more difficult versions of this exercise.

I also have an exercise ball that is gathering dust. I think I will try some crunches on my ball--it's supposed to be easier on the back. I know that diet plays a big part in this so I am working to cut back on my sugar intake too. Any more suggestions for me?

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Homemade Hair Treatments For Damaged Hair

Here are some home recipes for hair that are perfect for damaged and dry hair types.
1. Avocado Deep Conditioner Hair Mask- Using 1 small jar of mayonnaise and 1/2 avocado. Mix all ingredients, smooth into head being careful to work it to the ends, Use shower cap or plastic wrap to seal body heat in and leave on for 20 minutes.

2. Mayonnaise Your Hair - Apply 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to your dry hair, work in really well, cover your head with a plastic wrap, and let it set for about 15 minutes.

3. Olive Oil Hair Mask - Combine 2 tablespoon honey and 3 tablespoon olive oil together. Apply thoroughly and then cover with plastic wrap and set for 15 minutes.

4. Honey Mask Combine 1 tsp. of honey with an egg yolk and 2 tbps. of olive oil. Spread the mixture evenly through damp hair, wrap with a warm damp towel and let sit for 30 minutes. Wash the mask away with a gentle shampoo, followed by your regular conditioner.

These treatments are great on any type of hair and safe enough for those with sensitive scalps as well.
Homemade Shampoo

1.Baking Soda Hair Mud Mix 1 heaping Tbsp. of Baking Soda and 3-5 drops of essential oils of your choice (lavender, patchouli, rosemary, sweet orange are some of mine: not necessarily all together) with enough water to make a paste. Mix this in the shower. It might take a little getting used to, with there being no suds.

2.Natural Shampoo– Use these three ingredients and use as a natural DIY shampoo, ¼ cup distilled water, ¼ cup liquid castile soap and ½ teaspoon jojoba, grapeseed or other light vegetable oil.

3. Chamomile Fields Shampoo - You'll need: 4 bags of Chamomile tea (or 1 handful of fresh Chamomile flowers) 4 tablespoons pure soap flakes 1 1/2 tablespoons glycerin.
Let the tea bags steep in 1 1/2 cups of boiled water for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and with the remaining liquid add soap flakes. Let stand until the soap softens. Stir in glycerin until mixture is well blended. Pour into a bottle. Keep in a dark, cool place.

Just in time for new spring hair-dos!
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eat Your Peas--the Book

A really delightful book that I have just read is Eat Your Peas Faithfully (Simple Truths and Happy Insights). The author is Cheryl Karpen. Art by Sandy Fougner.

This book starts out with an introductory page that can be personalized. The other pages are set up in pairs. One page has a very short inspirational message and simple illustrations that help highlight the message. The opposite page has a little instructional life lesson—to go along with the message. (A road map of words for your journey through life.) Some pages also have a short bible quote on the bottom of the page that goes along with the explanation.

The design of the book is in keeping with the “Eat Your Peas” little packets of inspirational messages by the same author. The cover has the same format and artwork. The print is on textured paper which just adds to the specialness of the message.

I would recommend this book as a great gift for anyone who needs a little uplifting. It is well-written and a very quick read. (The cover says 3 minutes.) Personally, it took me longer because I wanted to reflect on each message before I went on to the next one. I knew right who I wanted to give it to and that I wanted a copy for myself!
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Please note that Thomas Nelson Publishing has provided me a complimentary copy of this book for my review; however, the opinions are my own. I have not been required to publish a positive review.
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For Japan With Love

Along with many others...
I will be participating in the "Bloggers Day of Silence" on Friday in support of the disaster relief efforts being organized for the people in Japan. It's called "For Japan  With Love."This has been organized by two wonderful ladies, Lydia of Ever Ours and Lucy of Utterly Engaged.

 Chris from Postcards and Pretties summed up everything in her blog post earlier today.
 I encourage you to go to her blog for more details on how you can help.

Hugs to you all...
And my sincerest thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Add Some Joy to Your Diet

Little kids don't seem to have a problem finding joy.

By this time of the year people are looking at their New Year's Resolutions and wondering what happened? So many people I know resolve to go on a food diet. But how about a Joy Diet?

This idea comes from Elisabeth Constantine's book The Light Diet. Instead of depriving yourself as with most diets-- with this diet you add something. Joy. Think of all the things you could add to your life to bring more joy into it. Small things like time to yourself to do whatever you wanted. Buy yourself some flowers. Get a manicure or pedicure. Go see a movie. Spend time with your favorite people. You could really amp up the joy in your life by achieving one of your big goals: building the house of your dreams or taking an exotic vacation.

Studies have shown that the more joy you have in your life , the healthier you will be. (This probably pertains to spreading joy around too.) I think as women we tend to get so caught up in being caregivers that we often forget to take care of ourselves. We really do deserve some pampering, some joy! You owe it to yourself to find time this week to add more joy to your diet--it could/should become a wonderful habit.

I also think Martha Beck's "The Joy Diet" has some good ideas for us. The Joy Diet is composed of 10 steps that, once learned, are to be practiced on a daily basis to achieve greater fulfillment and a happier life. They seem like very easy things to do to add some joy to your everyday life...such as "Do nothing for fifteen minutes a day." (Although this might be hard for many of us.)

Gathered From The Garden has some great products to help pamper yourself or to give to others to help spread some joy. Check out our website:
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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Orange You Glad It's Almost Spring?

Are you ready for Spring’s hottest color? Orange! I have never been a big fan of yellow or orange. But I’m thinking adding a little orange to my spring wardrobe might be just the thing to lighten my mood. (winter has been excruciatingly long here in MN)

You may think that orange is a difficult color to wear, but there are so many different shades of orange that can look flattering and fabulous. Tangerine looks great against a golden tan or if you have black, olive or peach colored skin tones. Other shades like deep, red orange or a softer delicate orange or coral will work too.

If you’re concerned that citrus hues won't flatter your skin tone, keep them away from your face and opt instead for some bright orange accessories. Still wary? Try some orange nail polish, like POP Beauty Nail Glam in “Ablaze”. With jeans and a white tee and blazer, deep orange nails are the perfect splash of color.

(Really the only way you can mess up orange is to pair it with too much black, so that you look like you are ready for Halloween!)

Will you be wearing orange this spring?

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Free Book Deal is Back!

For 14 days, from March 8 to 22, new customers can receive a FREE Large Classic Custom book from Picaboo using code FREECC. Hurry over, it's a quick one!
 I Love photo books, especially FREE ones!
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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Do’s and Don’ts for After Your Shower

*Do apply moisturizer/lotion.
Applying moisturizer after taking a shower will help to keep the moisture in and the dryness out.
*Do those eyebrows.
After showering is a great time to tweeze your eyebrows. It makes for reduced pain and less resistance. Pluck in the direction of hair growth for best results.
*Don’t blow dry.
Let your hair air dry until slightly damp. Blow drying right out of the shower can lead to frizzies.
*Don’t use mascara.
Putting on your mascara in a steamy bathroom can lead to smudging.
For using the blow dryer and/or mascara clear the bathroom by opening a window or turning on a fan first.
*Do push back your cuticles.
Your cuticles are at their softest so they’re unlikely to tear. Just gently nudge them with your towel.
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Design Your Own Post-It Notes

I found this great site that lets you design your own post-it notes. What fun!
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Friday, March 4, 2011

Edible Tea Cups

Aren't these just the cutest? I'm going to make these with my granddaughters and have a little tea party. The folks at Disney Family have the directions.
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You Are Allowed

I saw this awesome sign here reminding us of all the things we are allowed to do. Too many of us in our jobs and relationships are not allowed to be ourselves or use our ideas. (In my job as a second grade teacher there are many things that I am not allowed to do such as hug kids anymore)

I love the ideas on this sign and plan to post it where I can see it everyday. I especially like "You are allowed to start many things and not finish most of them." I do have several project in the works--maybe I don't need to get to all of them. Or at least, allow myself to not worry about getting to them right now.

What do you think? Which is your favorite "allowance"?
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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sole Survivor and the Empty Nest

My husband and I have been empty-nesters for a few years now. At first, the house seemed too quiet and I really missed having our kids around the supper table. Now, I still miss our kids but Jerry and I are having some of the best times! We get to travel, go out to eat during the week and when the phone rings it's actually for one of us.

One very nice thing we have been doing for each other is giving mini pedicures. I found a book at a garage sale that has detailed instructions and pictures on how to give a massage. So once a week, we soak our feet, use a foot scrub and give each other foot massages. It is SO relaxing! After a hard day at work I really look forward to this! It is so simple, yet we each feel so pampered. (I haven't gotten him to paint my toenails yet).

Of course we use Gathered From The Garden's foot soak, foot scrub and massage oil. The invigorating peppermint aroma is just that! We also carry a foot spray and a foot powder.
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