Sunday, July 31, 2011

Paint Your Shoes?

I saw this tutorial on spray painting your old shoes to give them new life. (These cool yellow ones used to be black.) I thought hmmm...I could do that. Lindsay from Southern Lovely also spray painted a belt. I wonder if it would work to spray paint a purse?

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Agony of de Feet

I am training for a Ragnar Race that I'll be running in a couple of weeks. This is quite a stretch for me. I usually run a couple of miles a day but for this race, I'll be running longer distances. Thus the training.

Our feet contain 52 bones, that's1/4 of our bodies total. Our feet also contain joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves all of which can be a source of pain. I've been trying to really take care of my feet so that I can be successful in the Ragnar.

To help keep your feet feeling their best here are a few suggestions for you to try.

*Flex and stretch your feet regularly throughout your day.
*If your tootsies are sore or achy, soak them in cool or warm water with Epsom Salts. Ice them for 10 minutes if they are hot or inflamed.
*Wear properly fitting shoes appropriate for the activity you're participating in.
*Rotate your shoes. Don't wear the same ones daily.
*Exercise on different surfaces (grass, track)instead of concrete or other hard surfaces.
*Use a small ball to massage the bottoms of your feet.
*Get a chiropractic adjustment. A chiropractic assessment can help determine the cause of foot pain and regular adjustments can give relief.Aching feet can affect your whole body especially the spine.(I have been going in regularly to get adjusted.)

So far my tootsies are just a little tired. I'll continue to train and use the suggestions above to stay away from "the agony of de feet".(I'll keep you posted on how the race goes.)
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I'm back from a fabulous Mediterranean Cruise. These are some of the shoes we saw in a store window in Messina, Sicily.
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N !

It's vacation time. Be back after we are refreshed and renewed!

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Are You Too Frugal?

We get a little newsletter from our credit union once a month. In the July newsletter was an article about being frugal. Actually it was about being too frugal.
Is there such a thing? Well, the newsletter listed several signs to see if you are. I agree with some being good for our environment and others just being kind of dangerous or unethical. Here are some examples:

*Do you reuse coffee grounds for a second pot?

*Do you use sandpaper to re-sharpen disposable razor blades?

*Do you wash your plastic eating utensils to reuse them? (We sure do. When we picnic we just bag them up, bring them home and wash.)

*Do you snap the inedible parts of greens before you bring them to the register in the grocery store to pay?

*Do you swap burnt light bulbs at work or in hotels for working ones?

*Do you enforce limited, timed showers in your house?

These are just a few items from their list. I couldn't believe the one about the light bulbs. I don't think that is being frugal, that's more like stealing. Since I teach my second graders all about reduce, reuse and recycle, I feel that I have to be a good example. Thinking green and being kind to our environment doesn't necessarily make us "too frugal".

Do you have any tips for being frugal--a happy medium frugal?
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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

What's your favorite summer read?  Where is your favorite place to read?

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Our Children Grow Up

This summer I have on several occasions had the opportunity to chat about my grown children. I have also had the opportunity to hear about the grown children of friends, acquaintances and relatives. It has been very interesting to see where our kids have ended up! I'd say that all the parents I talked to were very proud of their children's careers and accomplishments. At one point we marveled at the impressive list of places our children had traveled, people they had met and the incredible adventures they were having. So many opportunities for them to explore!

Our children grow up but it's not the end. When my kids first left and we were empty-nesters I felt two emotions. One was a sense of relief--they were on their own. I had given them all the advice they could probably stand and now it was time for them to use it. The other emotion was sadness because I knew our family would never be the same. Their childhoods were passed...

However, it wasn't the end really. It turned out to be the beginning of a new friendship with each one of them as we got to know each other as adults. I couldn't have had this when they were younger and I was their guardian and teacher. It has been so fun to see each one blossom and grow into adulthood. Now we can share adult views on world issues, religion,wine and movies to name a few. We can ask them for advice now as our grown children often know more than my husband and I do! What a joy it has been to see them reach adulthood!

Now that my children are grown they use different Gathered From The Garden products. My daughter's favorite product is our Satin and Silk Shea Butter Lotion. Our other daughter likes to use our Raspberry Lemonade Goat Milk and Honey Lotion. Our son uses our Tired Tootsies Foot Powder. 

What do you think is the best and/or worst part about being empty-nesters? 
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Make Your Own Magic Shell

I love going to the Dairy Queen on hot nights. One of my favorite things to order is a cone dipped in chocolate. Or even better, dipped in chocolate and crunch. (major calories, I know!)

Cindy over at Skip to My Lou has come up with a very simple recipe to make your own magic shell. You know the topping that gets hard right away if you pour it on ice cream. She says that her recipe tastes amazingly like the chocolate on the dipped cones at the DQ.

Hurray! Now I can make my own ice cream treat at home. Just have to head to the store to pick up the ingredients I need. Doesn't this sound like something you should make too?
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What's Really in Our Food?

I have been reading about what is used to make our foods "red". Did you know it could be bugs?

Yikes!!  It came as a little shock to see cochineal as a colorant in the ingredients listing of several foods.

Should this bother me? Cochineal is a natural colorant made from bugs that live on cactus. The most prized of the bugs are the pregnant females, because their bodies hold the most dye. (It does makes a lovely dye, and I know of those who are using it that way to dye yarn, etc.) Up until the late 1800's it was about the only means of getting a true red. On the other hand, MANY people don't know what the word means.

It turns out that this colorant is also known as carmine and carminic acid. These terms show up on many food products, and even the term "natural colorings" can mean cochineal. Fruit juices, yogurts, popsicles, sauces, sodas, gelatin and candies  all contain this coloring. I have checked the particular yogurt I eat and thank goodness none of those terms was listed in the ingredients!! (Red Color #40 is not made from cochineal bugs.)

I'm not a huge fan of bugs (especially our MN mosquitoes), although I do love butterflies, dragonflies and beneficial insects. However, I don't want them in my food. So that means reading labels of red foods carefully.

Food and beverage manufacturers that use the color additives are now required to declare their presence by their respective names - "cochineal extract" or "carmine" - in the ingredient statement. The FDA said this “will allow consumers who are allergic to these color additives to identify and thus avoid products that contain these color additives”.

Here at Gathered From the Garden we only use bugs as stamps/decorations. Do you have a favorite "bug" or a not-so-favorite "bug" story to share?

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bad Idea to Take Medical Advice from a Salesperson

There are several companies selling essential oils using salespeople who have little essential oil knowledge. We have them here in the city where I live. While essential oils are a great gift from nature, they need to be used carefully. Kayla Fiavoranti from Essential Wholesale tells a shocking story about a company selling oils to "cure" cancer. As a certified aromatherapist I know that essential oils can be used to help comfort very ill people but we never claim to "cure" any diseases.

Please check out Kayla's post for more information.

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