Monday, March 31, 2014

A Beautiful Mind

After reading an article about Alzheimers and women I thought a lot about my mind. Looking after the health of your mind is an important part of your road to balance and well-being. Maintaining mental health is extremely important! Here are some ways to make your mind beautiful to match your beautiful body. 

Improve your diet: What you eat and drink can protect against feelings of anxiety and depression. Cut back on refined sugar, white flour and alcohol. 

 Maintain friendships: Just listening and talking to friends who are feeling down can make a huge difference-for you and for them. With email and cell phones you have no excuse not to! (Excuse while I send my best friend a text.)

 Exercise: The effects of exercise on mood are immediate. Whether it is a workout in the gym or a simple walk or bike ride, exercise is uplifting and a can be a great social activity. (Since I hurt my leg and haven't been running, Jerry says I'm kind of crabby. Can't wait to be out running again! Maybe I am a little bit crabby.)

Rest: Sleep is essential to our health. Sleeping is the time when the body can renew and rebuild its physical and mental energy. If you have problems relaxing and falling asleep, perhaps our Sleep Well Blend (essential oils) can help you find your peace. 

Laugh: A good laugh does amazing things for the mind and soul. 

Cry: It's good to let everything out of your system and to release pent up feelings. Most of the time, we feel much better after we have allowed ourselves to cry. 

Take a bath: The mental health benefits of a comforting bath are well known. Allow yourself to escape in a soothing aroma infused bath. It will help you reset and re-energize.

 Make time for you: Make time for your hobbies and interests. Scheduling time for yourself is sometimes hard, but it will increase a positive attitude and self image. 

 Remember, work isn't everything!
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Friday, March 28, 2014

Happiness Photos

Day 45       Nothing makes me happier than a sale at the grocery store on spring flowers!

                                            Day 46  Dropping in on bath time for Maggie.

Day 47  Our Mercy Bracelets came. I'm happy to start praying for all those at Mercy House.

Day 48    Making  a birthday cupcake for each of the grands' birthdays puts a smile on my face too.
What's making YOU happy today?

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Power of Laughter

Did you know that a four year old laughs up to 500 times a day? Grown ups laugh about 15. One of the easiest, most convenient and effective techniques to achieve emotional wellness is to laugh. 

Jerry and I have been enjoying watching the show "It's About A Boy". While I question the content being shown as early as it is (8:00 CST) it really makes us laugh. I think we probably laugh our 15 times during the show.

 Scientists say that when we laugh we:
 • Reduce feelings of depression 
• Lower our blood pressure 
• Promote relaxation 
• Reduce stress 
• Increase the oxygen level in our blood, giving us more energy
• Increase the endorphin activity in our body resulting in a sense of well-being 
• Fight boredom
 • Increase our enjoyment of life

I know that many of us are trying to improve our lives by exercise, diet, drugs,yoga and meditation to name a few.  Laughing doesn't require any extra equipment, lessons or really any time committment and yet the benefits are many.

So go ahead. Laugh out loud! (Heard any good jokes lately?)

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sole Searching

 Love these shoes--but would my feet love them?
Did you know that your feet contain one quarter of all the bones in your whole body? Did you know that women are nine times more likely than men to develop foot problems because of their shoes? 

Feet have to endure tremendous pressures of daily living. An average day of walking brings a force equal to several hundred tons on them. They are subject to more injury than any other part of the body, which means we need to protect them with proper footwear. Here's some interesting info on shoe styles. 

 *High-heels--If you frequently wear high heel shoes they can tighten and shorten your Achilles tendon. This will lead to pain when you walk in flat shoes or no shoes. Wearing high heels can also cause permanent damage to the calf muscles. If you must wear them (my sister loves heels!) only wear them for about 20% of the time. Wear them to work, out on the town but change into comfortable shoes at home. Alternate with good quality sneakers or flats for part of the day. 

 *Peep-toes--If your toes are getting crowded in the narrow tops, the edges of your toenails can get pushed into surrounding skin tissue which can cause pain and possibly infection. Always cut your toenails straight across and not too short. 

*Ballet flats--These shoes very definitely do not have much arch support. This can lead to plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the shock-absorbing tissue in your arch. You'll feel sharp, stabbing pain. If you must wear these shoes, add over-the-counter arch support inserts or get made-to-fit your feet orthodics. (I love mine!) They will help to distribute pressure more evenly. 

 *Flip-flops--You see them everywhere, in every season, on every age. The gripping action of your toes means your foot works harder than normal. It can eventually lead to problems such as tendonitis and can cause hammertoe, a permanent buckling of the toe. (Sounds awful!) You shouldn't wear flip flops for more than two hours a day because the seemingly comfortable spongy soles provide little support for your feet. 

 Activity should have a bearing on your shoe considerations; wearing the right shoe for a particular activity is probably as important a factor in your choice of shoes as any. For tips on choosing the right fit go here. Your tootsies will thank you. (Running shoes are a whole different ballgame. I'll have to write a separate blog post on them.)
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Thursday, March 20, 2014

DIY Facial and Body Products

One of the very best parts about my job here at Gathered From the Garden is trying out new bath and body recipes. While the following are not recipes that I could use in my products to sell, they still sounded like fun to try. I thought I would share them with you. For more fun bath and body recipes go to 

Fruit Salad Facial 
1 Ripe banana 
1 pineapple ring 
3 strawberries 

Mash the fruit together in a bowl or use a food processor. Take the fruit paste and apply it to your face and allow it to soak in for 20-30mins for a soft, refreshed, revived and cleansed facial. This mix will last 2-3 days in the fridge.

 Apple Hair Rinse 
2 cups of water 
 2 tbs of apple cider 
 1 red apple 

Place all the ingredients into a blender and process, pour the mix into a bottle and apply it to your hair after you shampoo. Allow it to sit a few minutes and then rinse well. Do not apply conditioner. This will give your hair a lovely shine!! 

Monkey Banana Hair Mask 
1 ripe banana 
3 tbs of whole egg mayonaise 
 1 tbs of olive oil 

Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and apply to the hair, place a shower cap on and leave for 20-30 min. This hair mask will store for around 1-2 days. Your hair is going to love this Monkey hair mask, the banana soothes your hair and fills it back with potassium and loads of shine. 

Red Wine Sugar Scrub 
5 tbsp raw sugar 
5 tbsp mascavado sugar/ brown sugar 
3-4 tsp honey 
 2 tbsp red wine

 Mix all the above ingredients together in a bowl until sugar turns like a sticky paste form. Mixture is ready to use and can be stored in the fridge for 2 days. The measurement above is enough for a one time usage. 

Have you ever tried to make your own facial/body products?
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014

Dom Perignon

Being in Vegas last week we saw many people drinking champagne. Sometimes at dinner, or at a show or in the morning as they went about their day. Were they high rollers drinking the best? 

 Here are some little known facts about Dom Perignon.

According to "The Little Blue Book" ( Pierre Perignon was born in France in 1639. He took the vows of a Benedictine monk at an abbey that produced a variety of wines. Pierre soon became an expert on wine.

 Maybe because he was blind he used his extraordinary sense of smell and taste to tell which grapes came from which vineyards. He worked with mixing wines so that the qualities of each added to the qualities of the others. 

In particular, he studied the grapes from a region of Champagne. When he was 60 years old, he succeeded in producing what we now call "champagne". Years after Pierre died, the wine company that bought the monastery vineyards gave the name "Dom Perignon" to its finest vintage. 

On New Year's Eve and other special occasions, many people (without realizing it), celebrate the memory of this monk and wine expert. 

 *"Dom" was a title sometimes given to monks and other religious leaders.

 I actually have been lucky enough to taste this champagne. When Jerry retired my brother and some of my sisters gave him a bottle as a gift. It was a special night indeed when we opened that bottle and toasted his career! Knowing what it cost it will probably be the only time I'll drink this fine wine.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happiness in Vegas (and Home)

Jerry and I were lucky enough to escape the cold and spend a few days in Vegas. Unfortunately, Jerry was sick for two of the days. He was a good sport though and tried to be as active as he could.

Day 39  The view from our room at the Vdara Hotel. This really made me happy!

Day 40  Today while Jerry napped I wandered around the Aria Hotel. They had these fantastic "tornadoes" spinning in glass cylinders. Delightful to watch!

Day 41  Seeing many of this guy made me smile!

Day 42 The real flowers at the Bellagio made me SO happy that I had to go back several times. I was impressed by this painting done all out of fresh flowers!

Day 43  I was tickled to be invited along on my granddaughter's birthday celebration. They all had fun getting their hair done.

Day 44 Anytime that I get to babysit and photograph Maggie makes me incredibly happy!

What's making you happy these days?
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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Thought for Tuesday

Waiting on Spring...

  I saw this quote and wanted to share it with you...

 "I’ve learned that happiness comes in different forms. It can be found in the blackest thunderclouds or when the earth is withering from heat. It is also in the warm rays of the sun in the midst of pouring rain. It is in the first green leaf of spring peeping out of the cracked bud of a poplar tree. It is in the little white petal working itself out on a branch of an apple tree. It is in the darkness of the night sky with thousands of twinkling stars. It is in the tender look of a loved one. It looks out through shining eyes in family photographs."

 it is everywhere 
 find happiness right where you stand

 Lidia Evgenevna Shmakova

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Happy Weekend

                                                                                               Day 36 
What a happy weekend! We took the grandkids to a waterpark since they had spring break. It was so much fun!

                                                                                                   Day 37 
After that we went along to watch the girls perform their duet at a dance competition. They took home a trophy and lots of special memories!

Day 38
SO SO happy that Jerry worked on our taxes today. (He's the financial brains in this house!)
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Friday, March 7, 2014

On the Happiness Track

I think I'm a little behind here posting photos so I'll try to get back on track--starting today!

       Day 32  Found time to clean cupboards and discovered a little treasure that got shoved to the back.

 Day 33  A model that took direction and didn't complain about how long she had to sit so I could  practice with my speedlight.

 Day 34  Happiness is buying fruit on sale at Aldi's!

Day 35  A selfie that actually, kinda turned out.
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Praying for the Most Oppressed People in the World

It is Spring Break here so Jerry and I took three of the grandkids to a waterpark overnight. Everyone had so much fun. I was thinking how fortunate we are to be able to take these kids somewhere safe and fun with lots of snacks and games. But it's also Lent,you know. Time for prayer, alms and fasting. Yeah, that wasn't happening. 

Then I check my email and I find a newsletter all about girls in Kenya. Young girls that are victims of rape and violence--and I think of my own two pre-teen granddaughters. In the newsletter it told the story of one young girl in particular. She was raped on her way home from school, got pregnant and was sent to a city to be an indentured servant. While there she gave birth and she and her baby got sick. On the third day, both weak and wracked with infection, they were taken to the hospital and became residents of Mercy House

Do you know who the most oppressed group of people are in the world? 

All around the world, girls  to want to receive an education, to live without the horror of violent sexual crimes committed against them at home, in their neighborhoods, as they walk to school. It's up to us, those who have so much, to help them out.

Mercy House is a shelter in Kenya for pregnant girls. From their website:
The Mercy House exists to provide alternative options for pregnant girls living in the streets of Kenya. The Mercy House will aid them in education, nutrition, housing, prenatal care, Bible study, counseling and job skills for sustainable living.

As a fundraiser they have bracelets that you can purchase for $10.
We are invited  to pray for the endangered girls in our world today with this simple idea:

It’s a bit of twine.

And a single heart.

It’s a simple reminder to pray.
It’s an easy way to share their story.
It’s a bracelet that’s supposed to fall off.

Get your bracelet here. They are $10 each, free shipping and 100% of the profit benefits endangered girls in Kenya. 
How to pray for the oppressed girls in our world:
1. Pray for their salvation.
2. Pray for their safety.
3. Pray that the cycle of violence that goes hand-in-hand with extreme poverty would be broken
4. Pray for the end to corruption of governments that are unjust and oppress girls
5. Pray for the shattered, violated hearts of wounded girls around the globe
6. Pray that the strongholds of violence, oppression and hopelessness would be broken in the name of Jesus.

Here is the perfect service project for you and your kids, family, and groups.
Order a Love Mercy Bracelet Kit (Makes 25 Bracelets):
This idea was inspired not only to raise needed funds to help more girls in Kenya; it was also inspired as a practical hands-on service project activity for families, kids groups or Bible studies to do together.
If you'd like to do a service project with your family, a church or children's group, you can order a kit of 25 for $10 (to cover expenses and shipping) and serve Mercy House by putting the bracelets together. You can return them for us to sell or you can help by selling them to friends and family for $10 each.

Prayer is the most powerful tool we possess to empower oppressed girls in our world. I am ordering my bracelet right now. I'm going to talk to my granddaughters and see if they would wear one too and pray for girls like them who have so little. It's such a small thing to do that could make such a big impact. Wouldn't you like to join us?  God is calling us to help.
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Facial Oil Cleansing

Let your curiosity get the better of you, read the article, then decide if you should give this method of skin care a go.

Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil, alone, will not bring you blemishes. Pimples, blackheads, whiteheads...these are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it. The oil is there for the benefit of your skin. Not only does your natural oil help lubricate, it also heals, protects, and moisturizes your skin so that it may function properly.
                                      The Method

1. Get Gathered’s Facial Cleansing Oil, washcloth, and a hand towel.
2. Wet your face with warm water.
3. Just a little bit goes a long way, so pour a pea-sized amount (add more if you need it) into your palm and rub hands together.
4. Rub fingers gently over your face in small circles for 30 seconds to 2 minutes to allow the oil to penetrate. Concentrate on areas with blocked pores. (Make sure you don’t pull your skin.)
5. Take a washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. We're not scalding our skin, we're steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities.
 6. Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Leave on until the washcloth has cooled to about room temperature and then wipe your face with the washcloth.
7. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub.
8. You have now oil cleansed. There should be a thin layer of oil still on your skin to balance and protect.
 9. If your skin feels tight after, it is recommended to rub a small amount of the cleansing oil in or apply Gathered’s Facial Serum

This deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too frequently. We suggest starting with a couple times each week. On the other nights, Gathered FromThe Garden’s Love My Face Wash will compliment your Oil Cleaning. This can be followed up by using Gathered’s Facial Toner and Facial Moisturizer or Facial Serum. 

There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you're waking up with skin cleansed the night before. In the morning, a quick wipe with a warm washcloth should suffice. We don't want to over clean our skin.

Gathered’s Facial Cleansing Oil is a mix of very light oils to clean your face.You can find it on our website.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Joy Diet

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. (I really need to do this!)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

Resolve to find time this week to add more joy to your diet--it could even become a wonderful habit. 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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