Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Five Minutes with Jesus

This is a review of 5 Minutes with Jesus (Making Today Matter) by Sheila Walsh. It is a small book of 49 short essays. Each essay is followed by scripture passages that pertain to the essay. It will really only take about 5 minutes for you to read each one. The book is small enough to fit into your purse or carry-on bag if you travel. 

I feel the author didn’t come up with anything new. Many of the essays are about her life and didn’t hit home with me. Her writing style is very average and I don’t feel terribly inspiring. I’ve read works by other authors that I found more interesting and enlightening. I do like the fact that the essays are short. Perfect for reading one a day and doing some reflecting. 

I was disappointed that there is not a table of contents or index. So if you want to go back and find a particular essay you have to page through the book. (I’m not a fan of marking up books or adding flags.)

I was give this book to review. All opinions are my own.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Beauty Boosters You Can Start Today

post signatureHave you ever thought about a plan to boost your health and beauty regimens? This list of beauty boosters will help you get on the fast track to looking and feeling good both inside and out. 

Invest in a quality hairbrush

Did you know that a cheap hairbrush could literally tear your hair out? Even the most healthy scalp loses a minimum of thirty hairs a day, so ensure that your hair will stay where it belongs -- on your head -- with a quality brush designed for your hair type. Boar and nylon are the most commonly used bristles in hairbrushes. Natural boar bristles are good for long, normal, fine and damaged hair; while the nylon variety tend to be better for short, coarse or heavily-damaged hair. Look for brushes with widely-spaced rows of bristles, as they glide through the hair more easily. 

 Moisturize your skin every day

Your skin, the largest organ of your entire body, needs special care and attention. Especially in the winter months, skin loses moisture and can easily become dry and flaky. 

Get enough sleep

Not getting the right quantity -- or quality -- of ZZZs can affect your appearance. Without enough rest, your cells don't have a chance to repair themselves, which will make your skin look dull and dry, and age more quickly than it otherwise would. 

 Scrub your way to soft feet

Taking time out for salon pedicures is not always in the budget, time or money wise, so take matters into your own hands... or, in this case, your own feet. Purchase a foot file (it is a bit like a giant nail file) or a pumice stone and use it to scrub any areas of your feet with dry or rough skin once or twice a week. Use the file or stone after a bath or shower -- or in the shower when your feet are wet -- because warm water softens the skin. (I like to moisturize my feet after.)

Make time for you, because you're worth it

Never forget that the most important person in your world is little ol' you. Make time to rest, relax and rejuvenate your mind, body and soul. Promise that once a month you'll plan a special treat, all for you. It might be dinner with a friend, a massage, a good book -- what ever works for you.  Remember that "me time" is the fuel that keeps you going in this hectic world. You have a lot  to do and lots  to be thankful for. When you make yourself a priority in your own life, you and everyone around you will reap the benefits!
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Remedies for Chapped Ski

It’s hard to believe that winter is fast approaching when we’ve had such nice weather the past few weeks! So unusual for Minnesota this time of year and we definitely won't complain! We know it's going to change and so will the condition of our skin. 

Here are some tips to deal with winter skin: 

In winter, use a humidifier or place bowls of water near the heater 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. Here in MN because of the reduced sunlight this time of year a Vitamin D supplement is recommended. 

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. (I do this religiously!)

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Friday, November 13, 2015

Calm Your Baby Naturally with Lavender

Grady happily sleeping after a drop of lavender essential oil on his blanket helped calm him down.

Spending time with my new baby grandson has been such a special treat. He is usually a very contented little guy. However, just like most babies he has had some fussy moments. I suggested using a drop of lavender essential oil on his blanket and it calmed him down. So thought I would share some tips on using lavender essential oil to create a more relaxed atmosphere while caring for your baby. 

Massages: Both baby and mom can benefit from a relaxing lavender massage. Mix 1-2 drops of the essential oil with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil or unscented lotion to create your own massage blend. Lavender is one of the most gentle essential oils and can be used diluted on a baby's skin. (Never use essential oils undiluted!

Baths: A soaking bath with lavender is another wonderful way to relax. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bath water. For baby's bath, use just two drops; for Mom, use five to ten. Mix the essential oil with a little carrier oil before adding to the bath water and swish around in the water before putting baby in. You want to make sure the essential oil blend is well mixed before you put baby in.

In baby's room: Use a diffuser to disperse the scent of lavender essential oil throughout the room during naps and bedtime. Again just a few drops. Diffuse for about 15 minutes then turn the diffuser off. I suggest diffusing before baby naps or sleeps. Don't just limit these to baby's room-- lavender will help you feel more relaxed too. Or make a room spray by a few drops of lavender to water in a spray bottle. Shake before spraying. 

Laundry: Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the baby's laundry (including the crib sheets), not only for the aromatherapy benefits, but also for the soft, clean aroma it will add to your baby's things. A drop or two on a washcloth added to the dryer works well too.

In the car: Parents are usually excellent multi-taskers, but trying to calm a fussy baby while negotiating traffic is never easy. To help keep peace in the car, sprinkle a drop or two of lavender essential oil onto the baby's car seat or baby’s blanket before traveling. 

*Note that essential oils are extremely concentrated. Please, please always use them diluted. Follow usage directions carefully and keep them tightly closed and out of the reach of children.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tis the season for…Pumpkins

Pumpkins aren't just for Halloween. Here are some facts and fun beauty recipes using pumpkin. 

Health Benefits Beta carotene - The rich orange color is a give away to the nutrients present in pumpkin. Research shows that people who eat a diet rich in beta-carotene are less likely to develop certain cancers than those who fail to include beta-carotene-rich foods in their diet. 

Loaded with Potassium - The potassium found in pumpkin aids in balancing fluid levels in the body, promotes strong bones, is necessary for energy production, and helps to control blood pressure. 

Zinc - Not only is zinc a major boost for your immune system, it also aids in bone density support for people at risk for osteoporosis. 

High in Fiber - Pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber; one-half cup serving contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber helps reduce bad cholesterol levels, protect the body against heart disease, control blood sugar levels, promote healthy digestion, and plays a role in weight loss. 

Great on your skin - Pumpkins contain a ton of anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and alpha-hydroxy-acids which helps to reduce the signs of aging.  Eat the seeds While pumpkin flesh is nutrient-rich, pumpkin seeds also contain essential vitamins and minerals. Pumpkin seeds are a good source of vitamin E, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and are an excellent plant-based source of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid. 

 Pumpkin Face and Body Mask 
 Mix together: 
½ cup canned pumpkin
1/4cup white clay 
1T. honey,
2 T. water
1 T. almond oil and 2 tsp. cinnamon 

Apply evenly to your face or anywhere else that you’d like to smooth. Leave on 10 minutes before rinsing. Almond oil moisturizes, clay draws out impurities, honey replenishes collagen and cinnamon improves circulation. 

 Pumpkin Face Scrub 
1 T canned or fresh pureed Pumpkin  
1 T cut oats 
1 T water 
1 t Corn meal  

Directions:  In a small ramekin, mix oats with warm (not hot) water. Let it sit for a minute or so and soak. Mix in the Pumpkin puree, blending well. Add the Corn meal and stir well. 

Apply a small amount at a time to a clean face while scrubbing in circular movements gently. After scrubbing the entire face, leave on for about 5 minutes longer or just until it is almost dry, but not entirely. Gently remove with a warm wash cloth. Moisturize like usual. This amount is enough for the face, neck, chest area and shoulders. Leaves skin silky soft! 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Thank you to all who have served our country--especially my dad, a WWII veteran.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Why Should You Exfoliate?

 Exfoliating is like using extremely fine sandpaper on your skin. You are using a mildly abrasive material that buffs away dead skin cells, leaving glowingly healthy skin in its place. Exfoliating has several benefits.

First, old dead skin cells that make your complexion dull are scrubbed off, leaving new fresh skin cells. 

Secondly, after exfoliation, it is easier for skin to absorb moisturizers and other skin treatments. If your complexion is normal to oily, then exfoliating is helpful three to four times a week. For drier skin, exfoliation should only be done one to two times a week maximum. 

You should establish a skincare routine that includes a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. You will keep your skin healthy far longer. 

Exfoliating will help remove the build-up of dead skin cells from your skin, and will reveal the younger and healthier looking skin underneath. 

When exfoliating please take care not to try and scrub your skin to the connective tissue - all you need to do is to gently scrub to remove dead surface cells. Scrubbing your skin with too much vigor and using too abrasive products can irritate your skin, cause damage and leave it open to infections and other problems.

I have dry, mature skin so I usually exfoliate twice a week.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Hoping she wasn't going to fall until he finished photographing her. (Venice, Italy)

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Do You Know the Secrets of Aging Well

 Adapted from 50 Simple Ways to Pamper Yourself, by Stephanie Tourles (Storey Books, 1999). 

Here are 11 wise and simple tips for feeling your healthy best, no matter what your age! 

 1. Do you get enough sleep? Getting plenty of quality, sound sleep allows your body to rest, recharge, repair, and replenish so you’ll be rarin’ to go the next day. 

2. Are you inspired by life? Picking up a new hobby, finding a new challenge, or reading more will stimulate your brain. (Mine has been taking up photography.)

3. Are you a “people person?” When we reach out and try to help someone every day, we feel more engaged with life. I don't think posting on Facebook counts...

4. Do you pace yourself? Scurrying though life can be stressful and aging. When we slow down and become more mindful of our activities, we enjoy them more. 

5. Do you have a companion animal? Studies show that pet owners live healthier, happier, less stressful lives. 

6. Do you hydrate? Dry skin ages prematurely, so using a good moisturizing lotion is always a good idea. So is drinking lots of water every day! 

7. Do you protect your skin from prolonged exposure to the sun? Although studies show that we need 10 minutes of unprotected sun every day, more than that (even with sunscreen) can be damaging. 

8. Do you eat fresh, whole foods? Real, unprocessed food is what our bodies need. Junky empty calories may satisfy a temporary craving, but the whole stuff is what keeps us feeling and looking our best. Strive to "eat the rainbow" everyday. Stock up on fruits and veggies.

9. Do you exercise daily? Keep moving to keep joints flexible, heart healthy, skin glowing, and energy-levels high.  You don't have to be a runner--lots of ways to get in some exercise. Find a friend to help you meet this goal.

10. Do you have a positive attitude? This is probably the single most important determining factor for living a long and happy life. Pollyanna was right: think positive! 

11. Have you simplified your life? Knowing what really matters and putting your time and energy there is a great help for living fully. It’s not the material things that bring true happiness, it’s friends, family, good food, pets, and time spent doing things you most enjoy.

I think most of these are fairly simple to attain. However, for me #5 is probably not going to happen--I am just not a pet person!

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