Friday, October 30, 2015

DIY Body Products

After looking at the DIY masks that Tip Junkie has on her site, I found a few more that sounded  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 mins. 
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.

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The Only Pumpkin Not Chosen For Halloween

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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

This is what happens when there are no live models to shoot. You end up fooling around with paper and a macro lens.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Time to Pamper Your Face


 If you’ve never pampered yourself with a facial mask, now is the time! What a great way to cleanse and purify your face. Regular cleansing will remove surface dirt and grime, but only a facial mask will actually draw out impurities from beneath the top layers of the epidermis. Masking helps exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores so your toning and moisturizing products work more effectively. Masks also help stimulate blood circulation and leave your skin feeling smoother and softer. 

How to Apply a Mask

This outlines the ideal process for applying a mask. Unfortunately, many of us lead such busy lives that we find it difficult to devote this much time to ourselves. Aim to find that time at least once a week. If you still don’t have that much time, use the steps that you can. (I use Saturday mornings as “My Time” to pamper myself with a mask!)

1. Find a quiet, calm time and place. Allow yourself the space to slow down and enjoy the simple processes of preparing, applying, and removing a mask 

2. Put on a headband to protect your hair, and remove any makeup. 

3. Relax your facial muscles in any way that suits you. It might be by using massage or by making hideous faces at yourself in the mirror. ☺

4. Apply the mask evenly, avoiding the area around the eyes, using your fingers or cotton pads as appropriate.

5. Try not to talk, laugh, or move any facial muscles until it is time to remove the mask. Take this time to relax.

6. Remove the mask slowly and carefully. Work from the forehead downward, making sure that none of the material removed comes into contact with the eyes, and avoid dragging the skin. Clay masks can be softened with water before removing. Rinse face with tepid water to be sure all of the mask material is removed.

7. Apply toner to close the pores and tone the skin. 

I also like to moisturize my face after this step. Feels so good!

(If you'd like to make your own masks, Tip Junkie has 15 recipes for you to try.)

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Face Washing Mistakes

Simple solutions to five common problems.

Leading dermatologists give these tips to uncover the top five face-washing problems and how to fix them. Taken from an article at 

Mistake 1: Not using water.
 Many people just moisten their hands, put cleanser on their fingers, and apply it to dry skin. Water is what cleans skin, and the cleanser and soap just enhance its effects. Be sure your face is dripping wet before you start to wash. 

Mistake 2: Scrubbing too aggressively.
 Abrasive cleansing sponges or puffs can irritate your skin as well as cause broken blood vessels. This is also true for facial scrubs made from nutshells, pits from fruits like apricots, or other irregularly shaped particles. These should be used twice a week at most (or not at all if you have dry skin or rosacea). The best way to buff is to put a gentle exfoliant on a cotton pad or your fingers, and massage it into your skin.

 Mistake 3: Rinsing too fast.
 If you don't rinse well, you may leave irritants on the skin. Splash your face several to ensure a clean finish. 

Mistake 4: Treating your face the way you'd treat your body.
 Don’t use a drying deodorant body bar or a liquid hand soap on your face. These soaps contain detergents and chemicals that strip oils, and aren't meant for delicate facial skin. 

Mistake 5: Spending too much time washing up.
 Cleansing more than twice a day and for more than 2 minutes at a time is not recommended. Too-frequent washing can dry and irritate your skin or stimulate oil production, which can result in clogged pores and breakouts. Even if you hit the gym at midday, just rinse your skin with water, and save your cleanser for morning and night.

When you think about it, your face is often what helps people form first impressions about you. Shouldn't you do your best to give your face some extra TLC?

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015

Tis the Season for...Pumpkins!

A little pumpkin trivia and fun beauty recipes using pumpkin.

*In 2010 the membership of the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers (in Ohio) baked a 20-foot diameter pumpkin pie weighing in at 3,699 pounds -setting the new world record for the Largest Pumpkin Pie.

*Surprise! The pumpkin is actually a fruit, a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants with trailing vines.

*Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins.  Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow on.

*Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

*Pumpkins are 90 percent water. Pumpkins have zero cholesterol.  They’re also low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber.

*Pumpkins contain enzymes that when applied to skin, loosen the bonds that keep dull outer skin cells clinging to the surface. Pumpkin also delivers a burst of nourishing and hydrating botanicals, leaving skin as smooth and glowing as a jack-o'-lantern.  So here are “beauty recipes” for you-- using some pumpkin!

                             Pumpkin Face and Body Mask

Mix together: ½ cup canned pumpkin
                       1/4 cup white clay
                       1T. honey
                       2 T. water
                       1 T. almond oil 
                       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 bowl, mix oats with warm (not hot) water. Let it sit for a minute or so to
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!
From the P. Allen Smith Newsletter:   pastedGraphic.pngScore the inside  rind of your Jack-o-lantern and then sprinkle with ground cinnamon, nutmeg or other spices so that as the rind heats it will emit a pleasant fragrance.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Love, love the variety of pumpkins and squashes at the pumpkin patches this time of year!
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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ouch! My Head Hurts!

Recently I have been noticing how many people talk about their headaches and migraines.  I have had my share of headaches too and found some ideas from WebMD and other sources to help with the pain. If you suffer from headaches maybe these ideas will help…
In order to learn how to relax, you need change your breathing patterns. Below are a few relaxation exercises. But first, be sure that you have a quiet location that is free of distractions. Try to block out worries and distracting thoughts. 
  • Rhythmic breathing: If your breathing is short and hurried, slow it down by taking long, slow breaths. Inhale slowly then exhale slowly. Count slowly to five as you inhale, and then count slowly to five as you exhale. As you exhale slowly, pay attention to how your body naturally relaxes. 
  • Deep breathing: Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow exhalation, you should feel more relaxed. 
  • Visualized breathing: Find a comfortable place where you can close your eyes, and combine slowed breathing with your imagination. Picture relaxation entering your body and tension leaving your body. Breathe deeply, but in a natural rhythm. Visualize your breath coming into your nostrils, going into your lungs and expanding your chest and abdomen. Then, visualize your breath going out the same way. Continue breathing, but each time you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in more relaxation. Each time you exhale imagine that you are getting rid of a little more tension. 
  • Progressive muscle relaxation:. Take a few deep breaths, exhaling slowly. Mentally scan your body. Notice areas that feel tense or cramped. Quickly loosen up these areas. Let go of as much tension as you can. Rotate your head in a smooth, circular motion once or twice. (Stop any movements that cause pain!) Roll your shoulders forward and backward several times. Let all of your muscles completely relax. Take another deep breath and exhale slowly. You should feel relaxed. 
  • Relax to music: Combine relaxation exercises with your favorite music in the background. Select the type of music that lifts your mood or that you find soothing or calming. 
Chiropractic adjustments are a natural treatment method for headache relief. Patients with migraine headaches have been visiting chiropractors for over 100 years, and with very good results. Studies have shown that over 80% of headache patients find relief with chiropractic care. I have found that having my chiropractor use acupuncture on me helps a lot!

Most people are unaware that too much salt can cause headaches. By simply lessening the salt intake headaches can sometimes be prevented.

Food allergies or sensitivities can also cause migraine headaches. Certain foods such as cheese, alcohol, monosodium glutamate (a food additive), nuts, beans, caffeine, chocolate and onions can cause migraines. People who experience migraine headaches because of food sensitivities can eliminate their pain by simply eliminating the foods causing the pain. It may take a few weeks or even a few months, but after experiencing a few migraine headaches, with the help of the food diary, you will be able to tell which foods cause headaches.

I know several people who cut back or cut out the soda they were drinking every day and that made a HUGE difference for them.

Hopefully if you suffer from headaches these tips might help with your pain.
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Friday, October 9, 2015

A Bath...or A Shower?

Whether you love to soak in the tub or do a quick morning shower, here is some good advice for making the most of your time in the water!

In the shower

*You should not use a wash cloth on delicate areas.
*You should use medium-warm water in the shower. The cooler the better, but not too cold. 
*You should use either a soap free cleanser or nothing at all on mucous membranes
*You should skip a shower as often as you can. This may not seem like appealing advice but the more time you have in between the showers, the better. Skip a shower for a whole day once or twice a week, especially in the winter. Allow your skin to produce and maintain its natural oils. 
*The average woman spends12 minutes in the shower. For your skin's benefit you should cut down your time to 5 minutes.

 In the tub:

 *Use lukewarm water for bathing and washing hands. If water is too hot, it can cause redness and dry the skin.
* Use a mild, non-drying cleanser that’s compatible with your skin type, and pay attention to how it makes your skin feel. Especially for anyone with an inflammatory skin condition, such as eczema, it is essential that a cleaning agent cleanse without causing excessive skin dryness or roughness. 
 *Use a body sponge, loofah or brush to help remove dirt and germs. Massage the skin in a circular motion, then wash your sponge, loofah or brush thoroughly when finished.
 Soak for 15-20 minutes. Let your mind and body relax!
 *When you’re done, pat your skin only partially dry with a towel. Rubbing skin totally dry with a towel removes important natural oils, which dries out the skin.
 *Apply your favorite moisturizer while your skin is damp, usually within three minutes of bathing. Doing so will lock in the moisture from your bath. In the winter (or any time the air is dry), apply a heavy layer of moisturizer to the face, hands, and other skin that will be exposed.

Which do you prefer? A bath or a shower? I'm usually a shower gal but once in awhile if I have time, a warm bath can be heavenly!
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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

An Apple A Day

It's the time of year when people in these parts head to Apple Orchards and Pumpkin patches. That made me think about what do apples really do for you? 


If you use it in a facial mask, it will replenish moisture. An apple’s acids help smooth fine lines.  (In a blender puree chop 1 green apple with the skin on and ½ cup sliced green grapes. Add 1 T. lemon juice and ¼ cup aloe vera. Keep blending until a thick paste forms. Apply to your face and neck. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water.)

The apple’s skin is packed with an antioxidant called quercetin.  This antioxidant may protect your lungs from pollutants. So think twice about peeling your apples and maybe improve your lung function.

Dandruff a problem? Then use apple cider vinegar directly on your scalp after washing your hair. Leave it on for 1 minute, then rinse off.  The vinegar smell will dissipate quickly.

Love to bake, don’t love the calories?  Use unsweetened applesauce for half the butter or oil in cake recipes.  Your dessert will be naturally sweeter and moister with much less fat.  Applesauce is cholesterol and fat-free. 1 cup has almost as much fiber as 1 cup of brown rice.  

Late night? Use chilled apple slices on your eyes to reduce puffiness just like you would cucumber slices. 

I'm anxious to get out to our favorite orchard and get some Honeycrisp apples. I wouldn't use these for a facial because they are just too good to eat!

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Tips to Prepare Your Skin for Autumn Weather

Our weather is changing and so should the way we treat our skin. Here are some tips to prepare your skin for autumn days… 

 1. Switch from lotions to creams. As the weather gets colder, our skin requires added moisture in the form of balms and creams which are longer lasting and create a barrier on the skin to keep moisture in and harsh winter elements out. 

 2. Moisturize your hands after every washing. There's a reason they say that our hands show our age first! Constant contact with harsh detergents, hand-washing, hot water, cold and wind can dry out and chap hands. To ensure that you are keeping the moisture in, place a bottle of lightweight lotion next to the sinks in your bathroom and kitchen, in your desk drawer, purse and car so you have no excuse to skimp on moisture. 

3. Nip it in the bud by starting a lip regimen now. Wax-type lip balms are great for preventing your lips from drying out, but once they get chapped you need a moisture-rich balm to help repair the damage.

 4. Be kind to your nails and cuticles. Nails are made of keratin which becomes brittle and can crack under harsh, cold conditions. Not to mention what the havoc of up-coming holiday cleaning and dishwashing can do to your cuticles! Soaking your fingertips in warm (not HOT) natural vegetable oils can help reverse dryness.

 5. Exfoliate to restore your natural glow. Dead skin cells from UV exposure, swimming in chlorine and collections of sebum and other debris clogging your pores can make anyone's skin look dull and lifeless. Using a scrub product to exfoliate is a great way to loosen and remove dead skin cells, giving you a new canvas of fresh skin to pamper. 

Are you enjoying our autumn weather?

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Tips for Family Photos

It's that time of year again when families are getting their photos taken to use on their Christmas cards. Autumn, who writes on her blog It's Always Autumn has some great tips on how to get ready for those family photos. Check out her blog here.

When was the last time you had family photos taken? Don't wait to do this. You never know what the future holds. 

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

In Memory

I lost a good friend and former colleague unexpectedly last week.  My heart is heavy and I am still in shock. Bev was in good health (as far as I know). She died from a massive heart attack at her home on a Saturday morning.

Bev and I taught second grade together for many years. In fact, she was on the interview panel that eventually hired me. Bev had a gentleness with children that was a gift. I never saw her raise her voice or become angry. She always had their best interests at heart. After several years with us Bev went on to teach fourth grade. Her kindness and love for students was evident there too.

I remember clearly how Bev tried to include everyone. There were three of us teaching second grade. Whenever I came to Bev with an idea she always made sure to include Merrie in any decision-making. She was always so concerned about others' feelings. She was so easy to work with.

Bev and her husband Don complimented each other so well. Don has hearing issues so Bev was often times his ears. They often joked with and about each other. You could always see the love Bev had for Don and again the gentleness came shining through. They are such a wonderful example of friendship and caring along with love in a marriage.

I can't imagine not seeing or talking to Bev ever again. I just hope she knows how much she meant to me. A little consolation is that we now have an angel in Heaven to watch over us.

Bev we will keep you in our prayers--keep us in yours too until we meet again.

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