Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions This Time!

Failing to keep your New Year’s Resolution can bring on a stressful guilt trip.

Here are some ways you can be successful in 2009:

1. Choose goals that are reasonable and attainable. Nothing is more self-defeating than setting a goal you know you can’t reach.

2. Plan specific ways to meet your goal. If weight loss is your goal, don’t say, “I’m going to lose weight,” state how you’re going to do it: “I’m going to lose weight by working out 15 minutes every day.”

3. Create an enjoyable way to meet your goal. No matter what the goal is, if you don’t enjoy moving toward it, you won’t move.

4. Set mini-goals within the larger goal or resolution, and give yourself a treat when you reach each mini-goal.

5. Find other people who share your goal(s) and work together to support each other toward success.

Good luck, and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Discover Your Natural Beauty Using Simple Ingredients In Homemade Recipes

With the onslaught of revelations in the news these days of increasing illness and danger from the toxic chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis, many of these found in your personal hygiene and beauty products and absorbed through your skin, it makes a lot of sense to get back to nature with our health and beauty products!

In case you need a reminder, here is an article listing just a few of the chemicals and the illnesses they can cause: "The Chemical Cocktail of Skin Care" By Ananda Mahony http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Chemical-Cocktail-of-Skin-Care&id=1571132

Not only are natural products better for your health, they are better for you wallet, too! For a facial mask, for example, you can buy a few pounds of oatmeal that will provide you with mask material for a long time and be much less expensive than the 8-ounce tube of cosmetic facial mask that lasts for a couple of weeks at best. Natural products are versatile, too! You can eat the oatmeal for breakfast and it will help lower your cholesterol. I'll bet your chemical cosmetic mask won't do that!

One thing I do is to use baking soda as toothpaste. It doesn't taste like much, but that is a momentary disadvantage. It has a long history as a toothpaste, and does a fantastic job of whitening teeth. I can add as a testimonial that both my 91 year old father and 89 year old aunt have used it lifelong, and they both still have most of their real teeth and have had fewer cavities than most of their counterparts who used the best and brightest of toothpastes!

Below is an article containing some great, easy, you-probably-already-have-the-ingredients-in-your-kitchen recipes for health and beauty products for hair and skin care. Though these are very basic, they will do an admiral job for you! If you are interested in something more exotic, but still all-natural and homemade, check the link at the end of this post.

For your health and beauty:

Homemade Beauty Products by Rachel Paxton Sept 24, 1999


Have you ever wondered what people used to use as beauty products before you could so readily buy them in the store? I also sometimes wonder what all of the complicated sounding ingredients are in a lot of the products I use. Everything from body cleansers to shampoos to facial scrubs--you can invest a small fortune in this personal part of your life. Sometimes it's fun to try something homemade. It's cheaper, you know what's in it, and if you don't like it you have nothing to lose. You might come up with your own combination of ingredients that you may prefer over the ones I have suggested. Many of these ideas are not new and have been around for a long time. Have fun with them and save yourself some money at the same time!

I have made every attempt to only include instructions that include easy to find, relatively inexpensive ingredients. Depending on your skin and hair type, different people may get different results with these home preparations. Please use a little caution and a lot of common sense when trying them out. Always test a little on a small area of your body first to check for allergic reactions. I hope you enjoy these beauty preparations as much as I have enjoyed trying them out for myself. These easy ideas are also included in The Creative Homemaking Guide to Skin and Hair Care, a make-it-yourself booklet that contains more than 50 beauty preparations you can make yourself at home. To order, send $3.95 to Creative Homemaking Beauty Guide, 6407 Haag St., W. Richland, WA 99353.


Beat 2 eggs in a chilled bowl. Continue to beat while slowly adding 1 cup of olive or vegetable oil. When the mixture begins to thicken, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. Keep refrigerated. Use as you would a regular moisturizer.

Skin Cleanser

Sprinkle baking soda on a damp wash cloth and use it to gently scrub your body while showering. The baking soda will help neutralize odors and smooth and soften your skin.


Apple cider vinegar makes a great toner for your face. Just mix a little with warm water and store in a spray bottle and mist your face lightly with the mixture. The vinegar also helps restore your skin's natural pH-balance, and seems to have a positive effect for acne sufferers.

Facial Scrub

Make a paste from a little oatmeal and water. Apply to face and allow to dry. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.

Facial Mask

Grind 1 tablespoon almonds into a fine meal in a blender or food processor. Mix almond meal together with 1 tablespoon honey and 1 egg white. Apply to face and let set for about 15 minutes. Gently wipe off with a damp wash cloth.


Place approximately 8 herbal tea bags of your choice into a small amount of very hot water in your bathtub. Steep about 10 minutes, then remove tea bags and add the remaining bath water.


In a blender, combine 1 ounce olive oil, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar. Use as regular shampoo.

Hair Setting Lotions

Try dissolving a teaspoon of gelatin in a cup of warm water and use this as a setting lotion before styling hair. You can use this as a liquid or chill it and use it as a gel.


Mayonnaise is a great conditioner for dry hair. Depending on the length of your hair, apply approximately 1/2 cup of mayonnaise to your dry hair. Work into hair really well and then cover your hair with a plastic bag, allowing to set for about 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and then shampoo as usual. [Remember, mayonnaise is made from egg and olive oil! ~Michelle~]


There is also another website with some more fun and somewhat exotic homemade bath and beauty products, such as:

Cucumber Hair Drench
Aphrodite Apple Mask
Cucumber Honey Toner
Kiwi Facial Cleanser
Chamomile Lip Balm
Honey Almond Scrub
Lavender Honey Milk Bath

All of these, and more, can be found at:

Homemade Beauty Recipes
~ Hair / Skin / Body ~


Monday, December 15, 2008

Have a Green or White Holiday, not a Blue one!

I am one of those people who experience "holiday blues" so I thought I'd post this to let others know you aren't alone, and that there are some things you can do to help you cope with holiday stress and depression.

Though I found it on several internet sites, the article below is reprinted from MedicineNet.com because it appears to be the original. I have added a few of my own comments enclosed in brackets [ ].

Holiday Depression And Stress

The holiday season for most people is a fun time of the year filled with parties, celebrations and social gatherings with family and friends. For many people, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety.

What causes holiday blues?

Sadness is a truly personal feeling. What makes one person feel sad may not affect another person. Typical sources of holiday sadness include:

  • stress,
  • fatigue,
  • unrealistic expectations [your own and others],
  • [feelings of guilt due to inability to accomplish unrealistic expectations]
  • over-commercialization,
  • financial stress, and
  • the inability to be with one's family and friends.
  • [holiday travel; being away from your own home if you pay an extended visit to others.]

Balancing the demands of shopping, parties, family obligations, and house guests may contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed and increased tension. People who do not view themselves as depressed may develop stress responses, such as:

  • headaches,
  • excessive drinking,
  • over-eating, and
  • insomnia.
  • [heartburn and indigestion – these can be independent stress responses unrelated to eating.]

Others may experience post-holiday sadness after New Year's/January 1st. This can result from built-up expectations, disappointments from the previous year, coupled with stress and fatigue.

Tips for coping with holiday stress and depression:

  • [Decide – yes, CHOOSE – to have a good holiday. The power of your mind and thoughts to affect your mood and determine your course is boundless….use it to create a good holiday!]
  • [Learn to graciously but firmly say NO]
  • [Self-assess and be aware of how you are feeling mentally, emotionally, and physically.]
  • [Take a break when you need one – this is not selfish, it's survival]
  • [Do something nice just for yourself.]
  • Make realistic expectations for the holiday season.
  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Pace yourself. Do not take on more responsibilities than you can handle.
  • Make a list and prioritize the important activities. This can help make holiday tasks more manageable.
  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do.
  • Do not put all your energy into just one day (i.e., Thanksgiving Day, New Year's Eve). The holiday cheer can be spread from one holiday event to the next.
  • Live and enjoy the present.
  • Look to the future with optimism.
  • Don't set yourself up for disappointment and sadness by comparing today with the good old days of the past.
  • If you are lonely, try volunteering some time to help others.
  • Find holiday activities that are free, such as looking at holiday decorations; going window shopping without buying and watching the winter weather whether it's a snowflake, or a raindrop.
  • Limit your drinking, since excessive drinking will only increase your feelings of depression.
  • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
  • Spend time with supportive and caring people.
  • Reach out and make new friends.
  • Make time to contact a long lost friend or relative and spread some holiday cheer.
  • Make time for yourself!
  • Let others share the responsibilities of holiday tasks.
  • Keep track of your holiday spending. Over-spending can lead to depression when the bills arrive after the holidays are over. Extra bills with little budget to pay them can lead to further stress and depression.

No matter what you celebrate at this time of year, have a Really Happy, Happy Holiday!