Thursday, November 16, 2017

Fired Up About Fakers On Social Media


I saw one of my new favorite You Tubers, Chloe Morello, talking today about her frustration and actual anger about accounts in the beauty industry possibly committing fraud. She fired me up! She got me thinking and she's right, we all should be mad.
Image result for I'm just mad face meme
All of us bloggers, You Tubers, Beauty Ambassadors, Influensters, and Freelance Writers are being taken advantage of by the infiltration of all the fake or "enhanced" accounts!

Today Ms. Morello was calling the fakers out  & explaining to us how the industry works and how the fake accounts accomplish their mission.

Representing a Brand is an awesome thing to land! It does help your blog to get followers, but a blog such as mine is simply more about the content than about the followers. But even content driven accounts like mine enjoy a haul or swag in exchange for a shout-out, an organic post about a really great product, or a true and honest review.

It is hard to grow in this business unless you are consistent and provide content that is good and people want to read you. But there are other people, blogs, YouTube accounts, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and yes now even Snapchat that are buying followers, buying likes, and buying comments or the generation of them! There are things such as businesses that are "off-shore" accounts or "comment pods" and paid Bots that are paid to create comments to make others believe they are more popular than they are.

In the end, it is the Brands, PR Agencies, and firms that are really getting ripped off! They are being used because this is a big money business and the brands are trying to drive their notoriety, they introduce their products and campaigns with the hopes that they will get the appropriate advertisement in the end.

I'd hate to think that any of my hard work will go down the drain because cheaters are shutting out the smaller accounts. I'd also hate to think that Brands that offer their campaigns will quit because of those few cheaters!

So in the end, if you think it looks suspicious it most likely is!   I'm a small creator but an authentic voice and I value each and every single follower like you are the only one there is!  I hope that you"ll come for the fun pictures but stay for the content.
Image result for I'm just mad face meme

Top photo credit: from Pinterest
Bottom photo credit: From Pinterest via  Aaron Courter Photography




Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Can You Catch A Virus Trying On Make Up Samples?


In recent news, a woman is suing a make-up chain store because she claimed that she caught Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) when she sampled lipsticks with a beauty associate in the store. She brings her suit for many reasons. She missed many days of work, costing her thousands. She also claimed that the store didn't have proper hygiene and did not follow their own protocols.


So here's the low down...... can you catch that? Yes! Yes, you can, in fact, catch the above-mentioned virus as well as a host of many more!

First things first, be vigilant at all times, making sure you or the beauty associate uses a disposable tube or swab to apply your sample of lipstick.  In the particular case mentioned above, the person could not prove that the virus indefinitely came from that application; still, it was probable. The Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 can live on a surface for several minutes, thus it is possible to transfer it to another person from that tube of lipstick.

Some ways that you can help yourself from actually contracting something like this is:

 -Abstain all together, instead, test on the inside of your arm and see if you like it, then purchase only a brand new tube of lipstick.

-Make sure that if you do test on your lips, that you have no chapped lips, cracked lips, or a sore yourself. When your lips are in any of these conditions you welcome a virus to get in easily.

-Make sure that the beauty sales associate does use the proper techniques when doing samples with a client, this also includes face powder, eyeliner, mascara, and combs (eyebrows). She should have a myriad of disposables at her/his ready. They are disposable tubes, swabs, cotton balls, cotton pads, spoons, brushes/combs, and spoolies. (for mascara).  These beauty associates have been trained in all the proper techniques.   Please also report those that do not follow protocol.

Final last words: - Conjunctivitis, better known as pink-eye can also be contracted from mascaras and eyeliner, and eyeshadow.

-pots of cream or other potted make-up, never stick the fingers into the samples and then onto the skin, please use a disposable spoon here as well.

-And lastly,  no matter how close you are to your girlfriend or co-worker please don't share!
Close-up of oozing cold sore blister

Eye redness, symptom of pinkeye
WebMd picture source

*Please seek any medical advice from a doctor, this post is not designed to diagnose or cure anything. This post is designed to bring you the latest information.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

What Are Essential Oils?



I've wondered and heard about essential oils and their benefits. I am always seeking out alternative things as I try really hard to get away from the "processed world" if you will. I like to seek out beneficial things for my family as well.  I was invited to and also saw a posting on Facebook about a "class" on essential oils. I got excited and decided to attend this class. While the moderator was very kind and her presentation was good, and she did dispell some valuable educational material about essential oils themselves, alas, it was just a selling tactic for her distributorship.

Needlesstosay, I left feeling less educated and more "had" than anything! I knew I had to start doing my own research. I set off on my mission. Here are a few things I found out. I hope this might answer some questions you have about your own.

Essential oils have been used for thousands of years. We know that many cultures have used them. Then, each culture that used them did use them differently and processed them differently as well. Most used them for medicinal reasons or religious/healing reasons.

Essential oils have benefits because the oils are extracted straight from flowers, bark, roots, leaves or peels. They contain concentrated natural forming compounds that contain known antioxidants, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Nearly all of these oils carry no side effects and are tolerated well by most people.

So how does one make beneficial essential oils? There are three ways they are made: steam distillation, expression/cold pressed, or extraction. While they are possible to make yourself, each one of these methods is extremely difficult. There are methods that use your home crockpot overnight or even grinding the plant up and placing in a linen bag and let simmer for 24 hours!*also these are not for any consumption! These methods mentioned also reduce the viability and benefit of the essential oil!

So, I really did learn something...although I'm really crafty, I have to leave this up to the professionals!
Image result for picture of herbs

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Gimme Brow Recall

Image result for gimme brow benefit


Just In Case You Hadn't Heard...

As of 10/30/17, Benefit beauty products company initiated a voluntary recall on their extremely popular Gimme Brow Gel (tinted brow volumizer).

According to the company, it said it issued the recall because certain batches did not meet their high-quality standards. It further stated that with normal usage on the brows their product poses no risk. But if the certain batches in question get into the eyes it could cause eye irritation.

The recall includes all full sized products, all sample sized products, and all Gimme Brow that is part of a gift set.

One can receive money back for the purchase if the product is brought back to Sephora, ULTA Beauty or any other fine department stores where Gimme Brow is sold.


*At this writing, there has been no one that has been harmed by this product.

*photo credit: google



Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Melie Bianco Handbags My Review


Starting right out of the box, this is NOT a paid endorsement!  I am a consumer just like you. I enjoy good products and I enjoy paying fair prices for them.  As a consumer, I also expect the quality and wearability of clothing, shoes, and handbags to be good as well.

I also like products that either give back to organizations, either through hiring or good for the environment products. I also like to buy things that make me feel better either in the commitment that the company gives or that I am not harming anything by my purchase of this product (sort of a commitment from me as a consumer).

I stumbled on a fantastic brand. They are from Los Angeles and have regular prices that are considered "mid-level", in other words not over the top designer dollars! But when they have a sale, trust me, it's good!  I just recently bought the bag below, It is called the Rianne, a gray bag with accordion sides that have one pleat in navy blue, one in a light sky blue, and one in a cream color.

This bag is perfectly acceptable for both spring and winter. This bag is PETA approved and is vegan! Perfect for me. Cruelty-free and stylish! This bag has a classic style and as mentioned, the cute accordion sides, that will carry you from season to season.  (insider information, sign up for an email letter and receive a 50% off first order!)

*This brand is recommended by me and my personal handbag collection that I own. I paid for this purse and I am not being compensated for this post. 5stars. *****

They can be found at      https://www.meliebianco.com




























Saturday, September 30, 2017

DaVinci Pasta Sweepstakes Enter here Trip to Italy

DaVinci Pasta is offering sweepstakes for a trip to Italy!   Enter here!!

         #endlesspastabilities


http://www.worldfiner.com/davinci

and click endless pastabilites sweepstakes
Great pasta great prizes!



Sweepstakes ends October 24,2017

*this post may be compensated

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Green Tea/Matcha Sugar Scrub



While matcha and green tea are fabulous to drink, did you know that many beauty products will include this ingredient? The beauty industry has been actually touting the “tea” in their products, in fact, using it as a selling point.

Matcha powder has the highest concentration of naturally occurring antioxidants, followed by green tea. Matcha powder is the pulverization of the whole leaf of tea; no oxidation takes place in the harvesting. Green tea uses the leaf but is left to dry in the sun in the first level of oxidation. Matcha powder is very stark green, while green tea is more “kelly green” in color.

Both teas do contain very helpful naturally occurring chemicals called polyphenols and they contain catechins and the catechins are filled with EGCG. These chemicals will fight and trap free radicals, inflammation and combat redness. All of these good chemicals actually help with anti-aging and even aid in the reversal of sun damage. When applied to the skin, the tea begins a detox of the skin nearly immediately. The tea’s properties will help the look and feel of enlarged pores. Some claim that with extended use of tea in a facial, that even dark-colored sunspots will disappear. Tea will help your skin glow.

The sun is harsh and the end of summer brings skin that has been over-exposed and perhaps rough and filled with dryness. To help you lightly exfoliate and add moisture to your skin, try a facial/body scrub. I have one that you can make yourself for pennies at home and you may even have the ingredients on hand!

This Sugar scrub can be used with matcha or with just green tea. This is a very easy recipe to make and can be done making it in minutes.

Green Tea/Matcha Sugar Scrub

Ingredients:

.green tea or matcha tea powder (start with 1 TBSP; can use up to 2 TBSP)
.coconut oil ¼ Cup
.white sugar ¾ Cup
.optional tea bag or add (large leaf loose tea this will make your recipe coarse DO NOT use on face)

Directions:

In a small bowl combine the ¼ c of the coconut oil and about 1 Tbsp. of the Matcha or green tea
and mix this well. Here one can add the loose leaf tea at this time. Mix well again.

Next, add sugar a bit at a time and mix. Continue until all sugar is mixed in and a “chunky” appearance is had. Feel the texture and if it is a greasy feel, please add a tad more green or matcha tea. The mixture should “ball up” in your fingers now. You can continue to adjust the recipe if it isn’t what consistency that you might like. Once you have the consistency, put into a pretty container or Ball jar. These can even be made as gifts. 

A few tips on usage and life of the product:

*If you add the optional course green loose leaf, this scrub will be too-coarse for the face, please use this on the body only.

*Remember that this is a freshly made recipe; it will last if kept in a tightly sealed ball jar or container.

*It is recommended that it should not be stored in the actual shower because of the heat changes and possible water getting inside of your container. This will shorten the life of the product.

*If your product is continually separating from each other, you’ll need to replace it.


*These truly can make adorable Christmas/birthday or bridal shower presents or favors. Spoon your newly made sugar scrub into a pretty bottle or ball jar and dress them in ribbons. (Make sure the container is airtight.)

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Giveaway Announcement! So Close To Amazing! Giveaway Announcement!

UPDATE:  This was a successful giveaway, and one happy follower has received this book!   Thank you to all who entered and I'll have another soon!!  Be watching out!! (update 11/5/17)

Giveaway Announcement! Giveaway Announcement! Giveaway Announcement!

Starts Tomorrow!  9/26/17!!!!  Be sure to go to https://www.literarymerry.wordpress.com to get into the giveaway!!!


I'll be hosting a contest for 1 signed book from author KariAnne Wood called So Close To Amazing!!

Please go check out my book review at my WordPress site and the contest will be held there too!

I'll send another reminder, there will be no cost to the contestants and all shipping is on me! It's a great debut novel, that contains DIY fun for your home as well!




No automatic alt text available.www.literarymerry.wordpress.com




The contest will be held at my WordPress site.




Sunday, September 17, 2017

Never stop dreaming...

As you may know, I love Sunflowers and of course life. This post today is to remind you that when you dream you have hope and when you have hope you might just have it all! Don't give up on your goals whatever they may be. Even if you think you may never reach them, you may be closer to achieving them than you know. Don't forget to stop and smell the sunflowers!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Can I Upcycle That?

Is this you?  Can you relate?  Does your family roll their eyes the minute you see an old piece of furniture and you say... Can I paint that?  Or make shelves out of it?  Or can I make a bench or a closet organizer out of it? 
If you're me, your (my)family is a bit wary of you (me) wanting to go to junk sales or antique markets. But those places are heavenly!  I think my superpower is being able to see something beautiful in an old piece, that might just be loved but cast away. I also think that in some small way, we might be helping our world by recycling and upcycling one piece of furniture at a time!
You are a visionary remember that!
Photo Credit: Pinterest

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Olay Fresh Outlast Body Wash

Quick Review: My first impressions were that the 22 oz.  Body wash seemed to be a lot for the money!  It's also quite heavy!  () It was really a pretty purple,  my favorite  color, it was soft and flowing,  the lather was good and it washed off easily without any residue. I really enjoyed the scent,  I used Orchid  & Black Currant and smelled it long after my shower!
@influenster #influenster #olay #olayatwalmart #contest #blogpost #instagram

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Play! By Sephora

Sometimes you can't beat them, so you join them! I just joined Sephora subscription box for August.   I have box #197. As beauty insider already it seemed like it was inevitable that I'd join in as well. I'm not disappointed, being that this is my first one. I'll be doing reviews on the products in the nearest of future. As you can see from my photo, the contents of the box were nice. The box contained: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo,  Kopari coconut oil (coconut mini melt), Too Faced Mascara Melt Off, Kat Von D lock-it concealer creme' (in medium 19 cool), Micro Mini Beauty Blender, both Kat Von D Saint & Sinner Perfume samples, very cute Make-up Geek beauty bag, plus a 50 point  Play card worth 50 Beauty Insider points  (expires on September 30, 2017). And finally, also accompanied by the Innovators guide to the products, its contents and how to use them. I'll be doing my reviews shortly!   

Thursday, July 20, 2017

My Influenster Referral Link

Do you love getting free things?  Do you love being on the edge of new and never before launched beauty products? Do you love doing reviews?  Do you love getting to test high-end beauty things?

Sign up to Influenster ~  Lots of activities and a large community of diverse and interesting people connecting together.  Influenster can be seen at every single type of social media today. Here's my referral link to get you started!  I hope to see you there!  Connect with me when you sign up!



Image result for influenster symbol


www.influenster.com/r/1707849

Thursday, July 13, 2017

My MAC Lips Haul & Review


Included also, in my haul was my personal long-time go-to lip, the creamsheen lipstick in Hot Gossip. I have worn this color for years. My daughter was in the modeling industry and she and I attended a MAC cocktail party, where I purchased the Hot Gossip lipstick when I was there, that was about 8 years ago!! Just like any other of MAC products, I believe their price point justifies because they continually put out an exemplary product! The creamsheen lipstick glides on super easy, it is not matte and contains a small "gloss" to it. This gloss is not in any way overpowering. The color is a light dusty rose pink, that once the lips are lined, boom, color pop!
 This goes from day to night easily. It matches well again with cool tones and cool skin tones. I give this lipstick my effervescent five-star rating***** 
** Tip, in most fine department makeup counters, the lip duo is currently on sale.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Beauty Buyer Beware: A Beauty Fail Could Happen

After seeing the article on Pop Sugar, http://www.popsugar.com  I just had to write a post quickly!

Plenty of times, hindsight is twenty-twenty, however, we often hear nightmare stories about a salon's poor performances and /or products or disastrous results from uneducated technicians. No matter what beauty service you purchase, the onus is on us as consumers to be aware of the salon.

It is up to us to find out a bit about the history of the salon, the workers in the salon, and whether or not the salon employs the proper type of people to work there. Most salons are proud to post information that shows their technicians, massage therapists, cerologists, cosmetologists, and stylists have the proper training and certifications to be employed in that field.

Some very extremely simple ways to check out a salon is to google them, check out sites that review such as Yelp, and let's face it word of mouth reviews are a great way to gauge a salon, after all, if the lady down the street got her hair fried, they are sure to let this very honest review out into the public.

If you find that your prospective salon has poor reviews, you may want to consider looking further for the service you'd like. Also, please be very clear about exactly what you are asking for when you do ask, you won't regret it.

Enter, a girl in Britain named Emma Jones, she went to get a manicure and wanted rounded tips, see the picture below as a testimony to what happens when you don't actually do any research on a salon.
Thank goodness Miss Jones did have a relative named Angela Blemmings who actually is a nail technician because Miss Jones came to her to have her nails fixed!!!

All I can say is I sure hope she got her money back!!!

Photo credit: Anglea Blemmings and Popsugar.com





Saturday, July 1, 2017

Motivation


Always find a challenge, the sense of your accomplishments will motivate you to find the next level. Find a Journey then, share your voyage and ultimately inspire others!

Image result for motivational quotes

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Sunscreen Important Tips

Sunscreens are not created equal. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an effective sunscreen is one that will prevent sunburn, reduce the risks of skin cancer and also, an oft not thought of, to prevent early aging of the skin.
They offer some guidelines:
EVERYONE needs a sunscreen! Look for at least these three things when purchasing your sunscreen:
.Broad Spectrum: this protects against both UVA &UVB rays. This is considered very important.
.Use at least a 30 SPF or higher.
.Water-resistance (you should have this) and even if it says it is~ remember if you are sweating very heavily or swimming to reapply often to ensure that it is still protecting you.
Quick notes for babies and toddlers:
Sunscreen is NOT recommended for babies 6 months or younger! So the very best way to protect your baby is to avoid any full sun exposure. Keep them in a shady area, cover them up in long pants/shirts, bonnets and wide-brimmed hats that cover ears and please use baby sunglasses.
Children 6 months or older please follow the already mentioned guidelines. But please add in things like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, these will cause less skin irritation.
Lastly, as of 2011, the FDA does regulate products as if they were an OTC drug, but please remember that this may or may not include someone selling something on the internet or a homemade mom & pop cosmetics company. Always, the buyer needs to be aware of what they are buying.

Please take a visit to the American Academy of Dermatology for all types of information regarding skin conditions and treatments as well as more information on sunscreens and safety in the summer sun. http://www.aad.org

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Walking is Beautiful Fitness


 "Walking is one of the most powerful things we can do to improve our health. It's easy, accessible, and affordable to almost everyone."  ~Us News.com


Embarking on a new fitness or exercise program can be daunting. If you haven't worked out for awhile, or have physical limitations, or have never worked out before; walking can be for you.  There are so many benefits to walking, like improved strength and balance, low-impact on joints, a cardio benefit, improves lung function and oxygen intake, gets metabolism moving thus, improving our overall health. 

The Arthritis Foundation endorses a "Walk With Ease" program. It is designed to Increase balance and strength and your overall wellness. If you can find this guided walking program, for an extremely low fee you can enjoy benefits and even happiness as you become involved.  Many towns and cities across the United States have been given Grants to help start up and fund a "Walk With Ease" Program.  Aside from this walking program itself, there are resources and tools on-line, videos showing warm-up exercises, and a mobile app to keep you committed.  Please go to https://www.arthritis.org/local-offices/ to find your local program, or call 1-800-283-7800.

Walking also provides other benefits, such as camaraderie with friends for a social connection, being outside in the weather (believe it or not) provides good exposure to vitamin D and also helps some people with depression and SAAD. 

Getting to know your body, and helping it to stay fit by making physical fitness a part of your daily life will improve your health young or old. Walking is beautiful fitness.

*Please consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.


Image result for walking for healthphoto credit: Pinterest.com

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Wildflowers For Bees BEE-utiful!

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that members of seven (7) yellow-faced bees of Hylaeus species need Federal Protection.

In February of 2017, The president signed an executive order blocking the newest endangered bee, the Rusty-Patched bumble bee from being protected because signing the order completely froze any/all pending regulations so the bumble bee will have to wait.

So, at this point saving our environment is up to us. What a better way to do it than saving the bees! By creating a small garden or mini-meadow of wildflowers, this can help to sustain your area and help boost the populations of bees.

There were several successful campaigns this year of free wildflower seed giveaways, I'm hoping that you were able to secure your free or nearly free seeds. One super notable campaign was the #bringbackthebees campaign supported by General Mills/Honey Nut Cheerios/Vesey's Seeds L.t.d.
The giveaway is over at this time, but you are encouraged to show off your garden in pictures using the #bringbackthebees hashtag on your social media.  For more information and find them at :
www.Cheerios.com/bringbackthebees
www.veseys.com


The Sierra Club was also giving away free Bee Feed Flower Mix seeds, Find them at: www.sierraclub.org
And finally I did some personal shopping at the Magnolia Market and as a bonus, free wildflower seed cards were given out!  Awesome. Find them at: www.magnoliamarket.com

Remember when planting your little garden or mini-meadow look for seeds that have been open pollinated, Non-GMO and untreated!  It makes no sense to plant seeds that were treated in fields that pesticides were applied on.

Look for indigenous plants and flowers from your area. Remember that you are creating a natural habitat for guests to live, so don't spray anything on your pretty garden once it has come up!

For awesome stuff on learning about bees, what types of flowers to plant, or all about anything at all that has to do with bees, I found a super awesome web-site at:  https://www.buzzaboutbees.net

And lastly, if you want to shop for wildflowers for your particular region one can find a great amount of information as well as shopping for wildflower mixes at:

www.vermontwildflowerfarm.com

Isn't that BEE-utiful?

*I am not being paid nor representing any of the brand and/or websites mentioned above. They were provided merely for the reader's consumption of good and wholesome information. My blog is created with that in mind.  Body, Mind and Soul, All things Beautiful!



Thursday, April 27, 2017

Easy Healthy Breakfast In A Jar

Easy Healthy Breakfast in a jar! This is a wonderful way to get your morning started properly. This is a no cook, no guilt method and it is super wholesome.  You can "play" with this recipe and add the things you like to eat. In this post, I made a simple layered about 1/2 cup of oats,1/2 c of 2% milk, about 1/4 c of blueberries.1/2 banana then topped with about 6 oz of yogurt(can use plain) I had a blueberry on hand and then I topped that with honey. After all the ingredients have been layered, simply put it in the refrigerator and eat it the next morning. This can be varied (i.e. almond milk, skim, for ex.) and your desire to sweeten it also for you to decide, I prefer not to add white sugar. Most times I will use honey, or agave as my sweetener. This will keep you full longer and be fuel for an exercise routine or a heavy work day until your lunch. Have a great day, treat your body well! That's a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Walking For Your Health


There are so many benefits from keeping fit, but depending on what way a person chooses to keep fit can cost a lot of money in memberships or equipment. Some programs may be difficult to do or keep up with and this lowers the rate of success in the program itself.
While swimming and jogging will burn a huge and substantial amount of calories, and not everyone has access to a pool or has the level of fitness to be a jogger; walking is something that everyone can do. Walking can be done by people at all types of levels of fitness and over time if regularly performed, one who walks can start to see weight loss.
The goal, however, is to be active and walking can help with that. There are many benefits to walking regularly. In fact, a lot of doctors are making this a prescription and advising their patients that if they can, for the health, they should walk three times per week for at least Thirty-five minutes per day.
All of the top agencies, hospitals and health organizations such as Prevention Magazine, The Arthritis Foundation, and The Mayo Clinic, for example, have all agreed the benefits of regular walking is astounding.  Walking is low-impact (better for the joints), improves balance and coordination, lowers risk of blood clots, improved circulation and brings more oxygen into your body, prevents muscle loss, strengthens bones and muscles(lowers risk of hip fractures), boosts up metabolism, improves mood thus improving sleep and helping with insomnia ….shall I keep going?  Because I can….walking lowers Blood pressure, which lowers risk of stroke (by 20%) and helps prevent heart disease, trims down waist-line, and thus, in turn, lowers the risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes. That’s beautiful!
Brisk walking for at least thirty minutes can burn 200 calories.  There are more intense walking programs that involve walking regularly for 3 to 5 minutes, then very brisk for 5 to 10 minutes, then stopping to do a strength/stretching move for 10 reps., then back to brisk walking for 5 to 10 and again 1 more strength move. This burns more calories, but it is an intense program.

There are programs on-line to join, Facebook has many walking groups, there are journal pages one can print to keep track of your walking progress. Other places to seek group involvement are libraries, neighborhood groups, and hospitals.

Walking is free, put on a pedometer and your ear buds and tunes and have a great walking journey into health!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Organic Valley, Organic Balance Shake Free

This is a post regarding the free coupon I obtained by sending my email address to this company, I found them on twitter  (@2happyrightT  please come visit me there too!) The coupon was for a free regular size Organic Valley, Organic Balance Protein Milk Shake. It was awesome, I even did a review at my Influenster site (visit me there too! *god-awful self-promotion) I thought it was a very nourishing drink for those who are especially on the go or can't get to a good meal.  This is USDA Certified Organic product, lactose & gluten free, contains 50% DV calcium, is non-GMO, no synthetic hormones, no toxic pesticides were used,  no antibiotics and it comes in two tasty flavors,  vanilla, and dark chocolate. The shake contains 16g of protein. 

I'm sharing this with you today because I find that once the good nutrition is in you, productivity and creativity rises!  It's a beautiful thing to start the day the right way. and even if it's not this brand it could be something similar to this!*I am in no way being compensated for this blog post, I did receive a manufacturer's coupon for one free product. You can too if you check them out on-line! Have a great and healthy day!

*I am in no way being compensated for this blog post, I did receive a manufacturer's coupon for one free product. You can too if you check them out on-line! Have a great and healthy day!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Nests Of Spring!

Spring approaches and the nests appear everywhere! Every year at my house we get a very endearing duck couple and they meander around our back lot and decide each year to sneak beneath the underhang of the fireplace. Mrs. Robin does return every year and roost amid our gigantic Colorado Blue Spruce tree.

Generally birds such as Robins, Doves, Sparrow, Cardinal, and Ducks (Mallards) will return each spring to lay their eggs. But don't be mad about this, while ducks will meander way to go and seek  other ponds of life once they have roosted, the others will tweet good morning songs for you until the fall or when it gets too cold.

Your home has lovingly been chosen by these birds because you offer them a safe habitat. They feel there is enough food, water, and safety here, that they are happy living among your family while raising their own.

Please do not rip down their nests, they artfully gathered many little things like sticks and leaves and string and other things to assemble the place they'll tuck their young in each night before they fly away on their own! How Beautiful!

Now remember that mess of crafts on my dining room table? Well, here's how my little candle stick birdies turned out! They're an adorable  grouping of grapevine, and this and that green filler leave, a sprig of forsythia and 3 small ceramic birdies. I literally set the small wreaths onto the candlesticks, stuck in the filler, wound ribbons around the base and set them on top! Total assembly time for all three approximately 20 minutes!   Happy Spring!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Smoothies!

Smoothies!

A smoothie is a beverage that can be made by blending raw fruit and/or vegetables with dairy products, water, ice cubes, and sweeteners.  Smoothies can be for breakfast, lunch, and a snack (in between meal times). Smoothies can be protein packed, gluten free, Quick & Easy, fiber rich and filled with vitamins.

Most smoothies are approximately between 150-200 calories, depending on the variables, like extra added things i.e. oatmeal, nuts, or sugars, or heavy vegetables. For this post, I love things that are quick and easy. So I concentrate on 5 or less ingredients (or whatever I have on hand and then adjust recipe) this recipe one can use frozen fruit!

So here’s a simple recipe for 5 ingredients:

1 whole banana
3/4C blueberries
3/4C blackberries (substitute strawberries)
¾-1C milk (I use 2%, calories go down with skim milk)
6 ounce Greek yogurt (unsweetened or can use vanilla or honey flavored)

Put all ingredients in blender and pulse for about 30 seconds, I stir and then I will pulse it again.
*some people like ice cubes in their smoothie, I usually pass.
Image result for smoothies

This recipe should make two 6-8 ounce glasses!  Enjoy!



Photo credit: wikipedia

Saturday, April 1, 2017

From Scrapy & Crappy to Crafty & Adorable



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring crafts

Spring is in the air and I promise this modge podge of mess will become great and beautiful spring crafts that anyone would love to put in their house!  And in fact you can easy peasy by using things from around your home and refashioning it into something else (some people call it upcycling), I save thing like ribbons, broken frames, candlesticks, and I buy grapevine wreaths by the bulk. I use my dining room to stage most things, it is a bright and uncluttered room that if I don't finish my projects no really has to walk directly through it!   I do use things from nature like leaves and sticks. I use things like old wooden box, covered boxes, candy dishes and even margarita glasses to make nests for bunnies and birdies! I'll post finished pieces soon. Have fun and Happy Spring! *Not                 pictured here are all of my bunnies & Easter stuff. Also things needed are patience & glue gun.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Julia Michaels – Issues (Acoustic) - Live on V Hits Australia

One of My new Favorite Beautiful song-bird voices, please enjoy this song called Issues. I first saw her on Jimmy Fallon and have not stopped listening to the song!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Better Homes & Gardens & Baked by Bree Blogger Thank you

I enjoyed the Baked by Bree food Blog, that has been chosen as one of the best 100 blogs for 2016 by Better Homes and Gardens!
I enjoyed  her fabulous  Cranberry Walnut Blue Cheese Pinwheels! 
Today I received the thank you note,  a great sample of California Walnuts and 2 recipe books!    Thank you for the nice little sweepstakes win!  #BakedbyBree #CaliforniaWalnuts #BetterHomesAndGardens

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bring Nature In

I meant to file this in early February, but I had forgotten about it so here is a quick project.  Gather sticks from fallen winter branches,  arrange like flowers ( here I gather large enough hand fulls that it fit pretty snuggly in the vase. 
I like using sticks in the winter,  they add some depth and color.  If you have dogwood in your yard they are fabulous for color. Sometimes leaves are still attached! 
I simply arranged,  then wrapped a colorful tasseled rope around and that was it!
My lit niche measures 4 feet by 3 feet,  so most everything has to be somewhat large for this area.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Revlon ColorStay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Enamel

I gave this an awesome review of 4**** my nails were hard,  shiny and chip resistant.  This is a 2 step method.  Step 1 is base and coat.  Step 2 Diamond Top Coat. 
Awesome products from Revlon I got this free from them as an @influenster badge prize!  How awesome!  I would've given this 5***** except I would have loved a darker base color.  Awesome and you should try this! 

Monday, March 6, 2017

****** Current Update*****  This contest has just ended, more about the winner in an updated post as soon as it is announced!  Thanks for checking it out and I hope one of my followers is a winner!!! ***** Beauty and The Beast Promotional Contest! See the trailer and the awesome Duns Castle!  Enter here:



Home Away Presents:

Celebrate Disney's Beauty and the Beast!  Enter this sweepstakes and you and 20 guests could win a stay at Duns Castle!  Plus 5 runner's up could win a Home Away Vacation!  Enter here:


https://activate.bloglovin.com/s/ijZ8CsAhlc



#partner #beourguest   *18 or over

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Getting StitchFix Excited!

Image result for stitch fix logo images

I'm excited because I'm soon to receive my first ever StitchFix!

It's exciting because not having enough time to shop, or not finding something I'd like in the stores I shop, I decided to give StitchFix a try.   It's very simple to fill out a profile on yourself with your likes and dislikes in fashion and then your personal size profile!  That's it~  When your StitchFix arrives, you'll get to try each item on at home, keep what you like and then return any of the items back in a postage paid envelope system.

Easy! Exciting!  I'll have more on this later! In the meantime, here's a referral:






https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/10884644?sod=w&som=c

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Wellness Challenge

Wellness challenge,  I accept.
You may have read my last article about finding my hygge, where I'm trying to get in touch with my "comfort zone" and "stress-free zone", using the concepts of hygge with comfort foods, comfort things, like soft pillows, afghans and leggings. I love natural light as well and my comfort spot is located near my windows. I have dedicated this spot as a place where I can slow down and accept doing less, even if just for a few minutes. I came across a blog post today on bloglovin.com by becauseimaddicted.net , I immediately followed her and also let a message on the spot. I've been "practicing" for about 1 week so far, and I have noticed a sense of calm coming over me and now I cannot wait for my 15-20 minute quiet time in my special spot. I simply surround myself with things I love and spend 15-20 minutes being quiet, eyes closed (lightly meditating) with nice soothing breaths and then I will end off with about 3-5 minutes journaling.  

I'd love to challenge all of you to do this Wellness Challenge too, won't you accept the challenge ?    
Photo Credit: Mary Caliendo Photo 2017                                          

Monday, February 13, 2017

Hygge and Tea

How do you Hygge with tea? Hygge is a Danish lifestyle that is currently on trend this year. This lifestyle emphasizes coziness and all things that make you feel good and comfortable.  The custom revolves around the Danish nationality and its ideas of finding comfort where one resides or works. It is said that the Hygge lifestyle came to be because they experience cold, dark and long wintery climate days.
They created and celebrate Hygge to boost their spirits and those around them. Hygge is a practice of finding simple yet beloved domestic choices or daily living rituals into something special and comforting. This idea lowers the stress levels and they claim it changes their dispositions.
Hygge, it can be said is a connection to simple moments and a slower -paced lifestyle. Hygge asks one to find these everyday moments and attach more meaning to them or make each moment a very special one. It asks each person to take the goodness in their lives and revel in them.
It asks to embrace complete mindfulness, by slowing down, then embracing the light, find the beauty, and then nest in it with your community of loved ones and friends. Hygge finds symbolic ways to include each of these.
 In embracing the light, it can be lighting a candle or seeking out the nearest natural light, as in sitting near the window. Finding the beauty can be done by bringing texture into your area, it may be in the coziness of an afghan or it can be in the sleek or uncluttered home with minimal things but sleek warm woods that can be touched and seen. It can be the burning of a fireplace, with its aroma of seasoned wood filling the room. When we nest ourselves in soft wool socks or cozy pajamas or sweat pants we feel comforted.  Finally, Hygge asks to share all of this comfort with the people that surround you by doing low level activities, such as conversation and movie watching, beloved music in the background, quiet card playing or just sitting next to someone reading.
Hygge is bringing in balance and harmony to simple pleasures.  So that includes into the kitchen for tea. With the candles blazing and comfy clothes on, you begin to understand that including tea into this mindfulness trend is a superior choice.
Tea pairing with your background music is yet another way to embrace your Hygge.  Tea can be very aromatic. And this will add to the layers of Hygge. Mornings with slivers of light coming through a window and a sleek minimalist tea kettle on the flame, one can choose to have up-lifting or even raucous music like Classical, Chinese Drum, pop, or rock to get your morning started and pair that with rich, strong and full-bodied teas. Some of those are: any black tea like English breakfast tea, Ceylon tea, Darjeeling, or Puerh and perhaps a nice Matcha green tea.
For a midday Hygge tea, turn on some Jazz, Easy listening, Folk, or classical and add Chai tea, or gunpowder, Rooibos or Sencha tea. Strong, good flavors for afternoon pick me ups or high-tea.
Finally, the evening approaches the day is done, winding down even more is very conducive for sleep. Create Zen with delicate and quiet music like a Japanese flute, or Native American instrumentals, easy and slow violin, the sounds of rushing water and then add in some soothing chamomile tea, delicate lavender or white needle or blended and fruited tisanes. 
Hygge asks one to slow down and enjoy daily mundane experiences by evoking emotional responses and meditating and reflecting on the ability to savor with your senses.
Enjoy this new trend; Hygge and tea.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Valentine's Seeing Red

Valentine’s Day, Seeing Red

Valentine’s Day and its history and creation are often disputed and is shrouded in mystery with many versions. What we do know, is that Valentine’s Day has its roots in ancient Roman times at a festival name Lupercalia, which was loosely associated with fertility.  History has Pope Gelasius in 496, changing it from a Pagan Festival to a Christian one, and deemed it take place on February 14th.  It became St. Valentine’s Day when young married women came to the festival and placed their names in urns.

Good things red……

RED LIPS    Red lips can command a room. When asked, most women think they can’t really pull off wearing red lips, and most men will take a longer gaze at a woman with pretty red lips. But men also said, if the lips are overpowering the face, they do not like it.  So how in the world can a girl find the right lipstick for her? 
It’s true not everyone can pull off a startling red, think… Gwen Stefani….here’s a key in how to choose your Valentine’s lip:

First know that there are many, many versions of red. And we know from the art world that some things are mixed with blue or orange or even browns to obtain different hues. To determine what type of red you should wear, find your skin type tone.  Warm toned skin should look to the true red and orange lip undertones.  If you have cool tones look for lipsticks that err toward red with the blue undertones.  Thankfully, most beauty companies even list on their product/or group lipsticks together by the cool or warm tones.

Happy lips will smile!!

RED NAILS   Nothing says glamor and romance and confidence, that hinges on sexy than red fingernails.
Just like with red lips, nail color comes in many, many colors and hues of red. It should be easy once the lips are picked out.  You can match them if you’d like for fun or be completely different than your lips.  Short nails are not a problem, in fact, red looks fantastic on shorter nails.  *Here’s a beauty tip,  if your fingernails are super short, paint nails down the middle and leaving open the sides of the nail; it actually makes them look longer!


RED WINE    Red wine contains resveratrol. It is good for your health, as if you needed a reason to drink wine, right? Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound that comes from the skin of red grapes. This compound helps your skin from wrinkling by boosting up your cells, also it plays an important part in your heart health!   *drink in moderation.

RED PEPPERS Red peppers contain capsaicin.  That is an awesome anti-inflammatory benefit. Red peppers also contain Vitamin E, C, B6, A and Beta-carotene, folate, lycopene, and lutein! Wait, there’s more… fiber! Those vitamins and minerals are antioxidants and that has huge anti-cancer benefits.  That’s a lot of love packed into a little red pepper.

STRAWBERRIES  Strawberries do a lot, besides they taste good too!  Here’s the short list:

Strawberries lower risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease by 32%. Strawberries also benefit healthy skin and hair, increased energy levels and lowers blood pressure. Strawberries are considered a low glycemic food and lowers risk of blood sugar spikes. Strawberries contain folic acid which is great for pregnancy. They also contain vitamin C and are low in calories. 

So sweet! 

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY







Saturday, January 28, 2017

Touch Down Recipe Contest Colman's Mustard

Update!!  Currently this contest is closed! The winner of this contest will be announced on 2/8/17!

Until the announcement you can visit:  colmansusa.com   thanks!!!

Superbowl Sunday recipe makers join this contest!
Colman's Mustard (dry or prepared)
Chance for $500.00     Upload your recipe between 1/13/17-2/5/17


https://activate.bloglovin.com/s/lxxai22C6b


Monday, January 23, 2017

Sole Food Therapy Quick Review

As seen on beauty is a beast blog instagram today: awesome gift! Sole Food Therapy Foot Kit.  Awesome comes complete with foot scrub  foot brush, pumice stone, foot balm lotion, and arch exerciser. Feeling of relief and softness. Filled with botanicals great scent and immediate difference.*Pumice can be used on hands too! New year new me!

Aerosol Tea In A Can?

Aerosol tea in a can? Yes, it’s true! It is aptly named No More Tea Bags. It is the brain-child of Guy Woodall and owner of the business No More Tea Bags. He is always continually looking for a better cuppa.

Manufactured by YumCha Drinks, they say their product is “properly brewed better tasting tea”. Even this writer is having a hard time wrapping her brain around it.
The company YumCha is based in the UK and calls the new tea in the can “liquid Instant tea” and they feel they are causing a “tea-volution”.

Mr. Woodall has been working on the idea of getting not only great tasting tea, but also tea free of chemicals to the tea cup very quickly.  Recently in an interview with Eater.com, Mr. Woodall said he began fiddling around with the development idea, but it was in glass containers. And if he had to use glass containers, he would have to use chemical preservatives, and he did not want to do that because he feels that adding chemicals violates the integrity of the tea. As he kept at he realized that it could be done in an aerosol can. He realized that by putting it in a can it could be completely sterile condition and be completely isolated from outside air.

So to Mr. Woodall, this means a better tea. But getting it to the cup and into people’s minds might be a hard proposition. The way the YumCha company and Guy Woodall’s product is dispensed is similar to squirt whipped cream. You simply press down on the nozzle and the tea concentrate is squirted out and into the tea cup. Then after the desired amount is in the cup, the kettle water is then poured on top, just as you would with any other tea bag/loose tea.

Mr. Woodall realized that it only took him only eight seconds to make the concentrated brew and it had a consistent taste.  That this new tea was completely protected from all outside contaminates; no bacteria, no mold, or no yeast. No light could get in, as light does alter the taste of tea. It has a convenience level for quickness and ease of making.  Its cost was less than regular loose teas and tea bags.

But tea drinkers in the UK were inflamed; most tea drinkers love the experience of making tea. In fact, the subject caused an all-out twitter war! Most of them felt that this new tea drink was even impinging upon the traditions of England.  Some even tweeting with the hash- tag #Godsaveourteabags those not in favor of the company, even asked about the environmental impact of the containers in landfills. Mr. Woodall has said that although his tea cans are not biodegradable like tea bags are, the cans are recyclable.  Mr. Woodall has said that the public has brought up a few interesting facts, he has been scaling up his operations and since September of 2016, he cannot keep up with the demand.

The No More Tea Bags currently comes in three teas, Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey, and Jasmine.
They can be bought in stores that stock it as well as on-line. YumCha is a company that has been farming on a small farm in Leatherhead (UK) since the 1980’s. They have a passion for natural ingredients like elderflower and nettle.  They sell iced tea concentrated into seven flavor fruit fusions. YumCha also can be found on Facebook.

Lastly, a bit about No More Tea Bags inventor and the recent former owner of YumCha. He is an MA, PhD, Philosophy from Edinburgh University.  From 1986-through October 2010 he owned Thorncroft Drinks, LTD and is the current owner of No More Tea Bags & YumCha Iced Tea Concentrate.Image result for aerosol tea in a spray can

No More Tea Bags offers an alternative to single tea bags and loose tea. 

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