• Monday, December 15, 2008

    Red BMW Sequin Applique


    Gorgeous red BMW sequin and beaded applique
    measuring approximately 8" width

    Add some sparkle to that plain jacket, t-shirt, totebag . . .
    the possibilities are endless!!

    They can be sewn on or glued on with washable fabric glue.

    GLAMOUROUS LARGE Deco Lady Sequin Applique


    Gorgeous, glamourous and large deco lady sequin and beaded applique
    measuring approximately 6 1/8" in diameter

    Add some sparkle to that plain jacket, t-shirt, totebag . . .
    the possibilities are endless!!

    They can be sewn on or glued on with washable fabric glue.

    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    Homemade dryer sheets

    Save money on fabric softener sheets for the dryer.

    Use liquid fabric softener, diluted about 1/2 strength with water.

    Pour a little on a wash cloth and throw it in the dryer with your clothes.

    Monday, November 3, 2008

    Natural Chemical Peel Mask


    1/2 cup dry oatmeal, ground finely (use your blender or food processor)
    1/4 cup granulated white sugar
    1/4 cup mineral water
    500 mg tablet of Vitamin C, pulverized to powder
    2 Tbs. Honey


    Combine dry oatmeal with the granulated sugar in a bowl, mix well.

    Add mineral water and mix to form a paste.

    Rub this mixture on your skin in gentle circular, upward motions.

    Take a full minute or two to rub this on your face.

    Use a warm, wet washcloth to remove.

    Rinse after with lots of water.

    Dry your face.

    Place the vitamin C powder in a small cup or bowl, add the honey, and stir until completely blended.

    Apply to your face, using all of the honey mixture for one application.

    Keep on your face no more than 10 minutes.

    Rinse your face with cool water.

    Apply moisturizer

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Turning back the clock

    Yeah, it is time to turn the clock back to "normal" time.

    I prefer Daylight Savings Time myself.

    Why can't we just leave it there?

    Isn't it supposed to be dark in the morning anyway?

    The Maxine cartoon got me thinking about age.

    More specific, I asked myself the following question . . .

    "If I could turn back time, where would I set it?"

    My answer to the question will probably surprise you.

    I would not turn back time because of my age.

    I'm happy where I am . . . seriously!

    What matters is how I feel inside.

    And I'm still a teenager.

    Only wiser beyond my years :o)

    I would not trade my experience of life for anything!

    If I could turn back the clock to a happier time . . .

    that is a different story

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    7 Guy Types to Avoid

    As I contemplate the real world and in particular, the crazy world of dating, I'm finding these type of articles extremely interesting. For more "LOVE 101" articles, click on the Lifescript link.

    I love this article!

    By Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, Special to LifeScript
    Published May 01, 2008

    At first glance, these guys look like Mr. Absolutely Right. They sweep you off your cynical feet with nice dinners, roses, thoughtful gestures. The sex is incredible – you get hot and bothered even thinking about it. Even your friends like him. And you think, “Hey, maybe he is The One.” Stop! Before you fall hook, line and sinker, take a good look at the guy who’s stolen your heart. He could be one of these seven dating disasters…

    These seven guy types are master anglers. Once you’re hooked, you’ll invest your love, your soul, your money and, possibly, your valuable childbearing years, not realizing until it’s too late that these bad boys don’t do happily ever after. In the end, they’ll break your heart, shatter your ego and frustrate the hell out of you.

    And while these men may be hard to spot, they do send out subtle clues that they’re relationship kryptonite. Read on for the seven types… and how to spot them before they reel you in.

    1. Mr. Perennial Bachelor
    This guy is well-mannered, smart, attractive, witty, successful, and his kisses melt you like ice cream in July. You can’t believe that some gal hasn’t walked him down the aisle long ago. Even if you approach him with caution his charm and persistence may win you over eventually. Then, just when you start considering whether to take his name or hyphenate, he’ll peel out of the relationship faster than a NASCAR driver, leaving skid marks on your heart.

    How he’ll lure you in: Ask about his perpetual bachelorhood, and he’ll tell you that he just hasn’t found the right woman yet. The unspoken suggestion is that you could be her. But dating Mr. Perennial Bachelor is a fool’s journey because there is no right woman… and there never will be. “Women always think I’ll be the one,” says Los Angeles-based psychotherapist Stacy Kaiser. “But if no one has been right, you probably won’t be either.”

    Spot him before you’re hooked: He’s not inclined to introduce you to his friends or family, an indication that he’s in no hurry to fully integrate you into his life. But the biggest giveaway is that his last significant relationship was back in college, and every relationship since has lasted just a few months – at most. Around the time you’re expecting your relationship to shift into serious, he’s putting it in reverse. As relationship coach Joyce Morley-Ball (aka Dr. Joyce) says, “If a man hasn’t gotten married by the time he’s 50, he’s probably not going to.”

    2. Mr. Marry-Go-Round
    Unlike Mr. Perennial Bachelor, this guy is all about getting married. Unfortunately, he treats marriage like a luxury car lease – and you can be sure that in a few years he’ll be ready to trade you in for a newer model. “The relationship is over when the romance is gone,” says Mark Rogers, Ph.D., an Irving, Texas relationship coach who works with Dr. Phil. Mr. Marry-Go-Round hasn’t figured out that all passion cools naturally, and when his does, he’ll blame you. “He’ll say, ‘You weren’t the right one because when I find the right one, I’ll stay in this infatuated euphoria forever,’” Rogers says.

    How he’ll lure you in: He’s a virtuoso romancer, so dating him is like being on a permanent honeymoon. Plus, the fact that he’s been married before suggests that he’s not afraid to make that kind of commitment. If you’ve been dating men who can’t even whisper the “M” word, someone who’s practically sprinting down the aisle and introducing you as the future Mrs. So-And-So is certainly seductive.

    Spot him before you’re hooked: Find out exactly how many times he’s been married. If he’ll soon outpace Liz Taylor – and his brides are getting younger – that should give you pause. “If he’s been married two or three or four times, there’s a good chance that he could be married two or three or four more times,” Kaiser says.

    Another indicator: If you suggest slowing things down, he’ll get impatient because you’re getting in the way of his next acquisition – you. “This is someone who’s used to getting what he wants,” Kaiser says. “You become the thing he wants.” If you decide to take the plunge, at least make sure the pre-nup is fair from your perspective.

    3. Mr. No-Money Bags
    He’s got champagne tastes on a beer budget and a walk-in closet full of financial skeletons. But that doesn’t bother him because he’s also got a preternatural ability to get into women’s wallets, as well as their beds. He’s counting on you to keep him in the style to which he hopes to become accustomed. “He looks for the financially well-off woman so he can mooch off her,” says relationship expert Celeste Simmons, co-author of You Know She’s A Princess When… (Third Dimension Press, 2006).

    How he’ll lure you in: He’ll play on your natural affinity for nurturing and caretaking. It’s like stumbling onto a beautiful, crumbling Victorian house: You see past the sagging floors and peeling paint and envision how magnificent it could be. You figure a little “investment” will pay off big for both of you. Besides, what’s a little money when it’s the man of your dreams?

    Spot him before you’re hooked: Whenever it’s time to pay, his wallet is conveniently AWOL – it’s in his other pants, he left it at home, he’s short on cash until he gets paid. Initially, it might seem reasonable to float him a little extra. But eventually his handout requests will get larger and larger until one day you may find yourself buying him a car, co-signing on a loan or making a down payment on a house. He’ll try to convince you that “it’s for us,” but as Simmons points out, you’ll be the one on the financial hook. When things go south, not only will he break your heart, but he’ll put you deep in debt and tank your credit.

    4. Mr. Mama’s Boy
    He’s sweet, affectionate and understanding. Unfortunately, he’s still hung up on another woman – his mother. Date this guy, and you date his mom... not exactly the threesome you might have had in mind. Mom still influences his professional decisions, his investment portfolio, where he lives, who he votes for. Project into the future and you can count on her influencing everything from where you buy a home to how you raise your children. And if you push him to choose sides, guess who loses? Yep, that would be you.

    How he’ll lure you in: You figure that any man who loves his mother will know how to treat a woman right. “If you’ve been involved with guys who have been great in romancing you but have not had an emotional connection and then you run into a guy who knows and cares about how women feel, that can be really attractive,” Rogers says.

    Spot him before you’re hooked: He compares you to his mother – and you come up short every time. The real test may come around Valentine’s Day: If you’re alone with a box of chocolates because he’s taken Mom out for a candlelit dinner, cut him loose. “At the most intimate level of his heart, he still loves Mom as much or more than you,” Rogers says.

    5. Mr. Peter Pan
    Though he’s physically in his 30s or 40s, emotionally Mr. Peter Pan is still a frat boy at heart. Life’s a nonstop, movable kegger and he’s the affable host. He’s on a first-name basis with all the bartenders in town, thinks 401k refers to computer stuff and is always ready for a trip to Las Vegas. But if you run into hard times – say, you’re in a serious car accident or you lose your job – he’ll be way, way out of his depth. Difficult situations aren’t in his repertoire, and when the going gets tough, you’ll be going it alone.

    How he’ll lure you in: His spontaneity and sense of adventure bring out the kid in you. He’s the one who convinces you to go parasailing in Cancun or ditch work for an afternoon at the ball park.

    Spot him before you’re hooked: He’s managed to dodge major responsibilities. Although by now his buddies are entrenched with mortgages, marriages, even babies, he’s still footloose. When it comes to dating, “let’s keep things light” is this guy’s mantra. Peter Pans eventually do grow up – into perennial bachelors.

    6. Mr. Egomaniac
    He’s brilliant and accomplished and has an unflagging belief in his own infallibility. “You never see him waffling or agonizing about a decision,” Rogers says. “He’s extremely decisive because the world revolves around him.” On the rare occasion when he’s not 100% right, he won’t take it well if you point it out. He may want an accomplished woman, but not so accomplished that you eclipse his glory. He may even do things to undercut your success, like embarrassing you at an office party or running you down in front of your colleagues in the guise of “being funny.” When you complain, he’ll accuse you of being too sensitive.

    How he’ll lure you in: His confidence is irresistible. “He’s got that Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, macho inner strength that’s really appealing,” Rogers says.

    Spot him before you’re hooked: He never tires of talking about himself or the things he’s interested in. Except there’s no give and take, just him lecturing. “He doesn’t care what you have to say,” Rogers says. “He may listen, but only long enough to prepare for his next persuasive statement.”

    Another giveaway: He surrounds himself with sycophants but has few real friends. “If you’re not a good listener or you only want to talk about yourself, the only people who are going to be around you are submissive people,” explains dating expert Stephany Alexander, founder of WomanSavers.com, a Web site dedicated to outing cheating or unethical guys.

    7. Mr. Control Freak
    Dating this guy will be like dating a boa constrictor. At first his embrace may seem warm and secure. But before long you’ll be suffocating. It’ll start with going to the restaurants he chooses, seeing the movies he picks, hanging out with his friends. But eventually, he tries to dictate everything about you, from what you wear to how you spend your free time. “He’s trying to get you to be who you’re not,” Kaiser explains. “One day you wake up, and you’re like, ‘Where did I go? I don’t even know what I like to eat anymore!’”

    How he’ll lure you in: All this attention is certainly flattering. After all, he must really love you if he’s so concerned about you, takes such care of you and wants to be with you all the time, right?

    Spot him before you’re hooked: He insists on orchestrating all your dates and tells you how to dress or act around his friends. Even if you’ve only been on a few dates, he phones frequently and has memorized your schedule. He’s suspicious of any relationship you have with any other guy. He expects you to agree with him, and if you don’t, he tries to persuade you you’re wrong. Run – don’t walk – away.

    “With a control freak, you have to give up more and more of your separate experiences, separate activities, separate friends,” Rogers says. “And then it goes deeper to separate thoughts and feelings until you are micromanaged at the emotional level. And that’ll kill you.”

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Homemade Bath Oil

    1 oz essential oil (fragrance of choice)

    4 oz of one of the following:

    Baby oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, or canola oil.

    Mix ingredients well.

    Store in air tight container.

    Sprinkle one teaspoon under faucet as tub fills.

    Monday, October 13, 2008

    Trying to be superwoman?

    I am "borrowing" this post from one of my email subscriptions . . . it comes from Christine of Live Passionately.

    Give yourself permission not to be superwomen...As a way of honoring yourself;
    I encourage you to practice some of these self care strategies that have been helpful for me and my clients:

    1.Give yourself permission to add self care to your life. It's OK for it to be all about you sometimes. Think of self care as any act of nurturing, meaning anything that enhances your level of health, wellness and happiness. Look at all areas such as physical, mental, social, spiritual, and financial. Paying an overdue bill can do just as much for your level of wellness sometimes as a warm bath.

    2.Recognize and blast the barriers. Ask yourself: what is preventing you from making self care an everyday occurrence? Some of my client's barriers that we often work through are feelings of guilt, lack of time, finances, lack of support or the need for perfectionism. If any of this ring true for you, take some time to determine a plan as to how you can overcome the. As Dr. Phil says..."You can't change what you don't acknowledge."

    3.Ditch the Superwomen Syndrome. This syndrome is adding unnecessary stress and sickness to our lives. We place such unrealistic expectation on ourselves. The quilt we feel often fuels this Superwoman Syndrome. Start letting go of your mental chatter; practice saying NO and remember no one's life is perfect. We need to take Superwomen off the pedestal and start putting a more realistic, imperfect, yet happier women up there.

    4.Remember that small acts of kindness and compassion can have big pay offs.

    5.Allow yourself to dream. If you are craving something new in your life, ask yourself what are some of the dreams you have been putting off.

    6.Get yourself a pair of rose colored glasses. Having a healthy perception of life and a positive attitude is one of the best self care strategies you can practice. It is universal laws that what you focus on expands so what are you focusing on? Is your glass always half empty? Do you complain about everything and everybody? Take some time to see what you inner chatter is saying. Then consciously take steps to changing your thoughts and seeing the glass as half full. A daily reflection of gratitude and appreciation goes a long way towards improving yourself care, yourself worth, and your whole life.

    I acknowledge all women out there who on a daily basis...participating, engaging in the present moment. Take an opportunity to acknowledge yourself for many big and little things you do. Honor yourself from a place of kindness and gentleness. We do what we know to be the best at the time. Forgive yourself when needed and celebrate yourself whether you think you need it or not. We all deserve to be celebrated. Here's to you...Cheers!!!

    What will you do today, to give yourself permission not to be a superwoman?

    Friday, October 10, 2008

    Homemade Loofa Slices

    Can you tell that I love homemade stuff?


    1 clean large Pringles Potato Chip can
    1 loofa sponge
    2-3 Glycerine soap bars, in desired colors


    Cut the loofa sponge to fit to within 1/4 inch of the top of the can.

    Depending upon the size of the sponge, you may be able to fill more than one can.

    Chop bars of soap into coarse pieces. Melt soap in small saucepan over very low heat until melted.

    Meanwhile, put the loofa into the can.

    Let soap cool down, but do not let it harden.

    Pour cooled, melted soap into the Pringles can.

    When the soap has hardened and dried, tear away the can, then slice the loofa soap into thin slices for individual gifts or personal use.

    Monday, September 29, 2008

    Homemade Lip Gloss

    I haven't tried this recipe for homemade lip gloss yet, but I thought it would be a great way to use up the last bit of my favorite lipsticks in the tube. My usual thing is to scoop them out into an old compact and use it with a lipstick brush. Can't wait to try this!

    1 teaspoon grated beeswax

    1/2 teaspoon lipstick
    1/2 teaspoon petroleum jelly

    Melt the ingredients in a small can placed in boiling water. Stir it well
    And pour it into a small jar.

    Sunday, September 7, 2008

    Do you know how to pamper yourself?

    Pampering yourself doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor . . . sometimes the cost is just taking time for yourself. When I found this article, I had to include it in my blog . . . it is one of the most important things that a woman can do for herself.

    Pamper yourself today :)

    Here are 5 Quick-Tips

    By Sylvia C. Hall

    Women. Ahh, we can do it all. We do it all. Right? Well, almost. I know of far too many mommies, or far too many entrepreneurs, or far too many work-from-homers that know how to do just about everything. That is, everything but pamper themselves.

    Women today have to wear 10,000 hats just to get everything done. What does a normal week consist of? How much are you in charge of completing? Add it up. Make a list. I made a little list just to see what I was doing every week, and it made me realize something. I was in need of a break. A well deserved break.

    Sure, men are busy, too. But, we will leave that to another article. This is an article for those who understand it’s NOT okay to leave an empty granola bar box in the cabinet. Are little things like these starting to drive you mad? Well, join the club, and then read these 5 ways to pamper yourself and retire the hats for at least just a bit.

    1. Buy yourself something pretty. I’m a fan of jewelry and flowers. No, it doesn’t have to be especially pricey. You can find a bouquet of flowers at the grocery store for under $5. And, “fashion jewelry” may seem trendy, but if you think it’s pretty . . . go for it!

    2. Do something to make you feel better about your body. Take a bubble bath, paint your toes, pluck your eyebrows . . . do something to pamper that body of yours.

    3. About that body. Are you one of those “negative-self-talkers?” One of the best ways to pamper yourself is to STOP that right now. Stop that negative gibber-jabber.

    4. Perhaps you’ve heard of a gratitude journal. It’s a wonderful way to make yourself aware of 3 good things that happened to you throughout the day. I want you to use this same idea for an "I Love Me journal". Take some time to write 3 reasons you love yourself, everyday! Point out all the wonderful things about your body, your mind, and your spirit. You can pamper yourself by loving yourself.

    5. Daydream. Kids do it all the time. Go back to your child-like innocence and enjoy a lovely daydream. Imagine yourself somewhere beautiful. Think pleasant thoughts. Be at one with the moment, which is currently yours.

    You can pamper yourself. You can take just a few minutes each day to appreciate and love yourself. Take care of yourself and everyone in your life will be better off. Even the one who left the empty granola bar box in the cabinet . . .

    Sylvia C. Hall lives and writes in Kansas City. Women's topics and children's literature interest her most. Sylvia has her BA degree in English with minors in Education and Psychology. She will begin teaching part time in the Kindergarten classroom this fall. Sylvia loves the creative process. She especially enjoys photography, dancing, and being a vivacious woman.

    Check out her blogs to learn more:



    Monday, September 1, 2008

    Lifestyle changes . . . the holistic event of shedding the fat

    There is nothing more empowering than sticking to a lifestyle change for more than a month, which brings back fond memories of how awesome I felt on the day that marked a whole month of not having a cigarette.

    Although it was one of the most momentous things I have ever done for myself, the result was gaining back some of the weight I had previously worked so hard to lose. Seems like it came on overnight . . . my doctor called it chemical changes that I could get control over. Well, I didn't . . . until now . . .

    I don't care what anyone says . . . losing weight, exercising, that whole ritual is a mind game. You have to have a reason to do it, a strong desire . . . just like quitting smoking was for me and losing weight the first time. Know where you want to go, have a plan and work towards it . . . getting healthy, changing your lifestyle and knowing how much better you will look and feel has everything to do with it. It is all in getting motivated. I knew it was time to move on with my life . . . that is what made the difference for me.

    It has been over two months since I embarked on a journey that seems to keep me on my exercise equipment, dancing and jumping around like a fool . . . and yes, eating very sensibly, yet not depriving myself of anything that I want.

    Maybe this approach won't take the fat off as fast as I want it to go away . . . tomorrow would not be soon enough for me . . . but it should be a lifestyle change. Many of my original lifestyle changes have stuck with me. It is a rare occasion that I eat meat anymore . . . and that is when I go to Chili's Restaurant, I must have one of their awesome cheeseburgers and fries . . . not something I do all the time. Gone are the days of a wonderful southern delight . . . sweet tea . . . no more for me! And my most wonderous discovery was no fat half and half that I use on everything that requires milk . . . all the richness and no fat. I never gave up real butter, but only use it in moderation. There are more . . . it is all about making a conscious effort of realizing what you consume on a regular basis and figure out how to cut it out.

    Recent changes to get it off faster . . . not using butter or preparing anything that needs butter, I gave up Pepsi (that was a 2 liter a day addiction), cut my coffee consumption in half since I love those flavored coffee creamers . . . now I dilute with the no fat half and half when I do have coffee. Bread is a rare treat and I use it to make a sandwich made of lean deli turkey with no fat swiss cheese and NO mayo . . . I've resorted to rolling a piece of cheese in two twin slices of turkey for snacks instead of a sandwich and I haven't missed it.

    ABSOLUTELY NO MORE SWEETS . . . no fat yogurt in assorted flavors has been substituted and I am completely satisfied. A very small spoonful of peanut butter also helps the sweet tooth stop screaming.

    On day #655 of being a non-smoker, it took me a while, but I can finally say that I am back on the road to the holistic event of shedding the fat forever. Watch out world . . . I'm back and I'll soon be the new and vavavoom new version of myself . . .

    Sunday, August 31, 2008


    Be the best you can be!

    is having belief in yourself when considering performing a task or having a capability. If you have self-confidence, you believe in yourself . . . the single most important ingredient for success no matter what the task at hand is. If you don’t believe you can do something, you probably won’t even try.

    How do you define self-confidence and how do you rate your self-confidence? The first step in acquiring this very important trait involves an honest assessment of where you presently are. If you are not as high on the self-confidence scale as you would like to be, make today the day you begin taking action. Do what you have to do!

    The key to moving up the self-confidence scale involves practicing faith. If you push through those moments of self-doubt with faith, you eventually find self-confidence on the other side.

    Keep this in mind as you wander through your day today, and look for opportunities to bolster your self-confidence. If you look, you will find them all around you.
    I do . . .

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    Christopher Lowell is back!!

    Not that long ago I wrote an entry about the home and garden channels and how they have focused on real estate rather than lifestyle. Anyway, I made a comment . . . where is Christopher Lowell? Well I found him . . . on Fine Living, with a new show.

    Here is a part of the blurb, followed by a link to the complete article . . .

    "As one of America's most established designers and trusted lifestyle authorities, Christopher Lowell brings his hip, engaging "you can do it" decorating mantra to a whole new generation of "hyper-taskers" in the FLN interior design series Work That Room With Christopher Lowell."

    Click here to go to the entire article

    Click here to go to Christopher Lowell's official website

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Makeup tips for the boomer babe

    Here are some tips from the Glam Girls . . .


    As our hair lightens and begins to go grey, our eyebrows also lighten, our skin pales and we start to look washed out.

    Many of us try to compensate by piling on the make up. We think that bright lipstick, lots of blush, tons of eye shadow, and dark eyeliner will restore our youth. Bright make-up after 40 will make you look like a clown or female impersonator! So here's what you do:

    1. Avoid Heavy Foundation

    Since your skin dries and dulls as it ages, it's best to switch to a dewier look. Trade in your heavy matte foundation, which gives you that mask look, for a tinted moisturizer (We love the one by Laura Mercier).
    If you want more coverage try, mixing your foundation with some moisturizer to thin it out, or mix your foundation with a tinted moisturizer. You may also want to check out 'light reflecting foundations' especially created for mature skin because they reflect light off those little wrinkles.

    2. Put away the Powder

    Too much powder can make you dry and cakey. If you must use powder because you have oily skin, use loose powder in the T-zone, only.

    3. Switch Your Blush

    Powder Blush is heavy looking on mature lined skin. Instead try a cream blush. It's more natural looking and will make you look vibrant.

    4. Examine your Eye Shadows

    Be careful with shimmering shadows. Too much sparkle accentuates creepy eyelids. Also avoid too much bright color on your eyes. Neutral colored eye shadows- beiges, browns, creams, gays, taupes, will show off your eyes instead of your eyelids.

    5. Don't let Eyeliner Overpower

    Don't use black...too harsh. Instead, try dark brown and then blend well with a brown powder. Best way to apply it is as close to the eyelash as possible, dotting between lashes and then smoothing out the line, or even better just under your upper lashes. Your eyes will appear much bigger.

    6. Baby your Brows

    Your eyebrows create a beautiful frame to showcase your eyes so don't neglect them as you age. Be sure to keep them in good shape so they don't get scraggly. After 40 Many women tend to let the brow go pale and darken the lips at this stage, when in fact you should darken the brows so they frame your eyes (but don't get as carried away as Liz), and lighten up the lips.

    7. Lighten Your Lips

    Soften lips with pinks, corals, light browns, nothing too dark or too bright or there will be too much contrast between your lips, skin and hair. Too much contrast makes you look hard.

    8. Use a Light Hand with Lip Liner

    Good idea to use a liner to prevent lip bleed, but keep it soft in color and application. You should not be able to tell you have it on.

    9. Banish Pasty Face

    The older we get the paler we get and that old lady look starts to kick in. To avoid this try using a very light bronzer to finish off your look and give your skin a youthful sun kissed glow. To apply: Hold your bronzing brush at your temple and round it down in a sweeping motion to your cheekbone (creating a backwards c motion). From your cheekbone, round it down in a sweeping motion to just below the jaw line (creating another backwards c). Repeat on the other side.

    Source: http://www.tvimagelive.com/fabulousafter40/9_Makeup_Musts

    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    Design Tips From Candice Olson

    Although I have procrastinated for almost six years since JR passed away and I'm surrounded by boxes of his stuff that I still can't bring myself to give away and a mass of disorganized boxes of merchandise to sell . . . and now that I no longer have a dog who resided in my favorite room in the back that was also known as a catch-all for boxes and stuff . . . it is time for me to get a life and at least make my house a home again, even if it is just me . . . I deserve it and finally realize that.

    I've made some progress thanks to the cable channels like HGTV and the Style Network. The show Clean House has shamed me into taking a critical look at the way I live through others who were brave enough to shamelessly go on national television in order to get help and finally change their evil ways and make their house a home.

    By the way . . . in my opinion . . . Discovery Home royally screwed up by going green with their cable channel that was one of my favorites with an awesome mix of interior decorating, DIY and cooking shows. Where has Christopher Lowell been? He is my all-time favorite.

    HGTV has switched their programming emphasis to getting your house ready to sell rather than making it a home . . . it is all about the money now, not improving your lifestyle. I miss the old programming, in particular, the gardening shows like Way to Grow that originated from Disney World. Maybe being Martha Stewartish isn't cool anymore?

    There are still some awesome interior decorating shows . . . one of my favorites is Divine Design with Candice Olson . . . her decorating taste is bright and bold and I have drawn much inspiration from watching her shows.

    Can I borrow Chico?

    Now that I have started taking action in conquering the clutter, I've started doing research on decorating and getting ideas on how I'd like to proceed. I ran across the following article from HGTV.

    I'm not trying to claim this as my own article, however, I am tired of going back and having to delete old posts since I only posted links to the articles back then, rendering the post useless when the source blog decided to delete the page or move it somewhere else . . .

    Source page: http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/design-tips-from-candice-olson/index.html

    The Divine Design host shares her insider tips and tricks for renovating and decorating your home.

    Before you hire a designer, find out what you like.
    It's not uncommon for folks to be unable to articulate what their style is, says Candice Olson. Create a scrapbook or binder full of magazine clippings, fabrics and photos of design that catches your eye. A homeowner who has done their homework really helps a designer, says Olson: "When I look through 20 different pages that a homeowner has collected, it gives an outsider a good idea of what the person likes."

    Create a sample board.
    After Olson meets with her clients, she pulls together a sample board — a collection of fabric scraps, paint chips, finish samples, flooring bits, photos of furnishings that tells the room's design story. Make your own when you're dreaming up a room makeover. It'll help you match up fabrics and wallpapers before they get installed. Plus, it helps you stick to your vision once you've started.

    Be open to a room swap.
    Swapping rooms or areas in a room is a trick that Olson uses frequently on Divine Design. A dining room and living room will trade places or a kitchen floor plan gets reversed. Of course, unless you're gutting your entire home you can't swap the kitchen with a bedroom, Olson says, but by taking a fresh look at how a space works, you may find a better way to use your square footage.

    Look in commercial buildings for inspiration.
    When shopping for kitchen flooring you may find products that are stylish and extra-durable. Want to make your kitchen look bigger? "Laying the kitchen floor pattern on a diagonal lets you visually expand the space — good to know if you have a tight squeeze," Olson says.

    Contributions by Anne Krueger.

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Homemade Hair Conditioner - spray on, leave on

    For as long as I can remember, I have used Infusium leave on conditioner. It has worked wonders for me through perms, hair coloring, teasing and using wacky hair products & styling techniques that wreaked havoc on my hair. Conditioner is so important for long hair and I have had long hair forever.

    Since I've had to start watching my budget and cutting corners everywhere I can, it was time to start using some of those beauty recipes I've gathered through the years. Why pay more money for something that costs way less that will give you the same results?

    The following recipe for homemade hair conditioner that is very similar to Infusium is working just as well for me . . . and at the moment, my hair is way past my shoulders and half way down my back.

    The recipe is simple . . . 2 parts water to one part conditioner in a spray bottle . . . I went to the beauty supply house and bought a huge bottle of cheap generic conditioner. Use whatever conditioner you like.

    For a quick touch up, all I do is lightly spray my hair and my natural waves and curls magically appear, no frizz even in Florida humidity. It dries very quickly, even in my thick hair, but I don't saturate it for a touch up.

    When I'm gonna be in the sun, I keep my hair saturated with this stuff.

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Brown Sugar Body Scrub

    1 cup brown sugar

    1/4 cup honey

    1/4 cup almond oil

    2-tsp. Fresh (1-tsp. Dried) flower petals, such as rose, calendula or Lavender; or a few drops of your favorite essential oil

    1-shower safe, nonmetal container

    Combine ingredients in a shower-safe, non metal container.

    In the
    shower, rub the mixture onto damp skin.


    CAREFUL . . . the oil in this
    treatment can make the shower floor slippery.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    Celebrities without makeup

    We all know the pros and cons of makeup . . . the biggest pro is that it makes us look more attractive and covers a multitude of imperfections.

    I don't know about you, but it shocks me when I see "the beautiful people" without makeup on . . . it is the illusion that these people are perfection that we strive for when most of them look like ordinary people when they have no makeup on.

    Click here for an article with lots of photos on this subject.

    Monday, June 9, 2008

    What to do about puffy eyes

    Reduce swelling directly. Eye puffiness is a type of fluid build-up (edema) in the tissues around your eyes. The steps taken to reduce puffiness are similar to those taken to reduce any kind of swelling. The following are "quick fixes" to temporarily encourage fluid to drain away from under your eyes.

    1. Place cold cucumber slices on your eyes. It is the cold temperature that is helping rather than the product itself. The aroma, however, can be soothing and relaxing. Slice them into 1/8" discs and let them float in cool tap water for a few minutes. Shake them off well before applying to your eyes.

    2. Use cold, refrigerated used tea bags. Like the cucumber slices, the coolness reduces circulation, but the tea actually has a slightly astringent (tissue-shrinking) effect as well.

    3. For a less messy alternative, try putting 2 metal tablespoons in the fridge and use them daily by placing the backs against your eyes.

    4. Rinse your face in cool water and pat dry.

    5. Hemorrhoid cream, which is meant to reduce swelling, may work well. Be careful not to get it in your eyes. (This only works if you live in Canada. Hemorrhoid creams in the U.S. are no longer made with the active ingredient that reduces swelling.)

    Sleep Better . . . Get enough sleep. If you have puffy eyes all day, it could be that you're not getting enough sleep, or the quality of the sleep you are getting is poor. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of sleep deprivation.

    Elevate your head when you sleep. It's not unusual to have puffy eyes upon waking. A possible explanation for this may be that when you are laying down for several hours in a horizontal position and then stand up, the fluid that was resting under your eyes is suddenly being pulled down by gravity. This swelling, however, should subside shortly. To reduce it, you can try elevating your head while sleeping so that the fluid is not as drastically drawn down when you get up.

    Cure puffy eyes from the inside out. Puffiness is a manifestation of excess fluid retention. By addressing your body's tendency to retain fluid, you may be able to indirectly reduce swelling around your eyes.

    Reduce your salt intake. A high intake of sodium may be causing you to retain more fluid, in which case reducing the salt in your diet may produce good results (not only for your eyes, but also for your health in general).

    Snack on bananas and raisins, both of which alleviate fluid retention. Consume cabbage or cranberry juice. Both are diuretics, which will help you eliminate some excess fluid.

    Don't turn to caffeine as your diuretic of choice, as it can interfere with sleep and bring back the puffiness.

    Exercise to improve circulation, which will help your body move fluid through your body, rather than letting it accumulate.

    Determine if you have any of the conditions associated with puffy eyes. Sometimes the swelling is a side effect of another condition, which is temporary, or must be treated individually.

    Accept yourself. If you've checked with your doctor, then your puffy eyes are probably only a cosmetic issue. It happens with age, and sometimes it just happens. Learn to draw attention to other features that haven't aged, such as the color of your eyes, the curl in your hair, or your attitude towards life.

    Thursday, June 5, 2008

    Return to work can reduce depression

    By: Rick Nauert, Ph.D.,Senior News Editor
    Reviewed by: John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

    Thursday, June 5, 2008 (Psych Central.com) -- Although it is well documented that the modern workplace can be a source for depression and stress, on many occasions a return to work can actually help aid recovery and help depressed individuals.

    However, experts warn that employers need to be sensitive and consider a range of interventions including changing an employees tasks and reducing hours to help people when they return to work.

    A new UK study addresses the issue with the article published in the journal Occupational Medicine.

    The study followed more than 500 people who were unable to work with depression from a variety of industries over the course of a year. A return to employment significantly promoted recovery.

    Importantly, it was the approach and flexibility of their employers that proved vital.

    The study echoes the findings of Dame Carol Black’s Review ‘Working for a healthier tomorrow’ which recognized that for most people work is good both for their long-term health and for their family’s well-being. The review found that ill health was costing the country $100 billion a year - $40 billion of which was related to mental health.

    “Better access to occupational health services and psychological support are essential if employees with depression and anxiety are to get back to work quickly” said Dr Gordon Parker, President of the Society of Occupational Medicine.

    “‘Employers are often frightened of contacting an employee whose sick note says ‘depression’ for fear of being accused of harassment, but sympathetic contact with the employee and early help through occupational health can identify the most appropriate support.

    Occupational health services are ideally placed to advise managers and employees on the best return to work plan and should be involved early in the management of the employee’s absence”.

    In any one year about 1 in every 4 employees in the UK will have a mental health problem, and depression is one of the most common. It is not just distressing for the person involved. It makes them less productive at work and is responsible for high rates of sick-leave, accidents and staff turnover.

    Work often plays one of the largest roles in shaping people’s identity and if employees are absent for some time due to anxiety or depression, this can add to feelings of a lack of self-worth.

    This study shows that going back to work is often one of the most important factors in speeding up a return to full health. It provides an opportunity to regain a sense of self-esteem and puts routine and stability back into people’s lives.

    A good occupational health team can help senior management develop programs to educate line managers and the workforce about depression so that the problem is recognized, appropriate early intervention given and employees are helped to return to work.

    Occupational Health staff will know about the particular stresses and strains of the work environment and have experience of sensitive issues such as workplace confidentiality, job security and the timing of the return to part-time or full-time working. They are also well placed to work closely with family doctors or other specialist health services.

    Depression and anxiety are now the most common reasons for people starting to claim long term sickness benefits. By investing in occupational health services, senior management teams can play a key role in helping individuals return to work. This will improve the overall performance of the organization and of individual employees and reduce the costs of sickness absence.

    Source: Society of Occupational Medicine

    Wednesday, June 4, 2008

    Quick Energy Boosters

    It’s hard to feel happy when your energy level is low. The simplest tasks feel overwhelming, people seem demanding, and even activities that you’d ordinarily enjoy seem like too much trouble. On the other hand, when you have plenty of energy, life seems more fun — you’re also more likely to feel good about yourself. Not only that, being viewed as an “energizer” makes you far more likely to win a positive work evaluation.

    When you’re feeling low-energy, plunking down in front of the TV or digging into a tub of ice cream can seem like an appealing fix. However, research shows (and you know it’s true) that these aren’t good routes to feeling better. Try some of the fast-fix choices below. If you can’t tackle a big task, do something small. Even a little step in the right direction will give you a lift.

    1. Get enough sleep. If you never wake up before the alarm blasts, you need to go to bed earlier. People become accustomed to the feeling of being sleep deprived, but they don’t really adapt to it. Make getting enough sleep a top priority.

    2. Go for a brisk walk. One study found that even a 10-minute walk was enough to supply a feeling of energy and decreased tension.

    3. Listen to your favorite upbeat song. Hearing stimulating music gives an instant lift. Along the same lines…

    4. Sing out loud. It’s hard to feel grouchy when you’re singing — and the goofier the song, the better.

    5. Take a short nap, if you’re the napping type. Many people find them very energizing. My father has been known to take three naps in one day.

    6. Act energetic. Research shows that when people move faster, their metabolism speeds up. Acting energetic will make you feel more energetic.

    7. Along the same lines, spend time with energetic people. People catch the moods of other people, and energy (or lack of energy) is highly contagious.

    8. Talk to friends. I’ve noticed that if I’m feeling low, and I run into a friend on the street, I walk away feeling much more energetic. Reach out if you need a boost.

    9. Cross a nagging chore off your to-do list to get a big rush of energy. Unfinished tasks drag us down, so force yourself to tackle one thing that’s nagging you to get a huge rush of energy.

    10. Make your bed. It doesn’t take much time or thought, and it provides a feeling of serenity and control when you come home at night.

    11. Make something right. Apologize, confess, repair, replace, or return something you borrowed.

    12. Go outside into the sunlight. Light deprivation is one reason why people feel tired. Research suggests that light stimulates brain chemicals that improve mood.

    13. Clean up. I’m not sure why tidying makes such a huge difference, but when I feel like I can’t face the day, I just tidy up my desk, and I perk right up.

    14. Drink some coffee! Coffee gets a bad rap, but the fact is, it really does boost alertness, energy, and ability to focus. (Plus, it’s a great source of antioxidants and it contains a high level of soluble dietary fiber.)

    Written by Gretchen Rubin
    May 2008

    Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project (Harper Collins) is due out in 2009.

    One thing I would add to the list . . .

    Sunday, May 25, 2008

    Burning Incense May Moderate Depression

    As a retailer, one of my favorite items to sell was incense . . . yet another excuse to burn my beloved mulberry scented incense. Since my "back in the day" hippie days, incense and candles have been a part of my life. There is something soothing about the atmosphere it creates for me. Little did I know that my very inexpensive indulgence is also therapeutic.

    Here is an article that links burning incense to aiding in moderating depression . . . very interesting theory!

    By: Rick Nauert, Ph.D.
    Senior News Editor

    Reviewed by: John M. Grohol, Psy.D.
    on May 21, 2008

    Wednesday, May 21 (Psych Central)

    Burning incense is a practice that has been a part of religious ceremonies for many millennia.

    In a new study an international team of scientists have discovered how burning frankincense (resin from the Boswellia plant) activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain that alleviate anxiety or depression.

    The finding suggests that an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.

    “In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study’s co-authors.

    The study appears online in The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) Journal (http://www.fasebj.org).

    “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”

    To determine incense’s psychoactive effects, the researchers administered incensole acetate to mice. They found that the compound significantly affected areas in brain areas known to be involved in emotions as well as in nerve circuits that are affected by current anxiety and depression drugs.

    Specifically, incensole acetate activated a protein called TRPV3, which is present in mammalian brains and also known to play a role in the perception of warmth of the skin. When mice bred without this protein were exposed to incensole acetate, the compound had no effect on their brains.

    “Perhaps Marx wasn’t too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony.” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal.

    “Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion—burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!”

    According to the National Institutes of Health, major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people ages 15–44, affecting approximately 14.8 million American adults. A less severe form of depression, dysthymic disorder, affects approximately 3.3 million American adults. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million American adults, and frequently co-occur with depressive disorders.

    Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

    Wednesday, May 7, 2008

    Blogging for Therapy

    The following is a reprint of an article I found interesting on CNN's website. It confirms what I learned from a therapist years ago . . . the best therapy ever is writing about what is bothering you . . . public blogging is a step beyond. I'm wondering if psychotherapists have experienced a drop in number of patients. It works for me!

    Here is the article:

    (LifeWire) -- When a 24-year-old woman who called herself "90DayJane" launched a blog in February announcing she would write about her life and feelings for three months and then commit suicide, 150,000 readers flocked to the site. Some came to offer help, some to delight in the drama. Others speculated it was all a hoax.

    Few, however, questioned why she would share her deepest thoughts and feelings with strangers online. In the age of cyber-voyeurism, the better question might be: Why wouldn't she?

    Overeating, alcoholism, depression -- name the problem and you'll find someone's personal blog on the subject. Roughly 12 million Americans have blogs, according to polls by the Pew Internet and American Life Project in 2006, and many seem to use them as a form of group therapy.

    A 2005 survey by Digital Marketing Services for AOL.com a found nearly half of the 600 people polled derived therapeutic benefits from personal blogging. 'Instant support system'

    For Stacey Kim, a 36-year-old book editor who lives in the Boston suburb of Arlington, Massachusetts, emotional blogging has become a reflex. On April 11, 2007, Kim curled up next to her husband and held him as he succumbed to a long battle with pancreatic cancer. The next morning, she went online to post about the experience.

    "It cemented the reality that he was gone," Kim says. "I got hundreds of comments back that were all so loving and supportive. It gave me a really tangible sense of community."

    She blogs about life as the widowed mother of 22-month-old twins at snickollet.blogspot.com.

    "Right after he died, people kept asking if I was in therapy," says Kim, "and I'd say, 'No, but I have a blog.'"

    Writing long has been considered a therapeutic outlet for people facing problems. A 2003 British Psychological Society study of 36 people suggested that writing about emotions could even speed the healing of physical wounds: Researchers found that small wounds healed more quickly in those who wrote about traumatic personal events than in those who wrote about mundane activities.

    But it's the public nature of blogs that creates the sense of support.

    Reading someone else's blog can be surprisingly beneficial, says MightyGirl.net blogger Margaret Mason, 32. She reads about other women's experiences with everything from in-laws to apartment-hunting at blogs like SuburbanBliss.net and SuperHeroDesigns.com.

    "Blogging can create an instant support system, especially at a time when you might not have the energy or resources to seek out people who've shared your experiences," says Mason, author of "No One Cares What You Had For Lunch," a book on keeping a blog interesting.

    A way to be heard

    John Suler, a psychology professor at Rider University in New Jersey, has studied the overlap of psychology and cyberspace. Blog audiences are usually small, he says, but "going public with one's thoughts and experiences can be a self-affirming process."

    He and other experts say blogging shouldn't replace face-to-face counseling -- although it can complement sessions when a patient shares their writing with the therapist.

    "Some psychologists take special interest in any activities that their clients may undertake online," Suler says, "because such activities often reveal a lot about how they express their identity and relate to other people."

    Kim did start psychotherapy, but kept blogging. "My therapist will give me little assignments and I'll blog about them," she says. "If I come home (after a session) and write about it, it solidifies it."

    One Chicago licensed social worker and therapist in her 50s encourages patients to release bottled emotions through blogging. Leah, who asked that her last name not be used because of the nature of her profession, started EveryoneNeedsTherapy.blogspot.com to share professional insights.

    Soon, however, she was talking about her own feelings -- and her husband told her it seemed to lift her mood.

    "It's a form of group therapy," says Leah. "Not only can you express your feelings, but you can get comments, and that creates a dialogue."

    Blogging about personal matters seems to be more of a feminine pursuit. In the 2004 study "Effects of Age and Gender on Blogging," researchers examined more than 37,000 blogs on blogger.com. Their conclusion: Male bloggers tend to write about politics, technology and money; women are more likely to blog about their private lives and use an intimate style of writing.

    This doesn't surprise Patricia Wallace, author of "The Psychology of the Internet."

    "Women tend to self-disclose more online in general," says the senior director at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. "Women far outnumber men in certain blogging worlds in which feelings are shared, such as cancer blogs."

    Permanent marks

    The only problem, some bloggers find, is that many posts become passé -- yet they're on the Web forever.

    "The Internet takes momentary thoughts and freezes them in amber as if they're permanent," says Scheherazade Mason, a career counselor and sailing coach at Bowdoin College in Maine. She stopped posting her deepest thoughts, but calls the experience positive.

    "Through my first blog, I learned to be braver," Mason says. "I learned that my weakness was also likable. In real life, you try to show only strength and to hide your weaknesses, but I exposed everything."

    90DayJane also said she learned important things. After seven days, she announced the blog was an art project and she wasn't planning to kill herself.

    "I wanted this blog to be about personal discovery and truth," she wrote in her final post. "But the correspondences I have received have taught me more about those qualities than I could ever express. 90DayJane ... has changed my perspective as a human being."

    Saturday, May 3, 2008

    Obsessive-Compulsive? This one is for you :)

    I'm not ashamed to admit that I am an obsessive-compulsive personality. The problem with my perfectionism is that as it relates to my home, it bogs me down which turns into overwhelm . . . ending up with nothing getting done. It is a chore in itself to motivate myself. I'm gonna study this article from Psychology Today and hope it is the thing that finally gets me past the initial problem . . .

    Field Guide to the Obsessive-Compulsive:
    Famously Fussy

    I-dotters and T-crossers, rejoice: The need to get every detail right can bring great success (as long as you don't get too bogged down).

    By: Joshua Kendall

    Jeff Lewis, a real-estate investor who buys and sells residential property in swanky Los Angeles neighborhoods, is preoccupied with order, symmetry, perfection, cleanliness, rules, and lists. If his refrigerator isn't stocked with bottles of Evian water, all with labels facing outwards, "there is hell to pay." But rather than tormenting the 37-year-old Lewis—star of the Bravo reality show Flipping Out—these obsessions have turned him into a multimillionaire. In Lewis's line of work, attention to detail is essential. Before putting a home back on the market, he must supervise months of painstaking renovations, typically at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars. "OK, I have a mental affliction," he says. "But it's an asset. My perfectionism sets my product apart."

    Lewis has all the hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), the most common personality disorder, affecting nearly 17 million Americans. Because all personality disorders lie on a spectrum from faint to acute, many millions more have a touch of OCPD: not enough of the symptoms to meet the diagnostic criteria, but enough to be considered especially persnickety.

    Like Lewis, these people are often high achievers because of their so-called pathology—not in spite of it. "For accountants, lawyers, and engineers, it's a good fit," says psychologist Steven Phillipson, clinical director of Manhattan's Center for Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. As Glen Gabbard, psychoanalyst and professor of psychiatry at Baylor University, puts it, "The perfectionism, the thoroughness, the politeness, and the conscientiousness of the person with OCPD are adaptive. No one can get through medical school without OCPD traits!"

    In fact for some professions, only those with OCPD need apply: Obsessions and compulsions drove the English language's three most famous lexicographers—Samuel Johnson, Noah Webster, and Peter Roget. Roget, a British doctor who completed his legendary Thesaurus at the age of 73, began compiling copious word lists when he was just 8. Much later, he organized his whole life into a list, dubbing his autobiography List of Principal Events.

    The Picture of Pickiness

    Lewis has been this way as long as he can remember. In elementary school, he refused to step on the lines on the sidewalk. "If my parents didn't give me separate plates for my chicken, mashed potatoes, and spinach, I would get visibly anxious and wouldn't eat anything," he says. Signs of OCPD often appear in childhood; the cause of the disorder is not known but is thought to develop out of a mix of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.

    Each morning, he issues a to-do list to each of his half-dozen employees. "I don't want anyone to forget anything," he says. Much of the dramatic tension in Flipping Out stems from struggles with his various personal assistants, who keep the business running. Firings (and rehirings) are routine.

    Though OCPD has helped Lewis sell nearly 50 homes over the last 10 years, it has exacted a toll on his personal life.

    "I realize that I can be hard to be around," he says. "Everyone doesn't think the way I do." Having recently ended a five-year relationship with a partner, Lewis, who is gay, is now motivated to change and has vowed to become less demanding. "In the future, I won't nag my partner to put the shampoo and the conditioner on the proper shelves in the shower. I'll do it myself."

    It's estimated that less than 1 percent of those who fit the criteria for OCPD seek mental health treatment to cope with the less appealing parts of their personality. "People with this disorder often deny that they have a problem," says Frederic Busch, a psychoanalyst and professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.
    From Debilitated to Dynamite

    OCPD is frequently confused with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a less common but more disabling condition, with a stronger biological component. "With OCD, people become bombarded by very bothersome and intrusive thoughts. Rather than providing them with pleasure or satisfaction, the obsessions impair their functioning," says Jeffrey Schwartz, a psychiatrist at UCLA and author of Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior.

    In contrast to those with OCPD, people with OCD tend to be acutely aware that something is wrong. For years, Jeff Bell, now the afternoon news anchor on KCBS Radio in San Francisco, was plagued by a host of irrational fears. When driving his car or boat, he would constantly worry that he had inadvertently hurt someone. The countless hours he wasted ruminating about these alleged accidents nearly cost him his job.

    The author of a recent memoir, Rewind, Repeat, Replay, Bell eventually found a therapist who provided exposure and response prevention (ERP)—a specialized form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that helps people gradually face their overwhelming anxiety. At the beginning of treatment, patients learn that though they are not crazy, their catastrophic worries aren't rooted in reality. Over time, they develop the courage to sit with their worst fears. Bell recalls feeling the urge to spend hours scrubbing his hands in the bathroom before a scheduled speech. He was convinced that if he went on stage, he would inflict a mysterious disease on his audience. "I was scared, but I chose not to give in to my concern about 'reverse contamination,'" Bell says. Research by scientists such as Schwartz shows that such changes in thinking and behavior can actually correct the person's faulty biochemistry. Even patients with severe OCD can often make significant progress after about 15 sessions of therapy.

    Bell has been a lifelong perfectionist, but when his OCD flared up he couldn't perform his duties as a field reporter. "I would get so bogged down in minor details that a 60-second spot would take forever. Often it never got on the air," he says. While his endless ruminations are no longer a problem, his thoroughness remains. "My compulsion to do everything right has solidified my reputation as someone who delivers scrupulously fact-checked stories." —Joshua Kendall

    How to Obsess Less

    Those on the OCPD spectrum can learn to relax a little with these techniques from Steven Phillipson, founder of OCDOnline.com.

    • Listen to Yourself. Your dedication to detail probably reflects an underlying philosophy, such as, "I need everything to be perfect so no one notices I'm an imposter," or, "The whole business will collapse if I don't have complete control." Start keeping a log to record your thoughts as you engage in the tasks that bog you down.
    • Say Something New. Now that you're attuned to your faulty beliefs, answer them with counterarguments such as,"All humans are imperfect," or, "Nothing terrible will happen if I delegate some work."
    • Be Pragmatic. Focus on greater goals, not the nitty-gritty. Students who scrutinize every sentence of their papers should commit to finishing the whole assignment in a few hours; people who relentlessly hone in on their partner's weak spots should step back and remember the value of preserving a good relationship.

    Psychology Today Magazine, Mar/Apr 2008
    Last Reviewed 23 Apr 2008
    Article ID: 4548

    Sunday, April 27, 2008

    Marriage: The license to annoy?

    "I love being married. It's so great to
    find one special person
    you want
    to annoy for the rest of your life."

    Rita Rudner

    It happens when you marry the wrong person. We are impatient as a society and finding a significant other by a specified age sometimes leads to settling for your "not so perfect for you" partner . . . which leads to annoyance.

    There is a saying that I use often and truly believe in ~

    "Don't wait for the one you can live with,
    wait for the one you can't live without"

    You tolerate the one you can live with, which can lead to annoyance and resentment if you happen to make it through many years. The one you can't live without is a magical thing, like in a fairy tale of happily ever after . . . true love and adoration.

    How many of us find that in our lifetime?

    How many of us would remain single if we adopted that philosophy?

    How many of us settled and are annoyed with ourselves for settling?

    Saturday, April 19, 2008

    Weight Loss and Faulty Thinking

    Seems like everyone is on a diet or watching their weight. This article reminds me of approaching a "diet" as I approached quitting cigarettes . . . using lots of psychology.

    In the past I would provide links to articles, but since having to continuously go back to fix links and risk losing the entire article as I have in the past, I have adopted the practice of cut and pasting articles. It is not my intent to claim these are articles personally written by me, I merely want to share articles that have been of interest to me.

    Here is the article from one of my favorite websites and magazines . . . Psychology Today:

    In the battle of the bulge, false beliefs and negative self-talk may be far greater enemies than food or sloth. PT shows you how to fight faulty thinking.

    Americans are highly motivated to lose weight—as a growing list of best-selling books and highly trafficked dieting Web sites attest. We're just not approaching it the right way. The pressure we put on ourselves to succeed—and the self-criticism we indulge in when we fall short of the mark—can have dire emotional and dietary repercussions.

    Consider that pair of jeans hanging reproachfully in the closet. You realize they don't fit, and you feel unattractive and worthless. This tendency to evaluate yourself too harshly will only make you give up altogether. You want to head to the fridge for solace.

    You need to identify the things you're telling yourself that cause you to feel discouraged and to throw in the towel. Don't beat yourself up when you overeat. Accept that you acted in a self-defeating way, then establish better methods to meet your goal. Review what you'd like to do and work toward that goal.

    Perhaps you're not (yet) berating yourself for failures, but putting inordinate pressure on yourself to succeed. When you tell yourself, "I must lose 25 pounds by Valentine's Day, or I'll never get a date," you're setting yourself up for emotional turmoil, as well as weight-loss failure. Losing weight in a prescribed amount of time is a worthy goal, but the perfectionist premise that sneaks into your thinking may well interfere with sensible eating and exercise.

    In a perfect universe, the sight of those jeans, or the knowledge that Valentine's Day is around the corner, would elicit rational thoughts like, "I'm going to look great soon, and I'm going to enjoy the challenge of eating sensibly and exercising along the way." But few of us think that.

    PT spoke with Nando Pelusi and Mitchell Robin, clinical psychologists in New York City, about what we really tell ourselves, sabotaging our own best efforts to lose weight—or meet any goal.

    • "I must be thin."

      This creates desperation, which undermines a healthy long-range approach to sensible eating. Also, perfectionism pervades this thinking (I must not only be thin, but also perfect).

    • "I must eat until sated."

      Early humans lived in an environment in which food resources were scarce. While our ancestors had to hunt down squirrels and eat them, we can supersize a Whopper meal and skip the workout.

    • "I need immediate results."

      The demand for immediate improvement undermines commitment to a long-term goal. Quick fixes are hard to pass up: "This cupcake will make me feel good right now." We think, why bother eating healthfully, when the reward is far off? Dieting requires present-moment frustration and self-denial with little immediate reward.

    • "I need comfort."

      People eat to avoid feelings of loneliness, depression and anxiety. Fatty and sugary food provides immediate comfort and distraction from other issues. Resolving some of these problems may help you overcome poor eating habits.

    • "I feel awful."

      "It's terrible being heavy." For some, being overweight is the worst thing imaginable; it can immobilize you and leave you dumbstruck. That's a reaction more suited to tragedy. Weight loss is best achieved without that end-of-the-world outlook.

    • "It's intolerable to stick to a diet."

      "It's just too hard to diet." This thinking renders you helpless. People who are easily frustrated want easy solutions. We're seduced by fad diets because they appeal to that immediacy. Yet people who rely on fads suffer high failure rates. When you diet with the short term in mind, you don't learn strategies that require patience and persistence.

    • "I am no good."

      "Because I am having trouble in this one area I am worthless." Being overweight can be viewed as a sign of weakness or worthlessness, and most people aren't motivated when they feel that way. Another form of worthlessness: "My worth is dependent on my looks." This idea confuses beauty with thinness, a concept played out endlessly in the media.

    Get Moving

    Now that you've thrown out your irrational thinking, a little motivation is key to change. But how do you make that leap? Psychologist and marathon runner Michael Gilewski has found that the brain can achieve a state of habitual behavior through small successes—turning a once extraordinary effort into mere routine.

    "Even when someone climbs Mount Everest, it's usually not his first time climbing," he points out. Perhaps motivation may simply be the product of positive reinforcement and repeated success.

    Experts on Motivation

    PT asked five expert motivators—including an active-duty drill sergeant and a rock-climbing instructor—how they rally everyone from first-time dieters to hard-core soldiers.

    Inspiration From Within

    Deborah Low is a certified weight management and lifestyle consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia.

    "We have an all-or-nothing attitude: If we don't do our full hour at the gym, we may as well sit around and eat junk food. If you feel guilty and punish yourself, you may eat 10 cookies instead of 2. If you criticize yourself, you'll never change.

    "Motivation is something we get from other people; but inspiration swells within us. Thinking 'I'll lose weight and then I'll be happy' is not enough. If we respect and love ourselves, independent of our weight, it's easier to make healthy choices.

    "We struggle because we're fixated on the end result. We force ourselves to go to the gym, restrict food, measure and weigh ourselves. You let that number on the scale determine how your day's going to go. I ask clients to remember what it was like to play as a kid. You ran around, climbed on things—your goal was not to lose weight, it was to have fun. Being active gave you a sense of freedom, excitement and amazement. You have to reconnect with that emotion."

    Being a Team Player

    Chris Broadway instructs an Outward Bound outdoor classroom on Hurricane Island, off the coast of Maine.

    "I set the tone of team spirit in the beginning; I teach one person a skill, and his or her responsibility is to teach everyone else. We let the students make their own mistakes. We expect students to have problems, as the activities we construct are a challenge. Discouragement can occur, but we celebrate accomplishments. Students set their own level of achievement. Some have a focus on the end result, but not everyone is results-oriented. Some want to measure success by relationships they form, by the process itself.

    "Another motivating factor is how their experience here connects to their lives. We create situations where there are actual risks and perceived risks, as in sailing. We let the group navigate ahead of a storm, deciding when to pull back and when to move forward. We show them how to apply these situations to their own businesses or personal lives—calculate the risk, know when to take it or when to step back.

    "It's so much more powerful when another student steps up to deliver the message of leadership. As instructors, we're always building their tool kit so they have the means to do that. With a group of 12, it's difficult to hide in the background. Even if someone's in a slump, he or she absolutely needs to fill a role."

    John Joline is a climbing instructor at Dartmouth College.

    "Certain kinds of teaching are done from below—telling people what to do but being removed from the activity. I try to teach from above—I climb with my students, participating fully in the activity. I make my enthusiasm infectious.

    "Even a climb well within your physical limits—if you strive to climb it beautifully—can be challenging and rewarding. Our culture puts emphasis on goals, on absolutes. We're taught to believe competition should be ferocious. But if we lose that sense of fun, of delight, all the haranguing in the world from an instructor won't give a student lasting motivation. The bottom line is to savor the movement, the physical sensation of moving up the rock and over the stone. That itself becomes a reward compelling enough to keep one involved.

    "For someone in his or her mid-30s or older, climbing is still seen as a potentially dangerous sport, daring and terrifying. It's a mental construct that can be inhibiting. Plus, for white-collar workers, running hands and fingers over rough rock could be shocking to the system."

    Coming Home Alive

    Billie Jo Miranda is a U.S. Army drill sergeant in Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

    "The goal is being prepared for war and coming home alive. The [desire to] drop out occurs in the first few weeks. Once they learn they have a comfort zone, get along and trust people, we're pretty much over the hump. We motivate through example; we do it next to, in front of and behind them. We tailor training around the weakest soldier. It may not be beneficial for the soldier who was a college athlete, but everybody is part of a team, they push each other.

    "There will be those who do the minimum. Today's youth are Nintendo children. Training requires them to get out of bed and walk an extra mile. The more rigor you put into training, the more a soldier knows what he can accomplish in combat. They shouldn't enjoy training. It should hurt physically and mentally. And they hate it. But we want them to enjoy the accomplishment.

    "If you have heart, you have the motivation and the desire to get through anything. It's a patriotic thought process: What we're doing is for the betterment of America. When they say, 'I don't want to do this anymore,' just give me 10 minutes with a soldier and she'll do a 180. We use their being volunteers as a motivational tool: 'Soldier, I didn't ask you to come here. You obviously joined the military for a reason, you wanted to do something for your country.'"

    Think Like a Thermostat

    Peter Catina is a professor of exercise physiology at Pennsylvania State University.

    "Most elite athletes are already at the top of their sport, and to reach the next level is a challenge. But it's difficult to sustain your level when you're at your pinnacle—novice or expert. Everyone must have both physical and mental discipline.

    "Self-regulation is key; you can make it simple by being your own monitor. You have to think like a thermostat—be able to detect a discrepancy between the environment and your internal standard. It's the difference between your current state and where your mind and body would like to be. You can then adjust—raise your standards to meet your expectations—through strategy and action. Some of us are born with high self-regulatory skills, but I can identify clients who lack the know—how and I teach them. Awareness is the first step: noting how many calories you've consumed, how effective your exercise is, how frequently and intensely you've exercised.

    "Aerobics is no longer the panacea for losing weight. It's the change in body composition that makes you look better, and for that, strength training is more effective. Don't constantly weigh yourself, since muscle weighs more than fat. Instead, measure your body mass index—or even your waist—and only once every four to six weeks. I've had many female clients gain five pounds but go down three dress sizes."

    Psychology Today Magazine, Jan/Feb 2004
    Last Reviewed 14 Apr 2008
    Article ID: 3212

    Tuesday, April 15, 2008

    Drug store makeup - Cover Girl

    I'm always checking out women's websites for new makeup products and techniques. Today I was pleasantly surprised as I found an awesome website from Cover Girl, the first makeup line that was "cool" back in the day when I was in junior high school . . . and have not used since.

    It was awesome to see that Drew Barrymore, still so gorgeous and is not a teenager anymore, is one of their cover girls.

    Their website has prompted me to check out their makeup the next time I go to the drug store . . . especially the fruity flavored lip gloss. Now I'm wondering how the prices compare to the generic drug store lip gloss that I have learned to love so much . . . we'll see!!

    Check out Cover Girl's website, awesome "how to" pages . . .

    Monday, April 14, 2008

    Do It Yourself Spa Treatments

    These DIY spa treatments come from Rachael Ray . . . one of my favorite websites to browse at least once a week.


    Quick Chamomile Facial from Aneta Krochmal, manager of Seattle's Spaahh (hotel1000seattle.com). Growing up in Poland, Aneta used this treatment to soothe irritated skin and reduce redness.

    What you need: 2 bags of chamomile tea and a cotton ball

    Instructions: Place the tea bags in a cup and add boiling water. Allow to cool until just warm. Soak the cotton ball in the tea and blot all over your face until skin is cool and damp. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse.

    My variation . . . used tea bags go into the freezer to reduce eye puffiness when needed. Works wonders for tired eyes too.


    Oatmeal Body Scrub from Sarah Moore, manager of Bella Naturale in Southport, Indiana (bellanaturale.com). Moore recommends this exfoliating treatment to her clients with sensitive skin.

    What you need: 2 tablespoons each of oats, cornmeal, evaporated milk and honey

    Instructions: Grind the oats in a coffee grinder, transfer to a bowl and add the cornmeal, evaporated milk and honey. Apply the mixture all over, scrubbing gently in rough spots. Use once a week.


    Soothing Neck Pillow from Dee Dee Marks, owner of Connecticut's Pomfret Center Spa (pomfretcenterspa.com). Marks takes her pillow along on chilly morning car rides.

    What you need: one clean tube sock, 6 cups of white rice and a handful of cloves (optional)

    Instructions: Combine the rice and cloves (if using); fill the sock with the mixture. Tie a knot on the sock's open end. Heat on high in the microwave for 2-4 minutes, pausing every 30 seconds to shake the sock and check the temperature. Once the pillow is warm—but not too hot—drape it over the back of your neck.

    I have a variation of this neck pillow . . . it is a salt bag made with a cotton fabric bag filled with salt . . . heat in the microwave. Make it in the size you desire . . . mine is 6" long and 4" wide. It is the perfect size to drape over the sinus area to quickly get rid of a sinus or tension headache.

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