Friday, October 14, 2011

I've Been Away For Too Long!

Hello everyone.

I know I haven't been updating my blog in quite a while. I can't believe it's been this long since my last post. I've had so much to say, but not nearly enough time to share everything with you all. Needless to say...things have been pretty crazy around here lately!

There are many things I plan on sharing with you in the days and weeks to come. One of those things include my trip to the Wisconsin State Fair (which was all the way back in August!).

I Hope everyone had a fabulous summer.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash -Review

This post is my review on the Johnson and Johnson's "Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash".

If you've been following my blog (or Youtube channel), then you know that I have very sensitive skin and there are not many things that I can use that don't completely irritate it!

I have used many cleansers before this (some very pricey) and I was never satisfied. I actually even stopped using this cleanser for a while because I thought I had found something better. I came across the Olay cleanser for sensitive skin and thought that it was perfect. But I noticed after a few uses that it started to break me out! Therefore, I came right back to the Purpose!

This is the best cleanser I have used so far. It's not as moisturizing as a couple of others I've used, but it certainly is ONE of the most moisturizing. It does not make my skin feel tight and dry like many of the others I have come across. Also, it's a lot more gentle than the others I've used.

In addition, this cleanser removes make-up very well. It even removes waterproof mascara! It is very gentle, therefore I have no problem using it on my eyes...even while wearing my contact lenses. It also lathers very well, making it excellent for using with an exfoliating sponge.

If I had to compare this to any other cleanser, I would say it is similar to "Purity Made Simple" by Philosophy. However, I feel the Purpose cleanser is better because unlike Purity, the Purpose cleanser has absolutely no fragrance. Not to mention the Purpose cleanser is way cheaper than Purity!

Let me know if you've used this before and what you think. Also, feel free to share some others you may have used that work well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sensitive Skin Savers

I have struggled over the years trying to find the perfect soap. I have tried almost every bar soap, liquid soap and shower gel under the sun and most of them were all the same. They would cause me to have dry, irritated skin.

I have very sensitive skin and I suffered from eczema for years. Every time I took a bath or shower by skin would feel terribly dry and irritated. I've also always had hard water, so that certainly didn't help. The situation only got worse in the winter since I live in Wisconsin. Our winters get very dry and COLD here which is a nightmare for anyone with dry skin. (Not to mention dry hair!)

I tried every soap that claimed to be moisturizing but all they did was make matters worse, often causing my eczema to flair up. I tried Dove, Ivory, Caress, etc but nothing worked. However, I didn't give up. I promised myself that I was going to find a soap that was actually moisturizing if it was the last thing I did. In my quest to find the "perfect" soap, I have come across three that I feel are great.

The very first one I used was the Yardley Oatmeal Almond Soap.

This soap worked a lot better than the others I used up until that point. My skin still felt a little dry but it was certainly not as bad as it had been. It certainly did not irritate my skin, nor did it make my eczema worse like many of the other soaps before it. I think this soap would probably be a lot more moisturizing if it didn't have petroleum in it. Petroleum is a very drying ingredient that is drying to skin and hair. Some people don't have a problem with it at all, but since I have very sensitive skin, it wasn't the best product for me. Therefore, my search continued. After using this soap for a few months, I decided I still needed something better.

The next soap I came across was the Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar

This soap worked wonders! This was the very first soap I had ever used that completely cleared up my eczema and I have never had a problem with eczema since! I used this soap for about a year, but noticed that it was actually a bit more drying than the Yardley, mentioned above. I noticed that this soap also has petroleum in it but since it cleared up my eczema, I just continued to use it. However, once the winter came my skin was getting more and more dry, therefore, I eventually broke down and started my "perfect soap search" once more.

Well, as the saying goes...the third time's a charm because when I found this last soap, I hit the jackpot!

I have been using both, the Ambi Cocoa Butter and Ambi Complexion Bar soaps for almost 2 years now. The Complexion bar looks just like the cocoa butter one but the color is green. They both are very moisturizing but I usually use the cocoa butter bar in the winter since it tends to be just a tad bit more moisturizing. But either one will certainly do. Neither one of these soaps have any drying ingredients (No petroleum...yayyy!) and as a plus, they both smell really good. I love these soaps so much that I usually buy one of each every time I shop for them. I hardly ever buy just one! I've even driven half way across town to buy them when my local drug store runs out.

If you have sensitive skin like I do and almost everything under the sun irritates it, then you definitely should give this a try.

Depending on your skin type, you may have very good luck with the other two soaps that were mentioned above, as well. If your skin is extremely sensitive then the Ambi will most likely be the best choice for you (like it is for me). Or maybe you don't have sensitive skin, but your child does. All three soaps I've mentioned are perfectly gentle enough to use on your little ones. You may want to check with your pediatrician, however, to find out if there is a recommended age.

Please feel free to let me know if you've ever used any of these and if so, what your experience was with them. Also, feel free to name any others that you feel work well.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Yayyyy It's My Birthday!

I turned 29 years old today and I can't believe it's been another 365 days already! It seems like it was just yesterday that I was a child without a care in the world. My, how time certainly does fly. The funny thing is...each year goes by faster and faster!

I didn't do too much today, I pretty much just had a "lazy day". I stayed in the bed until the late morning, got up, ate and watched TV. I didn't do any work today and am very proud of myself for being able to just take it easy. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to because I am usually always working on something.

What I didn't expect was to receive any gifts, therefore you can imagine my surprise when I received not one, but two gifts from my Mommy! She usually does something for my sisters and I every year for our birthdays, so I really don't know why I continue to be surprised every year! LOL

My first gift was new Pajamas. Those are always good!

The second gift was a spa set, which includes a bathrobe.

And Last, but not least:

A Tweety Bird card.

I've always loved Tweety Bird. My Mother must have remembered when I had a picture of Tweety on my bedroom door as a teenager.

Overall, I must say that this was a very good birthday. The people I love called with well wishes and I got to take it easy. I am always very thankful for God allowing me to see another year.

God Bless

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Is Technology Making Things Better Or Worse?

Technology has gotten more and more advanced over the years making things easier for people. But is it possible that technology has made things too easy?

An Exercise Physiologist recently stated "People are burning 700 less calories a week since the 1970's due to technology. Technology is supposed to be used to free up our time, but instead it is consuming us...causing us to move less and less".

That is the truest statement I have heard in a long time. How often do we hear the media mention the rapid growth of obesity in the U.S. It is even begining to affect children. There are now many cases of children having diabetes due to them being overweight. This never used to be a problem before. Children are now spending most of their time texting, being on Facebook or playing video games instead of playing outside like they used to!

Most adults are also very consumed with technology. Many adults are also on Facebook and other social media sites for HOURS, they are constantly texting and yes...even playing video games (usually young adults). There is no wonder this disasterous monster that we call obesity is taking over!

As if the physical disadvantages weren't enough, the social disadvantages of technology can be equally as bad, in my opinion. Now of course there are wonderful things about technology which allows people to connect with other people all over the world (such as this blog), however, it can also allow people to have less and less "real" interaction with each other.

Many people barely pick up the phone to verbally speak to anyone anymore. They either text or email and that completely drives me up the wall! LOL I never understood why someone would pick up their cell PHONE and text me instead of call. I've always thought, "So you pick up your phone and take 45 seconds (usually longer) to send a text, when you could have dialed 7 little digits in 5 seconds". To make matters worse, people even want to text actual conversations. I never understood why people would want to spend 3 or 4 minutes texting something that could have verbally been discussed in 30 seconds had they just called. I really don't like texting! Can you tell? LOL

Now don't get me wrong, I understand that a text message can be a good way to communicate with someone at times when you may not be able to verbally speak. I send texts at times, however, I think people really take it too far. It bugs me the most when people text at the dinner table or while watching a movie.

Facebook can be the culprit too. I had a friend who I was talking to on the phone one day and every time I said something she would say "what?". I found out it was because she was trying to talk to me and be on Facebook at the same time. Geez!

People think I'm strange for not being that in to technology. My family and friends often tease me for having just a "normal" cell phone without all of the bells and whistles. My sister actually broke down and bought me a new cell phone for my birthday last year because I just refused to do it. She told me she was sick of seeing me "with that old phone!". LOL, gotta love sisters!

I enjoy my simple life, although everyone who knows me may not understand why. Simplicity makes life a lot less stressful and gives me a lot more peace. I used to be on social media sites before I closed them months ago because they were just driving me crazy! Since then, my mind has been a lot clearer and I've had more time to do the things that really matter.

Please let me know your views about this subject. I would love to hear your thoughts regardless if you agree or disagree.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Many Benefits of Honey

Honey has been nature's cure for many things since the beginning of time. Over the last year or so, I have been using honey for many different things and have had great results. I will share those things with you in this post.

Using Honey for Cuts

I was washing dishes a few months ago and accidentally cut my finger with one of the knives "lurking" in the water (yikes!). It wasn't very serious but was still cut pretty badly. I remembered coming across an article a while back mentioning how using honey on a cut would work wonders, therefore, I decided to give it a try.

I couldn't believe how quickly and wonderfully it worked! I saw the skin around the cut start to close up almost instantly right before my eyes, after only applying the honey one time. I applied it a couple more times that day and by the next day, the cut was completely closed.

Although it was closed, it still wasn't completely healed yet, therefore, I continued applying it the next day as well. By the 3rd day the cut was completely healed and a few days later the mark had completely faded away. There was absolutely no scar left behind! I have been raving about honey for cuts ever since... Neosporin has nothing on honey!

Using Honey For Hair

Honey works as a natural humectant, therefore, adding a tablespoon or so of honey to your conditioner will help with dry hair. Just squeeze some conditioner (enough to cover all of your hair) into a cup or container, then stir in the honey. Leave it in your hair for the recommended time on the conditioner bottle, then rinse out. It should come out of your hair relatively easily. Honey amazingly loses it's stickiness once it's immersed in water.

Using Honey For Skin

This is one I have probably used the most. My face always has a very healthy glow after applying honey to it. Honey can be applied immediately after washing your face or you can use it in place of cleansers. Just wet your face, massage it with water, blot dry then apply the honey all over. After applying the honey to your face, leave on for 30 minutes to an hour, then rinse it off. Whatever moisturizer you use afterwards will work even better if you use honey first. Since honey is a natural humectant (as mentioned earlier) it will lock in moisture.

Using Honey For Acne

I have suffered from acne for many years and using honey has been one of the things that has aided in FINALLY getting it under control. To use honey for acne, you should follow the same steps listed above under "Using Honey For Skin". The only difference is, you may want to also take honey internally as well. You can just take a tablespoon a day alone, or stir it into a cup of warm water (or tea) and take it that way. The liquid being warm will help the honey work better through your body's system.

Taking Honey For Constipation

This is one my mother taught me a very long time ago while I was still very young. It's very simple...take 2 tablespoons of honey alone everyday until the "problem" is solved. You should see results in 2 or 3 days (sometimes the same day). It's important to start taking the honey as soon as you notice the problem. Also, drinking lots of water and eating fruits and vegetables will speed up the process.

I'm still on a search for more honey benefits. If you know of any others, please share.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Homemade Valentine's Day Centerpiece

Being a girly girl, I always find a reason to make arts and crafts. If it's girly...that's even better! So crafting for Valentine's Day was the perfect opportunity. There are so many things that can be done and the holiday is perfect for us girly girls.

What I have done is make a centerpiece by using ribbons, metallic tissue paper, rose petals and a battery opperated, flameless candle.

First I took a solid, red ribbon and wrapped it all the way around the candle.

I continued until the candle was fully covered. You can use the ribbon width of your choice. I used a very thin ribbon because it was what I had on hand. But using a wider ribbon will make the process go more quickly.

Once the candle was completely covered, I added a decorative ribbon on top.

Once I finished with the ribbons, I added a some Valentine's garland around the top rim of the candle.

The garland has little hearts hanging from it.

Next, I took the tissue paper and folded it to make a smaller square. You can manipulate it the way you want since it comes in a very large rectangle. You can even cut it if you like. I chose to fold it instead since the edges looked a little neater that way.

Once I folded it the way I wanted, I just taped the ends to keep them down.

Next, I placed the candle on a clear candle holder and placed them both on top of the metallic tissue paper.

After that, I just added some synthetic, pink and red rose petals around it.

In the evening, I turned on the flame (battery operated) to create a nice ambiance. Below I have a 30 second or so video showing you the different angles so that you can see it a little better.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

YAYYYYY The Green Bay Packers Won!

Yay, the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl! All of us here in Wisconsin are very ecstatic right now!

I remember the last time the Packers won the Super Bowl back when I was in High School. After they won I found out that the schools and businesses in Green Bay shut down the next day for a huge celebration. I wonder if they'll do the same tomorrow.

The Packers almost made it to the Super Bowl last year but ended up losing in the playoffs. But this year they more than made up for it. Not only did they make it to the Super Bowl, but they won! I've never been a die hard football fan and I rarely watch the Super Bowl, but I knew I had to watch when I found out the home team made it. Them actually winning was icing on the cake! I've seen that the Packers have been improving more and more lately, so who knows...maybe I'll actually become a die hard fan one of these days with the green paint in my hair, the Packers gear, memorabilia and all. (I highly doubt that! LOL)

Well, it's been a long night but I think I can finally go to bed now that I've witnessed the "Pack Attack"!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

1st Blizzard in 12 Years!

Yesterday we had our first blizzard since 1999. I was hoping that it would pass us but it did not!
The storm started Tuesday evening and went all the way until late morning yesterday or early afternoon in some areas. There was even thunder and lightning during the storm. We had already gotten a substantial amount of snow on Monday and this blizzard just added to the madness. The news reported that winds were 55 miles per hour causing huge snow drifts!

The aftermath of the blizzard was crucial, shutting the entire city down. The schools let out 30 minutes early on Tuesday, and yesterday all schools and majority of businesses were closed. The news reported that even public transportation was not running for the entire day! To make matters worse, schools were closed today as well. It was reported last night that schools would be closed again today because all of the roads still were not cleared. Despite their best efforts they just were not able to get them all done.

Here are some pictures I took...oddly enough, we had a sunny day today.

This snowbank is almost as tall as I am!

The snow was all the way up to my waist! Before the snow was cleared, I was literally crawling through it with my knees and hands. Trying to walk through it was NOT getting the job done. I kept getting stuck! LOL

Here it is after being still looks a little scary, lol. I'm glad I'm not the one who had to snow blow this. Snow removal services are life savers for us single women!

Well, since I was stuck in the house yesterday and today, I decided to catch up on my knitting. I made a practice baby bootie and I am pleased to say that I finally perfected knitting pearls!

I am now ready to knit my first"official" pair of baby booties. I'll be sure to share pictures with you of the finished product once I'm done!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

My Book of Prayers and Goals

For as long as I can remember, I have always written down all of my goals and aspirations. I eventually began using a designated book just for my plans and goals. I have found that writing down desires is a great way for bringing them into existence.

A few years ago, in addition to writing down goals and plans, I started writing down my prayers as well. It just made since to start writing down my prayers since I've always prayed for any goal I've had anyway. In addition to writing my prayers, I also continue to pray aloud.

For me, writing out my desires helps me to get my thoughts together and figure out exactly what I want. Seeing things on paper can look quite differently than the way they appear in my mind. Once they're actually written down, I can organize and review everything. There has been many times where after I've written something down, I would realize that there were other things I needed to do prior to that. There has also been many times while reading what I've written, that I would get the answer from God I was looking for telling me what to do.

The things in my book include letters to God, lists of desires, immediate goals, short term goals and long term goals. I have a pretty basic routine every night. I pray aloud, read over the things I've written, and write new goals and prayers (not necessarily in that order).
Once a prayer has been answered or a goal has been met, I will cross it off the list. I continue to read the lists daily, and continue to add to them and update them on a regular basis. I read my letters to God about once a week...sometimes more.

I have had many books over the years and they have always had one thing in common. They are always usually very girly. I have had different kinds of patterns and colors over the years. I usually always have some sort of matching pen as well. I always want my book to represent me and give me a good feeling everytime I see it.

In addition to reading over my book at night, I also read it first thing in the morning. It is always the first thing I see waking up and the last thing I see before going to sleep. As I mentioned earlier, I think it is very important to write things down and I think everyone could benefit from it. There are no rules or requirements for writing. It is between you and God, therefore, you can do it however you want. You don't even have to start with a designated book at first if you don't want to. You can simply take a notebook that you already have or loose leaf paper and a folder to begin. When things are written down, it gives one a whole new perspective. You'd be surprised how comforting it is to write a long letter to God pouring out your heart. It's a great release and often brings great enlightenment.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Yikes! More Snow!

It's been snowing off and on in my neck of the woods ever since last month, and it doesn't seem like it'll be slowing down anytime soon! I was just telling someone not too long ago that we haven't really gotten as much snow as we usually do. Well, I should've kept my big mouth shut because now there is a blizzard warning in effect. I can't remember the last time we had a blizzard. It must have been forever ago!

In addition to the blizzard warning, we also have a flood watch and winter storm advisory in effect. It is also reported that there will be crippling ice.

The snow started early this morning and is suppose to continue all the way until Wednesday evening. I went outside today and all I could say was "Yikes!"

If we have this much snow already (which we got just in a few hours) I dread to think what it will be like by the end of Wednesday.

It's no wonder there's been many years where we got so much snow toward the end of the winter, that snow was still on the ground slowly melting in the spring. I'm sure you can imagine how odd it was seeing snow outside while it was 60 degrees.

But I guess nothing surprises me anymore since I know mother nature will do what she pleases. I remember my father telling me about a blizzard we had in the middle of April one year! I'm glad to say that hasn't happened since. (I hope I didn't just jinks us!)

Well, in any event, hopefully the weather man was wrong and the blizzard will pass right by us. I'll keep my fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Homemade Whipped Shea Butter Cream

These cold winter days in Wisconsin has reeked havoc on my skin! As a result I experimented by making my own whipped Shea butter. There are only 2 ingredients that are needed to make this. They are Shea butter and Castor oil. Castor oil is one of my favorite products. I have been using it on my skin and hair over the last few months and I love it!

I have also used Shea butter many times to combat dry skin, therefore, I started thinking one day "I wonder what would happen if I mix the two?". Well, what happened was pure fabulousness! It moisturized my skin (and hair) very well and went on smoothly.

To Make:

Take equal amounts of pure, unrefined Shea butter and Castor oil then place in a bowl. (I used approximately 1/2 cup of each.)

Next, mix the Shea butter and Castor oil together mashing it with a fork.

Once You have mashed it together, mix it with an electric mixer.

Mix it until it becomes fully mixed. You will know when it's done because it will become very fluffy and creamy.

Once it was finished, I removed the left over Shea butter from the original container it came in, then filled it up with the new mixture.

I also put a little of this in a smaller container to use just for my hands.

The inside of the container is porcelain, therefore, I could have just put the cream in there as is. However, I decided to line it with waxed paper first in hopes of somewhat preserving it.

First, I cut a small piece of waxed paper.

Then I placed it in the container and trimmed the excess paper.

Once I lined it, I just filled it by scooping up some of the cream with a spoon.

Clean up was fairly easy. I washed the dishes I used by hand. I just let the dishes soak in hot, soapy water (not too hot to touch), then I placed another drop of dish washing liquid on each dish before cleaning with a sponge.

All of the dishes ended up completely spotless and no grease or residue was left behind at all.

Please keep in mind that the shea butter cream works best when applied to damp or wet skin. Therefore, you may want to apply it directly after getting out of the shower or tub.

Also, If you are experiencing very dry or chapped skin, you may want to apply aloe vera gel to your skin, then immediately follow up with this whipped Shea butter cream. It will give your skin extra hydration by locking in the moisture from the aloe vera gel. I tried this and my skin felt twice as good as when I used either of them alone. (Although they feel great by themselves).

This also makes a very good hair pomade. Please be aware that a LITTLE goes a very long way. If you have naturally straight and/or fine hair, you will want to use a very small amount. You may even want to melt it first and apply it as a liquid. Using too much will weigh down your hair.

I hope you enjoy!

Learning to Knit

Well, today I started working on my list of things I wanted to learn this year (Things I want to learn before I have children). The first thing I started on was knitting.

Yesterday my mother and I went to purchase my very own knitting needles and some yarn, and today she gave me my first lesson (well, my first lesson in over a decade!).

Today she showed me the basics on how to make the slip knot and some basic stitching. I was able to stitch a few rows (see the photo above). She even showed me how to make pearls which she uses when she makes baby booties. I didn't quite get the pearls though...I think I was having coordination issues! LOL Hopefully I will be able to do those next week when she gives me my next lesson.

Overall, I am very pleased by how quickly I caught on to the basics. It was not nearly as difficult as I thought it would be...I don't know why I was so intimidated before. I am very excited about my next lesson and I can't wait to start making things. I'll be sharing knitting projects with you all in no time! (Hopefully! LOL)

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