Category: Beauty

Finding a Diet that Works

Posted on Nov 21, 2014 by No Comments

In my quest to eat healthy and lose weight, one thing I’ve come to learn is that balance and moderation is the key.

In the past, I’ve given up meat, given up flour, given up sugar, detoxed, fasted, juiced, ate raw, counted calories, counted carbs. I lost weight and felt great on all of them, but eventually I gained back the weight and landed back at “start.”

I was not equipped to keep it off – no matter how many of the diets call themselves “lifestyles” for me, they did not overcome my default behavior. Again, I have weight to lose so where do I turn?

The one good thing about trying so many ways to eat healthy and keep my weight within the normal range, I’ve learned things about myself.

For instance, I can do without sweets if I have to, but if I don’t indulge every once in a while my sweet tooth gets the better of me and the next thing you know I’m binging. And it’s not just sweets.

Diets that totally restrict a whole category, or categories, of food, eventually don’t work for me.

Woman measuring waist
Counting calories really works well, but I have to be careful. It’s not just about how many calories I eat. It’s finding the balance and moderation of eating right.

For instance, one time a friend of mine started eating dips and chips as we were preparing for a party later in the day. He ate all of his calories for the whole day by breakfast time, so he ate pickles for the rest of the day because they were “free” on his diet.

Instead, approaching calories with what I learned from low-carb dieting has helped me avoid feeling hungry by making choices that are lower carb, too. However, most days I do allow myself a sweet treat of some kind. Right now it is a serving of ice cream.

And by the way, that doesn’t mean a bowl of ice cream. It’s a moderate amount, but enough to keep me happy. I actually weigh it out on a food scale so I don’t “cheat” and sabotage myself. Eating ice cream is not good or bad, but eating too much ice cream often is bad for me.

And I’m not alone. A recent study says that sugar should be about 5 percent of our daily calories. According to the latest guidelines, for someone on a 2000 calorie diet that means about 100 calories come from sugar. That translates to 6 teaspoons.

I admit; I’m not there, but not sure I ever will be. For now I’ll settle for balanced and moderate.

Photo credits: Post Memes, wikimedia

Link Round-up: Collections, Christmas Ornaments, Salt and Sugar Scrubs, and More

Posted on Nov 20, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has organization tips for kids’ collections, Christmas ornament ideas for kids, a natural salt and sugar scrub, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us some cute ideas for using rainbow ink.

Kids’ Activities Blog shared some tips for keeping kids’ collections under control.

How Does She shared 21 Christmas ornaments kids can make.


Crafts by Amanda showed us how to turn stenciled CDs and DVDs into coasters.

Olivia Cleans Green taught us how to make natural salt and sugar scrubs.

Pizzazzerie showed us how to set colorful kids’ Thanksgiving table.

Painted Home Designs showed us how to turn a dresser into an island.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Crafts by Amanda

Easy Christmas Nail Art

Posted on Nov 20, 2014 by No Comments

It can be fun to celebrate the holidays right down to our fingertips. For the Fourth of July I got together with a bunch of girlfriends and their daughters and we did pedicures with red, white, and blue.

Now I’ve started to gather some easy Christmas nail art for a party in December. We break into twos and do each other’s nails after we pick the nail art we want. I learned it’s best to keep it less complicated since the kids take part in the effort.

Here are a few ideas I think are winners:

Santa Hats

This Santa hat pattern is very easy.

  1. Just cross two pieces of clear tape over your finger nails, leaving a space the shape of a triangle.
  2. Paint a protective clear coat over the exposed triangle.
  3. When it’s dry paint with red. Wait 30 seconds and peel the tape off carefully. This creates a red triangle with even edges.
  4. With a large dotting tool, create a white pom-pom at the point of the triangle. With a smaller dotting tool, create a row of connected white dots at the bottom of the hat. Add a second row above it. When dry, apply a fast drying clear top coat.

Christmas Tree Nails

You can use the same triangle art to create Christmas tree nail art. Start by painting the nail with a background color like gold. When it is dry, tape off the fingernail and paint a green triangle.

You can use glitter polish, or a matte green and then decorate with white, red and gold dots for ornaments using the dotting tool. Top the tree with a star nail decal or just add a red large red dot with the large dotting tool. When dry add a fast drying clear top coat.

Christmas Nail Art

For something even easier, you can just paint your nails in Christmas colors and then add nail art from snowflakes to Christmas trees or Santa. This is a really quick way to get that festive look.

Photo credits: Amazon

After Dinner Habits that Cause Weight Gain

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 by 1 Comment

It seems that every time I decide to get serious about trying to lose weight there are more exceptions than ever that come my way. What do I mean by exceptions? Things like someone’s birthday, invite to dinner at someone’s house, a pot luck dinner, and all those sorts of things that we tend to celebrate with food.

But while those things can be hurdles, they can be navigated if you make a plan before they happen. When I think about it, it’s not the exceptions that do me in. It’s my daily habits, in particular, it’s my after dinner habits that pack on the pounds.

I don’t know why, but for some reason I have more will power during the day. Perhaps because I’m working. I usually plan what I’m having for lunch, and even if I’m having a snack I give myself healthy options by planning ahead.

Even though I’m a freelance writer, I schedule a lunch and exercise time. It’s all good because I’m “being good.”

By the time I eat dinner, all I want to do is relax and do nothing. Except, I tend to mindlessly snack to relax. It’s like I equate eating pretzels, ice-cream, or cookies with unwinding. That one habit can ruin all my healthy efforts for the day!

To get around this, I’ve started extending my plan to include a snack after dinner. It would be better to not snack at all, but for now I’m trying to stick to something light, and then I’m done. If I still want something, I choose an herbal tea with cinnamon or peppermint flavor. It helps.

Another thing that can cause us to gain weight is to not get enough sleep. I’ve known this for years, but found myself up in the middle of the night frustrated because I couldn’t sleep.

Studies have shown people who don’t get enough sleep end up eating more than people who do. With that in mind, I’ve started getting ready for bed an hour earlier including brushing my teeth. Then I read for about a half an hour. That usually does the trick. I’m sleeping better than I have in decades.

Don’t let your after dinner habits sabotage your efforts to be a healthy weight. Stop snacking after dinner and try to get enough sleep. You may be surprised at the results. At least on my scale, the numbers are going in the right direction and it sure feels good to awake refreshed in the morning.

Photo credits: Latenitelullabies

Size 10 Is Plus Size – Really?

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 by No Comments

I know that the fashion industry promotes thin, but when Calvin Klein kicked off its new “Perfectly Fit” campaign with model Myla Dalbesio I was stunned to find she was labeled as a size 10 plus size beauty.

You heard me right. Size 10, according to fashion industry standards is plus size.

Size 10 might be plus size for really short people, but Dalbesio actually looks healthy and fit. In an interview with, the 27-year-old model admitted, “It’s kind of confusing because I’m a bigger girl. I’m not the biggest girl on the market but I’m definitely bigger than all the girls [Calvin Klein] has ever worked with, so that is really intimidating.”

However, once she found herself at the center of a controversy she defended Calvin Klein when she appeared on the Today Show. She told co-host Savannah Guthrie, “It’s really unfortunate because Calvin Klein has done something that’s really groundbreaking. There’s not a lot of spots for us to fit in the fashion industry. They released the campaign with me right alongside all of the other girls of varying shapes and sizes, and didn’t make a fuss about it.”

In defense of Calvin Klein, they aren’t the ones who used the label “plus size” for this campaign. They were actually trying to be inclusive and just concentrate on the women as a group.

The Perfectly Fit line is intended to cater to the needs of different women, and it was actually the article written by Elle where the plus size label came up. So I do applaud Calvin Kline for trying to do the right thing.

I can’t help but wonder why a size 10 girl is considered so big that she is an exception to the rule if she is in the fashion industry. Why not have everyone represented. Let’s face it, those of us who buy the clothes off the rack come in a variety of sizes including 10 and up.

Dalbesio is proud that she has become an inspiration to others. She told Guthrie, “I’m getting these emails from 15-year-old girls in the middle of America that are saying, Thank you so much, I’ve never seen myself represented in this way before.”

Photo credits. AUMediaGallery

Link Round-up: Thanksgiving Sides, Crustless Apple Pie, DIY Hand Scrub, and More

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 by 3 Comments

Today’s link round-up has some Thanksgiving sides to be thankful for, pear and pumpkin bread, a DIY hand scrub, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a crustless apple pie recipe.

Hungry Happenings showed us how to make Magic 8 Ball cakes.

Happy Deal Happy Day taught us how to make a coffee filter wreath.

Pint Sized Baker shared a recipe for pear and pumpkin bread.


Homemade Interest shared 10 Thanksgiving sides to be thankful for.

A Mom’s Take shared ideas for beating the wintertime blues.

A Dose of Paige taught us how to make a hand scrub.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Homemade Interest

Fat Shaming Shown to Contribute to Weight Gain

Posted on Nov 10, 2014 by No Comments

A recent study shows that weight discrimination is part of the obesity problem and not the solution.

For this study, almost 3,000 people were asked if they had faced discrimination because of their weight. This included being treated with less respect, feeling harassed, receiving poor service in stores and restaurants, or being treated as if they weren’t smart.

When I saw the parameters of this study, I couldn’t help but think about how the results are based on people’s perceptions and feelings. I’ll never forget when my girlfriend talked to her doctor about her weight. She just couldn’t seem to lose.

He said, the best exercise for her was to push away from the table. To say she was angry is putting it mildly, but was that statement harassment or treating her as if she wasn’t smart? No. He was trying to gently tell her she was eating too much.

I agree that fat shaming is a real thing and is hurtful; however, there is the other side of the coin. The extra weight leads to health issues and needs to be discussed. I’ve heard of doctors who don’t even mention the fact that a patient is overweight because they don’t want to go there. It doesn’t help anyone to pretend they aren’t overweight, either.

Fat shaming can actually make overweight people turn to food to feel better, and the result is weight gain. Doctors who avoid the possibility of fat shaming don’t say anything and many patients don’t even know they are obese or the health risks associated with their weight, and they remain overweight.

So talking about the fact someone is overweight causes weight gain, and not talking about it makes people think there is no problem carrying around that extra weight. Seems like there has to be some middle ground here. What do you think?

Photo credits: wikimedia

Link Round-up: Recipes, Beauty Finds, Pumpkin Spice Room Spray, and More

Posted on Nov 6, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has recipes, beauty finds, a pumpkin spice room spray, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie taught us how to make cheesecake Reese’s.

Crystal & Co. shared an amazing chili cheese dip recipe.

Growing Up Gabel shared some tips for filling deviled eggs.

link ru plumbing repair

Kenarry shared plumbing repair red flags you shouldn’t ignore.

The Domestic Life Stylist shared five beauty finds she’s falling over this fall.

Crafts ‘n Coffee taught us how to make a ribbon loop Christmas wreath.

Wellness Mama taught us how to make pumpkin spice room spray.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Flower Grapevine Wreath, Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread, and More

Posted on Nov 4, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has a flower grapevine wreath how-to, pumpkin pull-apart bread, sleepytime foot spray, and more.

My Joy-Filled Life shared four ways to stay fit with the family.

Growing Up Gabel showed us how to make pumpkin pull-apart bread.

A Life in Balance shared some healthy fall desserts.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared a recipe for pumpkin pancakes with chocolate chips.

link ru grapevine wreath

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make a flower grapevine wreath.

Wellness Mama taught us how to make a sleepytime foot spray.

Makeup and Beauty Blog reviewed a product that will possibly make bad hair days disappear (as long as you’re okay with wearing a bun).

Photo credit: My Joy-Filled Life and A Beautiful Mess