Tuesday, August 31, 2010
To make this facial:
Melt a few squares of dark chocolate in a saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool until the chocolate is warm (not hot!) to the touch. Smooth on face and relax for about 20 minutes. Rinse and enjoy the soft glowing skin you see in the mirror.
You can add other ingredients to this basic facial as well, such as oatmeal (great for exfoliating the skin) and honey( for cleansing and opening clogged pores.) Also, you can use cocoa instead of chocolate bars-- just mix the cocoa with honey and oatmeal in a blender. Smooth the mixture on your face and rinse after 20 minutes.
Please be sure to check for any allergic reactions before applying any facial masks. Simply test the mixture on a small area of your leg or arm. If you do have any adverse reaction while mixture is on your face, rinse immediately.
Monday, August 30, 2010
If you are looking for freebies...say a couch or desk or even a book, then there is a website you need to bookmark! EcoFreek.com will search more than 45 websites, including Craigslist, Facebook and Freecycle, for ads for you. Just type in the free item you are looking for, and pick your state and city.
EcoFreek will find the ads posted by people near you who are giving away just what you want.
Finding those free items will be quicker and easier than ever before. Happy Shopping!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
When you buy grapes, are you like me and pay a bit more for the seedless kind? Well, it may be better for our health, not to mention our grocery budget, to but the grapes with seeds.
Studies have suggested that the seeds in grapes have some health benefits that we might want to take adavantage of.
Grape seeds are full of antioxidants called proanthocyanidins, which are said to strengthen capillaries, thus helping to prevent varicose and spider veins. They also help shrink arterial walls and reduce swelling, according to studies.
One more reason to eat grapes with seeds is that the flavonols in the seeds protect cells from age-related damage and help keep skin soft and smooth.
Interesting information, I think. Who knew there could be so much good stuff in such small seeds? So the next time you are grocery shopping, you might want to consider choosing grapes with seeds instead of the more expensive seedless variety.
Friday, August 13, 2010
1. Walmart is having a Dora Birthday Party: Free cupcakes and Photocard! (Walmart is also giving away free samples of bakery goodies and other yummy goodes.)
2. IHOP: Kids eat free every night in August!
3. Sign up at Michael's The Knack for free offers, events and craft ideas for kids. This weekend Michael's will be having a free event at their stores called " Sentence Blocs Demo" Look for your nearest Michael's store for details, but most should be holding the event on August 14th, 10 AM to 1PM.
4. Lowe's Free Projects Clinics For Kids (This weekend is a free bug box...Aug. 28th is a school bus project) Get free goggles, aprons, sew on patch, and completion certificate--and maybe a free gift card to Wendy's!)
5. Sat. Aug 14th and Sun. Aug. 15th are Free Entrance Days at over 100 National Parks that usually charge fees to enter. There are a couple more free weekends left this year as well...check out the dates and list of parks.
6. Disney Stores are having a free event in their stores this weekend, Saturday August 14th (2 different sessions) : Make Your Own Perry The Pltamus Inaction Figure (Phineas and Ferb.)
7. Lakeshore has free crafts for kids Every Saturday Every Store from 11AM-3PM! This weekend is Make Your Own License Plate.
Preheat oven to 40 degrees. Combine 8 eggs with a 1/4 cup chopped parsley, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper and beat until well mixed. Stir in 3/4 shredded mozzarella cheese.
Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large pan over medium heat. Add 1 lb. zucchini quartered and cut crosswise into 3/4" slices, half an onion, chopped, a clove of minced garlic, 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning, and 1/4 tsp. salt.
Cook while stirring frequently until golden brown and tender --about 6-7 minutes.
Stir in the egg mixture and cook until edges are set, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add slice tomatoes to top of frittata and then put skillet in preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle some shredded mozarella on top, then bake another 5 minutes, or until center is set.
Serves about 4 people--slice into wedges and enjoy with a tossed salad and some crusty French bread!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
While it may be fun to go shopping and pick up the best products we can for our hair, that may not always be a budget friendly option, or a financially savvy one. So here are a couple of money-saving homemade hair care solutions that start with herbs and other ingredients from your kitchen.
Rosemary is wonderful for thinning hair. Regularly massaging the scalp with a rosemary-infused oil has been study-proven to strengthen hair follicles and promote hair growth, according to holistic aesthetician Stephanie Tourles, author of Organic Body Care Recipes.
In a small saucepan, warm 1 cup of oil (can be olive oil, castor oil, grapeseed or sweet almond) and add a few sprigs of rosemary. Let cool, then massage the oil lightly into your scalp with fingertips. Make small circles all around your scalp. This will boost circulation and help hair growth. After you have massaged in the oil, wrap your hair in a warm towel for about 15 minutes. Then shampoo and condition as normal.
You can keep the rosemary oil in the refrigerator for one week.
And if your hair is looking a bit flat, try the old Baking Soda trick! Too much oil or build-up from hair products can cause hair to look limp and lifeless. Baking Soda works wonderfully to absorb the excess oil and bring back some bonce.
Just add a few teaspoons of baking soda to shampoo (the dollop or so of shampoo in your hand that you plan to wash your hair with,) and massage into your scalp. Rinse and condition as usual. You should notice much more lift at the roots --and more bounce and fullness to your hair.
If dry frizzy hair is a problem, look no further than avocados and olive oil for help! Take an avocado and mash it up. Add about 1/4 cup of olive oil and blend until smooth and creamy. Apply the mask to your hair (dry hair) and massage it into the hair and scalp. Wrap your hair in a warm towel and put your feet up for about 20 minutes. Rinse and shampoo as usual. Do this twice a week for soft, shiny, and smooth hair.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I found this information to be interesting, and to make sense:
Researchers say that the real trick to successfully saving money is to focus on why we want to save money rather than on how to save. Apparently it is normal to get so caught up in different ways to save money --by cutting coupons, cooking more at home, etc.- that we forget the reasons why we are trying to save in the first place.
So what we need to be doing is asking ourselves why we want/need to save money. Is it because we want to buy a house? Or go on a vacation? Or even so we can buy that new lunchbox for our favorite little "Back-to-Schooler?"
Thinking about what's motivating our goals rather than just the steps to get us there will inspire us to try new ways of cutting back, researchers explain.
Friday, August 6, 2010
You can save money (every little bit counts after all) by freezing left-overs instead of throwing them away. Here are a few simple ideas to put those ice trays to use and save money at the same time:
1. Pour left over soup into the trays and make handy soup cubes. Easy to take out and microwave in a bowl for a little one's lunch.
2. For freezing and storing homemade baby food (just steam and puree veggies, and add water until you get to the desired consistency).
3.Freeze tomato paste so you always have some on-hand when a recipe calls for one or two tablespoons.
4. For freezing freshly chopped herbs.
5. If you are making something that only calls for egg yolks, use the ice cube trays for freezing whites to thaw out and use later.
6. Pour left-over wine into an ice cube tray to use for making sauces and soups later.
7. Avoid wasting fruit by freezing fresh lemon and lime juice or other juices to drop into iced teas or water for an added fruity twist. twist!
Thursday, August 5, 2010
1. Always cook more than you need--then freeze the rest. Having a meal in the freezer ready to go should help curb those urges to order a pizza or fast food on nights you just don't feel like cooking!
2. Convenience is nice, but costly! Check the prices on those tempting boil in bag rice packages. Chances are you will pay about 10 times more than if you just buy the regular old "boil it yourself" rice. Really--is that small convenience really worth the extra bucks?
3.Make your own salad dressing and save. Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 cup of salad oil. Voila! Delicious salad dressing at a fraction of the cost.
4. Grow your own! Next time you buy fresh garlic, save the four inner cloves. Plant them about 1/2 inch deep. In less than six months, you’ll be in garlic city! There are many other herbs and vegetables that you can grow yourself, so check ‘em out.
5. Don’t buy water. Ever. Buy a water filter and fill your own bottles.
6. Stretch that hamburger! Adding cottage cheese to hamburger will enhance the flavor, add protein, and allow you to increase servings from four to six per pound.
7. And speaking of meat: The simple proteins found in beans are better for you and obviously much cheaper than the complex ones in meat, fish and poultry. In other words, eat less meat!