Friday, March 27, 2009

Quick Tip: Beautiful Feet

I have very dry feet, and have always tried the old trick of thickly rubbing lotion into my feet, putting on a pair of socks, and then going to bed. However, I hate wearing socks in bed. Even in the middle of winter, I have trouble wearing socks to bed. Instead of putting the lotion and socks on before bed, do it before you do some exercise or some errands around the house. An added bonus is that the body heat you generate while doing some activity will help the moisturiser penetrate even further.

I just received a pair of Bliss Softening Socks as a present, and I am in love. With these you can skip the lotion step, as the socks have a gel lining that will last 50 wears, and in just 20 minutes, it feels as if you have had a paraffin foot treatment. They feel really weird to walk around in, but the result was amazing. I've been using these twice a week, and my feet are starting to look really great. US$48

post signature

image source

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Great environmental books for young children

Today I found some fantastic little board books in a series called "Save Our Planet!" These books are really engaging (Stephen was drawn immediately to them at the shop) and are a great way of introducing environmental concepts to young children in a way that is simple and fun. The three books that I found were:

Let's Grow A Garden encourages children to grow things, and to appreciate the value of fresh fruit and veggies. This will be great to read as we plant our veggie garden this winter. Let's Save Water and Let's Turn It Off give great suggestions for children to save water and energy.
The best part - these books were only $2 each at the Australia Post shop!
post signature

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Return of the Homemaker

I just read the most wonderful post, Return of the Homemaker, at down---to---earth. In this post, she so eloquently sums up why we need to value being a homemaker, and how important the choices we make are, not only to our families, but also to society as a whole. What we do as homemakers is nurturing the next generation, and what could be more necessary than instilling in them the values that will help create a better society?

Check out the fabulous insights in this post, as well as the rest of Rhonda's blog - she has the most inspiring ideas on how we can live a wonderful, frugal life.

post signature

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Altered Cloth

I recently came across this beautiful website and blog, Altered Cloth, dedicated to do-it-yourself fashion and craft. She has the most amazing tutorials and free patterns for accessories, clothing, home decor and refashioning items. Her instructions are simple and clear, and the items make me want to start sewing right now!! She also points you in wonderful directions for suppliers of great fabrics, other craft patterns, and some delightful craft and sewing blogs.

post signature

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Quick tip: Boiling Potatoes

Just a quick tip today!

When making mashed potatoes, I have always peeled and then chopped them into smaller pieces so that they cook more quickly. However, cutting them before boiling can cut their mineral content by as much as 50% according to researchers at the Agricultural Research Service in Wisconsin, USA. So boil them whole, and increase your family's nutrition tonight.

post signature

image source

Friday, March 13, 2009

Free Pilates Workouts

I love pilates as it really works your core muscles, which helps to improve your posture, strengthen your back, and help work on removing the mummy tummy! If you have always wanted to try pilates, then there is a great website offering free mat workout videos that you can view on your computer. While it is obviously better if you have taken a few classes with a trained instructor, Ultimate Pilates Workouts has videos including "Your First Pilates Workout" which goes through all the basics, as well as "Technique and Fundamentals" videos that can refresh the memories for those who haven't been to a class in a while.

As part of achieving My Best Year I really want to add in more strength and flexibility workouts, and this is a great way for me to do that, since with two young children it is almost impossible for me to make it to the pilates reformer sessions that I used to go to pre-children.

post signature

image source

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Moody Gothic

Moody Gothic
Moody Gothic - by chicmummy on

Winter is coming here in Oz (not that the weather is co-operating - will it ever be cool again?), and I am hanging out for it to arrive. To tide me over these scorching days, I created this polyvore to remind me that winter and moody gothic clothing is just around the corner.

Start with the ruffled sleeveless blouse that was a trend from spring/summer as ruffles continue to be a theme for this coming autumn/winter. Pair with wide leg, dark rinse trouser jeans, a chunky heel, a stack of metal bangles and a sparkly clutch, and you are ready for date night or a night out with the girls.

Add in a dark velvet blazer, a structured tote, chunky silver ring, and a pair of oxfords and you are going to be the best dressed mum at the parent teacher night.

Swap out the jeans for a pair of black or charcoal leggings and the heels for a cute pair of ballet flats; throw on a knee length sweater coat with an open neckline that shows off the ruffles of the blouse; add in a sweet pair of silver studs, and grab a slouchy but roomy tote, and you are stylish but comfortable for the school run.

post signature

Friday, March 6, 2009

Book Reviews: Style Books

I recently have had the opportunity to review two style books, 'The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style' by Kim France & Andrea Linett, and 'Who Do You Want To Be Today?' by Trinny & Susannah. Both books have remarkably similar concepts but their execution couldn't be more different.

'The Lucky Guide to Mastering Any Style' is by the editors of Lucky magazine, who were also the authors of the best selling 'The Lucky Shopping Manual', a book I found very useful (much more so than the magazine, in fact), so I was really looking forward to reading through it. The subtitle on the cover is "how to wear iconic looks and make them your own" and that is exactly what they show the reader how to do. They cover the full spectrum of stereotypical "styles" outlining ten, from the more classic Eurochic, American Classic and Gamine, through to the gypsy stylings of Posh Eclectic, Arty Slick and Bohemian.

Each "style" chapter starts with a brief description and photos of famous examples that personify the style, such as Ines de la Fressange for Eurochic, Farrah Fawcett for Californian Casual, and Helena Christensen for Posh Eclectic. This is then followed by a typical Lucky pictorial layout of Essential Pieces and Essential Accessories, and then a number of pages on How to Get the Look. The best parts of the guide are the sections on Putting It Together, where various outfits are created for different occasions, and All Year Long, where one item is paired with different items for each of the four seasons. Scattered throughout the book are profiles on "Lucky Girls", real life women who epitomise the particular style describing their style and showing items from their wardrobes.

What I loved:

  • lots of great wardrobe ideas that are all suitable for real life, whether you are a SAHM, or a working girl, or both
  • inspired me to create new creations
  • The Mix and Match section showed that you don't have to only be pigeonholed into one particular style, but cad add in other elements while still looking true to yourself
  • made me look at other styles and see how I could incorporate some different elements such as Arty Slick or Bombshell into my Eurochic/American Classic style to punch it up another level
  • the Lucky Girl profiles were really interesting

What I didn't love:

  • the Lucky Girl profiles only showed women who have predominately designer wardrobes. It would have been nice to see some Lucky Girls who shopped at Gap or J Crew or Ann Taylor etc
  • it is predominately aimed at thin and tall women - the reader needs a bit of imagination to extend the styles and looks to their own lives if they don't fit this "ideal"
  • it is mostly pictures, so you really need to be a very visual person (which I am, luckily) to be able to take away the personality of the pictures and project it into the style featured. There is not much text describing what makes up each style for those not so visually orientated

Overall rating: 3.5 stars

"Who Do You Want To Be Today? Be inspired to dress differently" by Trinny & Susannah was on my list of must get books as I have found most of their books (except their previous two) to be very useful, so much so that they are full of sticky tags marking pages that I refer back to over and over again. So when I received this book in the mail, I couldn't wait to delve into it.

Unfortunately, I was to be very, very disappointed. Like the Lucky book, it focuses on various styles and like the Lucky book, it gives celebrity examples so that the reader can identify the feel for the style straight away. However, this is where the similarities end. Where the Lucky Guide encourages you to extend your style based on your personality, Trinny and Susannah encourages you to mix up your outfits based on your mood. So while in the Lucky Guide, the outfits look like they would fit into a real life, the outfits selected for the real life models in T & S's book look like costumes for a dress up party. Further, the look they have created look totally costumy, including wigs and bizarre makeup; if I decided that today I felt like a rock chick and dressed in the items that they showed, my family would most likely have me committed!

The only positive of the book was the celebrity collages they had for each style - these were more illustrative of the individual styles, and included some more modern examples than the Lucky Guide.

What I loved:

  • the celebrity collages
  • the idea of stepping out of your comfort zone and mixing up my style a bit more
  • Trinny and Susannah's original What Not To Wear books, and What You Wear Can Change Your Life - get these books instead!

What I didn't love:

  • the rest of the book - just too way out for a real-life style guide

Overall rating: 1 star

post signature

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Monthly Breast Exams

This is your reminder to perform your monthly breast self-exam. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women today. Please take five minutes to do this important check. Early detection could mean the difference bewteen life and death.

There are two important ways to check your breasts. The first is by looking. A mirror should be used to check the breasts for pulls, dents, odd colouring, or lumps. The best positions for inspecting are leaning forward, arms on hips tightly, or standing upright with both arms over your head. When checking the breasts, keep in mind that both breasts should look the same, especially around the nipple.

The second way to check the breasts is by feeling. There are two ways to do this part of the exam and it is best to use a different one each month. One method uses water or oil on the skin to help fingers glide over the skin more easily. The shower can be a good place for this kind of exam. The second way is to use a thin T-shirt or sheet over the breasts. In both of these ways, the little skin lumps and bumps are less noticeable. Feel the breast tissue for any areas that feel different from the rest of the breast. Sometimes a difference will be a ball or lump. Yet other times it will be a thickened band or a deep, hard area that does not move like the rest of the breast.

When feeling the breasts

  • Check the breast in two or three positions, such as lying down, standing up, and even leaning forward.
  • Use the palm surface of the fingers, not the tips, to move the breast.
  • Divide the exam into parts. Examine one part from the outside of the breast into the nipple, and then from the inside to the outer edge. Realize the breast tail goes into the armpit, so the exam needs to include that area.
  • Remember the nipple is important, too. There is less breast tissue right under the nipple, so any lump there is a concern. The value of checking for discharge from the nipple is a debate since regular, hard squeezing of the nipple alone can cause a discharge. The gentle exam done towards your nipple is usually enough to show if there is a discharge. Any blood from the nipple needs to be evaluated by a doctor.

Breast self-exam is not a substitute for mammography or for regular exams by a doctor. Be sure to keep regular appointments as recommended by your doctor.

post signature

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Site Designed by Shabby Creations