24 November 2008

Alligator be gone!

I don't know about you all but I am preoccupied with my skin these days after the natural drying and shriveling of the winter has somehow already begun! Once the heat is turned on, it's all over for my skin! I know natural moisture depletes as we age, but give me a break! I took a little time to do some research and thought I'd impart some of my findings on to you. I have been plagued with dry skin all my life, which had served me well as a teen, no classic breakouts or weekend panic after using the last Stridex! Only the occasional bump with my pregnancies. I could deal. But this dry, alligator skin is relentless and oh, so unattractive. So, here's what I found that might be of use. Did you know that according to statistics 50 million dollars was spent last year along on nutricosmetics-products designed to repair dry, damaged and wrinkled skin? WOW! There are many things we can do besides special treatments, plastic surgery and the like to help our skin resist the damages of aging, sun, and forced air heat! As far as your food consumption, we can all improve our eating habits usually, but to help your skin retain it's tone, texture and resist sagging and wrinkling eat a diet of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and keep to the whole grains in your breads and pastas. This diet is not only great for your waistline but helps to keep your skin vital as well. Women in your forties and fifties, your hormones fluctuate at a rapid rate and breakouts, mentioned above, surprisingly plague women in this bracket. The drop in estrogen contributes to the dryness in the skin. A good retinol cream is great for bringing moisture back into your skin and can be added into your evening routine. Only use specially designed eye creams for the sensitive area surrounding the eye. Co-enzyme Q10 or any other cream with anti-inflammatory properties helps improve elasticity. I've heard the rumors of Preparation H working wonders here...but I've yet to bring myself to try it A place for everything and everything in it's place, I always say! Instead, a diet high in Omega 3 fatty acids helps to maintain natural radiance in your skin and aids in reducing puffiness. Specifically for women in their fifties, sebum, the natural oils present in our skin ,tends to decrease yearly. If you will use the most emollient product your skin can tolerate, even in your cleansers, you should see benefits in this area. For a procedure sure to pack a punch and defend fine lines and age spots, TCA-Trichloroacetic acid treatment, or a 70% glycolic acid peel can help. On my favs list, http://www.gorgeouslygreen.com/, Sophie says soak in a bathtub of bath oils from luscious places like http://www.bathme.com/ , for instance, a lavender bath tea, which will help to reduce stress and help relax your body. Add in a couple of drops of olive oil to soften the skin. Yum! Doesn't this sound so inviting on a cold winter night? Aromafoiria For Feets Sake, double action spa foot scrub is great for exfoliating and moisturizing those tired puppies. Visit http://www.aromafloria.com/. Jane Iredale mineral cosmetics produces my possibly very newest fav in the lip balm category! Still love my Trish McAvoy but you must try this product! Lip Drink with SPF 15 is just amazing. I could slather myself with it if I could but it's only a lip appropriate tube! But thanks Jane...love it! www.janeiredale.com If you love browsing Bath and Body Works, as I do, you will find some great tried and trues here ,too. Of the True Blue Spa series some of my personal "must haves" are the Look Ma, New Hands hand cream. I'm still insane over this product. They must never, ever discontinue or they'll be hearing from moi! It's only $12 for the 2.5 oz tube and $18.50 for the 5oz. pump. Why does it work so well on my dry crusty digits? Paraffin locks in moisture to bring you softer, smoother and more hydrated skin all day. I think I've mentioned this in the past also, and while this product is still and always will be amazing, it's only to be used sparingly and at night when you are totally finished with any other task. Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream is, in my opinion, one of the fastest-acting products out there for dry hands, cracked feet, etc., etc., however, if you try to touch anything with it, if you're able to pry it off your hands the grease spot will be practically permanent but it's worth it. I hope some of this is helpful in combating your dry skin issues and prevents it from becoming an ordeal. Here in PA we have a long, chilly road ahead of us, and after already receiving a white wintry blast, I fear I must stock up on my products now before I'm snowed in, so I'd best be going! Thanks for reading! Miriam

16 November 2008

To continue the theme...

In this time of preparation to give thanks, I expound on this and remind you once again how very important it is to spend time with those that mean the most to you. Tell them, not just now, in the season of giving, but always. My aunt recently lost her husband and while she has so many memories to cherish, her heart is broken. People fall ill all the time and we sometimes don't deal with it because it is too hard to go to that person and tell them what they mean to us before it's too late. Do it while you have the opportunity. Just sit and be together. I attended two family weddings this weekend, one from my side, one from my husbands'. I was surrounded by three generations of my family! How wonderful it feels to be together in a room full of people that I love and who love me back! These occasions are so fleeting and I tried to cherish the moment with each sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle and great aunt as we get so caught up in the busy days that pass too quickly. Our two beautiful young cousins and their handsome young husbands have their whole lives to plan and to share with us all. It's a very settling feeling seeing the cycle continue. A few days back I had a heartwarming conversation with an old college friend that made me smile the entire day, and at moments brought a few tears. I cherish these conversations always and have tried to make it a point to let my friend know. We met when we were so young and our entire lives were before us. We had dreams and plans, and after an astounding 30 years after meeting we can talk like time has stood still. The directions our lives took is vastly different than we thought it might, the good, the bad and the ugly, but we are still there for each other. Cherish these friends, these memories and make the conversation happen. Though some are divorced, have moved away or have chosen the path to go it alone, reach out often. I don't know if aging is what is bringing me to such introspection, I guess I'm okay with aging...I'll be sure to do it as gracefully as I can. I only know I am a very rich person to have so many people that care about me and count myself incredibly blessed after all these years of collecting friendships; ones that I plan to have forever. Peace, Miriam

11 November 2008

Back with holiday thoughts to share

I'm glad to be back and able to share some ideas with you! Isn't the new blog layout divine? Thanks Shannon at www.eightcrazydesign.com for her creativity and great design skills! My wheels are spinning with only a couple of weeks left to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner at my house this year. Small crowd, but regardless, we still eat...alot! There will just be more to go around! I have my tried and true recipe for the best turkey ever so that's a done deal. My sides always change because while I like the classics, candied yams, stuffing, cranberries; my guests likes and dislikes dictate the specifics. Mom loves oysters...why, I don't know...but I'll be sure to have a small morsel for her to enjoy. Creamed oysters at that! If I have to suffer through them, wrapped in bacon and broiled would do nicely. Dad doesn't like alot of crunch in his stuffing, but I do. So two varieties, one in the bird, a little more standard for his liking and then one outside the bird with lots of goodies. I found a recipe in Bon Appetit for a yummy dried cranberry, apricot and fig stuffing! Go to bonappetit.com/go/slideshows for a great stuffing slideshow on all the stuffing recipes. The kids like the plain cranberry sauce, wiggly and jiggly out of the can, Ocean Spray version. There will certainly be a need for the more mature palate so I'm going with the cranberry, pomegranate and meyer lemon relish, also found in this months' Bon Appetit. There are actually so many great recipes in this issue, this one is a keeper. Finding space on my shelving is going to be a task. My bookcase overflows already. I have to keep 4 books out at all times since there is no more room! Makes me look like a busy cook! Desserts are standard and always will be; apple crumb pie a la mode and pumpkin, pumpkin and more pumpkin. I hope everyone has a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving and while feasting, remember why we are together and how much each and every person present contributes to the family. Be thankful for what you have and where you are right now. With the volatility in our country there is no better time to hunker down and take stock in what is good and this Thanksgiving I am going to try very hard to make my children aware of all that they have to be grateful for. Thanks for visiting! Miriam