- The legend of St. Valentine’s Day is as mysterious and elusive as love itself. There is more than one theory, but the most widely believed dates back to the Roman Empire when Claudius II forbade men to marry during wartime. Bishop Valentine was executed on February 14th for defying the order and secretly marrying young lovers. Just before his death he wrote a love note to a young woman he had fallen in love with and signed it, “from your Valentine”
- Valentine wishes date back to the middle ages but the first known ‘Valentine’ was a poem sent from Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife in 1415 written during his sentence at the Tower of London after he was captured at the Battle of Agincourt
- Do you ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’? That expression comes from a Valentine ritual popular in the middle ages. Young men and women drew names from a bowl and pinned the name to their sleeve, the name they chose was said to be their Valentine
- Chocolate is synonymous with Valentine’s Day possibly because in the 1800s, physicians would ‘prescribe’ it to calm patients who were pinning over a lost love. Another reason could be that Casanova, known as the world’s greatest lover, is said to have eaten chocolate to make him more virile
- After taking over England, the Romans held a Pagan fertility festival in on February 14th. When the Romans left, Pope Gelsius did away with the Pagan tradition and established St. Valentine’s Day as a celebration of love in 496A.D, it was first declared a holiday in 1537 by England’s King Henry VIII
Looking for a good workout DVD that will kick your #%$? Try Physique 57. I am particular about fitness DVDs because they can get boring, I’d rather be outside jogging or on the elliptical blasting my iPod. But Physique 57 is not your typical exercise video, these DVDs are well paced with lots of energy.
They give you a seriously challenging workout with exercises that target each part of your body working muscles you never even knew you had. The instructors are fantastic. They explain all the moves in easy to understand detail and they keep things from getting dull. If one your resolutions for 2013 is to lose a few lbs., this will help.
These gals also keep you motivated by asking things like, “how do you want your bottom to look in a bathing suit?!” Tight, toned and shapely please! It’s based on the Lotte Berke Method targeting muscles to the point of fatigue in what they call interval overload and let me say, it works you. They have studios in New York and Los Angeles. It’s the workout that Kelly “ripped” Ripa has been doing for years. Give it a try and let me know how you think it compares to other workout DVDs.
Do your kids beg you for sugary big brand cereal after being bombarded by their commercials? I love how they spin it as “part of a healthy breakfast,” yeah, the unhealthy part. Sure, once in a while I give in and treat them to a box but our pantry is stocked with healthier alternatives. There really are several to choose from. My family loves a line of cereal sold exclusively at Whole Foods called Three Sisters. They do not use any partially hydrated oils, high fructose corn syrup, artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. My husband says it’s even better than the unhealthy sugar laden brands!
My kid’s favorites are Cinnamon Sweets, their alternative for Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Marshmallow Oaties, their answer to Lucky Charms. In fact, the ‘oatie’ part is tastier than the non-marshmallow cereal in Lucky Charms. My youngest actually eats it rather than just picking out the marshmallows the way he does on the rare occasions he has Lucky Charms. Three Sisters offers several other varieties including four flavors of oatmeal. The only con? It’s a bit pricey considering how much is in the bag. They use renewable wind energy in their production and the cereals come in a freshness saver bag, no box saves energy as well as a few trees. This eco girl loves that! Try them and let me know what you think.
Guest Post by Jakob Barry
It has been a particularly brutal winter in many parts of the country so far and it’s not over yet. Here are some good reminders to help keep your home in shape when severe weather strikes
Drafts are the bane of indoor heating and probably the most difficult thing to catch when you’re not looking. As most heating contractors will tell you the key is finding them now before the cold weather arrives. Otherwise you’ll lose out financially when the heating system is working over time trying to compensate for all the lost heat. How do you find a draft? Wait for a breezy day and holding a lit candle move it around the interior frames of windows and doors. If the flame flickers and it wasn’t from your own breathe chances are there is a draft which needs to be tended to. When drafts are detected the easiest way to seal them is by caulking on the outside and if necessary on the interior too.
Inspect Doors & Windows
Sometimes drafts are part of a more serious problem such as a window or door not working properly, which all the caulking in the world won’t fix. Examples include when windows don’t sit level, cannot be shut correctly, or don’t lock. The same is true for doors which may shut but need a kick, do not close snug with the frame, or have a space between the floor and base of the door. In all of these cases cool air can easily enter a home competing with the thermostat when it’s trying to maintain a certain temperature.
Believe it or not gutters are one of the most important parts of a home’s exterior because without them rain water would have nowhere to go except rushing down the sides of a house. Even though this still occurs, with the help of gutters the flow of water running down siding and over windows and doors is less. Problems occur when gutters get clogged from leaves and branches that may have fallen into them resulting in an overflow and sometimes leakage through a roof. In order to prevent such damage cleaning out gutters is a necessary pre-winter job that can be done on your own though only if you are comfortable on a ladder. Make sure access to down spouts are clear and if possible put wiring over the top of gutters so if anything falls on them it can be removed easily.
Check For Water Damage
Preventing water damage is one thing; checking for previous damage is another. If you haven’t been in the attic or crawl space lately find some time to go up there and take a look around. What you’ll want to inspect for is any discoloring on the inside paneling and ceiling, which will be a sign of a leak or past leak that needs attention. Sometimes this occurs from shingles which have dislodged from bad weather. Occasionally the nails that hold them down loosen creating a space for water to seep in. Around the chimney is another area of concern, as sometimes the flashing needs repair and water leaks through cracks where the bricks meet the roof. This may require hiring a professional who knows exactly what to do but if you must, don’t wait. Water damage is not something to take lightly because it could turn very costly if it becomes a larger issue.
Eco girls will love perfume by JoAnn Bassett, a line of all natural, organic fragrances formulated without synthetics
This sweet Love necklace by Leslie Shields Handmade Jewelry & Accessories on Etsy is perfect for Valentine’s Day
Hand painted Limoges boxes from Bonnie’s Limoges are a lovely way to ask “will you be mine?”
Katie’s Charms has several cute charms, beads & accessories to choose from
Top off your romantic evening with fondue for two with this fondue set from Crate & Barrel
A few simple changes can make a positive impact
What we put on our bodies is just as important as what we put in our bodies. The skin is the body’s largest organ; it absorbs up to 60 percent of what we put on it. Most women use an average of up to 20 personal care items every day and the ingredients in those products go straight to our bloodstream. Treat the earth and yourself a little kinder with these five natural tips to be a greener glamour girl.
1. Know Your Ingredients
Many are carcinogenic, others adversely affect our reproductive systems, and some disrupt our endocrine systems. The cosmetic industry is not regulated, so companies are not required to disclose ingredients. Safety testing is left to the manufacturers, so they can use nearly anything they want in their formulations. The European Union bans over 1300 cosmetic ingredients. The U.S. has banned only 11. If you are curious about whether or not your favorite cosmetics contain toxic chemicals, a good resource is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Data Base. They rate the safety of several products. Ava Anderson Non Toxic has great products and the whole line is pure and non toxic.
2. Screen Your Sunscreen
Most dermatologists agree that the number one anti-aging secret is protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. However, like cosmetics, most sunscreens have harmful chemicals as well. Steer clear of sunscreen that contains ingredients like… Read entire article at Parent Society.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” -Dr. Martin Luther King
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character” King gave his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in August, 1963, to a group of civil rights supporters at the March on Washington. He was the first black American to receive Time magazine’s Man of the Year honor in 1964, he also won the Nobel Peace Prize that same year. He was the youngest to win the award, upon receiving it, he announced that he would use the prize money to further the civil rights cause. King was instrumental in desegregating buses in Montgomery, Alabama in the mid-1950s. He helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and served as its first president in 1957.
This inspirational man who led the civil rights movement championing the cause to end segregation and fight racial discrimination is the first and only U.S. Citizen to have a national holiday named after him. He graduated high school at the age of 15, received a B.A. from Morehouse College in 1948 and attended Boston University where he received his Ph.D. in systematic theology in 1955. In 1960, he followed in the family footsteps and became pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. It is believed that he said he would not live to 40. Sadly, King was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee in April of 1968 at the age of 39.
“Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last” -Dr. Martin Luther King
These are some articles I’ve come across that are worth a few minutes of your time, they offer solid important information & advice…
5 Household Toxins You Should Banish From Your Home ~ Cleaning your house shouldn’t mean having nasty chemicals pollute your home, here are five chemical culprits to kick out of your house—and the nontoxic options that should move in instead
The Key To Your Child’s Heart ~ A magical way to connect with a child of any age, can ease tears and tantrums and even prevent them
Avoiding Canned & Plastic-Packaged Foods Significantly Reduces BPA Levels ~ A peer reviewed study published in Environmental Health Perspectives provides evidence that eliminating canned foods and plastic food packaging from your diet can dramatically reduce the concentrations of bisphenol A (BPA) and DEHP metabolites in your system
Let’s Fight This Terrible Crime Against Our Children ~ Child pornography has expanded into a business so profitable it is no longer limited to pedophiles
Flame Retardant Added To State’s List Of Cancer-Causing Chemicals ~ A flame retardant commonly used in furniture and baby products was officially listed by the state as a cancer-causing chemical
Choking Game A Deadly High For Today’s Teens ~ A very dangerous activity that children have figured out will give them a brief quick high, many kids have died participating
Steve Jobs And The 7 Rules of Success ~ Steve Jobs’ impact on your life cannot be underestimated. His innovations have likely touched nearly every aspect — computers, movies, music and mobile. For entrepreneurs, Jobs’ greatest legacy is the set of principles that drove his success
Music makes the world go round, it's a necessity in life. It adds a fun vibe to whatever you're doing and just makes life happier. My taste is rather eclectic, you'll find all types of music on my iPod. Getting my groove on makes workout sessions, house cleaning and cooking dinner far more tolerable. My iPod is one of my prized possessions.When it's not blasting music from the dock, having the right ear phones is a must.
I was given the opportunity to try out BassBuds high performance in ear headphones and became an instant fan. They work very well, the advanced chrystaltronics sound technology offers great quality, very clear. They have a hands free mic and MP3 controller. BassBuds are compatible with smartphones, have the ability to activate voice commands and come with 6 different sizes of ear buds so you'll find your perfect fit.