Monday, March 28, 2011

Face It!

Facials are a guilty pleasure for me. I can count on one hand how many times I have had a facial professionally administered. Actually, I can count on one finger to be exact...My first facial encounter was right before I walked down the aisle as a little pre-bridal splurging is always acceptable! Yep- big mistake! For some reason, the idea of a licensed Esthetician poking, prodding, and pinching my enlarged pores (3) days before I hosted the largest party of my life seemed logical?! Fortunately for me, the gal at the M.A.C. counter had seen this all too often and was a pro at covering the after math with a heap of concealer and a stroke of Bronzer. Magic, I tell ya! Ever since then, I have taken my business to SPA de le Casa! I know the idea of an at home facial is not as glam and gilded as a day at the Ritz Carlton SPA, but it is cost-effective and done in the privacy of your own home. Plus, no 22% gratuity necessary and no awkward waffle weave robes! I have included a few of my fave at home facials which can be made from food and other natural items. Take a peek in your pantry or fridge for these treatments that will leave your face fresh and your wallet weighty.
Honey-do: Everyday honey is the "bees knees" for anyone with dry or damaged skin. This syrupy solution is a "humectant" which means it aids in retaining water and moisture. Use a cloth damp with warm water and pat skin to open pores. Smear honey onto skin and leave on for 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, then pat skin with a cloth dampened with icy water to seal your newly hydrated pores closed.

Avocado Aid: It's not just for Guacamole any more! This bumpy and lumpy green fruit is rich in vitamins, A, C, E, iron, potassium, niacin, and pantothenic acid. All these components make it a miracle fruit! Mash the avocado, apply directly to skin, then leave on skin for 15 minutes. Scrape off with a crispy Tortilla Chip ( I am kidding!) Rinse your face with cool water and allow to air dry. You can also use the miracle fruit to strengthen and condition your hair or throw a swinging Fiesta! Ole!

Younger with Yogurt: Your daily pre-lunch break snack is packing some major "skinefits!" Yogurt contains alpha-hydroxy acids, including lactic acid, which are commonly used to help reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles. (Yes, please!) It's also rich in B-complex vitamins, including B-5, or panthothenic acid, which aids in the skin's healing process. Clean face thoroughly, removing all make-up and excess oils, then apply a think coat of plain, non-flavored yogurt to your face and neck. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse clean.

Egg-ceptional Results: Egg are high in vitamin A, a common ingredient in acne-fighting products. How do you think the Easter Bunny has kept up his good looks throughout the years?  For dry skin, spread the  egg yolk on your face and neck, leaving it on the skin for 30 minutes. Rinse with cool water. For oily skin, do the same with only the egg white. Wait until it dries and rinse off with warm water. FYI, I am actually yolking it up as I type but now I suddenly have a strange craving for bacon...
 Going Grape: These globes of goodness contain powerful antioxidants, called poly phenols, which help combat aging. Grape seed oil or extract is now found is the world's most cutting edge anti-aging products because of it's healing capabilities. Skip the Lancome counter and simply cut one grape in half and rub lightly all over face. Prepare for yourself for a slight tingle as the grape extract gets to work!

Banana Beauty: No monkey business here! Bananas are one of the most nourishing fruits available because they contain magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, and E, all of which benefit the skin. Mash one overripe banana and spread onto face. Rinse off after 15 to 30 minutes with warm water. This is a guaranteed facial that will leave your skin simply "appeeling."

Rosie Glow: Your Royal Highness of Egypt, Cleopatra kept her skin youthful and glowing with the application of a natural astringent of rose water. To make your own sweet smelling splash, place 2 cups of firmly packed fresh rose petals in a saucepan and cover with 2 cups of distilled water. Simmer over low heat until water is reduced by half. Let cool and strain out the petals. Store in sterile jar or bottle. Your house will smell heavenly and who knows, with skin as good as yours will be, your very own Marc Anthony just may sweep you off your feet.

As they say, "beauty is only skin deep" so nourishing from the inside is very necessary. Be sure to always drink lots of water, take your vitamins and wear sunscreen moisturizer. Take some time out of your day to experiment with these homeopathic hints. Just think, one fabulous and frugal facial is only a grocery run away!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Blooming Brews

A little impish twinkle starts to appear in my eyes this time every year as my fondest holiday swiftly approaches. March 17th, Saint Patrick's Day in Savannah, Georgia is truly at sight to be seen. The spouting waters of our majestic Forsyth Fountain are dyed green, doggies don leprechaun hats and emerald hued eggs and grits are something you would want to consume. For many Savannah Sons and Daughters, Saint Patrick's Day is a time to share in revelry with your closet family and friends and is a time to pay homage to our gorgeous city and rich heritage. Even though we live in Orlando now, I am hoping the Luck O' the Irish will get us a few days off of work next week so we can make it up for the merry-making of the holiday. If not, you can bet your last Irish pound that we will celebrate here in Sunny Florida with sass and style. As I sat here surfing the internet, virtually preparing my Saint Patrick's Day dinner table, I originally desired a centerpiece that exuded class, elegance and panache! Memories of past March 17ths came flooding back to me and oddly enough, the words "class and elegance" just didn't seem to fit...Almost instantaneously, this frothy floral mug caught my eye on 1-800 Flowers and I squealed with delight. I genuinely love the products and quality put out by 1-800 Flowers, but I had to figure out a way to make this myself or what kind of blog would this be?! Here are your DIY instructions for a Saint Patrick's Day Brew that will have all Irish Eyes Smiling!

Blooming Brews

Materials Needed:

* Glass or Acrylic Beer Mug

* Colored Crystals

(Gold for a Traditional Lager, Brown for a Guiness, or Green for a TRUE St. Patrick's Day Brew!)

* 1 Dozen Carnation Heads with 3/4" Stems (White or Green Tinted)

* 1 Block Oasis Floral Foam


Cut floral foam into a (1) 1/2" thick circle the diameter of the beer mug. Soak this circle for 2 to 3 hours in water. Fill your beer mug (I found mine at the Dollar Tree) to the top, leaving about 1" for the wet floral foam with your crystals or glass marbles. Top with water and wet floral foam disc. Gently begin pushing your carnation heads into the wet foam until disc is covered. Finish off the presentation with a printed theme tag and ribbon with a Saint Patrick's Day wish or a witty Irish limerick.

I hope this Saint Patrick's Day finds you amongst friends and family and those who love you the most. Where ever you are raise your glasses and sing with me this Irish Toast.

Saint Patrick was a gentleman,
Who through strategy and stealth,
Drove all the snakes from Ireland,
Here’s a toasting to his health.
But not too many toastings
Lest you lose yourself and then
Forget the good Saint Patrick
And see all those snakes again.
'Beannachtam na Feile Padraig!'
Happy St. Patrick's Day, Y'all!