Yoga and Weight Loss

With the NY Times writing an article (January 23, 2011) about a 29-year-old ex-dancer model who now teaches yoga and has penned a booked called “Slim, Calm, Sexy,” you might think yoga is the answer to all your weight loss goals. However, the operative words here are 29, dancer, and model. Having been in the modeling world myself, although it was way back in the (yikes!) 80’s and dabbled with a food disorder in college (one does not dabble actually, it is an emotional nightmare and a true call for help while others may be envying your thin-ness), I would suggest that yoga is a great way to stay physically and mentally fit and avoid the stereotypes of the ultra thin model who was either blessed to be born with thin genes or starves herself. The teacher featured in the article is undoubtedly a lovely young woman who is herself slim, calm, and sexy.

In the twenty-six years that I have been teaching tens of thousands of classes to women of all ages and shapes in various environments, I would say that the most important thing yoga can give us is self acceptance. The climate of yoga has become varied, which gives women a choice in why and how they practice yoga. At first women may attend a class as a great workout (A beautiful young woman said to me in class last week – “which yoga will help me lose this?” as she pulled up her yoga top to show a beautiful little tummy, no fat hanging over it, just a beautiful soft woman with, if I would label it, a slim build.) but then decide to add meditation and other helpful aspects.

If we take our yoga practice seriously, not too seriously (it should be fun too!), like any workout that will show results, we need to do it at least two to three times a week. It is important to find a type of yoga that you like, a teacher you like and someone you trust. Some people prefer to go to class where there is no inspiring talk; they want to do the physical poses only. Others like the encouragement and tidbits of yoga lifestyle / philosophy that may be woven into a class. It is all individual taste. Once you decide which type of practice you like – though Vinyasa, Ashtanga and Power yoga (and of course the hot yoga Bikram) can break a great sweat, Iyengar, Restorative and Kundalini can also give you a good sustainable workout – then you can see where the practice takes you.

Often a yoga practice will take you deep into one type of yoga or maybe it will cause you to explore, experimenting with other types and teachers, mixing it up. From there you might become aware of other aspects of your health, like what you are eating and how it affects your mood, your yoga practice, and your weight. Some yoga devotees eat only raw food, on the one extreme, to vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian (includes dairy) or pescatarian, eating mostly vegetarian but including fish. Others still include meat in their diet. As food habits become more conscious and change in these directions, weight will change, if it’s meant to, or you will stay in your own healthy weight but feel better for the changes, which is the real goal.
“Can yoga help you lose weight?” Yes, if you are overweight, no, if you are at your healthy weight. I have seen big women do amazing yoga practice and thin ones not so strong and flexible. Yoga will help you feel more strong and flexible, no matter what your body type. And when you feel that way, you radiate health and beauty at any age and weight.

Donna Amrita Davidge / www.sewallhouse.com Yoga Retreat Island Falls, Maine/NYC

 

Valentine’s Day Cocktails and Drink Recipes

Sweet Surrender Valentine's Day CocktailValentine’s Day is a romantic time to enjoy a special cocktail or drink recipe with your loved one. You can enjoy a romantic martini or mixer, a fun and fruity frozen drink, something pink or red, or even a nice glass of wine. Choose Valentine’s Day cocktails and alcoholic beverages that complement what you are eating, whether an entire meal, an appetizer, or just dessert. Try these Valentine’s Day drink recipes for some fun beverages that are sure to impress!

Just a few words of caution – observe the legal drinking age and remember not to drink and drive! Now let’s have some fun with these red and pink and super flirty Valentine’s Day drink recipes!

Cherry Kiss Valentine's Day DrinkValentine’s Day Drink #1: Cherry Kiss
Ingredients:

1 part UV Cherry
2 parts champagne

Instructions:

Shake with ice and strain into a champagne flute.

Sweet Surrender Valentine's Day CocktailValentine Cocktail #2: Sweet Surrender
Ingredients:

2 parts UV Lemonade
2 parts cranberry juice
Splash of triple sec

Instructions:
Shake with ice and strain into a martini glass.

Love Potion #9 Valentine's Day CocktailValentine’s Day Alcoholic Beverage #3: Love Potion #9
Ingredients:

1.5 oz   Prairie Organic Vodka
.5 oz     Peach Schnapps
3 oz      Blood Orange Juice

Instructions:
Combine with ice in shaker, pour into a pink sugar rimmed martini glass and garnish with a blood orange and cherry. (If blood oranges are not available, you can soak regular oranges in grenadine for the garnish).

Broken Hearts Club Martini Valentine's Day CocktailValentine Drink #4: Broken Hearts Club Martini
Ingredients:

4 parts Prairie Organic Vodka
(choice of adding vermouth or olive juice to taste)

Instructions:
1.    Pour Prairie into a shaker over ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.
2.    Garnish with three olives.

– Recipes courtesy of Phillips Distilling Company.

If you are in an anti-Valentine’s Day mood, you can also make these drink recipes into Anti-Valentine cocktails and alcoholic beverages. Simply change the names of the different cocktails to be more fitting of the occasion. Change “The Cherry Kiss” into “The Heartbreaker,” swap “Sweet Surrender” with  “Single and Ready to Mingle,” and turn “Love Potion # 9” into “The Prairie Prowler.” You can also make up your own Valentine’s Day drinks and cocktails or find more recipes online. Enjoy!

 

Mardi Gras Party Favors, Centerpieces, and Fat Tuesday Decorating Ideas

Mardi Gras parties can be a lot of fun no matter what time of year, but they are especially popular in the first few months of the year, especially during the month of February. You can easily plan a Mardi Gras party at your home with a little advanced planning. Choose authentic New Orleans style cuisine and get ready to decorate to your heart’s content. You can also find a variety of fun and exciting Mardi Gras party favors and centerpiece ideas to try.

To fully capture the theme of Mardi Gras, be sure to choose a color scheme of gold, purple, and green, the three colors of Mardi Gras.

 

Mardi Gras Party Favors
The most important Mardi Gras party favors to have at your Fat Tuesday party or Carnival party are Mardi Gras beads. You can find beads in countless colors, shapes, and sizes. You can even find the more expensive Mardi Gras beads that the krewes throw from their floats in New Orleans during Carnival. Depending on the number of guests you are inviting, you can purchase Mardi Gras beads in bulk or you can look for some of the specialized beads and give each guest a gift of one special set of beads.

If you would like to give out other party favors at your Mardi Gras part, consider the other items that the krewe members throw at Mardi Gras. Small stuffed animals, plastic cups from each krewe, doubloons, and decorated coconuts are a few great options for Mardi Gras party favors you can give out at your party. If you are looking for specific Fat Tuesday party favors, consider giving each guest his or her own Mardi Gras mask. You can find lots of fun and unique ways to dress up your Mardi Gras party. Check out the selection of Mardi Gras party supplies from PartyMart for starters!

Mardi Gras Centerpieces
Mardi Gras centerpieces can be created or purchased in many shapes and sizes. Consider making your own Fat Tuesday centerpieces for your Mardi Gras party. Use your creativity to help you come up with the perfect centerpiece idea for your festivities. Here are a few suggestions for Mardi Gras themed table decorations:

•    Colorful Beads in Bowls and Vases – Order your Mardi Gras beads in bulk and use them to decorate your tables. You can strew the beads across the tables randomly or place lots of colorful beads in a glass or crystal vase or decorative bowl.

•    Mardi Gras Masks on Sticks – Instead of flowers, place pretty decorated Mardi Gras masks supported by sticks or thin dowels inside vases on your tables. These centerpieces can be just as pretty as flowers, showing off feathers and sequins in the festive Mardi Gras colors.

•    Mardi Gras King Cake – Rather than making an elaborate centerpiece for your Fat Tuesday party, consider making king cakes for each table so your guests can all enjoy and participate in this great tradition. The guest who gets the plastic baby is supposed to buy the next king cake. You could also award that guest with a prize!

Mardi Gras Ceiling and Wall Decorations
To complete your decorating scheme, don’t forget to look for festive Mardi Gras decorations to hang from your ceiling and walls. You can find tons of pretty Mardi Gras decorations in yellow, purple, and green, from regular party streamers to Mardi Gras door panels, street sign decorations, banners, and so much more. Make sure you create a special decoration for Bourbon Street!

If you want to add a little extra pizzazz to your party decorations, consider festive Mardi Gras lights, Mardi Gras masks, and feather boas. Pretty much anything you do in yellow, green, and purple should look great as well!

What other ideas do you have for decorating your home or apartment for a Mardi Gras party or Fat Tuesday celebration? Please share in our comments below.

Romantic Travel Destinations for Valentine’s Day (or Anytime)

Traveling for Valentine’s Day can be a special and memorable way to celebrate the holiday with the one you love. You can plan a long weekend for Valentine’s Day or even a full week away or longer. The most important thing in planning your romantic Valentine’s getaway is to choose a nice destination that you and your sweetheart will both enjoy.

Before you start planning your Valentine’s Day getaway, be sure you have a budget in mind. You don’t want to break the bank, but it will be good to have an idea of how much you can comfortably spend. Consider these romantic travel destinations for Valentine’s Day.

•    Wine Country in California – Check out Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley for an unforgettable week or weekend of tasting wine, touring, and enjoying the gorgeous scenery.

•    Florida’s sunny beaches – Whether you enjoy golf or sunbathing, you can have a great time relaxing and soaking up the sunshine in Florida. Stay at the Radisson Resort Orlando Celebration or one of the many other vacation resorts. Be sure you check out the sand, the surf, and the delightful activities that await in one of America’s favorite vacation hotspots!

•    A Caribbean cruise – For a memorable and unique Valentine’s vacation, plan a romantic cruise where you can enjoy countless activities, excursions, and cuisine options.

•    A ski trip in Colorado or Vermont – If you and your sweetheart are the athletic or outdoorsy type, consider a ski trip or other athletic themed getaway for Valentine’s Day weekend.

•    Hawaiian escape – If price is no object, a trip to Hawaii could be the perfect escape in February. Time to dream of palm trees, tropical drinks, and relaxing on the beach!

These are just a few options to help you plan a Valentine’s getaway. You might also be able to find something closer to home for a long weekend, like a bed and breakfast or couples resort. Please feel free to share any other ideas you have for romantic couples travel in our comments section!

Celebrating Groundhog Day: Dates, Ideas, and Activities

Groundhog Day comes once a year, often without much change in pace from a normal day. Rather than letting this once-a-year event pass you by, you can celebrate Groundhog Day, or even just recognize it with an activity with your family or significant other. You can plan a Groundhog Day date to enjoy with your sweetheart or plan activities for the day with your kids or family. Try these suggestions for a fun and festive Groundhog Day this year!

Celebrated each year on February 2, Groundhog Day is a holiday where a groundhog leaves its burrow to help determine whether winter will end soon or if we will have six more weeks of winter. The biggest celebration for Groundhog Day takes place in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, where the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil makes an appearance each year.

 

If you are interested in celebrating Groundhog Day with your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, or family, consider these suggestions for Groundhog Day dates, ideas, and activities:

•    Visit Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania for the biggest Groundhog Day celebration ever. Crowds as large as 40,000 have gathered to celebrate this annual holiday.

•    Find Groundhog Day celebrations in other parts of Pennsylvania, including Quarryville in Lancaster County, the Anthracite Region of Schuylkill County, the Sinnamahoning Valley, and Bucks County. You can also check out groundhog celebrations around Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland; Shenandoah Valley, Virginia; Woodstock, Illinois; Lilburn, Georgia; and various Amish populations throughout the United States (Credit: Wikipedia).

•    Enjoy Groundhog Day celebrations in Wiarton, Ontario and Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia in Canada.

•    Stay home and watch the movie Groundhog Day featuring actor Bill Murray.

•    See if the groundhog “Queen Charlotte” sees her shadow at the Charlotte Nature Center in North Carolina.

•    Snuggle up under blankets and watch movies to avoid more weeks of winter.

•    Do Groundhog Day crafts and games with your kids, including word finds, coloring pages, and making cutout groundhogs.

•    Play board games, eat snacks, and relax in the comforts of your home.

•    Go out for dinner and dancing and pretend you are in on the Punxsutawney festivities.

•    Make groundhog cookies using a sugar cookie cutouts recipe and circle or oval cookie cutters. Use frosting to make the groundhog’s face.

Relaxing and enjoying movies and snacks may be the easiest way of all to enjoy Groundhog Day with those you love. What other things can you think of doing for Groundhog Day?

Travel Ideas for the New Year: Top 10 Vacation Destinations for 2011

When the New Year rolls around, many people start to think about their vacations for the year. During the colder months of the year, travel destinations may lean towards warm and tropical locations, sunny beaches, and cruises full of sun-soaked things to do. No matter if you want to travel with your sweetheart, your family, or a group of friends in the New Year, consider these vacation travel destinations for 2011.

Top 10 Vacation Destinations for 2011
Consider these travel destination ideas for vacationing with your sweetheart, family, or friends this year:

1.    Take a cruise. Plan ahead for a good deal and be sure to enjoy the many activities and food options offered to your group.

2.    Go on a road trip. Find a place you would like to visit within six or eight hours of your home and hit the road.

3.    Make arrangements to go to Disney. This trip would work best with a group of friends, a family trip with kids who are old enough to remember the experience, or even as a romantic getaway for two.

4.    Choose a mountain retreat. Whether you plan a ski trip or an exclusive getaway away from civilization, take your travel companions and enjoy some fresh mountain air.

5.    Plan a camping trip. You might not have to spend much, but you can really cash in on making a ton of memories!

6.    Hide away at an all-inclusive resort. If you can afford to sneak away for a long weekend or a full week, an all-inclusive vacation helps you get the most for your money and your time.

7.    Spend some time at a lakeside resort. You can enjoy water sports, fishing, boating, and more. Take the family vacation or enjoy a secluded romantic lakeside getaway.

8.    Check out some national landmarks.
You can have a great time soaking up the nation’s history and natural wonders. Don’t forget your camera for this memorable vacation.

9.    See what there is to see in Canada. You can enjoy Niagara Falls or Nova Scotia or countless other amazing destinations across the Canadian border.

10.    Consider a European or Asian vacation destination if your finances allow it. You might need to save your money for a while, but the vacation you take to another country will be well worth it!

These are our top 10 travel destination ideas for 2011, no matter if you are traveling with significant other, family, or friends. We hope one of these destinations offers you the perfect getaway. If you have other ideas, please share them in our comments!

 

More Things to Do on a Rainy Day – Ideas for Dates or Activities Indoors

Rainy days can completely destroy your mood and make you feel like there’s nothing to do. A rainy day takes away your chances of doing a lot of things outside, but it can also impact your plans for a special occasion like your birthday or your anniversary. If you are looking for something different and exciting to do on a rainy day, consider these suggestions.

Places to Go on a Rainy Day
If it’s raining outside, you can still have fun indoors. Find rainy day activities to try in your local area. Consider these ideas for places you can go to have fun on a rainy day:

 

1.    Drink – Visit a local winery or brewery.

2.    Play – Go to an arcade or an indoor fun zone with mini golf, laser tag, or other activities.

3.    Watch – See a movie at the theater.

4.    Learn – Check out a museum or other local indoor cultural attraction.

5.    Skate – Go ice skating or roller skating.

6.    Listen – Try to find a local concert or other indoor musical performance.

7.    Experience – Get tickets to a play, dinner theater, or comedy club.

8.    Cheer – Go see a game at a local hockey arena or check out a lacrosse team, arena football team, or indoor soccer team.

9.    Eat – Grab lunch, dinner, or dessert and drinks at your favorite nearby restaurant. A fifties diner or soda jerk type place could be a great fit for a rainy day.

10.    Sing – Try out your singing voice at a local karaoke bar or karaoke club.

11.    Dance – Check out a local dance club or night club.

12.    Shop – Hit up the mall to spend some of your rainy day cash.

13.    Observe – Go to a farmer’s market to shop or people watch.

14.    Discover – Take a class or workshop on crafts, cooking, wine tasting, photography, or something else you like.

15.    Compete – Challenge your friends or sweetheart to a game of bowling.

These are just a few ideas for places you can go to have a good time on a rainy day. All suggestions might not be appropriate for everyone. If you have other suggestions for something fun to do or somewhere cool to go on a rainy day, please share below in our comments.

Valentine’s Day Cookies – Tips & Tricks for a Fun Valentine Activity

You might not need an excuse to bake cookies, but baking beautiful heart-shaped cookies for Valentine’s Day can be a lot of fun. Whether you are baking for your family or for your sweetheart, you can create gorgeous, delicious valentine cookies that look and taste great. Consider these tips and tricks for making Valentine’s Day cookies this year.

Before you get started in making your valentine cookies, be sure you have all the necessary ingredients, especially eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, chocolate chips, and everything else in the cookie recipes that you will be using. You might also want to make sure you have a nice selection of heart-shaped cookie cutters or other Valentine’s Day baking accessories.

Consider these tips as you make your own Valentine’s Day cookies:

•    Choose the type of cookie based on your sweetheart’s or family’s favorites. Even if you want to decorate hearts for Valentine’s Day, you can still have fun making other types of valentine cookies. If your boyfriend or husband prefers chocolate chip cookies, just spruce them up for the occasion with pink and red M&Ms!

•    Try a variety of heart cookie shapes for a pretty display. You can craft your cookies to look like conversation hearts, lace-trimmed valentines, cupid hearts with arrows, double hearts, and so much more. Find a nice heart cookie cutter set so you are prepared to make a fine selection of Valentine’s cookie shapes!

•    Bake cookies together with your sweetheart for a romantic activity to do on V-Day. You might have to twist his arm a little bit, but you can definitely have a great time baking cookies together, or making anything in the kitchen for that matter.

•    Decorate your sugar cookies with sugar crystals, sprinkles, and frosting or icing. You can have lots of fun decorating each valentine cookie with a different color, pattern, or style of baking decorations. Use your creativity to make a batch of beautiful heart cookies!

•    For a different look, consider dyeing your cookies pink with food coloring! You will love how nice the pink cookies look, especially if you are making heart-shaped cookies. You can also do some regular cookie dough and some pink cookie dough so you can make lacey-heart valentine cookie styles as well.

If you like your cookies to stay soft, you can place a slice of bread in the Tupperware container. The bread will get hard, but the cookies will stay nice and soft. Soft and chewy cookies often steal the hearts of cookie lovers everywhere, so be sure to try this trick at home.

What other Valentine cookie baking tips do you have? Please share them in our comments below.

10 Ways to Help You Lose Weight in the New Year

Many people set New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, improve their figure, and eat healthier. Some have very specific weight goals or shape goals. Others may have very vague goals related to weight loss and an overall healthier lifestyle. Consider these tips to help you lose weight and change your appearance in the New Year.

A number of different factors play into a person’s ability to lose weight. As you plan your target weight loss goals for the New Year, keep in mind that you may have to seriously change your diet as well as your exercise routine. You might consider a balanced plan involving a healthier diet with smaller portions, strength training, cardio, and drinking more water to keep your body hydrated. If you stay focused on your goal you should be able to see results within the first few weeks of trying to lose weight and improve your shape.

Consider these different ways you can work out to lose weight and reach your ideal body. Be sure to speak with your doctor prior to beginning any new exercise routine.

•    Yoga – Yoga for weight loss is a popular style of this peaceful exercise application. Consider trying a variety of yoga workouts to find one that works best for you. You can try short and long yoga videos or find a yoga class local to your area.

•    Pilates – Pilates is well known for trimming and toning your core but giving you a beautiful body overall. Stick with your Pilates workout as you work toward your fitness goals and take note of your improved balance and flexibility. Mari Winsor’s Slimming Pilates Kit offers a wonderful workout with her signature piece of equipment, the accelerator, which combines the best of hand weights, resistance bands, and bars to help your body get a workout like no other. I received this kit by Mari Winsor and found the workout to be just challenging enough, with lasting results I could feel the next day.

•    Running – Running is a great way to burn calories and get your body in shape. Sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate, so you can try to run on a treadmill if you can’t get outside for your running workouts. If you need to motivate yourself to stick to your running routine, consider picking out some new running clothes or running shoes to motivate you toward that finish line.

•    Strength Training – Weights and resistance bands can help you train your body and meet your fitness goals. Consider an excellent workout that combines strength training and cardio like the Lalofit workouts by Lalo Fuentes. You can also do a series of pushups, pull-ups, ab work, and other strength training exercises to help you reach your weight-loss goals.

•    P90X – The well-known P90X workout is a three-month regimen that allows exercisers to get lean, bulk up, or simply grow stronger with a variety of creative and diverse workouts and a highly effective nutrition plan.

•    Variety of Workout Videos – With a little research you can find the workout videos that work for you. Consider Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred for a motivational workout that keeps you moving until you’re done with three circuits that make the time fly. More than 2000 people have reviewed this workout video on Amazon with great remarks!

•    Belly Dancing – To tone and trim your middle, consider belly dancing as a fun way to shed some pounds and inches. You can also spice up your love life by learning some sexy moves to try at home. To get started, look for belly dancing classes near your home or check into instructional videos on belly dancing.

•    Ballet or Other Dance – Have you ever noticed how most dancers are in incredible shape? Try to find dance classes near your home or order some dance workout or instruction videos to try. You can also use the dance programs on video game systems like Just Dance and Dance Dance Revolution to help you lose some unwanted weight.

•    Video System Workouts – If you haven’t already, check out Wii Fit and other similar video game systems that encourage a healthier lifestyle and help you lose weight in the comfort of your home. Who wouldn’t love to lose weight playing video games with friends? The Wii Fit and other game systems also make a great gift idea for your loved ones.

•    Swim – If traditional exercise isn’t your style, or if you simply need a low-impact option for working out, consider swimming. You can take a class or sign up for a membership with your local YMCA or gym and take advantage of their pool and water workouts. Just don’t forget a lovely new swimsuit!

If you are looking to lose a relatively large amount of weight, say, 10 pounds, in a short amount of time (less than a week), you might consider the Amazing Weightloss Plan – “Lose 10lbs in Just 4 Days.” This program gives you a healthy meal plan with real food that you can use for four days only and see results pretty much immediately. It’s not a fad diet or anything unconventional, and numerous customers have provided testimonials stating they’ve lost 7 to 10 pounds in only 4 days and kept them off. You can use this diet only once a month and then you must wait until a month passes before using it again. You can read more about the Amazing Weightloss Plan Lose 10lbs in 4 Days or purchase it for only $14.95.

Remember, not every exercise routine works for everyone. The same goes for diets. Everyone’s body responds differently to exercise and diet, so you may have to experiment with a few different exercise types to find the one that works best for you. Share your successes and questions in our comments!

Exercise for a New You – Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2

If you want a challenging workout that pushes you to your limits and gives your body results you never knew possible, consider this intense workout from Lalo Fuentes. Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2, is the second exercise program offered on DVD from the fitness guru who works out hard with you during each movement and each rep. Give your body a challenge with this workout video that combines strength training, cardio, and high-rep, multi-muscle toning moves.

I received a copy of Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 from Lalo Fuentes for the purpose of my review. I greatly enjoyed his original exercise program on DVD, Lalofit, and looked forward to trying out the next iteration. Volume 2 does not disappoint! His “freeze technique” reminds us to “take a second to connect” with our muscles rather than rushing through the moves. The workout lasts 55 minutes and features an onscreen timer and countdown for reps, ensuring your motivation and mental state carry you toward the end of each of the exercises. The last eight minutes are for cool-down and stretching, and you will be grateful when you realize you’ve reached this phase of the workout.

In terms of my workout challenges, my upper-body strength has always been lacking. I would rate the Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 workout as a serious intermediate to advanced level workout purely due to the complicated pushup variations. I always struggle with the push-ups in both of Lalo’s workouts, but I am happy to report that I’ve been successful enough to get to 15 – 20 true pushups before switching to the variation from the knees. Lalofit v2 features a few different pushup moves than you might expect, including spider pushups and elbow-knee pushups, full rotation pushups, and jump-squat pushups. I don’t particularly like pushups, but some of these moves aren’t as difficult as others. You can also vary your pushup position to start from the knees if you have difficulty completing the moves.

The other moves work different muscle groups and some of the moves even work your entire body. On the first day I did this workout, I had not been working out regularly leading up to my first trial. I found myself sore for two or three days following the Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 workout. Now, after a couple of months of working out four to six days a week, I am not experiencing any over-the-top soreness, but I do feel tighter and trimmer.

I’m a pretty busy person so I don’t always have as much time to exercise as I would like. I try to fit the 55-minute Lalofit v2 workout into my rotation about once a week. I alternate this intense exercise program with Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred and a series of 10-minute Pilates workouts. The Lalofit v2 program features six intervals and a warm-up and cool-down, with moves that work on just about every muscle in your body. Some key movements include various types of lunges, squats, pushups, jumping jacks, hops, plank, leg kicks and raises, and burpees, to name a few. I feel hardcore every time I get to the end of the Lalofit: The Freeze Technique, Volume 2 DVD.

The workout features a number of 30-second breaks, and you may find yourself looking forward to them. This workout is going to challenge you. You will sweat. You will look forward to the end of the workout, but in the end, you will lose weight and tighten your body. I have. If you have any health issues or concerns about your ability to complete an intense workout, be sure you speak with your doctor before getting started.

For more information about the Lalofit workouts, the freeze technique, or Lalo Fuentes, check out http://www.lalofitness.com. You can order the original Lalofit DVD or Lalofit v2 at Amazon.com or as an autographed copy for $14.95 at Lalo Fitness.

 

Easy Home Fragrance Options: Candles, Warmers, Reed Diffusers, and More

Even if you don’t have pets, it can be a challenge to keep your home smelling fragrant and fresh. If you are looking for easy home fragrance options to keep your house and various rooms smelling great, consider candles, potpourri warmers, reed diffusers, air freshener jars, and more. These home fragrance products offer a super speedy way to freshen your home without a great expense or much effort.

Depending on your home décor and personal sense of style, you can choose from a wide variety of home fragrance goodies. Read on to find the best fit for your home.

 

Reed Diffusers for a Fresh Smelling Room
Reed diffusers are an elegant way to get your bedrooms, bathrooms, and common areas smelling great in no time. To use a reed diffuser, simply purchase one and remove it from the packaging. Remove the cap that keeps the fragrance liquid from spilling and place the reed sticks into the liquid. For a more intense aroma, you can flip the reeds upside-down so the saturated ends are exposed.

I received a Nectaire Reed Diffuser with an absolutely lovely lavender fragrance. This product immediately enhanced the scent of our home with the aromatic and organic scent of lavender. Nectaire’s lavender reed diffuser features a clear glass bottle with fragrance oil and 10 diffuser reeds to ensure appropriate distribution of your fragrance product. The bottle lasts between six and eight weeks, bringing pure fragrant pleasure to all who enter your home.

You can find reed diffusers at many local stores such as Wal-Mart, Ross, CVS, RiteAid, and Target, to name a few. You can also shop for them online if you wish to find a specific fragrance. To learn more about Nectaire products, please see www.nectaire.com.

Candles to Add to Your Atmosphere
Candles add a nice romance to your home or to a particular room, especially a bedroom, dining room, or even your eat-in kitchen. You can add a nice fragrance to your home based on the season, focusing on evergreens, cinnamon, and fresh baked cookies for the winter season, florals, rain scents, and fresh linen for the spring, fruits, beach fragrance, sea spray, and sweet scents for the summer, and pumpkin, apple, fallen leaves, or nutty scents for the fall.

Choose many white candles for a purely romantic effect or choose a single powerful scent to liven up the mood in your home. Whenever you burn candles, be sure to ensure the safety of your home, belongings, and family by placing your candle on a safe surface and away from any curtains or hanging items.

Potpourri Warmers / Wax Tart Warmers for a Festive Mood
Potpourri warmers and wax tart warmers like those offered by Scentsy and Yankee Candle are a great way to set off a lovely fragrance while also enhancing the mood and ambiance of your home. You can use these warmers as a lovely home accent in your family room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or other location. Coordinate colors with your existing furnishings for a lovely accent piece.

These items also make lovely gifts for housewarmings and for showers or just about any special occasion. When buying fragrance products like candles and warmers for friends and family, try to choose the gift recipient’s favorite scent if you know it. If you don’t know the best scent to select, try to stay away from anything very unusual and get a run-of-the-mill fragrance that isn’t too overpowering.

Air Freshener Jars and Plug-in Products for Fast Yet Lasting Results
If you are looking for a fast way to change the scent of a particular room without having to do much maintenance, like watching or extinguishing a candle, consider products like Glade Plug-ins and the Febreeze alternative. You can also find jars of fragrance pearls that gradually shrink over time as they release their aroma. Choose the product that works best for your lifestyle and the space that you need to freshen.

What are your favorite fragrances for your home this time of year?

Travel Ideas for Mature Single Women

Traveling is the best reward that you can give to yourself for all the efforts that you have done in your life, from working hard to raising a family. Treat yourself by visiting the places that you have always wanted to see. Traveling alone is the most adventurous part of being a traveler. Unlike traveling with friends, when you travel by yourself, you can choose the places that you really want to see. Most of the time when traveling in groups, travelers may wait for their friends’ approval. If you travel alone, you have all the freedom that you want with no limitations at all.

Consider these amazing locations and travel ideas for mature single women who would like to travel on their own:

Stunning Singapore – Traveling in Singapore is can be exciting and memorable. This country has been awarded for being the cleanest and most green of all countries in Asia. Singapore is known for the famous Fountain of Wealth located in Suntec City. Everyone speaks English and it’s the safest location where single mature travelers won’t have to worry about walking all day long. Singapore is very convenient where the hotels, coffee shops and shopping malls are few minutes away. They have lots of tourist attractions suited for your single travel vacation needs. Museums, cultural shows, Singapore Zoo, Universal Studios, and countless other attractions await single female travelers.

•  Beautiful Venice – Everyone should go to Europe in their lifetime. The city of Venice is a truly amazing location to visit. Alleys, bridges, and waterways were interlinked all over for a totally spectacular view. Be sure to bring a camera to capture the elegant Venetian buildings and palaces that tower over the narrow streets and many canals.

•    Breathtaking Canada – Only few countries reveal  the number and range of natural wonders that Canada does. One of the best reasons to visit Canada is Niagara Falls, the endless flowing of falls that creates a gorgeous waterscape for your viewing pleasure. You can expect to see the natural beauty all around, from mountains and glaciers to forests and lakes. Canadas natural wonders will never disappoint you, and the shopping and wine tasting options give you other activities to enjoy during your stay.

•    Sultry Spa in Mandarin Oriental, Miami – For a relaxing trip by yourself, the Mandarin Oriental in Miami offers privacy and luxurious relaxation. Guests can book a private room with its own spa while enjoying relaxing  views and treatments from a spa specialist. Mature single women travelers may especially enjoy this kind of trip, where they can enjoy each activity at their own pace.

•    Chillax  in Chile – More and more people are discovering Chile as one of the hot tourist spot  today with it’s gorgeous city and diversified culture. Chile offers travelers an amazing landscape that can best be enjoyed in person. Easter Island is one of the world’s wonders, located in Chile. Huge stone like statues of an indigenous Chilean tribe greet travelers to this location. Chile is also the place of the Aquamarina Hot Spring Water Park where you can  relaxe in the natural hot spring water – a lovely treat for single mature females traveling to Chile.The hot springs are known to be the “fountain of youth,” which refreshes and regenerates your skin. What are you waiting for? Book now!

•    Find Inner Peace in Rome – Be prepared to take in the stunning architecture of Rome if you choose this singles travel destination. You will find the inner peace that you dream of by just looking of Rome’s  famous monuments and beaufiful  sculptures. Be sure to visit St. Peters Basilica and climb to the top of the dome where you can see the whole city of Rome. This vacation works great for single adult travel, especially for women looking for an amazing sightseeing adventure.

These are just a few suggestions for places mature single women may like to visit on their next solo vacation. Make the trip more exciting by inviting some girlfriends to join you on the trip! No matter what you decide, be sure to pack your camera so you can capture all the amazing sights and memories. Where else would you suggest for single woman’s travel?