How to Make Salt Dough Footprint Penguins

Baby handprint and footprint ornaments can be fantastic holiday gifts for those important family members. You can start with classic handprint ornament kits to become comfortable with the process, or dive right into the crafty handmade ornaments like Santa handprints and penguin footprints. Salt dough is easy to make and these ornaments can become a fun tradition for your son or daughter each holiday season.

Rather than recount the whole recipe, I am going to direct you to this excellent blog post on how to make Santa handprint ornaments. Here are the simplified steps to creating a penguin footprint ornament.

1. Make the salt dough first.

2. Roll out the dough and make an impression of your baby’s footprint.

3. Cut around the foot, leaving room for the hook or hanger as well as a place to write the year and your child’s name.

4. Consider carving details, like the beak, eyes, and a bowtie, with a toothpick.

5. Insert a paperclip into the top of the ornament. This will hold the hook.

6. Place on a cookie sheet.

7. Repeat as desired.

8. Bake as instructed.

9. Allow to cool.

10. Once fully cooled, paint as desired.

a. Suggested Paint Instructions:

b. Black footprint to form penguin, with heel as head

c. White oval belly

d. Orange triangle beak

e. Red or green bowtie

f. Silver background

11. Allow to dry.

12. Apply a coating of Modge Podge to seal the ornaments.

13. Use a snow writer or other paint pen to write the child’s name and the year.

14. Glue on wiggly eyes.

15. Tie a piece of red ribbon or cord onto the exposed paperclip.

16. Put into a gift box and offer to that special someone!


Remember to be very careful with these, as they can break very easily. These penguin footprint ornaments are a lovely gift for any grandparent, parent, aunt, or uncle. Enjoy!


National Margarita Day Recipes

La Pinta & Clase Azul Tequila

National Margarita Day is coming up on February 22nd; are you ready?! In case you aren’t an A-class mixologist, I’ve got you covered. Your friends will think you are top-notch with these recipes. (We can keep it a secret that you didn’t come up with them yourself.)

I received samples of La Pinta Pomegranate Tequila and Clase Azul Plata Tequila to create the two following easy to make, easy to impress margarita recipes. I’ve sampled La Pinta before and it was well received. For more recipes using La Pinta as well as other low-cal cocktail recipes, check out my article here.

This year National Margarita Day falls on a Friday-what a perfect way to celebrate the end up the week. While you’re TGIF’ing, make it an event to remember by enjoying festive snacks like mini quesadillas or chips and guacamole!

Clase Azul Plata Tequila

These margarita recipes are at perfect proportions. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced making a cocktail with so little things to add! There were no complicated items or steps and no one felt the need to add anything sugary to make it sweeter. Both drinks received many thumbs up from several different taste buds!

Clase Azul Plata Margarita

2 oz. Tequila Clase Azul Plata
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
½ oz. agave nectar
Shake and serve on the rocks, garnish with a lime slice.

This is the drink for lovers of tequila. It pack a strong, yet delicious punch. Clase Azul Plata Tequila comes in the most beautiful bottle. I’ve gotten just as many compliments on the bottle as the recipe received!

La Pinta Tequila

La Pintarita

2 oz. La Pinta 
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
½ oz. agave nectar

Shake and serve on the rocks, garnish with pomegranate seeds and lime wheel.

The sweeter of the two drinks, La Pintarita, offers a tart fruity drink. This was the clear party favorite. It even received the high acclaim of “This is my new favorite drink!”

These recipes call for the same ingredients, which makes the trip to the store super easy (as long as you search in the right places)! I found larger bottles of lime juice in the juice aisle (Imagine that!) and the agave nectar by the sugar in the baking aisle.


Tips and suggestions:

I suggest not skipping the “shake” step and to use a cocktail mixer in order to avoid the agave nectar sticking to the bottom of the glass.

  • If you want to switch things up a bit, use limeade if you don’t have lime juice on hand.
  • Although the pomegranate and the lime mainly serve as garnish, these fruits are great to keep on hand to snack on the seeds or to use slices for tequila shots.
  • Search online for where you can find these brands near you- they are well worth it!
Margarita Ingredients


Extra Cheese- If You Please

Cheese tray Our long love affair with cheese in America dates back to the days of Christopher Columbus and the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620 near Plymouth, Massachusetts. Even though the pilgrims brought no cows initially, milk and cheese became important staples in the colonists’ diet. Goats and buffalo provided the milk and therefore, the cheese, until cows were shipped from England, sometime later. It is believed by historians that goat and buffalo cheese was presented to the Native Americans during the first Thanksgiving celebration. The actual creation of cheese is unknown but, credible historians believe its existence predates recorded history and its discovery was probably accidental.

Today, cheeses’ nutritional data and fat content are important factors to keep in mind when choosing the right cheese to purchase for your family. Cheese, as we know, is high in fat, sodium, and dreaded calories. But, the cheese nutritional value is believed to be more beneficial to the body when it is moderately consumed as part of a healthy diet, rather than removing cheese from your diet all together. Most cheese on the market today contains Zinc, Vitamins A and B12, Phosphorous, and Calcium in abundant concentrations, making it vital to a healthy diet. Currently, 54 countries produce 606 types of cheese with many different textures and colors presenting a wide variety of flavors. The pickiest palate can find a flavor as well as the nutrition that he or she needs to help maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Cheese wheel Cheese has long been accused of playing a major role in the obesity epidemic in America. When reviewing the published nutritional facts for cheese, it is apparent that the high fat content, calories, and the amazing flavor of cheese, could easily lead us to over indulge on our favorite. But, not all cheeses are bad when trying to control your weight. If high fat content and calories are your concern, you can find several options that will treat you to an amazing cheese without the increased fat and calories. Many types of cheese are also offered in a low fat, low sodium variety. Cottage cheese is naturally the lowest in fat, sodium, and cholesterol, while cream cheese, among others, contains an amazingly high fat content. Knowing the difference can be important when trying to win the battle of the bulge.

Cheese, along with milk and yogurt, provides a unique combination of nutrients that, studies show, offers many health benefits; helping develop strong bones in the young and actually helping improve bone health for the aging population. Calcium fights the onset of osteoporosis and helps reduce high blood pressure when consumed in moderation.

Cheddar cheese is perhaps the most versatile and common cheese in the world. Created in England, its wide range of sharp, smooth flavor has helped cheddar become the most purchased and consumed cheese in the world. A little higher in calories and sodium but yet, its richness in vital nutrients makes this cheese beneficial to a healthy diet.

American cheese is actually a “processed” cheese made from a milk, milk fats, solids, and whey protein. It was initially made from a mixture of cheeses, more often than not Colby and Cheddar (which are American created cheeses as well). Since blended cheeses are no longer used in its production, American “cheese” is now pasteurized and classified a processed cheese food. Instead of the word “cheese”, it is now called “American slices” or “American singles”. Most companies that produce individually wrapped American cheese label the package with individual cheese slice nutrition statistics to clearly show the good and the bad cheese nutrition data compiled by the Office of food safety (FDA). Though criticized for its high fat content, it is still purchased and consumed in large quantities. It contains an abundant amount of our daily required vitamins, calcium, and protein, helping us to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In the United States alone, we consume over 32 pounds of cheese per person annually, slightly increasing yearly. Cheddar, American, Mozzarella, Colby, and Provolone (in that order) remain the favorites and most purchased cheeses in the U.S. with an average personal consumption of 10 pounds of each per year. It’s obvious in America that we continue to say, “extra cheese please”.


Valentine’s Gifts to Daddy from his Little Girl

No bond comes close to the special relationship between a little girl and her daddy. Even from her earliest months before her first birthday, you can see the sparkle in her eyes as she looks at him or when he makes her laugh. Celebrate this special love by helping your daughter choose a Valentine’s gift for her daddy that he will cherish for years to come. Consider these Valentine’s gifts for dad from his daughter to make sure your entire family has a special time this February 14.

No matter what your budget, you can find or create lovely Valentine’s Day gifts for daddy, even at the last minute.

Valentine’s Gifts from Infant Daughter to Daddy
A little baby may not know how to gift her dad a gift this Valentine’s Day, aside from a sweet smile or a loving look, but you as mom can give her the help she needs to give dad a very special gift. Consider these Valentine’s Day gifts to dad from a baby daughter:

* Handmade Valentine – Get out the construction paper, lace, glue, paint, and glitter, and have fun. You can put your little daughter’s handprint or footprint on a paper heart and decorate it for your husband to mark your baby’s first Valentine’s Day. Don’t forget to put the date and sign her name!

* Salt Dough Handprint or Footprint in a heart – Use a basic salt dough recipe and a large heart cookie cutter (or carve a heart with a dull knife). Gently press your baby’s handprint or footprint into the dough and use a toothpick or other small implement to add her name and the date. Bake as directed. Once cooled, paint however you like and seal with Modge Podge. Consider inserting a paper clip before baking if you would like to allow your heart to hang, or leave it as is for a paperweight style heart.

Valentine’s Gifts from Toddler or Young Daughter to Daddy

Toddlers and little ones get into everything! Take advantage of that and make her daddy’s Valentine’s Day a special one with some irreplaceable memories. Here are some gift ideas from a toddler girl to her daddy on Valentine’s Day:

* Handmade Valentine – Let your daughter make her own Valentine with any craft supplies you both so desire. Help her to cut and glue, but let her design everything the way she wants it. Help her to sign her name and take a picture of her holding it up, for a special bonus to the gift.

* Make a Video – Have your daughter do something cute or funny and make a video of it on your phone or Flip Video camera. You and her daddy both will love having this special footage years from now.

* Finger Paint Picture – Let your little daughter make her daddy a picture of her choosing using a fun craft supply like finger paint. Be sure to help her sign her name.

* Cookies – What dad doesn’t love cookies? Make some homemade chocolate chip cookies or other favorites with your daughter and help her wrap them up for Dad. You may have to do most of the work, but let her add the sprinkles or sugar sparkles on top so he can see right away that she helped.

When Being Prepared Counts: Advice from an EMT – Tips and Kits for Home and Away

Snow Covered Street The leaves are falling and the birds have flown south; natures’ subtle way of letting us know that another harsh winter is quickly approaching. Being prepared for the challenges of an unpredictable winter will help keep your family safe, secure, and warm. Making sure your home is safe and ready is a good place to begin winter preparations. Having adequate insulation in the attic of your home is essential; keeping the house warmer helps to not over work the heating system. A home heating system of any type can become dangerous when it is repeatedly overworked and especially as it becomes outdated. An average of 50,100 heating fires occur in homes in the United States each year, resulting in an average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries, and $326 million in property loss. Being prepared can help keep your family safe; don’t become a statistic.

Fireplaces are especially dangerous if they haven’t been properly maintained. Proper service is essential and inexpensive. It is very important to allow sufficient air exchange when heating the house, especially if gas or fireplace heat is used. When gas/wood is burned, it creates many dangerous byproducts. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas byproduct that, if not vented properly, can be deadly to your family. CO poisoning is a serious medical emergency. If left undetected and untreated, it can cause coma and death. Protecting your family with a smoke detector is essential. There should be one outside each bedroom as well as inside each bedroom. If your heating system operates on open flame, it is essential to have at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level of the house.

The electrical power can go out at any time and leave you and your family in the cold and dark. Staying warm and safe can become a difficult task to accomplish during winter. It is a good idea to keep plenty of prepackaged emergency blankets and a survival kit specifically designed for winter. An emergency heat source can be essential; you can find LP/Propane portable heaters of several types and manufacturers.

A severe winter storm, as we all know, can be devastating, leaving your family stranded at home or even worse, stuck, scared, and alone in your car. Survival can depend on whatever preparations you have made to protect you and your family. Always be prepared, especially when the conditions outside are inhospitable to human survival. Keep enough food and water, dry clothes, and personal essentials on hand to be able to stay put for an extended period of time, perhaps a week. Keeping fresh food in your car or home when the power is out isn’t practical or safe. Protein bars, granola, freeze-dried survival food packages can be perfect alternatives. Keep one to two gallons of water for each person, survival emergency blankets, road flares, flashlights, and at least one dry change of clothes for everyone in the car.

You never know when an injury is going to take place, so keep a first aid kit close at hand. To help you find the right first aid kits, offers great deals from a wide variety of first aid suppliers, depending on your specific needs. It pays to be ready, and doesn’t your family deserve it? Preparation is the common sense approach that can make the difference in an emergency!


Article provided by A. Lawson, CCTRP- Emergency Services Paramedic

Irish & Celtic Wedding Dress Styles

Wedding DressPicking the right wedding dress can be a very tricky affair. However, with the coming of the Internet, and Pinterest, things are easier than ever. The Celtic wedding dress presents a testament of individuality and passion on your wedding day. The bride can either choose a formal or informal dress. A Celtic wedding gown also carries a medieval, romantic aura that makes the bride feel like a princess in a fairyland. These gowns also offer a wide range of styles to consider. The bride can choose from minimalistic gowns, ball gowns, the flamboyant, detachable trains, or even the fuller, naturally flowing wedding gowns.

Another available option is the Irish crochet wedding dress. With this wedding dress, it is advisable that you order it way before the wedding day because it takes quite some time to get it ready. The bride who chooses this crochet wedding dress should be creative when it comes to accessorizing it. It is a good idea to get a crocheted veil and headpiece for that glamorous look. Irish wedding dresses come in a variety of designs and styles. The bride can either go for the cathedral length trains or the tea-length gowns.

A bride who loves Celtic traditions can incorporate them by looking through Celtic wedding dresses. This is a good way of adding flair to your wedding for a memorable occasion. These wedding dresses are much more vibrant and colorful than the traditional gown. They come in a variety of colors, like blues, greens, and reds. Your wedding will even be more colorful if you have the maids wear Celtic bridesmaid dresses. The Celtic dresses and gowns are the best choice if your wedding has an Irish theme. The dresses are stylish and elegant and a good way of honoring heritage.

Yet another unique wedding dress is the Irish lace wedding dress. Adorning your wedding gown with a handmade Irish lace is the best way of reflecting the Irish heritage in your gown. With the Celtic dress, you can embrace the Welsh, Scottish, and Irish ancestry. This wedding dress can go well with Celtic jewelry, which is a perfect way of touching the Celtic flare. To complete the look, you can go for a Celtic ring, necklaces, and pendants, all available on the Internet or in specialty Celtic and Irish boutiques. A lovely Celtic or Irish wedding dress truly allows your sense of fashion to stand out on your wedding day.

Looking Good On The Go and Arriving In Style

Woman and Business Travel by zoomteamWhether you travel first class or budget, most people arrive at their destination looking rather disheveled. After all, traveling can be a stressful experience, and being stuck on a crowded plane or boat is enough to make the most glamorous woman feel frazzled. However, there are ways to avoid that ‘just arrived’ look, and with a few beauty tips you can reach your destination looking fabulous.

Time your sleep

If your journey crosses time zones, then a well-timed nap could be just what you need to avoid looking jet lagged on arrival. If you’re lucky enough to be in first class, or on a luxury cruise, then getting some shut eye should be easy. However, for those of you stuck in economy class, it can be difficult to sleep in such a crowded and noisy environment. Bring along an eye mask, noise canceling headphones, and a neck pillow to get yourself as cozy as possible. As soon as you get on the plane, set your watch or phone to the local time of your destination and then act as if you were already in the time zone. This will mean you’re more in sync when you arrive, avoiding that groggy look. Don’t worry if you can’t manage a full eight hours on your journey, studies have shown that even a power nap of a couple of hours can improve your alertness, and will keep you going when you reach your destination.


Everyone knows that awful, worn out feeling you get after a long flight. One of the main causes of this is dehydration, and it’s due to the air on board not being humidified. This leaves your skin dried out and your body vulnerable to a host of illnesses, not to mention making you feel terrible. As tough as it is, avoid the temptations of alcohol and caffeine on board. They will make you even more dehydrated and leave you feeling bloated and terrible. Try to avoid the junk food that’s always offered on board, as the high salt content will also make you thirsty and bloated. As well as drinking water, invest in a good facial spray and lip balm to put in your hand luggage. This will perk you up naturally and help you feel slightly more glamorous when mid-air.

Minimize your make up

No matter how skilled you are with a mascara brush, pretty much any make up will look dreadful after a long journey. Some women make the mistake of applying these long-lasting products, thinking they can survive hours of naps, dehydration, and runny eyes, only to find that they have been let down. The best thing to do is limit the amount of make up you wear on your travels. Apply some light foundation, tinted lip balm and maybe some clear mascara before your journey. Keep some make up removing wipes in your handbag, preferably ones which act as a moisturizer, and give your face a wipe before you go to sleep. This will avoid any clogged pores which could lead to post-travel breakouts. When you’re close to reaching your destination, you can then nip to the bathroom to re-apply your light make up, ensuring you arrive fresh faced and gorgeous.

Comfortable clothing

Staying comfortable on a plane doesn’t mean you have to resort to sweatpants and sneakers. There are plenty of options for clothing that looks good, yet can survive a long trip. If you’re going straight from your train, plane, or boat journey to a meeting or event, then it’s important to wear something that will be crease-free on arrival. Fabrics such as silk jersey look good, and can survive even hours of tossing and turning. A simple wrap dress can be dressed up or down, and even with some comfortable low heels it’s a glamorous choice. If you want to go more casual, then opt for light layers in easy to wear fabrics. Jeggings, a light sweater, and comfortable flats is a simple outfit, suitable for the longest of journeys, and will usually make it to your destination looking neat.

Traveling can be tough on your body, but there are many ways you can minimize the negative effects. By following these simple tips, you’ll arrive at your destination looking well-rested, and ready for business, pleasure, or whatever is thrown your way.


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Pretty Nail Art Ideas

Painting Nails by PixelandsoulEvery woman should allow her nails to make a fashion statement by decorating them with pretty nail art ideas. Creating beautiful fingernail art designs can be achieved with only a little effort and patience.  You can create nail art designs that are perfect for that special occasion. Apart from accessorizing your wardrobe, the nail art ideas will also express your individuality and complement your personality. These designs range from subtle to simple to elegant, quirky or even bold. If you wish to get in the holiday mood, you need to allow your nails to be part of the celebration with one of the many designs.

One nail art that is common and a favorite for most women is the French nails design.  This nail art is admired both for its simplicity and the elegance that it exudes.  With the French manicure, the tip of your nail is painted with a white nail polish. Depending on your available budget, you can opt to try out the different variations of the French manicure. You have the option of either using the different materials available or nail coatings, such as nail acrylics, gel, or even air polish, all depending on your individual taste. Other French manicure designs come with flower decorations or cartoon character designs. Check online for the latest designs and decorations of French manicure designs.

It is now possible to keep up with the trends with fashion nails without emptying your paycheck. A spectacular manicure does not have to be complicated or even cost a fortune. The 3D nail design is a hot trend that will leave your nails looking glamorous. It is fun to experiment with different polish colors and different nail designs as often as you like. Alternatively you can allow the style that suits you best to be your signature look, though it is important that you match your nails with your outfit if you want to get noticed.

Some nail polish designs are definitely more beautiful than others. To come up with the best designs, you should go for a long-lasting nail polish. Though a little bit expensive, they are worth the cost because they are perfect for a woman who wants to be creative with designs; they go on smoother but still do not chip. It is a perfect idea to go for nail designs that are original. For example, at Christmastime, you can have your nails painted with a moon, star, and Christmas tree to tell it all. To make your nails striking at all times, you can get the best nail polish online. Here you may find your favorite right off the bat or have fun trying a few different types.


Image courtesy of StockFreeImages.


Top 10 Mommy Meals to Make in 10 Minutes or Less

Mommy meals in 10 minutes or lessAs a relatively new mom, I’ve come to realize that even the best intentions don’t get things done around my house all the time. Sometimes the laundry suffers, sometimes the dishes, sometimes everything around me looks like a tornado tore through my home. I’m sure I’m not alone on this. I can’t tell you how many times it gets to be 2, 3, or even 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. I think those days occurred more frequently when my daughter was younger, but now that she’s crawling and sitting unsupported, I find it a little easier to make up a snappy lunchtime meal in 10 minutes or less.

In thinking about it, I realized other new moms, and moms of more than one child, might be able to benefit from some Quick Chef ideas. So, my friends, here you have it – my favorite 10 mommy meals to make in 10 minutes or less. Enjoy!

Leftovers – It probably goes without saying, but if you have a feeling you won’t have time to make yourself a decent lunch, just cook a little more for dinner a few times per week. You can have leftovers with just about anything you make, but my favorite leftover dishes are any kind of pasta bake like lasagna, baked ziti, macaroni and cheese, and other things like Stromboli, stir fry, or whatever your favorite meals are. My other favorite leftovers tip is when you are having meat, especially chicken, ham, or some kind of steak, get ready to use those leftovers in a nice mommy meal as outlined in my other favorites below…

Gourmet Salad – If you don’t mind the bagged variety, you can eat healthy and instantly. Save some leftover chicken, steak, ham, or even salmon or shrimp from the previous night’s dinner and top your salad off with a few strips of that yummy protein, sliced hard-boiled egg, shredded cheese, and some bacon bits (we keep a jar of real bacon bits in our fridge). I occasionally also top my salads with walnuts or pecans and dried cranberries or Craisins. Yum! Top with your favorite dressing. You can alternate between house salad, Caesar salad, and some variety of a chopped or wedge salad if you like. Plus, a few meals of salad each week should help you get back to your preferred weight, if you haven’t already.

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is one of the quickest meals you can make, especially if you pop it in the microwave. Add Craisins or other dried fruit, a little sugar or brown sugar, and I even throw in some mini chocolate chips from time to time. This fast mommy meal makes a great breakfast or brunch item, but I just had it for lunch a few days ago.

Omelet – I am not big on scrambled eggs, but I do like a nice turkey, bacon, and cheese omelet done MY way. I like to use those little egg and pancake molds that you can find in just about any cool kitchen store, or online at places like Amazon. (Added bonus—your kids will love pancakes shaped like hearts and flowers!) I simply add some leftover turkey or deli turkey / lunchmeat, some of the aforementioned bacon bits, and top with a slice of provolone cheese. You can make your omelet YOUR way as a great breakfast, brunch, or even lunch idea in just a few minutes.

Tuna Melt – Simple and yummy – top an English muffin or half of a plain bagel with your choice of tuna and a slice of your favorite cheese. (You can add shredded cheese instead if you prefer.) Pop it into the oven at about 350 for 7 or 8 minutes or so, or until desired doneness. As a special tip, you can do this if you have other foods on hand as well, like a chicken melt, turkey melt, ham and cheese melt, etc. Enjoy!

5 More Mommy Meals…

© Garuti | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

Losing that Lingering Winter Cough

Feeling better when the cough is stacked against you

Get rid of a dry, persistent, lingering cough!The aggravating, unrelenting common cold can be caused by a variety of viruses and can occur without warning anytime of the year. The onset and spread of the viral illness is more prevalent in the winter months because of the multitude of viruses that are known to thrive in the freezing weather. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of viruses believed to be responsible for the existence and yearly pandemic of the common cold. The symptoms include sore throat, runny nose or sinus congestion, a productive or nonproductive cough, and fatigue. A cold and its associated symptoms will usually last 7 -10 days, sometimes with a few lingering symptoms for another week. A cough can last longer, becoming persistent and resistant to the traditional treatments, leaving you feeling almost hopeless in your coughing nightmare.

A cough that brings up mucus is considered productive and shouldn’t be treated with medicine containing a cough suppressant. It is always best to see your primary physician when symptoms persist longer than 21 days. A cough that is dry and causes painful breathing is considered non-productive and should be evaluated by a medical professional. The doctor may suggest or prescribe from a slew of possible medications and treatments for the relentless cough, depending on the suspected cause. Follow all instructions to the letter and take any and all medication he or she prescribes, even if your symptoms subside, to prevent the reccurrence of the cough and cold. The only good news is that, since antibiotics won’t help the cold virus, they aren’t usually prescribed. Since 95% of all colds are viral in nature, the best your doctor can do is to treat the symptoms that are making you miserable.

You can try a few things to relieve the cough and ease the cold at home before it becomes a costly trip to the doctor’s office. Many home remedies are popular and offer inexpensive, safe, natural treatments for the symptoms of the common cough and cold. First and foremost, if you smoke, quit! That one is a no-brainer. If you continue to smoke after the onset of a persistent cough, you will have more problems to look forward in the future than the aggravation of a cough. A multitude of programs and aids can help you stop smoking. Next, avoid the possible causes of the cough, such as smog and air pollution. These irritants exist everywhere and avoiding them is seemingly impossible, so try to limit exposure to these irritants. Also, avoid pet dander, air fresheners, household cleaners, and pollen in flowers and on trees. Try to follow a healthy diet loaded with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, lean meats, fish, poultry, and skim or fat free dairy products. Avoid the foods that are high in trans-fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.

Drinking warm tea with honey will help break up the mucus of a productive cough and will ease the pain of a sore throat. Also, stay hydrated with water and juices containing high Vitamin C content. Certain foods like garlic, peppermint, onion, and basil make great vapor breathing decongestants. Honey and ginger seem to be a very effective natural cough suppressant. Many other natural ingredients have shown positive effects on the symptoms of the common cold as well as the persistent cough. Experts say that this year’s cold and flu season will be especially nasty. Take the time now to be prepared and the cough won’t be stacked against you.



The Catwalk Collection by TIGI

TIGI Haute Iron spray

In case you’re not in the know, TIGI is a renowned hair care brand that offers the coolest variety of products. Of these, the most notable may be their Bed Head product line that helps perfect the I-rolled-out-of-bed-like-this look.

If you are desiring dramatic hairstyles like those of the designer fashion, I’d like to point you in the direction of the Catwalk line. This line has been seen on the runways for collections by Chris Benz, Laura Siegel, Ann Yee, and more. Catwalk by TIGI is not just limited to the coifs of supermodels; this collection is available for purchase and to find a home in your hair care collection.

I received two samples from the line to try out for myself- the Haute Iron Spray and the Finishing Hairspray. From start to finish, these products help create flawless looks with extra shine. With thin hair, I often run into problems of using too much product, but these two TIGI items were easy to use and to avoid over-using.

It’s so nice to have a haircare item that can multi-function! I know it’s sometimes silly to choose a product for the scent or any other secondary feature, but I find myself reaching for my TIGI sprays over others because I KNOW- without any doubt- the spray will not only disperse evenly, but will smell absolutely fabulous. The Haute Iron Spray and Finishing Spray feature Mandarin Patchouli Noir and Tobacco Flower Noir fragrances, respectively.

Use the Haute Iron Spray from the Sleek Mystique collection before using any heat tool. Although the product is noted to be designed for straight hair, I’ve had no problem using it when blow-drying or curling my hair. Designed to protect locks from heat, the ultra-fine spray coats hair to maintain moisture and protect color-treated hair.

TIGI Finishing Hairspray Avoid hair-don’ts from damage with irons and dryers and create smooth soft hair-dos with TIGI’s Haute Iron Spray. If that’s not enough to sell you yet, AND you style your hair daily, this product will also provide much needed strength and prevent overworked and weak hair.

After you’ve achieved your desired look, top it off with the Finishing Hairspray from TIGI’s Catwalk Session Series. Designed to give you brushable, flexible, long-lasting hold, this product is ideal for updos, curls, and creating volume.

The fine mist of the spray coats several layers of hair for a firm hold. The series of hairsprays are specially designed to go through layers of hair to create a bond that will hold every part of your style- not just the top. The Finishing Spray has a medium to high hold, depending on the thickness and texture of your hair.


DIY Flavored Coffee Drinks

Coffee cupIf you love fancy coffee drinks more than your wallet can allow, consider trying your own hand at a beverage masterpiece. The following recipes are fairly simple and don’t require a limitless budget.

I received samples of Eight O’Clock Coffee for the purpose of this article. Let these recipes inspire you to create new recipes. Play around with the ingredients and swap out extracts and candies with other flavors.

If you’re picky about the sweetness of your coffee, making it yourself alleviates any issues with your drink being too sweet or too bitter. Alter the amounts to your taste buds to find the perfect balance. Maybe you’ll find your new favorite drink!

Eight O’Clock Coffee is available in bags, as well as in K cups designed fro Keurig coffee machines. These recipes are suited for a whole pot of coffee or just a cup. Perfect for however you make your coffee!

Caramel Almond Coffee Drink

½ tsp. almond extract per 6 oz. cup
1 rounded Tbsp. ground Eight O’Clock Original or 100% Colombian Coffee per 6 oz. cup
1 Tbsp. caramel syrup per 6 oz. cup
Cream or milk optional

Add almond extract to the bottom of the pot, ½ tsp. for each 6 oz. cup you’ll be brewing. Brew as you normally would. Stir caramel syrup into each cup.

For an individual cup:
Use 1 drop of almond extract. Add the extract and the caramel syrup to the bottom of your cup and stir.

Coconut Coffee

½ tsp. coconut extract per 6 oz. cup
1 rounded Tbsp. ground Eight O’Clock Original or 100% Colombian Coffee per 6 oz. cup
Cream, milk and/or sugar optional

Add coconut extract to the bottom of the pot. Brew as you normally would and pour into a cup.

For an individual cup:
Use 1 drop of coconut extract. Add the extract to the bottom of your cup and stir.

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee

2 squares of dark and raspberry chocolate squares
1 drop of orange flavored extract
1 rounded Tbsp. ground Eight O’Clock Original Coffee per 6 oz. cup
Cream or milk optional

Put the chocolate squares and extract in the bottom of each cup. Brew a pot as you normally would and pour into cups. Stir for about a minute, or until the candy has dissolved.

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