5 Gift Ideas For Valentines Day 2012

15 Feb

When thinking about Valentines Day the first thing that comes to mind is candy and flowers…then perhaps cupid or love. Women expect flowers and candy and men don’t have to give much thought to getting those gifts because every place they shop makes those items easily accessible.

This year I observed the same-o-same-o when it comes to gift giving. All the ladies received their flowers and chocolate at the office and each made the same little giggly squeal of joy. All this commotion for the same gifts each year got me thinking…I’d really love it if I saw someone’s partner actually put some thought into the gifts they were sending their loved one! Personally, I hate candy and flowers die. So, if you’re a man with a girl like me that has different tastes…listen up! Here are some alternate suggestions for your Valentines Day 2012…when is Valentines Day in 2012? Tuesday February 14th. You have plenty of time to plan, there is no excuse.

Does your significant other appreciate art? Consider spending a small amount on a single rose, and a large amount of quality time at a museum or art show. Take an interest in where you are taking your loved one and take a few moments to become familiar with what will be shown or on display so that you can actively engage with your partner. The quality time is priceless, and your loved one will treasure the memory.

Is your partner in need of a spa day? Daily stress, pressures of work, family issues, or just life in general can get to the best of us. A trip to the spa is a wonderful gift you can give your significant other. Get him/her a massage with relaxing aroma therapy. This gift is not too expensive ($65-$350), but make sure to shop around. You can find mobile services that are available that will come right to your home. These at home spa services can be a little less expensive and if done right (send the kids to the grandparents), the service can be just as effective if not more so than a full spa experience.

Does your lover dig live theatre? Book a show. You can book months in advance, the cost can be what you want it to be, and you get to choose where to go. You may be pleasantly surprised. When I met my significant other, I booked a couple of shows for us in Las Vegas after carefully listening to things he liked, music and British humor are among his favorite things thus, when considering what he would like, I found Blue Man Group and Monty Python’s Spamalot were perfect live shows for him, he LOVED it! He still talks about that being his favorite Valentines Day ever.

Quality time is always appreciated by your loved one. Consider cooking a special meal for him or her. You can still do the candy and flowers, but the added touch of actually cooking something will mean the world to him or her. Don’t worry about being a chef, the effort will be appreciated. Just a suggestion, practice what you will be cooking first unless it is a tried and true recipe. Don’t forget the candles, his/her favorite beverage and a sweet desert, chocolate dipped strawberries are almost always a hit! Add some whipped cream and oh la la!

Last but not least, if your partner has a hobby, consider making a small purchase to enhance that hobby. For example, if he or she cooks, get a gift certificate to take a class with a local chef, buy some specialty cookware that he/she has been talking about, or give a gift certificate to Pampered Chef. If he or she loves photography but perhaps has never taken a class, schedule a private lesson with a local professional. Any purchase made to support your partner’s passion is always a great idea. It demonstrates that you have an interest in the things that bring joy to his or her life!

Happy Valentines 2012!


Top 4 Winter Skin Facts – Fact or Fable?

11 Feb

Fact or Fable #1: Drink lots of water for healthy looking skin.

Fable! Drinking plenty of water is always great advice. As school kids we learn that the average person has a water content of about 70%, so we know from the time we are kids that consuming liquid is necessary to sustain life. Water consumption in proper amounts hydrates our internal organs and is vital for our overall health but there is little scientific evidence that water does much for our skin. Thus, applying topical moisturizer is important for your skins health all year round. I always suggest using products that are richer in the winter and lighter in the summer. Look for products that contain antioxidants and other nourishing ingredients.

Fact or Fable #2: A hot shower is healthy for your skin.

Fable! Hot showers feel wonderful, but the fact of the matter is that a good hot shower will actually dry out your skin. The heat from the shower zaps your skin of its natural oils and it dehydrates your skin leaving it tight, itchy, ashy, and in some cases cracked and painful. Use warm water and limit your time in the shower to less than 15 minutes, if you can pull off a shower in 5-10 minutes, you are on the right track. Always moisturize right after your shower to maximize the hydrating benefits of your chosen body lotion.

Fact or Fable #3: Winter indoor heating systems can dry your skin.

Fact! Indoor heating wreaks havoc on your winter skin. The warm heated air is dry and it reduces the natural humidity in the air and your skin. This dry air can sometimes even cause individuals to experience dryness in the eyes and nose to the point that OTC solutions must be used (eye drops, saline solutions, etc.). Humidifiers can work wonders in terms of getting that moisture back into the air and can help your skin to not get so dry.

Fact or Fable #4: SPF is not as important in the winter and it is in the summer.

Fable! SPF is important 365 days a year, rain or shine! The sun rays penetrate the cloud layer and can cause sun damage to your skin in both the summer and the winter. Protect your skin daily to reduce the effects of the sun on your skin, and to help prevent early signs of aging.

Do you have a fact or fable you wish to share? Please feel free to leave a post or comment.


Top Reason To Exfoliate

4 Feb

It is said that human beings get a new layer of skin every 25-45 days and that through the course of our lifetime we will shed as much as 1.5lbs of skin each year or in excess of 100 lbs! That sounds really disgusting when you really think about it. We leave a little piece of ourselves everywhere we go. Ew.

So let’s just ponder this for a second. If we are always shedding, that would imply that we could get congested, not to mention ashy and ugly skin, if we don’t do something about it to remove it from our bodies. Sure, it will fall off eventually, but personally, I would rather be rid of the dead parts of myself and not allow that crap to hang on for dear life. What can you do? Exfoliate!

There are lots of body scrubs on the market and just as many reasons to use them besides just getting rid of your dead self (oops! I mean cells). Exfoliating your body will lead to softer, smoother, better hydrated skin, especially if you slather some lotion on after ward. I have my favorites so I’ll just say that you should find the kind you like, but there are some that use buffing beads, sea salt, sugar, and others that use chemical exfoliants. My favorite brands would be Juara, Ahava, Bliss and Philosophy. Because there is such a variety of body scrubs on the market, I would suggest trying out a few different types to determine which is best for you. The results are amazing and especially noticeable in the winter months when our skin is subject to drying indoor heat and freezing wind chill factors.

BeautyTrix XOXOX

5 Quick Tips For Healthy Skin

3 Feb

Having healthy glowing skin is a desire of most people. Whether a teen or an adult, our skin is a large part of our own identity, and how it looks can have a major effect on how we feel about ourselves. In the words of a cliche’ saying “beauty is more than skin deep!”.

There are some quick tips that most of us can follow daily, even on a limited budget and schedule.

1.) Wash your face in the morning and in the evening. Sounds simple enough, but believe it or not, this is one of the first things that I always suggest for those in search of great skin because it is so often over looked as a twice a day requirement. If your skin is not cleaned, exfoliated, or otherwise freed of the day/night you’ve just put it through, it will not glow. By cleansing your skin twice a day, you help to remove dirt, oils, sebum and other nasty environmental elements that can drain your skin of nutrients.

2.) Hydrate your skin at least twice a day. Easiest bet here is to moisturize after you wash in the morning and in the evening. I am not talking about slathering it with oil, but rather soothe your skin with a nice oil-free moisturizer that perhaps contains hyaluronic acid and antioxidants.

3.) Avoid pore clogging products. Some products are naturally heavier than others, and can feel heavy on the skin, but that can be a little misleading…just because the products are heavy, does not necessarily mean that it is the direct cause of unhealthy or congested skin. Look for products that are non-comedogenic, oil-free and even perhaps Dermatologist tested.

4.) Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet including plenty of fresh produce is vital to maintaining not just a healthy body but also healthy skin. Be sure to consume the daily recommendations of healthy foods and don’t forget those nuts, healthy oils, and lean proteins! Each have nutrients that are vital to healthy glowing skin.

5.) Take control of certain environmental factors that have a negative impact on your skin. Environmental factors whether self-inflictedBeautyTrix or not can mess with your skin. So what can you do about it? If you smoke, stop. In addition, limit your alcohol intake. Your party nights and smoking days do more damage than the embarrassing day after facebook photos or hang over you wake up with! You should also wear your SPF daily rain or shine to protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun…and by all mean avoid those tanning beds like a man who refers to himself as a “baller”!

With these quick tips you can take the minimal steps to achieve a measure of healthy looking skin. This in not intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather just baby steps that you can incorporate into your daily life.

BeautyTrix XOXOX

5 Benefits of Antioxidants

2 Sep
beautytrixWe’ve all heard that to get healthy skin we should consume foods rich in antioxidants. Berries, vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans and whole grain are all said to contain healthy antioxidants. But what are the real benefits?

1.) Antioxidants help to combat cellular damage caused by free radicals. They do this by neutralizing the free radicals. Free radicals are unstable cells that attempt to attach to healthy cells for stabilization, in doing so, they cause damage.

2.) Because antioxidants combat cellular damage, they also help provide better looking and healthier skin. Cellular breakdown slows and this facilitates firmer and more youthful skin.

3.) Sustained eye health is also among the reported benefits of antioxidants.

4.) Antioxidants help to keep your heart healthy. Free radical damage is thought to contribute to heart disease. By neutralizing the free radicals, you also increase your ability to fight heart disease.

5.) Finally, antioxidants are believed to help combat cancer. Thought not a cure, by incorporating healthy foods rich in antioxidants and reducing your intake of unhealthy or processed foods, you increase your ability to fight cancer.

As with anything that you put into your body, moderation is key. Too many antioxidants can actually be harmful according to some resource.  Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own health and well being, thus I encourage anyone to increase the intake of fruits, vegetables, and less processed foods. As a general rule of thumb, your food selections should incorporate color. If everything on your plate is brown, you may want to grab a serving or two (1-2 coups) of some veggies or fruit! Add some color.

Be healthy!

~BeautyTrix XOXO

Red Pepper, Basil, Cilantro Dip

30 Aug

Red Pepper, Basil, & Cilantro Dip

If you love red peppers and basil, this recipe will make its way to the top of your fave list. Its super easy and is a crowd pleaser.

1 Jar 16 oz. roasted red bell peppers packed in water, drained.

1 Cup fat-free sour cream (or full fat for richer flavor)

½ Cup Fresh Basil… I always go a little over with basil

½ tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup cilantro

Pepper and salt to taste.

Toss all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. I like to chill mine before serving. Serve with naked pita chips or with your favorite bread. I like to serve mine with roasted garlic and olive bread or with rosemary sour dough bread.

This recipe is ideal for summer outside barbeques and goes wonderfully with Italian main dishes.

Bon appetit!

A New Leaf

25 Jun

Here we are again, its mid-year and that passion for diet and exercise has all but gone out the window! Maybe I am speaking only for myself. At any rate, last week I once again said “enough is enough” and decided that it was time to get back into a regular routine. I’ve started eating more vegetarian meals, incorporated a nice circuit training routine and I’m feeling pretty darn great! The trick will be keeping up the momentum as I work through my last few weeks of school.

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