Thursday, January 27, 2011

Reaching out to our soldiers!


I made these cards from one of the writings I did at the beach one day. I wasn't going to offer them as printed cards. My reason being is that I was being lazy, I'm good at that. But since trying to sell the image isn't going so well I have decided to go ahead and stop being lazy and offer the printed cards!

In speaking my with dear friend Veronica, she suggested offering these cards to our troops serving overseas, but instead of shipping the card to them, I would write a message supplied by the buyer and send it to their loved one here in the states.

I thought that was an AWESOME idea.

So here is what I am doing. And this can ONLY be done through my facebook page and by messaging me from here. or email me.

For a Paypal payment of ONLY $5.50 I will ship you the card like the one pictured above, along with a blank envelope. The inside of the card is blank. Card measurements are 5 1/2 by 8 1/2.


If you are serving our country, for the same price of just $5.50 I will write or print out your message inside the card, with the picture above on the front, and mail it directly to your loved one. While I originally thought of only offering this for our brave men & women serving overseas, I don't want to exclude those who are serving far from home.

I am not selling these in my etsy shop, these are a Facebook/Blog Exclusive. And the $5.50 includes shipping.

If you are nervous about doing this transaction outside of Etsy, send me a message and I will put a private listing for you on Etsy, but to cover the fees it will be $6 instead of $5.50

I only ship to the United States.

Please let me know if you have ANY questions!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Olive Oil & VO5 Conditioner

These two items have saved me from scratching myself to death.

As winter set it, my skin and hair were getting dryer and dryer.
It was so bad that the skin on my eyelids was cracking.

It burned, BURNED, when I put on my Olay moisturizer. That never happened before. And it was awful.

I had to do something.

So I polled my friends, "what do you use"
I got answers with the usual plethora of expensive and non-expensive beauty products.

Then I started hearing "Olive Oil"

Really? Olive Oil? Isn't that going to make my face oily & cause major pimples. I'm 41, I don't want to deal with pimples!

So I started doing research. For hundreds and thousands of years people have used Olive Oil internally & externally for health benefits.

"Olive oil is high in antioxidants, including vitamin E. Antioxidants are nutritional powerhouses that protect against age-accelerating free radicals. The oil of this miraculous fruit will guard your body and your skin... from the inside out."

Yeah, I'm still not convinced.

"Do not be afraid of applying oil to your face. Oil, alone, will not bring you blemishes. Pimples, cysts, zits, blackheads, whiteheads...these are a result of several different factors including hormones, bacteria, dead skin cells and the buildup of these factors. Your skin naturally produces oil because it needs it."

Basically, if you keep washing away the natural oils on your face/body/hair, your body is going to produce MORE and that's how you end up with greasy skin, hair, etc.

This convinced me enough to try it at least on my eyelids. They were so irritated I was afraid to put anything else on. So on the morning on Jan 13, 2011 after showering & washing my face with Dove Sensitive Skin soap, I applied Olive Oil to my eyelids.

Then I put Olay all over the rest of my face.

The next morning, my eyelids were almost 100% better.

Hmmm, interesting. It can't be that easy.

So I was brave.. after my shower, I took a cotton ball and applied Olive Oil all over my face and neck. I work from home, I can deal with a zit or two.

In the meantime I'm still reading about the virtues of Olive Oil. I learned it can be used to clean your face.

??? Using oil to wash my face? Nah... I'm going to be a greasy zit face.

Then I thought, what the hell, what does it hurt to try, I've had good results so far!

So a few days later I brought a little Olive Oil into the shower. Rinsed my face & massaged in the Olive Oil. Little circles all over. Probably massaged for a minute. Then I took a nice hot wet wash cloth and wiped it all off. I didn't scrub but I wiped it good, rinsing the wash cloth often.

I've been doing this for a week now. My face looks AMAZING. I can't see my pores, not greasy, no zits and weird things are happening. As I've posted about, I've lost 55lbs in the last 2 years. I had bags under my eyes and a waddle of wrinkles on my neck, just under my chin.

Not anymore.

Seriously, it's gone. I am utterly amazed.

Simple, extra virgin olive oil.

I'm going to keep doing this. I have to go see a dermatologist for an unrelated issue (I'll blog about it someday) so I'm going to keep this up and see what she thinks of my skin.

Now for my hair and the VO5, same thing. My hair was dry & fly away and just would not cooperate. In the past I've done "Conditioning Only" so I decided to do it again, and my hair looks AMAZING. It helps I got hair cut too, but it's no longer dry & straw like.

I did learn one thing though. Make sure you wipe off all the Olive Oil before washing with the conditioner. And when you use the conditioner as shampoo, massage it in just like you would shampoo. You're see an amazing difference!

Now, with all this said I should add in that this is not for everyone. People also use Coconut Oil the same way I use Olive Oil. I am apparently allergic to Coconut Oil, and it didn't work for me.

So before you go spend a ton of money on beauty products that may or may not work, check out your pantry first. There are a lot natural beauty products out there!

Monday, January 24, 2011

The beach in January

Back in the summer (oh how I miss summer) I wrote about how 3 things have to line up for me to get really good beach writings. The sun, the ocean and the beach itself. At that time the beach was covered in Seaweed and I could not fill my orders. When I wrote that, in the summer, I had only been offering the custom beach writings since April, so the sand being FROZEN never even crossed my mind.

Today I experienced it!

I have 4 orders to fill so after the last child boarded the bus to school I, in my many layers and heavy winter coat, headed down to the beach.

The thermostat in my car read 10 degrees. 10. But there isn't any wind and there isn't a cloud in the sky how can I pass up that opportunity. By the time I got down to the beach, the temperature had reached a balmy 13 degrees! Woot!

Not only did I want to fill those orders, I have 2 other miscellaneous writings to do and on January 16th I went and did glass blowing at Hot Sands in Asbury Park. I made this beautiful Amethyst ornament.

And I wanted to take a picture of it as well.

So I get down to the beach and it's cold, but because there isn't any wind, it's bearable.

The tide was coming in so the waves weren't very hospitable. Few rouge waves here and there, but I can work with it.

I reach down with my stick to write and TAP.

Me: ????


The sand, near the water, is FROZEN! I can't write in it!

Not wanting to break the stick I've been using since I opened for business, I promptly gave up.

Thankfully it is supposed to warm back up to the upper 30's by tomorrow, but there are storms moving in as well. So I'm going to have to keep an eye on the sky!

Don't you worry though, I'm still taking & will be filling orders for Valentine's day! As always, you can check out my shop HERE.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Losing Weight

Did you start the year off saying that you were finally going to lose your extra weight? How's that going so far? Still going to the gym? Are you still making good food choices?

Or has that late January crankiness set in?

Have you started saying to yourself "I'll get back to it on Monday!"

Well I have one thing to say to you, MAN UP. Seriously, unless you are deathly ill or hurt, you have no excuse. And depending on the "hurt" it may or may not be a legitimate excuse.

Being Fat is hard.
Losing weight is hard.
Maintaining weight loss is hard.

Pick your hard.

Back in January of 2009 I was inspired by something Valerie Bertinelli said. She had lost her weight with Jenny Craig and she said in a commercial how nice it was to wake up on New Years Day not thinking about this being the year she was going to lose the weight. That struck pretty deeply with me. How many more NYD's was I going to wake up saying THIS was the year.

So I started my journey.

In January of 2009 many things in my life started with the number 2. My weight, my pants size, and my shirt size. The number 2 is NOT my lucky number and I needed to get it OUT of my life, it was crushing me. I weighed more then I did then I ever had before, even when pregnant.

So I started my weight loss plan. When you are trying to lose weight you have to find the plan that works best for you. For me, I choose Atkins. Even though I was gung ho about losing weight, it took me until March of 2009 to REALLY get into gear. By May I had made it back into "Onderland."

Then I slacked. While you would think summer food would be awesome for doing Atkins, it only is if you stick to the low carb food.

I did not. I gained and lost the same 4 pounds over and over again. I got back into gear late summer and managed to be down a total of 40lbs by Thanksgiving.

And then I slacked again. For almost an entire year I played with 10 lbs, losing and gaining, losing and gaining, losing and gaining.

On September 1, 2010 I joined a support group on my low carb message board. 30 pounds in 4 months. Normally I suck at challenges or support groups, but this one was working for me. While I didn't lose the 30, I was down 19 by Christmas Eve for a total of 53lbs lost since January 2009.

53 pounds. That's a whole lot of weight.

I ate off plan from Christmas eve through the new year. Once again I was waking up on New Years Day thinking about the weight that needs to come off. But now it's only 20ish pounds. My original goal was only about 10ish pounds away but I lowered it after taking a good look at my body.

I gained 3 or 4 pounds over the holiday so I had that to get off and then continue on.

As of yesterday 1/20/11 I had gotten the couple of holiday pounds off as well as 1 more!

54 pounds lost! AND almost 37 inches over all.

Neither the pounds lost or the number on the scale is something anyone would consider a milestone. I'm not in a new "decade" of numbers, (but it's close) nor is the pounds lost a round number. But that's ok, the scale is moving again and I think I found my mojo again.

So I decided to take pictures.

While I've given away or donated most of my clothes that are too big, I've kept a few. One is a pair of junior plus sized jeans that are way too big, but I wear them around the house to feel small. The other is my favorite skirt. It's a size 18 denim skirt from Old Navy. I've had it for years. It's the perfect color and length for me. I also keep both of these articles of clothing for progress pictures. Yesterday I did progress pictures of me wearing the jeans. But I couldn't even get the jeans on when I was at my highest weight.

But I could get the skirt on and I do have a picture of myself at my highest weight wearing the skirt and a tight-ish shirt.

Want to see the difference 54 pounds makes?

That's something else, isn't it. It amazes me too. It is an accomplishment I am very proud of.

But I'm not there yet. As of today my goal is to lose 21 lbs by summer which is 22 weeks away. 5lbs a month is not too hard of a goal. I know it's going to be harder the closer I get to goal, so I will add exercise back in soon to tone up.

There is one downside to losing large amounts of weight. I need to go clothes shopping. Yes that is a downside because I don't have the funds to restock my entire wardrobe!

This is where you come in. Go to my etsy shop & order something!!!!!! Click HERE, I need new clothes! LOL

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Valentine's Day

"Valentine's Day is a HALLMARK Holiday!"
That is the battle cry of single men and women everywhere!

"Why do I need a special holiday to give the person I love something that tells them I love them?"

Is what the ones who are married or in a relationship say.

Because you, my friend, are a dumb ass. You shouldn't need a day, but you do. And when was the last time you actually bought something for the one you love on a random day?

Go ahead, take some time to think about it, I can wait.

Most of you are still thinking. Some of you are thoughtful and surprise your honey with a cute little something for no reason. But most of us don't.

Yes, I said US, I am guilty of it too. So Valentine's Day is a good time to make it up to your love. Get them a little something.

Guys, listen carefully.... Want a little "something" from your woman? Send her flowers AT WORK. Sending her a bouquet to work is better then changing your relationship status on Facebook. It's like a trophy to most women. But before you run to the local florist or hop on some online site, make sure you know what kind of flowers she likes!!!

I've had several boyfriends send me roses. One even sent 3 dozen to my work one time.

I'm allergic to roses.
Their scent gives me a migraine.

I passed out those 3 dozen to my coworkers and then left work early that day.

The price of roses are so over inflated at this time of year, you don't want to screw that up!

Personally I'm a fan of Daisies.

Chocolates are a good thing, unless your lover is on a diet or diabetic LOL

Custom beach writing? Perfection!
Maybe you don't live near the beach, or went to an island on your honeymoon, or just want something original. Custom beach writings fit that bill perfectly!

Ladies, think your man won't want a custom beach writing to hang somewhere? Why not a picture for their wallet?

So check out my shop by clicking HERE and order a custom beach writing today!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Please vote for me!

I never enter photo contests, but on a whim I did.

Please vote for me and pass this link to your friends too!

Click Here

Here is the picture

Thank you!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

That is the coolest thing

One of the best things about Etsy chat, besides it filling my need to talk to ANYONE, I learn neat things. See that scroll, it's showing you items in my shop. I LOVE the scroll and thanks to TheBarginBabe for showing me how to do it!

I think this is even better then the picture gallery on my website because it's a live view of what is in my shop & how much it costs!! LOVE IT!!!

Click on it, go buy something, my 12 year old son got his braces today, I need to be able to pay for them!

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Snow

As you can see from my last post, we had a blizzard the day after Christmas, 2010. Then this past Saturday we had maybe 3 inches more. Just enough to cover the old snow and make it pretty again.

As of now, Monday Jan 10, 2011 they are predicting another "significant" snow event.

I am not happy.

I live where the star is. The above picture is a screen shot, but if you want to watch the page for updates, go here:

If there isn't a snow storm, or if it's summer, the link doesn't do anything.

So someone convinced me to keep my Beach Writings shop open through January & February because of Valentine's Day. That made sense so I am still open. Even came up with some cool items to add to my shop.

But these snow storms are just killing me. I'd move, but how can I continue to offer you if I don't live in Jersey???

So I've got my snowpants and really good snow boots and I will trudge through the deep snow because I want you to be able to give the person you love something nice for Valentine's Day.

On a selfish note, being able to do this for my customers allows me to go to the beach every day. What job is better then that?

To order either a customized necklace of initials in the sand, the I Heart U necklace or the Be Mine key chain, check out my shop HERE.