Grey Days

It really does take a great deal of determination to stay motivated during these grey days of winter. Everything seems to be a battle from staying hydrated throughout the day to getting out of bed while the sun is still down. The cold and wind really do their part to make the days seem unnecessarily dreary.

One of the things that I like to do is to keep the creative juices flowing by adding to my art portfolio. Seeing a compilation of things that make me happy help to add sparkle to these drudging days. It also helps to give me something productive to look forward to in my day.

I don't require myself to add to it every day or in a single medium. Instead, I try to work with new mediums at least once a week. I also try and regularly practice the things that come more natural to me.

My favorite form of artistic expression is macro photography, mostly shooting nature. The best part of nature, for me, is all of the exciting and vibrant natural colors. Unfortunately, our winter landscape holds very little in the way of color. A very small collection of my photos can be seen on my Instagram page. 

What do you do to beat the winter blues?  





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100% Pure Scent Of The Month

For the past several months I've been treating myself with hand cream from 100% Pure. Each month they promote a different scent and offer most, if not all, of that product line at a sale price. So far I've been very happy with their offerings.

For the month of December the scent was eucalyptus. I've used their Eucalyptus Shower Gel (review here) and I did like it. However, I passed on hand cream in that flavor. For January there doesn't seem to be a hand cream on offer. I do hope they have something for me next month.

100% Pure Hand Buttercreams


I am sort of crazy with the amount of hand washing that I do in the course of a day. So hand cream is very important, especially in the winter. This little collection that I have started has really helped to keep my hands moisturized.

100% Pure Vanilla Bean Hand Buttercream


I've already posted a review for the Vanilla Bean Hand Buttercream (here) so I won't bore you with the repetition.

100% Pure French Lavender Hand Buttercream


I remember being thrilled when I saw this was the flavor of the month. This was one of the very first 100% Pure products that I ever purchased. When it arrived in the mail I was even more thrilled because it smelled exactly as I remembered. This is a very nice, light, long lasting scent. It's not over powering but it can be distinguished at a distance. I used some in public and heard the pleasant comments of a group going by. I hadn't realized that the smell could travel that far, that fast. I'm thankful they enjoyed it.

100% Pure Coconut Hand Buttercream


This one was a bit of a surprise. I'm not really big on coconut in general. When I use this cream I'm torn between the thought of macaroons and suntan oil. I'm sort of visual and my imagination flashes to me sitting on the beach eating coconut candies. I'm not sure about you but to me that just seems sort of a silly. A tropical mixed drink would be more appropriate. Lol

100% Pure Blood Orange Hand Buttercream


I don't know that I had ever smelled blood orange before so I was very curious about this one. It's definitely citrus, which I really like. It's also very strong. I love it for an extra sensory pick-me-up. Citrus smells make me happy. Do not use this if you want something subtle because subtle it is not.

Now I could have just as easily picked any scent and paid the regular price, since it's only a few dollars more. But where's the fun in that? There is just something special and sort of exciting about waiting to see what will be offered and wondering if it's going to be something you're going to like.

Of course I've totally skipped over how well the products work in favor of chatting about how they smell, so I'll touch on that now. I'm pretty sure they all start with the same base and the only difference between them is the fragrance. At least that's how I treat/use them but I could be wrong.

I've found these creams to be very concentrated. You only need a little bit to cover both hands. In applying the cream I am careful to keep it on the backs of my hand and fingers. It doesn't soak in well on my palms. I really love how soft my hands are when I use these. They feel really moisturized as well. Also, since the creams are so concentrated and I only need a little at a time, they are lasting a good while. I'm sure it helps that I'm buying a different type ever month and alternating which one I use.

I'm still planning on placing an order with 100% Pure this month. I'm really curious about their primers.

Do you have a favorite hand cream? Have you used 100% Pure products? I'd love to know what you think. Please tell me your thoughts or link to your product review in the comment area below.

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Refresh and Renew

January is all about new beginnings, starting fresh with new goals and clearing out the unwanted. For me, this year especially, January is going to be about cleansing. I don't know about you but during the holiday season I have eaten more junk than in the rest of the year combined and I am feeling rather sluggish. My cleanse of choice for January is:

Alkalize

They used to say that sugar would rot your teeth and I have eaten so much sugar in the last two months that I shouldn't have any teeth left. Well, thankfully the dental community has changed their tune in regards to sugar in general. Now I am told that cavities have more to do with an acidic pH in your mouth. An acid pH is also said to be a contributor for cancer and all sorts of other health issues. With what I've eaten, I am sure that I am acidic and now is the perfect time to change it.

Here's my 4 step plan of attack:



1. Water With Lemon - Yes, yes, we all know that we should drink more water. But did you know a simple way to alkalize is to add lemon or even lime to your water. It works for me because the taste of plain water gets old after a while and this is a beneficial way to change it up.

2. Cut Sugar & Grains - If you are anything like me you have eaten jars full of cookies, plates of cakes and pies and enough stuffing to fill a nice sized bird. Personally, I've had my fill and am looking forward to cutting grains out of my diet for a while. I will be steering clear of wheat, oats, rice, rye and even corn.

3. Add More Color - Red radishes, Orange carrots, Yellow potatoes, Green avocados, Blue berries and Purple plums. I am really looking forward gobbling up as many colorful fruits and vegetables as I can get my hands on.

4. Switch Protein - When you think of protein you generally think of beef, poultry and fish. I'll be switching my protein source to nuts (especially almonds), legumes (yummy lentils) and seeds (pumpkin and sunflower). Unlike most health-nuts, I'll also be avoiding soy.

Wish me luck and good luck with keeping your resolutions this year. 
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Leather And Cashmere

Colder temperatures have finally come to my part of the world and I've been forced to break out the sweaters and boots. I'm really not that upset about it since I now get to wear this beautiful black cashmere. I'm also thrilled with these cute leather boots. They aren't over the knee, as is all the rage, but that would be lost with this beautiful wool skirt. Wrapped up cozy and warm!!!

Ann Taylor Black Cashmere Sweater, Custom Made Burgundy Wool Skirt, Newport News Black Leather Boots


Looking at my sweaters from last year, I realized that there are more than a few that I don't care for. This gave me the opportunity to pass some on to those who might need them. We have a local church that provides a free "Clothes Closet" to the community. I try to stay in the habit of dropping something off at the start of each new season. Being able to make donations to local charities helps to keep me in the spirit of giving all year long. 

Gold Filigree Bracelet, Gold Figaro Bracelet, Gold and Diamond Heart Ring

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Horsetail Base Coat

100% Pure Horsetail Base Coat Nail Polish
I have been having a problem growing out my nails. They are so brittle and thin that I end up keeping them short so they don't tear. So, I decided to be proactive and do something about this dilemma. "Strengthening base coat contains horsetail, a healing herb to promote strong, healthy nails" is what 100% Pure is promising. Well, I could use some help with all of that.

I've applied it three times now and do see improvement in the strength of my nails. They are growing well also. So much so that I have to file them down weekly. I haven't had a problem with it chipping or peeling. I am very pleased.

Now that I know that I like their polish, I need to decide on what color to get first. ;)

Have you tried this? What did you think?

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Intensive Nourish Moisture Balm

100% Pure Intensive Nourish Moisture Balm
I'm not sure what I was expecting from this product. It says right on the label that it's a balm but for some reason I was expecting a cream. ?? Never the less, I love this product. It is definitely an intensive moisturizer! My intention was to use this as a night cream and for that, it's wonderful. If you are wanting this for under foundation, it's too thick so opt for something else.

Have you tried this? What did you think?

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School Or Office

No matter what your day is about, you need organization. The most important thing to organize is your time. I've made an "almost the end of the year" resolution to be more organized with my schedule. From waking up early, working out and a good breakfast to laying out my tomorrows the night before and getting a full nights sleep. I'm finding that not only am I getting more accomplished in a day, but I feel great and have more energy..... without the kick start of coffee. Lol








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