Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Many Uses for Lemons

The acid in lemons has antiseptic properties and a fresh scent, making it a natural solution for your household chores.

Use Them to Clean Your… 
Countertops: Dip the cut side of a lemon half in baking soda to tackle countertops; wipe with a wet sponge and dry. Don’t use on delicate stone, like marble, or stainless steel (it may discolor).

Cutting boards: To remove tough food stains from light wood and plastic cutting boards, slice a lemon in half, squeeze onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes before rinsing.

Dishes: To increase the grease-cutting power of your dishwashing detergent, add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Faucets: Combat lime scale by rubbing lemon juice onto the taps and letting it sit overnight. Wipe with a damp cloth.

Garbage disposal: Cut a lemon in half, then run both pieces through the disposal. “The lemon cleans it and makes it smell great.
Grout: Here’s how to tackle grout stains: Add lemon juice to 1 or 2 teaspoons cream of tartar (an acidic salt that acts as a natural bleaching agent) to make a paste. Apply with a toothbrush, then rinse.

Hands:. Rub your hands with lemon juice, which will neutralize odors.

Laundry: To brighten whites, add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the rinse cycle for a normal-size load. then let dry in the sun if possible

Plastic food-storage containers: To bleach stains from on dishwasher-safe items, rub lemon juice on the spots, let dry in a sunny place, then wash as usual.

Microwave: Kill microwave smells. Fill a heat-resistant bowl with water and half a lemon and zap for five minutes.

Dust: Mix 10 drops lemon oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and a few drops olive oil in a spray bottle. Spray onto surfaces; wipe with a soft cloth.

Wood Polish: If it's varnished: Add a few drops of lemon to ½ cup warm water. Spray onto a slightly damp cotton cloth and wipe furniture. If it's unvarnished: Mix 2 teaspoons each of olive oil and lemon juice. Apply to a soft cotton cloth. Use wide strokes to distribute evenly.
Bathroom:  Put lemon juice on a sponge and wipe shower doors to remove soap scum.
Sparkle and shine.

Metal: This natural bleach and disinfectant cleans brass and copper. Sprinkle salt over half a lemon, rub it over the metal, and then wash clean.

Special Thanks to Real Simple

Friday, February 17, 2012

AARP Retiree Money Help

Today Maria Reynolds-Diaz the state director of AARP Arkansas shared some helpful websites for your retirement financial advice.

Ready for Retirement? 10 Steps
Social Security Benefits Calculator
AARP Retirement Calculator
Spanish-Language Retirement Calculator

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Valentine's Makeover

Valentine's is right around the corner. We'd like to give one lucky viewer a European Facial, a cosmetic makeover and a goodie bag of samples thanks to Augusta Andrews of B. Barnett.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with your name and contact information right here. Comments are not published.

The deadline to enter is 4pm February 13th.

We'll draw one luck winner February 14th.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Love & Grown-Up Relationships

So I think this is the proper sequence for our "mating" ritual: Attraction, Dating, Courtship, Relationship, Marriage. Within marriage I think there is a period of disillusionment, a whole lot of personal awareness and growth, and then a commitment to the reality of living with another person and the patience and love it requires to keep the entire thing together!

Courtship as we talked about last week is the "wonder" period when couples are thoroughly smitten with each other, see not a flaw in the perfect person they have discovered, and almost don't require food or drink during this halcyon phase when being in the presence of the other is enough to sustain life.

Fortunately courtship doesn't last until starvation, but turns into relationship as the gradual idealized projections fall away and we begin to see that our perfect other has room for improvement in a few areas. They often discover that we ourselves could use a little tweaking. Imagine that. Sometimes when this slow realization occurs, couples break it off and move on to find the really really perfect person they were destined to be with in perfect love and harmony. They may repeat this cycle many times and some may never realize that courtship is the unicorn and relationship is the real deal.

When couples accept that relationship is the grown-up way to be with another person, they can begin to see both self and other as normally flawed and work on minimizing the effect of those pesky things so the two of them can be together in a fundamentally healthy way both mostly giving and receiving enough to keep each other close and relatively contented. If this happens consistently, then marriage, the uber-relationship, may be in their future.

And of course we all know that marriage is not for the feint of heart or folks who cannot look into the mirror of self-awareness the spouse will hold up from time to time. Marriage is for grown-ups and luckily it provides on the job training!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Metabolism Boosting Foods

  • Drinking water - Drinking water speeds up our metabolism by 25-30 percent!  Just 8 cups of water will help us burn 300-350 extra calories per day.  Our body is 80 % liquid, so it only makes sense that if we run low on water in the body, it slows down all of the important processes.  Try adding a slice of lemon for extra flavor and extra cleansing element.   ** Rule of thumb for how much our body requires for water daily.  Divide our current weight by 2 and add the word ounces.  If a person weighs 150 pounds, divide by 2 equals 75, now add ounces.  This person requires 75 ounces of fluid a day.
    • Water is also a natural appetite suppressant that gets rid of swelling and flushes out waste containing toxins.
    • Try to drink water beginning in the morning and sip on it all day long. 8 cups of water equals 64 ounces.
  • Oranges, grapefruit  lemons, limes -Citrus fruits
    • Foods that contain vitamin C naturally help break down fats in the body, which naturally speeds up our body's ability to digest food. Citrus fruits also lowers the need for insulin in the body, which tabs our button to store food, so citrus fruits are a great plus for everyone. 
    • Try to have 2 cups of fruit per day.
  • Spicy peppers- Chile peppers, Jalapeno.  Studies show that Capsaicin, an anti- oxidant in Chile peppers and paprika in red bell peppers (that is what gives the fire taste) boost the metabolism.  Also if we are satisfied with more flavor, we will use less of the fatty, high calorie foods.
  • Low-fat dairy (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese)- not getting enough calcium may trigger the release of calcitrol, a hormone that causes us to store fat.  So, getting enough calcium through food allows our food to be more quickly digested, instead of stored.
  • Try choosing Greek yogurt which is rich in calcium, protein and friendly bacteria which helps with digestion and absorption of food. 
  • Berries- (Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries) are high in fiber, super high in anti-oxidants that protect our bodies from disease.  Fiber helps push all food through our digestive tract and also absorbs fat along the way.  Berries are beautiful in color and low in calories.  1 cup of berries has only 60 calories.
    • Try adding blueberries to cereal, yogurt, or have in a small bag combined with almonds or walnuts.
  • Fish (Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Trout, Sardines) - Cold water fish contain Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) that have been proven to alter the levels of Leptin, a hormone in the body which influences and determines whether you burn calories or store them as fat.  Omega's increase the levels of fat-burning enzymes and decrease the levels of fat-storage enzymes.
    • Having enough omega-3 in the body can boost metabolism by 400 calories per day.
    • A vegetable rich in omega 3 is the avocado - try having a slice of avocado on a sandwich or in a salad. 
    • Try having tuna fish packed in water for lunch.  Try oven-baking salmon with veggies for a quick evening meal.
  • Green tea - contains a compound called ECGC that may help boost metabolism as well by speeding up the brain and nervous system.  It also contains caffeine, which is a natural stimulant that can help your body burn more calories at rest.  Caffeine frees fatty acids stored in the body, making them more available to use for energy. 
    • Try brewing a single cup serving to have warm or make a pitcher to serve cool throughout the day.
  • Cooler liquids sipped turns up the body's engine for metabolism.  The body has to rev up to warm the temp for our body.
  • Goal - Our bodies are designed to eat every 3-4 hours during the day while we are awake.  Eating smaller meals throughout the day has scientifically been proven to provide the best scenario for the leanest and healthiest bodies.  This means Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and 2-3 snacks also.  Snacks are best at mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and before bed. 
  • A recommended meal is generally 300-500 calories, a snack is typically 100-150 calories.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Love Is Blind....In The Beginning

February is all about the heart, from heart health to matters of the heart. 

With that in mind, Rebecca Ward decided to focus on matters of the heart for her blog entry. 

In the beginning, love can not only be blind, it may be deaf and mute as well. Those first weeks and months, when we are struck by love in all its passion, we really don't see anything wrong with this most perfect of persons with whom we are mutually in a state of adoration. Never has another been so perfectly attuned to us and we to them. Now we understand completely the answer to the age-old question "How will I know when I fall in love?" All those people who said "You'll know" were absolutely correct. We now know!

Courtship is a wonderful, hedonistic, narcissistic, endorphin-enhanced time that no recreational drug can produce. Falling in love is the hormone equivalent of the Northern Lights! We are in an acute state of awareness both emotionally and physically that makes us feel so good we may not need much food or sleep. We aren't tired and we aren't hungry. We're in love and that's about all that we can handle without fritzing out our neurotransmitters!

What happens in this state of courtship is that each of the smitten is only interested in meeting the needs of the other smitten-one. Each exists to meet the other's needs and eschew sincerely that that's all he/she needs to maintain this state of mutual ecstasy. And we feel that way. It's enough to be with this other person, to bask in their affection and admiration and even adoration of us as we return those sentiments in full measure. What's not to be thrilled about? We've waited forever to meet this perfect-for-us person who makes the drive to work less frustrating and the sun shine brighter. Even the annoying co-worker at the office becomes more tolerable! We have a new-found patience and acceptance for mankind in general as we now are experiencing life's wondrous gift of true love. Reciprocal true love, I must add.

We are all entitied to this magical time of new love. Cherish every moment and committ to memory because it only lasts a relatively short time. For before too many months fade into the past, we may be noticing that our perfect other may have a tiny tiny little imperfection  or two that can easily be over-looked...I mean being late is not really that big a deal, is it? He is always so apologetic. And so what if the inside of her car looks like a landfill. And who really worries about doggy poo on a carpet? She loves that little cutie pie who sheds like stale cornbread and who has repeatedly offended and violated my lower leg. None of these things matter because every thing else feels so good." Really I can over look most of these trifling little quirks," we think and we believe it. Kinda. Since couples in courtship don't do much if any confronting of "issues" lest they spoil their perfect illusion, all this can wait for courtship to turn into relationship.

More on that next week!