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Monday, October 3, 2011

Getting Brown Hair With Henna

My latest article is now up on Daily Glow. Henna is not all about getting red, coppery colored hair. Henna is more versatile, with brown, mahogany, chestnut, auburn, and strawberry blond colors available. Henna is a natural, economical way to color hair without synthetic chemicals, peroxide, or ammonia. Read more on Daily Glow.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Three Natural Beauty Essentials

Anyone who wants to avoid chemicals and synthetic ingredients in their beauty regimen should consider these three natural items. They are indispensable in my regular beauty routine. Read more in this article Suite101: Three Natural Beauty Essentials

Friday, September 30, 2011

Using Organic Coconut Oil in Skin Care

Organic coconut oil has many uses in skin care. It is a natural product, free of artificial ingredients. Read more about how to incorporate it into your skin care routine.
Using Organic Coconut Oil in Skin Care

My Memories Suite 2.0 Review and Giveaway

 A couple of weeks ago I was offered an opportunity to review My Memories Suite version 2.0 and host a giveaway. I enjoy making slide shows, videos, and greeting cards, so I figured I’d try this software out. I’ve never really been interested in scrapbooking because I don’t have very much spare time for crafts. However I do love photography and tinkering in Photoshop.

My Memories Suite is a digital scrapbooking program that allows you to make digital scrapbooks, photo books, cards, calendars, DVDs/videos with music, and gifts. My Memories is rated #1 by Amazon and Top Ten Reviews.  It costs only $39.97 (USD), but thanks to a generous offer by My Memories, if you order using this code STMMMS15422 you get $10 off the regular price of the My Memories Suite Scrapbook Software and another $10 coupon to use at the store.

My Memories Suite is user friendly and easy to learn to navigate. Putting together a scrapbook page is simple. The hardest part for me was deciding which pictures to use. I have tons of photos saved on my computer. Lately it seems I rarely get photos printed —that’s another reason that I like digital scrapbooking. 

Scrapbooking is pretty popular, and there are many digital scrapbooking software programs available. But what I like best about My Memories Suite is the customer support, tutorials, and the ability to add music and video. My Memories has as YouTube channel with tutorials, which I think is great for a newcomer like me. There is also an informative blog with tutorials and inspiration.

When you open the My Memories program, you have a choice of using a pre-made template or designing your own. There are a variety of templates, background papers, and embellishments  included to get you started. There are also many reasonably priced kits for sale on the My Memories website, as well as free kits available for download. 

There are so many potential projects. I’m excited with the ideas that I’m getting for making a photo DVD, and I can’t wait until Christmas card time.

The Giveaway

Entry is simple; just take a look at the My Memories website. Leave a comment below about which product you like best. Contest closes on October 14, 2011 at 11:59 PST. One winner will be chosen on October 16, 2011, using The winner will be notified by email, and an announcement will be posted on this blog. The winner has 2 weeks to claim the prize.
Earn additional entries by:

Join the MyMemories Blog with Google Friend Connect - 
Please leave a separate comment for each of the above. Be sure that I can contact you, especially if you are commenting in anonymous status, leave your email address.

Below are some samples that I made.

Contest Alley

Disclaimer: No monetary compensation was received for the above review, but a complementary download of the software was provided. The giveaway is held at the voluntary offer of My Memories. Lamongelo Lane will notify company of winner and is not responsible for delivery of the giveaway item.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Relax With HoMedics Back Massagers

It’s not always convenient to get an appointment with a massage therapist, so the next best thing is using at-home back massagers. HoMedics has an extensive line of back massagers to relax and sooth sore muscles; some have added heat to ease stiffness. The massagers relieve soreness, relieve aches, and easy to use.
HoMedics makes a wide variety of back massagers to fit any budget, since they come in a variety of price ranges. There are massaging massaging chair cushions and pillows, massage mats and handheld massagers. Which one you pick will depend on your need and the amount of money you want to spend.
My personal is favorite is HoMedics Massage Mat. The massage mat can massage the entire body and has an optional heat setting that delivers heat to soothe the lower back. It is relaxing and eases stiffness. A couple of things to consider are that the massage mat shouldn’t be used for more than 15 minutes at a time and shouldn’t be used while sleeping. The company does not recommend the product be used by diabetics, individuals with pacemakers, and pregnant women should consult their doctor before using.
I enjoy creating my own home spa experience, using HoMedics back massagers. An afternoon, when no one else is home, can be spent relaxing and pampering myself. I turn on some soft, calm music and set the mood with lavender essential oil. Then I put on my favorite facial mask and place cool cucumbers on my eyes. I lie back for about 20 minutes and let the soothing heat and massaging action do the work of letting tension and worry slip away.

updated 3/24/14 for broken links

Soothe an Itchy, Dry Scalp with Organic Shampoo

 "Organic shampoo contains natural ingredients such as botanicals and essential oils that soothe itching and dryness. They are often milder than regular shampoo, which can be drying and irritating. Non-organic shampoos that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), detergents, artificial ingredients, and perfumes irritate sensitive skin or skin conditions such as eczema."  Read more of this article that I wrote for Daily Glow -- Soothe an Itchy, Dry Scalp with Organic Shampoo

Natural Skin Care - A Face Mask Recipe with Olive Oil

Olive oil has been used for thousands of years in skin care as a moisturizer and cleanser. It is full of vitamin E and other antioxidants that slow the appearance of aging by fighting free radicals. Vitamin E has been shown to moisten skin and improve smoothness. Read more and get the recipe at Daily Glow: Natural Skin Care Recipe: Olive Oil Face Mask

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Costume Review: Hooded Velvet Black Cape for Adults

hooded black velvet cape costume discounters
I recently got a hooded black, velvet cape costume for adults from Costume Discounters. I was excited to have the opportunity for this review and eagerly awaited its arrival. 

The cape is 63 inches long, made of black crushed velvet. It has a generous hood and slits on the side for putting your arms through. The cape itself is made out of quality velvet that is neither too lightweight or heavy. It has a Velcro® fastening at the neck. The sizing is “One Size Fits All” and can be worn by both men and women. I found the cape to be quite roomy; I’m 5’8 and of average build.

This cape is extremely versatile, with the ability to add something to many different types of costumes. You can be mysterious, bewitching, evil, sexy, or elegant. Be a vampire, a Sith Lord from Star Wars, a witch, wizard, or magician, the possibilities are endless. I felt rather gothic while wearing it. Overall this cape is well made and will serve my family and I well.

The Hooded Velvet Black Cape for Adults sells for $16.97, plus shipping and handling, along with any applicable tax.  

Costume Discounters also has a wide selection of costumes for children and adult costumes. There is also an ample supply of costume accessories. There seems to be something for everyone. Costume Discounters has a “lowest price guarantee” and has a generous exchange policy.

Hooded Velvet Black Cape for Adults from Costume Discounters

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Product Review: MY-GRASTICK™

I’ve suffered from migraines for several years. Sometimes they knock me down, where I will be lying in bed in a dark room for a few days. As a busy mother, I really don’t have time to get wiped out by a migraine.

I came across this neat little tube called MY-GRASTICK™ (or MiGRASTICK®, as it appears to be called in Europe). It contains one hundred percent pure, natural steam–distilled peppermint oil and lavender oil. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which causes a cooling sensation on the skin, which can act as a pain reliever and an inflammation reducer. Lavender essential oil is relaxing and reduces stress.

I bought it about three weeks ago at a local Super Supplements store. It seemed like a novel idea, essential oils in a small roll on stick. It’s convenient, because it fits in a purse or pocket. According to the packaging each stick lasts for more than 100 applications.  The tube is made of glass, which is breakable, so one must be careful to not drop it. The glass bottle, says the company's website, is needed to retain the properties of the sensitive essential oils. The glass bottle is coated with a metallic film to protect the light sensitive ingredients.

Over the past few weeks, I have used it several times. I have found that it is useful if you apply it at the very first sign of getting a migraine or headache. If you wait until the migraine is advanced, then it really doesn’t do much except provide a pleasant scent. Some times when I have a full blown migraine, I’m sensitive to odors, so I need to be careful to not use too much or it makes me feel worse. 

This morning I awoke with a throbbing headache, if it were not for having several things to do today and two young boys, I would have stayed in bed. I massaged the My-GRASTICK® on my temples, forehead, and neck. After some stretching exercises and a cup of tea if felt much better.

According to the manufacturer the product got high marks in a clinical trial with 91% of patients being satisfied with the effectiveness. The website contains lots of information about studies done about the effectiveness of the product. It also notes that it is not for use by pregnant or lactating women, children, or epileptics.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Swiss Chard Provides Some Awesome Health Benefits

Swiss chard is not necessarily a popular vegetable. When you say "green, leafy vegetable" Swiss chard may not pop into your mind. It is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is quite a healthy vegetable. Read all about  Swiss chard:

Jonathunder via WikiCommons
Swiss chard is an often neglected leafy, green vegetable that is full of nutrients. It is a close relative of beets. Anyone looking for variety in their diet will find Swiss Chard an excellent vegetable.
Swiss chard provides an ample supply of vitamin A, C, K, B complex vitamins, magnesium, iron, and potassium. The nutrients found in Swiss chard afford many health benefits. Below is a list of some of the benefits that may be derived from these nutrients.

•    Antioxidants — It is loaded with the antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Antioxidants protect the body from the damage of oxidation done by free radicals. According to WebMD antioxidants help treat or prevent coronary artery disease, some types of cancer, macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and some arthritic conditions.  They also act in an anti-inflammatory manner. Swiss chard is full of phytonutrient antioxidants, that act in an anti-inflammatory manner, according to The Worlds Healthiest Foods.

•    Blood Pressure — According to Joy Richey of the University of Illinois Extension, one cup of cooked Swiss chard contains a third of a person’s daily recommended requirement of potassium, which may help with lowering blood pressure.

•    Cardiovascular Health — Vitamin K prevents the calcification of blood vessels or hardening of the arteries. It also aids in normal blood clotting. The magnesium it contains also may help with cardiovascular disease and hypertension, as stated by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

•    Bone Health — Swiss chard is good for bone health, due to high amounts of vitamin K and magnesium. The World’s Healthiest Foods attributes vitamin K to preventing postmenopausal bone loss and protecting bones from fractures.

•    Skin — Skin also receives a boost from Swiss chard. Vitamin C is essential for collagen production, while vitamin A plays a part in healthy skin and preventing acne.

•    Immune System — Vitamin A and vitamin C are important vitamins for improving and stimulating immune function, as stated on the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center’website.

•    Eye Health — Information from the CDC states that Swiss chard has 110% of the recommended daily requirement of vitamin A. Vitamin A is needed for healthy eyes.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Making Your Own Facials

An awesome way to avoid undesirable chemicals and additives is by making your own facials out of ingredients in your kitchen. For a detailed list of ingredients you can use and some recipes, check this article out about making homemade facials with household ingredients.

Earth Day Events

If you are around the Puget Sound Area during the month of April, there are lots of ways to celebrate Earth Month. Check out this list of events going on.