Saturday, November 30, 2013

DIY Sugar Scrub Recipe for Your Lips

Image Courtesy of 
With winter right around the corner, everyone is gearing up, bundling up and prepping for holiday fun, which can make it hard to remember the importance of your beauty routine! Indie Lee, DIY queen and creator of the namesake eco-chic skincare collection, knows that one beauty area that needs special attention during the winter are your lips!

Harsh winds and frigid temperatures leave your pout dry and in need of some real seasonal smoothing. Luckily, lip scrubs are the perfect way to nourish your lips while leaving them kissable (hello mistletoe!) With many lip scrubs containing harmful chemicals, why not make your own with all natural ingredients, plus this makes a thoughtful and inexpensive gift!

Total Lip Service Scrub Recipe by Indie Lee

1 Tablespoon Raw Cane Sugar
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Drop Peppermint Oil

Directions: Combine together the raw cane sugar and the honey in a small bowl. Mix in the peppermint oil until ingredients are well combined. Use this mixture immediately to buff and polish your lips.

* Recipe and directions are courtesy of Indie Lee.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I wanted to take a few minutes out of my busy morning and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! It is a busy morning here in our household as I finish baking up some breads, rolls and various desserts. I have been in full baking and cooking mode for three full days now!

We are going to pack up the car and head over to the Assisted Living Center where my great auntie now lives. Last year we started a new tradition and every Thanksgiving we go into the nursing home aka Assisted Living Center and spend the day with her.

They cater in a delicious tasting dinner but I always bring a lot of extra freshly prepared food with me that the senior ladies can enjoy later in the day or even tomorrow. They love freshly made goodies from home!

Tomorrow we will be going back in to the center and will be decorating 4 public area rooms for the upcoming Christmas holiday with items donated by local businesses, family and friends. We did this last year for them and they absolutely loved it!

The holiday season is here and if you can donate a few hours of your time I suggest you donate them at your local nursing home and/or assisted living center. Many seniors are simply dropped off in these places and don't get regular visitors! It's the holiday season and they really appreciate all of the volunteers they can get!

Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday and remember, we all have a lot to be Thankful for!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pennsylvania Weather - Winter Storm November 26th 2013

Weather here in Pennsylvania has been pretty wicked over the past 2 years and it doesn't seem to be letting up. Just in the past 2 years we have been hit with 2 hurricanes (Irene and Sandy), numerous severe thunderstorms, ice storms, snow storms and all kinds of other things that mother nature has thrown at us.
Just this past year we have had damage to our property 7 times with the most recent one being yesterday and last night. A nasty winter storm slammed us with some winds, sleet, freezing rain, ice and a few minor snow showers.

For the 7th time this year our trees on our property have taken a big hit! One of our 50+ year old pine trees lost a lot of its limbs! Hubby said it is so badly damaged that he will have to have people come out and chop it down to remove it. Sad really because I used to play under that big old pine tree when I was a little girl.
Our garbage cans and patio furniture blew down the street and we had to go snatch those up earlier this morning. On top of that, hubby's work truck has a nice big dent in it that wasn't there the day before. We are not sure what slammed into that. 

So, instead of shopping this Black Friday and holiday weekend...we will be cleaning up our property for the 7th time this year. This is becoming a REAL PAIN IN THE ASS these days! I am hoping mother nature and old man winter will cut us a break soon!

Monday, November 25, 2013

7 Tips to Burn Calories to Make Room for that Thanksgiving Meal

Thanksgiving is a great time to gather with friends and family, but did you know it's also a great time to burn calories? Check out these seven unique calorie-burning fitness tips to keep you feeling strong during Thanksgiving, from Shana Schneider, fitness expert and Founder of FITWEEK, a fitness company dedicated to helping women turn any week into a fitweek.

7 Tips to Burn Calories to Make Room for that Thanksgiving Meal (Plus Leftovers!)

You don't have to make huge sacrifices to indulge in that Thanksgiving meal while also watching your waistline. The little things add up; and here are seven simple steps that will save you room, that you've earned, for more.

1. No more mixers! Mash the potatoes by hand and get an incredible arm workout.

2. Football? Yes! But instead of watching it, take the family outside and actually play it.

3. Take an extra lap around the grocery store when you’re shopping for all the ingredients. It’s a fact: Small steps can add up to make a big difference for your health.

4. Walk it off. Take a brisk walk post-Thanksgiving meal. You’ll have to fight the drowsiness that sets in after all that turkey, while also earning the calories you’ve consumed.

5. Before you dish up the plates and sit down, stand up and go around the table having everyone say one thing they are thankful for.

6. Make bread from scratch. It’s all about using your body weight to really get that loaf soft and delicious!

7. Don’t sit down to watch the Macy’s Day parade, stand up and march along. Better yet, why not go do it in person! Plus, there are parades all around the country to choose from.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sparkling ICE Pops - Homemade Popsicle Recipe

This month is a great time to focus on healthy habits. Have children help with menu planning, shopping, and cooking to emphasize the importance of eating together and making healthy choices. An easy way to celebrate throughout the month is to swap out soda, sugary drinks and energy drinks for Sparkling ICE. It’s a beverage your kids will love to drink.

Sparkling ICE is a naturally flavored slightly sparkling water that is zero calories, gluten-free, sugar-free and Kosher. It also contains fruit juice, vitamins and healthy antioxidants.

Sparkling ICE Pops Recipes

Ice Cube Tray (or your favorite ice pop making molds)
Toothpicks or Popsicle sticks
I bottle of Sparkling ICE
1 container of fresh raspberries or blueberries, chopped

Fill your trays or molds with Sparkling ICE, topping each with a scoop of chopped raspberries or blueberries. If using ice cube trays cover tray tightly with tin foil. Poke a Popsicle stick through the foil into each cube. If using an ice pop maker place the handle sticks into the molds. Place in the freezer for about 2 hours or until frozen. Please note that this recipe works with any of flavor of Sparkling ICE flavors and fresh fruit. Enjoy!

Disclosure: Recipe and photo is courtesy of Sparkling ICE.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Holiday Gift Wrapping Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday

The holidays are on the way and before you know it the holiday will be here. Like millions of people I used to wait until the very last minute to wrap my gifts which always stressed me out before the big day.

Last year I got my holiday gift wrapping in-order and figured out a system that worked really well for me. Every weekend leading up to the holidays I spent one hour wrapping gifts & addressing holiday cards, so that I didn't have to give up an entire weekend right before the holiday to get them done.

Here are a few tips that I wanted to share with all of you.

1. Set up a small area in your home to be your gift wrapping station. In my case, I have a large rectangular table set up in my basement near one of our large basement windows. You want to make sure that your area has proper lighting.

2. Head out to the store and buy everything you think you will need in one shopping trip. For me, I headed to my local dollar store and picked up numerous rolls of wrapping paper, several packs of holiday print gift bags, ribbons, bows, gift tags, colored tape and regular gift wrapping tape. I also picked up a pack of fun colored gel ink pens for doing my gift tags in fun colors. I always make a point to buy a little more supplies than what I think I will need, so that I don't have to run out again.

3. Organize all of your supplies onto your table so that things are kept neat and tidy. I purchased small plastic bins (at the dollar store) and have all of my ribbons in one, gift tags in another, bows in a third and so forth. If you are organized, the gift wrapping will go much quicker and you won't get stressed out trying to find something.

4. Designate an area in your home for the wrapped gifts to go! I have four large plastic bins in that room (our laundry room) and each bin is labeled for the family. ie. Hubby's Family, My Family, Friends, etc. Once you got the gifts wrapped, you want to place them into the appropriate bin to keep things organized.

5. Once a week (for me that is on the weekend) I spend 30 minutes to 1 hour wrapping gifts and addressing holiday cards. I play Christmas music or I will pop in a holiday DVD while I am wrapping gifts, addressing cards and doing other necessary pre-holiday tasks. Setting the mood, reduces the stress!

By the time the Christmas eve rolls around you should have all of your gifts wrapped, sorted and be ready to go come Christmas morning! It's a great way to cut down the stress and a fantastic way to get the most enjoyment out of this important holiday season.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Stealing Blog Content is Unprofessional and Illegal

I have been online networking, chatting, promoting various businesses and blogging for over 15 years. Matter of fact, I own or co-own 7 very successful blogs. Over the years I educated myself on copyright laws and learned about Intellectual Property Rights...if you write articles, write content for websites and/or blog, you need to educate yourself on all of this immediately!

Over the years I have caught way too many people to count stealing my content! That's write, people have stolen my professionally written articles, web site content, blog content and even images that I have had on my sites.

I have spent a lot of time and money over the past few years hunting down these content thieves and getting my content and/or images removed from their sites. While this is time consuming and at times expensive, it is very important to pursue losers who are too lazy to product their own content.

Why is important that you pursue these losers you might ask? Well, several reasons!

1. Having duplicate content all over the web can hurt your ranking in search engine results.

2. Even if the thief who stole your content rewrites a few things within it or edits it in some way, it is still content theft if they did not change enough of the content to make it "uniquely" theirs. Some thieves call this content "respinning" and I call it just plain laziness!

3. You write your own content to make yourself unique and to set yourself up as a leader within your niche. When someone steals your content and republishes it or respins it to suit their own purpose, it makes them look "worthy" when they are not!

There are a ton of reasons why you can NOT ignore the problem but these 3 are important reasons on why you must pursue those who steal your content or respin your original works! It can't be tolerated and it certainly should not be ignored. You have legal rights and you need to exercise them when you come across a content thief.

Just yesterday I was alerted to a blog who was stealing my ideals, tip sheets and blog posts and publishing them onto her own blog. WTH? Can ya say unprofessional and lazy? Some of my content was published whole, some she took chunks out of my original post (then respinned it) and others she completely respinned and reworded to suit her own needs.

I am not talking about 1 or 2 posts...try over 40 different posts! Those that she did respin and reword she didn't do enough rewording to make the content uniquely hers. People who know me and my professionally written work...recognized right away that she was stealing my content and/or respinning my original content.

To all of you out there who cruise blogs, social media sites and web sites to grab your content...Stop! You can not steal another person's work!!! While you can cruise around for some topic ideas, you certainly can not cruise around and grab whatever you want for your own site. You can NOT respin someone else's article and/or blog post unless you rewrite it from top to bottom and add something new, fresh and/or unique to it. That post has to be changed by at least 70%.

I don't condone content respinning and's a very unprofessional thing to do. Most professional ghostwriters like myself don't practice that at all.

If you are stealing content...STOP immediately! If you are a victim of someone who has stolen content from you...exercise your LEGAL rights! Don't ignore it! Get that content taken down and if they don't cease and hit them LEGALLY!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Late Fall Foliage Photos from the Susquehanna Valley

Hubby and I took a road trip up to State College in Pennsylvania last weekend and got to see some of the pretty Fall foliage that the Susquehanna Valley has to offer. Next year we are going to take the same road trip but go 2 to 3 weeks earlier so we can see the Fall foliage at peak time. This year we were a little late on seeing it but was a beautiful drive. 

We took route 322/22 from Harrisburg up to State College which is a beautiful drive (except during the winter where you have to deal with snow and ice). Taking this route will take you through many of our beautiful mountains and valleys, as well as through several small towns. You can easily do a round trip on a 1/2 tank of gas which is really nice.
If you take this little day trip make sure you take a good look out your car window right before you hit Dauphin, PA. on 322/22 so that you can grab a quick peek at the Statue of Liberty that sits out in the middle of the Susquehanna River on an old stone column leftover from an old stone bridge. Yup, that is her above and trust me, she stands 25 feet tall (she looks small in the photo).

Hubby and I took our road trip on a Sunday and we specifically picked that day because trucker traffic on route 322/22 is a LOT less on weekends, especially on Sunday. We wanted to take our good old time and stop off the road to take in the scenery in several places along the route. You can click on the photos in this blog post to enlarge them to see better details. 
If you love looking at mountains and beautiful Fall foliage then Pennsylvania is one state you need to consider for a road trip every Fall. If you would like to learn more about traveling in Pennsylvania, I would like for you to visit my travel blog called Pennsylvania and Beyond. You will find 100's of travel photos, articles and blog posts for seeing many of the travel destinations that Pennsylvania has to offer. If you have any Pennsylvania travel questions, please free to leave me a comment on this blog or on my official travel blog. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sweet Cherry Spritzer Cocktail Recipe

During the weekends I like to sit down and of the things that helps me to relax and unwind after a long week is a delicious tasting cocktail. The great folks over at Voga Italia sent over this yummy looking cocktail recipe for me to share with all of my blog readers. You can find out more about the Voga Italia products and grab additional recipes by visiting their website online. With the holidays coming up, I think it would be perfect at any holiday party!

Sweet Cherry Spritzer Cocktail Recipe

4 oz VOGA Dolce Rosso
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Fine Sugar
2 oz soda water
Cherries and Mint for garnish

Directions: In a mixer, shake up cherries, lemon juice, sugar and VOGA Dolce Rosso. Pour into a glass and top off with soda water. Garnish with cherries and mint sprig.

Disclosure: Recipe & photo is courtesy of Voga Italia. You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween 2013 - Neighborhood Halloween Decorations

Witch coming out of chimney!
We had been patiently awaiting the arriving of Halloween and this year...we were ready! Now that we are all moved into our new home, we went out of our way to put up some great outdoor decorations. We put up spooky bat wind chimes that chirp when motion is detected and matched them up on the other porch with black spider ones.
Halloween Yard Decorations
We put out various corn stalks, pumpkins, gourds and a scarecrow. But the best part of our Halloween decorations were all of the festive lights and light up ghosts, etc. that hubby put in our front yard. We didn't go over board with it but did put out several nice things to make our house look festive.

My grand daughter lives 5 minutes away but in a different township so we took her out Trick or Treating. She was dressed as Tangled and looked darling in her princess costume. Once we were done, we headed back to our house to await the arrival of the little Trick or Treaters.In a matter of 2 hours those darling little kids wiped us out of 9 bags of candy! That's right, 9 bags of Hershey's chocolate candy went out the door!
Love the Inflatables!
One of our neighbors went way out this year and really decorated up their front yard & house. They had a large witch popping out the chimney on the roof and it was fantastic! They had various lights all over their trees and shrubs and various other "light-up" things through out their yard.

Our neighborhood goes WAY OUT when it comes to holiday decorating and that is always nice to see! Next year hubby and I plan on adding even more...after all, we need to keep up with the Jone's.