Show your Host or Hostess some love

HostorHostessGifts

Does anyone out there ever bring gifts for their host or hostess anymore?

I will admit I have been very neglectful of this when I attend gatherings at friends and families homes, but I think it’s time to turn over a new leaf, bring the classy back, and start showing our gratitude to those who go through the effort of hosting us for the day, evening or longer.

If you are feeling like you would like to get your host(ess) a gift there are a variety of gifts you can try, gifts like:

  • Beverages (Beer, cider, tea, wine, etc.)
  • Candles
  • Card or Board Games
  • Flowers (Cut bouquets or potted plants)
  • Gift Cards
  • Hosting accessories (Decorations (decor), kitchenware etc.)
  • Treats (Savory or Sweet)

Whatever you choose to give, you will be spreading warmth and cheer back to your host/hostess, who in turn will spread warmth and cheer to you and their other guests.

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65 Ways to be Elegant

  1. Accept compliments gracefully.
  2. Always bring a gift to your host and/or hostess.
  3. Apologize sincerely.
  4. Appreciate the arts.
  5. Arrive on time.
  6. Be a lady or a gentleman at work.
  7. Be kind.
  8. Be positive.
  9. Be quietly self confident.
  10. Be respectful of others.
  11. Be well groomed.
  12. Be well read.
  13. Concern yourself with making others feel comfortable.
  14. Do small favors for others without expecting reciprocation.
  15. Don’t boast.
  16. Don’t complain.
  17. Don’t call attention to other’s mistakes, gossip, or speak ill of them.
  18. Don’t curse.
  19. Don’t overindulge.
  20. Dress appropriately for every occasion.
  21. Chew with your mouth closed.
  22. Express empathy.
  23. Express gratitude.
  24. Give thoughtful gifts, rather than expensive ones.
  25. Give others sincere compliments.
  26. Have a fabulous signature meal you serve guests.
  27. Have a signature perfume/cologne.
  28. Have impeccable manners; say please and thank you.
  29. Have integrity.
  30. Host small dinner parties.
  31. Keep a journal.
  32. Keep your home clean and uncluttered.
  33. Keep your nails well manicured.
  34. Know thyself.
  35. Learn another language.
  36. Learn less is more.
  37. Learn proper etiquette for a variety of situations.
  38. Learn to dance.
  39. Learn to politely decline.
  40. Listen without interrupting.
  41. Maintain boundaries.
  42. Maintain a budget.
  43. Maintain good health.
  44. Move with grace.
  45. Open the door for others.
  46. Practice discretion.
  47. Practice good posture.
  48. Practice patience.
  49. Practice quality over quantity.
  50. Remember birthdays.
  51. Savor the moment.
  52. Send holiday and thank you cards and/or notes.
  53. Serve coffee or tea after meals.
  54. Show restraint in expressing anger.
  55. Sip your beverages; never slurp or gulp.
  56. Speak eloquently.
  57. Speak softly, never yell or scream.
  58. Spend time outdoors.
  59. Take responsibility for yourself and your own happiness.
  60. Think before you act or speak.
  61. Turn your mobile off at the table.
  62. Understand your own worth.
  63. Wear dresses and/or suits more often, and on dates.
  64. Wear less makeup.
  65. Write a letter rather than send an email to those you love.

Coconut Oil for Health

CoconutOilThe more I research and use coconut oil, the more I am convinced it is one of those rare ingredients (much like apple cider vinegar) that can be used for all kinds of good in your life. Some of these remedies will take more than one application to work, so don’t lose hope if you apply once and your acne doesn’t immediately vanish!

  • Acid Reflux – Take a small spoonful of coconut oil with meals to help prevent acid reflux and heartburn.
  • Acne – Coconut oil gently fights the bacteria that cause acne. Dab it directly on the offending pimples and watch them shrink.
  • After Shave – Coconut oil soothes sensitive skin and promotes healing
  • Age Spots – Coconut oil has beneficial effects on any skin blemish. Use it to help fade age spots with powerful antioxidants.
  • Athletes Foot – The powerful antifungal properties of coconut oil make it perfect for any fungal infection. Add a few drops of oregano or tea tree oil for more antifungal power.
  • Bones – Coconut oil aids the body in the absorption of calcium and magnesium. Both minerals are important for strong bones and teeth.
  • Bruises – Rub coconut oil into bruised skin to speed healing and watch the bruises fade fast.
  • Canker Sores – Dab coconut oil on canker sores to kill infection and speed up healing.
  • Chicken Pox  – Ease the itch and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil.
  • Cleanser – Coconut oil makes an effective and gentle cleanser to remove the grime of the day.
  • Cold Sore  – Coconut oil has antiviral properties that will help the body get rid of the virus that causes cold sores. Rub it on when needed and add a drop of oregano oil to speed healing.
  • Conditioner – Coconut oil conditions, strengthens, and repairs hair. Massage it in and rinse it out after ten minutes. A small amount can be rubbed in to dry hair to tame frizz.
  • Cooking – Coconut oil doesn’t transform into harmful by-products when heated like most other oils and animal fats. Use it to replace butter, cup for cup in recipes. Sauté, cook, bake, broil, braise, and more using coconut oil as a healthier alternative.
  • Cradle Cap – Coconut oil is gentle and safe for infants and helps ease the itching, pain, redness, and flaking associated with cradle cap.
  • Curb Appetite – Take a spoonful before meals to curb appetite so you don’t overeat.
  • Dandruff – Massage coconut oil into the scalp to ease symptoms of dandruff, both itching and flaking.
  • Deodorant – Mix coconut oil with cornstarch, baking soda, and your favorite essential oils for a natural deodorant that smells fantastic.
  • Diaper Rash – Coconut oil can help heal mild diaper rash gently and effectively.
  • Earaches – Earaches, swimmer’s ear, and ear infections clear up fast with a few drops of coconut oil mixed with garlic oil.
  • Energy – Coconut oil and its medium chain triglycerides make it an excellent energy source to improve stamina, endurance, or just to give you a boost through the day.
  • Eye Cream – Reduce puffiness and dark circles with a few dabs of coconut oil.
  • Fitness – Coconut oil boosts energy, increases metabolism, improves thyroid function, and aids healthy weight loss.
  • Furniture Polish – Coconut oil gives a protective shine to wood furniture. Test on a small area first.
  • Gum Removal – Coconut oil gets the sticky stuff out of hair, carpet, and anywhere else it doesn’t belong.
  • Hemorrhoids – Coconut oil eases the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids and encourages natural healing both internally and externally.
  • Lice – Coconut oil kills and removes this pesky problem.
  • Lip Balm – Coconut oil hydrates and protects lips and offers some protection from the sun (spf 4).
  • Lubricant – Coconut makes an all-natural personal lubricant for intimate moments without chemicals.
  • Makeup Remover – Coconut oil removes oil-based makeup easily, like mascara. It cleans, hydrates, and makes skin glow.
  • Massage Oil – Coconut oil soothes tired and sore muscles. Add a few drops of essential oils for more effect.
  • Moisturizer – Coconut oil is an excellent way to soften and hydrate dry, rough, or damaged skin.
  • Nose Bleeds – Rub a bit of coconut oil in nostrils to fight the dry cracking that can lead to nose bleeds.
  • Nursing – Coconut oil works great to repair dry, cracked skin, including sore nipples from nursing.
  • Pet Health – Coconut oil can do a multitude of things for pets, both topically and internally. It improves breath, makes for a shiny coat, eases joint problems, cleans ears, gets rid of fleas, and much more.
  • Ring Worm – Rub coconut oil onto affected area to kill the fungus that causes ringworm. Add tea tree oil to clear the infection even faster.
  • Shaving Cream – Coconut oil keeps the razor gliding smoothly while leaving skin smooth and soft.
  • Skin Condition – Coconut oil reduces the itchiness, pain, flakiness, and dryness of eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
  • Skin Irritations  – Ease the itch of poison ivy, poison oak, mosquito bites and other insect stings or bites, and encourage healing with dabs of coconut oil.
  • Sore Throat – Dissolve a spoonful in your mouth and let it slowly roll down the throat. This will coat and protect the throat, boost the health of mucus membranes, and fight any infection.
  • Stretch Marks – Prevent and soften stretch marks with coconut oil for soft and supple skin.
  • Stys/Pink Eye – Rub a small amount of coconut oil on the sty or around the eyes to get rid of these infections.
  • Sunburn – Coconut oil can help prevent sunburn for short exposures. When you are sunburned, applying coconut oil will speed healing and take some of the sting away. Wait 24 to 72 hours after the burn to allow the heat to dissipate rather than seal it in.
  • Toothaches – Coconut oil strengthens teeth and helps soothe painful toothaches. Adding a drop of clove oil can almost instantly relieve the pain.
  • Toothpaste – Mix one part coconut oil with one part baking soda and add a couple drops of peppermint oil. This makes a refreshing, natural toothpaste that whitens and cleans without added preservatives, fluoride, sweeteners, or other chemicals.
  • Urinary Tract – Treat urinary tract infections with a spoonful of coconut oil.
  • Warts and Moles – Rub oil into area and cover with a bandage. Rub in fresh oil and place a new bandage each day.
  • Wrinkles – Rub into lines, creases, and wrinkles to rehydrate skin and soften those wrinkles away.
  • Yeast Infections – Coconut oil fights these fungal infections internally and externally.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Health

AppleCiderVinegar copyThe more I use apple cider vinegar, the more i’m convinced it is one of those rare tinctures that can be used for all kinds of good in your life. I have known people who are able to drink or gargle with straight apple cider vinegar and I tip my hat to them, it is strong! I personally tried gargling with it undiluted for a sore throat and it stings! After the stinging went away my sore throat was gone, but I highly recommend diluting it with water and in some cases honey.

  • Acne – Wash your face morning and night with one part apple cider vinegar to two or three parts water to clear acne.
  • Bad Breath – Gargling or drinking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted in water will kill the odor-causing bacteria found within your mouth.
  • Dandruff – Mix ¼ cup apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup water in a spray bottle, and spritz on your scalp. Wrap your head in a towel and let the mixture sit for fifteen minutes to an hour, then wash your hair as usual. Do this twice a week for best results.
  • Diarrhea – Mix one to two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into water and drink to soothe intestinal spasm.
  • Cholesterol – Drink half an ounce of apple cider vinegar (diluted in water if you prefer) on daily basis to lower cholesterol.
  • Headache – Mix ten grams of apple cider vinegar, ten grams of honey and dash of chamomile extract to create soothing balm for tension headaches.
  • Hiccups – Take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and it’s sour taste will stop hiccups immediately.
  • High Blood Pressure – Drink two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted into one average glass of water 1 to 3 times a day to lower blood pressure.
  • Indigestion – Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey into warm water and drink it 30 minutes before eating to relieve indigestion.
  • Leg cramps – Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and one teaspoon of honey into a glass of warm water and drink to boost your potassium levels and relieve leg cramps.
  • Sinus Congestion/Pain – Mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink to help sinus drainage.
  • Sore Throat – Gargle ¼ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar diluted with ¼ cup of warm water once every hour or so to remove germs.
  • Weight Loss – Start your day with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar diluted into two glasses of water to suppress your appetite, reduce water retention and increase your metabolism.
  • Whiten Teeth – Gargling with diluted apple cider vinegar once a day can help remove stains, whiten teeth and kill harmful bacteria in your mouth and gums. Brush afterwards.

Beauty and Hygiene Quick Tips

Beauty:Hygiene

BODY

  • Use an unscented pH balanced bar soap (ie. Dove or Aveeno) to prevent any harsh chemicals from damaging your skin or causing dryness or acne. This is especially important when washing your underarms, pubic region and any other sensitive areas.
  • Liquid body wash can clog pores more than a bar of soap, so if you have body acne, try cleansing with bar soap instead.
  • The best way to get rid of body acne is to use a spray with salicylic acid after drying your skin post-shower. If you have long hair, try to keep it off your back/shoulders, especially when wet and after applying product.
  • If you have Keratosis Pilaris, also known as KP (google for images), the best way to get rid of it is to exfoliate with either a sugar scrub or a gentle exfoliator in the shower, then moisturize immediately after you dry off. It’s generally a result of dry skin, so if you maintain cleanliness and moisturize you could get rid of it.
  • If you shave, buy men’s razors. You get a much closer and smoother shave since they’re made for faces instead of legs. i know they’re not cute or colorful, but you can get more razors as well as more/better blades for less money.
  • Moisturize when you get out of the shower after drying off to retain moisture and soften skin, since water and soap dry it out. It is not recommended to use baby oil or any moisturizer with artificial fragrances or dyes.
  • Please shower after you work out or sweat a lot. This will prevent body acne, bacteria buildup, yeast infections, smelling horrendous, and even staph infection (particularly if you go to the gym). You don’t have to wash your hair every time unless you’re drenched in sweat but please shower.
  • Underarms are sensitive. Try to find deodorant without aluminum or any weird preservatives to prevent rashes.
  • If you have really dry, cracking feet, try putting vaseline or a thick lotion (i use burt’s bees coconut foot creme) on your feet, put on socks, and keep them on overnight. it will feel a little weird and squishy at first, but after a few days you will definitely find it worth it!

Resources & Tutorials:

Check back soon!

FACE

  • I cannot stress enough how amazing coconut oil is. Use it as a makeup remover (especially wonderful for eye makeup!!), a moisturizer, or even as an acne treatment.
  • If you have one of those god-awful huge, painful blemishes, mix coconut oil with a dash 100% tea tree oil (dilute the tea tree oil like this or you WILL get a rash) and use it as a spot treatment. The coconut oil balances the oil on your skin, while the tea tree oil kills bacteria.
  • Be gentle when dealing with your skin, especially with pulling and tugging around your eyes.
  • Incorporate sun protection into your daily routine. Get a moisturizer with spf in it to protect your skin and use it in the mornings. This will prevent wrinkles and, more importantly, skin cancer.
  • Wash your face first thing in the morning to get rid of all the nasty excess oil you produce in your sleep.
  • Wash your face before you go to bed (after removing makeup) too.
  • After washing your face, apply a toner a treatment containing salicylic acid (if you have acne).
  • Moisturize. When you apply acidic products or wash your face without moisturizing it, your skin gets stripped of natural oils/moisture and then panics by creating an excess of oil, meaning you get greasy skin and acne. Get a moisturizer that works with your skin type.
  • If you wear makeup and want to go for a quick/easy/natural/no-makeup look, just cover up any acne with concealer, put on some blush and mascara, and then leave everything else alone. Blush is magical and will instantly make you look fresh and young and alive and pretty.
  • Don’t touch your acne. The more you touch it, the worse it gets. If you have to pop it, wash your hands first and disinfect/put acne treatment on it directly afterward. STOP trying to do anything if you see blood or if it gets too painful.
  • Clean your phone screen and glasses frames with an alcohol swab every few days to keep your face clean.
  • Please do not put lemon juice or baking soda on your face. It is extremely corrosive.
  • Please do not use sugar scrubs or exfoliators meant for your body on your face as it’s way more delicate than your body’s skin.
  • Wash/change your sheets and pillowcase(s) every two weeks MAXIMUM. Imagine how much nastiness gets on your pillowcase from hair products, oil, dead skin.
  • Drink lots of water every day. your skin needs it.
  • Above all, love your skin. be gentle to it. treat it well. it will love you back if you do.

Resources & Tutorials:

Check back soon!

HAIR

  • Try to keep shampoo to your roots and away from the ends. Shampoo pulls the natural oils and moisture out of your hair and when exposed to your tips, can cause your hair to dry out and look frizzy even after conditioner.
  • Do not condition your scalp. Conditioner on your scalp will create product/oil build up, making your hair greasy and flat. Do use conditioner on your ends; start at the nape of your neck and work toward the tips. Let the conditioner sit for a minute or two after applying, then rinse.
  • Reduce frizz by wrapping your delicate wet hair in t-shirt material instead of your towel.
  • When brushing wet hair, start at the ends and work your way up. If you put product on before you brush it, use a different brush at the scalp to reduce any product buildup/greasiness/flatness.
  • Do not go to bed with wet hair. Not only can you develop mold/bacteria in your hair if it stays wet too long, but wet hair is a lot more prone to breakage (meaning the more you toss and turn, the frizzier your hair will be).
  • Brush your hair out at the end of the day to distribute the natural oils in your scalp. This is good for creating shine, decreasing oiliness in second- or third-day roots, and growing out your hair.
  • Use heat protectants before drying/heat styling your hair!
  • Evenly distribute any products you put in by brushing them through.
  • If you have dandruff, try apple cider vinegar.
  • Do not use scalding hot water when showering, ESPECIALLY if you have colored hair. It strips color from your hair and it’s bad for your hair texture and health. Try to use warm to cool water.
  • If your hair lacks body, especially near the scalp, it could be the result of product buildup. Try using a clarifying shampoo or apple cider vinegar once every week or two depending on your hair’s thickness.
  • if your hair is still flat, try changing your part! it instantly changes your look and can immediately add volume.
  • Try to get your hair trimmed every 6 months, at the least.
  • Sea salt spray creates instant body and texture on most hair types, but is especially great if you have wavy to curly hair or short hair.
  • Coconut oil is a amazing! Use it as a hair mask, an after-shower detangler or a product in place of smoothing creme. Make sure it’s organic or else you’re not helping your hair much.

Resources & Tutorials:

Check back soon!

The Benefits of Meditation

MeditationBenefits_small

For positive reinforcement I’ve rounded up a comprehensive list of the benefits of meditation. Please share with us if you’ve had personal experience with any of these benefits or experienced any other benefits.

EMOTIONAL

  • Boosts positivity
  • Decreases feelings of loneliness
  • Helps with depression
  • Reduces stress

HEALTH

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Lowers your blood pressure
  • Lowers your oxygen consumption
  • Minimizes pain
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces your cortisol levels

PRODUCTIVITY

  • Boosts your creativity
  • Improves multitasking
  • Improves your memory
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Lengthens your attention span
  • Makes you more attentive

SOCIAL

  • Builds on your compassion for others
  • Helps regulate your emotions
  • Increases social connection
  • Lowers anxiety

Marvel Cinematic Universe List

Iron Man Poster

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a media franchise and shared fictional universe that is centered on a series of superhero films, based on characters that appear in publications by Marvel Comics. Cameron and I like to re-watch the released films and from time to time, especially before a new title is released, and we’d love to start watching some of the shows. To get us started, I’ve put together a list of all of the films and shows that currently exist and those that are planned for release in the near future.

FILMS

TELEVISION

ABC

NETFLIX

FREEFORM