Saturday, January 20, 2018

How to Save Time by Better Organizing Your Bills

upset-woman.jpeg
This post can help save you future bill paying headaches.


Instead of letting your bills overwhelm you, you need a system to keep ahead of the game.  When you get one in place, you will save yourself a lot of headaches and time for more enjoyable activities.

Here’s what you might want to do.  As soon as they come in, I like to write the date the bill is due.  Afterwards, I file them in a special folder or organizer in order of priority to get ready for payment.

As soon as one bill is paid, I transfer it with how I paid with check number and the bank along with date of payment to my file cabinet in the proper category.  

This does help simplify the bill paying process.  After all, you need to do it anyway so why allow this tedious chore to occupy more of your time than absolutely necessary.  I have so many other pleasant things that I would rather do.  How do you feel on this subject?

Friday, January 19, 2018

How to Safeguard Yourself From a Cold or the Flu


thermometer-and-pills.jpeg
Taking some extra precautions can help save you from the need to medicate.


Sneezing, coughing and shaking hands are the best ways to catch a cold or the flu.  With how quickly the H3N2 flu is spreading this year, you need to take some extra precautions because one minute you might be symptom free and within hours are battling for your life.

Even though this year’s flu vaccine isn’t as effective to ward all strain’s of H3N2, it still helps lessen the severity of the symptoms if you come down with it.  You still have time to get a vaccine, but keep in mind that it takes two weeks to build up your immunity to protect you if coming in contact with anyone infected.

tissue-box.jpeg
Sneezing into a tissue can contain the germs instead of letting them become airborne!
Here are some other simple precautions that you can take to guard against the flu or colds in general.  Sneezing, for instance, can launch about 40,000 moist droplets into the air, where they can stay alive for at least ten minutes, which is more than enough time to infect someone else or become infected.  Instead of just sharing with others, sneezing into the crook of your arm will better contain the germs.

Touching things and then putting those hands to rub our eyes or mouth is another way to invite infection. Often, we don’t think before you we do these things.  What helps is packing a sample size bottle of hand disinfectant with you after shaking hands or after  touching objects or using public facilities that have seen many hands.

Speaking of what to keep extra clean is doorknobs, staircase railings, computer keyboards, phones, and counters.  

Getting more vitamin C and zinc can help in your body’s defense from a cold or flu and lessen the severity as well.

Something else that can help usher in the flu or cold is when you lower your body’s resistence because of not getting enough sleep or being stressed out.  Therefore, try to relax in a soothing tub with an essential oil like lavender or practicing some deep breathing techniques and tuning out your problems are just two suggestions that can help prepare you for an earlier bedtime.   

If you have a dishwasher, then you are in better shape than manually washing your dishes because of how much hotter the water is to kill live germs.  What you can do is add a teaspoon of bleach along with your dish detergent in your hot water to clean your dishes manually.  This is what I do since my kitchen is too small for a dishwasher, which I would love to have if I had room to fit it in here.

The temperature of your home also is important.  Germs love cool air to thrive and do their nastiness, not warm, dry air so keep your rooms warm, cozy and moist.  Humidifiers are great, but if you don’t have one then put a small bowl or pan near your air vents will do the job.

Remember, eat well and get more rest can help as well.  Take care and stay well! 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

How to Best Compliment Your Complexion Through Hair Color


red-hair.jpeg
Do you know how to select the best hair color for your skin tone?


Perhaps, you have been thinking of coloring your hair at home for the first time.  You might be tempted to trust the model on the box with what the hair color shade in your hand is meant to look like.  However, you are in for disappointment because the actual color on the head before any chemical process determines what you will later see.  Therefore, let me share some tips about picking out the best hair color shade to compliment your complexion before you hit the drug store.

If you have fair to light skin, then you want red or golden tones in the shade.  A clue to look for is W (warm) beside the name.   The warmth of the red or gold highlights to that color will brighten up your skin tone much better than N (neutral) shades that are cooler.  Also, I would avoid any color that has Ash to the tone, which makes the color much darker and void of highlights.  Ash colors have a tendency to give warm complexions a drab appearance.

For the best results stick within one or two shades of your original hair color.  This choice gives the most natural results instead of appearing obvious and fake. 

Another thing that I learned is not all complexions are ideal candidates for blonde hair, especially for those with yellow undertones and on the fair side.  Blonde hair is beautiful on others, but horribly clashes with skin such as mine.

Those with a medium complexion, whether warm or cool, seem to have more color to play with.  With that slightly darker skin tone, you could wear warm or cool tones.  Look for the W or N (neutral) on the hair color box.

For those with olive or a dark complexion should try a warm shade, but particularly a rich golden tone such as a burnished honey.  The color will wonderfully enhance your skin.

One last thing, make sure to do the allergy test 48-hours before you color.  This is so important to do each time  because you can develop an allergy to hair color that could send you to the emergency room.  Even if you used the same product without any problem in the past, it is always advisable to do that patch test each time you color.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Dieting Secrets That Can Help Slim You Faster


yogurt-with-strawberries.jpeg
Let me share some dieting tricks that has been helping me.


Regardless of how hard you try, it is hard to stick to a diet after a while.  This is especially true when your weight seems to plateau and stays at the same notch on the scale regardless of eating less.  Instead of letting your frustration with that diet discourage you, I wanted to share some dieting tips that can help with your weight loss.

Some people like to keep a food diary of everything that they eat through an average day.  This includes all the tablespoons you sample when cooking, etc.  I, on the other hand, find that you are more motivated when you see everything that you put in your mouth in plain view such as on a sheet of paper attached to your refrigerator door with a magnet instead of in a notebook that could be out of sight in another room.  This way you can constantly be reminded of your food intake while keeping track before opening the refrigerator to possibly sabotage your diet.  If you’re away from home, then jotting what you eat on a sheet of paper and later attaching that to your refrigerator door to add on to also works.  

eggs-in-carton.jpeg
Eggs can be your friend.
Also, what I found helpful is taking time to read food labels not just the advertising on the box, jar, or can.  The small print with the ingredient list is where truth lies not the blatant claim in large letters that may fool you into thinking the product is healthier or has lower calories than it does.  

Another reason I honestly believe that a lot of people fail with diets is because of feeling deprived of foods they love.  Therefore, you can eat high calorie or high fat like a small piece of cake or ice cream if you use moderation and balance out what else you eat through the day to make up for it.  When you need to eat cake, try to eat a lighter meal of, perhaps, a bowl of soup or hard-boiled eggs, etc.

Something else that I have been doing is eating a piece of fruit or a cup of soup before a meal.  This helps fill you up while adding extra fiber, vitamins and minerals. 

I think people fail at their diet because they crash and burn trying to live up to eating habits that are unrealistic in our modern lives.  Try to follow your diet six days a week the best that you can, but tell yourself that one day on the weekend is your "treat" day whether it is sweets or salt that you crave.  If you try that, you’ll be surprised at how much willpower you’ll gain with something to look forward on your “treat” day.  

Let me know your thoughts and if you try this because this has been helpful for me.  I truly hope it works for you, too!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Why You Need to Reconsider How You Wash Your Face

pretty-skinned-woman.jpeg
If you want amazing skin like this beauty has, read today's post.


Everyone has their own routine for removing makeup and washing their face.  Perhaps, you find no problem with your method.  However, tweaking your routine just slightly could be all it takes to help your complexion flourish.

Maybe you are one that just rushes in to grab your waterproof makeup remover and a cotton ball or pad to take off your eye makeup.  Before you touch the bottle, cotton or your face, wash your hands first.  Otherwise, you could be transferring bacteria to the bottle and your stash of cotton balls or pads, not to mention your sensitive eyes.

Taking off your eye makeup and the rest of your cosmetics with another form of makeup remover like a cleansing oil is the first step before washing.  This is because waterproof makeup remover or cleansing oils are geared to totally dislodge hard to remove polymers that were formulated to hold up against moisture.  Soaps and the foaming facial cleansers won’t be totally able to penetrate the skin until this first barrier is breached.

Once you finish that initial cleansing, wash your hands again before testing the water temperature because you want it to be lukewarm, not hot before you finally wash with your favorite cleansing bar or a foaming cleanser. The problem with using too hot of water is that it harshly strips your skin’s natural oils, resulting in dryness or even broken capillaries, especially near the nose.  

If you are ready to suds up with a foaming cleanser, you don’t want to overload your face with too much.  One-half teaspoon of the cleanser is sufficient to guard from recklessly stripping your complexion’s natural oils when you take it to your damp skin.  The important thing to remember is technique matters. Instead of just vigorously lathering with your hands, use circular motions while you work, keeping it up for no longer than 20-25 seconds.  The assumption that longer lathering time or more lather will improve your complexion is simply wrong.  All that you’re doing is causing irritation and redness to the skin.

Give the skin a thorough rinsing with cool, not cold water.  A quick splash is not good enough.  After all, you don’t want to leave a residue that can further alter your pH level. 

Check your hairline because grime could get pushed in far corners in spots on the face that you might have missed.  If so, you might want to go over and wash that section again to avoid a possible breakout.

Pat dry with a fresh towel or wash cloth.  Resist the urge to reuse a towel that has made contact with your face and especially your body since it can be a breeding ground for bacteria.  

As I constantly mention, I’m a strong believer in exfoliation because it is the step that catches imbedded makeup and grime from deep within the pores that daily cleansing misses while helping shed old cells to encourage fresh ones to surface.  Still, you don’t want to be excessive by exfoliating too often.  Once or twice a week is a safer way to do the deep cleaning and resurfacing and still get great results.

I hope you try what I suggest because the littlest changes can often make the biggest differences in what you’ll see in your mirror.  Trust me, but once you do that I promise that you will like what you see!

Monday, January 15, 2018

How to Defend Your Shower Curtain From Mildew

bathroom-and-shower-curtain.jpeg
This post will help save you work.


To keep her plastic shower curtain or liner mildew-free, I had a friend that used to wipe it down immediately after each shower.  The only problem is as soon as you finish, you feel like you need another shower. However, I tried something else that worked much better to defend my plastic shower curtain that I thought you also should try.  

Before I hung a new plastic liner, I treated it first in a salt solution in my bathtub according to the directions I learned from one of my friends that visited over the holidays.  What I did was to fill the tub about half way full with water before dumping in two cups of salt and that plastic liner.  

You need enough water to fully immerse the shower curtain.  If it keeps popping up, then make sure to weigh it down with something because it has to remain in that treated water for at least an hour before hanging it.  I used some full plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, which served to anchor it down.

The purpose of bathing your fresh plastic shower curtain or liner first is because the salt solution will leave behind a transparent coating of sodium crystals to repel mildew spores from attaching.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

How to Best Create Bold Brows Without Going Overboard


woman-with-bold-brows-behind-blanket.jpeg
This post can help you avoid mistakes when going for a bold brow.


Trying to perfect the natural frame of our eyes can take some experimenting with various forms of brow products before we are satisfied with our results.  Take gels and waxes, which are fine but are better more for control than depositing as much intense color as brow pencils or powders.  However, powder is the superior performer if you are striving for the most natural look.

The reason brow powders are ideal is because you can brush as much pigment as you need to play up the brows.  On the other hand, pencils give you less control of how much color is dispersed, which can result in a heavy, painted line from you drawing them in.

When you start from the middle of the brow and take a stiff angled brush using short, delicate strokes for laying down powder between the hairs through to end of the brow, you build up as much boldness as you need without appearing overly done and artificial.  To finish up, set with a spoolie brush with clear gel or one misted with just a little hair spray

What also is extremely important is making sure your brow powder shade is an exact match to the roots of your hair in its virgin state instead of your current hair color if you dye it.  

If you keep these few brow tips in mind, chances are you will be much happier with the look of your brows.

For additional help on perfecting your brows, you might want to check some of my earlier posts such as faking fuller brows, how to tame unruly brows, shaping your brows, creating the most brows for your facial structure, and tips for keeping your brows natural.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Tax Organizing Your Documents Now to Save Headaches Later


tax-documents.jpeg
Filing begins January 29, 2018.



Organization, you do it for your stuff but you should organize your finances, too.  The 1099s and W-2s will be rolling in soon and it’s a good time to get things in order.  After all, scrambling for a lost tax document just adds to your stress!  You can’t actually file and have your taxes processed by the IRS until January 29, but you may want to figure out how you’re going to file this year and start thinking about 2018.

The big tax cut lawmakers just passed won’t affect the tax return that you about to file this year.  So that’s the good news.  Everyone likes more money but if taxes confuse you, 2018 will be even more stressful.

Rules are changing and rates go down for some more than others.   But the thing you need to watch out for is what will your withholding be for 2018.  You might see a bump in your paycheck in February as the IRS changes the withholding rates based on your income.  This sounds simple enough but it’s something you need to watch.

For example, exemptions disappear in 2018 and tax credits like the Child Tax Credit are age limited to kids under 17 now.  So those factors usually play into the W-4 you would  fill out if you started a new job.  

The biggest pitfall is politics.  There are midterm elections coming up so you may see your paycheck rise more than it should.  First, remember it’s a new law and sometimes you can’t anticipate how the law will function.  More likely Congress wants to make sure people are happy to go into an election and pressure the IRS into increasing take home pay by pushing the withholding rates down too much.  Ideally, you file your taxes every year and break even.  Many like the idea of a refund or as I like to call it a free loan to the IRS.  But what if they overdo it?  Remember this is a new law and they have a big election with the control of Congress at stake.  And by the time you find out you’re going to actually owe money, then your fate has already been cast.  After all, the election happened months before  . . . sunrise!

Do yourself a favor and keep an eye on next year’s withholding making sure it’s correct and you don’t  find yourself without a refund or worse find out you owe for 2018.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Most Effective Way to Benefit From a Home Facial

woman-with-beautiful-skin.jpeg
This beauty knows how to achieve complexion perfection. 


You may think of facials as a luxurious beauty indulgence for pampering the leisurely rich that is beyond your budget.  However, you can still get wonderful skin care results easily enough with a home facial.

A facial is so critical to a beautiful complexion because it involves preparing the skin first through delicate massage to best receive any skin care product.  The reason gentle fingers can do so much is because of how they work on blood circulation and help move trapped lymphatic fluid to promote its drainage that is causing puffiness as well as dullness to the skin.

What I like to do is to take a few drops of a facial oil or serum and warm first between my palms before gently pressing into my freshly washed skin.  Once the oil is distributed, then I divide my face into sections from the forehead, cheeks to the chin.  I usually start at the bottom of my face and work my way up, but you can do it anyway you want.  Regardless of the section that you target first, you need to slide your fingers along working upward while using a circular motion.  Keep the touch light.  Too much pressure can stretch the skin prematurely.  Continue going to a new section until your finish the entire face.

Now that the oil or serum is properly placed in your prepared skin, you need to further work those nutrients deeper into your hungry complexion through a few more minutes of gentle, circular massage.  Give yourself about three minutes using your fingers as beauty tools to deliver those skin benefits where needed.

Your fingers will be getting tired in about that time so rinse the face off and splash with cool, not cold water.  Once you check out your face in the mirror, your skin will feel softer and have a healthy glow that you’ll love.