WAF’s Five for Friday – The “Homemade Beauty” Edition

honey and oatmeal As I become more aware of the kinds of harsh chemicals and mystery ingredients in today’s food and beauty products I’m turning into a modern day kitchen magician, whipping up concoctions at home and road testing on semi-willing family members. In the skin and hair department I’ve created my own deep conditioners, face masks and facial scrubs with varying degrees of success.  I have no desire to become the next Carol’s Daughter (and she can relax, because it’ll never happen) but the idea that Propylene Glycol, which is used in brake fluid, is also used in my face cream, creeps me out.  So, here are five quick, easy, all-natural (brake fluid free) beauty treatments you can make at home.

1. Honey & Oatmeal Mask – The benefits of oatmeal have been touted for years, but did you know that it also makes for a great facial? Best applied at night, this oatmeal and honey mask is safe for almost all skin types.  Mix ½ cup fast cooking oatmeal and ½ cup water and cook. Let the oatmeal cool about 5-7 minutes, then add ¼ cup honey.  Mix well into a paste.  Apply this ‘mask’ to cleansed skin, and let dry. Rinse after about 15 minutes. I found this recipe at Diva Village, click here for more great info from their site.

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Kalin’s Chronicles: St. Simons Island – By Land, Air and Sea

St Simons Island While many U.S. cities are experiencing fall weather, there are still destinations along the southern coast that are beach-ready.  For example; St. Simons Island, Georgia — which was recently listed as one of America’s Top 10 Beach Resorts by AOLTravel.com.  The Largest of Georgia’s four Golden Isles, St. Simons is my favorite.  It’s small enough to enjoy every part of it during a weekend visit — by land, air, and sea.

Start off on land with a historic tour of the island.  See its maritime history at the Fort Frederica National Monument, where the colonists won a major naval battle during the Revolutionary War.   Then tour the old Coast Guard Station which was built by the WPA in 1935.  It houses the Maritime Center with interactive exhibits on the Native American first inhabitants of the island, the island’s World War II history when the U.S. Navy used it to watch for German war ships, a tiny bit of history of the black slave descendents in the area who maintain the Gullah culture, and the island’s shipping and fishing history.   You can also visit old plantations as well as the Tabby House, a souvenir and gift shop housed in a former slave cabin.  The historic marker outside gives a little history of the blacks who were enslaved on the island before the Civil War.  (Image: St. Simon’s Island Beach)

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Somewhere outside a cafe in Italy…

00305920 When I launched this site I was 38. It had just dawned on me that at the rate I was going 40 wouldn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, be what I thought it would be.  I started asking myself some tough questions and began examining the things in my life I was unhappy with. On Monday I asked you some of the same questions. These questions related specifically to living your dream life. What would that life look like and where would you be living it, were just two of the questions.  Today I’m answering those questions myself, and the answers may surprise you…

What would you be doing? If you know anything about me you know that I love reading and writing just about anything I can get my hands on. I can spend days doing (almost) just those two things. If I could read and write for a living that’s exactly what I’d be doing right now. The truth is, reading and writing is what I spend most of my time doing, it’s just that I’m not always reading and writing the kinds of things I want to, and the making a living part has been hard to come by. In my dream world I’d be editing or writing an article/post/book while (and this is where the ‘Where would you be doing it?’ question comes into play) sitting in a cafe somewhere in Italy. Or I’d be writing about my experiences while visiting South Africa or France or *closes eyes and picks a place on a map*, on the plane ride home. Continue reading Somewhere outside a cafe in Italy…

In pursuit of dreams: Our next 5 question challenge

American Masters: Julia Child “I am sadly an ordinary person . . . with talents I do not use.” That was an insecure and uncertain Julia Child writing in her diary long before she became Julia Child the chef, author and TV personality. In fact it wasn’t until she moved to France with her husband in 1948 that she discovered her love of French cuisine.  Upon discovering this love, Child wrote to her sister-in-law “To think it has taken me 40 years to find my true passion.”  It would be another 10 years and several rejections later before Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was published. She was 51 when “The French Chef” began airing on PBS.

When we hit our 40s it often seems easier and more practical to give up on our dreams. With kids to care for, bills to pay, and the reality of life confronting us every morning, stretching our imaginations to include a dream career, travel, entrepreneurship…sometimes feels like child’s play. But if you’ve always envisioned yourself doing something different and being something else, then those visions will always be there. If a vision follows you from year to year, maybe you owe it to yourself and that vision to pursue it, even in the midst of all your reality. And when I say you, I mean me.

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WAF’s Five for Friday – The “Because I Give” Edition

00409360 In this time of economic uncertainty it’s sometimes tough to make ends meet, much less donate to charity, but money isn’t the only way you can help. My mother always says, “I don’t give because I have, I have because I give.”  This was also the way her own mother lived her life. This week’s Five for Friday is a tribute to them and recognizes five important non-profit organizations/volunteer opportunities where your time is just as valuable as your money.

1. Baby Cuddling – Early cuddling is vital to a child’s emotional well-being. Studies show that children who have been deprived of close physical contact have lower levels of social-bonding hormones. As a volunteer baby cuddler, you’d be trained to handle, hold, rock, and pat hospitalized infants. Call your local hospital or long-term childcare facility and ask the volunteer coordinator about baby cuddling programs at their facility.

Continue reading WAF’s Five for Friday – The “Because I Give” Edition