Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greed on TV And Beyond

One of my new favorite channels on TV is GSN: Game Show Network. Some of my favorite shows are Lingo, Catch Phrase, Baggage, and 1 vs. 100. And that brings me to Deal or No Deal. I watch this sometimes too, but it always makes me think about how greedy people are!

I've watched many episodes where people kept turning down big money only to walk away with $5 or less. People that said how much they needed the money. Whether they needed to pay off big debts, pay for their kid's college, or simply had a big family.

I don't know about you, but if I was offered $35,000 I would definitely take it if there weren't many big amounts left. Perhaps it is just because I would rather play safe than sorry, but to think of that kind of money when my bank account isn't too large right now is insane. Even more insane is to turn it down without really thinking it through and end up with nothing.

Greed is defined as an excessive desire to possess wealth or goods with the intention to keep it for one's self. Aren't we all greedy sometimes? With the Internet, TV, our friends and family, stores, etc. always telling us about great new products we NEED to have, it is almost impossible not to want things you don't have.

But I know we can control our greed by focusing on things that make us happy that don't cost money. Things like friends, family, love, and the things that bring us peace and happiness that aren't material goods.

And if you ever see me on GSN, you better believe I will take what I can get! ;)

Monday, June 27, 2011

"The Glee Project"!

You know how much I love "Glee", so naturally I would have to tune into Oxygen's "The Glee Project", finding the next new cast member for a 7-episode block.

So far there have been three episodes, each episode with a special "Glee" guest star, songs to perform, last chance performances, and lots more. They are trying to find a new star! Personally, my favorites are kids that don't remind me of anyone on the show already.

For example, there are kids that really resemble Kurt, Rachel, Santana, Lauren, and Puck. If you watch the show, who do you think I'm referring to? ;)

My favorites are Cameron, the lengthy "geeky" adorable guy; Damien, the handsome boy from Ireland; and Matheus, the 4'9 cutie. I don't really love any of the girls so far. I actually tuned in to the show after seeing them on the "Today Show" and thinking none of them could really sing. It was probably just nerves because on the show, most of them are amazing.

Do you watch the show? Who are your favorites?

Friday, June 24, 2011

3 Years!

Today is a very special day to me!

Kevin and my 3 year anniversary!

We are going to celebrate by going to the zoo today. We try to go every year and I remember we went for our one month anniversary. Long time ago - crazy!

In honor of this day, here is a short list of a few things I love about Kev...
♥ In stressful situations when I tend to freak out, he calms me down.
♥ We always goof around and tease each other and one of my favorite things to do is watch TV and make fun of silliness with him.
♥ He is just so handsome! :)
♥ He is so sweet and makes sure to tell me he loves me.
♥ Many, many more....

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My Favorite Organic Makeup!

Are you interested in “going green” in your makeup case? I am here to bring you some of my favorite organic makeup that is better for your face and your environment.

physicians-formula-tinted-moisturizer-organic1. Physician’s Formula Organic Tinted Moisturizer

  • Lightweight tinted moisturizer hydrates skin and evens out skin tone with sheer and natural coverage.
  • Infused with Organic Fruit Water to help nourish and restore skin’s moisture balance.
  • SPF 15 naturally protects skin from environmental damage for a healthy-looking complexion.
  • A 100% natural origin tinted moisturizer, formulated with 80% certified organic ingredients, including jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, and shea butter to moisturize the skin.
  • Available in 4 shades.
  • 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals. 100% Free of Synthetic Preservatives. 100% Free of Parabens. 100% Free of GMO’s. 100% Free of Synthetic Colors. 100% Free of Synthetic Fragrances. 100% Cruelty Free.
  • Here is a list of places you can buy this product and other Physician’s Formula products.

Lauren’s tips: I love this moisturizer. I have very dry skin, so it helps keep my skin beautiful. I have found that it looks greasy when you first put it on, but I simply put an invisible powder or correcting powder on top to give you a matte finish. It all depends on the look you’re going for. If you like a really light makeup (great for summer!), then try this organic version.

physicians-formula-blush-bronzer-organic2. Physician’s Formula 2-in-1 Blush and Bronzer

  • Easy-to-use 2-in-1 bronzer and blush allows shades to be used individually or layered for the ultimate sunkissed, natural-looking finish.
  • Bronzer adds warmth and depth for a naturally tan glow while blush naturally enhances and accentuates cheeks for a radiant glow.
  • 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals. 100% Free of Synthetic Preservatives. 100% Free of Parabens. 100% Free of GMO’s. 100% Free of Synthetic Colors. 100% Free of Synthetic Fragrances. 100% Cruelty Free.
  • Here is a list of places you can buy this product and other Physician’s Formula products.

Lauren’s tips: One of my favorite makeup products is a blush and bronzer in one! Finding an organic version was a bonus. If you feel like glowing with bronzer, use only that or use the blush for a pink flush. The best tip is to mix both of them on your brush in swirling circles and brush along your cheekbones.

physicians-formula-organic-jumbo-mascara3. Physician’s Formula Jumbo Lash Organic Mascara

  • 100% of the Total Ingredients are from Natural Origin.
  • 47% of the Total Ingredients are from Organic Farming.
  • 100% Dramatic Volume & Glamour.
  • OrganiSoy® Moisturizes and helps nourish lashes.
  • Eco-Olive(r) a natural antioxidant, shields lashes from harsh environmental aggressors.
  • Hypoallergenic. Fragrance free. Opthamologist approved.
  • Here is a list of places you can buy this product and other Physician’s Formula products.

Lauren’s tips: I am pretty picky about mascara and love to try new ones. This mascara does not really give you huge lashes, but for a daytime look it is perfect. It is a little messy to apply, but use a q-tip to clean up any extras if you can’t get it perfect the first time. I really like this mascara for every day use.

tarte-lip-stain-pencils4. Tarte LipSurgence Natural Lip Tint

As a follow up to tarte’s best-selling LipSurgence natural lip tints, these shimmering lip lusters give a high dose of color and shine in an easy twist-up stick. Just like the original, tarte’s LipSurgence technology delivers a surge of moisture on a cellular level for a naturally plumped up appearance while natural peppermint adds a refreshing burst of flavor with each application.
Skinvigorating ingredients:

Beeswax: forms a protective barrier between the skin and the environmentCarnauba wax: natural plant wax ensures a smooth application
Peppermint oil: cools and soothes the skin
Soybean oil: plant-derived emollient rich in protein and vitamins A & E
LipSurgence technology: clincally proven to increase lips’ moisture content naturally

Click here to find out where you can buy tarte organic products!

Lauren’s tips: This is a great natural lip stain that comes in lots of colors. I received one in a Tarte gift bag and love it! You just swipe it on like chap stick and you can put a little on for only a little color or a lot to look like lipstick. Very moisturizing and pretty!

Those are just a few….what are your favorite organic makeup choices?

Check out the original article I wrote for!

Monday, June 20, 2011

TOMS Shoes Now Has Sunglasses And Gives The Gift Of Sight

movement-infographic-tomsIf you want to look trendy, cool AND help people around the world, TOMS has your products. You’ve probably heard of TOMS shoes or even own a pair of their classic style and know that with every pair sold, a pair is given to someone in need. But did you know now they sell amazing sunglasses? Of course, these also come with a guarantee: with every pair of sunglasses sold, TOMS will help give the gift of sight to a person in need, whether it is sight-saving surgery, eyeglasses, or medical treatment.

Remember in school when you were squinting to read the board and had your teacher and mom tell you that surely, you needed glasses. Shortly after you had your first eye exam and got your first new specs. But not everyone in the world has this luxury of clear sight. Did you know that blindness and visual impairment is the seventh-largest health disability in the world? Yet, in most cases it can be prevented or treated. In fact, available solutions, including medical treatment, prescription eyeglasses or a 15-minute cataract surgery, could impact 80% of people afflicted with vision impairment and blindness.

Of the nearly 284 million people in the world who are visually impaired, almost 90% live in developing countries. It’s a vicious cycle — poverty and disease can lead to vision loss. And blindness and poor vision keep people trapped in poverty. More than 18 million children around the world suffer from blindness or impaired vision. Children who have trouble seeing are often unable to go to or succeed in school, and have fewer chances to achieve a productive and successful life.

Two-thirds of people who are blind are women, in part because many families in developing countries are more likely to pay for eye care for male family members. By providing easy to access local eye care, we can help more women and girls around the world get sight saving and restoring services.

Many of the solutions to blindness and visual impairment can be immediate. If it’s a pair of eyeglasses or medical treatment that’s needed, patients are treated on the spot. Those needing eye surgery are referred immediately so their vision can be restored within just a few days.

Regaining sight and preventing loss of sight transforms lives. Children can go to school the next day, and many adults return to work within a week and are once again able to provide for their families. When more people are able to lead healthy, productive lives, entire communities have a chance at a better future. TOMS is leading the way with helping people finally see and you can help!

toms-glassesTOMS sunglasses come in three different styles: wayfarer, aviator, and the big, round shape for women. For men, they come in wayfarer and aviator and all the sunglasses are either $135 or $145. Already in popular demand, these sunglasses are sturdy and provide great UVA, UVB protection from the sun. The best part of getting fabulous new shades? Knowing you’ll help someone see that otherwise might have never been able to.

Still curious about the brand and the founder of TOMS? No, it wasn’t a man named Tom, but Blake Mycoskie. Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the man behind the growing One for One movement. As of April 2010, TOMS has given over 600,000 pairs of new shoes to children in need through giving partners around the world.

It didn’t take long for the world to notice this new approach to business – in 2007, only a year after its beginning, TOMS was honored with the prestigious People’s Design Award from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution. And two years after that, TOMS and Blake Mycoskie were the proud recipients of the Secretary of State’s 2009 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) presented by Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton. The award celebrates companies’ commitment to corporate social responsibility, innovation, exemplary practices, and democratic values worldwide.

While running TOMS, Blake is a sought-after speaker at campuses and conferences all over the country. He is passionate about inspiring young people to help make tomorrow better, encouraging them to include giving in everything they do, from business practices to day-to-day decisions. His hope is to see a future full of socially minded businesses, and consumers.

This unique vision for the future came into focus in 2006, when he witnessed the hardships facing children growing up barefoot in Argentina. He felt a need to help, and the One for One movement was born. He returned the following year with friends and family to hand-place 10,000 pairs of new shoes on children.

Blake has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, starting five businesses before TOMS. His first was a successful national campus laundry service, which he later sold. Between business ventures, Blake competed in the CBS primetime series, The Amazing Race. With his sister, Paige, Blake traveled the world and came within minutes of winning the $1 million dollar grand prize.

Information courtesy of TOMS. To read more about the brand, the one for one program, or shop, check out You can buy them wherever TOMS are sold – we know they’re at Nordstroms!

Check out the original article on!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I Do My Best Thinking on a Bike

Long bike rides by myself with no music are when I tend to do my best thinking.

I've been thinking a lot about many different things. Over thinking in fact. Of course about my future. Luckily, I've decided a few things (for now).

I am going to enjoy this summer. I've been aching to do more outdoorsy and social things lately and I want to continue. I want to enjoy this beautiful weather that I've been wanting for so long before another dreaded winter comes.

For now, I am going to keep doing my small jobs. Sure, it is not a lot of money and I won't be able to save much. But in the fall, I will start a more ambitious job hunt. Lately, I had a lot of unsuccessful interviews and have been feeling panicked that I will be forced to take a job I hate that will leave me exhausted and with no time for anything I enjoy. So for now, I am going to enjoy these jobs that I love. In the fall, I will search for something full-time or even try to take some part-time job along with my freelancing so I can save more money. I will keep praying that something perfect for me will come along at the right time and try not to stress so much about it.

There are other things I've been contemplating lately and at times I kind of drive myself crazy with it the way I do thinking about jobs and money. But right now I have decided to stay in the present and enjoy what I have. To let things happen as they happen and not over think every little thing. I trust that God will show me the right paths to follow and that things will work out the way they are supposed to.

So here's my vow to myself and you are obliged to hold me to this! I will stop worrying so much, over thinking every thought and decision, stop listening to everyone tell me what they think I should do, follow my heart, and let God help me enjoy the present and follow the right future.

I feel so much better!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Day of GLEE With My BFF!

You may know I got hooked on Glee last year. I adore the funny lines, great lessons everyone can learn from, and the amazing singing! So naturally, when my best friend and I got dead-set on finding a concert to go together (the only one we've seen together was O-TOWN...remember them?!)...we picked GLEE!

We were lucky enough to have the whole day to spend together. Tiffany (read more about her here!) came down to my house and we were both starving! I took her to the nearest downtown area and we got some yummy sandwiches and walked around. As she put it, "I always take her to a new place when she visits!" And "I always know the best dessert places!" Hehe.

I was dying to go to a new cupcake place close by but alas, it was closed on a MONDAY. Disappointed, Tiff really wanted to get a drink and we decided the cheapest option would be to buy something and have cute, girly drinks at my house and get ready for GLEE. We ended up with this Malibu tropical drink....whew was it gross! Disappointed AGAIN, we decided to head to a different cupcake place.
Had we gotten there minutes earlier we would have witnessed a woman driving her van INTO the Chipotle building next door to the cupcake place. Yes, into the building! After discussing it in lengths with the girl working at the cupcake shop, eating our delicious cupcakes (mine was mint chocolate and Tiff's was red velvet cheesecake....yum!), taking photos of the broken building and broken bumper, and watching a cop tape the bumper up with caution tape (ha!) was an adventure. Funny to think we didn't even notice the damaged car and smashed bricks walking up! All we were laughing at was saying the cop was stopping for cupcakes! :P

Tiffany is a girl that rarely slows down, so she wanted to head to a local park where we used to hang out. After a billion stairs we made it to take pictures by a river and got bitten up by mosquitoes so we quickly left.

After eating a quick dinner and getting ready...we headed out to the GLEE concert!!! We walked around and got some snacks and headed to our seats. Unfortunately they were in the nosebleed section, but only row 2! The opening act was a silly, but talented dance group called LXD...Legion of Extraordinary Dancing (hehe love the name!).

Finally Glee came out after a video introduction from Mr. Shue and Sue! The show was amazing! They all got to sing individually (except Dianna Agron "Quinn" wasn't there for some reason) and together as a group. The lights were bright, the stage grand, and the cast sang with all their hearts. I even thought they sounded better than they do on the show. They even had a smaller stage closer to our side where they would go and sing or dance on.

If you love Glee and ever get a chance to go...go with a fellow Gleek and you won't regret it!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My First Wine Tasting

Last weekend I went to my first wine tasting! I was a little apprehensive because well, I don't really drink wine. I've tried it and didn't like it much. But I was able to get tickets to a wine tasting fundraiser for the HAVEN Garden Project which works with, the website I write for.

Knowing my boyfriend isn't really into wine and I just couldn't see my macho, sports-loving guy at an art and wine tasting, I decided to bring one of my good friends, also named Lauren. Yes, every time we got introduced someone, we said "Yep we're the two Laurens!" Hah.

Aside from any awkwardness of our first wine tasting and being in a new crowd, it was so much fun! We met some really nice people. I even won something in the raffle - a metabolic test! Of course, when I won I had no idea what that was...turns out it is a test that determines your metabolism and the nutritionist tells you what you should eat. I'm not 100% sure what it will be like, but I am excited to make some time to see what it entails!

My friend Lauren got me into the "Real Housewives of NY" so naturally we had to pull a "Ramona" and try some Pinot Grigio! Turns out it was the one I liked best because it wasn't very strong - hah!

We learned a lot more about the HAVEN Garden Project which the event was raising money for and met some of the young farmers. I must say, I definitely want to go volunteer there. It will probably be out of my comfort zone since I've never really gardened, but it sounds like such a relaxing experience and something to feel good about. Hopefully I can soon and share my experience with you all!

So all in all, the first Lauren squared wine tasting was a success! ;)
An old picture of the my hair is short and hers is long! :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

I wish...

I know that in life, people come and go, but I wish they'd give some sort of warning when they do.

But I guess, such is life and we're all still learning to deal.

I love this quote. We all learn pretty early that friends come and go, relatives die, and so on and so forth. But doesn't it always still hurt just as bad even though we know these things happen?

We wish we knew why suddenly friends decide they don't want to hang out with us anymore. Why otherwise healthy family members get sick or get into accidents. Why things just suddenly happen and nothing is the same anymore.

I also happen to be the type of person that buries all these feelings down. When a friend hurts me or a loved one dies, I do talk about it and cry and all of those things. But the real emotions and the real feelings, I bury deep inside. When I'm alone and feeling vulnerable or sad or confused...they tend to pop back up.

I guess I'm still learning to let go of things. But aren't we all?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Say Hello!

Happy Friday! I hope you all have a beautiful weekend. Today is just a reminder if you want more from me. Don't forget to follow me on Twitter and Facebook and feel free to send me an email if you'd like. :)


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

You Make My Heart Beat, Beat

Today I'm bringing you a cute music video complete with a peppy song and a cute boy to get over the hump day! I hope it brings you a smile if you need one. :)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Great Summer Reads!


By Susan Orlean

Kindle and e-book only, $1.99

There are animal lovers and then there are animal lovers. Susan Orlean is the latter. A longtime New Yorker writer known for her fascination with American culture, she explores yet another of her cultural fascinations in Animalish: pets and their place in our world. Taking a personal approach, she addresses her own obsession with animals (and I don’t mean just cats and dogs). In her unique approach–a mixture of literature and nonfiction–Orlean allows her voice to shine through, giving readers an intimate look into one of her great personal passions. Even non-animal lovers will be hard-pressed to not say “aww.” –Shirley Hong

The life and times of a girl who has always loved animals, or how I went from dreaming about Rin Tin Tin to having dogs, cats, chickens, fish, cattle, turkeys, and guinea fowl, with guest appearances by horses, lions, and canaries.

Courtesy of Amazon. Read about Orlean in the NY Times.

garden-of-beasts-erik-larson IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS

By Erik Larson

For around $15.00

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming–yet wholly sinister–Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.

Courtesy of B&

long-drive-home-will-allison LONG DRIVE HOME

By Will Allison

215 pages. Free Press. $22.

A man driving with his 6-year-old daughter in the back seat gets a case of road rage after a teenage driver cuts him off on a quiet residential street. As the car careens toward them a second time, the dad, Glen, decides to teach the teenage boy a lesson, turning into his lane to give him a scare. The oncoming driver swerves into a tree and dies. While narrowly focusing his lens on the event and its consequences, Mr. Allison still manages to take in a panorama of human behavior. Not knowing what his little girl was aware of, Glen doesn’t admit his role in the accident to his wife or the police. Mr. Allison’s gift is in making that lie — and each new one it inevitably spawns — understandable, showing how this story could be anyone’s. Part of the book is written as a letter from Glen to his daughter, to read when she’s 18, explaining the consequences.

eleven-mark-watson ELEVEN

By Mark Watson

298 pages. Scribner. $15.

The ghost of Hugh Grant lurks within the pages of this novel, a pleasing London-set romantic comedy complete with a cast of quirky supporting characters. The plot description registers as predictable: A lonely, heartbroken radio host dispenses advice to others when his own life needs fixing, and finds love again in an unexpected place. The surprises come in the language. Leicester Square is said to be “sulky with drizzle.” A film director has “a gut which imposes itself through an inadequate tuxedo like somebody mooning through a gap in curtains.” And at a party, people take out their BlackBerrys each time they shuffle to another conversation “as if the gadgets contain instructions on how to move.” Which is all to say that in the telling of this story, Mr. Watson, a British comedian and writer, can be rather charming — like the actor destined to star in any adaptation of this book.

you-are-free-danzy-senna YOU ARE FREE

By Danzy Senna

219 pages. Riverhead Books. $15.

Like a latter-day Nella Larsen, Ms. Senna writes about the mutability of race in this collection of stories. In Ms. Larsen’s Harlem Renaissance-era novel “Passing” a biracial woman poses as white, marries a racist and meets a tragic end. For the mixed-race women who populate Ms. Senna’s contemporary stories, toggling between black and white is easier but remains alienating, despite the election of a “blackish” president. One character, Jackie, morphs from black to white on a daily basis depending on how she styles her hair. On the days that she wears it straight, her black boyfriend refuses to hold her hand in black neighborhoods, “explaining that while he knew she was black, strangers might think otherwise.” Though Ms. Senna, who wrote “Caucasia” (1998), doesn’t seem to work terribly hard on her sentences (example: “She finished the story at the eleventh hour and went out for a drink with her friend Jose.”), she does bring daylight to issues a lot of people might have assumed were long settled.

the-lake-banana-yoshimoto THE LAKE

By Banana Yoshimoto

Translated by Michael Emmerich. 188 pages. Melville House. $23.95.

“Is it all right if we try? If we see if I can do it? If I can’t now, I feel like I never will.” So begins this oddball love story between Nakajima, a young student, and Chihiro, a young artist, who both live in Tokyo. He’s still recovering from having been kidnapped by a members of cult as a child and — perhaps more damaging — his mother’s overcompensation upon his escape. Her mother’s recent death has left her feeling alone. Rather than treat themselves to some much-deserved therapy, they rely on each other. And these two novices at happiness turn out to be a good match. Chihiro describes Nakajima this way: “No one in the world is as peculiar as he is.” She means this as a compliment. Ms. Yoshimoto’s earlier novel, “Kitchen,” was an international best seller; reading the new one, you realize just how conventional most love stories are.

kamchatka KAMCHATKA

By Marcelo Figueras

Translated by Frank Wynne. 311 pages. Black Cat. $14.95.

Right away you know what’s going to happen at the end of this story. (You know because Mr. Figueras flashes forward at the beginning.) But recognizing that the book will lead to two boys’ separation from their parents is little preparation for its impact. Harry is 10 and his brother, who’s sleeping so soundly that he doesn’t wake up when his mother kisses him goodbye, is 5. The boys’ parents, a physicist and a lawyer, are suspected enemies of the military government that has just seized power in Argentina. The year is 1976. Before the parents disappear as two more victims of that country’s “dirty war,” the family hides in a safe house. They carry on normally for part of a year. Playing Risk, Harry tries to beat his dad (who at one point holes up in the Kamchatka territory on the board, hence the book’s title). He and his mother discuss the merits of his becoming an escape artist. By the time we circle back to the start, we’ve seen who they are as a family and understand what’s lost.

french-leave-anna-gavaldaFRENCH LEAVE

By Anna Gavalda

Translated by Alison Anderson. 108 pages. Europa Editions. $15.

Playing hooky from their everyday lives, three thirtyish siblings ditch a stuffy wedding to drop in on their brother, a tour guide at a chateau in the French countryside. They are: a young woman unsure of practicing law just as she is about to take the bar; a newly divorced mother; an adoring father; a young man who can’t get a woman. Being together again is a flashback to their youth. They swim in the stream, drink flat beer at a Gypsy camp on the grounds and sleep in the stables. They’re fully aware that their connection as siblings can’t remain primary. There are new families to be made, different homes to return to. And yet they’re happy for the weekend. This jaunty novella, a best seller in France and Germany, is a toast to the moment in time.

Courtesy of New York Times.

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Are Organic Foods Worth It?

You've read before I've been more interested lately in learning more about organic food and beauty products. Here is a post by Linda Wolschlager, C.N.C. who writes for She shares some great information that I want to share with you!

Deciding whether or not to splurge on the cost of buying organic foods can be a confusing decision and if so, what should you buy organic? Well, there are now many studies that are confirming exactly what natural health practitioners have been so incensed about, which is the effect of pesticides being used in traditional farming practices and how it affects our fruits, veggies and grains.

Studies have proven that the Vitamin C content and even Quercetin (in apples) is 30% higher in organically grown foods vs. non-organic. Basic nutrient intake or core basic nutrients found in just about every fruit and vegetable grown organically tested was shown to have about 30% higher nutrient levels (vitamins) and all other minerals 15% higher in value compared to traditional grown counterparts.

The phytonutrient and phytosterol levels are higher in veggies and fruits that are grown organically, flavanoids in berries, etc. as well. ORAC value greens, reds, purples foods, anti-aging carotenoids, polyphenols content were also higher on organic foods. These are the naturally occurring compounds that are nature’s cancer fighters.

Pesticides and fears of those chemicals are a real and true issue! Chemical exposures as tested in literature shows us that as of the year 2000, over a billion pounds of pesticides have been used on our food sources. We utilize l/5th of the world’s use of pesticides in this country alone. Farmers that do run organic farms, must be very careful about start-up when it comes to safe soil, because the soils must lie dormant for years before they can claim they are safe and clean of pesticides. These chemicals stay in the soil for so many years.

Neighborning farms or even wind shifts from traditional growing farms could spread its pesticides into the organic farms, so distance away from others is important too. Arsenic and cadmium used in conventionally raised foods from their pesticides have been found in many traditionally grown foods. The bad news too is that l/3 of the food you eat not organically grown is pesticide residues.

  • Some of the studies show: Potatoes: Vitamin C levels, polyphenols, antioxidants, chlorogenic acids with organic vs. conventional have nutrient difference;
  • Grape juices like Welch’s – polyphenols, resveratrol which are the important parts of grape, have much higher levels in organic grown grapes than conventional.
  • Peaches and pears also showed that Vitamin C and polyphenols were significantly higher in organically grown fields, studied over a 5 year period;
  • Wheat and grains – is this why so many people seem to be allergic or sensitive to wheat gluten? Pesticide residues are so much higher now than they were 10 years ago. Because of these pesticides sprayed on traditional food farms, people are increasingly intolerant to wheat gluten. Organically grown wheat actually has less gluten in it than conventionally grown wheat. Wheat and gluten intolerance can be tested 90% effectively in a blood test and more gluten in foods is bad for us. We don’t need higher levels than organically grown wheat naturally provides.

Another important thing to note is that our government is pushing the other way against organic and healthier farming. They are making laws against the use and sale of raw milk, as in the incident lately of some Amish dairy farmers getting arrested because they were selling milk that was pure and raw, which the government has decided is not safe, not taking into account that its your choice to drink raw milk and that the farmers producing the sale of this milk know what they are doing and are not selling anything dangerous when handled properly. Pasturized milk only is allowed according to the FDA, but the truth is that the molecular structure of milk is highly changed with this process of pasturization and raw milk, handled properly is healthy and much better for you.

Organically fed cows vs. not, had much higher levels of Omega 3’s (alpha linolenic acids, etc), while antioxidant deprevation and vitamin, mineral deprevation from conventionally grown foods, will cost us our health big time.

The benefit of spending some more money on organic foods may be the most important thing to do for the health of your future on your health and aging disease.

Courtesy of The Nutrition Advisor Blog – you can also visit her website. See the post first on

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Guest Post: How To Boost Your Confidence

It's normal to feel insecure once in a while, but you can help yourself out of these slumps. These tips should get you back to feeling your best.

Step One: Boost your Look The easiest way to get a confidence boost is to freshen up your style. Your clothing, hairstyle, and make-up can make a big difference in how other people see you, and how you see yourself.
  1. Update your wardrobe.

Don't worry, you don't need to max out your credit card to stay in style. Basic pieces like tank tops, jeans, and black heels look about the same no matter where you buy them, so shop for these things at thrift stores. For trendier items, stop by your local mall and visit H&M or Express. These stores offer less expensive versions of the latest fashions. For purses or accessories, visit an outlet mall. At outlet stores, companies sell their brand-name products straight to customers. Some of items have small imperfections, so they are sold at big discounts.

  1. Change your hairstyle.

Having your hair cut, highlighted, or braided doesn't have to be expensive. If you visit a cosmetology school, students can work on your hair at a low price. Their teachers usually watch and fix any mistakes, so it's a pretty safe deal.

  1. Pick out new make-up.

Many stores at the mall, like Bare Escentuals or Sephora, will give you a quick make-up lesson for free. They also let you test out make-up before you buy it. Try buying something you wouldn't usually use. If you normally wear lip gloss, try lipstick. Or, if you usually use clear mascara, try dark eyeliner instead.

Step Two: Boost Your Attitude Of course, these tricks only change the way you look. To really change how you feel, you'll have to change how you think.
  1. Don’t put yourself down.

This is harder than it sounds. Sometimes, certain thoughts pop into your head without you wanting to think them. In cognitive psychology, which studies how people think, these are called automatic thoughts. If you're in a slump, you need to think positive, helpful thoughts instead of negative, stressful thoughts.

For example, if you aren't happy with how your hair looks at the moment, tell yourself “I might be having a bad hair day, but I can fix it later” not “I have ugly hair.” If you feel frustrated or confused, think “I'm feeling out of it right now, but I'll get the hang of things,” not “I'm so dumb.” You’ll get used to thinking positive thoughts soon.

  1. Compliment yourself.

When was the last time you told yourself you're attractive, interesting, or lovable? Sure, I've never met you, but I don't need to know you to know that's the way you should think about yourself. Try saying nice things to yourself, even if you feel silly and don't believe them right away. Positive thoughts inspire more positive thoughts, which can pull you out of a slump.

  1. Know when to get help.

If none of these tips work after a couple of weeks and your self-confidence is so low that it stops you from living a normal life, talk to your doctor. You could be dealing with a mental disorder, such as depression. Therapy or medication can help.

Most of the time, periods of insecurity are normal, but you can help yourself out of them. Try making small changes in how you look, along with bigger changes, like stopping negative thinking patterns and complimenting yourself. You should feel better in a few weeks.

Daniela Baker contributed this article. Daniela is a social media advocate at CreditDonkey, a credit card comparison website.