Mountain Country

Mountain Country
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Friday, July 30, 2010



Build Your Own Healthy Network

From now on, I want you to surround yourself with supportive family and friends. Take the time to share your goals and aspirations with them, as well as the details about how you're going to lose weight. Give the people who are closest to you the lowdown on the types of foods you're eating and your workout schedule. Tell them how you feel about your efforts and how important it is to you that they understand your changing needs and continue to support you in this new lifestyle.
Now think of people outside your immediate circle of family and friends. People you encounter every day — whether they have a personal relationship with you or not — can help you stay on track. Your doctor can help you maintain your health while you lose weight. Your co-workers can refrain from pushing unhealthy office food. Think of everyone you regularly encounter in a day, from the guy who sells you coffee to your pals online. They are — whether they know it or not — your co-conspirators in creating a healthy new life for yourself.
If you patiently and consistently communicate what others can do to support you, you will build a network of strength that you can lean on when you feel discouraged or in need of reassurance.
Outside Support

If there aren't enough people among your close friends and family who influence you positively or lend you support, seek support elsewhere. Join a weight-loss group, find new friends , or ask a co-worker to be your gym or walking buddy. If you surround yourself with encouragement from people who support you and want to see you succeed, chances are you will.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Blooming Tea is the prettiest! And, it smells like Honeysuckle! MMM…

Friday, July 23, 2010

40 Best Age-Erasing Superfoods
These 40 age-erasing superfoods will make you look, feel, and stay young, from
 The latest science on the muscle-building, brain-enhancing, wrinkle-erasing, heart-strengthening, bone-protecting, immunity-boosting, and inflammation-fighting foods you should be eating every day.

1. Almonds

These energy-rich snacks lower bad cholesterol, thanks to plant sterols, and benefit diabetics by lowering blood sugar. They’re also rich in amino acids, which bolster testosterone levels and muscle growth. Almonds are also stuffed with vitamin E, which helps defend against sun damage. In a study, volunteers who consumed 14 milligrams of the vitamin (about 20 almonds) per day and then were exposed to UV light burned less than those who took none. And because vitamin E is an antioxidant, it also works to keep your arteries free of dangerous free radicals. Low levels of vitamin E are also associated with poor memory performance and cognitive decline, says dietitian Sari Greaves of New York Presbyterian Hospital–Cornell.

2. Flaxseeds

Rich in protein and fiber, these little seeds offer a payload of omega-3 fatty acids, which erase spots and iron out fine lines in the skin. The British Journal of Nutrition reported that participants in one study who downed about half a teaspoon of omega-3s daily in 6 weeks experienced significantly less irritation and redness, along with better-hydrated skin. A recent study of people with high cholesterol (greater than 240 mg/dL) compared statin treatment with eating 20 grams of flaxseed a day. After 60 days, those eating flaxseed did just as well as those on statins. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed on oatmeal, yogurt, and salads.

3. Tomatoes

There are two things you need to know about tomatoes: red are the best, because they’re packed with more of the antioxidant lycopene; and processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones, because it’s easier for the body to absorb the lycopene. Studies show that a diet rich in lycopene can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers, as well as reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, and help eliminate skin-aging free radicals caused by ultraviolet rays. “Cooked tomatoes and tomato paste work best,” says celebrity trainer Gunnar Petersen.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Often confused with yams, these tubers are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. In addition to countering the effects of secondhand smoke and preventing diabetes, sweet potatoes contain glutathione, an antioxidant that can enhance nutrient metabolism and immune-system health, as well as protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, liver disease, cystic fibrosis, HIV, cancer, heart attack, and stroke. What’s more, they’re also loaded with vitamin C, which smoothes out wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that volunteers who consumed 4 milligrams of C (about half a small sweet potato) daily for 3 years decreased the appearance of wrinkles by 11 percent.

5. Spinach

It may be green and leafy, but spinach—a renowned muscle builder—is also the ultimate man food. The heart-health equivalent of a first-ballot Hall of Famer, spinach is replete with the essential minerals potassium and magnesium, and it’s one of the top sources of lutein, an antioxidant that may help prevent clogged arteries. Plus its vitamins and nutrients can bolster bone-mineral density, attack prostate cancer cells, reduce the risk of skin tumors, fight colon cancer, and, last but not least, increase blood flow to the penis. “Popeye was on to something,” says Susan Bowerman, assistant director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of California at Los Angeles.

6. Rosemary

The carnosic acid found in this spice has been shown to reduce stroke risk in mice by 40 percent, according to a study published in the Journal of Neurochemistry. Carnosic acid appears to set off a process that shields brain cells from free-radical damage, which can worsen the effects of a stroke. It can also protect against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and the general effects of aging.

7. Wild Salmon

A 4-ounce serving of salmon has approximately 2,000 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), omega-3 fatty acids that serve as oil for the brain’s hardware by helping nerve cells communicate with one another. Thirty-five percent of your brain consists of fatty acids like these, but they can decline as the years stack up. A 2008 University of Cincinnati study, for instance, found that the brain tissue of 65- to 80-year-olds contained 22 percent less DHA than the brain tissue of 29- to 35-year-olds. “If you want to keep your wits about you as you age, start consuming omega-3s now,” says William Harris, Ph.D., a nutrition researcher at the University of South Dakota. Why is wild so important? Because farmed fish, which are fattened with soy, can be as high in inflammatory omega-6 fats as a cheeseburger. If in doubt, opt for sockeye salmon, which can’t be farmed and is always wild. Aim for at least two servings a week, says dietitian Joan Salge Blake, author of Nutrition and You.

8. Blueberries

“This potent little fruit can help prevent a range of diseases from cancer to heart disease,” says Ryan Andrews, the director of research at Precision Nutrition, in Toronto, Canada. Think of blueberries as anti-rust for your gray matter, too. Besides being rich in fiber and vitamins A and C, they’re also packed with antioxidants—only açai, an Amazonian berry, contains more—that neutralize the free radicals that cause neuronal misfires. Eat a cup a day, and opt for wild blueberries whenever possible, as they contain 26 percent more antioxidants than cultivated varieties.

9. Green Tea

Green tea releases catechin, an antioxidant with proven anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties. Research found that drinking 2 to 6 cups a day not only helps prevent skin cancer but might also reverse the effects of sun damage by neutralizing the changes that appear in sun-exposed skin. Other studies show that green tea—infused with another antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—can boost your cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of most types of cancer.

10. Dark Chocolate

Flavonoids, a natural nutrient in cocoa, improve blood flow in the brain, which helps boost cognitive function. Plus dark chocolate contains a tannin called procyanidin, which is also found in red wine, that can keep your arteries flexible and your blood pressure low. It helps on the outside, too. In a study from the Journal of Nutrition, women who drank cocoa fortified with a chocolate bar’s worth of flavonols had better skin texture and stronger resistance to UV rays than those who drank significantly fewer flavonols. Indulge in 1 ounce a day to get all the benefits, says dietitian Sari Greaves of New York Presbyterian Hospital–Cornell.

11. Tuna

Your favorite deli sandwich has a little secret: Selenium. This nutrient helps preserve elastin, a protein that keeps your skin smooth and tight. The antioxidant is also believed to buffer against the sun (it stops free radicals created by UV exposure from damaging cells). Tuna is also a great source of protein, contains no trans fat, and a 3-ounce serving of chunk light contains 11 mg of heart-healthy niacin, which has been shown to help lower cholesterol and help your body process fat. University of Rochester researchers determined that niacin raises HDL cholesterol (the good kind) and lowers triglycerides more than most statins alone.

12. Carrots

Think of carrots as orange wonder wands—good for the eyeballs, and good for clearing up breakouts. No magic here, though, just plenty of vitamin A, which prevents overproduction of cells in the skin’s outer layer. That means fewer dead cells to combine with sebum and clog pores. They’re also spiked with carotenoids—fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction in a wide range of cancers, as well as a reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.

13. Dried Plums

Also known as prunes, these dark shrivelers are rich in copper and boron, both of which can help prevent osteoporosis. “They also contain a fiber called inulin, which, when broken down by intestinal bacteria, makes for a more acidic environment in the digestive tract,” says Bowerman. “That, in turn, facilitates calcium absorption.”

14. Whole Grains

Whole grains—oatmeal, wheat flour, barley, brown rice—are high in fiber, which calms inflamed tissues while keeping the heart strong, the colon healthy, and the brain fueled. Whole grains can be loaded with carbs, but the release of those sugars is slowed by the fiber, and because they can pack as much as 10 grams of protein per 1/2-cup serving, they also deliver steady muscle-building energy. But not all breads and crackers advertised as “whole grain” are the real deal. “Read the label,” says Lynn Grieger, an online health, food, and fitness coach. “Those that aren’t whole grain can be high in fat, which increases inflammation.”

15. Red Wine

Swimming in resveratrol—a natural compound that lowers LDL, raises HDL, and prevents blood clots—red wine can truly be a lifesaver. A recent review in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, for instance, suggests that resveratrol may prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease. But limit your intake to two drinks a day. According to a study of 6,000 patients in the Journal of the American Medical Association, you’re 97 percent more likely to reach your 85th birthday if you keep your daily alcohol consumption to fewer than three drinks. Vin rouge is also a rich source of flavonoids, antioxidants that help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart, and may make you less likely to die of cardiovascular disease, according to Japanese researchers.

16. Yogurt

Various cultures claim yogurt as their own creation, but the 2,000-year-old food’s health benefits are not disputed: Fermentation spawns hundreds of millions of probiotic organisms that serve as reinforcements to the battalions of beneficial bacteria in your body, which keep your digestive tract healthy and your immune system in top form, and provide protection against cancer. Not all yogurts are probiotic, though, so make sure the label says “live and active cultures.”

17. Avocado

Chock full of monounsaturated fat, avocados deliver a double-barreled blast to LDL cholesterol (the bad kind). They are also rich in folate, a water-soluble B vitamin that helps lower the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can hinder the flow of blood through blood vessels. Eat a 1/4 cup twice a week, says Greaves.

18. Walnuts

Richer in heart-healthy omega-3s than salmon, loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine, and packing half as much muscle-building protein as chicken, the walnut sounds like a Frankenfood, but it grows on trees. Other nuts combine only one or two of these features, not all three. A serving of walnuts—about 1 ounce, or seven nuts—is good anytime, but especially as a postworkout recovery snack.

19. Turmeric

Curcumin, the polyphenol that gives turmeric its tang and yellow hue, has anticancer properties, anti-inflammatory effects, and tumor-fighting activities known in nutrition-speak as anti-angiogenesis. Researchers at UCLA have also found that it helps deter the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain, tiny blockages that may cause Alzheimer’s disease. Turmeric’s prevalence in India, the researchers suggest, may help explain why so few of the country’s senior citizens have the disease, whereas the statistic is close to 13 percent in the United States, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. One tip: Pair it with pepper in curries. “Adding black pepper to turmeric or turmeric-spiced food enhances curcumin’s bioavailability by 1,000 times, due to black pepper’s hot property called piperine,” says nutritionist Stacy Kennedy of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

20. Black Beans

People who eat one 3-ounce serving of black beans a day decrease their risk of heart attack by 38 percent, according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition. And while other beans are also good for your heart, none can boost your brainpower like black beans. That’s because they’re full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function. They’re also packed with superstar nutrients, including protein, healthy fats, folate, magnesium, B vitamins, potassium, and fiber.

21. Apples

An apple a day reduces swelling of all kinds, thanks to quercetin, a flavonoid also found in the skin of red onions. Quercetin reduces the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and prostate and lung cancers. If given the choice, opt for Red Delicious. They contain the most inflammation-fighting antioxidants.

22. Alaskan King Crab

High in protein and low in fat, the sweet flesh of the king crab is spiked with zinc—a whopping 7 milligrams per 3.5-ounce serving. “Zinc is an antioxidant, but more important, it helps support healthy bone mass and immune function,” says Bowerman.

23. Pomegranates

The juice from the biblical fruit of many seeds can reduce your risk of most cancers, thanks to polyphenols called ellagitannins, which give the fruit its color. In fact, a recent study at UCLA found that pomegranate juice slows the growth of prostate cancer cells by a factor of six.

24. Bok Choy

This crunchy cruciferous vegetable is more than the filler that goes with shrimp in brown sauce. “Bok choy is rich in bone-building calcium, as well as vitamins A and C, folic acid, iron, beta-carotene, and potassium,” says celebrity trainer Teddy Bass. Potassium keeps your muscles and nerves in check while lowering your blood pressure, and research suggests that beta-carotene can reduce the risk of both lung and bladder cancers, as well as macular degeneration.

25. Oysters

Shellfish, in general, is an excellent source of zinc, calcium, copper, iodine, iron, potassium, and selenium. “But the creamy flesh of oysters stands apart for its ability to elevate testosterone levels and protect against prostate cancer,” says Bass.

26. Broccoli

One cup of broccoli contains a hearty dose of calcium, as well as manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and iron. And that’s in addition to its high concentration of vitamins—including A, C, and K—and the phytonutrient sulforaphane, which studies at Johns Hopkins University suggest has powerful anticancer properties.

27. Kiwis

Like bananas, this fuzzy fruit is high in bone-protecting potassium. “They’re also rich in vitamin C and lutein, a carotenoid that can help reduce the risk of heart disease,” says Bowerman. “I try to eat at least one or two a week after exercising.” Freeze them for a refreshing energy kick, but don’t peel the skin: It’s edible and packed with nutrients.

28. Olive Oil

The extra-virgin variety is rich in beneficial monounsaturated fats. “Its fatty acids and polyphenols reduce inflammation in cells and joints,” says Grieger. A study in the journal Nature found that it’s as effective as Advil at reducing inflammation. “Have 2 tablespoons a day,” says Bowerman.

29. Leeks

“Leeks can support sexual functioning and reduce the risk of prostate cancer,” says Michael Dansinger, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine and an obesity researcher at Tufts–New England Medical Center, in Boston. “Chop the green part of a medium leek into thin ribbons and add it to soups, sautés, and salads as often as possible.” These scallionlike cousins of garlic and onions are also packed with bone-bolstering thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, and potassium, and they’re also rich in folic acid, a B vitamin that studies have shown to lower levels of the artery-damaging amino acid homocystein in the blood.

30. Artichokes

Lauded for centuries as an aphrodisiac, this fiber-rich plant contains more bone-building magnesium and potassium than any other vegetable. Its leaves are also rich in flavonoids and polyphenols—antioxidants that can cut the risk of stroke—and vitamin C, which helps maintain the immune system. “Eat them as often as you can,” says Bowerman. Ripe ones feel heavy for their size and squeak when squeezed.

31. Chili Peppers

“Chilis stimulate the metabolism, act as a natural blood thinner, and help release endorphins,” says Petersen. Plus, they’re a great way to add flavor to food without increasing fat or calorie content. Chilis are also rich in beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A in the blood and fights infections, as well as capsaicin, which inhibits neuropeptides (chemicals that cause inflammation). A recent study in the journal Cancer Research found that hot peppers even have anti-prostate-cancer properties. All this from half a chili pepper (or 1 tablespoon of chili flakes) every day.

32. Ginger

Contrary to popular belief, ginger—a piquant addition to so many Asian dishes—isn’t a root, it’s a stem, which means it contains living compounds that improve your health. Chief among them is gingerol, a cancer suppressor that studies have shown to be particularly effective against that of the colon. Chop ginger or grind it fresh and add it to soy-marinated fish or chicken as often as you can. The more you can handle, the better.

33. Cinnamon

Known for making desserts sweet and Indian food complex, cinnamon is rich in antioxidants that inhibit blood clotting and bacterial growth (including the bad-breath variety). “Studies also suggest that it may help stabilize blood sugar, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes,” says dietitian Nancy Clark, author of Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. “What’s more, it may help reduce bad cholesterol. Try half a teaspoon a day in yogurt or oatmeal.”

34. Eggs

Those who have eggs for breakfast lose 65 percent more weight than those who down a bagel breakfast with the same number of calories, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Eat the yolk, too. Recent studies have proved that the fat in the yellow part is important to keep you satiated, and the benefits of its minerals and nutrients outweigh its cholesterol effect.

35. Figs

Packed with potassium, manganese, and antioxidants, this fruit also helps support proper pH levels in the body, making it more difficult for pathogens to invade, says Petersen. Plus, the fiber in figs can lower insulin and blood-sugar levels, reducing the risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Select figs with dark skins (they contain more nutrients) and eat them alone or add them to trail mix.

36. Grass-Fed Beef

Nothing beats pure protein when it comes to building muscle. The problem with most store-bought beef, however, is that the majority of cattle are grain fed, which gives their meat a relatively high ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. That, in turn, contributes to inflammation. The fatty acids in grass-fed beef, on the other hand, are skewed toward the omega-3 variety. Such beef also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which studies have shown help reduce belly fat and build lean muscle.

37. Mushrooms

Delicious when added to brown rice, reiki, shiitake, and maitake mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant ergothioneine, which protects cells from abnormal growth and replication. “In short, they reduce the risk of cancer,” says Bowerman, who recommends half a cup once or twice a week. “Cooking them in red wine, which contains resveratrol, magnifies their immunity-boosting power.”

38. Pineapples

With its potent mix of vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes—in particular, bromelain—pineapple is an all-body anti-inflammation cocktail. It also protects against colon cancer, arthritis, and macular degeneration, says Grieger. (If only the “colada” part of the equation were as healthy.) Have half a cup, two or three times a week.

39. Fruit or Vegetable Juice

Raise a glass of the good stuff. In a 2006 University of South Florida study, people who drank three or more 4-ounce glasses of fruit or vegetable juice each week were 76 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who drank less. The high levels of polyphenols—antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables—may protect brain cells from the damage that may be caused by the disease, says study author Amy Borenstein, Ph.D.

40. Bing Cherries

Research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that eating about 35 bing cherries a day can lower the risk of tendinitis, bursitis, arthritis, and gout, says Bowerman. Studies also suggest that they reduce the risk of chronic diseases and metabolic syndrome.

Cascadian Farm

Cascadian Farm organic products, click here to visit

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Ann's summer Exercise List

  • Put on a headset and pace/crutches while you talk on the phone.
  • Do 10 push-ups every hour off the edge of your desk.
  • Do 30-second static squats, in which you hover over the seat of your chair, every 20 minutes.
  • Stretch your body out while you are sitting to get the blood flowing.
  • Do calf raises while standing in your cubicle.
  • Bring a pair of light dumbbells — or use water bottles — and do biceps curls, triceps extensions, and shoulder raises and presses, all while sitting in your chair.
  • Perform push-ups on the side of the pool.
  • Do dips on the side of the pool.
  • Tread water. (If this is easy for you, hold a dumbbell over your head and try it.)
  • Hold weights in your hands and try running laps in a lap pool. This is fun and challenging.
  • Hold a kickboard and do kicking-only laps.
  • Place a pool block between your legs and hold it tight so that your legs are totally stationary. Now try swimming laps using only your arms.
  • Up-downs: Go into the deep end of the pool. Dive to the bottom and then push off from the bottom to bring yourself back up to the surface. Catch your breath and repeat.
Try to do each of these exercises for 5 sets of 10 repetitions each

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Now a.... loving my feet list:)

Hlavin Beauty Feet:  amazing foot treatment combines antiseptic Pine Extract, soothing Aloe Vera and moisturizing Jojoba Oils to tenderly treat and repair cracked skin and rough calluses.

Better Botanicals Dandelion Moisturizer: in the morning, take a second to moisturize your feet before stepping out of bed! This Ayurvedic herbal blend is rich with antioxidants, and carries a hint of rose and lavender in the dandelion and sunflower oil base.

Carol’s Daughter Sea Salt Scrub The ‘Groove’ variety mixed sandalwood, musk and vanilla with fresh peach and pineapple to invigorate your feet and leave them soft and smooth.

Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream: Combined with a hint of rosemary and peppermint, this rejuvenating foot treatment preceded by a pumice stone polish and followed by snuggling into a pair of Burt’s Bees socks
butter LONDON Silk Stockings: For sexy legs and feet, marine biology and plant extracts to the trick to smooth skin, hide blemishes

J.R. Watkins Cuticle Salve: Pamper and prepare your toenails for painting with luscious mango salve. This softens and revitalizes your cuticles

Priti Nails Summer Collection:  slick, eco-friendly nail polish by Priti! Summer colors include a wide range of pinks, corals and magentas

Monday, July 19, 2010

5 Safe Ways to Lighten Age Spots

Aging provides plenty of perks—greater confidence, more wisdom, and discounted movie tickets, to name a few. But growing older also brings a few downsides: age spots, for instance, which boldly advertise your more mature status.
Conventional treatment for hyperpigmentation includes bleach, specifically hydroquinone or tretinoin (Retin-A), which carry serious health risks like cancer, reproductive toxicity, and skin allergies. Also common are cryotherapy (freezing) and light therapy (either laser or intense pulsed light). Although effective and relatively safe, both of these treatments can cost thousands of dollars.
For today’s Daily Action, learn about 5 safe ways to lighten age spots.

Age spots—benign, flat areas of hyperpigmentation—usually pop up on the hands and face, most commonly on the forehead. These tan, brown, or gray flecks are also called “sun spots” because they occur largely as a result of sun damage. Ultraviolet (UV) rays activate the skin’s pigment-producing cells, called melanocytes. Too much UV exposure damages the melanocytes, causing them to crank out excess pigment (also called melanin) or to clump together and form dark spots on the skin.
But the true cause of age spots begins deep within the skin, believes Benjamin Johnson, MD, founder of Osmosis Pür Skin Care. “Excess UV exposure causes damage to the dermal-epidermal junction, which prevents delivery of antioxidants to the epidermis,” he explains.
“The skin ages sporadically, and we can’t always say why a spot shows up in one place versus somewhere else.” However, Johnson suggests that spots form in areas that have endured so much trauma from excess sun exposure that they no longer receive adequate anti-oxidant supply from the dermis. This results in free-radical damage to the melanocytes, which triggers irregular melanin production and compounds the problem.
Luckily, we’ve found safe, natural ways to lighten and prevent age spots. But bear in mind: Even though they’re benign, age spots signal overexposure to the sun—a risk factor for skin cancer—and some can resemble malignant growths, so ask your healthcare provider to examine any suspicious discoloration. Once you’ve determined your spots are purely cosmetic, try these simple solutions to watch those telltale signs of aging fade away.
Solution 1: Up your antioxidants
“Antioxidants are always good internally for the antiaging effect, but we can also benefit externally from these free radical–scavenging ingredients,” explains Myra Michelle Eby, founder of MyChelle Dermaceuticals, a bioactive skincare line. “Vitamin C, L-ascorbic acid in particular, is very good for reversing hyperpigmentation due to its bleaching effects.”
Try: MyChelle Perfect C Serum ($42, 0.5 oz;

Solution 2: Try beta-glucan
According to Johnson, age spots typically signal a buildup of debris between the dermis and epidermis. He recommends using topical beta-glucan (a soluble fiber found in oats that stimulates skin-cell renewal) to clear the debris, boost circulation, and repair the damage at the dermal layer.
Try: Enkido Pure Anti-Aging Moisturizer ($60, 60 ml;

Solution 3: Raid the refrigerator
Look no further than your fridge for age-spot fighters. Stephanie Tourles, a holistic aesthetician and author of Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey Publishing, 2007), has had success using several food-based concoctions to lighten skin, even though studies on their efficacy are lacking. Yogurt, for instance, contains lactic acid, which lightens and exfoliates skin. Tourles recommends applying 1 tablespoon plain, organic yogurt to your clean face, neck, and chest and letting it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. Do this once or twice a week, and follow with moisturizer. Warning: Don’t apply the yogurt mask to sunburned or windburned skin, or if you’ve recently waxed your face or had a chemical peel, because it could cause further irritation.
Try: Amala Hydrating Yogurt Mask ($58, 1.7 oz;

Solution 4: Use enzymes
“Natural food enzymes, when applied to the skin over time, accelerate exfoliation of dead cells on the skin’s surface, which then stimulates the formation of new skin cells,” Tourles explains. “Existing age spots will gradually fade away over time.” These enzymes are found in raw papaya–pulp masks and raw pineapple juice, which you can dab on your skin with a saturated cotton ball. You can also buy enzyme-rich skin creams and masks. Tourles suggests looking for products with enzyme derivatives from not only papaya and pineapple, but also cherry, pumpkin, grape, pomegranate, and raspberry.
Try: Lily Organics Rejuvenating Enzyme Mask ($29, 1.7 oz;

Solution 5: Avoid the sun
This may seem obvious, but guarding your skin from the sun becomes increasingly important after age spots appear. “Once your skin hyperpigments or clumps melanin, you must always wear sun protection, otherwise the spots will return again and again,” Eby warns. “Wear hats and lightweight clothing when out in the sun for extended periods, and always use a natural sunblock that contains minerals to reflect the UV rays.”
Try: Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen ($20, 2.8 oz;

Natural Solutions: Vibrant Health, Balanced Living offers its readers the latest news on health conditions, herbs and supplements, natural beauty products, healing foods and conscious living. Click here for a free sample issue.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I could only change two windows! Just no strength in my legs.......

Wow, talk about smokey dirty curtains!!!!!!!!!  They are washing now:)

So also did back door window which is easy to reach of course.

The kitchen by dining area, with the Reacher Grip, I could take them down. But  could only drape one back over the top of blinds holder for the curtain. Wow, talk about it being bright in here! Talk about surprise!!!!! There was that 6 year old going by to look over the neighbors stuff in their yard.

 Then as I went to do the back door window, he was playing with a beach ball, from where? He told the guy, boyfriend /step dad? That I had put up a white curtain at window.  Oh yeah????? says the guy and I could not make out the rest? Just then the 6 year old threw the ball and it landed on  my back step and into my fake flowers of all places. I am looking  down at him, as he was looking them over ? So I took down the curtain. I think that shocked the guy :) I heard him say ... You better go play inside..... quick. lol So I put a new curtain there and am washing those dirty smokey curtains also:)

 GADS LOL  talk about timing with that  6 year old boy. I just happen to be by a window! First time, on my bed napping and now changing curtains:)

 They already changed their work , so that the guy works nights and the mom works days so I noticed .  I guess that 5 min back and forth cars, on non-work days with each other, was a pool game at the bar so they could take turns and watch the kid.  LOL Ahhhhh summer time and no school!

Having fun ,

Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Tiny Apartment with 24 rooms


Hong Kong ”Domestic Transformer" Architect Gary Chang

24 Rooms Tucked Into One

It looks like open space, but behind movable walls, this tiny apartment holds surprises.

A floor plan of the dining area. 
GARY CHANG stood in the middle of his apartment on a recent Saturday morning, ignoring a message from his Nintendo Wii on the wall-size screen: “Are you fidgeting? I can’t seem to analyze you.” He repositioned the game system’s balance board, stepped on for a second run of downhill skiing and began to shift from side to side, a computer-generated figure swishing in time with him across the room.
Soon enough, having worked up an appetite, he was ready to move on. He used a remote control to raise the screen, revealing a large yellow-tinted window behind it, filling the room with radiance. “Like sunshine,” Mr. Chang said, though the colorized gray daylight made the view — a forest of apartment towers in Hong Kong’s bustling working-class Sai Wan Ho district — look dusky, like an old sepia print.
He grabbed a handle near the wall-mounted television, pulling a section of the wall itself toward the center of the room. Behind it, a small countertop with two burners, a sink and a spice rack appeared. Opposite the countertop, on the back of the now-displaced wall, he lowered a hinged worktop made of a lightweight laminate of honeycombed aluminum. Suddenly, he was standing in a kitchen.
This room — the “maximum kitchen,” he calls it — and the “video game room” he was sitting in minutes before are just 2 of at least 24 different layouts that Mr. Chang, an architect, can impose on his 344-square-foot apartment, which he renovated last year. What appears to be an open-plan studio actually contains many rooms, because of sliding wall units, fold-down tables and chairs, and the habitual kinesis of a resident in a small space. As Mr. Chang put it, “I glide around.”
Mr. Chang, 46, has lived in this seventh-floor apartment since he was 14, when he moved in with his parents and three younger sisters; they rented it from a woman who owned so much property that she often forgot to collect payment.
Like most of the 370 units in the 17-story building, which dates to the 1960s, the small space was partitioned into several tiny rooms — in this case, three bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a hallway. Mr. Chang’s parents shared the master bedroom (though when they first moved in, his father lived in the United States, where he worked as a waiter at Chinese restaurants in various cities). His sisters shared a second bedroom, and the third, almost incredibly — although not unusually for Hong Kong — was occupied by a tenant, a woman in her 20s, whom Mr. Chang remembers only for the space she took up.Mr. Chang slept in the hallway, on a sofa bed.
These days, he uses a hydraulic Murphy bed of his own design, hidden behind a sofa during the day. “That old routine of folding out the bed is similar in spirit to what I do today,” he said. “But the reasons are different. Then, it was just necessary. Now, it’s all about transformation, flexibility and maximizing space.”
MR. CHANG’S experiment in flexible living began in 1988, when his family moved into a bigger apartment a few blocks away, with his grandparents and uncles.
Mr. Chang was then working for the P&T Group, an architectural firm, and living in a rented room near the University of Hong Kong, where he had studied architecture. His mother suggested that he take over the lease on their old apartment, “because the rent was unusually low,” he said. Instead he bought it, for about $45,000.
He had been itching to tear down the walls since his teenage years, when he sketched new designs for the family home, and he then began in earnest. In the last two decades, he has renovated four times, on progressively bigger budgets as his company, Edge Design Institute, has grown. His latest effort, which took a year and cost just over $218,000, he calls the “Domestic Transformer.” The allusion to toy robots seems apt, given the science-fiction quality of the color scheme — mostly black and silver, washed in eerie yellow light.
But if the apartment is a space for play, it’s very much the grown-up kind, involving the pleasures of luxury: Behind one movable wall of shelving is an extra-large Duravit bathtub. A glass shower stall doubles as a steam room with color therapy and massage. The Toto toilet has a heated seat and remote control bidet, and sound emanates from a six-speaker home entertainment system.

A floor plan of the home spa. 

A floor plan of the kitchen. 

A floor plan of the bedroom area.
Moving partitions and opening cabinet doors reveals stacks of carefully chosen objects: Alessi dishes and Arne Jacobsen cutlery; what Mr. Chang calls an “altar of Muji accessories,” including travel bottles and neatly packaged tissues; and several thousand CDs filling an entire wall. (Mr. Chang, a technophile who checks on his apartment with a Web cam while traveling, refuses to switch to MP3 files because he loves CD cases and liners.)
The need for space to accommodate these collections was what drove his latest renovation.
In 1998, as part of his third renovation, which he called “Flexible Curtains,” Mr. Chang had remade the apartment as a single open room, in pale hues, with shelves concealed behind curtains. But his collections had grown too large to be contained by the shelving, and piles of objects had begun to colonize the glossy white-painted floor.
It is a familiar predicament in Hong Kong, one explored in “Domestica Invisible,” a 2006 exhibition at the city’s Goethe-Institut of Leung Chi-Wo’s photographs of clutter in cramped apartments. A curator described the condition as “a fundamental aspect of the city’s spirit,” and wrote, “there is no longer the capacity to enjoy open space, nor the room for imagining alternative lives.”
Mr. Chang hopes that some of his home’s innovations might be replicated to help improve domestic life in Hong Kong, which has been troubled in recent years. The population grew by nearly a half-million in just the last 10 years, and between 2003 and 2007, reports of new cases of child, spousal and elder abuse nearly doubled, something social workers attribute in part to new social pressures caused by the city’s ongoing shortage of space.
“It’s a big problem,” Mr. Chang said. “Killing each other is not uncommon.”
“People feel trapped,” he said. “We have to find ways to live together in very small spaces.”
In Mr. Chang’s solution, a kind of human-size briefcase, everything can be folded away so that the space feels expansive, like a yoga studio.
The wall units, which are suspended from steel tracks bolted into the ceiling, seem to float an inch above the reflective black granite floor. As they are shifted around, the apartment becomes all manner of spaces — kitchen, library, laundry room, dressing room, a lounge with a hammock, an enclosed dining area and a wet bar.
One can imagine three, possibly four people living here, using Mr. Chang’s double bed and the guest bed that hovers over the bathtub — though six or seven, the number of residents when Mr. Chang was growing up, would be another matter.
Acoustic privacy is limited. When Mr. Chang is entertaining, anyone who wants to use the phone must do so in the shower (also known as “the phone booth”).
Still, Mr. Chang is determined to see his ideas put to use in new multi-unit buildings. He has invited a number of developers to visit, and has meticulously documented his apartment’s history in a book, “My 32m2 Apartment: A 30-Year Transformation” (MCCM Creations, 2008).
Buying a new apartment might have been a less expensive solution to his storage problem, he admitted. “But why do that?” he asked as he stood in the kitchen making noodle soup. “I see my place as an ongoing experiment.”
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