Monthly Archives: October 2017

Setting The Perfect Mood For A Romance Story

Reading a good romance novel is like setting sail on a grand adventure. You have no idea where it is going to take you or who you might meet on the way but you do know that it is going to be a great ride. But like any trip, you don’t want to set sail without being prepared. That is why you have to create the perfect mood before snuggling up on the couch with your book and nice cup of tea (or whatever works for you!) at your side.

A romance novel, just like its name implies, is supposed to be romantic. Romance, however, is not something that you can just drive-up to a window and hand a cashier some money and then drive off with your goods. It must be finessed and created with a soft touch or else the moment is cheapened and all you end up with is some freaky background music and some psychedelic light show.

Lighting is always a sure way to set the perfect mood. Now my personal favorite lighting happens to be that from the fireplace. There is absolutely nothing more romantic than a crackling fire late at night to help set the perfect mood for your adventure to… well, wherever. Of course, this idea doesn’t work so well in the summer months and not everyone has a fireplace so you will need to have some alternatives.

Candles, especially scented ones (I personally could die with the scent of lavender or hyacinth wafting through the air and enter heaven with a great big smile on my face!), create the perfect romantic atmosphere. The combination of the sweet aroma and subtle lighting transform your room into a romantic alcove that cannot help but enhance your reading experience.

Now if you are not into flames of any kind but would still like to set a more subdued and casual tone to your decor while escaping to your own personal paradise with Juan, Raphael, or whomever happens to be the character in the book, then you might want to try using a nice Tiffany lamp reproduction. Now I promise all of you that I do not own stock in any company selling these lamps. It is just that the light is gently diffused through the colorful lampshade so there is no glare. These lamps happen to produce very soft light that is still adequate for reading without worrying about eye strain.

Finally, once you have the lighting perfect and your favorite scent filling the room, all that is left is some soft music in the background. Some soft jazz (or whatever you happen to find especially romantic) completes the effect and you are set to cast off and have whatever adventure the author has in store for you. I would recommend playing some music without lyrics as they can be more of distraction than a mood setter.

Now you may even want to get into some “jammie pants” and don your favorite sweatshirt too but that is entirely up to you. All that really matters is that you feel comfortable and the room is soothing and to your liking. Reading around other people or with a radio or television in the background filling the room with words can absolutely ruin a book because you can’t really concentrate and get into the story.

Trust me, your reading experience will be completely different and far more enjoyable when the setting is just right. Ask yourself what you happen to find romantic and turn your reading space into your own little paradise and you will definitely enhance your reading experience and slip away into those pages and off to the adventure you have been waiting all day to get started!

Shape Great Looking Eyebrows With Tweezers

Tweezing is the most inexpensive way to remove unwanted hair. A pair of Tweezers will cost between two to five dollars, but the effect of a well shaped eyebrow through tweezing can be very astounding. Your eyebrow’s shape should go along with your brow bone’s natural line. The arch should come out to be the highest at the pupil’s outer corner. To know exactly where the brow should start, align a pencil straight up from the inner corner of the eye. To know where it exactly should it end, a pencil, held diagonally from the outer corner of the eye to the brow bone can help. The very first time you pluck your eyebrows, it could be painful. But after two or three sessions, you feel almost nothing. Eyebrows shape should have an arch. Ideally, it should be over the iris of the eye. Be careful not to overdo it; it should come out natural and conforms with your eye.

1. How To Pluck Eyebrows:

– Look and study your brows in the mirror.
– Pluck when your pores are open. Do your eyebrows immediately after a shower, or apply warm compress to your brow area to open up the pores. This will help in minimizing the pain that plucking can create.
– Apply a baby’s teething pain preparation. If you are plucking your eyebrows for the first time, it will be helpful to apply a baby’s teething gel, to numb the are so you can pluck with comfort.
– Be certain that there is enough natural light available in the room.
– Use a pair of tweezers that you can handle easily. Test that it can grip the hairs well, so it can pull the hair from the roots well, without slipping every time you pluck.
– Soften the hairs with a skin conditioner or moisturizer, so hairs can slide out easily.
– Brush the brows upward so you can see your natural arch and shape your brows from there.
– From time to time, stand back, take a few steps away from the mirror and examine your brows.
– Be conscious always of your eye’s natural shape. Don’t make a super arch if that is not naturally you. It will be very obvious and will give you a funny look. Make the arch as natural as possible.
– With an eye pencil, draw first the desired shape of your eyebrows before you start plucking.
– Focus your plucking on the stray hairs first. These are usually finer and will not be as painful to pluck. Also, they won’t give as much attention, in case you make a mistake.
– Note that you should only pluck the hairs at the bottom side of your brow. Never pluck the hairs at the top.
– First tweeze under the brow and pluck in the direction of the growth of the hair.
– Be sure to pull hair one at a time and close to the root.
– With your thumb and first finger, stretch the skin area tightly so you avoid pinching the skin, which can be painful.
– Comb the brows upward, using your eyelash comb, and trim off any hair extending beyond the brow bone.
– When finished, pat with tea bags to soothe the area.

2. Don’ts Of Eyebrow Plucking!

– Don’t pluck after you have applied lotion to your face. Plucking will open up your pores; lotion may instantly go in the skin and can contaminate it.
– Don’t use electric tweezers. It can be very dangerous.
– Don’t use tweezers for pulling out nose hairs.
– Don’t use alcohol after plucking, as this can irritate the eyes.
– Don’t dye your eyebrows, not only that it can cause severe eye irritation, it could also look bad.
– Don’t soak your tweezers in detergents or in plain water.

3. Tweezer Care:

– Always disinfect it with alcohol before and after each use.
– Always place a cap to protect the tips of your tweezers.
– Be careful not to drop the tweezers as this can dull and miss align the tip.

4. Choosing Tweezers:

When just starting, it will be wise to buy at least four tweezers of different materials, such as stainless steel, copper or plastic coated, so that you will know which ones will quickly tarnish. Stainless steel also do come in different grades. Note that the price of the tweezers does not affect its quality. Both expensive and affordable ones, performance wise, may have the same grip and the same tip that can function well. However, those with high quality materials will cost more, such as a high grade stainless steel. Pay attention to the tip of the tweezers; it should have a wide surface so that it can grip well. Test it to make sure it does the job. Whatever size of tweezers you choose, long, short, wide or narrow, it really depends on your own preference, on which tweezers you can handle best.

Secrets Of Happy Moms

Have you ever noticed how some Moms seem to be very contented and confident in their role as Mothers, and others seem chronically stressed and approaching burnout? Why are some Moms unflappable and able to keep their sense of humor, while others overreact to the slightest stressors in their day?

I’m currently observing and interviewing these happy Moms as I conduct research for an upcoming book. While all Moms are different, these women usually have several of the following traits in common.

1) They keep it simple.
I know one Mom who grocery shops every two weeks and buys the exact same thing every time to prepare the same menu of 14 dinners. Why does she do this? She’s picked the family’s favorite meals for her menu to save herself time and arguments at the dinner table. Anyone with kids knows they like to eat the same things over and over! This Mom has decided not to reinvent the wheel twice a month. This is just one example of keeping it simple.

2) They teach their kids to be independent.
This doesn’t mean they leave them to their own devices all day. But a smart Mom knows that a 2 year old can put a dish in the dishwasher, a 4 year old can prepare his own peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and a 7 year old can sweep a floor (albeit imperfectly!). Call it “outsourcing” for Moms.

3) They drop the SuperMom complex.
Not sweating the small stuff seems to be a common trait of happy Moms. They learn to pick their battles. Getting buckled into a car seat? Not negotiable. Pink paisley pants with the orange plaid shirt? Fashion creativity.

Happy Moms also realize that being an awesome Mom doesn’t mean being a perfect Mom. ‘Nuff said.

4) They can often be overheard repeating the phrase “This too shall pass”.
It doesn’t mean that bothersome behavior in kids should be overlooked, for discipline is a huge time saver in the end. It means that Moms realize that children are…well, uncivilized creatures, and that much uncivilized behavior will simply go away on its own as the child matures. Smart Moms are also keenly aware of their child’s development and don’t expect more of them than they are able to give.

5) Smart Moms take care of themselves.
They don’t blame the baby for their extra weight when the baby in question is potty trained! They put emphasis on good nutrition, avoiding too much by way of stimulants (caffeine, sugar), they get adequate rest, and daily exercise. They realize that you can’t pour from an empty bucket.

6) They live in the moment.
Happy Moms realize that the days are long but the years short. It’s not that they are impervious to stress, it’s that they have learned to lower their expectations and be in the moment when things get difficult. When your toddler is puking all over the house, this is not the time to reorganize the hall closet. A sick day then turns into a time to create sweet memories of hours spent reading and cuddling on the couch.

7) They don’t worry about what others think.
Whether it’s the disapproving glare from the old lady in the checkout line, the Mother in law who is convinced you’re starving the baby by breastfeeding, or the Pediatrician whose medical advice strays into parenting advice, happy Moms learn not to give too much weight to the opinions of those who don’t live in their home.

8) In other words, they trust their instincts.
Whether it’s taking the baby to bed with them so they can get more sleep or taking a bullied child out of public school, smart Moms know that they are the expert of their own babies.

9) Happy Moms have “something else”
It may be a part time home based business or a hobby like belly dancing. These Moms know that some day their babies will fly the coop, and they make sure they have a passion that will give them purpose when that happens.

Relieve Hormonal Symptoms of Menopause with a natural food diet

Looking for more natural ways to help with the symptoms of menopause? Many herbal remedies can relieve and even eliminate the common symptoms of these conditions.

During menopause, women often experience uncomfortable symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, irregular, changes in bleeding and loss of sexual desire are some of the most common. Recently, studies have shown that hormone replacement therapy is not as safe as originally believed, so many women are looking to natural remedies with a great deal of success.

Black cohosh has been used for centuries to help women with menopausal symptoms, and is most effective in treating hot flashes. It seems to have some ability to mimic estrogen in the body, relieving the hot flashes and mood swings that plague so many women.

Limiting caffeine will help with your symptoms as well. Herbal teas, and using onion, garlic and lemon instead of salt should help as well. One study at UCLA noted that garlic halted the advance of heart disease in post-menopausal women.

Soy, shown to be beneficial in so many areas, helps with menopausal symptoms as well. Soy has a natural estrogen-like compound that helps balance hormones. Chickpeas, lentils and tofu will provide the same benefits. Complex carbohydrates like brown rice will also help regulate the amount of estrogen in your system.

Ensuring that you are receiving a sufficient amount of essential fatty acids by eating oils, nuts, seeds and oily fish will help relieve vaginal dryness and keep the skin supple.

More and more women are seeking alternative therapies for symptoms of menopause. Try these simple and natural food remedies today.

Saving The Golden Goose: Where The True Gold Lies

I remember as a child being fascinated by a small aspect of a much larger fairy tale in Jack and the Beanstalk. I guess I have never really been enamored with conquest and really thought that Jack was a thief, but I loved the hen that laid the golden eggs.

The original source of course was Aesop, who told a tale with a moral core in The Goose that laid the golden egg. A man and his wife had the good fortune to possess a goose that laid a golden egg every day. For a while they were happy and lived well, but then they became impatient with how quickly they were accumulating their wealth. So they thought that if the goose could lay such a fine egg of gold, it must be lined with the precious metal. If they cut the goose open, they could get the gold all at once. Of course we all know what happened, the goose was just a goose and there was no gold inside.

For Aesop, the moral of the story was much wants more and loses all. I think there is also a hidden message, true gold comes from the process of creating.

You, my dear Diva, are a Golden Goose. Each day you lay multiple golden eggs throughout your life. They are often disguised as meals for loved ones, staying a little later at work to help your boss or co-workers, volunteering at the church or PTA, working on your cross-stitch or scrapbooking or on a passion of your heart. Everything that you do, each and every day, that brings a blessing to another is a golden egg. Like the goose in the story, you know how to lay the eggs. How well do you care for the goose?

If you are at all like me, and I think you are, we are very, very hard on the goose. Instead of recognizing all the golden eggs she has laid, and being thankful, we, like the greedy man and woman in the story, expect more, more, more. It is time that we honor the goose and forget about the eggs. If the goose is well cared for, the eggs will come, won’t they! Here are 7 lucky tips for the care and feeding of the golden goose:

1. Take one day off a week from work. The Sabbath is there for a reason,even God rested. “and on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested…” Genesis 2:3

2. Feather your own nest. I have the most wonderful bed linens, I feel like a princess every night when I go to bed. I have 2 feather mattresses and a silk, down comforter. I bought them at a discount store we have called, Tuesday Morning. Scour the town for one of your own. You will sink into luxury and know you are special, each and every night.

3. Nurture another golden goose. Identify a friend or a loved one running on fumes. Pick up her kids after school, take over the scout meeting for her, bring her a home-cooked dinner (just double your batch) and leave it on the step. Why do we have to wait until we are struck down with a catastrophic illness or event to reach out to each other? Let’s start a prevention program with our circle of women before the goose is cooked.

4. Feed your spirit daily. Find a quick, easy message that inspires you every day. One way with us is to sign up for the Daily Diva Word, it’s a free, quick pick me up that comes in your email.

5. Turn off the noise. Have a quiet time each day to shift gears. If you work outside of the home, plan just 15 minutes of alone time in your car before you pick the kids up, or rush to the store. Get a great CD or tape and play it, all alone in your car as you change states from employee to mom, wife or sane woman.

6. Become a Teacher. The only way that we ever learn anything new is from someone else. As you begin to value yourself as the Golden Goose you really are, you’ll begin to notice other women struggling to do it all. Share what you have learned with them and what helps you feel good about yourself.

7. Never Mistake the Egg as the Gift. We have become a society that values things more than people. It is often joked, tongue-in-cheek that you are only as good as your last accomplishment. That is the ultimate lie. We are not a collection of the things that we do, the sale that we make, or the goal that is conquered. You are the gift. You are the Golden Goose. The egg is just the last thing you created.

Wherever you are right now in your life, please stop for a moment and hear this truth. The true gold lies not in the outcome or accomplishment, it is in the process of creating. When you give yourself a little space and care for the golden goose inside you, you will once again lay a golden egg. Don’t worry, there is no where to go, you have everything you need for the blissful life you desire. You just forgot where the true gold lives—inside of you.

All the best,
Maureen

PS To help you remember the gold that you are, I’ve created some postcards for you to download. Two to keep and two to share with another Golden Goose that needs encouragement.

Sign It With Your Signature Color – Tips On Finding The Color That Says You

Everyone has that one color they favor. Whether it is your preferred color that has been your favorite since you were little or just a color that looks fabulous with your hair color and skin tone, consider creating this shade your signature. Whatever the color, make sure that it looks well with your skin tone, eye color, and hair color before you make the decision to call this particular hue your signature color. No one wants a signature color you are unable to wear due to it clashing with your natural appearance. Also, know when you limit using your signature color, because it can quickly turn from clever and classy to quirky and tacky. It is not necessary for you to dress head to toe in your signature color. Instead, consider using your signature color in the following ways:

Creating your signature

Once you have determined what color will be used as your signature, work to incorporate this color into your wardrobe. Again, not everything in your closet needs to be of your specific signature hue. Consider using this color as an accent to the neutral tones that should dominate your closet, including black, white, ivory, brown, gray, and navy. Use your signature color in unique pops in all aspect of your wardrobe and your surroundings.

Use your signature color in your home to express your real self

In addition to using your signature color to accentuate your wardrobe, also use this favored color to accentuate you home. Whether you paint an accent wall in this great hue, choose a rug with your favorite color, use decorator pillows in your shade of choice, or incorporate towels of this color into your design, your signature color can work in your home the same way it can work in your wardrobe.

Accentuate with accessories – Accessorizing with personal flair

Consider using your signature color in a few poignant accessories incorporated into your wardrobe. Consider purchasing a brooch or faux flower corsage in your favorite shade to affix to your jacket lapel, sweater, or shirt. Look into purchasing a fantastic pair of shoes in your signature color as a unique pop that will benefit any wardrobe. Look to include a killer purse in your favorite hue that is sure to complement any item in your closet. Furthermore, use a scarf with your signature color or choose to incorporate a pretty ribbon into your hairstyle, serve as a belt, or even be used as a choker!