Saturday, January 31, 2015

Baby Shower Decorations and Centerpieces

Balloons -

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Nothing says "party time" like balloons so be sure to float some around the room. Party supply stores usually carry an assortment of balloons tailor made for a baby shower. Choose a dozen or so regular-sized balloons to tie onto tables and chairs or opt for several oversized balloons to hang at stationary points around the room.

Paper Fixtures -

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To liven up any space, be sure to hang several paper fixtures around the room. Choose from paper lanterns, tissue paper pom poms, or any other sort of unique paper fixture. You can hang them above tables and doorways and most are simple enough to hang up and take down.

Cake Stand -

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The right cake stand helps to add an air of celebration to any baby shower. Fill it with cupcakes or stack a decorated multi-tiered cake for an edible centerpiece that will set the mood. Choose matching cupcake wrappers or a cake decorated to match the theme of the baby shower in order to make it a true decorative item.

Centerpieces -

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Immediately establish the theme of your baby shower with the perfect centerpiece for each table. Beautiful flower arrangements or candles are more traditional centerpieces that are always a great choice. You can also choose to get a little creative with a unique centerpiece such as oversized gift boxes or baby bottles filled with colorful candy.

Tulle - Tulle is one of the most elegant, yet inexpensive fabrics and it's a staple for any event decorator. One of the great things about tulle is that there are so many creative uses for it and it's super easy to hang around walls, tables, chairs, from ceilings, etc. Consider adding flowers, bows or lights to the tulle for a little extra flair.

Napkins & Utensils - Matching napkins and eating utensils are the perfect compliment to a great centerpiece. Mix and match the colors and patterns of the napkins and utensils to add an even more customized look and feel to the space. Wrap the set up in a color-coordinated bow and your table will be that much closer to baby shower beautiful.

Diaper Cake - The icing on the cake for any baby shower is a custom-made diaper cake. Use one of these adorable centerpieces to add another touch of "baby" to the shower's theme. The gifts table is a great place to display one.

Friday, January 30, 2015

4 Foods To Help You Boost Your Mood And Lose Weight

Do you know that you can boost your mood and at the same time lose weight by the food that you eat? Here are some of the best foods that you should eat in order to increase your mood and lose weight:


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It contains omega-3-fatty acids that have been greatly associated with better moods. The fatty acids have also been linked to weight loss. Salmon has also been found to contain plenty of lean protein which makes you feel full for a long time thus you eat less. This plays a major role in helping you to lose weight.

While salmon is very healthy to take, you should avoid farmed salmon as it tends to contain high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls which have the ability of causing cancer and liver damage.


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Spinach has many minerals which are of great benefit to your mood and weight loss. Magnesium is one of the most beneficial minerals that aid in boosting your moods. It also aids in ensuring that you are energetic and ready to take on the world. Researchers have shown that when you lack it in your body you tend to feel tired, irritable, and even foggy.

In addition to magnesium, the vegetable also contains plenty of vitamins A, B, and C. It also contains high levels of iron and protein which aid in increasing energy levels in the body.

When you take spinach, you reduce cravings for sweets and salty junk foods. This further helps you to lose weight.

Greek yogurt

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It contains a lot of proteins which aid in increasing dopamine and norepinephrine levels in your brain. The high levels of protein also increase your energy levels and ensure that you are alert throughout the day.
For you to easily lose weight by taking this yogurt you need to consider your weight-loss calorie needs. If you are taking between 1,200-1,400 calories daily you should take at least 2 ½ cups of yogurt every day. If you take over 1,600 calories you should take 3 cups of the dairy product.

Blue berries

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They contain anthocyanin which is a well known mood enhancer. The berries also contain a lot of fiber which helps you in feeling full for a long time thus you eat less.

These are some of the best foods that you should take to increase mood and lose weight. When taking them ensure that you take only the healthy ones; avoid those that might be contaminated.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wedding Flower Ideas to Make Your Wedding Bouquet Perfect

Your wedding bouquet is the definitive accessory for your wedding dress. No matter what time of year you are getting married, there's an appropriate bouquet arrangement and design that will flatter your dress on this special day. A lot of brides don't even recognize that there are various wedding bouquet designs to pick from and each one compliments a particular look or style that can take the wedding outfit from beautiful to spectacular.

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To select the correct bouquet, discern your body size, the fashion of your wedding gown and the look you want to depict. To flatter a taller bride, or for the bride who wishes to look taller, a cascade bouquet is what you should get. This bouquet has the most flowers at the top, with blooms cascading downward and a trail of foliage, ribbon and flowers which run on past the main bouquet. This bouquet is also a good option for the bride who wants to look slimmer. Because it's a long bouquet that is rounded at the top and is pointy at the bottom, it makes the bride look taller and more slender. This bouquet design is thought to be voluptuous and elegant, making it a clear choice for a more formal event.

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The round bouquet is a timeless bouquet design that goes back long before the Victorian era. A round bouquet, occasionally called a nosegay, can be ideal for a formal event, but works just as well in a more relaxed situation. On the other hand, a round bouquet may in fact make a bride's hips look larger, as the round shape calls attention to the hips where the bouquet is usually carried. For brides with a petite body and slim figures, a round bouquet is ideal since the body lines will be in balance.

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The wedding bouquet is a custom that dates back nearly as far as weddings themselves. While it's clear that the flowers are a representation of fertility, the beginning of the wedding bouquet and the custom of tossing the bouquet (thereby handing over that fertility) to a different available young lady aren't as clear. It's enough to say that the wedding bouquet is nowadays a time-honored ritual that is seen in most weddings these days. Formerly just a small and simple assembly of flowers, the wedding bouquet has progressed over time to the point where hundreds of dollars are now paid out on attractively designed and arranged elaborate wedding bouquets.

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The majority of modern brides, moreover, will frequently have two bouquets. One ornate wedding bouquet is meant to be carried down the aisle during the ceremony and used in photographs while the other is usually smaller and meant to be tossed into the crowd of single girlfriends who will then go on to claw and scramble at each other in an effort to be the lucky girl who seizes the bouquet and so becomes the next lady predestined to be married. Contemporary florists take a lot of pride in the wedding bouquets they create and offer.

Seldom is the plain collection of daisies observed at modern weddings. Alternatively, wedding bouquets now comprise a diversity of bouquet designs, including arrangements of roses, calla lilies, and sweet pea or conventional roses and white lilies. Even sunflowers have made it into contemporary wedding bouquet compositions. The arrival of the internet has expanded the range of obtainable choices in many industries, and flowers are included here. The reality that floral products can be conceived and purchased online has spiked a lot of competition among florists, triggering each to attempt to outdo the others by offering larger and greater variety in all of their arrangements, wedding bouquets included.

Look Trendy With Short Messy Hairstyles

Short messy hairstyles create a cute and feminine look. It is one of the easiest hairstyles and can be fashioned at home without any special equipment or hair products. The messy hairdo suits women of all ages, but it is popular among younger women. If you want to make this messy look your style for the season, but are unsure whether it will suit you or not, maybe because of your hair texture or your face cut, there is no need to worry. We'll help you create this look in a matter of minutes.

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How to Achieve the Messy Hair Look
The first step to get your hair ready for any style is to wash it clean. Hair that is greasy or oily does not sit well. Also, dealing with dry hair is difficult. Hence, it will help if it is slightly moist and damp. You can apply the shampoo you use regularly, but avoid using a conditioner. The conditioner interferes with absorption of gel or hair spray and makes it tricky to create the messy look. You should towel-dry your hair before you get started. This way the hair will be soft and moist without being excessively wet or dripping with water. If you are in a hurry, you can use the blower too, but the moisture of the hair will probably be lost.

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To give your messy style a professional look, you can simply run your fingers through your hair. In this way, you will be able to direct certain sections to fall in different directions. Stick to this method because if you use a comb it will make the hair too straight and we don't want that. This method can also be used if you a mid-length hairstyle.

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When working with short hair, you need to first choose which part of it should look messy. For a French cut, you can't style the hair on the side because it is too short instead you should mess up the top of it. Also, it is simple to create a messy style with bangs.

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A messy style doesn't mean that you don't need to organize it; the irony is you also need to be neat and smart. Another tip is to use the tail of the comb, to organize the ends creatively. Do not comb your messy hair; it will make it look flat and out of place. The messy maven is an example of a good messy hairstyle. It looks perfect and messy at the same time.

Curly hair is the most difficult to deal with. However, a curly texture does not mean you cannot flaunt a messy look. If you have a curly hair, you should first prep your hair with gel. Gel makes it moist and easier to style. This texture creates an incredibly voluminous look.
Magazines and the internet are good place to seek inspiration for styles and designs. Besides, there are special products on the market created to design this look.

So, girls get your equipment in place and get ready to play with your mane.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Benefits of 5-A-Day Fruits in Our Daily Diet

The Mediterranean diet has long been considered to be the optimum diet for the human heart given it includes plenty of fresh fruit. WHO guidelines recommend that each of us should aim to eat at least five portions of different fruit or vegetables on a daily basis. A portion of fruit constitutes a single fruit such as an Apple, a small cup of fruit such as grapes or raspberries, or a glass of pure fruit juice. It is okay to include dried, tinned and frozen fruit as part of your five a day but be careful with tinned fruits given they are frequently sweetened with syrups and in many cases contains less vitamin C. Wherever possible purchase fruit that has been canned in its own juices without the addition of extra sugars.

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Fruit itself is an excellent source of antioxidants examples which are bioflavonoid and vitamin C all helping to protect us against degenerative diseases, heart disease and cancer are good examples. Fruit is also low in calories and is therefore an exceptional foodstuff for anybody attempting to lose weight.

Fresh fruit and fruit juices provide most of our regular intake of vitamins C, with citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and tangerines being the most important sources. Other providers of vitamins C in our diets include kiwifruit, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, mangoes and papayas. Fruits with a deep yellow or orange flash good examples are apricots, mangoes and cantaloupe melons, obtain their colour from an yellow orange pigment known as beta carotene, otherwise known as the plant form of vitamin A.

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This, it is understood, helps to protect us against free radicals and some have suggested even cancer. The majority of fruits are also rich in potassium which is especially true of bananas and dried fruits. Potassium works to regulate our blood pressures and it also works in tandem with sodium to regulate the body's fluid balance. Other reasons why fruit is so valuable in our diets is because it contains both soluble and insoluble fibres. Insoluble fibres help to prevent constipation and are also connected with a reduced risk of colon cancer whereas soluble fibres have been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Citrus fruits and indeed dried fruits such as dates, figs, raisins and apricots are also particularly good sources of fibre in our diets. There are many benefits to including the proportions of fruit in your diet including vitamins C, antioxidants and potassium with the only notable drawback is that fruit juices can contribute towards tooth decay. That said, this is a small price to pay for a healthy body utilising a balanced diet of fruit.

Fruit Seasoning Ingredients - Strawberry Salsa and Minty-Fruity Tabbouleh Salad

Did you think that seasoning is used only in preparing main courses? Well, think again. You would be surprised to find out that seasoning is also done in preparing desserts. Actually seasoning has been present in preparing desserts until now, except that we were not aware of it and we haven't called the process as such. Think of the process of making a cake or fruit salad. The recipes that you use call for adding a little rum, cognac, grated lemon peel, etc. Thus dessert seasoning or fruit seasoning are not new concepts. It is just that we didn't speak of, let's say fruit seasoning, for example.

However, if fruit seasoning or dessert seasoning as explained above is not something new, there is a new meaning of fruit seasoning, at least. As for many years now, people have found it quite hard or unpleasant to eat fruit - and this is mainly because of the invention and mass production of confectionery items (chocolate, ice cream, biscuits, juice, candies, etc) - health specialists, dietitians and producers of desserts have come together and tried to come up with solutions to change this situation.

They have come up with innovative ways to incorporate fruit into new products in order to encourage fruit consumption. For example, the idea of incorporating fruit with poultry has been developed and the compatibility of poultry was evaluated with 33 fruit and fruit seasoning types; 33 fruit seasoning sauce combinations were developed and screened by specialists for acceptability. Four sauces were judged most acceptable based on appearance, taste, and texture; these fruit seasoning sauces were lemon and rosemary with peaches, ginger and green peppers with peaches, curry with apples, and onion and celery with apples.

There are quite many recipes based on the use of fruit seasoning other than in desserts or fruit salads. If you search the internet you will be amazed to find out how creative people have been and what amazing combinations of tastes they have come up with.

Here are just a few examples of recipes which use fruit seasoning:
Minty-Fruity Tabbouleh Salad Ingredients

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Olive oil

Strawberry Salsa

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Red onion
Jalapeno pepper
cilandro leaves
Salt and
Olive oil
Orange and

Lime juice or Grilled Tuna Steak with Strawberry Salsa

The combination of meat, certain vegetables and fruit or fruit seasoning sauces, is not something new in certain areas of the world. Mediterranean and Caribbean as well as German cuisines have certain recipes in which fruit seasoning is used, being very important, as a matter of fact. It's just that we have to be open minded enough to accept such, otherwise tasty and flavory combinations of meat and fruit and fruit seasoning in our meals. It's just a matter of acquiring a taste for fruit seasoning in main dishes/courses.

Tips For Successfully Growing Strawberries

Strawberries are the most popular berries of all time they come second to none. The only other very popular berry that even comes close to strawberries is raspberries. Strawberries also make a very good addition to any home garden. Strawberries can be grown and be added as ground cover to a garden or they can be a very nice landscape ornamental in a typical traditional bed. When it comes to strawberries there are some very important things that one must follow. Some important tips that one must stick to and follow when growing this very sweet and attractive fruit is that of variety and location:

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It is best to choose pest and disease free varieties of strawberries. You should select strawberries that are "virus free" and you can find these in and around your local and established nurseries. The other good thing about local nurseries area is that it means that particular variety or strawberry plant will do well in your area and it has been tried and tested in the soil, weather, and climate in that area. You can also opt to buy and get your strawberries via mail order or through gardening catalogues, this will give you a wider selection and variety when it comes to strawberries.

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There are roughly three types of strawberries which are available to the home gardener. These are June bearing, ever bearing and day neutral. They all have different characteristics, June bearing strawberries produce a large and very concentrated batch or crop of strawberries. You will get more berries per season and the crop does not take too long in ripening. It only needs about three to four weeks. Ever bearing only produce twice a year that is in spring and fall. While day neutral are only able to produce strawberries throughout the growing season.

Site selection is very important when it comes to growing strawberries. You must make sure that the garden or the site location is suited in a very good area or location. There are must be adequate sunlight and good drainage. The garden should be located near a good source of water. You do not want to have to travel a considerable distance to fetch water for your strawberries. This will greatly discourage your gardening efforts. Your strawberry plants will require a considerable amount of water.

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The strawberries should also be adequately spaced and this will further influence the location of the garden. The bushes must be a few meters apart so that they do not compete with each other for resources. There must have adequate sunlight and the site must not be located near and trees or buildings that may block out the sun and provide unwanted shade. Your strawberry plant will require at least about six to eight hours of sunlight. So remember that when choosing site.

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One of the major things that one must consider when it comes to successfully grow strawberries is that of the soil. The soil make up, texture, compositing, and fertility must be taken in consideration. The best type of soil for strawberry growing is a soil that not only allows full sunlight and the rays of the sun to hit it but also it must have very good drainage. The best soil for growing strawberries is heavy clay soil and in some case sandy soil. A sloppy piece of land as well as rolling kind of piece of land will provide better air circulation and water drainage which will be great for the strawberry plants.

Use lots of mulch and occasionally change the location of the strawberry site to prevent diseases and soil borne problems from reoccurring. Make sure the area is thoroughly cleared and that there are no weeds and various other unwanted plants or pests and bugs. These are just some of the tips that can help you produce very sweet and fresh strawberries.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Valentine's Day Decorations

Love decorates the mood every February 14 and the Valentine's Day decorations speak the heart for you ! So all you have to do this Valentine's Day is to make the ambiance irresistibly romantic and set the decorations warm, snug and love-ly. Whether it be a Valentine's Day party or just a cozy dinner date with your beloved, the Valentine's Day decorations are not to be ignored. The decorations, of course, help you get into the feel of the day and set the ball rolling. Valentine's Day decorations can be done with flowers, ribbons, candies or just with paper and cloth. No matter which way you do it, the decorations for Valentine's Day should just be perfect and help set the stage for a memorable celebration. So if you need a little help on how to kick off the Valentine's Day decorations, read on.

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The first thing that should be kept in mind before laying your hands on Valentine's Day decorations is that red or shades of red is the color to go for. So make sure you have lots of red, crimson or pink around. The flowers, curtains, bed-spreads, table-spreads, carpets, balloons, and even cutlery and other decorative pieces can be in red just because it's Valentine's Day. With so much of red around, all the blues are sure to disappear soon only to leave you with a rosy feeling of love, luck and joy ! Now for some romance and mystery--fill water into big glass bowls and float a few heart shaped candles in them. You can also strew rose petals around the candles to couple up the warm glow of the candles with the sweet aroma of roses. These make wonderful Valentine's Day decorations if placed on the centre table or next to the bed or better still on the dinner table. Now if you are a little tight on budget, then this Valentine's Day decoration idea is just the thing for you.

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Many flowers are damaged while shipping and florists often sell the petals at really low rates. So you can buy lots of these petals and leave them carelessly around the home--maybe near the bath tub or at the doorway. Or you can just make a trail from the door to the bedroom for your valentine to walk on when he/ she returns home. Isn't that good for a simple and affordable Valentine's Day decoration?

At the Valentine's Day party, arrange for red punch and pink lemonade. Food sure add to your Valentine's Day decorations, don't they ? So check out how the menu adds a facelift to the d├ęcor of the day--have a few heart-shaped cookies, candies, pizzas, sandwiches and of course that big, heart shaped chocolate cake. Now decorate the dinner table with a red table cloth and have silver tableware placed on it to enhance the look. To take it a step forward, make sure you dump a lot of petals and heart-shaped red confetti around the plates, on the entire table. You can also stick heart shaped little cutouts on the red table-cloth to give a personalized touch to your Valentine's Day decoration. Any party decoration is incomplete without balloons, ribbons and streamers. Same holds true for Valentine's Day decorations. So do get loads of those chic streamers, balloons and red ribbons on February 14.

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Try to get many heart shaped balloons and hang them from the ceiling. Interlace the balloons with streamers and have a totally dressed up room on Valentine's Day ! And when talking about Valentine's Day decorations, how can one leave out the flowers ? Yes, flowers make for the prettiest decorations on any occasion and so are a favorite with most people. Since it's Valentine's Day, roses should top the charts, but you can also deck up your room with other bright flowers with a perceptibly nice fragrance such as hydrangeas and hyacinths. Here come the candies now.

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Candies are the most coveted items on the Valentine's Day list for sure. And so include them in your Valentine's Day decorations as well. Take long wine glasses and stuff them with assorted candies and place them on the centre table. Not only will it add a dash of color to the room, but it will also keep the theme of sensuality going. Now if you have a child at home, dress him/ her up as cupid. Ask your guests to come early, before the bed time of the child. Make the kid greet the guests with a miniature bow and arrow. Not only will this be the cutest piece of Valentine's Day decoration, it'll also make the child feel special and involved. Gift baskets make good centerpieces too. And at the end of the party, give out the gifts from the basket as party favors.

Make the basket attractive by adding lots of Valentine's Day goodies like candies, teddies, fruit cakes, etc. Cover it with ribbons and confetti and transform it into a beautiful Valentine's Day decoration. Deck up your house this February 14 and have a dreamy Valentine's Day ! Let the decorations do the talking for you. Try out these Valentine's Day decorations and romance up your house. And you can combine these decorations with your own decorations and wait for the accolades to flow in ! Just enjoy the beauty around and feel beautiful inside with your loved ones by your side.

Pick A Healthy Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Sipping your favorite strawberry smoothie on a very stifling day would be a great thing to do. Savoring its rich, fruity, and refreshing taste will certainly make your day splendid. It is also a great thing to know that this kind of beverage does not only offer great thirst-quenching taste but also nutrients which are proven to be highly beneficial to your health. For one, strawberries are loaded with vitamin C which fights against immune system infections such as influenza. Aside from that, strawberries are also packed with other nutrients and antioxidants which get rid of cancer-building free radicals. With the health benefits that a strawberry fruit can provide, taking strawberry smoothies on a regular basis is a great idea. Take a look at these healthy and tasty smoothie treats below and choose a particular recipe for strawberry smoothie that you would like to make at home.

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Strawberry Day Dream Smoothie
In order to make this very refreshing strawberry smoothie, you will have to obtain first 10 large fresh strawberries, 250-ml strawberry yoghurt, 1 chopped banana, and a splash of orange juice. After gathering and preparing all the ingredients, you are ready to put all the fruits into a blender or a smoothie maker. After that, add the yoghurt and orange juice into the mixture then blend for 45 seconds to 1 minute and chill it inside your fridge for an hour. After doing all that, you can enjoy your Strawberry Day Dream Smoothie. This smoothie recipe is good for 2 servings.

The taste of strawberries coupled with hints of banana and orange will surely refresh you. The presence of these fruits mixed with yoghurt intensifies its richness and smooth texture. Share this healthy and delicious smoothie treat with a friend and enjoy its refreshing and fruity taste.

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Strawberry Orange Crush Smoothie
Making a Strawberry Orange Crush Smoothie is just so easy. First, you have to obtain 10 pieces of strawberries, 1 medium-sized cup of fresh orange juice, ¼ orange, and 6 ice cubes. After preparing every ingredient, chop 8 pieces of strawberries in halves and leave the other 2 for the garnishing part. You will also have to peel and slice the ¼ piece of orange fruit. After that, you will simply have to place all ingredients into a blender or a smoothie maker then blend until smooth.

This strawberry smoothie recipe is good for 2 servings. Fill 2 glasses with this Strawberry Orange Splash Smoothie and use the remaining 2 pieces of strawberries for garnishing. Share this fruity and vitamin-rich strawberry smoothie and enjoy each sip.

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Classic Strawberry Fruit Smoothie
Making a Classic Strawberry Fruit Smoothie requires you 2 large bananas, 200-ml pure apple juice, and 10 pieces strawberries (can be fresh or frozen). After having the ingredients ready, chop each banana into 4 parts. After that, combine all ingredients into a blender or a smoothie maker then blend until smooth. This smoothie recipe is good for 2 servings. Drink with a friend while catching up with each other and take pleasure in savoring its taste.

I hope by now you have decided which recipe for strawberry smoothie you would want to make first. All 3 strawberry smoothie recipes listed above certainly have great tastes and are undeniably great for the body. Enjoy each strawberry smoothie and keep living healthy and happy.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Green Smoothies: A Delicious Way to Drink Your Nutrition

I have always enjoyed fruit smoothies, but never considered adding greens and other veggies to up the ante. I have to admit that at first, it really didn't sound too appealing. However, from the very first day that I added some fresh baby spinach to my banana, soy milk, and frozen strawberries, I was utterly hooked! It tasted wonderful and I noticed the positive side effects immediately. They helped to reduce cravings for sweets and aided in my digestion and elimination. (Sorry to have to bring up that topic so quickly, but without healthy elimination of wastes, we are bound-literally speaking-to be unhealthy and unhappy).

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Before I continue, I would like to note that I used to make most of my smoothies with soy milk. Nowadays, not so much. Because soy can interfere with the natural production of hormones, I found that too much soy decreased my libido. I do love my soy milk, but I love my libido even more! Not everyone has the same results, and I know that other women benefit from eating more soy. It depends on the individual.
Here are the benefits of drinking green smoothies:

- Green smoothies encourage healthy digestion and elimination.
- Cells in the fruits and vegetables are broken down by the act of liquefying, therefore your body assimilates the nutrients quickly.
- Green smoothies control cravings for sugar because the natural sugars found in veggies and fruits satisfy our need for sweet food. Also, our cravings for sweets are often a signal from our bodies that something is missing. Green smoothies fill that gap.
- Green smoothies are an easy and satisfying way to include leafy greens into our diets.
- Green smoothies hydrate our bodies, making it easier to get the liquids that we need daily.
- Green smoothies provide much needed fiber.
- Green smoothies help us to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Green smoothies provide enzymes from the raw fruits and vegetables. (These enzymes help us to digest our food).
- Green smoothies help to alkalize our blood pH. A high acidic pH leads to illness and disease, and drinking green smoothies neutralizes this acidic environment.
- Green smoothies provide chlorophyll, which cleanses and builds blood, among other things.
- Green smoothies are antioxidant rich, helping our bodies to fight free radicals and toxins in our environment.
- Green smoothies help to reduce inflammation.
- Green smoothies provide a way to include superfoods into our diets, if you are so inclined. Throw in some chia seeds, maca powder, gogi berries, aloe vera, hemp seeds, raw cacao, spirulina and blue-green algae.

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It's a tasty and convenient way to include these power houses of nutrition.
Early on, I made my smoothies in a regular blender and kept it pretty basic-some fresh fruit (usually bananas), some leafy greens (spinach, kale, Swiss chard, romaine, dandelion greens, etc.), and frozen fruit. I also used avocado quite frequently. If it needed a little sweetener, I would use maple syrup, raw agave nectar, or raw honey (in very small amounts).

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In the regular blender, I needed to add some liquid in order to sufficiently puree it. I would use organic whole milk, coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, yogurt, or clean water. (I have since lowered my intake of soy milk and soy products). Sometimes, I would add orange/pineapple juice and use fresh mango or pineapple for the fruit. For those tropical green smoothies, I would also use a little canned coconut milk. There is really no end to the combinations of fruits and veggies. Just make sure that you listen to your body, and if you experience discomfort, make some changes the next time around. Some combinations of fruits and veggies can cause gas or bloating in some people. If you find this to be true, keep your green smoothies simple while you figure out what works best for your body.

If you find that you're no longer enjoying how they taste, or you find that you're having a difficult time finishing them, try switching the greens and the fruit because your body may be craving variety or different nutrients. Also, keeping it simple for a few days may be what your body is asking for. I have also found that under-processing green smoothies make them less palatable. Make sure that you run your blender long enough to liquefy the fruits and veggies, and break down the tough fibers. If your smoothie is unappealing, try processing it longer and you may enjoy it so much more.

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It is best if you drink them in the morning before you have eaten, or a long time after your last meal. For many people (self included), these do not sit well on a full stomach, as fruit always digests easier on an empty one.

Vary your fruits and veggies to get the full benefit of including different vitamins and minerals into your diet.
I want to note that some people cannot tolerate raw spinach or raw kale. (Those with liver or gall bladder issues, in particular.) Pay attention to your body's signals. If it bothers you, use other vegetables.
Drink then slowly. Gobbling any food can cause digestive issues.

Include green smoothies frequently into your diet, and you will be so happy that you did. Try them for a month, and see how much better you feel.

This is how smoothies, in a regular blender, are made

Start with a leafy green vegetable. You want to stay away from the bitter ones, such as mustard greens and arugula. I use approximately two cups of greens, but you can begin with less until you get used to it a little.
Add a little bit of liquid - maybe a cup or so. Then blend until the greens liquefy.

Now add whatever sounds good to you- banana, any fresh fruit, some avocado, maybe some cucumber, a little parsley, and some frozen fruit (strawberries, pineapple, mangoes, blueberries, etc.). As a rule of thumb, try to use approximately 40% veggies and 60% fruits. This insures a tasty green smoothie.

Sweeten a little, only if needed. Nowadays, I don't need to sweeten my green smoothies, but if you need to, go ahead and add a little to your taste.

I have since purchased a Vitamix and my green smoothies have reached a whole new level. I now use red beets, celery, carrots, cucumbers, apples with the skin, and any fruit or veggie that appeals to me. I don't need to use a liquid unless I want to thin it down a little, or if I want it for the taste. (Frozen fruit can add a lot of thickness. The picture up above is one of my thick smoothies. Almost "milkshake" like.) This morning's green smoothie was a very ripe banana, three large kale leaves, a small red beet, a lot of frozen strawberries, and a little spring water. It was actually a beautiful red smoothie! I have made green smoothies that were very busy with a lot of different vegetables, and I have made them simple, using only a few.

For a simple, easy green smoothie, just blend 2 cups of a leafy green with 2-3 cups of fruit. I always use some frozen fruit because it keeps it cold. Add a little liquid, as needed. (There are times when I prefer it to be that simple.)

If you want to use unfrozen fruit, adding a handful of ice cubes does the trick.

This is a "busy" green smoothie that I've made in my Vitamix:
Organic purple grapes, celery, cucumber with the skin, red beets, some greens from the beet tops, rainbow Swiss chard, parsley, slice of fresh ginger, slice of fresh lime (with the skin), and frozen strawberries. This was truly delicious-both pungent and sweet at the same time. A regular blender couldn't handle all of this very well, but this gives you an idea of how creative you can get and how nourishing green smoothies can be.
For those who don't know-a Vitamix is a very powerful blender that can liquefy most fruits and vegetables. They are expensive, but well worth the investment in your health. With a Vitamix, you can also grind your own flours, make your own nut butters, make frozen sorbets in less than 60 seconds, and cook soup right in the container. A worth while investment!

Adding green smoothies into my diet was one of the healthiest choices that I have ever made. My body craves them, and I find them to be delicious and extremely satisfying.

Guide to Looking For Plus Size Vintage Clothing

Looking for vintage clothes that are wearable and relevant to the current trends isn't easy. But looking for wearable, moderately updated, and well-fitted vintage clothes is doubly hard. How many times have you given up a stylish vintage item just because it doesn't fit you? Finding vintage clothes in larger sizes is, more often than not, frustrating.

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This is because vintage clothes are in sizes that don't conform to the modern standard sizing. People before were smaller and clothes are tailored to a dominant body shape of the current decade. For instance, clothes in the 1950's favored hourglass-shaped bodies, while clothes for pear-shaped bodies were apparent in the 1960's. But does this mean finding a plus size vintage clothing is next to impossibility?

There's no denying the fact that it is hard to find a plus size clothing item, but it is not impossible. With sheer patience, persistence, and a little help, you can find a vintage piece that will add oomph to your wardrobe. Here are some tips.

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1.) Be extra inventive and resourceful. Visit other sections to find items that fit your size but which don't compromise style. If you're looking for a day wear, don't limit yourself to the casual dress racks. Look in, perhaps, the lingerie section. You might find something that can double as an outerwear if you wear an under slip or camisole. Men's clothes, given their larger sizes, can also be another option.

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2.) Alter if necessary. You can get the service of a good tailor or, if you have a knack for tailoring, you can do it on your own. Adjust the seams to make bigger rooms. For example, you can turn an otherwise ill-fitted dress into a tunic by adjusting the sides. You can also move the buttons to improve the fit of button up blouses. If the skirt is too small in the waist, change the elastic bands. The thing is, there will always be times you can never get a vintage piece that fits just perfectly, but you can always alter.

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3.) Know not only your size, but your measurements as well. This means your bust, waist, and hips. Getting your measurements is especially helpful if you are shopping online or if it's impossible for you to try on a piece in the vintage store. There are two ways to get your measurement. One, you can measure your body, and two, you can measure a garment that fits perfectly well. Do this by laying the garment on a flat surface.
Then measure from the side under the sleeve to the other side. Double the number and you have your bust measurement. Do the same to the waist area to get your waist measurement. Same applies to your hips. It is also important to measure your shoulders. You can do this by measuring from the top of the sleeve seam to the other end.

4.) Take note that plus sizes before were labeled in half sizes. There are 20 ½, 22 ½, and so on. Therefore, look for clothes with these labels.

5. Wear a good bra and under slip, especially if you are going to try the garment on. This will help you get into the garment more easily and smoothly and allow you to have a better fit. Many don't know or totally disregard this when looking for plus size vintage clothing, but it helps a lot.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Popular Vintage Shoe Styles

Collecting vintage shoes can be very exciting. Many women all over the world spend hours searching through discount stores, online retailers, specialty shops and antique markets with hopes of finding the perfect pair of pretty pumps, sexy sandals or flirty flats!

They are well aware that wearing vintage footwear can make the difference and can often transform an outfit from drab to fab!

Though there are many kinds of vintage shoes, there are a few styles which remain popular year after year. These styles are considered to be timeless and for those who collect them, these shoes have as much style and value today as on the day they were made.

Here is our list of the top vintage shoe styles:
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Pumps and heels: All women feel better wearing a fabulous pair of pumps. Of course, this is not a new development. Women have been enjoying this classic style for centuries and have recently begun to cherish and collect the designs and styles of the past. Vintage heels will often have unique, colourful linings and will also consist of other quaint little touches such as bejewel buckles, coloured soles and even delicate heel details.

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Slingbacks and sandals: Always a popular style for summer, sandals and slings are a great choice when collecting vintage shoes. Some of the most sought after designs will include fabric insoles, sea shells, Asian-inspired designs and even large gold coin details on the toe straps!

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Boots: Whether you prefer authentic biker boots or rugged cowboy boots, these are a great addition to any vintage shoe collection. Even thigh high, pvc go-go boots are a popular collectible! If you are searching for a pair of vintage boots try to find designs which feature the label of a well known designer.

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Slippers and flats: Possibly the most rare, and hence valuable, style of vintage shoes, ballerina flats and slippers are equally fun to collect as they are to wear! Due to their limited numbers, vintage slippers and flats are often made using higher quality materials and when found online can be in excellent condition!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Wedding Boutonnieres - Tips for Achieving the Ultimate Finishing Touch

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Boutonnieres are the ultimate finishing touch to a gentleman's outfit and provide a sense of style.

Here are some tips on how to make sure that the guys in your wedding party look fantastic.

Types of Flower

Roses are the most popular flower for a boutonniere, but don't feel that you have to follow tradition. Other flowers that work well include stephanotis, tulips and orchids. If you are on a budget, carnations are a good choice.

Choosing Your Boutonnieres

The colour of your boutonnieres can be chosen to either contrast or complement the colour of the groom's outfit. For instance a black morning suit with a burgundy cravat could be complemented by a burgundy boutonniere made from a tulip, calla lily or rose.

Alternatively, you could arrange for boutonnieres to be made that mirror the flowers in the bride's bouquet.

Who Should Have Boutonnieres?

It is common for the bridegroom, best man, ushers/groomsmen and fathers of the bride and bridegroom to all have boutonnieres. Some couples also like to make boutonnieres available to all who attend the wedding ceremony, but this will be dependent on your budget.

To mark him out as special, the bridegroom often has a slightly different boutonniere to the rest of the wedding party. It maybe a different colour, or the florist may put elaborate embellishments on it such as decorative beads, diamante, or additional blooms.

How to Wear Your Boutonnieres

The boutonniere is worn on the gentleman's left lapel. It should be worn on the outside of the buttonhole, and not in it. It is common to secure it in place by using a pearl-headed pin from the back of the lapel. This can be done in such a way that the pin will then be invisible from the front.

Weddings are generally focused on how special the bride looks. Boutonnieres are an inexpensive way to ensure that the groom looks and feels special too.

Growing Succulents - A Quick And Easy How-To Guide

Planting a succulent garden is a fun and easy activity, and I will share with you some ideas on how to start growing succulents in your own garden. As an avid gardener myself I look for any excuse to get outside and do something in the garden. Time though can sometimes be in short supply. This activity is something that can be done quite quickly and with very few materials. It's also easy enough for young children to join in the fun!
Now, my garden is small so I just have to think a bit more compactly than those with lots of space to play with. Succulents are a great way to add color, variety, and a unique feature to the garden or patio, even in the smallest of spaces. Now let's get started!
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  1. You'll need to get yourself a small pot with a good drainage hole in the bottom. Succulents don't like soggy soil, so buy soil that is made specifically for succulents or soil that will offer plenty of drainage.
  2. For a few dollars you can buy yourself a small succulent or if you know someone who is growing succulents already, ask if they will give you a cutting of theirs. Later on when your succulent gets bigger you can make cuttings of your own. This will be a great time saver as well as easy on the pocketbook.
  3. Place the soil into the pot leaving an inch or so of the pot exposed at the top. Dig into the soil in your pot to make room for the new succulent or cutting, then place the succulent into the pot and cover the roots or base of cutting with soil. Be sure to leave an inch of pot exposed at the top. Water and place in a sunny spot.
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That's it! You have now started an attractive succulent garden. You can continue growing succulents using this process with more small pots or move to larger sized pots and plant several succulents together. Succulents retain water so be careful not to over-water. Let the soil become dry before watering again and you will have a wonderful addition to your garden or patio for years to come.


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