Tuesday, February 28, 2012

From the Archives: Five Health Reasons Not to Quit Coffee

Note: This was originally posted March 3, 2011--but it's worth a second look!


I love coffee! I consider it one of the creature comforts of life, even though I usually limit myself to two cups in the morning. So when I heard my radio colleague Scot Bertram on News/Talk 144o WROK talk about this article this morning, I knew I had to blog about it.

I'm going to just hit the high points here...be sure and go to the original article for all the details!

1. It protects your heart: Moderate coffee drinkers (1 to 3 cups/day) have lower rates of stroke than noncoffee drinkers, an effect linked to coffee’s antioxidants. Coffee has more antioxidants per serving than blueberries, making it the biggest source of antioxidants in American diets.


2.It diverts diabetes: Those antioxidants (chlorogenic acid and quinides, specifically) play another role: boosting your cells’ sensitivity to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar.


3. Your liver loves it: OK, so the research here is limited, but it looks like the more coffee people drink, the lower their incidence of cirrhosis and other liver diseases.

Isn't this the cutest ring??? You can get one here

4. It boosts your brain power: Drinking between 1 and 5 cups a day (admittedly a big range) may help reduce risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease, studies suggest. T

5. It helps your headaches: And not just the withdrawal headaches caused by skipping your daily dose of caffeine! Studies show that 200 milligrams of caffeine—about the amount in 16 ounces of brewed coffee—provides relief from headaches, including migraines


Of course, coffee does have its pitfalls, and you can find out about those at the original article as well.

In the meantime, it's good to know that while I'm enjoying my morning cup of joe, I'm doing some good things for my health!

Speaking of coffee....

I have to share the cutest idea I found on Amber's blog, Life...Unscripted. Amber came up with the cutest, craftiest way to use those Starbucks coffee sleeves--make a little coffee recipe book out of them and give it to a coffee-loving friend!

I just had to pass that along!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting! Longing for spring... 2/22/12

We haven't had a terrible winter in Northern Illinois...in fact, we've had some pretty nice days.  But I'm already yearning for spring.  So here's some spring-y images from Pinterest!

Source: flickr.com via Cindy on Pinterest

Source: tumblr.com via Cindy on Pinterest

Participating today in Oh, How Pinteresting! hosted by The Vintage Apple


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Visible Monday: Neutral Smokey Eye, all Ulta!

You know I don't happen to believe that after you reach a certain age, you can only wear neutral eye shadow.  But sometimes it just makes sense, and can be really pretty.

Recently I took advantage of an amazing gift-with-purchase at Ulta, one of my favorite places to buy make-up.  If you spent 17.50 on Ulta make-up or make-up tools, you got a gift bag with 13 Ulta make-up items!

What an awesome deal...oh, and you could choose from three color families.  The bag I chose was called "Lavender Fields," but it wasn't just purple stuff.

It also included a lovely neutral eye-shadow quad, and that's what I used in these pictures...along with the mascara that came with the gift.

So here's what I did:

--I used ELF eyelid primer (the only non-Ulta thing I used) all over the lid, all the way up to the brow..

--I then used a fluffy brush to apply Ulta "bone" all over the lid, all the way up to the brow.

--I used Ulta "mystique" on the eyelid itself.

--I used a small brush to apply Ulta "espresso" in the crease and the outer corner of the eyelid, then used a blending brush to soften and blend it, making it "smokey."

--Oops, I forgot, I used one other non-Ulta thing.  Above my lashes,  I used Clinique cream liner in black.

--Under my eye, I used Ulta eyeliner in deep brown. I then smudged espresso eyeshadow over the line (that helps keep it in place for the duration.)

--I used Ulta Voluptuous Volume in black on both my upper and lower lashes.  As you can see, my lashes aren't very long, which bugs the heck out of me.  I don't want to pay for some expensive drug to make them longer, so maybe I'll try to get more adept at using false lashes!

A few more views...

I'm linking up today to Visible Monday, hosted by Not Dead Yet Style!

Join us! Click the Spotlight 

Also, for the first time, linking with Monday Mingle!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Happy Birthday to My Wonderful Son, Justin!

Happy Birthday, Justin!

My second-born son, Justin Garrett Melvin Swanson, was born 29 years ago today.  And what a happy day that was!

Justin has asserted his unique persona from the very beginning.  First of all, his birth was a scheduled Cesarean.  And although he was breech and never turned, his birth went off without a hitch.

I will never forget right after he was pulled out of me, he started yelling and screaming louder than any of my babies had ever cried! And then someone laid him right next to my face (I was strapped down in the manner of C-sections.)  I started talking to him, and he stopped crying as soon as he heard my voice.

 (Sorry Justin, the following  paragraph might embarrass you! But it does make a point! :))

The very beginning of breastfeeding was difficult for my other two babies.  Jonathan was born by emergency C-section in 1980; I didn't even get to see or hold him till he was almost six hours old, and his interest in nursing was lackadaisical at first.  For some reason, that was true again with Elizabeth.  Not Justin.  At first attempt, he was like, "I've got this.  No problem."  And that has characterized his ability to do just about anything in his life!  

Justin has had an entrepreneurial, enterprising spirit since he was a little boy.  It started with handing out free circulars as a little job when he was just a kid...then he delivered the Rockford Register Star.  Then while in college, he had his own window-cleaning business for a while.

His sense of humor is one of the delights of my life.  I can't tell you how many times he has lightened my mood by saying just the right funny thing.  His practical, common-sense outlook on life has talked me down from many a ledge.

Not getting to always be around him and my other children makes me really sad...but every time I do see him, it's like a breeze of fresh air blowing through my life.

My constant prayer for Justin is that he will continue on the path of God's guidance and direction.  Oh, and that the Lord will bring the perfect young woman into his life--the one who will make him happy just as my daughter-in-law has for my other son.

I Love You, "Little Jus"!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Happy Birthday to my Adorable Daughter

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

My beautiful, adorable daughter Elizabeth Ashley is 25 years old today.

She's my baby--my sons are almost 32 and almost 29.

Yes, it does make me feel kind of old--but it seems like just yesterday that  she was born.  They did have ultrasounds in those days :), but we chose not to find out her gender until she was born.

I adored my two boys, and I reassured everyone that I would be perfectly happy to welcome another little guy, but in my heart of hearts, I longed for a daughter.

When I heard the doctors and nurses say "It's a girl!" that was one of the happiest moments of my life!  Finally, lace, ruffles, pink, girly things!

Elizabeth has brought us so much joy in these 25 years.  My constant prayer is that God will continue to guide her life, and that she will continue to put him first.

I love you, Lizzy Boo!

For the first time today, I'm linking up with "Thursday Favorite Things", hosted by Katherine's Corner!

Thursday Favorite Things

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Most Famous Lovers of Literature and History

In honor of Valentine's Day! From listafterlist.com, the most famous lovers in literature and history.

OK, so unless you're extremely erudite or well-versed in literature and mythology, you may not have even heard of some of these.  Others you'll know from famous movies.  Here we go:

1. Romeo and Juliet--portrayed by Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting in Franco Zeffirelli's movie adaptation of Shakespeare's famous play.

Source: google.com via Cindy on Pinterest

2. Cleopatra and Mark Antony-portrayed by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor 

3. Lancelot and Guinevere


4. Layla and Majnun--OK, this one I admit I had never heard of, but you can read about them here

5. Tristan and Iseult (Isolde)--pictured portrayed by James Franco and Sophia Myles in the 2006 movie adaptation

6. Eloise and Abelard

7. Paris and Helena--portrayed by Orlando Bloom and Diane Krueger

8. Orpheus and Eurydike

9. Napoleon and Josephine--portrayed by Armand Assante and Jacqueline Bisset

10. Cyrano and Roxane

11. Pyramus and Thisbe

12. Werther and Lotte

13. Odysseus and Penelope

14. Jane Eyre and Rochester--(portrayed by Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska) The romance from my favorite novel of all time! It gives hope to every young girl who isn't beautiful that the man of her dreams can still fall madly, passionately in love with her. Who can forget Jane's impassioned speech to Rochester, just before he declares his love for her:

"Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you."

15. Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler--(famously played by Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable) From one of my favorite books and movies, Gone With the Wind.

Got any favorites here?--or couples that you think should be added to the list? Let me know in my comments section!

What does love mean to you?

Here's my reply...

 Love is meeting the needs of another.

 Love's not a feeling--it's an action!

The best expression of what love is all about comes from I Corinthians chapter 13 in the Bible: 
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing. 4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails...
...13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

In Praise of the Umbrella

Friday, February 10, according to The Ultimate Holiday Site, is National Umbrella Day:

Brolly, gamp, parasol, bumbershoot - whatever you call it, umbrellas are made for one thing - protecting you from the elements. As you go out into the world today, don't forget your brolly! It might just save your hair.

So, who invented the umbrella? Who can we thank for not having to run out in the rain with a plastic garbage bag over our heads (don't laugh--been there, done that)?

Here's some brolly history from Inventors.about.com:

 The basic umbrella was invented over four thousand years ago. We have seen evidence of umbrellas in the ancient art and artifacts of Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and China. These ancient umbrellas or parasols, were first designed to provide shade from the sun. The Chinese were the first to waterproof their umbrellas for use as rain protection. They waxed and lacquered their paper parasols in order to use them for rain.

More from Inventors.about.com:

The first all umbrella shop was called "James Smith and Sons". The shop opened in 1830, and is still located at 53 New Oxford Street in London, England.

I don't know if Audrey Hepburn always golfed with an umbrella over her shoulder, but probably only she could make it look cute!

Living in England as she does, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, is often photographed with an umbrella.  She's practically made it a fashion accessory.

Source: google.com via Cindy on Pinterest

Oh, and I can't leave you without the obligatory couple-kissing-under-the-umbrella shot, can I? :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Oh, How Pinteresting! Valentine's Edition 2/7/12

Yeah, I'm in a bit of a blogging slump, but maybe taking part in this week's Oh, How Pinteresting! will help bring me out of it!  I'm definitely going with a Valentine's theme.  Enjoy!

Source: m.bhg.com via Silviya on Pinterest

Source: tipnut.com via Debbie on Pinterest

I'm linking up with The Vintage Apple for Oh, How Pinteresting! Click on the icon for more info!

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