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Archives for September 2009

Dove nourishes more than beauty skin deep!

Last month I was contacted by a gentleman who works for an agency that represents Dove and was asked if I would like to test a new product that Dove had recently come out with. I have always been a “Dove girl” washing my face daily with Dove soap and I love new products. Who doesn’t love trying something for free so of course I was happy to oblige.

A few weeks later my little package arrived with 3 different bottles; Deep Moisture Nourishing Beauty Wash, Gentle Exfoliating Nourishing Body Wash, and Sensitive Skin Nourishing Body Wash. Needless to say 3 different bottles took me a few weeks to use and “test” in my shower. I used these body washes at different times of the day, morning, after working in the garden, with a headache, after work, after taking care of a sick child and exhausted, so you can say I was “trying” them to see just how they worked their “magic.”

Did you know that in generally body washes can remove your skins own natural moisturizer while they cleanse. I always wondered about this as I used to “lather up” and scrub off; ”what exactly were we exfoliating in addition to little skin cells.” So in essence we were exfoliating away our essential nourishment that keeps our skin looking younger longer, OK being in my late 40’s not so sure I want to exfoliate away any essential nourishment that keeps my skin looking young, that is one of my best features, and I do not want to do anything to help wreck that!

Most body washes add heavy moisturizes but they just “sit” on the skin and are not absorbed into the skin the way the new Dove products have been tested to do. I loved each one of these body washes, so now Dove has me hooked on a new product line.

I also took a few moments to go to the Dove website and research the products that I was about to test and I have to tell you I was actually impressed. I invite you to stop by there they have wonderful videos which explain how the Nourishing Body Washes work, and explain exactly what the active ingredients in the wash are for those of you who are interested in this.

A few years ago I noticed that Dove started using “real looking woman” of all shapes, colors and sizes in their ads. I applauded them for reaching out to “real woman and girls” in the world not just the tiny weenie stereotype of what Hollywood makes girls believe girls should look like. Show me a real woman using this, don’t buy a product because some skinny mini Hollywood type is endorse it, show me someone who lives a real life, with real kids, eats real food therefore is a real size, and then maybe I’ll listen, hmmmm isn’t that what I’m doing here with you now! LOL

In addition to being a wonderful new product I love supporting companies that “give back” to the community they serve. Dove has recently launched a new campaign to give back called “the Dove self esteem fund.” The program is part of the companies’ bigger commitment called “Dove Campaign for Real Beauty.” It was started to help the next generation of girls from self-limiting beauty types. Exactly what their ad’s portray! I love that! Caring about what one looks like and personal hygiene has always been important to me as a woman and as a mom. In this day and age where to many teens are getting caught up in what I will call the “skinny mini Abercrombie image.” Dove is working with Girl Scouts of America and to inspire girls to understand the wider definition of beauty. The Dove Self Esteem Fund is committed to helping girls, all around the world; build positive self-esteem and healthy body image hoping to reach 5 million girls by 2010. To date the Dove Self Esteem Fund has helped over 2 million young women through educational programs. There is a great area on their website designed “for girls only” which has some wonderful tools which girls can spend some time on. If you have a teen I invite you to take a look! There is also a great area of the site that is dedicated to mom’s and mentors of girls that gives you tips to help foster positive healthy self-esteem living for young girls.

And for all of my coupon and sample friends they have an area on their site just for you where you can get samples, sweepstakes, coupons and exclusives.

Now that is what I call beauty skin deep!

The folks at Dove have generously offered to give away a bottle of their new Nourishing Body Wash to one of my readers. All you have to do to enter is:

Giveaway Starts September 27, 2009 and ends October 5, 2009. Please make sure your email address is on your comment, if the winner does not respond within 24 hours another winner will be chosen. The giveaway will be coming directly from Dove.

How to Enter:
There are a few ways you can enter and you can increase your entries:

1. Follow I’m Still Standing Blog
• if you already follow comment below that you’re a follower, leave me a message & you will be entered

2. Go to Dove’s site and comment here to let me know what your favorite thing about their site is.

3. Grab my button and post the link to your page showing the button

4. Write a blog about this new product and link back to I’m Still Standing and leave a message with the link.

5. Follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/shelleyellen• if you already follow comment below that you’re a follower & you will be entered

6. Tweet this on Twitter:
• RT @shelleyellen Dove nourishes more than beauty skin deep http://tinyurl.com/y8hrmg5
• leave a separate comment here with a link to your tweet on twitter

Now go on and have a fabulously squeaky clean and beautiful day!

Update: The giveaway is long over however I will continue to write about the importance of beauty from the inside out. I’d love to have you stick around for more and share your views with me. Please stay in touch through one of my subscription methods. Also feel free to connect on Twitter, LinkedIn and Join my Wellnesss Makeover on Facebook. You can always contact me, I’d love to hear from you!

Love is all around


Two weeks ago when I was at the airport waiting for Rebeka’s plane to finally land I sat down and watched all of the people in the airport. People waiting, people leaving, people working, moms, dads, grandparents, husbands, wives, young and old. and as I sat there anxiously awaiting the arrival of my daughter and thinking about how much I have missed her these past few weeks, I thought about all of the people here waiting to greet their loved ones too. The airport is one place where you can actually feel the “love all around.”

photo courtesy of flicker

All you have to do is look and see people arriving and hugging their loved ones, family, and friends. People who are serving our country coming home in uniforms and running to happily great their family that they have missed while overseas. Children arriving from a trip. Parents arriving to visit their grandchild for the first time. Husbands coming home from a business trip. Love is all around.

It’s a good visualization when you are feeling down; stop for a minute and think about how “loved” you are! Stop and think if you had been away how happy your family would be to greet you at “the airport.” I know it’s a visualization I will keep with me now forever.

There is nothing as “sweet” as home!

Last week I received the wonderful phone call from Rebeka asking “Mom can I come home next weekend?” Since she has been “down south” in school since the beginning of August those were welcome words to my ears and my heart melted. So of course I went and purchased her a ticket to come home for the weekend. I should tell you being her “senior year” she scheduled her classes this fall around “football season” so she has no classes on Monday’s or Friday’s so she can go to all games should she want to home or away, that is just how “nuts” this state is for football. But this time it was used for my advantage so I was happy.

Usually I have her take a shuttle home from the airport because I “hate” driving on highways. But I thought this time I would surprise her and actually show up at the airport. Of course the day I decide to do this her plane has a 3 hour delay, which upset us both. Her because she just wanted to get home to her “home,” and me because it was smack dab in the middle of the day which became “rush hour” on a Friday, not the best time for driving on highways.

When her plane “finally” landed, which according to the Arrival Board took at least 20 minutes, and then another 10 or so to arrive at the gate, she was so surprised to see me waiting when she walked through baggage claim.

Of course I started cooking the minute she told me she wanted to come home so I had prepared enough food for an army. Our weekend menu was:

• Gazpacho
• Coconut cornbread (a favorite of both Geoffrey and Rebeka)
• Cesar Salad with homemade dressing (of course!)
• Pasta salad (a favorite of Rebeka’s)
• Brisket with Portobello Mushrooms (I can’t even tell you how wonderful this is!)
• Marinated Bar-B-q Chicken
• Garlic Mashed Potatoes
• Crispy Wanton Cookies (made for my mother-in-law who is lactose intolerant)
• Paula Dean’s “IS IT REALLY BETTER THAN S*X? CAKE” (which is actually the name, embarrassing to write but oh my goodness it is one of the Best cakes I have ever tasted, and EVERYONE loves it!)


ingredients

There are so many wonderful recipes to pass on here but I thought everyone has to try and make Paula Dean’s cake at least once. It is like a slice of heaven, or the Caribbean…


yum!

Ingredients
• 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare
• 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple
• 1 1/3 cups sugar
• 1 (3.4-ounce) box French vanilla pudding, plus ingredients to prepare
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1 cup flaked, sweetened toasted coconut

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare yellow cake mix as directed using a greased 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. While cake is baking, combine the pineapple and 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Remove cake from oven and using a fork, pierce holes into cake. Pour pineapple mixture over hot cake and set aside.
Prepare pudding according to package directions. Spread pudding over cake and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Whip heavy cream and remaining sugar until stiff. Cover top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

Rebeka, Geoffrey and I spent Saturday walking around Georgetown and than it was “back home” for another family dinner.

All cooking aside it was wonderful to have Rebeka home for the weekend! Let me know if you make the cake and just how much you love it!

It’s the little things that make a house a “home.”

I’m not sure that you may know this but I went to college, “o so many years ago,” to study Interior Design and Landscape Architecture. I have always had a love for “rearranging” things in my habitat. This love started at an early age when I used to take everything off of my bookshelves and move it around. My mother would not let me move around the furniture because a designer had laid out the yellow Ethan Allen furniture to perfectly fit into my room, so it was all my books and knick knacks that got changed “seasonally.” I also had a little doll house that I would do the same thing with and I actually “made” wall paper and put it up on those wall. So you can see I have always had a love of color and for “changing things around.”

Over the last few weeks I met a new creative friend Melissa who was happy to “share” some wonderful things she purchased on Etsy. If you don’t know Melissa you should stop by and check out her blog and let her know I said “hi!” I never knew what Etsy was and one day followed the link from Melissa’s blog to see what other things this particular crafter made. And that is all it took! I am an Etsy addict now. My husband comes home every day and “hunts” to see what the “new purchase” of the day is. But I love it because the stuff is so unusual, you could never find personalized homemade things like this in one store. And I also feel that in this economy, where money is not so loose, it is nice to support people who craft things themselves because I know even though it’s a little bit I’m helping someone.

I’d like to take you on a little tour and show you some of my wonderful new things and introduce you to some very talented people. Enjoy and if you stop by let them know that I sent you, they are all extremely nice woman who love their crafts. I look forward to having a long relationship with them all, although not so sure about my husband. LOL

My grandmother was also an Interior Designer and had a wonderful flair for color, (I suppose that is where I inherited my love of color and design) and she had a beautiful Chinese Rug with plums and greens and for years I had this in my living room and when we recently renovated I moved it upstairs into my bedroom. I am always looking for plum or violet accessories for my bedroom and that is how I met Peggy of ‘Letter Perfect Designs.’ Peggy creates the most wonderful pillows with unique buttons! Peggy is a 40-something married mom to two kids; a 7-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She is a life-long resident of Washington, and she grew up north of Seattle and lived all over the state before settling in Seattle with her husband. After nearly 20 years working as a T.V. news producer and writer, she retired two years ago to be a full-time mom. The schedule demands were finally too much! As a longtime collector of fabrics and buttons — both vintage and new — she started ‘Letter Perfect Designs’ in August of 2007. Peggy told me, “It’s been wonderful and I’ve met so many lovely people! I love making pretty things for the home and hope each and every design will become a treasured part of someone’s life.” Peggy has generously agreed to offer a 10% discount to my followers if folks mention my blog in the buyer’s notes at the time of purchase. She has graciously offered the same discount for a custom order as well.

A few months ago I saw what I thought was a very cool new type of “wall art.” I naturally looked it up and found out that it is a type of vinyl that when applied looks like someone hand calligraphied on the wall, or drew a cool picture. Naturally it peaked my curiosity and I found myself thinking of zillions of things I could do with this. That is when I met Jen from ‘Tree-House treasures’not only does Jen have the coolest selection of wall art in phrases but she also has them that she makes on wall hangings. I was a little nervous about applying the lettering but Jen had wonderful directions included and I was done in no time at all.

I’m always interested in how people became interested in starting their shops and Jen told me that as a child Jen she always trying to find a way to make people happy through a business opportunity. This desire never did go away and today she is thrilled that she has the opportunity to brighten homes everyday through her’ Tree-House Treasures’ vinyl lettering designs. And if you get a chance to stop by ‘Tree-House Treasures’ before the month is up, Jen has generously offered a 10% discount if you mention that you are a follower of “I’m still standing.” She has so many wonderful choices be prepared to ponder!!

Being a lover of nature I love bringing the outdoors in and found a new way to do this with “tassels.” The first cutie I ordered was for Ainsley’s room and it was from Angela at the ‘tassel house‘. Angela called it a Whimsical tassel, Ainsley and I think it looks like a whimsical ladybug and it is so cute! Each tassel that Angela creates is handmade with love and has wonderful attention to detail, this way they are each unique and each have their own personality.


A ‘home’ is created in the details. Tassels are wonderful details that help to create a home, not just a house! Tassels look beautiful anywhere: on lamps, doorknobs, armoires, cabinets, and can be used to pull back curtains and drapes. Tassels also make wonderful gifts for the woman who already has everything! Don’t know what to give as a gift, why not give a tassel! Wonderful, unique, special! As a thank you to “I’m Still Standing” followers Angela has generously offered to give a 25% discount off any regular priced item. (discount does not apply to sale items) All you need to do is leave a message when purchasing that they came to the shop from Shelley at “I’m Still Standing” and she will refund you the 25%.

My next tassel purchase was the sweetest little yellow bird which hangs proudly on a floor lamp in my living room. It comes from Miss C Alexandria’s shop. Miss Alexandria’s shop is made up of romantic and creative jewelry and vintage treasures. She has a lot of lovely items for sale and she will give my followers a discount on more than one item, all you have to do is convo her first and let her know that Shelley from “I’m Still Standing” sent you.

Not only do I love things for my house but I just love bags, I cannot have enough bags, it is like a joke in our house, I have bags for needlepoint, bags for the gym, bags for my kids stuff I carry, and of course I need my monogrammed bags for everyday running around. So naturally I went on Etsy and met Karen of ‘go threads.’ Karen is a wife, mother to 2 young men, and grandmother to 1 beautiful 1 year old granddaughter and resides in Lakeland Tennessee. She became a WAHW (Work at home women) in 2005 when she started a monogram and embroidery business. In addition to her Etsy shop she also sews for two local boutiques; a children’s boutique and a gift shop. Karen has a beautiful selection of Damask print bags, which I love, and you name it, she has a bag for just about every occasion from Diaper Bags to Quilted Duffle Bags.

Those a just a few of my fabulous new creative friends, I will be spotlighting new crafters as I meet them and hopefully introduce you to a few you might like as well so your husbands can form a, “what did my wife purchase today? Club” with mine! LOL enjoy!