Archive for November, 2012

November 19, 2012

November Favorites


Hey Everyone!

I’m so excited to share with you a few of my favorite products for November!¬† Links will be provided.

thanks and enjoy!

Shelly ūüôā

November 16, 2012

Personal Musings of a Massage Therapist

Hello, Family and Friends! This is Brooke. For the last 4 years, I‚Äôve been blessed to be a licensed massage therapist at a beautiful retirement community. Massage therapy itself is truly a special occupation, one that allows you to help people in so many ways. I love being able to take my fascination with science and anatomy and use it to solve problems that people have with their bodies‚ÄĒmaybe an injury here or there, a little tweak in the back, a stiff neck and shoulders, a tension headache that needs soothing. I also confess that I like to be needed and I adore making people happy. So, therapeutic massage is a gift I can share with people.

Some people may find the practice of therapeutic touch mysterious or unfamiliar, but really, it is very simple. The manual manipulation of soft tissue not only loosens tight muscles, but also reduces pain, warms tissues, increases blood circulation and lymph flow, improves immune function, reduces blood pressure, increases respiratory capacity, calms the nervous system, and influences hormone levels (among various other things). These effects are physical, and so can be observed and measured. However, the emotional components of massage are just as powerful. Recipients of therapeutic massage report feelings of well-being and happiness, of acceptance of their body, of connection and being cared for. ¬†Actually, some psychological benefits of massage stem from physiological means‚ÄĒmassage can reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, and can increase serotonin, the ‚Äúfeel-good‚ÄĚ hormone. ¬†Also, massage can increase oxytocin, the bonding hormone that helps you feel nurturing connection with others. Now, I‚Äôm certainly not saying all good feelings and happiness can be explained by scientific rationalization, but in case you are the pragmatic sort, actual clinical evidence supports the benefit of therapeutic touch. There you go. Now for the more touchy-feely stuff . . .

Everyone has personal space, the invisible but palpable field of energy around them that is closely, often subconsciously regulated. One allows others into that personal space according to the social relationships he or she maintains with the others. For example, you allow your friends and loved ones close to you, but door-to-door solicitors you probably keep at a distance. When clients come to me for an appointment, they are allowing me to be in that personal space with them and share my therapeutic touch‚ÄĒthis is a great honor. They trust that I will be professional and respectful while helping them to relax or relieve a painful knot or move more easily, and I convey my care for them through my hands and how I communicate with them. My hope for my clients by the time they leave my spa room is that we have accomplished what they asked for help with, and that they are calmer and happier than when they arrived, with looser muscles and softer spirits.

But what’s on the other side of this interaction? Most of us know what it feels like to receive a massage, but what’s your therapist thinking? I can speak only for myself, but while I try to convey a calm, peaceful, positive vibe to people I interact with, my mind is often filled with thoughts of the day feverishly pinging around like an out-of-control pinball machine.

Once a session begins, however, my monkey mind is forced to be present and connected with my client. I wrangle my thoughts and tuck them quietly away as the music provides a soundtrack to the action of my hands, and I am lulled once again into peaceful contemplation. Massage becomes a moving meditation and calms my anxious spirit, in spite of myself. Often I feel the same peace and expansiveness my client feels as we work together‚ÄĒwe are sharing the same air and energy in the dim room after all. ¬†As I ponder this interchange of energy, I think of this quote by Ofer Zur and Nola Nordmarken, which feels true to me: ‚ÄúTouch is our first language. Long before we can see an image, smell an odor, taste a flavor, or hear a sound, we experience others and ourselves through touch, our only reciprocal sense. We cannot touch another without being touched ourselves. . .‚ÄĚ

Blessings and happy Friday!


November 15, 2012

Protect Your Outside from the Freeze!

Hey guys!¬†Miss Sandy here, just trying to stay warm, we had our first frost this week and I will be honest , I do not like ¬†cold weather. That is one reason I moved to Texas, so I could escape the wicked winters! Ok…. there might be a few positive perks such as having a cozy fire burning in the fireplace, ¬†snuggling under a big pile of poofy blankets, seeing the beauty of a fresh blanket of snowfall or sheet of ice on the trees, making our yearly snowman,¬†AND¬† I DO¬†get to wear ¬†my fuzzy boots! ūüôā Yes we must protect ourselves and the family from the elements! But that’s not all we need to protect, here are a few cold weather protection tips for your outdoor plants and ¬†your home.

Callie, Sugar and our SnowWOMAN! from last year!


Water trees and bushes thoroughly  before freezing temperatures arrive. Watering beforehand will prevent the roots fom getting damaged, also putting on a thick layer of mulch will help insulate the root system. Of course bring any potted plants inside if you can. Any plants remaining outside would be best moved so they are protected from the north wind, or they can be  covered the with  cloth. Wrap them gently instead of just laying it on top. Never use plastic,  plants need to breathe just like you!

Trim back or support tree limbs that could break and fall on your home or vehicles. Yes I have had this happen! ūüė¶ Also ¬†if ¬†you can see where a heavy snowfall is weighing branches down, remove the excess weight to prevent damage to the tree.

All trees should also be clear of power lines and cable lines; however, this is probably not a do-it-yourself project. If you see a potential problem, call your utility company for assistance, and do it now‚ÄĒbefore you get hit ¬†with a nasty storm!


Clear gutters and downspouts so they  will function properly when you need them most. Plus it will be less mess and work in the spring!

Make sure there aren’t any drainage problems¬†that create standing water on steps, patios or sidewalks. Prevent those potential falls on slippery surfaces. Well-drained surfaces are less likely to crack or crumble in a hard freeze.

Protect outdoor faucets and pipes. Cover outside faucets with insulating foam covers or wrap with old towels. Check your sprinkler system manual  so you’ll know what steps to take in case of a severe freeze. Disconnect and drain garden hoses. Drain any other water features you may have such as birdbaths.

Repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around doors and windows. Making a draft catcher is a easy inexpensive way to prevent some of the chill from coming into your home! Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your house.

Inspect your fireplace and have cleaned if you need to. And have firewood ready! You don’t want to miss out on the cozy fire!!

Well I got another busy day so time to slip on my Uggs ¬†and get to it. Take time ¬†to do some of these preventative protection ideas for your home and plants and stay warm! ūüėČ Have a great weekend!

November 13, 2012

Only TIME will tell…

We live in a very digital society…and these advancements in technology, for the most part, are an incredible thing. However, there is one area that it is slowing down the learning process for our children in a very basic math skill. Are you ready? TELLING TIME! I want you to think of all the clocks in your home. The microwave, the television, the computer, the cable box, the ipad, ipod, iphone, etc etc etc. Where or where is the ANALOG clock? Matter of fact, if you say they word analog, children, and even adults will look at you with a puzzled look on your face. ANALOG? What is that?



Telling time is a skill that all children learn in elementary school, but don’t often get to practice in real world settings due to our technological advancements. When I was teaching math, one of my suggestions to parents was to purchase their child an analog watch. The more familiar a child is with telling time this way, the more their math skills sharpen in other areas. It helps them learn their multiplication facts quicker. (ex: if they know that the 12 on the clock represents sixty minutes and that each number is a multiple of 5, they now know 12×5=60). Also, you will notice that a lot of children cannot express that “its a quarter past three” or its a “quarter til 5” because they are not familiar with the visual representation that a clock can also represent fractional parts. The thing with math is that its all building blocks…and many skills intertwine and build upon each other.


So as you are headed into the holiday seasons and trying to think of a gift to get your child, why not get them an analog watch! First of all, kids think watches are cool…they really do! Secondly, you will be promoting higher level thinking throughout the day. “Hey, can you tell me what time it is?” or ” How many more minutes until football practice?”. Math is everywhere, and the more you can show your children that its an integral part of their everyday life, the more important they will see it and take it seriously in school. Give it a shot…only TIME WILL TELL if it will work!

November 12, 2012

The Secret to getting rid of Blackheads

Everyone has blackheads.¬† Yes, everyone!¬†¬† If you have dry, oily, combo, acne, or a normal skin type chances are you are haunted by your blackheads.¬† Blackheads are one of the more stubborn and persistent skin problems, and there’s a¬†bunch of bad blackhead products out there that will just make matters worse.¬†Here’s the truth about what they are, where they come¬†from and how to deal with them.

  • Hormones cause excess oil to be produced inside the pore, which prevents it from flowing naturally to the surface.
  • The excess flow means that oil gets backed up, and then it mixes with built-up dead skin cells that cannot be shed normally.
  • When this combination of too much oil and dead skin cells is exposed to air, it oxidizes and turns black.

To start getting rid of blackheads, you need products that can do all of the following:

  • Restore a normal flow of oil out of your pore by improving the shape of the pore lining
  • Reduce and absorb excess oil
  • Remove dead, built-up surface skin cells

It is extremely tempting to squeeze your blackheads, but if done improperly you can actually cause quite a bit of damage to your skin.  Ideally if you want to get rid of blackheads go get a facial. During a facial the esthetician properly prepares your skin for extractions and then knows how much to squeeze and for how long.  For instance, don’t go squeezing your skin for more than 10 minutes since that will just end up causing trauma to the skin in the end.

Despite how they look,blackheads have nothing to do with your skin being dirty.¬† ¬†All the cleansing in the world won’t stop blackheads from forming, but over-cleansing can make matters worse. Unlike acne, blackheads are not caused by bacteria. ¬†Therefore, topical disinfectants such as benzoyl peroxide or tea tree oil have no effect on them.

The #1 solution to relieving skin of unsightly blackheads is to use a well-formulated exfoliant whose active ingredient is salicylic acid. Also known as beta hydroxy acid (BHA for short), salicylic acid not only exfoliates the skin’s surface, but¬† also penetrates into the pore to dissolve the plug.

Here are the top 5 worst products for blackheads as listed by Dr Paula Begoun.

The Worst Products for Blackheads

Here is our list of the 5 worst products for treating blackheads. Because of the irritation they cause or because they are so poorly formulated, each can actually make matters worse for your skin‚ÄĒand you’ll still be struggling with blackheads.

1. Clean & Clear Blackhead Clearing Daily Cleansing Pads ($5.49 for 70 pads). These pads are steeped in a solution of skin-damaging alcohol and a form of menthol. Plus, the 2% salicylic acid won’t exfoliate because the pH of the solution is too high.

2. DERMAdoctor Ain’t Misbehavin’ Intensive Medicated Blackhead Treatment ($42 for 1 ounce). This product contains alcohol in an amount that’s high enough to cause irritation, which can stimulate oil production. In addition, it contains several irritating citrus extracts and its¬† pH is too high exfoliate.
3. Neutrogena Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub ($6.99 for 4.2 ounces). You can’t scrub away blackheads because a scrub only has an effect on the surface of the skin, and blackheads form beneath the surface. This scrub contains menthol, but don’t mistake its tingle to mean it’s helping your skin‚ÄĒit’s only causing irritation. Plus, it’s a scrub, so you rinse it off, which means the salicylic acid is rinsed down the drain before it can penetrate your pores.
4. Biore Ultra Deep Cleaning Pore Strips ($7.99 for 6 strips). These pore strips, and most others, contain a strong adhesive (think tape) ingredient along with hairspray-like film-forming agents. Although they can remove the top portion of blackheads, they cannot reach the root of the problem, so your blackheads are back almost overnight. Also, because pore strips adhere so strongly to your skin, removing them can cause needless irritation along with dry, flaky skin.
5. Origins Out of Trouble 10 Minute Mask to Rescue Problem Skin ($21 for 3.4 ounces). This absorbent mask claims to “pull the plug” on blackheads, but it cannot do that. Oddly, this mask contains a high amount of occlusive zinc oxide, so it potentially can make clogged pores worse, not better. Its biggest offense, however, is the inclusion of the irritants camphor and sulfur. Neither will do a thing to improve blackheads, but they will cause dryness and irritation that makes all types of breakouts worse.

What Else to Avoid

In addition to avoiding the products listed above, you should avoid bar soaps or bar cleansers because the ingredients that keep these in their bar form can clog pores. Also avoid thick, creamy moisturizers because the ingredients that make them thick can clog pores.

My top picks for blackhead treatments:

Clean & Clear Advantange Oil absorbing treatment oil-free $6.99

Neutrogena Oil  Free Acne Stress Control 3n1 Hydrating Acne Treatment $6.99

Philosophy Clear Days Ahead Oil Free Salicylic Acne Treatment and Moisturizer $39

Rhonda Allison Skin Refine Gel with Salicylic acid   $38



November 11, 2012


The cast of the Healthy Housewives


Last year on 11/11/11, I launched my brand The Healthy Housewives. I am so proud to see how far we have come in 1 year. The Healthy Housewives mission is to help women live healthier lifestyle through fitness, nutrition, beauty, fashion, home, garden, and pets.

As a life coach and fitness trainer for the past 10 years, I have helped hundreds of women balance their busy lives and be in shape at the same time. Through my passion of helping other women, I was inspired to create The Healthy Housewives. I love helping women transform for the better. Everyone of of my clients and fans inspire me too. I love the synergy we have together. I think women work better in groups. I love having a great support group who you can lean on when you need it and vice versa.

I wake up everyday with the intentions of being a better person and to help build people up mentally and physically. I like to surround myself with like minded peeps too. Each and every Housewife I picked for my project had to fit the part. They had to love health & fitness as much as I do and practice it in everyday life, they had to fit the specialty I was looking for my HH team, and they had to be good honest people with good intentions on wanting to help women lead a healthier lifestyle.

From the time I started the HH brand, it has definitely changed. But changed for the better. I love the 5 women I work with. They are just as pumped about helping other women as I am. We have¬† ton of stuff in the works for you guys: workout DVD’s, eBooks, giveaways, clothing, eco-friendly products, and of course our Healthy Housewife of the month covergirl. This has been a hit over the course of our year. We love our HH covergirls! Amazing women with amazing stories.

Send us your story! This could be you!

We have been working hard to motivate you and give you our health tips that work for us. We are 6 different women with 6 very different healthy lifestyles. No one’s healthier lifestyle is better than the others. We do what works for us. We have 6 different body types that range from short, tall, athletic, and the model type. But regardless of our body type, we don’t make excuses, we stay in shape. All of us have different health & fitness journey’s. We are here to share them with you.

The cast of the Healthy Housewives

Our specialties:

Me-health and fitness



Sandy-outdoor living

Danielle-family health


We have more to offer than just that, but that is our passion.

Our brand has taken off in just 1 year (wow time flies when you are having fun!) and I am so excited to see what is to come in 2013! So, I just want to thank the HH friends, family, and fans for supporting us and sharing your stories with us. We love you all. We wouldn’t be successful without you! I can’t thank you enough for your likes, post, feedback, questions, and rants. We love it all! Keep it coming.

Love you guys!


November 11, 2012



Happy¬†Sunday and Veteran’s Day friends, family, and fans!

I am getting a late start to my blog this week, but nevertheless, I am doing it. I wanted to blog about our appearance at Champion Fitness Gym.

I have been a fitness trainer for about 10 years and I usually train at small independent gyms. In my 10 years, I have worked at 4 gyms. Trust me, that is not bad. (The turn around for a gyms trainers are pretty fast.) I have loved each and every gym I have worked at. I have so many great memories!

Anywho, I have been at Champion Fitness since July this year. Our beauty expert Shelly Mac told me about this new gym that opened at the Shops of Legacy (the HOT SPOT of my city) with  brand new state of the art equipment s0 I decided to check it out. When I went to check it out June 2012, I learned that it had opened in Sept 2011. I soon as I saw it, I instantly fell in love with the equipment. As a trainer, it is always fun to have new equipment to train on. (Even though you can workout without equipment, it is always fun to have variety.)

I specialize in training pageant contestants, fitness bikini competitors, models, and future Healthy Housewives. I needed a classroom to practice posing and walking. My old gym did not have a classroom, this one did. I was sold! So, I moved gyms that very next week.

Being at Champion Fitness, I got to reconnect with Danielle Hinson (our new family expert here at HH) and we have become really good friends. Danielle Hinson teaches group exercise fitness classes at Champion. You guys really need to take her class. She teaches Tabata and Insane drills. Both are pretty tough. If you live in the Frisco, Plano, or North Dallas area, here is the schedule. She will have you coming back for more!

Danielle Hinson and I

A couple times a year Champion Fitness throws a member appreciation party. They have wine, fruit, and cheese and even hire a DJ. They even had a raffle and gave away a free ipad. This event they asked the Healthy Housewives to make an appearance and chat with the members since 4 of the HH girls workout there. It was such a fun event. There are members I see everyday that I say hi to, but it was nice to get to know them on a personal level. After the event at Champion, we all moved to Blue Martini (down the street from Champion) to celebrate some more. It was so much fun, we are definitely looking to do it again!

Members chatting it up

If you live in the area and would love a great gym with fun motivating people, come check out Champion Fitness. I promise you will love it!

Your in Health,

Marzia Prince

November 10, 2012

Anybody Up for a Little NaNoWriMo? What?!?

Hi, there, HH Family and Friends! This is Brooke with a question for you‚ÄĒhow many of you have ever wanted to write a novel? You know, a real, honest-to-goodness piece of fictional genius that will show the world how truly clever you are and give insight into the human condition unlike anything that‚Äôs been published before? This lofty goal seems relatively unattainable and is pretty much b.s. anyway. But if you really love writing, have a burning desire to write a book, but lack the motivation to put pen to paper or even rear to chair to get it done, I have a solution for you. . . NaNoWriMo!

NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, a literary phenomenon that began quietly 14 years ago and has since spread all over the world. Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo, and some friends were casting about for something to do, so they decided, ‚ÄúHey, let‚Äôs each write an entire book! And let‚Äôs do it in only one month!‚ÄĚ Although November is now the official month for the contest, the first NaNoWriMo began at 12:01AM on July 1, 1999, and ended promptly at 11:59PM on July 31, only 30 days later.¬† The group settled on a minimum of 50,000 words (175 pages) of completely new material to be finished by the end of the month‚ÄĒyikes! The careful preparation and dubious solemnity that normally surround the event of (cue angelic singing) Writing a Novel were mercilessly stomped out‚ÄĒjust a crazy group of Gen X-ers wired on caffeine and junk food throwing good judgment, healthy living, and personal hygiene out the window, for a short while. And they did it! Well, a few of them anyway. The first group had 21 participants and 6 winners (winners: those celebrated few who reached 50,000 words by the stroke of midnight). Fast forward to 2011‚Äôs NaNoWriMo magical month of creation: 256, 618 participants and 36,843 winners‚ÄĒwow!

The breathtaking pace and severe time limit of this venture force extreme mental focus and stifle the soul-killing perfectionism inevitable to many creative pursuits. Because I often wrestle unsuccessfully with perfectionism and have a gnat’s ability to focus long-term, and because my dearest dream to write a book has to this point been unfulfilled, I’ve maintained a long, envious flirtation with NaNoWriMo. But I’ve never committed . . . until now. Eek!

Ok, my fellow closeted authors out there, here’s how it works: (from the NaNoWriMo website,

  • Write a 50,000-word (or longer!)¬†novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your¬†own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft¬†(though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are¬†citations from other people‚Äôs works).
  • Write a novel. We define a¬†novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you‚Äôre¬†writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!
  • Be the sole author of your novel.¬†Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated¬†50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count¬†validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.

Since its inception, this contest has spawned more than 500 chapters of members around the world, many of whom gather together each November in literary ‚Äúblock parties‚ÄĚ or fall upon various Starbucks like locusts to bask in shared creative energy and sleep-deprived community. Over the years, NaNoWriMo has partnered with Room to Read, an international children‚Äôs literacy program, to build and outfit libraries for children around the world without access to reading resources. Another wonderful offshoot is the Young Writers Program, a NaNoWriMo challenge for kids ages 17 and younger. This program has been an enormous success, spreading across hundreds of classrooms, and by 2011, boasting an astonishing 50,000 young writers who participated!

For any of you who have harbored deep and unspoken yearnings to finally break free of yourself and get that #%&@ book written, I encourage you to check out NaNoWriMo ( and join in the fun ASAP! Yeah, November is rapidly unraveling, but panic and adrenaline can be your best friends‚ÄĒthey‚Äôve never let me down!

Good luck and blessings,


P.S. If you decide to take on this adventure in literary craziness, be sure to drop me a line at and let me know how you’re doing!

November 8, 2012

Fashionable Feel Good Workout Wear

Hello! I just bought a few new fall pieces for my work out wardrobe so his week I’m writing about workout wear. ¬†It’s never been easier to look good working out than it is now. ¬†Many retailers from affordable Target, to Victoria’s Secret Pink line, to high-end designer Stella McCartney’s line for Adidas and my personal favorite.. workout wear mecca… Lululemon all carry super stylish pieces that are sure to boost your work out.

My feeling is that cute and comfortable workout wear is just as important as having proper food fuel for your workout and/or listening to music while doing cardio.  The simple fact is, if you look good, you feel good and that goes for your workout in the gym, Pilates, barre, yoga, boot camp or any other activity. In the past I may have worn a shirt that was too tight, too big or just plain ol ugly and I felt uncomfortable so instead of focusing on my work out I was busy fidgeting with my clothing.

I’m very lucky now that my workout clothes double as my work clothes so let me share a few tips that I have discovered.

  • Most importantly choose quality clothing that wicks sweat effectively
  • Clothing must stay in place–no tanks or tops that roll up, save gym shorts for running or group exercise – be aware of any leg/crotch gaps and dress accordingly for your activity
  • Don’t wear any freebie, old, ill fitting t-shirts, invest in a couple of great fitted tanks and buy your favorite colors or any color that makes you feel good
  • Layer colorful tanks with cute t-shirts, scarves and hoodies to wear to and from
  • Black bottoms are essential so no sweat marks show
  • Gym clothes take a lot of wear, so go through often and discard anything this is sheer from wear or has lost its shape
  • Don’t dry your sports bras in the dryer and invest in a good bra for your body (another blog)
  • Now for the Icing – Complete your put together workout look with accessories
  • A great gym bag to hold your cute sneakers, a fun workout watch, hair ties like Emi Jay, ear buds, iPod, and through in some cute flip flops.

Now have a great work out….looking fabulous!

Kathy, Fit Fashionista

Work Out Wear

Sweatshirts and hoody

Yoga top

Havaianas flip flop shoes


Loop scarve

November 6, 2012

EXERCISE…your right to VOTE!



Sad statistic I heard on the radio this morning….less than 30 percent of people under the age of 30 vote. WOW! Staggering! If you think back into our history, we FOUGHT for our right to vote. Yet today, we take it so lightly that more people vote for American Idol contestants than they do the leader of their country.¬†

Now, I will be the first to admit I am not big into politics. I do however feel it is our civic duty to not only vote, but to raise our children to vote and to be respectful of our elected officials. Its funny….adults are always complaining that the youth of today aren’t respectful. But why should they be…we don’t model it for them. Remember, actions speak louder than words. Respect starts from the top down and so if we cannot show our children that regardless of our opinion that we respect our President because he is the leader of our country, than how can you expect them to respect teachers, other adults, and even you as their parent?!

When I was an elementary school teacher I always told my students that voting was special and private. That no one had the right to know who you voted for, and I still believe that today. You have the right to vote anyway you wish, and should not be ridiculed for doing as such. 


I love that schools are taking a more active role in voting. My daughters came home after their mock election excited with their I Voted stickers. They were proud to share with me who they voted for, even though I told them they did not have to tell me. My oldest daughter voted for Romney and my youngest daughter voted for Obama. Adrianna’s reasoning was that she had heard my husband speak of voting for him. My youngest voted for Obama because he is the current President and the only name she recognized. Does it really matter though? No…they are getting into the habit now of realizing that this is important. My husband and I made a big deal today about going to vote and how important it is.¬†


So….remember….voting isn’t just about you…its about raising a generation who is respectful,¬†knowledgeable¬† and most¬†importantly, a good¬†citizen. Regardless of who are President is, one thing is for sure…the children are our future!