Wednesday, 25 May 2011

PMS, or is that PMT?

PMS = pre menstrual symptoms.  Or is that pre menstrual stress?  Either way stress is a symptom which has women flipping out over the smallest (and largest) of details.  You’ve been planning a dinner with friends and didn’t know the weekend leading up to the event would occur around that time of the month.  When things go wrong - you can’t find your favourite serving platter, you forgot an important ingredient for the main dish - you find yourself stressing about these details like the end of the world has come and everything is a disaster.  Your partner trying to calm you down only leads to you losing the plot even more.

PMT = pre menstrual tension.  Tension is that build up of pent up energy that winds up and up and up until you snap.  Suddenly arms are flailing and hair is being pulled while you go red in the face, releasing all that pent up anger.  Once spent you calm down for some time while the tension slowly builds again.

PMP = pre menstrual pig-out.  You get a huge increase in appetite about a week before your period is due.  Suddenly you’re ravished with an insatiable hunger (and I’m not talking about love making, although that could remain to be seen).  You eat the largest portion of dinner you can manage and it’s still not enough.  Soon you’re hunting through the pantry and fridge scrounging for more food.  After you’re done with your second portion and scrounging for more food you find yourself saying, “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse”.

PMB = pre menstrual break-out.  Up til now you’re skin has been looking really good, clear and blemish free.  One pimple comes then another.  Soon enough your T zone is riddled with angry red blemishes, white heads and blindies.  If nature created it that our skin is clear around ovulation so that we’re attractive to the opposite sex then you can only hazard a guess as to what message the break-out says.  “Do NOT touch the lioness’s cage.  She bites!”  The break-out acts as a red warning beacon.

PMCC = pre menstrual chocolate craving.  Suddenly you’ve just got to have some CHOCOLATE now!  And if you don’t get some soon you’ll murder somebody – most likely hubby or the kids.  You either drive down the store to pick up large quantities yourself or you’re pleading and begging your partner to pick some up for you on the way home from work.  Heaven help him if he forgets and walks in the door empty handed.

PMM = pre menstrual migraine.  A migraine so severe that light hurts your eyes and no amount of paracetamol gets rid of the pain.  The only way to deal with this symptom is to go lie down in a dark room with a cloth over your eyes and invest in some good pain killers.  For those that are unable to hibernate due to their work situation their angry, torment and frustration is palpable to those around them.  Even though they can't feel the pain of your headache everyone is all too aware there is something wrong with you today!

PMD = pre menstrual depression.  About a week before your period is due you notice it’s hard to get out of bed in the morning.  As soon as you open you’re eyes you can feel that heavy ‘blues’ feeling and you know you’re going to struggle through the day.  This goes on for days, slowly building until you’re at the point where you’re miserable.  It is hard to image why this occurs at this time of the month.  Perhaps it is our body’s way of saying we’re sad because we’re not pregnant?

PMC = pre menstrual cry.  This one requires no explanation really.  You’re crying all the time.  Every thing upsets you.  You’ve probably been feeling a build up of depression over the past few days and it’s culminated in a flood crisis.  Considering that women usually push their partners away at that time of the month, crying is odd because it causes you to want to be near your man receiving a strong, warm and protective hug and a comfy shoulder to cry on.

PMSB = pre menstrual sore boobs.  Progesterone starts to build around the time of ovulation and causes water to be retained in the body. This is to prepare the uterus for a possible pregnancy by making the uterus rich in water and food for the anticipated pregnancy. This effect is felt throughout the body. Storing of water in the breasts causing them to become stretched leading to painful breasts and sore nipples.
By the time your period is due your breasts are the size of rock-melons.  Your partner so much as just looking at them causes you pain.  You find yourself wearing a firm bra and two layers of tight tops just to stop any slight and highly painful movement.  Of course your breasts look enticing at this point in time so your partner wants to grab at them even more than usual, much to your horror.  You find yourself wanting to kick him in the nuts and see if he stills wants sex when his scrotum is sore and swollen.

PMA = pre menstrual anger.  You’ve at least witnessed it if not been that way yourself.  Normally you drive along not caring that some little old lady cut you off without indicating.  But this time she does it and suddenly you’re Mr Hyde!  Swearing like a trooper.  The filth that comes out of your mouth, you’re screaming curses you never even knew you knew.  You’re screaming and yelling so loud all the cars around you can hear you and are moving away from the crazy lady driver.  It’s then that you look in the rear view mirror and remember the children are in the back seat listing to your every word.

PMAA = pre menstrual alcoholism.  Not so prevalent for that time of the month, in fact, drinking is so common place it’s hard to know when the usual drinking ends and the pre-period alcoholism starts.  Yet you know the feeling.  Your stomach has been cramping all day, the little old lady cut you off in traffic, the pen wouldn’t stay on your desk so you through it across the room yelling, “Well don’t stay on the desk then and see what happens!”  Then hubby comes home and forgets to pick up the chocolate and that’s the last straw.  It’s only 4pm and you’re already saying to yourself, “It’s wine-o’clock”.

PMI = pre menstrual irritability.  Very similar to tension, stress and anger, yet those who get irritable know the subtle difference.  Things that normally don’t bother you are driving you mental.  The sock left on the floor.  Going to the toilet only to discover there is not toilet paper left after you’ve already started your business.  The phone ringing.  Children repeating, “Mum, mum, mum”.  Normally you’re mild mannered and deal with these things in your stride but not this time.  Each time something small happens you flip out.  “Who left this sock here!”  “Who didn’t replace the toilet paper!”  After each occurrence you find yourself storming through the house trying to find a culprit to crucify.  So much so that if you don’t find a culprit you crucify anyone who happens to be around at the time.

PMDTM = pre menstrual ‘don’t touch me!’  Quite the opposite of pre menstrual crying in that you don’t want your partner anywhere near you.  Not for a hug or anything else.  Anytime he remotely comes in your near vicinity you’re griping and snapping like an angry crocodile warning if he approaches he does so at his own peril.  This keeps him away and keeps him safe, while it leaves you alone to be as moody as you like.  Oh and sex is definitely out of the question.

PMK = pre menstrual kids.  Your kids are usually adorable and gorgeous and you love them to bits.  Not at this time of the month.  Their constant “Mum, mum, mum” has you reaching for the straight jacket (for you, not them).  You’re saying things like, “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll go away”. When they call you, instead of a simple, “Yes possum, what is it?” they get an angry loud “What!”  They move away, head bowed, saying, “Nothing.”

PMN = pre menstrual nails.  Leading up to ovulation your nails will have grown long and strong, looking pretty and feminine.  This is the natural way of things.  Most likely hormonal and yet it also plays a part in, again, making us more appealing to the opposite sex during the time when we’re able to get pregnant.  And the opposite is true when your period is due.  The days leading up to your period will have your nails breaking one by one until they’re all gone, short and stubby.  This is a survival thing for your hubby and children – you can’t scratch their eyes out when you’re in a bad mood.

PMH = pre menstrual hugs.  As rare occurrence as this would seem, it is one of the most common symptoms.  Women spend their days or weeks leading up to and during their period, biting the heads off anything and anyone that comes near them – like some rabid dog.  What they really want underneath all that craving of chocolate, huge delectable food feasts, washed down with copious bottles of wine… is a warm strong hug from hubby.  They want hubby to say “Even though your stomach is swollen, you look like you’ve got the measles and you won’t let me touch your boobs even though they look great… I still love you.”

PMMS = pre menstrual morning sickness.  This symptom may well only happen to me?  Ever since my last pregnancy 3 years ago I get morning sickness symptoms in the days leading up to my period.  I can’t explain it myself though I can imagine it has something to do with progesterone.  This did not occur after any other pregnancy.  I wake in the morning feeling like I could be sick yet it never progresses further than that.  Once I’ve had my breakfast and morning cuppa I’m fine.  I, and everyone around me, need only deal with the other few PM symptoms.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Pick Me Up Beauty Tips

We all have those moments of feeling blurgh.  Perhaps we’re tired or thinking our reflection looks like a dog’s breakfast.  Maybe we’re feeling sad or we spent the night having a good cry and now our eyes are puffy.  Or it is a grey, cold and un-motivating day…

Here are some simple ‘pick me ups’ to pamper and give you that ‘feel good’ feeling.

1. Woken up tired and lethargic.  Reach for some peppermint tea and an apple instead of a cup of coffee.  Peppermint tea is invigorating and stimulating and won’t dehydrate your body the way coffee does.

2. Feeling cold and miserable and rugging up with heater cranked all the way up still isn’t warming your soul.  Fill a large bowl with moderately hot water, add a dash of bath milk or bath salts and place your hands into the warm, delightful scented water.  Leave your hands in the water for around 5-10mins.
Alternatively… you can always do the dishes, though a hand spa is much more relaxing.
[Rose Milk Bath Soak]

3. Not liking what you see in the mirror (having one of those ‘feeling unattractive’ moments).  Apply a face mask or a cold cream application.  This hides your face under a mask for a good 10 minutes and you get to imagine you look gorgeous under the mask.  Even better, when you wash the mask or cream away your skin is left looking radiant and refreshed.

4. Just finished having a good ‘cry’ and now your eyes are puffed up like golf balls.  Dab on some eye cream to lift and tighten the skin around your eyes.  Knowing you’ve applied something wonderful to your eyes will help you feel good.
[Fluffy Lime Eye Cream]

5. Looking at your nails, wishing they were long and strong, or maybe you can’t stop biting them.  Apply cuticle oil every time you look at your nails and feel disappointed.  Cuticle oil hydrates the nail plate which promotes strong healthy nails.  You might even find your nails growing simply because you’re looking after them more often.

6. Feeling stressed and wired at the end of the night.  Drink a cup of chamomile tea half an hour to 45 minutes before going to bed to help relax your mind and body.  Chamomile is soothing while the tea is warming.  Both a wonderful combination to a good night’s sleep.

Facial Cleanser… it’s a ‘girl’ thing

Many teenage boys think skin care is a girl thing.  It is something boys just don’t do.  All that facial cleanser and toner, exfoliates or moisturisers.  The idea of having all those ‘girly’ products with the girly routine is a big no no.

One such teenage boy I know used to feel this way.  He started breaking out in his late teens and I began talking to him about a daily skin care routine to which he replied, “I don’t want all that dodgy crap”.  I snuck a bottle of Facial Wash Scrub and Enliven Facial Scrub into his shower one day while visiting, then weeks later asked him what he thought about the products.
Turns out he was using them because they were there.  He kept telling me he likes them but they’re not doing anything for him – even though his skin was looking much clearer to me.  Some time later he comes up to me asking for more stuff because while he was adamant the skin care wasn’t working while he was using the products, he did notice an increase in the appearance of pimples on his face once the products ran out and he was no longer using them.
[Purifying Skin Toner]

We know that acne and pimples are caused by hormones raging through our bodies, and for some these hormonal outbreaks continue into adult life.  It may surprise many to learn that dairy milk is also a major factor in causing breakouts, both during teens and adulthood (due to the hormones from lactating cows contained within the milk).
However, one major thing to combat pimples is to eliminate the ability for them to gain purchase onto the skin.  Removing dirt and grime as well as black heads, daily, equals a decline in pimples.

If you have a teenage son who is not looking after his skin ‘because it’s a girl thing’, then purchase some skin cleaning products and slip them into his bathroom or shower.  Tell him the products are for him.  Mostly likely he’ll use them because they’re there and he didn’t have to go out and embarrassingly purchase them from some cute clear faced girl at the checkout.

Facial Cleanser… it’s a girl thing.  It sure is!  Girls are attracted to boys who look after themselves.

Monday, 9 May 2011

DIY Jewellery Holder

What you will need:

  1. A medium to large glass picture frame where the frame can be removed and reattached. 
  2. An old 80’s style top with holes in it or some tulle (or fabric to this effect) – enough to fit over the frame with some room to fold over the back.
  1. Lay your piece of fabric, or top, flat on a bench or table top. 
  2. Remove the frame from the glass.
  3. Place the glass top of the fabric.
  4. Wrap the fabric around the glass and tape to the back if necessary.
  5. Carefully pick up the fabric wrapped glass and replace back into frame.
  6. Reattach the frame securely.

What you’re left with is a picture frame that is now covered with a holey fabric.  These holes are perfect for threading your ear-rings through, or creating small wire hooks to hang your necklaces, bracelets and other pieces of jewellery.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

What is Cold Cream

Ever wondered what cold cream is?  I have.  I thought it was a cream that was cold (as in chilled in the fridge) and images of Mrs Doubtfire and a face full of yogurt (or was that cream?) spring to mind.  I also picture screen sirens, such as Elizabeth Taylor, using decadent cold creams nightly to remove makeup after a hard day’s work, and this routine attributing to beautiful skin.

Galen, a physician who lived in second century Greece, is credited with having invented cold cream.  Galen’s Cold Cream recipes tend to contain beeswax and scented water.  Cold cream is given its name due to the cold feeling it has when applied to the skin.  Its purpose is for smoothing the skin (anti-aging) and cleansing the skin at the same time.  Using an oil based cleanser in this way is not unusual.  In ancient Rome they covered their bodies with olive oil then scrapped the oil away to cleanse their skin.  This would have left their skin soft and moisturised and, I imagine, would have helped ward off the signs of aging.

Cold creams are made to be used nightly before bed.  I know of people who apply cold creams before bed and leave the cream on over night and their skin looks amazing.  All I can think about though is how they don’t smear cream all over their pillows and wonder if the cream is still on in the morning or all smudged off over the bed covers.  I toss and turn too much and for this reason I’ve never done this myself.

I tend to use a cold cream application once a week to once a month.  Naughty I know!  Though I do moisturise daily.  I like to use Rich Cream Moisturiser because of its beautiful creamy consistency.  Although Rich Cream is too rich for my skin type (oily) to use as a daily moisturiser I find I can use it as a cold cream no worries due to the fact that it is washed off and not left on.  I also use Light Moisturiser for a cold cream application, which is suited to my skin type.  Whipped Cream Moisturiser works equally well and is perfect for mature skin.

Cold Cream application:
* Apply moisturiser cream in a layer all over your face with a Popsicle stick so you have the appearance of wearing a white mud mask.  It is best applied at night to remove makeup, dirt, dust and the build up of daily grime and oils.
* Leave the cream to sit for at least 10mins and allow the oils to penetrate and hydrate your skin.  Read a book, watch some TV, have a cuppa, hop in a bubble bath.  Relax. 
* After 10 minutes wet a face washer in warm water and wipe the cream away.  Repeat until all the cream is thoroughly removed.  You will have also removed all makeup and daily grime leaving your skin clean and moisturised.
* Of course the process should be done nightly and is a richly decadent and pampering thing to do - and we know you deserve it.  However if you seldom wear makeup, I recommend applying a cold cream on occasions when you are wearing makeup because it is a great way to cleanse your skin.
* Remember to moisturise daily whether you do a cold cream application or not.