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Best Gluten Free Gifts for YOU this Valentine’s Day January 31, 2011

Spoil yourself this Valentines Day Yay for Valentine’s Day!

Let’s get real here. Valentine’s Day is all about us ladies. Whether you have a sweetheart or not, it’s time to spoil yourself with a few extra special gluten-free goodies this Valentines day.

Shower yourself with roses, indulge in some tasty chocolate truffles, and sip on champagne decorated with couture sugar. You deserve it.

Here is our list of spectacular, must-have gluten-free goodies just for YOU this Heart Day:

Organic Wine from the Organic Wine Company: You eat organic… so drink organic too! And Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to have a glass of vino! “The Organic Wine Company makes wines made of certified organically grown grapes, is committed to environmental responsibility, has top-rated quality wines at great value prices, offers amazing personalized attention and customer care, and also features organic, vegan, biodynamic wines and an international selection!”

Gluten-Free Chocolate Truffles from Cocopotamus: This is not the time for Hershey’s. C’mon! You deserve better than that on V-Day. Who says you can’t indulge in decadent chocolate on Valentine’s Day? You can! Cocopotamus has GF truffles in amazingly delicious and unique flavors that satisfy even the darkest of chocolate cravings. Their chocolate truffles are all natural, wheat-free, and gluten-free. They have banned using preservatives, anything artificial, and anything they can’t pronounce in their chocolates either.

Organic Roses from Organic Bouquet. “The red roses are eco-friendly and gorgeous! Freshly picked and arriving right at the start of their prime, with plenty more ‘bloom’ to go!   Best of all, their red roses are of the finest quality and from a floral certified farm, making them a rare and truly special gift for any occasion!” Ps. Don’t feel like you need to wait for someone to send you flowers this holiday. Valentine’s Day is about loving yourself too, and sending yourself a big vase full of luscious, red roses is the perfect calorie-free “me” gift!

Bath Bombs from EverAfter Naturals: Nothing is more relaxing than a nice, hot bath. Pop in a gluten-free bath bomb from EverAfter Naturals and drift away into relaxation bliss. Give the Lovestruck scent a try. “It’s made of Lavender, Ylang ylang, & Geranium. All three oils have reputations for calming anxiety & helping to elevate moods. Ylang & Geranium are also said to be aphrodisiacs!”

Bath and Body Products from 100% Pure: Celebrate Valentines Day with Cocoa Kona Coffee! All 100% Pure Products are packed full of anti-aging vitamins, antioxidants and skin nourishing nutrients. Scented with 100% natural aromas and never polluted with artificial perfumes, chemical preservatives or any other toxins. Smell like your favorite dessert (chocolate) this Heart Day!

Make a Personalized Valentine’s Day Card with Digital Scrapbooks and More: Want to show someone you really care? Then take a few minutes to make them a personalized Valentine! Digital Scrapbooks and More has instantly downloadable tutorials that are incredibly easy and teach you how to digitally scrap beautiful digital scrapbooking pages or cards! They also have adorable Valentine’s Day digital scrapbooking kits. Try the Valentine and Love Tea Kit– perfect for Valentine’s Day digital scrapbooking albums, cards, etc! Digital Scrapbooks and More also has photo editing tutorials for only $1.99! That’s less than a cappuccino! Learn how to make a special photo picture-perfect this holiday! Just include the pic in a beautiful photo frame this V-Day and give as a gift to mom, dad, friends, or your hunny!

Decadent Gluten-Free Chocolate Tea from Mighty Leaf: Quality loose-leaf tea is like fine wine. It’s amazing and a luxurious little indulgence. It doesn’t hurt that you can treat yourself to rich chocolate flavors without all the calories, right? Try the Chocolate Collection from Mighty Leaf, which contains 6 tins of loose leaf tea: Mayan Chocolate Truffle, Masala Chocolate Truffle, Chocolate Mint Truffle, Chocolate Orange Truffle, Mocha Pu-erh Truffle and Pear Caramel Truffle. And if your a real tea enthusiast, like myself, adorable heart-shaped tea cups and saucers from Nordstrom don’t hurt either….

Mojo Makeover Book by Dana B. Myers: It’s time to feel sexy, ladies! And this book has the answers. “The Official Booty Parlor Mojo Makeover will help women of any age identify their Mojo Model—Pleasure Virgin, Frustrated Fox, Adventure Seeker, Busy Mommy, or Late Bloomer—and lead them through a first-of-its-kind transformation. Its purpose: to light up your inner spark and increase sexy self-confidence! Filled with inspiring and practical advice, how-to tips, interactive exercises, and real-life anecdotes, this fun, four-week program leaves women feeling happier, sexier, and more fulfilled—whether they are in a relationship or not.” And what’s Valentine’s Day without a little naughty? The Booty Parlor also has sexy, but tasteful, lingerie and bedroom accessories that will make your Valentine’s Day even more fun!

Bake Valentines Day Treats with Heart Measuring Cups: Baking homemade gluten-free goodies for Valentines Day  is awesome. So are these heart-shaped measuring cups. Use them for Valentine’s day treats or any time you want to add a little love to your recipe. And there are heart-shaped measuring spoons to match! And if you really want to glam-it-up in the kitchen, get a sexy apron from Flirty Aprons! Perfect for your Valentine’s Day dinner cooking? The Sugar and Spice Flirty Apron. This is the little black dress version of an apron! Ridiculously cute!

Champagne Sugar Charms from Home Sweet Home: Cheers to gorgeous & delicious champagne this Valentine’s Day! Make your champagne flute look oh-so pretty during a romantic V-Day dinner or with your favorite gal-pals. “These Champagne Sugar Charms are made from the finest organic ingredient and cooked to a perfect caramel candy crisp.  Each piece is unique in shape….like a snowflake. The charms can be served plain or customized with monograms and can be created to perch on the edge of the glass or simply placed inside your glass. Fill your glass with sparkling wine or champagne and watch your charm dissolve slowly (usually around 20 minutes or so) as it creates swirls of bubbles.” How exciting!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

XOXO

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Back to School: Six Tips to Taking Your Kids School Photos August 27, 2010

Photo by Divine Caroline There’s a Web site called Awkward Family Photos that I think it’s hilarious! As the name clearly mentions, it’s a website that’s all about showing some extremely awkward family photographs, whether the awkwardness stems from families wearing scary matching outfits, posing in cheesy or odd positions, or includes some obvious (and awkward) digital bloopers.

I love this Web site, and I can definitely relate, especially when I think back to some of my old middle and high school photos. In my experience, it seemed as though the entire “Picture Day” process always ended up being an enormous disaster!

I remember, what seems like so long ago, standing in a ridiculously huge line, outside in the summer heat waiting to get inside the auditorium (yeah … pretty much any makeup I had on had melted away, and my hair had gone flat too), only to finally reach the camera, and only get one shot to get a picture-perfect smile for that year’s school photo.

“Tilt your head, hunny. Lift your chin. Smile big, hold it … hold it … one, two … ” Snap!

Frantically, I’d say, “Wait! I think I closed my eyes. Maybe we can try it again?”

But it was always the same response, “No, hunny. You looked fine. …NEXT!!!”

Of course, you had to buy the picture packages in advance, before ever seeing the final photo … I’d beg my mom to get the largest package (who knows, maybe this was my year?), and she’d talk me down to something much smaller. Each photo practically cost several dollars each, and it was incredibly expensive to buy any of these pictures at all!

And, like every year before it, when the photos had been developed and finally arrived, I was always absolutely horrified by the results. Whether I was giving a half smile or the fact that you could see every single blemish on my face, I always hated my school pictures. I wasn’t the only one either. I kid you not, there was always some poor child who happily picked up their photo package only to realize that their one and only shot for the yearbook had caught them with their eyes closed. Now, that was awful. I would always wonder if these unfortunate kids with closed eyed pics also asked for a second shot, just to be told, “No, hunny. You looked great.” Liar.

With today’s high-end digital cameras, I doubt that school photos are ever taken and printed with closed eyes, but these school photo packages are never really ideal for many reasons: They’re usually very expensive, you only get one or two chances for taking your photo (instead of taking the time to take the best shot possible), and the photos are never edited (and show every last pimple, blemish, etc). So, why do we keep investing in these overpriced pics?

I say, don’t! This year, don’t buy the unnecessary school photos, or at the very least, just buy less! Instead, take your own school photos—photos that your child will be proud to hand out to their friends. It’s not very difficult to take good pics, just follow the six school photo tips below and your child may be very pleased with the results—and not traumatized—like I was!

1. All About Hair, Makeup, and Clothes. Visit the Awkward Family Photos Web site I mentioned and you will get a very good idea as to why hair, makeup, and clothing is so very important. Your best bet is to choose items or products that won’t lock your child into an era. Try to go for pretty, classic hairstyles, and always make makeup look natural. If your child is young, they obviously won’t need any makeup, but if you have an older daughter, keep in mind that for photos, you typically have to apply more than you would wear on a regular day (to cover blemishes), but you always want the skin and makeup to appear pretty, simple, and natural-looking.

Same for clothing. Always go simple and classic. Avoid white in photographs, and choose long sleeves and three-quarter sleeve shirts or cardigans which look better in photos that short sleeves or tank tops. For example, a solid colored, clean-looking blouse or a long sleeved collared shirt, with little in the way of stripes or design, is a great option.

2. Be Choosy About Backgrounds. Of course you want these school photos to be as professional looking as possible, so be extra cautious of busy backgrounds! Even if the background is pretty, filled with things like plants and greenery, you want this to look like a school photo, so stay indoors, and find a solid background. You may even want to use a pretty patterned drape or curtain and use it as a backdrop. Hang it on the window or attach it to a wall, and use it to create a traditional looking school photo background.

3. Set Camera Settings for High Resolution. Make sure that your camera is set to the highest resolution picture-taking settings as possible. You want the best, clearest photos to come out of this project, and while you can always lower the resolution and file size within photo editing software, you want to work with the highest resolution possible first.

4. Try a Super Shutter Camera. Investing in a digital camera with a super-fast shutter is absolutely worth the big price. Ever wonder why so many photos end up blurry? It’s typically because we click on the button to take a picture, expect the photo be shot, and our subjects move (even if it’s ever-so-slightly) or we move our camera (thinking the picture is finished). The picture actually then takes (obviously delayed, and taking it’s sweet time), and the result is blurred photos. Save your beautiful portrait shots and create “more-photogenic” school photos by either using a faster-shutter digital camera, or taking your time with a slower-shutter camera. Your child needs to stay completely still for three seconds after clicking the camera button—and same goes for you, the photographer. Three seconds may seem like a lifetime, but you can do it, and it’s more than worth it!

BONUS TIP: When taking your school photos, try using the “Portrait Mode” setting on your camera.

Airbrushing 5. Edit the School Photos. No matter how you much you use the tools on your camera, adjust the lighting, and try to perfectly frame a shot, it’s not uncommon to take digital photos and still feel disappointed by the results … no matter how talented you are! Digital photos often times have flaws. But what’s great is that you can digitally fix them easily with Photo Editing software! Simple edits in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements can enhance your photos and restore them to the way you intended them to look!

Oh, and remember how awkward school photos can be? They don’t have to be unfortunate anymore, thanks to the wonders of photo editing! Remove distracting pimples and blemishes from young adult skin—even airbrush skin for an ultra-professional-looking photo! You may even want to remove a few wrinkles and perhaps even try digi-tanning! See Digital Scrapbooks and More’s ridiculously inexpensive Digi Makeovers (most are only $1.99 and don’t worry about software- you can get a free trial of Photoshop Elements from the Adobe website!) for super-easy tutorials on easy ways to edit your pics. Why not give it a try? These are important photos!

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Fabulous Virtual Make-Overs For Photos! April 17, 2010

Make-over your favorite digital photos! Let’s be honest here: Being a woman is just so darn expensive! Our beauty regimen can get quite costly and my all-natural beauty wants & needs are becoming addictive! But our beauty product routine is not something that we women can just quit cold-turkey. I’ve never seen a pack of gum to lessen my desire for anti-aging foundations, powders, and bronzers, and I’ve never been able to find a “reduce-the-cravings-for-mascara-patch.” All in all, I don’t think that we women should ever have to cut back or give up our special girl-things that make us look and feel good. But I do, however, think we need to be a little more creative and think outside the box with new solutions for inexpensive beauty alternatives.

So, how can we save some serious cash-flow and still feel ultra-glamorous? Two words, my friends: Virtual Makeup. Yes, physical makeup is so overrated! What really counts is looking great in our photos. We may slap on a pair of old jeans and beach sandals to go to grab a bite to eat and run a few errands, but do we post these casual, greasy hair-in-a-ponytail and no makeup photos on our Myspace or Facebook profile? No way! Only our best looking mug-shots end up being the sacred Profile Pic! With all the ex-boyfriends and old competitive girlfriends out there in social networking cyber space, there’s no chance we’ll upload our every-day, sweats, T-shirt, and a few zits pics! But with virtual makeup, we can save money and transform our regular pics into gorgeous, professional-looking head shots! Virtual makeup allows us to make easy, natural-looking edits to our photos, so that we can whiten our teeth, remove pimples, get rid of wrinkles, airbrush photos and look ultra-fabulous for pennies!

Digital Scrapbooks and More (www.DigitalScrapbooksandMore.com) makes instantly downloadable photo editing training that specifically focuses on virtual makeup, called the Digi MakeOver Madness Tutorials (www.shop.DigitalScrapbooksandMore.com).

Digital Airbrushing! The Digi MakeOver Madness Tutorials has a simple motto; a philosophy that I think we can all appreciate: “Spend $5… look like $500.” It’s true, as each individual tutorial is ridiculously inexpensive at $1.99 or less, and features super-easy training to make your favorite photos look even better. Convert photos to vintage black & white pics, whiten teeth, get rid of blemishes and wrinkles, digi tan, even airbrush photos (celebrity or not)! And although Digital Scrapbooks and More cannot legally make any guarantees, I wouldn’t be surprised if I made several new random Facebook friends after posting my newly edited pic.

So what if you’re worried that you don’t have photo editing software to follow along with the training in order to apply virtual makeup to your own photos? Don’t despair; you can get a FREE 30-Day Trial of Photoshop or Photoshop Elements through the Adobe website (www.Adobe.com). With no hidden tricks or gimmicks, you really, truly can get picture-perfect pretty with nothing but pocket change.

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Create Green Memory Books of Adventures and Travels March 30, 2010

Create a Memory Book of Travel Adventures with Digital Scrapbooking

If you are planning a little get-away this spring, there’s nothing worse than forgetting to pack your digital camera.

For me, forgetting my digital camera on vacation (even if it’s just a little weekend trip) is like forgetting my underwear or toothbrush. I just don’t do it.

You shouldn’t either. Carry that camera with you and snap some digital photos whether you’re off to the tropics, or plan a fun day-out around the town.

It’s so much fun to go through the photos when you get back from a fantastic adventure, but don’t let great photos go to waste by forgetting about them on your digital camera or on random folders in your laptop. Special trips deserve much more than just a regular, ol’ photo book. They deserve to be scrapbooked! How else can you include all the memories- from special songs sung, funny incidents, to fantastic or romantic moments that need to be explained and remembered with text too! Create a memory book with digital scrapbooking and preserve the precious memories you make during your glamorous life properly!

You know what digital scrapbooking is, right? Digital scrapbooking is the easy, super-fun, and “GREEN” way to scrapbook! Skip the expensive supplies, stop wasting trees, and scrap your favorite people and moments on your computer. Then you simply print your favorite pics or digi-projects into memory books, photo albums, scrapbooks, and more!

Digital Scrapbooks and More (www.digitalscrapbooksandmore.com) is a fabulous digital scrapbooking company that offers digital scrapbooking training for beginners. Our training reccomendation? Buy the Getting Started Series CD for Photoshop Elements. It’s the perfect way to start learning digital scrapbooking.

You will be shocked at how easy it is to combine your digital photos with pretty digital backgrounds, frames, and embellishments to make adorable memory books of your 2010 travels.

Digital Scrapbooks and More also offers photo editing training too! Learn how to take your favorite photos and make them even better! Learn how easy it is to remove blemishes, airbrush skin, remove red-eye, get rid of shadows and overcasts, and more! Their Digi MakeOver Madness tutorials are ridiculously inexpensive too! At around $1.99, they are the ultimate ‘green’ beauty product for special digital pics!

Give digital scrapbooking and photo editing a try as your new hobby this 2010! Scrap your adventures and go green! …LOVE it!

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free

 

Pampered Gluten-Free Pups March 1, 2010

My precious, gluten-free puppy- Coco!

You’re a gluten-free gal. A cute one, too, no doubt. But your puppies? Their definitely cute, but gluten-free? Probably not, huh?

Why not, though?

It’s time to upgrade your dog chow to something that fits YOUR glamorous and green gluten-free life by switching to gluten-free dog food!

Think about it: You work so hard to eat gluten-free, order gluten-free in restaurants or when you go over to your friends houses, and to avoid all contamination with food tools and appliances. Does it freak you out as much as me when you’re dog’s munching on poison-filled bites all over your bed, couch, and floor (getting gluten-filled crumbs all over the place)? Sometimes I worry about kissing the tops of my little dogs’ heads. As precious my two Pomeranian pups are, I just don’t trust their personal cleanliness.

Instinct Gluten-Free Dog Food But let me tell you: It’s difficult to find all-natural, gluten-free dog foods out there! That’s why I was over-the-moon when Glamour and Green found one (that’s fabulous, of course!): Nature Variety’s Instinct Line of Grain-Free Kibble for Dogs!

Try these three gluten-free Dog Food Flavors:

Chicken

Rabbit

Duck

Now you can feel comfortable kissing your pampered pooches (still, I hope it’s not on the mouth 🙂 ), picking up their spilled doggy food, or letting them happily munch away all over and around your furniture (and everything else) without needing a contamination space suit! Whoo-hoo!

Removing Pet-Green-Eye in Pics with Digital Scrapbooks and More Also, if your camera-happy like me and loooove taking photos of your pups, learn how to remove that nasty-looking green pet-eye in Photoshop Elements! Take the Digital Scrapbooks and More Photo Editing Tutorials, and learn how you can make your dogs look cute & cuddly again in their pics!

-Glamour & Green Gluten-Free