Sunday, December 16, 2012

Perdue Whole Roast Chicken

Food can be very fashionable - especially when it's simple, delicious and easy.

Perdue has come out with a line called Perdue Oven Ready Roasters.  These are pre-seasoned and presealed.  All you have to do it purchase, place in roasting pan and put into oven... and voila!  It's perfectly seasoned, tender and oh so delicious!

You buy it in the fresh meat department, so it's not processed.  While I love trying new things, I'm always a skeptic for pre-seasoned meats - most times they're just over seasoned, over bearing in flavored or fail to deliver/falls short on the company's promise.

Perdue has delivered on everything - flavor, tenderness, freshness and ease of roasting/baking.

I can say without a doubt I'll be purchasing this product a lot.  My picky soon to be 3 year old and super picky 21 year old both had seconds.  What little that was left over, my little asked for the next day, including asking for seconds.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Toxic Apparel - Not Good for Us!

Zara the most toxic apparel says Greenpeace

Greenpeace the environmental organization made public the investigation conducted to find toxic chemicals in garments finding out that Zara produces the most toxic items for both humans and the environment.
GreenpeaceThe organization found toxic chemicals in 89 of the 114 garments being researched. During this research the organization did a focus on the fashion garments from brand like Levis's , Esprit, Tommy Hilfiger and Zara, and the report was titled "Toxic Threads. The big fashion stitch-up".
According to Greenpeace  the nonylfenolethoxylates (NFE's) used to fix colours on textiles, may produce hormonal disruptions, and when they are used can end up in water through the laundering process and drinking water, this chemicals are not possible to remove from water.

Other brands mentioned on the report as the greatest users of NFE's are C&A, Mango, Calvin Klein, Metersbowe and Jack & Jones, had the highest use of these chemicals on its garments. In the investigation the organization also found the use of amines, which are registered by the European Union as possible carcinogens, but none of the brands have broken the law since today the amines remain within the European Union's standards.

This is not the first time Greenpeace is after fashion brands encouraging them to reduce their use of chemicals, some of the brands alerted by the organization and starting to pay more attention to nature are Marks & Spencer, H&M, Adidas, Nike and Puma.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, But You Should Rethink Some Cosmetic Treatments

While they say beauty is only skin deep... as we age, we often think of beauty treatments, surgeries and/or beauty products to help us ward off the little tale-tale signs of aging.  Sometimes we want a quick fix to a problem area that has been bugging us but do we really understand the long term issues of certain procedures?  Are some procedures actually necessary and/or safe?

Below are NINE (9) cosmetic treatments that doctors say we should really think before just doing.  Some of them I personally have an adversion to (my own little quirks about safety and health issues) and I'm not shy about stating that I will fight aging hard as I rather grow old gracefully - on my own terms.  LOL.

1.  Botox breast lift
By Maggie Koerth-Baker for MSN Health
Why do it:  In spring 2008, high-profile New York dermatologist Patricia Wexler, M.D., (she’s most known for these products sold at Bath & Body Works) began touting a new way to use Botox. She claimed that by injecting the drug into the pectoralis minor chest muscle (see its location on an anatomy sketch) to paralyze it temporarily, she could make back muscles (which ones?) pick up the slack, thereby forcing the patient to stand up straighter, which essentially gives the breasts a surgery-free "lift."
The problems:  "It's nonsense. Worse, it's dangerous nonsense," says Michael McGuire, M.D., president-elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He and Patrick McMenamin, M.D., president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, agree that Wexler's procedure wouldn't work. And both doctors say injecting anything into the pectoralis minor, which is in close proximity to the lungs, is dangerous.
2.  "Doctor fish" manicures and pedicures
Why do them:  "Doctor fish" (what other name are they known as?), love to eat dead human skin cells, which they suck off of the body, revealing fresh skin underneath. They're used for pedicures and to treat the symptoms of psoriasis (what is that, again?).
The problems:  Living creatures are hard to sanitize. At least three states have issued regulations against “doctor fish,” saying there's no way to guarantee they are clean. Martin Grassberger, M.D., who's researched them at the Medical University of Vienna (where is that exactly?), says another concern is some spas use a different species of fish (which one?), which feeds more aggressively than the “doctor fish” and can draw blood.
3.  Waxing
Why do it:  Waxing yanks unwanted body hair out by the roots. It's faster than tweezing and lasts longer than shaving.
The problems:  First off, burns from hot wax can be severe and are more common than you might think, according to the medical journal Burns. Waxing also leaves the body vulnerable to infection. The FDA advises people with weakened immune systems to avoid it. People using wrinkle creams or acne treatments that contain a popular ingredient (Retinol) should also rethink waxing, as the skin can become so sensitive that there's a risk of it peeling off along with the hair. The biggest worry? Topical skin-numbing cream, used to make waxing less painful, that can end up in your blood.
The FDA says it's best to avoid numbing cream altogether, but if you do use it, choose one that the FDA has approved as safe, and use as little of the cream with the lowest amount of active ingredients (which ones?) as you can. The FDA also recommends leaving the skin uncovered (don't cover the treated area with plastic wrap or other dressing to increase effectiveness), and says to pick the correct cream with your doctor's help—not that of your hair stylist or spa technician.
4.  Eyelash-thickening drops
Why use them:  Newly approved by the FDA, the drug Latisse promises thicker eyelashes. Latisse is actually a lower-dose version of a drug that's been used to treat glaucoma since 2001 (which one?). Longer, thicker lashes were a surprising side -effect for those patients.
The problem:  Most of the side effects are covered in the TV commercials starring Brooke Shields and Claire Danes (watch it) and include itching, redness and the potential to darken the skin on your eyelids or turn irises brown—permanently. And, like with many drugs, Latisse may not be a good choice for pregnant or nursing women. The National Institutes of Health reports the active ingredient in Latisse is associated with several issues when administered to pregnant animals.
5.  UV-activated teeth whitening
Why get it:  Who doesn't want a mouth full of gleaming, pearly whites? Most whitening methods rely on hydrogen peroxide solutions, but some companies claim the hydrogen peroxide works better and faster when combined with UV lamps. (See a photo of how the UV light is administered.)
The problem:  New research shows UV lamps don't boost the bleaching process, and even worse, can be dangerous. In February 2009, research published in the online version of the Journal of Prosthodontics showed no difference between the two processes. A January 2009 study in the British journal Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences said not only does light -activation not work, but it also exposes users to startlingly high levels of cancer-causing UV radiation. One lamp the team tested gave a dose four times as high as what you'd get from sunbathing for a full afternoon in midsummer.
6.  Permanent makeup
Why get it:  Eyeliner, lip and brow color tattooed onto your skin can be a permanent solution for women who want the look of makeup all the time. Browse before-and-after photos.
The problem:  Colored tattoo ink isn't necessarily designed with the human body in mind, and the FDA hasn't approved any tattoo inks – many of the colored inks used for permanent makeup are the same as those used in the automotive and printing industries. The FDA has received numerous reports of allergic reactions in women who received makeup tattoos, which are also notoriously difficult to remove.
7.  Chemical peels
Why get one:  Chemical peels, usually creams or serums containing mild fruit acid, can remove dead skin cells and help clear up acne, according to the Mayo Clinic. Peels can also encourage the growth of new, younger-looking skin cells. (Browse hundreds of before-and-after photos.)
The problem:  Most chemical peels have relatively mild side effects, including a risk of oddly colored, patchy skin in women who are taking birth control pills; redness, scaling and blisters for those with sensitive skin; and the possibility of triggering previously dormant cold sores. The real danger?  At-home peels purchased online, which have been known to cause painful, scarring burns, caused by the high concentration of the acids. Most effective over-the-counter alpha-hydroxy acid creams contain about 8 percent acid concentration.
8.  Brava breast enhancement
Why get it:  Introduced in 1999, Brava is a breast enhancement system that claims to help make breasts an entire cup size larger without surgery. The appeal pretty much speaks for itself.
How does it work?  Brava is a set of plastic domes hooked up to a small vacuum pump. The domes are placed over the breasts, with the suction turned on, for 10 hours every day over for at least 10 weeks. If you miss a day, you have to add an extra one. See the pumping device. According to clinical trials, Brava works, though never as dramatic as surgical implants.
The problems:  The process is time consuming and rife with side effects, caused by the “suctioning” effect. Some women report getting rashes and blisters. Also, Brava won’t work as well on women with extremely small breasts or those with a cup size above a small C.
The cost:  It’s significant, though less than a surgical procedure. How much?
9.  Thermage
Why use it:  Approved by the FDA in 2002, Thermage uses heat generated by radio waves to give patients tighter, more taught skin; it's often promoted as a "non-surgical facelift." Oprah first championed the procedure, which is also known as ThermaCool, in 2003.
The problems:  The episodes of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" that touted the treatment aren't forthcoming about its potential side effects (what are they?) or effectiveness, according to a New York Times article from 2006. And Thermage doesn't really function as a face-lift substitute. While it can reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and acne scars, it's not likely to tighten jowls—patients who go in expecting a miracle probably will be disappointed.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Three (3) Simple Ways to Look Taller

The following suggestions are good basic information for every woman who wants to look taller.  From my experience, a clean line/cut, dark colored pair of pants (wide leg or sightly flared) with a crisp white or colorful blouse paired with a nice pair of heels (whether boots, pumps or wedges) helps to elongate the visual line of your silhouette.  For me, I do not find cropped pants to aid in appearing taller, thinner, etc.  It gives me quite the opposite effect. 

Also, while this article is from a magazine, please note that you can achieve any of the below looks for way way less money than the items they chose to display.

Punctuate Properly

When wearing shorter pants, leave the waistband exposed and finish with classic heels that come down low on the foot.
woman in yellow shirt
Blazer, $695, DKNY, dkny​.com for locations. Sweater, $70, Shirt, $50, Pants, $225, Pumps, $58, Colin Stuart for Victoria’s Secret, Bag, $168, Lancaster Paris,

Pairing pale tones creates visual space, which is why this skirt-and-shoes combination works
woman in pink skirt and red blazer
Jacket, $498, Iro. Select Barneys New York, 888-8-BARNEYS. Tank, $12, Skirt, $46, Scarf, $195, Pumps, $69, RSVP, zappos​.com. Bag, $44, Street Level,

Choose a Flared Fit

It'll look like you've got legs for days, while the wide bottoms conceal sky-high heels and wedges.
woman in black flare pants
Blouse, $118, Turtleneck, $240, White + Warren, Pants, $345, Pumps, $99, Guess, Clutch, $80,

Keep It Light

Monday, February 6, 2012

Beware! Counterfeit Items Go Beyond Luxury Items

We all know to look out for designer counterfeit items.  Most of us have studied the tell-tell signs of the item(s) that our heart covets - that expensive designer watch, a Coach, Chanel or Prada handbag, those Louboutins, Jimmy Choos, Manolo shoes or boots, 7 for all mankind, True Religion, Cavalli jeans, or even that Big Pony Ralph Lauren polo shirt.  We study the ins and outs of these items so we can look for them at discounted prices either on eBay, eCrater, consignment shops or the thrift stores.  While we understand, know and have even seen some pretty darn good fakes, we tend to overlook some other more mainstream items that are counterfeited.  Why?  Because to most of us, myself included, it baffles the mind why someone would even want to counterfeit Old Navy or even Wal-Mart brands but they do.

The more mainstream things are stuff we don't even think about -  toothpaste, baby formula, perfume, shampoo, sunscreen, cosmetics, maple syrup and even honey!

These mainstream items are being counterfeited and at the price of our health - and the health of our children!

Despite government efforts, experts say the onus is still largely on shoppers to recognize and avoid the fakes. Aside from the red flag of a deep discount, be cautious about product labeling or packages that seem different from the usual, such as a misplaced bar code, peeling label or gluey residue, says Joseph LaRocca, the vice president of loss prevention for the National Retail Federation. If a product's taste, smell or texture seems off -- or online buyers have noted that in reviews -- that's another warning sign, he says.

The price of being an unwitting buyer can be high, and not just in money wasted. "Criminals are looking to make money, so their focus is on making the product look as much like the real product as possible," Halvorson says. "They'll spend more money on the packaging than the good itself." As a result, many of the basic fakes can carry serious health and safety risks.
Following are seven household items that government and industry groups say shoppers may unwittingly buy in fake versions.  


Fake sunscreen can burn people twice -- first at the cash register, then at the beach. Counterfeits often contain chemical additives, but they can also simply be cheap, all-purpose skin lotion, which provides zero UV protection.

"It's easy for a counterfeiter to make something look like cream without containing the expensive ingredients someone is buying it for," says Halloran. (The same warning holds for anti-aging creams and lotions, which are another common counterfeit category.)

Baby formula

That chalky taste may in fact be chalk, which is commonly used as a filler to give the fake product the right consistency, Halloran says. Of course, fake baby formula isn't likely to have the recommended levels of protein and other nutrients, either. Both factors can be problematic: In 2004, more than 60 Chinese infants died after ingesting fake formula. The Food and Drug Administration warns that infants may be intolerant of such ingredients and could "experience serious adverse health consequences."


The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers about Chinese-made toothpaste in 2007, saying it contained a poison used in antifreeze. That's still a common adulterant, and one that you don't want to put near your mouth, let alone ingest, Halloran says. Other unsafe-for-consumption chemicals may be used, too, either as a way to make the paste white or to create the right consistency, she says. Pastes may also lack fluoride or can be contaminated with bacteria.


It's not just pricey salon brands that are at risk for counterfeiting. Labels found at the drugstore have caught fakers' attention, too, Halloran says. Some are little more than water, fragrance and a thickening agent, but anything that suds -- notably, cheap cleaning solutions -- can be substituted for the actual shampoo.

Late last year, Beijing police seized more than 2,000 boxes of faux shampoo bottles that were contaminated with sulfur, as well as mercury and other heavy metals. That's too harsh for a product that's going on your scalp and possibly dripping near your eyes, Halloran says. (And shoppers can forget about any label-promised moisturizing, volumizing, color-protecting or anti-dandruff effects.)


In December 2011, police in Monroe, Ohio, seized more than 500 bottles of fake perfume from local flea markets, with mimicked scents ranging from $85 Chanel bottles down to $40 BeyoncĂ© scents. What's inside a replicated perfume bottle is anybody's guess, Halloran says. At best it is a perfume, but one that smells nothing like a designer scent and may have been watered down. Fakes more often contain chemicals like antifreeze, cleaning solutions or human urine, any of which may cause a rash or other skin problems. 


Recent tests by Food Safety News found that 75% of store honey isn't really honey. It still comes from bees, but the pollen has been screened out, ostensibly to keep the honey from crystallizing. Food safety experts say this may also be done to hide the honey's origin, says Andrew Schneider of Food Safety News. Many regulators don't consider the food honey if there's no pollen, but there could be more serious problems, too While shoppers might not notice a taste difference, tests found that a third of the faux-honey imports from Asia were tainted with lead and antibiotics.

Maple syrup

Vermont's U.S. senators recently announced they would co-sponsor a bill to make it a felony to sell fake maple syrup as the real thing. Violators could face up to five years in prison. Fakes may be made in part, or entirely, from cane sugar rather than the more expensive maple sugar. The big risk here is financial -- a gallon of real maple syrup can run $30 or more.