Saturday, June 30, 2012

June's Five Fabulous Finds

Zum Clean
We make a conscious effort to use household items that are environmentally friendly.  For me, one of the most difficult places to implement this was with laundry detergent.  This is not because such a product is hard to find; there are many earth-friendly detergents on the market.  The problem for me is that I have this thing about the way the detergent, well really my clothes, smell.  I want them to smell good.  Seemingly I have different ideas than most about what good smelling clothes really means.  Simply stated, I don’t want my clothes to smell sweet and I don’t want them to smell like food.  When I say food, herbs are okay, but no pears or apples or coconut or vanilla.  Because nature, or maybe its nurture, is such a powerful thing, my youngest daughter shares my quirkiness with regard to laundry detergent.  She and I have had a few mother-daughter bonding moments while opening and sniffing the various brands of detergent in the grocery store.  We are both happy with anything that smells clean.  I know you are wondering what I mean by clean.  To me, clean is mint or eucalyptus.  I can’t really explain this; its just the way it is.
My search for an earth friendly good smelling laundry detergent ended with Indigo Wild’s Zum Clean aromatherapy laundry detergent.  

I love the eucalyptus citrus scent.  If that doesn’t do it for you, they have several others.  You can read more about this and Indigo Wild’s other products here.
Photoshop Express App
I have all but eliminated the use of my laptop in my life in favor of my iPad.  I have had to sacrifice a few things doing this, but I am learning to adapt.  I am a fledgling Adobe Photoshop user.  I have it on my desktop and I use it regularly - especially since I have started the Visual Cents Project.  I primarily use it to crop photos and do minor tweaks to the brightness and contrast.  I know that the software is capable of so much more than what I do with it.  Maybe some day I’ll figure out how to make myself look fifteen pounds lighter and wrinkle-free.  Until then I’m happy with the basic effects that I know how to use.  Because I don’t employ all of the fancy stuff available in the full version of Photoshop, I am happy with the limited things that I can do on my iPad with the Photoshop Express App.  Like most things, it has pros and cons.  This past week its biggest pro was that I could take, upload, edit, and post pictures to my blog without having to carry my laptop.  This App is definitely geared to the general consumer rather than the photo professional, but it is fun to play with and does an okay job with minor photo enhancements.
Jet Fuel K-Cups by Coffee People
At our house coffee is a basic food group.  And in our personal food pyramid, there is no maximum number of servings allowed per day.  We drink a lot of coffee - from morning to bedtime - and yes, then go right to sleep.  Though we have a “regular” coffee pot, the majority of the coffee we drink at home is brewed in the Keurig.  Doing this means that we can have a variety of coffees on hand.  
One of Weber’s household chores is to make sure that we never run out of K-cups.  He keeps track of what we have and who has K-cups on sale.  He knows that I am a fan of bold coffee.  The bolder and stronger it is, the better I like it.  When he ordered K-cups this month, he bought Coffee People’s Jet Fuel for me.  It is an extra bold coffee and is so smooth.  It is full of pure coffee lfavor and not bitter at all.

Charlotte’s Douglas International Airport
If you have been reading my last week’s posts you know that we spent five hours in the Charlotte airport last Saturday.  Over the years, I have spent many hours in many different airports.  The Charlotte airport is by far the nicest airport that I have experienced.  It was easy to navigate. There were lots of food and beverage choices.  You could get a pedicure.  The concourses were lined with rocking chairs.  And, every airport employee with whom we came in contact was helpful and cheerful.
I was most impressed by the women’s restroom attendant on Concourse C.  She sang.  She sang to everyone who came into the restroom.  Her song whose words were intended to bless all of her guests that entered her restroom were from her heart.  Because we were in the airport for so long, I made several trips to her restroom.  On my last visit she said, “Here comes my friend again.”  She followed this by saying that she hoped that I got where I was heading soon.  This attendant did her best to comfort all the weary travelers with whom she came in contact.  She ushered mothers with small children to the larger stalls.  She made little boys who felt uncomfortable about being in the women’s room with their moms feel okay about being there.  She also offered wisdom to all who entered.  She urged all of us waiting in the airport to use this time to call a friend.  She went on to talk about how important friends are in our lives.  
This woman clearly took her job seriously and gave all that she had to doing it well.  Most of us don’t think about making a career of being an airport restroom attendant.  However, if all of us in the working world were as happy doing what we do and as committed to serving the people with whom we interact each day as this woman was, I guarantee the world would be a much better place!
Sarna Lotion
I am an insect magnet.  There could be a hundred people in a room and one lonely biting insect and I would be the one to get bitten.  I think those biting bugs know that they will get the most bang for their bite if they gnaw on me.  Once i’m bitten, huge welts appear and the itch becomes crazy-making.  I don’t know if I am truly allergic or just hyper-sensitive to insect bites.  I have also read that people with lupus are often particularly sensitive to insect bites.  It doesn’t really matter what the reason is.  The fact is that bug bites make me miserable.  The misery comes from the fact that none of the standard anti-itch remedies seem to work for me.  I can pour a half a bottle of Benadryl on a bite and continue to scratch.
While in Delaware, I became a feast for the east coast mosquitoes.  The various parts of my body became the stops for a progressive dinner.  By the time they were fat and happy, I was miserable.  The Benadryl that I had with me was useless.  My dad offered me Sarna lotion, something that I had never heard of.  

On the bottle it says that it is for itchy skin from rashes, sunburn, eczema, poison ivy and insect bites.  A that point I had nothing to lose and would have tried just about anything.  I slathered it on all my welts.  Almost immediately the itching subsided.  A miracle occurred!  And, it has continued to work, even on the Texas bugs who seemed to have been malnourished while I was gone.  Sarna Lotion’s active ingredients are camphor and menthol.  No steroids.  I am now a fan.  Hopefully the magic will continue.

Farewell June.

Visual Cents No. 47

"Black-eyed Peas Be With You"