Shape your arms with 45 seconds exercises!!

Source: Flckr.com by Gerry Snaps

Have you ever wished for shaped and sexy arms but not bulky like a muscle builder but slender and firm like a ballerina. Well, here is the workout that you have waited for!!! 

Shape your arms with No weight, No gym equipment, and No membership expenses!!!

Best way to do this workout is sitting down on the floor, “Indian Style”, legs crossed or on your knees, “prayer style”.

Remember:

  • Always keep your back straight
  • Arms straight and strong – Do not lock your elbows!
  • Do not let your arms drop!!
  • Elbows should not be lower (or higher) than your shoulders.
  • Keep Fingers straight
  • It’s best to keep a real timer than to count on your own
  • These movements are done quickly

Extend your arms by your sides, shoulder level  - Imagine you are the letter “t”. Palms of your hands should be facing down.

Make tiny circles with your arms :

  • going forward for 45 Seconds
  • going backwards for 45 Seconds

Now, without dropping your arms pretend making a tiny line, going straight up and down with your arms (Arms should look like the when doing the Pilates move called 100s)

  • Do this for 45 seconds

Now, flip your hands so the palm of your hands is facing up. Repeat the circles and lines exercises for 45 seconds each. Stretch you arms and you are done!!!

YES, IT WILL HURT! Some of you will not finish this, you will have to work your way up. Do this every other day rest on the weekends. You are free to post or submit your before and after pictures. Also, please contact me or comment if you feel these workout instructions should be done on video.

Do all workout at your own risk, workout executed by personal trainer Mr Baker and modified by Angel, Author of Stracci Blogs.

The Beautiful YOU

I always say and will keep saying, “be yourself”, “you need to wear that, instead of that outfit wearing you”, ” you are beautiful” and “wear what you like regardless of what other people think”. Well, in these sayings, there is something I’m trying to say. I have now discovered what I’m  saying between the lines and an even better, simpler but complicated way to say it, with the help of Nigel Barkers in his book, Beauty Equation.

He describes this as confidence. Yes it makes total sense! If you are confident you wear what you like, and you feel confident that it looks good on you. You become yourself and stop trying to look like this model, or act like that other celebrity. We also stop following “the trends” because what we wear is what looks good and “no one looks as good as me in this outfit.”
Mr Nigel, goes in detail, he talks about inner and outer beauty. He mentions that they both compliment each other and that these two make a more beautiful and remarkable you. Do you know what your inner you is? Maybe not, because we are too busy trying to look like someone else instead of emphasizing ourselves.
With this in mind we should probably focus in ourselves and tell the world you are beautiful just because you are YOU.

The Key points to our absolute beauty are:

  • Be Yourself- That’s going to be the first and most difficult one. Portraying your self in yourself. (sounds incorrect but it makes sense)
  • Emphasize your natural beauty instead of having a “make-over”
  • Being sexy does not mean showing (or almost) your underwear in public. That’s juts nasty and inappropriate.
  • I would have to add Health- mentally and physically. That’s when we are happier and glowing with confidence and your real you. You will feel GOOD!!! trust me.
  • Skinny (anorexic or bulimic) is not beauty,..that goes under health, and is a different and delicate subject ; I might not even touch the subject. I trust everyone would be smart enough to know that’s not healthy.

I would highly recommend this book, there is a website that follows the book were you can experience and have fun with your inner and outer beauty through photographs at Beautyequation.com.

Did I miss anything?

Maybe an example:

Have you notice that person that’s always “glowing”, happy and smiling and you don’t know why? That’s inner beauty. That person may not even be skinny or have a six pack or be model height (*cough me cough, cough the tall part anyway,…)

Any other example? How about you?

Sources:

  • Barker, Nigel.Beauty Equation. Abrams Image, 2010. Beautyequation.com
  • Stracci’s Blog Writer Angel

Winter Break

Hope your holidays were full of joy and harmony!

It has been a long winter break and thank god I had quite a few orders- crochet hats,scarves,bags,totes. Now it is time to resume on our beauty quest. Our next blog will be about inner beauty and our “outer beauty”.  Stay tuned, I promise this one will be worth it!

My question to all would be-

WHAT IT IS YOUR NEW YEAR”S RESOLUTION?

 

Bye-Bye Cellulite!

Source: Flickr.com by Geomangio

Cellulite is our target. Everyone has or gets them, even the skinny and the fit, may it be mild or severe. Cellulite is what we call dimples made by accumulated fat just under the skin.  Now that you have some insight of what they are, you might have an idea of how to get rid of them.

  • Lets start by saying water is always the key to everything. So drink plenty of water, or your 32 ounces per day.
  • Massage the affected area, where dimples are visible, massage with fingers in a circular motion.
  • Exercise three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes. Since we’re dealing with fat, it might be common sense that burning it will help.
  • Reduce your “fat” intake. Obviously, eating healthier.  Figure out your serving per day in vegetables, fruits, water etc,. Get a little help by your instincts when you eat. “Juicy fried chicken or that grilled chicken? “, ” I want fried chicken, so I might balance it with vegetables and water or natural juice”. ( Once in a while is not so bad to give in to your craving).

Based on Dawn Gallagher, author of Nature’s Beauty Secrets, anything that helps “boost circulation” will help with cellulite appearance. Below are some of her treatments.

For five minutes a day,  use a sisal mitt, soft body brush, or massage glove to brush cellulite, using long, sweeping movements. Work in the direction of the heart. (Gallagher 102)

Scrubbing with natural ingredients has its benefit depending on the ingredients. In this case we have:

Coffee grounds

Source: Flickr.com By Oberazzi

…cellulite-busting scrub by one part olive oil to two parts coffee grounds. Olive oil moisturizes, while caffeine boosts circulation. Massage into skin with a handheld mitt or washcloth and rinse off. (Gallagher 90)

Beauty only requires one thing – to take care of oneself. Most of the tips always say drink water, eat healthy, exercise, pamper yourself (massages), relax, etc,…, now, if were caring for our selves doesn’t this come automatically? As I see it, if there’s a “defect”, something we do not like, we’re missing one of those things. It takes time to get it right and to fix it; Being persistent is the key, it is always an ongoing process.

Thanks again for stopping by, and for the comments which are greatly appreciated. Feel free to share this blog as long as you share the link and give credit to Stracci.

Sources:

Gallagher, Dawn. Nature’s Beauty Secrets. New York, New York: Universe Publishing, 2011.

Stracci freebies!

Receive a free handmade coin bag, tote, or a pencil

pouch with any purchase.

No shipping fee on the freebies. While supplies last!

Blackheads & Pores

Source: Flickr.com by estelabelleza

Pores are enlarged, right after puberty, due to the increase sebum release by the skin. The purpose of this sebum is to protect and hydrate our skin, but among those benefits it also contains fat and debris. Therefore, excessive release of sebum equals larger pores and oily skin resulting in acne and/or blackheads. I have gathered tips to treat blackheads and pores.

First tip, that applies to just everything in skin care, is wash your face before you go to sleep, especially if you are wearing makeup. When you sleep your pores close, if you have a dirty face, you know where all that make-up and debris goes to.

Sarah Jessica Parker’s facialist Yana was interviewed by Kym Douglas and Cindy Pearlman in the book The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets. Yana’s tips was to buy a scrub with the beads the same size as your pores. Smaller beads will not be enough to penetrate the skin. On the other hand, larger beads will hurt your skin. (41)

To tighten pores, Rachel Ray recommends a banana mask. Yes, a BANANA mask. Squish the banana and rub it on your face. No, really make a creamy mask and apply to face. “Leave on for twenty minutes, rinse off with warm water, then dash on cold (water).” (Douglas and Pearlman 11)

Lisa Rinna uses an egg white mask to tighten her pores. (Douglas and Pearlman 12)

The best alternative for nose strips, and to remove blackheads is glue. Ha ha, did I say glue? Yes, I did! Glue such as Elmer’s glue it is nontoxic since mainly kids use it for crafts. Smear Elmer’s glue on your T-Zone and let it dry. Remove it gently. (Douglas and Pearlman 10)

I hope you find this enjoyable and useful. Comeback for more tips.

Sources:

Douglas, Kym and Pearlman, Cindy. The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets. New York. Penguin Group, 2006.

Deals!

Stracci is having a very nice offer. Customers will receive a free bag with any purchase. Offer is valid while supplies last and is first come first serve.

 

Exfoliating

Source: Flickr.com By Hotel Legenstein

Exfoliation is removing the top layer of skin, most likely dead skin cells. We shed dead skin cells everyday and renew our entire body skin naturally every month. By exfoliating, we are doing this process a lot faster. Removing the top layer of the skin leaves the skin fresh and vulnerable, therefore applying skin aid will be more effective. In my opinion, I would rather use natural ingredients instead of chemically made products.

To have a smooth, soft and “glow-y” skin, it is recommended to exfoliate once a week. Exfoliating more than once weekly, would damage and dry your skin. For people with sensitive skin, it is recommended to avoid exfoliating.

Source: Flickr.com By Public Domain Photos

EXFOLIATING TIPS

  • Ladies everywhere have used this very simple and inexpensive body scrub-Sugar.  Mostly likely you already know, but have you tried it? All you do is add a small amount of sugar on your scrubber or wash cloth.
  • Another alternative for sugar is Baking Soda. Baking Soda is a must have ingredients, since it has multiple uses.
  • Helen Hales-skin care guru in Los Angeles -said a regular double

    Source: Flickr.com By rob.knight

    sided(green one side and yellow on the other)  dish sponge is great and easy to use in the shower. She uses it to scrub the bottom of her feet and compares it to a foot file. (Douglas and Pearlman 9) Why not use it for those rough edges elbows knees and heels?

  • Exfoliating and/or scrubs should not hurt.
  • “Exfoliate back of arm with a texture glove or a cloth (Bristles are too harsh.)” (Marie Claire 41) Marie Claire, author of the book Gorgeous Face & Beautiful Body, to avoid loose skin behind the arm you need to nourish and take care of it.

Thank you for visit and  come back for more amazing tips.

Sources

Douglas, Kym and Pearlman, Cindy. The Black Book of Hollywood Beauty Secrets. New York. Penguin Group, 2006.

Claire, Marie. Gorgeous FACE & Beautiful BODY. New York. Hearts Books,2006.

Timeless BLACK

Source: Flickr.com by quilphil

Everyone has or had a little black dress, black dressy pants, black high heels,black coats, you name it. Black its flattering, black is for mourning, black is elegant, black is hip, black is “Emo”, black is sexy, black just works! For the coming seasons take on the color black trend.

Now, the black trend is black….. I mean back!! Besides the amazing designs from the  professional famous designers, the trend has combined different textures of black in one outfit. I have noticed various combinations of fabric on these 2012/2013 designs. So if the twist is texture, we are taking this trend and wearing our self inspire black.

If you are thinking “OMG!! this girl is way too late” and you are already in the trend then show us what you have done to make the trend be yours.

*comeback for beauty tips

Need To Know Tips About Weight Lose

Source:Flickr.com by UNE photos

 

Why do we lose weight fast and then it slows down?

The more you have to lose the faster those unnecessary poundscome off.  Personal trainer, Chris simplifies it by saying its like getting water out of a big container with a bucket, the majority will come out easily, but when you get to the bottom the water it’s just so difficult. You body wants and needs to get rid of that weight. In addition, if you have never worked out your body will go into shock, causing the same effect.

The ability to lose weight has a lot to do with age and genes. After a certain age around 30 for girls, is extremely difficult  to lose the “pouch” and get into the model body, but not impossible. It means you have to be dedicated, actually workout, and really stick to a healthy diet. Diet that suits your life style and health.

Some people’s genes come from heavy parents, and although they can lose weight to a healthy weight you will not see them wearing a string bikini or will you? Don’t give up. If you stopped losing weight or have slowed down, while exercising appropriately, remember slow and steady its good. You are closer to your goal.

Remember no pills, no starvation diets. There are exceptions for everything, in this case pills are taken for people who strictly need to lose weight due to endangered health and even for life threatening cases. In these cases pills are used to get a head start and maintaining to lose weight by dieting and exercising. Otherwise, pills can make you lose weight fast but as fast as you are losing it you might gain back.

Be stress-free, be happy, be active and overall love yourself, since this is going to help you make the right decisions for your body.

Making a baby bib

Our babies just hit the 12 month mark and turned into a cookie monster (for food). We can never get enough bibs around this time. A few words for you - beneficial , money-saving and recycling. Any ideas? Plenty, in this case Bibs.

Materials/Tools:

Measuring tape and/ or ruler
Scissors
Sewing machine ready to work
Swaddle blanket or baby blanket
Pins
Yarn optional
Embroidery needle optional

Measure baby: 

1. From neck to desire length - Model: 10″ inches - Add 4″ for pocket

2. Width side to side - Model: 9″ inches

3. measure around neck - Model: 15″ inches

I like to measure my model with a measuring tape and measure fabric with a ruler.

Draw/mark measurements on fabric in addition to 1/4″ for seam.
Strap width approximately 2″ inches
Cut 2 identical pieces of fabric
place wrong sides together

 

Pin together

Sew the bottom edge of the bib with the seam folded facing to the front side (you decide which side this is)

 

 

Fold over towards the front approximately 3.5″inches

pin to hold fabric together

 

 

 

Flip over fabric over, fold over 1/4″ seam and pin all around

 

 

 

Sew the seam all around, slowing down when sewing on curves. You might have to adjust fabric often.

 

 

Clip all the loose threads

Trim any unnecessary/extra fabric

 

 

Congratulation!!! You are done!!!

 

 

 

Optional
This would not be a  Stracci project unless it had yarn. Thread yarn into embroidery needle. Sew a decorative stitch around the edges. There’s so much more you can do for example: stitch your baby’s name on it, attach an applique of a bear. Have Fun!!!

There’s nothing more satisfying than to see your love ones wear something you made just for them. Hope you enjoy this craft. Any comment or ideas are welcome. Thanks for visiting Stracci’s Blog.

Fun Tips For A Sexy Waist

Source: Flickr.com by iujaz

How to get a  sexy waist? and have fun at the same time. Well, a lot of people incline to Zumba, yes that’s one  way to go, for a fun calorie-burning activity, and depending on your instructor you might get a total body work out. Sad to announce that you can not just stay in Zumba and any other cardiovascular activity because it eventually stops working for your body, also known as Plateau. But this is not about Zumba, this is about something similar that has been around for centuries, SALSA!!!

Not only salsa but Latin dances such as Merengue, Cumbia, Punta, and Zamba are great, fun, calorie burning, and muscle sculpting dances. All these dances workout your obliques, and your body does not get used to them therefore, it does not stop working. For example, sits ups,  you can increase the number of sit ups and your body gets stronger; maintain the same number of sit ups and your body maintains its shape and strength. Don’t we all want to go out and dance? or just have fun? and feel even better when we realize we’re working out!!. We are burning calories, we are working our leg muscles, obliques, working on our posture.

Merengue, Cumbia and Salsa are slightly different from each other, on the steps and rhythm. The main idea of Salsa is to move our hips; Imagine making a figure eight with your hips, or making a circle to one side and then the other. Now, imagine that movement throughout, you can also add a side step, a front step, back step so on and so forth. Merengue is also a leg workout, I can not describe the steps because it would probably take me the entire day. With Cumbia, you travel a bit, from one side to the other. Aren’t these supposed to be with a partner? Yes, but you don’t have to. Either way you are still having fun and getting that small waist you desire.

Punta from Central America and Zamba from Brazil, are both extra quick. The music guides you through the rhythm with the drums, making it a bit easier. Punta is translated to point its dance with the first third of your feet-meaning the ball of your foot on the side of the big toe. These two dances works out the calf muscle, thighs and waist, but you need to have endurance to last for an entire song. Zamba is as fast as Punta, if not faster. The difference is Zamba has actual steps and not just moving your feet from side to side on the ball of your foot.

Some warm up exercises to try before getting into the dances:

Figure eight with hips. Imagine your feet are two dots and you will circle around one and then the other, forming a figure 8.

Moving hips side to side. Only your hips nothing else.

Moving your hips around and turning simultaneously. One hip at a time.

You might feel how your obliques work doing these exercises.

I have concluded about this dance/workout through experience, after about two weeks of starting the fun. I must say this will not have the same benefits as a real total body workout. You will need to add some lower ab exercises for a total core workout, since it just workouts your obliques for that slim waist. I would do any of these 2-3 times a week for 3o-40 minutes including warming up and cooling plus the additional lower ab workouts.

So, Its time to look into these dance, download some music, have fun and get that slim waist you always wanted!!!