4th of July Fun

Summer holidays are always something that people look forward to all year long. The 4th of July is one of the summer holidays that the whole family looks forward to. This in the holiday with firecrackers, burgers on the grill, and drinks shared with friends and family. This holiday celebrates not only our grand country, but also the family and friends that one has cultivated over the years.


Creating a great 4th of the July party is not hard and does not have to be fancy. Most great celebrations feel very relaxed and almost impromptu. A canopy tent and some folding tables can be enough to provide the guests a place to sit comfortably and having a shaded place to eat. The grill and pre-made hamburgers can feed the masses and by encouraging people to bring a favorite dish, the costs of a large gathering can be lessened.


Fireworks are traditionally associated with the 4th of July. While these can be a great way to celebrate, they can also be dangerous. Be sure to check your local laws to see if fireworks are even legal to use in your area. If they are, be sure to have a fire extinguisher on hand and do not allow children to play with them. Many children have been severely burned because the firework has gone off in their hand or has gone off too close to them.


With so much of the country burning, it may be a good idea to donate the money that you would spend on fireworks to the local fire departments. Many of these fire departments are volunteer companies and could use the support. The parts of the country that are particularly arid can really use the donations as opposed to the fireworks.


Beer is a common beverage at many picnics. These beverages are not hydrating, but they are great for allowing people to relax. In the tradition of supporting our grand country, consider purchasing beer that has been locally made or at least made within the United States of America. These beers can help to stimulate the economy and provides that sense of American pride to the picnic.


The downside to beer is that it is easy to drink too much. It is important to remember to have a designated driver if you are going to be drinking. While it is fun to have some drinks, drinking and driving is not safe and can ruin a wonderful day. Drinking too much can also ruin the experience for everyone, so drink in moderation and be sure to avoid impaired driving.


With these few little hints, a fun filled 4th of July can be had for all. These hints can help keep you safe, keep a few dollars in your wallet and a smile on your face. Have a great 4th of July and enjoy what could arguably be considered one of the best Monday’s in history.


Steam Facials – Easy and Effective


A facial is the cleaning and re-energizing of the skin on the face. While professional facials are often done with micro-dermal scrubs and polishes, the at home facials are typically done using steam. Both methods are very effective at renewing the skin and both produce very clean results. Micro-dermal scrubs are often used by professionals due to the ability of the scrub to remove the top layer of skin from the face, and for this reason, it is not always recommended that people attempt this method at home. Steam facials remove the skin by steam and open the pores, allowing the cleaning agent in deeper without the potential for the skin to be damaged as a micro-dermal scrub may do.

Cleaner Skin

The primary benefit of a steam facial at home is clearer and cleaner skin. The cleaner the skin, the less likely it is that a break out or blemish will appear. In addition, clean skin tends to appear brighter than skin that has not recently undergone a facial cleaning. This is because the dead skin cells that normally cover the skin are removed when a facial is done. This leaves brighter skin and better skin tone.

Softer Skin

Hydrated skin is soft skin. Steam is very good at hydrating the skin and therefore creating soft skin. Steam facials subject the face to steam and therefore allows the skin the moisture that it frequently lacks due to the various contaminates that it faces throughout the day. In addition to the steam hydrating the skin, the steam and heat open up the pores, allow moisturizer to enter the skin and penetrate deeper than normal. This provides the skin with protection from drying out.


A steam facial at home can help to stimulate circulation in the face. The heat from the steam can cause blood vessels on the skin to come forward and closer to the skin surface, causing an increase in blood flow to the skin. This has several benefits. The first major benefit to better circulation in the skin is an increase of elasticity and nutrients to the skin. This can also decrease any uneven tones or age spots on the skin. Other benefits include a rosier appearance to the skin and thicker lip appearance. The skin may also tighten causing a decrease in wrinkles.


Stress Reduction

Most people are under high levels of stress. Finding effective ways to reduce stress has been big business for people for generations. The steam facial is a good way to reduce stress by relaxing during the facial experience. The heat from the steam can be very soothing and the time taking out of the day to focus on yourself can be extremely beneficial for relaxing. Some steam facial kits even allow for aromatherapy during the process which can further help to reduce stress and increase relaxation.


Benefits of Herbal Facial Scrubs

Adult Acne

It used to be that the only people who ever got acne were young adults. However, as with everything else in this world, that has changed. There are more adults suffering with acne than ever before. This may be due to the changes in the adult diet, the additives in food and water, the pollution or the lack of education in facial care. No matter what the reasons for adult acne are, the truth is that it is on the rise. Treating adult acne can be similar to treating teenage acne. However, for those adults who are looking for a more natural method treating the condition, herbal facial scrubs are a great option. They can help to eliminate acne and provide soft and fragrant skin in its wake.


Herbal scrubs have the benefit of being able to renew the adult skin. As a person ages, their skin shows this age. The use of a scrub can remove the dead skin cells and help to brighten the skin. The addition of moisturizers can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and unevenness. The herbal facial can be a luxurious addition to the pampering sessions. These sessions can be done at a parlor, but the same results with a more relaxed atmosphere can be had at home.


Facials are luxurious. The world is full of stress and stress is bad for a person’s health and wellbeing. Injecting a little bit of luxury is essential to the health and well being of the person. Herbal facial scrubs can provide the individual with many levels of relaxation. There is the calming actions of grinding and mixing the herbs for the facial. There is the relaxing motions of applying the facial. There is the calming scents of the herbs as they begin to work on a person’s face. There is the pleasurable appearance of the individual’s skin after the facial. There is little wonder why the facial has never gone out of style and it has survived through so many different eras.


Relaxation Scrub

2 bars of a soft soap, grated

1 1/2 cups crushed, dried chamomile

1/2 cup crushed, dried lavender

1 cup oatmeal

Combine all ingredients well. Add a small amount of water to create a paste. Store this in an airtight glass container. Use this facial with a small amount of water to provide luminous skin and relaxed feelings.

Cleansing Scrub

1/2 cup ground oatmeal

1/3 cup ground sunflower seeds

4 1/2 teaspoons ground almond

1 teaspoon ground peppermint leaves

Combine all the ingredients. Add a small amount of water to create a paste. If desired, an astringent or commercial face wash can be substituted for the water. Store in an airtight container. Use this herbal facial scrub to provide for a clean and clear face that is well moisturized.


Pampering Yourself

Many times people get wrapped up in their day to day activities and often let themselves fall to the wayside. The actions of taking care of other people; be them children, spouses, or co-workers, people forget to take care of themselves. This can have a negative affect on an individual, both physical and emotional. To help counteract this, it is a good idea to take some time to pamper yourself.


Pampering yourself does not have to be an involved task. Sometimes there are simple ways to make yourself feel special and refreshed. These simple things may need a few special things, such as bath salts and lotions, but they are easy to procure and inexpensive. The hard part is finding time alone to relax and take the time to pay attention to your self.


  • As stated, the hard part of pampering is finding the time. You are busy. There is a lot to do. Just as you schedule the family into your life, schedule yourself and make sure to write it down. This will prevent you from scheduling other things over your pampering time. If you really cannot get away, consider taking a nap during the day and pampering yourself at night, when the family and friends are asleep.
  • Start with a nice bath. Bath salts are typically scented Epson salt that is great for relaxation and loosening tight muscles. There are a lot of sites that offer different flavors of bath salts that are said to do different things, such as relax, calm or stimulate. When picking a bath salt, go with what scent you like, rather than what it is said to do for you. After all, even if the bath salt is supposed to calm you, you will not be very calm if you don’t like the scent or if it gives you a headache.
  • When stepping out of the bath, don’t reach for a towel, instead reach for the lotion. Right after the bath or shower is an ideal time to put on lotion because your pores are open and your skin is most receptive to the restorative properties of the lotion. This will lead to softer and more radiant skin. This will also lead to needing lotion less often and having longer lasting results.
  • Pedicures are a luxury that most people do not give themselves. However, the process of smoothing the skin and putting lotion on the feet can make it more comfortable to walk and leave the feet looking beautiful. The process simply requires a pumice stone and some lotion. For maximum results, wrap your feet with a warm towel while allowing the lotion to seep into your feet.
  • Most people think of the manicure as simply getting your nails painted. However, a true manicure includes a deep lotion and a smoothing of the skin on the hands, one of the most visible parts of the body. The process does not take long and it can be amazing how good your hands will feel and look with just a little time spent on them.


With these simple techniques, you can recharge your batteries and feel good about yourself and ready to take on the day. The techniques are simple to do, and should be done a few times a week ideally, but a few times a month can be sufficient. Even just doing these techniques in times of stress can help make you feel good and relaxed despite whatever else is going on in your life.


Penumbra Theatre Announces 2011-2012 Season

Penumbra Theatre
Announces 2011-2012 Season 

Tickets on sale Friday, July 15, 2011


We announced the plays for the upcoming 2011-2012 season today – and it will  hopefully be in the newspapers and on websites later this week. As a friend of  Penumbra, we wanted to make sure you were among the first to hear about this  exciting season which includes a special presentation of I Wish You Love by Dominic Taylor on the Penumbra stage and The Amen Corner, presented at the Guthrie Theater!


Tickets for this season will be available online and through our Box Office on  Friday, July 15, so mark your calendar!

Axe PatternTwo Trains Running by August Wilson

September 29 – October 30, 2011
Directed by Lou Bellamy
Presented by Cargill


In 1969 the Hill District is gentrifying, threatening the cultural heart of black Pittsburgh. Slated for demolition is Memphis’ diner, the last refuge for a makeshift family of wounded souls who have all but given up. It takes a newcomer named Sterling – a young convict with a heart that lives up to his name – to change the rules of the game. Unknowingly, the regulars take up a fight that carries them headlong into the Civil Rights Movement. Two Trains Running is an inspiring story about the protest that changed a nation.


Quilt StarJulius By Design  by Kara Lee Corthron

February 9 – March 4, 2012

Directed by Lou Bellamy

Regional premiere

Presented by RBC Wealth Management

Laurel and Josephine survived the murder of their teenage son by focusing on the small things in life: morning coffee, a crossword puzzle, their weekend plans. Secretly, though, Josephine has been writing letters to his killer. A story about loss, forgiveness, and courage, Julius by Design testifies to the power of hope in the wake of tragedy.


Crazy QuiltBourbon at the Border  by Pearl Cleage

March 29 – April 22, 2012


Directed by Lou Bellamy





Crusaders on the frontlines of the Civil Rights Movement in Mississippi, Charlie and May had a love that seemed untouchable.  However, they did not know the price they would pay for their idealism. Years later, bound only by the trauma of violence and terror they endured, they face a choice: survive alone or die together. Bourbon at the Border is the gripping story of their last fight for freedom.



Textile QuiltThe Amen Corner by James Baldwin

May 11 – June 17, 2012


Directed by Lou Bellamy

Musical direction by Sanford Moore


A Penumbra Theatre production presented at the Guthrie Theater

As the pastor of her church, Sister Margaret Alexander has devoted her life to the Lord and given up on earthly love. However, when her son’s search for his father uncovers a secret from her past, Sister Margaret faces a reckoning. Featuring gospel music by Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, The Amen Corner questions the price of salvation.


Note: Penumbra season ticket packages include this production.





A Special Presentation at Penumbra

African TextileI Wish You Love  by Dominic Taylor

November 18 – December 4, 2011
Directed by Lou Bellamy

Back by popular demand!
In 1957, Americans were falling in love to the sweet sounds of Nat “King” Cole. His carefully manicured image distracted an entire generation of white viewers from the reality of racial violence raging in the streets. Still, Cole believed that with enough talent and persistence he would be judged on the content of his character as opposed to the color of his skin. Join us for this return engagement-an intimate portrait of one man, his music, and the dreams of a nation.

Note: This special presentation is not offered in the season ticket package.

Single tickets for I Wish You Love are on sale now through the Penumbra Theatre Box Office at 651-224-3180 or www.penumbratheatre.org


Mark your calendars!  You don’t want to miss this knockout season!
Tickets on sale July 15, 2011.

Current Season Subscriber Alert: You get to renew your subscription and reserve your favorite seats first! Forms will be mailed on June 20!
Penumbra Logo


Dealing With Temperature Changes

Well, summer’s heat came and went and then came back. This can be a bit frustrating for everyone. In addition to daily temperature changes, there are also the shifts between the temperatures between night and day. Not to mention weather changes, such as sudden rains. Preparing for such changes can make the difference between a fun-filled day and an uncomfortable or even dangerous outing.


  • Layers- Layers are most often associated with winter, but they can be very helpful during the summer. These layers can be put on or taken off depending upon the weather. This can help to regulate your personal temperature. The extra layers can be left in your car or carried in a small bag so as to remain comfortable when out and about.
  • Coats- It is always a good idea to keep a jacket in the car or on you whenever you go out. The weather this year has been rather unpredictable, and by being prepared you can prevent getting soaked and potentially sick. In addition, many times the rain is paired with cold weather and this can become dangerous if there is no way to get out of the rain or the cold.
  • Shoes- Yes, we all look forward to being able to wear flip-flops. These are not particularly good at keeping your feet warm or dry. It is often a good idea to leave some shoes in the car incase the weather gets cold and wet. This can help to prevent you from being uncomfortable and cold.


These really simple ways to protect yourself during the day from changing weather can help to ensure that you have a great time every time you go out. These seem like pretty simple ideas, but you’d be surprised how many times people are caught off guard and without proper clothing and protection. I know I’ve been there, caught in a downpour while at an outdoor concert, sick, cold and wet. Learn from my mistake and be prepared.


How to pull of BOLD lips!

All over the fashion magazines this summer are models with a neutral shimmery eye, glowing skin, and perfect bold lips in either pink or coral.  Many woman have mastered the shimmery eye with glowing skin, but for whatever the reason are hesitant to try a bolder lip.  Here are some tips that you can try at home:

Beauty Tip: 1. Exfoliate lips before with an old tooth brush and then moisturize.
2. Use a concealer brush to define lips, it can act as an eraser and take away the mistakes at the edge of the lips. You can also use it to sharpen the edge.

Beauty Tip: Use a sharp lip liner the exact same shade of your lip color. Smile while applying to make the application of the liner much smoother.

Beauty Tip: Laying the pencil on its side instead of straight on makes applying easier.

Add your choice of lip color or top it off with gloss for extra shine.  Get ready to look beautiful!

Original article (http://www.eclecticspalon.com/how-to-pull-of-bold-lips/)

Eminence Skin Care at Eclectic Spalon

One of the best parts about my job is that I get to try out new products that come into the spa.  I love samples, and if you saw my linen closet you would know that I love me some products too!  I love the packaging, the way they smell,  the idea that I am doing something good for my skin, and excited with anticipation to see the results.  The worst is when you have spent so much money on a product that doesn’t work, and we have all done that.

That is why I have fallen in love with Eminence Skin Care.  They always deliver on all of their promises, they smell amazing, and the results are the best that I have ever had.  One of the new samples that have come into the spa is the Pink Grapefruit-c Gel.  This gel is is a light-weight moisturizer that is recommended for people with oily, blemished or normal skin types.  This c gel has vitamin C that will help the skin look younger, and a refreshing peppermint that will help heal and prevent blemishes.  The combination of the grapefruit and peppermint smells amazing and I’m loving the lightweight feel.  Once you try Eminence Skin Care everything else pales in comparison.  Come fall in love like I did.

Original article (http://www.eclecticspalon.com/eminence-skin-care-at-eclectic-spalon/)

Skin Care is Meaning, Relaxing and Informative

I bet your asking yourself, if you have never had one of course, do I really need to get a facial?? They are just going to clean my face, put some stuff on it, and in a couple of days it will be back to the same old face just like before right?

Well, you couldn’t be more wrong!  Getting a facial can be both relaxing, informative, and meaningful.

Meaningful?  Well, coming from someone who had really bad acne during her teens knows how meaningful it would have been for me to have clear skin.  Feeling comfortable in ones skin leads to confidence, and who knows where that can lead!
Relaxing?  What could be more relaxing then taking some time out from ones stressful schedule to focus just on you and your skin care needs?  In skin care there is no basic facial.  Every facial is done similarly, but the door is always to be left open for customization.  No two facials will be alike,  just as no two people are alike.
Informative?  Well, during your appointment you have an expert at your disposal to ask any question that has you stumped.  Whether it is regarding make-up, at home care, or a just recommendation, feel free to ask.  They are expecting you to!

Original posting

Controlling the Frizz

This year, I’m cheating. I cut all my hair to shoulder length and have it layered in such a way that it does not really get frizzy and if it does, it actually looks like it is supposed to be that way. This being s


aid, this length of hair is something new to me. I used to be the long haired girl who had to move her pony-tail before she sat down or risk sitting on it. Frizz used to be my nemesis, right up there with car doors and seat belts. (The car doors are great for closing on your hair and the seat belts catch your hair when you unbuckle, pulling it.)


This being said, with years of long hair, I became almost an expert in avoiding frizz, although seat belts and car doors still got me on a regular basis. Here are some of my best tips to keep the frizz away and enjoy soft and manageable hair all season long, no matter what the weather is doing.



  • Blow dry your hair so that the nozzle of the blow dryer is pointed down. This can take some practice in order to get right, but with some flexibility and practice you’ll be able to dry your hair just like the professionals. Don’t forget the brush, by the way, you’ll want to brush your hair down while you are blow drying it in order to avoid it becoming tangled.
  • Tying the hair up was my number one favorite way to dry my hair. Yes, it took forever if I pulled my hair into a bun and let it air dry, but it gave my hair a natural curl and eliminated all frizz and static electricity from my hair. Braids and tight pony tails work wonders as well.
  • Use a leave in conditioner. I know it can be difficult to avoid using too much conditioner when you are using a leave in, but if you use a quarter sized drop of leave in conditioner and then spread it from the tips to the roots, you can eliminate frizz. This can also be achieved with a small amount of hair gel and some people suggest hand lotion, but I’ve never tried that one.
  • I recently heard that placing a frozen towel around the hair can also eliminate frizz. While I cannot attest to the effectiveness of this, I can say that when it gets hot outside, I’ll be doing this just for the fun of it.


Good luck in taming those locks of yours. Remember, if you cannot beat it, join it. Just because you want straight hair and the humidity is making your hair curl in frizz does not mean it is the end of the world. Apply a little gel or product to the hair and go with the curls. Who knows, you might just find you like them.