Today’s Picks

Here’s a little game I like to play. It’s called Today’s Picks. It’s kind of like My Favorite Things (sung in a ringing soprano as you dance around a palatial estate somewhere in Austria).

Here I go. Recently I discovered:

1) Planters whole cashews with sea salt. Need I say yum?! And yes, I realize they’re probably higher in caloric value that any other food in our solar system, but they’re so absolutely fantastic they’ve actually helped me lose weight. How, you ask? Just because a few make me so delightfully happy that I don’t need to eat anything else for hours.

2) Cuddl Duds. Granted, these might not be invaluable in a warmer and gentler clime, but up here in Frozen Toes, Minnesota, long underwear is spoken of in hushed and reverent tones. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the kind of gal to turn up her blue-tipped nose at thermal union suits like the lumberjacks wear, but if you can get your long johns slinky with a little lace and maybe a cute little bow. Ahhhhhh. Takes the temperature from suicidal to almost bearable.

3) Homemade lip balm. Weird one, huh? Here’s the thing, because of the endless hours I spend out in the aforementioned suicide-inducing weather, my lips are always chapped, and because of my loathing for all things plastic (tubes, bottles, bags etc.) I decided to attempt to make a few of my own toiletries. At Christmas dear daughter and I tried mixing up a batch of toothpaste. It works well. But good tasting? Not so much. I’d rather brush with battery acid. Our lip balm, however, is great! It’s made of beeswax and three different types of oils. Simplest thing in the world to make. Melt, blend, place in tiny containers and voila…an inexpensive, environmentally friendly lip moisturizer that makes me constantly want to kiss a bee.

So how about you? What are your picks of the day?

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19 Responses to Today’s Picks

  1. cindy gerard says:

    Love your lip balm idea Lois. And would love the recipe.
    My fav pick is Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time herbal tea. Just the right mix of spearmint, rose-hips and camomile. Even if I didn’t like the taste – which I do ’cause it’s yum, yummy – I’d make the tea just to be able to smell it. Wonderful, soothing aroma fills the kitchen whenever there’s a pot brewing – which is every day at our house.

  2. lois greiman says:

    Yes!! Sleepy Time Tea. You’re so right, and it’s so important to have something warm to drink this time of year. Is it 9000 degrees below zero in Iowa, too?

    Here’s the recipe, but I fiddled with it a little. Added more oil for a softer consistency and whipped it with an electric beater. It has the greatest smell and taste.

    Lip Balm
    Mix 1 cup oil (they suggested almond, but we used vit. E, emu, and sunflower oils) with 1/2 cup beeswax. Place over low heat until wax melts. Remove from heat. Whisk until cool. Store in a cool, dark place. (Which is, you know, my house until June.) 🙂

  3. Betina Krahn says:

    Lois, you multi-talented little genie, you! You make your own lip balm! Okay, I confess I’ve given up on most handi-craft things– just don’t have the time to do such things and work 8-5 AND write. (Not that I did too many in recent years anyway.) But the other day I got out the old sewing machine to turn an old sheet into four covers for the dog’s bed and felt a real zing in the old creative arteries. I think I may want to sew something. I have no idea what, but the urge hasn’t gone away and I’m even checking out “JoAnn” store ads.

    YOu know, there are a number of home-made cosemtic recipes on line these days. Maybe I’ll check one out while I’m still at home.

  4. Marilyn says:

    I was going to ask for the recipe because even here in the Heart of Dixie, my lips stay dry. We’ve had a very cold winter for us plus more snow than we’ve seen in over 15 years (don’t laugh when I say that it was 4 inches on Christmas day and 8 inches on January 10 because that much paralyzes an Alabama town with no bad weather road equipment to speak of). I am already familiar with Cuddl Duds and have worn mine to sleep in a few nights this month.

    Favorites? Tea of all sorts. I’m sipping Irish Breakfast right now, but also love PG Tips from England, any sort of chai, peppermint (great when the tummy is bothering you), rooibos, and anything by Celestial Seasonings.

    Polar Fleece — pants, tops, socks, hats, whatever. I love fleece.

    Flannel sheets — I found an $80 set on sale for $20 and they’ve been so comfy.


  5. Marilyn says:

    P.S. I forgot to ask what sort of container you put the lip balm in since you loathe all things plastic.

  6. Leanne Banks says:

    I’m a cuddl dud fan too! My mother introduced me.:) I can go worse than cashews, Lois. I LOVE pecans! YUMMM. And iced tea is the nectar of life for me 365 days a year.:)

  7. MIchele says:

    Hmm, now I’ll be thinking of emu oil all day. 😉

    I’ve fallen in love with macadamia nuts. They have all the good fats we need, and a sweet kick. I’ve also developed a taste for black tea with peppermint and spice, a touch of cream and Truvia. I have tea time every day now. I feel so British.

  8. lois greiman says:

    Betina, isn’t that creative bug funny? Gets in your innards and won’t let go. I’ve been doing some crafty things for a banquet I’m organizing, and had forgotten how much I enjoy fiddling.

  9. lois greiman says:

    Marilyn, I found cute little glass jars with metal clasps at Target. But we used some bottles we had around the house, too.

  10. Keri Ford says:

    Lois–you’re awesome! I’m far to lazy to make my own. 🙂

    btw–my grandma brushed her teeth for years by dipping her peroxide wet brush in a small dish of baking soda. She’s 60s-70s and still has all her own teeth and they’re beautiful! Better than mine, I’d say.

  11. lois greiman says:

    My friend raises emu and swears the oil is a golden panacea. A natural subdermal, good for joints etc.

  12. Since I’m drying out these days–literally, mind you–I love Vanicream for face and hands. Slather over neck and lips, too. Bag Balm is still my favorite for feet and cuticles, and one of those tin cubes lasts forever.

    Another current favorite is dried blueberries and cranberries from Trader Joe’s. Delish dried fruit has so many uses, and blueberries and cranberries are SO good for us.

  13. Oh, and I love stuff that comes in tins. So useful for storage when empty. Kids love them for treasure boxes.

  14. lois greiman says:

    Keri, believe me, there is no one lazier than moi. But sometimes my lips are so sore they’ll wake me up at night. Now I have a five gallon vat of what we affectionately call lipbalm/boot polish beside my bed. 🙂

  15. Terry Odell says:

    Having just moved from the tropics to the dry cold mountains, I’m discovering all sorts of new things. Including hats, gloves, long underwear. I love rooibos tea even better than the Tension Tamer or Sleepy Time teas, although I keep those on hand as well.

    Terry’s Place
    Romance with a Twist–of Mystery

  16. MaryC says:

    Favorites –

    Teas – chai teas(love the spices) and Harney & Sons Bangkok Tea (green tea with coconut, ginger and vanilla)

    Dry roasted cashews with sea salt – totally different taste than ones roasted in oil

    Leg warmers – I can remove them easily when shopping indoors and not feel overly warm

  17. Stephenia says:

    Sumatra coffee beans for fresh ground coffee
    Peppermint chapstick – just the right hint of mint
    Lifesaver rolls – Butter Rum
    Fingerless gloves – when I need to type and my hands are cold
    Wool socks – to keep my feet really warm in the winter

  18. Helen Brenna says:

    Oh, I’m going to make that lip balm, too. Do you think you could use jojoba oil?

    I second the fingerless gloves
    Laptops – mine is definitely the only thing keeping me on deadline at the moment, hence my absence from all things on-line

    And a good Malbec for a late Friday evening!

  19. Kylie Brant says:

    Hmm, I’m with you on the cuddle duds. Due to tailgating needs, I have quite the little collection of slinky/sexy longjohns that provide comfort and warmth without sacrificing femininity! This year I’m into boots, comfortable but warm. My favorites are Steve Maddens. And I’m still in love with my Lilash tubes that make my eyelashes grow. And grow. And grow 🙂 After all, when we’re all bundled up here up north, sometimes our eyes are the only things showing!

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