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Archive for the 'Thursday Thirteen' Category

Thirteen Ways to Help a Bad Head Case

Thursday Thirteen

Sometimes a few drinks at night can end up in a hangover the next morning. There are lots of theories and tried and true methods for curing a hangover. In truth, the only way to cure a hangover is limit the number of drinks you have.

Thirteen Hangover Cures and Hints

1. The hair of the dog – i.e. drink more of what you drank the night before.

2. The French drink thick and hot onion soup the morning after.

3. In Switzerland they drink a shot of brandy with a hint of peppermint.

4. In Russia they try heavily salted cucumber juice and black bread soaked in water.

5. In Norway they recommend double cream.

6. In Outer Mongolia they recommend a pickled sheep’s eye in a glass of tomato juice. Can I say yuck?

7. In Haiti they cure a hangover by sticking thirteen black-headed pins into the cork of a bottle that got you that way.

8. Don’t mix alcohol types.

9. Carbonated drinks affect people faster i.e. those bottles of bubbles.

10. Drink a pint of lightly-salted water before going to bed.

11. Drink an isotonic sports drink but not the fizzy, carbonated kind.

12. Eat a banana, honey and peanut butter sandwich. The honey and banana contain potassium and glucose. Bananas contain magnesium, which may help to relax the blood vessels in the head.

13. Go for a brisk walk or have a long and hot powerful shower. The powerful shower is to relax the muscles and helps if you’re a fiend on the dance floor between drinks. A hot bath will also help.

Do you have a favored hangover cure?

Source: Her Magazine, December/January 2011 and Hangover Cures by Ben Reed

Thirteen Tips For Living Life Well

Thursday Thirteen

I’m all about living well and enjoying life. Here are a few tips to help you live well.

Thirteen Tips For Living Well

1. Laughter is really the best medicine. A good chuckle helps to increase the blood flow and can decrease the risk of heart disease.

2. A wide brimmed hat is a good alternative to a baseball cap. It keeps the sun off the neck, ears and shoulders as well as the face.

3. Getting out in the sunshine is important during the winter months. If you aren’t getting enough, try eating your lunch outdoors during the week for a quick Vitamin D boost.

4. Something as simple as using positive words in everyday conversations and also in your thoughts can help ease stress and anxiety.

5. Prevent the spread of viruses by regularly wiping down keyboards, telephones, bench tops and any other commonly touched surfaces.

6. Skip the high heels. A three-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a one-inch heel.

7. Protect your hearing by limiting use of equipment louder than 85 decibels. Most hairdriers, lawnmowers and motorcycles exceed this limit.

8. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E, one of the primary antioxidants that helps decrease the decline of memory as you age.

9. Keep expanding your social skills by sparking a conversation with someone you normally wouldn’t. It’s great for confidence and gets you out of your comfort zone.

10. Sitting or standing all day can be bad for your joints. If sitting all day at work, be sure to stand up every 30 minutes and stretch. If you are persistently on your feet, sit down for five minutes and give your feet a rest.

11. There are four simple steps that help facilitate a good night’s sleep. The magic words are dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. Sleep in a dark, quiet room that is cool in temperature and wear comfortable clothes.

12. Brushing your hair doesn’t just keep it knot-free, but also stimulates blood flow to the scalp, helping your hair to grow faster. The best times to brush are before bed and before shampooing.

13. Dog owners lead a healthier lifestyle. Dogs help buffer stress and also assist in facilitating more physical activity. I’m living proof of this because I’ve lost weight since we adopted a puppy in January.


Do you have a tip to live life well?

Source: Alive Magazine, Issue 7

Thirteen Ways to Look Instantly Slimmer

Thursday Thirteen

I attended a craft show last week and sat in on several lectures. One of them was on fashion and styling, which didn’t really fit with crafts, but it was still interesting. Kate Elizabeth, the fashion stylist talked about ways to look slimmer and I thought I’d pass them on.

1. Wear non-shiny fabrics. Matt fabrics work best since they don’t scream “look at me!”

2. Wear clothing items with as many vertical elements as possible. They lengthen the body.

3. Wear dark colors over areas you want to disguise e.g. black trousers to cover a large butt.

4. Make sure your underwear fits perfectly since this is the foundation for your garments. Make sure the said underwear keeps everything in its place.

5. Large is not necessary best. Stick to medium size accessories and patterns.

6. Wear one color on the top and bottom e.g. black T-shirt with black trousers or jeans

7. Wear fabrics that drape rather cling.

8. Wear fine or medium weave fabrics rather than chunky ones.

9. Wear shoes with a medium to high heel to add height.

10. Wear prints that don’t have an obvious pattern i.e. abstract patterns

11. Wear garments with elbow length sleeves.

12. Wear clothes with some shape to them rather than going for a boxy look.

13. Wear eye-catching accessories to direct the eye away from problem areas.

What do you think? Do these solutions work for you?

Thirteen Disasters Waiting to Happen

Thursday Thirteen

Since the earthquake in Christchurch and the one in Japan, our larger cities have been under the spotlight. According to records, many buildings in Auckland (where I live) are not earthquake proof. For the last few years we’ve had a series of ads on TV and other media about being prepared with an emergency kit. Like most people I pretty much ignored the ads. Not now. Experts say we have earthquakes every day in New Zealand. Who knew? I didn’t. I’ve never experienced an earthquake, and I really don’t want to lose my virgin status in this respect.

In our local paper this week they listed disasters that could strike those of us who live in Auckland. They included the likelihood of a hazard occuring and the possible impact on the Auckland population.

Thirteen Auckland Disaster Risks

1. Power failure – very high risk/possible/catastrophic (a problem with power crippled the central business district a few years ago)

2. Human epidemic – very high risk/possible/catastrophic (we’re big travellers with lots of planes coming and going each day)

3. Distant volcanic eruption – very high risk/likely/major

4. Cyclone – very high risk/likely/major

5. Flooding – very high risk/almost certain/moderate (flooding seems to be a problem in many areas during high rainfall)

6. Erosion: Coastal Cliff – very high risk/almost certain/moderate (there are lots of expensive homes perched on cliffs)

7. Auckland volcanic eruption – high risk/rare/catastrophic (I knew this was a possibility since Auckland is built on a field of volcanoes)

8. Animal epidemic – high risk/possible/major

9. Aircraft crash – high risk/possible/major

10. Earthquake – high risk/unlikely/major

11. Hazardous spill – high risk/likely/moderate

12. Erosion: Landslide – very high risk/almost certain/moderate (we’re quite a hilly city, but I wouldn’t have thought of this one)

13. Dam failure/Rural fire – low risk

Source – Manukau Courier, 15 Mar, 2011
Are you prepared? – a link to a website about being prepared for an emergency.

What disasters could strike where you live? Are you prepared with an emergency kit?

Thirteen Ways to Limit Excessive Shopping & Spending

Thursday Thirteen

My sister works in a shopping center. Last weekend it rained and she said the mall was absolutely chocka with shoppers. Evidently when people are bored or at a loss for an activity, they shop! Who knew? That inspired my post for today.

Thirteen Ways to Limit Shopping & Spending

1. Make a list and shop only once a week.

2. Plan menus and only shop for things that relate to your menus.

3. Share information about family spending with your children and this will make them more aware of how much things cost. This should also focus them on needs versus wants.

4. Have regular no-car days. This not only saves money spent on fuel, but you’re less likely to go shopping if you have to walk or take public transport.

5. Buy second-hand where possible.

6. Make a note of what you’re spending. If you write things down you have a better awareness.

7. If you’re likely to go shopping during your lunch hours change your behavior. Go for a walk instead.

8. Sell stuff you don’t use such as clothes, toys, books etc

9. Instead of purchasing gifts, give time. Grandmother would probaly love a strong back to do her gardening or wash her car.

10. Pay by cash rather than a credit card and set a budget for the amount of cash you draw out of your bank each week.

11. Make your own or grow your own wherever possible.

12. Socialize at home rather than going out all the time.

13. Draw a line between needs and wants. Have a family meeting and get the children to do the same thing. Ask yourself – do I really need this?

Do you have any tips to add? How often do you shop?

Thirteen Tips for Entertaining

Thursday Thirteen

Sometimes entertaining can be a little scary. Here are some tips for beginners…

Thirteen Tips for Entertaining i.e. Entertaining 101

1. Think ahead and set the table in the morning or afternoon of the dinner.

2. Make the table special with a simple seasonal centerpiece or something to complement the guests or food. Don’t make the centerpiece too tall. You don’t want your guests craning their necks all during the dinner.

3. Candlelight creates a great atmosphere. Keep the candles low so that conversation flows across the table.

4. Get in the mood with some chic and restful music.

5. Don’t try to be too ambitious and enlist help in the kitchen or design a prepare-ahead menu.

6. Forget nibbles. Plan on getting the guests to the table promptly after one or two drinks.

7. Keep it simple. Plan a meal that is simple to prepare and eat. Complex food is often time-consuming and heavy, leaving your poor guests groaning and overfull.

8. Focus on one course being the star rather than three spectacular courses.

9. Don’t experiment. Cook dishes you’re familiar with and have tried before.

10. Avoid repetition in colors, ingredients, textures and flavors. i.e. don’t serve tomato soup followed by roast beef garnished with red and a berry dessert.

11. Refrain from drinking yourself until dinner is under way. You don’t want to feature in your guests stories for years to come!

12. Seek advice if you’re not skilled with matching food and wine. Take your menu to a specialist wine store. Even your supermarket probably has a wine expert.

13. Cocktails get everyone in a happy frame of mind. They can be time consuming to make so purchase a bottle of the best bubbles you can afford.

Do you have any entertaining tips?

The Senses: Thirteen Things That Relate to Smell

Thursday Thirteen

Two things made me think about smell today. I’m currently working on polishing book twelve in my Middlemarch Mates series and I’d overdone the word “smell”. Also one of the ponds we walk past during our evening walk really honks. I think it’s due to the hot weather and lack of rain to wash it out.

Thirteen Words That Relate to Smell

1. fragrance

2. malodorous

3. waft

4. whiff

5. bouquet

6. fresh

7. stink

8. odor

9. inhale

10. nose

11. reek

12. perfume

13. musty

What smells/scents do you dislike? (the pond ranks right up there for me!)

Thirteen Ways to Have The Perfect Pout

Thursday Thirteen

This week I’m all about a sexy pout.

Thirteen Ways to Have Sexy Lips and the Perfect Pout

1. The skin on the lips is delicate and tender and it pays to take care. Dead skin on the lips needs to be removed carefully. Do not bite or chew it off because this can lead to a bacterial infection. The easiest way to exfoliate the lips is to use a special lip exfoliator. Apply and rub in a circular fashion, blot dry and use a lip balm.

2. Sun damage is cumulative and can leave white patches if the skin gets burned. Look for lipsticks that contain a sunscreen.

3. Try not to lick your lips because when the moisture evaporates they become even drier and will crack and peel.

4. For soft and sexy lips use a lip moisturizer or balm. Apply several times a day. The thin film from these products will protect lips.

5. Lipstick balances your make-up, adds definition and draws attention to your mouth.

6. Look for lipsticks that contain a moisturizing core. Long-lasting lipstick tends to dry the lips.

7. A lip brush gives a more professional look and allows you to color the corners of your lips easily.

8. Do not alter the natural shape of your lips unless absolutely necessary because this can result in an unnatural look.

9. A lip pencil is a girl’s best friend when it comes to shaping. Use a sharp lip pencil and keep the lip liner as thin as possible.

10. Lipstick color should complement hair, eye color and skin tone plus your outfit.

11. If your lips are too full, avoid bright colors and stick to matt finish lipsticks. If your upper lip is too thin use your lip pencil and draw just outside the top line. If your bottom lip is too thin, outline the bottom of the lip line only. Apply two coats of lipstick to the top lip and only one coat to the bottom lip.

12. Once you’ve applied lip pencil and your lipstick with the brush, blot it with a tissue, powder, re-apply lipstick and blot again. Personally, I don’t usually do all this but done this way your lipstick will last.

13. Pampering your lips will help them to look plumper and fuller. Your lipstick will also last longer and you won’t get an unattractive lipstick bleed.

Do you wear lipstick?Do you have a favorite color?

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Thursday Thirteen

Apple Crumble is one of my favorite desserts, which leads me to the main ingredient—apples.

Thirteen Facts About Apples

1. A pippin is an apple grown from a pip.

2. Here’s a centuries old cooking tip: cook or serve apples with fatty meats and the acid will balance the richness.

3. British apple pies have pastry on top. American apple pies have pastry top and bottom. This is according to the magazine article I have on apples. I’m not sure that I agree with this. My mother always used to have pastry top and bottom on her apple pies.

4. Pies came about in medieval times when cooks encased food in a thick pastry crust called a coffin (coffin).

5. A medium apple contains about 80 calories.

6. In Ancient Greece if a man tossed an apple at a woman, he was proposing marriage. If the woman caught the apple she was accepting his proposal.

7. Apples do not grow true to form from seed. They have to be grafted.

8. When baking an apple, score a line around the middle to stop the skins bursting.

9. Apples are the second most popular fruit in New Zealand. Bananas are the most popular fruit.

10. The most widely available cooking apple in New Zealand is the Granny Smith. This apple was named after a little old granny from Kent, England. She emigrated to Sydney, Australia around 1840 – 1850. She and her husband set up an orchard. The granny found an apple seedling growing by a creek and the rest is history.

11. If you’re making apple puree don’t peel the apples. Slice thickly with both peel and pips still intact. Add a knob of butter and a sprinkling of sugar and cover with a piece of butter paper and put on a lid. Cook slowly until apples soften. Pass through a coarse sieve. Eat warm or cold with custard, cream or ice cream, spread over crepes or flavor with sage and serve with roast pork.

12. The most popular apple in New Zealand is the Royal Gala. It’s available from late February to late March. Not long to wait!

13. Each country has developed their own apples. Golden Delicious apples were developed in America. Fuji apples are a Japanese variety. NZ Rose apples are a cross between Gala and Splendor. New apple varieties are being developed all the time.

Source: An article by Julie Biuso in the March 2007 New Zealand Taste magazine.

Do you like apples? Do you have a favorite variety or way to eat apples? As I mentioned earlier I adore apple crumble.

Thirteen Things For Authors To Tweet About

Thursday Thirteen

I’m fairly new to Twitter, and I’m always wondering what to tweet about. I subscribe to The Book Marketing Expert newsletter and this week they included an article covering things for people to tweet about. Here are a few of them.

Thirteen Things For Authors to Tweet About

1. Teach stuff – teach a little mini-lesson on Twitter. Delve into your area of expertise or just talk about book publishing and how to get published.

2. Share sites or blogs that your followers would be interested in. Be their “filter” to new and exciting information.

3. Use Twitter as a news source: you can easily announce news both from your world (as long as it relates to your topic) and from the world of your expertise.

4. Tweet any good reviews your book gets, it’s always fun to share the good stuff!

5. Feed your blog through Twitter using

6. Use YouTube to share helpful videos you think your followers will love.

7. Run a contest.

8. Ask for advice or ask questions that encourage responses.

9. Talk about the latest trends in your industry.

10. Review a product or book on Twitter.

11. Post an inspirational quote or message.

12. Follow big names in your market on Twitter: this will often bring in their followers too, and you want to see what the “big guys” are up to.

13. Widen your network – follow other Twitter folk, this will not only give you some ideas for your own “tweets” but it’s a great way to network with other writers or professionals.

Source: Reprinted from “The Book Marketing Expert newsletter,” a free ezine offering book promotion and publicity tips and techniques.

Are you on Twitter? If so, what is your Twitter handle? (I’m @ShelleyMunro) What do you tweet about?