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This has been a fantastic month. What a place, its got everything, cool cities – Wellington particularly, really easy going people, and incredible lakes and landscape, all in the space of two small islands. If you’re able, I reckon everyone should go to New Zealand. Here are just a few more pics to whet your appetite… See you in LA!
It is my duty to inform you that what follows is a collection of images (and text) from the Hobbiton film set in Matamata, New Zealand. If you are of a nerd-ous disposition, then look away now or come back next week for a different installment.
We arrived in the small town of MataMata just in time for the first tour of the day with Hobbiton Tours to the movie set of Hobbiton, the place where Bilbo, Frodo and Sam live in the Lord of the Rings movies.
Now, I’ve been to film sets in the UK before and was kinda expecting a dodgy “blowing in the wind” cardboard cut out sort of place. However nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the place looked like the locals (hobbits) had just popped out for something and would be back at any moment… it was so real. It WAS…
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Like Memorial Day, Independence Day has become a time for gathering with friends and family, but let us also remember its true purpose. In a 1776, John Adams penned in a letter to his wife that Independence Day “ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance.” Its purpose is to memorialize the Declaration of Independence and the forming of a federal union by the first 13 independent states.
For the United States, the philosophy of independence is about living out liberty and national allegiance. The American Revolution waged by the original 13 colonies was a fight for freedom, a fight to be self-governing and sovereign states free of tyranny and oppression from the British Crown, which prohibited basic rights of all Englishmen.
Ultimately, the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783 declared the 13 colonies to be “free sovereign and independent states.” This treaty established that the fundamental right of sovereignty…
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Then, miraculously, Ed Komarek posted it just an hour or so later!
My first thought when I saw it was biosphere or mothership. This baby is monstrous. Makes me feel small. ~ BP
Published on 29 Mar 2014
Ok, this image was released by the Brasilia Planetarium recently and seems to show a massive disc shaped object stationed above the Earth. The disc is estimated to be around 3-5 thousand miles in diameter. If you look at the bottom left of the image you can see a cloud formation passing over the top of the anomaly, this indicates that the object is not a projection onto the earth. I have no idea what this…
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How to Make The Mother of all Natural Face Peels
July 17, 2013 ElegantMiss
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Today, we have for you a guide to making the big-daddy of home-made face-peels. And the method is ridiculously simple!
There are a few variations of this recipe, and – whilst those who follow this method swear by its benefits – results can vary. Some people have even reported good results by substituting almond milk for the regular milk that this recipe calls for. What is certain, is that many chronic sufferers of blackheads have found this to be the most effective method of removing them clear out of their pores.
Now – a word of caution. Making this product involves heating the raw mixture up in a microwave. Please, please, please, take particular care before applying this to your face (or any other sensitive body part, for that matter!); though the product needs to be applied very quickly after heating, try a little on (for example) the back of your hand first to avoid burning, or any other unfavorable reaction.
And a second word of caution. If you do not want to lose eyebrows or other facial hair, or, if parts of your skin are especially sensitive – think twice about using this method. Eyebrows have been lost or unintentionally “groomed” – so, you have been warned. A worthwhile precautionary measure would be to apply a little vaseline to your eyebrows or other sensitive parts, to avoid a strong adhesion.
Ok, so that’s the disclaimers over with! Here’s what you will need :
- 1 tablespoon of powdered/granulated, unflavored gelatine (any brand
- 1-2 tablespoons of milk;
- a few drops of your favorite essential oil (optional);
- with experimentation, even a leaf or two of a sheet gelatine could suffice;
- the essential oil is optional. You might like to add a few drops to mask the unpleasant smell of the concoction, but it’s not necessary. Remember, though, that you will be applying this to your skin – so think carefully about what you are adding!
- you might like to have some tea tree oil or witch hazel to hand, to reward your skin once the peel has been removed!
Have your ingredients ready and – importantly, if you want to maximize the effects of the peel, give your face (or wherever you are going to apply the mask) a thorough wash. This helps with adhesion, and can improve the overall results.
So, here’s how things look before we start :
Once you have the gelatin in your (microwave-safe) mixing container, add 1-2 tablespoons of milk and give your concoction a brisk stir with a spatula or any (preferably disposable) stirrer. I tend to use 1 1/2 tablespoons myself, but your mileage may vary. If this is the first time you have made the this mixture, I would suggest that you try 1 1/2 tablespoons of milk – you can always make adjustments next time around.
Step 1 – mix the ingredients
So, here is what your mixture will resemble, in terms of texture (it’s a little like the ‘gludgy’ texture of flour and water). It will mix very quickly, by the way – a few seconds is all it takes.
Remembering that this peel must be applied quickly after heating, give one last thought to your preparations : have you prepared your skin with a good warm wash and dry? Do you have handy the spatula (or other instrument) that you will use to apply the peel?
Note that, though my photo (above) includes a bottle of a natural, scented oil, I tend not to add a few drops until the mix is heated; after all, who wants to eat a microwave dinner smelling of sandalwood?! So, I recommend that you add any oil after the mix is out of the oven.
Step 2 – microwave the concoction
Remembering that not all microwaves are created equally, give some thought to how long you will set your timer for. I have a fairly high wattage unit, and heat for 15 seconds on the High setting. Now, don’t get too hung up on this – the ingredients for this cost next to nothing, and the mix only takes a minute or two to prepare. If you make a mistake, or get your estimates incorrect – start again!
Anyhow, you will notice that once you take the mixture out of your microwave, its consistency will have become much smoother (still slightly thick…but smoother). A number of people have complained about the smell of this mixture and , I’ll not lie – it doesn’t smell pleasant – but it’s really not that bad. Either way, you’ll see for yourself.
Here’s what the mix will look like, straight out of the microwave :
Remember, if you wish to add any scented oils, this is a good time. But, be quick – this stuff hardens very quickly!
Step 3 – apply your mask to your skin
Apply the gloop to your face with your spatula, aiming for a smooth coverage. Don’t make your mask too thick, as the drying time will be just too long! In fact, it might not dry sufficiently if you do this.
Step 4 – wait! Let your mask dry thoroughly
You will need to avoid scrunching your face up or making any facial expressions for at least 30-45 minutes, but you will know when the mask is ready because you will have difficulty in doing so anyway!
I have read of people getting excellent results by quickening the drying time by using a hairdryer, and – to be honest – I cannot think of any reason that this would not work. So, if you are in a hurry, you could give this a try.
Step 5 – peel that sucker (literally!) off
Important – remember, the point of this mask is that you have a skin peel. So resist the temptation to wash it off. Only wash off the final remnants that you cannot peel. This part can hurt – it can hurt real bad, LOL! At this point you will learn how skilled you are at applying a mask whilst avoiding eyebrows and any other sensitive parts of your face!
If you are wondering what the peel looks like when it comes off, here’s a small sample that I applied to my (clean) forearm, for illustrative purposes. Oh – the lemon? It’s only there to give you a sense of scale!
Step 6 – reward your skin
We all love manufactured products, but this is the time to reward your skin with a thin application of tea-tree oil or a generous coating of witch hazel! Wonderful.
P.S if you liked this article, you might like the follow-up, where we give you the easy, but fantastic recipe to tighten up those pores you just cleansed. You’ll find it right here :
HOW TO MAKE A FACIAL PORE TIGHTENER
Kid Sister to Our ‘Mother of All Facial Peels’!
July 26, 2013 ElegantMiss
Today, we have the follow up to our recipe for making The Mother of All Natural Face Peels.
Meet her kid sister!
Except, what we are doing now is fixing to make a skin-astringent face mask that will now close up all of those nasty pores we left open when cleansing our skin with the face peel.
Again – just as we mentioned in the face peel recipe – there are a number of variations of this recipe; but the basics are all the same – we are going to use a natural acid to make those pores want to pull faces, clench their fists, and close their legs together! But, we are also going to reward them with a gentle, relaxing natural anti-oxidant and moisturiser.
A word of caution. If you have just exfoliated your face (especially by using our face peel recipe) then wait for up to 24 hours before using this method, depending on just how sensitive your skin is. If you don’t, then you risk subjecting yourself to some pain – yes, I said pain! If you think that you can stand the discomfort, then fine; just keep a cool, wet facecloth nearby. LOL! I speak from experience!
But – joking aside – lemon juice is a highly acidic solution, so use some common sense and take extreme care! Watch out for your eyes, in particular.
Right, let’s push on…
Here’s what you will need :
- 1 lemon (though, most any citrus fruit can work);
- a teaspoon or so of honey;
- you might, like me, also want to have some witch hazel handy to relax and soothe your face when you’re done.
- nearly any store-bought honey will do, whether it is a pale ‘set’ honey, or a ‘runny’ honey;
- I love to use Manuka Honey, when I have it. Manuka is a New Zealand native tea-tree, and the honey can be very expensive – so, this is merely a preference, not a requirement.
Here’s how things look for me before I start (note that the bottle in the background is Witch Hazel) :
Cut your lemon in half and choose one piece. Now, take a spatula, knife, or whatever, and spread a reasonable measure of honey over the lemon (see below) :
There’s no set rule on how thick your honey needs to be – but don’t have it so thick that the juices from that lovely, fresh lemon aren’t going to get to your skin. In short – just make sure that the surface of the lemon is covered as if you were buttering a piece of bread.
That’ pretty much it, insofar as preparing the mask is concerned.
Now, rub the lemon all over your face – avoiding your eyes, of course – squeezing it gently as you do so, to release the lemon juice. Pay a little extra attention to the tops of your cheeks, your nose, and your chin, as these can be magnets for blackheads!
You’ probably want to relax for around 20 minutes to a half-hour, in order to let the mask do its work. Remember, if you are suffering any sharp pain during the ‘treatment’, wash the mask off immediately with water. Otherwise, once your time is up, wash off the mask with luke-warm water and (optionally) apply either a good coating of Witch Hazel or any other gentle skin moisturiser.
This treatment can be carried out regularly (every 2-3 days or so, if you desire, and some of the reported benefits of repeating it are that facial skin has lightened a little and gained a ‘natural’ level of hydration.
We have, as you can see, prepared a face mask. As a variation, you could just as easily mix the juice of a lemon (rather than the lemon itself) with a tablespoon of honey and prepare an astringent lotion that will almost likely work as well. But the same words of caution apply here : you are deliberately applying an acid solution to your face. Be careful!
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Below is what I found in the help files here on word-press.
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