Don’t buy DuraCeramic by Congoleum

Kitchen flooring is quite an investment and it’s reasonable to expect it to last a good ten years. So when our DuraCeramic vinyl flooring starting flaking off after only four years, I couldn’t believe it.

Then I remembered that the manufacturer, Congoleum, has a limited lifetime warranty on DuraCeramic. Unfortunately, trying to get them to honor that warranty was an exercise in futility.

I didn’t just get a bad batch of flooring. Lots of other people are reporting the same issues with DuraCeramic and also with Congoleum.

Update 2015: There is a class action lawsuit pending against Congoleum for their defective DuraCeramic product, failure to honor warranties and false advertising. For more information on participating in this lawsuit, visit Class Action News.

(The original article continues below:)

Congoleum claims this product is tougher than regular linoleum

box of duraceramic tile

This product is a vinyl composition tile, or VCT. It’s mixed with limestone which is supposed to make it stronger. The salesman even told us it was like a hybrid of linoleum and ceramic tile. It’s supposed to resist chipping and cracking, and comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

DuraCeramic is soft and dents easily

dents in duraceramic

There are dents in the floor where the refrigerator used to sit. This is pretty consistent with regular linoleum that hasn’t been enhanced with the addition of limestone. Again, this was pitched as being stronger and more durable than ordinary linoleum.

Near the top of the photo you can also see the floor is scratched.

Thin flimsy tiles

measuring duraceramic tile

These measure just under one-quarter of an inch thick. The material is soft, pliable and easy to drill through should the need arise. In fact, the tiles must be stored flat or they’ll warp. So far, more characteristic of linoleum than ceramic tile.

No, those aren’t paint splatters. It’s just the design wearing off.

peeling duraceramic tile

These white spots started appearing about four years after installation. At first I thought someone spilled paint on the floor. Then I realized the pattern was wearing off. For that to happen this top layer must have been microthin.

Now I’ve had a lot of linoleum flooring over the years, and this problem has never, ever happened. Most of the time it seems to wear like iron and only ends up getting replaced because you’re tired of looking at it.

Flaking tiles

Some areas are worn down further into the tile

worn duraceramic tile

The damage is not limited to the top layer in some places.

Four tiles are affected so far

This area by the sink is the worst

chipped duraceramic tiles

Here’s a short video of my damaged kitchen floor

I took this video with my camera and I apologize for the quality.

What happened to the lifetime limited warranty?

When it comes time to make good on their warranty, Congoleum doesn’t want to hear from you. I believe the technical term for it is “giving you the run around.” And should you think mine was an isolated incident, please feel free to read the horror stories you can find here:

Pissed Consumer Reviews

I first contacted the salesman about the problem we were having with the floor. He said he would file a claim with Congoleum and they would come out to inspect. But they didn’t come. Instead they sent the salesman to my house to take pictures a week later.

Two weeks passed and I didn’t hear anything. I called the salesman again and he said he would contact the manufacturer’s rep about putting in a claim and that they would call me the following week.

Eight days passed with no word. I called the salesman again. This time he promised the rep would call me in a couple of days.

Another week went by and I had to call the salesman yet again. He said he would call the rep, again. The very next day he came back to my house to take pictures because somehow the first set of pictures got lost.

Fifteen days passed and what do you know, I finally got a call from the Mohawk consumer affairs rep. She said the claim was in process!

Another two weeks went by and I called the Mohawk rep to find out what was going on. She told me I had to talk to the salesman about the status of my claim. He wasn’t in and I had to leave a message for him to call me back.

The next day, nine weeks after initially contacting the salesman, he called and gave me their verdict: claim denied. If I wanted the floor fixed I would have to pay for it myself at an estimated cost of $200 for a box of tiles and installation.

Well that was it! No way was Congoleum going to get any more of my hard-earned cash to fix their lousy floor.

In conclusion, DuraCeramic is a waste of money

If you’re looking for new flooring, steer clear of DuraCeramic or anything else made by Congoleum. There are lots of other choices for quality products made by companies with integrity.

As for me, I decided to invest my money on new flooring that will truly stand the test of time—porcelain tile! And the best part is, I don’t even have to tear out the old floor. The new tile can go right on top.

Why I love my Samsung Chromebook

A couple of months ago, I’d never heard of a Chromebook, but having had one for a short time, I can’t imagine ever being without it.

Now I’m not the kind of person who has to have the latest gadget. I proudly get by on the least amount of technology possible. So the idea of getting a Samsung Chromebook and leaving Microsoft Windows behind was really out of my comfort zone. But its sleek look, compact size and low price tag kept calling me.

Before making my purchase I read a lot of reviews, most of which were very technical. Not being a techie myself, I didn’t understand everything in those reviews. But one thing was clear—they were overwhelmingly positive. So I took a chance and I couldn’t be happier!

I saved more money by buying a used one

The new ones are practically dirt cheap at around $250. But when I saw a used “like new” Chromebook for about $65 less, I thought, what the heck, might as well give it a try. It was offered through Amazon Warehousedeals which had good reviews, and I knew I could return it if I didn’t like it.

The only thing I did give up buying a used one was the free 100 GB of document storage in the cloud on Google Drive for two years. This is in addition to the 5 GB that everyone can get for free. But I figured the 5 GB would be enough for me anyway.

I was so excited to unpack my new Chromebook!

unpacking my Samsung Chromebook

Unpacking my Samsung Chromebook

Inside the box are the Chromebook, power cord, quick start guide and safety instructions.

My computer looked brand new, only the box looked like it had been opened and taped up again. The screen still had the protective plastic film on it and there were no marks anywhere. The pamphlets were in sealed plastic bags.

What I’m doing with my Samsung Chromebook

I’m on it a good 10 to 12 hours a day

At least ninety percent of the time I’m using my Chromebook to surf the web. I also check email, write online articles, edit photos and add products to my Zazzle store. A few times a week I watch YouTube videos or a TV program I might have missed.

Twelve reasons why I like my Chromebook more than my laptop

  1. Compact size. It’s small but not too small. Fits comfortably on the lap and is easy to type on.
  2. It’s light, weighing only 2.4 pounds. Why lug around a six pound laptop when you don’t have to.
  3. The elegant design. I like the streamlined shape and brushed silver finish.
  4. So inexpensive, as I mentioned before. I got tired of spending hundreds of dollars for a computer when they only last about five years anyway. Even if my Chromebook were only to last two years, I would still be spending less per year than with any other computer I’ve owned.
  5. Simplicity of use. It’s ready to go right out of the box. You don’t have to make backup disks which most people forget to do until the day comes when their hard drive has to be reformatted. And yes, that’s happened to me more than once.There’s no updating of Windows or any other software. Whenever I turn on my laptop, it always seems to be updating, updating, updating and I have to wait, wait, wait for it to finish. Then it restarts when I’m in the middle of something. Makes me wonder what was so great about Windows after all.
  6. Built in virus protection. As with the operating software, it never has to be updated and it doesn’t slow your computer down while working in the background.
  7. It turns on instantly, or four seconds to be precise. My laptop, on the other hand, takes forever to boot up.
  8. Documents are automatically saved when you use Google Drive. You’ll never lose data and you can work on your documents with any computer since they’re not stored on the hard drive.
  9. Super fast web surfing which allows me to get a lot more done. With my laptop I’m always getting the “Windows is not responding” message and the little circle that swirls around. Ugh.
  10. My Chromebook does not get hot even after several hours of use. My laptop can only go a couple of hours before it starts to overheat to the point where it just shuts off. That’s always fun.
  11. Built in webcam. Not that I was looking for this, but if I need one it’s there. My laptop doesn’t have one.
  12. Long battery life. Lasts more than six hours.

See how much nicer my Samsung Chromebook looks compared to my old laptop

The small size makes it more portable

samsung chromebook compared to my old laptop

Samsung Chromebook compared to my old laptop

Side by side you can really see the difference

My old laptop looks so clunky next to my new computer

side by side comparison chromebook and my laptop

Side by side comparison chromebook and my laptop

Nice clear screen with good resolution

samsung chromebook screen

Samsung Chromebook screen

The only thing is with the screen being smaller, text was a bit harder to read. But it was a simple fix to make the text a little larger.

Full size keyboard

A real keyboard is easier to type on

chromebook keyboard

Chromebook keyboard

Look what else I got

I got this hot case for protection when traveling

pink case for chromebook

Pink case for Chromebook

The hard exterior safeguards against damage.

Lots of padding inside and elastic to keep it from sliding around

chromebook case is padded inside

Chromebook case is padded inside

It’s a perfect fit. You can use it in the case when you’re on the go.

chromebook fits perfectly inside case logic case

Computer fits perfectly inside Case Logic case

Gratuitous cute puppy pic

my dog and my chromebook

My dog and my chromebook

These are my two great loves. They’re both by my side all day long, but only one of them doesn’t mind sitting on my lap. Can you guess which one?

Update: October 10, 2014

I’ve had my Chromebook now for almost a year and a half. I really am addicted to this thing. Wherever I go in the house, it goes with me. I use it in the kitchen to read recipes while I’m cooking. I even take it to bed and watch online TV shows until I fall asleep.

My old laptop only gets used occasionally when I want to edit photos or print something. Eventually I’ll get a cloud-ready printer when my old “traditional” printer conks out.

My Chromebook is still in great shape. The screen is intact. All the keys on the keyboard work. The case looks good. No scratches or anything. The battery doesn’t last as long as it did originally, but still will go about four hours. It never gets overheated even though I’m using it constantly.

I also wanted to mention that I had bought the two-year Square Trade warranty based on the fact that every computer I’ve ever owned has had something go wrong with it in the first year or two. But this is the first time EVER that absolutely nothing has gone wrong! Next time, I think I’ll skip the warranty.

This has been one of the best purchases I’ve ever made and I would definitely buy again!

Dog stairs for small dogs

My little pomeranian loves to cuddle up next to me at night, but at seven pounds he’s just too small to get on and off the bed by himself. So I decided to get him some dog stairs for small dogs.

After doing a bit of research, I found these Solvit PupSteps Plus Pet Stairs. I really like that they don’t take up a lot of space and can be folded for storage. An added bonus is they’re made in the USA.

Getting my dog Koda to use the steps was easier than I thought. I’ll share how I did it later on in this article.

Here’s what it looks like straight out of the box

No assembly required

unpacking dog stairs

When folded up, these steps can easily fit under a bed or in a closet.

All the contents of the Solvit Pet Stairs

contents of dog stairs

This shows the stairs in the open position, along with the remaining contents of the box: an instruction sheet, four stair treads and four nonslip feet.

The stairs only weigh five pounds and measure 23.5″ long, 19.5″ high and 15″ wide. Each step measures 15″ wide x 5.5″ deep.

Peel off the backing from stair treads and apply to steps

dog stairs treads

Nonskid feet applied to the bottom keeps steps from sliding around on slippery floors

nonskid feet on dog stairs

Stairs can be closed by pressing the small buttons at the top of the back leg

button on back of dog stairs

Properly positioned against the bed, the pet steps are quite stable

dog stairs next to bed

Training my dog to use his new stairs

scared dog on dog steps

Although Koda goes up and down the porch steps with ease, when faced with his new doggy steps he wasn’t too sure about them. I placed him on there and he just looked at me like “oh, HELL no,” then he scurried down. More persuasive tactics were in order.

Training with treats

using treats to train dog to use dog stairs

I got out the chicken jerky and placed little pieces on each step. He hesitated at first, trying to figure out how to get the treats without going up the stairs. But he got the idea and carefully made his way over the steps.

I did this a couple of times, putting jerky on each step. Then I did it with a treat on every other step. Finally I just put one treat on the bed and nothing on the stairs. When he was on the bed, I put a single treat at the foot of the stairs.

By this time he was practically running up and down the steps, all his misgivings forgotten in the quest for goodies. It was fun for both of us! And it took ten minutes tops.

Dating advice from the Millionaire Matchmaker, a book review

Patti Stanger reveals how to “Become Your Own Matchmaker”

By now you’ve probably realized you’re not going to find true love by sitting on your couch every night. What you need is an action plan, and that’s what you’ll get in this practical guide to dating, Become Your Own Matchmaker by Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger.

Her dating advice breaks down the process of looking for love into eight easy steps. You’ll learn where to find a date whether you’re looking for a millionaire or a regular joe, how to tell if you’ve got the right match, and how to get a proposal.

While Become Your Own Matchmaker is geared towards women, men can also learn how to pursue a woman and capture her heart.

patti stanger quote

Patti Stanger’s best advice on looking for love

Patti Stanger is a third generation matchmaker and the founder of the prestigious Millionaire’s Club. Through her many years of matchmaking she’s learned what men are looking for in a potential spouse and also what they don’t want. The book is full of tips for finding love with the right man and closing the deal.

In true Patti Stanger style, she doesn’t sugarcoat anything, giving you the good, the bad and the ugly truth about dating. You may not be receptive to all of her love advice, but she promises if you follow her eight easy steps you’ll be in a committed, monogamous relationship within a year. You’ll also be entertained as you read this step-by-step manual.

patti stanger monogamy quote

The Millionaire Matchmaker’s eight steps of dating

Love advice to be successful in the dating world

  1. patti stanger love quoteDating detox. This is the time to take a break from dating, pamper yourself and get into a happy place mentally.
  2. Mirror, mirror. Does the outside match the inside? Make sure your hair, clothes and makeup are flattering, and that you’re taking care of yourself through good nutrition and exercise. You’ll feel sexier and more confident.
  3. Make your own matchmaking map. Divide your dating efforts into three areas: online dating, personal referrals from people you know, getting out and about.
  4. Qualifying the buyer. Is he the one? Don’t waste your time with Mr. Wrong. How to tell if your guy is a keeper or if you should release him back into the wild.
  5. Adventures in dating. Have some ideas prepared for things you’d like to do on dates and also for light topics of conversation. Certain topics are date killers and should be avoided.
  6. First days of infatuation. The four phases of a relationship are outlined here. Honeymoon: The initial attraction. If the attraction goes beyond the physical, you’ll move into the next phase. Discern and decide: In this phase you look at each other objectively to determine if you’re going to be compatible in the long run. If not, this is the easiest time to end the relationship. Negotiation to engagement: By this time you should be thinking about building a life together. You should have met each other’s families and a proposal should be forthcoming. Engagement: Once you’re engaged, great! Now the work begins to prepare for the marriage which you hope will last a lifetime. Premarital counseling will help.
  7. Relationship reality check. You should both be deciding if you can live with each other’s faults. You should also both be trying to please the other. True love is about caring for the other person and not just thinking about what he can do for you.
  8. Negotiating the ring. You think he’s the one and he feels the same way about you, yet he still hasn’t popped the question. Now is the time for an honest conversation. Learn how to handle this conversation without giving a “marry me or else” ultimatum.

patti stanger quote

My critique of Become Your Own Matchmaker

Your chances of finding love should improve with Patti Stanger’s dating advice

Become Your Own Matchmaker does a very thorough job in laying out the strategies for finding love. Much of the advice is reminiscent of the dating guide “The Rules” from many years ago, only updated for our high tech world.

One piece of advice some women might bristle at is the idea of dressing nice and putting on lipstick before leaving the house. I just think this is good advice for any woman, whether or not looking for a man, to present yourself to the world looking your best.

My favorite tips from the book are Patti’s suggestions for where to go to meet men. A lot of these ideas were new to me.

Although unique, my least favorite and strangest piece of advice is to hand out bio cards to guys you like. (A bio card is the size of a postcard with your picture on the front and your profile on the back.) I can’t even imagine doing that! It just seems too aggressive and frankly I don’t think it would work.

I recommend this book even though a few suggestions are questionable and her credibility does suffer a tad since she’s never been married herself. (Doctors often make the worst patients but that doesn’t mean they can’t help other people.) Overall her dating advice is sound and you’re sure to get some good ideas no matter how experienced you are at dating.

Looking for love online

Visit these links to find dates and get dating advice

The Millionaire’s Club. Did you know women can join Patti Stanger’s Millionaire’s Club for free? Visit her site to sign up.

Patti Knows. Patti Stanger has a blog where she gives advice on love, astrology, beauty and wellness. Matchmaker Patti Stanger found her current boyfriend on It’s the largest and I think the best free online dating site. All communication is free, no strings attached. What I really like about this site is that you can filter out people who don’t meet your criteria from contacting you. Check it out for yourself. This is an online dating advice blog by Brad Miller who found his wife on And now they have a baby! His mission is to help singles find true love. His advice will help you become more successful and comfortable with using online dating sites. He also has a free 100+ page online dating guide which you can get by signing up at his website.

Where can I get Red Cherry lashes?

Find out where to get Red Cherry lashes

If you’re asking where you can get Red Cherry lashes, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to tell you where to find them at fantastic prices.

Not only that, I’m going to help you sort through the overwhelming variety of Red Cherry eyelashes so that you can find your right style. To assist you I’ve compiled a comparison chart and lists of Red Cherry lashes sorted by type and style number. I’ll also give you my review and recommendations from each category.

Kim Kardashian, with her trademark glam eyelashes, is the most famous person known for wearing Red Cherry lashes. Beyond that, you may not know Red Cherry lashes are made from human hair and are inexpensive. So let’s take a look at what Red Cherry has to offer.

Choosing the right Red Cherry lashes for you

I’m always on the hunt for the perfect eyelash and in my quest I’ve tried several different styles of Red Cherry lashes. I couldn’t find them in any stores in my area, but they’re readily available online at Amazon and eBay.

But before you go shopping, you need to figure out what you’re looking for. Unless you see them side by side, it’s kind of hard to tell the difference between styles and also get perspective on how long and full they really are. The following comparison chart will help you with the selection process.

Below that are lists of Red Cherry lashes sorted by category: natural, day and evening glamour, ultimate drama. These lists are in numerical order by style number.

Once you have the style numbers of the Red Cherry lashes you like, you can check them out on Amazon and eBay.

Comparison chart of Red Cherry false eyelashes by style number

This chart shows the different styles side by side.

rc chart

Image credit: Amazon

Red Cherry lashes for the natural look—subtle to moderate length and volume

red cherry natural lashes

List of Red Cherry natural lashes (image credit: Lynda Makara)

Red Cherry lashes for day or evening glamour—moderate to full length and volume

red cherry glamour lashes

List of Red Cherry glamour lashes (image credit: Lynda Makara)

Red Cherry lashes for ultimate drama—extreme length or volume

red cherry glamour lashes

List of Red Cherry glamour lashes (image credit: Lynda Makara)

Red Cherry lower lashes—all lengths and volumes

red cherry lower lashes

List of Red Cherry lower lashes (image credit: Lynda Makara)

Photo credit: Cherry by joka2000 (Vietnam), on Flickr

My review of Red Cherry eyelashes

Choosing false eyelashes is a very personal thing, but here’s my opinion of Red Cherry lashes. I like the fact that they’re made from human hair, they’re well made, durable and cheaper than most other brands.

I’ve tried styles from every category, natural, day/evening glamour and drama, and here are my thoughts on each:

  1. Natural. (Subtle to moderate length and volume.) Lashes described as subtle are too subtle for me. Since my own lashes are barely there, adding subtle false eyelashes does not make much difference. I end up having to build them up with mascara and then they just look okay. But they would be good to try for someone who’s new to false eyelashes.I much prefer the ones categorized as moderate and my favorite one is Red Cherry #28.
  2. Day or evening glamour. (Moderate to full length and volume.) There are several that I like from this category because they have a little bit of drama but you can still wear them during the day. My favorite from this category is Red Cherry #DW because of the way they crisscross at the base. I also like Red Cherry #110 and Red Cherry #415 which remind me of my beloved Ardell Wispies.
  3. Ultimate drama. (Extreme length or volume.) Okay, these are really out there. Most of them would only be appropriate for a club, performing on stage or walking the red carpet like Kim Kardashian. And these lashes being so long and thick means that the bands are also thicker and, therefore, not as comfortable to wear. For example, Red Cherry #138 were too long, too straight and the band was constantly poking my eyelid. I did not like these at all. My favorite from this category is Red Cherry #523. They’re a little long but the volume is just about right. They seem fairly comfortable as well. Check out Aileen’s Beauty/Fashion blog to see beautiful pictures of Red Cherry #523 being worn, as well as #117, #79, #203, #43 and #101.

Red Cherry “natural” lashes on Amazon

If you’re not sure what style will look flattering on you, it’s a good idea to try a few different styles. You can find a lot of variety on Amazon and usually for lower prices than you can find at your local beauty supply store.

The following is a small sampling of lashes that are suitable for daytime wear. They give your eyes a little more emphasis but no one will know you’re wearing falsies. You’ll be able to wear these every day. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it quicker to apply false eyelashes than to mess around with layers of mascara.

My favorite style from this category is #28.

Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (28)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (213)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (218)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (600)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (747S)

Red Cherry “day/evening” lashes on Amazon

If you like a little more drama but still want your lashes to look believable, choose some styles from this section. Some of these looks are spiky, some are wispy and some are the same thickness straight across. I think the ones with a little texture are more natural looking. These are the lashes where the individual hairs are not all the same length.

My favorites from this category are the Red Cherry #DW for their wispy texture.

More styles are available than are shown here.

red cherry 42Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (47)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (62)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (217)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (DW)

Red Cherry “dramatic” lashes on Amazon

If you really want to stand out in a crowd, choose from these dramatic looks. Ladies, if your style is bold and flamboyant, you’ll be drawn to these ultra glamorous eyelashes. These are great for clubbing and parties. But the trade off here for the extra drama is a little less comfort due to the weight and the thickness of the bands.

My favorite style from this category is #523.

This is just a sampling of the dramatic Red Cherry false eyelashes from Amazon.

Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (20)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (118)Red Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (203)Red Cherry False Eye Lashes #523 (6 Pack) + Free iBeautiful SampleRed Cherry False Eyelashes (Pack of 10 pairs) (747L)

Red Cherry, BUY IT NOW from Joy017 on eBay, a highly rated eBay seller

If you really want to get the best price on Red Cherry eyelashes, getting them from eBay is the way to go. After you’ve tried a few styles and you know what you like, pick up 20 of your favorites from this eBay seller. The price per item really drops when you buy in bulk.

20 RED CHERRY False EyeLashes "Pick Your 20 Type"  *Joy's cosmetics*

Photo credit: Red cherries by jerryw387, on Flickr

Photo credit: Red cherries by jerryw387, on Flickr

How much do I have to exercise?

That’s the question you might be asking if you’re like me. My goal is to do the least amount of exercise possible and still be fit.

And it turns out that less is more when it comes to working out. Those extreme Biggest Loser-style workouts are actually counterproductive. Short bursts of high intensity movement are much more effective.

And when I learned that 12 minutes is all it takes when you’re doing that type of exercise, I was so intrigued I just had to try it.

I bought PACE Express fully intending to return it within 30 days if I didn’t like it. But guess what, I didn’t return it because I love it and I think you will too.

PACE Express is a six-week program of high intensity workouts that can be tailored to any fitness level. No special equipment is required. Read on to learn more about PACE Express and my review after using it for the last two months.

My review of PACE Express

PACE = Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion

I’m used to doing kettlebells several times a week and I consider myself to be in decent shape for someone approaching sixty. (While evaluating PACE Express, I only did one short kettlebell workout a week.) So I was pleasantly surprised that my muscles were a little sore, in a good way, after working out with PACE Express. Not only that, by the end of the six weeks my heartbeat recovery rate improved. I also feel that my lung capacity increased and that I have less stiffness in the lower back.

Even though these are short workouts, they’re challenging. Afterwards, I’m a little tired, a little sweaty but very proud of myself for sticking with it.

Pace Express from Amazon

Pace Express from Amazon

Top 10 things I like about PACE Express

  1. There’s a lot of variety. There are six DVDs, one for every week. Each DVD has six exercise routines which are different every day. You do one routine a day and on the seventh day you rest.
  2. Each 12 minute routine is broken down into three sessions that last four minutes apiece. There’s a two minute break in between sessions to take your pulse and let your heartbeat recover.
  3. A timer on the screen counts down the four minutes, and the instructor is really good about cuing for the next move.
  4. Every exercise is demonstrated for different fitness levels: low impact, standard and advanced. You can mix and match as you go along.
  5. You don’t get bored because there are eight exercises and each one is only performed for 30 seconds. Every day the exercises are different, and the instructors are switched out so you don’t get tired of looking at the same people.
  6. A music tract accompanies the exercises which you can turn off if you want.
  7. You don’t need weights or any special equipment. There are a couple of floor exercises where a mat might come in handy, or you could just exercise on carpet.
  8. You don’t need a timer to take your pulse as the instructor keeps track of the time.
  9. This is a great value for everything you get. The DVDs alone are worth at least $10 apiece. Each one has 72 minutes of exercise, 432 minutes total. Plus there’s a bonus DVD with additional exercises for abs, hips, buns and thighs.
  10. There’s a 30-day money back guarantee. This was a big factor for me in deciding whether or not to give it a try.

PACE Express workout DVDs with inspiring before and after photos

Pace Express workout DVDs

Pace Express workout DVDs (bonus DVD not shown)

You also get these tools for losing or maintaining weight

pace express tools for losing weight

Diet and exercise are both important elements in losing or maintaining weight, but diet is about 80 percent of the equation. These tools, included in the PACE Express package, will help you succeed with that:

  • Dr. Sears’ Gourmet Cookbook. Contains low glycemic recipes, meal plans and a glycemic guide for maximum fat loss
  • Kick Start Your Fat Loss in Just 6 Days. A six-day quick start nutrition plan. This is a very strict plan. Two of the days only allow leafy green vegetables and water.
  • 7 Steps to High Speed Fat Loss. An explanation why conventional diets don’t work and why we should eat an ancestral diet.
  • On the Go Nutrition Glycemic Index Pocket Guide. A handy guide for when you’re eating out.
  • PACE Express Calipers. A more accurate way of measuring fat loss.

Take a look at the PACE workout in action

Final evaluation of PACE Express

PACE Express workouts are suitable for everyone: men and women, young and old. You’ll notice your heart and muscles getting stronger. As time goes on, you can progressively increase the intensity of your workouts so that you never plateau or get bored. You can look forward to more flexibility, better balance, improved endurance and the satisfaction of keeping a commitment to yourself.

Buy Pace Express from Amazon

Learn more about why you only have to exercise 12 minutes a day

Visit to read the success stories, get more information on exercising 12 minutes a day and to order the PACE Express DVDs.

Less is more when it comes to cardio

Here are some articles if you’re interested in learning why HIIT or high intensity interval training, like PACE Express, is better than long duration cardio:

Brief Intense Exercise Better Than Endurance Training for Preventing Cardiovascular Disease

Heart disease prevention: long slow cardio or HIIT

Marathons may cause heart attacks

Five foundation tips for women over 50

These five tips will help women over 50 achieve a luminous, natural look with foundation

We all want to put our best face forward, but that gets harder as time goes on. Women over 50 are dealing with hyperpigmentation, sagging, bagging, lines and wrinkles. The right foundation can minimize those problems and make your skin look fresher and younger.

Many women over 50 skip foundation because they’re afraid it will collect in lines and wrinkles. While that’s a legitimate concern, it need not be a problem. I’ll share my five foundation tips for getting coverage without caking.

To illustrate that, you’ll see my before and after photos. I’ll recommend my favorite foundations and also give you application tips for a flawless natural look.

Five foundation tips for women over 50

  1. Choose light reflecting foundation. Wrinkles are little valleys that create shadows on your face. A light reflecting foundation will illuminate those valleys and give an airbrushed look to lines and wrinkles. The magic light reflecting ingredient is mica, but you have to be careful with it. Too much and you’ll look like a Christmas ornament.
  2. Avoid talc. Make sure to read the ingredients when choosing a foundation. Talc is the worst thing for emphasizing lines and wrinkles. It also makes your skin look ashy.
  3. Avoid foundation that is too shiny or too matte. Shiny foundation, with too much mica or oil, highlights the uneven contours of the face and creates more contrast between the higher areas (bags and folds) and the lower areas (wrinkles, hollow eye sockets and cheeks). On the other hand, a foundation that’s too matte, looks dry, flat and unnatural. The perfect foundation should have a satin finish.
  4. Choose foundation that matches your skin tone. This really should be obvious, but if you want your foundation to look natural, it should be the same color as your skin. Going one or two shades lighter or darker will just end up looking like a mask, and your face won’t match the rest of you. You might have to experiment a little to find the right shade. Foundation should match the skin at the jaw line.
  5. Choose light to medium coverage. Too little coverage is just as bad as too much coverage. Something like a tinted moisturizer will do nothing to disguise hyperpigmentation. Foundation with light to medium coverage will still allow your skin to show through while concealing uneven skin tone.

Recommended foundations for women over 50

revlon colorstay and physicians formula mineral wear

In my opinion, Physicians Formula mineral makeup powder and Revlon ColorStay liquid makeup are the best foundations for women over 50.

Physicians Formula mineral makeup is my favorite for its light reflecting properties, good coverage and sunscreen protection. Minerals do not clog pores and are usually nonirritating to sensitive skin.

Not all mineral makeup is created equal, however. Some have talc, too much mica or bismuth oxychloride which will make your skin itch.

I’ve tried several brands in my quest for the best mineral foundation, from high to low end. What I’ve discovered is a high price tag does not ensure a good result. For example, I tried the popular Bare Escentuals and didn’t care for it because it had too much mica and was itchy (it contains bismuth oxychloride).

Coming in second to Physicians Formula mineral foundation is Revlon ColorStay. (My review follows the Before and After Photos.)

Best overall foundation for women over 50, Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Loose Powder

My favorite mineral foundation!

Physicians Formula mineral wear

Physicians Formula mineral wear

Physicians Formula mineral powder is my everyday, go-to makeup. It goes on smoothly and looks great (see the photos below of me wearing Physicians Formula). Does not irritate or dry out the skin. Contains derivatives of antioxidant Vitamins A and E. It’s very forgiving in that it resists caking even if you apply a little too much. Provides light to medium coverage which lasts at least 12 hours without touching up (and I never touch up). You get a lot of product and it comes with a brush which I find perfectly adequate for makeup application.

Before and After photos

No foundation or concealer

no foundation or concealer

Wearing Physicians Formula mineral foundation (with concealer and blush)

physicians formula foundation with concealer and blushThis photo was taken just minutes after the before photo.

Wearing Revlon ColorStay foundation (with concealer and blush)

wearing revlon colorstay

I wear the Combination/oily skin formula. And normally I’d put a light dusting of mineral powder over this foundation, but I left it off to to show how the foundation looks on its own.

Adding a little powder on top will tone down the shine a bit and make the foundation super long lasting.

Revlon ColorStay liquid foundation review for women over 50

Medium to full coverage that lasts 24 hours

Revlon ColorStay liquid foundation is a good choice for mature women with dry skin. It has silicone which is supposed to glide over wrinkles. It contains emollients for softening the skin. And it contains just enough mica for an airbrushed look.

Revlon ColorStay comes in two formulations: Normal/dry skin and Combination/oily skin. The Normal/dry skin formula has more emollients and looks dewier than the Combination/oily skin formula, especially around the eye area. It’s also easier to blend.

This is the foundation I use when I want more coverage for a night out or when I’m facing an extremely long day. Provides medium to full coverage. It’s supposed to last 24 hours, and it really does. The staying power is phenomenal, especially when finished with a little mineral powder. Comes in a variety of shades.

How to apply loose mineral powder foundation. The key for natural looking makeup is to blend, blend, blend.

This video is a little long but you can skip to 5:54 to see how loose mineral powder is applied and how very little you need to use.

Before applying mineral foundation, start with clean, moisturized skin. Then shake out a little mineral powder into the lid. Dip the brush in the powder. Swirl the brush around in another lid or container. Tap off the excess. Buff into the skin using a circular motion.

How to apply Revlon ColorStay foundation

Begin with clean, moisturized skin. I never use a primer and I don’t really think it’s necessary. Plus I have the idea that it would ball up during the blending process.

My preferred application method is to use my fingers. Since the Combination/oily formula I use dries a little faster, I dampen my fingers with water. A makeup sponge dampened with water would also blend nicely.

Some people prefer to apply liquid foundation with brushes. If you use brushes, you’re going to end up using more of the foundation, plus you have to clean them later.

For whatever application method you use, put one or two drops of Revlon ColorStay in the middle of the area to be blended and smooth it out from there. Take extra care with the nose as the pores are larger there. A drop of water helps with blending.

Please watch the short video below to see how to apply Revlon ColorStay foundation with a makeup sponge and see the natural look that is achieved.

Women over 50, take the mineral makeup challenge

Is Physicians Formula the best foundation for over 50?

As a mature woman, you might be skeptical that putting mineral powder on your face could actually minimize wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. So I invite you to take the Physicians Formula mineral makeup challenge. Make up half your face with your current foundation, and use Physicians Formula mineral makeup on the other half. See how it looks indoors and outdoors, day and evening. And take pictures if need be to help you evaluate. I think you’ll find that Physicians Formula mineral makeup will make your skin look naturally flawless.

Five false eyelash tips for women over 50

These five tips will help women over 50 get the most flattering look with false eyelashes

They say 50 is the new 30 and in many ways that may be true, except when it comes to your eyelashes. After 50, they’re just not what they used to be. False eyelashes are the best solution to thin, skimpy lashes if you know what you’re doing.

False eyelashes open up your eyes and make them look bigger, giving you a more youthful appearance. They enhance your beauty and make you feel feminine. Just like every work of art needs a focal point, your eyes will be the focal point with expertly-applied false lashes.

But where do you start? There are so many styles and brands to choose from. So I’m going to point you in the right direction and give you five tips for choosing false eyelashes and adhesive, applying them, removing them, and getting the most flattering, realistic look.

Five false eyelash tips for women over 50

  1. Choose realistic looking eyelashes
  2. Use a waterproof, flexible eyelash adhesive
  3. Apply eyelashes with tweezers and a 10x magnifying mirror
  4. Use eyeliner before and after applying eyelashes
  5. Use mascara and an eyelash curler to blend real and fake lashes together

Tip 1: Choose realistic looking eyelashes

The most realistic lashes are ones with the same rounded shape as real lashes and the same feathery texture. Eyelashes that are too thick will not only look fake, they’ll have the effect of closing a middle-aged eye, rather than opening it up. Also, the bands should be as thin as possible for looking more realistic and for being more comfortable to wear.

Eyelashes that are winged out on the end can make your eye look droopy. I prefer false eyelashes that are tapered on both ends, with the inner edge being the same length as my own lashes and the outer edge being slightly longer.

I’ve tried many different brands and styles of false eyelashes, both human hair and synthetic. I think human hair lashes look the most real because they are real hair. And my favorite brand is Ardell. Here are my recommendations for realistic looking eyelashes for both daytime and nighttime.

Best Ardell eyelashes for the natural look

False eyelashes come in strips or individuals. While individual lashes look very realistic, they take so much longer to put on, take off and clean, just the thought of it drives me crazy. So I use and recommend the strip lashes. With care, they can last for up to three weeks.

This assortment of Ardell eyelashes are all good choices for the natural look.

Ardell Invisiband Babies

Ardell Babies Black

Here I am wearing Ardell Babies, a very subtle look

ardell babies

Ardell Babies

Ardell 110 Demi Lashes

Ardell 110

Here I am wearing Ardell 110 lashes, slightly longer and fuller than Ardell Babies

ardell 110

Ardell Invisiband Beauties

Ardell Invisiband Beauties

Ardell 108

ardell 108

Ardell 122

Here I am wearing Ardell 122 lashes, a lighter version of Ardell Wispies

ardell 122

These could be my new favorite! They have the same feathery quality as Ardell Wispies but they are slightly thinner and a just a bit shorter.

Best Ardell eyelashes for the glamour look

These Ardell eyelashes have more drama and still look believable. Except for maybe Ardell Elegant Eyes with glitter, but they’re too much fun to resist!

Ardell 105

ardell 105

Here I am wearing Ardell 105 lashes for the glamour look

ardell 105

Ardell 102

ardell 102

Ardell Elegant Eyes

ardell elegant eyes

Ardell Wispies, my favorite false eyelashes for the glamour look

ardell wispies

Here I am wearing Ardell Wispies , long and glamorous but still very realistic

ardell wispies

I love my Wispies so much, I want to wear them all the time!

Wispies are practically “the” perfect eyelash. I just love how feathery they are! They’re the right length for evening but can be a little long for daytime. Sometimes I just can’t resist and wear them in the daytime anyway.

They’re slightly thicker and longer than Ardell 122, and they’re not as tapered on the inner and outer edges.

Compared to the 105s, Wispies are more feathered and spiky while the 105s are only slightly feathered with the volume being even all the way across.

Tip 2: Use a waterproof, flexible eyelash adhesive

No matter how pretty your false eyelashes are, the look will be ruined if your eyelash adhesive doesn’t hold them in place. A waterproof, flexible glue will withstand a little moisture and will move with your eyelid. Duo and LashGrip are the two top eyelash glues. Some people think that Duo holds better, but having tried both I can’t tell the difference between the two. LashGrip is a little cheaper so I’m recommending that here.

These adhesives come in clear and dark. I’ve tried both and they each have pros and cons.The dark one has the advantage of blending in faster while it’s still drying. What I don’t like about it is if you accidentally get some on your eyeshadow, it leaves a black mark that has to be touched up. The clear adhesive will not ruin your eyeshadow, but it takes about ten minutes to dry clear. Currently, I’m using the clear and I think I prefer it overall.

Eyelash removal tip: Some people use eye makeup remover to remove lashes, but I just use water or a drop of coconut oil. I put a drop along the lash line and let it sit for a minute, then I pull off the lashes starting from the outer corner. Even though the glue is waterproof, it will soften up and the eyelash will come off easily without pulling your own eyelashes out. Then I hold the eyelash close to the band while I pull off the glue. I just use water to rinse off water-resistant mascara and eyeliner from the lashes.

Tip 3: Apply eyelashes with tweezers and a 10x magnifying mirror

Another fact of life over 50 is that our eyesight is not quite as good as it used to be. That makes putting on any makeup a difficult task, and mission impossible for applying false eyelashes.

I don’t wear prescription glasses or contacts, but I do wear readers for close work like beading, sewing, painting and putting on false eyelashes. And here’s how I do it.

First, if the eyelashes are new I remove them from the container by holding the outer edge and gently pulling them off. Then I put adhesive on the eyelash strip while wearing my reading glasses, applying just a small amount directly from the tube with a little extra dot on each end.

After allowing the glue to set up for 30 seconds (or using the blow dryer for five seconds), I grab the strip with tweezers. I take off my glasses and look into the 10x mirror. I hold both ends of the eyelash strip (using the tweezers and my fingers of the other hand) and put it on my eyelid starting at the outer corner. Then I use the tweezers to push the eyelash strip into place along my lash line.

I only use the 10x mirror for applying eyelashes, eyeliner and mascara. It sits in front of a regular mirror that I use for the rest of my makeup application.

Here’s a selection of 10x magnifying mirrors from Amazon. There are some freestanding mirrors, as well as one that mounts on the wall. And don’t forget to get a 10x compact mirror for your purse. It’s great for touch ups during the day.

Jerdon MC449N 5.5-Inch Folding Travel Mirror with 10x Magnification

jerdon 10x folding mirrorOnce you start using a 10x mirror for makeup application, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one! It’s indispensable for expertly applying false eyelashes and eyeliner, plucking your eyebrows and cleaning up eyeshadow fallout. This mirror is so versatile because it’s double-sided, 10x on one side and 1x on the other, and you can fold it up and travel with it.

Jerdon JP7510N 8-Inch Wall Mount Makeup Mirror with 10x and 15x Magnification

jerson 8" wall mount mirror

Floxite Elegant 10x Compact in Cobalt Blue with Crystal Medallion

10x compact mirror

How to apply false eyelashes

See how to apply them and how to remove them in this short video.

Tip 4: Use eyeliner before and after applying eyelashes

Use eyeliner before putting on false eyelashes to camouflage any gaps there may be between the real and fake lashes. So why do you need to put eyeliner on twice? I do this to cover up the eyelash glue. Whether you use clear or dark eyelash glue, they both look shiny when dried. So I go over the edge of the band with black liquid liner. It’s also important to fill in the line from the inner corner of your eye up to the eyelash strip.

Tip 5: Use mascara and an eyelash curler to blend real and fake lashes together

A lot of people put mascara on before the false lashes, but I like to do it afterwards. I start at the base of my lashes and wiggle the wand up while pushing into the fake lashes. Then I carefully curl my eyelashes. I think this helps bind the real lashes with the fake ones, and it makes your eyes look more open.

I like to use water-resistant mascara, not waterproof, because it’s easier to remove with just water.

Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye by Dr Ellie Phillips

Brush. Floss. See your dentist twice a year. Most of us believe that’s all we need to do to take care of our teeth. And yet most of us still get cavities, have tooth sensitivity, plaque buildup, yellowing teeth and receding gums. These things are not the inevitable result of aging, poor genetics or just bad luck. These are signs of dental disease. The good news is they can be prevented and even reversed.

In the book Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye you will find out what your dentist doesn’t tell you, or possibly doesn’t even know. You will learn what products to use and what products to avoid. Dr Ellie Phillips takes the mystery out of mouth care and gives you the knowledge to control your dental destiny.

I was amazed by the things I learned from this book. Later on, you’ll read about my experiences with Dr Ellie’s mouth care system.

About Dr Ellie Phillips

Dr Ellie is a dentist whose mission in life is to educate her patients on the prevention of dental disease. She has studied the cause of this disease and has developed a simple, inexpensive mouth care system using over-the-counter products. For 35 years her patients have been getting great results using her system. With Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye, Dr Ellie is reaching out to help people everywhere who find that flossing and cleaning are not keeping their mouths healthy.

The most surprising things I learned from Dr Ellie

Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye: A Do-It-Yourself Mouth Care System for Healthy, Clean Gums and Teeth

I learned so many things from this book, but these surprised me the most:

  • Dental disease is caused by certain type of bacteria that not only lives in your mouth, but also in your ears, nose, throat and sinuses. The bacteria stick to your teeth and produce acid. Acid in your mouth softens tooth enamel. Further damage is done to our teeth with bleaching products, whitening toothpaste, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide and mouthwash with alcohol, just to name a few. These products scratch and weaken the teeth and create more acid in the mouth.
  • The key to having a healthy mouth is to keep it in an alkaline state. The bad bacteria will not be able to survive and your teeth will get stronger and whiter.
  • Flossing is not recommended. Dr Ellie believes that flossing damages the gums and leads to gum recession. Her mouth care system is like “liquid flossing” and does a better job of eliminating harmful bacteria.
  • Sugar free gum is bad for your teeth. Sugar free gum and mints contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol. The bad bacteria are able to use sorbitol as fuel and that makes sorbitol just as harmful as sugar.
  • Teeth can be remineralized. By keeping your mouth in an alkaline state, minerals in your saliva get deposited onto your teeth, making them stronger and whiter-looking.
  • Cavities can be reversed. This was the most amazing fact ever! It takes about six months but many cavities can heal just by keeping your mouth alkaline.

Dr Ellie’s complete mouth care system

Photo credit: Big teeth by CB and GK, on Flickr

Photo credit: Big teeth by CB and GK, on Flickr

In order to be effective, Dr Ellie’s mouth care system must be followed exactly with no product substitutions.

You will need:

  • A bottle of pH balanced, chlorine dioxide rinse (Closys)
  • A new or clean toothbrush (swish in ½ oz undiluted Listerine for 30 seconds)
  • A tube of Crest regular toothpaste
  • A bottle of antiseptic rinse (Listerine or generic, mint OK)
  • A bottle .05% sodium fluoride anticavity rinse (ACT anticavity)
  • A small cup for brush storage and toothbrush disinfection
  • One or more sources for 100% xylitol (not sorbitol). Mix and match mints, gum, wipes, spray, granules, etc. You must consume 8 to 10 grams per day (or about two teaspoons of the granules).
  • Optional pH testing paper

Proper brushing helps remove plaque

Do you know the right way to brush your teeth?

Most people don’t. Watch this short YouTube video to learn the proper technique.

Using Dr Ellie’s mouth care system

Photo credit:  Tooth-Brush by get directly down, on Flickr

Photo credit: Tooth-Brush by get directly down, on Flickr

Brush your teeth in the morning and right before bed as follows:

  • Rinse your mouth with a small amount of Closys for about a minute. While you’re doing that, disinfect your toothbrush by swishing in Listerine for about 30 seconds. The Closys prepares your mouth for brushing. It kills germs and puts your mouth in an alkaline state so that when you brush you are not brushing away tooth enamel.
  • Rinse off your toothbrush with water and put on a small amount of Crest toothpaste, smaller than pea-sized.
  • Brush your teeth, wash off your toothbrush with water and put it in a cup to dry.
  • Spit out the toothpaste but do not rinse your mouth with water. Put a small amount of Listerine (can be diluted with warm water) in your mouth and swish it vigorously for 60 seconds. This is considered “liquid flossing.” Listerine will kill 99% of the harmful bacteria, but it contains alcohol and cannot be left in your mouth for too long.
  • Spit out the Listerine and immediately put a small amount of ACT mouthwash in your mouth. The ACT mouthwash neutralizes the effect of the alcohol in the Listerine. It also protects your teeth with fluoride. Swish it around in your mouth for at least one minute, longer if you want. Spit it out and you’re done. Do not rinse your mouth out with water.

Between brushings:

Use xylitol every time you’re finished eating or drinking anything. It’s ideal to consume a small amount about five times a day using any combination of granules, gum or mints.

Xylitol is a natural sweetener found in birch trees, fruits and vegetables. (I recommend using birch xylitol made in the USA.) It has the same sweetening power as sugar but contains 40% fewer calories. Xylitol has a very low glycemic index. It’s metabolized without using insulin which makes it safe for diabetics.

Xylitol makes your mouth alkiline. It kills the bad bacteria, not only in your mouth but throughout your entire body. You should have xylitol on hand in every form, bulk, gum and mints. When you’re at home it’s easy to put a small amount of the crystals in your mouth and let them dissolve slowly. It’s so good—it tastes just like sugar! Xylitol gum and mints are convenient to have around. I keep some by my bed, in my purse and by my favorite chair. Another handy thing to do is to put a couple of teaspoons of xylitol crystals in a 16 oz bottle of water. Consume the water throughout the day, especially after eating or drinking.

Photo credit:  Teeth-Of-Glass by peasap, on Flickr

Photo credit: Teeth-Of-Glass by peasap, on Flickr

My experience with Dr Ellie’s mouth care system

I used to be one of those people who thought they were taking adequate care of their teeth by brushing, flossing and seeing the dentist regularly. I hadn’t had a cavity in years. Then one day that changed and I was faced with some problems. My dentist was unable to explain to me what might have gone wrong. I started doing my own research and eventually found Kiss Your Dentist Goodbye.

I started using Dr Ellie’s mouth care system in June 2011 after getting some dental work done. Within a couple of weeks my teeth were feeling slippery which means plaque isn’t sticking to them. Then after about a month my teeth started getting dark stains around the bottom. That means the bad plaque is dying. The stains come off when your teeth are cleaned and will not return as long as you’re using the mouth care system.

I recently went to my new dentist and everything is looking good. He even commented how “you can always tell when someone’s a flosser.” I just smiled.

Proof that teeth can be remineralized

Teeth can heal themselves if given the chance. Here are photos of a child whose cavity was reversed over the course of eight weeks.

Interviews with Dr Ellie Phillips on YouTube

Dr Ellie explains what’s wrong with dentistry and how you can protect your teeth.

More information about Dr Ellie