How I Keep My Water Bottles Sparkling Clean and Fresh Smelling

Filed under Domestic Diva

polycarb bottle 198x300 How I Keep My Water Bottles Sparkling Clean and Fresh SmellingIn one of my quests to be “green” and be a good steward of our environment, I’ve switched to water filters and reusable water bottles. Actually I love plain tap water but for some reason, the city of Atlanta as HORRIBLE tap water. It’s very hard and I swear I can taste sulfur. So in my quest I’ve become somewhat of a reusable water bottle junkie. I think at last count I have about 10 not including my favorite Tervis tumbler with the pink L. The only problem with reusable bottles is over time they can smell and stain, especially if you’re like me and use a lot of artificial sweeteners such as Equal. Instead of throwing the bottles away, I’ve found an inexpensive and easy way to remove the stains and smells and keep them fresh.

Lyn Sherrell 525600 Minutes How I Keep My Water Bottles Sparkling Clean and Fresh SmellingHere’s what I do:

To clean, fill bottle halfway with hot water and a squirt of dishwashing liquid. Cap and shake vigorously. Squeeze the water out through the drinking spout if your bottle has one. Remove cap and rinse with hot water, flushing the threads of the rim. To remove any smells, add one teaspoon of baking soda and ½ teaspoon of chlorine bleach to the bottle. Fill the bottle halfway with hot water, shake vigorously, add more water to fill the bottle and screw on the cap. Let your bottle sit for 30 mins to an hour, then empty and rinse thoroughly with hot water and let dry. Scrub the lid with a toothbrush and baking soda.

I have found that this method keeps my bottles sparkly clean and fresh-smelling and I don’t have to buy any extra cleaners. Everything used are things I already have around the house. I love simple and I love inexpensive even more.

The Paper Towel Analogy by Alwyn Cosgrove

This is one of my favorite reads.

Alwyn Cosgrove’s Paper Towel Analogy

10566 The Paper Towel Analogy by Alwyn CosgroveLet’s assume you go out and buy two rolls of paper towels, each with 112 paper towels on it. You put one aside, and keep it for future reference (your “before” picture). The other one represents you (I’ll call your paper towel “Ed”). The core represents the lean Ed. The towels represent the fat that is covering the lean Ed.

For sake of argument, let’s say that Ed wants to lose 28 pounds of fat, so (112/28) each sheet represents a quarter-pound of fat lost.

Let’s also assume that Ed loses his fat equally during each day of the program.
Each day during the first week, you tear a sheet off of Ed, representing the fat he has lost for the day. Next, you put Ed next to the full roll (“Big Ed”) for comparison.
No noticeable difference! Even at the end of the week!
“This can’t be working for me! This program sucks! ”
But, you continue to follow your fat loss program. At the end of weeks two and three, you continue to compare Ed to Big Ed, and still notice very little difference.
But Ed is determined! He continues to work hard!
Three more weeks go by, the sheets peeling off day after day, before Ed gets up the courage to stand next to Big Ed again.
Now there’s a big difference!
By the end of the program (112 days), Ed is down to his lean dream, or somewhere near it. Big Ed is still – well, big.

The lesson to be learned is that fat, like paper towels, comes off in sheets. When you are heavy, you are big around. And when you are big around, that fat is spread over a MUCH larger area – just like that outside towel sheet. The closer you get to the lean you, the more each lost pound of fat shows, because it is spread over a smaller area.

While the outside sheet may only cover one layer of the roll, the inside sheet may go around 4 times. That last sheet looks like it gives you four times the results of the first sheet, but in reality, the results are the same – your perception is just different! And you’ll never see the inside, if you aren’t patient while the outside is coming off!

Jamie Eason’s Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread

Jamie Eason is one of my favorite fitness models. Yesterday she posted this recipe on her Facebook wall. Although I haven’t tried it, it looks absolutely delicious!

Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Recipes: Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread

jamie eason cinnamon swirl protein bread asm Jamie Easons  Cinnamon Swirl Protein Bread

The only thing better than the aroma of coffee wafting through the house first thing in the morning is the smell of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. As a kid, nothing could get me down the stairs for breakfast faster! Though it’s been ages since I’ve actually had the kind of cinnamon rolls my mom would bake, I can still remember the warm buttery goodness with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar icing.
Of course, these days, indulgences like that are few and far between for me. Though it may not lessen the allure of a Cinnabon at the mall, my own cinnamon swirl protein bread satisfies that urge. Not only does it fill the house with the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla, but it also provides additional protein and has far fewer calories. Eat this scrumptious bread first thing in the morning or pack it to accompany meals throughout the day!


• 1/3 cup Ideal (Xylitol)
• 2 tsp cinnamon
• 1 1/2 cups oat flour + 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup Ideal (Xylitol) or ¼ cup Stevia in the Raw
• 2 egg whites
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (Almond Breeze)
• 1/3 cup or 1 4oz jar of baby food applesauce and ¼ cup low sugar vanilla yogurt (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8 X 8 inch Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.

2. In small bowl combine: (set aside)

• 1/3 cup Ideal (Xylitol)
• 2 tsp cinnamon

3. In a large bowl combine: (whisk together)

• 1 1/2 cups oat flour + 2 scoops vanilla whey protein
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup Ideal (Xylitol) or ¼ cup Stevia in the Raw

4. In a medium bowl combine: (whisk together & add to lrg bowl)

• 2 egg whites
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (Almond Breeze)
• 1/3 cup or 1 4oz jar of baby food applesauce and ¼ cup low sugar vanilla yogurt (optional)

5. Pour a shallow layer of batter into the loaf pan (about 1/4 of the batter).

6. Sprinkle heavily with half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining batter & cinnamon/sugar on top.

7. Draw a knife through the batter to marble. Bake for 24 to 28 min. Let cool for 10 min. Bread will be dense.

My Secret for Smooth Oil-Free Skin

525600 Minutes Secret 300x185 My Secret for Smooth Oil Free SkinA few months ago I ran across a thread posted on a health and beauty forum mentioning milk of magnesia as a treatment for oily skin. I can hear the EWWWWWWW’s already but let me explain because at first I was skeptical too. Usually when you hear “Milk of Magnesia”, the first thing you think about is constipation right? And who wants anything related to constipation close to their faces? Yeah, I know, right again, but stay with me. I promise it will worth the read and you and your oily skin will thank me.

I was curious because I have very oily skin and have spent a small fortune on products that were supposed to give me that matte finished look all day. A few products did reduce oil production temporarily but I had yet found a product that could rid my nose, cheeks, and chin of that awful shine for more than a few hours at a time. I would still have to blot several times a day and by the end of the day, my foundation looked a hot mess. All of the raves on the thread peaked my interest so figuring I had nothing to lose but around 5 bucks and having the cashier think I was suffering from constipation, I bought a small bottle of Rite-Aid Milk of Magnesia and decided to give it a shot. It didn’t hit me until after I left the store that the only other thing I bought was a newspaper, so I’m sure I left the cashier with quite the lovely visual.

Milk of Magnesia 1 300x189 My Secret for Smooth Oil Free SkinAfter cleansing my face with my favorite product, which I’ll tell you about later, I shook the contents of the bottle well and applied it to my face with one of those square cotton make up pads. I rubbed a thin layer over my entire face and waited a few seconds for the product to dry. For the most part it dried clear but I did have a few small white streaks that I just smoothed out with my fingers. After the product dried, I just followed my normal makeup application routine and headed out the door. I must admit that I did check my face a few times just to make sure that the streaks hadn’t returned but they hadn’t. I checked my face a few hours later and NO SHINE, I checked again around lunchtime, NOTHING but matte skin. I think I did my first quick blot around 3 pm but normally, this would have been my 3rd or 4th blot and my makeup would look terrible. When I left the office around 5:30p my face looked amazing (in my opinion) and keep in mind, I did the application of Milk of Magnesia around 8am that morning.

I’ve been using Milk of Magnesia for about 4 months now and the results are as good as they were from day one and I’ve noticed my skin isn’t as oily on its own as before. Some of the posters mentioned that it made their skin dry, tight and sometimes itchy but I didn’t have any issues. I don’t have sensitive skin and I’ve made myself a human guinea pig so often, my body is used to it. If you do have sensitive skin, you probably want to try it on an area that’s not visible such as the back of the neck or behind the ears just to be on the safe side. This product is definitely not for people who have normal to dry skin.

Milk of Magnesia 150x150 My Secret for Smooth Oil Free SkinI recommend purchasing the unflavored version. I noticed upon my trek to Rite Aid that there are several flavors available ranging from strawberry, mint, to tropical fruit. I really can’t imagine walking around all day smelling like chocolate mint laxative.

So there you have it, Milk of Magnesia, my secret to having smooth, beautiful, oil-free skin all day without spending mega bucks!

Macaroni and Cheese – The Ultimate Southern Comfort Food

Paul Deen Macaroni and Cheese 300x225 Macaroni and Cheese   The Ultimate Southern Comfort FoodThe one dish that brings back many pleasant memories of my childhood growing up in the south is macaroni and cheese. As a child it was a weekly staple at our house and is still a favorite at holiday dinners. Very rarely is there a Thanksgiving, or Christmas dinner at our house without it.

I found this recipe for Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese. Yes, it’s made in a crockpot (slow cooker) and it makes the best macaroni and cheese ever. The only downside is that it takes several hours to cook, but it’s definitely worth the wait.


* 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (an 8-ounce box isn’t quite 2 cups)
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stuck) butter, cut into pieces
* 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Boil the macaroni in a 2 quart saucepan in plenty of water until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain. In a medium saucepan, mix butter and cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. In a slow cooker, combine cheese/butter mixture and add the eggs, sour cream, soup, salt, milk, mustard and pepper and stir well. Then add drained macaroni and stir again. Set the slow cooker on low setting and cook for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Lyn talking here: I’ve added veggies as well. Broccoli,cauliflower, and frozen green peas are all yummy additions. You could also add ham or chicken to make it more like a casserole or main dish.

Greek-Style Yogurt in 2 Easy Steps

When I first tried some of the greek yogurts on the market, I loved the thicker, creamier consistency but I didn’t really like the taste or the flavor options, plus they were more expensive than my regular brands. Sooooooo, being the good steward of my fiances that I am, I decided to do some research and attempt to make my own. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was.

I found this really simple recipe in Cooking Light Magazine and added my own 3rd step, which is the fun part, experimenting with flavorings and toppings.

This is my kind of recipe…..Simple, Easy, and Tasty

Step 1
Spoon plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt into a fine-mesh steel strainer lined with a paper tower or coffee filter.
Greek Yogurt 1 300x300 Greek Style Yogurt in 2 Easy Steps

Step 2:
Set the strainer into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, put in the fridge, and let the whey drain out of the yogurt.
Greek Yogurt 2 300x300 Greek Style Yogurt in 2 Easy Steps

Step 3:
Mix with fruit, honey, peanut butter, flavoring or of course, enjoy plain
3 Greek Yogurt 236x300 Greek Style Yogurt in 2 Easy Steps

The Iron by Henry Rollins

I spend a lot of time reading articles on various topics. I read a lot of good articles and a lot of great ones as well but every so often something crosses my path that truly moves and inspires me. The Iron is the latter.
The Iron was written by Henry Rollins, former Black Flag vocalist, current spoken word artist, prolific author, actor, radio host, TV host, and documentarian. The article is from a 1994 Details magazine but has been posted all over the Web.

While The Iron can be taken literally when working out, The Iron can also be taken metaphorically, as a symbol for the road blocks often run into when striving to reach goals.

barbell shoulder press 300x235 The Iron by Henry Rollins

The Iron by Henry Rollins

When I was young I had no sense of myself. All I was, was a product of all the fear and humiliation I suffered. Fear of my parents. The humiliation of teachers calling me “garbage can” and telling me I’d be mowing lawns for a living. And the very real terror of my fellow students. I was threatened and beaten up for the color of my skin and my size. I was skinny and clumsy, and when others would tease me I didn’t run home crying, wondering why. I knew all too well. I was there to be antagonized. In sports I was laughed at. A spaz. I was pretty good at boxing but only because the rage that filled my every waking moment made me wild and unpredictable. I fought with some strange fury. The other boys thought I was crazy.

I hated myself all the time. As stupid at it seems now, I wanted to talk like them, dress like them, carry myself with the ease of knowing that I wasn’t going to get pounded in the hallway between classes. Years passed and I learned to keep it all inside. I only talked to a few boys in my grade. Other losers. Some of them are to this day the greatest people I have ever known. Hang out with a guy who has had his head flushed down a toilet a few times, treat him with respect, and you’ll find a faithful friend forever. But even with friends, school sucked. Teachers gave me hard time. I didn’t think much of them either.

Then came Mr. Pepperman, my advisor. He was a powerfully built Vietnam veteran, and he was scary. No one ever talked out of turn in his class. Once one kid did and Mr. P. lifted him off the ground and pinned him to the blackboard. Mr. P. could see that I was in bad shape, and one Friday in October he asked me if I had ever worked out with weights. I told him no. He told me that I was going to take some of the money that I had saved and buy a hundred-pound set of weights at Sears. As I left his office, I started to think of things I would say to him on Monday when he asked about the weights that I was not going to buy. Still, it made me feel special. My father never really got that close to caring. On Saturday I bought the weights, but I couldn’t even drag them to my mom’s car. An attendant laughed at me as he put them on a dolly.

Monday came and I was called into Mr. P.’s office after school. He said that he was going to show me how to work out. He was going to put me on a program and start hitting me in the solar plexus in the hallway when I wasn’t looking. When I could take the punch we would know that we were getting somewhere. At no time was I to look at myself in the mirror or tell anyone at school what I was doing. In the gym he showed me ten basic exercises. I paid more attention than I ever did in any of my classes. I didn’t want to blow it. I went home that night and started right in.

Weeks passed, and every once in a while Mr. P. would give me a shot and drop me in the hallway, sending my books flying. The other students didn’t know what to think. More weeks passed, and I was steadily adding new weights to the bar. I could sense the power inside my body growing. I could feel it.

Right before Christmas break I was walking to class, and from out of nowhere Mr. Pepperman appeared and gave me a shot in the chest. I laughed and kept going. He said I could look at myself now. I got home and ran to the bathroom and pulled off my shirt. I saw a body, not just the shell that housed my stomach and my heart. My biceps bulged. My chest had definition. I felt strong. It was the first time I can remember having a sense of myself. I had done something and no one could ever take it away. You couldn’t say shit to me.

It took me years to fully appreciate the value of the lessons I have learned from the Iron. I used to think that it was my adversary, that I was trying to lift that which does not want to be lifted. I was wrong. When the Iron doesn’t want to come off the mat, it’s the kindest thing it can do for you. If it flew up and went through the ceiling, it wouldn’t teach you anything. That’s the way the Iron talks to you. It tells you that the material you work with is that which you will come to resemble. That which you work against will always work against you.

It wasn’t until my late twenties that I learned that by working out I had given myself a great gift. I learned that nothing good comes without work and a certain amount of pain. When I finish a set that leaves me shaking, I know more about myself. When something gets bad, I know it can’t be as bad as that workout.

I used to fight the pain, but recently this became clear to me: pain is not my enemy; it is my call to greatness. But when dealing with the Iron, one must be careful to interpret the pain correctly. Most injuries involving the Iron come from ego. I once spent a few weeks lifting weight that my body wasn’t ready for and spent a few months not picking up anything heavier than a fork. Try to lift what you’re not prepared to and the Iron will teach you a little lesson in restraint and self-control.

I have never met a truly strong person who didn’t have self-respect. I think a lot of inwardly and outwardly directed contempt passes itself off as self-respect: the idea of raising yourself by stepping on someone’s shoulders instead of doing it yourself. When I see guys working out for cosmetic reasons, I see vanity exposing them in the worst way, as cartoon characters, billboards for imbalance and insecurity. Strength reveals itself through character. It is the difference between bouncers who get off strong-arming people and Mr. Pepperman.

Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body and the mind. And the heart.

Yukio Mishima said that he could not entertain the idea of romance if he was not strong. Romance is such a strong and overwhelming passion, a weakened body cannot sustain it for long. I have some of my most romantic thoughts when I am with the Iron. Once I was in love with a woman. I thought about her the most when the pain from a workout was racing through my body.

Everything in me wanted her. So much so that sex was only a fraction of my total desire. It was the single most intense love I have ever felt, but she lived far away and I didn’t see her very often. Working out was a healthy way of dealing with the loneliness. To this day, when I work out I usually listen to ballads.

I prefer to work out alone. It enables me to concentrate on the lessons that the Iron has for me. Learning about what you’re made of is always time well spent, and I have found no better teacher. The Iron had taught me how to live. Life is capable of driving you out of your mind. The way it all comes down these days, it’s some kind of miracle if you’re not insane. People have become separated from their bodies. They are no longer whole.

I see them move from their offices to their cars and on to their suburban homes. They stress out constantly, they lose sleep, they eat badly. And they behave badly. Their egos run wild; they become motivated by that which will eventually give them a massive stroke. They need the Iron Mind.

Through the years, I have combined meditation, action, and the Iron into a single strength. I believe that when the body is strong, the mind thinks strong thoughts. Time spent away from the Iron makes my mind degenerate. I wallow in a thick depression. My body shuts down my mind.

The Iron is the best antidepressant I have ever found. There is no better way to fight weakness than with strength. Once the mind and body have been awakened to their true potential, it’s impossible to turn back.

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs.

Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.