Plump Up in January!

new england winter
January is the time to plump up.  Please put down the Fries, I’m not talking about your thighs, I’m talking about your skin.  With the colder, darker days upon us (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere), January is when we need to focus on taking care of our skin.

Winter air is drier because cold air cannot hold as much moistureWater splashing into glass.  Added to this, when you heat your house, regardless of how you heat your house, you’re losing moisture, causing a double whammy.

You may have noticed your skin is itchy, flaky and dry looking.  There are several easy remedies to fix this.  Start with drinking more water, less alcohol and less caffeine.  Next, add a warm air humidifier vicksto your house.  I like to keep one going at night in the bedroom.  El Hub doesn’t like the “swampyness” the humidifer causes so I defuse this with a slow moving fan.  Third, eat more healthy fats.  I’m not talking about eating more french fries, step away from the fries.  The key is healthy fats.  Add foods such as seeds (pumpkin, sunflower), avocados, nuts, eggs and olive oil. french fries

To work on plumping your skin from the outside, you may think all
you need to do is grab a jar of moisturizer and slather it all over your face, arms and legs.  Um…no…not exactly.  In fact, you may not need moisturizer at all.

Skin care is a step-by-step process.  Cleanser, toner, moisturizer, it is all necessary and individual to you and your skin.  If your skin is acne prone or is oily, you may not neemoisturizerd a moisturizer, but you do need to make sure your skincare products have the right ingredients for you.

The ingredients of your products are the key to keeping your skin plump and happy.  You do not ever want to strip your skin, even if you’re acne prone or oily.  Stripped skin is unhappy skin and it will work twice as hard to get back to its normal happy self, causing more oil and more problems.  If you have dry skin and it gets stripped of its natural oils, it may never regain happiness.  Check the ingredients on your cleanser, if you see anything with:  alcohol, peroxide, sulfates, or acids, you should shy away from it.  These ingredients will certainly strip away the natural (good) oil in your skin.  Lonars tonerok for:  glycerol or glycerine, PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate, and chamomile.  You may not see all of these ingredients in your cleanser, but try for one, especially glycerine if you have dry skin.

Toners are used to completely remove the cleanser from your skin,
they help to put a balance in your personal pH levels and can be beneficial to restoring the moisture to your skin.  Nars makes a lovely toner; Multi-Action Hydrating Toner.  This Toner is free of synthetic fragrance, parabens, oil, and alcohol.  Just what you want.

Finally, the moisturizing part.  If you have acne prone skin, or oily skin, you want to stay away from products with petroleum, mineral oil kiehlsor silicones.  You may not need any moisturizer in the summer, but in winter, you should look for something to give your skin an added layer of protection from the elements.  Something oil-free or water based and lightweight.  Kiehl’s Oil-Free Lotion is a nice choice, or look for Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Daily Moisturizing Lotion (Amazon).  If you have normal or dry skin, checkout Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer SPF 50.  Yes, you still need SPF in the winter.  This moisturizer is lightweight and doesn’t leave a light cast on your skin, despite the high SPF.  For a basic daytime moisturizer, CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM is a nice option.  This product has ceramides and niacinamide which are ingredients you want in your daytime moisturizer.

If your skin is extremely dry, and you live in a northern climate, you can also add a little facial oil to your non-spf moisturizer.  Don’t add abobbi brown facial oil facial oil to your moisturizer if it has spf in it, it will break down the spf.  I like Bobbi Brown’s Facial Oil.  I use it after toning, before moisturizing during the winter months.

Now you should be all set.  You’ve upped your water intake, you have added more healthy fats to your diet, and your skincare regime is set to maintain happy skin.  The only addition to this would be a dose of exercise, something to move the blood along, and perhaps a big smile to complete the look.


Fish Course – Grilled Tuna and Corn Salad & Pinot Noir Rosé Wine

tuna 2Moving right along to the second course, the fish course.  We enjoyed Grilled Tuna & Corn Salad paired with Rive Sud Rosé wine.  We cook our fish more than most people, just our preference.   Corn is plentiful right now and it is oh so good here in Vermont.  This recipe is perfect for our hot weather and end of summer bounty.  I found this recipe on  I did not use the cooking spray on the corn or onion, just brushed them with plain olive oil.  I did not use extra virgin olive oil because that does not hold up to the heat as well as plain olive oil butter infused olive oildoes.   I do have a butter infused olive oil that I was considering using but did not want to change up the taste of the corn or onion this time, this is my first time trying this recipe and I do like to keep the recipe as written as much as possible on the first try.

The recipe is as follows:

Grilled Tuna and Corn Salad

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 steak and 1/2 cup corn salad)


  •    3 small ears shucked corn
  •    1/2 small red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  •    Cooking spray
  •    4 (6-ounce) tuna steaks
  •    1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  •    3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  •    3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  •    2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  •    1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar


Prepare grill.

Coat corn and onion with cooking spray; place on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Cover and grill corn 20 minutes, turning 3 times. Grill onion 10 minutes or until tender, turning once.

Brush fish with 1 tablespoon oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place fish on grill rack; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Cut kernels from ears of corn in a medium bowl. Add onion, remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, basil, and vinegar, stirring to combine. Serve fish with corn salad.

I have to say, this recipe is spot on!  Okay, the changes I made was to use 2 teaspoons of the maine sea saltbalsamic vinegar and 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar instead of 1/2 tablespoon oil.  I also used Maine Sea Salt instead of the Kosher salt because that is what we use here.   I purchase this stuff by the pound and keep it in a bamboo salt cellar.   Nonetheless, this recipe is delicious.  I was skeptical about the lack of flavor in this recipe but the grilled caramelized corn gave a sweetness that set off the vinegars and melded perfectly with the grilled onion.  This is an excellent summer meal because it is completely cooked on the grill, no need to heat up your kitchen.

The Rive Sud Pinot Noir Rosé Wine was ideal.  It set off the flavors of the fish and brought out the sweetness of the corn.  If you’re going to pair this dish with a Rosé Wine, I highly tunarecommend using a Pinot Noir Rosé Wine.  This type of Rosé Wine is very dry and crisp without a lot of fruit.

Second Course, the Fish Course was wonderful, tomorrow is the Main Course; Grilled Lemon Chicken.