Tuesday, September 1, 2009

What’s shaking? This reporter on a workout mission.

While the Port Arthur YMCA is my new favorite hangout, I’m augmenting my Y work at home during TV breaks. I believe America is currently divided into groups that have seen commercials for Shake Weight (and are snickering at them) and those who have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m with those who have tried it and loved it. One small weight has sort of a bellows at each end. Users grip it and shake it four ways for as little as 6 minutes a day for results, makers say. It uses dynamic inertia, not batteries, and that reminds me of a line from a “Rocky Horror” song.
I don’t yet have Michelle Obama arms, as mentioned in promotions, but I quickly went from snickering to feeling the burn. Quickly. I may be hooked on the good feeling. Shake Weight is on my coffee table. I use it every time I pass by.

Texas history
I know how passionate Texas history lovers can be. Charles Irwin of Port Neches comes to mind. The Texas Rangers fan recently released “Unheralded Texas Heroes.” He’d probably love to get his hands on “Yours to Command: The Life and Legend of Texas Ranger Capt. Bill McDonald.” With photos of gun-toting enforcers, maps and topics from prizefighting and bank robbery to mobs and gunfights, Harold J. Weiss Jr. keeps the “One Riot, One Ranger” sentiment alive in this University of North Texas Press release.

The glass standard
My fantasy kitchen exists in Katy, where my Aunt Anne creates tamale pie, roasts and even sandwiches with flair. Open her fridge and her leftovers tempt from glass boxes. Now I’ve got some new Pyrex Cooking Solved containers that look like little glass meat loaf pans for microwaving and oven baking. The small one is just right for toting lunches. They come with BPA-free red plastic lids for storing foods in the pantry, refrigerator or freezer transport, but my favorite look is the glass lid with oven-safe silicone trim affixed around the inside rims to prevent — as Pyrex calls it — glass-on-glass contact. The silicone in the glass cover is notched for self-venting in the microwave.
Get online to view Corelle’s 15 new patterns of round and square plates. Even the basic white square plates have an Asian flair, which puts you in a healthy-food frame of mind. Corelle has Asian-inspired foliage on more styles. The border of a soft-edged triangle with maroon dots in a field of brown make it look like your serving is heaped high on a round breakfast plate. It’s my new favorite that I keep in my drawer at work.
As usual, Corelle’s love-factor is influenced by crack-, chip-, break- and stain-resistant Vitrelle.

Other goodies
Grand Prairie, Texas, is home to Herbacin, a company new to me, that has been into cultivating herbal products using “Mother Nature’s treasures.” Of all the attractive bottles of hair care, bath additives and lotions for sensitive skin, I have just tried one, Kamille skin firming lotion, and it smells really, really good with argan nut oil and such.

Embrace fashion
While women are stretching their fashion budgets, some are finding their bra straps stretching out of shape, too. The Bra Strap Solution from Embrace is a clear plastic disc that easily hooks on to the back for help hide straps and give extra lift. This $8.50 trick can help all ages get more bra for her money. It works. Embrace also has another purse-sized packet called A Fresh Pair. Because there’s an image of a pear, I had to read this a couple of times to get that it’s a soap leaf (I loved these as a kid!) designed for washing delicates while traveling. A third trick of the trade is Embrace In Place tape. I remember being so pleased to learn celebrities use this stuff to keep bodices in place while doing red carpet and dance moves. It sounded kind of scary at first, but it’s another winner. Visit www.Iloveembrace.com for the scoop!

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