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The one inspirational quote I live by

If you’ve been following me awhile you know that my cancer battle taught me that my health, life and time are the most valuable currency I have. It’s the most valuable asset we all have. And yet, we’ve all squandered it at sometime or another whether it be with the wrong marriage mate, job, or friendship— Poor personal investment is usually a part of our growing up.

Continue reading “The one inspirational quote I live by”
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Covid Plan By Dr. Oz

In case you missed it Dr. Oz and his crew put together a covid defense plan providing social media followers with a few tips.

Continue reading “Covid Plan By Dr. Oz”
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Seek the beautiful moments in life

That is my wish and encouragement for you this week. I’m having issues with my “read more” line and posting the blog title on the main page. Please hang in there with me as I figure it all out. Meanwhile, click on in image to read the article in it’s entirety.

Continue reading “Seek the beautiful moments in life”
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The Home Organizing Team I’m Obsessed With

There are very few times in life when you see someone doing exactly what they were meant to do. Usually people like Oprah Winfrey, Joanna Gaines and Jimmy Fallon. But they can be everyday people like your doctor, too. When I see the ladies of The Home Edit, I know they are doing exactly what they were meant to do. They are the organizing pair that I can’t get enough of.

Continue reading “The Home Organizing Team I’m Obsessed With”
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CVS Launches Online Contact Lens Prescription Renewal Tool

This week, CVS and CVS Health announced the launch of QuickRenew, an online contact lens prescription renewal tool.

“We continue to adapt and evolve our digital offerings in response to the pandemic. This addition to our optical site gives customers a new way to fulfill an important health care need safely and confidently from the comfort of their homes,”

Michele Driscoll, Vice President of Customer Engagement, ExtraCare, Digital, & Promotion, CVS Health.

QuickRenew digital screening is available on the CVS Optical website and takes less than 15-20 minutes. You’ll get a vision exam and results by a board-certified ophthalmologist licensed in your state.

And you can do all from the comfort and safety of your own home.

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Yes way!

If appropriate, they’ll issue you a valid prescription you can use to buy contact lenses anywhere in the United States.

All you need is a smartphone or a computer with a webcam and a microphone.

You should know:

QuickRenew only looks at how well you can see, not the health of your eye so our friends over at CVS recommends you see your eye care doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.

Featured image by Pexel

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Drew Barrymore Has a Day Time TV Show?

Apparently, actress, mom, producer and everyone’s favorite rom-com girl, Drew Barrymore, has her own day time television TALK show!

I had NO idea. The only reason I know now is because I watched SNL’s premiere return last weekend and they did a spoof of the show.

It turns out the show is nationally syndicated.

That’s a pretty big deal for someone who is new to daytime talk TV. With that said, Drew Barrymore is a famous face and name, so, networks aren’t really risking too much, there.

So what’s the word on the street about the show?

Pexels pictures

There’s a weird energy in the air on Drew Barrymore’s new nationally syndicated morning talk show, a frisson that’s hard to grasp but that announces itself as something entirely other

Vulture

Drew Barrymore’s show is so weird it’s almost hypnotic.

William Hill, AV Club

The opening-day “Charlie’s Angels” reunion, lacking the moderating force of someone outside this tripartite friendship, left viewers on the outside. The conversation with Witherspoon, for instance, never really transcended a sort of complimentary back-and-forth about how each truly loves the other; moments where the pair edged up to actually discussing their lives, like a vacation they took together to Mexico, fell away.

Variety Magazine

As you can see reviewers (photographers, acting coaches, and anyone else who thinks they’re important in Hollywood), can be tough on the soul. With that said, I respect Variety magazine and I agree with their review based on what I’ve seen (so far).

There’s no doubt, Barrymore may not be your cup of tea. But I’ll let you tell it.

The best segments of the show

The cooking segment is absolutely, hands down, one of Barrymoore’s best segments of the show. The following include clips of the segments.

If you get a chance I highly recommend you try these easy to make recipes.

The discount shopping segment 😁

The shopping segment ranks second best on my list. I’ve seen some EXCELLENT deals. I may be shooting myself in the foot here by telling you this but you should check in on her deals between now and shopping season.

Have you watched the show? Tell us what you think in the comment section.

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Thought For The Week, Aspire To Be YOU

Aspiring to be our genuine self is probably one of the hardest things to do.—April Maye

so many in social media are there with the intent to sell something even if it’s only an image. as such, they show you something they’re usually not—perfect, financially wealthy, humble, honest, the list goes on.

the desire to be seen, heard and valued amongst the masses leads to false representation, copycatting and plagiarism. the desperation on the Internet highway is REAL

i see so many women i once respected for their message or brand succumb to the pressure to be someone else. they hop from one bandwagon to the next. inappropriately use causes for selfish gain. steal someone’s idea, quote or tagline. some change the words of others to make them seem like their own, and some don’t even bother making changes. they just regurgitate it without shame or embarrassment for the whole world to see.

in doing so these women fail to show up for themselves.

i’ve had my experiences with this type. i’m always so disappointed and shocked by their lack of awareness. and, while i’ve never been tempted to steal from others, i have had the feeling that i am not good enough. especially since i started blogging. I’ve written about that HERE.

i’ve compared myself to more established bloggers. we’ve all wanted those followers at some time or another. we all want to succeed.

but the desperate need for recognition and “follows” leads people to make big business mistakes. mistake that will not only damage their reputation, but inhibit them from achieving the one thing they really want: success.

with that said, here’s this week’s quote and something to think about.

Created with Canva. Quote by The Lifestyle Brief ©️ 2020

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Cameron Diaz Shares Her Go-To Comfort Food Recipe

actress, mom, funny girl, Cameron Diaz, and friend, Katherine Powers, CEO of WhoWhatWear have collaborated to create a brand of wine.

Avaline wine is labeled “clean” and organic.

Avaline makes clean, delicious wines with organic grapes. Transparently produced, full of natural goodness, free of unnecessary extras.

Avaline website

i reached out to Avaline to ask if there was added preservatives in their wine. i never got a response. so that makes me think the customer service is poor. and, the odds are: there is added preservatives in the wine. if you have asthma and allergies don’t be fooled by labels like “clean.” please do your research before trying.

with that said, i don’t criticize makers for creating products that work for them. if they don’t have health issues, they won’t be thinking about those things during the process, so, i don’t ding them for that. BUT blowing me off means they lose points from me (🤣)

still, when Diaz shared her go-to recipe i felt it was worth sharing with you. it’s a perfect dish for the weekend. let me know if you give it a try—and if you try the wine too! we are definitely curious.

i should say that i think it’s pretty cool that they got to create their own wine. i’d love to do the same. maybe someday, i will.

Enjoy. 💋 and as they always say “may you drink responsibly.”

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Day One

Hi Friends,

Can you BELIEVE it’s October? I mean where does the time go? Speaking of time…October means it’s breast cancer awareness month, again. As a breast cancer survivor I know two things for sure 👉🏼breast cancer awareness is about more than buying pretty in pink packages. And 👉🏼early detection is the key to survival.

In order to catch cancer early you have to get to know your breasts.

I get it. The idea of poking around in your breast tissue is undesirable and uncomfortable. It feels weird. But, it can be the thing that helps you identify unusual lumps and bumps in the very early stages. Not all lumps are cancerous. In fact, experts say most aren’t. But you don’t want to take that chance. Trust me!So be sure to check your breasts EVERY month.

I don’t know how.

Before I was diagnosed I really didn’t know how to do my breast self-exams. I tried. I think I did okay. But I wish I’d known the correct way to do them. You can learn how to properly do your breast self-exams HERE

Get your mammogram.

Even if you do regular breast self-exams you should get your mammograms. Again, I know mammograms aren’t comfortable. Sometimes they even hurt. But combined with your personal exams, mammograms can help detect cancer in the very early stages. The sooner the better!

Early arrival, 90 percent survival.

Fran Drescher
Gif

So what are you going to do?

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Happy Weekend

Hey, Friends!

I’ve been so behind in posting, lately. It’s been a crazy-busy time here. One thing after another. And then there’s the days I just need to take a pause. A MENO-pause. The lack of hormones I produce in menopause seem to worsen certain days of the month. I call it “a dip.” And it’s a dip I feel as soon as it happens.

It’s very reminiscent of the PMS I used to get during my menstrual cycle. There’s about 7 to 10 days, every month, where I feel PMS-like for days at a time.

During this time I cope with a variety of symptoms from hating my clothes and everything about myself to feeling extremely sluggish. My memory fails the most in the dip. I can’t remember ANYTHING. People. Places. Things. And as for writing…well…I lose my ability to convey my thoughts, express my feelings or even form full sentences.

I’m in “the dip” now. It drives me mad.

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That’s partly why there’s a lag between my posts.’ Just when I thought I’d overcome inconsistency, I realize that a major reason why I’m so inconsistent and behind is because menopause symptoms interfere with how my brain works. I’m in the midst of writing about this topic, now. I plan to have an interview with a brain doc, soon. Maybe we can learn more.

With all that said, I think we have two choices when we find ourselves in uncomfortable spots: learn to navigate life with them, or give up altogether. I’m not going to lie to you. I was close to giving up on blogging. I found myself thinking that maybe, after all I’ve been through, I’ve lost my ability to write, tell a story or pretty much do anything else since menopause descended upon me.

That’s a hard pill to swallow. I mean, I used to work for a Pulitzer-Prize winning publication. How can this happen? Did I forget who I was? After awhile it occurred to me, I started the blog for a number of reasons. One of them was to help me work through these challenges. Challenges I now have after fighting cancer, going through chemo and NOW coping with menopause. I think even the best in the world would have challenges after surviving something that big. So, I’ll be back. I have to stick with this. The end benefit is for me.

Do you have something that challenges you? Will you share it in the comments section? How do you cope with your setbacks?

Wherever you are, I hope you can find time to relax over the weekend and take a break from the bad news.

Relax. Breathe. Shelve the heavy topics if you can.

Picture by Canva.

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Heat Stroke Prevention

Happy Monday, friends!

There’s no doubt summer is here. Yesterday, it was brutally hot in many parts of the country including, here.

The only thing that made the heat harder to deal with besides rolling blackouts is the California wildfires. As I write this, the California governor has declared California a state of emergency. So before I move on to the point of this article I just want to say “Thank you” to all the men and women who put their lives on the line to fight fires, save lives, homes and animals. And thank you to the families who must be in a constant state of worry during fire season.

With that said, today, I’m talking about heat stroke prevention. I’ve said it before, I know, but I truly believe prevention is the key to healthy and safe living.

But in order to prevent anything, we have to be aware. Aware of our body, gut and surroundings. When we get a symptom or a signal, we have to act swiftly.

With prevention in mind the following tips are brought to you by the CDC and the Mayo Clinic.

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Heatstroke requires emergency treatment. Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.

Mayo Clinic

Protect Against Sunburn.

Sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself. So consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or sweating.

Drink Fluids. 💦

Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.

Take Extra Precautions With Certain Medications.

I didn’t know this but apparently there are medications that can affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat. (Keep reading)

Medications that affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and respond appropriately to heat include some used to treat high blood pressure and heart problems (beta blockers, diuretics), reduce allergy symptoms (antihistamines), calm you (tranquilizers), or reduce psychiatric symptoms such as delusions (antipsychotics). Additionally, some illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines, can increase your core temperature.

Mayo Clinic

Take it Easy During the Hottest Part of the Day.

If you can’t avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labor for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.

Bonus Reminder.

Never leave anyone in a parked car. Please.

This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 6.7 C) in 10 minutes.

It’s not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.

If you’d like to learn more about heat stroke prevention and causes please go to the Mayo Clinic or the CDC.

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Weekend Thoughts | Reminiscing

Last week, I was feeling a little sad. A little nostalgic. I miss going out to eat occasionally. I miss the freedom to travel and to visit with friends and family. I miss the random date nights outside of the house.

Hot pot cooking pre-pandemic Copyright ©️ The Lifestyle Brief 2020

One of my favorite things to eat is hotpot cooking. The place we loved to go to was truly a gathering place for the community. There were neighbors we knew and neighbors we didn’t. But we all sat around the big table and ate and drank and laughed.

The last time we were there we met a younger couple who was newly dating. The guy started talking with us and sharing his trials. His challenges. His hopes and dreams. After all was said and done, we hugged and wished each other well.

I’ve always known that food had the power to bring people together—and as my husband would say “So does a good beer!” But that night in particular I truly saw the power of food. That night seemed a little more picturesque.

We had no idea it would be the last night we would eat out before the pandemic took over.

Copyright ©️ The Lifestyle Brief 2020

Until we can safely step out an gather, again, I hold onto the memories we made, and work towards making new ones…at home.

Copyright ©️ The Lifestyle Brief 2020

And, of course, when I think of that night, I think of the wonderful people who cooked for us and served us.

Copyright ©️ The Lifestyle Brief 2020

How about you? What do you miss the most?

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Sharon Stone Has a Message for You

Actress and mom of three, Sharron Stone, took to social media to share news that her sister was diagnosed with Covid19.

On Saturday, Sharron Stone, posted the following image on her Instagram feed. Her caption says:

“My sister Kelly, who already has lupus, now has Covid-19. One of you non-mask wearers did this. She does not have an immune system. The only place she went was the pharmacy.”

Stone ended her comment with the question “Could you face this room alone?” written in capital letters.

Sharron Stone is most notably known for her role in Casino and Basic Instinct.

What you may not know is that Stone is an advocate for brain aging diseases. In 2001, she suffered a life-threatening stroke. She was just 43 at the time.

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Zooey Deschanel Kicks Off The Weekend With A Song And We’ve All Gone Crazy For It

If there’s one thing I know for sure it’s that I love everything about Zooey Deschanel. From her chocolate and shiny locks and bangs to her boyfriend-designer Jonathan Scott, and the way she expresses her love for him.

The couple recently celebrated their one year dating anniversary. In her post above Zooey said “One year ago today I met this kind, caring, hilarious, generous, creative, nerdy and handsome all around incredible human.”

Most of us first caught sight of Zooey in the 2003 Job Favreau film ELF. While the movie was funny and entertaining, it was Deschanel’s voice that captured most of our hearts.

Today, Zooey reminds us of how and why we first fell in love with her by sharing her rendition of the song “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. This is a great way to kick off the weekend. Stay safe everyone.

Enjoy!

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Brooke Shields Shares Her Anti-Aging Face Serum

Brooke Shields, age 55, took to her Instagram stories to share her current favorite anti-aging face serum—and I was all ears. After a certain age, you have to be curious enough to try new things if you want to improve your appearance and your self-confidence. Yes, ladies, our self-esteem is partially tied to our outer appearance whether we like it or not.

Sheilds post reads “I like to use this during the day…nice and light on my face in the summer heat.”

Who

The face serum is by Macrene Actives. It was developed by Dr. Macrene Alexiades, MD PhD FAAD. According to her website Dr. Macrene holds three degrees from Harvard: a BA from Harvard University, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and a PhD in Genetics from Harvard University, and she was a Fulbright Scholar with a research award year in Europe.

That signals two things to me. One, she knows her stuff. And two, her stuff is likely above my pay grade.

What

The Macrene Actives website claims the face serum will “Soothe, hydrate, firm, and even skin tone with this highly active, lightweight serum that will help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Proven to lift and tighten crepiness while reducing blotches and evening skin tone, this serum repairs skin barrier while assisting in DNA restoration.”

Hold up. Did somebody say it tightens crepiness?! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about menopause it’s that it can suck the life and vitality right out of your skin leaving you with thin, crepey skin. This has been the hardest thing to combat.

How Much?

Just as I thought…it’s a little above my pay grade. The High Performance Face Serum can be yours for the teensy price of $195.00.

If you try it, I’d love to hear what you think of it.

So what makes this brand so special?

Here’s what the website says:

All Macrene Actives products are based on Nobel Prize winning science. Our products are rigorously tested by the most regarded third party testing laboratories. Below you will find results from clinical studies performed with Macrene Actives.

Also, the website indicates the brand is a clean beauty brand. If you want to know more about the brand or Dr. Macrene you can follow this link.

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U.S. News and World Report Releases Hospital Ranks

This week the U.S News and World Report released their 2020 – 2021 Best Hospitals Ratings and “Special Hospitals Heroes” series during the COVID19 pandemic.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with breast cancer that I found myself searching the Internet for “Best hospital” and “Hospital with best cancer treatments.” That’s when this list became useful to me, though I also recommend reading patient reviews, too (if you can).

I’m only printing the top 5 hospitals that made the list. Two hospitals—New York Presbyterian, New York and UCLA tied for 4th place. If you want to read the full report you can go directly to U.S. News

1. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
2. Cleveland Clinic
3. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore
4. New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia and Cornell, New York, NY (tie)
4. UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles (tie)
6. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston

If you’d like to read the full list of hospital ratings follow U.S. News

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I Love This Skincare Series

Okay. So, I know the rich and famous have more money and resources than everyday people. But they also have good beauty and self-care tips, because they have access to some of the best doctors and skincare specialist’ in the world.

So even though I may not be able to afford the same products they use, I DO benefit from their pointers. With that said, today, I’m sharing one of my favorite skincare YouTube series with you. Go To Bed With Me features celeb status women and models who dish on their skincare habits, products and secrets. The episodes are produced by Harper’s Bazaar.

In this episode, Demi Moore shares her nighttime skincare routine. Like me, she has sensitive skin and has to avoid anything scented. This may be the perfect regimen for anyone with asthma, allergies or fighting cancer. Chemotherapy changes everything in the body making the senses and the skin more sensitive, so if you’re a cancer fighter you might appreciate this one, too.

Demi Moore is 57 (if you’re curious). Aging is hard. But if I have to do it (and it IS better than the alternative), I feel so grateful to do so in a world where so many women are choosing how they’re going to age, unlike our parents and grandparents who were stuck with just one image of 50, and it wasn’t very sexy.

Enjoy!


P.S. Have you ever used the makeup eraser? If so, do you like it? I’m waiting for mine to come in so I’ll let you know what I think in a few weeks. If there’s one thing I’m learning…it’s that the older I get, the more gentle I need to be with my skin.

Image of woman in towel sourced at Pexels.

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Chalkboard Notes | Healthy Living

Hey guys! Happy Monday to you. I hope this finds you staying healthy and happy no matter where you are. Today’s mood board is a reminder that even though many of you are busier than ever, you have to put you and your health at the top of the list.

I know. I get it. You may be rolling your eyes at me right now. I’m busy, too. I feel like I’m doing more since the pandemic then I did pre-pandemic. But I’m not complaining about it. I love that we are now doing a lot of things virtually. I think it’s great that this is forcing us to think outside the box. With that said, I can’t wait for this pandemic to be behind us.

Until then, we have to take care of ourselves. Our families need us. You need to be here to see the rewards of your hard work and contributions, after the pandemic.

As a menopause and breast cancer survivor… I know for sure… you have to take a timeout for you and your health. And, there’s more to healthy living than what you eat and how you exercise, although both are important factors to good emotional and physical well-being living

Today, my mood board is my chalkboard. I’m sharing my list of reminders to myself to stay healthy, with you.

The Lifestyle Brief dot com

What are some things you are doing to stay healthy during these difficult times?

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A Dermatologist Shares Her Tips to Good Hand Skincare and Anti-Aging Treatments

“Hand skin care is just as important and often overlooked when it comes to prevention and treatment of aging.”

By Dr. Michelle Hure, MD, MS

Dr. Michelle Hure/OC SkinLab

Aesthetic medicine has traditionally focused on face and body beautification while ignoring one of the most expressive and age-revealing areas. Hand skincare is just as important and often overlooked when it comes to prevention and treatment of aging. Not only does the skin on our hands undergo photoaging from chronic UV exposure and the pigmentation, skin-thinning and wrinkles associated with that, but the constant exposure to water, soap and chemicals found in our daily routines exacerbate the aging process.

Here are a few tips, products and procedures to keep hands youthful or help turn back the hands of time.


Hand skin care in our twenties should focus on prevention, just like facial skin care.

This really comes down to taking good care of the skin and wearing sunscreen, daily. It’s important to realize that harsh skin care is aging your skin.

So, any product that touches your skin should be gentle, fragrance free and moisturizing. Gentle cleansers, lukewarm water and regular moisturizing are mainstays of good hand care. In addition to that, protection with gloves when washing dishes or handling chemical cleaners is essential.

One of the most important preventative measures you can take is limiting the UV exposure that will incrementally add up over time to cause the aging issues we see in our forties and beyond. Applying (and reapplying) sunscreen 30+ daily is necessary but sometimes hard to do. Consider investing in UPF gloves to wear while driving and/or getting manicures where UV or LED light is used.

In our thirties, forties and beyond

Once we’re in our thirties and forties, the aging process has already taken over and will continue into the later decades.

Many times we see youthful-appearing mature women and men who invested in their facial skin care and anti-aging procedures only to have their hands give away their true age. During these decades we need to continue with all the prevention rituals and add in rejuvenation procedures when appropriate.

Hand rejuvenation procedures should address all the different layers of skin, the epidermis, dermis and underlying subcutaneous tissue.

Many people in this age group will show sun-induced hyperpigmentation of the top layer of skin (epidermis) known as “solar lentigines” or sun spots. Often, non-invasive procedures employing light chemical peels, IPL devices, non-ablative laser or even liquid nitrogen can have a huge impact on the perception of youthful hands by eradicating the hyperpigmentation. Topical agents such as retinoids, hydroquinone and cysteamine are a safe at-home option for patients who want conservative treatment for mild photoaging.

Once the deeper dermal collagen and elastic tissue have degraded and the underlying soft tissues have become depleted, the hand undergoes skeltonization revealing the underlying tendons, blood vessels and bones.

To achieve rejuvenation at this point, we need to rely on more invasive techniques to restore youthful characteristics. Radiofrequency, microneedling and non-ablative, fractional laser procedures can help restore skin thickness by stimulating new collagen and elastic tissue formation.

To help restore youthful volume and mask underlying anatomic structures, more invasive procedure like filler or fat injections are the top choices.

With any procedure, non-invasive or invasive, it’s important to realize that hands are delicate and should be treated conservatively to avoid scarring and infection. Some aggressive procedures we perform on the face could be absolutely disastrous on the hands.

As with all cosmetic procedures, check with your board-certified physician to discuss what options are best for your needs.


Dr. Hure is double board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and the American Board of Pathology in both Dermatopathology and Anatomic Pathology. And, the owner of OC SkinLab, a full-service dermatology practice in California.

You can learn more about Dr. Hure and OC SkinLab by going to her website OCskinlab and you can follow her on Instagram @ocskinlab

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Monday Mood Board

So if you’ve been following me you’ve probably seen that over the last couple of weeks I’ve been posting mood boards.

Mood boards are a valuable tool to help you (and me) reach goals.

I’ve been using them off and on (for more than I want to tell you) but approximately 20 years.

Especially when working with women and children either in transition, starting over after an abusive relationship or even to help trauma survivors express themselves while in recovery.

Mood boards can help you identify your goals even if you don’t yet have a direction.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s for your health, your home, your love life or your new business, mood boards can help you get to know yourself better and what matters most to you even if only for the moment.

I used one to help me with my new logo. Maybe I’ll show that one next week.

For today. here’s a quick mood board I put together this morning.

I know…I’m a little late but as they say… Better late than never! 😉

Balance. Health. Love.

Bright pink mood board with the words   Balance. Love. And Health.
#MattersMost ™️ All contents protected by ©️
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The Perfect Staycation Song

I don’t talk about it enough but I love music.

I believe music is like food and water for the soul: it can nourish your emotions while at the same time helping you wash away the cares of the day, or leftover hurts and pains from the past.

For that reason, I’m sharing with you what I’m listening to.

I hope you’ll feel motivated to get up and move.

Dance. Dance. Dance.

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My Monday Mood Board

Hello friends,

How are you holding up with all that’s going on in the world?

I can’t think of any other time in our lifetime when it’s been so bad.

So many are feeling hopeless and lost.

I don’t feel there’s any need to cover the headlines because I think you already know about those.

But with the 24/7 coverage of grief, pain, loss and uncertainty there’s no doubt it’s impacting our mental and physical state.

With that in mind I’d like to suggest a mental vacation mood board.

I’ll do one too.

Mood boards are good for more than just goals and projects.

They are perfect for getting you back to center.

It doesn’t matter whether you use one for health and fitness, a home renovation project (like I’m doing) or just to remind you of the little things that bring you joy—a mood board is like coloring for adults.

It sparks the imagination.

I’ve been using mood boards for years at presentations and workshops.

I used them all the time when working with survivors of domestic violence, and children working through issues of abuse.

I find that they can elevate emotions, help a person identify areas of improvement in their life or work through sudden life changes.

Today, though, this mood board is centered around a renovation project we’re working on.

It’s simple. Light hearted. Uncluttered.

My mood board inspiration comes from some of my favorite home decor magazines.

I hope you enjoy them.

I’d love to see where you’re getting your inspiration from.

Feel free to comment and post here. Or, you can send it to me via e-mail by clicking the “say hello” tab at the top of the screen, and I gladly share it, here.

Stay safe. 💜—April


(Sidebar—I receive no benefits from anyone for sharing my favorite magazines or details. This is just my virtual inspiration board).


I find myself drawn to the French Provincial design. This is a Traditional Home Magazine I’m thumbing through.
Definitely adding some of this purple around the house. Also from my Traditional Home Magazine.
If there’s one thing I know it’s that I’m getting nice shower head. I also love pops of color so this page inspired me for q variety of reasons. Also from Traditional Home Magazine.
I like this image because it’s uncluttered and warm. Found this while flipping through my House Beautiful Magazine.
I’m all about details 🤩 And this apothecary match holder is on my list of must-haves. Found this in my House Beautiful Magazine.
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Is Nancy Meyers Hinting at Making a Film in The Pandemic?

I hope so!!

I don’t know about you but I am a big fan of all things Nancy Meyers.

But in case, like my parent’s, you don’t know her by name, Meyers is the woman behind films (and kitchens and homes to die for) like It’s Complicated, The holiday, The Intern, Something’s Gotta Give and The Parent Trap featuring a baby-faced Lindsay Lohan.

Just saying those titles out loud makes me wanna go watch one of her movies right now.

A few days ago, Meyers made this Instagram post

In the comments Meyers says “I’m wondering how movies will be made when we have to be 6′ apart.”

I have to admit, so am I! And if anyone can do it, it’s gonna be Nancy Meyers.

And then today, Meyers posted this

She says “I have some #ParentTrap news to share next week.” #ItsGoingToBeFun

I can hardly wait to see what Meyers does next. She is a genius in the film business.

Are you a fan of Meyer’s films? If so, what do you make of this and what do you hope will happen? Comments please!

Featured

For Lesley Barth Her Latest LP “Big Time Baby” is About Learning to Stop Living for Other People

New York-based independent singer and songwriter, Lesley Barth, drops her second full-length album Big Time Baby on May 15. In this interview Barth talks about a duet she did with her husband, how she agreed to the location for her cover shoot sight unseen, and how she hopes her ten-track album will inspire you.

Lesley Barth’s new album is about learning to stop living for other people and choosing yourself over what other people want for you, or from you.

Big Time Baby comes on the heels of the two-year anniversary of the day Barth quit her day job in corporate America to focus on music full-time. Talk about timing!

It was March 2018 that Barth made the courageous leap from employee to full-time indie artist.

I wrote this album during the process of completely uprooting my life, and recorded it as I was still navigating a life without structure and regular paychecks.”

Barth continues.

“It’s an album for these uncertain times where many people feel their lives have been stripped to the bone, they’ve woken up from a daydream, and they weren’t sure what tomorrow would bring because that’s where I felt I was when I wrote it. Almost all the savings I had for quitting my job got wiped away by healthcare costs, and I had to scramble.”


Barth has a powerful voice and a rare ability to convey raw feelings in a way very few can.

It doesn’t matter whether she’s singing an upbeat, laid-back song about summer and romance, or a song about depression as she does in Something Good (the last track on Big Time Baby), Lesley Barth connects with the human emotion.

As such, Barth has garnered comparisons to music legends Carole King and Cat Stevens.


Big Time Baby

Images courtesy Lesley Barth and Harish Pathak

So let’s kick this interview off with the amazing photography on this album. Was it your creative inspiration behind the look and feel? Where did you shoot the pictures?

The photo shoot for this album (primarily) took place at the South Philly Van Club. I hadn’t even seen pictures of the place before we got there but I couldn’t imagine a better place to shoot.

The photographer, Harish Pathak, is one of my best friends from high school, which makes it very easy for me to be myself in front of the camera.

I love the smell of working garages, because my grandfather was a mechanic with a tiny one car garage out back where he worked on an old Ford of his, and I have such warm and fuzzy memories of my time at their house.

We definitely wanted to capture some of the 70’s and to be a little theatrical since a lot of the songs on the album are like monologues.

This garage [the South Philly Van Club] restores vintage vans and station wagons. It felt like the perfect backdrop.

What does Big Time Baby mean to you?

Big Time Baby is a lyric taken from the opening track, Lower Eastside. It’s a tongue-in-cheek title that reminds me not to take things so seriously. It’s sort of shorthand, for me, for there is no ‘big time or small time” there’s just your life.

What does your writing process look like?

I take long walks by myself, sing into voice memos. Whatever snippets stick with me I work those up.

Was your writing process different with this album than that of Green Hearts?

Not too different. I did write more on guitar with this record. The biggest difference is probably in how many songs I wrote for this record. Way more songs didn’t make the cut this time around–which is a good thing.

Your husband (Chuck Ramsey) performed with you on the song Preacher. Was there something about that song in particular that motivated you to work with him?

Preacher was such a fun song to track! Never have I felt cooler recording vocals. During a pre-production meeting with, Joe Michelini, (co-produced this album with me), suggested I try it as a duet. It wasn’t initially that way. I had sort of thought of the same thing but was afraid it would be too cheesy.

But we just leaned all the way in on the duet vibe, which was fun. Chuck has more of a pop/rock voice which was really energizing for this track. That might be as close as I ever get to being a rocker.

And, of course, it’s fun working on something with your husband. You just have a natural way of relating that I think really works on a song like this.

One of my favorite songs on this album is Up in The Air. What was your inspiration for it?

Thanks, yeah. I think it’s super relevant these days in particular. No one knows what’s coming next and what the future will look like.

The inspiration was just my life at the time I wrote it—feeling stuck having quit my job but not able to see the road ahead very clearly.

I wrote this one really quickly and set it aside for a few weeks and when I came back to it I thought… this is good. Who wrote this? (laugh) I had sort of forgotten I wrote it but it said everything I had been wanting to say.

I’m glad it’s a favorite of yours. It feels good to share this sentiment, right now, in a way that I obliviously, never expected.

The last time we talked was in 2018 shortly after you quit your job. Here you are two years later and two full-length albums behind you. That sounds like success to me, but, how do you feel things are going? Do you have any regrets about quitting your job?

Thank you! My last and first album Green Hearts came out in 2017. I’ve been chomping at the bits to do another one. I am happy with what I’ve done, where I am and I have absolutely zero regrets about quitting my job.

But man, I have to be careful with the word ‘success.’ I feel like that word has too much power for me. Like, if I’m not successful in the way I want to be, I’m a total failure.

Maybe that’s not what it is— I don’t think success and failure are total opposites. I think I’m learning they are much more interconnected than I realized, before.

I’m just trying to focus on making music. That’s my vocation, as I see it.

What do you want people to know about this album?

I think what I want people to come away with is the idea that you can’t live your life and perform your life at the same time.

Living your life is what you do for the real you, the higher self. Performing your life is an act for the benefit of others.

It’s really easy to perform, today, because of social media and the internet. And there is great danger in everyone changing who they are in response to some sort of weird market-testing of your own community.

I think when you choose to live your own life, you’re choosing kindness, you’re choosing a life of service, you’re choosing to slow down. All things we need more of today,


Amen to that Lesley!

Thank you for allowing me to share you, once again, with my friends, here. And the way I see it, if you have figured that out, and you stick with it no matter how much money or fame you acquire in your lifetime, you will have cornered your definition of happiness.

Lesley’s single, “Woman Looking Back at Me” is out now. It’s a song that draws attention to the internal negative dialogue we all experienced (as women) at some time or another.

If you want to learn more about Lesley, follow her in social media or support her Patreon you can find her below:

www.lesleybarth.com

www.patreon.com/lesleybarth 

www.lesleybarth.bandcamp.com 

@lesleybarth on Twitter/ Instagram

www.facebook.com/lesleybarth 

Featured

Shop Patricia Heaton’s Closet

Patricia Heaton known for playing Deborah Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond, Frankie Heck on The Middle and Dr. Carol Kenny on Carole’s Second Act is inviting you to shop her closet—for a good cause.

Heaton posted the following on her Instagram page this afternoon “Shop selected looks from my personal collection on @therealreal Proceeds will be donated to @feedingamerica to support COVID-19 relief efforts. The Feeding America network of food banks is leading the fight to #EndHunger

I met Heaton once while at a fundraiser. She seemed nice and down-to-earth, as was her husband. I wouldn’t say that about everyone who was there that night. Shh.

In case you’re wondering

The RealReal, Inc. is an online and brick-and-mortar marketplace for authenticated luxury consignment.

Anyhoo, if you’re interested you can check out Heaton’s closet right here https://www.therealreal.com/sales/patricia-heaton

Did you know?

You can shop Patricia Heaton Home at Walmart too!

Featured

Happy Legs & Feet Start Here

It was while going through chemotherapy that I started experiencing leg fatigue, excruciating and debilitating leg cramps and foot pain.

I assumed after chemo was over my legs would get better. And while they did improve, my legs and feet have never been the same.

I now struggle with a touch of neuropathy and some days my legs and feet hurt so bad that even driving can be a challenge especially if I’m driving a stick.

Adding insult to injury is that while recovering from chemotherapy I landed smack-dab in the middle of menopause.

Menopause was trigged by chemotherapy medications.

As it turns out my menopausal symptoms include…wait for it…MORE leg pain. You’ve got to be kidding me.

As I started to pay more attention to my legs and feet I noticed 1) I desperately need a professional pedicure. And 2), I have a few tiny spider veins and a couple of varicose veins trying to pop up, too.

Physical changes like pregnancy, cancer, menopause and even weight fluctuations can change the body drastically.

Think about all that your feet and legs do for you in a day and how hard it would be without them.

Whatever your circumstances, I urge you to start taking care of your legs and tootsies, now, so they’ll take care of you, later.

With that said, today I’m sharing two things I’m doing to give back to my feet, and a health brand I think you should know about.

TWO THINGS I DO TO HELP KEEP MY LEGS HAPPY AND PAIN FREE


According to California.gov fast facts on podiatry, every step you make places 1.5 times your body weight of pressure on your foot.


One. Soak. It was while talking to my oriental medicine doctor that I learned foot soaking was a common treatment for circulation, neuropathy, digestion and a host of other things.

She suggested I soak, regularly. Daily if possible. So now I soak my feet in a mixture of epson salt and lavender oil but sometimes I use ginger, instead.

My doctor told me do use the hottest water I can handle without burning myself.

I had no idea a foot bath could feel so good! And if I do it before bed, I sleep better than ever.

This helps greatly with insomnia.

Two. Compression. I wish I had thought about these a long time ago. I guess I always thought they were for “old” people.

But since having these issues I’ve done my research on the benefits of compression socks or hose.

They improve your blood flow, prevent leg pain and swelling and prevent serious medical conditions.

Athletes even use them.

The challenge for me was finding compression wear that didn’t make me feel self-conscious or old.

Thankfully, there are a few stylish brands on the market. So today, I introduce you to Rejuva Health fashionable compression socks.

Look at these pretties.

©️TheLifestyleBrief
©️TheLifestyleBrief
©️TheLifestyleBrief

Those aren’t your grandma’s stockings! Rejuva Health has an interesting backstory.

One I plan to share with you in more detail, later. But for now, you should know they are all about compression with style.

They also have leggings. What?! Yep. Compression Leggings, ladies. I’ll be posting those soon!

May I suggest? Gifting these to yourself or someone you care about. You will not regret it.

Because I want you to see that Rejuva offers some variety, I’m gonna share some images from their Instagram feed, too. I just have the one pair above and I think you need to see there are more than those.

Compression socks have improved how I feel. It’s unbelievable. I even wear them while cooking and cleaning. And, they’re perfect for both men and women.

When I wear compression socks I can stand on my feet longer and I don’t feel tired out. What a relief!

disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and while I did play one on T.V. once, I do not intend to advise you on anything. You need to speak to your medical doctor before doing or refraining from doing, anything.

Please keep checking back for the ways I’m wearing my Rejuva Leggings. If you’d like to learn more about Rejuva Health follow them on Instagram @rejuva. And go to their Website.

If you like what you see here, please support a woman out by sharing, commenting, reposting, Tweeting or Pinning.

Have a great Monday!

Featured

Jamie Lee Curtis Opens up About Vicodin Addiction

I can’t begin to tell how you many women I’ve known and coached who secretly battled addiction.

According to the CDC 18 women per day die from a painkiller prescription overdose in the United States.

Women who look pulled together. Women you sit by at church. Women you lunch with. Moms. Business owners and VP’s alike.

Women, like actress and advocate, Jamie Lee Curtis.

THIS is a must-see!

Featured

My Menopause Aha! Moment

I was loading the dishwasher when I realized how bad I felt. I was sad. Sad like something bad happened. It reminded me of how I felt after the loss of my sister. It was in that moment I acknowledged the direct connection between my emotions and menopause.

Continue reading “My Menopause Aha! Moment”

Featured

How To Find an Oncologist

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer the only thing I knew about an Oncologist was that I’d hoped I never needed one. Well, there’s goes that.

Somewhere between my shock and the doctors fear tactics I remember saying while fighting back tears “I have no idea how to find an Oncologist.”

Continue reading “How To Find an Oncologist”

Featured

With One Picture Jennifer Aniston Garners 3 Million Followers

Did you hear? Jennifer Aniston is finally on Instagram. And it made news in a big way!

Continue reading “With One Picture Jennifer Aniston Garners 3 Million Followers”
Featured

Jennie Garth Family Vacay in Waikiki Was All About LUXURY

Jennie Garth and her husband Dave Abrams and Garth’s two daughters with, Peter Faccinelli, vacationed in Hawaii and where they stayed had beauty luxury written all over it.

From the food and fantastic views to the oh-so-fabulous kitchen.

Check out the view in this post with the caption “The one and only place to watch the sunset in Waikiki.”

In true journalistic fashion I wanted to know more about Jennies trip. Where is she staying? Who is she with? Was it 90210-worthy? Is it someplace you and I can go or is it a celeb-status-only-kind of place?

What I learned was that the vacation was in celebration of the success of the Beverly Hills 90210 reboot premiere ‘BH90210.’

Although the show has reportedly been canceled the series premiere ratings were through the roof! The BH90210 premiere was Fox’s most streamed summer debut—ever!

That’s the kind of success you want to celebrate. And they did so in style. Jennie and her family experienced an exclusive preview stay at ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki⠀⠀⠀

Did you catch that? It was an exclusive preview stay. Wow. That sounds like star power alright.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Here’s a picture of Jennie and her husband, Dave Abrams, posted by @espaciowaikiki


The Espacio is All About Luxury


ESPACIO-Exterior-Evening-4000X2667
Entryway ESPACIO has a spa-like vibe

Journey to a space at the ocean’s edge where opulence, tranquility, and rejuvenation combine to create an unforgettable, exclusive retreat. From the moment you book your stay at ESPACIO, an unparalleled experience awaits you.—-The ESPACIO website

ESPACIO spans nine floors with nine luxury suites. Luxury is the theme of this hotel. Each suite occupies an entire floor. All suites are advertised at 2,250 sq ft. and come with two or three bedrooms.

During their stay, Jennie Garth and her family settled into a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom suite.

Suites are beautifully decked out in light colors synonymous with peace and serenity, marble floors, Moroccan metalwork, high-end appliances and a private balcony with a Jacuzzi.

ESPACIO-THE-JEWEL-OF-WAIKIKI-Dining-Room-Pink-3000X2000
posh but comfortable.
ESPACIO-THE-JEWEL-OF-WAIKIKI-evening-master-bedroom-blue-3000X2000
pretty. breezy. romantic.
ESPACIO-THE-JEWEL-OF-WAIKIKI-Deck-2-3000X2000
side view of suite balcony

All suites are equipped with a 65-inch T.V. in the living room, smart home features and a private elevator so recognizable faces can comfortably come and go.

Guests can control anything in the suite with the touch of an iPad from the temperature and lighting to ordering room service. (They had me at private elevator)

ESPACIO-THE-JEWEL-OF-WAIKIKI-Penthouse-Suite-Living-Room-3000X2000 (2)
bright. airy. see the view.

Even though the suites all have their own hot tub there’s also a rooftop Jacuzzi, an infinity pool with bar service and a fire pit.

ESPACIO-Pool-dusk-with-Firepit-4000x2667
rooftop fire pit

The kitchens are A-MAZING!

They are fully loaded with high-end Thermador and Miele appliances, a rice cooker (that’s impressive!), a wine cellar (oh yeahh) and washer and dryer.

This hotel gets a double AA or April-Approved rating from me for creating a beautiful yet practical place to prepare meals.

ESPACIO-THE-JEWEL-OF-WAIKIKI-Kitchen-2-3000X2000
dreamy…

Every woman knows bathroom lighting is always the worst in hotel bathrooms. But that won’t be an issue at this hotel. Ladies, check out that lighted mirror. 

ESPACIO-THE-JEWEL-OF-WAIKIKI-Bathroom-Sink-Vanity-3000X2000 (1)
is that singing I hear?

This hotel has thought of EVERY. THING.

Jennie and her family enjoyed amenities including a sunset dinner on the rooftop prepared by a private chef, in-suite spa treatments, access to a luxury house car (possibly an Audi based on my research), butler service and a private cabana and picnic experience on Oahu’s famed Secret Beach.

This is likely where Jennie and her family gathered for a meal prepared by the chef.

As a parting gift, Jennie and Dave were gifted bottles of prized wine and whiskey from Mugen ESPACIO’s onsite restaurant. Mugen houses a $5 million dollar wine collection. (Nice!)

ESPACIO-Mugen-Wine-Selection-2-4000x2667 (1)

Jennies husband, Dave at Kualoa Ranch & Private Nature Reserve

Okay. So the only question left is…could someone like you or me stay at ESPACIO? Sure. For the cool price of $2500.00 per nigh– not counting taxes and fees.

That’s a wrap for now, friends. If you have a favorite place to stay in Hawaii or anywhere else, please send me your recommendations so I can check them out and feature them here.

Images provided by: ESPACIO  Waikiki, Jennie Garth Instagram

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Featured

Shoes.

Hey guys! How are you this weekend? It’s burning hot here on the West Coast with temperatures running anywhere from 80 degrees to 124, depending on where you live.

With temperatures like that I can’t believe stores are clearing out summer duds and moving into back-to-school and fall fashion.

While it’s a great time to get in on the end of summer deals, there’s still plenty of summer heat for me to enjoy these gorgeous shoes. (And you too if you’re interested)

What you’re looking at are Aerosoles Meadow Wedge Sandals in the Martha Stewart collection.

Last year, Martha Stewart partnered with Aerosoles to be their spokesperson, and to create the Martha Stewart Collection.

“What we’re trying to do with Aerosoles is make gorgeous shoes at just the right price.” —Martha Stewart interview with WWD

If you don’t know who Aerosoles is I highly recommend you check them out.

They are all about fashion that feels good. (#FashionThatFeelsGood)

Here you can see how plush they are on the inside.

I went with the color green which is a departure from my usual black, because they were out of black in my size.

I have no regrets!

This color is the perfect neutral compliment. These beauties go with everything.

One of the things I love about a wedge heel is the support I get from them.

After chemotherapy treatments my feet and legs hurt so bad that it’s hard to find a cute shoe for me.

But it doesn’t matter what your situation (or age) is, the odds are you’d look great in these.

I broke my toe on my left foot, so I couldn’t do a photo shoot with me wearing the shoes.

As soon as I can I’ll post a photo with me in them on Instagram. So follow me over there for more.

In full disclosure:

I’m so excited to share that I won these shoes in an Aerosoles Instagram contest. (What?!)

I sure did!

I never win anything. Over the last few months I’ve one a couple of things that have now been added to my favorite things list.

I can’t wait to tell you more. But please know that my opinion is mine and mine alone.

Neither Aerosoles nor Martha Stewart asked me to share these with you and I have not received any compensation for this post.

It is my desire to look out for the best interest of the consumer since I am one too.

I’m already an Aerosoles shopper so when I entered this contest I knew I was going to get a pair of shoes I would love.

And I did!

What brands do you wear?

End of article

Featured

What you should know about the flour recall

July 18, 2019—Between May 2019 and June 2019 multiple flour brands and baked goods mixes were recalled due to possible E. coli contamination.

Though the flour recall is now over I thought you should know about it in case you have any of the flours in your pantry.

(You can see the brand name list below)

How did E. Coli end up in flour?

I was surprised to learn E. coli could even get into flours.

I wanted to know the how and why so I did some digging.

It turns out this isn’t the first time there was a flour recall due to E. coli.

According to reports, May 2016 General Mills recalled flour due to possible E. Coli contamination.

And guess what? — Even the CDC and FDA were puzzled by that one.

Some officials theorize that contaminated groundwater or animal waste in a wheat field contributed to the outbreak, but I have not been able to confirm that.

Still, that seems logical to me.

So for now, the answer is not clear. What is clear, though, is that we want to avoid illness.

With that in mind here are some tips provided by the CDC to help prevent you from contamination and infection.

With all that’s going on with food these days it seems like a good idea to just make these tips common practice no matter how tempting it may be to stray from them.

CDC Tips

  • If you stored flour in another container without the packaging and don’t remember the brand or “use by” date, throw it away.
  • Thoroughly wash the container before using again.
  • Do not eat raw dough or batter.

Recalled brands:

Brand Castle Mixes

Pillsbury Best Bread Flour

King Arthur Flour

ALDI Baker’s Corner All Purpose flour

For UPC, Best By dates and lot numbers go directly to the CDC.

End of article

Featured

Menopause Meltdown

Dear friends and menopause survivors, today I come to you in the midst of a menopause meltdown.

Menopause has been nothing but an uphill climb.

Two of the most challenging symptoms for me have been clumsiness, and memory failure.

As I write this I can’t find a credit card I had in my hand an hour ago.

I’ve turned the entire house upside down trying to find it. I’ve turned my purse and wallet inside out.

I’ve taken everything out of my freezer and refrigerator—-yes, I said the freezer and the refrigerator.

You’d be surprised how many things end up there these days.

Adding insult to injury is that I can’t even re-trace my steps because I don’t remember what I was doing when the card was in my hand.

I know I made tacos for lunch. I can only hope the card didn’t make it into the pan.

Maybe I got a phone call. Maybe I got a text message. Maybe I had to go to the bathroom. Maybe my brain just took a break at an inconvenient time.

But whatever the reason, I can’t find it. And all I feel is defeat, frustration and upset.

This happens a lot since menopause charged into my life like a bull in a china shop.

Some days I can’t remember where I parked my car. And I’m always on the hunt for something: my keys, my underwear or my glasses–usually on my face.

The glasses, that is. Not the underwear. If those end up on my head then menopause has completely taken over.

A good day for me is when I leave the house with two matching shoes on and my lipstick on my face where it’s supposed to be.

Most women in menopause tend to be aggressive towards their husbands during this time. Some don’t even like them anymore.

(We’ll talk more about menopause divorce in another article).

Thankfully, I don’t feel that way about my husband.

But…I am re-thinking my strategy on that because when I’m in the menopause tunnel (that’s what I call it), I don’t have the patience for a 110 questions on why I thought spaghetti seemed like a good idea for dinner.

Also, I don’t have the patience for any tone I don’t recognize or a certain kind of teasing, both of which my husband did wrong at Costco over the weekend.

I truly thought I was going to end up on the news for giving him a menopause smackdown.

Thankfully, all ended well.

I still can’t find my credit card and while I can laugh a little now that I’ve written this, I’m still so bummed, because I have a purse in my shopping cart that I really need to purchase today.

Okay that’s a wrap for now. If you’re still here thank you for listening to me.

If you’re a menopause survivor I’d really love to hear from you.

What are your symptoms? How are you coping? How has menopause impacted you on an emotional level?

Speak your #menopausetruth here!

Featured

Caring for your nails

Welcome to Menopause Minute | Issue No 8 | Girl, take care of those nails!

In the last few weeks we’ve talked about the many ways low estrogen can wreak havoc on the body.

Low estrogen can cause irregular heartbeat, bladder changes, hot flashes, insomnia and headaches.

Sadly, the buck doesn’t stop there. Low estrogen can also lead to brittle and unhealthy nails making them vulnerable to discoloration, dents and ridges.

(Both hands raised here).

I’ve only recently begun to feel self-conscious about my nails—some days more than others.

And as trivial as fingernails may seem, when you couple that with all of the other undesirable changes brought about my menopause, and you’ve got one hot mess on your hands!

So, as I’m working through the phases of the menopause process, I’ve come to realize that I need to spend more time on self-care acts.

So I’m now doing things like slathering on lotion right after I shower (something I used to be able to skip), and paying more attention to those tips and toes.

With that said, today you’ll find some expert tips to caring for your nails during the menopause phase of life.

1. Soften your nails before trimming

I have to come clean: I had no idea there was a good reason behind soaking your nails. I thought it was just an additional way to make you feel pampered. But the rationale for soaking your nails before trimming them is that it softens the nails making them easier to cut.

Embarrassingly I admit, it was my dad who set me straight on that one.

2. Keep your nails clean and dry

According to the Mayo Clinic, keeping your nails clean and dry prevents bacteria from growing underneath your fingernails.

Prolonged contact with water can also contribute to split fingernails. So whenever possible be sure to wear cotton-lined rubber gloves, especially when using harsh chemicals and dry your hands and nails fully after washing.

I’ve experimented with this idea and it makes a noticeable difference.

3. Cut nails straight across 

I feel like this is what everyone REALLY wants to know: should I cut my nails straight across, or with a rounded edge?

This was harder to narrow down that you might think.

When I asked around it seemed this one had the experts divided. Half said straight across, half said rounded.

So I decided it was best to my cues from the American Academy of Dermatology.

They said “Cutting your nails straight across helps keep them strong, and prevents them from snagging on things.”

So there you have it.

4. Don’t cut or peel your cuticles

The experts say the cuticle is there to protect the nail. So cutting or pulling on those cuticles can lead to big problems like bleeding or infection. So don’t do it!

5. Do not use your nails as a tool

I know it’s tempting but don’t do it. Don’t pop open cans or scrape food off of dishes (been there, done that). That’s how nails chip and break.

The following are a few of my favorite cuticle tamers.

Root Pretty Beauty Sleep Oil

This oil can be used on anything. I use it on my nails, hair, breakouts and dry skin. It’s chemical-free and chock-full of natural goodness that makes this multitasker one of my beauty, skin and nail care faves.

 

Butter London

This is another fave of mine when it comes to my nails. They have a cuticle balm, nail scrubbers and the nail polishes are exceptional. Check them out. Also, keep an eye on viewyourdeal.com because they often partner with butter London and I don’t know about you but I love a good deal.

 

Olive oil. Avocado oil. Coconut oil

The odds are you have some of these healthy oils in your kitchen right now. I use them, too. It’s all about what I have on hand and sometimes what’s closest to me.

Well that’s a wrap for now, friends. If you like the tips you’ve read here, please, tweet, post share and subscribe.

end of article

Featured

The “it” bag

Summer means outdoor gatherings, picnics and trips to the lake or beach. But it doesn’t matter whether you’re taking a road trip or taking a trip to the store (although, one is funner than the other), you’re gonna want to add my favorite bag to your collection. 😉

I used this bag to carry lunch for me and my husband while going through chemo.

It kept the food nice and cool and we made a picnic right there in the chemo suite.

The bag

PackIt freezable lunch and shopping bags are stylish, reusable and BPA free. Also, you can leave those bulky ice packs behind, because the WHOLE BAG goes in the freezer. (Say whaattt?)

That’s right. You fold the bag up, put in the freezer and when you need it, it’s ready to go.

PackIt’s patented built-in technology keeps items cool all day without ever needing ice packs. It’s so powerful that it can even drop the temperature of liquids 25 degrees within the first hour. —PackIt website

Now let’s take a closer look at those bags through the PackItCool Instagram page.

(Most images are reposted from the PackItCool Instagram page)

(Stylish)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxP6ppbBQi3/

(Fun)

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxAcM6cBSt5/

The also have grocery bags.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwkHjVhB662/

And Bento boxes, too!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwaBBBNB30u/

It’s perfect for the men in your life, too. I bought my dad one and he loves it. This is mine but my dad has a solid black one.

Did I mention the wine bags?

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwppGsrBKQf/

I typically order them directly from PackIt online but I noticed you can now buy them at Home Depot Amazon and Target.

If you like what you’ve read here please share and subscribe.

 

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Readers Questions

Happy Saturday, friends!

I hope this finds you somewhere doing something that brings you happiness and joy.

Today, I’m answering reader questions. But before I do, I want to thank you for following, subscribing, reading and supporting me and my little space on the Internet.

And thank you for sending me questions!

I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate you. 🤗

So let’s get started with 3 Questions I’ve been asked by readers and followers alike.

Let’s start with the one question I can’t wait to dig into: What do you think about the college admissions scandal?

Ooh I’m so glad you asked! I’ve been working on an Op-Ed piece for this one.There’s so much to say but I’m gonna try to keep it, brief.

I believe the colleges involved knew what was going on even if they weren’t making the deals themselves.

Why?-Because academia is big business. And all businesses need money and advertising to stay in the game.

Famous people can bring in both.

I’m not saying that all colleges participate in illegal bribes. But, I do believe if they have two applications on their desk and one is a famous name and the other isn’t, they’re going with the famous name even if he or she doesn’t meet the criteria… because it benefits the school.

And that’s the equivalent of bribery because for the rich and famous, their name and fame is their most valuable currency.

Despite the hype surrounding Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman they are not the only famous people to bribe their way into college.

They’re just the stupid ones who got caught. I expect they’ll be more people getting caught down the road.

Recently, I’ve heard famous people in interviews claiming they had no idea that such crimes even existed, as if they’ve been living in the Leave-it-to-Beaver-era.

I don’t know whether to laugh at them or take pity on them,because anyone who lives in that much denial has a lot more to learn.

The very term “privileged” was born out of wealthy circles who have special rights, advantages and immunities.

All rich and famous people benefit from that. So to act as if they’ve never received those benefits is a joke.

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman proved that it doesn’t take a lot of business sense to be rich or famous.

As I mentioned above, simply using their famous face and name could have sealed the deal for them and their college hopefuls. And if that wasn’t enough then they could have made a donation (a legal form of bribery lol).

As parents, these guys failed their kids BIG TIME.

Can you imagine how you might feel if your parents had so little faith in your abilities that they felt they had to commit a crime to get you into school?

Their children—as ungrateful as some of them are—are going to be dealing with the emotional aftermath of this for years to come.

Next Question!

How are you doing after cancer?

I’m doing good! Thank you for asking. I’m happy to be alive and praying I can maintain good health.

Cancer recovery has not been as easy as I’d hoped, though. Old issues have worsened and I’m coping with new ones, too.

For example, before chemotherapy I had food allergies. But now, I have even more. I don’t get to eat out anywhere I want and I have to carry my own food pretty much everywhere I go.

Even though I don’t feel the desire to eat out often it would be nice just to feel “normal” again.

Thankfully, I’m learning to navigate life with those challenges.

What are you binge-watching?

I’m not currently binge-watching anything, per se, but I am watching an older T.V. series called The West Wing.

For those who don’t know, The West Wing is a political series drama created by Aaron Sorkin.

Sorkin is known for movies like The Social Network and Steve Jobs.

The West Wing aired on NBC from September 22, 1999 to May 14, 2006.

This series is not your average political series. In this show the characters are like family to each other.

There’s no mud-slinging, murder or trash content—at least so far. And it’s my understanding, there won’t be.

Okay. That’s a wrap for now guys! Thank you, again, for your time and support.

What are you watching right now?

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Featured

Menopause Minute: Nutrition, Supplements & Herbs

#MenopauseMinute | No. 8 | Story from drweil.com

In last weeks Menopause Minute Registered Dietitian, Halle Saperstein, reminded me/us that what you eat in menopause, can make a big difference in how you experience symptoms.

“When estrogen levels begin falling, we have to be more mindful of what we eat and how much we eat. We also have to make sure we’re getting a wide variety of nutrients to protect our bones and vital organs” — Saperstein

Because I think food and health go hand-in-hand I’m delving deeper into the food/body connection during menopause.

In the process I found some suggestions from Dr. Andrew Weil.

Soy foods. The isoflavones in soy foods help balance hormone levels and have some estrogenic activity. There is ongoing research about the safety and efficacy of isolated soy isoflavone supplements. While the initial results look promising, we currently recommend using natural soy foods rather than supplements. Choose from tofu, soy milk, roasted soy nuts or tempeh.

Flaxseed. Substances called lignins in flaxseed are important modulators of hormone metabolism. Grind flaxseed daily in a coffee grinder at home and use 1 to 2 tablespoons a day. (Definitely doing this one ASAP)

Dong quai. Dong quai (Angelica sinensis) is known both in China and the West for its ability to support and maintain the natural balance of female hormones. It does not have estrogenic activity. This is one of the herbs for menopause that should not be taken if a woman is experiencing heavy bleeding.

Black cohosh (Cumicifuga racemosa). One of the best-studied traditional herbs for menopause, black cohosh is used to help alleviate some symptoms of menopause, and is considered an effective hot flash remedy. Black cohosh seems to work by supporting and maintaining hormonal levels, which may lessen the severity of hot flashes. Many women report that the herb works well but it isn’t effective for everyone. While any therapy that influences hormonal actions should be a concern, black cohosh does not appear to have estrogenic activity and thus may be safe for women with a personal or family history of breast cancer.

Vitamin E. A daily dose of 400 IUs of natural vitamin E (as mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols) can help alleviate symptoms of hot flashes in some menopausal women.

B vitamins. This group of water-soluble vitamins may help women deal with the stress of menopausal symptoms.

Read more of Dr. Weil’s tips and advice HERE.

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Featured

What you eat during menopause matters

#MenopauseMinute |No. 7 | Story from Henry Ford Health System and The Detroit News.

According to dietician HALLE SAPERSTEIN, R.D. | FOR HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM, what you eat during menopause can make a big difference in how you experience symptoms.

“When estrogen levels begin falling, we have to be more mindful of what we eat and how much we eat. We also have to make sure we’re getting a wide variety of nutrients to protect our bones and vital organs”

Saperstein recommends dark green leafy vegetables and brightly colored foods like carrots, tomatoes, mango and cherries, all known for their powerful antioxidants.

She also says you need protein to help you hang on to muscle.

Cooling foods like apples, bananas and green tea may help you cool down according to Chinese medicine.

And of course, Saperstein says drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and help you flush toxins.

If you’d like to learn more about Halle Saperstein click HERE. For more on the Henry Ford Health Services click HERE.

If you like what you’ve read, please share.

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Featured

spring it on

While I do enjoy the rain and sipping tea by a warm fireplace, at heart, I’m just a spring kind of girl.

All it takes is a spring breeze to get me to thinking about lemonade, pink toe nail polish and the beautiful white sands that only exists in places far, far, away.

Maybe it’s the long days, the idea of walking on the beach, hanging out at the local outdoor market or grilling up lunch with family, but like a smooth talkin’ sailor, spring has a way of coaxing me out of my shell, and convincing me I can do just about anything.

And for me that means painting a couple of rooms, cleaning out my closets and digging up a space for a small garden.

I also feel more inspired to take a trip or take a drive. Whatever we decide on, fun is definitely on my to-do list this season.

Spring rises hope. And who doesn’t need a little bit of that.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Me at one of my favorite spots up the California Central Coast

 

Whatever spring conjures up in you, I hope you’ll find something here that inspires you.

This season, I’ll be talking about how color impacts your mood and how you can easily and affordably incorporate your favorite colors into your living space.

I’ll share some of my favorite decluttering tips (something I’m doing a lot of right now) and some before and after pictures of our work around the house.

I have some interviews with expert organizers coming up so feel free to send me your questions and I’ll be sure to ask them for you.

We’ll also talk about how to eliminate the emotional clutter that can hold you down, because spring cleaning is about more than just the literal clutter. It’s a good time to take out the emotional trash as well.

I’ll have some recipes to share (Finally!) and of course we’ll talk a little spring beauty, too.

In Menopause Minute I’ll be featuring some menopause professionals. I can’t wait to hear what they have to say on issues like getting pregnant in menopause (Ouch!) and sex during menopause. (ooh la la)

I’m happy to share that I’ll be featuring my very first guest bloggers this season (and the crowd goes wild) AND I’ve been invited to be a guest blogger, as well. (cue the applause)

So, what’s on your list of things to do this season? Whatever it is, I’d love to hear from you!

If you like what you read here please share it. Subscribe. And chime in via the comment section.

Happy spring to you, my dear friends.

—-April

Featured

Menopause Minute: 2-minutes with Dr. Holly Thacker

Welcome to issue No. 6 of #MenopauseMinute

Hey everyone! How are you today? It’s Monday and this means it’s time for another Menopause Minute.

In this minute, I bring to you Dr. Holly L. Thacker

Dr. Thacker is the founder of the Cleveland Clinic Women’s Health Fellowship.

She is currently the Professor and Director of the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at Cleveland Clinic, and Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

In this 2-minute video Dr. Thacker explains skin and hair changes during menopause, and offers a list of vitamins she recommends to help us with these adjustments.

**Please keep in mind that you should never take anything, or stop taking anything, without consulting with your own doctor.

That’s a wrap! If you like what you see here please share it. Repost it! Reblog it! Pin it! Tweet it! And please join the conversation by commenting.

 

 

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Featured

Menopause Minute: dark spots

Happy Monday menopause tribe! Welcome to Issue No. 5 of #MenopauseMinute

This issue is coming at you a little late but as they say, better late than never.

You’d probably agree those stinkin’ unstable hormones during the ‘mid-life puberty’ ™️ phase of life wreak havoc on just about everything including, YOUR SKIN.

One day you’re lookin’ mighty fine and winkin’ at yourself,

The next could bring brown spots, breakouts and dry patches.

Welcome to the other side, beauties.

Thankfully, though, there are skincare experts like Cecilia Wong who is happy to dish her skincare wisdom, and share her treatment stash with us.

“I’m here to help you look your absolute best. That’s my mission.” —Cecilia Wong

In case you don’t know who Cecilia Wong is or maybe you just don’t know much about her. Here are five fast facts about Cecilia: (Try saying that 5 times in a row)

  • In 2006, she opened a salon in Hong Kong introducing organic skincare products to their market. (Very cool)
  • In 2009, after working on some of Hollywood’s most famous faces (👈🏼 I did not know that) she opened her own skincare facility in New York.
  • Her focus is on organic/holistic products and non-invasive technology in her treatments. (Can I get a whoop whoop)
  • According to her LinkedIn page she considers herself a Botox Alternative Specialist (I love that!)
  • Her products contain: No Parabens No Sulfates No PetrochemicalsNo Synthetic emulsifiers No Alcohol No Artificial colors No Mineral oil No Artificial fragrances (Double yay for her! )

That’s a wrap for now everyone. Until next time, keep your chin up but don’t forget to remove those hairs first!

Have you tried Cecilia Wong skincare? Have you had a facial from her?

I’d love to hear from you. Chime in below in the comment section.

And don’t forget to watch the following video to hear from Cecilia directly.

If you like what you see here, Pin it! Tweet it! Share it!

 

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