Which Kentucky Derby Hat is You?

The Kentucky Derby is such a fun and frolicky annual horse race, filled with tradition and beauty. From the gorgeous horses to the traditional mint juleps, there is anticipation and excitement in the air. What I love most about the Kentucky Derby is selecting “my” horse to cheer on and, always, seeing the beautiful hats on display everywhere!

“The long-established fashion was started with Col. Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.’s vision for the Derby as an event that the high-class would attend, similar to European-style racing events, which mandated full morning dress for men and women. For the first running of the Kentucky Derby, he used high-class women to recruit his target clientele to attend the race. The event quickly became just as much about the fashion as the racing. Going to a horse racing event became an opportunity to show off the latest in spring fashion and women were known to coordinate their hats, dresses, bags, shoes, and even parasols.” *

I’m posting a few hats for you to enjoy from the official Kentucky Derby website as well as my personal choice if I were going this year!

  1. Playful and fun!

2. “Look at me!” (I like the shoulder sun protection this hat offers!)

3. This one has the floral embellishment underneath the brim – beautiful!

4. Such fun for men, too!

5. My choice from Berkeley Hats (where you will find many, many more lovely hats to order!)

Cheers to a great race and very fun day!

Lasik Surgery Reduces Eye Infections

If you wear contact lenses every day, reduced infection rate is now another reason to have Lasik eye surgery. Opthalmologists from the Hamilton Eye Institute, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, have completed a study which shows a small, but significant lower rate of eye infections in individuals post Lasik surgery when compared to daily contact wearers. Microbial keratitis is an infection that attacks the cornea, and causes significant long term vision issues, including devastating vision loss.

“An article on the findings was published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, a high-impact, peer-reviewed scientific journal. “Microbial keratitis is a relatively rare complication associated with contact lens use and LASIK postoperatively,” the article said. The authors were Jordan Masters, MD; Mehmet Kocak, PhD; and Aaron Waite, MD. “The risk for microbial keratitis was similar between patients using contact lenses at one year, compared with LASIK. Over time, the risk for microbial keratitis was higher for contact lens use than for LASIK, specifically with extended-wear lenses.”

I wish they had included those who took their contacts out every day to clean and rest their eyes, changing the lenses every two weeks, and also those who use daily lenses, which are disposed of every day, starting the next day with a fresh, sterile set of lenses. I use the daily wear lenses, and have been thinking about Lasik surgery, but am still a little nervous about getting good results, and the possibility of surgical complications.

The researchers did go on to say that the rate of this type of infection is rare, but has long term devastating affects for those who do acquire it. I also wonder if they compared the compliance and routine of cleaning the lenses of those they compared to, although the more times our fingers touch the lenses, the higher the risk for any infection. Interesting study!

Excerpts cited from ScienceDaily.com

Tips to Looking Younger While Enjoying the Sun

We all know by now that years of sun exposure will eventually take it’s toll on our skin and appearance, and put us as risk for multiple types of skin cancer. Wearing sunscreen, staying out of the sun during peak hours of the day, and wearing sun protective clothing is very important to keeping our skin healthy and our appearance as youthful as possible!

“…Board-certified dermatologist Arianne Shadi Kourosh, MD, MPH, FAAD, director of community health and co-director of the multiethnic skin clinic in the department of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston” reports that “environmental factors can damage the skin in multiple ways, from UVB rays causing sunburns and uneven pigmentation to UVA and infrared radiation penetrating more deeply into the skin to damage existing collagen and reduce collagen production, resulting in wrinkles and sagging skin. Habitual UV exposure can cause blood vessels to become more prominent, causing skin redness, she says, while visible light and pollution can cause uneven skin tone, especially in darker skin types. Moreover, other forms of radiation, such as heat and visible light, can negatively impact the skin, as can pollution, so protecting your skin from the environment can benefit both your health and appearance.”

Sun protective factors of 25 – 30 are sufficient to protect us from 95 – 97% of UV radiation. Using skin care products with antioxidants will also help in protecting our skin from environmental pollution and free radical damage.

“Since both types of UV rays can damage the skin, Dr. Kourosh says, it’s important to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides both UVA and UVB protection, with an SPF of 30 or higher. She recommends sunscreens containing the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as a good source of broad-spectrum protection suitable for sensitive skin. She also says formulations containing antioxidants may provide some protection against uneven skin tone and aging caused by free radical damage from infrared light, visible light and pollution.”

I have just the product that has both 25 SPF for broad spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection as well as antioxidant ingredients. Celloxylin Day Defense Plus from Apriori Beauty has the following ingredient profile:

Active ingredients (purpose – Sunscreen): Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 3%, Octisalate 3%, Octocrylene 2.79%. Inactive Ingredients: Acetyl Glucosamine, Acetyl Octapeptide-3, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, Betaine, Butylene Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Caffeine, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylyl Glycol, Carnitine HCL, Cetearyl Olivate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, Dimethiconol, Fragrance*, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Hexylene Glycol, Hyaluronic Acid, Hydroxyproline, Isohexadecane, Lecithin, Linoleic Acid, Lycium Barbarum (Goji Berry) Fruit Extract, Mica, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, PEG-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Petasites Japonicus Root Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Phytosteryl Canola Glycerides, Polyethylene, Polysilicone-11, Polysorbate 80, Potassium Sorbate, Resveratrol Acetate, Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root) Extract, Silica, Sorbitan Oleate, Sorbitan Olivate, Stearic Acid, Sucrose, Tocopherol, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp (Mushroom) Extract, Triolein, Ubiquinol, Water (Aqua), Xanthan Gum.*Fragrance made up of all-natural ingredients.

Key Ingredients

Lyceum Barbarum Fruit Extract (Goji Berry) — super antioxidant
Tremella Fuciformis (Mushroom) — extraordinary moisturizer, antioxidant
Resveratrol — cellular regenerator, anti-inflammatory
Acetyl Glucosamine — skin brightener, moisturizer; provides connective tissue support

Like to know more about this excellent product and where to purchase?

 

Southern California Spring This Year!

We are having a glorious spring this year, after years of drought, and I wanted to share some of the natural beauty with you! Enjoy!

 

We’re having what’s called a “Super Bloom” – so gorgeous!

More “Super Bloom”!

 

The Sounds of Nature Do Calm Our Stress

Does the sound of rain calm you? How about the sounds of a waterfall, or wind blowing or crickets chirping or birds singing? Now there is scientific evidence showing the sounds of nature do exert a calming influence over our stressed minds and bodies.

[Read more…]

Castor Oil Treatment for Hair Loss?

Hair loss comes from a variety of causes and conditions. Stress, vitamin or mineral deficiencies, thyroid issues, menopause, heredity and many more conditions can lead to the loss of hair at different times of life.

I’m experiencing hair loss, not quite sure exactly why as I have a few of the above mentioned conditions. I tried several different shampoos and conditioners, asked my doctor if my health could be the reason, and asked my hair stylist what she thought. Came up with not a whole lot of help, but did find some information and testimonials about the use of castor oil mixed with other oils as a hair treatment. I’m game – what do I have to lose but more hair, right?

Castor Oil hair treatment is as easy as any hot oil treatment. Mix equal parts castor oil with a base oil such as coconut oil, or jojoba oil. Dampen hair, apply oil, wrap with a warm moist towel and let it absorb from 30 minutes to 6 hours, or something similar to this.

Here’s a link to an easy step by step guide for Castor Oil Hair Treatment from WikiHow. [Read more…]

Eating Soy Improves Health in Some Breast Cancers

There has been conflicting advice about whether or not eating soy and soy isoflavones is harmful if you’re at risk or have had breast cancer. New research has shown a positive effect on the health in those with some types of breast cancer with the regular consumption of soy.

Is Soy Safe? - Plant Based Dietitian

Soy

An epidemiological analysis of data from more than 6,000 American and Canadian women with breast cancer finds that post-diagnosis consumption of foods containing isoflavones — estrogen-like compounds primarily found in soy food — is associated with a 21 percent decrease in all-cause mortality. This decrease was seen only in women with hormone-receptor-negative tumors, and in women who were not treated with endocrine therapy such as tamoxifen. [Read more…]

Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

Recent research is again showing healthy gut flora correlates with a healthy mind and decrease in depressive like or despair behavior. Lead researcher Alban Gaultier, PhD, and her team have produced significant findings of this gut-mind connection with the hope of repeating these results in humans.

[Read more…]

Waiting Expectantly

He looked for him from sunrise to sunset. Day after day he waited.

Waiting for the lost to return

Why did he give him all of his inheritance when he demanded it? The old father knew his son was going to blow it away. And he did.

Maybe he heard about him from passersby over the months he was away. Maybe he knew in his heart his son had always had a streak of rebellion in him, a headstrong young man, knowing better than anyone else, tired of doing everything the old way of his family traditions.

In one big fit of rejecting his father’s ways, he demanded all the money that would come to him after his father died and set out to live the high life, on his own terms.

But we know how it’s going to end. He will blow through all his newly acquired fortune, spending lavishly on his self centered lifestyle and new “friends.” Until the money runs out, the friends disappear, and he’s left to support himself.

In this story of the Prodigal Son, the rebellious son ends up hired to feed swine in someone’s fields. Soon he hits rock bottom, eating the husks he was feeding the swine to survive.

Then he comes to his senses, and realizes how good he really had it. How much his father loved him. Longing for his home, his family, the delicious meals, and the traditions of his heritage, he heads home.

“But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15.20

When he was a great way off, far down the road, barely visible to the eye.

His father intently studied the road all day long, day after day, for the little speck on the horizon. The father waited, with faith that one day he would see a familiar stride, and a longed for silhouette. He hoped with earnest expectation, trusted he would one day come home. The father watched with expectancy.

Can you see it? Can you see what the father is looking at and for? Can you feel the pain and emptiness in his heart for his long lost son? To be able to wrap his arms around him again, know he is okay, part of his family once more. Once separated but now home.

I know many of you have a prodigal in your life right now, or maybe several prodigals. Left to themselves, hoping against hope they one day realize they’re not on the right track, they’re choices are not good, they’re not in a good place, and they decide to finally come home. I want to encourage you.

To wait in hope.

To wait expectantly.

To not give up.

To trust them to God.

Keep on praying for them, keep on hoping, keep waiting, and look for the answers to your prayers each day.

Ruth Graham has a beautiful article written to encourage us with prodigals on how to hope and pray for them -please click the link below to be encouraged, and never give up!

Ruth Bell Graham’s 5 Truths on Prodigals and Those Who Love Them

What’s Next After You’ve Interviewed

What are the appropriate next steps after you’ve interviewed for a new job? You can make it somewhat easier if you confirm what the next steps are before you leave the interview, during your final face to face.

Before you leave the interview:

  1. Let them know how much you have enjoyed meeting them.
  2. Say one or two things specifically you appreciated discussing during the interview.
  3. It is very appropriate at this time to ask “What are the next steps?”
  4. Make sure you have the names/business cards/titles of everyone in the interview.
  5. Confirm, even repeat back to them, when you should expect to hear next from them.

[Read more…]

Our Stronghold

I need to escape to my stronghold, my place of safety, after a brutal week. How about you? Rough week, too?

Rough WeekWhether it’s family, health, work or financial issues, or more, I invite you to join me in going to a place of safety with which to escape for a bit. What is your stronghold like? If you don’t have one yet, what would you like it to be like? Mine begins with a window that overlooks trees and hills, the house is quiet, and I have a few chocolate chips near by. Then I focus my heart and thoughts on my place of safety and the one who keeps me safe.

My week was filled with many things out of my control, demanding extra time, more resources, greater complexity, some of which left me feeling used and abused. How about you? Bad news come your way at the worst possible time? Dealing with issues where you feel like it’s 2 steps forward and 10 steps back? Feeling like you don’t have the energy, time, resources to manage? [Read more…]

4 Steps to Applying Skin Care for Greatest Benefit

Do we know if the order of applying our skin care products aids or deters them being absorbed fully, giving us the full benefits of our products? Dermatology researchers now tell us it is important to prioritize the order in which we apply our cleansers, serums, medications and lotions.

Cleanse facial skin first

“Medications or treatments should be applied directly after washing your face,” said board-certified dermatologist Susan C. Taylor, MD, FAAD. “This ensures that the medications or treatments are properly absorbed by the skin. Otherwise, people may think a product isn’t working because it’s applied in the wrong order.”

My experience goes along with what Dr. Taylor suggests as the optimum order of application: [Read more…]

3 Ways to Get Rid of Old, Dead Skin from Your Face

It’s a fact that as we age, our body’s ability to move along old, dead skin cells slows down. I have three different ways – and products – you can use to exfoliate your skin, so moisturizers can better absorb, doing their job more completely, instead of sitting on the top of your skin, giving you partial results.

Should I scrub, peel or masque?

If you think your skin is too sensitive for an exfoliating scrub, peel or masque, think again. Exfoliation has benefits for every skin type.

Why Exfoliate?
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from pores, revealing fresh skin cells and making the pores appear smaller. Not only will your skin look fresh and smooth, but your makeup will also look better. And once the build-up is removed, your skin’s ability to absorb everything that follows, from acne treatments to your anti-aging regimen, is enhanced. [Read more…]

How to Protect Our Skin from Air Pollution Damage

Because living in a sterile bubble is not an option, how can we protect our skin from air pollution damage? Exhaust from cars, dust, dirt, and all kinds of environmental particles surround us whether we are inside our homes or outside taking a walk.

According to NASA, 80% of the world breathes polluted air—an alarming fact considering that the World Health Organization cites air pollution as the biggest environmental threat to our health. Besides cancer, particulate air pollution—a combination of dust, dirt, smog, soot and other toxins in the air—has also been linked to a host of respiratory conditions, heart disease and more. And it’s not only that: Did you ever stop to think about what it’s doing to our skin?


How Pollution Affects our Skin

We already know that it’s bad for our lungs, but it’s also aging our skin. Polluted air—composed of tiny particles that are as much as 20 times smaller than our pores—can easily pass through the surface of our skin and cause a series of cellular reactions that lead to inflammation, dehydration and collagen breakdown. This accumulated damage impacts our skin’s elasticity and firmness over time, giving our skin a rougher texture and causing premature fine lines and wrinkles to appear.

Aside from prematurely aging your skin, these nanoparticles also steal oxygen from the skin cells and strip the skin of its protective barrier, the shield that blocks dirt and impurities and holds in vital moisture. When the protective barrier is compromised, it also makes it easy for allergens and free radicals in the air to enter the skin, where they can cause the most damage, leading to increased skin sensitivity and pigmentation issues. It doesn’t help that as we get older it becomes harder and harder for our bodies to fight free radicals. It’s a vicious cycle.

What We Can Do

Since it’s hard to distinguish the damage caused by pollution from other factors, it always helps to have a solid skin care regimen to protect our skin from all types of damage. Here are a few ways to beef up our routine.

Wash Our Face Thoroughly at Night

The first rule of thumb is to never (ever!) go to bed without washing our face. We never want to let surface dirt and particles—as well as makeup—sit on our skin overnight. Look for a gentle cleanser that won’t strip our skin’s protective lipid barrier, which we know is so vital to keeping out pollution. Here’s a great gentle and effective surface and deep pore cleanser I recommend:  Celloxylin Step 1. Crème Cleanse

Load Up on Antioxidants—Inside and Out

We know that antioxidants neutralize damage-causing free radicals, so make sure our diet is rich in dark leafy vegetables and brightly colored fruits. Top it off with a high-quality antioxidant serum like Lifeoxylin Cellular Defense Elixir

Detox Our Skin

Enviro-Extract blend is a key ingredient blend that helps to remove additional heavy metals the skin is exposed to from the environment. It helps to chelate (attach to) heavy metals, remove toxins from the skin, and aids in guarding against future oxidative environmental exposure. I like to use Celloxylin Pure Detox, Purifying Masque

Strengthen Our Protective Barrier

Aside from using protective skin care products like sunscreen, make sure you use products that repair and replenish your skin’s moisture barrier, like Celloxylin Step 5. Day Defense Plus, Broad Spectrum SPF 25

Do Any of These 10 Fruits and Veggies Cause You Stomach Pains?

Noticing the onset of stomach pains after eating my daily apple, I did a search “apple causing stomach pains” and was very surprised at what came up. It appears there are certain carbohydrate sugars, many found in fruits and veggies, which might not be digested properly, causing stomach pains and other GI symptoms.

FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, And Polyols. These are all technical ways of referencing certain types of carbohydrates (or sugars) — many of them healthy. Lots of people have a hard time digesting these types of carbohydrates, and they can become malabsorbed and/or create an environment in the gut for bacteria to ferment. All of this can wreak havoc on your GI tract and make for some very uncomfortable and possibly embarrassing symptoms.” (Source http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/10-healthy-foods-could-make-your-stomach-hurt)

High FODMAP Foods

The list of 10 common culprits include apples, watermelon, pears, yogurt, avocado, cauliflower, asparagus, white onions, multigrain bread, and honey. [Read more…]

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