Flower Power: How Blooms Heal

Image source: http://www.etobicokeflowers.com

“We’re dropping like flies!”  Those were the immortal words spoken by my boss the other day, as almost all members of his staff have been sick these past few days.  One of my co-workers happens to be in the hospital now, basically due to fatigue from work.  I joined the bandwagon of flies and called in sick today.

More than intravenous fluids, drugs, and chicken soup, feeding the spirit helps with a speedy recovery.  What the mind perceives, the body can achieve, right?  This has got me thinking of calling up an Etobicoke flower delivery service and getting fresh blooms delivered to my co-worker’s hospital room.

Having flowers in your hospital room helps uplift your overall mood.  I can’t imagine a bed-ridden patient not smiling when she wakes up to a bouquet of fresh stems greeting her at her bedside table.

Looking at pretty flowers does help alleviate some of the pain.  When you’re happy, your body releases happy hormones, making you somewhat number to physical pain.  Your body inevitably follows suit when your mind finds itself in a good disposition.

I guess we all fall ill a little bit each day, what with the million and one things we do.  We could all use some get well flowers to cheer us up.  Chocolates thrown in are highly encouraged.

When Counting Sheep Doesn’t Count

Any mother will probably agree with me when I say that once you become a mom, sleep becomes a luxury.  Those long hours of sleeping in suddenly become as extinct as Kim Kardashian’s last beau.  Getting those much-needed Z’s becomes a thing of the past.

On most nights, you’ll find me sleeping like a log after a long day of office work, household chores and looking after my kid.  But on some occasions, I do have bouts of insomnia.  I just hate it when that happens.  I feel dead tired, but I can’t seem to fall asleep.  Counting sheep just doesn’t cut it anymore.

I guess it’s because I tend to worry too much- about little and big things.  It’s a nasty habit which I know I should break, but I just can’t help it sometimes.  And it takes its toll on my sleeping habits.  I got to talking to a close friend about this, and he suggested that I take Imovane.  (I think it worked that he didn’t use his low-pitched, salesman voice on me- I just hate it when people sell me things!).

In a nutshell, Imovane is a “hypnotic sedative which blocks out the thoughts and sounds which can keep you from falling asleep at night”.  Sounds promising, doesn’t it?  What it does is it calms the entire body as your brain starts to switch off.  Imovane stops your worries dead in their tracks as it clears your mind of whatever you’re stressing about.

I went over to their website, because I was keenly interested.  It’s interesting that they present not only the benefits of Imovane, but also the possible side effects.  They encourage you to read up first before actually buying their product.

Another good thing is that you can buy Imovane online.  So, as you’re surfing the net for that hot pair of heels, you can simultaneously buy yourself something to put you to sleep.

If your worries are starting to rob you of sleep, you might want to consider taking sleep medication as well.  As long as you exercise caution when popping a pill, you should be fine- and drowsy in no time…

High-Kicking Kids: The Benefits of Martial Arts

Here in my neck of the woods, it’s that time of year again when all you could possibly crave for is a tall glass of icy lemonade and a dip in the pool.  Yes, it’s summertime… when all little kids can be naughty again (I’m quoting from Looney Tunes, as you may have noticed).

To keep restless kids from being naughty during the summer, it’s always helpful to get them involved in a summer activity.  Signing them up for summer sports clinics, for example, keeps them busy, and at the same time gives them a sound mind and body.  One of those worthwhile sports for kids to do is martial arts.

Some moms may shun the idea of their kids in full body contact with other kids, but martial arts are not about teaching them violence.  Karate and taekwondo, for instance, aren’t all about body slamming, and getting into fights a la Bruce Lee or Ralph Macchio (don’t even get me started on how he looks today… he’s OLD, that much I can say!).  Martial arts teach the following skills to kids:

Self-discipline and respect.  A class which normally lasts for an hour begins and ends with the students bowing to the teacher or master.  This, along with standing still and waiting for the next command helps to develop in them the important skill of knowing how to control their bodies and to keep still when needed.  This is especially beneficial to kids with ADHD, as self-discipline is one skill they must learn.

Concentration.  After doing warm up exercises, the kids then practice the various forms, kicks, punches and blocks which are distinct to his martial art of choice.  This requires much concentration and careful attention.  These skills carry over into school, helping kids improve on their behavior and even grades.

Setting and achieving goals.  As one progresses over the course of a martial art, he is promoted to the next higher level, marked by a different-colored belt.  So, as your kid moves from a white belt to a black belt, he learns to set goals for himself and feels a sense of accomplishment when he works hard to achieve them.

So, as my daughter kicks some serious ass in taekwondo class, I’m just going to keep myself busy, thinking of forecast lighting options for the house.  I’m now going to return to my summer task of ordering fixtures from Golden Lighting as my daughter rejoices at the fact that there are “no more classes, no more books, and teachers’ dirty looks…”  I sure hope she gets a kick out of martial arts.


How to Quit Smoking with a Portable Vaporizer

At some point in your life, you most probably have come across a heavy smoker.  Yes, I’m talking about that guy in your Trigonometry class who used to smoke like a chimney, and swore would never be dissuaded by those “Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health” warnings.  You’ve always thought he was cute in a Johnny Depp-ish way, and secretly hoped he would sooner or later quit smoking.

I, for one, have somebody close to me whom I wish would just quit smoking cold turkey.  I know for a fact that it would be easier for me to get flat abs than to have him stop smoking, so I tried looking around for cigarette alternatives.  And then, I discovered the portable vaporizer.

The portable vaporizer is an easy to carry handheld device- much like a cellphone, but some are shaped like pipes- which shines much promise in the realm of quitting smoking.  Instead of burning tobacco leaves, the vaporizer warms them to a safe temperature, and in effect releases a safe vapor to inhale.  You add the tobacco mix to the vaporizer, and the hot air passing through it heats it without burning.  The result is processed vapor without the dangerous fumes and chemicals which harm the lungs.  The by product is “clean” smoke, which even the people around you can safely inhale.

What makes this effective in making one quit smoking is that the smoker still gets the same nicotine fix without the harmful toxins from burning tobacco.  It’s the smoke that harms, basically.  Vaporization gets rid of those hundreds of carcinogens from cigarette smoke.

Old habits die hard, they say.  Well, not anymore.  With healthier alternatives like the portable vaporizer, there should be no reason for a chain smoker to finally ditch the cigarette- smoking habit.  Everyone will certainly benefit from a smoke-free environment.


On Uniforms and Healthcare

As I was blissfully indulging myself in a medley of Radiohead songs, I was pleasantly surprised to see a chat message from an old friend.  Listening to 90’s music couldn’t have been more appropriate as a backdrop for a long overdue conversation with a dear friend.  She is now a successful nurse at a hospital in New Jersey, and I couldn’t be happier for her.  We chatted about her experiences working as a health professional and inevitably dwelled on the topic of Healthcare uniforms.

It turns out that she is merely one among many nurses at their hospital who has a gripe or two about their uniforms.  You wouldn’t think that such professionals would get all worked up about their Medical tunics, but I guess they do.  It matters a lot to them how they look in front of hospital patients, and for good measure.  They want to project an image of confidence, but how can they possibly do that if they feel uncomfortable in what they wear?

It goes without saying that medical uniforms should be both functional and fashionable.  They should be made of material strong enough to withstand harsh elements which medical staff may come in contact with.  Medical dresses may not exactly be New York runway material, nonetheless, they play an important role in a health professional’s job performance.

Image is everything, they sayThe Florence Nightingale- inspired nurse outfit of yesteryears has most certainly come a long way.  You’d hardly find today’s nurses donning that white dress with the white hat and cross.  What used to denote professionalism can now be found in the pages of a fantasy lingerie catalog.

If hospitals and healthcare institutions want to keep their competent staff happy, they should open their minds to the wide array of modern yet professional-looking medical uniform designs out there.  Happy health workers make happier patients.


The Hunt for the Dark Circle Buster

Apologies if you are not an 80’s music fan, but an old ditty inevitably comes to mind right now… “If there’s something weird, in your neighborhood… who you gonna call… Ghostbusters!” No, my house hasn’t been invaded by beings of the poltergeist kind. I just need someone or something to bust these dark circles under my eyes. This problem has been pestering me for ages, and it’s time I took the bull by the horns.

On more than one occasion, I have found myself sporting a raccoon-ish look. And on important days, at that! My perennial quest for an effective dark circle removerhas yet to end. I have searched high and low, near and far (well, maybe not far enough!), but my efforts have proven to be futile.

My room is nearly full with bottles which I rub at night (no, I don’t rub anything else!) with hopes that a genie will magically appear and take all my dark under-eye-circle woes away. My Princess Jasmine stint will have to take a backseat, I guess.

For the meantime, I could try some home remedies like teabags under the eyes, or even frozen spoons pressed against my peepers. I also hear that sleeping with your head slightly elevated helps with blood circulation, keeping water from accumulating under the eyes.

Let it be known that I will be relentless in my pursuit of the best dark circle remover. I know it’s out there somewhere, waiting to be discovered, just like the better half of my soul…

Disclaimer: I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog and was compensated.  However, the views and opinions are my own.

Cream-colored Ponies and Shaving Cream

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens… these may be Fraulein Maria’s favorite things, but I personally have other things in mind- one of them is having smooth, silky legs which stretch as far as the eye can see. For the longest time, I have dreamed of velvety, hair-free legs which would beat Charlize Theron’s by at least ten points in the Best Legs scale. Although my legs are hardly Hollywood material, I must say that years of practice with the razor – and countless nicks along the way- have turned me into somewhat of a master shaver. Here are a few tips on shaving your legs- the right way:

Shave in the shower. This works best if you’re in a bit of a rush. The water washes the hairs away as you shave, so it’s easy to see any hairs you may have overlooked. Wet a sharp razor and your legs with warm water. The hair follicles will relax from the heat, making it easier to shave.

Lather shaving cream on your legs. You can never underestimate how important this is, as it makes for a smoother shave. You can use hair conditioner as a substitute.

Glide the razor up your legs ever so gently to avoid ingrown hairs. Slow and steady wins the race. Razor burn and cuts usually happen when you shave too fast with an unsteady hand. Remember to rinse your razor in between strokes.

If at first you don’t succeed, well, just keep at it. Eventually, you’ll be shaving those hairs away with ease borne out of practice. When the dog bites, when the bee stings…when you’re feeling sad… simply look at your gorgeous legs, and then you won’t feel sooo baaaaddd…


The Dangers of Third-Hand Smoke

Photo credit: Google Images

We’ve all heard about second-hand smoke, but I guess, not really a lot of people are aware of third-hand smoke. Hmmm, sometimes makes you think that there should be a “second-aid kit” as a natural progression from first aid…Anyways…

So, what is third-hand smoke? Long after second-hand smoke has escaped from a room, third-hand smoke refers to the invisible yet toxic particles of gas which cling to a person’s hair, clothes and even furniture. This is exactly what we smell if for instance, your office co-worker steps into the elevator with you, right after he’s had his afternoon smoke. This residue contains heavy metals and carcinogens which kids can get on their hands and ingest without their knowing. This is especially true if they love to crawl or play on the floor. The living room carpet all of a sudden transforms into a huge cancer risk.

For the sake of our children, and other non-smokers for that matter, smokers should be more mindful of their smoking habits. If they want to smoke like chimneys, they can go ahead and turn their lungs charcoal-black … just not at the expense of our loved ones.

What You Need To Know About Mosquito Repellents

Just as any paranoid mother would, we habitually slop on spoonfuls of insect repellent lotion on our little one’s skin, short of putting an anti-mosquito force-field around him or her. Though it is hardly in our power to turn our daughter into Violet of The Incredibles, we can still rely on the effectiveness of some mosquito repellents when it comes to keeping dengue-causing mosquitoes at bay.

Much has been said about the negative effects of DEET on children’s skin, but the truth is, mosquito repellents with DEET are the most effective. The safe amount of DEET found in repellents is thirty percent. However, if your kid isn’t going to stay outdoors for a long period of time, a 4-7% DEET concentration is enough for him. Citronella, which is the popular alternative to DEET, is effective too. Just be cautious when using it on kids with sensitive skin, though.

It is never advisable to apply insect repellents on the skin of babies two months and younger. You’re better off using mosquito nets or screens to keep them insect-free. But if they won’t stop bugging you to take them outdoors to play, better dress them in long pants and long sleeves. Also, avoid going out during early mornings and early evenings, as these are the peak biting times for mosquitoes.

Now that you’re more acquainted with mosquito repellents, you can make smarter and less frantic choices when buying such products for your children.

Eat to Lose Weight

Surprise, surprise! The idea of starving yourself just to lose a few inches from your waist is a thing of the past. You don’t have to deprive yourself of life’s yummy pleasures just to lose the extra pounds.

I just saw the Today Show’s interview with Dr. Ian Smith, an American physician and author who launched the 50 Million Pound Challenge. He is a famous fitness advocate who stresses the need for each of us to take control of our health by losing excess weight. According to Dr. Smith, there are certain foods which you can eat, and eating guidelines to follow in order to lose weight:

Load up on protein. By protein, Dr. Smith means lean portions of meat, with the skin taken off. Protein helps you lose more weight, because it makes the body work harder at burning calories, and protein helps build muscle.

Choose whole grains. When buying bread, for instance, look for those which say “100% whole wheat” on the package label. Whole grains help modulate blood sugar.

Follow the 80-20 rule. Eighty percent of what you eat should be healthy, and the remaining twenty percent could be anything your heart desires. Those beehive cupcakes and greasy burgers still look promising.

Size does matter. Consider the portions of what you eat. Pieces of meat should be as big as a deck of cards. Your entrée should be no bigger than a baseball.

The key to eating healthy is to eat 4-5 meals a day. Never skip a meal. Following the guidelines above will help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Eventually, you will not only look better in those skinny jeans, but you’ll also end up being healthier.