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

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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.

Lousy Myths About Head Lice

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Head lice may not be as common as the common cold (maybe that’s why it’s not called “common lice”… uh oh, here I am, trying to be ruthlessly funny again!), but at some point in their innocent lives, children are bound to catch them. And when they do, it’s definitely one itchy situation. It’s almost a pity to see your little one scratch his head even in his sleep. What are the common misconceptions about head lice?

• Having head lice is an indicator of poor hygiene- As a matter of fact, head lice prefer clean hair over dirty hair, because it’s less greasy and easier to hold on to.

• They fly or jump in the air- Truth is, they don’t. They just have this talent for crawling really fast. You can catch them only when two heads touch each other for some time. You don’t get head lice from the back of a chair. Moreover, it takes constant contact with an infected person to catch it.

• Cutting some of your hair off will get rid of the lice- Live lice and nits stay on the scalp and on the hair close to the scalp, so chopping off hair won’t do the trick.

Prevention is still the best cure here. Make it a habit to constantly check your child’s head for any creepy crawlies.

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Why do we need to wear sunglasses?

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More than making yourself incognito from the paparazzi, it comes as a no-brainer that sunglasses or shades are worn for the obvious reason of protecting our eyes from the glaring heat of the sun. Nothing is more unattractive than squinting your eyes like an old hag.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays are most damaging between 10am and 2pm. Even under overcast skies, we should protect our eyes, as the rays of the sun do pass through clouds. And when under a shade, we should still wear sunglasses, because UV rays are reflected by sand and water. When driving most especially, we need to wear shades, because oftentimes, the glare from sunlight is almost blinding.

Contact lenses today offer some UV protection, but that isn’t enough. We need to wear something to cover the entire eye area, which is most susceptible to early signs of aging brought about by the sun’s rays.

Sun damage may strike at any season, whether it’s summer or winter, so it’s wisest to always wear sunglasses whenever we go out. It makes for an awesome fashion statement too!

5 easy ways to keep a cold from getting worse

Nothing is more annoying than toting a box of Kleenex to your board meeting, or sniffing the time away as you try to finish reading to your child. Having a cold is a total drag, as it brings with it a ton of cumbersome symptoms: headaches, itchy throat, an irritating cough.

We moms are not exempt from this, as we are notorious multi-taskers, Yes, doing too much all at the same time [Read more…]

How Yoga Benefits Kids

If seeing your preschooler twisting and turning her body into pretzel-esque proportions makes you want to head off to the nearest pharmacy to get some tranquilizer, better think again. It’s not that bad. Yoga for kids might seem to put too much strain on their young bodies, but the benefits do outweigh the aches [Read more…]

Sunblock 101

Pop quiz: What is one thing that’s just as important in life, but often neglected? No, it’s not your possessive boyfriend or your pet goldfish.  It’s none other than sunblock! With summer in the air and that white beach beckoning, we must not forget to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Here are a few simple ways to keep sunburn at bay:

How cough and cold medicines harm your child

Whenever our little one gets the sniffles, we’re often compelled to remedy the situation they way we would if we ourselves had colds. We’d grab a bottle of cold medicine from our trusty old medicine cabinet and give a spoonful of it to our kid. Insert STOP sign and car-coming-to-a-screeching-halt sound effect here. Experts say, that is not the right way to go.

Doctor Prudence (a resident physician here in the metro) emphasizes in her blog, that just because we can readily get hold of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines even without a doctor’s prescription, that doesn’t mean these OTC drugs are safe for our kids. [Read more…]