You know that I am a big fan of everything ’80s, and this weekend I am totally digging the throwback fun of GLOW! This comedy, brought to us by the same masterminds behind Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, and Weeds, follows the fictionalized story of an actress who joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. I had a chance to take a sneak peek at a screener for GLOW and the sets, costumes and story took me right back to the ’80s – it’s totally tubular! Check out the trailer below – warning, it does contain adult content and language:
This is a sponsored guest post.
Is your child living an ordinary lifestyle?
Is she doing the typical routine that most kids are doing these days? Waking up; eating; going to school; coming home, and spending the rest of her time unproductively playing video games or watching random videos out of the internet?
* sigh *
That’s really alarming.
If your child is living a mediocre lifestyle right now, then the chances are she’ll also have a mediocre future.
Of course, no parent in their right mind would want that to happen.
If you want to give your children a better shot at having an outstanding future, then you need to immerse him/her on game-changing activities — like learning a new language.
The studies have shown that investing your child in learning a new language would result in her having higher pay in the future because of the added skill set she has as compared to her colleagues.
In addition to that, there are also more opportunities available for people who knows how to speak other languages, since they can work in other countries and also be able to weave into new cultures easily.
Now you may be thinking: But I don’t want to enroll my child in another after-school language-learning class. I want her home early where I can safely monitor my child, while also allowing myself more free time by not having to wait long after my kid’s class.
Well. Guess what?
With Mondly for Kids, you can forget about all the hassle that comes with enrolling your child to an after-school class.
What is Mondly for Kids?
If you haven’t heard of the app, it’s the long-standing hit language-learning educational app that’s currently storming through the market.
With Mondly for Kids, you can bring along language-learning in your pockets anywhere you go.
Developed by ATi Studios, Mondly for Kids is the culmination of the team’s over five years of diligent labor in the language-learning app industry.
Mondly sets the bar high with its 20 million download status, proving that it is indeed well accepted by millions of users worldwide.
“Children are extremely different from adults when it comes to learning languages. They are tech-savvy and need to constantly be challenged and engaged otherwise they get bored. That’s why we decided to create a bespoke app to meet the unique needs of the younger language learners. Mondly for Kids is the result of our 5-year experience in creating educational apps downloaded by 20 million people in over 190 countries to date.” — Alexandru Iliescu (CEO and co-founder of ATi Studios)
Even concerning user ratings, Mondly for Kids has garnered a mind-boggling 4.8-rating out of a 5-star rating from over 200 app users worldwide in Google Play.
The high rating reviews reveal how Mondly is truly a well-loved app that has won the hearts of many.
More than just the ratings, however, here’s what the users also have to say about the app:
Why should you use Mondly for kids?
From a bird’s-eye view, Mondly for Kids carries with it more than just your average classroom-style, language-learning experience.
It changes the game with its wall-smashing features, such as:
- Eye-grabbing graphics and ear-hooking sound effects, keeping your kids immersed in the whole learning experience.
- Excellent audio recordings with professional natives who are experts in their mother tongue.
- Drag & Drop features and multiple choice exercises, that makes language-learning super easy and super fun for your kids.
- Gamified language-learning experience with a points-based system and a level progression format that keeps your kids constantly challenged.
- Topics highly relevant to your child’s everyday life, such as animals, family, food, nature, and sports.
With child-friendliness as one of its core, the app takes language education to new heights by making language-learning easy to digest for children all over the globe.
What makes Mondly for Kids Unique?
Stretching its wings far beyond what other educational language apps have to offer, this app raises the roof with not just one, not just two, but a whopping thirty-three different available language options.
You heard that right. The app has thirty-three different available language options that your child could easily choose from with just a flick of their finger.
Check out all the language options available on the app: American English, British English, Thai, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Czech, Bulgarian, Japanese, Hindi, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Romanian, Korean, Swedish, Danish, Hebrew, Croatian, Greek, Arabic, Persian, Norwegian, Polish, Mandarin Chinese, German, Dutch, Turkish, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Finnish, Russian, Italian, Hungarian, Spanish, and French.
It’s amazing how there are so many available language options in the app, isn’t it?
Going beyond the available languages the app brings, Mondly for Kids also offers a breadth of topics your kids can choose from.
The topics that this app presents are significant topics that your kids are sure to use regularly in their everyday life.
Here’s a complete list of topics that Mondly has to offer: Animals, Nature, Leisure, Fruits & Food, School, Colors & Numbers, Professions, Buildings, Family, Parts of the body, and Sports.
One of the unique traits that sets Mondly apart from other educational language apps is how Mondly offers a variety of gameplay features that other apps don’t have, such as:
- Foreign vocabulary learning through fun word games and flashcards
- Sentence construction from playing around with given phrases
- Interactive conversations your child is sure to enjoy with native speakers
- Pronunciation audio guides by listening to professional voice language experts,
- New lessons added into the app each day, making the language-learning experience dynamic and ever-growing.
- A unique and innovative in-app verb conjugator that makes grammar-learning easy as pie.
Progress Monitoring and Difficulty Settings
The app comes with a unique progress monitoring tab that allows parents to monitor their child’s current language learning progress throughout the whole Mondly experience.
This app also comes with changeable difficulty settings that can be set to an easier mode for younger users, or a more difficult mode for kids seeking a greater challenge.
Where do I go from here?
There’s no better way to see if Mondly for Kids would click with your children than to have them try it out for themselves.
I am a Dawn Wildlife Ambassador; this is a partnered post.
I’ve lived walking distance from the beach for over 20 years, so the ocean holds a special place in my heart as one of my favorite sights. Today, June 8th marks World Ocean’s Day, a chance to celebrate and protect our precious oceans. In honor of this day, I had the privilege to interview marine scientist Dr. Ellen Prager about the environmental threats to our oceans – and the easy ways that we can all pitch in to help protect them.
What are some of the biggest environmental concerns for our oceans?
Our oceans are under siege. Human impacts have accumulated over decades and now, more than ever, we are seeing the consequences and it is horrible for the ocean and worse for us. My top five problems in the ocean today are climate change, pollution, overfishing and illegal fishing, loss of critical habitats, and invasive species.
Due primarily to the burning of fossil fuels, the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is increasing to a point unseen on Earth for millions of years and temperatures are warming at an unnatural and accelerated pace. Ninety percent of the excess heat has been taken up by the ocean and seawater temperatures are on the rise. Many animals in the ocean are adapted to a specific range of temperature and when change happens too fast they cannot adapt. Coral reefs are in real trouble. Coral bleaching due to prolonged high ocean temperatures has occurred throughout the world at an unprecedented level over that past few years, particularly in the Caribbean and on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Some corals may recover if conditions improve, but other corals cannot recover and widespread mortality is occurring. This is especially true if other factors such as pollution, overfishing, or invasive species make coral reefs less resilient and less able to cope with stress. Climate change is also causing the acidity of the ocean to increase due to more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere being absorbed into the ocean. This impacts biological functions in the ocean and in particular those organisms who have a shell or skeleton made of calcium carbonate. Other impacts related to climate change are the spread of dead zones, sea level rise, and changing ecology, especially in polar climates.
Pollution now impacts even the most remote parts of the ocean. From plastic to excess nutrients, sedimentation, sewage, oil, and other chemicals we are dumping our wastes into the ocean and causing harm to the very resources we so rely on for food, recreation, tourism, jobs, economic revenue, biotechnology, new pharmaceutical compounds, and more.
Overfishing and illegal fishing have and continue to decimate fish populations throughout the world. Along with this, we are losing critical habitats such as seagrass beds, mangroves, coral reefs, and kelp beds all of which often act as a nursery for young fish and are an important habitat for many species. And finally, non-native species are being transported or released into waters where they can outcompete native species and cause irreparable ecologic harm. The poster child for this in the Great Lakes has been the zebra mussel, while in Florida, the Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico it is the lionfish, which is native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Do you have any tips for what steps readers can take at home with their families to help conserve the oceans?
Your readers can definitely help to conserve and better protect the oceans. Making sure to dispose of their trash properly and recycle as much as possible is important as is reminding others to do the same. Reduce use of plastics as much as is realistic and conserve energy wherever possible. As a consumer and voter they also have power to help the ocean. Let your political representatives on a local, state, and national level know that the coasts and oceans are important and you want better investment and policies to protect the ocean. What you buy makes a difference as well. Choosing sustainable seafood choices promotes improved management of fisheries, The Safina Center and Monterey Bay Aquarium both have excellent programs and guides that you can find online with information on good, okay, and poor seafood choices.
Readers and their families can also support ocean conservation by going to aquariums, participating in beach clean-ups, and by supporting organizations that are working to help the oceans. Two excellent rescue organizations that DAWN supports are International Bird Rescue (https://www.bird-rescue.org) and The Marine Mammal Center (http://www.marinemammalcenter
What are some good resources for further reading on this topic? Can you recommend any materials that parents can share with their children?
For reading for kids, of course I am biased, I’d highly recommend my fiction series for middle graders: Tristan Hunt and the Sea Guardians as it combines fun, fast-reading adventure and humor with learning about marine life and real-world ocean issues (Book 1 is The Shark Whisperer). The books can be found online (Amazon or others) or ordered through most book stores. I also have fun books for younger kids as well as popular science for a slightly older audience. My favorite book high school and above is Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Ocean’s Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter.
A few websites with good information:
Every woman has her own unique sense of style. Fashion is about personality, and each individual expresses themselves differently – two friends can have the similar taste, and interpret the same look in completely one-of-a-kind ways. It’s one of my favorite things about fashion, and something that intrigued me about the 7 Charming Sisters line of jewelry. This company is the brainchild of seven women who have worked together for over a decade. Each woman has her own approach to personal style, ranging from laid-back to made-up, and used this as the inspiration behind creating 7 different lines of jewelry. Each line is inspired by one of these “Work sisters” and represents a specific vibe and character.
I reviewed two pieces from 7 Charming Sisters last year and loved what I saw. So when I was approached with the idea of trying out a piece from all 7 lines, I was immediately hooked. While we all gravitate more heavily towards one Sister, there’s a little bit of each one in all of us – so I couldn’t wait to embrace every Sister in different scenarios. Please allow me to introduce you to each of these ladies – or as I like to call it, the 7 Faces of Beeb!
I’ve always described myself as a “Fashionista” because I love everything big, bold, and sparkly – the more glam, the better! Jennifer, the Fashionista, agrees with me wholeheartedly and is the embodiment of trendy. I was instantly drawn to the Photo Finish Bracelet with its eye-catching rhinestones.
Lovers of glitz will have a lot of clothes in their closet to compliment this statement piece!
From taking the minivan to soccer practice to chasing after toddlers, Melissa the Super Mom has her hands full – literally – and needs simple jewelry pieces that won’t tangle on clothes or eager children and can go with any outfit, but still look classic and beautiful. The Cross Country Ring hits all those marks, with a timeless double band that would suit any look. I knew this would be the perfect piece to wear during a 5k race that I ran in May!
This ring was the perfect way to add a little extra pizzazz to my running gear while remaining comfortable.
I think a little Super Mom magic wore off on me while wearing the ring, because I ended up running my personal best time ever during the race. Yeah!!
Donalda the Social Butterfly has a sense of fun and adventure that takes her to every social event – and extends to her wardrobe. The Social Butterfly isn’t afraid to get a little glam with standout pieces that can transition from a daytime tea to a nighttime concert. Like Donalda, I’m always on the go, so I put on the Hello Flawless Bracelet one morning before heading out for the day!
This lovely cuff reminds me of something Cleopatra would have worn! I never shy away from making a fashion statement, so this is the perfect accessory to wear downtown as I flit through my own social agenda!
Kimberly, the All-American Girl, is an earthy, bohemian gal. And in my British case, an honorarily American girl! 😉 The sun is finally coming out here in Oregon, so the Demure Damsel Necklace in pink was the perfect choice for a fun afternoon hitting the beach.
Our local Aquarium celebrated its 80th anniversary last week, so they were charging 1937 prices for the day with .15 cent admission. Jai and I thought it would be fun to stop in and play tourists in our own town!
“Demure Damsel” is the perfect name for this piece – it’s so pretty, yet understated enough to wear with a wide variety of situations. It’s so practical and comfortable that I’ve worn it while doing everything from grocery shopping to jogging on country roads. For the girl who wants to look pretty without a huge amount of fuss, Kimberly is your soul sister!
Life of The Party
I’m famous for throwing parties, so Kimmie, the Life of The Party felt like a kindred Sister right away. Kimmie loves to shine with eye-catching bling and unforgettable shindigs. I’m getting married in August, which means that this summer is party central, so I thought I’d kick things off with a fun gathering with my bridal party to do a trial of my wedding makeup.
I’ve always loved the look of intricate hand jewelry, so the Never Tamed Arm Jewelry caught my eye right away. I knew this would be the perfect thing to wear for girls’ night!
Good food is the backbone of any memorable party, so I whipped up some homemade bread before the evening started – and looked very chic while doing it thanks to my new jewelry!
The party started with glasses of vino, girl chat, and makeovers! I gabbed with my gals while they picked out lip colors to go with their bridesmaid dresses and I debated which shade of pink would look the best with my wedding gown.
This arm jewelry is so eye-catching and got several comments from my guests during the party. If you want a striking conversation piece, this is it!
I’ve always loved the look of a good suit, even from a very early age. I think this was influenced in part by Dana Scully on The X-Files, as well as my lifelong love of vintage clothing and customs. When I got my first newspaper job at 14, I went to the initial interview in what would now be considered a very hideous purple powersuit. Hey, it was 1998, it looked good then! Although my business wear has improved with the decades, I still make a point of always dressing up for work events, so Paula The Executive speaks to that perfectly. These pieces are work-ready, but still make a statement, and I found myself drawn to the Imperial Necklace.
I love how the purple crystals are the crown jewels highlighting the necklace’s intricate silver pattern. This piece adds just the right amount of “Pop” to a more conservative, neutral suit.
I’m a professional blogger, I’ve been to multiple anime conventions, and dressed as almost every superhero for Halloween; suffice to say, I’m something of a nerd. Jessica is the Sexy Nerd of the sisters – hey, “Sexy Nerd” would be a good Halloween costume too! – and her pieces have a sense of fun about them. Not only does the Stop and Smell the Rose ring have a cute name, but its dainty and girlish motif is pretty and whimsical, perfect for wearing to the library, a coffee date, or playing a rousing round of World of Warcraft!
Now that you’ve met all the ladies, I invite you to take this helpful Sister Quiz to help you narrow down which one best represents you! I love the concept behind 7 Charming Sisters – such a versatile line has a little something for everybody, every occasion and every mood, making it a perfect place to shop for gifts as well as your next statement piece. And 7 Charming Sisters are beautiful on the inside, too: They are committed to helping individuals with disabilities find jobs, with many of their handcrafted pieces created by those with intellectual disabilities who earn commission.
Exclusive Coupon Code
Use coupon code MomStart15 to receive 15% off your total order at 7 Charming Sisters, excluding sale items.
Enter To Win:
To help you embrace your inner Sister, we are giving away one 7 Charming Sisters necklace of your choice!
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter. By entering this giveaway, you consent that your email address will be shared with 7 Charming Sisters for marketing purposes. Giveaway is open to US residents, 18+, and ends on June 30th, 2017 at 11:00 PM PST. Winner will be drawn on July 5th. Please see the widget for full details, and click here to read MomStart’s giveaway rules.
Complimentary services provided for review.
I love everything relating to beauty: Hair, makeup, skin care, you name it! I’ve always paid attention to anti-aging treatments, but since hitting 30, it’s been on my mind a lot more. So when my fellow PDX blogger friend Carol Jones let me know that Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery was partnering with local bloggers to try out a new laser treatment, I jumped at the opportunity. Dr. Bohley shares an office with Dr. DeMars, who has taken great care of Carol, so I thought this would be the perfect place to get a consult and see how this new treatment might work for some of my skin care concerns.
Outside of watching Dr. 90210, I had no idea what to expect at a cosmetic surgery office, so I brought Jai along with me for the consult because I was a little nervous. Since the beauty industry is known for capitalizing on people’s insecurities, I was a little afraid that whoever I met might take one look at me and gasp, “Oh no, your face looks so old! You’ll need to spend thousands on all our treatments to fix it!” 😉 So I wanted to have someone else there for perspective.
Fortunately, all of those fears were completely unfounded. During my consult I met both Dr. Bohley and Robin Prusse RN, a trained laser specialist. I arrived with no makeup on so that they could see exactly what they were working with, and the reaction I got really surprised me. Both Robin and Dr. Bohley commented that my skin was beautiful and that I had done a great job taking care of myself. I’ve always been religious about using sunscreen, and apparently that has paid off as I got high praise for a job well done keeping my skin looking youthful. I really wasn’t expecting to hear that!
Robin asked me what areas I’m concerned about, and I told her that I’ve never liked the lines on my forehead. She told me that those lines were not caused by anything that I did – everyone has those from a very young age (which explains why I’ve noticed them since way back in my 20s), and the only thing that gets rid of them is Botox; no moisturizer or routine will make any difference there, and it’s not an area that the laser can address. I asked her about my skin care routine, since I always feel adrift in not knowing what I should be doing. If you’ve read any of my previous moisturizer reviews on here, you’ll see that I try to dig into the science of products as much as I can to figure out what really works over just being snake oil, but it’s really hard to get much clarity.
Robin told me that they have a wonderful line of moisturizers and skin care products that they offer patients, however, they wouldn’t be necessary for me until I hit my 40s. Because I have done a good job using sunscreen, Robin told me it would not really be worth it for me to invest in those product until I’m older. Robin explained that some of her younger clients in their 20s do use that skincare line because they’ve spent a lot of time in tanning beds and have premature aging to deal with, but for my situation, she recommended I continue with what I’m doing and use simple drugstore moisturizers for the rest of my 30s, as my main area of concern would simply be continuing to use sunscreen. The fact that Robin advised me to use a $7 drugstore product over a $155 RX moisturizer that they sell in the office shows me how honest they are and makes me feel like I’m finally getting some straight advice on skin care personalized to me, rather than someone just trying to sell me something.
We then discussed the two different laser treatments on offer: The first was Halo by Sciton, the first and only hybrid fractional laser that targets concerns such as sun damage and signs of aging as well as discoloration/uneven skin tone. The second treatment was Forever Young BroadBand Light Treatments, which addresses concerns including firmness and elasticity.
Dr. Bohley did 4 years of research before determining that Halo was a great treatment and investing in the machine for his office. Robin explained how it worked and what to expect, as well as some of the techniques Dr. Bohley uses to get even better outcomes with it. The fact that his practice is so concerned with research really gives me great confidence in them. When it comes to skin care treatments, all I care about is science and factual outcomes, and I’ve always disliked how the industry is so full of vague promises. Dr. Bohley’s practice is a perfect fit for my needs and approach.
Since I was now confident in the safety of the laser and knew it could potentially get rid of some fine lines and promote collagen production, I decided to go for it and book my appointment. Robin was really helpful working with my schedule, patient in answering all of my many safety questions (I am extremely detail-oriented and try to plan for every eventuality, to a fault), and provided me with products to use at home for a month before to prevent any discoloration due to an (extremely unlikely) medication contraindication.
After my consult, something I noticed was that I immediately felt better about myself and more confident. Robin gave me a little bit of a reality check and helped me realize that I’m not aging horribly like I thought. We are all our own toughest critics, and I see my own face much more closely than anyone else’s, so it was great to get some perspective. That alone was so invaluable and an immediate result! I’ve been searching for answers on my skin routine my whole adult life, so to get such great advice was another incredible benefit that I received right away. Now that I know what to do with my skin, I can stop worrying about it and stop wasting money on gimmicky products. It seems so silly, but I felt bad for years because I felt like I was aging prematurely because I wasn’t doing a good enough job caring for my skin or using the right products. My experience with Robin has relieved me of that misplaced regret and made me feel so much better.
At the end of March, I headed back to the office, ready to get my face lasered! Doesn’t that sound like something out of a comic? I brought Jai along with me again, this time so that he could snap pics and videos. It was time for the major laser! Robin started first with a brief BBL treatment – BroadBand Light Phototherapy. The first run-through of BBL was targeting some areas of redness/rosacea, and the second run-through targets brown areas such as freckles. Robin had been very honest with me at the consult about what the process would feel like, before and afterwards, so I was prepared for process.
She did a few initial zaps to let me feel the laser and know what to expect. We all wore goggles to protect our eyes, and I could still perceive the bright flash of light through my covered eyes. The first zap was pretty intense and felt like hot pins going into my cheek – I described it as a taser for the face. Robin could tell I was a little too uncomfortable (although I was trying to downplay it, because I knew what I had signed up for), so she actually changed out the head on the BBL to a smaller one which was less painful. She also gave me a cold air fan to hold towards my face and made conversation with Jai and I to distract me, so after the initial shock I did start to get used to it.
Next up was the Halo Fractional Laser, which is a lot less intense that the BBL. It’s still uncomfortable and can get a bit more stingy and sharp around sensitive areas like the eyes and nose, but it wasn’t as sharp of a sensation and was closer to a tickling feeling at times. Robin was laser focused (pun intended) on her task and paid great attention to detail – you can tell by her level of focus how seriously she takes her job, which both Jai and I noticed and appreciated.
Once the treatments are complete, you sit under the cooling blower for a few minutes and take some ibuprofen with cold water, then you are done and ready to go. Here’s a timelapse video of the whole procedure:
For the first hour, your face feels extremely hot, and you have the same sensation that you might when getting a small burn while cooking, but spread all over your face. I was given an ice pack and we cranked the A/C in the car to the max, which helps. It’s definitely painful, but I also knew that the intensity only lasts for an hour after the treatment, and I can deal with discomfort when I know there’s a time limit on it. It’s been described that the sensation wears off like turning off a switch at the one hour mark, but my experience was more that the pain tapered down after about 30 minutes and just got more and more manageable, with me being able to turn the A/C off maximum blast after the hour mark. I do recommend bringing a friend with you to the procedure; I knew I wouldn’t want to drive 2 hours home by myself, and having Jai there to distract me with conversation was helpful, not to mention helping me gathering my things and exit the office, since I was hurting right after the procedure.
We arrived back in Seaside after about 2 hours, and I had blocked out the rest of the day just to recover, since we had just traveled over 175 miles and I knew I would be tired and in discomfort. Initially, my face felt pretty hot, and when I went to apply moisturizer maybe 3 hours after the procedure, my face was so sensitive I could barely touch it. The discomfort and redness eases off rapidly and by 9pm that night, I would put moisturizer on without that pain. By the following morning, my face was looking so much better and had the same appearance of getting a really bad sunburn on your face. However, the day 2 sensation was a mild hotness on my cheeks – it was a little sensitive to move my face from the swelling, but I was really not too uncomfortable. I was impressed by the rapid recovery, especially since I have such sensitive skin and was afraid I might be looking like Freddy Kruger for a while.
After the procedure, you are advised to stay indoors for 3 days to avoid any sun. Since I work at home, this was not a problem for me since I could schedule my work accordingly. There is also a skin care regimen that must be followed with a vinegar solution applied 3-4x daily and moisturizer as needed; I was given a starter kit of these products to take home from the procedure.
You’ll also have peeling for about 2 weeks, so all of these things should be factored into your schedule when booking this treatment. I really babied my skin during the healing process, avoiding the sun and going over and above to follow the skin care instructions – like I said, I’m prepared to a fault! I documented the whole process in this series of photos:
If you’re wondering why I look so greasy after the treatment, it’s because I was slathering my face in Aquaphor – like I said, I really took great care with my skin afterwards! 😉
I’m just over 2 months out from the procedure now, and everything has healed; there was a small amount of peeling around my jawline that lasted past 2 weeks, but nothing that was a problem. I am being extra vigilant with my sun care routine, as that is necessary up to 3 months after the procedure, and that’s all been fine. Since I don’t have the type of sun damage/discoloration that is typically targeted with these lasers, my goal for getting this treatment was more preventative; having the opportunity to stimulate collagen production seemed like a good investment to me. Robin advised me that the maximum skin “Glow” from the HALO comes through roughly 4 months after treatment – which was timed perfectly, since I had the treatment at the end of March and my wedding is in August. I’ll post an update with photos after the wedding! They took a detailed, James-Bond-style 3D scan of my face on a computer at the office before the laser treatments, so if I can, I’d love to go in after the wedding and get my face scanned again to see the skin close up post-treatment.
I really feel like I have gained a lot from this whole process. I feel so much more confident in how my face looks – not because of a physical change, but because of a mental change in perspective after the feedback I got. I certainly didn’t expect to leave a cosmetic surgeon’s practice with more confidence in my natural appearance, so that was a really pleasant surprise! I feel that foundation is less necessary now – I went to a yoga class a couple of weeks ago with just a quick dash of concealer under my eyes, and two of the ladies there started talking to me about how beautiful my skin was.
Aside from that, finally getting guidance on how to care for my skin was totally priceless, and has removed the uncertainty and dread that I should be doing something different. I now know I’m doing everything I need to do to have the best skin for as long as possible, and that’s a great feeling. And because of the pre-and-post-treatment skin care routines I was following, I formed a lot of good skin care habits that are staying with me. Plus, I feel like I took a preventative step against future aging by having the laser treatments performed, so the whole process was far more productive than I expected. Yes, the procedure hurts and requires some forethought, but Halo has reduced downtime from other laser treatments, so if you decide this is something you want to pursue, I’d say it’s the option to go for. This treatment wouldn’t be for everyone, but for the right person, it can be an overall fabulous experience.
I am so thrilled to have been introduced to Dr. Bohley Cosmetic Surgery. Being able to find such a great provider in my own backyard is amazing, and this experience has given me the confidence and trust to know that I can (and definitely WILL!) go to them with all my future skin care needs. You don’t have to fly down to Hollywood to get A-list cosmetic treatment – you can stay right here in Portland! I’d highly recommend them to anyone in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re not sure what treatment would be best for you, my advice would be to book a consult with Robin and lay out your concerns. She can advise you if Halo and/or another treatment might be appropriate for you, and give you solid recommendations on how to care for your skin.
For More Information:
Have you ever heard of laser resurfacing treatments before?
A while ago, I was talking to a friend about our weekend plans. I made a comment that her young daughter must be glued to Saturday morning cartoons, and my friend reminded me: “We have Netflix, she can watch cartoons any morning.” I marvel at how much our world has changed in the last few years! Not to get all #Only80sKidsWillUnderstand on you youngsters, but back in my day, we were at the mercy of whatever happened to be on TV. I’d wait all week to watch Saturday morning cartoons, and look forward to my FOX Kids shows at 4:00 every weekday – back then, “On Demand” meant having 3 VHS tapes to choose from. Children today will never know the frustration of having Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers pre-empted for OJ Simpson’s bronco chase. Isn’t living in the future great?!
Instead of fighting over whether to turn the channel to Muppet Babies or Smurfs, today’s kids argue over what to stream on their iPad. Fortunately, since you never have to miss anything when all your favorite shows are available any time you want, it makes compromise a lot easier! And thanks to Pinterest, we can turn anything into a game now. Click here to download a fun, printable Netflix spinner that you can give your kids on Saturday – or any other morning – to help decide on the programming!
Before you get too jealous that today’s kids have it so easy, may I point your attention to all the great ’80s cartoons that are on Netflix now?
Bring Back 1987 in 2017
- Jem and the Holograms
- The Super Mario Bros. Show!
- An American Tail
- The Real Ghostbusters
See? You can re-create a Saturday morning in 1987 any time you like thanks to 2017 technology. Feel free to walk uphill in the snow both ways if you still want something to complain about.
What was your favorite cartoon growing up? Do your kids give you a blank look when you describe how TV used to work?
This month, I have been tackling some major Spring cleaning projects. I’m preparing for a big family garage sale in July, so I’ve been sorting through items in storage and re-organizing things from top to bottom and deep cleaning as I go. In addition to this, I also hosted a big party and out-of-town family in mid-May, so it could not have been better timing to receive a big box of cleaning goodies from Jelmar! Jelmar are the manufacturers of Tarn-X and CLR products, so they know a thing or two about cleaning. I’ve been putting their products to the test all over my home this month:
Project 1: Cleaning my Vanity With Stain Magnet
Jai built a beautiful custom vanity for me a few years ago which hangs in the bathroom. Since I’m doing my own wedding makeup, I did a makeup trial during a gathering with my bridesmaids earlier in the month, so it was the perfect time to re-organize the vanity and toss any old cosmetics. I removed all the products from the vanity so I could give it a deep clean, and one area that has been bugging me are the makeup stains on the folding shelf. Since I place my makeup items on this surface while I’m getting ready, there are inevitably spills and smears. While I have scrubbed and wiped at these for some time, they wouldn’t budge. Cosmetics can really bond to surfaces – have you ever gotten lipstick on a cup and forgotten to wipe around the rim before it went in the dishwasher? The color will literally bake on to the cup. So I thought this would be a good test for CLR Stain Magnet, which touts itself as having the ability to remove everything from nail polish and lipstick to red wine – in other words, the perfect cleaner for girls’ night. 😉
Wow! What a difference – if you love makeup, you definitely need a bottle of this cleaner in your cupboard.
Project 2: Shining The Sink With CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner and CLR Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover
Have you ever heard FlyLady talking about scrubbing your sink as the first cleaning task of the day? I’ve always felt similarly – a clean sink and counters are always my first goal when cleaning the kitchen. One thing that has always bothered me about our kitchen sink is the fact that the caulk behind the sink always gets stained and nasty looking. This house was built in 1929, so not everything has been designed as efficiently as in modern homes, and the sink has always been a trouble area in the 24 years I’ve lived in this home. Jai and I replaced the caulk when we installed a new faucet 4 years ago, which helped temporarily, but the caulk soon got stained and icky looking. I scrub down this area when I clean the sink, but it doesn’t change the staining and always looks nasty to me. Jai and I have tried different cleaning products, but nothing has really helped. Here’s what the sink looked like before:
See what I mean? It’s really frustrating to clean thoroughly and still have something look run down and dirty. So this time, I poured CLR Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover over the caulk and let it sit for a couple of minutes while I sprayed the rest of the sink down with CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner. Much to my happiness, the old stains on the caulk began to lift, so I kept re-applying the Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover until it looked like this:
Now that’s a result! I am so happy that I’ve finally found something that works on this problem area! Jai noticed the difference right away. Now that I know about CLR Calcium, Lime & Rust Remover, I can use this every time I clean to prevent future staining. I also enjoyed having a specific cleaner just for the sink with the CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner, since scrubbing out the sink is such a “Thing” for me. The sink was already pretty shiny, so there wasn’t too much change there, but boy, did the Stainless Steel Cleaner make a difference on another kitchen appliance:
Project 3: Making an Old Oven Look Like New
My oven is a vintage find from The ReBuilding Center, and while retro appliances have their charms, they can look a little rough around the edges. Once again, my oven posed the challenge of looking a bit dingy even after a thorough scrubbing. So for this test, I decided to use the CLR Stainless Steel Cleaner to try and shine up the details on the oven. My first attempt was right before my party, where I quickly sprayed down a stainless steel panel on the stove. I could immediately see the cleaner cutting through baked on gunk:
Since I was pressed for time, I left it there and made a mental note to do another round of the Stainless Steel Cleaner later on. That opportunity arose yesterday, when I took a second shot at shining up that panel as well as digging into the other stainless steel details on the oven. I also used the CLR Bath & Kitchen Cleaner to clean the stovetop and door. To make this a bigger challenge, I attempted this right after a cooking explosion that involved an entire raw egg missing the mark and falling onto the stovetop instead of the frying pan, where it immediately slid down the oven and onto the floor:
Here’s how the oven looked after I was done:
Project 4: Restoring a Door
Oregon is a damp place, so it went without saying that I’d have many uses for CLR Mold & Mildew Stain Remover! One trouble spot we have is the back door – it’s always been prone to spots of mold. Getting rid of those stains is an ongoing battle, so one of the items on my cleaning checklist before my party was spraying down the door with my new Mold & Mildew Stain Remover to see how it would look.
I have to say, I’m impressed: This suite of products are not only great for daily cleaning chores, but presented solutions to multiple trouble spots around the house that have literally been ongoing problems for over 20 years. Anyone who owns a older home knows that it can be hard to get some things looking “Like new”, so I’m really thrilled that I don’t have to “Just live with” some of the dingy things that have been bugging me forever. Jelmar began making products in 1949, which makes me wonder if I’ve been living under a rock to have not known that these solutions were out there!
Another cool aside? Not only are these products great, but Jelmar is certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise, which means that it is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women. Jelmar was also presented with the The Safer Choice U.S. EPA Partner of the Year Award in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and their products are made in the USA.
CLR Products are available all across the USA – click here to find a store near you.
Do you have any “Trouble spots” or stains in your home that are difficult to clean?
Compensation was provided by Amwell via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Amwell or Momtrends.
Becoming a mother is a joyous occasion, but it can also be isolating in unexpected ways. Society often acts like motherhood is effortless – the baby is born, mom is glowing and knows exactly what to do, and everyone goes home from the hospital to a white picket fence. Of course, we all know reality is a lot different, but so many new moms beat themselves up when everything isn’t picture-perfect, and it’s easy to feel alone. Family and friends are often so excited about the new arrival that it can be easy to forget that mom may be struggling. This is especially true for nursing, which is thought of as almost a given – of course, the baby will nurse and it will just work instantly, right?
However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Did you know that only 13 percent of moms are able to breastfeed exclusively for six months? According to research conducted by UC Davis Medical Center, the main reason that the women surveyed encountered issues with nursing was the inability to access lactation counselors. Hospitals often do not provide lactation counselors on site, even though many insurance plans cover it. Early education is key and increases likelihood of success, so in response to this, Amwell has added Lactation Services to their roster of on-demand telehealth options.
Amwell allows patients to access a board-certified lactation consultant via a video call on their smartphone or computer. These consultants can answer questions about breastfeeding, provide advice and offer reassurance to new mothers. Last week, I spoke with Shoshana, a nurse and lactation consultant who works for Amwell, and asked her what issues new moms most commonly encounter, what a lactation consultant does, and how a virtual visit with Amwell works.
Amwell’s virtual visits are provided by International Board-Certified Lactation Consultants, who go through extensive training to help breastfeeding moms at all stages. For mothers of newborns, the primary struggle is not knowing what to expect. Shoshana often gets calls from new moms who are still in the hospital and confused because they’re being told different things about what to do. Other common issues include infections, difficulty getting started due to latch issues, and breast refusal.
Since Amwell Lactation Services are provided virtually, moms can schedule an online visit for an hour when they know baby may be hungry, and appointments are usually available within 24 hours, 7 days a week. Shoshana has personally worked to be flexible with her own clients for follow-up visits, so that they have the option to log on earlier or later than their scheduled appointment if the child is ready to nurse at that time, rather than stressing about making sure the baby is hungry on schedule for the consultant. She shared a heartwarming story of one mom who had success after a consult and flipped the camera phone around to show Shoshana how the baby was nursing successfully!
And this service isn’t just for new moms: Many consults are for mothers with older babies who have questions about going back to work and how to manage pumping versus feeding and keeping supply up, as well as weaning the baby down the road. Being able to schedule an online appointment not only offers a great deal of convenience, but also provides access to mothers whose hospitals do not provide lactation consultants. For many small communities, accessing a lactation consultant could involve a long drive to another city, so having help a click away provides access to those who would otherwise be isolated.
Special Discount Code
Many insurance plans cover lactation services 100% for unlimited visits. And for those whose insurance does not cover lactation consults, Amwell can be an affordable option: Through the end of this year, you can save 50% off your first two lactation consults by using coupon code: NEWMOM17 With this code, your first visit will be reduced to $65, and your second visit will be $37.50. This offer expires December 31st, 2017.
Have you ever experienced breastfeeding issues?
Compensation was provided by Amwell via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of Amwell or Momtrends.
This is a sponsored post with FunkAway and BraVoMark. All opinions are mine.
We’ve all seen it; we’ve all dealt with it. I’m talking about “The funk”, and I don’t mean the Daft Punk song. You may have encountered the funk while emptying a gym bag, putting on your running shoes, or unloading your children’s athletic gear and jerseys. No matter how fastidious you are, sweat is an unfortunate part of an active lifestyle. I only like to get funky on the dance floor, not in my closet, so I buy a lot of deodorizers and throw items out readily.
Traveling, for example, takes a toll on my shoes, as I’ve mentioned before. You can only hustle through sweaty airports for so long before it wreaks havoc on your footwear. I try to bring deodorizing powders in my suitcase whenever I can to freshen my shoes at each stop – which has sometimes led to extra screening from TSA – but there’s only so much that can do before it’s time to toss out my shoes and buy a new pair. This gets really annoying, because orthopedic-friendly dress shoes are not easy to find! So when I received a shipment of FunkAway in the mail, I was eager to see how it would stack up to other deodorizers I’ve tried. FunkAway is made with a patented compound called OM Complex™, which is meant to absorb odor molecules and encase them in a bubble to break down odors. Apparently, the cause of sweat-related odor is a bacteria that feeds on perspiration, so FunkAway was scientifically designed to tackle this funk on a molecular level rather than disguising it with perfume. I was intrigued to see how this would work, so I gave it a try this weekend.
I’m getting ready to have a big garage sale over Memorial Day weekend, so I’ve been pulling clothes and shoes out of storage to purge. I thought this was a convenient time to put FunkAway to the test! The spray comes in two sizes: a 13.5 oz aerosol can and a 3.4oz spray bottle. I put sprayed a generous amount of FunkAway into several pairs of shoes and slippers, and the formula was distinctive immediately. The entire living room smelled like the FunkAway spray, and still does a little bit today – I sprayed down my shoes last night. Next time, I might do this on the porch instead – keep in mind, I sprayed a large amount of FunkAway in five pairs of shoes, so suffice to say, I really went to town. 😉 To me, the strong deodorizer in the air signaled that it was certainly doing something. I left the shoes to air out overnight and checked back in this morning.
I could notice a difference in the shoes, which had the fresh FunkAway scent. Most impressive to me was a pair of slippers which I thought I needed to toss out; the only reason I hadn’t is because they 1.) are shaped like narwhals and 2.) are heated inside, which is super cozy, but also conducive to sweat. I was hoping to try and launder them somehow without frying the electronics, but hadn’t come up with a good system yet and figured they’d have to be tossed. Lo and behold, after a good spray down with FunkAway, they smell fresh as a daisy! I’ve been wearing them around all morning and continually checking to see if they’re still fresh, and they are. That’s pretty impressive! The slippers were otherwise in great condition so I’m very happy to be able to keep them!
The large aerosol can is definitely the most heavy-duty of the two options, but the small spritz bottle can get into crevices that they larger one can’t, and it’s also 3-1-1 compliant which means I can bring FunkAway in my carry-on baggage when I travel and spritz down my shoes at the hotel to keep them fresh after a long day of travel. Genius!!
In addition to sprays, FunkAway also make an Odor Eliminating and Stain Removing Laundry Detergent Booster that is used in tandem with your normal laundry soap to combat funky clothes. To put this to the test, yesterday I went for a 3 mile run and pushed the pace until I was dripping with sweat. I changed out of my sweaty running clothes and FlipBelt, a runner’s belt that holds my phone and keys. I put them in the laundry basket and purposely left them sitting there for several hours. While those sat, I went through my clothes and organized some that had been getting stale in storage for ages. I then tossed them all into a load of laundry with the FunkAway Detergent Booster, and my clothes are clean and ready to go back into the closet!
I’m impressed with the performance power of FunkAway and now look forward to being able to slam dunk the funk anytime I want! Get yours today at FunkAway.com and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.
In the last month, I’ve been noticing a difference in my body’s shape and muscle tone. My clothes are fitting better, and when I look at photos of myself, I’m starting to notice a real difference since I first began my Medifast journey. Last month, I went to get my hair done before I flew to Florida. I haven’t seen my hairdresser since last July, and as soon as I walked in, she exclaimed: You look so tiny! You always look good when I see you, but wow! After my hairdresser worked her magic, she took a few photos of my new hairdo on her phone and showed them to me. She said that she thought this was the prettiest photo, because you could see the reflection of my figure in the mirror. I saw myself through another person’s eyes and realized my hard work was starting to show in a new way.
The external changes are a reflection of internal ones. My incessant cravings for junk food have faded and made it easier to eat well under challenging circumstances, such as traveling. Last week, I was at a train station by a restaurant where I would normally order french fries. Instead, I chose to eat the Cookie Dough Chewy Bar in my purse. When I’ve been on the road and needed something hearty, I’ve generally opted for salads or lighter options as fuel. Just as eating fast food begets cravings and snowballs into a regular habit, healthy eating also snowballs and becomes easy to do – but it takes time. The big difference for me is that I’m enjoying these choices rather than feeling deprived, because eating well helps to regulate my cravings and helps quiet of that voice that so desperately wants fat and sugar. Eating well now feels like more of a reward because of how it directly correlates to how I feel and look. Does this mean I’m perfect and eat exactly right? No way! But the difference now is that I have control. When I was in Florida, I chose to eat some decadent dishes because I wanted to taste local specialties and make the most of my experience. Enjoying your life in balance is a great thing, but compulsive eating has never brought me much happiness – that’s the difference.
The biggest encouragement I would give anyone forming new eating habits is that you won’t feel one way forever. There is no getting around it – changing what you eat is really hard at first. Eating well felt like a punishment to me at the beginning because I was putting in hard work but didn’t yet have much to show for it. There is also this sense of anxiety that you will feel miserable and deprived forever. But thankfully, that’s not true! Once I adjust and start to feel the difference, my relationship to food changes. So my best advice to anyone feeling discouraged would be to just hang in there – it won’t be easy at first and there’s no way around that, but keep plugging forward and it will change. Trust me, I’ve been there more than you know.
I have many more goals and dreams for this year, so my journey is still just getting started. But I’ve reached a pivotal turning point where my successes are propelling my confidence and making the journey rewarding in a new way – and I’m so excited to have you all along for the ride.
Get $25 off Medifast orders of $250 or more, plus free shipping by using coupon code: MomStart25 Limit one per customer. Excludes ready-to-drink shakes. Not valid with Medifast Advantage, or any other promotions or discounts.
Disclosure: I receive free product in order to evaluate and comment on my experiences using Medifast products. Medifast products and the Medifast program are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness.