Sunday, June 18, 2017

How Stress Can Affect Your Health and How to Manage It

You’re trying to get the kids off to school, you can’t find your cell phone, and you’re sitting in traffic. Your hypothalamus, a tiny control tower in your brain, decides to send out the order: Send in the stress hormones! These stress hormones are the same ones that trigger your body’s “fight or flight” response. Your heart races, your breath quickens, and your muscles ready for action. This response was designed to protect your body in an emergency by preparing you to react quickly. But when the stress response keeps firing, day after day, it could put your health at serious risk. Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a New York City Neuropsychologist who breaks down what stress can do the body.

How Stress Can Affect Your Health and How to Manage It

Respiratory System

Stress can make you breathe harder. That's not a problem for most people, but for those with asthma or a lung disease such as emphysema, getting the oxygen you need to breathe easier can be difficult. And some studies show that an acute stress, such as the death of a loved one — can actually trigger asthma attacks, in which the airway between the nose and the lungs constricts. In addition, stress can cause the rapid breathing or hyperventilation that can bring on a panic attack in someone prone to panic attacks. Working with a psychologist to develop relaxation and breathing strategies can help.


When you're stressed, you may eat much more or much less than you usually do. If you eat more or different foods, or increase your use of alcohol or tobacco, you can experience heartburn or acid reflux. Stress or exhaustion can also increase the severity of heartburn pain.

When you're stressed, your brain becomes more alert to sensations in your stomach. Your stomach can react with "butterflies" or even nausea or pain. You may vomit if the stress is severe enough. And, if the stress becomes chronic, you may develop ulcers or severe stomach pain even without ulcers.

Stress can affect digestion, and what nutrients your intestines absorb. It can also affect how fast food moves through your body. You may find that you have either diarrhea or constipation.

Female Reproductive System

Stress may affect menstruation among adolescent girls and women in several ways. For example, high levels of stress may be associated with absent or irregular menstrual cycles, more painful periods and changes in the length of cycles.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Stress may make premenstrual symptoms worse or more difficult to cope with and pre-menses symptoms may be stressful for many women. These symptoms include cramping, fluid retention and bloating, negative mood (feeling irritable and "blue") and mood swings.

As menopause approaches, hormone levels fluctuate rapidly. These changes are associated with anxiety, mood swings and feelings of distress. Thus menopause can be a stressor in and of itself. Some of the physical changes associated with menopause, especially hot flashes, can be difficult to cope with. Furthermore, emotional distress may cause the physical symptoms to be worse. For example, women who are more anxious may experience an increased number of hot flashes and/or more severe or intense hot flashes.

Sexual Desire
Women juggle personal, family, professional, financial and a broad range of other demands across their life span. Stress, distraction, fatigue, etc., may reduce sexual desire — especially when women are simultaneously caring for young children or other ill family members, coping with chronic medical problems, feeling depressed, experiencing relationship difficulties or abuse, dealing with work problems, etc.

Fat storage

You can clearly correlate stress to weight gain. Part of that link is due to poor eating during stress, but the stress hormone cortisol may also increase the amount of fat tissue your body hangs onto and enlarge the size of fat cells. Higher levels of cortisol have been linked to more deep-abdominal fat—yes, belly fat. Luckily, exercise can help control stress and help keep belly fat under control.


Stress can cause hyperarousal, a biological state in which people just don't feel sleepy.

While major stressful events can cause insomnia that passes once the stress is over, long-term exposure to chronic stress can also disrupt sleep and contribute to sleep disorders.

What to do? Focus on sleep hygiene (making your surroundings conducive to a good night's rest) and try yoga or another stress-busting activity during the day.


"Fight or flight" chemicals like adrenaline (epinephrine) and cortisol can cause vascular changes that leave you with a tension headache or migraine, either during the stress or in the "let-down" period afterwards. Stress also makes your muscles tense, which can make the pain of a migraine worse. Beyond treating the headache itself, focus on headache-proofing your home, diet, and lifestyle in general.


Too much of the stress hormone cortisol can interfere with the brain's ability to form new memories. During acute stress, the hormone also interferes with neurotransmitters, the chemicals that brain cells use to communicate with each other. That can make it hard to think straight or retrieve memories. While it's tough to limit stress in our hectic lives, some experts recommend trying meditation, among other solutions.

Blood sugar

Stress is known to raise blood sugar, and if you already have type 2 diabetes you may find that your blood sugar is higher when you are under stress. Changing what you eat, exercising more, or adjusting medication can help to keep it under control. One study of obese black women without diabetes found that those who produced more stress-related epinephrine when asked to recall stressful life events had higher fasting glucose and bigger blood sugar spikes than those with lower epinephrine, suggesting it might raise your risk for getting diabetes too.

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens.

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com

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Friday, June 16, 2017

Litom LED Outdoor Motion Sensor Solar Light + $10 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

(This post contains affiliate links)

Sponsored By: Litom
Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy
Co-Hosted By: InezbyDesign


* With 3 LEDs on Both Side: Unique Wide Angle Design offers a larger coverage of luminosity(526 lumens). The corner LEDs put out enough extra light to really make the solar light very efficient as a whole.

* SUPER BRIGHT 24 LED SOLAR LIGHTS: 24 LED Design provides a super bright level of illumination for a wide area, which is much brighter than other similar solar lights in the market.

* No Wire Needed, Solar Power Lights: Super easy to set up. Save your precious time in installing the electrical wire. As winter approached the sunshine becomes weaker than summer, please make sure the item is put in direct sunlight all day so that it can absorb more sunlight for charging.

* THREE OPTIONAL MODES: Choose the perfect mode according to your diverse needs. Full-on Mode suits for the front door, back door, outdoor patio, deck area backyard and etc. Reduced Light Mode suits for balcony railing, side and back yard, entryway and etc; Motion Detected Mode suits for garage, driveway, path, fence and etc.

* WALK BY, LIGHTS ON: The sensitive motion sensor detects motion from up to 26 feet away. We recommend the appropriate installing height should be 5.6feet-6.6feet.


FIVE (5) lucky winners will each receive a Litom Super Bright 24 LED Outdoor Motion Sensor Solar Light *PLUS* a $10 Amazon Gift Card! A $250 TRV giveaway!

Contest is open to US only, 18+ (ends June 30th, 2017 at 11:59pm EST). All entries unless otherwise noted are optional.  Please enter the giveaway form below. The winner will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!
Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook!  If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

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Disclosure: Bloggers in this giveaway were not compensated and are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. You are not eligible if you have won a prize from any of the sponsors in the last 12 month. This post may contain affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Photo of the Day: Flying High

Flying High

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National Geographic

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Safe Solutions for 6 Common Beach Body Concerns

Summer is approaching! It’s the time of year met with mixed emotions. On one hand you’re excited for the warmer weather, open toe shoes and weekends at the beach or pool. On the other hand you dread revealing the stubborn cellulite, dull skin, stretch marks, scarring from breakouts on the chest shoulders or back not to mention coarse hairs.

Safe Solutions for 6 Common Beach Body Concerns

Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20, offers some insights and tips on these top 6 beach body concerns.

1. My skin is so pale!

It’s been way too long since you have seen a glimmer of sunshine and realize how your skin matches the white of your office walls. You want to avoid tanning beds and load up on sunscreen. “Opt for a bronzing cream or spray tan instead of tanning beds. Many of the women who come to me for facial procedures including Botox, fillers and laser treatments could have slowed down the aging process by being vigilant about sun protection and avoiding tanning beds,” cautions Dr. Brandow.

2. I have acne scarring on my shoulders and chest.

The quickest and most permanent way to remove these infuriating scars is with a laser. “Lasers are a very efficient way to remove scars and improve over all skin texture with minimal side effects. Patients are pleased with the fast results, which can be seen after the first treatment with optimal results by end of a treatment cycle based on your own needs,” explains Dr. Brandow.

3. I exercise but there still that little bit of tummy flab.

Stubborn tummy flab won’t disappear even with all of that exercising and dieting. Some people who have had children even consider a full tummy tuck. “It is very important to find a doctor who understands all options and can recommend one that will address your specific concern. Some pricey non-invasive body contouring procedures will offer a temporary result making it necessary to repeat them,” advises Dr. Brandow whose specialty is the Jersey Shore Tummy Tuck given his practice’s proximity to the Jersey Shore.

4. Cellulite.

There is no easy way to remove cellulite; you are either using a coffee scrub or going in to see the doctor for a laser procedure. Dr. Brandow recommends the professional treatment called Smartlipo, which is a small laser that goes into the skin and melts the fat away. Smartlipo is a less invasive procedure than liposuction, is costly and time consuming but the results can last up to five years.

5. Stretch Marks.

An inevitable result of weight fluctuation, are stretch marks.

Coolbeam laser is a new hit to eliminate stretch marks thanks to Kim Kardashian, who posted on her Snapchat about the procedure. Dr. Brandow explains, “lasers are far less invasive than a surgical procedure, which has a much longer recovery time.” Another option for stretch marks that Dr. Brandow recently spoke of on a recent TV segment is using PRP (platelet rich plasma), which involves pricking the scarred region with a special roller instrument then using the body’s own plasma to stimulate healing and collagen regrowth. “This is the same thing as the ‘Vampire facial’ but done on stretch marks. Results are incredibly impressive,” he says.

6. Unwanted body hair.

Hair removal is always a beach season battle. For a more effective long-term hair removal option, Dr. Brandow highly recommends investing in laser hair removal. “Laser hair removal is the most permanent way to remove unwanted body hair. It takes up to 6-12 treatments offering the best results.” Waxing is a popular option, which can last up to 3-6 weeks depending on how your hair grows. It is the quickest and long-lasting hair removal technique that doesn’t require any laser and it can be done at home.

Dr. Brandow also reminds people to check with their dermatologist for an annual skin screening before exposing themselves to another season of sunshine.

About Dr. Kirk Brandow

Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery is a plastic surgeon with 2 locations in the Philadelphia metro area and a 3rd one at the jersey shore. Named a “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery by Philadelphia Magazine as well as nationally recognized for one of America’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” of this decade, Dr. Brandow is a trusted expert who has developed many innovative, minimally invasive procedures for the face, body and skin. He has been featured on local, national and international television programs including 20/20, CNN’s Headline News, Good Morning America.

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight (Coming to Theatres June 21, 2017)

 Transformers: The Last Knight

For centuries they defended our world, but on June 21 our alliance is over. When all seems lost, a few brave souls can save everything we’ve ever known.

The Last Knight shatters the core myths of the Transformers franchise, and redefines what it means to be a hero. Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Saving our world falls upon the shoulders of an unlikely alliance: Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg); Bumblebee; an English Lord (Sir Anthony Hopkins); and an Oxford Professor (Laura Haddock).

There comes a moment in everyone’s life when we are called upon to make a difference. In Transformers: The Last Knight, the hunted will become heroes. Heroes will become villains. Only one world will survive: theirs, or ours.

Transformers 5 is coming to theatres June 21, 2017!
Directed by Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock, Isabella Moner, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro

See trailer below:

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Neighbourhood Small Grants: Community Gardening Event [RECAP]

This was my first time participating in this gardening activity that was hosted by Mr. Zheng (senior volunteer at Frog Hollow) and Sharon on their Neighbourhood Small Grants at Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House. This year, I have been learning more about gardening and how to care for my plants (vegetables and fruits).

I like how smooth and organized this event went. Instead of everyone coming in all at once, participants register few days in advance. Everyone who registered (I think about 50 people max) were able to take home some soil and plants.  Participants then come during the actual event date to collect soil and vegetable seedlings in order of their number. There were also a few volunteers who helped out. This is a very good plan to keep everything running smoothly.

I brought my own bucket to collect some soil to get started as well as given 2 of each vegetable seedling (cherry tomatoes and Chinese squash).

cherry tomatoes Chinese Squash

The weather was perfect so less mess.  The soil and seeds are given to my mom. I am also educating her on what I've learned. Her gardens never succeed very well, so I'm hoping this summer that her vegetable garden will work out.

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Welcome to Paradise: Rogue Ales & Spirits

Newport, Oregon – Rogue Ales & Spirits announces the release of Paradise Pucker, a refreshing sour ale inspired by the classic Hawaiian juice made with passionfruit, orange and guava. Rogue’s first sour, Paradise Pucker was originally released in 2016 as a small-run batch in Hawaii. Following up on its popularity in the local market, Rogue has brought the sour ale to the mainland for all to enjoy.

Rogue Ales & Spirits

“We captured the tropical flavor and put our own Rogue twist on it,” said Rogue President Brett Joyce.

Paradise Pucker combines fresh Hawaiian ingredients with Oregon-grown Rogue Farms hops and barley. At 6% ABV and 5 IBU, the golden-hued sour ale features a subtle tartness up front that gives way to a mild hop bitterness and finishes with notes of citrus and tropical fruit.

Paradise Pucker is available in 22oz. bottles and on draft at Rogue Ales public house locations and stores across the United States. Find some near you by using Rogue’s Beer Finder. For more information visit Rogue.com.

Rogue Ales & Spirits
Rogue Ales & Spirits is an agri-fermenter founded in Oregon in 1988 as one of America’s first microbreweries. Rogue has won more than 1,800 awards for taste, quality and packaging and is available in all 50 states as well as 54 countries. Since 2008, Rogue has remained committed to saving the terroir of Oregon hops, barley, rye, wheat, honey, jalapeños, and pumpkins one acre at a time by growing its own.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Photo of the Day: Paradise at Bow Glacier Lake

Bow Glacier LakeBow Glacier Lake is located within Banff National Park (north part). Trails, park, and the lake can be access along the Icefields Parkway. There is a lodge called Simpson's Num-Ti-Ja Lodge if you want to stay overnight.

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National Geographic

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Influenster Spring Vibes VoxBox

Influenster Spring Vibes VoxBox

I was recently selected on Influenster for the new campaign and I just received my Spring Vibes VoxBox. I was so excited when I got the box and couldn't wait to open it to see the surprise. I'm loving the featured products so far. Here's what's included:

Influenster Spring Vibes VoxBox

Nivea Q10 Firming Body Oil (MSRP $13.99)
Its unique formula combines the moisturizing properties of basic oils, and advanced performance from specialized oils, to give you a caring, all-in-one formula that helps you feel great in your skin.

Nivea Q10 Firming Body Oil

Quaker Harvest Fruit & Nut Granola Bar (MSRP $2.49/box of 5 bars)
Quaker Harvest Fruit & Nut Granola Bars are a delicious and nutritious snack and are a source of energy to help tide you over. These bars combine the goodness of 100% Canadian Oats with delicious premium ingredients like dark chocolate, dried cherries and apples for a tasty snack you can feel good about.

Quaker Harvest Fruit & Nut Granola Bar

Ebates Popsocket
Ebates.ca pays you to shop at over 750 stores including Hudson's Bay, Amazon, Sephora & more! We know Savvy Shoppers shop on the go! This Popsocket gives me a better grip on my phone when scouring for that sweet deal and earning Cash Back (or taking an awesome selfie). Sign up and get a $5 bonus!

imPRESS Press-On Manicure (MSRP $9.99)
Achieve a one-step gel manicure in minutes with imPRESS Press-On Manicure! Now featuring breakthrough patented adhesive technology for the most innovative way to nail perfection.

imPRESS Press-On Manicure

Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks (MSRP $4.99/24ct)
They are the only detergent boosted with the stain fighting power of OxiClean and the freshness of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda.

Arm & Hammer Plus OxiClean 3-in-1 Power Paks

Nescafe Sweet and Creamy (MSRP $2.49/pack)
Nescafe Sweet and Creamy sachets make sure you are never more than moments away from a consistently delicious cup of coffee. Just rip a sachet into a mug, stir, sip, and love it. Why break the bank at over-priced coffee shops when you can enjoy a sweet and creamy cup of self-made coffee! They are available in 3 flavours: Original, French Vanilla and Mocha.

Nescafe Sweet & Creamy

Annie's Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese (MSRP $2.22)
Introduced back in 1989, Annie's Shells & White Cheddar is the original and bestselling product. Annie created Shells & White Cheddar in her kitchen when she realized there was no all-natural, white cheddar macaroni & cheese on the market. She came up with ta totally delicious product that is made with real white cheddar cheese and organic shell-shaped pasta.

Annie's Shells & White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese

Disclosure: I received samples of the above product(s) for my review in this post as part of the Influenster VoxBox Campaign. My opinions are my own and may differ from those of other consumers. No other compensation was given.


Friday, June 2, 2017

Wonder Woman Film Review: It is What Many of Us Expected

Wonder Woman Film Review

It's Friday! I had an amazing afternoon with a friend of mine. It was opening day in theatres for the Wonder Woman film (directed by Patty Jenkins) and we both decided to watch it together. We purchased our tickets at the venue and got good seats.

Film Synopsis:

    Before she was Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot (Chris Pine) who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.

MY THOUGHTS: Please take note that there may be some spoilers from here. The show was great as we expected. The storyline was easy to follow and understand. The film started off with Diana as a child in a and shows her running off just to see other women do their training. We see that she seems fascinated and is determined to become a warrior like them so she decides to train with her aunt as she grew up. Later, she discovers a pilot named Steve Trevor who crashed landed in the water near her island. After rescuing him, Diana learns that World War is coming and is determined to stop it with her powers. She becomes Wonder Woman.

Most of Wonder Woman's scenes gave me the goosebumps, especially in her fight scenes. It was quite the ending when I thought it was over after she defeated who she thought was the bad guy, but then there was more. The tension begins when she finds out who the real "Ares" is.

I'm not going to spoil the whole thing, but I would say that it is a must-see movie for Wonder Woman fans and DC fans. Throughout the film, you will have some laughs as well as tears.

"Late afternoon industry estimates show Warner Bros/DC and Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman rising to $38.5M today, and $95M+ for the weekend." (Source: deadline.com)

After the show, we headed back home. I drove. We were feeling a bit moody still after the movie. On our way back, we were stopped at a traffic light and we both noticed a homeless man on the side of the grass by our left-turning lane. He had a sign written on cardboard that said, "Homeless and hungry. Anything helps." My friend gave him a bit of change. I still had left-over nachos from the theatre that I was going to bring home for my kids, but decided to offer it to the homeless man. We also gave him an unopened bottle of water and a badge of popcorn. I know, not the healthiest of foods as we don't have anything else to offer him. It was a good feeling to help out someone in need. We need more good people in this world.

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