Archive of ‘Health + Beauty’ category

Lice Lice Baby: How to Get Rid of those Hellish Critters


lice-lice-baby

My name is Jennifer Burby.

I got head lice at the age of 34.

From my daughter. Who got it at school.

I guess.

Who really knows where or how she got it. She just did.

I somehow dodged the head lice bullet during my own childhood.

Both of my two daughters have been in daycare since they were a couple months old, which are breeding grounds for lice. We would routinely receive emails from their schools advising of lice outbreaks in the classrooms and instructing us to check our children’s hair. Same happened at their summer camps. Neither of my girls ever got it. They’re in the pool a lot, so I chalked it up to lice not liking chlorine.

And I’ve gotta be honest here.

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    My Mustache: Why I Switched to Safer Products


    beautycounter_changes

    It all started out with a mustache.

    A melasma mustache.

    It was the fall of 2013 and I noticed a dark patch of skin in that area between my nose and upper lip. Freaked out and hoping it was merely my imagination, I ran into my co-worker’s office and asked her if she noticed it, too.

    She did.

    “Maybe you’re just forgetting to put sunscreen in that area when you apply it every morning?”

    That’s it! That’s definitely it!

    That wasn’t it.

    Turns out I had melasma, a chronic skin disorder that results in symmetrical, brownish facial pigmentation. It typically occurs due to hormonal changes during pregnancy and sun exposure, and women are more likely to develop it than men. It’s been nicknamed the “pregnancy mask.”

    What did I do?

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      Getting Older: Nine Best Things


      Getting older is the bomb- 9 reasons | The Champagne Supernova http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2016/01/getting-older-best/

      I turned 34 this week.

      It’s seemingly a baby for those in their forties and fifties. Considering celebrating my thirtieth birthday seems like yesterday, I wonder where the time went.

      I remember turning 18 like it was yesterday. One of my girlfriends came to my house in the middle of the night, decorated my car with silly string, toilet paper, and fun birthday-themed “flair.”

      18 was a milestone because it meant I no longer needed a fake ID to go to shady local clubs and dance the night away to TLC, 98 Degrees, and Ginuwine.

      Turning 21 also seemed pretty recent. My college friends and I went to dinner at a super fancy and exclusive restaurant, Chili’s, before hitting the town and celebrating at various Gainesville landmarks.

      I get it.

      Not everyone wants to get older. We have to pay taxes, shop around for deals on health insurance, and stock up on creams and serums to keep us looking young forever.

      It can really stink. In fact, I wrote a post about it here.

      That said, there are some luxuries of getting older that I didn’t have in my youth.

      Here are 9 of them.

       

      Major Life Decisions: The Pressure is Off. Decide what do I want to be when I grow up. Check.

      Finish school. Check.

      Pass the bar exam. Check.

      Get married. Check.

      Pop out a couple kids. Check.

      The older you get, the less important life decisions there are to make, because you’ve already checked a lot off your list. Now you can move onto unimportant decisions that don’t require as much brain power.

      Like where you are going to hide the chocolate candy in the kitchen so your spouse won’t find it.

      Fierce Friendships. When you’re young, unemployed, single, and childless (hello: college days!), it’s easy to have a million friends because having a million friends is convenient.

      You have tons of friends in the dorms because you live in the dorms and see those people ten times a day.

      It’s convenient.

      You have friends in class who you study with three times a week.

      It’s convenient.

      Sorority sisters who you routinely see while dining at the house and at fraternity grab-a-dates.

      It’s convenient.

      However, when you’re older, your friendships strengthen because you only have a weelittlebit of time to devote to certain number of people because you’re also juggling your family and cultivating your personal passions. You maintain friends that are deeply valuable because you don’t have time for the crappers. You are dang picky about how you spend your precious time.

      And, in turn, those are some of the deepest lifelong friendships you’ll ever know.

      You Own the 9:00 p.m. Bedtime. When I was younger, New Year’s Eve was planned a month in advance. The event had to contain three things: friends, champagne, and a sequined getup.

      Now, I want to spend New Years’ Eve on the couch, in my pajamas, and I’m the fuddy-duddy who gets miffed when the neighbors set off fireworks, because they spook my dog,  Goshdarnit.

      I don’t care about Times Square, watching a glittery ball drop, or having a perfect kiss at midnight.

      On an average evening when I was young, I was still blowdrying my hair, applying makeup, or “pre-gaming” at 9:00 p.m. Now, I am washing my face, brushing my teeth, popping in my retainer, and getting ready to hit the sack.

      It’s glorious.

      Comfort over Fashion. Getting older’s given me a reason to cash in my stilettos for flats.

      Who am I kidding? I never wore stilettos.

      But if I did…

      Yeah, looking nice is nice. But I’m not going to get dolled up just to go to the grocery store when I only need to pick up one item.

      Staying seated at Sporting Events and Concerts. And honoring my obnoxiousness when I ask the person in front of me to sit down because (s)he is blocking my view.

      Having Your Own Money. There’s something incredibly freeing about buying something with your own money that you earned through your own education and your own hard work.

      There’s also something incredibly freeing about wisely choosing not to buy something you would otherwise like to have, but you know it’s a stupid way to spend your own money that you earned through your own education and your own hard work.

      A wise woman once said: “The shoes on my feet, I’ve bought it, The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it, The rock I’m rocking’, ‘Cause I depend on me…”

      Word.

      Getting Taken More Seriously. For the most part.

      Procreating. While parenting has its challenges, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

      Having your kids tell you they love you beats the cashier at the DMV handing over the plastic driver’s license to your 16 year-old self.

      Watching your kids love and protect each other beats playing flip cup at football tailgate parties of your youth.

      Watching your kids do the right thing in a difficult situation beats college spring break in the Bahamas with twenty of your close friends.

      Kids beat everything.

      Getting older is the bomb- 9 reasons | The Champagne Supernova http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2016/01/getting-older-best/

      9 Best Things About Getting Older | The Champagne Supernova

      Putting Life Lessons into Action. It took me nearly thirty years to learn to keep my (big) mouth closed in certain situations, but at least I learned it.

      It took me longer than thirty years to not let fear of other people’s (meaningless) opinions prevent me from putting myself “out there” and do what I truly want to do, but at least I learned it.

      It took me nearly thirty years to make a concerted effort to focus on the big picture instead of the minutiae, but at least I learned it and have a chance to work on it.

      Being young, immature, and inexperienced gives people a license to goof up and make mistakes. Being an adult provides the opportunity to recognize the mistakes and hopefully grow from them.

      Here’s to turning 34. Here’s to major life decisions, fierce friendships, choosing comfort over fashion, staying seated at events, having your own money, getting taken more seriously, procreating, putting life decisions into action, and the marvelous 9 p.m. bedtime.

      Cheers!

       

        The Baby Blues: How to Overcome Motherhood’s Scarlet Letter


        The Baby Blues and How to Deal with Them | The Champagne Supernova http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/03/baby-blues-postpartum-depression-overcome/

        This picture of my oldest daughter was taken minutes after she was born and perfectly sums up the way I felt after both of my pregnancies. You see, for the majority of my life, I imagined that giving birth to my children would be like the opening scene of The Lion King where Rafiki the monkey triumphantly holds up baby Simba and presents him to the Pride Lands while “The Circle of Life” blares in the background.

        It was nothing like that for me. My first daughter, Arden, was a week late and, after 36 hours of labor (that included me showing up for work that day not knowing I was in active labor but wondering why my lower back was killing me) and a night of zero sleep, by the time she came, I was mentally and physically exhausted, incapable of experiencing any emotion other than than shock. “And now I’m supposed to breast feed?” My second daughter, Elle, was also a week late, and in the true spirit of an impatient diva who needed to plan everything, I insisted on an induction. Be careful what you wish for. Because my epidural could not keep up with the Pitocin, I felt every last bit of childbirth. I screamed and begged for more drugs, and two more epidurals later, nothing dulled the pain. Before I knew it, I was 10 centimeters dilated and needed to start pushing.

        Oh you can feel that? Too bad. You have to PUSH.

        I’m pretty sure everyone who was working on the delivery floor at the hospital that day is treating for some time of PTSD for the out-of-body-lunatic experience that they witnessed. I’m sorry. Really sorry. When Elle arrived only a few hours after I was admitted, I was mentally and physically in shock, just like I felt after my first pregnancy.

        While both of my pregnancies were completely different, something remained constant: one week after delivery, The Gremlins arrived. The Gremlins are my name for the surge of hormones that came after childbirth when my body was trying to get back to its pre-pregnancy self. As I’m already an emotional person without being pregnant, The Gremlins made my life a nightmare for a couple weeks after delivery. They kept me awake at night. They caused hot flashes resulting in a drenched bed. I could have literally wrung my clothing. They caused my hair to fall out. They made me hate my husband. They caused me to resent my then two-year old. Worst of all? The Gremlins caused me to feel like a terrible mom and person.

        What’s wrong with me? Why didn’t I have the Lion King moment? Why is changing a diaper in the middle of the night (while I’m not sleeping anyway) a chore instead of a privilege? Why am I not singing ‘Kumbaya My Lord’ while shedding tears of joy at the thought of the life that I created? 

        These feelings can be crippling, but are common. Studies from Mental Health America show that up to 80% of new mothers experience the baby blues, with 10% to 20% of them rising to the level of postpartum depression.

        I think The Gremlins are magnified by all the “mom shaming” that goes on these days. If women feel ashamed that they aren’t breastfeeding, putting their kids in cloth diapers, and giving them organic foods that are grown in a backyard garden, then they surely aren’t going to admit when they aren’t feeling good about their kids or about themselves. The Gremlins have become the proverbial Scarlet Letter that nobody wants to talk about.

        It is critical that we not be ashamed to talk about The Gremlins and to reach out to experts and our inner circles for the resources on how to overcome them.

        The Baby Blues and How to Deal with Them | The Champagne Supernova http://thechampagnesupernova.com/2015/03/baby-blues-postpartum-depression-overcome

        Me and Arden days after her birth in 2012.

        Therapist, Ann Witt, has experience providing services to women who are coping with The Gremlins, both before and after delivery. She has developed a C.A.L.M. approach to helping women to defeat The Gremlins:

        C= Cultivate Collaborative Caregiving

        Open up 30% to 40% more time in your schedule by creatively working within your budget and timeline to identify people who can help, both before and after the pregnancy. What commitments can you delegate or eliminate as you re-prioritize? What can you simplify in preparation for the 24/7 demands that will soon become a reality? The goal is to slowly create a greater sense of balance by doing less with more; more nurturing support, more guidance, and more mentoring!

        Knowing that my stress triggers would become stronger when I returned to work after having Elle, I hired a Mother’s Helper to assist with household chores. The impact has been tremendous, and it’s worth the extra expense. Read about her here.

        A= Achieve Accelerated Awareness

        Sometimes we don’t really know what we need in order to feel content. Awareness is the key to identifying your needs and wants, to include how much sleep you need, what triggers your stress, and how you can best manage it. Remember, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it. Knowing when your shoulds are terrorizing you is critical. For instance, are you comparing yourself to a friend whose pregnancy seems much easier than yours, or who seems to cope much better than you? Do you feel like you won’t be perceived as a Superior Mommy-to-Be unless you do this or that?

        This is where self-awareness and compassionate self-observance is critical to growing and developing along with your baby, in a way that invites peace into your life. Research shows that people who practice mindful awareness and stillness throughout their pregnancy are able to better manage stress, fluctuating moods, and the pain and discomfort of childbirth. To help with self-awareness, find a coach who can introduce holistic ways to practice it.

        L= Leverage Lessons Learned

        It’s critical to apply best practices and benefit from others’ lessons learned. There are a million different websites and available resources, but which ones provide information you can actually trust and put to good use? Below are some sites that offer tons of mindful birthing resources:

        Mindful Birthing

        Gina Hassan, Ph.D.

        Osher Center for Integrative Medicine

        BayCare Obstetrics

        Ann has graciously volunteered to donate a copy of Nancy Bardacke’s book, Mindful Birthing: Training the Mind, Body, and Heart for Childbirth and Beyond to three randomly-chosen individuals who comment on this blog post by April 30, 2015.

        M: Mindfully Manage Motherhood

        Aside from the fact that you will nurture and grow a beautiful person inside of you for months and then withstand hours of labor and delivery, the expectation is that you can and will seamlessly transition into your 24/7 role as a new mother! How have you conditioned yourself to go the distance now and after the pregnancy? Making healthy, mindfulness-based practices a priority in your life will serve you well when you have to rely on your “reserves” to get through the intensity of the first days and weeks of motherhood. Building a strong internal guiding system will help you navigate motherhood with grace, resilience, and a sense that “knowing” that you already have the answers. Cheers to you, your new baby, and the magical celebration of life. And if you’re like me and the initial step into motherhood wasn’t exactly “magical,” then know that you’re not alone.

        Ann Witt, MS, LMHC, is the founder of PieWise Living in Tampa, Florida. Her coaching and counseling is premised on the knowledge that within each client lies the solution to his or her concern. Her role as a collaborative coach and therapist is to help clients identify their strengths, build strong coping and resiliency skills, and advocate for themselves in ways that help them feel empowered and fearless when addressing life’s milestones and challenges. Ann is a bilingual licensed mental health counselor, life coach, and peak performance consultant with over 30 years of experience. She integrates decades of knowledge in mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques with eclectic, evidence-based, theoretical orientations to customize solution-focused client interventions. Ann is certified in qigong, food healing, and aromatherapy, offering clients holistic alternatives. She is a published author, international keynote speaker, and expert on PTSD, anxiety disorders, and leadership peak performance. Ann is married, a mother of twins, and passionate about helping others.

        JenBlogPic

          Beautiful Skin: Beyond the Knife and the Needle


          Botox

          Turning thirty was bad. Turning thirty-three was worse. Not having college students think I was “one of them” at a restaurant at my alma mater after a recent football game was the Grand Poobah of all things awful.

          The combination of having a stressful career, spending years laying in the Florida sun after dousing myself with baby oil, and drinking five cups of coffee a day has taken a toll on my skin. I’ve resisted Botox, mainly because of an irrational fear of needles triggered by a bad vaccination experience when I was four years old. I’ve also resisted Botox because “old lady face” beats “crazy lady face” any day of the week, and a bad Botox job can be spotted a million miles away. In an effort to postpone resorting to the knife or the needle, I reached out to my long-time girlfriend, Dana Hess, who is a Physician’s Assistant at a Tampa dermatology practice. Dana and I met in college when I was assigned as her recruitment counselor when she was participating in sorority rush at the University of Florida. We’ve stayed friends ever since, and she was kind enough to give me skin advice after I had my second baby and was ready to tackle pre-pregnancy skin problems. Here’s her input on how to have gorgeous skin without breaking the bank:

          Best Drugstore Product: It’s important to have a good cleanser that removes dirt, oil, and make-up. For people with dry or sensitive skin, I recommend Cetaphil. People with normal skin can use a variety such as Neutrogena.  For oily skin, I recommend a cleanser with salicylic acid, such as Neutrogena pore refining cleanser. It is vital to wash your face (and wash it well!) before going to bed. Do not skip it. Your skin will thank you in the morning.

          Best Over-the-Counter Product: Good sunscreen! Not all sunscreen is created equal. The active ingredients I look for are zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide because they physically block the sun. The pricier sunscreens micronize these minerals so they are clear when applied, as opposed to “baby” sunscreens and the 1980s zinc oxide that is thick, white and pasty. I like LaRoche Posay sunscreen and EltaMD, the latter we carry at my office. Sunscreen should be worn daily, especially in hot climates! I know, I know, “you work in an office and don’t go outside.” Put it on regardless! Sun exposure is cumulative from birth, meaning that your skin does not forget each time you are exposed.

          Best “Splurge” Product: My favorite splurge product is from ZO, which is Dr. Obagi’s new line of products. It is called Daily Power Defense and it should be worn daily prior to sunscreen. It contains DNA repair enzymes, antioxidants, retinol, and ceramides to help repair dry, irritated skin. There are a few key reasons I am a big fan of this product. Evironmental factors such as allergans, pollutants, and sun can cause free radicals, which are small enough to get into our pores and begin to break down collagen. This product helps repair and restore skin barrier function by protecting and repairing damaged DNA. Even women with sensitive skin can use this product. I have not had one patient say their skin cannot tolerate it. You want to begin using this product in your 20s, 30s, or 40s, and it’s worth the hefty price tag.

          Best Out-of-the-Box Pointers:  When applying sunscreen, I always include my chest, if exposed, before applying the remainder on the backs of both hands. Nobody wants brown spots on the backs of their hands. I am also a huge fan of my Clarisonic. I can physically see the difference when using my Clarisonic to wash my face versus when I don’t use it. You can find them on sale frequently and there are many knock off competitors which I am sure do the job just as well. Many women also notice the first signs of aging to the delicate skin around the eyes, so I think a good eye cream can be paramount. If you have puffiness and dark circles, I like Teamine Eye Complex by Revision skincare, and if you have fine lines and crepiness, I like ZO Intense Eye Repair.

          Best Way to Achieve “Red Carpet Skin” without Needles: I am a big fan of undergoing chemical peels a couple times a year, such as after summer and mid spring. A chemical peel is great for uneven skin tone/hyperpigmentation, acne, pores, bad texture. In order to keep skin healthy, you need cell turnover and exfoliation, both of which a chemical peel can provide. You do need to pick a time where you don’t mind your skin peeling for a few days, typically the second or third day after the peel. We also have several lasers to address fine lines, deeper wrinkles, texture, scarring, pigmentation. Come and see me for a VISIA skin analysis and we can get a treatment plan that’s specific to your needs. Skin care is not “one size fits all.”

          Dana Hess is a Physician’s Assistant at South Tampa Dermatology. She lives in Tampa with her husband and two daughters. (And she’s so much fun and an awesome friend!)

          Dana

           

            Great Hair: Streamlining Your Daily Routine


            I have naturally frizzy hair. Its texture is best compared to a fresh-out-of-the-sink-Brillo-pad. I used to have the time to blow it out every day and get it colored every 8 weeks, but that ship has sailed. Enter Ellie Wambold, my hair guru. Last year, I hosted a girls’ night at my house where Ellie came and educated me and some friends on how to have our hair look great without spending a lot of time on it. That night improved my life, and I wanted to share the highlights (pun intended) of it with you!

            Ellie has been in the hair business for over a decade and has hundreds of clients. According to Ellie, “when it comes to coloring, we just don’t have the time to get our hair done every few weeks anymore.” She loves that the low-maintenance balayage, ombre, and sombre looks that were once considered “trendy” are here to stay. “Most of my clients that color this way can go 3-6 months, and sometimes a year, before needing to recolor. This saves them time and money.”

            Tips:  Wash your hair every other day or every other third day to save time. If you have oily hair, no fear: after three weeks, your glands will become accustomed to not having your hair washed daily and you will end up with shinier, healthier hair. Plus, you’ll save money on beauty products. (Dry shampoo will be really important to ensure your roots don’t look like the Exxon Valdez… more details below). Pinterest and The Beauty Department web sites are great resources for achieving new looks and usually contain tutorials for how to do your own hair.

            Products I Can’t Live Without: Dry Shampoo. It saves tons of time and does a good job of absorbing oils. (Note: I’ve tried almost every brand and find that TRESemme works the best and is the least expensive.) Another great product is a 1″ wand or curling iron because you can tame frizzy hair by smoothing the hair and curling it away from your face, even if you go to bed with wet hair and don’t want to blow it dry the next morning. I also love Bumble and Bumble “Prep” Detangler. This works well to freshen the ends of your hair on days you don’t blow dry.

            Day 1: Blow out your hair with a round brush. To do this, you will want to blow dry your hair with your hands pulling at the roots to create height and volume. When your hair is almost 100% dry, take 2-3 sections with clips and a round brush. Make sure you use the flat nozzle that came with your blow dryer so you don’t fry your hair. (See the illustration below courtesy of Lauren Conrad and The Beauty Department).

            TBDperfblowout2

            Day 2: Spray dry shampoo on your roots. Curl your hair in spiral-style curls away from your face. Wait 10 minutes after the curls have cooled. By this time, the dry shampoo has had time to suck up the oils. Now, message the dry shampoo into the roots, shake your head upside down, and voila… you have great hair! The photographs and instructions below were found on Pinterest.

            fakeblowout

            Day 3: The high bun. First, pull your hair to the top of your head in a high ponytail. Second, tease the ponytail, and lastly, slightly comb your hair out before wrapping it around your head into a messy bun and secure with bobby pins. The key is to put the bobby in with the grooves facing down. (I’ve been doing it wrong all these years and wondering why the bobby pins weren’t holding my hair in place). The photograph is courtesy of Pinterest.

            TopKnot

             

            Ellie

            Ellie Wambold is an independent stylist at Mint Hair Lounge in Tampa. Make an appointment with her by email: Ellie@hairbyellie.com.  She enjoys being a successful business woman, nature, the peacefulness of the ocean, and spending time at playgrounds with her spunky, creative three-year-old daughter.

            I think we’re all guilty of committing mortal hair sins at some point in our lives. Mine was going platinum. This lasted until around 2009, and I look back on pictures of me and wonder where on Earth my friends were to tell me how horrible it looked. It was difficult to even delineate between where my forehead ended and my hair started. See the photo below- I’m the girl whose hair matches the house behind me.

            jenplatinum

            Bad, bad, bad. What is your mortal hair sin? Also, what are some of your favorite tricks for streamlining your morning routine?

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