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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Health Checks We Should All Be Having

When you are a child, your parents take you to the doctors and the dentist to make sure that you have all of the necessary health checks. You have the school nurse to keep an eye on you, and you do not have to think about anything to do with your health - someone else is always watching out for you. However, as you grow up, it becomes your responsibility, and that can be a pretty scary thing, especially as we age, we are more prone to specific health conditions.

To help you stay healthy as you get older, we have put together a list of some of the health checks you should regularly be having. You can protect your health as much as possible, but we are often found in situations that are beyond control. As well as attending regular medical check ups, you should also consider what your plan of action might be if you became injured unexpectedly. Having a reputable personal injury attorney on hand will always serve you well in the event of an incident. Remember to be as cautious and careful as possible so you don’t end up in any avoidable situations. As with all things, prevention is better than cure, so by making sure you go for all these when they are due, you can hopefully pick up on any problems before they become even more significant, and perhaps untreatable.

Diabetes is on the rise, with more and more cases of type one and type diabetes being diagnosed each year. Both can be incredibly dangerous - and fatal - if left untreated, so having regular checks to make sure you have not got the condition is essential. Type one diabetes is not linked to diet or lifestyle, and while it can develop at any age, it is most commonly picked up before the age of 40. It is an autoimmune condition and is where the pancreas does not produce any insulin.  Type two diabetes is the form you are most likely to read about in the media as it can be (but not always) linked to diet and lifestyle. This where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or the body's cells does not react to insulin. It is more commonly found in those who are overweight and while more common in older people, is being diagnosed earlier and earlier. If you are in one of the 'at-risk' categories for diabetes or see any symptoms that are linked to it (increased thirst, frequent urination, tiredness being some of the main ones), it is important to get checked.

Having high cholesterol levels in your blood can put you at an increased risk of heart disease and strokes, two of the leading causes of death in the western world. Your body creates all the cholesterol that it needs, so adding even more with your diet can send your levels too high. As you get older, it is crucial to have it monitored, more so if you are overweight, have a family history of heart issues or high cholesterol and if you have certain conditions, such as diabetes.

Blood pressure
Keeping an eye on your blood pressure is essential because if it is high, just like cholesterol, it puts you at a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes, as well as aneurysms and dementia. Blood pressure is something that can be easily treated, so it is worth getting it checked regularly and sorting it out before it becomes a bigger issue.

Cervical screening
In the UK, women are offered cervical screening, which is more commonly known as a smear test, every three years between the ages of 25 and 64. This is to keep an eye on any changes to the cells in the neck of the cervix, which can be a sign of cervical cancer developing if not treated. While they are never the most fun things, it is important that you attend them when called for one.

Eye tests
Regular eye tests are necessary because as well as picking up any vision problems, they can also tell you about other significant health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, which could lead to sight loss. Try to get your eyes checked every two years if possible, and more often if you start to experience any problems with your vision.

Dental check-ups
Regular dental check-ups are important to maintain healthy teeth and gums. We also tend to underestimate just how much poor dental health can affect the rest of your body. For example, did you know that your wisdom teeth can be a possible cause of throat infections, and poor gum health can lead to heart problems? Brush your teeth at least twice a day and go to the dentist every six months or so.

Hearing Tests
Our hearing is one of those things that we tend to overlook until we start experiencing a problem. Often when this happens, it is too late, or at the very least much more difficult to do anything about it. An untreated hearing impairment can limit learning potential, cause social anxiety, put strains on relationships and even lead to early dementia.

Obviously, there are health check-ups and screening that, like the cervical screening, are relevant to just men or just women. Women are invited to breast checks (mammograms) between the ages of 50 and 71, and men may want to be checked for prostate cancer if they begin to show any signs or symptoms. All adults over the age of 55 are offered bowel cancer screening. Of course, you should never wait until these if you are showing any signs or symptoms of anything remotely untoward.

Your doctor may also recommend other tests based on your family history, your medical history or current symptoms. Depending on the results of those tests, your doctor may then want to provide a course of treatment, investigate further or refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and treatment.

What You’ll Need to Run a Successful Business

They say that it’s supremely difficult to build a successful company, and that it is true -- success in the business world does not come easily. However, it’s not as if the things that are required for developing a successful venture are completely unknown. There have been a lot of successful businesses in history, and they’ve more or less shared the same traits, even though what they were offering may have been very different. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the essentials that you’ll need to make your company a success.

Passion and Enthusiasm
There’s only so far that you’ll be able to get without passion and enthusiasm; it will be the cornerstone of any success that comes your way. Some people start a business just because they want to a business owner, but that alone won’t be of much help, and neither will the pursuit of money. Whatever type of business you want to build, it’s imperative that you’re truly interested in the topic. There will be a lot of low moments when you’re running a business, and ultimately, it’ll be the passion that you have that helps to drive you forward.

Time and Space
If you’re trying to build a company while also maintaining a full-time job, then it’ll be additionally important that you carve out the time and space you need in order to work well. Don’t underestimate how difficult it can be to work effectively when you don’t have a set routine, which is what regular employees have. It’ll be in your best interest to carve out a working spot in your home, or to subscribe to a coworking space: it’ll help you to get into the working frame of mind. You’ll also need a set schedule, for example, working from six until eight every day. You might not always want, but you’ll be making progress all the time.

More Knowledge
You’re going to have the drive needed to build a successful company, and you’ll have some of the skills -- but the important part here is “some of the skills.” You’re not going to know everything, and this could ultimately be your undoing, if you take steps to rectify your knowledge gaps. Fortunately, this is relatively straightforward. No matter what you need to know, you can learn it. If you’re not so sure of how to market your business, then focus on getting the skills -- this Legendary Marketer review, for instance, talks about how the program provides in-depth marketing training and resources. It’s always worthwhile investigating what skills you possess, and which you need to acquire.

Helping Hands
It’s impossible to build a successful company all on your own. It just doesn’t happen! There’ll be other people that help you along the way. They could be employees, or you might outsource some of your tasks to a third-party company. Even your friends and family will play a part in the development of your business. It’s up to you to have a willingness to accept the help.

Three Ways to Recover from a Mental Illness

If you are suffering from a mental health condition, then you’re not alone. Statistics show that around 1 in 5 adults in the United States are living with a mental illness. Mental health issues can have a serious impact on your work, personal life, and relationships and have a long term impact on your health and wellbeing.

Fortunately, it is possible to recover from mental illness and lead a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.

With this in mind, here are three ways to get help with a mental illness.

1. Get support from loved ones

Your family and friends can provide a valuable support network when you are going through a difficult stage in your life. It may be difficult to open up and tell people about your mental illness, but your loved ones should be understanding and supportive. Try to be honest with your family and friends and tell them how you are feeling. That way, they will be able to better understand your situation and behavior.

You can also seek support from online forums like These sites allow users to share their thoughts, experiences, and advice on how to deal with mental illness. They can also connect you with other people who are suffering from mental health conditions and going through a similar situation.

2. Seek professional help

If you are suffering from a mental health condition such as depression, an eating disorder, or substance abuse, then you must seek professional support. Admitting that you have a problem and need help can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that your symptoms are unlikely to improve unless you take action. A mental health professional is equipped with specialist skills, knowledge, and tools to help you overcome your issues.

There is an extensive variety of resources, clinics, and forums in place to support people suffering from mental illness. For instance, offers specialized therapy and treatment programs for people with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.

3. Look after your body

When you are suffering from a mental illness, you must take care of your body. Eat regular meals and follow a healthy diet with plenty of nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid eating junk food high in sugar and fat, as this will play havoc with your mood and make you feel worse in the long run. Instead, stick to healthy snacks like dried fruit, nuts, and popcorn. You should also remain active and try to stick to a regular exercise routine. Exercise can have a significant impact on your mental health as it releases endorphins in your brain which boosts mood and reduces feelings of stress and anxiety.

Experts at Help Guide recommend that you should workout for at least 30 minutes, five times per week to get the mental health benefits. Try to find a fun exercise that you enjoy so that you will be more motivated to stick with your exercise routine.

Diet Frustrations? It's Time To Address The Reasons Why It's Not Working For You

Are you joining the masses in making resolutions for a better, brighter, leaner and greener you this new year? Are you thinking of all the unbeatable ways in which you’ll improve every aspect of your physical and mental health? How will you ensure that this year’s lofty plans for self-improvement don’t end in confusion, frustration and ultimately abandoning your plans for self betterment? After all, it’s a well known fact that 88% of New Year's resolutions fail. When it comes to making positive lifestyle changes the starting point should always be your diet. You are what you eat, after all. If you’ve already started making radical changes to your diet and are encountering frustration when you don’t see the results you desire, you need to address the other variable…

Your body.

Here are some reasons why your diet may not be working for you...

You may have a food intolerance and not even know it
When it comes to health and fitness, we’re all looking for “one size fits all” solutions. But the truth is that our bodies are more complicated than that. We are all unique and even though a fruit or vegetable might be billed as the great new superfood that doesn’t mean that our bodies are well suited to processing it. It’s worth checking out some POTS Treatment Center reviews and booking an appointment to see if you have a food tolerance you were previously unaware of… especially if seemingly healthy foods make you feel bloated, sluggish and lethargic.

You may be the wrong blood type
Even your blood type plays a part in determining which foods you’re best predisposed to burning as energy. Ever wondered why some people swear that low fat diets are the only way to lose weight sustainably while others are convinced that fats are absolutely fine and that carbs are the food of the devil? It’s because different foods are more conducive than others to losing weight for people with different blood types.

Veganuary is a great bet for people with Type A Blood, for example, because they are well disposed to processing fruits, veggies, legumes and grains.

You’re buying low fat prepackaged foods
We’ve all been suckered by those convincingly packaged foods on the supermarket shelf with the ripped model jogging along a beach somewhere. They are uniformly emblazoned with the words LOW FAT and marketed as health foods so we assume that they’re healthy… but we’re often deceived.

When it comes to prepackaged foods, low fat invariably means high refined carbs. And you can’t get a carbohydrate that’s more refined than sugar. A look at the ingredients list may reveal not only a great deal of sugars but also all kinds of artificial colorings and preservatives… and they’re not good news no matter what your blood type.

Stick to whole foods and home cooking and you can’t go far wrong.

You’re being too hard on yourself
Finally, in your zeal to transform your diet, don’t fall into the trap of being too hard on yourself. A weekly cheat meal is a great way to give your metabolism a kickstart and also keep cravings manageable.

Go on… treat yourself!

Health Tips For Office Workers

According to the latest statistics, office work might be slowly on the way out. Indeed, it looks likely that in fifty years time, it might not be quite the phenomenon it is now, and it has already started dying out considerably in recent times. As people move to the home to work more and more, this is going to continue happening. One area of our lives which might improve as a result of that is our health, which often suffers in the office in a number of ways. For now, here are some things you can do to counteract those problems and look after your health in the office.

Avoid Straining Your Eyes
One of the first parts of the body that will experience problems for office workers is the eyes. If you are staring at a computer screen all day, you are going to find that your eyes start to strain before long, and before you know it you might have to go out and get a glasses prescription. It is important to avoid straining your eyes, as far as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to ensure that you look in the distance - out of a window is perfect - every half an hour or so, for about a minute. That allows the eyes to relax again after focusing on the screen.

Get Deskercising
There are many kinds of exercise that you can do at your desk - often known as deskercise - which are going to help to keep your body in tact, even if you put in a lot of hours at the office every day. Many of these are simple stretches and movements, and while it is not the same as normal exercise, they are important for keeping the blood flowing properly and ensuring that you are looking after your bones and joints and ligaments. Get deskercising, and see how much better you feel about it.

Take Breaks
Everyone is entitled to a break. When it is time to have yours, you should make sure that you are actually going to take it, and take it fully. That will ensure that you allow your body to relax and feel refreshed mentally when you go back, both of which are valuable when it comes to staying healthy at work. If you fail to take breaks, or you eat lunch at your desk every day, the cumulative effect on your health is going to be surprisingly large. While taking breaks, consider wearing eco friendly face masks to protect health.

Manage Stress
Stress is a killer. It’s important to remind yourself of that, because it is so easy to simply treat it as an ordinary and normal thing. It is certainly common, but it's not the kind of thing that you should allow to overtake your life. If you are getting stressed a lot at work, your body is spending a lot of time in cortisol overdrive, and that means that you are going to have a shorter life. Manage your stress by any means necessary - deep-breathing, visualization, meditation - in order to look after your health more effectively.

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Best Of A Very Sweet Blog 2019

Whenever I put together The Best Of A Very Sweet Blog, it always amazes me the number of things I accomplished during the year. I thought this post would be short & sweet. There's a lot! So lets get started ;) Enjoy!

2019 Music Concerts
I went to a lot of music concerts the beginning of this year. I was so excited to see Mariah Carey (Caution Tour). Her show was amazing and her voice is absolutely fabulous. I also got to see The Jacksons. I would always see them on television growing up, so it was great to see them in person. You can tell their work ethic is ingrained in them, because despite being older their moves are still precise. I never saw Michael Jackson in concert, so seeing them was the closest to reliving his songs. They did a great job. A really fun concert was Morris Day and The Time. Again, I never saw Prince in concert. Morris Day not only incorporated his fun music, but also Prince's as well. He's so funny and kept the audience entertained. My mom wanted to see Smokey Robinson in concert. He is simply awesome. He was part of the entire Motown era and has written songs for so many entertainers. It's truly something to be able to sing, play and write music. Not many can. I'm so glad my family (grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles) brought me up to listen to not only different types of music but also multi generational over the years. And a concert that brought tears to my eyes was Sheku Kanneh-Mason. He played Ave Maria at Harry and Meghan's Wedding. He is a GENIUS! He played a selection of songs. They were so beautiful. So glad he came to New Orleans. 2019 was filled with amazing music :)

Mariah Carey Caution Tour

The Jackson's Tour

Morris Day and The Time Concert

Smokey Robinson Concert

Sheku Kanneh-Mason

2019 Fashion Collaborations
I collaborated with some amazing fashion brands during 2019!

Soft Surroundings - Grand Opening in Metairie, Louisiana
I was invited to the grand opening of Soft Surroundings at Lakeside Mall. I'm an online and catalogue shopper. I always ordered things for my mom via Soft Surrounding's catalogue or online. So I was so excited when they invited me to their grand opening. I took my mom and she purchased several outfits. They gave us a great discount as well. It was a really fun time. Thanks Soft Surroundings for inviting us :) Plus its great economically for the State of Louisiana.

Susu Handbags
I was contacted by Susu Handbags to feature one of their clutch/crossbody bags. I've learned about so many brands through blogging. I had fun putting together an outfit to compliment the bag given to me. Thanks Susu Handbags!

Tenth Street Hats
Another brand I collaborated was with Tenth Street Hats! I love cloche style hats. So I was happy to see they had a selection of them and chose this one.  I love the neutral colors! I wear it whenever it gets cold here in New Orleans. It's a great hat and the quality of their hats are superb. Thanks Tenth Street Hats!

2019 Beauty Collaborations
I collaborated with two powerhouse beauty brands this year!

Pixi Beauty
This was my FOURTH YEAR being a Pixi Beauty Brand Ambassador. When I started, I had never tried any of their products. They were very generous and I got to share my honest thoughts with my readers. Thank You Pixi Beauty!

Murad Skincare
I first collaborated with Murad Skincare in 2015, thanks to Dale of Savvy Spice. Over the years, Murad sends me their latest and greatest to try. I've fallen in love with their AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser. Thanks Murad! Click on the link above to read all of my Murad Skincare reviews. They have really good skincare products.

2019 Food Collaborations
I've dabbled in the past, but I'm doing more with food brands. Look for more in 2020.

Green Giant Foods
I was so happy when Green Giant asked to collaborate with me. I love their frozen and canned vegetables, so it was nice to try some of their other food products. Thanks Green Giant! They even sent me a bag, pen and mini Green Giant ;)

Another brand, where I've purchased a gazillion jars of their concord grape jelly is Welch's. They sent me products TWICE this year (here and here). I love their fruit & gummi snacks. They're delicious! Thanks Welch's!

2019 Technology Collaborations
Elle Brand contacted me :) I got to try their ear phones, charger and lightning cable. I'm a tech girl and these fun accessories WORK and look chic :) Thanks Elle Brand!

2019 Beauty Brand Favorites
You guys know I love buying and trying the latest beauty products. And of course letting YOU know what's Sweet and Not Sweet. Well here are my SWEET & SUPERSWEET picks for 2019!

Fresh Beauty
Fresh Beauty was a HIT this year! I'm on my second bottle of their Black Tea Kombucha you guys. This stuff does a great job plumping my skin. It's now a staple in my skincare routine. I love their Vitamin Nectar Collection. Their Vitamin Nectar Glow Juice is superb. Their Vitamin Nectar Glow Water is also superb. Click on the links to hear my thoughts on both. Fresh makes superb lip balms. They collaborated with influencer Ingrid Nilsen, and it's the prettiest berry colored lip balm. You can read ALL of my Fresh reviews by clicking here.

REN Skincare
My skincare of choice is REN skincare. My skin loves it. It's my primary skincare. Not everything has worked and so I use other brands for that, but everytime they come out with a new product, I give it a whirl. I've fallen in love with their Perfect Canvas Primer. Their Vitamin C Radiance Perfection Serum is superb. And if you need a calming and moisturizing mask, then their Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask is for you. I have both dry, sensitive and reactive skin so these along with many of their other products has worked for me.

The Cottage Greenhouse
I've tried a lot of Indie makeup & skincare brands and I was very impressed with The Cottage Greenhouse. They are from the same brand that makes my favorite perfume. I was extremely impressed with their Grapefruit & Blood Orange Lotion, Cucumber and Carrot Body Wash, and their Orange Blossom & Honey Mask is absolutely delightful.

Too Faced Cosmetics
I showcase Too Faced every single year. But I was worried this year! It wasn't until they released their Christmas Collection that I took notice. I love their Gingerbread collection. So their Gingerbread Extra Spicy Eye Shadow Palette, Hot Buttered Rum Eye Shadow Palette and Kissable Body Sugar were WIN WINS in my book. I love the limited edition Tutti Frutti packaging of their Better Than Sex Mascara.

T3 Hair Dryer, Flat Iron, Curling Iron and Hair Ties
My hair dryer and flat iron conked out this year, so I invested in T3 products (here and here). My hair is making headway you guys. Hopefully I'll be able to talk about it in 2020. So I showcase my mom's beautiful head of hair in the meantime. I love hair ties and felt these by Cricket had the cutest artistry on the package.

2019 Home Blog Topics
Since remodeling my home, I'm enjoying showcasing and writing about such topics.
For 2019, I posted about closet organization, Google Nest Hub and minimalist bedroom.

2019 Holiday Home Decor
Also since remodeling my home, I'm enjoying decorating for the holidays!!!
I showcased my home for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas here on the blog.
Grandin Road really loved how I styled the products I purchased from them and asked to use them :)

2019 Restaurants
I plan on visiting more restaurants in 2020, but a real stand-out and fun one was the Sugar Factory in Biloxi, Mississippi. I went to the one in Vegas. So it was nice to see one closer to Louisiana ;)

Sugar Factory Biloxi, Mississippi

2019 Movies & TV (Entertainment)
All I can say is Joaquin Phoenix better win a SAG, Golden Globe and Oscar for his performance in Joker. It's hard to watch, but so brilliant. He's an absolute MASTERPIECE of an actor. As a fan of Downtown Abbey, I truly enjoyed seeing Downton Abbey The Movie. It brought back so many wonderful memories. I was a little disappointed in Game of Thrones. I just felt it went too fast in the last season. I like to savor things and the story felt rushed. But its such a brilliant series, that I had to include it. I love Documentaries and Netflix had some really good ones. I loved Marie Kondo's Does It Spark Joy?, Floyd Norman An Animated Life, Quincy, I Am Bolt, Kevyn Aucoin and Ella Brennan and Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives (who retweeted my tweet). I went through the entire plethora of Hallmark and Lifetime Christmas Movies. I'm looking forward to the new Victoria in 2020.


Downton Abbey The Movie

Game of Thrones

2019 Topics & Exhibitions
Another thing I plan on doing in 2020 is writing from my own personal experience. I enjoyed writing about Activities To Beat The Winter Blues, Nextdoor App, New Year Social Media Clean Up. I also enjoyed showcasing exhibitions around the world (even though I couldn't get to them) such as the Christian Dior Designer of Dreams, Christian Dior Pret A Portea, Musee Yves Saint Laurent, Tim Burton. So as you can see, I covered A LOT on A Very Sweet Blog this year. I'm even amazed! LOL Another year, where I learned so many things. Have a SAFE & BLESSED New Year! See you in 2020.

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