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Friday, March 24, 2023

Living With TMJ (Coping Strategies And Self-Care Tips)

TMJ, also called “temporomandibular disorder,” is a condition that causes pain in the jaw. For some people, it is a minor annoyance, but for others, it can have a dramatic (and negative) impact on their lives.

The purpose of this post is to explore some coping strategies and self-care tips for dealing with TMJ. With the right approach, the condition is much more manageable than you might think.

 Find Ways To Better Manage Stress

Photo by kike vega on Unsplash

Unsurprisingly, stress is one of the main triggers of TMJ disorder flare-ups because it causes muscle tension in the face and neck. As soon as you feel tense, you start clenching, making the condition more likely to develop. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to use healthy methods of dealing with stress. These could include:

  • Meditation
  • Breathing exercises
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Talking to someone

Just play around and see which techniques work best for you. You want a sense of relaxation to come over your body.

Apply Heat Or Cold

Both heat and cold are excellent for TMJ. Heat can help relax the muscles and ease the pain, while cold can reduce swelling and inflammation.

Doctors and medics suggest placing a warm compress or heating pad on the affected area for up to 15 minutes, several times a day. Heat energy will modulate the immune response, tamping down inflammation.

You can also use cold peas from the freezer wrapped in a towel for 15 minutes, as before. But avoid applying heat or cold directly to your skin because it could damage it.

Visit Your Dentist

Photo by Caroline LM on Unsplash

Going to the dentist can also help manage your TMJ. Many practitioners are pain experts and provide a high level of care. The goal is to improve the functionality of your bite so you don’t wind up with the same unpleasant sensations as before. 

Try Various Mouth Exercises

You can also try exercising your mouth gently. Exercise can help strengthen your jaw muscles and improve their range of motion. They can also reduce stiffness and pain by increasing blood circulation to the area.

Good ways to perform exercises include:

  • Opening and closing your mouth slowly as wide as you comfortably can without pain or clicking
  • Moving your lower jaw from side to side without causing discomfort
  • Moving your lower jaw forward, moving the lower teeth in front of the upper teeth (or further in front than they already are if your upper teeth fall behind them)

Try Not To Grind Or Clench Your Teeth

Grinding and clenching your teeth can lead to worsening TMJ symptoms. Therefore, it's important to avoid this habit as much as possible.

Ask your dentist for a mouthguard at night to protect your teeth. These help spread the force more evenly, reducing the tension on the surrounding bones and joints, and protecting the teeth.

In summary, while TMJ can be challenging, there are many coping strategies and self-care tips that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Try them and see which works for you.


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Power Up: Maximizing Productivity Through Adjustments

When running a business, there are many things to consider, such as what products or services to offer, marketing and sales, customer service, etc. And, as any business owner knows, juggling all of those balls while remaining productive is difficult. That is why it is critical to set aside time each day (or week) to recharge and optimize your productivity—going over a few changes you can make to your workflow to increase productivity in this blog entry.

1) Take Breaks:

Taking regular breaks can have a positive effect on productivity. When you're feeling overwhelmed or overworked, taking a few minutes away from your tasks can help clear your mind and refocus your energy for more effective work. In addition to helping with mental clarity, physical breaks such as going for a walk or doing some stretching can improve physical health and relaxation.

Furthermore, using this time to get up from your desk and move around can also boost creativity and productivity by allowing new ideas to form in your mind. Taking breaks gives you the opportunity to step back, recharge, and think so that you can make better decisions when it comes to tackling tasks.

2) Minimize Distractions:

Distractions can be one of the biggest enemies of productivity, so it is important to limit them as much as possible. This means turning off notifications on all your devices, closing down programs and internet browsers you don't need open, and avoiding multitasking. When you're working on a task, focus solely on it until it is finished before moving on to something else.

Avoid time-consuming activities like scrolling through social networking site feeds during working hours. Should you have a loud noise background, invest in noise-canceling headphones. Prioritize tasks and the most important ones first. Making lists is a way to stay coordinated and focus on ensuring everything is noticed.

3) Prioritize Self-Care:

Personality is an essential element of wanting to stay productive that should be noticed. Allowing yourself some downtime can aid in stress relief and provide a mental break from your daily routine. Your health will contribute to preserving your activity levels, allowing you to complete tasks more effectively.

Time for yourself and your family is just as important; your work should never become an excuse to avoid spending quality time together. Making leisure activities a part of your routine will allow you to take a break from work and return feeling refreshed and ready to tackle new challenges.

Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

4) Correct Office Space:

Keep an ergonomic design, good lighting, and storage of goods in your office space for all of your documents and files. To increase your working flexibility, invest in items such as a standing desk or a monitor arm. A well-organized and comfortable workspace can reduce frustration while increasing focus and productivity.

To summarize, wealth creation is critical to running a profitable business. Regular breaks, minimizing distractions, prioritizing self-care, and optimizing your office space are all great ways to boost productivity. These changes can help you become more productive, allowing you to succeed professionally and personally.


Build A Hair Care Routine With These 6 Tips

Your hair care routine is crucial for maintaining its health and beauty. Whether your hair is curly, straight, thin, or thick, a good hair care routine can make all the difference. However, building the proper hair care routine can be daunting, especially with the many options for individuals with a particular hair type. However, this shouldn’t be the case. With the help of the following tips, you can build a hair care routine that’ll leave your locks looking beautiful and healthy.

1. Discover Your Hair Type

Determining your hair type is the first and foremost step to building the proper hair care routine. Everyone’s hair is different and requires different care. Therefore, learning your hair type should be your priority when developing a care routine.

There are four main hair types: straight, curly, wavy, and kinky. Each hair type has distinct needs and features. For instance, straight hair requires products that add volume and shine, and curly hair may need products that enhance the curls and reduce frizz. If you have dyed hair, you require products that prevent fading and dryness. You can determine your hair’s type and needs by observing its thickness, texture, porosity, and how it responds to different environments.

2. Cleanse Your Hair

Just like you cleanse your skin every day, your hair also benefits from cleansing. Cleansing removes oil, dirt, and product buildup, thus fighting hair loss. However, hair cleansing shouldn’t be done daily. How often you wash your hair depends on the hair type and how many products you use. For instance, oily hair needs more frequent cleansing than dry hair.

When choosing a cleaning shampoo, settle for one designed for your hair type and needs. Experts suggest choosing a gentle and sulfate-free shampoo, as sulfate strips hair’s natural oils, leaving it dry and damaged. Moreover, wash your hair with cold or lukewarm water to prevent damage caused by hot water.

3. Protect Your Hair From Heat Damage

When styling your hair, it’s prone to damage from heat styling tools, such as flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers. Therefore, coat the hair with heat-protectant serum or spray before styling it. Besides using heat-protectant products, it’s advisable to minimise the use of heat-styling tools. Air drying your hair is recommended as it doesn’t threaten it.

4. Nourish And Condition Your Hair

Another practical tip to incorporate into your hair care routine is nourishing and conditioning your hair. This helps detangle, seal cuticles, and moisturise your hair, making it more appealing and less prone to damage. In other words, the process helps restore moisture washed away by shampoo and removes tangles formed when cleansing your hair.

Like your shampoo, your conditioner should be formulated for your hair type and needs. For instance, if you have dry hair, choose a conditioner with moisturising ingredients, such as coconut oil or shea butter, to provide extra hydration. When applying the conditioner, focus on the ends of your hair. Avoid conditioning your hair roots unless the hair is extremely dry. Focusing on the roots results in faster oil buildup on your scalp. After applying the conditioner, let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with cold water.

5. Consider Using Leave-In Conditioners Or Hair Oil

In addition to frequent nourishing and conditioning, using leave-in conditioners or hair oils significantly helps keep your hair healthy and moisturised. These products help detangle your hair, add shine, and reduce frizz. They’re recommended for people with dry hair or those who style and dye their hair regularly. When choosing a leave-in conditioner or hair oil, settle for a lightweight one that won’t weigh down your hair.

These products are best applied on wet hair, focusing on the strands and ends. Avoid applying the products to your roots to maintain a clean, oil-free scalp.

6. Incorporate Treatment

In addition to regular cleansing and conditioning, hair treatment also helps to nourish and hydrate your hair. You can incorporate different hair treatments in your hair care routine, including a mask, oil, or scalp treatment.

Mask treatment involves applying a honey-infused hair mask on your hair from mid-length to the ends. Then let it sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing it with cold water. For maximum nourishment, repeat the process but leave the mask on overnight before thoroughly rinsing it in the morning. Repeat the process twice a week for optimal results.

Scalp treatment entails applying small amounts of honey-infused scalp treatment on the scalp from the hairline to the crown. Then rub the oil with your fingertips to evenly distribute it and allow the ingredients to be absorbed. Leave it overnight and wash it in the morning. Repeat the process twice a week, then reduce it to once a week when scalp issues subside.

Oil treatment involves dividing your hair into two sections and applying a full syringe of honey-infused hair oil to each area. Then braid your hair and let the oil absorb overnight before rinsing your hair lightly.

The Takeaway

Building a perfect hair care routine can be challenging, as everyone’s hair is unique and has different needs. However, the tips outlined in this article will help make your hair appear beautiful and healthy. You can also consult a hair specialist for specific advice and products suitable for your hair type and needs.


Unlocking Your Business Potential: Master The Art of Level Up

You must be ready to go above and beyond to complete a task when beginning or growing a small business. It entails planning strategically and moving forward with your goals by taking concrete action. Assisting you to reach your highest potential, putting your business precisely on the map and out there where you need to be.

1) Identify Your Goals:

Making goals is essential before you can realize the full potential of your business. Take into account your company's current state as well as your short- and long-term objectives. Consider your desired destination, the speed with which you want to arrive, and any potential roadblocks that may appear along the way. To track your progress toward your goals, make sure each one is measurable and actionable.

2) Assess Your Current Situation:

Before moving forward, the most helpful aspect of your business is probably assessing where it is now. Consider both your accomplishments and your areas for improvement. Examine your objectives, progress, and desired outcomes. Regard your resources and how you can put them to use to help you achieve your objectives. Moving forward and achieving your goals will be easier if you are fully aware of your current situation.

3) Research Strategies & Tools:

Explore the various currently offered techniques and resources as a small business to achieve the goals you've set. This entails researching what competitors in the same industry are doing, understanding how various technologies can help in completing tasks more rapidly and effectively, and staying up to date on market trends.Reading success stories from other businesses and entrepreneurs that have used this way of thinking and achieving their goals can also be quite beneficial in learning what works best. Companies can realize their maximum potential with these tactics and resources at their disposal.

 Photo by fauxels from Pexels

4) Take Action:

Once you have identified your goals, assessed your current situation, and researched the strategies and tools to help you reach them, it's time to take action. Put a plan in place with achievable milestones that will help you progress, for instance, advertising or using branding using professionals; Dan Rascal may be a good choice. Be prepared to adjust as needed along the way but also stay focused on reaching your desired end result. With dedication and hard work, the Level Up tactic can be used to great success for small businesses.

5) Reflect And Repeat:

Once you've achieved your goals, take some time to reflect on what worked for you and what didn't. This will help you identify any areas that need improvement and focus on these when setting new objectives. Additionally, it can be beneficial to repeat this cycle of identifying goals, assessing the current situation, researching strategies and tools, taking action, and reflecting as needed in order to level up your business continually. With this approach, small businesses may unlock their potential and reach success.

Considering all these pointers and following them, planning strategically, analyzing current situations with goals in mind, researching effective strategies and tools to use along the way, executing plans with dedication and hard work, and reflecting upon achievements will allow your business to level up and make progress with success. With this approach, businesses can unlock their potential and reach greater heights.


Friday, March 17, 2023

5 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Step Up Their Game

With the rise of the digital age, entrepreneurs have more opportunities than ever to become successful. It’s no longer a matter of having the right connections or being in the right place at the right time; it’s about having the skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the competition. But how can entrepreneurs step up their game? Here are five ways to become more successful and maximize your potential.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels


Networking is a key tool for entrepreneurs. It’s important to build relationships with people in your industry and those outside of it who you can learn from and get advice from. This includes attending networking events, joining LinkedIn groups, and meeting with potential mentors or partners. Networking will help you stay up to date on the latest trends in your industry, as well as give you access to resources and contacts that could help you with your business.

Take Risks:

Taking risks is an essential part of success for entrepreneurs. Taking chances can pay off when it comes to launching a new product, entering a new market, or expanding into different territories. However, it’s important to be smart about the risks you take and do your research. Before taking risks, evaluate the potential outcomes and determine if it’s worth taking a chance. Risk-taking is not always negative; you could reap great rewards with the right risks.

Utilize Technology:

Technology has become a major player in the success of entrepreneurs. However, those not using technology to the fullest are missing out on potential opportunities for growth. Utilizing tools such as supplier statement reconciliation, cloud computing, and other digital marketing strategies can help entrepreneurs gain an edge over their competitors. Technology can also help automate everyday tasks, saving time and money. In addition, it can help you stay organized and focused on the most important aspects of your business.

Develop Your Skills:

Having the right skills is essential for entrepreneurs. Building on your existing knowledge to stay competitive and up to date on the latest trends is key. Whether you’re starting a new business or running an existing one, investing in yourself and your skills will help you succeed. This can include taking courses, joining industry groups, attending conferences, and reading books. In addition, developing your skills will give you the tools you need to be successful.

Know Your Audience:

Entrepreneurs need to know their target audience. This includes understanding who they are, what their needs and wants are, and how to reach them. Knowing your audience will allow you to create content and products that appeal to them and increase the chances of success. It’s also important to stay up to date on the trends in your market, as this will help you stay ahead of the competition.


Entrepreneurs have more opportunities than ever before to become successful, but having the skills and knowledge to make it happen is essential. Utilizing these five strategies will help entrepreneurs maximize their potential and increase their chances of success. By following these tips, you can take your business to the next level and become a successful entrepreneur!


Thursday, March 16, 2023

8 DIY Home Projects For 2023

If you’re looking to spruce up your home in 2023, there are plenty of DIY projects that can help you transform it. Homeowners have been relying on DIY for years now and with the right tools and know-how, even beginners can take on some amazing projects.

Whether you want to change up a room or build something from scratch;

Here Are A Few Of The Top DIY Home Projects For 2023:

Photo by Roselyn Tirado on Unsplash

1. Paint Your Home:

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way toward updating the look of your home. Re-painting your walls is not only quick and easy, but also relatively inexpensive. To get the best results, use high-quality paints designed for interior use, and be sure to invest in quality brushes and rollers for application.

2. Update Kitchen Cabinets:

Refresh dated kitchen cabinets with a simple coat of paint or stain, or choose to replace older hardware with more modern pieces for an instant upgrade that will make the space feel brand new. For those looking for more significant changes, you could opt to install new cabinets altogether; however this may require a bit more effort and investment upfront.

3. Add A Backsplash:

Installing a backsplash in the kitchen or bathroom is a great way to update your space without breaking the bank. Consider using tile, stone, or even wallpaper for an added touch of style and personality.

4. Refresh Your Flooring:

 Replacing old flooring with fresh tile, wood, or laminate can instantly reinvigorate any room in the house. Be sure to get professional help if you plan on replacing carpets or hardwood floors; otherwise installing other types of flooring yourself is a great DIY project that anyone can tackle.

5. Install New Light Fixtures:

Lighting plays an integral role in setting the tone and feel of any room. Look for fixtures that complement your home’s current décor, or make a statement with an unexpected piece to really draw the eye.

6. Build A Deck:

Decks can be used for entertaining and grilling out during warmer months, making them an ideal addition to any backyard. While building a deck from scratch requires some technical know-how, it is still within the realm of possibility for many DIYers eager to take on their own projects.

7. Hang Wall Art:

Using the tools from and adding wall art is a great way to personalize any space without having to invest in expensive furniture pieces or large-scale remodels. Choose artwork that fits your style and display it prominently in rooms throughout the house; you may be surprised by how much of a difference it makes.

8. Install Window Treatments:

New window treatments (like curtains, blinds, or shades) can be a great way to update any room with minimal effort. Not only do they add privacy and style, but they also help to control the amount of sunlight coming into the home.

In Closing

These 8 DIY projects are great ways to update and improve any home for 2023. Taking on these projects yourself can save you both time and money—all it takes is a bit of commitment and dedication to get started. With the right tools and know-how, anyone can turn their home into a haven they’ll love living in!


Wednesday, March 15, 2023

StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus Review

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: I've always been curious about the brand StriVectin. They are a well known brand that promotes anti-aging skincare. They have cleansers, masks, serums, moisturizers, eye & lip care, hand & body care and NECK CARE. I've never needed any anti-aging products, until I turned 50 (I turned 51 this past February). My chest (decollete is firm and good), but the top portion of my neck (underneath my chin) is starting to let's say wilt (yes, like a flower). So ULTA Beauty had a beauty event and StriVectin's TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus was on sale (Harrods, Macys, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Target). This neck cream can run you up to $139 a jar. Nothing to sneeze at. So I decided on the 1 Fl Oz and purchased it in late January 2023. This neck cream is for your neck and decollete (chest area). What does it do? Its suppose to tighten, lift and firm the skin on your neck. Smooth the appearance of lines and wrinkles on your neck. It is also suppose to strengthen the skin barrier to prevent moisture loss and diminish the look of discoloration. StriVectin goes on to say, "This powerful cream features the breakthrough Gravitite-CF Lifting Complex™ to improve skin elasticity and provide visible lift, while smoothing the appearance of horizontal neck lines and sagging. Botanically-derived Brightening Complex helps even skin tone on the décolleté while patented NIA-114™ technology strengthens the skin barrier. The effects of gravity appear reversed for more refined, toned definition." I love the saying on their website. "Don’t Expect a Face Cream to Do a Neck Cream’s Job." I was ready for a new neck! I took a before picture in January, because with this kind of product, a picture is worth a thousand words. I wanted to see if there was any improvement. I used the product every evening (once a day - Strivectin recommends day & night). This neck cream feels SO GOOD when you apply it! It's rich & creamy. It doesn't have a bad smell at all. Your skin feels moisturized and looks luminous. I didn't use any other product on my neck and decollete area during this time period. I said to myself, this cream is going to do SOMETHING! HaHaHa Well, it's now March. The deep wrinkles on the side of my neck-shoulder area are still there. The neck area (top) underneath my chin is more wrinkly. HaHaHa If you read the customer reviews on ULTA's website, they go from This Stuff Is Amazing to I Will Never Buy This Again! HaHaHa This size jar is regularly $59 and I paid only $29. I didn't see ANY improvements. If I saw a glimmer of improvement, I would purchase another jar. I'm going back to my Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base on my neck. HaHaHa I will also look into some other neck cream brands. Honestly, if there was a product out there that worked, everyone's neck would look fine after a certain age. I feel the key is to MOISTURIZE and MOISTURIZE. Also use sunscreen. I always took great care of the skin on my face, but didn't put as much into my neck until my later years. So now, I just have to work with what I have. HaHaHa So these are my results with this product, but take into account others and their results. 

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
StriVectin TL Advanced Tightening Neck Cream Plus is Not Sweet

My Results After Using A 1 Fl Oz Jar For 1 Month


REN Perfect Canvas Smooth, Prep & Plump Essence Review

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: Just say the word PLUMP and I will buy it! HaHaHa As you get older, that word is your best friend. REN Clean Skincare just came out with a NEW essence. It's called REN Perfect Canvas Smooth, Prep & Plump Essence (SpaceNK, Sephora, Harrods, Selfridges). So what does this essence do? REN states it will help strengthen your skin barrier, protect your skin against pollution and plump your skin. This essence contains postbiotic bio-ferments and potent antioxidants. As with all essences, it optimizes the absorption of the products you use on top of it. REN also goes on to say (put your science thinking cap on your head), "A bio-fermented Microbial Extract instantly plumps skin with hydration, boosts brightness and reduces the signs of redness. Bio-Fermented Hyaluronic Acid from wheat and Polyglutamic Acid from sugar cane help to reinforce the skin barrier and smooth skin texture. Marrubium Extract helps to protect against pollutants and Niacinamide helps to brighten and even skin tone." Whew! Ok. And as with all REN skincare products, this is cruelty free and vegan. I am a longtime user of REN Skincare. I swear by their Gentle Cleansing Milk Face Cleanser, Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask, Perfect Canvas Serum Primer and Invisible Pores Detox Mask. Some of their other products, not so much. For me, REN products are either SUPER WIN or LOSE. Now, I didn't read the directions for this essence when I received it. It's a liquid, right!?! You just splash it on your face after it's clean. Right!?! Well, I splashed and splashed. My face and neck became a sticky situation. HaHaHa My initial thoughts, I hate this stuff. Well, you are only suppose to put 3 drops (I would use 1-2 personally) into your hands and gently pat onto your face and neck. Boy what a difference that made. It felt really good going into the skin. Keep in mind, this essence is a liquid but has a heavier consistency than most essences. Now, that is where the magic stopped for me. I saw a little plumping, but not a lot (or at least what I was expecting). My skin felt soft, there was a little plumping but that was about it. I think this essence will work great for maybe 20-30 year olds. But if you're 40+ and need serious plumping (like moi), let me suggest Fresh Beauty's Kombucha Antioxidant Facial Treatment Essence. You can splash it on MANY TIMES, SEVERAL TIMES and it will not be sticky or tacky. It plumps up the skin (long-term). With this REN essence, my skin plumped up a little and then by afternoon the plumpness was gone. With my Fresh Kombucha Essence, my skin looks plump all day and night. The quality of the Fresh Kombucha is so much better. I've been using it now for four (4) years. I haven't found anything better. Don't get the Kombucha Cleansing Treatment (that's an entirely different story), but get the Kombucha Treatment Essence (Nordstrom, SpaceNK, Harrods). So that's my two cents! 

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
REN Perfect Canvas Smooth, Prep & Plump Essence is Bittersweet


Merit Beauty | Flush Balm Cheek Color in Terracotta and Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick in Tiger | Review and Swatches

Disclosure:This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post.

Not Sponsored: Clean Beauty. Minimalist Beauty. I've been wanting to try makeup brand Merit Beauty for awhile. Their slogan is "impossible to mess up". That sounds good to me! Merit Beauty offers a holistic approach to beauty. To give you some background, all of their products are EU and Clean at Sephora compliant. They only use "good" ingredients and have eliminated "bad" ones. Their products are vegan, cruelty free and certified by Leaping Bunny. 

I purchased their Flush Balm Cream Blush in Terracotta (warm creme). Merit Beauty describes this blush as blendable, buildable, lightweight, multi-use and with a satin finish. The formula for this blush has Vitamin E in it to condition your skin and it is formulated without acne-triggering ingredients. Let me share my honest thoughts with you. I wish this blush had different packaging. You either have to apply it with your fingers, directly on your cheeks (skin) or use some form of applicator. Sanitary wise, I wouldn't have gone with this packaging. The color of the blush is beautiful, but it applies lighter than it looks. Take that into consideration when choosing one of their blushes. It may look dark in the packaging, but it applies lightly. For this particular shade (Terracotta), Merit states it is for light to medium skin tones. So this particular color, will not work for anyone with a dark hue. But no need to worry, because Merit has darker shades to choose from in their blush collection. The next issue I have with this blush is shine! I have super dry skin. Super dry! When you apply this blush it has a shine, glow to it. Look at the last picture below of my cheeks. Do you see the shine? glow? I can get away with it because my skin is so dry, but for someone that has oily, combination, or even normal skin, this may be an issue. If you wear this blush to a daytime event or you're out in the sun, you may look a little SHINY. Also, if you have any type of acne or scar on your cheeks, this blush may make it more noticeable. So those things are factors to consider. Merit states that the color of their blushes are buildable. Remember, they apply lightly. The color you see on my cheeks took several applications (4-5 applications). This blush can also be used on the lips. It felt good when I applied it to my lips (vitamin e), but this color blush did not look good on my lips (too light, but one of the darker colors would probably work better for me). This blush worked for me, but take into account your skin condition and factors. Some other blush options that I can suggest are, Glossier Cloud Paint and Nudestix Nudies

I also purchased Merit Beauty's Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick in Tiger (brick red). Merit describes this lipstick as moisturizing, lightweight, buildable and with a satin finish. This lipstick contains, plant derived squalane and sunflower seed oil (moisture), papain enzyme (soothe lips), stabilized vitamin C (diffuse the appearance of fine lines). I love this lipstick! Merit describes it as a brick red. It definitely pulls as a rich brown. The color payoff is great. In my picture below, I applied two layers of this lipstick. It feels great to the lips, applies evenly and gives off a healthy shine. I will definitely purchase more of their lipsticks. If you're looking for more of a matte lipstick, then this wouldn't work for you. But I will say, this lipstick is not overly shiny, not greasy and not oily feeling or looking. I really like it.

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
Merit Beauty Flush Balm Cheek Color is Sweet (not for oily, combination skin types)
 Merit Beauty Signature Lip Lightweight Lipstick is Supersweet

Merit Beauty Flush Balm Cheek Color in Terracotta

Merit Beauty Signature Lip in Tiger

The Look


How To Reduce Inflammation With Food

When something in the body hurts, it is usually accompanied by swelling, and the swelling - which is designed to protect the area - can cause further pain. Sometimes the pain itself that you feel is just from inflammation. Most chronic pain diseases have a lot of inflammation in their list of symptoms too. 

While it would be impossible to remove all inflammation just with food and supplements, it is possible to reduce it. Before you add anything to your diet, it is a good idea to speak to your doctors and make sure there are no contraindications.

Photo by Joyce McCown on Unsplash


For those who love food with a fresh zing, this should be good news. Ginger can help to reduce some of the inflammation specifically associated with migraines and osteoarthritis too. Ginger is often recommended for people who have colds and are generally feeling rundown because it can help with overall immunity too.


Many studies have shown there to be a link between CBD and a reduction in inflammation for some of these conditions: Multiple sclerosis, IBD, and arthritis. While CBD is hailed as a doer of all things, and there are millions of people using it to reduce their pain (topically and through consumption), more research is being done all the time. Look for high-quality CBD and a good mix of products like on the Redeem website.


If you have heard of turmeric being great for inflammation is the curcumin compound that is found in turmeric that does the heavy lifting. Curcumin inhibits the inflammation-promoting enzymes in the body, as well as reduces oxidative stress (which can contribute to tissue damage and inflammation).

And in addition to all of that, it helps to regulate the activity of immune cells like macrophages, B cells, and T cells - and that can help reduce the inflammatory immune response in the immune system.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are often spoken about in conjunction with the brain. But actually, it serves a wide range of purposes, and millions of us have a deficit. Omega-3 fatty acids are great for reducing inflammation, and it has been suggested that they can reduce the potential for arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease too.

And one of the big things about omega-3 fatty acids is that they can help to reduce joint pain - so perfect for keeping joints supple and healthy, with reduced inflammation. Keep in mind that this is one thing that the body cannot naturally produce.

Vitamin D

We should all be getting outside enough to get at least ten minutes of sunshine per day - although more is ideal. Vitamin D has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory on the body. Vitamin D supplements are usually recommended to everyone because it plays such a vital role in our bodies, but we don’t usually get enough of them.

Incorporating a couple of these into your everyday foods, such as teas or smoothies, can have a positive impact. It can also be a good idea to look at other ways that you can reduce the tension in your muscles and lower stress: Banish Those Muscle Aches With Simple Solutions | A Very Sweet Blog.


Saturday, March 11, 2023

A Guide To Installing Cork Flooring On Various Substrates & Preparation Tips

Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

More and more homeowners are turning to natural materials when installing flooring and cork is perhaps the most popular choice for the eco-friendly property owner. Easy to install, cork comes in tiles or planks and the secret to a smooth project completion lies in the substrate preparation, which you can have an in-depth look at in this short article. 

Let The Cork Acclimatise

The cork tile packs should be opened to expose them to the atmosphere and they should be placed in the room to be installed for about 72 hours, in order to acclimatise to the temperature and humidity. The last thing you need is for the cork to shrink or expand after installation, which can happen if you don’t let the cork acclimatise.

Always buy from a reputable store to ensure you get quality cork tiles. If, for example, you are looking for cork floor Melbourne supplier, a search with the help of Google is all it takes to spot an established store near your preferred location.

Leading suppliers have floor showrooms and they have experts who can advise you on every aspect of the installation process.

Create A Smooth & Even Substrate

Prior to installing the plywood backing, make sure that the substrate is level with no bumps or hollows, as these might show up when the floor is installed. You can use a timber filler to smooth out hollows and a scraper to remove old flooring that is raised above the floor. Once set, you can sand down the filler until the finish is flat and smooth.

Remove The Skirting Boards

You should do this when removing the existing flooring and when you install the cork tiles (or planks), leave one-fourth inches of space around the perimeter, in case of expansion. Once the flooring is installed, you can replace the skirting boards to leave a professional finish.

Plywood Backing

If your substrate is concrete or screed, you need to fix 1/4 inch plywood sheeting as backing for the cork and when this is finished, there should be a flat, even surface with no bumps or hollows. Other substrates might require a different backing; you are not advised to install cork tiles directly onto a concrete floor.

Installing The Cork Tiles/Planks

Once the entire plywood floor is smooth, sweep the floor thoroughly, prepare the adhesive and cover a few square metres of the floor, and start installing the tiles from a corner of the longest wall. If you are installing planks, make sure you use different lengths on each row, as this helps knit the floor together, rather like the bricks on a wall. If you are installing cork planks, they will be tongue and grooved and you can use a rubber mallet to gently knock them into place.

Coating The Floor With A Sealant

Most cork floor manufacturers recommend using polyurethane to seal the floor, probably at least two coats and when that is dry, the floor is ready for use. Keep the doors and windows open during the drying process, which aids in the drying out process. You should not need to sand down new cork tiles, as they come pre-sanded and sometimes are also coated with sealant.

If this is the first time you are installing cork flooring, there are lots of YouTube videos that show each step of the preparation and installation, which will help you with the project.

Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

When you are ready to buy the cork tiles/planks, take a drive to your local floor showroom, where you will find a wide range of top-quality cork flooring products, and you can choose your favourite. The staff are very knowledgeable and can answer any questions that you might have regarding your project. 


Thursday, March 9, 2023

How To Reduce Water Usage To Save Money

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Energy price increases are one thing. But you can also reduce water usage to save money on your annual bills. Here are some tips to get you started on your non-waste water journey.

Don't Use Hose Pipes

A lot of water is used by hoses. For instance, if you use a hose to wash your car, you can waste a lot of water. Use a sponge and a bucket of soapy water to clean your car instead. If you use a hose to wash your car, it can take up to 150 gallons of water, but if you use a bucket, it can take as little as 10 gallons. You can also catch natural water with rainwater tanks. Then, you can use this water to clean your yard, wash your dishes, and do other things to save a lot of money.

Fix Any Leaks Immediately

Leaks waste a lot of water, so fixing them as soon as possible is important. Look for signs of leaks, like water spots on walls or ceilings, dripping faucets, or toilets that run. Try to figure out where the leak is coming from once you've found it. If it's a faucet, you may need to replace the washer or the valve. If it's a toilet, you may need to replace the flapper valve or the whole fill valve assembly. But make sure to turn off the water supply before you try to fix a leak.

Reduce Water Usage with Low-Flow Devices

Your bills depend on how much water goes through your systems. Low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets can help cut down on water use without affecting how well they work. Low-flow fixtures are made to use less water than regular fixtures, but they still have enough pressure and flow. For instance, low-flow showerheads can save up to 50% of the water, but still provide enough pressure for a great shower when you’re getting soapy in the morning.

Efficiently Use A Dishwasher

No one likes to do the dishes. Also, dishwashers are very useful. But they have a bad name now. But if you use them well, they can save you more money than using the sink. Before you put your dishes in the dishwasher, scrape any leftover food into the trash or compost bin. And don't run the dishwasher until it's full. This will make it easier to run fewer cycles and use less water overall. Also, if your device has an "Eco" mode, use that instead to reduce water.

Don't Leave Taps Running

Running taps is a sure way to get your bills to go up. For example, you waste a lot of water when you leave the tap running while you brush your teeth. Turn off the faucet and only turn it back on to rinse. You can also wet your toothbrush before putting toothpaste on it, then turn off the water while you brush. Teach your kids to turn off the water when they're done brushing their teeth. This will help them start off with good habits and teach them not to waste resources.


There are numerous ways you can reduce water usage to save money. Some examples include using buckets instead of hoses, installing low-flow devices, and turning off taps when not in use.


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Elaina Badro Makeup Brushes Review

Disclosure: I was sent a set of Elaina Badro's Makeup Brushes for review. All opinions in this blog post are 100% my own and honest.

PR Sample: I was asked if I would like to try a set of makeup brushes by Elaina Badro. Before deciding, I glanced at the pictures that were sent to me in the PR email. Her makeup brushes were instantly and visually, aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. I love black and silver tone makeup brushes. There's just something about them, that always look so professional, polished and neat. So I informed her PR team to submit a request to receive a set. 

My next question (and you may have the same question) was, who is Elaina Badro? I looked up her profile on LinkedIn. She's a California girl! She was a makeup artist at MAC Cosmetics. Now, looking at her makeup brushes, it all makes sense to me (her brushes give off a MAC vibe, but to me they are better ... I will get to that in a minute). She graduated from Long Beach State and California State University (business marketing, business management) and she also has a MBA from Pepperdine University. She is a celebrity makeup artist and has worked with both female & male celebrities. Other celebrity makeup artists use her brushes. She has been featured in various magazines. She has worked with the Grammy's, Golden Globes, TV Shows. Her makeup brushes can be found in luxury places such as the Wynn Las Vegas, Encore at Wynn Las Vegas, Naimies etc. I couldn't wait to get my set to try everything and share my opinion with you.

supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
Elaina Badro Makeup Brushes are Supersweet

Foundation Brushes

I was sent her Luxury Beauty Sponge. If you use makeup sponges, you know not all of them are created equal (they can either be too hard, dense, poorly shaped etc). I love this makeup sponge! I now love it more than that popular one everyone knows about. The bottom of it (the shape of it), really connects with all areas of the face. It has great bounce to it (not hard or dense). You can use the sides for face contouring (large areas). The point, which is not so pointy works great applying makeup in smaller areas. LOVE ... LOVE ...  LOVE the sponge. It's an excellent makeup application tool.

If you prefer applying foundation with a brush, then you should try her Foundation Brush. You can apply both cream or liquid foundation, using this Foundation Brush. The bristles are so soft and smooth. Isn't that SO IMPORTANT about makeup brushes!!! There's nothing plastic-y, prickly or hard about the bristles on her brushes. What else is great about this brush is that you can use it to apply your concealer. It works great all over the face and because its flat, excellent for the under-eye area.


Blending, Contour and So Much More Makeup Brushes

You may be asking yourself, I've applied my foundation ... How do I blend it in? That's where the Duo Fiber Brush comes in. It is one of Elaina Badro's favorite makeup brushes. She even states, ”You’ll always see me with our Duo Fiber Brush in my hand.  I’m not a ‘cake-face,’ artist - I like a thoroughly blended look.  Even if you apply too much, you can always blend it out. The functionality of this brush allows for a diffusion of color.  Applying in a circular motion offers a more air-brushed like finish.” I've included a video of her using the brush below.

Next, do you like to contour, apply blush or bronzer? You are going to LOVE this Contour Brush! I love this fluffy, angled brush!!! I love it so, that I'm going to buy at least 2 more. HaHaHa This is a great brush to have in your collection. The reason for it, is because of its effective sweeping motions when applying a product. When you're contouring or applying bronzer to your face, this brush allows you to sweep those products across your forehead, cheeks and chin. It gives you a light hand when applying blush to your cheeks. An angled brush is key when applying these types of makeup products.

Eye Makeup Brushes

When creating stunning eye looks, you need the right tools. Elaina Badro has an array of eye makeup brushes to choose from. I was sent her Blending Eye Brush, Shader Brush, Smudger Brush and Synthetic Angled Eyeliner Brush. The hairs on these brushes, even the synthetic one are super-soft to the touch. This is so important, not only for your overall face but that delicate eye area. Whether you want to create a simple or smoky eye look the brushes in her collection will help you to do so. The Blending Brush will help you blend eye shadow in the crease of your eye. The Shader Brush is ideal for applying the desired product onto the entire eyelid, accentuating the crease of the eye, highlighting the brow arch and shading the edges around the lashes. It can also be used to apply primer before applying shadow. The Smudger Brush is great at buffing the desired product into the crease of the eye. Use the Smudge Makeup Brush for precision. Line and define the eyes using this Elaina Badro® Synthetic Angled Eyeliner Brush. The angled head helps you reach over lashes and apply liner with absolute precision. 

I am so impressed with Elaina Badro's Makeup Brushes. As mentioned above, she has a new customer in me and  I plan on buying some more of her products to add to my collection. Her makeup brushes are of excellent quality, sturdy, the bristles are soft, they're lightweight so they're easy on the hands and they're beautiful to look at. I'm impressed and I'm sure you will be as well. See more tutorials on her YouTube site. I will be posting an Instagram reel showcasing these beautiful makeup brushes by this weekend.


Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Birthday Freebies And Discounts

Not Sponsored: Do you take advantage of birthday freebies and discounts? I might have taken advantage of one or two in the past, but that's about it. I just never invested the time or energy into doing so. So, I decided this year to take advantage of some more. Who doesn't like really good freebies and discounts!?! I think I'm going to try different ones every year (I already have a list for next year). Let me share with you, the ones I used this year. You should do the same.

Krispy Kreme

Through their app, Krispy Kreme will give you a dozen of doughnuts for FREE! I think that's both a generous and wonderful perk. Yay Krispy Kreme! I love hot doughnuts! They give you about a month to redeem this offer.

 AMC Movie Theatres

If you have an AMC Stubs account, AMC Theatres will give you a FREE Large Popcorn and Free Large Fountain Drink. I'm a popcorn fanatic. They give you until the end of your birthday month to redeem this offer.


Eating good in the neighborhood!  For your birthday (if you download the app), Applebees will give you a FREE DESSERT (I know, not pictured here). Since it was my first time downloading the app, I received a free appetizer. I used that perk first, because my free birthday dessert doesn't expire until the end of March. These Neighborhood Beef Nachos are really delicious!


If you have the McDonald's App, you have about a month to redeem for a FREE BAKERY ITEM of your choice (blueberry muffin, cinnamon roll or apple fritter).

ULTA Beauty

Have an ULTA Beauty account!?! If you're a MEMBER, you get 2x points your entire birthday month (MUST activate the points) and a free gift. If you're PLATINUM or DIAMOND, you get 2x points your entire birthday month (MUST activate the points), a free gift and a $10 Off Coupon. I placed about three orders during the month of February and scored points worth about $70 off. My free gift was the Lancome Idole Mascara. So shop during your birthday month!


Sephora lets you pick a FREE birthday gift (selection of products). This year, you could opt to pick bonus points instead. So that is what I did. I scored +250 points, added to my account. 


I buy a lot of basics from Talbots. By being a cardholder, they give me 15% off my purchase. You're probably saying, that's not a lot. But what's great about this, is that I pair this discount atop the discounts that they offer (daily discounts). My birthday is in February, so they usually discount heavily between January-March. So I usually wait until my birthday month to buy things. So try to pair other discounts when the store discounts items.

Williams Sonoma and Pottery Barn

I'm a cardholder, so one of the perks is that they give me $25 to spend for each card (total of $50). It's nice because you can pair the amounts together and spend them in one place.  My cookware had gone kaput. Well, they heavily discounted a set that I liked, PLUS I was able to take $50 off the price. I'm really enjoying using my new pots and pans.

View all of these in action on my Instagram reel.

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