Mineral Oil Sensitivity

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Copyright : thodonal

 

Ever since I was a baby, I have had wicked reactions to mineral oil, and consequently have avoided it for the bulk of my life.  My poor mother was unable to apply Johnson’s Baby Oil on me, and had to find other options to moisturize my skin.

Whenever mineral oil is placed on any part of my skin, I experience intense itching within a couple of minutes which starts at the point of contact with the oil, then about a minute or so after that, I develop a fine, sandpaper-like, incredibly itchy rash over my entire body.  I must immediately wash off the oil, then take an antihistamine.  The rash takes hours to subside.

In case you think I am making this up, I have gone for massages and hadn’t paid attention to what oil or cream the therapist was using.  There have been numerous incidents in which I reacted to an oil in the manner I just described above, and upon querying the therapist, discovered without fail that they had applied baby oil, i.e. mineral oil, to my skin.

Strangely, I have never had a pronounced reaction to any other mineral oil based products such as petrolatum, paraffin oil, or paraffin wax, so I have kept items like Vaseline and Aquaphor on hand, and I have never concerned myself with small amounts of mineral oil in body lotions.  However, I have never been comfortable with the fact that mineral oil is ubiquitous, used in everything from lotions, to cold creams, ointments, cosmetics, and personal care products.  Mineral oil is very inexpensive, and helps to lock in moisture, making it desirable for use in skin products.

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Copyright : Dmitry Pichugin

But let’s think about where mineral oil comes from.  When crude oil is refined to make gasoline and other petroleum products, such as diesel fuel, jet fuel, asphalt, lubricating oils, and biofuels, mineral oil is one of the by-products which is used in household and personal care products.  I know that there are purifying methods used to guarantee that the substances used in personal care products aren’t toxic, but I am a bit bothered by the usage of crude oil distillates and by-products in this way, and would prefer to avoid them.

The reason why I bring all this up is because I had the worst reaction ever to a post-laser treatment cream which I was instructed to use immediately following a fractional CO2 laser treatment which took place in mid-November of 2020.  I hadn’t used the cream much during the first 36 hours following the procedure, but began using it 5-6 times a day from the 36 hour point on.  Within a couple of hours, I began noticing an incredibly itchy, fine, sandpaper-like rash which appeared on both arms, my chest, belly, hips, neck, and shoulders.  I kept using the cream, and the rash became angrier, and completely robbed me of sleep for the next 2 nights before I decided that I had better check the ingredients on the post treatment cream.  Of course the second ingredient listed was mineral oil.

Hence began my quest to find a rich, emollient cream which would soothe my laser torched skin without exposing me to petroleum products.  I couldn’t use Aquaphor because it had petrolatum, so I turned to a shea butter cream I had…which also had mineral oil.  I broke out horribly.  My next idea was to use cocoa butter cream, but that also had mineral oil in it, so the rash persisted.  In desperation, I turned to raw mango butter, but I discovered that my skin wasn’t fond of that substance either.

It has been nearly impossible to find rich, emollient creams which are free of mineral oil.  I have been on the hunt since November, and have looked everywhere.  I know there are others who have sensitive, reactive skin, and I had even focused my search on treatments for eczema and psoriasis.  What shocks me is that the majority of products for those conditions have…mineral oil.  It’s enough to drive one mad.

It has now been over SEVEN weeks since I had the laser procedure, and since that time, I have been on oral antihistamines, gave myself two hydrocortisone injections, and used everything imaginable to try to get my skin not only to calm down, but to also offer hydration.  Incidentally, my skin is so leathery and parched, that I must apply emollient creams every hour to replenish moisture, and I am STILL battling a constant rash and hives all over my upper body.  The combination of the fractional CO2 laser and the mineral oil cream have essentially ruined my skin.

For anyone who even dares to argue that mineral oil sensitivity is not a thing, I challenge you.  Honestly, I’ve lived with this condition for my entire life, and I am extremely irritated by the fact that dermatologists foolishly avoid the subject, as if it was some forbidden topic.  An article by Lisa Mai Møller Jensen is particularly irksome, because she claims that “medicinal white oils have no sensitization potential in human skin, which means they do not trigger allergies.”  I’d like Ms. Jensen to explain why I have had horrible and immediate reactions to baby oil as a baby and as an adult, and why I developed the SAME rash last November after exposure to mineral oil. 

Hopefully there is a light at the end of this skin rash tunnel.  There are three emollient creams which I have ordered which are free of mineral oil and other petroleum substances, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of them will give me blessed relief.

Are Your Plants Making You Crazy?

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Copyright : lightfieldstudios

 

I know there must be a whole slew of you who have jumped aboard the plant-obsessed bandwagon, and who treasure your new jungles as much as if they were your children.  Trust me, I can relate, though this isn’t the first time in my life that I have gone plant crazy and filled my home with living green things.

The first time I went overboard with buying and maintaining plants was back in 2000, when I amassed a collection of over 70 indoor plants in a 2 bedroom cottage-style apartment, and I loved it.  The idea of being surrounded by lush greenery was incredibly appealing, and I was swept off my feet until I went through a divorce which shifted my priorities and pulled me away from my plant hobby.

I took such a sharp about-face that I only had six indoor plants for many, many years, leading into the spring of 2020.  Then shortly after lockdown hit, I found myself at a plant nursery in May and purchased three lovely plants.  Little did I know that I was about to fall deep into plant obsession.  By July, I had over 40 indoor plants, and now, I have about 60 indoor plants.  Some were purchased through Etsy, many were purchased from a local supplier (@Brandontheplantguy on IG), and I even bought some from eBay and Amazon.

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Copyright : Olga Yastremska

 

Though I feel a certain amount of embarrassment over the fact that my home now declares to everyone that I am a crazy plant lady, I take great comfort in knowing that such an obsession is almost trendy these days.  The truth is, houseplants are more popular than ever, especially in millennials who are pushing against the idea of having children, and who are instead opting for a collection of Hoya or Senecio plants which will never demand that the plant parent pony up for a college education.  That being said, having a plant habit can set one back quite a bit, not only in the cost of the plants, but also the planters, spring water, plant food, insecticides, etc.

Those of you who aren’t captured by the idea of collecting a bunch of potted living things might be scratching your heads and wondering why people have suddenly gone plant crazy.  The COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns forced us all to stay at home, which meant that suddenly, our home environments took on a greater significance.  This is why there was a surge in home improvement projects which kept the big box home improvement stores packed during a time when many other businesses were floundering.  Plants certainly can beautify a home, and they also clean the air, but probably the most compelling feature about houseplants which appeals to most folks is the fact that they are living things, and with a bit of nurturing, they will grow and thrive.

That being said, plants don’t always thrive, and when they start to droop or otherwise show that they aren’t happy, plant owners may find themselves dealing with a lot of frustration.  Another thing I have noticed about now being responsible for a brood of 60 indoor plants is that I often get pissy when a plant decides to become finicky.  It can make a plant parent downright neurotic to try to determine what a failing plant needs. Maybe there’s too much sunlight and the leaves are getting scorched.  Or maybe there isn’t enough sunlight.  Could it be that the plant needs more/less humidity?  Is the plant getting too much/not enough water? Are there pests on the plant which need to be eradicated? What, what, WHAT does this plant want or need?

Even the task of taking care of the plants which are doing well (thankfully, 99% of my plants are doing extremely well) is a daunting one.  The one day per week when I look at all my plants and determine which need to be watered is a day I have begun to dread, because it takes a full hour or more for me to complete the task, all the while lugging jugs of spring water, plant fertilizer, orchid plant food spray, neem oil, my watering can, my plant log, and a stepladder all throughout the second and third floors of my home.  It’s exhausting.

I know that plant people can relate to what I am about to say regarding plants which stubbornly refuse to do well despite everything, especially popular plants which are supposedly “easy care” plants.  When a plant begins to show that it isn’t happy, I honestly feel like I have failed the plant.  I get frustrated and want to figure out the solution to the plant’s woes.  If the plant refuses to rebound, and is close to its demise, I adopt a very “fed up” attitude, and will very abruptly dump a plant in the trash or banish it outside.  It’s the best way for me to disconnect from that irksome creature and get on with my life.

I now have a trusted list of plants I gravitate towards so that I don’t tear my hair out in frustration.  Here are the plants which I truly do enjoy, because they are all doing well in my home:

  • all my Zamioculcas zamiifolias (including zenzi, raven)
  • all but one of my Hoyas (incuding shepherdii, pubicalyx, retusa, australis, multiflora, tricolor, carnosa compacta, lacunosa, and obovata)
  • my Monstera adansoniis
  • my Philodendron brasils
  • the one Scindapsus pictus which didn’t die
  • my Sansevieria starfish
  • my Pachira aquatica
  • my Beaucarnea recurvata
  • my large Senecio rowleyanus, my Senecio herrianus, and my Senecio radicans

In stark contrast, there are plants which I have had little to no success with despite all my efforts.  The plants which have stirred up a great deal of frustration include ALL peperomias, n’joy pothos, Tradescantia multiflora (quite possibly the messiest plant ever), Othonna capensis (tried two of these plants and finally gave up), and Begonia maculata.  I now avoid those plants in the same way I would avoid a person I didn’t like, and certainly would never welcome them into my home again.

In conclusion, the healthiest way to approach plant ownership is to educate yourself on the particular needs of the plants you have, and if a plant begins to falter, just let it go instead of beating yourself up for not being able to save it.  I actually found out that many nurseries will keep stocking certain plants because they know that the plants will be fussy.  Since many people are stubborn about trying to succeed in nurturing a plant, they will often purchase the same type of plant repeatedly in hopes of somehow figuring out its needs.  I know I did this with Scindapsus, Begonia maculata, Pilea peperomioides, Hoya wayettii, and every time one of these plants would die, I would take the loss personally, as if I was totally responsible.  I’ve learned that it is not worth the heartache, not to mention the financial expense, to keep buying those plants.

 

 

Hit Those Fitness Apparel Holiday Sales!

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Copyright : ILYA

 

I’ve always been a fan of online shopping, and have relied on it for many years, way before this crazy year forced us to do the bulk of our shopping online.  However, it can be tricky to figure out which brands fit best, especially when it comes to fitness apparel and accessories.  For this reason, I turn to tried and true brands like Under Armour which consistently manufacture quality merchandise.

Though I am willing to pay more for good quality items, who doesn’t love a sale?  I know that during the holidays, major fitness brands like Under Armour tend to offer deep discounts, coupons, and promos to pump up their sales while also giving shoppers a chance to save some serious cash.  But who wants to hassle with visiting each company’s site to check to see if they have holiday deals?  With Slickdeals, you don’t have to do that.  Slickdeals compiles information and lists all the best discounts which can be found across all major sports related brands, allowing shoppers to build the best strategy while shopping online.  Just leave it to the staff editors at Slickdeals, who will make sure that active coupon codes are loaded onto the site for your convenience.

If you want to check out the awesome deals which Under Armour has, go to:

https://slickdeals.net/coupons/under-armour/

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Copyright : ammentorp

What do I search for when shopping for Under Armour items?  Well, I love the women’s ½ neck pullovers, and I am a huge fan of all their socks.  Yes, socks.  Under Armour makes the most comfortable, moisture-wicking, non-budge socks I have ever worn, and I love them.  I also love Under Armour’s backpacks and duffel bags, and may still look at the sale items even though I received an Under Armour backpack as an early Christmas present.  Since I love Under Armour socks so much, I might have to jump on the Women’s UA Charged Impulse Running Shoes which I just noticed are on sale.  Add a coupon or promo code from Slickdeals, and I am saving major bank!

 

Whenever I peruse the Under Armour website, I always check out the outlet, because there are great deals to be found on there, and with coupons from Slickdeals stacked on top of the sale prices, I can be sure to find some killer deals.  In fact, I just ran across a coupon code on Slickdeals which works for items in the Outlet section of the Under Armour website, so there you go! Under Armour has all kinds of sportswear for different climates and activities, and even has one pull-down menu on their website where you can search for merchandise by the type of sport you are interested in.  Sports categories include:

 

 

You can see from the sports categories list that Under Armour has a pretty comprehensive collection of sports apparel and accessories to accommodate different sports.

Whether you are a fan of Under Armour, or a fan of another major sports apparel and accessories brand, make the online shopping experience much easier by checking out Slickdeals.  You’ll find excellent deals there which will make your wallet very happy!

https://slickdeals.net/coupons/under-armour/

 

Establishing New Boundaries With People

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Copyright : Andriy Popov

 

I was compelled to re-post this article, with a new title, because it always seems to have relevance.  Lately, I have noticed that I have been spreading myself thin more than ever before, agreeing to donate my time and resources to people and projects I don’t necessarily feel are worthy of my attention.  Though I have a very generous nature, I also become extremely annoyed when I notice that someone is taking advantage of my kindness and assuming that I will always open my door and my heart.

There have been a couple of situations I have allowed to get out of hand recently, in which I have sacrificed time which I need to devote to paid endeavors and life balance.  It’s always difficult to pull back the reins and say no to good friends, but I have become increasingly resentful after finding myself rushing to get my chores done in time to donate my time on a regular basis.

This new determination to say NO when I have a plate which is overflowing is still something I struggle with, but enough is enough. Whether it is a brand requesting that I create a post for pennies, a friend asking me to provide personal training right smack dab in the middle of the day several days a week for free, people contacting me for curbside consults which they don’t want to pay for, or a supposed friend nickeling and diming me about my charges for medical treatments, I’m not nearly as amenable to doling out the favors as I used to be.  I am mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially drained from saying yes altogether too often.

So do you find yourself agreeing to do something when you are either completely unmotivated to do it, or are so over-burdened by other responsibilities that you know you are taking on an impossible schedule? Maybe you’re known as the “nicest person” who always manages to make time for everybody no matter what. And maybe you don’t want people to think otherwise about you, despite the fact that your energy and your patience are worn thin by people who always seem to drain the very lifeblood from you, and expect you to do everything for them at the drop of a hat.

Have you ever considered using the word NO once in a while? By setting limits and boundaries, you will keep energy vampires at bay, and you give yourself a chance to balance out your life so that you don’t burn yourself out. I am sure that the people who have taken your availability for granted will be stunned when you respond to a request with NO, but they’ll get used to it. Whenever I gather the courage to refuse a request, a feeling of complete relief washes over me, especially if I feel like I am drowning in the wide expanse of my to-do list.

When you refuse a request, task, or invitation, you finally allow yourself to take a break. As long as you aren’t shirking responsibilities, you absolutely should feel like you deserve to clear the space around you, especially if you are in dire need of recharging your own batteries. There’s something I say to patients quite frequently, and that is, remember to put the oxygen mask over your OWN face. If you don’t nurture yourself, you won’t perform as well in all the roles you play in your life, whether it’s employee, boss, parent, spouse, etc.

It’s completely acceptable to draw the line in the sand, and to establish boundaries which preserve your sense of self and which keep your life, and your spirit, balanced and happy. If you are having difficulty asserting yourself and getting to the power of NO, then try this: whenever someone asks you for a favor or invites you somewhere, just say that you need to think about it or check your schedule, which is not a lie, and that you will let that person know soon. That gives you a window of time to evaluate the situation, and to determine if you have the time or the resources to accommodate the invitation or request.

Another important consideration is whether you have the inclination to take part in the task or event. Be honest with yourself! I see too many people agree to do things they don’t want to do, then they are steeped in misery. This doesn’t give you permission to be difficult, selfish, or uncooperative, but it certainly gives you some breathing room. If your heart isn’t in it, then don’t do it!

Remember that you will be better equipped to serve others if you take care of yourself first.

My Songbird Fantasy

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Copyright : Sergey Nivens

From the time I was a little girl, I fantasized about having a beautiful singing voice, but I wasn’t destined to be blessed with such talent.  Though I am not tone deaf, and can carry a tune, the quality of my singing voice is very basic and certainly not worthy of any type of showcase.  At least I was realistic at an early age (eight years old to be exact) about my utterly ordinary voice, and never attempted to delve into some delusional idea that I might someday develop pipes which would rival Mariah Carey.  Instead, I happily lived vicariously through my favorite singers, imagining what it must be like to have such sweet melodies emanate from one’s vocal cords.

Of course, like most of you, I’m not afraid to belt out a tune while driving my car or taking a shower.  There is something so cathartic about being able to let loose like that, so I allow myself to indulge in it frequently.  Why not?  It’s not like I’m going to try out for American Idol or The Voice.

It’s pretty sobering to think that the majority of singers never really get a chance to fully live out their dreams of stardom, despite having massive talent. I recently watched “Twenty Feet From Stardom” which follows several prominent backup singers from the 1960’s to present time. In one portion of the documentary, Merry Clayton describes her experience recording the vocals for the 1969 song “Gimme Shelter” by the Rolling Stones.

In an excerpt from an article on openculture.com, Merry describes the evening:

Well, I’m at home at about 12–I’d say about 11:30, almost 12 o’clock at night. And I’m hunkered down in my bed with my husband, very pregnant, and we got a call from a dear friend of mine and producer named Jack Nitzsche. Jack Nitzsche called and said you know, Merry, are you busy? I said No, I’m in bed. he says, well, you know, There are some guys in town from England. And they need someone to come and sing a duet with them, but I can’t get anybody to do it. Could you come? He said I really think this would be something good for you.

I said, Well, play the track. It’s late. I’d love to get back home. So they play the track and tell me that I’m going to sing–this is what you’re going to sing: Oh, children, it’s just a shot away. It had the lyrics for me. I said, Well, that’s cool. So  I did the first part, and we got down to the rape, murder part. And I said, Why am I singing rape, murder? …So they told me the gist of what the lyrics were, and I said Oh, okay, that’s cool. So then I had to sit on a stool because I was a little heavy in my belly. I mean, it was a sight to behold. And we got through it. And then we went in the booth to listen, and I saw them hooting and hollering while I was singing, but I didn’t know what they were hooting and hollering about. And when I got back in the booth and listened, I said, Ooh, that’s really nice. They said, well, You want to do another?  I said, well, I’ll do one more, I said and then I’m going to have to say thank you and good night. I did one more, and then I did one more. So it was three times I did it, and then I was gone. The next thing I know, that’s history.

Now listen to her raw vocals.  You’ll get the chills from her energy and passion:

Now that’s magical talent!

Diet Myths = Diet Lies

I wrote the following article in 2013, and it was published on RXGirl.com 

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Image ID : 68123600
Copyright : Nipon Temsakun

MYTH: You should avoid eating fat.

FACT: Despite the fact that fat carries more than twice the amount of calories per gram when compared with carbohydrates and protein, fat takes longer to empty from the stomach and thus keeps you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. Fat also adds flavor to foods and heightens the dining experience. In addition, you must consume some fat in order to maintain proper cellular health. Omega fatty acids, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, all of which are healthy forms of dietary fat, actually lower LDL cholesterols in the blood.

 

MYTH: Healthy foods are more expensive.

FACT: Many unprocessed foods such as grains, fresh vegetables and fruit are extremely cheap. Think about it. You can purchase a five pound bag of potatoes for a couple of dollars, or you can buy a bag of potato chips for $3.49 or more. And I don’t need to tell you that the bag of potatoes will provide sound nutrition and far more food bulk than the chips. I am not a big fan of certain natural food markets because they are grossly overpriced, so I visit other markets which have very reasonable prices on their unprocessed foods. Processed and fast foods may be more convenient, but they are more costly over time, especially if you eat them frequently.

 

MYTH: Late night meals will make you fat.

FACT: Your body doesn’t process food differently once the sun comes down. The problem that many people have is that they restrict their caloric intake too much during the day, usually by skipping meals. By the time they get home from a busy day, they are starving, and will eat an excessive amount of calories to satisfy their hunger. Another issue is the mindless munching on snack foods which people often do while watching TV or sitting at the computer.
As long as you eat a reasonably sized, healthy meal, nighttime eating shouldn’t result in weight gain.

 

MYTH: You can eat any foods you want as long as you do it in moderation.

FACT: It’s okay to indulge in a calorie dense or unhealthy food item once in a while, but if you make it a regular practice to eat junk foods every day, you are doing your body and your health a huge disservice. Trust me, a chiseled physique can never be built on a pizza diet (I know, wishful thinking, right?). Your body requires high quality protein, healthy fats, and unprocessed or minimally processed carbohydrates to function optimally and to support a healthy metabolism.

 

MYTH: Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

FACT: Spacing your meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism running in high gear. It is true that breakfast is an important meal because it provides essential nourishment, regulates mood and energy levels and boosts mental clarity. People who skip meals are notorious for eating excessive amounts of food when they actually do eat, and those meals are usually unhealthy and of poor nutritional value. If you are prone to skipping meals, try keeping a food journal to monitor your meal consumption throughout the day.

 

MYTH: Carbohydrates will make you fat.

The truth is, carbohydrates are usually consumed in excess by many people. What this does is cause a sharp increase in blood glucose, which triggers insulin release so that the glucose can be converted to glycogen for storage in the liver and muscles. Only a certain amount of this glycogen can be stored, with the excess being stored as body fat. Once the blood glucose level falls below normal, carbohydrate cravings are triggered which many individuals succumb to.

When you cut carbohydrate intake, you will experience a rapid weight loss initially as the body drains glycogen stores for energy. What also occurs is that water is released as the glycogen is utilized, resulting in weight loss from the increased urination which results. But after about two weeks, the increased urination ends, and along with it, the rapid weight loss.

The Men Who Built America – Financial Titans

When I was a child, American history was taught in a very static manner.  We were expected to memorize important dates and factoids, to the point where epic points in history like the Industrial Revolution, though pivotal and vital to the development of America, seemed dull and uninteresting.  It took imaginative historical books which I have read over recent years, and shows such as “The Men Who Built America”, for a keen interest in American history to ignite within me.

Most recently, I stumbled upon “The Men Who Built America” right around Halloween when I was searching on Amazon Prime Video for an entertaining show to watch. What caught my eye was the fact that the television series was described on IMDB as a miniseries which “shines a spotlight on the influential builders, dreamers and believers whose feats transformed the United States, a nation decaying from the inside after the Civil War, into the greatest economic and technological superpower the world had ever seen. The Men Who Built America is the story of a nation at the crossroads and of the people who catapulted it to prosperity.”  Those words were enough to draw me in.

The focus of this series centers around the lives of Cornelius VanderbiltJohn D. RockefellerAndrew CarnegieJ. P. Morgan, and Henry Ford.

Check out these descriptions of the episodes:

1 “A New War Begins” Ruán Magan David C. White, Keith Palmer October 16, 2012
Cornelius Vanderbilt grows from a steamboat entrepreneur to the head of a railroad empire, and gets into a heated rivalry with James Fisk and Jay Gould; the up and coming John D. Rockefeller founds Standard Oil. Many business owners lay their own rail lines which leads to the Panic of 1873. Later, Rockefeller starts to expand his wealth by diverting his business from the railroads to a new innovation, oil pipelines.
2 “Bloody Battles” Patrick Reams David C. White, Keith Palmer October 23, 2012
Andrew Carnegie builds an empire around steel, but finds himself struggling to save face after the ruthless tactics of his business partner, Henry Clay Frick, result in both the Johnstown Flood as well as the bloody 1892 strike at the Homestead Steel Works.
3 “Changing the Game” Patrick Reams David C. White, Patrick Reams, Keith Palmer October 30, 2012
J. P. Morgan proceeds to banish the dark with the direct current electric light of Thomas Edison, but the two soon face serious competition from the alternating current of George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. As the 19th century comes to a close, the titans of industry must try to work together to stop a new threat in budding politician William Jennings Bryan, who threatens to dissolve monopolies in America.
4 “When One Ends, Another Begins” Patrick Reams David C. White, Keith Palmer November 11, 2012
Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan team up to help elect William McKinley to the U.S. presidency by paying for his 1896 campaign, to avoid a possible attack on monopolies. However, fate intervenes when McKinley is suddenly assassinated, and Vice President Theodore Roosevelt assumes the presidency and promptly begins dissolving monopolies and trusts in America. Meanwhile, Morgan buys out Carnegie Steel to make Carnegie the richest man in the world, and Henry Ford designs an affordable automobile with his Model T and starts his own business, Ford Motor Company, which sets a new business model for companies to follow.

It was mostly my interest in finance which locked me into this series, but I also truly enjoyed learning about the historical impact which these great men had on a sophomore nation.  If you’re looking for a great series which is relatively short (you could binge watch this over a weekend), then this is for you.

Scent Beauty Has Incredible Fragrances!

 

I’ve been working with Scent Beauty as one of their brand ambassadors for several months now, and I absolutely love the fragrances they sell.  So far, I have seven scents from their line:

  • Intention, Transcend, and Balance from the Phluid Project
  • Rise and Shine, I Am Bright, and So Serene from Scent Organix
  • Cher – Fragrance Foundation’s 2020 Awards Winner

Here are links to the fragrances I just mentioned:

https://scentbeauty.com/collections/house-brands

https://scentbeauty.com/products/cher-eau-de-couture

 

So you may be asking, do I actually use any of these fragrances?  The answer is a resounding YES.

Intention by The Phluid Project

 

Intention from the Phluid Project is the perfect blend of spicy, floral and sweet, with the following scent profile:

SCENT PROFILE
Pink Pepper, Rosebud

TOP

Cherry, Saffron

HEART

Tonka Bean, Cedarwood
BASE
Intention has only a hint of sweetness which comes from the cherry, but is well balanced with the other tones.  I love this fragrance and wear it often.
—-
I also love the dual phase feature of all three fragrances in the Phluid Collection.  They are just gorgeous!  All you do when you need to use a Phluid Collection fragrance is to shake the bottle to mix the phases, then spray onto your skin!

Transcend by The Phluid Project

Then there’s Transcend, which is mildly reminiscent of Prada Candy, but is a much softer expression, a tropical beach with hints of fruit and sea salt and sultry warm notes like vanilla.  It is my current favorite!
SCENT PROFILE
Dragonfruit, Pineapple Leaf

TOP

Tiare Flower, Sea Salt

HEART

Palo Santo, Vanilla Orchid

BASE


Balance by The Phluid Project

In stark contrast, Balance is a very clean, crisp fragrance, and one which to me is a men’s fragrance, despite Scent Beauty’s claim that all of its scents are unisex. Here are the notes:
SCENT PROFILE
Cardamom, Iced Grapefruit
TOP
Black Tea, Clary Sage

HEART

Vetiver, Atlas Cedar

BASE


Rise and Shine by Scent Organix

Rise and Shine from Scent Organix is a beautiful, light, clean fragrance which just makes me happy when I smell it. Here is the scent profile for Rise and Shine:

SCENT PROFILE
Tangerine, Lemon Spritz

TOP

Hibiscus

HEART

Peach Blossoms, Orange Zest

BASE


I Am Bright by Scent Organix

I Am Bright from Scent Organix, while also light and fresh, has more of that tropical citrus vibe.  This is more fruit-forward than Rise and Shine, but not in an overt fashion.  I love it as well!

SCENT PROFILE
Juicy Pineapple, Salted Coconut

TOP

Tiare Flower

HEART

Orange Flower, Lemon

BASE


So Serene by Scent Organix

Then there is So Serene, which I love to wear when I go into the office.  It is very subtle, and no note overpowers any other.  It imparts a relaxing vibe which keeps me at an even keel.
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Mandarin, Violet Leaves

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Wild Freesia

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Green Tea, Lime

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Cher Eau De Couture_Icon

The last scent I have in my Scent Beauty collection is Cher Eau de Couture, which is a very intense, smoky, deep and complex fragrance.  It’s as commanding as Cher is!  It just declares itself, as a sultry, clove-dominant scent. I do love it, but I don’t think I would ever dare wear it during the day.  This is something I can imagine someone of either gender wearing on a steamy date night!
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Bergamot, Clove, Neroli

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Jasmine, Rose, Orange Flower

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Vetiver, Sandalwood, Vanilla Orchid

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To order any of these amazing fragrances, please use the following link so that Scent Beauty knows that I referred you:

 

Let Your Heritage Lead You To Travel Destinations

Source: 123rf
Image ID : 35177538
Copyright : Borislav Marinic

 

Though I thoroughly enjoy international travel for a multitude of reasons, the most meaningful trips I have taken have admittedly been the ones I took in an effort to learn about my ancestral roots.  The first time I went on a heritage trip was in September of 2014, exactly six months after I had ordered genotype testing through 23andme.  Despite the fact that I already pretty much knew the bulk of my heritage (Japanese and Hungarian), I was even more determined to visit Japan and Hungary after I received the test results.  It took me a full six years to visit Japan, but I was able to do so in March of this year, and made a point of visiting both prefectures which my grandparents were from.

Source: 123rf
Image ID : 8705805
Copyright: ginasanders Budapest, castle hill and castle. city view

 

It turns out that my determination to visit my ancestral countries, occurred right at the beginning of the surge in heritage travel which has swept the globe.  One of the driving forces behind this boost in travel to ancestral lands has been the popularity of genetic testing kits such as the ones offered by 23andme. From personal experience, I can definitely tell you that a trip which is taken in an effort to learn about one’s heritage is definitely different from a trip which is taken for vacation purposes.

Source: 123rf
Image ID : 121655857
Copyright : pitinan
Beautiful morning at Yasaka Pagoda and Sannen Zaka Street in summer, Kyoto, Japan. Yasaka Pagoda is the famous landmark and travel attraction of Kyoto.

 

Thanks to AirBnB, people can stay in dwellings which are more reflective of the culture which they are visiting, and thus more authentic and rich.  According to AirBnB, there has been a 500% increase since 2014 in travelers who use the AirBnB service to book accommodations and experiences.  Close to 80% of these trips are taken either with one travel partner or alone, which suggests that these treks are indeed meant to establish connection with mother cultures.

It’s no surprise that AirBnB and 23andme have joined forces and are offering services specific to heritage travel on their websites.  On 23andMe, customers who receive new ancestry reports, are now able to click through to their ancestral populations and find Airbnb Homes and Experiences in their countries of origin. Correspondingly,  Airbnb has dedicated pages which correspond with 23andMe’s genetic populations, making it a breeze for customers to book accommodations in the countries which emerge on their reports.

If you’re thinking of booking a heritage trip but are hesitant, take it from someone who has not only visited her two main countries of origin, but who has also visited the other countries (Italy, Greece, Germany, France) which had popped up on the genetic testing report, and just GO.

Why Some People Ghost

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Image ID : 52651500
Copyright : Nebojsa Markovic

 

Has someone ever just completely disappeared from your life, without any explanation?  It is an incredibly confounding experience, and has occurred more than once for me.  What blows my mind is that older adults, people in their forties and fifties, have exhibited this bizarre and rude behavior in recent years, so the phenomenon of “ghosting” cannot be pegged as a young person’s habit.

I honestly think that when a person ghosts anyone for reasons such as, they’re not feeling the same way about the other person (usually a dating scenario), or they have become bored with someone, the act of ghosting is truly a sign of immaturity and lack of emotional availability, which means that the ghostee is actually lucky to be cut loose.  However, when someone completely disappears without an explanation, whether it’s a dating situation, a more serious relationship, or a friendship, the person being ghosted often grapples with extreme mental anguish because there is no closure.

Even if the explanation for the person’s ghosting on another might be painful to hear, I bet most individuals would prefer to hear that explanation instead of scratching their heads in bewilderment, thinking, what in the world HAPPENED? I completely understand that feelings can change, but I also was raised to believe that you should offer a reason why you no longer wish to talk to or associate with someone.  If you don’t respond to texts, etc., and the ghostee can clearly see that you are doing fine, you are basically indicating to that person that they aren’t even worthy of any bit of respect. And while there are situations in which the ghostee might have done something egregiously wrong, in most situations, the person doing the ghosting is merely fickle, disrespectful, and narcissistic.  That’s been my observation in every situation in which I have been ghosted.

What are your thoughts on being ghosted?  If you have ghosted someone in the past, why did you choose to ghost someone instead of providing a reason why you wanted to discontinue communication?