Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Does a Neti Pot Really Work For a Cold?

Being Sick Stinks

I am writing this laying in bed feeling pretty much miserable. I'm not sure what to call it other than just yuck.

One thing that is bugging me, and I'm sure it annoys all of you, is a stuffy/runny nose. I would rather just feel like I'm dying than to have nasal problems. It really makes you feel all the more miserable.

I've been taking all of the over-the-counter medications that are usual when you're sick. However, I have started using a cold remedy I bet that none of you are familiar with.

It's a neti pot.

I bet you're wondering, what the heck is a neti pot anyway? Well, I'm glad you asked. Head on over to What is a Neti Pot and Will it Help My Cold to find out more.

What Does a Neti Pot Do?

In simple terms, a neti pot irrigates your nasal passages. It reduces swelling which helps with the congestion, and it flushes away irritants and mucus.

Believe me, try out a neti pot. You will feel like you cleaned your brain.

I'm not going to lie to you though, the first few times you use a neti pot it's going to feel weird and you're going to feel like you're drowning. But as with everything, a little practice helps.

How To Use a Neti Pot Safely

In this video, learn how to safely use a neti pot. Don't worry, it's not gross. Follow the instructions step by step and you will be able to enjoy clean, free breathing.

Where Can I Buy a Neti Pot

Neti Pots can be found in most stores. However, there are plenty to be found online and at great
prices. This one comes with a complete system to get you started. It includes the neti pot, along with
salt and a nasal wash.


I encourage you to give a neti pot a try. Once you get used to it, you'll wonder how you got along without it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

What are Things to be Thankful For?

Find someone to connect with when life gets tough.
Friends often help put things into perspective.

Let's Face it, Life is Tough

When things seem to be going your way and everything is great, life happens and turns everything into a tailspin.

If you're anything like me, when my life turns upside down I just want to close myself off from everybody and be alone.

Sitting by yourself pondering your problems endlessly does nothing but make you depressed. Trust me, I understand.

I've learned that not matter what we do, life goes on and there's not much you can do to change certain situations.

However, what we can change is our outlook, and one of the best ways to get our minds off what's wrong and focus on what's good is to look for things to be thankful for.

How to Change Your Mind From Negative to Positive

First, I know it's hard, but completely forget the bad for right now. Stepping back from your problems to focus on something positive sometimes gives you the answers you are looking for when you come back to deal with your problems.

I have my own lists of things to be thankful for, and I'll share them with you to get you started. I really want to hear about your thankful list, so be sure to share yours with me as well.

What I'm thankful for:
  • Friends and family.  When things get tough, you need people close to you. I know there are situations sometimes where you're either not near your family or you have no immediate family. That is why I include friends in this category. Oftentimes our friends are closer to us and understand us better than family.
  • Health. Be thankful that you are healthy. If you are ill, be thankful that you woke up another day. If you're able, take a walk outside or go to a public place. It will do you good to get out. Take a seat somewhere and people watch. I can bet you will see at least one person that is in a worse condition than you. Yes, you might have this problem, but you're not as bad off as the person you just saw. Say a prayer for them and be thankful for the level of health you do have.
  • The beauty around you. When you're depressed and holed up in your room, you can't see what is good in the world. All you can focus on is yourself and your problems. Find the nearest park, beach, lake, river, and just sit a take in what you see. Be thankful that you have sight to see such beauty.

Be thankful for the bad. Sometimes bad things happen for a reason we don't quite understand, but it paves the way for something good. I've had several experiences in my life when I didn't think I would ever see the light of day. But without them, I wouldn't be where I am today.

How to Say Thank You to People For Being There For You

It's not only enough to be thankful for what you have. It's important to let others in your life know how much you appreciate them.

So how can I say thank you? Start by just telling them in person. Nothing will touch a person more than just by uttering those two heartfelt words.

If you're shy or not sure of what to say, sending a thank you note is also a great idea. Not sure what to write in a thank you note? See my article on How to Write a Thank You Note.

Do something kind for them. It can be as simple as washing their car or keeping your neighbor's kids for an evening. Even baking them cookies or giving them a candy bar and just saying thank you is enough.

When it comes to saying thank you, there's really no wrong way to do it. Just do it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What NOT to Wear to Work in an Office

The fact that I have to write this article says a lot about America as a whole. We've become a very relaxed casual society.

Which is a good thing when we want to kick back and relax. Not so great if you're going to work at an office.

As a court reporter, I see all different professionals in all different states of dress. (or undress)

As a result, I have put together sort of a professional fashion guide for the office.

For a man in the office setting, wear a suit or dress pants and a button down shirt. A pullover shirt such as a Polo shirt, can be acceptable depending on your type of job. If you will be seeing clients, please, please PLEASE dress nicely.

Now, on to the ladies in the office. Sorry, but these are going to be a little more complex than the guys' guide.

Please leave the short skirt at home

Short skirts

 Anything shorter than right above the knee is too short. Period. If you have to tug every time you sit down, it's too short. If you have to be careful when you bend over or squat, it's too short.

You want clients and coworkers to respect you, not make you the butt of jokes. You can say it's sexist, they should respect you for your achievements and your brain. Dress like a lady, and they will respect you. I'm sorry, it might sound old fashioned to you, but less skin is a must at work.

Let me give you an example. I'm a court reporter. While waiting outside a judge's chambers for a hearing, a female attorney came and sat down across from me waiting for the hearing after mine.

Her skirt was so short, she had to constantly tug at it to keep it down. It didn't really help, because I had a direct line of sight to her underwear from where I was sitting. It was just gross. She was tacky and inappropriately dressed.

Low cut blouses

This goes along with my prior point. Your assets are not something you want to be showing off in a meeting. I'll stick this hint under this heading. Make sure your blouse fits. I have seen more than my share of bra and boobs because women are wearing a shirt that is way too small for them and they gap open.

I don't want to see your chest. I have one of my own. Thank you.

Also, unless you have really defined guns, don't wear sleeveless tops.


Flip flops

 Listen up, people, I don't care how fancy your flip flops are, how many jewels or decorations there are on them, or how much you paid for them, they're still flip flops. Wear them to the beach or to the mall, not to the office.


You wouldn't think I'd have to put this in there, but I've seen a trend to pair little dress shorts with a nice blouse and call it office wear. Well, you can get away with it if you're 15. But if you're over the age of 21, just say no. For the benefit of all who have to work with you, just say no.

So what should you wear to the office? You really have a pretty broad selection even if you eliminate the above faux pas.

Do wear dress pants or a dressy skirt. A blouse that is not too low cut or see through looks great and professional.

Wear dressy shoes. They can be open or closed toe, high heels or flats. Leave anything that resembles a flip flop along though.

See, those are the only rules you need to follow! They're easy, simple, and painless.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Does More Expensive Mean Better? Not When it Comes to Daily Sunscreen

Expensive brands don't always mean better
When it came to skin care, I always assumed that the more expensive dermatological or spa brands were the best. Boy, was I wrong!

I love me some Downton Abbey. It's like THE soap opera to be watching right now. Who needs to know who Sami and EJ are on Days when we are left wondering did Matthew really get killed?

Anyways, I digress. Back to skin care.

While surfing the web last year catching up on Downton Abbey gossip, I came across an interview with Michelle Dockery, the actress who plays Lady Mary.

Some people are fascinated by Michelle's eyebrows. In fact, there is a Twitter account dedicated to them. Just check out @ladymaryseyebrows if you don't believe me. For me, the fascination is her complexion. How I long for that soft, milky complexion!

In the article, she was asked about what she does to keep her skin looking so, well, perfect. She told the reporter that she used Dermalogica sunscreen moisturizer everyday.

Now, the only thing I have in common with Michelle Dockery is I have very fair skin. I'm talking pale. I could get a sunburn looking out of the window. Think everybody in Florida has a tan? Not for this white girl.

So I thought, well, heck, sign me up. If it makes her skin look like that, I gotta get me some!

I have had my own anti-aging routine that I've had since I was about 23. However, I never used sunscreen daily because I couldn't stand the smell or the itchiness that came from using it.

I know, I know, bad me.

So off I went to Dermalogica online and plopped out $48 to buy Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30.  I looked longingly into the mirror daily just to see if my skin was getting the nice, milky-white Lady Mary look.

I used Dermalogica everyday without fail. I put it on as soon as I got up in the mornings. Everything was going great for about three months.

Where Dermalogica Failed Me

In sunshine or in shadow, I get burnt either way
One day, I had to spend more time outside than usual. I was in the shade, but I was still outside. All in all, I was probably standing out there for about an hour, hour and a half.

To my horror, when I got home and checked myself out in the mirror, I was sunburned on the entire left side of my face. It seems I was standing next to white lumber, which reflected the sun in my direction, and ruined my pale Lady Mary glow.

I paid $48 for this bottle, and it was worthless! Not only was I burnt, but I had to start from scratch all over again. I was up that night Googling "how long does it take a suntan to go away"

$12.97 for a moisturizer sunscreen beats $48!
So I went in search of an alternative and I found a much cheaper and more effective product: Nutragena's Healthy Defense Liquid Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF50 for $12.97 at Wal-Mart.

I couldn't be happier! Since starting with Nutragena last year, I have had several occasions when I have had to be outside in the sun and am proud to say that I am pale and burn free. Lady Mary would approve!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Help Me I Can't Sleep!

This is what not sleeping well will do to you.
Poor Uncle Joe. This is how I've been feeling during the day lately.

Ok, this is driving me absolutely nuts.

I have had problems sleeping for years.  I'd be wide awake at midnight, finally fall asleep, and then wake up early in the morning. Do ya'll have the same problem?

Well, a few months ago I found out that if you don't have enough magnesium in your body, it can cause insomnia. One of the benefits of taking magnesium is I would get to sleep at night? Why not, I'll give it a shot.

So I ran down to Wal-Mart, picked up a bottle of magnesium, and lo and behold it worked. It was like the sleeping gods had come down to my bed at night and knocked me up side the head with sleeping dust.

That is until this week. Every night this week I am awake till nearly 2:00 a.m. and I wake up around 7:00. I am highly annoyed.  And cranky.

So I have attempted to come up with my own treatment for insomnia.  This is a multi-step process for me.
  1. I just think too much. I think of everything I need to do. Instead of sitting there thinking, I get up, jot it down so I don't forget, and it's off my mind.
  2. I refuse to take over-the-counter sleep aids. They're just too dangerous. I have decided to up the magnesium.
  3. I thought, hey, if taking magnesium is helpful, then wouldn't soaking in it help to? Adding Epsom salts to my bathwater has worked wonders. (Plus it gives me a reason to lounge in the tub:)
So far so good. I guess I'm just leaking magnesium. I don't know. I know there are certain foods or drinks you consume that depletes magnesium in your body. I'll look into that and let you know.

So that is what I have done to help me know how to sleep better.

What are some things that you do to help you sleep at night?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What Are You Thankful For This Year?

The holidays have come to represent mixed emotions for me. Gone are the days that everyone was together eating and having a great time. Still, there's plenty to be thankful for.

I'm thankful for the people that I have in my life now that I can spend Thanksgiving with.

I'm thankful for the many memories I have from past Thanksgivings.

I'm thankful I got to see Daddy sitting in front of the heater in our old house, complain it was too hot and we didn't need it on, and then turn it off while we all froze.

I'm thankful I was able to fuss at Sister about picking at the turkey and eating cake out of the pan with her fork.

Barn in Alton, Missouri

I'm thankful that the whole Florida group could travel to Missouri together in a sort of mini caravan to visit Grandma.

I'm thankful for the year we got to spend Thanksgiving at Uncle Dwight's where Sue and I went skipping through the snow to get to the house.

I'm thankful for all that the Lord has blessed me with. I'm healthy, I'm breathing, it's good to be alive!


P.S. What are you thankful for this year? Share and leave a comment!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Splenda is a pesticide?

Well, my son and a friend of ours were at Tropical Smoothie the other day. I didn't want a whole one, so I asked my friend if we could share if she made it with Splenda. She's like, sure.

So they place their orders and we all sat down at a table to wait for our smoothies.  A lady who had been behind us came up to our table and said, "Just so you know, Splenda is made from pesticide, so keep that in mind next time you want to eat some."

I just wanted to tell her, "well, that large Jetty Punch smoothie that's packed full of sugar there is not going to do a thing for your thunder thighs."

I refrained, but rude people just tick me off.

So that little incident has got me to thinking lately. What is Splenda? I know it's not natural, and if it's not natural you really shouldn't eat much of it. But what is it?

Well, Thunder Thighs was partly right.

Splenda was invented in 1976 in Britain. Scientists were trying to invent a pesticide but somehow ended up with a sweetener that has become a diet staple. It was approved by the FDA in 1999.

There have been reported health problems with Splenda, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, nausea, rash, hives, runny nose, chest pains, and a whole lot more.

I will be researching this topic more thoroughly in the near future and publishing an article on Hubpages. I'll link my blog to it when it's published.

My apologies Thunder Thighs