May 25, 2018

Are you suffering from an episode of constipation? These foods will help you fight the problem before it starts.

Among the most uncomfortable sensations and conditions in your existence is constipation. That experience of going to the washroom and struggling for long periods due to poor bowel movements is an experience you want to avoid, and when it happens you want it to end as soon as possible.

Everyone experiences constipation at some point in their lives, and statistics show that about 14% of people experience it occasionally. However, if the problem persists for more than a short time (usually one to two days), then it is more serious than you think and you need some medical help when dealing with it. It can even point to bigger problems with your gut, which require medical attention.

The usual factor that makes constipation so common is the lack of fiber in the diet. That makes it easy to deal with – you need to modify and change your diet to include more fiber sources in order to stem the problem. Other causes can include dehydration, illnesses, certain medication, drug use effects like cocaine withdrawal, mental disorders or diseases that affect the nervous system. However, diet is usually a main factor, so what are the foods we are talking about, and how can they contribute to your well-being?


You may know the saying, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, and it is very factual in this instance. In fact, a medium size apple that has its skin on contains 4.4 grams of fiber – this is actually 17% of the recommended intake on a daily basis.

Out of this, 2.8 grams is insoluble, and 1.2 grams is soluble through the form of pectin. This pectin is useful to your gut bacteria, as it helps them to form short-chain fatty acids that attract water to the colon, softens the stool and reduce the transit period of the gut.



Also known as dry plums, these are a natural solution for constipation episodes. They come with high fiber amounts, with ranges of 2g of fiber for every three prunes (equivalent to 1oz. serving). In fact, this is a good choice for you as the American Heart’s Association sets it at 8% of the recommended daily fiber intake.

The fiber in the fruit, cellulose, enhances the volume of water in the stool, leading to decrease in constipation because of bulk. The fiber is also soluble and produces short-chain fatty acids when it goes through fermentation in the colon, and this increases the weight of the stool.

Prunes also have sorbitol in their list of components. This is a sugar alcohol that the body tends to absorb very poorly, resulting in more water being drawn towards the stool and having a laxative effect. In addition, prunes have phenolic compounds, which enhance the work of gut bacteria.


This wonder fruit is very essential if you want to keep the problem at bay. Rich in fiber, it actually contains 5.5 grams within a medium size fruit, one of the highest among all fruits. That amount is also 22% of the recommended daily intake.

In addition, the fruit contains a particularly high amount of sorbitol and fructose, even when compared to other fruits. These sugars both stimulate the attraction of water to the colon, therefore enhancing bowel movements.

Citrus fruit

These are of various kinds, and include grapefruits, oranges, as well as mandarins and lemons. If we put it into perspective, an orange gives you about 3.1g of fiber, 13% of the daily intake. A grapefruit gives 2.6g, which is 10% of the daily intake.

All citrus fruits have high amounts of pectin, particularly in their peelings. They also have a flavanol, naringenin, which increases the retention of fluids in the colon, leading to laxative effects. However, the research on this is not completely clear.

Green leafy veggies


Those leafy green vegetables you see – spinach, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, to name a few – are not only rich in Vitamin C and K, but also in folate and fiber. They help the body to add some bulk to the stool and weight, which enhances the movement within the gut.

Cooked spinach (one cup) for instance, has 4.3g of fiber, which is about 17% of the daily intake. Five Brussels sprouts will provide 10% of the daily intake, so even if you may not like them much, they are good for you. One stalk of broccoli gives 16% of the recommended intake, or 3.6g of fiber.


Artichokes prove to have prebiotic effects (similar to yogurt), according to scientific research – that means they enhance the health of your gut as well as the regularity of bowel movements.

Prebiotics are carbohydrates that happen to be indigestible, though they have the important role of feeding the gut bacteria. This helps them increase their numbers and guard against the spread of harmful bacteria.

Artichokes provide some of the biggest sources. In fact, prebiotics increase the frequency of stool movement, with the additional benefit of assisting people suffering from constipation.

Sweet potatoes

These mainly contain pectin, lignin and cellulose, both helping in absorbing water into the colon. One sweet potato that is medium size has 15%, or 3.8g of the recommended daily consumption of fiber.

Scientific research proves that it also assists patients who are undergoing intensive treatment. One study showed that patients who were going through chemotherapy ate 200g of the potato every day had less signs of constipation, and also had less discomfort and straining from the treatment itself.


Legumes that include lentils, peas and beans, have a valuable use in the body other than giving it energy – they are some of the cheapest sources of fiber you can get.

They also contain very high amounts of fiber, even more than most fruits and vegetables. In fact, a cup of navy beans (cooked) has 19g of fiber, or about 80% of the daily intake alone. A cup of cooked lentils gives you 31% of the intake, or 7.8 g.

Final thoughts

Constipation is unfortunately a common problem, but you can prevent it easily by sticking to a diet that incorporates a heavy dose of fiber. After all, these foods mentioned above are not very hard to access, and you can easily get the recommended amounts, helping you stay healthy.

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
May 16, 2018

5 Ways to Turn Over a New leaf and Start Afresh

There often comes the point in your life when you feel like you want to start over. This could be because you’re tired of the chapter you’re currently at or because growth has pushed you to a new level. Whatever the case, starting afresh is something that you willingly or unwillingly end up doing at different points in your life. No matter what the reason is, starting over can be good in many cases as it gives you the chance to hit the reset button and do things differently. It also creates the opportunity for you to experience life in a new way whether it’s by moving to a new place, mingling with different people, or spending more time getting to know yourself. In light of this, you will find five ways to turn over a new leaf in the following article.  

Make Peace with Your Past

One of the first steps that you should take when turning over a new leaf is making peace with your past. Sometimes you can find it difficult to move on because you’re still holding on to things that have happened to you and may have had a major impact in your life. Some of these things may include heartbreaks, losing a friend, death, or other disappointments. They could even be things that you’ve done wrong to others or mistakes that you’ve made that you can’t seem to forgive yourself for. However, if you truly want to move on, letting it go and moving forward is key. Some ways to let go of the past include picking up the habit of meditating, understanding your past so that it becomes easier to move on and then accepting your past. Some other things that may help are loving the process, being grateful, and believing in yourself. You should try and always remember that you are not your past and the future has many beautiful things in store for you.

Set New Goals

Another important way to turn over a new leaf and start afresh is by setting yourself new goals. Sometimes this gives you the motivation and stamina you need to start over and soar higher. Setting goals should be about first evaluating where you are and then determining where you want to go from there. You may decide that you want to set new targets for some long-time dreams and aspirations that you’ve had. On the other hand, it may be that you have a new-found passion that you want to pursue and map out how you’re going to go about it. You should also note that setting new goals don’t have to be career-related. You could resolve to start eating better, work on improving your relationships, or set targets for any other aspect of your life that you’d like to improve. When setting goals, some steps you can take include writing down your goal, making sure it is realistic, and achievable, developing an action plan that tells you how you’re going to achieve it, then following it up. This should help you feel positive about your fresh start and give you a little more motivation along the way.

Let go of Bad Habits

Turning over a new leaf often means letting go of the past as mentioned above. Sometimes this also implies letting go of bad habits that may keep you from moving forward. Some that you may want to leave behind is bad eating habits and not getting enough exercise. This is because when starting over, you want to feel both mentally and physically intact. Some ideas for a healthy diet change if you aren’t already doing them are eating more goat cheese, trying to snack on popcorn, eating more coconut, grass-fed beef, and canned salmon in case you don’t have the time to cook it from scratch. Some other things you can eat are tofu, purple potato, oysters, blackberries, and spaghetti squash. In addition to changing your diet and staying active, you should also try and get rid of any habits that may be damaging your health like drug and alcohol abuse. You can do this by looking for some of the best rehab centers in your local area and seeing how they can help you recover. Looking for ways to replace bad habits with good ones should be your ultimate goal when turning over a new leaf.

Get a New Look

When starting afresh, it may be time to change your physical look as well. It might imply getting a new hair-cut, changing your style of dressing, or just adding something new to your overall look. Doing this can make you feel like a new person as well as make you feel like you’re entering a new phase. It is also a way of self-expressing and depicting how you feel outwardly. Some ideas for new looks may be going short if your hair is long, trying a new color, or a completely different style than what you’re used to. Regarding clothing, if you’re a safe dresser, why not think of something a little more daring and edgy. You can look for ways to make statements with your clothing and try different color combinations than what you’re typically used to. It is important that your look makes you feel comfortable but pushing your boundaries a little could prepare you for a fresh start.

Improve Your Inner Circle

The people that you spend the most time with can significantly impact your ability to move forward with your life. For this reason, it is imperative that you choose to spend time with people who push you to be better and have a positive influence on you. If you already have such people around you, then you should look for ways to nurture those relationships. On the other hand, if you find such relationships are lacking in your life, consider looking for mentors that are where you would want to be as well as networking and forging natural friendships with people that you admire.

Change is inevitable in most cases, so changing on your terms could be a good decision to make. There are always opportunities to right your wrongs and retrace your steps to navigate your life in the direction you want it to go. Turning over a new leaf and starting afresh is just one of many ways to do it.

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
May 13, 2018

Two halos are better than one

Two Halos are better than one, and I don’t mean the orange kind. I’m talking about headbands that are exclusively created by Urbanhalo. If you wear headbands all the time like I do, you will especially love Urbanhalo Headbands. these Headbands serve a purpose, to keep hair away from your face and neck. It’s even more important to have your hair properly contained when exercising. Urbanhalos Headbands are the perfect hair accessory for both.

I love my headbands but the major drawback to metal or tight fitting headbands is that headaches can occur. Headbands will also leave a dent on the side of your head which isn’t noticeable but extremely uncomfortable.

Urbanhalo Headbands do not give you headaches. As a matter of fact, I can’t even feel them around my head, that’s how comfortable they are. They keep your hair in place, the sweat off your forehead and they don’t slip off. Did I mention they are nylon free and come in an array of fashionable colors. My daughter and I wear ours to spin class and we love them.The two styles shown above are Avalance (left) and Serendipity (right).

Urbanhalo Headbands are an exercise fashion “must have” and a stylish hair accessory for anytime. They are made of superior sweat-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry throughout your daily activities. Urbanhalo Headbands measure 9 x 5 x .25 in so you can adjust the width of your band to fit your style and activity. The fabric is super soft and stretchy giving you the comfort you want.

Urban Halo Headbands are a loyal brand that’s handmade with love in the fabulous USA.

ABOUT THE CREATOR:Urbanhalo was created out of need when founder Jen Joas couldn’t find the ideal headband for her daily jog. Hoping to find something that looked good and kept sweat off her face without causing a headache, she started her quest to find the perfect fabric combination and Urbanhalo was born! Unique fabric blend
Created in the US.”

Urban Halo offers headbands in mens and childrens sizing si the whole family can enjoy them and a great price of $15 – learn more at

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
May 8, 2018

Babies and Sleep, the Basics of What to Expect During the First Year

Mom and baby

New babies bring serious joy, but they can also bring serious sleep woes. Knowing what to expect when it comes to baby sleep, as well as a few strategies, can make the difference between ongoing sleep deprivation and sweet dreams for the whole family. From self-soothing to sleep training and how parents can get some rest too, here’s what you need to know.

By: Tema Flanagan

Nobody could have prepared me for the overwhelming love I felt for my son when he first entered the world nearly two years ago—or for the sleep deprivation I would experience during his first year of life.

Of course, we expected it at first. Everyone had warned us that the first couple of months might feel challenging. After all, babies typically don’t sort out the difference between night and day until they are around six weeks old, when their circadian rhythms finally start to develop. During the first few days at home, the whole not-sleeping thing still seemed almost fun—nighttime wakings were simply another opportunity to gaze in wonder at our precious infant. At the time, my husband and I jokingly referred to our sweet little babe as “the tyrant king,” who made us his adoring, round-the-clock subjects.

As a first-time mom committed to breastfeeding (and with an aversion to letting my baby cry, at all, let’s be honest), those first two months bled into many more of multiple, middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. To make matters worse, my little fella refused to nap for more than 30 minutes at a time unless I physically held him, in which case he would snooze away happily for two hours. Before long, I was completely exhausted and utterly desperate for solutions to our sleep woes.

During this phase, I unwittingly became an amateur baby sleep expert, immersing myself in baby sleep books and spending hours trolling the wild and wooly web for tips and information. With a little time, adjusted expectations, and some different strategies, my little one finally started sleeping through the night—and taking pretty solid midday naps, too—but my experience in “baby boot camp,” as a friend rightly calls it, has stuck with me. And now, with a second baby on the way, the subject of baby sleep is once again fresh on my mind.

By this point, I may have succeeded in terrifying the expectant first parents among you. So here’s the good news: not everyone has the same experience when it comes to sleep during the first year of a baby’s life. My sister-in-law, who had twins just a few months before we had our son, found herself with two sleep-through-the-nighters at only three months old, without any intervention on her part (divine intervention may be another story).

Individual babies are unique, as are parenting styles. You will experience some degree of sleep disruption after your baby is born but having an understanding of the science of baby sleep—as well as a few strategic tricks up your sleeve—can help make the difference between ongoing sleep deprivation and sweet dreams.

Why sleep is so important, for all of us

Lack of sleep makes it hard to function well in the short-term, and it can have a serious effect on health in the long-term.

It almost goes without saying that sleep is essential to good health—but the sleep habits of many Americans suggest that it’s probably worth reiterating. While sleep-deprived parents of infants may represent the group fighting most valiantly to get more sleep, studies have found that a third of all American adults, as well as many young kids and teens, regularly don’t catch enough ZZZs.

To get a better understanding of just how important good sleep is to the physical and mental health of people of all ages, we spoke with Dr. Sujay Kansagra, a pediatric neurologist and Director of the Duke Health Pediatric Neurology Sleep Medicine program.

The specific sleep needs of adults and babies differ, but “there are numerous consequences to both short-term and chronic sleep deprivation,” Dr. Kansagra says. As he explains (and as those of us who have experienced it can easily attest), short-term sleep deprivation is associated with multiple issues, including:

  • Decreased attention span
  • Increased irritability
  • Increased fatigue/sleepiness
  • Worsening of underlying depression/anxiety
  • Increase in risk-taking behavior

When short-term sleep deprivation becomes a long-term pattern, it can lead to issues like coronary artery disease, increased risk of obesity, and an impaired immune system. It can also increase the likelihood or severity of mental health issues.

With rapidly developing brains and bodies, babies and children require more sleep than adults—and their need for enough sleep may be even more crucial to good health than it is for adults. “Sleep is one of the essential pillars of wellness for young children,” says Dr. Kansagra. “Sleep is critical for learning, development, and overall growth. An infant and young child’s brain is developing quite rapidly and therefore requires adequate sleep to form new memories and support overall neurodevelopment.” When children are chronically under-rested, the results can be disastrous to their overall health, including behavioral issues similar to ADHD and an increased risk for becoming obese later in life.

The irony is that infants can (and typically do) get all of their sleep needs met while simultaneously totally disrupting that of their parents. That’s because a baby’s sleep needs and natural patterns are simply different than that of adults. The first few months are typically the hardest because even when a baby is getting plenty of sleep, much of that sleep will take place during the day, with nighttime sleep still very much broken up. The end result can often be a well-rested baby and exhausted, sleep-deprived parents.

“For new moms, there are a multitude of challenges during the day,” acknowledges Dr. Kansagra. “A new mother may be juggling the challenges of breastfeeding, other children, an active household, a regular job, and her own personal well-being in addition to many other things. This makes getting adequate sleep a particular challenge. Couple this with an infant that may be waking up multiple times each night and you have a setup for a very sleep-deprived individual.”

Thankfully, this stage can be relatively short-lived, and parents can make age-appropriate efforts to teach their babies the skills needed to sleep independently and consolidate sleep into longer and longer stretches at night.

The basics of baby sleep: what to expect in the first year

As you’ve probably gathered by now, babies have different sleep requirements and patterns than do older children and adults, and those needs and patterns change pretty rapidly during a baby’s first year of life.

Hopefully, by the time your child turns one, he or she will have gone from sleeping pretty much erratically—waking frequently at night and taking multiple naps throughout the day—to sleeping 10–12 hours in a row at night and taking just two naps comprising one to four hours of consolidated daytime sleep. That’s a lot of change in a relatively short period of time!

Here’s what to expect, in very broad strokes, over the course of the first year. Keep in mind that your baby is unique and may not follow this exact trajectory, and that’s OK.

What to expect: the first six weeks

Welcome to life as a new parent! As if you weren’t already turned inside-out emotionally (and hormonally, if you’ve just given birth), you can and should expect all of your usual sleep routines to come to a grinding halt for the next six to eight weeks. You’ve just entered the Wild West, sleep-wise, so buckle up and get ready to catch up on sleep in piecemeal fashion, whenever and wherever you safely can. Good thing your baby is so cute!

Your little one has just made her grand entrance into the world, and she’s still figuring things out—things like the difference between night and day. Indeed, until she’s around six weeks old (and possibly older), your little one will likely sleep—and have periods of wakefulness—around the clock, seemingly at random. “Basically, newborns are napping 24-hours a day. Great, right?” says Alexis Dubief, baby sleep consultant, blogger, and author of Precious Little Sleep: The Complete Baby Sleep Guide for Modern Parents.

In addition to having an undeveloped circadian rhythm, your baby needs to refuel throughout the night in order to receive enough calories and proper nutrition. At first, you will likely be advised by your delivering doctor or midwife to wake your baby every two to three hours over the course of the night to ensure she’s getting enough breast milk or formula. Nighttime feedings are entirely appropriate (and even necessary) for the first several months of a baby’s life, so be especially cautious of any sleep training guides that purport to get your little one sleeping through the night in the first weeks or months of life.

Sleep needs by age

During this time, strategic planning and catnapping superpowers are the best survival strategy. “Ideally, you want to plan for this if you have a partner or somebody who can help night-parent,” Alexis says. “Assume your newborn will be awake for one to two hours between ‘naps,’ even in the middle of the night.” If you do have a partner, plan to divide and conquer. Your baby “may go to bed at 10:00, then be awake and perfectly content from 2:00–4:00 a.m.,” says Alexis. “So maybe somebody goes to bed early and sleeps 9:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m., then parent number two takes the 2:00–7:00 a.m. shift.” Of course, if you are exclusively breastfeeding, it may be a little harder to split up night duties. Pumping is work in and of itself, but it’s worth considering if it allows you to sleep through one or more night feedings.

If you are the sole nighttime caregiver or a single parent, plan to go to bed as early as you can to maximize the chance of sleep over the course of the night. “I encourage all new parents to plan for multiple nighttime awakenings and therefore get to bed much earlier than typical,” Dr. Kansagra says. “You may have to plan for 10 or 11 hours of sleep opportunity in order to get the seven to nine hours an adult would need.” And, of course, if your schedule allows for it, plan to nap when your baby naps whenever possible.

You can help guide your newborn toward more regular sleep patterns by exposing your little one to plenty of sunlight during daylight hours and keeping nighttime interactions quiet and soothing and keeping lights dim or dark.

What to expect: the first three to four months

Your baby’s sleep should have become much more predictable by the time she turns three or four months, with a regular bedtime and a relatively reliable schedule of night feedings and naps. This should happen pretty naturally, assuming you do a few things to help set the stage.

Make your baby’s bedroom a sleep oasis

When it comes to your baby’s sleep environment, think cool, dark, and quiet. Blackout curtains are a great investment, and so is a sound machine (I prefer the Dohm Classic).

Set a regular bedtime and stick to it

Earlier is better: somewhere in the 6:30–8:30 p.m. range, depending on your work schedule and other factors. You may notice that your baby “sets his own bedtime,” as the evening nap consistently turns into your little one’s longest chunk of sleep in a 24-hour period.

Create a short but reliable bedtime routine

This may include elements like a bath, book, song, nursing or a bottle, and rocking. Keep it simple enough that you can repeat the whole shebang each night without complicated props or special conditions that are hard to replicate when traveling, for example.

Create a short but consistent nap-time routine

Before each nap, do an abbreviated version of your bedtime routine—something that takes five to ten minutes but helps give your baby the signal that it’s time to sleep.

Offer naps based on sleepiness cues rather than rigid, by-the-clock schedules

Some baby sleep books recommend rigid scheduling of naps and feedings from a very early age. While this certainly caters to the parents’ desire for a more predictable schedule, it may not be the best thing for your baby.

As infants grow during the first year, they are capable of staying awake for progressively longer periods of time before getting tired and cranky—what baby sleep experts refer to as “the span of awake time.” Babies in the three to four month range tend to do well with awake times of 60–90 minutes between naps. Using the span of awake time as your general guide, start looking for your own baby’s cues that she’s getting sleepy, like yawning, rubbing her eyes, and spacing out. At this point, sticking with this scheme, your baby may take three to four naps a day, depending on the duration of naps over the course of the day.

Don’t worry too much yet about teaching baby to fall asleep independently

Many baby experts now refer to the first three months of an infant’s life as “the fourth trimester.” Harvey Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block, likes to joke that “babies are born too soon.” By this he means that newborn babies aren’t quite ready for the big, bright world they have just entered and, for a short time, at least, prefer conditions that simulate life in the womb. Swaddling, rocking, nursing, pacifiers, baby carriers, swings, and shushing are all excellent ways to provide the sort of stimulus your infant craves in the first three months of life.

Using these techniques to help soothe your little one to sleep still makes sense at this point. Of course, you can always try putting your baby in the crib “drowsy but awake” and see what happens. A little fussing is fine, but it’s best to wait until baby is a little older to force the issue.

Don’t stick to rigid feeding schedules in an effort to improve sleep

Many people assume that improving sleep means sticking to a rigid feeding schedule or weaning feedings,” says Heather Turgeon, psychotherapist, baby sleep consultant, and co-author of The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep-Newborn to School Age. “If you do that early on (before the baby is, say, five months) it can interfere with breastfeeding success.”

What to expect: the first five to eight months

Babies in this age range often start consolidating their daytime sleep and begin dropping naps, going from three or four down to two or three naps per day. Many babies in this range also begin sleeping through the night—at least as defined by sleeping five hours or more in a row (I know, how thrilling!).

At this point, many experts recommend working with your baby to start teaching them self-soothing skills so she can learn to fall asleep independently (more on this later). Remember, though, to consult with your pediatrician before actively weaning your baby off any remaining night feedings. While your pediatrician may give you the OK, it’s best to check with them first to make sure they don’t have any concerns regarding your baby’s weight or other health factors.

As baby’s daytime sleep continues to consolidate, you should see a more predictable time-of-day schedule emerging for naps, though it’s still wise to heed the span-of-awake-time guidelines to avoid an overtired baby (ironically and unfortunately, overtired babies sleep less soundly and for shorter durations).

You may also start noticing that other developmental factors—things like teething and learning new skills—will occasionally interfere with sleep. Roll with the punches as best you can and keep in mind that all of baby’s stages—from the most adorable to the most frustrating—tend to be pretty short-lived.

What to expect: the first nine to twelve months

By the time your baby turns one, she will likely be down to two naps per day (and will typically drop down to just one midday nap by the time she’s 18 months old, if not sooner). Hopefully, your baby is also sleeping through the night in a more meaningful way—as in 10–12 blissful hours in a row. (If not, it’s never too late to start working toward that goal.) By now, you have probably also started to find your groove as a parent, with the confidence to more regularly discern and follow your instincts in caring for your little one. Books, articles, charts, graphs, and message boards—while still helpful—may seem like less of a necessity. You know your baby best, after all.

The scoop on sleep training

The primary goal of sleep training, regardless of the particular approach or technique, is to teach your baby self-soothing skills and help them realize their innate potential to fall asleep (and remain asleep) independently.

During the first few months of a baby’s life, it is entirely appropriate to respond to her every need. This early responsiveness on the part of parents helps forge parent-child bonds and gives babies a foundation of security and love on which to build. So early on, it makes complete sense to rock, nurse, and shush babies to sleep.

The trouble comes when the work of soothing a baby to sleep continues to rest with the parents and doesn’t eventually transfer to the baby. Typically, this transfer will require some degree of “training”—though there are many different approaches available to parents, from those that attempt to avoid crying altogether to those that use controlled periods of crying.

This is where people tend to get worked up: do a quick search of “cry it out” or even just “sleep training” and you’ll see that it’s an issue on which people are rarely neutral. It turns out, however, that the disputes around sleep training techniques are probably overrated. “Although many consider sleep training techniques controversial, when it comes to the science behind it and studies that have been published, there really is no controversy,” Dr. Kansagra says, pointing to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s sleep training parameters. “Sleep training is considered safe, effective, and felt to have a variety of benefits.” What this means is that there’s no one right way to instill healthy sleep habits in your baby.

Alexis adds that “cry it out” in and of itself isn’t a very meaningful term. “I don’t like the term ‘cry it out’ and prefer not to use it,” she says. “[Cry it out] doesn’t describe any clear approach to fostering independent sleep—what does it mean exactly? The answer depends entirely upon who you are talking to. It’s also a pejorative term. Babies cry in lots of circumstances. Most cry in the car seat, but we don’t call them ‘crying transportation chairs.’ They cry during diaper changes, but we don’t call changing pads the ‘crying poop removal place.’”

Some crying may be a natural part of teaching babies independent sleep skills, regardless of approach (though some do promise to deliver results with no tears). “When you change what happens at bedtime, there will likely be some degree of complaint and/or tears. Change is hard and tears mark the struggle,” Alexis notes. “Learning to do new things is rarely easy. But of all the great cool thing your kiddo is learning to do (crawl, swallow food, etc.), few of them will be as beneficial to their health and development as sleep.”

Heather, whose Sleep Wave technique (for babies five months and older), involves a system of responding to the baby in a reliable, predictable way, notes that working on sleep needn’t be harsh or unresponsive. “We hear people say that they got the recommendation to ‘shut the door and don’t go in until morning’ all the time. This is never necessary. It’s harsh, it disrupts natural feeding patterns, and we would never recommend it,” Heather says. “We like to think of handing over the role of self-soothing to a capable baby so they can do what their bodies are naturally programmed to do—sleep. This takes putting a thoughtful, consistent new sleep plan into place. It always involves responding to the baby. Parents are usually shocked by how well it works if they follow it consistently.”

The main thing to keep in mind is that your baby’s unique temperament, as well as your own parenting philosophies, can guide you to the right approach for your family. “Although many use the term ‘cry it out,’ sleep training can be done in a way that caters to parental preference,” Dr. Kansagra says. “If you do opt to sleep train your child, remember that there are a large number of scientific studies that support this decision. Conversely, if you opt not to sleep train, that is also fine, but the decision should be with the parents. As parents, it is vital that we support one another.”

However, you go about doing it, remember that the goal is a happier, better-rested family—so the end results should be a win-win all around. Keeping this goal in mind may help you to be more dedicated to the work of teaching your baby independent sleep skills. And it may also help you to remain flexible when things don’t go exactly as planned. Don’t expect perfection but do expect progress. And remember: “Parenting is not an event in the Hardship Olympics,” says Alexis. “Nobody gets a medal for being miserable for years. If something is not working, don’t keep doing it.”

Read the complete article HERE


SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
May 3, 2018

Romee Strijd Loves Parpala Jewelry!

Romee Strijd is fully embracing her love of coin necklaces. She posted this photo of herself in Australia wearing Parpala Jewelry’s Alea Two Coin Necklace ($159) The Victoria Secret Angel also rocked the brand’s coin necklaces throughout her trip to Coachella. Additional styles included the Dasha Coin Necklace ($120) and Carol Coin Choker ($135).


Photos from Instagram


SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
May 2, 2018

It only takes a little black for a super white smile

How many beauty products do you have on your shelf that contain activated charcoal?  I can honestly say that I now have one, C6 teeth whitener. C6 contains activated charcoal and is as black as charcoal can get.

What is activated charcoal? Activated charcoal offers a  variety of applications that help to rid the body of toxins and it is medicinal. It’s the byproduct of slowly burnt wood, peat or coconut shells and becomes “activated” through a heating process. Activated charcoal traps unwanted chemicals in its tiny pores by a process called adsorption, defined as “the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface,” where positively charged toxins attach themselves to the negative charge of activated charcoal.


There you have it. Now let me introduce you to C6.   C6 is an all natural formula that whitens teeth using activated charcoal (carbon) powder without the pain and sensitivity associated with chemical teeth whitening treatments. I’m not a fan of ultraviolet lights due to teeth sensitivity and I have used other teeth whiteners which I like. What I like about C6 is that you brush your teeth with the charcoal as you would toothpaste. (C6 does not replace toothpaste and I brush my teeth apter using it).

C6 is formulated with coconut shell charcoal powder and other organic ingredients to “adsorb” particles in your mouth helping to rid your teeth of stains associated with berries, coffees, teas and smoke. It also helps remove bacteria and toxins associated with bad breath.

After using C6 you will notice immediately how smooth the surface of your teeth are and whiter too.  The organic orange peel and peppermint oils contained in C6 add a refreshing taste that you will love! C6 activated charcoal powder will not lighten artificial teeth, caps, crowns, veneers or porcelain, composite or other restorative materials.

The only drawback to C6 is that as you brush your teeth with the charcoal, your teeth and mouth will be temporarily black, really black . It’s not a pretty sight but after rinsing your mouth out thoroughly, the results are brightening!

C6 contains no harmful chemicals is vegan and cruelty free and made in an FDA registered facility.

For more information and to purchase your C6 visit

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
May 2, 2018

Under $100: Bella Hadid Really Loves Miranda Frye!

Bella Hadid was photographed wearing Miranda Frye multiple times while on vacation in Miami. The supermodel accessorized her cool model off duty and yacht looks with Miranda Frye’s Freda Hoops($88;
SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
April 30, 2018

Brilliant Bedding Ideas to Decorate Your Bed

Your bedroom needs special attention while doing up the home because your bedroom’s bedding décor and design would set your mood. Your choice of bedding and fabrics would be determining the level of comfort and coziness in your bedroom. Here are some effective bedroom décor tips for a stunning bedroom décor.

Classic & Simple

You simply can never go wrong with a simple and nice dazzling white comforter and complementary shams. Irrespective of the bedroom’s color scheme, a nice white comforter could be regarded as the perfect complement. You must stick to soothing bedding designs and fabrics. You must opt for a crisp cotton duvet or no-frills milky white linen. You could be slightly more adventurous and choose a nice and texture option such as a jacquard coverlet or quilt. Match the footer throw to complement the season. If your bed has white linen as a base it would be making your bedding design really versatile.

Beautiful Bedding Patterns

Make your bedding décor more dynamic by choosing a specific pattern or design as the focal point. There could be numerous possibilities. A nice honeycomb medallion motif would look fabulous in a somewhat bright color. For gray and earthly brown hues mixed with yellows or oranges, you may choose soft cotton textiles. You could consider using impressionist patterns in vibrant hues togenerate aspirited ambiance. Duvets that have botanical silhouette prints actually look clean and fresh. You may consider blending the color schemes to create a welcoming ambiance.

Dress Up Your Bed in Layers

Implement a bedding design that uses different fabrics and layers. You may consider covering a stitched thin quilt and use a thicker duvet on top of it. Keep it folded back a bit for revealing the layers prominently. Then start layering pillows like a housekeeping expert to incorporate a complete, luxurious, and cozy look. This is certainly a wonderful way of interspersing busier patterns with each other and also with solid or one color textiles. Of course, you must also give importance to the base layer or the mattress. It is the foundation to all bedding ideas. Only a good mattress could promise every night to be the best night of your life. You must buy a nice ergonomically supported mattress for ultimate relaxation and comfort.

You would have access to genuine reviews of nice and cozy mattresses by browsing throughMemory Foam Talk reviews DreamCloud. You must invest in a good mattress as then you could enjoy relaxed and totally undisturbed sleep. Once you are all set with a nice mattress, you must start layering it up for creating a plush look.

Use Single Tone Bedding Design

Use just a single tone for your bedding design. You could keep things relaxing and minimal by using a deep and intense color for creating a more masculine appearance. You could alternatively, use a lighter hue for generating a more spacious and airier feel.  Mix and match the pillow shams and the duvet with nice and complementary single-tone cotton sheet sets. You are free to swap out the colors as per the season. You may consider adding a few stunning and decorative throw pillows that would attract all the attention because they come in different striking colors. You must know how to mix different shapes and sizes.  You need to be imaginative with all your color additions.


It is important to try coordinating your bedding with your bedroom furniture to create a seamless or a unified look. Bold and vibrantly colored patterns would be complementing furniture made from dark woods. Modern bedding designs would be including furniture made from lighter woods or metals. Remember solid single-toned colors and subtle designs on flatter textiles complement modern designs well. If you follow the above-discussed guidelines, your bedding design would surely be welcoming and noticeable.

Author bio Silvia  Watson is a freelance content writer. She has written many good and informative articles on different categories such as technology, health, fashion, education, career, travel etc. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs in the health and fitness industry and currently associated as a blogger

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
April 30, 2018

Brides, Get Tips From Jennifer Hutchens Of Barely Xtensions

bridal hair

Brides, of course, want to be beautiful on her wedding day. For many that incorporates a vision of long cascading hair. For others a dream updo with thick, lustrous curls and other adornments. Brides-to-be spend countless hours looking through social media sites and bridal magazines looking for inspiration. On average, they spend over $500 on hair and makeup for their wedding.

“Many brides might think that if they weren’t born with their ideal hair they are out of luck, but that’s not true,” says Jennifer Hutchens, Brand and Product Development Director with Barely Xtensions, “There are so many alternatives for women that want to add length, volume, and color to enhance their natural beauty  whether it’s for daily use or a special occasion. We make hair extensions easy-to-use, affordable and fun.”

Here are some simple tips to say “I do” and stay within your beauty budget:

  • DIY Hair. With DIY education at your fingertips on platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest it is easier than ever to avoid salon prices and achieve photo-worthy hair in the comfort of your own home. Clip-in hair extensions will instantly add the volume and length you need to achieve the perfect style. When selecting the right clip-in extensions it is key to find something that will be discrete and blend seamlessly with your natural hair. Barely Xtensions 18″ Ultra-Seamless Clip-in Hair Extensions feature a very thin ultra-seamless weft that is lightweight and lays flat to the head for a virtually undetectable blend that can be work again and again. It’s as easy as part, clip, and go!
  • DIY Accessories. Create the perfect accessories to complement your wedding theme or dress; or even use as bridal party gifts.  For instance, create the latest on trend, “hair jewelry” by attaching petite flowers, gems, and ribbons to hair pins with a glue gun from any local craft store. Little touches like this can will go a long way in personalizing your wedding, not to mention look fantastic in close ups and save hundreds of dollars.
  • Make Your Eyes Pop. Stunning eyes can completely transform your “I do” look. Add drama and flair by experimenting with a natural smoky eye paired with glitter eyeliner and a pop of highlighter. Complete the look with false eyelashes for your big day to keep him gazing! An Ardell 5 Pack is less than $20 and is available in a variety of colors and styles.

By taking advantage of these budget friendly ideas, the savvy bride can walk down the aisle with a little less stress, more confidence and a few extra dollars for the honeymoon.

About Barely Xtensions:

Barely Xtensions offers the ultra-seamless difference in hair extensions featuring a revolutionary Micro-Thin Skin Weft technology providing the smoothest application on the market allowing the extensions to lay flat to the head for a virtually undetectable finish. Made of 100% premium quality Remy human hair Barely Xtensions is setting the standard of luxury hair extensions at an affordable price with the latest trend-setting colors and styles and are sold exclusively at Sally Beauty stores throughout the county.

For more information visit the website at .

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest
April 29, 2018

Jessica Speckhard Artist and Remarkable Designer of secondDaughter Jewelry

Jessica Speckhard

Jessica Speckhard

Jessica Speckhard is the secondDaughter. An artist working and showing in New York and Washington D.C., she launched her jewelry company Second Daughter in 2014. Her designs have been featured in magazines all around the globe including Elle, Flare, Cole, Numero and many more.

Jessica is a stunning woman with extraordinary talent. The secondDaughter Jewelry catalog can be found HERE. I’ll take you on a journey of discovery of this fine work.  These are some of my favorite pieces.

Margaret Hoop Earrings

Margaret Hoop Earrings

For under $100, I love the Margaret Hoop Earrings.  Classic Hoops are one piece of jewelry I think ever woman should have. This take on the classic hoop is a wearable design the Hoop lovers will find to be fun and fabulous.

Amazonite Debra Studs

Amazonite Debra Studs

Stud earrings are probably the most important piece  in  a woman’s jewelry armoire, and I love secondDaughter’s colorful Amazonite Debra Studs. ($68).

Thick Persh Cuff

Thick Persh Cuff

Let’s travel over to the Cuffs. The Thick Persh Cuff is amazing! ($140). Again, amazing. Need I say more?

Katrina bracelet

Katrina bracelet

secondDaughter bestselling Katrina bracelet ($90) is pretty and delicate and can be worn with anything. The delicate prong links are set with 6 stones in selections of Mother of Pearl, Carnelian, Rose Quartz, Jasper and Pearl.

Loli Choker

Loli Choker

As for a necklace of the close fitting size, I love the Loli Choker ($150)! Wear it as a statement on its own, or , as I would, wear it layered with a longer necklace or necklaces.





SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Share on Facebook | Google + | Pinterest