Stand up Straight

While growing up, do you ever remember hearing your mother or grandmother tell you to ‘Stand up straight!’ Yeah, yeah, yeah would be the thought, but then I would react because it was better to obey than to hear the follow-up conversation. As I have gotten older and of course much wiser, the advice my parents gave me not only make sense but I have realized it was for my own good. Now with kids of my own, I hear myself repeating the same of tried and true advice to my own children.

The other day while picking up my son’s suit from the cleaners, this little old white haired man was so hunched over that just watching him continually made my back and neck ache for him. Those words of advice ‘stand up straight’ many moons ago, came back to my mind. So what can we do to improve our posture now, is standing up straight enough? I wasn’t aware that when you improve  your posture, you not only breathe better, you look better and you boost your health as well.

Here are 5 tips that will help you improve your posture:

 Good posture isn’t just about standing up straight! Not only does it help you look slimmer and more confident, better posture can improve your mood and help ease a wide range of problems. ‘Bad posture can affect your breathing, give you a bad back, sore neck, voice problems (it compresses the larynx), muscular aches and pains, indigestion and sluggish bowels and a range of problems caused by compress of the internal organs,’ says Alexander Technique teacher Elizabeth Dodgson (atteacher.co.uk).

Discover your posture type, says physiotherapist Warrick McNeill (physloworks.co.uk). Stand side-on to a mirror to check the position of your pelvis and shoulders. Seventy per cent of us stand in a sway-back posture with the pelvis tipped back, a result of spending too much time sitting down, says McNeill; the pelvis slightly tipped forward is another posture type. ‘It’s important to bring your pelvis back underneath you,’ he says. ‘For those with a sway back, squeeze your bum in slightly to tuck your tail in, making sure your lower back still has a gentle curve. Your kneecaps should point forwards. Gently pull in the area between your belly button and pubic bone and check your beltline is horizontal or near to it. Bring your shoulder blades back and pull you chin in slightly, your earlobes should be above your collarbone.

 Practice the right way to align your body when sitting can help prevent back and neck problems. Try these tips.                  -Your head should be above your sitting bones, says Dodgson. ‘If you sit forward at your desk, the muscles in your neck and upper back are overworked.”

-Make sure your earlobes are above your shoulders. Roll your shoulders back and down.

-Have your feet flat on the floor and knees level to or just below your hips; use a specially designed foot-rest if you need to. Both your hips and knees should be bent at 90 degrees. Your fee and knees should be shoulder-width apart. Avoid crossing your legs or ankles as this mis-aligns your pelvis and spine.

-Relax – don’t sit up too stiffly.

Walk tall. Hold your head up, bring your shoulders back and pull your tummy muscles slightly in. ‘Listen to your feet,’ says Dodgson, ‘Walk softly, shortening and softening your stride. Your head should be tall. Don’t drop your head – it puts a lot of tension on your neck.’ To see where you’re going, drop your eyes without dropping your head, says Dobson. If you have to carry a bag, make it as light as possible and use alternate sides, or even better, use backpack so your arms are free. ‘Carrying something restricts the oppositional movement of the upper body and legs,’ she says.

 Working out. During your workouts, good posture is crucial to help you avoid injury and ensure you get the best results. McNeill says we tend to be more aware of maintain good posture and using the appropriate postural muscles when we’re working out, especially if using mirrors in the gym. ‘Take the good form you use during your workout with you into everyday life,’ he says.

Source: How to Improve your Posture – 5 Tips

http://pinterest.com/pin/8162843047514546/

How to avoid back pain

Back pain

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What’s a Girl to do?

I love how my nails look the first couple of days after they have been painted with colorful nail polish. Not only does it make my fingers look pretty and longer, but I actually walk a little taller.   Then right around the third day, the nail polish starts to chip and my nails just start looking really bad. Getting frustrated over and over with the same results, I have toned down on the nail polish and have stuck with the natural…nothing.

Another pet peeve of mine is after you remove the nail polish, the nails look yellow and not very pretty and may even seem a little brittle. Trying to impress anyone with yellow looking, brittle nails just isn’t cutting it.

So what’s a girl to do? Well after reading and doing a little digging, I came across a couple of pins from Pinterest that I thought I would share. If it even helps just one set of nails, then mission accomplished.

How to keep nail polish lasting longer than three days

How to get whiter nails…

Strengthening your nails with collagen…

Keeping it polished.

Keeping it polished

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The Princess in all of Us

Everybody wants to be beautiful and more importantly feel beautiful both on the inside and out. While growing up, each little girl dreams of being a princess or at least pretends for a while. When becoming an adult, the thought of being that little princess a few years back has faded from our memories. Why do we have to give up on our dream of the little princess we once believed we could become?

So are we to do this? How can we bring the princess mentality back into our current reality? The first thing we must do is to stop being so critical of ourselves. We need to love the person we have become both physically and mentally. We need to accept ourselves for who we are and what we have to offer.

Learning to love yourself starts with making a conscious decision, an intention to become happy and lead a fulfilled life. When you do not love yourself and suffer from low self esteem, it is almost impossible to ever reach the potential that you suspect you have.

When you make a decision to love yourself, you are really saying that you want to come alive. You accept that you are responsible for the outcomes that you experience in your life and would like yourself to shine from living a fulfilling life.

Believe in yourself

Believe in yourself

So if you’ve decided on loving yourself but are as equally stumped on how to do it, here are 17 ways which can be helpful:

1. Fall in love with yourself. Think about wha

t makes you, You. Just like a flower that needs watering to grow, learn to nurture yourself in every way. Love yourself for all the good that you see and accept your flaws and the fact that you are imperfect. This does not mean that you do not learn to change from your shortcomings; instead, you are being gentle and kind to yourself despite all your “flaws”. Look in the mirror and fall in love with the reflection that is you.

2. Eliminate Self Criticism. Do you often berate yourself over the tiniest thing? Is there a little voice inside your head that often tells you that you are no good because you are stupid or make mistakes? If you find that you often judge yourself, make an effort to stop the self-criticism.

3. Be Kind and Positive. When you start to think kindly and positively about yourself, the love you have for yourself just grows. Make it a habit to praise yourself every day, while in the front of the mirror. Because of such thoughts, you naturally undertake empowering actions that support your development.

4. Acknowledge Your Effort. It is not always about winning or coming up tops in everything that you do. Many times, it is the effort that counts! Acknowledge that you have done your best, even if you have failed to produce tangible results.

5. Let Go Of Worry. Loving yourself requires you to let go of your worry. It is a horrible way to live a life filled with constant worrying. Worry does not help in any way. It cannot, on its own, make things happen. Only wise actions can! So instead of worrying, spend time thinking about what you can do to help in the situation.

6. Trust Yourself. Have confidence in your abilities. Know that you have the ability to make important changes for yourself, for as long as you put your heart to it. You can also support yourself by visualizing desired outcomes.

7. Forgive Yourself. If you have made mistakes in the past that had caused you to feel less worthy, then you need to forgive yourself. Everybody makes mistakes; so there really is no need to beat yourself up over them. Also, if you have been carrying around a baggage of emotional hurt because of a childhood trauma, learn to forgive yourself.

8. Be Truthful To Yourself. Loving yourself requires you to be truthful about your own feelings. If you are happy, acknowledge the joy. If you are sad, acknowledge the sorrow. When you are truthful about your feelings, you do not try to lie to yourself or seek to bury your negative emotions. Instead, acknowledging what you feel provides a good guide to what your thoughts are. And as we all know, thoughts can be changed, so that healing and self-growth can take place.

9. Grow Spiritually. When you spend time growing spiritually, loving yourself becomes automatic. You become more peaceful, connected, kind, loving and compassionate. You nurture a mind that grows more beautiful by the day. You naturally love yourself in the process.

10. Make Positive Affirmations Everyday. Reframe your mind with positive affirmations. For instance, say this to yourself “I love and accept myself completely and unconditionally.” Read your affirmations out loud several times a day.

11. Express Gratitude. Express gratitude for the person that you are. For instance, cultivate an appreciation for your strengths and gifts. Also, feel a sense of gratitude that you are alive and well, and fully capable of making a difference in your life.

12. Nurture Your Dreams. Why deny yourself your dreams? When you nurture your dreams, you would love the life that you are leading. Every moment that you live is a joy because you are expressing yourself fully.

13. Boost Your Self Confidence. Make a deliberate attempt to look for opportunities that can help improve your confidence. For instance, if you are particularly good at doing something, set aside more time to indulge and improve your skills on it. Knowing that you have particular gifts can boost your self-esteem.

14. Relax. Give yourself space to take breaks every now and then. If you spend your time working, without paying attention to your health, it also means that you do not love yourself well enough to take care of your own body. Fill your time with silence, soothing music and visions of beauty; anything that nourishes your Soul.

15. Have Fun. Inject some fun into your life. Life is meant to be an enjoyable. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously. If you can think of life in this manner, you automatically relax and quit worrying over things that do not matter.

16. Look After Your Body. It is important that you strengthen yourself with proper nutrition and regular exercise. Your body is a temple and you should treat it with respect, love and care. It has been found that the lack of self-love is often the root causes of conditions like eating disorders, obesity or even terminal diseases.

17. Learn To See Beauty. When you learn to see beauty in everything, you will also see beauty in yourself. Hence, stop to smell the flowers. Notice everything. Feel everything. The pink blush of the flowers in your garden, the greenness of the plains, the whisper of the gentle wind, or the myriad hues of an evening sky.

Source:  Evelyn, How to Love Yourself in 17 Ways, Mar 2008, 20th. Abundancetapestry.com

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What We Wish We Knew 20 Years Ago

There’s nothing worse than getting advice from older people, we know, we know, but the truth is some advice is worth taking and keeping, especially when it comes to fun beauty tips. We’ve been reading fashion magazines and testing beauty products for years. In this time, we’ve read 1000s of beauty tips, tried 1000s of products, but only a few are worth keeping around. So, here we share with you the

20 things we wish we knew when we were teenagers.

1. Skip the foundation.  If you have acne the first thing you want to do is slather on the thick foundation. Don’t. Foundation is for women over 35. Not only will it cover up your natural beauty, but foundation on a teenager looks anything but natural. Instead, cover up blemishes with concealer, then follow with a powder or tinted mosturizer. Tinted moisturizers tend to be lighter than heavy foundations.

2. You pat concealer in, you never rub it in. We know this from watching the Tyra Banks show. When applying concealer, put a bit on the pad of your middle finger and pat it in. Never rub. Got acne? Pat the concealer on top of it.

3. Play up your lips or eyes, never both. If you are wearing heavy eye makeup, go for nude lips with just a bit of gloss. Prefer the drama of dark lipstick? Keep face light (stay away from heavy blush) and wear only mascara on your eyes and a light eyeshadow. Don’t heavily line your eyes. Play up both and you’ll look like a clown.

And never, ever line lips in a darker color than your gloss or lipstick.

4. Less is more. Ever notice how some of your friends look best with no makeup at all? No matter your age, too much makeup makes you look worse. If you wear foundation, powder, blush, liner, mascara, eyeshadow, lip liner and gloss on an everyday basis, then you’re overdoing it. Tone it down: All you really need is a great mascara, concealer for blemishes and gloss. Add a pop of blush in winter.

5. Natural hair is always hot. If you have super dark hair, lighten your look by going a shade darker or getting lighter highlights. Blonde? Try highlights, especially framing the face. We see too many teens lightening their hair several shades and the look can be super-tacky, not super-fabulous. The trick is to let people assume you were born with sun-kissed hair, not that you gave yourself a bad dye job from a bottle.

6. Vaseline is your best friend. Vaseline is a great, cheap eye makeup remover. It’s also great for fixing chapped, scaly lips. Slather on a bunch of Vaseline, then use a toothbrush to massage lips. Wipe the excess off on a tissue. Your lips will be smooth and soft.

7. You can never go wrong with layers. Long layers are great for any hair type: Super curly, straight or wavy. It makes thin hair appear thicker, curly hair appear manageable and wavy hair appear just-got-back-from-the-beach sexy. Just make sure you don’t get too many layers cut in. Too many short layers is dated.

8. Acne? Get thee to a dermatologist, stat. Biggest mistake people with acne make? Not going to a dermatologist. Forget those $150 jeans you covet. Getting rid of those pimples will be the best investment you’ll ever make. And the only guaranteed way to do it is with a dermatologist.

9. Spend money on key beauty products.
10. Buying foundation or lipstick? Test it first There are some beauty products you simply must try out at a department store or Sephora before you buy. These include: Foundation, lipstick, blush and powder.

Buy these products in a grocery store and you’ll be lucky if you picked the right color for your skin tone. What you can get away with without testing: Mascara, eye liner, most basic eye shadows and lip gloss.

11. When can you skip sunscreen ? Never Here’s a trick we wish we knew: The first beauty product you should apply every day is sunscreen, even if it’s cloudy or rainy outside. Why? Good habits start young and if you use sunscreen now, you’ll have gorgeous skin when you’re 50, 60, 70. Remember, the sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds and car windows.

12. Wrapping hair around the barrel creates waves. There’s nothing cooler than long, layered waves. To get them, wind hair around the barrel of a large curling iron. Reverse direction for each 2-inch section (wind up for one, down for another).

13. Self-tanner will always stink. Unfortunately, even the best ones smell. Your best bet is to apply self-tanner a good 24 hours before an important event and take a shower (don’t loofah) to wash off any smell. For really big events like a dance or wedding, consider a professional spray tan. These are pricey and don’t last long, so make sure to do it a day before the big event.

14. Don’t let nails go. Not into manicures and pedicures? No worries. Just make sure to keep nails clean and the same length. If you do want to paint them, don’t keep the polish on until half of it’s chipped away. Also, there’s nothing worse than too-long toenails. Keep nails clipped between pedicures! People tend to judge others by the care they put into their hands and feet.

15. Don’t line the inside of your eyes. It will make your eyes appear smaller. Instead, line just at the lash line. Also, an obvious line doesn’t look natural. Smudge the line just a bit.

16. Oily hair? Invest in a dry shampoo. If you have blonde hair, sprinkling a bit of baby powder on your roots and at your crown will soak up excess oils. If you have brown hair, you might be better off with a dry shampoo for your hair color.

17. Shave legs at the end of the shower. Cut down on nicks and cuts by making shaving the very last step in your shower or bathing ritual.

18. Know your best feature and play it up. What feature do people comment on most? Play it up. If you’re told you have Angelina Jolie lips, make sure to wear gloss and play with bold lipstick colors. If it’s your eye color people love, find eyeshadow colors that complement them and make sure to wear mascara. Also, know what color shirts look best on you and go shopping.

19. Scrubs are great for dry skin. If you have dry, itchy skin in winter, invest in a scrub and handmitts and scrub away in the bathtub. Make sure to slather on a thick moisturizer afterward. For dry, callousy feet, buy a pumice stone. They work better than any of the other wimpy options on the market.

20. Remember: Beauty is mostly internal. Think about a girl you know who’s overweight yet all the guys love her. Why? Because she’s confident. If you aren’t wearing makeup and your toes haven’t been repainted in weeks, if you’re happy and smiling you will still be 10 times prettier than the mopey cheerleader sitting next to you in class. Trust us (wink).

Article Written By Julyne Derrick, About.com Guide

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Beauty Rest is Real

Sleeping Beauty may have had the ultimate secret to looking great and maintaining that soft, dewy skin of a twentysomething. This week, when the Los Angeles Times reported on the “best skincare treatment,” readers might have been surprised to learn that it comes from getting a good night sleep.

The article pointed out a few good facts that few people bear in mind:

  • As we age, lack of sleep affects us more deeply and shows up more prominently on our faces (which explains why dark circles, fine lines, and pallid complexions aren’t a problem in our twenties despite the late nights, but can be later on).
  • Sleep induces the production of  collagen, a key ingredient in firm, youthful skin.
  • The skin’s capacity to hold water  is enhanced by sleep, thereby keeping skin moisturized and supple.
  • Sleep deprivation can sting the immune system, leaving one vulnerable to rashes and skin-related problems.
  • Growth hormone peaks during deep sleep, and this hormone plays a central role in initiating cellular repair.

 It’s true that when skin benefits from enough sleep, products and treatments work more effectively to provide better results.

I concur with how Dr. Howard Murad, a dermatologist quoted in the article, puts it:

“You cannot treat the skin as an isolated organ, you treat the whole person. Imagine your window frame needs to be replaced. You can just replace the frame or you can find out what damaged it in the first place, say termites or bad plumbing. Similarly, when the skin looks gray and sallow and you have dark circles around your eyes, you can use cold compresses and makeup as a temporary fix or address the underlying issues, such as sleep deprivation.”

Unfortunately, temporary fixes can seem easier than getting a good night’s sleep. By taking this advice to heart—er to bed, you’ll do more for yourself than just enhance your looks. You’d feel better, too, from the inside out.

Resource: excerpt taken from Michael J. Breus, PhD The Sleep Doctor™
December 7, 2009.

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Collagen I formation

Most collagen forms in a similar manner, but the following process is typical for type I:

  1. Inside the cell
    1. Two types of peptide chains are formed during translation on ribosomes along the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER): alpha-1 and alpha-2 chains. These peptide chains (known as preprocollagen) have registration peptides on each end and a signal peptide.
    2. Polypeptide chains are released into the lumen of the RER.
    3. Signal peptides are cleaved inside the RER and the chains are now known as pro-alpha chains.
    4. Hydroxylation of lysine and proline amino acids occurs inside the lumen. This process is dependent on ascorbic acid(Vitamin C) as a cofactor.
    5. Glycosylation of specific hydroxylysine residues occurs.
    6. Triple helical structure is formed inside the endoplasmic reticulum from each two alpha-1 chains and one alpha-2 chain.
    7. Procollagen is shipped to the Golgi apparatus, where it is packaged and secreted by exocytosis.
  2. Outside the cell
    1. Registration peptides are cleaved and tropocollagen is formed by procollagen peptidase.
    2. Multiple tropocollagen molecules form collagen fibrils, via covalent cross-linking (aldol reaction) by lysyl oxidase which links hydroxylysine and lysine residues. Multiple collagen fibrils form into collagen fibers.
    3. Collagen may be attached to cell membranes via several types of protein, including fibronectin and integ
Information is provided by Wikipedia

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What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a type of polysaccharide called a glycosaminoglycan. Also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, hyaluronic acid occurs naturally in the human body and is central to regulating cell growth and renewal. In fact, it is found extensively in connective, epithelial, and neural cells. As such, hyaluronic acid has found its way into many skin care products, particularly anti-wrinkle formulations. In addition, it has been credited with extending life in those who consume copious amounts in the diet, resulting in the media dubbing hyaluronic acid as the ‘key to the fountain of youth.’

Written by Karyn Maier, Wise Geek

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