I HATE MY PIMPLES

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When it comes to pimples, people often say that it’s no big deal, but it’s not true. Anyone who have struggled with these annoying and painful pimples, knows that getting pimples can become more than just a skin problem. I’ve had struggled with pimples in the past, somethings really make my life hard. I went to the dermatologist, tried antibiotics and different prescription topical meds, but nothing really helped.

You Are Not Alone
Have you ever cancelled plans because you were concern your pimples? If you’re suffering with pimples, don’t worry, you’re not alone. And keep in mind “it’s not your fault”. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, acne affect 80% of teens, 25% of adult men, over 50% of adult women. Puberty and pimples go hand in hand. The question is: how get rid of pimples fast without having to indulge in expensive medication? Or what do you do to treat it?

Understand Pimples
There are a number of myths about acne. The main causes of pimples is hormones. When your body produce hormones, also called androgens, cause oil glands to become over active in the hair follicle, which brings about an immersion of the organ. When excess oil and dead skin cells clumping together to form a sticky plug, then developing acne. Additionally, other things can cause pimples include: stress, food, nutritional imbalances, etc.

My Ideas
It’s been a long journey from treating pimple in nose, but I discovered a few things that did work. My skin as finally stabilized due to I follow these great tips for pimples.

1. Change your diet
Many dietary factors may contribute to acne. Changing your diet really does work. Drinking more water and eating fresh fruits! A high-fat diet increases the amounts of fats in and on the skin. As you mentioned acne is caused from an increase in androgens, fat foods increase hormone production in your body. Instead of these processed foods and sweets, eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains can reduce the risk of developing pimples. It took a while to see a result, but I stuck to it.

2. Get naked
Women have understood the importance of looks for ages. The society has taught women to rely on makeup to feel beautiful. But if you’re not careful makeup can make pimples or make pimples worse. On the other hand, applying makeup too roughly can cause irritation which can also trigger pimples. Of course, makeup comes in handy when you’re trying to hide a breakout. To avoid pimples caused by makeup, try to use these good hygiene and oil-free products.

3. Stress
Most of us have experienced an acne flare up when stress in on the rise. And studies have been able to find a relationship between acne and stress. The added stress influence the hormone in the immune system, which increase the oil in your skin. The best option is to try and remove the stress from your life, while the best way to reduce stress is exercising. Make a plan and spend 10 – 20 minutes engaged in physical exercise each day can be helpful. Not only does exercising reduce the risk of acne, but improves the whole health of body.

Do Not Fear the Autumn of Your Life

October-has-the-greatest-colours
Heavy breathing? Whaaat? I’ll get to that.

For quite some time now, I’ve been having issues with my lower back. Once I finally got a job and could afford it, I started going to yoga. As it turns out, my posture issues were caused by tight hip flexors and even tighter hamstrings, which messed around with my pelvic alignment and caused me great pain when standing for long periods. Yoga seemed like the perfect solution, with the added bonus of a workout and strengthening/toning benefits.

The thing about yoga though is that you have these great benefits, and then you’ve also got this ‘serenity’, ‘grounding with the earth and feeling your energy’ blah blah blah. Personally, that stuff just isn’t for me, but I go anyway because I can really see a difference in my posture/pain relief in the three weeks that I’ve started going. I’m alright with the talk because I know that other people are there for that, and find it soothing–that’s cool. To each their own.

I dream of being this flexible. Today I was pretty excited to go to yoga to unwind after a great day of walking around in the sunshine, because it seemed like a fitting way to close the weekend. It’s funny because sometimes I actually get nervous in class, and the breathing-out-loud exercises are so not my thing. Sure it helps me relax and “breathe out my stress”, etc, but I just am not that vocal in a room full of strangers. Today though, someone sat down next to me and joined in the breathing exercises with one of the mightiest exhales I’ve ever heard: hhhhhaaaaarrrrrraaaaaUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH. If you read that out loud to understand what I’m talking about, do it 2x louder and you’ll probably have a better idea. I know that it was probably a great way for him to unwind and let it all out, but to be honest, it was really distracting to hear that three feet to my left every time I downward-dogged, and I wondered if anybody else felt the same. I go to yoga to kind of be quiet, reflect on the day and, well, just be (okay so some of that blah blah blah does resonate a little bit). But it was hard to “just be” beside the sigh-master, king of the heavy breathing.

It bugged me for the first few minutes, and then I realized that I’m just going to have to deal. Figure it out Erica, there are some situations that (gasp!) you can’t control. Shucks. Good segue into my week. I realized this weekend that I’m going to have to be a little bit more adaptable at work. If something’s not what I expected it to be, I’m going to have to figure out how to get what I want out of it in a different way. If I’m assigned to something that I’m new at, I’m going to have to put in the work and learn it so I can do my job. One of my goals as I started this new job was to get to know a lot of new people, both in my department and out. I wanted to learn about where they came from, what they studied, and what their career path has been like. But the company’s everyday life is a bit different than what I’m used to, and I haven’t really made any progress whatsoever toward my goals.

So, moving forward into a new week, I’m going to change that. And since concrete goals are better than vague goals, I’m going to give myself a number: 3. I’m going to talk to 3 new people this week, and find out more about them. Maybe I haven’t met them before. Maybe I have, and I just didn’t have a very in-depth conversation with them. Now I will.

And anyway, my coworkers have something very yum coming their way soon, which should make it easier to start up a conversation with them. The fall colours on my Granville Island stroll today inspired me to bake a little sumthin-sumthin for my office mates. I’m thinking orange-coloured cupcakes with minty green frosting, à la… a pumpkin, of course. I’m excited just thinking about them. And about the leaves changing. And about the snow brewing in the mountains. Yes! Buuuut, sadly I’ve got a bit longer to wait until the beginning of ski season. Until then, I’m miss career lady, networker extraordinaire, and bad-ass employee. All I’ve gotta do is make it through the steepest part of the learning curve (I can see the light!). And what happens if I start to feel the stress again?

A Life Experience Dealing with Varicose Veins in a Family Member

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As a child, I always looked at my mother’s legs wondering why she has blue and green veins all populating random parts of her skin on her calves and thighs. Now mind you, my mother is the most vain woman I have ever met, so it became a very, very big deal inside of my household when these veins became visible on her. She was always looking at herself in the mirror commenting on her looks. She also had plastic surgery several times, foregoing the more conservative measures that can be taken to help with varicose veins, such as compression stockings. Nope, she decided to go under the knife for these and some other issues that she wanted changed on her body. So being that she was so narcissistic, I always knew better than to inquire as to what they were, lest I risk starting a pity party and 12-hour-long crying and complaining session.

I noticed as she and I got older they progressively looked more prominent in color. They also began to bulge out and becomes more and more visible. When I was older, and we formed a more personal relationship, she told me they were called varicose veins, and that they were a direct result of her having stood on her feet for 8-10 hours a day for 20 years while she was a bank teller. She also told me that they were hereditary, and her mother as well as her sisters all dealt with having this issue. That was the moment I realized that these unsightly veins could become part of my future. We both laughed hysterically for almost five minutes, and then I began thinking of ways that I could prevent this from happening to me in the future.

From that moment in time, I made the decision to keep my legs particularly in shape in order to make sure I did not get them like they did, as well as to prevent any minor varicosity from forming. At the time of this writing, I am thirty-two years old and have a few minor occurrences, but they are small and only on the backs of my feet ankles. These probably occurred due to some of the activities I participated in when I was younger. For instance, I danced ballet, point, jazz, and modern from a small child all through my formative years until around eight-teen. I really believe that dancing was what truly kept my legs looking good and varicose veins almost non-existent. However, the small ones on my feet were probably also a direct result of standing on my feet for long periods of time during these dancing sessions. As an adult, after I stopped dancing, I have always performed vigorous leg exercises to keep my legs in top shape to prevent both these varicose veins as well as other issues, such as cellulite.

All in all, I believe that the experiences of my youth, in dealing with a mother who was self-absorbed and vain experience major cosmetic issues, such as these varicose veins, definitely gave me the motivation to do everything possible to employ preventive measures to make sure that my legs did not end up that way. So far, so good; here’s to hoping that as I enter into my 40‘s, these exercise methods are enough to stall such problems.

How to Build a Unique Wooden Gate Using Creative Ideas to Maximize Time

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Everyone knows that home improvement projects generally double in terms of money spent on the project versus the amount of value that the home gains from performing such upgrades. One of the most common outdoor upgrades that homeowners flock to completing is the wooden privacy fence. There is nothing like it; that is, having a backyard completely enclosed with nice-looking wooden slat fencing at sex feet tall, blocking the surrounding neighbor’s view into the happenings of your back yard festivities. Not to mention, adding a privacy fence can clean up the aesthetics of your property and can make it a much more appealing property for appraisers, neighbors, and passers-by. However, once the fence is completely, one must decide on the one part of the uniform fortress that sets it apart from every other wooden fence in the neighborhood: The gate. “Oh Wow! I love it!”

Yes, that’s right. The gate sets the fence apart. It is the only piece of the fence that will draw the eyes of the onlookers, making the imagination of these people wander in amazement. That is, as long as you provide a unique gate with a design that will set it apart from everyone else’s enclosure.

So, how do you go about building the perfect gate with the perfect design? You can, of course, use your miter saw (I used Hitachi C10FCE2 (review) to cut the wood, it’s a workhorse) to make decorative and perfectly-placed cuts in the wood that will adorn your pathway to backyard bliss. Think of a design that embodies your personality. For your writer, abstract designs would be the best approach to take. After setting up the standard gate with hinges, perhaps take some leftover wood and draw your designs on them. Then, cut these designs out with your miter saw, making sure they are appropriately traced so the design can be followed with every bit of detail.

Next, after you have used your miter to cut out these designs, chose the best way to affix them to the underlying basic gate structure. For instance, let us imaging that you wished to outfit the top posts surrounding your gate with diagonally-inward-facing triangles that would give your posts the appearance of spiked wooden tips. Then, after you have made the cuts for your designs, simply affix them to the appropriate area on your gate with wood fasteners.

In the end, you can probably get this project done in less than a day. By the time you are finished, you will end up with a gate that matches your personality or is maybe just a nice-looking distraction from all of the plain gates of your neighborhood. Either way you look at it, your fence will be as unique as you are, the value of your home will like rise by a few thousand dollars, and you will be the envy of your plain-gated neighbors! This is a win-win situation any way you look at it.

Tools:

  • 24″ level (or larger)
  • Drill w/bits
  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw and miter saw stand
  • Triangle
  • ratchet w/socket for bolts

Materials:

  • Wood
  • Metal hardware
  • bolts

PS: Make sure the bolts aren’t going to be longer than the thickness of your 2×4.

Building a fence gate | Instructables

Changing a Tire: Car Maintenance that Anyone Can Perform

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Automobiles are meant to have some maintenance that must be performed by the owner. This comes in the form of having the owner make sure to change certain parts as regular intervals, such as air filters, which are very easy to change and can be done in under 90 seconds on most vehicles. It also includes making sure to keep an eye on mileage when taking a car in for an oil change or changing the oil one’s self. Of course, giving your neighbor a jump start from your battery and changing a tire are probably the 2 most common “repairs” that one will come across when dealing with unexpected problems with a vehicle.

Giving or receiving a jump start simply requires a second vehicle or a battery booster and a pair of jumper cables. The cables must be hooked up to the appropriate ends of the battery terminal, and are usually color-coded “red” for positive and “black” for negative or ground. The vehicle with the dead battery simply restarts the vehicle while connected to the host car, and the drained car will start and charge the dead battery via the alternator while running. When this occurs, it is important to leave the car running and drive it a decent distance of at least 5-10 miles before turning it off in order to give the battery sufficient time to receive a charge from the alternator for the next start. Failure to give the battery the appropriate time to charge will result in a car that refuses to start the next time it is driven, just the same as before. However, as long as the battery is still good and able to hold a charge and as long as the car is driven for a few minutes, you will not have to worry about it going dead again unless you inadvertently forget to turn an accessory item off again and drain it for a second time.

Now, changing a tire is just as simple, as long as you come prepared with a floor jack and a spare time at all times. In fact, no one should drive a car without these necessary items, because driving comes with so many hazards. If you bought your car new, it will come with a best floor jack, but most people have much better experiences by purchasing a $30-dollar hydraulic floor jack with crank handle from an auto parts store. These jacks make it much easier to make these emergency changes, and provide a much more stable platform to work with. Now, to change a flat tire, simply find a secure spot on the frame of your car and allow the jack head to make contact with the frame when cranking it up into the air. Break the seal on the lug nuts before you get the car into the air. Crank the car up to a height that you know will allow for clearance of the spare tire. Once this is done, finish removing the lug nuts and remove the flat tire. Slide the spare on and tighten the lugs back onto the wheel. Lower the floor jack and remove it from underneath the vehicle. That’s all there is to it!

These are just a couple of do-it-yourself car repairs. There are others that range from easy to others — like changing transmission gasket and fluid — that are a bit more difficult but can still be done at home. It all depends on what your limits are for working with a car on your own, as well as how much money you are attempting to save. If you are able to stand the work, you will find that working on your own vehicle can be fun, a learning experience, and much more affordable than you think!

My Crazy Week With Some Amazing Purchases and Fall is Here

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This week has been pretty crazy for us and the cold weather is making it really hard for me to get up at 0 dark thrity and run. It was a huge accomplishment for me to start getting up in the mornings but I’m afraid early and cold is another story. I am really glad however that I have signed up for two races that will require me to train through the cold weather. It is definitely going to be a challenge but one that I will take on with Exuberance and Gusto!

Last weekend we went to a birthday party for one of my lifelong friends daughter. We have been friends probably since we were about 2 or 3 years old and it is amazing that we are still connected! I think that says a lot to who we are and how important our friendship is. They live in the Charleston area and I can’t stress enough how much I love it down there. I lived in Charleston for a short time and would go back in a heartbeat! View going into their neighborhood! Spanish moss on trees is really romantic! Off their dock – the waterway at low tide. The kids really loved going out there and watching the water and the little crabs that run around. This was a total act on their part. G copies everything C does and then laughs.

They went on a hayride which was really fun and got to “bob” for apples. They actually just reached in and grabbed theirs.We got back late Saturday night and then I had to run 14 miles the next morning. I will say that I was exhausted all day long and sore, so I took an Ice Bath that night. Brrr!! Need I say more. (sorry this is a repeat from the post the other day.)We had a cuddle day and just hung out for the most part. As my babies get older I don’t get that snuggle time I use to so when they both want to I am more than willing to take it!Love when he wants me to Snuggle him during his nap

Monday resulted in a Rest day and we had the kids Fall Festival at school that night. They were absolutely adorable and C performed a song with his class. They both wanted to get their faces painted too! I had plenty of time on Monday too when the kids were in school to go buy us all a new pair of shoes, except my husband. He likes to pick his own and he already has some he thinks are fine. Either way it was a great day! Love my new Brooks Ravenna’s, they are just as amazing as my other pair! I love the box that Brooks has for their shoes! It just makes me smile!Tuesday was another unplanned rest day for what reason I can’t remember, but Wednesday I was up bright and early. I really do love the early morning runs when it is dark and quiet. The moon was incredibly bright and I’ve gotten accustom to seeing shooting stars almost every morning that I run early. I love it!

Wednesday I had to go to C’s class and show the kids how to carve a pumpkin so inevitably we had to do another one at home for G to help with. Their friends from next door came help too. We carved a face on one side and then a paw on the other for the Clemson Tigers! This is what my husband has to endure when he is home working. They kids attack him from every angle. Pretty rough if you ask me! He loves it! (Excuse the mess, our house usually starts out all picked up in the morning and by the afternoon you would think a tornado came through.) I went on a run Thursday when C was in school so I had to take G with me in the stroller. My sweet neighbor let me borrow her jogger (I sold ours a while back). It was very difficult! I really give all you mom’s that run with their kids mad props because it is a workout. I included some hills so I opted out of any speed work. I’m not sure if I could have even managed it to be honest.G really has it rough, snacks and a book on a beautiful day! I got my order of Energy bits just in time for my run on Thursday. Thank goodness I did because I needed all the extra energy I could get for that one. I’ll have a full review of them in a couple weeks for you guys as well as a Giveaway!

I have also been on the hunt for a great headband that won’t move on my head when I’m running. I really think I don’t have the right head shape to hold a band in place properly. But alas, I was proven wrong when I bought my Sweaty Band! It really doesn’t move an inch. I will be getting more of these for sure! A fun moment that C caught on my camera! He really loves taking pictures!Has anyone tried Wolfgang Puck’s soups before? I’m not a huge fan of canned soup but in the Fall and Winter I really like to have some on hand for when I need a quick lunch, plus this was Organic and Gluten Free. I was surprised by how good this actually was. I also got the Lentil soup to try.

Getting ready for the weekend and have to get the Halloween costumes picked out and done too. You guys will have to be surprised on Monday with what they are going to be!So excited that Fall is here and we get to do all these fun Fall activities!Good Luck to all those running races this weekend! How is the colder weather affecting your running schedule? What are you planning on being for Halloween or what are your kids going to be? What is your favorite cold weather food?I really love my Mom’s Chili all year but especially during the Fall and Winter.

I’m Over My Pity Party Now

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Later today I’ll be making something I call Spinach, Beans, and Rice. Comes out like a big pot of stew, never comes out the same twice, and is purely made of whole foods. Other than burning it beyond recognition, there’s basically no way to mess it up. I use slightly different ingredients or proportions every time, but basically:

1) Sautee some garlic in a soup pot in a table spoon of olive oil. For added flavor, you can add/use butter but I like my olive oil. Also, I like a ton of garlic, so I’ll sometimes mince two full heads of it into the pot, but you can adjust to your own taste.

2) Add in 3-4 bags of frozen spinach. You can use fresh spinach or baby spinach leaves, but that costs a lot. The recurring theme in this dish is that you can customize to your own prefs.

3) Add in about 2 pounds of diced tomatoes. You can use cans to save time, but I like the flavor from fresh better. Also, some people dislike the skins and seeds, personally I just dice em up and throw it all in there.

4) Add in beans. Here is the most opportunity for customization. A standard configuration I use is 1 big (40 oz???) can of dark kidney, 1 big can of light kidney, and a regular can (16 oz???) of cannelini beans You really can’t go wrong here, I’ve used garbanzo, pinto, black, whatever beans you like, keeps it interesting.

5) Add water to achieve a consistency you like. Usually 1.5-2.0 cups, but I really threw out the recipe and just eye it up. If you want soupy, add more, if you want more stew-like, use less, just enough to prevent burning on the bottom of the pot.

6) Add salt and pepper to taste. Here’s another place to customize, I’ve gone through my whole spice rack randomly mixing stuff in here, this is such an easy and versatile meal to make, have fun.

7) Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a low simmer for min 45 minutes, longer if you want the flavors to mature better. You could do this as a slow cooker, but mine is too small for the size batches I make.

8) Make some rice of your choosing, best results if you add this to each bowl at serving time, prevents the rice from getting too soggy.

New Year, New Look

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Welp friends, Christmas holidays are officially over, but all of the possibilities of a new year are upon us. I hope you all had a lovely holiday season filled with food and family, and if you’re in the southern hemisphere, sun!

Because the new year is all about change and looking forward to new things, I decided that the blog needed a little jazzing up as well. What do you think, it looks a lot nicer, no? I also added another page to the menu bar, above, in case you’re curious as to how the whole change came about. Ever the geek, I wanted to do it all myself, and the aesthetic page explains how my geekery was motivated.

Last year I wrote out some of my resolutions on the blog, but to be honest, I don’t really have that many this year. I do want to get a bit more fit, and possibly run a 10k, but my main goal is to just continue to settle in here in Melbourne, and perhaps explore and develop my personal style a bit more. Life so far has been pretty great to me, so I’m hoping to keep that momentum into 2013. Travel, make new friends, and enjoy where I am are my primary goals, as well as immersing myself further into my new job and company. Sounds pretty standard, right? Ah well, happy new year to you all, and here’s to another year of smiles!

Good at Many Things… Great at None. Until now!

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I know the title of this may seem a bit negative but really it isn’t! I have finally found that one thing at which I know I can be Great!

I have always been one of those people that has had to try really hard at everything I do if I wanted to do well. I was never that person in school that just got good grades and passed tests without studying. There are people in this world that have some extraordinary talent or skill or something that they are Great at and Excel in. Then there are those that are just Good at many things but not necessarily Great at any one thing! That was me. I worked so hard to do well at everything I set my mind to that I think I spread myself too thin and never was able to focus on just one thing that I could Excel in. Maybe that’s because I just always wanted to do well in all that I tried to or because I never found that one thing that I just loved so much that the other things didn’t matter.

Until Now!! Next to being a Mother & Wife, Running has been one of the best things I have found! I am in love with Running and what it brings me. I have never found something that I have been so passionate about in my 32 years. That’s not to say it isn’t challenging and difficult at times because trust me IT IS! I have to work very hard at my training to progress to the paces I am currently running. I have a very long way to go to get to the place I want to be but I am 110% for the training and journey!

I have always been one to set extremely lofty goals for myself. However, I have always achieved what I set my mind to. This will be no different with my Running Goals! I am fully aware of the time it might take to get there but am so excited to work for it all!!If there is something out there that you want badly enough you have to reach for it and make it happen. I found that putting it out there makes it all more real for me. If I just think about it and don’t do any more then it is much harder to accomplish those Goals.

I have never been a super confident person in what I do so I make sure to surround myself with people who help to lift me up and inspire me to give it all I can. My family has been my biggest supporter and without them I wouldn’t be where I am. I have also brought on a Running Coach who has given me a lot to work with and has pushed me when I probably wouldn’t push myself. Lastly, running friends are invaluable! I have a few amazing girls that live in my neighborhood that also run and that have made Running even more incredible. Especially on those days when I’m just not feeling 100%.

After watching the Boston Marathon I was even more inspired to Run the best I can and to push through anything that may be limiting me. I can’t even begin to fathom running at speeds like Rita Jeptoo or Shalane Flanagan, but I hope to one day come close!Don’t let anything stand in the way of your dreams and goals! You are the only one that can make them come true!Is there something you feel that you are just Great at?What goals have you set for yourself that you are currently working towards?

My heart goes out to Colorado

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We’ve had a really busy weekend already here and I am wiped out! Got up again this morning at 5:40am. I am starting to get use to waking up early even on a weekend. Sort of Scary!

Ran 10 miles with a friend and didn’t even have to use my music! Another first! Especially on that long of a run.

My legs felt good, the weather was cool and overall it was a pretty easy long run.

My husband made a delicious Egg Fritata for breakfast with Salami, Goat cheese and skillet sauteed onions and peppers. It was a perfect meal for after my run. I did have to top it off with a cold glass of chocolate milk as a recovery drink.

We had a friends birthday to go to this morning which was a blast for the kids. I have now made her cake for the 4th year in a row. It means so much more to make for such good friends. The theme was Sofia the First!

Then we came home and the kids were wiped out so they took naps and I joined them. I was exhausted!It was such a beautiful evening that we let the kids paint outside. I’ll have to share their masterpiece when it dries.

I was reading the news and my heart goes out to the people affected by the flooding in Colorado today. I can’t even imagine how devastating something like that must be. I really like this quote though. It reminds us that even during the worst times there are always those who rise above to put others before themselves.

I forgot to mention that last week my son started soccer! He is actually pretty good for his first time. I was so proud and he was really cute out there.

Now it’s time for some Football!

What difficult times have you been through that you were thankful for someone else helping you through?

How is your weekend going?