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Friday, November 16, 2018

Distracted Driving | One Split Second Can Change Your Life!

Today's post is a bit of a departure from my regular posts. I'm writing this post to bring awareness of the devastation that can occur as the result of distracted driving. Most of us, myself included, are guilty of distracted driving at one time or another. We often become complacent and are so busy multitasking these days, constantly reaching for our smartphones, or maybe we are distracted for other reasons.

Did you know that distracted driving is the #1 cause of deaths on Ontario roads!?

Last week, my uncle was struck by a car. He was out for his daily walk and the driver wasn't paying attention, ran a stop sign and hit him. My uncle incurred a traumatic brain injury, 6 skull fractures, and remained in a coma until the other day. He is now somewhat awake but we have no idea what the outcome will be, as the doctors say things can go anyway. My Uncle is hooked up to about 20 various tubes and also has tubes draining the blood and fluid from his brain (among other things) to keep him alive. At this time, all we can do is wait on pins and needles, pray,
 hope for the best, and wait and see what happens, while the Doctors do their best to help him recover.

Despite my Uncle's injuries, I also cannot imagine what the driver must be going through. I know I couldn't live with myself if I hit someone. So, I am hyper-aware while driving now. I hear about too many people getting hit by distracted or impaired drivers all the time. Just the other week, there were something like 16 pedestrians hit by cars in Toronto, Ontario. 

Many of us are guilty of being distracted while driving, myself included. But I am making sure I pay full attention at all times now and I want to bring awareness to this to save lives! I wouldn't want to be in the shoes of the person hit (I was hit by a streetcar many years ago and it was life changing for me), nor would I want to be in the shoes of the person who has hit a pedestrian. 

There are brand new laws on distracted driving that will be in effect on January 1, 2019. The new laws will be much tougher on drivers. If you hit a pedestrian while driving distracted, you can even face jail time!

Distracted driving statistics: (source:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/distracted-driving#!%2F12)

In Ontario, deaths from collisions caused by distracted driving have doubled since 2000.

Ontario data on collisions from 2013 show:

  • one person is injured in a distracted-driving collision every half hour
  • a driver using a phone is four times more likely to crash than a driver focusing on the road (8X per CAA, linked here.)

What is considered distracted driving:
Distracted driving isn't limited to those handling their phones while driving. You can read more about what constitutes distracted driving HERE.

Here are some of the acts that would be considered being distracted while driving (resource Narcity.com):
  • Simply holding an electronic device in your hands (hand-held communication during driving is against the law)
  • Using a cellular phone to talk, text, check maps or switch playlists
  • Eating (there may not be a licence suspension, but the RCMP warn you could be fined or given six demerits depending on the food)
  • Reading books or documents
  • Typing a destination into the GPS

How can you help:

Take the pledge against distracted driving: http://distractionfree.ca/

With the ambitious goal of gathering more than 20,000 pledges, the campaign aims to raise awareness across the country and encourage positive driving habits. Each pledge will result in LGM donating $1 towards education and research on road safety, up to $20,000. Proceeds from the dollar-per-pledge initiative will go to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF).

Purchase a Drive Safe Keychain. $1 from each sale of the keychain will be donated to charity to help those who have been affected by impaired drivers. https://dudaad.com/blogs/news/drive-safe-campaign

There are many more resources you can find by searching the internet. 

With it becoming darker much earlier, we have to be even more vigilant while driving. It can be very difficult to see pedestrians, especially if they are wearing darker clothing. I have to admit, that I no longer take walk outdoors, with the exception of trails out in nature. There are just too many people getting hit by distracted drivers. 

If this can happen to my super health conscious Uncle who is always so careful when he goes for his daily walks, it can happen to anyone!

My family really appreciates all the well wishes and prayers that we have received from everyone! Thank you!

Not sponsored.
#drivesafe #savealife

Sunday, November 11, 2018


We all know that cosmetic-plastic surgeons and dermatologists earn their living by operating or non- invasive procedures. Most of these endeavors are costly for patients.  It’s rare that any aesthetic surgeon will let us in on things we can do daily that don’t require us to visit them!  We are fortunate to have Dr. Manish Shah, a Denver board -certified plastic surgeon share secrets with us, that in many cases cost nothing or less than a gourmet cup of coffee.   


1.    Cleaning your phone screens – Dr. Shah offers that, “A great way to avoid blemishes is to routinely clean the makeup and bacteria off of your phone screens. It is easy to spread harmful skin bacteria from the surface of your phone. Washing your hands goes a long way to avoid skin contamination as well.”

2.    Make your own exfoliating scrub at home – Dr. Shah shares that, “A woman I consider my second mother taught me how to create my own organic exfoliating scrub. She would dry peeled skins of oranges, lemons, and limes in the sun. She would then finely grate the white inside rind of the peel and then mix it with any facial cleanser or even add it to fine facial oils. Using the scrub would exfoliate the skin, treat it with Vitamin C, and prevent over-drying of the skin because of the fruit oils.”

3.    I recommend treating the enlarged pores of the T-zone with over the counter hydrogen peroxide. The bacteria in the pores create inflammation that increases pore size, and this leads to blackheads and whiteheads. Dr. Shah explains that, “These bacteria can’t survive in high oxygen environments. 3% hydrogen peroxide is available over the counter quite inexpensively. Treating only the T-zone at night kills the bacteria, reduces pore size and blemishes. Because it can be quite drying, takes breaks from its use every now and then.”

4.    Avoid fake nails. They harbor tons of bacteria that are easily transferred to the face when you touch your face. Instead, focus on growing your own nails with the help of oral vitamin C and any good quality hair, skin, and nails vitamin like Nature’s Bounty Extra Strength Hair, Skin, and Nails.

5.    For teens, especially, it is so important to wash their pillowcases routinely. Dr. Shah is the father of three teens. From his first-hand knowledge, he says that “Teens aren’t very compliant when it comes to skincare and they suffer from hormones in a bad way. This 1-2 punch makes acne and blemishes the bane of most teens’ existences. Going to sleep at night on clean pillow cases after washing your face goes a long way to reducing bacterial burden and allows blemishes to heal.”

6.    If you suffer from puffiness around the eyes, a quick trick is to use black tea bags. Wet them in ice water and lay them onto the eyes to soothe. The caffeine in the black tea causes blood vessels to constrict, reducing edema or swelling in the delicate, thin eyelid tissues.

7.    Add baking soda to your toothpaste to easily polish away stains to keep your teeth white. Instead of bleaching your teeth, baking soda actually breaks the molecules that stain the teeth. It is less irritating to your gums as well, and way cheaper than teeth whitening strips.

8.    Eat the rainbow- A white bread-based diet does not for clear skin make. That’s why Dr. Shah makes sure his diet is packed with brightly-colored fruits and vegetables.  He says, “Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants which give glow to the skin.” Specifically, research suggests that pigments called carotenoids—found in foods like carrots, spinach and other leafy greens, and tomatoes have been linked to good complexions.” Adding fish oil to your diet also improves skin compliance and radiance.

9.    Avoid Hot Showers- Disappointing as it may beDr. Shah says, “Hot showers remove too much of your natural oils and brings blood circulation to your skin, creating inflammatory reactions that result in rashes and aggravate those with eczema or dry patches.”

10. You may just need a brow wax instead of a lift
“I had a patient who wanted a brow lift because she thought she looked angry all the time. I sent her for a brow wax instead. It took 15 minutes, she looked great, and she saved herself thousands.” Other brow techniques like brow tinting can change how your eyebrows frame the eyes, improving on your looks.

About Dr. Manish Shah

Manish Shah, M.D., F.A.C.S. is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 
the Rhinoplasty Society, and the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery. After completing his formal plastic surgery training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Univ. of Tennessee College of Medicine, he moved to New York City and was selected for the prestigious Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship at Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital. He underwent extensive, advanced training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body at the hands of some of the most renowned cosmetic surgeons in the world. Dr. Shah is one of only a select few plastic surgeons in the country who have undergone formal post-graduate training in aesthetic surgery.
Dr. Shah’s specialties include revision facial aesthetic surgery, rhinoplasty (“nose reshaping”), and aesthetic surgery of the breast (breast augmentation, breast lift, breast reduction). He is, however, well-trained in all areas of aesthetic surgery. Dr. Shah’s aim is to obtain a natural appearing transformation that complements the real you!

Guest Post. Not sponsored

Friday, November 2, 2018

Monthly Empties | Health, Beauty, Makeup, Skincare!

Happy November, everyone! I don't know about you but I'm actually glad that November is here. No idea why, maybe new month, new start!? Anyhooo, it's time for another empties post. Sorry for the lighting in the photos, it's been raining all week and the lighting was terrible, to top it off my bottle of Glycine wouldn't cooperate and pose properly for the photos! 😂

As always, I will share links to products in the titles and mini reviews.


PhiNaturals Collagen Complete
I liked this collagen powder as it didn't have any taste, mixed well in my smoothies and it's also non-GMO and grass-fed. However, I have switched to Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate as it is pasture raised and grass fed which is a better choice. I also feed the collagen to my cat for all the same reasons I take it. There are too many benefits to get into here but one Google search will fill you in if you're not familiar with some of the benefits. A few benefits are joint health, gut health, restores bone density, helps with tissue repair and is reported to be good for hair, skin and nails, too!

Repurchase- No (will purchase Great Lakes Collagen)

Now Glycine Pure Protein Powder
I've talked about Glycine a lot on my site recently. Although I purchased this for the reported sleep benefits, I actually found that it helped with daytime stress rather than my sleep. I take 1 heaping tsp in a bottle of water and sip it throughout the day.

From iHerb:
Glycine is the smallest and simplest amino acid, making it versatile for use in a wide range of functions. Glycine is necessary for the production of glutathione, DNA, creatine, bile, hemoglobin, and most proteins. It also helps to promote glycogen storage, thereby making glucose readily available for energy production. Glycine also functions as a calming neurotransmitter in the brain, where it facilitates nerve impulses and is important for the maintenance of healthy sleep patterns.

Repurchase- Already have!

Nature's Bounty Hair, Skin and Nails Gummies
I like to take these for my hair and skin health. I really only notice my nails growing like crazy when I take these, so I know they're doing something! These contain biotin, vitamin c + E. For some reason, biotin on its own makes me breakout but these do not.

Repurchase- Yes

Jarrow Max DHA
These have been my favourite fish oil caps for a long time. I try others but always come back to this one. The gel caps are small and I don't get fishy burps. Plus, I get a higher dose of DHA which is the predominant fatty acid in the brain, nervous system and retina of humans and also supports neurological function. 

Repurchase- Already have

Schuessler Tissue Salts- Nerve Tonic
It's been years since I took tissue salts. I was introduced to them when I developed my severe insomnia and discovered homoeopathy while looking for help with my sleep issues. I saw these in the store and decided to give them another try since it has been so long (since about 2002). I didn't really notice anything though. Tissue salts come in single remedy form or compositions such as this one.

About Tissue Salts:
Tissue Salts are specially prepared micro-doses of the body’s 12 essential minerals. These minerals are important for the functioning and health of the body; if deficiency or imbalance occurs, common ailments or illness may result. With today’s reliance on highly processed foods, keeping a healthy balance of minerals in the body is often difficult.

Repurchase- At some point. Perhaps the next one will be a single remedy tissue salt

Bach Rescue Remedy Night
Bach flowers are another form of homoeopathy. I had taken the very popular Rescue Remedy drops before the night version was available and unfortunately, it didn't do anything for me. However, I do find the Rescue Night formula helps my sleep somewhat. I take it before bed and if I wake too early it often helps me fall back asleep. The other great thing about homoeopathic remedies is that there are no contraindications with medications. Note: I find the actions are very subtle. I don't feel sleepy after I take this but it does help with my sleep somewhat.

Repurchase- Already have


Prescription Retin-A 0.04% (RX only)
I've been using this Retin-A for years. It's Retin-A Mirco 0.04%. It has never been harsh nor irritated my skin, I didn't even need an adjustment period when I started it. The only time I needed an adjustment period was when I started using it on my neck, and even then it was minimal. If you've had a hard time adjusting to typical Retin-A, ask your Doctor about this one.

Repurchase- Yes

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
This was a great mask for pulling impurities out of my skin and getting a little exfoliation in as well. My skin really did glow when I used this. Whenever I use a mask like this one, I like to follow it up with something very hydrating- either a hydrating mask or Essence followed by my serum, moisturizer, and sometimes oils. This product is Vegan.

Repurchase- Possibly, I have so many other to use up first and I'd like to try some of the other ones from this line.

Elf Perfect Finish HD Face Powder
I purchased this with one of my iHerb orders. It was a steal and lasted for a long time. It definitely blurred my pores and killed the shine on my face, I'm pretty oily. It is a white powder though, so a light dusting is all you need, probably why it lasted so long! This product is cruelty-free!

Repurchase- I would but I have SO many others to use up first

Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray (Sample)
I loved this product and it was my first experience with Living Proof products. I get the feeling that this brand will work really well for my hair type, so I am eager to try more from them. I have naturally super frizzy hair, plus it's damaged hair from bleach and this spray did a great job at smoothing my frizz without weighing my hair down. I was impressed!

Repurchase- Yes

Anbber Beauty Sponge 6 pc
I ordered these makeup sponges from Amazon on a whim many months ago. I was blown away by the quality! These are my HG sponges! They are super soft, they don't absorb your product, they blend makeup really well (I use them damp), there's no funky smell, and none of mine have developed mold like some name brands sponges that I've used. I use each sponge for 3 months and then throw them out, even though they still look fine and have no tears or mold.

Repurchase- Yes

Sonia Kashuk Lipstick in Sheer Pink Lust
My HG lipstick of all times! This had such an anti-aging effect on my lips and the colour was so perfect! But, sadly Sonia Kashuk is no longer selling makeup. :(

Repurchase- No. Discontinued

Ecotools Mask Mates / Cleansing Sponge
I cannot rave enough about this sponge and the brush the came with it! At first, I thought these were just some gimmick to get us to purchase more unnecessary items to add to our beauty routines. These are NO gimmick at all. The brush (included in the kit but not shown) is wonderful and actually makes masking less messy and just easier and more enjoyable. The sponge is made from the same materials (natural pulp) that they use in high-end spas! It makes mask removal easier and less messy, plus you can use them daily with your cleanser. They really help to remove every trace of makeup while gently exfoliating the skin. I adore these!

Repurchase- Yes!


Kirkland Face Wipes
I love to stock up on these. You get a huge box and it even contains a few packs of wipes for travel. The wipes are huge, nicely saturated and very gentle on my skin. I use one every night to remove my makeup before cleansing.

Repurchase- Yes

Himalayan Botanique Complete Care Toothpaste
I really enjoyed this toothpaste and loved the cinnamon taste. It checks off all the boxes that I look for in a natural toothpaste, it's free of SLS, fluoride, carrageenan, and gluten. However, after one tube of it, I can't say that I'm converted from my favourite Now Foods Xyliwhite cinnamon toothpaste. Although I love my Xyliwhite, I always love trying out other natural toothpaste.

Repurchase- I've already gone back to my Now Foods Xyliwhite


Homeocan Insomnia Homeopathic Remedy
This product didn't fit into my photo of health products, and I figured that it deserves a spotlight all on its own. I've used a ton of homoeopathic remedies over the years. Some single remedies, some compositions and I've had some success with many of them. I think my body got used to many of them and they no longer worked for me. I came across this one by Homeocan which I had never tried before, so I figured I had nothing to lose. It really helped with my sleep issues and I've sadly run out and need to get some more asap!

Repurchase- ASAP!

I hope you enjoyed seeing this month's empties and hopefully, you found some of the information helpful.

Here's to a new month! May it be a happy and healthy one!

Always consult with your Doctor before beginning new supplements

Not sponsored. Some links are referral. Thank you if you choose to use them
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