A Guide to Clean Beauty and DIY Beauty Recipes to Try at Home!

As parents, we always want what is best for our children. It is our responsibility to keep them healthy and safe, and we do so by taking precautions with things like car seats, baby-proofing our homes and vetting every babysitter we hire. Unfortunately, there are many parents who do not realize that there are health risks with the everyday products we use on our kids. 


Many personal care products like shampoos and soaps contain ingredients that are potentially toxic. This is a scary thought considering our skin can absorb upwards of 60% of what we put on it. To make matters more concerning, the current laws do not require cosmetic and personal care companies to receive FDA approval, and they do not have to disclose every ingredient that they use. While it used to be difficult for parents and every day consumers to find products that contain safe ingredients and worked effectively, it’s become a much simpler task thanks to the clean beauty movement.


This movement has helped bring an increased awareness to the mainstream about the potentially harmful ingredients in our everyday products. Clean beauty products are thoughtfully created by companies and are produced without toxic ingredients, and are appearing more and more commonly on the shelves of major retailers. 


If you’re interested in learning more about what companies produce clean beauty and better-for-you products like organic and vegan, take a look at this guide to clean beauty from the team at Hola. There’s also some super simple DIY beauty recipes so you can make your own products at home and have full control over the ingredients you use on your skin! 


Choices Markets Kelowna Takes Steps Toward Sustainability


DATE: July 16, 2019


LOCATION: Choices Markets Kelowna - 1937 Harvey Ave


WHAT: Choices Markets has announced initial steps they are taking toward complying to the Government of Canada’s announcement to ban single-use plastics by 2021. As of July 1, 2019, Choices Markets Kelowna will be: 


  1. Removing plastic water bottles from their shelves

Choices Markets Kelowna has taken all 500ml single-serve plastic water bottles off their shelves. For the month of July, customers who bring in water bottles 1L or smaller will receive free water refills. 


  1. Offering cardboard boxes 

At the tills, customers will have the option of using a cardboard box instead of a plastic bag. We also offer reusable bags and 100% post-consumer recycled paper bags. As always, we encourage customers to bring their own grocery bags whenever possible. 


  1. Selling reusable produce bags 

Across all Choices Markets locations in B.C., the produce departments will be selling reusable produce bags in two different styles. These bags will be sold at cost with no profit to Choices Markets.



Amicable Divorce? How to Come up With a Co-Parenting Schedule



If you're trying to navigate an amicable divorce with children, you're not the only one. In 2018, almost 6 million children in the United States, from infants to 17-year-olds, lived with a divorced parent. With shared custody agreements being common, more people are learning how to effectively co-parent their kids without conflict.
The key to a stress-free situation is a co-parenting schedule designed to fit you and your child's life. To develop your strategy, follow the seven tips below.

1. Listen to Your Children

As an adult, you've dealt with changes and challenging situations throughout life. Children, on the other hand, are used to norms and routines. Significant changes, like Mom and Dad splitting up, can take time to digest. Let your children express their feelings, especially confusion, and ask them for input during the process. No matter how old they are, listening to a child's opinions can give them a sense of control over the situation. A child who has input in the schedule is likely to be more agreeable when the time comes to follow it.

2. Use a Parenting Calculator

One easy way to divide up time among amicably divorced parents is with a parenting time calculator. An online tool like this can create a customized schedule to fit all your needs based on the information you enter. To start, you'll need to choose a schedule type. The 4-3-3-4 plan is a smart strategy for those with school-aged children, as it provides consistency and predictability. Every other week is best for older children who are more independent and like to spend time with friends.

3. Be Realistic About Schedules

When deciding when you should have custody of your child, it's best to be realistic about your schedule. If you work 50-hour work weeks, for example, it would be unfair to fight for full custody and leave your children with a sitter. And remember, holidays are special for everyone, so it's unrealistic to expect custody on each one. Divide time fairly and think about what's best for your children.

4. Figure out Expenses

Kids are expensive. Don't wait until the last minute to discuss bills. In 2015, the cost to raise a child through the age of 17 was $233,510, a 3% increase from the previous year. Should you and your former spouse split child-rearing expenses 50/50? You might want a different arrangement. Should child support payments factor into costs? What about food, medical expenses, clothing and school supplies? By having an agreement ahead of time — preferably one typed and signed — you can avoid disagreements down the road.

5. Choose Your Battles

Parenting has its challenges, even when you're married. Co-parenting adds a new challenge, meaning it's crucial to avoid as many conflicts as possible. Communicate openly with your ex to prevent avoidable disagreements and choose which battles are worth fighting. Education, parenting times and health are worth taking a stand. But save your energy on smaller discrepancies like non-allergy-related food choices and vacation timing.

6. Find Ways to Communicate

Even happy couples can argue when it comes to raising a child. To survive disagreements, create a schedule based on open, clear and regular communication. Luckily, with today's technology, you can communicate with your ex without having to meet in person or talk on the phone. Reach each other quickly with texts and emails. Or use mobile apps like Cozi, Google Calendar and Our Family Wizard to stay up to date. Cloud-based storage is also ideal for sharing school report cards, sports schedules, medical records and other vital documents.

7. Revisit the Arrangement

It's smart to put a co-parenting schedule in place. But keep in mind life brings along changes, and it's necessary to revisit your agreement to ensure it's still meeting your needs. Perhaps you took on a new job and you need to spend more time in the office? Or maybe your child got into a prestigious school in a new town? It can be helpful to review your schedule every year as your children grow and circumstances change.
If you're going through an amicable divorce, don't forget to iron out the co-parenting schedule. Talk to your kids, no matter their age, and ask for input. You don't have to abide by what they say — it's just good to know how they feel. Consider your child's needs and use an online calculator to create a customized schedule.
And remember, an effective co-parenting schedule is a modern one you should revisit each year to take changes into account — both with you and your ex-spouse, as well as your children. 

Win a Brow Perfecting Set From Wink!



KMR Communications is offering one of my readers the chance to win one Brow Perfecting Quad from Wink. The total value of the products is: $42.00!  

Eyebrows are one of a person's most prominent facial features because of the many functions they perform. They help accentuate the eyes, shape the face, and play a powerful role in communication. According to science, eyebrows are the most important facial feature one has. When eyebrows are sparse, this immediately ages the face. The beauty industry and consumers have been in a flurry over brows for the past several years. The phrase, "eyebrows on fleek" has become common vernacular.  With a veritable smorgasbord of brow products out there, how does one choose? 

Enter Wink Brow Bar and the only product you need to keep brows lush and youthful.  Umbreen Sheikh, founder and CEO of Wink Brow Bar with locations in NYC and London has formulated this product to replicate the results she provides in her salons.  

Wink Brow Perfecting Quad

Retail Price: $42.00

Product Description

Wink's new Brow Quad is a multitasking compact developed for touch-ups on the go. The formulas, including smudge-proof filler powder, highlighter and grooming pomade for light, flexible hold, allow you to maintain the look of tidy, beautifully defined brows between studio visits.

Also included is a dual-sided brush — angled on one end to deposit and blend pigment with ease — and soft-bristled on the other to tame and shape for precise detailing. 

How to Use

Apply brow pomade with brush or fingertips onto brows and smooth into shape. Use a small amount of powder and gently layer brows with feather-like strokes to create the perfect brow. Finish by gently brushing brows upwards with the spoolie brush.

 

Tip: Do not use too much powder on the front of the brow and try to stay close to the brow shape. Dot sparse area gently with an angle brush. Finish with highlighter under the brow bone for an extra pop.

 

About Wink Brow Bar

 

About Wink Brow Bar

Wink was founded by Umbreen Sheikh, a licensed cosmetologist who grew up in the beauty industry in London.  Wink began as a luxury threading studio that combines state-of-the-art and traditional techniques as well as the very best formulations in the treatment room to create perfect eyebrows, eyelashes, skin, hair and nails.

Believing strongly in the transformative power of great brows, gorgeous lashes and fabulous skin, Wink evolved their services to include a prestige Vegan skincare line, bringing the luxury of a spa experience to the home.  This line includes three products for brows and lashes and six products for skin vitality and anti-aging. Comprised of essential products, the lineup focuses on the hydration, beauty and balance of the skin without irritation or disruption of its natural biorhythms.

 

Wink Brow Bar has three convenient locations in Manhattan, one in trendy Cobble Hill, Brooklyn and an international location in the U.K. 

Their list of services includes:

Organic Brow Threading

Brow Tinting

Brow Extensions

Lash Extensions

Keratin Lash Lift

Hair Waxing

Microblading

Custom Facials

Manicure/Pedicure

Hair color, cuts, and blow out

 Enter below for your chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enjoy Water Delights In Your Own Home



Flowers with vibrant colors and grass covering the ground, rocks, and pebbles allowing the gushing sound of water, a fountain that adds a dramatic touch, a bird dipping its head and enjoying the cool splashing water! Who would want to ignore a delightful and peaceful experience like this every single day in their own backyard or patio? With a well thought investment, you can enjoy a ‘staycation’ instead of vacation!

 

Water destinations have been a favorite one for many people across the globe. While planning well and taking a trip to some water destination is a good idea, there are some homeowners who love water have opted for owning pond water features at their properties to enhance the beauty and have made life more interesting. So, what exactly is pond water feature? How to get it? What is involved? What is required? How about its maintenance? Let’s see.

 

Pond Water Feature:

A pond water feature can also be called as advanced ponds that are basically artificial or man-made ponds. We can see this often in commercial buildings residential blocks built by renowned construction groups, individual houses and even in some public squares where national highways meet. The budget generally depends on where the pond needs to be built. People who want it at their homes mostly go for a decent budget that fits the space in their site.

How to get it:

To get a pond water feature at your space, going for a reliable company or a contractor who gives promising services is always good option. Check the reviews online and offline. Get in touch with people who have used certain services and how they feel about it. See if their projects have been attractive to the customers. It is always good to take precautions, suggestions, and ideas than rushing into something and later regretting the decision. 

What is involved:

Know exactly where you want it to be fixed. Since there are many options out there when it comes to the designs and shapes know what pleases you and your folks. After all, you would definitely want an addition like a pond water feature to enhance your value in society. Safety is important too. Probably, having a fenced water pond is way safer than inviting accidents and unnecessary incidents.


 What is required:

The water pump is one of the most important elements involved in getting an artificial pond. There are pumps available that can be partially immersed. Many people like this, as the usage of these pumps, are simple, safe, and a lot of energy can be saved. If you wish to have big water flow,then external pond pumps are another type available in the market. These are meant to be fixed with no contact to the water.

Maintenance:

Dust and debris can form and can limit the performance of the pumps. So,regular checking for clogs is required for an irk free flow of water. Another main aspect that needs attention to man-made ponds is algae. Algae are formed where there is no free flow of oxygen, from dead leaves and aquatic waste. So, some may wish to have plants that fight algae in their water pond feature to keep the water naturally clean. Cleaning and removing floating algae with the use of mesh pond nets can turn out to be an interesting project for kids too. 

Conclusion

 

Having pond water features make the area special and attractive also gives a posh touch. The sound of water can be soothing to one’s soul and gives a break from other annoying noises. It can be a favorite spot for birds that are more attracted to running water. It allows clean air to breath that can improve a person’s health and increase positive energy and make life worth living.

Natural Bug Remedies For Summer

Summer is in full swing, and for many of us that means taking shelter from the July heat in the cool indoors. However, the cool indoors can be less appealing when you’ve got a summer bug infestation on your hands! Instead of resorting to dangerous pesticides that can be harmful to kids and pets, you can actually take advantage of natural aversions that certain bugs have to specific smells. Take a look at the DIY bug removal tips from TurboTenant below:




Enhance Your "O" Game With SIRI™ 2 by Lelo This Summer

Summer is here and that means half naked, wet bodies, and lots of raging hormones. It's time to engage in the summer feels and enjoy your lover while the weather is warm and bodies are exposed. The latest and greatest toy to bring on some summer ogasms and toe curls is the Siri 2 by the lovely Lelo!

Sound-Responsive And Powerfully Resonant
For those craving ultimate power in the palm of the hand, SIRI™ 2 is the music vibrator that also vibrates in time to music or the sound of a lover’s voice. Powerfully over’s voice.

SIRI™ 2 offers LELO’s strongest vibrations ever for a handheld clitoral vibrator, with 8 settings inspired by music or the option to pulse along to any beat you choose.

Powerfully in Tune with Your Body
A music vibrator with sound-controlled setting that moves in time to ambient sound
Vocal Coach and Personal Massager in One
Massage gently before singing for pitch-perfect pleasure
Raise the Roof with Even More Intensity
Stronger vibrations than ever in a sound-activated vibrator- a real power ballad

Lelo makes some of the highest quality toys on the market with a fantastic warranty and excellent customer service.  Their goal is to make you happy and ensure your sex life is everything you ever dreamed it to be. 

Find this and many other seriously effective and satisfying toys at Lelo.com

Why I Started Brewing My Own Kombucha


There are a number of different health benefits from drinking Kombucha and it seems to be growing in popularity as we learn to take better care of our bodies. Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that has a slight vinegar taste that can be accompanied with a fruit juice. Here are a few of the benefits that have been noted by Kombucha drinkers:

  • Detoxification
  • Improved Digestion
  • Immune System Stimulation
  • Arthritis Prevention
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Cholesterol Reduction
  • Energy Enhancement
  • Weight Loss
  • Enhanced Athletic Performance
  • Mood Enhancement
With all of these fantastic benefits its easy to see why people have turned to Kombucha to enhance their health. There a number of different Kombuchas you can buy in the stores but they can be pricey and if your anything like me you will want to get healthy and save money at the same time. 

Brewing your own Kombucha is super simple and Karma Cultures has everything you need to get started and their customer service is unbeatable. Karma Cultures has set out to make the process of Kombucha so easy and uncomplicated that essentially anyone can brew Kombucha with confidence.

A couple things to be aware of. You should not serve or consume too much Kombucha as it does have a slight alcohol level within it due to the fermentation. It is not recommended to serve to children for this exact reason, it would be like giving them a beer. Do some research and ask questions and the best person to ask is just below!

Here's a bit about the owner of Karma Cultures Lea Ann:



When I first started to share my kombucha cultures with friends and family, I found many of them were overwhelmed and even afraid to try brewing kombucha themselves. I think they were worried they might make a mistake and, as a result, their kombucha could be ruined or even unsafe. I also think they were afraid the process would be time-consuming and take a lot more effort than they were willing to put out for homemade kombucha. The risk seemed to outweigh the reward—at least in their minds. While I understood their concerns, I also knew they were not necessarily valid.

So, with these worries in mind, I set out to make the process so easy and uncomplicated that essentially anyone could brew kombucha with confidence. And that is what I did.

Today Karma Cultures offers an all-in-one starter kit that includes not only all of the ingredients you will need to make kombucha but also all the equipment you will need to successfully brew at home with ease.

I think the biggest drawback to people who want home-brewed kombucha is the unknown. Like my family and friends who were unsure about how to successfully make their own kombucha, many people think it will be too hard or complicated. But the truth is, brewing kombucha at home does not have to be a chore.

The Karma Cultures Kombucha Easy Brew Kit is available here at the KARMA SHOP. It takes all the guesswork out of home brewing. Now, hundreds of kits and scobies later, we now also offer water kefir and Jun tea scobies. And for those of you who want to know everything there is about kombucha, my new book is just around the corner. For those of you who want the one-on-one, personal instruction experience, I will also be offering an online course shortly.

So, check us out. Be confident, be bold, and happy brewing!

Take a peek at the Karma Cultures blog to get some great ideas on recipes, brewing tricks, and much more!

How to Get Better (and More) Sleep as a New Parent


As soon as you announced your pregnancy, people probably started saying, “Start sleeping now because you won’t get any after the baby arrives.” Prolonged sleep deprivation can take a heavy toll on a couple, especially when you're navigating the world of parenthood. However, there are ways to help yourself get the rest you need despite the challenges of a newborn. 

Sleep Loss is Normal But You Still Need It

You're simply going to lose a certain amount of sleep when a new baby enters your home. Her circadian rhythms have not yet regulated, which means her day-night schedule may fluctuate for several months. Not to mention the nighttime feedings, so expect some sleep loss.


Just because it's expected doesn't mean you shouldn't make sleep a priority. Sleep helps regulate your appetite and metabolism as well as control food cravings. Your efforts to lose that baby weight will be much more successful if you've got adequate sleep on your side. Sleep also keeps your immune system and energy levels up for all those diaper changes and feedings.


You also need sleep for your emotional stability. The brain's emotional processing center becomes overactive to negative thoughts and feelings when sleep deprived. At the same time, the brain’s logic center becomes quiet and doesn’t exert control over your emotions without enough rest. Basically, sleep can help you wade through the waters of postpartum emotional ups and downs.


But how do you get it?

5 Ways to Get More Sleep and Keep Your Sanity


  1. Accept Help and Nap

If family and friends offer help, now is the time to accept it. Let them hold the baby while you get some sleep. Don't feel guilty. Someday you can do the same for someone else.


  1. Pump so You Can Split Duties

Pump an extra bottle of breastmilk so your partner can take at least one night feeding. Taking turns and splitting duties can help you both get more consecutive hours of sleep. You may also want to consider alternating the nights that you're up with the baby. Pump a bottle or two so your partner can take a full night. The next night it can be your turn for all-night duty.


  1. Nap When Baby Naps

This is the advice you'll hear most often and many times it's easier said than done. After all, the dishes, cleaning, and laundry are probably piling up. However, it’s advice worth taking. Do the cleaning later when your partner is home, and you can take turns holding the baby. Your baby's nap time is a great opportunity for you to catch a few extra ZZZ’s. Plus a short 15 to 30-minute nap can counteract some of the effects of sleep deprivation. 


  1. Call the Night Early

It's tempting to enjoy an hour or two of time to yourself after your baby has fallen asleep. But, your baby's first nighttime feeding comes fast. Go to bed as soon as your baby falls asleep for the evening. Over the course of the whole night, you’ll get at least seven hours of sleep, even if they’re not consecutive. 


  1. Eliminate Sleep Non-Baby Sleep Disturbances

Eliminate as many non-baby related sleep disturbances as possible. Use blackout curtains, a white noise machine, or encourage your partner to use an anti-snore mouthguard to enhance your sleep environment. The more disturbances you can prevent, the better. 

Conclusion

New parents might have to think creatively to get the rest they need. However, this phase of life doesn't last forever. Efforts to get better sleep for all of you will help you enjoy this short but special time with your newborn.

Learn to Take Risks and Liven Up Your Life


Some old guy once said, “nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Whoever this old guy was, he was probably pretty darn smart. He’s right. We are given a limited time of this beautiful planet. What are you doing with your time?

How are you spending your time?


Are you spending your time worrying about your yard? Are you concerned about the bare spots by the fence that cause your dog to get muddy paws after it rains?

Are you spending your time reading through social media posts? How many minutes a week do you spend reading your crazy uncle’s political posts, and then texting your siblings emojis and GIFS in reaction to his views?

Are you spending your limited amount of time watching two football teams you don’t care about battling it out during Monday night football?

Why are you spending your time like this? What if your life ends tomorrow?

Why we need to take risks


It’s time to come out of your shell. It’s time to do things a little differently. Thrill seekers and adventurers may roll their eyes at the following list. I’m not going to tell you to hop on the next plane, regardless of the destination. (Purchasing airline tickets at the last minute is expensive!)

I’m not going to recommend running out and buying one of the best sports cars. (Not everyone can afford that!) Instead, take one for a test drive or upgrade to a fancy car while on vacation.

Instead, take a few calculated risks that get you out of your comfort zone. You’ll be surprised how much just a few changes can liven up your life.

Become a good neighbor


Invite all your neighbors over for a barbecue, even the ones you hate. Everyone bonds over brats and beer. This one action could make your inhabitants of your neighborhood act neighborly again. Mayberry wasn’t Mayberry because it was written in “simpler times.” Mayberry was Mayberry because everyone sat on front porches with guitars.

Spend time with your grandparents

Ask your grandparents difficult questions about their lives. This may not seem like much of a risk, but I remember how even as an adult, how embarrassed I was to ask my Grandma what form of birth control she used in the 1930s. Answers to questions like that are the stuff of memories, my friends.

Join a club.


If you read, find a book club. If you like old cars, find an old car club. If you play the tuba, join a community band. You will have an instant group of people with a common interest. What an easy way to make a new friend.

Volunteer in a place that may be uncomfortable


Go to the nearest city and volunteer with a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Show up wearing clothes designed for work. Ask how you can help. Talk with the residents. Serve them.

Learn some new skills


Do a significant home renovation from start to finish just by watching YouTube videos. Don’t hire that cabinet re-facing. Learn to do it yourself. You are not too old to learn new skills. Imagine how proud you will be when you accomplish something that very few of your peers have done.

Reconnect with those you have lost


Reach out to estranged family members. Life is short. Don't let another day pass without apologizing for a past wrong or forgiving another for something done to you. Do you even remember what pushed you apart in the first place? Yes, reaching out to this person may be difficult, but isn't that what risk-taking is all about?

Travel

Book a trip you’ve been waiting for your whole life. Have you always wanted to visit your Grandmas’ birthplace in Germany? Go. Have you always wanted to see the Redwoods? Go. Have you always wanted to spend Valentine’s Day on top of the Empire State Building? Go. It’s never going to be the right time, and it will seem like there’s always a different way to spend money. Do not put travel off any longer.

Write letters

Write a letter to everyone you love. Assure them you aren’t dying, but take time to write a letter to your spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, extended family, and friends. Tell others how you feel about them, and why you love them.

We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Take a few risks. Make yourself uncomfortable. Don’t plan everything to a T. Be spontaneous. Just making a few small changes can literally change the rest of your life.


A Guide to Clean Beauty and DIY Beauty Recipes to Try at Home!

As parents, we always want what is best for our children. It is our responsibility to keep them healthy and safe, and we do so by taking pre...