Thursday 28 July 2022

4 Things You Should Know Before You Opt for Medical Tourism

It is estimated that around two million Americans go abroad for medical procedures every year. Cost is usually the main driving factor but there are many cases where people go abroad to benefit from the specific expertise physicians in a country have. While medical tourism can be beneficial to a certain class of patients, it's important to note that there are many costs involved with it that you may not have considered. There are also some severe limitations to getting a procedure done abroad, and you won't know what it's truly like until you've gone through the process. 

Let's take a look at a few things you should know before you go for medical tourism.

Recovering in Another Country Can Be Tough

Have you thought about how it would be for you to recover in completely foreign territory if it's your first time traveling to that country? Recovery is already difficult, so imagine if you're in a country whose culture you don't fully understand yet. This is why you must at least learn a thing or two about the country you're about to visit.

Learn about the culture, food, and people's general attitude towards tourists, especially those coming from the US. Also look at local hygiene customs, access to fresh water, and the temperature. This will prevent you from getting a culture shock at the worst possible time.

You Have to Arrange for Transportation Well in Advance

If the procedure is for a senior or someone with limited mobility, you might want to start looking at non-emergency medical transport services right away. You may also have to speak with the physician you’re going to see so you can get confirmation that the transport is needed to preserve your or the patient's health. This is because Medicare has specific rules regarding non-emergency medical transport, and they have to be followed to the letter if you want to make sure you’re covered. If you want to answer the question ‘does medicare cover non emergency medical transportation?’ and in which circumstances, we suggest you check out the Flying Angels website.

Arrange for Follow Ups too

You should also speak with the physician and ask if you're going to have to come back for follow-ups. If you have tocome back a few weeks after the procedure, then you might want to consider staying at the destination. Compare the cost of going back and forth and consider the convenience factor. If it is a destination you wanted to go to in the first place, then you could turn it into a vacation and scratch the additional costs off.

You Could Get Much Better and Faster Service

With that being said, you shouldn’t be scared of medical tourism. Countries in Asia, Europe, and South America have developed procedures that are much better than some of the procedures we have in the country, and they have greater standards of care, so you may get much better service over there. It's up to you to do your research on the state of their healthcare system and make sure that the physician you go for is certified and well recognized there.

Medical tourism can be a great option if you want to cut your costs or get a procedure that’s not available over here. Do make sure that you look at the pros and cons of medical tourism first and speak to a few people who have had work done abroad.

8 Health Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep for Anyone

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Everybody knows that a good diet and regular exercise are the two pillars of good health. However, most people fail to realize that a good night’s sleep is also essential to living a healthy life. It is recommended to get anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Even one night of disturbed sleep can greatly impact your body, more so as you get older. Thus it is important to ensure that you get proper sleep every night without any disturbances. You can do so by going to bed early and rising up at a suitable time in the morning. Make sure that your bedroom is quiet and dark and that your bed is comfortable. This will help you avoid restlessness at night so that you can avail all the benefits of good quality sleep listed below.

Leads to a good mood and lifted spirits

Not getting enough sleep can make it harder for you to keep your emotions under control. You might feel very irritable and disgruntled the next day and spend your entire day in low spirits. However, this is nothing a good night’s sleep can’t fix, so you don’t have to worry. Try to take a short nap during the day to compensate for the lost sleep and patiently wait for the day to end. However, if you’re always agitated, moody, or depressed, even after a good night’s sleep, maybe there is a deeper problem, and you need professional help from a facility like Vista Pines Health to address the underlying issue.

It helps keep obesity at bay

Our bodies produce various hormones that are responsible for different bodily functions. Two of the hormones are leptin and ghrelin. The former is responsible for making you feel full after a meal, and the latter gives rise to the feeling of hunger when it’s time for you to eat. However, lack of sleep can interfere with the levels of these hormones in our body and lead to our overeating because of excessive feelings of hunger and not knowing when we’re full. If unchecked, this can lead to obesity and many other health issues.

Reduces risk of heart problems

High blood pressure seems a common problem most people suffer from these days. It can be very detrimental to the function of your organs if it isn’t kept in check. Most people fail to realize that getting a good night’s sleep can greatly help lower their blood pressure. People who fail to do that trigger stress hormones in their bodies, which increase their heart rate and blood pressure. This can put them at risk of a stroke or heart attack. It can also cause calcification in the coronary arteries, which are the arteries that supply blood to the heart. Calcification can reduce blood flow through these arteries, compromising the oxygen supply to the heart.

It helps manage insulin levels

Insulin is another very important hormone that our body naturally produces. It is produced by the pancreas and regulates glucose levels in our blood. Lack of sleep can affect insulin production and how your body interacts with the hormone. This can lead to a rise in your glucose levels which puts you at risk of developing diabetes. People who already have diabetes are at an even greater risk as high glucose levels can have serious repercussions for the body.

Good for your immune system

Your immune system is responsible for creating the cells in your body that help fight infection. When you sleep, the number of these cells is at its peak. So when you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system fails to produce the required number of cells. This can leave you vulnerable to infections and other health conditions. If this lack of sleep goes on for a long time, you start to lack important cells that you need to fight illnesses. This can lead to persistent inflammation in most of your body, which is the precursor to many health conditions.

Leads to improved cognitive performance

Most people know that a good night’s sleep is imperative if you aim to accomplish anything the next day. Everything on your schedule, from the smallest house chores to the most serious work commitments, might not be possible to accomplish if you fail to sleep soundly. You will be unable to concentrate, make anything creative or learn anything new. Hence, get enough sleep every night to give your best the next day.

Essential for memory processing

When you are sleeping, you go through REM and non-REM sleep cycles. The non-REM sleep comes first, followed by REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. It is said that during the third non-REM cycle of your sleep, your brain starts working to organize your memories. The following REM stage helps to cement the memories further. This means that if you don’t get enough sleep, you will seriously damage your brain’s memory processing, leading you to forget important things.


A good night’s sleep is really beneficial for your health as it can uplift your mood and set the tone for your entire day. Getting enough sleep can reduce the risk of heart problems and obesity. It is good for your immune system, so your body is ready to fight any infection. Insulin levels are also managed better after a good night’s sleep. Enough rest and sleep are essential for memory processing and enhancing cognitive performance. They are also greatly important for children and adolescents to grow into healthy adults.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

Single Mom Summertime Safety Tips To Use Now That Children Have More Time On Their Hands

According to Tania Haigh, Founder of Kids Too, single moms already have a full plate, and obstacles like the constant pressure to make decisions simply cause more intimidation and stress. In addition, a Pew study reports that most Americans say women face a lot of pressure to be “involved” mothers.


With that in mind, we love keeping it simple for single moms, and with summertime being a season when parents’ guards may come down a bit and kids live more freely, here are 5 summertime tips to help single moms keep their kids safer.

  1. Be aware that predators are among us. Summertime brings fun opportunities to travel, which often means a child could be traveling on a plane solo to visit the other parent or to spend part of the summer with relatives. Being aware that predators can lurk in airports will help moms equip their kids to observe their surroundings and know what to do if they feel they’re in danger. In addition, with regard to relatives, it’s important to know that in 90% of instances of child sexual abuse, the predator causing harm is someone the child and family knows. So it’s important for single moms to teach their kids to always communicate with them immediately if anyone (stranger, friend, or relative) initiates any inappropriate touching or exploitative behavior.

2.               Keep tabs on who is around your child—both in person and online. With school out for summer break, kids can have varied routines…or no routine at all. This lack of structure combined with a lot of extra free time can lead to excessive use of devices as well as more time spent online using social media sites like Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook or even gaming on Roblox and other gaming sites. During these activities, kids may find comfort in making connections online, the nebulous concept of “online friends.” But sometimes developing these online friendships means your children are interacting with total strangers who have managed to connect with them. These “online friends” work on building trusting relationships that can lead to offline dangers, such as agreeing to meet in person. Unfortunately, there are too many unknowns about the real identities of these online avatars. So, single moms,  just like it’s important to know what friends are hanging out with your children IRL (in real life), monitoring your kids’ online conversations and perhaps eliminating some of their “online friends” is also a significant key to their safety.

3.               Be clear about boundaries. Summer is a great season for outings and social gatherings, such as the annual family BBQ at Grandma’s house, block parties bringing neighbors together, or family reunions at the park. Your children may be exposed to lesser-known extended family members who fly in from out of town or neighbors from down the street who consume alcohol around them. In order to feel more at ease, single moms should educate and prepare their children for these social events. Have a conversation with your children about what to watch out for and what it might look like or feel like if an adult or older child/teen makes an inappropriate advance toward them. Also, remind them of your love and protection and that there are no secrets that need to be kept from Mom.

4.               Have the “privacy” conversation. As parents, we often think of the school year as the time to get back in the swing of having key conversations with our kids, but in reality, digital safety is one conversation that should be happening year round. Most kids get access to gaming like Roblox and social media channels like TikTok when they’re far too young—long before parents can explain to their kids how important it is for them to keep certain information private. Remind your kids that maintaining privacy—which also keeps them safe—includes not revealing their real names via avatars or account names, never sharing their address or physical location, and never revealing anything about their bodies by taking, sharing, or uploading inappropriate images.

5.               Do what you can. Admittedly, single moms face many challenges and obstacles in raising their kids—yet there is support available specifically to keep moms informed and empowered. Keeping your children safe over the summer may mean shifting the talks you have with them from questions like “how was your day at school?” to topics such as “how did it go at your dad’s?” and “who are you gaming with?” and “did anyone make you feel uncomfortable at the pool?” At the end of the day, we want all moms to know that staying involved in your kids’ lives is the key to keeping them safe.


Looking for some summer reading to become even more informed on how to protect your kids? Organizations like Parents Against Child Sex Abuse offer more ways to keep kids safe with their PAXA Pointers Curriculum and the KIDS TOO movement, including a “Watch Out” list for parents.

Monday 25 July 2022

Chemical Free, Plastic Free, All Natural Laundry & Dish Cleaning Solution

Popular Canadian brand’s effective alternatives to chemical-based cleaning products available online 

I have always been skeptical of natural cleaning products for some reason in my “media brainwashed” mind natural used to come across as not as good or a lesser product. That is a terrible way to think but I am slowly changing my perspective when I find products as high quality as AspenClean! This product gets my clothes just as clean, just as soft and has none of the harsh chemicals and wasteful plastics the other guys use. Not only am I creating less of a carbon footprint but I am using all natural cleaning products for my family.

My dishes sparkle, my laundry is clean and my family is healthier by using a natural alternative! All natural laundry soap pods and dishwasher pods are an excellent addition to every home and is so much better for the planet! 

For those of you that are sensitive to fragrance and dyes this product has absolutely none added so you can be sure your skin and families skin is perfectly safe with a natural clean on their laundered clothes. 

AspenClean, the popular Canadian brand producing award-winning safe and effective alternatives to chemical-based cleaning products, is offering its line of plastic-free detergentsto Americans through its website:  The laundry detergent pods, dishwasher pods, and oxygen bleach powder and stain remover, all with plastic-free packaging, ship anywhere in the United States.  AspenClean products are made with only natural and organic ingredients and have won cleaning product awards from Parents and Good Housekeeping magazines.

“All of our products have earned a prestigious A-rating verification by the Environmental Working Group, ​​delivering the same results as conventional products but putting family and planet first,” said AspenClean founder Alicia Sokolowski, a parent who started the product line when she was looking for safer, chemical-free home cleaning products after her baby was born.  “We focus on using organic and plant-based ingredients and biodegradable, recyclable and plastic-free packaging for a better planet.”The plastic-free product line includes:

·         AspenClean’s Unscented Laundry Pods

AspenClean’s Unscented Laundry Pods are entirely fragrance-free and carefully formulated with oxygen bleach and enzymes, using no synthetic fragrances, toxins or irritants.  The zero-plastic laundry pods are naturally formulated to remove tough stains, fight odor and fight dirt, grime and grease but are non-toxic and packaged in a compostable container. These laundry pods are packaged in a 100% recycled paper package designed for convenience while being conscious of the impact on the environment. The vegan laundry pods are gentle on sensitive skin and won’t damage your clothes with harsh chemicals. Remove tough stains and leave your clothes feeling good as new with an eco-friendly laundry pod that is still 100% baby safe, pet safe and is environmentally sustainable.  Also available are Eucalyptus Laundry Pods and Lavender Laundry Pods.


·         AspenClean’s Unscented Dishwasher Pods

Made of biodegradable, plant-based ingredients that leave your dishes sparkling clean every time, AspenClean’s Unscented Dishwasher Pods are packaged in a 100% recycled paper container with no plastic at all, while being fully compostable and safe for your family and the environment. These eco-friendly dishwasher pods remove even the toughest of food stains and eliminate grease without leaving any residue or film on your dishes or glassware in just 1 cycle! 

·         AspenClean’s Oxygen Bleach Powder and Stain Remover

AspenClean’s Oxygen Bleach Powder and Stain Remover is made of biodegradable, plant-based ingredients that gives your laundry a natural booster to remove tough stains on clothes!  The oxygen bleach stain remover will leave your clothes whiter and brighter using the natural power of mineral-based ingredients and enzymes in just 1 wash. Give your clothes a deep clean by removing those stubborn stains and restore them back to brand new.  Revive those whites and brighten those dull colors! Add the color-safe oxygen bleach powder as a laundry booster or as a stain remover to any load of laundry.  AspenClean Oxygen Bleach is suitable for standard and HE laundry machines. 

About AspenClean

AspenClean was born out of a parent’s journey to find a safe and effective alternative to chemical-based cleaning products. AspenClean offers 100% ingredient transparency and every formula is made without toxic, or even potentially toxic, ingredients. They are cruelty-free, Ecocert® certified and have received an A-rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG).  All AspenClean products are 100% recyclable, while the company’s line of biodegradable, plastic-free products are a big step towards a plastic-free future.  For more information, please visit  Follow AspenClean on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @aspenclean. 

AspenClean Plastic-free Detergents Now Available in the U.S.

How to Become The Best Version Of Yourself

Self-growth is a must for every individual, but only a few canleap toward the best versions of themselves. Becoming a better version of yourself isn’t an easy task. Every self-development project demands intentionality, consistent efforts, and discipline to pull off. 

Here are a few tips to become the best version yourself.


Define Yourself

The road to becoming the best version of yourself starts with a clear image of what that version looks like. What does your future think? In what spaces would you exist? What are yourcapabilities? Define yourself and the characteristics you want to portray over the change period. Don’t just visualize them; write the characteristics down. Ponder over them until you're sure the vision of your future self is spotless and convincing enough. 


Live Healthily

A huge part of living your best life depends on your diet and daily fitness habits. So you may be shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t make self-care a priority. Eating a balanced diet with enough vegetables and fruits should be non-negotiable if you want to live your best life. If you feel that going vegan will get you on that healthy part, why not try it? There are many tasty vegan recipes that offer the vitamins and minerals your body needs. Let’s not forget that vegan desserts are delicious and easy to prepare at home.


Also, try to develop a personalized fitness routine. It doesn't need to be intensive, and there are various options to choose from. For instance, you can try a home routine of squats, jumps, and crunches if your daily schedule does not allow you to visit the gym. Another way to take care of your body, which we often downplay, is to have enough rest. Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep daily to be ideal for adults. 


Align Your Goals 

Remember the intentionality and consistency of self-development projects? This is where it comes in handy. The visualized image of your future self shouldn't be a siloed part of the self-development process. For the most part, your vision counts as the end goal and must be a top consideration at every stage of your self-development journey, including goal setting.


Ensure your goals follow the SMART template. Are your goals specific enough? Ambiguities can delay the growth process and make it frustrating. Develop indicators to measure incremental efforts. Keep all objectives within reach and not outside of your capacity. You may develop various goals but only adopt those relevant to your vision. Have a timeframe for which you can complete specific activities and ensure tasks don’t overlap. 


Embrace Failure 

The journey to becoming the best version of yourself isn’t linear. There’s no one-size-fits-all template, and you'll learn from your own experiences more than someone's idea of what the process should be like. Failure shouldn't make you afraid of the future. Don’t execute your self-development tasks with a defeatist mentality. Rather, think of failures as lessons that need to be learned.


Grow Past Validation Seeking 

The fear of failure might force you to tell people to lower their expectations when dealing with you. You may be forced to please people, seeking their validation before feeling accomplished. 

Embracing failure frees you, setting you on a more confident path with a significant appreciation for the small achievements and the big milestones. 


Generally, the best version of yourself doesn't live outside of your current self and shouldn’t be impossible. These tips can help open yourself enough for the best version of yourself to emerge.


Friday 22 July 2022

Celebrate Start of School with Personalized Supplies & Memory Makers

Many kids don’t get arts and crafts in school, but these back-to-school projects are fun and easy ways to personalize a few school supplies and capture school memories,” Sandy says.


Sandy has created 7 easy Back to School Crafts that include pencil toppers, a time capsule project, a bookmark, a notebook cover, a magnetic frame for lockers, and two types of handmade fidget toys.


“Typically, fidgets are made to be manipulated or held in the hands. They come in many shapes and materials. They help decrease stress and anxiety, and provide an outlet for anxious, restless, or nervous behaviors,” Sandy explains. “Fidget toys/tools are often incorporated in the classroom to help children focus and improve learning. They can also help to calm an anxious student.”


These projects are easy for even the youngest student to create! The back-to-school bookmark only uses 3 craft supplies and one of the fidget toys uses 2! 


Pencils top the school supply list! Why not personalize with creative pencil toppers? Below is a link to step-by-step instructions and supplies needed for this and all of the back-to-school craft projects!

 Here are 7 easy back 2 school craft projects: (click on each link for step-by-step instructions)

Pencil Toppers Project

Back to School Bookmark

Back to School Time Capsule Project

Notebook Cover Project

Magnetic Photo Frame Project

Hair Tie Fidget Toy

Yarn Doll Fidget Toy


Back 2 School High-Res Project Images:

Pencil Toppers

Back to School Bookmark

Back to School Time Capsule

Notebook Cover

Magnetic Photo Frame

Hair Tie Fidget Toy

Yarn Doll Fidget Toy


There are so many proven benefits of crafts for children. “Crafts give children, the ability to get artistic and work together in a ‘hands on’ capacity. It teaches them to stick to a task and accomplish it, in their own way,” Sandy explains. “There is no right or wrong way to create. If your child created it, then it is awesome!  Plus, when the crafts are completed, children are rewarded with a huge sense of accomplishment.”


For more creative ideas, visit:


For past broadcast segments with Sandy, click here:


For a Media One Pager with additional story ideas, click here: Bowdabra Media One-final (



Sandy Sandler is creator of the QVC best-seller, the Bowdabra. Her frugal craft projects and activity ideas are designed to transform the creatively-challenged into creative pros. Sandy’s focus is on creative and easy projects that parents can do with their kids and that kids can even do on their own that are both frugal and green in nature. Visit:


Keep Cool in the Summer with These Styling Tips

Even if you are the type of person who thrives on high temperatures and loves it when the height of summer rolls around, it is normal to find that sunshine and heat aren’t always a winning combination. Overheating, or even suffering from heat stress, is an incredibly uncomfortable experience that can feel like an impossible challenge to ignore, especially if you are someone who prides themselves on their outward appearance. If you value looking good and therefore don't want to look incredibly sweaty all summer long, here are some styling tips to help you out.


Be Prepared


Some people find that to avoid the heat of the sun, they simply close the blinds, remove their clothes, and turn on any fan that they might have. However, avoiding the sun doesn'tnecessarily mean being as safe as possible. If you must venture outside despite the heat, it is essential that you are prepared. Bring items such as:

• A water bottle;
• Sunscreen;
• A wide-brimmed hat;
• A handheld fan, either electric or manual.

With any necessary accessory like a water bottle or sun hat, you can find attractive alternatives to the everyday version that can actually serve to enhance your overall outfit. Or you could opt for a stylish bag to contain all your summer essentials.


Dress for the Weather


To keep yourself cool and stylish, one of the key steps is to have a wardrobe selection that allows your body to breathe and enjoy the breeze. This involves materials that are lightweight, delicate, and comfortable to move around in,even at high temperatures. Take a look at for summer wardrobe inspiration.


Consider a Haircut


If you are prepared to rock a new summer look, having your hair cut shorter might give you the chance to feel more airy and relaxed in the heat, especially if you are used to long hair making you overheat. You might enjoy the breeze thanks to your new haircut so much so that you choose to regularly have a trim in the warmer months as part of your summer look.


Seek Out the Shade


Just because you are going out in the sunshine doesn't mean you will be forced to position yourself under the direct sunlight. Pay attention to where the shade is located wherever you go and sit under the shadow of a tree or under an awning.Not only will you reduce the chances of becoming too hot, but you will also be protecting your skin from sun damage.


Bring Water Everywhere


Although it may be a piece of advice you see all too often on the internet, in the summer, it truly is important that you bring as much water as you can if you go out for prolonged periods in the heat. Dehydration is incredibly unpleasant and dangerous, so fill up a bottle and bring it everywhere you go until the risks posed by the temperature start to diminish.


Hopefully, these tips will help to keep you looking and feeling fresh, even in the hot weather.

Top Beauty Tips for Going On Vacation

When going on vacation, you’re going to want to look your best, right? You’ve probably racked your brains when trying to figure out what to pack and what to leave behind at home. It’s no secret that makeup and skincare products can take up a lot of room in your luggage, especially if you are bringing along lots of clothes too. If you’ve got a ton of beauty products, ranging from mascara to moisturizer, you may even need to bring an extra bag with you, depending on how long you are going to be away from home. Some people prefer not to put on too much makeup when they are on vacation, due to the hot weather and full itineraries. 

There are a few steps you can take before you even board the plane, to make your beauty routine a whole lot easier.


Remember Your Sunscreen


Firstly, it’s important that you remember to pack plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin from damage. Human skin is extremely sensitive to sun rays and if you find yourself traveling to a hot country with plenty of sunshine forecasted, then you are going to need a plentiful supply of sunscreen. Luckily, this lifesaver is easy to find in shops all over the world, so there is no need to worry about running out. It’s best to be prepared and keep a supply in your hand luggage, that you can put on as soon as you step off of the plane. 


Brows And Lashes


Eyebrows can be tricky to maintain, and it’s probably the last thing you’re going to be thinking about, while enjoying yourself on vacation. That’s why many people recommend going to a beauty salon to get your eyebrows done professionally. Many beauty practices offer brilliant brow sessions - check out for some handy services. This helps to relieve the daily hassle of shaping your eyebrows. While you’re there, why not get your lashes done too? Lash extensions are a great way to reduce time in your makeup routine, as you won’t need to use any mascara!




It's not just makeup that you have to take into consideration when planning to travel abroad. If you’ve already got an extensive skincare routine, then you need to ensure that you are keeping up with it, to maintain its effectiveness. Whether you are traveling to a cold country that will more than likely dry out your skin, or you are flying to a warm country with a forecast of intense heat - you need to make sure you are bringing along the correct skincare for that climate.

Skincare has risen in popularity as of late, and for good reason. Skin health is just as important as general health, andlooking after your skin can be an excellent habit to get into.Even when on vacation, you should stick to your daily routine, even if it’s slightly shorter because you can’t fit everything in your suitcase. The staples are: some lip balm for chapped lips, moisturizer for dry skin, sunscreen for protection, and a cleansing face wash to get rid of all the dirt from the day.