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Back To Your Best: Back Care Advice

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Back To Your Best: Back Care Advice

At one point or another as you get older, you are likely to suffer from some sort of back issue. Our modern lives involve a great deal of sitting down in hunched positions, which can lead to problems further down the line. As well as this, being overweight and having poor posture can all contribute towards pain and discomfort. And, as anyone who has suffered from back issues in the past will know, they can be quite debilitating. So, let’s talk through a few of the ways that you can take better care of your back so that you can reduce your risk of developing problems:

Your Choice of Footwear:

It may come as no surprise that high heels cause more stress on your spine, but you may be shocked to learn that ultra-flat shoes like ballet flats and loafers can also be problematic. You should also avoid wearing flip-flops and other backless styles of shoes. All of these footwear types involve you tensing your feet, which will, in turn, put stress on your back. If you are going to wear heels, you are better off wearing small ones (around one inch). Even if you wear trainers all of the time, you need to remember that these wear out over time and will need to be replaced.

Your Workouts:

We have already discussed how a sedentary lifestyle can contribute towards a bad back, but suddenly launching yourself into an extensive workout routine isn’t going to do you much good, either. Instead, you should build up your physical activity slowly if you haven’t done any for a long time. And it is more important to make sure that you are practicing the correct technique – particularly when you are lifting weights of any kind. If you get into any problems, there is more info about a chiropractor here. Regular stretching is also important, especially before and after any workouts.

Your Mattress:

The type of mattress that you are sleeping on every night makes a big difference to the condition of your back. And while you might think that sleeping on a very hard mattress is the best thing if you suffer from back pain, there are actually many studies which dispel this belief. In fact, mattresses of a medium firmness have been found to be best when it comes to alleviating the most common symptoms of back pain. You should also replace your mattress every few years as it will wear down over time and won’t offer the same level of support that it once did.

Your Desk Set-Up:

Many of us have jobs which involve sitting down for hours on end, so you need to make sure that any workstations that you have are set up ergonomically to reduce any back pain issues which could be caused by your desk. You should aim to position your monitor at eye level to avoid having to hunch over to operate your computer. You should also position your chair so that you can rest your feet comfortably on the floor. Get into the habit of assessing your body position on a regular basis to ensure that you are sitting upright in your chair with relaxed shoulders. If you spend more than a couple of hours a day talking on the telephone, it is worth investing in a headset.

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 How is your desk set up?

Your Baggage:

The bags that you carry around regularly can also play their part in damaging your back and affecting your posture. If you have luggage such as a laptop bag that is always worn over one shoulder, you should avoid always wearing it on the same side as this can cause you to put extra stress it. Better still, you should switch to a rucksack which distributes the weight evenly between your shoulders. It is also worth emptying out your bag on a regular basis so that you are not carrying around any more weight than you need to.

Your Car:

Your car can be a particular source of problems if you spend a great deal of the day driving. Many of the issues are caused by seat set-up, so make sure that you position it to suit your needs and use some extra cushions if you feel like they are necessary. The vibrations caused by the car are a source of problems, so you should make sure to take regular breaks when you can to get out of the car and go on a short walk.

Your Health:

We already mentioned being overweight as a major cause of back problems, so you should take steps to cut down on excess pounds. If you are a smoker, you may be shocked to learn that back pain is on the long list of problems closely associated with tobacco usage. It is believed that smoking reduces the blood supply to the discs between the vertebrae, therefore leading to their degeneration. Too much stress can lead you to retain a lot of tension in your body. You should try to reduce the stress in your life, which can be another contributing factor by engaging in breathing techniques and meditation.

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Or yoga!

Back pain is something that you want to avoid at all costs, and these are just a few of the ways that you can reduce your chances of suffering from it.

Featured Image By: Pexels

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Cleaning Out My Closet

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Cleaning Out My Closet

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! Okay. We all know by now that I am a clothing hoarder. Everything from accessories and shoes to purses and a closet full of gorgeous duds – I have a lot of it. It’s no secret that I love to shop, BUT it’s also not a secret that I rarely do a closet overhaul because I never know when I might need that five year old cardigan!!

My clothes make me happy to look at, but even I have to admit that it was becoming a chore to squeeze new purchases into my overflowing closet and dresser. This past week, I made an effort to go through my clothing collection and take the rejects to Plato’s Closet and then donate the items that they didn’t want. I have to say – it was really hard!!

During my closet clean out, I tried to follow the “if I haven’t worn it in a year, get rid of it” rule. However, this proved to be pretty difficult since I really do wear everything that I own. When I go on shopping trips, I purchase things that I know that I will get a lot of use out of. I am mindful of the quality of the piece that I’m considering and if it will still be in excellent condition one, two, or five years from now. So, with that in mind, you can see how this overhaul was a struggle. It was seriously almost like trying to decide which one of my two beloved dogs that I like the least. Lol, as you can see – I really love my clothes!!

Despite what myself and the good lord knows was a difficult task, I was able to manage filling up my vacation bag with clothes and accessories to take to Plato’s Closet. Although I do try and wear all of the pieces in my wardrobe as often as I can, there definitely were some items that haven’t been in the spotlight for quite some time. Maybe not an entire year’s worth of time, but long enough that I could picture myself without having the top, bottoms, etc. So, into the bag it went.

I would be a liar if I said that I wasn’t pleased with myself. Even though I had a hard time with my closet clean out, I still managed to purge a decent amount of stuff. With an “I just finished a marathon” smile on my face, I made my way to Plato’s Closet to see if I could get myself at least a tank of gas with my fallen clothing friends. I had a pretty good feeling about this, because I take excellent care of my clothes to the point where my wardrobe looks like it’s filled with brand new pieces. But:

APPARENTLY PLATO’S CLOSET DIDN’T THINK SO!!!

Plato’s Closet baffles me – which is why I don’t even like going into the store. They always seem to take the clothing that I wasn’t confident that they would want but threw in the bag anyways, rather than the actual nice pieces that I have to offer. Out of the lovely fall coats and sweaters that I was willing to part with, they ended up taking the random odds and ends of my unwanted items, instead.

It was just confusing to me as to how I only received seventeen dollars for clothing that I know will be marked up to an ungodly price. Does this sound petty? Yes. But it’s okay, because everyone who has sold to Plato’s Closet before has thought that so it definitely needed saying. Of course, I’m happy to be rid of some if the items collecting dust in my closet, but there’s always going to be that “wtf” confusion when an old T-shirt was chosen rather than something with the tags still on it (Gifts! I buy my clothes to wear, remember?)!

Am I bitter? I’m always bitter. But, I did get a tank of gas out of my closet cleaning Plato’s Closet excursion, which is what I set out to do, so it’s cool. (It’s not.)

Cleaning Out My Closet proved to be immensely difficult and the payoff was minimal, but I’m glad to have gotten it over with! What are your closet cleaning tips? What are your thoughts on Plato’s Closet? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: PopKey

Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Edition

Hi everyone and TGIF! Today we’re going to ring in more Face Mask Festivities by discussing The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask. This is one of the first face masks that I ever used and it holds a special place in my heart for that reason and the fact that it eliminates my pesky nose blackheads like no other. Take a look at some pics and let’s chat about this miracle mask further:

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^^^ So this mask admittedly looks pretty gross in the container and on my MUG, for that matter, but gosh darn it is it effective!

With five nose piercings, my honker is a freaking battleground of blackheads that pop up like landmines around my studs. This isn’t the biggest skin care problem one can have, and I realize that, but I know that they’re there and it really bothers me. Not only does my skin care perfectionism cause me to lightweight freak out over blemishes, but I’d prefer for my pierced up nose to stay clean and clear to prevent irritation and infection.

We all know that charcoal is the “it” thing in the skin care world, especially when it comes to drawing blemishes out and giving your pores a deep clean. That’s what made this mask an obvious choice for purchasing. After ONE USE of my TBS mask, there wasn’t a single blackhead left on my nose. Saying that I was ecstatic about this is an extreme understatement. After countless cleansers and scrubs, I found something that literally eliminated the problem within ten minutes. Amazing much?

My favorite thing about this mask is its smell. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it smells minty, but when you unscrew the container lid you get an instant waft of brisk freshness. Kind of like opening a new pack of gum but without that overpowering peppermint aroma. This mask feels cool on your skin so that combined with such a crisp scent definitely makes for an invigorating experience.

Despite all of the above rave reviews, there are some things that I dislike about this mask. For one, you really have to be careful about washing this mask off quickly. If you go over the ten minute limit even just slightly, the hydration in your skin seems to slip away in double time, leaving your skin feeling brittle and looking flushed. Not fun.

And, for pettiness’ sake, this mask is a big fat pain in the BOOTASH to clean up. I prefer to wash my masks off in the shower and the chunks of charcoal in the mask simply REFUSE to go down the drain. As soon as I shut the water off, there is face mask residue coating my tub, so you have to use a towel to wipe it all off. God forbid you just leave it there (Which I’ve totes done before – #lazygirlproblems), because the mask will dry and it will be a vicious cycle of the mask getting wet and then drying every time you shower. SMH.

Although there are some annoyances with this mask, I do recommend it for those looking for an effective charcoal product. My skin always seems to thank me for using it (If I’m quick enough to wash it off!) and saying bye-bye to blackheads is a blessing in itself!

So there you have it, the newest issue of Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Edition! Be sure to tune in on Sunday as I wrap this mini series up. What is your favorite product from The Body Shop? What is your favorite face mask to use? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Constant Blocked Nose? Here’s What Could Be Causing It

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Constant Blocked Nose? Here’s What Could Be Causing It

All of us know how annoying it is to have a blocked nose. Typically, we experience them when we’re sick and have a cold or the flu. They cause our whole heads to feel blocked up and it’s hard to breathe, which makes sleeping a real task. But, for a lot of people, blocked noses don’t stop at colds. There are loads of people that go to sleep with a stuffy nose every night and wake up with the same problem each morning. The question is, why? What’s causing your blocked nose if it’s not a cold or flu virus? Let’s take a look:

Airborne Allergens:

Perhaps the biggest cause of a chronically blocked noses is having an allergic reaction to something in the air. There are loads of different airborne allergens around that can cause this and most are extremely common. As it says in this blog post, there are lots of things lurking in your home that could be making you ill. Airborne allergens are just one example. If you have a pet, then they could give off allergens that you breathe in and have a  reaction to, causing your nose to block. Another extremely common allergen is dust. Where there’s dust, there are dust mites, which create airborne allergens that seriously block up your nose. In fact, if you don’t have any pets and you keep waking up throughout the year with a blocked nose, it’s probably due to a dust allergy.

Nasal Polyps:

Did you know that there’s a thing that can grow inside of your nose and cause congestion? It’s true, and they’re called nasal polyps. There’s no need to be too alarmed, these growths are benign, and you probably won’t even notice that they’re there. Essentially, they’re just lumps of tissue that swell up and grow inside of your nose, causing a constant blockage. You might be able to notice them if you shine a light up your nose and look in the mirror (if you’re ever feeling extremely bored). They’re typically caused by other problems in the nose. If you’ve had a really severe cold, sinus infection, or even allergic rhinitis, then this could cause a polyp to grow that keeps your nose blocked even when the previous problems are solved.

Deviated Septum:

You know that little hard thing that separates each nostril in your nose? It’s called your septum, and it can be the cause of your blocked nose. Most of us are lucky enough to be born with a normal and straight septum. Others are born with a deviated one that causes your nostrils to be different sizes. As a result, one nostril can be so small that it’s always blocked. Deviated septums can also occur after physical injuries to the nose. #ouch

If you have a blocked nose all year round, then it’s most likely down to one of these three problems. Try and remove any airborne allergens from your room or take antihistamines to see if that helps your blocked nose. If it does, the problem was probably allergy related. If not, it’s probably one of the other two things and you might want to get it checked out so that you can breathe easy!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Monday Update: Car Crash Edition

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Monday Update: Car Crash Edition

Hii everyone and happy Monday! I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend and a great time ringing in 2017. Unfortunately for me, my weekend kind of sucked because on Friday I got rear ended and I’m STILL annoyed about it! My beloved Little Red Love Machine, AKA my 2012 Mazda 2 hatchback, got a bit of a bumper boo boo but thankfully the other guy and I are okay. Let’s discuss and I’ll tell you how ridiculous this accident was:

So, I’m returning home from dropping my sister off at her apartment and am literally THREE MINUTES away from arriving back at the home front. (I guess it’s true when they say that you’re more likely to get in an accident when you’re closer to home.) Anyways, I am sitting behind at least eight or more cars at a red light just minding my own business and listening to my Learn French In Your Car tapes.

As I’m doing my thang and getting my French on, I decided to take a look see at my rear view mirror just out of habit. That’s when I see a car approaching at at least thirty-five miles per hour and he doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. I legitimately didn’t know what to do. It was crazy, because I knew as soon as I saw the car coming that I was going to get hit so all I could do was lay down on my horn and brace myself for the inevitable.

CRASHHHHHHHHH.

Just as I secured my foot on the brakes and hoped that they would stay there so that I didn’t run into the car in front of me, the Little Red Love Machine was hit. The guy driving the enemy vehicle and I pulled over into the parking lot that we were in front of and after making sure that we were both okay, I phoned the police. It was weird. I’ve never been in an accident before, let alone called 911, so as soon as I hung up the phone I awkwardly told the guy that I was going to wait in my car. To put in mildly: I was freezing my nads off.

In my defense – all I had on was my slippers, a pair of leggings, and a long sleeved top because I wasn’t anticipating waiting outside with a person who hit my car and it was freezing, as Ohio tends to be in the winter. Rather, I was planning on being in my nice, warm car until my return home. Because I was clueless on “what to do after my car has been hit” etiquette on top of being cold and friggen annoyed, I don’t think I said ten words to the guy. Lol, whatever.

Long story short, the police came to where we were located, looked over our cars, talked to both of us, and then gave us the go ahead to go home. Honestly, it looks like the guy who hit me got the shittier end of the stick, if you will, because I am pretty sure he had to get his car towed. Sucks to suck!

But, the worst thing of all is that I am 99.99% sure that I heard him tell the police that he didn’t have insurance and that’s what really pissed me off. So, let me get this straight: you were blatantly not paying attention to the road to the point that you didn’t notice a red light and a significant line of cars and I’ll be the one paying my deductible if I chose to get my car repaired? SO. STUPIDDDD.

The only good thing that came out of that evening was that my dad got me post accident Taco Bell but other than that I was mad. Getting rear ended is dumb. It’s seriously the lamest type of a car accident because 1) The person being hit did nothing wrong and 2) It could have been avoided if people just pay attention to the road. Jesus!

I guess in conclusion to this long rant I will say that I encourage everyone to be a lot safer when they’re driving. Wear your seat belts. Don’t text or talk on the phone. PAY ATTENTION! Then, maybe you won’t wind up hitting a girl who worked her ass off to afford her dream car and has to write a long blog post afterwards to deal with it.

So, there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: Car Crash Edition. What is your biggest pet peeve while driving? What do you do to ease a case of road rage? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hello, Spring Semester

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Hello, Spring Semester

Hi everyone and happy Tuesday! Today I start my first day of classes back at Tri-C for the spring semester and I’m moderately excited. (My Abnormal Psychology class which started a few weeks ago is going great, by the way!) I know I posted a couple of articles ago that I would be taking French II this semester but unfortunately, that class got cancelled. Apparently not enough students signed up and yada, yada, yada which I think is a shame. I was so looking forward to that class and improving my French skills even more and now that isn’t going to happen. So if anyone knows of any good learning French programs, please leave me a comment!

Due to French II being cancelled, I had to find a new class to sign up for. Naturally, they only alerted me that I would need a new class a week and a half until the semester starts. Panicked, I had to skim through the classes that were still available and was left with slim pickings of weekend and evening classes and other courses that didn’t fit with my schedule for transporting my siblings. I was so frustrated and ended up signing up for a Film Appreciation course. The class should be fun and easy but it isn’t something that I really wanted or needed to take. I have that class tomorrow evening, so we’ll see how it goes!

Everything for the spring semester just seems to be going wrong. For my Intro to Criminology course, I had to purchase a very expensive text book that came with the access code for all of the online assignments. It was just my luck that when I received the book in the mail, the access code was nowhere to be found. I’m taking the class online and it started yesterday. I looked through the various posts, links, and assignments that my professor provided and the option to purchase the e-book and access code popped up. That sure would have been nice to know when I had emailed my professor about the text book prior to the class starting. Especially because to purchase the e-book and access code from the links he provided was way cheaper. Now I have to brave the crowded and busy campus book store tomorrow to get my access code-less book returned. Yayyyy.

It’s not like I’m complaining…but I’m totally complaining. It’s so annoying/irritating/frustrating when all you want is for something to go smoothly but it just ends up being slightly disastrous. But hey, at least I am going to get everything taken care of and then I should be a-okay. I just needed to vent because these school related problems have been driving me crazy! I’ve also never really had to deal with any slip ups or mishaps during my time at Tri-C so for it to happen now is such a buzzkill! -_-

I’ve said Hello to my Spring Semester but I really just wish I could rewind the past couple of days and have a redo! Where are all of my college kids at? What classes are you taking this semester? What was one of the worst mishaps that have happened to you in college? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: You Are NOT A 90’s Kid Edition

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Monday Update: You Are NOT A 90’s Kid Edition

Helloooo everyone and happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend – I know I did! I got to sleep in every day this weekend which was awesome and I also volunteered for Canine Lifeline with my mom to help some pups in need this holiday season. You can check out their website at: http://caninelifeline.org/ ! ANYWHO, on today’s Monday Update I have a bone to pick with the world in regards to the phrase “90’s kid”, so let’s discuss:

Yesterday, as I was scrolling through my newsfeed on WordPress I came across a girl who was born in 1999 claim that she was a “90’s kid” and I rolled my eyes SO hard. Once my eyeballs returned to their normal place in their sockets, I decided that it was time for a Lil Red PSA, so here it goes:

*Clears throat* If you were born in the latter half of the 1990’s (1995-on) then you are NOT a 90’s kid. You spent a majority of the 90’s in diapers and eating dirt. You were not enjoying the cartoons, toys, and pop culture related to the time period. The thing is, I was born in 1994 and I don’t even consider myself a 90’s kid because I can barely remember anything about it. I truly am a child of the 2000’s because I can vividly remember everything from it – and so is every teenybopper kid claiming 90’s status.

Because the last part of Section B Paragraph A is so important, let me reiterate it further. Yes, if you were born in the late 90’s, you are indeed a 90’s baby – barely. But are you a 90’s kid? No. You’re a child of the following decade. There is nothing, I repeat NOTHING more annoying than people born in the late 90’s claiming that it was the best times of their lives. There is nothing awesome about eating baby food, shitting your pants, and not being able to talk! Jesus!

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I have discussed my frustration of the phrase “90’s kid” being used willy nilly with countless friends as well as on Facebook last night. Literally every time the subject has come up, I’ve received responses similar to what was stated above the highly accurate Batman Slap meme. If you learn nothing else from my blog other than when it’s appropriate to give yourself the title of a “90’s kid”, then I have done my job. It is so incredibly annoying and must be stopped!!!

I spent six years in the 90’s but as I mentioned earlier, I don’t call myself a 90’s kid. I have literally a 1% recollection of 90’s pop culture and do you know how I know that? I watched a marathon of Vh1’s “I Love The 90’s” and I had no idea what they were talking about in almost every episode. However, in all of their “I Love The 2000’s” episodes, I could remember every single thing that was mentioned for the decade. So if you’re struggling with whether you’re a 90’s kid or not, give the old Vh1 test a try. ***Results may vary.

After years of irritation over the loosely used phrase, “90’s kid”, I felt that today’s Monday Update: You Are NOT A 90’s Kid was very necessary. How does everyone feel about this phrase? How do you know whether you are or not a 90’s kid? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah