Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Weight Watchers/ Easy Breakfast

Hey Folks! I'm on the Weight Watchers band wagon again. I lack self motivation so being in an environment of accountability helps me. It helps me with awareness. Today I present to you an easy, quick, 5 point breakfast.

 Bob's red mill 10 grain cereal (made with water), fresh peach, dollop of greek yogurt. 

Make the cereal with water in the microwave according to package directions. Top with with a chopped peach and 2 tablespoons of non-fat greek yogurt. You can add cinnamon or a little agave necatar for extra sweetness. The peach on its own is good enough for me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Perfect Vacation Horoscope

St. Kitts and NevisSagittarius 

Someone or something capable of holding you back will have less potency after the 17th. Focus on plans, trips, or ventures that bring out your daring side. It's possible to live a more fulfilled life, so don't let the negativity of others keep you from moving ahead. Motto of the Month: Courage cannot be tested cautiously. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Mastering my nails

As I have gotten older I have decided that I want my outside to represent the way I feel inside. That has meant more make-up and grooming amongst other things. I also no longer wanted to hide my feet under thick white socks. I didn't want to be embarrassed when I shook someones hand. That led to regular manicures, pedicures, and a trip to the podiatrist. I have tried to paint my nails so many times but I am usually rushing so it looked like a 5 year old did my polish. Paint all over the place. I didn't have the patience for it. So I dutifully went to Vickie's Nail Boutique twice a month. At $45 plus tip, it is not very budget friendly. There are less expensive places in the city but after having to call the health department after going to an unsanitary establishment, I decided to be more discerning. It would be silly to lose a toe to an unsanitary pedicure. 

With one pedi and two manicures a month, I was spending more than I liked. Every couple of months I start looking for things to slash from my budget. I thought the mani-pedis should be a part of that. After all, sometimes I just need a polish touchup. I could also save money by not going to Georgetown which also means peaking into Zara, Lulu, or Anthropologie as I needed a way to justify going in circles to find a parking space. 

I read a few websites and watched a few Youtube videos to learn better technique. I bombed the first few attempts.  After just a few more tries, I have been pretty successful. I even had a stranger comment on my tootsies today. Woot! So let me share my process with you. 

My Arsenal

Cuticle Nipper
Nail Clipper
Nail File
Coconut Oil
Toe Separators
Sally Hansen Nail Corrector Pen
Base Coat, Nail Color, Quick Drying Top Coat

1. Trim nails down to the desirable length. 
2. Soak feet  and hands in water to get everything soft. I just fill up the tub with a little water and soak for 5 minutes. 
3. File nails
4. Apply gel cuticule remover and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. It will dissolve excess cuticle
5. Use an orange stick to gently push cuticles pack and to clean around the edges of the nail
6. Rinse to remove cuticle residue
7. Use a cuticle nipper to cut off any dry skin or hang nails
8. Check the shape of the nail and fix any mistakes
9. If your feet are rough apply gel cuticle remover to rough areas and let it sit (pedi only)
10. Use your Diamencel #20 to scrub off rough feet (pedi only)
11. Rinse and apply lotion
12. Use polish remover to remove excess polish from nail bed
13. Using this technique apply your base coat, color coat and top coat. Waiting 1-2 minutes for each coat to dry
14. Use the corrector pen to clean up any messes. 

The key here is to give yourself 90 mins to do a pedicure and manicure. You want to include adequate drying time so that your hard work isn't in vain. Don't look at your toes 20 minutes before date night and decide that you need a pedi. Or do your manicure and then realized that you need to wash a sink full of dirty dishes. Look at your feet closely once a week to check for maintenance. If my polish is still on point but my cuticles are raggedy, I just apply some gel cuticle remover and very gently remove excess cuticle with the orange stick without disturbing the polish. That makes my toes look as good as new without redoing my polish. 

I spend the same 90 minutes on doing my nails but at home. It  cost about $80 for all of these supplies. If you use coupons you can always get free polish and other beauty tools.  If your feet aren't as rough as mine you can surely skip the Diamencel and find a cheaper foot file but this works so well and will last forever. I also use only Essie or OPI so cheaper polishes will bring down your cost. I also didn't buy all of this stuff at once. I have accumulated the supplies over the years as I tried and failed repeatedly to paint my own nails.

I am pretty satisfied with my current results and I know I can get it perfect with even more practice. Take that recession!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The week of crying and inspiration (Part I)

Two weeks ago I was at the AIDS 2012 conference. I am sure the conference was awesome and inspirational but I was so tired from preparing for the conference. During the event I was mostly confined to the media center. I left the conference tired and I felt like I really missed out. The next week at work was really hard and I was left wondering if I was on the right career path. I woke up every morning not feeling very well and I think my body was shutting down. I love public health but sometimes I get jaded when I can't convince myself that my work is helping people.

Last week I went to the CDC Health Communications, Marketing, and Media Conference. I made it a point to get to know people at the conference, to build my personal brand, and build relationships with colleagues.  Maybe that would help me not feel so jaded. I did meet at least four new people that I will be in contact with post conference.

On the morning of the last day of the conference, a former colleague invited me to his workshop on inspiration. I thought this was about inspiring your audience to behavior change. That is after all the goal of health communications. I was so wrong.

The session was simply about what inspires each of us everyday. Four panelist did ignite style presentations and shared their lives with us. I was blown away. One person in particular that spoke to me was Alexandra Bornkessel. Earlier in the year I met her at a conference where she talked about building relationships through social media. Little did I know that she would make me question my very existence on this planet. She spoke about having passion behind everything that you do. She gave examples of people who took risks to follow their passion. She also told the story of her father and how raising money for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) led her family to start a nonprofit for MS Research.

That set off a lightbulb and the waterworks. I was totally a mess. You see my father was a big inspiration to me but he's phsically gone now. He touched so many people and I hope my light can one day shine as bright has his. He spent a lot of time doing things he was passionate about but also a lot of time doing things he was not passionate about in the name of getting rich quick.  That always made me sad.

Doug Weinbrenner, another one of the panelist, quoted Dr. Howard Thurman.

Dr. Thurman was one of my father's greatest inspirations. He loved to read his books and would talk to me about his scholarly works way before I could appreciate it. So I found myself in a room where my father was speaking to me. What are the chances that someone would quote Dr. Thurman at a health communications conference? Infinitesimally small.

I spend a lot of time doing things that I am only sort of passionate about so the workshop got me thinking that I need to change that.  The workshop had a lot of other  quotables that I am going to remember. Lest I forget,  I made my first Storify to document the moment.