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Castor Oil – The Various Benefits and Uses (Guest Post)

Oils extracted from various vegetation’s have been in use for many centuries for a host of reasons, medical, and commercial and of course as a cooking medium. They have helped in overcoming, preventing, reversing and even curing many chronic diseases and given a new lease of life to thousands of people across the world cutting across age, gender and social strata. 

Amongst the many such oils which have stood the test of time, there is no doubt that castor oil is something which needs special mention. It has many uses both topical and oral and has been used for a variety of purposes and conditions. Hence it would be interesting to have a look at the various benefits associated with this oil and its origins. 

How Is It Obtained

Castor oil is obtained by pressing the castor seeds. It is basically colorless but at times it could be seen having a pale yellow hue. It has a very unique and distinct taste. It is used for industrial purposes. At the same time it also is extensively used as a medical product and therefore finds place in the pharmaceutical industry. It also is used as an herbal product for different reasons. In this article we will find out how castor oil could play a big role in improving the health of the skin apart from giving a new and fresh look to our hair. 

How It Works On The Skin

it has a number of benefits as far as the skin is concerned. It could play a big role in reducing inflammation of the skin caused by various reasons. Inflammation caused by sunburn, acne and dry skin can be effectively managed with the help of castor oil. It also is known to work exceptionally well when it comes to fighting ageing of the skin. This is because it helps in the production of elastin and collagen which help in firming up the skin. Additionally it also has excellent properties which can help in moisturizing the skin. Therefore it is extremely useful during winter months and is considered to be one of the best treatments for chapped and broken skin. 

If you suffer from blemishes and scars you could try using castor oil. Though it is a slow process you can be sure that it will work when applied regularly for at least one month. Last but not the least it works very well on stretch marks occurring due to pregnancy. It also is known to fight various types of skin infections because of its antibacterial properties. For example, it can be an effective natural treatment for ringworms, abrasions, keratoses and various forms of fungal infections. 

How It Works On The Hair

Castor oil is often referred to as the magic potion for hair growth. It is often considered to be the one stop solution for addressing problems related to dandruff, split ends and hair thinning. It plays a big role in increasing hair growth and controlling hair loss. This is because it is a rich source of omega-6 and ricinoleic acid. These two substances help accelerate blood supply to the scalp thus leading to increased hair growth. 

It nourishes the scalp and also helps to strengthen the roots of the hair because it is rich in various types of essential nutrients. It also could play a big role in fighting tough dandruff apart from helping overcome infection in the scalp which leads to abnormal hair loss. Those suffering from itchy scalp, bald patches and other such problems could also find benefits using this oil. Finally it also plays a big role in reducing split ends apart from being one of the best natural moisturizer and hair conditioners. However, for treating and managing split ends, it would be advisable to use castor oil in combination with olive oil. This is because castor oil is heavy in consistency and mixing it with olive oil makes it easy to spread it across the entire length of your hair. 

Though castor oil can be extracted in its natural form easily, formulating it properly is important. 
That is what Jason J. Richards and his team has been able to do. 
He is a Certified Clinical Nutritionist since 1996 and he has been able to give a new meaning and definition to castor oil. 
It therefore makes sense to spend some time on his website

This is a  guest post  


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7 Ways to Banish Negative Chatter Forever and Reclaim your Life

Most of us received plenty of negative messages growing up, which now manifest as incessant chatter inside our heads. 

Is there a way to make it stop? Is there some escape from the negative criticism? 

The answer is yes!

Patti Clark, author of This Way Up: Seven Tools for Unleashing Your Creative Self and Transforming Your Life has developed a special way to help people through the various difficulties and challenges we all face in life.

She calls it Creative Positive Reframing (CPR) and it's a process that actually changes the neural pathways in your brain, so that limiting beliefs such as I'm not good enough, young enough, smart enough, thin enough, or whatever-enough, are transformed and actually become supportive rather than destructive

Here are the seven tactics that you can use anytime to get control and banish the negative thoughts out of your mind:

 1. Pay attention to your thought processes


The best way to pay attention to your thought process is by focusing on how your body feels. Is there a knot in your stomach, a lump in your throat, a clenched jaw? Once you identify this negative feeling in your body, pause to notice what you've been saying to yourself.  Negative thoughts such as, "I can never make ends meet!” Or "I'm too fat, old, poor or stupid!”  are self-sabotaging. This may not be obvious at first, and may require you to be quiet and check in with yourself consciously.


Interrupt it! Once you've identified those tight areas and its negative messages, shift your focus. Take a deep breath and interrupt your own train of thought. Then insert something positive, such as something you're grateful for: The warmth and safety of your home; the positive relationship with your spouse, kids, pets, or anyone you love. Interrupting the thought process of ‘not enough’ and focusing on gratitude stops the negative spiral from spinning out of control. But it is only the beginning.

2. Get the negative out


Nature abhors a vacuum. When you are caught in a negative thought spiral – it's time to get rid of the negative to make room for the positive.


Get rid of it! Pull out a pad of paper and write out all the garbage spiraling in your head.  Write about not having enough, not being smart enough, pretty enough, good enough. If you feel stuck, write about feeling stuck. Keep writing until the thoughts stop coming. And then tear that paper up or burn it!

3. Replace the negative with positive statements


Negative self-talk can be replaced by positivity with the help of a series of deliberate affirmations or questions. This creates new neural pathways and frees you from the negative spiral.


Affirm it! Create positive statements and questions. Affirmations often work, but sometimes questions work better. If your affirmation is, "I am wealthy, I am wealthy," and your brain argues back “No you’re not!” then use a question instead. Something like: "What can I do today to increase my wealth?" Or mix the two in this way: “Money is coming to me easily and effortlessly. What do I need to do to increase my cash flow today?”

4. Create an ideal scenario and know why it is important to you


If you have a negative loop about financial fear or sadness about being alone, start thinking about the flip side and write about the ideal.


Write about it! Describe your ideal situation in writing, be as specific as possible: describe yourself living the life of your dreams, actually feel how good it feels. And then focus on why it’s important. Examine why having more money or a great relationship would make a difference in your life. Do you feel scared, financially insecure, unsafe, lonely? Keep going deeper until you hit the heart of it; when you have hit it, there will be an emotional charge linked to it. Allow yourself to feel the depth of that emotion.

5. Creative visualization – Picture the ideal and embed it in your brain


This next step takes the previous step and solidifies it; it is a powerful process. Creative Visualization is a technique which uses your own power of ‘seeing’ to attain that which you most want or want to change. You already use this technique every day. Unfortunately, we often use it in the negative by imaging all the things we DON'T want.


Visualize it! The key to visualization is to first see what you want, and then create a mindset that you already have it and you believe you deserve it. Relax and be sure you won't be uninterrupted.  Close your eyes and let the movie of you having your heart’s desire run in your mind. Really see yourself in a beautiful new home, feel the warmth of the sun as it streams through the windows, picture the colors and the art on the walls; or picture yourself in a satisfying and wonderful relationship, feel cherished and loved. Enjoy the process. The more you do this, the more deeply embedded this vision becomes. This process is the most powerful piece, solidifying the previous steps.

6. Stay positive – Keep a positive attitude as you practice


Happy people usually feel like they are in more control of their lives and therefore feel more confidence and optimism. Unfortunately, our brains are wired to look for and focus on threats, based on when we were hunters and gatherers. but times have changed so it's time for a reboot.


Be positive about it! Instead of focusing on threats, focus on love and compassion, forgiveness and gratitude. Simply thinking about someone you love can shift you from a negative mindset to a positive one. Take time every morning, to focus on something you are grateful for, and on what it is you want to create that day and in your life. Developing this practice will immediately positively impact your day.

7. Be creative - Creativity helps us shift from the negative to the positive


Get creative! While focusing on shifting limiting beliefs into more positive and supportive ones, an expression of creativity can shift our mood and remove us from a negative spiral.


Play with it! Start journaling and play with words; use oil pastels and play with color; garden and play in the dirt; cook and play with spices. There is no right or wrong way to be creative. The only important thing is to allow ourselves to connect with our own creativity. Have fun with it, feel uplifted.

So, the next time you find yourself falling into a negative spiral, use these seven techniques to tackle those limiting beliefs, and transform negative chatter into something that is supportive rather than destructive. You will be amazed at what you can create in your life.

This Way Up
Patti Clark

List $16.95
Paperback, 290 pages, 6 x 9
Pub Date - April 2016
ISBN: 978-1631520280

For more information visit: or

About Patti Clark

Patti Clark is an accomplished speaker and workshop leader dedicated to helping people through various life transitions on their journey to an extraordinary life.

For more than 30 years, and over several continents, Patti has been sharing her knowledge and wisdom with others.

Her new book, This Way Up, is her latest endeavor.

She is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, has a B.A. in Social Sciences from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.A. in Education. She has taught English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and at Oregon State University.

Patti’s work has been featured in several publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and The Mindful Word.

Patti spends part of her time in the United States, and part of her time in New Zealand.



5 Bad Habits and Why to Kick them NOW!

We all want to improve ourselves. At times our own bad habits get in the way of the life we truly know we deserve. 

Scientists have come up with many reasons why we stick to bad habits. 

Some may be harmless yet annoying while others could be self-sabotaging. 

Why do we persist? More importantly how can we stop? 

Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a Manhattan based neuropsychologist, addresses some of the most common habits and why to kick them now!

1. Overspending your way into debt.

Money worries can have serious health consequences. In a Rutgers University telephone survey, responders said financial stress contributed to high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, headaches, digestion troubles, aches and pains, ulcers, excessive smoking and drinking, and gaining or losing weight. 

As Dr. Hafeez points out, “Getting yourself out of debt is a lot like losing weight. It takes time, can be hard on your ego and your lifestyle, you have to be constantly vigilant, and it's easy to revert back to old habits. But for those who succeed, and many people do, the results are stunning. You'll feel more in control of your life with less stress and fewer worries. They key here is recognizing the problem and not trying to tackle it alone.”


2. Overusing painkillers and sedatives.

When not taken properly, long-term habitual use of pain medications can cause more problems than it solves. Using drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin for arthritis or muscle pain can over time increase your risk for ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. Since these drugs ease pain you may want to keep on taking them, which can lead to addiction.

According to Dr. Hafeez, “New pain-relief strategies can ease muscle, joint, and head pain with fewer pills and side effects. Kicking the sedative and prescription pain pill habit is possible with commitment and support, and once the pill taking has ceased, your body will quickly rebound from their effects. You'll spend less money on medications. You may cut your risk for heart and high blood pressure problems as well as gastrointestinal ulcers and bleeding. You'll also be more alert and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you've beaten a drug dependency.”

3. Nail biting (onychophagia) 

Nail biting can happen when stressed or excited, or in times of boredom or inactivity. It can lead to bleeding and even possibly infection. You might be involved in another activity, such as reading, watching television, or talking on the phone, and bite your nails without thinking about it.

Dr. Hafeez says that, “Unfortunately, nail biting is as much a habit as it is a response to anxiety. So there are two parts to stopping it. The first part is breaking the habit. The second part is making sure you control your anxiety.”

4.  Stress-Eating

There are many reasons people turn to food when they experience negative emotions, such as stress, sadness, or boredom. Food can serve as a distraction from life’s realities. Research has also suggested that foods that are high in fat and sugar may actually (temporarily) quiet parts of the brain that create and process negative emotions.

“When a person turns to food as a coping tool, they run the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, hypertension, joint pain and other debilitating health conditions,” explains Dr. Hafeez. She adds, “the ability to draw upon other coping mechanisms such as exercise, deep breathing, counting when stressed or daily meditation can help ease off the need to soothe with food.”

5. Cell Phone & Social Media Addiction

Countless hours are wasted on devices meant to make us more productive and connected. Look around a restaurant, a city street, a shopping mall, and people are texting, snapping selfies and posting to social media. 

“Many people feel anxiety when they notice their cell phone battery running out. Many get physically uneasy at the thought of going hours without checking their cell phone,” says Dr. Hafeez. 

“This anxiousness is a sign of addiction. I advise gradually challenging yourself to see how you can enjoy a meal, a TV show, or a walk without the need to look at your phone. Start with 30 minutes, then 60 minutes. Then decide to unplug one day per week!”

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed neuropsychologist. 
She is a teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and clinical director of the Comprehend the Mind Institutes in Manhattan and Queens. 
She specializes in providing neuropsychological, educational and developmental evaluations to both adults and children in her practice.  
She works with individuals who suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, autism, attention and memory problems, trauma and brain injury, abuse, childhood development and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…) 
In addition, Dr. Hafeez serves as a medical expert for various news outlets and programs, and as an expert witness providing full evaluations and witness testimony to law firms and courts. 
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or at


The Braid Book - Review

Have you ever looked at someone and admired their elaborate braids, wondering how you could style your hair like that? 

Co-founders Sarah Hiscox and Willa Burton from The Beauty Bar UK know that not all of us have a personal hairstylist to make braided creations for us.

They’ve created “The Braid Book”, a book that has 20 fun and easy braided styles to create braids for every occasion.

The Braid Book is inspired by their menu at The Braid Bar and shows you how to recreate all of their signature styles plus a few extras!! 

Each braid is named after supermodels or influential women who are strong and inspiring – not just a pretty face.

For someone who isn’t familiar with braiding it has a section on braiding for beginners with step by step instructions and it is sure to give you inspiration to try other styles.

It has ‘How To” chapters on how to look after your braid and what to use to give your style that extra something!!

The step by step instructions are easy to understand and include pictures to follow.

For someone like me who loves braided styles this is a great book of ideas to try.

I’ve had so much fun trying out the new styles.

My hair is at my shoulders and layered quite a bit and I was still able to recreate some of the braided styles on my shorter hair – the book isn’t just for long hair!

The Braid Book is $14 CAD and can be purchased HERE!

For more information on The Braid Bar, visit their website at


Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum Review

As the skin ages, many of us find that one of the most affected area is the skin around the eyes.

There are products you can add to your skincare routine to specifically treat it, such as Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum.

The serum is one of several products in the Regenerist line, which includes sculpting cream, moisturizer, lotion, skin repair treatments, and several products for fighting wrinkles.

Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum and other products in this lineup, all of which target the signs of aging, are part of the overall Olay brand collection.

Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum Ingredients

Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum ingredients include niacinamide, which is a vitamin B3 derivative and helps prevent skin inflammation and slows the signs of aging.

The serum also contains green tea extract, which is a powerful antioxidant, and vitamin E which helps the skin retain moisture.

The formulation also includes titanium dioxide, which protects the skin during exposure to sunlight. Peptides and amino acids reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen growth with prolonged use.

How to Use Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum

Before I applied Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum, I did my usual skin cleansing regimen. I would dab the serum around the eyes where the “smile lines” (a.k.a crow’s feet) and other wrinkles were the most visible, and then under the eyes to treat sagging skin and/or eye bags.

The formula is fragrance-free and non-greasy, it quickly absorbs into the surface of the skin.

It is a pearl colored cream has a thin consistency and feels very light on the sensitive skin around the eyes. This comes in a tube with a pointy tip and is easy to dispense the right amount of product. 

After 2 weeks

After using it every morning for 2 weeks, I didn’t notice amazing results, it made the lines softer but nothing extraordinary but it did help when I didn’t get enough sleep and my eyes were a bit puffy. 

It didn’t completely work for me but maybe it will work for you.

*This product was provided to me free for testing purposes
courtesy of BZZ Agent and Olay

My opinion is not influenced in anyway and I will still continue to only post and link to products that fit my personal style*



Various Skin Rejuvenation Methods (Guest Post)

In a constant rush to get everywhere and make everything happen, we’ve become so skilled and prompt with our actions that we’ve almost transformed into flesh-and-blood superhumans who are not only beating time by squeezing 48 hours’ worth of action into a 24-hour day but superhumans who are progressively aging into a youthful shape.

It is no secret that we’re collectively, more or less, obsessed with the way we look. Call it superficial, you have all the right to do so – but we can’t help it. We are repeatedly bombed with Hollywood-imposed standards, gorgeous women and men who at their 50s look better than some 20-year-olds do and, with that in mind, how could we not want to work on our looks? It’s an only natural instinct.

Luckily for everyone, managing to beat your birth certificate data with your looks is now easier than ever; with various skin rejuvenation methods everyone can take what’s most suitable for their skin type and/or expectations and go back in time a decade or two by staying put in the 21st century.

Here’s how:

1) Natural Remedies & Discipline

Turning to Mother Nature for help is the first logical choice; natural facial masks, regulated/balanced diet and liquid consumption are the first steps to a rejuvenated skin. Drinking as much water as possible (approximately two liters (2l) a day) and divorcingyourself from all the bad habits such as smoking, drinking alcohol and eating fried foodswill help your skin gain its power back and look fresher, get tighter and regain its initial glow.

2) Skin Creams

Creams aiding in preventing aging, i.e. neutralizing age-signs on the face and neck as much as possible are the invention of the era!Naturally, centuries back, beauty creams were popular as well but 21st century has brought about a revolution in the beauty industry –from spectacularly efficient eye creams, moisturizers and line-reducing serums to skin tightening formulas and fantastic hydrating creams, beauty products are now everything to rely on. They’ll improve your skin tone, soften fine lines, and firm skin helping it look brighter and feel firmer while improving its texture and diminishing dark spots. Who wouldn’t want a few in their medicine cabinet?

3) Face yoga

Face yoga is a non-invasive alternative to Botox and surgery, and everyone is going crazy about it. Its correct application increases blood circulation, “allowing more oxygen and more nourishment to reach the cells of the skin”. Practiced regularly, face yoga will leave your skin with a clear, healthy complexion and a beautiful glow which has a better ability to absorb moisture and is released from toxins that generally do it harm.

Face yoga techniques are designed to stimulate collagen and elastin production which is giving you a more supple, smoother and tighter-looking skin. Amazing, right?

4) Surgical Treatments

The century we live in is definitely no time to get shocked or judgmental, especially not about surgical procedures. These days, going under the knife is almost as common as booking a spa treatment; virtually everyone has embraced cosmetic surgery as a leg up to building their confidence and feeling amazing in their own skin. Unfortunately, not everyone was blessed with amazing genetics, and surgery is mending that wound successfully. We’re in!

The most common types of facial rejuvenation treatments are facelifts, dermabrasion, microdermabrasion, chemical peels that can be more or less invasive, botox injections, collagen injections, fat injections, laser skin resurfacing, photo rejuvenation, spider vein treatment (sclerotherapy) and thermage. All of these methods carry their own set of benefits, risks, costs, and techniques but, if you feel like those lines on your face and neck are your biggest enemy – get rid of them!

Good luck on your journey to rejuvenation; we hope you end it looking even more gorgeous than you already do.

This Guest Post is by Kimberly Lawrence


If you would like to Guest Post

Various Methods of Body Hair Removal (Guest Post)

Body hair is every woman’s worst enemy. You have to removeit regularly, especially during the summer. There are various methods of hair removal which can be expensive, tedious, and painful and we still do it. Of course, not every woman prefers the same method, and that’s why you should try out several different ones in order to find the one that best suits you.


Even though waxing is one of the most painful hair removal options, it lasts longer since you are removing pesky hair from the root. The process is really simple, you just apply wax to your skin, it sticks to the hair and you quickly pull off the strip along with the hair. This method is perfect for removing hair from larger areas, such as your legs, but it’s used for smaller areas too. If you’re waxing for the first time, it will definitely hurt, but as time goes by and you master this technique it will hurt less, the hair will become scarce and you can even find the way of making this less painful.


Laser hair removal procedure is a method that destroys the root of the hair by using light. It promises long-term results and it’s perfect for women with dark hair and light skin. In order to succeed with this method, you will have to take 6 to 12 sessions of laser hair removal. Additionally, thanks to the advanced technology, you can even complete these sessions at home. Even though this method of hair removal is less painful than waxing, it does hurt a bit. It’s usually compared to a rubber band snapping against your skin, but the levelof pain really depends on your pain threshold.


Shaving might be one of the painless options, but it certainly is not as efficient as the others. You are probably familiar with shaving and you know it just cuts off the hair at skin level. It doesn’t last very long, but it’s a quick fix if you’re in a hurry. This method works on any skin type or area, but watch out for the ingrown hair (especially in the pubic region). Also, you have to make sure not to cut yourself, since the cut itself could lead to serious infections. Use proper shaving cream or oils and use a sharp new blade. Avoid using rusty old razors.

Depilatory Creams

Using depilatory creams is another quick solution which actually dissolves the hair. However, since the hair is not removed from the root, it will start growing back in one to three days. Typically, you smear a thick layer of the chosen depilatory cream on the desired area and wait. After a few minutes, you wipe it off. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t always work, especially if you have strong hair. Nevertheless, using depilatory cream can weaken the hair which makes them easier to pluck or remove with wax.

Every woman has probably tried each one of these methods. Some work better than the others, but may hurt more. Depending on your skin sensitivity and thickness of your hair, choose your hair removal method wisely, since we are all bound to remove them for the rest of our lives.

This Guest Post is by Kimberly Lawrence


If you would like to Guest Post

Easy Nail Design using a toothpick

When I saw this style I had to try it. It was very easy to do!

Change up the colors makes this a great design for any time of the year. 

You can use any colors you would like, I used dark pink, silver and white nail polish.

If you have a thin nail brush or nail striper you can use those.

I used a toothpick.

Here's what you need:

There are only 5 easy steps!

1. Apply Base coat and a base color to the nails. Let Dry.

2. Using a toothpick dipped in Silver Nail Polish, apply small strokes to the side of the nail.

 3. Using a toothpick dipped in White Nail Polish, apply small strokes to the side of the nail.

4. Alternate between the White and Silver nail polish until you get the effect you like.

5. Apply Top coat!!

Hope you enjoy!!


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