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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!!



A BEAUTIFUL MIND: Mental Workouts To Strengthen Your Brain

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Have you ever walked into a room and forgot what you went in there for?

Maybe you lost your train of thought mid conversation after being distracted by a noise or you forgot a name or a number or to buy milk after work.

The more we multitask, the less we focus and the result is out on how this affects our brains long term.

How do we strengthen our brains?

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD a New York City based licensed neuropsychologist and teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College, shares how we can exercise our minds and master our memory.

How do brain activities play a role in strengthening the brain?

Just like physical exercise, brain exercises strengthen and keep the mind agile and active. “You have a cognitive reserve, a finite amount of memory, problem solving and visual motor even verbal reasoning skills that declines over time. The more you engage your brain, the longer you can hold on to your cognitive reserve,” explains Dr. Hafeez. 

What are some brain-boosting activities someone could do before work?

There are a lot of activities one can do to boost your brain.

Research shows that any stimulating activity will "boost" circulation and activate areas of the brain.

Things like writing with your left hand (if you are right-handed), trying to remember phone numbers, doing mental math calculations, the daily crossword, or looking up a new word in the dictionary on a daily basis, helps your mind stretch in ways you can't see but certainly feel. 

The frustration that you feel when doing something that’s mentally taxing is when you know your brain is getting a workout.

How do brain-boosting exercises help when it comes to work life?

There are a lot of websites and computer generated programs that offer memory training and visual spatial exercises.

Looking for puzzles, numerical sequences, and recall activities that can help boost processing speed, attention and memory.

Just like your body, the more you do, the more your brain can stretch and accommodate.

How does doing these exercises before work enhance our performance?

Doing something stimulating and challenging, before work, gets your brain geared up for the day.

If you run two miles in the morning, walking seems like a stroll. 

If you perform math calculations or spell words backwards for the fun of it, this will make the stuff you do at work every day seem like a breeze.

“It'll make you more aware and vigilant not to mention focused and almost raring to keep moving from one task to the next,” Dr. Hafeez explains. 

Can it enhance our performance in other areas of our lives? If so, which areas and why/how?

Mental health practitioners agree that over time, brain boosters such as learning a new language, a sport, a musical instrument, or painting, sewing, arts and crafts, boost the brain in bigger, more long-term ways.

“It may even reduce or delay the onset on Alzheimer's and other mental decline, again by strengthening the cognitive reserve. Brain exercises are good for one's overall daily health and may actually protect one from more serious ailments. Daily smaller brain boosters can help with mental agility, daily memory, an active work and even social life, by helping increase attention, focus and creative, problem solving skills,” adds Dr. Hafeez.

About Dr. Sanam Hafeez:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD  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…).

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



Braided Ponytail Tutorial

Sometimes I have those days when I wake up late, can't find anything to wear, and my hair is a total mess.

While it's tempting to throw your hair into a quick ponytail or topknot, it only takes 5 minutes to put together a cute hairstyle that will stay all day and make you feel put together.

I love using the braided ponytail.

While it might look complex, if you know how to braid, you can definitely pull this off.
In this video tutorial, I use a regular 3 strand braid.

 For something a little different, you can certainly try this fishtail ponytail tutorial as well.

I think by adding the braids it just gives that something extra to the basic ponytail.

Even though it was pretty simple and easy to do, it looks like you spend some time on it.

Once you have this style down, you can tap that snooze button a few more times ; p

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have a great week!


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