It was January 24, 2002, just seven weeks after her adoption and beginning her new life in America, that my daughter Alena was diagnosed with Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS).
I felt as if I’d been run over by a train. It was the worst day of my life. I had no idea that her runny nose, her slight heart murmur, her small statute, her little hands, her big blue eyes, and that button nose held anything that could not be corrected or fixed.
And, I did not know or understand the magnitude of what was to come.
Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and what better way to celebrate mom than to give her a few gifts that will help her to feel her best and encourage her to practice self-care.
A little bit of self-care can go a long way, especially for a mom! It’s easy for moms to get lost in motherhood and forget about taking care of themselves. Self-care looks different for different types of moms -- whether a busy working mom, athletic mom, new mom, pregnant mom, or foodie mom.
This is the perfect time to focus on moms, and I have some amazing gift ideas for different types of moms, all under $20.
As a mom of two little girls, ages three and five, I find that self-care can be a challenge. One thing I would like for Mother’s Day would be to have the entire day to myself. The ultimate gift of self-care! An entire day to do anything… alone. Even if that means puttering around the house or running errands; a trip to Target or just sitting at the coffee shop for a few hours diving into a good book with a hot latte in hand -- “hot” being the key term, because if you’re anything like me, it’s a treat to drink a hot tea or coffee. That is, if you even remember you made it.
If having the day off all to yourself isn’t an option or not something you’re interested in, I’ve come up with a few easy, accessible and inexpensive self-care gifts for the mom in your life, as well as for YOU. Go ahead and treat yourself to a little something this Mother’s Day. You deserve it!
Here is a round-up of gift ideas and activities for each type mom, so you’ll be sure to find a few ideas perfect for you (or that special mom in your life).
Sports have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing soccer and softball and attended East Carolina University on a softball scholarship.
Before enrolling at ECU, however, I attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where I powered through the famous "Plebe Summer,” when new students (called “plebeians”) suffer through some of the most physically and mentally demanding tests and challenges.
That experience not only taught me how to push through fear to accomplish any goal, but it also instilled in me a deep understanding of the importance of physical fitness.
Since then, I've completed triathlons, marathons, and all manner of races; always something to feed my need for movement, competition, and a healthy lifestyle.
But, life has gotten busy in the last few years, between running a thriving business, shooting a TV show, and juggling the demands of balancing my personal and professional lives. Staying in shape doesn't always fit into my hectic schedule, but it's always a top priority.
So, to stay motivated when life gets crazy, I've had to get creative with how I get my healthy on.
Here are some of my favorite ways to keep my physical well-being on track during the summer (and all year long), even when life seems bent on holding me back.
Warm spring temperatures inspire us to open the windows and get organized. Whether you clean from floor to ceiling or just enough to lighten the load, make sure you add pantry or food cabinets to your list.
A well-organized pantry can help boost food shopping and meal prep efficiency, lower your grocery bills (say goodbye to multiple jars of dried oregano!) and improve your health.
Think of spring cleaning your pantry as a way to streamline your food stockpile and kick-start your healthy eating habits. It’s your opportunity to throw out the old and unhealthy, and start anew. In fact, a well-organized pantry may be the easiest lifestyle change you make!
First, remove everything from your pantry. Yes, everything. You’ll find fallen spice jars and grains you forgot you bought. Then, wipe down the shelves using a wet cloth or a vinegar-water spray and allow to dry completely.
While shelves are drying, it’s time to categorize and purge! Use this opportunity to throw out the bad so you can make room for the good.
Here are some items that you can (and should) ditch for your health.
Remember when turning 40 was considered being “over the hill,” marked by a symbolic tombstone engraved RIP on top of a birthday cake?
Today, turning 40 is more synonymous with “running up a hill,” as women in this age bracket tend to be at the peak of busyness.
Surveys and census data show more women over the age of 40 are starting families, getting married (for the first or second time) and are at the pinnacle of their careers.
Over the hill? Hardly. But, running at such a fast pace up the hill can cause you to put your health on the back-burner and easily lead to making fatal mistakes that can potentially damage your health and shorten your lifespan.
Amazingly, nearly everyone has a powerful computer in their pocket or purse.
It’s so easy to pull out our smart phones to answer life’s most mundane, trivial, or complex questions.
Unfortunately, it’s just as easy for a person diagnosed with a serious, chronic disease like autoimmune arthritis to read an unlimited amount of information about their illness, which can be overwhelming to those seeking answers and direction about disease management.
Here are four strategies to help arthritis patients (or anyone living with a chronic disease) find credible and actionable information.
Women of all ages, regardless of height, weight, or parental status, are susceptible to stretch marks. This is a simple fact.
Another fact, which will hopefully make you feel a bit better, is that supermodels (yes, the bikini models you see in Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret advertisements) also have stretch marks.
If you’re like the 95% of women out there, you prefer them gone.
Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20, offers insights on cosmetic surgery and shares the real deal on stretch mark solutions with several facts on popular procedures and topical options to prevent and remove stretch marks.
Twenty years ago, we hardly heard of ADHD, an acronym for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Today, the term ADHD is so loosely used that anytime anyone feels they are unfocused, overly scheduled or mentally cluttered they may say “I’m so ADHD.”
But, are they?
When is it just a simple lack of focus due to stress or bad habits and when might it be ADHD?
Dr. Sanam Hafeez is a NYC based licensed clinical neuropsychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services specializes in ADHD and other learning disorders.
She offers some characteristics, that when chronic tendencies, could mean ADHD and thus worth getting screened for it.
Did you know that one male is diagnosed with testicular cancer every hour?
April is Testicular Awareness Month, and throughout the month, organizations like ours are working in partnership with the Testicular Cancer Foundation (TCF) to bring attention to a disease that is rarely discussed.
My father, Clyde Hill, 78, is a retired farmer and construction business owner who spent his life working on land improvement projects.
However, after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it was up to me to build a new way of life for my father.
Since my grandfather was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, I knew what was coming when my father’s movements became very rigid and he would freeze up when walking. These were the same initial symptoms that my grandfather experienced when he was diagnosed with the disease.
As my father’s symptoms progressed, my family and I and sought out a neurologist who confirmed the diagnosis in 1992.
Two years ago, my brothers and I started to see a big change in our father’s demeanor. Often in the evening or sundown, he became convinced that the CIA and/or drug dealers were going to hurt him and were inside his house, causing him to become agitated, combative and paranoid. One time when I attempted to reassure him that there were no bad guys in the house and he was safe, he even asked if I was in on “their” plan to hurt him.