Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Life Triggers that Inspire Bold Beauty Transformations

It is common for women to alter their appearance when faced with a significant life challenge. When we are tested we transform. When we shift our mindset, and transform on the inside, it’s only natural that we want the outside to change as well. It’s as if we shed old skin like a butterfly ready to take new flight soaring to new heights. Below are some common life challenges and the typical beauty treatments sought for each.

A milestone birthday.
You don’t have to be turning 50 to freak out about a birthday. Women as young as 25 are having quarter life crisis.’ Women who turn 30 or 35 often feel blah about it. Even if women feel great about a milestone birthday they still may desire a change. According to Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, “when we have birthday’s, we focus on aging. We look at our faces in the mirror and may think a refresher is in order. It’s common for women to book appointments for Botox around their birthdays. However, when aging becomes an obsession causing anxiety or depression, it’s important to speak to a professional.”

Surviving an illness.
“After recovering from illness, especially if the road to recovery was long and hard, it is normal to want a new look,” explains Hafeez. When people feel healthier and happier they may desire a new wardrobe; especially if there was weight loss. Dr. Margarita Lolis a Board-Certified Dermatologist in northern New Jersey who specializes in anti-aging and longevity adds, “they may also want to explore fillers to the face to replace volume lost while ill. It’s important to make a full recovery before doing any invasive procedures. You really must speak to your doctor to clear you for any elective surgeries.” “There’s a lot of empowerment that comes from battling back from illness. It makes sense that someone would want to celebrate their good health with a ‘new me’ approach to their appearance,” says Hafeez.

Going back to work after a stretch of unemployment.
You got laid off and for months your job has been finding a new job. After months of sitting at the computer in sweats only showering to go on interviews you finally get hired! Elated you decide to treat yourself to a spa day, get a pro to cut and color your hair and splurge on new eyeglass frames. “Being unemployed crushes the spirit. The longer someone is unemployed the greater their chances are of sinking into depression. When a new job is secured there’s a feeling that the weight of the world is off the shoulders. Of course, you want to treat yourself” says Dr. Hafeez.

Divorce or a breakup.
One of the most profound triggers motivating a significant change to a woman’s appearance is divorce. Breast augmentation, tummy tucks, liposuction, face lifts, weight loss, new hair, new clothes and total transformation is common. Divorce is such a significant severing that most women feel that the person they were before must change. The fastest way is to change their appearance. The challenge here is that they are often hurting inside as they grieve the loss of their marriage. Even if they are happy for the divorce and ended it amicably the stress over dating again is a motivator. Dr. Lolis says many new clients come to her by referral because they recently divorced and want their “cry lines” removed and a fresh look to their faces.

Moving to a new city.
“Uprooting to a new city can be very scary. There are a lot of unknowns which makes people feel as if they are out of control,” says Dr. Hafeez. The one thing they can take control over is their appearance. It’s common for people who relocate to assume a whole new identity that blends in with the other people of that city. If you’re moving from New York City to a beach town in Miami, your attire is going to change.
About the Doctors
Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD 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, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.
Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www 
Dr. Margarita Lolis, M.D. is a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon with over 20 years of experience. In her practice, she addresses common skin concerns such as acne prevention and treatment in both teens and adults, sun-damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, changes to skin texture and loss of volume. On the medical side, she is a trusted expert in melanoma and over-all skin health. Dr. Lolis prides herself in honoring facial symmetry to deliver a natural look to her clients. She always recommends a healthy skin care regimen plus lifestyle habits that are aligned with her holistic approach to beauty. Dr. Lolis is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society of Anti-aging. Her practice, Skin, Laser, and Surgery Specialists is in New York City and Bergen Country, New Jersey.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Amazing Apps: Tomorrow

Tomorrow Ideas, Inc. announced today that it has been named a participant for TechCrunch Startup Battlefield at Disrupt in San Francisco, September 18-20. The company is being recognized for its groundbreaking Tomorrow app, which guides people through important family financial decisions such as legally selecting a guardian and trustee through the free creation and updating of a will and trust – in minutes, not months. Users can also purchase the optimal amount of affordable term life insurance right within the app, and allocate any future insurance payouts to fund their own trust.  

TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield features top, early-stage startups pitching investors, entrepreneurs, and TechCrunch editors, in front of a vast live audience. The winner receives the ‘Disrupt Cup’, a $50,000 prize, and global recognition. Selection is highly competitive; the acceptance rate ranges from 3 to 6% per event, and contestants are chosen based on the company’s team, product and market potential. 648 startups have participated since the first competition in 2007. To date, they have raised $6.9 billion, while 95 have been acquired or gone public. 

“We’re honored to be included in TechCrunch’s fantastic startup competition,” said Dave Hanley, CEO and Co-founder of Tomorrow. “Tomorrow meets a profound need for busy millennials and modern families – a majority of whom do not have the long-term legal and financial protection they deserve. The Tomorrow app makes getting a will, trust, and life insurance easy for anyone, not just the wealthy. Participating in this incredibly powerful platform will certainly help us reach a larger audience of people who could benefit from Tomorrow.”

The Tomorrow app overcomes the complexity, costs, and isolation that most people experience while trying to complete essential legal and financial tasks. The uniquely social experience makes it easy for users to invite family and friends to serve important future roles, encouraging transparent dialog about hopes and expectations. Tomorrow guides users through these decisions, and makes them easy to change any time, with a click of their phones. 

Founders Story & Funding

After the difficult and unexpected loss of both parents, Dave Hanley was thrust into an antiquated world of financial and legal processes and paperwork, costly lawyers’ fees, and intense personal anguish. An accomplished CEO and digital entrepreneur, he knew there had to be a better way. He was a leading executive at Shelfari, which was acquired by Amazon, and co-founder of Banyan Branch, which was acquired by Deloitte. As such, Dave had access to resources to protect his family that many Americans lack – an inequity that troubled him deeply. Thus, an idea that was borne of hope and love for his family grew into a quest to help others, through a company called Tomorrow.  

To date, Tomorrow has raised $2.6 million in seed funding. Investors include: Maveron, CFSI, Echelon Capital, Clocktower Technology Ventures, Allianz Life, Plug And Play, Flying Fish Partners, Curious Capital, and angel investors. 

Additional information about Tomorrow is available at:

About Tomorrow

Tomorrow Ideas, Inc. was founded in Seattle, WA in 2016 to help families make long-term financial and legal decisions together for the first time, in an easy-to-use app designed to protect their future. Additional information is available at Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @TomorrowIdeas, and share your experiences using #mytomorrow.   

Parenting Pointers: 5 Reasons to Add Charcoal to Your Beauty Routine

Now that summer is coming to an end you may notice dullness to your skin along with new wrinkles. You applied sunscreen, drank water and thought you did all the right things to maintain supple, glowing, hydrated skin through the summer months. However, air pollution, sweat, and residue from cosmetics take their toll. Luckily activated charcoal with its incredible ability to draw out impurities, is just what post summer skin needs. Offering us details on the benefits of charcoal, is Dr. Margarita Lolis, Board-Certified Dermatologist and member of the American Academy of Dermatology.

What’s important to understand is that activated charcoal is typical charcoal but it’s heated in a special way that helps with the absorption of liquids and toxins. It’s not the same charcoal used to barbecue hamburgers. Medical grade activated charcoal is often used in hospitals serving as an emergency remedy for poisonings. Activated charcoal has become a popular ingredient in beauty products because it does a great job going deep to draw out dirt, impurities deep in the pores.

“There are a lot of products on the market and a lot of easy recipes people can use to create at home masks. When used once or twice weekly, depending on skin type, you’ll see improvement to skin texture and appearance pretty quickly. Results are pretty fast when activated charcoal in powder form is used,” explains Dr. Lolis.

The good news is you have options. Over the last few years charcoal has gone mainstream. There are numerous products available on the market ranging from drugstore cleansers from brands like Neutrogena and even soaps for as little as $3.00 a bar. There are mid-range cleansers and masks with activated charcoal from Clinique and Origins for around $25-$35. Then there is the ultra-luxurious mask made with the very rare Kishu Binchotan Charcoal which comes from a rare tree found in a remote region in Japan. Tresor Rare’s Zumi Mask is $5000 making it the most expensive in the world boasting high performance skin detox.

Before adding charcoal to your beauty regimen, check out Dr. Lolis’ list of top skin benefits of activated charcoal.

1.     Makes pores smaller- Summertime perspiration leads to pore expansion and enlargement. Activated charcoal helps pull out toxins and dirt from your pores to make them less visible. “The key here is you want to allow enough time for the charcoal to do its thing. Don’t scrub and be sure to rinse with lukewarm water, advises Dr. Lolis.”

2.     Removes oil from skin- Activated charcoal has many properties that help balance and soak up the oil from your face. Dr. Lolis explains that due activated charcoal has a strong ability to vacuum up oil. “People with normal to dry skin should use charcoal it once or twice a week to avoid drying out your skin. People with oily skin can use a combination of an activated charcoal soap daily then a mask twice per week,” she says.

3.     Exfoliates- This is where activated charcoal does wonders to improve skin texture. In addition to extracting oil and dirt, it removes dead skin from the skins surface explains Dr. Lolis. “You get the deep clean plus the surface clean when you use activated charcoal. It’s a one-two punch. If you’re not the type to get professional facials twice monthly, a face cleansing regimen with activated charcoal is a great at-home option to achieve that deeper clean.

4.     Calms breakouts and removes acne scars – Those deep painful cystic pimples often lead to scarring and blemishes. Activated charcoal works to lighten acne scarring by lifting off the darkened dead skin. Given it is also rich in anti-inflammatory properties acne prone skin is soothed and future breakouts prevented. “For those who can’t afford laser or light therapy, or simply want an at home solution for acne charcoal will help fade scars over time. The key is to stick with it,” says Dr. Lolis.   

5.     Anti-Aging- “Whenever you are exfoliating the skin and accomplishing a deeper clean, wrinkles decrease and a supple skin rejuvenation occurs,” says Dr. Lolis. Women in their 30’s and 40’s who struggle with adult acne find activated charcoal helps with breakouts and overall skin texture and radiance. Aging skin tends to be dryer so it’s important to use charcoal on the oilier areas of our skin as opposed to everywhere,” she adds.

About the Doctor.
Dr. Margarita Lolis, M.D. is a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon with over 20 years of experience. In her practice, she addresses common skin concerns such as acne prevention and treatment in both teens and adults, sun-damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, changes to skin texture and loss of volume. On the medical side, she is a trusted expert in melanoma and over-all skin health. Dr. Lolis prides herself in honoring facial symmetry to deliver a natural look to her clients. She always recommends a healthy skin care regimen plus lifestyle habits that are aligned with her holistic approach to beauty. Dr. Lolis is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society of Anti-aging. Her practice, Skin, Laser, and Surgery Specialists is in New York City and Bergen Country, New Jersey.

Thrifty Thinking: Know Before You Go - Tips for Saving on Your Next Family Outing

Taking the kids out to an event is rarely free, whether you’re headed to a theme park, festival or ball game. One of the best ways to avoid breaking the bank, and to make sure everyone has a great time, is to plan ahead. Consider these tips on how to have fun, stay on budget and experience new things together as a family. 
  1. Consider off-peak show times, days or hours. Depending on the event, you may be able to find less expensive prices on tickets and accommodations if you go at less popular times. Bonus: It may also be easier to navigate the venue minus the pressing crowds that tend to come with peak show times.
  2. Buy souvenirs beforehand. This little trick can save you big time. Let’s say you’re taking the kids to see a Major League game. Look online or in local stores for T-shirts, hats and other swag, and surprise them with it when they wake up on game day. Their day will be made, you’ll be the cool mom, and you’ll save big by avoiding the overpriced on-site gift shops.
  3. Concession stand fare is greasy, sugary and expensive. Bring food with you if you can. Many kid-friendly theme parks and events will allow you to bring in your own meals. It may seem like an extra hassle, but you’ll be amazed how quickly the cost of a few burgers and fries adds up. Check beforehand about any venue restrictions. 
  4. If your kids are old enough to handle it, let them control how they spend any extra money. Give each kid a budget for the day. They can spend it all on a T-shirt, or buy a treat and a small souvenir. This frees you from having to say yes or no to each request and can help prevent bad moods and meltdowns.
  5. Are you looking for overnight accommodations? Big festival venues or theme parks may have their own hotels, but you’ll be paying a premium for them. Look for nearby hotels that offer transportation. This is a no-brainer for family destinations like Disney World, but you’d be surprised at how many places offer this service. The Arrowhead Manor Inn, located just a few miles from Red Rocks Amphitheater, offers a shuttle service to the venue. It’s simple and way more affordable than a rental car.
A bit of planning ahead can make the difference between an affordable family event and one that puts a serious dent in the bank account. Depending on the type of event, you may be able to find other ways to save big (public transportation, free admission for kids under a certain age, etc.). Get creative and ask other seasoned parents how they cut costs at shows, games and concerts. It’s totally possible to stay on budget and give your kids adventures and experiences they will always remember. 
About the Author

Adam Young is the founder of Event Tickets Center, as well as the father of two teenagers. Based near Orlando, he’s taken his kids to hundreds of events over the years, and he’s learned some tricks for saving money along the way.

Young Author Interview - Medhaa Banaji

Many teens are interested in social media, their smartphones, the latest apps, and video games. That is why it is refreshing and interesting to meet one who isn’t. Medhaa Banaji is such a teen. At age thirteen, she wrote her first book, The Transmalians, fantasy that teaches teens the value of friendship and loyalty.  Never giving up on her dream to see the book published it happened when she was sixteen.  The book has been nominated for numerous awards and has won, The Moonbeam Award for best children’s book. 

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.

What was the inspiration behind your book?
I was inspired to write my book by both my parents and my 5th grade teacher. Over the summer of 7th grade, I began writing a short story, which later turned into my book. I kept working on my story, revising it, and adding more details. My book was inspired by my love of children’s fiction and fantasy.
What was it like to work towards getting your book published?
At first, it was very difficult to look at my work, tear it apart, and keep editing. Working with different editors, publishers, and illustrators took a lot of effort and getting rejected a few times did lower my self esteem. However, I kept persisting and hoping for the best with my manuscript. 

Why is it so important to have a book that teaches friendship and loyalty?
For younger children, reading a book that teaches friendship and loyalty is important so that they can learn from it and reflect upon it in their own lives. I think that deriving inspiration from a fictional story can be very helpful and a source of motivation. 

What advice do you have for other aspiring young authors?
My advice for anyone who is interested in writing stories, novellas, or any type of book, is to keep persevering and believing in their work. The key is to hope for the best and keep being passionate about what you do!

5 Reasons why hiring an Employment Law, HR and Health & Safety Support Team for your company is a smart idea

A lot of companies are outsourcing several non-core business processes to ease up their workload. Most of these functions cover human resources, employment law, and health and safety. Outsourcing these processes to vendors like allows companies to focus more on their core business. Here are 5 reasons why getting an Employment Law, HR, and Health & Safety support team for your company is a smart idea.
  1. It’s cost effective
Outsourcing has been around for decades and for good reason. It brings about visible cost advantages that are hard to ignore. You save on labor costs by hiring a firm from an emerging market with lower standards of living. That means you get the quality service your business requires at possibly half the cost. The price of starting your own human resources support team can be huge, might as well hire professionals to provide the service for you.

  1. You get access to skilled resources
Apart of saving a lot of money in establishing an HR team, hiring an external support team ensures you’re dealing with experienced professionals who know what they’re doing. This saves you time and effort from having to scout skilled resources yourself. You can skip the tedious recruitment and training process and leave everything to the vendor. Employment Law is a complex field. Finding the right team to support your company ensures your business functions smoothly without hiccups.

  1. You can focus more on your core product
When you outsource certain business functions that you’re not an expert in, you free yourself from the stress of dealing with them yourself and making mistakes. Entrusting non-core processes to expert vendors gives you the freedom to put all your energy into developing and improving your product.

  1. It’s fast and efficient
Outsourcing HR functions maintains efficiency in your workplace. Hiring a support team to cover all HR related functions gives the management more time to dedicate on strengthening the productivity of their workforce. Processes like payroll, employment law, benefits, and health and safety are all tricky and complex fields to study. Putting up a team composed of qualified and expert professionals is not only time consuming but costly too. By hiring an external team to do all the work for you, you get work delivered in a fast and efficient manner.

  1. You can save on infrastructure and technology
The technology and infrastructure needed to establish an in-house human resources team is no joke. You need a solid budget and a staffing plan. You also need to seek counsel from an employment law attorney. You need to establish health and safety procedures. The pay structure, hiring process, and performance evaluation procedures should also be organized. All those steps are just barely scratching the surface when it comes to building an HR department from the ground up. By outsourcing this function to a reliable vendor, you are saved from all of those, including investing in expensive technology to facilitate operations.

Having an offshore partner do the work for your company’s non-core processes is definitely a smart move.

Story Terrace

What could be more meaningful than the gift of family memories?

Rutger Bruining is CEO of Story Terrace, a unique startup that helps capture treasured memories and create a printed legacy for someone you love.

Story Terrace matches you with one of their talented professional ghostwriters to tell your story using in-person, in-depth interview sessions. They'll help you gather your cherished family photos and get your images scanned and digitized for inclusion. After you approve the final draft your finished product, a beautiful hardcover book, arrives right at your door!

To date, they've helped hundreds of people record and share their amazing stories with friends and family, and you can check out some of them here.  

Story Terrace is a one-of-a-kind gift for families, grandparents, parents, couples, or anyone who has a story they want to tell. 

I had a chance to interview Rutger to learn more.

The Inspiration behind Story Terrace:
As a child, Story Terrace founder Rutger Bruining loved to listen to his grandfather’s stories. For many years he listened to his grandfather’s adventures—of meeting his grandmother, of playing football for the national team, and much more. It was later in life when Bruining realized that these stories had never been written down and that his own memories could not do them justice. So, in November 2014, he founded Story Terrace to help others create biographies so everyone’s cherished past moments could be re-lived and not forgotten! (You can find more of Rutger's story, in his own words, here.)

Why is it so important to share family memories?
Every family has the stories they pass down generation to generation--how their parents met, how their grandparents immigrated to the United States, how their oldest child acted when they met their sister for the first time. But often, as time passes, we forget the details and the story loses something of its flavor. We can usually find the bare facts of a life--when someone was born, who they married, how many children they had--but its the stories that capture a person's tone and personality, that make them the family member we know and love. Sharing and saving these memories means we won't forget about a second birthday, or a family reunion, or beloved family pet, even years after the moment has passed.

What advantage does it have over other memory book methods?
At Story Terrace we know that while not everyone is a writer, everyone has a story worth writing down. At Story Terrace we match every client with a local ghostwriter, who comes to their home and interviews them about their life. Then our writer writes a manuscript that captures the tone and personality of our client, and we produce truly beautiful, full color hardcover books so these memories can stay in the family forever. With Story Terrace you can be assured that a talented professional writer will capture your story in a charming, readable way.

Sweepstakes: Luster White

In Luster Premium White's Summer of Smiles Sweepstakes & Giveaway,  ALL 10 prizes unlocked are now open for entries through September 30, 2017.  Winners will be notified on October 4, 2017.  Here is more information on the Sweepstakes and Giveaway, if you haven’t heard already:

Sweepstakes: Win up to $4,000 in prizes!! The Sweepstakes consist of 10 unique drawings to award one  prize in each drawing. Entry in the Sweepstakes does not constitute entry into any other promotion, contest or sweepstakes.   Enter at
How to enter:-Once on the site, you will be presented the Sweepstakes calendar of prizes.
-Click on an unlocked prize(s) and complete the entry form with all required information which may include: your full name, complete home address, mobile telephone number, age, and valid email address. Complete your entry by agreeing to the Official Rules. Once you submit your entry you will receive one (1) entry into the unlocked prize Sweepstakes drawing. NO entry is carried forward to any remaining unlocked prize Sweepstakes drawing.
Giveaway: Win an additional $500 in prizes! Upload a photo of yourself on Twitter or Instagram with any Luster product using the hashtag #LusterContest, and a caption of why you LOVE Luster!
How to enter:
-You must submit an original photo of you smiling with a Luster product and in the caption telling the Judges “Why you LOVE Luster” along with the hashtag #LusterContest (“Eligible Entry”).
-Your Eligible Photo and caption must comply with these Official Rules and may not contain any of the Prohibited Content set forth below.-Partial or incomplete/piecemeal submissions without the hashtag #LusterContest WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AS CONTEST ENTRIES and shall not be eligible for any Prize.-All submitted photos will be reviewed by the Sponsor for compliance prior to being judged.
-Alternate Means of Entry: If you do not have access to the Luster product you may artistically draw a Luster product and in the caption telling the judges “Why you LOVE Luster” along with the hashtag #LusterContest and upload to your Instagram or Twitter social media account.
- Entries will be automatically populated to the Luster’s Summer of Smiles landing page at All entries will be reviewed by the Sponsor prior to the judging.
-Limit: You may enter one (1) unique photo as often as you like. 

Smart Safety: Passenger Safety Tips for Babies, Children, and Tweens

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. Many times, deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters and seat belts.
NHTSA and the Ad Council launched a new series of public service ads and information that urge parents and caregivers to protect their child’s future at every stage of life, by making sure they secure them in the correct car seat for their age, height, and weight.
With Child Passenger Safety Week this week, it's a good time to share these tips to keep your child of all ages safe. I'll be sharing information on each stage throughout the week.

Soul Sustenance: Here's Some Happy

I recently had a chance to review Here's Some Happy, a delightful adult coloring book that mixes the relaxing nature of coloring with meditation and positive thinking.

Coloring in and of itself can be quite relaxing, whether or not you consider yourself an artist. The drawings and Scripture included are designed to enhance that sense of relaxation as well as reinforce the fact that we are loved by God. The illustrations are a sort of whimsical style, peaceful and pleasant to look at even in black and white. They are grown up instead of being cartoonish, but the drawing style is actually fairly plain in the sense that there aren't a lot of tiny little nooks and crannies that can intimidate people that aren't as into coloring the complex designs some adult coloring books have. This was a book that was a lot of fun for my tween daughter as well - it was just her style and it's something she really enjoys doing.

GINA GRAHAM is an illustrator and art teacher in Chattanooga, TN. She loves to create joyful, uplifting art to offer the hope found in God’s love. Art is restorative to Gina, helping her thrive through injury and illness. In 2005 she had an accident that instantly took the vision from her right eye. Though she was teaching art at the time, her bigger dream was to have an art career. Realizing that nothing is guaranteed, she started drawing toward that goal the day after her accident, and hasn’t stopped. Her retina was damaged but Gina regained all but a tiny blind spot in her vision. Gina is also a cancer survivor. In 2013 journaling and doodling around scripture helped her thrive through the months of complications after surgery. Many of the images in this book came from that precious time of healing.