Letter to Our Readers ^_^

Media Maven at Sassy City Chicks

Hello Readers,

It’s Media Maven here, and I have so much to tell you. First of all, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your comments, letters/emails, questions, requests, tips and suggestions. To keep everyone updated, the blog have been very busy the last few months trying to figure out the best way to keep you, our readers; empowered, entertained and educated.

We receive tons of press releases daily and have been sifting through what we feel would be best suited for our sections as well as for your pleasure. In the months to come, you can expect book/product reviews, Maven’s favorite picks, travel/Goddess getaway, Goddess Gourmet and FYI/Shhh Coveted Convo explosions on our pages. Remember, everything contained within this site is designed to help you live a healthy and active lifestyle to unleash the natural bliss within.

We currently have exclusives on the new Winter/Spring health and beauty products, and other goodies that are set to launch. Follow Maven as she journeys through parenting in our new section Fit & Fabulous Mom; Trials & Pleasures of a Single Mom.   “Being a Media Maven and a single mom of two teenage divas and expecting the arrival of a newborn prince can be hectic and requires lots of time and stress management”…read along and learn how to cope with everyday expectations of parenting and maintaining a career.

Also, feel free to leave your comments/questions in the comment section of our posts and you can email Media Maven (at) .  You can also follow Maven on Associated Content, PNN and Blogcritics.  You get the same goodness contained here, satisfaction guarantee.

For those of you who asked about the bookmarking and RSS, please scroll to the very top-right of this site. You can also follow us on twitter (also located on the top-right corner of this blog).

Once again, thank you so much for your support and patience. Your pleasure is ours as well; in efforts to keep you entertained, empowered and educated.

XOXO,

Media Maven ^_^

Five Flight Illnesses You Should Know About

With vacations soaring high on many agendas throughout the summer…its normal to worry about the season’s essentials such as sunblock, swim gear, bug repellents and the likes — but what about illnesses?

Check out Txchnologist to learn about the 5 illnesses that you can get from flying.

 

Make Your Mark: Creativity Brings Awareness to Cervical Dystonia and Blepharospasm

Imagine living your life everyday, as a normal individual. Then, in your early 30′s, your diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia (Spasmodic Torticollis) – a focal dystonia which usually affects the neck and sometimes shoulders. Cervical Dystonia can be quite painful with discomfort. Symptoms include involuntary contracting of the neck muscle which leads to abnormal movements and weird positioning of the head and neck.

Or, how about Blepharospasm – another focal dystonia of neurological movements which involve involuntary contractions of muscles around the eyes. Although, the causes are still unknown, Blepharospasm have been medically linked to stress, fatigue and other irritants as contributing factors. Severe cases have led to blindness.

Hallie Neill, opera singer, actress and writer, was diagnosed with Cervical Dystonia in 2007. “For those who suffer with chronic conditions like cervical dystonia or blepharospasm, creative expression has a part to play in how we feel physically and how we feel about ourselves.” Neill says.

Opera Singer, Actress and Writer Hallie Neill

We caught up with the spectacular Hallie who was able to do an interview with us…click the video link below to learn what she had to tell Media Maven, and (you) our audience about the Make Your Mark Campaign, and the efforts to raise awareness for Cervical Dystonia and Blepharospasm…

Hallie Neill and Mrs. North Carolina, Dawn Brinkley for the Make Your Mark Campaign

This interview was an *Exclusive* for Media Maven’s Mind Body Soulutions.

Formaldehyde-free Beauty Perfection

Pravana Perfection Smoothout_full

Congressional representatives from Massachusetts and Illinois asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue voluntary recalls on hair-smoothing treatments formulated with levels of formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen, that exceed 8 percent.

As recently covered in The Wall Street Journal, as well as the Today Show, the FDA is being asked to require warning labels for these products which emit formaldehyde. This is in part in response to the complaints being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) as well as several state occupational safety agencies.  In April 2011, OSHA issued a hazard alert to salon owners and workers about potential formaldehyde exposure resulting from hair-smoothing treatments.

For consumers and salon workers looking for options that deliver the same results without the exposure to harmful ingredients, Perfection SmoothOut by Pravana is a formaldehyde-free alternative. Formulated with a proprietary blend of nano amino acids,this system has proven to be a gentle and safe formula that provides desired results that last for up to twelve weeks.

Perfection Smoothing Shampoo in 10.1 oz or 33.7 oz Liter & Perfection Smoothing Conditioner in 10.1 oz or 33.7 oz Liter

 

Pravana Founder and President Steven Goddard supports the actions of the congressional representatives.  “By bringing this issue to light, consumers can make a more informed decision about salon services and their safety. Pravana is proud to offer a smoothing treatment that is both safe and effective.”

Steps to a Happier You: 5 Tips to Stay Stress-Less

When you hear the word stress, what exactly comes to mind? Is it the obnoxious boss who always seems to pop up with the random asinine requests? Is it the partner who always has extra-curricular activities with everyone else but you, when you seem to need them the most? Is it the parents who never seem to understand you…OMG! Or is it the bff who you constantly catch in the stupidest, unnecessary lies?  Whatever the trigger, stress IS definitely a killer.  It is a very serious health issue and can lead to depression, or even worst!  With everything happen in this current economical and societal time, stress and strain seems to be double teaming mostly everyone across the board…

 

But there’s good news; it doesn’t have to take a serious toll on you. In fact, there are ways to relieve the pressure to the duo, like taking time to connect with the mind, body, soul and the needs of each.  Pausing for a little bit each day and reconnecting with the inner self and physical requirements works wonders on the mind, spirit and body.  It’s also an excellent way to ward off too much stress.  Chicago Healers Practitioner Dr. Helen Lee provides five easy ways to stay calm, relaxed and connected to the self throughout even the busiest days.

Breathe from the "Hands That Worship" series

  • Breathe – It may feel silly to remind oneself to breathe, but it is so important.  There are two types of breathing: shallow and deep.  Taking shallow chest breaths causes the body to operate in “fight or flight” mode, which is highly stressful.  Less oxygen goes to the brain and the body continues to operate on high alert.  It is important to take deep abdominal breaths, which stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.  This optimizes digestion, relaxation and detoxification while keeping hormones balanced.

  • Gratitude – Remembering things to be grateful for throughout the day really does wonders for personal state of mind and for the body.  Positive thinking releases chemicals that help with digestion, euphoria, relaxation and overall well-being.

  • Laughter – Laughter is the best medicine as the saying goes, and this is often the case.  Laughing for 10 minutes a day will do amazing things.  It changes the physiology of the entire body—increases circulation, releases different “happy” chemicals in the body, reduces stress, keeps everyone in a lighter frame of mind, helps the heart and can even burn calories!  It’s contagious, too!
  • Sit in Silence – Taking 10-30 minutes to quiet the mind and clear thoughts can be so beneficial.  If meditating is not preferable, spend the time visualizing goals for the day.  This will put focus on personal needs, which will be relaxing later when the day starts to get stressful.
  • Take a 15-20 Minute Walk Outside – Sometimes all that’s needed is fresh air and sunlight.  Taking a step away from the computer, the phone, the office, etc. can really help clear thoughts and be very calming.

Stress is almost unavoidable these days but there are many ways to keep it at bay.  Practicing these five methods is a great start.

 

About ChicagoHealers.com

Chicago Healers is the nation’s pioneer pre-screened integrative health care network, offering a comprehensive understanding of each practitioner’s services, approach, and philosophy.  Our holistic health experts teach and advocate natural and empowered health and life choices through their practices, the media, educational events, and our website.  With close to 200 practitioners and over 300 treatment services, Chicago Healers has provided nearly 400 free educational events for Chicagoans and has been featured in 300+ TV news programs and print publications.  For more information, visit www.ChicagoHealers.com.

 

In Review ^_^ Train Your Brain To Get Happy

Hello Lovelies,

Now, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been so busy planning and editing…trying to keep you empowered, entertained and educate; and I happened to embark on a journey, to get happy…

I’ve have the pleasure of coming across an excellent read.  It’s called Train Your Brain to Get Happy written by Teresa Aubele, PhD, Stan Wenck, EdD and Susan Reynolds.  For the past year, I had such an overload of negativity that it was vital for me too catch up with the authors and attempt to get to the core, as it is everyone’s given birthright to be happy… here’s what they had to say about this very resourceful book.

 

   

Train Your Brain To Get Happy

Susan Reynolds

Teresa Aubele, PhD

Train Your Brain to Get Happy was written at a very exciting time in neuroscience. The field has exploded in the last decade, and there’s been a flood of brain books, many of which either got bogged down in technical jargon or treated the subject too lightly. We wanted to offer a book that provided the latest, truly fascinating knowledge about the brain, combined with a practical way to use the knowledge to improve your life, written in a way that everyone could easily understand.

Here’s what we learned (sort of in a nutshell):

Happiness begins in the brain (because it’s the source of the mind), and there is now substantial scientific evidence that we have the ability to not only change our brain’s very structure, but to change the way our brain typically responds to stimuli. In other words, we have the ability to generate happiness by guiding and directing our brains. This is why happiness begins “at a cellular level.” Your physical brain generates your mind, which means there is a tangible entity to happiness—namely, neurons.

The idea that neurons could change in response to experience has been accepted since the 1960s, but the field of neuroplasticity (the study of the changeable nature of neurons) exploded in the last two decades. In the last decade, for example, scientists have conducted many thousands of well-respected studies on the subject. The discovery that you can use your mind to change your brain (that thinking thoughts can change your neurons) happened in the last decade, largely thanks to developments in brain scanning technology. Concepts once pretty much written in stone have been abandoned in the last two decades, and new discoveries are occurring weekly, if not daily.

Neuroplasticity doesn’t require the creation of new neurons. New neurons are created in your brain, but it’s usually in pretty discrete areas, such as your olfactory system (your sense of smell), which replaces neurons every few weeks. In fact, most of the neurons in your brain are elders, neurons that you’ve had since you were born.

However, scientists discovered that you have the ability to re-shape your neuronal connections. You can change the strength of connections between two neurons—binding them together (and thus linking thoughts) or weakening their bonds (thus disconnecting thoughts). The process of training your brain usually entails working towards the goal of strengthening or weakening these bonds. Once the training is complete, the new behavior tends to stick (though it can take some time, and may require reinforcement after being learned).

The fight-or-flight response comes from parts of your deeper, more instinctual brain, and the emotions and feelings that are evoked with this response can feel difficult to overcome. However, even some strong emotions, such as fear and anxiety, have a clear brain basis, which means they can be understood and potentially changed.

What we’ve done with the book is to connect all the dots for you, so that you can understand where those negative thoughts are coming from in a physical, brain-based sense, which will help your experiences feel more concrete than abstract.

When you’ve experienced abuse, your brain is housing painful memories and has formed certain neuronal pathways that tend to take you down the same emotional highway. It’s like your brain has a negative groove that you habitually fall into—unless you purposefully and consciously form new grooves (new neuronal connections) and smooth over the old grooves (diminishing dysfunctional neuronal connections).

There are definite ways to tamp down painful memories, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness meditation, through which you can quiet the parts of your brain that become overactive in response to painful memories. If you are still being affected by traumatic memories, it’s best to seek therapeutic help, although you can bolster the effects of talk therapy (or drug therapy if needed) by using brain-training techniques—cognitive behavioral therapy to combat negative thoughts, and mindfulness meditation to bolster optimism, for example. Because these techniques have been effective in the type of neuronal changes one needs to heal and be happier, we outline these—and other—techniques in Train Your Brain to Get Happy.

One exciting technique is best described by catchphrases, such as “imagination is reality” or “tricking your brain.”  This works because your brain cannot always reliably distinguish between what you are imagining internally and what is really happening. Your thoughts can “trick” your brain into accepting what you want it to believe. For example, if you are imagining a sad event, or reliving a sad event from your past, your brain will respond as if the event were actually happening all over again—even though, in reality, it is not.

Thus, imagining or reliving a sad event can strengthen the neuronal connections that hold both the factual parts of the memory and the emotional parts of the memory, making it burrow even deeper into your brain. However, thinking about past happy events, or envisioning desired happy events, can make your brain respond as if a happy event is actually occurring. This means thinking happy, positive thoughts and using guided imagery, for example, could strengthen pathways for happiness and serenity. There really is some truth to the adage: You are what you think.

Positive thinking can create a brain blessed with predominantly “positive” neuronal pathways, which would make you more likely to associate even every day, ordinary events with thoughts that make you feel happier. You can begin by cultivating empathy, gratitude, and positive thinking about your present, past, or future life. Even focusing on happiness for a few minutes a day can boost your happiness potential.

You can also re-frame past events to create a more desirable emotional subtext. Reducing negative attachments to painful memories, and focusing on framing the events in a way that allows you think and feel happier will literally create neuronal pathways that your brain can follow when processing new experiences. If you put a lot of energy in visualizing how you want relationships to happen, your brain will do its part to help make that happen.

It’s really pretty remarkable and not esoteric at all. By understanding how your brain works, and utilizing techniques that take advantage of this understanding, you can maximize opportunities to create the types of experiences and memories that foster happiness. And who doesn’t want that?

Our hope for the book was that our readers would be as excited as we were to realize that we really can train our brains to be happier. You have the ability to use your mind to make your life happier, and more focused, and more fulfilling.

***Train Your Brain To Get Happy authors currently  blog on the Psychology Today website under “Prime Your Gray Cells” and will have a follow-up book entitled Train Your Brain to Get Rich, in November!

 

 

A Patriotic Beauty Maven’s Guide to a Stylish Fourth of July

It’s time to get your mind thinking of different ways to get festive, with July 4th literally 2 days away! Show off your patriotic style with these red, white, and blue accessories and tees from Sobral, Edward Beiner and Tees by Tina!

Accessories: Jewelry by Sobral, Sunglasses by Edward Beiner & Tees by Tina!

A Stylista’s Guide to Healthier, Easier, Pink-er Living!

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October 2011) approaching, think pink with these one-of-a-kind products all dedicated to healthier, easier, pink-er living…*Exclusive Sneak Peek*…

 

S’well

Stay hydrated with your very own S’well bottle–the most stylish and socially conscious bottle on the block. Water does wonders for the body, and S’well does wonders for the planet–just think of the difference made by filling up a S’well bottle everyday instead of letting another plastic bottle pile up. S’well keeps hot beverages steaming and cold ones freezing without the unwelcome metallic taste, and 10% of net sales benefit WaterAid in support of programs that improve access to safe water, hygiene, and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. One bottles retails for $35, and if pink isn’t your thing, don’t worry, S’well bottles come in seven different colors.

 

 

 

Callet

 

One of the perks of being a woman is being able to carry around pretty purses; that is, until you have to dig around in your bag for your cards and cash. For those who know this daily frustration too well, there’s the Callet–a phone case and wallet all in one. Customized to fit perfectly on any Blackberry and iPhone, this compact all-in-one accessory has easily accessible and convenient slit-pockets to hold your necessities. It’s easier living for just $19.99.

 

Pet P.L.A.Y

 

There’s nothing like laying down in your bed after a long day. Shouldn’t your pet feel the same? Pamper your pup with this pink  dog bed by P.L.A.Y. (Pet Lifestyle and You). They’re soft, breathable, and allergy-free for your pet’s pure comfort, and not only do P.L.A.Y. beds come in different sizes to fit your needs, they’re durable with zippered coverings that can be easily removed for machine washing.  Your pet will be very pleased, and so will the planet–P.L.A.Y. beds are made of 100% post-consumer recycled products. Prices range from $29-189 and over 25 designs are available.

 

 

ClaudiaE

 

Like the guy that lives next door, pink is even better when it’s hot. Pump up your style with this hot pink printed maxi dress from ClaudiaE. Flirty on it’s own, but perfect when paired with a pink ribbon, this dress is just one of ClaudiaE’s feminine staples available for $.

 

Lotty Dotty

 

For those moms who would like to let their daughters dress themselves but are scared of the mismatched disaster that would result, there’s Lotty Dotty–a specialty t-shirt that lets kids have a little say in what they wear. Both interactive and interchangeable, Lotty Dotty shirts let kids change the look of their shirt by attaching and detaching mini designer velcro-backed “outfits” to a screen-printed doll on the front of every shirt.  Mom picks the shirt, kids pick what goes on it, and now, in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Lotty Dotty features a new doll outfit designed specifically to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure®. Made with 100% organic cotton and screenprinted with the doll of your choice, one children’s shirt will run you $50 and detachable outfits range from $20-30. Visit www.lottydotty.com to purchase this fun fashion.

 

 

Out of Print

 

For paperback and pink lovers, Out of Print clothing preserves one of the classics with this pink Pride & Prejudice tee. Celebrating the world’s greatest stories through fashion, each shirt is designed with a contemporary twist on pop’s favorite classics, and treated to feel soft and worn like a well-read book. Sold for less than $30 at Scoop NYC and Urban Outfitters nationwide, one book is donated to a community in need for every item sold.

 

75% of Women WILL NOT Marry an Unemployed

Hello Lovelies,

Question…Is your love color blind? Meaning, does it matter to you if your partner is employed or not? When ‘green’ enters your love life, is it not just that green-eyed devil name jealousy, but the color and weight of your man’s wallet – It doesn’t matter how well he works it in the bedroom, if he’s not working outside of it. But is this a fair label to place on someone who you love? Is it okay or fair to judge love by someone’s financial hiccup?

According to a new survey conducted by ForbesWoman—the leading online destination for professional and career-minded women—and YourTango.com—the digital leader in love and relationships—75 percent of women would not marry someone who was unemployed, and 65 percent said they would not feel comfortable getting married if they themselves were unemployed.

“With the recent unemployment rate up to 9.1 percent, joblessness is an increasingly pervasive issue—especially for women as they consider the fiscal and emotional stability of their romantic future,” said Andrea Miller, founder and CEO, YourTango.com. “From money woes to resentment, joblessness can create great strain on relationships.  Before women enter into a lifetime commitment, they want to feel secure in what their partner can bring to the table.”

Although having a job is important, the heart still reigns supreme with more than 91 percent of single women saying they would marry for love over money.

“It is ironic that women place more weight on love than money, yet won’t marry if they or their potential suitor is unemployed,” said Meghan Casserly, Reporter, ForbesWoman. “A job can make or break the longevity of a relationship and the results of the survey demonstrate just what an important role careers play in romance.”

The Career & Love Survey also found:

  • Sleepless Nights: 40 percent of women in a relationship said their job responsibilities were most likely to keep them up at night, while job responsibilities and love life tied as the two factors most likely to keep single women awake.
  • Money Makes the World Go Around: 32 percent of women in a relationship make more money than their partner. 50 percent of women would marry someone who earned significantly less than them, while 41 percent wouldn’t marry someone who earned significantly less than them.
  • Career vs. Kids: 55 percent would give up their career to take care of kids if their partner asked them to do so; only 28 percent would ask the same of their partner.
  • Me Time: If women could find an extra hour in each day, 42 percent would spend it by themselves, as opposed to with their partner, friends or family or on work.
  • Living the Dream: 77 percent of women believe women can simultaneously have a fulfilling relationship and family life, as well as a successful career.

Additional information about the survey can be found at: http://blogs.forbes.com/meghancasserly/2011/06/21/career-love-recession-unemployed-and-engaged/ or http://www.yourtango.com/careersurvey.

Methodology: Conducted on YourTango.com and ForbesWoman.com, the survey questioned a national sample of 625 women. Polling took place over March 25 – June 5, 2011. The margin of error is +/- 3.92 at a 95 percent confidence level.

About YourTango

YourTango is the leading lifestyle brand focused on love & relationships. With a mission to help users live their best love lives, YourTango provides award-winning content, community, tools, and connections to relationships experts.

YourTango caters to women in all lovestages: single, taken, engaged, married, starting over & complicated. Whether you are in a relationship, looking for love, or mending a broken heart, we invite you to join the conversation wherever you are: YourTango.com, twitter.com/yourtango, youtube.com/yourtango or www.bit.ly/YourTangoFacebook. YourTango is the property of Tango Media, a private company based in New York City.

About Forbes Media:

Forbes Media encompasses Forbes and Forbes.com, the leading business site on the Web that reaches on average more than 18 million people monthly. The company publishes Forbes and Forbes Asia, which together reach a worldwide audience of more than 6 million readers. It also publishes ForbesLife magazine, in addition to licensee editions in Africa, China, Croatia, Bulgaria, India, Indonesia, Israel, Korea, Latvia, Middle East, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Other Forbes Media Web sites are ForbesWoman.com; RealClearPolitics.com; RealClearMarkets.com; RealClearSports.com and RealClearWorld.com. Together with Forbes.com, these sites reach on average nearly 20 million business decision makers each month.

Steve Forbes serves as Chairman and Editor in Chief. Mike Perlis is President and Chief Executive Officer.  Lewis D’Vorkin is Chief Product Officer.  Kevin Gentzel is Chief Revenue Officer

Wipe Away Stress: A Travelista’s Dream

Taking a trip shouldn’t get in the way of your skincare regimen, but between FTA carry-on guidelines and risking product spillage in your luggage, traveling with beauty products can be difficult. The next time you travel, leave the liquid makeup remover behind for an easy-to-pack, risk-free skincare option—cleansing towelettes.

Neutrogena® Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes are the perfect travel companion—the soft, small packages are suitable for any backpack or suitcase.  These pre-moistened, ultra-soft skin-conditioning cloths provide superior cleansing and makeup removal, even dissolves long lasting extended wear makeup, like waterproof mascara! No rinse required as they won’t leave any residue behind, making them the perfect cleansing option for outdoor trips.

Traveling with heavy bottles can be cumbersome, so we recommend bringing along, Neutrogena® Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes on your next vacation for convenient cleansing and packing! Convenient and gentle, not only do these makeup removing cleansing towelettes offer superior makeup removal with patent pending technology, but they are also gentle enough for sensitive eyes and safe for contact lens wearers.  Available for $7 at Neutrogena.com

 

Vacationing in dry, sunny locations can strip skin of its natural moisture—we recommend Neutrogena® Hydrating Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to cleanse and hydrate skin in just one easy wipe of the face.  A unique blend of skin-soothing cucumber and aloe extracts in addition to emollients and glycerin leave skin feeling soft and supple while reaching deep into pores to gently clear away dirt, oil, pollutants and makeup. Available for $7 at Neutrogena.com

 

After a long day of sightseeing, unwind and calm the senses while cleansing skin and removing impurities. We recommend Neutrogena® Night Calming Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes to provide fast-acting, double-duty benefits—wiping away dirt while helping to calm and relax after a busy day with soothing lavender and chamomile extracts. Available for $8 at Neutrogena.com

 

 

Bohemian Goddess Inspired Jewelry

This summer the bohemian look is back in a big way.Taking a cue from the 1970′s, long flowy skirts and flower child tunics are accentuated with statement jewelry.From fringe and stones to layered wrap bracelets, AccessoryArtists.com has all the boho pieces you need for your summer editorials.
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