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Sep 15, 2021

5 Reasons You May Qualify For Special Enrollment

Each year, those who rely on Obama care plans for health insurance sign up during the open enrollment period with the ability to stick with or select a new plan in the upcoming year. There are also several reasons why a person may qualify to sign up or change their plan outside of open enrollment, including: 

1. Change in Marital Status

If you got married or divorced outside of an open enrollment period, you will likely qualify to sign up for a new plan. Married individuals often sign on to a joint plan, which tends to be more economical than having two individual plans. 

Those who get divorced are also able to sign onto a new plan as an individual or with children, instead of having to stay on a joint plan with a former spouse. 

2. Moving Somewhere New

Moving is a stressful time for many, especially if you are headed to a new zip code. If you are moving to a new home within the same zip code, you aren't likely to qualify for a new health plan unless the move is accompanied by another qualifying event. 

If you are moving to a new zip code, you will qualify for special enrollment and you can pick a new plan that covers doctors and other healthcare costs in your new area. 

3. Fluctuations in Your Income

Although many people receive a yearly salary or hourly wage and can expect a steady income throughout the year, others earn their living from freelance or gig work. Others still may experience a change in income if they get a promotion at work or lose their jobs and all of which may be qualifying events for a special enrollment period. 

Not all changes in income constitute a special enrollment period, but it's helpful to check with a healthcare specialist when you experience significant income fluctuations to see if you qualify. 

4. Changes in Household Size

Those who welcome a new child into their household, whether through birth or adoption, have plenty to think about, including a change in their healthcare plans. Those who experience a death in the household, or a household member simply moves to another location, must also update their profile in the system and may qualify for the special enrollment period. 

5. Altered Disability Status

If you or someone in your household has either become disabled or has recovered from injuries that kept them from working or everyday tasks, this change in disability status is likely to qualify you for a special enrollment period. 

The plans available to you and your family may be completely different when there is a disability in the household, or the plans may be offered at a different price. 

There are several life changes that may allow you to sign up for an Obamacare plan or change your current plan even outside of the open enrollment period. Any time you experience a significant life change, be sure to update that in the system to see if you need to pick a new plan. 


Sep 14, 2021

Treat Your Beauty Inside and Out with Clean Cosmetics

Let’s be honest, we all want to age like a fine wine – even those of us who aren’t exactly the narcissistic type of people. The good news is it’s possible even for individuals who haven’t been blessed with the perfect genes; the bad news is it takes some effort as well as knowledge when choosing the ideal bits and pieces of skincare.

My advice is to keep your radiant and healthy skin in mind as you’re on the quest for youthful and wrinkle-free results. And, of course, it’s recommended you take a good look at your current collection of beauty products and sweep it clean, replacing all the toxin-packed items with clean cosmetics free from all the nasties.

Clean beauty has turned into quite the buzzword recently, though there’s still some cloud of confusion as to what it truly refers to and encompasses. Lucky for you, this is exactly what this blog post is about – throwing light on clean beauty.

What Is the Definition of Clean Beauty?

The concise answer would be the kind of cosmetics that are great for people as much as the environment. In a broader sense, it’s an umbrella term encompassing ethical, sustainable, organic, vegan and cruelty-free products. Respective of this, you might also hear it associated with conscious beauty.

This stems from the fact such products are created with natural plant-based ingredients at the basis, carefully sourced from renewable sustainable sources, and not tested on animals. As such, they don’t cause skin irritation, redness, sensitivities, serious health and well-being issues, and they don’t lead to environmental pollution as the traditional cosmetic industry with its serious toxic waste.

What Are the Benefits of Clean Beauty?

If you care about your beauty inside and out, in addition to making ground-breaking changes with your nutrition by getting rid of processed foods and substituting them with all-things organic, you ought to invest in clean beauty that’s nurturing your skin. As soon as you implement them in your day to day pampering, you’d get to benefit the following:

  • Come across optimal ingredients that nature offers.

  • Get a healthy complexion and plump skin worthy of envy.

  • Cut down the risk of toxicity.

  • Cut down the risk of irritation, redness, sensitivity, and issues like rosacea, and dermatitis.

  • Cut down the risk of cancer.

  • Cut down the risk of hormonal imbalances and endocrine issues.

  • Boost your immunity – healthy skin equals a healthy body.

  • Ensure overall health and well-being.

  • Protect animals and help cut down the cosmetic industry’s environmental impact.

  • In other words, acquiring clean cosmetics from trusted retailers and their carefully curated selections means opening up the path to a clean lifestyle and an even cleaner environment. What you invest in such products pays off in your life in more ways than one.

How Do I Start a Clean Beauty Routine?

The typical woman enamoured with cosmetics has a wide assortment of beauty essentials that she uses on a daily basis. What this means is every day she scrubs and rubs various types of chemicals on the skin, oblivious they’re harmful for her health. If this sounds like you, and you’re afraid of some side-effects along the way, it’s high time you did some beauty routine changes with the following steps.

1. Know Your Foes 

Not knowing where to begin when embarking on the green beauty regimen, it’s advisable to first familiarize yourself with the nasty ingredients present in most traditional cosmetics that most people sadly have in their homes. The dirty thirty would give you a clear idea of what you should avoid, and why that is.

2. Read the Label

The next step would be to do your homework on brands and their products, and if something catches your eye, be sure to look into the ingredients before purchasing. The important thing here is to get in the habit of reading labels. There are sites, like the non-governmental EWG (Environmental Working Group) with its skin deep database, where you could also check the products you’re interested in to see if they’re safe.

3. Take It Slow 

Once you find brands and items of clean cosmetics you want to try out, are sure they’re safe, and don’t contain any of the dirty thirty nasties, it’s advisable to use a slow pace. If you’ve been using beauty care items for long, your skin has become accustomed to the chemicals, so it might take time to adjust to the organic alternatives.

This is why it’s essential to gradually declutter and implement the new products, starting from the items you use to cover most of your skin’s areas, in the likes of body lotions and body washes. You can later move on to moisturisers, toners, serums, eye creams, sunscreens, masks, soaps, makeup, nail polish, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, fragrances, as well as toothpaste. By doing so, you wouldn’t only be doing your skin and beauty a favor, but also your wallet. The future truly looks bright with these products!

4. Make Sure It's Good for You 

Just because something’s clean, organic, green, vegan, or whatever you might call it, doesn’t mean it won’t bring about any side-effects either. Sometimes, a person may not even be aware he or she is allergic to a certain natural ingredient until they start using certain products. With this thought in mind, it’s necessary to always do a patch test first when you decide to introduce a new item of clean cosmetics to your collection.

5. Mind Your Skin Type 

And, of course, the most important step, always buy clean skincare and body care products that are suitable for your skin type. Once you’ve compiled your collection of all-things clean, you ought to build a solid routine and practice it religiously every morning and every night. This would guarantee you’d get the results you’re after and make a change in your life and the planet’s.

6. Stick to the Basics 

To follow through with it, even when you barely have the time, it’s advisable to make it as simple as you can with the most crucial products. Cleanse, nurture with vitamin C serum and protect with an SPF moisturizer in the morning, and cleanse again, treat with special products (e.g. acne or age related), and round it up by moisturizing again before beauty sleep.


Not Just for Wrinkles: 5 Uses of Botox That Might Surprise You

Botox has been around for many years. As a cosmetic drug, it was discovered by two Canadian doctors. They were treating patients with facial spasms when they realized the patient's fine lines and wrinkles were disappearing. This was in 1987. In 2002, the FDA approved the drug as a cosmetic aid.

Today, there are many different effective Botox treatments an individual can use to help regain their health, look better, and feel better in many areas of their life.

Here are the 5 uses of Botox that might surprise you:

1. Migraine and Headache Reducer
Many individuals suffer from debilitating migraines in which they can't function normally. These super headaches send the person to bed in a dark and quiet room, sometimes for hours if not days. Botulinum toxin or Botox has been shown to lessen the severity and duration of migraines in both men and women. In some cases, Botox has enabled a headache sufferer to have more pain-free days per month than ever before.  This is with yearly or every six months treatments, depending on the patient.

 2. Bladder Control

Three in 10 men, and four in 10 women suffer from some type of bladder control issue. The FDA approved Botox for a variety of bladder issues back in 2013. A small dose of this drug helps to relax the bladder, making the spasms less while it also helps to expand the bladder. This expansion helps to give more room to collect urine and that means fewer trips to the bathroom.
3. Strabismus Correction

Strabismus is a medical condition of the eyes. It is where one eye may look straight ahead, while the other seems to be focused to the left or right, also known as improper alignment of the eyes. Since the early 1980s, small Botox injections have been able to properly align a wandering eye. It is also safe in small children with this eye condition.

 4. Shoulder and Neck Pain

Botox can be helpful in reducing shoulder and neck pain in certain persons. Myofascial and posterior pain are both lessened with Botox injections spaced out for several months for a year or so. Chronic shoulder and neck pain can be a contributing factor in headaches and Botox treatments have also been shown to rid a person of these types of headaches.

5. Excessive Sweating

Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which a person suffers from excessive sweating, even when the weather is not hot out. This is an amount of sweat that is like a dripping faucet or even a flowing river. It is a lot of sweat. Typical antiperspirants and deodorants do not work for this small group of individuals. Botox injections under the arm, and even in the hands and feet, can help to control the excessive sweating many people suffer with and helps to improve their quality of life.
These are just a few of the many uses of Botox injections that your doctor can prescribe to help you live a better, less painful life. Always listen to the recommendation of your trusted physician before deciding to get Botox injections. 

Sep 3, 2021

The Pros and Cons of Student Loans

This is the time of year where many students have returned to school, whether it's grade school or college. I remember like it was yesterday when my daughters were in high school. They both were high-achieving students with bright futures ahead. They participated in so many school activities ranging from sports, clubs and community service. Those activities were very important when it came to the college application process. Colleges look for well-rounded students who do more than just get good grades. 

If you have a high schooler, you are most likely in touch with the guidance office along with the college coordinator. They are vital in helping your student understand what goals they have to reach to get to applying for college. In my years of volunteering at the high school. I learned that so many students did not take advantage of the resources that their school was offering. It's a shame, because those staff members have so many helpful tools and advice. 

Many parents often stress over saving money for college. It is not something that every family is able to do. Of course, college is not for everyone. Some students end up entering the working world since college didn't seem like it was a possibility. This is why I will again encourage parents to have their student meet with the college coordinator from their school. They have resources that you didn't know existed. They can assist with applying for scholarships as well as student loans. Is the process easy? No, it's not. It does take some real effort, but you would be surprised by how many people qualify for student loans. You can learn more here

Taking out a student loan is a huge responsibility, because obviously it has to be paid back. Student loan debt is something so many adults incur, but the end reward will be well worth it as long as you have a game plan in place. Going into college with a career goal in mind is key. If your student successfully makes it through to obtain their college diploma, they will be able to compete in the job market. Don't think that parent ends when your kid goes off to college, because they still can use your guidance to maneuver through the stages to independent adulthood. 

It is so important to give our kids the gift of financial literacy. Teach them about credit, saving money and investing early on. This will make applying for and paying back a student loan a bit easier. We have a handful of years to go with my youngest in regards to applying for a loan, but thankfully his big sisters and dad have been through the process a number of times. If you are currently dealing with your high school student or adult child looking at taking out a loan, be sure you are there to support them. Believe me, that little bit of support goes a long way. 

Sep 1, 2021

4 Tips for Dealing With Your Emotions After a Traumatic Birth

Traumatic births come in all shapes and sizes, but they do all have one thing in common: They leave lingering feelings of guilt, sadness, and anxiety in their wake.

While having a baby should be a wonderful and happy time, it’s simply not always that. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, birth can be painful and deeply distressing. Things go wrong, and there’s often no way to make them right.

Even if you and your baby come out of the experience healthy — or at least on the mend — the experience can leave you in a terrible state. Here are some suggestions and tips for helping yourself deal with that pain and struggle.  

1. Face the pain. Don’t hide from it.

There’s often a tendency among women who have experienced traumatic births to try to push the pain down and hide away from it. When it pops up in your mind, you may try to shake it away and not think about it.

Certainly, understanding how to handle memories of your traumatic birth is like walking a fine line. On one hand, it's true that you shouldn't linger on bad thoughts. In any situation where there is trauma, we can spin ourselves up so much that we actually make a simple problem much worse.

On the other hand, it's good to face the pain you have to struggle with. Everyone will experience pain and trauma during their lives, and accepting it for exactly what it is is actually part of moving on. Moreover, if you can learn to use a bad experience to improve your life moving forward, that's always the best possible outcome. We’ll discuss this more in tip #4.

2. Don’t listen to bad advice

Very often, traumatic birth experiences actually end with a healthy mom and a healthy baby. In a way, these are the hardest scenarios to deal with, however, because your friends and family won’t understand if you still feel the need to grieve and if you continue to struggle even after returning home from the hospital.

“Why would you be sad right now!? You have a healthy baby, and you’re fine! You're going to heal!"
Any woman in this situation knows that it’s simply not as easy as that. Whether you had to have an emergency C-section or your labor was prolonged for many days, this trauma can linger. If anyone tries to tell you that it's unfounded or that you should simply be grateful for what you have, don't feel you have to listen to them. Chances are, they’re speaking without experience and simply don’t understand.
Follow your own intuition because in almost all situations, it will be right. You deserve to devote attention to fixing the struggle you're having internally and to move toward a more positive state at your own pace.

3. Find out how best to comfort yourself

As you begin to grapple with the emotional and mental sides of recovery, remember that there are physical things you can do to calm your anxiety as well. Small acts of kindness toward yourself can make a huge difference to your mental state.

Here are some ideas:
  • Get some alone time. Ask for help from your partner, your family, or close friends. Let them watch your baby while you shop, get a manicure, or just go for a walk.
  • Take a relaxing CBD bath. Go to your local Denver dispensary and grab some bath CBD oils or salts. Dissolving these in your bath can have a positive anti-inflammatory effect and will help calm your body and spirit.
  • See professionals. If your back is bothering you, see a chiropractor. If you’re having pelvic floor problems, see your doctor. If you want to start working through your emotions, see a therapist. It’s worth it to seek professional help sooner rather than later.

4. Learn from your experience

Lastly, figure out how you can learn from the experience you had. When anything goes wrong in life, there are always lessons to learn, and the smartest people in the room will learn them. Everyone else will wallow in despair or pretend like it never happened.

So, what can you take away from the traumatic birth you experienced? If, for example, you feel that you were not assertive enough in the birthing room or did not plan enough for unlikely outcomes, maybe these are things you can plan to focus on more if you have another child. Perhaps you were surrounded by unsupportive people who didn’t understand your needs.

Even if you're done having children, there are lessons you can learn from a difficult birth. In the end, it is you who gets to decide your attitude and the next steps you will take to reclaim your life and your outlook as your own.
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