Sunday, May 19, 2013

Defeating Denial in Cancer Caregiving

Defeating Denial in Cancer Caregiving
Deborah J. Cornwall
Most of us want to believe that we’re in control of our actions and their outcomes ― that events aren’t happening at random or in reaction to forces beyond our sway. We usually do pretty well at it . . . until a cancer diagnosis violently yanks away that belief.
Formal interviews with 86 cancer family caregivers and informal conversations with dozens of other survivors and caregivers revealed the violent and mind-numbing visions that most experienced at the moment of diagnosis. They described their total loss of control in terms like a car crash, an earthquake, or a shark attack.
For most, the shock of the diagnosis forced them to confront reality. For others, denial greatly complicated the caregiving challenge.
Denial is a conscious or unconscious refusal to accept facts, information, or reality. Many psychologists and social workers contend that denial can be a perfectly natural and helpful defense mechanism for dealing with a traumatic change, as a stepping stone toward acceptance. . . if beliefs actually evolve in that direction.
Denial usually stems from fear of the unknown, fear of loss, or of having to depend on people we don’t yet trust to save our lives or that of a loved one. Denial for a short period can help caregivers and patients to cope. It can be protective function that buys time to think, to gather information, and to marshal resources that help absorb reality in digestible bites. Yet when prolonged denial begins to stand in the way of the patient’s treatment, comfort, or well-being, it’s no longer helpful to anyone.
Prolonged denial may look like challenging the physician’s diagnosis and seeking out third or fourth or fifth opinions in cases where the cancer isn’t exceedingly rare or doesn’t require scarce medical expertise. In those cases, further research may simply postpone needed treatments. Denial may also look like surfing the internet and seeking out “alternative” treatments (instead of proven medical ones) that sound too good to be true and lack any empirical justifications. Or it may (at worst) look like telling a dying patient that you know he or she could get better if he just tried harder, or refusing to call in hospice when all the dying patient needs is pain control, anxiety relief, and maybe even assurance that you’ll be OK, no matter what happens to him.
If you recognize these denial situations, there are four important strategies for breaking through. All respect the disbeliever’s desire to be protected:
  1. Conversation ― Ongoing dialogue with the health care team, with other family members, and with support resources (like social workers, support groups, and patient educators, often available in cancer resource rooms of major cancer centers) can create perspective. In most cases, the dialogue needs to be initiated by the person in denial, at a rate that feels digestible.
Part of making it digestible is helping the individual to figure out what elements of the experience are more controllable than others. That may come from more interaction with patients and care-givers who are having parallel experiences and may be farther along in the process of redefining their own avenues for restoring normalcy and control. Sharing feelings of helplessness and even fear can validate those feelings while inspiring practical and potentially empowering actions.
  1. Refocusing ― Some caregivers can care too much and almost smother the person in treatment. Others may focus so much on the long term prognosis that they lose sight of the here and now.
Instead, keep the patient and treatment goals (cure, comfort, or prolonged life) at the center, rather than the caregiver and his or her potential sense of loss. That might mean letting the patient re-establish control over things like eating patterns and ensuring that you give them space (including alone time), without a hovering caregiver monitoring their every move. Remember to ask what he or she is thinking and feeling, listen more than you talk, and share positive experiences and memories to help clarify how both of you are coping and whether denial is blocking any actions that would be in the patient’s best interests. Finally, don’t forget to create joy with the patient every day; we only get to live today once.
  1. Journaling ― Keep written records of what is said at medical appointments. Record personal feelings, hopes, and fears as well, and periodically review your entries to reflect on whether you and others are coming to grips with reality in a constructive way. Sometimes writing your own deepest feelings and thoughts can help you to say things to yourself that may at first feel unspeakable to others. Journaling can actually jump-start caregiver healing even before caregiving ends.
  2. Planning― Joint planning can help avoid some important decisions falling through the cracks. The treatment process and even the dying process can be eased when the person with cancer can feel in control of the choices that must be made. Those choices may involve:
    • When to initiate palliative care for pain and anxiety relief. (The best answer is: earlier in treatment, rather than later. Even those who will survive the cancer deserve such relief!)
    • Who should hold the power of attorney, health care proxy, and other legal authorities that may be needed for periods when the person with cancer is not able to act independently.
    • When family members and friends should be mobilized to enrich the support network and create new positive memories for all. Those may be as simple as Dee’s husband assembling all five kids and their families around her monthly, or as sophisticated as Bill’s around-the-world good-bye tour.
    • Decisions about when to suspend treatment if it’s no longer meeting shared goals.
    • Choices about when, where, and with whom to die. For example, Mike chose to die at his vacation home, with a view of the ocean and surrounded by his wife and children. For Artie, it was listening to the baseball game and family members toasting how he had enriched their lives.
In the end, the person with cancer must be in the driver’s seat and can do so in ways that help everyone once patient and/or caregiver denial has been overcome. Ideally all members of the family caregiving team will go through the cancer experience with eyes open, either toward a good outcome or a “good” death, with a strong sense of mutual support in confronting and planning for reality.
Deborah J. Cornwall is an experienced advocate on behalf of cancer patients and their families. She is the author of Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer Caregivers Speak Out, a new book based on interviews with 86 cancer caregivers and dozens of patients and survivors. For more information or to purchase the book, go to

5 Crucial Ways to Help Save Your Sight

5 Crucial Ways to Help Save Your Sight
DADE CITY, FLORIDA – (May 6, 2013) – According to the National Institutes of Health, 1.75 million people in the country have age-related macular degeneration. The Glaucoma Research Foundation reports that 2.2 million individuals around the nation have glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness. Clearly, millions of people suffer from vision problems, whether from these two conditions or others. The good news is that, no matter what your age, there are things you can do to help save your sight.
“Most people don’t do a whole lot to take care of their eyes or vision,” explains Dr. Edward Kondrot, founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center. “Vision is so very important, yet it is something they don’t pay much attention to preserving – at least, until there are problems and their vision starts to be affected.”
Many people are unaware that are steps they can take to help protect their sight, including these five:
  1. Forget prescriptions. Each year, over 2.6 billion prescriptions are provided to patients around the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We live in a society that tends to believe they can take a pill for anything that ails them. Not true, and those pills come at a cost, because they often have side effects. There are better routes to take, ones that will help your vision.
  2. Focus on health. It is important to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise and sleep. This is going to do a lot toward helping you to have healthy eyes.
  3. Understand the connection. It is important to understand that there is a connection between being healthy and protecting your health. For example, one of the biggest risk factors for getting glaucoma is being diabetic.
  4. Learn all you can. Knowing the various things that can help or harm one’s vision is important. Read about the natural and alternative methods for helping to preserve sight.
  5. Choose wisely. Those who want to work with a physician to meet their vision needs should seek out one that is qualified to offer alternative therapies. This is the best route to effective treatment and bypassing prescription drugs.
“Much of the information that people get about protecting their eyes is not all that accurate or effective,” adds Dr. Kondrot. “I have spent my career helping people to protect their vision and improve their sight. My therapies have helped thousands of people over the years, including those facing macular generation and glaucoma.”
Dr. Kondrot is the author of three best-selling books, including “10 Essentials to Save Your Sight” (Advantage Media Group, July 2012), and president of the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association. He has founded the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center, located just north of Tampa, Fla., which offers alternative and homeopathic routes to vision therapies known as the “Kondrot Program.” The program focuses on such conditions as macular degeneration, glaucoma, dry eye, cataracts, and others. His advanced programs have helped people from around the world restore their vision. The center sits on 50 acres of land and features a 14,000-square-foot state-of-the art complex, an organic ranch, jogging trails, swimming pool, hot tub, and more. For more information, visit the site at
About Health The Eye & Wellness Center
The Healing The Eye & Wellness Center is located 30 miles north of Tampa, in Dade City, Fla. Founded by Dr. Edward Kondrot, the Center offers world-class alternative therapies for vision conditions, including color and vision therapy, the treatment of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, dry eye, and more. The center also offers a variety of seminars, webinars, and training sessions for others in the medical community. Dr. Kondrot is the world’s only board-certified ophthalmologist and board-certified homeopathic physician. He is also author of three best-selling books in the field. For more information, visit the site at

Cher Murphy
(571) 263-2128

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We are DYING to see Leo in the Great Gatsby this weekend... Check out showtimes at our favorite luxury cinemas~ Cinepolis at the Westlake Promenade...and don't forget a Chip Shot Martini on the side! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Mural Vest

 We are loving this Mural Floral Print Tux Vest from Nordstrom, it is an absolute must have item this spring season! It will add color and excitement to any outfit and it is perfect for a casual day of shopping yet can easily be dressed up for any formal occasion!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Alice + Olivia Fall 2013 Presentation

We are having so much fun at New York Fashion Week and are loving this collection! 
We can predict black, rustics reds, and folk-inspired prints are going to be a hot trend this Fall! For more Alice and Olivia check out

Saturday, February 9, 2013

gelshine™ At-Home Gel Colour System

SEPHORA by OPI - gelshine™ At-Home Gel Colour System 
Love how gel manicures look, but hate having to constantly spend time and money at the nail salon? Now you can get the same professional results at home, with Sephoras gelshine™ At-Home Gel Colour System. We love this product because  It comes with the highest quality gel formula as well as one of the fasted LED cures on the market, not to mention there is zero drying time, and you will have a flawless manicure for up to two weeks...and it can all be done in the comfort of your own home!



Thursday, February 7, 2013

It's as simple as black and white

Spring 2013 Fashion Trend 
Marc Jacob Spring 2013
We are going back to the basics with  one of this Springs hottest trends, high contrast!
Its all about layering black and white pieces of various sizes, textures, and prints.
All you have to do is just go in your closet and I am positive you will find numerous black and white pieces, if not this is a good time to stock up on some basics! 
For this look, I paired a casual vintage black and white pattern dress with a simple Black Leather jacket from Forever21. To bring some fun to this outfit I paired it with my favorite faux fur Matiko shoes! They add a lot of height, yet i always forget I'm even wearing heels!  Added on to this outfit are lots of unique accessories, such as a simple white belt to give more shape to the dress, a vintage inspired bracelet and statement ring by Rachel Zoe, a Marc Jacobs shoulder bag as well as a
Purple Marc by Marc Jacobs watch to add a bit of color to the outfit!

Meghan Sabik


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

10 Things Schools Can Do to Help Prevent Bullying

 WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 5, 2013) Bullying is an issue that schools around the country are paying attention to. It’s one that is leaving many seats in the classrooms empty each day. In fact, it’s estimated that, around the country, roughly 160,000 students stay home each day because they fear bullying. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that schools can do in order to help successfully prevent and address the issue on their campus.
“Bullying is a common problem, and schools don’t want it there anymore than the students do,” explains Peter J. Goodman, author of the book “We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats.” “Both can come out ahead if schools place an emphasis on addressing the problem in a variety of ways.”
Goodman has bundled his popular book with an educational curriculum package that helps children identify and work through their emotions and feelings. The combined tools use cats as characters to help teach children about bullying, and about accepting others even if they have differences. The curriculum, titled “Bully Free Students Make Bully Free Classrooms,” focuses on such lessons as what bullying is, as well as feelings and bullying, helping children to identify feelings and how to make the right decisions when they do. It is increasingly becoming a tool that schools use to help prevent and address bullying on campus.
Here are 10 additional things that schools can do to help prevent and address bullying:
  1. Focus on prevention. When you begin working on bullying as a school-wide issue, place the emphasis more on preventing it so that it is not as big of a problem to begin with.
  2. Establish a committee. Create a task force at the school to focus on bullying. That committee should include members from staff, teachers, parents, and students. Together, they can work together and have their input considered.
  3. Create a plan. Within the committee, work together to create a bully-prevention plan for the school. Include what the consequences will be if people are found to be bullying others.
  4. Start early. It is never too early to start working with children about treating others with kindness, respect, and acceptance. Start at the earliest grade that the school has, leaving no children out of the plan.
  5. Keep it going. As children work their way through the school, advancing to the next grade, reinforce the bully-prevention message. They need to hear the message every year, as opposed to it being given to them only once.
  6. Think multiple methods. Children learn in different manners. Some learn by listening, others learn by hands-on projects, and still others learn by watching. Try to incorporate multiple ways to get the bully-prevention message across to students. Include things like books, plays, games, movies, and more.
  7. Encourage peer advocacy. When students go from being bystanders to being “upstanders,” attempts to address bullying will be more successful. Students should be taught to stand up for other students.
  8. Teach what to do. Even though the focus should mainly be on bullying prevention, students still need to know what to do if it happens to them. Teach them acceptable ways to handle bullying if they do encounter it.
  9. Work with parents. Parents want a bully-free school as much as teachers, staff, and students do. Nobody wants their child to come home in tears after a day of being bullied. Get the parents involved in the bully prevention effort in order to make it more successful.
  10. Evaluate and adjust. Once or twice per year, give the students an anonymous survey to fill out, where they can answer questions about bullying on the school campus. This will provide a look at how the students feel about the school atmosphere, and will give staff the chance to see if the bully-free plans need to be re-evaluated.
“Schools want those children in their seats every day, rather than avoiding school out of fear,” explains Karen Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in working with parents and families. “When schools make bullying a priority and take real steps to help prevent and address bullying, everyone is better off. It takes some dedication and focus, but a successful program can be created and implemented.”
The Kitty Cats book and curriculum has been written for children in pre-kindergarten through the third grade. The earlier children learn about the importance of preventing bullying, the better. To learn more about the book series, the curriculum bundle, or to purchase the volume that addresses bullying, visit

About dreamBIG Press
dreamBIG Press is a publishing house that has created a series of children’s books titled Were All Different But Were All Kitty Cats. The books are designed for elementary-school-aged children, to tackle common issues that they may encounter such as bullying, childhood fears, confidence, being different, and making friends. Through the use of a cast of cats, the author helps children better understand those issues, and learn how to deal with them. The company was started by Peter J. Goodman, a multimedia children’s author and president of Gut Instinct Creative, an award-winning marketing communications company. For more information about dreamBIG Press or the book series, visit the site at: or our YouTube channel


Monday, February 4, 2013

Sommerville360 Tanning Towelettes

we are loving Kate Sommervilles at home 360 Tanning Towelletes!
They are non-Toxic, take only a few minutes to apply, and adapt to each skin tone differently , giving you a natural darkened glow.

sources :

Friday, February 1, 2013

Bridal make up inspiration

The first thing I do when creating a wedding look is to ask the bride what the theme of the wedding is going to be, this helps me in getting to know her personality and designing the perfect look for her!  Your wedding day makeup must reflect the woman you are at this moment in your life.

To find color inspiration I look at the colors of flowers/dresses/table napkins/invitations etc. Hair and eye color should be your guide in choosing a color palette, another thing to consider is,of course, the dress! is it white?  oyster?  ivory? these are all huge factors in choosing the right make up for your big day!

 Colors most popular for Fall/Winter bridal makeup are plums, purple, berry, dusty rose, red, slate grey, white and black.  For Spring you will find mint, robin egg blue, pink, fuschia, fresh green, coral and yellow. 
If you like glitter, use a small amount on the upper lid.  Remember you will be photographed all night long! and too much glitter will reflect off of the flash.  Keep the glitter for your bachelorette party!

The 1980's produced many bridal no no's. That being said, do your research and make sure you find the perfect colors tones and products for you! 

Here are three easy and beautiful makeup looks for your wedding day...

natural and fresh 
It is all about beautiful skin! Make sure to get a facial once a month for three months prior to the big day. Remedy day spa or Tiffanesque skin care are great and are both located in Westlake. Try using Lancome's Teint Miracle foundation for a fresh skin look , or if you prefer mineral makeup my favorite is Ferro Ultimate foundation, 100% Natural!The cheeks should be soft and luminous, NARS multiple cheek sticks in Riviera or Maui are both amazing, and only $39.00.Keep the eyes soft with neutral shades and add a pop of pink or berry stain to the lip! there is no need for false lashes, just add a bit of mascara and your look is complete! This is a classic look that will be timeless.

 glam and sexy
 She can wear color!  Go bold on the eyes and definitely wear false lashes, or try lash extensions.  Either way, make sure to try them a few weeks before the big day so you get used to them!  If you do decide to wear false lashes, try using "Fantabulash" adhesive tape, it won't come off and isnt irritating! The lips and cheek color should match to keep focus on the eyes, Laura Mercier offers great lip and cheek colors to stay neutral. Go bold on the brows to frame the eyes and balance the depth in the eyeshadow.  MAC has a great new line of eyebrow products this spring! 

hopeless romantic
This look is about pure elegant beauty. For the eyes use soft colors like  Pinks, warm browns, subtle hints of green baby blue  or grey.  To define the eye use a black liquid liner on the upper lash line.  I love using corner lashes or individuals so the lashes are slightly enhanced for photos.  The skin is contoured with bronzers and highlighted with shimmer pearl powder. I use Lancome's powder bronzers as well as NARS bronzer creme sticks.   Ferro Cosmetics has a great line of mineral highlight Veils in crystal rose or crystal nude for those of you looking for natural products!  Lips can be enhanced with MAC's lip liners and then use Burts Bees tinted lip blam for lips to look soft and moist. 

  looks created by
Kristina Goldberg 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Valentine's Day Inspired Makeup Looks

After the glitz and glam of the holiday season, I suggest to start the New Year off with a fresh updated look with your makeup.  Something simple, clean and romantic is in order as we celebrate the winter's end.  Valentine's Day is the perfect time to tone it down as we cozy up and get romantic.   Whether  you are going on a red hot date night or simply taking it easy with your true love, one thing is certain, guys don't' like a lot of makeup!  So if you want to woo him or leave a lasting impression on this special day, please tone down the makeup.

Study after study by magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Allure and In Style have researched, diagnosed and dug deep into men's psyche to discover why men don't like makeup.  Here is my theory on why a woman wearing makeup can be so distracting to the male companion.
My belief is, and please don't share this with my husband, that too much makeup confuses the guy you are so intimately having dinner with.  Guys are simple.  SIMPLE.  The color added to your face and the style of makeup is what he sees first, you second.  Guys don't like the confusion it causes and they are just wanting to see your pretty face as is.  Never put on makeup to impress a guy.  Big mistake.  Wear makeup for you, for fun and for your own confidence.  I know I feel much more put together when I have at least a little makeup on to go out for the day.

Scenario:  He sits across the table with the sparkle of candlelight in your eyes and all he can see is the dark color around you eyes, that intense cheek or bronzer you are wearing and the heavy sparkly gloss coving your lips.  It makes it hard for him to see you thru all that glam makeup. He is searching for you and all he can see as you talk are your lips moving and the light dancing off your heavily glossy lips.  
 Don't get me wrong, I love a beautiful glam makeup look, just not for a romantic dinner.   Now I am totally confident that you have applied a beautiful application of makeup, however, he is much simpler than that.  Guys like a clean face, without all the "dark stuff" as my husband puts it.  They are a different breed we all know, and the beautiful makeup you just applied that took an hour getting ready is not going to impress him.  Save that look for your girls night out.  Your friends will appreciate your makeup talents much more.

Keep it simple, soft, and romantic.  Not distracting, try to think like your man.  If you know he loves a smokey eye, then try a softer version.  If he loves red lips, then do the red lip and keep the eyes to just mascara, and soft contour. A nude, matte contoured lid is best.  He will see you and not the makeup. 
My best tip for keeping it simple is to stand 2 ft. from your mirror and apply your makeup.   This gives you a better understanding of how your makeup enhances your features, not distracts from you.  When you do your eye makeup so close to a mirror ( I understand some women need to for sight purposes) you can get heavy handed and end up with too dark of application. Standing back from the mirror allows you to see how other people see you and you'll achieve a more symmetrical look.  It feels odd at first, but you will soon see how much better things will look.  If you need the 5x magnified makeup mirror, just keep standing back and checking on your work.

For those of you who are a classic romantic, look at portraits of european woman from the 17th century.   Rosy cheeks, bitten red stained lip, soft skin , a nude eye and deep brows.  A really romantic makeup look should include rosy cheeks.  This is scientifically proven for stimulating his romantic side, it mimics the flush of blood rising to the skin out of passion, this is why women started pinching their cheeks and wearing blush in the first place!  To attract the opposite sex.  

***For the coming of Spring, everything is coming up blossoms, bright colored blossoms.  go bold on the cheeks and lips, keep the eyes soft.  A sheer wash of gold or coral on the lid with a soft taupe liner and mascara, perfect for the bold statement in the fashions.

Here are a few looks and products I suggest:

1 Ferro Mineral Radiance foundation, soft stained Red lip Stila lip and cheek stain  (no gloss), nude eye with thin liquid liner Lancome Artliner in Black at the lash base, full lashes Dior Show mascara, and a defined  brow MAC brow pencil for a more youthful  
lifted eye and Jouer Mineral Powder blush Dusty Rose $24.00 

2 fresh face, smooth skin Boscia BB cream 
with Laura Mercier tint moisturizer , romantic pink and grey smokey eye Dior Pink Idol pallet $60, soft pink lip Yves St. Laurent Rouge Volupte sweet honey $34 sheer lip, flush rosy cheeks NARS stick blush sheer 

3 Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint $38 7 shades, for defined liquid liner MAC Blacktrack gel liner and nude lip, sheer Cheek tint Jouer sheer rosy nude $20

Friday, January 4, 2013

Take Control of Your Hunger and Lose Weight Fast

In today's world, hunger is often the last reason why we eat. A variety of factors—from processed foods, to environmental toxins, to social conditioning—have disrupted our body’s natural hunger and satiety cues and re-engineered our bodies for hunger, cravings, and weight gain. But many of us are crying out: Enough is enough! It’s time to take control and kick the overeating cycle.

BEAT OVEREATING NOW! [Fair Winds Press, June 2012 $16.99 US/$18.99 CAN] by Dr. Scott Isaacs utilizes the latest research on what reallycontrols our appetites and provides a step-by-step plan for fixing faulty metabolism and appetite controls while working with the body's natural hunger and weight loss triggers to beat overeating easily and permanently. Throughout the book Dr. Isaacs provides helpful tips and suggestions for changing eating patterns which include:
  • Turn down the thermostat to boost metabolism – Turning down the thermostat by just a couple of degrees forces your body to burn more calories to generate body heat. You can burn an extra 100 calories per day.
  • Avoid “obesogens.” – Obesogens are chemicals and toxins that act as “environmental endocrine disruptors” to imitate and disrupt hormones resulting in weight gain. BPA is the most well know, but there are others as well.
  • Spice up your meals to boost metabolism – Chili peppers contain capsaicin, black peppers contain piperine, and other spices contain substances that boost metabolism and aid with fat burning
  • Get better sleep –There is a growing body of research linking poor sleep to weight gain.
  • Ditch the diet soda – Artificial sweeteners cause increased hunger and sugar cravings hindering weight loss.
BEAT OVEREATING NOW! just may be the game changer that will help readers finally break their poor overeating habits and get back on track to a healthy, responsible eating schedule.

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

About the Author
Dr. Scott Isaacs is on the faculty of Emory University School of Medicine and is considered one of the leading weight loss experts in the country. He was referenced several times in Jillian Michael's NYT bestselling book Master Your Metabolism. He has been profiled and, and has been featured in countless national publications including Ladies Home Journal, Better Homes and Gardens, Fitness, Shape, Men's Health, Good Housekeeping, Glamour, Prevention, Women's World, and First. He has provided expert commentary on CNN Health and National Public Radio. He has received a research grant from the National Institutes of Health for his work on endocrinology and metabolism and won an award from the American College of Physicians for his research on diabetes and obesity. He is the author of The Leptin Boost Diet andHormonal Balance: Understanding Hormones, Weight, and Your Metabolism. He lives in Atlanta, GA.