Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Your mental health has a great impact on your ability to form and maintain relationships, whether it be with a spouse, parent, child, or friend.
Here are five tips tips on building  and maintaining healthy relationships:

1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, we lose the ability to celebrate our victories by often focusing only on our faults and failures. Always make an attempt to look at the bigger picture, including the things you are doing well in!


2)  Accept and celebrate differencesOne of the biggest challenges we experience in relationships is that we are all different. Coming from different backgrounds and being exposed to different things in life, sometimes can lead us to expectations that people will think like we do and, in this way, it is so much easier to create a rapport. Life would be so much easier if everyone totally understood where we were coming from. However, it would also be very dull if we were all the same and, while we may find it initially easier, the novelty of sameness soon would wear off. So accepting and celebrating that we are all different is a great starting point.

Business Colleagues Together Teamwork Working Office

3) Express Yourself. Express your feelings; I cannot stress this enough! Keeping your feelings inside (whether good or bad) is never a great idea. Talk it out, release your thoughts, worries, and concerns. Holding your emotions in will eventually cause bad feelings to accumulate and further damage your relationships. Communication occurs when someone understands you, not just when you speak. One of the biggest dangers with communication is that we can work on the assumption that the other person has understood the message we are trying to get across. Developing effective communication skills is vital in maintaining relationships that are important to us.


4) Develop empathy.  Empathy and understanding build a connection between people. It is a state of perceiving and relating to another person’s feelings and needs without blaming, giving advice or trying to fix the situation.

5) Sometimes, being present is all that is required. Being present in the time you give to people is also important, so that, when you are with someone, make every attempt to truly be with them and not dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. This may also require stepping away from technology and putting our phones aside.clasped-hands-comfort-hands-people-45842

10 Ways to Keep That Smile Bright

1. Take Good Care of Your Toothbrush

Maintaining your toothbrush is an important part of having a healthy smile.
Take care of your toothbrush. Organisms that are removed from your mouth and teeth tend to thrive in dark, moist environments.In order to prevent overgrowth of these germs on the brush, rinse it well after brushing and store it in an upright position open to the air in order to keep it dry. Replace brushes frequently. The American Dental Association recommends replacing toothbrushes every three to four months, although with children you may need to change them sooner. Keep an eye out for frayed, worn bristles.

2. Don’t forget your tongue

Brushing your tongue is equally as important as your teeth. Brushing your tongue helps fight the bacteria in your mouth. Tongue brushing is not only essential for keeping your teeth healthy, but it also helps to stop bad breath. Try using a toothbrush with a cheek and tongue cleaner.

3. Gargle

Using the traditional Listerine helps control the growth of organisms and prevent bad breath. Another great alternative is gargling apple cider vinegar. Do this in the morning and then brush as usual for healthy teeth. The vinegar helps help remove stains, whiten teeth, and kill bacteria in your mouth and gums.

4.Baking Soda/Hydrogen peroxide

The home remedies of brushing baking soda and rinsing with hydrogen peroxide works so well: a few toothpaste companies have started adding them as activated ingredients in their products. Baking soda removes stains and whitens your teeth. Use it just as you would toothpaste. I started using activated charcoal last year which has the same consistency and it works great.

5.Consistent Brushing

Brush your teeth a minimum of two times per day, preferably in the morning when you get out of bed and at bedtime in the evening. They’re the two most crucial times, because saliva (which keeps cavity-causing plaque off teeth) dries up at night, so it’s best to have all plaque cleaned off the teeth before sleep. It’s also important to brush first thing in the morning to brush off plaque and bacteria (morning breath!) that may have built up as you slept.

6. Visit Your Dentist Regularly

With social media and everyone constantly taking pictures of themselves, we may become consumed with having pearly whites and forget the overall health of our teeth. Before you go out and buy a pack of white strips or set up an appointment for hyper-whitening with your local dentist, make sure everything else is taken care of, health-wise. Visit your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings at least twice a year.

7. Avoid Stains on your White Canvas

You’ve probably already heard that coffee and red wine stain teeth, but they’re certainly not the only culprits. There are plenty of other foods and drinks that can stain your teeth such as:

  • white wine
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • pomegranates
  • soda
  • barbecue sauce
  • green tea
  • black tea
  • sugary treats
  • marinara
  • curry
  • turmeric
  • paprika
  • balsamic vinegarred-couple-night-romantic

8. Banana Rub

You can use the inside of a banana peel, which is rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese, and other minerals. Once the minerals are absorbed into the enamel, they help keep teeth their whitest and healthiest.  After you brush and floss, peel a ripe banana and then rub a piece on your teeth for two minutes. Rinse and repeat again before bed.bananas

9. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is essentially swishing oil around the mouth and using it like a mouthwash. Coconut oil contains fatty acids that are broken down into teeth whitening enzymes when they come in contact with human saliva. In order to oil pull, you put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, then swish it around for 15-20 minutes. When you swish the oil around your mouth, the bacteria get stuck in it and dissolve in the liquid oil. Making it easier to remove stains upon brushing and rinsing.


10. In-office Procedures

To get the fastest and most dramatic results, in-office is the preferred option. Dentists and dental hygienists are able to use stronger agents that quickly and effectively whiten teeth. You can actually see results within an hour, sometimes 10 shades lighter in a single session.  Some in office procedures include:

  • Laser Teeth Whitening

A syringe will be used to apply the whitening solution to your teeth alone, avoiding contact with the gums. Then use a small laser to activate the formula, and the compound will foam as it lifts the stains from your teeth. Once all the teeth have been whitened, the dentist will let the solution remain for a few minutes before wiping it off with a small vacuum. This will run you approximately $400

  • Custom Bleaching Trays
    Unlike the generic trays we use at home, a customized mold of your teeth is taken in order to create the trays that will provide a uniform coverage for the whitening gel. In-office whitening treatments also use a much higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide (home treatments use about 5% whereas professional treatments use up to 43%). Your dentist will then seat the tray firmly against your teeth, wiping off any excess gel. Your dentist will keep the tray on your teeth anywhere from 30-60 minutes before removing it and cleaning your teeth. This will run you approximately $800

What’s the secret to your bright smile? comment below.

What’s in my carry on: The essentials

When it comes to traveling, what you chose to pack and how you pack dictates how comfortable the flight will be. I used to over pack to the extreme, which not only added extra weight to my luggage and luggage fees, but made traveling exhausting all together.

Now that I have a tad bit more experience with traveling, it has become easier to organize myself even last minute. Here is a list of my carry-on essentials.

  1. The bag

The most important part of the carry on, is the bag itself. I have been using this Michael Kors oversize tote for quiet some time now. When choosing a carry on, pay close attention to the size and length of the straps. Always chose one that gives you the option of being able to carry it by hand and the ability to through it over your shoulder when you need your hands free. The strap should also be thick and wide enough as not cause any pinching in the shoulder, which will lead to discomfort.

2. Media/technology

I usually only carry my Ipad as oppose to a laptop, as it is much lighter and convenient, basically has the same function, and God forbid gets lost or stolen, is a much cheaper loss than an expensive Mac book. It also holds my Audible books, games and music. I also carry my Iphone, the cords for each device and most importantly a backup battery pack. There is nothing worse than getting off the plane and hunting for an outlet to charge a phone or tablet. This portable charging wristlet is one of my prized travel possession, not only is it wide enough to carry my keys, lip gloss, and phone, but it is also comes equipped with an external charger and charging cord, which means that your phone can be charging while it is tucked safely away in your bag.

use this link and get a similar one from Amazon

3. Camera

When I started blogging I was a bit shocked when I realized the vast difference between “professional” photos and those that I posted. To up my photo game and after much research, I purchased the Olyumpus OM-DE- M10 Mark2. Which provides excellent image quality and having the capability to catch the finest details and sharpness even in difficult lighting, and is great for novice shooter like myself.

4. A change of clothes

While we never wish for it to happen, it’s always a good idea to pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, just in case your checked luggage gets lost. Keep in mind the weather of of your destination. A pair of jeans, a t-shirt and change of underwear, should be sufficient.

5. A Good book

Usually a magazine or E-book is helpful in getting through long flights after you’re exhausted from watching movies. Check out Audible Membership for the latest titles.  Two of my favorites are Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibuscus, both written by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieI also never leave home without my planner, as I like to stay organized, even while vacationing.

6. Comfort

I have a cosmetic bag, that I refer to as my comfort bag. In it I carry my earphones, hand sanitizer/ wet wipes, hand lotions, eye shield (for napping), medicine, ear plugs, as well as compression socks to help my legs through those long flights.  A comfy blanket and neck pillow are other essentials.
 I got these from Amazon.

7. Sunglasses

Rather then looking for a bathroom to reapply makeup in order to feel refreshed after flying, I usually just throw on a pair sunglasses. This will hide any newly acquired dark circles from the flight, and have you stepping off the plane like the celebrity that you are.

8. Passport holder

A pretty passport holder to keep bag claims , and boarding pass are essentials as well as a healthy snack.


What’s in you Carry on? comment below.

Go to @travelingsistaz for a chance to win one of these travel essentials

Cross Country Ireland!

Stops: Direct flight from JFK
Entry point: Dublin, Ireland
Exit point: Dublin, Ireland
Estimated Budget: USD $1,200/pp


Located in the North-western Europe and is divided into two sections, The Republic Ireland which gained their independence in 1920 and the remainder Northern Ireland still remains as part of the United Kingdom.  Dublin, the capital and the country’s largest city is the fourth most visited European capital.

Language: English is spoken everywhere but Irish Gaelic is the first official language.

Travel restrictions: Citizens of European Union, The European Economic Area (EEA) countries (and Switzerland) only require a valid  passport and do not require a visa for entry or employment. The same holds for US citizens who are visiting for less than three months.

We flew nonstop flight from JFK on Royal Dutch Airlines with total time 6 hr 54 minute

Transportation: We rented a car as our main means of transportation. Renting a car in Ireland is very similar to the processes elsewhere in that you need a credit card in your own name and as well as an unrestricted driver’s license.  Most car rental companies in Ireland apply a minimum age of 25 in order to rent a car.


we used Dan Dooley car rental that was reserved prior to our arrival.

Food: Irish cuisine mostly consists of  meat (especially lamb and pork), potatoes, and cabbage. Long cooking times are the norm and spices are limited to salt and pepper. Ireland is the home of some of the world’s greatest whiskey, having a rich tradition going back hundreds if not thousands of years. The Jameson distillery is a common tourist destination found near the center of Dublin. The other other popular drink in Ireland are it’s vast variety of teas. The Irish drink more tea per capita than any other country in the world.

Weather: Overall, the weather fluctuated ranging from chilly, overcast and wet to warm and sunny. In Ireland you may indeed experience ‘four seasons in one day’, so pack accordingly and keep up-to-date with the latest weather forecast. I would definitely recommend carrying along your wet weather gear.

                                                               The trip

Day 1-3:  Our first stop was Meath, Ireland. Here we stayed at Dunboyne Castle Hotel and Spa.

The hotel is situated on the grounds of a former castle. The original castle was destroyed during the Cromwellian invasion of Ireland. Now in it’s place is a mansion once home to the Lord of Dunboyne.  We had an onsite spa, The Seoid, meaning jewel in Irish, where we were able to unwind in the crystal steam room, and enjoy the herbal sauna. The Ivy restaurant, also located on the grounds served traditional Irish dishes. This hotel appears to be the ideal location for weddings, as during our short stay there we witnessed three nuptials.


day 3-5: We drove to Killarney, Ireland and checked into Muckross Park Hotel & Spa

On day 4 we booked the recommended tour of  Ring of Kerry. The tour guide picked us up at the front of the hotel at 10AM and we were on our way! During the 100-mile coastal panoramic drive, we had the opportunity to see the most majestic views: sparkling seascapes, mountains dotted with brightly colored farmhouses cottages and a few sheep being chased by dogs on endless farm land. The best view of all was that of  the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View.

Day 4 we drove to our next location Adare Ireland, where we stayed at the Fitzgerald’s woodlands House Hotel. Out of all of or accommodations this was the most homely.

On day five we drove into Limerick, for a little sight seeing and had the pleasure of getting front row seats at a fashion show that was taking place at a local boutique that was being hosted by blogger Lisa of @Lisa_lust_list. All of the pieces showcased were gorgeous, but well over our shopping budgets for that day.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Day 5 we drove to Wicklow, Ireland where we checked into the Powerscourt Hotel.

This five star hotel, was hands the down the best that I have ever stayed in. Even outdoing the one we stayed in while in Dubai. Located on the grounds of the 1,000 acre Powerscourt House and Gardens, was home to a beautiful waterfall, and endless trails for cycling or jogging. Here we had a 20-meter Swarovski crystal-lit pool and three exceptional dining facilities where we were able to taste the best foods that we tasted during our stay.IMG_7860

on day 6 we drove into Enniskerry is a village, a small village a few minutes from Wicklow.

Day 7 we woke up at dawn and drove the airport.  We arrived 3.5hrs before our flight and still almost missed the flight. Unfortunately, this by far has been the worst airport experience for me. Most of the staff at the airport were unable to provide information or directions, and we were guided into a line with the name of our carrier, only to stand on the line for two hours and be told that we were on the wrong line once we got to the front. FullSizeR (1)

Overall, this was the most restful vacation that I had in quiet some time. unlike most of the cities that I have visited, Dublin lacked the hustle and bustle feel. Which meant we explored at our leisure, enjoyed the night life and still made it to bed at reasonable time.