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.

5 Things to Know Before You go White Water Rafting In Leigh River

This Saturday I had the opportunity of going on a white water rafting trip that was hosted by Boom-Boom Entertainment NYC. This was my second time going and it was just as exciting as my first. The Leigh River, which is located in the Poconos, is approximately 2.5hrs away from NYC. The River itself is 19 miles long and we spent approximately 3-4 hours on the water. Unlike the first time, I was better equipped both physically and mentally the second time around. Below is a list of five things that are an absolute must if you are planning your first white water rafting trip.


Getting a good night’s rest the night before is the first step in preparing for your day on the river. Rafting, similar to hiking and cycling, is an outdoor sport, and like everything else there will be risks. You will need to be alert and not fatigued in order to enjoy the entire trip. Remember you will be actively paddling for at least 4hrs, and if you are not someone who exercises regularly, you can become worn out early. We had to meet the team at 6 AM, in order to depart by 7AM and check in on time for the trip down the river.


Since it is summer, flip flops are a big part of our daily wear. However, it’s best that you wear footwear that can be secured. Sandals that have a strap that goes around your heel would be best. Water shoes would be great as well as an old pair of sneakers. I preferred the sneakers as it provided better protection against rocks. You will not be permitted to get into the rafts with loose fitting sandals, crocs or flip-flops.



Bring a change of clothing, because the chances of you getting wet is 100%! A t-shirt and a pair of shorts are your best bet. Also, keep in mind that you will be out in the sun for 3-4hrs. So, full body coverage with sunscreen with SPF 15 or more is recommended. An old baseball cap and sunglasses with straps (they will fall) will also be helpful. Wet suits are available for rent on site for approximately $20.img_9019


Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to know how to swim to participate. Everyone is provided a personal flotation device that must be worn securely during your trip.

                                                               Travel lightFullSizeRender (1)

Keep in mind that the rafts are small, typically only have room for 5-6 people, and does not have room for much else. A small snack and water can be brought on board and will be kept in a water-tight sealed container on the raft. Everyone’s lunch is stored in the same bucket, so do not bring any overly large containers. We each brought a sandwich, bag of chips and a 16 oz. water bottle, and all fit perfectly. Do not bring anything on board that is not water proof or cannot be tied to your person.IMG_9023

White water rafting is definitely one of those repeat experiences that I plan on doing at least once a year. If you’re in the NYC area, I definitely recommend contacting Freddie from Boom-Boom Entertainment NYC, who coordinated our trip. Total cost of the trip was $110/pp. which included round trip transportation in a private bus, rafting on the river, a souvenir, breakfast, unlimited snacks and beverages en route to and from the city, as well as lunch. The cost for the trip if you decide to travel on your own is $60/pp, so it comes out much cheaper if you contact Boom-Boom entertainment. I also hate driving and after being on the river all day, I could not imagine having to drive back down to New York on my own.FullSizeRender (2)

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.

21 Happy things :-)

  1. The sound of children laughing
  2. The smell of fresh baked bread
  3. Standing on a white sandy beach looking into crystal Blue Ocean
  4. Free drink from Starbucks
  5. Conclusion to a grueling semester
  6. 4th of July BBQs
  7. Getting lost in a book by your favorite author
  8. Binge watching a newly discovered Netflix series
  9. Completing that annoying level on candy crush
  10. Supportive feedback from fellow
  11. Sound of the rain, while I am under my blanket
  12. Completing all my chores, and still having time for a nap
  13. Naps
  14. Deep tissue massages
  15. No traffic
  16. Mystery shows
  17. Ignorant TV
  18. Smell of rain
  19. Homemade spaghetti
  20. Count down to Vacations
  21. Receiving hand written love notes

Yellow Plush Toy

Name your happy below

*Inspired by a fellow blogger
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