Professionally Perfumed

Professionally Perfumed

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When someone introduces themselves to me or hands me a business card and I enjoy the scent of their cologne or perfume, it makes them seem more polished and put together. On the other hand, if I find the smell overpowering or unpleasant, it makes the person wearing it seem sleazy. I would wear perfume, if I found one that suited me and didn’t cause headaches.

Do you feel more professional when you wear perfume?
What have you found that doesn’t cause irritation, headaches and can be tolerated all day?

It just seems so much more professional to me. You remember someone that smells good. Think I’m basing too much on scent? Well, according to Livescience.com, “Many things in the environment, including verbal and physical cues, can influence how we perceive others. New research presented by Nicole Hovis and Theresa White of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y., shows that certain smells can influence a first impression.” 

So, scents can help create a lasting impression! Does the smell of fresh linen remind you of your grandmother’s house? Does the smell of homemade chicken noodle soup take you back to childhood, when you were sick in bed? Does the smell of a carnation remind you of your first school dance? Scent is more powerful than you realize. No one wants to be exposed to a foul smell and they certainly don’t want to be the cause of it! 

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Through an experiment, “researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands found that it’s possible for people to smell emotions, like fear or disgust through excreted chemical signals. In turn, smelling those chemosignals provokes the same sort of emotional response: Smelling fear chemosignals provokes a facial expression indicative of fear.” You can read more about this fascinating study here. I had no idea emotion was so closely linked with smells. 

Here are a few things to consider on your search for your perfect scent: 

  • Choose a scent that compliments your natural body chemistry.
  • Consider which perfume will suite the occasion best. 
  • Choose a fragrance that will project a positive image but, in a discreet way. 
  • Overwhelmingly sweet or strong scents should always be avoided as well as those that linger after you’re gone. 
  • Less is more. Always use in moderation. 
  • Your cologne or perfume should only be perceived when someone approaches you. Detecting the scent should be a personal privilege. It should not wafting through the entire office as soon as you walk in. 
  • Scents should be used to enhance your personal presentation, not to mask. 

Finding the perfect perfume or cologne can be tricky. You can find more tips on this site. Many people with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome also suffer from MCS. MCS, multiple chemical sensitivity, causes a negative reaction to chemicals, such as  those found in fragrances, cleaning supplies, medications and other household products. MCS can turn a pleasant stroll through the mall into a chemical danger zone. Do department stores still employ people to douse you with a variety of scented chemical concoctions as you pass by? 

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For me, so many smells trigger headaches. I don’t wear perfume but some occasions seem to call for it. I think it’s important to consider others when choosing a scent as well. After all, it’s for them. It’s going to help them remember you. You don’t want people remembering you because of the pain and nausea you caused. Subtly is key! According to this article from about.com, “not everyone with MCS is sensitive to the same things: one person may be unable to be in the room with someone smoking or wearing scented lotion, but be fine at the gas station; meanwhile, someone else can handle hygiene-product fragrances but gets sick around pesticides and cleaning products. Someone else may have problems with all of those things.” So, if you know someone with a chemical sensitivity, ask them if your cologne or perfume is bothersome. 

Well+Good has compiled a list of natural perfumes. They are made with essential oils, plant extracts and other natural fragrances. They range in price just like any perfume but these are handcrafted in small batches. If you want designer scents like, Armani and Gucci but without all the chemicals, try Nantucket Natural Oils. They specialize in 100% natural perfumes and colognes as well as beautiful hand blown glass bottles.

Stay sexy, Spoonies! 

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Sex Shy

Sex Shy

Recently, I was shocked to learn that many people are too shy to talk about their sexual concerns, even with their doctors!

Your health and happiness are too important to ignore your intimacy issues and sexual concerns!

Try talking to a nurse or doctor of the same sex as you, that you don’t normally see instead of your regular general practitioners or gynecologist. That way, you don’t have to worry about your doctor recalling your odd sex questions every time you go for a visit. If you’re too shy for even that, consider online appointments or a phone consultation.

Better Than Sex Ed has a sex ed hotline and you can even text them. They promise educated professionals will answer any and all embarrassing questions. It’s not a gossip line for sexual advice. The service is for questions regarding reproductive health, STDs, pregnancy, birth control, UTIs and reproductive rights. They also provide resources and information to help you communicate with your partner. They are certified by the California Family Health Council.
Teens Have Choices provides answers to more than just questions stemming from sexual curiosity. You can ask anything anonymously, through their website. It is also a great resource for parents.
Planned Parenthood provides a sexual health hotline that is free and confidential. There is also an option for online chat, a sexual education hotline and an option to text questions and concerns. Other resources can also be found on the Planned Parenthood website.
Becky provides a very extensive list of emergency hotlines, always good to have on hand.
To report abuse, call 911 and contact RAINN. RAINN has a 24 hour hotline for sexual assault victims and resources for friends and family.

I hope these resources help you answer all your embarrassing sex questions! Stay sexy, Spoonies!

It’s the Meds!

It’s the Meds!

If the side effects aren’t making you bloated and emotional, they’re zapping your sex drive. As if the pain, anxiety and insomnia weren’t enough to squander your sexiness, now you have all these side effects to deal with. The one that could probably drive the biggest wedge between you and your partner is the diminishing libido. Lots of medications can cause it too!
According to Mercola, 30-40% of the global population experiences low libido several months out of the year. Those numbers astonished me at first but when I really took the time to consider all the stress people endure in their daily lives on top of loss, illness and other life altering events, I thought they might even be an understatement. With chronic illness there’s even more to contend with, including medication.

Medications likely to cause low libido:

  • Antidepressants-
    SSRIs- The way these meds affect your brain chemistry may cause a low sex drive.
    Tricyclic- Affect the libido in much the same way as SSRIs.
  • 5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors- (Men) Work by preventing the conversion of testosterone to DHT. Of course, this would affect a man’s libido.
  • Birth Control- (Women) Lower hormone production, affecting sex drive in women.
  • Antihistamines- Prolonged use of these medications can cause lack of sexual desire in men and women.
  • Anti-Seizure Medications- reducing nerve impulses may make it more difficult to feel pleasure.
  • Beta Blockers-May lower blood pressure as well as desire.
  • Benzodiazepines- Anti-anxiety medications have been linked to decreased sexual pleasure.
  • Opioid Painkillers- (Men) Not only are they dangerously addictive, they’ve been proven to reduce testosterone levels in men.

If you are experiencing a low libido and believe it may be due to medication, talk to your doctor and pharmacist as soon as possible. Evaluate all your medications and supplements to pinpoint what might be causing this pesky side effect. Also, be open with your partner. Let them know what’s going on and how it’s making you feel. A lack of sex and intimacy in a relationship can quickly snowball into bigger issues. It may make your partner feel inadequate and insecure.

While you’re waiting to hear back from your doctor, evaluate your health. Are you getting enough sleep? Eating healthy? Make sure you are getting adequate exercise and spending enough time outside. Keep stress under control and nurture yourself. You’d be surprised how much sexier you feel after allowing yourself to just relax and unwind.

Stay sexy, Spoonies!

No Valentine

No Valentine

This is supposed to be a blog dedicated to spoonie romance and I didn’t do a Valentine’s post! I feel like a complete and total failure. Okay, that’s probably a bit harsh. Maybe the day has become too commercial or controversial with the rise of Singles Awareness Day. 😉 Maybe it doesn’t mean as much to Spoonies because we understand the importance of self care and know that true intimacy isn’t provoked by a box of chocolates. Is that too much of a stretch? Chocolates are nice but who really needs all that sugar anyway?

Romance shouldn’t be reduced to just one day and cheapened by greeting card companies. You deserve to be celebrated and appreciated everyday and so does your partner. I’m not trying to sound bitter. Go all out on Valentine’s Day if that’s your thing but don’t use that as an excuse to neglect yourself or your partner the rest of the year. Most spoonies are probably making time for self-care every week, like a bubble bath, but are you making the same dedication for relationship-care? When was the last time you had a date night? No time for that? Try to fit in time for coffee or even just phone sex. Try anything that has the potential to help you reconnect. Go for a couple’s massage or a bike ride in the park. Maybe you can’t get out of bed and you don’t feel sexy. Have your partner cuddle or just lay in bed with you and read romantic poems to each other. If you’re like me, you’ll enjoy these creepy Robert Browning poems. We are trying to save money this month so my fiancé bought me live tulips instead of cut flowers and he is learning a cheesy song (that he hates) on the guitar for me. Cheap and incredibly sweet! If I can keep these tulips alive and learn to care for them properly, the bulbs will multiply and I’ll have more next year! Tulips are my favorite flower. I’m slightly intimidated by how much care they need so if you have any tips, please let me know!

It doesn’t have to be a holiday to treat yourself or your partner. You’ll both be happier if you celebrate yourself and each other more often. If you’re single, you’re free to pamper yourself twice as much! 😉 So go ahead and add some rose petals to your bath, you deserve it!

Celebrate yourselves, sexy Spoonies!

Pain Relief Scrub

Pain Relief Scrub

I learned a lot from making last scrub. So, I’ve made some changes to the Snowball Scrub recipe. I added essential oils for pain relief and doubled the amount of salt I used. Also, the coconut oil makes quite a bit of the glitter (if you added it) stick to you. Some people like that, some don’t. I was worried about just how much essential oils to use. I wanted the maximum benefit but I have sensitive skin and didn’t want to risk causing irritation. I found a nifty little chart and lots of other helpful tips on this site.

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Here are the essential oils I chose for my scrub and why:
Lavender- Relaxant, reduces anxiety
Rosemary- Anti-inflammatory
Peppermint- Anti-inflammatory, mood booster, reduces fatigue and headaches
Eucalyptus- Anti-inflammatory, energizing

This time, I made sure my coconut oil was completely melted before adding the Epsom salt. Be careful though, it doesn’t take long! I used a 1:1 ratio for coconut oil and salt this time too. I also added a little course sea salt. I would have liked to add some Himalayan pink salt as well but I don’t have any, yet. I planned on adding this grinder to my next Amazon.com order. There are just too many health benefits and I love salt, probably way too much! Anyway, if it’s cool in your house, you’ll want to mix quickly. So, add the oils and stir. I used a metal fork to make sure everything was well blended. I added 48 drops of essential oil for one cup of carrier oil. Since I used four different types of essential oil, I added 12 drops of each to the mix. Because you are using essential oils, you need to make sure the container you’re keeping your scrub in has a lid. Otherwise, it’ll lose all it’s potency. The smell of lavender and peppermint fill the entire bathroom when I open the scrub jar at the end of a steamy shower. It’s somehow relaxing and invigorating. It soothes my achy joints and comforts my sore muscles. With the changes, this scrub is stronger, much thicker and makes a better exfoliant.
I love coconut oil! I’ve started using it for pretty much everything! I quit buying conditioner and my skin has never been softer or clearer! I even made my own toothpaste. I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting and I can’t believe how beneficial it’s been. I’ve gotten more adventurous and even made my own sugar wax! That recipe doesn’t call for coconut oil but I probably wouldn’t have been brave enough to try it if I hadn’t been so successful with my coconut oil experiments. So, give it a shot! I’m sure it’ll pay off. 😉

Get experimental and stay sexy, Spoonies!

My Calm Kit

My Calm Kit

I am not perfect. Nowhere near, in fact. So, the pain and anxiety can really get to me sometimes. Pain alone, I can generally handle. I might be grumpy but I can function. When I start to feel anxious, I can quickly spiral out of control and into a panic attack. There isn’t always someone around to help. Maybe, I’m too embarrassed to ask for help. I could even be lost. That happens a lot! I was substituting at a junior high last week and I walked in circles for about 15 minutes trying to remember where I was going. Sometimes, situations like that are scary and I panic.
So, in order to keep myself under control, I’ve gathered a few things that I like to keep with me. I call these supplies my Calm Kit. My kit contains, earplugs, a tiny book, prescription sunglasses and pain relieving lotion. There are a couple of apps on my phone that I also consider part of my calm kit because I just couldn’t live without them. This week’s featured image displays the content of my Calm Kit. Normally, I carry these items in my purse. You’ll notice in the picture a Himalayan salt candle holder. I do not carry that heavy thing around but lighting a candle can help ease tension and anxiety so if there’s one around, go ahead and light it.
Contents Breakdown
Ear Plugs- Loud noises can be overwhelming. Especially, when your anxiety is rising. If I can’t get somewhere quiet, I pop in some earplugs or put in my headphones and listen to something soothing.
Pain Relieving Lotion- Putting on lotion gives you something to concentrate on for a few moments, allowing the mind to refresh itself. Smells can also help calm the body and mind so if you don’t need pain relief, try a lotion with a strong but not overpowering scent.
Tiny Book- everyone has bad days. I keep this little book of Mr. Roger’s quotes in my purse to lift my spirits when I’m just not feeling that awesome.
Prescription Sun Glasses- I always have mine with me because I have light sensitivity issues. Sometimes wearing them indoors can help curb headaches.

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Omvana App- This app has changed my life! If you are not meditating, you really should be! It is so worth trying. I am a much calmer and happier person since I started meditating.
Coach.me App- This app used to be called Lift. It helps build healthy habits. It reminds me to meditate, eat healthy and more. I feel really accomplished when I check in too! Quite the motivational little mood booster. 😉
Remindful App- I can get easily overwhelmed when I am busy. This app reminds you to stop and take a moment for yourself. Smile, breathe and continue.
Do you carry any trinkets to calm yourself down? What tricks do you use to make it through the day? Take a moment to share. I know I need all the help I can get!

Stay confident, be sexy, Spoonies!