8 Ways to Help Your Skin Age Well

8 Ways to Help Your Skin Age Well

Skincare has been all the rage in recent years, especially for the younger generation. Kids and teens are taking better care of their skin than ever before, and it definitely shows in the content and expertise that has emerged from millennials and gen z creators, as well as their products themselves. This means that in addition to the anti-aging methods and products already on the market, plenty of people are looking to treat aging before it even happens. This can be highly beneficial, as our skin actually begins to age as early as our 20’s.

With the rise of comprehensive sun protection and pre-aging skincare routines, there’s never been a better time to start caring for your skin so you age like fine wine! It’s never too early to get started. Here are eight tips to make sure your skin ages beautifully.


Yes, the proof is in the pudding. No matter how old you are and what your skin type is, you should still be moisturizing every day. In terms of anti-aging techniques, this holds true especially for those with dry and combination skin, as moisturizing can prevent wrinkles and protect the skin against damage.

Use an SPF

Many people will tell you that protecting your skin against the sun is one of the best ways to prevent rapid aging and skin damage, and those people would be right. Preventative, proactive maintenance tends to be more effective than reactive care. The sun can cause wrinkles and sun spots, and the sooner you start using an SPF, the more likely you’ll be to prevent those changes. Make sure you use a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or higher for the very best protection.

Take Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals, in addition to a balanced diet, can grant your skin the elasticity and resilience it needs to age slowly and gracefully. Multivitamins and collagen supplements can often do the trick, in addition to amino acids, magnesium, iron and biotin, which you can supplement at your own discretion.

Stay Hydrated

You can never go wrong with drinking enough water every day, and staying hydrated is one of the best tips for skin health and longevity. It can help provide healthy skin resilience and protection, especially if you make it a habit.

Quit Smoking

While this one can be tough for people, smoking can have detrimental effects on the skin over time. Not only can smoking cause sagging, age spots and wrinkles, but it can also impact your overall health. While quitting can certainly be hard, it’s worth it to cut back or try to quit, both for your outer beauty and your internal health.

Use a Retinol

Retinol treatments are sometimes considered to be a magical fix for all sorts of skin concerns. Essentially, retinol helps skin cells regenerate themselves and heal properly from damage. In a sense, it’s a kind of exfoliator. This helps both skin clarity and helps to prevent aging, giving you the best of both worlds. Just make sure that you use your retinol at night and keep up with your sun protection routine, as retinol can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

Reduce Stress

Stress can cause the skin to age, just like other — arguably, more important — parts of the body. Too much stress can cause lines, wrinkles and other, more immediate problems like rashes, breakouts, acne scarring, bumps and other imperfections. Overall, if you’re looking to relax your skin, it can help to relax your life. While it isn’t always possible to zap all of your stress away, trying to reduce stress in little ways as much as possible can help reduce visible signs of aging.

Use a Chemical Exfoliator

We already talked about this a bit with the retinol, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Chemical exfoliators are far superior to their physical exfoliator counterparts. Not only are they gentler on the skin, but they also go deeper and help skin cell regeneration. Retinol, glycolic acid, AHA and BHA are all examples of chemical exfoliators.

Making Sure Your Skin Ages Well

Taking care of your skin has never been more popular, and for a good reason! The health of your face is a part of your overall health, and it’s never too late to start looking at longevity. Whether you’re opting for vitamins or a chemical exfoliator, you can take care of your skin and keep the wrinkles and creases away.

Trans Comedian Julia Scotti Proves Life Really Is Funny That Way

Trans Comedian Julia Scotti Proves Life Really Is Funny That Way



The “Crazy Old Lady of Comedy” talks Transitioning and Trailblazing in New Documentary Releasing Nationwide June 1st


By Scott Motisko

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They say laughter is the best medicine, and no one may know that better than veteran comedian Julia Scotti, the self-proclaimed “Crazy Old Lady of Comedy”.

Born Rick Scotti, she knew something was not right her whole life, and made the bravest and boldest decision of her life: put a pause on her exemplary stand-up career where she was performing with the likes of Chris Rock and Jerry Seinfeld, and become the woman she always knew was inside her. Now, the senior trans comedian returns to the stage and tells her story in the new documentary Julia Scotti: Funny That Way, arriving June 1st to kick off Pride Month.

Shot over a period of five years, Julia Scotti: Funny That Way tracks Julia’s triumphant comeback, the rough life on the road, and the complex process of reuniting with her children, as comedy becomes the shared language of identity, healing, and joy.

The directorial debut from Golden-Globe nominee Susan Sandler (Crossing Delancey), Julia Scotti: Funny That Way takes audiences on an entertaining emotional roller coaster in this tender, funny and triumphant comeback story.

The story begins in the comedy boom of the1980’s, where Rick Scotti was a busy guy– a headliner in clubs across the country– when he came to the dawning realization that nothing felt right.  At a time when the words gender dysphoria and gender reassignment surgery were rarely heard, Rick’s true awakening at age forty-seven led to a year of hormonal treatments, surgery, and, ultimately a new identity as Julia Scotti.

And then everyone turned away—former wives, friends, family, comedy world buddies, and most painfully Julia was shut out from any contact with her children. She reinvented herself, spent a decade teaching, and then several years ago, stepped back on stage at an open mic and began her journey back to the world she loves.  And just as she returned to comedy, her children reached out to her after 15 years of silence.

As Julia says, her comedy always has to be “fearless and honest”, and America can feel both in her performances. Since coming back to comedy in 2011, she has been named one of the Top Five Transgender Comedians in the Country by Advocate Magazine, and has performed at LGBTQ events across the country, and was one of the winners of the Laughlin Laugh Festival in Nevada.

Scotti introduced herself to national audiences on Season 11 of America’s Got Talent. Simon Cowell said that “you genuinely made me laugh”. She was the first transgender comedian to appear on national television and was a quarter-finalist on the show. But she wasn’t done yet. Scotti appeared on the Showtime Television Network Special, “More Funny Women of a Certain Age”, and colleagues have described her as, among other things, “a force of nature”, and “a comedy chainsaw flying through the room”.

Sandler takes the explosively funny and moving Julia away from the stage – prodding at the edges of her private life—revealing a story that is delicate, vulnerable, and real. Julia Scotti: Funny That Way allows audiences to experience an entertaining emotional roller coaster as they journey through this tender, funny and triumphant comeback story.

If laughter truly is the best medicine, we could all use a dose. So, sit back, relax, and have a few laughs to cure all your ills.

JULIA SCOTTI: FUNNY THAT WAY will be available via VOD RELEASE on June 1,2021 and available on: iTunes, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Xbox, Vudu, DirecTV, and more! PURCHASE LINK: https://geni.us/JuliaScottiFilm

Press Materials: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0wr8ookxd3uou9y/AADjOf3jtfkihg4dr_83W2RRa?dl=0

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z01ubBhiHD8

See Poster below

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Flower Power

Flower Power


A Beautiful Garden: Best Flowers to Grow During Summer

Summer is a very anticipated season. Come summer, everyone is enjoying the sun, the warm weather, the vacations, and the swimming. Not only does everyone love the beautiful sun, but the excitement of blooms of the season. Summer hosts a parade of colorful and blushing flowers.

Flowers that bloom in summer mostly come from tropical and subtropical areas. These flowers need a humid environment and a warm temperature for them to grow and thrive. Growing plants in summer flowers could be a challenge. Growing them in blistering heat could put harm instead of bloom when done inappropriately.

Thus, aside from giving them sunlight, it is best to know the other needs of a specific plant to grow in full bloom all summer long. Check the list below and be informed on how to grow and propagate them.


Fuchsias grow in warm climates native to Central and South America. It is a shrub flowering plant, but some species are grown in small treelike species that make attractive plants in your garden, pots, or hanging baskets. The plant has a bell-shaped, tubular flower hanging like a ladies eardrop, thus the name given to the plant. The flower comes in red, purple, and white color with a double or single calyx and ruffled and wavy sepals.

Propagation of fuchsia is through its cuttings or seeds. Mature cuttings are directly planted in the pot or the garden. Make sure, though, that it will receive appropriate water, and sunlight, and moist soil. At the same time, seeds will germinate in about 21 to 28 days. You can get this information in the plant seed packet or check it from GardenersPath.com for detailed information about the flower and growing and propagation.


Coleus is a popular garden plant and is cultivated as an ornament, but the ancient people initially used the plant as a medicine. Its root, which contains a high level of forskolin, is used as herbal medicine. Forskolin is used to treat multiple health issues like heart disorder, high blood pressure, and chest pain.

The plant was to treat asthma, dry eyes, erectile dysfunction, and many more. Coleus loves the sun, and it prefers bright but indirect sunlight. The plant’s foliage will give its lush when the plant receives appropriate amounts of sunlight, especially morning sunlight. Its leaves, though, have a certain level of toxicity that is harmful to both animals and humans. And it may also cause irritation and skin rashes to some.

It is easy to propagate coleus. You can grow it from seeds and cuttings. Cuttings can be directly planted in soil or soaked in water. Get a mature cutting and soak in water; after a week or so, you would expect roots to come out. Meanwhile, if you plant it on soil, get a mature cutting and ensure proper watering and enough sunlight.

Persian Shield

Persian shield or Purple Persian Shield is also known as Bermuda conehead. It is an ornamental plant that grows anywhere in places during the summer season as a houseplant. Its foliage yields a brilliant purple color in a shaded, sunny location. Its iridescent leaves brilliantly shine when viewed from different angles in shades of purple with impressive green-colored veins.

Like any other plant, the Persian shield can be propagated through its seed or cuttings. Just cut a mature stem about 2 to 3 inches in length from the tip of the mother plant cutting below its node. Use peat soil as a planting medium and mist it just enough. Roots will grow after about two weeks, and it is now ready to be transferred to a potting mixture.

Gerbera Daisy

Gerbera daisy is a bicolor flower with many color shades like orange, yellow, pink, white, salmon, and lavender, and its center disk has shades of light-bronze to black colors. Gerbera is a symbol of beauty and cheer believed to be due to its assorted colors. Its flower is composed of hundreds of individual cluster tiny flowers with a vase life of up to 14 days. Gerberas absorb toxins and emit oxygen during nighttime instead of daytime like any other flowers.

Gerberas track the sun, and it turns from east to west from sunrise to sunset. You can propagate the plant with its 6-inch stem with its tip dipped into a rooting hormone, then plant in a container and water it lightly each day.


To propagate hydrangeas, take a cutting from the shrub with a length of 5-6 inches long. Get cutting from the branch that has no flower. Ensure that the cuttings have their nodes for faster growth, dip the cutting in a rooting hormone, and insert into a damp sterile soil. Water just enough and allow it to drain.


The list of plants that bloom in summer is endless. But for you to decide which flower to plant, you can refer to the list above. It provides you with the necessary info that you need about the flower, including growing and propagating.


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Athena Jephson is a freelance writer and a gardening enthusiast. The current pandemic forced her to stay at home but in turn, made her hone her gardening skills and knowledge. Now, she is sharing tips and writing articles about it.”




Cooking with Wine

Cooking with Wine

Cooking Wine and Cooking With Win

Cooking Wine is different than cooking with wine, learn about the differences and a few dishes that need a special touch

This article originally appeared on Firstleaf.club

Cooking with Wine

Cooking with Wine

Wine has been used to cook amazing dishes for a long, long time. The Romans were known for including wine in sauces, braises, and stews. The French make Coq au Vin, the Italians have risotto and chicken marsala, and the Japanese use sake for all kinds of dishes.

Food and wine paired or cooked together can be a dream come true. Whether the wine is from your favorite winery or from your local grocery store, a little bit of wine can add a lot of complexity to a dish.

What Is the Difference Between Cooking Wine and Table Wine?

Cooking wine is different than your average bottle of wine. This wine was never meant to be drunk, but it was meant to be included as an ingredient in cooking. Cooking wine has salt and other preservatives that extend the shelf life of the product and keep it from spoiling. These small additions allow it to legally be sold at grocery stores, but you wouldn’t want to drink it. This also means that when you open a bottle, it can be used for a long long time. Unless you’re running a restaurant, you’d never need to buy a whole case of cooking wine.

But let’s say a recipe calls for cooking wine and you don’t have any on hand. You can substitute almost any leftover wine you have in a recipe as long as you stay close to the flavor profile and color called for. Substituting red wine for white wine can have a significant impact depending on the dish, but if you are an adventurous cook, it could be a fun journey. Fortified wines, like dry vermouth or dry sherry, are other good options for cooking as the high alcohol content preserves them from going bad.

It should be noted that there is contention in the cooking community, and some chefs think that using leftover wine (or bad wine) is fine, whereas others disagree and call for only the finest in their dishes. We think this is a somewhat silly argument when the wine is being cooked (as opposed to being used as a final topping). Heat exposure will destroy much of the wine’s flavor, such as tannins or those imparted by oak barrels. So we wouldn’t ever recommend cooking with expensive wine.

Uses for Wine in Cooking

There are so many applications for how we can use wine when we cook. Wine brings acidity, sweetness, and flavor to a dish which enhances the complexity and makes a better final product.


Marinating meat or vegetables in wine, herbs, vinegar, and other flavoring agents, is a great way to ensure what you cook is flavorful and retains some moisture in the cooking process. A good rule of thumb is to use one cup of wine for every cup of oil in a marinade.


Stocks are used as bases for soups and grains and can be much more flavorful when accompanied by the right type of wine.


Roasting meats in a liquid base (especially when flavored by good wine) creates a robust flavor and tender finale for a dinner entree.


Wine can be poured into a hot pan that has been used for searing or for braising, to help loosen what has stuck to the pan (called the fond). This is the base for many pan sauces which are the foundations of French cooking.


Fruit can be cooked in wine to form the base of many Italian desserts, or poached fruits can be used to form the filling for pies.


Simply pouring a bit of sweet wine over the top of ice cream or other cool desserts is a delicious way to finish a meal.

How to Use Wine in Cooking

How to Use Wine in Cooking

Some Dishes Featuring Specific Wine Varietals

If a recipe calls for cooking wine a table wine will suffice, but the reverse is not always true. Different wines bring different flavor profiles, and sometimes when a recipe calls for a dry white wine, a Marsala will not cut it.

We wanted to list a few dishes that are either closely associated with a certain wine, or are a particularly good use for a varietal.

Pinot Noir: A good pinot is earthy, but still has good forward fruit. We would love to pair this with braised meats and mushrooms or maybe roasted duck breast. Pinot is also a good candidate for making a rich pan sauce — with pork chops, for example.

Chardonnay: The buttery full-bodied Chards will be a great addition to a coq au vin blanc. It could also be used to make a beurre blanc, a delicious butter and wine mixture that can be spooned over vegetables and other meats.

Sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon blanc typically doesn’t carry heavy flavors that will overwhelm lighter dishes, so we would recommend cooking the sauvignon into a cream sauce or with seafood dishes.

Riesling: Riesling has many different flavors that can show through depending on how it is made, but look to classic German and Alsatian dishes. Pâté in a riesling jelly is a classic, as is chicken braised in riesling and cream.

Pinot Grigio: The lightness of pinot grigio will be very helpful for seafood dishes and could be used to poach light, Mediterranean fish with olive oil. Served over pasta, the pinot grigio flavored cooking liquid makes a delicious sauce.

Zinfandel: The big fruit flavors of zinfandel work well with gamey dishes. Think about cooking venison or wild boar and using zinfandel to make a pan sauce.

Merlot: We love the flavors of duck breast and merlot. Make a rich, buttery pan sauce to accompany it.

Cabernet Sauvignon: Risotto tinted with a dry red like cabernet is a great side dish that can be paired with pan-seared scallops or roasted chicken.

Chianti: Classic pairings for cooking with Chianti include lamb, boar, and offal all braised in rich Chianti.

Syrah: Syrah is another wine that is great for making pan sauces and braises. We really love it as a pan sauce that gets spooned over grilled red meats.

Sparkling Wine: Sparkling wine (and particularly champagne) is a classic addition to a lot of desserts. Truffles, mousses, and foams can be pepped up with a little bit of sparkling wine.

Vermouth: Vermouth is a classic cooking ingredient due to its high acidity, and can be used as a base for sauces and braises. We would recommend trying it in chicken Provençal.

Madeira: Madeira can be a magical addition to dishes, and works particularly well with gamey flavors. It can make great sauces for game birds and it is an integral part of making some types of cake.

Sherry: Sherry is used to add acidity to many glazes (for desserts or savory dishes) and makes an incredible vinaigrette.

Popular Cooking Wine Varietals

Popular Cooking Wine Varietals


Throw the Best Virtual Party

Throw the Best Virtual Party

7 Ways to Throw the Best Virtual Party This Winter

It might seem a bit strange to host a party over video chat, but COVID-19 has forced everyone to try new things. If you long for the days when you could throw an event with your loved ones, you should try your hand at a virtual gathering. This digital soirée will be one for the books.

Take a look at how to put on a get-together everyone remembers.

1. Pick the Right Platform

First, you need to choose a video chat platform. Certain options have different capabilities and features, so you should find one to suit your specific needs. For example, you might want to invite people who aren’t technically-savvy, which calls for a more straightforward website.

Do a little research to figure out what service will work best. If you know that your guests already use Zoom for work, you might want to pick that platform for accessibility’s sake. It may not seem like a huge deal — but you don’t want to close out anyone accidentally.

Quarantine Birthday party invitation.

2. Send Detailed Invitations

If you want your party to be successful, you need to give people advanced notice. This event won’t be one where people can just show up and have fun. There might be a few technical difficulties you have to address, which requires a little extra preparation.

As you write your email or Facebook invitations, you should emphasize a few points. Be sure to include a link to your virtual space, as well as how to access said platform. It’s smart to highlight features like the mute button, too. Don’t forget to add details about your specific event.

This information will help everyone connect without a hitch.

3. Consider Food and Drink

It might be a digital extravaganza, but you can still “serve” refreshments. If you want to enjoy appetizers with cocktails, you have a few options at your disposal. This component will require preparation to ensure everyone can participate.

Consider what you want to serve. If you’re going to throw a dinner party, you should create a menu with simple recipes each guest can cook. Feel free to add a note such as, “Make your favorite beverage to enjoy while we celebrate,” to the invitations. It’s even fun to mail out desserts.

4. Pick a Fun Location

What’s a party without a fun location? Try not to limit yourself to your dining room table. Instead, you can create a celebratory backdrop in your living room. If you expect good weather, you should head outside. Encourage your guests to put up their best decorations, too.

5. Think About Entertainment Options

There’s not much worse than a gathering that doesn’t have entertainment. If your guests have to make small talk while they sip their drinks, you haven’t offered enough ways to occupy guests. It’s still good to let people talk. However, you need to fill in the awkward gaps that can pop up in a digital space.

Why not have a party where you play an online board game together? There are even plugins that let you stream movies with friends. If you like music, you should grab a playlist to put on throughout the event. As the host, you need to think about entertainment.

6. Leave Enough Time Before and After

If you’re a regular party host, you know that some guests will arrive early — and others will linger after hours. That’s going to happen during digital events, too. As a result, you might need to make adjustments to your original timeframe.

Let’s say you want your party to start at 7 p.m. Be sure to open the meeting space at around 6:30 p.m. so that anyone who wants to come early can. It’s also smart to set aside an extra 15 minutes toward the end.

Try to remember time zones, too. If you have guests on the East Coast, you might need to start your party at 4 p.m. your time. Determine your timeframe before you send out invitations.

7. Be Ready to Be a Host

Never forget that you’re the host. It’s up to you to run the show. Therefore, you should get as much planning done as possible before your party. This preparation doesn’t have to be stressful, but you don’t want to be super lax.

If your guest can’t figure out how to log into the room, you have to play tech support. What happens when the conversation dies down? It’s your job to start up whatever game or movie you have queued. It’s key to make everyone feel welcome despite the virtual environment.

Remember These Points to Make Your Digital Event Awesome

Do you want a fun way to connect with your loved ones? Despite COVID-19, you can still find a way to throw a fantastic event for someone’s birthday or anniversary — or just because! Try these tricks to make your gathering as memorable as possible.

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6 Benefits of PRP Therapy for Your Skin

6 Benefits of PRP Therapy for Your Skin

Ah, the vampire facial. You might have read all about the surprising technology and skincare developments that are helping all kinds of people get their Elizabeth Bathory kick — in a much safer setting, of course. Could PRP be right for you?

PRP, also known as platelet-rich plasma, is a therapy that uses a component in your very own blood — plasma — that contains proteins and factors that support cell growth, which can promote healing throughout the skin, and even other parts of the body.

By promoting healing and cell growth, PRP can help you achieve an array of skin benefits that don’t just impact the appearance of your skin — but also your skin’s health. Just like any medical procedure and technology, there are ways to find out if you’re a good candidate, and there are many methods of administering PRP.

PRP is still a newer form of skincare technology, but it’s making its way to providing encouraging results for clients. You can look into all kinds of options and see which ones work best for you.

How Does It Work?

By using the plasma in your blood to generate cell growth, your skin can heal from damage at a faster and more efficient rate.

Technically speaking, all kinds of “skin imperfections” you’d generally be looking to correct are various forms of damage. From aging and sun damage to breakouts or dryness, your skin is a vulnerable part of your body and often experiences different forms of damage. By using PRP to heal on a cellular level, you can treat both the symptom and the root cause.

There’s a variety of methods for administering PRP therapy treatments. One of the most popular is the facial — often referred to as the blood facial — but there are plenty of other options depending upon your goals and preferences. You can go for microdermabrasion or microneedling, topical treatments or even injections for injury and pain healing benefits.

No matter how you choose to go about your PRP therapy, there are so many benefits it can show for your skin. Here are just a few of them.

1. Reduced Wrinkles and Aging

One of the most common reasons why people go for the facial option of PRP therapy is to reduce visible signs of aging within the face.

Due to the healing benefits and quick cellular regeneration that PRP therapy offers, it can be an amazing anti-aging option. Whether you’re looking to PRP as a precautionary measure for preventing aging or you’re looking to correct lines, wrinkles and sagging already present, going for a standard blood facial can work wonders in addition to your regular skincare routine.

2. More Skin Elasticity

Just like the cell regeneration benefits of PRP can result in a tightening of wrinkles and lines, they can also work to prevent sagging, drooping and other losses of elasticity in the skin.

Often, PRP facials and microneedling treatments have a plumping effect on the face. That, combined with the collagen and elastin that are produced in the cellular regeneration process, can often result in a much tighter and resilient appearance.

3. Transepidermal Water Loss Prevention

Not everyone is worried about aging quite yet, but PRP isn’t just for holding onto youth. Transepidermal water loss is the process of your skin losing hydration, which causes it to dry out or overproduce oils. In order to prevent this, the best thing you can do is create a thicker moisture barrier in order to lock in hydration. This lets your skin know that it shouldn’t overproduce oil or simply dry out.

While stripping products and skin damage can break down the moisture barriers, the reproduction of new cells can make it stronger than ever. That way, you can hold onto moisture and maintain more balanced skin.

4. Smoother Skin Texture

Poor skin texture — especially texture that comes from scarring, sun damage or stretch marks — is often a result of skin damage of some kind. By producing new cells and collagen to smooth out the skin, PRP can often reduce texture in the skin and create a much more even tone across the face. While this works on a case by case basis, it usually offers some visible healing.

5. Fewer Breakouts

Often, breakouts and acne come as a result of imbalances in the skin caused by excess dryness, overproduction of oil or a stripped moisture barrier. By repairing these issues in the skin, PRP can make you much less prone to the occasional breakout. Your skin will be stronger and much less susceptible to damage and harsh environments, which will make for less vulnerable skin overall

6. Better Skin Hydration

By strengthening the skin and aiding in a stronger moisture barrier, PRP can help you hold onto hydration much more efficiently. By preventing transepidermal water loss, your skin will absorb and retain moisturizer much better than it would with a weaker external barrier.

Even if you’ve experienced sudden damage from a stripping product or treatment regimen you tried, PRP can help rebuild your skin’s water retention. That, combined with the collagen production, can help create a dewy, effortless look so many people crave.

Get Your Glow on With PRP

PRP can have so many benefits for all different skin types and goals. Whether you’re looking to correct dryness, damage or aging, the answers could be right inside you — flowing through your veins. While it might seem a bit unconventional, you might just find that there’s something there that makes you glow and shine.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Mood Boost

Mood Boost

Keep These 9 Things in Mind to Combat SAD

The days are growing shorter — and you might find your temper doing the same. Irritability is often the first sign of depression, and if your mood grows as dark as the days, you might feel touchy.

How can you combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? Here are nine things to keep in mind as we approach what poet Robert Frost called “the darkest evening of the year.”

1. Eat More Nuts

Why should you go a little nutty to keep from growing melancholy as the days shorten? Nuts are high in three vital nutrients — zinc, magnesium and selenium — that may help combat the seasonal blues.

Healthy young women given a zinc supplement showed fewer depressive signs than those on a multivitamin alone. A rodent study revealed that rats low in selenium had decreased levels of BDNF, an indicator of major depressive disorder. Magnesium supplementation works as well as antidepressants in reversing mild to moderate depression.

Don’t pass by that holiday nut tin. A single Brazil nut contains a full day’s serving of selenium, and if you eat a handful, you’ll get other vital antidepressant nutrients, too.

2. Watch Your Simple Starch Consumption

When the days grow short and cold, your cravings for sweets and starchy foods intensify. Think of the traditional Thanksgiving feast laden with yams and various stuffings. Unfortunately, these foods can stick to your waistline and result in unwanted pounds.

When this happens, the scale numbers add to your depression, which makes you want to eat more and stuff down negative emotions. Instead, look at your plate as a clock, and fill 30 minutes of it with cooked vegetables, raw salad or both.

3. Schedule Your Mealtimes

If you don’t follow structured mealtimes, you could fight the urge to snack all day. This behavior likewise packs on unwanted pounds.

Instead, schedule your mealtimes — write them in your planner if you must. Make your work desk a snack-free zone. As a bonus, you won’t get crumbs stuck in your keyboard.

4. Keep Your Body Moving

Exercise is one of the best ways to combat SAD or any depression form. Physical activity releases endorphins, natural feel-good chemicals that ease pain and give you a mood boost.

Working out when temperatures drop below freezing can prove challenging. Find something that you look forward to doing. Instead of forcing yourself to run two miles on icy sidewalks, take a Zumba class or work your whole body while getting more flexible in an Ashtanga yoga studio.

5. Get Outdoors

If possible, get outside every day. Your body can produce excess melatonin in winter, and this sleep hormone can make you feel like, well, hibernating.

Exposure to direct sunlight also increases your serotonin levels. This neurotransmitter plays a vital role in depression and a lack of it can increase the severity of SAD symptoms. Take a stroll on your coffee break or volunteer to walk to the office supply store one block down when your employer runs out of ink.

6. Light It Up

In their infinite mercy, the gods made UV therapy lamps available without a prescription — you can invest in one even if you lack health care coverage. While the real reason you can buy them OTC probably has something to do with patents, market shares and other legal-financial mumbo-jumbo, take advantage.

Let’s face it, if you commute to work and home in the dark and occupy a cubicle, you wither like a houseplant with insufficient sunlight. Buy one for home and work — it’s the next best thing to a stroll in the park.

7. Maintain Your Hobbies

As the days grow shorter, you might find you come home, collapse on the couch, then head to bed early without doing much else. Please try to muster the energy to keep up with your hobbies.

Why? These activities remind you that there is more to life than working, eating and sleeping. They restore your sense of passion and imagination — two powerful characteristics to fall back upon when it feels like life consists of nothing but drudging through the cold.

8. Accept Invitations

Likewise, your company’s office party invitation might fall on unwilling shoulders. However, you know it will benefit your career to go — plus, it might result in a mood-boost.

Loneliness and isolation can increase feelings of depression. If you want to combat SAD, please consider accepting invitations as often as possible. While you don’t have to RSVP “yes” to every invite and overexert yourself, you should select two or three events that matter most to attend.

9. Set a Regular Bedtime

Both a lack of sleep and too many Zzz’s can influence feelings of depression. Too much sleep can make it as challenging to get out of bed and start your day as too little.

When it seems dark more often than light, your sleep schedule and circadian rhythms become disrupted. Try to stick to your regular bedtime. If you awaken during the night, do a quiet activity like sipping chamomile or reading until you fall back asleep.

Combat SAD by Keeping These 9 Things in Mind

If you have SAD, combat it by using the nine tips above. By approaching the oncoming battle with your arsenals stocked with healthy habits, you can survive when Ned Stark declares, “Winter is coming,” again.


For more information on the importance of good sleep take a look here: https://sleep.report/20-tips-better-sleep/



WanderLust: Travels Here + There


Adventurer, Photographer, & Professional Blogger

Taking on the World, One City at a Time

My family went nowhere. Other than some road trips to Tijuana, National Parks and Crestline, we never left the state let alone the country. Later, it would be revealed that my mother suffered from agoraphobia. My father had a taste for motorcycles.
My brother, bless him, did stray off to Alaska to live for a bit. Thats it.
At an early age, I did visit San Francisco frequently, Palm Springs often and after high school, trips to New York City were occasional. But it wasn’t until that first flight to Hawaii that the notion that travel could make you feel different happened. Maybe it was jet lag, but waking the next morning, I found myself in the ocean swimming about at 5 am.

It was only with the advent of the camera phone that travel photography became easy—prior, if you carried a camera, you carried a bag with film. The film was expensive and even more expsensive to deveope and you didn;t get to see until you were home.

The camera phone changed all that.

Travel History

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blog posts

Recent Travels

There are none. Since March 2020, life as we knew it changed.

Lady Blackbird sings

Lady Blackbird sings

  Every once in a while, someone brings to music a voice, a sound, a note or a chord that is different. Enter Lady Blackbird, who back in 2020, brought to the ears of the world, the song, Blackbird. A composition written and sung by Nina Simone, Lady...

8 Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety

8 Natural Ways to Manage Anxiety

More than 40 million U.S. adults have an anxiety disorder. Yet, less than 37% of them ever receive professional medical treatment. That isn’t to say they don’t receive any treatment at all, though. In fact, many people rely on natural solutions to manage their anxiety...

Things To Do and Deals To Take For Labor Day Weekend

Things To Do and Deals To Take For Labor Day Weekend

There's Plenty To DoWe've highlighted a few great Labor Day Weekend sales and deals already this week (which you will also find included below), but we also caught wind of some nifty things to do around SoCal this coming weekend. End of Summer? For some it's just...

Jenny's 15 Tips & Tricks For Traveling Cheap

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My Upcoming Trips

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United States
Yosemite, CA

My Highlights

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Jenny’s Top 10 Sites to See

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Travel Gallery

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Restaurant Review: Yamashiro in Hollywood

Restaurant Review: Yamashiro in Hollywood


Dining with a view

Living in Southern California, it’s easy to lose sight of the thing called Hollywood—for those in the know, it’s not a place, its a street, not a pretty street either. Film studios are in fact, spread out across the area, only one in actual Hollywood—”and yet, the notion remains—”the idea of Hollywood, the history of a town, like any town, that became larger than its reality through shear imagination and luck. Welcome to Hollywood! The landmarks are many: the Sign, the Chinese Theater, The Walk of Fame, The Griffith Observatory, The shapely Hollywood Bowl. There are even some iconic restaurants, Musso & Frank Grill, Pinks, The Frolic Room and of course, Yamashiro. Perched on a hilltop in Hollywood, Yamashiro is a remnant of another time, yet vital to the survival of that idea we call Hollywood. Built in 1911, it has been featured in many Hollywood films and Huell Howser paid a visit in 2001. It has its stories, most notably, the ghost of a weeping woman, who haunts the bridal room and whose silhouette has reportedly been seen in the upstairs windows. In 1955, director and producer Fayette Thomas Moore committed suicide in his car outside the restaurant, and if that’s not enough, the ashes of previous owner Thomas O. Glover and his wife are buried in the inner courtyard. It should also be noted that Bonanza actor Pernell Roberts actually owned the property turning it into apartments in the 50s. It is a large area, and derives its names from a Japanese word that in this case means “mountain castle”. There are layers: a large golden Buddha (600 years old), a pool, a terrace, rounding walks with a stunning vistas are to be found and enjoyed here. This is quite unlike any place in Hollywood. It is a restaurant, a restaurant in the time of social distancing, a restaurant lucky enough to have always had outdoor dining, and is currently thriving. It has changed hands more often than a manicurist at rush hour, but its essence has remained. In August 2012, the Yamashiro Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places. According to the National Park Service, the Yamashiro Historic District includes “nine contributing buildings, sites, and structures on the estate property.” All good news.

So it was on a warm, late August night, the trip up the hill, past the the Magic Castle, the other side of the famed Art Deco complex, High Tower, we find ourselves at Yamashiro. It is near sundown, dusk, and the lights of the city emerge like lights on water, shimmering in the twilight. You can walk though the gardens of the restaurant, visit the very large, golden Lucky Buddha. We are admonished to not sit on Buddha, but he may receive our coin and wishes. People dining create an arc southern arc of the restaurant; it is a romantic hotspot for couples. We are seated in the garden area which has been used in many a Hollywood film, notably Memoirs of a Geisha. When asked about celebrities, we were told that Jennifer Lopez frequents as do a host of other celebrities who enjoy a rare, private dining experience in a romantic setting.

The drinks at Yamashiro are unique. One can experience Double Happiness, which is a drink composed of Tequila, Mezcal, pineapple, Rhubarb syrup, Lime, absinthe bitters. Exotic? Yes, Appetizers served run an interesting gamut of Sushi pizza and mango pureed Crab Cakes. Yamashiro recently welcomed a new executive chef, Valerri.  She welcomes us with a custom platter featuring ALL of the appetizers with SoCal spelled out—the menu is a curious fusion of foods and one senses it is Wagyu cheeseburger that is luring in the young. Coupled with a seating in the immaculately social distanced Zen Garden, we are served essentially everything from the kitchen. You know you’re in Hollywood as the occasional helicopter flies over. Everything is a complement to the previous serving. The sun has dipped into the West, the dark skies above Hollywood reveal a few stars—we are thankful for places like Yamashiro remaining to remind us of the legacy of a place, a place called Hollywood. 

Welcome to Yamashiro

The entrance to Yamashiro is a grand—the gardens await you

Good Luck Buddha

The ceremonial Summer House was placed just below the top of the hill as a resting place for guests who were climbing the stairs. The antique Buddha seated there became so popular with guests, a sign hangs from a post to warn visitors, “Do Not Climb On Buddha.” Buddha now faces west as a sign of good luck and prosperity.

Sushi Pizza

Sushi Pizza Yellow Tail, Salmon and Tuna Sashimi on a floured tortilla with truffled cream.

Our Special Platter

When the platter that had a handwritten SoCal on it arrived—we were happily surprised at how quickly Chef Vallerie turned it around.

Drinks Anyone?

With a wide variety of cocktails, wines and spirits, it’s easy to want to try them all—NOT recommended, but you take your pick of  from The Koan Collection which is Pisco, home-made grape chai cordial, chardonnay, lemon, pimiento bitters (for those who like drinks with information a koan is a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.) The drink featured here is Kobayashi  featuring El Tesoro Reposado Tequila, home-made Hibiscus cordial, lemon, ginger beer (“Kobayashi” is the secondary antagonist of the 1995 film The Usual Suspects. He is the enigmatic lawyer and right-hand man of the mysterious crime lord Keyser Söze). Someone is having fun naming these drinks.

Meet  Chef Vallerie

Born in her grandfather Ramiro Bayangos’ bakery in San Nicholas Philippines, Chef Vallerie learned the craft of baking the best breads and pastries in town. Raised by both her grandparents, she spent most of her childhood in the kitchen.No matter what profession Chef Vall took up, she was always drawn to the kitchen—from cooking to baking. They were always a great source of healing and therapy for both herself and her loved ones. Even when her daughter experienced the harshest forms of bullying growing up, Chef Vall’s macarons always brought a smile to her face.Seeing the joy a simple treat could bring to her daughter’s life, Chef Vall decided to enroll in professional training for baking and culinary, hoping to share her love and joy with others.What started as a way to bring joy to her family and loved ones, including volunteering at school and charities, Chef Vall’s love for the culinary arts has expanded to managing five restaurants, including leading as Executive Chef at Yamashiro Hollywood.As a mom and experienced chef, Chef Vallerie loves sharing her grandfather’s love through her cooking baking at home and professional. Especially her desserts Love Bites Pastries by Val, which was inspired by her grandfather’s treats he affectionately referred to as “my little love bites for you”.

“It may sound cheesy,” states Chef Vallerie, “but I really love my job! I feel like a kid in a candy store just staring in awe at everything this place has to offer.” The new menu features the traditional offerings and some delicious updated delights. “I have always drawn to the kitchen—from cooking to baking. This has always been a great source of healing and therapy for both myself and my loved ones,” further states Vallerie.Chef Vallerie is leading an expert kitchen staff along with a dedicated group of servers and mixologists that are taking extra precautions to make the dining experience memorable and safe, while the city continues to navigate the pandemic. As the facility has reopened, Chef Vallerie is proud to be a leading female executive chef at this iconic restaurant. Along with the new offering, Yamashiro boasts an outdoor dining experience with sweeping vistas of Hollywood and beyond that few restaurants can offer. “We are excited to enter this new chapter in the restaurant’s history,” states the Yamashiro ownership. “The Hollywood Hills and our existing patronage is in for a culinary treat.” Yamashiro has an extremely long history in the Los Angeles area as a leader in the high-end dining experience. “This announcement is the delicious delight that Los Angeles has been waiting for.”

The View from Here

Hollywood does not have the great views that cities like New York or San Francisco possess—it takes an extraordinary clean day to actually see the ocean, but we have our views. Yamashiro looks Southwest which gives you a view of downtown, central Hollywood and yes, on a clear day, the ocean.

Plan a visit


1999 N Sycamore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA
PHONE +1 323-466-5125

Yamashiro is open for dine-in service. Open for dinner every week from Tuesday to Sunday for dinner and also Brunch on Sunday. 


Lost Angeles: The Photography of  Paul Jasmin

Lost Angeles: The Photography of Paul Jasmin

It is with great pleasure that the Fahey/Klein Gallery announces the new exhibition dates for Paul Jasmin: Lost Angeles, a selection of works celebrating Jasmin’s long career and the gallery’s first exhibition by the legendary Los Angeles photographer.

Paul Jasmin’s photographs are a dreamy tableau that takes the viewer on a journey of seductive beauty and erotic ennui. Lost Angeles highlights the last 50 years Jasmin has spent photographing L.A.’s young dreamers. Jasmin’s images eloquently mirror the mythology of the city in the vulnerability and intangible cool of his subjects. There is life in his portraits of smiling girls and strong and frail men – and the never fading love for the Los Angeles street scenes. There is a nostalgic myth of a splendid and ideal aesthetic, stopped and caught forever.

“Each one reminds me of a time in my life, a place or a person,” Jasmin explains. “The old and the new.”

Paul Jasmin has had a long career as a fashion and art photographer. He was born in Helena, Montana and in 1954 left to begin an incredible journey that would take him to Paris, Morocco, New York, and eventually “the city of dreams”, Los Angeles. Paul had been an illustrator, a painter, and an actor before picking up a camera – at the urging of his friend, Bruce Weber.

Jasmin’s images of real and imagined dreamers evoke a sensual and glamorous ideal while firmly rooted in reality. His Editorial work appears in Vogue, Teen Vogue, GQ, Details, V Magazine, V Man, Vogue Hommes, W, Nylon, Interview, Mr. Porter, APC, Ron Herman, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, and Nordstrom. Paul Jasmin lives and works in Los Angeles where he teaches at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Paul Jasmin’s photography books include the much-acclaimed Hollywood Cowboy (2002) and its follow up, Lost Angeles (2004). In December 2010, Steidl/7l published Paul’s third book, California Dreaming.

September 24, 2020 through December 31, 2020

Opening Reception – *By Appointment Only*

Thursday, September 24, 2020, 10am – 5pm

Trending: WorkAways  Take Time Out while Staying Tuned In 

Trending: WorkAways Take Time Out while Staying Tuned In 

WorkAway (def):  1. The unique opportunity to take advantage of an extended travel window, working and playing remotely from a new destination/location. 2. The chance to learn/explore a new culture/way of life 3. Redefining your life balance in a new context.

Quarantine fatique is real and staycations are so last month. With many Californians working and learning remotely, a new concept, the “WorkAway” may provide welcome relief from unprecedented amounts of time at home.

Elevate Destinations, a luxury travel company with an altruistic footprint, is organizing stays for a month or more in vetted destinations that provide the services and systems clients and their families need to thrive.

Designed as a welcome hiatus from life at home, a WorkAway package includes custom accommodation, recreational touring and any educational and medical options that might be required. 24/7 concierge assistance is available upon request.

Elevate’s initial WorkAway destinations include Barbados and Mustique in the Caribbean, Belize, Croatia, Hawaii and Kenya.

“So many folks are yearning to get away but need guidance about health and safety protocols.  As a trusted travel advisor, we can provide that and introduce clients to a spectrum of possibilities as they look to take advantage of working and learning remotely,” says Dominique Callimanopulos, Founder of Elevate Destinations. “This is a unique window for many clients to immerse in a new culture or landscape.”

Since 2005, Elevate has facilitated bespoke trips to Africa, Asia, Central and South America and Europe and is drawing on its rich network of global travel partners to curate WorkAways for clients looking for a change of scene.

For more information, visit https://elevatedestinations.com/custom-trips/workaways/