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Is Laser Hair Removal Right for You?

Are you a good candidate for laser hair removal?

Laser hair removal promises to reduces or eliminate unwanted hair, lessening our need for shaving, waxing and plucking, but it’s not right for everyone. Having just experienced my first round of laser hair removal, I decided it was time to share some things I wish I had known before my consultation.

Your Complexion Matters

I am a pale white girl. Not as pale as my friend Dawn, who is sometimes called ScaryWhiteGirl, not because she is scary, but because she is so scarily white. Dawn jokes that she is so pale she is translucent.

I’m not that pale. But I do burn after 10 minutes in the sun, have had a tan once in my entire life and wear sunscreen any time I’m going to be outdoors because I know I’m at a high risk for skin cancer.

At my consultation, for the first time in my life, I learned that being pale is a good thing. It seems the way the laser works is that it tracks across your skin looking for something dark to zap. The paler your skin, the more visible the hairs are to the laser.

Your Hair Matters

Despite my pale complexion, I have hair that is almost black. According to my dermatologist, that made me a perfect candidate for laser hair removal.

Soft, thin and blonde hairs are hard for the laser to find. Thick, coarse and dark hair is the easiest for the laser to target. In fact, most laser hair removal facilities will tell you that the laser cannot target lighter hair. Turning up the laser high enough to guarantee that it burns the hair follicle in light-colored hair increases the risk of burns to the skin. Laser hair removal providers attempt to keep the laser setting as low as possible to prevent injuries.

No guarantees

Although laser hair removal has been extensively tested and used, there are no guarantees that it will work for you. Providers include the warning in all their literature that it does not work for everyone. Most people will need annual touch-ups. Hair must be in a growth phase for the laser to work, so no waxing or plucking for 8 weeks before the first treatment.

It’s expensive

In southern Illinois where I live, laser hair removal starts at about $75 per session per location. Need hair removed from your chin and upper lip? That’s two locations and you’ll be paying twice. In addition, my dermatologist recommends that patients have a series of five treatments as all hair follicles do not grow at the same rate at the same time. For facial hair, treatments can be done once a month. For hair below the neck, treatments are done approximately every three months. Some dermatologists offer discounts if you are having multiple locations done or if you pay for all five treatments at once.

Installing New Vanity Lights to Enhance Your Bathroom Decor

A simple and easy way to improve the look of your bathroom is to install new vanity lights. There are several varieties of vanity lights available in the market that are sure to appeal to your tastes with their varying sizes and shapes. The best part is that these vanity lights are convenient to install – all you need is an electrical box that you have already been using and in less than an hour your vanity lights will be ready to brighten up your bathroom.
Most electrical boxes are positioned right on top of a medicine cabinet or a mirror, while there are some that are found on the side.

Before you buy a fixture, there are certain things you need to look out for- ensure that it correctly fits into the space without clashing against a wall or any other obstruction. It is recommended that you read the manual properly before starting out. To install a light that is easy on the eyes, purchase a fixture that comes with a frosted diffuser and one that uses halogen bulbs.

Prior to beginning work on installing your new vanity lights, switch off the power that leads to the fixture located at the electrical service panel. Now carefully take off the bulb, and the diffuser. The next step is to take out the retaining nut that attaches the decorative cover plate to the electrical box.

If you find that the old fixture refuses to detach itself easily, use a blade or knife and run it through the edges of the plate to make it free of paint or caulk. Now you need to take the wiring off and keep the fixture aside for a while.

You will find that luminous light fixtures are usually set directly to an electrical box in older homes. Newer homes with electrical codes need the fixture to be set to a flat metal bar known as mounting strap that is attached to the box. Most of these new fixtures come with the mounting screws and strap. This makes it easier to install vanity lights.

Prior to installing the fixture, make sure that you properly check the wires that are sticking out of the box or your installation of vanity lights will go awry. With the help of a wire stripper trim off the ends if they happen to be tarnished or nicked. Now as per the instructions on the manual, attach the fixture’s wires to the wires on the circuit along with the nuts.

One should be very careful when installing vanity lights in bathrooms as chances of an electrical shock are higher owing to the water around. Carefully read up the instructions as given in the manual when you work on the ground wire. On most of these vanity lights, you will attach the ground wire to the mounting strap.

According to the instructions given in the manual, attach the fixture to the box. The last step to installing vanity lights is to fix suitable bulbs. Fix the diffuser that is usually set in position with a retaining nut or stylish cap. To avoid causing cracks to the diffuser, use only friction-tight.

Installing vanity lights can be a simple and convenient process if you follow the above-mentioned steps. The main idea is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and stay safe as you decorate your bathroom with attractive vanity lights.

Independent Coffee Shops in Fairbanks, Alaska

Fairbanks is a west coast college town. A requirement of any west coast college town is a high number of independent coffee shops for the size of the community. Fairbanks has a population of about 35, 000 residents with the normal requisite chain coffee shops found in modern cities, yet Fairbanks still maintains four excellent independent coffee houses. Each one has its own distinct character and menu. The coffee at each tastes different, but is very good. Coffee connoisseurs will be able to find a palate pleasing treat when visiting the Golden Heart City, and college students remain pleasantly caffeinated throughout their years of study.

Lulu’s Bread and Bagel, 475 Riverstone Way, Fairbanks, – With great coffee and a full menu of bagels, bagel sandwiches and breads baked in-house, Lulu’s has become a popular morning hang out for West Fairbanks residents. The bagel sandwiches are served open-face and are piled with toppings. The cinnamon rolls tend to sell out by mid-morning on the weekends. A variety of quiches are also available. Lulu’s serves Kaladi Brothers coffee, which is roasted in Anchorage. Lulu’s also sells bags of Kaladi Brothers coffee for those who want to brew Kaladi Brothers at home. Open for breakfast and lunch, Lulu’s is a great morning retreat for the whole family, having kid temperature hot chocolate available on their menu.

Alaska Coffee Roaster Co., 4001Geist Road, Fairbanks, University area – Just as their name states, Alaska Coffee Roasters roasts their own coffee on site. They serve a wide variety of meat pastries and flatbread pizzas baked in their wood fired oven. The ingredients vary, and include trendy, gourmet toppings like feta cheese and prosciutto ham. Sweet baked goods and Republic of Tea brand teas are also available. Alaska Coffee Roasters has free wifi, but electrical outlets can be difficult to access, so go fully charged. They are open until 10 pm for later study sessions or a place to visit with friends.

College Coffeehouse, 3677 College Road, Fairbanks located in the campus corner mall. This coffee shop is the easiest walk from most of the University housing areas. In addition to tables, College Coffeehouse also has a few overstuffed leather couches for people to sit and visit with one another while enjoying their coffee. College Coffeehouse has organic, free trade coffee, and serves a variety of specialty teas.

Wifi is free, and there are also desktop computers with Internet available for fifteen free minutes with a purchase, with a small fee after that amount of time. With this level of internet access, College Coffeehouse can be particularly nice for those visiting Fairbanks who would like to send email back home, but don’t have a laptop with them.

College Coffeehouse is open during the evening, with artistic and musical performances scattered throughout the week.

McCafferty’s, A Coffee House, 408 Cushman Street, downtown Fairbanks. McCafferty’s is the only independent coffee shop and roaster in the downtown area. They serve excellent soups and sandwiches. They have a large variety of sugar free syrup flavorings for those with special dietary needs. McCafferty’s location in the downtown area, away from University, sets it apart form the other coffee shops in Fairbanks. While being a comfortable place to meet and visit with friends, it is also very much a part of the city’s downtown district, even having large storefront windows looking out on the busy sidewalk. McCafferty’s is a great place for those who have business, work or have been shopping downtown during the day.

These are my favorite independent local coffee shops in Fairbanks, Alaska. If you come to visit or already live here, all of these are great places to get a good cup of coffee.

5 Worst Valentine Day Gifts to Give Your Boy-Friend

If you are in a relationship this Valentine Day, you don’t want to look like an utter idiot with the gift you give to your significant other. Steer clear of these 5 gifts to you dude.

Any jewelry of any kind – If you are fairly new couple, a gift of jewelry just muddles and perplexes a guy’s mind. A gift of jewelry is associated with the image of commitment and marriage. This is not the image a guy wants in a new relationship.

Not to mention that your gift of jewelry means the he now feels obligated to buy you an actual real piece of jewelry sometime soon; and the flowers that he got for your V-Day present, well, now he looks like an idiot. Thanks baby girl!

Underwear, Socks, Undershirts – anything that is to be worn under his outfit is a no-no. Guys associate a female buying their undergarments closely with their mother. As I have written before, a girlfriend should never do anything to remind a guy of his mother. If you give him Fruit of the Loom as a gift, well, that pretty much does it.

A nice robe or smoking jacket, (you know, the kind that Hef. wears) is really the only piece of clothing that makes a great V-Day gift.

Anything that “sissifies” his hobby – I am a passionate Piano Player of many years and take pride in the gear that I use to perform. This is my hobby. I have a habit of placing my drink on my board which, over time, stains and scratches the surface. I like it that way.

One year, my “other-half” knitted a table-cloth type catastrophe to place my drink on while playing to avoid scratching the unit even more. The girl in question use to get highly tee’d off if I didn’t have that thing on my board during a show. Did I mention that it had “In love forever” stitched on it?

A canvas sized painting of you and him to hang over the sofa or fireplace – This just freaks guys out on multiple levels. The eyes on the painting seem to always follow him around the house. Don’t do it, Ladies.

DO get me that autographed picture of my favorite artist to hang in the music room. I promise, I will think of you every time I look at it.

A Cologne that YOU like – Look, males are creatures of habit by nature. This holds truth concerning our hygiene as well, including all of the products we use. I have been wearing the Creed line of colognes since I developed the ability to afford a $250.00 piece of heaven in a bottle (the cologne, not the tequila).

Do not EVER give your dude a bottle of cologne unless it’s what he normally wears. Just because you think it smells “sexy”, doesn’t make us want to change our habits. (This is probably what her 57 ex-boyfriends use to wear anyway). You are asking for trouble.

This is just a few of the ghastliest gifts that a girl can give to her boy toy on Valentine’s Day. When in doubt, you can never go wrong with game or concert tickets, a dinner at the local steakhouse and a good drunk at the club afterwards.

How To Increase Brain Power With Free Online Games

Spending just a small amount of time each day playing brain games can prevent the aging process of the brain. Making it a daily habit can be accomplished easily if one really wants to. It is as simple as opening the mail everyday. Start off by playing a brain game that is familiar to you. Once you have become fairly accomplished with this game you can adjust the level of difficulty or choose a different game that is more challenging to you.

There are many kinds of brain games available on the internet that cost absolutely nothing to play! Making it a habitual thing will be the hardest part, but once that is started it will become routine soon enough. So there is no reason to put it off any longer. Those routine tasks that we do on a daily basis also help to make our skills sharper as well as our memory. But we never think of them doing such a thing as they are things we do out of habit each day.

The right side of the brain can be exercised in a very simple way. Singing will help with pattern recognition, which is affected by the right side of the brain. Concentration can be enhanced by trying to rid the mind of minor irritations, and memory can be improved easily enough by trying to memorize simple tasks, like a grocery list. All these things that help exercise the right side of the brain cost nothing at all.

There are free brain exercises available across the internet. One that comes to mind would be known as the Cross Crawls. This exercise will improve writing, reading, listening, and coordination skills. It is easily done by placing your right elbow on the left knee as you raise it and repeat the process by placing your left elbow on to the right knee continuing to alternate back and forth. This can be done while sitting down or standing up. Other exercise like walking or jogging also helps stimulate the brain function, as well as drinking lots of water.

The daily newspaper is not just to catch up on things around the world anymore; it is also a great way to access sudoku, riddle, crossword puzzles and other types of games that will help to boost the brain power within you. Online free brain games such as Brainwaves, Sharp Brains, Brain Arena or borrowing a Nintendo DS can also offer other alternatives for accessing free brain games. Trying to improve the power of the brain does not have to be expensive at all.

You can also reduce your risk of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease by drinking caffeine in your middle age years. Other things as simple as focusing specific activities even when there are distractions present will also help to enhance one’s memory. All these options are free and easy. Not only beneficial in helping get the maximum capabilities from your brain. There is no need to waste money and time on the expensive games as there are tons of free options available these days.

How Do You Know If You’re Settling in Your Relationship

It is often extremely easy to issue advice to friends and family about their romantic choices. As such, you may be a bit confused if you happen to be on the receiving end of such advice. For the most part, making romantic choices should come naturally to you. Attraction isn’t something that one necessarily needs to ponder for a great deal of time. But getting into long-term relationships (especially marriage) is something that often requires careful consideration. Some people have “high standards”; some people just have a long list of “wants.” The reasons why people lower their personal standards are obvious (low self-esteem, fear, etc.) But how are you to know if you actually are “settling” in your romances? Here are three tell-tale clues…

That “Nagging” Feeling

You know that nagging feeling that you get when you’ve left the house and think that you’ve forgotten to do something–pesky issues like leaving the stove or iron on, forgetting to lock the door, or some other important task. Experiencing this sensation as it relates to your spouse could be a red flag that you’re not completely content with your romantic choice. For example, if during social engagements, you frequently feel uneasy about being seen with your mate, consider the reason(s) why. Does your partner tend to get into debates with others? Does he/she make others in the room uncomfortable? Maybe you don’t like your partner’s choice of attire. No one is perfect. But if you are often embarrassed or distressed over outings with your spouse, look into whether those reasons are “superficial” or tied to a deep-seated character flaw. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As such, true love typically overrides any physical imperfections you feel your partner has. In short, you should be proud to spend time with your mate whether you are in private or out on the town.

Uneven Scales

Do you often find that you’re the first one to “back down” during arguments or disagreements? Are your personal wishes often sacrificed for the “better of the relationship?” This mode of thinking goes a little bit farther than who gets to hold the remote control. Often in romantic relationships, there is a push-and-pull-an emotional tug of war that couples experience. This is natural, as circumstances will sometimes reflect two separate sets of opinions. Needless to say, both parties should be willing to find some sort of objective ground. Obviously, this is much easier said than done. But if you constantly feel the need to “make peace”-without really resolving issues, more than likely you will eventually build up resentment. This build-up is the stuff that potential flare-ups are made of.

Running Out of Time

Let the record show that true love happens during all stages of life, to different types of people-and at any age. You should never feel as if you are “running out of time” to find a potential partner. In fact, those who have been single for a while sometimes find that their extensive dating experience makes it easier to determine who is right for them-and who is not. One clue that you’re settling is when you feel “pressured” (even slightly) to settle into a permanent/long-term relationship merely because others around you have alluded to some sort of time limit. For women, the “biological clock” is perhaps the most prevalent benchmark. Certainly, women do have a certain amount of time to conceive. But there should not be an overt struggle between the desire to become a mother and the desire to be in a loving, healthy relationship. If you are in a relationship where childbearing “overrides” happiness in other areas of the union, you may be prone to “settling”, simply to accomplish your goal of procreating. In essence, relaxing your standards to meet an imaginary time line (often imposed by others) is a sure-fire way to introduce potential relationship problems.

Hot Weather Home Safety Checks For Pets When You Are At Work

Working from home allows me to be with my dogs and monitor everything that is going on in my home. If they are drinking more water, due to extreme heat and dry weather, I can easily leave the computer to refill their dish. Most working people don’t have that advantage and must leave their pets at home for 8 or more hours a day. What if there was a power outage or your air conditioning unit suddenly quit?

Pets Get Accustomed to Air Conditioning

If you are used to being in air conditioning most of the summer, it is hard to tolerate being without it. Your pet feels the same way. Have you noticed how quickly your dog goes outside to potty and then seems to hurry back in? We do the same thing on an extremely hot day. It’s much nicer inside; we know it and so do they.

What if there was a power outage? It is common in extremely hot weather, as more people are cranking up their air conditioners, or plugging in more fans. If you didn’t work in the same area, your home could be without power for several hours and you wouldn’t even know it.

With the air inside getting hotter by the hour and no fans running to circulate it, your dog can become quite miserable. It could even be dangerous, if you live in an apartment or mobile home that heats up quickly in the sun. She might even quickly empty her water bowl trying to cool down. Then she would be without water for hours.

Even the most well serviced, or newest, central air unit can fail. I have an old central air unit and I breathe a sigh of relief every time it kicks on in extremely hot weather. If it refused to work, I would know it immediately and would be able to either call a repair man, or find another solution for me and the dogs.

Ask Somebody to do a Pet Safety Check

Just as they tell us to do frequent checks of the elderly in extreme temperatures it is also important to have someone check on your home and pets in extremely hot weather conditions. All they would need to do is pop in and check to see that the air is running efficiently and that the dogs have plenty of water. They could even text you a quick message to say “everything is fine.”

If they find that the air conditioner or fans have quit working, or that the power is out, they can notify you immediately and you can take action. Not only would this protect your pet, it would save everything you have in your refrigerator or freezer from spoiling.

If you have teenagers within walking distance of your home, ask them to do a pet safety check every few hours that you are away at work. Teenagers are usually looking to earn a few bucks in the summer, so it could be a win-win situation for both of you.

Grinding Your Teeth At Night Can Lead To Major Dental Damage

Ever since I was little I would grind my teeth in my sleep. Sometimes I would wake myself up when the grinding got to be too intense or loud. As a teenager my dentist warned that tooth damage was already becoming apparent from grinding my teeth at night. He made me a dental guard to help ward off extensive dental damage. As a teenager I did not take his cautions to heart and rarely slept with the guard in my mouth. Now, as an adult, my teeth grinding has subsided a bit but I still occasionally wake my husband up with the annoying sounds of tooth on tooth grating.

Now that I am more mature and realize that ignoring the problem will not make it go away I have done a bit of research into this issue. The dental community has a term for people who grind their teeth in their sleep at night. It is called Bruxism.

Some people believe that those who grind their teeth in their sleep may do it to relieve stress. Others think it may afflict people who have an “abnormal bit or missing or crooked teeth.*” Either way, it makes me feel bad to wake up my husband at night and sometimes it makes my jaw sore in the morning. If I am particularly aggressive when grinding my teeth at night I can feel my molar teeth ache the next day. While those days are rare, it is really annoying and has to be causing tooth damage.

Since I do not want to cause irreversible dental damage to my teeth I have found some ways to alleviate grinding my teeth at night. The most common way to protect yourself from tooth damage is to have your dentist fit you with a night guard. I tried this when I was younger and would spit the guard out in my sleep. It is also not very fashionable to get in bed with your husband wearing a piece of plastic in your mouth. So, I am not too excited about this remedy.

The remedies I found on seem to fit my lifestyle better. I believe my sleep Bruxism comes out the most when I am stressed out. has some suggestions for how to decrease life’s stresses. The one that I like the most is the idea of exercising more. Exercise is a great way to alleviate stress and may help me lose a few pounds in the mean time. It will be like killing two birds with one stone.

Some other ideas you can use to stop grinding your teeth at night as to avoid irreversible dental damage are as follows. First, limit your caffeine intake. Caffeine can make you jittery and on edge so try and cut back especially at night to alleviate your teeth grinding habit. Alcohol is another thing that may intensify Bruxism so try and limit or remove it from your diet. Lastly, if you notice that you are clinching your jaw during the day make a point to relax those muscles. If you make an effort to curb your stressed jaw during the day maybe it will become more relaxed during your sleep as well.

If you ignore the problem of grinding your teeth at night, it will not go away. All you will get is tooth and dental damage, headaches, and possible hearing loss. The first thing you want to do if you suspect you have Bruxism is see your dentist. Share some of the tips here with him and see if he has any other ideas on how to relieve this potentially serious ailment.

Fun Games Kids Can Play While Waiting

It’s a fact: Kids get bored when they’re waiting. Whether it’s waiting at the doctor’s office, dentist or a long car ride, kids get bored. And bored kids can quickly turn into mischievous kids. Most parents, though, don’t like packing around a huge supply of games and activities to curb boredom. Here are a few fun and easy games the kids will enjoy – no tote bag, crayons or paper required.
Yes and No

Yes and No is similar to Twenty Questions. One person will start out by being It. The other players will be Askers. It will choose something – a person, place, thing then give a clue to the Askers. The clue can only be the beginning letter of It’s choice item. For example: It chooses “snowman” – then tells the Askers “Letter S.” Next the Askers begin asking questions about the chosen item that can be answered with yes or no (It can also answer with occasionally, sometimes, never, always, or the like). Questions are asked until someone guesses, then that Asker who guessed correctly now becomes It.

One Up (or Stumped)

This is a great boredom buster and a friend and I first started playing it in high school. All players choose a mutually-agreed-upon subject. For examples: Christmas, Star Wars, weather, movies, etc.

One player starts by stating something that relates to the chosen subject.

For example: Christmas. One player says “Snow” then another player says “Candy canes” and so on and so forth. Each player tries to “one up” or “stump” the players before them. When no one can come up with another item to go with the subject the game is over – the last player to state an item has stumped the others.

My friend and I once carried a Star Wars One Up game through two or three weeks while in high school.

Vacation or Camping Trip

One person starts by saying “I’m going on vacation (or a camping trip) and I’m going to take ___” and they name and item then explain why they’ll need it. For example: “. . .I’m going to take a camera so I can take lots of pictures” or “. . .a map so I can find my way.”

Each player takes a turn and the game continues for as long as the players would like. There is no winner or loser.

Bee Bee Bumble Bee

I learned this game when I was a little girl and used to play it with my brother when we were bored. It’s very similar to I Spy. One person starts out as It. They look around the room they’re in and choose an item. It could be a book, a window, a door, a picture on the wall, a person’s shirt – whatever. Then they say “Bee Bee Bumble Bee, I see something you don’t see and the color is ___” and they name the color of the item they chose. The other players try to guess the item and the one who guesses correctly is now It and takes their turn.

Imagination games like these are fun to play to curb boredom and they don’t require any supplies to play them – except maybe your thinking cap!

Do You Need Liability Insurance on Your Boat?

We all know that liability insurance is necessary for cars, trucks, and other street-legal vehicles, but what about water-faring vehicles? One could argue that the open sea (or your local lake) is just as dangerous as the highway, but many people don’t buy liability insurance for their boats because it isn’t required by law.
This is often a mistake.

A Serious Error in Judgment

My father-in-law purchased a sailboat several years ago, eager to realize a childhood dream of sailing the open water of Lake Conroe. A few weeks after he bought it, he took it out after dark one night, and he accidently crashed with another boat who didn’t see him.

Since he hadn’t yet gotten around to pricing liability insurance for the boat, he was responsible for the entire cost of fixing both vessels. Not only did this result in a serious tongue-lashing from my mother-in-law, but it taught a very valuable lesson about insuring one’s assets.

Why Liability Insurance for Boats is Important

As you are probably aware, liability insurance protects a boat owner from damage he or she causes to someone else or his property. If you crash into a boat dock, for example, or take out another boat on the water, liability insurance will pay for that damage-up to your limits, at least.

Many people avoid buying liability insurance for their boats because, after all, it doesn’t pay for damage to their own property. What they don’t realize, though, is that you don’t get to choose whether or not to repair the damage you cause to someone else. If you don’t pay for it, you’ll probably find yourself on the wrong end of a civil lawsuit.

Not as Unlikely as You Think

It’s easy to hear about a boating accident and say snidely to yourself, “I would never be that stupid.” And maybe you wouldn’t. But not all boating accidents are avoidable-or even the fault of the offending party.

What if you experience some type of mechanical failure while boating that causes you to hit someone else? You didn’t do anything wrong while you were out sailing with the family, but your negligence in keeping the boat in good repair results in your culpability. This is why it is a good idea to buy liability insurance for boats.

This also makes a good case for other types of boat insurance. If you damage your own vessel (even through no fault of your own), you will have to cover those expenses out of pocket. Insurance is designed to protect you from financial hardship as a result of an accident.

Talk to your insurance agent about the costs, features and benefits of liability insurance for boats, and while you’re at it, get a quote for comprehensive and collision coverage. This way you can use your boat without worrying about potential hazards.

Rebecca Sanchez


Rebecca Sanchez is a movie buff and love sci-fi movies. She also likes to take her dogs out for a walk in the park. She is here to share her insight about different aspects of life.