On my Wedding Day: A Promise to my Sons

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Anyone that knows me knows that my son is the center of my universe. My son and I are a solid team, a team built out of love and adversity. Back in 2008, at age 26 and with a 3-year-old son I was left in a situation that every woman fears. My (then) husband left me for someone else. I was left homeless, husbandless, scared, and with a toddler to look after. It was a hard period in my life, a period I wouldn’t have been able to get out with without the help of my son, family, and friends. On my darkest moments, my little boy not only gave me the drive and motivation I needed, but he also gave me hope as he wiped my tears away and showered me with hugs. It was then I knew I needed to be strong for both of us.

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Sean (my son) and I have been inseparable. We are, as he calls us “mom and Sean, teamwork” we fight, we argue, we love, we bake, we play, we fight again, we make up … because that is what families do. When in 2010 we moved from the UK to Texas to be closer to my parents my son’s dad had plans to remain – from afar – part of his life. Three months after we moved to the States, he decided he had other plans. He hasn’t been part of my son’s life ever since. My son was 5 years old then.

Since then, I have been my son’s mom and his dad. I have done my best to fill the gap his dad left. I played with legos and football (soccer) I painted cars and soldiers with ray guns, I created a world for both of us. It took me 4 years after moving over to the States to ever even consider dating. I was just not into it, my priorities were my son, my degree and my career. I had my kid, friends, my family and my studies to keep me going and the last thing in my mind was to date anyone. I needed the time to heal and to reconnect with myself. I needed time to know that I don’t need another half to complete me, I am complete, I am whole and I am the only one responsible  for my own happiness. And so I went on.

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Many people worried I would never fall in love again, and many pushed me into trying to meet someone out there. I took my time and I am glad I did. I read somewhere once that “you have to kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince charming” and now I strongly believe that is true. I kissed a few frogs, and as a more mature and centered woman, I knew what I wanted and what I deserved because after all they also say “we accept the love we think we deserve.”

So then, I meet him. I meet my prince charming in disguise. I meet someone with a pure heart, and with the patience of a saint. Someone who can put up with my stubbornness, someone who can soften the edges of my strong personality, someone who lets me be me. I found someone who understands who I am, and who makes me a better person. Someone like that you can’t find every day, someone like that some spend a lifetime look for. Someone like that I thought not possible for me. He is not perfect, I am not perfect but then again perfection is boring and utterly overrated. It is when we can see the flaws and love them anyway that we know we can be with someone.

Because of all that, is that I am (against many odds) marrying this person. This person who on our 3rd date (overly confident and cocky lol) had the courage to tell me, then and there, that he knew he would marry me someday.

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Perhaps is too soon, perhaps is too fast, but so is life. I am a firm believer that if we sit and wait until we think we are ready for something, then we sit and wait until its too late. That and I am also one of the most impatience person on earth. I have waited enough.

So to my son I say today as my wedding day approaches: Never give up on love. It is there, it is attainable and it is the force that moves us forward –  like you did. Today let it be known that you are and forever will be the force that drives me forward, you are and forever will be my number one, my biggest achievement, my rock, my sun… my sunny Sean. To you my son if there is anything I can pass on, let it be the tenacious search for knowledge and the unstoppable pursuit of happiness. Never give up, life will get hard, and I won’t always be able to protect you. Life will get cruel and some people will break you. But be strong in your softness and stand your ground. Know that forever and always I am here for you. Forever and always I will lift your spirit and do my best to bring you happiness.

That is my promise, from the day you were born to the day I die.

If there is anything you remember me by, let it be a happy childhood with nights under the covers, surrounded by teddies, hot chocolate, and Star Wars marathons. Be you, always be you. Be true, always be true. And remember being afraid is ok, letting fear stop you, isn’t.

To my stepson (the one I gain with this marriage) I promise always to try my best. I promise always to keep you in mind because you are too part of our family. I promise always to make you feel wanted, cared for, and loved. I promise Star War marathons and cups of hot chocolate under the stars.

If there is anything I want you to know is that “Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten”

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Xoxo

Jihane

Millennial Man Series: Have Them Smelling Forest Clean with Dr. Squatch

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Looking for more and better natural alternatives for men, I came across Dr. Squatch Soap Co. They are a small yet vibrant soap company based in USA. Their designs are quirky and manly, with a touch of humor (I mean, can you imagine a Dr. Squatch?)

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Dr. Squatch Soap Co. founder, Jack the soap maker and guru and I started talking about the soaps, and I immediately fell in love with the innovative product he had to offer.

Dr. Squatch Soap Co. began as the founder Jack was putting in grueling hours as an IT Consultant in Chicago. It was the start to a good “career”, but the work was far from rewarding.

Dr. Squatch soaps are all natural, chemical free and designed with men in mind. “All soaps start as a basic mixture of oils and lye solution. The mix results in soap + glycerin. The big difference is what happens from here. In our handmade soap, the glycerin is retained in the bar, and combines with coconut, and olive oils to nourish your skin.”  

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Also, all of Dr. Squatch soaps are cold pressed.

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What is Cold Press Soap?

Soap made by the “Cold process method” requires exact measurements of lye (sodium hydroxide) and fat contents by using saponification charts to ensure that the finished product is mild and skin-friendly. This process should be made with precise weights and measurements to ensure an accurate lye/water/oil ratio. The soap formed through this process has a nice texture, lather, and good quality.

“Cold process soap has no need to add harsh chemicals or preservatives. The result? You’ll be skin-safe and feeling smooth.” Dr. Squatch

** Historical Fun Fact: According to legend,  cold press soap has its origins in ancient Rome. The ancient site at Mount Sapo in Rome was famous for animal sacrifices, after time the residual fat and ash got collected under ceremonial altars. One day heavy rain made fat and ash to mix with rain and that flowed down to the slopes to the banks of rivers where washer man were washing their clothes and this mixture made the clothes clean. Either that or, Zeus just send it down to kill nasty smelly men odors lol. 

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The Verdict: Dr. Squatch has a nice selection of scents. We tried them all! and oh boy we impressed! Our favorites were Gold Moss Scrub and Bay Rum. Both the Mr. and the little dude tried them. Yes! Dr. Squatch has a self-declared new little fan, my 10-year-old loved them too! He was happy to smell “like a man” and I was happy because he was using a chemical free soap, mellow enough for him to smell good without it being it overpowering. I think either of those two scents are kid and man-friendly (hey, even we can use them so woman friendly too). To me, the Pine Tart is the strongest. Strong in a good way though – Pine Tar smells like an herbal explosion of delicious manliness bathing in a forest waterfall (yeah, imagine that… Sun shining through and all) The soaps didn’t crumble, and didn’t become slimy,  they have stayed put on the shower shelve. My boys have soft and hydrated skin and smell nice and clean (always a bonus)

The Cool Part: the coolest part about Dr. Squatch is that they also offer a “soapscription” yes! you can get soap delivered at your door every month, and you can even customize the amount of soap and scents you want. Yay for cleanliness!

Subscription starts at $7 a month.

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Overall, 100% recommended! If you like us are in the lookout for a natural, chemical-free, good quality, sustainable and COOL product I strongly recommend you give Dr. Squatch a go! Because I mean, Millennial Men want to look good while being environmentally conscious right? and what better way to do it than by supporting local entrepreneurs like Jack who produce outstanding quality handmade in the USA products like Dr. Squatch soaps.

Stay tuned for more Millennial Man Series Posts as we keep discovering green, eco-friendly, fair trade brands!

Jihane

Millennial Man Series: Mountaineer Brand Made in USA

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So yes, it is the 2016 and guess what? the modern, millennial, trendy man of today isn’t afraid of looking good. Looking good means, extra grooming care, especially if you have a beard.

Beards have become a trendy subject, and keeping it soft and shiny is one of men and their women main concern. I know! My dude has a beard and I don’t want any scratchy hair against my face lol. So, we did some research, and I say we because well, this time, it is up to him to try and test. We came across a brand that seemed to have everything we were looking for; natural, made locally, designed for men. The Mountaineer Brand. 

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Mountaineer Brand was founded in 2013 by Eric Young,  the idea was born after Eric struggled to find quality beard care products at a price that he could easily work into his already tight budget.

Mountaineer Brand is dedicated to bringing our high-end, 100% natural products to the market at a price the average wage earner can afford.

Mountaineer Brand claims to use only first-grade, 100% natural ingredients and never artificial ingredients, chemicals, or fragrance. Our beard oil comes in two-ounce bottles, which are often twice the size of most beard oils. All I can say is after we tried them, I can guarantee the high and unique quality of their oils. I am no newbie to oils, as I have used and worked with natural oils for my face and hair before (coconut and argan are my absolute favorite)  I also really like how Mountaineer Brand products are  presented in a humble and unsophisticated way, which works perfectly with the male understated need for personal care products. Mountaineer looks and feels manly.

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They offer beard oils, beard shampoos and washes, waxes and balms, lip butter, shaving & grooming supplies. Their selection is well thought and prepared with men needs in mind. As a woman I tend to overlook these needs, we (women) use so many products every year, and in many households men simply use what us (women) have for our own personal care, but keep in mind next valentines that your fur face love could benefit from using his very own products, just beware of the extra bathroom grooming time ;). For a full look of their products  ::Click Here::

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Photo Courtesy of Mountaineer Brand

 

So Mountaineer Brand provided us with their Handmade in West Virginia Beard Oils. With 100% natural oils and essential oils, this beard oil absorbs quickly and gives your beard a smooth, soft feel with a subtle shine. Great for taking care of that itchy, dry, flaky skin underneath.

Recommended: Rub 3-4 drops (more for a large beard) and massage into your dry beard then groom as usual. Use daily or anytime you want that fresh, clean beard feeling.

Verdict: The oil is light and smooth, which gives a soft result without resulting in a sticky, oily mess. Hair is manageable and looks shiny, yet not oily. The scents are musky and manly, very herb like – which we particularly like, but we like natural, chemical free scents anyway. The Mr. approved and I, as the one that has to put up with his face approve too! Our favorite was the Coal scent.

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The Mr.

 

We were also had the chance to try their lip balms.

Lip balm

  • .5 ounce Twist Top Tin
  • Handmade from 100% Natural Beeswax
  • Antioxidant Vitamin E to moisturize
  • Soothes and protects delicate skin
  • Prevents over-drying and cracking in harsh climates

Mountaineer Brand lip balms are handmade with 100% natural beeswax and oils that soothe and heal. This lip balm is made with simple, natural ingredients that will condition and protect even in the harshest of climates. Antioxidant Vitamin E to moisturize and Aloe to soothe. I personally loved peppermint one because I am obsessed with peppermint oil! I love how it is non-greasy yet smooth. My least favorite was licorice because it was a bit strong, however I am not a fan of real licorice so it makes sense.

Last but not least, we tried their Granny Vicars Hand Salve. I am IN LOVE! It is thicker than applying a hand lotion, but it heals your dry skin in an instant! I am confiscating this one. It is mine! Handmade in West Virginia, Mountaineer Brand Hand Salve goes to work quickly, soaking deep into the skin to repair dry and damaged areas. It works great on hands, feet, or any overworked or dry area of the body. Botanically infused oils and aloe vera help to soothe, heal, and repair.

Granny Vicars Hand Salve

  • Large 4 Oz Tin
  • 100% Natural Oils, Beeswax, and Essential oils
  • Contains Botanically Infused Oils and Aloe Vera
  • Scent of Lavender with hints of Eucalyptus and Rosemary
  • Handmade in WV

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Side Story: Granny Vicars lived in Roane County, WV in a house located on the family’s farm. In true Mountaineer spirit, Granny lived with no indoor plumbing or running water… nor did she have the desire to do so. This Appalachian medicine woman knew how to care for her family using only her own two hands and what the Earth and land had to offer.  <3 

 

Overall very impressed. The design, and execution of the products in on point. I believe they capture the essence of  manhood pretty well. Keeping it simple, yet delivering outstanding products, which, on a plus side are natural, chemical-free and green!

Don’t miss out more posts for the Millennial Man Series coming soon!

Jihane – OnixJ

 

 

Why is Organic Cotton Better for the Environment

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I have been researching over the last few weeks. I’ve become fascinated with the world of organic textiles and this is the last of a series of three posts dedicated to it.

This time, I want to focus the attention to Organic Cotton. 

What is organic cotton?

Organic cotton is like regular cotton, but better. Better in the way that it has been grown and cultivated without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers; these methods have a low impact on the environment,  keeping mother earth and us happier.

“Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilizers, and build biologically diverse agriculture.” – Organic Cotton Plus

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Sample provided by Organic Cotton Plus

In the last decade, organic produce has been more and more popular mostly among the green and environmentally friendly millennial consumer. But it has taken a little longer for many to realize the importance of organic crops not only for the food we consume but also for the products we wear and use every day. I reached out to the experts in Organic Cotton in the USA, to learn more about the organic textile industry, Organic Cotton Plus.

According to Organic Cotton plus “U.S. organic cotton production continues to increase, encouraged by consumer and corporate demand, price premiums, and regulatory shifts that facilitate clear labeling for organic cotton products”. the production of conventional cotton has a huge impact on the environment as it relies heavily on chemicals. “These chemicals have tremendous impact on the earth’s air, water, soil, and the health of people in cotton-growing areas. They are among the most toxic chemicals as classified by the Environmental Protection Agency”. It is our duty as consumers, and as members of this earth to make sure our resources are long lasting and stable not only for us but for future generations.

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Organic Cotton Plus is located in Lubbock, Texas, not far from Houston where I am located. They are 5th generation of cotton growers, and in 1991 they became one of the first farms to be organic cotton certified in the country.

Today, through production both in the US and overseas, we have increased our line of fabrics to include knits, eco­dyed fabrics, notions, and much more. In addition, we became the first fabric retailer in the U.S. to be fully GOTS-certified­ right through packing in our warehouse.

So I don’t know you, but now I know exactly where to go if I need organic cotton. They have a fantastic selection of organic fabrics ranging from cotton to hemp* to wool and silk, and a few add-ons in between. You can find everything from conventional to modern designs and an array of colors to choose from.  Their selection is fantastic, and it is all available online.

Hemp, now that I mention Hemp, let me also talk a little about that controversial and sometimes misunderstood fabric.

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Hemp (from Old English haenep) is a commonly used term for high-growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, soap, rope, cord, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel.
Suggested uses: 100% Hemp and Hemp Blend fabrics may be used in place of any other fabric for outerwear, heavy duty work wear, adults’ and children’s clothing, bedding, table linens, home decor and window treatments.

Hemp is controversial because it comes from cannabis. But keep in mind the variety of the plant used for this purposes, and the methods use to extract the fibers have nothing to do with the other type of cannabis you sometimes might think of. It is a very durable fabric due to the heavy duty fiber and it is sometimes used for home decor. At Organic Cotton Plus you can find hemp rope, canvas and twine as well as a small selection of fabrics.

Another cool thing you can find at Organic Cotton Plus is a selection of green, eco-friendly, chemical-free fabric detergents & cleaners!  This is a brilliant add-on, as not only you can make sure you ‘consume’ organic and chemical free fabrics for your clothing, bedding, and textiles but you can also clean them while keeping your conscience clean!

Overall I am very impressed with the quality of their textiles. I am also convinced organic fabrics are a staple in my home from now on whenever the option is available. A sample of organic cotton was provided by them for the purposes of this post. The quality is superb. Super soft and silky to the touch. It washes well and maintains its brightness.

I loved the Heritage Print Sateen! made with 100% organic cotton, in color: grey/white with a soft hand-drawn linear design. Organic cotton grown and woven in India and printed in USA using water-based inks.

Great fabric for bedding, quilting, comforters, duvets, tableware, home decor, window treatments, and apparel. – See more at: http://organiccottonplus.com/products/sateen-60-heritage-print#sthash.xQQOMqvq.dpuf

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To learn more about organic fabrics, you can visit Organic Cotton Plus Learning Center 

Synergy, Ethical and Eco-Friendly Apparel that Empowers Women in Nepal

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In this second post about sustainable clothing, I want to concentrate on the importance of water pollution and how the products we use affect the environment. I also want to talk about the importance of minority women being empowered through the use of social enterprises.

According to the World Bank, 17-20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment. Imagine how much we can achieve by using  low impact and natural dyes. Not only can we significantly decrease water pollution but also our carbon footprint, allowing for a healthier planet.

The modern consumer is one that seeks to be more informed about the ways in which the products he/she consumes are manufactured, and how these affect the environment both in the long and the short run. This is why more and more brands are being more environmentally conscious.

During my research for this post, I came across Synergy. Synergy Organic Clothing creates fashion-forward clothing for women, by the use of social enterprises and by adhering to international anti-pollution regulations.

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Always striving to be mindful and conscious in every facet of our business, we produce sustainable and organic fair trade clothing that lets you look and feel your best. Radiate effortless style while treading gently on the Earth.

  • 100% GOTS* Certified Organic Cotton – 95% Organic Cotton, 5% Spandex (skirt)
  • Dyed with low-impact dye
  • Hand sewn anchor appliques
  • Made in Nepal

I love them! super soft, feminine and fun! colors are full of life and the anchor applique gives it an extra wow factor! I had two people ask me about the skirt while I was wearing it. I strongly recommend you to try them out.

 

*Synergy is proud to adhere to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). They work with the only GOTS certified factory in Nepal as well as GOTS certified fabric mills in India.

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Sustainable Apparel and Power of the Millennial Consumer

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Recently I started thinking more and more about sustainable apparel. I want to do a line of T-shirts for the millennial woman. I know, it’s been done (a lot) but it is something that is making (business) sense in my gut and heart.  I started doing some research and came across a few fantastic brands.

First let’s talk about sustainability. What is sustainability?

sus·tain·a·ble səˈstānəb(ə)l/

adjective 1.

able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.
“sustainable fusion reactions”
Sustainable apparel by creating clothing that is durable, comfortable, and great looking. – Econscious

In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development created a definition for sustainability. It reads: “To meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  Sustainability recognizes that the planet’s resources are not infinite and that if we want to be responsible stewards of the earth, we have to use those resources wisely.

By making conscious decisions not only about what we eat but also about what we consume, we can help the world for future generations. The green millennial consumer is more in touch with the needs of the environment and is tuning in with nature demanding more and better products that are not only good in quality but ethical in essence.

I constantly look for more products that are in sync with my principals. Brands are understanding this consumer shift and are making more and better efforts to provide sustainable and organic products. Social responsibility is also an important part of the mix. Treating people fairly, honestly, and ethically is at the core of social responsibility. Brands that treat their employees fair and right are on high demand nowadays.

Our founders have decades of experience in internationally-successful clothing companies, and are among the pioneers of organic apparel.  This knowledge has enabled us to create the finest quality products using carefully sourced organic and sustainable fibers. econscious has established a market-based approach to sustainable manufacturing, working closely with our supply chain, treating workers fairly, and eliminating the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and other harmful chemicals. – Econscious

During the next few posts, I will be talking about organic cotton, sustainable apparel, and how some brands are using social entrepreneurship to provide amazingly well done and sustainable textiles in the USA.

On this first blog post of the series, I want to talk about sustainability. To do so, I will be featuring Econscious

Econscious serves the growing market for organic and sustainable apparel by creating clothing that is durable, comfortable, and great looking.

From their web page:

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“It takes one-third of a pound of fertilizers and pesticides to produce the average cotton t-shirt. By working exclusively with organic farmers, we can keep millions of pounds of chemicals out of the environment, which has a positive impact on watersheds, wildlife, and humans. Organic farming also has a global warming correlation; chemicals are manufactured and transported using fossil fuels, and organic farmers use less water.

Ecological sustainability is perhaps most directly expressed in agriculture. We all have to be fed, clothed, and sheltered every day. Agricultural products – from our farms and forests – are all around us. By educating ourselves and making conscious choices about what we consume, we can join a worldwide movement towards a safer, cleaner, and healthier world.”

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Their clothing line includes Hemp and Organic cotton. They sell women and men Tees, polos and sweatshirts and offer custom and private labeling. If you, like me, are considering having your own line of T-shirts you can opt for having Econscious as your textile provider. By doing so, you have a guarantee that your final product has not been manufactured by child labor and that all steps along your supply chain are sustainable and organic verified.

Being successful and having a social conscience are mutually supportive goals. Respecting human rights, and striving for fairness, respect, and justice are values that enrich our lives as well as the health of our company. – Econscious

Econscious has provided a sample Tee for women, size M in color Wasabi. I will be giving away this Tee to my readers upon participation! Enter bellow for your chance to win, and discover the awesomeness of organic & sustainable apparel.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway (Click Here to Enter Giveaway)

Fight Fleas Naturally!

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My little fur kid, Chester. We adopted him from BARC Houston Oct, 2015. He was only 8 weeks old and had 3 little brothers which we wished we had been able to adopt too. We picked Chester because he wouldn’t stop kissing (licking) my son’s hand; we felt in love with him immediately!

 

Chester is a super loving, face licking, dog treat lover, ball aficionado dog who makes the perfect companion for my 10-year-old son.  Together they play, eat, sleep, and wrestle every day, these two are inseparable.

Chester is an inside dog. He goes out to potty and to play, sometimes we take him to the dog park, sometimes we left him in the backyard but he is mostly inside with his humans (us). However during our stay in Colorado this past holidays we left Chester in Texas. He stayed with my fiancé and his two other dogs, Charlie and Adarai.

During his stay Chester got to be outside more for longer periods of time. He made new friends, he discovered new places, tastes, and textures and he engaged in a lot of puppy play time with Adarai (who is about his same age).

I am sure he had a ton of doggie fun BUT, he came back home infested with fleas. All that outdoor playing does that to you… sad face. It was so bad that even one of his eyes was swollen from which I presume was flea bites too close to his eyelids. My poor Chester. I was mortified! I had to get rid of those nasty little things crawling all over him, so as soon as he got back home I jumped into action.

I take my pet’s wellbeing very seriously so this is what we did to get him back to his normal self:

  1. First I gave him a bath with an oatmeal based shampoo, specifically I used Oster Oatmeal Naturals Insect Guard Pet Shampoo*. I gave him a very long bath and so many many of the fleas die away. I shampooed him twice letting the shampoo sit there for a little and scrubbing all areas, especially behind his ears and his groin area.

* About Oster Oatmeal Naturals Insect Guard Pet Shampoo is proudly made of all natural, pH balanced, biodegradable ingredients that are 100 percent free of alcohol, dyes and parabens. The Insect Guard formulation provides a natural alternative to medicated flea and tick shampoos to repel fleas, ticks and mosquitoes. A unique blend of citronella extract, clove oil and lemongrass extract naturally guards against insects

  1. Second I used peppermint essential oil. I did a lot of research before jumping into this one. Please note essential oils and cats don’t mix so don’t use this on cats. I found out on my research that a  natural way to control parasites, including fleas, is by using peppermint and rosemary sprays, lemon sprays, and vinegars. Peppermint is considered as a multipurpose flea control remedy which is natural, safe and effective. It is also known to soothe the skin irritations and itching on the pet’s body. HOW TO: dilute it in water! never use it without diluting as essential oils are concentrated. For peppermint potion mix 25 drops of essential peppermint oil* with 1 cup of water. Put the solution a spray bottle for easier application. Spray all over your pet and rub or comb. No need to rinse, just leave it in and enjoy the lovely fresh smell.

* About peppermint oil: This oil works differently than other oils in that the smell isn’t what repels fleas and ticks. Peppermint is actually a sort of torture device for pests and insects. It is one of the most effective octopamine (think of an insect version of human adrenaline) blockers in existence, causing the parasites’ central nervous system to break down. Their heart rate, movement, behavior, and metabolism are hindered to the point of death. While all this is happening at microscopic level, your dog smells super fresh!! You are fighting a war in style, mess free and smelling delicious! 

  

**Warning: Essential oils that contain phenols are particularly toxic to cats and cause liver damage. These include oregano, thyme, eucalyptus, clove, cinnamon, bay leaf, parsley, and savory. It’s a good idea not to share any food containing these herbs and spices with your pets.

  1. As a last step, and because I wanted to be 100% sure of eradication, I went to his vet and got him Comfortis for dogs. (You need prescription) Comfortis® (spinosad) is the first FDA-approved, chewable, flavored tablet that kills fleas and prevents flea infestations on dogs for a full month. It starts killing fleas within 30 minutes, last 30 days. It isn’t toxic or messy like those (rather ineffective I may say) drops and it gives you complete peace of mind.

One day later Chester’s eye was back to normal and so was he. Happy and itch free! I keep some of the peppermint oil mix handy, and I spray him once a week. I also spray his sleeping area.

I have not seen a single one of those nasty fleas!

Happy dog = happy Humans!

Xoxo

Jihane

Houston Press Artopia® January 30

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Artopia is a celebration of Houston Culture & Art that incorporates food, drink, art, music and fashion into one evening. This one-night fete celebrates the exciting, vibrant Cultural scene in Houston. It’s a sensory overload full of culture, fashion, visual arts, performing arts and so much more.

It’s an event with a cause as the Houston Press is awarding local artists with monetary grants for service to the Arts and the Community. These individuals were chosen from a panel of local cultural denizens, philanthropists and community-organizers. Houston Press will donate over $6,000 in grants to our Mastermind Awards winners.  The winners will be featured as the Cover Story on the Houston Press, and will be honored at the event on January 30th

Tickets On Sale Now at ticketfly.com.

General Admission: Ticket Includes Food, Wine & Beer & Cocktail Sampling Plus Entertainment

Jumper Maybach VIP Admission: Ticket includes entry into the event, complimentary valet, access to the VIP Lounge with seating and private bar, food sampling, as well as access to all general admission areas and entertainment. Presented by Jumper Maybach

Featured Artists:

Fab D’aroma, Jim Hudek, Katherin Mason, Marco Torres, Nicole Gavin, Sergio Garcia Rill AND MUCH MORE!

Fashion Shows: 

ModChic | Pardon My Fash-Uhn | Samo Dinero I Chester Roberts

Models Provided by: Neal Hamil Agency

Live Performances: 

Catch Fever, Say Girl Say, Gio Chamba

Complimentary Food Provided by:

BB’s Café, Cumbia Coffee, Pollo Tropical, dgn Factory, KUU, The Tipsy Dessert Bar, Harvest Organic Grille, Cajun Shop, Eculent and MORE

Houston Press Artopia 2016 is brought to You By: Stella Artois

All Guests must be 21+, with a Valid I.D.

More information at houstonpressartopia.com

Travel Series: Marriott IAH Re-Opening

HAM Outside Night 2

I was invited yesterday to the grand re-opening of the Marriott Hotel at Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. It was a fantastic event, fitting for a fantastically renovated hotel. Its contemporary look conveys everything Houston is about. Hip and sophisticated, diverse and vibrant. The perfect spot for the busy, fast-forward millennial traveler that comes through HTown.

Newly appointed Houston Mayor The Honorable Sylvester Turner was present at the opening ceremony. Accompanied by Mario C.Diaz Houston Aviation Director of Houston Airport Systems, and Rob Steigerwald Chief Operating Officer of America’s West Marriott Intercontinental. The three of them completed the opening by cutting the ribbon and marking the new beginning of the Marriott IAH.

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Newly enhanced lobby area welcomes guests on an open space with artistic accents on the walls. Nearby the bar/restaurant area offers a range of bites and drinks with an intimate atmosphere.

FLIGHTs Grill Executive Chef Patrick Gaugham delighted guests with a versatile selection of beautifully crafted dishes, all of which are available at their restaurant. I strongly recommend you pop by and try them all. Being the food fanatic that I am this was my favorite part!

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Executive Chef Patrick Gaugham

 

Fresh juices (including green juice, my favorite) and smoothies were also served upon arrival, along with parfaits, fresh fruit kebabs, and freshly baked pastries,  all of which I believe are part of their breakfast menu.

 

Savory lunch-type menu after the ceremony included southern classics such as Fried Chicken & Waffles, Brisket & Mac, Salads, and Tacos. Yeah! this is Texas Y’all! Dishes were presented in beautifully balanced mini sized portions, perfect for the occasion.

 

The New Marriott:

Total renovation of all 573 guest rooms features new decor, new furniture, and new linens as well as technology upgrades (high-speed internet and 47inch LCD TVs) New and enhanced bathrooms with large mirrors and new fixtures.

New Entrance & Lobby front desk area.

South tower meeting space and ballroom.

New business center and pool area.

New MClub Lounge.

New Restaurant – FLIGHTs Bar & Lounge

HAM bedroom

Designed with an on-the-go traveler in mind, the completely renovated guest rooms display a polished and inviting look introducing an updated soft contemporary design,  decorative lighting, luxury linens and styled artwork. The custom-designed headboards incorporate the latest technological conveniences with task lighting, electric outlets, and USB outlets (yes! Ipads, Iphones and laptops rejoice!)  High-speed wireless Internet access and 47-inch LCD TVs are standard room amenities.

Bathrooms have been designed to showcase a spa-like feel while providing increased dressing area space. New stand-up tile showers with sleek, transparent glass doors have replaced the tub/shower combos.

“The hotel has been updated with our guest’s comfort in mind so that they may have an uplifting experience and the opportunity to recharge while they are on the road,” said Suzy Hart, general manager of the Houston Airport Marriott.

Without a doubt, the newly renovated Marriott offers comfort and style for both travelers and non-travelers alike. Make sure you stop by next time you are in town, even if only to enjoy a drink and a bite.

 

Jihane – OnixJ


 

About Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental 

Houston Airport Marriott at George Bush Intercontinental at 18700 John F. Kennedy Blvd. in Houston, TX is near the Houston Zoo, Deerbrook Mall and Houston Museum of Natural Science. The hotel features 7 floors with 573 rooms, 6 suites, 1 concierge level, 34 meeting rooms with 30,000 square feet of total event space, a fitness center, outdoor pool and whirlpool. For information, visit http://www.marriott.com/IAHAP or call 1-281-443-2310. 

About the Houston Airport System 

Houston Airports served more than 53 million passengers in 2014. Houston’s three airports — George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) — contribute more than $27.5 billion to the regional economy. IAH and HOU collectively provide nonstop flights to nearly 200 destinations worldwide. For more information, visit fly2houston.com. Get social with Houston Airports by following us on Twitter @IAH and @HobbyAirport.