Way back on Valentine’s Day, when the world seemed a lot less complicated, I gave a short presentation on seed cycling for hormone balance at an LBB Coffee and Connections. After, the feedback I received was very extremely positive. So many women stopped me and expressed that they had never heard of the concept of seed cycling and were curious to know more.
Seed cycling is not a new concept, in the world of holistic health it has been known about for years. Alternative health practitioners are always trying out different, sometimes unconventional, methods to balance and improve health naturally. Mother nature has provided us with so many tools, we just have to know how to utilize them.
When it comes to hormones, us women know way more about them than we realize. You don’t have to be a hormone expert to notice when you feel extra irritable, extra tired or even have that intense craving for something sweet during a certain time of the month. Or maybe you are past that time of your life, you no longer get a monthly cycle, but you still feel tired, also irritable and maybe a little extra puffy. In both instances, hormones are to blame and more accurately it is that imbalance of hormones that is actually plaguing you.
Our hormones are constantly changing throughout our lives, actually every 28 days, give or take. The more in balance they are, the better we feel and better our body operates at an optimal level. It is very easy to throw them out of whack. Chronic dieting, stress, lack of sleep, processed food, over consumption of sugar, overconsumption of food in general, a sedentary lifestyle (to name a few), can all contribute to an imbalance of hormones. I tell clients that when hormones are imbalanced, it is almost like telephone wires that are crossed. The signals cannot come through clearly, therefore leaving us stuck in a state of hormonal distress. There are a lot of ways to begin balancing hormones. Many of which were mentioned in the last paragraph. Yes, ditching sugar helps tremendously, but there are other ways that are less challenging and less restrictive. Insert seed cycling!
Flax, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower are all part of the seed cycling process. Each of these seeds has the ability to balance estrogen and progesterone, two very important hormones in a woman’s body. How you do it is quite simple. During the first phase of your cycle (essentially the first day of your period), you begin consuming a tablespoon of flax and a tablespoon of pumpkin seeds daily. It is important to note that these seeds need to be freshly ground, but can be done ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The whole seed will not break down completely so grinding it allows your body to absorb more of the nutrients from the seeds. You can easily grind them in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. You continue to consume those seeds daily for 13 days. On day 14, you switch to freshly ground sesame and sunflower, same amounts.
During the first half of your cycle, estrogen is the queen! Consuming flax and pumpkin seeds help to support your body and the estrogen it is producing, but also helps balance any extra estrogen produced. This helps to alleviate any symptoms of estrogen dominance. During the second half of your cycle progesterone is the boss. Consuming sunflower and sesame will help bring progesterone back into balance and prepare your body for estrogen to barge back in again!
Why does this matter and what is the point? Having balanced estrogen and progesterone keeps your body buzzing along happily. These are some of the unwanted symptoms this process can help:
It should be noted that if you are postpartum, perimenopausal, or menopausal, you can still seed cycle. You can base your seed cycling on the phases of the moon. I know this sounds a little unorthodox and possibly strange, but starting your seed cycling the first day of the new moon, which will be May 22nd, will be a perfect setup for your cycling system. You can switch after 13 days, or the first date of a full moon. Some believe our cycles always followed the moon, but with so much artificial light, we no longer do. So in that case, we are just getting back to our roots!
If you are ready to start seed cycling, please know that you should commit to at least three months of consistent use. It can take that long for your body to begin to balance, however, I have heard for some it works faster. If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, there is no harm in testing it out. You may find your stubborn issues are fading away with little to no effort!
If you have any questions or are interested in testing out other ways to manage hormones and want to dive deeper into improving your health, let’s talk. I offer complimentary consultations so we can better assess your goals. Shoot me a message and we can tackle this together!
Most of us would probably agree that men and women frequently behave differently, and these differences often show up in professional, family and social situations. Of course, this certainly doesn’t mean either gender has an advantage in these areas. However, here’s an interesting question: Do women possess attributes that may make them better investors?
Some evidence suggests this may indeed be the case. Consider the following:
There are always unforgettable experiences and joyful, nostalgic moments to celebrate. My motto is: there is always a reason to give a thoughtful gift. Whether you're celebrating the new addition to the family, the happy bride and groom, or the optimistic graduate, there's always an opportunity to gift. Wedding season has begun, graduation and Mother's Day are both right around the corner. These are all perfect opportunities to make others feel loved and valued.
I'm pretty sure giving gifts is one of my love languages. Finding or creating the perfect gift gives me all the feels. This isn't the case for everyone. Giving, other than money, flowers, or gift cards, can be a daunting task for some.
Below, I am sharing a few of my ideas for ways to give meaningful, thoughtful gifts for those upcoming special occasions.
The invitation has been received. You know what you're want to wear (because that's important too), but now, the gift. Everything is already purchased off the registry, now what? Finding the perfect gift can be no easy task.
A thoughtful gift idea for the happy couple could be a watercolor of their wedding day. Ana of IdeasToPaper offers custom wedding portraits that are a perfect gift to give.
A gift basket filled with items for their new home or things for them to enjoy together are great ideas. This gift includes The Date Night Cookbook, Mr. & Mrs. trinket tray, let’s stay home oversized pillow, picture frame, throw blanket, and tote.
Mother's Day is almost here, so it's time to pick the perfect gift for your mom and other special women in your life.
Are you feeling a little pressure to come up with the perfect gift that expresses how much you care? Gift baskets and boxes are always a great gift idea, but don't forget about the new mommies and those who have lost their moms.
Fill the gift with items mom can use and enjoy, things only for her and not something she has to share with others.
This gift includes a picture frame, candle with matches, a love trinket heart tray, to-do list pad, lemonade but you can always add something a little stronger, a healthy treat, or add some chocolate.
It’s that time of the year, and since we can't reverse the clock to turn our kiddos into little ones again, we might as well celebrate, right? We are hoping and praying for the graduating class of 2020 to be able to have a graduation with their peers, family, and friends. We are all looking forward to seeing the graduates in their caps and gowns, marching down the aisle to Pomp and Circumstance, and receive their diplomas. Thoughtful gifts for these graduates can include items that motivate, encourage, and celebrate there all work. Gift items that will prepare them for college or the workforce.
This gift includes a happy pop-up encouragement card, Life is Now wooden block, Think Big notebook, College Survival Playing Cards, and Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years interactive book. These items come inside a pine box with a matching school color ribbon.
by Lisa Paden
The Personal Gift Basket Co.
Money is one of the most emotionally loaded topics out there - we love money, hate money, obsess
over money, ignore money, resent money, hoard money, crave money, bad-mouth money; money is rife
with so much desire and shame and weirdness. The way you handle or don’t handle your money affects
every area of your life. You may overspend it, hoard it, give it away to others, buy items you can’t
afford, or worse…. Just avoid it, burying your head in the sand. Whether you’re rich or poor, you have a
lot of money or a lot of debt; you feel great or terrible about your money, these are all determined by
your beliefs and behaviors.
Your beliefs about money influence your behaviors – what you do, how you do it, and even how you feel
every single day. You’ve had a relationship with money your entire life. Based on that relationship,
you’ve determined the significance of money, the importance of what money can give you, and the
driving force behind why you do what you do concerning money. Understanding your relationship with
money is critical to managing your money successfully.
Your values play a leading role in how you spend, save, and make financial choices. Values are the
feelings and personal meaning or significance you assign to having a thing: the house, the clothes, the
trip, the lifestyle you choose. In just a single day, we make many choices about what we value by how
we spend our money.
Goals are different. Goals are the tangible things you want from having money. Reaching financial goals
is as dependent on the choices we make with the money we have as it is on our level of income. But
when you think about what having or reaching the goal would give you, it could be security, freedom,
confidence, or any number of things. Those are your values. If your goals support your values, you’ll be
more likely to prioritize them, which gives you a greater chance of accomplishing them.
Most people’s most significant problem with money is they don’t know where it all goes. That’s because
you’re unconscious of where it’s going. How will you know when you have “enough” if you don’t know
what your lifestyle costs? The only way to become conscious is to begin tracking your spending habits.
How much of your spending is deliberate, purposeful, and goal-oriented? Evaluate your spending
habits. Marie Kondo style things and decide what lights you up and brings you joy. Many discover that
they’re spending money in small ways that add up and sometimes don’t match their priorities. Often, it
is the low financial decisions we make on a day-to-day basis that have the most influence on our
financial well-being and future economic security.
Develop a spending plan instead of a budget. Budgets are like diets – they rarely work because they
feel restrictive, and we don’t stick to the plan. More important than building a pile of money is
developing a plan for that money. While hopes and dreams can motivate us, they’re often open-ended
or vague. That makes it hard to build a plan to reach them. Instead, a spending plan prioritizes how you
spend your money so that it goes toward things that really matter to you.
Building wealth is relatively simple: spend less than you earn, avoid debt, and invest for long term
growth. Simple, but not easy. When you have clarity and focus on what is important to you, financial
decision-making becomes much easier. But if you don’t tell your money where to go, you’ll always
wonder where it went.
by Deanna Orf
“Massage therapy can change the world” by Cassidy L. Renner
Bold statement, I know, but hear me out.
My name is Cassidy Renner. I’ve been practicing massage therapy since 2004, and after 16 years I still feel like I’m just scratching the surface on just how healthy touch can and does change us for the better. Even during a short massage, a natural healing process begins in the body. Cause and effect — just being on the massage table makes the healing begin in my body. When I get a massage, I begin deep, meaningful breathing as I lay down on the massage table. I visualize myself melting into the warm table. I can start to let go of daily stress and worry. It’s time to connect my body and mind. The massage therapist then enters the session, after what feels like forever.
Healthy touch is a necessity for life just as much as food, water, and oxygen. Our current challenges require isolation, which stresses the body and mind, and touch can repair that damage.
Massage is my “me time”, time to let healing happen throughout my body. This has a lasting effects long after the session ends. Massage therapy triggers parts of our nervous system that allow us to rest, repair and relax. Daily life has stressors that trigger our fight or flight responses, and a session of massage therapy takes us away from all of that. We have a lot working against us that really drives a wedge between our mind and body connection. It’s really important to reestablish that connection every so often. Our electronics have to reboot and recharge, and we humans need the same maintenance.
Deep breathing, the oldest known relaxation technique, also has wonderful benefits:
“I can’t stress how important it is that we take time to really feel and connect to our ailments and then healing process of letting go can begin.”
Making time to regularly get massages is so important. I recommend every 3 weeks. Going longer in between sessions means the healing momentum can be lost. Getting ahead of the curve is key. You should adjust your massage schedule to your own body’s rhythm.
When all of our basic needs are met, our world becomes a place of peace. You see, regular massages can change the world, your world. Suddenly we’re living in a place of peace and gratitude and then attracting more things to be grateful for.
Then everything becomes ATTUNED!
I named my business Attune to reflect our goal to bring you into body/mind harmony. My goal is to help people balance their body and mind, so that we may be productive people living the best life possible. I strongly believe Massage therapy fits in a well-balanced happy life.
It feels great to kneaded at Attune Massage and Wellness! Due to the risks of the spread of COVID-19 we want you to stay at home! We can book for future appointments, no cost to cancel or reschedule. Online gift cards can be purchased on the link below. Stay happy and healthy everyone!
To say that I’m proud of Little Black Book, and its recent accomplishments is a gross understatement. I have poured my heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, time, and treasure into the organization. It is like a child to me. Sometimes it’s my 2nd favorite child (sorry, boys).
Little Black Book is one of the most respected women’s organizations in the area. Why? You. As I’ve said before, LBB may be everything to me; but it is nothing without you.
To adapt to our new reality, LBB is proud to have taken the following steps:
The LBB GIVE Foundation boasts that it supports numerous non-profit organizations. And...it does a damned good job of it. The Foundation exists to make our community a better place. We’re all making tough decisions. Deciding whether or not you should stay invested in the amazing organization we’ve built together should not be one of them. Supporting one another during the toughest of times is what LBB is all about.
At this time of uncertainty, the GIVE Foundation is prepared to walk the talk to ensure the LBB community remains strong. Please contact your chapter president if you are having financial difficulties.
Now, more than ever, you need to stay connected to your support network.
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we hear it all the time- “Your business needs to be online.” Search engines and social media dominate the consumer journey, and businesses do whatever they can to show up in this mobile-driven landscape.
When all of the experts are giving their top tips to be found online, it’s easy to forget the necessity of offline marketing.
It’s time to get back to some basics.
What is marketing?
Before we can start to look at offline marketing, we really need to understand what marketing is- and what it isn’t.
To many, the words “marketing” and “advertising” are synonymous. However, there are some key differences we need to know in order to be effective at either.
Advertising is exposing people to your brand, products, and services. Billboards, print ads, online banner ads- these are all advertising.
Marketing is the strategic process of connecting, educating, and building a relationship with your desired audience over time in order to establish trust and loyalty. Marketing is all about relationships.
Marketing is not just throwing up a billboard on the side of the highway and calling it a day. Marketing is not building a fancy website- just because you’ve built it does not mean they’ll come.
Marketing is about giving people a real, human experience.
Here’s a great example...
A young man stands in the check-out at the convenience store. He glances at the cooler of soda on his right, and there it is: a bottle of Coke with her name on it- “Samantha”.
He grabs it from the cooler and hands it to the cashier. This is his ticket.
The young man makes his way to school, and his heart is pounding as he opens the door to the classroom. He pulls the soda out of the grocery bag and sets it on the desk of a bubbly brunette.
She’s blushing as she looks up at him, smiles, and says, “Thanks.” Her heart is pounding now, too.
The sweating bottle of Coke on her desk bearing her name just confirmed what this girl had been hoping for- the boy likes her back.
This beverage just sparked a sweet, innocent meet-cute, and the two teens will always associate “Coke” with that electric moment.
They just created a lasting, emotional connection to the brand.
That is marketing.
Offline marketing strategies often consist of billboards, employee t-shirts, and sponsoring little league teams. While there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things, if there isn’t a strategy involved, then they will do nothing more than advertise.
Let’s use sponsoring a little league team as an example.
If that is something that makes sense for your business, how can you turn that from advertising into effective offline marketing?
You create an experience.
As I mentioned before, your social media should be a mirror of what you’re doing offline.
What’s so great about these offline strategies is that every single one of them provides the opportunity to create engaging, relevant content online. Facebook events, social media posts, and website content will all naturally flow from these offline efforts.
The Key Takeaway
Hopefully these examples ignite some inspiration for your own strategy.
Just remember- marketing is about investing in the long-term relationships with your target audience. Those real relationships are cultivated both on and offline. They take time, forethought, and patience. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
At the end of the day, people just want a real, authentic, human connection with the companies they use.
If you can create that, you’ll generate loyal customers for life.
by Megan Dyer
Disinfect the right way
Before disinfecting, it’s important to clean up any dirt or grime on the surface to get the most protection from your disinfectant. Follow the guidelines for the disinfectant you choose to eliminate the most germs.
All disinfectants require a certain amount of time on surfaces to be the most effective. Some disinfectants take up to ten minutes to kill common germs and viruses. That means you should keep the surface wet with disinfectant for the duration of the recommended time. To keep surfaces wet long enough, you may have to reapply the disinfectant.
Commonly touched surfaces such as cell phones, door handles, light switches and toilet flush handles should get extra attention. Since it’s uncertain how long the coronavirus can survive on surfaces, disinfecting these areas frequently is recommended.
Daily Disinfecting to Prevent Coronavirus
In the kitchen:
In the bathroom:
Weekly Disinfecting to Kill Coronavirus Germs
In the kitchen:
In the bathroom:
If you need help or don’t have the time to follow a disinfecting routine, try one of our affordable cleaning options? The Maids is the only residential cleaning service to specialize in cleaning for health exclusively.
We clean and disinfect and use commercial-grade vacuums with HEPA filtration that can capture up to 99 percent of dust, allergens and other contaminants. You don’t have to fight the coronavirus alone!
By Andrea Crislip,Owner
The Maids of St. Charles County
Did you know that not only does your appearance affect how people see you, BUT it also affects how you see yourself?
If you’re distracted by your clothing, if you’re worried about how you look, then you won’t be fully present— at work, on a date, with your kids, shopping, church, hanging out with your friends - you get the picture.
So, let’s make sure you aren’t distracted by your appearance and take a look at the clothing in your closet. Grab an item and ask yourself:
If you answered “no” to any of those questions it’s time to donate it and go shopping! Wahoo!!!!
But, before we go shopping, let’s talk about Decision Fatigue.
The average adult makes 35,000 decisions per/day. That’s A FREAKING LOT - It’s partly why we’re exhausted. So let’s not add to that decision fatigue by worrying about our appearance.
Here are my strategies:
For example in my headshot picture you’ll see:
One more quick thing to consider when shopping. Cost Per Wear.
To explain what this means, let’s think about a wedding gown. One can easily cost $2,000 and you only wear it once. So the cost per wear of that wedding gown is $2,000.
How about your designer handbag? Lets say it cost $200 but when you use it every single day for 6 months - it will have cost you $1.10 to wear it each day.
What’s the better value, that $2,000 wedding gown or your $200 purse?
So, when shopping, consider splurging on a $100 pair of jeans especially if they bring you joy and you will wear them 1-2x a week.
That $89 bracelet you’re dying to buy (from the new 2020 Spring Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski line) could be a really good appearance investment, particularly if it’s versatile and you can wear it multiple times a week. WINK
Things to remember
By Amanda Quast, Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski
Recently, the Western St Charles Chamber of Commerce honored Little Black Book with its top award, “Business of the Year.” Here is the acceptance speech that I delivered:
“My name is Angel Magasano and I am the Founder of Little Black Book: Women in Business. Little Black Book originated in October of 2012 as an organization for female professionals to share best practices as we helped one another acquire the knowledge, skills, resources, and confidence necessary to be successful in their personal and professional lives.
The organization still follows that mission, but would not be what it is today without my fellow finalists.
Jamie Gittemeier joined LBB in 2015 when the organization needed direction and leadership. She continues to serve in a leadership capacity to this day inspiring every woman she connects with, starting with me. Alysia Kerkove joined Little Black Book in a pivot point in the organization’s history. It was Alyisa’s collaborative mindset, leadership qualities, and creative critical thinking that helped to propel LBB forward in a dynamic direction. As the 2019 recipient of the LBB Pillar Award, Alysia has proven herself to be one of LBB’s most valuable assets.
I am the lucky woman who has the honor of being the spokesperson who receives the compliments and collects the award. However, the organization is really about the women of Little Black Book. If you are a proud woman of LBB, please stand and be recognized. If you are a LBB Wingman, please stand. These are the people who attribute to the continued success of Little Black Book. We are unstoppable together! Thank you.”
I mentioned Jamie and Alysia by name in my acceptance speech because without them Little Black Book would not exist.
Likewise, LBB would not exist:
LBB would not exist without you. The women of LBB are cut from a unique and wonderful cloth. Together we have created a beautiful community that is a force to be reckoned with…and as a result, the winner is YOU!