Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Wash a Beard

I received the following products in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are 100 percent my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Big Beard

This is a picture of my husband and me. One of my husband’s most notable features is his big beard. At first, it started out as a goatee, which my husband maintained for several years. My husband then decided that he didn’t like shaving anymore, so he grew out his beard. I don’t mind it as long as he maintains it well. 

Maintaining a big beard means keeping it clean. This mean more than picking out the bits of food that almost always seem to land in it whenever he eats. It is a matter of taking care of the facial hair and skin beneath it.

What to Use to Wash Your Beard

beard shampoo
Some men use facial soap, which is great for cleaning skin, but not necessarily hair. Others use traditional shampoo, which is good for cleaning your hair and scalp, but not the skin on your face. While you can use facial soap or shampoo to wash your beard, the best thing to use is beard shampoo. This product is specially formulated for facial hair, which is different than the hair on your scalp.
My husband received a bottle of beard shampoo from Beardsmen Spirit in exchange for a review and this blog post. My husband used the shampoo several times and told me that enjoys it. He said that he likes using the beard shampoo for his facial hair better than regular shampoo because it makes his beard feel a lot cleaner. The “Bold Forest” scent come from the eucalyptus and tea tree oil, which help nourish and protect skin. 

When telling me about the beard shampoo, my husband stated he has to use beard oil or a beard conditioner after shampooing his facial hair because the product tends to strip the natural oils.

How to Wash a Beard

  1. Wet your beard with warm water. It is a good idea to do this in the shower.
  2. Place a small amount of beard shampoo into the palm of your hand, like you would traditional shampoo.
  3. Rub your hands together to distribute the shampoo. Then rub your hands in your beard so the shampoo starts to lather.
  4. Use your fingers to spread the shampoo to your skin, mustache and the lengths of your beard. Keep your mouth closed and take care to avoid getting the shampoo up your nose.
  5. Rinse your beard with warm water to remove all the shampoo.
  6. Dry your beard with a towel.
  7. Close the pores on your face using a facial toner. Or, splash cool water on your face before drying your beard.
  8. Apply beard oil or conditioner to your beard. Since you closed your pores in the previous step, the conditioner or oil is less likely clog them and make your skin breakout.

How Often to Wash a Beard

Shower daily. Wash your beard twice a week. Like the hair on your head, washing facial hair too often will cause it to dry out, become brittle and lose its shine. On the days that you shower but don’t wash your beard, simply rinse it with water. However, if you sweat or get your face dirty, you may need to shampoo your beard more often. 

What are your favorite beard care tips?

I received the products mentioned in exchange for an unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission if you click on a product link and make a purchase through

Monday, August 22, 2016

Words Online Last Forever

A couple evenings ago, four bikers wearing motorcycle club vests approached my husband as he drove along the highway in Port Orchard, Washington. He had not previously passed them on the road. One of the bikers, who rode a blue Harley Davidson, came up to the driver's side of the car and punched out the side mirror and dented the area around the wheel well for no apparent reason. Maybe he doesn't like white SUVs. The bikers then proceeded to surround the vehicle. The ones in front of the car slammed on their brakes, which was silly because the injuries to the bikers would have been significantly greater than the injuries my husband would have sustained. My husband stayed calm and did his best to control the vehicle in an effort to avoid a collision. His efforts were successful.  The only thing damaged was the car and our nerves.

After the incident, my husband pulled over to a safe spot, called 9-1-1 and filed a police report. He only had a partial plate number for the man who vandalized our vehicle. The officer said that my husband's experience wasn't an isolated incident.

Because of the partial plate number, I thought it would be a good idea to post in some community Facebook group to see if there were any witnesses who might be able to help identify the rider. This idea backfired on me, as I was met with hostility in every group. The worst was the Port Orchard group. I don't understand why individuals like Kimberly Durham, Matt Antrim, Stephen Lamm and Joey Coulter felt the need to write such hateful comments. These are cyber bullies that you read about in news articles -- trolls who haunt forums just to be mean. This is what happens when people become adults but don't necessarily mature. You can find the post here. At the time of publication, this Facebook group is a public group, so I am not sharing any secrets.

I am posting screenshots of the thread below. After having enough rocks thrown at me, I turned off the comments to my post. I deleted the posts in the other groups because they were just a waste; not worth anyone's time. I didn't delete the post in the Port Orchard group, per the administrators' request. I am very grateful to those who stood up for me despite the possibility of getting stuck in the crossfire. After I turned off the comments, I learned that one of the individuals who defended me reported Kimberly Durham to the group's administrators. They banned her from the group. This is too bad for her. She might be an otherwise nice person who made the mistake of showing the worst side of herself publically. Or, maybe she's just a mean, hateful person. I don't know. It doesn't really matter.

So, why am I posting this screenshot? For revenge? No, I don't gain anything from it. To make the bullies look bad? No, they do that on their own. I am doing this to demonstrate that when you are online, you are not anonymous. The words you post will follow you forever.

When someone is mean to you online, you have the choice to react in-kind. This is too easy. The better yet harder option is to show grace and respect. After all, I posted because I wanted help. Being mean would have defeated the purpose. In the end, I couldn't end the thread of posts with a bully having the last word. I had to speak up and take a stand against violence and the poor behavior of my fellow community members. I don't know if my comment was effective or made an impression, but I posted it in the other groups. I hope that it gives others the courage to stand up for what it right.

My final comment reads:
To those of you who added helpful comments and stood up for me, thank you! To those of you who felt the need to show the ugliness in your hearts, I hope your lives aren't as miserable as your words. I hope that if you or a family member ever needs help and you reach out to the community, you are not met with the same hostility or blame that I received.

My husband and I know that a person on a motorcycle will not generally act aggressively "willy nilly." We also know that some people have road rage that is triggered by innocent actions. Even if a drivers makes a mistake, violence and aggressiveness are unacceptable. No one deserves it. No one (l hope) would say that a person attacked on the street while walking around town deserved the abuse. This is a similar situation. Justifying a motorcyclist's actions because you assume the driver inadvertently did something wrong gives the perpetrator of this crime POWER. You are telling the community, your children, the world that it is okay to act violently (much different than defensively) toward others if you have a good enough excuse. This is what bullies do. It is wrong.

Sometimes bad things happen for no good reason. The next time someone reaches out for help, please consider how you can set a good example and shine a positive light on your community (and yourself). All the hostility related to this post did was show the worst versions of the respective commenters. It is unfortunate that this is the side of them that they chose to make public.

The following are screenshots of the thread in sequential order. I tried to do one big screenshot, but the text came out too small. (Warning: The comments contain obscene language.)

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies
Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Response to Bullies

Friday, August 19, 2016

Low-Carb Orange Julius Recipe

low carb orange julius

It was a hot day. I really wanted to drink something cool, like a milkshake, but everything is so high-carb. After a bit of tinkering in the kitchen and remembering a happy accident that involved  pouring a drink mix into the wrong cup (the one with my morning protein shake), I came up with this low-carb drink recipe. I think it tastes similar to an Orange Julius.
I used a mason jar because I can screw the bottom of the blender, the part with the blade, to jar's mouth.

  • 4-cup mason jar filled half-way with crushed ice
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I use the bulk whey protein powder from Winco)
  • 1/2 packet orange Crystal Light
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk, fill to the 4-cup line of the mason jar (I use the Costco brand)
  • Sweetener to taste
  1. Place all the ingredients in a 4-cup mason jar.
  2. Screw the bottom of the blender -- the O-ring, blade and bottom cap -- onto the top of the mason jar.
  3. Blend until smooth.
  4. Enjoy! 
I don't have nutritional information for this recipe. Sorry. The carb count depends on the almond milk and protein powder you use, as the other ingredients have zero carbs.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Benefits of Iodine

I received the following products in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are 100 percent my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Iodine is a controversial subject. While medical professionals and organizations state that the trace mineral is vital for one’s health and wellbeing, there is no agreement regarding how much is enough. I am not here to tell you how much you should take or about the type of iodine that is best for you. I’m not a doctor or a medical professional. I’m only going to post facts that I learned. 

Where Iodine Comes From

The main source of natural iodine on the planet is its oceans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It enters the air as iodine gas or from sea spray. When iodine-rich air mixes with water, such as rain, it falls to the ground, on surface water or on vegetation.

To make iodine supplements, manufacturers generally extract it from seaweed or kelp. In 1829, Dr. Lugol, a French physician, discovered that he could make iodine water-soluble by bonding the element with potassium. This is why some refer to potassium iodide solutions as Lugol’s iodine. 

Benefits of Iodine

  • Disinfectant
  • Antiseptic
  • Purify water
  • Promote thyroid health
  • Promote healthy brain development in fetuses, infants and children
  • Treat fibrocystic breast disease
  • Improved insulin function
  • Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, according to Dr. Edward Group
  • Elevate your body’s pH
  • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression
  • Improved results when undergoing a pelvic instillation sclerotherapy, according to the National Institutes of Health
  • Treat fungal skin conditions, such as cutaneous sporotrichosis
  • Treat some eye infections
  • Promote wound healing
  • Reduce the effects of radiation exposure
  • Treat leg and foot ulcers
  • Reduce the risk of infection in those using catheters
  • Reduce pain related to mastalgia
  • Reduce sores and swelling in the mouth caused by chemotherapy
  • Treat gum infections
  • Prevent cancer and kill cancer cells, according to Dr. Mercola and Dr. Sircus

Dangers of Too Much Iodine

  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Negative interactions when taking antithyroid drugs, Amiodarone, Lithium, ACE inhibitors, ARB blood pressure drugs, water pills

Are You Getting Enough Iodine?

The best way to tell if you are getting enough iodine is with a blood or urine test, which your doctor can order. The good thing about lab results is that you'll know how much iodine is in your body. The tricky part is determining if you really are iodine deficient.

The National Institutes of Health, CDC, World Health Organization, publications in the National Academic Press, and doctors’ websites state different lab ranges and amounts of iodine to take. The best thing to do is work with your doctor to determine the optimal level for your specific needs.
Good sources of iodine in food include eggs, iodized salt, fish, green leafy vegetables, and sea vegetables. 

Sources that deplete iodine in the body include bromine (found in soda, pesticides and processed foods), fluoride and some medications.

The Best Type of Iodine to Use

There are several types of iodine supplements available on the market. Different people respond better to different types. 

Some physicians recommend using potassium iodide (Lugol’s iodine) as a daily supplement. Others, like Dr. Mercola, recommend eating spirulina or toxin-free sea vegetables (i.e., kelp or seaweed) to increase your iodine intake naturally.

Both Dr. Sircus and Dr. Group both recommend using nascent iodine because it is the same type of iodine that the thyroid produces, so the body absorbs it well. However, Dr. Sircus states that while he personally prefers nascent iodine, he does recommend Lugol’s iodine in pill or topical form to those who are on a budget.

Dr. Group recommends against using alcohol-based iodine solutions because the alcohol might be an endocrine and hormone disruptor. He also states that alcohol’s drying effect does not allow the body to absorb the iodine well. He prefers vegetable glycerin-based solutions.
Doctors will always have differing opinions about the best type of iodine to use. In the end, some iodine is better than no iodine.

What I’m Using
I never used an iodine supplement until now. Basics4Balance sent me a bottle of Lugol’s iodine, a 2 percent solution. I haven’t really felt a difference since using it. However, I have not been using it that long (a little less than a month). It can take several weeks to feel the effects. I have high hopes for it. 

The owner of Basics4Balance is very proud of her product. She credits iodine for curing her cancer, as have other patients. I am so happy that she had great results with a safe, natural remedy.  My sister had leukemia twice and received a bone marrow transplant, so I know how special it is to find a solution that works well.

I posted a review regarding this product on Amazon last week. At the time of publication, the product description stated that Dr. Sircus recommended this brand of iodine. Curious about this, I investigated his site and found that Dr. Sircus does recommend Lugol’s iodine (the same type of iodine), but does not necessarily endorse the Basics4Balance brand. I posted my findings in my review, only stating facts. 

The owner of the company, concerned that readers would infer that I thought the product description was misleading, sent me a message about my review. She asked me to adjust it, so I did. I updated the review to reflect that the Amazon description no longer had the statement about Dr. Sircus.
The owner of the company asked me a second time change my review because of what the reader might infer. I told her that I would not change my review. I did not have any concerns about the product, so I did not express any concerns in my review. I never thought that the product description was misleading, so I did not state anything about the product description being misleading. I stated facts. I cannot control how a reader interprets facts. Product reviewers receive items in exchange for an honest assessment, which is what I provided. 

I know the company’s owner was worried about her business’ image and reputation. I appreciate that. I welcomed her to comment on my Amazon review. I gave the product four out of five stars, not because of the Dr. Sircus statement, but because of the product’s high cost compared to other brands of Lugol’s iodine.

I’m brutally honest in my reviews. Most businesses like this because it helps them improve. This is the second time that a company has asked me to change my review. While the iodine seems like it’s a high-quality product, the overall product experience was not as enjoyable as most.

I received the products mentioned in exchange for an unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links, meaning that I receive a small commission if you click on a product link and make a purchase through

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Three Life Optimization Techniques that Can Make You Healthier and Happier

The following is a sponsored guest post from via The opinions reviewed are not necessarily the same as my own. This post contains affiliate links.

 If you've recently become dissatisfied with your life, it's time to implement behavioral changes that can get you on the road to profound health and happiness. While there are many strategies you can utilize to make it happen, you may find the following wellness techniques particularly efficacious:

1. Optimize Your Private Living Space.

Your private living space plays a profound role in shaping your mood, and this is why optimizing your home is infinitely important. Luckily, there are a million ways to get your residential property in excellent condition. Whether you want to focus on functionality or aesthetic appeal, you can get the process started by locating a top notch renovation contractor in your local region. You can get estimates now by visiting Another option available to you is hiring an interior designer.

2. Enhance Your Diet.

Another life optimization strategy you should definitely deploy is diet enhancement. This strategy is a wonderful way to boost immunity, improve metabolism, stabilize mood, fight disease, and improve digestion and elimination. These are just a few of the numerous health benefits that you can obtain from eating well, so get the process started now. You can begin by keeping a food journal to get a better understanding of exactly what you're eating each day. You can use online resources such as to accomplish this objective. It may also be a good idea for you to have a professional nutritionist or health coach put together a meal plan on your behalf if you lack basic knowledge about nutrition.

3. Start Meditating.

One final technique you can deploy to improve the quality of your life is meditation. In today's world, many people lead a fast-paced life that entails ongoing stress. If this stress is never countered, it can make one susceptible to a wide range of diseases and weight gain. Thus to keep yourself calm and promote mental health, tap into the power of meditation. There are several ways to get started, such as by quietly repeating a positive mantra inside your head. Some examples include "I love myself," "What a wonderful world," and "I am free."


If you're serious about leading an extraordinary life, you need to get serious about behavioral change. By utilizing the wellness techniques outlined for you above, you'll likely find that your life becomes the exciting, excellent entity you always wanted it to be!


This guest post was sponsored by This post contains affiliate links, meaning that I may receive a small commission if you click on the sponsor's link.