Beauty Essentials For Healthy, Sweat-Free Glam, By Mickey Williams

Nothing says summer like sun-kissed, glowing skin. Take a hiatus from heavy makeup and source multi-duty beauty items. What about a powder that not only buffs out shine but also reapplies SPF? Wondering how to extend that airbrush tan for the weekend getaway without fade? What if I said you could have sweat and odor-free underarms for every summer to come?

Here are my five favorite summer beauty tips to keep you glam this summer.

The Sweat Stops Here  No one wants a sweaty, smelly, hairy underarm any time of the year, but definitely not in summertime. Have you heard about MiraDry? The FDA-approved MiraDry treatment eradicates the glands that cause wetness and smell by simply using focused energy. The non-invasive treatment even has an added perk of banishing underarm hair. Say what??? I talked to my dermatologist about the procedure and asked the very popular question: Don’t we need to sweat under our arms? Apparently not, since we only sweat 2% of our toxins from the region so it’s safe and usually only takes one treatment. Sign me up!

Gimme Sun Lovin’!  Sun protection has come a long way since the Coppertone baby’s bum ad campaign. Sunscreen has evolved beyond the pasty, sticky white stuff and morphed into clear, traceless formulas that you can find in everything from plumpers to primers. Here are a few of my SPF Super Stars:

*Replenix Plumping Lip Treatment SPF 30  The plumping aspects aren’t Kardashian massive but rather hydrated and smooth with hyaluronic acid and other ingredients that support collagen production. The clear gloss glides on and creates a slight tingle that stimulates lips to a rosy flush that is oh-so-youthful.

*TIZO3 Facial Mineral Sunscreen Primer SPF 40  If you’re looking for a primer that’s free of chemicals, oil, parabens, fragrance and gluten, this is one to consider. Plus, it mattifies skin to a velvety smooth perfection. Take it from me: the tinted formula, which goes on light and smooth, is truly universal and casts a transparent glow on any complexion.  Flawless coverage, five stars!

*Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50 Feeling a bit greasy-faced and need a touch up? Brush away the oil with this silky SPF powder, and hit the courts, go for a run, get on your SUP. Total Protection doesn’t run or bleed so it’s perfect for all of your outdoor activities. And it’s from Colorscience, which is the leader of brush-on SPF due to superior ingredients, shade-range and a non-feathering brush – the bristles don’t stick to your face on a hot, activity-filled day!

*Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes for body Fake it on the go with fast-drying streak-free body towelettes by Loreal. You’ll have to use more than one (I typically need two) to get your legs and all that above tinted. Formula is streak-free and clear so it doesn’t transfer onto clothing or sheets. The scent isn’t strong and the bronze created is a golden-brown hue that enhances your own skin tone, and beautifully mimics sun-kissed skin. The look is real! Pop the towelettes in your travel bag to keep the glow going all weekend long.

Mickey and Vera on set at Yahoo!

Mickey Williams is the Founder of Share the Glam, a beauty blog she started in 2010. With extensive experience both behind the scenes and on camera, Mickey, who began her career as a hair and makeup artist two decades ago, has appeared on everything from The Today Show, ET!, Extra, Good Morning America, to QVC. She has also been featured in over 100 publications over the course of her career.

Summer NoPo’cessities, By NoPo Editors

Sooo….here’s the thing…NoPo subscribers are always asking us burning questions like what we think about the latest fitness/fashion/beauty trend, whether we’d ever wear a certain something, and ultimately what we like/don’t like.

For purposes of this post, we’ll spare you our dislikes (don’t get us started on wide-legged catsuits, or loincloth bikinis), and go with our “likes,” which, so far this summer, include the following:

Who Needs Laps?!  Just out from Missoni, in collaboration with FUNBOY (Yes, this is an actual company, and yes, Michael, we got your picture that we promptly deleted.): a butterfly-shaped pool float ($148) that’s decorated in the Italian fashion house’s signature patterns. One side is orange and pink; the other, blue and green. Screen-printed by hand, this designer float, 18 years in the making (!), is a classic, especially when paired with one of Chanel’s new bathing suits.

Aw, Shucks  The “World is Your Oyster” dress from Katie Kime ($205) that we’ve been eyeing for a few weeks is currently out of stock! To tide you over until it makes its way back online, consider the same print in a short-sleeve pajama set, t-shirt, or clutch.


Future’s So Bright…
  Everyone likes Ray-Bans for its classic look, and somehow it has managed to keep the look classic with these Aviators even though they’re plated in 24K gold! Decadent, cool, and perfect for the see-and-be-seen type (you know who you are), these $518 “Golden Wings” are the total bomb. Unfortunately, they’re also now a virtual collector’s item. Only 500 pairs were made, worldwide, and while there are still a few pairs available at Ray-Ban’s flagship stores in New York and Los Angeles, they’re completely sold out online.

Holding Court  NoPo first spotted these women’s tennis hats (several different styles featured above; $69) at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells last Spring. After all, they were hard to miss – everyone was wearing them, so imagine our delight when we haphazardly met the woman who makes them–each and every one..by hand..in her home. Made to order, no two hats are alike but they all serve the same purpose: fun. Oh, and one size fits most.

Namaste?? Ok, so the price tag on this Prada yoga mat may stress you out, but if you’re already wearing all that expensive stuff from Lulu, what’s another $450…right? After all, the mats are Italian-made…designer stamped…limited-edition…and come with our personal guess that nobody you know has one or has ever seen one. Available in three hibiscus hues (cherry red, Army green, and bright blue) as well as an iconic banana print (NoPo’s favorite) this luxurious summer accessory may not make your standing splits more limber, but could inspire you to show up for class. And maybe even show off.

 

NoPo Editors are based in New York City.  For product reviews, story pitches, Guest NoPost suggestions, or general feedback, email vera@nonpoliticalnews.com.

4th of July Sales, By Janice Lieberman

July 4th is just days away and I am sure your grilling will be smoking hot (especially if incorporating some of CNBC’s Bill Griffeth’s memorable recipes from last year !). But will the sales be just as hot? The team at DealNews has been digging into their vast data to separate the deals from the duds.

Not only does July bring us Independence day but also Amazon Prime Day, now in its third year. The much-anticipated Prime Day date for its Prime members is a big hush-hush. We think it will go LIVE July 9-10, but other sources are saying July 16-17.

Regardless, last year’s Prime sales were unimpressive, despite its being hyped as summer’s “Black Friday”.

As for this year…per usual, it will be a good time to buy an Amazon device–whether you are upgrading your Kindle or splurging on an Alexa speaker. If you already own Alexa, expect even better deals through her voice activation. If you are into pre-owned items, check out the Amazon warehouse sale where they are expected to knock off 20%.

Don’t get carried away with its other sale items, though. Lots of them are filler and the discounts not that deep. Make sure to do your research and know how much they are selling for elsewhere and whether it’s an item made specifically for the sale (as has been the case the past few years).

Ok, moving on…let the fireworks begin!

If you’re looking for new duds to spruce up summer, clearance and sale sections will see additional discounts of 30% to 40% at Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan and L.L.Bean, while outlet stores like J. Crew Factory and Gap Factory should slash as much as 50% already reduced shoes and apparel.

By the way, I just had the exterior of my home painted and trust me, it ain’t cheap. If you can snag a discount on house paint at Lowes and Sherwin-Williams, snag, because they’re offering discounts of up to 40% off selected colors.

It’s game on for the gamers. The Steam sale is already in progress and continues through July 5th. Expect to see the biggest discounts of around 75% off older PC games while games from 2017-2018 should drop by 20%. Sorry we can’t find any discounts on Fortnite…yet!

Feel like getting away for the holiday? Feeling spontaneous? There’s still time. Hotels.com knocked off an extra 10% off hotel stays in the first few days of July last year, while Groupon also discounted thousands of travel deals. Consider heading to New York City as prices hit some of their lowest prices over the 4th. Trip Savvy also says there are lots of deals in Memphis and Tuscon in July.

Don’t wait for Christmas to stock up on Christmas decor. Sure, you may not be in the mood to buy holiday-related items, but Home Depot is expected to reduce its holiday goods by 75%. Lenox is likely to reduce its jewelry lines by 40%.

And for healthy savings, just for you NoPo’ers…best picks on produce. Those pricey berries, avocados, and cherries are 50% lower this time of year. Buy lots and freeze! Make smoothies, make pies, make jams. Great presents when you are invited to those backyard BBQs.

Happy Shopping, everyone! Have a great 4th, and I’ll report back soon.

 

Janice Lieberman is a skilled journalist, author, speaker and contributor, who has had vast experience reporting for CNBC, NBC and ABC.

In 1999, Janice joined the NBC News team and has since acted as Consumer Correspondent for the Today Show. She has been a contributing editor for Reader’s Digest, where she penned the column “Here’s the Deal,” and blogged for their website at RD.com. Additionally, Janice has served as an expert contributor to the Fine Living Network offering consumer tips to its viewers. She has hosted two of their shows, “Stop You’re Paying too much!” and “Money Magazine’s Tips for Couples.”

Prior to her work on the Today Show, Janice was the consumer reporter on Good Morning America from 1997 to 1999. Additionally, she was the host of CNBC’s Steals and Deals, a nightly investigative consumer finance show. Having been on the show since its start in 1989, Janice received ACE Award nominations in 1991 and 1993.

In addition to working as a consumer reporter, Janice has authored the books, Tricks of the Trade: A Consumer Survival Guide and How to Shop for a Husband.

The Buzziest Beverages for Summer, By Rachel Kessler

From turmeric lattes to bone broth to cocktails infused with ingredients like collagen, the wellness beverage industry is getting hotter and trendier than ever. But with summer here, which drinks are truly the healthiest and coolest to cheers to right now? We’ve got you covered.

CBD WATER  The “It Girl” of the wellness world, CBD can be effective in treating anxiety, insomnia and chronic pain, says Dr. Patrick Fratellone. Found in many forms, it’s showing up everywhere–from skincare to pet treats, and now, water. Root Origins is naturally-flavored CBD water developed with a unique formula of nanotized CBD water that is quickly absorbed into the body.

HUMMUS MILKSHAKE  The Hummus Milkshake, featured in NoPo a few weeks ago when it made its debut at New York City’s Hummus & Pita, is not as odd as it sounds, says Chef Diane Forley, founder of Flourish Baking Company, a plant-based, organic, nut free bakery. “Toasted chickpea flour has been used in a nutritious drink called Sattu Sarbet for quite a while in certain cultures.”  Foley, who has been personally experimenting with chickpeas for years (She is currently working on creating a ‘Notella’ spread made from toasted chickpeas, ground into a flour.), thinks a hummus milkshake sounds good. “Chickpeas add a creamy base to a form of protein shake but without the graininess of the pea, whey, rice protein powders.”

NITRO COLD BREW COFFEE  If you haven’t yet tried cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen gas, you don’t know what you’re missing. Fizzy with a smooth, creamy finish, “it’s like Guinness without the alcohol,” says Jim Munson, Founder of Brooklyn Roasting Company. This unsweetened low-calorie beverage, which accounts for almost 50% of BRC’s café sales in coffee during the summer months, is not only addictive (Just ask Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow.), but can be one of the healthiest, tastiest parts of your day, says Dr. Bob Arnot, author of the book The Coffee Lover’s Diet. “New research reveals that when coffee is consumed properly, it can sharpen your focus, jump-start your workout, help you lose weight, and even help fend off disease–from diabetes and liver disease to heart disease and Parkinson’s.”

UPWILD  “What more could you need in a smoothie?” asks Tricia Williams, Chef and Founder of Daily Dose and Food Matters NYC. “It’s got chia, which holds 12 times its weight in water and can help you feel fuller longer; pea protein, which is a great digestible plant-based protein; maca, which is a great adaptogen to help the body process stress; and turmeric, a super anti-inflammatory.”

MATCHA  Meet the MatchaBar Hustle. It’s the first luxury sparkly drink powered by the brand’s ceremonial grade matcha. Available in a chic 12-oz. can that can easily be taken on-the-go during a summer outing or stocked in the fridge for a weekend at the beach, this new caffeinated beverage is sparkling with hints of lemon and lime and has l-theanine and antioxidants. “This is my favorite new drink on the market,” says Tricia Williams. A healthy alternative to energy drinks, “it has the whole leaf anti-oxidant benefits of green tea and it feels super hydrating. Perfect for summer.”

GACLIFE  DRINK YOUR WRINKLES AWAY! GacLife is an all-natural drinkable skincare beverage that just launched. The super-fruit infused healthy drink contains the rare bioaccessible wonder fruit, Gac, that has high levels of carotenoids like Vitamin A, C, and E that can help protect collagen — the strength protein in the skin. Gac’s biggest beauty-associated boost comes from the high concentration of carotenoids (20 mg) in forms that are easier for our bodies to absorb and use. And FYI: no added sugar, no artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives and less than 26 calories per bottle.

Bottoms up, wellness warriors.

Rachel Kessler is a New York City-based writer and publicist. She is also the founder of public relations boutique, Kessler Communications, which is focused exclusively on health and wellness. Kessler has written for The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, PBS and WUSA-TV and Reader’s Digest.

Summer Skin Care, By Dr. Dendy Engelman, MD

With the changing of seasons, we experience the changing of environmental aggressors on the skin. In the summertime, we are less concerned with wind and less moisture in the air, but increased sun exposure and hot, sticky air. Skin care needs to adapt to fit changing needs—to ensure healthy skin year-round. Being aware of your environment and how to care for your skin will have you not only feeling great, but looking young, vibrant and healthy!

Here are some tips for summer skin care:

Sunscreen  While I believe in sunscreen all year-round, it is very important in the warmer months. Not only are you spending more time outside in general, but the UVA/UVB rays can be more intense. Incidental sun exposure for only 10-15 minutes a day adds up over time and can cause significant sun damage and accelerated photoaging, hyperpigmentation and wrinkles. UV damage accumulates over your lifetime. Using a high SPF sunscreen can reduce the accumulation of chronic UV damage that is linked to non-melanoma skin cancer and aging. My go-to is Elizabeth Arden City Smart Broad Spectrum SPF. Don’t forget to reapply throughout the day!

Antioxidants  Due to pollution, UVB/UVA rays or environmental aggressors, as well as internal stressors, free radicals are formed. Free radicals are highly destructive molecules that can wreak havoc on your skin. Free radicals are unstable compounds in search of a missing electron. When they “steal” electrons from other molecules, it leaves those molecules unstable as well and in then in turn search of a missing electron. Because this produces a domino effect, this further weakens the skin barrier, leaving it vulnerable to premature aging (ie: fine lines and wrinkles and uneven skin texture). My go-to is Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. Use a serum under your moisturizer and sunscreen to fight free radicals all day long.

Hydrogels  I love gel products to help cool, irritated skin. The skin doesn’t need creams in the warmer months when loss of moisture is less of a problem. Historically, gel moisturizers have used skin-drying alcohol as a prime ingredient so they are least hydrating and most potentially drying. The good news is that the latest gel hybrids like hydrogel masks we’re able to bridge the gap between oily lotions and drying gels and safe to use every day. Ease burns and relieve the skin with a cooling mask. I like Cremorlab Hydro Mask. Throw it in the fridge for an extra cooling and de-puffing effect.

Oil-Free  To help regulate oil production, look for oil-free foundations or tinted moisturizers. Too much product can cause buildup on the face and potentially lead to breakouts. Switching to lighter products will balance out the extra oil production in warmer months and leave your skin looking healthier. I like to mix Cover FX Custom Blot Drops for an extra mattifying effect and oil control or try Cetaphil Tinted Moisturizer.

Mists  Refresh and cleanse throughout the day with mists. We collect and spread bacteria throughout the day all over our face, especially as we are wiping sweat away. I like mists with hypocholorus acid because it has been known to fight bacteria and help cleanse skin. As an antimicrobial and antiviral, hypochlorous acid stimulates healing by signaling oxygenation and epithelial knitting, while working to decrease scarring. My go-to is LUMION Skin Oxygen Mist + HOCL. I also always like to have wipes handy, like Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Wipes, to remove sweat, dirt and bacteria when mists aren’t enough.

Dr. Engelman w/long-time client, actress Sofia Vergara

Dr. Dendy Engelman is a board-certified and nationally-acclaimed dermatologic surgeon based in New York City. Well-versed in the latest techniques and technologies, and widely celebrated for her expertise in neurotoxins, injectable fillers, and chemical peels, Dr. Engelman provides a range of treatments including fat removal, mole excision, Mohs surgery, and skin cancer treatment.

Dr. Engelman is often featured in national magazines, publications, and makes media appearances regarding her pioneering work in dermatology. She is also heavily involved in the MDSC SkinCeuticals skin care line, and is the celebrity go-to as she is known not only for her innovative approach and caring bedside manner, but also for unparalleled results.

Pills Don’t Work for EVERY Veteran With PTSD, By Kellie Flaville

 

 

Last year, NoPo ran a Guest Post that my husband, Ron Flaville, COO of K9 Partners for Patriots, wrote, in conjunction with National PTSD Awareness Month.

His first-hand reflections were candid and eye-opening…for anyone who hasn’t lived with a veteran whose daily living is governed by his or her ability to cope with their PTSD.  As the wife of a veteran with PTSD, Ron’s reflections were both a bitter reminder of the far-reaching damage of PTSD left untreated and a fond memory of our first real sign of hope for our family.

After nearly 20 years of USMC and U.S. Army service, Ron had been medically retired, and honestly, I didn’t know how things were going to turn out.  It was a low point for him because he thought that given his experience finding a new job and new path in the civilian world would be easy…and it wasn’t.  He was applying for all kinds of jobs, mostly office jobs because of physical limitations he was under, and he wasn’t getting past an initial interview. So he was lost. He didn’t know who he was any more.

The stress of transitioning to civilian life with the PTSD amped up his anger.  It became explosive. I remember one time when our youngest son, Lane, was in the fourth grade…Now obviously kids spill things; kids break things…This one time he tripped and accidentally unplugged the cord to Ron’s laptop, there was this huge uproar. Ron screamed at him: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHY AREN’T YOU PAYING ATTENTION?”

It was scary.  Everyone had to walk on egg shells around Ron and we didn’t know what was going to trigger that explosive anger, which is a symptom of PTSD. His sleep was so erratic that more often than not I slept on the couch. It was safer that way, because without sleep, Ron would become more irritable and potentially even dangerous.

Granted, Ron was on a lot of meds. But he wasn’t getting better; he was getting worse.  Every time he went to the VA doctor, the “remedy” was just more and more–more vitamins; more narcotics; more pain meds; more antipsychotics…

Ron got fed up and stopped taking them.  And when he got off all the narcotics he started drinking more. There were times when he’d go completely overboard and you can’t argue with someone who is heavily intoxicated.

I wondered…Are we going to survive this?  At the time, I had serious doubts. Around this time, I told Ron I wanted a dog.  After much back and forth, he gave in when we met Sophia, who won him over with that certain something. She was just 5 weeks old at the time.

Since I was working full-time, and we had a puppy that could not be left unsupervised, Sophia become Ron’s responsibility and he took this responsibility seriously. At our son’s soccer games, for example, Ron always made sure she had plenty of water, snacks, and that she wasn’t going onto the soccer field to get the ball (she loved chasing balls even then).  He was so focused on Sophia and her well-being that he didn’t mind all the noise around him (like all the grown men standing behind him hollering at their kids), which, under normal circumstances, would have been a bad thing.

That got my attention, and really got me thinking…

A few days later as we were walking into a Walmart and he was acting all panicky. I said, ‘You know, you don’t get like this when Sophia is with us.’ He agreed.

I had seen firsthand how a service dog assisted a veteran at a VA hospital in Washington, but I didn’t know exactly what the dog did or how it was trained.  I said ‘Maybe we can try and find a place that does this.’

Ron said ‘What dog trainer do we start with?’ and right there in the parking lot was an orange and black Honda Element and across the back in white lettering it said “STILLWATER DOG TRAINING.”

We called them and left a message. By the time we had gotten to the door, Mary Peter, the dog trainer and owner, called me back. We arranged that day to meet her.  When we arrived, an hour later, Ron refused to get out of the car.

I said “I’m trying to help you…but if you do not want help then our marriage will end.”

He replied, “Did you just say our marriage will end?”

I answered, “That’s where we’re headed.”

That was the kick in the butt that Ron needed.

When we first brought Sophia in, Sophia was completely out of control, barking and freaking out.  Mary said, “If we can’t get Sophia socialized, she will not make it.”  That challenge pushed Ron. He stuck with it and listened and trained Sophia exactly as instructed.  It was a slow but steady progression for both.

As for the progression at home, it was remarkable. The kids would come home from school and Ron would actually talk to them.  He would ask them simple things that he never used to, like ‘How was your day?’ ‘Do you have a lot of homework tonight?’ Conversations were happening, engagement was happening. There was a sense of curiosity and a thoughtful interest there that hadn’t been there previously.

The kids got their father back. And I got my husband back.

Sophia, now four years old, is our “Magic Pill.”


Kellie Flaville is the office manager for K9 Partners for Patriots, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans with PTSD, TBI and MST by teaching them how to train and care for their own service dog. Her husband,
Ron, is the first veteran to complete the K9P4P training program. A veteran liaison and Certified Dog Trainer (CDT), he was promoted this year to COO.

Get Ready for the 2018 Hurricane Season – NOW, By Jeanne Salvatore

While June 1 is the official start of hurricane season, most severe storms don’t occur until August or September.  This means that coastal residents from Maine to Texas have the next eight weeks to make sure that they are properly prepared for a hurricane.  While this may sound like a lot of time, it’s not. And, a storm does not have to be historic to be disastrous if it happens to you. If a basic summer storm causes a tree to fall on your home this can be at worse deadly and at the least an aggravating and expensive experience.

According to NOAA, this hurricane season is predicted to be near or above normal in activity, so take the time now to make sure that you and your finances can safely survive whatever mother nature has in store.

First, you want to make sure that you are financially protected by having the right amount and type of insurance to protect your home against a hurricane.  You want to make sure that you have enough insurance to rebuild your home and replace all of your personal possessions.

One of the saddest situations is when a person finds out–after they filed a claim–that they could have purchased additional insurance.  This situation can be avoided–by simply getting in touch with your insurance agent or company representative. Write down all of your questions.  And, quite frankly, if you don’t feel that your questions are being answered properly, go find another insurance company. Insurance is a highly competitive business.  And, there are many excellent insurance companies who would love to be your home insurance company.

Make sure you understand what disasters are covered and which are not.  For instance, most home and renters insurance policies do not cover flooding.  So, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. This is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and a few private insurance companies. If you need flood insurance, don’t delay.  There is generally a 30-day waiting period for this coverage to go into effect. Also, ask about your deductible.  This is the amount of money you will need to pay before your claim kicks in. And, don’t forget to ask about additional living expenses.  This provides money for additional costs incurred if you can’t live in your home due to an insured disaster.

You also should also take reasonable steps to make sure that your home is hurricane proof. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety has detailed tips to protect your home. You also need to make sure that you know where to go and what to take if the local authorities are evacuating your area. If you have pets, elderly relatives or anyone with special needs – advanced planning is even more crucial as you will need to identify a number of places that you can evacuate too that can accommodate your needs.

Lastly, there may be times that you may need to shelter in place.  Find out what you need to do make sure you, your family and pets have to stay home during a disaster or evacuate.  Go to ready.gov for more information.

Jeanne M. Salvatore is a nationally-known expert in insurance coverage and disaster preparedness. For nearly three decades she led the communications arm of the Insurance Information Institute and served the insurance industry as its chief spokesperson.  Jeanne is currently an adjunct professor of communications and is president of JMS Consulting, which specializes in strategic communications as well as life and executive coaching. She lives in New York City and can be reached via Twitter or at jms@jeannemsalvatore.com.

Petronia Is Back, By Tom Kloza

As the summer unofficially kicks off this weekend, get ready for a wild “driving season” but recognize first that the idea of a specific season where U.S. motorists head helter-skelter for the highways is as dated as the 8-track tape, Nehru jacket, or Billy Ray Cyrus mullet.

Perhaps because the price of fuel is displayed in huge roadside numbers that impact the amygdala as well as the cerebral cortex, Americans lose their perspective nearly every year when they see gasoline prices headed higher in spring months. The twisted perspectives become manifest in many myths that have thrived in the 21st century after surviving the 20th.

I coined the term Petronoia back in 1996 for the annual irrational fear that this will be the year of apocalyptic costs for transportation. The term is self-explanatory, although not quite as resonant as my favorite personal neologism. I created a word when I left a c-store after ingesting a “Big Gulp” and got on the toll road in time to see a sign that emphasized the next exit and rest stop was 112 miles away. That experience inspired the more salient term Pysteria.

With acknowledgement that the 2018 version of petronoia is well under way, here’s an attempt to debunk some of the biggest myths that perpetuate the petroleum business, perhaps because perceptions might be occasionally be pervaded by pysteria and other personal problems. (As an English major, I had a predilection for alliteration.)

Myth: The US hasn’t built new refineries since the 1970’s. The reality is that this century has seen explosive growth in US refining capability, most of it representing additional capacity on existing industrial acreage. US plants can make more than 10-million barrels per day of gasoline, compared to about 6-million barrels per day thirty years ago. Thanks to cheap natural gas, the shale oil boom, and proximity to end-users, North America represents the most privileged of continents for refiners.

Myth: 2018 will rank as one of the most expensive retail gasoline years on record. Not likely. My back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that our country will spend about $370-billion on fuel this year. From 2011-2014, thanks mostly to high priced crude values that followed the Arab Spring, US motorists spent about $1.9-trillion on motor fuel. The likely bill for 2015-2018 will be less than $1.4-trillion.

Myth: The US fleet is becoming less efficient thanks to American preferences for light trucks and SUVs. Thankfully, CAFÉ standards passed many decades ago are helping vehicles get better mileage, and that trend will accelerate in the 2020’s. US gasoline demand has been flat in the last three years, averaging about 390-million gallons per day, with 2016, 2017 and 2018 all within rounding errors of one another. By 2025, US gasoline demand will drop below 370-million gallons per day, and a reasonable prediction for 2030 is just below 350-million gallons per day.

Myth: Electric vehicles (EVs) are close to the tipping point where they will soon replace fossil-fuel modes of transportation. The future will certainly include much higher percentages of EVs but the transformation and infrastructure build-out will take decades, with the real traction in North America at least a decade in the distance.

Myth: The U.S. is on the verge of being energy-independent. Certainly, US imports of crude oil and refined products are on the decline, but the light tight oil that comes from shale isn’t the favored grade among refiners. If they had their druthers, refiners would prefer heavier crude oil that can yield greater amounts of diesel and jet fuel, two products with much higher global growth rates than gasoline.

The final myth that deserves mention should surprise no one, and it applies to the notion that exponential growth in oil futures and options means that trends are more predictable. Most of that exponential growth has brought many more banks, hedge funds, ETFs, and commodity pools that have vested interests in preferred outcomes for oil, on the premise that higher numbers inevitable. As a Chinese philosopher stated many centuries ago, one cannot predict what they “want to happen.”

I expect gasoline prices to spend most of the mythical driving season between $2.80-$3.10/gallon nationally with the notable caveat of brief but explosive spikes that might arrive with hurricane landfalls. The most substantial downside risk comes via any whiff of recession, so be careful what you wish for.

Tom Kloza is one of the founders of Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), which is now a subsidiary of IHS Markit, the world’s most comprehensive source for analysis of energy prices and supply.

Tom, who currently serves as Global Head of Energy Analysis for OPIS, has covered the oil business for more than 40 years.  Back in 2014, he was the first major oil analyst to predict that crude oil prices could crash below $30/barrel. Regarded as one of the most objective analysts on fossil fuels, and as one of the country’s most sought-after speakers on North American energy matters, Tom appears regularly on network news and business shows.

How To Be Fit and Fabulous While Pregnant, By Nedra Lopez

1) Whatever you did fitness-wise prior to pregnancy you can continue with slight modifications. With doctor’s consent, of course…the rules you must follow are:

  • Listen to your body – If something feels off, you experience pain or pressure, back off.
  • The Talk Test – As long as you can still speak while exercising, you are safe!
  • Laying flat after the 2nd Trimester – I’ve had clients who were fine laying flat, so I asked my doctor, and he laughed saying, “Of course you can! Listen to your body…you would feel a shortness of breath if there was a problem. Every woman is different.” If you feel a shortness of breath or tightness in your chest, prop your head above your heart.
  • Absolutely no…twisting, crunching, or heavy overhead lifting – After your first visit to the doctor, you’ve had a ton of information thrown at you, you’re given a pat on the back and are expected to have all the answers?? Here’s some clarity…
    • Avoid twisting your torso from your hips and lower abs.
    • Crunching is banned for two reasons…you don’t want to crush the baby (It would take more than a single crunch to do that!) and you don’t want to create Diastasis Recti, also known as splitting of the abs as your stomach is growing.
    • Lifting heavy overhead is frowned upon because your core is compromised and the risk of compressing your spine is higher. Make sure to lighten the weight as you get further along.

2) Increase your water intake…be creative It can be extremely boring drinking only water for 9 months, so infuse it with fruit, mint, basil or even sparkling water! Make sure you drink as much as possible to keep the baby, your digestive tract, and skin happy!

3) Incorporate these 3 moves into your fitness routine to keep your core strong and ward off the aforementioned Diastasis Recti, the separation of your abdominal wall which, astoundingly, happens to 2/3 of all pregnant women.

Pelvic Tilts – Lay on the floor with your knees bent/feet flat. Inhale filling your lungs with air, arch your back, then exhale all the air from your belly smashing your back into the ground.

Side Planks – Lay on your side, with your forearm stacked below your shoulder. Stack your legs and feet and lift your body up. You can modify by using your top leg as a kickstand, or on your knees.

Single Leg Floor Slides – Lay on the floor with your knees bent/feet flat. Place gliders, paper plates, or towels under your feet. Slowly inhale as you slide one foot away from the body keeping your low back pressed into the ground. As your exhale, slowly drag your foot back to starting position. Repeat on the other side.

4) Moisturize, Exfoliate and…Circulation Stockings When you’re pregnant your skin is dry, and stretching to accommodate a growing belly, cellulite and acne can become prominent and your feet and legs ache and swell…so what do you do? Exfoliate everything from your face to your feet, and moisturize using natural products – daily.  This will help keep stretch marks and acne at bay. Put your feet up at the end of each day, or soak in lukewarm water with Epsom salt to ease swelling and pain.  You may also want to consider investing in circulation stockings.

5) Recovery is AS IMPORTANT AS YOUR WORKOUT! Your body’s ability to recover is compromised, since it’s hard at work creating a human life and that takes a lot of energy! So give yourself a break. Sleep more, take naps if you have to. Get massages from a pre-natal certified therapist as often as you can. Get a facial from somewhere that uses natural ingredients and works with pre-natal clients. Take a pre-natal yoga class, or do anything that makes you feel good and gives you energy.

With nearly a decade in the fitness industry, Nedra, who is certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and holds numerous specialty certifications (in Kettlebell Athletics, Pre-Natal/Post Partum, Group Fitness TRX, Group Fitness Training (ACE) and Guided Stretching and Manipulation) brings a fresh approach to creating change in the body.

While Nedra has a cult-like following (from high school and college students to working moms) due to her hands-on, detail-oriented, yet fun style of personal training, she is best known for her success preparing brides for the big day.

She is also widely recognized and as the ‘Mommy Guru’ due to her success training moms to stay healthy and fit – both before and after pregnancy.

Now going through her own personal pregnant fitness journey, Nedra has created a unique, results-oriented method that combines the functionality of strength training, pilates, core exercises, kettlebells, yoga, and TRX.

Nedra is married to Alex Matosov, and they are owners of The P.E. Club in New York City.  They additionally make house calls, host wellness retreats, and take on special one-on-one training sessions all over the country.

Am I A Good Enough Mother?

It’s the question every mom on the planet asks herself every day: Am I a good enough mother?

I am in year six of motherhood, and if you had asked me that question at any point in the first five years, I would have said yes. In this sixth year? I’m not so sure.

It’s funny because as you can tell from my comment above, I was weirdly confident as a new mom. And when I’d talk to other new moms, I’d tell them not to worry: We were all doing our best, and that was definitely enough.

Oh, sure, I was exhausted. My boobs were leaky and sore. I worried about breast milk and swaddling and strangely-colored poop. But I knew that our kids would eventually sleep. I knew that they wouldn’t be going to college with a pacifier. I knew that if we loved them and had their best interests at heart, everything would turn out all right. I even felt that way about toddlerhood. So much can be solved with a kind word, a well-placed lesson on empathy, and mommy kisses.

As my son finishes up kindergarten, though, I’m realizing just how much harder this whole motherhood thing can get. And yes, I’m also realizing that this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Don’t get me wrong: This phase of parenting is awesome in so many ways. My son and I have the most interesting conversations, and I love seeing how his mind works and watching him turn into this awesome, quirky, cool little man. But things affect him more deeply now, he has his own thoughts and worries, and I constantly feel like I’m screwing up in some way. And my poor toddler—I feel like she’s constantly getting the shaft as I tend to her big brother’s seemingly more pressing needs. And don’t even get me started on all of the other time, money and relationship stresses that revolve around parenting and, you know, life.

So I often find myself thinking: Who said that motherhood gets easier after those early years? Because I kind of want to punch them in the face.

I know that I’m not alone here. As we move into these later seasons of motherhood, we are stretched so thin in every way possible, and there is just so much to worry about.

We worry that we’re not doing enough for our kids.

We worry that we’re doing too much for them.

We worry that we won’t be able to provide for them. (Um, has anyone looked at the cost of colleges recently?)

We worry that we yell too much.

We worry that we’re too lenient with them.

We worry that we’re not present enough.

We worry that we’ll emotionally scar them forever, completely by accident.

We worry that they’ll grow up and remember the times we’ve been consumed with work or are checking our iPhones or that we’ve snapped them—and forget the other 90 percent of the time when we’re sweet and fun and rocking this whole motherhood thing.

But here’s the thing: We are rocking this whole motherhood thing. We get up every morning (and often every night, in the wee hours) with our kids. We feed them. We support them. We nurture them. We laugh with them. We teach them. We love them. We have tickle-fests and story time and cookie baking and water-balloon fights and laughing bouts that go on until our bellies ache. We crawl into bed exhausted—hours after they do, because there is always so damn much to do—but we do it all again tomorrow and the next day and the day after that.

We worry about all of these things because we care, but the worry in and of itself isn’t doing us any good. In fact, what it’s actually doing is pushing us out of the present with our kids and causing a crushing amount of mom guilt.

I’m not going to tell you not to worry because that’s impossible. What I am going to say is that we should acknowledge the worries and then put them in an imaginary little box and move on. Because that maxim that I believed when my babies were babies is still true: If we love our children and always have their best interests at heart, everything will be OK.

No, we won’t always have all the answers, but as long as we’re willing to learn and keep an open mind, it will be OK.

Yes, it’s probably going to be messy and we’re going to make some big mistakes along the way, but guess what—that’s OK, too.

Ultimately, our kids will learn what it means to be human, grow as people and live their lives, mistakes and all. In my book, that’s way more than OK.

Best of all, we’ll get to enjoy them in the way that we want to—and they’ll get to enjoy us, too. And that’s downright wonderful and what’s supposed to be happening here.

So, am I a good enough mother? Are you a good enough mother?

Hell, yes. Now let’s try to remember that, particularly as we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend.

Dawn Yanek is the founder of the parenting site momsanity.com and the author of 107 Things I Wish I Had Known with My First Baby: Essential Tips for the First 3 Months. She lives in Westchester, New York, with her husband and their two very sweet, slightly crazy and incredibly exhausting children. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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