All Posts By:

Kristen

  • Health

    Endometriosis

    Endometriosis

    An important health issue for women is that of endometriosis.

    It is a condition in which there is tissue growth surrounding the uterus and other areas where it shouldn’t be. The extra tissue growth can be found and located in the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other areas that surround the uterus. Excess tissue growth also has been located on the vagina, cervix, vulva, and the other regions surrounding the genitals. This extra growth can cause pain because the growth bleeds. This is similar to the lining of the uterus during a menstrual period. Since the blood cannot leave the body quickly, it causes swelling and pain in the areas where the extra tissue is.

    According to womenshealth.gov, 11% of women living in the United States have endometriosis, which is equivalent to 6.5 million women in the United States. Endometriosis can affect a girl or a woman that has had her menstrual period, but it is more prevalent among women who are in their 30’s and 40’s. It is more likely for women to get endometriosis if their menstrual cycles are short (27 days or fewer), if their menstrual period is longer than seven days, or if there is a health problem that prevents the normal flow of menstrual blood.

    There are some significant symptoms of endometriosis. Pain is the most common symptom.

    Women will feel different types of pain with endometriosis. The pain can range from painful menstrual cramps, chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis, pain occurring during or after vaginal sex, abdominal pain, pain that occurs while urinating and having painful bowel movements. In some rare instances, blood is found in the urine or stool. Another severe symptom is excess bleeding or spotting between menstrual periods. If this happens, it is essential to check in with a doctor. Other symptoms include not being able to become pregnant and digestive problems (especially during periods).

    There is still some speculation as to what is the cause of endometriosis.

    Some researchers think that these factors may explain why endometriosis occurs: hormones, previous surgery in the abdominal area, problems in the immune system, genetic factors, and problems with menstrual period flow. However, there are methods of prevention and treatment.

    Even though there is no established way to prevent endometriosis, you can lower the level of estrogen in your body to reduce your chances of getting it. You can lower your level of estrogen by exercising regularly (more than 4 hours a week), not drinking an excess amount of alcohol, not drinking an excess amount of drinks with caffeine, and using some form of hormonal birth control. If you do have endometriosis, there is no cure, but there are ways to alleviate the symptoms. Hormonal birth control is one way to help with symptoms if a patient is not trying to get pregnant. Another option for patients who do not want to get pregnant is an IUD, which stands for intrauterine device. An IUD can help with the pain and bleeding.

    If a patient with endometriosis intends to get pregnant, a medicine called GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) agonist may be recognized. It can help regulate the growth of endometriosis. Surgery is also another method of treatment to remove the extra tissue.

     

    If you have more questions about endometriosis, go to this website: https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/endometriosis

     

    Credits:

    “Endometriosis.” Womenshealth.gov, Office on Women’s Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 16 Mar. 2018, www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/endometriosis.

     

  • Articles

    Charity Is The Perfect Companion For Your Career

    Charity Is The Perfect Companion For Your Career

    American people are very generous and often lead the world charitable giving charts. As a girl growing up in the modern world, you’ll notice that its women in particular leading the charge. According to a study earlier this year, 93% of high net-worth women give to charity, whether that’s their time or money. Clearly, giving to charity and having a good career correlates.

    The question is – why? Giving your money away surely doesn’t seem conducive to saving up and benefiting both your personal situation and career. However, as you’ll see, giving to and/or working in charity is a really powerful way to boost your own prospects, do some good for the community, and develop your career or business.

    Helping the community

    When you think about the work you’ll be accomplishing, either through your donation of time and money or as a charity employee, think about the community. When you have a look at the bigger picture, the wider benefits become apparent. Giving back to your local community enables local residents to become more skilled, happier, and more equal. This results in people that you can look at when you’re establishing a business – either to use your service or to come and work for you. This is an approach echoed by entrepreneur Ryan Hibbert, who has suggested it’s a great idea to immediately become involved with local causes when establishing a business. What’s more, you don’t need to be an established charity worker or business. One group of girls in India have used solar power to help communities, according to Thomson Reuters, enabling impoverished communities and building their own business sense.

    Developing your own brand

    The other big benefit of charity comes to your brand. Having a personal brand is becoming more and more important for young entrepreneurs, whether you notice it or not. For instance, many of the most famous Instagram stars have a distinct personal brand. Charity can aid that significantly.

    A great example of this is Hershey’s. Hershey’s was founded as a charitable business and has benefited from this throughout its history, even when its products haven’t. In 2014, they radically changed their branding and were sure to be inclusive of those charitable roots. The result was a revitalized business.

    A lifetime to charity

    Committing to charity and philanthropy is something many great figures have done. President Obama helped out at thanksgiving despite no longer being in the public eye, and entrepreneurs like Sara Blakely and Oprah have continued to look to charity despite a similar situation. Apart from a good conscience, there is evidence to suggest that giving to charity will benefit your own well-being, improving your career and your vitality.

    Giving away money might not seem like a good idea to benefit your career or business. However, the opposite is true, and doing that bit extra for those less in need benefits you and them. Follow the lead of some of the best female business icons, and give something away as part of your career development.

  • Cooking, Food, Health, Holiday

    How to Have a Gluten Free Christmas

    How to Have a Gluten Free Christmas

    Recently, I got tested by my doctor and found out that I was gluten intolerant.

    Do I ignore this diagnosis most days? Yes. If I didn’t, would I feel a whole lot better? Absolutely. Around the holidays, it seems impossible to avoid gluten. The holiday season tempts me at every family get together or holiday celebration. I want to eat every bread, cookie, and a piece of cake at holiday parties.

    For starters, a lot of people don’t know what gluten is or what types of foods have gluten.

    According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, “Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, rye, barley, and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye.” Gluten helps food maintain their shape. It acts as “a glue that holds food together.” Basically, gluten is found in basically anything made with dough or batter. Gluten appears most often in bread, cakes, cookies, etc. What does NOT have gluten, however, are foods made with rice, corn, or oats. This means corn chips and corn tortillas, rice-based cereal, rice noodles, and oatmeal are safe to eat as long as they don’t have any wheat flour added.

    It’s safe and healthy for anyone to avoid foods with gluten. To an extent.

    Those with Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disorder diagnosed by a doctor) must avoid gluten every day. As a result, people prevent painful symptoms. Learn more about Celiac symptoms and treatments at the Celiac Disease Foundation website: https://celiac.org/

    Those who don’t have Celiac, but have gluten intolerance or sensitivity (like me!) should still avoid gluten. You can still consume a small amount of gluten. However, you may experience problems such as migraines, anxiety, depression, upset stomach, fatigue, abdominal pain, and iron deficiency.

    Before you make any diet changes, consult a dietician or medical professional.

    For me, an extremely food-motivated person.

    That means I have a hard time practicing self-control around foods I want to eat. Especially bread, cookies, cakes, and biscuits. Even though I know that I’ll feel better if I cut them out of my diet completely. If you feel like you may have any form of gluten intolerance, stay gluten-free for this holiday season. In January, see if you feel any different at the beginning of next year.

    Here are some recipes that will help you accomplish this without feeling left out from all the delicious holiday food:

    Grape and Cheese Board:

    Find the recipe here: https://pin.it/jkk3az5okpjrcu

     

    Popcorn Snowballs:

    Find the recipe here: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/141793088243731373/

     

    Cream Cheese Cranberry Dip (serve with gluten-free crackers/pretzels):

    Find the recipe here: https://www.julieseatsandtreats.com/cream-cheese-cranberry-dip/2/#wprm-recipe-container-44418

     

    Cornflake Butterscotch Crunchies:

    Find the recipe here: https://www.greatgrubdelicioustreats.com/butterscotch-crunchies/

     

    White Chocolate Candy Cane Heart Pops:

    Find the recipe here: https://onelittleproject.com/how-to-make-candy-cane-hearts/

     

    Cranberry Barbeque Meatballs:

    Find the recipe here: https://pin.it/tecyljqkzlrpin

     

    Peppermint Popcorn:

    Find the recipe here: https://pin.it/ssbkacz7k7emnj

     

  • Environment

    A Plastic Sea: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    A Plastic Sea: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

    Plastic is everywhere.

    From the plastic bottles, we drink water from to the medical equipment doctors use. Plastic use is ubiquitous. However, what happens to this plastic when it isn’t taken care of properly? A responsible citizen disposes of plastic properly via recycling bins. What happens to the plastic that gets thrown into public waterways and rivers and oceans? The meeting point for plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean is known as the “convergence zone.” This zone, kilometers from Hawaii, is where warm water from the South Pacific convenes with cooler water from the Arctic.

    This zone is a highway for marine debris and surrounds by four currents going in four directions: north, south, east, and west. As a result, plastic debris remains in the center of these cross-cutting motions. It gives rise to large patches of plastic floating for miles upon miles. One example is a patch known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” or as my history teacher affectionately called it, the “Great Pacific Garbage Dump.”

    Now, you might be thinking that this garbage patch is made up of plastic bottles and debris that are still intact in shape and consistency.

    However, the truth is far from what the name of this garbage patch may conjure up. The garbage patch looks like a sea of tiny bits of plastic known as “microplastics.” As a result, when plastic sits on the surface of the ocean, light from the sun starts breaking it down. This process is known as “photodegradation.”

    Although tiny bits of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean may not concern anyone greatly, don’t let the term “microplastic” fool you.

    These tiny bits of plastic are dangerous for wildlife and us as well. Microplastics take the place of algae and plankton at the surface of the ocean. Therefore, they compete for space when populations of algae and plankton, other organisms that rely on algae and plankton for sustenance become affected. This starts a cascade of harmful effects that go up the food chain.
    Additionally, wildlife that consumes these microplastics can ingest the toxic chemical compounds that are in plastic like BPA (bisphenol-A). These are linked to a plethora of environmental and health problems. Microplastics also can end up in the seafood that reaches the dinner table, adversely affecting our health.

    Since the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is far away from any major country’s coastline, no one country has taken up the responsibility for cleaning up this crisis.

    As plastic debris continues to increase, patches like the Great Pacific will increase in size and number. Slowly but surely the effects of our negligence to clean up this disaster early will come back to haunt us, whether it be in the seafood that we consume or the extinction of the marine wildlife species we treasure.

    Works Cited
    “How Big Is the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”? Science vs. Myth.” NOAA. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.

    Society, National Geographic. “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” National Geographic Society. N.p., 09 Oct. 2012. Web. 19 June 2017.

  • Photography

    200 Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom, friends, and siblings!

    Brook Reece Holiday Gift Guide

    200 Holiday Gift Ideas for Mom, friends, and siblings!

    Looking for the perfect gifts? For your friends, mom, siblings, or maybe to treat yourself? We scoured the internet for the best holiday gift guides and found this great video with holiday gifts for girls by YouTube star Brook Reese. She lists 200 holiday gift ideas for girls.

    With so many choices to choose from, it can be hard to select a gift that is unique and meaningful. They say it is the thought that counts, but c’mon, we all want gifts that we love!

    Thanks Brooke for these great gift ideas! 

    Check out her Youtube page here.

     

  • Articles, Fashion, GirlSpring.com, Tips

    6 Fail-Proof Ways to Find Your Personal Style

    6 Fail-Proof Ways to Find Your Personal Style

    Being a teen is tough. There are so many questions that you have, about the world, about yourself. It’s a time of great emotional vulnerability because there are so many experiences you open yourself up to- who you are, your future, your sexuality, potential romance, the meanings of the world and finally, what it means to grow up.

     At the same time, being a teenager is a time of great emotional strength, because these puzzling questions are difficult—and yet you are dealing with them. You are finding ways to express yourself and answer them, through art, sports, books, music, dance, video games, history, politics. Each of these outlets become personal methods of figuring out who you are. But the most visible way in which you can present yourself is in the clothes you wear.

    Developing a personal sense of style helps you connect better with the person you are inside.

    By wearing your style on your sleeve (pun intended), you can claim your own definitions. And yes: the pursuit for the right style is difficult, but you will find that developing your personal style is also a way of figuring out who you are. Here are a few ways in which you can find your personal style, and get closer to yourself.

     

    1.   Think About Yourself

     Take a break from magazines and articles telling you what the trendiest thing is. Spend some time with yourself and make a list of things that you like and dislike, and rate them. Do you like metal music? Do you like lifting weights? If so, how much? If you find that these are things you prize highly, you can actually translate them into the clothes you wear. If you like metal music, you can start wearing customized t-shirts, featuring your favorite band. If you really like working out, you can wear t-shirts that say that.  It does not matter how trendy these clothes are: they are reflective of you, and that is more important.

     

    2.    Look Through Your Wardrobe

     Maybe, even after listing the various things you like, you find that there is nothing that exceptionally stands out. Or even if you do find something, you do not want to wear it on a t-shirt. This makes the next step very important: empty out your wardrobe, and spend a few hours figuring out what you like and dislike. You will find unexpected recurrent themes: maybe you are big on blue jeans or plaid shirts. You have multiple of these clothes because you likely feel most comfortable and happy in them. Retain these clothes as building blocks of your personal style.

     

    3.   What Do You Dislike?

     With fashion, the apparel we tend to dislike is often because it highlights parts of us that we do not like. Perhaps you do not wear certain cuts of t-shirts because you think they make you look a certain way. Or maybe you are told that certain patterns do not flatter your body type. If these are your reasons behind disliking clothes, tell yourself that fashion and style can be revolutionary. Instead of shying away from certain garments, embrace them to challenge the very norms that tell you to stay away from them. Scary as this sounds, this will create a sense of confidence in you that no one can knock down.

     

    4.   Paint Your Own Story

    A huge part of style is choosing certain templates for yourself. Do you like bright colours? Pastel colours? Monochrome? Based on these combinations, pick a few colours that you love. While initially building your style, style your outfit around these colours. Comfort is key in those initial days because that will help you evolve and develop your personal style. So, good style is primarily about confidence. Wearing colours you love will give you a sense of comfort and confidence.

     

    5.   Budgeting

     Once you know what the overall style you want to incorporate is, figure out how affordable that look is. It is important to budget because while clothes are important, they can get quite expensive. If you find you and your family cannot really afford that one garment you really want, let go. There will always be lots of clothes to choose from, and one day you will be able to buy them all. As for your personal style, stick to basics that you can repeat. Buying a pair of boots, a scarf or a jacket that compliments several looks is smarter and more affordable than buying a dress you can wear in limited ways. There are also some basics you just can’t go wrong with. Gym apparel like well-suited track pants and tank tops, barely go wrong in casual settings and are always a worthwhile investment.

     

    6.  The Style is Always Evolving

     Once you have decided on a personal style, leave yourself the room to wear something radically different. If you cannot decide on a personal style, know that this is okay, and not a permanent state. The style is constantly evolving, with our many moods and age. When you look back at your photographs from when you are eight, you probably dressed nothing like you do now; and eight years hence, you will probably dress very differently. Realizing this means that you will not be limited by your style, and instead, you will form a healthy relationship with your body and yourself.

     

    Just remember: there will always be magazines telling you that certain things about your appearance aren’t great or fashionable, or stylish. At this point, remember your style, and how it is indicative of what you feel inside. Once you can do this, and be confident about it, you have found your personal style.

     

     

  • Photography

    Surviving Grief as a Teen

    Surviving Grief as a Teen

    The Holmes-Rahe Inventory, a world-renowned tool that documents life’s most stressful events, lists the death of someone close to you as one of the Top 5 most difficult life events. If you lose a parent, it can be particularly tough because your main support system may be lost as well. Recent studies have shown that when a parent dies suddenly, most teens experience grief that subsides over time. However, some teens find it difficult to survive the loss and may experience an increased risk of depression or inability to function normally.

    Why is getting help important?
    If you have very persistent grief, it is important to seek professional help. As mentioned above, strong grief can lead to psychiatric problems. Researchers warn that after two to nine months, if intense grief continues, it is a sign that a teen is not surviving grief well. The findings are also a wake-up call to the importance of preventing severe grief from taking over a teen. Even though grief can make us feel powerless, this time is also one in which we are often required to remain strong or think clearly. You may notice your surviving parent making financial arrangements or discussing changes for the family, which may include downsizing your home, changing your residence, etc. During this time, your input counts so the more mentally clear and strong you are, the better you can express yourself and handle the changes that the loss of a loved one may bring to your family.

    The right of teens to grieve
    Receiving help does not mean eradicating your right to grieve. The Mourner’s Bill of Rights for Children and Teens, created by The Bereavement Team at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Notes that youths have fundamental grieving rights that should be respected by others. These include: the right to be sad and cry even if other people think you shouldn’t; the right to make some decisions for yourself; the right to be angry because of the death of a loved one; the right to ask for help from teachers, friends, or other adults; and the right to be a teacher. If you feel like living, laughing, or playing, do so. You are only a teen once and you should take advantage of the beautiful moments of inspiration you may have during this tough time.

    Understanding that grief involves different stages
    Grief can be complicated because you may feel so differently from one day to the next. You may start to feel stronger, only to feel totally down in the dumps the following day. Try and do a little reading, in particular into the work of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, one of the most famous thinkers and writers on the subject of grief. Kübler-Ross said that there were five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Her research showed her that human beings do not necessarily go through these stages chronologically. Sometimes, we can spend a long time in one stage then go through others quickly, or go back, for instance, to feeling depressed after we have already felt acceptance. It is important for teen girls to understand that all these emotions are normal.

    Lowering your stress
    To enable you to withstand grief, try to instill as calm a state of mind as possible by adopting stress busting methods such as meditation, yoga, or even breathing. Studies have shown that these holistic practices can help teens with anxiety and depression. Research has also shown that social support is very important. In addition to finding support from friends and family, try to take part in community activities – anything from sports to worship. These activities will open your circles and help you feel less alone when the pain feels like more than you can handle.

    The loss of a loved one can make you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under your feet. As a teen, you are at a crossroads in life in which parents in particular play such an important role, though the loss of a sibling, grandparent, or good friend can be devastating as well. Realize that grief is a cyclical thing, get help if you need it, and rely on other loved ones to help you feel like you aren’t alone at one of the toughest times in life.