Cheers to the Freakin' Weekend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

As Rihanna says..."I'll drink to that"

The other day I was driving home from work and I happened to see my bff driving by. When we spotted each other we rolled down our windows, waved and then continued on our way to complete our after work activities. It was then I realized that "drive-by" wave was the first time in weeks that I have seen her. When did our lives get so busy lately that we don't even have time to spend time with each other on the weekends like we used to?

I must admit that lately my weekdays have been so hectic that on the weekends all I want to do is stay home and recuperate from the stressful week. Well...that's just boring. I almost forgot about my work hard, play hard motto! So this weekend I decided it’s time to let my hair down again (so to speak) and rededicate my Saturday and Sunday to a little bit of relaxing but also a lot of fun!

So ladies....enjoy every last minute of your two days off. Spend it with your kids, your significant other, your friends or just chill by yourself but whatever you do enjoy your freakin' deserve it!

Dove Self-Esteem Weekend October 21st-23rd

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Looking for something to do this weekend? Well, how about joining a movement that will make a difference in the lives of young girls and women everywhere.

Educating, inspiring and empowering young girls to love themselves unconditionally is one of my biggest passions. I believe in the importance of empowering our girls and helping them build the strength needed to deal with the many challenges they will face in life. This summer I started the I Love Me, Unconditionally mentoring program for girls where the girls engaged in fun activities while building a strong sense of self-esteem and of course celebrating all that is beautiful about them!

According to recent Dove Global research, only 11% of girls worldwide are comfortable using the word “beautiful” to describe themselves. In fact, when girls feel bad about their looks, more than 70% (age 15-17) avoid normal daily activities, such as attending school, going to the doctor, or even giving their opinion. Dove believes that by helping girls build a positive relationship with beauty, they can help them reach their full potential – and that’s the goal of the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend.

Take a minute to think about the women in your life who may have inspired you. Now it's your turn to be an inspiration to your daughter, niece, student or any young girl in your life by just pledging to spend an hour with them this weekend.

Here are just a few activities ideas that you can do one-on-one with a girl in your life, or even in a group:

A Girl’s Guide to the Digital World (Ages 10 & Up)
The essential guide for the modern woman; utilize our guide to the digital world as you walk your child through the ways she can work to develop a healthy attitude towards networking with friends and peers online. Useful tips from Dove Ambassador Jess Weiner make this guide perfect as our girls embark on a new school year.

New Moves & Grooves (All Ages)

Get physical! Choose a new activity, or pick one you both love. Anything from hula hooping to rock climbing, to dancing, bowling, roller-skating, hiking, swimming and more can be healthy for your body, mind and relationship.

Girls in the Lead (Ages 10 & Up)

Let the girl in your life teach you a new skill. Try doing a project together like jewelry making or pottery, or ask her to show you how to do something you normally wouldn’t, like play video games or learn to text.

Real Beauty Spa Day (Ages 12 & Up)
Spend an entire day with just the two of you and enjoy pampering yourselves. Turn a room into your very own at-home spa where you can do manicures and pedicures, mud masks, massages, have a healthy lunch and sip smoothies. Relax and watch an uplifting movie together. Use the opportunity to spark a meaningful discussion-ask her how she feels when she takes care of her appearance, which are her favorite or most unique features and what she likes best about herself. Teach her that looking her best and taking the time to treat herself is an important part of feeling good.

My daughter and I will having our Real Beauty Spa Day this weekend!!! Check back soon to hear all about our day and if you decide to join in the Dove Self-Esteem Weekend I would love to hear about it!

Check out for more ideas and conversation starters. Let's continue to inspire and motivate our girls to reach their full potential.

Mood Swings

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Emotional, moody and temperamental. On any given day I can experience any one of these emotions. Sometimes all at once. Usually, I have valid reasons for my mood swings and a glass of wine with a long hot bath is usually the cure. Other days, I have no reason for my mood swings and the only thing that helps is a good hard cry. Could it be hormonal or am I just cranky? The truth is sometimes I am just cranky. Other days? Yes, it is hormonal and it is completely normal to be in a funk when you are in PMS Mode. Once I was watching the show Ghost Whisperer and I started to sob uncontrollably when a man returned from the dead and danced with his wife. My husband thought I had lost my mind. Turns out I was just in PMS mode. Go figure.

According to Dr. Roshinin Raj, MD author of the book "What the Yuck!? The Freaky and Fabulous Truth about Your Body (Love this book!) "as long as your cranky mood isn't causing problems at home or at work, or interfering with your ability to get through your daily activities, it's probably not depression. We all know that life is full of ups and downs but when the downs keep you down for a long time it can lead to depression. Depression is a real disease that many women suffer from. So if you think you many be suffering from depression you do not have to suffer alone. There are many good treatment options that can help you cope with depression so make an appointment with a mental health professional.

Here are some tips from Dr. Raj to help you figure out if your PMS moods are normal or not:

Feeling cranky a day or two before your period.
NOT NORMAL: Feeling out of control cranky for 10 solid days

Not being able to sleep for a night or so before your period.
NOT NORMAL: Tossing and turning every night for two weeks or longer.

Feeling a little sluggish a few days before your period starts.
NOT NORMAL: Not being able to get out of bed for a week before your period starts.

NORMAL: Feeling irritated about everyday annoyances (getting cut off in traffic, your husband not taking the garbage out.
NOT NORMAL: Getting in a yelling, screaming, throwing-things rage over your husband not taking out the garbage.

Tearing up while watching sappy made-for-ts movies. (Like Ghost Whisperer)
NOT NORMAL: Repeatedly bursting into tears and not knowing why.

Make Friends With Your Hair with Dove® (Review and Giveaway)

Friday, October 14, 2011

We women struggle on a daily basis with our hair. I know that I don't feel totally put together unless my hair looks good. I recently shared mine hair story and now it's my daughter's turn. My youngest daughter Cookie has beautiful yet very unpredictable truly does have a mind of it's own. It can go from straight and shiny to dry and frizzy in a matter of hours. Every morning I watch her walk to the school bus with a hood on her head to try to prevent the morning humidity from releasing the frizz.

So when I got the opportunity to try the Dove® Nourishing Oil Care™, a collection that transforms your hair from frizzy to fabulous, I knew that Cookie would be a perfect candidate. And she was.

First, she took the hair quiz on the Dove website. After answering 5 easy questions we found out that her hair personality is Jaclyn-Hyde a "two-faced fiend is a fickle friend. She'll keep you guessing to the bitter end. The only way to cure her curse, is to use Dove® Hair before it gets worse." So that's what we did. We used the collection and the results were amazing!! No more expensive salon visits for her because we finally found a hair care collection that has tamed her unpredictable hair. Not only did the Dove® Nourishing Oil Care™ collection help to control her hair's split personality but it makes her hair smells terrific too!

Dove® has teamed up with actress Rashida Jones for the “Make Friends with Your Hair” campaign. Rashida where she filmed a humorous series of videos dramatizing the hair issues many women struggle with on a daily basis. As part of the campaign, Dove® is inviting women everywhere to share their most unpredictable hair stories to help them end their frustration with unmanageable hair that has a mind of its own. Women can enter the campaign by creating a video up to 90 seconds in length sharing how their hair has an alter ego, by telling a story, acting out a humorous scene or even singing an original song. Three finalists will win a VIP trip to New York, a hair transformation from Dove® Celebrity Stylist Mark Townsend, and one winner will star in a Dove® Hair TV ad in December. For full details on the Dove® “Make Friends with Your Hair” contest, you can visit the official site here. Cookie is not 18 yet but if she was she seriously would be entering this contest!

If you also want to make friends with your hair I am giving away the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Shampoo and Conditioner to one lucky reader.

Simply just do one of the following!
(1) Follow Loving Me Unconditionally via Google Friends Connect.
(2) "Like" Loving Me, Unconditionally on Facebook and share this giveaway.
(3) Follow Loving Me, Unconditionally on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway. Make sure to @NikkiLovingMe.

Sorry this contest is limited to U.S. and Canadian participants only.

Disclosure: I received products from the Dove® Nourishing Oil Care™ collection for this review however all opinions expressed here are my own(and Cookie's of course!)

Strirrups, Speculums and Smears....oh my!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

It always starts with the same question. When was the date of your last period? Why didn't I remember to write that down, since I know they always ask? As I sit there in my gown, I try to remember when was the last week my life was inconvenienced. Oh yeah, two weeks ago when it came in the middle of teaching social studies and I couldn't find a teacher to watch my class so I could go to the bathroom. Yup, that was it.

Unfortunately, the invasion of privacy does not end there. Method of contraceptives? Number of pregnancies? Vaginal or c-section births? However, I answer all questions asked almost without thinking since I have been doing this routine for many years. Then with a reassuring smile she puts on the gloves, tells me to lay down, place my feet in the stirrups and scooch down to the end of the examination table. And the rest shall we say is her-story!

But hey? How many of us exactly ask our GYN those questions that we know we need to ask. Remember that silence can be deadly. Even the most embarrassing symptoms can lead to a serious health condition. Believe me, your doctor has heard and probably seen it all so write down your questions before your next pap smear and when your gyno is finished questioning then ask some questions of your own.

Here is some advice from Dr. Roshinin Raj, MD author of the book "What the Yuck!? The Freaky and Fabulous Truth about Your Body (Love this book!)

"Ask for the smallest speculum for you body size. A 28-year old who hasn't had a child won't need the same speculum as a 50 year-old with five kids, A right size tool will make your cervical exam much more comfortable." (another useful piece of information I could have used years ago)

"Wondering what your gyno is up to down there? Go ahead and ask. You'll feel less anxious if you understand exactly what your doctor is checking, and talking throughout the exam will prevent you from holding your breath, which helps cuts the pain level of the exam."

"Before you leave your doc's office find out when and how you'll get test results. Each doctor's office has a different policy, so don't assume that no news is good news."