Soapalooza is Presenting at Mid Atlantic Lights & Lathers

LathersLightsThis July 19 – 20, the Mid Atlantic Lights & Lather Artisans Group is having their annual gathering in Winchester, Virginia. Soapalooza will be attending, and Kelly Bloom will be presenting a short class on formulating emulsified scrubs using BTMS, Polysorbates, and other types of emulsifiers. Kelly will show you how to make something Truly Scrumptious, easy, and a great order builder that has margin appeal for your product line.
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/Additionally, Kelly will be doing a shorter question & answer session on cosmetic preservatives. Why to use them, when to use them, and which to use. One size does not fit all when it comes to preservatives.
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/If you are a soap or candle maker that can make the trip, I know you will enjoy it a lot. I attended in 2010 when I was running Southern Soapers, and it was a lot of fun. You get to meet people that have a similar passion, meet customers and buddies, and make new friends.
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/They are having an early bird special until Midnight, March 26. Hurry… you can sign up to go at the Early Bird special of $50, or later at the regular rate of $65. Additionally, they have negotiated an amazing hotel rate of $77 per night at the nearby Winchester SE Holiday Inn.
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/I hope to see you there!

2013 HSMG Convention

2013 HSMG Convention

2013 HSMG Convention


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/I’m attending! I have registered and booked my hotel reservations. Last year my child care provisions fell through and I was unable to attend both the 2012 HSMG Convention as well as the 2012 Indie Cruise. Same thing this year with the 2013 Indie Cruise. This year I am solid for getting to attend the HSMG Convention, and I have already been working to secure some sort of Girl-Friday-slash-Teen-Nanny for the 2014 Indie Cruise. I will NOT miss it again. Nick is getting old enough that he just needs someone to make sure he gets up and does not doze back asleep, that he does not put his shirt on inside out, and catches the bus on time. And is there to catch him when he gets off the bus. Between his father and a responsible adult to shepherd him for the few days I am gone, it should work out just fine. He is too old for a babysitter, but not old enough to be left alone. Building a support network as a new single mother has been one of my largest challenges post divorce. I’ve created a great circle of friends, but most are my age and have already sent their children off to college! So, not only are they out of “Nanny” mode, but their kids are gone too! Double whammy!
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/But rain or shine, this year I will be at the HSMG Convention in Raleigh, NC. The schedule indicates a jam packed three to four days of classes, speakers, parties, and networking sessions. I will be driving down early Friday morning since I am only about 3 hours away. I am so excited to visit with friends and customers… so I hope I see you there!

Soapalooza is Vending at Alabama Soap Meeting!

SoapaloozaD16aR02bP01ZL_mdmKelly Bloom is bringing Soapalooza to the Alabama Soap Meeting this year! Soapalooza will be one of the vendors at this annual soap, candle, and cosmetics manufacturers convention, where fellowship, education, and amazing keynote speakers from the industry convene. If you are in a position to attend, you should. The members are warm and inviting, with open arm Southern hospitality.
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/Key speakers this year are:
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/David Fisher, who is the About.com Soap & Candles Guide. David’s posts are always fun and informative, and you will love his collection of videos that teach you various soap and candle techniques.
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/Debbie Chialtas, from SoapyLove.com. Debbie produces a terrific ezine on clever, adorable, beautiful melt & pour soapmaking techniques, as well as creates a line of melt & pour soapmaking supplies.
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/Last, but not least, Donna Maria Johnson Coles, the CEO of the Indie Beauty Network. Donna Maria advocates, engages, and encourages women to create the life and business that they dream of.
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/Soapalooza will be taking orders in advance of the June 7/8, 2013 event, and will offer limited Free Delivery for orders. Limited meaning until there is no more room in my car (and as long as there is room for my suitcase also!).


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/I am looking forward to seeing all of you there!  So excited!  The photos above are from my visit in 2009 when I was operating Southern Soapers. I am excited to see customers, friends, and catch up on what directions our lives and businesses have taken.

March 24, 2013 Blizzard


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/Yesterday was March 24… I had just gone outside earlier and admired the lovely yellow daffodils that were blooming in a new spot in the yard. Heaps of them blooming. Was planning to get some new photos of them on the pretty, sunny Sunday morning. Then I got sidetracked.
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/At 2:30 pm the sky was grey though, so I decided to hole up with a movie. While chatting on the phone, I looked out the window. HOLY SMOKES… there were SNOW FLAKES the size of dinner plates falling! It was 4:30 pm. I had to plan on leaving the house at 6 pm to collect my son from my ex husband, about a 20 minute drive. The snow was SO heavy, and the flakes so large and sloppy wet, that the drive took 40 minutes. Driving carefully. In Virginia. Where we NEVER get this kind of heavy snow in March.
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/So, I carefully picked the boy up and turned around to drive home. The snow was now blizzard proportions. All cars driving S L O W L Y. Slippery roads. Slushy. And the snow was accumulating. It was already at least 3″ deep. I know that does NOT sound like a lot to those of you in the midwest and north, but for this part of Virginia, right after 60 degree days, it is not only novel, but bizarre!
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/Any way, I took some photos last night and this morning. Poor daffodils, hanging their heads in shame, ha ha!

A New Name for Southern Soapers Fragrances

soapalooza-avatar.jpgSoapalooza®  New name for Southern Soapers Fragrances.

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Original formulas. Original fragrances. Original owner.

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/All Scent Review notes regarding Southern Soapers Fragrances apply to fragrances sold at Soapalooza.
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/FRAGRANCES YOU CAN COUNT ON
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/Soapalooza sells the former Southern Soapers Fragrances. Kelly Bloom founded Southern Soapers Fragrances & Supplies in 2006. In August 2011 Kelly licensed distribution of Southern Soapers products to Denise until her death in November, 2012. The original Southern Soapers fragrance oils are now being sold under the Soapalooza brand name by Kelly Bloom again. You can be assured that the same quality products, customer service, and attention to detail are the same today as when Kelly owned and operated Southern Soapers Fragrances. Each fragrance oil formula is heavily tested in Cold Process soap for 6 to 12 months to ensure that scent remains stable. Each fragrance has cold processing details on acceleration and discoloration as well as usage amounts in your soap making process. This allows soapmakers the best value, and ensures that wholesale products remain fragrant and attractive to customers without periodic shelf exchange by the soapmaker. Our fragrances are also tested in lotion and cosmetic formulations, as well as soy wax to ensure compatibility. Any Scent Review comments  for Southern Soapers Fragrances still apply to Soapalooza fragrances. They are the same products.
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/In addition to fragrance oils, Soapalooza stocks the ingredients needed for lotion and cosmetic manufacture. Emulsifiers, surfactants, essential oils, flavor oils, butters, waxes, fixed oils, oxides and ulttramarines, FD&C dyes, exfoliants, herbs & botanicals, cosmetic clays, melt & pour soap bases, rebatch CP bases, and miscellaneous supplies and equipment.
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/Soapalooza also manufactures custom soap for resale accounts. Just contact us at 804 742 0416 to discuss your custom soap requirements.

Blood Pressure, Do you know your Numbers?

I am going to post about blood pressure today. How important it is as a woman to know what blood pressure actually is, as well as our own blood pressure numbers.
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/First, what is blood pressure and what do those numbers mean?
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/Blood pressure is usually two numbers, written as a ratio small
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/Systolic
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/The top number, which is also the higher of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats (when the heart muscle contracts).
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/Diastolic
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/The bottom number, which is also the lower of the two numbers, measures the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats (when the heart muscle is resting between beats and refilling with blood).
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/Blood pressure measures the force pushing outwards on your arterial walls.
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/The organs in your body need oxygen to survive. Oxygen is carried through the body by the blood. When the heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through a network of tube-shaped arteries and veins, also known as blood vessels and capillaries. The pressure — blood pressure — is the result of two forces. The first force occurs as blood pumps out of the heart and into the arteries that are part of the circulatory system. The second force is created as the heart rests between heart beats. (These two forces are each represented by numbers in a blood pressure reading.)
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/Second, what is High Blood Pressure, and what are the risks associated with it?
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/High blood pressure, also known as HBP or hypertension, is a widely misunderstood medical condition. Some people think that those with hypertension are tense, nervous or hyperactive, but hypertension has nothing to do with personality traits. The truth is, you can be a calm, relaxed person and still have HBP.
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/Even though it typically has no symptoms, HBP can have deadly health consequences if not treated. 76.4 million U.S. adults have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Over time, if the force of the blood flow is often high, the tissue that makes up the walls of arteries gets stretched beyond its healthy limit.
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/Healthy arteries are made of muscle and a semi-flexible tissue that stretches like elastic when the heart pumps blood through them. The more forcefully that blood pumps, the more the arteries stretch to allow blood to easily flow. Over time, if the force of the blood flow is often high, the tissue that makes up the walls of arteries gets stretched beyond its healthy limit. This creates problems in several ways.
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/What is considered Hypertension or High Blood Pressure? This chart reflects blood pressure categories defined by the American Heart Association.
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Blood Pressure
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Systolic
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  Diastolic
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Normal less than 120 and less than 80
Prehypertension 120139 or 8089
High Blood Pressure
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140159 or 9099
High Blood Pressure
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160 or higher or 100 or higher
Hypertensive Crisis
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Higher than 180 or Higher than 110

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/Let’s look at the facts about blood pressure so you can better understand how your body works and why it is smart to start protecting yourself now, no matter what your blood pressure numbers are.
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  • Vascular weaknesses
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    /First, the overstretching creates weak places in the blood vessels, making them more prone to rupture. Problems such as
    strokes and aneurysms are caused by ruptures in the blood vessels.
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  • Vascular scarring
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    /Second, the overstretching can cause tiny tears in the blood vessels that leave scar tissue on the walls of arteries and veins. These tears and the scar tissue are like nets, and can catch debris such as
    cholesterol, plaque or blood cells traveling in the bloodstream.
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  • Increased risk of blood clots
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    /Trapped blood can form clots that can narrow (and sometimes block) the arteries. These clots sometimes break off and block vessels and the blood supply to different parts of the body. When this happens,
    heart attacks or strokes are often the result.
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  • Increased plaque build-up
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    /The same principle applies to our blood flow. Cholesterol and plaque build-up in the arteries cause the blood flow to become limited or even cut off altogether. As this happens, pressure is increased on the rest of the system, forcing the heart to work harder to deliver blood to your body. Additionally, if pieces of plaque break off and travel to other parts of the body, or if the build-up completely blocks the vessel, then heart attacks and strokes occur.
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  • Tissue and organ damage from narrowed and blocked arteries
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    /Ultimately, the arteries on the other side of the blockage do not receive enough freshly oxygenated blood, which results in tissue damage.
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  • Increased workload on the circulatory system
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    Think of it this way: In a home where several faucets are open and running, the water pressure flowing out of any one faucet is lower. But when pipes get clogged and therefore narrow, the pressure is much greater. And if all the household water is flowing through only one faucet, the pressure is higher still.
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/By keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range, you are:
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  • Reducing your risk of the walls of your blood vessels walls becoming overstretched and injured
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  • Reducing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke; and developing heart failure, kidney failure and peripheral vascular disease.
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  • Protecting your entire body so that your tissue receives regular supplies of blood that is rich in the oxygen it needs
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/You may not feel that anything is wrong, but high blood pressure can permanently damage your heart, brain, eyes and kidneys before you feel anything. High blood pressure can often lead to heart attack and heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, and other health consequences.
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/Take the time to learn about what the numbers in your blood pressure reading mean.
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/For more information, visit the American Heart Association and Go Red for Women. The Go Red for Women organization has a chapter in almost every major city of the United States, and is a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health as well as band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges women to know their risk for heart disease and use the tools that Go Red For Women provides to take action to reduce their personal risk.
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/Funds raised by Go Red For Women allow the American Heart Association to help women by offering educational programs, increase women’s understanding about their risk for heart disease and support research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health. We turn science into materials and tools that healthcare providers and decision-makers can use to help women. Scientific guidelines on women and healthcare providers receive the most up-to-date strategies and treatments tailored to a woman’s individual risk.
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/If you are looking to share your heart health story, affect the lives of other women that may be unaware, have friends or loved ones that suffer or have died from heart disease, than I urge you to join or contribute to either the Go Red for Women campaign or to the American Heart Association.
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/And last, DO YOU KNOW YOUR NUMBERS?  Seriously… bubble me this? Do you know YOUR Blood Pressure numbers? Where do you fall on the blood pressure chart? You have the power to change it!

2013 HSMG Conference

2013 HSMG Convention

2013 HSMG Convention


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/I’m attending! I have registered and booked my hotel reservations. Last year my child care provisions fell through and I was unable to attend both the 2012 HSMG Convention as well as the 2012 Indie Cruise. Same thing this year with the 2013 Indie Cruise. This year I am solid for getting to attend the HSMG Convention, and I have already been working to secure some sort of Girl-Friday-slash-Teen-Nanny for the 2014 Indie Cruise. I will NOT miss it again. Nick is getting old enough that he just needs someone to make sure he gets up and does not doze back asleep, that he does not put his shirt on inside out, and catches the bus on time. And is there to catch him when he gets off the bus. Between his father and a responsible adult to shepherd him for the few days I am gone, it should work out just fine. He is too old for a babysitter, but not old enough to be left alone. Building a support network as a new single mother has been one of my largest challenges post divorce. I’ve created a great circle of friends, but most are my age and have already sent their children off to college! So, not only are they out of “Nanny” mode, but their kids are gone too! Double whammy!
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/But rain or shine, this year I will be at the HSMG Convention in Raleigh, NC. The schedule indicates a jam packed three to four days of classes, speakers, parties, and networking sessions. I will be driving down early Friday morning since I am only about 3 hours away. I am so excited to visit with friends and customers… so I hope I see you there!

Network of Enterprising Women

newToday is my monthly meeting with Network of Enterprising Women. This is the Richmond chapter, where I get to mingle with women that have Real Life (as opposed to ecommerce or virtual type) businesses. The morning is a seminar on Social Media and how to implement it as part of your brick & mortar marketing plan. My thoughts are that I don’t know if they can teach me more than Donna Maria from Indie Beauty has already taught me, ha! But I am going to find out. I really enjoy visiting with these ladies, so it is a wonderful social outlet with a terrific lunch at the Country Club. Next month, April 26th is our annual Soiree formal event, where proceeds go to benefit LINK (Legal Information Network for Cancer).

Richmond’s Go Red For Women Chapter

GoredI am REPOSTING my October 31, 2012 blog post. And I will probably repost it every quarter, it is that important. I joined the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Richmond chapter in September last year (2012). During my divorce my doctor discovered that I had mildly high blood pressure and we had to work diligently to reduce it. I should have been more observant, should have taken better care of myself, but sometimes “life” gets in our way. I had all the warning signs, as I’d been hospitalized for postpartum hypertension at 41 when Nick was born. I am grateful that I had access to good medical care, and that I took the opportunity my divorce presented to get all my personal care issues attended to. It required changes in my diet, exercise, and even some medication. But the numbers (blood pressure numbers) are under control and they are monitored on a bi annual basis. And I continue to eat healthy, exercise, and basically embrace a healthier way of living.
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/Gored3
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/However, to educate myself more, and to help other women know about the dangers of high blood pressure, I joined the AHA’s Go Red for Women.  I joined the Richmond chapter of local women that are willing to put forth significant time and financial resources toward local fundraising to increase awareness women’s heart health research. This inner circle of the Go Red for Women organization is called the Circle of Red. We have fundraisers several times during the year, with the upcoming 2013 Heart Ball being held on April 27, 2013 at the Richmond Science Museum on West Broad Street, Richmond VA. The event is $250 per person. I will be there, dressed in red to support and assist with my fellow Circle of Red sisters to further the cause of getting more research for women’s heart health.Gored2
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/You can help also! You don’t need to spend the $1,000 to $5,000 sponsorship donations to join the Circle of Red. You can simply join the Go Red for Women Chapter near your local area. It is free to be a member of Go Red For Women. Most major cities have a chapter. But it lets our voices come together with other women, where we are then heard with more fervor and vigor. So, Please consider joining your local American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women to help support Women’s Heart Health. Please spend a little time on the website links I am providing on this blog post… .get your Free Go Red Pin, and share with other women!
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/Do it for you. Do it for your loved ones. Do it for the women that matter in your life. Do it for the women that have overlooked their heart health and are no longer with us.
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/October 31, 2012 Blog Post:
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/http://youtu.be/t7wmPWTnDbE
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/Soapalooza! Soap Arts Studio supports the American Heart Associations Go Red for Women non profit organization, and is a member of the Richmond, Virginia chapter of Circle of Red.
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/The Circle of Red is the inner circle of the AHA’s Go Red for Women Charitable organization that contributes their time and their financial resources to further research for womens heart health. Research on women’s heart health is greatly underfunded in the United States. We have heard the message regarding breast cancer, but with a woman’s risk of dying of heart disease being 20x greater than that of breast cancer, it is critical now to get more funding for women’s heart health research. Get a FREE Go Red for Woment Pin when you sign up here.
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/This is such a vital issue that the CDC has implemented Million Hearts to help disseminate education on preventative strategies for cardiovascular disease. The goal of the CDC Million Hearts Campaign is to reduce heart attacks and strokes by 1 million over the next 5 years. You can sign up for their newsletter here.
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/The first place for YOU, male or female, is to know your blood pressure numbers. Do you know your numbers? If not, ask your doctor. The statistics on the number of individuals with untreated high blood pressure are staggering! Not only is this the first place to start, but it is also one of the easiest places you can take action with simply diet, exercise, and healthy lifestyle changes. You can learn more about what blood pressure is, how it is determined, and why high blood pressure of even a slight elevation increases stroke risk 30% here : Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.
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/To learn more about the AHA and the Go Red for Women organization visit their website at: http://www.goredforwomen.org/

Field Trip to Yorktown Victory Center

yorktownVictoryYesterday I was a chaperone for my son’s 6th grade Social Studies class. 122 6th graders on three buses, and a 40 minute ride either way. Slow boat to China as the buses took the slow, Colonial Highway path from Williamsburg, VA to Yorktown, VA. And it rained the entire time. Thank goodness it was a temperate day, only required a regular coat.
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/It was fun, it was interesting. It was cold, wet, and muddy also. The reenactors showed the students the Life of a Soldier education program. Kids got to carry mock muskets and do some drill & ceremony… I liked that, as the Sergeant took over 40 of the kids in our group and we could sit down and catch out breath!
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/The thing that startled the kids the most though was the Medical Officer’s tent. They were shocked to learn that diseases caused 90% of the casualties of the war. That things like scabbies and dirty hands scratching the body were the highest germ vectors. They were also horrified to look at the somewhat primitive medical tools and remedies available at the time. Things they take for granted like three square meals, refrigeration, running water and toilets, were all driven home even more with us standing in the rain and mud.
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/I tell you though, I am not used to 122 noisy kids all on a holiday! I was SO glad to get off the bus when we returned to the Middle School!