July is nearly over, but as the calendar changes to August with the heat still on in much of the country, you want to keep your time in the kitchen to a minimum. This recipe comes courtesy of my sister, who spotted it in her Google feed just before Independence Day.
The recipe for this Cowboy Caviar is from the Dinner At The Zoo Blog. It works great as an appetizer, with a salad, or your favorite tortilla chips. The recipe requires a little knife work, but you can find a number of the ingredients pre-chopped at most grocery stores. Low-sodium versions of the canned beans are widely available too. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, you can use parsley instead. If you like it hot, add more jalapenos. If you don’t like heat, leave it out. Play with the recipe until you get it to suit your palate.
It’s one healthy bite that I am sure you and your family will enjoy.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Total Time 21 minutes
Cowboy Caviar by Dinner at the Zoo
1 can of black beans rinsed and drained (low-sodium)
1 can black-eyed peas rinsed and drained (low-sodium)
1 cup tomatoes seeded and finely diced (plum, cherry, grape tomatoes are great to use)
1 jalapeno seeded and finely diced
1 cup corn can be fresh, canned, or thawed from frozen
1 avocado chopped
3/4 cup red and/or orange bell pepper seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup red onion finely diced
1/3 cup cilantro leaves chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
Place the beans, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, jalapeno, corn, avocado, bell pepper, onion, and cilantro in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, honey, chili powder, cumin and salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the bean mixture and toss gently to coat. Serve as a salad or with chips.
Make-ahead instructions: Assemble according to instructions, except omit the avocado. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours. Add the avocado right before serving.
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For men and women alike, the pandemic brought our regular barbershop and salon appointments to a halt. For the majority of 2020, we had to figure out how to handle caring for our tresses at home, which was cool if you were a barber or hair care professional. However, for the rest of us, it was a lot of trial and error. With a whole lot of errors seen online with posts of self-cutting hair attempts gone very wrong. At least it happened across the board for everyone. Even celebrities were committing hair infractions left and right too.
However, according to L’Officiel How Hair Care Became The New Skin Care (01.13.2021 by Hannah Amini). Skincare and other wellness routines have become a source of therapy and experimentation.
When the access to hairstylists was limited, many took and are taking otherwise daunting treatment regimes into their own hands. With many people purchasing the products and equipment needed to maintain their hair. Everything from rinses to permanent and semi-permanent hair color, hair treatments, and more are taking place at home.
There is more interest in maintaining healthy hair through natural products they purchase or raid their pantry for, such as mayonaisse or avocado to make deep conditioning hair masks for healthy and shiny hair. There’s been a boon of tips to be found on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, with some influencers gaining followers and sponsors who pay them to try their products. Moreover, there is a wave of hair-based entrepreneurs with homemade products for every hair type from natural to color-treated, with every type in between, available for consumers to purchase.
For women who had chemical processes like relaxers, perms, Brazilian keratin treatments, and Japanese straightening. Then there was the matter of hair weaves, extensions and heat treatments too.
According to Go natural, try a new style or panic? How black women in the coronavirus era deal with their hair (Los Angeles Times, Arit John April 11,2020) Many black women found themselves trying to figure out what to do with their hair during the pandemic. Salons, beauty supply stores and stylists that cater to black women adapted by revamping their digital presence with instructional videos and the sale of products online. Felicia Leatherwood, a celebrity hairstylist who has worked with Issa Rae of “Insecure” and director Ava DuVernay, said some black women are experienced “anxiety on top of anxiety” during the pandemic.
“They have anxiety about what’s happening, and then they have anxiety about discovering their hair and working with it and realizing that they actually have not liked their hair, never really liked their texture,” said Ms. Leatherwood.
As a black woman who decided to go natural several years back, I can attest to the nervousness I felt when the pandemic shut everything down. However, I grew up with a mother that loved hair and had no problem trying out products and keeping a supply of haircare at home. I went through trial and error to find out what worked best for me after having my hair relaxed for the majority of my life. I never had an issue with my hair’s texture, but when I was growing up, there wasn’t any product for my curly hair. Nowadays, it’s an embarrassment of riches.
Now, 18 months later as some states have allowed salons to re-open, and with many of them still following Covid protocols, we can safely go back to our hair salons and barbers. Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain your hair in between appointments and not let the lessons learned during lockdown go to waste.
Here are some tips for all hair types. Shampoo 101: Choosing the Right Shampoo for Your Hair Type (byrdie.com written by Michelle Rostamian and Kendra Aarhus)
Experts for the article
MEET THE EXPERT
Sharleen St. Surin-Lord is a board-certified dermatologist based in Maryland.
Shab Reslan is a trichologist and hair health advisor at HairClub. Trichology is
the branch of medical and cosmetic study and practice concerned with the hair and scalp.
A good at-home haircare system should include
Shampoo based on your scalp.
Oily Scalp- If you have very oily hair, avoid hydrating shampoos that will weigh your hair down. You need something to help clarify your hair and to build volume.
Dry Scalp- Avoid shampoos with sulfates that dry hair out. Look for shampoos that promote moisture, hydration, smoothing, or curls.
For Hair Care based on hair types
Fine Hair: Look for volumizing shampoos that can boost your strands without weighing hair down.
Thick Hair: Hydrating or moisturizing shampoos are great for adding moisture, shine, and smoothness to thick hair that lacks moisture.
Straight Hair: Smoothing or straight hair shampoos are typically rich in extra moisturizers and smoothing agents that help seal the cuticle and provide a great start for straight and smooth styles.
Wavy Hair: Balancing shampoos are typically a nice middle-of-the-road option. They’re not too moisturizing but won’t dry your hair out.
Curly Hair: Look for very moisturizing shampoos that contain ingredients that reduce frizz without weighing down the curls.
Damaged/Colored/Brittle Hair: Strengthening or fortifying shampoos are good for damaged, over-processed, highlighted, weakened, or brittle hair, as they usually contain extra protein to improve hair’s condition.
Shop Around for the right haircare.
There are a lot of products on the market, look to the internet to research and get reviews from other people. Whether you’re back at your salon or not, it’s good to ask your stylist for tips and recommendations. a good stylist wants to help you feel and look your best. When you take care of your hair too, it makes them look good as well.
Look to beauty influencers online to see what products they are touting. Naturally, keep your perspective. Many are paid to hawk the products, but if they are using them with good results, delve into a little. Many new companies offer samples to get you started. This way you don’t waste money investing in something that may not work and just wind up taking up space in your bathroom.
Finally, make sure you keep it fun too. Haircare is serious health business, but it’s all about your crowning glory. Find what makes you feel like your most authentic and beautiful self.
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For more information check out the following sites for a more in-depth look at haircare.
It’s hard to believe that we are already more than halfway through the month of July. With summertime temperatures rising across the country, light, refreshing, and easy-to-prepare recipes are the order of the day.
In our search to find the best of light, healthy, and tasty, this recipe from Simply Recipes for Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing fits the bill. Moreover, we were able to adapt it to add protein to fit with vegetarian and vegan diets too.
This recipe fits the dietary requirements for:
Low Sugar or No Sugar diets
Keto-Friendly (don’t add corn or tortilla chips)
Tex-Mex Chopped Chicken Salad by Simply Recipes adapted by Chamein Canton
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (2 medium ears) or frozen and thawed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (1 package of extra-firm tofu, drained or 1 package seitan)
1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix (low-sodium taco seasoning or your favorite taco seasoning in the packet or homemade)
12 corn tortilla chips
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese (Feta cheese or Cheddar cheese can be substituted) (For Vegans mozzarella or cheddar shreds are a good choice)
For the dressing
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine salad ingredients:
Combine the lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and scallions in a large serving bowl. Set aside.
Char the corn:
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium or large heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the corn.
Season corn with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until blackened in spots and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Season the chicken:
Sprinkle the taco seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon salt over the surface of the chicken, rubbing it in and coating it so the chicken is fully seasoned.
Cook the chicken:
In the same skillet used to cook the corn add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until deeply brown along the bottom and the flesh turns opaque about halfway up the side, 4 to 5 minutes.
Flip the chicken and continue cooking, until brown on the second side and fully cooked through another 3 to 5 minutes.
Cut the chicken:
Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut it into bite-sized pieces.
Make the salad dressing:
Place the lime juice, vinegar, honey, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro, and olive oil into a blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 tablespoon of water, if needed, to get the blender going.
Alternatively, make this dressing by hand. Finely chop the cilantro and place it in a medium bowl. Combine all salad dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Finish and serve the salad:
Add the corn and chicken into the bowl with the salad ingredients. Crumble the tortilla chips over the top.
Add about two-thirds of the dressing and toss to lightly coat. Add more dressing and toss again, if needed. Divide salad into 4 bowls, top with crumbled Cotija cheese, and serve.
Notes for Vegan and Vegetarians
To replace the chicken, you can use extra-firm tofu or seitan instead. Prepare it as you would the chicken, being mindful not to crowd the pan when sauteing in the pan. To keep it from steaming, cook the tofu or seitan in batches.
For those who don’t like Cilantro
You can use parsley to make the dressing in the same proportions.
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Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. So, instead of grabbing a fast-food breakfast sandwich, why not have a lightly sweet scone to enjoy with your tea or coffee instead.
These recipes come together fairly quickly and you can make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate it for up to two days. These recipes have been adapted for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and low sugar diets. The substitutions are in the parenthesis next to each ingredient.
A Taste of Ireland recipe for Irish scones adapted by Chamein Canton
Makes 7 large scones and 10 small scones
(225gr / 2 cups) plain all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)
2 heaped teaspoons (2 ¾ US tsp) baking powder
Large pinch salt
1 US level tablespoon) castor sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar, pulsed fine)
2oz (50gr / ½ a stick of butter) chilled unsalted butter (vegan butter)
(280ml / 2 fl. oz / ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons US cups) milk approximately” (dairy: whole, 2$) (non-dairy almond, rice, soy, or light coconut milk)
Beaten egg & sugar to glaze (2 tablespoons Aquafaba or 1 tablespoon soy lecithin)
Preheat the oven to Gas 8 / 450F / 230C
Sift all the dry ingredients together. Rub in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the center and add most of the milk. Mix to a soft dough adding all of the milk if required.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead lightly. Roll out to about 1 inch (2 ½ cm) thickness. Dip the cutter into flour and cut the dough into rounds of 1 ½ inch (4cm).
Place scones on a floured baking tray, glaze with the beaten egg, and put immediately into the hot oven. In 15 minutes approximately, the scones should have risen and had a golden top. Enjoy with Irish butter and homemade jam!
The amount of milk added is determined by where you live and your house. If you’re in a drier area, you may need to add more milk so the dough begins to come together. Be sure not to overwork the dough. If you live in a humid climate, it may take less milk. Use your judgment.
Mini Chocolate Chip scones by Sugar Spun Run adapted by Chamein
2 cups all-purpose flour (465g) gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, sorghum, white rice, or brown rice flour)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (100g) (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed finely)
2 teaspoon baking powder (18g)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter frozen is better (226g) (vegan unsalted butter)
1/2 cup heavy cream (237ml) (full-fat coconut milk or 3 tablespoons almond milk with 2 tablespoons melted unsalted vegan butter, cooled. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter into the almond milk, then add )
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 F (190C) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Thoroughly cut in butter (I prefer to freeze the butter, grate it using a box grater, and then cut it in that way. This method yields the flakiest scones, but is not mandatory — you can use cold butter cut in with a pastry cutter).
Measure out the heavy cream in a measuring cup and add vanilla extract. Stir gently.
Carefully stir heavy cream/vanilla mixture into flour mixture. You do not want to over-mix, but due to the number of dry ingredients, it may be tricky to well incorporate the liquid and the dry mixes. You may briefly use a KitchenAid or electric mixer on a low setting to help coax the dough to cling together.
Once the dough is beginning to cling together, add chocolate chips, stir briefly, and then transfer to a very lightly floured surface
lightly knead the dough and chocolate chips together until you are able to form a ball.
Break the dough into 4 even pieces and round each one out into a disk about 5″ wide.
Cut each into 8 wedges and transfer to cookie sheet.
Bake at 375F (190C) for 14-16 minutes.
While the scones cool, prepare your glaze by whisking together milk, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar. Start with 1 cup powdered sugar, and if it still seems too runny you may increase the sugar amount.
Once scones are cooled, dip, drizzle, or spoon the glaze lightly over the top of each scone. Allow it to sit and harden before serving.
To learn more about Irish Cooking check out A Taste of Ireland on Recipe TV
Going from an undershirt to a training bra is a rite of passage most girls look forward to. Back then, that’s what made girls different from boys. The training bra itself was just one aspect. The more important part was it marked the transition into womanhood.
Women have fashioned material into a bra. Roman women used bands to cover their breasts to play sports. Then there was the corset, which was light silk fabric paired with whalebone or reeds. The corsets were laced in the back so tightly, there was a need to have fainting couches. As time progressed into more modern times, feminists began to rail against the constraints of the corset. Life magazine cites Hermine Cadolle of France as the earliest inventor of the bra. She designed it as a two-piece undergarment called the corselet gorge, and later le bien-être. The lower part was for the waist and the upper part supported the breasts with shoulder straps.
In 1893, Marie Tucek patented a device that consisted of separate pockets for each breast above a metal supporting plate and shoulder straps fastened by hook-and-eye, which most closely resembles the modern underwire bra. However, it was in the 20th century when New York socialite, Mary Phelps Jacob purchased a sheer evening gown for a debutante ball. At that time, the only acceptable undergarment was a corset with whalebone. Ms. Phelps was large breasted and the whalebone protruded from the neckline. As a matter of practicality, she and her maid fashioned two silk handkerchiefs together with some pink ribbon and cord. The innovation drew people’s attention. Ms. Crosby nee Phelps started a business. In 1914, a patent was issued for the “Backless Bra.” Crosby’s patent was for a device that was lightweight, soft, comfortable to wear, and naturally separated the breasts, unlike the corset. Her husband discouraged the business venture and she sold the patent to the Warners Brothers Corset Company.
There have been a few modifications to the bra over the years. For the Flappers of the Roaring Twenties, the bandeau-style that flattened the chest was more in line with the waif-like dresses that were in fashion. By the thirties, the focus wasn’t to minimize but to accentuate the breasts. In the forties, Jane Russell’s look in The Outlaw caused a stir and women wanted to accentuate and support the breasts. In the seventies, there was a wave of bra-burning to represent a release from the patriarchy and announced the liberation of women from their constraints. From the eighties through the 2000s, there’s been a rise in bralettes, push-up, padded, and underwire bras. Designers and companies have modernized the shelf-bra that was built into sports or strapless garments. In spite of all the innovation, the basic shape has stayed the same. Although the use of whalebone in women’s undergarments has gone the way of the Whig, when you ask most women what they take off first when they get home, the answer is their bras more often than not.
As someone who has worn nearly every type of bra to handle a large bosom, I am always on the lookout for a happy medium of support and comfort. I believe it was Carol Burnett who said, the world would be a different place if men had to get into stirrups. I agree with her assessment wholeheartedly. No man would design an undergarment with steel bands near the family jewels, but women had to live with the worry of the bra-bite at the most inopportune times. If you’re a woman who has ever been at work, church, or in a meeting, you know the meaning of when underwire attacks.
In the pantheon of bra designers and companies, Soma is relatively new to the scene. At one point, bras fittings were exclusive to high-end lingerie boutiques and shops. However, their boutiques and price point offer women value with excellent service. It’s worth finding a boutique in your area and checking out their selection. They have sales associates who can help by getting some proper measurements to help you find a bra that’s both pretty and comfortable. No appointment is necessary.
Check out the Soma’s selection here, and find a location near you.
Skin is the largest of our organs. However, unlike the other major organs, it’s exposed to both internal and external elements. At its most basic, skin covers the entire body. It serves as a protective shield against heat, light, injury, and infection. The skin also: Regulates body temperature, and is comprised of three layers:
Epidermis: The epidermis is the thin outer layer.
Dermis: The dermis is the middle layer.
Subcutaneous fat layer: The deepest layer of skin. It consists of a network of collagen and fat cells.
All ethnicities have the same skin, and every single person has melanin. According to information available from Avail Dermatology, there are two types of melanin: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The former is what makes skin darker, while the latter does the opposite by creating red or pink shades. The more eumelanin a person has, the darker their skin is. The more pheomelanin they have, the lighter they are.
Acne, eczema, scarring, and sun damage can cause hyperpigmentation and result in dark spots. Women over forty and fifty-plus may see dark patches on spots appear as a result of melasma, which may occur with hormonal changes, particularly during perimenopause and menopause. This type of hyperpigmentation is something found in all women but can be pronounced in black and brown women.
There are many products available to help fade these blotchy patches. Most contain hydroquinone, or retinoids like Tretinoin and are available in higher percentages when prescribed by a doctor. These creams work but can take up to six months in order to see any improvement. To that end, we decided to look into different skincare lines that all claim to help achieve an even skin tone.
Product Line Review- Buttah by Dorion Renaud
My sister told me about this skincare line after its founder, Dorian Renaud appeared on HSN. A model, actor, recording artist, and CEO of Buttah Skin, Dorion Renaud isn’t new to being in the spotlight. He’s been featured in Vogue and graced the catwalk and the television screen as a host for NBC’s EXTRA, E’s Keeping up with the Kardashians, and starred on the Bounce sitcom, “In the Cut”.
Buttah is the result of his personal search to find products to work for his skin. When he found the right combination of ingredients, Buttah was born. Dorion created a product that works on the wondrous spectrum of complexions found in Black, Latino, and brown people. The goal of these products is to target everyday issues such as dryness, discoloration, oiliness, and blemishes.
The products come in two categories; Buttah Skin and Buttah Body. The goal of both is to improve the appearance of skin brightness and skin tone evenness in melanin-rich skin.
My sister and brother-in-law were the first to order and I followed suit. Here’s a little bit about the products we used.
Buttah Body and Skin
To be sure the products are workable for you, Buttah offers a customizable sample kit of three products for $15.00. You have your choice of three moisturizers CocoShea Revitalizing Cream, Facial Shea butter, oil-free gel cream
The CocoShea Revitalizing Cream is a blend of African rich-butters, Hyaluronic Acid (for moisture), and Vitamin E.
Verdict: The cream was light and despite containing shea butter, wasn’t greasy and proved to be non-comedogenic (didn’t clog pores) my sister saw an improvement in her skin tone in a little over three weeks.
The Oil-Free Hyaluronic Gel Cream moisturizer with grapeseed extract.
The verdict: The lightness of the cream belies its level of hydration. My skin absorbed the moisture and remained perfectly hydrated. I began to see an evening of my tone within about two weeks. I committed to buying the full-size version pretty quickly.
The third option for the sample kit is the facial shea butter. My brother-in-law thinks it’s great for conditioning skin after shaving and it helps even skin tone without clogging pores.
The Buttah body line is comprised of luxurious body washes, soaps, creams, and body butter. They are all terrific and leave your body smooth and feeling nourished.
Overall, we found Buttah products to be priced right and a good investment to make in terms of the mind, body, and soul connection. When your skin both looks and feels good, it adds to your confidence. Feeling good about yourself comes from the inside. However, products that help better the health and look of your skin, helps to strengthen our body-image armor as we become more ageless.
Buttah products are organic, cruelty-free, FDA-registered, and clinically validated.
Aging in today’s society no longer has the same dark stigma it once had. Breakthroughs in medicine and advancements made in technology have paved the way for us to live longer, healthier lives while looking amazing. The first tenant of maintaining a youthful look is good skincare.
There’s an endless sea of skin care products marketed to women. You can’t turn on the television, or go online and not find ads for must-have facial and body skincare products. However, it’s important to do our research so that we can make sense of the claims and determine which products will work for us individually.
In the Health Coach section of Real Simple, This Is What Skin Concerns Look Like at Every Age (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and Beyond) by Kristin Korpuz relays some of the things we can expect. To help us understand, she has experts, Dr. Doris Day, Dr. Jeanine Downie, Dr. Sabrina Fabi, Dr. Ava Shamban, and Dr. Ruth Tedaldi, dermatologists and hosts of THE GIST, a YouTube channel about the beauty industry.
Skincare in your forties
We really begin to see a change in our skin beginning in our forties. There is a loss of firmness and skin may appear to lose volume and firmness. Wrinkles can become more pronounced and we’ve got to be more careful about sun damage. There a lot of topical and injectable treatments like Botox and Restylane that address wrinkles and loss of volume, which can be administered in-office. Nevertheless, it’s important to maintain a good skin routine at home.
According to Dr. Robinson, you may need to use two different cleansers to address different issues- a mild exfoliating cleanser and a creamier lotion-like cleanser. The reason for this is to hydrate your skin and to deal with cell turnover, which becomes more apparent as we age.
Hyaluronic acid is a word that we begin to see more of once we’re over forty. It’s a natural molecule found in our skin as well as the connective tissue in our bodies. The main benefit of it is keeping our skin moist and lubricated. It can draw moisture from the air and allow your skin to hold almost 1000 times its own weight in water. For ultimate moisture retention, Dr. Robinson also recommends incorporating hyaluronic acid (can be used both day and night), as well as a rich night cream that contains glycerin, ceramics, and or fatty lipids to help encourage skin barrier repair.
Skincare in your fifties
Women in their fifties are beginning to experience changes due to hormonal fluctuations just as they did at the onset of menses, According to Dr. Robinson, “Post menopause, our bodies experience a hormone shift with declining levels of estrogen and increased levels of androgens and this can affect the skin”. Moreover, she explained that skin will be thinner and less elastic. B bone resorption is the process by which osteoclasts break down the tissue in bones and release the minerals, resulting in a transfer of calcium from bone tissue to the blood. This process also presents as a loss occurs of volume. Dryness is another factor, and to add insult to injury, many women see a return of acne and breakouts we haven’t had since the teen years. Many women also experience excess pigment and signs of sun damage (i.e., brown spots and photoaging also become more prominent.
First, we have to focus on maintaining our skin’s moisture. Dr. Robinson says that few skin types can endure the roughness caused by an exfoliating cleanser at this point in their skin, and instead emphasizes the importance of a milder, milky cleanser that doesn’t get too sudsy. “These types of cleansers are effective at removing dirt and debris without removing important oils produced by the skin that the skin needs,” she says. To deal with a loss of collagen, you can opt for in-office treatments like lasers, microneedling, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and chemical peels to encourage skin cell turnover and boost skin repair in a more controlled setting.
The sixties and beyond
It’s important to note that it’s not too late to begin anti-aging treatments in your sixties. Dr. Robinson says that the main concern with patients in their 60s and beyond is lack of hydration and moisture retention.
“The emphasis in our 60s shifts from skincare to procedures,” she says. “I recommend keeping skincare very simple, hydrating, and gentle at this age and focusing on procedures such as lasers that can be performed once or twice a year for improvement and maintenance.”
After you’ve had the hotdogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs, and anything else your family and friends crave, it’s time for dessert. There’s nothing like no-bake desserts to beat the heat. Here are two recipes to end your celebration on a sweet note.
No-bake red white and blue vanilla cheesecake Martha Stewart adapted by Chamein Canton
Prep time 25 minutes
Total 40 minutes
15 graham crackers (8 ounces) (Gluten-free graham crackers)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted (vegan butter, or margarine)
3 tablespoons granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit sweetener granulated, coconut, raw cane, or turbinado sugar pulsed fine)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature (1 ½ package full-fat cream cheese plus ½ package of light cream cheese, not Neufchatel cheese) (vegan cream cheese)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar (Swerve confectioner’s sugar substitute or organic confectioner’s sugar)
1 cup Greek yogurt (full-fat) (coconut yogurt, plain)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped (1 cup full-fat coconut milk or 2/3 cup almond milk with 1/3 cup melted unsalted vegan butter, cooled. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter into the almond milk, then add ½ teaspoon of agar-agar or cream of tartar to help the cream get whipped and stabilized.)
2 cups fresh berries
In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until finely ground (you should have about 2 cups). Add butter, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse until combined. Press crumbs evenly onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl and using an electric mixer on high, beat cream cheese until fluffy, 3 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and a pinch of salt; beat until smooth. With a rubber spatula, fold in whipped cream. Pour cream cheese mixture into crust and smooth top. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 8 hours (or overnight).
Combine berries and remaining 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; let stand 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake; release sides to remove from pan. Top with berries and juices.
When you’re pressing the crumbs into the pan for the crust, use a flat-bottomed measuring cup. It makes it easy to get an even thickness — and to get into the pan’s corners.
Chocolate Black Bottom Pie by Southern Living adapted by Chamein Canton
2 cups heavy whipping cream (2 cups full-fat coconut milk or 1 2/3 cup almond milk with 1/3 cup melted unsalted vegan butter, cooled. With a stand or hand mixer, mix the butter into the almond milk, then add 1 teaspoon of agar-agar or cream of tartar to help the cream get whipped and stabilized.)
1/4 cup sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, golden sugar, coconut, turbinado, or raw cane sugar pulsed finely)
Garnish: bittersweet chocolate shavings
Pulse chocolate wafers in a food processor 8 to 10 times or until finely crushed. Stir together wafer crumbs and butter, and firmly press mixture on the bottom, up the side, and onto a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate. Freeze crust for 30 minutes.
Whisk together 2/3 cup sugar and 3 Tbsp. cornstarch in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan.
Whisk together egg yolks and milk in a small bowl; whisk yolk mixture into sugar mixture in pan, and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens. Cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat.
Microwave chocolate in a microwave-safe glass bowl at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring at 30-second intervals. Whisk melted chocolate, rum, and vanilla into the thickened filling. Spoon filling into prepared crust. Place plastic wrap directly onto filling (to prevent a film from forming), and chill for 8 to 24 hours.
Beat whipping cream and 1/4 cup sugar at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Top pie with whipped cream, and garnish, if desired.
Notes: You can use a pre-made chocolate wafer pie crust to save time.
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Most publishing professionals have been asked a slew of questions about the process, one of the most common questions we get is about whether or not you need a literary agent to get published. So, as an agent, I thought I would address the definition of a literary agent and what we can and cannot do for writers.
What is a literary agent?
A literary agent is a person who represents the business interests of writers and their written works. We work with both new and established writers. Agents work with the Big Four Publishers, (Penguin/Random House, Hachette Book Group, Harper Collins, and Macmillan) Simon and Schuster were a part of the Big Five. It’s been acquired by Bertelsmann, which also owns Random House and Penguin. In addition to staying abreast of all the changes within the industry, we’ve cultivated relationships with independent publishers, boutique presses, and small presses. Agents negotiate with publishers for the rights to publish their written works. This also includes subsidiary rights such as options from film producers, and theatrical or film producers for the rights to bring a writer’s written works to the big or small screen, as well as the stage. The fee agents charge generally ranges between 15 to 20%.
What a literary agent can do for writers
In addition to negotiating publishing contracts on a writer’s behalf, we also keep track of any monies and payments coming to the writer whether it’s on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis.
Agents are avid readers, and they both read and review manuscripts for both fiction and nonfiction works. A good literary agent will give you feedback and insights from their side of the desk. They’ll do their best to make sure your work shines.
Agents spend their time pitching their client’s projects. They work to tailor each pitch to bring out the maximum interest of the acquisitions editor, editorial director, and editorial staff that reviews them. Agents rely on their authors to help them create the pitch, no one knows their work better. Additionally, literary agents will provide an assist for marketing plans, which are very important to secure an offer of publication for both fiction and nonfiction works.
Agents also keep track of all submissions and they make sure to follow each publisher’s guidelines to the letter.
What an agent doesn’t do
Agents aren’t copy and line editors. While they are happy to provide feedback, the work of getting the manuscript into fighting shape is up to the writer. We suggest hiring a reputable editor to do the work.
A good agent doesn’t charge a reading fee. Reading is a part of the job description. A lot of agents know good copy and line editors and proofreaders. They may have a few names for you, but there are no finders fees paid to the agent for every writer a freelance editor works with.
Literary agents can’t make or guarantee that a publisher will offer you a contract. Agents will do their best to get you published. Remember, an agent doesn’t make a dime until the writer does.
Agents have a lot of connections, but they aren’t publicists, editors, or advertising and marketing professionals. Think of it this way, you might have a great cardiologist, but if you need heart surgery, you need a cardiothoracic surgeon. Even though your cardiologist specializes in heart health, you need an experienced surgeon. If a writer hires a publicist, the agent can work with them in terms of logistics and be a liaison between the publishing company and the PR firm.
Agents cannot advise writers about tax or legal issues. See number 4.
What’s the benefit of having a literary agent represent you
A literary agent allows writers to concentrate on writing. The agent will focus on procuring the best and most lucrative offers they can on behalf of their clients. There are great benefits to having an agent land a deal with a traditional publisher, be it the Big Four or an independent press. First and foremost, nearly all the high-profile publishing companies don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, whether it’s the next Harry Potter or War and Peace. Agents are the gatekeepers of sorts. They have vetted the authors they represent and editors know they can trust the agent’s client list. This is the difference between getting a read or sitting in an enormous slush pile.
How can you find a literary agent
You can use a guidebook to help you find a literary agent. One of the top resources you can use is The Writer’s Market Guide to Literary Agents 2020: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published (2020). The Writer’s Market has been around for a long time and is pretty accurate. The listings are exhaustive and contain each agent’s specific specialties. Moreover, it lets you know if they are taking on new clients and what their submissions requirements are to be considered. It’s important to pay attention to those details and follow them to the letter.
You may also be able to get more information online through Reedsy, a website for writers and writing professionals. There is also literaryagencies.com which has a list of agents from around the country.
Hurry up and wait. What happens after you decide to seek a literary agent out for representation
Once you’ve completed your research, make sure your manuscript is in the best shape it can be when you query and submit it to an agent. With the exception of large firms, most agencies aren’t that large and it may take some time for them to get back to anyone who queries them. Try to query during their submissions period. Even then, it may take time before you hear back. Most agencies’ email servers will send an email to let you know your query was received. However, if you haven’t heard anything back in two weeks, send a follow-up email to see if your query was received. Most agents are happy to check their queue.
On average it may take anywhere from six to ten weeks for most agents to get back to you. Don’t take it personally. Agents have clients they are already actively representing, which is a good thing.
It’s important to remember that getting a book published is an exercise in patience, and with an agent, it will take more time. From your submission for representation to signing with an agent, to the agent actively pitching your book to publishers. It’s a lot to consider. Writers must weigh the pros and cons of working with an agent and make the best decision for yourself and your writing career.
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This Makeover Monday Meal was inspired by TikTok. I’ve been on the app for just a few months, and I’ve been enjoying a variety of TikTok’s creators’ content. This recipe was a result of @bellafoodie, who is a part of #toddlersoftiktok. Bella is a precious little girl who loves to eat her parents’ cooking. She gave her daddy and mommy the okay to share the recipe for Korean Galbi short rib. The marinade looked fantastic and I’ve found that it works wonderfully with sirloin strips, chicken breast, chicken thighs, and thick-cut pork chops. The marinade is great for grilling meat and stir-frying.
Bella’s Galbi Inspired Chicken Stir-fry with vegetables
1 Asian Pear, halved and seeded (if you can’t find it, Anjou or Bosc pears will work too)
4 cloves of Garlic
1 small Ginger root, peeled
5 Green Onions, both green and white parts
1 small Onion, halved
3 tablespoons Mirin
3 tablespoons low-sodium Soy Sauce
¼ cup Brown Sugar
1 ½ teaspoons of Sesame oil
2 tablespoons Honey
1 tablespoon Sesame seeds
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into strips or cubed
3 broccoli crowns, quartered into bite-size pieces
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
Canola or Peanut oil
Add the first 11 ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
Pour the marinade into a bowl. Add the chicken breast or thighs. Cover and let marinate overnight.
To Make the Stir-fry
Add enough oil to cover the bottom of your wok or large cast-iron skillet and turn the flame to medium-high.
Add the chicken to the wok once the oil is hot. Cook the chicken until it’s golden, but it doesn’t have to be cooked all the way. You will toss it back in to finish cooking. In the meantime, remove the chicken from the wok and set it aside.
Before adding the broccoli and red peppers, make sure the oil is still hot. Add the vegetables, but don’t crowd the wok. When you put too many vegetables in the pan, they will be steamed and soggy. Add the veggies in stages and continue tossing for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chicken and cook until it’s done.
Serve over hot jasmine or brown rice
If you want to make this vegetarian and vegan friendly, you can use extra-firm tofu or seitan with the marinade. However, instead of letting it sit in the marinade overnight, marinate these proteins for up to one hour. Then use the Galbi marinade to flavor the vegetables.
If your palate leans toward more spice, feel free to add your favorite chilis to the marinade for that extra kick.