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5 Hilarious Truth Bombs from Moms That Will Make You Laugh

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5 Hilarious Truth Bombs from Moms That Will Make You Laugh

If you ever need a pick-me-up when you’re in the trenches of motherhood, just talk to a fellow mom about her experiences with her own children, and you will be reassured that you are not doing it all wrong, your children are not totally crazy, and you will survive this. By talking with other moms, we get to hear the wild, crazy, disgusting, laughable, tear-worthy moments that make parenting the roller-coaster ride that it is. And sometimes, we just need to know that what we’re going through is normal. So, the next time you’re feeling completely overwhelmed, exhausted, and stressed, pick up the phone, call a fellow mom, and have a good vent and laugh about how absolutely chaotic parenting is. In the meantime, though, lock yourself in the bathroom with your favorite chocolate bar, and have a read through these hilarious truth bombs from fellow moms. If nothing else, it’ll give you a laugh, a moment of peace and quiet, and a chance to eat your chocolate bar (I won’t tell). Silence is golden. Unless you have children. Then silence is suspicious. Remember those days when you could sit and enjoy peace and quiet, relishing the silence that surrounded you? I know, I don’t really remember either, but I like to pretend that I do. That golden silence does not exist when you’re a parent. When our son was a toddler, I was so proud of him for playing quietly in his room while I was putting his sister down for a nap. He was being so quiet and being a dear little soul entertaining himself while I was busy for a moment. When I finally made it out of his sister’s room and went to check on him, his entire room had been lovingly decorated in baby powder. A white sheen covered the entire room, and my son stood in the middle of it all, head to toe in white power, smiling proudly at his creation. Silence is never golden; don’t trust it. “Booty call” when you’re a parent: someone yelling from the bathroom for you to come and wipe their butt. Let’s face it, there’s nothing sexy about parenting. We are knee deep in every type of grossness imaginable – from runny noses to vomit to poop. We’ve all heard it before, the call ringing out from the bathroom… “MOOOOOOMMMMYYY!! I went POOOOOOO!!” Unfortunately, unless you’re in the midst of potty training (#goodluck), your child isn’t really looking for any type of congratulations, they’re looking for a hand. Your hand. To wipe their butt. That’s the extent of booty calls when you’re a parent. Stock up on toilet paper, hand soap, and air freshener – you’re going to need it. That awkward moment when you discipline your child for acting EXACTLY LIKE YOU. They say that when you become a parent yourself, you really start to turn into your own parents. No one believes this crazy talk, until that magical day when it suddenly happens. And you’re left standing with your mouth open, aghast at what just came out of it. My parents always told stories about how I talked incessantly as a child, literally falling asleep mid-sentence, only to wake up and resume my chattering the following day. I always thought they were just exaggerating and being funny. Then my daughter learned to talk, and I realized they were neither exaggerating NOR being funny. They were relaying the sheer pain of having to listen to non-stop chatter all.day.long. Every time I ask my daughter to just stop talking for a moment so I can think (her talking is literally an all-day event), I can hear my mother chuckling in my mind. Well played, karma, well played. Never make eye contact with a child on the verge of sleep; they will sense your excitement and abort mission. No one knows ninja moves better than a parent trying to sneak out of their child’s room without them waking up. If you’re one of those parents who are blessed with a kid who drops off to sleep without a hitch, and sleeps through any sound possible, then you are one of the lucky few. Most of us have mastered the art of slinking out of a chair while holding our slumbering babe, placing them in their crib with the delicacy of a bomb disarmer, and crawling out of the room with ninja-like stealth. If you’ve ever been stuck hovering just below your baby’s crib, waiting for them to settle before you sneak out, only to come eye-to-eye with them peeking out at you, you know the immense sense of failure that I am referring to. You’re done, Momma, it’s over. That baby will sense your anticipated freedom and decide that life is just way to exciting to go to sleep. Behind every great kid is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up. Ok, I admit it, this final truth bomb isn’t necessarily a hilarious or witty one, but it is most definitely a truthful one. Nothing is more humbling than being a parent, and there is no one in the world who doubts themselves more than a mother. My mom always told me that parenting is the best and hardest job you’ve ever do, and she was bang-on with that statement. No matter how hard we try, and how much we love our children, we are forever second-guessing ourselves and our decisions. But Moms, let’s start celebrating all that we do, recognizing how incredibly hard parenting is, and supporting one another through all of the trials and triumphs. Let’s chuckle in the chaos, hug in the hard times, and above all else, try to enjoy those precious little moments. You are doing a great job, trust in that.
Aching Shoulder No More!

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Aching Shoulder No More!

I cannot say enough about how much I love Verima and how it has powered my journey to regain health.  To help describe the impact Verima has had on my life, I think it best to share a little about me and the last six-months. I am part of the 2% of the population that has frozen shoulder. Until recently, I had never heard of this affliction. I started feeling a pain in my shoulder that didn’t go away by the end of the week and fast forward two months….. the pain became so intense that it was all I could think about and I could barely lift my arm. Then I found myself in the doctor’s office begging for help. The Prescription: Physical therapy and time…up to 2 years.   While overall beneficial, the physical therapy was painful and if I’m not mindful (as in stand up every hour during the work day to perform my prescribed stretches) I can easily be setback to square-one, intense and intolerable pain. This also dramatically disrupts my sleep to the point where I sleep only 4 hours a night.  And while sometimes this pain was a 20 on a scale of 1 to 10, I’m embarrassed to admit that often times I laid in bed contemplating if my life would be better if I only had one arm.  Sensitive to anti-inflammatory medications and intolerant of cortisone shots, my options were limited and I was at a loss. That is when my physical therapist suggested I look into CBD options. She only had anecdotal evidence that it helped some patients and did not have a specific recommendation for me.  Being a believer that plants heal, I was very open to the idea and began my research.   I did quite a bit a research and was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. I first tried a few highly-rated and reviewed options but nothing was game changing. So I went back to the drawing board.  To help narrow down the choices, I decided to apply the same parameters I use for cosmetics: look for high-quality ingredients and buy organic.   That is when I found Verima. I was impressed by the thoughtfulness of each and every ingredient listed and a Stanford Dr. helped formulate the product. It seemed like a brand I could really trust and that it is a lot more than CBD in a jar.  I also appreciated their approach to eco-friendly and glass packaging, especially because it is so hard to find brands that are just as committed to preserving the planet as they are to selling product. So getting to the good stuff…..I ordered the salve which came in a beautiful blue box and I got the peppermint roller.  While I was hopeful, I was skeptical. I started with the peppermint oil, which quickly absorbed into my skin and within a couple of minutes, I found a calm release.  The intensity of the pain significantly subsided, and I smelled good to boot. I thought, this is a good every day option. Given the salve is very therapeutic I decided to wait and try it after/during a massage. I couldn’t believe the immediate change. For the first time in months, I could do a shoulder roll on my left side and I stopped clinching my jaw. This was a significant first step in my healing journey because 1) the pain reduced to a level that I could tolerate and 2) I finally achieved some progress.  With Verima by my side, my journey to health continues.
Tennis Anyone?

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Tennis Anyone?

I recently got back into tennis and realized how much the game has changed since I picked up a racket back in the day.  People are now whacking the ball like they all want to be Serena. I found my timing was slightly off and my reaction time was too slow, forcing to make a lot more errors than I remember.  After a round of lessons I got my groove back and found how much fun tennis is again. I make it a point of getting out after dropping off the kids in the morning and I love how it gets my endorphins going. The problem of course is that I’m not 21 anymore (nor 15 like Coco Gauff) for that matter.  Arms and legs ache and the recovery takes a little longer. So what’s behind this soreness? It’s the tiny tears in the muscle fibers and connective tissue which rebuilds later on stronger.  The pain is what we need to get through before our muscles get stronger. Coping with the pain typically meant popping a few Advils but my routine has changed with Verima’s CBD. In my tennis bag I carry the acupressure roller and before warm up, I make it a point to apply it to my “tennis elbow” to prevent the inevitable soreness that will occur. I like how the roller ball tip is made of durable metal giving it some heft and I use it as a massager before tennis and right after.  Massaging it into the muscles helps to improve circulation of bodily fluids and decrease inflammation of muscles. After a round of doubles, and the coach reminding me a dozen times to “windshield wiper” my wrist, I make sure I drink plenty of water and apply a little more CBD to my elbow and to the back of my neck.  At home my post workout recovery includes an icepack on my knees and the pain relief salve. In the evening is when I use a heating pad to help with the healing and recovery and I touch up my elbow and knee with a little more CBD salve.  So ice first and then heat.  By the way, a tennis ball is great when you don’t have a foam roller handy.  I roll a ball in the back of my calves to soften the muscle tissue to “get the kinks out” and keep my legs elastic and pliable.  It’s going to hurt the first few times but it will stop after a while and it’s really helped me feel better. In my next article I will share more in detail on self-myofascial release or SMR which can really help get those tight muscles and tendons to loosen up. What I’m trying to do as I get back into the swing of things is to avoid the drugx s.  Ibuprofen has risks of stomach irritation and can cause bleeding in the stomach and I feel people just pop too many pills as it is.  Forget the pills, grab a tennis ball and some CBD. For me it’s about natural healing and back to Tennis.
Good Fat vs the Bad…The Science

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Good Fat vs the Bad…The Science

There is no doubt that diet plays an important role in overall health. Maintaining a balanced intake of carbohydrates, fats, and protein promotes optimal health. Diet and eating behavior are linked to the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex network of receptors that interact with cannabinoids in your body to trigger various effects. These receptors can be located anywhere, and disrupted signaling can cause problems with the regulation of physiological systems.  A study from University of California Riverside School of Medicine explored the connections between the endocannabinoid system to the digestive system. By studying the characteristics of rats on different types of diets, they found that chronic consumption of high-fat and high-sugar diets caused elevated levels of endocannabinoids in the gut and blood. This stimulates appetite and promotes overeating, especially of fatty foods. The overconsumption of dietary fat is a significant factor in obesity, since fat is more calorie-dense than carbohydrates or protein and is found in many foods that people love eating. However, it is important to understand the different types of fats and how they affect the body differently. While you may have heard of unsaturated and saturated fats, there are actually dozens of fats commonly found in the diet, and each one has a different effect on the body. Fats fall into two broad categories: saturated and unsaturated. They are distinguished by their molecular structure. To put things simply, fats are composed of two structures put together: a glycerol and three fatty acid chains. This forms a triglyceride. The glycerol, or the “backbone” of the molecule, consists of three carbon atoms. These carbons can bond to chains of fatty acids. The structure of the fatty acid chains distinguishes the different types of fats.  Image Source: https://dlc.dcccd.edu/biology1-3/lipids Saturated fats are triglycerides containing three saturated fatty acid chains. A fatty acid chain is saturated when all of its bonds are single bonds – this allows for the molecules to pack closely together, promoting stability of the molecule and its ability to form solids at room temperature. Saturated fats are commonly found in animal products (meat, dairy, and eggs) and in some vegetable fats that are liquid at room temperature. There is evidence that saturated fats could increase the risk for colon and prostate cancer, as well as raise cholesterol levels. For these reasons, saturated fats should be eaten sparingly. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are categorized by the presence of at least one double bond in their fatty acid chain structure. This leads to a kink in the chain, which prevents the triglycerides from packing together like saturated fats normally would. Unsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and are commonly found in fish or in oils derived from plant sources. Good sources of unsaturated fats are avocados, olive oil, peanut butter, and coconut oil, just to name a few. Unsaturated fats can be monounsaturated, meaning they contain only one fatty acid with a double bond, or polyunsaturated, meaning they contain multiple fatty acids with double bonds. Consuming either of these types of fats can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when eaten as a substitute for saturated fats.  A distinguishing feature of fats is the length of their fatty acid chain, which is determined by how many carbon atoms they contain. Fats of different lengths are treated differently by the cells in your body. In Verima’s tinctures, we use fractionated coconut oil because it is a great source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). They have between 6-12 carbon atoms, as opposed to short-chain triglycerides which have fewer than 6 or long-chain triglycerides that have 13-21. MCTs are easier to burn off than long-chain triglycerides due to their length. Because they are able to broken down rapidly, they are an instant energy source and be burned for fuel very quickly without being stored as fat. Image source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fractionated-coconut-oil Coconut oil is already a great source of MCTs, but through the process of fractionation, the MCTs can be extracted and isolated. This results in a highly concentrated source of MCTs. Increasing MCT intake can help with weight loss by regulating other physical functions. For example, MCTs can increase the levels of certain hormones which reduce appetite and induce feelings of fullness, as well as increase the body’s ability to burn calories. Another benefit of MCTs is that they are able to be converted into ketones which can provide a source of energy for the brain and can improve brain function. In both human and animal studies, the use of MCTs has also been linked to lower cholesterol levels and lowered blood sugar levels. Using fractionated coconut oil in our tinctures is a great way to add even more health benefits to our CBD products. Although taking MCTs is a great way to improve your health and energy levels, overall health can only be achieved when you take care of your body and do the research necessary to know what is good for you. There is no such thing as a cure-all for every condition, but understanding your goals and pinpointing specific problems to solve is a good way to start.  References: https://dlc.dcccd.edu/biology1-3/lipids https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fractionated-coconut-oil https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-vs-unhealthy-fats https://www.projectcbd.org/food-for-thought-diet-cannabis-and-the-endocannabinoid-system https://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/skinny-fat-good-fats-bad-fats#4
Tendinitis and Musicians

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Tendinitis and Musicians

We often think about athletes and the strain placed on their bodies due to repetitive and strenuous practice and exercise, but we don’t always consider that same strain placed on musicians’ bodies. The fact is, however, that many musicians suffer from tendinitis due to the repetitive nature of their movements and the long hours of practicing and performing that many of them endure. Often, when a musician is working hard to master a new tune, they will repeat the same passage again and again until they perfect it, placing a lot of strain on the muscles and tendons involved. Similar to workers who do repetitive motions throughout their work day, musicians will often develop tendinitis in particular areas that receive the most strain. For musicians who play string instruments, usually the areas where the pain will start include the base of the thumb, the wrist, the elbow, the shoulder, and the hand. This is due to the repetitive controlled movements as they draw the bow back and forth across the instrument. Usually the pain will start in one spot, however if left untreated, it can become chronic and spread to other areas that are involved. Not to worry though, this is not a reason to put away the instrument and give up playing. There are things that one can do to prevent tendinitis and other overuse injuries. In fact, prevention is the best thing you can do to take care of your body and keep it healthy, nimble, and ready to play your instrument. Here are some important tips to help prevent overuse injuries. Warm up your body, just as you would your instrument. Your body is an extension of your instrument, and it requires just as much, if not more, warming up ahead of playing. Flex your fingers and contract them, to loosen the joints and make them more flexible. Gently pull your wrist back and forth, stretching the muscles and tendons. Continue stretching any muscles that are involved in playing your instrument, be it your arms, shoulders, neck, or back. Take your time when stretching, and never over-stretch. Pull gently on the muscles, hold for a few seconds, and release. Take breaks during practice, to give your body time to relax. Musicians often practice for hours at a time, just as athletes do when mastering a new skill. While this is important to maintain skill level and learn new music, it is equally important to give your body time to rest in between. Take breaks during your practice, and let your body rest, gently stretching out the muscles and areas that tend to become stiff and sore. Strengthen the muscles used in playing your instrument. As with any activity, strengthening the muscles involved in that activity can do wonders to prevent injury to the muscles and tendons in that area. Lifting light weights every day can help to strengthen the muscles in those overused areas, thus protecting the tendons and ligaments around the joints. Do not add additional strain on the muscles by lifting anything too heavy, just a light weight of 3-4 pounds every day will do. Increase circulation in the fingers and arms. Another way to help prevent overuse injuries is to soak your fingers and arms in warm water to increase circulation, both before and after playing your instrument. By increasing blood flow to those areas, they will be less prone to injury. In the winter months especially, take time to warm them up with either warm water or a warm compress before and after playing. Study and incorporate the Feldenkrais Method or Alexander Technique in your practice. Both the Feldenkrais Method and Alexander Technique are studies in movement that teach you how to move your body in ways that are less damaging to the muscles and tendons, helping you to play your instrument with less overuse injuries. The Feldenkrais Method teaches specific patterns of movement that help you to move more efficiently, while the Alexander Technique focuses on the alignment of the head and neck. Both of these strategies are now being taught in music classes, to help musicians move in ways that are less likely to develop overuse injuries or chronic pain. Rub a pain relief salve on your hands before and after playing. Try incorporating a pain relief salve into your practice regime, such as Verima’s CBD oil-infused pain relief salve. With the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD mixed with soothing high-quality essential oils like sandalwood, you will be protecting your hands and arms when playing your instrument. Rub some of the salve on to any areas that are worked hard during practice, and again when you are finished playing. The CBD oil will help to reduce inflammation in those areas and decrease pain levels.
Verima’s Lavender Blueberry Smoothie

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Verima’s Lavender Blueberry Smoothie

Start your day off right with a healthy, nutritious, and delicious lavender blueberry breakfast smoothie. Chocked full of all the right things to fuel you for the day! Blueberries are well-known as one of the best superfoods you can eat, as they are very high in antioxidants, which protect the body from free radicals that can damage your cells and contribute to aging and diseases such as cancer. Blueberries are also very low in both sugar and calories, but high in fibre, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. These amazing little berries can even help to improve brain function and memory. They truly are a superfood! By including Verima’s lavender CBD tincture in your smoothie recipe, you will be feeling relaxed, focused, and stress-free, ready to be the best you! CBD has countless medicinal benefits, including pain relief, reducing inflammation, and combatting symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is also known to improve heart health by lowering blood pressure. Adding this tincture to an already-healthy breakfast smoothie is a great way to supercharge your wellness! Ingredients and amounts are suggestions only, you will want to tweak the recipe to suit your own personal tastes. Have fun with it, experiment, and find the best smoothie for you. Ingredients: *1 cup milk product (cow, goat, soy, coconut, or almond milk all work well with this recipe, it is just a matter of taste, as each milk product will create its own unique flavor in the smoothie) *Add water to desired thickness (usually ½ cup or so) *½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt *handful of greens (frozen spinach works great) *¾ cup frozen blueberries *½ frozen banana *1-2 TBSP chia or hemp seeds *1 dose of Verima’s organic lavender CBD tincture Add all ingredients to your blender, and blend well. Blueberries tend to take a while to break up, so keep blending them until the skins have broken up. Enjoy! You have fueled your body with nutrient-dense foods and high-quality, organic CBD oil, to ensure that you start your day with energy and a positive, focused state of mind.
Verima, Bang & Olufsen and my Dr. at Stanford

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Verima, Bang & Olufsen and my Dr. at Stanford

Lights out and it’s time for bed.  I grab my Verima Lavender tincture, add a dropper full to my chamomile tea and soon I will be ready to close my eyes.  One last thing, I grab my wireless Bang & Olufsen headset and tune into some binaural beats on youtube. Say what? Binaural beats are a technique of combining two slightly different sound frequencies to create the perception of a single new frequency tone and there are some really nice tracks you can download. The theory is that when exposed to two different frequencies at the same time, one in the left ear, one in the right, the brain actually perceives a single tone that is the difference between the two separate frequencies. Your brain, combines it and then sort of “tunes” to this new frequency and it can help you relax.  One again, you have to use headsets since its two different frequencies, and wireless helps of course at night. Brainwaves are created from the pulses of electrical activity our neurons exhibit as they communicate with each other. Our thoughts, feelings, and actions are all expressed through this constant communications between neurons.  Basically our brainwaves are associated with how we feel and what we can do at any given moment. Science shows that exposure to binaural beats can create changes in the brain’s degree of arousal. Listening to these sounds that create a low-frequency tone, research indicates, triggers a slow-down to brainwave activity—and that may help you relax, lower your anxiety, and make it easier for you to fall asleep and more importantly stay asleep.  Basically the way it works is that the slower and lower frequency brainwaves are, the deeper your state of relaxation—or sleep. There are some studies which show that the sound waves can help reduce certain hormones such as increasing DHEA, decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing melatonin. There is some research that show binaural waves can also help with pain as well.  I recently met Dr. Darnall at the pain management center at Stanford in Palo Alto who has performed a lot of studies on the benefits binaural sound therapy to reduce pain and stress.  You can download the music file here for a small fee. https://bethdarnall.com/enhanced-pain-management-binaural-relaxation-cd/ .  According to one popular study it was found that binaural beats led to reduced anxiety levels and lower blood pressure levels before patients who were getting ready for surgery. My recommendation is to pick a track that’s over 8 hours long if you can (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDX8QrcDI_o) place the phone upside down so the screen wont light up your room, grab a little Verima and a little bit of binaural beats to help you get some restful deep sleep. Beth Darnall, PhD Enhanced Pain Management CD or MP3 – Beth Darnall, PhD The relaxation response decreases heart rate, respiratory rate, muscular tension, emotional distress, and pain — all without pills.(9 kB) https://i2.wp.com/bethdarnall.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/cd.jpg?fit=300%2C300&ssl=1 YouTube | Brainwave Power Music Lucid Dreaming Sleep Track (8 Hour Sleep Cycle Track) with Binaural beats and Isochronic Tones
Beating the Late Fall/Winter Blues

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Beating the Late Fall/Winter Blues

Beating the Winter Blues: 10 Tips for Combating Seasonal Depression Fall is officially here, and you know what that means: warm sweaters, falling leaves, and of course everything pumpkin spice! But, fall also means a change in our daily weather and sunlight. The days are getting shorter, and we are getting less and less daylight. Soon, we will be heading to work in the dark, and dropping the kids off at school just as the sky is cracking its first few bleak rays of light. We return home in the dark, feeling tired and drained, and still have to muster up the energy to cook a dinner, do the chores, get the kids ready for bed, and have a little downtime. That spring in our step that we had during the summer months? It has officially left the building. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love the fall; I love the beautiful colours and crisp, sunny days, and I love all things pumpkin spice. But, I do notice how the change in season and the decrease in natural sunlight affects me, and can sometimes increase my feelings of depression and anxiety. People often feel sluggish and slow, their energy almost non-existent, as their bodies and minds adjust to less sunlight and a more dormant existence, preparing for the darkness and cold of winter. However, for some, this time of year brings about more than just sluggishness; for some, this time of year can cause bouts of seasonal depression. It is important to be aware of your mental state during this time of year, and monitor for any significant changes or increases in depression, taking steps to incorporate a little extra self-care to help yourself through these dark months. Here are 10 simple self-care tips you can incorporate into your daily routine to beat the winter blues. Stay active! You might feel like a grizzly bear and just want to curl up in a den and not move until spring. But, the best way to combat feelings of sluggishness is to stay active. Even if it’s just to get out for a brisk walk around the block, you will feel so energized once you return home. Get outdoors. Soak up as much sunlight as possible by getting outdoors as much as you can during the day. Go for a walk on your lunch break, do some outdoor chores when you get home, grab the family and go for a bike ride after dinner. Begin a CBD regime. CBD oil is known for its calming effects and its ability to decrease feelings of depression and anxiety. If you find that you are affected by the changing seasons and shorter days, then start your day with Verima’s organic, high-quality CBD tincture to combat any feelings of depression you may experience. Make sure you also tuck Verima’s acupressure rollerball in your purse, for a quick, portable way to battle those blues throughout the day. Use Verima’s acupressure rollerball to ease away tension throughout the day. Eat healthy Many people tend to crave comfort foods this time of year – thick soups, creamy stews, and lots of comforting carbs! While no one is suggesting eliminating those items (because we all know how wonderful they are!), be sure to also include healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. By eating well and fueling our bodies with nourishing foods, we feel healthier and therefore happier and more energized. Add aromatherapy. Essential oils are known to influence the area in the brain that controls our moods, and certain oils such as citrus or lavender can have calming and uplifting effects on people. Citrus is an energizing scent to use first thing in the morning and throughout the day, whereas lavender is a calming scent that is great to use at bedtime to help you settle off to sleep. Verima’s Citrus Trio Lotion is a wonderful way to start your day, with its natural blend of white and red grapefruit, orange, and a touch of cedar. Increase your vitamins. This is a good time of year to make sure you’re on a high-quality multi-vitamin, and it is also beneficial to take vitamin C and vitamin D supplements. We get a lot of vitamin D from the sun, and when the days start to shorten, our exposure to this important vitamin decreases. Stick to a schedule. Sometimes, when we are feeling tired and depressed, it can be easy to fall out of our daily routine because our sleep patterns are thrown off; we are up more at night and have a harder time waking up in the morning. By sticking to a schedule, your body will become accustomed to sleep and wake times, which in turn will help to combat feelings of depression. Take a vacation. If the sun doesn’t come to you, you might have to seek out the sun! Take a vacation from the winter days and visit somewhere tropical. A vacation is something to look forward to, keeping you in a positive mindset, and the thrill of the vacation and the memories you make will last long after you return. Treat yourself to some sunshine by taking a vacation during the winter months: Photo via Pixabay Keep busy. Add a few fun activities into your schedule throughout the winter months, to keep you busy and out of bed! Join a winter sport, pick up a new hobby, or schedule some fun outings with the family and friends. Having things to look forward to and keep you busy is a great way to beat the winter blues. Talk to you doctor. If you find that after trying several options to combat your feelings of depression, and you are still feeling very down and depressed, then it would be worth a conversation with your family doctor. That does not necessarily mean going on medication, but together, you could look at some options to help you feel more positive.
Combatting Symptoms of Fibromyalgia with CBD

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Combatting Symptoms of Fibromyalgia with CBD

Fibromyalgia is known as an invisible illness, because it is next to impossible to tell whether someone has it or not. At least, that is, until you get to know them and hear about their day. Until you hear how every single choice they make during the day affects their energy levels, pain levels, and mood. Until you hear about the overwhelming fatigue and chronic pain they are plagued with, and how just getting out of bed that morning was excruciatingly difficult. You may not have seen it from the outside, but people who suffer from fibromyalgia and other invisible illnesses such as CFS, Lupus, and Lyme disease (to name a few) are battling painful symptoms every minute of the day and night. Fibromyalgia causes overwhelming fatigue and chronic pain. What is fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that can cause a wide range of debilitating symptoms. It is a syndrome that is still fairly misunderstood, although research has shown that it may be caused by the nervous system not processing information correctly. Studies continue to try and explain this mysterious invisible illness and the how’s and why’s behind it. There are many different symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, and not everyone is affected in the same way.  Common symptoms can include widespread chronic pain, fatigue, stiff joints and muscles, headaches, irregular sleep patterns, restless legs syndrome, sensitivity to extreme temperatures, and brain fog (known as fibro-fog). Between 80-90% of fibromyalgia patients are women, and it is estimated that around 5 million adults in the United States experience fibromyalgia. How can CBD help patients with fibromyalgia? There is still so much that is misunderstood about this syndrome, and doctors often disagree on what constitutes a diagnosis. As such, treatment options are often fairly limited as well, and patients are having to resort to taking pharmaceutical pain killers and sleep aids in order to combat the symptoms. Anti-depressants such as Cymbalta or Savella may also be prescribed to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety. Many people suffer in silence because they do not want to be on such a rigorous regime of pharmaceuticals, or their doctor is hesitant to diagnose them in the first place. Pharmaceutical pain killers and sleep aids are often used to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. Recently, however, fibromyalgia patients are finding some relief with using CBD oil to treat their symptoms. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD oil help to counter the chronic pain and discomfort many patients experience. A 2016 study also suggests that a deficiency in endocannabinoids in the body could be at the root of chronic pain and fibromyalgia, and that CBD may help to correct this deficiency and alleviate the pain. CBD also helps with irregular sleep patterns, allowing fibromyalgia patients to have a deeper, sounder sleep each night. This ability to fall asleep and stay asleep is so critical for those who are already living with lower energy levels, and a good night sleep can also help to decrease feelings of anxiety and depression. Could CBD work for me? Often, those dealing with an invisible illness like fibromyalgia feel very alone, very misunderstood, and very frustrated. This leads to increased feelings of hopelessness, and exacerbates their depression and anxiety. But there is hope! CBD is showing to be an incredibly helpful treatment for fibromyalgia patients. Sometimes, when we hear the success stories of other people, it gives us hope, and helps us to feel that a solution could be out there for us as well. A 70-year old grandmother, who has battled fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and rheumatoid arthritis for almost thirty years has finally found relief with using CBD oil. She uses Verima’s acupressure rollerball on the stiff, painful joints that cause her the most grief, and almost instantly feels relief from the pain. In the morning, she takes her measured dose of Verima’s broad-spectrum CBD tincture, and is able to start her day without aches and pains, along with a noticeable increase in energy. By the end of the day, when she is tired and feeling achy again, she takes another measured dose of her tincture and uses the rollerball again on the painful joints in her hands. She climbs into bed feeling relieved from the pain, and settles down for a solid night’s sleep – something she hasn’t enjoyed in many years. A 35-year old woman had to leave her full-time career due to the symptoms associated with her illness. Nighttime would be her worst time, as the pain became unbearable and she would spend hours lying on the couch surrounded by pillows so that her joints weren’t touching anything. No number of pharmaceuticals touched the pain. Enter CBD oil. Not only did it help her to sleep by decreasing the pain, but it was also so much easier on her system than Naproxen or Tylenol. Her mental health improved dramatically when she began taking CBD oil, because she was finally able to sleep at night and have some relief from the pain. Her life has changed so much in recent months due to her new CBD regime, and she is feeling happier and healthier than she has in a long time.  There is hope. It is possible to combat this mysterious illness. Let Verima help, we are here for you.
Easing Chronic Illness w/CBD, thoughts from Dr. Genevieve Moore

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Easing Chronic Illness w/CBD, thoughts from Dr. Genevieve Moore

A shocking number of Americans suffer from chronic illness, something that may not be obvious at first but something that they struggle with daily, with little treatment available and no cures. Almost one-third of Americans have one or more of these chronic illnesses, and they can be completely debilitating. Some of the chronic illnesses included in this group are Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), Crohn’s Disease, and Endometriosis. The difficult part about all of these illnesses, is that from the surface, the person suffering from it looks perfectly fine. To see them out and about, you wouldn’t think that they were battling anything in particular; when in reality, just the mere exertion required for them to be out and about could be almost more than they can manage. Many of these sufferers battle chronic pain on a regular basis, in addition to extreme fatigue and other symptoms. Lupus sufferer Christine Miserandino became well-known for her ‘spoon theory’ as a way of explaining how someone with chronic illness faces their days.  Living with chronic illness is like beginning your day with a handful of spoons. Every single little thing you have to accomplish, from having a shower to making your breakfast to getting dressed, all costs you a spoon. The spoons represent the energy or strength your body has for the day, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. By the end of the day, as Christine recounts, the spoons are all depleted, and you may or may not have achieved all you wanted to that day. You could borrow from the next day’s allotment of spoons, but you run the risk of being short-changed for energy or strength the following day. Living with chronic illness means always being aware of how many spoons you have, planning for the day and anticipating how many spoons each task will take, and having to say no to social events if you’re already out of spoons. It is an incredibly difficult thing to have to live with, and because there is very little treatment for these illnesses, many people suffer in silence just trying to get through their days. In recent years, some sufferers of chronic illness have had success with incorporating CBD oil into their regime, as a way to combat pain, nausea, lack of appetite, and other symptoms associated with their illness. Some of the more common symptoms associated with both Lupus and Fibromyalgia include chronic pain, extreme fatigue, a brain ‘fog’, and digestive issues like IBS or nausea. CBD can help to combat all of those symptoms, as it can relieve the pain symptoms, lift people’s moods and energy, and stave off nausea, allowing the person to eat more regularly. It also helps to prevent and/or treat the depression and anxiety that is often very closely linked to these illnesses, as people battle horrendous symptoms day in and day out. Women who suffer from endometriosis are another group of silent sufferers, as from the surface, they look perfectly healthy. What you might not realize, is that they battle chronic back, abdominal, and/or pelvic pain, constipation or diarrhea, nausea, painful intercourse, and infertility. Endometriosis is when the endometrial tissue, that normally builds within a woman’s uterus, grows outside of the uterus, covering organs and creating a painful build-up of tissue that gets trapped inside the body. According to Dr. Genevieve R. Moore, a Yale-educated biologist, CBD can help to combat many of these symptoms by inhibiting lesion vascularization, inhibiting lesion nerves, and desensitizing nerves that transmit pain. (Source) While many of these illnesses are still largely misunderstood, and there is very little treatment for them, health practitioners have been learning more and more and discovering various ways to combat the symptoms associated with each illness. They have yet to find a cure, but finding things like CBD and using them to treat the various symptoms has been very helpful. It is giving sufferers an increase in their quality of life, and perhaps providing a few more spoons for their day. That counts for a lot, and as Christine Miserandion said, “[t]he realities of life are handled better if we understand the possibilities and have a plan on ways in which to deal with such times.”
The Science of Taking Care of Your Skin with CBD

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The Science of Taking Care of Your Skin with CBD

There are many people who struggle with various skin ailments – from eczema to psoriasis to just plain, dry, itchy skin. It is something that tends to become even more pronounced when the colder, drier weather approaches. It is usually in the winter months when eczema really ramps up, and people are left feeling uncomfortable in their skin (no pun intended). If you are one of those people who, like me, struggle with finding the right type of products to use on your delicate, sensitive skin, rest assured you are not alone. Many products in stores these days are full of ingredients that exacerbate skin conditions, perfumes that irritate, and not enough moisture to combat the dryness. Many women struggle with skin irritations like eczema and psoriasis. With the rise in popularity that CBD has experienced in recent days, it is no surprise that people have begun to wonder whether this miracle plant might help their skin conditions. While CBD has not been found to directly treat more severe cases of eczema and psoriasis, there are some new studies that show that it can help to calm inflamed skin and settle the itching and dryness. CBD has been proven to interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system, and it turns down the inflammatory response by interacting directly with the CB1 and CB2 receptors within the body. In a review published in 2017 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, it was noted that patients who tried CBD creams to combat redness and itching due to eczema or psoriasis did notice a decrease in both symptoms. A 2019 study published in the journal Clinical Therapeutics, as well as a 2014 study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation, both concluded that patients with eczema, psoriasis, or scarring did find improvement through the use of CBD ointments; redness was reduced, itching was decreased, and skin elasticity was improved, due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD. More studies on larger human populations are still required, but this is very encouraging for people like me who have battled skin problems for years. The main thing that consumers need to be cautious of when trying CBD creams on skin irritations, is to make sure that the cream you are using is made of quality ingredients. If the cream is made of ingredients that are harmful or irritating to already-inflamed skin, then you will only be exacerbating the problem. That is where Verima can help you. Our Renewal Citrus Trio Lotion is made of high-quality ingredients, as well as our organic broad-spectrum CBD oil. We use only natural ingredients, so that your skin is left feeling refreshed, calmed, and moisturized. Along with the calming effects of CBD, our lotion also includes aloe vera, which has been used for years for its anti-inflammatory properties. All of our products are third-party tested throughout the production process, in order to ensure purity and quality. At Verima, we want you feeling your best. Our high-quality CBD products can help you be the best version of yourself. If your skin is feeling dry, itchy, or irritated, give our Renewal Citrus Trio Lotion a try, incorporating it into your morning and evening skin care regime. Your skin will thank you! Dry, itchy skin? Let Verima help!
Verima’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip CBD Cookies

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Verima’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip CBD Cookies

With the recent legalization of cannabidiol, or CBD, in all 50 states, people everywhere are finding unique ways to ingest this miracle plant to reap its incredible health benefits. CBD oil, which is non-psychoactive and does not make you “high”, provides many different medicinal benefits and is free of side effects. CBD oil provides relief from pain, anxiety, and depression without the mind-altering side effects of marijuana or some pharmaceutical drugs. It can lower blood pressure, calm symptoms of anxiety, increase focus and concentration, and balance moods. Many people are turning to CBD-infused foods, such as gummies and other edibles, as well as baked goods. CBD is an easy ingredient to include in your regular baked goods, adding an extra dose of health benefits to your recipes.  It is important to note that when baking with CBD oil, the oil needs extracted into a fat, such as coconut oil. Using Verima’s organic CBD tincture, add a suitable dose of CBD oil to a coconut oil base, and you are ready to bake! How much you use depends on what dose you want in each baked item. For example, if you are baking a dozen cookies, you will need to add 12 doses of CBD oil to the recipe, in order for it to be effective. Makes 25 – 30 cookies INGREDIENTS ¾ cup liquid form coconut oil  Unflavored CBD oil – dosage will depend on personal preferences 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 eggs ¾ cup white sugar ¾ cup packed brown sugar 2 ¼ cups flour ¾ teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 ¼ cup chocolate chips ½ cup chopped peanuts (optional) Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large mixing bowl, combine liquid coconut oil, CBD oil, vanilla, eggs, sugar, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine. Add flour, kosher salt, and baking soda to bowl and mix gently until all ingredients are combined. Do not over mix. Fold chocolate chips and nuts into dough until they are evenly incorporated into dough. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a large spoon, drop spoonfuls of dough on to baking sheet, keeping them about 1 inch apart. Bake cookies at 375 for 9 – 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges. Move to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!
Verima’s Delightful CBD Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Verima’s Delightful CBD Pumpkin Spice Latte

With the cooler fall weather officially here to stay, and the leaves on the trees beginning to change color, it is time to break out the cozy sweaters, woolen socks, and of course everything that is pumpkin spice! While not everyone loves pumpkin spice as much as I do, there are many who can agree that it is simply not fall without that delicious smell in the air.   If you’re looking to treat yourself to a drink that leaves you feeling warm, cozy, and wonderfully relaxed, then you need to try this CBD infused pumpkin spice latte. The combination of caffeine and CBD has been found to have a calming yet energizing effect on people. They report feeling alert and awake, without the jitters that caffeine can sometimes cause. CBD is rapidly gaining recognition as a natural solution to anxiety, and enjoying a dose of CBD in your morning coffee makes for a great start to the day. So, grab your favorite flannel shirt and woolen socks, and cozy up with a good book and this delicious pumpkin spice latte.   Makes 2 lattes.   2 cups of whole milk (almond milk works well too)¼ cup pumpkin puree2 Tbsp sugar½ tsp pumpkin pie spice blend1 tsp pure vanilla extract1 cup strong brewed hot coffee1 mL Verima’s original CBD tinctureWhipped cream (optional)Cinnamon stick (for garnish)   Directions:   Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice blend, and vanilla extract in a saucepan.Heat over medium heat, just until hot. Do not boil.While this is heating, prepare your strong brewed hot coffee.Use an electric mixer or milk steamer to froth the milk mixture until foamy.Pour hot coffee into mugs, about half full.Add the CBD tincture to the coffee and stir well. Pour the milk mixture on top.Top with whipped cream, a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice blend, and a cinnamon stick.Sit back, relax, and sip on this cozy beverage!
Chocolate, CBD & Your Endocannabinoid System

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Chocolate, CBD & Your Endocannabinoid System

There is good news for you chocolate lovers as it relates to maintaining a state of balance.  Keeping the body healthy can improve the body’s overall functions, including the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is a network of cell receptors and molecules that is responsible for many different physiological and psychological processes within your body. Introducing cannabinoids to the body triggers responses that can improve memory, mood, appetite, metabolism, sleep patterns, stress regulation, and pain.  Chocolate can help.   As with other bodily systems, the ECS functions optimally when the body is healthy. An increased food intake, especially of fatty foods, can over-stimulate the ECS. This leads to an increased appetite for calorically dense foods, which promotes obesity. The ECS plays a critical role in homeostasis, or the maintenance of a stable equilibrium of the body’s internal systems. Over- or undereating could offset this balance, leading to other problems in bodily systems, such as issues regulating body temperature or a weakened immune system.   Diet and exercise can build and strengthen the endocannabinoid system, while CBD products can help to further enhance the effects. Physical activity releases endocannabinoids, or cannabinoids that are produced by your own body. This explains why you may feel a sense of wellbeing, peacefulness, or a “runner’s high” after exercising. Besides an improved mental state and decreased levels of stress, consistent physical activity throughout the week can build and maintain strong muscles and bones, aid in weight loss, and increase energy levels. Along with exercise, it is important to eat a nutritious, balanced diet to nourish your body with energy. A diet high in vegetables, good fats, lean protein, and whole grains promotes overall health. Studies show that certain foods can naturally stimulate the activity of the ECS. Essential fatty acids, chocolate, herbs, spices, and tea are great sources of healthy fats and other compounds that can enhance the ECS. Essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, are often found in cooking oils (sunflower oil, corn oil, or soy oil), meat, poultry, and eggs. Fish, flaxseeds, and chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Intaking a 1:1 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is ideal for enhancing endocannabinoids within the body. Image source: https://wholisticmatters.com/nutrients-supporting-the-endocannabinoid-system/ Chocolate is rich in compounds that have similar chemical structures to endocannabinoids. This allows the compounds to inhibit the breakdown of endocannabinoids, resulting in higher levels within your body. The higher the cacao content in the chocolate, the more cannabinoid-like compounds there are – aim for 70% dark chocolate or higher. Certain herbs, spices, and teas also contain compounds that can stimulate endocannabinoid receptors and raise endocannabinoid levels. The western diet also contains many foods that benefit the endocannabinoid system, such as chia seeds, walnuts, some eggs, and wine.  Taking phytocannabinoids, or naturally-occurring cannabinoids, as a supplement to the diet provides a way to more directly trigger the receptors in your body, and is attributed to several health benefits. There are hundreds of different cannabinoids that can boost the endocannabinoid system, including CBD. Ingesting alcohol and THC can overflow and subsequently depress the receptors, so abstaining from them can help maintain a healthy balance of endocannabinoids. Even something as simple as going outside and getting sunlight will increase numbers of certain endocannabinoids, but as with all things, must be done in moderation. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important in ensuring that your physiological and psychological systems function well. A cannabinoid supplement such as CBD is a great way to activate and boost your internal systems, but works optimally when you have adequate exercise and a healthy diet. By staying physically fit and eating healthy foods, you may be able to further stimulate your ECS and ensure that you are getting the best value from your cannabinoid products. References: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/38/5/536 https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-exercise#section5 https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321612.php https://www.leafly.com/news/health/how-to-stimulate-the-endocannabinoid-system-without-cannabis https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13679-012-0031-x https://www.remedyyourself.com/endocannabinoid-system-diet-cannabis/ https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-conditions/healthy-living/obesity.html
Don’t Let the Pain Stop You

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Don’t Let the Pain Stop You

It is one of those beautiful summer days, and you are out enjoying it with your kids, playing outside and basking in the sunshine. As you run along with them, you feel an old, familiar pain start in your knee. You ignore it at first, as you’re used to it rearing its ugly head every now and again, and you keep on running. The pain gets worse, and by the time you get home, you can hardly walk. Your old sports injury has come back to haunt you yet again, and you are riddled with pain for the next few days. Sound familiar? As we get older, injuries that occurred when we were younger, can creep up again to cause us discomfort, slight pain, or even intense pain, depending on the level of injury. Perhaps the injured area is becoming slightly arthritic, perhaps there is tissue damage that never got properly treated, or perhaps there is inflammation around the joint that is causing additional pain. Whatever it might be, chronic pain can make it difficult to keep up with our busy lives and our busy children! So, how do we cope with it? How can we get through our days, keep up with the kids, get all our work done, and not be suffering all day long? Sure, we could take painkillers to combat the discomfort and pain, but that comes with a slew of its own problems. Many painkillers are highly addictive, even when used as prescribed, and most (if not all) of them are not great to take long-term, as they are very hard on your body. All pain medication, including over-the-counter choices like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, come with side effects that can include stomach problems, nausea, constipation, and kidney damage. None of these painkiller options sound very appealing, especially not for long-term relief. The truth of the matter is that as we continue to age, these old injuries will continue to plague us in the form of aches and pains, some minor and some severe, depending on the injuries and residual effects. Remaining on painkillers long-term is not a healthy option. What is needed is something that is natural, non-addictive, and safe to use every day to help us combat chronic pain. Enter CBD oil. This miracle oil has been found to help a vast number of ailments, everything from anxiety to rheumatoid arthritis. It has been used for thousands of years to treat various types of pain, but it has only been recognized in the medical community in recent years. Known to reduce inflammation, CBD oil can help to target areas that are causing you pain by reducing the inflammation around the injured area. The other benefit to using CBD oil to treat chronic pain is that research has shown that people who have used CBD oil to treat pain did not build up a tolerance to it, therefore they would not need to continually increased their dosage, as can often be the case with painkillers. When you are hit with pain from that old injury, grab some of our Verima Pain Relief Salve to help ease some of your discomfort. With its mix of high-quality essential oils, wonderful sandalwood fragrance, and key ingredients meant to enhance the effects of our organic CBD oil, this salve is sure to help relieve your aches and pains and get you back on your feet. Rub the salve into the sore areas on your body and allow it to absorb into your skin, allowing the natural ingredients to alleviate your pain and reduce inflammation. Use it throughout the day as needed to combat your chronic pain. You will be back on your feet in no time! Sources: Managing Pain Medication Side Effects – https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/diagnosis-treatment/symptom-management/palliative-care/pain-management/management-side-effects The 5 Most Dangerous Painkiller Myths – https://drugabuse.com/prescription-opiates/dangerous-painkiller-myths/ What Are the Side Effects of Pain Medication? – https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/pain-medication-side-effects#1 Does CBD Oil Work for Chronic Pain Management? – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319475.php 7 Benefits and Uses of CBD Oil (Plus Side Effects) – https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cbd-oil-benefits Everything You Need to Know About CBD Oil – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317221.php Does CBD Oil Really Help Treat Arthritis Pain? – https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317221.php
Relieving Holiday Stress

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Relieving Holiday Stress

Thanksgiving has passed; our bellies are full of turkey and our hearts are full of love. The snow has begun to fall, and the crisp smell of winter is in the air. It’s official: the holidays are upon us. For many, this season brings about feelings of warmth, joy, and nostalgia. We remember fond childhood memories and work hard to re-create those same fuzzy feels for our own children. Sometimes, however, the holiday season can also be a time of stress, loneliness, and depression. In our recollections of cherished childhood memories, we may also feel the sharp pang of loss, as we grieve for those who are no longer with us. Maybe we are dealing with toxic relationships that tend to rear their ugly heads around this time of year. Or, perhaps in our desire to create the perfect magical holiday for our children, we run ourselves ragged with exhaustion and stress. Whatever the reason may be, the holidays can also be a difficult time for many people. Luckily, there are things we can do to make them a little easier to get through, so that we can feel a little more of the holiday joy. Be Kind to YourselfRemember that analogy of being on an airplane and putting your own oxygen mask on before helping anyone else? Keep that analogy in your mind over the holidays, and find time to put your own oxygen mask on. You can’t help others if you are running on empty, but let’s face it, moms carry a lot of the mental load – especially around the holidays. Organizing and attending all of the seasonal social events, buying and wrapping gifts, getting the house decorated and cleaned for guests, the list goes on and on. In the hustle and bustle, be sure to carve out some time for yourself. Allow for breaks and downtime, where you can just relax and breathe. Stop at your favourite coffee shop and enjoy a quiet latte for 10 minutes before continuing about your day. Grab a babysitter during the week for a couple of hours so you and your spouse can spend a peaceful dinner out together – nothing fancy, just a break from the chaos. Just take care of yourself, you are important. Moms often find this time of year very overwhelming and stressful. Prioritize and DelegatePanicked because you still have to finish buying presents, mail your Christmas cards, attend the school holiday concert, pick up the turkey, wrap the gifts, and bake the cookies you promised your daughter you’d make together? Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It doesn’t all have to be accomplished today, and you can ask others for help with it all. Ask your spouse to mail the Christmas cards and pick up the turkey, plan for the two of you to wrap a few presents each night during the week until they’re done, and find a quick and easy cookie recipe that won’t take forever to put together. Then, stop for the day and go enjoy the school holiday concert, that’s enough for one day. Limit Your Exposure to Toxic PeopleThere’s no doubt about it, every family at one time or another has had their share of differences. If you can, choose to spend your holidays surrounded by those who make you feel happy and relaxed, not those who stress you out or cause drama. Now, some people may be unavoidable, and you might get stuck visiting them over the holidays, but try to keep it brief. If there are certain people that you find particularly stressful to be around, limit your exposure and keep the visit short. Try to set aside your differences for the evening, and then treat yourself to a little something afterward – a chocolate goodie, glass of wine, or a bubble bath – for getting through it unscathed. Don’t Abandon Healthy HabitsIt is during this time of year that many healthy habits, such as eating well and exercising, tend to go out the window. We are extra busy and there are many more temptations when it comes to food and drinks – holiday parties, cocktails, dinners out, and so on. It becomes harder to eat healthy, and as a result of consuming so many empty, sugary calories, we are left feeling bloated, sluggish, and unhealthy. Indulge in the festivities (of course!), but work to incorporate healthy eating as often as you can. With the shorter days and busy schedules, we also find it harder to remain active during the day. The benefits of exercise, however, are that we have increased energy and elevated moods, which in turns helps us to manage the holiday stress that much easier. So, get out for a walk on your lunch break, or play outside in the snow with your kids. Whenever you can, try to stay active. Be RealisticThe holidays can be tough, and we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make it just perfect. Instead this year, keep things realistic and don’t break the bank trying to provide the best possible Christmas for your kids. The greatest gift you can give them is your time and your love; despite the mile-long Santa list they wrote, this is honestly the thing they want most. Despite your best efforts, things might also not go as planned for the holidays, and that’s ok. Life changes, people change, and sometimes traditions have to change too. Even though it may not be the way you wanted or pictured, be grateful for the little things, accept the differences, and be open to new traditions. Focus on the True Meaning of the Holiday SeasonNo matter what your belief system is, what religion you follow, or what traditional holiday you celebrate this time of year, there is one common theme throughout all beliefs, and that is one of love. This time of year, it is all about love, family, generosity, and kindness. Spend time with those who matter most to you, and be grateful for the memories you create together. Be kind to yourself, and allow yourself time to rest, relax, and reflect. Think of others, and spend some of your time giving back or doing some random acts of kindness when you can. Above all else, focus on spreading love and cheer to others, and be sure to save a little of it for yourself too! From one Mom to another, happy holidays! May the joy of the season surround you. TryVerima.com
Top 10 Best Family Christmas Traditions Your Kids Will Love

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Top 10 Best Family Christmas Traditions Your Kids Will Love

There is something magical about creating and following family traditions every holiday season. They bring about a sense of nostalgia, create special memories with our loved ones, and strengthen the family bonds. Children look forward to those same traditions every year, and even as adults, we find comfort in following the traditions each year. Whether it is a special ornament that gets hung on the tree every year, a delicious breakfast dish that is served every Christmas morning, or family dinners that happen every year, these traditions are at the heart of the holiday season. What holiday traditions do you follow with your own family? Are you looking to start some new ones? Here are 10 easy, festive, and fun holiday traditions that will create wonderful, heart-warming memories for years to come. Give back to others This is something that we started the year our son was born, and it is something that we have always kept as a tradition in our home. We are fortunate to have food in our bellies, a roof over our heads, and clean clothes to wear every day, and it is important to teach our children that not everyone in the world is as lucky. Taking time during the holiday season to give back to others is an important tradition for us. Some years, it might be donating money and food to the local food banks, some years it was purchasing the Gifts of Hope to give to the grandparents from our children, while others years, we donate our time to go and help out at local charities however we can. But, giving back to others warms our hearts and hopefully makes someone else’s Christmas a little brighter. Do some holiday baking together We all want yummy things to eat during the holidays, and there is something inherently special about doing some holiday baking together. Kids love to bake, and they take such pride in their carefully-created treats. I always remember doing Christmas baking with my mom, and it is easily one of my favorite traditions. Set aside an afternoon, allow the kitchen to get crazy messy, and have some fun baking with your kids and creating memories together. Holiday baking is a wonderful tradition to start with your kids. Take family photos Now, this does not necessarily have to be professionally taken, perfectly curated, matching outfit perfection. It could simply be starting the tradition of taking a family selfie in your jammies on Christmas morning. But, get that camera out and grab some family photos – use the timer to make sure Mom is in the photo too! You will be glad to have these memories when the kids are grown…and they will be glad too! Create a Christmas morning tradition that you all can look forward to every year It might be having special Christmas pajamas to wear the night before, or perhaps a cozy, delicious breakfast that you all enjoy every year. We used to have the tradition of us kids waiting at the top of the stairs until Mom and Dad were awake, and then we would all go downstairs together. It was a simple tradition, but I always loved sitting there with my brother, in anticipation of what Santa brought! Whatever it might be, start a special Christmas morning tradition that you all look forward to. Go for family winter walks This is one tradition that I still recall fondly from my childhood. We used to get bundled up after dinner, and go for a neighborhood walk to see the Christmas lights. I still recall during one particular walk, looking up at the street light and seeing the snowflakes floating down. It was simply magical. During the hustle and bustle of the season, make some time for this peaceful, quiet tradition, and let your children soak in the magic of winter. As an added bonus – it also gets the kids outside for some fresh air and exercise, which will make it much easier for them to fall asleep at night! There is something peaceful and magical about holiday lights against the snow! Choose a new family ornament each year This is one of my favourite traditions that we started the year our son was born (in hindsight, we started quite a few traditions that magical Christmas eight years ago!). Every year, we go to the shopping mall and choose a family ornament that can be personalized with all of our names. We get such joy out of seeing those ornaments each year as we decorate the tree, and recalling the memories that are associated with it. Have a Christmas movie night Get in to your coziest jammies, make some popcorn and hot chocolate, and cuddle up together for a Christmas movie night. Depending on the age of your children, you might enjoy watching Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (older kids only!), Mickey’s Christmas Carol (my personal favorite), or How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Go for a Christmas Lights Drive This tradition is similar to the Christmas Lights Walk, but you can go a little further by taking the car! Have the kids get into their jammies, pop some popcorn or bring along some little treats or hot chocolate, and go for a drive around the neighborhood to see all the Christmas lights. Play some Christmas music on the stereo as you drive, and have fun singing carols along the way! Make a special Christmas Eve family video interviewing each family member This is a tradition that I haven’t started yet, but hope to this year. On Christmas Eve, have a few questions pre-planned about the year, what they recall, what they are grateful for, what they hope Santa will bring, etc. and interview each family member. You will enjoy looking back on the adorable interviews with your children, especially when they’re all grown up. Take your kids shopping to buy presents for each other This is quite possibly the favorite tradition in our household, and it is the one our kids ask about the most. Every year for the past 4 years, we have split up and gone shopping for each other. The kids buy for their sibling and whichever parent they aren’t shopping with. They love this tradition, and they are learning about the joy of giving back to others. They ask each other what they want, and carefully select and wrap their sibling’s gift. Their excitement on Christmas morning watching their sibling open the gift they chose is simply priceless. The joy of giving back to others is something they will never forget. There are countless traditions that you can start with your own family. You can’t go wrong with any of them, really. Don’t bombard yourself with too many, so that it creates a sense of stress during the holidays. But, select one or two that you feel are important or special, and start them with your own family. Your children will cherish those memories, and will likely continue them with their own kids later on in life. Pass on the magic and warmth of the holiday season, and be sure to take time to enjoy them yourself! TryVerima.com
Give Joy Not Stuff , Love People Not Things

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Give Joy Not Stuff , Love People Not Things

In this day and age with so much consumerism, excess, and waste, there is something inherently beautiful about not giving traditional gifts at Christmas. That is not to say we should forgo gifts altogether, but rather, we should be more mindful and intentional with our purchases, choosing to spend our time and our money on things that are important, rather than just more junk and stuff that takes up space in our homes. There are so many ideas out there about ways to celebrate the holidays without the excess of gifts, toys, and trinkets that get played with for a time and then are left on the shelf to gather dust. If you are like me and are tired of the chaos of Christmas shopping, the overspending that always happens, and the amount of junk that accumulates around the house, here are some alternatives to buying traditional Christmas gifts. Give the Gift of Time As a Kindergarten teacher for many years, there is one common theme in the memories my students share with me about their holidays – the time they spent with their loved ones. Sure, the occasional toy is mentioned and celebrated, however most of the time they talk about the special memories they created with their family. Spending cozy mornings cuddled up watching TV together, doing some Christmas baking, sledding in the snow, playing a family board game, etc. Those are the things that they are most excited to share with me – because the greatest gift in your children’s eyes is YOU! They simply want uninterrupted time with the people they love most. So, this Christmas, don’t worry so much that every popular toy is under the tree. Instead, focus on setting aside quality time to spend with your kids. That is what they want the most. The best gift you can give your children is the gift of your time.   Give the Gift of Memories While toys are loved and appreciated in the moment, most times they quickly get shelved and forgotten. If you were to think back to your childhood days, would you recall every toy that you were given? Probably not. But, what if you were given a membership to a new activity or club? Or those skating lessons you were hoping to take? Or a season’s pass to a favourite amusement park, museum, or zoo? You would likely remember all of the wonderful memories that were created visiting those places or participating in those activities. Instead of giving stuff this year, try giving the gift of experiences instead. Your children will remember those long after the Barbies and Transformers are forgotten. A season’s pass to a favorite amusement park is something your kids could enjoy all year long. Give the Gift of Giving Back It is important for us to take time to recognize the blessings in our lives, and to foster gratitude in our own children. If we have a roof over our heads, food in our tummies, and clothes on our backs, then we are richer than many other people in the world. This is an important concept for children to understand, and one way to help teach this, is to foster a love of giving back to others. There is no better time to start this than the holiday season. You could bring your children to the local soup kitchen and volunteer some hours to help pass out food to others. You could take a trip to the grocery store and have your children pick out non-perishable food items to take to the local food bank. Perhaps they could go through toys they’ve outgrown that are still in good condition and have them donate them to a local charity. Or, you could visit a website like Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope, where you can purchase specific gifts that help to strengthen and support impoverished communities around the world. Whichever way you decide to give back, make this a family tradition and part of your holiday gift giving. You will be giving your children the gift of compassion, generosity, and kindness – something that no amount of money can buy. Helping others is something we all need to be teaching our children. Give the Gift of Travel This gift is similar to the gift of memories, because you will be creating wonderful travel memories together. Instead of giving toys this Christmas, save your money and spend it on a family trip somewhere instead. Plan a fun family vacation to a new place that you’ve never been before. Perhaps give the kids a few little gifts that are clues to the big gift, such as flip flops and sunglasses if you’re going somewhere hot, or cute luggage tags if you’re going on an airplane. Providing opportunities for your children to see the world not only creates wonderful memories together, but it also teaches your children about the joys of travel and the many things they can learn when they experience new countries and new cultures. Give your children the gift of experiencing the world. There is nothing wrong at all with giving gifts at Christmas, and it is something that I love to do with my own children and family. But, being more mindful and intentional with our purchases, and choosing gifts that will last longer than the initial excitement, is something that I am striving to do this Christmas. It is a great opportunity to teach some important life lessons to our children, including the idea of giving back to others and helping to create some kindness in this world. That alone is a gift in itself. TryVerima.com
Fiascos and small Triumphs of Mom CEO

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Fiascos and small Triumphs of Mom CEO

Launching and running a successful new company consumes a founder’s resources of time and energy (both mental and physical). Doing so as a mother of three school-age children will test the limits of even the most organized and efficient of us. Doing so during the holidays. . . something is going to drop.  Where’s my son? My youngest son has a standing playdate every Tuesday. My friend Jen picks up our boys from school at 1:30 pm and takes them to her home where she usually has them pouring soy candles or baking mochi brownies. This past Tuesday, my son’s extended day was canceled and his day ended at 12:30, while her son still had a 1:30 dismissal. (School: why do you torment us?) I *knew* this, yet slipped my mind to communicate it to her. . . fast forward to 12:45 pm when I am driving 30 minutes in the opposite direction to pick my daughter up from her school early for a dentist appointment. My phone rings and another classmate’s mom is waiting with Nolan because no one has come to pick him up. I frantically make calls to other mom friends to see if anyone is available to pick him up and hang out with him for 45 mins until Jen gets there. Jen calls me back and tells me she’ll head straight there and get him until her son is done. Mom ego bruised, but the child is in safe hands and cared for so I continue with my day feeling nothing but gratitude to those friends who graciously paused their hectic holiday preparations to help me out.  Nolan at preschool Where’s my Phone? Wednesday, I had phone calls and meetings all morning and had about 20 minutes before school pick up. I create a voice memo list as I drove to Costco determined to grab the items and be on time for pick-up. I miraculously slid into a parking spot and ran inside, grabbed my items and ran back out. Time check? Erm. . . where’s my phone? After several frantic pat-downs I realized I had no phone on my body. Dumping my mom bag on my car seat did not reveal a phone either. With a sinking feeling, I knew it must be somewhere in the Costco if someone had not already walked out with it. I bolt back inside quickly explaining the situation to the greeter at the door. “What kind of phone is it?” he asked me. “An i-phone X” I replied. He just shook his head with a “yeah, good luck getting THAT back. “ expression. Desperately I skidded into customer service inquiring about my phone and there it was. Some wonderful soul had found it and turned it into customer service. I walked out of the building full of gratitude to the kind person who had found the phone and then walked it to customer service.  Where’s my Wallet?Thursday: meeting with a vendor, call with the marketing team, conversation with photographer, left me with 30 minutes to find a hostess gift for that evening’s holiday party. I brave holiday mall traffic and parking nightmares and glide into the store. I quickly find the perfect platter for my friend and pat myself on the back as I make my way to the cashier. I strike up a conversation with the friendly woman behind me on the queue. I hand the platter to the employee and reach into my bag for my non-existent wallet. I had grabbed the wrong bag on my way out the door. Returning to the mall with my wallet was not an option. I was about to abandon the platter when the friendly woman behind me said, “If you want, I can pay for it with my card and you can just PayPal me. “ My gratitude meter skyrocketed at this stranger’s offer for this non-essential item. Her kindness was even more amplified as I had zero phone signal inside the store and had to leave to reimburse her.    Finding Joy from Random Acts of KindnessThe thing is, before launching Verma, not a single one of these things had ever happened to me let alone all three on consecutive days on top of that. There’s no doubt the universe was telling me something. As women and especially as moms, we somehow receive the messaging that we need to do it all. . . on our own. . . perfectly. Once I added entrepreneur into the mix, I simply had to let go of any facade of having it all “together” and in return, it opened me up to receiving help and experiencing the generosity of friends and strangers. To say it has been heartwarming to receive this sort of caring from my community would be an understatement. It’s amazing how starting a company has in its twisty turning way made me more aware of the goodness and kindness of people. Happy Holidays! TryVerima.com
Live Intentionally in 2020

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Live Intentionally in 2020

Finding BalanceI never learned how to parent as a mother who works outside the home.  I was blessed with an loving and attentive mother who stayed home with the kids and poured all of her time and resources into raising us.  So, the balance between work and home life was never modeled for me.  After my own first child was born, I went back to teaching two ballet classes a week for one year before throwing in the towel because he was such a high needs baby who didn’t sleep more than 45 minutes a stretch for the first three years of his life.  For the next eleven years I stayed home with our three children.  So the things a mother learns to juggle with a job outside the home with first one child, then the next and the next on a somewhat steady learning curve was never my trajectory.    Mom and EntrepreneurI went from being a full time stay-at-home-mom of three to a full-time-stay-at-home-mom-of-three-AND-entrepreneur.  I can assure you, before Verima, most days I already was scrambling to drop-off/pick-up three children in three different directions in addition to the endless cooking and piles of laundry and dishes.   Now that I am a founder trying to run a company, the demands on my time are overwhelming.  Even more problematic is that as a founder, I have yet to start paying myself. . . which means there is no income to pay for daycare or a nanny to make up for the hours I spend working on Verima.     Trying to Make it All WorkSo as I try to figure out how to make it all work, I have come to certain realizations that I must do which has shaped this year’s New Year’s resolutions.  Firstly, I plan to eat to maximize my energy levels.  I have always purchased organic, local whole foods.  But as I have aged my body has begun to reject certain foods that I love.  I still love them and when I indulge in them my energy levels come crashing down, or I wake up the next morning fatigued.  This lack of productivity is no longer an option and as it happens, I love the feeling of opening my eyes in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.     Being PresentSecondly, I plan to spend focused time with each child.  These days I no longer have very much time to just *be* with my children.  And this perhaps makes me the saddest.  On the other hand, thankfully it has directed me to spend meaningful time focused on each child versus the old me half listening as I washed dishes since I was around all day. It should also be noted that while I did not possess the skills to parent as a working-outside-the-home mom; my children did not know how to be the kids of a working mom.  The learning curve to age appropriate independence was a steep one for them as well, but I have only seen positive outcomes as they have flourished in the past year.     “Me-Time”Lastly I plan to carve out more “me-time” or as my friend Rochelle calls it, “Defensive Calendering” because if I don’t, I end up short of patience and stamina and not the mom or business woman I aspire to be.  Me-time is anything that feeds my soul and gives me a physical, mental or emotional break from the daily grind.  For me, this includes taking ballet classes, watching live performances (in any form), nights out with my core group of women who make me laugh until I cry, and help me cry until I laugh.  And lastly, but certainly not least, time with my husband.     I realize these three resolutions (and thus this blog post) can be watered down to the generic 1) eat better 2) spend quality time with kids 3) take more time for myself.  But I hope with the intention and the explanations behind them, the resolutions will take hold for longer than a few weeks.  I guess one could say resolution #4 is: Stick to resolutions numbers 1 to 3!     Let’s make 2020 the best year yet!     http://www.tryverima.com