Two Teens And Their Mama

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fall Transitions: Plaid Shirt

Welcome back to The Blended Blog Style!  We hope you'll join us and link up your fashion posts below, and check back each week to see if you are featured!

So...I spoke too soon.  Fall came in with a vengeance last weekend, and it's been cool and rainy ever since. Time to transition the closet and put away the shorts until next year.

This is one of my go to outfits for early fall - a lightweight shirt, cropped jeans, and loafers.  Mix in some plaid and you're ready to go!

The colors of this plaid don't exactly scream fall, but I love the blue and pink together.  The shirt is a lightweight cotton with fun bell sleeves to add some interest.  This is my third pair of loafers from Old Navy, and they are so comfy and great quality for the price.

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge

And now it's time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Still Moving With Ted's Pain Cream...And You Can Too

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf to Ted's Pain Cream.  All opinions are my own.

This weekend the rain and cool temperatures arrived, and I finally waved my little white flag. I think summer is officially over.  But what a summer it's been!  Hiking and beaching and boating and getting outside with my family.

In the past, all of that activity would have meant serious pain in my knee.  But not anymore, thanks to Ted's Pain Cream.  I was introduced to this topical analgesic a few months ago, and now I'm a fan for life.  My knee has never felt better, and I'm able to keep up on our family adventures.  I don't know how, but it really works.  So when Ted's reached out and asked if I'd like to interview THE Ted himself, I immediately said yes.  

Read on for my chat with the very interesting Dr. Ted, and be sure to go all the way to the bottom for a chance to win your own tube of Ted's Pain Cream.  I want everyone to be pain free too!

Photo Credit:  Ted's Pain Cream website
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?  What got you interested in neuroscience as a career?

I have always wanted to be a scientist but I was really more interested in physics and, specifically, astrophysics when I was young.  I did not really become interested in neuroscience until late in my undergrad education.  My advisor at the time noted that I was skilled at math, but not very good at seeing the connection to the physical world, which is really what astrophysics is all about.  He advised that I take a neuroscience lab.  The first experiment we did was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. I changed my major within a week or so and have never looked back.

How did Ted's Pain Cream come to be?

Dr. Greg, Dr. Lucas, and I were working on resveratrol as a potential pain therapeutic in the lab because it's a natural product that activates the signaling pathway we were studying, AMPK, and it's safe for human use.  A nice thing about resveratrol is that it has good absorption across skin so you can make a topical with it.  I was having a lot of tendinitis in my ankle and I was very frustrated because I couldn't play basketball, which is something I love to do. It seemed ridiculous that I was a pain expert yet I could no nothing to overcome this ceaseless tendon pain.  I got with a friend of mine in the pharmacy school, Bo Lian, and we formulated a cream that I could try on my ankle.  It was like magic!  I could play basketball again about three days later.

How does it work to stop false pain?  Oh, and...what's the difference between false pain and actual pain?

When you have an injury, pain sensing neurons that innervate the injured area become sensitized.  They start responding to very low levels of inflammation and other stimuli that do not normally cause pain.  This often does not reverse when an injury heals.  You continue to get a pain signal like you are injuring yourself even though there is not injury there anymore, or "false pain".  Work in my lab, over many years, has shown that activating AMPK can reverse this plasticity and stop "false pain".  We know that resveratrol can do this, and the mix of resveratrol and wintergreen oil should activate AMPK strongly in the areas where the cream is applied.

I also gave a tube of cream to my mom for her plantar fasciitis, and she loves it.  What other body parts is Ted's best for?

It is really great for tendon and muscle pain.  For some people it works well for low back pain, but I think this depends on how deep the pain is.  This, unfortunately, is an issue with topicals, the sensitized nerves need to be somewhat superficial for the product to get to them.  Therefore, it's not for everyone, but it is really something else for tendon, fascia, and muscle pain.

Any new products in the works?  I've got this great idea for a sunscreen pill...

We are working on a new gel formulation that is still in development.  We have also been thinking about a migraine mist, but that is still very early on.  Many people tell us that our product works for migraine when they put it on the back of their necks and temples.  We are very intrigued by that, but we honestly don't know how it works.  

Lots of my readers have kids in high school/college, and I love that you give back with a neuroscience scholarship.  Any advice to those hopeful science/medical kids out there?

Sure, research experience can be very helpful when applying to graduate school programs. If you are at a university or college with research labs, get involved!  It's a lot of fun and you'll meet wonderful people.  Doing research, especially designing and interpreting experiments, gives you critical thinking skills that you really don't learn any other way. Research is not for everyone, but I have never met anyone who regretted getting research experience.

Besides creating awesome products, what do you do for fun?

I love to hang out with my wife and daughter, who is a little over two years old.  I love to play basketball and we love to travel as a family.  I also enjoy cooking.

I also asked Ted a few of our TBB Asks summer questions...

Favorite summer beverage?  White wine, not very exciting, I know, but it's refreshing!

Popsicle flavor of choice?  Coconut

Would you rather be hot or cold?  COLD!!!

Hot dog or hamburger?  Hamburger

So there you have it.  Ted's Pain Cream really works, and was created by an interesting, philanthropic guy who also mentioned that he happens to enjoy fashion.  Win!


Leave a comment below, and on Friday I'll draw a random winner to receive a free tube of Ted's Pain Cream, delivered straight to your door, thanks to the very kind Dr. Ted.  What are you waiting for?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

TBB Style: Unzipped

Welcome back to The Blended Blog Style!  We hope you'll join us and link up your fashion posts below, and check back each week to see if you are featured!

Last week I was invited to a fun event at Pacific Place in Seattle, hosted by Gossip & Glamour.  We were treated to cupcakes and popcorn, and watched a showing of the 1995 documentary Unzipped.  In the film, Isaac Mizrahi plans and prepares his 1994 fall collection for fashion week.  I've always enjoyed Isaac, and I love him even more after seeing Unzipped.  His sense of humor, intelligence, and kind heart was evident in every scene.  It was a fun look at all of the hard work that goes into designing and preparing a collection.

My friend Dawn met me there, and the first thing we did was get in line to have our style portrait drawn by the very talented Galina of Drawing Blueberry.  She is a wonderful artist , and it was definitely worth the wait to see the finished product.

This is what I wore to the event.  I've shared all of these pieces before, but never put together this way.

And this is the style portrait Galina drew for me.  I love it!  Sure, it's more like me thirty years ago, but fun anyway!

I think Unzipped is available on Amazon Video, and it's definitely worth a watch.

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge

And now it's time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle.

Monday, September 11, 2017

TBB Talks: Favorite School Memories

Happy Monday!  Today The Blended Blog is talking about school memories, and I thought I'd share a few of my favorite teachers.  Link up with us below if you have a post about the good old school days!

My husband can remember every single teacher he had in elementary school.  I, however, cannot recall even one.  I attended Catholic school for most of my younger years, and in North Carolina our teachers were all nuns.  Apparently those black habits have blended together in my mind!

When we moved to Washington my parents put us in public school, and my sixth grade teacher, Miss Spencer, was a favorite.  She drove a blue corvette and was super laid back. Unless you made her mad.  Back in the late 70's, teachers were allowed to use corporal punishment on students.  Miss Spencer had a paddle, and you did not want to get called into her back office for bad behavior!  Miss Spencer was also my favorite coach ever, and taught me almost everything I know about basketball.

The award for my very favorite teacher of all time goes to Mr. Wolfe, my 8th grade US History teacher.  And I wasn't the only one - every kid in school couldn't wait to take his class.

Mr. Wolfe loved US History with a passion, and shared it enthusiastically with his students. He never lectured, instead choosing to teach us through interaction.  Whether it was learning about the stock market, or the first settlers, or the Civil War, he always had a fun project in mind.  He truly cared about every student, and we all loved him right back. About once a month he came to school dressed as some historical figure, and didn't break character no matter how hard we tried.

Looking back through old pictures I realized two things.  First, I remember thinking these teachers were so old at the time, but now I see how young they were!  And second, I'm so gratefull for all the teachers out there.  I know it's a hard, under appreciated job.  I hope you realize the impact you make on kids every single day.  Thank you.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fall Transitions: Vests

Welcome back to The Blended Blog Style!  We hope you'll join us and link up your fashion posts below, and check back each week to see if you are featured!

Whether I like it or not, summer is coming to an end, and it's time to start thinking about transitioning the closet.  

Early fall weather can be tricky in Seattle.  This year we're still experiencing very hot temps and zero rainfall.  Due to several large, devastating wildfires, our skies are full of smoke and ash.  This is what it looked like at my house at noon today!

Eventually the temps will cool down and it will start to rain, and that's when I'll pull out my vests.  They're the perfect piece to transition a t-shirt and jeans into a fall outfit.  Recently, my friend Dawn shared a top from a darling boutique called Kris And Kate, based here in Seattle.  After browsing their website, I found the perfect fall transition vest.

I love the weight, the blush color, and the hood.  As soon as the weather cools down, it will be so cute styled with a striped t-shirt, crop jeans and booties.  Later in fall I can add a turtleneck and tall boots.

Linking up  with The Pleated PoppyThursday Fashion FilesFashion FridayFabulous FridayPumps and PushupsHow I Style ItNot Dead Yet StyleMy Refined StyleThursday ModaI do DeclaireAgeless StyleWednesday's Wardrobe , Get Your Pretty OnShelbee On The Edge


While Florida braces for Hurricane Irma, the people of Texas are still reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Every bit of support is needed, and I want to share a unique way you can help.  

Knack is a bespoke online gifting company.  Their items are local, artisan, and crafted with the best gifters in mind. In light of the huge need in Houston and surrounding areas, Knack is launching a new campaign to support those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Starting today, you can purchase one of three curated gift boxes from their website, and Knack will give the same gift to an organization supporting those impacted by the hurricane. 100% of the proceeds from all purchases will support the relief efforts.

The boxes come in two themes with corresponding recipient groups:

--Send a Moment Of Play Knack with entertainment options for kids of all ages, and the same gift will be sent to children in shelters.

--Choose one of two toiletries Knacks, and the same Knack will be sent to those adults in shelters.  These Knacks, the Uplift Houston: Quick Refresh Kit and Uplift Houston: A Restful Pause, are comfort gifts for those impacted.

All proceeds from the sales of these boxes will be used to purchase more boxes for those affected.  The items included are largely recycled, recyclable, and won't contribute to the waste efforts that the city of Houston may face.

The products in the gifted Knacks include items from Texas-based company Bright Beam Goods and Seattle-based MiiR, which has contributed to over 44 clean water and health projects worldwide.


And now it's time to link up!  I hope you'll join us again this week, and follow along with #theblendedblogstyle. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

TBB Asks - Back To School Edition

It's the first Monday of the month, so time for a little Q and A with The Blended Blog.  I just got back into town after visiting college boy and cheering on our Cougs for the first WSU football game of the season.  As usual, I'm behind, so I'm going to pick and choose a few questions.  Be sure to head to The Blended Blog to link up your posts, and mark your calendar for October 2nd when we'll be asking and answering everything Fall!

Love school or hate it?  I loved everything about school, and the first day was one of my favorite days of the year.  If I could have gotten away with it, I would have kept going. Sadly, those student loans weren't going to pay for themselves.

School uniform or no?  Until 5th grade I went to Catholic School, so we wore a uniform everyday.  When we moved to Washington my parents put us in public school, and I loved having "free dress day" everyday!

Eat school lunch or pack lunch?  My mom packed our lunch until middle school, and then she went back to work and we were on our own.  I enjoyed buying school lunch until the day someone found a tiny slug in the salad bar. After that, it was sack lunch PB & J for me!

Favorite thing to do at recess?  Remember penny drops from the monkey bars?  Well, I could never do those.  Or a cartwheel.  But I enjoyed hanging out with my friends, watching them and talking.

Favorite subject in school?  English and creative writing.  Essays in those little blue exam books made me so happy.

Least favorite?  Hmm...I don't think I had one.  Honestly, I loved it all.

Class ring or no?  I had a letterman's jacket, but no ring.

Attend high school reunions?  Yep.  My husband and I graduated from the same high school and still live close by, so we've gone to all the reunions.  Our 30th a few years ago was the most fun, because everyone was relaxed and happy to see each other.

We hope you'll join us each Monday for some fun September link ups.  Have a great week!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Grandpa Ed is 99

This weekend, my Grandpa Ed turns 99.  If you've read my blog for awhile, you know all about Grandpa Ed.  He is truly one of a kind, and I wish everyone could know him.

He still lives at home, drives a car, and takes care of himself.  Every morning at 7am he gets up, goes for a walk, showers, and starts his day.  No matter what, he always has a positive attitude.  Grandpa was born in 1918 - it's crazy to think about the things he's seen!  He's still eager to learn, and you'll never hear "well, back in my day, we did it this way".  Instead he says, "how do you work this new fangled thing"?

Although he has slowed down physically this year, his mind is still as sharp as ever.  Do not try to pull a fast one on Grandpa, because he'll catch you every time.

Grandpa Ed truly is the sun in our family.  We're just the planets circling around him, trying to soak up as much as we can of this amazing man.  

A few years ago I wrote a post about the things I've learned from Grandpa Ed, and in honor of his birthday, I'm running it again today.  

Family is important.

Grandpa Ed and Grandma Mary had four children.  When my mom was eight, grandpa was offered a job that required him to travel around the United States, staying in each town for several months at a time.  He didn't want to leave his wife and kids behind, but he needed the job.  So they sold their house, bought a 20 foot trailer, and took off as a family.  I can't imagine living in a small trailer with six people, traveling the country, for seven years.  I'm pretty sure I'd be heading back home after a few weeks.  But that's what they did.  And they never regretted it, because they were together.  

From those four kids, grandpa has eleven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren, and we all love him madly. He makes time for each and every one of us, because family is important.

Stay active.

Did I mention Grandpa Ed is 96?  He still lives in his own home, drives, and his mind is as sharp as ever.  Every week he golfs 18 holes, and only in the last year has he used a golf cart because his hips hurt.  He walks around the block every day, and he's been known to pull his bike out when his car is in the shop.  When I asked if he wore a helmet, he just giggled.  Guess what he's getting for his birthday!  He says staying active has kept him alive this long, and I'm not going to argue with him. 

The simple things in life are usually the best things.

Last year my boys wanted to take grandpa to Pink's in downtown Los Angeles, because they are known for their fabulous hot dogs, and hot dogs are one of grandpa's favorite foods.  He was a little dubious about Pink's, but being the trooper he is, he was willing to drive an hour and wait in line another thirty minutes to try a dog, because the boys said it was worth it.  His verdict?  The ones at Costco are just as good, half the price, and way less trouble. Sometimes the simple things in life are the best things.

A positive attitude helps you get through anything.

Grandpa Ed's life certainly hasn't been perfect, and he's had his share of health troubles. He's survived prostate cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer and melanoma.  Luckily everything was caught early when most treatable, but through every surgery and illness he maintains a positive attitude.  He tells me there's no point in being depressed about it - what will be, will be. Except when grandma died, I've never seen him sad - he just smiles and gets on with living.

Life doesn't end when you get older.

When he was 80, grandpa took up painting and drawing as a hobby, and he's pretty good at it. He set up an art studio in his formal living room when grandma passed (I'm sure she haunts him over this - we were never even allowed in that room).  He goes to the senior center every week - always on the lookout for new friends.  Not a day goes by that he doesn't get up at 7am, get dressed in his signature jeans and polo shirt, and head out of the house.  Sure, there's an afternoon nap every day, but not until he's accomplished something.

Happy 99th birthday grandpa!

Be sure to come back on Monday for TBB Asks.  We've got some fun back to school questions for September, and we'd love you to link up with us!

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