I was looking through my video portfolio and found one of my second nostalgia video creations. I’ve always enjoyed making these videos and making a couple as I speak. This video was created in 2016 during the 20th anniversary of the Arthur animation.

Having a background in social media marketing has allowed me to explore the art of video creation. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to have access to programs, free of charge, to expand my knowledge of editing and audio.

My friend gave me access to a few programs to improve my video skills. I’m beyond excited to have industry-standard programs at my fingertips. It’s going to be interesting to see what new formats I can think of. Regardless, I want to feel that sense of joy and excitement when I watch my finished product. My goal is to continue with social media formatted vids for resume purposes, but also expand into more complex editing techniques. What I learn may take me to higher places in my career.

I’ve shared two social videos I created early in my video editing days. They were both for a social media company I worked for. As simple as they are, I’m happy to say they performed well. The Power Rangers’ video received over 23 million views and The Animaniacs video has over 4 million.

Health & Lifestyle, portfolio, Random Thoughts

Appreciating the Little Things

It’s 7 am. The sunlight enters the bedroom window naturally waking a woman from her slumber. After a quick yawn and stretch, she heads to her bathroom to empty her bladder. Still physically and mentally waking up, she turns on the hot and cold water to create a comfortable temperature to wash her hands, face, and brush her teeth. 

Squinting from the abundance of sunshine beaming through her opened blinds, she walks into her living room towards her computer to boot it up. The desktop starts up immediately allowing her to hop on the internet and play the latest news vids. While catching up on what’s happening in the world, she opens her fridge to grab filtered water to prepare coffee. She scouts her selection of food deciding what will compliment her coffee. She chooses a bagel and cream cheese. 

As she awaits her bagel to toast, she sips on freshly brewed coffee while stepping onto her balcony to get some fresh air. The street is quiet with an occasional car or passerby. Her neighbors have unique schedules. Some have already left for work while others are still preparing for the day.

She hears the toaster oven beep notifying her the bagel is ready. Honey walnut cream cheese is slathered on the toasted bagel causing a sweet aroma to fill the kitchen. She grabs her hot breakfast and walks over to her computer desk. The day isn’t planned. There’s nothing on the schedule. She has the entire day to do whatever she chooses. Online shopping, laundry, write, head out with someone, exercise, or do absolutely nothing. The choice is hers. All she knows is it’s her day off, she doesn’t have to get out of her pajamas, and the coffee is truly hitting the spot. 

If you made it this far, this is what I do the first hour of waking up on my day off. You may be wondering what does my morning routine has to do with appreciating the little things. It has everything to do with the title. 

  1. I appreciate waking up in my bed with a roof over my head.
  2. I appreciate having a bathroom with clean running water.
  3. I appreciate seeing the sunlight beaming through my windows.
  4. I appreciate being able to afford the internet and a computer.
  5. I appreciate having food in my fridge and the option to choose what to eat.
  6. I appreciate preparing breakfast.
  7. I appreciate having a job that includes having a day off. 😀

You get the point. 

I didn’t want to do a simple list of things you should appreciate. I decided to go a different route. I guess I’m trying to be unique.

We’re so busy with our lives that we forget to appreciate the little things that are part of our daily routine, but ignored because of bigger things on our mind. The next time you wake up in the morning, have a day to yourself, or when you have a peaceful moment, pay attention to what you do and your surrounds. Appreciate the basics.

What are some small things you appreciate?

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Health & Lifestyle, portfolio, Random Thoughts

The Difficulty, Yet Necessity, of Positive Thinking

Why is it so difficult to think positive yet extremely easy to be negative? Is it because we live in a negative world? One that constantly tells us we’re not good enough regardless of how hard we try. A society that constantly compares us to the next person and is quick to point out our flaws. What about our own internal struggles? We put ourselves down on a regular basis regardless of if the people who love us say the opposite.

I’ve noticed, in this supercharged political time, something as basic as a video of a cat playing with a ball of yarn can turn political in the comments. How can something so innocent and non-threatening make people think about politics? It’s as if some people look for the negative in everything or receive pleasure in triggering others to join their negative space.

How about we try to be more positive?

Take some time out of your day and think about the positive things in your life. If you have a hard time, start with the basics.

  1. You woke up.
  2. You have clean running water to wash your body and brush your teeth with.
  3. When you look in the mirror, compliment yourself as if you’re Johnny Bravo.

If you need some more ways to start thinking positive, here are 11 Ways to Boost Positive Thinking.

Let’s start the new week on a positive note!

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Virtual reality and pain relief
Health & Lifestyle, portfolio

Virtual Reality Pain Management – Can It Alleviate Pain?

Virtual reality pain management may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to chronic pain. Virtual reality is no longer just for gamers and other forms of entertainment. This type of pain management may seem odd, but completely effective according to test studies.

We’ve mentioned in previous articles how effective distractors can be when it comes to temporarily alleviate chronic pain. Virtual reality is one of those distractors. Virtual reality pain management is still working its way into the medical field. You may not find many VR sets at your local hospital or physician’s office because a headset and program can be quite pricey. A pain control game called Snow World cost $35,000 during a pain relief study. There are cheaper alternatives including Samsung’s Gear VR, HTC’s Vive and Oculus Rift. With these cheaper alternatives, you may begin to see more virtual reality sets in hospitals.

Virtual reality pain management doesn’t always include playing a video game. There are a number of virtual reality pain management applications specifically to distract patients from their pain. One application called COOL!, by DeepStream VR Inc., focuses on immersing pain patients into a soothing virtual reality world. In COOL!, patients can play with wildlife in a beautiful landscape.

One particular study used the Oculus Rift headset to run COOL! on 30 participants, male and female, ranging between 35-79 years of age. Participants had a variety of chronic pain disorders. Prior to their virtual reality pain management session, participants were asked to rate their pain between 0-10. Participants rated their pain as a 5.7. During the session, they rated their pain a 2.6. Post-session, they rated their pain a 4.1. The average change in pain rating between pre-session and post-session was 33 percent.

When asked to rate their engagement in the virtual world between 0-10, the average rating was 8.4. Participants were asked if they experienced any dizziness, headaches or nausea. No participants experienced dizziness or headaches, but one participant rated her nausea as a 3. She did note she had a long history of nausea with video games but mentioned COOL! was better than past video games that triggered her nausea.

We do have to note more studies need to be done on virtual reality pain management. This type of pain management may not be effective for everyone.

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depression and chronic pain
Health & Lifestyle, portfolio

How to Help People Overcome Chronic Pain And Suicidal Thoughts

Chronic pain and suicidal thoughts are more common than many realize. Chronic pain sufferers describe a sense of feeling completely hopeless due to agonizing pain. Individuals with chronic pain often can’t perform daily routines. Shifting to a limited lifestyle due to pain can cause depression and suicidal thoughts.

Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, also known as RSD, is a debilitating nerve disorder affecting millions of people in the United States. Neuro-autoimmune disease is also known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). RSD/CRPS is often referred to as the “suicide disease” due to the high percentage of deaths associated with its symptoms. RSD is a progressive neurological condition that can disturb all extremities of the body. It starts in one area but is likely to travel throughout the body during its progression.

RSD/CRPS causes so much pain that patients are at a higher risk of taking their life. RSD/CRPS remains grossly undertreated in most patients. There is a lack of knowledge among both health professionals and consumers and many patients have a fear of becoming addicted to opioid treatments. This causes many to go undiagnosed or not get the proper treatment needed.

Depression, Chronic Pain, and Suicidal Thoughts

Researchers found that a group of neurons responsible for negative emotions became heightened within days after an injury. This triggered a drop in dopamine, a neurotransmitter. Depression can make chronic pain worse and vice versa. The pain can become so severe that people may believe suicide is the only way it can stop.

Signs of Suicidal Thoughts

  • Increased alcohol, smoking or drug consumption
  • Openly threatening suicide
  • Experiencing mental or emotional problems
  • Lack of sleep
  • Explosive mood swings or anger
  • Isolation
  • Extremely depressive mood
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Self-loathing
  • Increased risky behaviors
  • Unexpectedly getting affairs in order
  • Changes in personality
  • Severe anxiety and agitation

The Do’s to Help People with Chronic Pain and Suicidal Thoughts

  • Take them seriously. Suicidal thoughts are a cry for help. Take it as such.
  • Let them know you care about them and would be devastated to lose them.
  • Allow them to vent and listen to their pain.
  • Be patient with them.
  • Communicate with them frequently to check-in.
  • Assist them in finding an expert for treating their chronic pain.
  • Assist with finding a mental health expert.
  • Support them during the treatment.
  • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The Don’ts for Helping People with Chronic Pain and Suicidal Thoughts

  • Don’t leave them alone. Detoxify the area of the means if possible.
  • Don’t argue with them.
  • Don’t dismiss their suicidal thoughts as a joke.
  • Don’t criticize them.
  • Don’t talk about negative news or death while in their presence.
  • Don’t ignore them.
  • Don’t gossip about their situation.

Treatment for RSD/CRPS

  • Topical Pain Relievers and Topical Analgesics
  • Antidepressants and Anticonvulsants
  • Corticosteroid
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Sympathetic nerve-blocking medications
  • Intravenous Ketamine
  • Physical Therapy
  • Biofeedback Therapy and Spinal Cord Stimulation Therapy

If you have suicidal thoughts, please do not suffer in silence. Seek help from a close friend, relative or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You are not alone in this fight.

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Home Decor, portfolio

4 Ways to Get Your Bar Ready for Football Season

Football season is finally here! Football fans around the country are huddled up at their friend’s homes or at home, hosting their own football gatherings. Many people have a special game room or a man cave with a bar to enjoy the game. If you’re hosting, having a bar is amazing, but you have to be sure it’s football season ready!

Bar Top

To prevent spills, add bar molding. Bar molding can turn any countertop into a bar top. Not only will it prevent leakage, but it also comes in handy for your guests to relax their arms. Bar moldings are easy to find at affordable prices online or at your local woodworking store.

Is your bar top spill-proof and moisture and stain-resistant? Upgrade your bar top with custom or prefab quartz to make your life easier. With quartz, you don’t have to worry about accidental scratches or hard to remove beer and wine stains due to its durable and stain-resistant qualities. You can view our fine selection of custom and prefab quartz and give us a call at 818.890.0810 if you have any additional questions.

Decorate

If you and your friends are rooting for a particular team, deck your bar out with your team’s merchandise! Grab team beer mugs, wine glasses, coasters, napkins and hang up your favorite player’s jersey. Turn the atmosphere into a VIP section. Place a TV or two at the bar so people can enjoy drinks, snacks, and the game without moving a muscle. If you’re inviting a friend over who is rooting for the opposite team, have their team’s logo present… on a napkin that you can wipe your hands with.

Lighting

The majority of football games occur during daytime hours, but we can’t forget Sunday, Monday and Thursday Night Football. When a game runs into sunset hours, proper lighting will come in handy. Set the mood with dim or team-colored fluorescent or LED lights. Try to avoid regular light bulbs as they tend to get hot and use more energy. You can find lighting options at your local hardware store and online. Many decorative LED lights come with an adhesive backing to easily stick them anywhere. Try adding lights around the base of your bar or under your bar molding to prevent possible glare on your TV.

Stock Up

Time to go to Costco and stock up on food and beverages. If you have a counter or cabinet space behind your bar, display your beverages so guests can see their options. Make sure you have a fridge nearby to keep items stocked and cold. The last thing you want to do is run out of items and have to run to the kitchen and miss an important play.

With these easy tips, you’ll have a great time enjoying the game and hanging with close friends. Share these tips with others so you too can get the VIP treatment at their football party.

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Home Decor, portfolio

Tips for Planning Your Bathroom Remodel

The first step to any bathroom remodel is deciding the reason why. Do you want more space to replace worn-out items, or are you just looking for a new and fresh design? At this point, you should also decide what your must-haves are and what should definitely be left out.

Next, plan your budget. This is absolutely crucial! Things can quickly spin out of control if your budget hasn’t been set clearly from the beginning. After you have settled your final budget, you can decide where you can splurge and where less expensive alternatives are needed.

Now it’s time for the fun part – designing and deciding on materials! Your day starts and ends in the bathroom. Make sure your design is aesthetically pleasing with enough storage and space for you to move around comfortably. Is there a certain focal piece like countertop, mirror or bathtub you want to display? Plan your color scheme accordingly as well; this will make choosing countertops and cabinets much easier!

Get a general idea of how long the remodel should last? Even small renovations can take some time when considering ordering special or custom materials. Make sure you have an alternate bathroom during the time of construction!

Lastly, give Planet Stone a call! We offer an abundance of beautiful natural stone for tubs/showers, vanity tops, walls, and flooring. We also offer sinks and stock cabinets so you can create a cohesive design for your dream bathroom! Our staff has all the knowledge and expertise necessary for a great remodel. Call us at 818-890-0810 or contact us online to schedule an appointment and receive a personal quote (for free)!

Do you want some money-saving tips for your bathroom remodel? Check out one of our other blog posts here!

Visit Better Home & Gardens for bathroom design and remodel ideas!

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