Follow Friday: The Best of the Beauty+Style+Nutrition+Fitness Blogs, Week of September 23

Everybody loves a Friday.  I’m a big fan because it gives a chance to slow down a little and reflect on the week:  what went right, how to improve, you know the drill.

Another great thing about Friday?  I love scoping out the best of the other blogs, too ;-).  So, without further adieu, here are the best of this week’s posts, in each category:

Top Weekly Posts on FutureDerm

Skin Care+Beauty Blogs

  • Beauty Snob has five essentials from Allure deputy editor and beauty director Amy Keller Laird
  • Beauty Junkies Unite teams up with Total Beauty to reveal the 15 best and worst face scrubs
  • Karla Sugar reviews all 15 of the brand-new Clinique Antioxidant Eye Lid Smoothies, with impressive color detail
  • Temptalia gives a sneak peek at MAC False Lashes Mascara.  Available in stores October 6, after seeing Christine’s featured photos, I absolutely can’t wait to try it and review it!
  • Dr. Leslie Baumann (The Skin Guru) gives the 411 on ingredients in skin care suitable for dry skin

Fashion+Style Blogs

  • The Budget Fashionista gives tips on how to wear this fall’s hot green shades
  • The Gloss tells the story of a woman who tried to sell a Missoni Target item for $31,000
  • The Clutch reveals Bill Clinton turned down Dancing with the Stars
  • Fashion Grail demonstrates how to get Kim Kardashian’s look for less
  • Ted Baker Accessories for Less on!

Nutrition+Fitness Blogs

Photo source: computer monitor, originally uploaded by Mediajon.

Daily Inspiration: "You reap what you sow, but…"

I worked in a vitamin store years ago.  One of my older female co-workers was friendly and liked to approach customers, but she didn’t always close the sale.  When that happened, she used to always say, “We’re just planting seeds, that’s all.”

A clever pun on the adage, “You reap what you sow,” indeed.  Yet there are a few things you need to accept fully about reaping+sowing before you can live your best life:

1.  Your crops will not appear entirely in the form you expected.

I was a bit obsessive about my school work throughout high school.  I determined the week before I started I was going to get into the B.S./M.D. program and the Chancellor’s Scholarship, the highest honor that Pitt bestowed, upon my graduation.  I became like the Little Engine that Could, chuggin’ along religiously, making every sacrifice possible for four years.

When interview time came, I got into the B.S./M.D. program, but not the Chancellor’s Scholarship.  I was extremely disappointed.

Then, a few weeks ago, one of my high school teachers ran into my father.  “Mr. Zevola?”  she said, recognizing him.  She said she remembered me as one of the hardest-working students ever in her class, and told my dad he must be proud.

Here’s the thing.  The point of this story is not to rehash academic glory days of my youth, but to point out that no effort ever goes unnoticed.  True, it may not always get noticed in the way or by whom you intended.  Yet don’t think for a minute it won’t get acknowledged, someday, by someone.

2.  You may have to plant for a long time before seeing results.

One of my all-time favorite life philosophers, Jim Rohn, points out in The Challenge to Succeed that a lot can happen to seed.  It can get eaten by birds, blown off course by strong winds, planted onto rocky soil.  You can’t possibly prevent every deterrent to your success.  It would drive you mad.  Instead, you have to learn to be headstrong.  Keep planting, even though you know some of your efforts will inevitably be futile.

The Pareto principle says 20% of our efforts will result in 80% of our efforts.  The irony is, once we scale down and focus on the 20%, only 20% of the remaining 20% will be generating 80% of our efforts.  No matter what we do, how much we learn to focus our efforts, some of the seeds of our effort will be lead astray.  The only antidote is to persevere.

3.  Small weeds will always try to overtake you.

Dishes in the sink.  Coffee cups abound.  Laundry piles on the floor.  The list of potential distractions from your true desired passion is endless.  Just as time spent pulling weeds prevents you from planting the true crops, time spent on small efforts takes you away from pursuing your life goals.

Of all the life principles, this is the one I struggle with the most.  I am currently working on a budget to hire someone to help clean my house twice per month.  What, I know some of you are thinking, you’re only a student, and you want someone to clean your house.  Bah!

Yet hear me out.  If cleaning takes 1 hour per day, that’s 7 hours per week, or 28 hours a month.  That’s over a full day, or 3.5 entire work days, each month!

Now break down what you earn per hour.  Even if you are earning federal minimum wage, 28 hours of your time is worth $203 per month before taxes.

I’m not saying that you don’t have to ever clean your house.  What I’m saying is that your time is valuable.  If there is something you love to do and could earn money doing it – from baking to blogging to singing – save your time and money and invest in someone else doing it for you.  College students often do quality work for minimum wage, and enjoy it far more than you do.  The time you spend doing housework or mowing the lawn could be the impetus that puts your business over the edge.  So think about it.

Bottom Line

You may reap what you sow, but keep in mind the birds and the winds and the rocky soil are going to make growth arduous.  Even then, the fruits of your labor might look different from what you intended.  Once you accept these facts, only then are you truly ready to succeed.
Crop Field (Vivitar), originally uploaded by davydubbit.

Free Daily Giveaway #7: What Nutrition+Fitness Items Would You Like to See Reviewed?

As you know, is expanding into other topics besides Beauty+Skin Care, including Nutrition+Fitness.So I want to know:

What nutrition+fitness items would you like to see reviewed?  They can be diets, supplements, food or beverage items, even exercise plans or classes!

The winner of today’s sponsored giveaway will receive a free twin-pack of Mederma: Patented Healing for Scars ($32 value)!  The secret behind Mederma is its patented onion bulb extract.  In a 2002 research study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery,
onion bulb extract-treated scars on rabbit ears showed a statistically significant improvement in dermal collagen organization in comparison to scars that were not treated (p < 0.05).  The authors of the study proposed that improved dermal collagen organization could have an effect on hypertrophic scar formation, i.e., potentially reducing the formation or degree of raised scars.

Another study demonstrated Mederma did not have better effects on preventing new scars than petrolatum-based Aquaphor (Dermatologic Surgery, 2006).  The research is limited, but I am proud to sponsor a giveaway with Mederma due to personal experience.  I have used Mederma with silicone scar healing pads on my own raised scars, and noticed a 30-40 percent improvement in the scar’s color and size over the course of a month.   I’m a fan, and I’m happy to give these away to my readers!

One winner will be selected at 11:59 PM EST.  Contest is subject to official policies.

Photo source:  fitness and health tips, originally uploaded by simplehealthguide.

Daily Question: Do Bob Harper's Smart Weight Loss Pills Really Work?

This post has moved to A Diet A and is available here.

All Nutrition/Fitness posts previously on have been moved to the new FutureDerm Media site, A Diet A  Our readers asked us to keep Nutrition/Fitness posts separate from Beauty/Health/Wellness articles.  Thank you for understanding!