Author Archives: Andi Perullo de Ledesma

About Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

Home Remodel

How To Deal With Home Renovations

Embarking on a big home project can be exciting, but with it comes a lot of stress, mess, and disruption. If you have young kids at home, then this is an extra thing you have to try and coordinate. 

While you cannot stop all the disruption to your home, there are some things you can do to minimize its impact on your life:

Choose A Contractor You Trust

When your home is undergoing structural renovation, it can cause a lot of noise and stress. By talking to your contractors in advance, you can find out exactly how much time the renovation project is going to take, what the steps are along the way, and when the most amount of disruption is likely to occur. 

A good contractor will be happy to walk you through everything, giving you a realistic idea of everything you can expect. They will also be amenable to working around your needs. For example, if you have very small children, they will arrange to do the particularly noisy parts of the job when they are at school or out of the house. 

Create A Haven

If you are planning to live on-site throughout the entire process, then having your own little space away from the disruption and mess is very important. Relocate your important belongings to space and cordon them off with plastic sheeting to keep out any building dust. 

Be Prepared To Relocate 

In some cases, it might not be possible to stay in your home. If you are having some extensive structural changes made then the water, gas, and power may need to be turned off for safety.

Similarly, if your bathroom and kitchen are going to be out of use, then you cannot stay there. Work out with your contractors when the most disruptive parts of the renovation will be happening and find an alternative place to stay. This could be with family, friends, or a local hotel or rental. It will take you away from the stress of the situation going on at home and might even be a little mini staycation for the kids. 

Try And Remain Calm

There are some people who experience a lot of anxiety when their lives are disrupted. This could be because they are out of routine, or that their environment is changing. It is important that you try and remain calm when the chaos is going on around you. Find things to focus on that you can control and you can divert yourself. Always remind yourself of what the finished product will look like and why you are embarking on this project. If your children are reacting a little differently than you would expect, do not sweep it under the rug, acknowledging their feelings and talking to them about what’s happening. 

Takeaways

When you are living through renovations to your home, it can be difficult to see beyond all of the mess and noise. By trying to minimize the impact on you and your family, you can find the situation much more bearable and before you know it, you’ll have the home you always wanted. 

Learn More About Skincare

Have you recently noticed some wrinkles? If so you might be seeing the first signs of aging which usually takes place in your early thirties, though it can be younger or older depending on your lifestyle and genetic factors. Do not worry, it is not the end of the world. There are also some steps you can take to limit the effects if this aging and in some cases reverse the trend. Read on to learn more about skincare routines. 

IN YOUR TWENTIES

There are two types of people in their twenties. There are people who pay a lot of attention to their skin and have many makeup foundation tips and tricks, and there are people who just do no think about it at all. Either way there is little to worry about. Younger skin is very resilient and it can bounce right back from harsh treatment. 

Nevertheless, establishing a skincare routine in your twenties is excellent practice. It not only delays the early effects of aging in your thirties, it also establishes a routine and a positive habit that will serve you well throughout your life. Try not to neglect your skincare even if it seems youthful and healthy. 

IN YOUR THIRTIES 

When your life starts to move into your thirties things slowly start to change. Perhaps you get married, get a promotion, buy a house, have a child. These are just some of the ways life changes as you move away from friends and party lifestyles. But your skin changes too. 

You will start to notice some fine lines and wrinkles forming around your eyes and on your brow. The extent and onset of them will depend on your genetic makeup and how well you looked after your skin in your twenties. Continue to use hydrating products and sunscreen.  

IN YOUR FORTIES

Your forties is another time of change, especially if you are a woman. The menopause begins and there are some significant hormonal changes that can alter your appearance and your moods. While there is no way to stop these changes you can manage them, especially with the right skincare products. 

One notable change is the reduction in moisture in the body. This leads to dry skin which can cause the appearance of more fine lines and wrinkles. The key to meeting this challenge is to apply skincare products that contain hydrating minerals. You might also want to use collagen growth products. 

IN YOUR FIFTIES 

With the menopause firmly in the past your body and skin will once again settle down. This time, however, it will be distinctly drier and require more frequent attention to stay on the youthful side. The main problem areas in your fifties are wrinkles and collagen (firmness). 

To combat these problem areas you may need a combination of approaches. You will need hydrating skincare products, collagen producing products, and possibly skincare treatments. These might include face masks or face lifts. To keep your skin youthful at this stage of life you will need to pay closer attention to your skincare routine. 

IN YOUR SIXTIES 

The changes to your skin are less dramatic from your 50s to 60s than between your 40s and 50s. There are no hormonal changes to worry about, just the usual issues of free radicals, genetic factors, and lifestyle. You may notice your skin becoming thinner as it loses more collagen and also thins naturally. 

It is time to grow older gracefully, but that does not mean you can or should abandon your skincare routine. In fact there are some excellent options in your sixties to win back a youthful complexion and healthy skin. One option is to have a facelift which has natural and effective results these days. 

CONCLUSION 

Are you new to skincare or lost for ideas on how to treat it at a particular age or following the appearance of wrinkles? The good news is there are plenty of options for you to choose from at any age or stage only life. If you are in your twenties it is a good time to establish a skincare routine for the future, and in your sixties you have options too, a face lift. 

In general, it pays to look after your skin at any age. Your skin is one of the body’s vital organs that takes a lot of impact everyday. It takes impact from the weather, the outside pollution, and the products you use. All of this goes towards making your skin driers and more wrinkle prone. Experiment, and find the right products and the right routine for your skin. 

Physical Therapy: What To Expect And How It Affects Your Lifestyle

Woman with physiotherapist exercising and reinforcing the vertebral column.

You may have heard of physical therapy before, but you might not know all that much about it. If it is never something that you have to experience, that will be better for you. It can help you out in some dramatic ways if you are dealing with various conditions or injuries, but it is not exactly fun.

We will talk a little more about physical therapy in this article. We will cover what happens there, when you are likely to need it, and how your life can change if you go through a few sessions.

When Do You Need Physical Therapy?

There are all kinds of conditions where a doctor might tell you to go to physical therapy to improve your life quality. For instance, maybe you were in a car accident, and you hurt yourself. That happens pretty often.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently stated that in 2018, there were 128,420 accidents. Other states report similar statistics, though they might go up or down depending on how populous those states are and how many large cities you find.   

Aside from car accident-related injuries, you might have to seek physical therapy if you are developing arthritis. Your doctor might tell you to go after knee, ankle, or shoulder surgery. You may have to go after a slip-and-fall in a store or a work-related mishap.

What Happens Once You Get There?

When you arrive for physical therapy, you will meet with one of the physical therapists. These are not doctors, but they do have to receive extensive training before they can work with you to help you recover.

Physical therapists have an excellent working knowledge of the human anatomy. They will look at the prescription or treatment course that your doctor sent over with you. Generally, you cannot just show up at a physical therapist’s office and seek treatment without a doctor referring you.

One of the things that the physical therapist or the receptionist will ask you is whether this injury or condition is work-related. They will treat you whether it is or is not. If you are injured yourself at work, though, or you developed this condition while working over time, then your worker’s comp insurance can help you pay for your sessions.

If you did not hurt yourself or develop the condition at work, then you will still need health insurance to pay for it. If you do not have it, and you have to pay out of pocket, that is going to be quite expensive. If you have health insurance, but you have a high deductible plan, you might have to pay anywhere from $30-75 per session.

What Happens During The Sessions?

Once the physical therapist asks you some questions, they will develop a treatment plan for you. Essentially, that will be a series of stretches and exercises. Physical therapists, often working with doctors, design these programs to do two things: improve your flexibility and strengthen the damaged or weakened body part.

A physical therapy center looks a lot like a gym. You might see parallel bars like they use for gymnastics. You will have many different-colored resistance bands, free weights, exercise bikes, and other equipment.

In the beginning, your physical therapist might take some measurements. They are attempting to ascertain the injured or affected body part’s motion range. Then, they will start you with some light exercises.

The exercises will get more intense and challenging as the treatment moves along. The physical therapist will also give you some printouts that tell you what exercises to undertake at home. You have to do them every day to reduce your pain, gain strength, and recover any lost flexibility.

How Can This Change Your Life?

To put it mildly, physical therapy is not easy. If you are trying to come back from a surgery, for instance, the physical therapist might stretch you out before or after a session. That can be excruciating, because they are manipulating muscles, tendons, and ligaments that have atrophied from lack of use.

You might feel like you hate your physical therapist sometimes, because of the pain they are putting you through. Remember, though, they are medical professionals, and they are trying to improve your life quality.

Often, that is just what they accomplish. Physical therapists are not miracle workers, but frequently, if you stick with the program they lay out for you, you can feel much less pain and gain flexibility and strength. Usually, at the end of weeks or months of physical therapy, you will notice significant life improvement.

How You Can Make the Most of the Increased Time You Spend at Home


If you are one of the many people who have found themselves spending more time at home due to the impact of the pandemic, you might be wondering what you can do to make this time not feel wasted. Waiting for things to regain some element of normalcy, so you can return to doing all the things you want to be doing feels inevitable, but finding the right way to spend your time at home can help you forget all about the wait.

So, what exactly can you do? Well, thanks to the huge number of conveniences at your disposal, you have a wealth of options to choose from. This could be an ideal opportunity to start a new hobby, or commit to a project that you have been putting off, waiting for the right time. Luckily all of the tools you will need at your fingertips, regardless of the route you decide to take from here.

Utilize Technology To Give Gaming A Go


Gaming has a very far reach these days. Even if you do not have a games console in your house, then you may likely still have a device you can use for it, either in the form of a smartphone or a computer of some variety. This means that the question isn’t about how you access games, but more about what you play.

This is a question that is entirely down to your preference, while there will be an abundance of games available on whichever app store you use, you might be looking for something more like an online casino Canada. If so, visit Spin Casino to explore the variety of games that they have available. 

Pick Up A New Hobby

You might find that you have already tried to make the most of your time at home by spending time on your pre-existing hobbies, but that none of them are quite filling the time as they should be. In that case, perhaps the freshness of a new hobby will do you some good; having to learn a new skill from the ground up can be quite a good focus. This might sound appealing to you, but it can be difficult to know where to begin, some people will have ideas of hobbies they want to pick up, but others will not.

Finding yourself in this position can be frustrating, but there is research you can do so you can closely examine your options and figure out what would be best for you. When scouring your options, you might find that several of them are related to arts and crafts, which may not be something you have considered. This is a very broad range of activities, so not only is there a lot of chance that you could find something that appeals to you, but several forms of arts and crafts have been shown to have positive effects on your mental health.

Of course, this does not have to be what you go for, but thanks to the conveniences of modern technology, you can do ample investigation on each option before you commit.

Niagara Falls

Five Best Things In Niagara Falls

Hotels.com asked me to share my favorite things to do and see while traveling in Niagara Falls. Straddling the international border between New York and Ontario, Niagara Falls is arguably one of the most famous waterfalls in the entire world. The section of the falls accessible from the American side (the aptly named American Falls) is separated from its northern neighbor by the uninhabited Goat Island, itself accessible by two bridges carrying foot, car, and train traffic. There are countless things to do and see in the area, however the main spectacle is the falls itself and the best use of one’s time is found in taking advantage of the various methods of observing this extraordinary natural phenomenon.

You will find a large assortment of hotels for every budget in Niagara Falls, but hotels are most expensive in peak season (summer). This destination is extremely popular with honeymooners! Typically, the hotels in Canada are more expensive and the hotels in America are less expensive. If you are interested in saving money, check out nearby Buffalo, New York.

If you are thinking that you want to head there, the following are the five best things for you and your family to experience:

Maid of the Mist

The main reason to visit Niagara Falls is to see the falls and one of the most memorable ways to do just that is to sport a poncho and hop on a Maid of the Mist. These boats have been shuttling visitors to and from the base of the falls since the 1840’s. Warning: be prepared to get wet! The Maid of the Mist practically dunks you under the falls, but rain gear is provided and many say that this is one of the best ways to experience the splendor of Niagara Falls. Aside from the gorgeous views, riders were also pleased with the tour length (20 minutes) and the modest ticket price. You should plan to wear waterproof shoes and gear. To beat the crowds, it is suggested to go to the attraction first thing in the morning (trips begin at 9AM).

Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens

To escape the falls and crowds, take an afternoon and wander around the peaceful Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. If you love nature, this is the place to be. This 100-acre space is home to dozens of meticulously maintained gardens, which are cared for by students at the on-site horticulture school. During the summer, guided horse-and-carriage tours allow you to explore the gardens in style. The gardens are also home to the Butterfly Conservatory, where several thousand butterflies flutter among brightly colored flowers. 

Old Fort Niagara 

If you are a history buff, make sure to save time for a visit to Old Fort Niagara. Located on the United States side of the falls, this 17th Century fort has changed hands between French, British, and American troops. This site has seen action during numerous wars, including the American Revolution and the French and Indian War, making it the longest operational fort in North America. Today, the fort occupies one of the most scenic areas in western New York, overlooking both Lake Ontario and the Niagara River. Inside, you can explore underground gunpowder rooms, old army barracks, and ancient cannons.

White Water Walk

If you want to view the falls from a more natural setting, then spend some time stretching your legs on the White Water Walk. After taking an elevator 230 feet to the base of the gorge, you will be able to walk along a quarter-mile boardwalk that overlooks the Great Gorge Rapids from the Canadian side of the Niagara River. Along the walk are several observation areas where you can get a great view of the falls and the turbulent whirlpool below.

Inniskillin Winery

The Niagara Falls region is known for one other thing then waterfalls: wine. Make sure to take a drive north along Ontario’s scenic Niagara Parkway to Inniskillin Wines in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This winery is known for its delicious icewine, which is made from grapes that are left to freeze on the vine over the winter. Once temperatures drop to -8 degrees Celsius (about 18 degrees Fahrenheit), the grapes are then collected and allowed to thaw, a process that helps intensify their flavor. Remember to bring a bottle or two home as a souvenir. 

Please keep in mind that traveling in this moment remains uncertain, thus always make sure your safety and the safety of others is your #1 priority. If you are indeed comfortable with traveling, ensure you travel responsibly and within regulation. You travel at your own risk.

Here are some recommendations should you travel:

  • Wear a face mask. 
  • Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
  • Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures, and status of local businesses. Be aware you might have to self-quarantine upon arrival.
  • Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.
  • Be patient and calm. Remember we are all trying to do our best and are in this together.

Boasting a reputation as one of Earth’s most marvelous natural wonders, Niagara Falls is a dream vacation destination for everyone. Not only do the falls offer an incredible spectacle, but the wider area is jam-packed with countless additional impressive activities. Whether you come from the Canadian or American side, you will be able to find something for everyone!