#OutaboutNC: Mermaids Exist and they're all Coming to North Carolina!

A media story like this one I'm sharing got me out of blog hibernation today. Why you say? From a journalism standpoint, this story is kind of like "Man Bites Dog"....a textbook journalism classic. It's a story that makes you giggle because we all want Mermaids to be real. When you believe in magic, life is just better.  Don't you agree?  And having a seven-year-old daughter, she would love the kid's portion of this conference.

For the second year in a row, merfolk from around the world will converge on the Greensboro Aquatic Center for a 3 day celebration of swimming, workshops and fellowship from January 20-22, 2017. Last year's event hosted approximately 300 mermaids from places as far away as France, England and Canada. It drew a large amount of media, including special segments on CNN and USA Today. This year's attendance number is projected to be even higher.
The convention utilizes the deep well pool at the GAC for leisure swimming as well as underwater photography and videography. Workshops are scheduled to be held both in the meeting facilities of the GAC which will include subjects such as underwater posing, merwrangling, aqua yoga and more. One of the most popular segments of last year's convention that returns this year is the children's programming; "Swimming and Storytime with a Mermaid." This is a ticketed event open to the public in which children can spend time learning about the ocean and learning to swim like merfolk. Trained professionals will read stories of the ocean with a special focus on conservation.

Merfolk, men and women who don swimmable fish tails, are a highly popular sub-segment of the cosplay community. "Mermaiding" as the hobby is called, has been around for decades but has recently been trending in popularity due to increased media coverage and viral articles on social media. Combining athletic swimming skills, creativity and a passion for conservation to inspire people through fantasy, hundreds of men and women now work as "professional mermaids" around the world. Typical work includes entertaining children, teaching mermaid swim schools and fitness classes, and educating the next generation on the ocean and its creatures. It is a lucrative and competitive field that has attracted a very diverse following. Merfolk come in all shapes, sizes, races and fin colors. The convention's aim is to bring people together who are interested in this unique hobby to share knowledge, resources and friendship. Open to both professional merfolk as well as those just starting out, there is something for everyone, including vendors of mermaid related gear and accessories.
"NC MerMania was born of a simple concept, a gathering of merfolk to swim together in friendship. A place where anyone with a tail would gather to feel welcome and that is the spirit that guides our efforts. It has grown beyond my wildest expectations into an event that garnered international media attention and an explosion of interest in this hobby. I am thrilled that Greensboro North Carolina can be the hub of this event," explained Daniel Craig, NC MerMania founder.

Visit my affiliate partner, Marriott.com for direct rate hotel savings to plan your trip to Greensboro, N.C. 


Do you really know what is in your lipstick? The answer is Lead.

Did you know that you digest a little bit of your lipstick every day? And unfortunately, when you do you are eating lead.  Cosmetic companies are not putting lead in your lipstick on purpose, but they are using preservatives to enhance color and those preservatives contain lead. When Personal Care Product Safety Laws haven't been changed since 1938, you are going to find a lot of harmful ingredients in the U.S, including lead.

We only ban 11 ingredients in the U.S. known to cause health risks. Europe bans 1400, and Beautycounter, the cosmetics company I endorse on this blog, bans 1500 ingredients known to cause health risks.  Education is the key to making us aware of what we are putting on our skin and bodies. Over time, exposure to these chemicals can cause damage to our health.  Because of the need for color, it's impossible to avoid lead altogether because it's a catch 22. You need a lipstick that performs well and colors in a lipstick, of course, are essential.  That's why we buy it.  We want to have beautiful color on our lips.

Starting today,  begin making smarter choices and know what you are buying. The EWG "Healthy Living" app can help you navigate smarter choices. Read up on this educational article about lead in cosmetics.
How lipstick can be dangerous. Know what is in  your products. #BetterBeauty

My hope for you is to make safer choices with your purchases. I don't want this blog to be just a gigantic ad with product promotion, but I share what I believe in here. I became a Beautycounter client a year ago then partnered with the company earlier this year on a deeper level because I will always purchase cosmetics and I trust this company. I trust the marketing, the "Never-List" and more importantly, I have the same passion and believe in changes like they do. I started buying cosmetics when I was 13 and never gave safety a thought. I want to start my daughter out on a different path and be confident that know what is in the ingredients she uses. Take the time to educate yourself on the cosmetic industry. This article from ABC News is GREAT START.

My favorite holiday lip sheer shade is Scarlet.  She retails for $30. Beautycounter offers 10 beautiful shades in its portfolio.

Healthy Lipstick: Scarlet by Beautycounter

The red is not an overpowering color at all.  Despite what people may think about red, it can go dramatic or soft. Here, I went soft.

Start making small changes now. Whether you mean to or not, lipstick enters our bodies. If you've been wanting to try Beautycounter and wasn't sure where to start, I recommend trying a lip sheer. The shades of Currant, Plum and Scarlet are perfect to brighten up a winter. Twig is one of the most popular neutrals sold. Rose is a beauty, but I like to bring her out in the Spring.

Choose Safe lipsticks: Beautycounter offers 10 shades

If you have a passion for making a change, email me at hinessightblog@gmail.com. Beautycounter sold 15 million in revenue last month, and we need more advocates to get safer products into the hands of everyone.

Disclosure: commission will be made on purchases


Christmas is Not about Waiting in Line at 4 a.m for Toys

Every year, there is something that puts parents into a holiday tailspin. I can tell you right now that the man in the red suit and white beard is not worried. If a noisy little thing that hatches out of an egg, called "hatchimals" is on your child's holiday wish list, relax right now, put on some stress away essential oil roll-on, which is a therapeutic perfume that is safe and good for you, and just stop the madness right now. No one needs to be in line at Walmart, ToysRUs, or Target at 4 a.m. to get a $70 toy that farts and makes noise.  And paying more than the suggested retail price is insane. I'm seeing $200 and up for the darn toy that may end up sitting on a shelf once it hatches. Articles about this thing and the lack of them are in the news right now for those who have no idea what I'm talking about in this post.

Hatchimal: The hottest toy of the 2016 Holiday season
Hottest Toy of the Year by Spinmaster: A Hatchimal

I first heard of this strange interactive "creature" that hatches out of an egg on Saturday when my own daughter put it at as one of the three things she told Santa in person at our neighborhood clubhouse party.  It's simple. Get something else and have Santa write a note. You can even copy mine. I don't have copyright issues on it, but hopefully, your child sleeps in their bed at night so you don't have that issue.

Dear Liza, 

I know you adore pugs and this little girl was not on your list, but she needed a home this year. I had a conversation with your elf, Jolly. He and I felt you were the perfect person to adopt her. You are loving and kind, which is what this little FurReal pup needs. I know you wanted a hatchimal this year, but so did a lot of other boys and girls. My elves just couldn't keep up with the demands. There were not enough for everyone to have one this Christmas, and many other toys like this sweet pup needed a home, too. I know you are a good little girl. I also heard that you need to stay in your own bed at night, too.  Jolly reveals all. You're getting bigger and this little pug can be your watchdog to keep you safe.  I bet your parents will buy you a hatchimal in 2017 as a reward for your hard work in school and for staying in your bed at night after you complete First grade.  Keep up the good work. 

Love, Santa

FurReal Pug

PS. Don't forget to share your doughuts with her.  This little pug has a sweet tooth just like you, but don't let her eat chocolate and she will certainly try.  Glaze doughnuts are fine, but don't let her eat chocolate because it's not good for her. When you are out of school over winter break, take her to Rise Doughnuts in Cameron Village because she'll love walking around the shopping center.  I put some extra money in your Mom's stocking for this outing, too. 

Parents, please don't waste your precious resources and time with this holiday toy madness. Santa is not the reason for the season. I know for those who have the means to afford it, we all want to make Christmas special for our children. But, this is an expensive toy that is simply not available right now and it is certainly not worth you waiting in line for at 4 a.m. or paying crazy prices just to have one under the tree. 

Spend time with your children this holiday.
My little Liza elf

Instead, sleep in a little and take the time to enjoy the season. Take your child to lunch, make cookies with them, or take in a holiday performance. The gift of togetherness will be what your children remember most through the years. 

This holiday, give the gift of helping others. Some of our school friends do a Raleigh Rescue Mission fund-drive every year. On the way to school the other day, I saw a man asleep on the sidewalk.  I did a story on this blog years ago when they did one when our 5th graders were in kindergarten. The Brewers are keeping up with the tradition. Trust me, there are more important things in the world that need your attention right now that stressing out over not finding a hatchimal. 

All toy links in this post are from Amazon.smile and any purchases support my children's elementary school. 

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