Great Finds: Heidi Carey Designs

Instagram has been a fun and wonderful place since Jessica and I started the We Are Midlife account. What’s so fun about it, you might ask? In such a big space you really do get to “meet” people. One of those people we recently got to know was Heidi Carey of Heidi Carey Design. Her bold, unique, sometimes Asian sometimes inspired jewelry caught my eye. I had the opportunity to view and try on some of her jewelry and talk to her a little bit about her business. Heidi started out her career in New York, after studying Economics at Barnard College and Design at Parsons, designing accessories for Ralph Lauren. Lucky for Heidi her boss (at Ralph Lauren) was Vera Wang, who became a friend and role model.

I had a few questions for Heidi and I wanted to share her story with all of you.

How did you get started making jewelry?

I started designing and making jewelry a few years back to help me relieve the stress of raising three wild boys and being married to the same man for many years (who I still adore)!

 

What drew you to jewelry design?

I fell in love with the stones and beads. I use mostly semi-precious cabochon stones which have such great texture and color. I love that every stone is unique and a bit rough.

Heidi Carey necklace with freshwater pearls

What’s been your greatest challenge and biggest joy in this process?

My biggest joy is watching people discover my things and hearing from them how many compliments they get when they wear my jewelry. The biggest challenge for me is helping people understand that my things are an exceptional value without being able to put it in their hands. My prices are much closer to wholesale than retail so many people assume its costume, not real. Once they get things in their hands and try them on, the biggest reaction I get is “wow, what a deal!” which I love. But it’s hard when you only sell online.

 

Where are you from, where are you located now? Do either of those influence your designs?

I grew up in New York and have lived in San Francisco for the past 25 years. New York gives me my classic leanings and San Francisco opened my design horizon toward the East. Today I think of my style as East meets West. Classic but always with a twist and an effort to be unique.

What is your inspiration?

Forgive me for the cliche…but I get a ton of inspiration when I travel. I usually start in the International Terminal of SFO! Into Hermes and Gucci to see what they have in season…..I just don’t have time in my life to shop the Gucci store unless I am traveling. I typically do a bunch of research before I go anywhere to find local boutiques to visit etc. I am also inspired every day by people who take style and fashion risks to look great. I prefer living and dressing slightly outside the box and when I see others doing it well it’s super inspiring.

What keeps you going?

It’s fun. Yes, it’s hectic, but its fun. I love my customers but also my suppliers. I have a man named Omar who cuts beads for me in Afghanistan. I love carved beads and he has the best I have seen so I have bought a lot from him. He will send me photos for approval from his workshop in Afghanistan. I just love that, its fun and we have become friends. Fun with friends what could be better?

Take a look at her website www.heidicarey.com or her Instagram page @heidicareydesign to see all her beautiful creations.

This beautiful buffalo horn bead necklace has two sides, the four characters mean Good Fortune and the other side means Happy Fortune.

**This beautiful buffalo horn bead necklace has two sides, the four characters mean Good Fortune and the other side means Happy Fortune.

jenifer is a beauty expert for wearemidlife.com

Introducing Jenifer: Our Beauty Expert and Product Junkie

Who the hell is Jenifer*? I’m the lady who will be bringing all things beauty to We Are Midlife. I’m a self-proclaimed beautyaholic in my late 30s trying to keep my face looking the best that it can with or without make up.

I believe that we can enjoy makeup at any age and I’d like to share with you the things that I’ve found in my journey of experimenting with high end, luxury, and drug store make up. I’m also unapologetically addicted to skincare. I know what is on the market to make your skin glow, where to find something with collagen, or how to make a line or two disappear for a night. And if you just want a great moisturizer, I’m your gal for that as well. (Side note: Best tip, drink ALL the water it’ll give you the best skin.)

A little bit about me, I’ve never had cosmetic surgery but this is not my original face. I had a septoplasty where my nose got accidentally altered for the better and double jaw surgery where my face was purposefully and wonderfully altered. It’s a long, drawn out, genetically messed up story.

I’m married to a brilliant man, Brian. He’s my in-house tech support. Brian owns his own IT company and he loves me, so he’s pretty darn special. We have three children of the fur, of the feline variety, Lola, Lucy and Penelope. We reside outside of Houston, Texas where I work trying to save the world one dollar at a time.

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Look for my posts, about two a month and make the world your own kind of beautiful!

*Yes, Jenifer with one “N” because I was born in the UK and they messed up my birth certificate and my parents thought “What the hell?!”

A collection of tote bags with flat straps so they won't fall off your shoulder.

Tote Bags with Flat Handles: A Very Particular Request

I was DMing on Facebook with my friend Chris and she was asking me if I could think of a good tote bag without rolled handles. I was baffled as to why she didn’t want rolled handles but Chris has a very active life. With a pre-school aged child, a busy career and an online community devoted to baby-wearing on a budget this is a woman who knows what she needs and why.

Chris is like many other women who want a flat handle. The rolled shoulders slide off her shoulders.

So I went in search of great, not good but great, tote bags that feature flat shoulder straps. Here are my favorites. Whenever possible I’ve included everything from OMG that’s expensive to OMG that’s all? To etsy, loaners, and secondhand finds.

img src=”http://wearemidlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/tote-bags-with-flat-handles.png

Every woman should own a crisp white shirt. She should also have a few interesting tees and a basic silk or two. Here are eight budget friendly options.

White Shirts: Not All White Shirts are Created Equal

What are you wearing today?

Jeans and white top.

 

This is a look that could go a lot of different directions. You could look like Elvis. You could look like Courtney Love, or you might be channeling Sarah Michelle Gellar. Maybe you’re gardening, maybe you’re wearing silk, maybe you’re wearing off the shoulder bell sleeves from Zara that will be in style for exactly 54 seconds.

Jeans and a blouse, a skirt and a blouse, jeans and a tee… however it is that you get the job done – the trick is to get an interesting top. With that in mind, we’ve found these eight essential white tops that will keep your closet interesting.

Are you Courtney Love or a Sarah Michelle Gellar? A white shirt does nott have to be boring, here are eight great options.
Savvy Travelers was founded by two women in Orange County California. It solves the TSA travel and beauty problem.

Friday Find: Savvy Travelers Teeth Wipes

When the folks at Savvy Travelers sent us their Jetset Kit and Getaway Kits we both thought it was really practical but only if the products inside them were good.

Savvy Travelers Jetset kit for your gym bag or for travel. TSA compliant for travel.

The Jetset Kit comes with four each of:

No Sweat antiperspirant & deodorant wipes
In The Klear lens, camera & screen cleaning wipes
Take Offz facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer wipes
Speak Easy teeth and mouth cleansing wipes

This is the essential kit you’ll want to buy and throw in your camera bag or computer bag. I am in love with the screen cleaning wipes, they’re also good for eyeglasses. I know this because even after cleaning my computer screen I was able to use them to wipe down my glasses.

Savvy Travelers products are perfect for your gym bag or suitcase. I'm addicted to the tooth wipes. http://wearemidlife.com

I have a favorite. I thought that the notion of a teeth and mouth-cleansing wipe was absurd but I loathe gum, mints make me sneeze, and sometimes you can’t get to a sink to brush your teeth midday. I found that the Speak Easy wipes were delicious and effective. They’re minty and my teeth felt like they’d been brushed midday.

When you see the Speak Easy wipes at the Ulta checkout grab a few and toss them in your purse. They’re the size of a tea bag.

If you’re a traveler or a gymgoer the Getaway Kit is probably for you. In a durable plastic travel bag you get two each of:

Klean Upz antibacterial hand and body wipes
Lift Offz nail polish remover wipes – they really work!
Take Offz facial cleanser, toner, and moisturizer wipes
Speak Easy teeth and mouth-cleansing wipes
No Sweat antiperspirant & deodorant wipes – I love these!
Bottomz Up booty bidet wipes

All of the wipes are great. I tried them and waited for one to be a dud but that didn’t happen. Savvy Travelers is a woman-owned company right here in California and in spite of being “single serving” beauty products they have tons of green credentials. Tina Aldatz and Margarita Floris joined forces (and they are strong, accomplished women) to solve the travel problem we all have. It’s called the TSA. You can check them out on their site.

Who should you trust with your DNA? Are there privacy concerns that we should pay attention to when it comes to genetic testing?

DNA Testing, Heritage, Health, and Heredity

This morning I was reading The Forward and they had a little blurb about how Wirecutter recommended Ancestry.com’s DNA testing but not 23andMe. As the child of an immigrant with limited documentation of births, deaths, and backgrounds I had a unique interest in some of this. Firstly I’ve used 23andme for my own personal results, and secondly, I have used Ancestry to attempt to locate documents.

My experiences with 23andme and Ancestry.com might surprise you.

I was invited to Silicon Valley in 2009 along with some friends of mine to try 23andMe. It was still very much in start up mode and at the time I was neither curious about my DNA nor was I interested in leaving an eight and ten-year-old child home so that I could learn about a new company. So I declined the invitation. After hearing about it later I still wasn’t curious.

About a year after that I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and instantly I gained interest in my genetics but was also terrified to learn too much. What had I passed along to my children? Sometime in 2016 I bought a 23andMe kit and found out some of the most boring information ever doled out. I found out I was likely to have brown eyes. I found out I was more than 96% Jewish. I found out that I was likely to have RA. I was waiting for them to tell me the sky was blue.

More recently I decided to apply for German Citizenship under article 116 (2) of the German Basic Law. This required me to locate documents from Germany proving that my parent and Grandparents had been stripped of their citizenship. The documents required were hosted on JewishGen.com, owned by Ancestry.com. They charged me to have access to my family’s information; birth dates, death dates, incarceration dates, marriage licenses, notes from concentration camps, and the like. There is something so inherently distasteful about profiting from someone trying to document their family’s demise in concentration camps that I held my nose and paid the $100 fee.

After selling me access to my Grandfather’s vital records Ancestry.com wants to sell me DNA testing services. Does that sound like a good idea to anyone?

Here’s the thing. 23andMe may be imperfect but it was founded by tech pioneers whose goals were to serve science. Ancestry has its home in Utah where the founders were Mormon. The LDS Church has long been a great resource for genealogy. The Church has this to say on the matter:

Genealogy, the study of one’s ancestors or family history, is one of the most popular hobbies in the world. People of all faiths and nationalities enjoy discovering where they come from. For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, however, learning about one’s family history is more than just a casual endeavor. Latter-day Saints believe families can be together after this life. Therefore, it is essential to strengthen relationships with all family members, both those who are alive and those who have died.

Now, I understand that Ancestry is no longer a Mormon holding but it is still based in Lehi, Utah where 93% of the population is LDS. This is not a criticism of Mormon beliefs or philosophies, but there needs to be an acknowledgment that when you entrust a company with your most personal data an understanding of why the company exists may help you decide if you trust their privacy policies.

I’m not sure that sending your DNA to a privately held company that sells birth certificates is a good idea.

I am, however, certain that DNA testing is a great idea. I was able to take my raw data from 23andMe and input into a website called Promethease. Promethease’s privacy policy is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Your reports are deleted from their servers after 45 days if you’ve created an account and if you choose not to create an account it’s deleted after 24 hours. Promethease encourages people to pay using Bitcoin and to use their service from behind Tor.

The information I got from taking my raw data from 23andMe and running it through Promethease was actually quite helpful. I found that I’m one of the people who doesn’t synthesize methotrexate well and since that is one of the first treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis this would have been extremely useful to know in 2010 when methotrexate was leaving me bruised and destroying my stomach while doing nothing at all to alleviate the symptoms of RA. I also found out that my genotype is 3.5 times more likely to suffer liver damage from the use of NSAIDs as well as gastrointestinal bleeding.

If you have a chronic disease like RA detailed genetic testing might be a good idea.

The information I was able to share with my rheumatologist is vital to sustained good health. I’ve been in remission with hardly a flare for several years now, but when things flare up (and they will because diseases suck that way) we’ll know that NSAIDs are the last course of treatment, not the first.

Genetic testing isn’t for everyone. Surely there are results most of us don’t want to see. I personally didn’t look at the results for a few of the higher stakes tests: think Alzheimers and Parkinsons. It’s extremely personal.

I worry though when sites like Wirecutter, that are respected by the tech community

We did a podcast with Lisa Orkin but we had questions for her too.

You Need to Meet Lisa Orkin

Lisa Orkin is the kind of woman that other women rightly embrace. She’s funny, she’s bright, she’s got a boat load of wacky experiences from comedy clubs to parenting to wanderlust. And she’s got a podcast that makes you feel like you’re her girlfriend hanging out with a cup of coffee.

Recently we were guests on Lisa’s podcast, you can listen to it here or on iTunes.

She’s a lovely host and we left there wondering if we’d been good guests. After listening we decided that you don’t need to be a good guest. Lisa will guide you and the episode will be great fun because she makes it that way.

We had some questions for Lisa and thought you’d enjoy hearing directly from her. When we asked her about her day job she said:

My day job is writing and performing comedy, I have done it on stage, made independent films and now I do it on computer screens. I have a company called The Radio Ranch. We write, produce, and voice comic radio commercials. I also teach business owners and entrepreneurs how to get comfortable on camera.

We asked Lisa what would surprise us about her work and boy were we surprised. She said that the men in her life never think she’s funny. Who are these men? She went on to tell us about some unorthodox broadcast methods including recording from inside her boyfriend’s closet, “I have a pretty studio, but a lot of times if I have an audition or I am podcasting with guest, not in LA I do it from my computer. My home is a lot of hard surfaces and closets are great for soaking up the sound. My boyfriend has a large walk in closet that soaks up the sound, lot’s of flannel, denim, and Patagonia and it has room for a desk… and so began ‘My Boyfriends Closet Sessions’. I am not sure it will continue because the closet is hot and with my hot flashes I end up recording in my bra a lot and it feels too weird.”

We asked Lisa Orkin how old she was when she started her podcast about growing up after 50.
We asked Lisa what has changed from her first to her current podcast. And she told us that she started off interviewing men about their feeling but after about 25 episodes she learned men have the same hopes and dream about love as women do and she wanted to talk to women. She describes feeling adrift and wanted to use the interviews for guidance. She talked to us about having a very clear structure for the first episodes and then ditching that and instead making it more like a kitchen or bathroom conversation at a party.

Lisa’s most surprising episode was with Martha Joe Atkins who works with the dying. It was funny and sweet and she is a hoot. They get deep and talk about loss and the wild weirdness of death. She is a rough and tumble Texan.

Can you imagine asking your family if your life freaked them out?

Lisa did it. Listen to this interview she did with her brothers. It’s very revealing and uplifting too.

Lisa describes her episode with Ted Kruse as one of her favorites. According to Lisa, “Ted was a minister in the midwest who had a cheating problem. He lost his congregation, job, and he almost lost his wife and family. Ted worked really hard to face himself and his view on religion. His life had shifted so much and when I talked to him for the podcast he was back with his amazing wife and painting houses. Similarly, I was married to a man who was always wandering and we did not work it out. I was curious to how they did it. We such an emotional conversation. I would say it was the most meaningful for me on letting go.”

Money can buy you happiness. You just need to know where to spend it. We found 10 great places.

10 Ways that Money Can Buy You Happiness

There’s a special edition magazine from Time which details what we all have known for ages: money CAN buy you happiness. Of course it can. Paying someone else to do the things you loathe so that you can do the things you love is exactly the sort of transaction that buys a person happiness.

Stefanie’s spent years telling me that women (moms in particular) should outsource their most terrible chores so that they can have a more enjoyable life. I suppose modern appliances like the dishwasher and laundry machines best illustrate that. But since indoor plumbing is no longer a luxury for the wealthy let’s talk about the ways that our friends are buying happiness and how much it costs.

We were inundated with emails and texts from every major region in America. We have friends in the rural bible belt and New York City. We’ve covered suburbs in Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Washington and two dozen other states. Our friends work from home, from offices, don’t work and are on disability. The only thing they have in common is that they know us.

1. Housekeeping services are the number one way that our friends buy happiness.

Our friends are spending anywhere from $60 a day to $170 a day on housekeeping nationwide and using these services as much as five days a week and as few as once a month. The average in our neighborhood seemed to be close to $700 a month so we’re feeling like $8,400 a year buys you a nice chunk of happiness in Los Angeles. 

If you live in part of Michigan, West Virginia or Connecticut you can expect to spend half as much and laundry and windows will likely be included.

2. Caring for pets is where the slogan Staff Over Stuff must have originated.

Anyone with a small dog (read: inbred) who needs his anal glands expressed knows that a good dog groomer is worth their weight in gold. I happily spend $125 a month for Junior to be bathed weekly and trimmed monthly. A friend with a larger dog is spending $200 every month for two cleanings and still another happily spends $500 for someone to clean the yard from dog waste. Dog walking varies widely in it’s expense but we found that folks used that service so they could go to work rather than to avoid the chore.

In Los Angeles $6,000 a year means you live a poop free existence and another $3,000 means you don’t have to put a finger up their butt. If your dog is costing you $9,000 a year you’re probably pretty happy.

So far we’ve allocated $17,400 of your annual income to make you happy.

3. If you can buy a tutor you can buy a day that’s free of fights with your teen.

Regular tutoring for a typical learner has a wide range of fees. Folks we talked to were spending anywhere from $30 to $225 an hour depending on the region, subject and the child’s particular needs. Our neighborhood average was $75 for someone with great credentials that comes to your home. You’re spending $75 an hour once a week and you’re just using that one hour. Throw in four extra sessions a year for big tests, complicated subjects and final projects. Assume you need tutoring for just two subjects and the school year is 36 weeks long. A neurotypical child will run you $3,000 a year in tutoring. Our friends have kids with ADHD. Tutoring averages $20,000 a year per child for the ADHD kids. Your money just bought their happiness too.

We have two kids so we’re going to assume you do too. Now we’re spending somewhere between $23,400 and $57,400. We’re still happy. Are you happy yet????

4. Professional Organizers keep the tears away.

I can attest to the powers of a great organizer. I use one every year or so and our readers are using them as regularly as every month or quarter. Organizers seem to start at $30 an hour if you’re using them regularly for everything from closets to home offices. The folks I use come from Get Organized Already and they’re a little more but I’ve personally loved the results. Let’s add another $100 a month for organizing and say that $1,200 a year will make you happy. It will. I promise. Giddy even.

Tab so far: $24,600 to $58,600 – sheer. effing. joy. Why do these numbers freak me out?


5. Pool guys and gardeners free up a lot of time for friends and family.

Fees run the gamut  from $40 a month to $300 for our friends all over the country. Of course different regions will have different fees but gardens and pools, like houses, vary wildly in size. Let’s earmark another $1,200 a year to our gardens and pools, shall we? 

Annual happiness fee: $25,800 to $59,800 (fine! I have hayfever)

6. Buying prepared or partially prepped food saves a lot of time before and after meals.

There’s so much less cleaning to do and then of course there’s the shopping, planning and chopping. Our friends are spending money on things like cut watermelon ($20 a month) and services like Amazon Fresh or Instacart for shopping. They’re also using things like Blue Apron. On average we’re spending another $200 a month on this. Help with the food preparation is bringing us $2,400 of happiness a year. 

If you’re still keeping track our annual expenses are now ranging from $28,200 to $62,200 but we’ve long ago passed the point where our imaginary happiness requires us to do a single thing around a home or office. So basically we are absurdly happy money spenders for a living.

7. Personal grooming can be outsourced and for many just that hour or so of someone else tending to you is the joy.

Our friends are spending as little as $25 plus tip every two weeks for a pedicure and as much as $300 a week for blow outs, eyebrow waxing and mani-pedis. The range per year of outsourced personal grooming among our friends is $650 to $15,600 a year for the kind of grooming adult women really ought to be able to do for themselves. Hint: neither Stefanie nor I spend $650 a year on these services. We also don’t spend 5 figures but we’re still slow to judge on this one (or any of these things really).

Our running happiness cost now ranges from $28,850 (a well equipped midsize sedan) to $77,800 (an entry level Porsche).

8. Car washes seem to provide universal happiness for under $30 in all US regions.

I understand this. I love getting into a pristine car and I’m guilty of getting my car very dirty very quickly. There are $10 car washes all over Los Angeles but not one person mentioned using them and deriving any pleasure from it. This is probably the purest money can buy you happiness item of them all. Cost? $30 on average three times a month or $1080. 

Running total: $29,930 to $78,880 for the year

9. Uber, Lyft, Taxis and other ways to sit in the backseat.

Our friends love getting time in the backseat of car for hire where they can relax instead of in the driver’s seat where shoulders are tense and you’re on the lookout for terrible drivers. At the low end our friends are spending $50 a month, at the high end $500. We only collected numbers from friends who do own cars. Total happiness cost of hiring drivers for our friends averages $2,500 per annum. 

We are approaching nirvana for somewhere between $32,430 and $81,380 each year.

10. Childcare for stay at home moms

Stay at home moms aren’t supposed to have a nanny because that’s their job. Right? Wrong. Our friends who stay at home with their kids are hiring nannies at $15 an hour for 20 hours a week on average. The working moms are hiring sittters so that they can enjoy a little time with their feet up too, about 20 hours a month. The range of “non-essential childcare” our friends are using is $3,600 to $15,600 and it buys women hours of freedom to pursue their bliss. 

Our very scientific study concludes that you can spend away almost all the drudgery in your life for somewhere between $36,030 and $96,980.

Most interestingly, we found that the $30 items, pedicures and car washes, brought the most relief to most people.

What did we miss? We’re pretty sure $1080 over the course of a year can buy everyone some free time to wander in the woods, hold hands with their spouse on the sofa, or free up a couple of hours to take someone you love to the movies and get lost in a good story.

Money can buy you happiness and our friends have some great ideas about how to spend it.

Levears Specialized Earring Backs: THE Solution for Heavy Earrings

I was having coffee (of course I was) the other day with a girlfriend and we were talking about accessories. I mentioned that we’d been sent some earring backs from Levears. They’re meant to secure larger earrings so that your earlobes aren’t drooping. She looked confused so I explained that they had some size to them without the heft so your oversized studs no longer look like they are falling out of your ear. I suspect that over time they’d even keep your piercing from stretching out in the first place.

We wondered if Levears would keep earrings from drooping. The answer was yes. Click through for a coupon code.

 

I told her that I was headed out to get some really big earrings to see if they work. The next thing I knew she’d dropped in my mail box a large pair of cubic zirconia earrings to test the earring backs.

My friend is a house manager and she knows all the tricks. Including earring storage. Use a piece of ribbon to keep pairs together.

I should mention that this is my most organized friend. She’s an accomplished homemaker and a personal shopper extraordinaire. All of this makes her uniquely qualified to be the home manager for an extremely busy and famous television producer. She provides the details of organization and beauty that most of us will not only never experience, but not even know can exist. She stores earrings on colorful ribbon scraps to keep them organized for goodness sake!

In any event, I was excited to test out the Levears earring backs to see if they worked.  Have you ever worn a pair of earrings that end up drooping forward, so they end up facing the ground?  I have had some big earrings (gosh, remember the 80’s?) and no matter what kind of back I used, they looked like they were going to fall off. The unique backing of Levears held the earrings so they don’t droop forward. No longer are the earrings facing the floor!

It was funny because I decided to test them for a couple of days in a row. It’s important to us that we only recommend products that we really believe in. I ended up touching my ears every 30 minutes or so. Even though they were perfectly secure it’s been a lifetime of quick checks whenever I wear earrings that are over a certain weight and the habit was hard to undo.

Now I have this perfectly useless habit and I’m wondering how long it will take before it’s broken.

After nearly a week of use with several different pair of oversized studs as well as one pair of tassel earrings both Jessica and I are impressed with how well these work. We think you will be too.

These earrings never droop because Levears earring backs hold it all together.

One of the many things we love about Levears.com is that shipping is always free. One of the things you’ll love about Levears is entering WAM10 when you check out and getting 10% off your order.

Your vagina is just fine. Really. And your labia do not need a trim either.

7 Things Every Midlife Woman Knows Her Vagina Need Not Do

By the time you’ve hit 47 your vagina has either stretched to accommodate a child or been given a hall pass. The good news is that they’re really just a tube surrounded by muscles and most often things go right back to where they began, or pretty darned close. Of course for some women there are issues and they’ll need to consult with a gynecologist but for the vast majority we have compiled a list things your vagina never has to do.

1. Go Flamenco Dancing: I mean, sure you can go flamenco dancing and obviously your vagina will accompany you but she needn’t carry her own fan. Give the little lady a rest. Let her enjoy the dance without the work.

Go flamenco dancing but let your vagina just be there with you. She doesn't need to carry her own fan.
@kimanami

2. Shoot ping pong balls: If you’re looking to play a little beer pong this lady can teach you how and your vagina can just come along for the ride without doing any of the heavy lifting.

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3. Squirt: If you are a squirter have no shame. If you don’t that’s okay too. This article explains squirting pretty well and and links to some research if you want more information.

4. Get Bleached: that color, whatever color your labia may be, that’s the right color. Don’t change it.
Do not bleach your labia. There really shouldn't be more discussion than this but really, don't do it. There's no reason at all.

5. Putting rocks in her: Anything GOOP recommends is suspect. I’m pretty sure they’re trolling us more often than not. But your vagina doesn’t need a $65 polished rock. It just doesn’t. If you think that putting a jade egg inside of you will have strengthening and healing powers go for it. Just make sure it’s clean and you use a fragrance free soap. Here's an egg you put in your vagina. GOOP says you need it. We say.... 6. Douches: Unless a gynecologist recommends one (not even sure how that would happen) douching is on the short list of things your vagina should never need to endure. A 2011 study concludes that frequent douching increases the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and, possibly, cervical cancer.Current literature suggests that frequent douching increases the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, and, possibly, cervical cancer.7. Have Plastic Surgery: There’s a special kind of sadism that markets labiaplasty to women who think their labia are too big, uneven, or somehow otherwise imperfect. Unless there’s pain involved there’s nothing to fix. Leave your labia alone.According to the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology:A recent analysis of internet marketing for labiaplasty by Liao et al. (BMJ Open 2012;2:e001908) found unsubstantiated claims for physical, psychological and sexual benefits on every website studied. Far from reassuring girls and women about healthy genital variability, surgeons are active participants in distorting the norms in ways that can undermine vulval confidence and put pressure on women to modify their vulva.

Women’s vulvas haven’t changed in the past decade. Our physicians have. One plastic surgeon has the gall to make you click through to see the highlighted text:
Plastic surgeons are telling women that their vaginas need to be trimmed