TenMarks Math: An Awesome FREE Summer Program For Kids!

 

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Ella enjoying TenMarks Summer Math Program.

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My daughter Ella is graduating the first grade in a few weeks. And she really enjoys learning all year long especially during the summer when I become her teacher and she gets a break from the hustle and bustle of school. But sometimes I run out of creative ideas for how to keep them engaged and excited about what they’re learning, especially with math. I was happy to discover a free online summer math program geared for students from first grade through those learning algebra 2 and geometry. (I wish I had this program available to me when I was growing up!)

Did you know that research shows that students lose 2-3 months of grade level math equivalency over the summer? This of course then impacts their readiness for the next school year.

TenMarks is an educational program by Amazon that’s designed to be fun and entertaining and keep your child from losing the Math skills that they have learned. TenMarks won the 2015 CODiE Award for Best Math Instructional Solution. The program is personalized & tuned for each child’s individual learning needs, based on a summative end of year assessment.

The TenMarks Summer Math Program is a national program that provides students a personalized course tuned to their individual learning needs, based on a summative end-of-year assessment. With the Program, parents can encourage students to use screen time in a productive way over the summer, whether at home or on-the-go. Data from 2014 showed that the TenMarksSummer Math Program helped reverse summer learning loss for over 69% of participating students—in just 8 weeks, with one-hour of use per week, students tested at the beginning of the program and then again at the end of the program averaged 11% increase in scores.

Ella was excited to try this new program especially since math is her favorite subject. The site is very easy to navigate. And my favorite part about the program is that the apps are downloadable on all of your portable devices and available through both the Apple iTunes store and the Amazon app store. We go on a lot of short road trips throughout the summer and being able to encourage learning while on the go is amazing!

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I like that you can actually avoid the summer educational slide with this program. It’s very simple to use too! You can create a profile for each child. They receive a screen name and password of their own. Each program is customized to each child’s individual learning requirements. In addition to “feeling smarter”, Ella says her favorite thing about the TenMarks Program is the rewards system. And I love it too because it’s also customizable and I feel I can reward her with even more educational experiences!

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Fun Facts about the TenMarks Summer Math Program

  • The program is available today and runs through August 31, 2015.
  • It is FREE for every family in the United States!
  • Parents can visit http://summer.tenmarks.com for more information and to sign up.
  • The TenMarks Math for Students app is available for tablets on iOS, Android or Fire OS.
  • The TenMarks Summer Math Program is for students completing grade 1 all the way through Geometry & Algebra 2. The program starts with a diagnostic assessment it uses to automatically create a personalized summer curriculum. This assessment reviews concepts from the previous year and then introduces concepts for the year ahead.
  • The program adapts with targeted interventions for real-time learning assistance.

Follow TenMarks on social media to stay up to date:

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{Disclaimer: Compensation was provided by TenMarks via MomTrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions of TenMarks or Momtrends.}

Workout Review: Solidcore

Instagram @AngelicaTalan (Still smiling after surviving my first ever Solidcore Workout--note the sweat)

Instagram @AngelicaTalan (Still smiling after surviving my first ever Solidcore Workout–note the sweat)

Instagram @AngelicaTalan My friend Cheryl joined me for my second class at Solidcore.

Instagram @AngelicaTalan
My friend Cheryl joined me for my second class at Solidcore.

Solidcore: The hardest workout of my life!

When I saw the “coming soon” sign in the Solidcore window near Ballston Mall in Arlington last winter, I was determined to try a class. Having tried just about every “trendy” workout known to woman, I wasn’t intimidated by the description listed in several articles and dozens of Yelp reviews as “the hardest workout in DC”.

Solidcore is the first studio in the DC area (with locations at Ballston & Mosaic District for the northern Virgina set) to offer the Lagree Fitness Method, a high-energy, low-impact, full-body workout done on a spring-loaded pilates machine called the MegaFormer. The classes are small (about a dozen students per class), the instructors are positively motivational and the sound system amplifies the latest club anthems and classics. The class is an electrifying combination of pilates, barre, yoga and body sculpt infused with a ton of sauna like induced perspiration! You will burn hundreds of calories in this class!

The Solidcore workout consists of an insanely intense mix of isometric, cardiovascular, endurance, resistance and strength training exercises. With such moves as the French twist, palm springs crunch, the saw, serve the platter, tree hugger, walk the plank, plank to pike and escalator lunges along with “traditional” exercises like squats, shoulder press and tricep extensions you are certain to burn up those calories, build solid muscles and sculpt your body from the inside out. I have only been there three days this week and I can already feel and see the difference!

The workout is indeed intense. However, if you’re used to doing Tabata or Bikram Yoga, it may not exhaust you the way that some people feel afterward. I found it highly invigorating and the best part about it is, you will live and you will feel stronger afterward.

The price may seem expensive at $37 per class. However, when you compare that price to what your standard box gym charges for personal training sessions or small group training and measure the results that you receive from this class versus the standard, run of the mill traditional weight training and the choice becomes more clear. Solidcore isn’t trendy. Solidcore is here to stay. We are lucky that we are one of the first major cities to have a studio. Solidcore has redefined fitness and the owner/founder Anne Mahlum is a new fitness hero to me. I can’t wait to meet her one day!

For more information about Solidcore, click here.

{This article reflects my own personal experience. I was given one complimentary class and I purchased a package of my own to write a full review}.

Sanctuary Cosmetic Center’s Dr. Rostami’s Anti-Aging Tips

Photo courtesy of Sanctuary Spa.

Photo courtesy of Sanctuary Cosmetic Center & Moki Media PR

 

Instagram @AngelicaTalan

Instagram @AngelicaTalan

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Photo Credit: Sanctuary Cosmetic Center & Moki Media PR

The Sanctuary Cosmetic Center is a new medical beauty spa for local plastic surgeon Dr. Soheila Rostami, who studied ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery and the University of Maryland before moving into oculo-facial plastic surgery. The 4,000-square-foot center opened last month on May 8 in Tysons Corner as a venue for surgical and non-surgical skincare treatments.

Aging can change skin’s appearance as early as your 30th birthday or by later in midlife, depending on your beauty routine and habits. There are a multitude of  ways to make your skin look younger, brighter and fresher. Dr. Rostami of Sanctuary Cosmetic Center offers some of her best anti-aging tips:

Dr. Rostami’s Anti-Aging Tips
What should busy stay-at-home or career moms do immediately/start immediately to jump start or revitalize their anti-aging regimen?
When it comes to anti-aging, both men and women should start with neuromodulators such as BOTOX and Dysport. These injectibles temporarily relax the muscles responsible for creating wrinkles, thereby reducing forehead, crow’s feet and other fine lines. There is nothing out there in the industry at the moment that can compete with the power and ease of neuromodulators in seeing instant results in aiding in anti-aging. Starting early with neuromodulators is much more acceptable today in helping to age gracefully.
What’s the number 1 way to protect your skin from aging prematurely?
Protecting your skin from prolonged sun exposure is the number one way any one can protect themselves from premature aging. Our skin is the largest organ in our body and it also is the first to show signs of aging. When choosing a sunscreen product, it is important to make sure that the main ingredients include titanium and zinc oxide. These ingredients are sun blocks rather than sun screens – meaning they actually protect the skin by creating a barrier between the sun’s rays and the skin’s surface.
What are the 3 products every woman should have right now?
Every woman, and man, should have three particular products in their beauty repertoire. The first must-have is a resurfacing product. Such products contain vitamin A – most commonly known as a retinoic acid or retinol – which help the skin to regenerate itself thereby eliminating dead cells and revealing newer, younger skin. The second must-have is a pigmentation controlling product. These products can contain coffee bean and soy bean which correct skin tone pigmentation due to age spots and acne scars. The third must-have is any product whose main ingredient is vitamin C. Vitamin C’s anti-oxidant potency lies in its ability to recreate collagen. To get the most bang for your buck, try pharmaceutical grade vitamin C products.
Besides the face, how can someone protect the not-so-commonly thought of areas like arms and legs?
Our arms and legs are also big indicators of aging and most people, unfortunately, forget to treat those areas until there is already significant signs of aging. Thanks to modern technology, there are now non-invasive procedures that can be done in as little as 30 minutes, spread over a few months time, with zero pain and down time. High radio frequency and ultra sound machines can now treat those forgotten larger areas like the arms and legs. Results can reveal tightening of the flabby skin under the arms and around the knees through increasing collagen levels.

{This is a sponsored post courtesy of Sanctuary Cosmetic Center. I was gifted products in exchange for this post.}

Questlove Headlines VinoFest DC This Saturday, May 9th

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Did you know that Washington DC residents drink more wine than any other city in the United States? That’s according to VinoFest.  Now thanks to Vinolovers, the District has a chance to show its stripes at the second annual VinoFest DC on May 9th at Storey Park.

Here’s the rundown

  • WINE: Sip and share. The general admission ticket grants you the chance to taste a variety of wines, including local vintages made in neighboring Virginia, classic wines from regions like France and California, and few lesser known places, like Romania.
  • MUSIC: Get your dance on. VinoFest DC will be a full day of live music, headlined by QuestLove—the official Vinofest DJ. Other artists: White Ford Bronco, Black Masala, Trouble Funk, Alison Carney, DJ Adrian Loving, DJ Neekola, and DJ Hazzard.
  • FOOD: Get ready for fab. Local chefs will be showing off their small bites, and it wouldn’t be a DC event without a few choice food trucks! Graze among the likes of Dirty South Deli, Swizzler, Red Hook Lobster Pound DC, Slate Wine Bar + Bistro, Straw Stick & Brick Delicatessen, Snocream Company, Gouter, Puddin’, Timber Pizza, MilkCult and Chaia Farm to Taco. Can’t handle wine all day? No worries–you can also pair your dishes with a hand-crafted cocktail.
  • CHARITY: Drink up, feel good. Proceeds from VinoFest DC benefit Make-A-Wish Foundation Mid-Atlantic, DC Central Kitchen, and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. So cheers to you, do-gooder!
  • GET SOCIAL: Follow the fun with the hashtag #VinoFestDC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see photos, videos and updates of the event.

#FOMO yet? Get your tickets now–general admission, VIP tickets (think two more hours to party, more wine, more food), and specially-priced options for designated drivers are still available.

{This is a sponsored post in collaboration with VinofestDC.  I’m a huge fan of this event and will be in attendance! Please join us!}

 

3 Cute and Affordable Mother’s Day Ideas For Photo-Loving Moms

This one is for all the tech-savvy mothers and daughters out there. If we’re being honest, we all have more photos on our smartphones than we know what to do with. Here are some ways to get creative using fun technology available to you to show off your skills this Mother’s Day.

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Get Creative With Mother’s Day Selfies: YouCam Makeup and YouCam Perfect

Make sure mom has these two must-have free apps on her phone this Mother’s Day. Both offer endless ways to get creative with the selfies you know she’ll be taking! Whether it’s having fun making you and mom up with the virtual cosmetic kit in YouCam Makeup or using the Mother’s Day inspired custom collages in YouCam Perfect, these apps will keep any trendy Mom smiling. You can even win gifts for mom!

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Turn Photos into Tech Gifts: Casetify

Once you’ve had fun with your favorite photo apps, take your selfies a step further with Casetify. This service turns digital photos into a custom smartphone case for any device, for less than $40! Now mom doesn’t even need to open her phone to show off her favorite photos. Click here for more on Casetify.

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Quick and Easy Printables: Etsy

For those of us who aren’t the craftiest there are tons of printable options worth looking into. Etsy is one of the best places to find everything from printable quotes to photo props to DIY-coupons. All you need is a printer! Click here for more on printables.

How do you plan on getting creative with your photos this Mother’s Day?

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with YouCam Make-up and YouCam Perfect. All content provided by a third party author.}

Preparing Your Car For a Summer Road Trip

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Summertime is an exciting time of year for road trips. The lure of an open road and the endless possibilities often inspire people to load up the car and drive. Whether you’re traveling to the beach, to the country, to the mountains, to a carefully planned destination or a spur of the moment excursion, it’s important to travel proof your car to make your trip a safe and enjoyable one. Click HERE for more tips on preparing your car for a summer road trip.

Conquer Your Backyard with DC Mosquito Squad

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Mosquito season is around the corner. As we’re beginning to enjoy the warmer weather, planning our nightly dinners outside on our patios, we need to get a jumpstart on controlling those pesky mosquitoes!

Mosquitoes are more than an itchy nuisance, especially for our children. Though uncommon, serious diseases such as West Nile, Encephalitis and dengue fever can be spread by mosquito bites and even cause heartworms in pets. The itchy bites can be scratched open by children, leading to scabbing, scarring, and the skin infection impetigo. Prevention is the best strategy. And ticks are just as serious a threat as they easily travel across outdoor landscapes and latch onto pets that enter our homes and then land on a human host, spreading Lyme disease, Erlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other tick-borne illnesses.

As a community, we can all attempt to keep our  local mosquito population under control by making it more difficult for the insects to breed. Mosquito control expert Damien Sanchez of D.C. Mosquito Squad offers a variety of services to keep mosquitoes out of clients’ properties. He shares that those on a tight budget can take a number of inexpensive, preventative measures that can drastically reduce the mosquito population in their yards. It all begins with targeting the breeding areas, finding ways to be less attractive to mosquitoes, and using effective repellants.

  • Empty any containers of standing water, including tires, empty flowerpots, or birdbaths.
  • Avoid allowing gutters or drainage pipes to hold water. Mosquitoes are “home-bodies”—they don’t typically wander far from their place of birth. So reducing the mosquito population in your own yard can really help.
  • Keep landscaping neat by limiting foliage, yard clippings, and leaf piles, where mosquitoes and other bugs like to harbor or feed. Keep landscaping trimmed and limit ivy and junipers to decrease places where the mosquitoes can seek shelter.
  • Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants. Mosquitoes are naturally repelled by a variety of plants. Fill your garden with plants such as marigolds, rosemary, catnip. citronella, peppermint, and garlic. If you don’t have the room for a garden in your yard, try some potted plants.
  • Don’t Wear Perfume. Fragrances such as cologne and perfume can make you more appealing to mosquitoes. Avoid wearing scented fragrances when spending time outdoors for any lengthy amount of time.
  • Choose an Effective Repellant According to the CDC, the most effective repellents on the market today contain DEET. If you’re shopping for a repellent, look at the label to see if DEET is an active ingredient. An alternative is Avon Skin So Soft with picaridin, a synthetic version of piperine, the active component of black pepper. (Unlike DEET, it won’t dissolve plastics.)

Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington D.C. will get rid of mosquitoes and ticks on residential and commercial properties. When applied on regular basis, mosquito spray will reduce and control the mosquito and tick populations. Regular treatment programs for mosquito abatement are available to suit most budgets. Mosquito Squad professionals can apply Barrier Sprays, Event Sprays and Tick Tube Treatments. Abandoned Pool Treatments are also a necessary “mosquito barrier” for many homeowners. Controlling mosquitoes and ticks helps protect you, your family, and your pets from the nuisances and illnesses carried by these pesky insects.

For more information on DC Mosquito Squad, visit www.dcmosquitosquad.com

{Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with DC Mosquito Squad. However, all opinions are my own.}

Knowing Who’s Injecting Your BOTOX

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BOTOX® Cosmetic is the go-to wrinkle treatment for millions of Americans. It’s been the top cosmetic procedure for 6 years running and there’s no close second. There are alternatives, Dysport® and XEOMIN®, but BOTOX commands the vast majority of the market.

The reasons for the popularity of BOTOX are pretty simple. In a culture that values youth, getting a few injections and then returning to work or meeting someone for lunch is easy and effective. It’s not exactly cheap, but the $300 to $500 most people pay for a treatment is worth trimming a few years off their appearance — and it’s a fraction of the cost of cosmetic surgery.

The relative ease of getting BOTOX treatments, however, has led to individuals assuming that just about anyone can perform the injections. In fact, BOTOX parties, although less common now than a few years ago, are still around. Friends gather at someone’s home, drink some wine, and have a guest injector provide BOTOX to the attendees. Sometimes the treatments are discounted.

Reducing a medical procedure to the equivalent of a social gathering, doctors says, devalues the risks inherent with any medical treatment. BOTOX injections are relatively safe when given by an experienced doctor, but complications do occur. Pain and bruising are the most common, but in the rare instance that something goes wrong, patients need a doctor in a medical office to treat them.

Besides the physical risks, patients may unwittingly be getting ripped off by injectors who either dilute the drug or use something that’s not BOTOX at all. Fake BOTOX (and other drugs) is a real threat, prompting the FDA to issue a warning to physicians last fall to beware of “rogue wholesale drug distributors.”

BOTOX and other neurotoxins are injected with precision into tiny muscles that are responsible for causing wrinkles around the eyes and forehead when we make facial expressions. The prescription drug blocks transmission of nerve signals to the muscles.

The Physicians’ Coalition for Injectable Safety (PCIS) states that at a minimum BOTOX should be injected by a registered nurse or physician assistant under the supervision of a qualified doctor who has prescribed the injection for you. Additionally, the organization states the patient should always have the option of requesting a doctor to perform their injection.

But too often, says one plastic surgeon, doctors don’t even see patients who come in for cosmetic injections.

Dr. Houtan Chaboki, a specialist with BOTOX injections and facelift surgery in Washington, D.C., told The New York Times that the growing trend of injections and other non-surgical cosmetic treatments being performed by physician assistants is concerning.

“They might be under physician supervision, but the physician may not even be in the room,” the surgeon told the newspaper in a story published last August. “They may just be reviewing the chart afterward.”

The concern that practitioners without enough training or experience are performing cosmetic injections prompted the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) to recommend that only physicians administer injectable soft tissue fillers (such as JUVÉDERM® and Restylane®) and neurotoxins, including BOTOX.

Exactly who can perform injections is regulated state to state, but all states require a healthcare professional to administer BOTOX. In England, where rules regulating who can administer cosmetic injections are more lax than in the U.S., the Royal College of Surgeons has pushed for allowing only trained doctors, nurses, and dentists to give BOTOX injections.

The bottom line for patients is to ensure that the person performing the injections is a qualified doctor or licensed RN or physician assistant. That’s especially important for anyone getting the treatments at a salon or day spa, which may not have a doctor directly supervising the staff on a daily basis.

Dr. Chaboki’s Offices are located at: 2021 K Street NW #206, Washington DC 20006 and at Sibley, 5215 Loughboro Road NW #210, Washington DC 20016. For more information, click here or visit www.potomacplasticsurgery.com. 

{Disclosure: Compensation was provided in exchange for this sponsored post.}

Local Business Spotlight: Dr. Houtan Chaboki

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There are dozens and dozens of plastic surgeons in our metro area, but few are as qualified as Dr. Houtan Chaboki. At his facial plastic surgery practice with 2 Washington, D.C. offices, he specializes in treatments just for the face. He offers common surgical procedures such as facelift and popular non-invasive treatments including BOTOX® Cosmetic injections. Check out this interview.

Clarendon Moms: Hi, Dr. Chaboki! Here a few questions to help my readers get better acquainted with you. How long have you been a plastic surgeon?

Dr. Chaboki: I finished my facial plastic surgery fellowship training in 2006 in New York City at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, and then moved to start my practice in downtown Washington, D.C.

Clarendon Moms: What age were you when you decided to become a plastic surgeon? A little boy, teenager, med student?

Dr. Chaboki: Like many physicians, I’ve always been interested in science and math, which led me to medical school in the first place. Ultimately, it was my facial plastic surgery mentors during medical school and residency who inspired me to become a facial plastic surgeon.

Clarendon Moms: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

Dr. Chaboki: Plastic surgery is a great area of medicine to practice. You can really help everyone. You can use your skills to help with such a variety of issues, whether it be post-cancer surgery, reconstructive work, or cosmetic treatments. Additionally, I find the practice of plastic surgery to be so interesting, as it truly blends the art and science of medicine together.

Clarendon Moms: What type of activities do you do for fun to relax and enjoy yourself?

Dr. Chaboki: I spend time with the family. I like to cook simple, healthy foods that my children will actually eat. Impromptu dance parties with the family are always fun. And streaming TV shows and movies with my wife, once the kids are asleep, is always relaxing. We avoid reality television and focus on sitcoms, late-night talk shows, and drama. We miss the challenges of Walter White and look forward to the adventures in Westoros!

Clarendon Moms: Tell us about your family.

Dr. Chaboki: I’m married to a smart, hard-working, and compassionate woman and have 2 beautiful and mischievous daughters. My wife was a banker in New York and now works in finance policy in D.C.

Clarendon Moms: Before someone considers plastic surgery for aesthetic reasons, what are some recommendations you might make?

Dr. Chaboki: How you look is a reflection of your overall health, so all patients, regardless of age or skin type, should do the following: avoid smoking, drink plenty of fluids, use sun protection daily, eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. My plastic surgery patients who have the best cosmetic results do all of the above.

Clarendon Moms: Are there questions someone should ask themselves before scheduling a consultation?

Dr. Chaboki: With the large choice of options for aesthetic improvements, it’s daunting to determine what may be “best.” Doing a little bit of homework prior to the initial consultation definitely helps patients. For example:

  • What specific areas are you considering for cosmetic treatment?
  • What about the area concerns you (too big, too small, asymmetric, etc.)?
  • How long have you been considering cosmetic treatment?
  • How long do you have for recovery: a few hours, days, or longer?
  • Lastly, developing a potential financial plan will help alleviate concerns for any given budget.

Clarendon Moms: What is a typical consultation like? Is it like all the plastic surgery shows we see on TV, where the doctor takes a marker and makes suggestions on what can be improved?

Dr. Chaboki: Consultations for office treatments such as BOTOX or facial fillers (such as Restylane® or JUVÉDERM®) are typically quicker than surgical consultations. Patients will often know within the first office visit if they would like to proceed with such a treatment.

Patients who are considering surgery will often require more than one office visit before they make the appropriate decision for themselves. As with any big decision, providing adequate time to consider surgery is important for patients to make an informed decision. Following the initial cosmetic surgery consultation, I may perform a computer simulation to help the patient visualize potential outcomes for his or her procedure, such as facelift or rhinoplasty.

Skin markings are performed immediately before cosmetic surgery. I don’t need or use markings before BOTOX or fillers. Patients after non-surgical office treatments often can return to work the same day, if they desire.

Clarendon Moms: What would you like to share with readers who are considering a procedure? Any tips?

Dr. Chaboki: Sure, I have a few tips:

  • Tip: Have realistic expectations. Plastic surgery shows on television glamorize the field of plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery has inherent risks, which should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.
  • Tip: Try arnica montana tablets before and after any cosmetic treatment to help minimize bruising.
  • Tip: Topical petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline or Aquaphor) is good to limit scarring after cuts and scrapes. It must be used continuously until skin has adequately healed. I encourage all cosmetic surgery patients to use topical ointment for at least several weeks after plastic surgery. In fact, I chase my children around with Vaseline whenever they come home with scrapes from school!

Clarendon Moms: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Dr. Chaboki: When choosing a plastic surgeon, other factors to consider are before-and-after photographs and online patient reviews. Patients share their plastic surgery experiences on a variety websites to help other patients in planning their own treatments.

Lastly, while cosmetic surgery is common, it is a personal choice that each individual makes. Please don’t feel pressured by friends or family members to change yourself.

Dr. Chaboki’s Offices are located at: 2021 K Street NW #206, Washington DC 20006 and at Sibley, 5215 Loughboro Road NW #210, Washington DC 20016. For more information, click here or visit www.potomacplasticsurgery.com.

{Disclosure: Compensation was provided in exchange for this sponsored post.}