Clean hands with French manicure

Dare To Go Bare

Nail polish is so attractive and there are so many trendy manicure options now, it’s hard to think of taking time off to let our nails go bare for a while. However, keeping polish on nails for a prolonged period of time can be doing our nails harm. Find out how your nails might be suffering the effects of being constantly polished and what you can do about it.

Many of us have heard of the benefits of leaving polish off to let nails ‘breathe’. The reality is, nails don’t actually need to breathe, as they receive nutrients and oxygen from the blood stream, not the air. However, leaving polish on can lead to keratin granulation. “These are white, rough patches on the nail that form when the polish is removed along with the superficial layers of nail cells,” explains certified dermatologist and nail specialist Dana Stern. Stern goes on to explain that these are caused by trauma to the nail matrix. The granulations do grow out over time but can result in permanent damage to the matrix that can lead to nail alteration.

Foot specialist Joy Rowland expands on this theory. “The danger with keeping your nail polish on too long is that the pigment in the nail polish can soak into the top few layers of the nail and dry it out,” says Rowland. When that happens, mildew, yeast, mold and bacteria can develop under the nail plate which can lead to long term problems. Rowland recommends leaving polish off and trying to keep feet dry to promote healing. She also recommends rubbing the nail beds with vitamin E.

Nail polish remover can also be dangerous to the nails. Dermatologists simplify the science behind this by comparing nails to tiles on a roof. “These tiles are made of protein, specifically keratin, just like our hair. These cells are very delicate and can become damaged with prolonged exposure to certain chemicals,” says Stern. One of these chemicals is acetone, commonly found in nail polish remover. Acetone can dry out the keratin cells that make up the nail plate causing them to separate, split, peel and break.

Obviously, it is a good idea to take breaks between manicures and let nails go bare. A few weeks with nail polish on, and then a few weeks with bare nails is the recommended procedure. Here are some other helpful hints for keeping nails healthy:

  • Always wear a protective base coat. This will keep nails from yellowing.
  • Take biotin and vitamins to keep nails healthy.
  • Use gloves while doing housework.
  • Keep nails trim and buff them lightly in one direction.
  • Don’t peel your nail polish. This will make the cells on your nails grow in a slanted direction and weaken them.
  • Rub oil into nails to seal in moisture.
  • Avoid overexposure to water and alcohol (which can be found in hand sanitizers).
Woman lighting up a fire

The Basics of Camping Safety

Many of us prefer to keep our entertainment vanilla.  We like to have a little fun, as long as it does not involve bears, bugs, rock climbing and the possibility of losing the signal on our cell phones.  But, for those of us that are a little more willing to break out of our comfort zone, camping can be a very attractive prospect.  I mean, just think of how cost efficient it is:  no expensive hotel room, no overpriced meals, no shopping mall.  And what about the health benefits? Just you and your significant others, sucking up that vitamin D, exercising, and communing with nature, snuggling by the fire, shedding those pesky extra pounds.  Sounding more attractive?  Definitely.  But before you pack your fishing poles and rucksacks, there are a few things you should know about keeping safe on your camping trip.

First, let’s talk about mealtime.  Make sure you bring along safe food and water.  Pack your foods in tight waterproof bags and containers, none of that cracked Tupperware you’ve been eating out of those past few months.  Keep edibles in an insulated cooler and out of the way of any animal or insect invaders. Always have clean hands; you may want to pack some of that delightful vanilla scented sanitizer you found at the 99Cent Store.  Separate cooked food from raw , chill foods promptly to avoid rot and cook foods to the proper temperature.  You may want to bring a food thermometer- make sure those sliders are cooked to an even 160. And while you’re cooking, no fuel-burning  equipment in an enclosed shelter. Gas stoves, heaters, and lanterns all have the potential to cause carbon monoxide poisoning inside a tent.

Woman drinking hot coffee

Aside from the temperature of your food, you may also want to pay attention to your own temperature.  Hypothermia is a very real danger associated with camping.  Be sure to bring enough clothing and bedding to stay warm.  Also, be sure to keep hydrated against the heat by drinking plenty of alcohol-free and sugar-free liquids.  And layer up!  Temperatures can be very high during the day when camping and very low at night. Be prepared to strip or bundle up as necessary, but don’t strip down too much. To fight the bite,  and to keep protected against UV rays, keep your body covered. But console yourselves, nudists, even though you may have to leave the scanty clothes at home, think of how sexy you will look in your sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat.  Are you channeling Sophia Vergara in the soft drink commercials?  Also, use a sunscreen and lip screen with at least SPF 15 and don’t forget the insect repellant.

So what else should you bring?  You should have a compass or GPS, first aid kit, flashlight, map, some batteries and medications.  Check the weather report, know who you can talk to at the camp if questions arise.  Sound like a tall order?  Maybe.  But if done correctly, camping can be a very rewarding experience.  Go forward without fear.  Just do your homework first.  You’ll come back looking great and feeling invincible!

Woman sleeping in a mosquito net

Repelling Disease Carrying Bugs

When we were little, our first Barbies were often international travelers.  We would dress her smartly in a two-piece suit with just the right amount of sexy and put her in some killer pumps, accessorize her with suitcase and briefcase and off she would go to catch her international flight.  In many scenarios, Barbie would jet set to some tropical location where she would be involved in Bond-esque scenarios, all of which she would able to navigate her way into and out of smoothly, emerging with Ken on her arm and her suit as fresh and pristine as it had been before she left. We really should have warned her about the bugs!!

Unfortunately, no matter how romantic and appealing traveling to other countries may seem, it is not without its dangers,  with insect carrying bugs,  namely mosquitoes and ticks, at the top of the list.  But, if you are well informed and well prepared, about how these  critters operate, you can greatly lower your chances of being bitten.

The first thing you should do is to try and avoid regions that are known to be hot spots for disease transmission.  Tropical regions are most commonly cited,  but be sure to check the CDC Travelers Health Website for updates on regional outbreaks.  But assuming you can’t avoid the mosquitoes doesn’t mean you can’t outsmart them.  Find out when  peak biting times are and try to stay inside during these hours and avoid vegetated areas where ticks and chiggers can be found.

Sorry, fashionistas, but if you’re planning on heading to the tropics you may not want to plan on packing those sleeveless numbers.  As alluring as the thought of bearing it all on a tropical island may be,  it may not be the most advisable. The CDC recommends that you minimize the areas of exposed skin by wearing long sleeves, pants, boots and hats and make sure you tuck ’em in.  Shirts in pants, pants in socks, closed shoes.  Just remember:  Confidence makes you beautiful!! Also, while your dressing, it may be a good idea to spritz your duds with permethrin repellents for extra protection.  This will last through many washes.

Bed nets.  Now this one, we quite like.  Haven’t you often thought them to resemble sexy little canopies.  Make sure they reach the floor of are tucked under mattresses to seal the buggers out.  They should be pretreated with a pyrethroid insecticide for best results.  Pretreated nets are available for purchase and can last for several months if they are not washed.

Regrettably, when it comes to using repellents, there are environmental issues to consider.  Most of what is toxic to insects is, consequently, harmful to the environment.  However there are a few EPA registered products that have been proven to reduce bug bites.  DEET, picardin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD, ad IR3535 are all recommended.  It should be noted that the first two are known as “conventional repellents” and OLE PMD and IR3535 are known as “biopesticide repellents”, derived from natural materials.

So, if an international flight is on your calendar, do not be deterred!  Just think of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Africa.  They did noble work and managed to keep free of disease and looked great doing it ! If they can do it, so can you!

Woman applying ointment

Beware of These Poisonous Vines and Shrubs

Ah, hiking.  The wonder of nature, the beautiful sunsets, the communing with nature, a time for solitude and reflection.  A time for…..poisonous plants?  That’s a buzz killer.  How many have set off with the idealistic, romantic notions of transcendence, only to return with oozing blisters or nausea?  Well, don’t be daunted, Nature Boy or Girl.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!  Just be prepared and learn to recognize the culprits, so you too can come home as beautiful and comfortable as you deserve to be.

First, let’s discuss the most notorious of the toxic plants: poison ivy, probably one of the most infamous threats to the common hiker. But take heart! Contrary to popular belief, if you merely touch this plant, it does not necessarily guarantee  an outbreak. This is because it is not the leaf of the ivy that is  poisonous, but  the sap, which is normally found only on the broken and bruised leaves. If you do not come into contact with the sap, you may be spared. Poison ivy can be identified by its three glossy,oval leaflets, ranging from 3/4″ to 4″ long.  It tends to be green in the summer, but changes to shades of yellow orange and red in the fall.

If you are exposed, symptoms, unfortunately, are not pretty. (Did you imagine they would be?)  Swollen, red, itchy skin and blisters can all pop up six hours to two weeks after exposure.  Seek relief with calamine lotion, cool baths and antibiotics to prevent infection.

A close cousin to poison ivy, poison sumac is  larger, ranging from five to twenty feet.  It will appear in the summer bearing green leaves, green flowers and white fruit.  In the fall, the plant will become very rich in color, with hues ranging from yellow to scarlet. (Sadly, as we are all too aware, it is often the most attractive ones that prove the most harmful).  Avoid all contact with this pretty poison, just brushing up against it will bring the symptoms associated with poison ivy.  Treat with antihistamines and oral and topical steroids.

Stinging nettles

The Stinging Nettles. Is there a punk rock band by this name? Stinging nettles are as unpleasant as their name would suggest.  Bearing triangular leaves which get smaller as they climb the stem, these plants grow from 3-6 and 1/2 feet tall and have leaves with linear bumps, but, the easiest way to identify them is by their green flowers, brown fruit and, you guessed it, stinging hairs. If these hairs break your skin, prepare for redness and severe itching. On the bright side, however, the symptoms are brief and can be effectively treated with a paste of water and baking soda.

Remember Socrates?  The character from the history books who was always asking questions?  Died from drinking hemlock juice?  Well, unless you want to end up like him, avoid this dangerous plant.  Although its flowers resemble parsnips or carrots , hemlock is probably the last thing you want to eat.  If ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, confusion, muscle paralysis and respiratory problems.  Head for the emergency room if this gets into your stomach.

But heroes and heroines of the outdoor, don’t let these evil plants keep you down! After all, where would Indiana Jones or Jane Goodall be today if they were scared of a little poison ivy?  He who dares wins. So just put on those long pants and keep the first aid on hand and get out there! Knowledge is power!

Woman sneezing into napkin outside

Natural Ways to Beat Allergies

Ugh, allergies! They’re such a pain not to mention that they can really put a damper on your lifestyle! But you know what can be just as bad or worse than allergies? Allergy medication! With side effects like drowsiness, dizziness, upset stomach, constipation, blurred vision, dry mouth or nose…who needs them? Isn’t there some way that you can fight allergies naturally? Well, sources say that there are natural ways that will help you avoid allergic reactions, and they may be more accessible than you think!

Probiotics
Tracey Beaulne of Naturopathic Family Medicine in Toronto says reaching for probiotics like acidophilus should be one of the first steps you take in correcting the root cause of allergic reactions. Taking a daily dose of the BB536 strain year round from food and following any course of antibiotics with acidophilus for double the length of time you were taking the medication, can influence the immune system to prevent allergic reactions while boosting digestion and immunity.

Butterbur
This is a herbaceous perennial plant with forms of hydrocarbons in its essential oils called sesquiterpenes. These are said to possess anti-inflammatory properties and can be just as effective as an antihistamine. The recommended dose is one tablet four times daily.

Vitamin C
According to Liz Bruckner at Reader’s Digest Best Health, adding vitamin C to your day prevents the formation of histamine, which is directly responsible for symptoms like excess mucus, tearing and runny nose. For best results, take it with bioflavonoids throughout the day and aim for 2000 mg daily.

Quercetin
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that can benefit your diet and minimize the occurrence of watery and itchy eyes, asthma and hay fever, and it is most commonly found in onions. “Quercetin has been proven effective for allergies…and has some promising research as an effective mast cell inhibitor for allergic conditions,” says Beaulne. Take it in conjunction with vitamin C in doses of about 2 grams a day.

Fish oils
Natasha Turner, Toronto naturopathic doctor recommends healthy types of oils, like fish oil, that have essential fatty acids. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, they can have a beneficial impact on health and can help with the effects of hay fever. Take 2,000-6,000 mg daily for with meals for best results.

Adrenal Support
Supplements that support adrenal glands can be helpful in maintaining energy and reducing the effect of stress and allergies on the body. “I like supplements like TAD+ or Cortex as both contain adrenal glandular which are nutrients that support these glands as well as licorice, an herb that I love for stress adaption and immune function,” says Turner.

Healthy Diet
Diet plays an important role in overall health and allergies are no exception. Recent studies show that following a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits and vegetables, can be effective in reducing allergy symptoms and also help children with asthma. In general, it is best to follow a hypoallergenic, anti-inflammatory diet during allergy season. It’s also a good idea to keep a food diary and pinpoint foods which might have led to a flare up so you can avoid these foods in the future.

Three panels of woman's aging process

A Decade of Changes

As we age, our skin changes drastically. Skin is a reflection of what is going on inside our bodies. When we eat well, it shows in the skin. The skin also betrays when we eat poorly. Our skin reflects when we are stressed, tired, happy, and angry. It’s no surprise that our skin will also change when we get older, even though they are definitely not always welcome changes.

What happens to your skin at 40?

What is your body doing?

Your estrogen levels are heading down. You may be experiencing a slower metabolism and more fatigue.

How does your skin reflect this?

The collagen that keeps your skin firm is starting to break down. Your skin is also losing hyaluronic acid, which helps maintain the skin’s elasticity, giving the skin that bouncy, youthful appearance.

What can you do?

  • Taking a low dose of estrogen can help keep your estrogen levels from dropping too drastically, so these changes won’t happen quite so suddenly. This can make them more manageable.
  • Adding a product with hyaluronic acid will help your skin maintain its elasticity and hydration.
  • Using a retinol will increase the cell turnover of your skin. This will keep your skin looking fresh and bright- just make sure you are using a good exfoliator because retinol will create dead skin cells to exfoliate away and uncover younger-looking skin.

Woman applying serum

What happens to your skin at 50? 

What is your body doing?

Most women experience menopause during their 50’s. This means their estrogen production has slowed or stopped.

How does your skin reflect this?

Your skin can lose up to 30% of its collagen in the first few years of menopause. Skin will lose a lot of its elasticity, and be much more prone to dryness. Wrinkles will deepen as your skin loses collagen.

What can you do?

  • Hormone therapy (if your doctor approves) can help your skin hold on to more of its collagen.
  • Keep using retinol creams and firming eye creams to slow the loosening of the skin, especially around the eyes.
  • Switch to a rich night cream to combat dryness.

What happens to your skin at 60? 

What is your body doing?

As you age, your body becomes more susceptible to illness. Your immune system isn’t as strong, and things like smoking and drinking start to have a more negative effect.

How does your skin reflect this?

Your skin is drying out and thinning, so it is much more sensitive to sun damage, heat rash, damage from smoking, and other environmental factors. Wrinkles can deepen, and collagen breaks down further.

What can you do?

  • Keep using your rich night creams and retinol.
  • Protect the skin around your eyes- it is your thinnest skin.
  • Be careful to wear sunscreen and shield your skin from the sun as much as possible.
  • Most importantly, don’t worry about it! If you care for your body and your skin, you will age beautifully.
Issues that affect aging skin

Avoid These Environmental Agers

There are all kinds of little things you can do to prevent premature aging. Follow these types to keep you skin looking younger, longer!

Take Care of Your Pores
Making sure you cleanse your skin appropriately plays a huge role in maintaining the skin’s youthful appearance. Dirt, makeup, and bacteria can clog pores and cause blackheads and uneven skin tone. It is important to cleanse your skin and remove makeup before bed. Sleeping in makeup can really add years to your skin. You should also always cleanse your skin after you work out, so sweat doesn’t sit on your skin causing it to dry out and breakout.

Woman smoking

Don’t Smoke
There are many reasons not to smoke, but if you are looking for one more to add to the list, smoking also ages your skin. Smoking causes wrinkles and dulls the skin. Dewy, bright skin is youthful looking, and smoking causes it to take on a sallow tone.

Be Careful in Dry Climates
If you live in a dry or extremely hot area, keeping your skin hydrated will help preserve its youth. Using thick night creams or overnight masks to replenish your skin overnight can help combat dryness. Looking for products with collagen and hyaluronic acid will replace what your skin losing as you age, keeping it looking young.

Woman drinking

Limit Drinking
Alcohol takes a huge toll on your skin. Drinking dehydrates your skin, and can deprive it of nutrients it needs.

Avoid Sun Damage
The sun causes age faster and more easily than any other environmental factor. It dries out your skin very quickly, and if you are at the pool or the beach, it may be several hours before you can moisturize and rehydrate. Sun spots and liver spots can also form on the face or hands, and they tend to be a dead giveaway when it comes to age. Make sure you wear sunscreen every single day- yes, even during the winter and on cloudy days. Buy a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher that is non-comedogenic and non-irritating. It also doesn’t hurt to pair your moisturizer with a foundation that also has sun protection. Wearing a hat when you know you are going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time is also a good idea. Sun damage can result in wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, which can age your skin immensely. Too much sun can also cause skin cancer, so protect your skin!

Basically, you should listen to what your mother told you to protect your skin from aging. You should also be taking preventative measures in your twenties to try to maintain youthful looking skin. Using an eye cream is a great way to prevent wrinkles from forming. The thin skin around your eyes could use the extra care. Using a retinol cream can also help prevent signs of aging and keep your skin looking young. Whatever measures you take to prevent aging, don’t forget the sunscreen!

Stressed woman

Understanding Adrenal Fatigue

You may have heard the term “adrenal fatigue,” but what does it actually mean? Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands are not working as they should. These glands are meant to regulate your hormones, heart rate, energy, and immune system in order to control how stress affects your body.

SYMPTOMS

  1. Not feeling rested (even when you get plenty of sleep). People who suffer from adrenal fatigue often never feel like they can get a good night’s sleep. Even if they go to bed early and wake up late, they can never seem to shake their hazy tiredness.
  2. Increased responses to stress. Because the body of some with adrenal fatigue body is having trouble regulated their hormones in stressful situations, they are more likely to feel increased levels of anxiety or depression. They can have trouble coping with situations that would not normally have as much of an effect on them, and they can’t seem to get out of their funk.
  3. Getting sick more often. Because adrenal fatigue can weaken the immune system, sufferers will get sick much more often than they used to, and it will take longer to recover each time.
  4. Weight gain. Adrenal fatigue can also cause the sufferers metabolism to drop considerably. Even though they may be experiencing a reduced appetite, the stress levels, and decreased metabolism can cause sudden weight gain.
  5. A sudden boost of energy in the evening. People without adrenal fatigue will experience a jump in cortisol in the morning, but sufferers will have the spike in the evening, which can make it even more difficult for them to get the rest they need.

COMBAT ADRENAL FATIGUE 

Change Your Diet

  • To help keep energy up, eat several small meals throughout the day.
  • Feeling tired can make it hard to cook every day and make healthy meals for yourself. It is more important than even to eat healthy, balanced meals so your body has the best chance of recalibrating.
  • Try to avoid sugar. Sugary foods can give you fast energy, but they will cause a crash later. This crash is even worse if you suffer from adrenal fatigue.
  • Cut down on caffeine. If you are relying on cup after cup of coffee to get you through the day, consider avoiding reaching for another cup when you start to feel fatigue.
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Because you are having trouble getting out of bed, you are likely skipping breakfast before rushing to work. Try to put bananas and granola bars by the door so you can quickly give your body good energy to start the day.

Try Supplements
Different kinds of supplements can help combat adrenal fatigue. B vitamins, vitamin C, and Omega-3 are among the supplements available to can help.

Hormone Replacement
Talk to your doctor about trying hormone replacement if adrenal fatigue worsens. Because your body is not producing enough hormones on its own, hormone replace can help correct some of the symptoms caused by adrenal fatigue.

South Beach, Florida

Florida's Gulf and Atlantic Beaches

What’s Florida known for if not Sunshine and Sand? Certainly, these aren’t the only defining characteristics of the state, and to reduce any state to such a simplified image is potentially offensive, but while it’s certainly got a lot of other great things, beaches are definitely one of them, and that’s what we’re here to talk about today.

To an avid beach-goer, a beach-hopping vacation in Florida probably sounds downright idyllic, and even if you’re not a big-time beach junkie, knowing what beaches appeal most to you before you book a vacation will certainly make a difference in ensuring you enjoy a truly relaxing, fun-in-the-sun style trip.

With that in mind, let’s list off some of the best, prettiest beaches on both sides of the Florida Peninsula, and what makes them so great.

Key West

Key West
Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities in the mainland? Head just off the coast of Florida to Key West for a slice of pristine, crisp paradise. The beaches are idyllic, the overnight lodging options are luxurious, and there’s a whole lot of adventurous activities you can partake in here. Ever wanted to try snorkeling? Or maybe a 2-person glass-bottom kayak trip where you can see the sea life through the bottom of your boat sounds appealing? Or, if dry land is your forte, perhaps you’d like to bring or rent a bike and try the beautiful local bike path? Key West has all this and more. Head on over for a heaping helping of paradise with a side of adventure.

South Beach
This beach features not only beautiful sandy shores, but also novel, pretty architecture and other eye candy, and a booming nightlife to boot. This man-made beach is as long as it is clean and clear. So go for a morning run, lounge topless in the afternoon when the sun isn’t as intense (use plenty of sunscreen! Remember that the goal should be to enjoy the feeling of warmth, not to actually tan; all tans are damaging tans and increase your risk of skin cancer; use high quality spray tans, tanning lotions, etc instead), and in the evening, stand out here to get not only an enchanting look at the nighttime ocean, but a stunning view of the city’s lights if you turn and face the other way. Then, invigorated by such wondrous sights, waltz right into a club and enjoy the nonstop, bustling, booming nightlife.

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach
A list of Florida’s best beaches would be woefully, woefully incomplete without mentioning Clearwater Beach, which was has a well-deserved reputation as one of America’s finest. The sandy shores are idyllic and beautiful as they are expansive, and the area’s full of extravagant beach-front hotels and opportunities for activities like beach volleyball, boat fishing, dolphin-watching cruises, museums, aquariums, para-sailing, and so much more. If you want the ultimate, archetypal beach experience, this is the place. What on earth are you waiting for, anyway? Get out there and have a blast.

Night blooming cereus

Visiting the "Queen of the Night"

There’s no doubt that a lot of really pretty flowers exist in this world. All of them have their merits, all of them are beautiful and aesthetically pleasing for different reasons, and a lot of them have interesting facts associated with them. The lotus boasts near-perfect symmetry unlike any other flower (lotus flowers look so perfect it’s hard to believe they’re not fake), honeysuckle and jasmine smell amazingly sweet and pungent, morning glories open up in the day and close at night, and their counterpart in the same genus, moonflower, does the opposite, closing every morning and opening at dusk.

Majesty of the Queen of The Night
But one flower, in particular, boasts beauty, lovely scent, and fascinating novelty all in one package. This flower is the bloom of the Night-Blooming Cereus Cactus, Selenicerous grandiflourus, also known as the queen of the night. The plants grow only in Mexico and parts of southern U.S. They’re rather unimpressive looking most of the time, but one night a year, and one night only, their lovely, sweet-smelling flowers open at dusk, and wither away at dawn. This event is considered wondrous to behold, and even worth traveling to see.

Road Trip!
In fact, if you’re looking for a last-minute travel idea, why not head to a desert flat habitat in southern Arizona, East to West Texas or South to North Mexico and see if you can’t see one of these things bloom? It typically happens in late June or early July for any given plant, so you may not be too late? And even if you are, it’ll be worth it for the trip itself. Who doesn’t like an early summer road trip?

Indulge in the Scent of Elusive Beauty
If the Night-Blooming Cereus’ elusiveness, novelty, beauty and especially pleasant smell appeal to you, there’s another way you can celebrate this flower’s majesty. The perfume company “Once in a Bloom Fragrances” has a “Desert Queen Fragrance” designed to emulate the intoxicating scent of this flower so few have ever seen or smelled.

Grow One Yourself!
Though the plant has rather lackluster features, it could still make an interesting, eclectic accent for a modern household. The cactus (which doesn’t look much like the conventional idea of a cactus) has angular, twiggy, sparse stems around half an inch in diameter, and the plant typically reaches between 4 and 8 feet tall. It grows well in rock gardens, is fairly hardy, and can be grown from cuttings. If you want to be to see a Cereus flower bloom with your own eyes, growing it yourself as a houseplant could very well be your best bet. Just remember this isn’t a project to be undertaken by those early to rise, early to bed! Night-owls will get the most benefit and be the least likely to miss it when this beauty finally blooms some day late June or early July.