Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Hey....It's OK

There are a few things this month that I think are okay! They are:

--This is the driest winter Utah has had, possibly ever. I've loved not having to plow walks, nor worry about road conditions, 60 lb. icicles falling off my roof and gutters, piles of dirty snow in the street, insane winter drivers, or having to wear clunky snow boots. Never mind that our world-famous skiing has been crippled and that we'll be paying in spades when the reservoirs run dry. For now, it's OK! 

--I got the flu over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Me, the health and wellness advocate and blogger, getting the flu? In my defense I haven't had so much as a cold in, like, 4 years. I was getting a little cocky about the whole thing. But then it hit me and for a minute, I remembered why I hate getting sick. But on the flip side, I got a whole lot of sleep. And I realized, sleep is such a good thing! Plus, I lost some of that holiday poundage that I had sworn I'd keep off, but didn't. So this time, it's Ok that the flu came and paid me a visit. Just don't come back again for a very, very long time. You won't be welcome.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Follow Your Intuitions + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I had a really great post planned for today, but dang it, I got the flu! It started Saturday night, with a very suspicious scratchy throat and a slight cough. The next morning the cough was worse and I powered through it, with the help of my trusty cough drops. I literally ate the whole bag to keep from coughing my brains out. By the time 10 pm rolled around, I was achy, cold, and miserable. Nothing to do but put on my essential oil diffuser, rub down with my favorite muscle relaxant, take a flu tablet, and try to get some sleep. It was a restless and miserable night. I finally got out of bed at 1 pm today, struggled through the most basic tasks, and was grateful that I didn't have work to worry about, or little ones to depend on me, like one time a long time ago.

When I was married to my first husband, he would disappear for a couple of days and I usually knew when he'd be back and why he'd gone. After our little girl passed away, it became more like weeks at a time. I wouldn't know where he was or when he would return. Eventually it turned into months, and finally he disappeared with my two boys. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

When A Girl Gets Educated + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

There was a day when parents would take their daughters and subtly package them in attractive gowns, complete with the proper etiquette training and skills that would make them viable in terms of being a good wife and mother to attract prospective husbands. They were debutantes and it was called a "coming out" party or gala, which happened between the ages of 18 - 21 years old. It's still done in the more exclusive communities in the South and on the eastern shore board. 

But a new day is dawning and it is more common now for men to search not for the traditional attributes that once made a girl attractive to marry. The most alluring thing now, it seems, is the level of education a woman has. 
I don't think it is necessarily a new thing. I remember when I was in college and the most popular girls, with the most dates, were not always the best-looking girls, but the ones who were ready to graduate. Not only that, they were the girls who could readily get a job and help a young guy get through his own schooling. And usually it was the man who ended up having the higher education in the marriage.

But in 2015 education between partners hit a new norm. Now 24.5% of men have more education than their wife, BUT 25.3% of women have more education than their husbands! That is very interesting! Except hold on, it doesn't translate into earning power. 72% of husbands still make more than their wives!

The Vitamin D Effect---More Than Just S.A.D. Relief!

We're right in the thick of winter and I'm one of the 6% of people in the U.S. who suffer from mild Seasonal Affective Disorder! It is hard on my poor husband, my dog, and my body. Some of the symptoms I experience are: needing to sleep much more than normal, lack of wanting to get outside, lack of desire to exercise, lack of motivation for pretty much anything. It is during this time that I am in danger of losing my "girlish figure". I jest of course, but still....this is when I can really pack on the pounds. 

We already know that Vitamin D is the Sun vitamin and that there is evidence which shows that supplementation can help calm down your Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. My doctor told me recently that there are quite a few people in my state of Utah who test low in Vitamin D. There are a couple reasons for this. First of all, we are in the western U.S., surrounded by mountains on the east and west, making the sunrise later and the sunset earlier. And because many people in the state are very health conscious, they additionally use sunscreen to block out the sun in order to prevent skin cancer. But it also blocks Vitamin D.
Besides alleviating the symptoms of S.A.D., there are some other very exciting benefits that accompany having sufficient levels of the Sun Supplement. There is even an ideal blood serum level to aim for that appears to be the magic number. That would be 40-60 ng/ml year round.  
What are some of these other benefits? Here they are:

Monday, January 1, 2018

My 10 Favorite Companies + $25 PayPal #Giveaway

Welcome to 2018! I can't believe I'm still around after 8 years! It's been a fun ride and I love having this little place to come and share the best original content around the web almost every week on #MyPostMonday. There are some excellent bloggers out there, and I love discovering their original content! I've also shared my own ideas about health and wellness, making my own fashion, and worked with some great companies along the way!  

Today I'm celebrating by ringing in the New Year with 10 of my favorite companies. I've chosen these particular companies because of their excellent customer service and their high quality products! They also fit right up my alley in terms of health and wellness, and fun fashion! You will find  some encapsulated information about each company. For more details, you can also read the referenced reviews and visit their sites. 

Friday, December 29, 2017

6 Ways To Get Back On Track After Holiday Overeating

Holidays, festivals, vacations, and even weekend celebrations--They are all meant to unwind, motivate us, and charge up our moods. Along with that comes good food, which is nearly impossible to stop ourselves from indulging in! But relax! It's perfectly okay to pamper yourself occasionally.

Although it is obvious we don't want to make it a practice, knowing that overeating can result in weight gain and makes people feel low in energy, sometimes it happens. Especially around the holidays. What we need to understand is that the actual problem doesn't arise out of overindulging, but because we don't know when to stop and how to get back on track after having a sumptuous meal.

A sobering fact is that the World Health Organization says that nearly 2.8 million people are dying each year as a result of being overweight or obese. 

After a holiday splurge, punishing yourself, or taking a guilt trip never works. Instead, you need to look for smart ways that can help you get back on track quickly.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Thankful Merry Happy #Utah Biz Appreciation #Giveaway - $20 Visa Gift Card

It's been quite a year and, frankly, I'm glad it's almost over! A friend of mine made me laugh when she said that 2017 has been a dumpster fire kind of year! But all in all, I'm very grateful for what I've been given this year--whether through my own efforts, the kindness of others, or especially my own little nuclear network of family and friends. I'd like to pass it along and thank some of the great people who have helped me along the way this year. They are some of the Utah businesses that have helped me and my family keep our lives going along smoothly while everything else sometimes seemed to fall apart around us.

This is a Utah Giveaway, featuring 10 local businesses that I'd love for you to give a shout-out to and help me thank them. Also, maybe it will spur your memory about some of the great local businesses that have helped you out this year! I'm sure they would love to hear about it from you! Here's a quick round-up of the businesses that I've chosen!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Artificial Intelligence At It's Most Personable! + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Have you seen her? The newest, first, and only robotic citizen of Saudi Arabia? She is so amazingly lifelike it's uncanny! This is what people have been talking about for awhile now, that artificial intelligence will compete with human intelligence. I was telling one of my co-workers about Sophia and he, in turn, told me about two chat bots that had been created by Facebook. They started talking to each other in a language that only they understood. They also could negotiate strategically, pretending that they were very interested in an item so they could simulate great sacrifice in giving that item up during negotiation talks. And although Facebook abandoned the experiment soon after this started happening, they stress that it wasn't because they were afraid of the results. And they stress that several times because people started talking about how Artificial Intelligence is going to destroy humanity and gave that as an example.

Apparently, Sophia has been programmed to joke around a bit about that earlier faux pas! She does it in a very lighthearted and very personable way. Honestly, she talks and reasons better than a lot of people, including myself! She's got great social skills!

Monday, December 4, 2017

One Small Candle + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

It's just a job. She goes to work, does the best she can as a barista serving frothy drinks, and then goes home and does the rest of her life, which includes school, family, and trying to make a future for herself. 
 As we are aware, in addition to the hustle and bustle of shopping, party-going, gift wrapping, home decor, yummy food, Santa, and Elves, this is the month that many people reach out and provide service to others.

True Story: One day last week while working the drive-through, a woman drove up and handed my friend, Ms. Barista, $20.00. She didn't even get a drink. She just wanted to pay for as many people's drinks as possible. Then the next driver drove up. He was incredulous, but instead of simply taking the free drinks, he adds $5 to the pot. And so it went with several more drivers. They added instead of taking away. And then there was the one driver who came through---a single woman, who, when told that someone else had paid for her order, broke down in tears. She said that she was so in need of feeling that someone, anybody, cared for her today. She was so grateful. As this was happening Ms. Barista started crying, and her co-workers started crying. Everyone was crying as they carried out this simple act of caring. Someone went away feeling loved, others got to witness what a simple act can do.

But the ones who facilitated the act never really found out what happened because they drove away. These are people who don't look for an instant gratification or personal thanks for the goodness they contribute. In the Bible, it states that your right hand shouldn't know what your left hand is doing, and that if you receive accolades for the good you do, you have received your rewards. But those who do good in secret, the Lord will reward them openly. I'm sure that the facilitators of the free drinks that day will get plenty of good karma at some point in the near future!

Another true story! Ed Solomon is a writer and quite a famous one, if you are familiar with Men In Black, the Bill & Ted chronicles, and most recently, HBO's 'Mosaic'. He was put in the awkward position (since he is the only person these certain people know in the film industry) of trying to get ahold of Mark Hammill, aka Luke Skywalker, because a terminally ill boy's wish was to meet with Luke Skywalker himself. Apparently he watches 'Star Wars' every single day and knows the film inside and out. And he had a few choice questions for Luke Skywalker. The request was that he get to meet Luke Skywalker, NOT Mark Hammill and have a lovely chat about all things 'Star Wars'. (The boy's mental state had devolved past the point of being able to grasp that Luke was fictional.)

Although Ed Solomon didn't know Mark Hammill personally, he did find out who his agent was, and made that call. The agent begrudgingly told Mark not to get his hopes up. But less than 2 minutes later, the boy and his family got a call from Mark Hammill himself, who gave them his home address and invited them to come over. "He not only met with the boy, but spent hours answering question after question (sometimes the same ones repeatedly), AS "Luke." Of course, it meant everything to this boy and his family!
 I believe that both these men showed amazing love and compassion to make this happen for that boy. Ed Solomon could easily have written it off as something he couldn't do because he didn't know Mark Hammill personally, and didn't want to take the time to make calls and pull strings that might not even be possible in the first place. He tried and look what happened! And Mark Hammill is a busy, successful guy and probably gets thousands of requests. But he saw a real need and an authentic opportunity to help someone have joy. The goodness of people is amazing!

These seemingly simple acts of pure service quickly turn into something much more than what they may have been intended to be. It can spread like wildfire during this time of year and infuse the world with light! I do believe in the #LightTheWorld campaign and am doing my own small acts of service wherever and whenever I can. They aren't huge, and I may never know the consequences. But like the ones I described, they may become something much more!!!
 Today is "My Post Monday!", a curation of the week's best original content. It's all about posts from Crafts to Camping, Wellness to Wealth, Fashion to Food, and whatever else is on the brain!  I  open up with a post of my own and then follow it up with a linky of the week's top original blog posts! It's all about what the writer thinks, believes, and knows--in other words, they are active, writing blogs. If I happen to find a great original, non-sponsored post, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MyPostMonday hashtag!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! (Affiliate links welcome!)    

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Bond That Shouldn't Be Broken + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I absolutely love my dog and love all dogs--their loyalty, love, and intelligence. I even wrote a post about why my dog is sometimes preferred over humans at times! And of course, I've heard and seen examples of dogs who help people with disabilities and make the work of the military and police much easier because they aren't afraid to go in and take down the bad guys!

Last week during the Thanksgiving Break I decided to watch a few T.V. shows that had been recorded awhile back but hadn't been watched yet. One of the shows that had actually been recorded by my husband, but grabbed my attention was HBO's War Dog: A Soldier's Best Friend. It premiered on Veteran's Day, but has been streaming on HBO daily. It was produced by Channing Tatum, among others.They did a great job, I must say!

I wasn't prepared for the range of emotions that hit me with stories of 3 different war veterans, all heroes, and their canine companions. One story is about a dog who took a bullet before it hit his soldier, one is about a soldier who took a bullet rather than let his dog unnecessarily get into the frey, and one is about a dog who made the ultimate sacrifice for his "family" of soldiers. 

It was very apparent that these dogs meant everything to these soldiers and they became like family to them, going through the traumatic circumstances of war with them. The dogs didn't wait at home, hoping that their masters would return. No, they experienced actual combat situations with them and were trained beforehand to help them carry out their difficult missions. 

The portrayal of the bond between these veterans and their dogs is masterfully done. It is unequivocal that once a dog and his soldier go through the things they do together, that they are bonded for life. Think about it. These soldiers do things that normal people can't even fathom doing. And it starts during their training. It's so intense, with their dogs going right along with them. When all is said and done, these soldiers need some help when they come back to civilian life. They are that much better off if they have their canine companions there with them to show them how to get back to normalcy.