Monday, August 14, 2017

Today's Complexities + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Today wraps up a mystery that has been in our minds here in Utah. On July 27th, a man went missing. He was a husband, a new father, and a son. What was interesting and notable about this was that his disappearance was surrounded by thousands of interested spectators and commentators. People came out of the woodwork to give their opinions as to why he was missing, what the family's role in his disappearance was, and who was to blame for his disappearance. As it so happened, the wife of this man happens to be a well-known blogger named Ashlee.
Well, the hate and rhetoric that was spewed out during the 18 day ordeal before they found him yesterday was...well, it was pretty unprecedented, calling her a phony, a fraud, and calling out false sightings of him with another girl, and everything imaginable. 

No, he wasn't perfect, no one is, and they had been through some really tough times during their marriage, including infertility and some other things that Ashlee had alluded to in at least one post, possibly two. But her strength and vulnerability were both bravely shared with any who wanted to follow along. She was authentic and a role model for those of us who wanted to use her as such. After all, in this world of Facebook and Instagram perfection, it was a little disconcerting to see someone's authenticity exposed so freely. Yet there it was. 

And when he disappeared, there were so many supporters and the haters, of course, wanted to tag along too. The story is still new, knowing only that his body was found in bad condition, floating in Mill Creek, found by employees of a business in the area.  We will probably never know what caused his death, now only suspected as suicide. What combination of events made him lose it? Or was it one single thing that he couldn't shake? 

Life today is so complex and sometimes it can really throw you. It necessitates being able to step back, and simplify the world as you know it, and prioritize what is most important and stick to it! 
My thoughts and prayers go out to Ashley and Paul, their love, family, and their new baby girl who will never have a chance to know her daddy except through others' memories. As I reflect on this tragedy and try to learn something from it, I will again refocus my own priorities and concentrate on simplifying my life. I won't feel guilty about it either. If my summer consists of staycations all summer long, I will feel happy because staying home is something I love. If I don't craft up my home on any given holiday, I will feel gratitude that I have eyes to admire the creations of others who have been able to do so. If I am not known as the one who reaches out to every single person I know in every social situation, then I will appreciate them in my thoughts and love them from afar and will do as much as I can, when I can. And I will keep those who matter close, oh so close!
 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--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, July 31, 2017

Just Sue Me + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content



 We've heard about it so many times before! Businesses suing other businesses for stealing their logos, designs, trade secrets, etc. One recent & crazy example is how Khloe Kardashian and her sister, Kylie Jenner, have been accused by more than one designer of lifting exclusive designs straight off the designer table and onto their own label. The designers say the sisters did it by e-mailing them, and asking for samples of clothing. The sisters supposedly then took the complimentary samples and made almost exact copies of them and then stuck their own labels on them. Of course, their names on the label would sell a lot of clothing! We'll see how it all plays out in court. 

All The Nuts - Health Benefits of Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Etc.


 I grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, home of Diamond Walnuts. As a matter of fact, nuts of all kinds grew there, in addition to any fruit or vegetable you can imagine. It was a wonderful place to grow up. We used to work in the walnut orchards owned by Diamond, as a volunteer project for our church youth program. The trees went on endlessly, as far as the eye could see. Who would have thought that 30 years later, the very existence of the almond and walnut orchards would be on the verge of collapse?

I've been so sad to hear about the conditions recently in northern California and the affect they have had on the nut crops, especially almonds. First it was the extreme drought conditions in 2014 that brought on the necessity for almond farmers to destroy thousands and thousands of acres of almond trees. Now in 2017, it's the opposite. Record rainfall is killing or has already killed the state's almonds. A record 27 inches of rain fell this last winter, the most ever recorded! And it's ironic that water is responsible for killing the trees, because almonds consume huge amounts of water and have even been accused of depriving other resources of adequate water! 

Being as it may, the health benefits of eating those water-greedy nuts is huge! I would urge anyone not to make their dietary plans so constrictive that they can't fit in a handful of some kind of nut into their daily food plan! By the way, peanuts are not nuts. They are legumes. Consider the benefits of eating a handful of nuts!
1) Great source of healthy fat! Of course we know that some fats shouldn't be consumed and other fats should be consumed in moderate amounts. Nut fats are helpful for weight loss, heart health and for brain health!

2) 20% less likely to die for any reason! That is huge! Studies found that a person who ate a small handful of nuts 7 times a week or more, were less likely to kick the bucket!

3) People who eat nuts have better cardiovascular health, lower risk for diabetes, lower mortality rate which then raises your longevity!

Sometimes you want something a little more exciting than just a handful of nuts. There are a lot of ways to dress up those nutritionally-loaded nuggets. 

Maple Cinnamon Pecans
2 cups raw pecans
1/3 cup maple syrup (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2  Tbsp. cinnamon
Cinnamon Sugar for sprinkling

Combine pecans, maple syrup, salt, and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat in a skillet for 6 - 8 minutes until thickened. Spread onto wax paper to cool. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired, and store in an airtight container.

Rosemary Garlic Almonds
2 cups raw almonds
1 Tbsp Coconut oil
2 tbsp. fresh chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and cook in a medium sauce pan, stirring regularly until toasted and fragrant. Spread and cool on wax paper. Store in airtight container. 

Either recipe is gluten free, vegan, and paleo! I'm such a fan of all the nuts and this is one obsession that I don't feel a shred of guilt for! So enjoy some nuts, and here's to your health!

sources: Grub Street 
Mercola.com
AgAlert 
CenterCut Cook 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Crazy Enough To Succeed + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

Someone has said that "you should aim so high that others will think you're crazy." That describes my friend, Lei, exactly. I think back through our 15+ year friendship and she was just like me in so many ways. We both liked to go to the gym and work out. She ran, I biked, and we both liked to hike. And so it was, until she decided that being status quo wasn't enough for her. She wanted to create something more than the fitness she had already achieved. Mind you, if 80% of women had achieved what Lei had already achieved, they would be very happy. But Lei is different, she wanted to be part of the top 2%.  And so with trainers who saw her drive and potential, she set out to do just that! There were plenty of doubters around, those who thought she was absolutely nuts and narcissistic to go to the gym for periods of 3 hours a day at times.  But those labels would be wrong--she is a driven perfectionist and she shattered the glass ceiling that says women, let alone women over 50, shouldn't presume to achieve such a toned and sculpted body and then compete with it. And why not? Men do it and it is admired. Why shouldn't women do it too?  Of course we have seen a huge surge in female body building and figure competing especially within the last 5 years or so, thanks to gals like Lei.
Image: Alex Barnedt
Now we're on the other side of the 5 years when she first started her journey and has since achieved some amazing things. Her last competition was at FitCon in Utah in April 2017. She placed 1st in Masters, 2nd in Open, and even more impressive, became Nationally Qualified for the 2nd time! Do you think you've got what it takes to become a Nationally Qualified Figure Competitor? Read Lei's story Part I and Part II to see exactly how she got where she is today.


With these impressive qualifications behind her, she is now more than qualified to teach others the formulas to her success and now takes a limited number of clients. Contact her on Instagram if you are needing nutritional advice, exercise routines and advice, or any kind of fitness questions. Let her know that A GAL NEEDS...sent you and she will give you a 15% discount on any services! I enlisted her nutritional knowledge and she gave me a great paleo high protein meal plan to help me lose a really tough couple of pounds!

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But that is only one dimension of multi-faceted Lei. She was born in Hawaii and with a name like Lei, it seems like destiny that she would indeed own her own lei business called 'Lei Of Aloha.' She is skilled at making a variety of different kinds of leis for all occasions. They are keepsakes for the lucky recipient. She will be traveling to many different trade shows during the coming year, but she also takes special orders. She is as driven with her lei business as she is with her figure competing. It's just who she is. Contact her on Instagram and receive a 15% discount when you mention A GAL NEEDS...



Not everyone is meant to be an entrepreneur. It takes incredible drive and willpower and an innate belief in yourself that will drown out the ever-present naysayers. But I'm happy to say that I know one, and she is a steel magnolia who just happens to make leis out of them too!
 Today is "My Post Monday!" It's all about original content from bloggers who care to share what is on their minds--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!)   

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A Jord Watch! Amazon #PrimeDay

I hadn't worn a watch since my Casio died about 7 years ago. I loved it because it was easy to read, and also had a night light. I didn't feel inclined to get another one, however, because I started using my phone to look at the time. But there's something to say about wearing a watch! Don't forget it is part of your overall look, it's a conversation piece. And there's nothing easier than a flick of the wrist and a glance down to get the time when you're wearing a watch. 
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Jord was kind enough to contact me to see if I might like to review one of their watches. Um...hold on, let me check my busy schedule....yep, looks like I'm good for a watch review! (Squeeeee!!) Especially a wood watch review! They look so distinctive, and I've  seen the posts about Jord everywhere. It seems that one can't take a bad picture of a Jord Watch. They are absolutely stunning!

Simplicity in accessories is important to me, and I wanted a neutral watch, one that I could wear with most anything, whether it was out playing disc golf on the weekend, or heading to work during the week. I want a look that I can pair with many looks. I chose the Fieldcrest Series in green sandalwood, for that reason.

The series comes standard, as do all Jord watches, with quartz crystal inner workings, hand finished woods, scratch-resistant mineral glass, and are splash-proof. Ranging in price from $139 - $395, there is a style, wood, and color for all! 

A couple things that I particularly like about this wood watch is the light-weight feel. I often forget to take it off at night because I don't even feel it on my wrist, which is a good thing. Another thing is that it never gets sweaty, sticky, or smelly. When I had a leather band with my former watch, the leather got a funky smell to it after I had worn it and it had absorbed perspiration and dampness. Wood doesn't do that.  I'm thrilled because I have a sensitive sniffer, and the smell of the leather wristband always bothered me. I feel like I'm going to love going back to depending on a watch to check the time! It's the perfect must-have accessory!
It's Amazon Prime Day today and Jord is giving free shipping and 30% off their watches! 

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

5 Easy Tricks To Lose 10 Pounds Before The End Of Summer

It feels like summer is half over, even though it just started! Some of us are looking at school right between the eyes! If you didn't quite make your weight loss goals yet, add these 5 tricks to help you achieve that 10 lb. weight loss goal before summer's end! I'm right there with you! I'm doing it too!
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1. Remember that slow and steady helps to win the race.
When you lose too quickly the body is tricked into thinking there is a crisis and will go into crisis mode until you start eating "normally", or at least how the body perceives is normal for you. The body will strive hard to get you back to that "normal" weight. Basically that is why it is so dang hard to keep the weight off once you get to your target weight. 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Beauty That Still Remains + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

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I really should be writing a patriotic post, seeing that tomorrow is July 4th and all, and it's one of my favorite holidays, but I think I wrote one last year. Oops, no I didn't I was really into the Summer Olympics about that time! But I did write a post about one of our founding fathers recently, John Adams! So I think we'll let that suffice! As for today's post.....

Monday, June 26, 2017

Being There + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

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Are you in touch with your friends and family? I mean, really in touch? Yes, we have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, texts in addition to phone calls to instantaneously get into the loop. But if someone on your Friends list needed someone and you knew it, would you be there for them? Let's go a little further. If you knew that someone wasn't really into life and wanted to actually end it all, would you be there for them, at the risk of ending that friendship? 

We've heard a lot lately about people who are more than happy to help someone else end their own life, to the point of encouraging them to do it, providing instruments of death to do the deed, or just not acting on it when they had information. Now there is debate as to whether or not these individuals should or shouldn't be charged with manslaughter.  I don't want to get into that debate other than sharing a recent story of someone who made it his business to save a friend's life, even though he didn't stand to gain personally from it and who risked his own personal success in something he enjoyed in order to do so. 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Unwelcome And Uninvited Guests + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

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This morning my ears started ringing and it was so uncomfortable. It stopped me dead in my tracks and I couldn't focus on anything until, thankfully, it finally went away. I can only surmise why it started. Was someone talking about me? You never know! But more likely is that we went to the movies earlier and I think that whenever we go, my ears suffer because the volume is always so loud. Then it hit me that my husband has a constant ringing in his ears 24/7! He has tinnitus. Ugh! It stemmed from his Sony Walkman days as a teenager, with the sound as loud as he could possibly get it. He used to complain about it a lot when the ringing first started. But now, he has learned to live with the never-ending tone and it has faded into the background. Except when it gets angry and loud. Then it is torture all over again.

It made me think about other painful constants that people have in their lives. How do they live with them? Does it eventually just become normal, so that they just expect the company and walk with it throughout life, good or bad? 

Friday, June 16, 2017

'Summer Beauty Musts' Cash & Product #Giveaway

Summer is so here!! Which means deck weather--sitting outside with friends and family, sipping your favorite drinks, enjoying the evening breezes after a hot day!  You want to look your best because this is the time of year when your skin and hair are the most exposed! Summer is also when your skin and hair get fried because of all the sun, sand, and surf. Treat it with care, and don't contribute to the maltreatment by using harsh products on it. The 3 areas below should be given special attention during the summer months and beyond for your best look, whatever that may be! Green Esthetics has you covered in all 3 areas!

Moisturized Skin and Hair. Pure Argan Oil is one of the very best things you can do for not only your hair, but your skin!  Green Esthetics has the very highest quality Argan Oil available, aside from actually traveling to Morocco and buying it straight from the woman at the market, who harvested it from the tree and processed it just yesterday! See a few things that I have discovered Argan Oil to be useful for here! It's surprising how many things there are!

Beautiful Eyes Start With Healthy Eyelashes. Another thing that is always desirable are long, healthy and beautiful eyelashes that don't look like they are fringes off a Persian rug! I don't understand why people are going so over the top! I get it, you went and had your eyelashes done! Yay!  But what really looks good is when you look at someone and their eyelashes are subtly enhanced and naturally thick, framing the eyes and accentuating them. The eyes are what need to be the center of focus, not the lashes! Longer Lash is an amazing and natural product that is perfect for keeping your eyelashes in perfect condition throughout the summer. And it really works, see my review!
A Gorgeous Smile. Everyone knows that a smile starts with the eyes, but it continues with white and healthy teeth. Using harsh whiteners isn't the answer because it can lead to the breakdown of the gums, enamel, and even the gut, which won't help your beauty routine! Green Esthetics has you covered with a whitening gel that gets your teeth white easily and safely! It comes with your own do-it-yourself tray! I have been using this whitener for a period of 3 months and I love it! Below is a picture of me with my husband cropped out as we took a selfie on our first bike ride of the season. I love how my smile is fairly white because I had used the whitening gel a few days before. No retouches needed!