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! 

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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!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Have A Goal, Make A Plan + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content


There have been so many things I want and have wanted to do in my life! The problem is that I haven't had the time, motivation or drive to see most of those desires through to completion. For instance:
  • I love to dance. I was fairly good at it at one point. I was on a dance team in high school, I learned how to do Middle Eastern Dance 12 years ago and performed a few times. My husband and I met at a dance. I would have liked to have become a professional dancer. I'm not a professional dancer. I don't dance very often at all anymore.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Source From Whence It Came + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content

I got off work early the other day. As I was walking toward the main doors to the parking lot, I had a lot of things going through my head. I had a list of things I needed to do that day and I was excited to get to it. 
But then I saw Midy, one of our school trackers. I knew her from some interactions we had concerning a certain student and so we had talked briefly before. She struck me as someone who was very firm with the students, letting them know she was in charge and that they needed to respect her, even though she is petite and non-dramatic in her appearance. And I noticed that it worked! She has a lot of power in that school, to make sure that students are wearing the proper attire, not abusing electronics in the classroom, being respectful to each other and to their teachers. She is a force to be reckoned with, if you don't comply immediately with her respectful but firm request. She can take your phone away and confiscate it until your parents come pick it up, she can have you removed from campus if you are in violation of any school rules.  But she is just as quick to lend a helping hand to any student who appears sad, lonely, or depressed. The students really love her! As she walked toward me that day, she seemed relaxed and happy, with no pressing duties at hand. I said hello and asked her how her day was going. She responded positively and then I asked her what she does outside of her job.

I learned a lot in the few minutes of conversation we had! I learned that she has her parents living with her and that she takes care of them. That struck a chord with me, since that is what I do as well. My dad lives with us and we help him enjoy his elderly years, rather than have him live in a nursing home. Her parents are culturally rich--her dad is from Haiti and her mother is from Paris. They both speak fluent French! That explained why she speaks with an accent. I couldn't quite place where it was from before, but now it was evident.

She is married and has a very bright little girl in kindergarten, who school administrators wanted to put into 2nd grade because she is so far advanced in her reading and math. Midy declined the offer because she wants her daughter to have the social experience of kindergarten, getting along with kids her own age. 

She likes to cook both ethnic and exotic foods, which I'm sure she does amazingly well, since she has such a rich cultural heritage with both her parents. 

She talked about her parents quite a bit, revealing that her mother spanked her when she got a B in a college class and she didn't apologize for it because she wanted her to do the best of her ability and not squander the opportunity she had for education here. She also says that she believes in children doing hard work and learning how to be independent and not being spoiled with many things. Midy has taught her daughter to do many chores at home and to be very independent. 

Her dad is very happy and when he has a birthday wants cake, even though he can't have cake because he has diabetes. They make him the cake and then he simply looks at it, takes a small bite and then enjoys everyone else eating it and celebrating his birthday. He is very grateful to be living here in America. Midy says that one of his favorite quotes is "When you drink the water, don't forget where it came from." 

And the last thing that Midy told me is that she loves to stop and help others when they are in need of help on the road. It is a college town and so there are lots of chances to give people rides. She knows that in today's world that could be a bit creepy, but she assures them that she is only there to help and has actually helped quite a few students get to where they need to go, rather than walk. 

I imagine, though she didn't actually tell me, that the words of her father really did sink in. I imagine that helping where she can, even though she is very busy with her own pressing duties, is one small way that she can give back, to show she hasn't forgotten from whence her own opportunities come.
 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, April 24, 2017

To Step Away + #MyPostMonday The Week's Best Original Content


 I'm a little late to the party, but I recently viewed the series 'John Adams'. This is a must-see series if you want to be entertained while getting to know a bit more under what conditions the U.S. was founded and what this lesser known 2nd president sacrificed in terms of family, hardship, and prestige. He was uncompromisingly true to his beliefs, even to the point that he probably sacrificed a 2nd term for the presidency because of it. 

His wife, Abigail, was one of the most intelligent women of that century, and was regarded as her husband's equal in terms of intelligence and judgement. He listened to her and treasured her opinions. Their relationship is regarded as one of the moving love stories of American History. Even Thomas Jefferson looked to her as an equal, one of the only women he deigned to regard as such.

The movie was produced by Tom Hanks, among others. Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney both did a superb job playing, respectively, John and Abigail Adams. 

Why I Loved It

I loved the portrayal of early American life. It was accurate and even showed how dental care was almost non-existent. Both George Washington and John Adams had horrible teeth when they were older men. Even Abigail had tooth problems, as I'm sure most society did in the absence of dental care! I'm sure glad that we have access to that today!

Smallpox ran rampant in those times and Abigail was one of the first to make sure her children got vaccinations so that the dreaded disease would pass by their front door. There were certainly risks to doing it, and the way it was portrayed in the movie was very graphic, although I'm sure accurate!

There were many other depictions of early American life and for me it was fascinating to think of how far civilization has come in some ways and yet seems to have devolved in other ways. 

John Adams was honest to the point of receiving ridicule from the social circles he was sent to move in, in order to bridge diplomatic relations between the infant Republic and the  French and English monarchies. He was such an independent thinker and was able to articulate his reasoning in front of a skeptical public. In some instances he was successful and in others not so much.
Image - Ryan Schantzenbach
 Because of his unpopular stance of neutrality when much of the country was clamoring for war, he avoided a very expensive and unnecessary war which, at the time, might have broken the country financially before it even got off the ground. 


He was able to step away from the crowd, think logically about his beliefs and get his footing before coming back and becoming a strong and persuasive force for the good of the infant country. He was indeed a strong individual and was willing to sacrifice much for his beliefs. 

I relearned that it's OK to take a moment, step back and get your head together. Before one rushes to do what everyone else is doing, it's wise to take a second and make sure it is consistent with who you are and what you really believe inside!
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!)