Four Last Minute Tips To Be Eclipse Ready!

Hello Wonderful People,

If you are like most people, you are probably aware of solar eclipse set to occur tomorrow. Depending on where you are in the United States, you have the chance to be seeing a partial eclipse or be able to view the complete, total eclipse. My hubby and I are fortunate to be living near the path of totality, meaning we will be able to see the total eclipse. Since we live in the Gateway City, we only have to travel a few miles south to be in that path. The Gateway City will actually have a 99% eclipse. You are probably wondering, what difference does it make? For most people, it doesn’t make much difference. But for us, we wanted to be in the totality path because a full total eclipse has not happened in our part of the country for over 500 years.

If you are planning to view the eclipse here as some last minute tips to make it a memorable day.

Having the right eyewear is essential!

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE PROPER EYEWEAR
There has been a lot of talk about wearing the proper eyewear to view the eclipse. Without any protective eyewear, looking into the sun can damage your eyes and even cause blindness. You do not want to take that chance. Having the right eyewear is essential. We attended a program on eclipses at the Saint Louis Science Center. By attending the program, we received a pair of glasses to use during the eclipse.
It seems like finding the glasses has become harder and harder to find as we get closer to Monday. My hubby had ordered some online a couple weeks back. It said the expected delivery would be two weeks; but they did not arrive within that time frame. Thankfully we received our pair at the Science Center.

TAKE OFF YOUR EYEWEAR DURING TOTALITY
If you are fortunate to be able to view the total eclipse, you will want to take off your protective eyewear during this time. Depending on wear you are during this time, the length of totality will vary from about 30 seconds to two minutes and 42 seconds. But during this time it is okay take off the eyewear and view the sun and your surroundings. You will notice that the temperature will drop about fifteen to twenty degrees will the sun is completely blocked out. Birds will be singing their night songs. But if you are not in that path of totality, it is important to keep your eyewear on during the entire time you are viewing the partial eclipse.

MAKE SURE YOUR CAMERAS ALSO HAVE THE PROPER EYEWEAR
After reading more about the eclipse, I learned that you also need to be concerned about your cameras. Taking a photograph of the sun without the proper filter can destroy your camera’s lens. The glasses that you bought so you can see the eclipse can also work for your camera. The eyewear will make it possible for your camera to capture a good quality photo of the sun. We photographed the sun using our cellphone and the eyewear yesterday afternoon. The photo below shows how well it came out. I know if we had not used that eyewear as a filter, we would have not been able to get that good of photo.

Photo of the Sun using eclipse glasses as a filter.

MAKE IT A PARTY!
With the proper eyewear, you can view the eclipse where ever you want. We decided to head to Augusta for a viewing along the KATY Trail, not far from the Missouri River. My hubby and I enjoy going to Augusta for walking the trail and eating in the local restaurants. It is a charming small town that is offering a party, with food, music and T-shirts. And it is on the path of totality, so it should be fun time. I know some folks who have decided not to take off from work and may go outside. For something that does not happen but every few hundred years, we definitely didn’t want to miss it.

We wil be back here Monday evening after the eclipse to share with you are experiences of the day. If you are planning to view the eclipse, let us know where you will be and if you are in the path of totality.

Healthy Shopping Habits That Could Help To Change Your Lifestyle

Shopping – you either love it or you hate it! We all need to buy groceries at some point each week. Of course, there are lots of different ways to shop, and lots of different things to buy. Whether you love it or loathe it, there are a few healthy habits you could adopt to make shopping more cost effective, time efficient, and physically beneficial. Try some of these next time you need to pop to the store:

Walk
Most of us live within a couple of miles of a store that sells many of the things we need to buy each month. Walking there and back each time can be a very healthy approach. You’ll get the fresh air and exercise you need to stay fit and sleep better at night. If you walk, you won’t want to carry much back, so it will also prevent you buying more than you need! This could be one of the most cost effective and healthy approaches to shopping you might find.

Do A Deal
Those that love living frugally will do their best to never pay full price for anything. This might be quite challenging outside of the sales season. Fortunately, there are several approaches you might take. The first is discount coupons. Sign up with your favorite stores and pick up customer loyalty cards wherever you go. You can also find vouchers for discounts online at websites like DontPayFull.com for some of the biggest brands you know. Market stalls, dealerships, and independent traders might be more willing to haggle than you think. Can you do a deal?

Image: Pexels

When You Need It
Fashion is a big weakness for lots of people. You might see a blouse in the store window and just have to have it. Unfortunately, this can easily get out of hand. If you’re regularly buying items that weren’t on your shopping list or in your budget, it’s time to change your habits. Instead, regularly clear out your closet. If you replace old for new, you’ll know you’re only buying what you need. It’s a great way to avoid clutter and excess clothing! If tech is your weakness, try the same approach. Buy when it’s broken, or sell the old one before investing in the latest model.

 

Food – Friend or Foe?
Food waste can be heartbreaking. Nobody likes to throw food in the trash, but most of us are guilty of it every month. Produce that has reached its sell-by date or wasn’t stored correctly can be wasted. Instead, plan your meal menus ahead of your shopping. Weigh out correct portions, so you know how much you have and how much you need. If you think it might spoil, cook in big batches and freeze for later. This can also help to encourage you to eat more fresh foods and fewer processed items.

 

Choosing healthier approaches to your shopping habits might save you money, time, and even help you improve your fitness. All of this can add up to a healthier lifestyle as well. You might spend less, waste less, and eat better than ever before. What will you try first?

 

JT Style File: The Skirt

Hello Beautiful People,

The leaves are starting to fall. Before long, the temperatures will be falling too. I can’t wait. I enjoy the cooler days and the changing of the colors.

It is about the skirt for me. When it is warm and muggy, all I want to wear is skirts with natural fibers. A skirt can be made causal, or dressy; depending what you pair it with. In the outfit below, I dressed it up a bit. The Romantic puff sleeve blouse by Ralph Lauren is a classic style that has always been a favorite of my mine. I recently found an updated version of it at Macy’s. The skirt is from B.The Collection, a local company that offered preppy, boutique styles. Unfortunately, the company went out of business earlier in the year. My wedge sandals are from Fly London. This is my first time trying this brand and I like its fun, updated style. My super fun backpack by Renwick is an unexpected accessory that finishes off the outfit.

You see Gio in background; sniffing away looking for that squirrel.

This picture is inside because it was too hot and humid for a long photo shoot.

Gio had enough of the looking for the squirrel and wanted to be in this photo.

Skirts are cool in natural fibers and make a carefree statement on those hot and muggy days.

Curly Bangs Are Possible, And Here Is How

When people think of bangs, they usually picture a woman with straight hair. But the reality is that even though you have curly hair, you can still have perfect bangs. Yes, styling bangs can be difficult, and when you have curly hair, it gets even more challenging.

Photo courtesy of ritely.com

But with bangs and curls becoming more and more popular thanks to fashion shows, it is now imperative that you find a way to have curly bangs.Curls are sexy, and there are so many women that wear them in so many different ways. Think of celebrities like Beyonce, Zendaya, Shakira, Tori Kelly and so on. They all have naturally curly hair, and they find a way to utilize it. So, here are some ways you can get curly bangs.

Find a good stylist
There are so many stylists out there. And it is challenging to find a good one. But if you want to have curly bangs, you must find one that understands how to cut and style curly hair. Many stylists make the mistake of leaving no room for the curls to move or form. The result is hanging curls, which eventually ends up in frizzy hair.

One important aspect is your face shape. Each shape demands a different cutting technique. Now, your stylist will probably know this, but it doesn’t hurt to be informed.

For example, you can get heavy bangs for a square-shaped face. The bangs will soften the face, and help you create a dramatic look. This way, you put more focus on your eyes and less on your face shape. Make sure to ask your stylist to make the bangs longer on the sides. The length, however, should stay just below the eyebrows.

If you have a round-shaped face, go for more graphic and thick bangs that fall just above the eyebrows. The trick here is to allow your bangs to create the illusion of a longer face.

Women with an oval face can play with the feminine features of their face. Especially with curly bangs, you need to allow them to fall right below the brow bone. Women with an oval-shaped face can experiment more with the shape of their bangs.

If you have a heart-shaped face, the goal is to avoid super heavy look. You want a side-swept fringe which looks more natural.

Take care of your curly hair
Your hair needs moisture and hydration, same as your body. Some hair experts recommend to think of your hair as a sponge. That means it can hold a certain amount of water. But if you take care of your hair with hydrating products, you will satisfy its thirst for moisture.

As for what type of products to use? Focus on sulfate-free and water-based styling products that will moisturize your curls. In the same time, these products enhance the curls while eliminating frizz. That is 2 in 1 solution right there. Most importantly, avoid sulfates, as they will strip you from the hair’s natural oil.

Invest in a quality diffuser
A simple, round diffuser will allow you to enhance your natural waves and curls. Even though your hair is curly, you still need a diffuser to enhance it. A quality diffuser will make sure of that, without making your hair look frizzy.

When you want to style your hair, go for a no-heat option. Wait for your hair to be approximately 80% dried, and then apply styling gel. When applying hair product, make sure to pin the curl to the top of your hair with a clip. Allow your hair to dry naturally.

 

** This is a guest post from ritely.com

Got Tummy Troubles? Our Gut Instincts As To What May Be Wrong

Tummy troubles are something common to all of us, and most of the time they are nothing to worry about. From stomach-ache to having wind, there are usually simple reasons behind our complaints.
Use this guide as a basis for the causes of some common problems. However, we aren’t qualified to give medical advice, so always see a professional, such as a doctor or dietician, for further information.

Image Courtesy of FLICKR



Gallstones
Gallstones are small deposits that can form in your gallbladder, normally as a result of a high-cholesterol diet or a chemical imbalance in your bile. Symptoms include short, sharp bursts of pain under your ribs, a yellowing of the skin, and dark colored urine.
You can prevent the risk of gallstones by eating a healthy diet to reduce cholesterol. Regular exercise will also help. It’s possible to get rid of gallstones naturally, such as drinking a quart of apple juice a day to soften the stones and flush them from your body. Your doctor will be able to spot gallstones using an x-ray, so don’t delay in seeking advice. Surgery is rarely required, though you may need an endoscopy for persistent blockages.

Gastroenteritis
Also known as gastric flu, this inflammation of your stomach and intestines is brought about by the norovirus or bacterial food poisoning. Symptoms include high temperatures, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
You won’t normally need medical treatment, but if the symptoms last longer than a few days, you should go and see your doctor. There are natural oils that can help relieve nausea, without the need to buy over the counter medication.  You are advised to drink plenty of water and eat bland, easy to digest foods until you start to feel better.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome
IBS is a common problem that affects millions of people today. There is a dispute over the cause of IBS, but you can read more information here. Symptoms include constant feelings of bloating, stomach cramps, and issues with bowel movement.
IBS is a long-term condition with no full proof cure. However, the symptoms can be alleviated by focussing on a fiber diet, supplemented with probiotics to aid digestive health. Taking more exercise and reducing stress are also known to counteract some of the common symptoms.

Lactose Intolerance
This condition often runs in families and is the inability to absorb lactose from milk and dairy products. Symptoms include feelings of bloating, nausea, stomach cramp, and loose stools after consuming a dairy product.
Your doctor will probably advise you to cut out dairy products for a couple of weeks, as the symptoms may be indicative of another problem, such as IBS. Should you be intolerant to dairy, you should switch to a low-lactose diet, and use food supplements to ensure you get the proper nutrients your body needs.

Final word
We have only touched upon some of the medical conditions that could be causing your stomach problems. Seek medical advice for prolonged symptoms, and consider your lifestyle choices to reduce the chances of you being affected in the future.

 

Get on Your Bike! Why You Need To Include Cycling In Your Exercise Regime

Whether you’re looking to get back into fitness or you’re already a gym buff, cycling is the perfect exercise to add to your routine. It’s an incredible workout which is safe for most people and has some amazing health benefits too. Here are some of the reasons!

Get On Your Bike! — image courtesy of PEXELS

Accessible
Biking might not be as accessible as say walking or running, as all you need for those are a pair of good supportive trainers. But there are stationary bikes at any gym, and they’re the kind of equipment that anyone can use. There’s nothing confusing, and most people are going to be able to hop on and use them right away. Plus, most gyms offer different types of bikes so you can choose what’s most comfortable for you. If the saddle of spin bikes and upright bikes is a little uncomfortable, go with a recumbent bike. Here you’re seated in a far more comfortable position with the pedals out in front of you. Plus, you always have the option of buying an actual bicycle and going outdoors. This would make a great day out with the family and the perfect way to keep everyone fit and healthy.

Builds Strong Muscles
Cycling uses the large muscles in the legs, and repeated cycling builds strong lean muscle. Since your legs are essentially the foundation of your body, strong muscles help to keep you stable. Plus, these larger muscles burn calories at rest meaning working boosts your metabolism as you use more calories before you’ve even got out of bed in the morning! Strong muscles in the legs will improve your performance in other activities too. Its great for beginners so if you’re looking to build a basic level of fitness, starting by biking is the ideal way to go about it.

Builds Strong Joints
In most cases, overuse of a joint leads to weakening and pain. It’s why things like ‘tennis elbow’ and ‘golfer’s elbow’ can occur. However, when it comes to cycling this actually has the opposite effect, and the repetition over time actually strengthens the knees. If you can’t walk or run long distances due to knee or back issues, cycling is a far better choice. It allows you to push yourself,

Builds Strong Bones
Regular exercise is an excellent way to build your bone health. Building strong muscles directly correlates to building strong bones, and while cycling isn’t a weight bearing activity, it’s still an excellent exercise to incorporate into your routine. Strong bones are important because as we age, bone loss starts to accelerate leading to conditions like osteoporosis. We can actively defend against this when we’re young by doing exercise and eating the right foods. A calcium supplement can be helpful too, you could look at AlgaeCal reviews and testimonials if you’re curious about how these can work. Sixty minutes of cycling a week will have numerous health benefits, stronger bones is just one of them.

Great For Cardiovascular Health
Finally, whether you’re an exercise newbie looking to build up some fitness or already an athlete, biking is ideal for cardiovascular health. If you’re using an exercise bike, it’s easy to increase or decrease the resistance so that it’s perfect for you. Find a level that you can bike at for ten minutes without feeling too breathless, and then increase it from there. You will quickly notice yourself getting stronger and faster.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Happy National Zucchini Day!

Hello Wonderful People!

Happy National Zucchini Day!
Who knew that there is a holiday devoted one of my favorite summer vegetables.
Zucchini is such a versatile veggie. You can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You can start your day with some zucchini bread. We have tried several different recipes; but our favorite one from my mother. Her recipe tastes so good and your really don’t know you are eating zucchini, maybe that is because she tops it off with sugar or that the zucchini is finely shredded. MMMM … I can taste it now. Whenever we visit my mother, she will usually load us up with a couple of loaves, and some homemade raisin bread and homemade chocolate chip cookies. But we have finished off our last supply from the last visit. I guess it is time for another trip to see momma!

One of the best ways to enjoy zucchini is adding it to a homemade veggie pizza. Frozen pizza and fast-food style pizza taste so processed to me. They are oily, doughy and don’t have must taste. I don’t remember the last time that I had either one. If we don’t make it ourselves, then we don’t eat pizza. To make your own, all you need is some whole-wheat bagels, or everything bagels, or a pre-made crust of your liking; and then add your favorite toppings. We usually will make a veggie pizza with mushrooms, zucchini, squash and tomatoes; and sometimes fresh spinach. Top it off with some provel cheese and you have one tasty pizza that will be beat any fast-food pizza. If you are not familiar with provel cheese, it’s a Saint Louis thing. The Saint Louis style pizza has provel cheese and it is differently our favorite.

Homemade Veggie Pizza with Mushrooms, Zucchini, Squash and Tomatoes!

 

I will add zucchini to almost anything that I am making for dinner. Whether it is fajitas, pasta, stir-frys or chili; zucchini will make it all taste better. I will steam broccoli and carrots; and then add some zucchini to it, and top it off with cheese sauce. It makes a wonderful, but simple side dish. Another option is to fry red potatoes, zucchini, squash and broccoli for a tasty sautéed side dish. No matter what cuisine you are making, zucchini will enhance the taste. The zucchini will add a bit of heartiness to the Italian pastas. It will add a bit of crunchiness to the Chinese stir-frys. And it will add an unexpected punch to the Mexican fajitas. Never underestimate the power of the zucchini.

Italian style veggies with risotto. A perfect side dish or a even a main dish.

 

How do you incorporate zucchini into your meals?
Let us know in the comments below your favorite recipe or if you have a favorite zucchini memory.

Until then, Happy National Zucchini Day!

Break The Stigma And Tackle Your Mental Health

There have been too many stories in the news lately about people that have been pushed so far down by their mental health, that they have committed suicide. Yet still, many people are very ignorant to the fact that because you can’t see mental health that it doesn’t exist. It’s understandable that if you’re lucky enough to have never experienced depression or anxiety that you won’t understand what it feels like to feel that way. Please though, don’t just shrug it off if a loved one tells you they’re struggling. Saying ‘you’re fine’ doesn’t make it go away. It also makes the person suffering feel like they can’t talk about it. In this article, I’m going to give you a few ways on how you can either help yourself, or help someone you know through this awful condition.

Talking

Whether you’re the person talking about your mental health, or the person listening, talking is a great way of letting out bottled up feelings. No matter how small and insignificant your worries or stresses may seem, letting them out with a loved one will make the world of difference to how you feel. If you’re the person listening, provide empathetic questions and comments to what they are saying. Try to put yourself in their position to see how they’re feeling. Sometimes just being a good friend is all they need from you.

The conversation doesn’t just have to be on the subject of the problem either, it could lead onto many other conversations to make each other laugh and generally, cheer each other up. Never underestimate the power of talking.

If you don’t feel like you have anyone to talk to about your mental health, visit your GP who will listen to your problems and can refer you to talk to a therapist.

You Time

We’ve all got hectic lives, between work, school runs and money issues, we barely get any time to wind down and relax. Take some time each day to do something for yourself and you will notice the difference in how you feel. This could be watching your favorite TV show or taking yourself for a relaxing bath.

Another great way of relaxing your mind in the time you take for yourself is through meditation. There are tapes available to download that will take your mind away from it’s worries. Drinking skinny tea at the same time is also a great way of promoting your mental health. Clearing your mind, even for just a short time each day will help you calm down and think more clearly.

Remember, the way that you’re feeling doesn’t make you weak. It is said that even the strongest of minds crumble at times and there is nothing wrong with asking for help. It takes strength to admit that something is wrong, and there is help available. Don’t suffer alone, let’s break the stigma, and tackle your mental health.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Choosing A Fitness Program: It’s Not As Difficult As You Think

For any beginners looking to get into fitness, or for anyone that wants to bring more structure to their workouts, you should find a fitness program. These are programs designed by professionals that provide you with workouts and a routine to follow. They’re great if you need a sense of direction, but there are a few negatives to them.

Specifically, there are loads of rubbish fitness programs out there that just aren’t worth your money. They won’t work, and you’ll have wasted lots of cash. So, how can you choose a fitness program that’s right for you and will work? It’s simple, follow the advice below:

Understand Your Goals

This is a big thing as your goals will determine the type of program you’re after. Do you want to build muscle or do you want to lose weight? Some people want a combination of these things, so they need a program that combines both.

Different programs will be targeted at different goals. You’ve got programs like P90x that are really targeted at fat loss and lean muscle growth. Then, you have others that are designed specifically to lose fat and nothing else. Your choice depends on your goals, so make sure you know what you want to achieve.

Know Your Level

While there are lots of programs out there, some are aimed at people of different ability and fitness levels. There’s a fairly popular program at the moment called Body Beast. However, if you read the Body Beast reviews here, you’ll see people say it’s not for beginners. A such, if you’re a beginner, you need to find a program that suits your ability level.

Don’t pay for a program that’s too far out of your reach and too complex. It will only lead to you injuring yourself, not seeing results, and wasting loads of your hard earned cash.

Consider The Price

Of course, you need to think about how much you’re willing to spend on a program. This will depend on your own financial situation and how serious and committed you are to getting fit. I also suggest comparing the price of various programs to find the one with the best value for money.For example, one program may cost more than another one but provide you with way more features such as instructional videos, recipes, and a meal plan. As a result, it represents much better value for money.

Read Reviews

I already touched upon reviews earlier, but they deserve their own little section here too. If you want to find a fitness program that’s right for you, you need to see what others think. Do your best to look for honest reviews from people that tried the program. It will help you see if you’re getting ripped off or buying something that works. Take everything into account if you’re looking for a fitness program. Remember, you don’t need to buy one to get fit, that’s not what I’m suggesting. This post is for anyone that needs structure and wants a fitness program. Hopefully, you now know how to choose one.

FTC Disclaimer:
This is a collaborative post and may contain affiliate links.

Love Will Save The Day!

Hello Beautiful People,

It was 108 degrees this weekend in the Show Me State, but it was only 94 degrees today; so enjoying the coolness inside. Thank God, for air conditioning. When the weather is like this, it is great to wear something comfortable and breathable.

Sheryl Crow has a new line on HSN and her pieces are hip and retro. I liked the new vibes of the rocker-chic style. I purchased the jeans below because it really describes my enjoyment of music and effortless style.
I styled the jeans for a casual Monday at work.

Love Will Save The Day Style Embroidered Jeans by Sheryl Crow

Love Will Save The Day Style Embroidered Jeans by Sheryl Crow

The Missouri History Museum has a Civil Rights exhibition now, so I purchased the T-shirt at the Museum shop; so cool.

Even though I work out hard, I do not always like showing my hips. Word to the wise, body shaming has to stop so here I am in the jeans without the Tommy Hilfiger chambray shirt. On the right pocket is an embroidered star and guitar. These jeans are so unique and out of the box. I think I am singing, I am just looking at my expression. Too funny!

Love Will Save The Day by Sheryl Crow Jeans

On the left pocket of the jeans is , “Love Will Save The Day,” which is a lyric from one of her songs.

Love will save the day lyric on the pocket

Here’s more information about the lyrics

The Song, Love WIll Save The Day by Sheryl Crow.

Here’s an interview she had down earlier this year.

When I wear the jeans, it is not just about a pair of jeans but there’s a meaning behind the clothing. The Sheryl Crow embroidered jeans are on clearance on HSN for $39.95 (Good deal) and please take a look at her collection click here on Sheryl Crow Style.

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