Sunday, October 30, 2022

Leaving For Honolulu Today.

 Traveling all night to go here.  Should arrive in time for the madness of Halloween in Waikiki!

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Temperature Dropping

 Snow is on the ground and temperatures are heading towards zero.  I want to get away.

Friday, October 28, 2022

The Why's And Wherefores Of False Eyelashes.

The thing about wearing false eyelashes is that people notice them.  They stand out and attract peoples eyes to your lashes.  They just make the eyes pop.  I also realize that many of us do not have the time to spend applying false eyelashes because we'd rather sleep in for a few extra minutes.  Today, I thought I'd look at the different types of lashes, when each is appropriate and other such information.  

I admit that I usually wear mascara rather than mess with false eyelashes unless I'm performing or need them for something special and I am not great at putting them on but I also know that advances have been made so some are a lot easier to use.

It is said that false eyelashes are the one item that will make your look standout and offer so much versatility.  With false eyelashes, you don't always have to wear eye makeup but you will still look awesome. As mentioned before, false eyelashes draw attention to your eyes.  In addition, false eyelashes make your eyes look more feminine, 

When looking at false eyelashes, there are three types, individual lashes, magnetic lashes, or strip eyelashes and making a choice can be confusing.  The strip eyelashes are also known as the traditional false eyelash.  They are the one used most often by people and are the same ones that most of us struggle to apply in the beginning.  

As far as individual lashes, there are two types.  The first are made up of one or two curved lash hairs that are applied by an eyelash technician.  The other are clusters individual lash that one applies using the same type of technique as strip eyelashes and give you a more customizable look.  There are also two types of magnetic lashes.  The first one is applied using a strip with magnetic beads secured to your eyelash with magnetic adhesive.  The other type are lashes secured around your other lashes via magnets on a band.  

So when is the best time to use which is the next question. The bottom line is usually choosing the one that you find easiest to use.  Many find the magnetic lashes easiest to use because the magnets make it pretty foolproof to apply them.  People who want to create their own custom look and are more experienced find it more appropriate to use individual lash clusters to get the desired results.  The single individual lashes are better for people who are missing a few lashes here and there so the thin areas are filled in and the lashes look better. 

Finally, strip lashes are the time honored way to use lashes and can be used in a multitude of situations.  Although the strip lashes can be more difficult to apply, several makeup companies have created adhesive liners which make it easier to apply the glue for your strip lashes.  In addition, if you prefer to use a clear adhesive or glue, you will want to stay with strip lashes because magnet lash connectors only come in black. 

Now, if you've ever wondered if you can reuse your false eyelashes.  The answer is that  you can reuse them if you can properly clean them but individual lashes are only made to be used once. For strip lashes, they need to be cleaned with soap, water, and 70 percent alcohol.  On the other hand, magnetic lashes are the easiest to clean. 

If on the other hand, you want lashes that don't have to be taken care of for a few weeks, you might look at using lash extensions.  Lash extensions can run between $150 and $300 for something that lasts three to four weeks if done by a lash technician.  If you prefer to do them yourself, then use the clusters since they workout to be about the same cost as strip lashes or you can cut up the strip lashes into smaller segments but you need to be really experienced.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you use strip lashes, do not just rip them off because you can damage your lids.  Consider using a cleansing balm to help soften the glue while beginning the cleaning process.  After massaging in the balm and the glue has softened, gently peel the lashes off. Once the lashes are removed, then clean them and focus on your natural eyelashes.  Clean any remnants of mascara off the lashes, apply a nice serum to protect your lashes, and complete with a hydrating eye creme on both the top and bottom of your eyes. 

Monday, I'll talk about cleaning flash eyelashes so they can be reused.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Makeup Tips For Cold Weather.


When I moved up to Alaska, I'd never lived in a cold climate so I didn't realize that wearing makeup in cold weather was different.  One extremely cold day, I got ready for work.  I applied my makeup including my mascara, put on my outer gear and headed off to work. By the time I walked two blocks to work, my eyelashes had crystals of ice stuck to them so after about 5 minutes inside the building, the ice melted and my mascara ran down my face.  I ended up looking like a clown and had to repair everything.  That was when I learned there was a difference in doing makeup for hot weather and for cold weather.

When cold weather hits, days are shorter in most places, and at the same time our skin changes due to the cold.  This means we need to change up the way we apply makeup so it looks as good when we arrive as when we left the house.  One of the first things we need to do is prep the skin because in winter our skin is exposed to heat from the central heating, severe winds, and cold, all of which can dry our skin out.  It is strongly recommended that you use a rich night cream on your skin after you've cleaned it properly at night so as to rehydrate your skin.  

Then in the morning, clean your skin again and apply a good day time skin cream to provide a layer of protection.  Never skimp on your moisturizer and do not stop at the chin.  Make sure you extend your moisturizer down the neck. The best time to moisturized is right after you clean your face.  One last thing, don't forget to use sunscreen even in winter because you can still get sunburned from the reflecting sunlight.

Due to the drying effect of the wind and cold, it is important to lightly apply your makeup to keep your skin healthy. Before you apply the foundation, use a luminous primer instead of a matte one so that your skin appears to glow from within and it adds another layer of hydration.  As for your foundation, either add a bit of moisturizer to the foundation or use a moisturizing foundation to keep your skin from drying out.  Furthermore, when you use a matte foundation, it can settle on the skin in such a way as to make your skin look patchy with an uneven finish.

 In addition, use a moisturizing lipstick to keep those lips from drying out and becoming chapped.  In the winter, you'll want stronger colored lipsticks to brighten up your face. Think about using a dark pink, red, or plum. If you decide you want to use a highlighter, make sure it is liquid so it adds some glow without being patchy.

As far as mascara, look at using the waterproof variety so that it won't smudge or run after being exposed to the cold.  In addition, our eyes tend to water when exposed to the cold or wind so waterproof mascara will ensure your mascara doesn't run with your tears. Just because it's winter, doesn't mean you can't apply a bit of blush to give your cheeks a nice look.  Ignore bronze and focus on a rosy shade so you sport a healthier, more natural look.

In winter, try not to used powdered eye shadow, blush, or face powder because it will only accentuate and encourage dryness.  In addition, the powders will make your skin look dull. This is the perfect time to switch from powders to cremes or liquid versions.  The creme and liquid versions will keep your skin softer and moisturized so your makeup looks better and more natural.  

If, at any time during the day you notice your makeup looking dry or starting to flake, grab some facial mist to rehydrate your makeup and face.  And finally, if your skin gets a reddish tinge to it, think about using green tinted makeup to counter that.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day. 

Monday, October 24, 2022

Predicted Fitness Trends For 2023


As of this month, we are almost into winter and heading for the new year.  We know that the pandemic caused some major trends that will be with us for quite a while and if you look at history, you will find that various exercises have come and gone over time.  

So what do we have to look forward to in the coming year.  The trend of working at home which became quite popular during the pandemic and it looks as if it will continue into next year.  One reason for this is that people have become more comfortable with working out at home and with the idea that it can be done at home.

Then there is the rise of boutique fitness studios.  A boutique fitness studio is a smaller studio ranging in size from 800 to 3500 square feet designed for group workouts and are focused on one or two areas of fitness.  This are more popular than the larger gyms in many areas because they offer smaller classes and a more personalized approach.  It is predicted that more boutique fitness studios will be opening during 2023.

It is expected that the use of virtual fitness classes will continue to grow over 2023.  Virtual fitness classes have been around for quite a while but have really taken off during the pandemic.  They offer people a more affordable way to workout while at home.  Virtual fitness classes are considered extremely convenient because a person can work out at any time they want to be it in the middle of the night or early in the morning and not have to rush over to the gym at a specific time.  

In addition, virtual fitness classes allow you to workout from anywhere, even when traveling or on holidays.  They also offer more choices as to the type of workout so you can change up your routine regularly.  Finally, virtual fitness classes help a person build up their self confidence, especially if they are just starting out.

Furthermore, due to technology, people are allowed to participate in virtual reality activities such as rock climbing, racing, dancing, or do yoga with the simple use of a program and headset.  Virtual reality allows people to go anywhere to participate in a variety of activities they might not be able to do normally or gets them out when there is a snowstorm outside.

Another trend is for people to take time to improve their mental health. This is a direct result of the pandemic when people were focused more on Covid than themselves.  People are expected to focus on their mental health by doing more yoga and meditation, to therapy and self-care routines.  Mental health has become a priority these days and people have learned to put themselves first.

It is expected that the number of people who are switching to plant based diets to continue increasing.  Although plant based diets have been around for a while, people are becoming more aware of the benefits and are switching over.  In addition, plant based diets are supposed to be better for the environment and with global climate change more people are wanting to focus on environmental sustainability.  This is true in regard to working out and choice of diets.

Wearable technology has been around for a while but it has become even more sophisticated in the last couple of years.  In fact, the next generation of wearable technology is allowing people to monitor your heartbeat, keep track of you via GPS, and even monitor sugar levels.  This sophisticated type of monitoring allows the individual to monitor their progress towards reaching their set goals.

Finally, Tabata Workouts are trending for 2023 because this type of high intensity interval training can be done in a shorter period of time while allowing the person to get a good workout.  Tabata training is made up of alternating periods of 20 seconds of all out working with 10 seconds of rest for a total of about 4 minutes.  This type of workout is short but effective and easy to do.  

These are the predicted trends for fitness in 2023.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Gran Via

 This building on Gran Via marks the third section of the avenue.  It marks the part where all the broadway shows are found and is the last section built.

Saturday, October 22, 2022


 The Royal balance with so many floors and rooms.  One can tour it but cannot take pictures of all of the breath taking rooms and can only see a few rooms of the whole 3400 rooms.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Winter Makeup Trends for Winter 2022-2023


Here it is October and we are heading into winter.  It's time to get out the warmer clothing and even think about changing our looks to match the season. You don't have to change your looks completely every season, instead choose one but remember, choose one you like.  So what is trending this winter season?

In just a few words, the trends for this season include glossy lips, bold blush, blue eye shadows and so much more.  Trends that will perk you and your look up during the shorter days, cooler temperatures, and the teasing sunny rays peeking in the windows.

So let's start with a bold blush.  You want to wear it high up, all the way to the temples, down over the apples of your cheeks, and along both your cheekbones and brow bones.  You want to use lots of it, so your blush is heavy and you have flushed cheeks.  Use a liquid or creme blush and finish it with powder so it stays on all day long. Make sure, you choose the proper shades for your skin tone, apply them, and blend well.

Don't forget the heavy eyeliner under the eye by using a diffused wing on top of the eye lid and an application of heavy liner under the bottom lashes. This look is especially great for New Year's Eve where you want to make a statement. The best way to accomplish the look is to use a blendable, long lasting eye matte pencil which can also be used as a lip liner, brow pencil, contour stick, and more.

Match the eyeliner with a nice blue shade.  Think about if you want the blue to blast or be softer like a periwinkle that isn't in your face but still is a beautiful blue.  For winter, think about using a gel shadow that you can apply, let dry, and get a cool look. Don't forget you can layer eye shadows so if you get a chrome or glittery one, they can be applied over the other shadow to create a sparkly look. If you aren't into blue at all or don't want to wear it at night, you can aim for a half siren, half smokey look using strongly pigmented colors to make that sexy come hither look. 

Although many of the looks are bold, think about softening your contour so that an onlooker doesn't know where the contouring starts or finishes.  Make sure the shade of your contour matches your foundation so no one can tell where the contour starts or finishes. Since it is winter, you want to choose a hydrating concealer so it blends in nicely with your skin rather than looking patchy or cakey.  Look for a concealer containing hyaluronic acid to help hydrate your skin.

If you want to wear eyeliner but don't want anything solid, consider the softer graphic winged look to match your diffused lined lips.  To get this look for the lips, begin by outlining your lips and taking time to shade in the corners of your lips.  Next, select a matte finished lipstick and apply it to the pillows of your lips.  Then use your fingers to blend the two together. As far as colors, you can choose a nice neutral color or stick with red but choose a darker red such as brick red rather than the brighter cherry red.

As far as eyelashes themselves, look at using a fluttery look created by having the longer lashes out towards the edge of the eyes. Fortunately, there are kits out there designed to help you create that look using false eyelashes that can be applied in selected areas rather than the whole eye. For evenings out, when you want that special look, add some crystals to the edge of your eyes or go for a monochromatic look from eyes to lips.  It is all up to you.

This is a quick summary of the makeup looks for winter.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Who Is Pantone?

Have you ever wondered who comes up with the colors trending in fashion, furniture, makeup, etc?  Well, there is a company who chooses the colors that will be trending but it is a company who started out as a color printing company in the 1950's.  The founder was quoted as saying that god created the world in seven days and this company was created on the eighth day to choose colors for the world. 

Back in the 1950's, Larry Herbert worked at a company called Pantone.  This company printed color orders but Larry grew frustrated when it came to trying to communicate colors with the clients.  A client might say sky blue but what did he mean by sky blue and what shade did he mean? At the time, the company made color cards for the people who manufactured cosmetics so all they needed to do was point to the proper color and it could be made.  This lead Larry to conclude these color cards could be used in just about any field dealing with color.  

At this time, there were no international or national color standards.  Larry recognized that standardized colors would work in so many different fields, so he began designing a comprehensive color system where every color was assigned a number. The original book had 40 colors. He reached a point where he bought out the printing company in 1962 and renamed it Pantone and marketed his system as the Pantone matching color system. These books were quite successful and by the 1970's he'd sold over 100,000 books he'd printed in New Jersey.  Although there are other color systems out there, Pantone is the most popular and most well known internationally.

This color system makes it easy to communicate with manufacturers, or even dealing with supply chains, a possibility where people can lose control of the color but with this standardized system, it is easy to get the exact color desired because you don't have to rely on samples that might change slightly over time.  

Due to the popularity of the color system, Pantone quit doing commercial printing and switched to only working with colors and at the same time their customer base expanded to people who printed things, worked in industrial design who needed plastic or metal in certain colors, or fashion people who want specific colors in their outfits.  

What is unique about Pantone is that they sell access to their intellectual property via a digital library, or physical catalog. Pantone has become more scientific in assigning their color labels over the years. It has gotten to the point of being able to use a color spectrophotometer to define the individual elements that make up a color.   This means that the red on the soda can is the exact same red found on the boxes they are shipped in and the same red that is on the billboard advertisement.

The Herbert family sold Pantone in 2007 for $180 million to X-rite a company who make spectrophotometers. Since then, the company uses color physiologists to help people understand how color can sway us and our emotions. This branch helps companies decide how to best use color in product lines or logos. Think of it this way, the Starbucks logo uses a specific shade of Pantone green and if anyone else uses the same tint in a competing brand, they will end up being sued.

Thus Pantone has created the language of color used by just about everyone in any industry that has color. One day on a lark back in 2000 or so, Pantone declared a certain color as color of the year and they have done it since them.  Although it does bring Pantone to the news media, many smaller companies use that color of the year in many of their produced items over the year.  

So every color you see in the store, in makeup, in a friends house, or in the hobby shop, have a number assigned to them by this company. One could almost say that Pantone is the god of color. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 17, 2022

Mixing Weights With Combination Moves


Often times in our days, it is difficult to carve out time to schedule a long enough workout to meet all the needs of our bodies.  Unfortunately, when time grows shorter, workouts are often the first thing to go and it is difficult to start up again.  Although skipping a workout occasionally may actually benefit you, skipping it on a regular basis can lead to muscle and bone loss. 

If you find your self with less time to workout, the solution is to focus on combining weights and moves together.  This way you can do more in less time and if you do the correct moves, you actually work on the whole body, head to toe.

Combo movements mean that you are combining two separate moves into one.  You might combine curls with overhead presses using your weights so you are working several muscle groups at once.  Thus you get a lot of work done at once.

There are several advantages to using this type of workout.  First, it allows you to burn more calories which helps you either become lean or remain leaner. In addition, working on two or more different muscle groups puts an extra demand on your heart and lungs which increases your cardio fitness.  It also is a great alternative to other forms of exercise.

When you combine the correct exercises with the right weight and proper number of reps, you will develop muscles and it makes a great alternative to other exercises so you do not get into a training rut.  Furthermore, combining exercises with weights can help improve your coordination and your balance. This increases your sports ability, making your more athletic and agile. This enhanced workout can be done in less than 30 minutes while giving you the benefits of a longer one.

Not all exercises can be combined easily for the best benefits and they may not be as good for developing super strength.When looking at combining exercises, you want to choose movements that flow from one to the next and are a challenge for both exercises. When choosing the proper weight to use with the combined movements, choose the smaller amount of weight you can manage for either exercise.  If you can do a curl with 5 pounds and a press with 3 pounds, use the three pounds.  If the exercises are not combined properly, it can cause injury so make sure you don't just combine any together. Combining exercises is not for beginners because you have to be able to perform both exercises well in order to combine them effectively.

Here are a few examples of combined exercises which can easily be done at home. 

1. Lateral raise and lunge. This combines one upper and one lower body exercise and it helps with hip mobility, coordination, and balance.  Begin in a standing position with your feet next to each other and a weight in each hand.  Begin by raising your hands outwards at your side up to shoulder level.  As you are lowering your arms, move your leg forward into a lunge, then move the leg back and move forward on the other leg, lunge, and back into standing position. This makes one repetition.  Repeat the combination several times.

2. Dumbbell curl and press.  This combination works the upper body, specifically the biceps, deltoids, and triceps.  This can be done while either seated or in standing position.  You begin by holding a weight in each hand, with the hands resting at your side, arms relaxed.  Slowly raise the weights by bending the elbows until the weights reach your shoulder.  Then press the weights above your head as far up as you can go by straightening the arms.  Bring the weights back down to your shoulders, then down to your sides, to the position you started at.  

There are lots of suggestions for combining exercises on the internet but I rely on DVD's so I can watch and see the proper form while I'm doing it.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Friday, October 14, 2022

What Is The Best Way To Walk For Your Health.

Just recently, I ran across an article that says you don't need to walk a full 10,000 steps a day to maintain your health but if you want to lose weight, you should  up your steps to 11,000 steps per day.  Then I've seen where they say just walk and in other places, they do talk about walking but they say you need to walk fast, or alternate strides, or so many other things.  Today, I'm looking at the best way to walk so you get maximum benefits for your health.

A good daily walk will help you maintain a healthy weight while helping you lose fat so you are leaner. It helps prevent certain diseases, improve cardio fitness, strengthen bones and muscles, improving muscle endurance, helps you sleep better, improve your mood, balance, and coordination, strengthens your immune system while reducing your stress levels.

In addition, it is important to maintain good form while walking.  Hold your head up so you are looking outward, not at the ground.  Relax your neck, shoulders, and back rather than holding them stiffly. Make sure you swing your slightly bent arms freely and tighten your stomach muscles slightly while your back is straight, not arched.  Finally, make sure your step is smooth so the weight rolls from heel to toe.

Wear shoes with proper arch supports, a firm heel, and thick flexible soles. Wear lose fitting clothings that is appropriate for the weather and think about layering so if it warms up, you can remove a layer or two or add them back on. Don't forget the sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses as part of your regular wear.  Remember, you can burn on cloudy days.

If you walk outdoors, choose your path carefully.  You want to avoid paths with cracked cement, pot holes, uneven ground, or low hanging tree limbs because you don't want to hurt yourself. Once you start walking, look at walking in an area with hills so you go up and down but not everyone has that ability.  You want to walk faster and further which comes about by walking regularly.  If you do not want to walk briskly all the time, think about alternating periods of brisk walking with sections of leisurely walking. This is a type of interval training which helps improve your cardiovascular health while helping you burn more calories than walking at one pace.

Try to walk at the same time everyday and aim for at least 30 minutes each time you walk.  You use the same amount of energy whether you walk in the early morning or late evening but try to be consistent.  Think about using a pedometer when you walk so you know how far you've gone.  This is important if you keep a log of your daily exercise.  I have exercise listed on my daily schedule and I list what I did and how long I spend doing it. Today, I did a 25 minute kettlebell workout followed by a 20 minute cardio dance.

In addition, set a goal for the distance you plan to walk.  The goal doesn't have to be 1.5 miles.  The goal could be as simple as walk to the gas station up the hill which for me is about 1.5 miles away.  I prefer setting places as my goal rather than miles because it works better with my mind.  Do not push your walk so fast you can't talk.  You want to go fast enough to talk but still feel a bit breathless.

To increase the intensity of your walk, you can go up hills, carry hand weights, increase the pace so you walk faster, or increase the distance you walk during the same time period, or make the time you walk further. When you start walking, walk slowly so you can warm your muscles up before increasing your speed.  At the end, slow down and stretch your muscles out while they are warm.

In addition, you want to change up your routes so you don't get bored.  Think about taking the dog with you when you walk, find a friend, or join a walking club. Take advantage of various parks, walking routes, and other public areas to walk at.  This way you see new things and when you walk, you notice so much more than you might when you drive.  Just remember, if you end up having to skip a day, don't berate yourself over it, things happen.  Start back in the next day. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Exercising In Bare Feet

 I am the first person to admit that when I work out at home, I do it in my bare feet because I hate wearing shoes.  If I go to the gym, I have my shoes but at home, I'm bare footed. The other day, I came across an article explaining why it is good to exercise in bare feet.  

Barefoot exercising is defined as exercising without a foot covering.  The idea is that when you exercise with nothing on your feet, it improves your training while building strength in your feet. If you do not want to exercise without footgear, look at buying a pair of barefoot shoes which allow you the same experience while protecting your feet.

When you exercise with bare feet, it improves your balance, your strength, and helps your coordination. In addition, it means your central nervous system is more active while activating your core and glutes.  It also improves the awareness of your body which in turn helps your balance. Finally, it strengthens your feet which leads to improved strength in the back, hips, knees, and ankles.

When you exercise without foot gear, every single nerve on the bottom of your feet are used because they make contact with the ground.  This is important for your stability and control.  It also helps you increase the number of reps you do squats or lifts because you know how your feet are gripping the ground.  In other words, it adds a sensory experience you don't usually have when wearing shoes.

When dead lifting weights you have more power available because the cushioned soles of your workout shoes absorb some of the energy.  Without shoes, this energy is available to be used in the deadlift. When you completely use the force, you are using more muscle support and power.  In addition, when you workout barefoot, your brain is able to send information to your brain much faster which helps improve your movements and reduces workout related injuries.

Furthermore, exercising this way strengthens the connective tissues and muscles in your feet so your balance and stability improves.  It also helps your feet grip the ground better when using certain types of equipment such as kettlebells while activating your larger muscles in both the legs and the hips so you can use heavier weights.

Next question is focused on which exercises can you do when barefooted or can you do it all.  Although many exercises can be done barefooted, it is better to use shoes when performing exercises like broad jumps or box jumps because these plyometric moves put a strain on your foot tendons, and ligaments.  This being said you can jump rope, do deadlifts, squats, kettlebell swings, single-leg deadlifts, and staggered stance overhead press. 

Although it is relatively safe to go barefooted indoors, there is more risk when you exercise outside. Outside, you have to watch out for the ground being too hot, too cold, too rocky, or too prickly, or have too many sharp objects.  There are certain steps you can take to make your exercising inside safer.  Always use proper form and check it via a mirror, conduct a proper warmup so you warm your core in about 10 minutes. Perform the correct number of reps for your situation and stretch.  Stretch before the workout, between exercises, and afterwards to prevent muscle tightening and injury.  Be sure to spread your workouts over the week and take care of your body by eating and sleeping well.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 10, 2022

What To Look For In Work Shoes


Today, I'm looking at choosing a good pair of shoes for work.  When I talk about work shoes, I do not always mean boots worn by construction workers.  Today, I'm talking about shoes you wear all day at your job.  As a teacher, I spend a lot of time on my feet and I have friends who work at grocery stores who have to be on their feet all day. 

For some people, work shoes refers to high heels while for others it may refer to sneakers or boots.  It all depends but there are certain things you can look for when selecting a pair of shoes to use at work.

The first step in selecting a good pair of work shoes is to determine what type of shoes are best for your job. Is it heels, high or flats because you are a professional?  Boots because you work outside and do they need steel toes?  What kind of shoes?  It may sound like an obvious question but it is important.  

In addition, you need to think about the type of movement you'll be doing.  Will you spend most of your time behind a desk so you do not do much walking or will you be on your feet all day with only a chance to sit at break or lunch.  Will you be outside most of the time or dealing with wet floors?

Then determine what type of arch you have?  Is it a high arch?, medium or low arch? Do you have bunions or anything that could effect your choice of shoes.  I know my mother had bunions and her toes were squashed due to wearing high heels in her teens through her thirties.  The bunions came from wearing a pointed toe since when she was young, they didn't have heels with the wider toes.

If you have a super high arch, you might need to add in a higher arch since most shoes come with minimal arches built in.  You want the arch to provide support for your foot and make the shoe more comfortable. If you have planters warts, you might want an insert created for this foot issue.  

The big issue with any work shoe is to choose form over function.  For instance, in regard to choosing high heels, it has been found that wearing high heels is one of the leading causes of foot pain in women so when you buy a pair, there are certain things you want to look for so you have both comfort and the right look.  Look at heels that are no more than two inches tall at the most and look for shoes that have a box or wide toe area.  Ignore shoes with pointy nosed toes, super high heels, peep toed shoes, and those shoes with high wedges or platforms.

On the other hand, if your job requires you to drive or walk all day, you should look at shoes that are do not pinch your feet because if they are too narrow, or even too wide, your shoes will cause discomfort over time.  In addition, you'll want a shoe that breaths so if your feet sweat the moisture wicks away so they stay dry.  Make sure your toes are not pushing the toe end of the shoe, otherwise your feet feel cramped and the toes can wear through the edge.

Furthermore, make sure the shoes have enough room so if your feet swell, your shoes will still be comfortable.  When you try on your shoes, make sure you have a pair of socks or stockings similar to the ones you plan to wear with them so the fit is correct and when you are trying them on, walk around in them for several minutes to get a better idea of fit.

It is also important to be willing to invest in a pair of shoes that will go with all of your clothing be they dresses or slacks.  The more outfits the shoes go with the more wear you'll get out of them.  Some of the recommended colors are black, brown, blue, beige, or grey since these colors tend to go with more colors and shades.

Choose a shoe that is made of more durable material with a good soul and sturdy heels.  You want a material that is breathable so avoid leatherette because that doesn't breath. Be aware that you'll end up spending a decent chunk of money because you are making an investment and you do not want the cheapest shoe you can find.  Buying a good work shoe is an investment so budget it in since you want the best shoe you can afford.

Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Friday, October 7, 2022

Cyber Bullying Vs Traditional Bullying


Today's topic came out of a thought that body shaming is a type of cyber bullying.  In fact, I got to thinking about the differences between cyber bullying and traditional bullying.  Cyber bullying refers to bullying that takes place online where as traditional bullying takes place in person.

The internet has been around long enough that scientists have conducted studies to see what is going on with cyber bullying.  One conclusion they've reached is that cyber bullying is quite different from the traditional bullying.  Cyberbullying is defined as deliberately and repeatedly harming someone via a digital or electronic device.  It does not involve face-to-face interaction and this makes it so much easier.

In cyberbullying a person makes a "joke" or "comment" via text or a post and it is not funny at all.  In fact, when the "jokes" or "comments" are repeated it can cross the line into cyberbullying. Think of it this way, a person can set up an online persona protected by an e-mail address that they can hide behind. This provides a feeling of protection that they can say and do what they want because they have a certain level of anonymity they can hide behind.

A study from the University of British Columbia  indicated that cyber bullying is more prevalent than the traditional bullying among the young.  They discovered that 25 to 30 percent of people surveyed indicated they have either experienced or taken part in cyberbullying. Furthermore, 95 percent of the young people indicated that what they put online was supposed to be a joke and the other 5 percent posted material meant to harm someone.

When bullying takes place in person, each person is involved in only one role.  They are either the bully, the victim or the witness.  In cyberbullying each person may play multiple roles at once.  They could be the bully, victim, and/or witness.  In addition, cyberbullying is not usually premeditated while traditional bullying is because the bully has to plan what they will do to their victim.  

Furthermore, there are certain elements present in traditional bullying that are not present in cyberbullying.  In traditional bullying, the bully has a need for power and control while actively targeting the victim and is an outlet for aggression. In cyberbullying, teens have become desensitized to the devices and they are more likely to say something online they'd never say in person.  

In fact, people can post comments, photos, and other things on line that will remain there forever.  They can post anything be it nice or hurtful without any supervision.  This means many sites focus on one person that they tear apart, post photoshopped photos, and other hurtful things.  Often the posters see what they publish as a joke, not as bullying. Unfortunately, these items can end up on social media, You Tube, someone's personal site, or other place.

It is important to help all people learn the rules to follow if they find they are being cyber bullied, otherwise it will continue and might lead to someone committing suicide due to what is being published.  The first rule for young people is to talk to a trusted adult.  Next everyone can contact the site or host providers about the inappropriate material that's been posted.  Make copies of everything that has been published for proof should it be needed.  Ignore rude comments and always take time to cool down rather than shooting a nasty comment off because it could cause the situation to escalate.

Do not share username or passwords with anyone and make sure your security settings are set for a secure as you can make it.  Make sure you only post things on line that will not come back to bite you.  Choose friends wisely and do not accept all friend requests.  It is important to protect yourself no matter what age you are. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Choosing Shoes For Travel


I have done quite a bit of traveling this year and some of the travel involves going from somewhere warm to somewhere colder and vice versa.  The last trip took me from Alaska in the fall meaning I need shoes to Belize where sandals are more comfortable.  I have had other trips where I'm going from frosty fall weather to snow on the ground.  So over the course of the past few years, I've figured out which shoes work best and how to pack them so I don't take an overwhelming number of pairs with me.  Usually, I only take two pair with me.

The thing to remember about travel shoes in general is that you are going to focus on comfort rather than looks and you want a shoe that will provide protection so you can go everywhere without a problem.  Some folks recommend you skip taking sandals or even flip flops as neither one offers protection but I always have a pair of sandals with me.  I have taken flip flops on occasion when I was staying at a place like a hostel where I was sharing facilities with others.

In general, the type of shoe you take will depend on where you are going and the season you are doing in. For instance, if you are mostly in towns with hard sidewalks, roads, or public walkways you share with bicycles, you will want a sneaker or running shoe.  You don't have to get the most expensive ones, just know you will be racking up distance if you are walking all over.

On the other hand, if you are doing a lot of walking along trails or terrain that is a bit more rugged, you might want to look at a light hikers or trail runners because they are sturdy, protective, and are made for long excursions.  In additions, most of these shoes are designed to be water resistant so they are great for wetter weather.  If you won't be doing a lot of hiking, you might not bring a pair like this with you.

If you need a shoe for dressier events, you might want to focus on shoes that are more comfortable rather than being fashionable.  This type of shoe might be similar to one you'd wear if you had a job where you have to be on your feet most of the day.  It doesn't have to look great, it just has to do the job.

To see if the shoe is going to work, you will have to do more than just put them on and walk a few steps around the store.  You should first pick up the shoe so you have one hand around the heel and one under the toe.  You need to bend the toe upwards.  You are looking to make sure the shoe bends under the ball of the foot. Then twist the heel and toe to see if the sole feels like a wet noodle or if there is a bit of resistance.  You want a shoe that has a bit of resistance.

If you can, walk down an incline to see how the shoes feel and react.  Make sure your toes are not touching the front of the shoe, if they do, look at a different pair.  Then walk up some stairs to see how they work.  You want to make sure that your heels are not lifting in the shoe more than one-eighth of an inch otherwise you have the possibility of developing blisters.  

The last thing to keep in mind is that you do not want to skimp on cost.  If the shoe you like is on sale, great but don't settle for a cheaper pair of shoes due to cost.  Most of the time when you are traveling, you are going to be walking around and you need to take good care of your feet.  Spend the money because you are investing in yourself and your trip. You don't want to be sidelined due to hurting your feet.

If you end up bringing a light pair of shoes and heavier boots, then pack the lighter pair and wear the heavier shoes to save weight in your suitcase.  I usually wear the heavier one and slide the lighter pair in my backpack where I have a specific pocket for shoes.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Monday, October 3, 2022

Xunantunich - Mayan Ruins

It turns out Belize is home to so many different Mayan ruins and Mayan caves that one could spend several weeks just exploring them.  I got the opportunity to check out two ruins.  The first I wrote about Friday and last Thursday, I got a chance to tour Xunantunich, a Mayan ruin, located near the Guatemalan boarder.  It is so much bigger than the last one I spoke about.  

The photo to the left shows all the different places that house Mayan ruins and caves.  They are almost in a strip heading towards Guatemala from Belize City.  The one to the furthest left is in Guatemala.

Normally, the tour vehicle crosses the river on a ferry and then it drives about 1.5 miles up the road to the parking lot.  From there, everyone is required to walk the rest of the way but due to a river that was higher than normal so the vehicles couldn't get on the ferry since it was about 6 inches above ground.  

To get the ferry across, a worker turns the hand crank and you go across the river.  When you reach the other side, you disembark and head up the road.  We were lucky in that there was a sprinkle of rain that lasted a short bit but the day never really got super sunny till after we were done.  They did tell us that if the level of the river went up, they would call us and we'd have to leave.  The river stayed the same level the whole time we were there.

After a nice walk up the road, we finally reached the sign telling us, we'd reached our destination.  It is at this point, you head into the reserve which has a very nice visitors center.  Xunantunich is also known as the stone lady. The story goes that a young man was up at the ruins and saw a beautiful mayan young lady next to the temple.  He followed her into the temple but she disappeared.  He called others to help find her, yet the could not find her again.  That is the short version of the story.  Who knows if he saw her?  

Once past the visitors center, you finally reach the ruins themselves.  It is so big with two ball courts, a huge temple, and lots of other buildings.

This is the temple. It is 137 feet tall from the plaza which is the grassy area in front of it.  The place is here everyone met to listen to the rulers but there is a small area behind the temple that you cannot see from here where the rulers and upper classes would have their own private celebrations.

To climb up to the top, you start climbing the stairs and follow it up to the white band you see.  From there you veer off to the left side and take more stairs up and around to the back where you finish your hike.  The view was fantastic from the top.  I could see a village over in Guatemala, and one located behind the temple.  

On the west side is a frieze that runs all the way across the temple.  As you can see, there are steps going up to a level area and above the level area is the frieze.  If you turn right at this level, you can walk across the front and then go down but if you turn left, you follow the path around back and then continue your climb up to the top where you come in from the back.

The nice thing about the climb is that there is a nice flat green area with other small buildings.  There you get a nice rest before you start climbing again.  This made it so much nicer when climbing.

There is another frieze on the east side of the building you can see when you are going down.  This one I was able to get a closer up shot but the frieze didn't go all the way across like the one on the west.  

Not all the buildings in the ruins have been excavated.  Many of the buildings are slowly being dug out as time allows and some may never be touched.  

The guide told us that the Mayans from the place in Guatemala, came and took over the temple so the residents of this place, fell back and build more facilities until they could kick the invaders out.  I'm not sure they ever managed it but it explains the way the village grew.

View from the top of the temple.

Once we were done with viewing the ruins, we walked back down the road before taking the ferry back across to the main road.  The river was definitely up as you can see from the photo.

The ferry boat captain asked about ages and did we climb all the way to the top.  I was proud of making it all the way up and I was able to look out and take photos.  I have a fear of heights but I've learned as long as I am not too close to the edge, I can handle the heights so it was good.  

After we left the ruins, we stopped in the closest town for lunch.  Rather than going to a restaurant, we stopped by the market place to buy some Pupusas which are a thick corn tortilla thing stuffed with beans and cheese with a Cole slaw on top, and finished with a tomato sauce.  It was sooooo good.

All three tours were awesome and our guide, Albert, of A Plus Adventures Belize was fantastic and made me wish I was staying longer so I could see more.  I'm just going to have to come back.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

Sunday, October 2, 2022


 First time seeing fruit bats in the wild.  They were cool.

Saturday, October 1, 2022



Pupusas are such good food.  Thick corn tortillas with stuffing of beans and cheese, topped with a Cole slaw type mix and finished with tomato sauce.  So yummy.