Referring to the track suit as casual weekend wear. Remember them? Like many things, they’re coming back.
After all, they’ve had a successful track record (pun intended) in the past. They were a wardrobe staple for so long that we took them for granted. Then they seemingly disappeared, until the need for covid coziness combined with fashion brought this classic option back.
I loved the ubiquitous lazy comfy fit. Not talking sloppy; more like the “Juicy Couture” loosely fitted style that was so popular in the 90’s. There were of course many knock-offs, but the Juicy label looked the best. You could consider them the Lululemon of the track suit world.
When Juicy Couture took over the trend landscape in the late 1990s, original founders Gela-Nash Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy knew from the get-go they were poking fun at high fashion. But many women and tons of celebrities wore them as an essential, comparable to the skinny jean or leggings.
Britney Spears (in)famously had a custom set made for all her bridesmaids ahead of her marriage to Kevin Federline. Unfortunately for her, the tracksuit outlasted their marriage.
You could say that Velour Tracksuits are also making a comeback! I’m happy about that because I just bought a pair of flared track pants (with added front seams) from a company in Los Angeles called Garbe Luxe. They come in velour or soft bamboo cotton fleece which I first saw in Palm Springs and really wanted, but they were sold out. I was lucky to get a pair recently sent to me. I must admit I wasn’t sure about wearing velour at first but I guess what goes around comes around. And they make my butt look good.
Garbe Luxe – Casual flared track pants with added front seams make the Giselle Track Pant extra special.
I’ve never adhered to a totally gluten-free diet, however I’ve been looking for gluten-free recipes or experimenting with others to make them taste as good, or better than the original recipe. That’s mainly because eating gluten-free foods makes me feel less full and less bloated.
This recipe originally called for 1 cup of all-purpose flour. *Oat flour gives baked goods more flavor than regular all purpose flour, though it may also give them a chewier and crumblier texture.
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 cups oat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. allspice
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1-2 cups raisins
Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar. Add eggs, vanilla and 2 tsp. water and beat until smooth.
Sift dry ingredients together. Add to the butter mixture and mix well. Fold in oats and raisins. Drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving enough space for the cookies to spread out. Bake approx. 10-15 minutes, until golden.
Makes about 2 dozen good size cookies
*Not only is oat flour packed with antioxidants, it also has more protein and fat than most traditional flours, and up to 8g of fiber per half-cup serving. One half-cup serving of oat flour contains: 191% of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of manganese. 41% of the RDI of phosphorus.
The gluten conundrum
By now you’ve heard of gluten, and you probably even know it’s the wheat protein that gives bread and other foods their shape and texture. But going gluten-free when you don’t have a diagnosed wheat allergy or celiac disease doesn’t promise weight loss or better health, according to science. That hasn’t stopped millions of people from giving the diet a try. Experts recommend consulting your primary health-care provider before making any drastic changes to your diet. Check out some reasons you should not go gluten-free.
The history of tiles is a long and winding tale that starts in Egypt, circa 10,000 B.C., around the time of the pyramids. From there it went into Babylon, Assyria and the ancient Persian Empire.
After that, the Greeks and Romans took over this ancient art and made it their own with fine mosaics that lined the floors and walls of their bath houses, luxury villas, and temples. Around 206 BC, the Chinese got in on the act with their contribution to ceramics: porcelain.
However, they were mostly isolated from other cultures. It wasn’t until much later that Europe began using ceramics and soon they would be incorporated into their churches and palaces too.
Today, modern stone masons have taken tile making to a high art, just as when it started in Egypt, to allow the average homeowner to explore the wonders of this ancient art.
As can be seen, in every age and country, tiles were modified and improved and the technology grew over time to create even new possibilities. In Egypt, the humble terracotta and limestone tiles became ceramic works of art that survive to today. The Romans may have made stone mosaics available to the adoring eyes of the Roman public, but it wasn’t until the British started mass-producing ceramics that the ordinary person began to be able to use them in their homes.
Today’s newer waterjet technologies now allows anyone to cut stone tiles that would have been considered miraculous in earlier ages. Thus, it is easy to surmise this art will continue to develop even further as new materials and technologies transform it over time.
My main purpose in adding this health section to my site was brought on by the Coronavirus. I took an interest in researching whatever extra protection might prevent me and those I care about from getting a serious case of Covid. I’ve been learning a lot in the process and realize that there are many components to overall health. Having said this, I’m not a fanatic in any sense about taking high dosages of just anything and everything I see on the shelves. I’m only sharing what I deem to be the most important missing pieces of a complicated puzzle. Of course, our bodies are very complex propositions, but what I know for sure is what you know too – those of us with a weakened immune system are the first to get knocked down. I started with Vitamin D last week. Now let’s check out several more Covid Combatants starting with…
MAGNESIUM may be the MOST important mineral/electrolyte in the body. Indeed, if you were forced to only take one nutritional supplement, Magnesium would likely be your best bet. That’s because no other single nutrient plays as many roles as Magnesium as it’s essential to 300+ (some claim the numbers to be much higher) enzymatic reactions.
(Health Secrets) After oxygen, water, and basic food, magnesium may be one of the most important elements needed by our bodies. It is vital for heart health, bone health, mental function and overall body maintenance.
Magnesium is more important than calcium, potassium or sodium, and it regulates all three of them. Contrary to popular misconceptions, it is magnesium that is actually most important in building strong bones and preventing bone loss. Recent research has revealed that lack of this mineral may put your heart and your overall health at significant risk. This research also found that a deficiency may be linked to cognitive dysfunction and mental decline.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of magnesium for adults is 420 milligrams (mg) per day. Yet that’s an average amount since it depends on a number of other factors such as one’s body weight, level of physical activity and the amount of sugar one consumes. Generally speaking, the heavier you are, the more active you are, and the more sugar you consume, the more your body needs on a daily basis.
So what are the best food sources of Magnesium? High-fiber foods such as dark green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts and beans. Yet since so many North American diets are lacking in this regard, it should come as no surprise that most diets are 40-80% deficient. Most people can get enough magnesium by eating the right foods but If you’re concerned about low magnesium, ask your doctor for a blood test, preferably an RBC (red blood cell) magnesium test.
*Magnesium is needed for many cellular metabolism tasks. It’s involved in more than 300 chemical reactions in the body. Muscles need this mineral to contract; nerves need it to send and receive messages. It keeps your heart beating steadily and your immune system strong.
However, low magnesium intake is relatively common.
It’s primarily found in people who follow a typical Western diet, one containing lots of processed foods and refined grains while lacking in leafy green vegetables and legumes, which provide magnesium and other important nutrients.
**The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium for adults is 310–420 mg depending on age and gender.
I eat exceptionally well and supplement with an additional 300 (sometimes less) mg of Magnesium Citrate daily.
But every individual is different. The table below shows the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or adequate intake (AI) of magnesium for adults, infants, and children.
Birth to 6 months (AI)
7–12 months (AI)
1–3 years (RDA)
4–8 years (RDA)
9–13 years (RDA)
14–18 years (RDA)
19–30 years (RDA)
31–50 years (RDA)
51+ years (RDA)
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency:
The symptoms of magnesium deficiency are usually subtle unless your levels become severely low. If you believe you may have a magnesium deficiency, your suspicions can be confirmed with a simple blood test.
You may have a deficiency if you feel the following…
Muscle spasms, cramps or pain, fatigue, high blood pressure, insomnia, anxiety, headaches, heart arrhythmia, osteoporosis, nausea, weakness, decreased appetite.
As magnesium deficiency worsens, symptoms may include: numbness andtingling.
Here’s an excellent book on the subject written by a medical doctor and researcher who is considered to be the world’s leading expert on the actions and uses of this vital mineral.
Well if this isn’t feel good then I don’t know what is!
Replenishing your well-being, from your toe to your soul.
A one hour reflexology foot massage is what I’m talking about. With a glass of champagne for added relaxation.
ToeToSoul Relax Loungeopened its doors with a fresh new outlook on reflexology and massage therapy – they say with an aim to infuse the chic and luxurious lifestyle of modern urbanities with the promotion of bodily health and soulful relaxation. Sounds good. Only problem is…I could get hooked on this!
While unwinding in a luxurious leather recliner, pressure is applied to reflex points on the feet that correspond to vital organs and glands in the body. This helps reduce body tension, increase blood circulation, restore nerve function, and establish balance within the body.
No, no; don’t worry…I’m not talking about that mask. It’s enough that we have to wear those masks everywhere as is. I’m talking about an overnight face/lip mask that’s like a breath of fresh air. One where you’ll wake up with much softer skin. Who wouldn’t love that?
One from a Korean luxury beauty company called Laneige. You should know that the Koreans are taking over as a leader for innovative beauty products. They’ve been quietly doing this for quite some time. They’re pretty darn good at making other things too, like cars for instance (which maybe are not so beautiful as much as they’re practical – but that’s another story).
LANEIGE is extremely popular throughout Asia. Meaning “the snow” in French, Laneige pursues water science as its philosophy to help women achieve a radiant, dewy complexion.
I first found out about this company when I went to choose my VIP birthday gift from Sephora this month. There were three different popular and useful sets to choose from. I think it’s safe to say that almost everyone who’s shopped at Sephora at one time or another is considered a VIP. And once you start racking up points there’s no turning back. But It’s a nice incentive on your birthday month and a chance to try different products. Otherwise I wasn’t wanting for anything. I already had full size products of their two other gift sets (former beauty junkie that I am was). So I went for the overnight masks since my skin is drier in winter. And I’m loving them. Especially the lip mask. I’m really picky with everything lip products as my lips are very dry and this one is one of the best I’ve ever tried. I’ll tell you about my favorite hydrating lip color another time.
LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask
Recharge dehydrated skin while you sleep with this quick absorbing, deeply hydrating mask. Formulated with highly concentrated Hydro Ionized Mineral Water to deliver high doses of moisture to stressed, parched skin. Calming Sleepscent™, infused with orange flower, rose, and sandalwood provides a relaxing and comforting scent while apricot and evening primrose extracts helps visibly brighten and purify fatigued skin.
LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask
What is it? A leave-on lip mask that soothes and moisturizes for smoother, more supple lips. Lip Sleeping Mask has a softening balm texture that closely adheres to lips for quick absorption. Enriched with vitamin C and antioxidants, its Berry Mix Complex offers a nutritiously sweet and fragrant blend of raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, and blueberry extracts to indulge the senses. Very much like a smoothie for your lips.
Cooking for your canine is easier, healthier and cheaper than you think.
If you’ve only fed your dog kibble since the very start, then I would recommend starting off slowly with so-called “people food.” But the word “people food” is nonsense because pet food companies convinced people that pet food (kibble and canned) should be the only food your pet should ever eat. It’s not!
But I’m not knocking all commercial pet food. I also feed my dog kibble. There are some good quality ones to choose from depending on your dog’s age, size and breed. It’s just that not all pet food is a healthy option. Same with our food choices; we have to read labels. Unfortunately for them, they depend on us to do the reading.
Having said that, many dogs enjoy eating their regular pet food (and what they don’t know cannot hurt them) but wait until you introduce something fresh into the mix – their tails will wag and it’ll be such a nice change. Imagine how boring it would be to eat the same thing every single day? I would hate that!
Many of you may not agree with me, but your dog will definitely approve – on that you can bet!
Weighing out the options of wet, dry and homemade:
If we serve dogs dry food only, their food gratification could be lost because a biscuit will never be as appealing as wet food. Dry food doesn’t contain some of the “natural” nutritional benefits of wet food, such as vitamins and minerals because it’s more processed.
If we just feed our dog wet food, we could lose the many benefits associated with chewing – our furry friend would eat the meal much faster avoiding mastication, which is the first stage of digestion. In addition, soft food does not massage the gums, which helps when dogs are teething, nor does it help with dental cleaning.
Best Option: feed your pup both dry and wet food to take advantage of the positive features of each option. That’s what I do for Layla. She gets dry in the morning and wet homemade in the evening. My vet told me that whatever I’m doing for her, keep doing it.
Here’s an easy, relatively inexpensive recipe:
This recipe I found on the internet is a good base to start with. I sometimes substitute turkey for boiled or roasted chicken and switch up the veggies. They can safely eat red bell pepper, snap peas, asparagus and yams, cooked and cut into bite size pieces. I have checked beforehand to make sure all these foods are safe for our furry friends.
1 1/2 cups *brown rice.
1 tablespoon olive oil.
3 pounds ground turkey.
2 cups baby **spinach, chopped.
2 carrots, shredded.
1 zucchini, shredded.
(sometimes I chop the carrots and zucchini)
1/2 cup peas, canned or frozen.
Make sure all is properly cooked. Then you can divide it into portions which may last days or even a week or more. You can freeze them too.
Another good option is cooked beef liver which contains vitamin A, B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, essential fatty acids, and more. Liver cleanses the blood of toxins and supports healthy vision. It’s also a nutrient boost for dogs that have been injured or sick. Cooked salmon contains Omega-3’s. You can buy them frozen in pieces (wild with skin-on is best).
You can safely feed your dog 1/2-3/4 of a cup of food for every 25 pounds of body weight. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, you need to remember that homemade dog food is much more nutrient-dense than most commercial diets.
*Costco sells an ancient wild rice blend (with quinoa, lentils, wild & brown rice) which is a healthy option.
**Check to make sure you dog can eat spinach. Some breeds should only have it sparingly and on occasion.
Canines can also eat the following, and as usual; everything in moderation:
Plain, low-fat Greek yogurt.
Mild cheese such as mozzarella.
Cooked white or sweet potatoes.
Cooked eggs, such as scrambled eggs.
Rotisserie chicken, skin and bones removed. They can easily choke on the bones.
Google to check on which cooked or raw fresh vegetables they can safely eat. You’ll be surprised to find out how many choices they have.
If you’ve never fed them homemade, give it a go. They already love you…but they’ll love you that much more.
From calming to invigorating and everything in between…while some just make you want to scream.Colors definitely have an effect on our mood. Maybe that’s why so many of us experience mood swings?
Remember the mood ring?Me neither. The ring apparently changed color depending on your mood. When it went black you knew you were in trouble. When it turned red you knew you were in love. I mean without wearing the ring how would you know how you felt?
Well now I’m poking fun. But really, I’m looking into the psychology of color more seriously now because I want to re-paint two of the rooms in my house. My bedroom walls because I have to, and my office space because I want to.
I’ve lived in the same house for 20 years now and in all that time I’ve only felt like changing the color in only one room – upstairs bathroom. It was a boring neutral beige tone and now it’s not. One wall in that bathroom is now turquoise but it works. I just found out that turquoise is associated with meanings of refreshment, feminine energy, sophistication, wisdom, serenity, wholeness, creativity, emotional balance, good luck, spiritual grounding, friendship, love, joy, tranquility, patience, intuition, and loyalty. Yes; I’m listening!
That’s a lot of explanation for one color. And to think that I only painted it that color because I came across a small can of paint in my garage and thought “I’ll try to use this somewhere – how about my bathroom?”
All the rooms in my place are painted in the colors of the landscape and design found in the Southwest desert. They’re all rich, warm tones. I never tire of them.
My office space is actually a reconverted closet. You would never know it unless I pointed that out. Then you’d look at it again and say “ah, now I see why you have such a small workspace.”
But it’s a really good use of space because when you think about it, you only need little space to put a desk with laptop and a printer, an always hungry paper shredder and few other items. That’s the room I want to now have fun with. Right now it’s a warm yellowish tone but I’ve recently been thinking of having it painted red, or somewhere in that spectrum.
When a spiritual sign appears in your life that is red, it usually represents that you are ready to take action on a new goal or project that you have been putting off. How about that? I’m ready.
I’ve been checking out color therapy too for ideas. Color therapy uses these powers of color to heal, energize, and soothe us.Let’s have fun with this.
If you want to look into it on a deeper level here’s a link:
What Is Color Therapy, What Is It For, And Is It Right For Me?
LUSCHER COLOR TEST – It might be fun to take this test:
The Luscher color test is based on the assumption the unconscious colors’ choice often reflects a person’s focus on a certain activity, mood, the most stable personality traits, and the functional human state.
Welcome to my new weekly supplemental. Every Sunday I’ll be featuring an important vitamin and the reasons why it may be vital to your health.
Vitamin D: Immune System Superstar
I’m not pretending to be an authority on the subject – that I’ll leave for the experienced professionals. Although I have an interest in health, I can at least share some knowledge I’ve gained from these experts. Some of them I know personally, and all agree that Vitamin “D” is of ultimate importance, especially right now with Covid. I’ve done my own research too. What I’ve found out is that most people are deficient in Vitamin D and even if you eat really well, there are some vitamins (D being one of them) that you cannot create enough of from food alone.
D boosts the immune system and protects against respiratory infections. However, it is found in few foods and the body only replenishes its stocks through sunlight on the skin.
Vitamin D deficiency has emerged as a primary risk factor for severe COVID-19 infection and death. Higher vitamin D levels have even been shown to lower your risk of testing positive for the virus in the first place. According to a Spanish study, 82.2% of COVID-19 patients tested were found to be deficient in vitamin D.
Dark skin color, increased age, pre-existing chronic conditions and vitamin D deficiency are all features of severe COVID disease. Of these, vitamin D deficiency is the only factor that is modifiable. As such, it would be foolish to ignore, especially since vitamin D supplements are readily available and low cost.
*The Scottish Government is giving out free vitamin D supplements to the most vulnerable to help boost their immune system. People who have been shielding are to be sent a four-month supply to compensate for a lack of natural sunlight. (see link below).
So I’ve upped my intake to 5,000 UIs a day in the winter months (some take more). In the summer I take 1000 – 3000 UIs depending on how sunny it is. Most medical doctors will suggest 400 UIs is enough. However over a dozen research studies completed in 2020 alone show that we need at least ten times that amount to get optimum immune system benefits.
We already know that Vitamin D is good for a variety of illnesses and disorders such as depression (no surprise here – sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy. Oh; you too?), hypertension, Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, oral health, inflammation…
The point being there’s tons and tons of research out there. I’ve narrowed it down to some choice statements taken from various sites.
**Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine and colleagues studied blood samples of more than 190,000 Americans from all 50 US states and found those with deficient levels of vitamin D had 54% higher COVID positivity compared to those with adequate blood levels of vitamin D. The study was published in PLoS (the Public Library of Science One) peer-reviewed journal. Many people are vitamin D-deficient because there are only small amounts in food, Holick said.
For the Top 25 Vitamin D Publications in 2020 go to:
*Sunday Times UK – Coronavirus in Scotland: Vulnerable will receive vitamin D supplements:
We don’t need a life coach or shrink to tell us what we already know – that our attitude and outlook on life says a lot about who we are.
Positive Attitude = good
Negative Attitude = bad
It’s that simple. However, it’s not easy to maintain a positive attitude at all times in our present climate of overwhelming discord over health and politics – both of which have a profound effect on our lives.
For our personal sanity at this time in history it makes sense to pay attention to what’s going on while maintaining as positive an attitude as possible.
The idea of Positive Thinking is almost a cliche in the personal development world that can be polarizing. Some people shy away from it, believing it to be pretentious, while others swear by it as if it was some sort of magic pill.
My friend Michael (one of the two smartest people I know in the whole world) has this to say about positivity: it can mean all, or some of the following: 1) Optimism 2) Proactivity 3) Constructiveness 4) Resilience 5) Hopefulness 6) Confidence
If any, or all of these resonate with you, go for it!
When we consciously cultivate positivity in our minds, we think we can get through anything. And it’s been scientifically proven to improve your work life, physical and mental health, and relationships.
A University of Michigan study, led by psychology professor Barbara Fredrickson, explored the importance of positive thinking and emotions on our experience of:
These four positive emotions have a number of ripple effects on our behavior.
Fredrickson had this to say:
“Joy sparks the urge to play, interest sparks the urge to explore, contentment sparks the urge to savour and integrate, and love sparks a recurring cycle of each of these urges within safe, close relationships.”
By adopting a positive mindset, our resilience increases and with it our capacity to explore the world, while feeling confident and secure. Negative thoughts and emotions, on the other hand, can skew our perspective and in the long-term, damage our self-esteem.
One way to get into the habit of thinking positively is to peak into the minds of other positive people’s quotes by reading what they’ve said or written.
Hope you enjoy the quotes I found here.
Gratitude is the seed that sparks Positivity.
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.”– Germany Kent
Kent went on to say…”Gratitude is a key tenet in all major philosophies, religions, and schools of thought. That’s because gratitude is a foundation of positive thinking. We only have a limited amount of focus, so when you are able to be appreciative of what you have, your brain is unable to give life and energy to thoughts about what you don’t have. Seeing events in your life as gifts allow you to perceive how they may help you grow and become a better person, and the application of this attitude during tough times is the hallmark of resilience.”
“The most important thing you will ever wear is your attitude.”– Jeff Moore