OMG! Where did this school year go? Here in Arizona, we are about a month out from summer, minus the teachers strike that’s taking place, summer should be on schedule. We have already planned a few vacations that seem fun. We are definitely going to spend time in Northern Arizona. The heat gets to be too much here during those few months and we don’t want anything to do with it.
Northern Arizona is the perfect mix of outdoors and medium to high temperatures. Depending on where you go, you can find some areas that stay below 100. We have talked about Colorado, California, and Washington State. Anyone that follows my blog knows those are my go-to states when traveling. This year though, we are trying something very new! We are going to make the trip to Huntersville, North Carolina.
This may seem like a total random trip but it’s not. My husband’s friends with a Chiropractor out there and we have a family week planned for a summer rental we hooked up through an Airbnb. I have never really been to the Carolinas and am looking forward to the visit. The water attractions seem beautiful, and North Carolina has no shortage of scenic opportunities for us to capture photographs and turn moments into memories.
My husband and his buddy will probably fish and do some boating on the waters, while us ladies will take time to relax, soak up some sun, and have a lemon-drop or two. The kids all get along great for the most part, the last time our families got together the kids were young, so we will see how well they all play together this time around. It’s nice having a Chiropractor with us on vacation, I’m not joking, one of the kids hurt their back boating and was able to receive a few slight adjustments that got him through the rest of the day. It’s amazing what a back adjustment can do for your body. I had never been a fan of anyone cracking my back or neck, but have grown comfortable having it done. It’s like this feeling of relief comes over you, relief from pain and stiffness you didn’t know you ever had.
Anyway, not to ramble on about that nonsense but I am excited to hang with everyone. It should be a fun trip and I expect it will create memories for the kids that they will carry with them into adulthood. Summer is here, the vacations are being planned, and this is one I wanted to talk about real quick. Come back by my blog in the near future, I will be sharing some more vacation destinations as well as pictures of our experience.
Oh, and check out this blog post titled “homes for sale with solar panels.” if you are thinking about lowering your energy bills this summer in AZ, this is a great article to read and enjoy. Till next time everyone, have a great week!
The world is Frick’n disaster, humanity is constantly disappointing me and while there are some really good people doing really good things, there are plenty of A-Holes doing A-Hole things. So many of the biggest catastrophes in history were created by man, from atomic bombs and wars, to the world trade centers. Humanity can be awesome, and it can suck at the same time. Here are some things that have gone on in history that were caused by our fellow upright walking humans. It’s easier to say looking back on these events that they all could have been prevented, especially the structural failures. We know some guys in OKC (https://tcdexpert.com/) that own a construction defect inspection company, they do this for a living. This stuff can be prevented! Enjoy the read though, it’s tragic, but interesting.
Disaster can strike at any time, and being prepared is often what saves lives. However, when the disaster is man-made, preparation may not be possible. Despite our best efforts, human beings make errors, and sometimes those errors cost lives. From collapsing buildings to crumbling bridges, commercial construction disasters occur all too frequently.
The most recent disaster was a bridge collapse in Florida, on the campus of Florida International University (FIU). The pedestrian bridge, collapsed and trapped several cars, killing six people. One of the bridge’s main structures was changed, causing the project to fall behind schedule and millions of dollars over budget. Cracks were found two days before the collapse by an engineer, and the investigation that followed by the National Transportation Safety Board noted that the day of the collapse that a stress test was being conducted. Cars were crushed under the weight of the bridge; six people were killed.
Another major catastrophe involved a suspension bridge that connected West Virginia and Ohio. In 1967, the Silver Bridge, named for its silver paint, collapsed during rush hour traffic, killing 46 people. It was determined that the then-50-year old bridge had a tiny defect in a suspension chain, and that the bridge had been supporting loads heavier than it was initially built to hold. After the Silver Bridge collapsed it was replaced by The Silver Memorial Bridge, named to honor the lives of the people lost in the bridge disaster.
August 1, 2007 was the date the I-35W Highway Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota failed, killing 13 and injuring over 100. The bridge, built over the Mississippi River, was undergoing construction work on the day a portion of it collapsed, falling over 100 feet into the river below. Thankfully, four of the eight lanes on the bridge were closed due to the construction, otherwise, the death toll might have been even worse. One hundred eleven vehicles were involved in the collapse and seventeen were pulled from the river. The disaster was attributed to a design flaw.
Not all man-made disasters involve bridges. In 1978, at the site of a cooling station being built at a power station in Willow Island, West Virginia, fifty-one construction workers were killed. Concrete was being hoisted up the tower using a new processed that had not been given the engineering okay. The concrete, along with wood and metal, came crashing down on the scaffolding holding the workers; they all died in the fall.
A dance at a Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, turned into a catastrophe, costing 114 people their lives, and injuring another 200. Folks had gathered at the hotel for a dance contest when the structure collapsed, trapping people under the concrete. The suspended walkway’s beam wasn’t built to support the weight of hundreds of people, causing the disaster. Back in the early 1980’s this was the largest construction disaster at the time.
Twenty-eight construction workers were killed while working on a 16-story residential building in Bridgeport, Connecticut when the partially built structure collapsed. A method called lift-slab technique was used where slabs of concrete are lifted on settled on the floors above; the concrete slabs, hoisted by a hydraulic lift, slipped, and the entire building came down trapping the workers.
Baseball fans were not expecting disaster to strike during a day at the ballfield, but unfortunately, 12 people lost their lives and 200 plus were injured when the bleachers at Baker Bowl, the first home of the Philadelphia Phillies, collapsed. The makeshift bleachers were erected after a fire destroyed the original set. To ensure there would be seating for fans when the Phillies returned from a road trip, the stands were hastily built. Two men started an altercation which drew the attention of more fans, and the weight of the additional people caused the bleachers to buckle.
The St. Francis Dam was a structure built to house a reservoir just above Los Angeles, basically where the city of Santa Clarita stands today. Built between 1924 and 1926, the dam failed in 1928, killing approximately 400 people with its floodwaters. An investigation followed, it was determined the dam had defective foundations, causing it to crack, crumble, and eventually give way.
While the United States has had many terrible accidents but none has been as devastating as the collapse of the Savar Building in Bangladesh in 2013. The building was a garment factory, as well as a bank, other businesses and apartments. Cracks were found in the building and the owners chose to ignore the problem; garment workers were ordered to show for work even though the warning was given that the building was unstable. Even though the other businesses and apartments had been evacuated, the garment workers were threatened with docked pay if they did not show up for work. The building collapsed killing over 1100 people. In addition to substandard building materials, the structure had three extra floors that were not permitted, causing the building to crack under the undue pressure.
Of all the disasters that could have been avoided, the failure of the Banqiao Reservoir Dam in a Chinese providence is the most destructive and catastrophic of them all. Built in the 1950’s, a series of dams were built on the River Ru to control flooding and to harness electrical energy. Typhoon Nina roared into the area in 1975 and the dams were not equipped to receive the amount of rainfall that accompanied the storm. Evacuation notices were not relayed to people, due to downed communication lines, so when the series of dams subsequently failed, the water rushed down, killing thousands. It was estimated that a six-mile wide wall of water, approximately nine feet tall and travelling at speeds of 30 miles an hour, came crashing down on unprepared villages. In all, over 117,000 people died from the flooding, disease and famine created by the catastrophe.
While structures made by human beings are never disaster proof, oftentimes, the structures fail as a result of humans taking shortcuts to save time or money. Sometimes, they are haphazardly built, causing fundamental issues that will eventually lead to disastrous consequences—the loss of human life.
Hey all!! We are considering a move here this year and are heavily contemplating going super energy efficient with our new purchase. My husband is a little extreme with his wants and is thinking we go off-grid as much as possible. I think if we didn’t have the kids I would be more open to that, but I’m not home schooling them, and I’m not sending them to some little dump school in the sticks just because we want to breathe cleaner air. The air in Phoenix is nasty, and if you ever make it up to Greer you know that there are parts of Arizona that would be heavenly to live in. Imagine a cabin off of a creek, something the kids could swim in during the summer, and the dogs could splash in year round. These properties exist up in Greer, but it’s 6 hours from Phoenix and our lives revolve around Phoenix. The kids have grown up here, and have all their friends here and I wouldn’t want to take them away from that. When I was growing up I was always fearful my parents would move away and I would lose my friends,looking back it’s silly, but at the time it was a legit concern. So here we stand, looking to make a move this year and get a little deeper where the traffic isn’t as bad an the air is a little better. We have ruled out Payson and Pine, still small enough towns where I think the kids would end up in more trouble than they do in Phoenix. At least here they are busy with school activities and the city has enough after school programs that we are always on the move. What about Ahwatukee? I have driven through there on occasion and realize that the homes are a little pricer than the one we currently live in but we have the equity to counter the expense. We would both like to have a huge back yard and possibly be against a hill side without neighbors. We would like a swimming pool, an area for the dogs to run, three car garage, and enough real estate that the kids all have their own rooms and we are spaced out a bit more than we currently are. On top of all those amenities and property requests, we really want to go solar. Of all states to live in and be solar, Arizona has to be one of the top states in the country for solar electricity. With that being said, it’s surprising that it’s so hard to find a decent property with the specs we want that includes solar panels. I searched the MLS and was surprised to see few homes on the market with solar panels already installed. I realized at that point that most people who purchased and installed solar panels were probably in their forever homes and weren’t selling anytime soon. This would make sense, I believe the average return on solar panels is like 10 years. Meaning to truly get the savings you are after, you need to be in it for the long run and 10 years is about the lifetime where you really begin to see the savings add up. This is great news for us, our next home will be our forever home and we need a solar realtor to with help us find that house, or help us find a house the is well suited to add solar panels on and make into an energy efficient property. Luckily for me and my husband I’m pretty handy on this internet thing and can navigate pretty efficiently. The MLS was a dead end for me, I just couldn’t find many homes for sale with solar panels. I decided to reach out to a solar broker hoping that they might either sell houses with solar panels, or know of some homes for sale with solar panels that were not on the MLS. I found a solar real estate broker here in Phoenix named Greg at http://www.solarhomespecialist.com/ and was blown away by the information he was able to provide me for not only locating homes for sale with solar, but also knew how we could convert a home into solar after our purchase. I liked this idea because I have been finding homes left and right without solar panels that fit our needs, knowing we can go in real quick and equip the home with solar panels, and a solar hot water heater was music to my ears. Heading into the summer months, we will continue our hunt for solar real estate, but also keep on the look out for properties without solar. Here we go, the search continues. I will keep you guys updated as we make progress on our hunt for a home. If any of you know a solar real estate specialist, or know of a home for sale with solar panels just leave a comment and a link to the property. I would be extremely grateful. Enjoy the night everyone, bye!
Hey everyone, I know it’s been awhile since I have made any posts… so sorry! I have been super busy with the kids and work, but have managed to get some other projects off the ground between then and now. May is around the corner and here in Arizona, that is when summer kicks off so I need to have a ton of stuff done before the kids are home with me all day. It will be fun, and I always enjoy having us all together for the summer months, but I can’t ever seem to get anything done with them all home. You would think having the older ones home would help with the younger ones, but that just isn’t how it works. Anyway, I am going to be launching a line of leather goods with the help of my husband. We will be making custom leather goods that we will be selling online. Currently we have made a few wallets and partners with a friend here in Phoenix at Hotchkiss Leather on the design of a rick and morty flask. We will be designing and producing small batch orders online through Etsy and Ebay but will also be using instagram to share pictures as products are finished. That will be our grass roots movement, our personal marketing efforts that will launch our leather products online to the world. But there is so much more that goes into getting seen online and I have no idea where to begin. I was going to hire a local marketing firm here in Phoenix but decided to go with some guys out of Oklahoma. We are out there enough visiting friends that we have the opportunity to meet face to face at least twice a year and game pan for the big launch. We ended up hiring a company called Beyond Theroy, a marketing firm in Oklahoma City. They are going to take all our photos of our leather goods and create print media, mailers, Adwords campaigns, and a social media campaign beyond what we are capable or willing to manage. Then again, after the Facebook privacy scandal, I’m not sure I want to promote our products on that platform anymore. I guess we can sort that out with the marketing guys when the time comes, I think it’s super cheap to promote products on Facebook so I won’t dismiss it entirely as an option for marketing. The other thing they are going to help us do is produce some video content. We will be heading out there for a week this summer with the kids and will be using that time to assemble a line of leather goods we will be selling. This will give them the opportunity to produce some videos of us in action that we can use on our Youtube channel. I’m excited about the next six months and all the fun stuff we will be making to share with you all. Leather is a ton of fun to work with and I think you will enjoy what we create. If you want to support our efforts you can visit our Etsy shop for now until our website is launched and we are actually in business. As always, I thank you all for your support and look forward to sharing more if this journey with you. Til next time ;^}
Not a fan of the man, but have been intrigued by that head of hair for minute. Couldn’t help but whip this up for you guys. hope you enjoy.
Presidential scandals are nothing new. President Clinton gave us the interesting deflection to a question about his affair with Monica Lewinsky by responding “It depends upon what the meaning of the word “is”, is”. President Obama had people speculating about his birth certificate and if he had really been born in the United States and Richard Nixon stunned America by resigning his presidency after the Watergate break-ins. While President Donald Trump is only into his first year as our president, he has rocked many a boat already. There’s the government shutdown, the border wall, and his relationship with Russia, just to name a few. While these legitimate topics may truly be the legacy of Trump’s presidency, it could just as easily be “Hair-Gate”; the on-going drama regarding the hairstyle and the authenticity of the hair of our 45th president. The question we should be asking is “does he need a hair transplant?”
While increasingly pressing issues to plague our country—potential nuclear war, anyone?—the speculation about whether “The Donald’s” hair is real still makes the news. The guy has been around in the public eye since the 1980’s—with the same hairstyle, no less, yet his hair is STILL a topic of discussion. Many people ponder that if the man is a billionaire, as he so claims, can’t he get a better hairstyle? If he is wearing a toupee, as some speculate, did he pick it up at a half price rug sale? And not only has the style and legitimacy of the hair itself come into question, but the ever-changing color of his hair is also a hot topic. He’s been a brunette, blond, redhead and even invented a few colors of his own, but the coif has remained the same. Does he have several wigs in various shades? Inquiring minds want to know.
For a man who has proven his ego drives his every move, it is interesting that he is so steadfastly clings to the hairstyle that everyone else agrees is hideous. It’s as if he is going to prove the rest of us wrong by maintaining a questionable hairstyle just to antagonize the masses; as if cutting off your nose to spite your face is “winning”. Then again, in the chess game of life, no one is ever going to accuse him of backing down, even when popular opinion begs that he do so, which may bode well for us in other, more important issues that face our country. This could be a great tool; or the end of all existence. If it’s the latter, the only thing left on Earth with the cockroaches will be Donald Trump’s hair!
The “Trump comb-over”, as it is affectionately called by some, features a shelf of hair on top of his head, similar to a diving board. In one huge swoop of hair, it covers the top of his head and goes to the nape of his neck, which must mean the hair itself must be 3 feet long to swoop and cover both the back and the front. He apparently combs it forward and then combs it all the way back and is a firm believer that hairspray cures all bad hair days. Although his hair may look like he is covering baldness or might even be a toupee, he adamantly swears that it is truly all his hair. He has even taken to having people touch it or mess it up to confirm that it is all his. Jimmy Fallon, Megyn Kelly, and Larry King have all had this honor and all confirm that they believe the hair to be his. He has been interviewed countless times about his hair—how he styles it, what he uses to wash it, does he blow dry it—the nagging questions that plague our society. He is on to one thing—anything that gets your name in the news, regardless of whether it is good or bad, it is still publicity, and he thrives on publicity. Even though his hairdo had been universally panned and much has been said about its natural state, he can just brush off whatever he does not like by referring to it as “fake news”.
Hair Transplant Or Not?
In addition to the speculation that Trump’s hair is not his own is that the hair IS his, it is just a series of hair transplantation surgeries, a claim that he also denies. Many hairstylists and transplant experts swear that they can see the tell-tale “tracks” where hair is taken from the back of his head and moved to the front of his head and that he has even had rare and costly “microcylinder intervention” hair transplantation procedure and routinely undergoes additional treatments to maintain his full head of hair. Once again, this is vehemently denied by the commander-in-chief, as if going bald and doing something about it makes him appear less virile. Noticeably, too, is that the color has morphed, as well, from a light brown to a sandy blond, to a ruddy red to his current color of gray on the sides and a light ginger color on top. He doesn’t deny coloring his hair, even though he might if he thought he could ruffle some feathers by denying that he does. Some say he has tried scalp reduction to solve his hair problems, but still nobody seems to really know.
Possibly the best part about Donald Trump’s hair is that it is so easy to mock and that doing so had become a national pastime. Trump’s hair has been immortalized in the hashtag campaign of trumpyourcat, where folks fashion their cats’ hair in homage—or mockery—of the president’s coif. There are also countless websites comparing Trump’s hair to various other likenesses, including a very well-behaved guinea pig, the hair of 33 Barbie dolls or a troll doll. Its color and “texture” have been called a patriotic shade of amber waves of grain, cigarette-stained-teeth-blond and featuring more fly-a-ways than LAX airport and more soft-serve swirl than Dairy Queen. Got to give it to Americans and our ingenuity!
Obviously, people need to concern themselves with the issues that truly matter and that are affecting our country but Trump’s hair has certainly provided a distraction. Coincidence or perfectly executed plan by the Trumpster?
Going into 2018 I had serious weight loss goals set for myself. After having my last kid it has been a struggle for me as a mother to find time to get out and get the exercise needed to drop this weight. Finding a healthy way to do it was also important to me, with so many diet fads out there it’s easy to get caught up in the hype and lose focus on the what is really important. One thing I hate though is going to the gym and not knowing what I am doing, around men and women it’s embarrassing. There are plenty of fitness babes in there that make it look so easy and feel like such a slob trying to run on the treadmill and lift some light weights. I decided recently that I was going to hire a personal trainer. One issue I had during my search was that most of the places I called that offered a personal training program only had men available to work with me. I was calling the smaller local Gyms, not interested in another LA Fitness type Gym that is packed with people. As I called around it seemed like the smaller locally owned facilities were owned and operated by a few guys that were the owners and trainers. While they were all really cool to talk too, and extremely informative, I just didn’t feel comfortable signing up to train an hour a day with some guy I didn’t know, plus my husband wasn’t real thrilled about the idea. So I kept on searching around and found a female personal trainer in Gilbert AZ at http://thebodyshopgilbert.com/site/index.php/ that seemed to be the perfect fit. As a mom and a wife, this made me feel a little more comfortable about training with her. There are things us women go through that men don’t and it makes it easier to communicate during these times when maybe you are cramping and don’t necessarily feel like doing squats. Having a female personal trainer to whisper to about that monthly deal is much more comfortable than having to explain it to some guy. Anyway, I spoke on the phone to the woman who trains there and she was extremely helpful and the feedback I received from her was awesome. That was about all I needed to move forward with a trial session and see what this was all about. To my surprise the first training session was really enjoyable, and although I thought I was going to mildly intimidated by a super fit female trainer we actually hit it off right away and it felt like I was training with a friend. The ability to have some girl talk while you train makes it more enjoyable, talking about topics that we both had similar interests in while I worked out really made the time fly. I am looking forward to this journey with her and wanted to share the story. If any of my female followers live in the Gilbert area you should definitely check out The Body Shop Gym in Gilbert and ask for Stefania. I promise ladies, you will not be disappointed in the results or the time spent with her. She is awesome to work with and has also become a friend. Training with her is fun and informative at the same time. Hope to see some of you in the Gym!
If you are interested in reading about my other Gym experience you can check this article about a Tucson Gym I discovered going into the New Year.
Hey, all. Just a quick post I thought I would share before I called it a night. A friend from work told me today that after weeks of testing it’s been deermined that her daughter has some form of cancer that will require ongoing medical treatment to cure. Apparently, they don’t believe it will be fatal, and they have identified it in time to treat it properly. Still, this stuff is so scary and it can hit so close to home. It’s like that Vegas shooting, my cousin was the brides maid for a girl here in Arizona that was shot at that concert. The Dr’s had told the husband they didn’t think she would rebound and he would need to make a decision to pull th plug or not. She was in a coma after taking a gun shot to the brain. In some meraculous fashion, she has recovered beyond expectations. She will need years of rehab and they don’t know if she will ever recover many cognitive functions. Not to get side tracked by another story, but these things just seem to hit too close to home. As a mom with a zoo of kids and a family I love, I can’t imagine facing situations like either of these. So when my coworker told me about her daughter I burst into tears and felt so sad in my heart for her. I could not imagine dealing with this or even watching my little girl deal with this. But I would have to be strong like any mother would and see to it that we cured the disease and recover to the best of our capabilities. You don’t think about the little everyday things that you can do to help these people, from giving blood at a local blood drive to making sure you are a registered organ donor and signing up to be a bone marrow transplant donor. For my friend’s daughter, she needs a bone marrow transplant and will require a blood transfusion also. So what does it take to donate? I don’t know exactly but I included those links above for anyone who wants to particiate in saving lives. This stuff seems to be abundant lately and I don’t know if it’s somethign in the water, the air, our food supply, or all of the above? It seems like when I was younger we knew of people that died occasionally of cancer or some weird disease, now it seems like there are people everywhere suffering from these illnesses and it would be amazing if enough of us stepped up to the plate and donated blood, marrow, or organs in passing. When I die I want my organs to be donated to someone in need, gut me and burn me. Use the ash from my incinerated body to fertalize a tree and grow one in my memory. I don’t know, I’m rambling now but I think we could all do more to give back to those in need. I have been fortunate enough in my life that I and my loved ones have not ever had any serious health issues. I lost my older brother to a drunk driver when he was 25 and that was the most hurtful experience in my life. Thank God for my family, my husband, and my children for helping me through it. I wouldn’t want someone else to live through that experience of losing a loved one if I could help it. So I have gone out of my way to register as an organ donor, I give blood every other month, and I am going to become a stem cell and bone marrow donor this year. That’s it, til next time friends!
My girlfriends husband was recently notified that he will be transferred to Oklahoma for work in the coming months. They gave them enough time to pack and prepare, but I don’t think anyone is ever really prepared to just pick up and move. Personally, I love Arizona and would have no interest in moving to Oklahoma, but when the opportunities knock sometimes you gotta answer. Apparently, her husband will be getting a substantial raise that will move them up in the good old tax bracket and the cost of living is a little cheaper in the area they have their eyes on. But my question to her was how much extra money are they paying you? It would take a 6 figure increase for me to want to make the move from Arizona to Oklahoma! Anyway, she wouldn’t tell me the exact amount but suggested it was in that range.
We had a girls date planned, coffee in the morning, some shopping, and then back to her place to get things organized and packed. She is not the type to keep clutter, so this process was going to be pretty smooth. We made good time day one with the trinkets, pictures, and decorative items that were around the house. We met back up a day later to tackle the garage and get the junk out to the curb for bulk pickup. That’s something they do here in Arizona, they will pick up large items from the curbside on scheduled dates. Most of the junk in the garage was her husbands, the dust collected on the boxes were a great indication that he shouldn’t miss most of it. In two days we had the walls and tabletops cleared off and the garage cleaned out. The attic was his job, so was preparing the yard to sell the home. He was also in charge of all the painting and touch ups that needed to be done before the house hit the market. Other than that, we were ready for a U-Haul whenever they decided it was time to go.
The following weekend we flew out to Oklahoma to check out some properties. I was actually more impressed than I thought I would be with some of the developed areas, I had it in my mind that Oklahoma was like some little house on the prairie like atmosphere with nothing to do. Whatever, I guess that’s what I get for not venturing to the midwest ever. I like the southwest and the west coast line, from California to Washington. Anyway, her husband was being relocated to Oklahoma City and the area his co-worker lived in was called Edmond. Guess it would be the equivalent of Phoenix and Tempe. Edmond was really nice though, more of a rural family-friendly area where Tempe is more of a college town. We drove around looking for new homes in Edmond OK that had never been lived in before, I’m talking new development and bathrooms that have never been used. Her man got a raise, so they move up the food chain and she had her eyes on a beautiful custom home. We met with a realtor and they scheduled a meeting with her man to check it out over a video feed and give the go ahead. After some negotiating the deal eventually got done and they will be moving out to Edmond next month. As excited as I was for her, there is a part of me that’s sad. Fortunately, though this custom home has plenty of space for me to come visit, which means I may be out in Oklahoma more often than I ever dreamed of.
After they get moved in and settled I will come back in here and update this post with pictures after they move in. She decorates her home so cute, she should have been an interior decorator! Stay tuned, I’ll make the update as soon as she sends me pics!
Me and my husband have chosen to use Quartz countertops throughout our home during the remodel. We had a few options including granite but ultimately decided to go with quartz because of the price and it was just so beautiful. As I was digging around the internet looking for information about quartz I stumbled upon so many interesting things that I was unaware of. There are some mystic powers believed to surround quartz crystals, which is always an intriguing thought. There is jewelry and every day items around the home that are made up of quartz. Unless you have taken a geology class, you may not know one rock from another. But the more you get to know about the different types of rocks and what they can do, you will learn that not all rocks are created equally. Some elements are denser than others, and some are softer, and more pliable. Stones and rocks have many uses, and some are quite beautiful. Quartz is a hard crystalline (hexagonal-shaped) mineral that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but has many uses as well. So here are a few things I found during my search that I thought I would share here on my blog. Enjoy!
Whats Is Quartz Made Of
Quartz is comprised of both silicon and oxygen atoms and is the second most abundant mineral found in the Earth’s continental crust, and it comes in many varieties. On the Mohs scale of hardness, with one being soft and ten being the hardest, quartz locks in at a 7. A diamond is a ten, for measure. In its purest form, many quartz rocks are referred to as “rock crystal”. The Ancient Greeks referred to rock crystals as “icy cold” because a few philosophers thought that the stone was super-cooled ice, like its appearance suggests. While rock crystal is colorless and translucent, that isn’t so of other quartz stone. Determining quartz when you see it might be a challenge, as there are many different types and colors of quartz. There are colorless quartz versions, some that are pink, like rose quartz, or purple, like amethyst, or even brown and gray opaque quartz, known as smoky quartz. Several of the varieties are considered semi-precious stones and are sold as jewelry or as hardstone carvings.
Quartz In Jewelry
Some of the most popular quartz varieties used for jewelry include rose quartz, which takes on a pinkish hue, due to added iron, manganese or titanium found in the quartz. Amethyst, another popular gemstone, takes on a purple color when the quartz mineral is mixed with iron. Smoky quartz can be brown, gray or even blackcaused by natural irradiation that releases the silicon inside the quartz. While most quartz jewelry is made with natural stones, there are synthetic versions made to inject colors that would not normally be natural to the quartz mineral. Clear quartz crystals are subjected to a heat treatment or gamma-irradiation, which forms different colors based on the location from which it is mined.
Synthetic quartz crystals have long been used in high-end timepieces due to its ability +to convert electrical voltage from mechanical stress, resulting in a positive electrical charge at one end of the crystal and a negative electrical charge at the other end, a process called piezoelectricity. Quartz crystals have an exact frequency standard, which helps the timepiece maintain its accuracy by regulating the movement. In addition to watches and clocks, quartz crystals are also used in computer microprocessors, radios, cell phones, electronic games, and televisions. Since the 1930’s, quartz crystals have been used for many purposes, and to keep up with the demand, synthetic quartz crystals have been produced.
Quartz And Spirituality
Quartz crystals are also known for their mystical powers. The piezoelectricity property of quartz also magnifies energy, making clear quartz known for their healing powers. Crystal quartz is said to provide mental clarity, to aid concentration, and help with memory retention. It is also the crystal used to help people sleep, helping them to comprehend the messages sent to us during a dream state. Many people use quartz crystals to meditate or even communicate with their spiritual guides, but its properties are said to work only if the person is truly a believer it the stone’s mystical qualities. The person using the stone must also have the best intentions; the rock is said to bring harm to someone who does not have pure intentions regarding its use. Believers carry a quartz crystal on them so they are able to touch it whenever they need a spirit boost and it can be used to filter out negative energy from other sources. By providing an invisible force field, the crystals are said to cancel out the energy of harmful forces. Many fortune tellers use crystal balls made out of quartz or made up of some quartz and other materials. In some cultures, quartz is a highly respected stone used in funeral rites or placed in tombs. Used as a passage tomb in Newgrange, located in County Meath, Ireland, the quartz wall at the entrance is hailed as an architectural wonder.
Quartz In The Home
While quartz may have many specialized uses, it also is a substance used in everyday homes. Quartz is known to withstand pressure and weathering, which makes may be why it has been gaining popularity in recent years as the successor to granite countertops as the choice du jour. Over the past fifty years, Quartz countertops have gained significance as a quality surface material, adding a touch of luxury to bathrooms and kitchens. Since it is pressed into sheets, there are few imperfections, making it a highly desired countertop alternative. Quartz, unlike granite, does not need sealing to ensure it doesn’t crack; the natural resins that bind the stone materials made up to comprise the quartz holds it together and strengthens it at the same time. Also, if granite is nicked or scratched, bacteria can build up, whereas quartz is non-porous and can withstand pesky germs. When mixed with the resins, these sheets of quartz are heat-resistant, scratch resistant and stain resistant, making them a perfect workspace for a kitchen. Since color can be added to the material, quartz countertops can come in an array of colors. Depending upon what you want and how much you need, the cost to counter your kitchen and your bathroom could get pricey. While it is a commonly found material, the manufacturing cost brings up the price.
Quartz is an all-purpose material that can be used in a variety of ways. It can be broken down into tiny particles, it can be chucked off into small crystalline pieces, or compressed with other substances to create slabs. From its uses in timekeeping, to its mystical properties to its beauty and resiliency in the kitchen, quartz is a miraculous material. Quartz is part of our everyday life, even if we don’t even realize it!
I didn’t want to blog about this in January because I wasn’t sure what I wanted out of the new year and honestly I still don’t. A happy home, healthy kids, and success in whatever we pursue sounds like enough to make me happy. But all that aside, there is something that would not only make me happier, it would make me healthier and that is weight loss. I got down on seconds over the holiday season and didn’t shy away from anything that was edible through November and December, but now I am truly ready for a change. I have looked into some weight loss programs but an a firm believer that I need a change of lifestyle more than anything. I want this to be a lifelong transformation, not just a few months of eating healthy and exercising and them back to the snack shack for some chips and soda. Arizona is beautiful most of the year and I have no excuse not to be outside in the sun most of the time. I just need a little motivation. My husband is awesome, but we just don’t seem to motivate each other like we used to. We can both just as easily plop down on the couch with a bottle of Pinot and binge watch Game of Thrones, getting out of the house to work out has never been our thing and with all the kids around it’s become even less of an option. I called a Gym in Tucson to ask their personal trainers a few questions about diet and exercise to see how they might manage me as a customer. I spend a few days a week down in Tucson and am usually without the kids so it just made sense for me to start there where my schedule is most free. The girl I spoke with was super cool and and answered most of my questions the best she could, but ultimately suggested that I stop in for a visit, check out the Gym and get some face time with her to see if getting a Gym membership and hiring a personal trainer was the route for me. I’ll be heading in there at the end of the month to evaluate the Gym and see what kind of environment it has. I definitely need some entry level classes to get me started, and have no desire to be thrown in with the wolves.
I have seen the shape some of these girls are in competing in crossfit competitions in Tucson and I could only dream of achieving those kind of results. I need to trim down about 20 pounds so I can fit back into my favorite bathing suit before summer hits. Since the last baby, I just haven’t had the time or motivation to trim this extra weight, but I am hoping that 2018 brings a year of change for me and my family so we can enjoy the pool once again looking happy and healthy.
Look, if the 60+ crowd can get busy like this then I can definitely do this! Stay tuned for progress reports and more blog posts about my journey to be more fit in 2018.
Quick update on the open, we aren’t the biggest golf fans but when there is a party as big as this around a sport we typically find time to become fans! We got a group together for the 2018 Waste Management Open and we were not disappointed. We took a Lyft there and back and started with some drinks in the AM to get the party started. My girlfriends and I bought some cute golf outfits that included these cute little golf tops and skirts. We were ready to party at one of Arizona’s biggest sporting events. With spring training just a month away, this is when the spring season really kicks off. The weather is to die for, and the people that turn out for this event show up in droves and ready to party their arses off! The actual game was cool to watch in person, although I don’t know all the rules I do understand the basic concept behind golf. The gotta hit the golf ball all the way down the grass lane and eventually land it in the hole. Driving a ball down the lane and landing it in a hole… ok, that sounds like something I can be a fan of. There was a drunk guy there though before the event really kicked off that ended up streaking out onto the course. There was some much fun to be had, but unfortunately there was also a very tragic moment that I want to mention. There was a Tempe firefighter killed by a young man with a gun late in the evening on the streets of Scottsdale.
Apparently the firefighter was a passenger in a Golf Cart that was driving around Old Town Scottsdale and a vehicle was getting dangerously close to them, driving close to the bumper and swerving near them. The cart came to a store and the firefighter exited the golf cart to approach the car and a young man fired a gun shot into the firefighters face killing him. It’s an extremely sad story, my best friends husband was in the Marines with this guy and they came out from San Diego to attend the funeral this past week. So, with all the fun and excitement that surrounded the event, there was also that tragic event that unfolded. All said and done it was an absolute blast and I will be doing it again in 2019.
Spring break is already approaching at the speed of life. I can’t believe that shortly after that we will be entering the summer months and the kids will be home again for 3 months. Whatever though, I can’t slow down time, but I can sure manage it. I have rented an off road Jeep for a fun 3 day excursion in Sedona with my husband and kids. My husband and our 10 year old son really enjoy hunting, and they spend a lot of time in our old hunting Jeep driving through the Arizona desert where they hunt quail during the season and other varmints. But this spring break I have planned an off road adventure that the girls can ride along for.
Jeep Tours In Sedona
I had read a lot about the Jeep tours in Arizona offered by Pink Jeep tours and some of the other local excursion companies. The problem I have is that we don’t want to be confined to a vehicle with someone else at the wheel. The Jeep tours have good reviews and seem to be great for the family that wants a mellow journey through Sedona. That is NOT US! My husband would go stir crazy sitting in a Pink Jeep while some uninterested driver earned his hourly wage navigating the desert carefully to avoid injury and excitement. We will be off roading Sedona this spring break, but not in the back of a Pink Jeep… hell no!
Sedona 4×4 Rentals
Ok, so the tour thing would be cool for my mom or my grandmother but the adventure resides in renting your own Jeep for a few days, hitting the trails that you want to hit, stopping when you want to stop, and spending the night where you want to spend it. I ended up renting a 4 door Jeep for us. We can pack the entire crew in it with room in the far back for packing an ice chest and our bags. We reserved our Jeep through this Sedona off road rental company and are extremely excited to hit the trail heads with our family. There is a built in navigation system with pre-programmed trails for us to travel, but knowing my husband the GPS system will be turned off and he will be driving up the hills that we probably shouldn’t be driving up. These off road rentals in Sedona are perfect for family excursions. We checked the Jeeps out before I booked the rental. the Jeeps were well maintained and reliable, so packing my kids into them isn’t going to be an issue for me.
Trails To Explore in Sedona
There are amazing trails out in Sedona and the surrounding areas. If you have never visited Sedona and the beautiful Red Rock formations that exist you will be pleasantly surprised.
Ok, so after the fun has come and from exploring Sedona, we will be winding down for a few days around the Tlaquepaque Arts & Crafts Village. Not so much a place for the kids, but we will have to make that work. I have heard that there are a few amazing restaurants in the area that offer great steaks. There are also some very cool local adventures you can check out like the cowboy adventures offered by a local adventure company. Also while we are there we will be dining out for some good eats at the best steak house in Sedona. There is nothing I would rather do then enjoy all these excursions with my husband and kids, but if we end up eating there we might find ourselves a babysitter so we can sit down and enjoy a meal without the distractions of the kiddos. If the weather is warm enough we will visit Slide Rock for some fun in the river and the natural rock water slides.
Valentine’s day is approaching! Ladies, if you are searching for a perfect present for the men on your gift list, consider the gift that is unconventional, but appreciated by men of all ages: a trip to the barber shop! Men, regardless of their ages, love to feel pampered and a barber shop appointment is an ideal solution—something he wouldn’t usually get for himself, but an indulgence; a special treatment for a king!
Men won’t come right out and say it, but deep down, they like to look good and feel good. Most barber shops offer individual services or packages geared just for men because being pampered isn’t just for women! Offer the man in your life a unique opportunity to unwind and relax or to partake of some aesthetic services to make him feel brand new again. He will appreciate your thoughtfulness and he’ll emerge feeling rejuvenated and pampered—just like he deserves! He can take advantage of some traditional beauty services and feel great about how he looks. From teens to granddads, a barbershop treatment is the ultimate gift.
Each barber shop varies its services, so make sure you are either buying a particular service, package, or they offer gift certificates to be used on a treatment of his choice. Many men enjoy traditional services, like an attentive shave. To truly impress your man, invest in a spa shave—one that includes a hot towel service, a pre-shave oil, an old-fashioned, close shave with a straight edge razor and hot lather, and wraps up with an aftershave balm to hydrate the skin. He may shave daily, but he’s never had a treatment like this! His skin will be silky smooth, and he will love the relaxation he feels while in the chair!
Another great option for men: a spa manicure and pedicure. This is a simple, yet comfortable way for your man to feel pampered, and you may even enjoy the experience together! He’ll really love the hand massage and paraffin treatment and the way his hands look after his nails are filed, clipped and buffed. And if he has never had a pedicure, he will completely appreciate the whirlpool spa, the leg massage and hot towel wraps, and the meticulous attention to his feet. It’s a great way to unwind after a tough week at work and no, he doesn’t have to have his nails painted!
In addition to stylized hair treatments, including haircuts, highlights, and scalp massages, many barber shops also offer waxing services for men. If your man is embarrassed by the hair on his back, shoulders or other body parts, waxing is an excellent answer to that problem. Hair removal by hot wax is a quick, effective way to leave him smooth and sleek while in a private, soothing environment. Barber shop waxing rooms offer calming music, aromatherapy and skilled, trained professionals to ensure the comfort of the client. He may be apprehensive at first, especially if he’s seen “The 40-Year Old Virgin”, but once he experiences a true waxing treatment, he’ll crave the maintenance of his newly soft, smooth skin!
MCTs are a kind of fat which may be easily used for energy from your own body and don’t need to be broken down prior to usage. They’re precursors to ketones and help your body burn fat rather than burning carbohydrates. Ketones are among their brain’s two main fuel resources, in addition to a very important supply of ATP energy to the body. ATP energy is what enables each and every muscle in your body to maneuver. While ketones from fat, instead of glycogen from carbs, are the principal source of fuel for people on a ketogenic diet, however, you do not need to totally go keto to gain out of MCT oil and ketones.
** MCTs get their name due to the period of the chemical structure. All sorts of fatty acids comprise of strings of associated hydrogen and carbon. **
•• Othere using MCT Oils for appetite control have also found success with CBD Oils. **
Most fats absorbed are taken into your body then needs to be blended with bile discharged in the gut and acted by pancreatic enzymes to break it down into your digestive tract. Medium-chain fats are digested easily and as soon as they reach your gut they’re sent through the blood directly to a liver, in which they have a thermogenic effect and also the capability to positively change your metabolism. MCTs even pass the adrenal barrier to provide your mind with an immediate increase of energy. MCTs are absorbed faster than longer chain fats, since there is less work for your entire body to perform, in breaking the carbon bonds, meaning that they may be used faster as fuel, instead of being stored as fat. MCT oils can be broken into four subcategories.
MCT oil is dispersed and derived from coconut oil (but some also come from palm oil), so while olive oil includes MCTs, it isn’t 100 percent MCT oil; coconut oil includes a high percentage of lauric acid, which functions similar to a naturally-occurring fatty acid (instead of medium-chain). Coconut oil, since it comprises MCTs conveys these very same advantages, but not as powerful and focused as pure MCT oil. As a result of this, coconut oil doesn’t convert quite as economically into ketones and consequently doesn’t contribute just as much of a power increase as the right MCT. Nor does it suppress appetite or assist feed your mind how C8 and C10 do.
Coconut oil is about 50 percent linoleic acid. Lauric acid (or C12) takes a pit stop from the liver for processing instead of becoming immediately converted to energy such as another MCT’s (C8 and C10).
** While technically tagged an MCT by scientists, C12, lauric acid, acts longer, biologically speaking, such as an LCT (long chain triglyceride), which means that you do not get the speedy ketone power to fuel your mind and body which you do away from other MCTs. If it’s own right, malic acid does have lots of its own advantages, such as with antimicrobial advantages, which can be successful in combating a variety of infections. **
The two MCT and coconut oil also offer anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties and may also offer you anti-microbial aid, to help rid the intestine of harmful pathogenic germs, parasites, parasites, etc..
How to Pick a Quality MCT Oil?
For fluid MCT Oil, I usually opt for Brain Octane Oil that is 100 percent C8, which will be ideal for brain functionality. C8 is 18 times more powerful than coconut oil. Bulletproof’s XCT petroleum that is equally C8 and C10, is 6 times more capable of providing medium chain triglycerides compared to ordinary coconut oil. C10 is much slower to become energy compared to C8, but is less expensive. Prevent C6s since they may cause gastrointestinal distress. Furthermore, if your MCT oil manufacturer of selection makes your neck burn off or has a bizarre flavor, 1 reason could be that the distillation didn’t eliminate enough of the C6. Coconut oil is greatest in C12 (Lauric Acid) MCTs, therefore in case an MCT oil is C12 derived, I advise you to save your cash and only opt for coconut oil, then you’ll find exactly the very same advantages. There are loads of manufacturers of MCT oils available on the marketplace, therefore it is ideal to do your homework on where they’re derived from, how they’re expressed and which kind of MCTs they feature.
When purchasing MCT oil, constantly search for powder or oil that’s been expressed or processed without using solvents. Many liquid MCT oils are produced through chemical/solvent optimizing, which may mean that they need using compounds like hexane and distinct enzymes and combustion compounds. Not great, safe or clean. Furthermore, lots of MCT Oil Powders have additives, thickeners and compounds added, therefore best to make certain you’re selecting an MCT Oil Powder which is clean and free from any crap, such as Perfect Ketone’s MCT Powder.
How to Eat MCT Oil?
Though some people suggest using in salad dressings, homemade mayo, etc, I’d caution against having a lot of, a little goes a very long way using MCT oil plus a few too many tablespoons of dressing or mayo slathered in your sandwich could result in an upset stomach, depending on how sensitive you’re.
It’s crucial to begin using MCT oil gradually. As it’s so easily and quickly employed by your system, it may result in gastrointestinal distress in case you jump in too fast (however less using all the MCT oil powder compared to the liquid). For many, the outcomes from a lot of MCT oil too fast can result in what’s commonly known as “tragedy pants” — use your creativity with this one. It’s usually considered smart and safe to begin using 1/2 to 1 tsp and operate around 1 to 3 tbsp each day, as your digestion and stomach allow.
That said, however, as a direct fat it may nevertheless be taxing on your system, being with no gallbladder, perhaps more than the typical individual, so please proceed slow, start small and I’d strongly consider consulting with the opinion of your medical care provider or like bile or digestive tract supplementation (which I would strongly suggest, together with gallbladder removal, no matter swallowing MCT oil).
As with any other food or supplements, it’s wholly possible to get too much of a fantastic thing and also to take your ingestion of MCTs and even coconut oil too much better. Furthermore, bio-individuality has to be taken into consideration. Always. We’re all distinct. Some research indicates excessive quantities of MCT or coconut oil can trigger inflammatory or immune problems within the entire body. I find the MCT Oil Powder for a much more tender and simpler option compared to liquid oil.
Living in Arizona has many perks, the weather is warm, the landscapes are beautiful, and you can swim 5 months out of the year which is great for the kids. Our Arizona Sun Room sits off to the side of the pool and is equipped with a picnic bench, mini fridge, fans, mister, and a flat screen TV mounted on the wall. This is awesome for entertaining adults and kids. The problem I have faced is clean up after a birthday party or an event that we put together for the adults. Anything that spills with sugar attracts bees and ants. Both can be extremely annoying, and if you are an AZ resident then you know that cockroaches are just about everywhere. When the kids throw the crust of their sandwich off into the bushes, or an adult dumps out a beer into the garden it creates an opportunity for rodents and insects to feast. Well, I am no fan of these nasty little critters, nor do I want them in my Arizona room. To keep them out, and out of my yard I have hired a company that offers pest control services in Phoenix. Pre-treating the property a week prior to having any events has proven to be an efficient way to handle the infestations. Especially with the red ants. They are so small, but extremely aggressive and the kids are often times bit and left with itchy ant bites on their feet and ankles. The cockroaches seem to survive anything you throw at them, but two treatments leading up to your bug event should prove worthy enough to limit the amount of them you may see wondering in the backyard. Arizona cockroaches are hard to kill, but believe me, as a mother of 4, I will find a way to kill them to keep them from my babies.
I’ve always been a lover of producing fresh and innovative ways to lure your child to eat. Beyond this simple definition, however, virtually anything could be made to enter these lunch boxes along with the ideas are infinite.
Different Kinds of Bentos
There are numerous varied types of bentos, with various functions. Makunouchi bento is fancy bento foods presented at proper meals, supposed to be eaten in a desk. This is the kind you’ll see served in pubs, organized in tasteful lacquered boxes. The type of bento which has got the most attention lately, particularly outside Japan are what are known as kyaraben or charaben, ‘adorable bento’ ‘artwork bento’ or ‘amusing bento’ extremely elaborately decorated little functions of art.These are often made by moms for their little children.
Ultimately, there is the plain easy bento which most men and women bring to school or work for lunch. It is important to be aware that many Japanese people don’t invest their time creating fancy charaben or ‘adorable bento’ – that is more in the domain of a craft and hobby as opposed to everyday living.
My Bento Doctrine
This is the fundamental bento doctrine about the best way best to make a healthful bento your children are going to love. I utilize bentos to integrate some healthful food into my everyday eating. So I use as many vegetables and vegetable products as you can, see the quantity of fat and oil, and attempt to steer clear of processed foods. The utmost time that I wish to spend on constructing my bento is 10-15 minutes. The majority of the time that I need it completed below 20 minutes. It needs to be safe and yummy to consume at room temperature, (with a couple exceptions), escape- and – spoil-resistant, and filling. They ought to appear yummy, but I do not spend that much time producing them very pretty and elaborate. Sometimes I will add cute little edible Beanie Boos or trinkets in the bento box for fun. I love to keep things easy. Since I wish to spend less by bringing my bento instead of eating out, I attempt to keep the price down as far as you can.
Purchasing a Bento
Where do you start? There are many websites that sell bento boxes and possibilities are limitless as well as diverse.
Amazon has a few great and cheap bentos with various applications and expectations here are a couple of of my favourite ones.
• This one is great for kids due to it being leak proof and coming in multiple colors. https://goo.gl/2LwwVQ
This condition is caused by a viral infection. It can be alarming and often occurs at night, but usually passes quickly. Your child will have difficulty breathing, and a short, distinctive barking cough when he breathes out. He may be making a crowing or whistling noise. In a severe attack, he may use muscles around his nose, neck, and upper arms in his attempts to breathe. IF HE HAS blue-tinged skin or signs of a severe attack (see IMPORTANT, below), CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMS.
** IMPORTANT **
If the attack is severe or prolonged, CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMS.
If the attack is severe, there is a risk that he is suffering from a rare condition called epiglottitis. Suspect epiglottitis if your child has a high temperature and is obviously in distress, and has not had the Hib vaccination. CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMS.
1. Help your child into a comfortable breathing position. Sit him up in bed, propped by pillows, or sit him on your lap supporting his back. Reassure him.
2. Stay calm—if you panic it could frighten the child, which can worsen the attack.
3. If it is safe to do so, create a steamy atmosphere. Take the child into the bathroom, and run a hot faucet or shower, or boil some water in the kitchen
4. If he has not improved after 10 minutes, cool air can be helpful. Put him in front of a cool-mist humidifier, open the window in his bedroom, or take him outside briefly to breathe in the air.
SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE.
Excerpted from First Aid Fast For Babies and Children / copyright 2018 DK Publishing