Category Archives: Lifestyle

Visit Spectacular Panama

Panama: a Land of Discovery

I have awesome memories of our trip to Panama, which is squeezed between Columbia to the South and Costa Rica to the North. Geographically, it is relatively small – you can drive from one shoreline to the other in a day, It is also a country filled with a beautiful diversity (rainforest diversity and cultural diversity). It boasts a pristine rainforest, a strong cultural history, and a thriving modern economy. It has one foot in the past and the other in the future. I hope that you will enjoy this exposé of Panama.

Panama City History

Panama City is the capital of Panama and its largest city. It was founded in 1519 by Spanish conquistador Pedro Arias Dévile. This city was the strategic point for launching exploration and conquest expeditions in Peru, primarily in search of gold and silver. Panama was also the transition site for loading ships with gold and silver and bringing them back to Spain.

Old Panama (Panama la Vieja) contains the ruins of the original city of Panama, which was destroyed by fire in 1671. The city of Panama was rebuilt in 1673 about five miles from the original city.

Panama City Today

Panama City is located between the Pacific Ocean and the tropical rainforest in the northern part of the country. It is a city of cultural diversity. Panama City boasts an ultramodern city center complete with skyscrapers and modern architectural design. The Skyscrapers produce an impressive skyline around the bay. To get across the canal, there are two bridges, the newest being the Centennial Bridge. It gives you a bird’s eye of the Canal. But a bridge is a bridge, so it is  better to find a lookout point such as the Miraflores visitor center

 

Panama’s Old Quarter boasts diverse architectural styles including Spanish Colonial, French and Antillean influences.

The Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is a lock-type canal connecting the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. Its length from one shoreline to the other is about 40 miles.

Construction of the Canal was completed in August 1914. It was controlled solely by the United States from 1914 to 1979 and in December 1999, Panama gained complete control over the Canal.

Negotiating the Canal can take about 25 hours, including the wait time. Once a vessel has been authorized to pass, it can take about 10 hours to go from one end to the other.

Panama Canal is one of the very rare examples of synergy between a vast engineering project and rainforest preservation. The rainforest has been kept in pristine condition and it provides the water and hydroelectricity needed for the Canal’s operations via the Chagres River.

The Embera People & the Rainforest

The Embera tribes are the indigenous people of Columbia and Panama. They originally lived a semi-nomadic life in Darien province (South-Eastern part of Panama) However, due to the increasing dangers of Columbian guerillas and drug traffickers, they moved north to the Chagres river region of Panama. The Rio Chagres is one of the most vital rivers in Panama. It feeds into Lake Alajuela, which provides 45% of all the water required by the canal.

A National Park

In 1985 this region was turned into a national park in order to protect the Embera people and their customs as well as protect the rainforest and the flow of water into the canal.

This new development meant that the Embera had to change their semi-nomadic activities such as hunting and raising large domestic animals due to new land restrictions. Their main source of food and survival was restricted so they had to turn to other ways to help the economy of their villages.

They have recently adopted or embraced cultural tourism as a way to provide for their needs. This means that they invite visitors (tourists) to visit them in their communities to share their way of life.

Traditionally, the Embera wear very little in the way of clothing and will only really “cover-up” (tops for the women and short skirts for the men over their loin cloth) when they are expecting visitors. They wear traditional body paint which serves as both an insect repellant and an antibiotic.

Meeting the Embera Locals

On our visit to one of these villages in the Gamboa Rainforest, we were picked up and escorted in a dugout canoe to the village.

The village people greeted us warmly and then the men of the village took us on a tour through the rainforest.  They showed us the plants and trees and educated us about their medicinal uses. We learned about the techniques for hunting such as using the poison of the dart frog on their arrows. We saw and learned about leaf-carrying ants as well.

 

 

 

Following this tour into the rainforest, we were welcomed back to the village with a traditional meal of plantain and fish presented on banana leaves and prepared by the women of the village. We were then shown and invited to participate in traditional. dance.

 

 

 

 

 

I highly recommend Panama as a destination to discover a warm, friendly culture, an introduction to the biodiversity of the rainforest and beautiful landscapes. And to see the engineering feat of the famous Panama canal is worth it. I encourage you to discover all the beauty Panama has to offer.

Have a great day!

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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Illustrious Hearst Castle

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Category : Lifestyle

 

Where is it?

The Hearst Castle Estate, a popular tourist site, is located along California Coastal Route 1 halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco (about a 4-hour drive from either city). It is high up in the hills overlooking the village of San Simeon and has a commanding view of the ocean as well.

Who Was William Randolph Hearst?

William Randolph Hearst was the only child of George and Pheobe Hearst, millionaire parents from the gold mining industry. William was raised primarily by his mother since his father was often away on mining business (he was a mining prospector and rancher). His father, George, was described as uncouth, preferring to hang around his mining buddies and dressing shabbily, despite his great wealth. As a child, Wiliam was overly protected by his mother and lived a very sheltered life. William is described as being a bit of a mischevious child who often pulled pranks around the house. He is described as being “difficult to discipline”.

When he was 10 years old, his mother took him on an 18-month tour of Europe. Even at this young age, Hearst was greatly impressed by what he saw in the culture, architecture, and art of Europe.

A lot can be said about William Randolph Hearst – that he was this and he was that,  that he had opportunities handed to him etc. etc. All the things that were written about him (and his character) may be legitimate, but let’s keep the focus on what he accomplished with a dream.  He was a man who appreciated art and was an eager student, despite not being a fan of formal education.

From Camping to Castle

The original plan was to build a bungalow (a family retreat) on ” Camp Hill” at the top of the family ranch. He wanted to build the main house and some guest houses to have something “more comfortable” than the platform tents they had. That is what he told architect Julia Morgan, with whom he would collaborate for 28 years building the castle. The family would regularly go “camping” at the ranch (probably more like “glamping” than camping) and he wanted to have a regular place to go to get away.

After the death of his mother, Pheobe Hearst (influenza epidemic), Willam Hearst became the inheritor of the family estate, including 250,000 acres of land.

Right from the beginning, William Hearst commissioned Julia Morgan (graduate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts) to start working with him on the project. They would work together over the next 28 years on what would become “La Cuesta Encantada” or The Enchanted Hill. The project evolved into a collection of luxurious buildings, the main one being Hearst Castle, inspired by European architecture and art.

The Main Building

The main building, Hearst Castle, was built in the Mediterranean – Moorish style. It resembles a Spanish cathedral complete with bell towers. There are 115 rooms including 38 bedrooms, about 40 bathrooms, a theatre, and a beauty salon. The main dining room served as an inspiration for the dining room hall in Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.

Guest Houses

There are three guests houses as well: Casa Del Mar, Casa Del Sol and Casa Del Montes. Below is one of them, though I do not know which of them it is.

The Indoor Pool

The indoor pool is a beautiful creation inspired by the ancient Roman baths. It is made from blue and gold colored tiles inside the pool as well as the walls and ceiling.

The Neptune Pool

The outdoor Neptune pool is surrounded by sculptures and collonades and has the facade of a Roman Temple at one end.

credit: Hearst Castle / California State Park/ V. Garagliano

The Gardens

All around the main building and guest houses are magnificent European and Californian inspired gardens,

William Randolph Hearst: Citizen Kane?

Much has been written about William Randolph Hearst possibly being the inspiration behind the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane“(Orson Wells). One thing is very clear, William Hearst did everything he could to prevent the movie from being released, from refusing to have it advertised in his newspapers, to using his Hollywood connections as leverage. Despite his efforts, he was unable to prevent the release of Citizen Kane.

There certainly were some striking similarities between the two men (Kane being fictional). Both built publishing empires, both built extravagant mansions, and both had relationship voids despite being surround by and entertaining many people. In contrast to William Hearst, who was born into wealth, Citizen Kane rose from a life of poverty to a life of wealth.

Whether or not he is Charles Foster Kane, many people associated William Randolph Hearst with the character in Citizen Kane and imagined him wandering throughout his massive estate alone, surrounded by opulence, driven by power, but starving for deep human relationships.

A National Treasure

Today The Hearst Castle Estate is now Hearst San Simeon Historical Monument and registered with California State Parks. There are daily tours to tour the premises.

Conclusion: Hearst Castle is definitely a worthwhile stop if you happen to be visiting South California. Despite the colorful history of its builder and owner, it remains, as well a testimony to the power of a dream. You will definitely be inspired as you travel throughout the buildings and the grounds.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

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Change It up – Do Something Different!

Category : Lifestyle , Success

Have you ever found yourself in a rut where nothing seems to be advancing in your life? You wake up each with discouragement induced brain fog. No matter how hard you try you feel like your life is just spinning its wheels. Somedays you feel like a hamster going round and round, but not getting anywhere in particular. Sometimes it feels like the hamster wheel comes to an abrupt stop and you fall off and end up staring at the ceiling wondering to yourself “Is this all there is”?

There are different kinds of ruts. Maybe you are in a relationship rut. Maybe your dating life seems about as exciting as watching wet paint dry. Maybe your marriage life is in a drought and will need a firehose to revive it. Maybe you feel stuck in a job that does not inspire you, but you go in day after day because it pays the bills. We have all been there. Ruts just bring us down or put us into an automatic pilot mode.

Some of us just want something to change, but we have no idea how that will happen. We are looking for that magic bullet, that magic wand to just wave us out of the doldrums of our life and into a new life of something meaningful, something where we feel we are actually going somewhere and doing something of importance.

So, what can we do to change things? Is there any hope for us?. Well, actually there is. We can climb out of this “depth of despair”, as Anne of Green Gables famously and dramatically called her difficult life situations. We can change things up, we can make things happen.

Expose Yourself to New Things

Yes, that is right! We can show our brains all kinds of new things: new experiences, new ways of seeing things. We can take ourselves to new places, even within our own city. Why not go visit car dealers shops and take the cars for a test drive. You don’t actually have to plan on buying them. What you are looking for are new experiences. Why not go visit a million dollar house that is on the market? Go for a tour. Why not?  Try on new clothes (ones you can’t normally afford).  Go to a travel agency and get brochures of places you would like to visit.

What you are doing here is expanding, stretching your mind. You are giving yourself permission to dream again. Doing this – trying new things, seeing new things – will set your mind to believing that you too can dream and accomplish what you thought was too late for you or just for other people. And always make your dream bigger than your reality.

Decide

It really begins here, with a decision. That is really the first step. It is also the hardest and scariest step for most of us. But, really, nothing happens without a decision. It has been said that successful people are “quick to make decisions and slow to change their mind.”

What does this mean? It means that they get the information they need, they evaluate the data and make a decision. and once they have made their decision, they stick with it and manage it. They choose to ‘”stay in their lane.” The decision may not look like much and it may come with risks. Maybe they don ‘t have all the facts and most likely they can’t see the end of the road, but they stick to their guns and dive in.

This “making a decision” thing can apply to whatever we want to change, whether it be our financial situation, our parenting, our work situation or other. We simply have to decide to decide.

Change Your Thoughts

Any computer analyst will tell you that the output is dependant on the input. If good data goes in, then there will be good output on the other end. How do we get better input? Well, we need to change what information we are allowing into our mind. The fact is, the information we have received up until now is largely what has brought us to where we are in life. We need to get new and better information and throw out the baggage we have been used to, including the suitcases.

Whether it comes to changing your health, your fitness level or anything else in life, new information and new associations will change things for you. Get around new people who are going in the direction you want to go. If you want to improve your health or fitness, wouldn’t it make sense to get around people who are pursuing health goals? Now, of course, this doesn’t mean get rid of your friends and family; It just means associating with people who think differently and are getting the results you want.

Keep up the Momentum

Once you decide and are geared to make a change, it needs to become a habit. A habit takes 63 days (roughly just over 2 months) to solidify. so don’t give up. Stay on the path. Stay in your lane.

Find your motivation. Most of us have a 2-week motivation to go to work (pay check to pay check) and that is what keeps us going to work each day. It’s time to find a new motivation, one that comes from you, rather than a boss, whether it is a desire to change a situation you are tired of, or whether you are chasing a dream. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Ask for guidance from people who can help you. And most importantly, stay away from the “whiners and complainers” – they will only discourage you.

Finish What You Start

Winston Churchhill famously said:

Never, ever give up.

Don’t quit, don’t get distracted and don’t fall back. Be kind to yourself and take your new path in small steps. Every day, do something that is moving you forward toward your goal, whether it is reading a new book or talking with someone who can help you. Don’t sabotage the progress you have made by compromising or slacking off (a bit). Remember, the couch is not the best place to find motivated people.

No matter what, time will pass. Time is a relentless thief that will steal your time away from you when you are not looking. We need to redeem the time and make the most of the time we have to do what only we can do. Don’t let time take away the precious moments you could have used to change things in your life.

Know that You Have a Destiny

We were not born to just pay the bills and try to get by. We are worth so much more than that. We have so much to offer the world, but how will the world know what we have to offer if we don’t even know ourselves because we never believed we could do more and be more?

The economic world we live in loves for us is to stimulate the economy, pay our taxes and be “good” citizens. While none of these are wrong, we have greater contributions to make and a bigger impact to have on the world. There are people whose lives we can change and places we can discover. There are new inventions to create and books to write.

Be bold, be courageous. Don’t hold back from doing what only you can do. Have questions bigger than your answers. Always go deeper than what you know and remember that in the end, we will never know it all.

Have a great day!

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, pursuing a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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The Unforgettable Route 66

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Category : Lifestyle

Unforgettable and Fun Things to See on Route 66

Traveling along Route 66 is quite the experience. I really had no idea what to expect from this adventure or what we were in for. I hope that you will enjoy this post as we explore some of the fun and curious things we saw along the way.

The Beginning

It begins in Chicago, Illinois. This city is well known for many reasons, not the least of them is Al Capone (Scarface), notorious gangster and businessman during the Prohibition era.  Chicago has many beautiful treasures, one of them being its beautiful lakeside front and downtown water canals.

  

So, We Begin Our Journey

Illinois

Traveling through the cornfields of Illinois, we saw these – Follow the yellow – no, red, I mean the red brick road –

and visit the  Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, Illinois  Don’t forget to visit the Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site – the final resting place of the 16th president.

Missouri

A stop in St Louis to get some perspective:

The Gateway Arch reflects the role of St. Louis in the opening up of the West (Thomas Jefferson). St. Louis is also famous for the Dred Scott Trial (Dred and Hariette Dred) where the Dred couple filed in court for their freedom.

and a bite to eat at Angelo’s taverna

Then we headed on our way toward, Missouri (Cuba) and stayed in this quaint hotel (The Wagon Wheel Hotel

And ate at this wonderful country restaurant Missouri Hick Bar-B-Q right beside the Wagon Wheel hotel.

Don’t miss this little outpost store, not far from the Wagon Wheel hotel and the “biggest Rocking Chair in the world.”

Kansas

Look at this cute little fire hydrant we spotted in a small Kansas town on our way as well as the cars that inspired the movie by the same name: Cars

Sometimes we hit a few obstacles:

But we were soon back on the road again.-

Oklahoma

And onwards toward Oklahoma

Stop in and visit the Will Rogers Memorial & Museum (Claremore). Will Rogers was an Oklahoma country boy (of partly Cherokee heritage) who began actin in Wild West shows and then later, Vaudeville and ultimately Broadway. Rogers was also a nationally known writer (social moral issues of the day).

Texas

Here is another quaint restaurant: Pedro’s Bar and Grill

on our way into Texas

They say everything is big in Texas – this is the biggest cross I have ever seen –

In Groom, Texas, you will find this gem measuring 190 feet and reputed to be the tallest cross in the Northern Hemisphere.

And there are wide open spaces for growing anything (Cadillac Ranch)

Cadillac Ranch is a living, dynamic artwork /sculpture that invites participation (bring your spray paint). It has a bit of a quirky past, but essentially represents the “Golden Age” of the American automobile. You can find this gem just west of Amarillo, Texas on Old Route 66.

The Leaning Tower of – Texas?

Also in Groom, Texas

New Mexico

And we are off.. again.. en route for New Mexico…

And Albuquerque

Albuquerque is located on the upper edges of the Chihuahuan Desert in one of the highest elevated regions in the United States. The Old Historic Town was founded in 1706 by Spanish families. The brown adobe architecture is a Pueblo-Spanish style.

Arizona

Now to cross the Continental Divide…. on the way to Arizona

Sometimes you can be on the wrong side, but don’t worry, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel –  on our way to Arizona.

Take a step back in time as you drive into Oatman, Arizona, an old mining ghost town that still continues to thrive. Come to walk among the donkeys that are regulars around town.

  

Here is what we encountered on our way into Oatman

Meteor Crater

This meteor crater is the world’s best-preserved meteor impact site. It is located along Route 66 in Northern Arizona, near Winslow. The crater is nearly one mile wide and 550 feet deep.

Grand Canyon –

No need for a bio on the Grand Canyon. It is simply massive and very beautiful.

California

Along Route 66, don’t miss the Bagdad Café – made famous by the movie of the same name.

In Newberry Springs, California, on Old Route 66, you will find the Bagdad Café – in the middle of nowhere, but somewhere in the Mojave Desert. There is not much of anything for miles around – just sand and heat and dust.

Sometimes along this lonely road, you may find it necessary to rethink your path-

But, you will know you are almost there when –

And, all of a sudden –  you have made it!!

 

Now to explore the destination –

 

A little bit of Los Angeles

And a little fun at Universal Studios –

and me with a couple of my buddies –

 

Cheers to Route 66

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Sharing ideas is the game and life is for living
Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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My Personality and Me

Category : Lifestyle

Are we who we are because of our personality or do we have our personality because of who we are? It’s like the chicken and the egg – which is the reason for which and what comes first?  We can equally argue that we are not our personality; it does not define who we are. Most people do not like to be categorized, though sometimes it can be fun to know our personality traits to see why we make the decisions we do in the way we make them or why we interact in a certain with others or in certain situations. Sometimes we even hide behind our personalities to avoid unpleasant tasks or to explain why we do or don’t do something.

Of course, we are not our personality. That is, personality alone does not define who we are. Humans are far too complex for such a limited categorization and our emotions, backgrounds and even our health and lifestyle all have enormous influence. One day we can be outgoing, on top of our game and quick with decisions and the next day we may not be able to make a single decision and not interested in talking to anyone.  Our personality certainly is part of who we are and a general framework for how we view and interact with the world, and learning more about it can be enlightening and helpful.

There are different versions and explanations about personalities and each one sheds an interesting light on what kind of person we might be according to our personality. I personally like a straightforward and simple explanation. The one that I like best is found in Personality Plus, by Florence Littauer. This is a simple book that takes us through four different personalities.

The Choleric

The Choleric is described as the ‘born Leader’, the one who is  “strong-willed” as a child always looking for ways to move forward and take over. He is never happy playing second fiddle to anyone. He is compulsive and quick to act, often shooting first and aiming second. These are the people who, when they come into your home, will reset the table and repolish the utensils; they will close any open cupboards and tell you how your home should be organized. They don’t ask, they just do. Chloerics are very good at making decisions quickly and without much consultation. They have solutions and can solve any problem – often solving other’s problems for them with or without their permission.

The Choleric is usually goal oriented and not people oriented. People often get in the way of his goals and he (the choleric) will be quick to let them know this. He is very good at delegating and breaking down big tasks into small chunks. These chunks are what other people are for (according to the choleric): to get the job done. The Choleric is very good at assessing a situation and determining the course of action. He thrives on opposition and challenge, is fired up by criticism and encouraged by the impossible.

Examples of a Choleric: The Rabbit in Winnie the Pooh, or Thorn in The Lord of the Rings

The Sanguine

The Sanguine has a charming personality. Everyone and everything is a source of wonder and excitement. They see the positive in everyone. One thing is certain, the Sanguine always has fun; he draws people to him, he finds laughter in the smallest and most unlikely situations. For the Sanguine, life is an endless stream of exciting experiences. Everything seems exciting with the Sanguine.

You will be able to spot the Sanguine out in a group; he will be the one speaking the loudest (usually with a captive audience), telling the stories (embellishing the stories) and working up his story to suit the audience. The Sanguine is happiest being the life of the party surrounded by interested admirers. He can be dramatic and hilarious. The Sanguines are the people you want to have as masters of ceremony, club presidents, greeters, and teachers. The Sanguine is always curious – even about other’s conversations or about what people say about him. He likes to know what everyone is doing and feels left out if he is not informed.

Example of Sanguines: Tigger in Winnie the Pooh

The Melancholic

The Melancholic is the polar opposite of the Sanguine; he is an introvert who enjoys his own company even it if it is not a happy company. He is, in his mind, unique and the only one (or one of the few in the world) who is right; everyone else is wrong and doesn’t understand. Playing games is not for the Melancholic; these are time wasters and pointless. Nothing should be done just for the fun of it.

The Melancholic personality tends to be on the moody side -way get excited about life since life is to be taken seriously? It can be a bit touchy trying to find out how he is wired. He can be at loggerheads with both the Choleric and the Sanguine since they tend to say what is on their mind and he (the Melancholic) thinks they are being insensitive and not considerate of his feelings. He fails to understand the excitement of the Sanguine, nor the driving energy of the Choleric and both intimidate him. But, if you want something done right, in perfect order with plenty of graphs and research to back it up, the Melancholy is the person to call.

Example of the Melancholic: Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory

The Phlegmatic

The Phlegmatic is the easy-going personality, happy to be where they are and flexible enough to adapt to anyone’s plans. This personality seems to walk down the road of life and stay away from all conflict and decisions. Excess and extremes are not for the Phlegmatic. He is calm, in control, peaceful, and accepting of others. He enjoys living in the present and doesn’t worry too much about the future. He would rather not cause any trouble and not give his opinion on anything – whatever is good for others is good for him.

In an emergency, the Phlegmatic is the one you want to have around. The Choleric may be bark orders (even if he doesn’t know what he is doing), the Sanguine may scream in sheer panic and the Melancholic may sink into a hole of despair. But the Phlegmatic will quietly assess the situation, consider what to do and calmly go ahead and take care of the situation.

The Phlegmatic is also an incorrigible procrastinator. Don’t count on him to make decisions quickly or ever. He does not enjoy others thinking for him or making decisions in his place and his quiet stubborn streak will cause him to dig in his heels and quietly rebel.

Example of a Phlegmatic: Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit

The Takeaway

While some may fit into one of these categories quite easily, most of us fall into two or more of them. We find that we are equally one and the other of two of the personalities. Some may find that they are a people-loving and excitable Choleric -Sanguine. Others may find that they share both the detailed Melancholic tendencies as well as the low key stubborn tendencies of the Phlegmatic. Sometimes, depending on circumstances, we can be completely different from what we were the day before. And, finally, we all can be good actors and put on a show when we need to. We can be bouncy for a time or calm for a time if we need to. Knowing the four personalities is really an interesting tool that we can use to help us understand our selves and others.

 

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Sharing ideas is the game and life is for living
Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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Discover Amazing Golden Milk

These days, it’s all about the turmeric in health circles. It is making waves in scientific studies and anecdotal experience.  Golden Milk, made with turmeric, is becoming very popular. And the taste is awesome.  It gives a new definition to the “Hot Toddy.” I think it is safe to say that if you haven’t tried Golden Milk yet, you have been missing out.

So what is Golden Milk? It is an ancient beverage, typically consumed warm, from Ayurvedic medicine and is known for its delicious taste and numerous therapeutic, health benefits.  In Ayurvedic tradition, this drink was taken to fight off colds, congestion, sore throats and headaches. Beginning in India, thousands of years ago, the drink has made its way across the world and now the main component, turmeric (curcumin), is being studied for these and other health benefits. Some other benefits attributed to turmeric are:

  • blood purifier
  • antibacterial
  • antiinflammatory
  • antioxidant
  • aids in digestion
  • aids in cancer therapies such as radiation
  • aids in brain function

Ingredients

Golden milk ingredients (livingandstuff.ca)

Here are the main ingredients you will want to have in your Golden Milk:

Coconut oil –  makes it easier (the fats) for our bodies to absorb the curcumin in the turmeric root. Curcumin is the main compound we are looking to absorb.

Coconut oil contains healthy saturated fats that satiate as well as protect our brain against degenerative diseases.

Black pepper – The piperine in black pepper seems to be able to activate the curcumin to make it more bioavailable to our bodies. It makes the curcumin more potent.

Turmeric– either fresh grated or raw ground turmeric powder. I prefer the ground turmeric powder because it is easier to mix and I can keep it for longer. Tumeric is an anti-inflammatory root, similar to ginger root.

Coconut milk- the original recipe used milk, but I think coconut milk tastes better and is healthier

Honey -.Raw honey is best because of the enzymes contained in raw honey. Honey also has antibacterial properties.

Other ingredients– you can also add cinnamon or ginger to add more spice, some might want to add in some ginger as well. Cinimmon has anti-oxidants and helps to regulate blood sugar. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. It will also help to take away some of the bitterness of the turmeric root.

Directions

Add all ingredients except the (raw) honey to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir frequently.

Boil for about 10 min. until the mixture is smooth and homogenous. Boiling also takes away some of the bitter taste of the turmeric.

After 10 min; remove the saucepan from the burner and cool for 10-15 min.

Add the raw honey and mix thoroughly. The honey will give the mixture a cohesive paste texture as well as add a pleasant taste.

Put the paste into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator. It should keep well for a minimum of 2-3 weeks.

Golden paste (livingandstuff.ca)

Some Ways to Use Golden Paste

  • in smoothies
  • as a topping for pumpkin pie
  • in coffee
  • in Golden milk
  • as a broth (omit the raw honey)
  • in a salad dressing
  • in soups (omit the raw honey)

Other Uses

  • as a face mask
  • as a poultice for inflamed skin or sprains
  • as a whitening toothpaste (omit the raw honey and add baking soda and coconut oil)
  • as a skin soother for sunburns and poison ivy breakout (mix with aloe vera gel)

Conclusion:

There is no reason not to try golden milk or paste and add to your daily routine. With such outstanding health benefits and versatility, it merits becoming a staple in every home. From a warming drink in the evening to a tooth whitening paste, there is something for everyone. Why not give it a try?

Has this information been helpful to you? Let me know in a comment.

 

Sharing ideas is the game and life is for living
Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca
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Quebec City – My City – Ma Ville

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La Porte St. Louis (livingandstuff.ca)

So In Love With My City

What is not to love about beautiful Quebec City?  It is a city that meshes the charm and drama of the 1600s with the modern landscapes and lifestyle of the 21st century. It is a city where cannons and fortress walls meet cafés and shoe shops. Perched high on a cape overlooking the majestic St Lawrence River, upstream and down, and the city of Lévis on the opposite shore, the city of Quebec literally commands respect.

Let’s Begin Our Tour: The Upper Town

A walking tour around the city will bring you up and down steep hills and along twisting streets between the upper and lower towns. Of course, you can always go up and down on the funiculaire, if you don’t fancy going up and down the Breakneck Stairs. Driving around the old city can be a bit tricky if you are not used to a city full of one-way streets. Parking is not easy either. It is best to do the city on foot if you are able.

Le Chateau Frontenac (livingandstuff.ca)

Two stone archway gates serve as entrances to the city: Port St. Louis and Port St. Jean, the first leading down St. Louis Street lined with restaurants to the emblem of the city: The Chateau Frontenac and the second leading into St. Jean street area lined with shops. Just outside the gate is the Carré d’Youville where there is an outdoor skating rink in the winter and any number of activities (outdoor cinema, concerts) during the summer. This is also the location of the Le Capital theatre ( a picturesque old cabaret-style theatre) as well as the more modern Montcalm theatre.

L’esplanade (livingandstuff.ca)

And Now for the Lower Town

Going down to the lower town, which you can access either by taking the funiculaire or by going down all the stairs to the bottom, you will find the cradle of North America as defined and settled by the French colonists. Here you will find narrow cobbled streets reminiscent of the 1600s. Right in the center of this lower town is Place Royal, which was the social and business center of the original city of Quebec. This is a town square surrounded by 17th- century houses/buildings. It was here that everything happened from the market to politics to public reprimands.

Meet Samuel de Champlain

Every August this town square hosts a colonial market complete with townspeople dressed in 1600s French-style dress. Samuel de Champlain is a regular character around town. You will also meet the locals: the women at the market, the town priest, the fur trappers, the native Americans ( and others) as well as have an opportunity to become involved in the local “gossip” of the town. Walking through the square and the neighboring streets, you will likely meet up with Samuel de Champlain. He is certainly hard to miss dressed in a royal blue aristocratic ensemble. Here is your chance to ask him all the questions you want.

La Petite Champlain (livingandstuff.ca)

La Rue la Petite Champlain

The Breakneck Stairs (livingandstuff.ca)

At the bottom of the Breakneck Stairs, you will find yourself on the historic rue de la Petite Champlain, a beautiful, romantic street lined with shops that promote local designers and artisans (clothing, jewelry, shoes, and boots, and much more). There are locally known restaurants such as Le Lapin Sauté (“off the wall rabbit”)  and Le Cochon Dingue (“The Crazy Pig”) to enjoy a meal. Next to the Lapin Sauté is a little park with bench swings and Muskoka chairs, to relax in and take in the activity and music of street musicians. This street is my absolute favorite street in the city. It is energizing and inspiring and filled with activity. The shops are decorated with floral arrangements. And, at Christmas time, this beautiful street becomes even more spectacular with the festive lights and decorations illuminating the snow of the season.

Le Lapin Sauté (livingandstuff.ca)

Let’s Head Over to the Market

Down a bit from Place Royal along Blvd. Champlain ( a road that runs alongside the St. Lawrence River) is the port where you can often see cruise ships docked, marina activities and summer concerts and shows. If you go along this street towards the North East you will go past the art galleries and restaurants and come to the local farmer’s market near the marina-great place to stock up on local food and artisanal culinary creations. Just a little bit further and you will see our beautifully designed train station (La Gare de Train), keeping in line with the architecture of the city.

La Porte St. Louis (livingandstuff.ca)

Here Ends the Tour

Here is the end of our tour. I hope you enjoyed your virtual time in Quebec City.  It truly is a city to put on your bucket list of places to see. You may end up staying a while.  I hope that you will come by to visit our beautiful city, a city of charm, historical drama, excellent cuisine for every taste and budget, as well as ample opportunities to work off the calories.

Rue Ste. Anne (Livingandstuff.ca)

along Blvd. Champlain (livingandstuff.ca)

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Sharing ideas is the game and life is for living
Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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The Fight of Our Life

What Are You Fighting For?

There are things in life worth fighting for and other battles we just need to let go. Some of the battles are just in our mind (our imagination) that we have conjured up and are not really worth fighting about. Figure out what the right fight is.

Fight for What You Can Change and Leave the Rest

There are things in life that we simply cannot do anything about.  We cannot change the family we grew up in, we cannot change how people have treated us in the past and we cannot change other people. The past is the past and people are responsible for themselves.  We cannot change yesterday so why try?  We can’t fix it; it’s done.

However, we can change some things – we can change the way we look, we can change how we feel, how we carry ourselves, and how others think of us. We can certainly change how we think and we can change how our future will go.  What we can change and do something about is definitely worth fighting for and here is where the battle begins.

The Battle Is Real

There is always a battle going on and often we are not aware of the battles people are fighting at any given time. Some are fighting against an addiction, some are fighting for their marriage, some are fighting for their children and some are literally fighting for their lives. Many people are living lives of intense conflict inside their head, struggling to get up each day. We may never know what kind of struggle the people we meet are going through.

What are you fighting for? Are you fighting for a dream or are you fighting to survive? Are you fighting for freedom?  Are you fighting for dignity? Are you fighting for your family? Are you fighting for the future?  We all have something worth fighting for. We all want to live another day, so each day should be worth the fight. What is it that fires you up?  What would you give all your energy to change?

Are You Prepared to Fight?

All battles require preparation.  The military, the police, and firefighters are prepared long before the conflict arises. They have trained for all kinds of situations, so when they go into conflict, they are ready. And for them. the battles are every day – this very day their life may be on the line; they never know what is coming around the corner, nor if it will be their last day on earth.  They have trained their mind, their body and their spirit (emotions) for whatever they have to face.

Have a Strategy

Life was never promised to be easy; there will be gut shots. We need to be ready and not let our guard down. We need to prepare our mind, our body and our emotions for the gut shots of life.  All three must be engaged. We cannot slack off in one area and believe we are prepared. We need to be growing and strengthening always. If we stop, we go backward – we lose ground. Life is a fight and it is awesome, but awesome comes with a price.

Make that Dash Count

We are living in the dash between our date of birth and the day of our death. Let’s make that dash count. Let’s be willing to pay the price so that that dash was not for nothing. Don’t waste the Dash!  That dash is why we fight; it is who we are every day and the impact we have in the world. That dash will be filled with gut shots, but we don’t have to take them lying down. When it comes down to inscribing the date after the dash, what will you have done? What will you have stood up for and what will you have fought for?

The Victory Is Yours

We will have victories. Battles will be won, but be prepared! When the victory comes, another battle is on the way and we will have to fight just as hard. We will need to put on the armor again and fight. Don’t give up ever, ever!  So many do; they throw in the towel. They are battle weary. Their faces show the scars of defeat and their bodies are exhausted.  They have quit on themselves and life. Go for the victory in all that you do!

You may be in the middle of a marriage break up, you may be confronted with a terminal illness, or your son or daughter may be heavily involved in drugs. Don’t give up ever! Fight until your last breath. If you give up, you lose big time.

Are You Ready? Go!

Are you ready to tear it up? Do you know the stakes?  Do you check the scoreboard?  What are you willing to give to win the battles of life? Are you ready to look your best, have your attitudes in check, your emotions mastered, your body trained and your thinking in top shape?

How Do We Prepare for the Gut Shots?

Train the Mind

Modern day warriors strengthen their mind – they read consistently, every day. They study and educate themselves.  The very best way to train your mind is to read quality, truthful and educational books. There really is no excuse for not reading – we can all learn this skill.

Train the Body

We can be in the best shape possible. We may want to be in shape, but first, we have to be ready and willing. What does it mean to be ready? When nothing is an obstacle, when there are no excuses, we are ready.

It is also about what we eat. We are what we eat so choose wisely Preparing for battle means strengthening the body physically and giving it the right nutrition.

It is about how we carry ourselves too.  Stand tall and stand proud. Have a presence when you walk into a room.

Train the Emotions

We can get emotionally charged and fired up.  We flip on the anger switch when someone attacks us.  Our emotions trick us into saying or doing what we don’t want to do or say. So, get the emotions in check.

So how do we train emotions?  First, we all know what they are and what they make us do. Change your emotional responses. We can either change how we react or buy our own excuses.  The fact is, no one else is going to buy our excuses. They are not going to tolerate our lack of control, so why should we?

Decide ahead of time how you will respond to situations and attacks. Prepare the mind so that you don’t become a victim of your emotions.

 

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Have a great day!

Diana Lynne’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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10 Tips to Beat Procrastination and Regain Your Life

 

Procrastination is part of being human. We all do it. But it stands in the way of being able to move ahead personally and professionally. Procrastination can be the source of regret down the road when we say something like “if only I had….”.

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Overcoming Fear and Leaving the Comfort Zone

We All Have Our Fears and Doubts

Should we go for that new job?  Should we change jobs and take the chance on a new one?  Are we good enough to be able to compete? What will our family or our friends say? Maybe they will discourage us and say that we don’t have what it takes. Maybe we fear that we will fail or worse, that we will succeed.. and then what?  Our school experience may have taught us that if we don’t measure up, it is no use trying and we should just stick to what we are able to do.

I have to say that I was this way for a long time. I would have intermittent sparks of “I can do this” and then “reality” would bring me down to a level playing ground and I would settle down to doing regular, normal things, living according to (my and others’) expectations.  In fact, I had often dreamed of writing and speaking in front of audiences. This very blog was supposed to have been started about 10 years ago, but I just put it off because I believed that I was not technologically savvy enough to get it off the ground.  But here I am, 10 years later, doing what I always believed I could do.

Fear Is So Debilitating

Fear can paralyze us and doubt, which is a family member of fear, literally convinces us to stay where we are. How many times in our lives do we allow fear to keep us from doing what we would really love to do, from something that we would be so passionate about?

And fear is not even real; Fear is F.E.A.RFalse evidence appearing real. What we imagine is an obstacle doesn’t actually exist, except in our imagination.

Our Comfort Zone Is Too Comfortable

Apathy:  A common human tendency to seek a comfort zone in which nothing ever changes. It is our natural human tendency to look for a spot that is comfortable. Or maybe we could, alternatively, call it “the familiar zone“, since it isn’t really always that comfortable. The familiarity makes it safe, even if it may not necessarily be comfortable.

Living in the comfort zone may feel good, familiar and routine, but it can actually stop you from living the life you would really like to live. We harbor doubts of not being good enough, brave enough or strong enough (mentally or physically) to step out and do what we would really like to do or what we have always imagined ourselves doing…. one day. What if we fail? What if it doesn’t work out? What if we spend that investment money on a new venture and it falls through? What if, after trying to do something different, it just doesn’t work?

Opportunities Will Pass Us By

Living in the comfort zone means that we see the opportunities (sometimes) and let them pass us by. It means that we choose not to take the shots in life for fear of missing the goal. Wayne Gretzky (famously) said:

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

Well, that is certainly true. If you never try, you never do and if you never do then you never accomplish.

The Story of Bob Smith

There was once a man who went to heaven and noticed a distinguished gentleman walking around. He asked one of the angels who he was.

“Why that’s Bob Smith, the greatest General who ever lived.”

The man entering heaven said, “Well, I know my history, I like to think and I don’t remember anything about a General named Bob Smith.”

The angel clarified: “Bob Smith would have been the greatest General whoever lived if  he had decided to serve in the military.”

This “General” had let fears and his comfort hold him back from doing something amazing in his life.

We Can Not Move Forward Without Changing

If we always do the same things in the same way as we have always done them, then we will simply get more of the same things. Nothing will change and nothing will improve.

So, What Can We Do?

(1)  We can start by getting comfortable with the truth

What does that mean? Well, it means (to borrow a sports analogy) we need to get comfortable checking the scoreboard. So if we think we are doing okay, it is a good idea to check and see what the reality is. If the scoreboard doesn’t say you are doing well, probably there are some things to fix or change. We can’t ignore the facts. We can either rationalize the scoreboard (of our life) away or we can reason with the scoreboard.  We can make excuses for why we are where we are or we can try to figure out why we have the results we have and try to change something. Either way, the scoreboard will keep score.

So, this first one is a bit tough because it means looking at ourselves in the mirror and asking tough questions.

“The truth will set you free, but only after it makes you mad.

(2)  We can remember that we always have a choice

In everything we do, we always have a choice and, by not making a choice, we are, in fact, making a choice.   We can respond to what is happening to us, to our life circumstances. We can decide to something different today or tomorrow.

We have and make choices (big and small) every day of our lives. The question is, are we making good choices or bad choices?  Also, the gap between an accumulation of bad choices over time and an accumulation of good choices over time can be absolutely dramatic. Our lives can take drastically different paths based on the choices we make over time.

Two individuals can start by having similar life circumstances and then, 10 years down the road, their lives may be dramatically different simply because of the choices they chose to make. Our thoughts – the way we think – can have a profound effect on the choices we make and on the outcome of our life circumstances.

We have the choice over our attitude.

We can choose to see the good in every situation. Is the glass half full or is it half empty? The circumstance of life will always be a mixture of good and bad. Let’s sift through and find the good parts.

We have the choice to act

We are constantly bombarded with negative thoughts like weeds in a garden. We can choose to listen to and affirm them or we can choose to stop them in their tracks and yank them out of our mind. We can be proactive at guarding our mind. And, when we get rid of bad thoughts, we need to replace them with good thoughts. Like the garden, if we pull out all the weeds, but don’t do anything else (proactively),  then more new weeds will grow in the place of the old weeds. We need to plant something where the weeds were, then it is less likely that weeds will grow there. So, we need to yank out the negative thoughts and plant new positive information in.

( 3) We need to get  busy intentionally (not just busy)

How effective is our busyness?  We can be very busy and actually not get very much done or accomplish anything important. if we are not getting the results we want in our life, we have to get busy at being proactive and not just busy at doing what we have always done. We need to look at the scoreboard (of our life), examine it, figure out what is not working and make a game plan. What do we need to know to get better in these areas where we are not doing so well?  There is always something that we can improve, work on.

(4) We need to hold ourselves accountable

We can so easily trick ourselves into believing that we have done all that is necessary, that there is nothing to fix or improve upon.  We can be so naive (when we listen to ourselves). Competition in anything, be it sports or in the job market) will soon weed out those of us who are not on top of our game. So, it helps to hold ourselves accountable to someone else who can hold up a bar to show what we are trying to reach for. As the saying goes:

A line doesn’t know it’s crooked until it is held up to a straight line.

We really don”t know how we measure up until there is a measurement ( a scoreboard),. the scoreboard is not just for competition, but for all aspects of our lives. How do we measure up to how we would like to be? If we want to be something tomorrow that we are not today, we need to reach in and harness the potential inside of us.

 

What Could You Do if You Decided to Step Out?

I think Dr. Seuss expressed it best. Here is an excerpt from “Oh The Places You’ll Go“. I’ll let Dr. Seuss have the last word:

Congratulations!

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some, you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

 

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Sharing ideas is the game and life is for living
Diana’s passions are family, travel, self-improvement, living a debt-free/financially free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca

 

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