Guest Blog Post: “Just Move It” in April Carter’s exact words

Want motivation to get up out of that chair? Blogger April Carter writes about how exercise makes her feel great …

Photo of couple walking along beach, titled Just Move ItMy wrist vibrates. I glance down, its reminding me to get up and walk. Little red dots indicate that I met the hourly 250 steps but one gray dot sits there in a line of red. I blankly wonder how I missed an hour since I’ve been conditioned like a lab mouse to get up and move at the insistent vibration. I get up to walk and King Julian’s song runs through my mind:

“I Like to Move It Move It…

…Ya Like To (MOVE IT!)”

Photo with exercise watch: Have You Moved LatelyMy granddaughter would be so proud.

After slapping the Fitbit Blaze on my wrist last month I’ve developed a love/hate relationship with the tracking device. Yes, I know, technically it’s so much more than that but I have an eerie sense that big brother is ALWAYS watching and tracking me and they kind of are. You see, the company I work for encourages fitness and, as part of their wellness program, provides employees a Fitbit of their choice. Just connect it the company’s wellness portal and start stepping towards a million steps to accrue points towards keeping health insurance. Yay for health insurance!

Like any good soldier I follow the device’s prompt and get to stepping all the while having mental conversations with the pushy little thing. I’ll keep that to myself. I don’t want to scare the children.

My EMPLOYER would be so proud.

Sneakers with motivational quote about benefits of walkingBut moving just a little bit every hour seems to be a huge benefit that has even hit the New York Times with an article by Gretchen Reynolds, “Work, Walk 5 Minutes. Work”.  She references a new study, which was published in November in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. The researchers decided to test several methods of increasing movement among office workers. This study basically found that moving, just a few minutes made the office workers feel better.

Yay for feeling better!

Photo of April Carter and websitePutting all fun aside, adding movement, whether walking, taking the stairs or playing with the kiddos, have proven health benefits.  The Mayo Clinic also cites 7 health benefits to exercise from controlling weight to having more energy to my very favorite bullet, “Exercise can be fun… and social!” Yes! Simply engaging in a walk with friends or by yourself in nature increases the happiness meter.

For me this is what it’s all about – BEING HAPPY.  So, get MOVING!

“I Like to Move It Move IT!

I Like to Move It Move IT!”

Cheers!

Guest Blog Post: “I am a proud Iranian American, but I’m not proud of America at this moment,” in Rose’s exact words

Given the social climate here in the U.S., particularly regarding immigrants, when I came upon Rose’s lovely new blog, I just had to share. Enjoy…

Rose overlooking the beautiful city of Shiraz after a morning hike with her family.
Rose overlooking the beautiful city of Shiraz after a morning hike with her family.

Hello lovely readers, my name is Rose. I’m a college student studying business entrepreneurship and I’m hoping to gain some sort of platform to help people in any way I can. I’m creative and passionate and blogging is a wonderful outlet for me. I blog about makeup, fashion, sex, and anything on my mind really! I have been invited to make a guest post for Daal, and I am so appreciative of the opportunity, I’m a baby to this blog world and I’m grateful for all it has brought me so far. The original post that inspired this one can be found here, please check that out.

I am just going to talk a bit more on how I feel as a United States citizen but proud Iranian citizen as well. It’s beyond devastating that the world is simply falling apart around us. I am surrounded by hope, my family member’s voices’ saying “don’t worry, this will all pass” but will it? The problem is quite deeper and more complicated than most people assume. There is racism deeply enrooted in some that cannot be erased. The solution, ironically, is simple. If we could all love and accept each other and take each other in as allies, this earth would be a much better place. History has proven the tragedy that is war, but for some reason people just aren’t learning. Why are we so prone to hatred? As humans we must realize the value of loving each other and spread positivity instead of anything negative. We must research, open our eyes, and put ourselves in other’s shoes with as little personal bias as possible. Subconsciously, you are always going to be biased in some ways, the key is to understand yourself and then try to understand another person’s situation as well as you can.

Rose and friends at a shopping mall in Shiraz, Iran. She addes, "Note the personal fashion, makeup, and hair being out."
Rose and friends at a shopping mall in Shiraz, Iran. She addes, “Note the personal fashion, makeup, and hair being out.”

I was supposed to go to Iran this summer and I was beyond thrilled to take pictures and make amazing blogs about it, but now I am afraid of leaving. As a citizen, I deserve the right to safely visit another country I am a citizen in, who is allowed to take that away from me? But as a college student, I am afraid that even if I am able to go, I may not be able to come back.

Please pray for our broken world.

If you would like to know more about me, here, and here, and here are some posts to get you started! I absolutely love interacting with you and hearing your opinion.

Guest Post: “Mirror Image (aka Can You Look Yourself In The Eye?)” in Samantha Spijkers’ exact words

Looking for a dose of good cheer? Samantha Spijkers’ blog, DictionaryDutch, always does the trick for me! Here she explains how she overcame negative thinking…

Mirror image photo of author
How others see you is only 50% of your reflection, the other 50% is up to you.

For years I struggled with a negative self-image: did I have to be so ugly and stupid and worthless? And why were there so many mirrors in my house? Like I needed to see my own face staring back at me after every corner I turned…

But our minds are stupid. That is to say: they’ll believe anything we tell them as long as we repeat and repeat and repeat the message.

So after trying to live a mirror-less life (it had gotten to a point where I’d not switch on the lights so as not to see my reflection in the bathroom mirror and passing every other reflecting object with closed eyes – not my brightest plan), I thought: this must change. And it did. I did.

If you’re battling with a negative self-image, here’s what to do:

  1. Have a staring contest with yourself. Think that’s odd? Think about all the lies you’ve been feeding your brains about how awful you look. My point: there are way stranger things to do than staring at yourself.
  2. Make yourself come up with at least ten things you DO like about yourself. And you have to mean them!
  3. Smile.
  4. Repeat process daily and make sure to come up with new things you like about your body. Even the smallest detail will do.

After a while you’ll stop having staring competitions. It’ll end naturally. But the newfound appreciation for yourself will stay. As will the smiling (I now find myself smiling at myself every time I look into a mirror).

Appreciation is a much better feeling than avoiding mirrors because you’re too afraid to see yourself. Your inner beauty is reflected in your mirror image and your self-appreciation. Now go love yourself! And keep smiling 🙂

Samantha Spijkers is a blogger, sociologist and soon-to-be life coach. After conquering her depression she went looking for ways to turn her negative views on life around and blogs about her (inner) findings.

 

Dancing Man (2017)

Dancing is the best! This is so fun that I had to reblog it – thanks much, said-simply!

Simple Thoughts About Life & Stuff

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A new acrylic on paper.  Because sometimes you just have to dance!

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2017 Kindness Challenge Sign-up!

Reblogging this wonderful challenge from FictionisFood.WordPress.com

Sign-up is open for the 2nd annual Kindness Challenge! Click on the photo to be redirected to the sign-up page! Last year we had over 80 participate and focus on kindness for 7 weeks. Source: 2017 …

Source: 2017 Kindness Challenge Sign-up!

Guest Blog Post: “Is what you WANT what you Need?” in Jeyran Main’s exact words

Want Apple computer, need apple to eat

 

Jeyran is a blogger, consumer reviewer, book editor, book promoter and a freelance book translator. Her website Review Tales demonstrates her thoughts, reflections and book reviews…

There are times in life where you sit and wonder about the things that you really want in life. I am talking about the important things such as, choosing a partner, picking a university or a college to go to, getting married, picking a career, choosing your friends and who you hang out with.

Apple computer is probably a wantThen you have the urge of feeling that you need certain things, such as needing a phone or a computer, house to live in, food to eat and a car to drive.

Are these two matters the same? Do you feel that whatever you want is in actual fact what you need? I may have your attention now.

We as humans are complex beings. There can be times where what we actually want is mentally stimulating us so much that we believe it is what we need. Your brain sends strong signals to suggest your dependence on the matter causing you to fight for the thing you most certainly do not need but feel you want.

Food to eat is a needHow many things in your life are things you really need? Most commonly, sentimental things are what you really need, and the material ones are what you want. Having a home or a phone or food to eat can then become the gray area, as they can be both. Having said that, many live without phones and homes and still survive. The objection they may arise, in alarming us to then ponder the following: Has our modern life taken control over our needs and wants? The answer is yes. We are so over indulged in our day-to-day lives that we forget at times, what really matters most. We replace the immediate pleasure, with the longer-lasting one and we then struggle with the emotional and mental consequences as our bodies are confused and do not understand the dilemma.

I hope by reading this, you can possibly think over some of your wants with your needs and make wiser decisions in coming to New Year.

Written by Jeyran Main

Guest Blog Post: 🐝CREATING A BUZZ 🐝 in Katheryne Gatehouse’s exact words

Lucky for all of us, my recent post about bees inspired Katheryne Gatehouse, my new FaceBook friend, to tell us about her love of bees and what she’s learned about them:

Example of flowers that attract bees
Example of Bee attracting flowers

A warm hello from chilly Kent, the county known as the Garden of England. Historically Kent was widely populated with orchards supplying fruit for the South East of England, London, and beyond. Orchard keepers were often beekeepers too often ensuring pollination of fruit flowers, vital for both the edible crops and also a supply of popular drinks like fruit juices, apple cider, peri-cider and mead (honey based). The taste of honey varies depending on which flowers the bees visit, and a large range of flowers is generally held to produce the best honey.

Example of a Not bee friendly flower (I love it anyway!)
Example of a Not bee friendly flower (I love it anyway!)

Many of our old orchards have disappeared, fallen into decay, or land used commercially  or for housing . Agro-farming has diminished the numbers of hedgerows too, along with their flowers, and bees are fighting for survival. There has  been a shift away from more bees being in the countryside, to moving into urban areas where the bees can forage in gardens. There is a greater percentage and wider range of flowers per square mile and bees expend less energy in searching out and retrieving the pollen, which they store in the pollen sacks on their legs to bring back to the hive. Natures saddlebags! The forager bees search out the best and richest sources, returning to the hive to “dance” their findings to the other bees who will then also fetch honey for the hive. The pattern and speed of the dance depends on how far bees need to travel and which direction to go, and the quality of nectar and pollen. I find this utterly charming — the nearer and better the pollen the faster and more excitedly they dance.

Bees are highly organised, sociable and hardworking but they are not just a quaint visitor, part of the pastoral scene, they are essential to our food production. If we want the same levels and varieties of food available to us, we all need to do more to help and  this can be done easily in several ways — the most important two are growing more bee friendly plants in your gardens or allotments, and to stop using harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Sunflower, verbena bonariensus, penstemon and cosmos -- a bee banquet!
Sunflower, verbena bonariensus, penstemon and cosmos — a bee banquet!

My own interest in bees has resulted from a wider interest in the environment, horticulture and nature and has grown slowly but surely over the years . So, initially,  I increased the number of bee-attracting plants in my garden for the active bee year — late February to October, avoiding double or enclosed flowers where bees find it difficult to access the pollen and nectar, and increasing daisy-like, flat surfaced flowers like cosmos and zinnias.  Also, long-tongued bees like tubular flowers,  e.g., foxgloves and penstemon, which grow happily in my chalky alkaline soil.

Next I became a member of the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust a research facility based in Stirling Scotland and a charity I’ve donated to and held small local fund raising events for.  Then an allotment, more scope and space for bee friendly plants alongside fruit and veg for me, recently a second plot (no stopping me now!) where friends and I are planting it up entirely for bees and other wildlife — no extra food for us!! Our own crops  will benefit from having pollinators close because, and  most exciting of all, we are attending a weekly bee keeping course with a view to having our very own beehive on the Bee plot.

So here we are at the start of our Next Great Bumble Bee Adventure. Would you like to hear how we get on in future…the trials, tribulations and setbacks? Plus of course the successes and the pleasures involved in making room for, and helping our friends, the bees🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝🐝

Katheryne Gatehouse. Nov 2016.