Thursday, November 26, 2020

6 Top Reasons why Eating Chocolate is Beneficial for Your Health

This was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind. Freelance writer, Delicia Warren, is passionate about the environment and the impact humans are having on the world around us. She's an advocate of holistic approaches to life's issues, including alternative medicines, as well as having an interest in helping individuals make small changes to their lifestyles to minimize their carbon footprint.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Well, I have some good news for you. There’s no need for you to feel guilty the next time you decide to eat chocolate, since eating chocolate can be healthy.  

Chocolate is often considered as a treat and you will be amazed to know that Americans spend up to $10 billion dollars every year on chocolate treats. 

Despite chocolate often being responsible for the increase in one’s weight, there are varied health benefits linked to this mouth-watering treat.

Now, you can finally get to indulge in your preferred snack without having a guilty conscience. However, there’s one catch. It must be dark chocolate, since it possesses a higher percentage of cacao. 
Cacao, which is one of the major ingredients in chocolate, contains active biological phenolic compounds that have been proven to possess some health benefits. This has greatly helped people’s perception of chocolate and has led to a lot of research into how the consumption of chocolate might impact ageing. 

It’s advisable to strike a balance when consuming chocolate. Ideally, you should aim to have just one or two pieces of high quality chocolate such as mozart kugeln.

Top Benefits of Eating Chocolate

 A study issued in The Journal of Nutrition suggested that the use of chocolate may assist in the reduction of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, which is often referred to as the ‘bad kind’ of cholesterol. 

Research conducted on chocolate bars (that contained cocoa flavanols and plant sterols to determine the effect they had on cholesterol levels) showed that routine consumption of chocolates that contained these ingredients supported cardiovascular health by regulating one’s blood pressure and lessening cholesterol levels.

Improves One’s Cognitive Function
Research has shown that when elderly people were treated to chocolates that contained specially prepared cocoa extracts (which were high in flavanols) their cognitive ability tended to improve. 
The main problem associated with consuming chocolate is that the percentage of cocoa flavanols tends to be greatly lowered through the addition of milk, eggs, and sugar.

Heart Disease 
The BMJ published research that proposed that consumption of chocolate could reduce dangers relating to heart disease by up to a third. 

According to the author’s observation, increased levels of chocolate consumption resulted in a lessened risk of contracting cardiovascular complications.

Consuming Chocolate May Assist those with Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s is known to cause a dreadful loss in one’s certain mental tasks. Lavado, which is an extract that is contained in cocoa, can assist in the reduction of the damage done to the brain’s nerve pathways, which is often a result of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Reduction of Blood Pressure
Eating chocolate which contains flavanols can help your body produce nitric oxide which is vital to helping your arteries relax. So eating dark chocolate which has the higher amount of flavanols in it can help alleviate pressure within your arteries, so as to improve your blood pressure.

Aids in the Production of Endorphins 
Dark chocolates containing flavanols help in the production of endorphins which can help relieve stress and anxiety – therefore helping to treat mental illnesses. 


Monday, November 23, 2020

TWTW - the one to kick off Thanksgiving week

Friday I vacuumed and mopped the second floor of the house and my apartment at lunch, stripped the couch covers, finished out the work day, and ordered dinner from my favorite Luigi’s as they were closing Saturday for the season. I read and MFD arrived with the old dogs four hours later than he was supposed to. 

Saturday I was at the laundromat by around 7:15. I hate the expense of the laundromat but I surely appreciate doing seven loads of laundry in just over an hour. MFD picked up breakfast sandwiches and when he was done his work in the house removing air conditioning units etc I vacuumed and mopped the main floor. I took Mae down to the beach solo for girls’ day. The weather was superb. My dad and Carol arrived and we hung on the porch and they got us dinner from another favorite Jon & Patty’s. MFD ordered a damn moonpod and that was a big hit and point of hilarity
Sunday The sunrise was phenomenal. 
I got a pedicure (Essie Merino Cool) and finished a book. My brother and Aubrey and the kids arrived. They got us Boyar’s BLTs for lunch, I made a big batch of chili, we hit the beach with the best friend dogs in the afternoon, and Stephen and Aubrey moved an old decrepit dresser down all the flights and a new to us/hand me down from Dad & Carol all the way up. I was in my lair starting a new book before 8.  
Happy birthday Queen Gween! Love you! 

Friday, November 20, 2020

How to Become a Funeral Director

This post was written for the Life According to Steph audience> Dan Cormac knows how to make his money go further. A freelance financial journalist, Dan is passionate about personal finance. Whether you hope to escape the chains of debt, to save for a house, or to retire within a decade, Dan explores the most effective ways you can achieve your financial goals.

Are you sick and tired of doing what every other person is doing? Are you bored with the endless talk about white-collar jobs in fashion, banking, and the rest of them? Are you poised for a change in career? Would you be comfortable being confronted with a corpse? Have you considered a career working with the dead?

More than half a million funerals are conducted in the UK every year. With only 5,278 funeral homes catering to a teeming population, it is easy to understand why there are untapped opportunities in the funeral industry. The funeral industry might just be the career boost you need right now. After all, people need extra support during these unprecedented times. 

Who is a funeral director?
A funeral director is a person who arranges funeral services. When people turn to a business like, they can have piece of mind that everything will be dealt with. This role includes the provision of adequate support, guidance, and advice for families of the deceased. Funeral directors can accept donations on their client’s behalf, which can be given to a designated charity. They can prepare cards that clients can offer to guests as a token of their appreciation.

How can you get into this job?
Broadly speaking, you can become a funeral director by going through either of two routes:
1. By becoming an apprentice
2. By taking up support roles

You can begin an intermediate apprenticeship role by becoming part of a funeral team. After having at least one-year experience in the industry, you can be qualified to take up an advanced apprenticeship role. Your basic academic qualifications (GCSEs) will be useful in both instances. 

As an alternative to the apprenticeship route, you could take up support roles and climb up the ladder as you gain experience. You can be enlisted with a trustworthy, fully licensed funeral service providers. A strict academic background is not necessarily required. It would be helpful to have good customer service skills and the ability to make use of simple gadgets and accessories. In the course of the job, you could enroll for a diploma or certificate course in disciplines related to funeral service. More academic qualifications may be required as you come up through the ranks.

What places can you work?
As a funeral director, there are a variety of places you can work. You can work indoors or outdoors. You can work in an office, at a cemetery, or at a funeral home. You can also work at a crematory or at the home of your client.  

Do you need to wear a uniform?
It is not compulsory to have a uniform as a funeral director.

What is the salary like?
Funeral directors typically earn between £16,000 to £30,000 per year.

Are there opportunities for promotion?
An organized system is in place, and as such funeral directors have opportunities for career growth. You can rise up the ranks and become a manager of a funeral service organization at the local, regional, or national level. You can also teach students who enroll for a number of training opportunities and qualifications at the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), the umbrella body regulating the practice of funeral directors.

With lucrative job offers, opportunities for career progression, and the particularly deep inner satisfaction that comes with supporting bereaved families during these uncertain times, becoming a funeral director is worth considering. 

Friday Five 11.20.2020

1. If I wear something with pockets and don't wash it there is an 85% chance I will find a shell in it when I put it on next.

2. As we head into winter, I'm getting diligent about my body moisturizing again. Two of my favorites, both of which are cruelty free: Andalou Naturals CannaCell Botanical Body Lotion in Joyful. The scent is rosemary and lemon balm and, you know, joyful. I also like Scottish Fine Soaps Au Lait Body Butter - you can find this at TJMaxx (online for those not going to stores) and Marshalls too for great prices. Perfect stocking stuffer. 

3. It is my estimation that everyone has at least one thing they are never happy with the results of other people cleaning. For me that is my gas range top. This slippery little sucker can be difficult to find, but it is amazing: Weiman Gas Range cleaner. They make the stainless steel cleaners that are great too. 

4. Always, RBG.

5. I have loved kiwi since I was a child. I've subsisted on that, steamed asparagus, and various ravioli (toasted from Aldi's freezer section and cauliflower cheese boiled from Trader Joe's fridge section) this week.

I hope you have not slept on the High-rise ankle pants from Target (that link is an affiliate for Chelsea at The Girl Who Loved to Write, who turned me on to these, purchasing  through an affiliate link costs you nothing and the person benefitting makes approximately three cents on each transaction) from last week's Friday Five because Sunday I got showered and dressed to go for a bike ride and MFD asked me why I had nice pants on and when someone says that about your lounge pants I think you know you've made it. Order that shit for pickup and wear for Thanksgiving!

Happy birthday to Steph today!

I'm off next week and I cannot wait to exhale. Happy Friday. Wear a mask and be kind to each other out there, okay? 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - we can go out driving on slow hand row

1. It's me.

2. As typical of this time of year, I've increased my sponsored post acceptance. That's where the bulk of my end of year charitable donations come from, so if you are annoyed about sponsored posts, tell it to someone who cares. So many organizations and people in dire, dire need this year. 

3. I killed it Monday AND Tuesday AND Wednesday. This is rare in Coronaland, to operate at such a high level not for just one day, but three in a row. Unheard of for me. Hashtag grateful. Not grateful for...

4. I'm also grateful to be off next week, and to spend it with my Dad and Carol, Stephen & Aubrey, and the kids. We've all locked ourselves down and weighed risk and reward, and we're under that magic number NJ allows to gather. There are definitely people out there wilding out and giving no shits who never stopped throwing parties and refuse to wear or wear masks below noses etc, but most people out there are weighing risk and reward just like I am. Judgement is rife on the internet again as numbers go up and people seem to feel they are the only people doing it right. Literally everyone I know is like, "I can't believe people are doing this, the only thing I've done is insert something here that I am definitely not comfortable doing like outdoor dining but they think is totally fine." Do I think you're doing it wrong because you have weighed risk and reward on “approved” activities and chosen differently than I have? No. I have given up pretty much everything to see a very small number of people, safely and well planned in advance, throughout the year. Are you being careful and honest, wearing your mask and washing your fucking hands? Okay. That's the shit I care about. Our country did the wrong thing at every turn and here we fucking are. I am not into making each other's lives even more miserable by being shitty on the internet. The only thing I'm judgmental about is wearing a mask in public around other people. Otherwise send your kid to school/keep them home, have lunch outside to network/do zoom, let kids do sports/don't, see a small crew honestly about exposure/see no one, order groceries/go to the store, dine out/do curbside pickup, go back to the gym/keep working out at home, be out in the world as safely as you can/never leave your house...whatever fits your risk and reward in the current parameters for where you live, you have to do the best for you and your family and I don't know what that looks like for you because I don't live your life. I get that we are all connected through this but it is still true that worrying about yourself is a full time job and we could stand to mind other people less. Believe me, I have ENDLESS rage surrounding this pandemic, but it is ALL aimed at the federal government, especially the shitstain outgoing president who has people thinking this is a hoax or not that bad when 240,000+ people have died; and Congress who gave people fucking crumbs of $1200 or less one time and let extra unemployment lapse. They should all lose their fucking jobs. It is a fucking disgrace and absolutely fucking awful that the lack of a cohesive federal response from the start has left citizens to make so many hard decisions and pit them against each other and scientists so NO, I do not have any energy to spare about someone eating Thanksgiving with a few of their loved ones they have discussed parameters/precautions/etc with before or people saying no to everything and staying home for Thanksgiving. You don't know if people have isolated, tested, etc - we are all so up in each other's business that we're making this even harder. They should have shut this country the fuck down in the spring and paid people to stay home and paid small businesses to stay closed. January cannot come soon enough. This idiot impeached one-term two-time loser of the popular vote president refusing to transition just delays getting two vaccines planned for distribution and a handle on this fucking virus. As long as it rages, your economy has no hope. Why are people still supporting this idiot? I have no words for people who don't know the election is fucking over. Or people who can't recognize that they are not the only ones doing it right. Do you know how you sound? The lot of you. Also can we get our nurses some fucking hazard pay? 

5. But your dogs eat asparagus? Look at Bruce.
6. Bruce is that coworker who does whatever the F he wants. 
7. We'll head back to the beach today probably. The insane winds kept us inside yesterday. How happy am I that I got baseboards installed in all of my bathrooms? I will not be happy with the electric bill, but still. 
8. I painted my nails Tuesday night (Essie Warm & Toasty Turtleneck)...after I cut my nail bag open like an ogre because the zipper was stuck. Why am I like this? 

9. Reminder

10. Ecards - I swear I have four of these dogs.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Rikki Don't Lose that Number by Steely Dan - at the bottom of my choices when it comes to Steely Dan, but it was on

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

4 Ways to Make Your Room Smell Fresh

When you enter your bedroom for the night, you want to walk into a fresh space instead of one that smells dingy and stuffy. Moreover, a room that smells bad might very well be one in which the air quality is poor. This can make it difficult to sleep as dust, and small particles in the air can affect your ability to breathe properly. 

If you notice that your room doesn’t smell as fresh as it should, there are a few things that might be the culprit. It also might just very well be time for you to give your room a much-needed deep clean. 

Here are four things that you can do that will help your room to smell fresh and clean so that you can relax and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

1. Clean Your Mattress
The first thing that you should start with might very well be the most difficult thing in your room to clean. You might be tempted to simply invest in a new one if you find that your mattress is preventing your room from smelling fresh; however, this can be expensive and unnecessary, especially if your mattress is less than eight years old.

Instead of breaking the bank with a new mattress purchase, you can try giving your mattress a good cleaning on your own. If the issue is worse than one that a simple scrub can fix, though, then you will want to call in the experts. Professional mattress cleaning is a simple way to have your mattress freshened up and smelling like new.

2. Shampoo the Carpets
If you have carpets in your room, this might very well be the source of your stinky problems. Carpets, like any other fabric, can easily trap dust, dirt, and debris that can end up making your space smell bad and make the air quality in your room poor. You can always purchase or rent a machine that you can use to shampoo your carpets, but if the problem is a bigger one than that, you can always have a professional company come in and tackle the cleaning for you.

3. Air Your Room Out 
From time to time, the air in your room might just need to be freshened up a bit. You can air out your room by opening the windows for a few minutes every day or so. This can help move the dust in the air through the room and replace it with fresh, clean air. If it isn’t a particularly breezy day, you can always open up with windows on the other side of the house as well to create a through breeze.

4. Wash the Bedding
One of the simplest things you can do to freshen up your room is to wash the bedding. You should look to wash your sheets at least once every week or two and wash your duvet cover as well. You can also hang your duvet out on a line on a windy day to help freshen it up as well.

Maggie Hammond writing for you today: Proud mama to two little people, and has one too many furry friends. Passionate about alternative medicine, education, the great outdoors and animal welfare.

5 reasons to drive less in winter

Yep, that’s right. Winter is approaching and it’s probably not going to be an easy one. With the pandemic still very much in swing, the colder months aren’t necessarily something to celebrate this year. On the plus side, the festive season is approaching, which always creates something to look forward to. 

Often, people find themselves driving more in winter, as they don’t want to spend as much time outdoors walking. However, this shouldn’t be encouraged. Why? Here are 5 reasons to drive less this winter.

More traffic

The roads are often busier in winter, with people driving home to their families and generally being more distracted. This means that you might spend hours in traffic and accidents are more likely. It’s important to always drive with caution, so if you’ve been affected by a car accident, you may wish to contact an Orlando car accident lawyer. And, if you can, try to avoid the roads altogether. By driving less, you’ll free up the roads for those who need them and make them safer for everyone.  

Dangerous roads

Alongside traffic, the roads can be dangerous in winter due to bad weather, depending on where you are in the world. Sure, no one wants to be walking around in a snowstorm. But you don’t want to be driving in one, either. Ice on the roads can be particularly treacherous, causing vehicles to skid and potentially causing a serious accident. Keep off the roads in dangerous weather and – if you simply must drive – try investing in some snow tires. It’s always a good idea to keep a shovel in your boot, too!

Environmental impact

Driving isn’t good for the environment. Cars release harmful emissions that increase ground-level ozone. While this happens all year round, the winter season sees an increase in environmental damage, with more people putting on central heating and sending each other gifts with a huge deal of plastic packaging (hello Christmas!). Everyone is responsible for looking after our planet, so do your bit and reduce the amount you drive during the winter months. 


During winter, we all tend to become a little less active. It’s only natural. Colder weather makes going outside less appealing, and we turn to hearty food for comfort. However, by cutting down on driving, you will increase your physical fitness. By simply walking to the grocery store or cycling to work, you’ll be healthier and happier. 


Driving can be expensive. There’s the cost of fuel and parking – and repairs become more likely the more you drive and wear your car out. During winter, you might find that you have added expenses, with the need to pay additional heating bills, along with festive celebrations approaching. Cutting down on driving will save money that can be spent elsewhere. 


This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind.

Monday, November 16, 2020

TWTW - the one bumming around

Friday Started off re-filling my vitamins. Health, bitches. MFD got BLTs from Boyar's for lunch. Bruce had a vet appointment in the afternoon for his annual checkup. I worked a little late and made Jusy's chicken and buttery noodles. The perfect comfort food. 

Saturday A morning trip to Dog Beach was enjoyed by all. I let Gustard hijack my afternoon. I had plans to get things done, but when your 15+ year old dog just wants to lay on you, you take the cue and rest. MFD went fishing and when I disentangled from Gus, I ran errands to do a Target and Kohls pickup and also went into Aldi. I fell asleep on the couch reading. 

Sunday I ate mango like it was my job, relaxed, showered, and we went on a windy AF bike ride. I made breakfast burritos to freeze, read, did some purging and organizing, and ordered our Christmas cards. I had to cull the list a little this year. It happens. MFD packed up and took the senior dogs home for the week around 5, so it's just me and the best friend dogs until Friday. I finished A book, started another, and listened to the wind howl. 

Happy happy to my friend Melissa who celebrated her birthday Saturday. 

How was yours?

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Back in Business: Your Guide to Conference Hosting in 2021

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind by James Daniels, a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.
It’s been a bizarre year for businesses. Handshakes on huge contracts have had to give way to virtual agreements over email. Essential meetings with contractors and clients have had to take place over Zoom. Conferences have been performed remotely, as has the bulk of your office work - as staff have retreated into their homes to remain safe from the virus. But with a vaccine well on the way, it’s time to turn your attention to 2021 and the conference that you’re looking forward to hosting - and this article offers tips to help you plan a successful, memorable meeting of minds. 

Follow Vaccine News
It would be irresponsible to plan a conference early in 2021. The vaccine that has been recently announced will be flying across the world in extra-quick time, but it’ll still take some months before it’s completely safe to host a conference - meaning that your guests will turn up. 

As you plan, make sure that you’re in contact with the relevant health authorities and that you can be confident that the date you select will see the world becoming increasingly COVID-free. It’s recommended that you don’t book at all until you see news from your local government that provides a road map for vaccinations in your area. 

Venue and Location
Conferences are still going to be a little different in 2021, despite the slight decrease in the prevalence of the virus in our lives. You’re going to find that people are less enthused about flying to a conference - and that others will be grateful to have a conference that’s not in a city center, where they’ll be exposed to hundreds of different people a day - some with the coronavirus.

As such, look to an out-of-town venue in which to host your conference - somewhere quiet, isolated, and perfect for meetings between industry representatives. If you’re in Australia, you have a wealth of natural, peaceful retreats to choose from. Search for conference venues Adelaide to find perfect spots to host a conference in the hills surrounding the city - rather than in the center of this busy commercial hub. 

Health and Ease
It will take a while for conferences to feel completely normal. After all, we’ll have gone over a year without meeting up in large groups - and this will take some getting used to. To make your guests feel more at ease and comfortable, it’s worth making sure that you’re focusing on health and transmission reduction - even if your conference attendees are all vaccinated. 

One example of this is in catering. Some guests will be put off by tables of food that hundreds of people are having over - and instead, you should find a way to provide food that guests can be sure is clean and healthy. The same can be said of spaces in which people can sit or stand to talk - and the accommodation if your conference will spread over more than one day. Remember that we’re still mentally recovering from the impact of the virus - so be careful to account for this in your plans. 

There you have it: three key tips for planning your conference for the summer of next year. 

Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Benefits Of Starting A Health & Fitness Online Store

This post was written with the Life According to Steph audience in mind. A dedicated follower of both fashion and beauty trends, Lucy is a full time freelance health, fitness & beauty writer. With great attention to detail, she stays ahead of the latest trends to help her shares them with the world.

If you are seeking a new business venture and you have a passion for health and fitness, then you might want to consider starting a health and fitness store. Ecommerce can be a great industry to set up in if you wish to make some money on the side or possibly even as a full-time role, plus if you have a passion for health and fitness, then you should find that this gives you great job satisfaction amongst many other perks. Read on to discover the main benefits of starting your own health and fitness ecommerce store in 2020.

Health & Fitness Is Booming
One of the main reasons to set up one of these stores is that health and fitness are currently booming. It’s been on the rise for a few years and was valued at nearly $100 billion last year, but now with the pandemic, more people than ever are purchasing health and fitness products so that they can stay fit and busy during the pandemic, improve their mental health and look after their general wellbeing. This means that there’s a chance for success with this type of business if you know how to run a successful store.

You Can Improve People’s Lives
Making money is always more enjoyable when you know that you are making a positive difference in people’s lives and you will certainly be doing this with a healthy and fitness store. Selling health and fitness products as well as offering advice and support to customers will give you great job satisfaction as you know that your business will be helping people to lead healthier and happier lifestyles.

You Can Keep Up with Health Trends
To succeed with a health store, you need to keep up with the latest trends, and CBD is certainly a key trend with the hemp industry projected to reach $22 billion by 2022. This means that you will want to source high-quality CBD products from places like which will help your business to develop a positive reputation as well as allow you to help your customers to improve their wellbeing whether this is using CBD for aches and pains, stress, anxiety or anything else.

It Allows You to Immerse Yourself in Health & Fitness
Finally, if you have a passion for health and fitness, then it will allow you to immerse yourself in this for great job satisfaction. Running a health and fitness store will need to involve much more than simply selling products online as you will also need to demonstrate your expertise, build a community and provide guidance and support for customers. This will involve creating quality health and fitness content to increase your visibility online, which might include online workout videos, nutrition tips, interviews with health and fitness experts and any other type of relevant content.

These are a few of the benefits of opening up your own health and fitness store, but there are many others too consider for anyone with a passion in this area. Now is also the perfect time with the pandemic as more people are looking to improve their health and wellbeing, and this being a business that you can run from home.


Friday, November 13, 2020

Friday Five 11.13.2020 - Lounge Pants

As more of a lead in than normal for a Friday Five...I want to talk about something serious today. Lounge pants. I know what kind of winter I'm going into, and I will be damned if I do not have the appropriate lounge attire. What you should know about me and lounge pants is this: I do like leggings (very picky about them) but don't always want to wear them. If I'm not wearing leggings or jeggings, I want my lounge pants to be loose on the bottom. Keep your damn joggers, don't try to be selling those over here. Also, as in every outfit ever, I like pockets. Can we make sure all women's clothing has pockets going forward, and that the pockets are functional not like halvesies that your phone is going to fall out of? Thanks. After polling IG for the favorites and also going on the hunt myself, I ordered a lot of lounge pants and returned a lot of lounge pants. The first two were definite keepers. 

1. High-rise ankle pants from Target. Do not bitch when you buy these and they're short because it says  ankle-style right there. They are so cute, heavier in weight, comfortable, and they have pockets. Very suitable for running errands and walking dogs because one likes to have a pocket to carry poop bags in. That link is an affiliate for Chelsea at The Girl Who Loved to Write, who turned me on to these, and if you have never purchased through an affiliate link it costs you nothing and the person benefitting makes approximately three cents on each transaction. I got heather gray and brown plaid and I love them. 

2. Straight leg yoga pants from J Crew Factory. The fact that these are on here despite having no pockets should tell you how much I love them. They have a great range of sizes and I got them in both colors, olive and black. They have some weight to them, feel great on, and are also very suitable to appear like real pants depending on what you have on your top.

3. In Corona Land we eat whatever the F we want for lunch or ever, okay? This week that included pigs in a puff pastry blanket and a chipwich (on different days).

4. Fucking howling over this guy taking the beloved Barefoot Contessa and Holiday Tipping her the way I would love to see it. He has apparently been doing it the past few years around Thanksgiving and I've only now caught on. I'm late but I'm here for it.

5. What I'm reading

More lounge talk sans photos talk

-Stars Above Soft Pajama Pants. As the title says, these are pajama pants. They are unflattering, flimsy, and not necessarily about town pants but they work fine for dog walking with their pockets and are perfect for lounging or sleeping. They ride up on me a little, which is what keeps them from being an A.

-My all time favorite pajama pants are Old Navy patterned. They are not outside of the house pants nor do they have pockets, both of which keep them off the A list. For fast fashion, they last for an eternity. Fast fashion is the hardest for me to get around in lounge attire that fits my ass. I'm not buying these pants like I used to when I wasn't as focused on consumption, but I have many pair that I still love. 

-Capri wise I like Hanes Women's French Terry Capri

I know many people thought Covid would be gone since it was political but it’s a tsunami in America right now. Act right, America. Buckle down, wear a mask, wash hands, maintain distance, and be honest with others who you will see personally about any possible exposure.

Second and final Friday the 13th in 2020. Happy weekend to you all! What are your favorite lounge pants?

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Thursday Thoughts - We may find it out on the street tonight, baby or we may walk until the daylight, maybe

1. What my dogs are eating this week (high priced meat from a farm in Texas along with ground turkey, butternut squash, peas, and rice)...

2. Looks better than what we are eating, which last night was Trader Joe's veggie fried rice with eggs added in of course.

3. I don't even want to mention Tuesday night's dinner, in which MFD was put in charge and served pot pies and soggy sweet potato fries after asking me what he should make. Literally one of the main points of not making dinner is not having to decide. Do I love those things? No. Will I eat them because I didn't have to make them and be happy about it? Yes. He served those things at 7:20 after me sending a "where is dinner" text. He deposited my food on the ottoman in the apartment and said, "here's your food, Tina" like Napoleon Dynamite. I was cracking the fuck up. Sir, we eat at 4:15 during the coronavirus pandemic, like seniors. Act right. MFD is sober seven years today. What an insanely different life than I could even imagine 7.5 years ago.

4. Coworkers out there killing it this week.
5. I'm out there killing it too, and it's pitch black by 5:15, which makes for a lot of this coupled with about 50 pages of reading and never moving from the couch to the bed. 
6. I am trying to be outside at least twice a day for a good chunk of time. On workdays that means either before, during lunch, or after, with the caveat now being "after" means go outside from 4-5 and then work from like 5:15-6:30. I did the before, during, and after this week. 

7. Because every day is Groundhog Day in that I do the same things, but not like Groundhog Day in that I try to do them in a different order. It's called Pandemic Innovation, Sally. Look it up.

8. I still don't have it in me to write about the Election, either MFD's or the presidential, aside from saying that I’m happy both are over, and yes, the presidential one is fucking over and there are a lot of traitors out there. Also the best thing of anything is the Four Seasons Total Landscaping and the fact that Philadelphia has organized a Fraud Street Run surrounding the snafu, as Philadelphia does. I love it. 

9. Reminder

10. Ecards - listen...tomorrow's Friday Five is a foray into lounge pants. You'll want to be around for that given the winter we all have ahead of us.

What appears beyond the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts titles is what I'm listening to when I'm starting this - this week is Incident on 57th Street by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Using this time to make your home better this year and beyond

The global pandemic has caused a lot of chaos and has seen many of us stuck at home as part of lockdown measures. One of the big advantages of this is that it allows you to come up with home improvement ideas that can help you make the most of your home and transform it in a lot of different ways. Many of us, me included, are just looking to survive this winter, but I do always have a list in case I feel the ability or desire to be productive. My list almost always centers on my surroundings. 

When I think about what to do around the house, I always consider that there will be some things that I'm going to have to hire people to take care of, which might cause me to push those projects off and  actually help me re-prioritize what to do now. All of the things below can be done without help, with the exception of my mention of cabinet painting which you absolutely can do alone but I am choosing not to. 

Clear it out
Having a clear out and getting rid of clutter is one of the best things to do when you're relegated to being inside most of the time, which a lot of us will be come winter. Think about how much lighter everything will feel when you're not surrounded by crap you don't need. Best of all, de-cluttering is free. And if you're getting rid of stuff, organizations like Vietnam Vets are taking donations again, and I think after spring we've all learned the beauty of the contactless porch pickup for stuff given away freely or purchased. 

Kitchen Refit
Think about how you use your kitchen, and if it's not functional in any way, move entire cabinets around. Bring in storage furniture from other rooms. Make it how it works best for the way you use it, because we're all in there more, cooking more, and eating more. I have hated our kitchen cabinets for years, so we're having them painted next week, and we'll make ourselves scarce for that. 

Trading Spaces
There are quite a few conversions you could look to make in the home, such as a basement conversion or loft conversion. These can make a massive difference to the way the property comes across, as well as creating more space and adding value. The goal is always to make it better for you now while also improving the property for the future. We made a basement storage room into a combo spare bedroom and office at the beginning of the year and it was instrumental in my ability to work well at home in the spring. What use is space in your house if it's not serving you the way you need it to? 

Spruce up the Garden
Make sure you do as much as possible to spruce up the garden and make the right changes to help you create a fun and delightful outside space. This is another one that can be mostly free with the exception of your manual labor. See what you have laying around that can be used to spruce it up, and nothing beats a cleaned up space which you can do with just your hands and a few waste bags. 

Just some easy starts for ideas of what to do. I could think of a million more in my own house like painting the inside of closets and ceilings and trim. And maybe some rooms. Paint is a super easy and reasonable way to make changes. If you are looking for projects over the winter, start in small but easy ways to improve your space while also boosting your property appearance and value. 

Do you have any ideas to add to the list?

Thanks to our veterans today and every day. Honoring all who served. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Show Us Your Books November 2020

When I started this post I thought I only read three books in the past month. It's more, but not many more. This year has tested me for sure. Miraculously since a non-trump president was named, I am reading much better than before. Still have that Covid brain, but the fascist crisis is gone. Hallelujah and amen and let us begin with the books. 

Housekeeping: The standard December SUYB is Tuesday, December 8; and the SUYB Favorite Reads of the Year post is Tuesday, 12/29. 

Here's what I've been reading since the last linkup. 
For those of you trying to expand your authors into Black or POC and not being aware of many outside of the nonfiction we're here to talk about race books, I'm going to note that in my origin of book going forward. 

Engrossing Reads

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby - My friend Mush recommended this and it did not disappoint. Tight writing and I really liked the main character, Bug. Hard cover, own, Black author purchased from Black-owned bookstore Harriett's via Bookshop - willing to pass on and cover postage, let me know if you're interested

Save Her Soul (Detective Josie Quinn #9) by Lisa Regan - Another solid entry in the Josie Quinn lexicon. Gretchen Palmer is one of my favorite characters and she's in this one a lot. Kindle, own

The Coveted Girls (Suburban Murder #3) by Alexa Steele - I totally forgot this series existed and how much I enjoyed it until Dani mentioned it in last month's linkup. I really liked this one too and I hope there are more. Kindle, own

Goodnight Beautiful by Aimee Molloy - What a strange book this is. I picked it up after the Biden win announcement and read it like old me would have. OCNJ library hardcover

Passed the Time Just Fine

Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger - I read this book for 11 fucking days. 11 days. I started Sunday, 10/25, and finished 11/5. I blame the election. The book was fine. 2019 me would have read it in two days. OCNJ library

Killman Creek (Stillhouse Lake #2) by Rachel Caine - I have had this on my kindle for an eternity. Like, since the first one came out. I finally read it only because I got the fourth as an ARC from Netgalley and shit must be read in order. This violated one of my main rules, which is child narrator (it switched off but this child in particular was grating) but I flew through it and that has happened like five times this year. Kindle, own

Not Worth It

Did Not Finish

Linkup Guidelines:
This link up is the second Tuesday of every month. The next linkup is Tuesday, December 8, 2020. The Favorite Reads of 2020 link up is Tuesday, December 29.  
1. Visit and comment with both of your hosts, Jana & me, and check in with as many in our reading circle as you can - give some love to the later linker uppers! 
2. Link back to us in your blog post - if you want the button you can get it from that link

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Monday, November 9, 2020

TWTW - the one with relief

Friday I killed it at work, and at lunch I returned Comcast boxes, picked up library books, dropped an old TV off at the recycling center, and picked up a few things from Target. I also started shifting my work so I walk now from 4-5 and then finish the day around 6. I gotta get that last hour of daylight in or I am not getting through this winter. I made dinner and MFD arrived around 8:30. It's the first time he's been at the shore in over a month.
Saturday We kicked things off at Dog Beach. Even Mae had fun. 

When we got home we heard the news that the new president has been named. You know me - I am fucking relieved. Relieved the election shit is over in general and for us forever. A Biden/Harris win does not solve all problems but it's a better starting point - read my other thoughts on that here. Bruce is feeling relieved too - bottom middle. We went down to the beach with B&B and they just wanted to sit on top of me. The weather was tremendous.
We ordered dinner from Luigi's and fell asleep on the couches upstairs in front of the Frank Sinatra documentary. I had the short loveseat. Let's talk about how good my night sleep was due to aforementioned relief despite that. 
Sunday Since we walked the dogs at 5:30, I hit the beach for sunrise and some shelling. Lots of seaglass. 
I painted my nails (Essie Sweater Weather) and read while MFD worked.
Then we took Gussie solo to the beach, thinking he'd be chill. He lay down exactly twice. I got about 10 minutes of reading in total. We came back to the house and fell asleep in front of the Frank Sinatra documentary again, then ordered dinner from Boyar's and finished it finally.

Happy birthday to my aunt Maria yesterday! 

Tomorrow is Show Us Your Books! See you here for that. 

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