Love Starbucks? Then this applies to you. Keep reading!
Some Starbucks customers, i.e., coffee/espresso/tea addicts, are aware of the Starbucks Secret Menu. It’s not affiliated with Starbucks Corporation, rather, it's more like a coffee/espresso/tea underground. LOL. If you ask for a secret menu drink, there's a very small chance that it will be recognized in store unless your Barista is aware of the secret item, so eliminate possible confusion and just ask for specific drink ingredients to make whatever treat you want. I was introduced to the menu when I tried the Chess mocha, an equal blend of white and regular mocha. It’s as good as the regular mocha and is a bit milder.
Healthy drink tips:
Here's a sweet recipe that you're sure to love...
Note: This drink is available for a limited time, i.e., when pumpkin spice is in season.
Very sweet, very good!
Secret Menu drinks can be found on the Starbucks Secret Menu website and visitors with new ideas are encouraged to email new, fresh suggestions for inclusion on the site.
Do you and/or someone you know have an internet-connected device? If so, this article is for you. :-)
Many of us depend on a variety of internet-connected devices each day. Among the most common are smartphones, tablets, e-readers (such as the Kindle), laptops and desktops. We use these devices for any number of things...playing games, checking/responding to emails, reading the latest news, keeping up with social media, work projects and so much more.
Did you know that staring at tiny screens can cause a variety of issues? Issues such as blurred/strained vision, sore/fatigued eyes, headaches, migraines, muscle strain, dry eye, facial/neck/back issues, poor sleep/insomnia, etc. Some devices have even been known to affect balance and stability. Contributing factors include prolonged use, poor lighting, gadget glare, poor posture, icons that zoom in and out, uncorrected vision issues and so on, This is often referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome...also known as Digital Eye Strain. Our beloved gadgets are literally a pain in the neck.
There is hope. You don't have to stop using your internet-connected devices. Here are some solutions to help prevent issues:
The list is endless.
One other suggestion is to reduce blue light exposure. Blue light falls within the spectrum of high energy visible light due to its shorter wavelength. Blue light aids in increased energy and focus, but can also be detrimental, causing any number of issues (refer to those previously mentioned). Light with longer wavelengths, such as red light, will contain lower amounts of energy and light. Among the benefits of red light are a feeling of calm, reduction of eye strain (and other problems) and promotion of a good night's sleep. Some smartphones, such as the iPhone, now have the option to set a blue light filter. There are also programs and apps available for protective use. F.lux is an awesome one...and it's free!
Stay smart, stay healthy!
What do you think of when you hear the term "brain yoga"? Perhaps something similar to the image at left? :-)
Well, that's not what the Brain Yoga Brain Training Game app is. Sarah Pierce Games in collaboration with Megafauna Software created this app to "train your brain the relaxing way...get smarter and calmer." Who couldn't benefit by that? And for the record, actual yoga is an awesome step towards a healthier life path, too.
How did I find out about it? Just sort of stumbled upon it and am very glad I did.
Here's how it went down... It was a dark and stormy night. I was at Starbucks scribbling ideas for my first novel. With a crack of thunder and flash of lightning, the brain fog rolled in as quickly as the summer storm, transferring ideas to an untouchable corner of my headspace thereby ending any kind of creative writing productivity that evening.
Now against my better (IT security) judgment, I plugged into Starbucks' open WiFi. NOTE: ANY open WiFi (i.e., churches, coffee and tea shops, air and room accommodations, bars, medical professionals' offices, some businesses, etc.) is a potential security risk to connected users as some people are online for malicious purposes. My tablet isn't registered with any current provider, so I didn't have a choice. Anyway, I got into the Play Store. Sure, there were some interesting apps there. Your typical brain apps like Luminosity and NeuroNation. Something seemed to set the Brain Yoga Brain Training Game app apart from them. While I don't always make my decisions based on popularity and ratings, it was cool to see that this FREE app has a million+ downloads and a 4.1 rating...more than 16K reviews!
There are 11 "brain games" to play...shapes, patterns, spatial, memory, words, numbers, logic, words, planning, memory and sets. It's free. There are advertisements, but those can be easily ignored. My personal favorite is "Patterns". It's basically like Sudoku, but instead of numbers, one uses colors and shapes. I work with that and "Shapes" the most, but the other games, er, brain exercises, are fun, too. I've found that while challenging at times, the games are enjoyable and when my brain is happy, my heart is, too. So it's a win-win.
Quick note to new users...the app and advertisements (Oh and NEVER click on advertisements, even on the safest apps, websites, etc., for your protection) have more volume than is realized. The app itself is rather soothing, but the advertisements can be a bit jarring. For whatever reason, I was oblivious to both and didn't make sound adjustments (can I blame Brain Fog pretty pleeeeease?). I simply put my headphones and rocked on, completely oblivious of all the noise my little tablet was making.
Oops. Sorry Starbucks guy who had to get up and leave because of it.
Here's a quick video from the app's developers:
Do you have a favorite app recommendation and want to guest blog about it? Contact me!
As I mentioned on Facebook the other day, one thing I've learned is to never negatively judge based on first appearances. Technically we aren't supposed to judge anyway, but we're all human and if we're being honest, we ALL have this basic human fault. I've found it interesting getting to know people in my walk of life thus far. So try it. You might be in for a wonderful surprise as these unknowns could become lasting friendships. People--many of them--are awesome if just given a chance.
This morning I woke feeling exhausted and a bit sad. This is all too common in life with Lyme.
Instead of staying buried in those feelings, I decided I needed to hear a message on Hope.
I went back to Living Stones Church, to their 2014 archive, and found an awesome message of encouragement.
It's worth devoting time to listen to what God wants for each of us.
Video Cred: Living Stones Church
Message Cred: God
Whether employed or not, we all have a "quota" of sorts to fill every day, month, year...whatever. :-) While unintentional, being busy causes us to spend less time with what's most important in our lives and more time overwhelmed with personal and/or professional obligations, responsibilities, goals, etc. We miss the important things. Time with God. Time with family. Time with friends. Time bringing joy into the lives of others as well as ourselves. We each have a path in life. Lately, I've reflected on the kinds of relationships God places in said life paths. As someone who requires face-to-face connections, I can attest that the "little" things do matter. Physical touch, such as hugs, are mood lifters. We could all afford more happiness and joy in our lives. While some might find this silly, I believe we should all have a hug quota. Provided it won't cause awkward tension or a sexual harassment suit, that is. :-)
Simple gestures of unconditional love can make a difference. I promise it will make both the people you care for and yourself happier. Try it once. See if it makes a difference.
Photo clips cred: "Once Upon a Time" and associated partnerships
Design cred: me
Last week was not awesomeness with a cherry on top. As the underdog in my own personal championship fight with Lyme Disease, some pretty tough sparring left both my opponent and I wounded. With Lyme, one gets worse before one gets better and treatment is as painful for the host as it is destructive for the disease.
Yesterday was a low point. With a toxic level of "stuff" in my system, I was trying balance tasks with major dry heaving…LOVE herxing (actually, I sort of do…feeling miserable and aggravated is a key indicator that treatment is working). I was so discouraged and angry that I burst into tears while trying to key in updates to my Lyme symptoms chart. Then Pandora (thumbprint station) played two back2back fight songs from "Rocky" and followed it up with "Livin' on a Prayer". While listening to that, I checked my Bible verse of the day and it was Matthew 11:28-30. My favorite verse. And 100% topic appropriate. Coincidence? No such thing as coincidence. God's way of saying, "Hang in there, kid. You’ll survive. And you aren’t alone in the fight."
Whether one has a chronic illness or not, we all experience tough times. Situations that make us feel discouraged. Helpless. Hopeless. Alone. Struggling to keep it all together. Most matters are beyond our control, however, how we cope--even at our very worst when we barely have any fight left in us--is in our control. That got me thinking…what are some ways to pull out of the toxic spiral of despair so that we can better cope with life? Here are some ideas:
There are countless ways…these are just a few wellness tips that work very well to restore balance to one’s life.
Hope they help you.
Interested in being a guest blogger?