Tag Archive | health

6 Easy Steps to Put Zing into Your Swing

Happy Hump Day!

Note: This is a repost of one of my Life List Club posts you may have missed. Enjoy!

We’re not talking about golf or tennis swings. We’re talking about the swing of your life…bringing back the jazz, the zing, the excitement! I have to admit that I am constantly working at this. I have to remind myself to stay in the NOW because I spend far too much time thinking ahead, worrying needlessly or wasting the moment.

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” Remember that tired expression? Let’s revive it!

1. Sleep – Almost daily you can find a report somewhere online telling you the importance of getting enough sleep. We know it’s true, so why do we shortchange ourselves? Lack of sleep can cause apathy, irritability, flat emotional responses…no zest, no zing. Sleep to restore your bodily functions and rev up your brain…hence, more zest and zing. If you’d like to read more about the damage lack of sleep can do, click HERE.

2. Play – No one has more zing in their lives than children. They wake with energy and are excited about the day. Adults can feel the same way. Put more play into your daily life. Create fun activities to amp up your energy. Play tennis, go swimming, play in the garden. Playing with your spouse in bed creates feelings you get nowhere else – the feeling of being younger, being desired, and of being able to then jump out of bed and tackle the day with vitality. Simple acts like eating an ice cream cone in the backyard, giggling over corny jokes, having a pillow fight, or running in the sprinkler can bring back zesty youthfulness.

3. Declutter – We can get weighed down by all the clutter in our lives. Get rid of it all! Clean a junk drawer, a closet, the attic or garage. Excessive obligations are also classified as life’s clutter. Even the people in your life who are a drain on your energy and add nothing but negativity to your life amount to clutter. Clear it all away and you’ll feel refreshed and renewed!

4. Revisit – Take another look at the goals you’ve written for the future. How many have you already accomplished? Cross them off the list. Can some of them be broken down into smaller, more easily achieved steps? Are some goals still valid? If not, get rid of them and replace them with something more meaningful and attainable. Life is constantly in motion, changing all the time. Don’t expect every goal you wrote down a year ago to be relevant today. It’s okay to make changes. After this exercise, you should have a smile on your face and a little more spring in your step.

5. Balance – This is a big problem for most of us and one of the hardest things in life to maintain. Swinging too far to one side creates stress and, often, negative self-talk when you realize you’ve overburdened yourself. Swing too far in the other direction also causes stress when you’ve lost focus and lose track of your responsibilities. You berate yourself for not handling life better and waste time feeling badly about your decisions. Sometimes writing it all down gives you a clear picture of how to swing back toward the middle. Unleash yourself from the ball and chain tasks that weigh you down. Make a plan to get back on track with responsibilities you’ve neglected. The first example that comes to mind is regaining the balance between ‘overeating and inactivity’ and ‘running yourself ragged to keep up with all your health commitments’. Cutting out desserts and walking three times a week can center you with small steps and will bring back some of the energy and zest you had before.

6. Focus – “Today is all we have. Live it to its fullest.” We’ve heard this before and it sounds like a huge mountain to climb. Break it down.  Living life to its fullest is simply focusing your thoughts on and enjoying what you’re doing NOW.

a. Have mindfulness. It creates a serene feeling, making you less reactive and aggressive. It takes your ego out of a conflict and gives you an opportunity to make better decisions. Just breathe. Mindfulness opens your eyes to the beautiful view, the succulent taste, the sensual pleasure, the melodic sounds of life at the moment.

Take control of your thoughts, give NOW your full attention, otherwise you may be missing out on some wonderful experiences.

b. We only have so much energy. Wasting energy on worrying over things we can’t change is fruitless. “If it’s worth worrying about, it’s worth doing something about it.” Change what you can and let the rest slip away. We can’t do anything about the past and what’s to come in the future will be dealt with in the future.

c. We live in a world of distractions. To live more in the NOW, allow yourself to get completely absorbed in a task. This is called flow. To create flow, choose an activity with an attainable goal, but one that is specific and will cause you to stretch your abilities. For example, increasing your speed during running, knitting a new challenging pattern, writing the next chapter of your book or playing the next bar of a scroll of music. The focus required makes time slip by, blocks distractions and creates a state of flow.

So, now that you know how to get that ZING back in your life, what are you going to do with it? What can you enjoy more fully? What gets you excited?


No Such Thing as Too Many Girlfriends

Friendship love and truth

Happy 4th of July!!

While you’re celebrating our country’s independence and partying with family and friends, why not celebrate your friendships, as well?

Sorry, Guys, this post may not hold your attention, but it will make you wish you were a woman!… On second thought, maybe you guys should read this in order to understand the dynamics of GIRLFRIENDS.

The general consensus that men don’t talk about their feelings is just wrong, in my opinion. When I was single, I had several male friends who used to call me mainly to discuss their feelings. Any man who has an ounce of sensitivity has a need to talk about his feelings occasionally. They can’t talk to other men about them, that wouldn’t be manly! So, they talk to female friends, because it’s safe. Bottom line…all women, as well as single men, need girlfriends.

I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing.
Katherine Mansfield


Being understood, accepted and loved exactly as we are is one of the greatest rewards of friendship.


But the ultimate reward was discovered in a Nurse’s Health Study from Harvard Medical School. It was found that the more friends women have, the less likely they are to develop medical problems as they age, and the more likely they are to live joyfully long lives.

Since women create the chemical, Oxytocin, which encourages nurturing and seeking comfort, studies show that having close girlfriends and confidants keeps us healthy and adds years to our lives. (It’s probably just as healthy for you guys.) This is yet another way to grow younger and healthier instead of growing unhealthy and decaying.

Anyone, man or woman, who has a close friendship with another woman, doesn’t need me to tell you how important that friendship is to your life and well-being. I can tell you though, that there are few ways to help that friendship last forever.

**Check criticism at the door. There is no room for that in a friendship.

**Leave envy and jealousy at home, too. Not only are those unattractive modes of behavior, they will chip away at the foundation of your relationship. Jealousy is a sign that you’re not feeling so lovable. We’ll talk about how to change that in a post next week.

**Never berate a friend’s spouse or children. It’s okay for a friend to vent about her family member, but no one else should join in. Just be supportive and a good listener, unless your friend is in danger of being physically harmed by the family member.

**Listen. Listening is the most powerful way to connect with people. Don’t offer advice. Wait to be asked.

**Don’t judge. No one has a right to judge another. Allow your friend to grow and change with your support.

**Celebrate your friendship. You can do that by simply telling your girlfriend how important she is in your life. At the other extreme, you can plan a “girlfriend getaway”. Depending on your common interests and your life situation, you may choose from a healing spa vacation, a no-holds-barred birthday blast, an adventurous escape, or a shopping splurge.

To heck with diamonds! Other girls are a girl’s best friend! Since There is No Such Thing As Too Many Girlfriends, get out there and make new ones! We’ll talk about how to connect and find more healthy relationships next week.

We need old friends to help us grow old and new friends to help us stay young.

– Letty Cottin Pogrebin


To each of my current and future girlfriends :
You are each the best part of my life. I treasure our friendship and will always be as good to you as you are to me.

I love hearing from you! Tell me, what is the best thing about girlfriends for you?

Don’t forget to hop on over to the Life List Club for Lara Schiffbauer’s patriotic 4th of July post!

I’m Not Old. Are You?

No one likes the idea of aging however, the alternative is not pleasant, either. 

We all would like to live very long and exceptionally healthy lives. More than ever, people are paying attention to their health and doing what’s necessary to remain fit and illness free.

We know exercise, fresh foods, and dietary supplements contribute to the reduction of doctor visits. A positive attitude, a life companion, the company of pets add to our enjoyment of life which keeps us healthy. We seek out new things to learn to keep our brains healthy. Stress is harmful so we do what we can to avoid or, at least, relieve it when it’s thrust upon us. We do countless other good-for-you things to keep our bodies and minds young.

No matter how hard we work at ‘growing younger’, the world insists on telling us how old we really are.

More and more restaurants cater to the elderly with a ‘senior menu’. That’s really nice but, there was a time when they considered a senior to be 65. They keep lowering that age…in most places it’s 55 now. I’ve seen it as low as 52!

If you decide to have an early dinner in a restaurant, you may be asked if you’re interested in the ‘Early Bird’ menu selections. One glance around the dining room will tell you why – it’s filled with gray-haired folks.

The grocery store cashier is packing your bags lighter each time she sees you. You end up with 10 weightless bags instead of your usual 5 ‘normal’ bags. She thinks you’re old.

Your hair stylist suggests a style you’d never considered yourself old enough to wear. She says it’s to camouflage your thinning locks!

You watch your favorite television programs and realize all the commercials are geared toward older adults for sanitary diapers, cholesterol and ED meds, supplemental insurance coverage for those on medicare, and reverse mortgages.

You’re Getting Older When…

– You wake up, looking like your driver’s license picture.

– When you don’t care where your spouse goes, just as long as you don’t have to go along.

– Your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio.old man napping

– Happy hour is a nap.

– It takes twice as long to look half as good.

– You get two invitations to go out on the same night, and you pick the one that gets you home the earliest.

– You give up all your bad habits and you still don’t feel good.

– You have more patience; but actually, it’s just that you don’t care any more.

– You confuse having a clear conscience with having a bad memory.

– Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.

Adult diapers are actually kind of convenient.

– There’s nothing left to learn the hard way.

– You realize that a stamp today costs more than a picture show did when you were growing up.

– Your childhood toys are now in a museum.

– The clothes you’ve hung onto until they come back in style-come back in style.

I will continue to wage war against old age!

  • no helmet-head hairstylesold ladies with helmet hair
  • no blue hair rinse
  • no early bird dinners or senior menu orders
  • no pant suits
  • no embroidered sweatshirts with snowmen or kittens
  • no velcro sneakers
  • no afternoon naps
  • no park bench sitting
  • no magazines with the word senior in the title

This is a world domination plot begun by our children. 

Who will fight the image of “OLD” with me? I’d love to hear your ideas for changing the world’s image of us.

Before you go I want to remind you that today on the Life List Club Blog,  the adorable and funny Jess Witkins is posting! Please go visit her and see what she’s been up to! (It might have something to do with her attendance at a certain major writer’s conference!)

Then make sure you get back over there for Sherry Isaac‘s LLC post on Friday. (I’ve already peeked at it and I can only tell you it’s tongue-in-cheek fun and inspiring!)

ROW80 – 1st Update – 4/8/12

Happy Sunday, ROWers!ROW80, a round of words in 80 days, by Kait Nolan

It’s been a pretty good 1st week. Take a look:

  • Write on short stories in progress 3 days/week with a weekly goal of 2000 words Didn’t write 3 days but did write to my goal of 2000 words
  • Plot outline of a 2nd short story idea Spent time this week brainstorming the theme for my story idea and writing character sketches.
  • Begin the publishing process of at least one short story This will hopefully happen in May
  • Exercise 5 days a week – at least 30 minutes each time Okay-not that great this week but, I did get in 3 days/30min each

Overall, I feel this was a good start for this round of ROW80. I hope you all have had a productive week as well.

For those of you who have been adding healths goals to your rounds, like me, I want to share something with you. As a woman, I know firsthand how it feels to have flabby upper arms…you know, the part that waves at someone, and I don’t mean your hand. Well I found THE exercise to get rid of batwings. FOREVER.  (This goes for the guys, too)

Tricep kickback exercise. No more flabby arms

When you tone your triceps, you can say good-bye to flab. Click here for a description of the exercise.

If you’re unfamiliar with ROW80, the challenge that knows you have a life, you can read all about Kait Nolan’s amazing challenge HERE. If you’ve participated before, here’s the link to get started again! To learn more about Kait, click HERE.

Please stop by my blog on Wednesdays this month for author guest posts. There are so many really wonderful indie authors and I have some of the best with me during April!

The Life List Club’s new blog launched this past Wednesday. We’ve had terrific response, so don’t miss it! We post every Wednesday and Friday. If you know someone who may be interested in guest posting on Mondays, please email me at Marcia DOT A DOT Richards AT gmail DOT com.

How are you feeling about your week? Please share!

Beauty Products Smart Women Need and 8 Great Links

PLEASE NOTE: I am also posting on our brand new Life List Club blog today!! Please go read what I have to say about chairs!

There is nothing a smart, sexy woman loves and appreciates more than products that are designed to multi-task. These are made for us!

I found these three and 8 more at Daily Glow. I just ordered the Smooth Operator. I use the Beauty Balm and love it. There are a few more that I use among the other 8 products. You might want to click the link and check them out.

Tarte Smooth OperatorTarte smooth operator tinted foundation-moisturizer

Somewhere in between foundation and regular moisturizer lies tinted foundation. Tarte Smooth Operator ($36) provides the benefits of the best of both: It has light-deflecting particles to minimize the appearance of fine lines, is loaded with vitamins A, C, and E, and gives the perfect hint of coverage to even out skin tone without being too heavy. Plus it has SPF 20.

They say that this foundation covers well and isn’t heavy-feeling. It allows your skin to breathe which will eliminate the possibility of breakouts from using it. A lot of vitamins and SPF 20? Can’t wait to try it!


Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow PadsSelf tanner and exfoliator in one

You know that you’re supposed to exfoliate before applying self-tanner, but who has the time? The two-in-one Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Glow Pads ($32) do both at once; the towelettes are made with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to gently remove dead skin to ensure that the color goes on evenly and give you a dose of topical vitamin D.

They say that one pad is enough for your face, neck and chest and gives you a natural glow. These are next on my list since my fair skin burns so easily and because it will take no time at all to use!


Dr. Jart Beauty Balmbeauty balm that isn't heavy

There’s nothing that wins a beauty editor over faster than a product that multitasks and actually does a good job at each of those tasks. That’s what won Dr. Jart Beauty Balm ($32) top honors. This amazing oil-free skin cream contains 50% water to hydrate and create a natural, dewy finish on skin. Plus, natural sunscreens also give it excellent UV protection, and the neutralizing pigments cover and correct discoloration.

I’ve had a hard time finding a product that will cover the redness I have most of the time from sensitive aging skin. This one covers without making me look like I have too much make-up on. I love the feel of it!

All of the products at Daily Glow look good, feel good and are good for your skin. Feel pretty and healthy inside and out!


On Publishing:

Rachelle Gardner’s, The Definitive Post on how to get published.

Jody Hedlund’s post, 3 Reminders About eBooks versus Paper Books.

On Writing:

Janice Hardy’s, Goals: Does Every Character Need the Same One? Great post

Donna Newton’s Classes, Competitions and Writing Opportunites…there are some fascinating options here.

On Social Media and Marketing:

I loved August McLaughlin’s post, Controversial Blog Posts: How to Make Them Work. Good advice for all.

Joel Friedlander’s, Authors Can’t be Too Pooped to Market.

For Fun:

At 1000 Awesome Things, Neil is getting closer to #1. Here’s #13.

Etsy has it all! If you’ve never been there, you need to go see it! Grab these Wicked Witch Sisters bookmarks…so cute!


Do you have any beauty secrets to share? How about any cool links to share?

That’s it for today. Enjoy the rest of your Friday!


ROW80 – Round 2 – 4/2/2012 and I’ve Been Tagged!

This is my 4th ROW80 round and I’m excited to get going! ROW80

I f you’re unfamiliar with ROW80, the challenge that knows you have a life, you can read all about Kait Nolan’s amazing challenge HERE. If you’ve participated before, here’s the link to get started again! To learn more about Kait, click HERE

I have my writing and exercise schedules on my calendar. My desk is clean for a fresh start. Got my best smile on to go meet other ROWers. Let’s get started:

April 2 ROW Goals:

  • Write on short stories in progress 3 days/week with a weekly goal of 2000 words
  • Plot outlines of a 2nd short story idea
  • Begin the publishing process of at least one short story
  • Exercise 5 days a week – at least 30 minutes each time

Staying focused on my short stories now and believe that will lead me to achieving these goals. Maintaining my fitness routine to reach my end of year goal should keep the creative juices flowing.

Wishing us all a  productive and successful ROWnd!

You know I love hearing from you!

Have you signed up yet? What are you waiting for? 😉 Sign up here or go support your fellow ROWers here!


The awesome Fabio Bueno tagged my in the Lucky 7 meme recently!

Here are the rules:

1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP


2. Go to line 7


3. Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs, and post them as they’re written.


4. Tag 7 authors, and let them know.


Okay, here’s mine. It’s from book one of my historical trilogy, The Dancer.

Line 77, 7th line down, 12 sentences

 Maeve looked around to see where she was, but she didn’t recognize the neighborhood. Pushing off from the building, she wrapped her arms around herself, rubbing the goosebumps away, until she found a street she recognized. She began to run again, toward home now, knowing Ma would be worried about her being out after dark.


Maeve turned the knob without a sound and tiptoed into the kitchen. The sight of Ma, head down, working her rosary and mumbling prayers at the table startled Maeve. Ma looked up, her lined forehead relaxed as her eyes scanned Maeve’s face for trouble. Seeing Maeve was unhurt, anger boiled under the surface, reddening her checks and pursing her lips. She pushed herself to her feet, warmed Maeve’s dinner plate of bangers and mash in the oven, dropped it on the table and left the room without a word.

 Maeve’s eyes moistened. She wiped away the unfallen tears and refused to give in to the hurt. If Ma had hollered or slapped her, she might have known that Ma still loved her. To be ignored cut deep in Maeve’s heart.


I’m tagging:

1. Tameri Etherton

2. Barbara McDowell

3. Nicole Basaraba

4. Jess Witkins

5. Gene Lempp

6. Marcy Kennedy

7. Ali Dent

Go for it, ladies, and share with us!



5 Powerful Reasons to Try Black Garlic and 8 Great Links

Welcome back to Friday’s Lists and Links!

Every week I scour the internet to bring you a fun, practical or yummy list. Today’s list is:

5 Powerful Reasons to try Black Garlic

But first:

What is Black Garlic? It’s raw garlic that is fermented. Fermentation is  process that has been around for thousands of years and is used in many of the foods and drinks we consume such as wine and beer, yogurt and cheese, pickles and vinegar and many others.

Why is it black? According to BlackGarlic.com: Garlic contains sugars and amino acids. When garlic undergoes fermentation, these elements produce melanoidin, a dark-colored substance that is responsible for the color of black garlic.

What is the texture of black garlic compared to raw garlic? Black garlic is soft and truffled, dense and layered, with the paste-like texture of roast garlic.

Fermented foods enrich the diet through the development of a diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures. Black Garlic is just one of hundreds of foods created by this process.

Black Garlic

1. Fermentation gives black garlic its sweet clove-and-caramel flavor in contrast to the acrid taste of raw  garlic.

2. It’s natural antioxidants are double that of raw garlic.

3. The antioxidant compounds help lower cholesterol and decrease cancer risk more so than raw garlic.

4. Antinutrients, compounds that interfere with the absorption of nutrients, are eliminated during fermentation.

5. No worries about bad breath with black garlic.

Black Garlic can be purchased at Whole Foods stores and online at BlackGarlic.com and at Amazon.com. It must be refrigerated and used within 2 months.

Try Black Garlic with this recipe from BlackGarlic.com:

Creamy Cheese and Black Garlic Dip/Spread


  • 1 tub of cream cheese
  • 1 small pot of soured cream
  • Half to one tablespoon of creamed horseradish (according to taste)
  • 2 cloves of peeled black garlic – chopped
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh chives – snipped
  • Salt and black pepper


Place all the ingredients with the exception of the creamed horseradish and snipped chives, into a food processor. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Add the creamed horseradish according to taste. Stir in the snipped chives.

Before you go, I have 8 great links for you:

Rachel Gardner’s How To Make a Living as a Writer, Part One – She explains the concept of Longtail.

Ali Luke, How Much Should You Write Everyday? presents the idea that writers have to be careful not to write too much.

Joan Reeves of Writing Hacks gives some great tips on using tags and keywords in More Tags. She also talks about a self-publisher’s “street team”. Worth reading!

Orna Ross’ Best Twitter Hashtags for Writers answers a universal question!

Joanna Penn’s The Rise of Indie Authors and How This Helps Publishing is her notes and slides from her recent keynote speech where  one of her points was showing the positives of self-publishing and, to demonstrate, she shared her sales figures for the past year. Highly recommended.

Patricia Stoltey guest posts at Chuck Sambuchino’s  Guide to Literary Agent’s blog about 10 Tips on Guest Blogging and Blog Tours, answering questions and calming insecurities about guest blogging.

Justine Musk’s, The Art of Outsider Thinking (+ Why It Makes You More Creative) poses the question,are you working at the very edge of your field?Danielle LaPorte

Danielle LaPorte is one of my favorite people. She has a new series called Burning Question. She asks a question, answers it and challenges you to do the same. Go check out this one.

Are you into trying new ‘superfoods’? Would you eat black garlic?

I’m inviting you all to pimp your own work today! Please share a link to one of your best posts!

Come back to visit tomorrow for my Health Challenge Update #4.

Next Wednesday, April 4th is the launch of the Life List Club blog and the debut post of our newest author, Sherry Isaac! Don’t miss it!!

Last, but not least, LLC Milestone Friday’s giveaway winner of a blog post swap and an Amazon gift card iiisss….the fabulous,  Kate MacNicol!!! YAY, Kate!!

Kate, please email me to set up the blog post swap and to make arrangements to send you the gift card!