Thursday, 23 March 2017

Free Spring Cleaning Planner

 Spring is finally showing its face around the world which is such a welcome sight for sore eyes. The only down side is now we need to think about organizing and cleaning. Careful planning can help get your cleaning started and finished efficiently, without a hitch. So if your looking for some fantastic resources to help you get in the spring cleaning groove look no further. My friends at Living Well Spending Less® have offered these great free resources:

Spring is here, and that means it’s time for Spring Cleaning! Our Spring Cleaning Planner is the perfect resource to help you get your house in ship-shape this spring. For a limited time, we are offering it for free at Living Well Spending Less®--just our little way of saying Happy Spring!
Not sure you’re ready to dive into spring cleaning just yet? Take our short and simple free quiz assessment and discover your cleaning personality!

The Thorium Stratagem


A shy financial analyst from New York visits his school chum in Moscow who works for the FSB, formerly known as the KGB. Discovering that corrupt US cabinet officials and a Russian billionaire plan to steal the technology from Russian scientists about a green energy source, the FSB Agent asks his American friend for help, hoping that together they can prevent the theft and avoid the conflict it would cause.

Thrust into the dangerous world of political intrigue, and not sure he will survive, the financial analyst must overcome his timid nature and find the courage to prevent the heist and the killing of the Russian president. If he and his friend fail, more than their lives will be lost; war between the two countries will erupt.

Get it on Amazon!

Liquidity Wines Annual Adult Egg Hunt & Easter Brunch

 
This Easter, adults are invited to join in the hunt through 30 acres of scenic vineyard for Liquidity Wines' Third Annual Adult Easter Egg Hunt. On Saturday, April 15, the vineyard will stash scrumptious treats, coupons, and other surprises and delights within the property's lush tangle of vines. Also on offer: a pre-search wine tasting and Easter brunch for the whole family at Liquidity Bistro. 

Now celebrating three years of Easter fun, Liquidity's grownup-themed egg hunt opens the vineyard for those who are kids-at-heart to explore at their leisure. The event is free of charge and takes place from 12pm to 3pm, though guests who arrive early can fuel up for the hunt by sampling a range of Liquidity's award-winning wines. No tickets are required; simply arrive any time within the event hours to pick up a map and learn the details. 

While the egg hunt is geared toward adults, the entire family can enjoy Easter brunch at Liquidity Bistro. Located in the Heart of Wine Country™, be sure to bring a camera as the space is perfectly situated to capture stunning views of Okanagan Falls. Enjoy special features on Saturday, April 15 between 11am and 3pm, such as potato roesti with goat cheese, thyme and farm-fresh eggs; decadent banana bread French toast adorned by banana compote; and maple glazed ham cassolette served alongside baked white beans and potatoes. Over Easter weekend, the bistro will be open from Thursday to Sunday (12pm to 8pm), and the adjoining tasting room will welcome guests from Thursday to Sunday (12pm to 5pm), reservations are recommended.

Winemaker Alison Moyes and the Liquidity team craft wines that express the personality of the vineyard while capturing the variation of the seasons and distinct wine varietals. Liquidity's light-filled tasting room features rare art installations, incredible valley and lake views, and a range of estate-grown wines available to sample. At the adjoining Liquidity Bistro, Executive Chef Simon Bouchard curates menus that honour the seasons, sourcing ingredients from nearby farms. Collectively, the vineyard, bistro and tasting room offer an exceptional guest experience that centres on wine, food and art. 

For more information, visit Liquiditywines.com or call (778) 515-5500.

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About Liquidity Wines
Based in Okanagan Falls, the Heart of Wine Country™, Liquidity offers an artisan approach to winemaking - taking you on a journey of the senses that captures the art of winemaking from grape to glass in a stunning space where guests are wowed by the incredible views, eclectic artwork and locally inspired food. Time is spent enjoying these finer things in life, while in the vineyard care is taken to carefully hand-harvest the best fruit and artfully blend them into fine wines. For more information, visit Liquiditywines.com.

Eight Steps to Squash Struggle Forever




Almost everyone struggles with something, whether it's the kids going off to college, an unfulfilling job, divorce, looming retirement, or simply not having enough fun. All of these situations can lead to struggle, but what if it doesn't have to be that way? What if it is possible to face life head on, go through transitions, and actually become stronger and  have more fun in the process? You can. Here are eight action steps you can take right now that will help eliminate struggle and make your life easier and more fun!!
Step #1:  Take full responsibility for your life. All of it. When you let external conditions control your destiny, you surrender your power and authority. By the same token, when you allow someone else to be in charge of your life, you keep yourself stuck. You are the victim and that is not a powerful position. The truth is you may not be able to control all your circumstances, but you have total control on how you respond to all them.
Action:  First, get clear about what you want.  Most people think about what they don’t want.  "I don’t want to be poor," or "I don't want to be bored," or "I don't want to be alone." Revise this list to say what you DO want. "I want to make more money. "I choose to have more fun." "I am going to spend more time building and enjoying my relationships with others." Now you have something to work with. Each of these items require NEW activities and new actions.  It's time to do something different.  
Next, take a look at your list. If it's a new job you want, define your strongest talents and make note of what comes easy for you.  What do you love doing?  What job encompasses your strengths? Let's say, for example, you enjoy organizing and being in charge. You are creative in working with people and you love to teach.  These talents and skills can translate to teaching, sales, office management, and who knows what else? This is where you do some brainstorming.  Once you’ve defined this new work, talk to people who are doing it. Set up some informational interviews and find out how they got started in their line of work. Ask them for any advice they have for you. Then take action accordingly.
If making new friends is on your list, consider where you can meet people. Get on-line to find networking opportunities through MeetUps.com or other organizations. Take up a new hobby, such as tennis lessons, bridge, or fishing. Join a bowling league or volleyball team, book club, quilting circle, or social club.  Introduce yourself, ask questions, and then listen to what the other person has to say. People love it when you listen.
Step #2: Don’t arbitrarily accept someone else’s beliefs and opinions.  People project their own beliefs onto others.  It is called transference.  If someone thinks you are not making the best use of your talents, then more than likely, he is not making best use of his. Letting others tell you want is true reneges on your responsibility to draw your own conclusions and can definitely lead to struggle.
Action:  Do your own homework.  Whether it's politics, news stories, or simply the best way to bake a cake, ask yourself what you believe about it before asking anyone else what they think. What makes sense to you?  What do you think is the best way to balance the budget? Practice having an opinion and stating what that is without worrying what anyone else thinks. This is also a good time to weed out negative people, groups and thought systems.  Give up the “Debbie Downers.” Don’t listen to the news 24/7. Do be  selective as to what and who you listen to.  Finally, find people who are happy and hang out with them.    
Step #3: If you need to do it - do it. Take action and stand by it. That means leave a miserable job or relationship, relocate, take a class, start a new career – start over.  Your life is your journey. If you are not growing, you are not going to be happy. Add to this the fact that the world is constantly changing and so must you. Don’t resist because that is what causes struggle. Embrace change.
Action: Make a list of things you want to do or change.  Pick the first item and DO IT!!  You can start with something small and work up to the bigger items. Maybe it's as simple as always hanging up your clothes at the end of the day. Perhaps it is time to lose that extra 15 pounds you've been carrying around. Why not start a conversation with that good looking guy you see in the coffee shop every other morning? If you want to develop a new skill, then find a mentor or take a class and learn something new. How about a class in computers, or take a foreign language course. Perhaps you'd like to learn about the travel industry, or how to start a bed and breakfast. Maybe you've always wanted to be an artists, so you could start with a beginner water color class. If you're looking to reduce stress and anxiety, sign up for a meditation class, yoga, or Pilates.   
Step #4:  Acknowledge that you are valuable. Remind yourself of this daily. Talk to yourself out loud and affirm your value. Do not underestimate the power of what you say internally. In fact, how you talk to yourself is a make-it or break-it proposition when it comes to struggle.  Many people say horrible things to themselves, “How could you have done that; you are stupid; you are unlovable; you will never amount to anything.”  These are lies.  They are generated from the ego that loves control.  Paying attention to ego railings is like having a giant thumb pressing down on you.  If you listen to the negativity, you will never step out of your box and investigate your incredible self.  Again, decide who you want to be and find a way to be it.  
Action:  STOP your mind when it starts in on the negativity. Refuse to give it credence.  It is your mind – you get to say what goes on there.  Mental discipline is key to releasing struggle, so don't let your mind run on automatic pilot.  Be vigilant about it.  Remind yourself daily – hourly, in fact -- that “You are valuable.”
If at times you do become overwhelmed with negative self-talk, move. Get out into nature and take a walk while breathing deeply. Continue to take action, such as cleaning out a closet or drawer. The simple act of purging can actually change your neurology. When you have calmed down, write in a journal.  Use the pages  expunge fears, and then write about your desires, hopes and dreams. These actions will help clear your mind so that you remember that you are valuable. You are a unique piece to the universal puzzle that makes everything work.
Step #5: Dump any emotional baggage. This includes memories of being hurt, offended, or criticized. Let it go! So your mother didn’t love you enough and your father wasn’t there. That is on them and not you. Forgive them and move on. While you're at it, forgive your brother, your sister, your mean-spirited boss, your soccer coach, your nosy neighbors, and the rude store clerk. Let them all go. How? First, remember that what others project out is what is inside of them.
Action:  Begin by observing your thoughts for ten minutes a day.  Take notes. When you have a “blaming thought”, stop and correct yourself.  “Wait. I am responsible for my life.”  If you find yourself feeling resentment or thinking, “poor me,” make an adjustment and change your thoughts.  Sometimes we are tempted to ruminate, but it is exactly at those moments when you must catch yourself and interrupt your  pattern. Deliberately think about something else: Bring up a pleasant memory. Remember a time when you confidently handled some situation in your life and you did it well. Keep correcting yourself and eventually the victim thoughts  lesson. By clearing out the mental space held by grievances, you feel lighter and the payoff is huge... squashing struggle forever.
Step 6: Find a way to express yourself. Everyone is creative and creativity must be expressed.  Build something. Write something. Learn to draw or speak. Everyone needs an outlet to express energy, one that is uniquely one's own. Experiment until you discover yours. It is your gift to the world.  
Action:  Start with things that come easy for you -- decorating cakes, coaching a soccer team, organizing, making friends.  Then expand on that.  If you're not sure how to do that, then take classes until you discover a way that feels good for you.  You don’t have to be a Picasso to paint or a Hemingway to write.  Teaching, volunteering, sales, accounting, and business – these are all creative endeavors.  Don’t worry about monetizing your efforts.  Just do it for fun.  You never know where this will take you. One fellow I knew visited junkyards and found interesting pieces of metal, which he welded together to create sculptures.  He loved it.  In time, he started a side business selling metal art.  
Step 7: Become a possibility-thinker. When you look at a person, relationship, or opportunity, ask yourself, "What are the possibilities here?"  Most people don’t see possibilities because they never ask the question. You must ask the question and seek possibilities.  What if joining a study group opens up opportunities to learn new skills, meet amazing people, or start a new career?  What if taking a new route to work reveals a short cut, a new restaurant in town, or a beautiful view. Be curious and try new things.
Action:  Start by making a list of all the possible ways to do something.  Pick a subject and write it down at the top of the sheet of paper, or on a document in your computer.  For instance: If you want to go back to school and you need tuition money, what are some ways you could pay for it? Here are some ideas: You can take the money out of savings, get a school loan or grant, procure a home equity line of credit, ask someone to help you, put it on your credit card, win the lottery, trade services with someone for paying your tuition, get a job that subsidizes schooling, join the military so you can go to college, win a contest, find a benefactor, and so forth.  These are a few possibilities, but you can come up with more.   Notice if you are saying to yourself, that won’t work; that won’t work, etc. Ignore them. Those thoughts keep you in the struggle.
Step 8: Turn failure into triumph.  It is important to pay attention to what you have previously called failure because this is where you can slip into struggle. The loss of a job doesn't mean it's the end of the world; it is an opportunity to find a better one or maybe start a whole new business. When a relationship ends, it may leave you feeling feel lost and disoriented. However, the completion of a relationship may indicate you have outgrown it, learned the lesson it was to teach you, or someone new is waiting for you.  
By facing the unknown and turning "failure" into triumph, you discover more about yourself.  Sometimes the gift is learning that quiet time alone can be restorative.  It can be the beginning of new friendships, adventure, and a fresh, new life.
Action:  Do an assessment and write out your conclusions. First, look back at your life and notice what “failure” actually led to a better opportunity?  When did that unexpected turn in the road guide you to something amazing and wonderful? You took a detour only to discover your soul mate. You didn't get into a certain school, only to discover a different learning opportunity that led to your dream career.  Pause to ponder this: Is there anything in your life now that you consider terrible? And let me ask you this: Have you ever been wrong? Is it possible that this terrible situation is a lead in to a thrilling new escapade? If it's happened in the past, it very likely will happen again. Do a personal audit and you will be amazed how failures were really just direction changes.  
Whatever it is that you struggle with -- an empty nest, an unfulfilling job, divorce, retirement or whatever, get busy using these 8 steps and their corresponding actions to reboot your perspective. The more you consider all the many possibilities, the easier it is to squash the struggle.  And by giving up the struggle, you'll have a lot more energy to create the life you want.

About the Author: Jean Walters is an internationally-known teacher, transformational coach and Akashic Record reader (psychic) who designs and presents classes and workshops in empowerment, meditation, building communication skills, universal laws, dreams interpretation, strengthening intuition, and creating spiritual connection for many organizations including colleges, universities, spiritual groups, and businesses. She  writes for numerous major newspapers and publications and hosts a nationally syndicated radio show called Positive Moments. She is a favorite featured guest on other radio and television programs. Books include Be Outrageous: Do the Impossible – Others have and you can too, Set Yourself Free: Live the life YOU were meant to Live, and Dreams and the Symbology of Life. She has performed over 35,000 readings with the emphasis on providing insight regarding personal growth, life purpose, strengthening relationships, and moving through obstacles. Learn more at http://www.spiritualtransformation.com. 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Swag Garden Swag Code Extravaganza





Spring has sprung, and Swagbucks is having a Swag Code Extravaganza to mark the occasion, which is one of the easiest ways to earn SB! What are SB you ask? SB are points you earn on Swagbucks, a website where you can get gift cards for the things you do online - I've gotten over $500 worth of gift cards just in time for Christmas shopping with Swagbucks! These are the best days to start! 

It takes place Wednesday, March 22nd at 7am PDT and goes until 5pm PDT! All you have to do is look out for the Swag Code notifications, enter the code, and you earn SB (which can be redeemed for gift cards)! There will be 6 Swag Codes throughout the day worth a total of 40 SB!
Look out for the Swag Codes all over Swagbucks!
Sign up here to grab as many Swag Codes as you can and get your first gift card even faster!

Stretch Mark Solutions…What Can Be Done Safely?



Women of all ages regardless of height, weight, or parental status are susceptible to stretch marks. This is a simple fact. Another fact, which will hopefully make you feel a bit better, is that supermodels yes, the bikini models you see in Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, have stretch marks. If you’re like the 95% of the women out there you prefer them gone. Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of the Brandow Clinic in for Cosmetic Surgery in Philadelphia who has appeared on national programs such as Good Morning America and 20/20 offering insights on cosmetic surgery, shared the real deal on stretch mark solutions with several facts on popular procedures and topical options to prevent and remove stretch marks. Here’s what he has to say.

Option #1: Topical Creams & Preventative Foods
“There are a variety of topical treatments, the ones with cocoa butter are the trend, but they won’t do much if anything to improve severe stretch marks. These creams and oils perform better when used as preventive measures because fully developed stretch marks are rarely skin-deep,” explains Dr. Brandow.

Gelatin powder has been suggested as a great way to get more collagen into your system. Coconut oil mixed with beeswax is said to prevent stretch marks especially when applied throughout the day. Eating foods rich in vitamin C can help prevent stretch marks from the inside out. Adding things like red peppers, parsley, broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts are good bets.

Option #2: Lasers
Many women who have post pregnancy stretch marks turn to lasers to eliminate this unwanted scarring. Kim Kardashian recently announced via her Snapchat that she would undergo laser treatments to rid her stretch marks. The Coolbeam laser, which is the one Kim Kardashian is going with, requires up to 5 treatments at around $5,000 per treatment which adds up to $25,000. Lasers are known for high level of safety and efficacy and most patients come away very pleased with the result. The treated area heals rather quickly, within a week to three weeks.

“Lasers are far less invasive than a tummy tuck, which has a much longer recovery time. Lasers do have some risk in that they can burn the skin or cause tissue damage. Therefore, it’s very important to choose a doctor who knows what they are doing,” advises Dr. Brandow.

Option #3: Platelet Rich Plasma with Micro-needling
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been around for the past two decades and used to help athletes like Tiger Woods and Alex Rodriquez recover from injury. A few years ago, the “Vampire Facial” made headlines when Micro-needling was added to the procedure offering a vibrant, smooth, flawless complexion. The results were so great that cosmetic surgeons started to explore other parts of the body such as stretch marks on the buttocks, breast, arms, thighs and abdomen.

This calls for blood to be taken from the patient then put into a machine that separates the platelet rich plasma from the blood. It is then spread over the face after the micro-needling is completed. The micro-needling is a process where a pen-like tool with several tiny needles at the tip is carefully guided over the affected area making microscopic holes on both the outer and inner layers of skin. These holes are so small that they heal within a few hours. The process triggers a healing response in the dermis layer which is what causes the fast fading of stretch marks. Doctors recommend micro-needling with PRP over any other treatment because the results are significant and the cost is about $1000 per session. “Micro-needling with PRP is a combination that offers a fast, in office option, with excellent results and is less costly than lasers,” explains Dr. Brandow who was recently on TV speaking of the procedure.

Dr. Brandow adds that the advantage of micro-needling with PRP for stretch marks over lasers is a lesser chance of scarring and skin discoloration. “Skin on the body is more susceptible to hyperpigmentation than on the face making Micro-needling is a safer option for ethnicities with varying skin tones. This is a big advantage over cool beam lasers, IPL or chemical peels,” he explains.

Option #4: The Tummy Tuck
This is the gold standard offering the best results however it’s invasive and the recovery time is longer. Known as abdominoplasty, the procedure removes excess skin in the abdominal region and tightens the muscles. The stretch marks below the belly button are discarded along with the excess skin. “The tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that comes with risk so typically candidates must be non-smokers in good physical health as certain they will not want more kids after surgery. It’s is the only option for complete and permanent stretch mark removal. Recovery time can be up to 6 weeks and again it is critical that one chooses a reputable doctor. A botched tummy tuck can lead to off-centered belly buttons, long thick scars, and dangerous infections,” warns Dr. Brandow.

Ultimately stretch marks are an unfortunate reality that comes with pregnancy, puberty and any other weight or muscle gain where the skin is stretched. There are preventative measures one can take. Be very weary of anything that seems too good to be true and always consult with a credentialed doctor when considering any kind of cosmetic procedure.


About the Doctor:
Dr. Kirk Brandow, founder and director of Brandow Clinic for Cosmetic Surgery is a plastic surgeon with 2 locations in the Philadelphia metro area and a 3rd one at the jersey shore. Named a “Top Doc” in Plastic Surgery by Philadelphia Magazine as well as nationally recognized for one of America’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” of this decade, Dr. Brandow is a trusted expert who has developed many innovative, minimally invasive procedures for the face, body and skin. He has been featured on local, national and international television programs including 20/20, CNN’s Headline News, Good Morning America.

Monday, 20 March 2017

6 Foods That Can Help Save Your Skin From Sun Damage


Just as an unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on your skin and health, a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Since antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals, loading your diet with them will go a long way against sunburn and skin damage as a result of UV rays. We connected with Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine for his list of foods that help prevent sun damage.

To be clear, Dr. Calapai is not saying you should completely replace using daily use of sunscreen with food, but what you eat can offer additional protection for your skin. So if you’re looking for some ingestible sun protection, add these six sun-friendly foods to your next shopping list.

1. Berries & stone fruits
Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, important for skin’s youthful appearance. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.

2. Leafy greens
If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%. Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of sulphoraphane, an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.

Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to cruciferous vegetables.

3. Red & orange produce
The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. It also helps rid the body of free radicals. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.

4. Micro-algae
Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea, along with chlorella, contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. It also fights free radicals and inflammation to prevent sun damage by preventing UV-induced cell damage.

If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.

5. Chocolate
As long as it’s dark chocolate you’re eating, you’ll be ingesting plenty of flavanoids, which can improve your skin’s ability protect against sunburns and other UV-induced issues.

Research found that people who ate about one ounce of high-percentage dark chocolate every day for three months could withstand twice the amount of UVB rays before their skin started to turn red, compared to those who didn’t.

6. Green & black tea
The myriad health benefits of tea are well known, but it’s nice to know that the cups you’re drinking can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.

About the Doctor:
Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's. He has worked with Mike TysonMickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham's, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

Okanagan Fest of Ale - Contest


Just 3 short weeks to go...

Make plans to join us at the 22nd annual  Okanagan Fest of Ale to sample the best beers and ciders from 65 craft breweries from BC and beyond. 
Enjoy tastings of 175+ quality-crafted brews and ciders including new releases, experimental brews and cask ales.  Guests of the fest can also look forward to fabulous food, with many restaurateurs incorporating a craft inspired twist on their dish, and great live entertainment taking place both indoors and out.  


Click Here to Buy Your Tickets Now

Sip, Stay and Celebrate in Penticton at the 22nd annual Okanagan Fest of Ale!

In partnership with our local hoteliers we are pleased to offer specially priced hotel accommodation + ticket packages for the 2017 Event.  

Sip & Stay Packages will be offered until March 26th and are subject to availability – check out the package options on our website and Book your Fest of Ale Getaway Today!


Drink Beer From Here Contest Alert!


Head on over to our FaceBook Page by Clicking Here  and Like, share and tag the person you'd bring with you to the #FestofAle to be entered to win
Grand prize includes 2 Weekend Passes to the Okanagan Fest of Ale a Friday night stay at the Penticton Sandman and gift basket filled with goodies from Bad Tattoo BrewingBarley Mill BrewpubCannery BrewingDetonate BrewingFirehall BrewingHighway 97 Brewing & Tin Whistle Brewing

Increase your odds by dropping  by  Government St. Liquor in Penticton to enter by ballot!

Contest runs from March 17, 2017 – March 26, 2017
Winner will be selected and notified March 27th, 2017