Friday, 28 August 2015

Article on What to Wear with Black Leggings

This recent post on fashion has some great tips for the upcoming fall season if you are looking for ideas of what to wear with your black leggings...

Thanks for checking it out!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Repotting Plants (Indoor Gardening)

I have always found Spring to be the best time of year to transfer your plants into larger pots, as they will be starting into their growth seasons now. Most indoor plants grow year round, but they do seem to slow down in the winter months. As the sun is getting warmer and the days are getting longer, the plants will grow their most in the Spring and Summer months. I think April is the month to do repotting, as this growth season will just be starting and the roots will be expanding. I wouldn't recommend doing this in the winter, as your plant may not adjust to the larger pot well.

Clear an area on your table or counter or wherever you plan to do this. You can cover up the area with newspaper or a plastic sheet if you want to protect the surface. Have at hand some potting soil, water, an assortment of plant pots, pot holders (that hold the excess water) and a spoon or small hoe/trowel for digging. These are the basics for the task at hand.

Once you have all your tools together bring over the plants you want to repot. I have an Avocado tree that needs a larger pot and some cuttings that I have put in water to grow roots that are more than ready to be placed in a pot.

I started with the Avocado. This particular plant is a little less than a year old and is very hearty. I planted the nut (seed) and it didn't seem to grow at all. About a month later, I planted a second nut and they both sprouted at about the same time. I was surprised the first one took twice as long to sprout, but it grew thicker and taller than the other one. Back to the job at hand, you want to loosen your soil in the current pot that your plant resides. Take your trowel or spoon and dig around the edge of the pot.

Dig all the way around and as deep as you can, to completely loosen the dirt from sticking to the pot. I would not recommend digging just the plant out of the dirt it is in to replant it. Keep it in it's original dirt to cushion the plant and it's roots. This helps to prevent the plant from going into shock over the change, which can cause the plant to become sick and maybe even die. You might be lucky and it will survive, but this way seems gentler to me.

At this point, the new pot that you are planning to place your plant into should be partially filled with dirt. Fill it up to a height that would be good for the bottom of your plant to rest on, to fit into the new pot nicely.

Gently pull your plant and it's dirt out of the pot. Be careful not to yank the plant too harshly, you don't want to damage it. It should give way nicely if you have loosened it well. If you have trouble getting it out, dig around it some more and try going a bit deeper to loosen that soil.

So here is the plant and all the dirt now removed from the smaller pot. You can see that the roots have grown down and around the bottom of the old pot. This indicates that it is definitely time to repot this plant. The new pot is just underneath with a layer of soil to put the plant on. I also have some of the leaves that have fallen off the plant in there to compost and help nourish the roots. Be careful and check that this is a good idea for your particular type of plant, as some plants do better with the dead leaves taken away and thrown out or composted separately. Some plants can also be harmful and poisonous to pets and children, as they may chew on them, so choose your plants wisely.

Place your plant into it's new home and keep it as level as possible, so there isn't too much stress on the plant. It has to get used to it's new, larger pot, so try to keep any change as minimal as possible. You don't want it to have to adapt to too many changes at once.

Now take your potting soil and fill in the pot with enough dirt to hold the plant in steady. I have left the nut exposed a little bit at the top of the soil, as this is still a young tree and I want it to grow easily. I want to wait until it has a good trunk, before I cover over the nut with soil completely.

It is important to water your plant at this point. It may not be your regular watering day and it may not have been that long since you watered it. However, it is a good idea to water it after the transfer to help it adapt to the change. Be careful not to over water it, you want to sort of dampen the new soil your plant is exposed to. That kind of an idea. Get rid of any excess water that ends up in the pot holder. You can now move your plant back to it's normal location or if you are growing a tree, like this, you may need to find a new spot to keep your plant as it gets taller and larger.

Avocados are great trees to grow indoors for those of us in northern climates and can't get them to grow outside. I had good success with growing these plants when I lived in Southern Ontario, but I struggle with them here. The extremely cold winters combined with electric heat in my apartment, causes trouble. The electric heat is the worst, as it dries everything out. I know it's getting bad when I go to pet my cats and I get a shock from them. Poor things. It makes it difficult to regulate the amount of water to give my plants. They can get really dry between watering, but watering them too often can cause problems, too. I thought this tree was a goner when it began to turn brown at the top and shrivel up. But I kept watering it and hoping it would survive and low and behold it started to grow branches. I am so happy it looks like it will make it.

Now I just hope it will make through next winter. I'm not sure if the other avocado is going to make it all though. :-(

Well this is turning into a long post, so I will continue tomorrow with planting the cuttings. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Spring Feeding

Some people feed the birds in the winter and then stop once spring arrives, but this is an important time to continue to feed them. At the beginning of spring, there hasn't been any growth of plants yet, and it's too cold for the bugs. Well, at least up here in the Northern Hemisphere anyway. It is also the time of breeding, so food is vitally important for them.

So, to help our feathered friends get the nourishment they need, try sopping up any left over grease in your pots and pans with bread crusts. The birds really like this and it helps them after a long winter of reduced calories. If you tend to throw out the crust ends of your bread, please consider feeding them to the birds instead. This will help to slightly reduce the garbage you produce, the food won't go to waste and you'll feel good helping out the birds. After all, giving is a true source of happiness.

Soak up all the grease with the bread crusts and rip the bread up into smaller "bite" sized pieces to make it easier for the birds to grab. I ripped it up before I rubbed it in the grease. This is also a great way to get rid of the left over grease in your pots and pans, making it much easier for clean up later. Once all your bread bits are ready, simply take them outside and scatter them around on the ground in a safe location. You may wish to do this near a window, so you can watch the birds and maybe squirrels enjoying your offerings.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Article on Hairstyles for Strapless Dresses

Here is the latest article that Metromela has published that I have written:

Hairstyles for Strapless Dresses: Metromela

I hope you enjoy the article and that it is helpful to you. 

(Once again I am having issues with being given credit for writing the article, but hopefully that will be fixed soon.) 

**Note: The authorship has been corrected as of April 11, 2015. 

Monday, 6 April 2015

3 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress in 5 Minutes

Of course, with any of these you can do them for longer than 5 minutes if you wish. These are simple things that you can do and are easy to remember. Try doing at least one of them a day to help reduce your overall stress level.

1. Listen to Birds Singing

For many of us living in cities, we often miss hearing our flighty friends singing. Too much traffic noise or living in apartments and working in offices with closed windows keeps us from hearing them. Listening to music or watching t.v. distracts us. People that are more in touch with nature, that live in the country or forest areas can tell you that birds singing means all is good. Birds tend to go quiet when danger is around and this alerts the animals and humans in the area that something is up. So, when we hear birds singing it acts to soothe us and keep us calm because it lets us know there is no immediate danger. Singing birds means that the birds are happy, so we can relax. Try listening to just 5 minutes of bird singing every day to reduce your stress level.

Try this link on Youtube or find another one that you like:  Sound of Nature - Bird Songs

2. Meditate

All you need to do is just 5 minutes of meditation a day to lower your level of stress. Surely, you can find 5 minutes somewhere in your busy day to meditate. Some of the other benefits of meditating daily are that it can lower your blood pressure, increase your concentration, decrease your pain and increase your immune functioning. For more information check out this page: 10 Science Based Reasons to Meditate.

Don't worry, you don't need to contort your body into a weird posture to do this. Simply sit in a chair with your back as straight as possible without being uncomfortable and your feet flat on the floor or you can even do it lying down if sitting is difficult. Close your eyes and breathe. (If you want to increase your flow of energy while sitting, you may wish to place your left hand in your lap palm upwards, and your right hand on top of your left hand palm upwards as well and then gently touch your thumbs together and point your thumbs toward your belly button.)

There are two ways to do Breathing Meditation:

1. Feel the air enter and leave your nostrils or if your nose is stuffed feel the air pass your upper lip. Just concentrate on the feeling of the air as it enters your body. This can be a cooling sensation or a very subtle tickling sensation. Don't follow the air on it's journey, but keep your focus on the feeling that arises on your upper lip or the rim of your nostrils as you breathe. Now notice the feeling of the air as it leaves your body. This can be a similar tickling sensation as breathing in, but in the reverse direction or it can be a warm sensation. That's it. Just breath normally, you do not need to take big, long breaths. Spend at least 5 minutes concentrating on the feeling the air creates at the rim of your nostrils or upper lip as you breath in and out, in and out.

2. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your stomach as you breath. If your shoulders are raising and lowering, this indicates that you are breathing shallowly, which is usually created by stress. This shallow breathing is not as healthy for you as the deeper stomach breathing, so try your best to breath deeper while meditating. You don't have to take long, slow breaths, just breath normally, but try to feel the air expand your stomach when you breath in. And then notice how your stomach returns to normal when you breath back out. Again, that is all you have to do, just breath in and pay attention to your stomach pushing out and release the air and feel your stomach return. You don't need to follow the breath, just focus your attention on your stomach moving each time you breathe in and out. Do this for at least 5 minutes.

You can do either one of these simple meditations and switch them up from time to time if you want to.

3. Healing Breathing Technique

You may be familiar with the phrase "in with the good air and out with the bad". This follows along that path. The beauty of this stress buster is that you can do it anytime, any where and no one will even know you are doing it. The more you practice it, the easier it becomes. Just breath normally to start for the first few breaths. Then imagine that every time you inhale you are breathing in healing white light energy. You bring this healing, white, light energy breath down to your heart and from there it spreads throughout your entire body. You can imagine this white light healing any illnesses you have and reducing your pain, or just imagine it giving you beautiful healing energy. Do this for a few breaths and let yourself feel more relaxed and energized as you do this.

Now imagine that every time you exhale you breathe out all your pain, illnesses and suffering in the form of thick, black, smoke. Once this smoke leaves your body it instantly disappears. Try this for a few breaths. Allow yourself to release these physical, mental or emotional problems. Give yourself permission to reduce them and let them leave your body entirely. Once you have tried these out, combine the two for each breath. For every breath you take, inhale healing, white, light energy and exhale suffering, thick, black, smoke. Breathe in healing and breathe out suffering.

Once you get the hang of it, you can practice this any time, even standing in the line at the grocery store or bank. It is easy to learn and easy to do with very little practice you can master this technique that uses visualization with breathing.

I hope you find at least one of these methods for reducing stress helpful. Give them all a try and find your favourite one or use all three of them. Let me know if any of these work for you and which one you prefer in the comments below. Thanks.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

An Article on Short Hair Styles

If you are looking for a new short hairstyle for the new season arriving soon, then this article just might help you. Here is the latest article that I wrote for Metromela on short hair styles for thick hair:

(I have not been given proper credit for writing this article yet, but hopefully that will be fixed soon, but I assure you I wrote this.)

**Note: Authorship has been changed to my name on the article now as of April, 6, 2105.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Jupiter Ascending - Explained

Okay, I went to see this movie yesterday and yes, I have a headache above my eyes today which I am blaming on the 3D movie. I will admit that this movie worked in 3D unlike many others I could mention. Being in space and flying around does lend itself to a 3D atmosphere, so I am not going to complain about the movie being in that format.

If you went to see this movie and there aren't too many of you that did (at least that is my understanding), then you will know that it wasn't a great movie. I am one that cannot stand a didactic movie that shoves the plot and foreshadowing into your face, so obviously, that you dread watching the rest of the movie. After all, what is the point of watching the rest of the movie, when you have been told exactly what is going to happen already at the beginning. Jupiter Ascending however, sort of left this stuff out. I'm not sure if they did this on purpose, or they flubbed during editing. Thank you for not making the movie didactic, but it would have been nice to have known what was going on a little more than what we got.

I am of the thinking that perhaps the pace of the movie, which was very quick (and added to the headache I'm sure), was too fast, because you really didn't have time to let what was happening sink in. A line of dialogue thrown in here and there throughout the movie hinted at a back story, but there was so much action going on you kind of miss it and didn't have time for your brain to sort the pieces out and make sense of what the hell was happening on screen.

(Yes, she falls for most of the movie.)


If you haven't watched the film yet, then you might not want to continue reading this. But on the other hand, this might help you to understand what is going on in the film. ;-)

About four hours after I had watched the movie and keeping busy doing other things, a light bulb moment happened and my brain finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together and came up with an explanation of what I had just seen. I honestly have no idea if this is what the writer and film makers intended at all or if it is just a feeble attempt of my mind to try to create a story out of the chaos. 

Here goes:

Once upon a time there was a Queen of the Universe and she had three children. (We do not know how she begot these kids as there is never any mention of a King or father for these kids at all, ever, at least to my knowledge.) Her first born child was a boy, the second a girl and the third another boy. (I would mention names but to be honest all I can remember was Jupiter and Titus for the names of anyone in the movie. I could look this information up, but I am not going to pretend that I came away from that movie with any sort of a clear idea of who anyone was.)

 (Look it's Titus and Jupiter - the only characters I can name.)

At some point in time, the Queen took a lover and he was a flying wolfman. Supposedly, wolves have wings and can fly. The flying wolfman and the Queen loved each other dearly. 

The eldest son, who was ambitious and ruthless, had a fight with his mother, the Queen, and during the scuffle killed his mother. This obviously, angered the flying wolfman, who then tried to kill the eldest son, by ripping his throat apart with his bare teeth. Unfortunately, he failed and the eldest son lived. Despite all the advanced, powerful healing technology they had, the eldest son was never able to fully recover from his throat injury. Therefore, he wears high collars to cover up the wounds and whispers throughout the movie, except when he unexpectedly and for no apparent reason screams his words. Having killed the Queen and having survived the attempt on his life, you would think that the eldest son of the Queen would now be King, but you would be wrong.

Meanwhile, the flying wolfman, somehow gets away with his attack and is punished by having his wings removed. It's not really clear how he got away with it or why, as you would think attacking the heir would mean execution, but apparently not.

Now it turns out that this particular Royal Family, has the uncanny and unexplainable ability to take rebirth as themselves perfectly if they die. They are a completely perfect DNA replica of themselves, despite the DNA of the new parents that begot them. The eldest son, who I would guess wants to be King of the Universe has many spies out and about watching for when and where his mother, the Queen of the Universe will re-appear. He is hoping to find her before anyone else does, so he can kill her again and then maybe eventually they will let him be King finally.

The flying wolfman having escaped punishment by death or imprisonment, is free to spend all of his time and effort trying to find the rebirth of the woman he loves, the Queen of the Universe. This may seem an impossible task, but it turns out she is able to take rebirth and look exactly the same as she did, sound exactly the same and smell exactly the same, which makes this easier for the flying wolfman to track down. 

The Queen's youngest son figures that her flying wolfman lover will have the best chance of anyone to find her rebirth and hires him to do just that. And this is the point, when the movie begins, but none of this back story is clearly explained at all and I could be completely wrong. 

I have no plans to watch this film again, to find out if my tale would actually work out correctly or not. So if you see the film and this helps to makes sense of it, then please leave a comment and let me know or if I am way off then let me know that, too. hahaha thanks.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Seven Types of Husbands

picture from:

1. An Oppressive Husband - flirts with other women, cheats on his wife, is a hustler, neglects and/or harasses his wife, is nasty, brutal and evil minded

2. A Predatory Husband - takes for himself whatever money or possessions his wife earns or acquires

3. A Dictator Husband - bosses his wife around, bad mouths her, is lazy, gluttonous and mean, does nothing to help his wife

4. A Supportive Husband - protects his wife, her possessions and money, is affectionate and sympathetic

5. An Understanding Husband - respects his wife, acknowledges his wife's wishes, is modest

6. A Loyal Husband- is noble in his intentions towards his wife, is delighted whenever he sees her, is honest and faithful to her

7.  A Valet Husband - does whatever his wife wishes, does not get angry with her and will not harm her, gladly accepts everything about his wife, even if he is threatened with punishment has no ill-will in his heart towards her

I borrowed this from a teaching from Buddha. He, however, had a list of Seven Kinds of Wives, so of course I had  to switch the genders. After all, this is human nature we are talking about and it could and does apply to both genders. Husbands can be labelled like this just as easily as wives. The most appropriate title would be Seven Types of Spouses, whichever gender they may be. I did however want to get the point across that this can apply to men, not just to women. As I am sure there are many women out there that can verify their husbands fall into one of these categories, just as easily as men could find one for their wives. I am sure it will still apply for those that have spouses of the same sex.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

DIY - Watch Battery Replacement

I found this informative video on youtube, that I highly recommend, for replacing the battery in your watch:

How to Change a Watch Battery

There is some very useful advice in this video, such as using a towel to work on. Not only does it protect your working surface and the face of your watch, which will be upside down most of the time, but it also acts to 'catch' the tiny screw you may find yourself working with. The towel is perfect to keep the screw from bouncing around or falling to the floor. Believe me it can be very tricky to find, so try to use a colour of towel that you will be able to see that tiny screw easily. If you are anything like me, you will drop that screw multiple times. haha

This watch has an arrow pointing to the place that the watch back cover can be removed from. Not all watches have this, so you will need to look around or use the tiny screwdriver to find a ledge or indentation that can be used to pry the cover off.
Here you can see the arrow points to the small edge that sticks out just slightly more than the rest of the back cover. This is where you pry the back cover off.
This is what the inside of your watch may look like. They are not all built the exact same, but you can get a general idea anyway. Try not to tamper with any other parts of the watch, other than the battery or the screw that you may have to remove in order to get at the battery. The screwdriver is pointing towards the only screw that needs to be used.
Here the screw has been removed. You may notice there is the tiniest bit of metal that hangs over the battery at the top of it, just under the copper wire. This little bit of metal is what the screw is holding down, which in turn keeps the battery in place, so that it can function in the watch. Once the screw is gone that metal is somewhat springy and the battery can be removed.
It is next to impossible to see, but that tiny screw is placed here for safe keeping. Be careful not to lose that screw, it is very important. (The towel almost looks like a shag rug at this camera setting.)
 Once you have removed the battery you can read it for the size number. You may need a magnifying glass to read it. When you have the number you can buy a pack or individual battery. This one came from the dollar store.
The battery size I need was the 626 size. I was happy these batteries could be removed with a blister pack rather than having to rip the whole thing open. This way the unused batteries can stay put. (It turned out the largest size batteries in this pack were the correct size for our laser pointer cat toy! bonus)

Here the watch is without the battery, I had put the screw back in for safe keeping, until I got the replacement batteries.
 I had to remove that screw again, in order to get the fresh, new battery in there. Hopefully, this will help you figure out which exact screw it is that needs to come out.
The new battery has been placed inside the watch. Notice it is not flat when first place in. This is why you need the screw to hold down that little metal spring part. (Nice technical names I use, eh? lol)
I am using this picture again, to show that the battery needs to be held down so the metal spring part can be in the proper place to be able to add the screw.

It will be tricky, but you can wind that screw back into place to hold the battery down, so the watch can function properly. It took me a few attempts to finally get that screw back in. I think that takes the longest amount of time and is the most frustrating part of replacing the battery.
There you have it all done. You just need to replace the back cover and your watch will run again. It can be done for a couple of bucks and some spare time. It really doesn't take long at all, once you have the replacement batteries. 

I hope this has been helpful. The video is great, but sometimes, they go a little quickly when you are trying to follow along, so I thought step by step pictures might be useful for some people.

*** By the way, if want to make your watch battery last longer, and if you are like me and have more than one watch, (I like to colour co-ordinate), simply pull out the dial when you aren't using the watch. The dial you pull out to change the time on your watch, will stop the watch from running. Pull this dial out when your watch isn't in use. I read somewhere this will help your battery to last longer. You will have to re-set the time on your watch before you wear it, but as the dial is already out, that won't take long to do. If you only have one watch and you wear it all the time, then this trick might not be worth doing.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Extreme Cold Warning

The Arctic has sent frigid winds our way and this morning at 8 a.m. the temperature was a cool -30C with a wind chill of -41C. When I opened my curtains to let the sunshine in, I discovered a nice collection of ice at the bottoms of my windows. Inside the windows, not outside, as you may have expected. (I hope everyone here plugged in their car block heaters last night.)

Well, it is an improvement over last winter, as the deep freeze set in during December 2013 and didn't let up until April 2014, if I recall correctly. This winter has had it's ups and downs so far, temperature wise. I just wish it wouldn't get warm enough to rain during the winter as it always turns into ice, and that's just not fun to walk around on, especially if it snows over top. Then you can't see where the ice is and if it's powdery snow, it is very slippery and treacherous to walk on.

Ah, the joys of winter in Canada. Of course, I am in the south compared to most of the country. I don't think I could handle being farther north. ha ha For Ontario, however I am considered to be in the northwest. ;-)