Wisdom Wednesdays – Worth of a Man



More Fall Colors! by Smiling Notes (BLW Contributor)



I cannot believe it’s November already! Which means winter is approaching soon…but please, pretty please can I make Fall stay with me forever!?

I must have said this a hundred times before that Fall is my favorite season! Especially for east coasters where the winter can get pretty brutal at times. Now that the Halloween festivities are over, everyone will be geared up for the upcoming black friday sales and Thanksgiving. For people like me who celebrate ‘Diwali’ – the Hindu festival of Lights (which is just around the corner) it is yet another reason to enjoy!!

Ok…so enough of my ramble…getting to the point – I captured these photos over the past few days. I kid you not, once I literally made the hubby stop the car as we were driving by so I could go all bat-shit crazy clicking photos! Now I know that certain states like New Hampshire or Maine get the prettiest fall colors (there’s no denying that) but New Jersey and New York get fascinating glimpses of Fall too!

Loving the beautiful bed of leaves –


By far, this is my favorite pic –  

They say ‘Fall is a second Spring…when every leaf is a flower’so I am enjoying this ‘second spring’ as much as I can because honestly, even though I love snow…it can truly get depressing in the winter sometimes. Hope this post added a little bit of extra color in your lives the way it did for me! 

Keep smiling!

Check out more pictures from Smiling Notes

Your Welcome!!! – Hot Chocolate French Toast Recipe, plus learn a little Japanese in the process

Leader of the Pack – Bruce Lee’s Rules for Success



He was a martial artist, actor, teacher, and philosopher.

He is widely considered to be one of the most influential martial artists of all time.

He is often credited with helping change the way Asians were presented in American films.

He’s Bruce Lee and here are his Top 10 Rules for success.

Credit: Evan Carmichael

The Truth Hurts – Expectations always Hurt



Confession: I read “too much” and I don’t care by A Novel Glimpse (BLW Contributor)



This past weekend was the first weekend in a couple of months that my family had some down time. We weren’t camping, vacationing, birthday partying or sucked into any other commitment. I actually got to stay in my pajamas and read one day.

It was probably around noon that lounging day when my husband said something to me that he’s said to many times before:

“You read too much.”

I always hate when he says that to me. Partly because I know it’s true. Partly because it makes me feel guilty and embarrassed. It makes me feel like I need to stop reading so much.

I mean, I get why he thinks I read too much. Reading is a physically lazy hobby. You’re sitting or lying there with a book in your hand. I do try to read while walking on the treadmill a lot just to make up for the time I spend sitting with a book.

I’ll admit I spend a ton of time reading. It’s probably too much. Most of it is at night after my daughter goes to bed and my husband’s watching T.V. I explain it to people by saying he watches stuff I don’t like, so I read instead of watching with him. While that’s true, there are better reasons.

I really do love to read. I try to explain it is like watching a movie, only better. Non-readers don’t get this. Wouldn’t it be better to have an actual picture of what’s going on instead of imagining it? My answer is no, it’s not. There are so many emotions that cannot be shown simply by acting. Unless there is a narrator, you’re not in the characters heads like you are in books.

A prime example of that would be Fifty Shades of Grey. I remember reading the book and becoming sucked in by Ana’s emotions. They made the book for me. Her emotions are what kept me reading. I recently watched the movie. I have to be honest. The movie and its lack of emotions made me rethink how I felt about the book. (I don’t like it as much as I did before.) Instead of it being about the emotional connection Ana and Christian had, all I saw was the sex. And it wasn’t a pretty picture. Lack of emotions ruined it.

Also, books usually include more than movies. Anything imaginable can happen in a book. Not everything can physically happen in a movie. It’s gotten better with the special effects that are being created, but it’s not as good some authors’ imaginations. Then, there is the time constraint of two to two and a half hours. Most books take longer than that to read.

But that’s not even the real reason I read.

I read to feel.

Some people might label it escaping the norm, but it’s about feeling something for me. In my early twenties, everything was new and exciting. Once I started working full-time things started changing. Every day was similar. I used to yearn for the weekends and finding something exciting to do. Then, I got married, had my daughter and became a stay-at-home mom. While there were many exciting milestones, there was also a lot of boredom. My mind was used to the fast-paced work environment. Now, there wasn’t a lot of mental stimulation. I turned to reading to keep my mind sharp.

As I started reading, I discovered new authors and books. I found authors like Colleen Hoover, Jessica Park and Ginger Scott, that had me feeling. I felt so many emotions that I hadn’t in such a long time: first love, longing, heartbreak, etc. While I wouldn’t want my life to be any different from it is now, it was nice to be reminded of feelings I felt in my younger years when everything was new and exciting all the time. It made me appreciate my current life even more.

So, what I guess I’m trying to say through this long and rambling post is that I’m okay with reading “too much.” I’m not going to stop because it truly makes me happy. I know not everyone will understand my love for it, but that doesn’t matter. And the next time my husband says I read too much, I’m going to say,

“You spend too much time in the garage, snowmobiling, watching T.V., on the computer…”

Maybe that will help put things in perspective because life is too short not to do the things you love. And I love reading.

**Update: I feel the need to add to this post that my husband is an amazing guy. We normally “get” each other.  My obsession with reading is one area where we don’t always see eye to eye. He’s not a reader, so how could he understand? I hope my comeback at the end of this post doesn’t seem too sassy. It’s really just my way of putting my love of reading in a way he would understand.

Check out other great articles from A Novel Glimpse

Happy National Cashew Day!!! – Health Benefits of Cashews

Cashew Nuts

Here are seven health benefits of cashews.

Cancer Prevention
Cashews are ripe with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that actually starve tumors and stop cancer cells from dividing. Studies have also shown that cashews can reduce your colon cancer risk. Their high copper content also endows the seed with the power to eliminate free radicals and they are also good sources of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect us from heart disease and cancer.

Heart Health
Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and most of it is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health by helping to reduce triglyceride levels, high levels of which are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Cashews are wonderfully cholesterol free and their high antioxidant content helps lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. The magnesium in cashews helps lower blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.

Hair and Skin Health
Cashews are rich in the mineral copper. An essential component of many enzymes, copper plays its part in a broad array of processes. One copper-containing enzyme, tyrosinase, converts tyrosine to melanin, which is the pigment that gives hair and skin its color. Without the copper cashews are so abundant in, these enzymes would not be able to do their jobs.

Bone Health
Cashews are particularly rich in magnesium. It’s a well-known fact that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is as well. Most of the magnesium in the human body is in our bones. Some of it helps lend bones their physical structure, and the remainder is located on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use as it needs. Copper found in cashews is vital for the function of enzymes involved in combining collagen and elastin, providing substance and flexibility in bones and joints.

Good for the Nerves By preventing calcium from rushing into nerve cells and activating them, magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed and thereby our blood vessels and muscles too. Too little magnesium means too much calcium can gain entrance to the nerve cell, causing it to send too many messages, and leading to too much contraction.

Insufficient magnesium leads to higher blood pressure, muscle tension, migraine headaches, soreness and fatigue. Not surprisingly, studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps diminish the frequency of migraine attacks, lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.

Prevent Gallstones
Data collected on 80,718 women from the Nurses’ Health Study demonstrates that women who eat at least an ounce of nuts each week, such as cashews, have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.

Weight Loss
People who eat nuts twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who rarely eat nuts. Cashew nuts are indeed relatively high in fat, but it is considered “good fat.” This is attributable to the ideal fat ratio in the nut, 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively, which is recommended by scientists for tip-top health. Cashew nuts contain less fat than most other popular nuts, including peanuts, pecans, almonds and walnuts. They are dense in energy and high in dietary fiber, making them a very valuable snack for managing weight gain.

Photo Credit: http://www.roadtripsrus.com

Credit: Health Diaries

Motivation Monday – You just need to BELIEVE in Yourself!!!


Benefits of Drinking Coffee before Exercising – Happy Espresso Day!!!




The study basically simulated your average morning: a mug of coffee to wake up, a little gym time, another cup with breakfast, followed by lunch. Fourteen participants completed two moderate workouts on a stationary bike: one where they took caffeine (equal to two 8-ounce cups of coffee or 4 cups of black tea) 90 minutes before the workout, and one where they took a placebo. When caffeinated, the participants reported the ride as way easier than it was without the stimulant.

Coffee before Exercising:

1) Enhanced Performance 

Time and time again, caffeine has been proven to be a powerful ergogenic aid – that is, something which contributes to improved performance during high intensity exercise. 

Studies reveal that after caffeine consumption, athletes can train for much longer and with more power/speed.

2) Boosts Focus

A pre-workout cup o‘ Joe can also boost mental focus during exercise.

Combined with the increase in endurance and power/speed provided, this can lead to extremely productive workout sessions, as you huff and puff with the seeming intensity of an international athlete.

3) Accelerate Fat Loss

Another benefit of taking a cup of coffee prior to lacing up your trainers is that caffeine is proven to provide a range of fat loss benefits.

Coffee can help burn fat as, during exercise, it causes the body to use fat cells for energy as opposed to glycogen.

What’s more, a caffeine intake correlates with increase metabolism, which forces your body to burn more calories during the day, and it also suppresses appetite, satiating those cravings which are oh so bad for your waistline!  

4) Diminished Muscle Pain

Studies also show that a pre-workout injection of caffeine can lead to decreased muscle soreness when exercising.

So whether you’re pumping iron or racing down the tarmac, a cup of coffee will help you perform more reps and allow you to run for further with less muscular pain, resulting in a much more effective workout.

Credit: Cafe 2 U



Weekend Inspiration – High School student gives a lesson to his Teacher


Jeff Bliss criticized her for freaking out on kids who didn’t get the classroom material in her World History class. Jeff Bliss told reporters the altercation occurred when he questioned the teacher about why his class didn’t have more time to prepare for the STAAR examination. 

After a verbal exchange, Phung told him to stop complaining and to leave her class. That’s when Bliss’s classmate began recording this viral video. In it, Jeff Bliss unloads on his teacher’s style of instruction — specifically critical of her passing out worksheets rather than engaging the class in fruitful discussions.

Jeff Bliss’ mother is a teacher at another large district in North Texas. The 18-year-old is currently a sophomore because he dropped out of school for a year. Only then did he discover the value of education.

“What I soon realized is without that education I’m not going to make any steps forward into my future,” he said.

Jeff Bliss didn’t know a fellow classmate recorded his rant, but he’s not embarrassed. The school’s principal requested a meeting with him on Thursday to discuss what happened but so far, Jeff Bliss has not been reprimanded.