Saturday, April 30, 2022

Walking - Cold Air benefits

Of course, as I write this, spring is finally arriving in full force - which makes me very happy. I love to see the spring flowers and the budding and blooming trees. But there is still merit in sharing about the benefits of walking, even when it is cold. In fact, one article I read encouraged you to keep the top of your coat open and skip the scarf to ensure that you had enough exposure to cold air when walking.

I had heard long ago that a cold shower is a good thing. I know that it can help in the summer if you rinse in cold water at the end of your shower. I know that the cold water is good for your hair and helps close the strands when rinsed in cold water. I know that it helps me be less itchy in the dry months of winter. At the end of each shower, I turn the faucet back half way and quickly rinse in the cold water.

This year though, was the first time that I had read that walking outside in the cold air and skipping the scarf and leaving your collar loose was a good thing. According to the article, citing NIH, exposing your collar bone to the cold activates fat-burning cells called brown adipose tissue, which sits in pockets around the neck and shoulders and has impressive calorie-burning powers. The cold air doesn't create the brown adipose tissue just activates it, but the good news is that exercise (which walking is) develops the tissue. So, in walking in the winter, you can both develop the brown adipose and activate it for calorie burning power.

I am glad to learn of these addiitonal potential benefits but I have to be honest. I like walking in the cold of winter because I like the fresh, crisp, clean air. I like overcoming the sluggishness that I sometimes feel in the winter when getting in a walk is an invigorating, blood pumping way to eliminate the sluggishness. Of course, if you walk in winter, be wary of the ice. I took a few spills this winter but thankfully all but one was a graceful slide to bent knees - one was an unexpected tail bone bruising fall to my backside.

Of course, this week, I may be able to ditch the jacket for most walks and soon, it will be time for shorts and wishing it weren't so hot on my walk.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer

A complimentary advanced readers copy was provided to me through a contest hosted by the publisher.
Do you have an author that you simply read every book they write? No need to read the back cover, just pick up a copy as soon as you can? One that you can't wait for the next one to finally be available? That is how I am with D.J. Palmer and was with his father's books too. I'm always amazed when an author can continue to release books, each as good or better than the last. Where do the ideas come from? How do they assemble the story? So many questions.

The newest, soon to be released book by D.J. Palmer is My Wife is Missing. The book is being released on May 10th. Needless to say, when I had a chance to enter for a chance to win an advanced copy of this book, I entered right away and was excited when I learned that I was chosen along with several other entrants to get an advanced copy. You can pre-order a copy now from your favorite retailer (I highly recommend it).

I recieved the book a couple weeks ago and just finished reading it. The book did not disappoint. It was one of those books where each night I had to force myself to put the book down so that I could get some sleep. The book is told from three points of view - the husband, and the wife, before she disappeared and after. The current timeline keeps the story moving but the regularly interspersed 'before she disappeared' sections allow the reader to gain some insights on what had happened and how we got to the current situation. As a reader, this is part of what draws me in to reading more than I should at bedtime. The regular feed of flashbacks helps my theories continue to evolve with time and has me wanting to know some more, so as to help solidify or disprove my theory. As an added plus, there were defintely some unexpected things learned through those flashbacks, as well. I love it when a book keeps me guessing, and even enjoy it when there is a twist at the end that completely surprises me. I can proudly say that I had a suspicion on the right who but no idea on the why, which is why I wasn't fully convinced until I learned it in the story and continued to entertain multiple possibilities almost to the end of the book. And, was rather shocked by the other reveal in the epilogue.

I like the mystery and thriller nature of the book. If you read any of his ealrier work, as Daniel Palmer, this story is a little less on the scary side of thriller but definitely is high on the mystery side of the thriller. He keeps the reader guessing and worrying, as you wonder when the secrets will be revealed and who the characters (and you) can trust. My Wife is Missing was very enjoyable to read and I would highly recommend that you check it out. Then, if you haven't already, be sure to pick up and read the other books by DJ Palmer.

Natalie and Michael were the main characters, along with their two children. In addiiton, there was Detective Kennett, a few of Natalie's coworkers, a nanny and Natalie's friend that helped feed the story through conversation. Overall the character set was reasonably likeable, even as you started to question who was on the good side and who was on the bad side.

Book Details
When a woman disappears with her two children, one husband will do anything to find them--even confront the secrets of his own past--in D. J. Palmer's My Wife Is Missing, a twisty thriller from the author of The New Husband...

A family vacation turns into a nightmare for Michael Hart when he discovers his wife and two children have disappeared from their New York City hotel room. Horrified, he fears they’ve been kidnapped. Michael’s frantic search to find them takes a shocking turn when he discovers that his wife, Natalie, appears to have left quite willingly, taking their children with her. The police want to know why, and so does Michael. But there may be a reason why Natalie ran, something Michael can’t tell the police—the truth about his past.

While untangling his deceptions might be the key to locating Natalie, Michael knows it could also be his undoing. To find his wife, he must now turn to the one person capable of exposing all that he’s been hiding. Natalie thinks she has Michael all figured out and has hatched a plan to escape from him permanently. One detail, though, threatens to derail her efforts: sleep—or more accurately, the lack of it. Since the moment the shocking revelations about her husband came to light, Natalie’s insomnia has worsened to the point that she now suffers from delusions.

Are her fears about Michael valid—or a symptom of her condition? With her children’s lives at risk, the stakes for Natalie could not be higher. On her own, running low on energy and resources, avoiding increasingly close calls with Michael—who is on the hunt and closing in fast—Natalie needs someone to turn to for help. But who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself?

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. A complimentary review copy was provided to me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

New Coffee Offering from Lardera (by adagioteas)

Complimentary samples of the coffee were provided so that I could try them and share my expierence.

I recently was introduced to Lardera coffee, offered by the same people that are behind Adagio Tea. Lardera offers four single-origin medium roasts, all sourced directly from Costa Rican farmers. The farms are located in two different regions of Costa Rica which is a contributor to the flavor that the different beans deliver.
Its "direct from farmer's" advantage bypasses brokers and middlemen. This allows Lardera to source the freshest beans whiles ensuring that the farmers receive the largest percentage of payment. Each farmer is highlighted with their own unique "know your farmer" profile. Read about how they got started in the industry and what makes their coffee worthy of the Lardera name. And, with samples starting at only $3 each, Lardera makes it easy to sample its assortment without committing to larger quantities.
One of the things that I like about their approach is the direct link to the farmer and that most of the money is going to the farmers. I found it interesting to read up on each of the farmers and learn more about them and their farms. There are four farmers that Lardera sources their fresh coffee from.

Lardera offers their coffee both as a whole bean coffee, or ground coffee - for those like me that don't have a coffee grinder (I did see though that Lardera also offers gear for grinding and brewing coffee) and in two sizes, 2 oz samples and 6 oz packages.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have taken the time to try each coffee a couple of times so that I could share my experience with you.

Catuai Anaerobic
I chose to try this one first because of the description on the package:
fruit bomb with lush notes of cherry, black currant, passion fruit and cocoa
I was intrigued, I don't know that aside from a flavored coffee that I had seen so many fruit notes listed for a coffee. I made a half carafe in my coffee maker using the classic brew style (you can learn more about my new coffee maker here). I decided that I wanted to taste it black so that I could really taste the coffee.
In my first taste, I was impressed with the coffee. It didn't have any of the bitter notes that I generally assoicate with coffee. It was flavorful and had body. I definitely picked up fruit notes (I couldn't have named them without the description likely but still noted it had fruity notes). In fact, it was so smooth and had such a great flavor that I realized that this was a coffee that I could absolutely drink black and enjoy. My current creamer is a sweet cream though, so I decided to give it a try in my second mug.
The sweet cream enhanced the flavor and the smoothness of the coffee, in my opinion. This is definitely a coffee that I will buy again.

Catuai Honey
Since I liked the first one that was called Catuai, I decided to try this one next.
complex blend of juicy clementines, tart cranberries, and ripe pomegranate
This coffee was also very good. I found it flavorful and full bodied. I could detect the touch of tart associated with the fruity notes it listed. I really appreciate how smooth the coffee is. Not only can I enjoy it without cream, I also found that when my last mug got cold, it was still enjoyable without that bitter note.
I did however decide to add cream at this point to make it more of a sweet drink, since it wasn't a hot beverage anymore. This is a coffee that I would buy again.

Kenya Washed
I decided to try this one third, choosing it based on the description.
layered notes of juicy citrus accented by sweet sugar cane and milk chocolate
Sweet sugar cane and milk chocolate remind me of a dessert, a treat. Based on the last two I had tried, I did start with this one black.
It was good. The citrus notes hit early but I didn't feel that the sugar cane and milk chocolate popped liked I expected. Then, I added a splash of cream. This brought foward the notes of sweet and of milk chocolate. It was very good. I could drink this coffee black but most likely I would add the cream to deliver on that treat expectation that the description gave me. As with the prior two, a coffee that I would buy again.

Tipica Honey
This was the fourth coffee that I tried, by default.
solid, well balanced cup with lingering notes of citrus, red apple, and pear
This coffee was a nice easy, smooth cup when I enjoyed it black.
It didn't have any noted pop like some of the others did but it was enjoyable in its simplicity. It also made the perfect canvas for a splash of creamer to really shine providing a smooth, creamy texture and a sweet flavor. I'm not sure that I would put this one at the top of my list but I certainly would enjoy it again.

Overall, I was impressed by all four of the coffees I tried. I was not surprised that I enjoyed the medium roast coffees, as I generally lean in that direction when I choose. I was impressed by how smooth they all were, the lack of bitterness or acidity on the tongue when enjoying it black. I definitely would recommend trying this coffee for yourself. You can try any of their coffees for just $3 for a smaple size, or if you are a drinker of single origin cofee, they have a free coffee offer that you can find on any of the coffee variety pages.

No compensation was received for this review. All opinions expressed are my own or that of my family. Complimentary samples of the coffee were provided for my family and I to try, so that I could share my experience.