Felix Assivo


The Falcon and the Winter Soldier * Non-Stop Action, Belly Laugh Funny, Emotional Ride Of A Lifetime

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Reviews
The Falcon and the Winter Soldier * Non-Stop Action, Belly Laugh Funny, Emotional Ride Of A Lifetime

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is an upcoming American web television miniseries, based on the Marvel Comics superheroes of the same names. The series is a sequel to Avengers: Endgame. It is the second installment and the second television series of Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Picking up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, the show centers on Sam Wilson (aka The Falcon) taking over the Captain America shield, and Bucky Barnes (aka The Winter Soldier) grappling with 21st century life without his star-spangled pal Steve Rogers. On top of that, the pair team up on a globe-trotting mission to take down an anarchist group called the Flag-Smashers. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Jude A. comments, “Are you ready to fly into nonstop action? Are you ready to watch a show that will belly laugh and also immerse you in an emotional ride of a lifetime? Well if so, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the show for you! Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return in iconic roles, delivering mind-blowing action choreography and creative new ways to show action like Marvel hasn’t achieved before.” Heather S. adds, “The moral of the series is that there’s always a way to help heal all kinds of wounds. Sam desperately tries to help his sister with finances and tries to gain back the time he lost. Bucky, on the other hand, goes to therapy to help deal with his trauma and pain, trying to erase all traces of the Winter Soldier.” See their full reviews below.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

By Heather S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/C1YJhbeWsR4

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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the action-packed series everyone needs! With explosions, story-telling and two Avengers, we explore the backstories and lives of our favorite superheroes. This show is definitely a Marvel world-class adventure.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame. We catch up with the two heroes and see how much has changed in the last five years. Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) is still fighting crime as the Falcon, as he hangs up the Captain America shield. Meanwhile, Bucky Barnes tries to move on from the wars, as his past as the Winter Soldier haunts him. Soon, the two Avengers must team up against their latest villain, Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl).

Marvel yet again delivers with the cinematic spectacular they’re known for. The series starts off doing what Sam knows best – fighting and flying. With explosions and swift movements, Sam saves a prisoner. This series really gives insight to characters that never took center stage. It showcases why their skills and mindsets make them valuable assets and Earth’s mightiest heroes. It’s so exciting to see them on their own. It’s beautiful to see the two heroes be actual humans and people, not just aliases. We also see how comfortable the actors are in their respective roles. Sebastian really dives in deep into how Bucky has changed and faces these emotions head on. Anthony also merges with Sam. It’s so hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. They’re both hilarious and their performances offer comedic relief. I can’t wait to see both Sam and Bucky reunite. These two characters have been teased to be a comedic duo in previous Avengers films.

The moral of the series is that there’s always a way to help heal all kinds of wounds. Sam desperately tries to help his sister with finances and tries to gain back the time he lost. Bucky, on the other hand, goes to therapy to help deal with his trauma and pain, trying to erase all traces of the Winter Soldier.

I give The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. It starts streaming on Disney+ March 19, 2021.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

By Jude A., KIDS FIRST Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/IWBsDaFWyTE

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Are you ready to fly into nonstop action? Are you ready to watch a show that will belly laugh and also immerse you in an emotional ride of a lifetime? Well if so, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is the show for you! Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return in iconic roles, delivering mind-blowing action choreography and creative new ways to show action like Marvel hasn’t achieved before. This will definitely bring a smile to long time Marvel fans, and it will also be extremely enjoyable for first time Marvel viewers.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is set six months after the events of Avengers: Endgame, establishing the current status of Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan). Sam (aka the Falcon) is still completing missions fighting crime left and right. Bucky (aka the Winter Soldier), on the other hand, is lying very low. He is dealing with mental health issues, trying to make peace with himself and the world. When the terrifying villain Zemo makes his reappearance from the events of Captain America: Civil War, Bucky and Sam must team up and defeat this foe.

In Captain America: Civil War, we get a taste of the Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan duo. Everyone loved it. Now to satisfy our lust for more, we have The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. Their chemistry is outstanding. You laugh consistently throughout the show, making you want more and more. The visual effects and writing departments each deserve a lot of credit for the extremely creative route the show takes, demonstrating to the world what beautiful effects Marvel can produce.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is intense at times. A good portion of the show is pure action that some parents might not be comfortable with their younger children seeing. Some episodes contain mild cursing. The show does offer many morals and lessons. It explores themes such as teamwork, love and friendship. It also teaches the lesson that, even though you might have lost someone you love, they would have wanted you to move on and continue to live the life you want.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier soars higher than the Falcon does in the show, delivering plenty of great laughs and action-packed scenes. The show does contain intense action and cursing. Therefore, I give The Falcon and the Winter Soldier 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 11 to 18, plus adults. Every Friday a new episode releases on Disney+ starting March 19, 2021, so make sure to check it out!

I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) * Sheds Light on Struggles of Poverty and Virtues of a Single Mom

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Reviews
I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) * Sheds Light on Struggles of Poverty and Virtues of a Single Mom

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When a recently widowed mother becomes houseless, she convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off of the streets. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail L. comments, “I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) is a fantastic film that sheds a new light on the struggles of poverty and the virtues of being a single mother. Director, writer and star of the film, Kelley Kali, creates an excellent, heart-wrenching story that captures the turmoil and strife that people are currently facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Joshita B. adds, “This movie represents the struggle of many single parents, especially when juggling their financial responsibilities while trying to parent as well.  Right off the bat, I must mention that Kelley Kali’s emotionally driven character is so well acted that she honestly steals the show and my heart. By making the mother so likable, the audience can’t help but root for her!” See their full reviews below.

I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)

By Abigail L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

https://youtu.be/WQE-jmmADNw

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I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) is a fantastic film that sheds a new light on the struggles of poverty and the virtues of being a single mother. Director, writer and star of the film, Kelley Kali, creates an excellent, heart-wrenching story that captures the turmoil and strife that people are currently facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film features Danny (Kelley Kali), a recently widowed mother who is struggling to make ends meet. She convinces her eight-year-old daughter, Wes (Wesley Moss), that they are camping while they live in a tent. After promising her daughter that they will have a home by the end of the day Danny skates around Los Angeles trying to find different ways to make enough money to secure an apartment.

My favorite part of this movie is the acting. Each character is distinguishable and genuine. The large variety of filming locations stands out as well. It showcases the marginalized communities in Los Angeles, a city that is often associated with glamor and success, which can also be tied back to Danny who tries to constantly make things look better than they truly are. Although Danny makes several poor decisions, it is difficult not to sympathize with her struggles. The direction of this film is especially admirable because of the emotion the directors, Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina, elicit from viewers as they watch Danny go around town pleading for help and toiling to keep her and her daughter’s head above water.

This movie addresses issues that are often neglected in overlooked communities. I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) successfully conveys the gravity of the difficult decisions people encounter when destitute. Although the subject matter is rather dark, the message is still inspiring and thought-provoking. Parents should know there is some mature content such as death, strong language, drug use, violence and blood.

I rate I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. This film is premiering at the SXSW 2021 Film Festival from March 17, 2021.

I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)
By Joshitha Balamurugan, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

https://youtu.be/K63cvWZJLWs

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I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking), directed by Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina, is an incredibly enlightening film about hardship. Everything, from the cinematography to the heartfelt dialogue to the acting, is top tier. This film is well made and sheds light on an important topic.

I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) is about a widowed mother that convinces her daughter they’re camping to hide that they’re homeless. This movie represents the struggle of many single parents, especially when juggling their financial responsibilities while trying to parent as well.

Right off the bat, I must mention that Kelley Kali’s emotionally driven character is so well acted that she honestly steals the show and my heart. By making the mother so likable, the audience can’t help but root for her! Also, the cinematography for the ocean scene is just breathtaking; the build-up for it is masterfully scripted so that when we see Kali scream underwater it hits us that much harder. Another thing worth mentioning is that the plot is very realistic – there is no magical element that whisks them away when life gets too tough to deal with.

The message of this film is that, no matter what happens, you have to put one foot in front of the other, because there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an option to give up. You should know that there is some profanity and sexual references in the film. So it is best suited for older teens and adults. In telling the story this way, the truthful message we take away sticks with us.

I rate I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18, plus adults. This film premieres at the SXSW Film Festival on March 17, 2021, so catch it there.

@thanksforaskingmovie

@iamkelleykali

@rowemolina

@artistrydna

@abigailliu_

10 Scientific Secrets to Healthy Aging

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Health & Wellness
10 Scientific Secrets to Healthy Aging

We all have a limited amount of time we get to spend on planet earth, and we want to make the most of it. People follow rigorous diets and undergo a lot of trouble to look and feel young to get through old age without any hassle. However, not all of these tips will lead to a healthy life.

When people grow old, our bodies grow old with us, and it gets harder to function like we used to. Our bones and muscles get fragile and weak. No one wants to live a life where they have to depend on a caretaker or a family member to take care of themselves when they are old.

It’s not easy to go through healthy aging and still live your life to the fullest. You have to follow healthy eating, sleeping, and exercise schedule and incorporate healthy habits in your life if you want to see a long-term change. Here are some scientific secrets to help you get a head start.

1.   Include Whole-Foods in Your Diet

You don’t have to follow a strict diet and stop yourself from eating all the things you love. You just have to be smart about what you decide to put in your body because you will be getting the consequences as you grow older.

You can try a whole-foods diet where you can eat different fruits, greens, nuts, low-fat dairy, grains, etc. All you have to do is stay away from canned food, salt, sugar, and meat.

Following a diet does not mean that you completely cut off those ingredients from your life; it only means that you have to start thinking about portion control. You have to follow a balanced diet because you cannot get all your nutrients from eating packaged food full of sodium and other harmful elements.

You can indulge in fast food or meat once in a while, but your body needs the proper fuel to keep functioning. Having a whole-foods diet will help you stay healthy and avoid any health issues in the future.

2.   Exercise Regularly

This goes without saying because exercising is one of the most important steps of leading a healthy life. It has so many advantages because it controls your weight, lifts your mood, reduces anxiety, and keeps you in a healthy shape.

If you don’t get time to start going to a gym, you can take baby steps by going for a walk for 30 minutes every day. Your brain will release more oxygen and produce more blood when the body is physically active, and that helps you stay healthy.

You can also take up a sport or a hobby that involves physical activity. Swimming, Tennis, Squash, Badminton, Jogging, and canoeing are some excellent sports that are not only fun but they are also good for the body.

3.   Have Healthy Relationships

Human beings are social animals, and we need healthy connections in our lives to keep going. You cannot spend your whole life in solitude and not interact with your friends and family. It can easily make anyone lonely, which can lead to a lot of mental health problems.

All of us need to have a support system to help us get through life. Being lonely can result in depression and anxiety, which can lead to health issues. Spend quality time with your friends and family and cherish those moments. It will keep you strong and healthy.

4.   Start Eating Fish

Red meat is not always a healthy choice because it is the cause of numerous health issues. However, a healthy body needs a source of protein to keep providing all your brain cells the fuel to keep going.

The alternative? Fish! Fish is a healthy and better alternative to red meat because it has two omega-3 acids responsible for a healthy and younger-looking you.

Additionally, fish is a healthy source of fat and protein and saves you from cardiac problems and stroke. You can start eating fish once or twice a week to give your body all the important nutrients it needs to help you grow older in the healthiest way possible.

5.   Try Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese exercise that keeps your body and brain in a healthy shape. It’s often known as meditation in motion because both your brain and body are active and working alongside in the perfect balance.

It helps get rid of stress and pain and is a great alternative to exercising regularly. As you grow older, it gets harder to function, but Tai Chi will keep you strong as you age.

6.   Relieve Stress

Stress can easily lead to heart and cardiac issues because it causes hypertension which can increase your chances of a cardiac arrest or stroke. Just like you do things to look after your body, it’s important to take care of the most important organ: your brain.

It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious, but you need to have healthy coping mechanisms. You can meditate or vent to a family member when you feel stressed.

7.   Don’t Smoke

We all know about the several health problems caused due to smoking and how it can lead to cancer. Apart from smoking killing you slowly, it also affects your appearance. Smokers have more fine lines and wrinkles, and they often look older than their actual age.

Why? Because smoking results in less amount of oxygen for your body and can make you look older. If you want to look and feel younger, you need to quit smoking. Moreover, smoking is injurious for health; people who smoke have reduced life spans than their non-smoking counterparts. It can cause cancer and many other diseases.

8.   Challenge Yourself

The only way to keep your brain in the best shape is by trying out different mind games and challenges to keep it active. You can start learning a new language or a new instrument because that helps you put all your mental energy to use and can keep you sharp.

9.   Invest in Supplements

As you grow older, your body needs all the important nutrients and supplements to stay in shape. However, growing old is not easy, so it’s better to take all your required nutrients from pills, so your body gets everything it needs. You can take Calcium, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D, etc. It will keep your bones and muscles strong. However, always consult your doctor before taking any medication.

10.   Get Your Beauty Sleep

Getting 8 hours of sleep is very important to survive the next day. Your body refreshes and recharges during your sleep. Insomnia is a leading issue among older people because it gets harder to stay asleep as you grow old.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure you get as much sleep as you can. You can create your sleeping schedule following prayer timings so you can feel relaxed and get sleep afterward.

Takeaway- Scientific Secrets to Help You Grow Older with a Healthy Mind and Body

You can try different hacks and shortcuts to help you look and feel younger, but the only way to grow old in a healthy way is by making some major lifestyle changes. You can’t have an unhealthy diet and lifestyle because it’s going to result in problems as you grow older.

The only way to make sure you age beautifully is by taking care of your body and catering to all its needs. Hopefully, these tips and listening to the top health and wellness podcasts will help you form new habits and lead a better life.

LOVE LIGHT GUEST TESTIMONIAL

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Empowerment
LOVE LIGHT GUEST TESTIMONIAL

“From the moment Jean and I spoke I know that she was a woman of strength, honest and wisdom. Speaking with her was like reconnecting with a trusted friend! She is committed to the upliftment of others and truly enjoys her work as an inspirer and teacher.  Jean is always very insightful. I always experience a deep and profound knowledge from her.”      – LOVE LIGHT Guest Rometris Davis Wright  “Using Intuition as Your Internal GPS”  March 19, 2021  http:.//thumbnailvoic.jpgwww.rometris.com

Movie Review: Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American * Niche Comedy Perfect for Family Viewing

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Movie Review: Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American * Niche Comedy Perfect for Family Viewing

Tennessee-born comedian, actor, and podcast host Nate Bargatze is back with his second hour-long Netflix original comedy special, Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. Nate reflects on being part of the Oregon Trail generation, meeting his wife while working at Applebee’s and the hilariously relatable moments of being a father and husband. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Eshaan M. comments, “Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American stars the great Nate Bargatze, one of the few comedians with G-rated humor these days. His jokes tend to play on situations he’s been in, which tend to fit an older audience, and some of the setups for his jokes are a bit clunky, but overall, Bargatze’s comic timing and delivery help smooth things over.” See his full review below.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average America (Mar 18, 3 a.m. embargo)

By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

Fans of comedian Nate Bargatze and non-fans alike will have tons of fun watching Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American. As the name suggests, it’s a bit of a niche comedy special, meant for older teens and adults of Bargatze’s generation, mostly from the US. But it is truly a rip-roaring, enjoyable Netflix special for all.

This one-hour comedy special centers around the crazy year we’ve come out of, Zoom comedy shows, losing your phone, hotel breakfast fails, llama golf caddies, new Common Core math that just doesn’t make sense to Bargatze, and much more! It’s a taped show that was filmed outdoors at Universal Studios in October 2020, with a live audience, and some helicopters making a cameo appearance.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American stars the great Nate Bargatze, one of the few comedians with G-rated humor these days. His jokes tend to play on situations he’s been in, which tend to fit an older audience, and some of the setups for his jokes are a bit clunky, but overall, Bargatze’s comic timing and delivery help smooth things over. I liked his on-the-spot jokes the best, especially when helicopter flyovers interrupt his prepared spiel and he has to riff off of the situation to keep the show’s momentum going.

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American promotes messages of friendship, community, and laughing at yourself, three things Bargatze’s special is chock-full of. It’s a great family watch, as one of the few family-friendly comedy specials out there.

I give Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American releases on Netflix on March 18, 2021.

Erin go Bragh!

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Empowerment
Erin go Bragh!

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Top of the morning to you!

“May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks

May your heart be as light as a song.

May each day bring you bright

Happy hours that stay with you all the year long.”  Irish blessing.

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My first introduction to the Emerald Isles arrived when I was seven. First grade was the beginning of my education since pre-school and kindergarten did not exist in our neck of the woods. A new school had been constructed with young teachers dressed from head to toe in black with white collars who arrived from a faraway land called Ireland. These exotic nuns told the most marvelous tales of a land where mischievous little people known as leprechauns lived in tiny houses, worked as shoemakers, and hid their gold in pots at the end of the rainbow.

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Magical green shamrocks blanketed the fields and dales that were used by the legendary St. Patrick in the 4th century to explain the Holy Trinity to those he wanted to convert to Christianity. Best of all, we learned he had driven out the snakes.

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Rattlesnakes were everywhere on our ranch so the thought of being able to run barefoot through a field of clover sounded spectacular. By the age of nine, letters were flying across the pond to my pen pal in Dublin and, finally when I was eighteen, I visited her in this mythical landscape to become an adopted Irishwoman. Since then, I’ve spent many days traversing the island, soaking up the hospitality of the people and the beauty of the stones, seascapes, landscapes, cottages, and shamrocks. Most charming are the tiny doors built at the base of trees where the leprechauns live.

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Shamrocks grow in my garden in the colors of pink and yellow. There are over five hundred species of Oxalis, known as sorrel or shamrock. Many people consider them a weed because they do multiply. Because I love the Irish lore, I love my spreading shamrocks. They grow from a small bulb and in March sprout mounds of beautiful green clover-shaped leaves with flowers that open at the top of the morning and close at the end of the day. I started my collection by growing shamrocks indoors in a pot and eventually moved the plants outdoors. When the foliage turns yellow and begins to die, cut the leaves to let the plant sleep. Next season, the shamrocks will burst forth again. The tiny bulbs or tubers can easily be moved or transplanted elsewhere. Be aware that shamrocks can become invasive. If you have a small yard, it may be best to keep them in a container. Or designate one area of your garden for the shamrocks and don’t allow them to escape.

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Wear green on March 17 and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a pot of shamrocks on your table. They may not bring you a pot of gold, but shamrocks are a reminder that once we can travel again, visiting the land of leprechauns is at the end of the rainbow.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Erin Go Bragh!

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for March

Since I’ve been writing this column since 2008, I often mistakenly assume that readers understand that I encourage the use of organic and safe garden practices for feeding, fertilizing, spraying, or eliminating pests. There are always ways to create a beautiful garden without the use of toxic chemicals, insecticides, herbicides, and pesticides. Keeping our children, pets, and wildlife safe and healthy is of the utmost importance. Whether I specific an organic method or not, please always use eco-friendly products. By doing so, we’ll also heal our planet.

ELIMINATE SNAILS: Non-toxic to children, chickens, and other pets, Sluggo and Natria are two organic baits containing iron phosphate which naturally occurs in soil. Non-ingested bait degrades and becomes part of the soil. 

Other ways to purge snails and slugs include:

  1. a. Handpicking them. I often go out at night with a flashlight and a bucket. If you have chickens, ducks, or geese, they’ll feast on escargot. Otherwise, at the risk of sounding cruel, you must kill them. We do the snail stomp. Put on boots and dance around. Other ways include drowning them in a bucket of water.
  2. b. Trapping them. Snails like to hide in damp, dark refuges under flowerpots, boards, or plants. Gather them in the morning after their nightly raid.
  3. c. Beer bowls. Snails are attracted to the fermenting yeast of beers. If you put out saucers or shallow bowls of beer, they will fall in. They don’t get drunk. They drown in the beer. 
  4. d. Copper barriers. Copper bands or strips are probably the most effective barrier to keep snails and slugs out of pots and plants. It is work-intensive and more expensive, but especially useful around trees.
  5. e. Decollate snails: These predatory snails have been used in Southern California to control young small brown snails in citrus groves. However, they cannot be used in Northern California as they would endanger other mollusk species. 

Once you have killed your snails, you can add them to your compost pile where their moist bodies will decompose quickly. The shells will take a bit longer but will add nutrients as they compost. 

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UPGRADE your outdoor living to be a place that encourages peacefulness and solitude. Create an area where you can work and listen to the sounds of nature.

SUPPORT National Farmworkers Awareness Week March 25-31 by purchasing produce from socially responsible vendors.

TRY a solar-powered sonic mole deterrent that emits vibrations through the ground to keep these velvety creatures at bay. Moles do produce unsightly molehills and undermine plants with their shallow tunnels which can cause roots to dry out. They also do positive chores by feeding on slugs. 

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STORE garbage cans out of reach of scavengers. Don’t feed wildlife. Skunks, raccoons, and coyotes have become frequent neighborhood visitors and can be dangerous.

FEED your lawns. Healthy soil grows healthy strong grass. Top your lawn with ¼ inch of compost or use a slow-release organic fertilizer that disseminates their nutrients through animal, plant, and mineral matter. It is best to fertilizer before rainfall. 

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TURN on lawn sprinklers to check the heads have not been covered by new growing grass. 

DESTROY weeds and poison oak without toxic chemicals. 

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For weeds in sidewalk cracks, borders, and areas where lawns, flowers, and other plants won’t be affected, mix one tablespoon Dawn dishwashing detergent, a cup of salt, and a gallon of regular white vinegar in a pail. Pour into a spray bottle and spray on the weeds on a sunny day. The sunlight works the magic. Be careful where you spray as this solution is harmful to grass and plants. It will kill your weeds.

For poison oak or super-tough weeds, buy a gallon of 30% white vinegar and put it in a spray tank undiluted. Spray poison oak as it emerges in spring and do it on a warm, sunny day. The 30% white vinegar is very potent and will kill everything it touches. It is the safe and effective alternative to using Round Up for a similar amount of money.  It also is useful for cleaning brick and stone patios, driveways, greenhouses, and hothouses. It will dissolve calcium, mineral, and lime buildup. 

SPRING for spring on March 20th.  Enjoy the rebirth of our gardens and start digging deeper.

Happy Gardening. Happy Growing. Happy Spring!

Photos and mores: https://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issue1502/Digging-Deep-with-Goddess-Gardener-Cynthia-Brian-Top-of-the-Morning.html

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Cynthia Brian, The Goddess Gardener, is available for hire to help you prepare for your spring garden. Raised in the vineyards of Napa County, Cynthia is a New York Times best-selling author, actor, radio personality, speaker, media and writing coach as well as the Founder and Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3. Tune into Cynthia’s StarStyle® Radio Broadcast at www.StarStyleRadio.com.

Buy copies of her best-selling books, including, Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, Growing with the Goddess Gardener, and Be the Star You Are! Millennials to Boomers at www.cynthiabrian.com/online-store. Receive a FREE inspirational music DVD.

Hire Cynthia for writing projects, garden consults, and inspirational lectures.

Cynthia@GoddessGardener.com

www.GoddessGardener.com

5 Healthy Marriage Habits to Develop During Your Engagement

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Health & Wellness
5 Healthy Marriage Habits to Develop During Your Engagement

It’s our loved ones that spoil us the most. Sometimes, showering us with buckets of compliments over something so petty that you’d start questioning your perception of that thing. And sometimes, leaving you with questions in the middle of nowhere.

It works both ways. Doesn’t it? And this explains why things fall apart if not tended to. Spoiled and reckless can’t win from nurtured and nourished. Isn’t it?

Well, this is exactly why we’re going to list down five of the best habits to develop to add the ever-lasting element to your relationship. With these habits, your bond with your significant other is going to become growth-oriented, which of course, will make it all healthier and happier.

So, without further ado, here we go!

1.      Communicating Thoroughly and Smoothly

Emotional bonding forms the core of whatever exists between you two. And so, you surely do not want to get it corrupted.

To keep it from happening, both of you need to communicate thoroughly and smoothly. Discuss your take and opinion on essential matters. And if there’s a conflict, talk it out until you reach a mutual agreement. Or have established peace with a difference of opinion.

Withholding your say will only lead to the development of feelings of frustration, suffocation, aggression, and resentment. And these will then lead to passive-aggressiveness and whatnot. Hence, it’s best to start practicing your communication skills before you exchange your wedding bands.

Note that there’s a difference between giving space to one another and getting distanced. You don’t want the latter to happen, so keep an eye on your better half. If things seem to be going irreversibly downhill, then it’s to confront the issue right away!

2.      Getting on the Same Page Financially

Well, you’re going to be a couple. There’s no point shying away from discussing your bank account status and goals. And no, it shouldn’t be anything provoking for either of you if you look forward to a healthy marriage. (If it is, it’s a red flag. Fix it right away!)

Share and discuss your financial goals and become each other’s back. Encourage your significant other to save up where they need to and combinedly think of ways that will help you lead a financially smart and efficient lifestyle. So, you may be able to make it to your dream house, car, or vacation one day!

3.      Finding Newer Ways to Have Fun

The engagement period’s going to be fun and cheesy. But you need to have a sneak peek at yourselves ten years down the lane. Will you both continue to enjoy your favorite coffee shop if you repeatedly hang out there for years? Well, yeah. We know. All you need is each other’s company.

But why bore yourselves out when the world is buzzing with adventure. Indulging yourself in thrilling rides and exciting explorations together will not only keep your enthusiasm alive but will also allow your relationship to thrive and survive. So, develop a habit of seeking the new during your engagement period. This way, by the time you get married, it will not be an effort but a habit.

4.      Developing Healthier Eating Habits

Your physical well-being decides your degree of contentment with life. Failing health status will not only keep you and your loved ones worried but will also be a major obstacle in your way to living life. It’s best to begin recommending each other ways of keeping nutrition intake in check. In actuality, we’d say strive to become each other’s fitness coach. If your significant others need to abide by a weight-loss plan, then be their coach and make sure that they don’t deviate from it. Generally, as well, try adopting a healthier eating pattern.

5.      Prioritizing Self Care

When in a relationship, getting lost in the other’s head is a common dilemma. You need to be each other’s back and not chains. Just because you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean your self has become any less important to you. Listen to some of the top health and wellness podcasts, continue practicing that skin-care routine, your fitness plan, your mind relaxation hacks, and relax as you must. Pursue your passions and enjoy bits of your alone time, at least in a week if not daily.

Author Bio:

Shawn Mack is a content writer who offers ghostwriting, copy-writing, and blogging services. His educational background in the business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He is also fond of writing interesting articles on technology & digital marketing-related topics.

Four Critical Functions of an Effective CEO

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Business
Four Critical Functions of an Effective CEO

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This blog is a modified version of the Introduction to Robert Rosenberg’s new book Around The Corner To Around The World. Robert served as the CEO of Dunkin’ Donuts for 35 years. It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled A Dozen Lessons Learned Running Dunkin’ Donuts that aired on Tuesday, March 16th, 2021.

Every morning, five million people around the world start their day with a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Thirsty customers in search of their favorite pick-me-up can find their fix in more than eleven thousand stores and in more than forty countries. In the United States, the brand enjoys a 95 percent recognition rate among consumers. In head-to-head taste comparisons between Dunkin’s original brew and Starbucks blend, Dunkin’ was preferred 58 percent to 42 percent.1 In part due to these achievements, Wall Street has placed a market value of nearly $6.5 billion on the enterprise known as Dunkin’ Brands.2

This was not always the case. From humble beginnings—a single shop in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950—Dunkin’ Donuts grew over the years into one of the world’s most beloved brands through sheer perseverance and grit, talent, and a little bit of luck. This memoir chronicles the trials and tribulations, the dizzying highs when we got it right and the heart-thumping near-death lows of when I got it wrong.

This is a story of a family business transforming from a small, regional diversified food service company into the worldwide, iconic brand it is today. More than anything else, it is a story of change. Sometimes it was a pivotal switch-up in management that affected all levels of the business, or merely a refinement in the menu that sent sales skyrocketing. Deceptively simple adjustments in the service delivery system transformed our retail concept in fundamental ways. A more sophisticated location and marketing strategy increased sales dramatically, while a new purchasing system saved our franchisees tens of millions of dollars. The fact is that our team— both franchise owners and management together—continually adapted to an ever-changing consumer and competitive landscape. This adaptability enabled us to build this world-renowned brand that I had the good fortune to shepherd for more than thirty-five years.

Since my time and exposure with this company parallels the mind-blowing growth of the fast-food business, as well as the franchise system of distribution, business readers are sure to find value in this tale as well.

Growing any business is not for the faint of heart; not in 1950 when Dunkin’ began, not during the years I was at the helm, 1963– 98, and certainly not today. So to all those entrepreneurs building their own businesses today or contemplating buying a franchise, I would hope our successes and failures would be a valuable springboard and provide important lessons and helpful insights—or cautionary tales—for your own ventures.

Thousands of executives, staff, and franchise owners past and present who have built this wonderful business. It was their adaptability, courage, and genius that made Dunkin’ Donuts a legendary and dominant global brand around the world.

In my experience, these are the four critical functions of an effective CEO.

  • The first is strategy. Strategy is the controlling plan that sets out what an enterprise wishes to be, what it wishes to achieve, and the most important action steps it needs to take to marshal scarce resources in the achievement of its mission and objectives.
  • The second lens is organization, which deals with the recruitment, retention, and motivation of the appropriate staff to achieve the strategy.
  • The third is communication, the aim of which is to align all constituents enthusiastically behind the achievement of the strategy.
  • The fourth and final category I call crisis management, where I parse the issues that posed either a threat or opportunity to the enterprise, requiring the attention of the CEO.

After due reflection on three-and-a-half decades at the helm of a dynamically growing business, six years teaching as an adjunct in the graduate program of a leading entrepreneurial college, and decades as a board member of several well-known food service companies, I’ve become convinced of the worth of this counsel.

Taken from Around the Corner to Around the World by Robert Rosenberg. Copyright © 2020 by Robert Rosenberg. Used by permission of HarperCollins Leadership.  www.harpercollinsleadership.com

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Robert Rosenberg served as chief executive officer of Dunkin Donuts from 1963 until his retirement in 1998. Under his leadership, the company grew from a regional family business to one of America’s best-known and loved brands. Rosenberg received his MBA from Harvard Business School, and in just weeks after graduating at the age of 25, assumed the position of chief executive officer. After retiring from Dunkin, Rosenberg taught in the Graduate School at Babson College and served many years on the boards of directors of other leading foodservice companies, including Domino‘s Pizza and Sonic Restaurants

LOVE LIGHT GUEST TESTIMONIAL

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Empowerment
LOVE LIGHT GUEST TESTIMONIAL

thumbnail (1)judyphotoresized.jpg “Thank you Jean for inviting me to speak once again on your Voice of America ‘LOVE LIGHT’ program. I am very much enjoying the opportunity to communicate the message of Ascension upgrade and the spiritually motivated activation of human potential. You are making such a contribution to people and  the planet. This is especially valuable, as every show is free of charge for listeners to access on demand, wherever they might live, around the world.  I also appreciate your engaging, friendly and supportive manner.  I know by how you are  that your listeners feel heard, informed and supported. Thank you, to you personally and to the Voice of America Network, for such a well organised, professionally produced and effective platform to share my knowledge with others.  Best wishes, Judy Satori.”

Movie Review: I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) * Sheds Light on Struggles of Poverty and Virtues of a Single Mom

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Movie Review: I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) * Sheds Light on Struggles of Poverty and Virtues of a Single Mom

When a recently widowed mother becomes houseless, she convinces her 8-year-old daughter that they are only camping for fun while working to get them off of the streets. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Abigail L. comments, “I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) is a fantastic film that sheds a new light on the struggles of poverty and the virtues of being a single mother. Director, writer and star of the film, Kelley Kali, creates an excellent, heart-wrenching story that captures the turmoil and strife that people are currently facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Joshita B. adds, “This movie represents the struggle of many single parents, especially when juggling their financial responsibilities while trying to parent as well.  Right off the bat, I must mention that Kelley Kali’s emotionally driven character is so well acted that she honestly steals the show and my heart. By making the mother so likable, the audience can’t help but root for her!” See their full reviews below.

I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking) By Abigail L., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) is a fantastic film that sheds a new light on the struggles of poverty and the virtues of being a single mother. Director, writer and star of the film, Kelley Kali, creates an excellent, heart-wrenching story that captures the turmoil and strife that people are currently facing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film features Danny (Kelley Kali), a recently widowed mother who is struggling to make ends meet. She convinces her eight-year-old daughter, Wes (Wesley Moss), that they are camping while they live in a tent. After promising her daughter that they will have a home by the end of the day Danny skates around Los Angeles trying to find different ways to make enough money to secure an apartment.

My favorite part of this movie is the acting. Each character is distinguishable and genuine. The large variety of filming locations stands out as well. It showcases the marginalized communities in Los Angeles, a city that is often associated with glamor and success, which can also be tied back to Danny who tries to constantly make things look better than they truly are. Although Danny makes several poor decisions, it is difficult not to sympathize with her struggles. The direction of this film is especially admirable because of the emotion the directors, Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina, elicit from viewers as they watch Danny go around town pleading for help and toiling to keep her and her daughter’s head above water.

This movie addresses issues that are often neglected in overlooked communities. I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) successfully conveys the gravity of the difficult decisions people encounter when destitute. Although the subject matter is rather dark, the message is still inspiring and thought-provoking. Parents should know there is some mature content such as death, strong language, drug use, violence and blood.

I rate I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 14 to 18, plus adults. This film is premiering at the SXSW 2021 Film Festival from March 17, 2021. I’m Fine (Thanks For Asking)

By Joshitha Balamurugan, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking), directed by Kelley Kali and Angelique Molina,is an incredibly enlightening film about hardship. Everything, from the cinematography to the heartfelt dialogue to the acting, is top tier. This film is well made and sheds light on an important topic.

I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) is about a widowed mother that convinces her daughter they’re camping to hide that they’re homeless. This movie represents the struggle of many single parents, especially when juggling their financial responsibilities while trying to parent as well. 

Right off the bat, I must mention that Kelley Kali’s emotionally driven character is so well acted that she honestly steals the show and my heart. By making the mother so likable, the audience can’t help but root for her! Also, the cinematography for the ocean scene is just breathtaking; the build-up for it is masterfully scripted so that when we see Kali scream underwater it hits us that much harder. Another thing worth mentioning is that the plot is very realistic – there is no magical element that whisks them away when life gets too tough to deal with.

The message of this film is that, no matter what happens, you have to put one foot in front of the other, because there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s not an option to give up. You should know that there is some profanity and sexual references in the film. So it is best suited for older teens and adults. In telling the story this way, the truthful message we take away sticks with us.

I rate I’m Fine (Thanks for Asking) 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 16 to 18, plus adults. This film premieres at the SXSW Film Festival on March 17, 2021, so catch it there.

@thanksforaskingmovie

@iamkelleykali

@rowemolina

@artistrydna @abigailliu_

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