Update on Lifestyle Changes and Healthy Choices

Celebrating the Successes and Planning for the Struggles

In my last post I discussed how 90% of heart disease could be prevented through lifestyle change. I boldly stated these would be simple lifestyles changes-hahaha what was I thinking? Life happens, obstacles pop up and things don’t go as planned. Does that sound familiar? .

So here is an update on my successes and areas where I need to focus and come up with a better plan. Like this daisy that is still blooming even though it is fall and everything is ending I will continue to blossom.

  1. I have started taking this fish oil. It contains pure Norwegian Arctic Cod oil (Omega 3), Pomegranate Seed oil (Omega 5) and Pollock Fish oil (Omega 7). I am going to take a double dose for a month to see if I can increase my LDL and reduce inflammation.

Update -woo hoo-I have been totally nailing this one. I have been taking a double dose for the last two weeks for the win!

  1. I will continue the morning walks with my dogs. We currently walk for 19 minutes. Ideally I will bump this up to 30 minutes but that will be down the road. I don’t want to try to do too much and then not be able to make any improvements.

Update-well rain happened. Cold, wet rain, dreary days and darkness made it really easy to stay inside. I didn’t make a plan for the walking in the rain and mud.

  1. I am going to add weight bearing exercise back into the routine at least 3 times a week. Three times seems doable. I was doing this earlier in the year and slipped out of the habit.

Update- I have added a weekly weight bearing session. With the rainy mornings I will focus on completing 3 weight bearing sessions this week. It is frustrating for me to add weight bearing exercises because I always gain several pounds for several weeks and this can be discouraging. I have also joined a 30 Day Plank Challenge group. Up to a 90 second plank on Day 15 for the win!

  1. I am going to focus on losing the fat in my mid-section. Notice I didn’t say weight. My main focus will be on measurement. My waist has grown several inches over the summer and I need to reduce it.

Update-This is an area I am proud of. Even though I didn’t fully complete my easy lifestyle changes I still had a reduction of an inch in my waist! Celebrating the little victories!

    1. I am cutting out sugar. This will be the hardest thing for me. Sugar is in almost every single processed product. Sugar causes lots of inflammation in the body. I am an avid label reader so I will just have to leave them on the shelf.

Update– Sugar is my nemesis. Ugggg. I can go 10 days before I cave in to a craving. Then it is a very slippery downhill slope. I obviously do better when sugar, especially candy, is not in the house. I love dipping a miniature chocolate bar in peanut butter and those little chocolate bars are everywhere thanks to Halloween.

    1. I am leaving all processed flour behind. This isn’t too hard as I have a gluten allergy. Adios to my GF pasta. Hello zoodles and spaghetti squash.

Update-this was harder than I thought. I have a delicious, easy to make casserole that my kids call, “Lasagna, Not Lasagna.” Who wouldn’t love noodles and melted cheese?!?! I had a few long days and it is so easy to make and toss in the over. To overcome this hurdle I am going to focus on meal planning, especially paying attention to which vegetable we will be eating.

    1. Goodbye starchy potatoes. I know you raise my blood sugar and you just aren’t good for my body.

Update-I have stayed away from the white potatoes. I was able to meal plan and cook two sweet potatoes ahead of time. The meal prep made a simple, easy to reheat lunches.

My motto this week will be slow and steady leads to better health. Trying to complete too many changes is overwhelming and leads to failing and, ultimately quitting. The focus this week will be increasing my weight bearing exercises to 3 times and planning my meals. If the weather cooperates I will even add in some walks. I am going to celebrate the wins that I did have and make plans for the areas where I struggled.

What do you do to stop eating sugar?

 

 

 

Lifestyle Change

Listening to My Body

My body has been trying to tell me it isn’t balanced. My waist has slowly grown over the summer. My energy has started decreasing and I just haven’t quite felt like myself. It has taken me a little while, okay several months, for me to listen to the message my body was clearly sending! My doctor sent me for labs. After reviewing the labs we determined my body is definitely not creating the important hormones like it used to. My labs indicated I have a lot of stress. The bloodwork doesn’t lie. I need to figure out a way to reduce stress.

A couple of weeks later I had the opportunity to have the PULS testing done at a special rate. The PULS test is a simple blood test that can identify undetected heart disease through 9 clinically significant biomarkers. I do have high blood pressure and am middle aged so participating in this test seemed like a no brainer! I was scared to get the results but figured that knowledge is power.  I received the results  and they are and aren’t quite what I expected. I expected to be in the normal range-which I was, I expected to see I have too much stress, and I expected to see that my visceral fat was high. I didn’t expect to see my heart age is 15 years older than my chronological age. That was a real eye opener.

The good news is 80% of heart disease can be eliminated through life style change. 80%-that seems like a no brainer. Why aren’t more people making simple adjustments to their lives to decrease their chances of heart disease? It won’t be easy and I will have to be committed to my own success but I am worth it!

Lifestyle Changes and Healthy Choices

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I do not purport to be a doctor. I am not licensed to practice medicine. These are ideas I have discussed with knowledgeable people.

Here are five simple lifestyle changes I am going to make:

  1. I have started taking this fish oil. It contains pure Norwegian Arctic Cod oil (Omega 3), Pomegranate Seed oil (Omega 5) and Pollock Fish oil (Omega 7). I am going to take a double dose for a month to see if I can increase my LDL and reduce inflammation. After a month I will take the normal dose. To purchase leave a message at here and somebody will be in touch with you shortly. This fish oil is $66 for a month supply and can be reduced to $55 with a three month commitment.
  2. I will continue the morning walks with my dogs. We currently walk for 19 minutes. Ideally I will bump this up to 30 minutes but that will be down the road. I don’t want to try to do too much and then not be able to make any improvements.
  3. I am going to add weight bearing exercise back into the routine at least 3 times a week. Three times seems doable. I was doing this earlier in the year and slipped out of the habit.
  4. I am going to focus on losing the fat in my mid section. Notice I didn’t say weight. My main focus will be on measurement. My waist has grown several inches over the summer and I need to reduce it.
    1. I am cutting out sugar. This will be the hardest thing for me. Sugar is in almost every single processed product. Sugar causes lots of inflammation in the body. I am an avid label reader so I will just have to leave them on the shelf.
    2. I am leaving all processed flour behind. This isn’t too hard as I have a gluten allergy. Adios to my GF pasta. Hello zoodles and spaghetti squash.
    3. Goodbye starchy potatoes. I know you raise my blood sugar and you just aren’t good for my body.

Reduce the stress in my life. I am not sure where to start with this.

Please help me- what do you do to intentionally reduce stress in your life?

 

Glutathione-the Master Anti-Oxidant

Protects, Detoxifies and Supports Every Cell

Do you ever wonder why you can’t remember things like you used to? Why it takes you longer to recover from a workout? Why you no longer can get a good night’s sleep and feel rested in the morning? Brain fog, fatigue, aging skin and lack of energy occur because our glutathione levels decrease as we age. The decrease in the body’s ability to create glutathione is also affected by being exposed to pollution, stress, poor diet, lack of exercise and any other environmental stressors.

Well crap, that is a lot of discouraging news. I promise it gets better.

I had my last two children later in life. I was considered to have “advanced maternal age.” Would you believe the doctor was brave enough to say that to a pregnant woman? Don’t worry-no bail money was needed. I remember longing for restful sleep. Rest was elusive. My children were sleeping through the night-why wasn’t I?

I was offered a supplement that had the patented ingredient Riboceine™ which was created specifically to increase my body’s ability to produce glutathione. In a final act of desperation I purchased the supplement from my friend and started taking it. Lo and behold I started waking up refreshed. My energy increased. I felt at least ten years younger. Surprise of all surprises came when I no longer hobbled out of bed and gingerly made my way down the stairs. I was able to walk normally as soon as my feet hit the carpet and the pain in my knees completely disappeared. I could actually walk without my knees cracking and popping. It really brought up my hide and seek game!

I did not know the power of increasing my glutathione levels, heck I didn’t even know what glutathione was, until I started taking this product. The patented technology allowed my body to absorb cysteine in my digestive system and start increasing my glutathione levels.

Glutathione is the most important molecule in every cell of our body. How can you get this biological ninja?

Well, you could buy a bottle off the shelf. Be wary- that glutathione most likely will not survive the intestinal track. Should it survive the intestinal track it probably will be too large for the cells to absorb. If you had lots of extra money, you could have get your glutathione  through an intravenous line. This is effective but it is expensive and the positive effects are short lived. Or you could be one of the smartest people around and you could purchase a bottle of the patent approved powerhouse (with independent scientific studies to support its’ effectiveness) that will not only survive your intestinal track and be small enough for the cells to absorb, from yours truly.  Your body will start producing more glutathione and you will have more energy and sleep better.

What would you do if you felt rested, had more energy and left the mental fog behind? Are you ready to start living your biological best life? Leave your information below and I will personally be in touch. Thanks.

 

 

 

 

Plan Your Best Morning Ritual!

Can you imagine waking up on Monday, or any other work day morning, and not have to rush out the door? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a morning ritual that allowed you to do something you totally enjoyed before heading out the door?

Prince
Prince-cause of the morning ritual upgrade!

Last October we brought a new dog to our home. He was a morning dog from an earlier time zone-ugh. (Just ask my kids-they will tell you to not wake up mom unless there is blood.) Every morning, before my alarm goes off, he will gently touch me with a front paw. If I roll over and ignore him he will make a little rolling sound, not quite a growl and not quite a bark, just a, “Come on already. Invite me up to scratch my ears,” noise. Sometimes I will keep my eyes closed and he will lay back down. At that point I start to worry that he needs to go out and there is absolutely no going back to sleep. After months of gritting my teeth, being sleep deprived and incredibly grumpy I decided to embrace the early morning wake ups. This is how I created a joyful morning ritual. If this former night owl can do it, you can do it too by following these steps.

Step 1. Imagine two or three things that would bring you joy in the morning and set a positive tone for the rest of the day. I decided I would walk the dogs then drink my Trimmy Lite coffee and invest in myself by reading or watching something that improves my life. Eventually I would also like to add time to write and post on social media but I need to work up to that. It is taking a while to adjust my natural circadian rhythm.

Step 2. Figure out how much time it takes to accomplish each joyful morning ritual. Remember to add in preparation time and clean up time. I knew it took me approximately 40 minutes to put harnesses on the dogs, walk them and return home. I planned on another 20 minutes to make my coffee and invest in myself. Ultimately I would also like to spend at least 30 minutes writing and posting on social media.

Step 3. Add the times together. My joyful morning ritual would take an hour. Adjust your morning alarm to allow for your new morning rituals.

Step 4. This is one of the most important steps. Adjust the time you go to bed. Ask yourself how much sleep you need to wake up feeling rested. Using reverse engineering to determine your new bed time by counting backwards the amount of sleep needed from your wake up time. As an added bonus set an evening alarm to remind you to head to bed. I have two evening alarms set on my phone: one to let me know when to start winding down and the second to remind me to brush my teeth and wash my face. I have also added a few extra minutes where I can read a book. I have found reading a book allows for better rest than if I read on an electronic device.

Step 5. Consistently use self-discipline and you will have an outstanding morning ritual that will start your day off on a positive note.

Step 6. Adjust your routine as needed. I thought I could easily get up one and a half hours earlier than normal but it just wasn’t working for me. I reviewed my morning routine and determined what I could comfortably handle each morning. I eliminated one activity and will add it back to my morning ritual at a later point in time.

Instead of being grumpy and exhausted I am finding I have a lot more enthusiasm and energy every day by incorporating this new joyful morning ritual. What things would you include in your morning ritual?

Say What- You Can Still Permanently Lose Weight After 45?!?!

Aging and metabolism

My metabolism came to a screeching halt when I entered my forties. Nobody really discusses the pitfalls interesting signs of aging: metabolism slowing down, weight gain, lack of energy, thyroid issues and fluctuating hormones.

Weightloss

I gained over 20 pounds, felt frumpy, lacked the energy to play with my kids and my metabolism was so slow that I could walk through the bakery section and gain 5 pounds!

Frustration and Desperation

I was eating very little and the pounds kept creeping on. Everything that used to work,  when I was younger, watching my diet and increasing physical activity, no longer worked. I tried a popular diet-you know the one they advertise on commercials where they send you the pre-packaged meals. I lost nine pounds and when I finished the last meal the weight returned with some extra hitch hikers. I even tried that colored drink and the weight came back when I stopped taking it. I did not want to have to take something for the rest of my life to maintain a healthy weight. I needed something that would jump start my weight loss, not be a diet, in the sense all the weight returns once I stopped. I wanted a permanent lifestyle and not a diet. Something that didn’t limit me and allowed me to eat the same meals with my family. Sounds impossible right?

Ready to Make the Change

My daughter took the picture on the left and I was surprised at how fluffy I looked. In January of 2016 I weighed my all time heaviest. My search for a weight loss answer intensified. I spent hours researching. I didn’t want  a stimulant or something full of chemicals. I wanted a product that would encourage my body to start doing the work. I finally found a product that met my requirements, would jump start my metabolism and wouldn’t have to be taken for the rest of my life. As a bonus, it enhanced my body’s ability to naturally increase glutathione levels and helped detox my body. (Glutathione is the least known powerhouse molecule found in every cell of your body! ) Finally I had the courage to open the bottle.

Success on the Weight Loss Journey

I had purchased a one month supply. There was a money back guarantee so I had absolutely nothing to lose except for the unwanted pounds.  I followed the directions and took two capsules fifteen minutebefore every meal. I also ate one bar for a morning snack every day. I started to take a daily walk. I am so thankful I started!  It really did flip my metabolic switch and jump started my weight loss. This product helped maintain my muscle mass, and helped my body start changing food into fuel. I  had more energy. The weight came off with ease-say what?!?!? The weight came off with ease! It was so exciting!

Maintenance

At the end of the month I changed my diet and removed all sugar, gluten and most processed foods.  I continued walking and added some light weight lifting. By January of 2017 I had maintained a weight loss of  23 pounds (picture on the right) and I had the energy to climb Koko Head Stairs in Hawaii, an equivalent to 81 floors!

It has been 18 months and I have maintained the weight loss. I only used one bottle of this weight loss powerhouse. I am down one shirt size and one to two pant sizes! One bottle of supplement, removal of gluten and sugar from my diet and walking has totally changed how I approach these middle years. They are going to be the best years yet.

Weight Loss Journey Update

The manufacturer of the product has created a holistic system to support people starting their weight loss journey. Their product now includes a ninety day plan for life which includes: food guides, recommended exercises complete with videos, monthly guides for the first three months and a monthly newsletter.   I was so impressed with this product that I have partnered with the company.

What are you waiting for? In six months you will wish you had started your weight loss journey.

Want to find out more? Please fill out this form and I will send you a personal, no pressure email.

 

 

 

The Pot Holes of Life

What do pot holes and every day problems have in common?

There are times when it is easier to figure out a way around a problem rather than taking the time to figure out a solution.

FullSizeRender

I took my dogs for our morning walk and noticed that all the pot holes on our road were filled with gravel. Like many of my neighbors I had spent the last eleven months creating an intricate driving pattern of sashaying from side to side and driving on the wrong side of the road to avoid these holes. How did the holes get filled?

It turned out our new neighbor took it upon himself to repair our road using extra gravel that had been washed from the road.Why didn’t I think of this? Why didn’t anybody else think of this? Such a simple solution to an every day problem.

I realized the pot holes were like the problems we face every day. We all have times in our life where we take the easy or quickest route around a problem instead of taking the extra time to actually solve the problem. There are a number of reasons why we don’t solve problems. Our “to do” list is seven miles long, the next appointment is in ten minutes, or we overthink solutions.  We just don’t think we have time to figure out an answer. Although taking the time to properly solve the problem would save us lots of time in the bigger picture.

I would love to hear what pot holes are you avoiding in your life?

 

 

World War II Valor in the Pacific

backside-of-arizona

 

World War II Valor in the Pacific, a National Park, is a must visit for every Oahu visitor. The National Park is located at Pearl Harbor and includes the U.S.S. Arizona and two museums along the harbor. The December 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor drew the United States into World War II. The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Park houses many japanese-airplaneartifacts, short movies and interactive exhibits.

There are plenty of tours advertised around Oahu which will take you to Pearl Harbor. The advantage of a paid tour is knowing you will have a seat on the boat out to the U.S.S. Arizona. Those who want to save the money can arrive at the park early in the day and receive free tickets. The Visitor Center only provides 1,300 tickets per day. With over 4,000 visitors to the park per day the tickets go fast. The entrance to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center is free. Access to the two museums along the harbor are also free. Parking is also free. No bags are allowed in the park. There are warning signs in the parking lot that a lot of break-ins occur. There is a manned bag checking station available for a nominal fee.

Insider tip-if tickets are available for the day but not for a time you want, still get them. Walk over to the tour bus operators at the park entrance, be nice and sometimes they are willing to swap tickets for an ideal time.

ticketsPrograms run every 15 minutes and tickets are for a specific time. At the appointed time ticket holders gather in a staging area. From the staging area ticket holders move into an auditorium to watch a 23 minute video prior to boarding the boat. The U.S. Navy operates the boats that travel to and from the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial. If there are high winds all boat trips are cancelled.

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Flowers left from the 75th anniversary

The U.S.S. Arizona Memorial symbolizes the lives lost during the attack. Young men that made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Visitors should remember they are visiting the resting place of these soldiers and be respectful with their behaviors.

As of January 8, 2017 there were only 5 U.S.S. Arizona survivors, ranging in age from 94 to 97 years old. These men all reside on the mainland. (The local term for the rest of the United States.) Of the five survivors, four of them made the journey back to Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary in December of 2016.

Upon arrival there is a short guided tour by a park employee before allowing time to explore. My mother’s heart was struck this visit by the 38 sets of brothers on board the U.S.S. Arizona at the time of the attack. 63 of the 79 brothers died during the attack. There was only one set of brothers who both survived the attack. There were 3 sets of three brothers on board and only 1 brother from each family survived. Also killed in action on the U.S.S Arizona was a father and son pair. I imagine when the brothers became shipmates the family found relief knowing the brothers could watch over each other, never imagining the unthinkable would happen.

The U.S.S. Bowfin and U.S.S. Bowfin museum has a nominal fee and is based at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The U.S.S. Missouri, is nearby and has a fee to access the boat. Finally, the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor is also nearby and has an access fee.

 

 

 

Fibonacci, Math Mondays and Rabbit Trails

How My Math Monday Lasted for an Entire Weekfibonacci-book-2

We have started to have fun with math on Mondays. The fun can range from reading a book or playing a game, as long as it is  a fun way to play with math in a non-traditional way. Monday morning we poured our sweet tea and gathered at the couch to read “Blockhead, the Life of Fibonacci” by Joseph D’Agnese.

The book is about the Italian Mathematician that discovered a mathematical pattern often found in nature. I picked this book as a good lead in to go for a nature walk and to introduce Roman Numerals. Throughout the story there are opportunities to answer math questions.

All reading stopped when we reached the rabbit riddle. We worked together, made a chart on the white board and solved for the number of rabbit’s at the end of the year. We struggled for a while to see the pattern.

The next day we finished the book. On the very last page there is a list of things to find throughout the pages of the book.

Finally, we took the Fibonacci Spiral and went on a rabbit trail. We used our manipulatives to recreate the Fibonacci Spiral. It was all manipulatives on deck as we had to combine colors once we got to the last section. The Fibonacci Spiral (Golden Ratio also works well in a search engine) was so pretty we decided to take the rest of the week to recreate it by using a compass to mark the corners and a ruler-thank you Google!

We had lots of big, juicy conversations about different things in the book that I hadn’t anticipated. I don’t expect all Math Mondays to extend in to the week but am open to following the rabbit trails. Do you have something similar to Math Mondays in your homeschool?

 

The National Cemetery of the Pacific

 

The National Cemetery of the Pacific, the Punchbowl or Puowaina is nestled above Honolulu in an extinct volcanic tuff cone. It is a must see!

lady-columbiaWe wound our way through the curvy, poorly marked streets, by poorly marked I mean you have to be alert and have your game on. The signs are quite close to where you need to turn and we missed one. Trying to navigate turning around on the narrow, busy streets adds to the adventure.

The first glimpse of the National Cemetery of the Pacific is breathtaking. An American flag flows in the gentle breeze. In the distance stone stairs lined by the Court of the Missing, lead to the 30 foot white statue of Lady Columbia as she greets visitors. The Court of the Missing has 10 marble walls listing the names of over 29,000 U.S. service members whose remains were never recovered from battle. Lady Columbia represents all grieving mothers. There is an inscription from Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Mrs. Bixby, a mother who lost five sons in the Civil War. Behind Lady Columbia are buildings with maps and descriptions of different battles.

A short drive up the hill to the left of the entrance are restrooms, a computerized system to look up buried service members and a walkway to a stunning lookout. The walkway is wheelchair accessible. Looking south I saw Diamond Head, the hotels along Waikiki beach, Honolulu’s business center and the airport. A few steps in the opposite direction were views of the National Cemetery of the Pacific. It is easy to see why the National Cemetery of the Pacific is nicknamed the Punchbowl. The grounds are immaculately groomed. Grass is kept short, leaves are removed, dead flowers are removed and there are strict rules as to what is allowed to be placed at each grave site.

 

Historically, Puowaina, the Hill of Sacrifice, was used for human sacrifices to the Hawaiian gods. During World War II, the military used the area for coastal defense. Shortly after WWII, Congress approved the location as a cemetery. Some of the first to be interred were those military members that lost their live during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The National Cemetery of the Pacific is the second largest military burial grounds.

The National Cemetery of the Pacific is a must see. There is no admission fee and it serves as a reminder the number of military personnel who made incredible sacrifices so we can continue to enjoy our freedom.

The Riverboat Discovery- a Peak into Alaska History

The high pitched whistle from the Riverboat Discovery echoes through out Steamboat Landing, signaling it is time to board the boat.  We hand our tickets to a local college student and move up the gangway to the boat. We grab a free donut and cup of coffee as we head up to our favorite spot in the fresh air on the port side of the top deck. The Riverboat Discovery tour is a brief immersion into life in Alaska. Lots of history is shared with the passengers by a local host. There are video monitors so everybody can see the action- and there is lots of action.

 

Float Plane
Float plane

The first stop invokes goose bumps as a float plane takes off and lands on the river next to the Riverboat! Bush planes are essential to access the remote areas of Alaska.Side bar-my own love affair with Alaska began in the late 70’s when my dad returned from Alaska and told me about landing on a gravel bar in the river. My father helped the pilot turn the plane around so the pilot could take off. The challenges and dangers of being a bush pilot intrigued me, especially as I was afraid of heights. Years later this story would influence my decision to move to Alaska. I now have my Private Pilot license and Float Plane Rating. But I digress.. .

Trail Breaker Kennel
Trail Breaker Kennel

Just a little further down the river, the boat guide interacts with a musher at the Trail Breaker Kennel. We had the pleasure of listening to Dave Monson. He shares a glimpse into the life of a musher and kennel owner. Dave is the real deal with thousands of miles of mushing through the uninhabited wilds under his sled. He has won the arduous Yukon Quest Race and is a regular in the Iditarod Race, both are 1000+ mile races.  The sled dogs have boundless energy and are eager to run.

There are a few more exciting stops before disembarking at the Chena Indian Village. The Chena Indian Village has three presentations before guests have free time to wander about and discover the gems in the village. The presentations are given by people connected to Alaska. They often weave their personal experiences in the presentation. Each presentations is informative, thoughtful and well done. Be prepared to have your breath taken away as you see the beautifully sewn fur coat and ruff.

Three whistle blasts indicate it is time to board the boat and return to Steamboat Landing. The crew brings out delicious hand made salmon dip. This is a highlight for my 10 year old daughter as well as my 76 year old father.  Fortunately, the crew doesn’t mind people heading back for seconds after everybody has had a chance to try this delectable treat. The canned salmon used in the dip is so good that we often will give it as a gift. It is that scrumptious!Steamboat Landing

Insider tips:

  1. Sit on the left hand side of the top deck
  2. There is a 2 for 1 coupon in the back of a visitor book
  3. Eat the doughnuts
  4. Eat the salmon dip
  5. Enjoy the tour and learn some Alaska history

We love sharing the Riverboat Discovery with visitors.  Do you have a favorite place to take your out of town visitors? What are your insider tips?

 

 

The thoughts and opinions expressed in this post are strictly my own. I did not receive any compensation, monetary or otherwise, for this review. All photos are the property of this blog.