August 2016

Skin, Hair and Nails

The Hair

Dull skin, brittle nails, hair that never gets any longer?
There’s a fix for that and it’s easier than you might think.

After having an illness that required me to find a way to really nourish the connective tissues and mucous membranes, I’ve discovered that those same vitamins and supplements also help build great hair, fingernails and skin.

Since regular pharmaceutical medications didn’t work, and made me so much sicker I had to find natural alternatives. The things I needed turned out to fix my cosmetic problems too. Yippee! Anti-inflammatory supplements apparently have major benefits to one’s appearance.

My hair grows so fast that it’s hard to keep up with the new growth at the top! I have to touch-up or re-colour it every 2 weeks. I go from a dark brown, extremely copper colour to light blonde, so it definitely causes some damage… And it still grows and doesn’t break as much as it used to, even though it used to be much shorter.

I am a gardener and I don’t usually wear gloves, I wash dishes, I make jewelry, and yes at times my fingernails are garbage, but they also grow really fast and strong. For years I had soft nails with ridges and grooves, I couldn’t wear polish because they showed too much. They just broke off or never really got anywhere… Now I could climb a wall with them. They still break from time to time, but they usually look pretty good. I still can’t wear nail polish but that’s only because it can’t take the punishment I give it. It just wears, scrapes or peels off… It’s not worth the trouble to me, although I do find that clear nail polish helps maintain longer fingernails. I don’t mean really long, but moderate nice fingernails.

Spur of the moment picture, with shorter not too well kept nails!

As far as skin goes, I don’t have any issues with dryness, redness, or anything out of the ordinary. I used to have average minor problems. I believe I look a lot more hydrated than some people my age or even younger.
It’s probably a combination of the supplements and drinking good quality water that doesn’t contain fluoride, chlorine, chloramines, hormones or anything else that’s detrimental to health. The first thing we need is water.

You can get the filters here if you’re in Canada

I have very negative lung reactions to chlorine and chlorine gas in the air, so I really must avoid it at all costs. (the main health issue I’m dealing with)
Even if it doesn’t noticeably bother you, does it make sense to drink a disinfectant or inhale the fumes that we know cause lung damage?
I love Berkey filters for drinking water, (black filter inside, not the ceramic one) You can use it anywhere.
The Berkey filters last for years and you know you’re safe using it no matter what the water supply. Even lake water or while traveling. There have been extensive tests done on the system and it clearly comes out on top. Berkey systems remove bacteria, viruses, lead, VOCs, mercury, pesticides and more.

You can get a Berkey water filter on Ebay or Amazon, or a host of other places.

I think shower filters are a must. At least as important as drinking water filters. A little preventative is worth so much. Chlorine vaporizes at around 80°F or 27°C and quickly fills the room when you’re in the shower. The lungs provide a direct route into the bloodstream as you inhale it. Showers are supposed to be a place to relax and recharge, not get bogged down with chemicals. You absorb more chlorine from a quick shower than you would if you were drinking it! No one needs that.

Aside from impacting your general and lung health, chlorine can damage hair, skin and just smell unpleasant. With a filter, you can avoid most of this. The shower filter that Berkey makes even reduces the amount of water you use in the shower, and in turn can lower your bills and be better for the environment. You can find them at Amazon, Ebay, or here, in Canada.

So, on to the supplement list! 

Zinc; we need this! Zinc helps maintain the integrity of skin and mucosal membranes, and shortens the duration of colds. It’s a multi tasker.
It helps the immune system do what it needs to do to keep us going strong.

Biotin; helps keep your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy.
Builds tissue and can help you maintain a better general mood. Who doesn’t want that?

Vitamin C;  Good for everything. Reduces DNA damage caused by solar exposure.
It plays a role in collagen synthesis, and can even help stop allergic attacks! You need to take 1000mg or 1 gram for allergies. I use it for that purpose as well as it’s usual benefits. If it works for my severe allergies, it’s worth a try. I take it when I notice a big attack or when other remedies aren’t cutting it.

D2; (vegans or lanolin allergies, D3 is fine for everyone else) Improves skin condition.
Can help reduce eczema problems, and also elevates the mood, helps you deal with stress, and can help you sleep better. (If you take it in the morning, taking it at night can interfere with sleep and REM patterns) Vitamin D is actually a hormone, and can help reduce lung reactivity and asthma attacks.
Vitamin D deficiency causes secondary B vitamin deficiencies and is very common in countries that have a substantial winter season.

B Multi-Vitamin; From skin problems to cancer, B vitamins are very beneficial. They help control stress, help us digest food, and even help us to make our red blood cells. Some B vitamins help to burn fat, while others make us feel happier and give us energy. B2 helps reduce the frequency of migraines. (we have so many tools we don’t use)
There’s so much that the B vitamins do that I can’t list them all. A good quality supplement is essential.

MSM (methylsulfonomethane) is an organic sulfur that reduces inflammation, helps rebuild tissues, can reduce allergies, helps with joint problems, stiffness, and hasn’t been found to have any drug interactions.
It’s the fourth most abundant mineral in the body.
MSM can help improve skin’s tone, reduce redness, and eases sensitivities.
It helps counteract lactic acid, so it eases pain from exercise, as well as helps with reduced mobility due to joint injuries and arthritis. It has been amazing for me!
It helps us hold on to collagen and keratin. Sulfur (MSM) is required for the production of these compounds.
We lose collagen and healthy tissue as we get older, which is  why our skin tone and elasticity decrease. This means MSM can help you retain a youthful appearance. When combined with other antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin A, you get more significant results.
It can even help you to produce more hair strands! No wonder they call it the miracle supplement.

Flax Seed Oil, Omega 3 – 6 – 9
Good for eczema and improving dull hair. Helps with PMS, and regulating hormones. Good for the heart and a lot more.

Coconut oil is not only great to eat, but it’s great as a topical treatment for any kind of dry, scaly, or cracked skin.

Now down to the price! I get all my supplements from SwansonVitamins because it’s the only place where I can find what I need at an affordable price, without added fillers that I’m allergic to. They’re not even a fraction of the cost they would be locally for me.
The Swanson Brand of supplement is a no nonsense product that you can count on.
They list every ingredient, and have great customer service too.
I’ve been ordering from them for over 10 years.
I’ve ordered from a lot of other places online over the years and have always been disappointed with the quality overall. (even if the price is a little lower, it’s not worth the wasted time and money when the supplement is useless)
Sometimes sellers don’t list all of the ingredients in a supplement.
It can have added grains, soy, soybean oil, GMO and other undesirable things.
Not that all other companies are bad, just make sure you find a good quality supplement seller that carries the best.
SwansonVitamins ships to Canada and the USA. They have a money back guarantee as well.

The better you feel, the more radiant you look. Beauty really does come from within.

Please seek out medical advise from a qualified healthcare provider if you are already taking any medications or are unsure about any of the supplements.

Shopping List:

Flax Seed Oil Omega 3-6-9
Coconut Oil
Vit. D
Vit. C

Don’t be hatin’: Wife of top Texas anti-gay crusader divorces him to be with Lesbian Partner

The leader of an anti-LGBT group who has joined with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to ban same-sex marriage, had his own marriage end after his wife began dating another woman.


According to court documents obtained by Lone Star Q, Corrine Saenz, his ex-wife, was dating another woman when she filed for divorce from Jonathan Saenz in 2011. Soon after, Jonathan Saenz took over as the president of the state’s top anti-gay group, Texas Values.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 00.57.23
Source: Youtube (screencap)

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Jonathan Saenz has been working alongside Attorney General Abbott, the Republican Party’s nominee for governor, to overturn the decision.


Kate And Helen: The first Gay Married couple to win Gold for Britain in the Olympics

British Hockey couple is the first gay married couple to participate and to win Gold for Britain in the Olympics.


Source: Twitter

Source: GB Hockey

In 2008 Kate announced that she was in a relationship with her team-mate Helen Richardson. The pair had played together since they were teenagers and Kate called off her engagement to Brett Garrard, former captain of Britain men’s team, in order to commit to Helen. Eyebrows were raised and criticism and abuse followed.

Thankfully they came through that difficult spell and their relationship strengthened to such a degree that the pair travelled to Rio as the first married gay couple to compete at an Olympics. “I hope there are thousands more,” Richardson-Walsh told the Daily Telegraph. “You dye your hair blonde, you dye your hair brown, you’re with a man, you’re with a woman. Who cares? You’re just in love with who you are in love with and that’s the end of it.”

Meanwhile social networks are busting out with messages of love and happiness over this remarkable achievement for women, for Britain, and for the whole LGBT community worldwide.


Source: The Guardian 

Turkish Transgender Woman Raped, Tortured, Killed and Set on Fire



Kader, 22, A Transgender Woman from Turkey was raped, tortured and set on fire, CNN Turkey reports 
Sources say that she was last seen entering the car of a client (She was a sex worker). Kader’s body was found burned and mutilated in the Istanbul neighborhood of Zekeriyaköy on August 8th.

Following Kader’s murder, LGBT rights campaigners and supporters have been paying tribute to her. On Twitter her name was trending after thousands of people tweeted the hashtag #HandeKadereSesVer — meaning “Give voice to Hande Kader”, according to Buzzfeed News.

While LGBT is not illegal in Turkey, in the practise, LGBT members suffer the constant harassment and hate from extremist religious groups and men. Discrimination and segregation is still commonplace in Turkey.

Kader’s murder comes just two weeks after a young Syrian gay man was tortured, raped and beheaded in Istambul.

6 Signs That Your Partner Is The One And You Are The One For Them


You are in a relationship, but yours is special. Your partner isn’t like any of your EXes. Are they they one?

1: Your partner’s presence around the house doesn’t annoy you.

I’m a writer. I like to spend a lot of time in solitude.In fact, I NEED it! Some days I spend hours working on my laptop and my partner and I barely talk to each other. Sometimes we don’t need to talk. We can be completely silent for hours and it feels comfortable and natural.

Some people take over the whole room or house, it feels like they are draining you of your energy and  you need to take a break (Yes Highschool reunion, I’m talking to you). But, my partner doesn’t bother me at all. We could be together for all of the 24 hours in a day for weeks on end and it just feels natural.

2: You accept each other the way you are.

Nothing makes my heart melt more than my partner loving me and accepting me the way I am. When your partner is the one (and you are the one for them) you just accept each other and love each other selflessly and without any conditions.

3: Your partner tells you all their secrets

Your partner trusts you with their soul. They tell you EVERYTHING. Trust is a big thing in a relationship. Don’t break their trust, ever. You are your partner’s best friend and confident. It feels just right to share deep things that no one else knows about you.

4: You know their family and friends

I love it when my partner tells me stuff about her friends and family. I’ve known them for years and they’re amazing people. Her family knows my family. Basically; we are one big family.

5: You love to spend time together

I love to go out with my partner. I mean, I love to go out with friends, but spending time going out with my partner? even more!

6: Trust

We simply trust each other. I just have to come back to this even though I know I’ve mentioned it before!!! When you build your relationship based on mutual trust it just can’t go wrong. When your partner is the one, trusting them is natural.

This is the Recipe you’re going to Fake your Baking Skills With

In my mind this really is: The Best Chocolate Cake on Earth!
It’s a really simple great cake that’s rich and delicious, made using real ingredients.

This is the best go-to cake for any occasion. You can even use it to fake baking skills!
Everything you need to know is on this page.

Baking Gear Required:

2 – 9″ inch pans, or 2 regular sized cupcake tins and cupcake papers
(Wilton 1M Star tip if making cupcakes)

2 Bowls,  (one needs to be pretty big)
Electric mixer
Silicone spatula, handy but not entirely mandatory

Ingredients list:
2 C Sugar
1 – 3/4 C Flour
3/4 C Cocoa Powder (I use the dark kind)
1.5 Tsp Baking Powder
1.5 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1c Milk
1/2 C Vegetable Oil
2 Tsp Vanilla

1 C Boiling Water (we use this last, so put it on when you need it later)

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, and mix it together. You can use a whisk or just a spoon or fork.

Put all the wet ingredients in a bowl, (but not the boiling water!!)
Use the electric mixer to combine everything well, but no need to beat or mix for very long.

Add the dry ingredients, or wet ingredients… depending on which is in the bigger bowl. Either way, combine them!!

Mix on a medium speed for 2 full minutes. It will be quite thick. Don’t get scared.
Now is the time for the boiling water. Add the 1 cup of boiling water to the batter.
I use the mixer to blend it in for 30 seconds or so.
It will be very thin, don’t worry. It’s the way it’s supposed to be.

If you’re making cupcakes, use a ladle to move batter to the cupcake tins. Fill them 3/4 full.
Remember to use cupcake liner papers. The tins work well for muffins, unlined, but not cakes.
You might have a couple of tins empty at the end, but that’s no big deal. I usually come up missing anywhere from 2 to 4.

If you’re using 2 – 9″ pans, coat the pans with cooking spray, or oil. You can put a teaspoon of oil in the pan and rub it around with a paper towel. Put some flour in the pan, shake it around, coat the whole interior of the pan, and do the same with the second pan. Dump out any excess flour, and tap it, to remove the excess.
Try to divide about half of the batter between each pan.

Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes for a cake or 20-25 minutes for cupcakes.
Ovens vary, so check in on them and adjust accordingly.

You can poke them with a fork when you think they’re ready. If the fork comes out clean, they’re done. (Or use a toothpick) Another way to tell is if you push gently on the top and it springs back up and doesn’t leave a major indentation, but the fork or toothpick is the easiest way to really make sure. You only need to poke the the biggest one usually.

Take them out of the tins if you made cupcakes, and let them cool for a couple of hours.
If you made cakes, let them cool for a few hours before trying to get them out of the pans.
It won’t come out of the pan if it’s hot, and if it does it will be in pieces, many pieces!
It will be much easier after it cools.

Chocolate Frosting

1 C Butter
3/4 C Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Vanilla
4 c Icing Sugar
3-4 Tbsp Milk or Cream

Makes 3 Cups of Icing

Toss that all in a bowl, and mix mix mix. On medium high speed for about 3 minutes. If it’s really too thick, just add a little bit more milk. Watch out when you add the icing sugar and cocoa powder, it tends to fly into the air when you start mixing.

I would recommend making cupcakes if you really aren’t that experienced with baking. They’re a lot easier to make, handle and finish. The bigger cakes are less forgiving. But hey, you’re going to want to make this again… so you will get better at it over time. In the future you might even want to poke holes in those cupcakes and fill them with white frosting and maybe a maraschino cherry… then frost over the poke hole in the top.

To simply frost cupcakes, attach your tip to the bag, and fill with icing. Take a cupcake in one hand, and go around the outer edge, piping the icing onto the cake, (like an ice cream cone) in circles, until you get to the middle, and stop.

I’ve made this recipe well over a hundred times. It never leaves me disappointed. Never fails. It’s really easy once you get used to the recipe, and doesn’t take a lot of dishes or time.

There are so many cute cupcake papers to choose from.
You can pick out some sprinkles and shapes to go on top, they even sell edible glitter for cakes!

If you make it, let me know how it turns out in the comments. (or if you have any questions)

Transgender not a mental illness. United Nations confirms


It is a great day for LGBTIQ+, specially for transgender people. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is finally going to declassify transgender identity as a mental disorder, as it updates its category of mental illnesses for the first time in decades.

The body, which is the public health agency of the United Nations (UN), is considering making the change in a revised categorisation of mental and behavioural disorders to be released in 2018.

Overwhelming evidence, as well as recent studies show that gender dysphoria is a genetical condition and not a mental disorder.

For a community that is reliant on medical care, this declassification represents a great breakthrough in the way transgender patients will begin to be treated worldwide, as well as how institutions will begin to accomodate transgender people.

“It’s sending a very strong message that the rest of the world is no longer considering it a mental disorder,” clinical psychiatrist Michael First from Columbia University – who wasn’t involved with the study but is chief technical consultant on the new WHO classifications – told The New York Times.

“One of the benefits of moving it out of the mental disorder section is trying to reduce stigma.”


Hundreds of gay and lesbian couples kiss and hold hands in Sainsbury’s After gay couple kicked out for holding hands.

Thomas Rees, 32, and Joshua Bradwell, 25, say they were kicked out by security after a customer complained their holding hands to be ‘inappropriate’.

People take part in a mass "kissathon" in the aisles of a Sainsbury's Local store in Hackney, London, in protest after a gay couple were ejected from the supermarket for holding hands. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 13, 2016. Thomas Rees, 32, and boyfriend Joshua Bradwell, 25, were reprimanded by security at a London branch of the store after a customer deemed their holding hands to be "inappropriate". See PA story SOCIAL Sainsburys. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
People take part in a mass “kissathon” in the aisles of a Sainsbury’s Local store in Hackney, London, in protest after a gay couple were ejected from the supermarket for holding hands. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 13, 2016. Thomas Rees, 32, and boyfriend Joshua Bradwell, 25, were reprimanded by security at a London branch of the store after a customer deemed their holding hands to be “inappropriate”. See PA story SOCIAL Sainsburys. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

An estimated 200 people danced outside the Sainsbury’s in Hackney Road this evening before streaming inside to fill the aisles and pledge their support to the couple.

Shoppers appeared puzzled as the scores of gay men and women entered the store before starting a countdown to the mass kiss-in.

People take part in a mass "kissathon" in the aisles of a Sainsbury's Local store in Hackney, London, in protest after a gay couple were ejected from the supermarket for holding hands. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 13, 2016. Thomas Rees, 32, and boyfriend Joshua Bradwell, 25, were reprimanded by security at a London branch of the store after a customer deemed their holding hands to be "inappropriate". See PA story SOCIAL Sainsburys. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
People take part in a mass “kissathon” in the aisles of a Sainsbury’s Local store in Hackney, London, in protest after a gay couple were ejected from the supermarket for holding hands. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday August 13, 2016. Thomas Rees, 32, and boyfriend Joshua Bradwell, 25, were reprimanded by security at a London branch of the store after a customer deemed their holding hands to be “inappropriate”. See PA story SOCIAL Sainsburys. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

‘When your community come behind and say ‘you were right and you are right’, all that does is amplify your feelings. We were right to complain and do what we’ve done and fight those people who said we were wrong.’