California Yoga

California Yoga

Yoga seems to have taken over the state of California. Maybe it’s because the laid back nature of yoga coincides with the lifestyle of many Californians. Yoga even floods most of our social media accounts. It really has taken root and life here in the Golden State. If you’re already a yogi and enjoy the practice, you may have heard of a bunch of different places to practice. If you’re new to yoga, you’ll be interested to know that there are plenty of unique places to practice.

Instead of practicing alone in your living room, try namaste’ing outside. In Northern California, in a town called Redding, there’s an outdoor yoga studio. It’s not just outdoor, it’s actually on the water. There is a group of folks who practice yoga on paddleboards in the water. You think finding your balance is hard on solid ground, try balancing on water.

If you’re not keen on the idea falling into water, no worries, there’s always hot yoga. When you think of yoga you think of harmony and peace, not pouring sweat. However, there is a new trend of hot yoga popping up all around California, particularly in Long Beach. Hot yoga is when they turn up the temperature in the studio like sauna. This causes you to pour sweat while practicing. It’s kind of like expelling all your negative thoughts.

If you’re looking for some less intense yoga, there’s always cat yoga. If cats aren’t your favorite animals you can probably find yoga studios with goats, puppies, or even rabbits. Some studios bring in cute cuddle creatures to help you relax. A Santa Barbra yoga studio brings in cats, so while you are in your downward dog, you can be staring into a pair of adorable feline eyes.

The variety in yoga studios makes yoga even more personal. The practice itself is not a one shoe fits all kind of deal. Your yoga experience will be completely different from the person next to you and that is because your body is unique to you. This is probably why California has embraced yoga. The diversity in yoga echoes through California’s unique residents.

Weird Things to Do in California Off the Beaten Coast

Weird Things to Do in California Off the Beaten Coast

California is home to the stars, and king of the west coast. If you’re ever bored, there are plenty of things to do from Hollywood Blvd. to walking through the Redwood Forest. If you want more sunshine, you can head down to San Diego and have some drinks on the beach with friends and family. There are a bunch of obvious attraction to check out in California, but what about the weird ones?

One of the lesser known spots to check out is Ostrichland in Solvang. The name of the place says it all. At Ostrichland there are hundreds of ostriches and emus. This is great place to take the family and you can even pet a few of the feathered creatures. There are bus tours and feeding areas where you get to interact with the birds as well. Even on their website they say to just think of them like a zoo full of ostriches.

If birds aren’t your thing, maybe books are. The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles is off the star beaten path. This isn’t your regular bookstore. It’s the largest used and new bookstore in California. They are also the largest independent bookstore still standing. They could be known worldwide because of their giant book-made tunnel or their color coordinated sections. They have walls made up entirely of books and even have a section for old school records.

If the ostriches and books don’t spark your interest, there one last game to be played. In San Jose, there is a large monopoly board game. Imagine all the family treachery in a large-scale setting? You do have to reserve the area if you do plan on play a full-scale game, because after all, monopoly could take hours to play. Don’t worry about the dice; they have large ones there. They fittingly call this spot Monopoly in the Park.

There is so much to do in California; you just need to know to where to look. If you feel like checking out the less commercialized attractions, there are plenty of unique places. It’s one of the benefits of California, the diversity. There is diversity in the people and places to see.

How to Play with the Hand You Were Dealt

How to Play with the Hand You Were Dealt

There are a lot of things that make us sad in life. We often feel compelled to argue about, fight, and disagree with the cards that have been dealt in life. We don’t have to like what is happening in our lives, but we do have to accept it. Sure we can throw fits, and try to change what is happening in our lives, but ultimately, it is what it is. There will always be things in life that we have no control over.

A thing in our life that we can’t change and we need to learn to accept is other people’s actions. We can’t change how other people act. We are not our loved ones. We can only control our actions and emotions. So when a loved one acts in a way that results in them being arrested, we must accept that they put themselves in those positions. Their actions lead to their current situation. They are the ones that got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. You can’t change that they got in trouble. You have to accept that. This doesn’t mean that you can’t help them get out of trouble.

The summer weather in California changes from day to day, which can make it miserable for some. Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather, and you have to accept that. Once you accept that the weather isn’t going to change, then you can work on ways deal with the weather. Accepting that you can’t change the weather patterns will allow you to create habits in order to cope with the weather.

There is an importance in accepting things. It could be a personal problem or not, accepting something that you don’t like is hard. However, accepting it may just give you some peace of mind. Accepting a situation can help you move passed a current circumstance and on to preventing the problem from accruing again. If you’re constantly trying to fight what is, you may find yourself overly exhausted all the time.

Accepting that you don’t always have control is the first step. The second step is problem solving, or trying to make the situation better than what it is now. For example, if your loved one is in jail, you can find a way to bail them out of jail. Bailing them out of jail can make the situation better for your loved one and family. By accepting that they are in jail, you are able to move passed it and find a solution. Sure no one wants to go to jail, or have a loved one in jail, but it can’t always be helped. The trick is playing with the hand you were dealt.

The Ethics of Assisted Suicide in California

The Ethics of Assisted Suicide in California

The issues we face in today’s world are very different than what our ancestors might have faced. The older generations in our families can share millions of stories that normally start off with: “Back in my day…” Older generations grew up with less technology, while newer generations have been raised on tech. Since they have a better understanding of technology, newer generations are finding out more about the world around us. This inevitability means that we have new problems to solve.

One of latest problems that we need to figure out is more of an ethical issue. The topic of assisted suicide is a touchy one. No one wants to die, or plans on dying, yet it comes all the same. The unknown of what death holds makes this topic even more difficult to decide on. Here in California, a Judge recently decided to overrule the decision to allow assisted suicide. This brings the hot topic back up for debate.

Anything involving death is a sensitive subject, and a very serious one. Assisted suicide is when physicians prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients. This allows the patient to die on their own terms and avoid unnecessary medical bills that would fall onto their loved ones to pay. It’s important to know that not just anyone can opt for assisted suicide; several physicians have to sign off on it. California is also not the only state with this law, states like Washington and Oregon also allow it.

California recently began allowing physician to help patients with assisted suicide. Compassions and Choices, an advocacy group for the act, said that in 2016 California had 504 terminally ill adults receive prescriptions for a medical death. This means that people are interested in this law. Our current Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill in 2016.

The viewpoints on the subject of assisted suicide all argue ethics. Some people argue that if we allow physician-assisted suicide that some unethical people may coerce the terminally ill. Others argue that allowing assisted suicide would be an act of mercy because some can’t afford more medical bills. Whichever point you wish to argue, it’s understandable. Hot topics like this could be argued about forever. This is an issue that our elders didn’t have to debate, which leads the weight of decision resting on our shoulders.

You Can’t Just Camp Here

You Can’t Just Camp Here

When you travel the U.S., you get to experience what each state has to offer. You also have to be aware of the laws in each state since not all of the states are the same. While you’re traveling through California, you may feel like camping out instead of stopping at a hotel. This is a great opportunity for you to really experience the nature of the state. However, you can’t just camp wherever you want in California.

Unlike other states, California has rules when it comes to experiencing the great outdoors. States like Arizona give folks the freedom to camp anywhere they can put up a tent. Of course there are a few laws regarding camping in Arizona, but they are a lot more lenient than California’s. California has designated camping areas and these campsites are usually by, or within, national parks.

If you want to get away from people, and a campground doesn’t sound appealing, there is another option for you. In certain areas you are allowed to participate in dispersed camping. Dispersed camping is where there are designated areas for camping among the wilderness.

Other things to know about camping in California are the rules surrounding campfires. You can’t just start up a bonfire on the beach wherever you like. Campfires have to be in designated containers, or areas. They must be attended and watched over at all times. They also must be completely put out when you leave your campsite. This means that every time you leave to go to the store and no one is at the campsite, you must completely put the fire out.

If you’re worried about bringing your furry companion, don’t stress. Dogs are more than welcomed to camp along with you. As long as you pick up after your dog, and your dog is on its leash or under control. Your dog can be considered a nuisance if there is any uncontrollable barking.

Camping is great time to get to know the area you’re in a little bit better. With the smell of a campfire, good company, and a starry night away from the city, camping out is sometimes the best vacation you can have. Camping out can give you an experience that a hotel room can’t. Being able to experience the nature of the world around you makes obeying all of the camping rules worth it.

Just an Awkward Photo Away from Traveling

Just an Awkward Photo Away from Traveling

Remember in grade school how every year you would have to take a school picture for the yearbook? You’d have to dress nicely and you’d try to practice your smile because you didn’t want to look like a dork. The stress of taking a school picture would hopefully be worth it once you finally got to see your picture. Like most kids, you learned to dread having your picture taken. That is why when you made plans to leave the country this summer, you began to dread getting your passport.

Getting a passport is almost like getting your license, minus standing in line at the DMV. A passport is what will allow you leave the country and see the rest of the world. It will also allow you to get back into the US. In recent years, the issue of having a Real ID has arisen. Thankfully a passport is considered a Real ID, so many people purposely get a passport for this reason alone. It’s proof of your citizenship, though you aren’t required to have one unless you plan on leaving the country.

Getting a passport isn’t as complicated as it may seem. However, there are a few things you need to consider before you go to get your passport. You have to make sure you are able to go on a trip or vacation first. If you’re out on bail, you may have travel restrictions set on you by the court. This means you may not be able to leave your city, let alone the country. If you have a past criminal record, you might have to check the no-fly list. To check the no-fly list you can go to the website and search for your name. Both of these situations can affect your ability to use a passport.

If you’re allowed to leave the country and fly, your next step is to figure out whether or not you want a passport book, or card. A passport book is the most common passport form. It’s the standard blue book, which has pages for you to fill with stamps. A passport card is not a book and will only allow you to travel to Canada and Mexico. Once you figure out what kind of passport you want, all you need to do is a take a picture.

When you go to take your picture for your passport, be aware that they will not accept photos where:

• You wear a white shirt.
• You are smiling.
• Your ears are hidden under hair.
• You are wearing glasses.

If you didn’t enjoy taking school pictures, then you probably won’t enjoy getting a passport picture taken. However, this picture will at least allow you to travel and experience the world. All you need to do is fill out an application and take an awkward photo.

All the Single Dads

All the Single Dads

We live in a world where we preach independence. We want independence from everyone and if someone says we can’t do something, we prove them wrong. When people say you can’t raise a child without being married, you prove them wrong. There is nothing wrong with being a single mother and to all those single moms out there, you’re killing it. Single moms get their holiday in May; single dads also get their holiday in June. Father Day is coming up on June 17th, and it’s time that we give them some recognition as well.

Being a single father is a taboo thing. It’s a foreign concept to most people. After all, why wouldn’t the mother be in the picture? We’re not surprised when a father is absent in a child’s life, but when a mother is gone, we can’t believe it. Maybe it’s because as children we’ve seen movies where the only reason why a mom is out of the picture is because of some tragic death or possibly because she is in jail. This could be the case for some, but not all. Let’s face it, some people aren’t meant to be parents, while others are destined to be both parents.

Single fathers are just like single mothers. Society, family, friends, and even their kids will challenge them. Whatever the reason is for being a single parent, you know that you’re doing it for your kid. You are accepting the responsibility to play both roles in your child’s life. You realize that you family is going to critique your methods. Your kid’s teacher may suggest that because of you, just child doesn’t understand math. Your friends will be put off at time when you can’t go out because your child is sick and the sitter canceled. The worst part of it all will be when your kid is mad at you, because they can only be mad at you.

Those are some of the challenges a single father will face, but it isn’t all-bad. Being a single father is not a death sentence. Through all the unwanted advice and exhaustion you’ll find a rhythm. As a single father, you still have a lot to offer your kids. You’re showing your kid love in another way. You’re showing them perseverance. Life may not always go as planned, but you’ve got them. As a single father you get a front row seat to watch your kids grow into adults.

Fathers typically provide for and discipline their children. The mother generally is the nurturer of the family. However, having two parents is becoming a rarity in the world around us. Wherever you’re the mother is, whether that be in jail, or out of the picture indefinitely, just know that you are capable of providing everything your child needs. As long as you provide your kids with love, they will be appreciative of you this Father’s Day.

Snakes aren’t Toys, They’re Dangerous

Snakes aren’t Toys, They’re Dangerous

With every positive, there always seems to be a downside. California has beaches, sunshine, and great views. However, California also has snakes, earthquakes, and the occasional summer temperature rising above 100. If these cons to living in California stress you out, take a hike out on one the hundreds of trails California has to offer residents. Just be careful, summer is snake season.

Snakes can be out all throughout the year, but usually are more active in the warmer months. Snakes are cold blooded, which means they need to the sunshine to raise their body temperature enough to move. This is why in the colder months we typically see fewer snakes. California, like other states, does have several snakes. The ones that you need to extremely cautious of, are rattlesnakes.

Every snake should be treated with extreme caution because they all can bite. Some snakes are extremely venomous to us, others, not so much. Either way, snakes are not toys. California is home to a lot of rattlesnakes, such as:

• Western Diamond Back
• Mojave Green
• Speckled
• Sidewinder
• Red Diamond

All of these are types of rattlesnakes and have a wide, diamond-shaped head.

The good news is that the rattlesnake is California’s only native venomous snake. Most snakes aren’t bad. If you’re looking at a snake and it doesn’t have a rattle on its tail, or a diamond shape head, you can breathe a little easier because more than likely, that snake is helping you catch rodents.

If you ever find yourself with a rattlesnake staring you down, or infringing on your backyard, you can call in an expert snake remover. Simply back away from the snake and call a professional to come deal with it. A rattlesnake will not chase after you, it just wants to be left alone. If you keep your distance from the snake, it will keep its distance from you.

While you stay in California, it is important that you adapt to protect yourself from the harm of dangerous snakes such as rattlesnakes. By making little adjustments to your lifestyle, you will be decreasing your chances of getting into trouble with a rattlesnake. Here are a few tips from the Californian Department of Fish and Wildlife on how to be snake aware:

• Be alert of your surroundings where you place your feet.
• Wear protective foot wear.
• Children shouldn’t wear flip flops in snake country.
• When hiking, avoid grassy areas where snakes could be hiding.
• Don’t step or place your hands in areas that aren’t visible to you.
• Don’t grab sticks or branches in rivers, snakes can swim.
• Never hike alone.
• Carefully handle freshly killed snakes because their fangs still have venom in them.
• Teach children to leave snakes alone.
• Walk your dogs on a leash to avoid your dog getting bit by a snake.

There are a lot of perks to living in California, but there are some small downsides. One of those downsides are snakes. However, with the proper knowledge you’ll realize that snakes out in California aren’t a big deal. As long as you’re aware and remember that snakes aren’t toys.

Are Lazy Days Bad?

Are Lazy Days Bad?

It’s so easy to postpone the things that we don’t want to do. All it takes is a little faith, procrastination, and an I-don’t-want-to-attitude. Even though we don’t recognize it, we do take short cuts on a regular basis to make it easier for ourselves. After all, why do we drive to work or school a certain way? The answer is simple, that route is faster, which makes things easier on us. However, some days it’s not just about cutting corners, it’s about not doing it at all. It’s about being lazy and not feeling guilty.

If you’re continuously hustling day-to-day, you may feel overworked and exhausted. Our body can be overworked physically, emotionally, and mentally. Taking a lazy day, or hour is perfectly acceptable. Our bodies need a moment to recharge, and taking a break is one of the ways we can relax. Taking a day to recharge maybe the best solution for you.

Being lazy, or having a lazy day can also just be in our genes. There can be a mutation that takes place in our DNA that makes us lazy. If you’re constantly being lazy, it could be in your DNA. According to studies, it has to do with your dopamine levels. Studies also suggest that being lazy is an actual trait that can be passed down from generation to generation.

We can often zone out and when we do, we enter a space of deep thought. This can be a good thing. Being lazy can give your brain a chance to think outside the box. When we’re constantly faced with mentally exhausting tasks, we burn out. A lazy moment can actually grant us a moment to recharge and re-think some problems.

If you’re ever having a lazy moment don’t stress over it too much. Try not to think of it as being lazy, rather you’re taking a moment to rest. It’s not really being lazy if you genuinely need a moment to relax. You may be lazier than your siblings, friends, or other acquaintances, but maybe you just have a different perspective of the world around you. After all, everyone is lazy from time to time.

What to Do When You Miss Someone

What to Do When You Miss Someone

When you miss someone, it can almost feel like your world is crashing down around you. This is especially true if you regularly spend time with this person. Sometimes getting separated from a close friend can feel horrible, like the separation may last forever. No matter how bad it feels, that isn’t always the case. It’s important to remember life is always changing and goodbyes don’t mean forever.

When you’re missing someone, try to keep yourself busy. Picking up a new project or hobby while your loved one is gone can help the time pass faster. If you’re constantly planning and worrying about a new project, the days until you see your loved one again may fly by. Remember, this only works if you fully immerse yourself in a new project. To keep busy in order to ignore the absence of a loved one is not as easy as it may seem.

If keeping busy isn’t working, you can always try to be productive. Start each day with a list of things you want to accomplish that day. Make the list with several easier items and only two big tasks. The easier items could be: eat a healthy breakfast, stand outside for 5 minutes and breathe, or take a shower. Bigger tasks could be: call and set up insurance, plan a trip to see your loved one, or go grocery shopping. Making a well-balanced list will help you be more productive. By starting with the smaller items first, you’ll eventually snowball and accomplish larger tasks.

If you just feel like you’re drowning in misery without your loved one, it’s time to get outside. Going outside and soaking in some sunshine can do wonders for the body. You may think it is pointless, but the sun provides us with vitamin D, which helps boost our overall happiness. You may not think that you need the sunshine, until you go outside and realize how nice it is. Even going on a mini day trip to the beach can help clear your mind and allow you to gain a new perspective.

Going from being with someone daily, to not having them around at all, can be hard. Whether it was jail, a job change, or just a regular move, missing someone can be miserable. Try not to let that get you down too much. Try to focus on positive things, and realize those goodbyes are just fancy see-you-laters.