Monthly Archives: November 2020

Celebrate With Some Unusual Thanksgiving Day Traditions

A national holiday is celebrated in as many ways as there are households in America. The quintessential Thanksgiving Day celebration is perhaps best portrayed as Norman Rockwell envisioned in his painting, Freedom from Want. Roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and all the fixings are served as families gather around the dinner table, ready to give thanks and feast. Many American families celebrate this time-honored tradition, but some have added new twists in celebrating the big day. Sometimes, the wackier the tradition, the more memorable the holiday. Frozen Turkey Bowling While many people settle in to watch football on Thanksgiving Day, others flex their muscles in preparation for turkey bowling. A frozen turkey and unopened plastic bottles of soda serve as a bowling ball and bowling pins. Sometimes, actual bowling pins are used. The frozen bird is flung onto smooth supermarket aisles, slick ice, or slippery sheets of painter’s plastic. Derrick Johnson, a grocery clerk at a Newport Beach Lucky supermarket, laid claim to the idea in 1988. He saw a store manager slide a frozen turkey across the floor that accidentally

Grand Hotels from Florida’s Gilded Age

Industrial tycoons and visionaries transformed Florida’s frontier into luxurious playgrounds for the rich. If you build it, they will come. That’s precisely what happened with a handful of visionaries during the Gilded Age of the late 19th century and Florida’s land boom from 1920 to 1925. Men who contributed to the building of modern America, embarked on their own missions to draw the leisurely wealthy of the frozen north to exotic sub-tropical playgrounds in Florida. During the late 19th century, while the wheels of industry turned and economic prosperity grew in northern states, Florida was still a backwater with some populated areas carved out of its mangroves and swampland. These visionaries saw Florida’s pristine beaches and balmy breezes as a golden opportunity to build tourist destinations for the rich and famous. Build it they did, and the tourists came. Today, snowbirds continue their seasonal migration to Florida’s sunny shores. Some enjoy stays at grand hotels, iconic symbols of Florida’s past. They remind us of a more genteel time when railroads and tourism began to flourish. The groundwork laid, Florida transformed

Ker & Downey: Return to Kenya’s Wild

So you’re ready to travel again but don’t know where to start? Start here, with three of Ker & Downey’s favorite private Kenyan safari homes. Do you find yourself watching tv and thinking to yourself, “They are standing too close together.” Or, “What are they doing in such a crowded space?” After months spent social distancing, we are going to have to learn how to be in genuine community again. As we start to travel again, the last thing you probably want to do is surround yourself with a group of strangers. Luckily that has never been Ker & Downey’s modus operandi. Our philosophy on travel has always been private, fully customized travel that reflects who you are from start to finish. We aren’t going to book you onto a bus tour that hits the well-worn tourist highlights with a bunch of people you’ve never met. Instead, we seek out authentic experiences you won’t find on Trip Advisor. We prefer small, boutique-style properties that specialize in attention to detail and specialized service. Private Kenyan Safari Homes That’s where these three

The Importance Of Sleep

Modern life has disconnected us from our sleep — here are some ways to fix it. After studying sleep for 10 years as a PhD in Cognitive Psychology, I’ve seen this disconnect first hand. People should understand and talk about their sleep like we talk about our diet and exercise. But we live in a society that admires the sleep-deprived workaholic and disregards the fully rested and more thoughtful among us. It can be hard to focus on our sleep health, so I’ve compiled 10 main takeaways from my decade in the sleep world. Hopefully these tips will help you improve the quality of your sleep, your health, and your overall well-being. 1) Don’t underestimate the Circadian Component. People generally have an idea about how much sleep they need (called the homeostatic component of sleep). For example, I know I need about 8 hours. But people often know little about their individual internal 24-hour clock, aka the circadian rhythm. Here’s what you need to know. Everyone has a 24-hour cycle that is impacted by this weird German word called zeitgebers.

Wow the Home Chef with Cool Kitchen Gadgets

Every great cook needs quality tools of the trade, here’s a list of genius kitchen gadgets for the home kitchen. Choosing what to get for the chef in your life who already has everything can be difficult. Using stylish, functional, innovative tools can make culinary craft even more enjoyable for the home chef. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of kitchen gadgets fit for a professional that will inspire creativity in the kitchen. Molecular Gastronomy Kit For the truly adventurous chef, here’s something that will tantalize their inspiration. Molecule-R’s Cuisine R-Evolution makes molecular gastronomy accessible, fun, and easy for anyone. The do-it-yourself kit is fully loaded with everything needed to experiment molecular techniques at home. Take culinary art to the next level and experiment with mixology, styling, and flavoring. Turn any occasion into an elevated event. The kit comes with 20 sachets of food additives, a silicon mold, and three pipettes. Playing with food has never been this fun! Check it out on the Molecule-R website or get it on Amazon. Breville Joule Sous Vide This little

Essentrics: The Revolutionary Art of Aging Backwards

Revolutionary,  low-intensity stretching and strengthening exercises can set you on a path to aging backward. Turn back the hands of time! Aging isn’t all that fun when aches, pains, and brain fog set in. But take heart. Men and women of all ages are discovering a gentle form of exercise that is more effective and less damaging to muscles, joints, and connective tissue than conventional “compression” style workouts. It even helps strengthen and maintain the functioning of brain neurons. Essentrics is a revolutionary fitness technique that views fitness as the ability to “move freely, live actively and without pain” rather than increase muscle mass, boost speed, or add miles. The goal is creating balance in the body so that one’s muscle strength doesn’t hinder movement, enhancing mobility. The body becomes toned through gentle strengthening and stretching exercises, enabling a full range of motion for muscles and joints. It is exciting news for an aging population and those who suffer from painful conditions that can be improved through these techniques.   Essentrics was created by Miranda Esmonde-White, a Canadian fitness trainer

Folds of Honor: Giving Back to America’s Fallen Heroes

By heeding to a higher call, one man’s mission is helping to ensure no family is left behind on the field of battle. Honoring our fallen military heroes is the least we can do for their ultimate sacrifice. But so often, their valor has been overlooked as we fully engage in the very freedom they fought to protect. Defenders of our liberties, many leave behind families who not only suffer the loss of their loved one but have an uncertain future ahead of them. In 2007, Major Dan Rooney sought to change this indifferent attitude and help military families when he founded the Folds of Honor Foundation. The non-profit provides scholarships to spouses and children of severely disabled veterans or those killed in action. The organization creates a legacy for the fallen, helping to ensure the continuing education of the loved ones they left behind. A Light in the Darkness To know the impact the organization is having is to hear the stories of Folds of Honor families. At a time of devastation, Folds of Honor helps bring closure for

Cranberry Harvest: Ocean Spray’s Fruits of Labor

The world’s largest cranberry grower preserves generations of cranberry family farming. The air is crisp, fall is in full swing as trees turn their colors, and cranberry bogs have peaked for harvest. These edible little gems will be served up as sauce, jelly, juice, or fresh in just about every American household this holiday season. It takes a lot of berries to do that, about 80 million pounds worth, and there’s one brand up to the task to handle that. Ocean Spray is the world’s number one producer of cranberry products, selling two-thirds of the world’s supply. The small bright red wetland fruit was first harvested by Native Americans inhabiting the New England area for making medicines, dyes, and pemmican, a nutritious, concentrated blend of dried venison, tallow, and tart cranberries shaped into patties. Dutch and German settlers first called the fruit “crane berry” because the blossom resembled a crane’s head and bill. The humble cranberry most likely made an appearance at the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. In colonial times, people enjoyed cranberries in sauces, tarts, and preserves. In

Ancient Wonders of California

Connect with the distant past by exploring early civilizations and ancient natural wonders in the Golden State. California has a lot to offer tourists. Many make their way to see glitzy Hollywood, scenic Pacific Coastal Highway, surfer waves in Santa Cruz, San Francisco cable cars, or picturesque Napa Valley. But California also offers tourists a chance to see some of the most ancient wonders in the Americas. The Cerutti Mastodon Discovery Researchers have made a stunning discovery that could rewrite human history. They found signs of human activity dating around 130,000 years ago at the Cerutti mastodon site in San Diego, making it the oldest archeological site in the Americas. The discovery predates previously known human activity by 100,000 years. Although no human bones were found, a mastodon skeleton, molars, tusks, bone flakes, and large stones were found, indicating the site was used as a bone quarry. Mastodon bones were smashed to extract marrow or were used as raw materials for making tools. Learn more about this exciting discovery and museum hours at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Petrified

Healium: Using Your Body’s Electricity to Manage Stress

Self-managing stress and anxiety through the power of thought are not only possible; it’s proven. Battling epidemics, anxiety, and stress are just some of the health challenges we face today. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults, yet only 36.9% undergo treatment. Add to that, the coronavirus pandemic, which is increasing stress among the U.S. population. According to Gallup, that’s bad news since the U.S. already ranks as the fourth-highest stressed population in the world. Mental health professionals across the country see an uptick in demand for their services by new and existing patients. More people are taking steps to help relieve stress, such as learning relaxation techniques, exercising more, reducing caffeine intake, etc. – all have their benefits. But what if you could manage stress and anxiety through the power of thought. Not just thinking about nice things, but a clinically validated way to self-manage anxiety, increase positivity, improve mood, and elevate empathy. Increasing Mental Fitness Healium is a groundbreaking mental fitness