Yoga, Low Impact Workouts, and Life in General

I hope you’re having a good December so far!

Here in my part of the world it has been bitterly cold this month, with a wee bit of reprieve today. The only downside to the reprieve is the 50 km/hr plus winds that come with it. It’s great out of the wind, but BRRRR when one is in it.

Let’s Start with Life

I had so many plans today for getting outside things done, but all I got accomplished was bringing my truck home from my daughter’s. (It was their second vehicle for a few months when her car broke down.) With the high winds I was not impressed driving home, because my truck is a two-wheel drive and doesn’t have its winter weight in the box yet. Some of the snowdrifts weren’t nice at all.

But, I made it home and the truck will now sit in my yard until spring I’m sure. The only challenge I have now is to get if from in front of my garage to the shop in the back; but that’ll be another day’s project. I’m not even going to attempt to move any snow today, because my snowblower trail will be blown in before I get turned around. The joys of living in Alberta. But truth be told, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

The past 2 1/2 years have not been kind to me in terms of my weight and flexibility. And in all honesty, neither was great before, simply due to crazy work hours and me having trouble staying on track.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.


I have taken it upon myself to start my journey to a thinner, healthier me. And in doing so, I’m documenting my journey on my new blog. Initially I was going to document it here but decided not everyone who follows this blog will be interested in my yoga. Hence the new one.

I’m not an expert in yoga by any means, but I do know that when I have stuck to it I felt better and could move better. And let’s face it, as the years add up I need all the help I can get.

I’ve taken yoga classes that almost killed me (or at least it felt like it), because I wasn’t at the level the instructor taught. We were all beginners, but she was more accustomed to intermediate and advanced levels. I didn’t go to more than a couple because I couldn’t see how it was helping if I hurt so much for days after.

My goal is to not only improve my own health and wellbeing with my new blog, but to also help others as I go. I’m a lot camera shy, but the only way to demonstrate a pose is to do it with the camera rolling. So, once again, I’ll be stepping out of my comfort zone and a) help others who are watching, or b) totally embarrass myself. Either way, I’m sure there’ll be an entertainment factor there somewhere.

Low Impact Workouts

Not all exercise has to hurt the joints. Walking is a great way to get the heart rate up without putting unnecessary stress on the knees and hips.

Mix it up with some punches, kicks, or side-stepping, and you’ve got a workout that gets the steps in plus raises the heart rate. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t tried it myself. After the first 10 minutes I thought I was going to pass out.

The beauty of these workouts is you can do them in 10 minutes. You don’t have to dedicate an hour to a workout, because seriously, who has time for that? I know an hour would probably make it so I couldn’t walk for a week, so why not break it up into smaller segments?

I’ll be talking more about my process over in the new blog as well, and the camera will definitely have to come out for the demos on that one.

Wrapping It Up

When you live in a climate that is cold and snowy, going out to a gym to exercise isn’t always feasible. And when you live in the middle of nowhere, justifying the trip into town isn’t generally going to happen. At least not for me.

Yoga and low impact workouts can be done at home, no matter what the weather is like outside. All it takes is some dedication, upbeat music, and a space to do it. I’m fortunate in some aspects because I don’t have to share my space with anyone. (That’s also a downside to life, but it’s my choice.)

So if you’re interested in following my journey to a healthier me, check out my 50 Something Yoga blog. If not, that’s okay too. I’ll be back again soon with some thoughts and advice about Christmas.


Using AI to help you combat writer’s block.

We’ve had a wee bit of reprieve from winter, but I know it’s short-lived. Why can’t Mother Nature just pick a season and stick with it?

I have to admit, I was skeptical about using AI to help with my writing.

I tend to be one of those people who is afraid to try anything new for fear of losing the old way of doing things. When it comes to AI, that’s not the case.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

AI is designed to help write blog posts, product descriptions, outlines, emails, and so on. It should not (in my opinion) be used to completely write everything. The human element should still remain a constant factor in any piece of writing to some degree.

Initially I was skeptical, but after using both Jasper.AI and WordHero I have come to my own conclusions.

Jasper.AI – This is the first one I tried, and after some time spent on it I realized AI isn’t all that scary.

The more information you can provide, the better the content it produces will be. I also found the more I use it, the better it gets at providing me with content that’s relevant to what i want to say.

That’s not to say it just picks something out of a hat when I type in keywords or titles, but it’s as if it is figuring me out.

I also like the fact it gives more than one output (3 on the basic subscription; 10 in Boss Mode) at a time. It makes it easier to compare the results. I did notice there is some repetition depending on the topic. As I said before, the more keywords and information you can provide, the better.

I have used it to write the content for my Birchbark Publishing email list, and am pleased with the results. I typed in a phrase/sentence with a few keywords, and it generated 5 (the number I asked for) complete articles. In order to include the information I wanted, I pulled sentences and paragraphs from the different outputs to make it my own. Personal experiences and thoughts were also added in.

I do have to say it is a bit pricey: $59.00/month US for Boss Mode (which includes 50,000 credits). With the exchange rate that does convert into over $80.00 (on average) Canadian. I am considering going back to the basic package, which is $29.00/month US. I will lose a couple of the features, but I generally do not use the 50,000 credits I pay for each month. (And the unused credits don’t carry forward to the next month.) The referral credits, however, do carry forward and you have access to them as long as you’re a paying subscriber.

If you refer a monthly subscriber, you do earn 30% of their subscription fee each month, which is nice. You do have to be approved to be an affiliate, and you need a LinkedIn account. (It would not let me skip this when I was filling out the form.) You can earn 10,000 credits for each person you refer, even if you’re not an approved affiliate.

Another feature is it will write in almost any tone of voice you wish. I usually ask for friendly, casual, funny, or witty outputs. It’s amazing what the difference is with just changing the tone (and leaving the keywords/phrase the same).

WordHero – I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day, and an ad for WordHero popped up. I decided I had nothing to lose and got the lifetime pro membership ($269.00 US), which translates into much less money per month than (Note: the lifetime deal is only available for a short time.)

They also have a subscription plan available, which translates into more money over the course of a year, but still more economical than Jasper. (They also pay 30% to affiliates, no matter the plan.)

I got a little accustomed to having more than output generated at a time for me, which WordHero doesn’t do. Mind you, it doesn’t take much to make a slight change for a different output.

I haven’t tried all of the features of it yet, but I do have to say it’s comparable to Jasper. At time of writing, WordHero is $49.00/month for unlimited usage (although they do have a Fair use Policy in effect), and $348.00/year if paid for annually.

I have found that with using AI I have been able to come up with more ideas for blog posts (I have a running list in my notebook). Plus, by using just the outlines generated I find my own words flow much easier. Sometimes a person just gets stuck, and keying in a few words to AI is all it takes to get unstuck.

One final note: AI is not meant to replace writers. Humans are still needed to edit the outputs, and add the emotion and feeling. As advanced as computers are, my thought is they will never replace the human element entirely. (And no, I did not use AI to write any of this post. I did use it to write this post on my Birchbark Publishing site though.)

Have you used AI? If so, what do you like/dislike about it? If not, is it something you’re considering trying? Let me know in the comments below.

Getting Started with Your First Book

Alas, the flooring is all done!

I still have to install the transition strips, but that’s a project for another day. It will be done by the weekend however, along with my spare room being painted. That room now sits completely empty, except for the paint can in the middle of it.

My thought was to put everything back and paint in a month or three, but my boyfriend convinced me now is the perfect time. I have to admit he’s not wrong. And it will be nice to have one more thing checked off the list.

My office was the last room to be done, and I have to say this is much nicer than the carpet that was in here. Moving my chair is now effortless. In fact, I have to be careful because it rolls too easily. I somehow foresee myself forgetting, and rolling back into the bookshelf when I push myself away from the desk.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

If someone had told me a year ago that I would be installing vinyl planking I would have told them they were nuts. Even when I picked out the colours I didn’t see myself doing any of the installation; yet here I am with some new experiences under my belt.

Granted I didn’t do the entire house alone, but I did enough to know it’s not something I’d want to be doing full time. Kudos to the professional flooring installers; they are definitely worth the money they charge. (I had the linoleum in my bathrooms installed by a local flooring company. That was NOT something I was willing to tackle.)

Don’t be afraid to take on new challenges. Or try new things. If it works out that’s great! If it doesn’t, then at least you can say you tried.

Writing a Book

The same goes for writing. If you want to be a published author, you first have to write your book. It is scary in the beginning, and all the self-doubt can be paralyzing.

But don’t listen to the negative thoughts in your head. Or for that matter, to the naysayers in your circle. Do what makes you happy, and if that involves writing a book, then go for it.

It doesn’t matter if you write fiction or nonfiction. The goal is to get your story/knowledge out there. Take a few minutes and do some brainstorming. Write out your ideas, or use a mind map to get your ideas out. The latter is a great tool to use if you’re more visual.

The Process

Once you have some topics/story ideas, work on your outline. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll concentrate on nonfiction in this post. Although I also write fiction, I take a different approach to it than I do my non-fiction.

If you’re having trouble with your outline, consider turning it into a series 10 questions your audience wants answered. Each question is a chapter and every subtopic is a supporting question. For example, your might have an outline that looks like this:

Chapter One: What Is Calligraphy?

  • Where Did Calligraphy Originate?
  • Why Do People Use Calligraphy Today?
  • What Can I Do with My Finished Calligraphy Work?

Chapter Two: What Supplies Do I Need?

  • How Do I Know If I Picked the Right Pen?
  • Do I Need to Use Specialty Paper?
  • Which Ink Should I Buy?

You can use as many questions as needed in each chapter to share your information. Some chapters may need several questions to cover all of the points you want to share while others may only need three or four questions. Don’t get hung up on how many questions you have right now.

When you’re finished with your outline it’s time to flesh it out. Answer the questions as thoroughly as you can, without boring the reader. Keep your tone friendly, and it doesn’t hurt to add a little humour in as well.

Once you’ve finished your first draft, it’s time to polish it. This is where your editing comes in. Sometimes it helps to take a step away from it for a few days or so, and look at it with fresh eyes. You’ll find sentences you want to reword, or you may omit entire paragraphs.

It’s all part of the process, but is a necessity if you want to create a book others will want to read and learn from.

For a more detailed look at writing nonfiction, you can pick up my 12 Module Course here. If you have any problems with the download please contact me. It’s a small price to pay for a course that can be the beginning of a regular stream of passive income for you.

The hardest part to anything new is getting started. Once you take the first step (even if it’s a baby one) the rest will fall into place.

What’s something you’ve done that scared you to death at first? Let me know in the comments below.

%d bloggers like this: