PRODUCT REVIEW: Mushroom Coffee!

Um, hello! Could anything sound more disgusting but taste more delish? Answer: NO!

First off, let me say I’ve never been much of a fan of the ‘shroom. The texture, the taste…the smell. However, I know that certain varieties of mushrooms are incredible from a health standpoint, so when I heard about this awesome thing called “Mushroom Coffee” from Tim Ferriss’ podcast, I was just too curious to resist!

Four Sigmatic is made up of some buddies from Finland who have developed easy, tasty ways to enjoy mushrooms, the “super food” that was a super food before super foods were all the hype 🙂  After perusing their website, and trying to decide what to try first, I saw an awesome sampler box that held everything I wanted, one dose at a time!

20160922_104315.jpgSo, although I originally thought I would put together a video about these goodies, I decided there are plenty of awesome videos if you get on YouTube or the Four Sigmatic website and check them out. However, I would like to share my take on each of the “flavors” I got to enjoy…and the one that I didn’t. Here’s my spin on things, in order from my most to least favorites:

  1. Mushroom Coffee w/ Cordyceps: “Stimulation without jitters” Guys, this stuff tastes amazing!!! It smells like coffee, tastes like a zesty instant coffee, and made me feel ohhhh so good! The company promised this good stuff as stimulation without the jitters and that’s exactly what I got! I didn’t feel a jolt or a crash, just a nice, steady, delicious ride through a sea of productivity.
  2. Mushroom Hot Cacao w/ Cordyceps: “Energize & feel good” I don’t know that this would pass as hot chocolate with my kids, but it’s still a truly tasty, chocolaty treat without the choco guilt, milky mucusy gross, or heaviness of the real deal. This hot cacao has a spiciness like a fancy Mexican hot cocoa, and is rich, delicious, and still gave me an awesome pick-me-up on a cool autumn morning!
  3. Cordyceps Elixir: “Energy boost & recovery” So, clearly, I like the cordyceps! I didn’t even know what it was before this sweet sampler box, but I’m officially a FAN! Apparently, this magical mixture helps support adrenal glands and maintain constant energy levels…no wonder I love it so! All I really know is that this elixir tasted as good as the mushroom coffee and hot cacao recipes which include the cordyceps, and it offered a great boost for my day.
  4. Mushroom Coffee w/ Lion’s Mane: “Increase productivity” This coffee, while still delicious, smelled like mushrooms…or feet. I still got all of the feel-good benefits from drinking this cup of hot deliciousness, but enjoyed it much more once I put it in one of my lidded to-go cups so I wouldn’t have to smell it. I know Lion’s Mane is a great addition to my health regimen, and I love the nutty flavor of this ‘shroom coffee…as long as I don’t have to smell it 😉
  5. Mushroom Hot Cacao w/ Reishi: “Melt away stress” There’s just something special about hot drinks; they’re cozy, they’re soothing, they’re something to be savored, they’re meant to take a little time to enjoy. This mushroom cacao is soothing like that. Also nutty with a creaminess that hints at chocolate, this is just a really wonderful, hot cup of yummy.
  6. Chaga Elixir: “Bulletproof immunity” With this elixir, I begin the downward slope of my list, but I do it with this caveat: I drank these on their own, mixed only with hot water. I understand that there are many wonderful ways to enjoy these elixirs, herbs, mushrooms, etc. that may taste more delicious, be more palatable, and even boost the nutritional pow…but I wanted to find out my thoughts on the individual packets before venturing down that path. The chaga was good, and I knew it was good for me, so I enjoyed the warm cup and dreamt of future cuppings which may include some coconut oil, almond milk, or some other variation.
  7. Lion’s Mane Elixir: “Brain power” I even referenced drinking this in one of my “Get Ready with Me” videos! I enjoyed the flavor of this elixir, but similar to the mushroom coffee that included the lion’s mane, it definitely has a distinct odor. Tastes great, made me feel good, but gives my teenage son’s feet a run for their money!
  8. Reishi Elixir: “Relax & sleep deeper” Guys, gotta be honest here. I couldn’t even finish this one. It tasted so bad to me…I don’t know if I got enough into my system to help with sleep or relaxation because I likely only swallowed about three sips. If I ever have an opportunity to try this one again in a different form, or added to some base that would mask the reishi taste, I would like to. I could definitely use the hormonal regulation and lowering cortisol levels that reishi is known for, but straight with hot water isn’t happening again.

There you have it, folks! The quality of all of these handy-dandy packets was so great! Each powdery mixture dissolved like a dream in my hot water, without chunks or anything gross. The packaging is so creative and top-notch, and the natural elements of knowing this is an environmentally friendly operation made me feel extra good purchasing and drinking their goods. When consumed as I did, all of these dual-extracted mushroom mixtures are vegan and paleo-friendly. For every box, Four Sigmatic will use part of the revenue to donate mushroom kits to cancer patients! AND, as an added BONUS, HERE IS A $10 COUPON FROM FOUR SIGMATIC TO USE TOWARD YOUR FIRST/NEXT PURCHASE!

If you have tried this or similar mushroom super food products that you love (or hate, for that matter), I’d love to hear about them! What should I try next? Do YOU love Four Sigmatic??  What helps give you a pick-me-up that also is doing good things for your body? Thanks for sharing!!!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

If You’re Counting Down to Quitting Time…

Do you count down to quitting time every work day? Do you dread Monday mornings with a sick passion? Are you always wishing for a little more vacation time and a little (or a lot) less work time? I’m here to encourage you to create a life you don’t need to take a vacation from.

If you hate your current job then you can’t shine at your job. If you don’t shine, you don’t feel that happiness, pride, and sense of accomplishment that makes you glad to be there, working, and earning. There are plenty of other people who would love your current job, and there are plenty of jobs you would love that would also financially support your life and family.

If you hate where you are, get the heck out of there and find the money-making source that feeds you, where you can feel necessary and critical, and that you don’t need a vacation from!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Where Do You Sit?

I had a PolySci professor who would bellow again and again and again, every single class, “Where you sit is where you stand!” It was a call to action. It was a call to the realization that even NOT taking action is also an action. It was a call to the reality that even a non-decision is a decision unto itself.

He didn’t want us to just go along with the status quo. He wanted us to continue to challenge the “this is the way it’s always been done” of life. And, although he an I were on opposite sides of the political fence, he felt as if he had done his due diligence by making sure I stood somewhere, that I chose to stand for something.

I don’t remember much from that class except that prof allowed me to spend an entire semester studying all there was to know about Arnold Schwarzenegger for my semester project, and this phrase the he would repeat. However, I do remember that line A LOT. I remember it when I am challenged or when I’m unsure. I remember it when I am indecisive or calculating. I remember it when I don’t feel like creating a #DAILYCHEER video for my YouTube channel but then hear that phrase in my mind’s ear and always remember that optimism and energy and motivation and problem solving is what I stand for.

So, where do you sit or stand today? Even in this presidential election year, this isn’t actually meant to be a classically political statement. It’s more of a statement to encourage you to live the life you believe in, one that you are proud of. Allow yourself to be heard, realizing that sitting back and just allowing life to happen to you is making it’s own statement. Don’t allow yourself to be relegated to the back of the bus on issues you find important. Stand up.

Where YOU sit is where YOU stand!

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

The Social Media Trap

My beef with social media is simple: I follow people I know, people I like, people I look up to, and people I aspire to inspire across social media platforms. I then become frustrated to see the same posts across all social sites.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is perfect for one market is not perfect across the board.

A picture of a sunset or a product or a person that is modified in hopes that it will be perfect across the board still is not.

I will un-follow someone very quickly if everything they post is a mirror of all I’ve seen from them on every other social media platform, and every time I un-follow someone for this reason it actually pains me. I want so badly for them to post unique, site-specific content that gives me a full picture of the person, product, company.

If I’m following a juice company, I’d love to laugh as someone chugs the juice down as quickly as possible on Snapchat. Meanwhile, on Pinterest I’m reading great smoothie recipes with one of their juices as the base. Instagram would present their juice in an ice-cold glass sitting beachside, and Facebook presents an informative yet still visually pleasing picture of the product in full display with the health benefits of this particular kind of juice and this particular brand. Twitter would share news and retweets of folks enjoying this juice all over the world, and YouTube might show a range of professional and amateur videos of people living and loving this brand of juice. This would be a company I would follow across all platforms, and as new platforms presented themselves, I would seek this company out every single time.

This same rationale applies to people, too. Every Snap is not meant for Facebook. Every blog post is not meant for LinkedIn. Every Insta pic is not meant for Twitter.

If you are interesting, followers will seek you out. We don’t have to try so hard for people to like us, they like us because we’re us. Maximize each social media platform for what it is, and enjoy the long term benefits of retention and presenting a broader picture of your life, your brand, and your world.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Daily Cheer For ALL To Hear

Happy Monday, my friends! I’ve been allowing myself to be super distracted lately, and the result is that I’ve missed this website a great deal! Here’s a taste of a new thing I’m launching over on my YouTube Channel ( /marilynhortondotcom ) entitled #DailyCheer. It’s going to be a daily dose of encouragement and support to jump start your day (and MY day!) so jump on over there, please subscribe to my channel if you haven’t already, and enjoy daily OR save them up for a lousy day when you need some extra pep in your step.

Until next time, my friends…
Make it a great day,
Mari!yn
(YOUR #OptimismGuru)

Weekly Wrap-Up: May 28, 2016

It’s graduation week here, last week of school, celebrations everywhere, at all moments. Who has time during this time of year to focus on anything BUT the school kids? It’s been a great week for me, my little family, and friends as close as family. So, for something a touch different this week, I’d like to put this week to music:

FIELD DAY w/ my Little Bit13248563_10209569232491923_2143438404320452081_o

Although this song is no longer new, the kids at my youngest daughter’s school are still completely obsessed with this song, so any event features this song endlessly and the majority of the kids are up on their feet dancing, so full of smiles and happiness. It’s completely adorable!

WISHING I COULD BE EVERYWHERE AT ONCEwp-1464444917866.png

A year ago, I was living life with little to no sleep, squeezing the absolute most out of every hour, as my time in Wisconsin was coming to a close. These four girls, my co-workers at the neatest little coffee shop I’ve ever come across were with me every step of the way. I treasure these four ladies beyond words. This week, they’re doing the same without me, as one more of our tribe opens a new chapter in her life. I am incredibly excited for her, but it’s so bittersweet to miss them so, and know I am not there with them right now. LOVE YOU MEAN IT!!!!!!!!

EVERYONE GETS A YEAR OLDER AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEARwpid-img_20150502_120750.jpg

Birthdays are one thing, but one time of year all school-aged children get a year younger…and that’s on the last day of school. I have one who is now a senior, one now a junior, and one now a fourth grader…and I really can’t have this thought without choking up a bit. The end of the school year is a mental aging. It’s a beautiful, painful thing, as we celebrate the accomplishments and growing up of our amazing kids!

GRADUATION VIBES13308514_10209603835116967_7326999077241083041_o

Last night, one of my oldest and dearest friends’ oldest graduated. She is a lovely young lady, destined for a beautiful life. Sitting up in the stands, watching these young people 20 years my juniors graduate high school and turn that tassel was so fun.

Then, I saw that their class graduation song was…


…and I had to take a moment to mentally send them good vibes that do NOT speak “stressed out” over their futures.

IT’S SUMMER, Y’ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Jade Wilkins Graduation 05272016 626 2

This is going to be a busy, beautiful summer for me and mine.

I’m sending YOU all smiles and dancy-good times with this, my official song choice of summer by JT.

Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Downsize Redundancy

REDUNDANT

re¡dun¡dant
adjective
not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.
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Do you know what I’m finding especially redundant these days? Social media marketing on every scale. The ones who are doing it right post unique, true-to-the platform content across each media outlet. The ones who are doing it wrong put out one piece of content and then replicate it across the board. The Snapchat picture saved and posted to Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram. The Periscope video loses so much when not viewed on its native platform. The Instagram photo is lovely, but friends on Facebook or Tumblr are likely also your friends on Insta, so they’ve seen it.
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So, with so many social media options, how do you choose where to really focus? Marketing experts will tell you that you need to be putting out that social media content, specific to each family or theme that encompasses the platform. However, that means keeping in the middle of the constant stream that is Twitter; taking and editing lovely photos of joy and beauty for Instagram; writing great long-form content on Medium, as well as your personal or business site; streaming worthwhile and polished-but-not-too-polished videos on Periscope and Meerkat; and constantly disconnecting from real-world events in order to capture them (or yourself experiencing them) on Snapchat. Vine, Musical.ly, Tumblr, LinkedIn…the list goes on and, meanwhile, every single hour someone is attempting to build the next great social media platform that will take the world (and your time) by storm.
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When I find, as an example, a YouTuber I really enjoy watching, I then look them up and follow them on every platform I am currently into; pretty typical social behavior. The problem, then, is that I end up seeing the same image, the same funny quip, the same political rant, the same socially aware statement, the same everything across every single platform. So, really, I would have only had to have kept up with ONE of these platforms to have known what was going on.
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Personally, Facebook has become the “necessary evil” lately. I have so many friends on FB and am following so many people, businesses and organizations there that I check it pseudo-frequently. When I do, I usually click off more annoyed than fulfilled because instead of seeing real content, real news of how my friends are doing, real family pictures and goings and doings, I see that XYZ Friend went on a “sharing” binge and all I see are regurgitated posts with some strong social or political opinion for miles of newsfeed.
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Twitter is so packed with info, and is constantly moving (yes, even while I am scrolling and it resets and starts me right back at the beginning…), complete with the actual people I follow AND the people who pay Twitter to suggest that I follow, or the constant ads meant to look like normal Twitter feed items.
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Instagram, in my opinion and even with the latest update, has remained truest to its origin, and generally if I get an ad pop up on my feed, it legitimately applies to me, my interests, and the things I enjoy following on Instagram. In fact, it is so finely tuned, there are many times which those Insta-ads pay off as I follow the paid ad person or business or state or organization.
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Snapchat…snapchat, snapchat, snapchat. Listen, I know Snapchat is the biggest thing going right now, I know it’s fun and I love the filters (especially when Snap isn’t trying to make me pay for the filters, which I absolutely will not do). However, Snaps are meant to be 24-hour, snap-it and forget-it shares that aren’t meant for all social media sites. I understand that since Snapchat doesn’t have an explore option to find others you would like to follow (outside of your current address book), so there’s a certain level of HAVING to seek out and share your snaps or your code to get more followers and share with more people. But, every time you take the moments to snap a pic or a video, caption it, draw on it, apply the filters, or whatever…then, share that same picture or video across other outlets, it equals redundancy. Share your snap code…if others want to follow you, they will. If you share every snap you take across every media outlet, there’s no point in following you on Snapchat, also.
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All of this being said, what I would like to see in my utopian social media world are:
1) unique posts shared only on the social platform that best fits that particular post,
2) focusing on the platform you excel most at or that your style best fits into and own it, and then
3) don’t water down that great message by sharing everything everywhere.
Additionally, 4) that when we are introduced to someone we would enjoy following, take the moment to decide which platform we get the most out of, and follow that person, business, organization, etc. only on that platform.
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I am working on following my own set of suggestions, as well. {What good would it do to not practice what I preach, after all?} Until next time, my friends…
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Make it a great day,
Mari!yn

Weekly Wrap-Up: May 21, 2016

Holy Moly! One month left of Spring, and then Summer begins full-force! Watch out, world, it’s going to be a warm one!

BEATS THAT HAVE ME MOVIN’ THIS WEEK

I’ve been on a real Annie Lennox kick this week! A.L., the Eurythmics, stations centered around one of both of them. That’s my jam this week!

A MOVIE REVISITED

This week, my teenagers were introduced to Will & Jaden Smith’s The Pursuit of Happyness. I enjoy this movie for so many reasons. 1) It’s uplifting. 2) I have yet to watch a Will Smith movie that he didn’t act well in, and I therefore think he’s a great actor. 3) From a business standpoint, this true story shows real hustle. 4) Just when I think life is rough, I can always be reminded by this movie that having a roof over my head and clean clothes to wear is a blessing I should never take for granted.

QUOTE LOVE

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.” (Benjamin Disraeli)

IF YOU WATCH JUST ONE OF MY VIDEOS FROM THE PAST WEEK…

I am most proud of this one: https://youtu.be/bZonuFKUJ9o

As always, I appreciate you enjoying and sharing the content I put together here. Until next time…

Make it a great day,

Mari!yn

Do Something Once, Do Something Well

We all heard it countless times from our parents as we were growing up…”Either do it right or don’t do it at all.”

As adults, either at work or in our home life, not doing something at all is usually not a very realistic option. So, instead, we rush through the chore or the project or the task on our way to doing something we actually want to do and want to put our whole efforts into.

Let’s take our parent’s advice this time, though, and DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

On this Motivational Monday, I want to encourage you to take so much pride in yourself and your abilities, and value your time so much that you put 100% effort into everything you do.

Do the task, do it well, do it fully and correctly the first time, and put your stamp of approval on the project, knowing it’s something to be proud of.

Thank you for joining me on this and other Motivational Mondays! Until next time, my friends…

Make it a great day,
Mari!yn