July 30, 2019 // Archive

Date based archive
30 Jul

Mendocino County CEO Carmel Angelo said at the most recent Measure B Committee meeting last week that the county has reached an agreement to purchase a Regional Behavioral Health Training Center/Sheriff Sub-station in Redwood Valley for the county to use for mental health training.

Angelo said there were three other bids for the property at 8207 East Road, from other purchasers. The county has given a $5,000 deposit into escrow for the property for 30 days. Mendocino County is now doing inspections of the property.

The facility is expected to be used for hands-on training regarding mental health issues and preparing first responders for various situations. The cost is expected to be around $369,000, and funding would be 70 percent ($258,300) from Measure B funds with 30 percent ($110,700) from the sheriff’s office.

At a special Measure B meeting on July 8, the committee voted to recommend purchase to the Board of Supervisors after touring the facility. After the recommendation, the board approved the purchase on July 9, and the county put forth a bid of $389,000, which was accepted.

The building is expected to be used for weekly mental health training and is big enough to hold large-scale training exercises. The county has had trouble in the past finding buildings large enough for training. The county has also had expenses from having to rent buildings for training instead of owning a building.

Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman said at the meeting that the rushed nature of the special meeting and the decision to buy the property was due to the timeline of the property sale. The owner wanted to sell the property quickly, and if the Measure B Committee had waited until a regular meeting, they might not have been able to buy the property.

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30 Jul

Whether you aspire to be 170 pounds and look tight for the beach or to transform into a 270-pound behemoth, impressive shoulder development is a must. Wide, round deltoids communicate rugged power and virility, form the top frame of the V-taper shape we all want, and stand out no matter what you wear—or don’t wear.

Unless you’re still in the early stages of training—the “honeymoon phase,” as I like to call it—you’re probably not happy with the size of your shoulders, especially with all the time you’ve spent training them.

What you need is a routine that’ll give your shoulders no choice but to start growing again. The routine I have for you will be more intense and demanding than anything you’ve ever done, but the payoff will be well worth the effort expended and pain endured.

Are you ready to make some real shoulder gains? Then let’s do this!

The Delt Wreckage Workout


Side Lateral Raise

Note: Follow “up and down the rack” protocol

3 sets, 82 reps


Smith Machine Behind the Back Shrug

4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps


3 sets, 24 reps (12 fast, 12 slow)


Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps (increasing weight)



Technique Tips

Lateral Raise

You’re probably accustomed to starting off your shoulder workout with a press, which is a great way to go—except if your shoulders are so used to this approach that you’re not getting the gains you expect. Shake things up by pre-exhausting the medial, or side, head of the deltoids with a punishing sequence of increasing resistance on lateral raises. Follow this immediately with a reverse sequence, in which the resistance decreases from set to set.

The ideal way to set up for this is to stand in front of a standard dumbbell rack that’s at about waist level. This makes it easy to grab the weights without stopping your reps. If the dumbbell area is crowded, take all the pairs of dumbbells you need and set them up in a line on the floor somewhere out of the way.

Side Lateral RaiseSide Lateral Raise

I’ve seen protocols for this sequence that use a constant 10-12 rep range. The problem with this approach is that if you start off with light dumbbells and do just 12 reps, you won’t be the least bit challenged. Later, as you move up to much heavier dumbbells, 12 reps might be too many and force you to use poor form.

I’ve found the best strategy is to decrease the reps as the weights increase, then increase the reps as you go back down in weight. This approach matches the strength curve of the average lifter as he or she fatigues:

  • 15 pounds for 15 reps
  • 20 pounds for 12 reps
  • 30 pounds for 10 reps
  • 40 pounds for 8 reps
  • 30 pounds for 10 reps
  • 20 pounds for 12 reps
  • 15 pounds for 15 reps

Remember, there are no breaks between these sets. Perform this entire sequence three times. Reduce weight even more for the second and third rounds if necessary, just so long as you work hard enough to blow up your side delts and fill them with blood.

Smith Machine Behind-the-Neck Press

Your shoulders should be so pumped after that initial onslaught of laterals that raising your hands overhead will be a challenge. So, let’s do that next.

Instead of using a barbell or Smith machine and pressing to the front, use a machine press that’ll keep your arms traveling in a movement plane alongside your shoulder joints to ensure greater side deltoid involvement. (Your front delts get plenty of work from all the pressing you do, so not many people need to do additional work on these muscles.)

Use a constant-tension style of rep performance, stopping short of full lockout. Lift the weight quickly, then lower it more slowly and under control so you can feel the deltoids stretch.

Machine Lateral Raise

Your medial deltoids have taken a beating since the start of the workout, but we’re not done with them yet. We’re going to nail them with just 3 sets—3 tough sets, that is.

Find a weight that allows you to get 12 reps with a slow tempo, as in a full second up, a pause to contract, and 2 seconds down. Do 12 reps that way, then immediately do 12 reps as fast as possible. The pump and burn from this exercise will be excruciating.

Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

Most people tend to work their posterior, or rear, deltoids sporadically and with little enthusiasm. That’s unfortunate, because the rear delt makes up a full one-third of the shoulder complex.


You can do these raises either standing and bent over, or face down on an incline bench. The key is to keep your arms bent enough to put the load on your rear delts. If your shoulder blades come together at the top of the movement, you’re probably using more traps and rhomboids than rear delts. To prevent this, lead with your elbows.

Upright Barbell Row

When executed properly, the wide-grip barbell upright row will put the final blowtorch on both your side delts and rear delts.

The key is to pull up in an arcing motion, as if you are attempting to pull the bar up and over your shoulders, with the bar ending up somewhere around the level of your chin.

Use lifting straps if need be, but you may get the best feel in the delts by cupping the bar in your four fingers, using a “false” or thumb-less grip. Keep your elbows higher than your hands at all times.

6-Way Shoulder Raise

This is the ultimate finishing movement for the shoulders. Credit for inventing it goes to pro bodybuilder and training expert John “Mountain Dog” Meadows.

The 6-way is performed while seated, with a pair of light dumbbells. Even a very strong person wouldn’t need more than 15-20 pounds in each hand. Begin with no more than a pair of 5’s to get the sequence down, then increase weight as needed.

Start with each hand holding a dumbbell, with your arms at your side. Keeping your arms straight, raise the dumbbells into the top position of a lateral raise. Maintaining that same hand position and with your arms still straight, bring your hands together in front of you. Keeping the dumbbells pressed together, raise your arms overhead.

Front Dumbbell RaiseFront Dumbbell Raise

Lower your arms back down and extended in front of you, spread them apart again to the top position of the lateral raise, then lower them back down to your sides. That’s 1 rep!

You might never experience a shoulder pump like this one; it’s brutal, which is why you should do 6-ways only at the end of a shoulder workout. Otherwise, you’ll be incapable of doing any other shoulder exercise afterward.

How to Structure this Program

To provide your delts with the very best chance to grow, consolidate your other muscle groups into a few workouts so you have time to train arms on their own day. For a period of eight weeks, follow this split:

  • Day 1: Shoulders
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Day 3: Back and Biceps
  • Day 4: Chest, Side Delts, and Triceps
  • Day 5: Rest
  • Day 6: Repeat Sequence

You’ll directly train your shoulders every sixth day, and always after a full day of rest. Keep in mind that your front delts will still be getting some indirect work on chest day, as will your rear delts on back day.

I recommend doing one movement for your side delts on chest day to maintain their fullness and keep blood and nutrients coursing through them until you perform the full shoulder workout again 48 hours later.

Side Delt Exercise for Chest Day

Seated Lateral Raise to Standing Lateral Raise

Start each set seated either on a flat bench or a seated bench with back support. Choose a weight that has you reaching failure at about 10 reps. After you finish those 10 reps, immediately stand up and do 10 more. You’ll have better leverage standing, and should be able to complete these additional reps without too much trouble. If you need to, use a looser form on the last few reps to finish the set.

How to Use These Workouts

If you haven’t figured it out by now, this is an extremely intense routine that places tremendous demands on your recovery ability. It can be highly effective when used in the short term, but use it indefinitely and you will become overtrained—I guarantee it.

If you havent figured it out by now, this is an extremely intense routine that places tremendous demands on your recovery ability. Take a look at the video in the workout to better understand the each movement.If you havent figured it out by now, this is an extremely intense routine that places tremendous demands on your recovery ability. Take a look at the video in the workout to better understand the each movement.

I suggest you follow this shoulder wreckage plan for eight weeks. By the end of that time, you should notice a significant change in the thickness and fullness of your delts, with your shoulders looking and feeling rounder and wider from all angles.

If you’re happy with the results—and I’m sure you will be—take at least six weeks off before embarking on it again. Until then, happy shoulder gains!

Like what you read here? Take your shoulders to the next level with 30-Day Shoulders with Abel Albonetti in All Access. This is an intense regimen designed to help experienced lifters gain upper-body size and shape without sacrificing their other training.

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30 Jul

Losing an arm at the age of 13 couldn’t stop extreme-sports junkie Logan Aldridge from chasing his competitive dreams. Embracing the mantra “it’s just an arm,” Aldridge has spent the last decade becoming an accomplished CrossFit athlete, a Guinness World Record holder, and co-owner and director of Wheel WOD, an organization that creates and tracks CrossFit WODs for athletes who use assist devices. With his personal-training knowledge and experience as an adaptive athlete, Aldridge is now a leading advocate, ambassador, and pioneer for adaptive training.

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30 Jul

After being pleasantly surprised in tasting recent wines from Virginia, we were asked to check out the 2019 Governor’s Cup Case, a selection of a dozen wines that won gold medals in the 2019 Virginia Governor’s Cup Wine Competition. This mixed case from producers all over Virginia showcases a variety of styles, but all are deemed worthy by the guv!

Let’s dig into the best wines from this emerging wine producer from the last year and see how they fare on the (California-based) Drinkhacker stage.

2016 Michael Shaps Petit Manseng Monticello – 100% petit manseng. Bright gold in color, this wine — made from a grape native to southwest France — initially comes across a lot like chardonnay. (Turns out that was the whole idea.) Bold vanilla notes dominate on the rich, dense body, with notes of gentle citrus peel, fresh-cut grass, lychee, and honeydew all percolating underneath on the palate. That bold vanilla character lingers well into the finish. Just like big California chardonnay, this is a love-it-or-hate-it wine. I happened to be in the right mood for it at the time, though. B+ / $32

2016 Horton Vineyards Petit Manseng Orange County – 90% petit manseng, 5% early pick viognier, 5% rkatsiteli. Bold honey notes up front, studded with notes of orange blossoms and marmalade. The fruit is intense here, making the wine come across as fairly sweet with notes of overripe peach and apricot both heavy on the palate. The finish finds a slightly grassy character to it, touched with white pepper. B+ / $25

2017 Barboursville Vineyards Vermentino Reserve Virginia – This classic Italian white wine grape seems to love it in Old Dominion, where it is used to good effect by Barboursville to produce a nicely acidic, layered with notes of white flowers, lemon peel, and a touch of baking spice. While not quite as racy as a true Italian version, the combination of mineral and citrus work delightfully well here to showcase vermintino’s many charms. A- / $23

2015 Glen Manor Cabernet Franc Virginia – Dense and heavy with dried fruit, this 100% cabernet franc wine is dripping with notes of blackberries, a cabinet full of baking spices, and Marasca cherries, which provide a sweet edge to the silky, full-bodied palate. The finish is loaded with notes of chocolate sauce, with some blackberry crumble on the side. A massive experience, it’s a wine that really grows on you. B+ / $35

2016 King Family Vineyards Mountain Plains Monticello – A blend of 35% cabernet franc, 36% merlot, and 29% petit verdot. Interesting blend, for sure. The overall impact is one that sees a palate filled with notes of cocoa powder, fresh plum, and a touch of graphite. After the chocolate rush fades out, bold — almost brash — fruit notes linger, dominating the experience well into the silky, lasting finish. Hearty and aggressive, and never not engaging. A- / $70

2016 King Family Vineyards Meritage Monticello – A slightly different blend of 45% merlot, 27% cabernet franc, 22% petit verdot, and 6% malbec — the inclusion of malbec being the biggest departure. Very fruit forward up front, with the cocoa note showing again, then a bold violet character coming on strong soon after. A more blunt, perhaps obvious, bottling, but hard not to like. B+ / $36

2016 Hamlet Vineyards Eltham Red Wine Virginia – This bizarre blend of 50% merlot and 50% petit verdot is a lot to get your arms around. Loaded with notes of dark chocolate and coffee, this brooding wine pours on the intensity, moving quickly from a gently sweet attack to a heavy, savory monster. The petit verdot overwhelms with a brambly earthiness, leading to a complex but forest floor-heavy finish. B / $26

2015 Paradise Springs Meritage Virginia – 34% petit verdot, 24% cabernet sauvignon, 22% merlot, and 20% cabernet franc. This wine is a big boy, heavy with notes of cassis, black cherry, nutmeg, and a grind or two of pepper. There’s a distinct Port-like sweetness here that works well as a foil against a lightly meaty character that emerges over time. Notes of cloves and rum raisin inform a thick, rather decadent finish. A- / $49

2014 Upper Shirley Zachariah – Another odd blend: 46% merlot, 31% petit verdot, 15% malbec, and 8% tannat. Quite dry, almost austere. A touch of barnyard on the nose covers up a ton of fruit — dried blackberry and plum, plus notes of tea leaf and licorice. Sultry notes of coal dust and toasted oak linger on the wood-heavy finish. Big, big, big. B / $50

2016 Early Mountain Eluvium Virginia – 56% merlot, 44% petit verdot. Initially quite tight, almost astringent, Eluvium slowly opens up to reveal that fruity, floral, merlot-driven core, with notes of chocolate, walnuts, and some cinnamon spice. Still dry and dusty for the most part, though a plum-skin note dominates throughout. (2015 vintage reviewed in the link at the top of the page.) B+ / $38

2015 Michael Shaps Tannat Monticello – 100% tannat. Bruisingly dry and dusty, this stony, earthy wine smolders from the start, an ashy, tobacco-heavy character masking notes of blackberries, violets, and toasted spices. Pairing with a hearty meal is categorically required with this one. B / $35

2016 Michael Shapes Raisin D’Etre – A play on words, this wine is made from dried grapes – 73% petit manseng, 27% roussanne. Like many a late-harvest wine, it’s honey sweet, effusive with notes of applesauce, apricots, and a bit of cinnamon lingering on the back end. It’s quite sugary on the finish, but manageable. A- / $25 (375ml)


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2016 Early Mountain Eluvium Virginia


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30 Jul

30th July, 2019
Eleanor Field

Charlie Blightman, head sommelier at Noble Rot wine bar and restaurant in Bloomsbury, has worked in hospitality for two decades. Formerly buying the wine for Hawksmoor Spitalfields, Blightman was introduced to Mark Andrew MW and was part of the original Noble Rot team when it launched in 2015. He currently divides his time between his roles as head sommelier for the restaurant and as sales manager for Noble Rot’s sister wine import company called Keeling Andrew.

What or who inspired you to become a sommelier?

I got fired from an art gallery after the credit crunch of 2008! So I got a job in Mark Hix’s restaurant and my love for food and wine grew and grew and I realised I could make a career out of it. I had some really good managers who would let me read the Atlas of Wine behind the bar during service and I met many people in the wine trade who made me realise that wine was a constantly changing, thoughtful product that could be a deeply rewarding thing to be involved with.

What’s your favourite part of the job?

People – the colleagues, customers, winemakers, bon vivants and raconteurs you get to meet are all fascinating.

What’s the biggest misconception about the role of a sommelier?

That we judge people because of the wines they like to drink. This is only partly true.

What’s your go-to drink at the end of a long day?

Nothing beats a cold beer after you’ve been tasting all day.

What’s your most embarrassing front-of-house moment?

Spilling an entire bowl of soup straight into someone’s handbag when I was 14 years old and not telling them!

If you could give your younger self advice when starting out as a sommelier, what would it be?

Read everything, travel whenever possible, ask questions all the time.

What bottle sparked your love of wine?

There isn’t one specific wine, it was more a gradual realisation that there was something beyond plonk out there if you cared enough about it.

What to date has been your most memorable wine experience?

A hot cup of tea and an egg sandwich on a campsite is as memorable as Sauternes and Foie Gras in a 3* joint if you are in the right company.

Which customer habit annoys you the most?

Upside down bottles in ice buckets.

Who is your inspiration in the gastronomic world?

Anything that has been made with love looks and tastes better than any dish made in a development kitchen.

What’s your ultimate food and wine pairing?

I think it has more to do with the right wines, the right food and the right people all combined to create the right atmosphere.

Where would your fantasy vineyard be?

On a floating island that could be moved around the world so that you could control the climate and be near to friends and family when you needed to be.

If you weren’t a sommelier, what would you be doing and why?

Sitting on a bean bag in an office that had scheduled  ‘nap times’ and free apple juice. Or is that play school?

Which wine do you find it impossible to get along with?

Anything with an abundance of oak derived tannins tastes like Bourbon to me.

Who is the most memorable customer you’ve ever served and why?

Mike D of the Beastie Boys, how many people can manage to still be cool in the eyes of a 12 year old skater and a fully grown wine nerd 25 years later?

What makes you most proud to be a sommelier in London?

As a city we have been trading wines for decades but without any culture of winemaking of our own (until recently) which means everything is available. Trends and fads get dealt with pretty swiftly too.

What’s on your wine bucket list?

The usual, I’d never pass up the chance to try DRC, Leroy, Jayer, Engel, the 1st growths etc. but that is because they are so out of reach that my curiosity is piqued. I’d love to be able to go back in time and taste when certain wines were at the height of their powers too.

* Noble Rot was ranked 24th in Wine List Confidential’s 2019 guide to the best restaurants in London for wine. To see its full review, please click here.

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30 Jul

Colour Pop Mint Chip Super Shock Pigment Duo ($12.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a new, limited edition duo that features a pale, lime green and a shimmering white together. Tassel was workable, and for someone who wanted a pop of white on the inner tearduct or patted on top of another shade to brighten it slightly, it did its job, but Semi Sweet was fussy, and I struggled to get it to look anywhere near decent.

Semi Sweet is a pale, lime green with subtle, warm undertones and flecks of silver sparkle. It had semi-opaque pigmentation with a smooth, emollient texture that was thin and performed more like a powder as soon as it came into contact with my skin (fingertip or eyelid). It didn’t apply as evenly as most Super Shocks have for me in the past, and I felt like it had a tendency to look almost chalky when blended out. The wear was as expected–10 hours strong with no fading or creasing–but the coverage and look of it was a letdown.

  • Huda Beauty Emerald #9 (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).
  • Make Up For Ever I318 Linen Khaki (DC, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).
  • Make Up For Ever D316 Crystalline Pinky Green (DC, $21.00) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).
  • Dior Rose Garden #1 (LE, ) is more shimmery, lighter, warmer (90% similar).
  • Viseart Boheme Dream #2 (LE, ) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (90% similar).
  • MAC Chartreuse (P, $21.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar).
  • Colour Pop Sour (LE, $5.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar).
  • NARS Tropical Princess #1 (DC, $25.00) is more shimmery, darker, warmer (85% similar).
  • Dominique Cosmetics Cucumber (PiP, ) is more shimmery, more muted, warmer (85% similar).
  • MAC Cardamom (LE, $17.00) is more muted, warmer (85% similar).


Calcium Sodium Borosilicate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Boron Nitride, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Isododecane, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclohexasiloxane, Dimethicone/Vinyltrimethylsiloxysilicate Crosspolymer, Flavor , Phenoxyethanol, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Tin Oxide, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Propylene Carbonate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Mica (CI 77019), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Yellow 10 Lake (CI 47005).

Tassel is a pale white with neutrla-to-cool undertones and finer pearl and larger silver micro-sparkle. It had semi-opaque color coverage that applied evenly and blended out without difficulty. I didn’t find it was buildable as any attempts to do so seemed to just move the product around too much, which caused it to bunch up in places. The texture was lightly emollient, smooth to the touch, but it was thin and powder-like as soon as it was applied to my lid. It wore well for 10 hours without fading or creasing on me.

  • Chanel Tisse Fantaisie #2 (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar).
  • MAC Iced (LE, $22.00) is less shimmery (95% similar).
  • MAC Letty Lynton (LE, $18.00) is more shimmery (95% similar).
  • Chanel L’Intemporel de Chanel #5 (LE, ) is less shimmery (95% similar).
  • Sephora + Pantone Universe Antique White (LE, ) is less shimmery (95% similar).
  • Clarins Garden Escape #1 (LE, ) is warmer (95% similar).
  • BH Cosmetics Club Tropicana #14 (LE, ) is more shimmery (95% similar).
  • Dior Jardin #2 (PiP, ) is less shimmery, darker (95% similar).
  • Buxom Velvet Snow (LE, $12.00) is less shimmery (95% similar).
  • Chanel Tisse Jazz #2 (LE, ) is more shimmery (95% similar).

Formula Overview

$5.00/0.07 oz. – $71.43 Per Ounce

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow is a cream-based formula that comes in a multitude of shades and finishes. The more metallic shades have the most slip to them (they have a “wetter” feel), while the more matte ones have a firmer, more clay-like consistency. Almost every shade I’ve tried from ColourPop has been exceptionally long-wearing (10+ hours of wear, usually there until I remove, even 14 hours later). The pigmentation can vary from shade to shade, but the average shade is quite pigmented.

From feedback I’ve seen from readers, many love them but some don’t like them at all. They aren’t a traditional cream eyeshadow, as they are denser (more sponge-like), and they apply best with flat, firm, synthetic brushes (I like the MAC 242 and 249) for me. The brand recommends using fingers for the most pigmented application, but I’ve only felt that fingers were necessary on a few shades (usually the super glittery ones).

The more matte shades can be on the drier side and vary from medium to opaque in coverage, though they’re often buildable.  They can be a little hard to diffuse the edges of, though some are lovely to work with.

The more glittery shades have been the weakest to me, as they can be sheerer or harder to apply.  Sometimes, they are more pigmented and work like the other finishes in the formula, but often, they are sheerer and only function well patted on top of more pigmented eyeshadows to add glitter.  They do, however, tend to have little fallout over time with the occasional shade having a more moderate amount of fallout (but still less fallout than most powder eyeshadows with glitter).

Browse all of our Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow swatches.



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30 Jul

Today on Stateside, dairy farms face an uncertain future in Michigan. We speak to a sixth-generation farmer, a pair of cheesemakers in Northern Michigan, and more about the obstacles farmers face and how they are adapting.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Poor planning or a boon to Detroit? Golf tournament, Grand Prix, and policy conference scheduled for same week in 2020.

  • It’s going to be a busy summer in Detroit next year. The Rocket Mortgage Classic PGA golf tournament announced that it will be held in Detroit the week after Memorial Day, which will be the same week of the Grand Prix on Belle Isle. Both of those events come right after the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and right before the North American International Auto Show. 
  • Kim Trent is an opinion writer from the city of Detroit. She tells us what she makes of this convergence of events, and how she thinks these events could make themselves more inviting to Detroit residents. 

Sixth-generation dairy farmer says she’s uncertain of family farm future

  • Milk is being overproduced in Michigan right now, driving down prices at the store and forcing long-time dairy farmers to rethink their businesses, both for themselves and for future generations. Michigan Radio’s Tyler Scott visited Horning Farms in Manchester to speak with Katelyn Packard, who is a sixth-generation dairy farmer there. 

It’s getting harder for small dairy farmers to make it in Michigan

  • Michigan is the second most diverse agricultural state behind California. The state has strong a corn and soybean industry, which makes for cheaper milk production due to the accessibility of local cattle feed. But cheap production isn’t helping all dairy farms in the state. 
  • Dustin Walsh is a reporter with Crain’s Detroit Business who recently wrote about the overproduction of milk in Michigan. Jim Byrum is president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. They explain what’s changing in the state’s dairy industry, and why those shifts are impacting smaller farmers more than big dairy operations. 

Leelanau Cheese carves new path as dairy options dwindle

  • Artisan cheesemakers Anne and John Hoyt co-own Leelenau Cheese in Northern Michigan, but the changing dairy industry nearly forced them to close their popular business. The two told us how they recently “reinvented the cheese wheel” in order to stay open, and how the struggles of small dairy farmers impact their business. 

Farmers face high rates of depression and suicide, but many lack access to mental health services  

  • The high rate of depression and suicide among farmers has led the Michigan State University Extension to start a behavioral health program for farmers to offer them psychological support. Jeffrey Dwyer is the director of the MSU Extension. He breaks down the main causes of stress among farmers, as well as the economic and environmental conditions that pose a threat to the industry.

(Subscribe to Stateside on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)

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30 Jul

Let’s face it. Only the seriously nerdy look forward to product updates, and WordPress’ 5.0 (WP) upgrade represents a substantial change to the editor, code-named Gutenberg.

WordPress is a web software to create websites quickly and easily.

According to the WordPress marketing people, Gutenberg is “a bold leap forward.” That translates to a learning curve.

What to expect from WordPress 5.0

The biggest change for most of us is the block-based editor. Blocks are content elements that you add to the edit screen to create content layouts.

Each item you add to your post or page is a block.

There are blocks for all common content elements and more can be added by WordPress plugins. There are blocks for paragraphs, images, videos, galleries, audio, lists, etc.

Previously, if you wanted to add a table in your content, you needed a separate table plugin.

With Gutenberg, you can simply add a table block, select your columns and rows, and start adding content.

Each block comes with its own toolbar

  • that appears on top of the block. Each block can also have its own block settings, which show up to the right of the edit screen.

You can move blocks up and down

One more thing that’s pretty cool:

  • Blocks can be saved and reused individually—if you’re blogging and insert a call to action, for instance, you can save this and auto-insert it into your next blogpost.

You may already be using block-based technology

HTML email applications are using blocks, making it easy for those with little-no experience to easily drag and drop elements into place to create newsletters.

I just used MailerLite, a MailChimp product, and it’s based on drag-and-drop block components.

WordPress owns the market on websites for small-medium-sized businesses as well as for individuals.

Its power has always been ease of use and the gazillion plugins that dramatically expanded its functionality — a whopping 60,000 unique plugins in the WordPress plugin directory.

Gutenberg: A better visual representation of what your page will look like

Squarespace and Wix have become very popular website platforms, and they’re eating into WordPress’ market share.

WordPress believes that with Gutenberg: “The editing experience will give users a better visual representation of what their post or page will look like when they hit ‘publish’.”

Clearly, by improving WordPress’ site-building functionality, the WordPress team is determined to hold onto their market share.

If you prefer not to use the Gutenberg Editor, you can keep the classic editor by installing the official Classic Editor plugin.

However, that’s not a great idea. There will be software upgrades, and you’ll be missing out on functionality and may run into compatibility problems.

Gutenberg affects themes and plugins, too

Aside from the editing experience, look for the emergence of Gutenberg-friendly themes, which will be designed to take advantage the editor’s new features.

A few themes have already been released, such as Atomic Blocks and the new default theme, Twenty Nineteen that are focus on Gutenberg first.

Need some help with Gutenberg or thinking about a new WordPress website? Give me a call.

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30 Jul

Orange You Glad

Colour Pop Orange You Glad 9-Pan Pressed Powder Palette ($12.00 for 0.36 oz.) is a new, orange-themed monochromatic palette. The palette itself was good overall with the shimmers being more emollient and more loosely pressed, so they tended to have a bit of fallout unless used with fingertips or a flatter, synthetic brush and a pressing motion.

There are six mattes, one glitter, and two shimmers in the palette, though three of the mattes and the glitter shade are “not intended for use in the eye area.” It’s not a palette that I’d say makes sense for anyone who adheres to those warnings. While some feel comfortable using pigment-type products on the eyes or glitter on the eyes, not everyone does, so I’m surprised that to see the repeated inclusion of a glitter shade (in particular) in the 9-pan palettes. If they wanted to be different, they could include a Super Shock Shadow!


Zested is a medium, peachy yellow with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had nearly opaque color coverage that applied fairly well to bare skin, but there was a bit of fallout and it sheered out a touch during application. The consistency was a little powdery in the pan but blended out evenly. It lasted well for eight hours on me before fading a bit.

Squeeze Me

Squeeze Me is a light-medium orange with warm, golden shimmer throughout that gave it a more metallic finish. The texture was soft, more loosely pressed in the pan, and had a bit of slip to it, which made it apply best with fingertips or a flat, synthetic brush and pressed onto the skin. Otherwise, there was a bit of fallout, and the product didn’t go on as evenly. The eyeshadow had opaque pigmentation in one layer. It wore nicely for eight hours on me before it showed signs of fading.


Creamsicle is a light-medium orange with stronger, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had a soft, lightly dusty texture that was a bit powdery in the pan, but it applied evenly and didn’t lose its intensity when blended out. The pigmentation was opaque and stayed on well for eight hours on me before fading noticeably.

Rise N Grind

Rise N Grind is a brighter, light orange with warm, yellow undertones and a matte finish. It had rich pigmentation in a single layer, which applied well to bare skin and blended out with ease. The texture was a smidgen dusty in the pan, but it was soft and finely-milled to the touch. This shade is “not intended for use in the eye area.” On me, the eyeshadow lasted well for eight hours before fading visibly.


Clementine includes smaller and larger particle glitter that seemed to have a mix of more iridescent pieces along with peach-to-gold shifting pieces. The paleness of the particles, coupled with how flat they were (which I find does improve adhesion), made this shade more prone to taking on the colors around it, e.g. it looked more peach/orange when applied over a peach-orange eyeshadow. The glitter dispersed decently, but it wasn’t the easiest to spread out in my experience.

It is “not intended for use in the eye area,” though. I tested it on my lower lash line and blended it outward to minimize risk of any getting into my eye. The product stayed on fairly well over an eight-hour period but there were a few stray glitter pieces that had moved elsewhere over time.


Sunkiss’d is a very light, yellowed orange with strong, warm undertones and a matte finish. It had rich pigmentation that applied well to bare skin with a smooth, even lay down of color that blended out well along the edges but didn’t lose its intensity. The texture was smooth but a bit drier and firmer in the pan, though it wasn’t stiff or difficult to work with. This shade is “not intended for use in the eye area.” It wore well for eight hours on me before fading visibly.

Tangerine Dreams

Tangerine Dreams is a light, golden orange with strong, warm undertones and a frosted sheen. The pigmentation was opaque, while the consistency was soft, more loosely pressed, but it had some slip and felt a little creamy to the touch. I had the best luck applying it with a fingertip or a flat, synthetic brush and pressing gently onto my lid to avoid the bit of fallout there was if I just swept it on. This shade lasted well for eight hours on me before I noticed any fading.

Mimosa Mami

Mimosa Mami is a bright, medium-dark orange with warm, red undertones and a matte finish. The texture was firmer, stiffer, and almost thin compared to most of the brand’s powder eyeshadows–it was harder to apply and blend out evenly, though it was workable without too much extra effort. This shade is “not intended for use in the eye area.” It stayed on well for eight and a half hours, and I didn’t notice any staining with the shade.

Ya Peel Me

Ya Peel Me is a medium-dark copper with warm undertones and a matte finish. It had rich pigmentation that applied well to bare skin, as the color went on evenly and blended out easily along the edges. The texture was soft, finely-milled, and picked up well with a brush and didn’t have fallout during application. It wore nicely for eight and a half hours on me before showing signs of fading.

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30 Jul

This watermelon feta salad is fresh, fragrant and full of flavor. Easy to make, this is a perfect make ahead salad for summer cookouts. A vibrant side dish that is a real crowd pleaser!

One of my favorite things about hosting summer BBQs is all of the side dishes that I can serve up! They are a great way of adding vibrant colors to the table and I love serving sides in huge bowls so everyone can help themselves! This Watermelon Feta Salad ticks all of the boxes for a great side dish, I can’t wait for you all to try it!

How to make Watermelon Feta Salad

  • In a large bowl, toss the watermelon and cucumber with ½ teaspoon salt. Transfer to a colander set over a large bowl (to catch any liquid that drains) and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk the scallions, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a generous pinch (⅛ teaspoon) of pepper. Whisk in the oil. Set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the ears of corn, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and let cool (you can simultaneously cool the corn and stop the corn from continuing to cook by submerging the ears in a bowl of ice water, but that’s optional.
  • Once cool, use a knife to cut the kernels off of the cob and place them in the bowl with the scallion vinaigrette. Add the drained watermelon and cucumber (discard the liquid), the feta cheese, and basil; toss. Let the salad stand for 30 minutes then taste it and add more salt and/or pepper to suit your preference. Serve.
Watermelon in a colander Watermelon in a colander

Easy Summer Salad Side Dish

There’s nothing quite like a fresh salad on a hot summer day, and this watermelon feta salad really does hit the spot! The succulent watermelon immediately cools you down and the fresh corn has a subtle sweetness to it. It’s so colorful and bright to, and sure to please your guests!

Make Ahead Watermelon Feta Salad

One of my favorite things about this salad is that it’s perfect to make ahead of the time and keep it covered in the fridge. It will keep for two days, so it’s great if you have lots of other prep to do. It also means that the leftovers stay fresh and tasty!

What to serve with Watermelon Feta Salad

This salad will not be out of place at any cookout along side all your favourites, like a pasta salad and a green leafy salad. Serve it with in a big bowl in the middle of the table with your cooked grilled meat. I would also wager, that this would make and excellent accompaniment to fish taco or serve alongside fries and a burger.

Mixing watermelon feta salad in a glass bowlMixing watermelon feta salad in a glass bowl

Top tips for making Watermelon Feta Salad

  • Be sure to salt the watermelon and cucumber and let them sit in a colander set inside a larger bowl to drain. Since both watermelon and cucumber are high in water, the salt draws out any excess moisture and prevents the salad from becoming too watery.
  • Dress the salad in a simple mix of scallions, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil to let the flavors sing.
  • The salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Be sure to check out these other summer salad recipes!

Every day Side Salad

Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad

Whole Grain Salad with Salmon and Feta

Broccoli Salad with Apricot and Pecans

Grilled Shrimp Salad by Rachel cooks

Spinach Strawberry Salad by Well Plated

Watermelon feta salad in a serving dishWatermelon feta salad in a serving dish

If you have tried this Watermelon Feta Salad recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Watermelon Corn Salad with Basil and Feta

This watermelon feta salad is fresh, fragrant and full of flavor. Easy to make, this is a perfect make ahead salad for summer cookouts. A vibrant side dish that is a real crowd pleaser!

Prep Time40 mins

Cook Time5 mins

Total Time45 mins

Course: party food, Salads, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Cuisine: American

Keyword: corn salad recipe, salad side dish, watermelon salad recipe

Servings: 6

Calories: 89

  • 2 cups watermelon cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium cucumber peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 ears corn shucked
  • 2 medium scallions finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ounces feta cheese crumbled
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • In a large bowl, toss the watermelon and cucumber with ½ teaspoon salt. Transfer to a colander set over a large bowl (to catch any liquid that drains) and let it sit for 30 minutes.

  • In a separate large bowl, whisk the scallions, vinegar, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and a generous pinch (⅛ teaspoon) of pepper. Whisk in the oil. Set aside.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the ears of corn, and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and let cool (you can simultaneously cool the corn and stop the corn from continuing to cook by submerging the ears in a bowl of ice water, but that’s optional.

  • Once cool, use a knife to cut the kernels off of the cob and place them in the bowl with the scallion vinaigrette. Add the drained watermelon and cucumber (discard the liquid), the feta cheese, and basil; toss. Let the salad stand for 30 minutes then taste it and add more salt and/or pepper to suit your preference. Serve.

The salad can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 302mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 455IU | Vitamin C: 6.3mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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