In the wake of the horror that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut, I’d like to remind myself of the good in the world. As my heart aches for the unimaginable loss suffered by the families in Newtown, I would like to share some moments that restore my faith in humanity. While it may only be a temporary fix, at least it transforms my sadness to joy. Happy New Year everybody
Photos courtesy of Buzzfeed.com unless otherwise stated.
The parents who made their son’s wheelchair into the best Halloween costume ever
The doctor who offered free medical care after Hurricane Sandy
The police officer who bought shoes for a barefoot homeless man
The famous rugby player who visited his biggest fan in the hospital
The man who soothes his arthritic dog that saved his life
Source: johnschoep.zenfolio.com / via: buzzfeed.com
These candidates for Parents of the Year award
And for every single moment anything like this happened.
While I sit in my home office and watch the last of the leaves cling to the bare branches, cold air blowing and not a reprieve in sight of the endless grey clouds, I contemplate the November blah’s. Here is a piece of advice that is surely written more for myself than anyone. GET OUTSIDE!
There I said it. Now, I have to do it. When the weather turns, the first thing I want to do is crank up the heat and stay cuddled in blankets drinking camomile tea. No I’m not sick, just reacting to this grey, cold weather.
Get out and run, my mind says. An avid outdoors-woman, I know the fresh air will cure whatever ails me. It always has, it always will. Why is it that the one thing I should do is also the last thing I want to do? Catch-22 indeed.
Here is a very real picture of the doom that awaits outside my front door. No filters, no PhotoShop people. This is November in all her gloom.
In my ongoing quest to organize my apartment, I have found great storage use from old crates. While this is not a new concept (and reminise of many college dorms!) – my take on plastic crates is to PAINT THEM!
Spray paint works best. Which is unfortunate because I try to avoid the spray paints. Bad for the environment and expensive ($5 for only 16 oz of paint). However the coverage is great! You can see in the photo below how ordinary plastic crates can become extraordinary for your storage uses with just a simple spray of paint!
Old milk crates make great storage units. Now you can bring them back to life with a simple spray of paint!
I’ve recently fallen in the love with the idea of refurbishing furniture! I love it for many reasons. Primarily, I reuse furniture that would otherwise be thrown away. AND I get a fresh piece of furniture …for free (well, almost)!
I have a few pieces I’ve already refurbished and will update this blog with the finished product. Regrettably, I didn’t photograph before, during and after! But I will begin to do so!
For now, I leave you with my 4th refurbished piece, the bookcase!
I took a crappy old bookcase (very ugly) and tore off of the cardboard backing. I primed the shelves with a primer (Zinsser!) and painted them a toasty taupe. I then cut pallet board wood (mega job!!) to line the back of the shelves – in replacement of the cheap cardboard. And Ta-Da! I love it! It is sturdy and you can see the pallet wood behind the books – very rustic. Stay tuned!
The pallet wood shows through for a rustic country look!
Homemade veggie tacos
Besides running, my other love is Mexican food. I try to avoid meat so I have perfected a veggie taco recipe, and it is quite delicious!
Start with veggie round. I like Yves Original Veggie Ground Round. Saute onion with veggie round until onions are translucent. Add 1 cup of water and any taco seasoning mix. I like Old El Paso Taco seasoning mix. Let simmer until water has evaporated and you have the right consistency. You’ll find the veggie round a perfect substitute for meat and you won’t be able to taste or tell the difference!
Next I mash up some avocado with diced onion, squeeze of lime and some chopped coriander. For salsa, chop tomatoes, add diced onion, coriander and I always add some extra spicy hot Thai chili peppers! Add salt and pepper.
You can buy round tostidos or simply use hard shell tacos broken in half. Lie shells on baking sheet, add veggie mix, spicy salsa and top with cheese. Bake in 350-degree oven for 20-minutes. ENJOY with homemade guacamole! Ole!
Here are some tips to maximize your run:
- Relax. You might think that is impossible when your legs are pumping and your breathing is heavy, but try practicing a little relaxation. Start with your shoulders. Drop your shoulders. Relax your arms and your hands. Roll your head, relax your upper muscles. Then move down, relax your hips and let your legs move effortlessly. You’ll find a big difference in your technique, not to mention your overall enjoyment of running once you master the art of relaxation.
- Breath through your nose. Our impulse when we run is to draw in as much air as possible, so that means breathing through your mouth. Try taking deep breaths through your nose. This will not only help with your relaxation but will allow your body to run at a pace that is right for you, rather than forcing a faster pace by breathing heavily through the mouth. Think of yogic postures where you breath in through your right nostril and out through your left.
- Enjoy your surroundings. What better time to notice those spring buds coming up or the blue sky. Even if it’s raining or dark, look up and see the moon and the stars. Feel the rain on your face (it’s quite refreshing!). Running is the perfect pace for enjoying the scenery. Make the most of your runs and see what nature has to say to you.
- Run on the balls of your feet. Try making as little noise as you can while running, avoiding thumping down on your heel. Running shoes are terrible for promoting “light” running with their heavy heel padding. (I will be experimenting with barefoot running soon, stay tuned!) Run as if you are on eggshells, treading lightly while keeping your upper body tilted slightly forward. A lighter runner is a faster and more efficient runner.
- Vary your pace. Running can get monotonous. Pick up your pace if you’re feeling a little frisky, or slow it down if you’re feeling rugged. One of the benefits of running is you can do whatever you want, so run however you feel. Vary your running with sprints, long, slow runs and hills. Not only will you improve your skills, you will find the technique and stride that is right for you.