Sometimes…

Sometimes…

Sometimes, even us disciplined and regular runners fall off our diehard pedestals. I am that girl that will say, “…let’s just run up the hill and then go back…” However, for the better part of 2019, I was trying to overcome a few running injuries. Knee pain, hamstring pain and achilles pain kept me from my regular runs. The decreased activity contributed to my 5 lb weight gain. I had a Thyroid Lobectomy in my 20’s and still take a small dose of Synthroid 0.1 mg. So keeping my weight in check has been a life long pain in the behind.

But as I gets older, so does my metabolism. I was struggling with losing just a few pounds. In the past, it would have taken me only a few weeks to lose this weight. Also, my motivation was shot from the pain I felt from running and biking. My activity level was very low along with my mood and energy.

Apple Watch Nike Version

In February, I was gifted an Apple Watch. This watch helped me lose the weight. I never needed motivation to run or bike in the past but my various injuries really ruined my regular exercise routine. The watch has the “Move”, “Exercise” and “Stand” features that show Activity level. It was eye opening to see how little I was moving on the days I didn’t run or bike. I have my “Move” goal set to 510 calories. Working in front of a computer all day, driving to and from carpool and doing housework contributes very little to this goal!

Move, Exercise and Stand Goals

Just seeing that my “Move” goal was not being met on those days motivated me to move! It was like my conscience reminding me that I had work to do. Walking on off days helped me reach my Move goal and lose the weight. I really like the watch’s cellular features. I won’t go into all the features that are cool about the watch. But being able to stream music through wireless headphones and leaving my iPhone at home on my trail runs is great when it is 90+ degrees outside. I feel guilty when my “Move” goal is not met. The Apple Watch is keeping me in check.

Meeting My Move Goals
The Three R’s

The Three R’s

Happy Earth Day! NASA just declared 2018 the fourth hottest year on record.  The top ten can be found here: Hottest Years on Record 

The earth warming even by 2 degrees means more frequent extreme weather, drought conditions that jeopardize drinking water, more diseases, more pollution, more wildlife extinction, and the list goes on…

It is all worrisome, scary and overwhelming! You have to start somewhere right?  I started thinking of ways to make my carbon footprint smaller and came up with the following list.  Keep in mind, this is just the start of my green journey. I have a big list below and it will probably change and get larger. Now, I can’t achieve everything on this list all at once. But for right now, I am going to start off doing some easy ones. 

My List So Far:

  • Take a shorter shower.
  • Don’t keep the refrigerator door or the oven open for too long.
  • Stop using plastic straws, even in restaurants. If a straw is a must, purchase a reusable stainless steel or glass straw.
  • Use a reusable produce/shopping bag. A single plastic bag can take 1,000 years to degrade. Purchase or make your own reusable produce/shopping bag and be sure to wash them often!
  • Give up gum. Gum is made of a synthetic rubber, aka plastic.
  • Buy boxes instead of bottles. Often, products like laundry detergent come in cardboard which is more easily recycled than plastic.
  • Purchase food, like cereal, pasta, and rice from bulk bins and fill a reusable bag or container. You save money and unnecessary packaging.
  • Reuse containers for storing leftovers or shopping in bulk.
  • Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop.
  • Bring your own container for take-out or your restaurant doggy-bag since many restaurants use styrofoam.
  • Make your own cleaning products that will be less toxic and eliminate the need for multiple plastic bottles of cleaner.
  • Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
  • Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.
  • Turn off lights and electrical appliances when they are not in use is another one of the simple ways to conserve energy at home. This may seem obvious but most people tend to neglect this.

My List is in no way a comprehensive list! It is a work-in-progess for sure. I am sure that I have missed many areas. So, if you have some good ideas that you would like to share, please do so in the comment section!

Read more:

Microplastic found in Human Poop

Plastic in Chewing Gum

Recycle your Brita Filters

all-recycling-facts.com/ways-to-conserve-energy.html#ixzz5eyDtraHB

Doors

Doors

Doors are intriguing and mysterious.  Doors lead to curiosity… What’s behind that beautiful door?  Is the house or building as amazing as the door itself?  Are the people who live here as wonderful as the door?  Doors are like book covers.  You can’t judge a book by its cover.  And you can’t judge a building by its doors.

On a recent trip to India, I was amazed at all the doors I saw.  They ranged from very ornate to very simple.  The first door featured below is from a courtyard at the Amber Palace in Jaipur.  The color and intricate design makes this my favorite door.

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Grand door at the Amber Palace, Jaipur

 

Here are some of the other fantastic doors:

 

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Door at the City Palace Museum, Jaipur

 

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One of the many doors at the Amber Palace, Jaipur

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Door to the library at the Gandhi Museum, New Delhi

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Traditional Indian door at the Gandhi Museum, New Delhi

 

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Door at Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi

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Door to a handicraft emporium flanked by Dragons, Connaught Place, New Delhi

 

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Intricate stone carving atop a door to the City Museum, Jaipur

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Beautifully carved door at the Amber Palace, Jaipur

While I was marveling at the art and craftsmanship of all the doors we saw…my kids’ favorite door was the one to the Dessert Refrigerator!

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Doors to the Dessert Refrigerator, Novotel Aerocity, New Delhi

 

Trying It

Trying It

When was the last time you tried something new?  Something you never imagined you would do or even like?  The last new thing for me was becoming a vegan three years ago.  So, it had been a long since I did something new until a few months ago.  My husband kept bugging me to try art classes at the Art Museum.  My response to him was “Meh…”  I thumbed my nose at the idea.  I liked my comfort zone and didn’t want to leave.  Then he left the colorful brochure from the museum on my desk.  I was signing up the kids for art classes and ended up reading about the adult classes.  I  signed up for a paper art class.  I am an artist and illustrator.  I knew nothing about paper art.  In this class, we had to use four pieces of card stock to make a three dimensional scene.  We used X-acto knives to cut designs into the paper.  It was really cool and really fun.

I didn’t think much about the class after taking it.  But slowly I started noticing paper.  There are so many cool things made with paper.   Cardboard, fast food packaging, various food product packaging, electronics packaging (iPhone boxes), gift boxes and greeting cards.  Paper is such a beautiful material.  There are so many types of paper from shimmery card stock, plain white watercolor paper to stiff solid colored card stock.  I got a variety of these papers, an X-acto knife and a paper trimmer and I have been having a lot of fun since.  Paper art is not the same as illustrating, painting or digital art.  The art class made me think of designs in a whole new and different way.

 

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My First Paper Project

I have included some cards that I have made further in the post.  My cards are for sale at my Etsy shop (My Etsy Shop).  I encourage you to try something new.  Get out of your safe zone and just do it!  You never know what you might like, what might inspire you and where it will take you.

 

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Gray Lotus

 

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Dandelion

 

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Pineapple

 

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Home Sweet Home

Holiday Greeting Cards

Holiday Greeting Cards

My Holiday 2016 Greeting Card collection is on deep discount at Zazzle!  Click on the cards below.

Thankful

Thankful

final.jpgHappy Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for:

My health.   Two weeks ago while running, I slipped on some leaves, twisted my ankle and fell.  It all happened in slow motion.  I didn’t just fall, I slid on my knees like it was third base.  Luckily I didn’t need stitches.  So, I am thankful that it wasn’t worse.

My mental health.  I am glad to be mellowing with age.  Those who are unkind are not my problem.  I know who I am, they have to reckon with themselves.

My family.  As much as they drive me bonkers, they are my everything.

My friends.  Goodness how they can be vexing!  I don’t always agree with their views or tastes, but they do entertain me.  And, I am thankful to those friends who listen to me and laugh at my jokes.

My followers.  Thank you for reading my thoughts, recipes and appreciating my art.

What are you thankful for?

 

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