A very Happy Memorial Day to my southern neighbours!
Although, "happy" does not really seem to be the right prefix for the holiday.

Reflect.  Honour.  Remember.

Those seem much better things about this American holiday.  As you take the time to remember those who serve, I hope that you don't simply utter some emotional words; but that you all remember to LIVE by them daily too.  That's the best way to show our gratitude to those who gave their all.

So welcome to this week's Coffee Chat!
I wish I had some Dunkin Donuts coffee for the weekly chat today.   I hear y'all got a  Coconut flavoured Ice Coffee down there, and I may just have to move to get that on my taste buds.

An Iced Cap would be pretty terrific today, since we are consistently hitting above 25 C (that's about 77 F in American), with a humid-ex factor into the 30s.  Ugh.

I think I found a new fitness challenge.  I haven't changed the workouts at all.... just jump around for 30 minutes in a very hot room!   I think I sweat an extra 3 pounds easily today.  And that was just my feet.

Other than that, I've had a pretty good weekend of very hard work balanced with company (which when you only find out about 10 minutes prior to arrival, is kinda work too) balanced with time in Mr Golden Sun, and a fairly easy Monday to start the week.

Lots of good things.   Yes, I must mention them now because you may have noticed the absence of a One Good Thing post this weekend.   That's not because I have given up on finding good things, but rather I think the meme has reached it's end.  There was not a lot of participation besides myself and our host.   To those of you who did share, thanks so much for showing the goodness of your life.   Maybe it will return.  I am sure you might find one from time to time around here.

Sometimes things just have a season, and then they are done.  Gone.  It's just the passage of time and a need fulfilled.   We move ever forward.   I'm okay with those kinds of changes.  There is always good things in the future, and more beauty to be found in this world.  That's what I am taking with me.  In my purse I've called Gratitude.

Other things?
Well, they linger over long.
They just need to pack up and go.

Time out for Mom

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

What are you bored of?  
Has something reached it's 15 minutes,
 and needs to just go?

Quite truthfully, I am never bored.   I get asked that question a lot as a stay at home mom.  I guess they think I sit here and twiddle my thumbs until the kids come home.  Or that laundry and floor washing actually subtracts brain cells.  I don't know.  Life is challenging enough - I don't know why I'd have to go seeking ways to make it harder by juggling All The Things just to appease another's idea of Entertainment. 

There is always something to do.  It's a great big wide world out there.  How can you not find something to do?   I watched a toad hop around the garden for a solid 15 minutes today.  I put an empty flower pot near him in case he might be looking for a house.  He hopped right inside!    It was magic.   Bored?  I helped a toad find a home people! 

That being said, if you invite me over to your house to watch the Kardashians?   Yeah, Imma be ready to shoot myself in about 2 minutes.  Not sure "boredom" would be the exact cause of death though.

Reality TV for me is a rather ridiculous term because let's just be honest: reality is kinda what you are escaping from when your watch this genre.   It seems to me, there is nothing REAL about these shows.   And I know what you're thinking, that Super Heroes and The Walking Dead are not exactly rooted in reality either.   Well no, but some of the questions and ethical situations the characters find themselves pondering, are entirely rooted in our modern world.  And that makes me ponder too.  I've had very interesting discussions based on what's happened within such shows.   I can also see that a cooking show, a home improvement show, or a musical show would be entertaining. Those are some actual talents demonstrated, and you might even learn a thing or two.

How do you think I got the idea for my DIY headboard?

What kind of discussion abounds after watching a show about a quasi famous family who from what I can tell, actually does nothing?   Is there something I can learn from them?   I don't have a sex tape hidden in my house, and my father is still a man (not that there is anything wrong with that), so I am not sure we are pondering the same things in life, or traveling the same path.   No one will invite me to the opening of a fancy LA restaurant, or give me front seats to the latest fashion shows just because I exist.

And right there, she lost me.
Which one is that?   Well, whoever she is, I'm just grateful I can go out and shop for the food my family requires, so right there: I don't get your reality.

Truthfully, and since I have never been motivated to watch, all these years later I still don't know who the Kardashians are, what they do, or why I should give up precious time of my life to watch them do.... whatever it is they do.  Same with any of those bickering housewives.   Or those poor souls who actually think they might find true love, with a man who has already tested 24 other young ladies prior to them to find this elusive "true" love.   I hear this Big Brother is a pretty popular one too.   Meh.  I've already lived in  dormitory with 1,200 other young people.  I won't lie - it WAS entertaining; but I don't need to relive it.

Did Survivor really just finish it's 32nd Season?!?!!
Now, I will admit I did enjoy that one in the first couple of seasons.  I gave up around the time after Boston Rob.   It just became the same old same old slightly more Hollywood version of Lord of the Flies.  I'd rather read the original book.

Please don't think I am judging anyone who watches these shows.  We all need ways to relax from the daily grind, and give our brains a good rest.   If that's what helps you at the end of a long day, then who am I to tell you different.  You do you. 

I just don't get some of them.   It's the "car wreck principle" -- watching something horrible unfold because our curiosity demands we look.   It needs satisfying I guess.

And right there, it should become clear why I don't get the appeal of such shows.
I'm going to keep looking for the goodness.  Set my mind on such fare that raises people up and reminds us of our common interests and bonds.  Shows how we are all connected. That's where my curiosity remains.   I rather think most of these shows would just make me feel bad about myself, or the world in general.

I suppose in all fairness, maybe that's exactly what they are all about.   Just helping your forget your troubles -- by focusing on theirs.   We all got struggles, right?

And once again, she lost me.

To be fair though, if you have a favourite reality TV show you want to defend, let me know in the comments.   Who knows, maybe I will find myself bored and with time to spare one night.

How do you combat boredom?

Next Week:  Summer Bucket List!!!  You don't want to have a cruel summer, so time to plan all the fun.  

I am so dirty!

Pardon, last garden post I did where I mentioned being the dirtiest mom on the planet, I got like a ka-billion hits! 

Everyone wave to the creepy lurkers!

Well sorry to disappoint you "honestly I am just here for the article" types, but this is a post about getting dirty in the actual Dirt.    As in My Garden.

No, not a euphemism.
Moving on.

No actually; I don't want to move.   I've been moving All Day!
First, I helped my parents with their yard sale.   Which was actually quite fun talking to all the residents in their new condo.
Old people are funny y'all.

And I don't mean false teeth fall into their drink funny..... although that was.   Rather their perspective on life and how they can just cut to the chase about certain things.  They sum up the little mysteries and intricacies of life in an amusing way.   If you ever get the chance to sit down and talk with a bunch of our wonderful elderly - do take it.

They also make interesting drinks like Golden Cadillac's and Old Fashioned's and play old swing music for their yard sales.  On Fleek people. 

Yeah, I said that.
I'm hanging out with old people and swinging and playing in the dirt people -- were you expecting lofty intellect in this post?  

After all that, I still had energy to come home and work for 3 hours in my gardens.  New flowers and plants, hanging baskets and containers Oh My!   Left Brain got me the gift of every country gal's heart:  dirt.

So my garden's have a fresh layer of compost, dirt and some red cedar mulch.
And so do I.
Literally everywhere.   I think this is officially the dirtiest I have ever been.

*still here lurkers?*

By the time I was done, it was time for supper --- but not before a cool shower with a very strong scrub brush.  It was too late to get some pictures for you today.  And I think things need to fill in a bit more.  But as I sit sipping my cup of tea and browsing through some garden photos of the past; an idea hit me.
The. Past.

So yeah, this was my very boring probably to those who came here hoping for something else segue into Hey Look - I made some sorta vintage looking flower prints. 

Nothing particularly special here.  I had no real game plan, other than to get a vintage feel.

This was not about having any specific end result in mind, but just to experiment and see what the photo becomes.   I really enjoyed the process because it allowed me to see my photography in a new light.   Some of these pictures are 2 or 3 years old, and it's nice to find a good use for them -- other than just sitting on my hard drive. 

Maybe they will become something more:  a photo card to a friend, a print for a wall, or one day something for sale.  Who knows. 

Just another step in the journey of incorporating more Art into my world.

Saturday Art @ ImagesByCW
I have completed my latest fitness challenge!
I'd really like to take a big nap now, because this one was killer.   Eight long weeks of just daily pushing through, followed by body aches and pains that never really had time to recover.

So... why?  Just why all that work and pain?
Because strong is my new sexy.

Take careful note of the applicable "S" word:  STRONG.  Not Skinny.

I want to be stronger, as per what that looks like to me... for me.  I don't have to be that girl up there in the image.  Just the best version of ME. 

So I keep pushing through all my excuses, all the pain of sore muscles, and strive towards my goal to be healthier.   It's a daily choice, because let's be honest:  there are daily excuses and temptations bombarding us from all sides. 

I did take a whole week off; except for some simple yoga stretches so I could check in with my body and see what areas required the most healing.   That is something I strongly urge any of you to do if you are pursuing any workout regime.  LISTEN to your body.   If something hurts for too long; it needs rest.  That's probably an Injury -- which is entirely different than just a worked muscle. 

While I was in Rest Mode, the single most important thing in order to maintain all the gains I had made, was to keep my diet consistent.  Sure, I had birthday cake on my birthday because Life is meant to be enjoyed.  And maybe I had a slice of pizza this week too.  But I didn't go crazy; I still kept all things in moderation.

You may hear this bit of advice regarding maintaining weight:  Calories In, Calories Out.
And that is true - to an extent.   If you want to have the extra carbs included in the slice of garlic bread with your dinner, you will have to work that off.

But running an extra few miles so you can justify that chocolate bar?   Yeah, still putting junk into your body.  You may not gain any weight because you calculated the calories you needed to burn and hit that treadmill: still totally non essential fat and sugar going into your body.  It will manifest in some way - now or later.

By all means, have a chocolate bar if you want to!  It's your life and you are in control.   Just don't trick your mind into thinking you've erased the negative nutritional value of that candy.  Or, that it's a suitable reward for hard work.
Unless you absolutely want to eat "clean;" it's a bit unrealistic to think we should, or could totally eradicate those tasty fun things from our lives.   I think we simple have to redefine how we "reward" ourselves for doing a good workout, so that we don't immediately undo all our efforts. 

One of my favourite "treats" is Greek Yogurt.  And yes I am going to talk about a specific product, but I also must be forthcoming and inform you this product is not available in Canada, and thus I have not specifically tried it.   I was contacted by the company to share information, however, this is not a sponsored post.  I am simply sharing some information I have found to be very helpful in my own health pursuits.

I love that I can take something like a Greek Yogurt, such as those by Chobani, and have a healthy, filling snack after a workout.  Or for breakfast with some fresh fruit.  Or a snack at night if I feel a bit hungry; and I am not sacrificing any of my hard work.   

It's so versatile! 
One of my faves?  Vanilla with strawberries, blueberries and just a bit of coconut cocoa granola on top to satisfy that chocolate lover in me that sometimes screams to be heard.   Am I right ladies? The important thing is to know your applicable portion control to ensure the proper serving. 

After workout?
Plain yogurt with a frozen Caribbean blend of strawberry, mango and peach, and half a fresh banana mixed with my protein powder.   A great way to repair your muscles after an intense workout, and keep you feeling full until your next meal.  Pretending you are on a tropical beach with toes in the sand and salty breeze on your skin optional. 

An actual hot summer day at the beach with your kids?
Make frozen yogurt pops ahead of time for a healthy, cool me down snack on the go.   Or just put some fun Super Hero themed kids size packs in your cooler.  There are even toddler sized portions.  The kids will love them, and yes it's completely important to their future healthy selves to lead by example.  

I have also substituted Greek yogurt in place of sour cream to make various vegetable and fruit dips.  A great way to reduce your calories if you find eating unadorned broccoli a bit blah.   And I do indeed.

All these simple choices are big steps towards a healthier life style!   And lucky for you, Chobani has many of these options already made for you!   Easy button.

With their new Simply 100® Crunch Line, Chobani is making it even easier for you to "crunch the numbers" to obtain a healthier you.   Whether you choose 100 extra steps per day, 100 crunches before bed, or just reduce your overall calories per day by 100; it all matters!

Being fit is about more than just exercise.  It gives birth to so much other positive energy within your life.  Making positive changes is a catalyst to living not just healthier - but happier!  If you have been following my journey, you already know I am as much about growing mentally, spiritually, as well as physically stronger.   It's all connected.

Besides, I already know what giving up looks like.
I want to know what happens when I don't.

Here's a handy infographic from Chobani that might help you on your way to making life a little lighter:

Personally, I am in the mood for a little kitchen dance party with my kids when they arrive back home from school. 

What will you choose to kick start a healthier you?

Feel free to share any favourite yogurt or smoothie recipes in the comments.

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