Everyday Inspirations

 
 
{angie}
"Action is the foundational key to all success."
-Pablo Picasso
 

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{ash}

I don't want to spend too much time analyzing a big event that is happening in London tomorrow.

You know what I mean. ;)

However, I do want to take a quick moment to send good thoughts to England's future king and queen. I've been fascinated these past few months as I've watched the overwhelming amount of coverage around this event. While I know it will be a beautiful ceremony and that the bride will look beyond amazing (anyone else dying to see that dress?), I still know that this is just the beginning for this lovely couple. It can be so easy to focus on one day, but this is the start of something big in their lives.

I always get nervous when fairy tale fascination pushes aside real life. It's easy to look at the excitement surrounding the wedding and wish it were you walking up the aisle at that Abbey (come on, ladies, don't act like you haven't imagined that!). However, we don't think about the issues the couple will be dealing with--not to mention the serious heart-to-heart talks they must have had before deciding to wed. This isn't a soap opera drama for us to watch unfold. Royal or not, this couple is in love, and I believe this is our chance to send support and good thoughts for a long, happy life together. It's not about a wedding. It's about a marriage--one that has the power to do great things for this world.

So here's to Kate and Will, and to all the other couples around the world whose love has inspired them to spend their lives together. After all, love is really what makes this life so crazy beautiful.
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wordless wednesday
{angie} 
 

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring,  all of which have the potential to turn a life around. 
  -  Leo Buscaglia
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{angie}
Alright, go ahead and tell me I am sharing the obvious -- but I have gone more than two decades without this divine inspiration so perhaps some of you have too. Plain Cheerios are sort of meh to me. I like them and tolerate eating them fine, but it's not like I ever crave them. In fact, my husband told me to buy them because he likes them, but because he doesn't eat cereal much we've had two big boxes just sitting there for months (yes, and then I hear "we have no food honey" but that's beside the point).

So this morning we are out of cereal except for plain Cheerios. I'm sort of disappointed because it's Monday and I was really wanting a delicious breakfast of champions to start out my crazy week. So I pour a bowl and it hits me...just add honey! I love Honey Nut Cheerios and when you add some fresh honey to the top of these, it's possibly even more delicious! Plus, you're not adding refined sugar, which is always a plus. And when then honey mixes with the milk -- yum!

Go ahead, tell me, "DUH, we've been doing this for years" or "how have you never thought of that? It's so obvious." But this little tidbit of inspiration was exactly what I needed to get me through the first day of an overly exciting and exhausting week to come.
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{ash}

To our readers who are celebrating Easter today, we hope you are having a fabulous, enjoyable day with those who inspire you. Sending love from our homes to yours.
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{angie}
"Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life." -S.D. Gordon
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{ash}

Dan and I took today off. Originally it was because we wanted to go camping, but since it's Easter weekend, we decided to stay in town. Turned out to be a perfect plan. We had a delicious brunch, went shopping at the outlet mall for some desperately needed work pants for yours truly, and even cleaned up the house a bit.

At the mall, I stumbled upon this darling elephant necklace and had to bring it home (only $12 -- steal!). I think he is beyond sweet. I just adore elephants (and hippos... probably because I've loved two big gray animals most of my life).

Today was a good day and it has made me reflect on blessings. I'm so thankful for my life and all the moments that make it, both big and small -- so thankful for for the love I share with others, for budding spring days, for quiet homecooked meals with my sweetie
 
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{angie}
It's five o'clock somewhere (okay, it's actually 5pm here) and I'm still working for the evening. Not complaining, it's actually fun, just have a lot to get done -- it's one of those weeks. But as the clock creeps later and I see my to do list still fairly long, I figured I may as well embrace it and enjoy a nice piña colada and pretend I'm working on the beach. I may not be on island time, but a girl can dream. So here's my recipe for my yummy spin on homemade piña coladas (that taste nothing like that nasty mix, and much more like it was freshly blended by the pool boy). This isn't the classic recipe, but like many of my recipes, is lower in fat and sugar and still gets the job done. 

{Angie's Healthy Piña Coladas}

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Ingredients
1/2 cup pineapple juice
13 ounces coconut milk (I used 
1/2 cup fresh pineapple sliced
1 frozen banana, cut in chunks
6+ shots of rum (as much as you "need")
sugar or sweetener to taste (it doesn't need much)

Directions
Put all ingredients in a blender or Magic Bullet and pulse until banana and pineapple are fully blended. Then mix on high until creamy. Enjoy! 

Makes 4-6 servings


Daisy, being a naughty puppy, stole the pineapple right off my drink as I sat to write this post. Bad girl (but who can blame her?)

 

{ash}

On race day, I never listen to my music the whole time. I get a lot of energy from my surroundings--the cheering crowds, the sound of thousands of runners, the music blaring from someone else's speakers. However, a half marathon is a long distance, and by about mile 10, I'm ready to give myself a boost. That's how I came up with my "last 30" plan. I used it last year and loved it, so I brought it back for last Saturday's race.

Here's how the "last 30" plan works: As described, I spend the first 10 miles of my race enjoying the excitement you can only get on race day. Once I know I only have three miles left, I plug in my earphones and start my playlist. This playlist is a special one because it is made up of all the songs I couldn't get enough of during this year's training--the songs that I blasted at the gym again and again and again. Hearing them play me through the last minutes of my race is pretty awesome. I especially needed the music this year. After my long, emotional night, I was dragging. My playlist was like my training buddy, pushing me through just one more song... just one more song....

Best of all, a "last 30" playlist is super short (as implied, just about 30 minutes, or the last three miles), which is MUCH easier to set up the night before a race than a playlist of two hours. Actually, now that I look at it, my list is about an hour long because there were too many good songs I wanted to include. ;)

Without further ado (in case you're interested):
{ash's 2011 salt lake half marathon playlist}
Dark Fantasy - Kanye West
Even Flow - Pearl Jam
Kids - MGMT
Uprising -  Muse
Pardon Me - Incubus
Show Me the Way - Peter  Frampton
Have a Cigar - Pink Floyd
Tight - INXS
Body Movin' (Fatboy Slim Remix) - Beastie Boys
Kings and Queens - 30 Seconds to Mars
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