Everyday Inspirations

 
 

ice rink
It make look icy cold to you, but this is one of the most comforting sights for me.
{angie}
I've been thinking about skating a lot lately. Why? Because as I get older and older, this hobby, nay, lifestyle I took on at age six seems harder and harder to fit into my life. I am overly busy, yet I still find myself making time for this sport, no matter how inconvenient it is to fit around my schedule. With the way it has completely shaped who I am, I just can't bear to give it up. Even beyond the fact that it lead me to some of the most amazing friends, has given me almost two decades of regular exercise, and has provided me with incredible opportunities, skating has taught me so many life lessons that relate to lots other areas of my life. So here's to the rink -- my home, my gym, my playground, my meeting place, my mentor. 

1. When you fall, get back up and try it again. 

2. Perfection is unrealistic, but is something you should always strive for.  

3. Take competition seriously, but don't let it ruin your day.

4. Set big goals so you have a place to aim.

5. A big, cheeseball smile goes a long way. Fake it until you make it.

6. The best results come when your blades are sharp.

7.  Always warm up and stretch.

8. When you're having an "off" day, sometimes it's best to just walk away and try again tomorrow.

9. Most of your obstacles or inabilities are a mental game. Success or failure -- it's all in your head.

10. There is nothing more rewarding than facing huge challenges, working your tail off and performing your best followed by a big round of applause. 
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Magic Bullet
{angie}
Dear readers,
It's not often I ask you to do anything for me. Okay, it's pretty much never, but I have a bit of a favor. I entered to win the Magic Bullet Kitchen Magician video contest. Winner gets $10,000 and I would love to at least make it to the top three so I have a chance in the final round in Hollywood. I mean, has it not been my lifelong ambition to be in an infomercial? Seriously, as kids my brother would play the "product inventor" and I be the amazed by how it worked and that is was only three easy payments of $x.99. Apparently playing house or cops and robbers just wasn't enough. 

Anyway, I truly am in love with my Magic Bullet (as I have told you here and here). That being said, I totally wasn't convinced at first because I didn't see how it was different than the blender I already had other than it came with smaller cups -- until I tried my best friend's. 

When I first tried it I was impressed by the fast blending and grinding ability. It blends really smooth in a matter of seconds, I think partially because they are designed to move the liquid up to the top and back around -- something a normal blender can't do without spraying everywhere.

I also love how convenient they are because you blend in the same container you drink from. I thought it would be annoying because you can mostly just make single servings, but I feel that actually makes it more convenient 95% of the time. No taking apart the blender or hand washing it every time I use it. I now only have to rinse the blade right away, then the cup is dishwasher safe. It's really pretty easy to make multiple servings too since you just put pieces into several cups then blend one and a time or use the larger blender top. Because you're blending in the cup you drink from, it's easy to measure quantity so you don't end up with too much smoothie, soup, etc.    

There are so many uses for them, but I use them the most for smoothies (I know, cliche). I make fresh smoothies nearly everyday now as a result (usually one part frozen fruit, one part fresh fruit, protein powder, water and a big handful of spinach) and it's a great way to get in fruits, veggies and nutrients super quick. It's also small, so doesn't take a lot of space in your cupboards and comes at a pretty low price (only one easy payment of $29.99 at Costco last time I checked).  

No, I'm not their saleswoman and this doesn't count for the competition (though it should!). I just wanted to share that I truly love them. 

Anyway, without further ado, here is my recipe submission for Magic Bullet Dog Biscuits. I made peanut butter and oat flour biscuits from scratch for little miss Daisy and she love, love, loves them. I actually had to shut them away in the freezer so she'd stop whining for more. Plus, they are healthy and I control the ingredients, which also means you can sneak in vitamins and such if you want. 

{Magic Bullet Dog Biscuits}

Ingredients
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup unsalted peanuts
3-4 teaspoons oil
2 teaspoons honey
dash of salt
2 eggs
baking powder
water to moisten (as needed)
Dog vitamins/supplements if desired (it's a great way to sneak in the stuff they need)

Directions
In a large container, grind oats using the flat blade. In a small container, grind peanuts until large pieces are mixed. Add 1 teaspoon oil (to start), honey and salt, switch to cross blade. Add the rest of the oil and blend until smooth. Transfer peanut butter to the container of oat flour, add eggs, baking powder and a little water as needed. Pulse and shake, then transfer in a bowl. Hand mix, adding any additional water to add moisture. Roll into balls, place on a cookie sheet, and bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Your dog will love these! Great for training or to sneak in those extra nutrients.


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{angie}
To me, Suave was the brand we used when I was little because it was cheap. I stopped using it as soon as I hit junior high because I had already grown out of its lack of coolness. I know, I know, did anyone really know what hair products I used? But somehow when you're 13 your hair products are part of what define you.

The other day I'm at the store and run down the aisle to get some hairspray for my hubby. He uses what I call the cheap brand -- again, Suave, though their standard line. I generally avoid using his because it's just too sticky for my liking, but works great for his man hair. While I'm on that aisle I glance the Suave Professionals. I had seen some commercials for it, but wasn't fully convinced it was going to be any better than the original. I figured it was like most of those "special lines," basically the same product but at a slightly higher price. I was out of hairspray too, but I generally buy a more expensive salon brand so I'm on the fence.

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I decide to go for it -- it was just over $2 so it could at least fill in until I got my normal stuff and I figured Nate could use it if I didn't like it. There were two options, lightweight hold or maximum. I went for the first because I don't like it super strong. I'm not much into using a ton of hair product and, in fact, don't use stuff in mine everyday. I don't find that so weird, but some people gasp when I say that. (My hair dresser tells me my hair is almost too healthy though, so I must be doing something right). I use a little hairspray to add volume or to hold a curl, but in my experience, hairspray almost always tends to make my hair even frizzier so I avoid it unless needed. It will look good to start, but the minute I get out into the world, it feels sticky, gets frizzy and/or the curl just falls -- reasons 1, 2 and 3 I rarely curl my hair. It starts looking great, it just doesn't stay looking great for very long. 


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So after my first use of Suave Professionals I am thoroughly impressed!* The lightweight hold held my curls and volume for not just one day, but two! Both photos of me on this post are from day two -- over 24 hours after a curling iron had come near my hair and it had been slept on. Only thing I did was add a little extra hairspray on day two and the frizz was gone and squeeze to make the curl bounce right back. Not too shabby! It truly felt lightweight too even though I used plenty to hold those curls. My fingers could run through my hair and it was not a bit sticky to the touch, but actually soft. I don't think I have ever experienced that. I think I just might be sold. The excellent hold, non-sticky feel + it's under $3? Um, yes please. 

I was doing research for this post and I also found on their website you can play "can you tell which is Suave and which is the salon brand?" game. Pretty cheesy, but if you do it, you can win coupons for discounts or free products. I played and won 2 free Suave Professionals products so I will be sure to try a couple more things. I'm interested to try their dry shampoo as I don't wash my hair everyday to keep it healthy.

Anyway, give it a try and see what you think. The best part is it's still so cheap, the barrier to entry is pretty low. :)

*I am not being compensated in any way to write this.

 

{ash}

Despite our long night and the loss of our sweet pup, the race didn't fail to disappoint. To be honest, this year was most exciting for me because my sweetie and brother ran their first half marathons and my dad ran his first full. It is beyond inspiring to see the people I love accomplish such amazing things.

Honestly, I'm still in awe over how much running has changed all of our lives.
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{ash}

Is it clear to anyone that the title of this post is from the Dixie Chicks song? I hope so, because otherwise that's just an obnoxious amount of "ready"s.

I stayed busy tonight picking up my race packet, gathering my gear, and adding healthy groceries to the fridge for tomorrow's carb load menu (the good kind, not the Michael Scott kind).

I cannot believe I'm less than two days away from my third half marathon. I'm definitely in pre-race mode... excited and a little bit sick to my stomach. ;) This year is going to be extra fun, though, because it's my brother and Dan's first half and my dad's first FULL MARATHON (rock staaaaar).

I can't wait to get back on here Saturday and let you all know how it went. Lots of love to my friends racing this weekend, and if you're a Salt Lake reader and will be running, let us know!
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{angie}
For several months now a few friends and co-workers have been telling me I need to join a local food co-op, Bountiful Baskets. In case you don't already know, a food co-op is a volunteer-powered food buying cooperative that benefits and strengthens communities. They generally are focused on providing natural, healthy foods that are more affordable to co-op members. The produce found is often locally grown, which both supports local farmers and decreases your footprint on Mother Earth. With Bountiful Baskets, $15 gets you a huge box full of 50% fruits and 50% veggies--may I add in much larger quantities than you could ever buy in most grocery stores. 

When I first heard about it, it sounded totally up my alley. I tried to order a few times and failed miserably because I had the wrong time of day and was going on way too late (luckily my good friend informed me or I may have given up)! Little did I know it was sort of like "stealing" for produce and you have to be on right at 10am when they go live if you live in a popular area like I do. Suddenly I found myself nervous, frantic, and desperate to get my deal, much like the moms of BabySteals I see everyday with my job. I made a quick decision and ordered three baskets--the basic fruit and veggies basket, a tropical basket, and a case of strawberries.
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I couldn't be happier with all the fun produce I got. It was so much for the price and now my house is loaded with delicious, healthy food. I am especially excited for the tropical basket (pictured above). It may be snowing outside, but it's a tropical party at my house. Yes, those are vanilla beans in there too. So excited to try some new recipes with them.

Which gets me to the next great part of all of this--you don't know what you're going to get when you purchase. This may not be ideal for certain things, but on an everyday basis the challenge of cooking with a new ingredient you haven't used too much before is so fun! It's sort of like mystery ingredients on Iron Chef. This week: vanilla bean and this mystery...squash? Not entirely sure what it is yet (feel free to enlighten me if you know), but I have several to experiment with now. If nothing else, it looks like Daisy is pretty intrigued. She jumped in the picture and was crying for me to share with her so it must be something good. Should be fun!  

To find a food co-op in your area, click here



The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Steal Network’s positions, strategies or opinions.
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{angie}
Live with passion. Find passion in your job, you hobbies, your home, your friends, your family. Find something in everything you do that inspires you, even if it's the chance to learn a lesson or the opportunity to make someone else happy. When there is passion behind what you do, not only will you enjoy it more, but you will find you are better at it. 
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{angie}
One wise woman once said to her brother, "don't worry about things until they happen--otherwise you may be worrying about something that may never come to pass." Which is difficult to do, but good advice. Analytical creatures like me will look at something from every angle until they drop dead or one of the possibilities happens. But there's no use worrying about something that may be until it's arrived, because well, it may never happen and then you just waste your life worrying for no reason. It's much better to wait until it happens and then problem solve when it does. Try to release what may be and think about what is. It's difficult, but possible. And when my brother threw this advice back at me tonight, I figured I'd do my best to take it. 
 

{angie}
So many times today I thought to myself, "I should be cleaning," "I should be running errands," "I should be organizing the office," "I should be folding laundry." The list goes on. But my brain was overworked and my muscles were sore. When I'm mentally and physically exhausted, some days I need to just forget those responsibilities and take a day to be lazy as hell and sleep. So that's exactly what I did. My chores aren't done, but at least I am rested, which in the long run, I find more important. 
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immune system food
{angie}
Okay, I don't know about you, but it seems like everyone and their dog is sick (except perhaps me and my dog). My husband, half the people at my work, my friends, the list goes on--it seems that everyone is coming down with something right now. Beware! 

Because of this, I have been feeling like my immune system needs a bit of a boost to keep unwanted illness away. Being the good wife I am, before my hubby went off to work today, I made a little shake (little did he know it was as much for me as for him...did I mention I don't want to get sick?)

So what helps the immune system? Antioxidants. The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E which can be found in some of the more colorful fruits and veggies. You get the best benefit from antioxidants when they are raw--enter my cantaloupe, spinach and orange shake. Sound weird? We'll it's actually quite delicious and contains all three types of antioxidants: cantaloupe has beta-carotene, spinach has vitamin E and oranges have vitamin C. I added in the vanilla protein powder just because I like the flavor and creamy texture it provides, but you can certainly use another smoothie powder or yogurt. When you mix it all up, I'll be honest, it looks a tiny bit scary (try to remember back to art class mixing orange and green paint), but I promise, your immune system will thank you. 

{Cantaloupe, Spinach and Orange Shake}

Ingredients
1/2 cup cantaloupe, frozen
1/2 cup spinach
1/2 an orange
1/2 a scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup water

Directions
Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth. Quarantine yourself away from sick people or if you're already sick, feel better. 
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