Fine Tuning Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I have a bunch of blogs to write, find and organize photos for, edit, agonize over, contemplate deleting forever, talk myself down, and post.

I am hitting a few little roadblocks, so I thought I’d pop in here for just a minute and post something super-fast that is enjoyable, makes me happy and has the added benefit of sharing my current mindworm with my tens of readers.

Isn’t that kind of me?

I know. I know.

What can I say?

I’m a giver.

I hope this sticks in your brain as it has stuck in mine.

You get bonus points if you know the words and sing them out loud.

Oh!! It’s better than I expected!

The reason I love this song so much is that it has such an ’80s feel about it and well I was right! It wasn’t my imagination.

It’s SO ’80s**!

Now I love it more!

Forget singing, you guys! Shut up and dance with me!

 

 

*Did you catch that rad homage to Nik Kershaw! Love!

 

 

 

 

The One Where Sleep Is The Priority

I am exhausted.

I need sleep.

I must sleep.

 

I am sure I’ll have lots of words another night, but right now I’ll just leave you with this.

 

Are you NaBloPoMo-ing?

Is it totally kicking your butt?

 

How do you prioritize your day so that you have time for your life, your kids, your volunteering, your Parent-Teacher interviews, your meal preparation, your healthy eating, your fitness, your cake, your job(s), your family?

Help a mother out.

Leave me your best tips for surviving the time crunch of everyday life in the comments!

If you leave a great one, I might even invite you for a Friend Nap.

 

 

 

Do You Have Change For 365?

Never mistake motion for action.

I have a secret.

It’s a really good one.

I have been keeping it since the beginning of October and at first I really didn’t believe that the thing I am about to share could even be real, so there was a lot of “Seriously?! Are you sure? Really?!” going on in my mind.

You see, I am a bit of an activist. Nothing too radical, but it’s true, I am.

It’s small actions that lead me because I believe small acts of kindness or small acts of charity or small acts of love can really add up over time and change people’s lives for the better.

This is a philosophy I have imparted on my children (Daddy-O, too!) and when I see the reflections of my philosophies in Thing 1 and Thing 2 I just want to burst with pride. It’s an amazing feeling when you see your child make connections that show they really get what you have been modelling (read: preaching!). I am sure you know what I mean.

Well, since Thing 1 is in Junior High, I have been extolling the virtues of Free The Children, Me to We and the We Act charities and we talk a lot about the Kielburgers and the extremely amazing things they have accomplished in their very young lives. Amazing people!

I have been encouraging him to join his school’s We Act Committee since last year because what better way is there to put theory into practice than, well, by putting theory into practice?

Have you ever seen the work that goes into organizing a bunch of teenagers to do anything? It’s not easy, is it?

Well, the amazing thing about the kids that choose to take part in the We Act Committees in their schools is that they are the ones organizing everything. They are self motivating. They know they are doing good things.

They know they can be the change they want to see in the world and furthermore they are being that change.

Isn’t that amazing?

So, I am very proud to say that Thing 1 *is* a part of We Act – and he’s very proud to say it, too. (That’s one win for the Mom, in case you are keeping track!) Yay!

Of course, there are those who might think these kids are working only for We Day and all the amazing celebrities they might get to see, should they get to go (there are no guarantees!), but the work the kids do is happening all year long. That’s right. 365 days of the year, teens in Canada (USA & UK, too!) are taking action to make this world a better, safer, more educated place.

Pretty cool, right?

365 days. That seems rather ambitious, doesn’t it? I mean, you can imagine how difficult such an undertaking might be. It could be overwhelming to try and keep track of a year’s worth of actions.

It could be, but it isn’t. Why isn’t it? Well … because … there’s an app for that! (Yeah! I said it!)

TELUS (a proud sponsor of We Day) created We365, a free mobile app that enables youth to use their phones for good and propel social change through the power of technology, every day of the year. I downloaded the app when it was first released and played around with it. I may not be the target market, but I know a good app when I use it.
The new and improved We365 app will help youth do even more to help their communities. Using the app, tweens (like Thing 1 and Thing 2) and teens can rally friends around causes they support, share their accomplishments, and earn badges and points. Parents of students who must complete “mandatory” volunteer hours (Ontario students, for example) will also be happy to hear that the app tracks volunteer hours, which can be shared electronically and remove the need to keep track of all that oh-so-easy-to-lose-track-of paperwork.
Isn’t that wonderful?
Here’s a glimpse of a challenge you might see when you use the We365 app.
World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day? Oh, you get me We365 app. You really get me.
Or how about this?
Remembrance Day
Wait. You mean Craig Kielburger himself uses this app? Yes. Yes he does. Come on! That’s cool.
badge
How about some badges to reward you for completing challenges? Fun, right?
It can be very motivating to get this simple feedback and motivated people do wonderful things!
Obviously, I am a fan of this app. Can you tell?
I love the idea of tweens and teens cutting their social media teeth, if you will, in such a positive environment. I am encouraging Thing 1 to use the We365 app as a way of introducing him to the brighter side of social media. He is well aware of my perspective on using one’s powers for good. He knows how much of my time is spent online using social media. He knows that for the most part I really do practice what I preach. See the good, be the good!
We often hear about creating a positive electronic footprint. What a great place to start!
Now, about my little** secret. I am going to tell you, but you have to promise not to tell Thing 1, because he hasn’t a clue.
I have been invited, by TELUS, to attend We Day Atlantic, on November 28 at Scotiabank Centre (along with a few of my blogosphere peers) to take in all the awesomeness.
I am so grateful.
I believe so much in this initiative and kind of activism.
Oh, and I’m still kind of freaking out.

 

*That Ernest Hemingway quote is one of my all time favourites. This is kismet! So excited! Like, *happy jumpy claps* excited!

**It’s HYOOGE right?!? So happy!!

Considering Casseroles.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something … Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.*

 

Breakfast for dinner casserole.

 

Can a casserole be considered creative?

I say, if it renders everyone a) speechless or b) leaves them only able to mutter “mms” and other yummy sounds, it can be!

 

This is such a casserole.

Simple ingredients, easily thrown together at the end of a long and busy day, that results in yummy noises and a happy, full, family.

Easy-peasy!

 

Here are the things I connected:

EVOO

Frozen Hashbrowns (the little diced ones)(I’m sure the shredded ones would work, too.)

Dehydrated Onion Flakes

S & P

Eggs

Onion Powder

Cream

Grated Cheddar (I used a pre-shredded three cheese blend)

1 Roma tomato (seeded and diced)

1 Red pepper (also seeded and diced)

Sausages (cooked) (I used a Gluten Free brand called Cavicchis’ Meats)

 

Here is how I connected them:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Into a 9 x 13 pan (I use a glass one) add about a table spoon of olive oil and coat the bottom and sides. (I have a teeny silicone brush for this task and it works well.)

Immediately add the frozen hash browns to the pan. (You can use a lot or a little of any of the above ingredients in this recipe, by the way. It’s difficult to get it wrong. Tonight I used an entire 900 g bag because everyone was really hungry.)

Add some freshly ground black pepper and a teensy bit of kosher salt (careful with the salt!).

Sprinkle about a teaspoon of dehydrated onion flakes over the hash browns.

Next, break your eggs (Tonight I used 9, but you can adjust according to your own needs.) and beat them together (with a fork – oh yeah, fancy!) with a bit of pepper and onion powder (trust me..) and cream. You want the consistency you’d be expecting for scrambled eggs, so adjust egg:cream ratio as needed.)

To the beaten eggs, add a cup of cheese (or a handful.. or as much as you’d like.. or need.. or are limited to) and blend.

Add your peppers and tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the hash browns.

Top with the cooked and sliced sausages, spreading the pieces evenly over the casserole.

Don’t be concerned if it seems like the eggs have vanished because they will fluff/rise up nicely while the casserole bakes for the next 30-45 minutes in the middle of your preheated oven.

 

I use my nose and my eyes a lot in my kitchen. When it starts to smell like supper, you’ll know you are almost there.

When the hash browns are browning (Hello! They’re hash browns.) on the bottom of the pan (score one for the see through glass pan!) it’s time to turn the oven off.

The centre should be set. (No jiggly casseroles, please and thank you!)

Allow it to cool a little bit, and while it does, the kids can help set the table, so *everyone* gets to sit down to a scrumptious, simple supper – together.

 

Are you pro casserole or do you prefer your foods stick to their separate quarters on your plate?

Leave a comment and tell me about one of your creations that just works.

Oh, and if you try this let me know what you think of it!

 

 

 

 

*Source: Wired: UK, 2011, Steve Jobs: A Wired Life, reprinted from “The Next Insanely Great Thing” by Gary Wolf, Wired 4.02, February 1996

T.H.U.R.S.D.A.Y. ( Thankfully, Here. Up. Ready. Start Day. Awesome! Yay!)

b178c9bf20eec5b4bb981a019b1b45c6

 

This is day four of a week long challenge to myself to write and post something every single day for a week*. So far, so good!

Following through. Hmm! I think I am onto something here, people!

Yesterday I vowed to sit less and today I sat less. Yay, me!

I thought a surefire way to sit less was to also vow to get on a treadmill and walk a good walk.

I haven’t been exercising regularly at all, all summer, except for the usual summer stuff like playing at the park and swimming and does it ever show. Not just in the way I look (ugh!), but also in the way I feel. I haven’t been very energetic and that doesn’t feel very good.

I am usually a pretty perky Peady. Positive (borderline Pollyanna**) outlook. Cheerful. Happy. Even keeled.

What I notice most about skipping the daily walk or Zumba or Yoga, even, is that I have had that yucky, anxious, feeling a lot more. Not good.

It certainly didn’t help that summer started off with some pretty sad news and that the world went crazy all summer. However, there’s no denying the science that tells me if I move more everything will be better. So, since I am a fan of science, I have decided that the time has come for me to jump back in with both feet (even if they are being especially stOOpid these days) and make myself feel better.

Being a control freak, I enjoy the idea that I am in charge, here. So, I am just going to go with that for now.

About that jumping in with both feet… I may or may not have signed up for a thing*** at a place with the stuff.

Maybe. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.

 

I tied my sneakers (the hardest part of working out.. or so I have heard) and grabbed my water and hit the treadmill. The plan was to walk 20 minutes. No pressure. Just do it.

Well, I felt better than I expected and so I kept speeding up the ‘mill. That’s good because then, of course, I can go further in a shorter period of time and ultimately it will not be getting dark by the time I finish the thing at the place with the stuff. *thumbs up*

The 20 minute mark came and went (W00t!) and I kept going.

Then all of a sudden, just past the 25 minute mark the treadmill stopped. OUCH! What the heck?!?

It could have been really bad. It wasn’t. Thank goodness.

If cameras had been running you could be reading the blog of the next YouTube sensation. Mishaps like this one are the fodder of viral videos!

I am just happy that I am not hurt. I can’t figure out why the silly treadmill stopped, but I took my surviving this ridiculousness as a sign that maybe it was time to stop for today.

Thanks Universe!

I’ll be back!

 

 

*Is a week 7 days or 5? Is this a week week or a work week? I don’t get paid, so is this even work? Oh! So many questions! Tell you what. You tell me if this week is 5 days or 7 days and I will oblige. Yes. This is a limited time offer for you to be the boss of me. Don’t get used to it. Control freak, remember? It may never happen again. Go ahead and leave a comment. I’ll follow through. We both know I can!

**Lies! All lies! I am so far past the borderline I have started my own Pollyanna Parliament!

***A 5k run/walk (WALK!). Crazy? Oh, yes. Yes, I am!

****Find Snoopy here: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/b1/78/c9/b178c9bf20eec5b4bb981a019b1b45c6.jpg

Happy Thursday: Silly Saves Me Edition.

IMG_7116This morning I got up before the sun and headed to a 6 AM hot yoga class.

It’s not the first time I’ve gone, though.

I wrote about *that* here.

 

It’s not easy.

 

There are a million reasons why it is challenging for anyone who goes and at least a million more reasons why it is hard for me in particular.

One of these days I’ll figure out a way to articulate exactly what it’s like for me in a class, but today is not that day.

 

Today, I just wanted to give you a bit of a peek into the inner workings of my brain.

 

So yoga is challenging and hot yoga is extra challenging.

Hot yoga for an hour in silence when you are me? 

Have mercy!

 

This morning, when I was *juuuusst* about to give up, this little character popped into my head and I had to stop myself from laughing out loud.

I quickly (and quietly!) regained my composure and was able to finish my class.

 

 

I mean, if Marcel can do the things he does, who am I to give up just because I am sweating from my lips?

My lips. *shudders*