Category Archives for "Exercise"

Just like potpouri this category is made up of a little of this and a little of that, but put it all together and it’s a wonderful blend of fun and useful information for you.

last year

The Real Value In Doing Nothing

When was the last time you sat and did nothing? How long did it last? No, we’re not talking about sitting in front of the TV folding socks and t-shirts. We’re not talking about chatting on the phone with your mom. Or the day you sat down to work and ended up reading Yahoo articles and Pinterest recipes for an hour. We’re talking nothing. Doing nothing at all: simply sitting still and doing nothing. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Doing nothing has its value.

Winnie the Pooh author AA Milne said, “Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” Many people will argue that we don’t do that enough. Stopping to listen has its benefits.

People often get their best ideas while doing nothing. Walt Disney spent countless Saturdays in Griffith Park watching his daughters play on the carousel, waiting for hours until they were ready to go. It made him wish there was a park where kids and parents could enjoy things together. Was Mr. Disney doing nothing? Um, only coming up with the idea for the greatest theme park in the world…

Writers, songwriters, actors, inventors and philosophers have all been known to get their best ideas while doing nothing. Whether it’s a nap, a shower, driving, yard work, or cleaning, creativity is often at its peak when we allow our minds to not focus on the problem we’re trying to solve, but instead let it rest. Problems get solved, final acts get written and songs get composed.

Stephanie Meyer says the concept for her Twilight series came to her in a dream. J.K. Rowling says the world of Harry Potter came to her fully formed while she was riding a train. The song “Pretty Woman” was written when Roy Orbison was just playing anything that came to mind. His wife said she was going to go to the store, his partner, Bill Dees, made a comment and Orbison sang “Pretty woman… walking down the street.” The song was finished that day, recorded a week later and a week after that the song was out.

Monks spend hours sitting in meditation. Are they doing nothing? They’re lowering their blood pressure, clearing their minds, improving their circulation and perhaps learning something about themselves. There’s an old Zen saying recommending meditation for 20 minutes every day unless you’re too busy – then you should meditate an hour.

Consider Baloo’s advice from the cartoon Jungle Book: “If you act like that bee acts…. Uh-uh… you’re working too hard….I’ll tell you something true… the bare necessities of life will come to you.”

Back in the day, people would sit on their front porch. They’d basically sit and do nothing. Watch a butterfly or birds in the yard, sip lemonade, or swing on the porch swing. The lazy summer days are nearly gone now – today’s porch sitter would be texting, reading Twitter updates or news headlines. There’s no time for sitting. Maybe there should be.

Next time you’re headed out on a neighborhood power-walk or heading out to sit on the deck, consider leaving your phone and tablet behind. Just sit there, sip your coffee and look around. Sometimes a little rest, a little daydreaming, a little cloud watching or stargazing is good for the soul. In the words of Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.”

last year

Four Cheap & Easy Storage And Organization Tips For Your Home

If you are like me, there is stuff everywhere in your home. No matter where you look, there is always something that needs to be put away. And in a perfect world I’d have a place for everything and everything would be in its place. Here are a few of my favorite, easy storage tips that anyone can do without hiring a professional organizer. I find that every little corner that I tame the clutter in, makes a difference for me and it will for you too.

Most of us just need a little originality and a bit of creativity to inexpensively organize our homes without the need of hiring a professional organizer.

The “Junk”  Drawer

If you are like most homeowners, your kitchen has a junk drawer and your junk drawer is a mess. Purchasing those inexpensive kitchen organizers for your drawers will save you time and energy when you need to find something.

If you want to be a little more creative and save some cash you can use different shaped gift boxes. Gift boxes for bracelets, rings, and necklaces make for excellent storage compartments. Sort and arrange them in whatever way fits your drawer best. You can custom pack your drawers with many different shapes and sizes, to hold anything from corn on the cob holders to tie backs for plastic bags.

Mason Jars

Back in the day, mason jars were used to can sauce and foods for winter. Today mason jars have many uses. They make great storage for uncooked pasta and oatmeal, and and any dry good such as brown sugar or chocolate chips. I use a mason jar for cotton balls and Q-Tips in the bathroom and one in the kitchen to keep wooden spoons handy by the stove.

Getting Crafty

If you are a crafter, you know the frustration involved with storing different colored masking tape and ribbons that seem to run all over the place. Keep them organized and easy to use by storing them on a paper towel dispenser.

A Hanging Shoe Bag Is Not Just for Shoes Anymore

Use those over-the-door shoe racks to store anything you want other than shoes. You can store sewing supplies, arts and crafts, kids’ crafts, and anything you could imagine in an over-the-door shoe rack. Those plastic compartments fit so many good things that there is an endless list. The beauty of these storage containers is that you can hang them up on a hanger and place them anywhere from the hall closet to the kitchen pantry. One of my daughter’s live’s in a very small house with a very tiny closet and she has one hanging inside her closet door to keep all of her belts, hats and scarves. I have cut one down to just 6 pockets and use it in the shower in my r.v. to hold shampoo and body wash bottles. The uses for these things are endless.

last year

How To Create An Upside Down Hanging Garden

Has your standard garden gotten boring? Are pests invading your painstaking work? Sometimes it’s good to turn things on their head, to see the world from a new angle. Enter the concept of upside down gardening. Upside down gardening is exactly what it sounds like – your plants will hang upside down. Here are some tips about creating your own upside down garden.

Why Upside Down?

* Low maintenance – When you’re growing plants upside down, you don’t have to do any tilling of the soil. No rakes or other large tools are needed. You don’t have to do any weeding. Only your plant will grow upside down in the designated container. Staking becomes a thing of the past. In addition, upside down plants are much easier to water and drainage is readily available. There’s no danger of the fruit touching the soil on the ground because the plant is hanging upside down – it’s not going to touch the ground.

* Great for small spaces – You don’t need acres of farmland for upside down gardening, or even a yard. An upside down garden can grow on your patio, in your kitchen, or anywhere you have a place to hang it.

* Keeps critters at bay – Because the plant is hanging upside down, it is much more difficult to access. With an upside down garden, you don’t have to worry about any bug infestations. Likewise, because of the height, the plant is protected – invasive animals can’t eat the fruit.

What Grows Well Upside Down?

Tomatoes and cucumbers are easy choices, but herbs and flowers also grow well upside down. Beware of overly large tomatoes, which can weigh down the vine. Cayenne peppers, basil, eggplants, squash and beans all work well. Marigolds are also a good choice for the upside down garden.

How Do I Do This?

Organize some containers, potting soil, and plants. Consider the amount of sunshine in your location and take into account the size of the plant when you’re selecting containers.

* Take a bucket and turn it upside down. Using a sharp blade such as an exacto knife, cut a hole in the bottom large enough for your plant to grow through. About 2 inches should suffice.

* Turn the bucket right side up. Poke two holes in either side, and use heavy string or wire to loop three rings through so that you can hang your bucket. Cut a half-inch hole in the middle of a sponge, then cut a straight line from the middle to the edge (it will look like a C).

* Remove a plant (probably 6” would be a good size) from its container and place it through the hole in the bottom of the bucket.

* Put the sponge inside the base of the bucket to hold the plant in place.

* Fill the bucket half full with soil.

* Place a tray under your bucket to catch excess water.

* Water your plant lightly, then fill in the rest of the bucket with soil.

* Hang your plant. Water it thoroughly until water runs out the bottom and then check your plant for moisture frequently.
Rotate your plant clockwise every week to ensure the plant receives adequate sunshine.

* You can even plant other plants in the top of your bucket.

Upside down gardens can be a rewarding way to have maintenance-free gardening, especially for people with limited gardening space. Remember to choose smaller plants so that they fit your container well, and be sure your space has adequate sunshine. In this way you’ll have a wonderful crop of upside down vegetables, herbs or flowers to show your friends.

last year

How To Be A Charming Conversationalist In Any Awkward Social Situation

Some social situations are naturally enjoyable, and you look forward to being with the people there. Then there are those other situations… the ones you dread every minute leading up to, and then count every second until your time together is over.

Although there are certain people that we would rather not have to see on a regular basis, it is important to know how to treat every person we meet with respect. It’s a good idea to have a small list of conversation starters for those times. Sometimes the meeting is planned, such as a family party, and sometimes it is spontaneous, such as running into your not-so-favorite person at the grocery store. No matter what the occasion, keep this list of ideas for any moment when you can’t think of anything to say.

“It’s Great to See You!”

This is a great way to begin any conversation that you are feeling awkward about. Whether the person you are speaking with is your boss, or a family member you feel guilty about not making more of an effort with, this will begin the conversation on a positive note. Being able to bring up a positive attitude about the person standing in front of you will give both you and the other person positive feelings.

“What Have You Been Busy With Lately?”

This is a basic question, but one that can keep a conversation going for great lengths of time. If you need a time filler to prevent the conversation from lapsing into uncomfortable silence, this is the question for you! It’s a creative way to ask them about themselves without specifically using the words “tell me about you”, which can often feel phony when said.

It is a great question because when the person you are speaking with answers, it can easily be followed by another question from you. If they answer that they have been busy with work, ask them more details about their work. If they mention their kids, follow up with questions about their children.

Find Something in Common

Almost everyone has something in common with one another. Use this commonality to find something you both enjoy conversing about. Maybe they are wearing a sports jersey, and you love sports. Or perhaps they mentioned a vacation they are planning, and you have been to the same place. It doesn’t take long to find a topic you both enjoy if you put a little effort into it.

Give Them a Compliment

This is not about phony, over-the-top gushing that some people are prone to do. Rather, think about something you like about the person you are conversing with. It could be as deep as admiring them for facing tough circumstances in their life, or as shallow as you being in love with the shoes they are wearing. Find something about them you admire, and let them know it.

Know When to Say Goodbye

Last but not least, know when to end the conversation. Sometimes this is the hardest part, because you may be afraid they think you are trying to get rid of them. Be confident and when it is time to go, let them know you enjoyed talking but you really must go.

Everyone has people they enjoy socializing with, but that doesn’t mean that you need to give everyone else in your life the cold shoulder. Put these conversation ideas into practice and watch your confidence soar as someone who can hold a great conversation with anyone you meet.