Archive | August, 2011

Happy National Trail Mix Day!

31 Aug

Today is National Trail Mix Day! Who doesn’t love trail mix?  It’s the convenient little snack made of whatever the hell you want as long as it fits in a ziploc bag.  Sadly, I have zero ingredients to make trail mix to celebrate this wonderful day, but some of my favorite ingredients include:

  • Chex cereal
  • Raisins
  • M&M’s
  • Peanuts
  • Pretzels
Some people prefer other kinds of dried fruit or nuts, and the luxury of trail mix is that you can make of it what you want.  So it can be a light, healthy snack or a sweet and salty snack.  So finally, in conclusion, here’s a commercial starring Bear Grylls:
Why? Because it’s Bear Grylls.

Happy Toasted Marshmallow Day!

30 Aug

As summer slowly comes to an end, the days to toast marshmallows outside are becoming fewer and fewer.  But fear not, you can make an equally tasty s’more using your toaster oven!  Do this:

The before picture

Make sure you keep the top graham crackers off so the marshmallows can get nice and toasty.  Stick ’em in the oven on toast and watch the marshmallows.  They’ll start to brown pretty quickly.

Marshmallows getting a tan

Before they get too dark, take ’em out and top them with another graham cracker squishing the marshmallow reeeeeeeeal good.

Finished product, ready to be devoured

Enjoy!

Yummmmmmmmm

If you love to celebrate summer, then celebrate Toasted Marshmallow Day early and often!

Happy More Herbs, Less Salt Day!

29 Aug

mmmm I love food-related holidays!  More herbs, less salt day is really easy to accomplish for anybody, and has tasty AND healthy rewards.  I never add salt to my food anyway, (unless I’m baking b/c I feel like the magic just won’t happen if I don’t add salt), so this holiday was more like everyday practice for me.  My band/scuba buddy gave me some herbs from her garden, so I’ve been furiously trying to keep them alive and use them in my food.

Today, I baked sweet and sour pork which was deeeelish.  Got some pork medallions (BOGO from Kroger, of course), marinated them in sweet and sour sauce with a bunch of herbs, and chopped up tri-colored peppers.  Popped ’em in the oven at 450 for 20 minutes, added rice to the mix and overall it was a pretty sensible and satisfying dinner.

Here’s an awkward video where the “Colorado Mortgage Guy” uses More Herbs, Less Salt day as a metaphor for mortgages.  Yeesh.

Why reduce salt?  Well, besides for health reasons, it doesn’t mask the true flavor of the food you’re enjoying, while adding herbs will enhance that flavor.  (Salt can bring out flavor while you’re cooking, but I’ve never really noticed much of a difference).  More importantly, you reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease if you monitor your sodium intake.  Your body tries to clear out salt, and while doing so, may need to increase blood pressure, hence why too much salt is bad for you.  You should aim for about 1500 mg-2300mg of sodium or fewer daily.

She shoulda had more herbs and less salt.

Celebrate More Herbs, Less Salt early and often.  Your heart will thank you!

Happy World Sauntering Day!

28 Aug

What’s that?  You don’t know how to saunter?  I’ve bet you’ve sauntered and you don’t even know it!  Wiki says:

“[I]t is not a sashay, prance, trot, or lollygag. Simply it is to walk slowly preferably with a joyful disposition”

I did a lot of sauntering today on my visit with friends to Lake Michigan.  This girl who had been landlocked for 6 years is finally within 2 hours of a major body of water with a decent beach!

Water!!

We sauntered near the water, we sauntered near a lighthouse, and we sauntered to and from dinner in the quaint beach town of Grand Haven.  It is now my goal to saunter in each Great Lake.  When not sauntering, we watched people kiteboard, and it looks really really fun!

Cowabunga!

So celebrate World Sauntering Day early and often, cuz why the heck not?

Happy Just Because Day!

27 Aug

We’ve seen it in rom coms.  Doting husband sends flowers to his lovely wife.  Wife exclaims, “But it’s not my birthday!  What’s the occasion?” Doting Husband says, “Just because.”

Whether you’re swooning or barfing over picturing that scene in your head, you should do something today “Just because.” I’m not saying you have to do something incredibly sweet, or even expensive, I’m saying you just do something because you want to.  Maybe it’s finally taking your dog to the dog park, or maybe it’s calling your grandmother just to say “Hi.”  Whatever it is, get off your booty and do something!

I know many of you are barricading yourselves bracing for Hurricane Irene, and I think that’s actually an even better excuse to do something.  Maybe there’s a Puzz 3D collecting dust in your closet dying to be constructed.  How about that recipe you always wanted to tinker with?  Just cuz you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t do something “Just because!”

I always wanted to do this one

I usually end up celebrating these holidays without being cognizant of the holiday.  Today, I sent my sister and her hubby a Restaurant.com gift certificate “Just because.”  I had it in my account just chillin there, and I figured they deserve an evening to themselves.  Sure, their anniversary was yesterday, but today I just thought I should give it to them for no particular reason.

Be kind, be spontaneous, be feisty…Just because!

Why don’t you celebrate “Just Because” Day early and often?  Maybe don’t get your s.o. flowers every day “Just because” because they will then lose their meaning and probably just clutter the house.  You know why runswithatoms and I started this blog?  Just because ;o)

Happy National Dog Day!

26 Aug

Neuronano ordered me to suggested that I write about today as it’s a very special day for me.  Today is National Dog Day!  It’s a day for us to celebrate our furry friends of the canine persuasion.  More specifically, it’s a day to appreciate all the wonderful things dogs do for us including providing love and companionship, helping people with disabilities, enforcing the law, and providing entertainment through an uncanny ability to play a number of sports.  National Dog Day is also a day to bring awareness to the far too large number of dogs still searching for their forever homes.  So I wanted to share my story.

Growing up, I was the kid who LOVED dogs but had parents who didn’t quite feel the same way.  I had to rely on little bouts of visiting friends and family to get all my dog love out.  So it was no surprise to them when I became adultish (24) that I would enter the world of dog ownership.  To be honest, the decision to get a dog was the equivalent of having a child to me.  I was both nervous and excited to bring a new furry child into my home.  Of course I would love it, but what if I didn’t have enough time for it. Could I afford it (pet food, vet visits, boarding, etc.)?  Would I be a good dog parent?  It may seem silly, but I think these are important questions to ask before considering dog (or any pet) ownership because while animals aren’t quite like having a child, you are still bringing a living creature into your home that’s going to require a lot of care and attention.  But I took the plunge on July 16, 2006.

Tootsie's first Halloween (with me)

That was the day I headed over Centre County PAWS with the intention of meeting (but not committing to) a particular dog.  When I first heard about Tootsie, it was shortly after another dog I had been eyeing had been adopted.  A friend told me about a dog that had been at PAWS for many months because she had lost her front paw in a farming accident.   Being somewhat of a unique person myself, I thought it was only fitting that I’d have a unique dog.  So as I said, I headed on over to PAWS to “meet” Tootsie thinking I could find out if she was compatible with me and my lifestyle.  What I learned is that you should NEVER go visit a dog if you aren’t ready to adopt because one you see their sweet faces, you’re going to want them all.  Two weeks later, I took Miss Tootsie home.

Spending Valentine's Day together in 2010

Some people have qualms about adopting a rescue animal because they think their new pet will have difficulty adjusting (admittedly, sometimes this is true).  I was particularly concerned about this with Tootsie as she was very attached to her foster mom, Julie.  Julie even recommended I hold her on the car ride home (someone else was driving), so I did.  But all of this was unnecessary.  From the second I took her in my arms, her ears perked up as if to say, “Where are we going?” rather than “Where are you taking me?”  She didn’t cry that night or any night there after about missing her foster home.  And when I saw Julie a few months later at a PAWS event, she jumped up on my leg looking for comfort as she tends to when she meets strangers.  I felt bad about that but Julie assured me that she liked to see that.  “That means they’ve found their forever family,” she told me.

Over the years, Tootsie and I have been through a lot together.  I finished grad school, suffered two months of unemployment (I know, not really a big deal in today’s economy), lived with her and the contents of my old 2 bedroom apartment in 1 bedroom (not an apartment, really ONE bedroom), and finally moved to Maryland, and I started a new job.  We survived Snowpocalypse of 2010, the ridiculous heat wave of 2011, an earthquake, and this coming weekend, we are hunkered down in my apartment in preparation for Hurricane Irene.  Tootsie’s a pretty go with the flow dog and has weather the storm of numerous moves and life changes as well as actual storms quite well.  In fact, I think she’s done more to calm my nerves than I have for her.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t reveal in how lucky we are to have found each other.

So to conclude, I hope you spend today cherishing your furry friends.  And if you are thinking about getting a dog, remember to seriously think about the commitment it takes to care for a dog, and then consider adopting!  Your best friend could be waiting for you right now!

Happy Kiss and Make Up Day!

25 Aug

Boyfriend call you fat?  Girlfriend call you fat?  Mother call you fat?  Aw, just kiss and make up already cuz it’s Kiss and Make Up Day!

I don’t think I’m fighting with anyone right now (wait, am I?) but I guess I still celebrated the day.  I had my second day of scuba lessons, and I was kinda nervous about actually using the regulator underwater without chickening out and coming back up to the surface.  I’m really comfortable now, and the instructor even taught me what I like to call, “Oh crap!” techniques.    So now if a shark bumps into me and knocks off my gear, I’ll know how to properly put my regulator back in my mouth, put my mask on, and clear my mask.  The shark might eat me, but at least I’ll be able to see and breathe in his belly.  Because of these drills, I definitely made out with my regulator a lot today, and I think we’re back on good terms.  I know this is incredibly lame, but I’m trying to be creative here.

In a real lover’s quarrel but don’t know how to take the first step?  ehow has some tips to guide you through the crucial kiss and make up stages.  I recommend kissin and makin’ up to this:

So if you’re in a tiff with a friend, s.o., family member, or co-worker, be the bigger (wo)man and offer an olive branch today.  By the way, I tried to find some good kiss and make up scenes, but google came up with a scene from BASEketball first.  Um, nice going google.  Anyway, you really should celebrate Kiss and Make Up Day early and often; your relationships will thank you for it.  And please, never call your significant other fat, it can never lead to anything good.