Thursday, October 16, 2014

5 Things to Like This Week

Carbs carbs carbs.  Pumpkin.
Thomas Pumpkin Spice Bagels.  NOT pumpkin spice lattes . . . I don't see what's so wrong with those either, but I guess they are the new running joke now.  Anyway, these pumpkin spice bagels were an impulse buy at the grocery store because the minute I picked them up and got them an arms length away from my nose, they smelled like heaven.  They tasted that way too.  I don't own a toaster (why, when the broiler works better?) so I popped one in the oven until it was nice and crispy.  I paired it with a homemade cinnamon and honey cream cheese and a steaming cup of coffee.  Happy Fall y'all!

Man, those blue socks are sexy.
New running shoes.  I ordered a pair of Asics Gel-Contend 2 running shoes from Zappos.  I love them!  My legs were killing me running in my old shoes because they really didn't have any support.  I like the colors too.  Plus, they were right in my budget of $50 and that included shipping because the shipping is free at Zappos.  The shoes arrived quickly too.  I would highly recommend this site for shoes.  I did do some browsing at their clothing and other items, which were way outside my price range, even with free shipping.  But the next time I need running shoes, I will look there first.

I'm a baby!
It's Fall.  This is my favorite time of year!  I love crunching leaves, wearing scarves, deer outside my door, and smelling wood burning stoves.  I love Fall.  That is all I wanted to say!

That is ground chicken and wet food.  These cats lose their minds over this stuff.

Sheba cat food + ground turkey.  My kittens are spoiled.  I've been doing some reading and research on what to feed kitties for optimum heath.  First of all, I learned that cats are carnivores.  They need tons of protein.  I never even knew that when I had Sophia (sometimes I feel bad about that).  Anyway, the high end dry food is really expensive and I don't have the time or the financial resources to to a raw food diet.  So, I've improvised by feeding the girls wet pate cat food mixed with cooked ground turkey, cooked chicken breast chunks, or cooked ground turkey.  I buy the Sheba brand canned cat food when I can't make it to the pet specialty shop.  The trick is reading the label and making sure that chicken, turkey, rabbit, etc. is the first ingredient--not chicken broth or meat by-product.  Also, I rarely feed the girls fish.  Fish, even for human consumption, is filled with mercury, phosphorus and magnesium, so imagine what is in cat food.  It has also been linked to hyperthyroidism in older cats (that's what Sophia had).  It's actually pretty easy and inexpensive to use the ground/cubed meat because the meat doesn't have to be lean, just free of bones.  Bella and Stella freakin love this!  And I figure I'm supplementing their regular food with more protein.  Plus, it doesn't take that long to brown up some ground chicken and turkey or bake a couple chicken breasts.  Yes.  Yes.  I know.  I'm a cat lady.

Put it on your kid or your neck, not on a tree.
"I Scarf 2"  This is seriously the most adorable online shop I've seen in a long time!  When you read the "About Us" you discover that the online store is run by two girls aged 9 and 12!  When I was that age all I had was a lemonade stand!

xoxo,
Nik

Friday, October 3, 2014

You Get What You Give: September


I wish that I had time to do regular volunteer work.  Since I don't have a lot of time to volunteer, I try to donate to a different charity each month.

That's why I've decided to get the word out with a monthly entry to highlight each charity that I support.  I don't have a huge salary, but I can spare a little.  Even a $5 donation will help these organizations.


In September I donated to:
sponsored by 

Their Mission:  "The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide."


If you, or someone you know, are in crisis please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  

1-800-273-TALK(8255) 


Love,
Nik

Thursday, October 2, 2014

5 Things to Like This Week

Run, human.  Run.

1.  Couch to 5K.  I downloaded this APP onto my phone and am in the middle of week 2.  It really breaks down the workouts to get you running longer distances.  I'm running again!!  It's been a really long time since I've run on a consistent basis.  My legs and knees are not what they used to be.  I never remember being this sore after a run, but I'm really easing by way back in.  I have to remind myself that it is just my muscles training themselves how to do this again.  Plus, it' will also be a year (on November 6th, 2014) since I quit smoking!

Dan Rather is pretty cool.  Who knew?
2.  Jack White's Big Interview with Dan Rather.  I know that a lot of people are sick of hearing about Jack White.  I love music, though and I think this guy is doing a fantastic job of bringing music back to the roots of what music (or blues to be more specific) is all about:  truth and beauty.
"I don't see that beauty in the way that pop music is recorded on a computer and auto-tuned and presented in a really plastic way.  And I guess I just do my best in whatever I do to try to defeat those ideas and present something that's at least an attempt at getting at truth and getting at beauty."
Here is a great article that contains the entire interview too, titled:  "What We Learned From Jack White's Big Interview With Dan Rather."
Put a cat on it.
3.  My new rain boots.  I have been looking everywhere for a reasonably priced pair of rubber rain boots.  Then one day I came across a pair for $28 in my Facebook news feed from a page called "The Animal Rescue Site".  Weird right?  Why is this site selling rain boots?  Well, for starters they are rain boots with CATS on them!  So cute!  Plus, "For every pair sold, we will donate another pair of shoes through Soles4Souls, a nonprofit organization giving shoes to needy people both in the U.S and abroad!" AND this purchase is worth 28 bowls of food!  What does that mean?  "Every time you shop at "TARS" store, you give the value of bowls of food to animals in shelters and sanctuaries."  HERE is a link to the boots!  I told my Mom about them and guess what?  She ordered them for me!  These boots are keeping my feet dry AND feeding pets!  Double score!  Thanks Ma!

Look kids!  It's crack.
4.  Quaker "Quakes" Carmel Corn Rice Snacks.  These aren't really a new snack, but I love them!  They satisfy my crunch and sweet cravings and are low in calories and fat!  I love to snack on them with a cup of tea!

Born 1894.  Died 1901.  He was only 7, but his tombstone is so old.
5.  Visit to the Cemetery.  So, Jeff and I were in Lead, SD on a foggy, rainy Sunday picking up a free cat carrier that I found on the classifieds (the girls are getting fixed this month) when we stumbled upon the COOLEST old cemetery ever!  The gravestones were so old and the weather made for some cool pictures.  Because we were close to Deadwood, we decided to also visit Mount Moriah Cemetery where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried.  I'm glad we went, but it was very touristy.  Seth Bullock was the sheriff and Mayor of Deadwood  and he is also buried in a secluded spot about a quarter mile up the hill from the main cemetery.  Jeff and I hiked up there and it was really pretty and peaceful.

Interesting Note:  When I was at the cemeteries, I kept seeing rocks on the tombstones.  I wondered what the reason was for that.  When I looked it up, I found that it is actually a Jewish tradition to show that someone visited the grave and to show remembrance.  I smiled because I do that at Sophia's grave every time I go to my parent's house where she is buried.  I know she was just a cat . . .but I still miss her a lot sometimes.

Love,
Nik