Couch to 5K Plan

Yesterday I signed up for a 5K run.  It is the Pumpkin Pie 5K in Denver, and part of the proceeds will go to a cause very dear to my heart, Global Hope (we have to get a team of 10 or more to earn money for Global Hope).  The problem is that I haven’t been walking or running consistently for awhile.  So, today will be my Week 1, Day 2 workout.  Six weeks is not long enough to be in great shape for a 5K, but I hope to be better than I am now.  This is just the push I needed to get up off of the couch and move. 

Day 1

Brisk 5 minute walk.  Then, alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. 

Day 2: Repeat Day 1.

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10 Day Eat-At-Home Challenge

Suburban Homestead

Have you ever seen the blog 100 Days of Real Food?  It’s awesome.  The blog is by a young mother that feeds her family only wholesome, homemade food each meal, every day.  Nothing processed, no shortcuts, just healthy homemade stuff.  Her latest post is about making homemade Halloween candy. That takes some perseverance, dedication and time.  She is a warrior.

Well, bless her heart. As much as I would love to be THAT mom, I’m not.  Friends, let me be real honest.  There are days that having a shower AND clean underwear earns a win in my book. Truth.  

So, I’m going to do MY version.  10 days of homemade food.  That means 10 days of cooking for my family with no fast food or Chinese take-out.  By the way, I’m only counting dinner.  Three meals a day?  I don’t think so.

So here is my tentative 10 day…

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Summer is Over, Fall Travel is Here

The carefree days of summer are fading away as fall quietly slips in with crisp mornings and subtle color changes.  In a couple of weeks those colors will burst forth like an explosion of fireworks. A drive through Colorado in the fall is a must for any bucket list; especially a drive along the “Million Dollar Highway”‘ south out of Ouray.

Our first fall trip this year was to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We stayed at the Wort Hotel. It is an historical hotel and we enjoyed the Silver Dollar Bar and Grill that was attached to the hotel.  There are lots of shopping and eatingimageimage imageimage opportunities in this small town; as well as scenic hikes. Yellowstone is a day trip, but we didn’t have time on our short stay.  Jackson Hole is a fun place to visit and seems to be very popular with the ‘retired’ crowd- atleast at this time of the year. imageimage

Devastation and Healing

As the flood waters begin to recede, many families are starting to put the pieces of their lives back together while others are still in crisis mode. How bad was the flooding? There is not a soul alive in Colorado that has ever seen the likes of this. It was said that this was a 500-1,000 year flood. The weather service described the storm as rain in”biblical proportions”.
Most families do not have flood insurance. When you live on the side of a mountain in a semi-arid region, flood insurance doesn’t seem that pressing. Some families lost more than their homes, pets and livestock. A young couple was washed away with the first surge. The last I heard the death toll was five, but people are still missing.
Families in Evans were told that they could not use their toilets or showers for 10 days. TEN DAYS. How do you begin to rebuild and clear away the muck and mud when you can’t even wash your hands?
As always, after the bleakest moments, after the very darkest hour, we get glimpses of the best of humanity. People are coming together and gving what they can. So please keep the folks in Colorado in your thoughts and prayers and count your blessings. And buy flood insurance.

Rocky Mountain High

We made it back from Europe in time to squeeze in a quick trip to the mountains to visit family before the school year starts. Traffic came to a halt outside if Manitou Springs because crews were still clearing debris from the highway that came from the massive mudslide yesterday. Flash floods were rather severe this week.
It was a gorgeous drive with the meadows lush and green. We made it to Buena Vista and the collegiate peaks are more verdant than I have seen them in years. Buena Vista, or ‘Bueny’ as the locals call it, is a small mountain town between Salida and Leadville. The Arkansas River runs through it and several white water rafting outfits are in the area. Other area attractions include in Monarch Ski Resort, Ski Cooper, hot springs, Cottonwood Pass, St. Elmo ghost town and the Turquoise Lakes.
By evening a cool breeze was blowing and it got chilly fast. The fresh mountain air had a subtle pine scent. A few deep breaths and you can’t help but be in a better mood.

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787 Dreamliner: The Economy Experience

I got to experience the Boeing 787 on my flight from London to Houston. I don’t have a picture of the jet, so I posted a picture of some artwork that I saw when I landed at IAH.
I will admit that I was a bit dismayed at the thought of spending a 9+ hour flight in the cramped quarters of the economy section, but I was also grateful to get on a flight home. The previous two flights were booked full with little room for standbys.
The seats were roomy for economy and there were electrical outlet plugs between each seat. YES! Now we just need free WIFI on flights and traveling will be a piece of cake! Each seat also had a video monitor with free movies and entertainment. The video monitors had a USB plug that enables passengers to watch vdeos from their own device. I enjoyed several movies, a peek out of the galley windows at the glaciers in Iceland, dinner and a snack and then it was time to land. It was not a bad flight at all.
During the flight, there were a few times that we experienced turbulence and the overhead luggage compartment swayed and shook a bit. It was disconcerting to see such a large part of the aircraft moving when it is supposed to be stationary.
The 787 was not as large as I was expecting, but it is a nice aircraft. It is not as big as the 747, but I am guessing that it is about the size of the 767. My smart and handsome pilot husband tells me that due to modern engineering, the 787 can fly point-to-point virtually anywhere in the world. I think he said it is because the composites used are so much lighter, but then he got into all the technical stuff and I got distracted. I hope I get then chance to try out business class on the 787. I’m sure it is wonderful. Of course, anything that has free champagne counts as wonderful in my book.

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Two Sides of London

On our last day in London, we visited two distinct cultural venues. You might even say they were polar opposites. Our first stop was the internationally acclaimed British Museum. This is an incredible museum with stunning displays from ancient history to pop culture. The Rosetta Stone is on permanent display. Yes, THE Rosetta Stone. You will need at least a few hours to soak in all of the collection. Take a break at the cafe or outside at one of the food trucks to recharge. Entrance to the museum is free, so you will have a few extra pounds to spend at one of the giftshops in the museum. As you enter the museum, you will see a giftshop to your immediate right. This shop carries high end merchandise, but the other shops carry more affordable items.

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The second adventure of the day was a visit to Camden Market. After the intellectual, buttoned-down atmosphere of the British Museum, Camden Market was a riot of sights, sounds, and smells. This is a fun and funky place and a must-see for anyone that appreciates ‘alternative’ anything.

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Shops line the street selling everything from hats to gothic clothing to tattoo services. While the area has its share of shops selling touristy trinkets, there are also shops with vintage clothing, stands with records, books, crystals and just about anything else that you can imagine. One walkway between shops had a ceiling that was lined with hanging painted keys. A myriad of food booths line the area along the river: Peruvian, Turkish, Asian, Spanish, Greek and even Philly Cheesesteak! One shop advertised an “Organic Vegan Music Event”. It is a bustling and busy area with a young and artsy vibe.
The river that runs through the area has a bridge which provides a fabulous view of the lock. It was a fun experience and I recommend a visit to the Camden Market for the young or young at heart traveler.

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London Shopping

We arrived at the Doubletree Hotel behind Victoria Station. The view from our first room (2nd floor) was horrendous, but we were moved due to poor wifi signal. The view from our second room was much better. It was on the 8th floor and rather than looking at the back of Victoria Station and the rubbish bins (you are supposed to be reading this with a British accent), we were on the other side of the hotel with a view of the outskirts of London. This ended up being a great location-Victoria Station has a small grocery store, a Boots store (fabulous skincare and cosmetics), a Next clothing store and a few fast food places. It was an easy 10 minute walk to a laundry place (next door to Fresh! Hostel at White Ferry). I loved the Next store. For Bed and Breakfast lovers, there were many along Belgrave and Hugh Streets. The walk to the laundry was an entertaining stroll through a neighborhood. Alex collected pictures of unusual door knockers and I took photos of several eye-catching window boxes. The laundry just happened to be next to a pub, so I pursued my quest of finding the best pint of hard cider. The kids enjoyed legally ordering their own drinks.

But, the BEST part about our location was the proximity to the charity shops at Pimlico! It has been fun shopping with Alex and Kaitlyn. They didn’t shop at the touristy places that had the Union Jack plastered on everything from shot glasses to under britches and stamped with ‘made in China’. They scoured the 2nd hand shops and found some unique and truly British items. The shops welcome patrons because the proceeds go to a variety of worthy causes. So, what did we find? I got a book about Dickens and Kaitlyn found a leather bound copy of Oliver Twist as well as clothes and a really stylish pair of shoes that look like a cross between spectator pumps and Oxfords. Alex found some clothes, a fedora and a tie, among other things.
We didn’t spend any time at the typical tourist spots in London, but I think we got a great feel for the city.
Kaitlyn also found a stunning dress for their night out at some hot London Dubstep club. Alex bought the tickets weeks ago for the club FabricLive. It was a pretty awesome day in London.

*Update: The kids had a fabulous time at the club and Alex was able to buy some CDs that are ony available at the club (or by overseas shipping). They were able to avoid the huge line and walk right in with their tickets. I was told that the club is called Fabric and the Friday night event is FabricLive. It must have been fun, because they got back around 3 am!

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