Thursday, February 26, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #14

Read a Book

Yes, it seems like the world has turned into a frozen tundra wasteland, seemingly incapable of human life. Yes, eating mounds of hot mac and cheese and binge watching Netflix seems like the only adventure worth doing when the weather turns sour like this. And yes, I am going to tell you that you can do adventures even in the bitter cold!  Because you CAN!! (Ps don't hate me.  I understand your love affair with Netflix)

I am here to remind you that there are many different types of adventures and not all of them have to happen outdoors.  Some can even happen in your mind! This week is brought to you by an adventure that I think gets forgotten about a lot of time.  And it does not involve freezing your booty off!  BONUS!!

When real life adventures just don't seem to work out sometimes you have to revert to fictional ones.  That's right! This week is brought to you by READING! Reading is so good for you!  It doesn't matter if you are reading young adult fiction, or a historical biography, reading is so insanely good for you!!  There have been so many studies on reading being amazing for a whole bunch of different things.  If reading were a food, it would be the blueberries of food.  The super food of all super foods.

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Entire adventures can happen all inside your head!  But enough talking.  We are people who like lists, so lets move on to the list portion of our show.  Below I have listed a few of my favorite books for your viewing pleasure.  Take a look at my favorites and then add your favorites in the comments below. And then get reading!



The Top Five Books That I Have Read

Wikipedia
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling:  I realize I am opening myself up to be ripped apart by the Potterheads out there with this choice.  Not because I am choosing Harry Potter, but because this is probably not a lot of peoples favorite. BUT I am doing it anyway! (neener neener) In my opinion this one is the first book that has a real departure from the movies.  There are so many details that got missed in the movie! Especially the maze scene!! So part of the fun of reading this one is seeing all the differences between the book and the movie. Plus (spoiler alert) this is the first one where Voldemort comes back in full power, and in doing so, the series starts to go down the darker road, making everything more interesting. But obviously if you haven't read the series you should always start with the first one!


Juice Box Books


The Post Office - Charles Bukowski: This book I would probably say is rated "R". But I was addicted from the moment I picked it up.  The way it was written was simply so different than anything I have read before. "Raw" would be the word I would use. He doesn't shy away from the gritty truth.  In fact he embraces it, maybe makes it an even more gritty caricature of the truth. He doesn't believe in fluff and soon you find yourself falling down this hole of cigarettes, women, and booze.  And the worst part (or the best part), you keep asking for more.




dameai



Watership Down - Richard Adams: If you haven't read this book, here is a SPOILER.  This book is about bunnies.  Straight Up. Bunnies. They run through the fields, they are skittish, they are bunnies.  Through and through. They act and think just like you think they would, but as soon as you as you accept that this is a story about bunnies, you realize that it might actually be about a lot more than that.






Good Reads


The Metamorphosis - Franz Kafka: This was a book I was "forced" to read way back in high school.  I ended up loving it! It was just so intriguing to me.  The premise is a man wakes up and he has turned into a bug. But it is told from the man's perspective. So as you read, you can't help but wonder, did this man actually turn into a bug, or is he just going completely insane or does it even really matter.  A debate for the ages. And to be honest I kind of have a thing for books where the reality that is presented to you is skewed because of the perspective.




Camp Half Blood



Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian - Rick Riordan:  The final book of the Percy series (not including the Heroes of Olympus) is a non-stop action packed climax, one would hope for. I love the Percy series for its easy-read escapism and to be honest, I just really had a hard time putting this book down.






PHEW! I might be sweating.  That was way harder than I thought it would be.  I can't believe I left out greats like Of Mice and Men and The Giver!  What are your favorite books? Let me know in the comments.  I am always ready for a great book to read!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #13

Change it Up
January is over guys.  That means the New Year has come and gone.  And THAT means that most of our fitness motivation goals that we had as resolutions are probably starting to fade.  Trust me, I understand.  I am right there with you!  Sitting at home binge watching Netflix, while stuffing my face full of chips and donuts is starting to sound infinitely better than going and exerting myself at the gym.  
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There are many reasons why our motivation starts to wean at this point.  Could be that our regimen was too strict.  Many people (again I am guilty of this one) try to stop eating junk cold turkey, or say they are going to go to the gym every day.  This is just setting yourself up for failure.  You need to make sure that you allow yourself the little indulgences or days off, so that the routine that you begin is a sustainable one.
Another reason people start to waiver at this point, is out of boredom.  Personally, I get bored so easily.  So why would going to the gym be any different.  If I sit there doing the same thing every day and every week, I am bound to get bored with that routine.  And here lays the basis of this week’s challenge.  
Change up your workout routine.  
There are tons of new and fun ways to exercise that are way more intriguing than running on a tread mill.  In fact, if all you do is take your run from being on a treadmill to being outside, you are sure to see a difference in your motivation level.
Now, I obviously couldn’t leave it with just that.  You might have noticed that I am a list person.  I really like lists!  So for this I have created a list of a bunch of different activities that mesh the line between fun and exercise. So let’s dive in shall we!
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Swim (“dive in” get it? – sorry I just couldn’t resist) – Swimming is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated exercises.  Even if you can’t swim, just grabbing a kickboard and kicking your way back and forth is sure to get your heart racing!  And for those of you who do swim, grab a friend and make it a race.  You will be surprised to see how much more you push yourself once you change it to a competition.
Climb – There are tons of indoor climbing facilities all across the country.  Rock climbing is a blast and works muscle you probably don’t use on a normal basis, which causes you to blast away the calories.  Don’t know how to “belay” someone?  Well most indoor climbing facilities have auto belays, which do all the work for you, so all you have to do is click in and start climbing.  And for the extremist out there, ice climbing is a growing phenomenon.  Check out more about ice climbing here. (PS - I <3 rei="" span="">
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Stretch – I mean like extreme stretch.  Yoga!  This might not be a new thing for some of you, but there are always new things to try in the world of yoga.  Currently hot yoga is an extremely popular option, and hot yoga studios are popping up everywhere.  Even if you have never done yoga before, give it a shot!  It might surprise you at how hard it actually is!
Learn – Take a new class.  Boxing, Jujitsu, Ice Skating, Scuba, Ballroom dance, the list
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goes on and on.  There are specialty classes everywhere and many of them have
beginner’s lessons.  You never know you might find a new hobby, or if you’re single, a new workout buddy ;)
Dance – Remember that Wii that you have in the back of the closet downstairs.  Oh wait! It’s probably hooked up! You just haven’t used it for anything but Netflix since 2009.  Well just a reminder, it has other functions too.  In fact, you probably have some sort of version of a Dance Off game somewhere.  Well get that thing fired up.  You might be surprised to find that it is still fun.  And for bonus points, grab a friend and set it to Just Sweat!  The first one to stop loses!
Go Outside – In winter, something happens that I like to call the “Hibernation Effect”.  We
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hole up in our homes, eat lots of food and hiss at the sun!  People sometimes forget that winter is a beautiful time of year.  There are so many activities one can do this time of year that you can’t do any other time of year. Snowboarding, skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing, even making a snowman can get you moving.  So don’t be afraid to get outside and play.
Pickup – Sports, Sport, Sports.  There are SO many sports out there, and if there is a sport you are into, most likely other people are into it too.  Don’t be afraid to join a league or even a pickup game at the local YMCA. They even have leagues for Quidditch out there!

See there are tons of ways to mix up your workout routine!  And this is just the start.  What do you like to do to shake it up?!  Let me know in the comments below or send an email to makeyourownadventures@yahoo.com, and who knows maybe you could be featured!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #12

Road Trip!
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I saw on TV the other night that gas prices are the lowest they have been in six years!  SIX YEARS!! Do you understand how crazy that is?!?! We all know they won't stay that low for long, so take advantage of it. And by take advantage I don't mean go stock up on gas like its the apocalypse. 
Road trips are almost an American past time.  The United States is a gorgeous place and as such lends itself to amazing scenery regardless of your location. (If you're not in the US, there are plenty of places around the world that are built for road trips.  Send me an email and we can discuss…plus it would just be fun to chat :D). You can road trip pretty much anywhere in the US, and the view outside your window will never disappoint. 
A road trip does not mean that you have to pack up in an RV and travel across the country (even though that would be AWESOME). I realize that we have just gotten through the holidays, so vacation time might not be in abundant supply.  But most likely there are wonders just hours away that you have never had time to see before.  Mansion tours, waterfalls, hiking paths, natural wonders (like in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee every year, a bazzillion fireflies come out and do a synchronized light dance.  Check it out), could be anything.  Sometimes the areas closest to you end up being the areas you explore the least.  And even if all you have is a weekend your possibilities are still endless.
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For example.  Branson, Missouri!  *Crickets Crickets*  Hear me out on this one. Branson is filled with entertainment, music, shows, a whole variety of things to do.  But the best part about it, Branson is within a days drive from almost anywhere in the continental US!  No joke! A DAYS DRIVE!  And thats just one place.  There are places all over the country that might be even cooler and even closer, you just have to look. 
And sometimes, it doesn’t matter about your destination, its the journey that counts. For those type of people, check out this site or this one or THIS ONE! They are filled with ideas for the best road side attractions in the world.  My personal favorite.  The Cryptozoology Museum!  
In fact check out this site tooRoadtrippers has tons of ideas of crazy amazing places to go and see all over the US.  All meant for road trips. And while we are at it, lets add one more link. The 39 BEST ROAD TRIP SONGS!!
Now you have everything you need to get out there and there is no better time than now to add adventure to your life, so go and hit the open road!

——I’m always interested to hear about your adventures!  So send me your stories, tips, or whatever you want!  Either comment below, or send me an email to makeyourownadventures@yahoo.com

Monday, January 12, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #11

Set Some Goals
No!! This is NOT a New Year’s Resolution.  I purposely waited this long so this did NOT get clumped with the resolution rave that comes at the beginning of each year.  The reason for this is, with a New Year’s Resolution, there is almost always an underlying feeling of “it’s just a resolution”, which then takes all seriousness away from the actual thing you want to do.  ALSO, New Year’s Resolutions are kind of infamous for being vague.  I want to lose weight.  I want to eat healthy.  I want to quit smoking.  I want to start exercising.  The problem with this, is that vague goals lend themselves to being easy to talk yourself out of.  Such as “I want to lose weight.” So I start the year off by going to the gym, eating “healthy” and lose ten pounds!  YAY!  But then by the end of January I have technically “completed” my resolution, so I fall back into my own patterns and gain it all back.  This is NOT what this challenge is about.
Chasing Goals By
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Make Your Own Adventures is about getting things done.  Actually doing things!  And one of the best ways to do this is to set SPECIFIC GOALS.  Not “I want to Lose Weight”. More like “This year, I want to start going to the gym at least three times a week and using Fitness Pal everyday including the weekends. By doing this I hope to gain muscle mass and lose fat” Ufda! Did I really just set that goal for myself this year?  I guess so, and I have you as my witness, so I will keep you posted on how that goes.
By setting specific goals, with specific steps to take to get to them, it makes your goals that much more attainable. And by keeping them specific, it also makes them easier to do in general. Because instead of spending time wondering what you are going to do to 
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try and lose weight, you know exactly what you need to do regardless of how much weight you lose.  This also makes it easier to do long term.
Now me personally, think it is kind of hard to figure out goals to set for an entire year. So, as a reference to you I have included my list of goals below. Hopefully this can help you come up with some ideas for what you want to accomplish this year! Check it out!

  • Expand the Make Your Own Adventures community to be at least 2,000 Instagram followers, 500 Twitter followers and 50 blog followers through networking, sharing peoples’ stories and new segments on the blog.
  • Continue to go to the gym at least 4 days a week and use Fitness Pal every day.
  • Finish my book by using Wednesdays as writing days consistently
  • Take classes in website design, graphic design, writing, blog administration, and video recording.
  • Continue to create projects at work that align with my goals in my career.
  • Be Present – by enjoying things as they come and not constantly being plugged in.

Post some of your goals in the comments below.  I would love to see them and could use the inspiration to go towards my 2015 goals!  Together, let’s make 2015 the best year ever!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #10

JuJu Jar

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Hope you had a lot of fun this holiday season!  Hopefully, you are done nursing your New Year’s Eve hangovers and are ready for adventure!
The JuJu Jar is almost as magical as this pic by
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This year my resolution is to fill my life with adventures, big and small. But just in case you partied hard enough for the need of a two day recovery, we decided to start this year off with an easy one.

Now, I am not going to lie.  I saw this idea on Pinterest (don’t judge), but I loved it.  And for the record, Make Your Own Adventures came up with the name. Oh yeah!  Anyway, it is super simple and such a good thing to do.  We are all about making adventure in our everyday life and learning to value the little victories of everyday, so this idea helps to acknowledge all of these little things.

What you do is you get a jar, mason jar, milk jug, coffee tin, whatever floats your boat. The only thing you have to do is clean it out, so it is completely empty and not covered in muk, and you’re done (really no joke that’s it)…  For now.  Then every time throughout the year something good happens, like you go on an epic adventure, your kid learns to tie his shoes, you actually complete an adventure challenge the week it is posted (hint hint), you write it down and put it in your jar/jug/tin.  Collecting your "good juju".

Then at the end of 2015, on New Year’s Eve night, you dump it out and go through it! It is such an easy way to remember all of the awesome things that sometimes get overlooked in the year.  And really all it takes is for you to clean out a jar, and maybe, if you are feeling really ambitious, label it.  That’s it.  Even if you are nursing a wicked hangover, you can still do that.  So get to it and let’s make 2015 a year to remember!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #9

Random Act of Kindness

It's easy to get wrapped up in the holiday spirit this time of year, but to many people this season isn't the most cheerful. For some people it can be downright hard! So this week’s challenge is an easier one and one that we should strive to do throughout the year. Random acts of kindness tend to have a ripple effect. A smile and a helping hand often become contagious. And we are not talking about
I couldn't find the owner of this pic, so if its
you let me know!
donating a bazillion dollars to a charity or donating a weekend’s worth of time to a soup kitchen. Random acts of kindness can be anything from letting someone else have the closest parking spot, to paying for someone's coffee. Just the other day I was at a grocery store buying a few last minute things. Stores are crazy this time of year so there was not a single lane without a thousand items lined up to be scanned. I was a little perturbed seeing as I only had three things, but I picked a row at random, and put my patience hat on. But then something magical happened. The lady in front of me, with her million items, asked if I wanted to go ahead of her. She said she wasn't in a hurry, and since I only had three things, she wouldn't mind at all. I was more than a little taken aback. I mean she didn't do anything crazy, but this small act of kindness was just enough to brighten my day. And before I knew it, I was opening doors for people, putting a little extra money in the Salvation Army donation bucket, and walking with a little extra pep in my step. Random acts of kindness have the ability to brighten someone's whole day. So try to squeeze one in before the year is through. Happy holidays everyone!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #8

Learn about a New Holiday Tradition
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WOW!! Where has the time gone?  I mean it’s already DECEMBER!!!  And you know what that means! It’s my favorite time of the year… the HOLIDAY SEASON!!  I bet a few of you thought I was going to say Christmas season, but there are so many more holidays this time of year.  Each one as unique and interesting as the last.  
You can feel it in the air, the uplifting spirit that comes with this time of year as if everyone is joining in a mental group hug.  Can you feel it squeeze ya?  Anyway, one way to promote that overall good cheer is to increase tolerance of things and people who are different from us. And an excellent way to do that is to learn about other people and cultures holiday traditions!  I love this idea, because there are so many fun and interesting things that people do this time of year, all over the world and maybe in the process you can add something new to your holiday traditions.
For your ease (because let’s face it, research is hard) I have created a short list of different traditions, and celebrations that are going on this time of year.  Check them out and see if there is anything you want to adopt into your holiday routine.  I have included a brief description (if you click on the holiday it will bring you to the website where I got the description) and below will be a link for more information. Some you will probably know, some you might not, but if you think I have forgot any feel free to leave a comment and I would be happy to add.  

Holiday List

Hanukkah Doughnuts Yum
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Hanukkah - Also known as the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication. Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BC. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar

Kwanzaa - This is a week-long celebration held in the United States and also celebrated in the Western Africa Diaspora and in other nations of the Americas. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving. Kwanzaa has seven core principles (Nguzo Saba). It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.

New Years - New Year is the time at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count is incremented. In many cultures, the event is celebrated in some manner
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Hopi SoyalunaThe Hopi Indians traditionally believed that at the time of the Winter Solstice, the sun had traveled as far from the earth as he ever did. Only the most powerful humans could persuade the sun to turn around and come back to the pueblo. The purpose of Soyaluna, which is still held among the Hopi who live on the mesas of Arizona, is to prevent the disappearance of the sun at the time of year when the days are at their shortest.

Winter Solstice - Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon which marks the shortest 
 day and the longest night of the year. Winter solstice occurs for the Northern Hemisphere in December and for the Southern Hemisphere in June.

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Las Posadas - This is a nine-day celebration with origins in Spain, now celebrated chiefly in Mexico, Guatemala and portions of the Southwestern United States beginning December 16 and ending December 24, on evenings (about 8 or 10 PM).

Boxing Day - This is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day
following Christmas Day, when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers, in the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other Commonwealth nations, as well as Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden. Today, Boxing Day is the bank holiday that generally takes place on 26 December
Bodhi Day – This is the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautauma (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment also known as bodhi in Sanskrit and Pali. According to tradition, Siddhartha had recently forsaken years of extreme ascetic practices and resolved to sit under a peepal tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate oneself from it.
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Pancha Ganapati- This is a modern five-day Hindu festival celebrated from December 21 through 25 in honor of Lord Ganesha, Patron of Arts and Guardian of Culture. The festival was created in 1985 as a Hindu alternative to December holidays like Christmas by  Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (born Robert Hansen), a Western convert to Hinduism who founded the magazine Hinduism Today and the Saiva Siddhanta Church, headquartered in Hawaii; the festival is uncommon among traditional South Asian Hindus.
Christmas (I almost forgot this one haha)- This is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ,  observed generally on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.  A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it closes the Advent season and initiates the twelve days of Christmastide, which ends after the twelfth night.  Christmas is a public holiday in many-of-the-world's nations, is celebrated culturally by a large number of former or non-Christian people,  and is an integral part of the Christmas and holiday season.
Also check out this site for even more holiday fun!
So many fun things!  I know I am eyeing up those Venezuelan Christmas Butter Cookies! What are your holiday traditions?  I wanna hear them!!  Leave a comment or send me a message to makeyourownadventures@yahoo.com