Thursday, October 16, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #3

Look at things differently 

I saw that!  Don’t you roll your eyes at me.  Yes, I realize it is extremely vague.  I mean “Look at things differently” what does that even mean?  And what if I like the way that I look at things. But come on, everyone has a time when something really gets your goat and your blood pressure starts to rise.  It could be a co-worker that won’t leave you alone when you have so much to do or some traffic that made you late.  It could be a gargantuan dragonfly that landed on your leg that you thought for sure was going to bite you or the stairs that you tripped on while going up them.  We all have those moments when something just really peeves you. My challenge to you this weekend is to try to look at all of these things differently.  Still unsure what that means fully?  Well let’s dive on in.
Let’s start with literally.  When that dragonfly lands on your pant leg, before screaming and
flicking it off, take a deep breath and do something really daring.  Get closer.  Bugs are sometimes the most interesting things to look at close up.  Their bodies are so rigid and detailed but you really have to get close to see those details.  Plus, its said that if a dragonfly lands on you, its good luck. And I promise dragonflies don't bite…I think.

Another literal way to look at things differently, is to take some pictures.  Spending a day thinking like a photographer can really help you notice the small glorious details that are easily missed in life.  The sun illuminating some fall leaves, the way a road winds and twists through the hills, or even the steam rising from a cup of warm coffee.  All little details so many people miss.

The last literal way I am going to talk about might be my favorite.  Literally, change view points.  This one might only be for the brave out there, but do something screwy.  Hang upside from some monkey bars like you did when you were a kid.  Lay down on the ground to get a better view of something tall. Stand upside down just for giggles!
You might notice something you never even thought to look at.  And someone new might notice you!  And then you and this new person will start talking, and then you’ll go out for coffee, then ten years later you will be happily married picking out house furniture together, all because of that one time you decided to look at things differently… Wait, what?

Moving on.

Then there is the less literal approach to this.  One of my favorite quotes, is “Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”  The next time someone really peeves you, take a step back and jump into their shoes.  How would you react if you were in the same situation?  Sometimes in the repetitiveness of day to day life, we forget that not everyone deals with the same things, in the same way that we do.  So something that might not have been a big deal to you, could have made all the difference to someone else.  

Recently I have gotten really into a personality test called the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.  I find it to be such a fascinating tool to use.  It can really show you how differently people think and handle different situations, which in turn can show you not everyone thinks the same way as you.  You can take the test here.  And then read about other personality types here. Have everyone you know take it and then once you know their personality type you will know exactly what they are thinking.  Well not really, but it will give you a better understanding of how their brain ticks, making it easier to step into their shoes.

Now there is even another way to look at things differently.  Say its not someone, but something that is really bothering you. A situation or a decision that didn’t go in your favor.  In these times, it can be really hard to look at the bright side, but I challenge you to step back and look at it from a different lens.  Is there a reason that you can see why this ended up the way that it did?  Is there a way that you can learn from it?  And if the answer is no, sometimes you just have to remember that everything happens for a reason and when one door closes, another one opens.

So that is my weekend challenge for you.  Take something in your life and really look at it differently.  It might make life seem a little less stressful.  How are ways you try to look at things differently? Whether it be through creative expression like fashion, or the unique type of coffee you get from the farmers market, let us know in the comments below.  Or shoot me an email at  I would really love to hear and who knows maybe I will feature your story.  Have fun!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge #2

Try Something New

This week I am asking you to inch out of your comfort zone.  Now, I know you like it there.  It’s  warm, and cozy and, HEY they have cake here, but that’s beside the point.  Even though your comfort zone might be magical, personal growth only happens outside that little box.  Plus the view out here is fantastic.  I am not asking much.  We work in baby steps here.  So I am talking food. Yes FOOD!  I personally love food and love pushing my boundaries when it comes to food.  There is a whole world out there of different types of food.  There are fruits and vegetables out there that would seem like they come from an alien world, but are actually delicious.  I mean check this baby out. 

It’s a soursop.  It only grows in parts of South America and Southeast Asia and it tastes like candy.  I mean it is soooo sweet.  Now most people either have a restaurant or a type of food that they have always wanted to try.  Could be sushi, that new Greek restaurant downtown, trying an old family recipe that you’ve never had the guts to make. But that’s what this week is about. No matter what it is, the challenge for this week is to try it. It might be scary, but worst case scenario you spit it out!  One of the most fun ways to jump out of your comfort zone is by trying new food.  Just be careful with nuts and shellfish.  If you try that and blow up in an allergic reaction, it’s not on me.  Haha, but other than that, what do you got to lose.
If there is nothing that has really been gnawing at your mind to try, take a crack at one of these. Who knows you might end up with your new favorite recipe! 

Maybe try a few of these types of food - Top Ten List of Underrated Cuisine 
Maybe to top a cupcake - Dried Pineapple Flowers

For you health nuts there is this - The Top 10 Most Underrated Health Foods
This one is just entertaining - The 9 Most Strange Foods
And this one is kind of gross - 20 Strange Foods to Try Before You Die
Pinterest is always a good place to look for recipes - Weird Recipes Via Pinterest
Maybe try a new type of meat - Unusual Recipes
Or maybe just try something really scrumptious - Strange (but Scrumptious) Recipes

If you have any out of the box recipes or out of the box food, let us know in the comments below.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Everyday Adventure Challenge

Embrace the Fall
That sounds way more deep than what I actually mean.  It sounds like I could be saying “try to enjoy the parts of life where you are just floating.  The moments before you hit the ground,” which doesn’t actually sound like bad advice.  And in a way that is kind of what I am saying with this post, but really I was taking a more literal approach.  Fall.  As in Autumn.  There is an undeniable briskness in the air that can only mean one thing.  Yup guys, its Fall.  Now, in the more deep interpretation of this title, the “ground” would be
the winter.  So many people forget to enjoy this season because they are too busy thinking about how winter, and even more stressful, Christmas, are right around the corner. Or they are thinking about how the summer just went by too fast.  But this challenge is asking you to live in the moment.  Fall is an amazing season.  There are so many things that are going on this time of year all around the country that are so specific to this season and only happen this time of year.  Yes, the days are starting to get shorter, and in some areas it seems more dreary.  But there is so much beauty this time of year as well.  You have leaves changing every color, weather that lends itself perfectly to sweaters and scarves, and the smells of apples and pumpkin waft through the air.  It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the negative aspects of this season, so I am challenging you to focus on the positives. Embrace the Fall.  Not sure how to do that, well here are some ideas. Oh I feel a list coming on:

  • Attend a Festival:  
The fall lends itself perfectly for being outside and there are so many events going on this time of year that you could do.  The fall in many areas is notorious for their festivals.  There are tons of art festivals all around the country this time of year including the Lake Eden Arts Festival in North Carolina, The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival,
in California, and the Catoctin Colorfest, in Maryland.
  Art festivals are an amazing way to get outside, enjoy the fall weather and support your local art scene.  If you're into something let’s say a little more  random you could attend the World’s Largest Disco in Buffalo, New York.  This takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving every year, which may seem late, but still technically is a fall event.  In Denver, CO there is the Great American Beer festival, ya know if you're into that kind of thing.  Or in Tyler, Texas there is the Texas Rose Festival.  Or, if you are into something a little more exciting, I would recommend the RiverRocks Festival in Chattanooga, where you can rappel down the side of a 29 story building.  Sign me up!  And this isn’t even the tip of the ice berg.  There are so many fall festivals going on all over the country, be sure to check what is happening in your area.
  • Go to a Renaissance Fair:  
The fall is home to more renaissance fairs than any other season.  There are ones in Kansas, Minnesota, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, the list goes on and on.  I mean what other chance do you get to dress up in period clothes,  insult people and have it be socially acceptable?  And for a different renaissance experience, there are Shakespearean Festivals. In Utah there is a replica of the Globe Theater, so that you can experience Shakespeare’s plays as they were originally performed. You can also find similar festivals in Oregon, California and Connecticut, just to name a few.
  • State Fairs:  
Fall really is a good time for fairs and festivals. That’s why another gets added to the list.  The majority of the states hold there State Fairs at the beginning of fall.  And some states have HUGE state fairs.  Texas and Minnesota topping the list.  Both places, you can find any food your heart desires deep fried and thrown on a stick.  Some of my personal favorites include, deep fried candy bars on a stick, The Super Stick (A stick of pepperoni and cheese dipped in a garlic batter mix, deep fried and served with marinara and hot BBQ dipping sauces.) and CHEESE CURDS! YUM! 
  • Football:  
This really goes without saying.  Football is some peoples favorite thing about the fall.
And even if you aren’t a big football fan, getting into the spirit of it can be really fun.  My suggestion throw a football party.  If you don’t have a favorite team, pick one at random and then take it to the max.  I am talking color coordination, decorations, the whole nine yards (you see what I did there).  Then invite some friends over for a game and don’t be afraid to get into it.  Yell at the screen, jump up and down.  But don’t forget to have people bring over football snacks, because personally, my favorite thing about football season is football snacks.  Here is a link to give you some ideas…Cheese dip- YES PLEASE!
  • Fall flavors: 
Fall is harvest season as well and whether you fancy picking an apple or searching for the perfect pumpkin, there are unique flavors sprouting up all around.  I personally like just throwing on a sweater and meandering through an orchard, while sipping some cider.  But there are so many other flavors of fall.  Pumpkin and spices and corn and vegetables.  Farmers markets are booming with fresh produce just waiting for someone to come along to test them out.  So maybe try some new recipes this year.  I hear maple bacon cupcakes are right on trend.

  • Take it all in:  
We obviously couldn’t leave out one of the best things about fall.  The colors.  There are many places around the country, where the trees turn vibrant reds, yellow, and oranges.
  Its breathtaking.  But there are some places that you can find color that you might not expect. In Texas, there is the Lost Maple State Park, that arguably has some of the most beautiful fall scenery in the country.  But Texas isn’t the only southern state you can see colors.  Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico all have fall foliage that is worth a view.  You can find info on the best times to go and where to go here  For many people though, to see beautiful fall color you only need to look out your window. So grab a cup of joe and take a walk or drive and just take in all the beautiful sights that are at your fingertips.

There are so many other things that you can do to embrace fall.  We didn’t even touch on Oktober Fest or Halloween. But whether it be simply drinking some warm apple cider while meandering through an orchard, playing in a pile of leaves, or celebrating the season at a festival, the goal is just to appreciate this amazing season. Just go out and enjoy it. Embrace the Fall!