Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #16

Grow Something!

Spring has Sprung!! No joke, people are saying that this is the most mild spring in a century.  Not really.  I just really wanted to say that because it’s like a line in Harry Potter (“You’re the youngest seeker in a century – according to McGonagal”). Sorry.  I get a little sidetracked sometimes.
A Nature Pic for Earth Day by Miguel Santos
But there is no doubt spring is here! And what better way to celebrate spring than to grow something! Plus today is Earth Day (Happy Earth Day!).  So its perfect!
Plants are amazing things.  Having a plant can help fight pollution, help fight colds, there is even evidence that suggests that an indoor plant can make you happier and smarter!  No joke! It also can be the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about responsibility of taking care of something else.  Or the importance of plants in our world.
But what if you have the opposite of a green thumb?…Would that be considered a brown thumb?  Maybe a black thumb?  Or maybe a red thumb because red is opposite of green on the color wheel? Anyways whatever it is, red, brown, black, what if YOU have it?!  Can’t grow a thing!  Well I am glad you asked! Below I have compiled a list of plants, that are damn (excuse my French) near impossible to kill. (unless you really try).

Pic by VinayRao
6 Plants You Can’t Kill

Bromeliad – These plants are so cool! In the rainforest, they can house entire ecosystems.  Yep, learned that in 3rd grade. They are gorgeous and tend to live a long time.  Only thing is they like warm temperatures, around 70 degrees, so keep them away from your drafting windows in the winter.

Pic via Kitchen Sauce

Cast-Iron Plant – These plants “like to be left alone”.  The introvert of the plant world. So if you forget to water it for a little while (or a long while), they should be ok.  They will probably just grab a book and wait it out until you remember.  For more information including tips and a history of the plant check out

Pic by Akatamy

Kalanchoe – Want a little color in your life?  Well these are sure to tickle your fancy.  Their magenta blooms are plentiful and require little care, and even can withstand temperatures as low as 45 degrees. 

ZZ Plant – The plant that gave ZZ Top its name is just as rock and roll! Haha actually I have no idea how ZZ Top got its name, but I had to include this one as it has been referred to the as “the king of indestructible plants”. Perfect for anyone who has a history of forgetting to water.

Pic by EarthHart

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue – Yup you heard me right!  This appropriately name planted, is tough to get rid of.  Just like the critical words of the person the plant is named after.  Wait what?  Moving on.  

Pic via Guide to Houseplants
Dragon Tree – Apparently dragons come from Madagascar!  They enjoy bright light, dry soil and long walks on the beach. But these beasts can get tall.  Up to 6ft! So make sure you are ready for that kind of commitment. 
Also check out Good Housekeeping for more plants that are hard to kill…Complete with pictures!

*And for you green thumbs out there.  I have also created a short list of, what I think are really cool plants, including one of my favorites.  The pitcher plant.  Check it out below!

Cool Plants to Grow Indoors

Pic by Phykia

Aloe – Not only would this plant be useful, but it looks so cool!  Like a spiky squid!  And the goo inside the leaves is so good for your skin!

Pic by Nitrok

Sundew – This is a carnivorous plant, constantly looks like a dandelion that has been rained on.  But those aren’t dew drops they are an enzyme that is supposed to look like nectar.  It attracts bugs and once they land they get stuck and the plant starts to digest it.  Maybe not the best plant if you have children.

Pic by FauxHead

African Violets – The cool thing about this plant is that all you need to grow one is the leaf of another one.  Plus, if well taken care of, they can bloom multiple times a year and come in a variety of colors and types.

Pic via House Plant Experts

Medusa’s Head – This "flowering air plant" is also called the octopus plant. It gets its water from the air around it meaning it can grow in the strangest locations. It gets its name from the crazy tendrils that grow when properly taken care of.  Yes, they look like snakes.

Pic by Jerdenart

Bonsai Tree – These miniature trees have almost a cult following.  They require an insane amount of care but if cared for well the finished product is fascinating to look at.  There are many many different types as well, anything from flowering ones to ones that resemble oak trees.  All depends on that look that you are going for.

Pic by poetcrystaldawn

Pitcher Plant – My favorite.  I don’t know why but I LOVE  the pitcher plant.  It is also a carnivorous plant.  It kind of works like a cup.  In the bottom of the cup is a sweet smelling nectar that attracts bugs.  The bugs fly over and lean in trying to get at it and eventually fall in.  They get stuck at the bottom and dissolved in the liquid.  So COOL!

So many cool plants.  The list could go on and on!  Now go grab some seeds and go make some adventures. And HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #15

Sign Up For a Race

That’s right, another EXERCISE CHALLENGE!!! I know, we hate these, but exercise is an extremely important part of being an adventurer. Being in shape means that you will be 
able to do and try more things, and the more in shape you are, the more things you can do!

Now running is not my favorite way of exercising.  In fact, I would wager, that running probably has the worst reputation of any exercise. But running doesn't have to suck!  No really that wasn’t a joke. There are entire books (or blogs) about learning how to like running and how to make it more fun, but one of the best (and my favorite) ways is to sign up for a race.
I am not talking like marathon here.  I am talking FUN RUNS!!  Fun runs are any type of run that incorporates a different aspect of…well… fun to it.  And fun runs have really taken off recently.  There are hot chocolate runs, color runs, underwear runs, obstacle course runs, night/glow runs, the list goes on and on.

Plus, by signing up for a run you are committing.  You have something that you know you are going to have to do, so training and making yourself go run is that much easier.  Plus it creates a goal for you to aspire too. Maybe your goal is to run the full 5k, maybe its to finish, maybe its to beat one of your friends to the finish line.  No matter what it is, it helps make your fitness goals more fun!
And the things that you do at some of these runs, you might not be able to do anywhere else.  I mean where else are you going to get electrocuted while running through a giant puddle of water.  Yeah I am talking about you Tough Mudder!!  
Also, there is nothing like the energy you feel at a race. Your heart races, your tummy flutters, there is electricity in the air.  There really is nothing like it.So go sign up for a race.  Just one.  Worst case you walk it, or you sleep in that day and you are out 30 bucks. Best case, you make some amazing memories doing an amazing adventure!

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.
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

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.


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.
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!
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="">

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
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
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, and who knows maybe you could be featured!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Everyday Adventure Challenge #12

Road Trip!
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.
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

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
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
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
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!!