10 products I’m loving for August

Hi, my superheroes!

 

I’m sorry to have gone radio silent on you. To be honest, I felt like a fraud posting about being a superhero… because I just don’t feel like on recently.

But it’s August first, so let’s talk about some products for the end of our summer!

You know the drill- I’m not getting any money from anyone for this! Enjoy!

 

  1. Rhinegeist bubbles. Y’all Rose beer. In a can. Ned I say more?c6vuwrpu4aagqp6
  2. This ELF BB cream: elf-83262-2Super lightweight, natural coverage, and a little bit of SPF. It’s excellent. It’s also about $4. Pretty hard to beat that.
  3. On that note, I’m also loving this Burt’s Bees balm in Plum:     fedd2588-1048-4941-841e-8d79c6ce2ef5_1-4d72991f84233c5e137c7d5ae7423e24                                                                                                                It’s actually a pretty good match for my cover girl almost lipstick that I was loving last month…. but it’s WAY cheaper at about $6.
  4. Sharpie Pens. Seriously, I got hooked on these in college and will hardly use anything else. Perfect for back to school! 1888a890-ba8b-41cf-a7dc-5a44a39a5bf3_1-1b37215d77396202df34169792893553 Bold lines, writes like a marker, doesn’t bleed through, works if you have to label clothes (like me!) How can you go wrong?
  5. my Foam roller! I’m working my way back into weight lifting (post soon!) and I’ve had some pretty sore days! If you don’t have one, I got mine for about $3 at a store called Five Below, but also check secondhand sports stores if you’re trying to find one for cheap! exfmrl_image1
  6. Panera’s Chai Tea Latte. If you know me, you know I don’t do much caffeine anymore. I just can’t! But when I need something, I grab a chai tea latte. Whether hot or cold, it’s creamy and comforting like coffee, but without the mega caffeine burst that makes me a little unstable.  Panera’s are good- but one of my goals is to make my own this month- look for a post soon!original
  7. Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo. Y’all. If you are not dry shampooing, you should be. I was an every day shampoo girl. Well, apparently that’s super bad for your hair. So I got some of this and I’m not going back. Honestly, sometimes I’m on day 4 before I wash with this stuff. It’s amazing. My hair is also pretty fine, so this works great if I need to add some texture to my hair. 41im2mamvel-_sx466_
  8. Secret Outlast deodorant. This stuff is legit. I’m not kidding I can work out hard for an hour and not stink afterwards. The completely clean scent is what I get and it has a very light but pleasant perfume, it doesn’t get white stuff on my clothes, and it doesn’t feel weird in my armpits.         71kxe2b8wrxl-_sy355_
  9. Santa Cruz Organics Lemonade: I love juice. It’s the only calorie filled drink I keep in the house anymore (ok, barring alcohol!) But so much of it has a ton of sugar and other weird stuff in it. So when I can, I stock up on these juices and lemonades. They’re great on their own, but I especially love to put a little in with my seltzer water to make a delicious Summer mocktail. I love the lemonade, strawberry lemonade and mango lemonades. lemonade
  10. Quantico: If you love suspense filled TV, this one is for you. First, Alex Parrish trained to become FBI. Then someone framed her. This excellent ABC show will definitely keep you pressing “Still Watching” on Netflix!2b5866299c49737fe704050b444697d6

 

So there you have it! 10 products I’m loving for August! And I promise I’ll try to post more this month- this is harder than I thought it would be!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: it’s a new month! What are you going to do with it?

50 ways to treat yo self

I’m on a swing of working out again. Does anyone else do this? I can be a little bit obsessive and extremist, so maybe it’s just me, but although I try to workout consistently all the time, I go through periods where I’m super committed to it, and periods where I am just completely uninterested.

Right now, we’re on the upswing, which is great. I firmly believe I’m my best self when I’m working out regularly, so it’s nice when I feel motivated to do so.

In that spirit, I present to you, my superheroes, A List of Non Food Rewards.

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It’s hard, I know! When we do something difficult, we feel like we should be rewarded for that! Sometimes, it’s worth it to treat yo self. But there are better ways, most of the time, than to put food in our bodies that is counter productive to our superhero status (Ninja Turtles notwithstanding!)

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Ready? Here we go.

  1. New nail polish
  2. Mani Pedi
  3. New book
  4. Episode of a TV show or a movie
  5. Reward Jar (put a set amount of money, like $1 in a jar every time you workout)
  6. New workout clothes
  7. New purse
  8. New workout music
  9. Earn your Netflix/Hulu, etc. Set an amount of workouts for a month and cancel your subscription for the next month if you don’t make your goal
  10. A trip to the library
  11. an all out, guilt free Pinterest binge
  12. time with your favorite video game
  13. Take a Nap
  14. Try a new fitness class
  15. invest in a fitness accessory like a smart watch or wireless headphones
  16. Get a massage
  17. Take a morning off to do something you enjoy but don’t have time for (this might be hiking for me)
  18. Buy yourself flowers or a new houseplant
  19. Get the most recent issue of your favorite magazine
  20. Take a class in something you’re interested in (for me this would be some patterning and sewing stuff, but maybe it’s cooking, photography or math. You do you)
  21. Take a day trip and enjoy it!
  22. Watch a favorite sport- in person
  23. Register for a race or competition
  24. A healthy food kitchen gadget
  25. New Tupperware or lunch box
  26. The beginnings of a new hobby- sketchbook, camera, tennis racket, etc.
  27. New coloring book and markers or pencils
  28. new Journal or planner
  29. new mug or travel mug
  30. new water bottle
  31. new outfit
  32. Hair cut or color
  33. new Jewelry piece- you decide how fancy and expensive!
  34. Get your friends together for a night out
  35. Take a weekend away
  36. new candle or diffuser
  37. Plan your dream vacation
  38. …and take it
  39. Get a tattoo or a piercing
  40. a new piece of art for your home
  41. piece of exercise equipment
  42. a tool or tool set (drill, dremel, etc)
  43. new app
  44. your favorite spa treatment
  45. Use a sticker chart! This sounds silly, but I’ve done it, it WORKS
  46. Buy a lottery ticket
  47. Buy expensive socks. They’re ridiculous but worth it.
  48. Have pictures taken
  49. Try out personal training
  50. Get your car professionally detailed

 

Whew! There we are, 50 ideas to treat yo self… without eating your weight in donuts.

 

Superhero Action of The Day: What are your favorite ways to reward yourself?

10 reasons to exercise (that have nothing to do with your weight)

It’s Wednesday! It’s Hump Day! You can do this! Halfway there!

Today at the gym, I hopped on a treadmill and ran/walked a 5k. It’s been a LONG time since I did that- I used to be a regular runner, albeit never a particularly great one. But I ran several times a week and got up to doing three or four miles without a break. And then, as is the way of things sometimes, I got hurt. I developed some pretty gnarly plantars fasciitis, severe pain in my right heel and was forced to stop running.

I’ve talked already about my personal struggles with dieting and exercise. Because of those struggles, I’ve decided that it just isn’t healthy for me to focus my fitness efforts into weight loss and calorie counting. So when I turned again to running as a form of exercise, I found it really easy to train- more miles, faster miles, etc. In the last year, when I haven’t been running as much, I’ve had to work on finding other good exercise goals- and that hasn’t always been easy. So tonight, I thought I would share a few reasons to exercise- that have nothing to do with body shape or size.

Ready? Here we go!

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  1. Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy. I know that can seem counter intuitive, but when you find something you can enjoy doing, you will find happiness in it.
  2. It builds confidence. It’s a lot easier to make hard phone calls, have hard conversations, and in general be a superhero when you feel good about yourself. And one of the things that makes me feel good about myself is seeing slow but steady gym progress.
  3. Exercise builds strong muscles. Stronger muscles have a ton of health benefits- everything from better heart health (Heart disease is the number one killer of women!) to greater ease of movement.
  4. It releases stress. When I started boxing, I thought the best part was going to be a killer upperbody workout. While that is certainly true, the honest to goodness best part is that whaling away on a heavy bag eliminates just about every piece of stress you’ve ever felt. And if you’re angry with someone, my recommendation is to picture his or her face on said heavy bag. Is it the most peaceful mindset in the world? Probably not. But I’m telling you, it’s incredibly effective.
  5. You’ll sleep better. If you’ve ever lain awake at night tossing and turning, you know how torturous it is. The best way I know to fix that is to work out hard- expend enough energy to make your body tired enough for sleep.
  6. You’ll have more energy. Again, it may seem counter intuitive, but regular exercise makes one more energetic- and who doesn’t want that?
  7. You’re less likely to get sick- from everything from the common cold to cancer. No, I’m not exaggerating.
  8. There are a whole host of brain benefits too- everything from memory improvement to boosting creativity and productivity.
  9. Helps you make better food decisions. I don’t know why it works, necessarily, but it seems to be true across the board- once you start working out, more conscientious eating often follows.
  10. Exercise is a (vital) part of self care. The best superheroes take care of themselves AND others. Your workout every day helps you do just that.

OMP: Super food Tacos

Hi Superheroes! I took the weekend off to unplug a little bit- thank you for that luxury!

But it’s Monday… and YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS: Tomorrow is Taco Tuesday. So, in honor of everyone’s favorite midweek party, here’s a recipe for 5 minute tacos that are even pretty good for you.

No, it is not too good to be true. Fair, you have to either prep the ingredients or have them on hand.

But full disclosure, I bought all of these ingredients at the grocery store. And all I had to do tonight was assemble my tacos and chow down.

The crux of this recipe is my favorite deli find: Superfood salad. I get it by the pound at my local Kroger store, but just in case you can’t find it, I have a couple of links to recipes so you can make your own.

If you just don’t want to make your own, any kind of slaw will taste great on this. Trust me, though, it’s worth it.

Superfood salad options: one two (this second one is Pin, but the recipe is in the caption!

If you’re stuck between those two recipes, my personal preference would be the dressings from the first and the ingredients from the second. I think.

Ok, now that you’ve got your superfoods, we can make some tacos.

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Superfood Tacos:

flour tortillas

carnitas (I got some in the meat department at the store, but I’ve made my own in the crockpot, too)

queso cheese

guacamole

your favorite salsa (I’m really into fruit salsas, but savory would be good too!)

and of course, Superfood Salad!

Instructions:

Arrange flour tortillas on a plate or platter. Add a couple of Tablespoons of carnitas, a couple Tablespoons of Superfood Salad, a spoonful of guacamole, a spoonful of salsa, and a sprinkle of cheese to each tortilla. Fold or roll. Eat and live long and healthy.

Superhero Action of the Day: I want to hear about your weekend! What superhero adventures did you get into? Share them to my page on Facebook or #Superheroliving on Instagram!

 

5 ways to fight muscle soreness

Oh, my superheroes. Yesterday was leg and booty day at the gym.

I tried a new workout.

And today, I might be dead. Seriously, my glutes and my quads huuuuuuuuuurt.

We’ve all been there, right? Whether it’s workout recovery, aftermath from a hard day of moving or something else, we’ve all had sore muscles. So today we’re looking at some ways to combat muscle soreness! Ready/? Here we go!

  1. Foam Rolling. If you haven’t tried a foam roller, you definitely should. It hurts like crazy, I won’t lie to you. It’s part of my workout tonight, and I can’t really say I’m looking forward to it. But it helps a LOT. It works by breaking up lactic acid pockets in your muscles. I think. Science was never my strong suit. Anyway, foam rolling. Check it out.
  2. Take a bath. Warm baths are better, although you might see ice baths in the movies. Add some epsom salts for extra soothing power!
  3. MOVE. Take a walk. Integrate some low impact cardio. Do some stretching. I know it will hurt. But you’ll feel better after! I promise!
  4. Make sure you’re hydrated! Drink plenty of water, your muscles will thank you for it!
  5. Drink some caffeine. I know it seems counter intuitive, but caffeine helps your muscles recover!

 

So there you have it, friends! Some ways to fight soreness for my superheroes!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What are your favorite ways to get rid of soreness. Let me know!

www.superheroliving.blog Baby Steps

Baby Steps

If you’ve been reading along, you know I haven’t had the easiest Summer. It’s been hard to figure out this full time freelancing thing!

So today, I went to work at one of the schools where I have some Summer work and worked for several hours. I went to the gym and lifted. I came home and took a shower.

And then I gave myself a reward.

And Penelope and I went and got ice cream.

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Because here’s the thing. Sometimes, you have to take baby steps. Sometimes, you have to acknowledge where you are and appreciate that spot. Sometimes, even if you’re not where you want to be, you have to appreciate that you made steps.

Sometimes,  that’s what it takes to get you moving tomorrow.

So! If you’re struggling this Summer too, first of all, know that that’s absolutely ok. Struggling is fine. Struggling is good. Struggling only becomes a problem when you don’t do anything about it. You have to keep moving forward. It’s very important!

But if you’re struggling, you just take one step today. Just one. You even get to decide what the step is! Maybe it’s taking a shower. Maybe it’s making a tough phone call. Maybe it’s going to work, or the grocery, or just leaving the house. Maybe it’s going for a walk.

Whatever you choose, do that today. Do it again tomorrow. And you continue to make those steps until you can add another step.

 

You got this. We got this. I promise.

4 ingredient pineapple smoothie- www.superheroliving.blog

OMP: 4 ingredient pineapple smoothie

Happy Sunday, superheroes! I hope you’ve had amazing, refreshing, restful, adventurous, SUPER weekends.

And now it’s Sunday! If you’re back to the grind tomorrow, YOU CAN DO IT! If you’re less scheduled right now, like me, let’s try to do some productive, healthy stuff this week! Ok? OK! Go team!

This afternoon, Penelope and I went for a long walk. It’s a route we do fairly regularly, but usually first thing in the morning, not at 5 pm. Anyway, when we got about 2/3 of the way home, I started dreaming of something cool and refreshing to drink when I got home. Milkshake…nah. Ice cream run? I really don’t need to do that… Water? Let’s be real, only as a last resort. (I’m not a good water drinker, unfortunately!)

But! I had frozen pineapple, and I just new I could do something with that.  And sure enough, it worked out exactly right for a cold refreshing drink. I started with a cup of water in my blender, and added about 2 cups of frozen pineapple. I started blending that together and then added about 1/2 cup of milk. I’m out of almond milk currently, but I think if I were going to recreate it, I would use 1 1/2 cups of almond milk instead of water and dairy milk. Once I got it all blended together, I added about 2 tsp. of honey, and about a TB of lemon juice. I blended that in a little bit, poured it in a glass and drank up.

It’s sweet, a little tangy, bursting with pineapple flavor, and best of all, really pretty healthy and low calorie! Enjoy!

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4 ingredient pineapple smoothie:

1 1/2 cups of almond milk (or milk of your choice!)

2 cups frozen pineapple chunks

2 tsp. honey

1 TB lemon juice (to taste)

 

Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Pour into tall glass and enjoy! Makes about 24 ounces.

 

Superhero Action of the Day: What’s your favorite summer beverage? Let me know so I can try it out!

10 things I’m loving for July

Can you believe it’s July already? I know. What happened to June? I don’t know either. Well, in any case, here are 10 products I am absolutely loving for July! Check them out!

 

** again, I’m not making any money from this, just recommending things I like!**

 

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  1. naked grape moscato. You know how last month I said I was declaring it the summer of grapefruit Shandy? That hasn’t changed, but moscato is perfect for summer.  I mean, sweet. Cold. Crisp. And this one is three things: sweet, refreshing and honestly, it’s cheap. Less than $10. How can you go wrong. Keep one in the fridge for special occasions. You know, like Tuesdays. 9971556
  2. Dior Lip Glow: I actually discovered Lip Glow several years ago when I was working at the cosmetic counter at Macy’s. But it’s worth a revisit. Lip Glow goes on like chapstick, but it changes colors according to your body temperature, so it’s beautiful on everyone. It turns pink on me, but I’ve seen it red, coral, even almost plummy

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3. manic panic. If you want funky colored hair, I can’t recommend Manic Panic enough. If you’re following me on Instagram, you might have seen that I dyed part of my hair blue this summer. And I have to be honest, I switched to manic panic atomic turquoise for my most recent touch up and it is SO cool. If you AREN’T following me on Insta, you should do that, because I’m gonna post photos of my atomic turquoise hair really soon, and it’s an insta exclusive!

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4. bare apple chips. My sister and I discovered these last Spring on the West Coast, and we fell in love. They’re baked. They’re delicious. They’re healthy. They’re amazing. Do it. In the midwest, I can only find them at Target. Worth it.

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5. croc sandals. Okokokok, hear me out. Original crocs. Ugly. Uglyuglyugly. But this is my second pair of the sandals, and they’re cute, durable and SO freaking comfortable. My only gripe is that the new pair I bought don’t come in half sizes, which would be a little better for me. But still! I love them. And I’m not ashamed. I refuse to be ashamed.

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6. Jane the Virgin. If you aren’t watching this show, you REALLY should be. It is hilarious, touching and sweet. And it’s on Netflix. What more could you ask? Do it.

7. Diana’s Bananasmaxresdefault are part of my never ending quest to stay cool in the Summer without losing my exercise gains. They’re a frozen half banana, dipped in chocolate. They’re excellent. They’re cold and sweet and mostly fruit. How can you go wrong?

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8.EOS shave lotion. I bought this on a whim a couple weeks ago, and I really like it! It has a little bit more perfume than I usually like, but it’s a nice smell. It’s very moisturizing and soft and seems to be helpful in avoiding razor burn, which is great. Especially this time of year, right?

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9.  Say Yes to Cucumber face wipes. These are my go to for everyday. They’re quick, they’re gentle, and when it’s hot, they’re great fresh out of the fridge. (That, my superheroes, is a HOT TIP. Or a cool one. You choose.)

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10. La Croix. Ok, so maybe this is a cop out. Surely everyone knows about La Croix by now? But if you don’t, you should try it. It’s super refreshing, fruit flavored, no calorie and completely guilt free. I recommend grapefruit. But as we know, I love grapefruit flavored drinks, so…

So there you have it. 10 products you should try out this month! Enjoy!

Superhero Action of the Day: Try something new! And if you have a suggestion for August, LET ME KNOW!

The Power of Rest

Happy Monday, superheroes!

I hope your Monday was amazing. I hope you were productive, and helpful, and strong.

I was not.

I’m struggling with the amount of freedom I’ve got this summer. I’m not used to having so much free time, and quite honestly, I’m not reacting to it as well as I had hoped. I have a ton of projects I thought I was going to work on, but so far, not a lot of progress. I’ve gone on some adventures, had a lot of fun… but I’m not getting enough done.

But you know what I AM doing? Taking a lot of naps. Spending time with my dog. Taking long walks. Working on THIS project. Spending time with friends and family. Reading books.

I’m not doing very well with my to do lists. But I have to keep reminding myself that for most of the last ten months, I worked 60-80 hours a week at three or four separate jobs. And that that kind of long term abuse (because that’s what it is, if we’re being totally honest) takes a toll. And now I have to pay up. I don’t have to like it. But I owe my body some time, and it is collecting.

So often, I think it is easy for us to forget the power of rest. We love to be busy so much it literally makes us sick. We hop from thing to thing, from job, to exercise, to social event. We don’t sleep enough. We don’t give our brains down time. We just grind and grind and hustle and hustle.

And sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. Sometimes, you have to go back to bed with your dog. Sometimes your greatest accomplishment for the day can be cleaning out your email inbox and sending two important email replies.

This can’t be everyday. I’m bored already, and it has only been a month. Soon, my motivation will come back and I’ll get more done again. I’ll start getting serious about the upcoming work season, and all of my projects will start to sound interesting again. Hopefully I don’t drop anything out of my net while I’m resting, but rest is important.

When we go through something physically exhausting, we wake up the next day, or maybe two days later, and we can feel it. When we workout a lot, we get sore muscles. If we’re in an accident, we get bruises. If we have surgery, there’s pain from that.

A lot of times, when we go through something emotionally exhausting, we take a day or two- or longer- to get back on our feet. When we lose someone. When a relationship falls apart. When we get handed a big disappointment. We take some time. We rest.

But we don’t tend to do that with mental exhaustion. When we’re mentally exhausted, we grab another cup of coffee and buckle in. We berate ourselves for our brain fog and insist that we “don’t know what’s wrong” with ourselves. We push harder, and harder. We sacrifice sleep. We sacrifice down time. We give of ourselves until there is nothing left. And then we collapse, or explode, or lash out. We hurt the people who love us best. We get irritable. We let our lives get pushed to the side.

And all because we refuse to rest.

 

Superhero action of the day: are you taking the time you need to rest? Are you tired? Time to start thinking about how to get what you need.

A Walk- www. superheroliving.blog

A Walk

In 2013, I fell in love with a small, 12 week old black puppy. In the four years that Penelope and I have been living together, she has become my best friend, biggest confidante and almost constant companion. img_0555.jpg

Right before Christmas in 2014, Penelope and I moved into my current apartment. My apartment is small. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but it is pretty tiny- about 500 square feet. Not really enough room for 45 pounds of fur covered energy.

And so, Penelope and I walk. We walk two or three times a day, every day, no matter the weather. We walk when I’m exhausted, we walk when I can’t wait to get going with my day. We walk, quite literally, morning, afternoon and night.

Walking is a simple motion. Most of us learned it before we can remember. We do it without thinking. When we need something, we get up, and we walk. But the simplicity of the motion is what makes it so powerful.

Typically, when I workout, I want a workout so difficult that I can’t focus on anything else. I want it mind numbing. I want it to hurt, to stretch me, literally and metaphorically. I want to push my body past it’s limit. After a workout like that, I feel powerful, invigorated, full of promise and possibility.

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But when it’s really my brain that needs the workout, I go for a walk. When I need to think hard about something, I go for a walk. Heck, even when I need to memorize something… I often find myself going for a walk.

When Penelope and I started walking together so consistently, I started to notice some changes in both of us. First of all, her behavior completely changed. She doesn’t tear things up. She doesn’t get into my trash, and she doesn’t get onto my counters. Also, she became better and better with a leash. I guess I always thought dogs just knew how to walk on a leash. But I guess that’s not true- we definitely learned together. She sleeps more and better, she’s more calm in general- she’s just overall a more happy and healthy dog. That alone is enough of a reason for me, but I have seen some real benefits too.

I lost weight. A lot of weight. In the first 6 months we lived in this apartment, without really trying too terribly hard, I lost 30 pounds. And the vast majority of my exercise was walking. I became more confident. I’m cautious about walking at night, although I’ve never had a real problem when I’m out with Penelope. However, I am not afraid to go for a walk at night, and I like that part of myself.

IMG_1080Also, she forces me to get out of bed in the mornings. Sure, sometimes on Saturdays we go back to bed, but like it or not, I am usually up by about 7:30. I’m not a natural morning person, but I know that I’m most productive in the morning, so it’s nice to start my day with at least a little bit of activity. These days, our morning walk is usually about an hour- roughly 2.5 miles- and it is such a nice start to the day.

I also often use our walk as a time to catch up on phone calls or on books I’m listening to- or podcasts, although I’m mostly on books right now. I love to multi task and this is such an easy way to do it.

I am a lover of routine, and I like that about our walks too. In a life that sometimes feels frenetic and zooey, every day, I must carve out at least a few minutes to strap on Penelope’s leash and get outside. I don’t always love it. I don’t always want to do it. But she needs me. It’s our routine. And I always feel better afterwards, no matter what else is going on. IMG_1281

But I think best of all, walking every day with Penelope helps me to find perspective. The morning walk is a time to think through my day. What projects do I need to work on? Who do I need to be in touch with? What are my top three to dos? The afternoon walk breaks up the day: the major part of the work day is over. What do I still need to do for the evening? Did I get everything done I needed to finish up? The evening walk is the hardest- and the easiest one by far to skip, but I find myself in a better place to go to bed if I go ahead and take it. What does tomorrow look like? How am I feeling about today? And sometimes most importantly, can I make my step goal yet tonight?

 

Pictures in this post are various things I’ve seen while out walking! Enjoy!

 

Superhero Action of the Day: Carve out 20 minutes, and go for a walk. Try to make it a habit!