How to Grocery Shop like Supergirl

Hi Superheroes! Happy Tuesday!

Today, we’re going to take a spin around my favorite grocery stores and see how we can make this regular task a little less… boring and awful.

To be fair, I don’t mind the grocery store. But I have a system (surprise!) that makes it pretty painless.

So let’s dig in!

First of all, make a plan. We’ve already talked about meal planning. That’s definitely how I make my grocery list. If I’m really on top of my game, I even organize my list by type of item, if not by department of the store. Once you’ve got your list, you can feel confident in what you need to get, and it’s easier to keep interlopers out of your cart!

Choose a time that doesn’t suck. There are times when the grocery store is more crowded. My recommendation is to avoid the store at those times. For me, that means I avoid the store like the plague from 5-7 pm on weekdays and completely on Saturdays. It just isn’t worth it. My favorite times are mid afternoon weekdays, evenings or Sunday afternoons.  Really, the less people in the store, the happier you’ll be. That also means you avoid upcoming holidays if at all possible, in case that wasn’t obvious.

Eat a snack before you go. You ever go to the grocery store hungry? And then you get to the checkout and you’ve spent $50 more than you intended and you get home and you just can’t understand how those donuts, cheetos or beer ended up in your kitchen. This is solved by eating before you go! Grab a kind bar or some beef jerky and get your shop on. On that same note, take a drink with you! I usually have water or club soda, but I’ve been known to pick up a drink at that super handy Starbucks kiosk in the front of my store when I need a pick me up.

Use headphones. My distraction of choice is almost always audiobooks, but good upbeat music works well too! Not so loud that people can’t get your attention if they need it- but enough to put you in a good mood!

Shop the outside of the store. This is an oldie but a goodie: nothing good happens in the inner aisles of the Grocery Store. Stick to the outer edges and avoid the treacherous ice cream and cookie aisles.

And as a bonus tip, find a grocery store you really like, but also one that is convenient for you. For example, I love Trader Joe’s… but the nearest one is a full 20 minute drive in the opposite direction of anything else I do. So I mostly shop at Kroger, which I like better than Meijer, and is more in my price range than Whole Foods.

And there you have it! 6 tips to make grocery store trips less painful! I hope this helps you out there!

Superhero Action of the Day: What’s your favorite Grocery Store? Why?Leave me a comment or let me know by using #Superheroliving on social media!

 

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.

Fireworks

Fireworks are pretty magical, right? I mean, I know, I know, I’m sure they are very scientific and specific, but to me, they have always been magical. I like everything about them. The flash and the magic, the colors, the loud sounds, the way they pull people together, even the fact that you have to see them at night. They’re beautiful and brash, but also a little mysterious. IMG_1739

Fireworks remind us that a little bit of magic can be carried into our everyday lives. We can carry a little bit of that explosion, that spark with us. Fireworks help us remember that things are special.

IMG_1771There’s a reason we show them at special occasions. There’s a reason we oooh and ahh.

And maybe you’re someone’s reason to ooh and aah a little bit. Maybe you’re someone’s firework- or maybe you could be. IMG_1716

Superhero Action of the Day: Be a little magic today.

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!

FaMFF- Rainy Days- www.superheroliving.blog

Fun and Mostly Free Fridays: Rainy Days

Happy Friday!

You made it! Another week is over. Today, we’re looking at some ways to kick back and relax… even if it is pouring rain and ruining all your outdoor Summer plans!

  1. Movie marathon: pick a theme, or a series, grab your favorite snacks and settle in. Bonus points for food delivery and comfy pants
  2. Read a book, just for fun. I’m working on some book reviews, but until then, maybe find a person you are interested in, or a movie you like based on a book, if you aren’t a big reader. Make sure to check the library!
  3. Look at museums in your area. A lot of towns and cities have a surprising numbers of art galleries and historical museums. Delve into some local history or art!
  4. Make a tour of restaurants and breweries. If you’ve got an active local scene, take advantage! You’ll never know what you come across that you love!
  5. Host a board game or puzzle party- everyone brings something edible to share, and settle in for some competitive fun.
  6. Home spa day: make a sugar scrub, give your feet some love, and soak in the tub- just make it an all around luxurious experience!
  7. Deep clean or organize your space: ok, so this isn’t the most fun thing to everyone, but it sure is satisfying! Choose one space and dive right in.
  8. Host a home craft and wine night: have friends bring a project they’re working on over and enjoy your favorite beverage while you finish up some crafting projects.
  9. Go window shopping. Give yourself a budget and go to a store that you don’t normally shop in. Pick out all the things you would buy if you had the money. I prefer to do this at home decor stores and pretend I’m decorating my dream house.
  10. Try a new recipe. If you have a recipe you’ve been eyeing that looked complicated, maybe it’s time to whip that puppy out and give it a spin. Or maybe it’s time to try a full scale, complicated meal? Rainy days are perfect for that.

Superhero action of the day: Did I miss a rainy day favorite of yours? Let me know by leaving a comment!

Playing tourist in your own city- www.superheroliving.blog

F(m)F Fridays: Play Tourist in Your Own City

Happy Friday, Superheroes!

I hope you’ve had a good week! First full week of June- it’s a magical time! I hope you’re gearing up for some fun this weekend, so, in the interest of helping you with that, another installment in my Friday series: Fun and (Mostly) Free Fridays! This week, we’re getting to know our own cities!

How long have you lived where you live? A year? 5 years? Your whole life? Well, no matter how long you’ve lived there, I bet there are places you’ve never been, museums you’ve never visited, and things you didn’t know.

This was certainly true for me! I live right in downtown Dayton, Ohio, but I spent a lot of time on Tuesday doing things I’d never done, all within walking or biking distance from my apartment. First, let’s look at what I did, and then, I’ll clue you in on how you can take on YOUR city (or one nearby).

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To start with, my mom and I got 24 hour memberships to our local city wide bike share. If you have a bike share system in your city and you aren’t using it, you’re missing out! Here’s how it works (at least here!):

-You buy a membership for a period of time. We went with the 24 hr option, although there are weekly and monthly subscriptions available. The membership cost us $5 apiece.

-You pick up a bike from any of the city wide bike hubs- they’re EVERYWHERE. You have the bike for 30 minutes, and then you check it back into a hub. You can get another one immediately, and you can keep doing that for the length of your membership.

The bike share program is awesome- I’ve used it quite a bit to go places around town. Again, I recommend it!

After we picked up our bikes, we started on a “walking” tour of downtown Dayton architecture. I have to be honest, I wasn’t overwhelmingly excited about the idea to begin with. However, there are some stunning buildings in this town, some I’d never seen before, and it was very interesting to learn about the history of the city through it’s buildings.

After we finished our tour, we got some lunch at the always delicious and super fun Lily’s Bistro (local people, check this out!), we walked around the Oregon District for a while, checking out the cute little local shops the area hosts.

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Next, we went up to the top floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The top floor of the hotel is the bar and restaurant, and open to the public. They have incredible views of downtown! We had a great time looking out the windows and pointing out different places.

We finished our afternoon at America’s Packard Museum. This little known gem right in downtown might be small, but boy, it packs a punch! I’m not much of a car girl, really, but some of the history involved with these cars is really incredible. Besides, they’re so very fun to look at.

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So, that was our tour of Dayton- and we barely scratched the surface! There is so much to do and see in this city, I feel like we could do this for at least a week and not have seen everything we could.

If you want to play tourist in your town (and really, you should!), here are some fun resources for you to start with:

GPSmycity– Mom found our walking tour on GPS my city. This is an app that you load onto your phone (or tablet), and it has little ebooks that give you all kinds of information about what you’re looking at. Also, the walking directions were very clear and easy to follow- both for someone living in the city (me) and someone who is unfamiliar with it (Mom)!

Check local facebook pages. We have several- Dayton.com, Dayton most metro, dayton local… I follow all of them just on the lookout for fun things to do in the area! Find them for your city and then keep tabs on them.

Ask around! If you’re not sure what to do or where to go, ask someone! What’s their favorite part of the city? Where do they take guests? You’ll learn a lot!

Whatever you do, get out there. Enjoy the place you call home! This is how we save our cities as superheroes- not by fighting crime in the streets, but by supporting our cities as they build and rebuild and become the kinds of places we want to work, play, and live!

Superhero action of the day: Take some time to learn about the place you live! Maybe you’ll learn something new!

Saturday Adventures: Yoga On Tap

Happy Saturday, all!

Did you get to do something that fed you today? I hope so. How are you living out Superhero Living this weekend? I want to hear all about it! I’ll start.

Today, I tried something brand new to me. I went to a yoga and beer class. I don’t know about you, but it seems like there have been a LOT of these popping up on my radar recently. Brewasana classes, stretch and sips, yoga on tap- whatever you call it, it seems like there are lots of options to go to a bar or restaurant, do some yoga, and enjoy a favorite beverage. I’ve been wanting to try one for a while now, and today, at long last, one fit in my schedule this morning- so off I went, yoga mat in tow!

The specific class I went to is called ‘Yoga on Tap”, and is hosted by a Dayton pizza place called Old Scratch Pizza. If you’re a local and you haven’t been there yet, it’s worth a trip, yoga or no. It’s gourmet, Neapolitan style pizzas and craft beer. They have some great salads and appetizers too. It’s a very fun, casual spot, right in downtown.

Anyway, Old Scratch also does a lot of philanthropic work, and they host one Saturday morning yoga class a month. For $15, you get an hour of yoga and a pint of beer afterwards. Every now and then, the proceeds from the class go to a worthy cause. Today’s cause? Honor Flight Dayton.

If you aren’t familiar with Honor Flight, let me begin by assuring you that it is a very worthy cause. Honor Flight’s mission is to get as many US veterans as possible to Washington DC to see the memorials dedicated to the wars they served in. My grandpa got to go a few years ago, and I saw first hand how meaningful that experience was to him.

So: an hour of yoga, a beer AND I get to support a cause I really and truly believe in? Absolutely, I’m there. Win-win-win!

I wasn’t sure what to expect. I would say I’m at an intermediate level as a yogi, but going to a new kind of class is always a little nerve wracking. The tables were cleared away to show the bare floor of the restaurant. I signed in at the counter, and found a spot for my mat. A few minutes after 10 (when class was due to start), Stephanie, the instructor, called us to order. She told us a little about Honor Flight, and a woman in the class spoke a little bit about her personal experience with them.

Stephanie told us this would be a “heart centered” practice, which are my favorite. The class itself was gentle. It was cool in the room, and I barely broke a sweat. That was fine with me. We worked our way through Sun Salutations, Warrior Sequences and some lovely heart openers.

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The one glitch in the whole process, for me, was that at the end of class, we all got in line to pay for class and claim our pints. This resulted in waiting about 10 minutes to get through. That was fine with me, but it seemed a little overwhelming to a few lunch customers who had a reasonable expectation of the place being pretty empty. No big deal, and certainly not a deterrent to me returning for another class.

I then had the great pleasure of talking with Stephanie and another class member over our beers. One of the reasons I love going to places alone is that it helps me to meet and get to know good people. Talking to these two women was a true joy, and I left feeling like this was $15 well, well spent.

So, if you’re looking for something new to do, I would encourage you to look into these kinds of classes- they’re light hearted, breezy and fun. They draw good people. And if you get lucky, they might even support a good cause.

 

Whatever you did today, I hope you did it to your very fullest. I’d love to hear about it!

 

Superhero action of the day: Ask the people around you what they did today. Ask questions and gain a new experience through them. Enjoy your day!