Light It Up.

photo164 Light It Up.

Why do you go away?

So that you can come back.

So that you can see the place you came from
with new eyes and extra colors.

And the people there see you differently, too.

Coming back to where you started
is not the same as never leaving.

―Terry Pratchett, A Hat Full of Sky

 

So, I was having some issues behind the scenes here— basically, I was locked out of my blogs. I’d click the link to be sent a new password, but I’ve been blogging so long now that the password was going to a now-defunct email address. It was frustrating and sort of scary while also being sort of freeing; I didn’t feel that constant guilt about not posting as frequently as I would like.

Well, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and in a short time I had an impressive list of things I really did want to write about. I harassed my hosting service with pathetic pleas for help and they did their magic. I’ve spent a few weeks cleaning up some messes in the backend, and today here I am again.

And again, I feel like my focus for this blog has shifted since the last time I really gave it some thought, but one thing I know for sure: I want to partially return to where I began, with photography and stories and mindfulness and introspection. (Even if, as least for a while, I am stuck with what I can manage to capture through the lens of my aging iPhone.)

Too many hours spent multi-tasking on a computer screen and being always a step behind, an hour beyond deadline, running late for important dates, has left me feeling stressed and scatterbrained. I crave finding connections and sharing really deep thinking, no matter how trivial it may seem.

Blogging for me began as an outlet and quickly became a job, then an obligation, then a chore.

Now? Now I hope it will be a spark. I want to get all fired up about things again.

Certain bodies… become luminous when heated.

Their luminosity disappears after some time,

but the capacity of becoming luminous afresh through heat

is restored to them by the action of a spark.

― Marie Curie

 

 

Light it up.

 

Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles

photo165 456x600 Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles Now that’s what I call high quality H2O!

-Bobby Boucher, The Waterboy

Note: this post contains affiliate links, meaning if you click through to Amazon I get a small % of any resulting sales. If you’d prefer not to use those links, you can check out the full Lifefactory line on their site.

I work out 4-6 times a week. Maverick comes with me 3-4 of those times. Cassidy has soccer practice and games. We drink a LOT of water in this house: during workouts, and in between.

At home, we use the CamelBak Relay Pitcher Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles I was sent on behalf of the Fitness Magazine FitBlog event to filter our hard well water (I should really write a separate post about that, we love it). But on the go, I have one true love and that is Lifefactory glass water bottles Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles.

Why? There are a couple of reasons:

  • I’m convinced stainless steel and reusable plastic water bottles retain some taste from the dishwasher or from dish soap. It can be helped by using special cleaning tabs (or you can use something like Efferdent) but I’d be using those all. the. time.
  • I don’t like that I can’t see inside stainless steel bottles to make sure they’re not building up funk inside.
  • Glass bottles, by contrast, can go into the dishwasher and come out clean— no extra step.
  • There’s none of the “do they or don’t they?” concerns about chemicals leaching like you have with plastic bottles.
  • Glass is infinitely recyclable.
  • Lifefactory glass bottles are clothed in a silicone sleeve so they’re super sturdy (we’ve had ours for years now and trust me, they’ve taken some abuse), don’t leak even a little bit so I am comfortable tossing in my gymbag or a kids’ backpack, and come in a bunch of fun colors.

 

I scanned back through some of my Instagram and Facebook posts and easily came up with proof that my Lifefactory bottles rarely leave my side:

photo170 Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles

No joke, this pic used to be on some of my business cards

lifefactory e1411045769907 Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles

 

You get the idea. I prefer the flat cap that screws on & off easily; it’s widemouthed so I can add ice cubes or protein powder. But they also sell with a flipcap or a straw cap.

Well, I just discovered that Lifefactory now has food storage Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles containers! We already use Pyrex glass containers for our leftovers, but I’ve never used them for packing lunches because I was afraid they’d get broken. These come in 1, 2, and 4 cup sizes and the smaller ones would be PERFECT for kid lunchboxes.

 

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These may seem expensive out of the gate, but I know I’m forever replacing plastic tupperware, especially small ones. The lids fall onto the dishwasher bottom and get mangled, they crack, and pretty much the first time anyone uses it to hold onions or anything with red sauce it’s done for.

 

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Lifefactory also has water or wine glasses Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles (depending on the day you’ve had. With different color sleeves, you’ve never take someone else’s glass by accident again!) and baby bottles Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles (4 and 9 oz), as well as silicone teethers Love This: Lifefactory Glass Food Containers and Water Bottles. The baby bottles are made from thermal shock resistant borosilicate glass, so they can transition safely from freezer to boiling water. You can also buy sippy caps or flat caps for these bottles, so they’ll get years and years of use! Cass has a 9oz bottle with a flat cap and it fits into her lunchbox (it’s the only bottle Jeff will let me use to pack milk in his lunch on PB&J days).

 

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Now, I’m really hoping that you don’t need to be sold on the idea of reusables in general. Plastic doesn’t go away, and reusables divert a ton of waste from landfills. They also alleviate a lot of concerns about chemicals released when plastics break down over time.

So any reusable is better than none. But IMHO, Lifefactory is the best. Who do you like?

 

Me Time and My TV Boyfriends

Benedict Cumberbatch filming Sherlock cropped2 700x579 Me Time and My TV Boyfriends

After nourishment, shelter and companionship,
stories are the thing we need most in the world.

― Philip Pullman

 

Let’s get those disclosures out of the way: I’m a member of the Netflix Stream Team. This is a sponsored post. I didn’t take this photo of Benedict. This guy did and I’m using under the permissions of Creative Commons.

If you follow me on Instagram or are friends with me on Facebook, you know I spend a lot of time at CrossFit Riverfront.

You know I work a lot and seem to have more tech issues than the average bear.

You see me with the kids— going places, doing stuff, having fun. Usually.

On Friday and Saturday nights though, I need some me time to retain my sanity. I detach fully from work. I try to slow my brain down and rest my body.

And yeah, I indulge a bit. Because most of what ails you can be fixed with a glass of wine, a bag of sour cream and onion chips and a good story.

Because frankly, if mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy.

I’m into comfort TV. Aren’t we all? I like to watch and rewatch (and rewatch again), just like I love to reread. It’s like cozying up in an old tshirt and well-worn sweats. It’s hanging out with old friends.

You catch lines and happenings you didn’t before, parallels and little bits of foreshadowing that didn’t seem like much until after the fact. And with my favorite kinds of shows, you catch ALL KINDS of stuff you didn’t on the first go around simply because there’s so much to catch.

My favorite ME TIME TV TIME shows:

  • Sherlock. ALL THREE SEASONS NOW AVAILABLE. If you haven’t watched them, please just stop reading now and click through.
  • Doctor Who. Particularly pleasing because there are a lot of seasons. I warn you against binging too much at one time though, because that exponentially intensifies the feels.
  • Breaking Bad. It’s awesome when a show totally lives up to the hype. Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul, Bryan Cranston… treasures, every one.
  • LOST. Enough years have gone by that I’m prepared to relive life on the island even though I know how disappointing it’s ultimately going to be. (Did you know Michael Keaton was supposed to play Jack, and be killed in the first episode?)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation. I took a class in college called Concepts of the Soul that mostly consisted of watching TNG episodes. As a result Data is my favorite, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
  • The X-Files. One of the hottest couples in TV history, in my opinion. Very similar to Doctor Who in that there’s a strong overall story arc, but individual episodes are good (often outstanding) taken on their own.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000. I saw all of these a million times as a teenager. I blame this series for my inability to keep the snark down while watching shows and movies at home, which I’ve now passed down to my kids, making the watching of mediocre movies a fast-paced, interactive experience. (I’ve linked to Gamera because I feel if you have to watch just one, that’s the most important.)
  • House. My favorite grump of a man.

 

I really NEED Netflix to add Friends to streaming. I’d probably spend a whole weekend binging on that trip down memory lane.

Looking at that list, you might think I’m really into sci-fi, but if I’m being honest a lot of the reason this list exists goes like this: Sherlock Holmes, the 10th Doctor, Sawyer, Jean-Luc Picard, Fox Mulder, Joel, Dr Gregory House. My TV boyfriends: the characters, not the actors. I have a serious emotional bond with each of them.

Eventually you have to start watching new episodes of new-to-you series, so I’ve caved to peer pressure and started Orange is the New Black. Other contenders, based on my FB stream, include Scandal, House of Cards, Game of Thrones (not currently on streaming) and The Walking Dead (not gonna happen, I don’t do zombies).

 

photo163 691x600 Me Time and My TV Boyfriends

 

Now all you need is some sour cream and onion chips. For me, that means Herr’s and no substitutes. Not a chip person? I feel very badly for you, but this recipe for pizza popcorn might be up your alley. (Confession: I actually bought sour cream and onion seasoning from the bulk section of a local market to add to popcorn. Cass chose white cheddar seasoning. Don’t judge.)

Tell me your comfort shows, your TV boyfriends/girlfriends, and if applicable, the moment when Benedict Cumberbatch went from being an interesting actor to a panty-dropper of a heartthrob for you. I haven’t figured out my exact moment yet, but by golly I’ll keep watching these episodes of Sherlock until I do…