One of my husbands charms is that if it’s my birthday, or a holiday, or some other gift-giving event, he’ll sneak in a surprise present – a little something extra that wasn’t on my list that he thought of completely on his own. For example, one year he gave me a handheld Ms. Pac-Man game because he knew I used to love Ms. Pac-Man s a kid (one time we came across the video machine in a restaurant, and I went nuts, challenging my husband to round after round until I had blisters).
So this year – after reading and observing me write the Wasa blog, and noticing my developing interest in cooking – he gave me an herb garden. Well, sort of. We don’t have real garden space in our city place, so he gave me a kit that you can assemble right on your countertop.
My mom and I put together this afternoon.
We snapped a light onto the “garden” and popped in the seed pods.
“Can it really be this easy?” I said.
We added some water, feed it some nutrients, and left it to grow.
It takes about five weeks until the herbs will be ready for harvesting.
First recipe? I’m thinking a garden herb omelet.
There are a lot of people who exercise to make themselves fit and healthy. They go to gyms, do treadmills, jog, bike, swim, and many more. The problem with these exercises is that they become very monotonous, especially when you do them several times a week. The truth is there are other exercises where you can do cardio without actually being bored doing it – dancing. Well, it may sound funny at first but dancing can actually be a strenuous activity which is perfect for those who are looking for a challenging and very exciting form of exercise. The best part of it all is that you not only learn new moves, but that you do not keep on repeating the same steps over and over wherein the overall exercise is pure and simple repetition of itself.
Do not let dancing fool you because even if you think you are fit from all that jogging and running, try doing some fast and rigorous dance routine and you will be sweating bullets in under an hour. Or you can try some simple graceful moves that can test the overall flexibility of your joints and ligaments.
If you try to look at people who do dancing for a living, you will notice just how lean their physiques are yet strong and capable enough to lift their dance partners. In short, dancing can actually help you build a strong and healthy body. Here are just some of the few benefits of dancing:
Cardio – dancing is all about constant movement and this can help you give your cardio some workout. Once you become more skilled and develop better stamina for dancing, your endurance also increases which means you can practice doing certain dance moves for hours on end. In essence, this not only gives you a cardio workout, but it also develops your stamina and endurance.
Strength – aside from cardio, dancing also has some elements which helps make you stronger. For example, when you do dips and certain weight bearing towards your legs, hips and thighs, you inevitably build your base muscles that help strengthen your balance. Additionally, the rhythmic movements with different sway patterns help in developing your center of gravity.
Weight Loss – dancing is not as easy as it looks and it can wear down your muscles easily and can make you sweat heavily, especially when you are not used to moving your whole body or nearly all your muscles together. Through dance movements, you burn a lot of calories which can certainly make anyone lose weight. This is the very reason why dancers are usually slim.
Flexibility – part of dancing is bending, twisting, and moving your body at angles you do not usually do. Such movements actually help you in developing your flexibility. Additionally, doing some stretching prior to dancing is also necessary in order to avoid any injuries caused by sprains or torn ligaments. Dancing is very tough on muscles, tendons, and ligaments if you do it without practice and stretching. Additionally, practicing dancing more and more can help you to become more flexible.
I’m trying to talk my parents and in-laws into coming to our place for Thanksgiving.
Ever since leaving for college at age 18, I’ve traveled over the holidays.
My hubby and I are moving in early November, and we’ll hopefully be settled into our new place by Turkey Day. I’d hate to move in and then turn around and leave right away. Plus, it sounds fun to host the holidays. Of course, I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving dinner before, but a minor detail, right? I can figure it out.
One year I asked my mom if she’d teach me to cook the turkey. I arrived at her house ready to tackle the bird and learn how to make stuffing. My grandmother was visiting too. The two of them have been taking on Thanksgiving together forever, and despite my good intentions, everyone fell into their normal roles that year. My brother helped mash the potatoes, my dad prepared to carve, I found myself setting the table, pouring the wine, and arranging the relish tray. My mom and grandmother had their own rhythm and didn’t need anyone – including me – butting in. Or maybe I simply got distracted watching whatever movies my brother had rented from the video store. Either way, I never learned how to bake a turkey. (Actually, bake or roast?)
This year will be different. My grandmother no longer travels. One of my brothers is married and will be away. I’ve pegged the local, sustainable farm where I plan to purchase Mr. Tom. (For any vegetarians, here are some recipes I stumbled across on GentleThanksgiving.org).
My parents jumped on the chance to come to my place for a change. I hope my in-laws do too.
Times are changing. Times are changing.
Part of me is nervous about altering the rhythm of our holiday, but I’m excited too.
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