Slice of Life: Cute Dogs, Healthy Food and “Rebel Makeup”

I’ve been reading lots of articles with blogging advice, and it seems I’ve read some advice against personal posts, but I enjoy reading other bloggers’ personal journal style posts and also vlogs of a similar format. I still plan to provide a variety of content, but you’ll have to let me know if you enjoy this type of post.

On Saturday, I went shopping at Ulta, the beauty supply store. It was my first time, since the pandemic started, shopping at any store other than a grocery store or pharmacy. I had run out of eye makeup and was looking for the same products I bought the last time. Earlier, I had purchased a Smashbox set of three eye colors. I couldn’t find the same product and, even looking over all the brands, I couldn’t seem to find a set that wasn’t basically all earth tones. I like a little bit of color, nothing berserk, but a little bit of lavender or green, to go with hazel eyes.

What I ended up buying will sound berserk, because I bought a larger set of eight colors all with rebellious names. The set is called “Punked” and the colors have names like Headliner, Anarkissed, Soft Punch, Destroyer, Punked, Studded, Riot Girl and Combat Boots. It was the only set I found that was close to the colors I wanted, but I don’t think it looks nearly as rebellious as it sounds.

Does this look rebellious to you?

And here I am, wearing a combination of Soft Punch, Destroyer and Combat Boots. Am I a rebel girl or what? It amuses me that I wore such innocent looking colors with such crazy names, but on a more serious note, at a time where there has been quite a bit of rioting and possibly anarchists, I have to wonder why the company would market their products this way.

This morning, I accompanied Dad to his doctor’s appointment at the Rutgers University Hospital in Newark. He and I both suffered bites from a dog in mid-August. Dad’s injury was much worse, and he had two surgeries, one to close up the wound on his hand with artificial skin and, later, a skin graft. This was a follow-up appointment with his surgeon.

University Hospital

We’ve been using Uber to get back and forth to appointments, mostly because I’m not comfortable driving to the city. Today, we had a driver, Bennie, who was fantastic. He waited for us to buckle up and said he would go when we were ready. He asked us if the temperature was right and if we had enough leg room. This is now my ninth Uber ride, and no other driver has been this courteous or asked us these questions. He was also genuinely warm and interested in us. When Bennie chuckled after Dad said he couldn’t find the buckle, I knew we had a different sort of driver.

He complimented us on our garden, and this prompted a discussion between him and Dad on gardening and other subjects that lasted the whole ride.

Our fence garden

I gave Bennie five stars on Uber and a compliment, but later, when I tried to give him a tip through the app, found I couldn’t do it. Sorry Bennie! Maybe, the compliment and tip had to be done in a certain order, but I hope the compliment benefits him in his driving business.

Dad in the waiting room

I meant to bring both a physical book and a Kindle with me to entertain me in the waiting room, but I left in such a hurry that I brought neither. So, I spent my waiting room time on Pinterest on my phone, pinning photos to my Flowers, Beautiful Places, Nature, Butterflies, Animals, Fashion History, Healthy Recipes and Transportation boards. Transportation is my board for anything transportation-related that is not a car, although it may include a few cars that are quirky like amphibious cars or bubble cars or Isettas. This was an interesting Transportation pin today.

Photo found on Pinterest, from Imgur

This mom found an interesting way to transport three kids. I suppose it isn’t technically a bicycle, but what is it? A quadricycle?

On Pinterest, I also found a recipe for lunch, a salad with cucumber, radishes, scallions and cottage cheese. We already had the radishes and scallions from our CSA and just needed the cucumber and cottage cheese.

Before we left the hospital, Dad, unfortunately, showed me a photo of his unbandaged hand which, instead of looking pink and flesh-like as he described, had quite a bit of black scab. I wasn’t ready to see that.

We headed home and, after texting some doggy care clients and taking some garden photos, it was time to head over to walk my little Maltese friend, Janie.

Janie

Janie likes to greet me by turning herself in excited little circles when I come in. I then lift her up, and she will proceed to kiss and kiss my face. I like exuberant doggy affection, but I don’t really like to be licked on my nose and mouth area, but now that I’m wearing a mask in her building, this area is covered.

Though Janie is tiny and has tiny little legs, she’s an energetic walker and our route is just a little short of a mile. We always walk past a pretty gazebo and fountain in her gated community.

We then loop around the community center in my town. We come down a hill past a football field. Lately, there are children playing on the field when we walk past, and Janie always wants to pull towards the field to meet some kids. But today, as we had a different schedule, we didn’t see any.

We then circle around past the police station, fire house and Department of Public Works and then up the hill and back into her gated community. I only brought one bag with me, and Janie did a second poo right in front of the police station. I thought I’d best do my civic duty right within sight of the police station and found a pile of takeout napkins in my purse for the cleanup. At least, a tiny dog has tiny poos.

Janie back home again

On my way home from walking Janie, I stopped at the store for the cucumber and cottage cheese and also bought some kosher salt and apple cider.

I passed through these floral and gift sections on the way to the produce.

I’m liking orchids more and more.

Warmies

I like the hamster. These stuffed animals are called Warmies and are microwaveable. I’m not sure if they are for sick kids or chilly kids, but they are, evidently, made for some extra comfort. I think even adults would like this, if they could get by without looking or feeling too foolish.

Even though I pinned the lunch recipe, it was simple enough that I didn’t consult it later. I just made my own version of it. I sliced one cucumber, four large radishes and one large scallion and combined with the whole container of low fat cottage cheese and plenty of salt and pepper. It was pretty tasty and healthy too.

Radish and cucumber salad

We watched an episode of Food Network’s Chopped with a healthy eating theme while we ate our lunch. After lunch, I cleaned up, loaded the dishwasher and helped Mom get several new westerns on her Kindle. She’s been reading all sorts of westerns lately, sometimes nonfiction like a book about Dodge City written by someone who lived there in its Wild West days.

For the rest of the afternoon, I studied to prepare myself for launching a business in SAT tutoring for the verbal section. I have this pile of material to look through.

After this, it was time to prepare dinner. We got some very curious string beans from the farm through our CSA. I’ve never seen, cooked or eaten beans that looked like this before.

They are flat, somewhat white and streaked with purple. The information from the farm didn’t identify them as anything other than string beans, but information on a future delivery listed “dragon’s tongue beans.” When I did a Google image search for dragon’s tongue beans, it matched what we have. They look exotic enough to be dragon’s tongues but taste similar to green beans. I snapped these and steamed them.

I also roasted an acorn squash (in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes) which we had with some Smart Balance spread, brown sugar or Splenda and cinnamon. Our protein was grilled chicken breast with Stubb’s Barbecue Rub. Lately, also, I’m enjoying some Bubly sparkling water.

We watched an episode of the Netflix series Virgin River during dinner. It’s a drama featuring a nurse and midwife who moves from L.A. to a rural small town in California. There is all sorts of drama, multiple story lines, and each episode ends with some sort of cliffhanger. We are enjoying it so far.

And that was my day … until now. What was most interesting? Would you eat a dragon’s tongue bean?

Yes.Fit Virtual Walk Review

So, I finished my first virtual walk with Yes.Fit, a 20.8 mile Sleeping Beauty-themed walk. I first got acquainted with Yes.Fit through a Facebook ad and decided to check it out. I was already walking dogs for business and trying to get fit and lose weight.

With Yes.Fit, you choose a themed walk, pick the prizes you want to earn, pay and then start tracking your miles. Prizes can be T-shirts or medals or sometimes other items like fabric bracelets. You can choose one or more than one prize, and additional prizes are discounted a little bit.

You don’t need to do all of the miles at once but little by little, and any way you do your miles counts whether it is by running, walking, biking or swimming. You can sync a fitness tracker to your Yes.Fit account, but I tracked my miles with the Map My Walk app on my phone and logged my miles manually.

As I tracked my miles, I could see my progress on the virtual walk via Google Maps, a route in the Loire Valley of France in the vicinity of the “Sleeping Beauty” castle, Le Chateau D’Usse.

Le Chateau D’Usse, Photo found on Pinterest

At the 6, 12 and 18 mile marks, I passed mile markers. This is a little extra incentive or fun. In this particular walk, these mile markers were links to three different sites. Two of these were articles about “Sleeping Beauty.” One compared the Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault versions of the story. The other, a Wikipedia article, summarized the two versions and also listed all of the different ways “Sleeping Beauty” has been portrayed in different art forms. A third was a link to the official Chateau D’Usse site which showed photos of the exterior and interior of the castle and also shared the “Sleeping Beauty” story. I really liked that there was something for the mind and something for the body in this experience.

This is one of my four-legged walking companions, Janie, the Maltese.

Janie the Maltese

Here are some scenes along our actual, not virtual, walks. I don’t have a lot of photos, because it’s hard to manage a phone, a leash and poo bags.

I was attracted to the Sleeping Beauty walk, at first, partly by the pretty medal. Then, I thought I would be practical and get the T-shirt instead. In the end, I got both.

It is a particularly nice one, with doors that swing open to reveal the sleeping princess.

Even the ribbon on which it hangs is pretty, with a subtle image of Sleeping Beauty there too.

Right now, I am signed up for two more fairy tale themed walks, Mermaid in Denmark and Peter and Wendy. The Mermaid in Denmark walk is in Copenhagen — virtually, of course — and should pass by the mermaid statue in tribute to Hans Christian Andersen, the writer of “The Little Mermaid.” The Peter and Wendy walk is in London and, I expect, should pass by the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens.

Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, Photo from Roadaffair.com
Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, Photo from RoyalGardens.com

I’m not sure if I will continue to collect medals. I still feel that the T-shirts are more practical. Many in the Yes.Fit Facebook group do share clever ways they have of displaying their medals. I have found the group to be very friendly and supportive.

There are many other choices of themed walks, and they are not all fairy tale themed. There are a few other literary themed walks such as Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur and Dr. Doolittle. There are animal themed walks like Elephants in Thailand and Sea Turtles. Proceeds from some of these go to help endangered animals. There are others that are more travel/landmark themed or history themed or themed on cryptozoological creatures such as Nessie, Yeti and the unicorn. Apparently, there were some art history ones, which I would have loved, but they are discontinued. There are so many to choose from, and most of these interest me on some level.

What do you think? Would a virtual walk like this be motivational to your fitness goals?