Adult Coloring: My New Way to Unplug, Disconnect and Destress!

Let’s be honest, how many hours a day do we stare at a computer screen, lap top, tablet or a cell phone?  We spend a lot of time on electronics, too much time!  I’m always looking for other ways to occupy myself.  If you know me even a little bit, you know I love working out, camping or backpacking because these are activities that not only help to keep me physically and mentally active, but they are great stress relievers. I recently discovered a new hobby that has stress relieving qualities and I don’t have to get off the couch.  (This is great for my inner couch potato!)

I’ve recently taken on Adult Coloring!  You read that right: Adult Coloring, like coloring books for adults.  It’s simply the art of coloring just like we used to do as children.  I first heard about adult coloring on the news, it’s en vogue right now! Then, it came across on my Facebook feed when a friend of mine posted about getting a new coloring book and colored pencils.  I later stumbled on the actual coloring books at Target while searching for a new novel.  I flipped through the pages and was mesmerized by the beautiful mandalas, animals, flowers and other intricate abstract or geometric designs.

For my daughter’s birthday, she received some of these coloring books as gifts, and my eyes lit up like a kid on Christmas Day.  Adult coloring books have become a thing!  They’re all the rage, and for good reason.  According to the authors of one of my coloring books, adult coloring is a therapeutic and meditative way to relieve stress.  I totally agree! Coloring has a calming effect, it helps me to unwind, relax, and focus on nothing but filling beautiful images on a page with colors.  The best part is that coloring is an activity for everyone, there is no right or wrong way to color, there’s no “I don’t know how!” about it, everyone can color, you don’t even have to stay in the lines.  Adult coloring is accessible to anyone, there are even coloring clubs out there for people who want to color and socialize.  (My daughter and I color almost every night, yay for mommy / daughter time!)

This leads me back to the question I asked at the beginning of this post: How  many times a day do we reach for our electronic devices to check social media or play a game?  Look around in traffic, in a store, at the gym, at the doctor’s office…how many people are constantly attached to their cell phones?  What I love most about my new hobby is that it has kept me from looking at electronic screens.   (I was waiting in the dentist’s office the other day and there were 5 people on cell phones while I happily colored!)  Coloring is great to pass the time on a rainy, lazy day!

If you’re looking for a new hobby, craving a creative outlet while relieving stress at the same time, definitely check out adult coloring books.  Here are some pictures of my new coloring books and some beautiful pictures I’ve colored:

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Most Annoying Things on Facebook

Oh Social Media!!  What did we ever do without the ability to share and overshare on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?  How did we ever keep up with all our friends, families, frenemies and all the trending topics of the world without the swipe and scroll of social media at our fingertips?

I love how Social Media has connected people around the world but there are certainly some Facebook Users, “friends” or posts that make us want to abandon social media all together.  Luckily, there are unfollow and hide buttons for that!  I read an article of the most annoying things on Facebook, I was surprised that I made this list more than once!  We all know them, we may even fall into these categories ourselves, we’re all guilty of commenting, posting or sharing something on social media that others may find annoying.  For this month’s Top Ten,  I’m writing about the Top Ten Most Annoying Things on Facebook, (I’m really just summarizing and paraphrasing the article I read, lol.)  Let’s laugh at ourselves a little bit!  I know I’ve done at least 3 or 4 of these things, how about you?

10. The Whiner / Complainer / Wanker – Oh woe is me!  Life is awful and every day is the worst day ever.  We all have a friend like this.  The one who can’t wait for Summer to arrive and when Summer comes, they complain about the air conditioning bill, but it’s way too hot to do anything outside.  These Debbie Downers just have a tendency to complain about everything and nothing can make them happy.  They may be on an amazing vacation, but they complain about it being the vacation from hell.  Sorry for the language but this E-card is hilarious and so applicable to our Debbie Downer friends, lol!

9.  “Everything is awesome!” Posts –  How is this annoying?  The only people that are annoyed by these types of posts are the Negative Nancies, see #1.  The complete opposite of the Debbie Downer posts are the “Everything is awesome” posts, these posts are about how fabulous peoples’ lives are.  I love these people, they’re my favorite friends.  Pictures of their cute kids on the first day of school (I do this every year!), flowers or gifts from their spouses “just because,” their homes look like they belong in the pages of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, they travel the world and have cool jobs, pretty much the best lives ever.  We’re all a little jealous of these friends, their theme song in life should be “All I do is win!”  If you have an amazing, awesome life, like oh…say, Tom Brady, more power to you!

8.  The Selfie Kings and Queens – I love a good selfie!  Who doesn’t appreciate a good picture of someone that they took themselves?  Come on, there’s a selfie for everyone!  The mirror selfie, #ootd selfie, the gym selfie, the sweaty selfie or #swelfie, there’s also the selfie with a popular landmark, the “I’m doing something cool” selfie, messy hair selfie, #iwokeuplikethis selfie!  The Selfie has become such a huge cultural phenomenon, they created selfie sticks!  Here are some funny selfies I found online:


7.  Speaking in Hashtags – Notice all the hashtags in #3?  Sometimes, all of those hashtags are in one post or selfie!  Which leads me to another annoying thing on FB, speaking in hashtag!  I’m guilty of adding a hashtag, or two, or three in a post, but some people write a whole paragraph of hashtags in one post! #ridic #cantherebeanymorehashtags

Watch this Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake skit on hashtags!  #hilarious #lol

6.  The Constant Commenter / Liker / Sharer – I totally do this!  I like to comment and like stuff, lots of stuff!  It’s how I socialize, isn’t this social media after all?  I’ve liked and commented on every first day of school picture in my newsfeed this school year (You don’t want to leave anyone out!)  Sometimes though, I’m embarrassed for the constant “commenter/liker/sharer” because the post wasn’t a good thing, like RIP (Insert name of dog or cat here) someone’s dog died, and you obviously shouldn’t “like” that.

5.  Political Rants – Of course these are annoying because if you’re a Democrat, you’re annoyed by the Republicans and vice versa.  If you’re neither Republican or Democrat, then you’re annoyed with both, and if you’re clueless, then you’re just annoying.  Maybe I’m not brave enough, but I just think there are some things I shouldn’t talk about on Facebook.  It’s like that unspoken rule, there are three things you shouldn’t talk about with friends: money, politics and religion. Don’t get me wrong, I love posts that are informative and enlightening but Debbie Downer political rants are kind of annoying.  But you know, whatever!  It’s a free country! Here are some funny E-cards about this very thing:

4.  Photo Overkill – Fitness before and after photos, cute kids and pets photos, vacation photos, food photos.  Photo overkill, we get it, you look fantastic, your kids and pets are cute, and you’re a gourmet chef too?  Photo overkill!  (Totally guilty again 🙂

3.  Cryptic Messages – You’ve seen these messages.  You know, the ones that have just a few words, vague words like “Devastated” or “Feeling depressed.”  Cryptic messages are annoying, I’m the most curious and nosiest person ever so I’d be one of the friends commenting to ask “WTH happened?  Are you okay?  Is there something I can do to help?  Pleeease tell me what that cryptic message means!!

2.  Excessive Tagging – Have you ever been tagged on a post, or a picture and you weren’t even there?  Like dude, I wasn’t even there!

1.  Game or Random Event Invites – Please don’t send me any more Candy Crush invites, thanks!

Getting invited to random events

Which of these do you think is most annoying?  Better yet…which of these do you do that may annoy your friends???

Tales of Marathons Past

I woke up with this reminder today:

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Nothing like nearing the end of a countdown to jolt me into intense training mode. The Pensacola Marathon is now just weeks away, I have been training, and I’ve realized a couple of things this time around that didn’t occur to me before.

First, I’m not as young as I once was.  I’m 36 years old, and I really feel like I’m in the best shape of my life both mentally and physically, but that doesn’t mean my body doesn’t feel its age.  There are just more aches and pains now than there were before: knee aches, foot problems, etc.  I can’t push myself or push through the pain like I used to for risk of injuring myself further.  It’s true we only live once, but that also means we only get one body and I want to preserve mine just as much as I want to take care of it.  Luckily, there’s comfort in knowing I can run 13.1 miles, I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  I may not be as good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was!

Second, humidity sucks!!  I’m not in Washington anymore.  Running in extreme heat is no fun, training in the humidity is worse.  88 degrees isn’t so bad right?  Think again, when 88 degrees actually feels like 98, then that’s different.  It’s normal to feel exhausted after a long run, but adding humidity takes dehydration and fatigue to a whole new level.  Exhaustion is magnified to the feeling of death in the form of a heat stroke!  I will have to keep this in mind when signing up for future races, so that the training is in the Fall with the race actually taking place in the beginning of the year for optimal conditions.

With the race being just a few weeks away, I can’t help but reminisce about previous half marathons to get into the racing spirit.  The Pensacola Half Marathon will be my fourth half marathon since I started running, that’s not very many so I still remember details of each race I ran.

The first time was special, and my favorite race.  In 2012, I signed up for the Bellingham Bay Half Marathon and ran with two good friends.  They had both ran half marathons before and probably could have left me in the dust, but we all ran together.  More women than men participated in this particular half marathon, there were thousands of participants for all the events, lots of people cheered on the runners, and the course took us through beautiful views of the San Juan Islands, North Cascade Mountains and Bellingham Bay.

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My second and third half marathons were in good ol’ Oak Harbor in Whidbey Island, Washington.  Runners from all over the Pacific Northwest come to Whidbey Island to run the Whidbey Island Marathon or Half Marathon event.  If it’s known for anything, it would be the magnificent Deception Pass Bridge, where the full marathon runners start the course.  (I have not run a full marathon but if I ever do, I’d want to run this one!)  Another thing this race is known for the hills!  Hills, hills, and more hills!

I’ve run the Whidbey Island Half marathon twice and each race was a different experience.  The first time I ran in in 2013, it rained for the first couple of hours, and it was cold!  Many locals who run this race year after year, said rain and cold is much better than the cold and wind they experienced in previous years.  The second time I ran in 2014 was probably the most fun I had at a half marathon, the weather was great, I incorporated boot camp style training in my work out which really helped me improve my time, I was 8  minutes faster!  I’m still really slow but to improve from my previous two races was gloriously gratifying!  Here are some pictures of the 2013 and 2014 Whidbey Island Half Marathon races:

  

There’s a saying that has circulated in the running or fitness community that goes something like “Don’t think about how far you have left to go, look at how far you’ve come!”  With a little over one month left before another half marathon, another race to earn a new race shirt and medal, it’s nice to look back and see where my running journey started for added motivation.  It still amazes me that race fever doesn’t ever subside. I feel as much excitement for this race that I did for my first, the fire for running still burns fiercely!

Have you run a marathon or half marathon?  Are you maybe training for a running event?  Share a memory of a time you’ve run a race!  🙂