Tag Archives: flowers

On Top of the World

In case you haven’t heard, it’s Earth Week!  This week (really April 17th – 22nd) is a chance to not just learn more about environmental impacts that you incur on the environment every day, but also to make some changes to make your life better, and hopefully the planet a little better.

I’ve loved this holiday week since elementary school.  Yes, it may be weird, but Earth Day was always one of my favorites!  The highlight of Earth Day came in P.E. class each year.  My school had these huge inflatable Earth balls (and oddly are available for sale on Ebay!).  I would run, jump, and roll onto the top, trying not to fall off as my teachers kept the ball rolling.  As corny as it sounds, I really was on top of the world then, and it was a great feeling. 

Well, I do not get a free Earth Week to just play outside with huge balloons anymore, but I still find ways to celebrate the planet each April.  If you’re looking for a way to make a difference this Earth Week, just make a pledge or attend a local event.  You’ll help raise awareness and probably learn some new things, too.

Another option — just take a walk and marvel at what Mother Nature has to offer.  I went for a walk this evening in the Sarah P. Duke Gardens on campus.  These gardens are one of my very favorite places to visit at Duke, and are absolutely gorgeous this time of year.  Spring is definitely their time to shine. 

Enjoy the pictures!  I was amazed by many of the plants and flowers I saw, and just being able to see, smell, and take photos of them made me feel like I was on top of the world again.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 

– Native American Proverb

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Filed under Holidays, Sites to See, Uncategorized

How is it already April?

The first four days of April have just about passed, and I’m still in disbelief that we’re already in the fourth month of the year!  Maybe it would help if I changed my calendar from March to the proper month.

The past four days have been very unique — I’ve gone from temperatures in the 30s and scraping ice off my car to spending my Sunday outside hiking and touring a local vineyard in 80+ degree weather.  I love the extreme weather changes that come with spring in the Carolinas.  (Not really).  But at least it’s pretty.

Highlights from the past week:

1.  I hosted 220 business school students and Special Olympics athletes for a nice dinner and drinks event on Saturday night.  Very fun and something new as I’ve never spent any time with Special Olympians.


2.  Yesterday morning as I opened my door to get the Sunday paper, I knew that I had to spend the day outside.  It was warm, sunny, breezy, and flowers were blooming everywhere.  So I decided to treat myself to an omelette at a local German cafe and bakery called Guglhupf, and then make a trek out Lake Jordan and discover some new hiking trails.  I got a little lost, but it was such a beautiful day to climb some rolling hills right along the water. 

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3.  Today hit the 80-degree mark.  83 to be exact.  That’s the highest the temperature has been so far this year.  Now if it wouldn’t go any higher in the next couple months… 🙂

Enjoy the rest of your Monday, and get outside!


Filed under Exercise, Sites to See, Work

Superhero’s Smoothie

It’s been a rough week in the world.  The type of week that makes me wish there were real live superheroes to come save our planet and people when we need it most.
Captain Planet…can you head to Japan for a bit?


Instead of just focusing on how horrible everything is in Japan, I think it’s also a good time to sit back and think about why you should be happy today.  Here’s my reasons for why I’m smiling this week…

  • RemixYourHealth has an AWESOME March Madness-themed food bracket:  The Belly Buster!  It’s interactive, gives you info you probably didn’t know about your favorite fruits and vegetables, and also provides links to easy recipes.  Just click the link to the bracket (or go to www.remixyourhealth.com) and cast your votes for the produce you think will win.  Very fun.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say Team Spinach all the way!
  • I’m attending a training class this week that focuses on growing leadership skills and learning how to leverage them for the better in your work and personal life.  It’s always fun to meet new people, learn new skills, and get out of “the office” for a while (a.k.a.– the dining room).
  • Flowers, flowers, everywhere.

  • Warmer weather means smoothie time!  My blender has received some quality attention from me lately, and last week I remembered that I used to live with a superhero…  

I worked in Vegas for a summer and during that time lived with a roommate who had a three-year-old son and six-year-old daughter.  These two were quite entertaining, particularly the little boy who tried to convince me that his name was Batman Spiderman and that he could fly and scale walls.  I successfully assisted his mom on multiple occassions in talking him down from bookcases and fireplace mantles that he had climbed atop of, ready to take flight into Gotham City.  One of my tricks that worked like a charm?  This smoothie.

The picture and ingredient list may throw some of you off, but I dare you to try it.  I don’t think I’ve steered you wrong yet with a recipe, so just trust me on this.  And if a three-year-old asks for seconds, I’m hoping you will, too.

Superhero’s Smoothie
Serves 2 

1 frozen or fresh banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup fresh spinach leaves (if using frozen, you’ll need ½ to ¾ cup)
½ of a ripe, small avocado
1 cup skim milk of choice
¼ to ½ cup water
10 or so ice cubes
sweetener of choice (such as 1 tsp. sugar or ¼ tsp. vanilla extract)


Place first 5 ingredients in a blender and blend on low until smooth (depends on your blender speed, but about 30 to 45 seconds).  Add in ice cubes, water, and sweetener if desired, and blend on high for about 45 seconds.  Once blended to a smooth consistency, split into two glasses and enjoy!


If after consuming you feel the need to climb walls or jump from tall objects, please refrain from acting on your impulses. 

And in case you want to be a superhero to someone else, here’s a list of charities you can donate to in order to help those in Japan.

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Filed under Recipes, Soapbox, Work