Continuing to Shake It Up on Thursdays

Two Thursdays ago I decided to do something different — at our morning meeting I announced that Karla and I are collecting winter coats to donate to the men’s homeless shelter. Even though this is not a work-related activity, I decided that it was fine to talk about it in our morning meeting. Not too much else was different last Thursday, although I did have a very different soup the night before when out with friends — sort of a pre-Shake It Up meal.

So what happened as a result of the winter coat announcement? This past week someone at work brought in two winter coats for us to donate. The beauty of Shake It Up Thursday is that it has a positive impact on others, which makes me very happy.

And this past Thursday? I decided that I would be in charge of dinner. Those of you who know me well are aware that I don’t really do much cooking. At this point some people might say “much? are you joking?” So what did I do? I took my husband out for dinner!!


Dinner at Lao Laan-Xang. Yum!



Shaking It Up — being outside of the routine

Sometimes you just by definition shake things up. We spent time with some of our very dear college friends a couple of weeks ago. We rented a house on Cape Cod, and spent a week sightseeing, talking, walking along beaches, talking, eating, talking… you get the idea. So that Thursday everything that I did was pretty much out of my routine. One of the favorite parts of that day was taking a tour of the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory — how cool is that!


Yummy potato chips!



Shake It Up – Donate Winter Coats

I was trying to figure out what to do to shake things up last week, and I really could not come up with anything. I realized that I have been doing this for about a year and a half, even though I have only been posting since this past December.

So as I was eating with my lunch buddies last week, I was talking about my dilemma about trying to do things that are really more important. We started talking about what to do for those who are homeless, and are in need of shelter and clothing. Karla, one of my lunch buddies, started talking about collecting winter coats for those in need, and I asked her if it was ok if we did this together — We could come up with a meaningful and useful project, talk about it on this blog, and perhaps get others to do the same or come up with their own idea to do.

I am reaching out to a few organizations about donating winter coats, and I have been told  by one that they would, of course, be happy to accept coats that have been laundered and have no rips, stains, or tears, and have zippers in good working condition. Shelters really do not have the ability to get the coats cleaned, so that would have to be done ahead of time.

Karla is able to store winter coats in her basement, so we are happy to collect them for donation.

We don’t know yet how much impact we will have, but we do know that we are looking forward to it.



We want coats!



It’s the little things…..


It’s the little things that make a difference….

I decided this week that I was not going to focus on anything big, but instead just think about the small things that are very routine. I realized yesterday that because I always wear my watch on the same wrist that it impacts my posture. Seems crazy, but it impacts how I hold my hands together, thereby impacting how I hold my shoulders and my head. So as silly as it sounds, I decided to switch my watch to the other arm. And voila — it made a difference in my posture. Go figure.


These are all cuter than my watch.

I also decided once again to dress differently at work, so I have worn a skirt every day this week. I am not quite in the same rut during the summer as I am during the winter (think Eddie Bauer waffle shirt with a fleece vest), but it is still nice to make a change from the khaki pants summer routine.


An adorable paisley skirt (not mine).

Have a nice week!




Shaking It Up? Sometimes you will miss a few weeks….


Shake It Up — sometimes it is harder than one might think if there is too much emotionally going on. Very dear friends lost their son a couple of weeks ago, and life has really revolved around them, as it should. So it has been tough to think about something seemingly trivial as a blog about how to shake up a routine.

So what did I do this past Thursday? Just tried to keep things lighthearted, tell a few jokes (some were better than others), be kind, and appreciate life and everyone who is put in our path.


Shaking It Up in DC

I had a hard time figuring out what to do to shake things up this Thursday. I did park in a different spot at the grocery store in the morning, but that was pretty much the extent of it. I think that after being in DC for 4 days, I was ok with getting back into my usual routine. If you shake things up too much, you might forget who you are!     🙂

There was plenty of shaking up in DC — I did several things I had never done before. I had grasshopper tacos (yes, with real grasshoppers!), seeing an exhibit at one of the Smithsonians I had never been to before, going to a fiber art exhibit at George Washington University, eating vegan BBQ wings,  attending the First Annual Arbor Day Festival at the National Arboretum, and staying at an AirB&B.

So it was great to Shake It Up in DC, but I was also ok with being back in my usual routine on this particular Thursday.












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Shaking Up the Food

I thought I would have a not-very-exciting Shake It Up day, but boy, was I wrong. I originally thought that it would suffice to wear a new pair of pants that I finished sewing yesterday, and I was ok with that. So when I was getting ready in the morning to make the same breakfast that I eat almost daily — oatmeal and 2 poached eggs — I was trying to decide if I was going to add my black and red pepper or my cinnamon — I decided that I really didn’t want to have the same breakfast this morning. For me that is a big deal.

So when I went to the grocery store this morning on my way into work I decided that I would get something different to eat for breakfast, and it just took off from there…….

I ended up deciding that everything I would eat today would be different from my usual. What did I learn? It is really tough. More challenging than I thought. You might think what is the big deal, but think about how many things that you eat or drink just as a routine — such as coffee with whatever you put in it, or whatever kind of tea you drink.

Here is how it went:

I stop at the grocery store in the morning to get my coffee or tea, my lunch, and fruit for a snack. Instead of my English Breakfast tea (my current favorite) with soy milk, I decided that I would have coffee with soy cream. Not a big change there, so I decided instead that I would get a different kind of tea from the drink bar with soy cream. But no, I realized that the creamer was too similar to what I would usually have, so I put in honey instead. Wow — honey — now that is something that I haven’t done in ages. And it was delicious….


How to start the day happy.



Then breakfast turned out to be a protein shake — something I would rarely get. And here is the funny part — when I getting ready to drink it, I looked at the label on the back, and what did it say? “Shake It Up!!” How amazing is that! If they only knew….


Shake It Up!!



I almost always get a salad for lunch, and not surprisingly I almost always put exactly the same vegetables on it — I will spare you the details, but I can tell you that it always has one of two kinds of tofu. So today I made a conscious choice to get totally different ingredients. Not a single vegetable was the same. I did put tofu on, but it was a different kind. (My friends that I eat lunch with said that doesn’t really count as different, but there is only so far I am willing to change….).

My afternoon snack (yes, I pretty much always have one) was watermelon instead of berries.




The challenge was going to be dinner. How can you have something different when everything that you have in the fridge or freezer is something that you put there? Almost by definition you only have foods that you generally eat. My lunch friends tried to come up with suggestions, but it was hard to come up with anything. When I got home I found a unopened package of veggie burgers that we bought at Costco, which I had not yet tried, so I figured that would work. I had a grapefruit in the fridge that had been there awhile, so I figured that would also work. And I rounded out dinner with a tasting of various chocolates — the 60% bittersweet Ghiardelli baking chocolate won by the way.


How to end the day happy.


So it actually took a good amount of thought to come up with totally different foods for a day, but it was enjoyable and all around delicious.

It will be interesting to see what I have for breakfast tomorrow……




Shaking It Up from the Bottom Up – Part 2

Here is what I learned — there are apparently lots of people interested in feet! I think I got more comments on my last post than any other topic. People seem to have strong opinions about wearing shoes vs going barefoot. The barefoot folks really love being barefoot. So I spent a lot more time barefoot this past week, and here is what I learned — my back and shoulders and neck all feel better –WOW. I received my stretching videos and did some that are on Youtube, and did those all barefoot. My feet have been cold, but I am pretty much ok with that. I went so far as to try Tuesday night going to sleep without socks, but that did not work out very well. I figured that I would practice so that I could make it through the night Wednesday, and then I would have my Shake It Up topic for Thursday, but oh well. I think I will try again tonight, since I do not have to work tomorrow.

So the bottom line (no pun intended) is that shaking it can be something big or small. But for me this is big. Not being barefoot is totally ingrained in who I am — it is like the heart and sole — oh I mean soul– of me. (That is a huge exaggeration, but I could not resist the pun.)

Continue to try to shake things up, and challenge how you generally do things. I think it is good for the mind, and may also benefit the body.




Shaking It Up from the Bottom Up

I know that I haven’t posted in the past couple of weeks. I wasn’t sure if anyone would really miss the post, but it seems like there were a few out there who was wondering what happened to me. Anyway, the past 2 weeks I did things to shake it up, but didn’t really find the time to write the blog post. If I remember correctly, those 2 weeks I shook things up by wearing an item of clothing that I had made. I guess I figured that wasn’t all that newsworthy and not necessarily enough of a big deal to post. Anyway, if I keep wearing things that I make, that is no longer shaking things up.

Anyway, yesterday I did do something different. Over the weekend I was watching a video during the PBS fundraising drive on stretching, body pains, etc. etc. I liked it so much that I decided to contribute to PBS again and get the videos.The woman who does the videos is pretty interesting. She talks about stretching and utilizing all of our muscles. Did you know there are 620-ish different muscles in our body? That would be a lot of stretching…… One thing that she talked about is stretching out the muscles in our feet, which you can really do only if you are barefoot.

I don’t know about you, but I am very seldom barefoot. I seem to always be wearing shoes. I wear shower shoes If I am not wearing shoes, then I am at least wearing socks. But since I have been watching her videos online until my PBS videos arrive, I have been making a conscious effort to be barefoot. It definitely takes getting used to — the floor is cold which makes my feet cold.  And boy, the basement floor is REALLY cold.

But what I do know is that it does seem to help keep my whole body stretched out and more balanced. Who knows, maybe I will even get a pair of those crazy toe shoes.






Shaking It Up by Returning to the Routine

As many of you know, we have a puppy. We don’t have a little puppy — we have a big puppy. Sunny, our yellow lab, is now 8 months old. As much as I enjoy having him, and don’t get me wrong — I am glad that we have him — he is very time consuming.



He likes to eat socks, which if you know me and my children really well, you may know that we have a history of leaving socks around the house. So I am now much better about my sock habit, but he still finds other things to eat — like paper and cardboard and bay leaves. Go figure. Since we have had Sunny, I have not been able to spend as much time sewing, which is what I really enjoy doing in my non-work time.

So for Shake It Up Thursday, I decided that what I needed to do is to get back into my usual routine, and spend the evening sewing. I made sure the dog was well occupied, and I was able to sit and sew — what a nice evening.


My sewing room

It turns out that what I needed to do to shake things up was to find my way back to my usual routine.