When Running Was for Weirdos [Video]

Over the last couple years, I’ve gotten into running partly from my desire to get fit but also because races are actually pretty fun! So far, I’ve completed two half marathons (currently training for my third), one 15k, five 10ks, and numerous 5ks. Running is so popular nowadays that it’s hard to imagine that it wasn’t too long ago when people would have thought you were weird if you liked to run for exercise, let alone enjoyment. That’s why I thought this video from Vox was an eye-opener, and it made me appreciate those who dared to stap on their sneakers and leave the haters in their dust. Check it out!

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Join GHNI at “Orlando Magic Brings Hope” Event

If you’re a Magic (or Bulls) fan, “Orlando Magic Brings Hope” is just the event for you.  I volunteer at this great organization called Global Hope Network International (GHNI) that helps rural villages in Africa, Middle East, and Asia break the perpetual cycle of poverty. How they do this is through Transformational Community Development© which focuses on five key areas to help a village transform itself out of severe poverty: clean water, agriculture, wellness, education, and income generation.

On March 26th, GHNI will be hosting an event at the Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls game at the Amway Arena in Downtown Orlando. By purchasing your ticket through GHNI, you will get early admission, a family-friendly pre-game dinner with guest, Bo Outlaw, meet former Magic players along with an incredible silent auction. Hope we see you there!

To buy tickets: http://www.globalhopenetwork.org/us/

orlando-magic-brings-hope-2016

Photos of Glass Animals at the Beacham

Earlier this month, I went to see the Glass Animals perform at The Beacham, a music venue and club in downtown Orlando. If you’ve never heard of the Glass Animals, seriously stop reading this and go check them out on YouTube. I’ll be here waiting….

Welcome back! They’re pretty awesome, right?

Seeing them perform live was really fun, and the experience was made even better because I got to check out The Beacham which I’ve been wanting to do since I moved in Orlando in 2012. I’ve only been inside once or twice when it’s a club so I felt like I haven’t really seen what it’s like as a music venue.

I was a little hesitant about how The Beacham would be after reading mixed reviews on Yelp, Facebook, and Google, but I ended up liking it and would go back again for future concerts. It was the perfect size for this type of concert and the light show was just right for the music. Besides a couple squeaks on the speakers, the acoustics were otherwise pretty good IMHO.

Here are some of my favorite photos from the Glass Animals concert on Dec. 7, 2015 that I took on my Galaxy s6. My favorite thing about the show (besides the band) were the pretty lights 🙂

20151207_205425[1]glass-animals-beach-1glass-animals-beachglass-animals-beach-2glass-animals-beach-4glass-animals-beach-5glass-animals-beach-3glass-animals-beach-6

Google’s Santa Tracker is Back!

Move aside Christmas decorations and holiday music, you’ve got some Christmas spirit competition. Today, Google released its 2015 Santa Tracker, and my coworkers and I are having way to much fun with it considering we’re all adults. Looks like they’ve added a bunch of new stuff which should keep us all at the office busy until Santa comes 🙂

Screenshot of Google's Santa Tracker 2015

Support “Lotia” – an RPG Indie Game by Crayon Ponyfish

It takes courage to go after your dream – even more so when you have a full-time job, spouse and kids. Recently, my brother-in-law John-David and his friends (aka Crayon Ponyfish) launched their indie game on Kickstarter and they’re 90% to their goal. It’s been amazing to see how far they’ve come and all their hard work come to fruition despite all the odds. They still have quite a ways to go but any donation you can give, whether a $1 or $50, would be a blessing. Check out their Kickstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/crayonponyfish/lotia

Pinterest Recipe Win: Crostinis with Proscuitto, Goat Cheese and Fig Jam

I loooove Pinterest, in particular, the food recipes I find on there. It’s so easy to find a variety of recipes that a enthusiastic but amateur chef like myself can make to impress friends and family in all it’s yummy gloriousness. Just last month, I found this little gem when I was searching for an easy “summery” appetizer to bring to my sister’s 4th of July party. I was a little nervous making these for the first time on the day of the party but it turned out to be a hit! I had at least 4 people ask me how to make it, one of whom was my brother-in-law’s mother who is seriously like a more fabulous version of Martha Stewart. (I even did a mental touchdown dance when she told me how delicious they were.)

The original recipe I used: http://theitaliandishblog.com/imported-20090913150324/2010/4/20/crostini-with-prosciutto-goat-cheese-and-fig-jam.html

The Result:

I ended up making more than what the original recipe said it would make because six crostinis for a party wasn’t going to cut it. Halfway through the party, this platter was empty. I would call this recipe a resounding success!

crostinis-appetizer

Crostinis with Proscuitto, Goat Cheese and Fig Jam

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh baguette
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • sea salt or kosher salt
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, plain, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons fig jam
  • 3 slices prosciutto, each cut in half
  • 6 fresh basil leaves

The baguette I bought from Publix bakery was able to make about 40 crostinis. I decided to get two 4-ounce Publix goat cheese and bought half a pound of Boar’s Head proscuitto from the deli. I also used Rutherford & Meyer fig paste since it was already by the cheeses.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.

Slice 1/2-inch slices of bread from the baguette in slight diagonals.  Place slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil, then sprinkle a bit of salt over them.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until crisp and slightly golden.  Keep a good eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.  Once done, remove from oven and allow them to cool.

Spread some goat cheese on each crostini and about a half tablespoon of fig jam on top of the goat cheese. I’m of the opinion that there’s no such thing as too much cheese 🙂 Tear the prosciutto slices into half pieces, then fold the slices and place on top of each crostini.  After that, lay a fresh basil leaf on each and enjoy the deliciousness.

Reaching For More – the Good and the Bad

Wealth isn’t everything, but as a friend of mine once said, “I would rather cry in a mansion than in an apartment.” For anyone who has been on the Ramen noodle diet or prayed that they don’t overdraft on their debit card while waiting in the check out aisle, you know that worrying about money genuinely sucks. Fortunately, my college days are behind me and I have a job that allows me to live comfortably. But in this day in age, it seems like most people want more (I’m certainly guilty of it).  That’s why when I see online articles about how to be more successful, healthy, attractive, wealthy…I kind of get mixed emotions.

Recently, I came across this infographic about the habits of wealthy people. It has some useful, worthwhile advice but I couldn’t help but feel like it shamed the rest of us who can’t pick up these habits and practices because we’re too busy struggling to make ends meet. I know this infographic is meant to be motivational, even inspirational, but it comes off to me a little condescending with an “us” versus “them” mentality.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for improving one’s own life – but only if that’s what you truly want, and not what you think you should do, have or be like. With so many different types of social networks we have at our fingertips (literally thanks to smartphones), it’s inevitable that we compare ourselves to our family, friends, coworkers, even strangers. Sometimes that comparison makes us feel bad about our lives and sometimes it can make us feel better because we can say, “At least I have a better job,” or “Thank God I’m not that fat.” But at the end of the day, are we happy?

I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t let comparison steal away your joy. You’re always going to be ahead or behind than someone else. So the next time you read a story about how this person has achieved something you want or an article that neatly outlines the steps to success, take it for face value. Use the advice for the sake of making yourself a better person and your life more meaningful, not just because you want to look a certain way to others or feel like you need to meet certain expectations to be “successful.”

Richest People
Source: Business-Management-Degree.net