April 30, 2012

Finally Making Progress

Slooooooowly but surely we're making progress settling into our new apartment.  Over the past few weekends we've been serious about attacking our to-do list.  We're definitely walking this race as opposed to running it, but nevertheless we are moving forward in the right direction.  Want to see our most recent milestone?  I spy some fantastically free decor!!...

Last night, we hung our fantastically free "poppies" art above our fireplace.  To the right of the artwork is the great vase that Shep picked out!  Shall we zoom out a little bit so you can get a better look at our new artwork in its new home?

Okay, how about we zoom out a lotta bit so you get the full effect.

Voila!!!  The poppies portrait is actually pretty large, and it fits great above the fireplace.  That area was feeling a bit bland, but now it's looking much more finished!  Some more mantle decor and perhaps a decorative fireplace screen with a chair or bench beside it, and it'll be just perfect!  Although it's a very small area of the apartment, it feels nice to see things start to take shape.

Stay tuned... we have a bunch more updates on the way!

April 21, 2012

Don't Put It Down, Put It Away!

I recently came across a tip that I'd like to share...

Seemingly obvious, right?  Except that when life gets busy a straightforward slogan like this may seem next-to-impossible to adhere to.  The ironic thing is that the busier things are, the less time we have to dedicate to organization and housekeeping, which makes it even more important to put things in their rightful place to start with -- yet those harried moments are exactly the times we're tempted to just toss something down as we're running in/out of the door to/from home/work/school/gym/volunteering/events (you get the point)!  In those minutes, the choice to "take care of that later" seems sooooo appealing, and then we later realize that by putting something down instead of away we've spawned a dreaded pile to form and multiply, which typically ends up taking even more time to resolve in the end! Facepalm.

Well, I for one, am tired of piles.  I am going to challenge myself (& Shep!) to adopt this mantra and see how it goes.  Let us know whether you're a believer in this slogan, whether you're going to take the "put it away" challenge with us, or whether you have any other housekeeping advice to share!  We'll take all the help we can get.  ;)

April 19, 2012

Sugar... not so sweet after all??

I just watched a segment from a recent 60 Minutes episode that I had to share:

Oh how I love sugar!  Life at our home typically includes me eating sugar in some form or another (ice cream, applesauce, fruit chews, peanut butter granola bars).  But after watching this clip I might start thinking twice about my love affair with Nutella.  According to recent research studies:
  • Sugar consumption is linked to 75% of preventable obesity, Type II diabetes, hypertension & heart disease.
  • Americans consume 130 lbs of sugar per person per year (which is 1/3 lb per day - yikes!!)
  • Sugar consumption increases LDL levels and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease, after only 2 weeks of consumption.  When you consume too many sweets your liver gets overloaded with fructose so it converts some of the frucstose to fat.  The fat ends up in the blood stream, creates bad LDL, forms blocks in arteries and causes heart attacks.
  • Sugar intake may also correlate with cancer development, due to spikes in insulin.  Insulin can serve as a catalyst to fuel certain cancer types.  Nearly 1/3 of some common cancers (incl. breast and colon) have insulin receptors that use glucose to grow.
  • The brain responds to sugar in a similar way as it does to cocaine.  Like with drug use, we build up resistance to sugar so we need more and more over time to feel the same effects.
  • Regular table sugar (and sugar in foods like bread and peanut butter) can be just as harmful as high fructose corn syrup.
 Now that I'm aware of how toxic sugar may be, I'm going to resurrect my new year's resolution of eating healthier.  Or at least I'll try.  ;)