Category Archives: Uncategorized

Come Home to Love and Cuddles, Commitment-Free!

Imagine driving home from a crazy day of whatever.  Your tired legs make their way up to your front door and you slowly squeak it open. Your eyes glued to the floor as to not miss a furry blur bolt past your feet!  Those were the quickly learned habits of my DSCF1763roommates, friends, and myself as I decided to take on a litter of 9 kittens to foster.  It was crazy, furry, and fantastic. No matter what kind of terrible day overcame you, walking into a room full of kittens was the best remedy anyone could hope for.

Every spring, most of the animal kingdom booms with tiny offspring running or flying around. In the world of cats and dogs, new furry families may be finding their new homes the great indoors of people’s homes, barns, or garages…

These problems arise when animal lovers don’t take the initiative to spay or neuter their pets. The lack of motivation to make the vet appointment may spur from the lack of immediate personal repercussions.  It seems it is more convenient to drop-off unwanted litters to the nearby shelter, even though the cost of fixing their pet in the first place can be as low as 25$. The ones who suffer the consequences are not the people, it’s the 4 legged furbabies…

In good nature, or maybe not, people drop off liters of newborns or give up pregnant females to shelters continuously this time of year. This post is not meant to be the inevitable rain cloud in regards to the reality of the overpopulations of shelters… but… knowledge is power and the more people know, the more animals can be helped!

DSCF1523So what is one entertaining and meaningful way to help? Foster and provide a loving home for a litter of kittens, puppies, or baby bunnies! Your choice to lend a helping hand opens up the opportunity for these youngsters to able to see something else besides the bars of a crate their first few months!

Fostering is that ideal balance of having a pet without the 10-20 year commitment. Kittens are surprisingly amazing at litter training themselves in my experience, so I was able to continue most of my responsibilities and not worry too much about them being left alone.  The story is different with puppies or bunnies, but if you work from home or have the time, that experience is also extremely rewarding.

Not everyone is a fan of young animals, or maybe they are but are not interested in the high DSCF1685amount of attention needed. I have fostered adult animals that just needed a break from the shelter and feel like they had a home.  Just a few weeks of normality helps these animals psychologically, physically, and emotionally.

Looking for a shelter? Type “animal shelter near me” in a Google search engine and your future opportunities will pop up.

Let this post spark your ambition to help your nearby shelter. So have fun and feel like you’re making a difference…because you are!  Who knows, you may meet a new “furever” friend in the process :).

Like this post? Another article from The Huffington Post promotes fostering as well if you’re looking for more information! Click Here For The Article

 

Learning at a Whole New (FREE) Level

Whether it is getting an additional degree, or learning the fundamentals of something completely random, online learning has never been more accessible and affordable. This post is about FREE resources that bridge the gap between learning and accessibility and includes a seemingly endless list of topics.

As a teacher, a part of my philosophy includes the fact that if someone doesn’t actually care or make a connection about a topic, the retention or ability to apply that learning later in life is slim to none.  So I thought I would dedicate this post to shedding light on free education that you can get and learn something new that actually interests you!

Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 7.00.22 PMI’ll start with the resources that many Apple users have on their devices by default, iTunesU. This app allows you to sign up for online courses, many of which are free, and learn about topics from meditation to  to psychology from acclaimed universities such as Stanford and Yale. This resource is the most likely the most adapted for mobile learning (the features and tools are already adapted and work well with mobile devices such as phones and tablets).

The next resource I’ll feature is one I’m currently using and am, so far, really satisfied. EdX is advertised as free online courses from famous universities just like iTunesU, however, there are a few significant differences.  The first difference is the level of engagement available. You are able to search for courses and complete them Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 7.37.31 PMon your own at your own pace (like iTunesU), but every few weeks they advertise interesting courses where you have a professor that you can interact with, as well as have opportunities to interact with peers. I have noticed that being on a computer works best, and the Google Chrome browser supports the interactive lessons the best. It has deadlines for assignments which can be motivating and offers certificates of completion (for a small fee).  Keep in mind, everything I’m talking about here wouldn’t count for college credit, but certificates can deem useful for job promotions and portfolios. I’m taking a self-guided course on Java right now and learning a lot!

Coursera is the third and final online resource I’ll share today (there are many out there!). This is basically the same thing as EdX, so if you can’t find a course that you’re looking Screen Shot 2016-01-26 at 7.37.45 PMfor with one resource, try the searching them in both places.  They even have courses that involve learning about how you learn!  I’m less familiar with Coursera on a personal experience level, however, it does seem to provide courses for college credit, but you’ll need to pay for it like you would a regular online university.  For those busy parents or those working the night-shift, this could be an excellent option as they allow anyone to take the courses and can help with financial aid. I advise talking to a college councilor before paying for anything that you plan to get college credit for to be on the safe side.

When you’re learning about something that you care about, you’d be surprised at how enjoyable it is!  You feel like your time and efforts are dedicated towards something meaningful and you feel accomplished.  I hope this post sparked some ambition to learn something new :).

Life: Picture it NOW

In my brain-fried state of mind after a long day of work and whatever else life throws my way, I find myself  “facebooking”, a verb I predict will be added to the dictionary in the near future BTW.

After flipping through my news feed, I was still mind-numb and didn’t feel like sleeping, so I flipped through my own pictures to reminisce on old times. Something i’m sure, and hope, everyone does once in a while.

I want you to take a minute and section out your day with what you do with your time.

For me, an average 24 hour work day goes like this..

7 hours sleep, 2  hours getting ready and driving, 8 hours work,  3 hours errands/pets/house/dinner maintenance, 3 hours homework/grading/planning,  1 hour of relaxing/getting ready to fall asleep… and repeat.  That’s only if I don’t have other things I need to do, like coach after school, or get the car fixed, etc.

Random weekend canoe and off-road adventure trip in Gladwin, Michigan
Random weekend canoe and off-road adventure trip in Gladwin, Michigan

When looking at the pictures, click after click,  I had a mini epiphany realizing that WOW, I’ve had a crazy, adventurous, fun life with awesome people… but how could that be?

 

 

 

When I take a snapshot of what my average day looks like, I realize that I’ve barely set aside any time at all to even have a life, but somewhere in chaos, I made a choice.

 

Ended up running the Detroit Half Marathon by myself, the view was worth it :)
Ended up running the Detroit Half Marathon by myself, the view was worth it 🙂

When I seemed too busy to even fathom doing anything besides what I need to do, I chose to do what I want to do instead.

I’ve made choices to live instead of exist.

Life is not your job, house, or stuff. Life comes in the moments in-between what normally fills our day and mind. So even though you have endless responsibilities, set time to actually do what you want and enjoy life, because if you’re not… then what’s the point of all work you put into it?

Everyone needs to make a living, but most people forget to actually live in the life they work so hard to make.

So I post a challenge to everyone reading this,  I want you to make a choice to do something that makes you happy instead of something productive… and take a picture of it. 

Better yet… reminisce with your own pictures tag any pictures of you making the choice to live instead of exist, it will help stir up the ambition that’s in all of us!

If you have Instagram, tag the picture with #time2beAmbitious.  If you don’t have Instagram, tag the Facebook page Time2beAmbitious in your picture.

Happy tagging 🙂 I look forward to seeing everyone live!

 

NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER… JUST BAD CHOICE OF CLOTHING.

Find Your Ambition

Quotes addressing this idea have been sourced back to 1912, and it holds true to this day! As we are reaching record lows across the country for this time of year, I figured it would be appropriate to create a post that addresses the best clothing that gets your mind off the chill factor.

As one who doesn’t let the cold hinder activity, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about how to dress in winter.  It took much trial and error through a large span of climate settings, but what is posted is the best of the best of my experiences. The following advice goes from head to toe to help you be prepared for the winter chill.

NOTE: this is somewhat bias towards women… since I am not a man and don’t know what is, or is not, comfortable. If you are a male reading this and have…

View original post 618 more words

NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER… JUST BAD CHOICE OF CLOTHING.

Quotes addressing this idea have been sourced back to 1912, and it holds true to this day! As we are reaching record lows across the country for this time of year, I figured it would be appropriate to create a post that addresses the best clothing that gets your mind off the chill factor.

As one who doesn’t let the cold hinder activity, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about how to dress in winter.  It took much trial and error through a large span of climate settings, but what is posted is the best of the best of my experiences. The following advice goes from head to toe to help you be prepared for the winter chill.

NOTE: this is somewhat bias towards women… since I am not a man and don’t know what is, or is not, comfortable. If you are a male reading this and have some good recommendations, PLEASE comment below and share the knowledge!

“You know it’s all about the base…”

The most difficult thing to anticipate in the winter is whether you will be too hot or too cold during your adventures outside…either one could be very uncomfortable and affect your experience.  I’ve had the best result with the following…

Detroit Turkey Trot 2013
Detroit Turkey Trot 2013

Head: fleece headband and men and woman can wear the behind the head earmuffs. Both of these are nice because it allows heat escape, avoiding the sweating and overheating factor.

Neck: I used to wear a variety of scarves with different densities, but I’ve moved on from those and onto Buff neck-wear.  I absolutely love the lightest density

Buff Neckwear
Buff Neck-wear

shown in this image. I’ve used it in multiple races and it helps to cover my face and allowing me to breathe, and doesn’t get too hot if the weather warms up on the adventure. I also have a more dense version of the Buff which I use for less exerting activity or more severe weather.

Upper body: when the weather is under 40 degrees, I resort to tight, form fitting Under Armour long sleeve base layer tops.   Men Click Here.

IMG_0583 (2)

Over the base top, I wear a light jacket if I’m running or doing similar exercises in degrees colder than 35 degrees.  If I am doing activities such as downhill skiing, cross country skiing, or hiking, I’ll wear a sweatshirt over the base, then a coat over the sweatshirt (depending on how cold it is and the intensity of the activity).

The main point is dress in layers!

If you’re exerting a lot of energy, start off feeling cold because if you start your exercise feeling comfortable, you will be too hot in a matter of minutes.

I once ran a 5K in 7 degrees and was grateful for my light choice of clothing as I found myself throwing off my gloves in the middle of the race.

Legs: I have been lucky to have relatives who know me and my hobbies during the holiday season, so I have no lack of athletic winter tights to fill my dresser drawers.  Athletic tights such as these truly help block the chill, while allowing mobility to the max.  I also use these as a base to all moderate activity, wearing them under jeans and snow pants when the temperature really drops.

Toes:  Cotton is not your friend, especially in the winter. I’ve read about the negative effects of cotton through various magazine articles and my experiences agree, cotton is terrible for athletic people.  The best solution, especially when the weather is below freezing, is wool. REI and Smartwool are my top two brands, as they have different densities for all kinds of activities.  From light running socks to extremely thick winter socks, these brands have a sock for any occasion. But with IMG_0593warmth and moisture wicking technology comes the hindrance of cost.  These socks are VERY pricy, my advice? If you have small feet, buy the children socks. They are just as good quality for a fraction of the cost.  Have normal size feet? The REI brand and other off-brands are usually cheaper than the most popular Smartwool.  You can go a step further and just wait for holiday sales to occur, socks are almost always on the discount list during the holidays.

For discounted gear, check websites for their outlets. Here are a few good ones!  Nike  REI   Dicks Sporting Goods  Under Armour

There you have it, head to toe recommendations from yours truly, based on over ten years of experience in running, skiing, snowboarding, and hiking through the winter months!

Stay Dry and Warm or Get Wet and Muddy??

IMG_0503

There were so many signs telling me not go to out running today. There was this mix of sleet/snow/rain, no sun, cold, I just ate so I’d probably cramp up… It would be so easy to get in my warm car with heated seat and just cruise on home where more warmth and comfort awaits me….but luckily… I didn’t.

 

IMG_0510

Some background knowledge…. There was an opportunity to take advantage of an awesome free resource; an environmental science seminar at a local nature center. Yes, it was 4 hours of my Saturday, but taking advantage of these opportunities provides me with awesome resources to use in the classroom, plus, the setting is usually someplace new to explore.

 

IMG_0512  IMG_0506

When looking up this place called Seven Ponds Nature Center, I noticed they had multiple miles of trails. I figured, if I were to drive out there anyway, why not go for a run after the seminar? (Planning things like this in advance really helps you gain new, fun experiences, fyi ;). BUT…the weather sucked, it was gloomy and cold, and they served us lunch at the very end of the seminar, meaning I would probably cramp up at any attempt to run.IMG_0522.JPG

IMG_0513Sometimes you just have to go against your will to be comfortable and embrace the cold, wet, mucky world of the outdoors. The adventure will ALWAYS trump the experience you would have had otherwise!

IMG_0507

All the pictures you see here were a result of my mini adventure trail run/hike through the unknown woods of Dryden, MI. In fact, every single picture on this blog was taken by me, proving that these places are real and are accessible to the average joe ;).

IMG_0506      IMG_0501

I anticipated the discomfort of trying to run after eating, so this was a relaxing jog throughout the woods, I had a trail map, but I don’t like to use them.

I find that there is an extra sense of adventure if you don’t care where you’re going and you just GO.

Whenever I started to cramp up, I’d start walking, or stop to take a few pictures. There was so much wildlife to enjoy as well; I saw a beaver and a total of 8 deer. I even got up close to a startled six point buck that was taking a nap next to the elevated board walk. It was awesome.

IMG_0505.JPG

Despite all signs and temptations to stay inside and relax, it was such a rewarding experience to…

Embrace the elements, get outside, and explore!

Taking a poll for my new post, please help me out!