One of my blogging pals, Ingrid at Live, Laugh, RV, recently posted her Five Favorite Finds and challenged us to join along and post about our five favorite finds. Many thanks to Ingrid for the inspiration for this post.
1. LIVESTRONG at the YMCA
A program for cancer survivors, LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a 12 week program that partners with the YMCA of the USA to promote the importance of physical activity after a cancer diagnosis. This program includes cardiovascular conditioning, strength training, balance, flexibility exercises and other wellness topics.
I participated in the program last fall and it’s one of the best things I’ve done in a long time. I’ve been exercising for years and had gotten in a rut. I needed a boost to improve my fitness but more than that, I wanted to be with other cancer survivors in a program designed just for cancer survivors. In addition to the fitness activities, we had guest instructors on wellness topics such as meditation and nutrition and we even did art therapy (our paintings are now hanging on the wall at our YMCA).
We became a family during our 12 weeks together. Our instructors cared about us and helped us to do more than we thought we were capable of. We shared our stories, laughed a lot, and had fun getting stronger together. I never dreamed I could actually laugh while lifting weights at the gym!
Each of the participants had a fitness evaluation at the beginning and end of the program. Every one of us improved in every category. Since the program ended I’ve been trying new fitness classes and I’m continuing to build my strength. One of my goals for 2020 is to keep working out on a regular basis.
I can’t say enough good things about this program. If you or someone you know is a cancer survivor, please call your local YMCA to find out more about it.
2. Goodreads app
I love to read and I have several favorite authors and series that I enjoy. My problem is I often can’t remember which of the books I’ve already read. I discovered that Goodreads helps me keep track of my reading. It’s available on your computer or as an app on your phone or tablet.
Goodreads gives me an easy way to keep a list of books I’ve already read, books I’d like to read, and books I’m currently reading. Now when a book by one of my favorite authors is available at our library I can look at the app and see if I’ve already read it. It also helps me find new books with recommendations and book reviews by users.
There is also a reading challenge each year. Last year I exceeded my goal of 40 books so this year I upped it to 45. I’m kind of off to a slow start this year with only finishing 4 books so far.
My favorite book this month was “Beneath a Scarlet Sky” by Mark T. Sullivan. I give it 5 stars. Some of my favorite authors are Craig Johnson (The Longmire books), Robert B. Parker (Jesse Stone and Spencer series), Lee Child (Jack Reacher series), Randy Wayne White (Doc Ford series).
3. Tybee Post Theater
Going out to see a movie is always fun. Going out to see a movie in a beautifully restored historic theater is even better.
The historic Tybee Post Theater was built in the 1930’s as a movie house for the soldiers stationed at the Fort Screven Army Post on Tybee Island, Georgia. When the post closed, the building sat vacant for many years until the City of Tybee Island and the Tybee Island Historical Society saved it from demolition. The building has been lovingly restored and is now a beautiful venue for movies and live shows.
The theater now shows movies and live performances, often to sold out audiences. Going there is more of an event than just going to a movie. We can enjoy a beer or glass of wine with our popcorn while we sit back and enjoy the show. And we don’t have to drive far from home!
Last fall I saw one of my all time favorites, “Gone with the Wind”, on a big screen for the first time. And most recently, Henry and I enjoyed seeing a matinee of “Ford vs. Ferarri.”
4. Project Repat
Do you have t-shirts taking up space in your drawers and closets that you will never wear again but you don’t want to get rid of them completely? Having a quilt made from them is a great solution.
I discovered Project Repat when I couldn’t bear to part with some of my old shirts. Picking which shirts to include was the hard part. I then followed the easy instructions on how to cut the shirts, chose a color for the fleece backing, packed them up and sent them off to be transformed into a twin size quilt.
Now when I get cold sitting in my recliner watching tv or reading a book, I throw the quilt over my legs and enjoy being reminded of something from my past. I love it!
5. Enther Bento Food Storage Containers
I like to cook larges batches of dishes like chili, stew, or pot roast so that we have enough leftover to freeze for another meal or two. I searched for a long time to find reasonably priced containers that would hold just enough for two servings and that were freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe.
I finally discovered these food containers on Amazon. They come in several different brands, shapes and sizes. I chose the ones that hold enough for two servings. Now I can cook chili all day in the crock-pot and freeze the rest. For you RV’ers out there, several will fit easily in an RV freezer.
Here’s one of my favorite crock-pot meals. It makes enough for us to eat the day it’s cooked with enough leftover to fill at least two of the food containers for the freezer.
Crock-Pot White Bean Chili
- 3 – 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3/4 cup diced onion
- 1 1/2 cups chopped green chiles (fresh or 2 cans chopped green chiles)
- 1 can Ro-Tel or any canned tomatoes with chiles
- 1 to 2 cans white beans, drained
- 1 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs bone in or boneless
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 to 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon green chile powder, optional
- 1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped, optional
- a few red pepper flakes, optional
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and chiles and saute for about 5 minutes. Place the drained white beans in the crock pot, add the Ro-Tel and chile mixture. Pour enough chicken stock to the crock-pot to cover the beans and chile mixture. Add cumin, oregano, pepper, white pepper, and optional ingredients if using. Stir to mix. Sprinkle chicken pieces with cumin, salt and pepper and place the in the crock-pot, pressing the chicken into the liquid. Cook on high for about two hours, then lower the temperature to low and cook for 4 – 6 hours until chicken can be shredded.
To serve, shred the chicken and return to pot. Serve with any desired condiments such as cornbread, taco chips or Fritos, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, sliced jalapenos, or your favorite hot sauce.
These are my opinions only and I don’t get any compensation from anything mentioned in this post.