ace & jig: Community Quilt Raffle

How I love ace & jig. Community is always front and center. They have been working on another community quilt project. What a wonderful and creative way to show community support as well as resourceful with their left over fabric.

ace & jig are raffling 5 of their community quilts with donations going to the following organizations: Black Lives Matter, Movement for Black Lives, Marsha P. Johnson Institute, Loveland Foundation, and Color of Change.

Here is a little background about each quilt: one-of-a-kind ace&jig community quilt. each of the 36 squares of this quilt were made lovingly from leftover ace&jig textile scraps by a different volunteer from our community, as part of our commitment to reducing textile waste. 

you will receive 1 raffle ticket for every $10 donation. Runs through June 22nd. Please check out ace & jig for more information and to learn about their quilting history.

A Comfortable and Stylish Label To Explore : ALIYA WANEK

Two things that came to mind when I discovered this line: Thoughtful wearable pieces for everyday living and comfortable American classics with a clean and subtle aesthetic.

ALIYA WANEK is a womenswear label from Southern California. Aliya Wanek is a speech therapist by day and a designer by night. She is the heart and soul behind this line. Aliya is focused on quality, form, function, and craft. She is about designing pieces that have longevity along with exploring the connection between identity and personal style. All garments are handmade by Aliya and her team in the Bay area.

Mission statement says it all: “The brand’s mission is to uphold ethical and sustainable practices as much as possible from working only with natural fibers to paying a living wage to small batch production to using zero waste packaging” Please check out ALIYA WANEK (all images from ALIYA WANEK)

Who Is Who?

At the end of the day how much do we really wear everything in our closet?These past couple of months with only dressing for home has shifted my thought to focusing on a seasonless and timeless wardrobe. I have slowly been moving in this direction but for some reason letting go of pieces that I have not worn in ages seems easier said then done.

As I work on editing my closet which is proving to be a painful process. My goal is to simplify my wardrobe for spring/summer with hopes that fall/winter will follow suit. I wish for less choice when it comes to dressing in the morning. Holding on to pieces that fit me well and that I feel good wearing is the name of the game.

Regardless of the season, basics for me include: tanks, tees, and denim. Each spring/summer new tanks and tees replace worn out old ones. The hunt for replacement tanks led me to discovering the Who Shirt Company.

Who Shirt Company is one of those brilliant concepts where you say to yourself why didn’t I think of that?!. A shirt with a built in shelf for your boobs that is not an athletic top. The Who designs shirts made from 100% interlock Supima® cotton with a soft supportive built-in bra. No fuss, no straps, no restrictions just pure freedom. As the company says “This is also about eliminating all the unnecessary details of your life, so you can focus on the things that matter. It’s about simply being who you are.”

Libby Haan is the clever lady behind Who Shirt Co. The company’s core values include giving back, zero waste, and made in America. Each shirt is named after a woman that continues to inspire. The Athenian owl is their icon watching over you as a reminder to embrace all that you are.

Take a peek at their website here if you are needed of some basics and also check out FABSCRAP if you are interested in zero waste.

Roasted Asparagus With A Fresh Spin

So delighted to discover the well known and just happens to one of my favorite NYC restaurants, ABC Kitchen shares some of their recipes through their website. Enjoy this simple spring side dish: Roasted Asparagus with Nicoise Olives and Basil

Colorful and bright and ready to roast

Ingredients:

2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and peeled

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, julienned

½ cup Niçoise olives, pitted and halved

¼ cup sliced fresh basil leaves, plus more for garnish

Lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 450F
Spread the asparagus in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss and turn to evenly coat. Sprinkle the garlic, olives, and basil all over. Roast until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the basil wilts, about 8 minutes.
Drizzle with a little more oil, garnish with fresh basil, and serve hot with lemon wedges

ABC Kitchen recipe

A Bed Time Story

My sweet friend sent this video to me and it is worth sharing. The Great Realisation is a beautiful and touching video by British poet Tomos Roberts who posts online under the handle Probably Tom Foolery.

“a world of waste and wonder” “we’d forgotten to run” but then 2020″they remembered how to smile” the world we found” “and dream of tomorrow”

A Comforting Side Dish, Roasted Vegetables with A Caper Vinaigrette

For the past few weeks, I have been on a vegetable cooking journey with Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook, Plenty. A vegetarian cookbook that delivers flavors that will ignite your taste buds. This book is a visual piece of art. Beautiful food that captures your attention. You can easily pair Ottolenghi’s lovely dishes with a meat or fish if you are so inclined.

This recipe, I have made multiple times. It is a true favorite in my house. I love the simplicity of this recipe and how the flavors come alive. Leftovers taste even better the next day for lunch!

  • 4 parsnips (1½ lbs total)
  • 4 medium red onions
  • 2/3 olive oil
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (1¼ lbs total)
  • 30 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp small capers (roughly chopped if large)
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Peel the parsnips and cut into two or three segments, depending on their lengths. Then cut each piece lengthways into two or four. You want pieces roughly 2 inches long and ½-inch wide. Peel the onions and cut each into six wedges.
  2. Place the parsnips and onions in a large mixing bowl and add 1/3 cup of olive oil, the thyme, rosemary, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Mix well and spread out in a large roasting pan. Roast for 20 minutes.
  3. While the parsnips are cooking, trim both ends of the sweet potatoes. Cut them (with their skins) in half, then each half into six wedges. Add the potatoes to the pan with the parsnips and onion and stir well. Return to the oven to roast for a further 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. When all the vegetables are cooked through and have taken on a golden color, stir in the halved tomatoes. Roast for 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, whisk together the lemon juice, capers, maple syrup, mustard, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt.
  5. Pour the dressing over the roasted vegetables as soon as you take them out of the oven. Stir well, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Scatter the sesame seeds over the vegetables if using and serve at the table in the roasting pan.

A Brand To Admire: House Of Dagmar

No doubt the fashion industry must change its practices. But there is hope if more companies follow the footsteps of House Of Dagmar or at least take a page out of their book. In 2005, three sisters launched Dagmar, a Swedish contemporary label for women. Their standard is clear: high quality fabrics, high quality design, and high quality production. HOD takes sustainability seriously.

The sisters began measuring their carbon footprint in 2017. “We learned many things, for example that around only seven per cent of our fibres were sustainable when we started measuring. We also learned that using fibres that can be recycled or incinerated with energy recovery results in CO2 savings.” They don’t walk the talk. They are doing!

Back in 2017, 25% of Dagmar’s collections was sustainable and was a GOOD CHOICE. At the beginning of 2019, 50% of their collections were sustainable. For 2020 they hope to be at 90%! Dagmar introduced The GOOD CHOICE- label. A tag that promises the clothes it hangs on are made from ethically produced and environmentally friendly materials.

Where are they going with the goal?: Dagmar’s goal of becoming a climate neutral fashion brand by 2025, offering only 100% sustainable collections.

“For us, this is not only a trend but an important journey. It is an important part of who we are and what we do, it is a part of the Dagmar-DNA.”

I love transparency! I love choices to buy good! I’m a fan of Dagmar!

Last Night’s Beautiful Couscous Is Today’s Lunch

  • 1 cup couscous
  • ¾ cup boiling water or vegetable stock
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup unsalted pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 fresh green chile, finely sliced
  • 1 ¼ cup arugula leaves, chopped
  • Place the couscous in a large bowl and cover with the boiling water or stock. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, fry the onion in the olive oil on medium until golden and completely soft. Add the salt and cumin and mix well. Leave to cool slightly.
  • To make the herb paste, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until smooth.
  •  Add the herb paste to the couscous and mix everything together well with a fork to fluff it up. Now add the cooked onion, the pistachios, green onions, green chile and arugula and gently mix. Serve at room temperature.

Sharing An Easy Pleated Face Mask Tutorial, No Sewing Required

A dear friend shared this link to a clever way for making an easy pleated face mask. Requirements: a handkerchief and two hair elastics. For those that can not sew like myself this is a brilliant approach. Much cuter than my tied bandana technique for my grocery store runs. It may not be a surgical mask but it will remind you to not touch your face and perhaps just add another barrier for self protection.

The website shows it step by step. Easy to follow! I have to say the tutorial I find soothing. Japanese Creations . Stay safe and healthy!

Find Your Strength In Walking

Walking is one the easiest ways to connect with your mind, body, and soul During these difficult times, I have found that I appreciate walking more than I ever could have imagined. To be able to enjoy the outdoors rain or shine is an absolute mood lifter. Spring has not stopped. The flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping. Everyone needs to find their own way to navigate this challenging time. Here is an article from Prevention magazine. It may just be the push you need to slide into your sneakers. Walking alone can powerful. A time to tune into yourself and savor the moment with gratitude.

THE INCREDIBLE POWER OF WALKING

Walking is good for the body and the soul. How do we know? Well, there are the piles of research studies that reveal its health benefits: weight management, a tougher skeleton, a stronger heart, a sturdier brain. But we also heard from more than 1,500 readers who answered our call to tell us why they walk—from staying fit to healing a broken heart, the reasons are both simple and moving. Let their stories inspire you, then follow our practical tips for your own walks.

I WALK TO BATTLE DEPRESSION

“Last year, I had a pretty bad injury and had to spend a lot of time resting in my college dorm room while all my friends went out and had a good time. I noticed that my mood drastically changed—and even when I got better, I was still depressed and didn’t leave my dorm once I was able to.

Now I get up before dawn every morning and walk without my phone; I can be with my own thoughts and appreciate what’s around me. I’m able to mentally prepare for the day (while getting a little exercise in too!), and I’ve noticed such an increase in my mood. Walking has so many benefits—why wouldn’t I walk?!”

—Terri Lavelle, Brooklyn, NY

3,500

You’ve heard that 10,000 steps a day is the magic number, but even logging just 3,500 daily steps can lower your risk of diabetes by 29%.

I’VE REDISCOVERED THE BEAUTY OF LIFE

“I never used to be much of a walker, so I’ll be the first to admit that when my doctor told me to walk each day, I was less than thrilled. On that first walk, I decided to take my 8- and 10-year-old grandchildren with me. As we walked, they pointed out different things they thought were beautiful, like flowers and trees.

I love our special time together, and I’ve begun to see the world through their eyes—it’s made me realize how much of this world’s little beauties I’ve been missing.”

—Rhonda Nichols, Seattle

Meditation doesn’t have to be done in the solitude of your bedroom.

Laurie and her grandkids’ routine of taking in the world around them, a.k.a. being mindful, is a main component of it. Try this 10-minute walking meditation from the experts at mindful.org.

As you begin your walk,

hold your arms in a comfortable position. Pay attention to the rise and fall of your feet; notice how your legs stride. If your attention wanders, shift it back to your bodily sensations—this first step is all about you.

After a few minutes, turn your attention to the sounds around you.

Do you hear birds chirping? A lawnmower whirring? Take in every sound, both pleasant and unpleasant.

Now shift your awareness to smell.

Perhaps you get a whiff of earthy mulch or the gentle scent of fresh-cut grass. Breathe it all in.

Move on to vision.

Take in the colors, objects, and scenery around you. Maybe you notice your neighbor’s new flower bed or you realize the trees are finally in bloom.

In the last few minutes, bring your awareness back

from your surroundings to your body.

SCIENCE-BACKED REASONS TO WALK

Michelle and Betty are on to something with their commitment to walking at every stage of life—here’s the research that proves them right:

1 WALKING IS AN ENERGY BOOSTER

One study found that adults who walked for 30 minutes five times a week had more energy to get through the day, felt healthier, and were more confident than people who walked less frequently.

2 IT CURBS SUGAR CRAVINGS

If you have a sweet tooth, lace up your sneakers. Research suggests that walking can curb cravings for sugary snacks, likely due to the endorphins (feel-good chemicals) physical activity releases.

3 YOU’LL SLEEP BETTER

One study found that people who took a.m. walks fell asleep faster and slept more soundly.

4 IT CAN KEEP YOU FROM GETTING A COLD

Among 1,002 study participants, just 20 minutes (or more) of aerobic exercise at least five days a week resulted in 43% fewer days spent sick than for those who exercised only once a week or less. And the walkers who did get ill were sick for less time and had milder symptoms.

30-60 MINUTES

Walking this long most days of the week drastically lowers your risk of heart disease.

I’M WALKING INTO MY GOLDEN YEARS

“My good friend Betty is 87 years young. Why do I say that? Because while others her age are shuffling about in walkers or using scooters, Betty is booking it across the streets, trails, and beaches of sunny San Diego. I’m only 49, but her fast gait is my inspiration. I once asked her how she was still so agile at an age when many people weren’t. She said 

That stuck with me, so now I walk to ensure that I too will thrive in my golden years, as fully and joyfully as Betty does.”

—Ellen Habart, West Newton, MA

EVERY WALK IS A GIFT

“Eight years ago, I unexpectedly went into renal failure, and it turned my world upside down. After two years on dialysis, I was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant from a 20-year-old man. I’m so grateful to his family for their kindness that gave me this lifesaving gift, so I affectionately call my kidney ‘Dude.’ And each day, I walk for Dude. 

I walk to deal with the challenges the rejection medications can cause, and I walk to live. I am 67, and I want Dude and I to live to see 100 together. When I walk, I see my life at 70, at 80, and beyond, and guess what—future me is still walking.”

—Laura Osika, Western Springs, IL

3X

Walking for about 40 minutes three times a week increases the size of brain regions associated with memory and planning.

WALKING GAVE ME MY LIFE BACK

“I was a 30-year meth addict. I’ve been clean for a decade, but seven years ago I had a stroke, developed many health problems, and gained 150 pounds. I changed my diet and started walking on a treadmill for just 20 minutes each day. Then I moved my walks outside. I’ve dropped 100 pounds and counting. Walking helps ease my depression and steady my moods and does wonders for my physical health and self-confidence. It helps me stay clean, because I don’t ever want to return to my previous life. Walking also gave me my fairy-tale ending: I’m 61, and I have the love of my life back after losing him 25 years ago. I truly believe that if I hadn’t chosen to walk that first day, I would not still be here. I am still determined to make my life better every day, by walking every day.”

—Ashley Andre, Davenport, IA

2 HOURS

Walking for this long throughout the week can reduce your risk of stroke by 30%.

—Julie S., Mount Pleasant, SC

I WALK ‘CAUSE I CAN

“I’m lucky I can walk. Decades of obesity destroyed cartilage in both my knees, and carrying around that extra weight can make moving pretty hard. But instead of giving up, I lost 100 pounds—now I walk to maintain that weight loss, and I walk because it helps keep my remaining knee cartilage healthy and strong.

(nothing beats the feeling of breaking in a new pair of sneakers!) that I dubbed 2019 the year of the 5K. I signed up for one 5K each month, and if I couldn’t find a local one, I signed up for a virtual one. I crossed the finish line of all 12 races, and my family even started joining me. Fit time has become family time, and there’s nothing better than that!”

Pump Up Your Walk!

Start wherever you are, like Lori and Melissa did. When you’re ready, these easy tips from Brian Zehetner, director of health and fitness at Planet Fitness, can help you torch calories and tone up.

TRY A TEMPO WALK

“Do a light warm-up, then walk at a pace that is comfortably hard (conversation should be difficult) for about 20 minutes or as long as you can. Drop back to an easy pace for a cooldown,” he says.

POP IN YOUR HEADPHONES

Whether you prefer music, podcasts, or audiobooks, all can help you walk longer. “Distractions like music can help you forget about the stress your body is under, and quite a bit of research shows that it can improve your performance during exercise,” says Zehetner.

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR ROUTE

Plan out a walk that includes “tools” like hills, lampposts, fire hydrants, and even traffic lights. Walking uphill will spike your heart rate and push your muscles harder, and you can use these regularly occurring features to do intervals (warm up, then alternate between speed walking and a slower pace each time you pass one).

UPDATE YOUR TREADMILL ROUTINE

If you can’t walk outside, hopping on the treadmill is a good alternative that doesn’t have to be soul-crushingly boring. Try incline intervals, in which you do a few minutes at an easy pace, then jack up the speed and incline for a few minutes before dropping back to an easy pace, repeating as long as you’d like. Or try an interactive walking experience—many treadmills offer them on built-in screens.

READY TO GET WALKING?

If the incredible women on the previous pages have you wanting to lace up your shoes to change your life, sign up for the Prevention Virtual Walk on May 2! Here’s everything you need to know to take part.

Committing to a 5K is a powerful way to get healthy. “We’re more likely to reach our goals if we get specific,” says trainer Amy Schemper, founder of Body by Amy and host of the Prevention DVD 10-Minute Pilates. She created an exclusive six-week walking program for the Virtual Walk. “I love the training phase,” she says. “It feels purposeful and less overwhelming with a plan.”

HOW IT WORKS:

The Prevention Virtual Walk is a 5K you do wherever you are on May 2. Last October, we had more than 2,500 people commit to taking part, in every single state (and beyond: hello, South African walkers!). You can do the walk wherever you’d like, outdoors or on a treadmill, by yourself or with whomever you please. Dogs are welcome! It’s free to sign up, but for $35, you’ll get a T-shirt, a bib number, and an “I Did the Prevention Virtual Walk” sign. (Every registrant will get emailed the sign—you can print it out too.)

WHY WALK WITH US:

Jennifer Walsh, founder of Walk With Walsh and a Virtual Walk ambassador, suggests using the Virtual Walk as an opportunity to invite a friend or neighbor to join you—and asking him or her to invite folks you may not know. “It’s a great, healthy way to explore and get to know one another better,” she says. Even if you do the Virtual Walk by yourself, though, you won’t be alone: There will be thousands like you walking too.

HOW TO GET READY:

By signing up, you get access to our exclusive Virtual Walk newsletter, which is how you’ll access Schemper’s training plan. “It’ll include walking days, low-impact strength training days, and some flexibility/mobility work,” she says. “I will give you the structure, with options depending on your personal fitness level. The goal will be to get moving and feel good!” We’ll also share other tips from Schemper and fellow walkers on staying healthy, losing weight, and making the most of every step.

ON MAY 2:

Get out there and walk! Fill out your “I Did the Prevention Virtual Walk” sign with something personal to you: where you walked, your time, whom you walked with, how you feel, or anything else you’re inspired to share! Post those pics on Instagram (tag @preventionmag and use #virtualwalk), or email them to us at virtualwalk@hearst.com. Plus, if you email us that you completed the event and share your time, we’ll include you on our official finishers list!

Wishing everyone good health and positivity!