Monday, August 17, 2020

Game Night - Telestrations Upside Drawn

As a participant in the Tryazon Telestrations Upside Drawn party, I received an Upside Drawn party pack which included two copies of the game and coupons to buy the game to share with my guests. All opinions expressed are my own.
I love to host a good gathering. There is a lot of work that goes into planning and hosting a gathering but I enjoy it. Finding the right food for the event, preparing the house for the arrival and planning the preparation of the food, so that it all comes together at the right time in the right way. I enjoy it and the sense of satisfaction when it all comes together. With Covid those gatherings have all but disappeared from our social calendar. We have had a few bonfires with friends, where we can all sit socially distant and visit, relax and enjoy each other's company. Everyone has brought their own drinks, snacks and chairs. 

This weekend we extended our gathering to include a cookout and plans for a small game night. All planned for outside where we could rely on the benefits of sunlight and the lack of close quarters. We kept the cookout simple with burgers, chicken and hot dogs. For sides, we had garden veggies, fruit, macaroni salad, and salad. We also had chips with homemade onion dip, fresh garden salsa and a jalepeno dip. For dessert, we went Disney inspired options. We made chocolate cupcakes with chocoalte hazelnut buttercream frotsting. Our friends brought their soft serve maker and Dole whip mix so we could all enjoy Dole Whips. And, of course, with a bonfire planned to cap the evening, we had all the makings for S'mores. 

As with most plans, we had to make some adjustments. As we approached the day, we confirmed that some were unable to join. I forgot to buy watermelon, so fruit was scratched from the menu. Then, the day of the event, as we were finishing up the cookout portion, we were concerned briefly about rain as the cloud cover increased and the sky darkened. It didn't rain but we wound up having to relocate to the front of the house to follow the sun and the warmth when the non-rain cold front passed through and the temperatures dropped. 

 It was so nice to have an event to plan. It was so nice to hang out and visit with friends. As sometimes happened, we spent less time than planned playing games because we got caught up in visiting and eating! Fortunately, my daughter had played the games many times with friends and was able to easily explain the game and roles that everyone on the team would play. Telestrations Upside Drawn

is a unique in that the artist is one of the guessers. They don't know what they are drawing but rather are taking instruction from the guide as they move the drawing board under the marker, providing up or down instructions telling the artist to lift or lower the marker back to the board. Needless to say, even more so than other drawing games, the pictures can be pretty interesting as a result and lead to laughter and kidding when the answer is learned. Fortunately, there are hints along the side of the board that you can guide the board to (be sure to have the marker up as you move so you don't cross thorugh the drawing). The game is enjoyable but I will say that I think I still prefer the original Telestrations game - the 'telephone' game of drawing and guessing has been the center piece of many game nights at our house over the years. 

All in all, it was a good night. The group was smaller than expected. The cupcakes were a big hit. The bonfire was enjoyable and I even got to have a couple of toasted marshmallows, even if it was after the guests left. We even had a bonus copy of the game that we got to share with friends to enjoy at their own game nights.

What are some of your favorite games to play with friends?  You can find Upside Drawn at Amazon and Target.

As a participant in the Tryazon Telestrations Upside Drawn party, I received an Upside Drawn party pack which included two copies of the game and coupons to buy the game to share with my guests. All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Fitness Goals - Staying Active!

Sometimes it can be hard to maintain consistency in working out. For me, it is usually because life happens and I'm busy or up late or have to be somewhere early. I have generally had success with morning workouts. When the kids were little, if I got up before them I could get my workout in before really starting the day. I have done it on my own and taken classes. I enjoy the accountability of a class. When others ask "where were you" when you miss a day, it makes me think twice about missing without a good reason. 

With Covid19, there wasn't much of 'life' getting in the way. Everything that we normally were busy with seemed to one by one close or get cancelled. But, I did have to be on my own the past 5 months to work out. In our area the schools closed 151 days ago and the Y cancelled classes and the eventually fully closed for 12 weeks 148 days ago. Even when they reopened, the group classes did not return. 

When the schools closed and knowing that the Y had been cancelling classes, I made an assumption that the Y would likely close, so I decided to make a commitment to make it outside for a 30 minute walk each day. I needed to have something to keep me active, something to allow me to decompress from all the news and continuous fear that seemed to be presented and with everyone home all day, every day, I needed some me time. Yesterday marked 150 days in a row that I have managed to successfully complete at least a 30 minute walk. Probably 90% of those walks have been within my own neighborhood. I started at 30 minutes but stretched it to 50 minutes most days. I have walked any time of day from first thing in the morning until the sun was setting. I walked in the snow and rain, under sunny skies and cloudy skies, in the heat and the cold. Most days, even with weather, I was able to find a 30 minute break in the precipitation where I could get in my walk. There was one day where my timing was off and I walked the last 10 minutes by circling the rooms on my first floor over and over. It feels good to have made the commitment and stuck to it. I think my next target is 183 days (1/2 a year) and then likely 200 days will be my next target. How long will I continue? I don't know. It will be a sad day when I can't fit in the walk and my streak comes to an much like others asking me "where were you" I think the fact that I have such a long streak, I will think twice before I just decide to skip a day. 

Before and after closures, my other primary activity this year has been swimming. I swam a few times in December but really started swimming regularly at the beginning of the calendar year. The YMCA posted about their 100 Mile Swim Club (with a 150 mile anniversary challenge). When the Y closed in March, I had been on pace to complete the first 100 miles by the end of March. When they finally reopened in June, they had limited hours, were limiting total time in the pool to one hour and limiting one swimmer per lane. In addition, I fortunately was starting a new job which meant less time available to swim. The good news is I was still able to complete my first 100 miles by the end of July. 3,520 laps (yup, down and back). I hadn't swam with consistency or purpose for almost 30 years, back when I swam on a team. It felt so good to be back in the water. I missed it when the Y was closed and am glad to have it back...even though I generally only make it 1 or 2 days each week. I am still on target to reach the 150 mile challenge by the end of the calendar year. 

How have you been staying active? Have you any streaks or accomplishments that you are celebrating?