Some of the Littlest Things That Make My Life Easier

I am sure you have them, those tiny little things that you can’t live without. This post started with a tweet about a little green doohickey and then I thought some more about the teeniest things that make my life better.

Besides the little green doohickey… here are a few other teeny things I don’t want to live without.

  1. Cookbook holder – I love to cook and to try new recipes. Adam got this for me a few years ago and I was surprised at how much I like using it and how often I use it. I would recommend picking up a cookbook holder and if you are more hightech than me, you could get an iPad holder for the kitchen.
  2. Can coverBrody eats half a can of wet food mixed in with his food now. What the heck am I supposed to do with half a can of food? Picked up one of these little can covers and it is a tiny miracle. I grabbed a few more for soups, olives and whatever else that comes in a can that I can’t finish 🙂
  3. Poo bag holder – Remembering bags, putting bags in your pockets, storing bags – ugh. My mother actually got these bag holders and they are awesome. Attaches right to the leash and bothers no one.
  4. Nalgene cover – Ever go for an aggressive drink out of your water bottle and dump water in your face? Yea me neither. That is a lie I do it ALL THE TIME. I guess I am an aggressive drinker. Now I picked up a few of these Nalgene covers and dump water in my own face a little less often.
  5. Binder clips – Not going to lie, I totally saw this on Pinterest but now I have this at my office and at my house – using a binder clip for your iPhone charger. Soooo darn clever. I haven’t had to climb behind my desk to grab my iPhone power cord in like a month!

Feel free to tell me some of yours – I sure could use some more easy in my life.

Ski in Peace

Sarah Burke Ski in Peace

“It’s where we met,
it’s where we play,
we live . . .
and hopefully where we’ll die.”
Sarah Burke and Rory Bushfield

The skiing world has lost another skier that changed the sport as we know it, Sarah Burke. News of Sarah’s accident was tough to hear. I never even met this woman but I know she was a beautiful and strong skier. I liked what she did for women skiers and women in general. She showed that girls can come to play, they can push limits, they can be beautiful and showed wonderful grace under pressure.

This accident has brought out many reports about the safety of extreme sports like skiing. Once you are the best, jump the highest, do the best tricks… someone else is going to try to do more. Is that bad? Or is the constant challenge good for this sport and for us? In skiing and every sport, we know more about safety equipment and our bodies than ever before. For skiers like Sarah, this isn’t a game or a hobby. It is her life, her profession and her passion. I like this USA Today article that remind us that “You forget how skilled and calculated the athletes that are doing these tricks and making this their lives are”.

I love to ski. Hopefully I will ski my whole life. I have only had one nasty spill (remarkably it was the DAY I bought my first helmet). It was scary enough to remind me of the power of what you are dealing with here – speed, nature, elements, the human body… damn trees…

When something like this happens there is the difficult topic of the beauty in dying doing something you love. It is so hard to think about and almost impossible to appreciate. I hope for anyone who loses their life doing something they love that they felt little pain and that this was how they did honestly want to end their time on this earth.

Below is a well done tribute video and a promo for an upcoming special with Sarah and her husband Rory. In the promo is the quote that I led this post with. Beautiful at the time of filming but eerie on this end of it.

A Sarah Burke tribute video. from Downtofilm. on Vimeo.

Any news like this also makes me think about my old college friend Billy Poole. Billy was one of the kindest people I have ever met. Before Facebook and MySpace, I lost touch with my old friend. I heard he was living his dream and skiing professionally through our other friends. I heard of his passing the same way. I am glad he ‘made it’. I am proud of him. The Billy Poole Memorial Fund has been set up in his honor to help get kids involved with skiing and outdoor programs.

Ski in peace Sarah and Billy.
Thanks for doing what you love and for sharing your lives with us and the sport.


One Year In and No Direction Yet

One year ago, I decided to officially launch this blog after drinks with a wonderful friend. As in internet marketer by trade, launching with no goals, no direction and with a free Worpress theme was VERY hard but I needed just to start and I was coming up with too many excuses not to.

The goal was to write one post a week about whatever I felt like and see if something sorted out along the lines of a theme or a goal. I did pretty good with the once a week goal – this will be my 54th post. I did not figure out a direction or a goal but I am OK with that. If anyone finds it too scattered, they are very welcome to not read it.

I went through this blog’s analytics and below are the top ten posts from this year and they seem to be all over the map too. This blog has a lot of readers and page views but not a lot of subscribers which I am sure could be fixed if I narrowed in on a topic. Who knows… maybe in 2012 I will find a narrower focus.

Glad I did it

So even though the blog wasn’t up to my standards, I am so glad that I did it. This year has been a rough one but having this blog really helped me through some difficult times. It also gave me reason to sit and reflect on some really great things that were happening in my life.

I am not sure how I would have flushed out my emotions with all the Brody stuff or how I would keep so many people who care about him/us up to date on how he was doing. I also succeeded in finding a channel other than the companies I write for to talk about my personal life and about things that really interest me. That was a lot of fun.

Most popular amandapants.com posts of 2011

Thanks to some web analytics, here are the ten most read blogs from this past year.

10. Giving 100%

This post was actually just a quote from Larry Bird. I wish all posts were that easy!

9. Cheers to Three Years

Three years of marriage down and still another lifetime to go!

8. Anticipatory Grief

I was sabotaging the time I have left with Brody by worrying too much about losing him.

7. How Long Does it Take to Fall in Love with Portland, Maine

With only two days to show a first time Maine visitor around, I reflected on some of my favorite things to do. I love this city.

6. What I learned at SXSW – The Not So Official Version

Reflections from Nerd Spring Break.

5. Top 5 Movies for When You Are Sick

Some type of plague took over my life. I spent some time thinking about my favorite movies for when I am sick and the close runner ups.

4. What We Did Before Cell Phones

After a week with some of my favorite people and no cell phones, I was almost sad to turn them back on.

3. A Few Thoughts on Big Decisions

When faced with the biggest and hardest decision on my life, I learned a lot about myself and what is really important.

2. I Cut Off My Hair and Sent it to Locks of Love

I have had long hair for almost all of my life. This Spring, in a tribute to my grandmother, I took off 10″ of hair and sent it to Locks of Love

1. Brody Has Three Legs – Just Don’t Tell Him That

This was the most read blog post here last year. After a long walk in the woods, Brody went to jump into the Jeep and one of his hind legs shattered. My athletic and healthy dog actually had bone cancer and that leg was so pock marked it shattered when he went to jump into the car. From then on in, our year and my life totally changed. It wasn’t just Brody who had to adjust to being sick and two having 3 legs.

How people got to this blog

Some people got to this blog by searching for terms on Google. As a life-long Saved by the Bell fan, I am VERY proud of how many people got to this blog for various searches that involved Zach Morris.

Below are the most popular searches that got people to this blog:

  • amanda pants
  • zack morris
  • movies for when you’re sick
  • happily ever after
  • amandapants
  • zack morris cell phone
  • smiley face scale
  • songs like you always make me smile
  • cut off my hair
  • best movies for when you are sick

Other than searching most people got to this blog from Facebook, Twitter, Hootsuite and LinkedIn.

The best parts

Trudging along with no goals was tough but I got so much from this blog last year.

One of my favorite parts was hearing how this blog affected other people. People have told me that this blog has made them laugh, has made them cry and has even made a few people try out running or get back on track with running.

As I mentioned before, this blog also helped me sort out a lot of things. This year has been one of the hardest I can recall. Somehow writing about it has helped me get a better handle on how I felt about all of it and put into perspective how I was going to deal with it.

What to do in 2012

Fortunately or unfortunately for anyone reading this blog, I am going to probably keep with the scatter-brained posts. I hope for next year I can do some things different stylistically and get it beefed up a little. I hope to continue with one post a week and to continue to learn and grow with this blog.

Thanks for reading in 2011 and cheers to 2012! Let’s see where this road takes us!