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www.TheChallahGirl.com it won’t let me import you as my subscriber! :(

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Flower Picture of the Day – Rene Murguia

Today’s Flower Picture of the Day comes from Rene Murguia.

If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Rene you’ll quickly learn of his passion for music. So, it is no surprise to me that this beautiful orchid was paired with the record Cave In – White Silence to create this lovely photo.

Thanks Rene!

You can check out him out on his Tumblr – Year of the shark

If you would like to be featured on one of my Flower Picture of the Day posts send me an e-mail at AskChallah@gmail.com attaching or linking to the images you’d like to submit.

Thou Shall Not Kill

I believe people are inherently good. I believe we don’t want to hurt anyone and generally want to do the “right thing” whenever we can.

I think it starts with a simple message reflecting those positive intentions.

Meat eating is good for you.

Meat eating is natural.

Meat eating is normal.

What rational person doesn’t want to be good, natural and normal? I know I do.

So, as a child… like many children… my parents fed me meat.

Great big juicy turkeys in November, delicious steaks on my birthday and less appealing, but certainly more common ground hamburger meat in every form imaginable.

I lived in the innocence of these beliefs where I didn’t have to think about where (or who) my food came from. There was no guilt at my table and life was sweet.

Then I started learning about animals. Yes, it started with my love for animals.

I first wanted to be a marine biologist! I think growing up in a coastal city put that one into my mind. Next, a zoo-keeper – until Steve died and then I felt too sad to continue on that path.

All the while through these adolescent endeavors I learned more and more about the animals in the world around me.

Like any budding scientist I observed their mating rituals, birthing rites, child-rearing policies and death observances. I noticed something.

Animals were intelligent.

This revelation was something I understood on the surface, but it didn’t go any deeper into my awareness for some time.

As I grew into an adult I adopted a little chihuahua dog and helped her grow.

We’d cuddle together on the couch and when I got up to go do something else – she would watch me and even follow me.

I know it doesn’t sound that extra-ordinary, but it showed me personally that animals – in this case dogs, well my dog – wanted to be near to me.

I didn’t understand. Why would she want to be near to me? Really. Her food was in the bowl, she had a little dog bed of her own and more toys than most 1 year-old children.

Why would she want to watch me, follow me, be near to me? What was I offering that she didn’t already have access to without me?

I slowly realized – Animals are not only intelligent. Animals are trusting and capable of developing bonds with the animals around them.

Well, that changed things in my mind. Suddenly, I started reexamining all the animals around me and how they interacted with humans and other animals around them.

My initial feelings were confirmed.

Animals are intelligent, trusting, capable of forming bonds with animals around them and they don’t want to be killed.

Oh come on! I pleaded with myself. Eating animals is healthy! It’s normal and natural. What’s wrong with it? — as I was shoving a mouthful of delectable chicken into my mouth.

And I’d always find myself coming back to the same answer – they don’t want to be killed. They are intelligent and trusting and capable of fear and pain.

Suddenly, guilt was served with every meal.

That still didn’t stop me most of the time.

I’d go on vegetarianism and off vegetarianism. Like some sort of guilt yo-yo diet.

I’d tell myself it is too hard and too weird as my friends and coworkers were always quick to point out.

And most of all – it was unhealthy. Right?

I won’t go into the long description of it, but I found that I did feel physically better when I wasn’t eating meat. That confused me.

So, I read many books and watched tons of informative videos and documentaries to try and uncover the truth.

So far, the truth that I’ve found is that no one really knows what the truth is, but not including animals in your diet won’t kill you or harm you beyond a shadow of a doubt. So, maybe not eating animals was at least as safe as eating them – maybe safer?

Still, my resolve was not complete. I mean a dog is one thing.

People have lived with dogs for as long as anyone can remember and dogs have always been our friends so, it makes sense to not want to eat them.

Farm animals were different right?

Their ‘glazed over’ expression and lack of personalities probably meant they were not that intelligent and probably were okay to kill and eat – right?

So, I started a project  – a chicken raising project.

I got a little group of eggs and a few weeks later little fluff balls burst from inside them.

And I was shocked at what I learned!

These farm animals were intelligent, trusting, capable of fear and pain.

And they wanted to be near to me! Just like my dog!

So – that’s it guys.

I’m not eating you and I’m not eating them because I don’t eat my friends…

And I especially don’t eat strangers. I mean that doesn’t even seem safe!

Is Your Online-Self in Need of a Makeover?

From my chunky jewelery to my brightly colored hair-clips, I could be Ugly Betty’s less famous fashion-friend.

If you meet me – you’ll know I’m one of those people.

I swear, It isn’t that I don’t know how to color co-ordinate – quite the opposite!

And I promise that I do realize the value of every New Yorker’s all business black attire.

And I assure you – it is more than vainly wanting things to be…

*Pretty*

It’s simply that I’m drop-dead, head-over-heels, madly in love with

Color, Patterns and Creativity!

I’m simply devoted to color and creation and I want my passion to show, even in my wardrobe and choice of apartment furnishings – Please, don’t laugh at my orange velvet couch if you come over for drinks!

So, I think it makes sense that in addition to my stellar content (wink-wink), I want my blog’s design to be visually appealing and stunning!

Er… Or if we don’t share the same taste then, at least memorable!

It is for this reason that I give considerable and painstaking thought to every color, picture, pattern and image that graces the pages of this blog.

I’m sure it is also from this vein of passion for sharing and inspiring creativity that Colour Lovers was born.

Color Lovers is an amazing resource that allows users from all over the web to come together and display their love of color by creating, customizing and sharing stunning design elements!

When used well, their bank of already developed patterns, palettes and colors can produce truly stunning results.

You can search through category listings such as:

Wedding, Home, Fashion, Web, Print, Craft, Business – among others!

Or even get inspired yourself and create your own palette or pattern template!

Not only will you get to enjoy the fashion fruits of your labor, so will others. They’ll also be able to comment and show their love for your talents and creative prowess!

I encourage you to be bold and check out what they have to offer – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

So – what do you think?

Are you in the mood for that creativity make-over I know you deserve?

Mad Props!

I want to seriously congratulate my friend over at OnMyWayToHealth.

She has been on a vegan diet for two days and has already lost a pound!

That’s right – she said two days on a vegan diet and she lost a pound – Amazing! Right?

Makes me want to give up my life of dairy and plunge mouth first into the world of fruits and veggies galore… Mmm bananas!

Seriously – why don’t you check out OnMyWayToHealth’s Blog and congratulate her on all her hard work!

Better yet – follow her along as she posts her experiences through this difficult venture and send many encouraging messages so she doesn’t fall back into her dairy eating ways!

Be warned – do not torture her with stories of your recent trip to Wisconsin or tempt her with thoughts of milk chocolate or I shall frown at you.

Also, if you haven’t watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Mostly Dead – do.

I know the title of the documentary is rather morbid, but try and look past it because it brings up some interesting points related to the vegan lifestyles of the drop dead gorgeous!

Seriously – unless they have some ridiculously good camera work – these people lost a ton of weight on a juice diet. They didn’t even die contrary to popular opinion that not eating animal protein will kill you or make you weak and listless.

That’s all for now – I’m off to eat some bananas!

Exercise: A list of Pros and Cons

I first decided to bike for 30 minutes.

When I really stopped to think about how many miles that would be… I redefined the goal to something a little more realistic…

I’ve decided to do my first 1 MILE bike ride this afternoon.

Okay – so I’m a little nervous about how this is going to turn out.

I decided to make a pro and con list to help my resolve…

Things against me – Cons:

  1. I hate exercise and love the internet.
  2. Chocolate ice cream might be my best friend – ever.
  3. I’m going to feel really tired and worn out.
  4. Sweating = icky.
  5. I’m getting over a head-cold. *cough – cough* Seriously.

Things for me – Pros:

  1. I do have those super cute workout clothes I don’t get to wear often.
  2. My bike is bright pink and adorable!
  3. This might make for a good photo op.
  4. My husband will enjoy the involvement in something he is into.
  5. It will be nice to be outside in the fresh air.
  6. A mile can’t take too long – can it?
  7. I’ll feel better that I did actually exercise today.
  8. If it is great – I can blog about it.
  9. If it is awful – I can blog about it.

Looks like I’m going to go for a bike ride this afternoon.

Flower Picture of the Day – Delisa Perez

Today’s Flower Picture of the Day comes from Delisa Perez.

She took these photos of Cactus flowers in her backyard and they are simply breath-taking!

You can check out her  Flicker Account or friend her on Google+

If you would like to be featured on one of my Flower Picture of the Day posts send me an e-mail at AskChallah@gmail.com attaching or linking to the images you’d like to submit.

Thanks Delisa for sharing your beautiful flowers!

5 Reasons Bumblebees are like Superheros

1. Bumblebees are saving the world… from starvation!

No – I’m not talking about honey! It is estimated that at least 30% of all the foods humans consume in North America are from bee pollinated plants.

Take a look at the chart below to see some of the impact bees have on our food crops to see their super powers in action!

Crop Value in billions(2006) % Bee Pollinated
Almonds 2.2 100
Apples 2.1 90
Cotton 5.2 16
Blueberries 0.5 90
Grapes 3.2 1
Oranges 1.8 27
Peanuts 0.6 2
Peaches 0.5 48
Soybeans 19.7 5
Strawberries 1.5 2
from:USDA; RA Morse & NW Calderone(Cornell University)

2. Bumblebees defy the laws of science!

In 1934, French entomologist Antoine Magnan concluded that the flight of the Bumblebee was impossible. Seriously – his calculations never revealed the secret of bee flight and he died still confused with the tiny insect’s superpowers.

Sure – modern scientists have some various ‘theories’ about why bees should be able to fly, but they have yet to definitively prove their understanding of bee’s aeronautical capabilities.

However, much like other superheros bees continue to fly along on their daily missions despite our inability to explain how they do it.

We’ve even written songs to honor the Bumblebee’s flying prowess.

Yeah, I think that’s pretty super.

3. Bumblebees have a secret weakness!

Much like Superman and kryptonite, Wonder Woman and her bracelets being tied together (by a man! Seriously. Sexist much?) or Green Lantern’s ring being weakened by the color yellow (I know lame – right?), Bumblebees have a secret weakness.

And despite their main goal being to help us, like all good superhero stories – Bumble Bees have haters!

They try to keep their weakness a secret so humans don’t use it against them, but someone has figured it out.

As a result, Bumble Bees are mysteriously dying at record rates and scientists are not really sure why. Again – there are theories, but the truth is shrouded in mystery.

We can only wonder about the fate of the planet if the villains succeed in their plot to destroy Bumblebees.

4. Bumblebees just look like superheros!

With their bold yellow and black fuzzy bodies and protruding antenna, Bumble Bees just look like aliens ready to save the world!

Frankly, they also look a little scary. I mean you might not think so, but have you really looked closely at a Bumblebee lately?

Striking fear into the hearts of evil-doers world-wide!

5. Bumblebees are weaponized!

Yes, we don’t like to talk about it much, but bees do have the ability to defend their collective wellbeing.

This takes the form of a HUGE stinger and unlike their honey bee friends – they can sting you again and again.

So next time you sit down to a meal or even look outside and behold the beautiful flowers outside, think about the Bumblebees that made that possible.

And remember, even superheros can’t do it alone. So, consider doing your part to help Bumblebees worldwide.

Our little house chick

She started out like this – cute, fluffy and wobbly.

1 day old Max

And man she was so much fun! She loved to play “attack the feet” while stumbling around and peeping. Adorable.

We tried reintegrating her back into the flock – since everyone was broody.

However, this did not go over well since they instantly tried to peck Max to death.

I know! Poor Max – Right?

This cute little chick was almost pecked to death by her family right in front of me!

We turned to the only option left; letting her live inside the house in a big rubbermaid storage bin.

Max really liked this arrangement.

She learned within a few weeks that she could fly up to the edge of the rubbermaid tub and perch – looking out at us and the dogs.

It wasn’t long before she learned she could jump in and out of the box and sit with us on the couch to watch TV.

Max has no interest in living outside with the other chickens or even interacting with them at all.

Looks like I’ve got one of those fashionable house chickens.

I tried to resist this at first, but Max has other plans. So, I purchased a chicken diaper yesterday.

Yes – a chicken diaper.

I’ll let you know how that goes. Until then, enjoy this video of Max eating watermelon on my coffee table.

I was actually trying to drink coffee on it at the time too, but she was so cute I had to video her instead.

What do you think about the house chicken movement?

Or keeping chickens as pets in general?

New music platform hits America

Spotify is the newest and best way to listen to and share music.

It is not available for wide release in the American market yet – However!

I still have three openings for a free account if you want to be at the cutting edge of trying out this new product.

Click this link to sign up for one of my VIP Invitation spots.