::How I Clean My Converse - Back to White::

I have allowed my converse to get pretty dirty, but I actually like mine not too white. Too white and too pristine means too perfect for my taste.

Enough of the grungy looking sneaks, here is my first time hand washing them, second time washing them.

I used three items: Espro Sports Cleaner, Detergent and bleach with water (1 part bleach 3 parts water) and an old toothbrush.

Step 1 - Soak the shoe with with Espro Sports Cleaner

I was given this bottle to test a while ago and have been using it for my running clothes, my kids karate clothes and it works like a charm for deep cleaning and removing odors and guarding your clothes from future odor with its odor guard. This stuff is a definite keeper! You can purchase this product at Walmart, Sam’s Club, or purchase it online here.

Step 2: Detergent with water

Step 3: Bleach (1 part bleach, 3 parts water)

How the shoe looked before. I know they don’t look dirty but they were pretty filthy!

The toothbrush is perfect for helping to get out the stubborn stains.

After I did the three steps, I tossed the shoes into the washing machine on cold and let them air dry.

Be sure to remove the shoe laces before washing the shoes. I removed them and placed them in a container to soak with detergent and bleach. They soaked overnight (I fell asleep).

Results below - even after wearing them for two days straight. I forgot to take an immediate picture after washing them.

There you go…back to WHITE! Now to get them dirty again. :-)

Living Simplistically

::Running for Autism Research::

Today, I took my running shirt for a test drive for my 4 miles training run. I can’t believe my race is only a couple of weeks away.

This year will make my 5th half marathon, which I will be running on behalf of my nephew who was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

September 7th is the day where running 13.1 miles will mean more than the race itself. I will be running to support children like my nephew and those like him ensuring resources are available to continue conducting research focused on Autism.

Did you know - 1 in 88 children are born with Autism? You can help this initiative by visiting my donation page by clicking on the link below.


Living Simplistically

::Motivation Mondays - Unplugging from My Phone::

Every so often throughout the year I will get this overwhelming feeling that I need to pull back from social media. I felt it coming on, but I ignored the signs…until one day last week I was on the train (after leaving my cell phone at work overnight) and I noticed EVERYONE was looking down at their phone.

People weren’t talking. No one was reading a book, or a paper. I saw people scrolling through their Facebook timelines, finger whisking through Instagram, sorting through tweets on Twitter. The scary thing is everyone appeared robotic and disengaged with those around them. Walking down the street, many people (I won’t say most), but many walked down the street not paying attending to street lights, where they are walking, or even bothering to look up from their mobile devices. Now people are walking blindly down the street with their heads tucked into their cell phones?

People don’t seem to want to engage with other people anymore so they depend on their devices to distract them from having to return a smile, or say “good morning” to someone like me who likes to talk and smile to mostly everyone. Why is that? Sigh…

So, my social media hiatus effective Saturday has begun. I am redirecting my energy and unplugging from the world wide web. I hear it’s called the web because once you are in, you are stuck! What did we do before all of these social media platforms called for our attention? Oh, we visited with neighbors, talked to strangers, spent more time with our children, actually went outside to partake in various activities. That is the the life I want. No, that is the life I need. As much as I love social media it cannot replace the relationships we develop with living people. I feel like we are missing out from life keeping our heads down and focused on our phone.

I’d like to challenge you all to look up from your phones and take in all that is around you. There is a life to live outside of social media. Posting pictures online, “checking-in” at various locations, seeing how many “likes” you get from your post. It can consume us, so taking a break and flipping your phone over is sometimes needed to reconnect with our own lives. 

How will I be using this time? I said I would be breaking away for a week, but who knows it may be longer. No Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, just blogging. I will be living a life free from my cell phone. Text messages are permissible. No checking my phone every 5 minutes to comment on a post. No waking up from my alarm and picking up my cell phone. No feeling pressure to post regularly. I am granting myself freedom from my cell phone, which will allow me to be fully engaged in life and conversations. I often have conversations with my husband and ask him what he said half a dozen times because I’m reading posts, or actively posting and didn’t hear anything he said. THAT SUCKS. Christie, that sucks! I’m going to do better!

I’d love to hear. Do you take breaks from social media? If so, what do you do and what is the amount of time you step away?

::Practice for Peace - Chicago Kids Yoga Fest::

This evening the kids and I attending the Chicago Kids Yoga Fest where community members were invited to practice for peace.

This event spanned the entire day but due to other commitments and visiting my husbands grandmother, we ended up stopping by a little later. Held at Garfield Park’s Conservatory, this event was free and available to anyone who wanted to attend with yoga classes available, healthy snacks and drinks, concerts, and art activities all centered on promoting peace.

The kiddles at the entry way. Someone doesn’t look pleased. LOL!

Art studio. These activities were more for the younger kids so my kids were disinterested.

Dog Days of Summer fountain artwork with pennies. You can’t see it, but Snoopy is there on the side.

Practice for peace…why yes, yes I will!

The Co-founders of the Yoga Gardens. Their story is so inspirational. Center in the heart of one of Chicago’s urban communities their organization is a testimony to how yoga can change an entire community.

My daughter finding her downward dog.

My son trying to advance his chair pose…almost there!

The space was packed and kid friendly.

This little boy was so cute. He was struggling with his crow and I gave him some pointers on how to keep it balanced! He listened and he held it like a champ. His parents were so impressed. Thus, he did it over, and over, and over again! I love kids :-)

The boy I mentioned above had a little sister who was just as endearing. Below is her version of downward dog. I see a future yogi. :-)

Despite what the media portrays on my city of Chicago, there are some wonderful things happening.

Living Simplistically

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