Life In The Village

It's Not-So-Ritzie

Make the World a Brighter Place

Published by J.Downie under on 3:27 PM

This time of year is traditionally a time to be with family, friends and loved ones.  Unfortunately we get caught up in the “Holiday Spirit” with all the rushing around, decorating and buying, buying, buying.   

Take a step back, slow down and truly enjoy and appreciate the company you’re in.  Your family, your friends, your loved ones, and even you, all deserve to relish the time spent together.  You have it today but it may be gone tomorrow.  So give thanks on a daily basis to the little things that make life wonderful and to those who are wonderful in your life.

Ways to give thanks on a daily basis:

1.  Say Thank You.

I think that’s a pretty obvious one but a lot of people just don’t say it.  A simple thank you goes a long way.  So mind your manners and say thanks.  Don’t forget to teach the little ones of this world to say it too. It might just make the future a brighter place. 

2. Gratitude.

Gratitude is your appreciation of the things you have in your life.  Show a little gratitude every day. This goes along with number one –like if someone holds the door open for you, show a little gratitude and say Thank You.  Appreciate other people’s smiles, the scribble on paper your child made for you, the fact that someone else changed the empty toilet paper roll, or when a coat is hung up instead of tossed on the floor or wash machine.  There are so many little things in life that we need to show gratitude towards. 

3. Enjoy nature.

Enjoy the beauty that nature gives to us on a daily basis.  Whether it’s sunny, rainy, stormy, snowy or night time, nature has a something unique and beautiful to give to the world.  Make a habit of stopping your hectic life and taking in the simplicity around you.  Even if you dislike rainy or snowy days, that rain will give you greener grass and that white beautiful snow will cover up the brown dirt and dead grass, so appreciate it for what it is.   

4. Celebrate.

Life is a celebration.  Celebrate life by taking a moment to enjoy that hot cup of cocoa, that smooth glass of wine, the fresh crisp veggies, that warm tight squeeze from your child, the invigorating feeling from spin class as you sweat out those toxins or the cozy down comforter as you snuggle in to bed.  It doesn’t matter how you celebrate just make sure you take a moment every day to do so because your life is worth celebrating.

“The more you notice the love, the miracles and the beauty around you, the more love comes into your life.” ~Betty Eadie

Fleeting Moments

Published by J.Downie under on 12:31 PM

“Life is so great that we only get a tiny moment to enjoy everything we see. And that moment is right now.” 

-Neil Pasricha
I saw this quote on It made me think of some tiny moments that I enjoyed this past weekend.  I got to spend time with my family at Christian’s last soccer game of the season.  The team was generously sponsored by the Vein Center which provided the awesome trophies for the kids.  That evening, we had an impromptu PSU party with some incredible friends.  Sunday morning was blessed with a mountain bike ride with my pup, proto.  The crunchy leaves covered all the rocks, in turn making for a bumpier ride than I was expecting.  The crisp air left me refreshed for a lunch date with my girls.  I cherish the times I get to spend with my friends.  It happens a lot less then what it should.  The weekend rounded out with a nice evening at home with the husband, kids, and a gigantic spider in our living room.  Eeeek
What are some of your favorite moments? 


Here's hoping..

Published by J.Downie under on 9:06 PM
So, I did it. I took the first step and applied to the LUNA Chix team.  I am very excited about this along with some other ladies I know.  If you'd to join in on the excitement, let me know.  Even if LUNA does not choose our area to start a team, you can still hit me up for a ride.  The Village is a great place to meet, ride and have a beer.  

Also, check out another project I started.
If you are a woman who is slightly interested in mountain biking or one who LOVES the sport, WOMEN ❤ MTB is for you!  It is a place where I will list tips, tricks and tracks. It's a place where I hope you grow as a mtbr along side the growth of WOMEN  ❤ MTB. I look forward to sharing stories of your trails, wisdom and inspiration with each other through WOMEN  ❤ MTB!

(Pic of the women's clinic at DirtRag DirtFest.)

“Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion. With these, you can handle anything.” ~Jack Kornfield

Something Good

Published by J.Downie under on 9:53 PM
I recently read an article on regarding something that we need to overcome on almost a daily basis.

10 Ways to Let Go and Overcome a Bad Mood

1. Get to the root.

2. Be real.

3. Complete the “I’ll feel better when I …” sentence.

4. Take responsibility.

5. Think it out.

6. Change the story in your head.

7. Want to understand.

8. Uplift yourself.

9. Use the silly voice technique.

10. Repeat.

Great suggestions on how to readjust your mood. However, the weekend we just had was also a remedy for a bad mood.  Getting outdoors, and more importantly getting exercise are both a way to overcome a bad mood. It was a beautiful weekend to breathe in some fresh crisp air, view the fleeting foliage, and laugh with the company of good friends.  We had an early trek through the woods.  Proto was a happy little pup taking an early morning swim and diving for rocks. If it was a little colder, his fur would have formed icicles. My husband had a great day of mountain biking which came in three parts.  First, a father and son ride which usually has a little battle up the hills but ends with a proud father and a stoked son. Next an adventure with a friend and then a solo mission through the mountains of Michaux.  Later he made a comment about needing to remember days like today when things aren't going so well.  All in all, if life is throwing you some negative vibes, take those vibes and turn them around.

“Every day may not be good, but there’s something good in every day.”  

Athletes and Inspiration

Published by J.Downie under on 2:37 PM
I'm pretty excited about possibly forming a LUNA Chix mountain biking team in the Harrisburg area.  

I hope this is what my husband was referring to when he chose to put LUNACHICK! on my ABC Mug Club mug. Hmm...

Attention all women who love to get active outdoors!  I am assembling a group of women who would love to get together, promote an active lifestyle and help raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Team LUNA Chix brings together women interested in being healthy, learning new sports and giving back to their communities — mixing equal parts fun, fitness and philanthropy. 

I am interested in starting a Mountain Biking LUNA Chix team in the Harrisburg area. Women of all ages and fitness levels are welcome.  Don’t be intimidated by the Mountain Biking part, we could do easy, intermediate and harder trails or maybe even a road ride. We welcome women at any fitness level, whether you’re working towards your very first bike ride or a seasoned athlete with some mad skills to share.  The Team’s goal is simple -inspire, motivate and connect women through sport, while also supporting LUNA’s non-profit partner, the Breast Cancer Fund.  

The season would run approximately April through October.  During that time, together as a team we would:
-  Host two no-drop workouts a month  — open to any and all women who want to get out there and have a good time.

-  Host two skill-based clinics during the season. (Examples include shoe-fitting clinics for runners or a demonstration on “How to Change a Flat” for cyclists.)

-  Promote the team at two local women-based events, either through an on-site booth or other activity. (LUNA helps with costs/materials.)

-  Raise a minimum of $1,000 for the Breast Cancer Fund.

-  Maintain a team web page at where photos and calendar listings can be shared. We ask that the team also contribute two blog posts per month to highlight all your exciting activities!

-  Distribute 1,000 LUNA samples per month. (This is the easy one — LUNA Bars practically give themselves away!)

There’s also a Team LUNA Chix Summit March 30-April 1 in Berkeley, California that you could attend with the team. The summit is a weekend for LUNA Chix teams to get together for clinics, rides, seminars, good food and wine.  For more information about joining the teams check out:

Feel free to email me ( jendownie[at] with any questions.  Please contact me by November 18th if you are seriously interested in participating (Harrisburg PA area).  Skills other than mountain biking that could be helpful: sports background, mentoring, volunteering, fundraising, technology, marketing, and accounting.   Keep in mind that right now, I’m just gathering contact information of women who would love to join the team.  I do have to apply to LUNA Chix and hope they choose to start a team in our area. I hope you will join me in this journey!

Cross your fingers!

The Scare of the Night

Published by J.Downie under on 3:49 PM
The village was alive with ghosts and goblins lurking around for Trick-Or-Treat this past Monday.  It was a fun and festive time with friends ushering our kids from door to door.  But it wouldn’t be Halloween without the chaos and rushing around beforehand.  I even left work a little early to try and tackle the task of getting things ready without the rush.  As we gobbled down some pizza, I unpacked the mess of costumes from the kids’ book bags.  Okay, Kirra’s Princess stuff… check.  Christian’s Mad Scientist gear… uncheck.  Christian looked shocked and upset that his costume was not in his book bag since he swears he put it there.  My son is a really smart and sweet boy but he would lose his hair if it wasn’t attached.  Luckily I spiked his hair for their school Halloween party using moose, hair gel, wax stuff and hair spray. He definitely was not losing his hair today, or maybe he would with that much product in it. 

Next set in Christian's biggest scare of the evening-- not being able to go Trick-or-Treating.  After drying some tears and reassuring that he could go, we moved onto plan B. Call Fuzzy Papa for another Dr.’s Jacket and scrub shirt to create the Mad Scientist look again.  But could we really wait for him to show up?  Sound the horn - Dad to the rescue.  With some swift snips of the scissor, face paint and fake blood, Christian was the happiest Zombie on the block complete with a bloody sword.  I’m pretty pleased that this year imagination was used to make not one but two costumes for Christian rather than relying on something store bought.  

So Trick-or-Treat was a successful night of pulling the princess around on her thrown and a Zombie hungry for candy instead of people.  Happy Halloween!

The man who has no imagination has no wings.
Muhammad Ali


Published by J.Downie under on 3:38 PM
My friend’s blog post made me think about some of the funny stuff my kids say and how I really should write it down. Check out Planet Adria.  Anyway, this morning during my shower, I hear some pouting as my curtain opens and lets in the cold air.  Kirra appears with tears in her eyes and says “Mommy, my ear swallowed something and it really hurt.”  Sniff Sniff.  Aww, that was just too cute but sorry, it's picture day.  Take some medicine and you're off to school.

Christian has some interesting sayings of his own.  Usually his are more like philosophical questions.  Like the other week he asked how the first tree came about.  Hmmm, that’s something you don’t think about every day and it certainly makes you wonder.

But the best was the other morning as we were driving to school, I hear Kirra in the back seat saying to Christian, “Christian, say ASS.”  Of course I was like, “What did you say?!?”   And she repeated again, “Christian, say ASS.”  Apparently she’s been picking up her teachers’ teaching methods of breaking words into parts and saying each part then combining it into the word.  She was trying to teach Christian to say Ashecombes which is where they were going on a field trip.  It was cute but we’re going to work on incorporating the “SH” sound into words so people like “assley” won’t get affended.

No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.
Bill Cosby 

Why don't pigs fly?

Published by J.Downie under on 2:58 PM
Some questions are easily answered.  

What type of gas do you put in your car?  White or wheat?  Schlitz or Troegs? Do I really need to answer that last one? Or when your child asks if you love them, you instinctively answer with a Yes!  

But, do you have questions in your life you just don’t know the answer to?  Some questions are not easily answered.  Why is there war or poverty in the world?  Where did the first tree come from?  Why does my dog try to bite spots of light? Or when you are taken advantage of or emotionally abused, why do you put up with it?

Life brings many challenges, feelings and situations to us on a day to day basis.  How we react and handle those situations influence how we will exist in the world for days to come. We can allow those difficult questions paralyze us or we can harness those experiences and move forward with what we have learned.

I came across a blog that is inspiring, full of wisdom, meaningful quotes and life experiences.  I like this blog because I can relate to how the person describes her thoughts and feelings and hope to move forward in life in a positive manner like this person has. Lori Deschene is the Founder of Tiny Buddha. She is conducting a project: Your life’s questions in photos. Visit to be enlightened and read more about the project.

What’s been the hardest question in your life?


I plan on utilizing this blog to share happenings of our life and surroundings. I'd also like to use it to share positive thoughts and inspiration that I find throughout life. Please feel to contact me with any comments or suggestions.