Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Posing On Tuesday; Revolved Triangle

I wasn't at home this weekend. I told you that already. I ran off on a weekend getaway with my honey. When we got home on Sunday afternoon, we were both exhausted - and feeling less than awesome because of all the really terrible food we ate all weekend. We totally had nachos and beer for brunch on Saturday, just to give you an idea.

I've been planning this sequence for a little while. Triangle into forehead to knee into revolved triangle. Revolved triangle is not as easy pose to get into the first time...or the second or third time. It's another one of those poses, but its easier if you have a feel for regular triangle and forehead to knee pose.

Let's get to it, shall we?

Parivritta Trikonasana

When we were in triangle, our stance was pretty wide. You're gonna want to narrow your stance for this baby. Trust me.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Catalina; Summer 2013

For months and months I've been whining around the house about how I want to go on vacation. I want to go places, do things, adventure anywhere and everywhere. 
Hubs brought up a while back that he and his family used to vacay to Catalina Island, and I realized that despite having been a native SoCal resident, I had never been there. 
So early this year we planned it - originally for the first weekend after tax day, but other commitments forced us to change it to the last weekend in April. Then off we went, on our first weekend getaway of 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 17

Resolved: I need to take more photos during the week pertaining to my workouts/yoga.

Saturday night we watched Django Unchained. It was mucho entertaining, but it kept us up until 1:30am, soooo... even though I tried to get up and go to boxing on Sunday morning, it just didn't happen. I kept thinking I would squeeze in some kind of workout at some point during the day, but alas, no such workout happened. No big. I would make up for it.

Monday I told myself I would go to CrossFit. I even left work a little early so I'd have enough time to get out to Sherman Oaks. But then I got home and I was just completely wiped out, and while I still wanted a great workout, "that type" of workout just was not appealing to me. I did manage to get to the 530 advanced cardio barre though. It was my second advanced class, 3rd class total, since coming back from my over 6-month CB hiatus and I pretty much wanted to die at the end of it.  My sister broke down the level of difficulty for some of the teachers there, saying that this teacher's beginner classes were intermediate and her advanced classes were whatever the next step above advanced is. As as aside, I was totally distracted from the pain by singing Whitney Houston to myself during cardio.

Tuesday I decided to go for Day 4 of P90X and do some Yoga X at the house. I have come so far since the last time I did yoga x, so I was able to integrate more challenging poses into my practice - like bird of paradise and side crow - which was pretty cool.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Little Letters

Dear #behappylinkup friends, I feel so strange that I missed the linkup yesterday, but I promise I'll be back next week.
Dear upcoming vacation, I am so excited to finally have a weekend away. I know you won't disappoint.
Dear instagram, Thank you for giving me approval in the form of "likes" when I post pictures of myself making silly faces.
Dear curling iron, How did I never think to use you before this week? Especially in dry weather, you are my curling savior.
Dear blueberry plant, How long does it take for berries to turn blue?  Seriously, y'all have been green for months (I think)!
Dear car, I bought you some cool bling on amazon this week. You're going to look like "my car" soon enough. Sorry it took so long.
Dear law office across the hall, Sometimes I am so appreciative of the chocolate you keep stashed at the front desk, but most days I am frustrated that there is so much chocolate in such close proximity and I have to practice self control.
Dear wine fridge, I thought maybe I needed to replace you with a bigger one, but then I realized I just need to drink more wine. 
Dear yoga studio, Thank you for finally giving me my certificate. 
Dear Roomba, Thank you...just, Thank you. 

This week I am joining the Little Letters Linkup with Freckled Fox.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Butternut Squash Ravioli

Did you know that in Italian the plural of ravioli is ravioli. So, if one were to say "raviolis", it would be the mixed language equivalent of saying "pastases". We don't say "spaghettis", right? ;)
I have too much fun with silly things like that. Don't get me started on the misuse of the word "acronym". There's a whole section on it in this episode of Penn & Teller's Bullshit.

A while ago I went a little crazy on a grocery trip a bought a whole mess of butternut squash - like WHOA  - I bought too many. I managed to eat most of them, but I got worried I wouldn't be able to get to the last one before it went bad. I was on the verge of butternut squash overload. So I steamed and pureed it... and then in sat in the fridge for longer than I'd like to admit until I got the right combination of inspiration and motivation. 

Really, the only thing I ever thought I would make was ravioli.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Pyramid Pose

It's a thing now. Every weekend, Panda comes outside with me and helps me with my pose breakdown photos. Her approval is essential.

I have yet another amazing pose for y'all this week. It doesn't require balancing on one leg and wrapping your arms around your back. It's easy peasy, and it feels lovely. I promise.


also called 'intense side stretch", which, frankly, I don't understand because your sides are not stretching, or forehead to knee pose.

Why does this pose have so many names???

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 16

I was making funny faces and flexing this afternoon. What?
You guys! This is a long one. I apologize in advance. I hope you will read it anyway. I learned a ton and was challenged a lot this week.

Now that I'm not in teacher training, I'm doing far less yoga each week. I'm still practicing 2 or 3 days a week, usually, but its strange because I thought I would be doing more.

Sunday I got up and went to boxing all by my lonesome. It was tough, as usual, but I totally got a second wind after class and pounded out a mile on the treadmill. The bummer was when - of all the free treadmills  around - the man smelling like stale cigarette smoke got on the open treadmill next to me exactly one quarter of the way into my run. The rest of the time I was just thinking, "only 3 laps to go... only 2 laps to go...only one lap to go..." Boo on that guy. Wish he'd just gotten on a different machine.

Monday I tried something new. Have you ever heard of Pure Barre? Apparently they have them everywhere. They just opened one up near me and my sister and I decided to try it out and bought the livingsocial deal. Monday night - after I paused to breathe because the tax extensions had been mailed - I decided to try it out. It was... fine? Not really my thing. Itty bitty squats paired with itty bitty pelvic tilts and never being sure that I was doing it right made me not love this class. I'm going to try again (up to four times because I bought a deal for 5 classes), but I tend to prefer workouts where I am working up a sweat - and this was not that.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Guest Post on All Things Beautiful

Hi friends! My very smart and talented blogging friend, Alyssa, is on vacation this week, so I'm over on All Things Beautiful today talking about the challenges I've faced being happy in my home.

My husband and I live in a multi-level townhome. There are three staircases between where we park our cars and where we sleep each night. We closed escrow on October 29th, 2010 and moved into our first place that Halloween. Over the last two and a half years, we've "redone" all but two of the rooms - mostly repainting, but we also carpeted the living room and replaced the counters and appliances in the kitchen.  It's been a long and exhausting process, but I've finally reached the point where what used be glaring imperfections are what make this place our home... (read more)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Triangle

Is it wrong that I'm giggling at my dog who needs to see where I am and what I'm doing nearly every moment?

"Hey ma, your pants smell different today. What's that about?" "No, Bear, I'm pretty sure they smell the same as they usually do. Please move behind me so I can show the nice people how to do triangle pose." "Ok, fine, but I'm still gonna be in all your pictures."

Today we're talking about...

(Trikonasana or Utthita Trikonasana )

This is one of the poses I really like to teach in my beginner's class. You can take it to any level that's comfortable for you and your body, get a great stretch while improving core strength, and not have to sacrifice your form at any point. This pose is about learning how to do it correctly from the beginning.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 15

Sunday! I did nothing.

Monday Panda and I went on a nice long walk and discovered new parts of our neighborhood we hadn't really appreciated before. There's some nice stuff on the other side of the river.

Tuesday I was feeling slothy, so I knew I needed to kick it up a notch, but when I got home from work I had a nasty headache. So, I took some excedrin, sauteed a bowl of brussel sprouts and made ravioli to freeze for later. When it was time to clean up, I plugged in my iPod and - since I was feeling better - danced as I cleaned the kitchen. Not just toe-tapping and hip shaking. I may or may not have looked like I belonged in one of the old ipod commercials.

Wednesday I managed to get to the gym on the late side and run 3 miles. I actually ran my fastest mile since middle school, which I was pretty proud of - 8 minutes and 37 seconds. Woot. I was sprinting. I usually run about a 10 minute mile.

Thursday I taught my class again. I thought I would head back to the gym after my class, but I had another headache. It's the weather and my allergies. Erg. I wish we could all just be friends. My class somehow ended up going great though. WHAT A CHALLENGE! One of my students had very limited mobility in her ankles - she couldn't even do down dog - so I had to completely revise how I thought about class. We spent a lot of time stretching on the floor, but I was able to incorporate some modified balance poses for her. It was such a great opportunity for me to learn more about how to teach students with limited mobility.

Friday I was feeling like I needed to make up for my lack of exercise throughout the week... but I didn't. I had a plan to go to the gym and run, but T was worn out from his first week at the new job and I didn't have the motivation to go to the gym without him.

Saturday we managed to get out and play tennis for a little bit. We brought Panda to the courts and she had SO much fun. We had two balls out and she would have one, and the other one cornered, and not know which one she should be going for. I almost fell down laughing. A little later I took the pictures for my pose breakdown this week and then went to teach my Saturday class. I had my first pregnant student, which was so much fun. Then I came home and did about a half hour of yoga flow in my private studio aka bedroom.

I also didn't eat very well this week. Lots of ice cream and candy around. The ice cream is gone so I don't have to worry about avoiding that this coming week, but I think it's time to stock up on low-cal popsicles to have for dessert now that it's finally warming up - except for today, wtf cloudiness?

How was your week? Did you get out and exercise more than I did?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Strawberry Peach Vanilla Smoothie

I've been on a pretty major smoothie kick lately.
I probably have around 3 a week. I've been experimenting with different milks and yogurts and have pretty much loved everything.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

You Call Yourself a Writer

This is weird.

I am a writer. No one pays me to do it. I don't even have the confidence to try and deal with blog sponsorship, but I am a writer nonetheless.

I don't know why I decided to listen to this podcast on my way to work this morning. I'm not thinking of writing a book anytime soon, but this morning I realized that I'm a writer.

Because every day when I sit down to put together a post for this blog, I am pondering, I am channeling my creative juices, and I am writing.

Whether or not you like what I have to say or agree with me... it doesn't matter. It doesn't even seem to matter whether anyone reads what I write at all.

I write, therefore I am a writer.


It's an itty bitty be happy post today. :) Check out these other amazing ladies' journeys through the linkup!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Project Simplify; Drawers & Shelves

I read Simple Mom. I actually got into it initially because I was looking for more podcasts to listen to during my commute. I didn't read the blog for a while. I just liked listening to her talk to her mom friends and found a lot of other great inspirational blogs to follow.

There's something crazy happening in your brain right now. You're right, I don't have kids. I'm fully aware of this fact. What am I doing reading a mom blog?  It's simple. I like what she has to say.

This month, Simple Mom is hosting Project Simplify, which - this year - includes less specific project guidelines to accommodate non-parents, like myself. I dig it. I'm in.

Week 1 - Drawers & Shelves
You know the ones… The drawers where everything gets crammed and forgotten, the shelves that you don’t want to touch because everything would fall. This week, you’ll tackle these. You’ll declutter, clean, and organize these little hideaways, whether they’re in the kitchen, the garage, the kids’ room, or—well, everywhere. Do as many or as few as you want. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Revolved Half Moon

This is not the easiest post on the planet - not by a long shot. It's a lot like last week's pose...except more difficult, and  - literally - with a twist. 

Revolved Half Moon
(Parivritta Ardha Chandrasana)

I like this pose because it is a challenge every single time. There is always something to think about and focus on - is my back leg straight, foot flexed? can I turn my head and look up to the sky this time? A thousand questions, a thousand details, a thousand things to not forget about. 

Monday, April 8, 2013


Friday was a big day in the life of us because these things happened:

  • I hung out with my grandparents and talked about arc welding with my grandpa. He has fancier tools than I used in college. I should add that to the random facts about me. I know how to weld. 
  • I coordinated getting our house cleaned once a month. (Heck yes!)
  • Our taxes were filed. Done. 
  • Bought myself a new pair of shoes. These, if you must know. 
  • I talked to a landscaper about getting the giant scary tree on our property trimmed. We've only been talking about doing that for about two years...
  • It was T's last day at his job of 3 and a half years. He'll now be doing almost the same thing, but at a bigger company with more opportunity for growth. We are both SO EXCITED, and I am SO PROUD of my hubby. For those of you following along, we celebrated him putting in his notice with dark chocolate sweet potato bread pudding
The weekend continued on an uber productive trajectory, including buying a few new plants and doing a mini reorg on the patio. :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 14

This is the only workout related photo I have this week. I was going to teach my class in my Veronica Mars shirt, but then... (see below)

Easter Sunday I actually got up early and ran a few miles.I updated my 30x30 list accordingly. I beat my best 5K time to date, but taking into consideration that I ran my first 10K in exactly twice that, I kinda just felt like I got back to where I was 6 months ago. That afternoon was day two of our postnatal/postpartum yoga teacher training. I am learning so much! The second half of the workshop is in May. Should be amazing.

Monday I went to 2/3 vinyasa flow... again. :) I am getting progressively better at side crow.

Tuesday night I "rested" to stay home and clean my house. It's only slightly cleaner than it was on Monday.

Wednesday night was my last day at yogaworks. I decide to take level 2 vinyasa flow.

My Thursday night class is notoriously small, but this week it was so small it ceased to exist, so I went to Cardio Barre for the first time in about 6 months.

Friday turned out to be rest day #2. I'd wanted to have a celebration dinner with the hubs, but he was feeling burnt out, so we ended up running errands and watching Spartacus.

Saturday morning I got back out to the studio for 90 minutes of power yoga with one of my favorite instructors. It was hard to get back to that style of yoga after 2 weeks. Its bizarre how different yoga can be from studio to studio.

How was your week? I hope it was awesome.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

One Line a Day

Well, y'all, I've been doing it. For just about two weeks I've been writing one little blurb each day. Things I'm thankful for, things I did that day, something that happened. It's been pretty amazing so far. 

We talked a little bit about how having those little blurbs to look back on in tougher moments would help me see the light in things, but we didn't really talk about how it would help each day. 

Even on nights I'm in a crummy mood, I'll write, "I'm in a crummy mood, but I am thankful for..." and thinking about that wonderful thing would make me just a little bit happier. 

We didn't really talk about how taking a moment to be positive right before bed would help me sleep better, and then, wake up better. 

I've had a couple of nights when as I crawled into bed I thought, "Ugh, I am so cranky, how can I write about something positive right now?" and I had one night when I didn't want to think about the positive things, but I managed and I look back at that day and I am so glad I did. 

Remember this is a linkup! Follow along on these other amazing ladies happiness journeys. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fitness Things; 100 Push-ups

PUSH-UPS! I decided to write this post because I know that a lot of women struggle with push-ups. They just think they're not strong enough. I don't know all the reasons, but I do know that push-ups are something I struggled with for a lot time. I always thought I couldn't do them. Today I can do about 30 push-ups without stopping or putting my knees down. So, I thought I would share how I got here... and how surprisingly easy it was.

This is like the blog post version of the #latergram.

I've written a little bit a long time ago about my first efforts to get into some semblance of "good shape" after college - kettle bell swings and sprints with the (now) hubs, my first foray into the world of jogging while listening to audiobooks.

It was during that time I saw that a few of my facebook friends - who are in the Air force mind you - were going to try a program called one hundred pushups. Air force.  I'm thinking these girls are crazy fit and can probably pound out 100 push-ups without a second thought, but I was intrigued, nonetheless. At that point, I remember thinking I could barely do one push-up, let alone 100.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Half Moon

This is a hard one. I'm not gonna sugar coat it, BUUUUT it can be made easier. I'm still on my one legged balance pose kick, so bear with me.  It's also one of my most favorite poses on the planet.

Half Moon Pose
(Ardha Chandrasana)

I must be on a floating kick lately. This pose is so very much like Warrior III. In fact, a lot of sequences include directly transitioning from one into the other. It requires a lot of core strength to do both poses, but you can gradually increase your strength each time to attempt this pose, or push yourself a little bit further.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Letting Go of the Outcome

A few weeks ago, I got home from work, brought the mail in and started flipping through it. You're stunned by the mundanity (word?). Among the everyday throngs of preapproved credit card applications, real estate flyers, and bills bills bills was a small envelope without a return address. It was addressed to my husband by the name only his family and friends use - and me, and they did not include our unit number. I was so curious, I could not wait until I was inside the house to find out what this was. Who would mail us something, affectionately address my husband, and not know our address needs a unit number?

Still parked on my hiney in the garage, I opened the envelope to find a thank you note. My initial reaction was positive. Who doesn't like to get a thank you note, really? 

But then I started to notice things about this one in particular... 

It was typed. There was no personal address - no "Dear Alyssa...". No reference to the gift we'd sent them, and no signature. Just a generic, print out note - the same one they'd sent to everyone. 

Having been raised to expect and appreciate a good thank you note - I went to luncheons with pastel dress codes, y'all - I interpreted this as a big "F-U". I was majorly offended. 

The next day, I told my mom about it and she initially rolled her eyes with me (having planted the seeds for my current stance on thank yous)... and then she caught herself, stepped back, sat up on the counter and said this to me,

"Remember what we learned in yoga?...
...Don't be attached to the outcome."
 I'm trying to remember this more every day. To do things for myself and without expectation. Would I have still given this couple a gift if I knew I was going to get this crap thank you note? I like to think the answer is yes. I wanted give them a gift as a gesture. It made me sad they felt my gesture merited such an impersonal acknowledgement, but now I'm working on detaching myself from those things.

I can be happier if I rely less on the actions and reactions of others - release expectation and just be.

Thanks, Mom.