Friday, May 31, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; FroYo for Pups

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but here in the Valley this May is getting hot hot hot. Also, I just realized it's almost June. 

The heat means a couple things...

We start spending the bare minimum amount of time upstairs - where all the heat collects and no matter how high you crank the A/C only the downstairs cools off.

I have to water my plants damn near every day instead of only every few days.

And my poor baby dog who is stuck in the house all day, gets ice water and froyo to cool her down. 

Yes, I give my dog froyo, and yes, I make it myself. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

30 x 30; Clean Out & Reorganize the Garage

Y'AAAAAALL! This weekend we cleaned out, repainted, and reorganized the garage. This is what I looked like on Sunday - midday. We weren't even close to done. 

But before I talk to much about the middle, let's go back to the beginning, shall we?

We bought our condo in 2010. The garage was already half full of junk - old paint, extra drywall, you name it. Then T's parents moved from the Bay to SD, so all the stuff he'd left at their old house, was moved into our garage - along with a pretty huge collection of random tools and supplies we "might need someday". Then I finally got most of my stuff out of my parents' house (there's still a little over there, I think) and that went into the garage. Then over this past Christmas, T's parents made a final trip up North to clean out their storage units, and on the way down left boxes upon boxes and even some furniture for us - which we sorted through and then ultimately stored in THE GARAGE.

The garage... which was already painted dank dark grey and had built in shelving units that were falling apart, including one that jutted out into the garage so we each hit our heads on it more than once - many a gash and bruise were had. 

OH! AND! For a long time we were keeping rolls of carpet because one of the couples' my aunt sold a house to ripped out the brand new carpet and gave it to us. The trouble was that it had been rolled up for so long, it was in terrible condition, so we couldn't use it. So, in the weeks leading up to this little renovation, we'd been slowly throwing away rolls of carpet. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Peach Blueberry Pie

Y'all, this weekend we cleaned out the garage - whole separate post on that coming soon - but for some reason, on Monday - despite my complete and utter exhaustion - I thought it would be a great idea to make a pie to take over to my parent's house for their Memorial Day barbecue.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 21

Still not recovered from my complete lack of weekends.

Sunday I did the first hour of F.I.T. at home. I stopped because I ran out of time. I had to get ready for the final day of my mommy/baby teacher training. It was SO tough. I tried to get my new fancy heart rate monitor working, but I think I may have set it up wrong because it wasn't picking up my heart beat at all. I had a heart rate of zero... totally possible.
At the teacher training later, we (the future teachers of mommy/baby yoga) participated in class with the mommies and babies. We did her "detox class", so I basically got a second workout that day.

Monday was a big big day for my yoga practice. I took Power Yoga. NBD, I do that all the time. Here is why it was important for me. Last April, I joined in on the Team Beach Body Photo Challenge. On the day the prompt was "goal", I posted this:

I didn't realize that just over a year later I would actually be able to do it. Monday night, after over an hour of shoulder and core prep, we went to the wall to practice. I've been able to get  up at the wall for ages, but only recently have I started playing with pulling both of my feet off the wall. This picture is basically halfway between two poses - feathered peacock and scorpion. I haven't tried to do this pose exactly, but I have been working on the two separate poses. And Monday night, I HELD my feet away from the wall in BOTH. Boom.

Tuesday I went back for Blow the Doors Off the Gym Tuesday - which is really just me taking Total Fit Body followed by Yoga Flow, but it's two full hours or hard work. Thus the name.

Wednesday night I missed all the classes I would have liked to go to, so I rolled out my mat in the dining room, put on some music and got going. I really tried to challenge myself and I think I was pretty successful - lots of balance, arms, abs - tough stuff. I was pleased.

Thursday night I taught my class. It was a fun class. My cousin just graduated from college and moved back home to the Valley, and he came out for my class this week. It was so great to have him there. Also, super huge congrats to him for graduating from Notre Dame - seriously!

Friday morning I got up crazy early and went to 6am "restorative yoga" I put it in quotations for a couple of reasons. It's at a gym. This is going to come across as a little snobby. Please forgive me. Gym's just do not have the same kind of yoga that you will get at a studio. Most often, they don't keep props, so you're limited in the postures you can do. Next, there are such a wide variety of people that come to class - most with limited but extremely varying yoga experience - another big limitation. And finally, the gym atmosphere is just different. There's a whole different mindset and approach to yoga that has more to do with fitness than spirituality and proper alignment. I don't mean to make gym yoga sound bad, because it's not AT ALL. I first fell in love with yoga in a gym class. It's just different, y'all - in a lot of ways more so now that I'm a yoga instructor. Anyway, restorative yoga uses a ton of props - bolsters, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, anything and everything you can think of to get the body into comfortable/restorative positions. Without access to the props, the class becomes a gentle morning yoga class. AND THAT'S OKAY.  Great even. It is what it is.  This is the class that I'm taking over for 5 weeks starting next month. 

Saturday we just cleaned out and painted the garage. That was my yoga - even though that work left me in desperate need of some time on the mat.

Sorry for the long post today. Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

My Life In Yoga

There has been a lot happening in my yoga life lately. So much so that it only seemed appropriate to use this Thursday's Be Happy post to talk about it.

First of all, I have been so blessed to have the opportunity to sub in some amazing classes over the last couple of weeks. I am so grateful to have had these opportunities and it looks like they'll be continuing for a little while since I have a Memorial Day lunchtime class planned and I am slated to sub a 6am restorative class twice a week for 5 weeks. If you're in the West SF Valley area and looking for some yoga, it would be great to see your beautiful faces.

Next, last weekend I completed my certificate to teach Postnatal and Mommy/Baby yoga. Above is the picture of our graduating class. I'm so happy and proud to have been a part of this group of incredible ladies. I am also so so so excited to start teaching mommies and babies. I already reached out to some of my mommy friends on facebook and have gotten a really good response!
This was also kind of the catalyst for me to decide to register for Yoga Alliance. I already started the process, but I need to upload copies of all my certificates.

And finally, I've been working on challenging myself more during my at-home solo practice - pushing myself beyond what I teach my beginners so that I can create a challenging class for all of my potential students - and last night I had an amazing solo practice. Around and hour and 5 minutes with a little bit of everything. I did a shortened savasana, but my forward folds at the end kind of got me the mental break I needed.  It was really great, and I can't wait to continue to improve in my own practice and take my experiences into my classes.

Join the linkup!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Posing on Tuesday; Tree Pose

What do you think of what someone says yoga? Do you think of that picture of a person at the beach standing on one leg and reaching for the sky? Not gonna lie, I do.

I think of Tree Pose.

This morning I decided to break down tree pose because I wasn't warmed up enough to attempted a crescent twist. For real, but I also love tree pose, and after I decided not to do the twist, Tree was kind of a no brainer. I actually don't know why it's taken me so long to break this one down.

It's excellent for practicing your balance and there are so many different levels you can take it to if you need to start slowly.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread

I was home this weekend. I know I told you I was so excited about it, but I feel like I neglected to mention that this was not a "free weekend". I was not home, relaxing poolside, nose buried in horrible easy-reads where you hate all the characters but you keep reading because you just want to see how the dang thing ends. 

I was at a workshop - an AMAZING workshop, just so you know - but because it was an hour away and 4 hours long each day, it didn't exactly leave me with a lot of down time. On top of that, we decided to start cleaning out the garage this weekend so that we can tear everything down next weekend, and I was completely wiped out. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 20

Can I just start by saying I am so ready to have my weekends back?! I haven't slept at home on a Saturday night in 3 weeks. This weekend I'm at a yoga workshop in South Bay, which isn't exactly a free weekend, but at least I get to sleep in my own bed and I don't have to unpack on Sunday night.

Last Sunday we were driving home from SD and I got just carsick enough that I didn't want to partake in any kind of physical exertion after we got home. I met my mom, sister, grandma, and aunt out at the mall and spent a few hours with them. It was nice, but it didn't give me the energy I would have needed to workout. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Nothing in Particular

made with the a beautiful mess app

I don't usually do this, but I just wanted to take a moment on my blog and wish everyone a happy weekend. I'll finally be spending an entire weekend sleeping in my own bed instead of a hotel room on my in-law's spare room. I feel like I've been so all over the place. I mean, I almost literally have been all over the place.

So happy weekend to all y'all.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

One Mile an Hour

Yesterday it took me a full hour to drive one mile. I wish it were one of those instances when I could have just walked, but unfortunately, I had to get myself and my car all the way back to the Valley after this one mile at 3pm. At one point to combat getting cut off, I let my car get so close to the one in front of me, I quite literally had a mini panic attack that if I lifted my foot up off the break even a centimeter, I would hit them.
I had all these thoughts while I was sitting there in my car; why didn't I just stay near the dentist and have some late lunch? I could have gone shopping and leisurely walked around World Market, or maybe found an alternate route down to Culver City so I could have dinner with my husband after he got off work.

But I kept coming back to the same thing. "No point in imagining the what-ifs. I am here now. There is no getting out of it..."

Seriously, no way out. I was stuck. 

And just as I was thinking that, an ad came on the radio - which up until that point had been going straight in one ear and out the other. I couldn't even enjoy my favorite songs. - Some local news channel was going to monitor one woman's heart rate/vitals during her daily commute to see how the stress of driving in LA impacted her health. 

And there I was sitting in my car, heart beating so hard in my chest I thought for sure you could see it, and I remembered that I have more control that I was allowing myself. 

After unfurrowing my brow (it's a daily battle against aging), I took a slow intentional inhale - felt the air enter and fill my entire body - followed it up with an easy relaxing exhale, and repeated. 

With each slow and intentional breath, I could actually feel my heart beat slow. It stopped pounding with such ferocity and settled back into my chest. 
I was almost on the freeway now. With each lane that merged with ours, traffic moved a little bit faster. Once I was actually on the freeway, I was home in less than half an hour. 

I know I've talked about the power of breath before - how in our most stressful times, we can take a mental step backwards, shut off our brains for a moment and revitalize ourselves with breath, but yesterday was one of the purest reminders of that. Even when we feel totally out of control, we can bring ourselves back to center. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kitchen Adventures; Spaghetti Squash Bolognese

I know! I know! It's the second Tuesday in a row I haven't been breaking down yoga poses for y'all. Did you notice? My days have been jam packed. I haven't found the time and the light to take the pictures for the posts. Hopefully I'll have a chance this weekend and we can get back to it!

This week we're back with round 2 of easy peasy no hassle dinner standards. Though, if we're being honest, I've been eating some crazy lazy dinners lately - lazier than this baby. We're talking scrambled eggs, a tortilla and salsa, or the most random one yet; one egg, one avocado, a bowl of strawberries & blackberries, and sauteed brussel sprouts.

The last few weekends have been rough for me. My (usually) healthy eating habits have been thrown out the window in favor of ice cream, margaritas, pita chips, and cake. It means that baking bread, muffins, or any kind of yummy dessert option is completely unappealing during the week, whereas a month ago, I would have been all for throwing together a batch of blueberry ricotta muffins and having them for breakfast all week. Right now greek yogurt and berries are my breakfast BFFs.

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorite go-to dinners.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 19

Don't judge my resolution

Sunday all I managed to do was buy myself a couple of new pair of sunglasses. Between flying back home, getting out to my mom's art fair, celebrating come semblance of cinco de mayo, I was just too dang tired. Kind of a lame excuse, but it is what it is.

Monday I got back to my home studio for the first time in weeks. First time in months back in Wayne's Power Yoga class. It was great. The class moved at a perfect pace. There was a really fantastic energy in the room. He focused on shoulders, which I kinda needed after last week, so that was awesome. I worked my ass off and sweated a ton.

Tuesday I convinced my sister to finally activate her Groupon and come to Pure Barre with me. She has pretty much the same stance I do - it's boring. We both felt like we would be sore the next day, but the actual process of getting to that point was excruciatingly boring at times. It was nice to have someone to commiserate with.

Wednesday was a big big BIG day. I thought I might take power yoga between the two classes I subbed, but I need to go home and put my head back on after feeling not great about my first class. And you know what happened after that. I walked around the studio a lot. Does that count as exercise? No? Dang.

Thursday I though for a second that I might get up early so exercise, but I ended up only getting up early enough for a leisurely breakfast. When I got home from teaching my class later, I was also feeling very leisurely, so the relaxing continued.

Friday I got home from work and jumped right into Kenpo X. I wore shoes this time. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I don't usually wear shoes when I workout at home. It's EXTREMELY rare.

Saturday I had this fantasy that I would get up early before we drove down to SD and go for a run, but I was kidding myself. Seriously.

Happy Mother's Day!

I know the day is practically over. I've been out and about spending time with my beautiful momma and MIL all day.

Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing mothers out there!!! And those of you who are not parents or are pet parents, I hope you are having a wonderful day with the ones you love!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Applying What I Learned

Yesterday was one of those days - when the crumbs left on the kitchen counter are more than a mere annoyance and the smallest thing is interpreted as a personal attack. From the moment I woke up yesterday morning until right around 6pm, it was just one thing after another. I would finally start to feel better about one thing and then a whole new problem would arise.

I was battling my self worth all day. It sucked.

But I had agreed to sub, not one, but two classes yesterday, so I knew I had to buck up, breathe through it, and get these people the amazing yoga classes they paid for.

It took some work, but I breathed through it, shook it off and when it was time to teach my first class at 4, I felt ready.
Class did not go perfectly. It was my first time teaching Power Yoga - a 90 minute class as opposed to the 60 minute classes I usually teach - and though I tried not to let it show (I didn't want my students to feel like they were being taught by a novice), I definitely had some rocky points. At times I felt like I was floundering, fumbling and flustered. Though I like to think I put on a good face, it was rough, and I left class wondering why I was a yoga teacher. I was crushed. My confidence was just not there.
Looking back, I knew what I could have done differently to make it a better class, but all I could do was accept it and move forward.

Lucky for me, I had another chance. My second class of the day could go one of two ways, 1) a repeat of my first class that day - no bueno, or 2) I could take what I learned, apply it to my second class, and give these people the kind of class I wish I'd taught earlier that afternoon.

I had been under so much (self induced) stress, I knew I needed two things - food... and yoga. I spent the next hour thinking about the class I wanted to take - the stretching and poses I wished I had time to give to myself - and when 745 rolled around, the words just flowed out of me without a second thought. I was confident, I didn't second guess myself, and I was happy to be a yoga teacher.

The candle light and my largest class to date certainly didn't hurt.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Livermore Wine Country Festival 2013

There's been a lot of travel and business going on around these parts, and it's going to continue for a little while. Memorial Day weekend is looking to be my first "free" weekend since before tax day - and even then we're planning to clean out the garage and bbq with my family.

My honey has been missing his BFF. So much so that after we planned this trip up North to see them, a countdown started and shouting in all caps would show up on our facebook feeds.

"42 DAYS!!!"

There's an intense hetero man-love happening there.

So, I planned it. You know how I was on my crazy vacation planning kick? I was planning outings all stacked on top of one another. I needed to get me out of town.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 18

Sunday we were recovering from our minibreak, so I did not have a chance to work out. To be perfectly frank, I had enough time, but I really wasn't feeling well because of all the fatty foods and booze consumed over there. Womp womp. Real life.

Monday I picked it back up with P90X. I have officially completed week one - even though its taken me about two weeks. Monday night was Kenpo X. It was also the day T and I sat down and put together our slightly ridiculous fitness plan.

Tuesday morning I got up early and did P90X Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X. I'm calling it Day 8. I felt great about it in the morning, but then my plans to power through "blow the doors off the gym Tuesday" were foiled when I was hit by a wave of exhaustion that afternoon, which quickly escalated into a low-grade migraine and had me couch-bound and nauseous for the better part of the evening.

Wednesday I drove out to the Sh'Oaks after work for Crossfit. It was my second time, but since the first time had been 2 weeks earlier, everyone kept saying it was my first time. Oh well. We did a lot of shoulder work that night, which was kinda rough since my shoulders and back were still pretty tired and sore from the day before, but I powered through it - got some corrections on my form and learned a few new things. :)

Thursday morning was Plyometrics. I got up early again. Hooray! As of Wednesday I'm officially doing to techlovedesign 30 day challenge. My challenge for myself is to get up an hour earlier every day to exercise. So far, so good. :) That night I taught my class, which I am feeling more confident about every week. :)

Friday morning I did Yoga X. It was supposed to be shoulders and arms, but my shoulders were still pretty tired from Wednesday. That night hopped on a plane and flew out of town to spend the weekend with T's BFF and his family.

Saturday I thought I might be able to get up early and do a set of 55s, but that did not happen. We got in so late on Friday night that we barely made it up for our friends' 7 year old's little league game that morning.

How was your week?

Friday, May 3, 2013

Some Links & Some Stuff; 2

I'm getting my hairs cut todaaaaaay! Unrelated to anything except that I was making goofy faces at my phone earlier this week.

This girl is so wonderful and so talented, and I am so so happy for her success, but let's be real; when someone you went to college with shows up on your favorite shows, it takes away some of the illusion. *name drop* I live in LA and I know famous people and that makes me cool... no, not really... at all. 

This is Tracee. She is one of my teachers. I could listen to her talk for hours on end. She has free online meditations and videos that you should use.

This is such an amazingly helpful article - 14 different types of yoga explained.

Yoga gurus buying twitter followers? This makes me the sad.

These cookies. That's all.

In case you need a little nudge today.

Lots of red head humor happening in my neck of the woods lately. Can't believe I hadn't seen this before.

That's all for now, my friends. Have a fantastical weekend!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Fitness Adventure

Hubs and I came back from our glorious weekend away feeling... slightly less than awesome. We ate a total of zero healthy things while on vacation, consumed far too many high calorie alcoholic beverages, and the only exercise we got was from walking back and forth across the (small) city and 40 minutes of kayaking.

On Monday, we got to talking - we feel gross, how are we going to combat this?

The first and most obvious answer is to be more careful on vacation. WATCH WHAT YOU'RE PUTTING IN YOUR BODY!!!

But the next answer is to work hard to feel better now that the damage is done. So we're setting fitness goals... with a twist.

We're setting them for each other. It makes them seem a little ridiculous and unachieveable. We were majorly raising our eyebrows at each other during this conversation, as if to say "seriously??? I don't think you know what you're asking me to do here."