Monday, September 30, 2013

Anniversary Getaway; Santa Barbara & Los Olivos

You may or may not have noticed, we celebrated our anniversary a little while ago. We have officially been married for two years. Since our anniversary fell on a Tuesday this year, we decided to take the weekend before to do the celebrating - and just have a nice evening together on the 17th.
Last year we got knocked out by the flu just when we were about to go on our anniversary trip, so we had to cancel. I was crushed, but this year we tried to make up for it.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 39

I'm back! Hooray! What a whirlwind week it has been! I can't believe the last post I wrote was my recap for the week before last! This time last week I had just gotten off a plane and was headed down to Makena to our hotel for the next 5 nights.

Sunday morning I got up early and headed to the hotel gym. I did a half hour on the elliptical and then some random weight lifting for a little while. I did a 5 minute plank, some flies, I don't even know what else. Then I met my mom and sister out by the beach and we did some easy yoga overlooking the ocean. It was amazing.

Monday we all got up early to drive down and look at some beautiful cliffs and volcanic rock, so I missed my morning workout. I did do some pretty intense swimming though.

Tuesday I was back up at at the gym again. 30 minutes on the elliptical, 30 minutes or so of random weights and squats and ab work. Then another 30 minutes of yoga overlooking the ocean. This time I taught, but I also did the whole practice.

Wednesday was another day of almost the same workout. 30 min elliptical, 30 min weights/squats/abs/plank, 30 min yoga overlooking the ocean. I integrated some stability ball mountain climber tabatas though - for some extra toughness.

Thursday was our last morning on the island. I ran out of socks (oops), so I headed down to a little grass area overlooking some rocks and the ocean and I did about 45 minutes of challenging yoga practice by myself. It was stunning, and I set up my camera so I could share a little bit of my experience there. (see above) So. Freaking. Beautiful.

Friday I was too tired to do anything. I barely made it to work.

and Saturday (today), my mom and I were part of a communal class. There were 8 teachers and we each taught for about 5-10 minutes. It was really interesting to see how we were all similar and very different.

How was your week?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Guest Post - Alyssa Bacon-Liu; Overcoming the Fear of Getting Healthy

Hey folks, I'm on a relaxing Hawaiian vacation with my family this week, so I've asked some beautiful, talented and inspiring ladies to guest post for me while I'm away. 

Alyssa Bacon-Liu is a firecracker. We met through a blog brunch almost a year ago and it was she who pushed me to join the Be Happy Link Up in the first place. I am so grateful to her for that. Alyssa writes honestly and passionately about her beliefs and truths, and the obstacles she encounters seeking all things beautiful. Her blog is real, powerful, and she always has something to say that will inspire you or make you think. 

I used to be afraid of getting healthy. That seems like an odd thing to say, doesn’t it? It’s not that I didn’t want to be healthy. I knew that I was unhappy with my poor eating habits and non-existent exercise routine. But the process of getting healthy always seemed so overwhelming. How would I possibly be able to accomplish my health goals? Where would I even start? What if I failed along the way? The farther away I got from my healthy ideal, the more scared I was to try to change things. I started to think, “What’s the point of trying to be healthy?  It will take too much time and effort.” Changing my lifestyle in order to be healthier was such a daunting task that it became paralyzing. The fear of failure kept me from pursuing the goals I needed to pursue.

I know I can’t be alone in thinking this way. Yes, I had to deal with my own fears and insecurities. But I also had to realize that we live in a quick-fix culture. We want results and we want them now.  I didn’t want to go months and months waiting to see minor changes; I wanted an amazing and instantaneous transformation. My fear of failure and my unrealistic expectations were both roadblocks to my health and happiness.

In order to overcome these roadblocks, I had to focus on one overall goal: getting healthier. To me, this doesn't mean pant size or scale weight. It’s about how I feel. A few months ago, I decided to dedicate myself to living a healthier lifestyle. I quickly realized that I feel better and have more energy when I run in the mornings. I realized that I feel confident and accomplished when I master a new move in my Zumba class. I realized I feel less sick all the time when I eat the right foods in the right portions. These are the things that really  matter. If I lose weight or drop a pant size, it’s just icing on the cake. Until then, I’m happy with the knowledge that each day I’m taking care of my body and improving my overall health.

Now, I’m not afraid of getting healthy. I look forward to being active and getting a good workout. I am so much happier now that I don’t feel sick and tired all the time from the food I’m eating. It turns out, getting healthy was in my best interest all along.

Whatever your health-related goals are, remember that you don’t have to be afraid of making the right changes in your life. Being healthy looks and feels different for every person; it’s not about living up to an impossible standard. Find what works best for you, enjoy yourself, and always know that you’re worth it.

Alyssa Bacon-Liu lives with her husband and puppy in Los Angeles. She blogs at All Things Beautiful, where she writes about marriage, faith, growing up, the pursuit of happiness, and finding the beauty in the everyday. Connect with her on Twitter or on Instagram: @alyssabaconliu. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Guest Post - Mrs. ShuGar; It's Friendship

Hey folks, I'm on a relaxing Hawaiian vacation with my family this week, so I've asked some beautiful, talented and inspiring ladies to guest post for me while I'm away. 

Yet another lady I met through the Be Happy Link Up, Carmen (Mrs. ShuGar) inspires me every week to love life and live passionately. I relate so much to the lessons in love and life she writes about on her blog. I was so happy when Carmen threw her hand up in the air to volunteer to guest post while I'm away. It's easy to be confident about someone when you know what they say is from the heart. 

Photo Credit

One of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes is the one where Lucy & Ethel fight over wearing the same dress while performing the song, “Friendship.” I adore that crazy red head.  Lucy & Ethel are the best of friends and it’s evident in the unconditional love they have for each other, despite their occasional hiccups.

Something happens when you get older; You inevitably lose friends.  It’s a symptom of life and its many transitions, but it’s bound to happen to all of us at some point.  The more I age, the smaller my inner circle gets and I am 100% ok with it. It’s not high school anymore where you want to be friends with every single person in the room.  Lately, I’ve lost dear friends who I would have considered my “Ethels.”  As painful as this transition has been, I am slowly coming to terms with the loss.

In this process, I have learned what the definition of friendship is.  It’s really very simple, but, apparently, hard to find and sustain.  If you do have someone in your life who you would consider a true friend, you are very lucky.  Friendship can enhance your happiness ten-fold.

In my experience, a true friend…

Never Leaves
Despite our busy schedules or distance, a real friend will always stick around no matter what.  Especially in today’s world, any person is just a click or phone call away.  There is no reason to ever break contact over long periods of time, if you value the friendship.  A phone call every six months, an email every month, really anything to show you care and are thinking about the person.

Is By Your Side During the Dark Times
It’s so easy to be around someone when things are peachy.  How about when you are drowning in tears and you don’t want to see the light of day?  Who will help you get up? Who will make sure you eat three meals a day? Those very special friends who remain near you during difficult times will.  I believe this is the time when a friendship is truly tested.  Oh, and the friend also withholds judgment during this time.

Looks Out for Your Interests, Even When it’s Not the Popular Opinion
This can cause contention in friendships, but it demonstrates the love between friends.  A true friend will support you, but challenge you if s/he thinks you are making wrong choices.  This friend will not keep quiet if you are dating someone unworthy of your heart.  This same friend would also speak up if s/he knows your partner is being unfaithful.  It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s characteristic of someone who truly loves you.

Celebrates Your Happiness
Ugh. I have lost many of friends because of this one.  A real friend will honor your joy by vicariously experiencing happiness for you.  This is not challenging when the friend is already happy.  It’s a testament of a real friendship when your friend is not in the best of places emotionally, but still manages to have a genuine happy feeling for you.  Jealousy & envy do not factor into a true friendship.

If you have an “Ethel” in your life, make sure you cherish this person and never take him/her for granted.  It’s such a gift to have a true friend in your life.  I am not the type of person to need many friends at my age.  One “Ethel” would suffice.  If you already have one, smile. Even better, give this friend a call and tell your friend you are my “Ethel” and the reason I smile.

Lots of Love,
Mrs. ShuGar

My name is Carmen, but I’m playfully known as Mrs. ShuGar. "ShuGar" is a nickname my hubs and I use which combines the first three letters of our last names. It's pronounced "sugar" but spelled S-H-U-G-A-R.  I blog about the heart & all there is to Love. Turquoise rocks my world.  Art is my passion.  In another life, I was born as Lizzy Bennet and Mr. ShuGar was my Mr. Darcy. I’m an indie film nerd. Fashion & writing feed my soul.   I heart LA.  My entire love story can be told through Beatles songs. Mr. ShuGar is my sunshine. Love is all. Love is you.

Twitter: @ShuGarLuv
Instagram: mrs_shugar
Facebook: ShuGarLoveBlog
Pinterest: mrsshugar

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Guest Post - Louise Edu; Flax Seed Reese's Granola Bars

Hey folks, I'm on a relaxing Hawaiian vacation with my family this week, so I've asked some beautiful, talented and inspiring ladies to guest post for me while I'm away. 

Louise was one of the first ladies I connected with through the Be Happy Link Up. She's a former designer, now full time mom, blogger, and all around Super Woman. She is a DIY queen and her posts are always insightful and inspiring. I am proud to call her my (blogger) friend. 

Hey Baking Yogi peeps!!  What do you do when yer "blog" sitting and yer friend Alyssa is out of town?? You hold down the fort and bake of course!!

My girls lurrrvve their granola bars!  But I hate the store bought ones!  (Sorry Quaker guy, but your bars have way too much sugar, in addition to some crazy modified junk!)

I always try to feed my kiddos yummy, healthy snacks…but it's always so difficult!  There's not enough time in the world to make errrthang from scratch and the girls are always picky!!  But they absolutely love these semi-healthy flax seed reese's granola bars and they don't take too long to make!!  Plus, I get to sneak in some fiber, lignans + omega-3 fats (yep, that's whats in flax seeds y'all!!) into their lil' bodies and they don't even know it! hehehe

Here's what you're gonna need:

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup unbleached flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup dark choc chips (or more if yer a chocoholic)
3/4 cup natural raw whole flax seeds
1/2 cup organic honey
1 large brown egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp organic + no salt peanut butter

Step 1:  Grab a large mixing bowl and throw all the ingredients in and mix, using clean hands.  I like to measure out the dry stuff first then add the wet ingredients next.

Step 2:  Grease your baking pan w/ a lil' vegetable oil and spread the granola mix evenly.  Using your hands push down on the granola so that everything is nice and compact, and that there's an even thickness all around.  If you don't do this, your granola bars will fall apart =(

Step 3:   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 4:   Bake for 30 minutes, or whenever the edges are golden brown.

Step 5:  Let cool for 5 minutes then gently cut bars with a clean knife after it's been cooled.  But don't wait too long, or they might be too hard for you to cut through.  Also, I've found that cutting the bars into squares and not rectangles, help keep their shape.  When you've finished cutting the bars, let them cool for an additional 5 minutes then once they've cooled completely, they'll be easier to lift out of the pan.

When all is said and done, enjoy w/ a cold glass of milk, or package em nice + neat for a lunchbox treat!!

If you enjoyed this post, see more of my awesomeness at my blog: Laid Off Mom (…where I'm conjuring up inspiration and DIY's on the daily!  See you soon!

Louise is a 30 something mama who writes and creates at her blog - Laid Off Mom ( where she is constantly offering up optimism and inspiration daily.  Follow her and read about the unfortunate incident in her design career that has led her to live a happier, more creative life with her family

Monday, September 23, 2013

Guest Post - Alyssa Anderson; Ready, Set... Play!

Hey folks, I'm on a relaxing Hawaiian vacation with my family this week, so I've asked some beautiful, talented and inspiring ladies to guest post for me while I'm away. 

I first met Alyssa on twitter. She is vibrant and outgoing and we got along swimmingly - despite us both being introverts. ;) Because Alyssa gets just as excited about all things health, yoga, and fitness as I do, I was thrilled when she reached out to me about guest posting while I'm away. I know you'll love reading about her experiences as much as I do. I mean, she is writing about some of my favorite things, after all. 

When I first approached Alyssa (by the way, we share the BEST NAME EVER and have the proper spelling…) about guest posting, I was brimming with ideas. However, as the time went by, one theme seemed to keep bubbling to the surface.

I would spend every minute of every day outside if I could. I would walk barefoot in the sand, run through the grass, and roll down hills. At this point, you might be thinking This chick is stuck at 7 years old. But before I pull out my crayons and prove to you that I’m on to something…let me tell you a story. Grab something yummy to sip and play some fun music. I’ve got a cup of coffee with honey and am listening to the Ryan Montbleau Band.

At the end of February, I went to Oahu, Hawaii (a few islands over from where Alyssa is!) for the Wanderlust Yoga and Music Festival. I was selected as a volunteer and jumped at the chance to practice with some of the world’s best yoga teachers, visit Hawaii, and serve. One session I participated in was with THE Baron Baptiste…you know, the guy who INVENTED Baptiste power vinyasa yoga.

I expected his class to kick my butt, since he’s known for power yoga. Instead, I was delightfully surprised to see a different side of Baron. His class was about playfulness. Invite playfulness into your practice. Dance in the poses that scare you. Playfulness creates lightness. By allowing ourselves to play, our hearts and spirits opened up. As a class, we laughed together, fell out of balance poses, and felt oh-so-sweetly free.

I decided to play more in my life. Be childlike in my wonder of the world. I mean, have you seriously looked a leaf recently? Go outside and grab one and come back. We’ll wait…Ok. The veins and striations, the dancing of colors depending on light. Beautiful. Heck, even the color of a leaf is powerful! The green comes from the chlorophyll, which creates carbohydrates from light. SUGAR from the SUN. Science is cool.

Anyway. Another session I went to was with Eion Finn. This man is amazing. After leaving Baron’s class, my bar was set pretty high. Eion blew the bar away. He started the Blissology movement and lives for the connection to nature. We practiced outside, in the grass (Grassasana), to reconnect with the earth. We jumped around like frogs and pretended to surf. We played like children in a grassy field. His class further altered my worldview.

What I’m trying to say is that all to often we feel this need to grow up and stop playing and “get our lives together.” I suggest we never stop playing and get outside some more. I know you see hills and think Man, it would be so great to roll down that hill. Well, I dare you to do it. I double, no, TRIPLE dog dare you. Let go a little. Live a lot. Laugh more. I think you’ll find that by playing and getting outside, you’ll find lightness in your life. A breezy easiness. Appreciate a good climbing tree. Jump over the waves at the beach. Play!

Oh, important piece before I go. Stop caring what people will think if you decide to act a little goofy or stomp in puddles. Are you happy? Did you smile while you were playing? Yes? Then you’re beautiful and free. Free from the judgment of others (plus, they just WISH they could be you). Now, excuse me, my mud pies are almost finished and I have a round of hopscotch to finish. 

Alyssa Anderson is a recent graduate (yay!) with her M.S. in Community Health Education. She currently lives in Pensacola, FL surrounded by sugar white sands and seashells with her fiancĂ© and dog, Lemon. While she isn’t a yoga teacher quite yet, it is on her life plan. For now, she works for a non-profit dedicated to improving the health of the community through a variety of events and resources. Tweet with her @alyand18 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 38

Greetings from Maui! The amazing guest posts are starting tomorrow, but for now, you're stuck with my regular weekly recap.

Sunday I taught my mommy & baby class. Joyful, as usual. If you're in LA, have a baby that's not walking yet and is 6 weeks or older, then you should come to this class. It's so wonderful. I love. I actually got a little bit of a workout doing a good bit of the core exercises with the class.

Monday was a weird night. I got therapy on my right leg, which is still giving me some trouble, but is mostly healed. Straight leg stretches are hard my knee and calf. I was supposed to go home and ice, but instead I went to the gym and did the elliptical for a half hour. It put zero strain on it, so I'm fine with this decision.

Tuesday was our anniversary. We played tennis together. I had a lot of energy since it was my only exercise that day, so we had a lot of fun. Nifty stuff, yo.

Wednesday I was back on my mat for Power Yoga. I taught at 4 and then took class at 6. In between, one of the girls at the studio and I made this video to promote the studio's upcoming teacher training session. It was a great few hours, teaching, hanging out, and then practicing. I had a moment during my practice where I was worried about putting too much strain on my front/right leg in triangle pose, but I made sure to be suuuuper careful and use my strength when it was time to get out of the pose and it was OK.

Thursday night I taught my class, as usual, but this week I decided to do the whole class with them. I skipped the breathing exercises at the beginning (because that would be weird trying to breathe and simultaneously talk them through it. blah) and savasana (because I'd probably have fallen asleep), but it was great. I got a decent little workout in there. It warmed up in that little room.

Friday and Saturday were a little too hectic to workout with getting all my stuff together, going to a yoga meeting, and traveling, but I did manage to get some fun ocean swimming. So there's that. :) 

Alright y'all, that's it from me until Friday. I am so so excited for you all to meet these incredible ladies this week! I know you'll love them and everything they have to say.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Recap Summer 2013

I don't know if you caught it, but I totally didn't do a Spring recap. Spring kind of melted into winter and summer and wasn't really it's own thing. I've decided to include some March and April in here for that reason. Just a little bit.

Above: I ran my second 10K. It was harder than the first.

I also did some fun arm balance stuff while I was at work.

A friend and I took the dogs out to Malibu and hike/walked. Then we went to the Country Mart and got them whipped cream.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Eating on Vacation

This morning I was sitting at my kitchen table, enjoying my healthy low-cal breakfast, thinking to myself I didn't have some great theme to post about for the Be Happy Link Up today. Yet another week would go by without linking up with some of my favorite ladies on the web.

Then something occurred to me. I am about to go on vacation. (Yay!) ... but, as I looked down at my cottage cheese and melon, I realized, "how am I going to maintain a healthy diet in Hawaii?" and I started to stress out a little bit. I am so happy with how I feel and look right now. I don't want to go on vacation, prance around in a bikini, eat tacos and ice cream, and throw away all my hard work.

In order for me to stay happy through the trials of vacation binge eating, and still come home feeling great, I've realized that a couple of things have to happen.

1. I need to continue to eat reasonable portions of healthy food as much as I possibly can. To not succumb to the "vacation diet" as much as possible. I don't need to have french toast or eggs benedict just because I'm on vacation. I can be that girl that has oatmeal or cottage cheese. I can skip the heavy, fatty dinners in favor of something lighter. It's Hawaii, right? They serve a ton of fish. I will eat ALL THE FISH and I will love it.

and 2. I can allow myself to veer off course a little bit, and still accept and love myself. Maybe I don't need to fill my breakfast plates with pancakes and sausage and all the fat and carbs - can you tell how much I love breakfast? - but if I do it once or twice, it's not going to ruin my trip. I'm also planning on keeping up some kind of exercise routine, so  if when, I do decide I need something deep fried, it won't completely ruin my healthy day.

And that's it, isn't it? Try your best and don't beat yourself up if you don't do it perfectly. Just as in life, so it is in healthy eating. Done and done.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

AG: Year Two

Two years ago today, we ... married.

One year ago, we ...

Monday, September 16, 2013

My First Stitchfix

After hearing all over the blogosphere about Stitchfix, and because I do most of my shopping online anyway (ain't nobody got time to go the store and try things on), I decided to give it a try. Let someone else shop for me, dangit.

I tried it mostly out of curiosity. I wanted to see if it was possible, based on the style profile they put together for me, for someone else to shop for me and for me to actually like what they picked out.

I decided to have my first Stitchfix delivered the Monday after I ran my half marathon. I thought I might feel skinny that day - not really thinking about all the carbs I would inhale after I finished. Who knew I would be so completely famished after running 13.1 miles!?

Not important.

For anyone not in the know, I'm gonna do a quick breakdown of how it works. You go to their website, sign up and complete your style profile. They ask a whole slew of questions to get to know you, your style, and your body type. Then when you're ready to try it, you pick the day, pay $20, your personal stylist picks things out just for you and they send you a box with 5 items - tops, jeans, jewelry, accessories, dresses. You can choose what types of items you'd prefer and, if you're looking something specific, leave your request in the notes/comments.
Once you receive your fix, you try everything on and decide what you want to keep. They take the $20 you already paid off of whatever you're keeping, and you send the rest back in a prepaid pack. Easy peasy. If you decide to keep everything, you get 25% off everything in the box.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 37

Sunday...umm... I ran a half marathon. ;)

Monday I did NOTHING. Well, I did not exercise. I ate really healthy and got some therapy on my knee, which needed some lovin'. Ice packs and electric stem therapy.

Tuesday I taught a beautiful yoga class in the park. I also did the whole practice with them. While I was waiting for my students I took some pictures for an upcoming post I'm working on. It's all written, I just need the dang pictures. They look kinda cool, so I decided to share one.

Wednesday night I went back to cardio barre for the first time since my birthday, and then I taught a special class at a local juice bar. CB was tough - not so much the actual workout (which was challenging, but not brutal by any means), but figuring out what I could and couldn't do on my right leg. Calf raisers killed. Forward folds of any kind with a straight right leg. Nononono. I'm figuring it out as I go and I'm icing a ton, but let's be real; being injured sucks.

Thursday night I taught my beginner class, and then I had planned to go do some cardio, but my right leg was really bothering me, so I just went home and did some pushups - not the same, I know, but better than nothing. PLUS I had a super healthy dinner. Yay!

Friday was no workout because we were on our way up to Santa Barbara for our anniversary mini-getaway!

Saturday morning we were up a little earlier than we normally would have been to work out at the gym next to our hotel. It's a Spectrum. They have a pretty sweet deal worked out so hotel guests can use the gym for free. It was really crowded, but I managed to find a pretty snazzy elliptical machine to use for a half hour. I worked hard and then a got out a mat, did a plank, some core stability roll things, some tricep pushups, and then went to find my honey and get going so we could enjoy a marvelous brunch.

How was your week?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Currently; September 2013

Currently, I'm...

Whelp, I finished the final Sookie Stackhouse book. As I told my girlfriend, everything gets tied up in a neat little bow in the end. I have a couple of paperbacks that I'm trying to get back into. Namely, Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters and To Kill a Mockingbird. Why these two? Well, I've already read all the Percy Jackson books for a fun easy read a thousand summers ago, but they just released the Sea of Monsters movie and I'd like to read it real quick before we go see it. I picked it back up earlier this week. Hopefully I don't get bored rereading... you know, since I already read it. As for To Kill a Mockingbird... well, that's leftover from my days of not doing the "required" reading in high school. I read about half of it last summer, but my husband cringes every time he's reminded I haven't read it. 

Dexter is almost over forever. I am so sad about this. True blood is over, and if the gossip mill is correct, next season will be it's final season. I haven't actually looked into this, but I can say it's about time. That show has jumped about 11 sharks. Ray Donovan is getting good... FINALLY! The season is almost over, but now I actually care what happens next. Also, the addition of James Woods is a total win. I loved watching the interaction between his character and Jon Voight's. 
Big sis says I NEED to watch Orange is the New Black. Maybe someday I'll join the cool kids club there. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I Ran a Half Marathon!

On Sunday, the morning of my half marathon, I got up at 4am, brushed my teeth and ate breakfast in my pajamas. I was advised by my girlfriend's marathon-running-personal trainer husband to eat the same things I would usually eat for breakfast, but add about 200 calories and maybe eat earlier in the morning. I opted to increase the amount of oatmeal I'd been having from 1/3rd cup to a half, add a banana, and cut the milk from my latte - making it straight espresso. Ultimately this only increased my breakfast by about 40 calories, but by the time I finished I was too full to eat any more. I made up for it later anyway. ;)

I drove up to Ventura by myself while it was still dark out. Hubs and my momma were going to meet me at the finish line. I got myself together in my car and then walked over to where the people were. I did some light stretching and tried to keep my legs moving.

I wasn't really sure which wave to start with. So, I just started with the second one. A lot of folks were passing me, so I figure that means I should have started with a later wave, but I don't really care. They weren't running that much faster than I was and I didn't get trampled. After about 2 miles, we'd all pretty much found our pace and were running near the people we'd stay near the rest of the time. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

3 Grown Women at a Backstreet Boys Concert

For my birthday, my amazing friend bought us tickets to see the Backstreet Boys on September 4th.
I was a little apprehensive for about 5 seconds. I didn't know if they would still be any good. I thought maybe it would be a tad pathetic to watch these guys 15 years past their prime, but we decided to take the plunge. We were completely obsessed with them 15 years ago, after all.

So, my big sis joined us and the three of us had an absolutely amazing time reliving some of our fondest moments as 14 year olds.

The boys still got it. They were amazing to watch and such a blast.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 36

This week just flew by. One moment I was a week away from my half marathon and the next I was running it. I'll tell you all about it later in the week! :) For now, my workout & yoga week looked something like this...

Sunday hubs and I had a carb hangover to work off. My usual cup of coffee and a 5.5 mile treadmill run helped a ton.

Monday I got to teach Power Yoga in the morning. Later in the day, we planned to go to the gym, but we ended up napping on the couch... dude. It was necessary.

Tuesday was back to work after the long weekend. I packed up my running gear and after work headed off to the beach for my longest run yet - 9.4 miles. I had a blast listening to podcasts the whole way. Utntil podcast data + runkeeper + all the other apps I never close used up my battery and my phone died at 8.2 miles. I had (for the mathematically challenged) 1.2 miles to go to get back to my car and I ran the whole thing sans music, sans podcast and sans little notification voice telling me how far I'd gone and for how long. I was a long and lonely 1.2 miles, but I did it. It's promising.

Wednesday I skipped my workout. I did have to write a yoga bio for a special event class I'm teaching next week. More about that later too. Anyway, that sounds as my yoga for Wednesday. ;) That night I went and saw Backstreet Boys. It was amazing. I need to scour my parents' house for some photos of my friends and I in all our 1999 BSB/NSYNC obsessed glory. Then I can get you a proper post on that magic.

Thursday night no one came to my class because it was Rosh Hashana. Sometimes I forget how predominantly Jewish my area of the Valley is. So, I was surprised for a moment when no one came and then I had my "oh, duh" moment and went to the gym to run 3 miles on the treadmill.

Friday I lifted weights with hubs for a while and then did a quick one mile sprint on the treadmill.

Saturday I went to the gym, but didn't really use it. I did a 2.2 mile run around the block just to remind my legs what they were doing the next day and then stretched out for about 15 minutes.

How was your week?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Eating on the Run... Literally.

Folks, I need your help/advice. (especially runners) So, please stick around and read. It's time for some real talk. 

My half marathon is on Sunday. I'm mostly excited for it at this point because even though I know it's further than I've ever run, I've run some long distances and been fine (crazy crazy tired and numb-legged, but fine).

I know - for a fact - that I will need to be good an awake and warm by the time the race starts at 7am. I've also been told that I should eat something so I have energy. This is where I'm not sure what to do.  Usually, my stomach and I get along fine, but sometimes, especially on longer runs, it gets upset.

Does anyone have any tips/tricks so that I can eat in the morning and not having to worry about getting an upset stomach? I've read a few places about having a shot of espresso, my concern is that coffee is a diuretic, so how long before the run would I have to take it?

Also, any snacks/gels/chews/energy anythings you recommend for the run itself? I'm planning on having some recovery formula after I cross the finish line, but I am stumped as to what to do before/during.

So... thanks in advance (I hope)!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Carb Hangover

Relaxing beach side post hangover

The last few weeks, hubs and I have made some major changes in our diet. We're trying really hard to get healthy. This has been hard for both of us. We love us some baked goods. *cough cough* BAKING yogi *cough cough* It's meant that my recreation time is spent differently. Instead of having the leisure time I'd like to head into the kitchen to make a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies, I am out late running or doing yoga or finally catching up on errands that have taken a backseat to training for my half marathon.

We've also stopped buying and making bread. I don't know how long this is going to last, but the last time I had a sandwich was on my husbands birthday in early August. We were feeling great! I was maintaining my happy weight and hubs is already down 15 lbs!

And then... Labor Day weekend happened - Saturday, specifically.

Beer. Pizza. Candied bacon. Too much hummus (which I diligently ate will ALL the carrots). Because I used twitter to proclaim that I was giving up potato chips, I did not touch a single chip (even though they were all tortilla chips).

The next morning, we both woke up feeling terrible - groggy, dehydrated, slow, bloated, upset stomachs. It was... the worst. It felt, legit, like a hangover. Yes, we'd had a few beers over the course of the day, but cutting alcohol is not part of our new healthy diet - though I am aware we would be much healthier if we did cut them. The point is, it wasn't the two beers I had over the course of the day that made me feel that way - it was the food. It was heavy, fat and carb loaded delicious treats that our bodies were just plain not used to anymore.

It's a huge wakeup call. Now that my body isn't used to eating that stuff, it can more easily recognize it as something bad. It's made me realized the real impact those foods were having on my body, and remembering how gross I felt on Sunday is helping me move forward with my healthy eating with much more enthusiasm.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Seven Days of Yoga; Week 35

Hey friends! I hope you had an amazing long weekend for Labor Day. My weekend was crazy, but the week that led up to it looked something like this...

Sunday we took the day off of exercise. I was super reluctant, but hubs convinced me. We had stuff to do. Errands to run, etc.

Monday I ran 6 miles at the beach and it was glorious.

Tuesday I ran 6 miles at the beach and there were naked people and high tide and it was less glorious, but still really nice.

Wednesday I was back at Power Yoga. My hamstrings thanked me.

Thursday night I taught my class and had a major case of lazy bones. Class was the only time I was able to get out of me head. I wish I could have carried it better through my day. Oh well.

Friday I got P90X2 back out and did some Plyocide. Even though I was a little wobbly on my right leg, it felt amazing. I iced my knee afterward and 30 minutes later, I was fine. We had friends coming over that night. They got in late, so I had plenty of time to workout at home.

Saturday we didn't have a chance to work out. We had our friends' 4 and 7 year old boys staying with us in the morning. That afternoon/late morning, we took them out to Malibu to rejoin their parents and baby sister for a beach vacation. No exercise for me - except keeping Panda away from strangers on the beach to keep her out of trouble.

How was your week?