Sunday, December 13, 2015

It's Beginning to Look Something Like Christmas

At our house it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...Montgomery style. I got into the spirit right after I wrote the last post. We did not bring a Christmas tree with us when we moved but  I decided that I needed to take advantage of the holiday mood while the mood was fresh. I did not want to wait for a tree. I had mentioned that I wasn't even sure I wanted to get a tree.

I decorated our plant stand as a standin for a Christmas tree. Eclectic, I know. 

Take a peek at the lovely colorful ornaments. Love them!







Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Little Christmas Yoga Joy

My last yoga class of November was the night before Thanksgiving. It was awesome. One of my favorite teachers led the class, and the class was full. To avoid the potential of kicking our fellow yogis, there were no Flipping of Dogs or Rockstar poses. It was really a cool experience the night before our holiday. 

On Thanksgiving, Jordan and I drove down to spend the weekend with our daughter. I didn't go back to work until Tuesday. 

Now, as I post this, we have so little time before Christmas and I'm trying to decide how much effort to put into the Christmas Spirit. I love Christmas, truly I do. But, somehow I have not done one thing to make our home look "merry and bright". Oh, I take that back...I have framed a really cool picture of Santa.

Last year was our first Christmas in our new apartment, and we didn't stay in town for the holiday. Instead, we went to our daughter's place for her first Christmas in Wilmington. Because we were going to be out of town, I didn't decorate our house. I waited until we got to Danielle's to take in the cozy decor of the holiday.

Here it is the 5th and there are only 20 days left until the big day.

To get in the spirit (in more ways than one), I went to yoga last night. It was a "special" session not at my regular studio. You may have guessed from the top photo that we did yoga to the music of The Nutcracker.

I did not know what to expect. Our teacher was fun, wearing her pointe ballet shoes. She did a few downward dogs with them while on pointe which was pretty impressive. Our class began and ended with Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite. It was a whimsical practice. I hadn't really spent time with just the music before. Flowing to the music I remembered why I love it. I actually love it more (now) without the visual of a ballet. Last night the music filled me and I didn't want to see someone else's interpretation.

It was a good practice, a full 90 minutes with a sweet Shavasana at the end. I'm proud of myself for actually going. It was not convienent...it didn't start until 7:00 which meant not getting home until after 9:00. I'd worked all day...was tired, etc. I could have easily decided not to go. But, I had signed up and I was curious.

I haven't had a week long break from yoga since February or March, and last night marked a week and a day. I wondered what it would be like to get back on my mat. I wondered if I had lost any poses.  It was a pleasant surprise that I moved into the poses easily and was able to go deeper than before my break. I wonder if that is a mental breakthrough or a physical one. I was happy with my practice. I was happy with the Christmas music. Now I'm seriously thinking about a tree. Or maybe a wreath.

Check out a few of my Christmas Pasts:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Birthday Girl

We just spent the day with my girl! She is just so much fun.

Jordan and I are just so proud of her.

I'm sharing a Birthday photo to remember the day. ~We just love her.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

New Book: The Homemade Kitchen

I'm trying to get / stay inspired. ~I'm hoping to become so inspired that home cooking becomes part of our "normal". As much as I love kitchen appliances and gadgets, I am surprised that I'm not a cook. When I was growing up I was a fairly good baker. I liked trying new recipes that I found in my mother's magazines.

Alas, I have not fulfilled any potential of becoming a cook. I wonder why that is.

Sure, I know how to make spaghetti; you know, boil the noodles and warm the Ragu. I have a friend who doesn't give me credit for cooking when I make my spaghetti. She always looks at me incredulously and says, "You cooked? Or did you heat?" I'm still working my mind around what the difference is. I told her that if my stove, oven or microwave is turned on, it's cooking.

Whenever I want to teach myself to cook I look to books (of course). The thing is,  many of the beautiful books have way too many ingredients. Seriously! Others have beautiful photographs of things that I would never actually make.

I'm guessing you have guessed that my newest book is  The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure by Alana Chernila.
I really have enjoyed this book. You're probably wondering if I've used any of the recipes. The answer is not yet. But I will. I'm taking baby steps.

One of the things I enjoyed about this book is the author shares her personal stories of being in the kitchen.  In her very first paragraph I knew I was reading a book by someone that "gets me".
The world of home cooking can be a challenge to navigate. On one side, we're encouraged to eat real food...photo-worthy food, cooked at home and blissfully enjoyed....On the other hand, all this focus on the redemptive power of home cooking can feel oppressive and judgmental.
So with that kind of honesty she goes on to say that sometimes she doesn't want to cook either. Though, on the whole, Alana finds something akin to zen in the act of cooking. ~This may sound cliche, like "chop wood, carry water", but Alana's explanation is so simple and so real.
For me, the kitchen is the place where I get to have problems with easy solutions. There are enough problems with hard or no solutions elsewhere in the house and beyond, so I take the easy ones where I can get them. 
The first chapter, Be a Beginner,  is really encouraging, with a reminder that "Homemade food is the opposite of perfection." She tells us to "Take a deep breath and remember that we are all beginners. It only gets harder when we try to prove otherwise."

So, what about the actual recipes? Well, there are a few that I will absolutely try. A few are Stuffed Winter Squash, Easy Coq Au Vin, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake. 

If I remember, I'll share how the dishes turn out.  Give it time, though, I'm no Julie or Julia.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Seeking

Sometimes it's hard to know how we, as individuals, how I, as an individual, should react when incomprehensible, horrific events take place. It's natural to be frightened when we are reminded that life is unpredictable. Worse, I think, is being faced with the cold fact that there are people that mean harm to others.

There is heartbreak over the Paris attacks. Heartbreak for the Mali hostage taking. Heartbreak for Boston's 2013 Marathon. Heartbreak for the Twin Towers.

These are the horrors of current history, current news. Yet, for many of us, life keeps going.

Sometimes I wonder how that is. Something terrible happens several time zones away and my world is relatively unchanged. If I didn't pay attention (listen to the radio, read the news...etc.) I would not know that life is, in fact, drastically altered.

I don't want to ignore that there are other just as important battles being fought with as much fear, hatred, anger and hurt as the ones we label terrorists. It is incomprehensible.

How should "we" react? How should I alter my actions to mirror my heart? I do not have these answers, but I am seeking them.

I find healing in my faith. I find calm on my mat. I find both become stronger through practice. Through practice, I find peace. In peace, I find serenity. In serenity, I feel joy.

Peace.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Little Jacob Cuteness

I love to watch a sleeping dog. Jacob is not quite asleep, but the ZZZs are not long away. One of Jacob's favorite places to nap is snuggled up against my leg as we sit on the couch. Sometimes the power of suggestion is too much for me...and I snuggle in for a nap as well.  

So, this is just a short little post to share some Jacob cuteness and celebrate snuggles and naps.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

What I've Been Doing

A View of My Porch
I thought I would stop by this little place on the web to say "hello". I've opened this blog of mine every night this week and ended up becoming distracted by all of all the things to look at on the net. Today I spent way too much time organizing my Pinterest Boards. Yes, I actually organized the boards like it was very important.  Which, in my defense...it is important. If I have everything pinned randomly then how will I ever find anything? Finding virtual things can take more time than finding physical things.

I've also been reading...I know, I know, I've written more "What I've Been Reading" posts than "What I've Been Doing" posts. So, I will share a little about what I've been doing.  I've been doing lots and lots of yoga. I practiced over 22 hours of yoga in October and 20 hours in September. Tracking my practice helps me stay accountable to myself.

I am stronger than I was in January. My breathing is improved as well (asthma). The thing that is perhaps most surprising (to me) is the emotional benefits. I think everyone knows about the exercise endorphins, but it's more than that. I feel much more centered and calm after yoga.

My mind is completely in the moment while I'm practicing. My only thoughts during the practice are about the pose. Though, sometimes I think "Dang it's hot", but I consider that still "staying in the moment".  The final pose of our practice is Savasana which is restorative. The combination of physical exertion and  meditative savasana brings ease to my mind. It centers me and reminds me that worry is not necessary or even helpful. Everything has its time. It truly is okay to let go of thoughts and worries and putting them aside until it's time to work on them.

So, that's what I've been doing.

Until Next Time,

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon

Long time no post...and I feel the need to apologize or explain...which is silly. I write this mainly as a memoir for myself. I like the space and the voice that it gives me. The blog is certainly not a journal, although I have kept journals in the past. My journal entries meander and often forget to come to a point or conclusion. My favorite journals are the ones I kept while traveling. I recently dug one out to remind myself of a few things. I am so thankful for my words because they transported me back to that place and time. I plan on sharing some of that trip here...soon.
At Cocoa Cinnamon - Durham
It's crazy how fast a year moves by, in the macro sense, I mean. October is over half over and tonight we have our first frost warning. Can it be that only two weeks ago (three?) I was sitting outside with a friend over coffee and cake?

We walked to Cocoa Cinnamon, a cool small coffee shop with signature coffees that include things like black lava salt or cayenne pepper. I wasn't brave enough for the pepper or the salt, but I did have a latte with black strap molasses. It turns out that black strap molasses is NOT sweet. --Surprise.

Durham has some pockets of coolness. I have not discovered all of them. The downtown area is becoming revitalized with new construction (read: Apartments, Condos, Office Buildings...High-End loft type spaces). But the edges of the area are making good use of what we used to call old (sometimes abandoned) now considered historic buildings. I have a real appreciation for these buildings and spaces.  I love that new life is being poured into them. Like a good pair of jeans, the area feels grown into to...softened and more comfortable than new.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Yoga...Upside Down

Aerial Yoga
My 2nd Aerial Class
I'm still into the whole yoga thing. I'm getting stronger and I'm delighted at the end of each class. I liken my state of mind/body after a class to when I was a child and we spent several hours swimming at the pool. I was always so tired and relaxed afterwards. Plus I was really happy because swimming and splashing and diving for pennies was just so dang fun.

YOGA INVERSION
2nd Inversion in My 2nd Class
I tried a new yoga class four weeks ago. I've been thinking about it ever since my yoga immersion that started in January. The class? Aerial yoga! The studio's aerial class is on Saturdays at 6:00 (at night...mornings would be a non-starter).

The first time I went was on Labor Day weekend. It was sort of the spur of the moment. I'd been quietly feeling blah because I hadn't done yoga in three days. So, I checked out the studio online and signed up, with just 30 minutes to get there. I think that was key...there wasn't really enough time to think about it or talk myself out of it.

That first class I was the ONLY student! Seriously! How lucky is that? A personal one on one aerial yoga session for my first time. It was intimidating and wonderful and exhausting.

Last week was my third class. I was ecstatic because I was able to do the inversion without a spotter. (That was a first). I felt more confident in this inversion than I had the prior classes. You can see how much more relaxed my face is.
I'm glad I went and I'm glad I went back.

Until next time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wilmington Tour


It's not hard to guess who one of my favorite people is. (Bad grammar?) It is, of course, Danielle. She also just happens to be my daughter. Okay...so I know all Moms love their kids and such. But favorite peep goes beyond the mother daughter thing. Danielle makes me laugh so easily. And it's the hearty, can't catch my breath, tears in my eyes laugh. 

This was our first visit to see her new apartment.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Inspiration

I've been deepening my yoga practice...by that I mean that I've been going to the yoga studio. Last week I spent seven hours in yoga. I feel so much happier after a hot yoga session. 

I oscillate between simply owning and loving my workout practice and falling into the results driven obsession. Today, before going to yoga, I felt a little discouraged. I haven't weighed myself for almost six weeks until today. I wanted to focus on the "process" of getting healthy/ more fit. My thought was if I commit to doing "the right things" the "right" results will follow. So, I decided that today would be my "check-in" day. 

My result was that my weight is exactly the same weight as it was six weeks ago. I was disappointed because I know I've made changes in my body. My legs are stronger, my arms are getting a stronger. I feel like my body is responding to the workouts.  But the scales verified what I suspected...that my weight has not moved. 

So, I wanted to pout just a little. "Look at me...I'm working so hard and...nothing". These are my thoughts.  

Then my optimistic voice (sometimes annoyingly optimistic) tried to remind me of things that I usually believe to be true, such as:
*Health / Fitness is measured in a variety of ways. The scale cannot be the only measurement that counts.*
--See...annoyingly optimistic.

But it doesn't matter what my emotions are about the results. --That sounds like someone who just finished a yoga session. My teachers encourage us to "notice your thoughts...but let them go."

Tonight my teacher read this wonderful quote (below) that gave me the opportunity to focus my thoughts on something uplifting. This quote spoke to me.

This quote is from Williamson's book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles.  There is more to the thought that I've included below. 
Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. 
We are all meant to shine... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
The quote doesn't exactly tie into what I've been talking about. But it does give me something to hang on to. 

Hope you are getting ready for a fun weekend.

~Kimberly

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cruise Thoughts {Last One}

One thing I've never heard anyone tell you about a cruise is: If you have an interior room, like we did, when you turn off the lights it is completely dark. Completely! 

What I learned from this is that a perfectly dark room makes for the BEST sleeping. 

I should mention that by day two I was feeling the fatigue of travel. After all, just two days before we were at the airport at the unreasonable hour of 4:00 in the morning. 

Interestingly, I was up and out before 8:00 a.m. each morning. That must happen when you have the best sleep in a perfectly dark room.  That, and the promise of a hot breakfast in the dining room. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cruise Thoughts {# 3}

Here is a pic of the boat I took while waiting in line for food. I have to tell you that the shear size of the vessel is quite impressive. It's like a small city on the boat. There are retail shops (pricey), and bars and a casino and restaurants and a spa. They have medical personnel there somewhere too. 

The sliding doors going inside from the decks actually made a little "swoosh" sound when you entered. At least that is my memory of them.



At one point I thought, "Hey, this is just like being on the Star Ship Enterprise". I mean yeah, you are isolated in the middle of the sea (instead of in the middle of space) and yet, anything you can think of is still available.
Anything except good bottled water. Which is really what I needed to drink in the hot sun. I was struck by the fact that "free" unlimited tea and lemonade was available. For an extra few $$ you could also buy a "Bubbles" package which is unlimited soda.

IMG 2368 SnapseedBut water? That you had to pay for every single time. When I got to our room there was a lovely large water sitting out for us and I was impressed at the hospitality of complimentary water in the room. --You may see where this is going…after I opened and drank some of the water I saw the $16 price tag. Oops.

IMG 2372 Snapseed
Snorkelers just popped up!
The bottled water tasted terrible. I believe the endless caffeinated drinks is part of "the plan." Since your thirst is not getting quenched a $7 slushy daiquiri looks like a mirage. A cold, refreshing delicious mirage. Yeah, I figured it out.

Me? I drank my single $16 bottle of water and lots and lots of lemonade.

Our first port of call was Key West and it was a lovely day for a beach wedding. 
IMG 2280 Snapseed
Our return time to the ship was 2:00 which did not leave enough time to explore. But I did snap these two pictures to get a flavor for the island. 

IMG 2384 Snapseed 
I'm glad I got to spend a little time at Key West. I can see myself going back.  I still need to see the six toed cats. 

~Kimberly

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Cruise Thoughts {# 2}

I haven't told you quite enough about the cruise. Oh I know I shared some first impressions but the trip needs more than that.

In addition to being a wedding celebration, it the trip was a family gathering of sorts, two families really. I am not a member of either family. The Bride and Groom families came from New Mexico and Detroit meeting each other for the first time on the cruise. Danielle knows both the Bride and Groom and by extension knows the Mother of the Bride and the Bride's brother. 

Two Bridesmaids came in from New Mexico and the first night on the boat was the first time Danielle met them. Groomsmen came in from Detroit. No single person knew everyone until the first night. I was the only one that didn't know anyone. 

And yet...I felt as if I knew the Bride for a year and the Groom for slightly less than that. Danielle and K. have a special bond, one that grew out of being in their early twenties and making their way in a new city on their own.

By extension, I felt like I knew K. before I even met her. And when I did meet her we embraced (and squealed a little). It was genuine affection that we both already had for each other.  Meeting the Groom felt much the same. It felt perfectly natural to be attending their wedding. 

For me, the trip was a really rich combination of activity balanced with my personal requirements for alone time. We all had dinner together in the dining room on the first two nights. I will tell you dinner was always lovely. 

Sunset on the First Night of the Cruise
After dinner the group splintered into smaller groups. By the end of dinner I craved time to myself. One thing about me and "time to myself" is that I don't have to be alone or isolated to achieve the "me time". Maybe this is true for lots of people. I can spend and afternoon alone with a book on my front porch or I can be on a beach chair in the middle of the pool deck (actually not the middle, but you get what I'm saying). I can feel as refreshed on the pool deck as on my own private porch. I guess what I'm saying is I can achieve my bliss of alone time even when I'm not literally alone. 

I also enjoy mixing in and out of the "party". One night I went to the much hyped musical production in the theater. As far as I could gather there was no intermission and the show didn't captivate me enough to stay. So I quietly left. When you are there alone you can do that with no fuss. 

Not ready to end my night out and about I looked for (and found) the karaoke bar. I knew this was what the younger crowd was planning to do and I happened to come in while they were there. So I spent time with the group until the karaoke was over. That's what I mean by mixing in and out of the party.

That is all for now. I will share the rest of my Cruise Thoughts next time.

~Kimberly


Saturday, June 6, 2015

National Donut Day

Yesterday was Donut Day!! And Jordan and I got a box of donuts to celebrate. I have a weakness for donuts. I have a similar weakness for cookies (not the packaged kind) and cupcakes. Sometimes I'll be watching TV and I realize, "You know what? I really want a donut." I don't remember ever having a similar out of the blue desire for cookies. Though if someone has cookies or says the word cookies I will definitely want one.  {Favorites: Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle} 

One night this week when I came home Jordan was finishing a serving of ice cream. As soon as I saw it I wanted it. --Are we seeing a trend? Anyway, he gave me the last two bites of the ice cream. It was vanilla with chocolate covered almonds. --So good. I must have lingered over the empty ice cream bowl too long. "We have more," Jordan told me, "just there...in the freezer." I made a mental note and planned to have a decadent ice cream snack later. By the time I was ready for my dairy delight, I was also equally ready for bed. Knowing that the ice cream will be just as good tomorrow or even the next night (or whenever), I had no qualms about delaying my date with ice cream.

But donuts? I don't have to see them to want them. It's my first thought when someone says "we should get something sweet." 

In honor of Donut Day, Jordan got us a box of donuts. We have enough to last the entire weekend. They were good last night and also this morning. Tomorrow they will likely need a little warm up in the microwave to melt the sugar and re-soften the yeasty goodness. I already know that when I put the warm sugary donut in my mouth it will be just as good the first day.

It's no secret I'm working on getting my body into shape. --Well, actually, if you went just by looking at me, it may be a secret.  But I'm proud to say went to four yoga classes this week, including one at 8:00 this morning. I'm not as proud to say that I had a donut in my mouth as I walked to the car to go to yoga. Everything in moderation, right?
Kelly Kapoor-The Office

The quote at the top is one of mine. Yes...I'm quotable. You can quote me.

Have a fun weekend!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Owning a Practice

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself lately. I have been completely committed to my 2015 Goals. Remember I was sort of nervous to even identify goals (resolutions)?  Well, 5 months into 2015 and I have really lived these goals:   

* Own a workout habit. I am owning YOGA! I joined a yoga studio and I go at least three ties a week. 

* Consistently get 8 hours sleep...more if needed. I've been more consistent with my sleep than ever before. The hot yoga workout each evening (or at least 3 evenings) helps me get a really good restful sleep. I just feel better.

* Find JOY in little things. Everyday. I try to live with joy. My workout habit has also helped me "shake off" the little things. The workout endorphins are real.

I'm seeing some pretty cool changes from my working out.  For yoga the word "practice" is used instead of "workout". Which, maybe that's an unconscious reason that I've been so consistent with it. It sounds more appealing when I  think of going to practice my new skills instead of thinking I'm going to WORK Out.  The psychology of what I "name" my activity probably affects (even unconsciously) how I feel about it. 

What I've found is that, for me, yoga really is practice. Today I can achieve poses that I couldn't imagine in February. My legs are stronger and that all important CORE has gotten stronger. Another thing that has improved is my lung capacity. Lots of good things there.

Image by: Stuart Mills
Via: FreeDigitalPhotos.Net
"My" yoga studio has people of all levels. There are a few newbies like me mixed in with people who have practiced consistently for a very long time. I feel completely comfortable taking a modification when I need one. In fact I"m sort of proud of myself for being knowing what I need and not being shy to make my own adjustments. I realize that the advanced poses were achieved over time. My own body is more flexible today than it was a month ago. 

I'm conscious of the fact that any type of exercise is really easy to fall by the wayside. When I was going to the gym if I missed going one day it was easier to skip the next day (and so on). Even now, I have to make the decision to go to yoga each time. I've found that if I go to yoga when I really don't want to...I am rewarded by getting re-energized. One of my friends said it best when she said "I've never taken a class that I've regretted."

That's all for now.  

~Kimberly

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Weekend In Asheville


Unbelievably, I just got back from another excursion. This one was a quiet three-day weekend in the mountains of Asheville. The NC mountains are one of our favorite places. We like to visit the area for the mix of amazing mountain views and the wonderful artistic and eclectic atmosphere. 

Since we've been back to NC, we really haven't been to Asheville. Instead, we've spent more time in Brevard which is a smaller town that borders on the Pisgah National Forest
A few weeks ago we got an email from Sis-In-Law (Hubby's side) saying they were planning a trip down to the Asheville area for Memorial Day weekend.  We haven't had a chance for a relaxing visit since Christmas before last. Jordan and I jumped at the chance to hang out with them in the Blue Ridge Mountain city. 


I hurried to find lodging because I know that the area is a big vacation spot and I thought it may be hard to find a room for the 3 Day weekend that kicks off summer. The rooms that were still available had increased their prices for the holiday...and I just did not want to spend too much $ on a room that we would not be spending much time in. 

So I began to research Airbnb. I would never have thought of Airbnb (or really known about it) if I hadn't read about it in a blog. I found the cutest place to stay, called the Charming Artist's Bungalow

I couldn't resist taking a few pics of the beautiful place. As you can see from the pics, the home is delightfully decorated with original art by the Host. She truly is an artist. The decor was a wonderful mix of luxurious furnishings such as crystal chandeliers and elegant lamps. The warm hardwood floors with oriental rugs give the place an inviting cozy cottage feel. There is art beautifully and eclectically hung on the walls. The large oil paintings (most are modern works) are striking. Honestly, the Bungalow really added to the overall specialness of the weekend. 

Until next time!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Cruise Thoughts

Hello Dear Readers. I have wanted to post about my perceptions of Cruising...especially now that I've cruised exactly once. So, here goes.


First Impressions:

1. Sitting in the Cruise "waiting area" is surreal. When you look out the window you see this huge ship. --The ship that you will be getting on in a bit. The ship that is taller than the building you are currently in. It seems more massive than a plane. 

2. I was mesmerized by watching the crew dressed in white official ship uniforms walking out down the mezzanine and going to the ship. They looked very crisp. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

A Key West Celebration

When last I posted I was getting ready to cruise to Key West, FL and Cozumel, Mexico! Now, hard as it is for me to believe, I'm back. This was a mother-daughter cruise of sorts. My lovely daughter invited me to join her and her friends for their destination wedding.

How sweet is it that my daughter wanted me to go? I'm still super happy about it. Not only did I get some quality girl time with D, I got to meet and get to know her friends. D. has some really great friends and I love that she let me be a part of that.


I have a few pics here of the lovely bridesmaids on Key West. 

[I'm not posting pictures of the actual ceremony or the Bride because those moments are not mine to share.]

In the air

What a great way to spend the day in Key West! I had a blast.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Travels

A week ago, Belinda tweeted out about Blog Everyday in May. I liked the idea...but I didn't commit. I'm only now writing my first post of the month. Theoretical question of the day: Did I not commit because I knew I wouldn't follow through? OR... Did I not follow through because I didn't commit? 

Belinda has made this whole blog everyday thing as easy as possible. She's given us a whole month of prompts that we can choose to use. 

Today’s prompt is, “What is on your travel bucket list?”

This prompt is really timely for me. In just a few days, I will be on my very first cruise ship! It hasn't (and still doesn't) seem real. I am taking this cruise with my daughter, Danielle.  Here, on my blog, I will ignore the fact that I'm a tag along, a plus one! I won't mention that the cruise is for my daughter's friends' wedding and that D. is a bridesmaid. Nope. You won't even realize that we are going to Key West for her friend's nuptials. 

Instead, I plan to make the trip "all about me". 

We are going to Key West and Cozumel. I have not been to either destination...so I'm adding them to my travel bucket list. Then next week, I'll get endorphins when I check them off the list.

I really do like the prompt...and may choose to expand on it in another post. In the meantime...I need to pack.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nameste, Ya'll !

You may have noticed, I haven't posted in a while. Odd, huh? I guess it's not that odd. But there's no real reason for it.  What I've been doing lately is yoga!  

And let me just say...it's hard. And yet it's also rejuvenating and has given me lots of endorphins. I have fallen in love with a local hot yoga studio. I don't think I've talked about my quest to find THE yoga place for me. So I'll give you a taste here.

Credit: DaPino-Colada
All of the studios I've tried offer "drop in" options. You can try them out with absolutely no obligation. A lot of studios  sell "punch cards" to purchase multiple classes at a discounted rate. Some studios have a monthly plan with unlimited classes. That is the plan I'm doing for now.

I was taking yoga classes at a different studio almost every night. It was great. Each studio has their own personality and vibe. 

I was like Goldilocks. One class was too hard while another was not challenging enough. But several studios had classes that I found "just right."  What a wonderful new world I've discovered. 

Though it was fun to go to a different studio for each class, paying drop in rates is not sustainable. Not if I want to work out 3 to 5 times a week. I decided to do the monthly pass at my favorite place. It makes life much easier. Now I just plan around "my" studio. This week I've taken five classes. Much to my surprise, I've been gotten up "early" on the past few Saturdays to go to either an 8:00 or 9:00 class. 

I'm still one of the newest students in class. New to yoga. And there are many poses that I don't attempt (yet). But there are many things I'm doing now that I couldn't do in January! So, I'm not discouraged, even on the days when I find myself needing to take a child's pose in the middle of class. I come out of the classes drenched, exhausted and exhilarated. 

Some teachers recommend setting a mantra for our practice. The first time I set a mantra was last month. My mantra was: "I am strong. I am healthy."  It was my first class after the hospital scare that left me weak for over a week.

It is true and it's good to be reminded.
I am strong and I am healthy. And I am Grateful.

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Bellevue High Life


I have been thinking about living in small(er) spaces for a while now. When we sold our house in the Seattle area, we downsized to a much smaller space. As a matter of fact, we originally planned on buying a condo right on Elliott Bay. As part of our planned downsize, we sold virtually all of our furniture. We kept one couch and one chair for the living space and we kept our bed and bedroom dresser. Other than that...gone.