30 March 2011

Weekly Yoga Update

Hey guys!

I bet you thought that I quit Bikram after my scary first experience but I actually have gone back and that... has made all the difference! haha

Anyway, I went the very next day and it was a little easier, then the next day, then the next and I've actually come to enjoy it quite a bit. What I heard in the beginning was exactly right. Once you get past those first two classes it really becomes A LOT easier.



So I decided to challenge myself. I heard a lot of the people who got the month long pass were doing "30 day challenges" so I decided to try it out. Since starting last Monday (03/21) I have only missed two classes. I'm going to try to make those up by going in the morning and evening on the weekend but if I don't make it, I'm not going to stress :) I don't want to miss more than four days total though. (That's one day of rest every week)

The instructors say that you improve rapidly the more you do it and I am already feeling some of the results. One of the main things that keeps me going back is the fact that it is helping to relieve my back pain. I have had back pain for several years now from my scoliosis and was actually seeing a Chiropractor for a while (spending WAY too much time and money on it!) I was also told to go to physical therapy by my physician but thought I would try this first (doctor's orders...pshhh). So long story short, back pain = nearly non-existant. After only one week. WIN!!!

That's not the only benefit though. I've also been sleeping better and feeling stronger. Not to mention the flexibility! I'm also thankful that it gives me a moment to meditate. I like to get to class early and get a good spot. I will lie in Savasana for about 10 minutes and try to focus on my breathing. I'm trying not to sound like a total hippie here but it really calms me down and getting there early helps my body acclamate to the heat.

Savasana: lol catz! haha

I also like when the instructors refer to this dude:
Bikram Choudhury!

haha! He has a lot of "phrases" for every pose that crack me up!

“you want the key to success in life? Lock the f****ing knee.”

Iyengar school [which uses props] looks like a Santa Monica sex shop.

The body is a temple, the finest machine in the world. It's so sensitive, but if you treat it nasty for too long, of course it will backfire.

quotes from an interview Choudhury did in 2004 with Chicago Tribune reporter Sara Olkon, who wrote this when she was with the Miami Herald.

This is the pose that I am struggling with the most right now:



I have no balance! I contstantly fall out of it!

The pose I have improved on the most is:



Just kidding! Maybe one day



This is what I've improved on most. It's shorter than the other poses but it gives you, as the instructors like to say "A mini heart attack... so you don't have to have a big one later" I was barely able to hold the pose at first and I looked like a broken umbrella :( When I looked at myself in the mirror last night while in the pose it looked pretty dang good! Feels good to see some improvement!

So there's an update for you! I even have another fitness challenge lined up for myself after my 30 days are up! But I'm keeping it a secret... mostly to mentally prepare lol.

Namaste!

25 March 2011

Perspective

After listening to the news lately about the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan and all of the panic it's causing about nuclear energy I found this article by Seth Godin very interesting.

Deathratewatts

For every person killed by nuclear power generation, 4,000 die due to coal, adjusted for the same amount of power produced... You might very well have excellent reasons to argue for one form over another. Not the point of this post. The question is: did you know about this chart? How does it resonate with you?
I had no idea! It's interesting to really think about the consequences for our energy-hungry lifestyles. If you think about people actually risking their lives so we can flip a lightswitch-- makes me think twice before using energy when I don't really need to.

Not included in this chart are deaths due to global political instability involving oil fields, deaths from coastal flooding and deaths due to environmental impacts yet unmeasured, all of which skew it even more if you think about it.
Ummm... BP oil spill anyone?

It makes me think a lot about how the world is so scared of change, people still think that nuclear energy is so dangerous. I'm still kind of deciding how I feel about nuclear energy but the chart helped put things in perspective.

24 March 2011

Stone Cold Fox

Recently, I was driving home from work and I saw a fox cross the road!

I know this may seem like a normal sighting for most people but I live in downtown Denver and we don't get to see much wildlife. I love foxes, I think they are adorable and I seem to see them all the time so I have decided that the fox must be my power animal.

Check out some of these foxy Etsy finds:

Fox Hat with Earflaps and Tassels
I wish I knew someone with a little one!!
Fox Hat with Earflaps and Tassels by Slingabyebaby

These Are For You
These Are For You by yumiyumi


Mook with Fox Mask
Mook with Fox Mask by ilovegreyskies


Locket art necklace, Lillebelle the Sleeping Fox
Lillebelle the Sleeping Fox by birdsoforegon

Enjoy!

23 March 2011

Mile High

Just stumbled across this great map of Denver and it's cool to see where everything is! I still feel constantly lost in this city.

 I live in Uptown. Can you find it? It's little.


Denver Neigborhood Print by January Jones prints
  

22 March 2011

105 Degrees

So here begins an exciting journey* for me. Since previously posting about my obsession with the daily deal sites, I have abstained except for one purchase: my unlimited month of Bikram Yoga. I have been wanting to get a yoga membership for about a year now but they run about $150/month so I figured I would hold off.... until a $40 month of yoga popped into my inbox. Yes please! I bought it instantly without really looking into what Bikram was.

So yesterday was my first class. My yoga in general is pretty rusty so I was nervous but luckily there was another girl who just started her coupon. She said she had done Bikram a few times but hadn't been to a class in a while so I figured she would stumble along with me.

Apparently the girl was a natural because not only could she do every pose with ease but she also didn't break a sweat. In a 105 degree room. (her hair also stayed straight and her skin wasn't beet red but yeah.)

I on the other hand was roasting like a Thanksgiving turkey. I was warned that the heat will get to you in the first one or two classes so you just sit and follow along by watching and enduring waves of nausea. They also ask that you really try not to leave the room. So I waited for about 5 minutes.

I really felt like fainting. My hands and feet started getting all tingly and I felt it coming but I stayed strong and sipped some water. It was at pose 4 when I actually got back up and joined the class. My balance was WAY off though, I bet people thought I was drunk. From then on it got easier but it didn't get any cooler. Everyone was sweating a lot, and it's pretty gross. Especially since there's carpet and the room is covered in mirrors so you feel like everyone is looking at you. But I bet everyone is just thinking about how damn hot the room is anyway so I stopped caring that I looked so icky. 

About halfway through the class I started thinking that I never wanted to set foot in that God forsaken place again. Screw the $40. I was over it.

I also didn't bring a full sized towel. The mat gets wet (I know, eeew). I only brought a hand towel and the instructor saw me sliding around like a baby seal so she let me borrow a full sized one.

I know you all probably think that I walked right out of there without looking back but I stuck it out! I made it through the class and I felt so proud of myself! I made it! Go me!

I don't know if it's the fact that I am so cheap I refused to let $40 go to waste or that I am so stubborn I wouldn't let myself walk out of the room but I finished the class. I even went to talk to the instructor afterwards and she told me she was a little worried about me in the beginning but she thinks that once I get used to the heat I have some potential. woop woop!

So there you have it. If you can't take the heat, get out of the studio. So bring it on! Class again tonight at 6:30 (and I'm trying to do 5 times a week at least for the month).

Any embarrasing group workout stories from anyone else? It would make me feel better to hear them :)

Namaste

*If you were wondering about the reference to the term "journey" you can ask my lovely friend, Stacie Salinas at her blog: http://officiallydifferent.blogspot.com/


20 March 2011

Hit Snooze

So my sister Rachael and I have decided to start a little monthly Sunday brunch tradition. We have been wanting to check out several places around town that we think have good "brunch potential". This was our first Sunday and it turned out to be a success!

The only downside to Snooze that we could find was the crazy wait time, about 45 minutes. Luckily it was a gorgeous day here in Denver and they had complimentary coffee to sip while we waited out in the Spring sun. People even seemed to be having fun waiting to eat. The restaurant provided chalk for people to pass the time on the sidewalk and so there were no screaming kids!

When we did get seated we found out that Snooze was worth the wait. I ordered the 'Benedicto Tuscano' with tomatoes, white beans, kale, and squash on top of French bread with perfectly poached eggs, creamy hollandaise, and shavings of Parmesan. It was to. die. for. 










We stuffed our faces and enjoyed a few cups of coffee in the coolest mugs ever! Rachael says they remind her of the Jungle Book. Mowgli mugs. I thought they looked like honey pots.

The menu was not too 'spensive either. Under $10 for a meal and I  think next time I'll be ordering some Mimosas. (However I am scarred from spending about $30 on three of them when Amanda was in town last summer so I'd better be careful)

I love being able to spend time with my little sister. We got to catch up and we talked about all the things we want to do this summer. (White water rafting, camping, hiking, travelling. Can't wait!)

Next up... Jelly.

19 March 2011

Saturday Playlist



Just a few things I've been listening to lately....
it's officially the weekend!



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Homemade Runzas




So I finally did it. After 5 years living in Colorado nowhere near a Runza I finally made my own homemade Runzas!

At work, we usually have a little pot-luck about once a month so we had one on St. Patrick's Day to celebrate. My friend Gerri, a fellow Nebraska native, convinced me that Runzas were easy to make and that I should prepare them for 12 people. So I did.

Little did I know what an undertaking this was. They turned out to be delicious and everyone on my team was raving about my "credenzas" or "garbanzos" or whatever they were called.

I won't claim the recipe since I found it online, here's the link...

Let me just say that this was the first time I have ever prepared a recipe that calls for lard so I was a little hesitant. It calls for a half cup of lard and it does make quite a bit (about 12 runzas and I made a casserole with the scraps)

The dough was surprisingly the easiest part, although my trusty KitchenAid mixer did most of the work.

Here's the before and after of the dough. It's a yeast dough so I was just giddy with excitement to see what It looked like after rising!


Dough, before and after

The most time consuming part was chopping up all of the onions and cabbage and by the time I had to put them together I was pretty much over it. The dough isn't very easy to work with and it's difficult to seal the Runzas so they don't pop open when they bake.

Therefore I have decided that I will only make them again if the Pope or Bear Grylls are coming to dinner.

All in all they took about 3 hours so this does not qualify for an easy weeknight dinner but it is faster than driving back to Nebraska.


Yumm!!


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17 March 2011

Shenanagans


Happy St. Patty's Day everyone!

Careful ladies,
don't this one take you back to his gaff tonight after a few pints
 

This is one of my favorite holidays of the EVER. I love everything Irish and to celebrate I thought I would dust off some Irish phrases that I learned over in Dublin. I'll probably be throwin' some of these around tonight after a few Irish car bombs! (Stacie-- you and Brad will have to learn some of these before heading over there this summer!)



The River Liffey and the Ha' Penny Bridge-- Where lots of homeless people beg for change.
 
Arse-- Butt
Bollocks-- Jerk
Bolloxed-- Really Drunk
Dosser-- Lazy person
D4-- Posh person, reffering to a neighborhood postal code
Eejit-- Idiot
Feck- F***
Give out-- Chew someone out
Fairplay!-- Well done!
Gaff-- House/apartment
Gard- Police officer
Gas-- Funny, as in "That's gas!"
Git-- Bad person
Gobshite-- Talkative boring person
Gone in the head-- Cra-zay
Howya -- Hi
Craic-- Fun/gossip
What's the Craic?-- What's goin' on?
Jacks-- The bathroom
Toilet-- The bathroom
Jaysus-- Jesus
Kip-- Nap
Knackered-- Really sleepy
Wrecked-- Really sleepy
Lashing-- Pouring rain
Lay off-- Leave me alone
Letting on-- Pretending
Rippin' the piss-- Lying/joking
Locked- Really drunk
Manky-- Dirty
Messin'-- Playing around
Nip-- Naked
Norn Iron-- Northern Ireland
Tayto/crisps-- Potato Chips
Chips-- French Fries
Rashers-- Bacon
Runners/Trainers-- Tennis shoes
Slagging-- Making fun of someone
Spuds-- Potatoes
Strand-- Beach
Up the Pole-- Pregnant
Wanker-- Someone you don't like
Your Man-- That guy over there



Now let's use these in a sentence!

De feckin gards woke me when I was takin' a kip in de jacks in de nip! Feckin' wankers!

or...

Your man's gaff if feckin manky. I'd give out to 'im but I think he's gone in the head.

Come up with your own!!


In Cork for the Swell Season Show! Fall 2008
 

16 March 2011



First of all let me just say that I have no idea where I am going with this post, so if you’re not following I won’t hold it against you.

I have recently started thinking about how to spend the time that I have to do useful things and to be more productive and happy. I don’t think I’m a lazy person but I really don’t see how other people seem to get SO MUCH accomplished in such a small amount of time. I don’t know if people are lying or if they really do attend grad school and start their own small business after working 9 hours a day. What’s the secret!?!?!

I recently started volunteering at an organization as their “Marketing Volunteer”. I was really excited about getting some experience in Marketing because I enjoy it and I plan on pursuing a career in marketing. I was probably overly excited though because I told them I could work 4 hours a day/10 hours a week at my regular job to come in and volunteer all day on Fridays. It wasn’t until I actually started that crazy schedule that I realized how exhausting it is for no good reason.

Okay, so volunteering is probably a good reason but not good enough for me when I’m waking up at 5 am.

So anyway my point is that I just didn’t feel like I was getting enough value from volunteering to make it worth my while. I think I was romanticizing volunteering. Like I would be passing out bowls of soup to disadvantaged orphans. Instead I was tasked with getting quotes from web developers even though we didn’t plan on using ANY of them.


Yeah, right.
Maybe this is experience but not the kind I was looking for. To be honest I don’t really feel bad about quitting. The only thing that is dragging me down is the fact that I feel like a ‘quitter’. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I don’t quit things easily. I can hate a job for YEARS and still stick around.

Why do I do this to myself? I need to stop this cycle of unnecessarily stressing myself out!

So, yep. I quit my volunteering gig and I am going to sleep in on Friday and be wonderfully miserable with my St. Patty’s Day hangover.

And here is my list of things that I feel would be more worth my time that I plan on doing (just in case you’re interested)

- Studying for the ‘G.D.’ GMAT
- Teaching my dog tricks... or maybe just to sit- still haven’t got that one down
- Thinking about doing a side hustle at a coffee shop or my friend was telling me you can make good money giving samples out for a couple of hours at the grocery store.
- Sleeping!
- Reading a good book
- Spending more time with friends
- Blogging more than once a month

You get the picture.

Happy St. Patty’s Day y’all! Sláinte!