Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2015 Recap and Plans for 2016!

I'm finally getting around to a new years post. I spent the holidays with the flu (lucky me!) Despite my 102 fever I did have a wonderful Christmas and New Years with our families. 2015 was an incredibly important year for me. I had a lot of painful family experiences that I will not get too specific on the details. Those experiences taught me a lot. The older I get the more protective I am of my inner peace. It may have been the yoga teacher training and deepening my own practice, but something over the year empowered me to trim off all that was holding me back. Relationships that were unhealthy, self-limiting thoughts and most importantly-letting go of fear. I decided in 2015 to no longer hold space for that which harms my well-being. As hard as that was, I feel very free and empowered heading into 2016. I'm not a big resolutions gal, but I love to set intentions in my life. I enjoy the spirit of renewal in the new year, but I am so grateful for how far we have come this year as a little family and I'm so excited to keep that going in our new year.
Here is the highlights from the year: 
  1. In February we ran and completed our second half marathon! The Disney Princess Half! Read more about that here.  
  2. In March, I felt the urge to step forward and commit to a yoga teacher training and it was by far one of the scariest and greatest decisions of my life. I grew so much in my training and daily practice. I learned so much about my true self throughout that 8 months and all I want is to learn more and give more of yoga to those I meet. 
  3. In June we took our dream vacation to Paris! It was so rewarding to save up and take our dream vacation as a couple! We had an incredible honeymoon in Rome, but this felt so much more romantic and rewarding. You can read about out trip here and here
  4. We made a lot of positive steps financially in 2015. We paid off our credit cards and our car payment. We upped our health fund 2k, and met all of our retirement and personal savings this year! We accomplished this through living within our means and Matt's accountant skills ;)
  5. In December Matt graduated with his MBA and I graduated with my 200 hour yoga teacher training!
  6. Two days before Christmas I began teaching my yoga classes at Yoga Pointe here in Lakeland! :D
  7. I was offered a job at LA Fitness to teach cycle!
It has been an incredible year and we are ramping up for 2016! Here are some of the goals or intentions we have set for 2016:
  1. Travel! Matt and I love to travel together. I think we really caught the travel bug with our honeymoon in Italy. We have a trip booked and planned for Ireland and London for June! We also would like to do some more US trips. We're thinking about San Francisco/Seattle and we are planning on doing a trip with Matt's parents to NYC in the Fall. 
  2. Continue to build our savings account. I plan on making some big steps in 2016 so we are upping our savings and we plan on investing this year. Making our money work for us! ;)
  3. Move into a house. We love love love the location of our apartment (Starbucks is across the street!) But its time to be big kids and get a house. We are outgrowing our apartment, so once our lease ends in September we plan on renting a house for the time being. I'm sure the kitties will like all that extra space :)
  4. More dates and quality time. Matt and I really had a lot of personal accomplishments in 2015, but we want more fun dates together as a couple. We have always loved lounging around together, but we know that babies will be coming in the next couple of years, so we really want to soak up all the time we can together now with fun dates and spontaneous adventures. 
  5. Start teaching cycle!!! I begin teaching at LA Fitness next week (yay!) I'm currently set to teach three class, plus teach yoga and work a full time job! It is going to be crazy, but I feel so fortunate to be getting paid to work out! haha
  6. Spend more time with family. We did not do this enough last year with how busy we were. This year our intention is to really spend more time in my hometown and with Matt's family. 
  7. I am thinking about possibly enrolling in my 300 hour teacher training, but we will see! I'm just spending my time now learning as much as I can as a new yoga teacher and I will see where I am at near the end of 2016. 
With all of the terrible things that happen in the world, I feel so abundantly blessed. I have met some incredible people and saw incredible things this year. It humbles me to see how far we can go if we simply commit to persevere. I had a lot of years of feeling lost and it is so rewarding to finally be on the right track. As hard as it has been for me to learn, you cannot live in fear. You have to step forward and set fire to the path in front of you. With each painful experience I have had, I try to remember that there is always something to be grateful for. That to be alive is such a beautiful gift. 

I hope that in 2016 we see every new day as a new opportunity. 

I hope you all have a joyful and safe 2016 full of love and many blessings! 




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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Gingerbread No-Bake Cookies!

Gingerbread cookies are one of my favorite things about Christmas time. I love pulling out the festive cookie cutters and baking while Christmas movies play in the background. This year I'm extremely busy and kind of exhausted, so I thought I would make a no-bake version of my beloved gingerbread with healthy wholesome ingredients that do not take all day to make. It is a busy time and the last thing most people want to do is spend hours in the kitchen...



These are sweetened with dates and a little maple syrup with all the lovely gingerbread spices :D

Gingerbread No-Bake Cookies (Adapted from Raw Manda)

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup pitted dates, packed
  • 1/4 whole wheat flour (or almond flour)
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (or rolled oats)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger 
  • 1/4 cup maples syrup
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg 
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla 
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • Optional: organic sugar for rolling. 


Directions
  1. Blend all of the ingredients except for the dates and maple syrup in a food processor on high speed, until the mixture reaches a flour consistency. 
  2. Add in half of the dates and maple syrup and process until well combined, then add the remaining dates until you have a uniform dough.
  3. Scoop dough out about 1 tablespoon in size, roll into balls or flatten with a rolling pin and use a cookie cutter to make desired shapes.
  4. Roll balls in sugar or sprinkle on top of them.

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Friday, December 18, 2015

Why I will not be "Detoxing" After the Holiday Season.


We are in the home stretch for Christmas day. One week from now we will be gathered with family around the Christmas tree! This is my favorite time of year and I just do not want it to end!



 

There is one pet peeve of mine that I have every holiday season and its this "detox" frenzy. I know that a lot of people use it as a word to market getting healthier or recovering from a night of holiday debauchery. I also know a lot of the time, people use it as way to get people to live a healthier lifestyle.

 I'm guilty of using the word as most people are. I've felt the sting of guilt after indulging too much during the holidays. I have even done a three day juice cleanse that ended in me running to Chipotle because I actually wanted food (I will never do that again lol!)

Nowadays, with the more research I do, I doubt the pseudoscience regarding "sweating or twisting out" toxins. Our bodies naturally expel toxins through the liver and kidneys. That is not to say that I don't think some foods help with the process of natural detox or that we shouldn't drink adequate amounts of water. I also love teaching hot yoga and how my body and mind feels after a sweaty exercise session!

However, on a more subtle level, if we constantly talk about how 'toxic' our bodies are what message are we sending ourselves and others? We are telling ourselves that we need to be 'purified' and 'cleansed' (often by costly products and services.) I know for some of you this may seem overly sensitive or PC. However, the way I see it, there are serious concerns regarding environmental toxins that do need to be addressed, but we live in culture that is always finding a way to tell us we're not good enough and with 'this membership' or 'this product' you finally will be. It is very problematic.

We live in a society that tells women in particular, that we're "gross" and they try to sell us crap to make us less "gross" (everything from juice cleanses to labiaplasties). It seems that every time we ring in the new year, countless ads and gyms are guilting us into spending money to achieve perfection that does not exist. I am all for living a healthy active lifestyle and setting goals for self-growth. I even try to eat healthy most of the time, even when I'm indulging! Not because I'm afraid of being "toxic," but because I feel good when I eat healthy and exercise.


I like to take care of my body, because it takes care of me when I feed it nutritious food and when I exercise regularly. I know that when I'm treating my mind body and spirit with TLC it does exactly what I need it to to thrive. Have I always been this way? No, it has been a long journey for me to change the messages I tell myself and accept from the world. And the more I invest in yoga and connecting to my body, I feel better, happier and more balanced most of the time. I hope that this holiday season you enjoy your time with family and I hope you can focus on being present, not about how you're going to purge yourself of those gingerbread cookies. You're not gross. You're not toxic. There is nothing wrong with who you are today.


Take care of your mind, body and spirit because its good for you. 

 This holiday season, may you be safe, may you be healthy, may you be joyful and may you be free!


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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Gift Guide for Kids 2015 Edition

Matt and I do not currently have children that are not of the 4 legged variety ;)
However, I do have a niece and a nephew that we always love to buy for each year. My nephew is turning 15 and all he wanted was an Xbox this year so we all chipped in and bought him one!

We were  also really excited to see the kindle on sale for my 6-year-old niece Jessica. She loves playing games and there is a new subscription for kids that gives them unlimited books and games for $5 a month!!!

I included a lot of toys on this list that are good for kids developing brains, because I just think play time should also be constructive and fun! Hallmark is doing personalized books for kids?!?! What a fun way to make reading personable :)

I also added some eco-friendly and science related toys like GoldieBlox which was a startup company a couple years back to get girls engaged in engineering, which is amazing! I also included Yoga Pretzels of course, because the benefits of yoga on kids is incredible and I'm biased haha!
kids list

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What gifts are you giving your little ones this year?


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