Tag Archives: yoga

My new favorite treat!

20131021-140120.jpgI’ve written previously about my love of smoothies.  There is something nice about a cold sweet drink that isn’t soda or juice.  I’ve recently discovered a concoction that i’m greatly enjoying as i study, and may be a regular treat.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup + some almond milk (to get appropriate texture – more milk makes is slushier)
  • some vanilla extract
  • some ginger

I’ve been throwing it all in a ball jar and using my immersion blender to make it a creamy, fruity, cold delicious.  It’s a lovely yellow color, and really good after a run.

Today was the official start of my DDP Yoga journey.  I did Energy! this morning, which went well.  Staying in the lunges for the full segment will likely by goal #1.

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No, really

weight

Wow, i suck at updates.

I’ve got a new niece and a big motivation to be healthier.  Although i’m retaking the Professional Engineer in just over a week i’ve been dedicating time and energy to healthier habits.  Drinking more water, eating more veggies and fruits, making more meals.

I do long to get back to normal.  My house is messy, i’m behind on things, and i want to do some things to set myself up for success.

I had lost and have since found my FitBit One.  Today is the first day back with it.  Measuring my steps is maddening on office days, an intense reminder of just how sedentary my life can be.  Still, it is a powerful tool for letting me know my activity level, and often at the end of the day i find myself wandering in circles around the house to boost my numbers.

One of the reasons i first bought a FitBit (the former version, which i managed to kill from sweat and water) was it syncs up with a website called LoseIt.  When i lost the 40 lbs previously it was in large part thanks to tracking my food and exercise on LoseIt.  It’s a pretty simple site and smartphone app that lets you log food and exercise.  It calculates how many calories you should eat in a given day to reach your goals.  It has an active, supportive community, trackers for additional health goals and a few other neat things.

So i’m dedicating myself – the foundation is tracking my food.  When i track i make better decisions because i need to “own up” to my choices.  My copies of DDP Yoga should be arriving soon.

This isn’t just vanity, and it isn’t just health.  There are complex emotions in all this.  The woman i want to be can cook awesome dishes and not feel panic about baked goods.  She can do quadratic equations and still keep a clean house.  I feel as if right now things are out of balance, but necessarily so.

Life refuses to stop.

10 days until my exam.

I can do it.

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Expanding yoga

Last night was a good yoga class. With one week of sick and another because of school vacation I’d had a few weeks off. Coming back to the mat was a very good thing, especially since I’d had a stressful day and didn’t want to.

We had a wonderful guided meditation on embracing out childlike selves and it made my smile.

This morning I decided to make a change, expanding my morning practice from sun breathes to sun salutations. I think it will be a good change.

Tonight I am hanging out with Ian and the nephew. We’re currently enjoying Thomas the Tank Engine while Ian books a hotel room for a conference in August. It’s a quiet but good night. Yay for that.

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Honesty in blogging

While it’s more fun to share the beautiful and inspiring, we have a responsibility as publishers to be transparent and vulnerable. It’s that vulnerability that connects us with each other. As readers, we have a responsibility to understand that one person’s heart, soul and life experience cannot be shared in one image or five hundred words. If we can soften our approach from both sides we can find a place to meet in the middle, to truly connect. (Vulnerability and the Myth of the Picture Perfect Anything – Be More With Less)

This was part of an article that came through my email this afternoon.  I read multiple blogs on minimalism, domestic life, cooking, organization and such.  I sometimes even feel like an imposter when i write here.  I am not always organized.  I eat out too often.  I dawdle and procrastinate.  I have too much stuff, and sometimes the ‘stuff’ in my world (mine or other people’s) gets in the way of life. I still haven’t figured out the right balance between openly documenting my life as a queer polyamorous person and knowing most of the folks reading and writing about domestic topics are not necessarily friendly towards that.

So here’s my vow to you, readers.  I’m going to honestly document my adventures and misadventures.

Like this past weekend.  Ian and i went away to celebrate our 3 year anniversary.  Technically, we think we started dating in November, but being two engineer-minded sorts, we decided to re-date our anniversary to a less chaotic time of year, so we could actually celebrate.  We went to Newport, RI, and it was lovely.  We’ve never had so much time to just be with each other without distractions.

I learned a few things though, like maybe it would of been smarter to look at food places before hand.  We wasted a lot of time on looking at menus before going out.  I also skipped my morning sun breathes, and had some insecurities with my weight and appearance.  I know Ian loves me 20+ pounds higher, and 20 pounds lower, but you can bet which felt better.

The weekend away meant being behind on chores, though i’m (mostly) caught up now.

Tonight is a date with Duncan.  We’re going to try the new branch of a local restaurant.  I hope to finish catching up on chores as well.

I can aim to do my best.  I can learn.  But pretending i’m perfect isn’t going to help me any.

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The Calm Before The (Winter) Storm

What I love most about my home is who i share it with

Found via Facebook

Well, things haven’t slowed down at all.

Wednesday and Thursday were more groundwater sampling at work.  It isn’t particularly hard work, but it isn’t easy either.  Especially in the cold.  Things freeze, your body gets stiff and, if you’re not careful, you slip and fall and break equipment, like i did on Thursday.

It wasn’t my best day ever.

Still, it wasn’t all bad.  I did manage to muck up my ankle, but went to yoga anyway.  My instructor is very kind and i know to listen to my body.  I modified a few poses, so everything was fine.  What stood out from class was as we settled in, Lisa reminded us to let go of expectations, including those for the weather today.  At the end of class, one of my fellow students said class had been the calm before the storm.  How true!

It’s now 8 AM, and i’m at my office, nearly alone as far as i can tell.  Many of my coworkers who have longer commutes are working from home or took the day off in some form.  They are allowing folks to make up time next week if they need to.

Hartford County is currently under a Blizzard Warning for Storm Nemo.  We’re expected to get somewhere between 18″-24″ of snow.  Duncan has bought some extra rock salt for the steps and i’ll actually park in the garage when i get back home.  The snow is just starting to fall now.

Duncan bought all kinds of food and i have plenty of studying to do, so we’ll be fine.  Stay warm friends!

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Peace

Recently, Ian requested I send him an email each day.  Since we don’t always have a chance to connect, it’s a simple way to ensure good communication and feelings of security.  In the email I am supposed to include something that struck me that day.

I struggled, as yesterday wasn’t particularly exciting, and then i realized, i was feeling peaceful.  Despite the chaos and stress around me, i felt at peace.  Maybe it was having a particularly good yoga class, but that was the thing that struck me.

Every day now, i’m taking steps to make my home more of what i want it to be through my routines and using Remember the Milk as an external brain.  I’m managing my email to be less distracting.  Last night i did the initiation tests to begin doing both the 100 push ups and 200 sit ups challenges, to add more daily movement.  By writing here each day, i’m taking small steps towards a more mindful life.  I feel secure, calm, and able to relax at the end of the day, knowing what needed to be done has been accomplished.

I can’t promise this calm will last, but right now, things feel good.  Food is still a struggle area, and i am behind in my goal to study for the Professional Engineering Exam in April, but that doesn’t mean i should give up or walk away.  It means i need to make changes.  Habit stacking and curating my time will let me do just that.

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Eve of Adventure!

Sunrise from the landing

Sunrise from the landing

I can’t say this morning was particularly special.  It did start with a beautiful sunrise, however, with oranges and yellows reflecting onto the white snow.  It’s mornings like this that make me so glad to do my sun breaths on our landing, where i can look at our yard and see the sun come up these days.

Work was, well, like a job.  I daydreamed too much with our trip on the horizon.

This evening i came home after going to the bank, and got right into chores – putting away laundry, finishing some packing, emptying the dishwasher and generally making sure things were completed.   Then it was time for Bhakti yoga.  Normally there is a break every few weeks in the yoga class i take through Park & Rec, however, our wonderful teacher offered to do a special class this week during our normal break to support the town food bank.  It ended up being a particularly wonderful class, with 4 students.  We were able to ask more questions and work on specific poses while also focusing on our spiritual selves and connections with others.  I felt feeling taller and lighter.

Afterwards, there was more prep for the trip.  I had to make hard boiled eggs, rice crispy treats and a loaf of bread (in the bread machine, thankfully!).  It was hard to return to the manic do-do-do after such a peaceful class, so i didn’t, but was very efficient, moving with focus and determination.  I was productive enough i was able to go out with Duncan for dinner even!  How great!

There is laundry in the dryer now, and things to pack in the morning – apples, eggs, cream cheese, rice crispy bars – but things are generally done!  Maybe it was the beer with dinner, but i feel relaxed and ready.

I likely won’t be posting the next few days because i won’t be at a computer (and hopefully will be busy having fun!).  Look for more adventures next week!

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Prepared!

This morning, my routine once again brought me a smooth morning.  The bathroom is clean, the cat is cared for, and because i prepared, there is a yogurt on my desk next to me, waiting for me to enjoy it.  Lunch is in the drawer.

I am considering moving things around on the landing so i can do yoga there in the mornings.  Perhaps just a simple vinyasa, but a few minutes each morning.  It’s an idea, I’ll continue with the sun breaths for now, at least through January probably.

It is funny, how much the Sister & i put into preparing for things.  Next week we’ll be attending a sci-fi convention, along with the Husband, Mister, Love-In-Laws and Nephew, so 6 adults and 1 toddler.  We’re sharing two hotel rooms.  With 5 of us on panels, 3 of us on staff and child-care, it’s going to be a full weekend!

I spent yesterday making us a spreadsheet for when our panels were assigned, and encouraged folks to add to it the activities they’d like to do.  For me that meant two yoga classes (yoga using rope & vinyasa yoga), and a shadowcast of Nightmare Before Christmas.  With this, we can determine who has childcare duties, when the best time to get meals  is and those sorts of details.

Today i started the packing list, based of the last big trip i did, back in September.  I like to plan my outfits ahead of time for events like this.  Even if i’m not a cos-player, i still like to dress fun and be organized!

In the evening, i had a meeting of our board for a non-binary gender & sexuality organization.  We had some tough decisions to make, but worked as a team and came to agreement.  I’m lucky to work with such great individuals.  Volunteering my time in this way is incredibly stressful, however, it does feed my soul.

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This morning was rainy, i may of even heard thunder, but perhaps it was just the wind as i lay in bed, enjoying a little chance to sleep in before work.

Cookies from local bakery

Cookies from local bakery

Last night i put up a sticky note under the bathroom mirror, reminding myself to do 5 sun breaths this morning.  It worked, although i admit, i did them right then and there in the bathroom and my poor cat got thwacked a few times.  He is particularly underfoot in the mornings.  This new addition to my routine did throw me off, but i was able to make the bed, open the shades, and do my swish & swipe before heading downstairs to feed the cat and clean the litterbox.  I even remembered to put away the sweater i chose not to wear, a tiny victory, but one nonetheless.

Work was busy.  I’m designing a type of remediation system that i don’t have much experience with.  As my old boss would say, it’s an opportunity.  That and a good chunk of engineering is learn as you do.  I was also trying to work with Duncan to get some last minute gifts and grocery shopping organized.  I am learning we both struggle with communicating over instant messenger, but while at work it is very difficult to call him.  I need to work on my clarity in typing and be less afraid to give very specific instruction when i need something.

After work i picked up some Italian cookies for Christmas Eve for Mom at a local bakery.  She’s a big fan.  They were a little expensive, but i know the labor that goes into them, so it’s worth it.  Once home i worked on a technical problem for a non-profit i serve on the board of.  Then i jumped right in to wrapping presents.  Often this is one of my favorite holiday activities, but again, with the mess my procrastination has made, i just felt stressed.  This is something to work on for sure.  I also was able to do some laundry during this time.  Efficiency!

I also found out i ordered some shirts as gifts that won’t arrive on time for Christmas thanks to some misinformation and not reading all the fine print.  This makes me sad, but i think all three of my boys who were getting them will understand (by my boys i mean full grown adults).

Starlight Mint Tray

Starlight Mint Tray

My husband came home earlier than expected from his aikido class, so we went to Target and did some last minute shopping and then got a late dinner.  I put things away while baking a starlight mint tray (pictured).  This is an idea i got from Pintrest.  You unwrap the mints and align them in a rough pattern on a wax paper covered cookie sheet, then bake it at 350°F for about 10 minutes.  They are soft enough to manipulate with metal cookie cutters or just use as a tray.  They are fragile (i broke my first attempt!) but fun.  Although i thought they were identical except for color and flavor, it turns out the green ones were a little thicker, which is a challenge melting wise, but worked out fine with a little toothpick manipulation.

At 10:30 I got a few messages from the Mister, telling me i should be in bed, afterall, tomorrow is his birthday and party, and being a tired girl is no way to celebrate. I rushed to make progress cleaning out the fridge, wrap the last things i had to wrap, and bring up the laundry.  I was even able to put the clothes away before climbing into bed at 10:58, two full minutes before my 11 o’clock be in bed time.

I definitely realized, as i spun around rushing to do-do-do, and my husband was on the computer, that i feel resentment in times like this.  But the reality is, there is nothing he could of been doing at that time! So i need to work on letting that go.  As if the universe wanted to remind me, in my email came the latest Zen Habits email, entitled The Other Person is Never the Problem.  I hope to find some time to really read it and take it in.  I think it would be beneficial to me on many levels if i could work on that perspective.

Very busy day

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Holiday prep

Today was a strange day, sort of a calm amid chaos.  We were given year end bonuses at work, something very exciting, and had a three hour luncheon to celebrate the holidays together.  I was also given a new project, something new to me and challenging, but i am excited about it.

Today was also my usual yoga class.  We were in the smaller room at the community center, which has a wonderful feel to it, particularly given our small class size this session.  Rather than our typical shavasana, we meditated together looking into the fireplace.  After class our instructor gave us an additional gift of freshly made chocolate chip cookies.  The 6 of us all stayed for a few minutes to enjoy them.  Although the students in the class are often quiet, we are all friendly, and that little moment of togetherness felt lovely.

I’ve spent the rest of the evening working on my menu and shopping list for Christmas Eve.  We will be hosting family for dinner, and it’s a little stressful.  Once again my dislike of the telephone and  poor planning has caused me stress.  However, with enough food everything will be alright.  I am using a Google Doc to write down the dishes i would like to make and what ingredients will need to be purchased, as well as any links for particular recipes.  This way the husband can access all the information when he goes out shopping tomorrow.

 

 

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