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Monday, February 17, 2014

MIMM: Hibernating

I realize I've been kind of MIA lately. I took kind of a mental rest weekend and opted to, as I call it, "hibernate" due to another round of snow and frigid temperatures. I could have easily taken this time at home to blog, but I didn't. I was kind of wiped from all the shoveling I had to do between Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. I need to learn how to use a snow blower for next year.

But it's Monday and I'm linking up with Katie for some Marvelous in my Monday action! 

Marvelous is...this Napoleon Dynamite Valentine's Day picture I sent to my family. Don't ask me why we find Kip to be so hilarious.

Marvelous is...dedicating several hours of my Thursday evening to watching Olympic curling On Demand and a attempting to interpret the rules and scoring of the game. It's really kind of fascinating. There is a place in Cranston that has a curling club and they run open houses to learn about the game. The next one is in early March. You know I plan on being there.

Marvelous is....when my dogs get haircuts and act like divas.
Chloe is so grumpy and cute!

Marvelous is...staying in all weekend marathoning almost the entire second season of Parks and Recs. I got my mom and I hooked. Ron Swanson cracks me up.

Marvelous is...playing a few intense impromptu games of Rummikub on a Saturday night during a snowstorm. Something about bad weather and board games. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly. Although I prefer peanut butter and fresh spinach sandwiches. Don't hate.

Marvelous is...winter clothing clearance. I've had my eye on this one particular sweater and I scored it for $15 on Saturday! I also made out like a bandit at K-Mart yesterday, with no intentions of buying anything. $35 well spent.

Marvelous is...finally beating level 382 on Candy Crush. I can't stop playing when I'm stuck on a level for over a week. The feeling of accomplishment I get from this victory is so wrong haha.

Here's to looking forward to a week full of yoga, rising temperatures (I hope!), and not feeling the compulsion to play so much Candy Crush.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Starting a new chapter

As you may or may not have noticed, I've edited some past posts. It was brought to my attention from people who personally know me that my blog really isn't an accurate reflection of who I am, and that was never my intention. I was coming off as whiny, negative, and unappreciative - qualities that are just not admirable and really aren't part of my persona. After all of the things I have been through in recent years, I have grown to become more positive and more grateful for the things that I did and am lucky enough to still have, but I was using this blog as a place to rant and vent. No more.

I'm starting a new chapter in my life. It's been a long time coming, and I have to admit I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity. This is what I've been looking for, and it's what I'm passionate about. I can't wait to start this journey.

In line with other life changes, I plan to refocus this blog on what I originally wanted it to be about: yoga, healthy eating, and stress management. My life really is entertaining, and I want to share these stories without highlighting the negative aspects for some cheap entertainment value. I'm better than that.

I hope that you'll all still follow me and find that my blog posts have improved as time goes on. In the meantime, my posts may be short and infrequent due to other priorities in my life as things are working themselves out.

MIMM: Looking forward to the week ahead

I don't know if it's the time of year, but I've been so busy lately. I've had to cancel plans with certain people several times because I've essentially double-booked myself. It's a welcome change for the winter since I typically hibernate at home due to my hatred/intolerance for the cold. Can you believe I'll be out almost every night this week with several inches of snow and ice on the ground from Saturday and this forecast?
Yeah, me either. Fingers crossed for no snow on Tuesday.

Tonight I'm attending a holiday party for wedding companies at the Providence Biltmore in lieu of my normal Monday routine of vinyasa and hot yoga. Free food and an excuse to dress fancy? Hell yeah. Funny how I get invited to this when I've literally assisted in DJing one wedding. My friend and I have plans to hit up Trinity Brewhouse for wings afterwards, too. Should be a fun night!

I have Tuesday off work (so I hope) and plan to squeeze in lots of yoga to make up for my lack of regular class attendance. I also find myself craving sushi something awful and am considering taking advantage of a sushi lunch special somewhere after AM yoga classes. It has been far too long since sashimi and seaweed salad have been on my agenda, or my plate.

I was scheduled to cover trivia on Wednesday night, but my godfather AKA my favorite man in my life/father figure invited me to Transiberian Orchestra. With one Providence performance each year, the stories I've heard about the show, and the opportunity to hang with Uncle Mark, I couldn't turn down the offer . Thank god my boss was understanding and found coverage.

Back to work Thursday with post-work plans for an unofficial office Christmas party at the Thirsty Beaver. Who knows what Friday holds.

Linking up to Katie's Marvelous in my Monday as per usual. I'm having trouble posting links and pictures on my iPad since I'm still learning, so bear with me! Also, this post is going up late. Oops!

Three Things Tuesday

Just popping in to share a few links that can give you a sneak peek into my inner thoughts since my Tuesdays are non-stop busy between dragging my feet to get ready for work, actually going to work, and then heading to host trivia immediately from work.

Onto some linkage!

This Huffington Post article on 5 Things Every Yogi Needs to Know is so significant to my life as of late, and totally validates my addiction...but that's just my opinion. I'm not exactly sure which is influencing which, but I've noticed a huge difference both on and off the mat in the past few months. As I'm working on being more flexible in my everyday life by letting go of stupid "eating rules"and forcing myself to be more social, I'm seeing an increase in my physical flexibility in my yoga practice. I have to say, it feels pretty amazing.

I love partner yoga. And how cute/creative is Paula? Best instructor ever!
Check out Shanti Yoga & Fitness!

Can you believe Christmas is less than a month away? IT hasn't felt the same since my Dad passed away. He LOVED Christmas, like a little kid who still believes in Santa. It just doesn't seem as special without him here. The last three years, I've wanted nothing for gifts, but this year I actually really want to buy myself an iPad mini.

All I want for Christmas...ipad mini with a keyboard attachment.
An iPad mini would make my life so much easier. I wouldn't have to retype all those notes and waste paper on printouts for reference. Plus, I could totally browse instagram when meetings are a snoozefest.

My mom suggested buying it for me, but I really can't let her. I'd rather see her put that money toward my sisters. I'll let her buy me a case or something.

And to further justify my long-standing disdain for The Little Mermaid, a hilariously accurate Buzzfeed article ranking Disney Princesses on their intelligence. Or lack thereof.

Yes, I may be bitter and blame The Little Mermaid for my Bloody Monday incident at age 4, but that's neither here nor there. She is the reason so many girls are relationship-dependent skanks today (Sorry, not sorry). Think about it: all she aspired to be was a voiceless, naked woman to impress some dude she didn't even know. I love how this list points out that she never thought to WRITE A NOTE to Eric. DUH. 

P.S. - the rest of the list is just as amusing and spot-on. I love Buzzfeed.
Until next time.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Random product reviews: You should try this because it's awesome

Last week I was scrolling through my photo stream on my iPhone and came across a ton of pictures I'd snapped of random healthy food finds that I tried and enjoyed. I think credit should always be given when it is due, so I thought it was appropriate to sing each company's praise in a blog post. And now we're here!

Dr. McDougall's Black Bean & Lime soup is perfect for days when I don't have time to actually make a lunch for work. All you need is hot water and some patience (it takes a few minutes for the dried black beans to soften up), and voila! a filling, delicious lunch. The flavor of this soup is great. It comes with a zesty lime flavor packet that you mix in with the dried black beans before filling the cup up to the line with boiling water, and you just toss the container when you're done. I try to stock up when these go on sale, though it's under $2 so definitely a more affordable, healthier lunch than you'd get at Subway. I've also tried the split pea and barley soup, which is equally tasty and nutritious. I'm dying to try some of the newer products from the line: Pistachio Citrus Quinoa Salad and Butternut Azteca Soup especially caught my eye.

 I won a jar of Nikki's Coconut Butter a while back in a blog giveaway...I wish I could remember which blog, but when I saw "a while back" I mean a year ago (far before I had a blog and could formally tell the internet how much I love this stuff). Nikki's has so many awesome flavors: Honey Pecan Pie, Midnight Mocha, Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie, Macademia Nut Cookie, Pumpkin Spiced Donut (seasonal), and Vanilla Cake Batter, which is the flavor I chose. Let me tell you, the flavor was spot on. I could literally eat this stuff with a spoon, but I retrained myself and instead drizzled it over oatmeal and on rice cakes or lavash bread with jam. I am dying to try their other flavors at some point, but right now I'm not in a position to spend $13 on a jar :(

A few weeks ago, I was browsing around The Good Seed Market and noticed Kevita in the fridge. I asked the owner and her sister if they'd tried it, and they happened to be drinking the Daily Cleanse (pictured above) as we spoke, and highly recommended it. Since I love cayenne pepper and lemon, I went with their suggestion and was not disappointed. 

I should disclose that I am a chugger. I drink everything in gulps - hot tea, coffee, seltzer water included. This stuff is definitely made for sipping. I coughed a little from the cayenne on the initial taste. I must have been overzealous. They have a whole slew of interesting flavors that I want to try, especially the Mojita and Strawberry Acai Coconut. Lucky for me (and you), there is a coupon for $1.50 a bottle on this week. I highly recommend printing one out and running to Whole Foods, or the Good Seed Market if you're lucky enough to live in the RI/MA area, to try Kevita.

Excuse the crappy picture above of my new favorite Quest bar flavor. It was taken post-yoga while waiting for my mom's car to be ready at Tire Pros. I know everyone raves about the chocolate chip cookie dough and double chocolate chunk flavors, and I am completely of the same opinion. That being said, coconut cashew is BOMB. Such a unique flavor, great texture, and stellar nutrition facts, all as to be expected from Quest bars. I was really shocked by how great this bar was without being warmed in the microwave prior to consumption. I think I actually prefer it as is. I still have yet to try the Quest Cravings Peanut butter cups or the new cookies & cream bar. I need to step up my Quest hunting game. Lovelovelove Quest.

Make sure you check out these companies and their products. Consider it proof that nutritious food can be delicious, and can even taste like your favorite dessert.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Snow, snow go away. Come again never.

More snow. And even more expected. I'm not enjoying the fact that all of my vacation time is being wasted on inclement weather and risky travel conditions. If the office wasn't so far from my house and if I-95 wasn't the only route, I'd definitely be in today. This really has been a pretty terrible winter for New England, at least in my opinion.
Jesse Lacey knows me too well.
The big controversy flooding social media sites today seems to be the Biggest Loser Finale. Apparently the winner lost a whopping 60% of her body weight, down to 105lbs from 260lbs. That is insane. It's painful how thin she looks. I'm sure I don't need to provide a picture or article link because it's everywhere, you all know what I'm referencing. If not, you obviously have internet access if you're reading blog posts and can just as easily tap into the handy-dandy google machine.

I also happened across this not-so-little piece on orthorexia, which I think it's relevant to this whole ordeal. It's worth reading in its entirety, despite its length. Orthorexia is becoming an epidemic in this country, and it just isn't recognized as a problem. Not all sufferers appear physically unhealthy, but the mental struggle is on par with a DSM-recognized, diagnosable eating disorder. I love that Amanda describes orthorexia as the "sneakiest food disorder." It's almost encouraged in our culture with all of these ridiculous restrictive diets and obsession with thinness. I think a lot of people could also learn a lot from the non-rule rules she provides at the end of the post. Overall, a well-written, thoughtful, and educational article that aims to bring awareness to a serious problem that's too often overlooked.

In my laziness after shoveling snow and then food into my face for a combined 3 hours--yes, that's 90 minutes dedicated to each activity. The snow was wet, heavy, and made me RAVENOUS--I found this hilarious list of The 17 Reasons I'm an Undateable Girl.
TGFI: Thank God for Internet - Making single life acceptable

Monday, February 3, 2014

MIMM: Slacking, but for all the right reasons

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've basically fallen out of all typical routines this month. 2014 appears to be the year of change, which I desperately needed in more areas than one. I don't want to elaborate because a lot of things are indefinite and I don't want to jinx anything. I'm superstitious like that.

Just know that for now - anticipatory anxiety aside - things are marvelous.

I've had a few enviable adventures this last week, if I do say so myself. Thursday night I finally made it to Raffa Yoga in Cranston, RI for antigravity yoga. I wasn't sure what it would be like or if I'd be able to catch on, but it was SO much fun.

The harnesses are these giant white sheets that you wrap yourself up and they can apparently hold up to 3000lbs. We had the opportunity to try some pretty advanced poses and inversions like Vampire.
Photo credit. Obviously this isn't me.
I really loved it. The instructor actually approached me after the class and asked if I had done antigravity yoga before because I was so good at it and fearless about the inversions. Go figure. It wasn't so much of a workout to me, but it was definitely relaxing and a stress reliever. Ideally, I'd love to get to a class once a month. Well worth the $16 drop-in fee.

From new experiences to familiar settings, my friends suggested we go out to Toby Keith's I Love This Bar in Foxboro. I had gone twice with my co-workers when I was a caseworker at Key, well before I developed a taste for country music, and I had a blast back then so I had high expectations going back. I have to say, it makes a huge difference when you can sing along to the cover band. 

More marvelous tidbits include a return visit to Justine's for a late-night mid-week drink and an announcement from my yoga instructor that there will be a second hot yoga class added into the rotation in the Spring! (Screw you, Punxsutawney Phil and your stupid Groundhog inner circle for "seeing your shadow" and cursing us with 6 more weeks of winter).

Linking up to the wonderful Healthy Diva for some more positivity and marvelousness. Thanks, as always, Katie!