Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Yoga & Change

I love yoga. Here I am, just relaxing in comfortable crossed legged enjoying a nice, peaceful practice...

Image courtesy of: Adamr /

..........Yeah. Right.

First off, no one looks like that after two children and especially not after breastfeeding them - but, I'm not bitter. Nope, not at all. Secondly, there's not a whole lot that is peaceful about my practices. I'll usually have to stop at least once to tend to a crying child or have to put the dogs in their kennels so they'll quit licking me every chance they get.

Even with several distractions, yoga is so wonderfully relaxing, strengthening, motivational and 100% totally necessary for me.

"Yoga is a powerful vehicle for change.
As you build your strength, you start to believe in your own potential."

- Tiffany Cruikshank, yoga teacher/sports medicine specialist

Yoga drives so much that I do and no matter what life brings, it always brings me back to center - well, that and obviously Jesus, but I'll focus on yoga for this post. 

The first class I took was a prenatal yoga class when I was newly pregnant with my first little one. The desire to be healthy for my baby was initially what started my yoga journey and my desire to be the absolute best mom and wife I can be is one of the many reasons that keeps me going.

Yoga has given me the strength, both mentally and physically, to know that I can do anything I put my mind to and focus my energy on. I know that I can be the best wife, a mother, a friend, yogi, anything I want - because of the determination and focus that yoga brings me. It allows me to see a new perspective and appreciate life and everything it brings.

If you've never taken a yoga class, I highly encourage it - unless you're a guy. Guys doing yoga totally weirds me out. I'm sure I'm being naive and I'll catch some flack for it, but either way...still weirds me out.

Oh, and here is a 15% off coupon for my new favorite accessory YogaPaws. They are these amazing little gadgets that help you stick to your mat. They market them as being able to let you do yoga on any surface without a mat, but I keep my practices on the mat :)

Namaste :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

{Must Read for Mama's} Seriously the sweetest, most heart wrenching letter.

I came across this post about creating 'First Day of School' traditions. It really caught me off-guard as I was expecting to see some insanely difficult and perfectly created craft that only Martha Stewart could accomplish. Instead, I found an incredibly sweet and touching tradition that I cannot wait to start with each of my children - I say that - who am I kidding. I'm going to be that mom bawling on the front steps of the school everyday for the first year of Kindergarten. But I digress.

You can find the original post here at MomastryTM

Here's the 'tradition' that this mom has. She says that you can use this letter verbatim (obviously changing out the name) or tweak it to your heart's desire to suit your family and child(ren) best.


Dear Chase,
Hey, baby.
Tomorrow is a big day. Third Grade – wow. 
Chase – When I was in third grade, there was a little boy in my class named Adam.
Adam looked a little different and he wore funny clothes and sometimes he even smelled a little bit. Adam didn’t smile. He hung his head low and he never looked at anyone at all. Adam never did his homework. I don’t think his parents reminded him like yours do. The other kids teased Adam a lot. Whenever they did, his head hung lower and lower and lower. I never teased him, but I never told the other kids to stop, either.
And I never talked to Adam, not once. I never invited him to sit next to me at lunch, or to play with me at recess. Instead, he sat and played by himself. He must have been very lonely.
I still think about Adam every day. I wonder if Adam remembers me? Probably not. I bet if I’d asked him to play, just once, he’d still remember me. 
I think that God puts people in our lives as gifts to us. The children in your class this year, they are some of God’s gifts to you.
So please treat each one like a gift from God. Every single one.
Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, a part of your heart will hurt a little. Your daddy and I want you to trust that heart- ache. Your whole life, we want you to notice and trust your heart-ache. That heart ache is called compassion, and it is God’s signal to you to do something. It is God saying, Chase! Wake up! One of my babies is hurting! Do something to help! Whenever you feel compassion – be thrilled! It means God is speaking to you, and that is magic. It means He trusts you and needs you.
Sometimes the magic of compassion will make you step into the middle of a bad situation right away.
Compassion might lead you to tell a teaser to stop it and then ask the teased kid to play. You might invite a left-out kid to sit next to you at lunch. You might choose a kid for your team first who usually gets chosen last. These things will be hard to do, but you can do hard things.
Sometimes you will feel compassion but you won’t step in right away. That’s okay, too. You might choose instead to tell your teacher and then tell us. We are on your team – we are on your whole class’s team. Asking for help for someone who is hurting is not tattling, it is doing the right thing. If someone in your class needs help, please tell me, baby. We will make a plan to help together. 
When God speaks to you by making your heart hurt for another, by giving you compassion, just do something. Please do not ignore God whispering to you. I so wish I had not ignored God when He spoke to me about Adam. I remember Him trying, I remember feeling compassion, but I chose fear over compassion. I wish I hadn’t. Adam could have used a friend and I could have, too.
Chase – We do not care if you are the smartest or fastest or coolest or funniest. There will be lots of contests at school, and we don’t care if you win a single one of them. We don’t care if you get straight As. We don’t care if the girls think you’re cute or whether you’re picked first or last for kickball at recess. We don’t care if you are your teacher’s favorite or not. We don’t care if you have the best clothes or most Pokemon cards or coolest gadgets. We just don’t care.
We don’t send you to school to become the best at anything at all. We already love you as much as we possibly could. You do not have to earn our love or pride and you can’t lose it. That’s done.
We send you to school to practice being brave and kind.
Kind people are brave people. Brave is not a feeling that you should wait for. It is a decision. It is a decision that compassion is more important than fear, than fitting in, than following the crowd.
Trust me, baby, it is. It is more important.
Don’t try to be the best this year, honey.
Just be grateful and kind and brave. That’s all you ever need to be.
Take care of those classmates of yours, and your teacher, too. You Belong to Each Other. You are one lucky boy . . . with all of these new gifts to unwrap this year.
I love you so much that my heart might explode.
Enjoy and cherish your gifts.
And thank you for being my favorite gift of all time.


As someone who what bullied a lot growing up, this brought tears to my eyes. As I thought about all the times I was made fun of for being tall, awkward, whatever - it just brought back those awful feelings that I hope no child has to feel. I know that many kids do and it just breaks my heart. My kids will never, ever be bullies and I'm going to make damn sure of that. They will learn compassion, kindness and respect for all of God's children - no matter what they look, sound...or smell like. I wish more parents taught their kids these lessons - the world would be a better place.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

{DIY} Face Scrub

I admit it - I'm a face product snob. I guess I should say former face product snob. With my favorite brands being Clarins and Mario Badescu, even I'm surprised at how much I love my new 'face scrub'. I tried this after searching for some DIY recipes for face scrubs. Mostly because The Golden Boy, aka my husband, wouldn't be too entirely pleased if he sees another $110 charge from my absolute favorite place for microderms .  I'm sure there are still a few skin care products (ie: moisturizers and eye creams) that I'll still buy from my favorite brands, but I will forever (as long as it keeps working) stick to this one for face scrubs!

And without further adieu, I present...the really cheap and awesome homemade face scrub.


Baking Soda

I used a 1 cup measuring cup and poured in about 1/4 cup of milk. Then added several tablespoons of baking soda until it got thick. Then I added a good squeeze of honey and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Play around with it and find a consistency that's good for you. Mine was a little too soupy but, I'll use less milk next time; it did however, smell DIVINE.  I had quite a bit leftover so, I used it on my d├ęcolletage, shoulders and back. Your skin will feel amazingly smooth - almost a little parched so, I recommend rubbing down with a good body butter for your bottom half and a good moisturizer for your top.  

I will admit that even the little amount of lemon juice I used still gave my skin a 'good burn'. I didn't leave it on for long, but I have heard that lemon juice is a great exfoliator and my skin is definitely feeling smoother today. 

All in all, this was a totally awesome scrub. Plus, the Golden Boy will be totally thrilled that I'm hooked on a less than $1 treatment instead of my usual $55 one. Win-win-win (I hope I have some Office fans out there!)

I should say that I will definitely still be getting microderms and loving every second of that post-treatment oxygen mist, but only when I can embezzle enough cash from the Golden Boy that he won't notice. If you happen to wander in there, Lisa (who owns it - and happens to be my 'girl crush') is AMAZING!

Monday, September 17, 2012

{Recipe} Quinoa Salad w/ Avocado & Lime

Ok, I know this recipe maaaaay sound (and maybe look) questionable, but it tastes AMAZING. Quinoa is so seriously good for you and super filling. I had a serving of this for dinner tonight and was totally full all night - which doesn't happen easily!

Quinoa, Red Pepper, & Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Lime
Adapted from Yoga Journal - October 2012 Issue. I looked everywhere for it online and couldn't find it... Update: here is the original link - Thanks, Sharon!
Serves 4-6

Kosher Salt
1 cup quinoa
1 garlic clove, pounded to a smooth paste (or do what I did and just buy garlic paste and use a good squeeze of it)
3-1/2 tbs. fresh-squeezed lime juice (I juiced 2 limes, doubt it was 3-1/2 tbs., but it worked)
1/2 cup + 2 tbs. EVOO (I didn't used closer to 1/4 cup total)
1 medium red pepper, halved, seeded and finely diced (unless you have my knife skills, in which case you just chop it)
1 small to medium-sized cucumber (I used a small English) chopped in 1/4" pieces. You'll need about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
2-3 ripe avocados (I used 1/2 avocado per serving)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt. (The box usually calls for a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio, but follow box/bag directions)
2. Rinse quinoa under cool water then add it to boiling water and cook until tender (usually 10-15 min).
3. Drain the quinoa well and spread out on a baking sheet to cool. (I didn't do this. I just let it cool in the pan for 20 min or so and if you cook it correctly, there shouldn't be anything to drain so, not sure what's up with this step, but whatever)
4. Whisk together garlic, lime juice, a pinch of salt and EVOO in a small bowl
5. In a large bowl, mix quinoa, red pepper, cilantro and cucumbers.
6. Drizzle lime juice/EVOO mixture on top and fold into quinoa.
7. Slice avocado on top of each serving and enjoy!

I ate this right away and it was delish. I'm sure it will be even better after sitting in the fridge overnight and letting the flavors really melt together.

Namaste :)

Friday, September 14, 2012

My Little Runaway

Well, it happened. Something that I thought would nevvvvver happen to me. I lost my child in the store today. This only happens to neglectful parents, not me. See, here we are, before 'the incident'.

Ok, this clearly isn't me and my little guy, but I liked her hair. The kid's sweater is a little questionable, but whatever. 

Anyways, I LOST MY KID AT THE STORE. *Sigh* How did this happen? He was being so good holding my hand - and then bam. Gone. Trying to sprint after a VERY fast little 2 year old while pushing a cart with your 6 month old in a car seat in it is not an easy task - amusing for someone to watch I'm sure, but not easy nonetheless. 

After what seemed like hours, I found my little stink and he greeted me with an adorable "Hi Mommy". Like nothing ever happened. Well, if there was ever a judgmental look cast in that place - it was today - and it was at me. I spanked his little butt, put him in the cart and went straight home. With all 3 of the 100 items I had came for. Great.

The ride home was a piece of cake for him. Pointing out all the cool trucks and planes in the sky. Meanwhile, my nostrils were flaring like an enraged bull and my blood was boiling. After I regained some composure I called one of the best moms know and asked her for advice. She told me it had happened to her once (oh, thank heavens I'm not the only one) before. She said that I should sit him on his bed and tell him what he did wrong, why mommy was so upset and he was to sit there until I told him he could get up. He knew he was in trouble and was being extra sweet - making it that much harder for me to discipline him (although, after reading Dr. Dobson's Dare to Discipline I've learned that discipline is love). It's still not easy for me though. It's something I have to learn how to do - it's not something that comes naturally, that's for sure. I think it's from growing up with not ever knowing my own boundaries, but that's a discussion for another day for sure.

So, after tanning his little hide in the store and putting him in his room for a hour until he ended up falling asleep and explaining to him what he did wrong and why I was so upset, did I do the right thing? Will he do it again? I can't help but wonder if it's him being defiant or just a 2-year old little boy.

In either case, what's a girl to do? Well - what any self-respecting mom would. I strapped a leash on him and headed back to the store for redemption.

It was definitely a better trip - mostly because he was either confined to the cart or attached to me by a leash. He did pull a 'dead fish' a couple of times and I had to resist the urge to drag him down the aisle, but I persevered. I'm not really sure how to test him, since I don't want to lose him again and judging from the performance of the staff the last time it happened, I wouldn't have any help catching him.

It all boils down to discipline and sometimes I feel like I have no clue what I'm doing. I think discipline and consistency is one of, if not the hardest aspects of parenting. I'm reading some books about handling your child and his temperament with positive guidance that I'm hoping will help keep me headed in the right direction.

In the meantime, this will just have to do.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Home Management Binder

It's taken me awhile to figure out a system that works for me. I've tried several and I've finally found one that works for me and the fam.

Enter The Home Management Binder.........

The majority of 'the guts' of it have come from one of my favorite bloggers Becky, over at Clean Mama. She has a wonderful assortment of super handy printables in her Etsy shop that have really helped me get things in order and keep it that way. The cover and my finance checklist came from another favorite blogger, Jen Jones over at IHeart Organizing and her Etsy shop.

I went with the Starter Kit from Clean Mama and subbed out the Budget and Bill Pay Kit for the Home Maintenance Kit. Mostly to keep up with all the paint colors in our house. I think we have successfully used every color in the gray spectrum from Sherwin Williams.

I write down each day's 'to-do's' the night prior to and transfer over anything I thought of that day to do the next. It's been super helpful in keeping me on track and making sure I get done what I really need to get done. I have could spend HOURS on Pinterest and blogs so, I need a guidepost to help keep me on track. I love the daily planner for this. 

I have a ton of other sheets in my binder that I refer to weekly, monthly, etc. but this is the one I use every day. The Busy Mama Kit is great too. Mostly for the shopping list. I'm sure you could make something like this yourself, but this one was so pretty :)

I also use the plastic dividers with pockets to stash stuff and a zippy 3-ring bag in the front to hold pens, stamps, etc. I also keep extra pages (to-do, calendar, shopping list, etc.) in a plastic envelope in the back for quick refills. 

Overall, I love, love, love this system. It puts everything at my fingertips and helps keep me, the bills, and the whole family on track. If you don't have a system in place, I highly recommend trying something like this out!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My New Favorite Breakfast

I want to start by apologizing for my photography - I don't post-edit (but will definitely learn to someday) and I just took an online course to figure out how to get my camera off the green square so, I'm getting MUCH better - not good, but better.

Ok, so back to my new favorite breakfast - originally found on Pinterest and adapted over several mornings.

I seriously have this every. single. morning. Boring? Not at all. There are tons of variations...okay, like 5 but whatever, they never get old.
*pretend there's honey in this shot 

So here's my fav (all mixed in a 12 oz. Mason Jar):

6 oz. old fashioned oats
2 T. nonfat vanilla greek yogurt
1 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. chia seeds
1 T. honey (preferably organic and raw, but any will work)
Skim or almond milk (if using almond milk, omit the greek yogurt - weird stuff happens)
Chopped Mango

Fill to almost top with skim milk (preferably organic).

Then shake the living heck out of it!

Remove top and add as much or as little chopped mango as your little heart desires. Then shake up again and stick in the fridge overnight.

And there you have it. Breakfast waiting for you as soon as you get up and you didn't even have to think about it!

I will often times pair this with scrambled egg whites with spinach, tomatoes and feta, but that's only if I'm super hungry...which is every day.

Check out the original recipe for more variations of this healthy, yummy and easy breakfast.


Sunday, September 9, 2012

Yoga Journal's 21-Day Challenge

Ready to get fit? Join me in Yoga Journal's 21-day fitness challenge. With two little ones and a husband who has a pretty hectic schedule, it's hard for me to commit and make it to the studio every week like I'd like. I hope that this challenge will help me get in the groove of a home routine and take my practice to the next level. I love yoga. I need yoga. I'm really looking forward to this challenge.

Want to join me? Find out more at and sign up today!

Namaste :)


Monday, September 3, 2012

No Excuses

Saw this quote today and thought it was ever appropriate as my first blog post :)