Things I’m Loving 3!

Click here to read Things I’m Loving 1! and Things I’m Loving 2!.

Now for Things I’m Loving 3!

1.) All your comments yesterday on my blog post about making good girlfriends as an adult. Thank you! It’s nice to see I’m not the only one struggling with this. Now, if we could just find an easy way for everyone to connect.

2.) This infographic I found on the web yesterday. I would never have understood this 6 months ago but I know it all too well now. Although we’ve yet to have that day in March, this is exactly how the seasons in New England feel.

Seasons Screengrab

[Source]

3.) Coconut Oil: I originally bought this to cook with but I’ve been reading a lot about the benefits of using coconut oil as a natural moisturizer. I love the idea of not putting a bunch of random chemicals and fragrances on my face so I thought I would give it a try. Turns out, I love it! Besides smelling amazing, it’s not as greasy as you’d expect, much less so than mineral oil. It makes my skin super soft and I might be making this up but I think it’s smoothing out some little wrinkles near my eyes too. It’s also unbelievably cheap. For $4.99 a jar you get months of moisturizer.

There are a ton of articles on the benefits and other uses for coconut oil. Here’s just one.

One caveat: I have extremely dry skin so I found this perfect. If you have oily or combo skin you’ll have to experiment with whether it’s too much.

trader joe's coconut oil

4.) The Soda Stream!

Michael and I love bubbly water. We used to buy 12 huge bottles every time we went to the store. Not only was it a pain to lug all those bottles upstairs, it’s wasteful and not very green. We bought a Soda Stream a few months ago and haven’t looked back since. It’s not cheap, we bought ours for about $120 at Bed, Bath and Beyond and the CO2 cartridges run about $30 a pop. We get about 30 bottles out of one cartridge averaging out to about a dollar per bottle. Pretty much the same as if you buy it at the store. But the ease and the green factor completely outweigh the costs. If you love bubbly you may want to consider it.

Soda Stream

5.) Writing for WalkJogRun. In the past couple of days I’ve shared two articles with their readers and thought you might like them too.

The first is how to pick the right yoga class for you. It’s a brief overview of the different styles and how to find the right studio and teacher. Check it out if you’re interested in yoga but feel overwhelmed by all the options.

yoga

The second is a smoothie recipe. Really refreshing and light!

breakfast smoothie

6.) A couple of weeks ago we saw the jazz band People vs. Larsen play. They were really good and are on Itunes. They are Brooklyn based so if you live in the NYC area check out their performance schedule.

People vs Larsen

That’s it for today’s list.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Keeping Up Appearances

On Friday night I met my friend Kristy at a bar near downtown for happy hour. It was definitely an after work kind of place with lots of guys in suits and girls in pearls. Most of which were checking emails while having a much-needed drink and talking to their co-workers. True multi-taskers.

Trade

While looking around at everyone, I mentioned to Kristy that one of the disadvantages of working from home and teaching for a living is that I never really get dressed anymore. Not even just dressed up, I mean dressed. I spend all my time in yoga pants with my hair in a bun. I haven’t worn more than a little mascara in months, my blow dryer died two weeks ago and I’ve yet to replace it and the only laundry I’m ever doing is spandex and sports bras. It’s become a problem.

Part of the problem is that I save my workouts for the afternoons, after I’ve written a blog post or an article. Which puts off doing my hair or showering or any of the other things normal people do in the morning. It’s left me feeling rather disheveled, frumpy and lazy.

Time for an intervention.

This morning, right out of the gates, I laced up my new, very awesome running shoes and headed out for a run with the pups. It was a cold morning but it felt really good to be out and about that early. We made a loop by the river and then came through the Commons. We did about 4 moderately paced miles (I didn’t actually track it) with a little time spent saying hi to all the other dogs out for their morning walks.

Morning run

Spring is coming, I don’t care what anyone says.

Eli

We stopped off at the grocery store afterward to grab green smoothie fixings and some peanuts, more on that later this week.

Once home, I showered, changed into real clothes, straightened my hair, put on some makeup and felt like a new woman.

These are obviously not ground breaking events, nor really all that blog worthy, except that they made such a big difference in my day and helped to remind me that keeping up appearances shouldn’t be for the sake of someone else. Looking good can just be for you!

Eli and Me

And maybe the dog, but I’m pretty sure he doesn’t care that I straightened my hair!

With that, off to make some food. I have a bunch of new recipes I want to try out. I’m hopeful that some will be good enough to share this week.

Happy Monday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Wednesday in Boston

A little quiet around here today because something unexpected happened…

sunshine

…the sun came out!

Oh beautiful, warm, bright sun. Welcome back to my life.

So what if it’s only 48 degrees and I’m still in my winter coat and this is the only warm day in the 7 day forecast. So what! We’re living in the moment and this moment isn’t freezing.

Blue sky above.

Boston

Outside seating set up (a bit prematurely if you ask me).

boston

And four very muddy puppy paws, happy from a long walk by the river.

eli

Tomorrow recipes. I just couldn’t stay inside today.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Weekend: This and That

Oh daylight savings, how I love thee. I know this morning was rough but how nice is it to have extra sunlight in the evenings? I taught at 4:30 yesterday afternoon and it was still light when the class let out! So wonderful.

Not in the mood to write a long post so here are just a few highlights of the weekend.

I went out of my way to get a nice wine for us to drink last week at a little wine shop right by Sangha. I spent 15 minutes talking with the wine people (are they considered sommeliers in wine shops or just restaurants?) I was told this would be perfect for our combined preferences of Pinot Noir (him) and Zinfandel (hers). We were sorely disappointed by this wine but the label was cute enough to share and aptly named, as some of this little troublemaker ended up on our couch.

troublemaker wine

Dinner with my friend Naina at the Beehive in the South End. I love that place, we’ve been at least 5 times! Probably should branch out and try some other restaurants in the neighborhood though.

Naina and Me

Mezze platter. Dip lovers dream. 7 dips on one plate!

mezze platter

We went to see a friend’s play.

The Lover Play

I did some yoga in our living room. Pincha mayurasana.

pincha mayurasana

Vrischikasana attempt. Still working on it.

Vrischikasana

We went on a 3.5 mile run an 8:29 pace. Then stopped in at Pavement Coffee while Eli waited patiently outside. Such a good boy.

Eli

Finally had a chance to take Michael to The Hawthorne for a drink and some nibbles.

bar nibbles

He hates this picture. I love it. I write the blog so I get to post it! 🙂

Michael

And with that, we’re back to Monday and everyone is pooped.

Eli napping under the table

Enjoy and Exhale!

All Things Yoga

I did zero cooking this weekend. Usually I’ve done something worthy of sharing but I wasn’t feeling inspired to do more than toast some bread and spread on some jam. I’m pretty sure you’re not interested in that recipe!

Unexpectedly the weekend became all about yoga instead. My weekends are often part yoga but this weekend it seemed to dominate.

On Friday afternoon I took a workshop with Nikki Vilella. She is co-owner of Kula Yoga in Brooklyn and I immediately loved her. She was so knowledgeable and personable. The workshop focused on hands on assists. For those yogis reading you know how wonderful and amazing assists can feel during a practice. My ultimate goal is to get much more comfortable and confident giving them in all types of poses. Those of you regulars in my classes (Joeli!) I hope you don’t mind being guinea pigs while I test what works and what doesn’t.

The workshop definitely didn’t feel long enough but I got plenty of good starters. I also bought this book a couple of weeks ago so I’ll be taking pointers from it as well.

Extra Love: The Art of Hands-On Assists

Saturday morning I taught my Power Yoga class and then headed to another of Nikki’s workshops. This time it was all about back bending. I’m teaching my own back bending workshop next month (March 30th at All One Yoga, join me) so I figured it couldn’t hurt to get some new ideas. It was an amazing! I came home right after and jotted down so many notes my hand started to cramp.

yoga notes

That woman is a wealth of knowledge. I wish I lived close enough to take her classes all the time.

Saturday night we headed to Coolidge Corner for sushi. We tried out FaGaKyu which turned out to be a huge restaurant right off the T. The sushi was good but I don’t think we’d go back. I had a sweet potato and pineapple roll (front) that was really tasty. The second was a garden roll that was okay. Michael had a bunch of unpictured tuna rolls.

veggie sushi

Sunday morning we took a long rainy walk to the Commons with Eli. We both forgot our phones so there are no pictures to share.

We spent the afternoon watching more Dexter and reading while the rain turned to snow. I’m attempting to read one for fun book and one yoga book at a time. I just finished Eastern Body Western Mind which took me months to get through, it was dense! I’ve now moved on to this book my mom bought me for Christmas.

the science of yoga

In the evening I went to a Weekend Warrior class taught by the lovely Kaileen at All One. I’ll be taking over her Sunday classes while she’s on maternity leave so I wanted to get a sense of her style. Wow, her class was so fun! In about 2 minutes she made me realize that I’ve been taking my teaching way too seriously. I need to allow for more joy and celebration. I think I’ve been so worried about getting everything perfect that I’ve forgotten how fun it can be to just move and play on your mat (and off your mat really). Thank you Kaileen for the wonderful reminder.

After class we watched the Oscars and had dinner. Pasta for him, taco salad for her, our individual versions of comfort food. 🙂

I spent this morning with an old work friend in town from Korea so now it’s time to log off and get cooking.

Have a wonderful Monday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Boston’s Winter Wonderland

Whew, that was a lot of snow.

Here are before and after shots of our car. This photo was taken around 4pm on Friday afternoon.

Before

This one around 10am Saturday morning. You can just see the top case of my scooter peeking out from behind the car.

After

As you can see, the storm was intense. Lots of wind and about 2 feet of snow in our neighborhood. We spent the evening inside watching Dexter and drinking wine as predicted. We did go out for a few minutes to let Eli run around in the blizzard, which was quickly followed by more sitting by the fire under a blanket.

Saturday we woke up and took an early morning walk.

Mass Ave Boston

This is Mass Ave, probably one of the busiest streets in the city, completely deserted except for us walkers.

Newbury Street

Here is Newbury, another busy street, without a single car.

Newbury Starbucks

Everything was shut down! No Starbucks for us. 😦

So the rest of Saturday was spent doing this.

Scrabble

Yep, a lot of U’s.

There was also lots of lounging.

Guy

The sun came out with a vengeance yesterday. Blue skies and warm temps. In the afternoon we set out for a much more enjoyable stroll around the city. Look at that sky!

Sledding

There were tons of families sledding in the Commons.

Playing in the snow

Eli was loving the snow, he’s waiting to chase a snowball here.

snow sculptures

This is some random guy building what looked to be cross between a lobster and a shark out of snow (in short sleeves!)

I have to hand it to New Englanders, they know how to make the best of the weather. There were people out running despite the snow filled sidewalks, plenty of cross-country skiers along the river and a huge group of kids making a gigantic fort in the park. Blizzards definitely make you appreciate the sunny days. Too bad it didn’t last, back to gray, cloudy and rainy today but there is a silver lining, a gluten-free blueberry muffin trial that worked!

Happy Monday.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Blizzards

Whenever I think of blizzards the only thing that comes to mind is a milkshake with peanut butter cups from the Dairy Queen in Truckee. Maybe tonight’s storm will change that, haha.

The snow has started to come down here in Boston. The news is covering this round the clock and hyping it up like they are known to do. Looking out the window I admit it’s starting to come down pretty hard. They are even closing down public transportation later this afternoon.

I thought about going to the grocery store to ‘stock up’, but that seems kind of absurd considering we have enough food to get us through a 2-week long blizzard. We are officially out of tortilla chips though which in and of itself is a household emergency. Michael if you’re reading this, please pick up chips on the way home! Kidding.

My class tomorrow morning is cancelled and most studios are closing this afternoon. So I snuck in a very hot, very sweaty, very hard class at Baptiste again this morning. I have to say, I have fallen in love with yoga all over again! I can’t get enough of the heat and the sequencing of these power classes. It’s not the same as my favorite class with Rusty Wells back in SF but it’s reminiscent of it. I feel relaxed, energized, wrung out and more closely connected to my breath than I have in months.

i love yoga

With my practice done and no classes to teach I think I’ll climb under a blanket and finish my book. Maybe try a new recipe or two. Have some wine. Beat Michael at Wii bowling. Watch a movie. And cuddle with my favorite puppy.

Eli

Hmm, on second thought, he looks pretty comfortable right now, maybe I shouldn’t wake him.

Who says blizzards are a bad thing? Maybe there is something to slowing it down and hibernating for a bit.

See you on the other side.

Have a safe, warm and wonderful weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

 

 

Seeing Red

All anyone can talk about in these parts is the big storm headed our way tomorrow. It could bring up to 24″ of snow and everyone is acting like it’s the first time New England has ever seen snow. I’ve never actually experienced a blizzard myself so I don’t totally understand what the fuss is about but I’m sort of excited to see. Famous last words I’m sure.

Just in case we’re covered in white all weekend, let’s talk red today.

This recipe wasn’t intended as a Valentine’s Day recipe, I’m not really one to celebrate the holiday anyway, but as luck would have it I made this dish in February and I think it would make a great addition to a love themed dinner. It has quinoa in it after all. What’s not to love?

This was an impulse purchase. I don’t usually buy red quinoa, mostly because white quinoa is always cheaper, but I was standing in a ridiculously long Trader Joe’s line last Sunday that wrapped around the aisles and grabbed it on a whim.

When I got home I noticed an unused pomegranate and thought the two together might make a good combo. Turns out they not only look pretty together but taste wonderful.

red quinoa pomegranate salad

Red Quinoa Pomegranate Salad (vegan, gluten-free)

For the salad:

1 cup red quinoa

2 cups water

pinch of salt

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp lemon zest

For the dressing:

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1.5 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp chopped garlic

1/8 cayenne pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

————

Rinse quinoa then place in a pot with water and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce to medium low heat for 20 minutes or until water has evaporated. Stir to fluff.

Place cooked quinoa in a big bowl with black beans and pomegranate seeds.

Mix dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.

Toss dressing with quinoa, beans and seeds.

Top with lemon zest.

red quinoa pomegranate saladred quinoa pomegranate black bean salad

I ended up eating this salad for breakfast after shooting the photos. 🙂 Yum!

As a total aside, I went to my first power class in many months at Baptiste Yoga yesterday. It was so hot in the room I felt months of cold melt from my body. It reminded me how much I love hot yoga and that as a naturally cold-blooded person it’s important that I feel hot from time to time. I can’t believe I waited so long to go. I have an unlimited month’s worth of classes. If you can’t find me in all the snow I’ll be sweating it out in the studio.

Lastly, teaching 12:15pm at Sangha, 4:30pm at All One and 7pm back at Sangha today. If you’re in Boston come do some yoga!

Enjoy and Exhale!

Little Bits of Random 3, Winter

I was going to do a Superbowl recipe roundup today but my dentist appointment ran long this morning, then there was the gym and subbing. Before I knew it it was late afternoon and going through all my bookmarked recipes felt like a lot of work.

Adding some photos to a post and coming up with short sentences to describe them sounded a lot more manageable and fun.

Little Bits of Random 3, Winter

juice prep

Trying to keep the winter germs at bay with fresh juices a couple of times a week. Finally nearing the end of my grapefruit stash.

DSC_0012

A frozen over Charles River looking toward Cambridge.

IMG_3575

Sad swing covered in snow.

IMG_3569

My favorite part of snow, right after it falls and covers the trees.

IMG_3568

More snow.

IMG_3573

A winter playground.

IMG_3546

My guilty winter pleasure. Please don’t judge. I love me some Bachelor.

IMG_3450

Reflections of the city on the water.

IMG_3622

My new haircut and my first attempt to curl my hair with a straightener. I know people have been doing this forever but I’m not very beauty savvy so it’s taken me a while to get with the trends. I’m not nearly as unhappy as I look. 🙂

DSC_0009

A deep conversation with Eli about the Patriots right after their playoff loss.

IMG_3666

Guy looking on as I ‘work’. Aka look at a pet video online on how to clean dog’s ears.

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Playing in the snow during Wednesday’s run.

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Winter run with my favorite pup.

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A lovely soy chai from Thinking Cup that I had earlier this week while meeting up with a new friend.

Sadly, I don’t have any good pictures of Michael that I haven’t already used in the last few posts.

He works too much! 😦

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Enjoy and Exhale!

Yoga. Cook. Run. Football.

As the title suggests, the weekend went something like this. Yoga. Cook. Run. Football. Repeat. Not very different from the rest of our weekends except for the menu. I hope I’m not boring you yet.

Saturday’s run was a short one. I’ve decided to try running this 3.1 mile route around the river once a week for time to see if I can improve my pace. Here’s Saturday’s stats.

Saturday 01.12 5k

My legs were feeling pretty good and it was warm out, although I was still a little congested from last week’s cold. I’m pretty happy with this time.

Saturday night was the Broncos Ravens game. For those who don’t know, Michael is from Colorado, hence a huge Broncos fan. I, being the good girlfriend I am, helped cheer them on hoping for a Broncos Patriots rematch next weekend.

We watched the game from the comfort of our PJs with a bottle of red wine.

wine and football

Michael in his gear, looking fierce.

Broncos Game

Unfortunately they couldn’t pull it together and lost in overtime. 😦

Eli was so depressed he couldn’t even look at the camera.

Broncos Eli

Sunday started with a walk to the Apple Store. I’ve been struggling with my old phone for the past few months and Michael finally convinced me I needed an upgrade. Either that or he was just sick of me talking about how the buttons weren’t working. I am now the proud owner of an Iphone 5!

With the warm weather holding Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t resist another run. Eli and I headed out for a loop around Cambridge.

If you’re interested in times, here it is. A little slower, a little longer. I tried to kick it at the end over the Mass Ave Bridge to Tim McGraw’s ‘How Bad Do You Want It’ but Eli was pooped and I pretty much dragged him the last 250 yards.

Run 01.13

After our run it was time for the Pats game.

My turn for gear!

IMG_3482

The Pats looked good and won their game, woohoo!

Eli is a fair weather Broncos fan. With the Pats win he decided to switch teams.IMG_3491

Here’s hoping for a 49ers Patriots Superbowl.

My cooking over the weekend included these guys. Recipe tomorrow.

Leeks

Hope your weekend was great.

Enjoy and Exhale!