Ghosting.

I have been ghosting on this blog pretty hard lately. With everything going on (i.e. school, work, politics, mental health), my blog as taken a back seat. School has mostly been the cause of my disappearance. I have about 4 weeks of school left so suddenly I have a million papers, projects and presentations but not enough time! I do however, have a plan for the next couple weeks on the blog:

  • I have another post queued up and will be published on Saturday!
  • mid-December I will be starting back up 52 weeks of gratitude.
  • Come January I will be back on track posting at least 3 times a week 🙂

Also I need ideas! I finished my 6 week challenge, and officially joined the gym, but I am looking for more activities to try. Spiritual, physical, whatever! I am ready for a new adventure. Let me know if you have an idea 🙂

 

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Eleven

Okay, so clearly my timing is still off. But I promise, I am working on it!!

This weeks topic is: A person who inspires me.

I think a  part of me has been putting this off because I can’t think of a specific person that inspires me. Of course my friends, family, and significant other inspire me, but it’s random strangers, moments and conversations that truly move me.

Some of the most profound influential moments I have had, are when I stumble upon conversations with strangers that go way below the surface.

It is the people that take the time and effort to open up to a stranger and talk about topics that leave them vulnerable to judgment.

It is the conversations where someone is talking about something they are passionate about. Their eyes light up, their voice becomes heightened, they use their hands to bring their points home.

It’s the moment I connect with a stranger on a soulful and spiritual level. And when I say “spiritual” I don’t mean religious.–although that can apply, too.–What I mean is: when our spirits begin to take over; when the consciousness of the world around us has disappeared. When small talk and polite chit-chat becomes standing in some store for an hour  discussing life, love, loss, happiness, and anything in-between.

What’s inspirational to me, is when a stranger has such great passion in something, I catch it like a disease. I want to experience what they are talking about. I want to feel that passion. I want to help their cause, and see them succeed.

Sometimes my deepest conversations are with people I have only known for 20 minutes, and it’s absolutely magical. I walk away thinking about the conversation for hours, days and even weeks. I internalize it.

Monday was my last day at the yoga studio, so I had to train my replacement. It’s only a four hour shift, but this girl and I rattled on so much about life and what it means to us.

I think when you are in that open mindset, it puts off a vibe because soon enough a gentlemen walking out of class stopped to say goodbye, but with in minutes we were talking about mindful living and consciousness. (I plan to write about this conversation soon!)  We acknowledged how rare it is in today’s world, to connect with people and have meaningful conversations, and what we can do to improve quality of life by REALLY connecting with our community.

An hour later we were forced to stop the conversation because the shift had ended, and we all had to move on to the rest of out days. Its been a few days since that exchange, yet it  is still with me. It inspired me to be more mindful of myself, my time, my actions, my words, my connections.  A stranger inspired me to be a better person!

To open yourself up to wisdom, knowledge, love? And face to face, not online. Online is great, but a deep connection face to face is so different. The body language alone sets it apart. Can you imagine living in a world if everyone made at least one connection like that in a day?

The next time you are  out, start a conversation with someone. Let me know how it goes. 🙂

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Snapbacks and Tattoos

Okay I’m not going to write about snapbacks, but I am going to write about tattoos… more specifically: Mine!

I love tattoos! My own and other peoples. I like the artsy-fartsy side of them, but what I really love are the stories. Whether it’s a spontaneous-drunk-no-reason-for-it tattoo, or it’s something that embodies a soul, tattoos are little windows to who people are. It’s like wearing a cryptic piece of your heart for everyone to see. Even if it one of those no-reason tattoos, its still a story, a sneak-peak into someones life or style. I LOVE IT. 

Tattoos are becoming more popular, so people are less inclined to ask about the storied behind the ink. During one of my classes I saw a girl with a bee tattoo right in the middle of her upper back. It was beautiful and I told her it looked great but I failed to ask her why she got it. I think I will ask the next time I see her.

All of my tattoos have some kind of meaning, they didn’t always when I got them. Some of them grew into their purpose. All of my tattoos (with the exception of one) have served as symbol of  self healing. So this post is dedicated to self healing, and also a little bit of acceptance. —yep, I have a tattoo that I’m not quite proud of!— I will try and write about them in chronological order. 🙂 Also I may break it up into 2 posts, since giving a back story on 6 tattoos seems a little intense.

Tattoo number one: This tattoo is the one that had to grow into it’s purpose. Its also the tattoo Im not that proud of, and its also the tattoo that didn’t really serve as a self healing symbol (until later on). Back Story: I was 18, I had wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember and my boyfriend at the time offered to buy me my first tattoo for my birthday. —We can all see where this is going, right?– Of course I was thrilled and said yes.  We went to the tattoo shop and I picked out a crescent moon with two flowers (I changed the flowers to tiger lilies) and decided it would go on my hip. I don’t know why or how I thought up this great idea, but I decided to get this guys initials. —Did y’all just roll your eyes? I know I did!– my rational was that he was paying for it anyways, so regardless if we stayed together or broke up I would always see the tattoo and think of him anyways, so why the hell not! Yeah…. that relationship lasted about a year after that. oops. I hated it for a while, then… I kind of didn’t. It was a really good relationship. He was a super sweet guy, and treated me like a princess. We just weren’t meant to be together and I am so so happy that I experienced that relationship, but I am also ecstatic it didn’t last (Because I have the bees knees now!) And I think thats exactly why I don’t really mind the tattoo, it reminds me that you can have awesome people come and go in your life, and just because they aren’t in your life any more, doesn’t mean you should hate them or regret the relationship. Also I get a good laugh when I see the look on peoples face when I say it stands for Jack Daniels and then the look on their face when I tell them what it really means. CLEARLY initials are still a big No-No. Again…oops.

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Tattoo Number 2:  I have a neck tattoo… yeah I know I’m a badass. Just kidding. It’s actually behind my ear and goes down my neck. Also it is flowers and butterflies! 🙂 The story behind this one is a little darker, and my first tattoo that was a tribute to self healing. I am not sure if many people have heard of it (unless you know a little bit about self-harm) but there is something called the butterfly project. Through out high school (and a little bit in college) I would self harm. Theres no good reason for it except that I felt like I didn’t have control over the pain in my life so the self harm was my way of taking control. (obviously not in a good way) Back to the butterfly project: The whole idea was that when you felt like self-harming you would draw a butterfly instead and name it after a loved one. You couldn’t wash it off, and you couldn’t cut while the butterfly remained. It was essentially a tool to break the habit and remind you that there are loved ones worth living for. During a particularly hard year in college (right about when the above relationship started going south) I had been self harming and came to the conclusion that it needed to stop. Permanently. To be honest, there were still some struggles after this point…but it was a turning point. So I got flower and 2 butterflies. The flower was to represent me, someone just trying to grow and bloom and the two butterflies represented 2 friends that had pulled me out of the house on a daily-basis to try and recover. The butterflies are the colors of their favorite colors. The butterflies were my PERMANENT reminders that in the very least, I had two loved ones that were there to pull me out of darkness.

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Tattoo Number 3: This is my biggest tattoo. It starts on my upper left shoulder and wraps down to the top(ish) of my ribs. I got it probably about 6 months after the neck tattoo. It has 2 humming birds and the words Live, Laugh, Love. –I know…The words are soo00 original– Why humming birds? Back in the day I had read something like: Humming represent love, peace, life, and perseverance. They are the only birds that can hover and fly backwards which was suppose to represent the idea that its okay to pause and remember where you have been, but to overcome challenges that you have faced. And then of course the words. Live: Live life to the the fullest with no regrets. Laugh: Be happy, choose happiness. Love: Its okay to open yourself to love, even when you are afraid.

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Okay! Thats all for now! I will follow up with the last three in a day or so. –See what I did there? Im not giving you a real deadline! so HA!–

Regardless of what the image is, tattoos are the perfect reminder to live without regrets. They are permanent (kind of). Even if you hate your tattoo 10 years down the road, at one point in time it meant enough to you to mark your body…and that my friends, is pretty significant.

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week Six

Week six is here!

Today’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is:  The city you live in.

I live in Sacramento, Ca. I HATED this city until I left for three years and came back. When I left, I was 17 and young and hadn’t been able to experience the city I had lived in my whole life.

I moved to Monterey for college and fell in love with the city. Looking back I wonder if I fell in love with Monterey because it was everything I didn’t get to do in Sacramento. I was free! I could do anything I wanted, and had no one to answer to… –yeah…I made some great decisions as a 17 year old on my own…not.–

Anyways… After I grew up a little bit –And by growing up I mean I got evicted out my apartment, and had to move back to sacramento and live on my best friends couch for 3 months– I started to experience all the cool things my home city has to offer! Here’s a little list of the things I am grateful for in my city:

  1. Seasons: In Monterey, it was pretty much sweater weather 90% of the time. In Sacramento there are actually seasons here. Sundresses, shorts, cute sandals, all that good summer/spring stuff! Don’t get me wrong, I love yoga pants, boots, sweaters, but sometimes it’s nice to feel sun on your skin.
  2. Location: I love that I can get to Tahoe in an hour-ish, I can get to the beach in a couple hours. Anything that I could possibly want to do is a short drive away.
  3. Lakes: I love the beach, but even when I lived in Monterey, I didn’t go to the beach that often. The lake is 20 minutes from my house; I don’t have to worry about sharks; it’s warm enough to actually swim in the water. (See reason number one)
  4. Fall: Okay it still has to do with seasons, but more specifically Fall! Sacramento is the city of trees!! So when fall comes around, it’s beautiful. Its my favorite time of year because all the leaves turn red, orange and yellow. The heat recedes enough so that you can wear jeans and a t-shirt and still be the perfect temperature.
    1. (still going on with fall kind of) Bonfires! In Monterey it was always super windy, and wind+sand=Not that fun. Bonfires in Sacramento, during a fall night is perfection.
  5. Apple hill: So it isn’t in Sacramento, but its about 40 minutes away. During the fall —I think we are all starting to see why I actually like Sacramento– The orchards are full of apples and you can go and buy apple pie, caramel apples, apple wine. EVERYTHING APPLE! Plus it is gorgeous. 🙂

Now that I have been able to experience some of Sacramento, I am very grateful that I live here. Moving back, and being here gave me the opportunity to meet my wonderful man. So that is also a plus!

What a wonderful feeling it is, to be appreciative of where you live.

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Hot Yoga Update

Now that I have about 5 classes under my belt, I wanted to give an update on how hot yoga is going!

It’s definitely still a little awkward and I’m still learning, but I am improving. Before, I would have to stop during class to take a breather; otherwise I would get light headed or dizzy. Now, most of the time, I can go through the whole class with out stopping. Also, I like that I’m more comfortable with the movements and postures. Now I can focus on those rather than watching the teacher.

Since I’ve started yoga I have lost a few pounds. (about 15 at this point) now I know it’s not just the yoga, (I have also been eating a lot cleaner) but Starting my mornings with yoga helps keep me focused on my goals throughout the day.

Also my favorite thing…. I have noticed a huge difference in my mood! I am a lot more relaxed, a lot less stressed, and a lot happier! When I start to get stressed out I find myself using the breathing techniques I learned in class.

My schedule has been a little crazy lately, but it’s starting to calm down. I’m really happy that I have this opportunity to participate in the hot yoga classes. I would like to do at least 4 classes a week on top of a regular gym routine.

I’m looking for my next adventure! If you have any ideas, please please please let me know!

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52 Weeks of Gratitude: Week 5

It’s Monday again! I can’t believe I have been doing this for 5 weeks already!!

Today’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is:  Something someone gave you.

I was trying to think of something someone gave me that had a big impact on me, but then I realized it’s not going to be one specific gift that means anything. It is all the small gifts and surprises that are significant.

Here’s a little story…

On weekends I wake up at Four in the morning and after working two jobs, I get home around nine-thirty at night. Yesterday, during my second half of the day, my boyfriend and I were texting and talking about how I was reviewing his mom’s resumĂ© (If you guys need help, hit me up!) and he says “I have something else I need for you to read when you get home.” Im thinking…. Oh crap, what did I do!  So I say “uuuuh… okay? what is it?” Do you know what this wonderful man of mine replies with!? A PICTURE OF THE NEWEST HARRY POTTER BOOK!!!! He had bought it for me earlier that day. I hadn’t even mentioned to him that it was out, or that I wanted it. —We are working on this thing called saving….yeah I’m not really sure how that works either– But there it was when I got home; sitting on our kitchen table.

And you know what? This isn’t uncommon for him. There have been times where he has worked long over-night shifts and woken me up with my favorite CD and candle, —Any Luke Bryan fans out there? Y’all know what candle I’m talking about!– randomly bringing books home for me, flowers, food, etc.

While he has gotten me some pretty pricey gifts —Including this beautiful mac he gave me for my birthday a couple years ago..I know I know: IM SO LUCKY!– and I am so extremely thankful for them, it is the random thoughtful gifts that mean so much to me. It shows me that he’s thinking about me and just genuinely wants to see me smiling.

People can buy you a gift once or twice a year and don’t get me wrong, I get some pretty cool gifts from distant relatives every now and then… but the ones that matter to me are the non-obligatory “I was just thinking about you” gift.

I also love giving those gifts. There is nothing like meeting up with your best friend for coffee, and being like “oh hey, I saw this and It made me think about you, so I bought it.” I promise you that person will feel so warm and fuzzy inside, you’ll want to do it all the time! We should all show our gratitude towards loved ones by giving them surprise gifts every now and then; like adele says “to make you feel my love” –I’m just kidding…but it really does make someone feel how much they are loved by you.–

I am grateful for all the little moments in my life that show me how much he loves me.

Keep loving, giving, and being grateful.

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My New Harry Potter Book. 🙂

Sore. The Most Satisfying Pain.

Hello Friends!

I have a new work out to add to my list of new activities! So I know we all see those work out DVD’s and think… I will look like such a goofball doing that stuff! Do they work? Can I do that?  Well the first one is true, but let me tell you… I haven’t been this sore from a work out in a long time!

What is this work out DVD I speak of?

Surprise! its not a DVD, its like the netflix of the work out world. Its called the Daily Burn. (http://dailyburn.com) It’s a streaming service that offers a plethora of work outs. Right now they are offering a free 30 day trial. (after that its 14.96) They also have a premium plan that gives you more content. (26.95 a month)

Out of all the different options, the program I chose was called Inferno. My boyfriends mom did the work out with me, and while I think that program was meant for people with a little more experience, we definitely had fun.

The work out was about 30 minutes. there were items you needed for the work out (like a step-box) but we just used our own body weight. That being said…I WAS SO SORE after the work out. It’s been about 2 days since I completed it and I’m just now starting to get the soreness out of my legs and arms.

While I did feel like a complete goofball, I had a ton of fun and the work out was extremely effective. I would like to try a couple more before I make up my mind on the service itself.

Here’s my list of pros and cons:

Pros: I’m sore aren’t I? That means it worked! It is super convenient, you can literally work out any time, any where with this service. It eliminates excuses about not having time;  30 minute work outs are extremely doable.

Also I like that it offers programs like yoga 🙂

Cons: I didn’t like that you had to have work out gear. If I’m doing a home work out, I don’t generally have a step-up box, or dumbbells, etc. It would have been nice for them to use household items, or no extra equipment. Now again, this video seemed to be for people who already know how to work out and are somewhat in shape so that makes me think those people probably have something like a home gym… but then the other side of me feels like those aren’t the people using this service….hmmmm. Things to think about.

I plan on doing a few more work outs, and then I will post a final review and also decide if I will keep the subscription or cancel it before my 30 days.

Keep on pushin’ for your goals,

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52 WEEKS OF GRATITUDE: WEEK THREE

Happy Monday!

Today’s topic for 52 Weeks of Gratitude is: Family.

This topic is a little hard for me to write about, but I guess that’s what makes this  a challenge! I am not close with the majority of my family but that doesn’t mean that I am not grateful for what they have taught me. I think  being grateful for the things we have no control over, is that’s an important lesson we should all learn.

Whether it was with money or  with mental/behavioral disorders, My family has taught me what it means to genuinely struggle. Because I was immersed in their setbacks and challenges, I was ultra aware of other people’s similar situations. After doing some self reflection, I think I get a lot of my empathy from those situations I saw my family go through.

On a more positive note, my family also gave me some of my coolest –and nerdiest–  personality traits.

My dad is a total goof-ball. We have a million inside jokes and are always laughing. He is also one of the most loving, and caring people I know. I am so grateful that he is my dad. He has taught me how to love, forgive and to always have a little fun.

My Aunt (my Dad’s sister) is also a goofball. Growing up, she was always there to listen to me, and never treated me like a little kid. I am grateful that I had her around when I was a teenager, because I really don’t know where I would have ended up if I didn’t have an adult I could turn to.

My grandma. Probably the hardest person to write about because she passed away back in February. Just writing one sentence
 and Im already tearing up. She was one of the most influential people in my life, and I don’t think I even realized it until she passed. My grandma taught me that a girl can go camping, shoot a gun, collect rocks, and be intelligent.  I will be forever grateful for  all of the camping trips, the summers at her house, the trips to marine world and all of the minutes I got to spend with her (although it will have never been enough).

I am also very grateful for the newest family in my life. My guy’s family. I have been around for about three years, and its amazing to me how much they have accepted me into their lives. I am grateful for the love they have shown me. They treat me like family, and I know if I ever needed anything, they would be there in a heart beat with no questions asked. I have never really been able to rely on anyone like that so its still mind blowing that these people who aren’t even blood, can just swoop in and treat me like one of their own. I am so thankful to have them in my life.

Lastly, I am grateful for my best friend. We have been friends for 15 years, and this girl was probably the closest thing to family that I had for a long time. She drives me insane and we bicker like sisters and I wouldn’t have it any other way. She keeps me on my toes, and continuously reminds me that life is for living. I love her to pieces. She is a big contributor as to why I started this blog, and she was the first person I told.

I am grateful for the people I call family.

If you know me personally, you know that I have ‘Ohana’ tattood on my wrist
Ohana Means family, and family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.

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I Want To Ride My Bicycle…

Since Queen sang about it, and I’m a fat-bottomed girl, I figured a spin class was the perfect place to really start this journey. The back yard work out was great because it pushed me and boosted my confidence, but it also catered to my anxiety by allowing me stay in my comfort zone by hiding in my own back yard.

The whole purpose of this blog is to push myself. To challenge myself. To create change with in myself.  So thats what I did, and will continue to do; Starting with Spin class.

Luckily my gym offers free spin classes! If you are a newbie like me, they ask you to show up to class 15 minutes early.  With loud booming music, an even louder instructor, and rows of stationary bikes…just walking into the spin room can be scary.

I think my biggest worry was that everyone would be in great shape, and then there would be me… this out of shape girl who’s sucking air and struggling to keep pace the entire duration of the 45 minute class. What if I can’t even finish the class!? What if I look like an idiot?

Oh …and did I mention that the bikes are adjustable? One might think– great! It can be tailored to fit anyone and make the work out more comfortable! Yeah… not this girl. My thought was… Crap…I have to adjust this thing?  So for the next 5 minutes I was moving the saddle (aka the seat) and the handle bars up, down, forward, backwards in all sorts of combinations and then climbing on and off the bike to see if it felt more comfortable. Let me just say no matter what I did, nothing felt comfortable. This probably has to do with the fact that the bike was still foreign to me, and I didn’t know what comfortable was suppose to feel like!

Finally I asked the teacher for help, and she helped me adjust the bike to the appropriate settings. She also let me know that the first class was going to suck, but that I needed to come to at least 3 classed before I made up my mind if I like it or not. Wearily,  I agreed and got on the bike.

LET THE CLASS BEGIN!

The class dives right in with upbeat music to get you pumped! The instructor guides you though different resistance levels to replicate hills. She (or he–mine was a she!) coaches you when to sprint and when to slow down, or when to sit or stand. Through out the ride, the instructor tells give you a range where your heart rate should be. This is really helpful because if you are below the range, it gives you motivation to push harder. If your heart rate is above the range, you can ease up a little bit.

The thing that I loved most about spin class is that even though the instructor  guides you and motivates you, YOU choose your intensity. You can add resistance as you get comfortable, and if you get too tired, you can drop resistance as well.

When the teacher had said the first class sucks, I was really lost as to why she would say that. I mean… don’t get me wrong; through out the whole class (especially during those uphill climes) you think… why am I doing this!? My Legs are going to fall off!  But after the class is over …I felt so GOOD! I was on cloud nine! I was so proud of myself. If you have ever pushed yourself to complete something, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Then it hit me.

It has been about an hour after the class ended, and I now understand what the teacher was talking about! My legs feel like they are a million pounds and that’s not even the worst part! My booty is so sore and bruised from the seat! It hurts to sit! Like any normal person, I googled to see if this was a normal thing from spin classes- it is. Apparently you get used to it after a couple classes. That makes sense now why she said I need to try three. I am planning on going the next couple days! Ill check in again after my third class. 🙂

Do you guys have any experience with spin classes? Any Advice? Let me know!

As always,

Thanks for joining me on this journey,

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Strive For Progress, Not Perfection.

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The GYM… DUH DUH DUUUUHHH.

Not my favorite place in the world. Big surprise – right? 

Well now its REALLY not my favorite place now that I have gained some weight. I think  my least favorite part about my weight gain is that my hips have literally doubled in size.  Usually wearing yoga pants gives me enough comfort to push myself into the gym, But summer here is ridiculously hot. There are days when I cannot force myself into yoga pants, yet I refuse to go to the gym in shorts. Can you see my conundrum?

Well my awesome boyfriend being the awesome boyfriend that he is, created an at home work out for me so I could work out in shorts in the comfort of my own back yard!

Here’s what we used:

  • 20 pound Weighted vest
  • 3 Sandbags (10lbs each)
  • Fire pit
  • Pool

I wore the weighted vest the whole time of the work out. I have never worn one before so it was a little awkward!  We used wall of the fire pit for step ups, and the sand bags in place of kettle bells.

Here’s the work out:

  1. Push-ups (x10) – I had to use a folded beach towel and start on my knees because I have ZERO upper body strength.
  2. Step-ups (x10)– And thats 10 for EACH LEG (not 5 for each leg you cheater!).
  3. Kettle bell swings (x10)- this is where we used the sand bags.
  4. Run a sand bag from the fire pit to the fire hydrant- This was probably about 15 yards.-obviously, if you don’t have a fire pit or fire hydrant, you can use different markers. 🙂 
  5. Air squats when you get to the fire hydrant (x10) –This sounds easy, but after running with a 10lb sandbag, plus the weighted vest…. not so easy!
  6. Repeat steps 3 and 5 until all sandbags are at the fire hydrant. -told you it wasn’t easy!
  7. Now that all the sandbags are at the fire hydrant….do 10 Jumping Jacks!
  8. Pick up a sand bag and run it back to the fire pit –Yep we are back to running. Muahaha
  9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 until all the sand bags are back to the fire pit.
  10. Sand bag curls (x10)

Now that we have worked up a nice little sweat, we can jump and the pool and relax!

NOT!!!!

Pool work out:

  1. Swim laps (x5)
  2. Flutter Kicks (x100)
  3. Jumping jacks (x40)
  4. Push-ups (x25)
  5. Flutter Kicks (x100)
  6. High Knees (15)
  7. Jumping jacks (x40)
  8. High Knees (x15)

NOW…. you may relax 🙂

I really liked this work out. At first I was uncomfortable. I already feel huge and now I have a weighted vest on –Great.  But really… once I started going, it was quite funny trying to figure out how to maneuver in the vest. I got a really good work out, and I was in the comfort of my own home! If you are someone who says away from the gym, I highly recommend trying a home work out. It was definitely a confident booster, and even made it a little less difficult going into the gym the next day. I was all… yeah.. Im a bada** I did a work out with a weighted vest so you can’t judge me!  It was a pretty good feeling. 🙂

As always: if you have any ideas for home work outs, or anything else please reach out to me by emailing me or commenting on this post!

Thank you for joining me on this journey,
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