Wednesday, November 24, 2010

34th birthday month & gratitude

It's hard to believe my 34th birthday month is already coming to a close and Thanksgiving is TOMORROW! I am filled with gratitude that my sweet husband & I now have the space that will allow us to host my family (around 17 people) for our Thanksgiving celebration. I've made "gratitude" bookmarks for everyone attending, and we will be reflecting on the past year and writing at least 3 things we are thankful for. Then, we will share them before we eat. Here are a few photos of my many birthday celebrations & some shots of getting ready for tomorrow's festivities:

We had a yummy free (well mine was free) dinner at the restaurant Blue.Sweet husband actually found out he had walking pneumonia that day, but he still looks as good as ever!

2nd Birthday dinner celebration with my Sweet Mama

Gratitude bookmarks for the familyHope you have a wonderful holiday filled with gratitude, laughter & love!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

yoga cues to take off the mat

These are some cues I use throughout my yoga classes. They very difinitely have just as much use off the mat as on...

*When feeling most challenged, use your breath to help you remain calm

*Inhale-let, Exhale-go, Inhaling-let, Exhaling-go

*Equally balance your effort with your surrender

*Notice places that do not need to be working, and allow those places to relax and soften

*Breathe deeply

*Check in with your body

*Look at the space between your thumbs and visualize the direction you want to go in life, now take two steps in that direction

*Tune in to your body's wisdom

*Allow yourself to let go of doing, and just be

*Your stronger than you know

*Be compassionate with yourself

*As you breathe in, invite in anything you may need more of in your life right now (compassion, strength, health, wellness, etc.), just breathe it in, then exhale and trust

*Listen to your body

*Tune in to your strength and feel it fully

*Allow yourself to be grounded, rooted, and centered

*Open to stillness

May we know truth.
May we speak in truth.
May we live our truth.


Friday, November 19, 2010

choosing joy

To tell the truth, being a postive & joyful person is a lot of hard work. I completely and whole-heartedly believe it takes a lot less courage and a lot less work to be a Negative Nelly, so to speak. Don't get me wrong, I have days when I feel down, and there are many times when I slip into negativity--Lord knows, I am no where close to perfect (and thankfully I'm so over trying to be) but overall, I would consider myself a very positive person whose intention is to always see the positve in myself, my life, and others. This is because I do the hard work and I make the choice. I consciously choose to contradict every negative thought about myself or others with a positive one. I consciously choose to celebrate the little things in life as well as the big ones. I consciously choose to see the opportunities in the challenges. I consciously choose to trust life. I consciously choose to give thanks every chance I get. I consciously choose to practice yoga and take care of myself. I choose my attitude, outlook, and approach to life on a daily basis. It is very hard work. But, it's oh-so-very worth it.

Do the work. Be courageous. Choose joy.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

loving kindness

May you be free from danger
May you be happy
May you be healthy
May you live with ease

Sunday, November 14, 2010

love 3 day weekends

This weekend was a 3 day weekend, and it is always amazing to me how much difference that extra day makes! Love it! And, I get another one next weekend because I'm taking Friday off for a personal day--I always try to take a day off around my birthday to spend some extra time reflecting on the year and thinking about the direction I want to go in the upcoming year. Not getting older, only getting better. :) Here are a few photos from this weekend.

This is a shot of my new black bow ring. Couldn't resist... This is my cute new hat (Charlotte Russe) and matching scarf (Marshalls). Love me some pink!

Went to the King's Daughters Festival. Didn't buy a thing, but did get a cute bag.
Sipped some Adam Puchta wine.
Got cozy by the fire.
Did some knitting with a loom.

Breakfast at Panera
with my Sweet Husband.
Shallac-ed my nails. (Love this beautiful, rich color: Fedora w/ Hot Chilis over the top).
Now I'm at home listening to George Winston's Autumn cd, blogging, smelling a yummy chicken in the oven, and loving life.
Hope you had a great weekend, too!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

yummy hot chocolate recipe

So, it really hasn't been all that chilly around here this week, but after our trip to Hy-Vee tonight (why are grocery stores always so darn cold?), I was craving some hot chocolate. My mom has a wonderful hot chocolate mix recipe, so I whipped some up tonight. Just fyi...this recipe makes a huge amount, so beware and use a gigantic bowl to mix it in. It's great to give away for little holiday gifts.

Holiday Hot Chocolate Mix
*1 box dry milk that makes 8-10 quarts
*1 lb powdered sugar
*1 box of chocolate milk mix
*8 oz. low-fat nondairy creamer
*marshmallows or whip cream to top

Add hot water to a 3-4 heeping spoonfuls of mix. Stir. Marshmallows or whip cream to top.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

leslie time

I'm sitting at Panera Bread enjoying a bagel, cup of coffee & some Leslie-time. I've been at a counseling conference since Sunday (counselors have such good energy!), and this morning I woke up and knew a little alone time was in order. The conference has been great. I've gone to sessions covering overindulgent children, using love and logic, suicide prevention and assessment, and personality theory. The final keynote speaker is this morning at 9:45 a.m., then I'll be heading back home. When I was teaching, I never felt like I could take the time to get away and go to professional development opportunities. Although it is hard to get away, I now understand the importance of going to these types of events. It's so good to be around other professionals and learn from them. I've also enjoyed connecting with some of my girl co-worker friends. Girl-time is another necessity for the soul!

This week at work is also only a four day week, so I will only be working two days (although I know they will be two days with four days of work crammed in!) I scheduled a massage Thursday night to kick off my 3-day weekend. I'm feeling just a wee bit spoiled...but it is my birthday month!

How can you grow, learn, & take care of yourself this month? Don't just think about it! Do it.


Friday, November 5, 2010

prana flow

Tonight I attended an incredibly yummy 90 minute prana flow yoga class with Gina Caputo from Kansas Siddhi Yoga. If you ever get a chance to take a class with Gina, I highly recommend it. Seriously, I left the yoga studio feeling completely fluid--like the muscles and bones had left my body and I was all water and skin. It was an incredible feeling--like I was floating on earth. It was also so nice to really let go and have permission to let my body move as it wanted. Our bodies absolutely talk to us....if only we would always listen.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

my newest love

Hot baths--I must admit, I have never considered myself a bath lover. In the past I've enjoyed them occasionally throughout the colder months, but they have always been something I could live without. In our last house, we didn't have a bathtub in the master bathroom (the one I used) so I rarely took them. Now we have a nice, big jetted tub, and I have fallen completely head over heels for hot baths. I have even started getting creative and making my own yummy scented bath fizzies (more on this in a future post) to make my bath time even more luxurious. There is nothing to melt the stress away like a hot bath, the smell of lavender, and candles lit. Truly divine.

Take a little time and pamper yourself, too. You deserve it!