Archive for August, 2012

Think About It Thursday: All the Single Ladies

 Sex & the City brought it into the mainstream years ago with women over 30 battling through the tenacious dating scene and living their lives as “Just Me” (as Carrie once eloquently put it). I mean, you have to give it to the girl – she once registered herself for a missing pair of high end shoes after tallying up the amount of money spent on gifts for a married friend whose home she lost them in (i.e.: bridal shower, wedding, children’s births and birthdays).  I totally get it.  The scales are unbalanced monetarily in terms of output for single ladies versus married ladies.  And that’s not the only thing. Sometimes coupled and married folk feel it’s their job to remind you that you are single and you better get moving on it. Which begs the question   whose business is it if you are single? And moreover, at what point do you reach your breaking point when dealing with unfair social questioning by family and friends?

Melanie Notkin explores this topic with firsthand experience in her article Childless So Far: Why I choose Love Over Motherhood. She points out that most women over 30 who are single did not expect to be here (hello! please take this point home mothers, grandmothers and aunts of single girls) and that – shocker – they would love to have a family but don’t.  So each time someone sticks their foot far into their mouth to dig out the details on when a single gal is planning on snagging a groom and popping out babies – please understand they are rubbing the salt deeper into the Captain Obvious wound. 

This unfair social questioning can be found in couples as well, married or not.  D and I have lived together for a long time, happily unmarried.  Every now and then I have to field the “are you planning on having children?” question.  Of course, to me, the obvious answer is always yes.  Just not yet.  I particularly am enjoying finally being able to spend my hard earned money on me!  And all that hard earned money – it comes from working a lot of hours, something I don’t plan to do when I have kids.  So for the time being I’m riding the train, but who are you to ask? I even had a client (whose child I provide therapy for) remind me that “time is ticking” and that “I better get moving”.  I thankfully know enough to not be mortified. The comments bewildered me.  What gives you the right?

Jennifer Aniston has long held the throne for receiving unfair publicity for being over 30, single and unmarried. She also has had the sheer pleasure of being reminded of that weekly on magazine covers, blogs and gossip shows.  But girlfriend kept her head high,  did things that made her happy (holla yoga!) and found her happiness and partner in time.

Taking her lead, most single girls I know are busy using their independence cultivating who they are.  Working hard and using their free time to do things that make them happy on a daily basis.  And I think it’s wonderful and fabulous and probably why so many divorces emerge from young weddings – couples haven’t had this time to embrace themselves and spend time alone figuring out what makes them happy and what is important to them.

So the next time you’re thinking about harping on your sister or best friend who isn’t paired up like you are or haven’t had children yet, get over yourself. Realize they know where they are (think: headlines news for years per Jennifer Aniston – you think she didn’t get it?).  And maybe understand they are possibly having a bit of fun spending every penny they earn on themselves doing exactly what they want to, with no one to report to.  That’s something to be envious of.

May I also suggest… Can’t Change Someone? 5 Tips to Change How You React in case maybe this resonates a little better.

August 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm Leave a comment

What I Ate Wednesday: On the Road Edition

As a speech therapist there are days where I basically live out of my car, and I’m totally okay with that.  I love my car and hooked myself up with Sirius Radio so that the time spent is enjoyable, especially when sitting in traffic.  On these days, my eating is not always stellar.  And on a day like today I may prefer not share my WIAW but it’s a good reminder to plan ahead as the weeks get busy when school returns.

The morning started off slow with a deliciously strong cup of vanilla-hazelnut coffee french pressed to my heart’s delight.  Perfectly strong.

Breakfast was scrambled egg whites and goat cheese.  Once school starts in 2 weeks breakfast will be eaten on the go, so I’m savoring these time intensive breakfasts (yes, this is time intensive compared to my usual breakfasts).  I had some leftover ciabetta bread toasted with Earth Balance as well.

Meanwhile I had a surprise waiting for me in my Whole Food’s bag.  Well played Rex.

Then it was time to hit the road!  I knocked off a Vita Coco in my favorite flavor before lunch.

Lunch was un-pictured!  I actually ate a Subway veggie + cheese sandwich on wheat bread in my colleague’s passenger seat as we drove up to a teacher’s store to stock up on some essentials before the year begins.  I had a mini-bag of Stacy’s Pita Chips as well.  They can no longer be kept in my home in the large sized bag as I cannot control myself. True story.

I also ran a few errands at Target (stocked up on some SUPER adorable work pants in fun colors and a great petite fit).  I also landed one of the Orla Kiey for Method hand soaps – totally adorbs, no?

By the time I was done with errands I still had a 6:15 client to head to and was starting to feel sluggish.  Nothing a trip to Starbucks couldn’t fix!  Frappucino light for the road with a side of reality.

You see, I’ve been meaning to buy the new Fiona Apple album for a few weeks now and just haven’t gotten around to it.  Since, as I mentioned earlier, I often live in my car, I still listen to CDs.  I can’t explain why other than that I like getting something physical for my money and I like just popping a CD into the player.  I just do.  I was hoping that they’d have the album on the counter before I went in and was delighted that they did.

Except that when I handed it to the peroxide blonde tween taking my order, he confirmed “Let me get this straight, you’re buying a CD?”  I was expecting that. “Yes, and this CD.” He laughed, leaned in closer and shared that I was “the first person to buy a CD here in a very very long time”.  I could only respond with a smile and a shrug that “I guess that makes me old”.  THANKS FOR THAT!   I made sure to rip into the plastic hungrily as I waited for my frappucino (which took a little longer because he realized 5 minutes later that he forgot my order – I joked with him it was because I threw him for a loop with that whole strange “CD buying” thing). 

Onwards!

My client lasted forever and I didn’t get home until after 8, which meant it was up to D to prepare dinner that I pre-prepared (make sense?).  Wednesday nights are from here-on deemed “HELL DAY” and that means I’m allowed to eat whatever is easy and delicious for dinner.  Tonight that was homemade baked ziti (with faux-bolognese sauce) with a square of garlic bread.  No veggies. Somehow that went unprepared.

And for dessert.  On a day where I had essentially no vegetables and no fruit, I had to end on a high note.  With my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor Oatmeal Cookie Chunk on a sugar cone.

I’m clearly winning today and will make up for that tomorrow, with lots of fruits & veggies – in my car. Help?   Best fruit/veggie suggestions for on-the-go days? I know I should stick to pre sliced fruit and make a green juice before I get out the door, but today it just wasn’t happening. Tomorrow I’ve already planned ahead for success, woohoo for me!

August 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment

Sunday Funday, Weekend Recap

 

This weekend flew by.  I spent Friday down the shore with my family where I enjoyed too many fresh doughnuts, mozzarella sandwiches and baked ziti than I bare to remember.  I’m generally pretty terrified of the ocean and all that lurks there and am perfectly happy soaking up the rays on the edge of the turf; however the early temperament of the ocean was as calm as a warm bath.  And so, I ventured in for over an hour with my aunt, wading and floating over weak waves. I also got to snuggle up to all of the family pups before hitting the road.

Saturday brought a break in temperature and local adventures.  D bought a bike after searching for almost a year and it is the absolute perfect hybrid of mountain meets road tires. It was a bit spur of the moment which meant it was time to take the plunge and buy a bike rack.  I was anxious about strapping a $$$ bike to my baby Yaris, but once all was said and done I think Yari looks pretty cute with a bike strapped on!  The rack even holds two bikes, which means adventures in the future to come.

We followed our day up with a trip to everyone’s favorite adult toy store, IKEA!  Early on in my cross country moving career I learned of the infinite possibilities Craigslist offers to those of us with a desire, cash and a car. I sold every single nearly new item I owned in San Diego on Craigslist when I moved back East and couldn’t help but feel a twinge of envy at the lucky ones who stole away with my perfect condition furniture at reasonably below market price.

Saturday morning I traded up. I had a Crate & Barrel leaning bookcase and desk that was collecting dust and crammed to the brim.  Let’s be honest, most computer usage is carried out on the comfort of my couch in my pajamas and not at my desk. Within a day of posting the pieces I had a serious buyer and cash in hand, no negotiations.  And so, the trip to IKEA.  Sadly, Saturday’s trip left me empty handed.  A return trip on Sunday was successful and now I’m ecstatic at how my books are displayed.  The room instantly became brighter and more open!

 

We capped off the weekend with a bike ride on a local trail, testing my one year old Craigslist find bicycle’s hybrid wheels on gravely rocks and thick dirt.  It was pretty fabulous.

And so, now she rests in the office, perpendicular to the bright book case.  Not quite my vision for functional decor, but it’ll do.

 

August 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

Think About it Thursday: Voter Suppression

(click image for source)

I know not all of us are into politics, but this is an election year and it is our responsibility to pay a little bit of attention to what is happening if we are going to exercise our vote. Sadly, many people will blindly vote Republican or Democratic regardless of key issues, however our generation is lucky enough to be socially connected and thus have more exposure to key issues.

Have you watched the news lately? Because if you missed the latest story regarding voter suppression  (which has been only mildly covered by mainstream media in the past weeks) may I suggest you play a little catch up?  I’m not going to re-write well written articles with my poor interpretation and summarizing skills, but I find this issue incredibly thought-provoking in terms of our constitutional rights and this particular election.

So I will say no more, except that today’s ruling was a little stunning.  But you be the judge.

August 16, 2012 at 11:49 am Leave a comment

What I Ate Wednesday!

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!

My kitten Rex got neutered yesterday and it has been quite a readjustment for the other cats.  He’s doing much better today, it’s just the middle child who is having a hard time remembering who the kitten is (really??).

Anyway, the morning was spent catering to my kitten’s needs and eating this delicious Blueberry Bliss Protein Pancake ala Tone It Up.  I use Lemon Chobani, Sun Warrior Vanilla protein powder and top the pancake with blueberries.  (PS: anyone else excited about their updated Beach Babe Edition?)

Lunch was out with a good friend of mine. We met up at a Greek restaurant and ordered an artichoke, spinach and feta dip as an appetizer which was absolutely divine with warm pita.  I followed that up with a delicious Greek salad and a small glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

We then hit up a few consignment shops before I had to head home and get ready to see a client.  I refueled before my client with one row of organic milk chocolate and took grapes & a mozzarella stick on the road.

And finally, dinner was incredibly simple.  I sautéed some pressed extra-firm tofu in a little sesame oil before adding some frozen mediterranean vegetables and garlic sauce into the pan and coupled with a cup of jasmine rice.  Incredibly simple and quick to make but absolutely delicious.  D loved it.

Now it’s time to get my life together for tomorrow.  I have a zillion clients tomorrow, want to squeeze in yoga, a dinner date and then pack my bags and head down the shore.

Here are some other yummy eats to check out from this week’s edition of WIAW:

August 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm 1 comment

Travel Tuesday: Bikram Yoga

I love yoga so much that I actually drop-in at three different studios which are different distances from my home to ensure that I can get to class a few times a week no matter how late I work or what direction I’m coming from. Except for the exception: summer.  As a school employee I have flexible summers, which always begin with the intention to attend yoga like it’s my job. I started off strong this summer, but then the heat kicked in and I backed off and started to intersperse some non-hot classes into my day and woah, what a slap in the face that is.  It is so much harder to get into poses without the heat!

With loads of celebrities flocking to Bikram classes, including the likes of Lady Gaga, Gwenyth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Jenny McCarthy and so on and so on, it’s been on my “try it once” list for quite some time.  About three weeks ago I picked up a Groupon for a local Bikram studio at a ridiculous price (aka: the price of the voucher was less than one class at any of the studios I attend).  After reading that someone close to me just knocked out the 60-day challenge, I figured it was a sign to give it a try.  So today, I traveled to a  new yoga studio.

I was “prepared” in the superficial sense: I had my mat, my towel and water and previously glanced at the poses online.  I was greeted kindly upon checking in and was told to set myself in the back row.  The room was just as hot as a typical hot vinyasa studio with the following exception: carpeted floor that had a strange smell to it.  It wasn’t outwardly offensive, but not the fragrant scent of incense I’m accustomed to.

There were only 7 students in the class which allowed for ample mirror space which I found quite helpful throughout class (something my typical vinyasa studios do not all have). The class started slow with pranayama and quickly picked up the pace from there. There was no background music, just the instructor seated on a stool reciting the dialogue.   I have to say, I was not expecting the standing series to wind me as much as it did.  Also, this may be a good time to share that I attended a 75-minute EXPRESS class, so my heart rate was really pumping (I was told this meant less pausing between poses). On a few occasions I found myself wishing for a child’s pose, or even worse, a sip of water.

So here’s my rundown on my Bikram experience:

Things I liked about Bikram:  (1) The intensity of holding the poses.  In vinyasa I often know that a tricky pose will only last to a 3- or 5-count and use that knowledge to help me maintain focus. In the Bikram classes the poses were held far longer than I am used to, offering a challenge to maintain focus and balance longer.

Things I missed from a vinyasa class: I’m surprised to say that the music is not something on this list, although I thought it would be.  I was so intensely focused on the poses that music would only have been a lovely afterthought. (1) I immediately missed the dharma talk and setting an intention. No OM to seal the deal?  (2) I also quickly began to miss a more appealing smell in the room (pungent odor seemed to develop over time). (3) I wasn’t a big fan of the carpet and stepping off my mat for poses.  We all have yoga mats, so why are we not getting into triangle pose or standing separate leg pose horizontally on the mat?  I found myself sliding on the carpet and unable to maintain a good grip in these poses. (4) No adjustments.  The verbal cues are pretty good and I was called out a couple times, but sometimes I crave that correction for muscle memory.

Things that I wished were better explained to me: (1) When we are allowed to sip water as I kept missing these “allowed times” and found myself parched at the end of class; and (2) the correct way to breathe, as I tend to reset to ujjayi and was the loudest breather in class.

Overall I enjoyed my experience today and haven’t soaked my clothes that terribly in a long, long time. I also haven’t smelled that bad either.  I think I’ll return a few more times during my 30-day trial and see how my feelings progress.  If nothing else, it’ll be one more class to mix into my pocketful of yoga studios. And hey, I tried something new. Yay to that!

Have you tried Bikram yoga? Have a yoga preference?  

August 14, 2012 at 8:38 pm 4 comments

Music Mantra Monday!!

Monday, “welcome to the working week” (Elvis Costello, thankyouverymuch).  Some of us drive to work and use that time to shift our brain out of our sleep fog and casually into work mode.  That was me the past three years, until sometime in the middle of a stress filled month I took a step back and turned my attention a little closer to how I spent my mornings before arriving at work.  It was a pretty automatic routine of wake up, coffee, dress, eat, drive & simultaneously worry about all of the things waiting for me on my desk.  

By starting my day with a stressor I was pretty much setting up myself up for falling right into the trap all. day. long.  So, I changed my morning routine and introduced really, really fun dance-in-the-car music and happy thoughts into my morning drive.  BAM. Enter happy, positive thoughts coupled with empowering “This is going to be a great day” mantras and mornings just got a lot better.

So on Music Monday I’m sharing what music brought me to that happy place in the morning, or all week.

Below are three new bands I’ve been introduced to this summer and the songs that make me dance in my car morning, noon and night. Enjoy!

Interested in reading more about mantras, positive affirmations and yoga in the car?  Check out these articles:

 

 

August 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

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