This and That

Happy Saturday! I thought I would check in today (its been a while, I know) and give you a little hodgepodge of a post. I’ve had lots of good stuff going on lately … aside from the rainy/cold Florida weather of course.

1. First of all let me say that its SO NICE to be home for an extended period of time. After getting home from California earlier in the month we have been settling back in to our routine and focusing on returning to some healthy habits. And I love it! My “nest” is my sanctuary :-)

2. January has been busy – but with all good things. Here’s a shot of my planner for January. Can you believe the month is almost over and we are headed towards Valentines Day already!

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If you can see some of the detail here you can see that I managed to get in some weight training along with some awesome yoga. If you can make out the “Y’s” those are yoga days. Also, this month I got to see TWO master teachers here in town. Doug Swenson and Bryan Kest. Both of these guys I have been lucky enough to see before and both are TOTALLY worth seeing again. Additionally, I started up another 200+hour teacher training program that I am super excited about. My first Teacher Training was awesome and I loved every single minute of it – my dear friend and teacher, Mary Kay Berg (www.mkyogini.com) provided knowledge, love and inspiration beyond my expectations. And now I am starting another 8 month program with Tymi Howard from Guruv Yoga (www.guruvyoga.com) and I know this program will enhance my already strong foundation tremendously. I love Tymi and respect her practice and her loving and dedicated spirit so much.

Can you spot me in the photo below…?

 

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and take a look at Bryan Kest – yup -he’s a hottie!

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3. I got these neat orchids  for my guest bathroom. They are air plants so they do quite well in the moist environment of the bathroom. This little bath needed some “life” – so I think my 2 orchids are perfect.

 

PLease pray I can keep them alive!

Please pray I can keep them alive!

 

4. Getting ready for Valentines Day!

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Speaking of Valentines Day – here is a fun little FREE Printable for you. Some adorable coupons you can use as gift ideas for those special people you want to celebrate on Valentines Day. Fill them out for a free hug/trip to the movies/special date night out (or in:-)), etc – get creative and add them to another small gift like a chocolate bar/flowers/balloons. They’re just a little something fun to help you celebrate and share the love. Hope you enjoy them!

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Oh, and remember if you have not gotten your 2014 Keeping it Together Planner yet they are now on sale for $50.00. Since January is already “in the books” as they say we reduced the price by 10%.

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To purchase click on a link below:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/88652759

www.keepingittogetherkit.com

www.fitandfabyogi.com

Thats all for now – hope you have a wonderful weekend!

xo – Jessica

 

 

 

Checking in with Holiday Cheer!

Hello all you busy elves! I know most of you are running around spreading holiday cheer (i.e.: money!) like me. Kudos to those of you who are DONE and sitting at home with a warm mug of hot chocolate, watching Christmas Vacation. Actually, its not as bad as it sounds – I’m in good shape over here. Most of my buying, wrapping and delivering is done and now I’m focusing on my menu for Christmas Day. That and getting my house in order are my two BIG tasks left. Otherwise, we have been making time for some family fun. Watching classic holiday movies at home, decorating holiday cookies and getting out to see the lights. My 9 year old has even been “letting” me read her Christmas books at night – a bedtime tradition she has given up in her “old age” but I’m so thankful she’s indulging me as of late. The snuggle time while we read is the BEST and I cherish it.

Despite being busy this week has been a great one for me. Today, for example, I got the nicest gift from one of my yoga students and friends. It was a beautiful gift set from Aveda and a super-neato Zen Board. As I’ve mentioned before I love Aveda – the products and company philosophy align with my interests so well and this gift set has all the best of the best! I got bath salts, body polish (really love!), shower gel, body lotion (also a love!) and foot relief lotion too! All packaged in a beautiful (recycled) box. :-)

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Then, if that was not gift enough – I also got this uber-cool Zen Board. The idea is that you use the water and brush to “write” or “draw” your thoughts/intentions/gratefuls/etc on the board. They are visible for a short time and they disappear as the water dries. It came with a neat easel as well for displaying. Its a great tool to use in conjunction with a daily intention practice and its also very calming and makes for a nice restorative/meditative break during the day. This was also an Aveda product – one I’ve never seen before. I feel so special!

Beautiful and Serene at the same time

Beautiful and Serene at the same time

 

 

For those of you with young ones – I went with my daughter and some friends to see Frozen on Sunday. It was fantastic. Really, really cute – my girlfriend and I enjoyed it as much as the kiddos. If your looking for something fun to do this weekend I highly recommend it. My favorite – Olaf – the talking snowman. If everyone had this guys outlook on life the world would be one happy place for sure!!

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Speaking of fun – check out our decorated gingerbread cookies!  I’m thinking they are too cute to eat!

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And have ya’ll seen these little melting snowman things? Just a little tiny toy – sort of like play-doh meets silly putty. You shape your snowman, add all his little body parts and then watch him melt…. Silly and simple but fun!

Sure is hot here in Florida!

Sure is hot here in Florida!

 

I’ll end with a story – I would love to get some feedback on this one…..

Hannah and I went to the mall last weekend (we’re crazy, right!). While shopping at one of our favorite stores, Anthropologie I let Hannah wait in line for checkout while I ran back to get “one more thing”. I was only gone about 90 seconds… when I returned there was a guy standing behind her. She was about the 5th person in line and then he made the 6th lets say. Anyway when I walked up and joined her he started to grumble something to the effect of “whats going on here?”. I turned and replied that I had left my daughter in line while I picked up another item. Now, full disclosure, although she was clearly standing right where I left her she had turned her attention to some jewelry on a nearby table. Maybe she didn’t look very much like she was waiting? But – she was there and I explained that to him. He clearly was not happy despite my explanation and when I turned back around I could still hear him mumbling so I turned back around a second time and politely offered for him to go ahead of us. I said please – ” be my guest, its no big deal – go before us”. He declined but STILL was grumbly… Should I have done something else? Was I wrong to let her hold our place in line? Please tell me if this was out of line!?!?

Anyhoo – hope your week is going great as well. Lets all try and find some time to savor the season and our families. Being with our loved ones is a GIFT I know we all treasure!

 

Flying High

So, in the last couple of weeks we have been to North Carolina twice. We went up for Thanksgiving to spend a few days in Asheville and see the National Gingerbread Competition at the Grove Park Inn and the Biltmore House in all of its Holiday Splendor. THEN – we went back this past weekend for the FSU ACC Championship game versus Duke. Both were really fun trips although very different! But one things they both had in common was this fantastic plane we got to travel in. On both trips we were lucky enough to fly US Air on an Airbus A330. This thing is huge! Generally, its meant for international travel but we were lucky enough to be on the front leg of a longer trip – once from Orlando to Charlotte and then again from Charlotte back to Orlando. I’m not generally a big fan of flying but this was so luxurious even I found myself wishing for a longer flight! The seat area is like a little cocoon and you have everything you could need or want right at your fingertips. Check out these photos!

 

Can you say SPOILED?

Can you say SPOILED?

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While in North Carolina we went to the Grove Park Inn where they hold the annual Gingerbread House Competition. These houses are such amazing artistic creations – way beyond what you can imagine a “gingerbread house” can look like. We had such fun looking at all of the “houses” and picking and choosing our favorites. We have a very small (but equally fun) competition here in our area that we participate in each year so its fun to get inspiration and compare our very amateur efforts with those of the professionals. Here a a couple of shots of the houses we loved from the competition. The panda bears were this years winner. They were enclosed in glass so forgive the glare on the photos. These guys were so lifelike – really hard to believe they are entirely edible. Although I’m sure they wouldn’t actually taste good!

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2013 Winner!

2013 Winner!

 

And finally – here are a few shots of the house we created for our little family competition at home. Our theme was Minecraft – it was a big hit with all the kids and the judges voted us in second place. We were very happy!!! Special thanks for our dear friend Joi who helped tremendously with this idea and execution. She’s the best!

Merry Minecraft

Can you spot our Elf on the Shelf creeper?

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Merry Minecraft

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Hannah with her 2nd Place Ribbon

Hannah with her 2nd Place Ribbon

 

Do any of you decorate gingerbread houses for the holidays? If so – I’d love to see photos of your creations – do share!

Be back soon with a follow up post on my Be Nice Box – planning on some FUN!

Mail from the Big Guy

I know many of you out there with little ones are very familiar with the Elf on the Shelf. We have one too and he is great. Sure wish I had thought it that idea!

Along those lines I wanted to recommend to you another fun tradition that we enjoy at our house. And that would be a personalized letter from Santa. For the past several years Santa has sent my daughter a customized letter that she adores. The letter comes personalized to her with details about her year and, ahem, her behavior thus far. You can also pay a little extra and get a small stuffed animal to be included in your package, or a dollar bill from the North Pole – that type of thing. The letter really has a WOW factor to it and since our Hannah is now 9 it really helps keep the validity of Santa intact. I want her to “believe” as long as she can and this letter really adds that authentic touch that assures any doubts she might be having. There are several sites where you can purchase this type of letter but I really like the service provided by Santa Claus House. The website is: http://www.santaclaushouse.com

 

 

Order form paperwork mailed to me

Order form paperwork mailed to me

Last Years Letter

Last Years Letter

Signed Postcard from last years package

Signed Postcard from last years package

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are off to North Carolina for Thanksgiving. Headed to the Biltmore House – I’ve heard so many great things about this property. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all decorated up fancy for the Holidays. Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving with more blessings than you can name!

Wishing you love, peace and happiness – Jessica

Recommended Reading: Something you might have missed recently..

http://www.ageology.com/top-25-reasons-to-do-yoga-for-hormonal-health/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/angelina-jolie-governors-award-speech_n_4295290.html#slide=2452319