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

 

 

 

What a weekend!

Rolf Gates, me and Kathryn Budig

Rolf Gates, me and Kathryn Budig

 

Guys I am feeling so good tonight. I’m fresh off of yoga weekend workshop with Rolf Gates. The workshop was held at my local studio Guruv Yoga and so it was nice to share this experience with many folks who I see regularly. I had the opportunity to practice with Rolf three times this weekend and today, for the last session, Kathryn Budig joined the workshop as well. Although Kathryn is new (and wonderful) to me – I have been a long time fan of Rolf’s. Actually, when I first started my yoga journey back in 2008 (?) he was the first “master teacher” I saw outside of my regular, local yoga circle. Since then, I have seen him at least 3 times and I think it might even be 4. As you can see from the above photo he is a big guy! Not at all what I envisioned a male yoga teacher to look like back when I was new and full of preconceived notions about EVERYTHING! Rolf immediately had my heart with his profound story, his sense of humor and his expertly sequenced and challenging asana practice. Rolf is also well known for his widely popular book – Mediations from the Mat. Its practically a staple reference guide in every studio and yogi’s bedside table that I have ever been to or seen. Please take a moment to check him out if he is new to you.  His website is: http://www.rolfgates.com/pages/home.html

This weekends schedule is below:
Friday, 6-9pm: Vinyasa Session: Right Effort
Saturday 2-5pm: Vinyasa Session: Concentration + Mindfulness
Sunday 9-12: The Chakras in Action Teacher’s Workshop
Sunday 2-5pm:Vinyasa Session: Understanding + Aspiration
(Special Guest Kathryn Budig)
And a foreword from Rolf:
“We are on a journey to become who we already are.” -Rolf Gates
We will come together this weekend to explore Yoga + The Eight-Fold Way. These teachings offer us a way to explore our relationship to our practice and give us the means for creating a life that works. These sessions will be a synergy of the dynamic freedom of a powerful vinyasa class and the structural integrity of yoga’s therapeutic alignment principles. They are intentionally challenging but open to all levels. The only requirement is that you show up…do your best and let your best be good enough.

 

Just one of the many concepts that hit-home with me this weekend was this – Rolf described that many of us live these days with an underlying sense of hurry and control all the time. 24/7 no matter what is going on in our lives (good, bad,happy, sad) we are not only rushing though it in anticipation of the next thing we are also trying to control the events and circumstances as they unfold. Whoa did that strike a chord. When I reflect on this idea it seems to me that even when I am successful at “living in the moment” I still try to hurry/control it. Who knows why? But a light bulb went off and now I can recognize that tendency and try to be more accepting of the present moment and strive to sit back and let life unfold at its own pace.

 

And Kathryn Budig was know only to me from her beautiful and insanely popular (and controversial?) ad campaign for Toesox. So, it was a real treat and “icing on the cake” to get to hear part of her “Aim True” speech today. She told a great story about jumping out of an airplane that had my heart pounding as she relayed her own fear and excitement. Afterwards she and Rolf team taught a wonderful and juicy flow that left everyone in the room feeling blissful and centered (albeit very sweaty).

http://kathrynbudig.com

KB toe sox

 

And lastly – the workshop weekend was extra special because my teacher – Mary Kay Berg was there in attendance as well and I got to see her beautiful face and practice next to her bright spirit. Truly – when my mat is next to hers I feel so comforted. Its weird but I guess thats how we feel about those who have taught us so much!

http://www.mkyogini.com

May Kay Berg - teacher, author, dog-lover, friend!

May Kay Berg – teacher, author, dog-lover, friend!

 

On a separate note – we were out of town all last week for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We had a great trip to North Carolina. I’ll share some details about that next time!

Hope you all have a fabulous start to your week!

Peace, Love and Happiness – Jessica

 

Giving Thanks

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Many of you may have seen these “Thankful” lists on FB and other social media sites. For the month of November you list something/someone you are grateful for each day. Its a nice way to stay focused on gratitude as we celebrate Thanksgiving. Its also a nice way to make sure we even celebrate Thanksgiving since the marketing giants obviously want to gloss over it and head straight to Christmas like a runaway train on the way to the BANK!

Anyway – in that spirit I thought I would list some of the things I’m Thankful for and encourage you all to do the same. Since Family and Friends are sort of an obvious choice and something I am mindful of all the time I tried here to include some things that are slightly off the beaten path. A few things I don’t normally appreciate the way I should.

1. I’m grateful there is always PLENTY of food both in my pantry and my refrigerator. Not only do we have an abundance of things to eat we have CHOICES  - for many people around the world I know this is not the case.

2. Scented Candles (and other things that smell good). I don’t know about you all but I have a very sensitive nose that I think I inherited from my Aunt. And I get so much enjoyment from lighting a pretty scented candle, using my essential oils (which I know I talk about all the time), and room sprays. Its a real mood lifter for me and for that I’m grateful. Zum Mist is one of my favorites. And I just got a mini catalog from them this past week – so excited to see that have holiday scents now too.

Zum Mist

Zum Mist

3. My iPhone and iPad. I know, I know – technology is bad! Its ruining our family time and limiting our social contact (and social skills for that matter). I get it. But is also so incredibly useful! And the possibilities for self improvement and increased happiness are endless if you utilize things like apps/podcasts/music in a smart and conscientious way. I love my devices and am certainly thankful for them. The old saying an APPLE a day keeps the doctor away might take on a whole second meaning …

4. Yoga – Immensely grateful for not only my yoga practice but my teachers! I cannot describe what yoga has brought to my life OFF THE MAT. I am enriched in ways I didn’t even know I was lacking.

5. Books/Magazines/Blogs – I love to read. Reading helps me stay engaged and current and it relaxes me while doing it!

6. Warm and cozy fall clothes and the chance to wear my boots. :-)

7. Cooler weather. Even though I’m inFlorida and its still plenty HOT – it is a few degrees cooler now than in August. Especially in the mornings and after sunset you can feel the slight crispness in the air and its wonderful. It makes walking the dog so pleasant. We both seem to have more spring in our step.

8. Hair color! Yup – I’m grateful for that.

9. Pizza delivery. I don’t know who was the first person to deliver pizza but they were a genius. Think about how fabulously convenient something so simple is and how much enjoyment it can bring.

10. Challenges. You have to learn to be grateful for life’s challenges. Without the struggles (big and small) of daily life we would be unable to really enjoy and appreciate our triumphs. Even though the “upside” of a challenge is painfully hard to see when in the midst of it – we know a silver lining will appear sooner or later and we can look back with wisdom and appreciation for what we have overcome. I’m grateful for all the ups and downs that have brought me to where I am today.

11. Bonus – I’m thankful for all the men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. I am humbled by their selflessness, bravery, discipline and loyalty. Its a commitment like no other and I give a sincere thanks for those that carry our flag.

Your turn… what are some not-so-obvious things YOU are thankful for this November.

Can you see my Tom Turkey? He's Thankful too!

Can you see my Tom Turkey? He’s Thankful too!

 

Please remember to check out the “Keeping it Together” 2014 Planner and Gratitude Journal.  You can order yours now and make sure it arrives in time for 2014 planning and Holiday gift giving.

www.facebook.com/KeepingittogetherKIT
www.pinterest.com/PInyourKit
https://www.etsy.com/listing/88652759/keeping-it-together-daily-journal?ref=shop_home_feat

No tricks here… Halloween treats galore!

Well, I’ve got quite a few treats for you this Halloween Week. No tricks here! Its hard to believe how BIG Halloween has gotten in recent years. In our community and school the celebrations seems to get bigger and longer every year. I read recently in Better Homes and Gardens (no judgement please!) that Americans now spend in excess of 8 BILLION dollars a year on Halloween decorations, costumes and candy. Christmas is the only other holiday that tops Halloween in monies spent. Wow!

* Speaking of the frightful night – Hungry Girl shares a nice pdf of Halloween Candy options and how “scary” they might be for your healthy eating plan. This might be good to take a look at before Halloween – just so you know what your getting in to!

http://www.hungry-girl.comHGHALLOWEENCANDYGUIDE2013

* This is a link to a neat new app. Its called GPS for the soul and there is a review here from The Huffington Post. These meditation/relaxation apps are becoming more and more robust and sophisticated which is pretty neat. This one even takes a blood pressure reading and uses that to gauge your level of stress. Based on that level recommendations are made for things you can do quickly and immediately to calm down and center. If you don’t like the recommendations made by the app you can customize your own based on the things that soothe you best. Pretty cool!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/25/arianna-huffington-gps-for-the-soul-how-to-use_n_2624774.html?utm_hp_ref=gps-for-the-soul

* Spark People is always a great resource and this week they have provided a nice list of quick and healthy snacks.

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1938

* Funny Cartoon I had to share!

So true...

So true…

* Lastly – this is a helpful printable from a fairly new to me blog. Its called “Life in Yellow” and Cassie has made some really festive and useful printables you can download for free. I always keep a list of Holiday Gifts. It really helps me keep a budget and not forget anyone or anything important as I prepare for Christmas. I love hers and have already started my shopping!

http://www.lifeinyellow.com/2012/07/gift-planner-worksheet-free-download/

http://www.lifeinyellow.com

Handy Way to start shopping/tracking and budgeting your purchases

Hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween. After that – we are headed towards Thanksgiving. The season is ON!

Until next time… health, happiness love and light to you all!

Jessica