Monday, July 30, 2012

Yoga dogs

These make me laugh every time I see them!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yamas and Niyamas

This summer I read a book called Yamas and Niyamas that discusses the first two limbs of the eight limbs of yoga.  While the book had a profound impact on me, I thought it might also have an impact on you.  One of the most pertinent lessons is called Shaucha.  It involves purity in your home and in your heart.  As you probably all know, I own The Joyful Organizer, an organization and lifestyle company.  So I see a lot of clutter and I see the impact it has on people's lives, health and relationships.  I wanted to share the following description and show you how it can impact and positively impact your life.

Shaucha, or living purely, involves maintaining a cleanliness in body, mind, and environment so that we can experience ourselves at a higher resolution. The word pure comes from the Latin purus, which means clean and unadulterated. When we take in healthy food, untainted by pesticides and unnatural additives, the body starts to function more smoothly. When we read books that elevate our consciousness, see movies that inspire, and associate with gentle people, we are feeding the mind in a way that nourishes our own peacefulness. Creating a home environment that is elegant, simple, and uncluttered generates an atmosphere where we are not constantly distracted by the paraphernalia of yesterday's projects and last year's knickknacks. Shaucha is a testament to the positive power of association.
Practicing shaucha, meaning "that and nothing else," involves making choices about what you want and don't want in your life. Far from self-deprivation or dry piety, the practice of shaucha allows you to experience life more vividly. A clean plate enjoys the sweetness of an apple and the taste of pure water; a clear mind can appreciate the beauty of poetry and the wisdom imparted in a story; a polished table reveals the deep grain of the wood. This practice both generates beauty and allows us to appreciate it in all its many forms.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

For The Love of It

For a while now I've been on a training schedule.  Everyone I know who works out or runs has a training schedule and we all talk about our "long days" and "tempo runs".  However, recently I've been  quite busy and had a lot going on.  So, I haven't had a lot of time to do my "regularly scheduled" runs.  However, I've been running for another reason; for the love of it.

I've remembered just why I run.  I love it.  I love going out, getting sweaty and challenging myself.  I can "find myself" out on the roads, on the trails and in my run.  I love spending the time without checking my phone.  I love spending the time to listening to my new music selections and I love just running, regardless of how fast or slow I'm going for a few miles.

So while I haven't had the chance to break any new speed records or gone any new long distances, I've been able to use my runs to calm myself down, think things through and just enjoy the scenery.  I anticipate getting back into my training routine very soon.  However, I'm grateful for the distraction. I was able to remember just why I love running!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stormy Weather

I've recently been having some challenges and things have been thrown into flux in my life.  While things are on their way to being worked out....I've come to realize a few very important things.  What has become most apparent to me is that we all go through our lives without being grateful.  We run through our lives forgetting to call those we love.  We find ourselves too busy to have lunch with a friend.  In lots of cases, we take our family for granted and fail to tell them we love them.

My friends and family have made me feel so loved and supported in a time that that could have made me feel very alone.  I've received cards, calls, texts and lots of hugs.  And I've realized that I am so very grateful for those around me, each and very day.

So what can I do to hold onto this feeling and what can you do to get it?  First of all, I think you should let everything know how important they are to you.  Even you don't see people every day, or even every week or month, chances are, you know that they are there for you and that thought comforts you.

With all of the technology we have there is no excuse not to send an email, a text or make a phone call letting your loved ones know you care.

So while I know I will get busy and fail to communicate as often as I should, the lessons I've learned will stay with me and I know that sometimes a hug is the most precious gift of all.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

My Island

As I posted last week, I  recently spent some time on an island off the Maine coast.  I wanted to share a few photos from my trip.  Here is the harbor...the view is so picturesque that sometimes it looks like a postcard to me and not something I see every day on the island.  I love running my the harbor in the morning, in the evening...really any time!
We let Roxy do a lot of swimming while we were there.  She dives right in and play fetch with a floating bumper we bring with us.  Once we gets out of the salty water, she likes to dive into the sea week and dirt.  It makes for a very dirty, smelly dog, but she LOVES it and prances around so happy I don't have the heart to stop her.

Here is a family photo.  We staggered our trip a little bit, but we were all there for the Fourth of July.  We love spending time together and since we hadn't taken a family photo in years, we made sure we captured one this year; doggies included!

Here's one of the many shots Matt got of me while we walked around the island...this was just an evening walk and it turned into a beautiful evening.

Here is the house we all stay at.  Its old and has been in Matt's family forever.  It feels like home and I always want to get back there as soon as possible

 Here's another one Matt got of me on a day we took Roxy out to swim....its a great place to sit and think and just enjoy the untouched Maine scenery.  Its really a place of beauty that can be matched by any photo or postcard.  Its a place where life moves a bit slower and you very quickly become accustomed to not being in such a rush to go everywhere.  While we can only visit in the summer, its a place I dream of year round.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beyond Yoga Review ~2

This is my second review of Beyond Yoga's products and the second batch didn't disappoint!

I tried out the Gathering Long Legging.  They are the softest pair of leggings I've ever put on.  I tried them for hot yoga and they were soft and comfortable and didn't stop me from bending, stretching and sweating.  However, they made me comfortable while doing it.  The leggings stayed in place and didn't ride up (or down).

While they are great for yoga, the leggings are so comfy that I keep putting them on to hang out in.  I've worn them to sleep, to run errands in and quite honestly, they are so cute, these can be worn as leggings under a tunic or a skirt!  I intend to wear these with boots and a wrap in the fall.  The bottom of the leggings has a cute gathered look.  Its about three inches and its not distracting from the flattering look of the leggings.

The last item I tried out was the double strap cami.  Again, this item was awesome for yoga.  It stayed in place, the bra was supportive and the straps didn't fall down.  I usually don't like tops with thin straps because they dig in, but these were comfortable to wear and left no red marks.  The top is also long enough that it stays down and is quite flattering.

Again, I keep wearing this top to go out in.  I have thrown it on with shorts.  I've also thrown it on with a skirt and a denim jacket and I've never felt under dressed (just very comfy!).

Take a look at everything Beyond Yoga offers here:

Rubbermaid Water Bottle Review

I was recently sent the new Cherry Blossom water bottle from Rubbermaid.  I love water bottles and I love trying out the new features, etc. I am always looking for the perfect one!

I tried out the cherry blossom water bottle in the summer months.  So, that means, I really wanted COLD water.  The lid is easy to remove and the opening is wide enough to put ice into.  If you don't want to take the lid off, you can simply fitt it through the cap.

Its not insulated but the ice I put in stayed cold a long time.
The bottle is see through enough to see how much water you have left, but the design makes it cute.  I love that the cherry blossom design and how it seems to go with everything.  

The water bottle is BPA free and its dishwasher safe.  Its also freezer safe so you could fill it, freeze it and let it defrost throughout your work day. The design does not come off in the dishwasher.  

I love the opening of the bottle.  Its a flip cap.  Its easy to open and close with one hand while you're walking or driving.  I also like that its not too big or too small.  I like drinking water during hot yoga class, but if the opening is too big, the ice cubes come out and you have to be careful not to spill or choke.  This is the perfect size.

Another one of my favorite features is the rubber loop.  I'm always carrying too many things at once and my slippery water bottle falls a lot.  This water bottle is easily grabbed and held onto.  

I've seen this bottle at my local Target, but if you want to get your own, just click here:

Its durable and inexpensive AND CUTE!  What more can a girl want?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

No Target?

So as I've said before, my husband and I often visit an island off the coast of Maine.  Its about 1.5 hours by ferry so it takes a while to make it out there and there are not a lot of stores.

The island has a grocery store, some gift shops and a few places to get food.  However, there are no fast food places, no chain stores, etc.  Its shocking when you first arrive and realize you forgot deodorant or something you can't live without.  However, by the end of your first week here you have broken the urge to run out to the store every time you think of something.

Despite working with my clients to help them live simple lives with less stuff, I think that even I am guilty of over consumption from time to time.  After a few days you really learn to do without, use something else or change the way you're looking at things.

So while I will soon be headed back to the mainland and I can stock up on things, I'm looking forward to coming back to my little oasis without a Target.  (However, I fully intend to get a venti Starbucks and an order of sushi on my way home!)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Lucy Activewear Spin Clothing Review

I recently had the chance to try out Lucy Activewear's new line of spin/biking gear.  I have taken spin classes for years and I will tell you that in order to be comfortable, its very difficult to look cute.
Lucy Activewear is known for their clothing that is functional and adorable.

The first piece I tried out was the Spin Fusion Skirted Short.  The skort has a pair of padded bike shorts so your covered in all the right places.  However, there is also a skort over the top so you can go out for coffee afterwards and feel cute and modest.  The skort has a 7 inch inseam so they are not too short and not too long.  They even have a pocket for your card, key etc.  My favorite part of the shorts is the waistband.  It is wide and flattering and doesn't create "muffin top" like other bike shorts do.  These bike shorts are very reasonably priced.  Take a peek at them on Lucy's website here:,default,pd.html?cgid=GT_Spin

The second piece I tried out was the Spin Fusion Top.  Its made of a wicking material so you stay dry.  The top is designed for biking so it has enough length to stay in place while you're moving around and making turns.  It has strategically placed mesh panels to keep you cool and even a back pocket for keys and a card.  I love the bright colors so you can be seen on the road too.  I'm normally not a fan of tops with sleeves, but these sleeves were comfortable and not inhibiting.  Take a look at the Spin Fusion Top here:,default,pd.html?cgid=GT_Spin&dwvar_110314_SALE_color=MERMAID

So while these items are designed for spin class, I tested them both inside and out and they performed very well.  I'm pleasantly surprised and I'm thrilled to have some cute biking apparel for the first time!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Backing Off

If there is one thing I've learned in my running over the years its how to know when enough is enough. I've been pushing hard training for my past few races and I've been pleasantly happy with some PRs and my fastest times overall.  So now, my "racing season" is over for a little bit.

I have a lot of other things going on and they are taking my time and energy and I'm therefore readjusting my training schedule to be a little less difficult.  My longs runs are a little shorter, my tempo runs a little slower, etc.  I need the time to rest and relax mentally and physically.  In a few weeks I'll pick it back up and start pushing the envelope again.

This also works out perfectly with the temperature here in New England. We've had record breaking heat and with my asthma I'm not a big fan of running in the sun and heat.

To enhance the rest I'm taking I'm trying to increase the amount of time I'm spending doing yoga, deepening my yoga practice and working on my medication.  All together I'm hoping that I learn to be more mindful, and rest when and where I need it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th!

Enjoy the holiday with friends, family and some laughter!  Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Beyond Yoga Review

I recently received four articles of clothing from Beyond Yoga.  I'm going to review two of them here and two of them in another post.  The two I'm going to review today are the most casual and lounge wear related pieces.

The pants are loose fitting and made up of a slub cotton.  They are insanely soft.  I mean they are so soft that you say ahhhh when you slip them on.  I find myself going to put these pants on over and over again.  The waistband is elastic but not an ugly or uncomfortable waistband...its smooth and flattering.  What I really like about these pants is that they aren't too heavy.  So often lounge pants are bulky or hot and these are neither.  They are very flattering and go with flip flops, sneakers or a pair of Toms.  I also love that they have pockets, making them the perfect pair of pants to go run errands in.  They wear wear and honestly, I've barely taken them off since they arrived!

The second item is the Beyond Yoga Trapeze Top.  Its a raglan style tee shirt made up of the softest Pima cotton.  Its flattering cut and cute shape make it comfortable and adorable at the same time.  I love throwing this on as I leave the yoga studio. It covers up my sweaty tank and allows me to run errands or go for coffee while looking cute.  I have the Aqua color and its worn well and looks great with just about everything.  Again, this top is so soft that I find myself wearing it all the time and its even soft enough to sleep in.

Take a look at these two pieces and all that Beyond Yoga sells!  They even have a great sale section!