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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

March FRESH Yoga with Adriene Day One

"March" Day 1 FRESH-Yoga with Adriene,
     I started my yoga journey on January 8th, 2018 and I challenged my stagnant self to do 30 days of yoga. {You can read about that here} On day two I told myself that if I stuck with it for 2 weeks I would buy a new, fresh yoga mat.

     Well here we are, almost 3 months later and I finally bought myself a new yoga mat!! BOOYAH! I have only missed TWO days of daily yoga in the last 85 days! Once because I was being crazy town taking care of a sick kid and the second because we were on vacation on Good Friday and there was no way to get away with it in my hotel room. I did, however, make it up by climbing three monstrous flights of stairs at Avalanche Bay waterpark! That is something I never thought I would do!

    I cannot believe that I have committed to this yoga journey, stuck with it and am still enjoying it. I enjoy so much about it. I have loved the journey inward. I love getting to know my inner self more than I have ever before. I love wearing pants that haven't fit in ages. I love walking taller. I love walking more confidently and I love myself more than ever before.

   Oliver said to me the other day "Mom, you got new pants!" I told him that they were ones I bought awhile ago and never quite fit into. He asked me if yoga helped me and when I told him it did he said "good job Mom!" That was cool. Then, a week or so ago, while they were on Spring Break, he insisted that he wanted to do yoga with me. I told him he could but he'd need to be quiet. He agreed so I gave him a mat and we started a video. After a minute he quietly asked "when do we do something?" and then after about 3 minutes he quietly got up and left. I paused and asked him what was up and he replied "this is too hard. I can't be still or quiet for that long!" Once he left, I laughed quite hard! He is certainly a character and he loves to exercise so its fun to talk to him about my journey because even at 7, he gets it. He noticed the other day that my muscles are becoming more defined in my arms. He kept asking me to flex and make them "dance". Then once Daddy came home he wanted me to show him, too. HILARIOUS and humbling. Truly.

Today's Video, Yoga Morning Fresh was great. I did it shortly after waking and it not only eased into it but it burned some heat toward the end and I really appreciated the whole flow of it. Adriene continues to rock my socks and makes me motivated to face another day because I look forward to meeting her on the mat! That is an amazing, freeing feeling and one I don't plan to walk away from anytime soon, if ever!

Monday, April 2, 2018

I got a new yoga mat!

I promised myself if I stuck with my yoga journey for two weeks that I would treat myself to a new yoga mat. I really wanted the best of the best and I did a LOT of research before I purchased the Aurorae Classic 1/4" Thick yoga mat. It gets stellar reviews and even though it was a little more pricey than others I was looking at, I jumped on it. I didn't buy it until I was almost 3 months into my journey so I felt I deserved a nice mat.

What sold me {besides the amazing reviews} was their dedication to the environment and creating eco-friendly, nontoxic products. Their core philosophy really aligns with mine so it seemed like the perfect fit!

While I am not disappointed in my new Aurorae yoga mat, I wish I could change a few things about it. When it first arrived I thought it would be brighter than it is. The color is gorgeous but it does seem brighter online. Its not a deal-breaker but something worth mentioning. I also wish it was wider. I am really flexible and when I do certain poses, such as modified child's pose, my knees hang off the sides so I find myself not going as wide as I'd like in the posture. The mat is really slippery. They warned me about it and sent a rosin bag to rub on it. After more than 2 weeks of use, I am still getting use to it and I slipped out of warrior two today because I was sweating but again, I am sure that with time, this will not affect me.

This mat is far superior from what I was using but I thought I would mention that there are a couple, small drawbacks to this mat. Looking back, I think I should have splurged for the PRO cork/rubber mat but hindsight is 20/20.

I look forward to trying their accessories in the future and letting you know my thoughts!

*This was not a sponsored review. I purchased the mat myself*

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Why Basic Invite is anything but Basic!

How many times have you found yourself searching for the perfect invitations for your child's momentous event? Whether it be birthdays, bat mitzvah or graduation, I know you feel my pain. I have used so many online invitation sites but I have never really been impressed. Don't get me wrong, they all did what I wanted but it was time consuming and far from jaw-dropping like I had hoped.

I was recently introduced to Basic Invite and let me tell you, their site is jaw-dropping. Everything looks gorgeous and inviting! Funny, I know, but I am serious! I have a confession to make; I have a stationary fetish. I love love love stationary. I also tend to hoard it. I get some killer stationary but then I don't want to use it all so I rarely send it out. I need to start being better about that.

Almost Unlimited Colors - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Lets get real here. Really real. You can take an element of a flower on their stationary, for example and customize each individual component of it. They have so many colors to choose from. Swoon-worthy colors like Soulmate, Castaway and Cotton Candy. When have you ever had so much design control in your life!? GAME CHANGER!

Custom Samples - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

Tactile samples make all the difference. AMiRIGHT?!

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes - Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

Address Capturing Service - Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows customers to simply share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request their friends and family’s addresses which will be stored in the customer’s account and can then be selected during the design process. Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas card orders.

Foil - Foil holiday cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Customers can choose flat or raised foil on all of Basic Invite’s foil designs. 

Now that we are in a new year many teenage parents are thinking about graduation. Have no fear, Basic Invitation has some of the best formal graduation invitations I have seen. Don't believe me, just see for yourself!

These invitations are so much nicer than what I had when I graduated from high school, heck college even a million years ago! They even have graduation thank you cards to match your invitations! Genius!

Now I know what you are likely thinking and you want to know how expensive Basic Invite is, right? Its not expensive at all. They are right along the same price point as any other invitation service but with so many more features.

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

I would love to hear your thoughts on invitations and ordering online. Do you find the process a hassle? Do you find your options lacking? Leave me a comment here or on my Facebook page.

CONNECT WITH Basic Invite:

I was compensated for this review either through product or payment. I was not obligated to write a positive post. These are my true thoughts and feelings. All quotes made here are 100% my own

Friday, February 16, 2018

The End of My 30 Day Yoga with Adriene Journey #YWATRUE

The end is really the beginning. As I sit here today, still rocking my now-baggy leggings and my somewhat loose-fitting tank top, I am overcome with a lot of emotion. I will tell you about days 21-29 first and get into today's practice at the end.

Day 21 Finesse: I sit taller, walk better and find myself choosing to move over sitting still. I dance around the house more. I take the dog on a walk. I am choosing activity over remaining sedentary. I haven't chosen that in a long time. I have lost over 20 pounds at this point and over 12 inches overall on my body. Today's practice was a welcomed nice and easy one today!
Day 22 Release: Adriene always knows what to say because its always what I need to hear. Gosh I adore her!
Day 23 Balance: Hard balancing poses. They are fun but very challenging. My whole body shakes. Guess I got to shake it to wake it, eh?
Day 24 Be Kind: Lots of stretching and meditation. What a breath of fresh air. 
Day 25 Be Awake: Abs-oh my! Walk the plank, Arrrrggh!
Day 26 Be Still: The lizard pose was very difficult but I did it!! I am left wondering if I will be able to walk tomorrow?!!
Day 27 Be Free: My whole body is sore but I answered my question; yes I am able to walk today!
Day 28 Be Fearless: I am still so sore. Lots of legs today. I feel good
Day 29 Be Brave: What a day of self-love. It sure is amazing. I am really proud of myself.

Day 30 BE YOU: I only just finished my last day of this TRUE yoga journey so I knew I needed to sit down and get it all out. I was excited to don my clothes and hit the mat today. What I was expecting was not at all what I received. As she always does, Adriene welcomes you to the mat and sets your intention for the day's session. She is emotional, as am I as I start to cry a little. I cried because I DID IT! I decided to do something for me and I committed to it. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Hell yes! Then Adriene says she is going to turn off her mic and we were going to do our own thing. What? Wait a minute here! Well, Adriene always tells us to trust her so trust I did.

I am not going to lie to you but today was the sweatiest and my least favorite day of all. My mind wandered everywhere {for the first time in these past 30 days} and I just didn't feel connected to myself. Did I have a great workout? Yes. Did I feel like a lost soul? YES! I discovered that I am not ready to be left to my own devices yet. I found myself looking up at the giant 65" TV inches from my face too often and I was not able to close my eyes. Why? Well because I didn't want to remain standing in Mountain pose with my eyes closed in anjali mudra while Adriene was in Cobra. 

I wanted to hear her crack a funny joke. I wanted her to remind me to listen to my breath. I wanted to hear her go through the poses so I could relax and know what to expect in mere seconds. I just didn't feel as though I was ready to be kicked out of the nest yet. I did my absolute best to stay true to myself {no pun intended but that was good!} and move in a way that was authentic to me while following my friend through the poses. I sweat like crazy and, at the end, for the first time in a month I very much missed my new best friend tell me that she loves me and send me off on the day with a "Namasté". 

Once we bowed and I whispered "thank you, Adriene with much love. Namasté" I looked up and the screen was black and I read her final words. I started sobbing uncontrollably. I cried and cried-a big ugly cry. I cried for my commitment to myself. I cried for believing I could and then doing it. I cried because now I can plank/extension easier that I could at day 18. I cried because I see myself differently now. I am now capable of far more than I was a month ago and for that I am forever grateful. I am so overwhelmingly grateful for the spirit that led me to Adriene and I am most thankful and grateful for her Charisma. She believed in me when perhaps I didn't and together we grew in many ways. I jump out of bed in the morning looking forward to seeing my friend and hearing her lead me on a journey back to myself.

Adriene, you are one amazing goddess and I am incredibly thankful for all of the hard work that you put into your videos. You have absolutely changed my life for the better and I cannot wait to continue this journey with you. I love your sense of humor, your charm, your cute smile, Benji, oh Benji and I love fixing my gaze at your window locks. I am not sure why they are what I always pick, but it works. Thank you for coming to me at a time when I needed you most. Thank you for inspiring me to keep on keeping on and for making me want to continue showing up. You make me want to be a better person and that is something money cannot buy. 

When I came to start this journey I said "I took the first, albeit small, mental step to doing something positive for ME!" I had no idea at the time that what I thought was a small step ending up being a catapult straight to self-love, joy and a fulfilled heart.

What now? Don't worry, my BFF and I will be continuing right along with Love Yo'Self for February! Stay with me and tell me all about what you do to stay true to yourself. If you recently started doing YWA or with anyone else, I want to hear about it, too! Leave me a comment or send me an email.


Sunday, February 11, 2018

Yoga with Adriene-My TRUE Yoga Journey Days 11-20

Yoga, what exactly does that term mean to you? To me its meaning has changed in the last month. As my yoga journey continues and my mind/body connection deepens; to me, yoga means life. As you likely remember me talking about how I found my yoga teacher through divine intervention {thats definitely what I am calling it now!} and how I decided to start. Then, a couple of days later I gave a recap of how things are going so I can check in and keep myself accountable. I did this by documenting my journey as a reminder of where I came from in my quest to find a better version of myself.

Monday, January 22nd, 2018 DAY 11 Soften: I woke up sore but eager to get on the mat. I was happy and slightly relieved that today's practice was easy on me especially because I needed the extra stretching.

Day 12 Center: WOW what an intense session! Hard core-CORE!
Day 13 Strength and Harmony: Holy Cow I am so sore and we had another huge core workout!
Day 14 Listen: So I really didn't want to practice today. I am so sore and tired. Then I decided that I'd like Adriene to tell me that she is glad that I showed up and that was good enough for me to take the mat. I also hoped for an easier sesh today. Well, I got it!! Mind and body connection. In my earlier blog post I mentioned "going to town" well Adriene said that a few times today and I giggled. Her humor is SO ME! We are like mental twinsies. I <3 her="" p="">
Day 15 Believe: Back and sides are sore. I stand taller now. I am ready for you today, Adriene!
Day 16 Self Love: Great stretch and leg workout. WOW. I discovered that I love my laugh.
Day 17 Charisma: Sore arms, back and obliques. Great practice today, LOVE IT!
Day 18 Surrender: My arms and chest are sore. YWA totally kicked my butt today. Its really hard to do the plank to extension especially when you're a big girl. I struggled and took my first water break in the middle of the practice today after yelling "FUCK YOU, ADRIENE!" at my TV. I felt really bad saying it but WOWzies I don't like feeling incapable of doing something. I guess it taught me to just try again and keep going. Thats all I can ask for, right?
Day 19 Thought: Great calm session. It was EXACTLY what I needed!
Day 20 Awaken: Lots of leg work. I feel so tall and relaxed all the time.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Yoga with Adriene A Spiritual Journey

Last week I wrote about my awakening and my promise to myself to get stronger and to strive to be the best version of myself that I could coming into the newness of the year. I am still feeling pretty damn awesome and today I finished Day 18-Surrender with Adriene on YouTube. Today was the last day of the TRUE Yoga journey with her but I started late and take Saturdays and Sundays off. I decided to do that to make the journey more realistic for myself. Weekends are family time and the boys are crazy and life is anything but Zen like it is during the week with me and Blu. Speaking of Blu, have you seen that handsome beast roaming around my IG feed and Facebook? Here is a pic of him getting up on my biznass while hanging with Adriene.

As I mentioned previously, I briefly journaled my thoughts on this YWA True Journey and I want to share them with you. I have had a couple people reach out to me on Facebook and Messenger and tell me that I inspired them to start as well. Well HOLY CATS that makes me smile. If I can show up everyday and do this for myself, I know you can, too!

Day 1-I feel great. I had an awesome sesh!
Day 2- WOW-I am sore but I am feeling taller!
Day 3- So Sore <3 and="" challenging="" p="" s="" stretch="" today="" warm="" was="">Day 4- I am excited to see Adriene today. You guessed it, I am sore! I can barely lift my arms and my back is sore, too!
Day 5- Snow Day for the kids. They stayed away. I am not as sore today and I am motivated!

Day 6- I am not sore. Today was the hardest workout yet.
Day 7- Not sore today either. Salud was full of movement.
Day 8- I am excited to start week 2. I feel powerful, relaxed and so zen!
Day 9- Today my mind was busy but Adriene brought me in. Sequenced. I sweat!
Day 10-Difficult-ish to breathe. Lots of movement. SORE tonight and sore for 2 days!

I hope that reading this makes you want to believe in yourself and give yourself a little something to look forward to everyday! You are worth it!


Monday, January 15, 2018

2018-How the Universe Led me to Yoga with Adriene

I am so not one to make fancy resolutions or shout outs about how "this New Year I am going to be the best." You won't hear me go on and on about a "new me" or a "fresh start". I think thats unrealistic. What you will hear me say is that my goal is to be better than I was yesterday.

Better than I was yesterday, well you are probably wondering what that means. To me, that means that I am a real person and I have real struggles, problems, triumphs and issues. I am a busy Mom and I am a mindful wife. I try to keep my household running smoothly but sometimes laundry piles up. Sometimes the dishes pile up. Sometimes my kids hit each other. I can't control it all but I CAN control me! I have always loved being spontaneous and I love trying new things. I love surprises. So why not make 2018 a year of trying new things and trying to be better than I was yesterday? Sounds like a great personal mantra for me.

So, exercise is such a gross and un-fun topic to discuss. I like being out there in nature and doing things but I hate feeling like I have to go to the gym or I have to go for a walk. I want to do something that I want to make me feel better about each new day. So along with trying new things, yoga came to mind. I have done yoga in the past but its been a long time. I have great flexibility and I love a good meditation session so it made sense to me. I am a big believer in the universe showing you signs and all the signs pointed to a woman whom I have never met or seen on video...Adriene.

I remember vaguely a few months ago or maybe longer a good friend of mine posting something about Yoga on YouTube and how she was really enjoying it. Her post, come to find out just recently, was about Adriene! I didn't really pay much attention to it then. When 2018 was just around the corner and I was looking for more purpose in myself and the newness of the year I was thinking about ways to improve my daily outlook (so to speak). I thought about new dinners to cook, eating more fruits and veggies (we eat a lot of them and our diet is pretty healthy already but theres always room for improvement) and then one morning I woke up kinda stiff. I thought about how long it had been since I gave myself a good stretch and I concluded that maybe yoga or something of the like would be a good thing to bring into my life. It would accomplish things that I have been neglecting. It would restore my flexibility, it would bring me some time to work on meditation/myself and hell, maybe I would lose a few pounds. Then I thought about the crappy yoga DVDs that I own and how much they annoy me. I think that out of all the DVDs I have done in the past only one Pilates instructor, Ana Caban, has made me feel like she is a real person. So, I set out to find a way to do yoga at home and in a way that would not be boring, would not be dreadful and one that I could do everyday because I want to.

Then, it happened. I saw someone talk about Yoga with Adriene (YWA) again in one of my spiritual groups that I am active in on Facebook. I thought, right then and there, that this was the sign that I needed. I should look this Adriene girl up. So I did. The kids were around when I got my laptop out and when I first started reading about YWA I was inspired. Who me? Yes, a workout that seemed far too good to be true. First of all, everyone talked about how much they thought Adriene to be a real down to Earth person and someone they could relate to. CHECK Second, its FREE and on Youtube which I can stream from my Apple TV CHECK and lastly, I can do it from home whenever I wanted and each day would be new and different HELL YES CHECK!! 

So now I have a little idea of what I am going to do, mind you this is right around Christmastime. Then I forget about it with the chaos of the holidays and the kids being home from school on break. Then one day, as I forcibly took the TV over from the kids so I could watch some Rachael Ray while folding laundry the Universe slapped me again. As I folded towel after towel and I got to enjoy Rach cook up some fun new recipe there was a story about a young college girl who had recently lost about 80 pounds. Rach interviewed her and gave her a fresh new look (who doesn't love those stories?) and then the girl said "I owe it all to Yoga with Adriene that I found on YouTube". Say what? Oliver looked over at me and said "hey its that lady you were looking at on your computer!" It was at that very moment that I knew what I needed to do. I NEEDED TO BRING ADRIENE INTO MY LIVING ROOM!

YWA was about to start a 30 Day YWA for the New Year starting on January 2nd and I mentally committed to it! I did it. I took the first, albeit small, mental step to doing something positive for ME! The kids were still home on break so I told myself I would start the following Monday and commit to Monday-Friday of YWA for her brand new TRUE Yoga Journey. YAY! I had a plan, I already have a yoga mat and lord knows I can throw on a pair of my favorite LulaRoe leggings and a tank top and go to town. No, not really because thats what the best part is. I can STAY HOME and still "go to town".

I started 2 weeks ago and I have not only not missed a day but I have relearned a lot more about myself in the meantime. I have been briefly journaling about it each day and will write it all out here week by week. If you are like me and looking for some JOY and ABUNDANCE in your every day life, try YWA, I promise you won't be disappointed.