What I'm Into Wednesday - The Travel Edition

So, initially I was going to make this all about Portland, using it as a recap of sorts of my very first Vinyasa and Vino retreat this past weekend. But then I realized that I'm travelling again this weekend and that while some of the things I've been thinking about this week have been all about PDX, many others are about travel in general.

So in the spirit of jetsetting... What I'm Into Wednesday - The Travel Edition!


One of my favorite parts about travelling, specifically back to the PNW (Pacific NorthWest), is seeing the different terrain and landscape. And my absolute favorite part of the landscape up there is the mountains! They are huge, covered in snow, and breathtaking. I snapped this quick photo after dropping my friend off at the airport at 5AM on Monday morning. The sunrise and the outline of Mt. Hood took my breath away.

Want to see more of Mt. Hood? Go check out November Project PDX - yup, they're official! I happened to be there for the Wednesday they became part of the family and it was special, like it always is. Their workout location sports a sweet view of the mountain on a clear day. Not that you needed any other reason to visit the tribe.


There's something so unique about the smell of the forest. It's clean, damp, fresh, and weirdly green smelling. We took the retreaters on a Saturday morning hike/adventure through the woods up above the winery. We learned all about the forestry history of the area, the types of trees, and what plants and animals hang out up there today. Not only was it visually stunning and blast to stomp around in old rubber boots, but the smell just got me. 


I've tasted wine many times before, both officially and just drinking, but not like this. We pulled wine straight outta the barrel, compared the smell and tasting notes to a collection of pure scents of different things (think blackberry vs. bilberry vs. black currant) and then put together our very own unique blend. We landed on a 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 8% Malbec blend that is just delightful! And then we proceeded to filter, bottle, and cork it ourselves. So fun!


While I travel I like to listen to podcasts and this trip I got into some Stuff You Should Know. Specifically, "What's the 10000 Year Clock?". I learn something new every time I listen to one of these podcasts and I had never even hear of the 10000 year clock prior to this. A little tidbit about me, I love learning history and I feel like the information sticks in my brain...but I have zero ability to relay it. So I'll spare you a mixed up attempt of explaining the podcast and just suggest you listen to it yourself.


Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. And go visit Powell's Books while in Portland. We did, and of course an hour and a half wasn't a long enough time there, and of course I bought books, and of course I read an entire one on the plane ride home. I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid is one of the better thriller/mystery novels that I've read in a long time. And by better I mean creepy as fuck. In the best way possible. It was a literal page turner that I couldn't put down... and didn't until it was over. 

Off The Mat - Be Flexible in Your Goals and Rigid in Your Approach

As humans, we love to set goals. To have something to work towards. To create benchmarks for ourselves. 

Whether it's a birthday, a new year, a Monday, or even just the beginning of a yoga class, we approach that activity or time frame with a goal in mind. This year I'm going to lose 10 pounds. This month I'm going to read every day. Today in yoga I'm going to do a headstand.

I'm one of the biggest goal setters you'll ever meet. I live for creating goals for myself, writing them down, breaking them into smaller portions, and chronicling my way towards achieving them. So please don't mistake this blog for being one about how goal setting is a bad thing. I don't believe it is at all.

But the other half of setting goals is how you approach reaching them. What changes do you make in your hourly, daily, or weekly life? This is where many of us falter. We don't fail at achieving goals, we fail at making the small decisions each and every moment to propel us towards success with those goals.

How are you going to lose 10 pounds if you continue to hit snooze every morning and miss your workout? How are you going to read every day if you instead pick your phone up out of habit and scroll Instagram during your free time? How are you going to do a headstand if you choose not do focus on your breath and bandhas?

And that's not to say that if you made all of those decisions correctly, day in and day out, that you would 100% achieve every goal you set. There are some things out of your control. Shit happens. Life happens.

Which is why I've been focusing on the idea of being flexible in your goals but rigid in your approach. Conditioning yourself to make those small decisions that move you in the right direction each and every moment of each and every day. But removing the attachment to the outcome.

In a month you might wake up and decide you don't actually want to lose 10 pounds this year. That as you've been waking up every morning and skipping the snooze to do the workout instead you've learned that you are more concerned with doing 10 pull-ups by the end of the year rather than focusing on what the scale says. Your approach hasn't changed, but your goal has. 

Halfway through yoga class today you might find that by focusing on your breath and bandhas you feel stronger and more confident. And when you try to do a headstand, you may still fall over - but instead of feeling like a failure, you feel calm and grounded in your breath and body connection, you realize you've learned something and that you've grown as a yogi and a human.

I'll always be a goal setter. But now I'm also a routine builder, a decision maker, and more mindful of how I approach each day. Because the consistent approach breeds results, whatever those may end up being.

This week, try being flexible in your goals and rigid in your approach.




What I'm Into Wednesday - The Celebration/Recovery Edition

A few weeks ago I posted about some of my favorite things that surround marathon training. The purpose of training for a marathon is to eventually run said marathon, and that happened on Sunday.

I can't stop expressing gratitude towards everyone who has been there along the journey to that finish line. From my running partners, to my life partner, to all of you who read the ramblings - I couldn't have done it without you.

And yes, I surpassed my goal for Sunday's race. I'll be going to Boston to run the marathon in April. And I'm so, so happy.

Now is the time for celebration and recovery. Enjoy my favorites!




Look, I know I'm wayyyy late to the game on this one but in the days leading up to the race and in the days post race, while I was laying around with my legs up a wall hydrating, I needed something to keep me occupied. Enter Broad City. Holy shit. It's hilarious. I find myself laughing out loud during each episode and I love the fact that the episodes are so short. It's a well written comedy with the perfect actors (I love Hannibal Burress) and it's well worth the binge time. Thank you Hulu.


When my eyes can't take any more screen time, I've been turning to podcasts. We all know I'm a huge fan of self improvement/development podcasts but occasionally I just want a good story to get lost in. I was a big fan of both seasons of Serial (even though they were drastically different) and I've been meaning to start listening to S-Town. I was wisely warned to not expect it to be like Serial, so I didn't. And I am digging it. The story is fascinating, the reporting is exactly what you expect of Serial or This American Life, and it's just an in depth look at some super interesting people. Sold.


I got surprised post-race with Wanderlust Gypsy Magic - a yummy smelling bath salt bomb with a secret ingredient: CBD. In case you don't know, CBD is part of the marijuana plant, but not the part that gets you high (that's THC). CBD has been studied and found to be great for things like relaxation, pain relief, and inflammation relief. Sounds perfect for post marathon. I added it to a bath along with some other essential oil mineral salts and soaked away. I do have to say that it was so calming and felt so good on sore muscles. And I woke up the next day with a much lower level of soreness than expected. So either they worked some magic or I'm a healing fiend. 


My all time fav natural wellness brand, Saje, has a fantastic balm for inflammation and pain called Trauma Less. It's got many useful oils in it, but the secret weapon is arnica. I had my massage therapist use it pre-race on some sensitive tendons and ligaments in my foot and I used it post race on the same thing. It seems to be working well combating 26.2 miles of pavement pounding. And of course it smells good. It's Saje after all. I can't find the product online, but I do believe that they have it in store at the new Fashion Valley location!


Every runner has food and drink that they dream about during the last few miles of a big race or long run. For me it's a blood orange San Pelligrino to drink and the food always varies. Luckily, my boyfriend knows my cravings well and we made sure to hit a breakfast spot with a San Pellegrino AND he purchased a box of Peanut Butter Puffins (which are by far my favorite cereal) and almond milk to have in the hotel room post race. YUM. I would eat bowls of cereal for all three meals every day if I could. 

Off The Mat - Today I Choose To Observe

When we prepare to head to bed at night we often have a routine. Brush our teeth, lay out the clothes for the next day, set our alarms. And when we wake up, the same is true. Shut off the alarm (or hit snooze one, two, or ten times - be honest),  drink a glass of water, go pee, brush teeth, get dressed, head out for a run, have coffee and breakfast, shower, change, go to work, etc etc etc.

And we go and we do all day long. Until the going and doing are done and we're ready to re-do the nighttime routine and head to bed.

But many of us never stop to just be. To ask ourselves a simple question: How am I feeling today? How does my physical body feel? How's my energy level? What is going on inside my brain?

We don't pause to observe ourselves. Instead we become our thoughts and actions. 

When we take a yoga class it's an opportunity to pause for 60 or 75 minutes. To ignore what is going on externally and to breathe and move. 

It's a great time to check in. To notice those things about how you are truly feeling. When you take note you allow yourself time to decide how to think and act moving forward. Instead of just doing and going you can decide what you need to do and where you need to go to improve upon what you've observed.

This week we explore stopping to observe, without judgement, where we are when we step on our mat, during our practice, and after practice. And we work on how to take that off of our mat and into our every day.



What I'm Into Wednesday - It's the Little Things Edition

As I stopped to get coffee after a fun November Project San Diego workout on Monday morning, I noticed small details of the coffee shop that I had never noticed before. 

This might have been because I had never been to this new coffee shop (ha) but it also made me realize how easy it is to be somewhere else in your brain while you go about your daily activities and to totally miss out on all the little things around you.

So this week's installment is dedicated to those little things.



PS Send some love my way on Sunday morning - I'll be tackling the Orange County Marathon, and any extra love is much appreciated!


What sparked this idea was some pavement decor in the new Better Buzz coffee location in PB. They recently expanded to a bigger and brighter (and super Instagram worthy hip) spot on Garnet. As I was standing in line I glanced down at the floor and saw this gem. I immediately smiled (and Instagrammed it, duh). And thought, "I wonder how many cool things like this I completely walk by every day." And here we are. 


A good friend (hi Sam!) has been a fan of this band forever. And has told me I should listen to them, well, forever. Finally I have! And they are amazing. This song feels like it takes you on a story and (I've found) is a perfect song for savasana during yoga classes. The musical details are fantastic. Enjoy Your Hand In Mine from Explosions in the Sky.


One of my favorite grocery stores and hidden gems in my neighborhood is Pancho Villa. A traditional Mexican mercado with super affordable produce and... dun dun dun.... FRESH TORTILLAS! They are the bomb, made with just the basic ingredients, made super hot and fresh, and crazy cheap. Also, they smell amazing. It's impressive how good flour, fat, and water can smell.


I got to run with two of my favorite running partners this past weekend (Kate! Sheri! HI!) and as usual, our conversation was nonstop and all over the place. One of the topics was our recent (borderline) obsession with different types of salt. And I can't believe I haven't talked about it here yet! A few months ago I picked up a salt sampler at Cost Plus World Market and it's been awesome. So many slight variations on flavors and textures...who knew salt made such a difference! My current faves? Cyprus flake and black lava.


Sometimes in life we get asked to do things. To teach, lead, participate, promote, or support things. And often times these things are unpaid. It's easy to want to say no, especially when you're actively focused on building a business and making rent. BUT DON'T. When it feels right, say yes. Even if it's unpaid. You never know what opportunities will arise, who you'll meet, or what you'll learn about yourself. Sometimes you'll even find yourself on a roofdeck overlooking an ocean teaching yoga a few months later. Say yes to the good stuff, regardless of pay.

Maximize My Month - May 2017

May marks my 6 month anniversary of creating the Maximize My Month challenges. What started as a simple experiment to see if I could make big change with small (and consistent) changes has grown into a way to push my comfort zone... and yes, it has resulted in some big changes.

But not every month works according to plan. April's challenge was to do 5 minutes of oil pulling with coconut oil each day. Oil pulling has purported benefits like improved oral health and improved natural detoxifying abilities.

While I liked the way my teeth felt immediately after oil pulling, if we're being honest I didn't feel any other benefits. So while I definitely don't think I had any negative effects of this month's challenge, it won't be carrying forward into May.

May's challenge is focused on "mastering the mindset" (an awesome phrase from the badass herself, Jen Sincero). Your thoughts have power. They influence your words and your emotions. Your words and emotions impact the beliefs you have about the world and how you act in the world. Your beliefs and actions result in your life. Mastering your thoughts and words is imperative to living the life you want.

Similar to the first challenge of them all, the no complaint challenge, May's theme focuses on eliminating negative thoughts and words. But these ones are a little sneaky. On the surface they seem innocuous, but with constant repetition you realize how powerfully negative they are.

For the month of May I'm eliminating thinking and saying:

- I'm busy.

- I'm stressed.

- I have to.

Simple words and phrases that have powerful connotation. Instead I'm going to focus on feeling and using:

- My calendar is full, I'm booked, there's a lot going on today, etc.

- I'm overwhelmed, I'm overextended, I'm frightened, I'm scared (and other phrases that accurately describe emotion).

- I'm able to, I'm lucky enough to, I get to, I'm going to.

Who else is ready to master their mindset and wants to get started with me?



Off The Mat - You ARE A Badass.

Many of you know that I theme my months with regards to my yoga sequencing. Each month follows some overarching theme or arc, ranging from an idea, to a musical theme, to a group of postures, to something to learn, to working up to a specific peak pose. 

This month my theme came from a request from a student who wanted to work towards single leg crow pose (eka pada bakasana). We've spent the month of April working through core strengthening, improving our upper body strength and alignment, and getting comfortable with playing, trying, sometimes failing, and enjoying the challenges that come along with the process.

And here we are, in the last week of April, with a sequence geared towards that ultimate peak pose. Here's the bottom line for this (and all poses): the pose does not matter. The ability to get into eka pada bakasana means nothing. It is not the goal of the yoga practice. It does not make you a good or bad yogi, one way or the other. Our yoga practice is about exploration of our bodies, our minds, our spirits. About exploring how they work together, challenging our self imposed beliefs and limitations, learning acceptance of self, experiencing love. 

So as we play this week with a very physically challenging posture, our intention is to feel empowered. Feel empowered in your physical abilities as they lie today. Feel empowered in your mental strength. Empowerment, a sense of pride in oneself and one's strength, is sometimes looked upon negatively in the yoga world and can be confused with excess ego. 

Don't shun it. Embrace it. You ARE already a badass. It doesn't matter what postures you can and cannot do. You show up on your mat (and off) for yourself and for those around you. 

And this week, we celebrate that.



What I'm Into Wednesday - The Fuck Yeah Edition

Life ebbs and flows. There's an undeniable ride that it takes you on - from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and all of the mini stops in between. Whether I'm at the top of looking up from the bottom, I'm always searching for and utilizing ways to stay mentally engaged, in the game, and motivated.

This week is dedicated to the tried and true and new and amazing things I've found that keep me moving towards being the best version of myself.




This week is more of a feel, a sensory experience, than an action or activity. There's a clothing brand called good hYOUman. They're stuff is Made in America, is SO SOFT, and has some of the best design. My personal fav? An old tank that says "Hustle: never stop, ever". It's a great boost and reminder. 


A few months ago I read You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero. I thought it was hilarious, poignant, motivating, and really, really spot on. So I was excited to see she wrote another book. You Are A Badass At Making Money released recently and I jumped right on it. We all have such unique, complicated, and frankly fucked up viewpoints of money. How much is enough? How much is too much? What does money do to people? Is it okay to want more money? Does that make us bad people? And in reality, money is a necessity. It isn't evil. Or good. We choose how we use it and how we let it influence our lives. But we need it. And wanting it isn't inherently bad. So cheers to abundance - and not feeling weird about it. 


I try to shy away from being too vocal about my dietary choices because I believe each person should make their own choices based on their own bodies and nobody likes to be made to feel shitty about the decision they make. For the purpose of sharing this info, it is important to note that I've been dairy and gluten free for about a month (and it's going well for me). But I desperately miss donuts. Luckily, my friend Amanda discovered the amazing Coronado's Gluten Free Pantry which sets up shop weekly at the North Park Farmer's Market (on Thursdays). Last week we meandered up and tried out the strawberry vanilla donuts. YES YES YES. Donuts inspire me to happiness. 


Y'all know all about my obsession with Saje essential oils, but this smell comes from another brand: Pharmaca. I don't personally buy them but the lovely ladies at Buddhi Yoga have the studio stocked. This week I tried Pure Joy. It was the right amount of floral meets earthy to be just perfect for a Monday boost for the week!


Watching You Breathe by Jacoo. Rhythmic, sexy, soft, and great lyrics. All the wins. 


Off The Mat - Let's Have Fun, Ok?

For many of us, our days are filled with "adulting". We have work obligations, family obligations, kids, pets, volunteer opportunities, healthy eating, and exercise needs to focus on. 

And while we may enjoy these activities and the people that we do them with, they might not all be fun.

Can you remember back to being a kid on the playground? You had no cares in the world. No sense of time. No worries about where else you could (or should) be or what else you could (or should) be doing. You did things purely because they were fun. And you skipped the things that weren't. And if you saw someone do something that looked cool, you tried it out. Without stopping to think or wonder what might happen or to worry about what would happen if you failed.

When you were a kid on the playground you were in the moment. You truly were present. 

Stepping onto your yoga mat gives you that same opportunity. Your yoga mat, your yoga studio, can be your playground. Can you allow yourself to take your practice less seriously - in a good way? To approach it with a sense of playfulness, with a sense of fearlessness, to do things simply because they are fun. And stop doing things when they stop becoming fun (hello, 100th chaturanga of class). 

Let yourself be present in your body for your time on your mat and set an intention to experience joy. In this week's flow we practice baby crow and (what has been dubbed) teenage crow. They're goofy names and goofy variations of postures. They beg to be taken lightheartedly.

And when you move off of your mat after your practice can that sense of playfulness come with you? 

Even just for today, let's have fun. Ok?



What I'm Into Wednesday - The Random Edition (pt. 1)

The past few Wednesdays have featured themed lists...but this week it's all random. And I labeled it "pt. 1" because, let's be real, there are bound to be many more random weeks.

I've had a really great few weeks of feeling like I'm back in the groove of things - physically, mentally, with work, and at home. I think most of us have had periods of time where things just feel off and can agree that it feels great when life just starts to click again!

So that's all I have for an intro this week... short, sweet, and to the point.




Angelo and I have lived in our current digs for about six months and have had a few lingering household projects waiting to be done. One was buying or building a shelving unit for the corner of our bathroom. Our bathroom is seriously lacking storage (but at least it's normal sized! Our old bathroom was stupidly large in a tiny apartment) and we had a tiny little nook to find shelves for. Enter the problem: pay an over the top amount for a shelving unit or wing it ourselves? We opted for the latter and (surprise!) it worked out! A fun trip to Home Depot, a few hours of sawing and sanding and staining and nailing, and we have custom shelves that fit perfectly! Plus we had a really nice day together building them. All for around $60. 


I ran into Home Goods this week (dangerous, I know) to pick up poop bags for Arlo (aside - they are SO cheap there) and ended up picking myself up some new journals as well. I'm picky about the notebook I use tow rite my yoga sequences in and the pages in my current one kept falling out. These neon and gold ones jumped out and I love them. Is anyone else a notebook whore with drawers upon drawers of half filled notebooks? No? Just me. Ok then.


My good friends Lou and Amanda are known for many things, but one is their great taste in music. When they recommend an artist I'm pretty much guaranteed to like it. A few months ago they recommended listening to this band, The Suffers, and honestly I just forgot to listen to them. Which was a bummer - because they're awesome. So keep an ear out on my playlists, they are coming.


What's an ice cream lover to do when they're avoiding dairy??? Try all the non-dairy variations of ice cream that exist! My current fav: NadaMoo. Coconut milk based and delicious. Grab the Snickerdoodle flavor. Complete with gluten free snickerdoodle chunks! I dare you to try not to eat the whole pint. PS You can find them at Sprouts. You're welcome.


Natural deodorant was a concept introduced to me by some friends who work at Saje (my fav essential oil brand) a while ago. But the spray natural deodorant just doesn't seem to hold up to the significant amounts of sweat I produce daily (ew, I know). A few weeks ago I found the brand Schmidt's and tried their Lavender and Sage deodorant stick. OMG. It smells awesome and works so so so well. Lavender not your thing? Plenty of other smells to choose from!