A Full Plate of Life

One of the many reasons I love my phone is that I can blog from it! I am sitting on the El right now heading home from a great yoga class and full day at the internship! Have I told you all about it yet? I am currently an editorial intern at a media company start-up called Get Lusty For Couples!

If the name isn’t self explanatory then let me explain. It’s a company, started by the wonderful Erica Grigg who wants to end boring sex for couples! I am loving it so far and can’t wait to watch it grow into a bigger business.

Other than that I have a few other things on my full life plate. I work weekends at an amazing restaurant with people that I truly adore. I also have been working at Core Power Yoga through their work trade program. For cleaning once a week I receive free yoga at any studio! It’s pretty amazing. And it’s inspiring me to go through another teacher training with them next February.

So yeah I pretty much am packed with work, yoga, puppy raising and having a boyfriend. However balance is what I am working on and it feels amazing to be growing as an adult. One thing I will never outgrow though? Having a wild night with my best friends while dressed up in 20′s attire. Yup! This weekend is a Great Gatsby party and I still need a dress! It’s going to be a night of fancy cocktails, photo booths, DJ’s and awkwardness….because what’s a party without a little awkwardness?

So even though I feel too busy to even call my mom, I am loving all these new opportunities in my life.

Of course it doesn’t hurt to end your night with a glass of wine or two….which is what I am off to do now.

20120924-192940.jpg

With love,
Lo

Middle Sister Wine

Homemade beef and broccoli and some great red wine. Of course the label won me over on my wine purchase.

20120915-120744.jpg

20120915-121204.jpg

Let’s Play Catch Up

Labor Day weekend is so symbolic for many reasons.  Not only does summer come to an end, but for many school begins again. The weather gets cooler, football begins to overshadow baseball, summer wheat ales get replaced by pumpkin beers and iced coffees transform into warm pumpkin lattes or hot apple cider.  I really wish I got back into blogging sooner and documented my summer because now it is fading into Fall.

My Summer 2012- CliffsNotes style!

1. Lots of margaritas and guacamole.  I am pretty lucky to have a boyfriend who could eat Mexican food everyday of his life.

20120906-182317.jpg

2. City views via rooftops:  Ever since moving out of my high-rise building downtown I have missed my city views.  But its so nice to have friends that are more than happy to share their rooftops with me! Even at night, Chicago is beautiful.

20120906-182302.jpg

3. Random acts of kindness.  After leaving the bars in my neighborhood I came across someone giving away their books on the street. I thought this was a great way to give back! I walked home with “Life of Pi” and a “how to” book on job interviews. Clearly, I was under the influence of a few beers for my second choice.

20120906-182324.jpg

4. Rooftop yoga with best friends- What is more fun than riding your bike 10 miles and doing 90 minutes of Vinyasa yoga on a rooftop? On this day, we biked all over the city and explored at least 5 Chicago neighborhoods.  I even learned how to attach my bike to a city bus. It took two very awkward bus attempts, but still I did it!

20120906-182403.jpg

5. Two words- Arcade Bar.

20120906-182417.jpg

5. Working + Yoga + Biking = me and my puppy power napping a lot this summer.

20120906-182426.jpg

6. We took Benny to a lot of dog parks where he had fun catching tennis balls!

20120906-182454.jpg

7. My favorite neighborhood bar food: veggie burger and salad.

20120906-182503.jpg

So even though it is getting chilly outside and soon my dresses will need tights underneath them, I am excited for Fall. I think change is great and I am excited to carve pumpkins, dress up for Halloween, attend a 1920′s Great Gatsby party, and eat lots of turkey on Thanksgiving. Of course it will also be nice to do hot yoga when its not already 100 degrees outside.

With love,

Lo

Recently

So as of late I have discovered a few things about myself! Sharing time!

*My dosha is “Vata.” What is this mumbo jumbo you ask?

The central concept of Ayurvedic medicine is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental bodily humours or doshas called Vata, Pitta and Kapha. According to Dr. Oz most of us are predominantly one or two doshas.  To know one’s dosha helps you determine diet, lifestyle and remedies that are perfect for your mind and body type. For example, As a vata, I have a lot of digestive stress and insomnia when out of balance. I can tell you that is absolutely true.

Take the quiz here- it’s life changing.  I guess what we eat really does affect you inside and out.

*I can hold crow pose for 10 breathes! Oh and headstand is getting easier without the aid of a wall!

*I may be the only person excited for Fall to come.  Why?  Three words: American Horror Story.  I love my Fall television programming.

*My best friend is turning 26 in September and she is throwing a 1920′s Great Gatsby themed party. I am willing to throw down big bucks on these beauties:

as always,

xoxo.

Lo.

 

Thank You. More Please.

I recently watched the indie flick, “HappyThankYouMorePlease.”  The title was thoroughly confusing and odd but also very intriguing–>hence why I decided to watch it.  The movie follows a group of young New Yorkers trying to find happiness.  Cliche? Yes.  But, it wasn’t trying to be some great, huge success. It was just a small movie spreading an idea.  The theme throughout the movie was happiness and how we all deserve it.  We need to allow ourselves to have happiness rather than run away/hide from/deny it.  So, thank you more please, means any time you say thank you for something just ask for more afterward….ask for more of the love, joy, gratitude, and bliss that was just given to you because happiness begins when you open your heart to the world and the people in it.  Some things that have made me happy lately?  My family and my yoga practice.

My baby!

My pappa, who will be missed and loved forever.

xoxo,

Lo

Things You Never Knew (And Probably Didn’t Want to Know) About ME!

‘Ello friends.  I know I am bad.  It has been awhile since I last wrote.  But, just like getting back into an exercise or food habit, it takes time.  Therefore, I want to post little things throughout the week just to get me back in the blogging habit.  I really miss it. I do.  I think after 6 years of attending journalism school I sadly needed a break from the written word.  But, now I don’t want to be on a “break” from it.  I miss words, vowels, nouns, adjectives, and of course abbreviations.  So, for my first assignment, here is 10 Things you never knew (and probably didn’t want to know) about me!  Ready?  Set?  Read!

 

10. I have small hands (but you know what that means: I have a big heart).  Seriously though.  My hands create so many problems for me.  Example 1:  When I do the dishes or cook, I break a dish at least.  Out of 6 wine glasses that the boy gave me, ONE remains.  It is super sad that my little hands can’t handle (pun intended) doing the dishes.  Example 2:  I can’t eat or drink without spilling on myself.  I am not kidding.  I need someone to give me a bid half the time because my hands can’t manage to do the simple job of carrying food to mouth.

9.   I can’t open a twist off bottle.  Whether it is a beer bottle, IBC rootbeer or Smart water bottle, I need assistance.  It is very sad and will slow me down if I ever become a bartender.

8. When I get sick all I want to eat are carbs.  Bread, popcorn, sandwiches, bagels, etc. are drawn to me like a moth to flame.  In fact, I am eating popcorn right now and I have a cold. 

7. When magazines that are addressed to my apartment but not me end up in my mailbox I tend to read them and then return them back to the mail room area of my building.  I feel if I return it, its not a problem.  And it is technically addressed to my apartment so it is just the person’s fault for not editing there shipping address form.

6. I haven’t gone to the gym since last summer.  I haven’t ran since that 5k on Thanksgiving which was horrific.  Yay for yoga and its magical benefits. 

5. I HATE CLEANING. HATE WITH A PASSION.  But, every so often I get the urge to clean and it is like a cleaning binge.  The boy says I have “blackout cleaning sprees” because I tend to throw things out and put things away but then I don’t remember where I placed anything after the spree.  Usually, it’s his stuff that goes MIA so I can see his annoyance from this.

4. If I could eat one food the rest of my life it would be pizza, preferably topped with jalapenos, sausage and lots of Thai chili hot sauce.

3. If I hosted a dinner party and could invite anyone, I would invite: Anthony Bourdain, Hunter S. Thompson, Bob Dylan, Paul Newman and of course my girl, Lucille Ball.  I think it would be one hell of a bash.

2. If I could have anyone’s job I would choose Padma Lakshmis as host of Top Chef.  I would love to have 3 wardrobe changes per episode and eat delcious ass food.

1. My resolution for this year is to grow as a person and live each day with grace and compassion.  It is difficult sometimes (because I am human)  but I think attaining to be a better person is a wonderful goal to have.

Anything I should know about you?

Cheers,

Lo

Dear Yoga

I remember walking into my first official yoga class when I was 15.  My mom and I went to what would now be considered “hot yoga flow.”  Back then I just thought it was called torture.  I was close to passing out halfway through too many of what looked liked push-ups and I hated the fact my mother looked more flexible than me–a 15 year old Varsity swimmer.  In fact the only memory I have of that class was the foot long turkey sandwich from Subway which I ate in less than 5 minutes immediately after because I was that hungry from the physicality of the practice.  Who knew yoga was hard?

Fast forward 6 years.  I was a Senior in college and running 30 miles a week. I read that yoga was a great way to stretch after a run so I began doing a few at home sessions from this website called, Yoga Download.  Besides the sparce class at home, I also enrolled a class in college which focused on Anatomy, Yoga and Pilates.  However, yoga still didn’t keep my attention and I seriously hated/ dreaded the ab portions of the classes.  So instead of continuing with yoga, I stuck with running.  Running was familiar and I loved improving with each mile I ran.  To me, yoga would never be my thing.

Now here I am. It is 2012.  I am on my way to finishing yoga teacher training and going to yoga 4-5 times a week.  I don’t run anymore.  SHOCKER! I know, right?  I was a running junkie.  You know the type: runners who purchased new shoes every season, only wore Nike outfits, and ran in sub zero degree Chicago weather because I “couldn’t miss a workout.”  I ran a half marathon, a 15k, a 10k, and six 5ks.  I ran so much that it stopped being fun and started becoming a chore.  I got anxious if I missed a run.  I would knock out HIIT (high intensity interval trainings) in 20 minutes on a treadmill, if that’s all the time I had.  My life revolved around running and not in a good way.  Last year, when I was visiting my parents, I couldn’t work out in any of the neighboring gyms because I had used up every single guest pass possibility that was offered.  All that was left for me was either a Jillian Michaels dvd or a yoga class.  I figured, what the hell, I’ll try it again and be open to the possibility.  That is when my life changed.  I went to a yoga flow class and got my butt kicked (in a good way).  I walked out feeling lighter, happier and confident. I was smiling ear to ear.  It didn’t matter that I had no clue what a Namaskar A was; I just followed along.  This was the moment I stopped allowing running to rule my life and I finally let yoga into my heart.  Once back in Chicago, I began working at a studio in order to take classes and build my practice.  SO now here I am.  A yoga junkie for a year.  Now, the only working out I do involves Surya A’s, B’s, Inversions, Backbends, Balancing postures and Savasana. I feel stronger. I feel healthier.  I don’t base my plans or day around whether I got a workout in, because now I choose to do yoga when I want, where I want.

My journey to yoga wasn’t easy.  It took many tries and a lot of patience.  But, I am in a happier place than ever before.

Thanks yoga for everything.

Shanti!

Lora

Musings on Life

These past 6 weeks of my life have been seriously eye opening.  Imagine you are at Thanksgiving dinner and you fill your plate with so much turkey, stuffing and pecan pie that everything begins to mesh together and flavors combine.  That is my life at the moment.  My schedule consists of raising a puppy, potty training a puppy, working twice a week, going to school twice a week, going to Yoga teacher training Saturdays and Sundays, going to at least one workshop for yoga a week, learning Sanskrit, practice teaching yoga (to my dog), attempting 5 yoga classes a week, and doing homework that never seems to ever end.

But, after the last few weeks of seriously burning myself out and stressing over EVERYTHING that needed to be done, I have had enough.  I need ME time.  I need a DATE night.  I need to see my friends.  I need to give myself some sanity by going out to dinner with my boyfriend.  I need to see my best friends at dinner and gossip over silly things, I need to snuggle with my puppy and watch trash TV.  Lately my priorities have changed and I am coming to accept that fact.  But instead of just stressing out and constantly working, I am going to work on balance–something we always hear about in yoga.

Once December hits, I will have a Masters in Journalism, and hopefully be completing my teacher training and receiving my 200 hours RYT certificate.  And rather than race to the finish I am going to take my time and ensure that I am enjoying every moment of my current journey.

When I get stressed out I remind myself of the quote from Nelson Mandela, “Everything seems impossible until it’s done.”  This man’s inspiration rings so true to me right now.  So, tonight I am enjoying some bowling and beer with my best friends rather than sitting at my computer for another 6 hours working on a final project.  Tomorrow, I am going to read some of “How Yoga Works” (a book that I am currently reading) and practice lots of vinyasa’s during a level 2/3 yoga class which always kicks my butt.

I guess I just wanted to remind us all that no matter what you have on your life plate right now, whether it’s an overflowing turkey dinner, or a cup of soup, we have to remind ourselves to have “me” time, “friend” time, or “romantic” time.  Whether you are super busy or not we all must remember to make time for things, because going through the motions in life is not a way to live at all.

Cheers and Namaste,

Lolo

So what have I been doing lately? Trying not to pull my hair out from this little guy:

Benny’s first Fall. Playing in the leaves is becoming is favorite past time.

 Benjamin Louis- aka, Benny, is our 3 month old Beagle puppy.  We spent the past two months researching dog breeds, rescue organizations and breeders.  We found Benny when he was just 7 weeks old (via GotBeagles.Org) but he was not quite ready for adoption.  His mom and dad were living in a foster family’s home when Benny and his siblings were born.  He is the runt of them all-weighing 6 pounds.  Surprisingly he was the LAST one picked for adoption! I found this shocking since he is the absolute cutest.

Our first time meeting!

He has been with us for 5 days and he has brought so much joy to our lives.

Has anyone ever raised a puppy and successfully potty trained them?  We are definitely working out the kinks that comes with being new parents.

The Little Things

This week I did something relatively cool.  I got into crow pose and was able to life both of my feet off the ground.  Sure, it was only 4 inches from the floor, but that is the first time I was in the air.  I am not the strongest in class. I am not the most flexible in class. But, to know my downward dog is the best its ever been, to know that I can chaturanga with the best of them even though I still can’t do a REAL push up, and to know that after each class I have a sense of calm while clarity washes over me, gives me smiles in deepness of my belly.  It’s the little things in life like accomplishing a new pose in yoga class, talking to my grandfather on the phone, eating pizza at 5AM because you can’t sleep, that make life just that much better.  How can we appreciate those Friday nights out with girlfriends, when we don’t have those lazy Sundays? How can we appreciate a wonderfully cooked meal if we don’t have those evenings with take out Pad Thai?  If we don’t procrastinate/rent movies like, Bridesmaids and Everything Must Go, on a school night, then how can we ever confront all of the homework that’s piling up with a fresh new approach?  When I come to my mat and set an intention for my practice it is usually something like, “I want to appreciate the little things in life more.”  As we get older and busier, we tend to forget the things in life that truly make us happy.  I recently attended my boyfriend’s 3 year old brother’s birthday party where I learned to let go and spend a few hours jumping in a bouncy house -not worrying about school, life, or other useless stresses.  When I came to my yoga mat this week, I realized I have to stop trying to be the girl next to me doing a Scorpion pose, because one day I will get there.  Sometimes, all it takes to make us relax, breath, and let go of stress is an endless sushi dinner with your best friend, a take-out Chinese dinner served along side Netflix on a Friday night, a candlelight restorative yoga class where you leave relaxed and detoxified, or even just a phone call with your momma.  I am going to make sure that when I wake up every morning,  I am going to set an intention for my day just like I  do in my yoga practice.  When I get too stressed from either dirty dishes or too much homework, I can focus back on what I want from the day and appreciate the little things in life again.

If you saw my wine rack, you'd think, "Wow, she has a lot of red wine." Well, guess what? Its a simple thing in life that really makes an evening complete.

spring rolls put a spring in my step.

best pad thai ever, from a hole in the wall next door.

XoXo,

Lo

P.S.  Didn’t Jenny do a fabulous job on my blog?  I am now a resident at WordPress and have a header that screams, “LO!” Muah Jenny!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.