Tuesday, March 28, 2017 Traveling!
My husband and I are long overdue for an escape out of town. I am embarrassed to say that it has been over three years since we have had to use our passports. He's headed to meet me shortly and we are both excited for this break. It will be a true adventure, which makes the break even more real. Getting out of town and out of our own environment makes us think of the world differently. I can't wait for him to meet me.
I got him a new wallet for the trip with RFID protection. Now's he really ready to go!
Friday, April 15, 2016 Hitting The Town in L.A.
Today, Maggie and I did some of our usual tasks. First, she went for a grooming and then I picked her up and we went to yoga. Maggie waits for me typically outside of the studio where I practice (although she could really show up anyone in class with her down dog). I often feel like I am Reese Witherspoon in the movie "Legally Blonde" where she takes her dog to class with her in her purse. Oddly, this is life in Los Angeles.
Here, (almost) everyone goes to yoga and everyone has dogs. It's part of the culture. If I was anywhere else, this wouldn't be considered "hitting the town," but here it is. Our usual tasks are those of many people.
Fortunately, Reese's character in the movie is also smart, creative, and she finds her prince charming in the end. Although the persona of her walking around with a dog in her purse is not initially a good one, I think I wouldn't mind being her. I've already got my dog, my prince charming, and I love hitting the town with them both.
Monday, April 04, 2016 Back In The Studio…To Practice! Today, I made it back to a yoga studio that I haven't gone to in almost two years. It's the studio where I was practicing when I met my husband. It was convenient to see him after class since it was close to his (now my) house at the time. It's also the studio where a dear friend of mine used to teach and being here always brings back great memories.
Needless to say, I had a super time being back on my mat. Over the past few weeks, I have been teaching more than practicing. It always feels great to fully stretch and bend with my own breath instead of one that fits the length of an average 10-20 people.
As you can see, we had a warm workout and I was freshly out of the shower when I took this photo. I'm happy since a day of good memories and a great a good workout is a perfect one!
Wednesday, March 02, 2016 Off To Grandpa’s House We Go Today, Maggie and I packed some freshly baked goods to take to my dad's house for afternoon tea. I felt like it was a scene right out of Little Red Riding Hood. We even packed something to drink in our new glass bottle. Perhaps this is the southern California version of the fairy tale?
Friday, February 26, 2016 Getting Ready For Vacation
My dog and I are headed to Joshua Tree National Park for a few days to do some camping. I put this amber necklace on her to help keep away the fleas and pests. We love getting out into nature and can't wait to turn off our phones for two nights. Ok, Maggie doesn't have a phone, but I know that she appreciates the increased dedicated attention that she gets when we are not connected. My husband is coming too and she loves spending time with him. I thought this photo just perfectly demonstrated her excitement for her new outdoorsy necklace and the adventure!
Wednesday, November 04, 2015 Closets, Closets, Closets If you watch 'Modern Family' (http://abc.go.com/shows/modern-family), you'll know that the main competitor of the family business is named 'Closets, Closets, Closets'. This always makes me laugh when I open my own closet as I recall the humor that comes from this Emmy Award-Winning show.
This week, my mom celebrates her birthday and I have been looking at my closet this week in appreciation of all her skills and talents. If she wasn't retired, I know she would have a very successful career as a closet organizer and interior decorator.
Whenever friends come over and see her work in my home, they immediately ask who did this fine job. Many people will tell me that I am organized, but it is due to her influence, guidance, and wisdom that I have acquired these skills and I am nothing in comparison.
With these thoughts, I'm excited to wish my mom this week a very happy birthday. I am smiling at all the good times we've had together and all the good times I look forward to sharing in the future...re-organizing my closet and other fun tasks!
Thursday, October 29, 2015 My Dad’s Move To California Is Almost Here!
It is official…my dad is retiring to California! He’s currently in escrow to sell his place on the east coast so hopefully everything will go smoothly over the next month, and then after that, he will no longer be a Washingtonian (D.C.). He found a great two-bedroom condo in a retirement community just 30 minutes from my and my husband. We spent about three years narrowing down the right place and we think we found it. I cannot wait to have him move in.
He is visiting again next month for the last time before he moves in. I am getting the guest bathroom set up and got him a new charging cord for the new iPhone he's going to get when he arrives. I am looking forward to having him start a new and exciting chapter in his life!
Thursday, October 29, 2015 UV Rays and Getting Away From Them
Yesterday my colleague mentioned that certain lights in our office emit more harmful UV rays than others and that we should only turn on certain lights to avoid further wrinkles. At first it sounded crazy, but then I realized that she is probably right. There are different types of light bulbs and every light emits harmful rays. If we use the better quality ones, perhaps we can avoid some aging effects.
You may wonder why I am so concerned about wrinkles when I am only 40 years old and don't have any yet. I am concerned because I live in a very sunny climate and am exposed to harmful UV rays from the sun everyday. It is something I can't avoid so I am concerned that my "baby-face" will only last so much longer if I continue to live in Los Angeles (as I do).
This week, I got a new type of window shade that REALLY covers the window and I am looking forward to using it. It is called the Sun Shades and refer to themselves as a "sock": http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01523DWZ4?ref_=cm_rdp_product. It's a unique idea where you don't have to use suction cups or have the item stick to your window. They also have a 1-year warranty.
Some people may call me crazy, but I am just looking out for my skin. It's not just wrinkles, but also cancer and other damaging effects to the body that are created by UV rays. I hope you too choose your lightbulbs wisely, get up to stretch often when at the computer, and put on your sunscreen!
Thursday, March 12, 2015 Working With The Human Ecosystem When it comes to moisturizers, I am very skeptical. First, I feel that skin has the natural ability to moisturize itself and that within a few hours, we can typically create enough oil. At least my skin has been able to for the last 15 years.
Then again, I live in Los Angeles. The weather here is typically 70 degrees all year round. I don’t have to wrestle with the cold winters which of course will make skin dry on everyone.
This year, I felt my skin begin to feel dry after a shower and I attribute it to the fact that I now wear sunscreen 99% of the time. I have a dog and I am very often out with her around town so I’ll usually put on sunscreen in the morning and wear it all day. Now, my natural ecosystem is upset because the skin is not used to having to create oil because of the sunscreen.
When I think of wearing moisturizer, I cringe because so many of them have awful chemicals and/or feel heavy on my face.
This year, I was opened up to the idea of argan oil and I can’t believe how great it is. It’s light, natural, and feels good on my face. I don’t feel like I am playing with the ecosystem of my face while still making it feel better when it feels slightly dry.
Argan oil doesn’t have any SPF so you’ll need to apply sunscreen later if you are going out in the sun, but at night or on a cloudy day, I am sold!
Monday, February 23, 2015 Making Homemade Anti-Perspirant/Deodorant Ever since I was a child, I have steered away from aluminum in products. Antiperspirant is one of the products that heavily uses it and additionally uses it to block pores from perspiration, which makes me think it even more easily can get into the blood stream. Both of my grandmothers suffered from Alzheimers' disease and although it has not been proven, there are many theories that aluminum can contribute to the failing of nerves that communicate brainwaves and thoughts. Thus, for most of my adult life I have been on the lookout for an antiperspirant that did not contain this ingredient.
As many of you know, there is a popular white crystal that is a natural solution and can be found in many health food stores. In my experience, this stick is a nuisance due to having to wet it under the sink each time you want to use it. This not only is often inconvenient, but I found it dripped water on my clothing in the path from the sink to my arm. Thus, I didn't love it.
Then, last year, I heard about a recipe to make homemade version of deodorant and I have finally found a solution. This recipe uses natural products found in your kitchen cabinet and works like a charm. Since I started using it, I have made 2-3 batches, and it never fails.
2. Vitamin D: Recent studies show that our generation is showing depletion of sun exposure and Vitamin D. She increased my daily dosage to 6000 mg from 3000mg. According to WebMD, "Vitamin D is essential for strong bones because it helps the body use calcium from the diet. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with rickets, a disease in which the bone tissue does not properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities".
3. Choline: This was one supplement that I had never heard of, but quickly learned its uses when I heard "brain cell development". Susan said I could get it from eating two eggs per day, but I quickly saw that that wasn't always happening. If you aren't eating enough eggs, be sure to get a bottle of this.
Sunday, February 15, 2015 Exploring A New Marriage: Give And Take My husband is so excited to get his new iPhone6 in a few weeks. For Valentine's Day, I got him the armband accessory for his upcoming new gadget as well as a new cover. As we get used to our new marriage, I see this as a symbol of what it means to negotiate.
My husband used to love getting the newest items immediately after they came out. This year, I convinced him to wait a few months until his contract was up for renewal with our cell phone provider so that he would get a deep discount on the phone. We discussed it a few times and he slowly agreed.
By buying him the accessory, my intention is to show him how excited for him I am and how appreciative that he agreed to wait.
As I could have guessed, marriage is very much a give and take. In my previous relationships, I saw this too, but being married sets a much more serious and committed tone to the discussion. In the past, I always knew there was a way out, but here there is not. Pressure can result from knowing that we will need to find an agreement somehow.
What I have found is that communicating clearly is so important. For us both, we now need to consider each other, as well as our future family, while before we did not need to consider much more than ourselves.
Fortunately, I feel like I chose someone with whom I am comfortable discussing issues. For me, this was the most important “quality” of someone that I was looking to marry. And best of all, I like gadgets too.
Sunday, February 15, 2015 Preparedness My husband is very much into emergency survival planning. This means that he spends his free time preparing the following and that we have the below items on hand at all times:
• Enough food for two people and a dog for a month
• Canned goods or dehydrated food with expiration dates at least two to three years in the future
• Five gallons of water
• Five gallons of rice
• An alternate meeting place five minutes from our house in the chance we can’t get home
• An extra pair of sneakers in our car in the chance that we have to walk home
I am grateful to my husband for preparing us despite my often teasing him about his “hobby”. Before I met him, I never knew there were so many people creating products, solutions, and preparations for “what if”.
This made me think some about what is needed mentally if something were to happen such as an earthquake or riot. In my opinion, preparing to react is just as important to ensure we can put all the goods to use. For me, I put this on my list:
• Be in the now
I realize it is a single thing, but I feel it is the one thing necessary. I foresee many people forecasting what could happen or stress because of so many unknowns. We could run a million scenarios in our head, but it’s important to stay present.
At the same time, if people around you start to panic, it’s important not to get pulled in that direction. It will be important to stay up-to-date on the media, but not to let it overwhelm us.
Since all of his friends also are aware of his pastime, if something ever happens, I am sure our house will become a headquarters for many people who haven’t planned. My plan is to help them stay here and be present. If you find yourself in an emergency situation, I hope you can find a way to stay calm too.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 Jump Rope for Heart When I was a child, I was very involved in raising money for Jump Rope for Heart by the American Heart Association. I remember having matching outfits with my childhood friend because we both raised enough money by jumping continuously for a few hours to receive sweatpants and a sweatshirt.
At the time, I think I was motivated by the cool outfit, but also by knowing that jumping rope was a task that would be fun to do with friends. This week, I was asked to try out the latest and greatest of jump ropes. As a fitness professional now, I am happy to test out new gear, but jump ropes is a piece of equipment that I probably have not touched since those days of fundraising.
When I saw the photo, I immediately knew this tool was not for children. It was metal and a quick stumble could mean perhaps a black and blue bruise on my forehead or calf. As soon as I started jumping, those fears disappeared and those days of childhood quickly came rushing back. It was so fun.
Jasmine and I had so much fun sharing activities which later expanded into selling Girl Scout cookies and then being cheerleaders in high school. When my wedding came last fall, she was the first one to tell me that she would be there. She would get a sitter for her three young children, fly 3000 miles, and ensure she was there to lead me down the aisle as a bridesmaid. I felt so fortunate.
When I created my DVDs in 2008, it was based on the premise that when people exercise together, they are clearer in mind, and then can create closer or more meaningful relationships. The organization “Jump Rope for Heart” probably did not have this in mind when they initiated their fundraisers, but for me, it worked. I am so pleased to be still jumping today with my friends from those days, both in my heart and on those very important days.
Monday, February 13, 2012 Making It All Worth It I had so many responses to my newsletter "January Blues" on January 31st that I decided to write again about the topic of depression. This week's entry starts with a story about a friend of mine whose husband recently killed himself after 1.5 years of marriage. We don't know exactly what caused him to do it -- if it was due to a depression-enhancing heart medication or potential financial concerns -- but whatever it was, I wondered what would make him do it.
After I heard this story, I started to take note of experiences in my life that I felt made life worth living. With all the potentially gloomy pitfalls between the economy with its financial distress, projects that get complicated with all the details, and all this change with so many unknowns, I wanted to feel inspired rather than looking for a way to just make it all go away, as so many do with suicide. I started looking for moments in my life that made me say, "Wow, I wouldn't want to miss this". These are a few that I came up with:
a warm hug from someone whom you love and respect;
participating in a treasured pastime or hobby;
closing that big deal, signing on a new client, or some other feeling of accomplishment.
A week before my friend's husband shot himself, they were out dancing at a friend's party, and he said to her, "Remind me of these good times and don't let me forget them." It is with these thoughts that I recommend you look for moments in your life that make you realize that, yes, it is all worth it.