Saturday, April 28, 2018

FIt April summary

April, also known as the month of fitness, is almost over.  It is referred to this way by my group of friends.  One of my friends created this event as a way to motivate, inspire, what have you herself and friends.  She is embarking on a milestone birthday in May and wanted a little assistance in reaching her goal of looking fantastic in a swimsuit.  Believe me, she looks great and didn't need to create this event to slim down.  I think she wanted others to participate and so the focus became more about fitness than overall health and wellness.
The goal was to decrease alcohol, increase exercise/intensity and in general, pay attention to wellness.  She has friends that are very active on social media and would regularly post progress and goals.   They listed work out times, regimens, and progress.  She has a large group of friends and so there was a lot of information to sort through and applaud.  I sort of took the more passive role of lurker.  Kinda lame and lurker definitely reminds me of something naughty or negative. Neither of which are true in this case.  I didn't post any of my goals, hopes or desires regarding my weight or health for April.
I told her I was participating but I did no weigh in to look back on throughout the month.  In addition, I didn't comment on my progress or lack of.  I noted who was doing what and found myself not checking in as often as the month progressed.  I told her that I would make more of an effort to participate in the second half of the month.  I failed.  And miserably at that.  I didn't increase my working out frequency or decreasing my wine intake.  I can't help it.  I enjoy a glass of wine with meals and I have a lot of friends that I see on a fairly regular basis.  I mean, I met her the other day and my intention was to take five days off.  Yet, instead, I met her for happy hour in our neighborhood on Thursday.  On Tuesday, she wanted to meet for sushi which again, I would have been enjoying wine.  I declined on Tuesday and made dinner at home.
On a positive note, I did cut our dining out as frequently as I normally do.  Instead, I made salad, soup and pasta.  I need to figure out the thermometer on my fridge.  Lately it has been freezing any vegetables near the top shelf.  I have lost two heads of lettuce in this fashion.  It is annoying and wasteful.  I made a delicious garbanzo bean driven soup last night.  Super flavorful.  Of course, I doctored it up with more garlic, Mexican oregano and cumin.  It was a straightforward broth based soup.  I see more of this in my future.  Heathier and I can control how much or how little oil I use.  I did spend three sessions with my trainer this month.  She whipped me in to shape physically and mentally.  She has been on a sharing information journey and I greatly appreciate that.  She is willing to aid me in my quest to start teaching more yoga.  She has suggested auditioning at nearby studios as a way to build a clientele.  She quizzes me about my hopes, dreams and wants and encourages me to start making them happen.  I really appreciate her and her determination to help me be the best me possible.
So maybe I didn't start running like I thought I would.  Or, cut out drinking wine during the week *huge epic fail* which I had hoped to achieve.  Stress lends to that decision and that I am social.  I learn from meeting my friends and brain storm with them.  No regrets there.  Still, sure I would have liked to have been healthier.  I have been practicing a ton of yoga alongside friends and so I am getting a bunch of push ups into my daily regime.   Tomorrow, I am meeting a friend to walk a nearby park.  I want to enjoy the sunshine before it gets too hot.
I also recognize that although I didn't commit to a month of healthy living in a present fashion, I am making lifestyle changes.  I am committed to eating cleaner and making diet modifications so that I am able to enjoy wine on a daily basis if I so choose.  That is a smart transition for me and something I can achieve.  I can make modifications--less dressing, less oil, less bacon, to name a few--and still eat what I want. I have cut cheese out of my diet for the most part.  My friend, Jenn, ordered a cheese plate the other night before I arrived at happy hour.  She texted me and commented that of course, she knows I no longer eat cheese and where was her head?  Probably thinking she was hungry and that cheese compliments wine....I don't know.  It is something that I altered due to wanting to change my diet and kick start my metabolism.  I feel healthy and am very thankful for my decision to hire a trainer and recognize that I do need some accountability for my health.  I like the idea of Fit April but I want to practice it, daily.  Not just make a go of it for one month.
There are areas of improvement.  Maybe that will be my goal for May.  Or June?  Keeping it real on a Saturday, lol.  Have a wonderful rest of your day!  Get outside if you have the opportunity.  It is glorious!

Friday, April 27, 2018

changing perspectives and creating more fluidity in teaching

Another day off and opportunity to teach.  I am enjoying pushing my limits and seeing what is possible.  I started the journey of yoga teaching because I wanted a more challenging class.  I found yoga in 2006 while living in Denver and consistently practiced it while living in Phoenix.  My studio of choice, there, offered a heated vinyasa noon class.  I fell in love with the yoga taught there.  Physically challenging with innovative sequences and a killer play list.  Yes, I am a snob to the music factor.  I always perform better when the music is soulful, upbeat and rhythmic.  I find that I love me some rap and r & b while flowing from posture to posture.  Sort of like dancing but with breathing, focusing on holding postures and gaze.  I moved to Santa Fe and the yoga there was more spiritual.  More chanting was involved and expected.  Some of the teachers offered good flows but I struggled to fully invest myself in that community.
After attending numerous subpar classes in my opinion, I convinced myself that I would be able to do a better job.  Create a kick ass sequence that would appeal to people.  It would be physically challenging and hard.  I have attended a few of these classes and it is my jam.  I prefer to not think or anticipate the next moves.  I like to be surprised.  I wanted to replicate and introduce the Arizona way to people in Santa Fe or now Denver.  I could create a niche that is missing here.
I have been teaching for the last month and I am finding that I am wrong.  Most people want mindfulness, adjustments and strengthening.  They are not interested in a mind-bending sequence.  I cannot generalize as I have taught a few students that have a strong background in yoga.  A different sequence for them is appealing and they look forward to it.  They have offered constructive criticism which I appreciate, too.  Loosely, I create the sequence of how I intend to teach each individual experience.  Recently, I have found that my way of busting out sun A's is not for everyone.  It is a humbling experience and I am finding that I am learning more from it than I ever thought I would. I am expanding my teaching capabilities and it is rewarding.  Today, I completely tried to teach a foreign way to me.  I don't think it quite resonated but I see the benefits of attempting a new way to build heat in the body as opposed to crushing sun A's and sun B's.  I prefer beginning a class this way.  Immediately, I feel warm and ready to bend, twist, stretch my body.  Or attempt inversions and bold twists.  I need to be warm before stretching my hips or detoxing my organs.  I cannot just break into one of those postures while cold. It is unsettling and difficult.  There must be a balance that could integrate holding postures in the beginning and utilizing the vinyasa sequence to build heat and make the class flow in a thoughtful, challenging way.
I thought I was teaching Sara Jo today, too.  Had written it in my planner and made space for it in my day.  Considered a class that would focus more on strengthening and stabilizing.  Then she went radio silent.  Instead of waiting around for her to make contact, I attended a yin class.  I thought it would be great research and development for teaching Sara.  The gift of holding postures to release/break through the fascia tissue.  It is definitely not my preference. Holding postures and relying on breath work and gravity to create ease is not my idea of a good time.  My mind starts to wander and freak out.  Especially if the posture is uncomfortable.  I just want it to stop!  Thankfully, today it wasn't terrible and she offered an extended corpse pose.  I returned home and fell in to a deep sleep.  I will take it.
I have been considering doing more yoga teaching and creating space in my life for it.  I am inspired to be more present on my blog, too.  Lately, I have been full of ideas and wanting to bring them to light.  Shine bright and often, lol.  I am heading to Minneapolis next week and think I will take that time to figure out how to put some ideas in to motion.  It is time to do more for me!  And share some of the knowledge I have found on this journey of yoga and life.  I love connecting people and thrive when I have the opportunity to do that.  I wrote a few notes this week to continue that trend and establish roots.  I feel like fully being home in Denver.
I will conclude this for now.  I feel like I am all over the place right now, lol.  Enjoy your evening.  May it be present, lovely and mindful~

Thursday, April 26, 2018

TBT--travel addition

Another installment of throwback travel edition.
This time, I felt like returning to California.  I so love it there.  The focus of this edition is Napa Valley.  I have spent some time in Los Angeles, Temecula, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Paso Robles.  I would like to say that I love them all, equally, but I don't know if that is possible.  The wine regions associated with San Francisco hold a special place in my heart.  And, of course, I am enticed by the central coast wineries as well.  I mean, my namesake winery is located there.  Population 18 is the town of Harmony, California. I have visited there a few times and sampled the wine.  If you are driving along that stretch of road, stop in and try the chardonnay.  It is right by the Hearst Mansion.  I discovered it while on a road trip in 2006.  Of course, I had to stop and take a few photos and drink wine.
Back to the travel edition...This is from my last trip to Napa Valley.  I convinced my friend, Sara Jo, to run the Napa to Sonoma half marathon.  It's part of the wine destination series and is their flagship race.  The registration fills up within twenty minutes.  I am not kidding!  I tried for a few years to get in to this race and finally succeeded.  Of course, we had run the Healdsburg Half and the Santa Barbara Half Marathon.  I think being in their system increased our odds of finally registering for this race.  I think I became interested in the race as it was listed as a marathon bucket list.  It combined two of my favorite loves--wine and travel.  Running could motivate me to be healthy.  Moderately, mostly.  I did manage to train while living in Santa Fe.  I lived next to a paved running trail that was perfect.

This is us, post race.  Great expo with lots of opportunities to check out wine and celebrate life.  The race takes place in July and we were a little concerned about the weather.  I do not love running when it is hot.  I tend to overheat.  Thankfully, it  was an overcast day.  Ideal for running 13.1 miles.  Conveniently, they do have a Guinness stop at one of the mile markers and a gew├╝rztraminer is available in front of Gundlach Bundschu winery.  On another trip to California, I toured this winery and have fond memories of that experience.  I have always been an avid fan of their wines.  So, imagine how ecstatic I was to sample their wine while running?  It was motivating and fueled my half marathon.  We met Jen (Sara's friend) and the Goddess at the finish line.  I think a bloody mary was involved somewhere as it tends to be a post race must.  I really should consider finding a race, locally, if only to have a reason to toast the effort with a bloody mary afterwards.
We were fortunate to stay at this property located in south Sonoma.  Benziger Estate winery has one of the best tours available.  They have an organic, biodynamic winery and explain how they utilize and reuse everything in their property.  They are knowledgeable and informative without coming across as know it alls or snobby.  I would definitely recommend their tour for anyone that is not familiar with the wine making process.  The landscape is stunning.  I was fortunate to arrange a stay in their guest home.  This view is incredible.

We did the tour and sampled some of the wines on Saturday when we arrived in Napa.  It was a quick tour before having dinner at Oenotri restaurant.  I like tapas and love sharing meals with friends.  Tapas enables me many items to try and share.  We settled in to the house and had an early night. I wanted to be able to wake with ease in the a.m. and run the miles.  
 Of course, no trip to Napa would be complete without a little wine tasting.  I think this was stop #3 of the day.  Miner Vineyards along the Silverado Trail.  Lovely chardonnay that I drink on a fairly regular basis at a spot in Denver.  This was our final day in wine country before heading back to the city.  I thought I would have enough time to stop by the Buena Vista for an Irish coffee.  Our chauffer, the Goddess, had to alter her return flight and so that did not happen.  Next time for sure.
In all, we toured Benziger, Imagery, Alpha Omega, Ferrari Carano, Miner, Grgich Hills and a few others in Healdsburg.  I told the ladies would be dining at Scopa in Healdsburg. I insisted that we wait for an available table or belly up to the bar.  I loved the fare at their restaurant.  I wish I had some photos to share of the food factor their.  Our final night in Sonoma we dined at another tapas place that was not memorable.  I should have researched better to provide another food associated experience.
I think I did okay touring the valley.  Of course, I would have loved to have had more time.  I like to criss cross both spots but know with the driving it limits multiple spots.  Also, I would recommend hiring a driver to safely guide you through the valley.  There are too many wineries to sample.  So pick two to three a day if you are driving and space them out.  Find a picnic area and buy a baguette and relax.  Even that is welcoming and blissful in Napa and Sonoma.  Sorting through photos and thinking about past trips is inspiring me to book a ticket to northern California and make it happen.  I do want to return to wine country.  This trip is overdue and I must rectify that!
It probably won't involve a half marathon unless I actually put one foot in front of the other in the next month.  I have the next few months planned out in terms of travel.  Visiting in the fall is a definite possibility.  Harvest is a lovely time of year to visit.  A great energy of wine, family, sharing, creating memories is possible.  I am thinking about it.  I wonder if I can convince one of my friends to join me.
Til next week for the travel throwback, cheers!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

making dinner on days off and other thoughts

Finally, a pure night of sleep. In bed early.  Little stress and home cooked meal.  Translation, clean living.  I was tempted to meet Jenn for sushi and had she agreed to change the venue I would have met her.  I am growing tired of dining at the same spot and I think, in a way, she does know it.  It is convenient for both of us to meet and I like their happy hour offerings. Buy one, get one--who wouldn't like that?  
I wish they would improve their wine list or at least update it.  Not to mention, their sushi is dated, too.  They do have specials but typically, the same ones offered daily.  As noted, had she agreed to meet elsewhere, I would have been in and caved on my decision to eat clean.  I considered being healthy for a few days and wanted to try it starting on Tuesday.  Mid afternoon, Jenn texted me and asked me to meet her for sushi and I was on the fence.  It's too easy to abandon plans of clean living to meet friends for happy hour.  It is a healthy distraction, social and fun.  I suggested a few other spots and could tell by her response that she was uninterested.  I asked her to meet me at an izakaya and her response was that she was not interested in French tonight.  I chuckled and responded that the spot offered poke, ramen and edamame (one of her favorites) and noted where it was located.  It fell flat.  She was determined to go to her designated spot.  It's convenient and she enjoys it.  Kindly, I asked for a raincheck and plotted my dinner.  I had lentils in my cupboard that I keep looking at.  I could easily make soup.  Normally, I have mirepoix on hand and garlic.  I would need to purchase a red bell pepper and maybe an avocado to bulk up the soup.  I declined on the avocado since the selection looked tired and bruised.  
I have made variations of green chile lentil soup and the recipe I found last night was actually quite tasty.  I think the addition of the paprika and cumin helped with the spice./flavor component. I would add more garlic next time still.  Recipes, in my opinion, minimize the garlic factor.  I always add more.  I have a fair amount of left overs and figure I will add more garlic today if I choose to eat soup for lunch.  Or, I have greens, tuna, capers, garbanzo beans and a few other staples in my kitchen. I try to keep things on hand to minimize my desire to dine out.  I live by two greek restaurants, a thai place and a delicious sandwich spot.  In an attempt to stop dining out due to convenience, I am picking up items to sustain hunger. I always have protein bars and coffee.
I needed to resupply some of my necessities and wanted to drop some books off at one of the local free library spots in the city.  Conveniently, I am familiar with a location near a dollar tree and coffee shop.  I could be healthy by bringing my own cup to be filled with coffee, drop off books to be read by others and pick up a few essentials at the dollar store. I buy dishwashing soap and other cleaners there.  I have been trying to incorporate more natural products into my daily life.  Instead of buying my normal laundry detergent I bought a natural product.  In the past year, I have been using natural shampoo and conditioner, too.  One small change does impact others and my daily life.  I am more mindful of what I am buying and how it effects me.  I have even switched to making my own mouthwash instead of buying the commercial products.  I love the addition of essential oils in my daily life.  Try peppermint and clove and see how you feel.  I feel invigorated!
I should go for a walk or enjoy being outside.  It is a gorgeous day in Denver!  Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

rainy day thoughts

Last night, I returned home and made a salad.  I felt like trying to be healthy.  I think I have been decreasing my results by overthinking and ultimately, guilt.  Guilt is such a powerful emotion.  I must release my feelings of guilt when it comes to what I ingest and inhale.  I enjoy the social aspects of drinking wine and also the health benefits.
I made a salad and chatted with my aunt.  I will be visiting her in Minneapolis next week and wanted to touch base on our itinerary.  My friend, Shari, also lives nearby and so I wanted to coordinate with the two to arrange a dinner or dinners.  My aunt seems agreeable and I appreciate that very much.  I have spent time in Minneapolis but it's been ten plus years.  My last visit was in February.  I'll leave it at that.  After confiding in my aunt that I would be interested in reflexology or something along those lines, I retired to bed.  I could use a good night of sleep and wanted to do just that.  I fell asleep and then was rudely awakened by a rustling of bottles.  It was nonstop and so my first thought as I refused to open my eyes was that an animal was rummaging through the trash.  A quick disruptive search through the garbage.  It wouldn't stop though.  I look outside and there is a man throwing recycling all over the alleyway.  I want him to stop but don't want to get involved.  He won't stop.  He walks to another spot and decimates the trash there.  I think I can stop listening and then he returns.  A car alarm goes off which I think will force him out of our alley.  Instead, he intensifies his crazed search.  I try to block him out and he keeps going.  I see an officer and lights on him. It looked as if they were trying to help him find whatever it is he is searching for.  I finally fall asleep and awake to debris all over our alley. I have no idea what this man was looking for or why he was not escorted out of the alleyway. It was disruptive and incredibly loud.  I thought about calling the police and then thought-why, what will they do?  Is this what we are heading towards.  Apathy and inability to have results?
I, sincerely, hope not.  I mentioned it to a few people while working and they knew all of the drill.  How people are going through trash, actively, and how they do not care how they leave the trash everywhere.  It is annoying!
Today I woke up to some mixture of snow and rain.  Definitely the type of day to remain indoors, couch side with a blanket and book.  I made more coffee a little bit ago to nestle in and inspire more reading.  Jenn wanted to meet for sushi but I am growing tired of dining at the same spot.  I suggested another place and she felt it was too far from her house to make it work.  I declined to meet her.  I prefer staying in and making soup.  I have lentils, carrots, onions and a few other items that should make a nice soup.  And, the weather absolutely motivates soup!
I attended a barre class this morning.  I wish there had been a yoga class that matched up my day today.  Unfortunately, they keep changing the classes at my gym and the other studio, I attend, did not have any class that I wanted to check out this morning.  There is a class at 5:30 but that requires moving my car and finding parking.  I think I will do an early class tomorrow instead.
Enjoy your evening!  What motivates you on rainy days?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Friday Funday....

A few days late but memorable nonetheless.  I worked Thursday night and arrived at home around 2 a.m.  It was unexpected and atypical.  I had arranged an early morning training session and knew that my body would need lots of rest.  Courtney has been intensifying our sessions over the last month and so I knew it would be in my best interest to arrive fresh and rested.
I changed my in time with her since I had a client at 9:30 following my session.  Roxanne was heading to Breckenridge and so it was time sensitive.  On Thursday night, she reached out to see if I would mind if one of her friends joined our session.  I thought about it and decided it would be good to try a group session in a safe place.  I didn't know her friend--her fitness level, familiarity with yoga or if she had any injuries.  When I work out with Roxanne, I take into account that she does not love yoga and that we are building her practice up.  Lots of push ups and building postures.  I wanted to make sure that the class would be challenging for her and her friend.  In the morning, she texted me to tell me that her friend had plantar fasciitis.  I am familiar with that ailment and have some tools to ease the discomfort.  I wanted to stop by my place to grab those items to introduce in our session.  Overall, it went really well and I appreciated the opportunity to work with both of these ladies.  We were all sweating and I think that Roxie was more comfortable with the breath work working alongside her friend.  It was like things started clicking.
Afterwards, I rushed home and set up my place to meet Sara Jo.  She has injured herself recently--lumbar/sacrum discomfort.  I knew that I would be altering my flow to customize a strategy for her.  More stretchy and building strength.  Less flow and chatarangas.  I wanted to see how much flexion she had in her hip.  We tried down dog and it's not quite there yet.  I incorporated some core and of course, pushups.  I know that in order for her to recover she needs to strengthen her core and stabilize her lower back.  I believe we will be practicing once a week to aid in her recovery.
We had made plans to check out the Degas exhibit at the art museum.  It's been years since I have been at the museum and it's lovely.  Eventually, we did tour the exhibit after a wine inspired lunch in Cherry Creek.  Downtown was busy with the baseball game and onslaught of 420 supporters.  I wanted to avoid that celebration and so we stayed east to celebrate the day.  Boozy lunch followed by a quick tour of the museum.  I do enjoy days off in Denver.
We chose to walk back to our neighborhood instead of hiring a car.  We made a brief stop before finding a new ramen spot on Colfax.  I had dined there for lunch in the last month.  They offer poke and ramen which I enjoy.  I told Sara that we should check it out and we caught the tail end of happy hour.  The place was packed and patiently we waited watching the one bartender take care of the entire place.  I think she was a little overwhelmed.
We tried the spicy edamame, some ramen and octopus.  I didn't love the octopus or the ramen but I would return to check out other items.  The edamame was delicious.  I loved the flavors and it was a great way to begin the meal.  They offer $3 Sapporo during happy hour which is also nice.  We finished the night by hiring a car to take us back to our neighborhood.
I woke up on Saturday and was immediately struck by how sore I was.  I know that a lot of it is due to my training session with Courtney.  She beat me up.  And then I extended the work outs by practicing with Roxie and then Sara Jo.  I did all of the push-ups with them.  Let's just say, I still feel sore.  And my core is screaming at me, too.
Today, I think a more restorative yoga class is in my future.  I have been attending a gospel type of class on Sunday mornings that I enjoy. However, I have plateaued a little with this particular instructor.  I need to distance myself from her class to return and be inspired.
Yoga beckons.  More growth and expanding my personal practice.  Enjoy your day!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

TBT--travel addition

I have been thinking about NOLA...mostly, due to the fact that three people in the last few weeks have been talking about trips there.  One girl had never been there and I immediately flooded her with places to go--eat, drink and explore.  I suppose I have been thinking about NOLA the entire month of April.
For me, exploring cities involves the food factor.  Here are some of the highlights--starting with oysters at Mariza. This place was highly recommended by a friend of a friend.  She insisted on checking out this spot in the Marigny.  I made reservations for our first night in the city.  The oysters were the highlight and the amaro flight for after dinner drinks.  Recently, I found a fondness for amaro and wanted to share my love of this Italian spirit with my friends.  They range in smoothness to bitter which I am not a huge fan of.  Regardless, Mariza had an industrial feel and was very welcoming.  And the best oysters we found while dining in NOLA.

Of course, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a coffee at Caf├ę Du Monde.  Iconic and always busy. We walked from our rental in the Bywater and arrived ready for some coffee and beignets.  We waited in line for 15 minutes and listened to the saxophone player that has been playing that spot for years.  He now offers cd's in addition to listening to the music.  Every trip to the city (five times for me) and I have purchased at least one beignet.  Since the Goddess had not yet arrived I knew that we would be venturing back to this must do so that she would also experience the beignets.

In an effort to be healthy, we rented bikes and rode through the central business district and Magazine St.  The place we selected was referred to us by local residents.  However, I think I would have put more thought into selecting a bike in the future.  We were greeted and paid and that was about it.  They didn't offer to help us select bikes, make sure there was air in the tires of give us any tools that would help us.  In their defense, there was a protest about to happen and people were on edge.  Regardless, we pumped up the tires and rode away.  It was a nice ride and I knew that eventually, I wanted to make a stop at the Bull Dog.  We parked the bikes and had a few beers before heading back to the Bywater.  Almost immediately one of the bikes lost brakes.  We would stop and Shari would be at risk of crashing.  She kept trying to fix the screw on the chain and finally we called the bike shop to have them come and get us since it was becoming more and more frequent and dangerous.  They refused to grab us due to the pending protest and possible riot.  They told us to get back on our own.  That was unimpressive!  We rode back to the shop and dropped off one of the bikes and explained why we were unhappy with them--no customer service, fitting of bikes, etc. and they told us they would handle it tomorrow.  I would still definitely recommend exploring the city on bike.  Just check out your options!

I watch Top Chef--always have.  I knew that one of the finalists had a restaurant in New Orleans and made reservations to dine there.  Compere Lapin did not disappoint.  Amazing!   I am very thankful to have found this spot and dined here.  Innovative drinks, wine list and incredible food.  And, we saw a wedding party arrive at the hotel where the restaurant is located and watched a Second Line descend.  It was awesome!  The Goddess chose to join the celebration by dancing on our table.  The owner came by and insisted on meeting our group since we were having fun and celebrating life.  I had a fantastic piece of carrot cake here, too.  My favorite dessert!

 We found this spot by perusing open table and looking for brunch spots.  I knew there would be five of us and so I made reservations instead of waiting in the humidity as we had the previous day.  I won't mention what spot that was.  It was forgettable.  Sylvain's was lovely.  We arrived right as they opened and insisted on a round of cocktails and bubbly.  Our server, although hungover, was knowledgeable and attentive.  I think he warmed up to us as we continued to drink bubbly.  We shared a few brunch items before heading back towards the Bywater to meet Tiffany.  She flew in to meet us for 36 hours.  Crazy lady and too much fun! I had made the main event (birthday dinner) reservations at Commander's Palace.  Festive with all of the pomp and circumstance.  I loved every minute of it!

There are so many restaurants, neighborhoods and music to check out while in N.O.L.A.  We did a little in the Quarter, Magazine St, Marigny and Bywater.  I would love to return to discover Vietnamese food in the city.  I have heard many amazing things about it.  Or more music and restaurant recon in the Bywater.  We found Bacchanal and Henry's.  There were others that I would have loved to explore.  Seriously, there are too many options and my liver hated me for about a week after my return.  Let's just say spending five days in New Orleans is similar to three nights in Vegas.  Both are geared to be unlimited hedonism and excessive.  I outperformed myself, lol.
Til next time, enjoy!  I do love revisiting beautiful cities that I have visited in the past.  Maybe next week it will be International.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

some plateaus and upside down

I went upside down.  A few times this morning.  I forced myself to go to a class that I frequent on a regular basis.  I adore John but find, sometimes, that I get bored.  I know his routine and my mind wanders if I attend his class a bunch.  He teaches on Mondays and Wednesdays and I have in the past attended both days.  Recently, though, I feel it is too comfortable and typical.  I have semi-broke up him, lol.  Today, started off with the typical sequence and I found myself losing interest.  Maybe he sensed it.  For whatever reason, suddenly he is teaching dolphin and instructs us to use the wall.  He gave us a few minutes to play and I loved it.  I did handstand, dolphin and multiple crows.  Loved it!
Yesterday, I went to another studio to check out one of their popular instructors.  I purchased a class package with twenty available classes with no expiration date.  There is one instructor that I enjoy and have been attending her class regularly.  Yet, I am finding that I am plateauing, a little, with her and so I wanted to expand my circle of classes that I can attend regularly.  I was familiar with the female instructor's class that I chose to check out.  I really wanted to see what was out there and what she was doing.  In the past, I went to one class and felt that she held some awkward postures too long and that she gave great hands on adjustments.  It had been a challenging vinyasa class with some inversions.
That was my expectation.  I thought it would be astanga based with inversions thrown in at the end.  Imagine my surprise when we meditate the first ten minutes of class.  Then, we hold poses that are typically designed to be performed towards the end of the class.  I almost always have tight hips and so forcing myself into a supine bound angle posture is not ideal to begin with.  Eventually, she got around to introducing a few sun A and sun B's.  I had my phone--I know, bad Harmony--but I was curious as to what point in the class she was introducing these with about 18 minutes left in the class.  I struggled to finish the class.  It just wasn't my jam.  I left feeling incomplete and knowing that I do not need to attend another one of her classes.  She isn't my style.  She thinks her class is challenging.  Ironically, there were people that were having difficulty breathing.  The woman next to me actually started eating a protein bar midway through the class.  I didn't really know what to think of that, haha.
I left and considered taking an evening class.  A studio near to me had a class at 5:30.  Again, with a renowned instructor that I have attended her class.  I thought about it and then reconsidered.  I re-read her profile which highlighted her breath work.  I knew that her class would be centered on breathing and it wasn't what I was looking for last night.  I stayed home and focused on eating clean.  Finally, I consumed a meal that was vegetable driven and healthy.
I am thankful for going upside down and it sort of reinvigorated me.  We did a bridge and wheel and I thought about the last time I have taken an astanga class or mysore. I would benefit, greatly, from incorporating that back into my personal practice.  I think of how I can inspire my students to try inversions, and believe, it all begins with foundations.  Building a strong core and having the faith to do more.
I am off to work and greet the day. The early morning class inspires me to be the best version of myself.  What are you inspired by today?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

days off and planning

I must eat clean the next few days.  I fell off the clean living wagon and realize that unless I really make changes, my weigh in on Friday will be horrifying.  Courtney will not let me live it down!  I'll be swimming in planks and pushups til my arms fall off.  Lol...she did try to break me last Friday and almost succeeded.  I was sore for a few days afterwards.  In terms of dining, I tried to be good.  I worked Friday night and ate shrimp at 2 am.  Saturday, I managed to eat a little cleaner but joined my friends for a night cap.   I had posole with chips and salsa, Sunday followed by spaghetti for dinner that night.  Wine was involved on both occasions.  Let's just say, I took recess from my prescribed schooling and effort.
And, I know I will feel better if I take a day or three off from excessive dining and wine.  Last night, my intention was to eat clean.  Then, Jenn texted me that we should meet for sushi and I obliged.  I wanted to enjoy happy hour with her.  And, who doesn't like sushi?  We frequent this that is super close to where we live.  I enjoy the happy hour offerings--two for one wine, beer or sake.  Not to mention, they do have a nice array of sushi.  Last night, I would have preferred checking out another place that I found recently.  It is further away from my apartment and I don't think the wine list is as varied.  However, they do offer a bunch of sushi that I would like to check out.  Next time for sure.
I walked home and threw my clothes around my apartment. I should get better about tidying up.  I fell asleep and woke to an early morning text from my yoga client.  They were up working still at 2:00 am.  Kristina was giving me the heads up that they would be canceling our session since they were still working and would continue til they were done with their project.  It was kind of her to let me know and she offered to pay me for my time which I also appreciated immensely.  Granted this is the second time she has canceled at a late date.  I agreed that I should be compensated for my time.  I am making strides in establishing my yoga clientele. I want to continue that momentum and see where it leads.
I reached out to a friend in Santa Fe about meeting him next month for lunch.  He travels frequently and so I wanted to see if our schedules would sync up.  I am waiting to hear back from him before committing to a trip.  I also need to see what my work schedule looks like next month.  Of course, if I do manage a trip to New Mexico, I will be heading to Ojo Caliente with the beauty, Melody, and lunching at La Choza.  I have other friends who I would like to see and there is the farmer's market that continues to attract and beckon.  There is Lawrence, Libby, Teo and a handful of others that I always enjoy meeting up with.
I need to book my trip to D.C., too.  I have confirmed my dates with Megan and see a dinner or lunch in my future.  I will not be staying with them as their situation has changed since my last trip to D.C.  Two kids and I am a little uncertain as to where they physically live.  Just seems more convenient and conducive to arrange an airbnb or VRBO.  Moreover, Jennifer will be with me, I think.  I don't know exactly how long she intends to stay in the city.  I am sure that I can entertain myself by checking out bars, restaurants, neighborhoods.  It will be my third visit to this city and I know it will not disappoint.
Upcoming travel is always fun to arrange and look forward to.  Heading to a vinyasa class at noon and perhaps finishing up with a  walk around City Park.  It is time to enjoy the sunshine and thrive!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Goals and planning

I am still sore from the private training session Friday.  My arms are sore and my core is tight.  Yesterday, I was lazy and I am okay with it.  I think it is important to take days off and let your body rest.  Of course, it would have been more beneficial had I read a book or meditated as opposed to watching tv.  I recognize that I should be reading or being productive on rest days.  Watching t.v. can be super relaxing.  Ultimately, a waste of time though.  I think of how much time I spend being unproductive.  I believe, it is a way to distract myself from doing what I should be doing.  Creating, exploring, writing, traveling, teaching to name a few things that I am interested in.  It's easier to fail or not even try if that makes sense.  I can definitely distract myself with mind numbing tasks.
I am attracted to some goal setting.  I think it is realistic and I have always enjoyed to do lists.  I like the action of crossing things off my list and feel lost when I don't have something to look forward to.  Traveling, always, has a spot on my list.  I have an upcoming trip to Minneapolis that I am looking forward to and then there is D.C. in June.  I am meeting a friend from high school who is currently hiking the Appalachian Trail.  I have considered a trip to Greece at some point in 2018 and think I should buy the tickets.  Why not?  What is stopping me?  Seriously.  It is a place that I have always wanted to explore. I had tickets to Athens in 2001 and a dream of riding the train to explore other countries in Europe.  Italy was a definite as I would check out the Amalfi Coast before heading to France, Budapest and Spain.  I think of how my life would have been had I taken that trip.  I doubt that I would be in Denver.  Honestly, I have no idea where I would have ended up.  I might still be in Europe, haha.
I do love Denver and it is my chosen home.  I like to make lists of where I want to travel, each year, and that I have to throw in some adulating tasks.  I do not like these tasks.  Yet, they are necessary. The dentist.
The obgyn.
Taxes--the most recent cross off my list. Yuck.  And, a necessary adult task.  The dentist made a major dent in my travel budget since I had procrastinated for as long as I could.  When I finally made an appointment I received a laundry list of things I must do.  Scaling my teeth which was painful and I despised it.  A few cavities, here and there, and a crown.  The dentist felt that should be first plan of attack.  An upper crown which  I didn't enjoy at all.  Afterwards, I asked what should be a priority.  She noted that I should continue to follow the cleaning plan and mix in some cavity action, too.  I am putting that off later in the year.
I consider decreasing my personal training sessions to once a month.  It is spendy and some times I have guilt arriving after meeting friends for happy hour.  Courtney makes me accountable for my choices and some weeks are worse than others.  Stress can definitely do that to you.  I am incorporating more meditation to deal with that.  And saying no to meeting friends.  It is okay to say no sometimes.
I should compile a complete list of goals.  Health, abundance, fitness, travel, even wines I want to drink.  That would be excessive.  I would love to continue to learn about wine and regions, too.  In an effort to be productive today, I am heading to yoga.  Namaste!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Clean living

My friend, Jenn, put together a meet up sort of group for April.  Mostly motivated by her upcoming milestone birthday, she arranged this effort to inspire others to be fit and fabulous in April.  Be it--cut back on alcohol, exercising more, trying new methods of exercise or modifying your food intake.  She has a large group of friends that are very active on social media.  The minute she created the group, people were contributing how they were personally hoping to participate.  She added me to the group and I am participating in my own way.  I will not post anything about my progress or lack of.  Instead, I sometimes, lurk on her site to see what others are doing. 
April is one third finished and I will be honest, I have not made much effort to improve my fabulous self.  I sort of stopped clean living.  You know....chips sound good.  And olive oil is great to cook with and I won't use as much.  Simple things like that that had enabled me to slim down quickly with simple alternates.  The last month, well, I got lazy.  I wanted to eat chips and salsa.  Oh, and I have discovered that I enjoy spaghetti and meat balls.  And, I have not fully engaged in the cut back on my wine intake.  I suppose that will never really happen.  Wine is a staple in my diet.  I enjoy meeting friends for a glass of wine and cooking with wine.
I continued to work our--multiple yoga classes mixed in with a few barre.  I walk to work and have been trying to support others desires to be healthy.  I walked around Wash Park with a co-worker yesterday.  It is not a complete loss.  I have been active, walking, and listening to a ton of music on Pandora.  I have been meditating a little and reading too.  My colleague gave me a stack of books that he no longer wants or needs.  Many of them are classics which I need to be in the mood for--Sophie's Choice, All the King's Men, some Virginia Wolfe...amongst others.  I think leading a clean, mindful life will unleash something in me that needs to happen.  I do not know what it entails, exactly, it just feels necessary.
I met with my trainer this morning and saw that I am in the beginning of a backslide.  I feel stronger and capable.  It's just the nutrition that is slowing me down.  And stress.  I have been meeting friends for happy hour today which I enjoy but sort of is counterproductive in living a clean lifestyle.  I considered canceling my session today.  Allergies and just not motivated.  I forced myself to go since I knew that I would benefit from the work out and bouncing ideas off of Courtney.  She is always up for good suggestions and thinking outside the box.  Today she did not disappoint.  My arms are mush and I know that I will feel the effects of the work out in my core tomorrow.  I did teach a few of my clients this week and I work out alongside them.  Lots of core work, planks and push-ups.  I only teach what I have always tried myself.  So, it wasn't a complete loss.  And, I cannot beat myself up over one week.  Or two.  I can only plan on doing better tomorrow. 
I want to continue to strengthen and develop my health regime.  I enjoy being exposed to many different mediums of getting fit.  This older gal approached me after her session and told me I was an inspiration to her and the other ladies she works out with.  I thought that was so kind and it sort of reinvigorated me.  It returned me to the badass mindset.  I think I needed to hear it and believe it.
I will continue to clean live this weekend.  I have a client on Sunday and next week will bring more opportunities to teach.  There might be an audition in my near future, too.
My friend will continue to host her meet up group.  I look forward to seeing some of the results and I should probably actually participate for one of the weeks.  Severely cutting back on drinking wine.  I can do it for one week.  At least....

Thursday, April 12, 2018

TBT---travel addition

I love Santa Fe.  Always have.  My love affair with that city began when I was fourteen years old and I attended an annual school trip arranged by the history teacher.  He had us apply to be part of the program which included research, respect for the cultures and knowledge of the area.  I remember being so proud of my binder of New Mexico history.  We hiked at the sand dunes in Colorado, checked out Bandelier National Monument Park, Santa Fe and Taos.  I loved Santa Fe immediately.  The Plaza, the history, the culture.  I even interrupted a funeral in one of the churches downtown since I thought it was the Loretto Chapel.  At the time, I didn't know the name of the chapel and was turned around by directions.  I entered the church with a few other classmates and snapped a few photos before turning red faced at my embarrassment.  Eventually, I did find the Loretto Chapel.
A month after this school trip, I returned with my dad and sisters to basically do the exact same trip.  Bandelier, Santa Fe and Taos as a family trip.  We included rafting the Rio Grande on the family vacay and a departure to ABQ.  My dad insisted on checking out that city.  I was fine with the Capitol.  The history, food, hiking and silver jewelry.  I have always had respect for the artisanship found here.
As a young adult, I chose to move to Phoenix when I completed college.  I had the opportunity to drive through Santa Fe on my way down.  Again, I loved the city and dreamed of living there.  Fast forward and I am living in Denver (my true home) and I started making annual trips to the city different. I befriended a massage therapist in 2004 who is now one of my closest and dearest friends.  Ironically, her name is Melody.  I should pull up all of the photos I have amassed from trips and eventually of living there.  I absolutely adore visiting and have many friends that live there.  Every few months, I head south to get my Ojo fix and green chile.  Of course, multiple silver coins are involved in the trip.  Which reminds me, I am due for a trip south soon.  
The food factor is pretty insane.  From casual local driven spots to higher end, trendy gourmet, foodie driven experiences.  I had the opportunity to dine at a renowned spot one 4th of July with Melody.  We smuggled a bottle of Isosceles in from one of her clients.  Melody didn't know how much I love Isosceles until a dinner we had at Geronimo in 2006 with that particular bottle of wine.  What a treat to drink this bottle from 95.  It was perfection.  And the food was delicious, too.  We were able to enjoy the wine and food since I was working there at the time.  Gorgeous patio dining and the food is always decadent.

Next up the silver coin factor.  When I arrive in town the first thing I do is head to La Choza to eat chips and salsa and kick start my adventure with a silver coin or two.  I will dine solo at the bar or a friend will meet me.  I have also brought other friends from Denver to join me at this local spot.  Sara Jo, Maghan, Jan (from Phoenix) and hopefully the Goddess in the next year.  The food never disappoints and I feel very welcomed here.  And in the past year, if I visit for three days, I end up dining here twice.  It is consistently fantastic.  Doesn't this drink look amazing?  And inviting???

And then there is Ojo Caliente.  A rejuvenating, relaxing must do while visiting the city different.  It took me ten years to find it which is comical considering it is now an essential part of my Santa Fe trip.  I had an ex-boyfriend that initially brought it up.  He had a house in Taos and was shocked that I had never visited Ojo.  He understood that I had visited Ten Thousand Waves on a couple occasions.  Lovely massages and much closer to Santa Fe.  I suppose I never visited Ojo Caliente since it is about an hour from Santa Fe.  Finally, I asked Melody if she ever went there to soak and she said--yes!!!  I asked her if we could go on my next trip up.  I was living in Phoenix at the time and making frequent trips to Santa Fe.  In all honesty, I was looking for a way back to Denver but not yet ready to commit.  I believed I could live in Santa Fe and thrive.  In many respects, I did thrive and love it.  However, it is an oasis for me to visit and living there didn't quite live up to the dream for me.  I embrace the anonymity of living in a large city.  In Santa Fe, I found it to be too small.  At any rate, I still visit it often and love it.  I continue to look for new restaurants, breweries and things to do.  I love Ojo Caliente.  

I'll leave you with this image.  The simplicity of this fantastic day spa and soak venture.  Clear blue inviting skies, serenity, tranquility, amazing.  I absolutely adore it.  This image inspires me to think about when I can visit again.  On a solo trip or with my girlfriends.  I love hosting people and showing them my idea of the perfect New Mexico getaway.  I could go on and on about the beauty of the city, yoga that is available, the farmer's market that is open year round and delicious.  Not to mention restaurants, local spots and green chile.  It really is remarkable how many things you can find to do if you are open to experiencing different parts of the city.  Did you notice that I didn't even mention the gallery factor?  They have those, too.  I met many, many artists while living there.  And you can venture south to Madrid to experience that artist driven mecca or check out Meow Wolf or the burgeoning Railyard District.  There is so many things that are evolving in Santa Fe. Do yourself a favor--go check it out!  I know that I will be visiting soon.  Cheers and salud~

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

more opportunites for yoga

More and more opportunities for yoga and I am extremely grateful to be expanding this part of my life.  I made the conscious decision to pursue this arena a few years ago while living in Santa Fe.  I had been frustrated with the quality of yoga that I was exposed to on a daily basis.  I felt it was time to see what I could do with direction.  How I could evolve my own practice and share it with others.  I reached out to a studio in Phoenix and arranged the certification training over the course of a year. It worked for me since I wanted to immerse with a school in a timely manner.  I knew that I would receive little benefit from doing it all in two weeks.  I would want time to retain some of the areas that I was not as interested in.
It's true.  Yoga is appealing to people for a variety of reasons.  Some prefer the breath work.  Or the mindfulness with some postures mixed in.  I prefer a challenging sequencing class.  That is how I shut my mind off.  I don't think when someone else takes over and guides me to the zen state with a physical emphasis.  I can see the benefit of breath work, chanting, and being in the present moment.  I just want more in my practice.
I concluded my training and have been continuing my yoga practice as a student.  About a year ago, I began teaching in my apartment to friends and co-workers.  I wanted to practice my language and cueing postures.  I have found that I enjoy customizing sessions to individuals and feel more confident teaching frequently and often. Today, I have a client and am looking forward to it.  I know that Roxanne prefers more core work and stability.  We are building up her practice from the ground up.  In the past, she scoffed at yoga since she was bored. I want to challenge her and inspire her to do group classes eventually.  I do understand being bored in classes.  This has happened to me a lot in the past.  One of my mentors in Denver says I should approach it from love.  I should love myself through it.  Or be kind in my thoughts through it.  What I would like to do is flee the class or put on head phones.  I don't think that would go over well.
I have been playing with the idea of teaching more and expanding my clientele.  I mentioned this to a customer at my full-time job and immediately, he suggested a studio that he attends.  He even said he would put in a word for me which I appreciated very much.  So there is an in there, potentially, and at the studio that I am a member at.  I attended a new instructor's class today and felt she had a decent foundation and gave great adjustments.  I felt I should share that information with her.  I approached her by asking how long she had been teaching and she responded a year.  I noted her good adjustments and she asked me if I teach.  I responded that I am certified and she said, I can tell.  You have a beautiful practice.
Another affirmation that I am on the right path.  I reached out to a few more people that are like-minded and have additional teachings scheduled for the next two weeks. I am very thankful for the time to be doing this.  I want to be focusing on my health and wellness.
I will continue to see what is out there in the yoga community in Denver.  And to create my niche here. I would like to return to Phoenix to see what they are doing there.  It is such a strong, fierce community.  I have always had a bunch of respect for the yoga community in Arizona.  I see a trip in my near future.
I managed to finally pay my state taxes.  I wasn't prepared to be responsible for that chunk of change this year.  Today is the day to be responsible.  And let go of some of the nonsense, lol.
Cheers to living, to enjoying, to tasting life~

Friday, April 6, 2018

Day of health and fitness

I started my day attending a barre class.  I thought it would kick start how I wanted to participate on Thursday.  Exercise, all day.  I considered an all levels 7 am yoga class but then reconsidered.  I like the instructor.  She has great descriptors and adjectives.  Her flow is not terribly challenging and the music selection definitely could improve.  Moreover, the studio does offer a class at 10:30 that fit in with what I was hoping to achieve.  Take the class and forty-five minutes attend a power vinyasa class at a heated studio.  Perfect.
I tried to book the class on my phone.  The app would allow me to enter the site but completely buffered when I was trying to view the schedule.  I thought I could access it from my laptop.  Also, a bust.  I checked other studios that I frequent with the same results.  When I went to see the schedule, I struggled. I figured out that the mind body app was malfunctioning.  Finally, my studio emailed me that yes, in fact, the app was malfunctioning.  I attended barre and then drove over to the yoga studio.  I mentioned that I had called to arrange my attendance at the class since their app was not working and they concurred that the schedule was down due to mind body.  It's funny.  As the day progressed, I saw many other studios on social media mentioning that although the app was down, they were open.
The barre class was decent.  Lots of core and some glute work.  The yoga class was mediocre.  Typically, I like this instructor and her music selection.  Yesterday, I struggled.  I just couldn't identify or relate to what she was hoping to achieve.  Being present in the moment, lol, was her theme of the class.  She chose a few challenging postures to exemplify her point and reasoning.  She noted that many times we are looking for an exit strategy while performing a task.  Her example, snowboarding.  She told her husband that they would do four more runs and then head to the lodge for hot chocolate.  He was dismayed since they had just arrived and already she was planning her leave.
I do understand her point and try to be present in my life. I was bored, distracted and unable to gel with the class.  I despise the frog position and she held it for some time.  It irritates my hips and knees and overall is extremely uncomfortable.  I tried to remain in the position for as long as I could.  My hips were screaming at me and I had to adjust to child's pose.
Afterwards, I returned home and read.  I am making an effort to read books instead of streaming shows on my laptop.  It is the lazy way out.  I realize how much pleasure I receive from reading a book.  It enables me to disappear for a stretch of time.  I had made arrangements to teach my friend, Roxanne.  We had been planning this for over a year.  Timing, injury and other factors postponed our meet up until last night.  I walked to her new apartment and then taught for an hour. I keep returning to how much this seems to be my way right now.  I want to be focusing on my health and this supports that.  It inspires me to keep learning and seeing what is out there and how I can make it mine.   The space in her building was great.  Although, I would prefer booking the space without interruptions.  That was a little unsettling.  However, I think, if we chose a different time of day, it would be ideal.
Thursday was all health centered.  Today will be a mix of health, wellness, and celebration.  Meeting Brie for lunch and possibly attending a yoga club later.  I am uncertain.  It is opening Day, here, and that is a party in itself.  I will avoid downtown to be moderate.
Enjoy your day however you choose to spend it!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Family visits and seeing friends

 My dad has been in Colorado the last few days.  I managed to arrange a lunch date with him and my step mom.  Initially, I believed we would be having dinner together and so I hoped to find a place that wasn't too elitist where they would feel comfortable.  Then, I was unable to have them stay with me.  I have a small one bedroom apartment that is perfect for me and challenging for hosting people.  Granted, if I had a king sized bed, I could have made it work. I would have given them my bedroom and slept on the couch.
My stepmom has siblings that live near the metro area and so they had options.  The first two nights, they stayed in Englewood and the next two days they will be in Berthoud.  My dad has an old colleague that lives in Wheat Ridge and so they stayed with them last night after spending the day with me.  We had lunch in Cherry Creek and then walked around City Park.  I considered going to the Botanic Gardens but felt it was a little soon in the season to fully appreciate it.  And, my dad likes to get his steps in.  I live near City Park and so it was perfect.
I suppose next time we can check out the old school steakhouse that I found.  Or, I know my dad enjoys Korean food and so I had scoped out a few spots that offer dishes that he enjoys.  Next visit.
On Easter, I worked the morning.  Typically, we are open for night service and my friends and I had hoped to stop by and support our friend, Goose, in his final evening of service at his restaurant.  We missed the last night but were able to attend the friends' and family celebration on Easter.  It was lovely to see him so relaxed and inspired.  He can enjoy fishing, traveling and figuring out what is the next chapter of his life.  I convinced these two to meet me for a quick drink or three.  Of course, the time went by way too quickly!  I ran into a bunch of people that I have met over the years dining at Goose's restaurant.  Former employers, friends and staff.  It truly was a wonderful way to say goodbye to that restaurant.  I had asked Sara Jo to join me as she had been my partner in crime on numerous occasions. Unfortunately, her work schedule prohibited her from attending.

I off to celebrate this Thursday.  A few yoga classes and I am teaching my friend, Roxie, later.  I feel I have been working towards that goal of expanding my yoga clientele for awhile.  Time to maximize my efforts.  And wine will be included, too.
Cheers to life, to Thursday, to creating memories!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

spring and other thoughts

Happy Easter!  I do love this time of year.  The colors, the blooming and the beginning of spring.  Sleeping with a window open and waking up to the chill of the morning.  Absolutely adore it.  I am inspired to wear lavenders, oranges, yellows--easter egg colors.  Soft and warm.  Maybe a pedicure is in order later today.  I could sport the colors of easter on my toes.
I met my aunt for a quick walk around the lake.  We try to meet once every few months and typically, I go to her.  It seems to work easier.  She is a Denver native and still gets confused driving downtown.  I figure heading to the west side is always interesting.  It continues to evolve and change and add restaurants to the area.  I enjoy seeing what is available in other areas of Denver.
We always catch up over the walk and she is insightful.  Sometimes, a little too forceful with her perspective but I appreciate that she tells it like it is as opposed to sugar coating to save my feelings. Normally, we finish with breakfast at a local Mexican restaurant which I also look forward to.  Yesterday, though, Bryn had made lunch plans with my cousin.  No chips and salsas for me on the west side.
I dropped some items off at Goodwill and stopped by my old job to enjoy brunch.  I ran into old customers and many friends who have worked there.  I love the enchilada sauce and so it was an easy detour.  I thought about making brunch at my house and then thought better of it.  Who doesn't prefer cooked breakfast and mimosas?  Plus, no clean up.  I chose wisely, lol.  And, I could inhale chips and salsa there.
I took off yesterday to watch a basketball game.  In some ways, I knew that I would prefer watching it from my home instead of watching it at work.  I get fired up and a little irrational.  Moreover, trying to watch it and work is a recipe for disaster.  I get too focused on what is going wrong and irritated when I am unable to watch it with undivided attention.  I spoke to Chad about taking the night off and he agreed.  I think, he also, understands how fired up I get about basketball.
The game, well, it was hard to watch.  I am thankful that I chose to watch it at home instead of meeting friends out.  From the opening tip, Nova dominated and consistently hit three pointers.  It was a nonstop assault.  I am proud of my alma mater and the team that they are.  They continued to fight and try to overcome the loss.  And, I was grateful that I took the night off.  I would have been sour had I been working.  I was sad.  I will watch the game Monday and see if Nova is able to continue the barrage of three pointers.  It was impressive.
I am working this morning and preparing for my dad's visit.  He and my stepmom are driving to Denver tomorrow to visit her family and me.  I am trying to find the perfect spot for dinner where they will feel comfortable and enjoy the food.  I think there is a place, nearby, that is a mom and pop's steakhouse that has been around forever.  It serves solid food and is not elitist.  I think that will be my best option.  My dad is Midwestern.  I don't need to wow him in a high end steakhouse.  I think it actually makes him uncomfortable.  He is a meat and potatoes type of guy and doesn't need the frills.
I spoke to my friend, Jenn, about meeting her and her husband with my dad.  We could meet for a drink, downtown, and then part ways.  I am still considering it due to logistics.  Should I focus on the downtown area or stay east and explore the neighborhoods?  I also need to find out where my dad plans on staying while in Denver.  I know there are a plethora of airbnb rentals available.
I am thankful for this new month, opportunities and travel.  Always, travel.  I hope to continue to increase my yoga clientele and maybe even audition at a studio.  The time is now!