Friday, July 30, 2010

New Post Coming Soon... a computer screen near you!  It's been a full week since my last post... I don't like going that long without chatting!  Things are crazy around here (studying of course), but I promise you that I have a fun new post coming soon (hopefully tonight!).  Get excited.  In the meantime, have a fantastic Friday, and we will chat soon! 

A quote for you as you continue through your day:

"To me, if life boils down to one thing, it's movement. To live is to keep moving."
~Jerry Seinfeld.

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Not Philosophy... YOGAlosophy!

Hello Friends!

First, let me say... I must really love my readers.  Okay, I admit it... I do love my readers!  Sam and I have to get up at 4:00am tomorrow to head to the airport (currently, it's 11:57pm).  We are going to Ohio to celebrate Sam's Grandparent's 60th Wedding Anniversary (congrats to them!), and I will not have access to the computer all weekend.  BUT I didn't want to leave for the weekend without giving you a tidbit of healthy & happy info!  I'm a little (or a lot) sleepy right now... so please excuse any grammatical errors, spelling errors, incomplete sentences, etc.

Okay, now on to the good stuff.  I wanted to tell you about a yoga DVD that I recently purchased.  Although I prefer to go to heat yoga class at Indigo Yoga, lately that option just hasn't been available for various reasons.  However, I have really enjoyed doing yoga in the peace and comfort of my own home.  I also like doing it at home because I can do yoga whenever I want.  I don't have to worry about having to fit a class time into my schedule or the class being too full.  If you are too intimidated by a class or if your schedule is just too busy, I definitely recommend trying to do yoga at home.  I know I have said this before, but yoga is good for you both physically and mentally.  It's one of my favorite de-stressers.

I try to do yoga at least twice a week.  Usually, I will do the 1.5 hour P90X Yoga X on Tuesday, and on Thursday I will swim or bike and then finish with Rodney Yee's 30 minute Power Yoga for Strength.

I have been using these two DVDs for a while now, and I have been wanting to change it up.  Specifically, I was looking for something that is about an hour long, but that is also a full total body workout.  I wanted the intense, muscle burning yoga workout that P90X Yoga X gave me, but in a shorter amount of time.  I'm sure there a several yoga DVDs out there that would satisfy this need, but I found one in particular that intrigued me... so I ordered it!  And I like it!

It's called YOGALOSOPHY.  It's by Mandy Ingber who is a celebrity yoga and fitness instructor.  It's called yogalosophy because Mandy has her own philosophy when it comes to yoga.  It's not your typical yoga DVD because she combines strength training and toning movements with yoga, which I really like because you "feel the burn."  This video will kind of give you a taste for her personality.  (Guys, I will admit... her personality caters more to women, but Sam said he enjoys the workout despite that fact.)

Mandy is Jennifer Aniston's personal yoga instructor, and I think we can all say that Jennifer Aniston has definitely benefited from following Mandy's yoga philosophy.  I mean she is 41 and she looks amazing!  I'm sure she probably has personal chef's and all that jazz, but apparently, she swears by Mandy's yoga routines.  In fact, she believes in the workout so much that she has done a little introduction for the yoga DVD.

It's a total body workout, but it seems like she likes to focus on the legs a little more.  The DVD has a 30 minute workout option, which is nice in case you are strapped for time.  However, if I have time, I prefer to do the full 55 minute yoga workout.  The DVD begins with a series of sun salutations, then you move into the workout or toning phase, then balancing poses, then abs, and then you end with 5 minutes of stretching.  And there you go... a full body yoga and toning routine in 55 minutes!

Okay, so Sam just pointed out to me that I talked about the Jennifer Aniston Healthy Cocktail a while ago and NOW I'm talking about her yoga routine.  Sooo... it looks like I go and research what Jennifer Aniston is doing, which I think is really funny, because that isn't the case.  Therefore, I must explain.  I discovered the cocktail in a really old OK! magazine from like 2005 that I found in my room at my parent's house.  So I tried the cocktail creation, and it turned out that it was really yummy, and I liked it, and now it's one of my favs.  Then, I came across this yoga DVD while doing some research and reading some of the reviews.  Bottom line... Jennifer Aniston and I like the same things.  Whatever she is doing seems to work, and hopefully I can look that good at 41!

I also want to leave you a few random things for the weekend that I have read in a couple of my magazines lately that I found interesting.

1.  A nutrition fact for you from Natural Health Magazine:  "Vitamin B6 is an anti-stress vitamin. Take 50 to 100 milligrams a day to get on a more even keel."  Interesting!

2.  A thought provoking quote from Whole Living Magazine:  "Take a day off.  The world (and the office) will be fine - and still there when you get back."  (I know, I will really need to be telling myself this quote in a few months once the real world of auditing and "busy season" begins).

3.  A quick, easy, and healthy treat that is great for satisfying those sweet cravings or as a topping on your granola or oatmeal from Whole Living Magazine:

Oven-Dried Blueberries 
Makes 1/2 Cup

Heat oven to 225 degrees.  Toss 1 cup blueberries with 1 teaspoon of honey in a bowl.  Bake berries on a parchment-lined baking sheet until shriveled but still supple, about 2 hours.  Let cool.  Berries will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 month. 

Well, I must get to bed now if I'm going to be of any use tomorrow.  I hope this posts holds you over until we can chat again (hopefully Tuesday).  In the meantime, have a fantastic weekend!

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

images from:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mission Accomplished: Last Day

Sad!  We had to leave on Sunday, but we weren't leaving without a couple more adventurous activities!

We had to check out at noon, so it was an early morning for us if we wanted to squeeze in some fun stuff.  At 8:00 we had Tai Chi outside overlooking the water.

I don't have a picture because it definitely would have been awkward for me to take a picture during the middle of the class, but this picture is basically what we looked like except we weren't matching and there wasn't that cool building in the background...

I have never done Tai Chi before.  It was really interesting.  You do the moves really slowly because the slow movements make you have to work on your balance which strengthens the muscles.  One movement takes a couple of minutes to complete the full move.  But, if all the tai chi moves are performed quickly, they are actually self-defense moves.  So I learned how to get away from someone if they grab my arm.  Very cool!  This is a video of one of the self-defense move I learned...

After Tai Chi, we had breakfast and then there was one thing I had to try before we left...


In the jungle!  Not really... but the trees look cool.

Looking onto the resort grounds from the water...

The view from the water.

After our hydrobikes, we explored the organic gardens again.  The resort gave us shears and told us that we could take home anything we wanted from the garden!  So I wanted to take home some of their pretty flowers to fill our vases that purchased at the resort's cute boutique.  

Vases in hand... ready to fill!

Which ones do I pick??  They are all so pretty!

Of course I had to get some of these little bobbles that I love!  Sam offered to operate the tools as you can see...

Ta daaa!

Then it was time to pack up and head back home to reality.  However, I think I can handle reality much better after that trip!  

But wait, I need to show you pics of our cute and cozy room and private backyard garden! I loved the rooms because they felt really homey... like you were staying in a little cottage. 

We took these pics while we were packing up so it's not all clean and perfect like it was when we arrived, but you get the idea.  Look at my vases on the window sill! 

Sam's apparently thinking really hard and seriously about packing up...

The door heading out to our little private garden

Here is our garden!  That window right there is the window from inside the shower (next pic).

This was so cool!  It felt like you were showering outside, but with privacy!  I know some people may not like that feeling, but I thought it was relaxing.  So if that's the case, there was a curtain in front of the window if that made you uncomfortable.  Oh, and the bathrooms were furnished with the resorts lotion, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and more that had this AMAZING lavender scent.  Now, I am hooked on lavender smelling things for the moment, especially since the resort gave us a lavender candle as a gift to take home with us. So nice!

Another pic of the garden. 

So that was our weekend getaway filled with relaxation, adventure, and fun at Lake Austin Spa Resort!  Sam and I had such a great time.  Keeping in mind that this was a gift from my parents for our 1st year Anniversary (thanks again!), it was like a second honeymoon!  Our real honeymoon was in Belize at another incredible resort that is a hidden gem like Lake Austin called The Victoria House.  Flashback time to some honeymoon pics!

Our Honeymoon Villa at Victoria House.  Ours was the upper and lower, right half of the building on the right.. if that makes sense.  It's kind of covered by the tree, but they all look the same.

Sunrise in Belize...

It's official, we like hammocks... I caught Sam taking a nap!

And we love kayaking...

We took a private sunset sail on this "old school" sailboat with some rum punch.  Besides the fact that I thought we were going to tip over the entire time, it was really fun and a gorgeous sunset.

So now you see why I can say that our short weekend getaway felt like a second honeymoon! A little relaxation, adventure, and fun.  I guess that should become the theme of our trips from now on. 

So, I must leave you with a recap of some life lessons I took away from this trip...

Lessons from Our Trip
1.  Let yourself relax.  Allow your mind to turn off.  Just be.  Enjoy the simple things around you and the simple things in life... like the simple fact that you are alive and healthy.

2.  Take advantage of being alive and healthy and move your body!  Don't be afraid to try new things (like Tai Chi for example).

3.  There is more than one way to relax.  Relaxation doesn't have to mean getting a massage or sitting down and doing nothing.  Relaxation can be active as long as it's something that you enjoy and that allows you to take your mind off of life's worries.

4.  Enjoy the rain!  If you had a big day planned, don't let it ruin your day.  Grab an umbrella (or not) and go!  Someone recently told me to think of it as "Liquid Sunshine" (thanks Maggie!). 

5.  Watch a movie.  Sam and I never used to take time to watch movies.  I could always think of other things I could be doing with that time. We watched two movies during our stay, and since we have been home, we have enjoyed some good laughs while watching some movies that we already owned.

And that's the end of my series of posts on our weekend getaway!  Mission Accomplished.  I hope you enjoyed hearing about the weekend.  Have you had any fun adventures lately??  If so, I want to hear! 

I hope you had a fantastic weekend! Talk to you soon :-)

With Love, Health, and Happiness,

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mission Accomplished: Day 3

Day 2 was day 3 began with high expectations.  And those high expectations were definitely fulfilled!

Our first event of the day wasn't until 11:00 so we slept in a little bit (like a rock again) and then enjoyed some delicious breakfast.  I was hooked on the oatmeal mixed with granola and fruit and a little soy milk (they didn't have almond milk... but that was okay).  Sam went with a big bowl of cereal and some muffins.  We didn't want anything too heavy since we had Vinyasa Flow Yoga from 11-12:20.

After breakfast, we strolled around and took some more pics again while our food settled.  Picture time!  Get ready, I was REALLY good at bringing the camera everywhere with me today!  Woohoo


These little bobbles kind of became my favorite... I have no idea what they are, but I like them!

One word... Hammock.  Instant relaxation.  

But, I need to be getting pumped up for vinyasa flow yoga!

So more walking and pics.  And we're walking... and then I was ATTACKED! 

By a HUGE spider web that went across the entire walking path, and I seriously wrestled in that web for a full minute at least, while Sam stood back and took a picture and laughed.  (That's what husbands are for!)  My arms were flailing around like crazy trying to get it off of me.  I know any on-looker probably thought I had a serious issue.  But, I'm telling you, this web was gigantic, and I was stuck smack dab in the middle of it like the spider's breakfast. 
From then on... Sam walked ahead of me.  

I survived the evil web!  Victory was mine.  Now let's take some more pictures...

A picture of Sam and I... finally!

I'm getting fancy on you again with the pics... cool right?!? 

Picture time was fun, but now it's time to get ready for an hour and twenty minutes of Vinyasa Flow Yoga

The yoga class was held in a room inside, but I just had to take advantage of the Yoga Deck to get myself in yoga mode.

Hello ducks... do you mind if I join you on the yoga deck?? 

The ducks didn't seem to mind.  So, of course some yoga poses had to be done on the yoga deck!
Crow anyone?  I really wish there would have been an actual crow flying in the background... that would have been neat.

I told you tree pose was my fav... 

Ready for Yoga! 

The yoga class was a great way to start the day.  Since we had a later breakfast, we weren't really hungry after yoga, so we decided to relax in the sunshine for a little bit. 

Our view from our chairs.  You can kind of see Sam's foot...

It was super sunny and hot, and then came a random downpour... so we rushed over to the side of the pool for cover.  The big green chairs were cozy, and we read our magazine/ book while the rain surrounded us.

After some relaxation in the sun, it was lunch time!  Sam's lunch was the best, I was jealous.  He ordered the portobello mushroom french dip sandwich on ciabatta bread with a mushroom broth as the dip.  I ordered the tostadas, which were good, but not nearly as great as Sam's sandwich.  We started lunch with a fresh salad from the salad bar.  

After lunch, more relaxing by the pool to let our food settle, and then it was time for our next activity.  I think this next activity became one of our favorite things.  I will tell you our other favorite thing in a bit...

Spa or Pool Barn?  Spa or Pool Barn?  Which one do you choose??

Spa pool?

Or Pool Barn? 

 This pic doesn't even look real!

The winner... POOL BARN!

We loved swimming laps in this pool barn.  It felt like you were outside because all the doors on the barn were open.  It was so clean, and there was never anyone in there, so we had the place to ourselves!

Our robes... 

Our lap workouts were pretty intense.  We would warm up with a couple laps of freestyle and breaststroke.  Stretch. Then alternating laps of freestyle and breaststroke and sometimes butterfly for 15-20 minutes.  Then, we would do forward and backward sprints and grapevines in the water... so hard!

After the swim, we headed off to our other favorite activity (in our robes of course).  It was off to the spa where Sam and I parted ways.  Sam went to the Men's Locker Room, and I went to the Women's for a 20 minute steam (Sam said he preferred the sauna).  I told you steams are one of my new favorite things!  I always feel so rejuvenated both mentally and physically afterward.  And as a bonus, my skin always feels really soft!

After our sweat sessions, we headed back to our room to get ready for dinner! 
Still in our robes of course... 

My robe was a little (or a lot) too big... but it was cozy!

You will be proud of me... I took pics of dinner!  I just said to myself... I'm over it, I'm taking pics of the food.  

This was our view from our dinner table.  You can see the reflection of our table... 

Dinner Time
First Course: Watermelon and Jalapeno Gazpacho 

Second Course: Watermelon and Tomato Salad with Basil and a Balsamic Vinaigrette
(No pic, I'm sorry, I got too excited and ate it all.  I promise it looks just as it sounds)

Main Course: Vegetable Gratin with Asparagus, Tomatoes, Mushrooms, Corn, Vegan Monterrey Jack Cheese, and a Basil Pecan Pesto.
This was divine.  Sam and I tried to re-create it the other night, and it actually turned out quite well!  I will have to give you that recipe soon. 

It came out much prettier than this picture, but we remembered to take a pic after we had already destroyed the presentation and eaten half of it.  

After dinner, some dessert, white wine, and local Austin tunes!

Dessert: Blueberry Crumble!


After a full day of activities, dinner, and music, and dessert, and full bellies we took a brief stroll, then it was bedtime for me.  However, Sam decided that he wanted to stay awake and watch Kung Fu Panda.  I said go for it, but I'm going to sleeeep.  Well, I guess Sam decided it would be good to take a picture of me in the middle of the night while I was probably already in dreaming mode.  

Okay, so I am really brave to show you this lovely pic, but it just does the day justice.  He didn't use a flash because he didn't want to wake me... so nice of him right... 

And... Goodnight. 

Wheww what a day!  I told you to get ready for lots of pics, but I hope you enjoyed them!  When I was a kid, I always picked the books with the most pictures.  It's like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words! So that was our last full day... sad!  However, we still have a couple more exciting things to share with you from Day 4.  

Hope everyone's weekend is off to a great start! 

With Love, Health, and Happiness,