Wednesday, March 30, 2011

lululemon is growing in Cowtown!

Get ready Fort Worth!!

When they say every thing is bigger in Texas, they mean it.  The lululemon athletica showroom off of West 7th has been a huge hit among the health and fitness community, and this has left the Fort Worth Showroom with no other option but to GROW!  The new store will actually no longer be considered a showroom, but a full blown lululemon athletica store!

Before we get into the exciting details, let me give you a little background on the company. 

"Founded by Chip Wilson in Vancouver BC in 1998, the first lululemon shared its retail space with a yoga studio. We've been growing ever since, and our technical yoga and run clothes are now available in countries all over the world... We make technical athletic apparel for yoga, running, dancing, and most other sweaty pursuits." 

lululemon's Mission

"Creating components for people to live long, healthy, fun lives." 

lululemon's Vision

"Elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness."

lululemon and the Community

"All lululemon locations have strong ties to our local communities. We host in-store events ranging from self-defense to goal-setting workshops to complimentary yoga classes led by our community ambassadors. If you'd like to know which items your local store receives each week, find your local store now and sign up for their weekly product notification. Our online store also sends out weekly emails to keep you in the loop."

Now the moment you have all been waiting for... 
WHERE AND WHEN is the new store opening??

Construction is already underway in University Park Village!  

The store is on track for a Grand Opening at the end of April followed by a "don't want to miss" Grand Opening Party in the beginning of May!

 As you drive along University Drive or walk through the village, I encourage you to take a quick glance over by the new Anthropologie store, and you will not miss the bright red wall of the new store featuring the lululemon manifesto.  

What is the lululemon manifesto?

"The lululemon manifesto is our "truth check" and inspiration. It's a series of statements that we believe embody our company's vision, culture and beliefs. We integrate the manifesto in all aspects of our work, including our vision to provide components for people to live longer, healthier and more fun lives. We believe it's important to maintain balance between work, rest, and personal activities: to take time out for a coffee break with your best bud and go for walks on the beach (if the beach isn't close by - choose an alternative!)."

So what does the new store mean for Fort Worth?? 

After talking with Faith Geiger, lululemon atheltica Fort Worth Store Manager, her enthusiasm is contagious as she explains that the new store means more "beautiful technical product" and a greater opportunity to be an "inspiring presence in the community."  She expressed her gratitude to have the opportunity to be growing in such a "close knit community" allowing lululemon Fort Worth to further connect with the community and build "authentic relationships." 

Although lululemon athletica is a one company with one brand, stores all over the world are encouraged to create their own team and community vision that fits with the store's local community.  This allows each store create a unique environment that celebrates it's local community.  How cool is that!  So with this in mind, here is what you can expect to see from lululemon athletica Fort Worth... 

Who is lululemon athletica Fort Worth??

Fort Worth Team Vision

"We are the lululemon athletica vision & mission delivering bodacious guest experiences, building community relationships, being product knowledge experts, and people developers."

Fort Worth Community Vision

We are the funky fresh fitness hub connecting Fort Worth to healthy, fun lives." 

I don't know about you, but they had me at "funky fresh fitness hub."  To keep up with all of the exciting things happening with lululemon athletica Fort Worth you can always visit the
  lululemon athletica Fort Worth Facebook Page.  

The store even has it's own iron brand ready to put it's funky, fresh, and fun mark on Fort Worth!

So mark your calendars for the end of April!  And if you ever need a little pick-me-up throughout your day, all you have to do is drive by the digs of the new store and read an inspiring quote off the manifesto wall.  Pick one and carry it with you through your day.  

Today I'm going with this one... "Life is full of setbacks.  Success is determined by how you handle setbacks."  I chose this one because in the middle of all the craziness with leaving my job and following my passion, I've caught a little bug or something, which hasn't allowed me to workout with my lululemon friends... so instead of dwelling on that... I'm taking it easy, staying positive, and writing this post!   

Here's to Health, Happiness, and Spreading the lululemon Love! 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I Resigned... to Pursue My Passion

**Warning: This is a long one... but a lot has happened over the past few weeks and it's a big life change, so you deserve the full story :)

"I have an announcement."  

This is what I said two weeks ago as I walked into the audit room filled with 10+ of my fellow auditors.  When a woman has an announcement, usually it's that she's pregnant.  Well, that is not the case today... maybe 5+ years from now I will share that news with you.  My announcement was that I had just resigned and will be leaving the firm in two weeks.... in order to follow my heart and pursue my passion for health, fitness, and wellness.

This was one of the most difficult yet the most easy decisions/announcements I have ever made in my life.  Difficult, because I just graduated from college a year ago after spending 5 years in school and getting my Masters in Accounting and then spending another 6 months taking the CPA exams.  Needless to say, A LOT of time, stress, and $$$ has been invested in my career as an auditor.  

Undergraduate Degree - Double Major in Finance & Accounting

Graduate Degree- Master in Accounting

Oh yes... you get the hood and all. 

But as difficult as the decision was, it was so easy at the same time because it just felt so right.  When you know what you want to do in life and when you are passionate about something, you no longer question the risk.  You take it.  You go for it... knowing that if you love what you do... you will never spend a day "working" and if you love what you do, you will be successful no matter what.  

When I chose my major to study in college at the age of 18, I really had no idea what I wanted to do.  As far as I was concerned, you go to work to make money in order to do the things you love when you are not working.  That's just how it was supposed to be.  I never really thought that I could do something that I love as my career, and for that matter, I wasn't quite sure yet what I truly loved or was passionate enough about to make into a career.  So with that in mind, I chose to major in business.  In my mind, business equaled financial stability.  And to make my decision even easier, I was good at accounting and made good grades in school so everything just kind of fell into place.  Easy enough right?  

Not really.  In the middle of my earning my Master's degree, I created this blog... on a complete whim.  Not knowing how much I would fall in love with it and anything related to health and fitness.  I have always loved anything to do with staying active and healthy, but it never hit me that the health and fitness world is where I wanted to be/could be as a career.  But, at that time, I was too invested in my accounting career not give it a shot.  After almost 7 months as an auditor, I woke up.  

I'm not at all saying I regret my experience as an auditor or majoring in business.  I don't regret that for a second.  Everything happens for a reason, and I have learned so much coming from the business school and my experience as an auditor in the corporate environment. 

This just says it perfectly for me... 

"In the journey of mind consciousness, the term status quo, “as things are”, is the term to describe the state of being when you are uncomfortable living in the service of someone else’s passion or purpose. You are focused on punching the clock, crunching numbers and meeting deadlines. Every action you take is to meet someone else’s standards or business vision in order to collect a paycheck, all the while feeling YOU have more to give, a bigger reason for being.

Its what I call living the Cubicle Life or the Quo Life because you're not the boss, good ‘ole Mr. Quo is your boss. I think of him as a very nice guy who provides you a Packaged Life for the priceless expense of your soul." 

"For many people, the fringe benefits of 'comfort and stability' offered in the Cubicle Life package provide a perfectly satisfactory life. For others, living the Cubicle Life feels like a spiritual death, like each day has boiled down to a menial check list that feels like a series of giant milestones to get through each day: coffee, morning meeting, phone calls, meeting, lunch, water cooler chit chat, meetings, phone calls, crunching numbers, bureaucracy, punch out. Repeat"

It took me 7 months to realize that I had more to give and a "bigger reason for being,"  BUT I don't regret those 7 months at all... and this is why... 

"There is never a reason to regret or look back on your years in the Quo Life. The Quo Life is creating for YOU the very circumstances that are showing you who YOU are. Mr. Quo is a wonderful asset to each of us, creating a perfect environment to birth a vision of your life overflowing with your passion, purpose, dreams and ambition. Why? Life is a process of elimination. You feel out Quo jobs and Quo relationships eliminating what doesn’t work over and over until you are so frustrated, so uncomfortable, so irritated, you exclaim, “I can’t live like this anymore!” And then your soul steps in and says, “I have been trying to get your attention!” And you are so exhausted, you finally listen and SEE your soul. Face to face with your soul, you might even glimpse how magnificent you are, how much greater your purpose on earth really is, and this is what is called waking up. Be grateful if you woke up. Some people NEVER do. Two things usually happen to people in this wake up moment: they shrink in fear, unable to accept the great light that is wanting to shine through them (suddenly the Quo life seems easier than being a light in the world) or you surrender and give permission to your soul to lead YOU instead of thinking (literally thinking) your way through life. It’s thinking that causes our feet to live in Quo Life. It’s knocking on the door of your heart that will help you step onto the spiritual path."

Well, like article says, I've "knocked on the door" of my heart and have given "permission to my soul" to lead me instead of "thinking my way through life." And I could not be more excited!!!!

So what am I going to do you ask?????

You know that athletic apparel company I'm always raving about.  The one that has my favorite water bottle or the one that was on my holiday wishlist or the one that hosts amazing yoga events.  Does the name, lululemon, sound familiar?!? 

I'm going to work full-time for lululemon at the new store opening in University Park Village!! 
(more details to come DFW friends).

My Mom and I soaking up the lululemon manifesto goodness.  Love this wallpaper on the front of the new store coming soon!  

The company's mission statement is "Creating components for people to live longer, healthier, more fun lives."  How perfect...that's exactly what I love to do and what I try to do with this blog! 

I will still be facilitating at Replenish Retreat in May (only a few rooms left if you want to join!), and I will also be investing more time in this blog.  Now that's a whole separate post in itself... think new blog name, a completely new look, a logo, AND more posts for you!! The new blog is all in the works and should be rolling out very soon!

With all of this going on things have been quite the roller coaster for me over the past month, but nothing would be possible without the support of my friends, family, and loving husband.  You know who you are, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Also, I must thank lululemon for the amazing opportunity to be a part of them team.  :)

So that's my news!! I found some guts, took the risk, and I'm not looking back... not even for a second. The new life begins very soon, and I will be sure to keep you updated.  

If you made it all the way to the bottom of this post, then thank you so much for sticking with me!  I didn't want to announce that super awesome ridiculously exciting news and then leave you hanging without all of the decisions and details that went along with it.  Maybe there is some one out there who is going through the same thing, and if that's the case, then I hope this post is helpful.  

"No one can go back and make a brand new start. 
Anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~Unknown 

Follow Your Heart

With Love, Health, and Happiness,


Monday, March 7, 2011

Living a Balanced Life

Life is all about balance.  We go to work, we play, we spend time with family, friends, we do things to keep us healthy like exercise, we try to find time for ourselves and to take care of others, and so much more.  Wow, we sure do try to do a lot, right?!  Well, eventually, if you are off balance long enough... you will go crazy.  Okay, you might not literally go crazy, but it will catch up to you in some way... you might get sick, or depressed, or lose motivation to exercise or eat right and take care of yourself, and the list goes on...which is why it's so important that we have BALANCE in our lives!
I recently went through a little phase where I just felt off balance... it might be the very long work hours and that I don't have much time to spend with family and friends or exercise... but either way, this post is as much of a reminder for me as it is for those of you reading.  So there is my little confession.  Life isn't always perfect... we all have our ups and downs, so what do we do?  We roll with it, and learn from it, and move on!   That's the glory of life... it just keeps going... so you can get off balance and know that there is always time to find that balance once again.  Whew!!
This is what being balanced looks like for me... at total peace.

This is what being balanced looks like for Sam and Major... hehe

It may not always be easy, but look at it as an opportunity.  It's an opportunity to learn something new about yourself, and maybe you realize something you have been missing all along that will give you just what you need to center yourself again. Balance is everywhere.  In our minds, our meals, our workouts, relationships, etc.  If you lift weights every single day without doing something else to balance your body, then it will catch up to you.  If you eat cereal all the time (I love cereal, by the way), you probably won't be feeling too good after a while. If you don't take time to relax, then it will eventually start to have an impact. In other words, too much of one thing isn't necessarily good and may defeat the purpose of the other.Now let's get down to the nitty gritty fun stuff... here is a list of some things that help keep me balanced.

This Blog!
If I haven't blogged in a while, then I know that I am starting to get too off balance and not making enough time for the things I enjoy.

Exercise helps with balance in all aspects of my life.  It pushes me to my limits, energizes and calms me at the same time, and just makes me feel good all over.  I bring balance to my workouts by not always doing the same thing.  It's more fun that way!  Although I do have favorites like yoga and CrossFit, I still really enjoy just going outside for a run, a pilates class, swimming, biking, and even rollerblading... yes I said it... rollerblading... nothing like having a little kid moment and throwing on those skates for some old school fun!
CrossFit Fun at Brandt Fitness & Self Defense

My friend Steph & I...Sam is taking the pic

Yoga @ Cowboys Stadium ~ Indigo Yoga 
Ya... I took a picture while upside down in the pose... 
looks kinda cool right?! 
Biking along the Trinity Trails
Swimming in the Pool Barn @ Lake Austin Spa & Resort
Golfing Fun

Variety is the spice of life!!
Exercise doesn't have to mean going to the gym and doing a cardio machine, then some weight lifting, then ab work... it can be so much more fun than that!  To keep it simple, find a few things that you enjoy and just add them to your workout rotation.  Change it up and have fun!
Healthy Food
Oh my, I confess... I LOVE food!  But what I really love... is making healthy food that tastes so good that you forget about all that greasy heavy food that you used to eat.  Yes, I ate Big Macs, fast food, big country breakfasts, and fried foods all the time growing up... and loved it at the time.  But now, I don't even crave those things anymore (okay, maybe some good ole biscuits and gravy every once in a while), but I find myself craving greens, fruit, smoothies, and almond butter!  I never knew the possibilities that could be created in my very own kitchen!
Healthy food is energizing and it just helps your body function.  I'm not saying don't indulge in dessert because you have to do that too in order to have balance of course!
Here is a TIP
 If you are eating healthy for two meals a day, then it's pretty hard not to stay balanced.  A good way to make sure you are doing that is to have a smoothie and a meal with lots of greens and veggies every day (salad or stir fry for example).  I like to start my day with a smoothie as you all know, and then I make sure to get my greens during at least one other meal of the day.
Here are some of recipes I have enjoyed lately that will help you get your greens and veggies! 

(from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs)

Oh my goodness, this recipe and the sauce will knock your socks off!  We actually haven't made it raw like the recipe says, but I want to try it.  We prepare all the veggies and the sauce and mix it together and then add a little cooked soba (buckwheat) noodles, and then heat all of that up together on a pan.  If you want to add some tempeh, chicken, or shrimp that would work great too!  Makes for great leftovers for lunch the next day!
(from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs)

Kale and I have become very good friends.  It's so good for you and makes the best salad.  The thing about kale is that it is a tough green.  So to soften it up, rinse it, chop it up, put it in a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil, lemon juice, and a salt and massage it! Yes, I said massage the kale... just get your hands in there, rub it, and just go to town with that kale.  It makes it much more tender and tasty!  Add a little avocado to this salad, maybe some sautéed tempeh or whatever source of protein you enjoy, and there you have it... a perfect dinner or lunch!
I like to always keep massaged kale on hand along with a good dressing like this one in the recipe. Also, you can add a little cooked millet, quinoa, or brown rice to this salad too to give it a little more "umph."
Mediterranean Kale Salad
Serves 2-4
If you like tabouli, then you will love this!  Cook 1 cup of quinoa as directed and toss with lemon, fresh mint, parsley, and garlic to taste.  Add 4 cups of chopped and massaged kale to the quinoa mixture with additional lemon juice and 4 Tbs of olive oil.  Toss until the leaves are coated.  Add 1-2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1-2 cups chopped cucumber, and 10 - 20 kalamata olives.  Enjoy! 
I had this dish for leftovers and changed it up a little bit by throwing it in a pan with a little coconut oil and sunflower seeds so it was almost like a stir fry.  Then added a little avocado.  Delish! 
My New Smoothie
As I mentioned, it's important to change things up every once in a while.  Since I have a smoothie almost every day, I recently decided to change it up a little bit.  Here is what I'm enjoying these days...
4 Whole Organic Frozen Strawberries
1/4-1/2 cup Organic Frozen Blueberries
1/2 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil
1/2 Tablespoon Almond Butter
1/2 cup unsweetened regular or vanilla almond milk
Dash of cinnamon 
1/2 cup water
*Every other day I will add 1 teaspoon of Maca Powder.
*Sometimes I will add a dash of carob powder.
**Check out Ange's Vlog at Hol : Fit for the many benefits of cinnamon and coconut oil
Stretching & Meditation
After a workout or at night I like to take a good 10-20 minutes to just stretch.  I will either do some light yoga with inversions (head stand or shoulder stand) or I will have a little date with my foam roller if I'm really sore.  This is definitely my "me" time... I completely zone out and let me mind just "be."
Me Time 
 I also just really enjoy relaxing after a long day, drinking some tea, and reading a book/magazine or catching up on some of my favorite blogs.

Family & Friends Time

Bachelorette Party Fun w/ the Girls

Nothing beats a girls night or spending time with your family or loved ones to bring you back to center.  Lately, Sam and I have just enjoyed making a delicious dinner and catching up on our favorite shows together. (American Idol, Modern Family, Glee, How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, anyone?!) I also love having family and friends over for dinner and introducing them to something new, healthy, and delicious!  Or going to see a movie!

Mom & Dad

Oh Happy Day!
So there you have it.  Here's to finding and keeping your balance!  
With Love, Health, and Happiness,