New Dawn

I’m very excited that September has arrived! For no other reason than in about 30 days, the humidity in Tampa should start to burn off and we’ll be left with pleasantly warm days and cool, breezy nights. But to take advantage of the hot hot heat, we went on a fantastic walk/hike yesterday…
Yoga for runners! …almost…
Got it!
We walked/ran about 5 miles and I got a pretty sexy farmer’s tan from the V cut in my shirt. Thanks for that, Florida!

The rest of the week was pretty crazy. It flew by because we were so busy and I don’t think my brain has had a chance to catch up. I’ve woken up every day at 4:30am, completely unable to kick the 2 hours of insomnia before falling back to sleep around 6:30am. So odd… BUT, my time at The Oasis at the RNC was fantastic! I met dozens of fascinating people and taught yoga to congressmen/women from all over the country.

Here’s the inside of The Oasis (go see my little interview on the Huffington Post over at this link right here!):
And this is upstairs, where the yoga classes were actually held:
(In this pic you can kind of see the goodies in the fridge – we could help ourselves to all the Vita Coco, POM juice, and Fiji water we could handle!)
Manduka hooked us up with some awesome tools to teach with, too!
Some swag I was lucky enough to pick up:
I got to talk quite a bit with Seane Corn and before she left on Thursday she hooked me up with a Manduka to take home 😉
Overall, great experience! In other news, I have a big project I’m about to unveil very shortly. Stay tuned for that and stay safe on this long holiday weekend!

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Republicane 2012

It’s that time of year…
Looks like we’re prepping for a hurricane this week! It’s supposed to be in town by later tonight and stay through tomorrow evening. So we prepped by getting tons of water and some canned soup in case we lose power for any extended period of time – let’s hope that does NOT happen!

A similar catastrophe will be rolling through Tampa Bay later this week, as I’m sure you’ve heard…
Kidding! For the record, I’m completely impartial to either side in politics, but I’ll be teaching yoga at the convention for anyone who needs a bit of a break from all the commotion 🙂 My high school self would feel so betrayed right now! I’m actually really looking forward to it! Seems like an awesome experience and something pretty “big” to be a part of. No complaints here!

Some random recent things:
We ate a really, really great tasting meal at #9 Bangkok in St. Pete the other night. We were pleasantly surprised to find the ultra shady storefront was actually the home to a pretty fantastic menu! We got the veggie spring rolls and chicken/veggie pad thai. Definitely a repeat… especially since two appetizers, two main courses, and two pots of tea only cost us $25! Cant beat that, AMIRIGHT?!
And courtesy of my girl Heidi, we also discovered the Eco-Bean in Tarpon Springs. I live in a land where the only coffee shop open to sit in is a Starbucks. Good but not great. The Eco-Bean has amazingly tasty coffee, a zillion natural options for sweetener (see those bottles?!), and different milk options for the health-conscious coffee drinker: organic whole/skim, rice, almond, and soy milk. My kind of cafe!
We got a regular organic latte with one pump of vanilla, and an almond milk cappuccino with a bit of hazelnut – outta this world. 
I stumbled across The Gentle Barn the other day and seriously fell in love. They rescue animals who were either set to be killed for meat in horrendous, inhumane conditions, or from abusive households, and even animal hoarding situations. They take them in and provide them with medical care, healthy food, fresh air, and plenty of love. I sponsored an animal and liked them on Facebook and you should do the same. 🙂 Every “like,” “share,” and dollar count! I wish I lived in California so I could volunteer – one of the open positions is a “Cow Hugger.” I was like OMG, I think I found my calling!!!
That’s all! We’re sitting in the calm before the storm and I’m feelin’ productive – laundry, I’m looking at you.

Thursday Thoughts

1. I would rather eat 15 snacks a day than eat any full meal. Cereal, chips and guacamole, fruit, half of an avocado, some cheese, green salad, freshly juiced apples/pears/carrots/ginger… I’d eat like a scavenger instead of a civilized human 😉 You know, if scavengers had juicers.

2. Which American Olympic “win” will not make me cry? Seriously. I’m not particularly patriotic, but I love the Olympics! I love seeing all that devotion and passion come to a head and see people get rewarded for something they’ve worked so hard for. If someone is winning, an Erin is crying.
3. I need a pet goat. And I don’t want it to just wander around the back yard… I want it to walk around my house like a labrador. I’ll take it for walks and everything! I personally like this one because it’s kind of mean and it’s hilarious:

4. It’s the week of veggies over here! We made broccoli soup in the Vitamix which was incredible. I don’t know how, but it had a really mild flavor of cinnamon or cloves. I steamed the broccoli (bought a big stem of it, fresh) for about 6 minutes, then pureed the florets with the stem, a splash of water, a cup of raw spinach, a pinch of salt and pepper.
I took a zillion “tastes” before actually putting it in a bowl like an adult. But the color was pretty!
Tonight I’m roasting all the vegetables in our crisper (zucchini, squash, tomatoes, & red pepper) before they go bad and will roll them in a toasted grainy tortilla with hummus, avocado, feta, and spinach.
Bam! Dinner: Done! Back to the writing board for a little Yoganonymous fun 😉

5. I’m feeling better about all the downright meanness on that article, too! I can’t lie – I shed some tears over the things people were saying and e-mailing. I was really just trying to communicate the tips that flip the “a-ha” light switch ON for most people and it felt like I was beng bombarded with craziness over a couple petty words. Luckily, I also had lots of people reach out with positive, encouraging, wonderful thoughts about not being able to please everyone and to keep doing what I’m doing. Good to hear, so thank you for being awesome 🙂

Now, share with me something fun about your Thursday!

Tales of Adult Babyhood

I’m teething! No, but seriously…

Which means nature reminded that I have wisdom teeth as they’ve been pushing themselves into my other teeth and making my ears ache and my jaw throb. It’s not even really that painful as much as it is just really uncomfortable. It feels very similar to when you’d have to go get your braces tightened. If you’ve never had braces, here’s how it goes: the orthodontist uses these plier-looking things to twist the brackets tighter which tightens the braces and slowly eventually pulls your teeth together. So your teeth and jaw just feel exhausted, heavy and sore. That’s what I feel like in this case only there are no teeth there! Very strange!

And what do you do with a child who’s teething? Give them treats! 🙂
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? Did you just let them grow in or get them pulled? Was it the worst thing ever?! I’m so scared! I go to the dentist for an x-ray Thursday, so cross your fingers that they’re coming in perfectly straight, there’s plenty of room in there and they can just stay put! Because there are some people who have a low tolerance for pain and there are others like myself, for example, and I have a zero tolerance for pain.  And that’s on a good day… every other day the tolerance drops to like a -3. True story.

P.S. Don’t forget to enter the slow cooker giveaway before it expires!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Forget it was Father’s Day in like 5 minutes (Okay, like 2 weeks, but still!)? Oh yeah, me too! I’m swooping in to save the day and give you some sweet ideas to fall back on when you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel for last minute ideas. That never happens, right?! 😉 I won’t tell.

1. The Art of Shaving Kit – $100 (smaller sizes for about $25)
Love this stuff. It smells amazing and it’s so luxurious for someone who likes to take care of themselves. (Plus, it’s available at Sephora and if you buy it there you get those beauty insider points! Everybody wins!)

2.  YouBars – about $60 (or less)
For the fit and healthy Dad! Customizable protein/meal replacement bars, or granola, cookies, protein powder – you name it AND you make it. These are some of my favorite things ever! I’ve gotten them as gifts for people several times and I also buy them for myself too. It’s something that’s fun to do and so unique he’ll remember it forever.  (The YouBar Gift Box labeled “Most Popular” is the best deal and the one I ALWAYS get regardless of who/what it’s for.)

3. New Grill Set from William’s Sanoma – on sale for $80!
Honestly, whose Dad doesn’t like to grill a bunch of meat and have fancy tools to use while doing so? ‘Nuff said.

4. Foodzie Tasting Membership – $30
I just discovered this today and am obsessed. This is the coolest idea ever and you KNOW I got in on the action. If Dad’s a foodie like you, this is the perfect gift!

5. A few months of Netflix membership – $30 for about 3 months
This is so easy and gives Dad all the movies and video games (if that’s his thing) he could possibly wish for. It’s easy and inexpensive and really cool and even something you can combine with something else.

For even less expensive alternatives…

1. Take him to the driving range for some good memories! Seriously, it costs a few dollars to rent a bucket of balls and it’s sure to be a hilarious time. Last time I took my Dad, we ended up taking bets to see who could hit the little golf cart that buzzed around picking up balls. Hilarious and mature.

2. Beach/pool day. Do something Dad likes – bring a football/volleyball to the beach and toss it around for a while! Bring some food while you’re at it and picnic while you’re there. He’ll love it.

That’s all I got for ya right now, but if I think of some more, I’ll be sure to add them to the list. If I left any out, feel free to add to it below. 🙂

Everybody Loves a Good List!

I might prefer sitting in a tub of ice, getting a root canal, or being waterboarded before walking around in Tory Burch flats for an entire day. They’re SO uncomfortable! The leather is stiff and the back digs into my heel.

For serious. That’s one of the more regrettable $200 decisions I’ve made. Adrien freaked out when I bought them last year…
… and not even because they’re so beautiful.

I wear them often just out of guilt because they cost so much, but they are THE most uncomfortable shoes on earth. They hurt every part of my foot, and I much prefer other pairs that cost 1/3 of that price.

But a better side of this story is that there are plenty of things I would buy a million times over if I needed to:

1. My food processor! I have a classic (and by “classic” I mean “old”) Cuisinart and I use this thing constantly. I make sauces, soups, purees, and even smoothies when my blender is on the fritz. Fun fact: I used to have a magic bullet for about 5 minutes but word to the wise… that thing is a piece of garbage. Returned. 

2. The manduka black mat pro. If you do yoga regularly, I cannot recommend this mat highly enough. I’ve had it for a solid 5 years and it still looks brand new. It withstands 100*+ heat: I teach/do hot power yoga for 75 minutes on a regular basis, I leave it in the car during the summer, and I use it outside. It’s made with 100% recycled and nontoxic materials and there’s a lifetime warranty on it, so if it ever starts disintegrating like most cheaper ones do, you can return it and get your money back. It doesn’t slide around or bunch up beneath you, it’s sticky enough so your hands/feet don’t slip, it’s padded without being squishy (I never feel my hips or knees digging into the floor) and it lasts forever. And that’s my love story to Manduka.

3. Nike Free Runners. And now they’re on sale. Of course! But these are awesome for running, walking, cross-training, dog walking, kid wrangling, and require no breaking in. Good enough for me!

Those are just the first few things that jump to the top of my list of things I would buy over and over… Sorry, Tory! You can get the heck outta here!

2011: I couldn’t get enough of…

1. Shellac! This picture was taken on day 9. Totally worth the $30. I even think they’d look better if I didn’t do so many dishes over the holidays and teach in a 105 degree room. Good stuff!

2. Breakfast for dinner. 

3. Organic mocha cappuccinos at home. They’re things of beauty around here!

4. … and I like drinking them out of my new favorite cups: Bodum Bistro mugs

5. Things with thumb holes (that’s what she said!):

my Lululemon hoodie

The Buddha bowl!

6. Arm balances:

7. Lady Gaga (she is 24! 24!) She’s created a massive following and influenced an entire generation’s pop culture. She’s kind of a freak, but that’s impressive! What are YOU doing today?

8. Teaching my Hot Power Yoga class.

Sarah’s first headstand ever! Such a proud yoga mama :-]

9. Lululemon has got me by the you-know-whats! Now I don’t know how I ever got dressed without my Wunder Under Leggings. They’re pretty heavy (so no see-thru no matter what you do) and they stay put even through an intense work-out. No having to readjust after coming out of your downdawg (that was a typo but then I liked it better!) or your jog.

This was pretty much Erin:

And then I had to have the crops:

I probably bought six pairs this year. Help me.

10. Reading for yoga/spiritual growth: Gabrielle Bernstein, Earl Nightingale (thanks to my Frenchman), Malcomn Gladwell, and all of my Ray Long yoga books.

It’s been a good year. Do you have any 2011 Favorites worth sharing?