7.26.2017

Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Video! My Silly Girls}

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Missing this amazing, sweet beast right now!! I can't wait to see her in a week and a half!

7.24.2017

Matcha Lattes and Re-Connecting to Routine

If you look on my phone right now you'll see a lot of pictures of homemade matcha lattes. I'm a little obsessed with matcha tea (a traditional, ceremonial green tea powder) right now, with its gentle dose of caffeine, l-theanine, and antioxidants. Okay, more then a little... I set up a monthly delivery! I use this tutorial, with my favorite coconut almond milk and honey to make the most amazing not super sugarly latte:

🍵How to make a matcha latte at home? Matcha lattes at the café are packed with sugar and sweetened milk, here's how to be a badass b and make it DIY at home. Respek thy 🍵 matcha +your hot body⚡️⚡️ Here's what you'll need: Materials: -A chasen bamboo whisk or a high powered blender -Matcha powder from Japan (Look for ceremonial grade from Japan) -Boiled water, cooled for 5 minutes -Almond or coconut milk (unsweetened saves you inflammation + sugar) -Coconut butter (optional if using a blender only, adds satiation) Directions: 1- Boil water and cool for 5 minutes to 175-185 degrees F, matcha is best made with water slightly under boiling. 2-Add your matcha powder to your chawan (matcha bowl) or a bone dry blender and sift slightly with your bamboo whisk. 3- Add slightly cooled after boiling water. Whisk in M and N motions causing your chasen or blend on high. 4-Add your almond, coconut milk or milk of choice. Add coconut butter in to blender only if using. Blend on high or whisk in milk. SERVE ⚡️⚡️⚡️🍵🍵🍵#matchalatte #goldengirl #iquitcoffee
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This is part of my attempt at reconnecting with a healthy routine.

A little story: Before we left Pennsylvania I was carrying around an extra 10lbs which is a whole lot on a naturally slight 5'2" frame. A combination of sitting at a desk 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and eating a few too many sweets, and not feeling like I had the time to hit yoga more then 1x a week, made it almost impossible for me to lose. When we moved to Colorado - and specifically when I started teacher training - suddenly I found myself with time, and more then that, I found myself with the real commitment to change. I started doing yoga 3-5x a week, and I completely revamped my diet. Green smoothies, more veggies in general, and a real cutting of sugary items. I lost 15lbs at which point I decided to loosen up a little because it was not actually a weight I wanted to be at. I let go of some of my restrictions and gained about 4 of those back putting me in a place where I felt strong and healthy.

Mostly, maintenance has been fine. Summer however gets a little hard, and specifically travel in the summer is the hardest time to maintain. This summer I've been doing a little worse then normal. I'm staying up too late, sleeping in a bit in the morning, not making the best food choices and have slacked on my normal yoga routine. I gave up on my regular lifting day without even trying to see if I could make it work. I was feeling sluggish, not my best, and starting to worry about fitting into my very fitted bridesmaid dress for a September wedding!

A few weeks ago I decided to recommit. I set an alarm on my phone to remind me to go to bed, I started my regular matcha routine (normally partnered with amazingly yummy pasture raised eggs from some of my students!), upped my green smoothie game, and reigned in my nighttime sweets consumption.

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I also recommitted to as much yoga as I can with Gwen home from school, started hitting the machines before my Tuesday night yoga class, figured out how to take Gwen to the gym with me on Thursday mornings, and cashed in on a consult I won with an herbalist (I love seeing what nature can do to support everything else I'm doing).

We are traveling now, so a lot of routine has changed, again! But recommitting before we left has helped me to make better choices on the road. The more you move, the more your body craves movement; the better you eat, the better you feel, and the more you want to keep that good energy going. Moreover I just feel good again!

Here's to healthy living and a healthy life. That's a choice I always want to make.

7.21.2017

Southen Route Out

Gwen and I are in Pennsylvania right now, relaxing at my parents, but I'm taking the chance to review our drive out. We took a much more Southern route to the East Coast this time around, checking a few more states off of our list in the process!

We left first thing on Wednesday, our longest day of the trip out. Our destination was Arcadia Lake in Oklahoma, first meeting a friend nearby for dinner, then camping by the lake.


It was a long drive out, 9.5 hours without stops, driving halfway across Kansas, before turning south and heading into Oklahoma.


It was hot that night, but the breezes off the lake were nice. And we got to awake to a pretty great view.



Gwen loved that we could walk right down to the water from our site. She was very mad at me that we were just staying there for the rest of the trip! Ha!



The next day was followed by the shortest day of this drive out... only 4 hours on to our next stop, so we got to take it easy and stopped at a National Wildlife Refuge for a break and lunch.



They had a 1-mile paved loop trail to walk along and see some water loving wildlife. We saw a few Egrets, and one of my favorite birds, the Indigo Bunting.


There were also about a million frogs!


We had a mini picnic in the car when we got back, before doing their 6-mile scenic drive, then heading back on the road.


That evening (Thursday) we arrived in the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas.


This was a rustic site in the woods (pit toilets only) which Gwen wasn't sure about, but it was beautiful and had one of our favorite water areas... and absolutely beautiful creek with waterfall.




Gwen was such a fish this trip, and was in the water swimming every chance she got.




She even got brave and jumped off the waterfall.


It was a beautiful place and we were happy to have stopped there.
The next morning we drove the rest of the way across Arkansas and into Kentucky.

(Friday) we passed through Tennessee before getting to our destination, the beautiful Land Between the Lakes.


Our site was nice, a quick walk to the bathrooms and to the lake. Gwen of course wanted to swim!


I was thrilled that night to be able to hit up a warm shower! Gwen made some friends with the kids from a neighboring site, so while she played I got to fit in a quick wash.

We also got to enjoy something we miss greatly in Colorado... Fireflies!

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We don't have fireflies in Colorado, so we always look for them when we come out East.

On Saturday we left Kentucky, heading into our final camping stop in another National Forest, this time in West Virginia.


Monongahela National Forest was another more rustic site without anything but a pit toilet, but Gwen was okay with it this time. Especially since I surprised her with pancakes for dinner!


We also made friends with the people camping in the next site, a lovely family with three boys.


Gwen ran around with them that night, and the Grandmother brought ma a cup of coffee the next morning!



There was another creek nearby and of course those lovely trees that are so familiar to me on the East Coast! It was so much cooler here too then in any of the other stops. Oklahoma and Arkansas had been in the 90s until well into the evening, and Kentucky hadn't been much better. But in West Virginia it was in the 70s when we arrived and probably dropped into the high 50s during the night. We slept great!!


When we woke on Sunday, we were invited to breakfast with the sweet family next door, bacon and sausage and eggs, biscuits and pancakes, and orange juice until we were full! Thanks to weather conditions, a nice site, and sweet tent neighbors, I think this ended up being our favorite stop overall.

We started out after that, finishing the journey East by heading to DC and my brother!
5 days, 3.5 new states, and ~2,150 miles down. The first part of our journey is done!

7.19.2017

Wordless Wednesday {Photo Dump}

Odds and ends from the past few weeks...

Chicken Pesto Parmesan over Basil Garlic Pasta
I wanted to be a little fancy with lunch!

These two!! 😍







Showing me how to be fancy in the shoes
I bought for Heather's wedding.

New blooms on our porch plants!

The craziest egg from a dozen given to me by a student the other week.

The yolk from it was huge though, and the most lovely color!





7.17.2017

The Imagined Life: The Storage Shed

It was nothing super special or grand, just a neat, tidy square. Concrete floor, windowless wall, a row of lights on the ceiling. From the outside it looked like any old building, other then the many individual locked doors. It stayed naturally cool and dry (the wonders of old architecture), but I still had everything on shelves or risers, and covered with tarps or plastic - protection from above or below. It was my past and my future rolled all in one after all.

Is a storage shed really just a storage shed when it contains a lot of what you hold dear?
At what point does it become an archival treasure trove?

Since my abode was mobile and moving, my address changing by the month, the storage shed was one near my childhood home - easily accessible by my parents if I needed something from its well organized walls. From there I could pull supplies when needs arose, and deposit items that were not currently useful.

I knew this new life of mine wasn't permanent. Just as my old life was changed by surprise circumstances, I knew that anything could eventually change my feelings about my new vagabond existence. That, and I just couldn't imagine being 80 and still traveling full time. So the shed was my compromise, my tether, a little bit of roots in an otherwise gypsy existence.


[... and here is where the writing inspiration left me! According to Big Magic, I left this bit to sit for too long and the idea headed out to find a more worthy writer. Alas, I'm sharing it anyway!]



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The Imagined Life is fiction, a world of my own creation, explored through small, everyday things and experiences.

7.14.2017

East Bound Again

"Oh, there's a river that winds on forever
I'm gonna see where it leads
Oh, there's a mountain that no man has mounted
I'm gonna stand on the peak ...
What good is livin' a life you've been given
if all you do is stand in one place."  - Lord Huron 



Wednesday morning Gwen and I headed out for our trip East! For the second year in a row we were able to work it that we get to adventure our way out to the East Coast, hitting up 3 new states on the way there! We'll get to make stops to see my brother and an Uncle, my parents (of course!), Ro and the girls, all before heading to Cape Cod.

Cape Cod is always amazing, and the ride back involves 2 new states and a new country! Not to mention an Uncle visit, and some friends.

One difference this year: Miss Daisy will be staying home. She did great last year, but all those days in the car aren't easy for her... and they restrict what campsites we can stay at, and WHO we can stay with. So my sweet beast will be home with Trav, and home with a friend when Trav joins us in Cape Cod. Wish me luck because I miss her already!

I'm humbled, excited, and honored to be able to do this again, and I cannot wait to share it with you. (I'll be sharing lots of other things too, just to break it all up.) Wish us luck!

7.12.2017

Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Creative Lunch Arrangements}


Gwen got nose bleeds a lot when we first moved to Colorado because of how dry it is here. We used a humidifier for a long time and she hadn't had one for well over a year. We went to lunch the other week, pulled up to the restaurant and hear a yell from the back seat. Turn to look and Gwen's nose is gushing blood! Thanks, we think, to a recent cold that had irritated the inside of her nose, she ended up with an epic nose bleed that lasted about 20 minutes [FYI white vinegar is killer for getting blood out of shirts!]. A combination of her pinching her nose with a tissue, while I held ice to it for about 5 minutes (on and off, don't need a frozen nose), finally got it to stop. In the meantime, she wasn't going to not eat... so she would sneak fries up under the ice and tissues! That's my girl.

7.10.2017

Changing Things Up

Last night I taught my last Restorative Yoga class at my studio until August, this morning is my last Gentle Mat Class, and tomorrow my last All Levels Mat Class until then as well. I'm packing Gwen and my bags to get ready for a trip (more on that Friday), and while I will miss my students and classes, I am very much looking forward to a bit of a change.

This summer has been one of the rougher ones for Gwen and I. We are just together too much, and I'm going to have to make some different plans next year, I think. This stress has manifested in additional insomnia like problems for me - I stay up too late most nights (literally can't bring myself to get into bed), then of course am exhausted in the morning. I am ready to shake things up a bit.


While camping a different place each night isn't the best for all aspects of health (not always the easiest to get healthy meals, forget my green smoothie routine, and then there's the hours upon hours in the car), it can actually be amazing for resetting sleep. Without the normal distractions, its easy to find yourself asleep a lot earlier, which is good because you're most likely waking up with the sun and the birds!

I'm looking forward to the change in routine, the change in scenery, and the break from our summer norm.

7.07.2017

Parenthood Right Now - Knees in the Mud

We've been going through a learning curve this summer. I'm trying to find the right balance between getting done what I need to get done, having fun outings Gwen and I can enjoy, and making sure that she's still finding ways to entertain herself. Gwen is trying to find that balance with pushing for more independence, while still treating others with respect, and still wanting us around a lot. Frankly, it's a lot sometimes and we're left tired and scraped . . . Trav worked today, leaving Gwen and I to our own devices. It was too hot to spend much time outside, and I was tired out. Gwen was feeling antsy. Honestly, it was a rough day . . . Then this evening we found our tender truce and decided to head out for a walk. The sun wasn't so high in the sky and the wind was gentle and cooling. It felt so good to be outside. The sky was gorgeous and we three girls found a rhythm to our walk, Daisy running ahead to sniff then coming back to join Gwen and I. It was lovely . . . I love our apartment, and I don't always want to be going, but sometimes a change of scenery is exactly what everyone needs . . . . . . . . #greatoutdoors #mygirl #rockjumping #cherrycreektrail #cherrycreek #colorado #coloradolive #coloradoskies #blueskies #beautifulevening #summer #honesty #instasky #instamasterpiece #parentinglife #honestparenting
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The weeks since Gwen got off of school have been hard. They've been wonderful and fun and full for sure! But they have been hard too.


Gwen isn't a baby anymore. She's not even a toddler, or a preschooler. She's walking that fine line between little kid and big kid. Closer to her teen years then her newborn years. She wants independence and control, and I want her to have that... but there are still things she is just too young to do on her own, places she's too young to be on her own, and things she's too young to decide completely on her own. Its hard - frustrating for her, exasperating for me.


And I am far from being the perfect mother that I envisioned while Gwen was still just our "gummy baby" growing in my womb. I try to keep calm and cool, explaining things gently and asking her nicely to rephrase her request/angry response/sassy remark... but each exchange shortens my reserve of patience. I'm perfectly collected until I'm just not.


We are together so much. Wednesday - Friday we're together from the moment she wakes up until the moment she's asleep. Monday and Tuesday I get breaks when I teach, but Monday its literally me dropping her off with someone to watch her while I teach then rushing back to pick her up immediately following. Some evenings Trav works events, extending the 100% on time through dinner and bed. I try to get breaks on the weekend, but that's Trav's time for a break too, so its a balance.

This feels like a lot of complaining, but honestly its an unburdening. Its a love note to every parent out there that's feeling like they are both over stretched and falling short. I see you, I feel you, I AM you.

Bunmi Laditan wrote this amazing piece a few weeks back that hit me just right.


Lately I've felt like those rocks are cutting into my knees and I've lost my green thumb. But I know that I just need to have faith and keep tending. The blooms are coming.