Home Sweet Colorado

I was thinking back recently to the good (2), the bad (2), and the ugly of picking up and moving your family most of the way across the country. It was such a surreal time in our life. If you had asked me 10 years ago, even 5 years ago, if anywhere other then Pennsylvania would ever be home, truly home, I probably would have said no. I couldn't picture it, couldn't imagine ever loving a state as much as I did my home state.

I've always loved travel; visiting and learning about new places, exploring and experiencing areas that are different then my own is one of my favorite things in the world (just check out the travel tag to see that!). But having a home base is so important to me, and for 33 years that was PA.

It was only a few month ago, when we were on our Annual East Coast trip, when I realized that somewhere along the line, sometime during the past 1,000 days, Colorado had become more then just where we were living... it had become our home. A place that I loved just as fully, though differently, then my birth state of Pennsylvania. I love the mix of people from different places, the mix of cultures, love the outdoorsiness, the mountains, the altitude, and the weather. Most of all, I love the life that Colorado allowed us to build: the friends, the framily, the concerts and travel, the careers that we adore. This beautiful state is so much more then we could have known three years ago, when we packed up our house of 10 years and drove 1700 miles.

Two weeks ago we had a Framily dinner and I sat on the floor with my two besties, as we laughed about something (surely completely inappropriate 😈), and I was washed over with feels of such complete gratitude. I remember what it was like to feel stuck in my job, stuck in my life; and while life isn't perfect (no such thing!), this life that we've cultivated is so completely fulfilling and downright amazing.

Being a Native is a huge thing here, they have the bumper stickers to prove it. But I've seen another version recently that sums things up nicely: Not a Native, But I Got Here As Soon As I Could. Thanks for welcoming us home, Colorado.


These Are A Few of My Favorite Things: A Yogi Gift Guide

So my Christmas list this year is pretty short: I want to jump out of planes more, and I want more tattoos! Ha. Books are an old standby for me, as well. But I thought I would throw together a quick list with a few things that I really genuinely love, for those who might be looking for a suggestion for the loved ones in their lives, especially the yogis! Trust me when I say, I'd be thrilled to receive any of these items. 

[Note: This is not a sponsored post, and no one in this post asked to be on it. These are just things that I honestly love! No monetary compensation was provided to me, this was a labor (and I mean labor) of love. I did however contact a number of the companies wondering about discount codes, and got some great responses! Enjoy!]

Jade Yoga Mats

The top thing any yogi needs is a good mat. For me in particular, good traction is my first priority! I don't want to be slipping and sliding on my mat (talk about a recipe for injury!). I've been a Jade devotee for years now. Their mats are some of the grippiest I've found, while also having the benefit of being made of natural rubber. Jade is an amazing company, with a real focus on giving back. The plant a tree for every mat sold, partner with community organizations, and are a US-based company with US-based production! I love them enough that I became an Ambassador!

I just recently bought my third Jade mat... though we still have the other two. When I was given my second (a gift), I passed my first on to Travis. He'll get my second one now to use as his mat, and my first we'll keep around as an extra to have for private classes!

YogaAccessories Round Bolster

I ordered this bolster from Amazon on impulse a few years ago to use with my private classes, and was super impressed with how nice it was. Perfect size, beautiful design (I got the navy embroidered one), and well priced. I ended up buying a few as gifts since then. Add it to your at home practice, especially for a little evening restorative.

[Use code boltmeegs for 20% off any of their amazing yoga bolsters (expires 12/3/19!).]

Athleta Yoga Pants with Pockets

Pants... with pockets! Yoga pants no less! Do I even need to say more?! I live in yoga pants most of the time, and its hard to find the perfect ones sometimes. I want them to be well made, thick enough that they don't become see-through in forward bends, and I'd like them to be stylish. I love these crops. They fit like a dream, and the side pockets are amazing.

Big enough to fit my phone, they let me quickly get out the door to my classes, and head straight to my errands after that. Check them out!

Perfect Boots

I can't tell you how long I looked for just the right boot. Some weren't comfortable, some looked cheap, but these are perfection. Steven Madden, so you know they're well made, they are also gorgeous and comfortable.

Tip...  you can find them on Amazon cheaper!

Coconut Milk Exfoliating Body Scrub 

A random Amazon find, this scrub is amazing and I buy it over and over. Colorado late autumn into winter weather, with cold and low humidity has made my skin a dry mess. But this scrub removes the dead stuff and leaves my skin feeling so smooth and hydrated. My heels especially are so thankful for it! Its perfect for pre-shaving, and infused with some really amazing stuff: coconut milk, dead sea salt, vitamin e, lots of great oils. And that's about it... no sulfates or parabens or other skin irritating ingredients. Bonus, it smells really nice!

[Get 30% off of the Coconut Milk Body Scrub on their website and Amazon through 12/24/18 with code 30GiftGuide. Plus, receive free shipping on orders of $30 or more.]

Moringa Infusions

A Denver-based company, I found this at my local Farmer's Market. Moringa is an amazing super food that I discovered when looking for things to help keep my cholesterol where it should be. Here's the thing though... moringa on its own can taste a bit like hay. This amazing drink though infuses apple cider vinegar with the goodness of raw local honey and moringa, then with a different combination of herbs. My favorite is the Spearmint-Rosemary, which I'll mix with sparkling water or club soda for a healing, damn good afternoon treat. Its also amazing drizzled over vanilla ice cream, or you can just take it like a shot!

They were so kind to provide me with a Gift of Health Box... which includes one small sized bottle of the 3 different flavors, a pint glass, a shot style measuring glass, and a long handled spoon for mixing. I already had 2 large bottles of my favorite flavor in the fridge, but I love having the other flavors around as well.

[Use code NEWDAY7 for $7 off a gift of health box like I received or NEWDAY10 to take 10% off any bottles! Plus free shipping when you order 2 or more bottles. Code expires 12/15/18, which is the last day to order to receive by Christmas.]

Jade Leaf Matcha

I've talked about my love for Jade before, but I will again. Matcha is such an amazing drink, full of antioxidants, and a gentler caffeine then in coffee. Its my absolute favorite way to start the morning, and Jade Leaf is my favorite matcha. Super high quality, with less bitterness then other brands. Drink it the traditional way prepared just with hot water and a bamboo whisk, have it as a latte (my favorite way to drink it) - hot or cold, or blend it into a smoothie.

[Use code TATTOOEDMEEGS to get 25% off orders on their website through the end of the year!]

Bubba Travel Mug with TasteGaurd

If you want to take that matcha on the go, you need a good mug to do it in. I was looking around forever, and thought that what I wanted wasn't available... then I found Bubba! I wanted the double walled, keep drinks hot for hours, stainless steel mug; but I found that I hated the taste stainless steel added to my drinks. Ceramic was my choice, but it doesn't generally keep drinks warm for long. This is the perfect combination. The double walled mug keeps things hot, but the "taste guard" made with ceramic keeps things tasting exactly like they did when you made them. Its dishwasher safe (a must!), and I ended up getting one for both Travis and I. Perfect for these freezing mornings.

[Get 20% Off Sitewide with code BUBBA20, and free shipping on all orders above $25.]

Coconut Peanut Butter

Last, but definitely not least: a random find from our trip to Oahu. My newest project is cleaning up our peanut butter. So many peanut butters contain sugar and palm oil, two ingredients I'm really trying to cut out (for health and environmental reasons). The thing is, peanut butter doesn't need either of those to be good! In fact, this peanut butter is the best I've ever tasted, and it contains only two ingredients: peanuts and coconut! Its expensive, especially when you add in shipping, but it is worth the cost. The taste is out of this world, and I don't feel bad about eating it. Super low in sugar, low in sodium, great protein. Buy this for an amazing treat, and be forever changed!

[From now until 12/15 receive 15% off your order with coupon code 12days.]

Happy Holidays, and happy giving!!


Semi-Wordless Wednesday {Bullet Journal To Do List}

Attempted a bullet journal inspired to do list to help me through the end of November. I figured maybe if it looked pretty I'd be more likely to get it all done! It did actually help. 😊


Full, Busy, Lovely Weekend

This weekend was full of so many fun things.
Thursday night we headed out to Pepsi Stadium where they were holding an open skate. It was fun to get on the ice where we watch the Avs play!

(We normally sit right there!)

It had been a while since we'd been on skates, so Gwenie and I had to refind our footing!

But we had a lot of fun, and definitely want to go skating again soon!

We ended the night with hot chocolate and a picture with Bernie!

Friday night we had friends over for dinner... where we got no pictures, but had a really fun night!

Saturday morning we were up and at it in the morning to get Gwen to her Math Challenge competition. We were so excited when Gwen was selected a few weeks ago as one of 3 students in her grade, 9 students in her school to be part of the Rich Morrow Math Challenge.

It meant early mornings every Wednesday for practices before school, but her hard work paid off. The third grade team took second place in their division, and the whole team of 9 took Top School in their division!

We are so proud of her hard work, of how she stepped outside of her comfort zone, and hope this helps cement a love of math that sticks with her!

Saturday evening I headed back out again to be James's date for his holiday party. We got to surprise Amanda which was amazing!

I got to eat amazing food, drink some free adult drinks, and dance for hours with some of my favorite people in the entire world.

It was seriously so much fun.

After the busyness of Saturday, we played it much more low-key on Sunday. But Gwen still had a Girl Scout Meeting to attend, and I still had my regular yoga class to teach!

We have so much fun stuff to look forward to this month. It will be busy, but I can't wait to celebrate all this season has to offer.


Let's Talk Money -- Owning Your Worth as a Yoga Teacher

One of the weirdest parts of being a yoga teacher is this idea that certain things are not for you because you must always embody the yogic lifestyle. Lets put aside that we are all human for a moment, and that we are all just doing the best that we can, and address the fact that other then things that should be off limits for all (morally reprehensible actions: ie murder), we can be yogic and pursue a variety of human activities. We are worthy of having our needs met, we are worthy of enjoying the meeting of wants! This brings me to one of the most influential, but awkward to address, needs: money.

Where did this damn idea come from that as a yoga teacher I should be above money? That I should teach for whatever I am offered, no matter what that is? I teach yoga for the love of yoga, for the want of leading people into and through the physical asanas for the benefit of mind, body, and spirit... but I also need to help put food on the table and care for my family. While I would love to move into a post-currency world, where bartering and giving are the norm, we aren't there and money is a necessity for obtaining all of our most basic needs: shelter, food, warmth.

Its only really in the past few years that I've embraced this idea of owning your worth. My time, my experience, my drive and passion, they are all valuable. And there is no shame in getting paid what you feel you should. In fact, I would argue that when I feel that my time is being valued appropriately, that it takes stress and burden off of my relationship with a class and I am able to give more freely to my students. As much as I would aim to never have money effect my class performance, returning time after time to a place where I felt I wasn't valued would absolutely start of build shreds of resentment.

In no other industry (minus perhaps as a server in the food industry - which is also horrid!) would one be expected to work for a wage that didn't support a livelihood, so why would that be an expectation in a field that is supposedly aiming to promote physical and mental emotional well-being? Do we value our teacher's well-being so low?

So, can we all take the shame out of negotiation now? For women especially, who are not generally taught this skill! Can we embrace the idea of knowing a very specific number that you need to feel valued and empowered, and not accept less then that? And can we resolutely put away the shame that money brings?


Thanksgiving Celebrations

We had an absolutely beautiful Thanksgiving this year. Trav's parent's came up this year, which was lovely... you know I like to share this holiday with family. The night before I headed out to a yoga class. As I left the house the moon was huge and heavy in the sky; golden colored from the setting sun. It felt festive and very autumnal! That feeling persisted the day of.

We cooked all our traditional foods: turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes, corn, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and crescent rolls. Gwen set the table and made lovely little place cards for everyone.

We all ate our fill, before retiring to the living room to digest and watch our traditional first holiday movie of the season: Miracle on 34th Street. I'm a huge proponent of waiting until after Thanksgiving to start thinking of Christmas, but I love this tradition of ending this holiday by welcoming the next.

When enough time had passed, we broke out the pie... I went with traditional pumpkin, but with a less traditional sugar cookie crust! It was delicious, and I'll never go back!

While the movie played and the pie was eaten... I fired the stove back up and used the turkey bones, as well as some seasonings, onions, and garlic to make a nice rich stock. We frozen half, and turned the rest into turkey and rice stewp. One of my favorite ways to enjoy leftovers.

Our day was full of everything I always wish for it: family, amazing food, rich smells, a reflection on all we have to be grateful for, and a relaxing end to the day. I hope you had much of the same.

[As an aside: I have certain fundamental problems with the story told about this holiday, and the real atrocities that it glosses over. I made a donation to support the American Indian College Fund and I encourage your to find a group to donate to as well. Here are a few great ideas: Native Charities ]