Why teach yoga when you can’t touch your toes?

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pizza and yoga. #doyou

 

Seriously, I cannot touch my toes without bending my knees. Why? Could be my years of field hockey – perfecting that squat position. Or, maybe my years of sitting in a cubicle all day (lord, that’s depressing). Either way, it is what it is. Flexibility isn’t my strong suit but I’ve learned that this really has nothing to do with enjoying my yoga practice.

Yoga isn’t a sport. You can’t win or lose it. You can certainly see yourself improve e.g. gain flexibility, move into new, more challenging poses, improve your stamina. Yoga is a journey of the mind and body. It’s a  discipline that you can carry through life. Highs and lows. I found that yoga can help me in a lot of areas of my life…once I found the right studio (for me) to really start.

It’s called Studio143 in Scituate, MA. With a beautiful setting – a fireplace in the wall, cozy room, and amazing instructors, I finally started being able to relax into yoga and understand how breathing is a critical part of it all.

I used to do yoga in the city…the breathing part was a bit lost on me. Often I was distracted by the “perfect” poses around me…or inability to relax because I was either coming or going to something in a hurry. Breath? Why breath? But, in this new suburban yoga oasis, I’ve been able to slow down and dedicate time to (trying to) be present.

But how did this get me to pursue yoga teacher certification? Well, it got me more interested. It built confidence in me that hey, I could really do something with this. I then found out the name of a local yoga teaching school associated with Studio143, it’s called Sanctuary Studios in Plymouth, MA.

As I went back and forth between buying a $2,000 (beautiful Chloe) purse…I said to myself, Beth, you can either buy this purse that you’ve wanted for awhile…adding to your pile of material goods (which don’t get me wrong, I still love to shop) or, you can invest this money into learning something new and deepening what you already love about yoga. So, I did. Instead of buying a purse, I took that money and signed up for a 6 month, 200 hour, yoga teacher certification.

They told us we wouldn’t be the same person at the end of the course…and frankly, it’s the truth. Even if I don’t end up teaching classes, I can say that this has been one of the best money/time investments I’ve ever made. I’ve met amazing people from different walks of life, learned more about the human body, stress management, and self-care. Been inspired and frankly, been saved during one of the more challenging times of my life (post for another day, we’ll get to that).

As my teacher training comes to a close with the exception of my practicum eeek and a couple make up classes, I know I’m far from being done with this journey. I want to practice more than I do today. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll open my own studio one day – but that’s just getting ahead of myself. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s the importance and challenge of trying my best to live in the present. Yoga helps me be more conscious of my thought patterns and being able to calm and center myself when the ‘going gets tough.’ I want to bring this to other people when the time is right.

So, if you’re considering pursuing “YTT” – let me be one to tell you, DO IT. You will not regret it. I leave with you this poem which was shared on the first day of my YTT back in October:

The Journey (by Mary Oliver)
 
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Lifestyle, Beauty, Relationship, and Money Resolutions for ***2-0-1-5***

This year I rang in the New Year in a low key way. I spent NYE and NYD up in New Hampshire in the White Mountains with my husband, Nick. Last year, NYE was a bit of a disaster for me. Pretty sure my hangover lasted 5 days. Ick. This year, I vowed to ring in the New Year in a more controlled & loving fashion 🙂 We spent a couple days eating, napping, and yes, drinking to our hearts content. While I was up in those calm White Mountains, I started my resolution list for 2015. I realize having too many resolutions might just set me up for failure – but hey, I’m going to throw out a few to see what really sticks. Below are my resolutions. 4 categories – lifestyle, beauty, relationship, and money.

What are your resolutions? Do you believe in stating a couple resolutions at the start of the new year?

I’m finding it quite inspiring.

Lifestyle:

  • Get back into the gym and get fit – I seriously love the gym. When I’m there. It’s getting there that’s the issue…getting out of bed in the morning, to be exact. I love boxing class and pushing myself and seeing myself improve day by day. I love working out to rap music and getting excited during class when I hear a favorite song. But, this last year or so, I fell off the gym wagon. Hard. I paid for a $150-a-month gym membership and maybe went 3x in the course of the last 5 months. Shameful, I know. But here I am, making a pledge to myself to GET BACK TO IT. I’m ready to feel & be fit again. This is one of my top 2 goals of the year. #fitwithit2015 #bethgetoutofbed2015
A few of my favorite workout things: 1> Lululemon Wunder Under crops 2> IAMMAI sweatshirt, inspiration quotes are readable in the mirror 3> Twistband headbands, the best 4> BKR water bottle. Just enough water comes out with each chug

A few of my favorite workout things:
1> Lululemon Wunder Under crops
2> IAMMAI sweatshirt
3> Twistband headbands, the best
4> BKR water bottle

And now some random Fit-spiration. That’s right, Joseph Gordon-Levitt – I mean, this guy, GOT FIT for Don Jon. I have to applaud him for his metamorphosis. #randomfitspiration

from scrawny to brawny.

from scrawny to brawny.


Beauty:

  • Wash my face every night – I state this one knowing it’s a taller order for me (because I’m lazy and sometimes pass out in the fetal position on the couch during the week — that should probably change too). BUT, I want to do it. I’ve seen the positive results of religiously washing my face each night and I’ve seen the results of the counter (sudden break out, uneven skin tone etc.) I am somewhat obsessed with my skin and the sight of a mere line or wrinkle…and now is the time to better care for it. So, here goes it. Every night…wash and moisturize. #operationwashyourfaceeverynight2015
2 favorite winter skincare products: 1> REN Gentle Cleansing Milk  2> Caudalie Moisture Rescue Cream

2 favorite winter skincare products:
1> REN Gentle Cleansing Milk
2> Caudalie Moisture Rescue Cream


Relationship:

  • Send thank you notes – I fancied myself good at this at one point but then I realized I got a bit lazy. This year I want to be better about acknowledging nice gestures/experiences/opportunities with good ole, real paper, thank yous. #showthanks2015
Love these Kate Spade thank you notes. Good quality paper <3

Love these Kate Spade thank you notes. Good quality paper ❤

  • Be more patient with my hubby – I’m sure I could be more patient with many people and things…but one person who deserves more patience from me is my hubby. He’s a hard working guy…who is the ying to my yang in many ways. He’s thoughtful and funny and smart. I tend to jump at him for the little things…and this year, I want to be more mindful of that. I want to think twice before I snap at him to “stop chewing your beer!” or “stop being so slow!”  (when he’s walking “Nick-style” into a restaurant) or assuming he’s not listening when he’s really just taking a moment to think 😉  Because, he’s my BFF. Plain and simple. #bepatientspreadthelove2015
This guy. That face. <3

This guy. That face. ❤


Money:

  • Pay off my credit cards – this is it, it’s the year. The year I say “see ya” to my credit card debt. I’ve been good about managing it and using cash more often than credit. BUT, I’ve been carrying some CC debt from the days when I had little funds to spare (shout out to all those assistant media planners out there, it gets better). I want to pay it off once and for all. #debtfree2015 (except for school loans, car payment, and mortgage hehe)
I agree with her. Retail-therapy is A THING. But, bye bye cc

I agree with her. Retail-therapy is A THING. But, bye bye cc. Who’s cuter than Isla Fisher?? Confessions of a Shopaholic – good flick

CC&NP Restaurant review: Steel & Rye, Milton, MA.

My pants would tend to agree that I should probably take a break from the dining-out circuit, at least for this week. That aside, my husband and I have been lucky enough to try some really tasty restaurants lately. Our meal this past Saturday night was certainly worth sharing a review on!

The Scene:

We decided to try Steel & Rye in Lowers Mills Milton, MA (link below to website). A few different people had suggested this place for dinner – not sure why it took us so long to try! We live in Dorchester and are always looking for nearby yet outside of the city dining options.

According to my Dad, this place used to be an old ambulance bay. You can tell by the high/industrial ceilings that it used to be something along those lines.

As we drove up I noticed the hanging lights on the outdoor patio and the glass windows that allow you to see into the perfectly lit space. I was surprised to see how big it is. Also, pleasantly surprised to see that they offer complementary valet parking. In the city, we’re used to $20+ valet parking not including tip.

The place was definitely hopping. But, we had made a last minute reservation through Opentable.com and were seated immediately. We got a booth which made me very happy because I always prefer booth seating to regular chair seating (so much cozier!). They have a lot of different seating options – tables, booths, bar-front…I didn’t even get to see the entire place because it’s that big.

Right off the bat I was impressed by the décor – I guess I’d call it industrial ciche.  We were right next to a window with this funky, old school light fixture above our table …it was the perfect lighting in my opinion. The ambiance was upscale yet laidback.

There she is - the funky light above our table, each table had its own

There she is – the funky light above our table, each table had its own

The tables were nicely set, picture perfect!

Lovely set table at Steel & Rye

Lovely set table at Steel & Rye

Service was spot on from the very beginning. Throughout our meal – we were checked on regularly by multiple people. Our water was refreshed, plates cleared quickly – all in all, they had the service down to a science.

Now, the food & drinks…

DRINKS:

  • I started with a glass of cabernet sauvignon the “2012 Joel Gott, 815 Cab Sav, Cali” ($11). I am definitely not a wine connoisseur, but it was delightful – super smooth. I would have ordered two but I decided not to run up a $22 tab on wine alone (maybe another night!)
  • Nick, my husband opted for the: “Pimm’s #95 Cup” cocktail which consists of: pimm’s, house cucumber vodka, lemon, mint, tiki bitters, ginger ale. I don’t recall the price but someplace between $10-$12. It was definitely worth it – such a refreshing drink which looked almost too perfect to drink
Pimm's 95 Cup cocktail @ S&R

Pimm’s 95 Cup cocktail @ S&R

  • Nick’s second drink, which he had with dessert, was the: Cold Bruiser” cocktail which consists of: privateer silver reserve rum, fazenda cold-brew coffee, cacao, walnut, ginger. Also somewhere between $10-$12. This was definitely a unique drink – an oversized ice cube filled the round whiskey glass. If you like coffee, you might love this drink – you can definitely taste both the coffee and rum. At first I wasn’t sure how much I liked it but it went down really smooth and the ice cube kept it nice and cold

FOOD:

  • For an appetizer we did the fried green olives ($5) and the grilled bread ($7). Two ‘snacks’ that sounded quite simple but were presented really nicely and tasted super fresh. Just the right amount to eat without ruining your main course!
Fried olives all in a row

Fried olives all in a row

The grilled bread - so much more than the simple name leads you to believe!

The grilled bread – so much more than the simple name leads you to believe! There were 2 slices in the appetizer serving

  • In addition to this they served 2 complimentary slices of what looked like brown wheat bread…seemingly homemade. It had a sweet taste to it and was served with soft butter. I decided to skip because I knew it’d fill me up – my husband enjoyed the bread! Definitely a dense start to the dinner but tasty
  • For the main course, I had the sweet corn, leeks & morels homemade ravioli ($23). It was very delicious. You could tell the pasta was homemade. The corn was extra sweet which I enjoyed. I think there was 5 or 6 oversized raviolis so a good portion. I couldn’t finish it all…as usual, Nick had not problem polishing it off
Homemade raviolis - such a different collection of flavors

Homemade raviolis – such a different collection of flavors

  • Nick had the carne asada with flash fried shishito peppers, roasted onion, oregano mojo, cotija cheese, lime ($34). I really liked the presentation – it came out on an iron skillet. Nick said it was delicious…I was literally saved only a morsel. Which was fine because he likes his meat medium/rare which I prefer medium/well

Now for the final course of the night – side note…no, we were not “celebrating” anything which you may think by the seemingly large dinner we treated ourselves to. We just decided to go out on a whim…hey, it was Saturday, it was “treat yo’self” time for The Moores.

DESSERT

  • This is where I decided “yes, I need to write a review on this place” because they really nailed it home with dessert. We got the “Snickers in a Bowl” (I mean, need I say more?) which consists of peanut semifreddo, nougat, dulce de leche & praline ($11). It wasn’t easy to decide on that dessert, believe it or not. S&R has a great dessert menu that offers a lot of different flavors…I can’t wait to go back and try more. I always appreciate when a restaurant has a unique dessert menu vs. those typical you-know-they-were-frozen options like the brownie sundae and lava cake. It’s hard to put into words the tastiness of this “Snickers in a Bowl” dessert – but it was more than a store bought Snickers could ever deliver. Chocolately, creamy, chewy, hazelnutty, and just plain gorgeous to look at too
I will draem about you, "Snickers in a Bowl" dessert...you were amazing

I will dream about you, “Snickers in a Bowl” dessert…you were amazing

All in all, we definitely recommend this place for drinks/apps/dinner/dessert. Be it for a weeknight treat or to celebrate a special occasion. The bill was a bit higher than we anticipated for a dinner outside of the city but between the quality of the service, setting, drinks, and food (oh and not having to deal with traffic, hoards of people, or expensive parking in the city) it was worth the splurge. If you’re looking for lighter fare and a more reasonable bill hit up the bar area for “snacks” and cocktails, perfecto!

If you live in/around the South Shore or Boston area, check it out!

Click here for link to Steel & Rye website.

A random post about hand cream…and a long lunch hour

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I’m loving roses lately…this is a funky pic I took of a rose on Valentines Day – artsy, right? 😉

Today…wait for it…I got a lunch hr…a legit lunch break for the first time in a long time. I.got.to.leave.the.building. WOW! (welcome to the life & times of an ad agency, folks).

I decided to really live it up so I spent my time at the Neimans beauty counter…where else would I spend it? Seriously. For me, it’s therapeutic to walk around the store…testing, examining, and smelling all the products. I rarely feel pressured to buy anything but often walk away with a lipgloss…my one serious beauty “vice.” I have pouches, drawers, and purses full of em…but whatever, they’re typically less than $20 so I go for it. There are worse things, right?!

Anyways, today was especially nice because it’s been awhile since I’ve walked the Neimans beauty/fragrance section. They have some unique brands to discover. I came across a (new to me) brand called Aerin. Aerin was started by Aerin Lauder, the granddaughter of the fabulous Estee Lauder. If you look Aerin up on Wikipedia – the first line is: “American billionaire and business woman.” Dang. I was intrigued by her beauty line…according to the Dailymail.com:

  • Aerin was launched in 2011, first as a beauty collection and then later branching out to offer home furnishings, decor, and accessories. 
  • The lifestyle label is said to have been established with the hope of encroaching on some of Tory Burch’s polished, feminine-ware-seeking clientele. If offers the same look, with a more understated, sophisticated feel. 
  • Aerin (Lauder) has been a longtime staple in the society pages of Vogue. She is so closely tied to the magazine that Anna Wintour helped provide guidance on her namesake label’s launch.
  • The company’s products are sold at premium retailers including Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, and Neiman Marcus. Many of its items are priced in the high-end range – like $950 jewelry boxes and $10,000 bookshelves. 
  • Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2509465/Estee-Lauders-heiresses-Aerin-Jane-officially-declared-billionaires.html#ixzz2v1kpF5YN 

So, I’m pretty sure I won’t be buying any of her furniture any time soon – but today, one of the products in her beauty line really grabbed me. Lately, I’ve been all about ROSE…the subtle smell…from rose lip balm to candles, I’m just loving it. Aerin makes a hand & body cream that has a nice subtle rose scent. Not overpowering. I put a little on my hands at the store and loved the texture…sunk right in, moisturized well, with no greasy after-feel. Although the tube goes for $40 (yowza), I pictured it on my desk at work. I pictured using it during the day and enjoying the nice rosey scent. And I’m always a fan of the tube because you can get every last drop out…and it’s travel friendly and more hygienic.

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Aerin rose hand & body cream…find it at Neimans or Nordstrom

So, cutting to the case, did I buy it? Actually, no. Maybe another day. But I wanted to share THE FIND. It’s a lovely product. I also think it’s a good idea to keep a hand cream at your desk, especially during the winter when hands can get really rough and dry. No, you don’t need to spend $40 on a tube of hand lotion, that’s for sure. But, if you’re looking for a nice tube…may I suggest the Rose Hand and Body Cream by Aerin…I don’t think it’d disappoint. My hope is…if I ever do get my hands on a tube…I’ll use it at my desk…and it’ll evoke daydreams of hour long lunches @ Neimans…and hanging out with billionaire business women who have unlimited access to beauty products and the halls of Vogue.

ever been to The Perfume Corner??

I was walking near Downtown Crossing (in Boston – also abbreviated as ‘DTX’ for us Beantowners) the other day…because it is less than a 5 minute walk from where I work. I was randomly handed a flyer for The Perfume Corner. It was a cheapy looking flyer…yellow paper, black font…offering 20% off any one item. It listed some of the products in the store: men’s grooming, home sprays, bath & body, fragrances, hair tools etc. (just to name a few!) I realized…I HAD to check this place out. I had seen it before while walking towards DTX but didn’t give it another look…I had assumed it was some ‘perfume emporium,’ like those wall-to-wall perfume places at the mall that always overwhelm me.

Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I finally visited The Perfume Corner (all store info below so you can find this cool place too)

It’s not a huge store…more so medium-sized. It’s one floor…and it’s stocked wall-to-wall and even in the middle with stands of products (eekkk. love!) I knew they would have many types of perfumes…and they certainly do. So many different kinds, many that are hard to find…many old favorites. I didn’t notice Chanel (one of my faves – but, looks like they have it if you go on The Perfume Corner website…link below) or some newer perfumes but they DO carry a wide variety of brands from Vera Wang, to Cool Water, Givenchy, Escada, J-Lo Glo (seriously, I love this smell…something about it is so fresh…I was tempted to buy!), Curve, Armani, Juicy, Lucky, and many, many more! Honestly, 100s of kinds.

Another thing I loved – the wall of miniature perfumes. Mini perfumes are great because they are so easy to carry in your purse (or wristlet). I carry a mini Chloe perfume and dab it on every time I am out on the town. Sometimes you need to freshen up! And who wants to carry a huge perfume bottle? Pic of the mini perfume wall below…look at that variety:

Some other great finds at this place:

  • Tons of soaps and bath products…some in gift packages – others that you can buy individually. So much variety…you could make a cute bath gift basket!
  • They carry A LOT of Burts Bees products…bath and beauty products, lip glosses, and even eye shadows
  • They have Rosebud Salve $3 for the tin and $5 for the tube! they are securely sealed, so nothing sketchy going on…they look just like the ones sold in Sephora (the tin and the tube are both $6 at Sephora…so you’ll save $3 and $1 respectively @ The Perfume Corner)
  • They carry a bunch of home fragrance product lines…one in particular jumped out at me…it’s called CLEAN. I bought a bottle of the room spray awhile back at Marshalls and now I love it. The scent is so clean and fresh (hence the name) I like it because it’s not floral or stiiinnkky like Lysol…but it certainly clears bad smells from a room (or bathroom! eww, Nick) Love love it…here is a pic (they sell the room spray for $9, great deal):

best roomspray ever!

  • They also carry discounted makeup sponges and cotton squares, hair dryers, straighteners, and a bunch of guy products – oh and perfume atomisers (very pretty ones!)

Overall, some cool finds in this store. I had fun just searching around! This would be a great place to find/put together a beauty/bath gift (for a guy or gal – or yourself!) And if you’re looking for a perfume that might be hard(er) to find…try here!

The prices are great too – everything seems relatively discounted. I think some of the perfumes are company issued testers…they are unused/the same as the perfume in the store, you just don’t get the fancy box/packaging. who really needs that anyway?

The Perfume Corner seems to have some hard to find beauty/bath goodies.

If you’re in/around DTX – check this place out if you have some time!

Have you ever heard of this place? Would you check it out??

The Perfume Corner:

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