Friday, January 30, 2009


Being a "shoe person," I really don't have many pairs of shoes. I tend to buy a pair or two that I love for the season, and wear them over and over. I've mostly worn my two pairs of beloved boots this winter, and now I'm looking around for a cute and comfortable shoe that I can wear with skirts. I've loved Fleuvogs for a long time, but don't {yet} own a pair. Have you seen these shoes? They're art for the feet, and the quality is outstanding. They're also funky and edgy, which always seems to win me over. You can find these and other beauties over at fluevog

Monday, January 26, 2009

Staying In With Yogurt

*Send For Help*

I haven't left the confines of my house for almost a week. Let me clarify that a little more. I haven't even stepped foot outside to take out the garbage- that's how "inside" I've been. Blame it on the flu. I'm starting to get a little wacky from it, but then again, haven't you noticed that the longer you don't go anywhere, the less appealing going anywhere seems? I fear that a full case of agoraphobia might ensue if I don't break this spell. What does one do when faced with a week removed from society?

Why, they make sure that their breakfast is color coordinated. That's what they do.

I love yogurt.

flavored/plain/with banana, apple, honey, oranges, mango, nuts, coconut, strawberries, crumbled up muffin, oh..... the many ways.

I'm all out. I need to buy more.

*IF* I can make it to the store tomorrow. We'll see just how badly I want that yogurt. Maybe I'll see if L.C. will get it for me. But really, I should go out. Tomorrow.

Or the next day.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

The New Class

Let's continue on the topic of socks for a moment.

I haven't thought about toe socks very much since my adolescent years. I remember when they made their fast and furious debut in late elementary. All the cool girls had them, in bright flashy colors and stripes. Along with the other fashion rages of the time like Sticky Fingers jeans, I had to have some. Fast forward to the present, and once again, I have toe socks in my life. And the reason? Pilates.

I mentioned last week that I'd tell you about the new form of exercise that I've taken up during this three month period of not teaching aerobics classes. I decided to enroll in a ten week intensive pilates class at a hip downtown studio. There are two kinds of pilates.. mat, and reformer. I'm doing pilates on the reformer machine. I know, this machine sounds like some kind of torture or S&M device. And really, it kind of looks like it too.

On the first day of class, we were asked to say our name, and what we want to get out of the class. I said something like "I've been teaching aerobics for twelve years. I want to learn some new things about the body and movement and alignment. My classes are all fast moving. I want to slow down and focus more, and be able to use what I learn here in the classes I teach." Hayley, my instructor, nodded and smiled as if she liked my answer. This is definitely one of the main reasons I've decided to take pilates. The other reason, though I didn't say it, is that I'm also in a bit of transition and actually thinking of learning to teach pilates or move my fitness career in a new direction. I'm checking it/them out to see if some kind of training/working relationship might exist for me there in the future.

Hayley pointed out my toe socks to the rest of the class. They're special toe socks with grippy dots all over the bottoms of them, to help provide traction on the bar of the reformer. She was wearing them also, along with a very zen/stylish work out ensemble. She sells the socks at the pilates studio. My mom, who has been taking pilates there for years, bought me this pair when she heard I'd be taking a class. Apparently, these socks are all the rage among the pilates set.

This class has been really interesting so far. There is a lot of focus and practice on breathing, alignment, and our feet. We use the machines to do exercises with weighted resistance, and as you've probably heard, pilates does focus on the "core" muscles. We use our abs and back to stabilize our bodies, but it hasn't been the main focus in my class so far. We do the exercises so that the imbalances in our body can be seen and corrected. And believe me, Hayley is quick to correct our form as she sees fit. She comes right over to me, adjusts my ankle or hip or foot or back. Holds it where she wants it, until I can feel in my body where it needs to be, what it needs to be doing. I don't know how she sees some of the subtle ways that one hip is higher than the other or that I'm rolling too far onto the natural curve of my low back or that my left pinky toe has dipped lower on the bar than my right pinky toe. But it all matters, and adds up to throwing off the whole balance of the body. amazing. I leave class walking taller and thinking about the balls of my feet striking the floor with equal pressure. I'm liking this level of detail. Yes. I think it's going to help me, who needs to focus more on my body mechanics.

There is also quite a bit of toning and stretching that happens. So far, we've been doing relatively easy/small movements. But there is so much that we are trying to focus on within each movement- such as breathing into our backs, not belly breathing, keeping our feet, knees, legs and hips aligned correctly, kneecaps lifted, shoulders down, contracting our transverse abdominus (deep horizontal ab muscles) with each exhale, etc. It's been helpful to think about movement in a new way. I've done mat pilates before, and have even gone through some mat pilates instructor training. But this is different, and I'm liking it.

If you're wanting to give pilates a try, you can look for a mat pilates class or a reformer class. Both are beneficial. They both give you a good amount of toning and stretch, and work all the abdominal and back muscles very thoroughly. I'd just be sure to check into the instructor's credentials. It can be easy for someone to teach pilates without a whole lot of pilates background, and you don't want that.

Taking a fitness class can be a great way to keep motivated. If you have any questions about finding a class that's right for you, whether it's a pilates class or another type, I'd be happy to help.

Have a satisfying Sunday everybody~


Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Friday, Happy Feet

It's been a rough week around here. I've had the wicked flu. At least I'm able to be in an upright position now without feeling faint, and my appetite is coming back. I hope you're all feeling good and having a great Friday.

If you like socks, sockdreams is the place to shop. I'm considering ordering these:

But they have so many cute socks, it's hard to choose. I've seen the over the knee socks worn with tights, which also looks nice, and is extra warm.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Making Use Of Every Square Inch

I love older houses. I wish I could own a number of houses in a number of cities (don't we all!). I'd definitely want one in S.F. and Vancouver B.C. Recently, I found myself looking at San Francisco real estate online, just to drool a little. Where would you like to own houses? I'd be curious to know.

My house is an older house (1942) which is small (about 1100 sq. feet), but has a lot of charm. It has most of the original windows with paned glass, nice woodworking, and hardwood floors. One of the things it lacks is enough storage space. I've found some great online sites for small homes like this one. When you have a small place, you really need to make all of your space work for you, without it feeling too cluttered. Since we moved in about three years ago, the area to the right of the front door has pretty much been empty. When Pele the dog was alive, her bed inhabited that area. But it's been sitting empty for months.

It takes me a long time to make decisions about what things to buy for the house (I've been thinking about area rugs for a long time too). Especially if I'm mail-ordering something, I want to be as sure as I can be that It's the right decision. I wanted some type of credenza to fill this space in the living room.

I was picturing a white credenza, with white shelves above it to display pictures. I found this one at CB2 that I liked a lot. But I thought on it for months, often looking at it online, until I was sure. And then I ordered it. Here it is on New Year's Eve, with an intoxicated woman who I don't know very well, dancing in my living room. We learned the electric slide that night (but that's another story).

Here it is a little closer. It's been nice to have because I keep my purses, gym bag, hats, scarves, and gloves in it. This frees up precious closet space in the bedroom.

And here it is with the Ikea Lack shelves above it. I still have to frame more pictures and put them on the shelves, but at least this corner is now pretty much complete. The extra storage sure helps.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You Never Know Where Your Motivation Will come From

I'm taking a three month leave of absence from work. This is the first time in twelve years that I'm not teaching fitness classes every week. I'm still doing a little wellness coaching though, just not teaching classes. I'm taking this leave of absence for a couple of reasons. One is simply that I need a break. You know how it is when you've been doing something for so long that you can't see the forest for the trees? I need some new inspiration and focus. The other reason is that I've been thinking about where I want to go with my fitness career. I know that I want to keep doing what I'm doing in some capacity. I'm just not sure exactly how I want to do it. Sometimes you have to step back a little to see the big picture, right?

It's been interesting not having the "exercise structure" of teaching classes. Of course, I still need to work out. but now I have to motivate myself to be consistent with it or it just might not happen. I have to try to do the very thing I try to get other people to do- find the motivation to keep up the work outs. It's easy to find other things to fill the time with. It's easy to say "I'm too tired today." So, I've been walking/running more, because I haven't been in the mood to be in the gym much. I've also been doing something new that I'll share with you next week. Today, my motivation came from, of all things, the Cara Cara orange.

I just had one of these oranges for the first time last year. They're a deep orange fleshed fruit that have a hint of grapefruit to them. They peel easily, have the perfect firmness/juciness, and the flavor is rich and sweet. If you haven't tried them yet, I highly recommend you do.

Today was a work out day for me but I didn't feel very eager to get going. I was also a little sad that I didn't have any fruit to go with my breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. I'm usually starving by 9 or 10 in the morning. I actually think about breakfast in the evening sometimes, so excited for that morning meal to come around. This morning, I thought about the Cara Cara orange that I had a few days ago. A plan fell into place. I would walk/run to the little store nearby, get some Cara Caras, come home, and eat breakfast. It ended up being a great work out.

I ran down this street towards the store:

Before I went into the store, I ran around the neighborhood some more. Then I got my fruit, went back up the hill to my house, and had breakfast. I really enjoyed these. Look at the perfection:

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm Not A Runner, But Sometimes I run

I'm taking some time off from work (more about that tomorrow). But I'm still doing personal training with a few people. During my time off from work, I've been doing more outdoor exercising. I'm definitely not a runner, but sometimes I like to do a walk mixed with a little running. If you don't belong to a gym or don't want to go to the gym, this is a great way to get some good cardio. You can walk for about 7-10 min. to warm up, then jog until you're tired, walk, jog, repeat. End with walking to cool down. If you hate to jog.. a good old walk, maybe adding some hills for intensity, will also do the trick. Yesterday, I went out for a 45 min. work out with one of the people I'm working with. I wanted to go up some stadium stairs with her, but she wasn't quite ready. So, we walked to a nearby track and jogged just a little.

And when I got home, I had breakfast followed by this:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's a baby...... blog.

I met my friend, E, on Sunday morning at a local coffee shop. We often go to this particular coffee shop for their organic home-roasted coffee and baked vegan treats. E is vegan. I used to be vegetarian, and have been thinking lately about going back to vegetarianism. I ordered a latte and a sesame seed bagel with vegan cream cheese (which was so tasty, I couldn't tell it was non-dairy). We talked a lot about food, exercise, and babies. E is 18 weeks pregnant, and just starting to show a little bit. She told me that the following day she had a doctor appt. and would hopefully find out the sex of the baby.

We also talked about my idea of starting this blog. It's an idea that has been on my mind for a year or more. Somewhat similar to someone who is thinking of having a baby, I've been looking at this idea from different angles. I've been imagining how the little blog would fit into my life- what rewards and challenges it would bring, etc. I think the idea solidified for me as we sat and sipped our coffee. Yes, I want a blog in my life. It makes sense in the grand scheme of where I feel I am going with things. I'm excited to bring my idea to fruition and begin this new little endeavor.