Topics to Enjoy Over Coffee

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Happy Monday friends! We finally have a break from all of the rain in San Francisco, therefore I am trying to get in every ray of sunshine I can before the rain comes again. It is amazing how you can take something like sunshine for granted till you don’t have it for a few weeks on end. It has brought a whole new appreciation for mother nature, which is just nice to stop and reflect on.

I am officially 44 days into my Whole 30. I keep debating when I am going to stop. I have a little bit of an addictive personality so it makes it hard to give up something when I start. Watching each day pass onto the next and seeing them all add up to a sum total feels like a big accomplishment.  With that said, I am not feeling all of the amazingness I had hoped I would. Maybe it is just me wanting it to be more then it really is?

At the end of the month I will be heading off to Japan for an 8 day vacation!!  I am planning on eating and drinking all of the food and sake to my hearts content. Therefore I decided I may need to start re-introducing foods this week so I don’t defeat part of the whole goal of Whole 30, to see if you have any food sensitivities. I am also trying to pull back on my fruit intake as I have currently been using it as a crutch for my sugar cravings and frankly eat an absurd amount. Yesterday and today I have gone cold turkey, which may not sound like a huge accomplishment, but trust me it is.  Fingers crossed I can keep up withholding. Goal as of now is to try and be fruit and alcohol free till the trip starts. I am starting  dairy for re-introduction as I just miss my greek yogurt. And if I am giving up fruit a girl has to have something to look forward to!  Then I am thinking gluten free grains and maybe soy and legumes. Will keep you all posted!

Interesting People:

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Tim Ferris: A couple of weeks ago a couple of us went to see Tim Ferris speak at the Castro Theater. I was introduced to Tim’s work through my partner Dustin as he is a big fan. Tim is best known for being a national best selling author, with his most note worthy book being “The 4-Hour Work Week.” In addition he is an entrepreneur, a pubic speaker, and has been an angel investor. He saw  potential in some of the top companies within Silcone Valley before anyone else did. For instance Facebook, Uber, and Twitter just to name a few. He hosts a weekly podcast, which I love not only for his content but his voice as well. It is just memorizing. Overall he is an impressive man and constantly pushes himself to the limit for self experimentation. It was an informative and inspiring talk and I highly recommend checking him out!

Valentines Day: Although I am attached and very much in love, I have never been a big fan of Valentines Day. Maybe it was all of the years of being single and having to see happy couples celebrate with flowers and expensive dinners, where I spent many years with girlfriends, over drinking, and sharing in all of our awful dating stories. With that said I thought I would share a couple of articles I found interesting this week. And they are not about being madly in love.

Here’s The Porn People Will Be Watching on Valentine’s Day

These New Burger King “Adult Meals” Come With A Toy — And It’s Exactly What You Think

Shocking Valentine’s Day Stats That Will Make You Rethink Your Marketing

Podcast: How I Built This– A friend shared this podcast with me a couple of months ago and I am obsessed! As the website states “How I Built This is a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world’s best known companies and brands. If you’ve ever built something from nothing, something you really care about — or even just dream about it.” I highly reccomend checking it out! My favorite ones thus far are the founders of Instagram, Air BnB, and Patagonia.

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Whole 30 Week 4 and Workouts

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A few nights ago I dreamt of a cupcake. I was holding it, looking it up and down, assessing every inch of its deliciousness. It was not your conventional store bought cupcake, oh no. It was a perfectly baked, moist, treat. The flavor was simple, a vanilla cake with what I can only imagine to be cream cheese frosting. My eyes devoured it while my mind started to express the guilt I would feel for eating it, for breaking the Whole 30 rules. I took that first bite and the sugary goodness melted over me like being hit with a ray of sunshine on a summer day. Then I woke up.

A couple of nights later it happened again. This time not with a cupcake, but with alcohol. Whiskey to be precise. A beautiful cocktail in a stemmed glass. I swirled the liquid around, bringing my nose right to the top and smelling all it had to offer. The moral and mental battle raged on again before ultimately the first sip was taken. The warm liquid moved down through my body warming me up from the inside out. I felt calm, relaxed, and happy. Then I woke up.

Now I am not one to dream about food, especially foods I almost never partake in. Maybe once or twice a year I indulge in a cupcake or a whiskey cocktail, but neither are high on my can’t live without list. Which made it that much more interesting to see these treats pop up into my sub concise. My best guess for interpretation is after 28 days of nothing but pure obedience to the rules, my mind feels it is either tired of being so strict or maybe it feels it deserves a reward. Either way I am on the home stretch with 28 days complete and 3 more to go. Right now I am still debating if I want to continue on after the 31 days or start the re-introduction of foods instead. Most likely I will just keep going until something so amazing and tempting comes across my plate I can’t say no.

This week I had the pleasure of actually going to see Melissa Hartwig, the founder of the Whole 30 speak at a book signing. It couldn’t have been better timing since starting the program I have become slightly infatuated with her. It was on Thursday night up in Marin County, a pretty short 25 minute drive from my house over the Golden Gate Bridge. Ideally I would have had a partner in crime to go with me, but it wasn’t in the cards so a solo adventure it became.

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One of my favorite pastimes is seeing authors speak. I love to hear them describe their work, their passion. Hearing them describe how they came about the eloquent words they spent hours typing. I love the questions the audience asks and seeing how quickly they are able to gather their thoughts to respond back. (Which from personal experience is a pretty nerve racking endeavor.) I ended up being more then pleasantly surprised with Melissa, I was flat out impressed. She was fluid with her thoughts, personable with a happy demeanor, smart, candid, and relatable. After almost an hour of talking and Q&A I waited inline for longer then I should have to get my book signed by her and the other author at the event, Danielle Walker from Against the Grain. What ended up being my huge disappointment of the evening? Asking the stranger behind me to take a photo of us. Is it that hard to get someones whole head in a shot? It was a smart phone, not a complex point and shoot. Oh well, if that was my biggest annoyance of the week it was a good week.

Here is to the last 3 days, hopefully the food dreams will start to calm down. Its making it hard to stay on track!

Workouts:

Sunday: 60 Minute Barre Class at The Dailey Method

Monday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Tuesday: 60 minute Barre Class at The Dailey Method, 30 minute strength training at gym

Wednesday: 65 minute Spinning Class at Body Rok, 20 minutes of  strength training at gym. Technically class was only 45 minutes but I stayed on the bike a bit longer

Thursday: 60 minute Burn Class (mix of weights, cardio, and pilates board)

Friday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok. I was looking forward to this class all week! Not only was it taught by my favorite instructor in SF, but it was also an 80’s themed ride!

Saturday: 46 minute 7.10 mile run

Whole 30 Week 3 and Workouts

 

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Wow, I cant believe I am 21 days into my Whole 30. This week was pretty much on cruise control, thank god! Since I was home from traveling I was able to cook  and prep most of my meals, which makes a huge difference. Typically I like to do most of my meal prep for the week on Sundays. It is a life saver to make a big dish so I have something to eat for lunch throughout the week. This past weekend I ended up having lots of time with friends, so my Sunday routine was thrown off. This meant I had to do more cooking at home after work when all I wanted to do was sit and un wind. My other saving grace this week was Whole Foods Hot Bar. It has saved me when I didn’t get my usual veggies roasted and I needed to grab some quick to add to a salad. My only complaint with Whole Foods is they use a lot of Canola Oil in their food, which technically is complaint in the Whole 30, but not encouraged. Oh well, a girl has to make sacrifices and for me that was it.

So what should I be feeling 21 days in? In reading the Whole 30 guidelines by this time I should be in the stage they call Tiger Blood. What is Tiger Blood you ask? Well according to their website it was a phrase they took from the actor Charlie Sheen (which who knows what he was using it for) and then attached their own definition to it. Essentially Tiger Blood is the part of the program where you are passed the biggest hurdles, i.e. the cravings and “hangover” part. From the website, “Your energy is through the roof, you’ve kicked the cravings, you’re experimenting with new, delicious food, and you’ve finally got the time to notice that your clothes fit better, your workouts are stronger, and you are generally more awesome.”

For myself it is not this dramatic transformation I anticipated. However there are definitely some noticeable differences. I would say if you are not looking for them, it could be easy to miss. Let’s start with the more noticeable ones. First my carvings for non Whole 30 Foods is pretty low or non-existent. I dont have any urge right now for anything processed, sugary, bread/grain like, or even alcohol. Which if you know me a glass of wine, bread, and cheese plate are my 3 essentials if I would be trapped on a desert island.  I was also really nervous about not drinking for a month due to the social impact. Instead I have been trying to spend more time with friends outside of happy hour. This has lead to many a coffee, breakfast, or workout class dates. It is a friendly reminder are friends love us regardless of what we put in our mouths.

Next and probably the most impactful is I am sleeping sooooooooo much more soundly. If you can relate, there is nothing worse then waking up all throughout the night. You wake up feeling almost as bad as if you had gone to bed at 2:00am. So to be able to get a full nights sleep night after night is incredible. Just to be fair though, we also did just buy a new King Bed around the same time this started, so that may have something to do with it as well.

My pants are fitting better. This was something I noticed after the first round I did of Whole 30 back in December and was one of the biggest reasons I wanted to continue the program. After years of practically starving myself I just can’t ever go back to that place. So it is nice to feel like I am not depriving myself of any food and I am still able to see an impact. I have also had some other things I started around December 1st that could be attributing, but regardless of what it is I will take it.  I am not sure what this equates to weight wise as we are not allowed to weigh ourselves on the program, which is fine by me as I broke up with my scale over a year and a half ago and have never looked back!

Lastly and the least noticeable is my energy. I wear a fit bit everyday and track my steps. Since starting the Whole 30 I have noticed without even trying I have added an extra 2-4k steps a day. This is huge if you really think about it as it is an extra 1-2 miles a day. Without trying my body has just wanted to move more. I have also found I have energy to do more “life” stuff like go through my closet, pay bills, cook, get together with friends, etc.  If I had not been paying really close attention to this one I may have completely over looked it.

To summarize, I may not be Tiger Blood yet, but I am seeing the Eye of the Tiger for sure.  One week left to go, although I am not going to lie, I might just keep this party going as long as I can. It feels good to feel good, you know?

Workouts:

Sunday: 60 Minute Barre Class at the Bar Method

Monday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Tuesday: 50 minute Barre Class at Mint Studio, 26 minute 4.15 mile run

Wednesday: 50 minute Spinning Class at Core 40

Thursday: 60 minute training session with personal trainer. Lots of legs and arms! Could hardly walk the next day

Friday: 50 minute spinning class at Body Rok

Saturday: 33 minute 5.15 mile run, 60 minute Barre Class at Pop Physique

Welcome to December, Let’s Chat!

 

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Happy Friday! I thought it would be fun to share some things I am finding interesting, thought provoking, or just simply fun this week. Enjoy!

I love reading and I love celebrities, so when you have celebrity’s who write books, there is a good chance I am going to read it. Luckily celebrity memoir’s and health/fitness/beauty books have become very trendy so there does not seem to be any lack of content out there. Last night I went to an event by Book Passage to see Anna Kendrick talk about her new book, “Scrappy Little Nobody.” I find it fascinating to watch celebrities in real life. We become so accustomed to the characters they portray on our TV’s or on the big screen and can easily forget that is not who they are as people.  Anna seemed to be exactly what you would expect. Bubbly, confident, full of energy, funny, she was non-stop throwing out zingers and one liners to the audience, however it seemed to be following a well rehearsed “real life” her. I left wondering if there was much authenticity or was it just the version of herself she wanted portrayed. Either way I have yet to read the book, but I imagine it is going to be amusing and filled with lot’s of humor.

Patagonia’s Black Friday sales hit $10 million — and will donate it all–  You know how people have spirit animals? Well for me, Patagonia is my spirit company. I dont know what it is about the brand, especially since I tend to be brand-agnostic, but I have always loved them. My crush started in high school. Anytime I saw anyone was wearing Patagonia I felt like they must be the most adventurous or authentic person out there. In college the admiration continued. I did a whole independent research symposium on outdoor retailers and their efforts on sustainability, which without dating myself was prior to anyone knowing the “Sustainability.” To no surprise Patagonia was leading the pack with all of the efforts. Next I read Yvon Chouinard’s book  “Let My People Go Surfing” right upon it’s release in 2005, fascinated by the man behind the brand. Which if you have not read it I highly recommend! Patagonia continues to impress me as a company. They have a clear cut vision and purpose, which is acted on continuously in their business practices. This year they made headlines by pledging to donate everything they made on Black Friday to help fund over 100 environmentally friendly companies around the world. Now that is something to be inspired about this holiday season!

9 Delicious & Gorgeous Bay Area Cookbooks to Gift This Holiday Season– I love cookbooks! I think there are two types of people when it comes to cookbooks. Those who use them religiously when cooking and try every recipe they can. And then  the second group of people like me who will try maybe a recipe or two, but mainly buy them to look through all of the pretty pictures and keep on a bookshelf to show off. Here is a list of beautiful books for either gifting to yourself or others all from local chefs.

ModCloth’s First Store Is Exactly What Shopping Should Be– This article appealed to me on a few different levels. The first being I work in eCommerce and daily research articles describing what is moving and happening within the segment. Second Modcloth is partially based in San Francisco, so again I found this interesting as the company is close to home. Lastly I personally found it very easy to relate to based on my own personal experiences. 9 years ago I had my first trip ever to Las Vegas with 2 of my girlfriends. Upon landing and checking into our hotel, we decided to go out shopping and find new outfits to wear out for the evening. My girlfriends became ecstatic when we passed by Betsy Johnson. They ran in, grabbing beautiful dresses off of the rack to try on. My stomach dropped before even entering the store. I knew there was not going to be anything in my size, which at the time was a 12-14.  As my girlfriends came out of the fitting rooms sporting their size 4 figures, they looked at me puzzled. Why was I not trying on dresses? I simply explained nothing was really my style and therefore was just passing. This was a bold faced lie! I loved all of the dresses. They were beautiful and it hurt me to not be able to try them on with my friends. Mod Cloth is looking to create a shopping space where all women can feel confident, sexy, and equal. This is a concept I can get behind. It is these small things that may seem insignificant to some, but can be make or break another someone else.

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Balance, Learning to Bring it to Life

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Balance. Such a simple word, yet a word with so much meaning behind it. What is it to have balance? To live life not in extremes, but in steadiness. Why do some of us struggle to live a balanced life? We all have areas in our life where we find maintaining an equilibrium is hard. For some of us it is with work, where we find ourselves always connected. It is Saturday morning, the first day off from a long work week. You tell yourself you are going to log into work just for a minute to check e-mail really quick, 2 hours later you are still at it. For other’s it may be spending money. The newest tech gadget has launched. You did just buy something similar 6 months ago, but you want the latest and greatest.  Even though you may not have the  money to buy it, you somehow find a way to justify the purchase. For some it is balancing a healthy life with exercise and eating. You find when you are committed to a diet you are on track. You workout everyday, eat right, you have control. Then you miss a day, then another, next thing you know it has been weeks and you are eating everything you want, regardless of your original goal.

Why is balance so hard to not only have but to maintain? Over the last year I have been trying to learn how to balance my healthy lifestyle more. For those of you who know me well it is no surprise to know I have been extreme over the last few years with health and fitness. Actually let’s be more accurate with that statement, obsessed. It was all encompassing in my mind, body, and soul.

From the moment I woke up in the morning it was all about my workout, which was always pre-scheduled the night/week before. There was no deviation from the plan. If this meant getting up at 5:00am on a Saturday morning in order to fit it in, then that is what would happen. I could not miss a day of working out. If I could not workout first thing in the morning then it would be all I would think about during the day. When was I going to get it in? I would not be able to enjoy time with friends or loved ones. I was only thinking about my workout. I needed it, had to get it over with. In  my mind a missed day meant my body would drastically change, fall apart.

After my workout, came food. I fixated on calories, a tool I could not have done my weight loss without, but was it really needed with maintenance? Time spent with friends at restaurants lead me down a dark path of stress. What would I eat? I would not know how foods were prepared and thus the calorie intake. This then lead to me over exercising during the day to be able to preemptively  counteract any food sabotage. A 5 mile run followed by an hour spinning class might just be enough to allow me to enjoy a night out.

Next all of my freetime was spent reading books on food, diet, and nutrition. What were the new diets out there I could try? Maybe I needed to be gluten free or paleo. If I ate a certain way would I feel even better? What knowledge could I gain from others? Learning every last detail I could made me feel empowered, in control.

Now is the part in the story where I am suppossed to come and say through lot’s of hard work I have now found the balance. I no longer obsess about food, working out, and health. I go out to eat with friends and never once worry about the calories because I am listening to my body. I wake up on Saturday morning and decide to skip the gym to spend time with my boyfriend instead. I have found the secret to live a life perfectly balanced.

Well sorry folks, I am still working on it. Like most, finding balance is hard. For me I honestly did not attempt to find balance until I got a wake up call over a year ago on how my intensity was hurting my relationships with the ones I loved. I have also hit a point where my body is tired and it just can’t do what I forced it to do for so many years. Through this I can say I have become way more balanced. I still workout everyday, a schedule pre-planned the week before. I have learned to except there will be days where a long hike or just a barre class is good enough. Although I do have to fight the demons in my head pushing me to work my body more. I still constantly think about the food I eat, but again try to remind myself a glass of wine and a cheese plate with a friend will bring me more pleasure then roasted vegetables at home in my sweat pants. Why work so hard on a body if you are not able to enjoy it? Some days I listen to my own advice, other days I dont.

I love working out and eating healthy. It is now part of my DNA. It brings me joy, self esteem, self love, energy, and overall happiness. However so does being social, resting, relaxation, food, and alcohol. In order to truly be the person I want to be it is continuing to learn how to balance between the two. So for anyone else out there who is struggling with balance, you are not alone. All I can say is keep working on finding that perfect point right in between. Changing behavior and routine is hard, even scary. But just getting a glimpse on how a balanced life can be is all the encouragement I need to keep going.

 

Dailey Fest- A Morning doing Barre in the Sun

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I first started incorporating barre into my fitness routine about 2 years ago after having a lower back stress fracture. Up until then running and body pump had been my two main workouts. Over the years as I started to continue to increase my intensity with these two workouts my body could no longer take all of the excessive pounding and forced a break on me, literally. At the time it was one of the scariest places I had ever been mentally. How would I survive 6 months without running? What if I gained weight? How could I tell people I was a runner if I was not actually running? Like anything in life you learn to survive with what you can control. For me that was finding new ways to keep active without pounding on my body. It was with this break I found my obsession, barre classes.

The first studio I went to in the city was the Dailey Method in the Mission-Castro district. For me it was love at first site. The class was hard, while also being fun. The music was current and up beat,  the teachers were helpful while still providing adjustments. It was a great workout, but one I always looked forward to. I found I never dreaded it like I would some days with running or spinning. I was always excited to go, the more classes in a week the better. For the last couple of years barre has become a huge part of my everyday life. So when I received an e-mail with a barre event in the city I knew I had to attend!

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Last Saturday in celebration of the Dailey Method’s 15 year anniversary Jill Dailey the founder had a barre celebration in the Presido Park. There were several fitness and health vendors there along with various teachers from all of the Dailey Method studios across the bay area. The morning started with Jill Dailey leading a 60 minute mixed class at 10:00 am. I was wondering how the class was going to be structured considering usually a good chunk of the class is done with the barre and several different props. I was impressed with how creative Jill was with the class. For instance when it came to barre work barre work everyone had to team up with their neighbor for stability and use them in place of a barre.

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After the first class was complete there was a 15 minute break before the 45 minute interval class started. The interval class was lead by 5 of the different studio owners taking turns on the microphone. What I liked about the interval class is it was fast paced and really got your heart rate going. This is something I find hard to achieve in barre classes. So when it does, I know it was a good one. I am not going to lie, but the end of the almost 2 hours of barre I was a sweaty mess! All in all it was an amazing morning. I loved being outside in the sun practicing something I love with others, feeling like part of a community.  I had hoped to bring a friend to join me in the festivities, but alas my fellow fitness pals were all busy. I deiced I wanted to go to bad to let going alone stop me. Sometimes it is good to push ourselves, to not let obstacles get in our way, and if you want to do something go do it. I had no regrets on my morning date with myself and the other 100+ barre fanatics in the city.

Sunday Afternoon, Time For A Nap

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Life can be chaotic. It can be fast, stressful, busy, and tedious. However what makes it all worthwhile are the moments in time when you pause, step away from all of the noise, and appreciate just being present. Taking the time to sit and be still. Today was just one of those days. After grabbing coffee Dustin and I decided to walk to a neighboring park. The sun was beaming down, the grass green and inviting, so for almost an hour we just laid there. We enjoyed the live music at the neighboring bar echoing over the fence, watching the father and son running around, and just having time with one another. Sunny Sunday naps in the park may need to start becoming a weekly ritual. Hopefully everyone else had just as an enjoyable one!

Transforming My Home, It All Starts Now

 

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It was a little over a year ago I embarked on my journey of becoming a home owner in the city of San Francisco. Let’s not exaggerate though, a home in San Francisco is really a 1 to 2 bedroom apartment and if you are lucky perhaps a single family home with 3+ bedrooms. Buying a place in one of the most coveted cities in the United States, maybe even in the world, all by myself, was a huge personal accomplishment. One I am still very proud of to, but also very frustrated by. When you dream of buying a home you envision certain “must have” criteria for your house. I knew buying in San Francisco would be tough, but still imagined I could find a 2-bedroom home, with maybe some outdoor space, and in a lively neighborhood I would want to live in as doable.  I never expected my first place to be over half a million dollars, come with 1 bedroom, and I would be lucky to have gotten it.

From the moment I bought my house I have had nothing but a constant rollercoaster of emotion. Let’s  start with the fact that I do love my place. I love it for its location, central to everything in the city. It is an old Victorian built in 1893 with nothing but that San Francisco charm we all know so well. I have loved older homes my entire life. I have vivid memories of my grandparents old Victorian with the skeleton keys to unlock every room, the large mantels over the fire place’s, a hidden back stairwell, and an attic to escape to. I always wanted a home that held a secret. And yes if I could I would build a secret passageway behind a book shelf, I am just that kind of girl.

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When I first moved into my place I fantasized what the house was when it was first built. How it must have looked standing tall and vibrant in an area surrounded by trees and fields. Who were the original owners? What was their day to day life in the house. How did it all look before it was broken out into 5 separate apartments.  All the stories it must hold. The character is by far my favorite attribute to my home. I love the original hardwood floors, the tall ceilings, the brass door knobs, and the trees standing right outside of all of the windows.

What saddens me about my place is really just a few things. My place is rather large for a 1-bedroom at 800 sq. feet, but it has an awkward layout where the bedroom and bathroom are massive and the kitchen and living room are on the smaller side.  This makes it harder to entertain, which is by far one of my favorite past times.  I always imagined as an adult I would have a home where I could have people stay the night at when they came to visit or after having one too many drinks. I would have an open kitchen and dining room with a large table to throw dinner parties, I would have a patio to enjoy an after dinner drink in the summer or a cup of coffee in the morning. I guess when you live in the city by the bay your home cant have it all because your city already does. You are forced to sacrifice space for your environment.

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With all of that said one of the best parts of being a home owner is if you want change you can do it. You don’t have to settle. All you need is time, resources, and an imagination.  From the moment I placed a bid on my place I knew I wanted to redo the kitchen. I have always seen the kitchen as the heart of the home and although mine was not “awful” I knew it was not what I wanted at all.

We moved into our home in August of last year. We immediately un-packed and then life got busy, which meant little focus on our home after those initial first few weeks.  Now that life has slowed down for a moment and I can breathe I am taking advantage. I decided my goal for Q2 (can you tell I am always focused on business) is to make my home a priority.  I want to nest, to build, and to make it the place I envision in my head. Maybe it will not become a 2 bedroom, but it can be a place to entertain, a home I am proud of.  This last couple of week’s I have started the steps to redo the kitchen. I feel excited and overwhelmed at the same time. Right now plans have been built, almost all of the bids are in, which means hopefully in the next week or so I can sign off and let the work begin! Biggest change? Bringing down a wall to make an open kitchen and living room. I can hardly wait!

Yoga, Sake, and a Night Club, Equals A Workout Party

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A couple of weeks ago I had a friend send me a link to a pop-up yoga event in the city wanting to know if I would be interested in checking it out with her. Upon looking at the title I saw pop-up vinyasa yoga followed by sake tasting and in less then a minutes I had already RSVP yes! My two favorite things in life, sweating and drinking together, well how could I resist.

The event was run by a VinyaSF, a group who hosts pop-up yoga events at various bars around the Bay Area. As their website states they are “An underground pop-up power yoga movement in San Francisco. Our goal is to create balance, fun, and community through awesome power yoga classes that change locations throughout the city a couple of times a month.” Personally I love this concept. There is something very liberating about bringing fitness to an unexpected place you would usually not associate with health, aka a dance club or bar. It reminds me of events my girlfriend back home used to do where she would teach yoga classes in Breweries. Which we named”Bend and Brew” after a night of brainstorming on good micro-beers.

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The event was on Wednesday night, which was perfect for a mid-week pick me up. Usually by Wednesday I am itching to do something with friends, but don’t always want to go out to dinner or drinks. Doing a yoga event with a friend was that perfect balance of still being healthy, but also getting some social time in. The class started at 6:30 at a bar in the SOMA district called Audio Night Club. I made sure to arrive a little early to get a spot and have time to catch up with my friend. Upon arriving I was greeted by a few very friendly ladies who signed me in along with giving me some free swag from Luna (chapstick and granola bars.) I am a sucker for free stuff and took this as an omen the event was going to be good. I headed up the stairs to the night club section with my girlfriend as we picked out a cozy spot on the dance floor to setup our mats.

The yoga class was 1 hour and 15 minutes, which I was nervous might feel like an eternity. We started off in typical fashion on our mats as the DJ started to get the music going. I have to say I ended up loving the music in this class. It was not the typical yoga mellow music where the goal is to make you relax and focus on being stress free. Instead it had an upbeat to it, which made you feel more suited to be in a dance club. The lighting was also a big selling point as they kept the red flashing lights going, so not the full on party mode of the club, but a nice change of pace.

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The class itself ended up being a pretty good yoga class with a perfect mix of strenuous moves balanced out with stretching. After having already worked out on the morning, I was not looking for a workout to completely kick my butt so this ended up being exactly what I had wanted. Our instructors were a couple of different girls who alternated giving us instructions throughout the class. Every now and again they would throw in a joke or something light hearted to make sure everyone was having fun and not taking themselves to seriously. As they said “In a few hours someone will be drunk right where you are doing your downward dog.”

I also really enjoyed the sense of community which was built throughout the class. The teachers did this by having us at one point reach out to one another and put our hands on each others shoulders as we lifted one of our legs behind us while trying to stay balanced. Something not typical, but it did make you feel connected to everyone around you.

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As we wrapped up I felt relaxed and at ease, however also ready for a drink! We made our way downstairs to the bar and proceeded to get our sake tasting on. Of course with everyone coming down all at once it ended up taking a while for us to get our drink. So by the time we were done with our first round of sake we were ready to call it a night and go home to eat dinner. I was starving and had started to fantasize about food during our last bit of stretching.

All in all I loved the experience! There is another event in May, which I might have to attend. One of my favorite things about living in San Francisco is exploring the new. Hopefully this is just one of the many new fitness experiences to come.

Things I Am Loving This Week

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After the holiday’s I have been a little bit of a homebody. Not sure if it was the over indulgence of the holiday’s or if it is the continued cold dark nights, but regardless I find myself nesting at home. So it was nice when an unusually warm Saturday came along and I was invited to go meet a couple of girlfriends at a new wine bar in the mission L’emigrante Wine Bar & Bistro. I had been here once before with some friends for a drink and had looked over the menu in pure lust. Alas I did not get anything to eat the first go round, so I was excited to partake this time. I have to say I was not disappointed. Nothing beats sun, good drinks, food, and amazing company!

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After a long week of work and exercise nothing feels better for the body then a massage. My favorite place in the city is Suchada Thai Massage. I have been going here for years and I have never been disappointed. Who would have thought someone walking all over you could feel so good. The other weekend I made a last minute appointment and I am so glad I did. Part of being healthy is listening to your body and knowing when it needs a little TLC.

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The one good thing about being at home more is being able to spend more time with one of the loves of my life Cooper. Its amazing how dogs know how to make you feel loved, grounded, needed, and can put a smile on your face after a long day. They are also pretty great at snuggling as well.

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It is true, I found myself at another beer bar La Trappe in the city.  Upon walking in the first thing I noticed was the instant cozy feeling this place invoked. The heart of the bar and restaurant was located down a staircase in a dark brick walled basement. It felt like a little taste of New York and Germany combined. The atmosphere just made a beer sound amazing, which their selection was pretty good. Although this place nailed it with the vibe and libations, the food was just mediocre and a little over priced. All in all I did enjoy the experience though.

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Just another day at the farmers market. This time of year the greens and root vegetables are everywhere. This stand of carrots was too beautiful to not be stopped and appreciated. I love the farmers market for the abundance of possibilities in front of you. Nothing beats grabbing a bunch of amazing produce and making it into something so much more.