Hot Yoga…how I have missed you!

Today, I got my booty out of bed very early, raced in my car in the pouring rain with all my yoga supplies, and walked into my first Hot Yoga class since I’ve moved to Florida. This was a vacation day, and I really wanted to sleep in, but I knew that this was going to be so much fun. And, despite the excruciating workout, this class was worth it.

When I lived in Nashville, I attended a hot yoga class at least once a week and loved it, especially the power flow classes. Yoga is a personal challenge for me, as you have to shut off your mind to the craziness of life and truly concentrate on the poses, so that in my case I don’t fall flat out on my face. Sometimes, even a forward bend can catch you up. There are a few times when the classes are a little too serious for me, especially when we do breathing exercises, but I’ve learned how important they are to the class and have embraced them. And, you have to be able to laugh at yourself. You are not going to look like your teacher at first. Get over it.

I’m assuming you all know about Hot Yoga. Just for a refresher, this is a yoga class to the extreme. The pump up the heat to make the room 90 degrees, and yes, it’s hot! But, the heat makes students so much more flexible. I find I am able to stretch my muscles for a deeper challenge throughout the class. Call me crazy, but I’m also a big believer in sweating out my impurities. I’m not talking about just negative thoughts, but also that big glass of wine I gulped down last night.

Today I was not as uncoordinated as I thought I would be, even without going for two years. I have been practicing with a few yoga classes on YouTube, so I wasn’t completely lost. But, my balancing poses were not beautiful and I could not hold them for more than a few breaths. And there were several times I looked in the mirror confused at a few new bulges on my body. But, I kept reminding myself not be discouraged by that image in the mirror, because that’s why I was there. Not to be skinny, but to be healthy.

Also, being still is very hard for me, especially when your body is slick with dripping sweat.

I survived it, and can’t wait to go back.

If you have ever been interested, you need to give a shot. Here are a couple of quick tips:

  • Bring your own mat, and clean it before and after. You are probably going to sweat ridiculous amounts, and I prefer those to be the only impurities on my mat.
  • If you get dizzy, or too hot, get down to child’s pose. You can always get back into the practice once your body has calmed down a bit. We’ve all done it. I came out of poses a few times today, but got right back in them!
  • Make sure you have a big towel for your mat. I use YogiToes because they have these cool grippers on the bottom side, so I’m not slipping. I mentioned the problem with balancing and being still…this helps me!
  • Bring a big bottle of water, or you will be completely dehydrated by the end of the session. Try to drink a few sips before you start.
  • I always bring another hand towel to wipe my face, arms, legs during breaks.
  • Make sure you have given your feet a good scrub, because your face will be where your toes were a few times throughout the practice.
  • You might want to bring a towel for your car, for after the practice. If you are like me, you will be soaking wet.
  • When you get home, throw everything (minus the mat) in the washing machine. That way, all your supplies will be clean for your next practice!

Hope you will try it out in a studio near you!


30 at 30 | The Update

Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, I thought I might revisit that #30at30 list. Let’s see how I’m doing…

30. Freshen up on my Spanish. I downloaded a few apps…don’t feel like I’m fluent though. 

29. Recreate my family tree. I have relatives from Turkey? More on this later.

28. Go to 10 new restaurants.

  • Bistro Bijoux
  • Local Catch
  • V Seagrove
  • The Great Southern
  • Sandcastle’s 
  • Cuvee 30A
  • The Bowery on 30A
  • Cayman Grill (Orange Beach)
  • Grimaldi’s
  • Shan Kishi Sushi and Hibachi on 30A

27. Learn to swim better.

26. Learn CPR.

25. Sell something.

24. Write more.

23. Set networking goals. Trying a few tips out, and have really challenged myself to talk and get to know the people I’m talking to.

22. Become a connoisseur of something…

21. Treat myself to something expensive and pay for it in cash.

20. Celebrate something, somewhere else. I celebrated helping raise $12,000 for an event in Inlet Beach. I had to drive 20 minutes so it’s counting for now!

19. Start a collection. (I’m open for ideas!)

18. Plant a tree.

17. Attend 5 4 art exhibits.

  • V. LaLa Galleries

16. Complete a 30 day challenge.

  • Currently in the process of a Yoga Challenge, on Day #5. 

15. Do something that scares me.

14. Transition my 20 year old closet to my 30 year old closet. Donated things that don’t fit/ are too young!

13. Plan a road trip.

12. Plan for a retirement.

11. Get a bonus at work.

10. Create a scrapbook.

9. Plan a big trip.

8. Get in shape.

7. Create a morning routine.  I’ve been pretty consistent with this one. I make up my bed, drink coffee, check personal emails, read something for myself – like a encouraging blog, check my money, and sometimes do a quick workout before hopping in the shower and/or getting ready for the day. It helps to get up earlier. 

6. Go on a SUP adventure.  DONE! My best friend Jeri and I went out on the Destin Harbor, and it was so much fun. We were not great, but we didn’t fall in either! 

5. Take four two classes: one weird, one professional, one cooking and one social (like etiquette).

  • Weird – Aerial Pilates
  • Professional : SEO Marketing class & Google Analytics Class

4. Visit somewhere I’ve never been before.

3. Go to church, regularly. So far, so good. Trying out a few new churches with the move.

2. Pay off all CC Debt.

1. Buy a place to live and set up a home.  DONE!!!!

Yeah, time to get busy.


Ariel Fitness

“The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” – Douglas Adams

Have you guys ever heard of Ariel Fitness? Basically, it is the art of hanging in the air with silks. Think Cirque du Soleil, but in workout clothes.

There’s one studio that I had been passing by on my way to work everyday, so I have wanted to check out a class for a while. Much to my relief, one of my friends texted me about a private session. It’s always easier to try something new when you can go with friends – and definitely in a private class – so I emphatically said yes and suggested we go ASAP.

Here’s the description of the class we attended:

Students will learn how to climb and wrap themselves using two long pieces of fabric hung from a single point. These classes are perfect for beginners with no prior experience. Classes include warm up, conditioning, and stretching. Students will learn at their own pace and interest level how to climb and do poses in the air like Cirque du Soleil. Be prepared to learn tricks and drops in this class as time you advance. 

Beautiful silks fell from the ceiling, and our teacher gracefully pulled herself up the silks and turned upside down, making her technique and tricks look easy. After warming up and learning how to wrap our “standing” foot, our first exercise consisted of climbing the silks. Hello triceps! Pain shot through my arms, but once I got the hang of it – and decided that I probably wouldn’t be able to move my arms the next day – I pressed on to new skills.

For many of the tricks, you need to have a LOT of upper body strength.  As you can tell with the pictures below, that’s not my strong suit.  I quickly came to the realization that I was not going going to look like my teacher while trying these skills, and may not even my friends.

I hit the ground a few times.

In retrospect, I wish I would have done a little more research on what I was getting into before going. I think had I known was to expect, I might have been a little better. And, I definitely would have stretched a little more before trying. But, it was super fun and a great experience! Who doesn’t want to fly?!

Time to work on my pushups, and then I’ll try again soon!

Quick Top Ten | September Loves!

I can’t believe it’s the first day of October!

Here’s a recap of the top 10 things I LOVED from September:

1. New Booties– check out the ones I’m obsessed with now!
2. Fall weather – not too hot, not cold…yet!
3. The Daily Post – which offers daily blogging & creative writing challenges, and much more!
4. This back to school video from Jimmy Fallon!
5. Football season has officially started. War Eagle!
6. Remembering the hilarious video series: Drunk Kitchen
7. This Anthropologie ensemble I pinned
8. This quote: If you get a chance take it. If it changes your life, let it.
9. My forgotten food: a meal challenge!
10. All my tv shows are back on! (Well not Downton Abbey yet, but I’m surviving!)

Review: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

Oh my little pink box came this month! Happy happy joy joy!

First up from my Birchbox to try – Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. The pamphlet that came with the products explained the process and gave more info on the company as well as the product. That always makes me feel a little safer in trying some new product on my face.

Step one. (I didn’t read the directions first, like always, and so I had to dry off my face after a good splash of water that wasn’t needed.) Apply the cleanser directly to your face and neck. Massage into your skin. The directions suggested circular movements from the center outwards. Lovely.

Step two. Rinse the cloth in hot water, and wring the cloth. Then, use the cloth to wipe everything off your face.  (I laughed at myself as I looked at the cloth. I can see this baby getting lost in a week. But, it does really get your makeup off, and it wasn’t irritating!  I also was wondering what in the world I do with the cloth after, but my instructions told me to wash every 2-3 uses, and air dry naturally. Easy!)

Splash with cool water, and add lotion. It does suggest to follow this process with more of their products, but I just followed with my Origins night cream.

Overall, it seems easy.  Though I’ll be honest with myself, this won’t be happening every night. I’m lazy when it comes to my face, and when I’m ready for bed, I am ready to crash. I really wish I wasn’t like this, and I’m working on being better with my cleaning rituals. However, the make-up remover clothes hidden in a drawer beside my bed are not moving – just in case!

Check out this product on Birchbox here.

Review: Tanastacia Spray Tan

How many of you have passed by Tanastacia on 8th Avenue, and wanted to go in? This girl is raising her hand high. And now, finally, I have gotten to go inside and try it out for myself!

For our big awards week, I decided to wear a short dress with a low back too. This girl’s pale winter skin that has not seen the sun for a few months just needed a little boost. I wanted people looking at the dress, not my veins! Insert Tanastacia. They are closed on Sundays and Mondays, so you do need to time this right in your calendar. They do take appointments though (which is what our group did)!

I’ll ask another question – how many of you have ever been sprayed by someone? This was a first for me. I’ve only been in booths for sunless tanning, but this was quite entertaining. Even though I didn’t get to wear a lot of clothes and it was quite chilly, my girl made me feel very comfortable. Besides feeling like an idiot with those poses, it was not too bad! My appointment was about 30 minutes – pretty quick for a great tan!

**I waited to post this to see how long it actually lasted. I have to say I did not notice any spots until a good two weeks! It looked really natural and even. I was very pleased, got a lot of compliments on my skin at the awards show, and definitely recommend this shop!

Check them out here:

Review: William Edge’s we.Spa – Elements of Nature

I had a gift card to William Edge’s we.Spa for my birthday, and I felt like the perfect time to go was the Saturday before Nashville’s music industry awards week! I had not been to this spa before, so I was ready to try it out to look at their packages and overall space.

It’s not a spa though were you go and sit in a peaceful room, hop in the sauna or hot tub, or take a relaxing shower. This is more of a walk in, change to your robe, walk to your room – and your done! You aren’t going to spend all day here, unless you want to give some attention to your hair in the hair salon section.

“At we.SPA, we offer therapeutic massage services that range from essential to advanced to specialized and are fully customizable to your wellness needs. If you are looking to release the stress from a long day, get the knots out of your sore neck or give back to a body that you have been neglecting, we have a treatment that is just right for you.”

If that’s what you want for your experience that day, this place is a must go.

Here’s an excerpt about the spa treatment I picked:

“we.ELEMENTS OF NATURE – A personalized massage treatment that is based on your body type and follows the guidelines of the Aveda Elemental Nature philosophy. Specific products and aromas of your choice will be used throughout the session to increase your circulation and release stored toxins.”

I picked the 9am slot, so I was first one there to get in. Always excited for a spa day! The ladies at the front were so hospitable. I waited in the first section as you come in. Once it was my turn to go back, I went to their changing room, where my massage therapist – Crystal – greeted me with a robe and shoes. After changing, she walked me to my room where I would enjoy an hour and 45 minutes of bliss!

Once inside the room, I was treated to a quick foot soak and scrub. We talked about areas that needed attention during the massage, which for me is always my shoulders. I hold all of my stress there. And combined with the fact I’m hunched over my computer for hours at a time, it should be no surprise that’s the tightest area on my body.

Then, she will ask what element of nature I would like for the massage, and I picked air. My skin was a little drier than normal, but may main concern in any regimen for my skin is always the visible signs of aging. On Aveda’s site I found a little more about this one –

“Your nature has a creative mind. You learn new information rapidly, but tend to forget things easily. When balanced, you are inventive, energetic, open to new experiences, adaptable and a great conversationalist. When out of balance—anxious, talking too fast and too much, forgetful and indecisive.”
(Even for 9am in the morning, I nailed it! This is most definitely me!)

She let me smell a few options, and I picked the tangerine scent- and man it hit the spot! She finished each with peppermint scent too which was a nice sweet way to end the aromatherapy experience.

The massage was wonderful, each area got attention with the right amount of pressure, and she added additional lotions to my hands and feet because I had mentioned they were pretty dry! And, I can sometimes get really cold during a massage, but she was so quick to ask and adjust I was rarely ever even chilled!

The spa is easy to navigate and just enough to make your Saturday spectacular. I know mine was!