2014 in review

Meme from A’Dell

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1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

Swam with sharks. I mean I’m sure I have technically swam with sharks as there are sharks in the ocean but swam face first into a shiver of sharks? No, I had never done that before.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
As I was dealthy ill starting the year, I am pretty sure I didn’t make any, in fact I seem to get sick this time of year every year and the past two years have been brutal.

I did actually make some this year so that is a big change.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Close, as in family, no. Close, as in friends, yes, there are babies and pregnancies being announced all the time it seems.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Three of Willy’s uncles and my most special girl Mayday. This was a very rough year.

5. What countries did you visit?
Belize

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you didn’t have in 2014?
Health, peace and some forward progress for Sprog.

7. What dates from 2014 will be etched upon your memory, and why?
None, actually, this whole year was like a blur of sadness and stress with very, very few high points and I felt like I was just desperately treading water for most of it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of this year?
Getting our kids through District Science Fair, taking 5of6 medals and the banner even though the head judge treated me like I wasn’t worthy.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Allowing drama with a certain family member to really hurt my heart.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Of course.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
The herbals that have helped me breathe, the roof rack that will allow us to camp with my car, the fuzzy boots which keep my feet cozy…

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
(this is A’Dell’s answer and I’m leaving it)
“Marianne, Hugo’s mother. I have so much respect for this woman it’s hard to put it in words. Her child was diagnosed with an awful form of pediatric cancer and she has kept everything rolling (a whole life! her family! her job! Hugo’s treatment! boring everyday things like laundry, which still must be done!) while treating so many people with grace and kindness. SO MANY PEOPLE. She’s had to be firm with some people, sure, but Marianne has been though so very much this year, more than anyone should ever have to, and she has SO MUCH compassion and generosity left in her heart for other people.”

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
A certain family member, repeatedly. MANY, MANY people in this world.

14. Where did most of your money go?
We paid off all our credit card debt (again), teenage boys are very expensive on the car insurance, concert tix (holy shit), heartworm treatment and other vet bills for an unexpected new dog and general life costs.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Any time I get to see friends and travel, I get really jazzed.

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Anything by Foofighters and Fleetwood Mac (that concert was so great)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
I am sad but not sadder, or at least not sadder by much, just sad and lonely.

I am the same size but maybe marginally stronger and will be stronger still.

I am somewhat richer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Travel, always.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying

20. How did you spend Christmas?
Sick at home with Sprog.

21. What was your favorite TV program?
I am really MEH on most things on TV right now but The Daily Show is still good stuff.

22. What was the best thing you learned?
I have learned so much great stuff from yoga this year. Chakra system has resonated the most.

23. What was the best book you read?
Didn’t read for fun this year

25. What was your greatest food discovery?
Jackfruit is a fantastic meat substitute and a whole food. Love.

26. What did you want and get?
Any and all good news regarding Hugo. People donating to children for Christmas as a birthday wish.

27. What did you want and not get?
An effing door on our master bath.

28. What was your favorite film of 2014?
This is Where I leave You

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
39 um…nothing? Unless we travel for my birthday it’s usually a non day.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More face time with friends

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept of 2014?
Yoga clothes

32. What kept you sane?
A white knuckled grip on it

33. What political issue stirred you the most?
The usual suspects

34. Who did you miss?
My family. This sounds wicked strange but writing my brother stirred up this deranged nostalgia trip for me and well it’s just been very odd to try and cope with, what I miss isn’t reality.

35. Who was the best new person you met?
My yoga peeps

36. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
If removing yourself from a toxic situation winds you up painted as “the bad guy” it’s still worth it.

37. Show us one of your favorite photos from the year.

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2015 is gonna be big

In 2015 I turn 40, on the 14th day of 2015, so knocking that big thing out right quick…
In 2015 I will spend the first three months in my 200 hr yoga teacher training, a VERY VERY big thing…

And truth be told the weight of both of those things has me freaking out and a little exhilarated at the same time. It seems like a lot of change all at once but also like what better time to heap a whole bunch of change? In that spirit, I have the desire for some real resolutions, real goals and real desires for this coming year.

HOUSE
-tile the closet and master bath
-rip out the old vanity and build new one for master
-paint master bath
-barn door for master bath
-closet organization and purge
-kitchen cabinets and countertops
-outside and structural issues
-sand and refinish outside table
-fire pit
-reclaim patio spaces
-order and hang our personalized travel map
-print and hang photo of my grandfathers Daytona race car
-finish yoga space in bedroom

TRAVEL
-ladies trip (rent a house with a groups of ladies, some place sunny and relax)
-get home (this includes visit to brother in prison)
-summer trip incl Sprog this year
-camping
-check a travel bucket list item off
-get to the mountains
-day trips around TX
-visit more national parks
-cross another adventure activity off the list

PERSONAL
-complete YTT
-sign up for and complete pre/post natal 85hr YTT course
-once a month date night with Willy
-get back into reading
-acupuncture for sinus and migraines
-meal planning at least two weeks of every month
-10 mins (at least) of solid meditation a day
-volunteer more (possibly donation yoga once I’m certified)
-cook from a cookbook once a week
-create freezer meal stockpile
-get to the Ghandi exhibit before it’s gone
-get ink you’ve been waiting for
-continue to build friendships with yoga peeps
-more live music
-more documentaries
-less “reality” tv
-clear clutter from overflow spaces: holiday decorations, clothes, craft closet, shoes

FINANCES
-put money into growth/survivor benefit fund for Sprog
-budget and buy gift cards/set aside funds for Christmas throughout the year
-include donations for children in Christmas budget
-rebuild my savings

The Big 4-0

In a little over a month or so, I’ll be celebrating my fortieth birthday. Which, holy shit, you know? I don’t know why but that number is majorly freaking my shit out. Usually for my birthday I run a scarf swap and I have already been asked by more than one person about when this year’s swap is going be. The short answer is, it isn’t happening. Here’s the deal: in both the scarf swap and flip flop swap people have been let down by their swap partners. They, in good faith, have sent items only to receive nothing back or to receive something not equal to what they sent and that bums me out. I’m really, really not happy about it and if you were one of those people, I’m so very sorry. I don’t want to host something that leaves people with a sour taste in their mouth. I thought about trying to find some way to do it where I limited the participants or had some sort of rating system so I knew who could be “trusted” but frankly that takes what is supposed to be a fun thing and turns it into a huge admin nightmare and just no.

I’d really like to try and take a negative and turn it into something positive if I can, however…

Today, on twitter, Andyouknow mentioned grabbing another wishlist/adopt-a-kid tag off the tree at work and while I think it is SO GREAT that she is helping so many kids, it just breaks my heart. That so many kids are left wanting all the days of the year but especially at the holidays…they shouldn’t have to ask for basic essentials as gifts, they should get to open fun things just like other (more privileged) kids. So, I had a thought. What if I asked that people grab one of these tags? If forty people could help forty kids in honor of my big 4-0? That would be pretty amazing, to me. I would gladly make you a custom pair of earrings, flower pin, headband or send you a print of any of my photos in return. Obviously this wouldn’t wait until January but would need to happen now, in time for Christmas, so I’m tossing this up now.

Please let me know if anyone is interested in participating and we’ll figure out how to move forward.

Thanks!

Meditation and yoga space

As I prepare for YTT (yoga teacher training) I am steadily marking things off my list to do. I am building a yoga wardrobe so that when I am attending class 6 days a week from Jan to March, I have enough to get me through without constant washing and with enough variety to keep me from being hugely bored. I have all my books ordered. I got a new gym bag to make schlepping all my books and mat and other items to and fro easier.

Finally, I need to have a space in the house to meditate and do yoga where I can shut a door and be left to it. The easiest option was to set something up in our bedroom. We have a decent amount of space free in there and already had a leftover media console that I could appropriate.

Here is where it stands right now.
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The art is from Etsy. A glass, metallic, dish from Target clearance holds meditation stones. I have two Buddhas (one large, one small) I have a rock I brought back from Sedona. A candle. An incense holder. The bottom part of the console holds my YTT books and has a space to hold incense, matches, candles and the eventual meditation cushion or other props I have on my list.

I really wanted something chakra based in the space since that practice speaks to me.
Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 11.55.56 AM
I found this outrageously beautiful print but it is also outrageously outside of my budget for this space. WHOMP WHOMP.

So instead I went with this handmade chakra chain
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which I ordered online and was able to get MUCH cheaper from here vs Etsy (same artist)

Willy is going to fix the cable that is running to the TV, since it’s too short and bugs the crap out of me.

I intend on rounding out the space with a vintage kilim rug

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like this

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or this

a singing bowl

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a meditation cushion of some sort
Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.17.30 PM

and a faux sheepskin for uber coziness
Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.19.09 PM

and this piece of art which reminds me of homeScreen Shot 2014-11-17 at 12.20.59 PM
(she has another cactus piece also, so really it could be either, I love them both!)

I would also love my own bolster, blocks and blankets to do restorative poses at home.

There is still some rearranging that needs to happen before the space is completely yoga ready but it’s nice to get things started.

Halloween 2014 (the details post)

Originally I planned on being my favorite villain for Halloween but budget concerns (we have given the vet all our monies) and time concerns (I am at the vet all the time or taking care of the new pup) derailed that plan so a little over a week before Halloween I was scrambling for something low cost but still cool. I had three choices I could do somewhat easily, very cheaply and with some excitement. The winner of the three

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Effie Trinket and Seneca Crane

The whole combination of our costumes came in around $45-47 dollars but that is counting a $20 button down shirt that Willy can clearly wear to work, so I hardly think that counts. Breakdown of bought items:
Marilyn Monroe wig: $14.99
Pink hair chalk: $4.99 (+5% off at Target on my Target red card)
Red button down: $40.00 marked down to $19.99
Black sweater vest: $5:41 (should have been $6+ but she charged me as if it was a woman’s sweater vest instead of a man’s) from Goodwill
Ankle socks: $2.00 on clearance (+5% off at Target on my Target red card)

I also bought some makeup but I needed blush anyway so I’m not listing it out.

My outfit came from my closet: fuchsia ruffle dress from Old Navy, maroon velvet coat from some now closed shop in the mall, black booties from Target.
Willy’s outfit pieces from his closet: tan jeans from Target, black Clark’s dress shoes, black jacket from Target. The red chest stripe is the sash from an old robe I have kept around in my fabric stash just in case.

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The flower hair piece I made myself out of an old shirt

it’s a closed piece that I then sewed directly to the wig so I can remove it and use it for something later if I want. I can also use the wig for another costume later if I want as well.

The neck piece is made of more flowers I made from old shirts (the hydrangea flowers are t-shirts, the rose is chiffon, the peony is liner fabric and the spikey flowers are chiffon)


which I sewed to a strip of fabric that came from Sprog’s ninja costume when he was four (I AM A HOARDER, but I kind like that I have incorporated something from when he was a wee Sproglet)

I struggled the most with the wig. I just could not find anything that was the right color and I new that those color sprays for hair would make it too pink. I also couldn’t find anything with the right shape so I bought the closest thing and decided to try and doctor it.
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This Marilyn Monroe wig was pale enough that I could color it, was curly in the back but the front was too swoopy and floppy so I rag rolled it like I did for my Mrs Lovett hair last year (you have to use scalding hot water and then let it air dry) then pin curl on top of that to get it to pull up enough, it still hung down too much in some spots but it was much better.
For the color, I used pink hair chalk and that turned out to give me EXACTLY the color I wanted.
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I did multiple makeup tests, mainly because I have darker eyebrows but on the night of I just went with tinging them pink and that worked out for the best. I used a mix of a stick concealer and NYX milk to get my skin as pale as needed and cover the edges of my lips for the lip shape she has in the movie. I also went over my bottom lashes with the same colors. To be truest to the makeup I should’ve had pink lashes but I don’t want to mess with any lash glue that might irritate my eyes. Willy handled his beard trimming and additional make-up (for the pointy swoopy shapes) and he did a really great job.

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The girl who lives in a bubble and gets to eat air

I finally got to follow-up with my doctor this morning about my basic food allergy test results. I’ve been both anticipating and dreading this appointment because I already am a vegetarian, I REALLY didn’t want to be TOLD I HAD to give up a whole bunch of other things and become one of those people it’s a pain in the ass to eat with, meat free can be complicated enough at times. And secretly I knew they were going to tell me I had to give up dairy. I LOVE CHEESE. I LOVE QUESO. I LOVE RANCH. I LOVE CREAMY JALAPENO. I already am on my second week of voluntarily giving it up because I can’t take the constant sinus pain and pressure even though I take daily antihistamines and do a daily nose spray. I can’t take not being able to swallow without feeling it in my ears. I can’t take feeling like I’m on an airplane or underwater ALL THE DAMN TIME.

And of course…

I am reactive to:
Dairy
Eggs
Wheat
Gluten (but to a lower extent and is likely because of the wheat)

and these two aren’t great for me, I should cut them to at most once a week
Corn
Soy

and I should also totally give up peanuts because of my mold allergy.

The eggs peaked crazy high, like she’s shocked I couldn’t tell I shouldn’t be eating them. Goodbye deviled eggs, I loved you so hard.

There is an issue with yeast in my bloodstream from all the previous runs of antibiotics and steroids so I need to take some steps to cleanse for that.

She recommended The Virgin Diet as it cuts the 7 main allergens but in doing an admittedly quick search, it touts weight loss as its big selling point. I DON’T WANT TO LOSE ANYMORE WEIGHT. I have already lost weight since we got my hormones closer to my normal. I am back to my high school-ish pattern of eating ALL THE THINGS and losing weight. Weight loss is not a goal I have, period. So I don’t really think that book is for me.

Instead I’ll be seeking out more dairy free options. More protein options…something not soy or wheat? I’m going to get really tired of beans.

She says I won’t mind because I’ll be finally feeling better and just be happy but I AM DUBIOUS. Breakfast is easily my favorite meal. And BRUNCH? Oh brunch I loved you. I think I need to go drown my sorrows in a vegan cupcake.

More yoga wear (or gym or your workout of choice)

I talked to one of my yogi teacher friends yesterday about the shopping I was doing to fill my athletic closet and she recommended Evolve Fit Wear as a place to check out. She was wearing bright leopard print pants that she said were her favorite, from there, made from recycled plastic bottles.

I realized a few things as I was pulling out my yoga clothes to take these photos. Today will make my 4th day of yoga, in the studio, in a row, and I really seem to love MPG (Mondetta Performance Gear) pants. I have more pairs of these than any other brand. Also I am straying away from the standard cotton pants. I have one pair from Old Navy but I hardly wear them anymore as they pick up all the link everywhere and get saggy at the knee.


Cynthia Rowley at TJ Maxx. I had issues buying this top but it was so cute I did it anyway. I am between two sizes and the smaller of the two was probably what I should’ve bought but it constricted my breath so I bought the larger and wear another sports bra underneath.


the only “colorful” pants I own


the lace detail is also on the back of the calf


the lint catchers. I do like that they are capris so I probably just need to replace them with another pair of compression capris and get rid of these


love the cowl over a bra design but sometimes it gets in my face during inversions and annoys me


another built in bra top (not sure what it picked up in the wash, I need to lint roll it) I don’t think this is going to last much longer-it’s from Target and the top back doesn’t seem well made.


technically a pajama top but I just slap it over a sports bra and call it done


snagged on clearance in the juniors section of target, super thin and great at hiding sweat but left lint in my arm pits so it needs a couple more washes I think

I really love sleeveless t’s I want to find more of them I think. Cute and can be worn with jeans OR for yoga. Yep.


my favorite capris. I wear these more than anything


baggy pants but the calf cuffs stay put. LOVE.

So let’s talk yoga gear

I’m going to be spending A LOT of time in the yoga studio in the coming months, essentially living there, which means I needed to bulk up my wardrobe to avoid doing perpetual activewear laundry or stinking up the place.

Yesterday I went and plunked down a chunk of change at TJ Maxx and Old Navy on some pieces and today I asked Twitter what people did yoga in (if they did yoga) because I’m always curious about peoples’ preferences in workout wear. I am a sweaty monkey, like OCEANS OF DRIPPING GROSSNESS so I struggle with wanting to look cute and HIDE IT, OMG HIDE THE POOLS OF WATER.

I’m also not hugely big on color all over the place but I do admire the folks that show up at the studio rocking it. I’m not sure if the color thing is my discomfort with feeling like I’m too “on display” or feeling like it would distract me and wanting the calm. As such, I can’t really tell if I should push myself more in that area or not, so I did get myself to purchase two saturated tops but they still aren’t bright. That all said, I am wishing I bought some loud (to me) pants at Old Navy but would I have actually worn them? Who knows.

For $144 total (two stores together) here’s what I bought

From Old Navy (everything on clearance except the dolman top):
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the back on this is the gray mesh that is peaking on the bottom corners


the attached bra on this one is the same pattern as the one above


ruching down each side


dolman sleeve top is great for throwing over a tank or wearing over a sports bra to restorative

From TJ Maxx


loose fit capris with pockets front and back


color block pants with mesh at the back of the knee, a zipper pocket on the back and the purple pattern fabric wraps around the top back


matching pattern to the sides of the purple top

So that’s all the new stuff I bought yesterday. Today I snagged this top on sale for $12 at REI

This all rounds out my existing yoga clothes which I’ll photo and post later. Mainly black pants or crops, with the exception of one colored pair, and dark tops. I need to get a couple more sports bras, a yoga towel because I am slipping all over my mat lately, and that’s it.

What’s in your yoga closet?

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