My Yoga Secret and Friday Favorites

Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Yes, a bit excessive, but isn’t that what the season’s about? Excessive spending, excessive cookies, excessive light displays? Whatever, I love it all. Well, not so much the spending, but giving gifts is wonderful and if that means a measly bank account then so be it.

If you haven’t gathered yet, I’m a nut about Christmas—and although I get sad when the actual day comes (indicating that the season is, sigh, over)—THIS year my Christmas celebrations are spread out all the way to December 30. So as far as I’m concerned, we’re just getting started!

This morning I paid some much needed attention to my arms in my leisurely, long workout. I feel like I pay so much exercise-related attention to my legs most of the time—because, you know, I’m a runner—therefore my arms get sad that they are merely used as banisters for my watch and iPod. Poor arms—fear not, I will give you some love!

Okay, done with the personification. But seriously, I did some serious arm work today—and I know I’ll be feeling it on my morning airport excursion tomorrow when I get to haul two heavy bags around with me because I refuse to pay to check a bag.

After a nice sweaty spin class, I did a weight circuit for my major arm muscles, including biceps, triceps, pectorals, and shoulders. I also threw in some ab work, because obviously:

1 sit-up=1 cookie.

Did you know that? It’s science.

Afterward, I made my way into the crowded pool for some quality lap swimming. I haven’t swam in a while, and a Spin’n’Swim day was necessary. Again, the arms were given proper attention, and I doubt that they will feel unacknowledged come tomorrow.

I’ve also managed to get my butt to yoga for the past THREE days in a row, which has been fantastic. I’ll let you in on a little secret about yoga and me—I really only go to the Level 1/Beginner classes. I’m decent at yoga thanks to some natural flexibility, however whenever I go to a more advanced class I find myself way too focused on being competitive and getting down on myself for not being able to do certain poses well.

I realize this negates the entire intention of yoga, but I know my crazy competitive self well  enough to know that an hour of yoga, at least for me, is better spent when I can focus on staying present, breathing deeply, and getting the most out of the poses/stretches.

I love the peace and calm yoga gives me, which is my primary intention in going, however my secondary intention is to relieve my running muscles as much as possible with simpler poses that require less frustration and more “Ahhh.” Therefore, I stick to the more beginner classes, and luckily I have two instructors at my gym who I LOVE and they both teach classes that are technically beginner but still result in a meditative yet strengthening session.

Okay, enough about chaturangas and weight lifting. Let’s get to Friday Favorites!

1) Pintrest

I love pretty things.

If you have a Pintrest account, I really don’t need to say anything more—because I know you understand.

If you don’t have an account, I don’t know if I should encourage you to join or vehemently warn you against it.

This site is SO ADDICTING.

In a nutshell, it’s a collection of nicely categorized pictures from all around the internet— all of which are totally gorgeous. You can easily spend an hour gawking at all the lovely images of nature, home decor, craft ideas, food, and literally everything in life you can think of that’s wonderful. It’s almost a better time waster than TV, and seriously you can get hooked easily. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

2) Love Actually

I can watch this movie year round, but I make it a point to watch it as close to Christmas as possible. No matter the circumstances going on in my life, no matter my mood, this movie will always brighten me up.

Also, Colin Firth.

3) Soy Mistos

Runner's World + misto= good day

{Disclaimer: a misto is the Starbucks way of saying “cafe au lait”}

Thanks to my coworker Leanne, this has been my Starbucks drink of choice for nearly a year now, and I am still never sick of them.

I needed to pay some tribute to this lovely combination of brewed coffee, steamed milk, and cheaper-than-other-specialty-drinks cup of love that gets me through my days.

4) A Very Special Christmas

This classic Christmas CD is the holiday tune-age that I’ve been listening to before I even knew what Christmas was.

Wait, that never existed!

You get the point—this special CD has been heard in my home during the holidays for as long as I can remember. It has currently been saturating my need for Christmas music this past week, and whenever I hear that first familiar sound of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” I get all warm and tingly as I’m transported back to my eight-year-old self, hoping only for a pair of sparkly shoes and a Jasmine Barbie doll under the tree.

Actually, I really don’t feel like I’ve grown up much since then—sparkly shoes would still be awesome.

5) MY BUMPER STICKERS!

photo repeat...shameless

As I wrote in yesterday’s post, BF won the super duper boyfriend award by getting me these custom blog bumper stickers.

Kidding, he always gets that award! But does he…? 😉

Seriously though, I’m giddy about these.

Will they make my blog the most popular site since Lolcats? No, but it doesn’t matter.

Because although these will more than likely only adorn my own possessions and the cars of family members who I will beg and plead to promote me will lovingly slap them on their bumpers, they symbolize a great deal of support and encouragement from BF.

And I love that. In all honesty, this blog offers me an opportunity the write about the things that I love. If tons of people read it, awesome! But if no one does, it doesn’t really matter because I have this space for some solitary reflection and me-time. Sure, I’d love to have a lot of readers—but for now, I’m loving the daily chances to develop myself as a writer.

These bumper stickers can be daily reminders to me of the importance of support and encouragement, from the people I love and for myself—because truly, you are your most influential and important cheerleader.

I hope everyone has had a great end of their week, and you’re getting nestled into a sweets-and-liquor-filled holiday celebration! Have any favorites you’d like to share? Let’s hear ’em!

 

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