Month: February 2014

Climbing the Walls…Literally!

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This week I went rock climbing at Island Rock, an indoor climbing facility. I didn’t really know what I was in for, but I am always up for trying something new.

Before I could even get my climbing shoes on and begin scaling walls, the first order of business was a mandatory belaying class. After an hour of tying and untying the figure-eight knot, figure-eight follow through, and double fisherman’s knot, I was itching to start climbing.

My first wall was a lot of fun, but required some serious upper body strength. By the time I got to my second climb I was a legend in my own mind. I picked the wall that had a slight angle to it and thought it would be a piece of cake. I made it half-way up, but then came the part where I needed to use every ounce of upper body strength I had left, which by this point wasn’t much, to overcome that angle jutting out to reach the top. After dangling mid-air for a few minutes, and vowing to tackle this wall, I had to call it quits!

I will return to that dreaded wall, but until next time… On belay!

#YOLO

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A couple of weeks ago I finally decided to implement my New Year’s Resolution. I do realize that it is about a month and a half after the fact, but let’s file this under the “better late than never” category. Every year, when New Year’s rolls around, I think of a few things I can improve upon and try to incorporate into my daily life. Typically, these resolutions fall by the wayside and become merely a ‘to do’ list for the first week of January. This year I have decided to make eating healthy a top priority.

Over the years, I have been called many things; Carb Queen, Choc-o-holic, and Sugar Addict. I thought a chocolate croissant constituted breakfast, saw no need for lunch, and I preferred not to see vegetables on the same plate as my dinner. Thanks to a recent birthday, and the relentless prodding of people I have dubbed the ‘nutrition police’ (and who shall remain nameless – although they know who they are!), my first week of healthy eating was a success. After my initial trip to Wild by Nature and Trader Joe’s, and with the trusty assistance of the Fooducate app on my IPhone, I was able to stock up on a few nutritious alternatives.

Some of my new favorites are Trader Joe’s Oatmeal with Maple and Brown Sugar, Cliff’s Crunch Granola Bars with White Chocolate and Macadamia Nuts (as a mid-morning snack), Trader Joe’s Low Fat Granola Cereal with Almonds, and Wild by Nature’s Cascadian Farm Organic Cinnamon Crunch.

Here’s hoping I can continue to stay on the path towards nutritional nirvana!

Wonderful Wednesday

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Wednesday has become my new favorite day of the week! Maybe it is because I know the weekend isn’t too far off, or the stress of Monday and Tuesday has become a distant memory, but on this day I get an hour and a half of pure relaxation in the form of a very early yoga class. I know the thought of getting up earlier than one needs to is never pleasant (especially since I love sleeping in and object to anything that starts before 10 am), but for a mid-week yoga class I somehow summon the strength.

I have practiced yoga inconsistently for years; however, this past July, after looking for a way to stay in shape, I found yoga to be the natural option. After my first class, courtesy of Lululemon, I was hooked! I spent the rest of the summer and fall attending their weekly (free!) yoga classes every Sunday morning. I would walk into the store stiff and tired from a long week, and exit feeling renewed and ready to tackle the challenges of the new week.

Now, after I have found a few more yoga classes to love and a wonderful app for my Ipad (Studio Yoga), that rejuvenated feeling doesn’t have to be reserved for Sundays.

Today I dedicate my yoga practice to a wonderful friend, who taught me so much and left this earth too soon – In loving memory of Gaelle Spence.

Finding Your True Match

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This is a topic we all think about on Valentine’s Day: Everyone knows how difficult it can be to find your true match.

Your make-up match, that is. Selecting the perfect shade of make-up that offers just the right amount of coverage is an art. I should know. I have searched for years, trying every foundation from brand name to drugstore brand. I have “difficult” skin (for lack of a better term). I am fair, but need a product that can offer me full coverage without being too heavy or greasy and further aggravating my sensitive skin. For years I have struggled to find the right match for my skin type. Typically, when I find a product that might work in terms of texture, I either can’t correctly match the color (it’s too yellow, too beige, or too pink), or it will work for my skin for a week or two and then my skin will rebel and turn shades that are better suited to roses!

On a recent a shopping outing to Ulta to replace my eye shadow, I decided to once again try a new foundation. Seeing all the brands lining the store can be daunting, but having tried many products before without success, and knowing which consistency will work best for me, I can usually eliminate numerous choices.

As I walked past the Stila display, a helpful salesperson asked me if I needed anything. I explained my situation (which I have gone through so many times that I have it down pat), and she quickly brought me a foundation to try. I am usually skeptical when someone swears that something will work for me, but I was optimistic on this day. Maybe it was the fact that this salesperson had flawless skin herself, and her make-up struck the perfect balance of looking natural yet finished. She applied a small amount of Stila’s Stay All Day foundation in Light on the side of my face. I was in awe. Never have I been matched so effortlessly. It was as if the shade were made for me. Not only was the color perfect, but it seemed like it would provide the right amount of coverage without becoming cakey throughout the day. I decided to try the foundation for a week or so before purchasing a bronzer.

The next day I tried applying the foundation. The top of the foundation has a pop-up concealer, which was great to cover my problem areas and allowed me to use less foundation, giving me a more natural look. By the end of the first day my make-up looked just as good as it did when I had first applied it. The best part was that after I removed my make-up, my skin felt smooth and soft–and there was no visible redness!

After using the foundation for two weeks, I returned to the store. The same helpful salesperson greeted me; I almost wanted to tell her that she is my skin’s savior (but I restrained myself). This time I picked up the Stila Set and Bronze Baked Powder Trio. The gold, pink, and beige tones, when blended together, give you that perfect airbrush finish.

Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the make-up. Thank you Stila!!

Oh, and the eye shadow? Stila’s eye shadow trio in bronze glow.

Happy Valentine’s Day!