Monday, June 30, 2014

30 – Last day of June, how are you sending it off

Silence,  I am sending June off by practicing silence and listening to the soundtrack of my life.  Listening to some music, my breathing, the people I am with, my heartbeat, the birds singing and the silence in between the noise.

I am spending time with my thoughts and simply standing back and determining them to be nothing but noise.  Noise that establishes that I am still here and I still have a purpose.

Question to consider:  Have you ever sat with silence?

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saturday, June 28, 2014

28 – Is today a beach day? Snap a pic and make everyone jealous!

Not a beach day, simply a yoga day/board game night.

Question to consider: what is your idea of a simple day?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Last Friday of the month, what are you up to? (Number 28)

I am making strawberry jam in my bread machine.  It sounds strange to me too, we will find out if it works.  Since I was not planning to do this today, I also made some substitutions to the simple recipe.  I used boiled Apple cider instead of lemon juice and I didn't add the full amount of sugar. 

So we will see what happens!

When I was a little girl I used to make grape jelly with my mom all the time.  It was so much fun making a giant mess in the kitchen. 

Question to consider: Have you ever made homemade jam or jelly?  Any good recipes? 

Number 6

Number six was to go to a yoga retreat.  I had giant hopes that Adam and I were going to go to a healing retreat the weekend before my weekend.  Things didn't work out according to that plan, so I created my own yoga/meditation/qigong retreat while I was in Amsterdam.  I took an entire day for myself to practice, take a nap and eat some good food.   Adam and I went out to dinner after he spent an hour practicing yoga and I practiced a new qigong.

This is a lesson for me in creating the experience I want no matter what happens with anything else.  It is possible to create your own little retreat, I do it frequently during the week when I take an epsom salt bath.  I simply took all the elements I wanted to experience during a yoga retreat and made it happen.  

It is my hope that Adam and I still get to go to this healing retreat when it is rescheduled!

Question to consider: What do you want to experience when you go on retreat?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wehew, it’s hot out there. How are you cooling down?

I am staying inside and working on a painting for a friend!  So grateful for AC and fun indoor activities!

Question to consider: what activities do you crave during the summer?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

25 – Are the flowers blooming? Take a picture of your favorite!

There are not many flowers at our house, however the constant rain has brought our grass to life!

Love walking in the lush grass in bare feet!

Question to consider: what is blooming at your house?


When Adam and I went to Spain, lots of things fell into place.  Honestly things just went so smoothly and effortlessly that I was amazed.  On our trip home, on the way to Frankfurt we got upgraded to Business Class!
This is was such a treat!  The food tasted fresh and was beautifully presented.  I spent the flight feeling grateful and blessed for my life and all of these experiences. 
I find these moment extra special, because I don't just think about all the "good" things in my life.  I find myself being grateful for all the moments I struggled, and suffered as well.  All of those moments have contributed to creating who I am today, all of those lessons were necessary.   

Question to consider: Have you ever been upgraded on a flight? 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

24 – What made you happy today?

I got up this morning very early and I had a message on Facebook from my friend in Italy about being able to see a crescent moon and a brilliant Venus in the sky in the early morning.   It must have been a coincidence  that I was up and about to start my practice, so I went outside and did my Qigong practice while looking up at the moon and Venus.

It makes me smile that my friends know me so well, even from half way across the world!
The other thing that made me smile today, he makes me smile everyday!  Is my amazing husband, he enriches my life in so many ways.  I am so grateful that I get to continue to walk with him, it is special to me that after 15 years of being together he still makes me smile everyday.
Question to consider: What made you smile today?

The countdown has begun...

Sunday was my brother's birthday and my parents' anniversary is coming up.  When I was growing up this was always a busy and fun time of year leading up to my birthday.   I always looked at my brother's birthday as the start of the countdown to mine. 

So lets see what I still want to accomplish before my birthday on July 3rd!

9. Sell a piece of art that I make (This one hasn't happened yet.  I almost sold some of my work, but she decided to go in a different direction. I am working on a painting as a gift for a friend, which is new for me to give my paintings away.)

12. Visit the Williams Waterwall in Houston (This seemed like such a simple thing to do)

16. Do a yoga photo shoot (Adam has done a couple of yoga shoots, so I will get my butt in gear)

17. Have a family picture taken (I am still looking for a good Groupon)

18. Go to the rock gym with Adam (Does a mud run count?)

20. Crayon art project with Adam (I painted with a friend, however I still want to play with melting crayons on canvas)

27. Fill up my sketchbook (This is an ongoing project, I have been writing in my journal a lot.  I might just finish that instead) 

28. Make homemade jam (Soon!)

29. Watch a firework show (I was just talking to Adam about this.  Does a shooting star in Nepal count?)

31. Paint some ceramics (This one seemed so easy to schedule at the time)

32.  Make an ice cream cake (Umm...I am not so sure about this one)

33.  Lord of the Rings extended version marathon (I have watched the Fellowship a number of times, when I have been sick.) 

Bonus tasks or ideas for substitutions (Life happens)
Harry Potter Marathon  
Reread all the Harry potter books
Order Room Service (Done!)
Upgrade seats on a plane  (Done!)

Monday, June 23, 2014

23 – Got those sandals out? What’s your favorite pair?

These may not be the prettiest pair of sandals, I wear them all the time.  That makes them my favorite pair!

Sunday Pancakes! Do you have a Sunday breakfast routine?

Adam and I typically go to Pondicheri on Sundays for brunch.   It is always a lot of fun and we never know who we may run into. 
Today however Adam and I flew home from Amsterdam and so we just took a moment to put our feet in the grass in our backyard and play with Sterling!

Number 13 (33)

Here is number 33!  Gatlin's BBQ 

Adam's parents wanted to take us out for our anniversary, and Heather wanted to try this BBQ place that she had read about.  Since we happened to be in the neighborhood we added a new restaurant to the list!

I really enjoyed everything about this meal, especially the green beans.  Since Adam and I are in the neighborhood a lot, we will definitely be trying more of their food.  We don't get BBQ too often, so this was a very special treat. 

Here are the links to the rest of the places that we tried!

Number 27 is dedicated to all the places I forgot to take a photo.

Question to consider:  What is your favorite type of food to have on a special day?  I think for me New Mexican  and Italian food speak to my heart.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

21 – HAPPY SUMMER! Take a picture of what summer looks like to you tocelebrate!

I am not sure this qualifies as celebrating the solstice, I found it funny this morning! Adam and I headed out to see the Dutch countryside, however I did ask him to snap a photo of my Christmas socks first!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

14 – Flag Day! Got one flying in the warm breeze?

Happy Flag day! A shot of the flag blowing in the wind outside our home.  The local Boy Scout troop has a fundraiser where they put up flags around the neighborhood an flag holidays.  I think it is a great fundraiser idea, and then Adam doesn't have to eat extra popcorn!

Question to consider:  what are fundraising ideas that you find particularly creative?

Friday, June 13, 2014

13 – Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious and ducking for cover, orout and about?

Here's to fire pits and friends! Just hanging out enjoying the full moon and not even thinking about superstitions.

Question to consider: do you have any rituals for Friday the 13th?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Treat yourself, it’s almost the weekend!

I walked out of yoga and felt an impulse to get something sweet, so I went a grabbed a cupcake. 

I enjoyed it.

While I ate dinner I watched the Jim Carrey speech again.  I absolutely love this speech, so I am sharing it again!  If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, here is a small clip.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Is the sun out? Snap a pic! If not, what’s it like out there?

We continue 30 Summer Day by discussing the the sun.   The sun has been out today and I have been enjoying its rays.

Adam and I met for dinner before teacher training and took a moment in the sun, to feel its unending energy.  The sun simply shines, it radiates love and life.

Question to consider: Have you taken a moment to feel the sun on your face today?  Take a moment to really enjoy the sun and take a deep breath!

Monday, June 9, 2014

#OOTD, what are you wearing? Got your summer clothes on?!

Summer days continue...I guess I am getting old, I had to google what "OOTD" meant.   I guess I am not so hip anymore and didn't know there was an acronym for outfit of the day.   It is a phrase I have never used.

Here I am right after dinner this evening with Adam.  I actually had a very low key day today, just hung around the hotel and wrote, practiced Qigong and took a nap!

Stretch those legs mid-week and go outside or for a walk. Snap and share!

Summer days continues.  I am so glad that I am in Amsterdam for this challenge and not in hot/humid Houston.  If I was still in Houston Sterling and I would be walking right as the sun came up, for as long as we could handle the heat.  The weather here is beautiful, I didn't even mind the misty rain as I walked this afternoon.
I wandered around the city today and found myself at The Anne Frank house.  (Unfortunately I didn't take any photos during the hour I waited in line and no photography is allowed in the museum.)  

I have to say it was a very interesting experience walking through the house, that was restored to look the way it would have in 1944 after the hiding place was discovered.  Honestly the building had a very haunting and vacant energy, the floors creaked, people moved in silence, and the air was dense. 

In my most recent Reiki attunetment, we learned the Medicine Buddha Mantra.  I find this mantra extremely soothing, and it has become a daily part of my practice to say it in my head.  I still feel self consious singing it out loud.  So as I walked through the building I continuously saying that mantra in my head, the exploration of the building became a meditation of sorts.   I hope that some healing energy is able to come to that place and the people that visit.  

I found the experience pretty emotional, and there were some people that were openly sobbing during the tour.  I understand the importance of learning history, I even understand the importanceof historical   museums and sites (I used to work at a living history ranch).  Since this is my blog, I do have to say something about visiting this site was distrubing.  I found it disturbing that the intention was to recreate the atmosphere after the annex was cleaned out.  (They answered this concern, because they wanted the space to be a memorial to all of the people who never came back.)   I just wondered what the space looked like when they were living there, since I read that book as a little girl.  I imagined how the spaces were set up, the tension, the love, the fear and the hope that must have been ever present.  

Anyways on to less heavy topics.   The World Cup!

Tonight we are going to watch the World Cup match between Netherlands and Australia.  I went shopping for some orange shirts and scarves.  I am really excited to watch the match with some locals and passionate football fans.   

Got a pet? Share them with the world!

Summer days I get to share a photo of Sterling!

This little guy right here, is so amazing.  He is my favorite!   

Moday motivation. What motivates you?

June 16th was supposed to be all about motivation and what motivates me.  However I was exhausted on Monday and chose to listen to my body and rested for most of the day.  In the past I would have had negative associations with taking time to rest and recover especially when traveling.  I could think that I was missing out on something, however Adam and I spent a nice relaxing day resting, chatting and then had an amzing dinner with one of our friends.  I am grateful that Adam understood that I wanted to rest and not spend hours forcing myself to enjoy museums or walking around town.  Only because I felt so exhausted, usually I love those things.  

Honestly this guy right here motivates me a lot of the time!  Adam works so hard at everything he committs to.   Since I do not have the typical 9-5 job, I can feel unproductive a lot of the time.  I think of how hard Adam works at his job and what an amazing opportunity I have to explore my passions.  This usually motivates me to do something creative and get moving.  

I don't know why I love this photo, maybe it makes me think of cinderella.  I was replacing a bandaid on my foot in a parking garage.  I think I love the smile on Adam's face.  It feels like a perfect moment to me.

What motivates you?  

Get over the hump of the week. How were you productive today?

I did a lot today, ran errands, got my hair cut, went to an acupuncture appointment, took a nap.  However the most productive thing I did today was to take 30 minutes to watch this YouTube video.

Question to consider: What are you asking the universe for right now?  I am asking the universe to continue to grow, expand and show me that it is always perfect.  

Manic Monday! What’s giving you a case of the Mondays?

Monday tends to get a bad rap, it seems like a lot of people complain about Mondays and going back to the grind.  Since I do not keep a regular schedule and work on random days, Mondays don't have the same meaning for me any more.

So I thought about what a "case of the Mondays" means to me.  I decided it was about procrastination, not wanting to handle some tasks that I am not excited about or that I see obstacles about.  I was given the task to write a biography for Adam and I, which one would think is an easy task. 

So I am distracting myself with other more "fun" tasks like laundry, dishes, going to the post office and giving Sterling a bath.   Now that I am sitting at my computer it is time to get working on our bios.

Question to consider: What is does a "case of the Mondays" mean to you?  Is today even your "Monday?"

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sterling Sunday

Continuing the 30 days of summer, today I spent a lot of resting with Sterling.  I was recharging for the week.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday! What are you up to?

We had a super busy today!  We had a Buddhist monk come by and bless our house and afterwards we hosted a Medicine Buddha Reiki Class.

Now we are enjoying some Indian food and looking forward to resting.

Friday, June 6, 2014

National Donut Day

Today is national donut day! So the assignment for the day was to take a photo of your donut or treat."  I took a photo of my favorite treat for the day.   A new pastry shop opened up near my yoga studio and I went there after class to write.

Their pastries look delicious, however they are huge!  So I didn't get one, instead I got this amazing toasted almond tea that I am obsessed with.  

So my treat for the day was this tea, and the glass of wine I had with dinner.

Question to consider: Did you have a donut or treat today?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Today I am posting a older photo from a summer trip, technically it is from September it still felt like summer.  This is from a trip Adam and I took years ago (2009?).  This is a photo of the magnet on our fridge.  So many good memories at WDW!

Question to consider: How do you decorate your fridge?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Look up!

What do you see?  Here are photos I took looking up through out my day!

I spent a lot of time loving clouds and the sky today!

Question to consider: what do you see when you look up?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Who made you smile today?

Day 3 of 30 days of Summer - Who made you smile today?

Today I got the pleasure of working with some amazing children at the Children's Advocacy Center!  Obviously I am not going to take their photo or even talk about their names, it is enough for me to know that those children left with smiles on their faces.

When I started working at the advocacy center, I thought it might be super emotional and depressing.  There have definitely been days that are emotional, I have never walked away depressed.  More often I find myself wondering about the children I interact with and hoping that someone in their life is helping them heal.  

It is surely a coincidence that I am reminded of all the reasons I may have never started working with the advocacy center on the day that I received my first Hospice volunteer assignment.   I started telling stories about how difficult a situation this might be to care for someone in their last moments of life.  I was feeling a lot of fear and uncertainty.  Adam gave me some good advice to remember the state I was in when I committed to this volunteer position.   Now I feel honored and grateful that I will be able to get to know someone in the final moments of their path.  

Lots of things made me smile today!  I learned a new Qigong in class, I got to play with the children at the advocacy center, I had an enlightening conversation with Adam and as I type Sterling is playing with his ball!   

Question to consider: Who made you smile today?  Did you remember to thank them?

Monday, June 2, 2014

30 Summer Days

I have been following Tina's blog Carrots'n'Cake for years now.  She continues to inspire me to take on new challenges.  I have been so busy lately that blogging has taken a backseat.  I have 10 half written blogs sitting in my draft folder and even more scattered notes in my house about possible topics.  This 30 days of summer challenge is a great way for me to get into the habit of daily blogging again.  I want to continue to grow and exercise my writing, so I will practice more and more!

So here is the challenge: 
1 – Rabbit, Rabbit! What brings you good luck?
2 – Monday, ugh! What’s keeping you going today?
3 – Who made you smile today?
4 – Look up. What do you see?
5 – #TBT Share a photo from a past summer trip!
6 – National Doughnut Day! Snap a pic celebrating! Or, what did you have instead?!
7 – Saturday! What are you up to?
8 – Time to relax before the start of the week. What does relaxing look like to you?
9 – Manic Monday! What’s giving you a case of the Mondays?
10 – Is the sun out? Snap a pic! If not, what’s it like out there?
11 – Get over the hump of the week. How were you productive today?
12 – Treat yourself, it’s almost the weekend!
13 – Friday the 13th! Are you superstitious and ducking for cover, or out and about?
14 – Flag Day! Got one flying in the warm breeze?
15 – Happy Father’s Day! Snap a pic or share one of an awesome dad!
16 – Moday motivation. What motivates you?
17 – Got a pet? Share them with the world!
18 – Stretch those legs mid-week and go outside or for a walk. Snap and share!
19 – #OOTD, what are you wearing? Got your summer clothes on?!
20 – Happy Friday! You made it! Smile and say cheese :)
21 – HAPPY SUMMER! Take a picture of what summer looks like to you to celebrate!
22 – Sunday Pancakes! Do you have a Sunday breakfast routine?
23 – Got those sandals out? What’s your favorite pair?
24 – What made you happy today?
25 – Are the flowers blooming? Take a picture of your favorite!
26 – Wehew, it’s hot out there. How are you cooling down?
27 – Last Friday of the month, what are you up to?
28 – Is today a beach day? Snap a pic and make everyone jealous!
29 – Go out for a picnic! Make sure to take a picture!
30 – Last day of June, how are you sending it off?

Today feels so much like a Monday after a week with Adam's parents and a weekend bachelor/bachelorette party at the lake it is difficult to get back into the swing of things.

So my focus today is on tackling my to do list and restocking our kitchen with tasty healthy food!    

Question to consider:  What is keeping you going today?