Sunday, December 29, 2013

#40DayChallenge #errdamnday

#TeamLean has decided to start a #40DayChallenge on New Year's Day that will run through February 9th.  Everyone is taking their own twist on it - some of us will work out every day for 40 days (mind you a 10 minute walk counts in our book), others are giving up alcohol (oh dear lord) and others are giving up dessert. Personally, I plan to work out every day during the #40DayChallenge and not drink alcohol (unless I have a date - yes, you read that correctly)!

Do you want to be a healthier version of you in 2014?  Do you wanna join #TeamLean and our #40DayChallenge in 2014?  Pick your poison and join #TeamLean! It's all about about #errrdamnday!!

My wish for you...

My wish for you in 2014 is that you create the life you want.  I speak from experience that it' kind of awesome!  So, what do YOU want to create?  Go on and START creating it NOW!

Happy New Year to you and yours!  May the new year bring you continued love, health and happiness!






Saturday, December 21, 2013

Meet Izzie

As many of you probably remember, Nole the dog passed away 2.5 years ago.  Today, I went to visit some black lab puppies knowing full well that I would pay the deposit at the end of our visit.
Below is a pic of the two I fell in love with:
Initially, I was leaning toward the runt (on the right) then the other one (the one on the left) just kept crawling over to me to get in my lap!  I think she picked me (one of one left)!  So, on January 18th, I will be bringing home a new puppy.  Her name is Izzie!!  #newpuppy

Friday, December 20, 2013

#TeamLean - 2014 Challenge

It's December which means tons of eating and drinking for most of us...it's means that the holidays are upon us.  And, no matter how much we love the holidays, most people can feel a bit frenetic (meaning "fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way").  

In an effort to "stay grounded" and ensure the scale does not tip beyond our comfort level, #TeamLean implemented a #30DayWorkout that started on 11/24 and ends on Christmas Day!  #TeamLean is a group of us that live across the country that hold each other accountable for working out and living a healthier lifestyle.  And because we are complete geeks, we often tweet about our daily (or lack thereof) workouts.  

#TeamLean has decided to start a #40DayChallenge on New Year's Day that will run through February 9th.  Everyone is taking their own twist on it - some of us will work out every day for 40 days (mind you a 10 minute walk counts in our book), others are giving up alcohol (oh dear lord) and others are giving up dessert.  Do you need some extra motivation?  Do you wanna join #TeamLean and our #40DayChallenge in 2014.  It's all about about #errrdamnday (and sometimes about #mostdamndays)!!

Let me know if you wanna join #TeamLean and our #40DayChallenge!!



Yoga videos

Have you heard how much I LOVE yoga?  I prefer to go to a yoga studio, but sometimes time does not permit.  I have learned over the years how to do a a self led yoga practice....but there are times when I need a home practice where I don't have to think but rather just listen and practice.  HERE, HERE and HERE are my three favorites! Bonus: It ends with the ocean in the background for your shavasana!  Go try it!  You might even like it!
#Namaste

Happy Friday and Merry Christmas!!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas cheer

I always love when the polar bear commercials are brought back this time of year...just makes it feel a bit more like the holidays for me!  Merry Christmas and happy Friday!


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Slow cooker Sunday: Meatballs and sauce

It's slow cooker Sunday....this week I am making meatballs and sauce.  I've never made meatballs so am kind of excited!

HERE is the original recipe from AllRecipes.com.  I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and used my crockpot!   Follow all the instructions for the meatballs.  For the sauce, I added one can of diced tomatoes and a cup of water.  Season to your liking as well.  

From there, let the sauce cook for one hour on high in your crockpot then add the meatballs and let cook for 3-4 more hours on high.

Enjoy the smell in your house of the sauce cooking....I always do!!  What's your favorite slow cooker recipe?  Go!!  Happy Sunday!!

Preview to next week's edition of slow cooker Sunday:  Jambalaya in the slow cooker!  Kind of excited about this one!

One More Sleep

It's Christmas time...so take a listen to THIS sweet holiday song that is on repeat here!  Happy Sunday!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Crockpot Sunday: Eggplant Parmesan

So, I am reinstating crockpot Sunday dinners (albeit it's not being done w/ my NYC girls).

Sidebar:  When I lived in NYC, my girlfriends and I were all OBSESSED with our crockpots.  And, we decided to do our version of "family dinner" on Sunday nights.  It was so much fun.  Each week one of us hosted dinner at their apartment and made their favorite crockpot cuisine!!  Yes, we ALL had crockpots!  :)

This Sunday, I have decided to try eggplant parmesan in the slow cooker.  I've never made eggplant parmesan, but wanted to try something different.  HERE is the recipe!

Do you have any crockpot favorite recipes?  Happy Sunday!!


Sunday, December 1, 2013

Best. Christmas. Gift. Ever.

Okay, first and foremost, when you blog (or write in general), it's all about the title!  Second of all, I don't think my family reads my blog anymore...but if they are (STOP NOW - SPOILER ON CHRISTMAS GIFTS! :0)

I am really excited about a gift that I am giving my family.  It's just awesome (yes, I am bias).  As many of you know, I am an Apple lover.  My friends call me iKatie.  Here is a link to the "best Christmas gift ever."  I made a coffee table book of pictures of my family throughout the year (but you can make a calendar or even Christmas cards).  It's super easy and arrived in less then 7 days!

All cards on the table, my friend B introduced me to this awesome idea!!

Happy holidays!

Back off perfect

Here is the thing about perfection...it's in the eye of the beholder.

I recently started collecting sea shells during my beach walks.  I will take 2 sea shells home w/ me each time.  Below is a picture of the ones from a recent walk:


In my opinion, they are two of the best ones I have found yet...but when you look deeper one of the two is cracked a bit.  When I walk the beach and am searching for sea shells, I can not help but think: "These are just perfect...but may not be to someone else."  Isn't that true with everything in life?  What may be perfect for one person....may not be for another.  Not only that but perfection is a total illusion so back off the notion of perfection and do what suits you best.  Happy Sunday!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A favorite song

Yeah that moment when you are doing a self led yoga practice at your parents post
 meditation with THIS SONG playing in background...and then you notice that it's snowing!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Best Apple Pie Ever


HERE is the best apple pie recipe ever.  Also, I highly recommend you buy THIS which just makes it a whole lot easier.  Honestly, I am not sure I would want to cut up all those apples.

Below are a few pics from my baking today:






And the finished product: ta-da...my favorite apple pie!


Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!!

Favorite books of 2013

I've read a ton of books this year.  Reading is an amazing gift.  I love to escape in a book.  This year, I read two books that are MUST READS in my book (get it) - "The Bone Season" and "The Lost Art of Mixing."  "The Bone Season" is a cross between Harry Potter and Hunger Games so futuristic and magical.  It's the first in a series which I love because you can connect with the characters better in a trilogy or series.  "The Lost Art of Mixing" was just a great book about a community of folks and how their lives were better as a result of each other.  

What's your favorite book of 2013?  Are you on GoodReads?  If so, find me.  I am ALWAYS in search of a great book (although my list "to read" seems quite long right now).

Merry Christmas



Merry Christmas & Happy New Year To You and Yours!  
<3 KT


Sidebar: First and foremost, this marks the first year in a very, very long time where I have actually done Christmas cards.  I realized way, way back that the whole idea of Christmas cards made me feel a bit like Scrooge.  BUT, this year, I made this.  I plan to push this out through all my social media channels.  Can you say digitally savvy chick?  I mean it is what I do for a living!  Anyway, go enjoy the holiday season.  I, for one, am playing Christmas music, doing my shopping and decorating the house.  Man, I LOVE Christmas!  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Extraordinary


#30DayWorkoutChallenge


Come join #TeamLean with some of the coolest, smartest girls in the world.  Our first order of business is the #30DayWorkoutChallenge!  The goal is to work out #ErrDamnDay from Wednesday, 11/25 thru Christmas.

A 10-minute walk, yoga or meditation counts, as does a long run, SUP or surf session.  We are just here to keep you accountable and positive.  

Set your own rules and do what works for you, but carve some time out for yourself every day!  Who is in?

Below are details about the original one a few years ago!  

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A few years ago, I decided to work out for 10 days straight in an attempt to be "bikini ready" for a trip to Florida.  I called it the #10DayWorkoutChallenge.

Anyway, I am starting a #30DayWorkoutChallenge tomorrow!   Who wants to join?  The only rule is you must workout #EveryDamnDay whether it's a slog (slow jog), yoga class, spin class or a 10 minute run.  It all counts.


You may be thinking: "Why the heck would someone do this?"  Well, here is the answer:  The holidays can get a little nutty for most of us...So what better time to do a #30Day Challenge where you must workout #EveryDamnDay.



Best. Christmas. Song. Ever.

Here ya go.

It may be a bit early for some of you...but I started my Christmas shopping over the weekend so it seemed appropriate to start listening to Christmas music.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Be fearless

What are you afraid of?  What would YOU do if fear didn't control you?  Would you go to a movie by yourself, would you eat dinner by yourself at a nice restaurant, try yoga (Hint: YOU SHOULD), go on a fabulous trip...or would you try to surf (even though the water is cool)?

Fear can control us on many levels and ultimately prevent us from doing and better yet experiencing some pretty amazing things.

For me (as of late), I am in total awe of the surfers in the water in November.  I have tried surfing before...once in San Diego which was nice because the waves roll a bit slower there (not sure if that is official surfer lingo but you get the drift).  From there, I decided to go to Costa Rico for surf camp for a week.  That was really hard.  Surfing takes some serious core strength and coordination (which I seriously lack).  But as I watch the surfers, I am in total awe...and even more impressed when they are out there in full body wetsuits.  So, I am making it a goal to try it (even though it's kind of hard and the water is not super warm).  It may still be hard...and I may suck at it...but that's not gonna stop me.

Sidebar:  You may have noticed that I have been blogging more....let's just say the words are pouring out a bit more lately.

Anyway, what would YOU do if you were not afraid?  Go do it...or just start working towards it!

An amazing view

"Nough said! Happy Saturday!

Headstand on the beach, check!

For those non-yogis out there, this may not be thrill you as much as it does me.  I love headstands. Over the last few years, I have actually gotten kind of  good (read: really good) at them.  Today, I was at the beach and decided to try one (unaided without a wall or spot).  Anyway, I not only got up, but better then that I didn't fall.  I finally figured it out.  I did it three times (no idea for how long).  I will continue to practice these unaided on the beach.  The goal is to hold it for five minutes!  Let's see how long it takes to get there...pretty sure I held one last night (aided by a wall) for about 3.5 to 4 minutes.

Negative to beach headstands (even on a blanket): One ends up with sand in their hair.  I am gonna think of it as exfoliating my scalp.  :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pulled Pork Recipe

I wouldn't necessary classify myself as a good cook...I get by though.  And, I think that a slow cooker is one of the best things EVER MADE!  My favorite thing to make in the slow cooker (or crock pot) is pulled pork (which I just finished).  Below is the recipe (and in truth I found it on Allrecipe.com years ago):

  • READY IN7+ hrs

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Read Reviews (2,675)
"Pork simmered in root beer makes all the difference. Topped with your favorite BBQ sauce, it's sure to bring rave reviews." — 
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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 servingsChange Servings

Directions

  1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.

My favorite blanket

Yes, you TOTALLY read that correctly...I have a favorite blanket.  Below is a picture of it:

HERE is also a link to the blanket if you too want one.

Anyway, back to this blog post.  I am pushing 40 and have a FAVORITE blanket.  I've always loved to curl up on my sofa with a good blanket, candles lit and either watch TV or read a good book....but this blanket takes that all to a WHOLE other level.  It's ridiculously comfy!!

If you haven't noticed, I am blogging more.  Long story that I may share one day...




5 things

What 5 things would you tell a complete stranger about yourself?
Below are mine:
1) My friends call me iKatie because I love all things Apple.  They even call, Facebook and text me with "IT problems" when a new iOS comes out.
2) There is nothing better then the laughter of my sweet nieces B & S.
3) My three favorite words are: 1) y'all, 2) swoon and 3) wanderlust
4)  My current theme song is "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy." Take a listen to the SONG.  This is my third theme song
5)  My mantra in life is "Be where your feet are."  I practice this daily.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

An open heart

Do you live your life with an "open heart"?  Are you TRULY open to all the possibilities?  Do you tend to have a plan in your mind of how you think life is gonna turn out?  I came across this picture on Mashable that I think is how MOST of us think about our life vs. reality


As my yoga instructor and friend Paula says: "Life is hard.  We must do the hard work daily though!" As I embark on this new life in Wilmington, NC living 2 miles (yes count them 1, 2) from the beach and start a new job, I am striving daily to have an "open heart."  I am being pushed out of my comfort zone which is both exciting and a bit nerve wracking at the same time.

More about the job (as many of you have asked): I start on 12/2 at boutique agency as the VP of Digital.  I am super excited about the new gig and amazing team that I will join!!  More to details to come in upcoming weeks on the new gig.

Anyway, it's quite interesting what life hands you (in a good way) when you walk through life w/ an open heart (at least so far on day 6 in my new beach town).  I've met some amazing people - some I may never see or talk to again and others I may...but no matter what I am engaging in life and loving it!
A few random stories:
1) Yesterday, I tried out a new yoga studio (Wilmington Yoga Center).  Before class, I started talking with another student (an older lady).  After class, she said: "Katie, if you need a tour guide, just call me!"
2) I met a couple on the beach (after I asked if I could pet their dog).  The man was originally from New York and had lived in Charlotte for 20 years.
3) I talked to a random surfer about surfing (which I am just in awe of).  It also didn't hurt that he was totally hot.

There are many more stories like this that have happened....but those are a few of them!  Now, I must STOP procrastinating and study for my driver's license test.  Try to have an open heart today and be truly open to all the possibilities in life.  Happy Tuesday.

Monday, November 18, 2013

OMG!

I have had a love affair with James Blunt and his music for a very, very long time.  I just heard this song from his latest album Moon Landing.  The song is called "Bonfire Heart."  OMG - it just takes my breathe away.

Listen to IT now!  Hope you enjoy

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Update: I downloaded the entire Moon Landing album.  I also LOVE "Bones" and "Postcards."
I was listening to this album on my beach walk today and not gonna lie I sang out loud and danced down the beach!!!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A few of my favorite winter beauty products...

1) Body Scrub - My body gets super dry as the seasons change from summer to fall and winter.  I itch like crazy.  I have found that adding a body scrub to my daily beauty regime helps TREMENDOUSLY.  You can even make one yourself (try sugar, lemon and olive oil).  Plus, I love smelling like citrus (which reminds me of summer) even when it's cold out!!



2) Face bronzer - I hate how pale I look during winter.  A face bronzer is KEY!!! Personally, I like Too Faced because it is made with chocolate!!  Can you say YUMMY and functional?



3) Aquaphor - Have you ever used Aquaphor?  It's amazing.  Aquaphor is a cure all LITERALLY for adults and baby dry skin (note: there is a separate baby version)!!

What are a few of your favorite beauty products during colder weather?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy (frightful) Halloween!

That probably sounds a bit crazy, right?  A few weeks ago, I became friends with one of the yoga instructors at my new studio down South.  We were  recently talking about handstands and inversions in general.  She said that they tend to scare a lot of people....but since it's almost Halloween we agreed to do handstand Wednesday today.  I was in heaven.  I love all inversions, but particularly handstand and headstand.  As I was talking this morning with a few other students, they admitted that handstands scare them terribly.  I realized in this moment that I have never been scared of handstands.  I was more frustrated that I couldn't do them when I started practicing more routinely a few years ago.  So what did I do?  I went home and practiced them regularly to a point I can do them more then not (mind you with a wall behind me).  It all stems from my instructors at my last studio in NYC taught handstands and inversions REGULARLY.  It was a regular occurrence so I never learned to be scared of them.  Now that said, there are definitely various things in class and on my mat that are NOT my favorite. Ironically (read: not so much), we did a few of those things this am.

Anyway, my point in this blog is go do something that scares you....what's the harm?  You may find you like it (eventually).  Everyone is scared of something.   Maybe it won't work out the way you want or maybe it will...but EVERY SINGLE TIME I would rather have tried and failed then never try at all.  And if we do things that push us out our comfort zone, we grow daily!  Happy (frightful) Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Let's shake things up like a snow globe

One of my yoga instructors once said: "Let's go upside down and shake things up like a snow globe."  I've always been drawn to inversions in my yoga practice, particularly handstand and headstand.

A few months after I started practicing yoga, I went home to "practice" both headstand and handstand against a wall.  Have you ever been in a NYC apartment?  There is not much room.  First, I had to move some furniture around to get a wall I could practice on.  I practiced as I watched TV in the evenings.  Let me be frank.  It was NOT pretty at first.  I just could not figure either out...fast forward in July, one of NYC yoga instructors asked me to demo a handstand and then went on to say: "Wow, your handstand has gotten really good."  Mind you, she was the one who spotted me the first time I tried it.

There is something very childlike about doing inversions.  I am in awe of the joy over simple things that kids have.  I love going upside down.  Sometimes, it just feels right to be upside down.  Anyway, I am a big fan of a headstand or handstand every day...sometimes I even do both!!  I double dog DARE you try a headstand or handstand today!  Go!  Now!  I bet you like it.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Old vs. new

I've tried writing this blog dozens of times over the years....but it never ended up being posted for some reason or another.

Below is a side by side of my old and new(er) yoga mat:
The old mat is over 10 years old.  It is completely beat up.  Nole the dog (God love her) used the old mat as a resting spot in NYC for years while I ran over doing yoga.  And as you can imagine, Nole the dog was far better at downward dog then I am or ever will be  The old mat is shorter and not as wide. About three years ago, an instructor suggested I get a new mat.  And being a new yogini, of course I rushed out to get one.  The new mat is awesome, but for some reason it never feels the same as my old mat.

Last night, I did an amazing yoga class.  The teacher talked a lot about polar opposites or opposing forces.  It made me think about my old mat that I was practicing on as I looked around at everyone else's modern day mats around me.  Sometimes old is good....sometimes new is good.  Sometimes we cling to the familiar...and other times we need new experiences.  Sometimes we are open to change...and other times not so much.  Sometimes we listen to our gut...and other times we do not listen to it even when we should.  Sometimes people surprise us...and other times not so much.  Life is all about polar opposites.  At the end of the day, we always have to figure out what is right for us in the moment and long term.  Anyway, that's my life lesson and wisdom for the week.  Happy Tuesday.


Fall TV

I was excited for the fall shows to start last week.  Maybe more so then I have been in a long time for fall shows to begin.  I mean some of favorites like Nashville, The Voice, Revolution and Homeland are back in my life....And then I watched a few of the new ones like The Blacklist, Hostages, Trophy Wife and The Michael J Fox Show.  The Blacklist is simply amazing.  I give The Blacklist five stars!!! This may be my new favorite show.  As for the other new shows I mentioned above, I am still undecided.  Happy fall!!

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Update:

I so want to like Hostages because....er, well Dylan McDermott is in it with an amazing cast of other well known actors and actresses....but truth be told the story line is weak.  I may keep watching the show (Read: to watch him).

Trophy Wife is really funny with a great cast.  It's just stupid humor.  It gets 4 stars in my book.

The Crazy Ones is FABULOUS!!  I've watched the first two episodes and LOVE IT!!!  It's filmed in Chicago and actually uses real brands as part of their show.  Bravo!  It has Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellar in it!  Simply hilarious!!!




Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Monday

Here is a bit of inspiration to start the week.  Happy Monday!  Make it a good one!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

#GetLean

A few years ago I tried something I called  #10DayWorkoutChallenge to motivate myself to work out 10 days in a row.  A friend of mine loved the idea and motivated another friend to do it too.  We started it again yesterday.   The notion is you must workout every day for 10 days.  It's really fun.  And while we live across the country, we hold each other accountable.  Today I did my second day of yoga at the park self led to music.  It was wonderful.  Our hashtag is #GetLean Anyone else want to join?  If so, start today.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Imagine

This morning I decided to go to Freedom Park in Charlotte to practice yoga.  It was kind of wonderful.  Well I say that, but about 20-30 minutes in that there were ants on my mat.  I mean, it happens when you practice outside...so the rest of my practice I felt like bugs were crawling all over me...there could be worse things I guess though.

At the end of an hour long practice, THIS song played during my Savasana.  I often watch my nieces and the other children around me.  I notice they have this pure joy at the simplest of things.  I think it's because life is still kind of innocent for them.  Take a listen to the song and IMAGINE.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A plan

"Always plan for the fact that no plan ever goes according to plan."


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Tutti

When I was in Italy, I learned a word — It's "tutti" with double T, which in ltalian means "everybody." So that's the lesson, isn't it? When you set out in the world to help yourself, sometimes you end up helping Tutti. - Eat Pray Love #LifeLessons

Friday, June 7, 2013

Life isn't about....

I love this quote...and perfect given the rain outside in NYC.   This quote always reminds me how I love wearing my Hunter rain boots on a rainy day because I can "stomp" right through the big puddles on the side of the curb like a 5 year old!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Places I love...the whale room

I love NYC for so many reason.  This time of year one of my favorite things to do is go to the Natural History Museum and lay on the floor of what I call the "whale room."

Below are a few pictures


Last year, I went with a group of girlfriends.  Ironically, we were all a bit hungover so laying on the floor was well received.  This year, I went with my BFF, her hubby and their 13 month old son....needless to say the 13 month old did not want to lay on the ground as much as I did.  By the end of it though, he started laying on the ground anywhere in the room to stare up at the whale above....now that was a priceless moment!  :0 Always a fun day in the "whale room!!"