Healthy Lifestyle

Quarantining

Readingimg_0007

Read

Reading has been SO difficult for me during this time of “stillness”.  I have been even struggling with audio-books, which normally are my guilty pleasure. However, the past week or so my anxiety has finally ceased (coincidence that it was also spring break? Hmmm)  and I have really gotten into some great books!! I am finding easy, breezy, uplifting light reads to be my go to right now.

  • In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
    • This was FABULOUS. I gave it 5/5 stars!  It was definitely a little sad and a tear jerker, but still uplifting!
  • The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley
    • Super cute, light, fun and a little sad, but AGAIN in an uplifting way! 4/5 stars
  • The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
    • This had so many great reviews but I just could NOT get into it. I ended up trudging through it and gave it 2/5 stars. I am surprised because it is a psychological thriller, RIGHT up my alley, but many at this time, NOT what I need/want
  • My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
    • Ugh, this book, I hated and loved it all at once. It was VERY dark. It was definitely depressing and a bit annoying, but I believe that is the point. It is a fictional story of  a teacher/student relationship. Deals with abuse, so if it is a trigger , stay away. Although this book was DARK, I feel it would make for a GREAT book club discussion! So many topics and points of views! IF YOU READ IT WOULD LOVE TO CHAT WITH YOU!! ZOOM date?? 🙂
  • Catch and Kill:  Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
    • DNF (Did not finish) I Was supposed to have a real life book club for this book BUT then Covid happened. We intended to do a virtual book club BUT no one had finished or seemed to enthusiastic. I had to force myself to sit and read. Maybe now I’ll pick it up again….maybe
  • My friend, “A”, recommended this UNIQUE read by Lena Dunham!  She decided to write a “Chapter a Day” and release it daily. It was SO much fun and a light, trashy read to get lost in during this uncertain time. If you are looking for an easy distraction, something that you can easily spend 10-15 per day on, I highly recommended checking out “Verified Strangers”By Lena Dunham.  The books is complete, chapter 20 was posted on Friday, and it was really fun to read and chat about!

Currently Reading/Want to Read

Thinking

Some days are better than others. I find myself feeling completely “OK I have got this! I am going to enjoy every moment and minute I can!” to the extreme of wanting to just break down and cry.

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Trying NOT to think so much, when I begin to think ahead too much or about the future I freak myself out.   I start telling myself stories and need to bring myself back that these are just STORIES

I am doing MUCH better than I thought I would be. Change is so difficult for me. My old routine has been completely displaced and upturned, and I am OK with it!  Yes, I have many moments of tears but I also have many (more) moments of shining bright

Thinking about creating my own yoga flow video and sharing it with whoever would like it 🙂

Sharing

  1. I am feeling so emotional and vulnerable right now. Things I have not felt in FOREVER are surfacing. This stillness is really forcing me to look inside. Which is hard but so, so , SO necessary.Feeling Vulnerable Quotes. QuotesGram
  2. I have always prided myself on being independent and strong , “I don’t need anyone but myself”.  Well , although, YES that is definitely me, guess what ? I am accepting and acknowledging that somethings I need and want attention, people, love and to feel cared for. I Need You Pictures, Images, Graphics
  3. I am in the process of sharing some of this LOVE that I have to offer with a fluffy friend.  Stay tuned……fingers crossed!
  4. I have rearranged my furniture in a way that is MUCH more comfortable and practical for me. I am a reader, yogi, and journaling enthusiast. I have changed my living/family room area to create a space for all of my needs. Currently working on my meditation corner 🙂 Quick Tips to Creating Your Perfect Meditation Space | Joybird
  5. I have gone into self project mode and am doing some much needed home renovating that I have not really had the time to do!  Last week I ordered and hung some black out curtains in my bedroom, to help me get a more restful night’s sleep! (Its been helping!)
  6. Cooking and baking! I have made bread, vegan stuffed cabbage, and next up will be a vegan cheesecake 🙂  Classic Cheesecake Recipe | Sally's Baking Addiction
  7. Did you know you can check how busy places are by googling ” How busy is (Wegmans, shop rite, etc)?  in your iphone google search?  Its worth a shot 🙂Google Maps for iOS Shows How Busy a Location is in Real-Time ...

Grateful

Technology and internet

E-books, audiobooks & podcasts

My T.V. where I can stream my yoga videos and spotify playlists! (yup still not really using it to actually watch television )

My incredible parents.IMG_3378

My health (had a scare last week with a terrible stomach “thing”. I was down for 2 days and really appreciate my health and do not want to ever take that for granted

Amazing friends that are wiling to play my silly virtual games or hold chats with me

Fresh produce pick up

My amazing yoga community and teachers for all their dedication and hard work in posting videos for us!

These beautiful days filled with sunshine and warmth, and equally grateful for the rainy days that remind me to SLOW DOWN

Craving

People and connection (Message me to set up a zoom/google hangout/facetime “date”)

My yoga classes, teacher and fellow yogi’s

Wawa coffee, self serve. I miss the brown cup and little red straw…..

Attention. ME! ME! ME! ME!! I am feeling quite needy at the moment. No shame!

A walk along the beach

Sun beating down on my face

Highlights and a haircut

Hugging my mom and our Friday night “dates”

 

Your Turn – Tell me!

  1.  What are you reading/read?
  2. How are you keeping yourself busy and occupied?
  3. How are you doing, REALLY?
  4. What are you enjoying about this quiet time?

 

Healthy Lifestyle

“Sometimes we are all so afraid, to be honest

with ourselves because we know that honesty will lead to somewhere.” I wrote this ten years ago. “Can fear walk us to something better?”

~ Jessica Simpson, Open Book

Image result for face your fears

Reading

Read

Open Book:  Jessica Simpson

 highly recommend this is you are (or aren’t ) a fan! This brought back so many memories as Jessica Simpson was a huge part of the era I was growing up! She writes realistically by revealing many things we never knew, from her heart. Hearing her share some of her experiences, made me realize how I have slighted myself with some of the same things that have happened to me, always just telling myself to “toughen up” or that “this sort of thing happens to everyone”. A reminder to be gentler with myself and stop making excuses for others.

*highly recommend listening to the audiobook as Jessica narrates herself. I do feel the need to add that at times, I did catch myself rolling my eyes about some of the narration as it did feel a bit unauthentic, BUT, I am very critical of myself (and others I suppose) so please take that with a grain of salt. Nice work Jessica!! I ❤ you!

Long Bright River 

This was my first book club read and it was a HUGE hit!! A few girls and I met to discuss this and it was a hit all around! This is a great book club topic ! Long Bright River takes place in Philadelphia and deals with the ongoing opioid crisis. Highly recommend and it is fun to support books from our area!

Cilka’s Journey 

The sequel to “The Tattooist of Auschwitz”. Sadly my audiobook rental ended before I was finished AND I was enjoying this. I will have to pick the actual book back up and finish! Hopefully this week??!

Currently Reading

My April book club pick!

Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators 

I am not a huge NonFiction fan, it has to be REALLY interesting for me to grasp my attention and keep it. I love personal development/growth genres, but this one may be a bit tough for me. A great thing I have my book club to motivate and inspire me to finish! 

Email/dm or message me if you are interested in joining my book club!

The Summer Wives

I just started this (yesterday) So have no real opinion as of yet!! I hope it is engaging and enticing!

Thinking

    • The effects of childhood emotional neglect. This is of no one’s fault, and children internalize things differently. Parents learn from their parents, who learned from their parents, and so on. Until recently, there was not much talk or discussion about the type of parenting styles. I am not a parent myself but cannot even begin to IMAGINE the amount of pressure there is to be the “right” parent. Regardless, this article is fascinating and explores the effects on children AND adults! Definitely MUST READ! *This in no way is meant to blame ANYONE, as I do not think it is ever any parents intent to wrong their children, this is meant to serve as an eye-opener and understanding of yourself, not to place blame 
    • How hard I have really been on myself (and continue to be). Woah. This week was very eye-opening for me (and tough!) Trying to be kinder to myself.
    • I realize I avoid many thoughts and feelings and how often I suppress then by “busying” myself so that I can avoid or not allow those thoughts. I pride myself on being on top of my feelings, but I do realize how often I try to push those feelings aside, telling myself they are not important or accurate. I want and NEED to be more mindful of my feelings because they are my own. No one else to judge or persuade me to think or believe otherwise. We are ALL entitled to our feelings, and accept and sit with them. 
      • How often do you allow your feelings to just “be”? Do you find yourself reaching for a distraction? Whatever it maybe?  
    • Planning my next trip. I am getting the itch. There are so many places I want to go within the US and outside! 
      • US Destinations I am thinking about: Texas (Dallas? Houston?), Arizona, Hawaii, The National Parks, Grand Canyon
      • World Destinations: Austria & Thailand top my list!

Sharing

Image result for philadelphia flower show 2020

I was able to get to this year’s Flower Show, thanks to an amazing friend!  It was so lovely! The roses and tulips were fabulous!  I loved walking around and especially chatting with a few of the vendors! We found some amazing and great smelling soaps!  The owner also “Schooled” us about the use of fragrance-free products!!

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This reminds me of my favorite childhood movie….The Wizard of Oz. I feel like I am just waiting for the little munchkins to pop up and start singing!  Image result for munchkins wizard of oz flowers sceneImage result for munchkins wizard of oz flowers scene

I realize how black and white my thinking can be at times. It is so amazing when you listen to others and just get that “aha” moment.  Working on getting my brain and thoughts off that “straight-line path” and venturing to make some twists and turns, even head down the WRONG WAY on a one-way street at times. Why not! 🙂

Inspired

  • Again. Creative people. There is just amazement and pleasure in seeing/hearing people share their passions.  Their eyes light up, their facial expressions change. It is such a beautiful thing to see and experience.
  • Start planning my next trip, I love the planning process!
  • Writing – I want to dedicate some time to writing my book. I love writing. It is such a personal passion. It is something I enjoy doing for me – How amazing would it be to just spend a few days in a cozy cabin with all of your favorite things and just write!?  To me, this sounds so dreamy! Beautiful stationery, great pens and pencils (fellow pen lovers YOU KNOW what I am talking about) Candles, delicious food and snacks, coffee, huge open windows, maybe a beautiful Persian cat to keep me company?  Ok , a girl can dream!Image result for cozy cabin writing retreat
    • Love this candle
    • Maybe try a few of these gel pens
    • this coffee or a local Wawa 🙂
    • This guy looks like the purrfect companion 🙂  Image result for persian cat

 

Grateful

I am so grateful for the many wonderful people, things and opportunities I have in my life.  Every day I am trying to take notice of this and remind myself how fortunate I really, truly am. Not just say it. Mean it, see it, breathe it, be present in it.

  • Grateful for the time my mom and I spend together reading, relaxing and watching this (I have such a difficult time watching anything on TV, so truly grateful for the companionship!)
  • People in my life I can ask for advice and knowledge, WITHOUT being made to feel like I am less than (Thank you to all the kind people that offer me tips on stocks and market, you know who you are 🙂 It is the best gift ever to be schooled on this with someone so knowledgeable and patient. I am SO GRATEFUL
  • My parent’s relationship. They are sort of “opposites” but I am seeing how they encourage each other in areas each is weak in (Whether they realize this or not)
  • the love and pleasure I get from reading.  I want to inspire this in all, especially my students.

Healthy Lifestyle

“In the stillness, everything happens.

In the silence, everything is said.” ― Drew Gerald

Reading

Just finished this, and it was a great mystery, breezed through it

So excited that I just began this one, it takes place in….Philadelphia!!  Later this month I plan on seeing the author (Liz Moore) speak AND guess what? I am hosting my FIRST official book club and guess what we are reading! You guessed it. Long Bright River!Image result for book club

 14 books by black woman you have to read

Thinking

Love these cool and unique date ideas and will be partaking in a few for sure!

I hate not understanding or not being good at something. Hate is a gentle word. As how I really feel is @#$&*%=-+#*2!!!!!!! My head is spinning! Trying to gain an understanding of stocks and options but there is just so much information. Will need to schedule another coffee chat with my brilliant friend soon to guide me !

Focus. Focus. Focus. I feel so overwhelmed. There are 50 plates spinning ahead of me and I don’t know which one to stop and tackle first. Ever feel that way? So many wonderful and exciting things in my present and future. How do I enjoy and give my 100% to all? Need to figure out a plan for myself ….. start small. Form a plan. One step and minute and hour at a time.

  • Fun: plan one fun thing to do each week with someone (movie. Art museum. Dinner. Coffee and talk. Game night. Puzzle night, etc)
  • Work: work on a schedule for my meetings and what I need to prepare for each. Then prepare for one meeting at a time
  • Health. Schedule the doctors appointments I need to
  • Networking. Schedule one meeting this week to talk and brainstorm

When I write it out it becomes clearer and more manageable. Small steps. The anxiety and excitement still overcome me. Yet it seems real and doable.

Would love your tips on balance ? How do you manage?

Tired. About hearing about couples. Singles. Partners. That choose to remain childless. It is quite annoying, the commentary, the judgments.  I love that our society is headed in the direction of”no norms” but we still have a long way to go. We do not tell people to NOT have children. So why do we feel the need to tell them they should??. Their lives will be happier and more fulfilled with them? Can we accept that this may just not be the case for many? Without question and judgement ? Diet culture (don’t get me started) Children. Marriage. Success. Job security. Etc etc etc. It is time now to accept that times are different. There is no “norm”. Please let’s stop feeding into it.

Myths and stories we continue to tell:

  1. Something must be wrong with his/her/them for choosing not to want to have children -false
  2. Fat is unhealthy and lazy- false
  3. Believing we are all equal – false.
  4. Everyone has the same opportunity to become successful. false
  5. Fit = healthy. False
  6. Not being married makes you a flirt, not-ready to settle. Etc. False
  7. You should like everyone False
  8. We should do and say things that make everyone happy. False
  9. Insert your own here …..you get the idea

What are some of your old beliefs that you can challenge and think about differently ?

Inspired

This time last year, I would NEVER have done as much socially as I have in the past few months. I owe this to 1) Myself, for being open 2) the right people that accept and encourage and make things enjoyable

By the brilliant people that surround me. It’s exciting and invigorating to see how others can help me work towards my goals and create new ones I never knew were possible.

 

Sharing

This morning I was drinking my coffee , gazing out the window and just ……….relaxing. Wow, if you know me, or know me by now, you know that this is something I severely struggle with. Partially I think if I ease up or relax a bit, that I am being……lazy. Not sure how this arose, and oddly enough, I don’t judge others for resting and relaxing (in fact I often encourage it) Yet for myself, I push and push, and if I don’t, I fill my head with guilty “thoughts”, so THINKING about this, I am so “hard” in all areas of my life. I feel it , the constant push, the masculine side of me, pushing away the feminine. I struggle with the softness and more gentle approach, even though I (secretly) prefer it most times.  So I am looking for ways to be softer in all areas of my life.  Including the foods I eat, the movement I do, the attention I give others, the self judgment, the strength in my musles.  find times when I do NOT feel strong, I am miserable and agitated and feel like I can’t cope. A constant reminder that this is just one aspect of me. The weakness, tiredness , lack of motivation. It will pass and balance out with strenght, energy and motivation. Without feeling the softer side, the strong side wil never be at its best .Image result for we all have a feminine and masculine

I always have journaled. I love how it makes me feel and I love leaving something behind. It’s fun to occasionally go back and read things. Sometimes I feel like a stranger within my own body ! (Did I really write that?).

Recently came across a post where the authors mother had journaled every day for her entire life. Even if it was a little something about what she ate for dinner or how the weather was. Now that her mother is no longer around she has this wonderful memory to go back to! I love this idea and concept and wish others in my family (hint hint mom!) would try this! It’s incredibly therapeutic! No matter how down I feel a little bit of journaling always makes me feel better too! ***do it for at least 5 to 10 minutes and don’t give up! I am currently using a paper journal as well as this app. This has been the best no frills app for journaling. I have tried many! Simple and to the point. Easy to navigate.Image result for journal entries from 1950

This weekend I went on a mini-retreat. Just to rest and relax out of my typical environment (Sadly, this is the only way I can relax, when I am OUT of my current environment)  It was a quick 2 hour trip to the pocono mountains, and as great and needed as it was, I was disappointed with my choice of hotel and spa.  I am not going to bad mouth on here, if interested reach out to me personally for info, but I was not a fan and will NOT be back for many reasons. Lesson learned, so no harm done!

A few POSITIVE things about my trip were :

  • won a few $$ playing roulette (go me! First-time newbie)
  • had the most fabulous drink (smoked Paloma)Smoked Paloma Cocktail Paloma Cocktail, Refreshing Drinks, Smoke, Vape, Smoking, Actingand meal (falafel) at The Frogtown Chophouse
  • Amazing veggie burger @ GUY FIERI’S MT. POCONO KITCHEN
  • did some outlet shopping
  • was actually able to relax
  • tried a new yoga class and LOVED it

 

 

Healthy Lifestyle

“That’s the part I was stuck in,

the part where you accept the apology because it’s easier than addressing the root of the problem,”

― Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Reading

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I am coming off a total book coma. I just read two EXCELLENT books (actually THREE) and am now struggling to get into my current reads.   I guess things could be worse 😉

 

Read

A little bit of everything……(and in NO particular order)

The Wives  Really enjoyed this thriller too!!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo  So far my favorite read of 2020! Not at all what I expected. Beautiful story, and NOT at all what I expected (Honestly I expected “fluff” But it was so, so much more!

  • “People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”
    ― Taylor Jenkins Reid, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Mrs. Everything So good! Got my momma reading it now (Contemporary fiction)

A Madness of Sunshine – Excellent read!  Kept me so engaged the entire time!  The ending felt a bit rushed IMO , but still really LOVED this one!

Currently Reading

Defending Jacob(SO GOOD!)

Started this one

Sitting on my coffee table….

 

Thinking

I love to write, the idea of being a “writer” gives me goosebumps. Surrounding myself by inspirational people that encourage me = can’t get any better than that!  Something I am considering. This retreat ❤  Oh my….

Advancing my acro.

Struggling – so much- with being present. I could NOT sleep last night. My skin was crawling, I was tossing and turning. My mind was on overload and I felt like “I” wanted to claw myself OUT OF my own body. Image result for emotional distress art I find myself living constantly in the “What’s next” instead of being present in the Right now.  I am realizing that this exactly is the cause of my anxiety, discontent, fear.   I am not fully present anywhere. So in turn, I find myself feeling MISERABLE, annoyed, irritated, and just waiting for the “next thing”. Clearly, this tactic is NOT working for me or anyone, so I realize the right action is the OPPOSITE action, Yet it is so hard to retrain your brain after so many years of living this way.

Of course, I want a quick fix. I want things to happen overnight. (or sooner). I want to feel happy all the time.  Who wouldn’t?  Yet a constant reminder that I need to continue to tell myself is ONE STEP AT A TIME.  My goal is to look for small opportunities and begin there.

  • enjoying and tasting my cup of coffee instead of just downing it
  • breathing, feeling and listening during yoga classes, instead of thinking about what I need to do after
  • listening and really hearing my students, when they try to tell me things, more importantly HELPING them verbalize those feelings
  • allowing myself to feel comfortable, even if I have other things to do. Allow myself that glass of wine, a cup of coffee, a slice of cheesecake, even if it were not a planned part of my day
  • leaving the set plan and itinerary i set for myself daily and living more intuitively, not just with food but in ALL areas of my life

Inspired

By Intuitive Eating. If you are not familiar, I HIGHLY recommend you read this and START practicing, January is over, stop the diet talk and start actually living life for what it is, it is NOT a size or a number or how “clean” you can eat.

  • My own journey is a constant struggle and battle. I have felt a lot of shame around this issue. Yes, I had an eating disorder, yup it defined me for quite some time. Yes, I allowed others to judge me (and let it get to me) Yet, I am intuitively realizing its not about anyone else but myself. People are free to judge and think about what they want.
    • This morning, I WAS hungry, in fact, I would say “starving”, yet of course I questioned my own body and mind. “How could I justify being hungry? I just ate, I am not supposed to be hungry, etc, etc, etc,” The story goes on. Well, guess what? I turned OFF my audiobook, sat in silence and began screaming the thoughts that came into my mind. I realized I was denying myself. I was hiding my feelings and emotions, I was ignoring and dismissing myself. Feelings are just that, feelings. We (I) Need to better accept them for WHAT THEY ARE instead of constantly trying to make sense of them, or dissect them or determine answers. I spend so much time and energy being my own detective and so little time actually …..feeling, Maybe there are no answers. In fact, I KNOW there aren’t any because trying to “Figure things out” has gotten me nowhere! Time to try another approach
    • Another excellent post on diet culture

Content-ness – How do you do it? How are you so content and positive? I love it and it is so inspirational! I strive for that, instead of my serious, driven mind going all the time.  Love seeing how others can really just take it one moment, one breath at a time and just love life, no matter what is currently in it. I find myself gravitating towards these people more and more lately!

Sharing

I watched a few episodes of “Cheer” on Netflix and….not feeling it.  Although I am at a healthy place, it was quite annoying and triggering and sad seeing young people focused on weight and image.  Next! May try this suggestion(Thanks Jer!)

FINALLY ordered my buffet table for my dining area!!! I am super excited to put it together and organize it (Update! It is here , just need to assemble……..)

My weekend project (one of them) Was organization!  I ordered these velvet hangers and got rid of all my mismatched, ugly, plastic hangers that were driving me nuts

Registered for NY Acro Fest with my amazing partner and friend! Can’t Wait!!

Getting close to accomplishing a headstand! woooo

OMG, this coffee, is incredible! Thank you “M” for recommending it!!!! Now I need to gift myself a perfect (BIG) mug for my cozy weekends!any suggestions ? (No Yeti or travel thermals please, a MUG)

I am ANGRY. So so so angry with myself. Instead of accepting this anger I have been avoiding it and trying to deal with it or tell myself to quiet and hush up. Yet by not voicing my thoughts and feelings, I am hurting myself and causing pain.

So excited I have booked a mini getaway for myself. I plan on introverting, reading, yoga-ing, hiking and getting pampered

Your TURN

What are you reading? What have you read?

How do you deal with the busyness of your brain?

 

Healthy Lifestyle

“Everyone’s always going through something, aren’t they?…..

That’s life, basically. It’s just more and more things to go through.”

― Sally Rooney, Conversations with Friends

Reading

Conversations With Friends – 4/5 stars.  I really enjoyed this book SO MUCH. Perfect length, great topics and REAL.  The beauty and ugliness of friendships. Reality. The unconventional

 

The Wives – hooked. Only a few chapters in, but find myself excited to get back into it!

Want to read:

 

 

Thinking

Image result for intimacy

About intimacy…..How do I (and YOU) push love away?

  • I push people away when I start to feel down on myself for being……..myself.  I doubt myself, my likes, my needs, because I feel they are not right, then I distance myself from others out of fear. Fear they will not like/love me as I really am.  I try, I experiment, and I come back to my true self. Putting myself out there right away is always a struggle and difficult. It is not in my nature.  Yet those that stick around get to experience all of the things I do love about myself.  Love this article in NYT about How to Have Closer Friendships.  A few key points:
    • Quality over quantity (absolutely)
    • being and allowing myself to accept help from others (so hard)
    • accepting we are ALL a work in progress, we are allowed to make mistakes, change our minds
    • choose to focus on friendships that truly serve CARRP
    • accepting that what I need/want in a friendship, is not the same for everyone
    • being a better listener myself
    • taking risks, not worrying about losing friendships
  • I push people away by being “busy”.  Its easier to be busy doing my “thing”. That is SAFE. Going out of my comfort zone = scary = possibility of rejection.
  • I push people away by dating/letting in the wrong ones. That gut instinct is right and smart, I need to listen to it more. Allow more of the right in, although they may not be as exciting
  • I push people/love away by not letting down my guard.  I protect myself. Act like I am tough, independent and do not need anyone. The truth is? I do. I need people. I want to be taken care of (in ways). This is extremely difficult for me to let go of and allow. There is so much shame/guilt involved in needing or wanting.

Sharing

I love:  Coffee shops/cafes, book stores, libraries, yoga classes/workshops, museums.

Swoon ❤

Vegetable Chowder – Yum, maybe when it is not 70 degrees out 🙂

This and this sound delicious!

Inspired

Image result for inspiration memes

Positivity.  I love surrounding myself with positive people. They work so hard, play harder and try to genuinely enjoy life. One thing I find in common with this “type” of person, is their gratitude

By those who offer and give themselves and their services. They genuinely want to spend time with you and share their secrets  (“K” this is YOU!!!)

 

Craving

introvert time

Image result for introverting meme

(I choose mermaid)

cozy reading

Ski time

Travel:  Austria (check THIS place out!!! Thank you K!), Las Vegas, Southern France, Iceland, Southern California, just to name a few spots

A yoga retreat

the perfect coffee (for me) that I can make at home

 

 

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Truth is Stranger Than Fiction

Reading

Turtles All The Way Down – This was a YA Fiction (not typically my style) but I tore through it.  Quick read

Image result for turtles all the way down

The Most Fun We Ever Had This one is very LONG, which means it will REALLY have to grasp and hold my attention for me to continue reading it. We shall see!

UP NEXT:  My holds are almost available for several books at the library (Ugh, this ALWAYS happens) Then I’ll have to choose which of these to read:a05129e0-f171-4b40-8e30-8dd8ad0c19a3

The Rest of the Story

OR

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo( I Have been waiting very long for this one as I heard so many wonderful things about this one, although it does not jump out at me , I may give this one a shot first)

OR

The Chestnut Man

OR

Mrs. Everything

WHICH WOULD YOU CHOOSE??

Thinking

12 Truths I learned from Writing – very powerful and inspiring read!  People always struggle to write (I do too!) and my advice is…..just sit down and START writing. This is beautifully written and something I encourage EVERYONE to read 🙂

Here is my spin 🙂

First Truth: Life really is contradictory! It’s difficult to see our own faults, yet we can easily point them out in others…..this is where I am turning the finger back on myself and looking deeper. Yes, I already am extremely hard on myself, can I do this in a gentler way?  hmmmm

Second Truth: Sometimes I do just need a break. When things overwhelm, feel dull, or lifeless, stepping away always works (Even when I swear it will NOT help Its amazing how I feel when I finally DO give in and take a break, yet I struggle every day with self-guilt if I am not “As good or better than I was yesterday”IMG_6123

Third Truth:   Nope, nothing and no-one will solve your problems, unhappiness, discomfort.  There is not the perfect relationship, job, destination place to live, thing to say.  We live our lives, make our mistakes, and learn from them.  That is all.  If you seek something or someone it will surely lead to a life that is unfulfilled or a lie to yourself. Many times I think people push through life telling themselves and the world everything is wonderful.  Sometimes you just need to sit back and sit in it and say “My life is SH*T right now”.  Ahhhhh, refreshing. Admit it. Feels good. Yes, it sucks being single and alone at times, YES it sucks being a parent and having to cater to selfish little humans. Yes it sucks that you have to do certain things at your job that ” But that’s not MY job!”, yes it sucks we have to do the dishes, laundry (and yup PUT IT AWAY ugh)  Admitting these things allows us to move forward.Truth is? Sometimes I love being single, sometimes I don’t.

Fourth Truth: Seriously, stop thinking others have it so much better than you.  Just stop. Everyone has their own genuine set of problems, issues, and demons they are working through. We really are NOT that different

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Fifth Truth:  Peanut butter is > Almond butter. There! I said it 🙂   Peanut butter and oats are MY food.Image result for peanut butter love

Food. Ugh. The bain of my existence. The NewYear. Goals. Diets. Yuck. Just stop. Please.  Or at least keep it to yourself.  Don’t tell ME how or what to eat and I won’t tell you.   We ALL know what we should do.  I also need to get better and just ignoring and not allowing others input and insights and own issues affect me. I know what I want, I know the role food plays in my life, it is my choice and I am behind it 100%.

Sixth Truth:

writing. Just do it.  Sit. Write. Think. Vomit in paper or on screen. Writing is therapeutic. Writing is always good if its from the heart. Try it. I love it. Often times I sit and think “I have nothing to write about or share”  Yet I continue to write and words flow and I get deeper in my head and soul.  It starts to spill, maybe not everything is beautiful, moving or life-changing, but for me it is, and that is all that matters.  Whether it is an outlet or release for myself, sharing a new book that someone may like, or an article that you find useful.  Writing is never a bad idea.

Seventh Truth: Do things for yourself, not for recognition.  Question. Why are you posting that facebook or Instagram pic?  Why are you holding the door for a stranger? Why are you helping or supporting a friend that needs you?  Do things because you want to do them. Be selfish. That’s my 2020 goal 🙂 I am guilty of it. I have posted pictures that flatter me. I have deleted ones that didn’t. I often post when I am happy, not when I am sad or hurting.

Eighth Truth: Families. Yup. Hard.  Just like everything else in life. I am fortunate to have an amazing family that loves me unconditionally. I think that is all I can ask for.  Everything else, I can not change or control.  It is exhausting. I will never get them to see things MY way because they are their own person with values and beliefs.  What I want is acceptance, not approval or agreements, but agree to disagree. I think what gets me through times of anger or resentment is knowing that they and I will NOT be here forever.  It is more important to me to get over little nuisances and live the best life I can for myself and those I love. Does this mean I don’t have boundaries or expectations? No, but they are a work in progress, constantly changing, what can and can’t I accept.img_0349

Ninth Truth:   food. see number 5 and STOP trying to get me to eat certain foods or a certain way. Thanks

Tenth Truth –grace. I have been told I am graceful with my yoga practice and guess what? I am totally going with that. Yes. Instead of not accepting or honoring this. I am, I am taking it, owning it and bringing it to the next level. Yes, I am graceful as hell. I am like a gazelle 🙂 I try to be graceful in other areas of my life, maybe this is a great word for 2020? img_0564

Eleventh Truth: God. God is individual to everyone. What you believe and do and feel spiritual from is your concern.  If we could all just accept this, it would be a much better world.

Twelfth Truth:   Death. For me, I worry more about the death of others over the death of myself.  We all will leave this world, and that is a really tough reality to accept. I often find myself preoccupying myself when these thoughts pop up. It is difficult to discuss, face and envision, and I don’t want to. Truth.

Inspired By

You know when you just find someone that you really connect well with? They seem to have clarity, insight, and yet still accept your views and input?  Well, I am fortunate to have that. I wish our distance were not so far away, but it is so inspiring listening and conversing with my “guru”.  Haha. I think this would be the best way to describe it.  I am amazed by people that follow their hearts and soul.  Live simply. Live well. Love others, never give up hope.

Dreaming

Ski trip. It is coming….very soon 🙂  Excited

I have not remembered my dreams in a VERY long time. This has made me sad.  After my brother passed, I felt like much of me numbed.  This was one of the things. The past few nights, I have been dreaming. I can actually remember parts of the dream too, which make absolutely NO sense, but i love it (a pet lizard that gets 50% larger each day, what?!)

Wanting

to continue trying new things, meeting new people, growing

Feeling

better than I did earlier this week. Fighting a cold/sinus infection? something felt ick. Finally beginning to feel better.

Relieved.

Excited. To meet and connect with others. It is FUN!

Nervous. I have been trying new foods. It is scary.  I often revert to what is comfortable Going outside that comfort zone is SCARY. Yet I am pushing myself and realizing each time it is not so bad 😉

Sharing

Impossible burgers – I am changing my mind. I had a terrible one in NYC , however last night, I had an impossibly delicious one 🙂  So, I change my mind. They are good. I still prefer a good veggie or black bean burger but……

I sat at a restaurant bar last night and read. It felt amazing. I was able to get totally into it and quiet the noise around me. I felt like the only person in the room.  I also ended up meeting 2 interesting people, we had a great conversation 🙂 Go me. Now I can introvert 🙂

I have two major things in my life I am contemplating. I am not ready to share yet, but after some clarity, I will share 🙂

I am in LOVE – with this new yoga mat. Wow. I did not realize how much I needed a new one. It is amazing how much more stable I feel in my practice now (and life?!) (THANK YOU K!!!!)  I am pleased to say that the color is more gray than white! ❤  Love it even more

I am happily surprised by my new ski pants!  They fit perfect and are so comfy, hopefully, will be the same when I actually SKI in them 🙂

 

Healthy Lifestyle

New Year Same Me 2020

It has been quite the hiatus, but recently a friend encouraged me to begin writing again.  I love to write, it is my passion, WHY am I not doing it more? Fear? Writing brings me clarity, inspiration, and power. I like to hope and feel that the year 2020 (a few days away) is NOT behind my restart because I hate to be a cliche and follow the “New Year New Me” motto that we will hear so much about the next few weeks.  So NO this is not New Year, New Me, this is New Year, Same Me….

Reading

Currently

Flowers in the Attic– Oh how I love this re-read so much! Brings me back to childhood when my cousin and I would skim through and read (Searching for the naughty parts, haha) I forgot so much of this book, and the characters are so cruel but well developed, it is bringing me all sorts of feels! I will have to watch the movie after

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A few of my favorite and surprising reads in 2019

The Night Circus – beautifully written, surprising love for me, as it is out of my typical genre. When I read this, I felt like I was transported to a magical world, can’t say many books give me that “feel”

Curious – have you read this? Would love to hear your thoughts

The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Another surprising one for me (Thanks to Jeremy for the recommendation, or inspiration?  Have YOU read it yet??)

Daisy Jones and the Six

I really enjoyed this and would recommend listening on AUDIO, one of the best audiobooks to listen to as each character has their own voice (and I believe quite a nice line of famous peeps that read aloud!)

Verity 

I read this in one day/night!

The Light We Lost

This is How it Always Is

All The Ugly and Wonderful Things

 

Thinking

Depression is SO hard. I have been fortunate to feel great the past few years minus a few ups and downs of mild depression.  Nothing like what some are experiencing or what I have experienced in the past. A time of my life I hate thinking about it because it makes me feel sad and dark. This brings me back to when I was going through my major eating disorder spirals, where I was down for weeks and just stopped eating. I wanted to make myself small so that I could just “disappear, I struggled to get out of bed, off the couch, find a reason or purpose for my day. Felt like things would NEVER get better and I DIDN’T want them to. I enjoyed being in my safe misery.  I loved the empty feeling in my stomach, it matched my life. Empty.

I feel like we are constantly looking for that high, whether it be with people, conversations, alcohol, food, etc. Going hard, because you seek that feeling, you crave that fix.  I find myself in that cycle when things change, for example, having time off work and living a different schedule. The adjustment for me is SO HARD.  It’s frustrating. Instead of enjoying and loving it, I often feel down.  A friend recently mentioned and got me thinking about the concept of living your life in the “green zone” This is excellent and NOT just for diet and exercise. I think it can be any category of your life. It would work.  Work, relationships, friends, etc. Take relationships, for example, if you are there TOO much for someone it’s not good, TOO little is not good either, but being there as best you can (Green zone –  A moderate to vigorous-intensity zone) and then (red zone -A vigorous or high-intensity zone) When its something really important you can be there for them too? I don’t know just thinking and it seems to make sense at the moment to live your life this way. I like it. Not for the exercise but for overall life in general. I find it to be about balance.  A great goal for 2020

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I hate feeling less than my best. It is so difficult for me to listen to my own body cues, I want to control it and tell it how it SHOULD feel or be, and am realizing I cannot. I get irritated when I am hungry when I don’t want to be. Sore or tired when I want to feel great. Sad or insecure when I want to feel confident.  ((((Sigh)))) Better accepting the feelings I have and experience and even giving in to them is quite challenging for me In a sense, this is great as I can

I have always felt like I was “weird” or different in many areas of my life. Especially when it came to eating. Now, I am realizing, accepting and proud of my eating patterns. I enjoy what I eat. I am finding balance and exploring and trying NEW, delicious foods. I am trying them to taste them, bring back memories, experience them with others NOT to stuff myself or my feelings and emotions. For many years of my life, I have been told my eating was “WRONG”. Nope, I am just fine. Sure, I struggle with thoughts and feelings, but so do YOU.  In fact, I think my eating issues are better, easier and more manageable than yours. So before you go telling someone else how or what to eat, re-examine yourself.  We should never judge what others choose to put into their bodies. They know what is right and wrong. They may be dealing with shame. It is not up to you to comment on it, because you just never know what you may trigger. So shut up and eat your own cake, or don’t 🙂

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I have always described myself as an extroverted Introvert. Lol. I can and will be an extrovert when needed but it is so exhausted and leaves me depleted. How I wish it revived me. But …. Love this article which explains things in detail. Love the idea of identifying your hours and seasons of extroversion. For me morning and winter seem best. It’s when I feel full of energy. There is less to do outdoors because of the cold. I find myself craving and needing interaction during the day. I feel on. Energized. Clear. As the day progresses things become foggy and I find myself going back inside my head.

Dream Life

Travel and explore. There are so many places I would love to go. Some things I know for sure are that I do not like crowds or “touristy” destinations. I like unique and authentic and of course, something involving the outdoors and being active (Hiking anyone!??)

Next up:  this place is high up there on my list. Wow. Fascinated by these pools!

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Skispassl

Grateful For

Friends and family, getting to spend another Christmas with them. Flawed or not 😉

My new French Press – looking for your favorite coffee recommendations PLEASE!

Yoga & Acro Yoga

Coffee

my health – mental and physical

A much-needed break

Being able to sleep in (yes, this means 6:30 or 7 am )

 

Inspired by

Those that have completed their 200-hour yoga teacher training. That is TOUGH!  Living your life and committing to 200 hours to learn about yourself and others.  Wow.  I am wavering with when to do it. I know I will, just when……

My own understanding of others. Some say its a curse, I feel it is a strength.   I am able to see people how they are and accept them. Sure would I wish things were different? Yes, but I also understand YOU have to be ready when YOU are ready.   I feel the past year has really brought my anger down to an all-time low.  I like this. I think it’s a healthy way for me to live.

People that make you feel warm, cozy and comfortable with them.

My own openness to connect with others. Acro has taught me that I CAN trust others. Interestingly enough, something I should be scared of (Like getting dropped) is not a fear. I trust my partner and those I practice with. It is a wonderful and exciting feeling to know I can trust and others can trust me

Sharing

I LOVE being alone, I HATE feeling alone. Two very separate and different feelings. Feeling alone is unsettling, sad and scary.  I oftentimes feel alone, something I am going to work on in 2020, not allowing that feeling to take over my day

The girls did my make up for me. Too bad this is not closer up for a view of my blue eyeshadow ;).

A few photos from Reding Market Terminal. #imsickofcrowds

Wanting

To find a series to watch (Any recommendations??)

to continue to feel my best

I want to get yoga teacher certified. Not necessarily to teach but or the experiences.  I am held back by two things, the cost, and the commitment. Fear

this bag

these sneaks in black

Ski stuff and this

Healthy Lifestyle

Each Day is a Gift

Thinking

  • About taking a social media break
  • How sad I am for those that have lost their lives during the terrible storms on the Tatra Mountains, where I just was several days ago…… I am praying that there are no more deaths and my heart and prayers are with those people and families that have lost their lives or family. EVERY DAY IS A GIFT. Read about it here
  • Where do I want to go next?
  • About my school year ahead, I am excited!
  • Pen Paling with my cousin in Poland again
  • I want deeper connections
  • I could use a hug
  • How to spend my last free weekend before the school year begins

Reading

Currently:

Things You Save in a Fire

Just Completed:

Lock Every Door – Typically I have loved all of Riley Sager’s book, but this one?  I don’t understand the high ratings and raves. I thought this was completely unbelievable and not well written. I could not wait for it to be over. It was not scary or thrilling in any aspect.  I give it 2 stars.

Grateful

That my parents return today!

That I no longer have to go between two houses

The bonds I have formed with my parent’s pets

That I was able to get to know my family in Poland on a more intimate level AND that we connected so well!

 

Inspired

Those that live each day and moment as if it was their best day yet

To travel more

To maintain closer relationships with my family, no matter how far they are

To step away from social media a bit and see what it can open up for me

Old pictures

Writing

Sharing myself with others, in a way that is comfortable to me

To find love again, I have lost faith and hope over the years, but I am finally realizing that there is plenty of love out there to give and receive.  Thank you to my cousins “M & T” for showing me this. After 16 years of marriage, they still act like newlyweds. Of course, they have their moments and disagreements but what they also have is loyalty, trust and each other ❤   I am so happy for them and their family

 

Sharing

Poland – Part 3 “Zakopane and Krakow”

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I had been to both areas of Poland, Zakopane, and Krakow, before. Not much had changed BESIDES the fact that it too, felt so much more touristy 😦  This makes me so sad because I feel like everywhere is turning into repetitive McDonald’s and quirky t-shirt vendors.  I want neither.

However, that did not put a damper on the amount of beauty, fun, and history I had experienced! I felt like I had my own personal tour guides in Poland, thanks to M & T.  I was so happy and fortunate that we were able to spend a few days together and really get to know each other and grow our bonds.  I hope that they were able to get a better feel of me and know that I love them truly and they will always hold a place in my heart. Again, it had been 16 years since our last escapade, and it felt like no time had passed us by at all. I love this feeling!

We spent our Monday hiking the beautiful and challenging Tatra mountains. (recent tragedy there today)  We ate, rested and set off for Krakow.  Krakow holds a very special place in my heart. Krakow is one of the only cities in Poland that were not completely destroyed by the war(s).  Many original buildings, cobblestone, and castles remain. This adds to the magic of the city.

My cousin, when not forcing up a dangerous mountain (haha), has great knowledge and history of Poland. I loved hearing all the wonderful facts and of course tales, Poland has to offer (“The sleeping giant,  The dragon’s cave, etc).

Our drive to Krakow from Zakopane was beautiful.  I was very quiet as I wanted to take in the beautiful scenes. So many beautiful creatures just wandering around (cattle, sheep, goats)  The rolling hills, the beautiful Goralski Folk homes (They are very unique) Image result for goralski homesImage result for goralski homes

It was a very enjoyable ride, with a great mix of Polish and American music might I add!

We arrived at our hotel/student housing in Krakow and still had plenty of the day left to explore. We unpacked our things and the rooms were VERY clean and just what we needed. Babylon is considered “Student housing” or a “hostel” (NO do not watch the movie) and we had a shared room, meaning we each had our own bedroom (with two dorm room style beds and desks) and we shared the bathroom and kitchen.  It was clean and comfortable. The wifi was not the greatest, as you were only able to use it for an hour at a time, then had to sign back in, but we made it work.

When we were settled we headed out to catch the train into the heart of Krakow 🙂  The location was good, far enough that we did not hear the hustle and bustle of the city BUT in turn, we did hear the hustle and bustle of college students…..all night long 😦  It was still doable 🙂  Image result for frat party

We, of course, were starving so we found a place to rest and eat.  I love all the outdoor dining options, we needed something MEAT for “T” and vegan for me, what a great trio we were!

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Fortunately, this combination was never really a problem. We came across a Gregoria restaurant and quite honestly, I do not remember what we even had. But every meal I had in Poland (except for ONE In Zakopane) was delicious. img_1803img_1809

We later ended up watching some Georgian dancers perform and had a seat at an outdoor cafe and ordered some drinks.  img_1813We wandered about the beautiful city some more and found ourselves returning to our rooms to rest up for the next day.

Near Wawel Castle and the dragon (Breathes smoke on the hour, but today it was not breathing  lol)

Fairytale setting

Inside Wawel Castle

I am glad I took advantage of the dry weather to get my headstand in 🙂

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I woke up my last morning to the sound of rain. “T” wanted to sleep in a bit, so “M” and I grabbed umbrellas (She is SO prepared) and strolled over to a nearby cafe for some coffee and breakfast.  It was so nice to sit and chat as the rain fell 🙂  Honestly the mood was a bit solemn for me, as it was my last day in Poland, with a family that I loved and felt very close to (I wish we were closer).  Yet I was not going to let this day and weather “Rain on my parade”.

We headed back to our rooms and “T” was up, we brought him back some breakfast and started to think about our day.  Since it was rainy, we decided a movie at the famous Kino Pod Baranami  (Cinema Under the Rams) would be a great idea, but it was not until 3 pm.  “M & T” thought about pulling up a movie on their laptop for us to watch, rest, and relax until the weather lifted. I thought this was a lovely idea for them, and it would give them some time alone in this romantic city. I, on the other hand, wanted to go and explore. The idea of coffee shops and book stores along with people watching and walking in the rain, sounded fabulous to me. I told them of my plan and they decided to join me as well, which I think they were extremely happy they did.  This day, without a plan, ended up giving us so many treasures!  We walked around to a few book stores, had coffee, purchased our tickets for our show, and my cousin “M” found a little underground pub that we decided we would take a walk down to and explore. I am so grateful that we did because I think this was possibly the most beautiful bar I have ever been to. What treasure and a find!  We scoped it out, did some headstands (Because WHY NOT) and decided to have a small bite to eat before coming back to see our show.

Rainy day? Still, play

She loves me ❤

 

We found our way to Chimera, which had vegan and non-vegan options (SCORE)img_1827img_1832img_1829

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“T” happy with his non-vegan meal and Compote (non-alcoholic)

We purchased tickets to see “Minding the Gap”, (available on HULU if interested!) it was a documentary that followed 3 men trying to “Skate free” of their addictions. The seats in the cinema were so comfy, it was so damp and rainy out, that we figured, even if it is terrible, we could at least catch a snooze.  The movie ended up being excellent!  Very touching and sad, even brought tears to my eyes.  We dried our eyes and decided to grab something to eat before settling down for an evening drink at our newfound pub.  I wanted Vegan, so vegan it was!  We made our way to the Jewish section of Krakow, which I really wanted to see.img_1841 There were some beautiful synagogues and a little town center to explore. We, well I, decided on falafel, so we found a wonderful Israeli restaurant, Hamsa. I currently am obsessed with falafel and hummus, so this again (As in Paris) was my favorite meal of the trip!  img_1842img_1844img_1843

After dinner, we wandered a bit in the shops and outdoor markets……

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Sukiennice (Or Cloth Hall) in Krakow

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These colorful pysanky eggs brought back SO many childhood memories for me 

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art wall

 

Here are a few photos of the lovely Piwnica Pod Baranami 

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This “basement bar” is the most beautiful and eclectic one I have ever been in!

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Our bartender was fabulous! We told him what we liked, he created individualized drinks for us, we were all pleased!

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We stumbled our way back to our rooms for a few hours of sleep before getting up at 3 am to get ME to the airport in time for my flight home.

It was an amazing adventure filled with food, fun, and most importantly FAMILY.  This is a trip and adventure I will always remember, and I hope it can bring our two worlds closer together.  I plan on keeping communication quite frequent. I would love to continue to Pen Pal with my cousin “A” and her students. I would love to visit each other more often, and most of all, I would love to continue to get to know my family and have them get to know me.

Until my next adventure…..

 

Healthy Lifestyle

Then and Now

Thinking

  • What is next for me?  Where will I go, what will I do? I have a few things up my sleeve, we shall see
  • I really want to be loved, feel loved and give love ❤
  • How beautiful the Polish language is, essentially all European languages. There is just something about the way it sounds. Even the simplest words and phrases sound songlike.  I feel very harsh as an American!
  • When you connect with people, time apart really does not matter, you seem to pick right up where you left off

 

Watching

How things change, yet still remain the same….Then and Now 🙂

Photos are from 1983, 2003, and 2019

 

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Inspired

To slow down.  Between jet lag and running around the past two weeks, I have also done the opposite. Slowed down.  Took my time to eat, walk, read.  It is sensational yet still quite difficult to master. I hope to practice this more often and take in everything at every moment.

Grateful

That I will be reunited with my parents shortly, and that I will not have to tend to the “farm” any longer! I have learned so much about the outdoors and animals the past 3 months, I might even say I enjoyed it if you catch me at a good moment 🙂

Sharing

Poland Part 2

Zakopane (Tatra Mountain region)  and Prague

A few more photos from when before my cousin departed…..

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Blueberry Perogies, yup

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Goodbye, my beautiful cousin! 

After my cousin Ania and her family departed (Sniffle, sniffle) , I was with my parents and aunt, uncle and cousin.  I planned on staying in the same cabin BUT it was jam-packed as is, and not one but TWO snorers…..So I was on a mission for accommodations. It was an unsuccessful night one and had to sleep next to the snoring monster…..

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The next morning, I found accommodations about 1.5 miles from my parent’s cabin, it was perfect! It was far enough I would not be able to hear their snores…….(hahahaha)

This was our view from the cabin, of Mount Gievont (read about the tale of the sleeping giant hereSee how it looks like a sleeping giant!?!??!!

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And here you can see Mount Gievont in the background as well (and I wore shorts this time 😉

That evening I wandered around town on the famous Krupowki street. I wander in stores and markets and gathered a few things I needed. I also found a great coffee shop with Almond milk, Costa coffee 🙂  So I was pleased!

The next morning I set off with my aunt to hike the beautiful Morske Oko

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My aunt is an accomplished hiker! I was beyond impressed!

Image may contain: mountain, sky, outdoor, nature and waterAND then the highest peak in Poland read about the Trail to Rysy here

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And of course…..

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The next day I did my own mini hike up to Dolna Gubałówka

I wandered around the shops and took in the breathtaking views before meeting my mom, aunt, and cousin for a stroll through town.

Later that night, we left (at midnight) For our Prague adventure.  We booked our trip with Strama

The bus was very comfortable and our tour guide was phenomenal!  He was so kind and sweet and even fist bumped us several times!  He always made sure we were comfortable. On the trip, we received sandwiches and bottled water. We also received some chapstick!

Here is the official itinerary:

TRIP Schedule

The first day (Saturday)

  • 00:01 Leaving Zakopane
  • 09.30 Arrival at Prague – meet the guide, sightseeing (5 hours):
    • Starhov Monastery
    • Pohorzelec
    • Loreta
    • Prague Castle
    • Garden Valdstein
    • Charles Bridge
  • 14.30 Free time
  • 16.30 Tranfer to the hotel – accomodation
  • 18.30 Dinner in the hotel
  • 19.45 Departure for a Cruise on the Vltava River
  • 21.00 Cruise on the Vltava
  • 22.30 Return to Hotel

The second day (Sunday)

  • 07.30 Breakfast in the hotel
  • 08.30 Departure from hotel
  • 09.00 Meet the guide (4 hours):
    • Wenceslas Square
    • Lucern Palac
    • Church of Our Lady of the Snows
    • New Town Hall Prague
    • Josefov
    • Old Town Prague
    • Municipal House
  • 13.30 Free time
  • 15.30 Departure from Prague
  • 00.00 Planned return to Zakopane

 

It was a 9-hour bus ride, which we all tried to sleep, but it is similar to trying to sleep on a plane….

We arrived in Prague at 9 am and began our 5-hour tour, wandering around the fairytale setting of Prague. it is such a beautiful and romantic city!  Image may contain: sky and outdoor

We had a few hours of light drizzle, then the downpour. Image may contain: 4 people, including Diana Christine, people smiling, outdoor

We were able to find some ponchos and remained fairly dry for the rest of our tour.  I spotted many places I wanted to visit but time was a constraint. I was able to get a feel of what I would like to visit when I return.

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My favorite part of Prague? Charles Bridge. Just stunning.

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Charles Bridge to the left

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view from the Charles Bridge

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After our tour and some free time to wander, we headed back to our hotel and had dinner. Later we were to depart for a night cruise to see Prague at Night, but I opted out of it as I was barely functioning, like a walking zombie. My parents went and said it was beautiful. I am sorry I missed it but I think I made the right choiceImage may contain: Diana Christine, smiling, outdoor

 

The next morning we had early breakfast and left at 7 am for our next tour. Today was the complete opposite of the previous day. Sun and warmth.  Perfect weather for Prague. This perfect weather also brought the crowds. My beautiful Charles Bridge was barely accessible with the amount of volume on it.

We continued our tour and on our free time, my parents and I found a great little cafe and had a bite to eat.

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Later we found ice cream and had to try this concoction out!

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We ended our tour around 3 and piled back on the bus to return back to Zakopane. It was wonderful and beautiful but way too short for such a captivating city. I will be back 🙂

 

After a few hours of sleep, my cousins T & M were ready to take me on a hike!  Sleep-deprived as was, what was another 8-9 hour hike?

At the start of our hike, I tried to turn back several times. lack of sleep and balance was scaring me. Plus the constant uphill trek on rocks and boulders…..did not look good to me.  However, my slave driver cousin managed to persuade us many times to keep going forward. This would play out several more times throughout our hike.

We hiked the Czerwone Wierchy of Zakopane. This was a heavenly hike. Quite literally. We were so high up, most of the hike was in the clouds!

We started off sweaty and sticky. It was HOT, that was soon to change ….

It started to become so windy that at times, I was getting pushed over and lifted up!  I was terrified, but quickly found out that stopping only made it worse!!  Again, Cousin “T’  told us to keep pushing forward…..so we did!

It 

Low Visibility + Crazy winds …..

My cousin pretending to get blown away…..

After our hike, we ended with a Polish beer at the bottom of our trek. It was a cute little outdoor pub on the trail!  After our beer, we had another hour or so hike, but it was all downhill…..which caused us to wobble and hobble down.

We later went to our favorite street in Zakopane for some dinner. We were starved!  Finally, we settled in for the night, rested, as we were off to Krakow the next morning!

To be continued…..img_1360

Healthy Lifestyle

Passionately Poland

Thinking

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  • How much I learned about myself over the past 12 days of my trip overseas. I found myself in many uncomfortable situations, yet somehow I was able to make the best of them and persevere.  I am really proud of myself and my experiences.  The biggest lesson? I can do things I am uncomfortable with, and continuing to voice myself and be heard helps in so many ways.

Reading

Currently Reading:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Normal People 

Read:

The Unbreakables – 3.5 stars. This was a quick and enjoyable read for me!

Want to Read:

Red, White, and Royal Blue

The Right Swipe

The Wild Woman’s Way

Lock Every Door

I read so much and so often, then sometimes I can’t remember a recent book that I JUST READ. This makes me so sad! Love this article and these tips and I will be doing this (Not every single book, but especially non-fiction)

 

Grateful

To live in the United States – the conveniences we have. Sometimes stepping back and away from them is eye-opening, I always return from trips feeling so grateful ❤

For Freedom and diversity

For spending time with my family and parents in Poland (our first time all together there since I was 3!)

For having a safe flight to and from Poland

For being able to live the fairytale of Prague

For speaking up for myself

For finding and enjoying  connection (Surprise!!)

For my big, cozy, fluffy bed

Being able to stretch out

yoga

For realizing, slowly, what I truly need and want

My large shower

exploring nooks and crannies in foreign places

 

Inspired Byimg_1801

Loving relationships, making it known that it is possible

How little some people have, yet make the most and best of every little thing

Clear communication, standing my ground

The hospitality of others – I was SO spoiled and taken care of in Poland, something DIFFICULT for me to accept, and uncomfortable. Image may contain: food

One of my many breakfasts by “Chef Anna”

This “I Don’t” List 

Sharing

My Poland and Prague Trip, Part I

I just spent 12 days traveling all over Poland and Prague. This was surely an adventure and experience I will remember for a lifetime. I really learned so much about Poland, my family and myself.

My flight from Newark to Krakow was wonderful. I had one smooth connection in Frankfurt and was on my way again!  Getting off the plane I was incredibly nervous, I had not seen my cousin Ania since I was 3 or 4 years old!  What if we did not get along? What if we were too different? What if we had nothing to talk about?  Sure enough, my nerves were put to rest as soon as I stepped off the plane and saw this welcoming sign, hahaha, Perfect, we will get along JUST FINE

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Ania’s brother and his fiance joined us for the trek. We drove back a little over an hour to Ania’s lovely town of Dabrowa Gornicza, Where I would spend the next 4 days.  Ania took me up to her lovely condo, introduced me to her 16-year-old son, Michael, we had some coffee and then went to visit her parents. Here is their home (Cool clock, right!!!)IMG_1907[1]

I was feeling quite beaten, not having slept for over 24 hours, but was still going strong. We finally went back to Ania’s and settled in for the night.  I was still in awe that I was actually in Poland with my family and my cousin that I had pen-paled with all year during the school year.

The next day, Monday, we set off for our first adventure. We decided to visit Częstochowa, home to the famous “Black Madonna”.Image result for black madonna poland This brings pilgrimages from all over the world to see her beauty and glory.  Here is some information and things to do in Czestochowa. 

On our drive to Czestochowa, I was in desperate need of coffee thanks to my lack of sleep and jet lag, so we came across this adorable little Alpaca farm and coffee shop!

When we finally arrived at Czestochowa, we were greeted by beautiful songs and music as pilgrimages approached the church!IMG_1914 And of course I had to begin my **headstand challenge, so I found the opportunity and took it, sort of 🙂

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**The headstand challenge was started by a fellow yogi friend of mine who recently travelled to Dubai, Croatia and Krakow, he performed headstands all around those countries and I opted to continue the trend to see how long we can keep this going

We toured the grounds and the church from the ground and in the air…

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We then made our way into the quaint little town for some lunch and of course some photo ops…

Popcorn Salad @ Awokado

It was such a lovely, fun-filled day. Lots of laughs, sights and of course delicious food.

Tuesday we decided to do a bike tour of Dabrowa Gornicza, specifically the Pogoria Lakes.  There are 4 of them, each so unique and special.  It was such a fun day and especially viewing it all on a bike!  We ended our trip by having coffee at the lovely waterfront restaurant my cousin celebrated her big 4-0 !

Later that evening we wanted to spend some time with Ania’s brother and his fiance. 16 year old “Pro gamer”, decided he’d like to join us and tag along. Guess we are all still sorta cool 🙂

We went to one castle, Zamek Siewierski, and it was breathtaking. We arrived as the sun was setting, and it was just a beautiful and peaceful time to explore the grounds. IMG_1938

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We stopped for a delicious fish dinner as well
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And finally one last stop before heading home (and heading to bed) we stopped by my cousin’s school, where our pen paling adventure all began.

Another jam-packed, adventurous day, just the way I like it.

 

Finally, Wednesday arrived and it was time to drive to the Tatra mountains to Zakopane, where I would meet up with my parents and aunt and uncle at their cabin getaway……  The drive was long and filled with traffic, but we made it and I was so thrilled to see my parents smiling faces and big, huge, hug from mom

We said our hello’s and hit the famous Krupowki street in Zakopane. It is a cobblestone street filled with wonderful shops, crafts, cheeses, restaurants. I especially loved the Empik store (similar to our Barnes and Noble) and the coffee shop, Costa Coffee (comparable to Starbucks).  The Cukiernia’s (Bakeries) were scattered throughout the street as well, always able to find a great pastry or cup of coffee there

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Goralski Praliny – highly recommendIMG_1956IMG_1955IMG_1953IMG_1952IMG_1951IMG_1949IMG_1948IMG_1947

After dinner my cousin and her parents left Zakopane and headed back to their homes…..part 2 of my adventure was to begin (to be continued)

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Also, lunch, not pictured here , highly recommend