On Procrastination

procrastination.jpg ProcrastinationSource

Let’s get the truth out of the way first: I’m writing this post as a form of procrastination.  I might tell myself its because I don’t want you my lovely readers to feel unloved, and that statement certainly is true of its own accord, but fact of the matter is: I’m procrastinating.

I haven’t talked a ton here on my blog about my coaching program but one of the biggest things it has given me is the gift of awareness.  I started on my journey towards the examined life just under a year ago and Your Soul’s U was the perfect next step.  It has been my anchor during my time of transition, the inspiration I needed to take the next steps, and so much more.  I have begun to see how my patterns of behavior either serve or do not serve my goals and taken the initial steps to refresh any detrimental behaviors.

It hasn’t always gone smoothly.  And since we already know I’m currently procrastinating, you can tell that every moment presents a new chance for me to decide whether I”m going to do the work or avoid it.  Some days I get up, right on schedule, and “force” myself to get it done, starting off the day with a feeling of accomplishment.  Some days I”ll get up with the best intentions and well…we all know where those can lead. While I love not having a schedule, I also recognize that it is not what’s best for me in terms of productivity.  For just over two more weeks, there truly is always tomorrow.  My time is 100% mine to do with as I please.

So why the heck don’t I always do the things that I need?  The things that will bring my biz to the forefront of the sex ed and coaching world…that will keep my body and mind and soul in tip top condition?  That will keep my relationships strong and humming with love and joy?

Well that will be a little thing called Parkinson’s Law: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”  In other words, shit will take as long as you give it.  Do you need that paper done by week’s end?  Well it will be.  How about by tomorrow?  Same goes.  Do you need five hours to finish that report or do you need twenty minutes?  Currently, my timeline runs until June 14. aha!

That being said, I have done more in the past six weeks for my biz than ever before.  I’ve attended meetings, entered half of my customer data, launched my official website, etc.  And every time I finally sit down to complete a task, I realize it isn’t nearly as difficult or cumbersome or time consuming or scary as my ego made me believe.  In fact, given my general laziness over the past few weeks, it feels positively inspiring to get my shit done.

But starting is always a battle…and that is where I plan on putting my focus now…once I finish writing this post, that is.  😉

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

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Zumba Training Highlights

Hi All!

I hope you had a beautiful Memorial Day weekend.  It was sunny and warm in CT and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

This happened to be a very exciting weekend for me as I finally became a licensed Zumba instructor.  I don’t talk much about fitness here on the blog but since I discovered Zumba three years ago, I’ve been obsessed.  I always loved to dance and the fusion of fitness + dancing spoke to my soul.  I can easily lose myself in a Zumba class, forgetting time and space  <–which, admittedly, can lead to awkward moments and not realize an hour has gone by.  A few years back I had considered becoming licensed…but decided to start Passion by Kait instead.  The start-up costs are approximately the same and, well, I haven’t looked back since.

I decided the time was finally right, however, for a number of reasons.  One of them is $, both making and using it.  By teaching, I am able to workout…and get paid for it.  <–a grad student’s wet dream  It will also ensure that I work out at least a couple times of week.  I can’t skip out at the last minute because I’m tired or just don’t feel like it (come on, you’ve been there too).  I have a feeling the stress relief will be extremely necessary too!  Finally, I wanted to run class the way I wanted.  I had the point where no one else’s class was really, truly cutting it anymore.  They were still fun but I found myself thinking, “I would have done that move instead” or “I can do this better.”  I’m not proud of those thoughts but finally the voice saying, “Get yourself licensed then smart ass!” was loud and incessant enough for me to listen to.  And so I registered…even managing to find a discount code!

Saturday morning I woke up at 6:40 (!) to drive from CT to MA for training. I haven’t woken up before 10 am in two weeks, never mind before 7! Having stayed with the beau the night before, I was allowed a little bit of bitching and moaning before he said the wisest words ever (he’s been full of them over the past couple of weeks bless his amazing soul): “Remember, this is what you want.”  So I got my cranky self up and ready, made breakfast, and off I went.

Sleepy but super excited!

The second I stepped in the, care the excitement started!  I had gotten maybe 5 hours of sleep, terrified I would sleep through my alarm (yes I had that nightmare too!) but the adrenaline was flowing!  The training was definitely a little different than expected but I am so happy I did it and that there are numerous job openings in Baltimore.

Like Gabby said: the Universe supports us!

The training was all day with about 6 hours of movement and 2 hours of lecture.  The whole day was super high energy and fun and though I’m a little nervous to start teaching, I have to remember that a) nothing I learned was life-changing, earth-shattering new and b) I’ve been choreographing on my own for as long as I’ve been a Zumba student.  I just couldn’t help it!  Dirty beats come on and my hips start to do their own thing.

The one thing that did stand out, likely because it rubbed me the wrong way, was the emphasis on “the Zumba formula.”  I do understand a company’s desire to maintain its image and mark but I also think its independent contractors are big girls and boys and should be able to customize their classes as they see fit (and, on one hand we are…but there are still, in my opinion, a lot of guidelines).  I’ve danced with a handful (2-3) of amazing instructors and dozens of awful ones.  My favorite instructors, to this day, didn’t do things as I learned them to be “the Zumba way” while many of my least favorite instructors followed it to a T.  As with all things, I’m looking to find the balance that works best for me.  And, of course, to be the best Zumba instructor Baltimore has ever known!

Sunday was brutal.  Even getting 8 hours of sleep I was exhausted and hurt all over. I definitely gained a new respect for fitness professionals. If you fall into that category, please share your secrets in the comments because I don’t know how you do it!  Nonetheless, it was 100% worth it.  I have a ton of music to listen to, songs to choreograph, and other instructors to network with.  I can’t wait to get started and promise to keep you updated!

Yoga/beauty/dance,

Best,

Kait xo

Project: Food Budget, Week 33-34

First of all, thanks for all of the love this week!  I’m so glad you all are liking my more introspective posts and life updates…I can’t tell you how much it means to me when you like a post or follow the blog.  ❤ ❤ ❤

This is going to be a quickie update for several reasons:

  1. The Revenge season finale is on in 1.5 hours.  I still need to make dinner.  Clearly I have priorities
  2. I don’t have all my receipts from the past couple of weeks so I can’t tell you how much I saved.
  3. I just finished my call with my kick ass soul sister coach and am so energized and ready to tackle some of the more intimidating projects to grow my biz.  I love my blog but it doesn’t support me so…well, you know.  😉  And of course this all needs to be done before 10 pm.

Meal Plan

Green smoothies.
Cajun Cornbread Casserole (Everyday Happy Herbivore) <–I got three meals and one snack out of this!
Pineapple Teriyaki Tempeh (EHH)
Cereal!
Oats

Total Spending (last two weeks): $71.17

😀

Alright!  Now that number would be better if I hadn’t spent a significant amount of other $ on eating out but hey…this is my time to be free, right?  I’m not going crazy with my $ and in fact have been rather successfully bargain hunting for housewares, furniture, and new clothes.  I’ve been aware (ish) of my spending and investing in those things that need investing while saving for a better deal when I know its out there.

For me, that is the sweet spot that this project has brought me to. 

Don’t forget to check out me other budgeting loves…you might notice there are some new additions!  With all different budgets, family sizes, dietary lifestyles, etc, you’ll be sure to find one that reflects your own situation.

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

Hump Day Inspiration

‘Ancient Journey’ Laura Hollick with Beast sculpture. Photo by Kevin Thom.

Earlier in the week I was catching up on e-mails from the amazing Creative Visionaries whose work I follow closely.  I had just finished completing my last Master Promissary Notes for grad school loans and unknowingly went searching my inbox for guidance, love, and support.

The Universe always gives us what we need right?

First there was Gabby Bernstein’s amazing vlog.

“My suggestion to all of you this week is to pay attention to what it is that you love about your life.  What hobbies you have that you do effortlessly?  Just witness how those effortless actions are supported by the Universe.

This message was particularly striking as I’m in the process of launching new services and products through my business.  <–Thanks Universe.  I needed that reminder!

Then there was my Buddhist quote of the day.  Note the origin of the quote, which seems a bit too coincidental given the nature of my business.  Guess Gabby’s lesson was quickly learned!

“It is crucial to know when it is appropriate to withdraw our attention from things that disturb our mind. However, if the only way we know how to deal with certain objects is to avoid them, there will be a severe limit as to how far our spiritual practice can take us.” ~Lama Thubten Yeshe, Introduction to Tantra

And finally there was my weekly e-mail from Laura Hollick (the inspirational sexpot pictured above).  Usually her e-mails include a short note and a link to a quick but powerful video.  This week?  No video.  So I kept scrolling…right on down to the picture.  And the quote under it:

Take the journey to be who you are born to be.

Just do it.  Throw away the sails.  Follow your heart.  Live your Passion.  Reflect.  Go within.  Feel your pain.  Better yet, feel your joy.  Question.  Examine.  Know it can and does get better.  Don’t settle.  Your dreams are waiting for you to own them.  Go ahead…grab ’em.

I’m right there with you sister…lets take this journey together.  Won’t you join me?

Yoga/beauty/inspiration,

Kait xo

Current Obsessions

Obscene Life <–beautiful people alert

This trailer.  <–Channing, marry me?

Fishs Eddy for dishware, glassware, flatware, and serverware.  <–their line, not mine

Click to buy. 😉

To fuel my Once Upon a Time obsession, even in the off-season

Miss Smart’s ridiculously witty writing + amazing recipes.  <–try not to drool when you look at her nutty butters

Chinese Botanical moisturizer from Kiss My Face.  It leaves my skin so super duper soft without feeling greasy or making me smell overpowering.

Half-moon pose.

This chocolate which you will find absolutely impossible to resist.  <–why oh why aren’t you vegan??? *le sigh*

Chocolate Covered Katie’s Cookie Dough Dip.

Our Rejuvenating Brown Sugar Scrub.

It doesn’t look like much but coconut oil + brown sugar = baby smooth, frosting-scented skin. 😉

The 9-5 Guide to Staying Active  <–and really anything Leo posts on his site

These trilogies:

A little late to the game but I finally made it. 😉

You expected this, right?

Chris Salvatore

Link is definitely NSFW

And on that note, I bid you adieu.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Updated: Apparently this blog topic was the trend of the week among healthy food bloggers.  Little did I know when I wrote this on Sunday that I’d be joining the ranks of Chelsey and Ashley by highlighting my favorite things.  Their posts had better photos…but mine has a sexy man.  Guess we’ll call it a draw!  😉

One Week : Newport, RI

Entrance gate to the Breakers Mansion.

Newport, RI is known for many things.  Its famous mansions dazzle, the Cliffwalk leaves you breathless (so I’ve been told), and the International Tennis Hall of Fame ensures plenty of preppy eye candy for all genders and sexual orientations.  Its ritzy, its preppy, its glamorous…and home to one of my besties.

It also is where I lived for most of last week while I played house wife, slept in, drank too much, chatted late into the night, and read enough smut to make up for my lack of smutty reading till this point.  Toss in a hefty dose of yes, this is real life work (read: grad school loan stuff + client cataloging) and I’d say last week was 100% successful!  🙂

Last Monday night I drove up to the beau, spending the night at his apt en route to the Woo en route to Newport.  <–because clearly just going to Newport would have been too easy  I had a perfect Tuesday that started with yoga at my now “old” studio and concluded with my arrival in Newport.  In between I did both a Wegmans (*swoons*) and a Whole Foods run, picked up the clothes I had left at the tailor back in April (whoops!), ate Chipotle (*mouthgasm*), and visited my favorite bird (aka picked up the random stuff I left in my apt…like my razor…and my Christmas tree).

How can you not love that face?

I arrived “in time” for Glee…and by that I mean the bestie and I spent our first hour together catching up and then I missed the first half of the show because I was cooking up some deliciousness. Unless otherwise noted, the following photos are all courtesy of Trina.

Sweet & Sour Tempeh with Steamed Broccolini
(Everyday Happy Herbivore)

For all the tempeh-haters out there (I definitely fall in this category): this is the recipe for you!  Something about the homemade sweet & sour sauce just complements the tempeh so perfectly and cuts its characteristically “nutty” taste.  No overpowering tempeh flavor in this recipe!  Oh, and if you’re wondering why broccolini?  Well WF had it on sale.  Couponing is all about the flexibility people!

Most days I slept until around 10 11 then spent the day catching up on TV, cooking food, reading smut, and doing some work.  Wednesday, however, was a day of discovery.  First up, a killer perfect class at Newport Power Yoga.

Source

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Living the Good Life

I have to admit: this break is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

I’m currently in Newport, RI with one of my besties.  I’m her housewife for the week which means I really need to go do those dishes that are in the sink.  But there’s always time for dishes when you have a whole day to do whatever you want.

Like devote 4 hours to reading (and completing) The Hunger Games.

Or taking 15 minutes to do wall squats and push-ups because of this article<–I ❤ Leo

Or watching movies on Netflix.

Or watching awful TV on Hulu (GCB, Don’tTrust the b in Apartment 230

Or shopping for apartment stuff.

Or meditating + yoga practicing.

Or going upside down in said yoga practice.  <–I did it I really did!

Or taking last minute trips to NYC because your plans fell through and your beau is there and the Rangers are winning!

Or reading blog after blog until your eyes go a little funny.

Or sleeping until 10 or later every day.

Because I can.

That has been my motto over the past couple of weeks.  And as one yoga teacher put it, “If you can, you must.”  <–Amen to that.

I’m living the good life.  And I”m enjoying every second of it…relishing in it.  Loving that I have a chance to see those I love…and that I can do it on my schedule because its always open when they are.  Loving that I get to give back a little while still doing me.

But the truth is, I’ve also been avoiding the things that need to get done.  Like my loan paperwork.  And the very things that will move my biz forward.  Or I’ll take a tiny step and then stop, overwhelmed with all I have to do..and the greatness which will come from taking those steps.

So the good life is good.  But it isn’t perfect.  <–that whole bit about power and responsibility.  But I don’t regret it for a second.  And its the perfect time to do some mental self loving (minds outta the gutter please folks) and transform my thoughts.

For those days when I don’t get everything done, even though I tried.

For those times when I make a mistake.  Or the outcome I longed for does come to be.

For those days when I do my best but my best isn’t good enough.

For those days when I look at my bank account and wonder if I’m going to make it work next year.

And for those days when I’m just plain lazy (its 2:30 and I still haven’t gotten out of my pjs).

Welcome to the good life.  Its not without a price, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

 

Project: Food Budget, Week 32 + Past Weeks’ Eats

Welcome back to another exciting week of saving money with y/b/l.

Tip of the Week

Splurge when you can!  Maybe you are living back at home and mom is picking up some of your groceries and you are drawing all grains and beans from your stockpile.  Or maybe you just don’t need that much this week.  Either way, you have a bit of room in your budget to buy some new-to-you items that normally wouldn’t be in-budget.  Go ahead…be rebellious!  And enjoy every second of it.  🙂

Weekly Menu

What happens when you move and then proceed to travel immediately?  Meal planning goes out the window.  The downside: this can lead to overspending.  The upside: I’ve been forced to get a creative and good great things have resulted.  The only items I brought into mom’s kitchen are my box (yes box) of spices, my cutting board, my knife, and my blender.  I do occasionally grab beans, oil, or grains from the storage room basement but all-in-all, I’ve been creating yummy dishes with very little.

Now by creating I mean going back to my college years of depending on the stir-fry.  I could sing the praises of stir fries for hours but I’ll get straight to the point: they are the most versatile, fantastic, go-to meal on the planet.  Grains + veggies + protein + seasonings and you’re good to go.  Veggies on their way out?  No problem…just toss ’em in and go!  Don’t love that grain you bought in bulk?  Mix it in.  You get the picture.  😉

First there was the Road Trip Fill-Her-Up which consisted of Alter Eco red quinoa, vidalia onions, spinach, chickpeas, garlic, chili powder, liquid smoke, and s&p.

Whatever you do, don’t skip the liquid smoke!  It added a depth of flavor to this dish that makes it totally unpredictable but incredibly delicious.  A bottle doesn’t cost that much and will last you forever since you only need a couple drops (max) to get the desired effect.

Next up, the Unique Use-‘Em-Up:

Isn’t mom’s deck table pertiful?

This guy had brown rice, the rest of my dying bag of baby bell peppers, black beans, and ginger/rosemary/s&p as well as a unique new-to-me oil that I splurged on at…of all places…Marshalls!

Why yes that is rosemary, ginger, sweet orange-infused olive oil!

Oh my word this was to-die-for.  I not only sauteed the veggies with the oil + spices but also mixed them into the rice.  You couldn’t really taste the orange on the veggies but it was definitely there on the rice.  Which I proceeded to nibble on repeatedly.  Is this oil absolutely necessary?  No.  Did it take lunch from good to outstanding?  Yes!  Will I be experimenting with more infused oils?  Yes again.

Then of course were my sweet potatoes, which I sung the praise of in yesterday’s post<–see savory recipe there

Cheezy Sweet Potatoes

And another new-to-me product that provides great snacking, with or without milk.  😉

I’ve also been eating out a ton between my trip to Bmore and just catching up with people.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of meals not pictured because either a) the photos didn’t come out at all or b) I was too hungry to remember to snap one.  Putting that sad fact aside, I am happy to report that Bmore is a very veg-friendly city.  Or maybe its just my recent shift in perspective, who knows.  Either way, I’ve been consistently looking for and finding a plethora of veg options at dedicated and mainstream restaurants alike.

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For the Love of Sweet Potatoes

Ah…the humble sweet potato.  A fall staple, one of my favorite foods, and my recent re-obsession.

Now I very well recognize that November is more sweet potato season than May but the past couple of days these guys have been the star of multiple meals.  Why the surge in SP love?  Plain and simple : root vegetables are extraordinarily grounding foods. Let me explain.

I’ve been a bit sporadic with my blogging and that is a perfect reflection of the upheaval I’ve experienced in all areas of my life recently.  I blogged about it briefly so you would know I was still kicking. The short, simple, hurried structure very much represented that impact this transition has had on my mental, physical, and spiritual state over the past couple weeks.  In other words, its been pretty brutal.   I feel a bit like I’m floating with little more than a piece of silly string connecting me to the earth.  My mom’s house, where I’m currently residing, is full of boxes.  There is barely enough room to sit on the floor in my room to meditate (I have East-facing windows) and I’ve yet to establish a set schedule for my vacation from life.  All in all, life is pretty chaotic right now.

What I expected to be relaxing and rejuvenating has turned into something more stressful than I imagined.  I’m lucky to be loved by so many who want to hang out, catch-up, and be together…but every fiber of my being is craving hibernation.  I want to sleep late, work out, watch trashy TV (aka re-watch the entire season of Once Upon a Time and order Mad Men) and read even trashier books (the Fifty Shades and Hunger Games trilogies).  I want to cook and spend time with my family and pretend for a little bit that I’m not moving 5+ hours away from home.  <–yes, me the girl who’s eschewed family connections for the entirety of her life  Because fact of the matter is, my next big adventure is equal parts exciting and terrifying.  All major change is.  Anything can happen but one thing I know for sure is that my next step won’t be a walk in the park.

New city. New schedule. New lifestyle.  Back to strict budgeting and stricter time management.  The rewards will be great but I know I’ll have earned them.

So that brings me right back around to this humble little root vegetable.  While I figure out which yoga studio will feed my soul for the next couple of weeks, and which plans I can cut back on so that my time is more my own, I’m doing whatever I can to ground.  And that means eating root vegetables.  And walking outside barefoot.  And drinking calming tea.  And hugging the ones I love.

Now back to those taters… not only do you enjoy the benefits of a grounding vegetable, SPs are also really good for you.  I’m not going to go into too many details but lets just say they are among the highest sources of beta-carotene in the plant world and contain a host of other cancer-blocking, anti-inflammatory, blood sugar-regulating nutrients.  Its important to eat them with a little bit of fat to ensure maximum uptake of the beta-carotene.  Like, you know, the nut butter of your choice.  Its also important to purchase organic whenever you can as root vegetables are particularly susceptible to absorbing all sorts of nasty stuff from the surrounding soil.

Here’s my fave sweet and fave savory ways to prepare the versatile and amazing sweet potato.

Sweet

Bake potato (microwave or oven).  Mix 1 Tbsp nut butter (I use TJ’s sunbutter) with 1 tsp each milk and maple syrup.  Stir in a couple of drops vanilla extract and a few shakes each of cinnamon and nutmeg.  Microwave for ~30 seconds, checking every 10 seconds to ensure it doesn’t burn.  Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.  Drizzle over baked or roasted SP.

Savory

Wash and chop SP.  Toss with cooking spray and some salt and pepper and transfer to a greased casserole dish.  Try not to overlap.  Bake at 400 for ~30 minutes, turning once.  While the SP is baking, make your my fave cheese sauce.  When there is 10 minutes left, pour sauce over SP and continue to bake.  The SP is done when its easily pierced with a fork.

Neither of these recipes are particularly pretty.  Instead they are quick, easy, delicious, and filling.  And what more can a girl ask for when multiple seasons of Don DraperMad Men are calling her name?

Yoga/beauty/grounding,

Kait xo

 

Thank you + blog updates

First of all, thank you so much for your kind words about yesterday’s post.  To be honest, I was terrified to hit publish but am so happy I did.  The support rolled in both here and on Fbook and I again was reminded how blessed I am to have so many wonderful people in my life.

Secondly, how beautiful is the view from my former deck?  *Sigh*  I have a set of three  of the exact same photos that I need to get printed and framed for my new apt…where I have a balcony but certainly no lakeside view.  Pictures are forthcoming, promise.

Now onto today’s topic…

Welcome to another reno of y/b/l.  Fresh. Clean. Simple. Bright. Airy.

Most things my current situation isn’t. <–more on that tomorrow.

Last night I was feeling bored…and inspired.  What a combo!  Maybe because the sun had finally made an appearance…or because its spring…or because I’m moving…but I felt the blog needed an update.  Something less cluttered and busy and more sharp and crisp.  I got really saucy and even updated by About page.  What can I say?  I was feeling the need for change…or rather, change that I initiated and am 100% in control of…unlike everything else where I can “only” control my response.  <–as if that isn’t everything.  Since my blog never talks back and lets me try on as many themes as I’d like before deciding, I thought it was the perfect project.  If you ask me, blogging is a pretty perfect companion.  😉

For reals…I’ll stop being all cryptic and metaphysical now.  I promise it’ll make more sense tomorrow…either that or I’m just trying to lure you back!  <–please say my New England sarcasm + wit (?) are getting through!  Tehe 

Yoga/beauty/change,

Kait xo

P.S. Doesn’t the white background just make my pictures pop more though?  Oh and I can’t wait to share pictures from mom’s house where I can a) shoot in natural light and b) have awesome surfaces to shoot on.  My photography still has a long long way to go but I can at least appreciate having a place to shoot that isn’t bright red…as much as I truly did love those counter tops…