Starting Anew

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First term is over.

Finals week was…tumultuous to say the least. I’ve never studied so hard or stayed at school so late before. But I pulled it all off and am happy to report that I ended summer term with a solid GPA. While I’m not letting myself get hung-up on grades, for $60k, I’m also not going to pretend that they aren’t important. In other words, while I’m shooting for all A’s, I’m not getting hung up on the process of getting them. At the end of the day, the connections I make with classmates are way more important.

I’m currently at my mom’s for a couple of days before doing a somewhat whirl-wind tour de New England. UConn, Worcester, UConn, Bethel, mom’s, NYC. *whew* In between I’ll be working on B School projects and finishing up (finally) Brothers & Sisters. I’ll also be doing a lot of soul searching.

I haven’t talked much hear about the trials of living outside of the city. You read about my adventures in taking the bus but even then I only hinted at my general unhappiness. In short, I feel distant and disconnected. I know I’m missing out on spontaneous adventures and group bonding. I also know there’s a lesson I’m supposed to learn. <;;–at least now I do.

Let me explain. Yesterday morning I went to my Zumba class at home. About 3/4 of the way through I was overwhelmed with this sense of belonging…of being part of something bigger than myself…of being exactly where I belonged (despite the exhaustion and general body achiness that comes from 7 hour drive). And I realized something else: I haven’t felt that way in Baltimore since my very first visit.

That realization almost knocked my off my feet. The tears came later but the emotion was raw. Plain and simple, I feel like I don’t belong. It’s not the people, it’s not the program, its the fact that I don’t have a community to call my own. I still haven’t found a yoga studio that fits me, I don’t have a job teaching Zumba…hell I hadn’t even danced in over 2 months! I do have amazing friends…almost all of whom live in the city or, if they are commuters, travel because they didn’t want to leave the community they already had.

And then there’s me…not quite the DC commuter, not quite the Baltimorean.

But I’ve spent weeks bitching and moaning about this…and I already told my landlord that I wanted out of my lease. I’ve looked at scores more apartments…I fell in love with one only to have someone else apply for it first. It broke my heart open wide. And all of this led to yesterday’s Zumba and the question I’ve been avoiding: will moving even matter?

Is it the 9-miles-that-feel-like-100 separating me from people or is it, well, me? <;;–or more precisely, my ego trying to hold onto the comfortable-yet-effed-up “I’m lonely” story. Until finals week, I would zoom home at the end of every day to go to yoga (at a studio that I don’t love) and then I’d stay home, regardless of whether other things were happening. When I started sticking around, I stopped feeling so alone. When I finally said yes to the sleepover offers, I realized people really did want me around and that no, I wasn’t an inconvenience.

So instead of focusing on getting out…running away, I’m turning inward. I’ve wasted too much of first term focusing on the negatives of my situation…and let a so many of the lessons I already learned fall to the wayside. My body, mind, and spirit suffered as a result. So now I’m shifting my mindset from one of blame and anger and resentment and disappointment and loneliness to one of openness…to the lessons I’m meant to learn, to the beauty in my space (because really my apartment itself does kind of rock), and to the growth I know I’m undergoing. I’m choosing to release, trust, believe, and forgive.

Not only because its easier <;;–albeit far from easy than carrying around the weight that is negative emotions, but also because I do believe that the best possible outcome will result. Now I just need to be ready for that outcome, regardless of if its what I’m expecting. It doesn’t mean I’m not going to look at apartments or take mine off the market…it does mean that I’ll re-shift my focus to caring for me, to making more of an effort, and to stop complaining about my situation and start LIVING again.

And yes, there will be a whole lot of dancing involved…I’ve got a bit of time to make up for.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

A Quickie…

This is me just popping in to say…I’m alive.  I’m surviving finals week but it has taken over my life.

So I’ll be working a little Kait-time-magic for next week and figuring everything out on my ten days of freedom.  Until next term starts.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo
PS Send your love/hugs/positive vibes towards Bmore as I go into my scariest final yet (epi).  Whose butt I will be kicking…  xo

2nd Week of Passion – Notes on Being a DIVA

Happy Friday!  I wanted to kick off your weekend (and mine) with a big dose of inspiration.

But first, I want to define the word “DIVA” as we Passion DIVAs use it.  The word diva <–note, all lower-case tends to have a pretty negative connotation.  But within Passion by Kait, its a positive thing.  You want to be a DIVA.  See:

Disciplined
Inspired
Vibrant
Accomplished

🙂

Now that we got that out of the way…I want to share with you some of my favorite quotes from Passion Power 2012.  Some are about passion, some are about business, and all, at the end of the day, are about life.

I hope you are as inspired by these as I was.

On Passion Parties’ Mission, Values, and Purpose

“We know we can talk sex and intimacy without getting nasty.”

“We have always been about loving relationships.”

“We’re passionate, sexy women who help other women find their sexy.”

“A Passion DIVA is a women of influence.”  <– that’s me! 

“We’re the bible belt of the adult industry.  We don’t sell porn and we’re classy not trashy.”

“God and sex aren’t mutually exclusive.”

“[Our parties help]  make relationships stronger, keep couples together, and prevent divorce.”

Business and Sales Lessons

“We create interest in things we enjoy all the time.”

“Don’t forget your enthusiasm!”

“The only person who can turn that box into a business is you.  The only person who can stop [that…] is you.”

“Show products because you love to show them (and you love them).”

“Don’t underestimate the value of your business.”

“You have two ears and one mouth.”

Life Lessons

“Awakening the Passion Diva within is about awakening the empowered women.”

“Monogamy does not have to be monotonous.”  <–‘passionate monogamy’

“When women are happy, loved, and fulfilled […] the world is a better place.”

“When you quit growing[…] it’s over.”

“How you grow is as important as the growth itself.”

“Sexual persuasion is of no relevance.”

“You have the choice to decide not to hold on to the baggage and more and break free.”

“Live a free life.”

These are what being a DIVA is all about.  Embracing your true self, living life to its fullest, and owning and appreciating your value as a human being unlike any other.  This weekend, I challenge you to let your DIVA shine.  Just do it once..for a little bit.  Let her come through, as uncomfortable as it may be, and change the world around you.

You never know what might happen…

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo

 

Project: Food Budget, Week 46

So finals start tomorrow (!), a fact which I embarrassingly enough didn’t even know until Monday since I had put an older version of the academic calendar into my editorial one.  Between this fact + getting in late on Sunday from Passion Power, let’s just say my eating this week was less than ideal.  And this post will be rather short….mostly because I’ve had a heavy case of the procrastination-blues for the past…well all week.

Tip of the Week

Rain checks are your friends!  Please remember this folks…please?  Because I didn’t this week and ended up paying twice as much for cherries as I would have if I had thought, “Hey, while I’m getting my money back for this coupon I forgot, I should also get a rain check for the cherries since this is the second day in a row that WF is out.”  <–didn’t happen.

Meal Plan

Well…there was a plan.  Once upon a time (aka Friday before I left for NJ).  And that plan got tossed out the window…partially because I got lazy and partially because WF was out of ingredients I needed.  <–see above

To stay semi-healthy and energized, I still had a green smoothie every morning.  However, cereal made an appearance for dinner at least twice.  And dessert made at least two appearances a day.  =/

Otherwise it was quickie meals.  For example, I made this Monday morning while I got ready.  I heated the water while I prepped the ingredients, cooked the lentils while I showered, then tossed everything else in while I finished getting dressed, packed, etc.  Averie’s one-pot meals are some of my absolute favorite because they are truly quick, easy, budget-friendly (I used only pantry items to make this), and chock full of amazing flavor. 

I also discovered that if you stir raw spinach into pasta (because WF ruined your plan to make this after you already cooked the most perfectly fluffy quinoa ever…) it wilts a little.  This is a big win folks.  It means you don’t have to dirty a second pan and you can get away with calling your pasta dinner healthy because it has greens in it.  <–you know you love me.  🙂

Now onto that budgeting stuff.

Spending Savings

Whole Foods: $38.18  <–the price you pay when
Rite Aid: $4.24

Total: $42.42

I’m calling it a win.  Just go with it folks.  😉

Savings: $11.22 (27%)  <–not too shabby for shopping on the fly, dontcha think?

My favorite deal this week was getting two packages of Ziploc bags for only $4 at Rite-Aid.  They were on sale 2/$5 and then I had a $1 coupon from one of the Sunday papers.  Even though I try not to use baggies too much (and totally wash-and-reuse until they fall apart), sometimes you need them for storing things in the fridge and freezer.

That’s all folks.  Hope my feisty-ness didn’t scare anyone…that’s just my Inner Passion DIVA being coy.  Or something like that.  😉

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

 

 

 

2nd Week of Passion: Passion Power 2012

This was scheduled to go up yesterday but I had some tech errors. Therefore, the 2nd Week of Passion will officially continue through next Tuesday. 🙂

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Welcome to another Week of Passion here on y/b/l! This past weekend found me in Piscataway, NJ for Passion Parties’ annual summer conference and I am super excited to share my experiences with you. 🙂

Two years ago when I attended Passion Power, it was my first corporate event. It also was my first real training experience…and it kicked my biz into high gear. Followed by our annual Convention only six months later, Passion Power taught me how far I could go in this business if I wanted it badly enough, worked hard, and believe in myself.

My business and my bank account thanked me. Last year I didn’t make it and though I don’t regret my decision, I did miss the valuable training and visit experience.

This year, going just felt like the right thing to do.Despite transportation snafus, dealing with disappointment, and having my-dress-I-haven’t-fit-into-in-three-years lose its zipper, the weekend was just what I needed.

A time to bond with my Passion Sisters. A time to remember why I joined this business in the first place. A time to reconnect with my passion and remember that through this “job” I truly am changing people’s lives.

I arrived Friday evening after a rather long day of travel and checked into the suite. They had the cutest little towel art and it reminded me of going on cruises when I was younger (fun fact: I met the beau on one of these cruises!).

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It was close to 11 and I hadn’t eaten dinner so I hit up the hotel bar for some edamame, conversation, and the perfectly sweet ending to an otherwise stress-filled day.

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My roommates arrived and we stayed up far too late talking and catching up. It had been several years since I had last seen Amanda so there was a lot I catch up on!

Saturday and Sunday we spent learning from leaders in the company. My favorite session was titled, “Get Out of Your Own Way.” <;–no shock there, right? We also had sessions in selling and follow-up, a mock party presentation, an several panel Q&A sessions. I have a quotes post coming up later in the week but I want to share one with you now.

“Bless and release.”

This was a major theme for the weekend and it was a huge ‘aha’ moment for many of us. How many times do we hold on to something that is no longer serving us, in business AND in life? It’s so easy to stick with what’s comfortable (aka regret, grudges, etc) but sometimes we just need to let it go! The whole weekend was a wonderful reminder of that.

Saturday night was our mini awards night that mimics Convention’s bigger dinners. Despite my wardrobe malfunction and the fact that the hotel hadn’t prepared food for those of us who abstain from flesh and dairy, it was a wonderful evening full of Success Speeches, good conversations.

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The pasta dish the kitchen put together for those of us non-flesh eaters.

The most exciting part was that I got to walk for the first time! I was recognized for my sales achievements (>;$15000) between January and June. Corporate is so good about recognizing our achievements an it’s been a goal of mine to walk the stage for the past two years.

Yes it felt as awesome as I had imagined!

;

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Being silly after walking the stage! 🙂

Sunday afternoon was bittersweet, as the end of a good experience always is. My upline (my sponsor’s sponsor), one of my direct Passion Sisters, and I snapped some fun photos to remember the weekend’s (and our) amazing-ness. 🙂

<;3 these ladies

Check back Friday for a passionate, quote-filled post. Until then…

Yoga/beauty/passion,

Kait xo

Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Lessons from riding the bus

When I moved to Baltimore, one of the big things I wanted to do was drive less. I had hoped to live on the heart of the city to take advantage of it free public transit options (yes, that says free) but alas settled practically in the burbs after finding a huge condo on the city/county line.

Up until now, my daily commute has involved driving to the metro station, taking the train, and then walking the two blocks to school. It isn’t ideal (about 40 each way), but my only other option would be to drive in every day. While this technically is faster, it is also more expensive when you consider both the cost of gas and parking. Driving to the city for the weekend is one thing.. Doing it daily…well that’s a different story!

One thing I have noticed though is that I’ve been burning through gas and getting really crappy gas mileage. Yes, my ’02 is getting on in years. But more relevant is the fact that she really sucks at city driving. I’m still getting around 30 mpg when I go to parties (or take unexpected trips home) but lately…I’ve been averaging 22 to 24.

OUCH!

So this week after doing a bunch of research, I decided to try out taking the bus to the metro stop. My monthly transit pas covers everything so I figure I should get the most out of it. Today is my third day and what a three days it’s been.

The buses run late…and early. I don’t know which is more frustrating. They are frigidly cold…which is awesome when you are drenched in sweat from your half mile walk to the bus stop but less ideal at the end of the day. The timing too is far from ideal, with an average of only a minute or two between arrival of the bus at the metro and the departure of the train.

All in all it’s been an eye opening experience. I am ever more grateful for my car and having the means to pay for it. I am on awe of those who have only this hugely flaws transit to rely on. And, despite all of said issues, I’m glad that I started doing this.

You see taking the bus really only adds minutes to my commute. Having to walk a bit of a ways to the bus provide the much needed outdoor time I’ve been missing since my move here (I walked ~1 mile each way to UMass when I lived in Worcester). And it gives me more time to workp play during the commute.

Furthermore, all of my bus snafus <–aka missing the bus…multiple times in one morning have helped me to finally understand the adage, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.” On any day I could have just thrown in the towel <-<I'm full of cliches today apparently and said screw it.

Except this week I really couldn’t let myself down like that./del> My policy midterm was due yesterday. Today I mailed in an application for the internship of my dreams (*squee!*). I had coursework to catch up on from last week’s rendezvous with the beau. So now…I had I laugh it off and keep on trucking.

Admittedly, some days my response was less than ideal. There were tears and tantrums and general frustration. At times I was angry at the Maryland Transit Authority…at times I was mad at myself. But more importantly, I walked it off. I laughed. I smiled. I moved on.

And I got shit done.

Here’s to that. 🙂

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait. xo

P.S. I’m headed to Jersey for the weekend for Passion Power, Passion Parties’ summer conference! I can’t wait to be enveloped in the love of my Passion Sisters. You can expect a recap later next week. 🙂

More Bmore Food

I’ve officially been in Baltimore for six weeks now. During those six weeks I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve struggled a bit with adjusting. I’ve gotten homesick (and for reals sick), passed my midterms with flying colors, and formed relationships with people who will undoubtedly be some of my best friends and resources down the road.

I’ve also eaten a ton of delicious food. And this post, well it’s all about that.

Thank you Baltimore for your commitment to making us (veg) foodies oh-so happy.

Oh and if your happen to follow me on Twitter, then you might have seen some of these today. <–But really, that was just a shameless plug for you to follow me @PassionbyKait. 😉

Here we go…weeeeee!

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Falafel Wrap from The Gypsy Queen food truck

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Blackberry Rum and Mango sorbet + a biscotti

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Fruity gazpacho from the Souperfreak truck. How cute are the glasses they put it in?

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Cuban tofu sandwich from a DC food truck that I can’t remember the name of. 😦 But it was so delish and still is my absolute favorite food truck purchase. Also, see that orange-ish sauce? Oh so spicy and perfect!

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Brunch at One World Cafe. Blue corn cakes topped with fresh fruit, carrot/apple/beet juice, and real maple syrup…served in a giant bottle of Absolut. Haha The cakes were good but very dense. I really wanted to try their tofu scramble but, unfortunately, you can’t order it as a side. <–made me miss WooDaddy. *le sigh*

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Brunch at Donna’s Cafe at Cross Keys. This was my first time here and I cannot say enough positive things about the place! On Sundays they offer a brunch buffet ($18.95, all you can eat + one drink, Cross Keys location only). While I didn’t partake, the beau did and he loved everything from the made-to-order omelet to the roasted veggies and everything in between. My favorite part was the hummus…it was amazing! As for me, well the menu wasn’t overly veg-friendly but it definitely had a number of options. I fell in love with the salad you see above: mixed greens, cracked wear, raisins, roasted veggies, and a citrus vinaigrette.

Now the reason I speak so highly of Donna’s is because this salad originally came with chicken salad. When I asked our waiter if I could sub veggies at no cost, he not only told me it wouldn’t be a problem, he also checked with the chef to see what the best options for veggie would be! This meant so much to me as someone who sometimes encounters resistance as restaurants (no I will not pay more to sub a vegetable for meat thankyouverymuch).

Oh and did I mention the salad was perfectly dressed? I mean, this chef KNEW what he was doing! Thanks Donna’s!

I closed the meal by splitting a pot of tea (chamomile lavender…so good) with the beau and savoring a chocolate hazelnut biscotti that I’m pretty sure was made in-house. The perfect Sunday brunch? Yes, indeed. 🙂

Yoga/beauty/yuuuum,

Kait xo

Cheers for the freakin’ weekend

In honor of the weekend, here’s some scenes from last week. 🙂

P.S. The beau got in last night so don’t expect to hear from me for a few days. Xo

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Orioles vs the A’s, view 1

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New seats at the bottom of the 8th.

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Best fireworks ever.

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Vegan blue corn cakes + carrot/apple/ginger juice from One World Cafe.

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Proving vibrators aren’t just for sex (this was before I knew I had a sinus infection and only that the vibrations made the pressure feel better).