(Not Really) Money Saving Monday

i-love-saving-money-copyHiya coupon kings and queens!

I missed ya’ll last week..instead, I was travelling back from a relaxing weekend in CT with family and friends. It was a delicious weekend too as I found a vegan chocolate and ice cream shop and visited some of my fave veg-friendly restaurants in New Haven (specifically York St Noodle House and Claire’s Cornercopia).

Upon returning to Baltimore, after sitting in far more traffic than is ok for the middle of a Monday, neither the beau nor I were in the mood to shop, cook, or move our cars from their primo parking spots during rush hour. The joys of city life! <–but I wouldn’t change it or go back to the ‘burbs for the world Anyway, I unfortunately discovered that we could easily (read: in 10 minutes or less) walk to one of my fave Baltimore vegan joints. So we grabbed delish-but-wallet-friendly takeout: the best vegan mac and cheese + garlic kale salad for me and curried veggies, smoked collards, and candied sweet potatoes for him. I also may have returned the next day to grab a green smoothie. *whistles*

Yes, we eventually went grocery shopping…on Wednesday. Needless to say there wasn’t much to report, although I did score some cheap-o razors at Target in CT. #win

Meal Plan

Zuke Pasta with Tahini Sauce + Other Goodness
Southwest Cornbread Salad

Homemade personal veggie pizzas
Curry Roasted Carrots with Peanut Sunbutter Sauce and Baked Coconut Lentils
Lemony Millet Salad with Chickpeas, Corn, and Spinach
Kale with Pecorino Nooch and Walnuts + leftovers

Also, look how pretty our produce bowl is this week:

Spending Savings

Farmers Market: $26
Whole Foods: $30.97
Rite Aid: $13
Trader’s: $10Total: $79.97

Ok so if we’re being honest, Rite Aid and Trader’s are guesses for later in the week but based on my estimates, it’ll work out perfectly. 🙂

Steals and Deals

Rite Aid

Buy (1) Organix Shampoo, $5.99, get one free
Use (1) $2.00/1 Organix product coupon (SS 08/11/13)
Total: $3.99/2 or $2.00 each

Buy (2) Kashi Cereals, $6.00
Use (1) $1.00/2 Kashi cereals coupon (RP 08/04/13 #2)
and get $1 UP Reward
Total: $4.00/2 or $2.00 each

Buy (2) Scotch-Brite mulipacks, $3.94
Use (1) $1.00/2 Scotch-Brite multipacks coupon (SS 08/04/13 Regional)
Total: $2.94/2 or $1.47 each

That’s it for this week. Short and sweet!

Yoga/beauty/savings,

Kait xo

 

 

Balancing Light and Dark

You may have noticed this blog has been somewhat lately with the exception of couponing posts.  Much of whats going on in my life I don’t feel totally comfortable sharing publicly, for a variety of reasons.  So while my journal has been filling up rapidly, I haven’t published much at all. Many times I want to, but I also am starting to see the benefit and necessity of keeping parts of my private life a bit more, well, private.

Anyway, the focus of today’s post is a different kind of struggle.  Those of you who’ve been around for a while know that I love teaching about sex.  Although I don’t talk about it extensively on here, it pops up from time to time because it is as integral a part of my character as couponing and cooking and dancing.  Lately though I’ve noticed resistance. You see when I started doing Passion Parties nearly 4 (!) years ago, it was just a way to earn money.  Then I discovered the sex-positive movement and fell in love, learning everything I could about sex and relationships and orgasms, especially as they relate to women.  My first job furthered my obsession by highlighting the huge unmet need that exists in healthcare when it comes to sexual health and, especially, pleasure.  So I came to Hopkins and…all of a sudden nearly everything I’m learning about sex is negative.  Pregnancy is something you are ‘at risk’ for, just like STIs.  Rape and trafficking are running rampant in my backyard, the military, colleges across the nation, and among close friends.  There’s “no money” in sex ed, either at the community level or within healthcare because it doesn’t provide a profit.  Training is often met with resistance and so on. 

This is the background against which my transformation from the sexpert/sex toy lady into sex educator, speaker, and consultant took place.  Suddenly I find myself wanting to qualify statements about pleasure to recognize that some of my clients undoubtedly have experienced the dark sides of sex.  I feel pangs of guilt here and there that I’ve been so focused on the fun and the pleasure and the passion that I did not acknowledge these other aspects.

In other words, I’m struggling to find the balance between ‘sex is fun and great and healing’ and ‘sex causes so much pain and suffering and destruction.’

Along with all of these mixed emotions is another: incredible gratitude.  Because as more and more of my friends disclose their negative experiences to me, my heart at once breaks and fills up – for their suffering, for my safety (luck?), and for their willingness to share.  Its a beautiful moment when you go that deep with someone.  Trusting another to hold your heart and soul with compassion and without judgment is a huge risk.  You make yourself vulnerable in ways that are equal parts terrifying and gratifying.  But sharing that takes relationships to a whole new level, it lets you see and understand and care in all new ways.

This greater awareness, on a personal and academic level has  changed the way I think, write, and talk about sex.  In some ways its a blessing.  In others it has made my work extremely difficult, paralyzing me at times as I struggle to answer the question: on which side do I want to work? 

Of course this question speaks to something larger: what do I even want to do?  I know my strengths–public speaking/teaching/performing, writing, creating content and curricula.  I know the macro-level movement I want to be a part of–decreasing sex negativity and shame.  I know how I want to feel in my work – present, engaged, and influential.  I’m less confident, however, about how I want to apply those strengths and, of course, the practical side of me worries about the sustainability of such strengths.  Which makes me sad given the number of mentors in my life who coach and teach and present and write… 

I’ve started to wonder if maybe my purpose is to balance the light and dark aspects of sex. I’m still exploring exactly what this means for me.  Rather than be paralyzed while trying to ‘figure it out,’ though, I’ve begun to incorporate both sides into my current work, adding qualifying words to my newsletter (e.g. ‘consensual sex’ instead of just ‘sex’), sharing posts related both sexual pleasure and rape culture, healthy relationships and body shaming on my social media pages, and working with survivors and policy-makers. In the meantime, I know there will be more moments like the one that inspired this post, moments when I stare at a blank screen, angry with the world and wondering how I can talk about orgasms when approximately 30 individuals were assaulted in the hour it took me to write and edit this.

To me, being sex positive isn’t about ignoring all the bad shit that comes along with sex.  Instead, its about really acknowledging all of the negative while also recognizing that sex itself is not bad. In fact, sex can still be beautiful despite the way so many use it as a weapon, a tool for violence, manipulation, and control. We so often assign external ‘goodness’ or ‘badness’ to things that we forget most of them are totally neutral and value can vary greatly with context. The brand of sex positivity I want to promote encompasses all of this and more – a true balancing act.  Here’s to hoping I find my way there sooner rather than later.

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

 

 

 

 

Sharing the Couponing Love…with you!

One of my favorite things about couponing is the chance to get free stuff.  And I don’t mean just at the store…oh no, there’s a ton of companies ready and willing to give out free samples to those who take the time to look.

Luckily for me (and you), Hip2Save does the searching for us.

Though my dedication to couponing waxes and wanes depending on my mood, my coursework, etc, I diligently read Colin’s daily newsletter to see what free samples are up for grabs.  After all, it usually takes about five minutes to read the e-mail and an additional minute to fill in any sample request forms.  Six to eight weeks later, the goodies, which at this point you barely remember requesting, show up in your mailbox.  Its kind of like Christmas/Chanukah come early, dontcha think?  😉

Most of the time the companies giving out the swag allow you to opt-out of their newsletter.  Even if that isn’t the case, there’s always the handy “unsubscribe” button.  And really, at the end of the day, free stuff is worth a minute of your time and the “hassle” *coughcough* of unsubscribing from a newsletter.

Especially when the surprise goodies look like this…

DSCN4931

Cute box…but what’s inside???

DSCN4932

Everything…

DSCN4933

The goodies I kept!

In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t get the Love with Food box completely free since I had to pay the whopping $2 for shipping but I’d still cal it a win.  😉  Although I couldn’t eat everything in the box, I signed up for the December box because a) it was on sale for only $5 (including shipping) and b) for the months of November and December the company was donating two meals to Sandy victims for every box purchased.  I figured $7 for two months (versus $24) was pretty good.  And those mini crunch things were soooo good!  In fact, they were my favorite goodie in this box.  The juice spruced up some smoothies and the Inca Corn satisfied my PMS. The cookie, on the other hand, was stale-tasting and a huge disappointment.  You win some you lose some, right?

I’ve gotten a ton of other random samples in the meantime…and I must say, there really isn’t anything quite like opening your mailbox to free stuff you forgot you ordered.  It always brings a smile to my day, regardless of how stressful or long or difficult it has been.  And today I’m sharing some of that (holiday) joy with you all!

You see, in the various samples that I’ve gotten there’s undoubtedly been stuff that doesn’t interest me, either because it isn’t vegan, it has caffeine, or I just don’t care for it.  Instead of tossing it or letting the beau take it all (true story: he couldn’t resist the Asian-flavored Turkey Jerky that came in the Love Box <–I know this breaks many hearts, right?! tehe), I figured I would do a mishmash giveaway.

I don’t want to ruin the surprise by telling you exactly what’s coming but I will say there is chocolate, tea, and baking stuff.  <–ok I guess that kind of ruined it but you don’t know the specifics. *evil laugh*

To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me about your ultimate free sample.  Aka if you could receive anything from a company, what would it be?  The contest ends on Thursday, Dec 13 at 11:59 EST.  A winner will be chosen at random.  *Not all products are vegan.

Now since its the Holiday season and I’m the only person in my apartment complex with a Christmas tree up <–#wishIwerejoking I figured I share my little slice of Christmas spirit with you all.  It isn’t much, but it makes me ridiculously happy.

Christmas 2012 (2)

And finally…a sneak peak at my first speaking event!  This past Saturday I partnered with Johns Hopkins’ Center for Health Education and Wellness (CHEW) to present at the first ever Panhellenic Council aka sorority council) Wellness Day.  I had a blast and am excited to be working with CHEW on a number of future events.  I am so grateful for the opportunity and the day really reaffirmed my love for public speaking & performing <–because isn’t every public speaking event a bit of a performance?  I think so! as well as for working with women to create change.  It was a great day and I can’t wait until February’s events.

Leading a yoga-inspired gratitude exercise.

Leading a yoga-inspired gratitude exercise.

Now that I’ve totally distracted you…don’t forget to enter the giveaway by telling me about your ultimate free sample!  😉

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Love with Food or Hip2Save.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

My favorite thing about Public Health…

https://i1.wp.com/www.jhsph.edu/sebin/m/b/cover.gifSource

… is the fact that so many of these ideas which I held to be “on the fringe” … the dangers of chemicals in our food and consumer products, the idea that our egos chooses beliefs in an attempt protect us, the concept of writing down our desired outcome and having our actions adjust accordingly, and subconsciously … have long been accepted in this field.  These truly are my people.  And though I might take some of the ideas off to a more extreme place (specifically some of the persuasive communication theories I’m learning about), there’s something powerful to be said for a scientific-minded individual such as myself to finally be handed an abundance of evidence supporting that which she holds dear.  I can’t say I hate it.  😉

Wednesday Revelations: Back to My Mat

Before I get to the heart of this post, I wanted to share some awesome photos from last week.

First, I present the World Pneumonia Day Crusaders. Yes this is real life.

Apparently it’s tradition to slip into blue spandex body suits and dance for the BioStats class…flash mob style. If you want a good laugh pick me up, check out the video here (I’m far back left). You’re welcome. 🙂

After Thursday’s amazing performance, I had the fall formal to look forward to Friday night. AKA prom, grad school-style (read: with an open bar and plenty of taxis). Here’s some photos of me my friends and I looking pertiful:

Me and one of my college besties who drove up from DC. 🙂

Now on with today’s post. I had this awesome weekend…dancing on Thursday, formal + clubbing + a sleepover on Friday, and a potluck and karaoke on Saturday. Yet Sunday, I couldn’t shake this deep sense of loneliness. The type of loneliness that literally paralyzes you, that causes you to feel completely alone in a room full of people, that causes every piece-of-shit lie you’ve ever heard and every deception you’ve convinced yourself is true… to just replay.

You see…some truths came to the surface this weekend. Nothing life shifting and nothing to be shared here but, things I’d been denying. Things I had shoved down so deep that I refused to accept their mere existence anymore. Yet they were as much a part of me as anything else. And once unleashed, they were both swift and fierce in their retribution for shoving them aside for so long. So I ruminated…and ruminated…and ruminated some more. I was smart enough to reach out to some friends and things got better once I got my ass off the couch and into their loving arms.

Yet I knew that once Monday came, the truths would still be there and it would be time to own up to them. And though I wanted to run, I didn’t. It wasn’t easy, and some of the truths that came up undoubtedly hurt, but I initiated the needed conversations (4 issues, 4 talks…that takes a lot out of a girl). And after some hugs…came more loneliness and pain. That was when I knew I needed to go back my mat, a place I haven’t been in far too long. I longed for my home studio yet I also realized that they may very well have been problematic in itself.

I haven’t let go of home…of what was…of what might have been. One common theme since I’ve moved to Baltimore is feeling out of place, in every way imaginable. I’m undergoing huge growth and well, they don’t call’ em growing pains for nothing.

I realized that I needed to return to my mat so I could let go. I needed to just dump it all–the pain, the heartbreak, the hurtful truths, the homesickness, the longing for what’s been–into the grounding, earth-red vessel that has seen me through the best and the worst of times. I needed to let my body go limp…with trust, with hope, with belief.

I headed to the one studio where I feel truly ok here. Where I know I can just be myself, modifications, loud sighs, and all. The sub, well she was perfect. Every assist she gave seemed to open me up in just the right spots. Twist deeper. Her cues, they pushed me to simultaneously push harder and listen to my body. Fold further. The readings and music she chose spoke perfectly spoke my current struggle and my next steps. Trust more.

And my mat, it was just what I needed. When I left class, my heart a little less heavy. My demon truths seemed a little more manageable. And through it all I found myself rooting for love. Because in this sometimes (often?) crazy world, there is nothing quite like finding the people who really get you. We spend so much time focusing on the hatred and the vitriol and the falsehoods that we too easily lock ourselves off from love. We say that the risk, the potential price we might pay, isn’t worth it. We run from pain and fear, forgetting that they live on the same muscle as love and joy. We must feel the pain if we also wish to embody the love.

So despite my somewhat still aching heart, I found myself wanting to reach out to those in my life. To remind them that, yes the risk may be big and yes things might be messy along the way or in the end. I’ve been there. I get it. But I don’t regret the things I do and have done for love.

Like practice yoga.
Or cook delicious food to share.
Or lose friendships.
Or stick with a long distance relationship.
Or risk everything.

“Love is a choice” one of my friends told me in one of the aforementioned conversations . Yes its an emotion but choosing to stick with it through good and bad, well that’s another issue entirely. I needed to go back to my mat, to go back to a place of self-love to remember that lesson.

So today I encourage you to choose love, whatever that means to you. Let your heart open just a small crack and let in that feeling of connection, of joy, and, yes, maybe of a bit of pain. Do it again tomorrow. And the day after that. I can’t promise you won’t get hurt…but I can promise that the alternative means not living life to its fullest.

Who’s with me? Will you choose love today?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Saying Goodbye to Tom: Thoughts on “Natural” Brands

https://i1.wp.com/www.tomsofmaine.com/TomsOfMaine/en-us/views/images/img_logo.png

This week I decided to delve into the world of couponing again.  I spent a good amount of time on the We Use Coupons (WUC) forums where, clearly, I made a beeline for the Organic & Natural threads.  Part of me still wishes I hadn’t.

Let me back up and say that over the past few years I’ve done the best I can to shop locally + seasonally.  I’m a big believer in supporting small, local business, partially because I am one, but also because I believe they tend to be better run and more conscious (or at least the small, local companies I buy from).  I know that some of “my brands” are owned by mega -corporations and conglomerates but I choose to buy their products because they are the best priced lesser of two evils.  Muir Glen is a great example of this.  Despite being owned by General Mills, I continue to “buy” their products for two reasons: 1) they have BPA-free cans and 2) I can usually get their products for free or, at least, less than $0.50.  Ideally I would buy only BioNaturae and Eden’s Organics but as a grad student, and even last year as an entry-level worker, that wasn’t part of the budget, especially not when I use canned diced tomatoes as much as I do.  One last side note, the reason I’m so picky about BPA-free tomatoes and not beans is because the acidity of the tomatoes causes more of the chemical to leach than other foods.  And because I can usually get Goya beans for about $0.50/can.  <–dried beans are still FTW though!

Anyway, while perusing the WUC last night, I stumbled upon this article which talks about 13 mom-and-pop natural companies now owned by mega-corporations like GM, Clorox, and Colgate.  Many of them I was aware of, Tom’s and Burt’s Bees included, but some I was not.  <–aka Lightlife!  =(  The one that disturbed me the most, however, was Tom’s.  Yes, I knew they weren’t independently owned.  But I hadn’t realized that a somewhat recent redesign was responsible for a huge product change…and a whole lot of outcry.

https://i2.wp.com/www.tomsofmaine.com/TomsOfMaine/en-us/views/images/blog/change-2.jpg

Old school toothpaste…still in the aluminum tubes!

You see, each of the highlighted companies features and article dealing with the merger.  While I highly recommend the Burt’s Bees one, it was the Tom’s one that struck a chord.  Reading through the comments I realized that when I first bought Tom’s in 2009, I hated it.  It tasted so friggin disgusting but somehow my mouth felt so damn clean.  It was flavored only with real mint oils and took a couple of days to get used the lack of sweetness but once I did, I never looked back.  I haven’t used “regular” toothpaste since, with the exception of a handful of trips where I used my hostess’.  As a side note, when I do use “regular” toothpaste, I get a buildup of gobbly goop in my mouth overnight.  I know, real scientific.  😉  

Nowadays, though, the Tom’s is like a special treat, especially when compared to the Trader Joe’s which I used for almost a year straight (for price reasons).  When that stopped making me feel clean, I made a deal with myself that I could buy the Tom’s when I could get it for less than $3.00.  It isn’t special for this reason though, especially considering I can get that price almost always, but because it tastes so damn good compared to the comparatively lackluster TJ’s brand.  Reading through the comments made me realize that things have changed…and I can’t help but think that it isn’t for the better.

https://i0.wp.com/www.tomsofmaine.com/TomsOfMaine/en-us/views/images/blog/change-4.jpgSource

That being said, I was hesitant to write about this topic for two reasons.  Firstly, Tom’s still leaves a whole lot of  cr*p out of their products and is committed to sustainable practices, as the above image shows.  They are doing far more than most companies to give back and make a difference in this world.  Secondly, it is really only because of the Colgate buyout that I can purchase Tom’s just about anywhere from CVS to Trader Joe’s.  And herein lies my biggest struggle with natural products.  The very reason hippies are no longer sequestered in communes, living off the land and a handful of communal shops is because “natural” has become mainstream.  <–maybe a gross exaggeration but you get my point  I hate mega-corporations because many of their actions go against almost everything I believe in, especially science and health, which they seem to laugh at and ignore in the name of higher profits.  After all, who cares if the scientific world basically accepts as fact that ingredient x is toxic if getting rid of it means we’ll make less?  But a part of me is also thankful that they have allowed me to incorporate more natural and sustainable products into my everyday life and my student budget.  I think my shopping habits wholly reflect this conundrum and it is likely more my being torn over this issue than price that shapes my them.

Right now (at 3 am), I’m feeling very torn about whether I will buy Tom’s again.  I don’t like that they went and changed something that didn’t appear broken.  While admittedly I have no clue what went on behind the scenes, the fact that their blog post includes nothing about an environmental, healthy, or sustainability reason for the change, I am going to assume that it was less than consumer-minded.  Additionally, it does not appear that Tom’s responded to the numerous concerns expressed by formerly loyal customers who were disappointed, outraged, and just plain hurt.  There is this recent blog post that seems to talk around the issue…but, to me, it isn’t enough.  For now I think I’ll wait to see if I can snag an amazing deal with the coupons I currently have and, if they expire before that, I will share the love and go back to the Trader’s brand or another independently-owned, natural brand such as Kiss my Face or Jason* if, and when, I can snag them for a similar price.

Want more information on “who owns organic”?  Here’s a great master list. as well

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  In the comments tell me, how do you solve this conundrum?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

*Edited to add: Here I was thinking I was safe with Jason…apparently they, along with just about every other mainstream organic/natural company, are owned by Hain Celestial.  See the full list here.

My First Zumba Class

 

Just over three years ago, a friend told me about this dance fitness class she totally loved.  The teacher was amazing and I just had to try it.  So I gave it a go…and I was instantly hooked.  In fact I loved that class so much that when the instructor moved to a gym 45 minutes away, I continued to commute until she stopped teaching.  When I travelled, I searched for classes to attend, always judging it against the amazingness of my first instructor.  It took time, but eventually I found Tami’s class and, to this day, anytime I’m home it is expected that I stop in for at least one class…and usually many more.

I toyed with becoming an instructor back in 2009 but decided to start Passion by Kait instead, feeling it would be a better investment.  Clearly, I don’t regret this decision for the life of me!  When I received my Hopkins acceptance, though, and after many more negative Zumba experiences (shout out to Amy for being a light in a very dark time), I decided it was time.  After all, life as a grad student meant that any form of income was a good thing.  And getting paid to do a workout I normally would pay for?  That sounded like the sweetest income of all.

This past May I woke up early and headed to MA to become a licensed instructor.   The plan was to contact gyms and dance studios before moving to Baltimore so that I could begin getting paid to workout.  <–Are you seeing a pattern?  I love getting paid to do the things I love…like party, talk about sex, and dance my a$$ off.  Except the Universe had other plans and I couldn’t find work.  Gyms either weren’t hiring or I never heard back from group ex instructors.  After numerous attempts I would give up…then get frustrated and try again.  This paid off and I was given a job subbing for the grad school’s gym.

Last night I taught my first class.  My entire body aches.  I have blisters all over my feet.  And I spent two days full of nervous, frenetic energy.  Would they like my style?  What if they were disappointed?  What if I messed up?  I knew it was all in my head but try as I might I couldn’t shake the nerves.  Until I got to class…and expressed my nerves…and was accepted…and encouraged.

I messed up.  I tripped at one point.  I didn’t even have my regular sneakers!  And I loved every damn second of it.  No one cared that at one point I totally blanked on every bit of choreography…no one knew when I subbed in different moves than I had planned…and everyone left sweaty and smiling, the way they should.

I knew I would have fun but what I didn’t expect was to look back halfway through class and find myself grinning with pride.  I was doing an act of service, perhaps the highest act ever: offering health and vitality and de-stressing and fun.  I found myself encouraging people to keep going…to trust in their bodies’ strength…to take it down and listen to their bodies when they needed to.  And at one point when every footfall was perfectly in sync and all you could hear where foot taps, bass, and deep breathing…I was one with the Universe.

I am so proud of myself, mess-ups and all.  And when a first time student came up to tell me how much fun she had, how easy I was to follow, and how great the class was…well that was a feeling no words can quite describe.  It was a perfect moment and I plan on holding that close as finals loom this upcoming week.  For now, I’m going to just let the pride and joy continue to fill me up as my smile stays big and my heart, content.  And I’m going to keep on reaching out for subbing and job positions because I cannot wait to do it again!

What was the last scary-but-fun thing you did?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

An Open Letter to Dairy

Dear Dairy,

The time has come: we’re through.  I know what you’re thinking…”oh this won’t last very long, just like every other time.”  But you’re wrong.  You see, last weekend was the deal breaker for me.  I can’t do it anymore, living this double life where I love and hate you, because at the end of the day you just don’t love me back.

And so, I’ll say it again, we’re through.

You and your damn hormones hurt me in so many ways.  You bloat, constipate, and inflame me.  Both literally and figuratively.  You leave my body feeling drained of energy as it works to rid itself of you and yours, despite lacking the proper machinery.

Fact of the matter is, I just can’t excuse your mistreatment of me anymore.

You see, my body is a temple.  Its beautiful and strong.  But when I let you pass my lips, oh how it hurts.  My brain rejoices, as you zing along all those little feel-good pathways, but the rest of me?  It dies a little.  Within minutes I’m congested; for days after I can barely climb a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing because my airways are so full of your mucus they don’t work properly.  Come a week, I can see the effects on my skin (yes pimples, I’m breaking up with you too).

So everyone won’t understand.  I know you will bring up others’ opinions when you come wheedling back into my life (which assuredly you will given our culture).  But they don’t have to live it.  There’s no pill I can take for freedom to breathe and to be.  So I will politely decline.  I will ask for now cheese.  I will get the crappy salad (oh how that pains me so!).  I will do what I need to do to be rid of your grip.

Because, at the end of the day, you just aren’t worth it.

And because my temple, you see she deserves so much more than you can give her.  She deserves the respect of me eating to please her, and the lightness, the glow that comes along with it.  She deserves to be treated like the treasure she truly is.  At the end of the day, I’ve got her and she’s got me and that’s all there is.

So yes, this is it.  We are through.

So long dairy.  Goodbye cheese.  I hope we never meet again.

The victim of your unrequited love,

Kait

Home

“Somebody famous once said that you can’t go home again, but I think you can. And there is nothing sweeter than going home after you’ve built a life that you love far, far away from that home. Going back is a touchstone, a comforting reminder of all that you’ve accomplished. But the most important thing is to never, ever forget what got you there in the first place.”

~~Beyond the Blonde

I read Beyond the Blonde years ago, but this quote has stuck with me (not only in my heart but also on my Facebook profile) since then.  This weekend it proved truer than ever before.

Of all the emotions I expected to feel upon my move to Baltimore, homesickness wasn’t one of them.  I expected nerves + anxiety + excitement + loneliness + joy + overwhelm but homesickness…me?  Never.  Too bad I was completely wrong.

Ironically, of all those emotions I’ve been feeling, homesickness is the one I’ve been dealing with the most.  It’s odd because, for those who know me, you know I spent a greater part of my young adult life avoiding home.  For reasons I don’t feel the need to share here, home was too painful, too stressful, and simply too much work.  If I went “home” it usually meant I was going to CT (my home state) to visit the beau.  I honestly never understood my friends who happily made weekend trips to their parents’ house.  It just wasn’t my life.

The past few weeks though I’ve been missing home like whoa.  I miss being able to see the beau whenever I want, I miss the spiritual community of my yoga studio, I miss my friends at the Trader’s in Shrewsbury, I miss lunches on the UMass lawn, I miss Kaybird, I miss my patients and my docs…I miss all of those things that make a “home” just that.

So this weekend I decided to be spontaneous.  Ten hours, 500+ miles, and $100 later and I had my taste of home.  It was oh so worth it and oh so necessary.

I told myself it wasn’t practical.  After all, I couldn’t leave until Saturday (Friday evening I had a yoga workshop here) and would have to come back Sunday.  But the beau was dog sitting at his parent’s house…which is two hours closer to me than his actual apartment.  And when I mentioned the idea to one of my classmates she asked, “What do you really have to do this weekend?”  Hint: I couldn’t think of anything.

Yes the house needed to be cleaned, homework read, and Downton Abbey finished…but did I really have to do any of these things?  When another friend brought up the whole “you’ve only got one life to live” point and that this was the last weekend before exams and assignments starting coming due, I knew I was going.

An awesome find in a NJ rest area

Friday I packed and Saturday morning I was on the road by nine, ready to be with loved ones, even if only for a few hours.  I was giddy (almost) the entire trip and when this rascal greeted me at the door, any hesitations or doubts flew out the window.

How can you say no to that face? Seriously.

We did little more than hang-out, watch TV, take Mable to a local park (where I practiced yoga in the middle of the field..such a good experience!), eat, and cuddle.  And it was the perfect dose of home + love that I needed.

When all was said and done, those 10 hours in the car didn’t feel so bad either (though my hips beg to differ).  On one end was the beau + the puppy and on the other was this new place I’m still learning to call home.  I was fortunate to hit minimum traffic and with the exception of some crazy weather (look at those clouds!), the drive was quick and easy.  Cheap gas in NJ didn’t hurt either.

New York

Maryland

This weekend reminded me more than anything to listen to my intuition…and that you can always go home.  Nothing about what I did was “logical” but it was right…it was what I needed.

When was the last time you did something you needed, logical or not?

Yoga/beauty/life,

Kait xo

Let the Cleanse Begin…again!

Hi folks!

I hope you had a beautiful weekend.  Mine involved lots of Brothers & Sisters, adeliciousinternational potluck with my classmates, dancing until the early morning hours, late night girl talks, lots of grocery shopping + cooking, a 3am shower, a trip to the farmer’s market, dancing in my car, and fantastic conversations with new friends.

And…restarting the Crazy Sexy Cleanse.

A couple weeks ago one of my good college buddies bought and read the book.  Both of us have similar struggles with our weight + eating and I had been suggesting the book to her since I did my last cleanse.  She wanted to do the cleanse and I offered to do it with her, both for some moral support (it isn’t always the easiest + she isn’t plant-based to begin with) and because I know it won’t hurt me to do it again.

So last night I enjoyed all sorts of Indian, Asian, and American food + dessert + beer (and that dancing) and today I started my day with fresh vegetable juice (carrot/ginger/beet/apple/parsley/kale/celery/garlic) from the farmer’s market, followed by some baked fresh this morning whole wheat walnut bread and sun butter, and topped off tonight with a new-to-me raw kale salad.

I forgot how good it feels to eat this way.

I won’t likely be talking about the cleanse quite as much as last time but I will be following the principles to a T.   For those just joining me, that means: no meat/poultry/seafood/eggs, dairy, sugar or alcohol.  It also means daily meditation, workouts, and dry brushing, as well as using toxin-free health & beauty products and getting enough sleep.  Kris suggests giving up gluten but I’m not quite there yet (personally or budget-wise).  Quite frankly, I think that I probably will feel even better and I’m not ready for that change.  I have no doubt that I’ll get there (and have certainly learned to never say never).

I hope you join me over the next 21 days as I work my way towards a lighter, more cruelty-free life.  My goals with this cleanse are fat loss (not to be confused with weight loss) + more focus.  I’ve been doing much better with the focus thing, often choosing to do that what needs to get done than that which I want to do.  As many of you know, this is a huge step for me and I have no doubt that cleanse will help strengthen this new muscle I’m building…plus a whole lot more.

Yoga/beauty/veggies,

Kait xo