My Personal Survival Kit Essentials

Picture this. A person we will name Todd (keepin’ it real)  comes into your house and tells you to grab 4 or 5 things and follow him. You have NO clue where you are going to go, what you are going to do, and how long you will be gone. We’ll call these your personal survival kit essentials.

What would you grab?

Now, don’t think too hard. Just 4 or 5 simple things you would quickly grab. No judgment. And obviously you would already have your clothes that you have on and shoes (so no need to grab an extra pair of shoes unless that is your thing. No shame if it is, dear friend!)

I surprisingly did not go with anything sentimental. I would want to keep my sentimental stuff at home. But, I did think about how I would feel and what would make my experience (regardless of where the heck I am going) better.  Here is my list…

essentials

  1. Ipod loaded with tunes. This doesn’t need much explanation, does it?! We all know how music makes the world a better place. It just does. Music touches the soul and would enhance any experience. Plus, if Todd was an annoying, nonstop talking know it all, I could easily drown him out with the tunes.
  2. Larabars. Nutrition is important. Always is. When I have no idea how long it will be before I am to eat my next meal, these grab & go bars come in handy. The Larabar Uber Dark Chocolate Peanut is my favorite, but honestly any Larabar would do. They are delish! Plus, I am a picky eater and if Todd was taking me to a place where the all you can eat buffet included snails and crickets, I would sustain myself on Larabars only. Happily!
  3. A journal. Writing is another must for me. I don’t necessarily have to write daily, but I love putting pen to paper. I have a pretty good memory, but would want to capture any experience. And since I did not choose to grab my phone (I know, what am I thinking?!) I would need at least some place to jot down a few thoughts, experiences, notes, etc. I didn’t choose camera because sometimes taking pictures spoils the moment (cue scene from Secret Life of Walter Mitty), but I would still want to capture moments in some way.
  4. Green tea. Who doesn’t like a daily hot beverage?! Hot water would be easy to get anywhere (I would think and/or hope) so my survival kit would include a tin of green tea bags. I could have my tea anywhere and instantly smile! Well, as long as I have a mug… hoping Todd could at the very least provide me that. Come on, Todd!
  5. Toothbrush/toothpaste. I hate hate hate having dirty teeth. Just do. If I did not have access to a toothbrush and toothpaste, I would at the very least need access to an hourly source of Trident. But, I prefer this route. And dear dentist, if you are reading this, you have obviously taught me well. I love clean teeth, what can I say?!

What would be on your list?

This post idea was brought to me by Man Crates so I want to give them a little shout out (and no I was not paid for this or given anything in return… this was ALL for FUN!). Man Crates is a new company that ships awesome gifts for men in custom wooden crates. Check them out!

WTEW: Teacher Series- Caley

Pure Barre teachers

Alright, dear friends, we are approaching week 9 of the Pure Barre Dallas Teacher Series for What to Eat Wednesday. If you missed Jan-Allison last week, have no fret… you can click here to learn all about her. This week, we take a look at Caley. She is a student at SMU and comes to us from the beautiful state of Colorado. 

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  1. What is your favorite fruit?  Avocados and Strawberries.
  2. What is your favorite vegetable? Ice cream…. I wish. But, I love adding peppers to my meals.
  3. What is your favorite pre or post workout snack or beverage? I always try to eat something within 45 minutes of working out. I like to make a mixed berry and banana smoothie with protein powder.
  4. What is your top eating healthy tip or trick? I snack all day long and try to drink water every 30 minutes to keep my metabolism running fast. I also try not to eat dinner past 8pm. I feel so much better waking up in the morning if I don’t go to bed on a really full stomach.
  5. Tell me a random/fun fact about you. I will be graduating in May 2015 from SMU, double majoring in Advertising and Fashion Media. I hope to one day work as the ad director for a major fashion magazine or as an entertainment television host and have the opportunity to travel the world as part of my job.
  6. If you had a motto or a quote you like to live by, what would it be?  My absolute favorite quote is by CoCo Chanel. “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.” I think it’s so important to know who you are and love who you are, because once you know yourself you can capitalize on your unique qualities and truly be irreplaceable. 🙂 Oh, and on a more lighthearted note she also says, “a girl must be two things: classy and fabulous”- who could argue with that?
  7. How long have you been teaching Pure Barre? I‘ve been teaching Pure Barre for about a year now. My favorite thing about teaching is seeing clients leave the studio in a better mood than when they walked in the front door. It makes me feel great to know that Pure Barre is a positive, uplifting environment that makes women feel great about themselves. I also LOVE our Pure Barre community. We couldn’t ask for a better team at Pure Barre Dallas and I’m so thankful for the amazing girls I work with.
  8. Favorite Pure Barre move?  The motivating music is one of my very favorite things about Pure Barre, but my favorite exercise is knee dancing. It takes thighs 2 & 3 to the next level and really pushes me to stay strong and work really hard through the extra shaking.
I love what Caley said about knowing yourself, loving yourself, and capitalizing on YOUR unique qualities.  I so agree! We still have a few more teachers to showcase so stay tuned next week as the Pure Barre Dallas Teacher Series continues.

Don’t Try So Hard

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I found a link up for today and HAD to join in. It’s the “Don’t Try So Hard” link up. I love the concept and the motivation behind this link up so here we go.

I was to take a picture of myself without trying so hard. I chose to take a selfie because normally I hate selfies. I never seem to grab the camera right and pictures are never centered, BUT that’s the point of not trying so hard, right?!?! So, I took a selfie. And another reason I took this is because it is post-yoga. I was feeling GOOOOOOOD! I love the way that I feel after doing yoga- so centered, positive, and ready to take on the world.

Part of loving yourself is loving every ounce of yourself, flaws and all. When I smile, I have one eye that gets smaller than the other. Can you see it? I always notice it in pictures and used to hate it. But, over the years I have learned to embrace it. It’s beautiful and uniquely me. And that’s kick-ass!

What is one thing you find beautiful about yourself?

One of the goals of this link up is to soak the blogosphere with positive thought and self confidence. YESSSS!!! We need more of these link ups. It’s important for us all to remember how beautiful we are, inside and out, with make-up or without, and with flaws and all. Love yourself fully!

the florkens
One additional announcement I have today is…. drum roll please… I created my first video. I have been wanting to do videos on the blog for so long so am happy to have finally put it into action. Expect more in the future! And, this link up came at exactly the right time. It reminded me to release any judgment and just let things flow. No, it won’t be perfect and I may stumble over a few words, but that’s okay. I wanted it to be authentic and genuine. So, it’s nothing special, but it’s a short intro about myself and why I created the blog. Enjoy!

Sunday Social: Items

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It’s Sunday Social time. The theme for today is “items”. I am sitting here with my warm lemon water and peanut butter toast, enjoying my Sunday morning. I hope you are having a splendid Sunday as well. 😉

This week’s questions are below..

  1. 3 favorite songs right now: I have a lot of all time favorites, but will stick to current songs for this question. 1) Dierks Bentley’s Drunk on a Plane. Not sure why I like it, but it makes me smile when I hear it and all I think about it is how fun it’d be to be on that plane (Mardi Gras up in the clouds, anyone?!). 2) Classic by MKTO. I love the way this song makes me want to dance. It reminds me of Jackson 5 a tad. 3) Really Don’t Care by Demi Lovato. I like her. Plus, Cher Lloyd is on the track and I like her too. 
  2. 3 favorite movies that remind you of summer: 1) Billy Madison. I haven’t seen it in awhile, but I used to watch it ALL the time, especially in the summer. 2) Hitch. It’s so cute and they do some summer-like activities on their dates. Why isn’t Will Smith in any movies lately?! Love him. 3) Grease. I spent many summers singing songs from this with my friend, Hailee. I wasn’t good. She was. But we both had a blast!Billy_madison_poster
  3. 3 favorite articles of clothing you own: I am going with 3 favorite articles of clothing I own for summer.. 1) The new top I bought from Lorna Jane (pic below). It is super comfortable! Side note, I am loving this brand and all that they stand for. 2) Shorts for summer. Gap and LC are my two fave brands for shorts. 3) Comfortable long skirts. I got two from Target. Mossimo rocks!why not
  4. 3 items on your wish list: 1) Yoga certification through Uptown Yoga in Dallas. But really, I am saving up for this to purchase myself. I call it my “yoga fund.” Hoping for mid year 2015. 2) Spanish course. I want to learn Spanish fully and be able to speak it fluently. Consider it a long term goal. 3) A trip to anywhere. That will ALWAYS be on my wish list. I love to travel!
  5. 3 books you would recommend to someone: 1) Anything by Brene Brown. I think she is fantastic. Daring Greatly was the last one I read. 2) The Happiness Project. Currently reading it. It was recommended to me by Neely. I like how this can apply to everyone. 3) If you like suspense, anything by James Patterson. My dad has been lending me some of his books and they are page turners. I have enjoyed the two I have read so far.books

Getting Naked & Personal

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Did you really think I meant naked? Like, nude naked? Come on, I keep things PG on the blog.. or maybe PG-13 at times due to language. Oops, sorry mom!

So what is the deal with the selfie and the #RFGoNaked? It is a way for Rodan + Fields to give back to charity. No, I am not a consultant. But yes, I am a customer. I was introduced to the Unblemish line by my friend, Mindee Haas, and was instantly hooked. I seriously LOVE my skin now and have her to thank. I was getting the stressed-out blemishes ALL the time so after my breakdown moment, HAD to do something about it. And lo and behold, she was at a Pure Barre event talking about R+F that very weekend. Magical! Serendipitous, perhaps?!

So back to the selfie and the important part- charity! For every no makeup selfie posted on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the #RFGoNaked, $1 will be donated to help build a school through BuildOn. VERY COOL! I love it when social media is used for a good cause.

Consider joining in! All you have to do is take the selfie and use the hashtag above. Today is the official RFGoNaked Day.

I have another thing to share. I got personal. I know, I know.. what a day. I get naked and then get personal. I am going to need a therapy session after this….

No, but really… I got personal and shared my intuitive eating journey with a fellow RD. She has a GREAT blog, Mindful Meals, and the transformation story rolled out today. You can view my story here. I went deep. I went there. I feel vulnerable, but if my story can help another then I know my purpose for sharing the story was met.

If you or anyone you know has EVER struggled with food, self esteem, body bashing, dieting mentality, etc.  please know that you are not alone and you CAN overcome it. Intuitive eating has seriously changed my life for the better and is why I NEVER recommend strict dieting. Dieting creates a disconnect with mind and body, which does not do a body good.

Please know if you ever have any questions, concerns, or need advice, you can always reach out. 

Empower Day 10

Empower Day 10

10 is such a powerful number. It kicks off the two digits.

And to be honest, once I wrote the word powerful to describe the number 10, I got curious and decided to look up the number 10. According to this numerology expert I found on google (not saying he is right or wrong, because hell if I know), the number 10 is associated with peace, harmony, leadership, optimism, confidence, independence, creativity, originality, and adaptability, among a few others.

How cool. Whether it’s true or not, on this very 10th day of Empower I do feel a lot of those energies. I feel more confident in myself. I feel at peace with where I am at, where I’ve been, and where I will go. I feel optimistic and creative. In fact, I was doing yoga this morning before work and had a huge “smile” moment where I genuinely felt happy. I took in the realization that true joy comes from each step, each day, and appreciating that moment you are in.

What I love about yoga is that it brings forth mindfulness. Yoga does not force you to become something you are not, nor does it really change you. It just allows you to reconnect and check in with yourself. It can bring forth emotions, absolutely. It can allow you to see something you want to change. It can also allow you to see the little things that make you who you are and what makes you happy. That’s where the confidence boost comes in.

Life is not all candy and roses. We know that. It’s important to have tools in your tool belt that work for those hard days. Tools that can reconnect you with who you are, where you are, and the knowledge that you will be okay. Yoga is a tool for me. It’s one of many tools for me. And Empower is helping me see that.

With that, I hope you all have tools that work for you when the going gets rough. Namaste, friends!

WTEW: Teacher Series Jan-Allison

Pure Barre teachers

It’s Wednesday so you know what that means… What to Eat Wednesday Teacher Series! It is now officially week 8. Did you get a chance to learn more about Cori last week? If not, check her out here. This week, it’s all about Jan-Allison. This Louisianian has been teaching for Pure Barre Dallas for almost four years now and has a passion for fitness. I am sure we could all learn a thing or two from her so let’s get to the Q&A…

JA

 

  1. What is your favorite fruit?  Bananas and apples.
  2. What is your favorite vegetable? Kale.
  3. What is your favorite pre or post workout snack or beverage? A banana with peanut butter (I love peanut butter) before workout and/or a toxin flush drink from Nekter Juice Bar in Snider Plaza after workout. I love all of their juices. 
  4. What is your top eating healthy tip or trick? Don’t skip breakfast. Even though I’m not that hungry in the morning, I’ve realized how important it is to eat breakfast. Even if it’s something small, it gives me more energy throughout the day and gets my metabolism going. And drink LOTS of water!! 
  5. Tell me a random/fun fact about you. I’m from Louisiana and went to LSU….so I love all things Cajun and I could possibly be the LSU Tigers #1 fan. Haha Geaux Tigers! Also, I recently got engaged!! We are planning to get married sometime next year near the beach/water. The beach is my favorite place to be. 🙂
  6. If you had a motto or a quote you like to live by, what would it be?  Live life with purpose. If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose. And on a lighter note: Laissez les bon temps rouler! (Cajun French for “let the good times roll!”)
  7. How long have you been teaching Pure Barre? I‘ve been teaching Pure Barre for 4 years and I have loved every minute of it!! I am a firm believer in the technique and love getting to know the clients and helping them achieve their fitness goals. Hearing success stories and seeing clients hard work and dedication make our job so fulfilling. 
  8. Favorite Pure Barre move?  I know I’m crazy, but I love lunge! It’s a full body workout and so challenging. Lift tone and burn!! 
Love, love, love that motto!  And congrats to Jan-Allison and her fiance. We are so excited for her! Well, I sure hope you enjoyed this post and stay tuned next week for the next Q&A.

Altering my Starbucks Habit

Break theHabitChallenge

I am two weeks into breaking my almost daily Starbucks habit. I wrote all about it on July 7th and kicked off a little challenge with it. You can read more about that here if you missed it. Seems fitting to provide a little update so here we go.

How am I doing? Kicking ass and taking names. Yes, you read that right.

My goal is to only visit Starbucks once or less per week. And when I decide to go, visit an actual Starbucks location and not the miniature ones you find in Tom Thumbs, Targets, and other stores. They were almost always a disappointment to me.

My first week, I treated myself to a Starbucks on Saturday with my favorite Zen tea. I bought it before heading to the grocery store for our household weekly purchases. I did feel totally zen. The whole time. And I savored the heck out of that tea…

My second week (or this past week), I did not visit Starbucks at all. I did, however, purchase a small Chai Latte at Central Market on Sunday while picking up a few items. I love that store. City of Rowlett or Rockwall, do me a favor and build one a little closer. Please!

I knew I would save some money by breaking this habit. I also knew I would get rid of the constant urge to get a Starbucks any time I walked into a Target or was out and about on the town. Those two were given. And it feels great to be saving money and to be rid of those borderline-addict type of urges. You really can develop a bad habit over good things. It’s crazy, but it happens. When you feel urges or negative emotions about a certain habit, whether it’s a good or bad habit, it is time to make a change. Even if a small change.

A few other positives have happened as well. Now that I am brewing tea at home more, I find that I savor it more, only drink it when I want it (instead of feeling like I need it for caffeine), and am okay with lesser amounts. I was the chronic Venti-is-my-size orderer. Any smaller size and I would feel like, “What’s the point? Load me up, Captain!”

I am pleased. I hope that if you ever find yourself needing a little change, that you do it. With an open-mind. You never know what positives may come of it. And don’t be ashamed of your habits. Own them. And change or alter the ones that need a little cracking.

In the words of Michelle, “You got it, dude!”

Sunday Social: the mix

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Happy Sunday from H-town! Today’s Sunday Social is a mixture of different types of questions. So, let’s call it “the mix”. I like to have names for my Sunday Social posts… call it a quirk if you want. 😉

Alright, you know the drill. Let’s get to the questions brought to us by Neely and Ashley, shall we?!

This week’s questions:

  1. What is the most difficult thing you have been through? I have two that have been equally difficult for two very different reasons. I lost my uncle at the age of 11. He was a bright light in my world (and in the world of my two brothers). We were young and it was tough. I still think about him to this day and often wonder what he would think about a certain situation, what he would say, etc. I don’t think we are ever prepared enough for the death of a loved one, but this was my very first real experience with it. Second, was March of 2003 when the 507th maintenance company of the US Army was ambushed. My brother was involved. I was a freshman in college and I remember crying, praying, and writing in my journal pretty regularly. It was tough. I am very close to my older brother and cannot imagine life without him. He made it out alive. He escaped and was not a prisoner of war, but he lost fellow soldiers and friends. He gave the eulogy to a buddy of his. This experience has had a huge impact on his life, needless to say. He has been struggling here and there ever since (like many war veterans), but he is resilient, strong, and a really damn good person. I thank God every day for him!Nick&Bri2
  2. What was your best birthday? I used to say my 21st and it is still one of my favorites, but now I am going to say my 30th. I had a “beach” day in Dallas, where there is no beach around for miles. We went to Sandbar in Dallas.. check it out if you are in the area. You will fall in love. Especially if you are up for a little sand volleyball.IMG_3072
  3. What has been your favorite thing you’ve done in your own city? I would say to see #2 above, but it is technically not in the city I currently live in. I live in the ‘burbs. So in Rowlett, my favorite thing to do is mountain bike on the trails here. Haven’t been in a long while, but this question reminds me that I need to get on it.
  4. What is your idea of the perfect date night? I love any type of date night. But, if I had to pick a “perfect” date night, I would say to get dressed up (not super fancy, but at least a cute & casual dress), grab a take-away dinner from Central Market or Jason’s Deli, and listen to an outdoor jazz (or other music genre) concert where we can eat our food and listen to the tunes. Maybe even dance a little after we are done eating.  Then, afterwards, hit up a comedy show to laugh our asses off.
  5. Have you ever been to a blogging conference? If so, which one(s)? If not, do you want to? I have never been to one, but REALLY want to. If anyone knows of any good ones (and reasonably priced), please let me know. Wish DFW area would have one!

Empower Day 3

Empower day 3

 It was day 3 of Empower today. I did my yoga sesh first thing in the morning. In order to get the “full experience,” I set an intention before each practice. Not only because Adriene tells me to, but also because I like it. I am digging it. It gives purpose to little things throughout the rest of my day.

So with that, today’s intention was “Listen.” I know, it’s simple. But sometimes the simplest things bring the biggest joy in life. And today was no different. I did the following…

  • Listened to the rain as I went through my 45 minutes of yoga. It was peaceful.
  • Listened to my cat as she purred while attempting to do a few yoga poses with me (including one of her favorites in the pic above- corpse pose). It was entertaining.
  • Listened to my breath as I moved through each pose. It was calming.
  • Listened to my body as it told me to back down a bit or go a little deeper into a pose. It was reflective.

The above was during my yoga, but I also kept listening throughout the rest of my day. I had a deep desire later in the day to go for a quick 30-minute run. Why would I ever want to run, you ask? Good question. I don’t always want to run, but I do love running when I get the urge to, especially post-rain. I love taking in the fragrance of fresh rainwater. I love the break from 100 degree weather in Texas. I love connecting spiritually with nature and God. And I do love the way I feel after a good dose of cardio. Blame it on the endorphins!

I had a day where nothing was officially planned (except for my job, of course) and I literally got to check in with myself and listen to what I really wanted or needed right then and there. I want more days like today. I get it that it is not always possible to be spontaneous, but heck, we sure need to enjoy it when we do get to be. There are joys in the busy and there are joys in the calm. We just have to appreciate those joys. And often it is about finding purpose in what you are doing in the moment.

Here’s to being more in the moment. Namaste, friends!