Throwback Thursday: AKA traumatic stories from high school, and why I need a new summer project.

Well, I’m looking for a new summer project. I know, life isn’t crazy busy enough… like I really have time to put something else on my plate… but I do find that I am the happiest and the healthiest when working towards an attainable goal, and I need to be doing something creative… Up to this point my summer project has been training for the Wine Country Half Marathon. And then two weeks ago I accidentally broke my toe while watering the garden. Bummer.  This of course put training on hold, which has put the 13.1 mile race on hold until next year. Wah Wah…. I’m pretty sad. This would have been my second half marathon, and I was actually getting pretty pumped to run the 13.1 miles. (I even talked my two best friends into training with me… so yeah, have fun guys… I will drop you off and pick you up…)

After I ran my first in 2010 I decided that I didn’t really need to do another one, but as time went on and things in my life once more drastically shifted (the last time I trained for a half marathon I was dealing with not getting into graduate school, and trying to figure out next steps etc.) I found myself running a bit more. In January I was broken hearted, unemployed, and had a remarkable amount of free time, and frustration so I began running again. A few miles here an there, turned into 3+ miles consistently multiple times a week, and as I dealt with trying to find a job, and the frustrations of unemployment hearings, I started adding on miles. One day, I just randomly went for a seven mile run, um what? Who am I? So I took the motivation, and signed up for the half marathon again.  Yay summer project, yay pushing myself! And then the toe thing happened…

It’s actually somewhat humorous that I’m kind of turning into a runner (ok that is maybe pushing it… I’m not really a runner. I still have to talk myself into it, and quite frankly, I trot. Maybe I’m a trotter, or a jogger or something… but I certainly wouldn’t call myself a runner yet… I am a person who goes running. There are days when I’m out there training and I think “Wait… I’m actually paying $100 so I can run 13.1 miles… what the hell is wrong with me?” but those moments pass. ) Without a doubt, the most traumatic experience of my high school years was having to run the mile in gym class my sophomore year. (This is saying a lot, because once I accidentally farted on the bus at like 6AM on the way to a Speech and Debate meet, and my friend Stephen made a cheer, and then told everyone on the bus, and practically everyone at the meet that I ripped one on the bus. Literally the cheer was “Tayler Brisbin, Ripped one!” and then there were two farting noises afterwards…  and he was prancing up and down the bus, yelling this., and by the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that every Speech and Debate member from high schools across the state were referring to me as the farting girl…And yet, the running incident was somehow more traumatic for me personally… Maybe even back then I knew that  farting on a bus would make for a really good blog tangent someday.)

Anyway, flash back to 10th grade. I had been home-schooled up to this point, and so my “version” of PE was essentially going to ballet class twice a week, and jumping on a trampoline, and occasionally running away from Moose. I wasn’t out of shape, but I most certainly wasn’t a runner. I was at an extreme disadvantage, because every other person in the public school system had been running “the mile” once a year since like 5th grade, and they knew what they were getting themselves into.  I, however did not. So there we are, in PE and it’s the girls day to run the mile, and come to find out to be on par with our age group or whatever, we are supposed to run a mile in 9 minutes or under…. UM WTF? Yes, as teenagers we are supposed to be young and spry, and full of bountiful pep and energy… but jesus a 9 minute mile? Let me just clarify, that to this day, I do not run a 9 minute mile. I am a person who runs, and a person who runs multiple times a week… and even though I’ve been training for a half marathon for over 6 months, and am living at what, maybe 500 ft above sea level? I still don’t run a 9 minute mile! (yes, I realize I’m slow, and this is maybe pathetic. I’ve come to terms with is, so should you.) Let me also just tell you that the elevation of my home town is 5,555 ft above sea level. (no joke. There is a sign telling you the elevation as you drive into the town) That is a lot of ft above sea level, in case you were wondering, and yes the air is a little bit thinner up there in the mountains.

I’m not sure how “the mile” works at other schools, but at my tiny high school, the boy s and girls ran it separately even though we had a co-ed gym class. Therefore when the girls ran the mile, we each had one of the boys from the class assigned to us to count our laps. I guess this was so we didn’t have to keep track/ couldn’t cheat… which, full discloser/ spoiler alert, I totally did.

I’m not exactly sure what lap I was on when I decided that I was going to die, but I’m pretty sure it was about lap 15 (20 laps around the gym for the mile). I will fully admit that now, as an adult, I have a bit of a gift for melodrama… but at the time, I was just pretty quiet, shy, and misunderstood. I was not the scene causing type of girl… Hello wallflower. So when I started to tell the PE teacher that I couldn’t breath, I wasn’t trying to draw attention to myself. I had never been that short of breath before ever, and I started to get a little panicky.  (of course at the time it never occurred to me to just stop and walk… though come to think of it, I’m not sure that was an option since we were being timed, and there was that 9 minute standard we were all being held against… again, who runs a 9 minute mile at 5555 ft? Olympians?) I was gasping for air, and kind of flopping around, and like “Um… I…. can’t…. breath…. Something…. Is …. Wrong….” And for reals, I was worried about passing out.  Just keep running but all the while freaking out a little bit, and being a little vocal about the fact that I was worried for my wellbeing. Of course at this point most of the boys were thinking this was hysterical, and none of the other girls seemed to be having a problem, and they all seemed put out that I was making a scene… but come on, not being able to breath is kind of scary!  Anyway, I’m not sure at what point most of the other girls lapped me, but it happened. They were all one lap ahead, and I was one behind… and all I knew for sure was that I was going to die.  And so, as most of them finished their final lap I also stopped running. I looked my  assigned counter in the eye, and I either gave him a look of “you will die if you rat me out” or I was so pathetic and floppy and red faced, that he genuinely felt bad for me.  Maybe it was both… I was pretty socially awkward back then, and mostly I was just shy because everyone else gave me a homeschooling complex, but this was just interpreted as me being a bitch… so I kind of just went with it.  Either way, everyone else knew that I was only on lap 19, but the gym teacher looked at him, and asked if that was my final lap, and he lied through his teeth and said that I was done running.  (Seth, in case you didn’t know, you are kind of my hero. Or at least you were at that moment) Unfortunately, my BFF at the time also had one lap left… she was doing much better than me, but everyone had lapped her as well, and so when everyone else finished, she still had one lap to go.  She would have of course finished running the mile before I did, but I cheated and stopped at lap 19, so at the end of the day, she was labeled with the slowest mile time in our grade. My bad.   Lets just say, she was not happy…  (this might have been the beginning of the end of our friendship, who even knows… girls are petty)  But I was too busy gulping for air and flopping around to really care.  Clearly, I feel bad about it now, but at the time I was just happy to be alive and vowed to hate running for the rest of my days.

It might not sound THAT traumatic… and come to think of it, I’m actually surprised that the farting incident didn’t scar me nearly as bad as my semester in PE… then again, this happened when I was a lowly sophomore and still adjusting to the ways of public school… Clearly the event stuck with me, because I’m pretty sure I even wrote a paper during my Freshman Year of college about how much I loathed running.  What? Who writes college level papers about that? (the whole graduate school rejection is maybe making more sense…) I’m that girl, and it makes me cringe a little.  Thankfully, times have changed, and I got over it. Look at me, training for half marathons and things…

It’s kind of like the time a baby sitter made me sit at the table and eat pizza even though I wasn’t hungry, and everyone else got to go watch the Wizard of OZ, and then for the next 13 years or so I hated pizza. I was a nightmare to have at birthday parties, because I wouldn’t eat pizza, and all the moms would have to order other food for the “picky eater.” For the longest time my parent’s thought I just didn’t like cheese, which is probably the biggest tragedy of my childhood… As far as I’m concerned, cheese is gods gift to us, and the more cheese the better.  I often wonder about how much cheese I missed out on in those thirteen years because people just assumed my aversion to pizza was actually an aversion to cheese… why did they think this? Obviously I ate the nachos that had to be special ordered for me at birthday parties because I didn’t eat pizza… but then again, as a child, I was also a vegetarian, and so it probably made perfect sense to everyone that I didn’t “like” cheese. False. I just didn’t like pizza. Clearly, I got over it. (liking pizza that is… obviously, I’m still a little sad about the mistaken cheese deprivation.) Its kind of ironic that the child who hated pizza is now the front of house manager at an establishment that is know for its woodfire pizzas, and I eat pizza at least 3 times a week…. Shoot, good thing I also got over my hatred of running… Fact: you don’t have to run as much if you hate pizza.

But, I got over my hatred of running, and my hatred of pizza…  really all this is to say, that now I need a new summer project, because training for a half marathon and a broken toe are not two things that go together, but thanks for hanging in there through the awkward/ traumatic throwbacks to high school.

Green smoothies, Healthy choices, and some personal anecdotes about my addiction to gluten.

So I’m back on the green smoothie band wagon. Not that I every really got off of the bandwagon… But when I’m working 11+ hour days, I’m realizing that I need a boost of something healthy, raw, and green to keep me going. I’m on my feet pretty much all day, and though I do get fed while at work, one cannot sustain on breakfast sandwiches, woodfire pizzas, and cookies alone.  (though one might often try…) At the end of the day my energy is so low I sometimes contemplate trying to go gluten free, and seeing if that makes a different… I contemplate this for literally like a tenth of a second before snapping back to reality. Hi my name is Tayler and I’m pretty much a gluten addict… I know that gluten free is kinda trendy right now…(my dog is even gluten free for crying out loud) but I’ve never been much for trends…  This morning I made a salad to go with my croutons… that is right. I didn’t make a great salad and then later think “you know what this needs? some croutons!” no, in fact I did the opposite. I made croutons, and then decided that I couldn’t just eat croutons for breakfast (though I don’t know why not, I’m an adult, I can eat what I want!) so I made a salad to go underneath…
And now for a slight tangent about gluten, but we will get back to the smoothies I promise. Back when I was a kid, long before there was all the hype about gluten intolerance, gluten free etc, I had a bread route. And when I say I had a bread route, I mean my brother and I baked bread every Friday morning, and then went around to our regular customers, most of whom were co-workers of my parents at the local hospital, or people like our piano teacher, and we sold small loaves of whole wheat bread. We actually had a stone flour mill, and we ground the wheat ourselves… mostly on Thursday nights, my parents would be watching ER, and I would run upstairs to the kitchen to grind the wheat during commercial breaks…. (yes, our kitchen was upstairs, and yes, I’m not making this up… Its amazing this didn’t make it onto a college submission essay somewhere…I should probably blog about this in further detail…) Anyway, back when I was eight years old, and baking bread every week, it didn’t seem strange to me that we actually had a little pouch full of gluten in our freezer that we would add to each batch of bread… We were following the recipe, and it sold damn well, and as far as I knew, everyone had pouches of gluten sitting in their freezer for baking purposes.  Needless to say, back then we never had any requests for gluten free bread, and we had probably never even heard of gluten free bread… and laugh all you want at this weird little story, but I was able to buy myself three American Girl Dolls with my bread earnings, and a whole lot of accessories for them… and I can promise you this… freshly baked bread sells better than lemonade any day of the week.
I really have no desire to give up gluten at all… (though I no longer keep pouches of it in my freezer) I know all these gluten free people who tell me how much more energy they have, how much better they feel etc. and I’ve even had people suggest that my eczema might be gluten related… but here is the thing… I don’t feel bad, and I’m terrified that if I give up gluten, or dairy, or any of my other comfort foods I will feel great. (stay with me through this train of thought)  I know that sounds dumb, I’m terrified of feeling great? Not really, but mostly I’m terrified of how bad I would feel if I ever stopped eating these things, and then slipped and went back on them…. I don’t feel bad now when I eat cheese, or gluten, and wouldn’t it just suck, to suddenly feel terrible after eating these things? I think it would… anyway, I try to stick with “everything in moderation” and overall I think its working for me… am I still talking about gluten? ok back to my original topic.

I’ve been taking my smoothies to work to sip on during breaks, or while I’m in the office, and naturally I get a little bit of flack from just about everyone. I get all the usual comments “what are you drinking?” “What is in there?” or “why don’t you just eat a salad?” The answer is, because who has time to eat salads these days? I mean I do, but not at 5:30 in the morning when I’m running out the door to get to work by 6AM for an 11 hour shift. I do, however, have time to drink things from a straw while doing my hair, driving, or any of the other countless* things I have to do to get ready in the morning.

(*A list of things I can do while drinking a smoothie that I cannot do while eating a salad: water the garden, chase the dog around the yard, curl my hair, put on makeup, make my bed, put on shoes, empty the dishwasher, drive a car, empty the trash, put on clothes, do calf presses/ wall squats, vacuum, paint my finger nails, dance around.)
Green Smoothie, ready for the morning time

Green Smoothie, ready for the morning time

Everyone is taken aback by the color, but I think it is mostly awesome… and its not like anything gross is going into the smoothies themselves, it is just often an interesting combination of things… (though if some of you green smoothie drinkers out there could call my parents and tell them that I’m not actually a weird-o/ lots of “normal” people drink these, and this is not just one of my yogi/mountain-muffin/ health kick phases.) My ex used to be totally grossed out by the idea of green smoothies, and some of my co-workers still are… but mostly I think people are used to me showing up to work with jar full of green-ness. I’ve gotta stay healthy somehow! I’m working, I’m running, and I need to fuel my body… and this body needs an obscene amount of kale.  Sure, a salad might seem a little more delicious to some folks, but right now, with my schedule, veggies through a straw makes the most sense. (and its actually pretty delicious) Its especially great on the days that I have to work really early, because I can make a smoothie the night before, pop it in the fridge, and its ready for me first thing, its a grab and go meal that is 100% healthy, and easy.

My recipe varies a little bit, just depending on what ingredients I have on hand, but my smoothies usually consist of spinach, kale, celery, half a granny-smith apple, half a cucumber, a banana (or a pear) coconut oil, chia seed, ground flax seed, mint leaves, and water.  Its super basic, but the banana pretty much masks all of the overly green flavors from the kale, and the coconut oil and mint make everything really palatable. Sometimes I add coconut milk for a little extra creaminess, and I’m sure this summer I will be adding various berries as they begin to come in from the garden.

Look at all of that goodness

Look at all of that goodness

This last round of groceries, I got a huge bag of spinach, and actually pureed it and froze it in ice cube trays, which has worked magically and has saved a lot of time and money. I can almost never use the whole thing of spinach before it goes bad, and this way the smoothies are extra cold. I’m contemplating trying this with kale as well, though I did just plant kale in my garden, so hopefully I will not have to buy as much.

I’ve been pretty consistent in my smoothie consumption (I’d say at least 4 per week) but this week I’m going to try for 7 days of smoothies for breakfast…. the busier I get, the poorer I tend to eat/ the more I tend to over-eat, and I think I owe it to myself to start my day off with an über- nutritious breakfast. Anyone else want to join me? 7 days of green goodness starts now! (or tomorrow, since I did eat that bowl of croutons for breakfast… there really was lettuce and kale underneath it though!)

Personal Weekend Rules, and how I always manage to break them.

Firstly, let me apologize for my falling off the blogging earth. My computer died, like completely is without power with no hope of turning it back on sort of dead, and so my internet access is limited to my cell phone, and brief moments at work when I’m sending official e-mails and updating the company facebook page. I contemplated blogging from my phone for a good 2.5 seconds, and then decided typing a blog post on that tiny key board just wasn’t worth it. I still don’t have a computer (I had to pay a hefty sum to the US & State government…. how does that work exactly?) so it will still be a few paychecks until I get fully back into the tec world, but in the meantime I finally borrowed my Dad’s teeny tiny laptop… and by teeny tiny, I mean, this is just a step up from typing on a cell phone keyboard… please excuse the multiple typos that I’m sure will follow.)
I’m just finishing up two glorious days off of work…days wich, of course, were not nearly as productive as I would have liked them to be, but what can you do? I really only have four set “rules” for my days away from work, and they are as follows: Excercise, put on real person clothes, cook myself something, and socialize with other humans. These rules are so basid they probably don’t really need to be stated out loud…These are kind of common sense things, that arguably most people do… then again, have you read the warning labels on a hair dryer lately?  Most people probably wouldn’t get in the a tub while operating a hair dryer, and yet they put the warning lable on there anyway for the poor saps who can’t quite figure it out. It’s for their own protection. I am not a poor sap… and mostly I do not struggle with these four things, but sometimes it is nice to state them outloud, to put them out into the universe, and to know that the rules are put into place for my own protection. That being said, rules are often meant to br broken.
I usually do really good with these rules on my first day off and this week was no exception. I ran 7.1 miles (and let me tell you, the last time I ran 7.1 miles was in Septemer of 2010… this is kind of a big deal for me!) I curled my hair, put on a dress,made a healthy breakfast, met up with some old friends… Tuesday I was all about my day off rules, and I even upped the anty by doing a few loads of laundry, gardening, and taking myeslf out to lunch. Go me.
Wednesday, was of course a horse of a different color… (who even came up with that metaphore, and what really does it mean? Just now I flashed back to this weird Howie Mendel educational computer game  I had growning up that was all about life on the farm, and of course there were rainbow horses that popped up and said “I’m a horse of a different color!” needless to say, this did not help clarify anything.) Wednesday, my alarm went off, and already I’m starting to make bargains with myself. I still really want to get up and excercise, but my tendonitis is flairing up, and so already I’m thinking to myself ” well I am teaching two yoga classes today… that mostly counts as excercise.” FALSE. Teaching yoga, and taking yoga are two very different things,but at 7AM, its pretty easy to justify it as you push the snooze button. The same logic applies to getting dressed. “Well I have to teach two classes today, I should probably just stay in my yoga pants all day.” and the practical side of me cannot argue with this… who wants to make 3+ wardrobe changes in a day? Not this girl… already, two of my grown up life rules out the window minutes after getting out of bed. Rules were made to be broken!
In my defense, I did actually attempt to go for a run… I made it 1 mile before the tendonitis took over my life…looks like I pushed a little too hard with the 7.1… but lately my mantra has been “you’ll only get out as much as you put in.” Full disclosure… I came up with this mantra because i was finding it ridiculously difficult to wash my face before going to bed. I realize this post makes me sound increddibly lazy/ unmotivated about life as I’m having to use little gimics to get me to put on real clothes etc… but sometimes I really feel that as a women, getting ready for bed takes a lot of work. The makeup has to come off the face washed, moisturizer applied, teeth flossed and brushed, contacts removed… and often pores are examined, eye brows tweezed… and sometimes putting in the effort to get through all of that is hard… Shit, maybe I am just really lazy… anyway, since I started working in a restaurant my skin has been flairing up a little more… and I would stare down my giant zits and remind myself that if I wanted normal adult skin, I had to act like an adult and wash my face every night, or stop caring… a mindblowing breakthrough to have at age 27… And really the same goes for just about everything in life. excercise, diets, relationships, work… if you want to see the results you have to put in the effort. (except on the occasional Wednesday when you really just want to wear yoga pants to the grocery store… and even then, I think its actually safer not to put on normal clothes to go to the grocery… have you seen the types of things that people are buying? today the guy in front of my was purchasing 30+ fitness waters, about 6 boxes of snackwells, 10 frozen dinners, 3 boxes of waffles… yes indeed, you get out of it what you put into it… and at this rate I think it is probably safe to say, I’m not going to meet my soul mate at the bargain grocery store…)
This is getting awfuly rambly, especially since I’m basically blogging about being lazy/ unmotivated to be a real person…this could perhaps be a clue as to why I am single… or maybe its just a little dash of realism that makes me relatable?

A few things I’m loving about the Spring.

As expected, life is feeling a little nutty since I’ve been back at work, and my days off have been spent trying to connect with friends, and take care of my personal life (you know the usual, laundry, cleaning the kitchen, going grocery shopping, menu planning, exercising… and a little bit of vegging)  But I did want to write a quick post about a few things I’m loving about the Spring.

Firstly, I love Spring in Oregon, because it is the season in which there is all of this hopeful change. The days are getting a little longer, and plants and flowers are budding all over the place, and we are starting to get a little break from the dreary Oregon winter. It just feels like the perfect time to be starting something new, and I feel like I’m bringing that energy with me to my new work environment.

I love that I can walk into the grocery stores right now and get bouquets of ranunculus, which are my all time favorite flower. I think they are so delicate and whimsical, and they come in an amazing array of colors. Right now I’m swooning over these peachy pink ones that are currently living in my bathroom, but last week I was tempted to buy about 7 bouquets of them! They have this deep purple ones that were super sexy, and this burgundy wine color that was amazing. I also picked up some yellow ones for a little pop of color in the kitchen… I’m so glad that I get joy out of the small things in life.

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Spring also means that color is slowly making its way back into people’s wardrobes (lets face it, it never left mine, even at times when it probably should have…. Don’t have anything that matches? Just add another color and walk out the door… seriously, most days I look like a very colorful yoga clown, but whatever.) I also feel like I can wear super bright nail polish and be seasonally appropriate… currently I’m rocking this Siren colored polish… but I can’t wait to get out the mint greens!

Please ignore the terrible manicure, and my gross dry dragon hands... my body is adjusting to life in a restaurant

Please ignore the terrible manicure, and my gross dry dragon hands… my body is adjusting to life in a restaurant

Also last week at Salt & Straw they had Lucky Charms ice cream to celebrate St. Patrick’s day…. Sweet Jesus, that stuff was good. Good enough to make it on my list of things that I’m slightly obsessed with/ loving this spring. I know it was a limited time flavor, and it is probably gone… (which is really too bad for all of you reading this now… cause it was pretty mind blowing).  But eating a scoop of it last Tuesday was quite possibly the highlight of my week.

 

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Magically Delicious

My yard is exploding with flowering things right now… I’m kinda on a time crunch, and it’s a little dreary out, so I don’t have any pictures to post, but the bleeding heart is emerging from the ground, hundreds of teeny tiny daffodils are starting to pop out, the fruit trees are budding, and I can’t wait to get outside and start planting my garden! Stay tuned for pictures and updates.

 

2013 Vision Board Project

I created my first Vision Board almost five years ago…I think this was right around the time The Secret was at its height in popularity. And though I never read or watched it…everyone knows the basic principles… you have to put out there what you want back. AKA go boldly in the direction of your dreams…  Miraculously I have moved this poster board with me 4 different times  ( clearly I have issues with getting rid of things).  Currently, that original vision board lives in my storage shed… but a few months ago when I stumbled across it, I realized it might be time to make a new one. After all, my life has been in a huge transition period, and also just about everything on that original board I’ve already accomplished. Time to start new!

My Vision Board from 4+ years ago

My Vision Board from 4+ years ago

I always struggle with getting a little too specific… I think it is great to manifest something, and work towards things and sometimes that is exactly what you need… and with my last vision board it actually worked really well… I did get a bulldog named Toby, I went to Fenway Park, I got my RYT certification, and I am blogging… I didn’t get the tattoo that I was planning, but I got one I like better, and sure, I don’t have a kumquat tree… but I’ve had 3 Meyer lemon trees in the meantime, so I think that counts for something! Some stuff on there is stuff I no longer really want… like attending the University of Montana, or weighing 135 pounds (ok I still want that, but it probably doesn’t need to go on a vision board… Being motivated, sure. Healthy choices. Yes. Having perfect abs? Not so much…Ha, what was once important to me at the age of 23 now seems a bit shallow, go figure.)

This time around, I’m not as worried about specifics, as I am trying to manifest a direction I’d like my life to go in, and focusing on the things I value and things I want to incorporate more of into my life. Creativity, Love, developing my yoga practice, creating a home…  These last few months I’ve had to really take a step back and completely revise what I want to do with my life and kind of start from scratch  as far as how I identify myself and what goals I want to work towards…it’s a bit challenging to manifest specifics when life seems to be going in every which direction… so I’m going a little more abstract… and what I found was that as I was searching for materials, I was less drawn to pictures, and more drawn to words… which as a writer, I think this makes a lot of sense.

I also did a little “research” on vision boards, and actually found this article on Oprah.com really interesting.  Like its important not to over-think it, and just go with what you are drawn to. “When you start assembling pictures that appeal to this deep self, you unleash one of the most powerful forces on our planet: human imagination. Virtually everything humans use, do, or make exists because someone thought it up. Sparking your incredibly powerful creative faculty is the reason you make a vision board. The board itself doesn’t impact reality; what changes your life is the process of creating the images—combinations of objects and events that will stick in your subconscious mind and steer your choices toward making the vision real.” ( by Martha Beck. Read the full article here.)

And I think this is mostly true… for me going through old magazines and finding those few things that jump off the page is really therapeutic. And I think that is probably a huge part of the vision board, is trying to focus in on what things resonate with you, and taking the time to cut them out, consciously making a decision that “yes, this is something that I want to focus my energy on.”  Cutting stuff out, and finding those key pieces is the hard part… gluing things together is where it gets a little more creative.  I have been assembling collage supplies for years (just ask my parents how many magazines I have refused to let them recycle/ how many folders of things they had to move out my childhood home.) I started making collages when I was in high school… I even have a collaged bookshelf sitting out in my garage… (and that has moved with me 11 times… 11. It’s not even my aesthetic anymore, and wouldn’t really fit anywhere in my home, but I cannot part with it! )  and today I went through a few of the folders just making sure I didn’t have something perfect for my vision board squirreled away. It was pretty hilarious to see some of the stuff I’ve cut out over the years. Some things are very much what you would have expected a 15-year-old to hang onto (I really can’t even tell you how many magazine cut outs of Prince William there are… it’s pretty sad)  but some of the stuff just made me think “yup, I’ve always been an old soul.” And then there was an awkward moment when I started to sift through things and realized that stuff I had cut out of fashion magazines is actually now currently living in my closet… I guess manifestation really does work… because the amount of things I had cut out that I now actually own is a little creepy.

I literally have over 10 years of collage materials (condensed into one expandable folder, for the most part), and I am happy to say, that today upon the completion of my vision board, I actually recycled all the old magazines I had around the house. I’m slowly purging… it’s the little victories in life.

Once I had everything cut out, I tried to organize the pictures and words into categories or pods. There are basically 3 main themes running through the board… Yoga, Love, and Everything else (meaning, working on me, life, motivation, goals etc.)  And I tried to arrange them on the board in a way that they were concentrated in their groups, but also connected with each other, so it had a natural flow… And here it is… here I am, putting these thoughts, and this energy out into the universe, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes back as I’m starting this new chapter in my life.  It is definitely a little busy, so I tried to get some different sections so you can see more of the details.

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Here’s what bugs me: When my chocolate tries to tell me what to do…

Just a quick post today about something that has been really irking me lately: The irritating little messages on the inside of the Dove chocolates foil… Anyone else? It’s February, so I’m sure there are a number of bowls of chocolate sitting around (or at least there were a lot of bowls of chocolate sitting around)… and I hope I’m not the only one who is annoyed by the current printing of wrapper quips.

Not to sound too nostalgic, but I remember the “good old days” when they actually said sweet, insightful things, or maybe had famous quotes on love, or things of note from famous people (I’m not making this up, right? ). I think the hay day for this was my freshman year of college (2003) because it seemed like you couldn’t through a dorm without seeing at least 5 doors that had smoothed out pieces of candy wrapper foil stuck to the message board, or all around the message board, giving passersby little anecdotes and insights about some empowering thing. (again maybe I am making this up, but didn’t they used to be kind of like be your own woman, buy yourself chocolate, you are worth it, sort of self-help mantras? ) There is a good chance that maybe they were always a little cheesy, and maybe it is just me that has changed… I have a much lower tolerance for cheese (metaphorically speaking… I love the dairy kind), and am arguably romantically jaded (it comes from 5 years of coordinating weddings).  but it seems to me as though the quality of the messages contained by these little wrappers has significantly gone downhill.

I used to unwrap a piece of chocolate with anticipation, wondering what little gem of a quote or nugget of inspiration would be there lingering underneath the bite of dark chocolate… and now, without fail, every time I read one of the wrappers it makes me want to punch that chocolate right in the face. I’m a twenty-seven- year-old single woman at home with my dog on a Thursday afternoon, and my chocolate is telling me to “savor small romantic moments”. Barf. Thanks chocolate, but I didn’t really need that, how about you make yourself useful and stop offering advice about what I should be doing/ thinking. Or why not just say something more generic like “savor small moments.” Still a little barfy, but at least it can be applied to anything in life. Playing fetch with the dog, observing the blooming flowers in the backyard, sleeping in, that extra cup of coffee… I’m more than happy to think about these small moments… and I do indeed savor them… Get a clue, chocolate… not all of us need to savor the romantic moments, and you might be alienating some of your target demographic (single ladies eat chocolate too.)  As a small disclaimer here, I am not a disgruntled single woman… I’m perfectly ok with my relationship status, and overall very fulfilled with my life… but I’m still irritated at the cheeseball sayings… You want me to buy more chocolate… Put Quotes from Arrested Development on the inside of a candy wrapper, and I would eat a bag a day… (it could actually be a really good thing these chocolates piss me off as much as they do…) They were so much better when they were more like fortune cookies, offering you encouragement and making you feel empowered.  Remember when they offered up messages like “believe in yourself” or “Make the most of everyday” Sure… still a little cheesy, but so much better than “remember your first crush” or “Share a secret.”  At least “Make the most of everyday” is a mantra that might at least be worthy of posting on your dorm room door or bathroom mirror… but “Share a secret”  awesome suggestion chocolate… Thanks for that, how about you sit tight and shut up instead?

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I know they are just stupid little chocolate wrappers, and the fact that I’ve written a ranting blog post about how irritated they make me probably wasn’t the best use of my time.  Furthermore, you would think that my self control would kick in and say “Tayler, you don’t have to read the annoying little message in the candy wrapper, just throw it away, you’ll save yourself some grief” but they are kind of like a train wreck… you pretty much have to read them! Every damn time I look at that dumb little saying, and every time my blood begins to boil just a little.  I know, I know, there are bigger problems in the world… there are bigger problems in my life… how pathetic is it that I allow a totally trivial thing like this to get under my skin? Perhaps I just need to stop eating chocolate… or at least invest in the kind that comes in little boxes, rather than the individually wrapped foils of cheese-bally doom. Or perhaps I just need to get a life, and get over it.

 

 

What I like most about running, and a tangent about make-up

One of the things I love most about running is the healthy afterglow that takes over your face. Sure I love the exercise part, and the whole mental clarity thing is an added bonus for me right now, but I really really enjoy that perfect post run flush of color.  Especially this time of year when us Oregonian women need as much color as we can get. (this past week aside, since we are in the midst of that perfect week in February where there is actually a promise of spring and blue sky. It’s the savior week that gives us a glimpse of the hopeful season ahead, and makes the gloomy days of January, and the looming rainy days of March & April totally worth it). You’d think makeup companies would capitalize on this, I mean Nars has their best-selling shade “Orgasm” why not create a blush called “Runners High”?  I get the whole sex appeal thing, I’m guilty of it too, I have more makeup with somewhat scandalous names than practical ones (because who doesn’t need an eye shadow in the shade of Sex Kitten?) but somewhere out there are the women who would totally grab a compact full of that perfect color, and I am one of them.

Photo  from Sephora.com

Nars Blush in Orgasm Photo courtesy of Sephora.com

I love wearing lipstick, and have more makeup floating around in my bathroom than a sorority house, but I think there is a time and a place for every look, and as of late, my life isn’t exactly conducive to copious amounts of makeup. We’ve all seen those women, the kind that put on mascara before heading to the gym at 7AM… and to each her own. Who am I to judge? If you need mascara before leaving the house, then by all means, but that is SO not me. I’m hard pressed to even slap on under eye concealer before heading out to a 10AM yoga class, let alone a full blown lashes affront before coffee. It’s just not my style… (though maybe I should make more of an effort to not look like a dead yoga teacher, even when I’m just heading off to take a class, and not actually teach. It’s a fine line, dressing for success and all, but also there is a huge authenticity issue. If I went to a 5:30 AM class and the teacher was wearing makeup, I would probably have to fight the urge to punch her in the face… and yes, that might just be the early morning, pre-coffee me talking… and no I don’t teach 5:30 AM classes, so I’m hopeful that if I show up to my morning class my students are not in fact judging me if I have managed to get my life together and actually throw on some foundation and blush) I think it is really freeing to not feel tied down by makeup… and I know so many beautiful women who make a point of not wearing makeup at all.  I was actually shocked the other day when I friend of mine showed some hesitation about leaving her makeup at the place we were getting ready before going out dancing. She didn’t want to come back and get it in the morning, because she didn’t want to brave public transportation without makeup. It was such a good reminder about how big of a crutch it can sometimes be… Who knows, maybe I should be more like this friend… I cannot tell you how many times I have run out for a quick errand looking a little disheveled (it doesn’t help that these no-makeup circumstances are usually accompanied by frumpy work-out clothes, and somewhat questionable hair situations) and run into several people that I know… Which is my own high risk behavior… it’s a small community, of course I’m going to run into someone I know! Do I care? Not usually… but again, maybe I should start caring, as networking needs to be a higher priority on my life list.

And then there is the a makeup conundrum I’ve been having lately. I am by no means a high maintenance kind of girl, I fully believe in the practicality of a five-minute face, and typically when it comes to the everyday I’m into less is more. Again, I think there is a time and a place for heavy makeup, and I also believe that some women can pull it off flawlessly and not look ridiculous. Most days I try for a more subtle look. And in theory this is great, I’ve got my routine down, and I leave the house looking fresh faced, bright eyed, and am not feeling weighed down by too much makeup. But lately I have been hitting that 3 hour wall, where I look into the mirror, and it is like all the makeup has evaporated from my face. How/ why does this happen? I could understand if I was out working up a sweat, but most days I’ll be at a desk or working retail for a few hours, and then I look in the mirror and my face it completely void of color. Suddenly I start to resemble Leo McGarry post heart attack on The West Wing… And it’s not like I’m wearing cheap makeup… this is the whole reason one invests in the mineral foundations, and the blush with sexy names… when I put on my make-up I expect it to stay on, and I don’t think this is that unrealistic.

Of course it doesn’t help matters that when I actually spackle on make-up for a night out it will stay flawlessly until the next morning. How is it that I can have the perfect amount of makeup on my face, and it won’t stay for 3 hours, but when I am arguably wearing too much makeup, it can survive dancing, sweating, drinking, and 8 hours of sleeping, and still be perfectly in place? Someone explain that to me.  And why can’t I have it both ways? Why can’t I have my cake and eat it too… (maybe I can… when it comes to me and make up, there is a very good chance that I’m just doing it wrong… but I like to pretend that I know what I’m doing…)

In the end I’m sure it doesn’t matter…I’m still not going to put on my full face before running out the door to a yoga class, and I’m still going to somewhat awed when I wake up after a night out and my lipstick is still perfectly pouty. I will probably still shake my fist at the mirror later today when my blush/bronzer has magically evaporated, and I will still think fondly back to this morning when I came bursting in the front door after my run, and my cheeks were perfectly flushed. Seriously, will someone please create this blush color?

Sitting is the new Smoking? I guess it’s time to wiggle around.

I just did a dance around my living room… as I was taking laundry to the washing machine I made sure to wiggle around, and as I’m sitting on my couch typing this, out I may or may not be doing the in-flight blood clot reducing exercises you see on the trans-Atlantic flights… In my yoga class today we started talking about how “Sitting is the new smoking” which is a concept that everyone else in the class seemed to be familiar with… I was in the ignorance is bliss category, and of course as soon as I came home started doing a little research. Sure enough, sitting is a lethal activity according to The New York Times among others (Go ahead, Google it “Sitting is the new smoking”). So yeah, I’ve been wiggling my person around a little extra today.

Generally speaking, I am an active person… I teach two yoga classes a week, I take a lot of yoga during the week, and I can honestly say that I have been running more this month than I went running in all of 2012. I like walking places, and mostly I like to think I move around quite a bit… but in the past month I know I’ve also been sitting a whole lot more than I used to…

I mean it’s all relative… I’m not spending nearly as much time in my car, as I no longer have a 20 minute commute to work, and am not driving 40 miles every other day to see ex-boyfriend. I’m also no longer sitting at a desk… but I am sitting on my couch… a lot. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I sit here all day, but I’m still adjusting to my life in the unemployed sector, and so I sit a lot. I search online for jobs, I do a lot of reading, I look for new recipes, I’m writing more, and yes, ok, I’m watching A LOT of The West Wing…

I’m here trying to justify things, but the reality is, even when I was working full time, I didn’t spend a ton of time at my desk… sure, I spent my fair share of time at the computer writing newsletters, updating social media, working on advertising, printing contracts, doing research. But I also spent a fair amount of time walking between my office and the retail shop, or the office and the tasting room… Some days it felt like I spent more time walking back and forth than I did at the desk. I would take breaks and walk Toby through the lavender fields, I would walk through the nursery on my lunch break, and I was constantly up and about taking pictures around the property, walking through the olive groves and grape vines… So yeah, I’m driving a lot less than I was, and I’m running quite a bit more, and I’m even taking more yoga, but I’m still sure that I’m also sitting a lot more than I used to… (BRB as I need to get up and move around, and maybe you should do the same! )

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Alright, I’m back…Is anyone else suddenly inspired to go invest in a pedometer? The statistics are a little terrifying… I mean obviously we know that sitting around watching tv all day isn’t good for you, but the idea that every hour spent in front of the TV gives you an 11% higher death rate? You’d think it would have to be the same for reading a book right? Every hour I spend reading a book, or sitting at my computer writing, is an hour closer to death. (Which I suppose is true of any hour spend doing anything… but you know what I mean) If you need me today, I’ll be bopping around my house…