There is a Mouse in the House

[This post would have been up much earlier had a mouse not invaded my house and nearly attacked me!]

[Yes, I am being dramatic. But, yes, there was a small mouse in here earlier. EEK!]

First, I want to say thank you to everyone who read yesterdays post, and for all of the positive feedback and motivation! I was pleasantly surprised by how many people read the post, and commented on it. Knowing people will be following my progress throughout this challenge (30 day gluten-free, dairy-free, 30 minutes of exercise challenge: http://wp.me/pQbAA-1yE) will absolutely help keep me going. Maybe others might be able to find motivation here, as well!

If you are someone who has experience with a gluten-free/dairy-free (or both) diet, or great thirty minute exercise ideas, please feel free to pass them along. I would love any tips and/or ideas! I have already received a few, which I am very grateful for.

Here are some of the things I bought at the store this week to help me in this challenge:

Gluten free pretzels

Gluten free waffles

Sweet potato chips

Dairy free, coconut milk yogurt

Coconut milk

Coconut milk creamer

Chex cinnamon flavored cereal

Gluten free chicken sausages

Lots of fruits and vegetables

My format is going to [hopefully] be to write about the previous days meals and exercise every day, just as an FYI.

So, on to yesterday…

For breakfast I had two hard boiled eggs cut up, along with a diced avocado, topped with spicy mustard. I took a picture, and then for some reason deleted it, sooo…no picture of that. But, it was really good. I loved the addition of the mustard.

For lunch I had a BIG, delicious salad.

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For snacks, I had a Lara bar (the chocolate chip cookie dough flavor is wonderful), and some gluten free pretzels.

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Since we were ridiculously excited for how nice it was outside yesterday, we decided to grill. We had grilled chicken and veggies (red pepper, onion, and eggplant).

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I had some tea after dinner as my treat for the night. I love having (caffeine free) tea before bed. Helps me relax, and it’s almost like a cue for my body to recognize that it is bedtime. Plus, it usually helps curb any leftover hunger that dinner didn’t satisfy (doesn’t always work, but usually does).

For exercise, Maggie and I went on a lovely walk (for about 45 minutes to an hour). It was beautiful again! I am getting used to this. Please don’t take it away from us, Mother Nature.

I’m off to enjoy a small glass of wine. That mouse rattled my nerves!

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My 30-day gluten-free, dairy-free, 30-minutes of exercise a day CHALLENGE

Having a baby changes your body in all sorts of ways. This is something I obviously knew before I got pregnant, but was a whole different ball game once I actually was pregnant. I’ve been through many different phases with my body throughout pregnancy; it is an ever-changing relationship. In the beginning of my pregnancy, it was hard to accept that my body was growing. I was just talking about this with my brother the other day; last summer while I was on the beach I was very newly pregnant — i.e. in the “is she pregnant, or just gaining weight?” phase. It’s crazy because it is SUCH an exciting time — the new feeling of WOW I’m going to have a baby! — that you don’t want any negative thoughts to creep in at all. During this time, it was also a little tough to accept I was going to have a whole new body for 40 weeks.The thought of putting on 30+ pounds scared me. But don’t worry, I went above and beyond that! I gained around 50 pounds.

After the phase of “is she pregnant, or just gaining weight?” came the actual bump, and I must say I loved this phase! The bump is fun. Embrace the bump. Rejoice in wearing pants with stretchy tops and eating lots without worrying about your stomach showing (because it’s obviously going to show anyway! And in a cute way). Even though I did love my baby bump, there were days when I wondered how I looked — I gained a decent amount of weight, and even though the bump is great, gaining weight in my arms, thighs, and face wasn’t as great. It was all part of my process (which is fine!), but towards the end of my pregnancy I was ready to do away with that part of pregnancy. Now that my beautiful Maggie is here and I am no longer pregnant, I am going through a whole new phase with my body. This is also a confusing phase. I call it the “I am amazed by my body but also don’t want to look pregnant anymore” phase. I truly am amazed by the human body; I grew this awesome (and I mean awesome in every true sense of the word) human in my body. I pushed her down my body, and out into the world. She looked into my eyes minutes after she was born. My body gives Maggie the food and nourishment she needs to survive. It’s all so cool. I am so thankful for this body which gave life to my daughter.

Now, while I am in total awe of my body, at two months postpartum, I am ready to slowly start dropping some of the weight I gained throughout my pregnancy, and hopefully eventually toning back up. I gained a lot while pregnant with Maggie, so the thought of dropping a ton of weight intimidates me. Over the past two weeks when I thought about it, I would feel overwhelmed. Where will I start? Can I really do this? Will I fail and be at this weight forever? I decided a few things.

1. It took 40 weeks to put this weight on. It’s going to take a while to take it off. Accept that. Be okay with that. Move on.

2. I am a competitive person by nature (even if I am only competing with myself), so I decided to start my journey with a challenge.

3. Blogging helps me stay accountable. Once I put something online, I’m like, “OK I HAVE to do it now. I can’t lie to the people!” So, I am going to blog about this thirty day challenge.

4. I will not let myself get overwhelmed. I am going to take this journey step by step. If I just follow the rules I have set, I know I will see results by the end of the month, which will then hopefully give me motivation to keep going into May with another challenge. That’s the mentality I have, and hope to continue to have. Also, no bending the rules whatsoever!

5. The most important reason for doing this challenge is that I want to be healthy. I let myself enjoy many, many treats while pregnant, and even during these two months after having Maggie. While I was pregnant, I didn’t want to worry about whether it was okay to have ice cream every night or not. I wanted to indulge. I knew what I would be faced with after I gave birth, and I was okay with that at the time. But now it’s time to have a more healthy diet and attitude (think more vegetables and fruits and less five slices of pizza binges, or whole box of Girl Scout cookie snacks).

So, the challenge is to go gluten-free, dairy-free, and to exercise for at least thirty minutes a day. This means exercise of any kind! Walking, running, weights, yoga, etc. Pinterest has been super helpful in organizing my ideas for this challenge. Check out my gluten-free, dairy-free, 30-min exercise board here: http://www.pinterest.com/thedailycraic/gluten-free-dairy-free-30min-of-exercise-a-day-apr/. This is not going to be easy. (I LOVE cheese, so that will be the hardest part of this, I think). However, I just want to challenge myself to try this out and see where it gets me by the end of the month. It’s an experiment.

I started the challenge yesterday, April 1st, and it will go all the way until the end of April. At that point, I will evaluate how I’m doing, and I may decide to start a new challenge. The goal of this April challenge for me, is to get back in the saddle — to kick start my healthier lifestyle. Wish me luck!

Day one went pretty well. Maggie and I went on a walk with my sister Megan and my nephews Declan and Brian. We were walking for about an hour and fifteen minutes; it was so nice out! Hopefully now with the weather getting nicer Maggie and I will be able to go on a walk everyday.

For breakfast I had two hard boiled eggs and an avocado. Lunch was a salad and a bowl of strawberries and grapes. My snack was a Lara bar (the pecan pie flavor is SO delicious) http://www.larabar.com/. And dinner was banana bread pancakes (my picture looks disgusting, but they were actually good). I found the recipe on Pinterest: http://www.dailybitesblog.com/2013/03/19/5-ingredient-banana-bread-pancakes/. I was still hungry after eating my pancakes so I decided to roast some red potatoes. They were great and satisfied my hunger. Throughout the day I also had some coffee (with coconut milk creamer instead of half and half), as well as Mother’s Milk tea http://traditionalmedicinals.com/products/mothers-milk/ (really good, and helps my milk supply).

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On two different notes:

Yesterday Maggie was officially two months!

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And today is Autism Awareness Day http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/world-autism-awareness-day. Take time today to learn a little more about Autism. Or hug someone with Autism. I know I will.

Here are Maggie and I lighting the world blue.

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Much to be thankful for!

It’s been a while! (Oh just eight months or so) Let’s see if I still know how to do this…

Thanksgiving is truly a wonderful time of the year. It brings people together, forces us to stop and think about the blessings in our life (and to hopefully give thanks for them), and asks us to slow down to enjoy a long holiday weekend. Our days are so often filled with rushing around, stress, to-do lists, etc. And although we may feel some of that this long weekend — we do have to get the food cooked, the house ready, and everything prepared — Thanksgiving is a celebration and the preparation is well worth it.

This year I have so much to be thankful for. I wish I could press pause. Time is going fast, but I hope to have a fresh memory of it always. I am incredibly thankful for my amazing husband, partner, and best friend. I’m blessed and grateful for my supportive family members (both the Mescalls and the Temples), as well as my extended family and friends. Colin and I both have a job, food to eat, clothes to wear, and each other’s hand to hold. We are in a new house and are prepping to embark on the most important journey of our lives: parenthood.

Which brings me to what I am most thankful for this year: my pregnancy, and our daughter who I am carrying. As I write this she is wiggling around (maybe she knows I’m writing about her?). Feeling her move is literally the best feeling in the world. Last night I had my hand on the same part of my stomach for a while — I couldn’t fall asleep and I like to feel her move around when I’m up (she’s a mover and shaker at night, like her mama) — and I actually felt her foot kick out at my hand. It was definitely a foot, I’d bet a million bucks it was. It almost felt like I was holding her foot in my hand. I’ll be honest, I started to cry a little (that’s what pregnancy does to you — not to mention I’ve always cried easily, which is quite the fun combo — just ask Colin!). This was another moment where my pregnancy felt incredible and REAL. When you’re pregnant you obviously go about your life and it’s not always the first thing on your mind 24/7. But when you stop to think about what’s happening inside your body it really makes you appreciate all of it. There is a little person inside me — I don’t know what she looks like yet, I don’t know what her personality will be like, the things she will like or dislike, the person she will become — but she will be here soon, and I can’t wait to get to know her. I can only imagine how I will feel when I can hold her in my arms for the first time!

So much has happened since I last wrote on my blog. I feel like I am a whole different person in some ways. Sometimes I still can’t believe I am pregnant and on my way to becoming a mother, but let me tell you…at 31 weeks it is becoming more and more believable; a little more each day. My pregnancy has been such an eye-opening, empowering, truly awesome experience. It has made me realize I am a woman who can face many things, do many things, and take on many things. It has helped me become more assertive, and find the courage to speak up for myself and figure out what I want. As a Catholic, it has strengthened my faith in and relationship with God. It has deepened my love for my husband, as well as my family and friends who show such genuine excitement and enthusiasm when they talk about our baby. She is so loved already, and in turn that fills me with such joy.

My heart is so full, it honestly might explode when I meet our child. My pregnancy and my daughter has already changed my life for the better (drastically). I can’t wait to see, feel, and experience the changes that’ll happen when she is here.

I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving! Travel safe, and eat a lot. This time of year I don’t even mind people saying anything about me eating for two, because you know what? Today I am going to embrace that. So pass the sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top, and enjoy!

Introducing, Declan Patrick O’Neill!

I’ve always looked up to my parents, of course…and Audrey Hepburn has been my celebrity idol since I was a little girl. But, I’ve looked up to my sister Meg my whole life – more than anyone in the world. Since I was born I’ve been following her around, begging her to include me in things, borrowing her clothes…basically doing anything and everything she did.

We’ve been there for each other for everything – all the important things life has thrown our way. I was there when she met Matt at Merrimack (and for the record, I always knew he was the one), I was the Maid of Honor at their wedding, Meg will be the Maid of Honor at my wedding next year, and now most recently I have been there for the birth of Meg and Matt’s first child, Declan Patrick O’Neill.

I’ve never been apart of something so amazing.

A whole big gang of us (family members and friends) anxiously waited for someone to bust through the double doors of the hospital and give us the news last Thursday night. My nerves were going so crazy I thought I was going to spontaneously combust with the (dangerous) mixture of excitement, anxiety and caffeine. But the shakes were worth it. Around 10pm, the woman formally known as ‘Mom’ (who now proudly goes by ‘Nana’) ran through those doors and shouted “He’s here!”. We leapt from our seats, screaming and squealing – and about fifteen minutes later we were able to see him.

As soon as I saw Meg, Matt and Declan in that hospital room I cried – tears of absolutely, complete joy – I wanted to hug Meg and Matt so friggin tight to let them know how happy I am for them, and how proud I was of what they just did. My big sister just delivered a child. And he was right over there. This was and is real. I feel like I still can’t believe it. It was absolutely awesome.

Meg and Matt are going to the best parents around, and I can’t wait to be along for the ride. Declan has already stolen my heart (sorry Colin!) – he is the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. See for yourself!

Declan's debut!

The O'Neill Family :D

The proud papa, Matthew

Auntie Colleen and Auntie Molly

Nana!

The cutest boy in town

Uncle Colin!

"No more pictures, please"

Smilin' :D

Poppa!

A little tiny yawn!

Love love love love you

DPO

Home sweet home!

Happy to have you home, little man

Meg and Matt – I wish you both the best of luck and just wanted to extend my utmost congratulations on the blog (it’s not official until it’s on the blog people!). Love you guys!

Waiting patiently for Baby O…

This summer has been jam-packed with wonderful things. But out of everything — London, San Diego, the Cape, the beach, the concerts, etc….nothing can compare to the impending birth of my nephew. It’s so close now I can feel it. Everyone is ready and patiently waiting for the little prince to make his appearance. Yesterday was Meg’s due date, which has come and gone — so, he is officially like his Aunt Colleen, fashionably late. I think we’ll get along just fine!

Over the summer we got to throw two lovely baby showers for Meg — one in NH and one on Long Island. Check out the pics and stay tuned for a baby announcement…any day now…no pressure Meg…(Come on! We want baby O!)

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I’m going to be an aunt!

It’s time….the big blog announcement…

My big sister Meg is pregnant!

I already love this little baby...so much!

I CANNOT WAIT!!! We are all beyond thrilled. Congrats to Meg and Matt! You guys are going to be such amazing parents.

I literally couldn’t believe when Meg was getting married (the oldest child in the family to get married is a big deal, ya know?) It was such a fun experience and I was so honored to be apart of their big day. And now, a baby! I can’t believe it! It’s both mind-boggling and insanely exciting! I’m going to be an aunt! There are so many exclamation points in here! I can’t contain my excitement!

We were home on Long Island last weekend and went to Buy Buy Baby for a little browsing…

Buy Buy Baby -- Baby Central!

iPood! hahaha

Baby Facebook!

The lovely mom to-be!

All the Mescallettes gushing over the baby stuff!

The proud Grandmama, "Big Red" as we've decided the baby shall call her...

Sorry, I had to!

A must-have for the little babe (dad to-be Matthew is a big Mets fan!)

Another must-have...if it's a girl, or maybe if it's a boy - hey! However Meg and Matt want to raise their child is up to them... (dad to-be is also a proud Giants fan!)

Aunt Kelly testing out some strollers!

SO much fun! I can only imagine how much fun is in store for all of us throughout this journey. You know there will be updates along the way!

Happy Friday :)

Happy Mother’s Day!

My Mother has given birth to five children. She has raised us to look out for our siblings – to take care of each another, to have a strong sense of faith and values, to show compassion and kindness to others, to be thoughtful and generous, to help those in need, and to use the gifts we were blessed with. She has shown us how important all of this is by example; this is how our mother lives her life everyday.

I had some questions on motherhood and I thought an interview for Mother’s Day would be fun :)

My beautiful Mother

CM: What’s your favorite memory of your mother?

MM: When I was 13 my mother knew how much I wanted to see these singers (Andy Williams nephews – they were twins), so she let me leave school early and took me to EJ Korvettes  to see the show. I thought that was the greatest thing, we got there early and everything. It was so exciting!

She also always came on my school trips. We went to West Point when I was in 4th grade and everyone wanted to be in her group because she was the most fun! I remember that my mother was so nice to this other mother whose daughter (my classmate) was sick. This trip was going to be the girls last school trip, everyone knew this was her last year of school. The other mothers were so nervous around her, but not my mother! She was chatting with them and hanging out with them the whole time, making sure they felt included. That’s the type of person she was.

CM: Did you always know you wanted to have children?

MM: Yes

CM: Did you always know you wanted to have a lot?

MM: Yes!

CM: Ever consider having more than 5?

MM: Yes!

CM: Describe being pregnant for the first time (at only 23!)

MM: I knew that I was pregnant right away, it was only days. I just felt different right away. I knew something miraculous had happened.

When we got back from our honeymoon, everyone was there to greet us off the plane. I stepped off the plane saw my father, he hugged me and gave me a kiss and then said, ‘My God your pregnant’ – those were his exact words. I said, ‘Why do you say that?’ He said, ‘You look just like Mommy did when she found out she was pregnant.’ I also never ever gained weight, not even a pound! I was like 125lbs forever. And I’ll never forget it, I wore a denim wraparound skirt (they were very in style then) to be comfortable on the plane (on the way over to Ireland for the honeymoon), and thank God I had that with me, because nothing was closing on me by the end of our three week trip!

Meg was born nine months and three days after the honeymoon. Not a bad souvenir!

And my grandfather (who was blind!) always knew when I was pregnant. He even guessed (correctly!) what I was having with each one of you! He wanted to name you Matilda after Mario Cuomo’s – governor of New York at the time – wife because he thought it was hilarious! (Thanks Mom for not naming me Matilda!)

CM: Did you want to know what you were having with any of your pregnancies?

MM: Yes, but only with Molly because Patrick was sick of girls! (We have 1 boy and 4 girls in the family…) But they told us Molly was a boy so we were calling her Sean, then she turned out to be a girl! (Molly is such a trickster)

CM: Childbirth in one word?

MM: Amazing. Miraculous. (That’s two words, but I’ll accept it.) I loved all my pregnancies. Even though some were harder than the others, I was just amazed by the whole thing.

I remember asking my mother, when she told me about the birds and the bees, ‘How did you ever have a baby???’ She said that the minute they put the baby in your arms you forget the pain. I said ‘What pain??? You must remember the pain?! Was it like period cramps???’ She just she didn’t remember experiencing pain once she held her baby. And I was just like my mother, I never remembered the pain once I held each of you. I hope it’s the same for you girls. (Me too!)

CM: What has been the most rewarding thing about being a mother?

MM: Watching my children grow up to be such fabulous people. To see you guys start your lives and watch each of you grow.

CM: What has been the most challenging?

MM: When Daddy used to work late when you guys were little, having to get you all bathed and into bed while you were all running around… Managing five kids eight and under and having to do bath and bed time – that was the most challenging! I hated bath time (laughs.) Joanie and I used to complain to each other about it!

CM: How did you raise such fabulous (if I do say so myself) children?

MM: Saying a lot of rosaries! And Daddy too!

CM: Can you tell me about some of your most proud moments throughout motherhood?

MM: The Irish Step dancing competitions, your basketball games, how many people tell me how well-behaved and how kind all of you are. Both yours and Megan’s volunteer years, all of the graduations, Kelly cutting my hair for the first time, Molly going off to St. Marys, when Patrick performed at Carolines in the city, your blog, when you all used to always go to the nursing home to visit Grammy and check in on her… There are a bunch of them… You guys always make me proud!

CM: Have you ever felt like you were a ‘bad mother’?

MM: We won’t dwell on the negative! (laughs)… Thank God not often!

CM: What makes you a good mother?

MM: I think I’m patient, I’m nurturing, I have a good sense of humor and I have great faith and a great faith in my family. (I think so too!)

CM: Would you do anything differently over the years of raising us?

MM: I would have worried less about cleaning up the house. It took me a long time to get that. Like when you were little and we lived in  Islip, I worried too much about the toys being picked up. I would have gotten on the floor more and played with the toys. I’ll make up for that with our grandchildren!

(At Patrick’s house, right? :))

CM: Do you think I’ll be a good mother?

MM: Definitely. But you’ll have to learn when they’re young, not to worry about things being out-of-place. I was like that and you’ll be like that (probably worse! laughs) that’s something you’ll have to work on. But i think you’ll be a great mother! You know if you marry Colin, he’s like a kid himself, you’ll be picking up and he’ll be taking it back out! (they call him Buddy the Elf!)

CM: What do you find difficult now that we’re grown up?

MM: Being separated. I love when you come home but I hate when everyone leaves.

CM: Rewarding now?

MM: Seeing you guys making your own lives, meeting people who are your potential husbands and wives. The thought of grandchildren in my future!

CM: Do you look forward to being a grandmother?

MM: What do you think?? Yes, I look forward to that day with much anticipation! We can play with the babies, then send them home! Yea, I can’t wait!

CM: Aside from your own mother, who has been your ‘model mother,’ someone you aspire to be like as a mother?

MM: Joan Ellis – she’s the perfect combination of what defines a mother. Mrs. Caracappa, she was like my other mother. She had seven kids, plus me. When my mother was sick she always took care of me and took me in, she made a bunch of clothes for me over the years.

CM: Advice to first time mothers today?

MM: Don’t worry all about the house and material things first. Just enjoy them when they’re little, they grow so fast. And sometimes it’s better to give them a sibling rather than toys.

My mom and her hairy little baby, aka me!

Mom and I <3

It’s difficult to put into words, the relationship between a mother and child. When I was little I was completely dependent upon my mother, she was my world. Throughout adolescence and into my teenage years my hormones were going crazy, I was experiencing a lot of emotions – I started to fight with my mother more, probably even took her for granted. As I’ve continued to grow up, when I moved away to go to college and now that I live in MA full time, I’ve realized how much I miss my mother and I often wish I could always have her right here with me. Yes, we still fight and disagree every now and then but I’ve matured a bit, and I realize how lucky I am to have been blessed with the most amazing woman in my life who wants to watch over me, protect me and keep me happy. I appreciate everything about my mother to the fullest. I’ve come to realize a bit more of what she has been through, what she has sacrificed, what she has done to better our lives. I can’t begin to thank her, or praise her enough.

My mother has a beautiful, close relationship with each one of her children. It’s funny to see the different dynamics between my mother and each of us five children. We all have different requirements and we all have different relationships with our mother, yet she gives each of us the same amount of love and attention. I don’t know how she does it, she truly is amazing!

When I think of my mother I think of someone who can do anything, someone who can handle any situation. A woman who doesn’t mind hearing all of her children’s complaints and worries. My mother listens to me when something is wrong, when I’m upset. She knows the right things to say to make me feel better, to comfort me. She celebrates with me when something great happens. She is always there to support me, always cheering me on and encouraging me to find the things in life that will fulfill me and make me happy.

I have realized my mother and I are alike in so many ways – my thoughtfulness, my sensitivity, my creativity, my body shape, my hands, my butt (yep!) I’ve inherited from my mother. I am so lucky to be like my mother, and so lucky to have her. Over the years we have grown closer and I know that we’ll continue to grow closer. No matter where we are – whether the same town or different states, whichever it may be –  I carry my mother in my heart and she will always be with me.

My mother is a strong woman. She is forgiving, extremely considerate, warm, friendly, loving, thoughtful, selfless. She is the type of person who lights up a room upon entering. She’s like a magnet, everyone wants to be around her – she has the ability to make each person she encounters feel special. Although I have grown up, I have matured, and am now an adult, I’ve realized that my mother is still my world.

I am so blessed, and I am forever thankful to you Mom. Happy Mother’s Day! I love you!

With that, I’ll leave you with this:

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes…

I have a confession to make. It might be shocking. It might be offensive. 

Here it goes: 

I.despise.yoga. 

I really do. I’ve tried it a handful of times and each time I’ve despised it equally (except when I did Bikram yoga, I despised that even more – yoga in a room with the temp set to 100 is not normal.) I just don’t understand, every other woman in the world loves yoga, so why don’t I?! My sister Meg and I decided to do a candlelit yoga class at a place in Andover tonight. It was free and sounded intriguing. I always trick myself into thinking that the next time I go to yoga, I’ll like it; it’s like my brain blocks out the hatred I hold for it. We arrived and got settled on our mats, as the class began it really wasn’t too bad… Then the annoyance and boredom kicked in. A- Why do yoga instructors always have to have such eerily calm and soothing voices? I know you’re not gonna want someone up there teaching your class that sounds like Fran Drescher but come on! B- The whole class all you hear is the instructor saying: downward facing dog, iiiin-hale, exxx-hale, warrior one, namaste blahblahblahblahblah, C- The instructor should do the class with everyone! I’m sorry, but having someone walk around the room telling me what to do while I stretch, bend and contort my body in ways I didn’t think possible is simply rude. And D- I am honestly just not mature enough to be in a room full of people ‘om-ing’ with our eyes closed. You better believe my eyes are opened and I’m laughing to myself because it sounds like I’m at some sort of cult meeting or something. 

On a more positive note, there was a pregnant lady in front of me who was so cute with her little belly sticking out. She was doing such a great job with the yoga – waaay better than me! She looked so strong and beautiful. Pregnant women amaze me. 

I’m sure I’ll be tricked by yoga again (somehow Megan is always involved in this by the way, I never voluntarily go to yoga on my own… maybe I’m on to something here…) Maybe one day I’ll actually enjoy it, you never know? I’m not giving up on it, but for now I’ll stick with things like running, lifting, zumba, basketball, etc. Your workout is what works best for your body, what makes you feel powerful and happy with yourself – you have to do what’s best for you. However, I do recommend to keep an open mind in reference to trying new ways to workout because at some point you’re inevitably gonna have to spice up that old trusty workout, or else you could lose interest, focus and motivation. 

After yoga Meg and I went to Palmers (a small upscale restaurant in Andover) and sat in the bar area. Meg had chardonnay, I had pinot grigio, we shared the grilled brie and then each had a grilled shrimp and goat cheese salad (love that goat cheese!) This salad is so incredibly delicious and is just what I needed tonight. PS- Our waitress’ name was ‘Penny Lane’ which I thought was worth mentioning… 

Lastly, I wanted to share this with you: 

Reese Witherspoon (Avon’s Global Ambassador) was in Washington DC this past Wednesday in order to promote Avon’s products which they are selling so that their proceeds can go towards the effort to end violence against women. http://ow.ly/1h4eP   

   

If you click here: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/avon/42564/ You can watch both Reese along with Andrea Jung, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Avon Products Inc. speak to the crowd at the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Women breakfast. You can also go to the link below to order any of the Avon empowerment products. 

http://shop.avon.com/shop/product_list.aspx?level1_id=300&level2_id=380&pdept_id=383&cat_type=C  

I bought this bracelet for my mother, my sisters and myself – it’s so pretty! 

From Avon.com

From Avon.com

 

What a great message these women are putting out there; I really admire Reese Witherspoon and I think it’s wonderful she has chosen to use her fame in order to help a good cause. Violence against women is heartbreaking and it has most likely affected you, someone close to you or someone you know through someone else (a friend of a friend, etc.) The issue of violence has been lurking for years; no matter how equal women and men seem to be, no matter how strong and independent we are, violence is going to remain an issue unless something is done. Support your sisters, your mothers, your aunts, your nieces, your friends, yourself. Help these women get a fair chance in life – buy the bracelet/necklace/ring/t-shirt and spread the word! :)