As if you all didn't already know, I have a complete obsession
with extremely realistic paintings of unique objects (especially those of food
, and random, man-made household items). So, you won't be surprised that when I came across the work of Tjalf Sparnaay
, a painter from the Netherlands, I was COMPLETELY enamored (completely isn't even a strong enough word here!).
So, since the best way to make you understand is to show you, please take a look below.
I've picked a variety of his works, so that you can see his range and his ability at rendering anything and everything
in a completely realistic way.
Um, yes. I promise you, this is a painting!
Had to include the apple ;)
See what I mean? Aren't you blown away? And what about the meat-n'-potatoes painting? Isn't it INCREDIBLE!?!? His ability to capture every detail is almost eerie. If you're as enamored as I am, you can view more of his work on his website, here
Gotta love this fancy internet contraption for allowing us to view the work of so many talented people from all over the world!
Mr. Broad, in all his yoga-hating glory ;)
As if he hadn't already done enough PR damage to yoga with "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body
" and the subsequent book
that has now been released, William J. Broad has released yet another scathing yoga review in The New York Times
--and this one, amazingly-enough, makes me even more upset than the first. The title? "Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here
What I want to say is this--Mr. Broad, why do you have such a vendetta against yoga? And why are you writing such misinformed articles for the NYT
? On the other hand, NYT
, why aren't you doing a better job editing and fact-checking this guy? Why are you supporting such sensational journalism? And how can you publish the sentence "But perhaps — if students and teachers knew more about what Hatha can do, and what it was designed to do — they would find themselves less prone to surprise and unyogalike distress." ????
Um, what!?!?!?! Hatha yoga was designed as a way to "hasten rapturous [sexual] bliss
???" And the "discipline began as a sex cult
???" Nope. Just no.
Mr Broad, I know that you're prone to exaggeration, but I have to tell you that you are just incorrect here.
Yep, definitely a sex cult. (Image via flowhoodriver.com)
I'll save you all from reading my entire imaginary reply to Broad (as if he would ever care what a lowly, "sex-cult"-participant thinks!), and instead, just want to set the record straight for my readers (and for my Grandmother, who undoubtedly will read the article, just as she did last time, and begin worrying about me...): last year, I spent an entire day learning about Tantra Philosophy
. I'm no expert (at all!), and would never purport to be, but during this weekend I learned that Hatha Yoga stemmed from both
Tantra and Samkhya philosophy, and that neither
of these philosophies started out having anything to do with sex-cults. Tantra has gotten associated with sexual practices along the way because people love a good sex scandal, and because part of the original Tantra movement was to deliberately violate the "no-no's" of the tradition at the time, and of course, one of those no-nos was sexual contact (there were many others, but they haven't been as highly publicized).
Some even believe that Tantra rose as a sort of political revolution, trying to shake things up a bit (for instance, what will happen if you eat meat or drink wine, even though we're not supposed to?). But it did not start as a sex-cult and true Tantra is still not about sex, it's image has just gotten very twisted by our sex-obsessed culture. But the other thing is this--Hatha Yoga as we know it today, in the west, is NOTHING like what it was thousands of years ago, so it doesn't really matter. Also, as a sidenote, both Bhuddism and Hinduism grew out of Tantra philosophy, and no one is calling them religions based solely on sex, right?
As for Broad's point about all of the gurus and founders of various yoga practices being corrupt sexual "philanderers," I'd like to argue that this stems not from the practice of yoga and the "pelvic regions [that] feel more sensitive and orgasms more intense," but instead, from the effects of good old power, money, and fame. I think that these gurus, founders, and leaders are falling prey to the exact same power-trip that movie stars, politicians, and CEOs fall prey to--only politicians aren't always surrounded by 100's of beautiful, healthy women in tight clothes, so their philandering may not be as widespread or systemic. I completely agree that there has been an abuse of power in the yoga community (and especially recently, with the John Friend scandal
), but I don't think that the practice of yoga is to blame--it's the individuals who gain power and prestige who are at the root of the problem.
So there you have it. To summarize, yes, I've seen the article, and no, I don't agree with it.
And to all of the blog-reading Grandmothers out there--no, yoga is NOT a sex-cult.
Image via gedkanart.com
This past weekend, I took part in two Advanced Teacher Training
workshops with the amazingly-knowledgeable Megan Davis
. Both sessions focused on Anatomy & Therapeutics, and they were truly eye-opening. But here's my biggest takeaway from the weekend (and I wanted to share it with you because I think it's super-important): its ALL about feet.
Truly. They are our base, they tell our brain where we are in space, and they are our bodies' point of reference. So if our feet aren't right, our spine, core, knees, hips, etc., cannot be straight, and therefore, will cause major imbalances in the body that will eventually lead to injury. So, this makes me think that it's time for us to get our feet in order!!!
Not sure how to do this? Here are some tips that I learned over the weekend:
- Self-massage: Use a tennis ball to roll out the bottoms of your feet and massage the plantar fascia . Don't know how to do this? Here's a quick video that shows you how. It's super-easy and feels really good. You can also use a golf ball or wooden rod, but that makes it a lot more painful.
- Flip Flops = NO. Do not EVER wear flip flops. Really, the experts have all weighed in and all of them say the same thing--no flip flops! If you must wear them (and I think I must--they make me so happy!!!), wear the kind that have backs or hold your foot in really well in some other way. Hear CrossFit mobility guru Kelly Starrett talk about the horrors of flip flops here, in his "Athletes Don't Wear Flip Flops" video.
- Practice yoga! Megan told us that after practicing for 2-3 years, many practitioners notice that their feet literally get bigger, longer, wider, and their toes even spread out wider. Amazing, right? This helps with balance and helps your body get oriented in space.
- Never wear high heels. EVER. Especially not the ever-so-popular "stripper heel" variety that is in style now (thanks, Kardashians!). Why? Here's what heels do to your feet (does this look natural, to you!?!?):
And this isn't even a very high heel!!! (Image via news.softpedia.com.)
- Go barefoot and fancy free. If you don't have any foot injuries or reasons that you should be wearing shoes, go barefoot as much as possible. As Megan said this past weekend, "shoes are the coffins of the feet. They are where feet go to die." We're not made to wear shoes, and she gave another great example that demonstrates this: in traditional african societies, everyone goes barefoot. Often women in these societies will walk barefoot for miles, carrying something on their heads and often, carrying a baby on one hip. Studies have shown that these societies--and even these women--have a LOT less lumbar (lower) back pain than our society does. And we're not carrying things on our heads!!! I find this totally crazy.
- Wear YogaToes (or toe spreaders! Image below). I know they're weird, but I have some and I really like them. Plus, not to brag, but since becoming a yogi and using these toe spreaders every once in a while, I now have monkey toes :) Ben and I like to compare toes, and it's really sad to see his trapped, corporate feet and how they're all squished and he can't spread his toes. So sometimes he uses my YogaToes, too, and they help!
Image via yogapro.com.
So see? There are LOTS of things you can do for your feet. Think about all that they do for you on a daily basis, and give them a little love! They sure do need it (and runners, I'm talking to you!)...
PS. I also learned that Paris Hilton has a bunion
this past weekend. So see? Don't wear heels! You don't want a bunion--I hear those things are CRAZY-painful.
Somehow, March is right around the corner (say what!??! I know...). As I looked through my planner this morning and realized how quickly everything is coming up (and how quickly the March pages are filling up!), I figured I should go ahead and give you a heads-up on all of the fun events I'm involved in next month, in case you want to join me :)
Hope to see you at one of the following fun happenings!
Image via thesavageyogi.blogspot.com
Yoga & Cross-Training
at Tranquil Space Arlington
Saturday, 3/3 from 5-7pm
Love yoga but can't find the time to make it to a class regularly due to your other physical fitness interests? This workshop is for those who lead extremely physical lives and whose body works hard in their physical pursuits, but who can't make it to a studio or class every day to practice. Through yoga, athletes can learn to increase their body awareness, prevent injuries, and increase flexibility. During this workshop, time will be spent teaching poses and sequences that can be done at home or before/after another type of workout in order to aid in flexibility, balance, and injury prevention. Those who already have a regular yoga practice but are also runners, bikers, etc., will also benefit from this workshop because we will be targeting muscles used for these various types of activities and learning how to increase mobility through yoga. We will spend 1 hour in a vinyasa practice especially for athletes and then spend the next hour breaking down and discussing a number of poses meant to target the primary muscles used in athletic pursuits. Appropriate for all levels. Beginners welcome! $35, $30 if you register online here
Creativity Series in the Lab
at Tranquil Space Dupont
Saturdays in March from 11:30-2pm
At Tranquil Space, creativity and yoga go hand-in-hand. Learn to express yourself in new ways and connect with your inner creative being by taking part in a new Creativity Series in TS Labs. Join me, Lisa, Melissa, and Kimberly in this this 4 week series, which will cover mixed media artwork & sketchbooks, knitting, creative & healthy cooking techniques, and art journaling. Details about my session is below!March 10: Making Magic with Mixed Media
One of the best things about creating art with mixed media is that there is NO wrong way to do it. You don't have to be able to "draw a straight line," don't have to be able to paint, and there's no specific technique that you must master in order to be a mixed media artist. It's intuitive creativity, layering, and playful expression at it's finest! During this workshop, you will have a chance to produce small pieces of art on canvas board and/or in the form of mixed media sketchbook pages. We will start with a bit of guided movement, followed by a brief demonstration and then time to experiment and explore the materials. No prior experience with any type of visual art is necessary--all are welcome to come and create!
For a complete supply list, schedule, and description of the other 3 workshops in the series, register online here
Celebrate the Spring Equinox with 108 Sun Salutations
at Tranquil Space Arlington
Saturday, 3/24 from 9-11pm
Join Tranquil Space teachers (Lauren D, Jennifer T., Anu, Lisa, Mary Catherine, Jen H., Dibora and Jodi) for a dynamic, fun-filled evening saluting the sun 108 times. We will move through variations of Surya Namaskar A and B. Repetition in movement allows for the body to come into a serene meditative flow. Melt away the winter months and give yourself permission to let loose and to let go.
All proceeds will benefit the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. $20 suggested donation. Register online here
Tranquil Space E-Course
*Can do this anywhere--all you need is a computer! Sign up and get started here.
Join me, Melissa, Niya, and Kimberly for a 4-week e-course outlining ways to live the yoga lifestyle with tranquility. This e-course will allow you the opportunity to explore the yoga lifestyle in depth from four of Tranquil Space's talented teachers. The four sessions focus on healthy and mindful eating, creative expression, pranayama, anxiety reduction, asana, and living your yoga philosophy.
Read the private blog and go through the videos and podcasts at your own pace - there is no start or end date. Take time for the OMwork and pick up the recommended sources to dive deeper into the topics. Post pictures from your journey on our Flickr page. You are encouraged to commit to a daily spiritual practice such as yoga, running, meditation, prayer, or nature walks – whatever resonates most with you while taking the e-course.
Tranquil Space Lifestyle E-course is recommended for beginner and experienced yogis looking for ways to infuse yoga into their everyday or non-yogis interested in living a more mindful lifestyle. Join us on this adventure and let the tranquility unfold.
Investment: $99, approximately 5-10 hours to listen to podcasts, watch videos, and read musings. Register online here.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about these upcoming events! Hope to see you on the mat soon :)
Um, PHEW! What a week! The past 7 days have been full of surprises, yoga, and lots of hard work, but, among the hustle-and-bustle of daily life, I was still able to enjoy many simple, sensory pleasures...
Oh, what's that you said? Why yes, thanks for asking! I'd love to share them with you today :) Some of my favorites are below:
Hear: The Lion's Roar
by First Aid Kit
One of my students (who is always amazing at recommending music to me), told me about First Aid Kit
this week. Since I totally trust her taste, I bought their latest album yesterday and listened to it while I painted. She was right...they're amazing! They're a Swedish folk duo composed of two sisters, who are (get this!) 22 and 19 years old. What's with all these young women taking over the music world lately? I love it. Such talent at such a young age...and they make me feel SO old! Anyways, I think their songwriting is brilliant and I can't wait to add a First Aid Kit song or two to my March class playlist :) Take a listen to two of their tracks below (I couldn't pick a favorite to share!):
1. "In the Hearts of Men"
2. "King of the World"
Being Featured in the "8 Yoga Bloggers to Know in Washington"
article on Washingtonian.com
So exciting! I see that I had a LOT of new visitors to my site yesterday, so if you're a new reader, WELCOME!! Also, for those who haven't read the article, be sure to check out the other amazing bloggers who are listed. I know quite a few of them, and am a big fan (3 others are also Tranquil Space
Teachers!)! Thanks for the great shout-out, Washingtonian
"Sex, Tea, and Rock'n Roll" Tea Bags by Donkey Products
Um, can you believe this!?!?! How hysterical is it!? 5 of these amazing teabags (others are Janis Joplin, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, and Jimi Hendrix) were sent to me in a care package from a good friend who just moved to California (so sweet!!!). Using the Elvis one brought a HUGE smile to my face this week, as I think they are just too funny. Oh, and yes, the tea tastes good, as well, but I have to admit that the taste isn't the main event here (!). And isn't the wide-brimmed teacup just perfect for it? I think I'm going to have to hoard these little guys and only serve them when I have special guests visiting ;) Thanks, Amanda!
The last 3...
I know it's hard to believe, but I've eaten almost
two bags of grapefruits this week. I bought a bag of 5 last Friday, bought another bag of 5 on Sunday, and only have 3 left (one of which I plan to eat this morning!). I'm totally obsessed. You know when you just get a craving for something and you want it all the time? That's what's happened. I honestly think it was prompted by my smell SJOTW last week
, the Antica Farmacista Pompelmo Oil Diffuser
. Isn't that funny? But yes, I've been attacking grapefruits like a starving wolf this week, and it's been magical. At least they're good for you, right? It's like I'm accidentally on the grapefruit diet (hehe)! If only I wasn't eating SO much normal food, as well ;)
Doing burpees at the Smackdown...
Completing WOD #1
of the CrossFit Open
Yes, you read that right--I'm signed up for the CrossFit Open
:) Now, I have to explain that I'm doing this JUST for the fun of pushing myself, joining in the competition, and getting an extra workout each week; I'm not doing it because I think I have a chance at making it to the CrossFit Games...or to regionals...or really even through the entire Open, as I'm sure something will come up in the next few weeks that I just can't do (um, pullups, anyone?). But, in the meantime, I'm going to enjoy it. And last night, I did. Since I won't be around this weekend, I did the Open workout early, and it was killer
. 7 minutes AMRAP (as many reps as possible) of burpees
. Sounds straightforward, right? Um, I almost died. They made it a LOT harder by requiring all competitors to jump up and touch a bar 6" above you head every time. That's what got me. But anyways, I had a blast and got 82 burpees in 7 minutes--a score that I'm good with. I'll keep you updated as the Open continues, as it's 5 weeks long (yikes!?!)...what have I gotten myself into?
So that's it for this week! Take a moment to think about it: what made you really happy--even if only for a moment or two--over the past week or so? Be sure to take some time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life...
I'm back in Advanced Teacher Training
this weekend, so I'll be sure to think of you and bring back (and share) some of the good stuff that I learn. In the meantime, here's to a wonderfully relaxing--YET active--spring (I know!?) weekend!
Image via photoblog.msnbc.msn.com
Last night, while practicing in a somewhat crowded yoga class, I experienced this funny moment of awareness. We were working into koundinyasana (an arm balancing pose where your legs go in two opposite directions and take up a lot of space), and we were all over our mats. As I came down from the pose and came back into my lunge, the student next to me was still in it, and her foot was literally about 1 inch from where my face ended up. But here's the funny part--the moment of awareness--I thought NOTHING of it. I just stayed there in my lunge, breathing deeply, and gazing right past her foot (a foot that if I wanted to, I could probably touch with my nose--or tongue, haha!). It wasn't until she removed her foot and we moved on that I realized how funny it was, how weird it might be to those who don't practice yoga, and just how immune I am to crowded yoga classes.
As a teacher and Studio Director, I hear complaints about crowded classes all the time. I know some people avoid crowded classes at all costs, and there's nothing that they hate more than practicing with someone on every side of their mat. I completely understand how full classes can be difficult for people--especially really tall people, or those who are new to the practice--but I also think that practicing on a mat 5 inches away from someone else can be a really great experience. If you're open to it, crowded classes can be really energizing. There's a great community feeling, a "we're all in it together" sort of feeling, and it can be super-powerful to watch 40 or 50 people rise up into warrior 1 at the exact same time. It can also be a really great challenge to work to stay in your own body while sharing close quarters with another, and it can be a challenge to not get distracted or frustrated by someone else's foot in your face. But I've found that it's even more amazing when you can transcend all of the distractions and still have an amazing practice, no matter who or what is around you.
Without getting on a crazy soapbox here, I think that as Americans, we're somewhat spoiled by all the space that we're surrounded by in our daily lives. We're used to protecting ourselves--to spending our days in little boxes--in our cars, our cubicles or offices, our spacious apartments or homes. But to those in other countries (or in NYC--as in the picture above!), there just isn't as much space, and being smushed up against someone while you ride on the subway or take the elevator to your TINY apartment (that you may share with 6 people!) is totally normal.
So what I want to say today is this--challenge yourself the next time you're in a crowded class. See if you can tune into the positive energy of the class and stay inside your body, instead of worrying about the person next to you. And then maybe, just maybe, you'll find yourself resting your head on your neighbor's foot while they do an arm balance one day, and you won't even realize it :)
Well, surprise, surprise, someone's done it again. Created a new art form that is totally mind-blowing and unique. That someone is Brian Dettmer
, who creates insanely detailed works of art using books, paint, surgical tools, knives, and tweezers. He carves one page at a time, whittling away at the volumes to expose words and shapes that mean something to him. He's also not afraid to bend and shape the books to make more sculptural forms, as well.
Anyways, you just have to see it to understand. So check him out below:
As you can tell, this guy is pretty serious. He's also a very well-known artist, and his work is shown in a number of galleries and museums across the world. The part I like the best? He's an Atlanta artist! Yay!
You can see more of his amazing work on his website, here
. You can also watch a short piece about Dettmer and his process (by CBS Evening News) below.
A GREAT reminder to follow your creative dreams--no matter what they are--as you never know what will catch on...
I'm sure Dettmer's friends thought that he was crazy at first, but now look at him!?
A "late-night" (as in 9:30pm, which is late for me these days...) Pinterest
attack led me to this AMAZING
image and quote (below). I think it was meant to be, as it speaks to exactly
how I've been feeling these days.
So simple, so beautiful, so true:
You are allowed to slow down. You are allowed to turn off your phone. You are allowed to lie down in the sun.
[Sabrina Ward Harrison]
Image via Pinterest
Why do we so easily forget that we are always free to do these things?
Why don't we EVER turn off our phones?
I'm going to do it this week. And I double-dog-dare you to do the same ;)
One of the things that I enjoy most about life (and get ready--I know I'm about to sound like a BIG dork) is learning new things. I know, SUCH a dork, right?! But, it's true. I'm a total student at heart, and if I could spend my entire life going back to school in some way, I would. So, naturally, I also love the lessons associated with daily life and the random things learned along the way...
So, today I'm going to share some of the oh-so-basic things that I learned this past weekend, organized by category (because you know this girl LOVES herself some structure!). Read on for some random tidbits and things to ponder...
Image via farm4.static.flickr.com
"What do Sir Winston Churchill, Bobby Soderstrom, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Jefferson, Donald Rumsfeld, Vladimir Nabakov, Ben Franklin, Leonardo da Vinci and Treehugger founder Graham Hill have in common? They all worked standing up.
-"You'd Better Not Be Sitting Down When You Read This"
from Elephant Journal
Pretty cool, huh? I've been a BIG proponent of working standing up, or avoiding sitting all day (AT ALL COSTS) ever since I quit my full-time desk job and noticed that a lot
of my constant lower back and hip pain dissipated as soon as I wasn't spending 8-hours a day sitting. Then, I saw this article entitled "This is What Really Wrecks Your Body"
and it made me happy, because it totally supports what I have experienced firsthand.
Don't have the luxury of being able to stand or move around at work? I recommend doing some chair yoga at your desk
, setting an alarm as a reminder to get up and move around every 30 minutes, or going on a long walk or grabbing a quick class (yoga, spinning, anything!) during lunch. Standing desks are also a great idea, if your office supports this kind of thing...and look at the image below if you don't believe me!
Image via elephantjournal.com
Modifications are where it's at. My newest yoga philosophy for my personal practice? Question every pose and make sure it's right for your body--where it is right now
As one of my favorite yoga teachers, Kristin Leal
says, "every body
is different--every skeleton is different." Some skeletons will not allow the body to EVER do a certain pose, and that's okay. My current issues don't have as much to do with my skeleton as they do with a bunch of injuries that have flared up (wrists, shoulder tendonitis, and resurgence of old hip/back injuries when in certain poses...), but they're a great reminder that even when you're hurt, or tired, or sore, you can still practice. You can make your practice your own and you can skip any pose that doesn't feel right for you. Whether that's just for today, or for forever, it doesn't matter. Through my recent modifications I've seen that even if I can't ever do a jump-back in my practice again, I'll be okay. I'll be really, really sad, and will have to mourn it, but I'll be okay.
And Dwi Pada Sirsasana (below)? Never. I will ALWAYS modify or skip this pose--and yes, I'm fine with that :)
Image via yogadawg.com
THIS is what McDonald's McNuggets come from (see below). Oh, and if this doesn't convince you not to eat there, how about the recent study that said that the McRib shares a common ingredient with yoga mats
Yep! Enough said (I knew there were many reasons that I've been boycotting this establishment for years, but sometimes it's great to get a visual reminder! YIKES).
Image via mindbodygreen.com
Doing your taxes in February = amazing (do it!).
Having a tax structure that makes just getting your taxes ready for your accountant take 3 hours = not so amazing. Having an accountant handle all of the crazy number-crunching and form-completing = true bliss.
Until this weekend, I had almost forgotten one of the few downfalls of being self-employed...but not to worry, I was surely reminded of ALL of the admin details that come along with "living the dream" when I sat down to tackle my 2011 taxes yesterday. Organizing income from 5 different employers, calculating business expenses, organizing deductions, oh yeah, and living in both DC and VA in one year? Makes your head spin. So the lesson I was reminded of here? If you work for yourself, pay estimated taxes and get a good accountant.
AGREED!!! Oh, wait, they aren't talking about yoga instructors, are they ? ;) Image via welcomeomdc.com.
When it comes to CrossFit--and all physical endeavors, really--it's all about baby-steps (and form!). Following in suit with my recent yoga lessons, I've also come across some challeges at CrossFit as of late, and here's what I've realized: the goal is to stay healthy, improve, build strength, and have fun. That's really it!
I may not be able to do a pull-up--EVER?--but until they seem more accessible, I can work on my kipping pull-ups (I'm almost there!) and just take it one day at a time. It's all about patience, right?
And as a side-note, I'm convinced that some of us are not proportionally built for pull-ups. I have a typical pear-shaped female body (see below to get the image--I'm not kidding, this is exactly how my body is shaped!), and I feel as though it's not fair because unlike a male body, that only has to lift 50% or less of their body weight, I'm lifting 75% of my body weight when I do a pull-up AND my upper body is the weakest part of my body. Make sense? If not, there's a visual below...
Do I look like I can do pull-ups? (image via styleguru.com)
Taking a walk with loved one, with no destination in mind, is one of the greatest ways to spend a Saturday afternoon...
Yes! I was a real person this weekend with a chunk of available time (aka, nothing scheduled) and Ben, in a moment of uncharacteristic spontaneity, told me to get in the car because we were going on a walk outside. We drove to a trail along the Potomac, and ended up meandering along for about 3 hours, exploring the city and enjoying the sunshine. I kept thinking to myself, "so this is how the other half lives!?!?" It was amazing. I must do this sort of thing more often.
Some of the friends we met on our walk :)
So what lessons did *YOU* learn this past weekend? Remember, we're all students of life, hehe! ;)
Here's to a week full of learning, broadening our horizons, and listening to our bodies!
Welcome to SJOTW, bloggies! I hope you've had a wonderful one :)
The past 7 days have been busy for me, but that hasn't stopped me from indulging in my biggest simple joy ever--getting LOTS of sleep! So, as I sip on my mango black tea and revel in my 9 hours of rest from last night (yes, I got in bed at 10pm! I was pooped...), I wanted to share a few more of my simple, sensory pleasures from the past week...what were yours?
Hear: Adele's performance on the Grammys
Adele=perfection. Really! As most of you who have been readers for a while know, I am obsessed with Adele and have been from the second I heard "Chasing Pavements" back in 2009. And then this year? It has been HER YEAR. 6 Grammys by the time you're 21 and I'd say you might be *kind of* good at what you do...so, if you missed it, check out her performance of "Rolling in the Deep" from Sunday night (below). My favorite part is at the end, when the camera shows all of the celebrities and singers in the audience giving her a standing ovation and making faces that mean, "WOW?!?!? she is AMAZING!!!" Watch her do her thing below:
See: This Valentine's Day card I made for Ben --->
For those of you who have seen him lately, you have to admit that he looks exactly like this little faceless hairball that I drew (haha!). He opened it and said, "Oh my gosh! That looks exactly like me! Its creepy!" And it is. Who knew my best portrait of all time would be faceless? I know it's kind of conceited to post a card that I made as a Simple Joy of the Week, but it really made me laugh and I definitely know it's not a work of art, just a weird, funny fluke that somehow turned out to look just like him. An even bigger SJOTW that goes along with it? Watching Ben's face as he read the inside of the card. Awwwwww ;) PS. This card was the entirety of our Valentine's Day celebration, although we do have a fun dinner + movie date planned for tonight!
Ben's CrossFit Valentine's Day Cookie
Yep, that's right, I ate it :) The guy left it on the counter for 4 days (4 days!) and on Wednesday when I asked if he was ever going to eat it, he said no and gave me the go-ahead...so what did you expect!?!? I enjoyed every last bite with a big glass of milk. Did I feel slightly guilty eating an icing-kettlebell across the room from all of the real kettlebells on the floor
(saying to me, "you should be swinging me to get a workout, not eating that cookie!")? Yes. But did that stop me? Absolutely not. After my dessert-and-sugar-less January, I now truly
appreciate sweets when indulging.
Image via cwgala.wordpress.com
Touch: Hot Showers
I know this is weird, but for some reason this week I've been REALLY appreciative of my showers. I had this moment in the shower earlier in the week, where I realized that my mind was 1000 miles away from what I was doing, and thought, "I should try to be more present in the shower--I should work to focus on the way the hot water feels on my skin, to revel in the heat and relaxation of the experience, instead of planning, dissecting my day, and mindlessly washing my hair, etc." So that's what I've been working on this week--doing a shower-mindfulness-meditation, if you will. And it's been great. Try it! Hot showers really are amazing when you stop and think about them...
Smell: Antica Farmacista Pompelmo (Grapefruit) Oil Diffuser
One of my super-thoughtful clients gifted me with this "home ambiance perfume" this week, and it. is. divine. It smells absolutely amazing, and it's subtle-yet-strong scent has really permeated our small apartment. I'm always amazed that oil diffusers work as well as they do, and this one is no joke. I adore grapefruit, and this scent is simply divine. I'm definitely a new convert to Antica Farmacista--and think their products are a GREAT gift! Every time I get a whiff of it, I smile--and to me, that's what Simple Joys of the Week is all about :)
So here's to a wonderfully relaxing and joyful Friday and weekend for all! Mine is relatively open (compared to some of the past few weekends!), so I look forward to finding a bit of time to unwind, too...
Don't forget to stop and smell the grapefruit scent (or your equivalent!) this weekend!