Giving Presence

December 13, 2014

Not sure why it is the way it is, but the holidays are stressful. It always feels like there isn't enough time to do all the things that we need to do. And perhaps we are under more pressure during these times with all the parties and cheer and shopping and presents. It's a reason why this December yoga challenge that I've been doing has been a blessing for me. I'll admit that I have skipped a couple days, but it has motivated me to do yoga a lot more than I would have done otherwise.

I'm also doing this thing where I try not to be on my phone all the time, especially when I'm eating dinner or my husband is trying to talk to me (he hates it!). I think that I use my phone to escape from life and what's currently happening, but I need to be give presence to people that I care about by listening and paying attention to them. It seems like such an obvious thing, but I have been guilty in the past of paying attention to my phone more than the people around me. SORRY!

Here are a couple pics from my challenge.

Love this passive hip opener.
Chaturanga Dandasana (low plank). This looks easy, but it's harder than it looks!
Tree pose in front of our Christmas Tree! It's fake and came pre-lit. I love it! XD
This is my first time doing this pose. It's easier than it looks, but still hard for me. but I'm so surprised that I was even able to do this!
I love that when I do yoga, I'm able to just be present in the moment and listen to what my body is telling me. I feel like it's super good for my mental health. I am prone to anxiety and I noticed that yoga has alleviated a lot of those anxious feelings for me. It has taught me to let go of things that I cannot change and I am thankful for that.

Also, I'm going to also admit that I have skipped the last two days (I still have to make them up!). I briefed the wing deputy commander and other command leaders and representatives about energy and water usage on the base this past fiscal year. It was incredibly stressful for me because it was my first time and I do not like speaking publicly. However, I survived. Then I jumped off the wagon by taking a nap immediately after work and just LETTING GO. Haha. Then Dash (who is our new kitty, btw!!! I guess I'll write about him later) had his first vet visit yesterday (which was my day off). I also mailed out my Christmas presents to my parents and sister (haaayyyy!). Then we had my squadron's Christmas Party last night! Today we have a birthday party and then a Christmas Pig Roast to go to... It's definitely been hard to find time to get on my mat these past couple of days. Apologies. But I finally feel stress-free now. Well, there are still a couple things that I need to get done at work before Christmas, but I'm not even going worry about it. :)

How are you all faring during the holiday season? I am so behind on reading my blog feed!

Christmas 2014 Wishlist

December 04, 2014

I am not sure about anyone else, but I've been so busy lately! A meeting at work has crept up on me suddenly and I had to scramble this week to prepare for it (I blame Thanksgiving). I was put in charge of this "energy watch" group when I first started and this quarter will be my first in-person meeting that I have to brief. Which is fine. But kind of stressful! My anxiety is through the roof! So, I compiled a list of things that I'm dreaming about for Christmas because it makes me feel a little better. My husband and I actually don't really exchange gifts. I'm not too big on presents. Plus, I like to buy things for myself if I want something, which sounds kind of selfish... What I mean to say is that I like giving gifts more than I like receiving them. After I am done buying presents for my family, I will look into buying stuff for myself. ;)

These have been on my mind lately:
cathyahh christmas 2014 wishlist w3ll people kate spade jo malone sk-ii madewell sonnet james

I have been using the NARS Light Reflecting Setting Powder and it works well for me. However, I saw this Bio Brightener Duo set in the Birchbox shop and I have been wanting to try it! I will probably wait until after I finish my NARS setting powder though (which will probably take me FOREVER because it lasts a long time even though I use it every day!). But that highlighter... I've heard a lot of good things about it. And I like how both of these products are made with natural/organic, non-harsh ingredients. I got to choose one of my December Birchbox samples this month and I picked this. :) We'll see if I like it.

TWO: Kate Spade Bernadette Sunglasses
Have you all seen the Holiday Campaign ad that Anna Kendrick did for Kate Spade? It was such a cute video (you can watch it here). I thought that the sunglasses she was wearing were super cute. I might splurge and buy them after the holidays are over. Hopefully they're still in stock! :)

THREE: Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt Cologne
I saw reviews of this on a couple of blogs and I thought that it sounded so nice. I actually like the smell of salty air and people are saying that this is reminiscent of the seaside. SOLD!

FOUR: SK-II Facial Treatment Clear Lotion
This has been on my radar since my friend, Michelle, mentioned it in the comments section of my post about my seasonal skin woes. It is pretty expensive ($70 for 5.1 oz), but she made it sound so awesome. I like that it has AHAs. Sounds like it works really well to remove impurities/dirt and to exfoliate dead skin cells.

FIVE: Sonnet James Margot Dress
I first heard about this brand on one of my favorite lifestyle blogs, Love Taza. Sonnet James dresses seem to be targeted towards mothers, but I don't care! I love all the dresses in their shop! A lot of them are colorful and fun, but I really like the simplicity of this grey one. Plus, I could always dress it up or down! Since it's meant for "playful moms," I feel like they must be pretty durable to withstand all the tiny, grabby hands. :)

SIX: Madewell Pinewood Pullover
I am grateful that it doesn't get too cold here in Charleston, SC. But my tropical island blood still causes me to shiver in temperatures less than 65 degrees! My cowokers are always teasing me about wearing sweaters all the time, even inside the building. I don't care; I like to be cozy. I like this sweater from Madewell in Willow Bough. I don't think that I have any pieces of clothing that are this deep hue of forest green, but I think it looks pretty and different (most of my sweaters are black, navy, or grey). Plus, those button-up sides are so cute!


What's on your wishlist? :)

#justbepresent

November 29, 2014

#justbepresent yoga challenge december 2014 beachyogagirl kinoyoga aloyoga instagram

I posted this graphic on my instagram the other day. I am planning on participating on this yoga challenge hosted by @beachyogagirl@kinoyoga. If you're on instagram and into yoga, I'm sure you know who they are already. They both post inspirational photos/videos (usually on the beach since they're both from Florida!) and have a bunch of followers. I try not to compare myself to others though. To me, yoga is a way for me to be more in touch with myself and what my body needs. It means that I might not be as flexible or as strong as others, but that's okay! I still like looking at photos and videos of people doing yoga because it's amazing to see what the human body is capable of doing.

Anyway, I'll be participating in the #justbepresent yoga challenge, which is both exciting and terrifying:
1) I am welcome to being motivated to practice yoga everyday. I haven't really been present on my mat lately and I know that I need it.
2) By looking at the scheduled poses, I can already tell that I won't be able to do some of them. I am not trying to be pessimistic; I just know what my body is capable of. I think pushing myself to do something that I'm not ready to do yet would invite injury. My hamstrings are tight tight tight, headstands scare me still, and I can't do a handstand yet despite practicing for it (sporadically!).
3) Posting pictures of myself in yoga poses online makes me nervous because it's putting myself out there, for all the world to see and judge.

It kind of sounds like I'm trying to psyche myself out, but I have already made peace with all my qualms. I'm just going to do it. I just have to figure out the self-timer on my camera (or ask my husband to kindly take photos of me after he comes home from school every night!). XD

cat yoga yogi yogini downward facing dog
(via)
I am interested to see the beginner variations on the poses that I can't do. :) Thankfully there are a lot of do-able poses! Check out that child's pose (24)! My fave! ;) If you are interested, follow me on instagram!


Do you guys do yoga? Would you ever do an online challenge like this? Anyone have any handstand tips?! :)

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

November 22, 2014

(via)
I actually don't have any pictures of Thanksgiving food (my ext hard drive died), so here's a blurry phone pic of a plate from Christmas last year in Hawaii. :)
Thanksgiving is coming up next week! I'm super excited. It is my favorite holiday! Thanksgiving, to me, is all about good food, good people, and just being thankful! Back home in Hawaii, my entire extended family would always get together and it was so nice to spend time with them and eat delicious, home-cooked food all day (like my dad's signature baked fish!). It's tough being away from family, but Dallin and I try to make the most of it. We usually host holiday meals or go over to a friend's house. This year, however, it'll just be the two of us. But that's okay! I'm still excited! I love Thanksgiving food! :) Here are my favorite recipes that I personally like to use.

Birchbox Limited Edition Conscious Commerce Box

November 15, 2014

Conscious Commerce Limited Edition Curated Birchbox Products

Conscious Commerce Curated Limited Edition Birchbox

Conscious Commerce Limited Edition Curated Birchbox product list

I recently bought this limited edition Birchbox that was curated by the ladies behind Conscious Commerce (Olivia Wilde, who I love!, and Babs Burchfield). I had already bought the Vanity Affair LE box and I wasn't planning on getting the Conscious Commerce one, but then I saw the unboxing video. I fell in love and I impulsively bought it with the birchbox points that I earned from my previous purchase. I love everything that this box is about. Everything in this box is a product that gives back to an important cause. I received the box this past week and I love it! Everything is well-made and something that I know that I will use.