Aug 15, 2011
I'm on vacation this week with my family. That means my message in a bottle is hopefully going to make it out to sea this time. Wish me luck and have a great week everyone!
Aug 7, 2011
My usual poolside look is some flavor of this:
Black capris, black shirt, floppy hat and self-help book or trashy magazine underneath a big umbrella. Sexy, huh?
I'm just not a girl that shows much (okay, any!) skin at the pool. Having a daughter often makes me think about the things I do and the example I set. I often think about what I do/don't do and how I would feel about her doing the same thing.
I think it's really important to be comfortable in your own skin, especially for women. While I feel very comfortable in my skin I have not been comfortable showing it in a bathing suit at the pool. The thinking that goes on in my head about strutting my stuff in my one-piece holds me back from enjoying the time more. It holds me back from creating fun memories in the pool with my daughter and husband. It's lame and a bad example and I'm stopping it.
So I slowly started shedding the thinking and the clothes...
and got in the pool and played in the water with my daughter and one of her friends. The fun we had in the water confirmed for me that I don't want to be sitting on the sidelines anymore.
So next time it's hot you know where I will be...
in the pool with my family rocking my one-piece!
Jul 4, 2011
Had to share a few things that I LOVE today. They remind me how lucky we are to live in a free country where so much is possible for all of us. Happy 4th of July everyone!
You can download the Ghandi poster and print your own here.
"The Holstee Manifesto" is available here.
More on the lululemon athletica manifesto can be found here.
Jul 2, 2011
I am a certified Life Coach! I completed part two of the certification process by coaching Martha Beck herself last month. It was incredible to coach Martha and surreal to hear her say that she loved my energy and to call me a great coach.
Coaching has changed everything in my life. My training has given me the tools to create the happier, lighter, more present and open space I am living in. I feel more in control of my life because I no longer let fear get in the way of what I want. It doesn't mean my life is perfect but it does mean that I am more "in" my life. More in my relationships, more in my health, more in my work and more in me. I am clear about what I want out of my life and the role I play in getting there.
So what's next for me and my coaching? Many great things! I have signed up with Brooke Castillo to do her weight loss coaching certification and self-coaching programs in the fall AND I will be working with the fabulous coach Susan Hyatt to do an intensive program to get clear about what what direction I want to go with my coaching practice.
In the interim, I am checking things off of my Bucket List and working on me so that whatever direction I go I know I will be ready for it!
Jun 26, 2011
So much has been going on the past month. I've been juggling a lot. I've always been a girl that does too much. I spend way too much of my time "doing" and not enough just "being".
I made a promise to myself earlier this year that I was going to work on learning to say "no" and create more space so I can just be. I even included the "learning to say no" as one of the items on my Bucket List. I have to say that for me saying no is hard work and can cause a lot of guilt and anxiety. It's easy for me to create all of these "what ifs" and "shoulds" in my head. "What if they then don't like me?" "What if it doesn't get done?" "I should be able to do one more thing in my day..."
So much of my focus centered around the effect my saying no might have on others. I gave little thought to the effect it had on me. Learning to say no is about boundaries and self-care. It doesn't mean that you aren't a nice person or that you will let someone down. I'm finding it actually means the opposite. The more I take care of myself and respect my own boundaries the more I have to give to others. I'm less tired, less irritable, nicer and a more in the moment person.
So the past four weeks have been really busy. Lots of work things, end of school year stuff, family obligations, etc. It's been pretty overwhelming and meant that I needed to take a break from some things including this blog to create space for me.
I've been doing lots of FUN things on my Bucket List in that created space and I am so excited to share them. I missed you!
May 3, 2011
The rain and the grey continued all weekend as did my sassy just-out-of-bed look and owl pajamas. After I got over my VEGEMITE encounter I settled in to watch Casablanca.
I am not a lover of old films so it is surprising that I have always wanted to see this movie. I am not even sure why or how I became interested in it in the first place. However this happened, I am very glad it did. I loved Casablanca!
The setting, the characters, the drama, the romance, the "gin joints"... it was great!
You've got to see the trailer to fully appreciate the flavor of it:
Pippi wasn't as enthralled with the movie as I was. She was too full of Vegemite and needed a rest.
It is no wonder Casablanca is a classic must-see movie. It's a MUST for everyone's (except Pippi's) bucket list!
Apr 26, 2011
It has been gray and rainy here in Ohio. Last weekend after five consecutive days without a ray of sunshine, I stayed home in my pajamas with my family, Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and VEGEMITE.
Here I am sporting the just-out-of-bed look with the treasures Amazon brought last week...
I didn't totally know what to expect with the concentrated yeast extract known as VEGEMITE. The product description on the website touts:
"VEGEMITE spread is a nutritious and versatile food. Proudly made in Australia, it’s one of the world’s richest known sources of Vitamin B.
VEGEMITE spread is virtually fat-free, with a mere 40kJ in a 5g serve, and is the perfect accompaniment for a wholesome, breakfast, lunch or snack. It’s far more tooth and gum friendly than jams or choc nut spreads, without compromising on taste. In fact, its unique and delicious flavour is what distinguishes the VEGEMITE brand."
The smell was unlike anything I had encountered...
People warned me to take it slow when trying VEGEMITE. My friend Cindy told me to spread a thin layer on my toast...
and I tried the concentrated yeast extract known as VEGEMITE. The pictures speak for themselves but be forewarned they are NOT pretty...
Can't say that I'm a fan. I've been told it's "an acquired taste". Only one family member's palate appreciated the VEGEMITE.
Apr 18, 2011
Sorry I am a little late in this post. Last weekend my family was away and I was busy working on the written test for my Martha Beck Life Coach certification. I sent it in and I PASSED!!! Now I'm scheduled for the second part of the process which is coaching Martha herself in a couple of weeks. I'm excited!
My Amazon order made it. Here it is in all of its splendor:
I can't wait to get started on knitting a dog! Look at these pictures:
This one looks like my childhood dog, Bo (West Highland White Terrier)...
I love this Old English Sheepdog...
and this English Bulldog...
I think I might do this one (a poodle) since it is most like Pippi...
In full disclosure, I have never knitted anything other than a lopsided scarf and a too-small hat. I'm not a good knitter and am not sure how to follow a pattern. I am going to need to enlist some help to guide me through the process. Fortunately, what I don't have in skill I (at least for now) make up for in enthusiasm.
If you are inspired to try to make on of these, check out the book here!
Apr 7, 2011
Can’t believe it’s been almost a month since this started. In looking over my list I am happy about the progress I’ve made in the past thirty days. I rode Bob the Bull, my cartwheels are getting better and the message in a bottle is just waiting for the next time I take it out to sea.
I am doing the first part of my Martha Beck Life Coach certification test next week. It is a written test in which we are given one week to complete. Assuming I successfully complete the written portion I then will be scheduled for the oral part in which I will coach Martha herself!
Here is a picture of Martha and I from a life coach conference last fall.
If you are not familiar with Martha Beck you might want to check her out. She has written many books, has a million degrees, is a regular on Oprah and has a monthly column in O Magazine. Martha's teachings have changed my life forever. She is that amazing.
I ordered a few things from my list on Amazon tonight. Estimated delivery is April 13th and I can’t wait! Here is what I’m expecting:
and the Knit Your Own Dog: Easy-to-Follow Patterns for 25 Pedigree Pooches [Paperback] book I have been interested in since I saw it in a magazine. I am a TERRIBLE knitter but am so excited to do this.
Will be back next week after the package arrives!
Mar 25, 2011
I love the message in a bottle idea. The whole concept of writing a special message, carefully securing it in a bottle and sending it out into the ocean to be found by a stranger in a faraway place captivates me.
While cartwheeling my heart out on the beach it occurred to me that I should take advantage of the time and do the message in a bottle from my list.
At dinner that night two women were drinking wine from the most perfect clear glass bottle at the table next to me. After explaining what I was hoping to do, they donated their empty wine bottle to my cause. (Thank you, Claire and Carol!)
It took me a few days to get all of the pieces in order. I washed and dried the bottle and removed the label (so the person who finds it in the faraway land will see the messages inside). Next, I wrote my letter on acid-free paper with an acid-free pen (not taking any chances on the message fading). Maddy enclosed a message of her own...
I put the cork back in the bottle and sealed it with wax...
Made sure it would float properly...
I spent a great deal of time researching online the best ways and times to launch a bottle. People detailed the benefits of both high and low tide, the proper environment and the benefits of sending messages in a bottle vs. email. Online experts touted sending a bottle as a great way to make new friends and explained that when time is a factor in showing how much you care about someone a message in a bottle wins over an email any day.
With my perfect bottle and expert knowledge from the internet, my husband, daughter and I headed for the beach. It was a perfect South Carolina bottle launching day and supposed to be one of the best times to do it. I quickly averted my eyes from the large sign that greeted beach visitors and warned of a $500 fine and possible prosecution for anyone bringing glass onto the beach.
I kissed my bottle goodbye, walked into the water and threw it out as far as I could.
I watched as it dropped into the ocean and started riding the waves... and then quickly came back to me.
So I picked my bottle up, looked around to make sure no one on the beach was noticing what I was doing, kissed it goodbye and threw it again. And it came back again. I repeated the process at least thirty more times that day at multiple venues and times. Each time the bottle washed back to me.
As the day progressed I had become less concerned about the $500 fine and possible prosecution and more determined to get the #@&%^$# bottle out to sea. I stopped innocent people who walked if they looked like they could help. This nice guy used his amazing pitcher’s arm to hurl my bottle into the water several times and then watched with me as it washed back.
None of the research or expert opinions had mentioned this. What was going on? Was the ocean trying to say something to me? Did it not like my message?
I packed up my bottle and brought it back to Ohio. It sits on my desk next to my computer for now. I smile every time I look at it.
Mar 17, 2011
I have never been able to do a cartwheel. I remember being on the playground in second grade watching intently as three of my friends twirled with ease through the grass as I sat watching from atop the monkey bars. Their pigtails flying and smiles across their faces, I believed that doing cartwheels represented superhuman powers and the key to a happy life.
With this in mind I took gymnastics classes, showed up every Saturday, wore the white leotard that no one looked good in, learned how to do a penny drop but no luck on the cartwheel. Part of our class warm up every week was to parade ourselves across the mat doing cartwheels in succession, demonstrating our skill as a gymnast. My cartwheels were never something to parade and I did my best every week to avoid that part of our warm up.
Over coffee recently, I was talking to one of my friends about my turning 40 bucket list and my intention to finally master the cartwheel.
“Laura, forget it.” she said
"What did you say?" I asked.
“Forget doing the cartwheel. Figure something else out.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because you have two things that will prevent you from ever being able to do a cartwheel. You have a butt and breasts. It will mean you will always be off-center. Plus you will get hurt. Save yourself the trouble and find a replacement.”
Fortunately, others have not had a similar reaction. My daughter, Maddy, is a rock star at cartwheels. I have no idea where it came from but I am so happy for her. At any moment she can break out a line of ten perfect cartwheels in succession. She was just born with it!
Maddy is a big fan of my quest to turn a perfect cartwheel.
We are in South Carolina this week for Spring Break. The ocean, the sand, the blue skies - what could be a more perfect place to start on my cartwheels?
I started practicing with the help of my daughter and some good friends. Maddy and her friends Isabella and Nicholas instructed me in how to stand, point my toes and how to draw a line to measure the straightness of my cartwheel.
Isabella and Nicholas’ mother, Becky, had been a cheerleader in high school and was able to offer some tips as well.
Becky is good at cartwheels...
Me not so much...
Later that day every muscle in my body was so sore that when I literally fell into bed that night slathered in BENGAY from the sundry store at the hotel. It was not pretty. Lying in bed and smelling like BENGAY I wondered about the wisdom of trying to do cartwheels at this point in my life. Was my friend right when she said that having a butt and breasts doomed any chance of me being able to turn a cartwheel?
Good thing I have the year to master them. I have decided the best strategy for me to accomplish my goal is to be more like the tortoise and less like the hare. I am going to take it slow and steady. My plan is to do a cartwheel every day this year. Butt, breasts, BENGAY and all!
Mar 10, 2011
So yesterday was my birthday. I had planned a great day with things I wanted to do and people I wanted to be with.
I woke up to a surprise breakfast in bed and birthday poster courtesy of my husband and daughter.
I had lunch with three friends at my favorite local lunch spot, Northstar Cafe.
Although it was a gray, rainy day I leisurely looked around the mall.
That evening I had dinner with my family at a favorite restaurant.
Usually that would be it for my birthdays, especially when they fall in the middle of the week. I am too tired to last past 10:00pm most nights and I am a girl who really needs her sleep.
This year was different. After dinner I headed out to a local country bar to ride a mechanical bull and properly ring in the last year of my thirties. I had a great group of friends who were up to join me.
I wasn’t sure exactly what to think when I first met “Bob the Bull”. He definitely was not a pretty bull nor did he look very friendly with his red eyes and horns.
Earlier a friend had emailed me and said, “Just go with it with the bull. It’s a most definite co-relationship to life. The harder you try to ‘ride’, the worse you’ll do. Go with the flow...”
My friends and I went with the flow and I think we all fell in love with Bob the Bull. None of us had been on a mechanical bull before but I’m not sure you ever would have known that by looking at us or from the laughter coming from our mouths.
We cheered each other on and took pictures to share with our families and post of Facebook.
We were just a bunch of girls out having a great time playing hooky from our normal lives on a Wednesday night, happy to be together and share in the experience. We stayed out late, we laughed and we rode the bull. IT WAS GREAT!!!
I've been thinking a lot about what made last night so great. Was it the bull? The decor of the country bar? The alcohol? Where did the magic come from?
Although I think all of the above certainly contributed to the mood of the evening I think the real magic came from a much deeper place. It had to do with a group of women getting together and reconnecting with a part of them that is often lost in the day-to-day responsibilities of working, being a spouse and a parent. That part of us that is just fun and free.
I am so excited to be on this journey this year and to have so many amazing people to share it with.
Thank you, Bob the Bull, for helping get it started!
Mar 9, 2011
Today is my thirty-ninth birthday.
While I can’t remember what I did for all of the thirty eight birthdays before this one I can tell you I am making this one memorable.
Today I am giving a present to me. I am playing hooky from the world. Doesn’t that sound nice? No emails, no phone calls or responsibilities. Just doing whatever it is I want to do.
I have a great day planned.
Will be back tomorrow to share what I did.