Ten Things I Loved in March 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff.

ten things march 2013

Ten Things I Loved In March

Things I/We Did

1.      Hung out with Rock Stars. Specifically, paid to see Rhett Miller play at Yoshi’s in SF, only to find Chris Isaak in the audience. Chatted pleasantly with both like it was no big deal.

2.     Sang songs with Old People. Inspired by a repeated viewing of Lost in Translation, I   invited a bunch of friends to come sing karaoke with me for my birthday. At 3 in the afternoon. With my 2 year old. Good, good times were had by all.

3.     Pressed send on my first speaking proposal. Eek! And how exciting!

4.     15 Minute Mini Vacationand I didn’t even have to leave my house.

Products and Services I Dug:

5.    Yoriginality workshop with Anna Guest-Jelly of Curvy Yoga and Alexandra Franzen. Holy helpful, Batman! If you teach yoga, you’ve got to take this workshop. 

6.    Solution Session with Sarah Von Bargen. So helpful, professional and kind.

7.    Blue Moon Cafe and Karaoke private rooms, good microphones, wide selection of sing along songs. Plus beer, french fries and chow fun! Also: karaoke happy hour prices in the afternoon.

On The Bookshelf 

8.      Minimalist Parenting by Asha Dornfest and Christine Koh. I reviewed it here. I already want to read it again.

9.     Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka – another one of those parenting books that would help every classroom teacher manage their classes better. A must read for parents and teachers. You also may find out a bit about yourself, I know I did.

10.    How to Love More by Caring Less by Martha Beck. I read this in an old issue of O Magazine and decided I wanted to share it with you. I’m still pondering. What do you think?

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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source:  Love is all around: 8×10 Fine Art … by MarianneLoMonaco on Etsy

43 Books: Minimalist Parenting by Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest

As part of my 43 Before 43, I’m reading 43 books.

I bought this for myself for my birthday and it is book number 39. Not too shabby.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:

  • The title. Seriously, if the word minimalist is in the title I’ve probably already checked it out.
  • The subtitle: Enjoy Modern Family Life MORE by doing LESS. – I love doing less and enjoying more. Like a lot.
  • An entire chapter dedicated to self-care!
  • The ideas in this book are completely doable.
  • This book helped me feel less alone in the sense that I want to do less and enjoy parenting more. I still see so much what I call parenting Olympics around that it was refreshing to read a book with beliefs similar to mine.
  • As part of the book launch, the authors held a 2 week Min Camp where each day we were asked to do an easy action from the book. It was such a great way to put the book into action. It’s free, it’s easy and it’s still going on.
  • I love the idea of limiting extra curricular activities (both from a parent AND teacher perspective – down time is good for everyone).
  • I love the idea of saying no to activities and physical stuff to make room for the remarkable.
  • Kudos to the authors for emphasizing working with the teacher when dealing with their kids’ school and the idea of GOOD ENOUGH when it comes to school. I was basically fist pumping and shouting during that part.

A couple of things that weren’t my favorite:

  • I wish the self-care chapter would have been first instead of last because I am such a huge advocate of self-care. I get that a lot of people haven’t been taking care of themselves and have to sort of be talked into doing something for themselves. But SO IMPORTANT!
  • The writing in the education section got a bit circular. I’m thinking because it is so ridiculously personal for each family and everyone’s experience is so different. Still, the emphasis on taking the competition out, (ironically) wins.

The all important question – would I want to be friends with the author?

Good lord, YES! Asha and Christine use their own experiences and family stories to illustrate the topics in the book and I feel like we are kindred spirits.

Should you read Minimalist Parenting?

Absolutely. If you have kids and feel like your life is running you instead of you enjoying it, read this book now.

Have you read Minimalist Parenting? What did you think?

Ten Things I Loved In February 2013

For the last few months I have been doing these reflection posts after being inspired by Rosie’s. Taking time each month to reflect on the good things that happen each day/week/month has done wonders for my ability to actually stop and notice the good stuff.

love

Ten Things I Loved In February

Things I/We Did

1.      Day trips to the Bay Area. When seasonal allergies are killing you, why not just get the hell out of dodge? We visited with friends, ate dim sum, watched dogs playing at the dog park and generally avoided all the trees I am allergic to in Sacramento. Bliss.

2.      Reached out for help when I needed it. Friends rallied and my doctor kindly reminded me how much nasal spray allergy medicine is my friend.

3.     Brunched at home. Steel cut oats with all the fixins with some of my favorite local yoga ladies. Seriously, if you have a kid (or are otherwise busy most evenings) I highly recommend having friends over for breakfast. It is a great way to connect and share a meal at a non traditional meeting time so more people are available.

4.    Published my HIRE ME page. Hello, universe! And just like that, people contacted me to work with them on exciting projects. More on this to come later!

5.     Advocated for myself in a way that felt authentic and true. I can’t share on what yet, just know I made myself proud.

6.     Visited the quiet and remembered it is hard and scary. And worth it.

Products and Services I Dug:

7.     Schroeder’s Shoes Repair –You know when you get such great customer service it brings a smile to your lips and a tear to your eye? This is that place. I brought two pairs of Mary Janes in with strap issues and he fixed one pair while I was standing there (for free) and did an excellent job fixing the other for $5. Please keep this guy in business and bring all your shoes here to be repaired.

On The Bookshelf 

7.      Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. I reviewed it here.

8.     Beautiful You: A Daily Guide To Radical Self-Acceptance by Rosie Molinary. READ IT. So we can talk about it!

9.    The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman. – Oh my. Oprah and Gretchen Rubin both mentioned this title and I thought I’d give it a chance. Turned out to be a quick read and left me wanting all my friends and loved ones to read it so they could tell me their love language. I’m a Words of Affirmation with an Acts of Service chaser. Do you know your love language? Have you read this book? Did the “love tank” language make you giggle out loud every.single.time. you read it? Or was that just me?

Warning: at the very end, the author lets the reader in that he’s super Christian. Since this came as news to me, I thought I’d let the cat out of the bag in case this sort of thing also surprises you.

10.     I Want to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had by Tony Danza. Did you all know Tony Danza, from Taxi and Who’s the Boss? fame, taught high school for a year and had a reality show about it? If so, why didn’t you tell me? I read this book in about a day and a half. It was charming and quite frankly, he said a lot of things teachers like to hear.

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So what are you loving lately? I’m always on the lookout for what is delicious in food, drink, fashion, and life. Leave me your favorites in the comments or write a post of your own and link back here.

Image Source:  LOVE mirror by Oxley Woods Photos on Flickr (cc)

43 Books: Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

As part of my 43 Before 43, I’m reading 43 books.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:

  • I absolutely l.o.v.e cultural studies especially with similar cultures. {I am practically clapping my hands and hopping with glee – this is how excited I am.}
  • The way the author describes French children as: sleeping through the night by three months, eating well-rounded multi-course meals, and their parents able to carry on adult conversations while the kids played independently reminded me of teachers who have a firm grasp on classroom management. {Hint: they don’t get the “easy” kids or work harder, they make it look easy, but they are managing those kids invisibly. – So exciting! And really, how do they do it?)
  • The French words/phrases/concepts: The following are a small, yet powerful list of my favorites.
  • The Pause: Making kids wait builds their waiting muscles thus avoiding immediate meltdowns.
  • Betise: small act of naughtiness which is considered normal child behavior and parents don’t need to freak out about (Hello, me!)
  • Cadre: A frame/framework – setting limits and having plenty of freedom within the frame. {sigh….I miss teaching}
  •  Non – no, absolutely not.

A couple of things that weren’t my favorite:

  • I wish the French pronunciation (as well as the English translation) would have been in the text. I loved knowing what the words meant without having to turn to the (well placed at the beginning) glossary, but I never looked at the pronunciation guide after my first read.
  • I know some people will HATE this book because she writes in a way that implies the French are doing it right thus making everyone else wrong. Although for some reason, my usually defensive self, did not even take it that way. I just read it with a lot of curiosity agreeing with parts and observing other differences.
  • The idea of kids going on week-long class trips sans parents as young as 3 or 4 years old gives me hives

The all important question – would I want to be friends with the author?

Yes! We could practice saying no convincingly to our little ones while wringing our hands over sending kids on vacations without us.

Should you read Bringing Up Bebe?

Yes. If you are interested in the lives of little people and if you like to travel or ever want to spend time in France.

You may also want to spend some time reading other reviews of this book. Holy moly, some people HATED it.

Have you read Bringing Up Bebe? What did you think?

43 Books: A Short Guide to A Happy Life by Anna Quindlen

As part of my 43 Before 43, I’m reading 43 books.

A Short Guide to A Happy Life is a very quick read that gave me pause.

Let me start with what I liked about the book:

  • The title. So many key elements for wanting to read this book: short, guide and happy.
  • It mostly felt fresh and heartfelt.
  • She talks about being in sole custody of your life. – In my mind both daunting and exhilarating.
  • She talks about living a full life beyond work, school, achievements and developing your soul. – I couldn’t agree more. There is so much more to life than working.
  • I read it in less than half an hour – (plus I could add another read to my list!) – and it left enough of an impression I wanted to tell others about it.

An excerpt and my favorite part: 

But you are the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on the bus, or in the car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your mind, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul.

A couple of things that weren’t my favorite:

  • In some places it felt a bit dated (published in 2000). Post 9/11 writing has a different feeling.
  • The quotes definitely have been used a lot since publication – example:  “No man ever said on his deathbed I wish I had spent more time at the office.” – Paul Tsongas

The all important question – would I want to be friends with the author?

Yes. She seems to have a lot to teach (and so many books for me to catch up on).

Should you read A Short Guide to a Happy Life?

Yes. I think most of us could use a bit more happiness in our lives and development of our souls.

Have you read A Short Guide to a Happy Life? What did you think?

A Resolution for Self-Acceptance

reloveution

In preparation for planning my yoga classes for the month of January, I settled in on the notion of resolutions or the need for change. I, myself, have made countless promises to myself to finally get it right this year.

Each New Year, I promise myself and set out to to become the new and improved version of me, one with no more of those pesky flaws I tend to worry about when no one else is paying attention. I suspect they may be too busy running themselves into the ground to worry about me.

As most of us have made resolutions each year and wholeheartedly and with great enthusiasm pursued our freshly flossed teeth, countless miles on the running trail and ingesting everything green in the grocery store, only to burn ourselves out by February and return to our previous state of unflossed teeth, couch/channel surfing and emotionally eating comfort foods because we have once again failed to change ourselves for the “better”.

What if we decided to do it differently this year?

What if we resolved to spend all our enthusiastic January energy into accepting ourselves for how we are, flaws and all?

What would life feel like in February?

In Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance, author Rosie Molinary, challenges readers to Accept Your Imperfections  and to “give up the perfection facade and just be who you are.”

This, my friends, is my challenge to you this month. And by you, I mean me.

Can we just practice letting things be as they are and learn to finally accept who we really are?

What are your thoughts or resolutions and self-acceptance? I would love to connect, so please let me a comment.

Also, if you’d like to practice letting things be, I am teaching restorative yoga at It’s All Yoga on Sunday afternoons from 4:30-5:45.

Image source: pinterest