Tuesday, December 30, 2014

pre-new years cleanse

thus far i haven't been very successful in completing a cleanse. the first time i ever really tried was in Bali during teacher training. truth be told i had never even had a green juice so it was probably a bit aggressive to start a three day cleanse with only green juices while in training in one of the hottest places i have ever been. basically being in Bali you are detoxing because you constantly sweat. the day i started my cleanse i later found myself eating dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants which may or may not have included a brownie sundae. i then tried an auyrveda cleanse when i got home and lasted a bit longer but ended up stopping after about day two because well things weren't moving along as they should. a local juice company, Suja, sells a cleanse at Costco and I have bought this a few times. the first time i tried, i quit at the end of day one because i wanted to go to the movies and eat popcorn and candy. the second, i just wanted to supplement my meals with some juices. and now here i am again. kyle and i bought the cleanse again and split it not intending to do the full three days. i was going to do only do one day but here i am on day 2 sipping another juice eating some raw oatmeal! day 1 was rough though, i literally had a headache all day. yes, all day. it could have been from caffeine withdrawal or it could have been from my toxins crying. not really sure. but point is, i am sticking to it! only problem is i know that new years festivities won't keep me on this cleanse and i don't want to come off it too abruptly so i am starting to come off gently today including a cup of tea. it was tough to get much done at work yesterday so i am going to try and cut the caffeine a little more slowly to avoid the horrific headache. it's crazy to know that my body was in so much pain from withdrawing to my addictions to sugar, processed foods, and caffeine. it's prompting me to start the new year off with a little more intention though, only putting foods in my body that heal it not hurt it! and perhaps a full blown three day cleanse is in my very near future!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

the holiday season is here!

that's it! i am going to quit apologizing for not blogging! i enjoy it especially sharing my story with other widows but life has been busy lately. i recently heard a little saying or quote that, "every time you say yes to something, you no to something else". it's so true, there is only time for so much but with the majority of our wedding planned and work slowing down, hopefully i will have a little more time for this in 2015. for now, on to the good stuff.

i have really settled into my new Cali holiday traditions this year and eagerly looked forward to a visit from my mom and nanny for thanksgiving. they came out the day before tgiving and we spent the first day dining by the sea and enjoying a couple of glasses of wine before they headed to their little cottage down the street to recover from the time change. on thanksgiving, my mom and i attended an amazing yet extremely packed donation yoga class at a local studio (happy-u namaste). we headed back and kyle and i prepped to host our first thanksgiving! i handled the sides and he sat outside in the sun frying our turkey. my family was there along with another couple that live nearby. although i wish i had a little more table and space to host, it was perfect. while we did most of it, nanny was there to help and it was so comforting to have her in the kitchen with me.

and in one of the dumbest bridal planning moves ever, i scheduled some dress shopping for the weekend after massive eating. me, my mom, nan, and my matron of honor headed to a couple of shops to check out some dresses and i said yes to the dress! i tried some on at david's bridal before heading to brides by demetrios and found a dress 70% off on the rack! i think it will be perfect for our causal beachside wedding and can't wait for kyle to see me in it! although we had already found the dress, we headed up to beverly hills to check out another store the following day. the bridal dresses were beautiful but i was still happy with my choice and even found a sale rehearsal dress! then we went to one of the housewives new restaurants and ended up sitting right next to Lisa Vanderpump, the housewife herself! as most of you know the housewives are absolutely my guilty pleasure and it was so fun to get a pic with her and my nan!

the rest of the weekend was filled with walking the beach, watching sunsets at our wedding venue, eating fish tacos, and enjoying all things that SoCal has to offer during the holidays! i have really been able to start some new holiday traditions out here and i am so happy to be celebrating in this new way with both new and old family and friends. kyle and i started dating last year right before thanksgiving and then our relationship really started getting serious around christmas so it has been especially nice to have traditions with him this year. we are looking forward to a quiet christmas here near the beach filled with our 2nd annual Christmas Eve fondue followed by chinese food and a movie on Christmas Day to celebrate kyle's Jewish heritage.

wishing you and yours an amazing holiday season that may include old and new traditions... whatever you do... do what makes your heart happy and warm! merry christmas and a happy new year!

kyle frying his turkey in our driveway 

me and nan with the housewife! 

 with my matron after saying yes!

saying yes with my mom and nan right by my side 

nan on Rodeo Drive!

watching surfers in Encinitas 

 surfer's crossing

sunset at Sunset Cliffs 

nan's happy place is by the water 

afternoon tea after dress shopping 

nan also loves a good lighthouse! 

last beach walk of the trip



Monday, November 17, 2014

worst widow blogger ever but who cares... i'm engaged!

so i officially take the cake for worst widow blogger ever... if you can even call me a widow anymore! it's taken me so long to share this amazing news with you all! or maybe i am the best blogger ever because i was busy enjoying life! but back to the good stuff... yep you read right... i am engaged to my special someone!

i had planned a birthday trip for kyle a month after his actual birthday in a VW camper van. we had both dreamed of traveling the road via van and were eagerly looking forward to our trip for quite some time. the week before i was busy finalizing our travel plans and gathering last minute car camping supplies. i was a little surprised by kyle not taking part in planning and even accused him of not wanting to go! i kept myself busy by putting together the ultimate road trip playlist hoping nothing was amiss.

we headed up to orange county to pick up our van and headed up the the malibu coast and were at our beachside campsite set up and ready to go by about mid-afternoon. we headed for a walk with lila on the somewhat lonely beach shortly after. we walked and talked for a bit before i crept ahead of kyle when used my pace to his advantage and got down on one knee. i simply couldn't believe it before remembering i needed to say yes and taking a long look at the beautiful ring he wanted to put on my finger. we celebrated with more walking on the beach watching li chase the birds followed by dinner and drinks by the campfire.

i am so happy and can't wait to marry kyle. but since this is a widow blog, i of course have to mention the craziness of this situation. the constant feeling that i wouldn't be here in this place with this man without losing matt. it helps that kyle is such an understanding man and i think appreciates this fact. we talk about matt openly and he is a part of our life. even though i am moving forward i will never forget, its just become a part of me, this duality of my situation.

i look forward to sharing my road to the aisle as a widow. it's already proven to be interesting and i fell like an old pro at wedding planning now. i still get stressed about it but sometimes reality snaps me back in to place reminding me that it isn't that big of a deal. it just seems like there should be a new word for an engaged widow...

i said yes!

li checking out what all the commotion is about

my little family

overseeing the malibu beaches

happiness is hanging at the beach in the morn

second campsite in ojai

van in Santa Barbara

campsite in jalama beach

li making herself at home

a man and his van

on top of the world!

more running the beach

flying free

a little reflection time

happiness is feet next to the fire on the beach happily engaged



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

dying on your own terms? is it possible?

so you may have seen this video on your Facebook feed about a young woman who is 29, terminally ill and she wants to die on her own terms. i saw this appear on my feed on monday morning and  clicked on it without thinking about it too much. the video started to roll and a few moments later i was watching a young woman, Brittany, discuss her battle with brain cancer. she was initially diagnosed with the same tumor as Matt and then later was diagnosed with a tumor worse than the doctors initially thought, as a Grade 4 Glioblastoma. pretty much the worst word that you can hear in the brain tumor world and also what eventually matt's tumor grew to and took his life. she was given a few months to live and now Brittany wants to choose how she goes as the death of brain tumor patient has been explained to her and she doesn't want to go through this. she has moved to Oregon, where she can obtain a pill to end her life when she wishes without suffering. 

oh man. i quickly started tearing up as i was transported back to my life when i and my husband had to make similar decisions. her husband is also included on the video sharing his thoughts. so here goes my two cents on this obviously loaded emotional question...

 i think that anyone should be able to choose but i however, would never choose this for myself or for my spouse. i saw the devastating effects of a GBT play out on my sweet Matt. while i don't think he suffered in the end, he sure didn't live much of a life those last few months. and even though this may be true, i still couldn't suggest this. i think dying is a process for a reason. i have also seen my grandfather pass on and while the two were years and years apart, it was eerily similar. it seems to me that it is the way god or whoever or whatever intended it to be. that everyone needs this period to let things slow down naturally not only for them but for their friends and family. there were some very sweet, tender, raw moments in Matt's last few days that i would never give up for anything. and i now know what true love is. when matt passed, as awful as it was, it seemed to happen as it should. once matt couldn't live his life, he didn't put up much of a fight. i think his spirit knew when it was time to let go and find peace naturally. i just don't think i could give up on that one percent chance that my story might end differently, that i would be the one to show those doctors up. but then again, i couldn't even let the doctors tell me how long matt had to live. i wanted to try and live like it was our last moment together every moment. having an end date seems so so final. or maybe i just couldn't face the truth. 



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

i love pumpkin spice lattes but then again who doesn't?

i started my day with a yoga class at my studio Reach Yoga and then headed to Starbucks for a Pumpkin Spice Latte and couldn't be happier! i know i owe you a real blog and i am working on it for now here is a little fall humor!



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

an attitude of gratitude.... changes everything

for the past couple of weeks, i have noticed that people are being challenged to list five things that they are grateful for on Facebook for a week. i love this challenge but i am going to have to encourage you to take it one step further. pretty much every morning i start my day by writing down three things that i am grateful and i have to admit, it's pretty life changing. try it out for a week, a month, a year.... i guarantee you'll try to do it everyday. there's even an app for it! check out gratitude journal for iPhone if you are more likely to do this electronically.

with gratitude,


Thursday, September 11, 2014

we remember

today along with the rest of the country, i remember the tragic events thirteen years ago. i still remember standing in my college apartment watching this happen. of course i understood what a tragedy this was but after reading a 9/11 widow's book and going through my own loss did i truly understand the magnitude of grief that was caused in it's wake. thinking of all those that were affected and hoping they have found happiness. below are pictures from a trip in 2012 to NYC. this city certainly can't be held down by it's loss and has moved on to be better and bigger than ever. 

tree pose in NYC where you can see the new World Trade Center being built

still standing grand

the breathtaking 9/11 memorial



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

yogi luv... judgement free

doing a judgement free yoga class today! we judge ourselves in our practice, we judge others, and we judge ourselves. give it up for today and love a little more!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

back to school!

there are few greater things in life than back to school supply shopping... headed into a new year of school with a cool new backpack and all the fresh supplies you would ever need! in honor of that wonderful feeling i started a new notebook today to log all my yoga classes. i find it helpful to write them down to not only help me remember for class but also to refer back to if i especially loved a class and want to teach it again. and best of luck to all the scholars out there... esp to my friend's kiddos starting kindergarten... where has the time gone! 


Sunday, August 24, 2014

hindsight is 20/20 but finding the positive isn't

it's hard to believe the summer is winding down although around here it's really for the best because our little beachside community starts to slow down a bit. the past few weeks have been hectic which seemed to be primarily fueld by technological breakdowns. i hate to say it but i am so reliant on technology and perhaps to attached to a few other material items.

first of all my phone finally beat the dust after a long battle to make my cracked screen last until the new iPhone was announced. looking back i should have just spent the extra $ to have the screen fixed but alas hindsight is 20/20. in the panic of not having a phone and wanting to get the latest and the greatest, i switched over to an old iPhone 3 and in the process deleted all of matt's voicemail. i was devastated. i didn't listen to them often but i liked knowing they were there. when someone isn't around anymore, you struggle to hear their voice and for a moment you freak because you can't hear it in your head anymore. but they are gone and there's nothing listening to a voicemail can do about it. all i can do is move on and realize that listening to his voice really has no bearing on what he meant in my life.

then my car finally bit the dust. i mean it could have kept going but it was having major issues and was starting to get to that dicey stage of should i put more money in to it or just get something new? so i got something new. i got a cute Nissan Rogue to zip me around in all my California adventures. it's a crossover so it's not huge but there's some room for camping supplies and once i put the cross racks on, a place to tie down boards and bikes. jumping from a 1999 to a 2011 was huge and i am so happy bopping around town in my reliable transportation.

so there were these little losses the past two weeks. through it all i tried to remember that these things really don't matter and i am lucky to be in a position to be able to get a new phone or car when i need it. and also lucky to have a past that i want to hold on to. i am also lucky that i have my special someone, Kyle, by my side. he was so understanding and caring when i lost those voicemails. and he wheeled and dealed with the folks at nissan to get me a great bargain. so while there were some setbacks, it really gave me the opportunity to see what a great guy i have in my life now that understands my past and supports me in our future. so while hindsight is 20/20, i was struck by my ability to find the positive in this situation a little quicker this time around.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

yogi luv

letting it go today in class... with lots of forward folds to help us do so

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

yogi luv

teaching a class today on the solar plexus chakra so thought i would share... its all about stoking your inner fire and staying balanced!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

the end of a Zumba era

yesterday i taught my last zumba class. well i guess technically i don't know if it will be my last but i decided to give up my weekly zumba class. hopefully i can sub from time to time and still attend events. it wasn't an easy decision and i had thought about it for awhile but i realized given all the different things i was involved in, i wasn't able to fully dedicate my time to teaching zumba. teaching any format requires constant education and a desire to learn new material. lately i have found myself researching new yoga trainings as opposed to zumba and with a busy full time job, there just isn't enough time to dedicate to both. i will miss my students but luckily i still teach yoga at the same spot so hopefully i will see a few of the same faces at my weekly yoga class at San Diego County. i am so grateful to zumba, it literally helped me get through one of the toughest times in my life. i often think back and wonder how the hell i got up there with my goofy zumba smile and taught. i don't know how i juggled it all or why i am now willing to say i have too much going on in my life to teach but then i didn't? i know that i have realized the value of time and savor my R&R much more these days but i think i just needed to teach. it was my release and gave me an hour to focus on bringing joy and movement to others taking my mind away from the craziness that was my real life. so for that i will be forever grateful. in honor of my last set class yesterday here's a look back at some of my favorite zumba moments....

probably one of my first zumba classes taught... in FL for friends

zumba at Navy Pier

Zumba Convention 2012!

Zumbathon for the ABTA

the Zumbathon Instructor Team

friends and family coming together to help raise money... thx again everyone for all your love and support

meet the creator of Zumba with my mom at the LA Conference in 2013 before i headed out for my worldy travels

combining my fitness luvs at the LA Conference 2014... now only an hour and a half away from my home



Monday, August 4, 2014

just another weekend in paradise with photos to prove it

well it was another perfectly SoCal weekend here although there was quite a bit of rain for San Diego! this is a very good thing because we desperately need it and it gives one permission to stay in the house all day. you see it's the opposite around here... in the Midwest you are just hoping for a nice day to get out and enjoy... here they are all that way so if you have chores and laziness to attend to one weekend day, you feel bad. so when the rain rolls in for a couple of hours at most, you take advantage and bunker down. the weekend was spent with good meals including one to celebrate a work accomplishment. as mentioned previously, i got a new camera and i took a class to teach me how to use it that my special someone got me for my bday. the next day i was able to practice my new skills at the van's US open surf competition which also included some bmx biking. the event was up in huntington beach surrounded by miles of miles of sandy shore and included the top surfers from around the world. we got up early to beat the traffic on the 5 and the weather was still dreary in the early dawn but by mid afternoon it was back to sunny SoCal. we headed back south after a few hours in the hot sun and stopped for some lunch in laguna beach. check out some of my shots below...

welcome to huntington beach! 

bmx bowl... had so much fun trying to capture these guys in the air

surfin USA 

in the air... apparently i wasn't the only one trying to catch this shot!

the pier where the surf competition took place... if are wondering where the surfers are... i learned the value of lenses and realized i needed a giant zoom lens after seeing all of the pro photogs there... maybe one day...