Must Have Yoga Accessories

MOTIVATION TO GET YOU THROUGH HUMP DAY!

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.  Some fitness routines require only for you to show up, without needing any accessories or equipment.  Yoga is not one of them.  Obviously a yoga mat is a must for any practice, but there are other accessories that also help to achieve a worthwhile class.

Mats:

  1. Gaiam Yoga Mat: Affordable and durable.  I’ve had mine for three years and use it weekly.  
  2. Lululemon Mat: A little pricier but totally worth it.  This mat is thick and is useful for more than just yoga.  

Carriers:

  1. Yoga Bag: Perfect for going from work to class or vice versa.  This bag holds all your clothes and then some.  
  2. Yoga Mat Strap: A strap is something I didn’t know I needed, but once I had one, it made my life easier.  This allows you to carry your mat on your back, while leaving your hands free to carry everything else.  

Helpful tools:

  1. Yoga towel: If I don’t have a towel with me, then I don’t have a good practice.  A towel provides traction against your mat and is especially helpful for a hot yoga practice.
  2. Yoga headband: Same as above.  I have flyaway hairs that, when they get sweaty, go all over the place and can be distracting.  This keeps my hair all in one place and out of my eyes.  It comes in handy for almost every other form of exercise.  
  3. Yoga blocks: These aren’t necessary for all forms of yoga, but they do come in handy during many practices.  Blocks help to deepen a posture and provide support.

Namaste!

Images via here and here.

 

Post Work Out Treats

Inspiration for the new week!

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There’s nothing like a fresh pastry to wrap up the weekend and start your week on a sweet note.  Luckily for me, there is an old school bakery located right down the block that’s always well stocked with fresh doughnuts, croissants, and other yummy goodies.  The smell of powdered sugar lingering in the air is always a reminder to treat myself on a Sunday, especially after yoga class!  Since my weekend bakery runs usually occur after yoga, I try to wear some of my more versatile workout gear that can easily transfer from the gym to errands without needing an outfit change.  For this particular trip, I threw on my favorite casual trench, which works just as well with gym clothes as it does during rainy work days.

Authentic bakeries can be hard to find, especially in a sea of coffee shop chains, but if you can find one in your neighborhood, give it a try.  But be warned, once you find a great place, it’s hard not to make it a daily habit!

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My favorite- Almond bear claw.

Fashion Note: I’m wearing a Champion workout top (via Target), Forever 21 yoga leggings, New Balance sneakers, New York & Company jacket and Anthropologie sunglasses..  For similar options, try these: top, leggings, sneakers, sunglasses.

(Homemade) Pizza Party:

Delicious recipes for the curious cook!

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I live in a pizza house, meaning there’s a deep love for this food under our roof and it usually makes it into our weekend meal rotation at least twice a month.  While Chicago certainly has limitless options, we also enjoy a homemade pie every now and then.

I was raised in a home where pizza was on the menu every Friday night and when I was young, my father often made it from scratch.  I loved helping him with the process- rolling out the dough, spreading the sauce, sprinkling the toppings and I usually managed to shove more pepperoni into my mouth then actually made it onto the pie.  The fondness I have for those times sparked a desire to recreate the memories in my home, and Jimmy (my fiance) will never object to pizza.

Recently I recreated a Margarita and a rosemary and bacon pizza from this cookbook for a Saturday night in.  The only difference is I added red onions to the goat cheese version and omitted the sauce to make a white pizza.  If you’re short on time, buying ready made dough or crust is always an option.  Here are the step by step pics:

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What you’ll need

Get curious and try it this weekend!

The Power of Meditation

MOTIVATION TO GET YOU THROUGH HUMP DAY!

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Meditation is something I’ve been interested in doing for awhile, but was a little hesitant.  As much as I love the calming effects of yoga, which requires immense focus and stillness, that is done through a moving meditation.  Lying down completely still for an hour while trying to clear my mind seemed almost impossible to me, yet intriguing.  I decided to give it a try, with Yoga Nidra, which is a meditation done in a sleep like state.

In Nidra you will meditate in the quietest, calmest level of consciousness and achieve total relaxation.  Even though it is done in a sleep like state, it’s dynamic since you’re still conscious.  I was surprised at how easily I was able to unwind and calm my mind, thanks in large part to the instructor’s guidance. The experience was equally relaxing and refreshing and I’m definitely going to try it again!

Celebrations

Inspiration for the new week!

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Last week two big milestones occurred in my life: I turned 30 and I became engaged.  The weekend started with my engagement and ended with my birthday, with so many celebrations, phone calls, visits and overall joyousness from start to end.  It was wonderful  be surrounded by all that love and it served as a reminder of what’s most important.  

Cheers!

WEEKLY WRAP UP/WEEKEND COUNTDOWN

What got me through the week and what I’m looking forward to this weekend!

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Happy hour inspiration

It is finally getting warmer and I couldn’t be happier.  After a hectic but fast week, I’m looking forward to all the upcoming activities associated with the warmer weather.  Here are a few things I’m loving right now.

  1. Spring Nail Color: Manicures are something I actually enjoy doing and I give myself an at home manicure quite often.  Because of this, I’ve built up quite the nail polish collection (it’s a relatively cheap treat!) and I love deciding what color to choose next, which is usually seasonally inspired.  It might be predictable but I do enjoy bright colors in the spring and lately I’ve been loving “Tart Deco” by Essie.  
  2. NARS Tinted Moisturizer: I recently started using this product after hearing a lot of great things about it.  It is a great product for everyday coverage, especially if you’re strapped for time in the morning and need a quick product that serves many purposes.  
  3. “PersonA” Album: I love Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes and have been anxiously awaiting their new album.  I can’t wait to put this album on the record player this weekend!
  4. Top NYC sites: I know New York pretty well, having grown up about an hour and a half away from the city and having lived there for a few years myself.  Yet, I’m always amazed at how many things I haven’t seen there, since it’s ever changing.  I can’t wait to be back again soon for a friend’s bachelorette party!

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