Monday, July 30, 2012

Tiny Beautiful LOVE

I know, I know.  I literally just talked about the new books I got less than 24 hours ago.  I cannot help myself here.  I have to share something.

I began reading "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" and even though I've only read three letters and their responses each of them is so beautiful they have made me cry.  I have shed tears throughout each of them and the amazing responses of Cheryl Strayed.  Even though this isn't my official review, I will leave you with a little something to convince you to press order on Amazon or that will send you to your nearest book store to follow along with me :)

Here is one of my favorite excerpts so far, and excuse the French:

"Love is a feeling we have for those we deeply care about and hold in high regard.  It can be light as the hug we gave a friend or heavy as the sacrifices we make for our children.  It can be romantic, platonic, familial, fleeting, everlasting, conditional, unconditional, imbued with sorrow, stoked by sex, sullied by abuse, amplified by kindness, twisted by betrayal, deepened by time, darkened by difficulty, leavened by generosity, nourished by humor, and "loaded with promises and commitments" that we may or may not want or keep.  The best thing you can possibly do with your life is to tackle the motherfucking shit out of love."


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sugar, sugar

There's not time for much since I am writing this from a wedding. The exciting news I have is two new books I cannot wait to review with y'all.

1. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
2. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

The first is a memoir and the second is a nonfiction piece based on a collection from the column Dear Sugar from The Rumpus. Both are by the same author and the first is a pick from Oprah's Book Club. I am so excited to read both. I hope you can join me in reading.

Most of all I'm excited to share with you everything I learn. I have a feeling there are some awesome life lessons in both.

Below is me at my dear cousin's wedding. It's been the summer of the mint dress.

How has your Sunday been going?
The mint dress.  Oh, and I'm pretty sure I have a prom picture in this same spot circa 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Twenty-three is my lucky year

Today I am twenty-three years old. I am incredibly thankful for each and every one of those years of my life. I have learned, I have seen, I have laughed, and I have loved. The best part is that I expect to continue to learn, to see, to laugh, and to love.

I have so many blessings to be thankful for and among them are: my best friends (you know who you are), my family, my position with Teach For America, my education, the country I live in, an ease for forgiving others, the opportunity to learn new things and further my education, and sharing a piece of my life with you on this blog.

Even though I am writing this from the road trip back to my house, I am so happy with the past week and cannot wait to share more of it with you. I've been on the road since Friday afternoon and have done my share of driving today. Below you will see pictures I took while keeping myself entertained. There is the gorgeous sunset I saw as we neared the Nevada state line. I got to see Vegas right before I turned 23. The best part was getting to see the Hoover Dam at midnight. I have some gorgeous pictures, but they're on my SLR and you will have to stay tuned to see those.

Most of my drive today was through New Mexico. You can see the empty road I drove through on Interstate 25. There were only two radio stations to choose from for most of the drive. When we hit Las Cruces we stopped to eat at a delicious Mexican restaurant. I had a plate that included lots of Green Chiles mmmm. New Mexican food is fabulous.

I'm looking forward to a birthday blizzard from Dairy Queen since we are now back in the great state of Tejas. I'm a little concerned for how tired I'm going to be tomorrow. I have every intention of celebrating my birthday tomorrow and going to my cousin's wedding in the evening.

Doable? I think YES.
La Nueva Casita Cafe has awesome New Mexican food
The names of towns/parks in New Mexico kill me! 
I drove through emptiness in New Mexico
Driving through Vegas the eve of my birthday
Funny name, serious town?
This is one of my favorite shots from the road.  The beautiful sunset behind the mountains in California.
Las Cruces, New Mexico felt like it's neighboring country

Friday, July 27, 2012

Raise Your Anchor!

It's that time again. Time to head back to Tejas. It's also time to review a beer for y'all.

I had the pleasure of stopping in Monterey, California on the way to San Francisco. We stopped to eat at Cannery Row Brewing Company, and was excited to try some of their house made brews, but they only had the wheat available. I ordered a sample and was disappointed and unimpressed.

Instead I opted for Anchor Brewing Company's Brekle's Brown Ale. The temperature was cool out so the choice was perfect. Anchor Brewing Company is in San Francisco and sadly I didn't get to tour the brewery like I'd hoped. Don't worry though, I plan on returning.

I took one big inhale into my pint and the flavors were aromatic. There was a richness and complexity to the flavors but nothing overwhelming. It was still crisp. I could tell there was a hint of citrus in the brew. It is a single-hop ale so don't expect anything bitter here. I loved it and would happily order this beer regularly if it was available to me.

A little factoid about the name. Brekle's was the German pioneer behind the Anchor Brewery and they named this brown ale after him in honor of 140 years of tasty brews.

I can't wait to have another Brekle's Brown and hopefully taste other Anchor beers in my near future ;)
Cannery Row in Monterey, California
Holding my Brekle's Brown Ale 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday (in California)

Hi y'all!

I've missed you so much. I know it's only been a couple of days, but it feels like too long. I've been up and around in SoCal and I will reflect on that in the recap of my vacation.

I couldn't leave you guys without a What I Wore Wednesday though :)

I am well on my way to the Bay Area now. In the car making some beautiful pit stops along the California coastline. First stop was Ventura Beach. I can't wait for some Carmel, Santa Cruz, and Pebble Beach.

One thing I've learned about Los Angeles: three hours of traffic makes me never want to live there if I move out here.

Now for the outfit:
Toenail polish is Watermelon by Essie & Purse is Vera Bradley in Hipster style
Sailboat Dress is from Strut in Austin, Texas
Belt is from Target & Sunglasses are from Aldo

Saturday, July 21, 2012

El camino

On the road again...
The next time I write a post I will be in the city of angels! I write from the road. We are currently in Arizona past Phoenix and getting closer to the California border :)

I slept shortly after getting to San Antonio last night and woke up when we arrived to the outskirts of El Paso early in the morning. I have stayed awake ever since. The scenery is just so beautiful, and while I've been to both Arizona and California I've never experienced it in a car. I love the mountains and the beauty in the desert of the southwest. The heat is a bit extreme, but it's not humid like what I'm used to, which makes it so much more bearable for me. I'm appreciating every moment and cannot wait to share more when I arrive to California.

For now I will leave y'all with a couple of pictures from the trip so far. If you follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, I apologize for the repeats.

One last thing, my favorite artist, Amos Lee, recorded his last album Mission Bell in Tucson so I will leave you with one of his songs in the spirit of things.

Outside the New Mexico welcome center early in the morning.
My niece and I excited to be in New Mexico
Entering Arizona
Dirt twister in the distance
El Paso, Texas
In-N-Out Burger outside of Phoenix, Arizona

Friday, July 20, 2012

For Your Reading Pleasure

Getting ready to depart on the road trip.  The last time I was a in a car for more than 24 hours was when I was thirteen on the way to New York.  Now, I am in my twenties and concerned about keeping myself entertained for 24 hours.  That's how long our trip is supposed to take...24 hours (well, with the exception of pit stops, etc.)

I will keep y'all posted as much as possible.  I will try to keep posts to once a day, but I cannot promise anything.  You never now on a vacation.

For now, I think you should go read up on two things:
  1. The reason why I will choose to not eat at Chik-Fil-A anymore
  2. The tragedy that makes me question gun control in our country
 Prayers go out to those in Aurora, Colorado.

How do you feel about what happened today? What thoughts did it make you have?
The Century 16 Theater where the Aurora, Colorado shooting occurred today

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Born to...pack?

Oh what a crazy week it has been.  I've been going nonstop.  Attempting to plan for the school year, working out, and getting things together for my vacation.  I am heading out on a road trip with my brother and his family to California.  There are lots of things that are unknown to me about the trip, but I think that's what makes it more exciting.  I know I'm definitely going to be in Los Angeles and San Francisco and maybe a little bit in between.  This will be my second time in California, I was in the Bay Area the last time I was there and fell in love.  I plan to try some new beers, experience new things, feel like a kid again, and not let the cooler weather get to me (I'm not packing a sweater).

Some things I hope I don't forget:
  • SLR Camera 
  • Phone Charger
  • adding music to my phone
  • To eat healthy when I can
  • To have a good time and learn new things
I am insanely good at packing, whether it's for a weekend trip, a month trip, or a week-long trip.  I am good at it, I remember the details, and it doesn't stress me out.  However, I absolutely DESPISE unpacking.  I'll share some of my secret tips with y'all in a hot minute.  I packed a total of one duffel bag (carryon size), one tote bag, and my purse.  Well, technically I also have my camera bag, but that doesn't count.  I have at least eight different outfits, a denim shirt that will suffice as a layer when I get chilly, two bathing suits, seven pairs of shoes (three flat sandals in silver/brown/black, Rainbows, Toms, tennis shoes, and wedges), two summer scarves (for layers and/or hair turbans), three belts, flat iron, jewelry box, pajamas, and undergarments. While, I didn't pack lightly persé, I did pack compactly.  I am very proud of the final product.
Hello, my name is Laura and I am addicted to Vera Bradley
Yes, my dears that is a carryon size duffel bag you see.  CARRYON SIZE! <-- Did ya hear that?! The only things in the purple tote bag are: sunblock, road trip games, toiletries, makeup bag, and snacks.  It is definitely possible to fit it all in there.  This means, that if I was traveling by plane (considering there were not liquids greater than 3oz.) I would be able to bring it all with me without checking in bags.  I can't seem to believe how much I managed to pack.
Here's how...
  • Put all your shoes on the bottom
  • Take advantage of shoe space, place socks, belts, scarves or other small items in there
  • Once shoes are all organized on the bottom, add any other heavy/bulky items such as flat irons, blow dryers, purses, jewelry boxes, etc. Other than shoes I included my flat iron and jewelry box on the bottom of my duffel.
Notice how I rolled up scarves & socks and put them inside my toms in the right hand corner-- Space Saver!
  • Roll up all of your bottoms, non-delicate dresses, and non-delicate tops.  By rolling you not only save space, but you also prevent wrinkling
  • Lay out any denim first (above the shoe layer)
  • Make sure you separate your clothes into bottoms, tops, etc.  
  • I like to reserve items that I want easy access to for the end (pajamas, undergarments, toiletries)
  • Start stacking your rolls of clothing making sure to keep it organized (bottoms, tops, etc.)
  • If you have any delicate clothing items that cannot be rolled make sure you give it a soft fold and place it on the very top
  • Add your easy access items like undergarments or pajamas to the corners (or a side pouch in my case)
Everything that went inside of my duffel (except toiletries & makeup bag)
The duffle all filled up with easy access items in the corner & side bag (Can you spy them?)
Just enough space in there for my snacks! 
I have my other easy access items like my makeup bag, toiletries, games, sunblock, and snacks that went into my tote bag.
Have you noticed how difficult and tricky it can be to eat healthy on road trips, or trips in general?  I am determined to eat as wholesome as possible on the way to California and on the return.  I also have emergency foods for when I can't get a good breakfast at a hotel or on the road.  Here are some of the items I am bringing with me and why:
  • Chia Seeds.  Read more about them here and why they're awesome. I can add them to basically anything, and get great nutritional benefits out of it. 
  • Lara Bars. These are my favorite snack bars, pretty much because they are so wholesome.  I love that they are made with like three to five ingredients.  Their flavors are super creative, I'm trying three new ones for the trip: Key Lime Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Blueberry Muffin.  They are filling and a great snack.
  • Luna Bars.  From the makers of Clif bars, these are advertised for the female audience, but I think anyone can eat them.  They taste great, are 70% organic, and are awesome for emergency meal replacement. 
  • Clif Mojo bars.  The perfect energy boosters.  These bars are sweet and salty and have a great texture.  
  • Justin's Almond Butter Packets are a yummy source of a good fat and protein to add to road trip food.  If I pick up an apple on the road, to add to rice cakes, etc.
  • Emerald Cocoa Roasted Almonds in 100 calorie packs to curb my apetite 
  • Kashi Go Lean Crunch for emergency hotel breakfasts, road trip breakfast, road trip dinner, etc. Pick up some milk and a paper cup at a convenience store and voila
  • Not Pictured: Green Tea, I plan to take bags to brew in the hotel to keep me full of antioxidants.
I'm not crazy, I just like to be safe.
These will go in individual serving sized baggies for my tote bag
 Are you good at packing?
What are some of your tips?
How do you stay healthy when you travel?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday (WIWW)

Happy hump day!

I'm attempting the messy bun look today, not sure how I feel about it so far.  Last Wednesday I did a terrible job about showing my jewelry. I will be better about that in the future.

Top - JCPenney. It's billowy and lovely, and the backside is my favorite part.
Shorts - JCrew
Sandals - Steve Madden
Earrings - maybe JCPenney back in 2008. Very old.
Sunglasses - Aldo

What are you wearing today?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Amor de lejos, amor de pendejos

I was pretty productive today despite the fact that I didn't get out of my workout clothes since my workout this morning.  Don't judge me, I didn't sweat buckets or anything since I went to a strength and conditioning class.  Thank God it wasn't Wednesday (WIWW).
  • I began planning for the school year (gross)
  • I did some laundry
  • I reorganized my desktop (<-- geek)
  • ...and I inherited lots of new music
How productive is that for never leaving the house?! I am going on vacation at the end of the week to California (AKA: the next best state other than Tejas), and I am thrilled to be going back.  My brother and his family invited me to tag along with them and I'm so very excited to have a great time in LA, Disneyland, San Francisco, and perhaps Yosemite National Park.  I may very well geek out when I meet Mickey Mouse and Belle, I've never been to Disney, and I think my early twenties is the perfect age to experience such magic, don't you? You bet there will be pictures to document the experience.
The beautiful city of Austin, Texas from one of my favorite spots on SoCo
 The real purpose of this is to share some thoughts on Long-Distance Relationships.  As you may already know, I recently experienced the break up of a long-distance relationship.  I think the first thought that pops into most people's heads is "the distance was too much to handle"  and they see this as the trigger of this break up.  I beg to differ.  Before this relationship I felt strongly about long-distance relationships (LDR) and after this relationship I feel just the same.  You can call me hopeful, I call it realistic.  I believe that love can surpass all, including distance.  Yes, it is difficult, and yes it is excruciating, and yes you will miss touch, but love can overcome those things.

I am willing to bet that there are readers who have known someone in a LDR that failed and the culprit of that relationship not working was the distance.  My recent trip to Austin, Texas, and my life experiences have confirmed my thoughts about LDR's.  You see, I think it's easy to place blame on the distance because this is something that won't cause the people in the relationship to dissect themselves.  "Oh, it was the distance, we just couldn't do it."  No, you absolutely could, you just chose not to.  Take the time to evaluate whether you are actually compatible as a couple, are you the best people for each other?  Is your brain thinking, "I know there may very well be someone better for me out there"?  

If you want to be with someone, despite distance, jobs, languages, and cultural barriers you find a way.  Love finds a way.  It's easy to google LDR's and be discouraged because of how cliché it has become for a LDR to not work.  I think it's also important to note that all other aspects of a relationship must apply for a LDR to thrive.  For example, you may both be in a LDR, but you should be in it working towards the same vision or relationship goals.  Whether this goal is to end up in the same city after two years, or marriage, or continue dating for a year after you are in the same city.  Whatever your relationship vision is, it's important to be on the same page in your LDR and talk about it often.   

It may sound strange, but I find that there is something so utterly romantic about a healthy LDR.  Two people who love each other desperately, but cannot be in the same city planet(<--ha) country.  I know, I know, no one actually wants to be in a LDR, but I'm just sayin' it can be really romantic.  There's even a saying in Spanish that goes like this...
Amor de lejos, amor de pendejos, which loosely translates to, "love from afar is love for fools"
Doesn't sound promising, does it?  

You just have to be smart about it, and of course working towards the same things in the relationship.  But true love, the lasting kind, the love that is patient and kind and not jealous, that is the love that surpasses all, even distance.  You'll know...and risking your heart like that doesn't make you a fool.

P.S. Here's a better look at the Cat Eye mentioned in this morning's post.  
Gladys & I at The Oasis in ATX
Are you in a long-distance relationship, how do you make it work?
Do you believe that a LDR can work?

Cat Eye Tuesday

I am all about the cat eye lately, and no I do not speak of a meowing feline.  I am referring to something a little more like this...
Lauren Conrad always wears an excellent cat eye
The best way to get a cat eye is to use either liquid eyeliner or a combination of liquid and pencil.  Here's the problem with that, most girls feel uncomfortable using liquid eyeliner.  If you don't have a steady hand or are simply inexperienced, liquid eyeliner can be scary territory.  Your eyeliner can go awry and you may cry, which will only make it look worse, which will make you half an hour late because you'll end up re-doing all of your makeup.

Don't feel bad.  I was once one of these girls who was new to the liquid eyeliner world.  As someone with large eyes I never found much of a need for eyeliner.  I usually use some mascara and call it a day.  Eyeliner is something I save for special occasions to make my already big eyes, well...bigger.  

The cat eye is a trend that I immediately fell in love with and decided to start wearing a couple of times a week.  I have mostly worn it during the daytime believe it or not.  You can definitely keep it subtle for the daytime and play it up for nighttime.  I keep a thin and clean line for daytime (with no liner on the bottom), and suggest a thicker line for the evening (with optional liner on the bottom).  When I want to play it down I only line about 1/2 of my lid, but then again I have big eyes so this may not work for you if you are not in the club.  

The eternal question: How did I get "good" with liquid eyeliner? I didn't! I purchased the best eyeliner ever.  It's a little pricey, but I have a good feeling that it will go a long way.  May I introduce the Stila stay all day waterproof liquid eyeliner.
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner $20 @ Sephora 
A liquid eyeliner with a marker-like tip allows you to make a precise thin line by using the tip or a a thicker  line by angling it.
This eyeliner is a true GEM my friends.  So far, it is worth every penny.  I am excited to wear it thicker for nighttime.  Below is a picture of how it looks, sorry I didn't take a close up, but you get the idea of the subtle look for an evening out.  If I wanted to make it more dramatic I would line on the bottom either all the way or just half (like LC up at the top).  
My beautiful friend Gladys (on the left) and I 
Happy lining!

Any of y'all fans of the cat eye? Are you an avid liquid eyeliner user?  How did you perfect your use of liquid liner? 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Texas Brews

I'm back y'all! I missed blogging so much. On my spare time all I could think about was how I was going to blog about this or that. I have two posts today, but am currently writing this one as I wait for spin class at the gym (do I deserve a gold medal or what?)

Let's begin by sharing a couple of brews. I arrived to Austin on Friday night and my sister friend joined my mom and I for a pie at the one, the only, Homeslice. It had been far too long since my last slice there. The pizza was heavenly and I had zero guilt because I did a Friday morning workout (go me for being proactive)
The Classic (Pepperoni & Mushroom) at Homeslice Pizza
Afterward, Leigh joined me for a post-pizza drink. I ordered a Texas beer sampler. I love ordering samplers because you get the best of both (we four) worlds. It's important to drink beers in this order: lights with ambers, wheats, browns and hops, and finish with stouts and porters. This will help you distinguish and truly taste the flavors behind every brew. Most places should arrange your sampler in the correct order for you.

I had the following from right to left: Real Ale Devil's Backbone, Southern Blonde Bombshell, Live Oak Hefe Weizen, Independence Bootlegger Brown Ale. Here we go...
My 5oz paddle of Texas Brews
Real Ale Devil's Backbone was one of my favorites from the four. It was crisp, but spicy too. Do not let its pale golden color deceive, it is stronger than it looks. Definitely worth the pick.

Southern Blonde Bombshell was a creamy golden ale. Not too much flavor going on and pretty plain Jane. I didn't love it, and while it was tastier than your average beer, it wasn't special.

Live Oak Hefe Weizen was my favorite!! Not only because it's a wheat y'all, I know I tend to be biased towards those, but the aroma of this beer is fabulous. I haven't had anything like it. There is a hint of banana when you smell it, I hope that doesn't spun strange, but it's definitely not weird. Served with a lemon slice and with a hint of vanilla. Overall creamy, flavorful, and mildly tart. Amazing. Cannot wait to have another.

Finally the Independence Bootlegger Brown Ale was heavenly and perhaps my second favorite. It was creamy and so chocolatey, it almost felt like dessert. This is a dark beer that is great for a person who is slowly being introduced to the darker side of the beer spectrum. I can't wait to drink it again in the wintertime.

Honorable Mention: I also had a cold one on Saturday night and opted for the Saint Arnold Weedwacker. This beer is basically the cousin of the Lawnmower. It has spicier notes and tastes completely different from the Lawnmower. It was good, but I still prefer the Lawnmower.
The beer on the left side I have reviewed here & the Weedwacker on the right
Come back later tonight for another post, but not about beer ;)

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Sweet Escape

Hello from the beautiful city of Austin, Texas. I just arrived and will be updating y'all later tonight if not tomorrow morning.

Hope you enjoyed reading about the brain! Catch up on yesterday's reading if you have not.

I plan to splurge a little on some of my favorite foods from this lovely city. Don't worry I will tell y'all about every detail. I will also hit the gym first thing when I return home. I made sure I didn't leave without getting to my ab sculpting class first thing.

If you're worried about me, just check out my twitter feed and it is sure to tell you what I'm up to.

Keepin' it weird,

- Laura

PS. Thank God for labeled pillows and lovely hotel rooms.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My LOVEly Brain

Excuse the changes currently occurring on my blog.  I'm changing some things around to make it easier to navigate and more aesthetically pleasing as well.  There will be more links at the top in a couple of days.  Not all the links are ready yet, so please bear with me.  I'll be working on FAQ, About Me, etc. so that it can be ready soon enough.

For now, let's talk about the brain.  Ah yes, that beautiful piece of grey matter that fills our skull.  I love learning about the human brain, I can geek out about it at any given moment.  My favorite class in college was a learning and cognition class that focused on the human brain.   I now have a guilty pleasure for buying books and reading articles in my spare time on the noggin'.  Two books that I must recommend to y'all are the following:

These are absolutely fascinating and are written in a non-textbook format, so you won't feel like you are reading for class or anything.  I love that they are organized into chapters such as: the teenage brain, the daddy brain, the mommy brain, etc.  There are no crazy terms in there (well, maybe some) and Dr. Brizendine does an awesome job explaining things.

So why all this talk about the brain you ask?  I was thinking about how well I've been doing since my breakup and it made me ask myself, "Why? Should't I be feeling different? Worse, perhaps?" I don't think anything is wrong with me, and believe me, I am extremely thankful for being a great place in my life right now.  All of these questions and feelings are what brought my attention to love and the human brain.  You see, according to my previous knowledge there are three main types of love:

  1. Eros Love - also known as erotic love.  These are those crazy, love-at-first-sight, honey moon stage, hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, so call me maybe-love.  It is said that this isn't true love, and unless you get through hardships and sacrifices then it can be long-lasting.  It is completely natural to begin a relationship with Eros.  
  2.  Philios Love - is the friends before relationship kind of love.  These relationships tend to last longer because of the strong bond you have already established prior to the romance.  There is a definite give and take expectation with Philios love.  
  3. Agape Love - the ideal love, it is unconditional love.  Agape love is completely selfless, one can be hurt or insulted and still love at the end.  With Agape you love another without seeking anything in return and it is said to be completely spiritual.  
If asked I would say that with my last relationship there wasn't an Eros feeling on my behalf, and to be truthful I don't think I ever had it.  I wouldn't say this is necessarily a bad thing, but rather love grew from a friendship and from qualities that I found extremely attractive in this person.  I think that my brain wanted the Philios love, but got confused when this boy decided to skip the friend zone and immediately show physical signs of attraction to me.  So, even though I didn't have Eros, but there was a friendship prior to our relationship we ended up somewhere in a limbo between love types 1 and 2.  

Here is where things shifted.  At the start of our relationship I would say that we were both in a "give and take" stage, and to a certain extent we do expect something in return from our romantic partner.  Otherwise we become emotionally exhausted and lose a sense of our worth.  If I do this, then I expect this.  We were definitely in this stage for awhile, but had different interpretations for "doing" (cue the love languages), but that is for another time my friends.  It wasn't until about a year into our relationship that I consciously began to change, I didn't want to lose this person that I had grown to love.  I wanted to love him the very best that I could.  I think this is when I slowly transitioned into the Agape stage.  I must say that prior to this, he had already started his journey towards this selfless love, but began to refrain from it when it became emotionally exhausting for him.  

I began to dedicate so much of myself to bettering the way that I loved him.  Would this make him happy?  If I do this will I hurt his feelings?  I should go do this for him, but I don't expect him to do the same for me anymore.  Parts of this were healthy, and I was truly trying to love as best as I knew how with every particle of my being...until it wasn't anymore.  It became about giving so much of myself, and loving despite pain and suffering.  You could see how this could be healthy, if it was a two-way street.  I was on a one-way road at this point, with faded street signs and pot holes everywhere.  He was in Philios and I was in Agape (or attempting to).  

No one is a victim here, especially not me, and I really hope that is not how this reflection comes across.  I am simply analyzing what I learn as I process through this break up.  In a recent study (source) it was found that the same part of the brain is activated when you experience rejection from love and when you are physically burned.  When you experience heart break you are burned emotionally, isn't that fascinating?  It is also said in this study that feelings of romantic love and rejection are associated with biology.  In other words, there is a link between love and the biological need to pass on our genes.  Our brains do crazy things, such as causing extreme emotional pain when experiencing rejection from a person we may have identified as a potential mate.  

In a nutshell: love is truly complicated.  
After analyzing and over analyzing my relationship in the past couple of paragraphs, the best thing I can say to move forward is this: 
While I truly felt love for this person and had feelings of being "in love," biology may be preventing my brain from experiencing extreme emotional pain and it may just be my biological needs whispering "get over it!" to my brain.  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WIWW - What I Wore Wednesday

The time has come for you to creep into my closet, but in a not so creepy way of course.  I can't believe I'm already hungry and I must have eaten two hours ago.  Snack time coming up.

Let's get to it though...

Absolutely obsessed with this yummy coconut body butter.  Makes you want to eat it, I swear! 
Romper - TJ Maxx
Necklace - Strut in Austin, Texas
Shoes - Payless
Earrings - Francesca's
I also made this awesome workout shirt thanks to Pinterest.  Expect a link to it in my next post.  
I love my breezy, sunny outfit today.  

What are you wearing today? Business casual or something a little better?

Yoga-ta try this post!

I would bet that Fernando Delgadillo read this prior to writing Entre Pairos y Derivas
I have to tell y'all that sometimes I get inspiration (mostly for my personal posts) and it's like something foreign takes over my body mind heart and all I do is write until it empties.  I write, and write, and write.  I hit publish and about two hours later it settles and I realize, "Yes, I just did that."  I go through a cycle of wonder, "What came over me? Why did I do that?"and that is how I result posting things like  this.

On a different note, I must share with you and tell y'all that the highlight of my week is always my yoga sessions.  Among my other workouts, which are in the morning, I attend yoga twice a week in the evenings.  These are hardcore sessions my friends.  Most days I sweat buckets in there, and it's not even "hot" yoga.  I have resorted to not wearing a shirt and just keeping my yoga pants and sports bra on.  Hey, you would too if you were in this class.  No need to feel self-conscious, the lights are completely out in the room anyway.  Not just because I sweat a ton, but I feel so incredibly cleansed afterward.

In a variation of pigeon pose.  Excuse my messy hair s'il vous plait. 

If you are new to yoga it may be a difficult transition from other forms of exercise.  Yoga takes patience, time, and concentration.  I find that when I fully concentrate in my practice it makes a load of difference than when I'm too focused on other things going on in my life.  The best thing to do when you're not sure what you should be thinking or how to "focus" is to breathe.  Keep breathing, through hard poses, and especially follow the guidance of your yoga instructor.  They typically do a great job of telling you when you should be inhaling or exhaling.

Isn't it all flexibility and pretzel formations though?
Most people who have never experienced yoga tend to think "pretzel" formations or "flexibility." And while yes, sometimes you end up looking like a pretzel in class and you definitely improve your overall flexibility, yoga is so much more than that.  I think it is often taken for granted how much strength it takes to get through a yoga class.  You are constantly strengthening your body by doing different poses.  You use the weight of your own body and, if done correctly, your core. Yoga sculpts your body, and with poses like warrior III and plank you are lifting pounds of your own body weight.

What it can do for you
Through yoga you learn to love your body in a completely different way.  As cheesy and granola as this sounds, you start to learn the rhythm of your body and become more in tune with it.  The power of the human body will surprise you, and you will gain greater self-confidence.  I love that yoga focuses on how your body feels and what it can do rather than how it looks.

First Timer
Don't be turned off if you find it to be intimidating going to your first yoga class.  There are always beginner classes you can try, and I promise there are pose modifications for every pose! Make sure and arrive early to tell the instructor you are new to the practice, ask them to show modifications for poses.  Yoga instructors can be some of the nicest people you will ever encounter.  Fear them not!

And last, I leave you all with the song that's been in my head all day.  Old, old, song from the nineties (best decade ever!).  A Tejano song by Bobby Pulido (what a hunk).  I find the video strange because he is in San Francisco of all places.  If you've never heard Tejano music before, it is a genre original to the state of Texas and listened to mostly by Mexican Americans.  The music has German influences, can you tell? (Hint, hint: the accordion).  Enough of that, here's the video:

What's your favorite yoga pose?