Thursday, January 29, 2015

Just Send Waffles Pt 2: Healthy Goodies + Activities

Dear Friends,

My neighbor and I were talking the other day about how food has become a go-to method for rewarding ourselves for something good (or bad)...and how often socializing involves eating out. In fact it's quite difficult it is to find activities that don't revolve around food.  While I love lingering conversations over a good meal and a glass of wine more than anything, (and will continue to plan room for these special meals), I also want to challenge myself to find activities I enjoy apart from drinks or dinner out --- for my health and my wallet!  Winter makes it even trickier, without flavorful farmers markets and sunshine beckoning us outside.

Drinking 8 glasses of water a day must surely be easier when full of colorful + bright fruit!!
(Source: L, R)
After reading an article on non-food rewards, I've been trying to come up with a list of activities and goodies on my own.  Not wanting to swap out one fallback habit for another (cough, shopping...), here's what I've come up with so far.  I'd love to hear some of yours!!

Low Cost OR Free Goodies/Activities:
1.  Save new songs to a workout playlist (If you already have Pandora or Spotify, make a new mix to put on shuffle)
2.  Grab a new water bottle, insulated ones are great to keep water chilled at work or the gym
3.  Try a new nail polish and a DIY paint job
4.  Download a new app to track fitness minutes or other goals
5.  Make room in your grocery list for fresh fruit or berries for infused water or fresh juicing
6.  Buy a new shower gel for after the gym OR a scented candle for a muscle-soak
7.  Try a new all-fruit Popsicle or 100% juice/coconut water/sparkling water
8. Invite friends over for a) watching a live sporting event and challenge yourself to make only fresh snacks, b) a game night with a tea bar, or c) a home-spa evening, have everyone bring 2 or 3 nail polish colors and try a new color on each finger if you want!
9.  Read the free guilty-pleasure magazines while working out at the gym
10.  Go to the library and check out a new movie or book, give your body a rest

I love my floral Gaiam mat + my Contigo water bottles.
Mid-Cost Goodies/Activities:
11.  Purchase a yoga mat or band to try out some Youtube moves
12.  Buy some fun recipe cards to jot down a few favorite home-cooked, healthy staples
13.  Find a new article of workout clothing in a bright or fun color
14.  Listen to music at the gym with a fun new pair of headphones or earbuds
15.  Experiment by taking a new class somewhere (yoga, barre, kickboxing, etc.)
16.  Sign up for a health or fresh cooking magazine subscription OR grab a new journal to track food, write new recipes down in, or just decompress thoughts
17.  Splurge on a manicure OR a pair of lifting gloves!

I'm fairly certain I would run faster with these hedgehog earbuds from Modcloth...
(Source: L, C, R)
Save-Up Goodies/Activities:
18.  Celebrate a new goal achieved by signing up for a fun art class (like the ones at Larkin!), or go to a live show at a local brewery --- something you really enjoy
19.  Sign up for a gym membership or add on to a current one with pool or class perks
20.  Try a new hairstyle (cut or color)
21.  Research a new workout technique you're interested in, invest in the supplies (like boxing gloves, yoga bands, hiking/camping gear)
22.  Get fitted for a really good pair of running shoes
23.  Save up for a massage to soothe sore muscles
24.  Invest in a fitness tracker (this is one I've not done yet, keeping it as a big reward)...would like to try a fitbit to track heart rate, sleep, steps, etc.
25.  Plan a beach trip and run by the sea <3

Top: Running by the water with the sun setting, yes please!
Lower: Try a new class as a treat to mix-up your routine!!

Just as an FYI, here are some of the local gyms and studios in Harrisonburg.  I'm only familiar with Gold's, 24/7, Planet Fitness, RMH, and Breathe, but I've heard great things about the rest!  

Gyms (alphabetically):
24/7 Harrisonburg Family Fitness
Gold's Gym
Planet Fitness
RMH Wellness Center

Studios (alphabetically):
Breathe: Pilates/Barre
The Center: Yoga
Hot Yoga Harrisonburg
The Nest: Yoga
Shenandoah Yoga

Any thoughts or ideas?  Leave some below!

Until Soon,
Sara XX

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Just Send Waffles...

Dear Friends,

It's funny how winter both comforts us in layers and layers of clothing yet taunts us with the anxiety of bathing suit weather to come.  My former mantra for winters in Virginia was just to make it through to Spring.

For those of you who have made goals for the new year, or just struggle to maintain a fitness routine, let's just take a minute to applaud you.  To clap for the freezing runs, the heavy weights, the tired feet...

How winter makes you want to feel...
L, source ; R, source
Last December I made the choice to give up my beloved Coca Colas, eat cleaner, and start back regularly at the gym.  I don't know what prompted this desire for change, but I thank that mystery motivation every day.  Today is day 57 without that fizzy, wondrous drink --- and I've clocked in 1,724 minutes of sweating/dying/lifting/grinning/dancing/looking a fool at the gym.  I'm learning to desire strength + endurance.

I've teetered over to lifting benches surrounded by body-building men with biceps bigger than my head.  I've run the track with sprinters who seem Olympian-level athletes, done yoga-fusion classes with women capable of bending their bodies into the most impossible of poses.  And somewhere in the midst of all of this, I started having fun.

A part of my attempts at a healthier state of living was to find fitness inspiration.  One thing I noticed right away was that 99%  of fitness posters and images online show men and women with "ideal" bodies...and quotes like "Rome wasn't built in a day" tattooed over a perfectly Beyonce-ful booty.  Women with perfectly perky parts working out in bikinis. But this isn't what anyone looks like exercising.  We sweat, we get red in the face, we huff and puff...and as lovely as Beyonce's bum is, I'd just be happy to run a 5k in March without dying.

I finally filtered together a board of inspiration quotes and recipes for fruit-infused waters and fitness tips, and my favorite photograph was at the above left: "Today I GET TO workout".  I'm realizing how very fortunate I am to have the ability to get out there and use the body I have at any level.

I also read a memoir by food-blogger Andie Mitchell, a woman who lost over 135 pounds in her twenties and realized how large a role food addiction and eating disorders played in her body battle.  I gobbled it up in one day, crying through her honest revelations about food and how it had become an addiction, her main source for dulling the aches and pains that life inevitably brings.

L: "It Was Me All Along"
R: Andie Mitchell's blog, "Can You Stay for Dinner?"

I've sat with friends, sharing stories of how we find motivation within...of tools we've found useful, fun new classes, evening runs.  Even more powerful, stories of struggling with body image and battling shame.

All of this has inspired me to continue making changes.  To pursuing new recipes, to push my body in new ways, to allow myself moments of weakness and temptation.  It's also created a desire to be open with struggles I've kept to myself.  Maybe to even write a little more about the journey, and I hope, to hear about yours.

So friends, though this has nothing at all to do with vintage or home decor, let's talk about things we've learned at the gym (or treadmill at home, hiking paths, cycling trails, or yoga studio).

P.S. If you'd ever like to try a new class with someone who's willing to look riii-dii-cuuu-louus, give me a call!

Until Soon,
Sara XX

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Words for 2015

Dear Friends,

When I first wrote this post last Saturday, I was a few hours from hearing that my dearest teacher and mentor had passed away from a long battle with cancer.  This past weekend I have prayed for his family, grieved deeply, and tried to remember all that he taught me.

Below are several quotes that I had wanted to share for the New Year, but first I want to leave you with six words he told me that meant more than anything.

You are stronger than you know.

That's not just for me...that is for you.  Sometimes life is bits of good mixed with buckets of difficult.  Sunny skies, then a storm from nowhere.  But you are stronger than you know.


(Source: L, R
(Source: L, R)
(Source: L, R)
(Source: L, R)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Our Shop Gift Picks...

From locally-made jewelry + paper flower arrangements to botanical calendars from Rifle Paper Co. and Cavallini & Co....all the way to Tattly tattoos for stockings; we've got something for your loved ones!  Even better?  Everything pictured is $36 and under!!

Our Holiday Hours:
F 12/19: 11-6
Sa 12/20: 11-6
Su 12/21: 1-5
M 12/22: OPEN!  1-5
Tu 12/23: 11-6
W 12/24: Closed
Th 12/25: Closed, Merry Christmas!
F 12/26: Closed
Sa 12/27: 11-6
Su 12/28: 1-5
(M 12/29: Normal Closed)
Tu 12/30: 11-6
W 12/31: Closed
Th 1/1: Closed, Happy New Year!
F 1/2: 11-8 First Fridays Downtown with calligraphy + watercolors by Hannah Johnson!

Winter hours to follow, Tuesday - Saturday 11-6!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Tied Up Trimmings

Dear Friends,

It's that time again...the week before Christmas!!  Time to lay out all your carefully found treasures for family and friends and wrap them for the tree.  Below are some of my favorite gift trim combinations, and I hope you garner some ideas for your own gift-wrapping.

Wishing you a warm Christmas + very happy holiday,
Sara xx

Material Ideas:
-Kraft paper (blank canvas for any trimmings)
-Twigs, bark, cinnamon sticks
-Greenery: Pine, Cedar, Fern
-Ribbon, fabric strips, twine, velvet, lace
-Vintage photos
-Tags made from wood or fabric

The Minimalist:
Water color gift tags, twigs, + kraft paper (source)

The Modernist:
Mixed textures on a monochromatic surface, or mixed patterns in a fresh + modern way.  (Source; L, R)
Grey + black wrap with small geo prints.  (Source L, Top R, Lower R)

 The Naturalist:
Fresh clippings and natural hues.  (Source: L, R)

 The Metal Mixer:
Gold, copper, + silver make a beautiful palette.  (Source: L, R)

 The Feathered Fancifist:
Continuing my feather obsession, how lovely are these paper plumes?!  (Source: L, R)

The Pattern-Lover:
Polka dots, stripes, and pops of color.  (Source: L, R)

The Glitterer:
Gold + Glitter, a match made in heaven.  (Source: L, R)