Thursday, December 31, 2009


with a plethora of "stop smoking" and "loose weight" commercials constantly bombarding the television it's hard not to think about what changes we want to make for ourselves for 2010. what do you want to have more (or less) of in 2010? let's not forget to be grateful for what we already have: a place to stay, a warm place to lay our head at night, friends, family, pets and each other.

2009 was a year of change for me. i went from being from a comfortable, well-paying job to being unemployed at a moment's notice. instead of letting it get me down, i saw it as an opportunity to change my life for the better and pursue my dreams of being a massage therapist and a yoga teacher. while i am the poorest that i've ever been, i am lucky to say that i am the happiest that i have ever been in my 31 years. this change has made me realize that money doesn't always bring happiness. you should do what your heart desires and the money will follow. i am half way through my massage therapy schooling and i already have a job waiting on me!!

i chose the word "focus" for 2009. while my focus on different opportunities may have changed, i never lost focus on pursuing my dreams and finding my authentic self. after finding my own path i have never been happier!

i couldn't settle on just one word for 2010 so i am going with "abundance" and "positivity." the first thought to most people's mind about abundance is money. that's not necessarily what i am going for (although it will be great to replenish my depleted savings account!). i am seeking abundance in life, love and all things positive. there is where the positivity comes in, they dovetail perfectly together.

may your 2010 be filled with joy, sparkle, warmth and mostly love! here's to the new year! hugs!!

image credit ici et ici

au revoir 2009

a new year and a new decade is just around the corner. being that i'm uber busy recently i stayed pretty simple with my december goals. let's review shall we?

my december goals & outcomes:
  • continuing at my current pace for working toward my massage requirements - yes! i'm so happy to report that i only have 15 left to meet my requirement.
  • getting straight As for november - yes!
  • receiving my certificate for my yoga teacher training - yes!! i have completed everything and i will receive my certificate within the week!
  • buying a massage table - yes and i love it!
  • spending quality time with my family around the holidays - yes! i took my massage table to my parents and gave them and my best friend a massage - they loved it!!
  • and looking forward to some SNOW!!! - yes! we got a couple of good snows and i am looking forward to more. :)
hope you had a fabulous december. how did your december goals go?

photo credit ici

Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas wrap up in photos

lots of yummy food
an awesome midori margarita
love from kittehs
and popcorn too
ryan and i taking silly pics
and time with my best friend mandy

hope you all had a wonderful christmas this year.

Monday, December 21, 2009

monday moment of zen

"christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold,
everything is softer and more beautiful."

~ norman vincent peale

i wish you all the happiest and healthiest of holidays. much love, joy and hugs to you all!!

image credit ici

Sunday, December 20, 2009

peace rocks

i was the lucky winner of some peace rocks from the lovely sasa. my beautiful package included six hand painted peace rocks, several christmas cards, a peace rocks calendar for 2010 and a lovely note.

i added a peace rock to my collection of rocks, seashells, candles, lavender and buddha statue that is the centerpiece (now it's the centerpeace) on my kitchen table.
i added another peace rock to gussy up ryan's first bonsai tree. rawkus is peeking out from behind the bonsai tree.
thank you so much sasa for the lovely package of peace!

if you'd like a peace rock be sure to visit sasa's etsy page to purchase your own.

i heart snow

it's no secret, i love snow. every time the local news stations predicts that we are going to get some snow i always scoff because usually they are wrong. i am happy to say that this time they were right!!

the view from our house over sabraton
view of jerome park area of sabraton
cadyn is not a big fan of the snow due to her size. she absolutely refused to look at me when i was trying to take a picture of her. she is adorable in her little sweater and snow on her nose.
a closer view of the snowy nose

Friday, December 18, 2009

blogging holiday love from kylie grethen

i was happy to have participated in a blogging holiday love exchange that was organized by the fabulous kaileen elise, chelsea and carolyn. i am absolutely amazed at the blogging community that we have built online. i love these amazing ladies!!

now onto the goods ;)

i was so happy to come home from a tiring 12 hour day of class and massages to a fabulous holiday package from kylie grethen.
i was so excited to see this package sitting on my table just begging for me to open it. and when i did.... the smell of lavender bloomed out of the package as i opened it. i love love love lavender!
everything was so beautifully wrapped in pretty pink and purple tissue paper
and everything inside was absolutely perfect!!
my package included:

~ an adorable card (the mouse painting the candy canes - so cute).

~ a copy of eat, pray, love which i wanted due to giving my copy away. i am so happy to have it back in my book collection.

~ a note pad with a sparkly effiel tower - perfect for toting around in my handbag.

~ $5 gift card to starbucks - perfect for a gingerbread latte!

~ lavender bath bomb - i love bath bombs and it smells so good!!

~ flower power botanic extract lavender soothing facial mask - i can't wait to use this!

~ aura cacia lavender harvest aromatherapy mineral bath - such a perfect company - love their products and can't wait to sink deep into the bathtub for some quiet solo meditation time.

~ a grow your own pink poodle - this is so hilarious - i love it! according to the package it "makes you an officially 'classy' person." it's ironic because one of my nicknames for cadyn is "poodle." i really love small things so i think i will keep my pink poodle small because it's just so darn cute!

~ a fabulous black & white damask bag - which was perfect for toting my massage sheets to school the other day!

everything from kylie was absolutely perfect! it was as if she's known me for years. she couldn't have done a better job picking things out for me. thank you from the bottom of my heart kylie. huge hugs!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

monday moment of zen

"if you can control your breath, you can control your mind. if you can control your mind, you can control your life." ~yogi bhajan

i used this quote for a yoga class last week and it has really stuck with me. think about when you are anxious or upset, your chest gets tight and your breath becomes restricted. if you can bring your focus to your breath, even just for a moment, you will start to feel your anxiety slowly start to melt away. this will be very helpful during the stressful times around the holidays.

take a moment now to find your breath. don't try to force anything, just notice the flow. after a few minutes of observing your breath see if you can now started to deepen the inhales and extend the exhales. after a few minutes of deep, slow breathing see if you notice any difference in your mood.

happy breathing. namaste

image credit ici

Sunday, December 13, 2009

ear candling

i love massage therapy school!! we got to try ear candling. it was my first time and let me just say, it was an interesting experience. above is little ol' moi getting my ear candling on with help of my fellow classmate julie.

first step, light the ear candle...
second step, place the ear candle in the ear canal...
if you see any smoke coming out around the ear then you don't have the candle securely in place...
the lovely models are my teacher yasuko and my classmate moose.

ear candling many criticisms, however, if you get a chance to try it i think it's worth it. what are your thoughts? have you tried ear candling before?

bela's birthday bash

before bela dashes off to paris (uh, lucky girl!!) for her christmas holiday we took a quick trip to pittsburgh, pa to go to green forest cafe. green forest is a brazilian churrascaria restaurant.

there was beautiful brazilian jewelry for sale at green forest.
the servers bring around tons of meat: beef ribs, short ribs, chicken, flank steak, lamb, picanha (the best one!), picanha with garlic, pork loin, pork ribs, prime rib, rib eye steak, sausage, skirt steak, top sirloin, turkey, filet with bacon and finally lamb chops. whew, that's a lot of meat!!
as long as the spool is turned on green servers will keep coming around with meat after meat after meat selection. turn it to red and you can catch up eating all of the other buffet items that are plentiful.
below is bela, ryan and matt grinning from ear to ear with very full bellies.
ryan, matt and myself (notice the bottle of leblon cachaca keeps traveling around the table!)
we had such an amazing time eating tons of delicious food and enjoying each others company. be sure to check out bela's blog for more pics.

Monday, December 7, 2009

monday moment of zen

"when you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."
~catherine ponder

tis the season for giving so why not make it the season for forgiving (for + giving = forgiving). as the quote beautifully states that holding on to resentment towards others makes bound to that person in such a way that only hurts ourselves. why not forgive the person that you are bound to so that you too can forgive yourself for holding this grudge. life is too short to hold grudges and resentment towards others. what are you holding onto that you could let go?


image credit ici

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

power of intention

the mind is a very powerful tool. in fact, it has more power than the rest of our body combined. some of us set intentions for our yoga class, for our day, our week, month, even our year. in yoga we are asked to revisit the intention that we set at the beginning of class as a simple reminder to bring yourself back into the present moment. but our intention doesn't have to stop there.

your intention can change your total outlook on something. let me give you an example. at my last job there was a guy who came into our offices usually once to twice a week. i'm not sure when it happened but i got really irritated at him and hated to be in his presence. it got to the point that whenever i heard him coming down the hallway i could feel my blood pressure start to rise. if i were a dog, i'd have my hackles up for sure!! i could feel my face scrunch into a scour just as the sound of his voice although i was never this way to his face. i honestly don't remember why i felt this way. one day i had had enough of my own childish and pettiness and decided to make an intention to like him. it was hard at first because i was intending on changing my behavior (and we are creatures of habit, non?!). but each time he came in the office i asked him how he was doing and eventually i noticed that i started genuinely caring how he was. it was no longer a formality, i actually cared. for the next few weeks things got better and better and i started liking him and enjoying talking to him. all of this came about because i had intended to change my outlook on how i saw and felt about this individual.

you can really accomplish anything if you set your mind to it. if there is something you want to change or intend to happen follow these simple steps:
  • write down your goal or intention
  • share your intention with someone, blogging about it, etc. by doing this it will make you accountable and therefore more likely to stick to your goal or intention
  • take one small step towards your goal or intention today
  • acknowledge your accomplishment, no matter how big or small, and continue taking small steps toward your goal or intention
have you reached a goal or set an intention and that you have accomplished? please feel free to share.

image credit ici et ici et ici

Monday, November 30, 2009


my times flies when you are busy. can you believe that december is just around the corner?! let's review my november goals:
  • eating lots more pumpkin foods - yes, i simply adore this time of year for all of the pumpkiny goodness
  • celebrating thanksgiving with ryan's family where we get to eat at 3 different thanksgiving dinners including my favorite the peruvian one!! - oh my yes! we took our friend bela with us for her first thanksgiving experience. we had a fabulous time.
  • keeping up steam in massage school as i am doing quite well - yes, i have fabulous news - i got my grades for the month of october and i got all As!!!!
  • teaching yoga! - yes, i've been teaching my fellow classmates as part of my practicum and i got to teach vinyasa at bliss last tuesday. i had such a great time and i look forward in strengthening my teaching skills.
  • knocking out as many of my required massages as possible - yes, i have done 32 massages since starting on oct. 31st.

for december i am looking forward to:

  • continuing at my current pace for working toward my massage requirements
  • getting straight As for november
  • receiving my certificate for my yoga teacher training
  • buying a massage table
  • spending quality time with my family around the holidays
  • and looking forward to some SNOW!!!
i hope that you have a safe and happy december and enjoy spending time with your family and friends this holiday season.

images credit ici

monday moment of zen

"when we pay attention, whatever we are doing - whether it be cooking, cleaning or making love - is transformed and becomes part of our spiritual path. we begin to notice details and textures that we never noticed before; everyday life becomes clearer, sharper and at the same time more spacious."
~ rick fields

it's all about rush rush rush especially around this time of year. rarely do we take time for ourselves or take time to really enjoy our surroundings. sure we notice the christmas decorations and all of the holiday sales. but how many times do we notice the small details? whenever you feel yourself getting stressed out just stop where ever you are at and look around. take in all of the surroundings, the sights, the smells and see what a difference it makes on your frame of mind. namasate

image credit ici

Saturday, November 28, 2009


the last week of the joy diet is upon us and it couldn't have been better timing for the chapter on feasting as we all still probably have tons of thanksgiving leftovers.

while feasting isn't necessarily all about eating food - let me tell you about my thanksgiving...

ryan and i always split our holidays up between our parents. this year we went to his families house's for thanksgiving and will go to my parents for christmas. we took our dear brazilian friend bela with us this time so that she could experience her first american thanksgiving. we first stopped at ryan's mother's house and ate thanksgiving lunch there. next onto ryan's dad's house and had a late lunch/early thanksgiving dinner. finally onto ryan's best friend families house for a peruvian thanksgiving dinner. we all had a fabulous time at each dinner. bela had a great time. i was so grateful that she was able to share in her first thanksgiving holiday with us.

here's to feasting!!

check out jamie ridler's the next chapter for other musings on feasting.

image credit ici

Monday, November 23, 2009

monday moment of zen

"a crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety."

thanksgiving is upon us. while for some that may be a welcomed time of year for others it may bring out some holiday anxiety. this year when things become a bit hectic and you think to yourself 'why did i even come, i knew this was going to happen.' just stop... take a couple of deep breaths... and think of at least one reason why you are grateful to be around those people. see if that doesn't change your outlook and mood.

have a happy thanksgiving and namaste

photo credit ici

Friday, November 20, 2009


i simply adore connecting with like-minded individuals and i am delighted to say that in the past few months i have done just that!

i have connected with fabulous fellow bloggers & tweeps. i have connected with lovely ladies that are massage therapists, mentors & role models. i have connected with teachers & classmates that i admire and adore.

i feel so lucky to connect with such wonderful people - each and everyone of you!!

find more wonderful connections by visiting jamie ridler's the next chapter.

image credit ici

Monday, November 16, 2009

monday moment of zen

"if there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having."
~ henry miller

now more than ever humans are attached to "stuff." i'm sure you are already starting to make christmas lists in your head. 'what am i going to buy aunt millie, what about cousin theo," and on and on.

why does everything have to revolve around our material things?! i too am guilty of this as we all are.

do any of these sound familiar:
- "what do you mean you put a dent in my car!?!"
- "i can't believe you took my scarf without asking!!"
- "i just have to have that new shirt (although i have one exactly like it at home)."
- "i need that (insert any material item here)!!"
- "get out of my chair!"

on some deep level we are attached to our belongings, no matter how big or small. in buddhism, the second noble truth is "the origin of suffering is attachment." this is not saying that you have to give up everything but simple give up the the attachment. we don't need these material items, we want them.

this week think of one thing that you are attached to that you can give up. you don't necessarily have to actually give it away (but if you can kudos for you!) but just give up the thought of being attached to that item. after all, it is simply a material item and it can be replaced.


photo credit ici

Saturday, November 14, 2009


i read somewhere recently that laughter provides a massage for our organs. i truly believe this. if you think about it laughter is really a cure-all. no matter what is ailing you, once you start laughing you feel immensely better. you choose your happiness so when you are feeling bad, watch a comedy, read comic strips, have a conversation with an upbeat, jokey friend and see if you don't feel better.

ryan and i watch funny movies and tv shows to get in some laughs. we play with our pets - that is always good for lots of laughs. we also check out lolcats to get in daily laughs. we are both jokey people and hang around jokey friends. i have always been a very upbeat and funny person. anything for a laugh. i know for sure that my lpd (laughs per day) is way beyond 30. see how other lovely ladies get in their daily laughs by visiting jamie ridler's the next chapter. what do you do to get in your giggles?

image credit ici

Thursday, November 12, 2009

thankful thursday

i recently had a conversation with my aunt about how things have been going for me recently. i don't get to talk to her that often so we did a lot of catching up. i love my aunt. she's always been very open-minded and unique in her own way. our talk touched on the usuals, what i've been up to recently, how's school going, when do you graduate, how does ryan like it, where do you plan on getting a job when you are finished and what exactly is yoga?! (lol) the part that struck me the most is that i told my aunt that while i am the poorest i've ever been in my whole life i am the happiest.

money does not create happiness (while it certainly helps to make things tons easier it's not always necessary). i know in time i will start regaining my financial freedom like i once had. money comes, money goes but happiness, that is one you want to hold on to for certain.

after our phone conversation, i thought in depth about what i had said. i am really, genuinely happy - deep into my core. i hope that some of my happiness seeps into this blog post and touches each and everyone of you that reads it and that you feel it too. trust me, i have enough of it to go around. hugs!!

image credit ici

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

swapping delights

sofia, one of my darling tea traders hosted her 2nd annual autumn swap this year. well of course i participated! what joy to send a darling little package of autumn comforts to someone and to receive a lovely package from another. i gathered up some teas, coffee, a book about new york, and some other trinkets and sent them on their merry way to spain to ibb.

i received the most fabulous package from the marvelous micaela. what i got in my autumn swap package couldn't have been more perfect. i am amazed at what a fabulous job she did picking out things to send to me. let me share with you my most perfect autumn swap package...

not one, but two packages
have you ever seen a more beautifully wrapped package?!
in the big package
the autumn swap package in all of it's glory
it honestly, couldn't have been more perfect! i love every single thing in the package. thank you so much micaela. you made my heart sing!! many, many thanks my darling!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

monday moment of zen

"life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
~ kierkegaard

too many of us (myself including) are doers. sometimes doers can also be problem solvers. we see a situation or a problem and we can't help but try to fix it. but you know as well as i do that problems have a way of working themselves out on their own. so this week make an attempt to observe these problems without taking an initiative to "fix" them. like kierkegaard said, just experience this so-called problem and see how it works itself out. namaste

image credit ici

Friday, November 6, 2009


i want to first apologize to my lovely readers. i have been mia recently because i have been very busy with massage therapy schooling and yoga teacher training. at least it's a good busy. i am enjoying myself immensely every single day.

now, out of all honesty, i've been playing with the joy diet in it's entirety and i've been having a great time. during the risk chapter i wrote in my post about wishing that i had read this book earlier when i was unhappy in the current career path i was in and wanted to do something else that i had always dreamed about. but as sherry lee said, timing is everything and that reading this book now is an affirmation. she is completely right and everyday it just solidifies it for me that i took the right risks and made the right decision.

here is a shot of my new brazilian friend bela and i trying on some fabulous shades while doing some winter clothes shopping. we had such a great time shopping and playing.

to check out the way some other lovely ladies play, visit jamie ridler's the next chapter.