Here’s to One Year Down and New Beginnings

I find it only fitting that I should get the urge (finally) to blog on this, the anniversary of when I first signed on with WordPress.

I remember Schofie had been nagging lovingly encouraging me to start this up. The first year has had its ups and downs, for sure. All you bloggers out there know what I mean when say I had moments of elation at both my first “like” and first “comment” on an article. It’s an ego boost. A pat on the back. A “hey-I-might-not-suck-after-all” moment.  And then of course the weeks/months where I simply had nothing to write, and felt as guilty as Fido in a dog-shaming meme.

Those are all fun moments and lessons learned though, aren’t they?

I’ll leave you with that tid-bit because I don’t want to get too serious today. After all, I still have my unannounced news to, well, announce!

Drum roll please….

Meet our beautiful baby girl!

That’s right folks. I have found my way into the club that is “Mommy-blogging”, sleepless nights, and inexplicable, irrational, unconditional love. She’s not due to arrive until March 9th, but I’m halfway there, and cannot wait to hold her in my arms! In the meantime, I have started the frenzy of trying to decide which car seat to purchase, how many cloth diapers I will need (yes, that IS what we have chosen to do, much to the chagrin of many a “non-granola” mom), and something called nipple-butter. (Ew… what have I gotten myself into…?!)

So, will this blog turn into the inevitable Mommy Blog?

I have asked myself this (with admitted dread) these last few months simply because I suppose I always thought Mom Blogs were lame. They were for “those women” whose lives consisted of loneliness and canned jam. I had visions of colic and poop and dirty dishes piling up, all hidden behind a cute blog name of “lifewithminnyme.com” or some crap like that. The nightmare and stereotypes continued for weeks, until I realized,

I want that.

I want to be the kind of mom who lets the dishes stack up because I know that my newborn girl needs to be fed instead. I want to be the mom who isn’t afraid to blog about the explosive diaper occasionally, because, ya know, sometimes life is poopy. I want to be the mom who knows how to laugh at life’s mess and can come away with some semblance of sanity all because I adore my children, and the life my husband and I have created.

So will this blog end up a Mommy Blog this next year? I don’t know. But I know this: I’m now a Mommy. And I can’t wait to see what story I’ll get to tell.

Rhed

Can I Give More?

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“Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.”

 -Paul Tergat, Kenyan Professional Marathon Runner

I think I’ve fallen in love. My Jump Off the Ladder challenge of running at least 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week was hard the first week, but this week I feel amazing. Yesterday, my day was jam-packed full of work, and then I had rehearsal for a play I am in: Comedy of Errors (by Shakespeare, of course!). So early on yesterday, I knew that I wouldn’t really want to go running after all the festivities, especially with all the rain I’ve been getting this last week. Thankfully, my challenge pushed me forward, and I wrote a reminder on my wrist that I looked at throughout the day: No Excuses.

I asked Schofie to go running with me and soon we were off. I started off jogging and said, “I feel like my body could do this forever!” Soon I was eating my words. I got about three “side-aches” throughout the run, but I ran farther than I ever have before! Unfortunately I didn’t track it with my phone, but we think he and I ran about double the distance of what I ran last week, and thanks to a new neighborhood route, it wasn’t boring at all. I didn’t bring any music with, but Schofie was an excellent coach. Towards the final home stretch, he reminded me,

“Right now your heart rate is through the roof, and you are burning lots of calories, but you’re hitting that place where you feel you can’t quite go on. If you push past that point, that’s where you’re really going to see a difference!”

I drink your mowed lawn grass clippings.

Ok, not really. Although I’ve tried some teas that taste like it.

On my year-long road to health, I learned to fall in love with the benefits of tea. I spent about two weeks detoxing from an average of five cups of disgusting “work-coffee” a day. Five cups. Seriously? Of ground-ridden, cheap, nasty coffee? Why?!

It was free.

It was free and kept me going. What a terrible reason to drink something. Now, I’m not going to get into the coffee vs tea debate, (Really, can’t we all just be friends?) however, when I decided to invest in some Jasmine Green Tea from Earthfare I found that I loved tea. There are so many different flavors and it can be delicious served hot and cold. I also found out there were too many benefits I just couldn’t pass up. (Special thanks to these guys for the info)

  • Tea keeps you hydrated
  • Packed full of antioxidants
  • Can greatly aid weight-loss
  • Improved bone mineral density and strength
  • Green tea’s antioxidants may help stop the growth of cancer!

Not to mention it can come in really adorable teacups.

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CAUTION: Do not Google “cute teacup”. It will result in millions of Teacup Yorkies, and death-by-happiness.

My “Jump Off the Ladder” Challenge, and a POLL!

A few of you may know that I am working on my

Jump Off the Ladder challenge.

I have decided that for the month of June I will challenge myself to go running for at least 20 minutes a day, three days a week. A challenge which, so far, is going alright. The greatest obstacle so far has been the weather. Naturally, since I decide I want to do a challenge that requires me to be outdoors, (I don’t have a gym membership) Murphy’s Law kicks in and it pours rain all week.  However, since I don’t like to dwell on failure, only lessons, I am deciding to see the positive in this.

This weekend, Schofie and I made HUGE headway in the “get rid of your crap” department. For me, living off of nothing but the land in a tree house or Hobbit Hole would be amazing. For him, the idea is fun, but unrealistic. He doesn’t quite understand why I need to seasonally (ok, sometimes monthly) do a massive purge and donate a ton of things. It’s cleansing to me, and with less stuff I find it a more peaceful atmosphere. I would love to jump on board the ‘minimalist’ train. For him, it’s stressful, and an emotional experience. There are memories associated with each item, and after all, we may use it in the future.

After many a discussion and frustrated tears, Schofie decided that since it made his wife happy and healthy, she could get rid of whatever she wanted. (Excluding things explicitly his i.e. clothing)

Seriously, how did I get a guy like that?! 🙂

So I went to town in our kitchen, and am throwing a massive garage sale. I’m not anywhere close to finished with my purge, but here is a start:

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Seriously, who needs all this stuff?

So needless to say, I sort of have two challenges this month. I am so excited to see where this’ll take me! Also…

I’m working on a project and need your help!

Please fill out the questionnaire below. If you think of any answers not listed, let me know!

Conviction.

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I started doing some asanas this evening, and got a big smile on my face.

I felt free again.

I felt peaceful.

I felt open and ready to embrace life and love.

Then my husband (we’ll just call him Schofie from now on) smirked at me.

“I knew you needed this.” He grinned.

“What do you mean?”

“You have been…”, he cautiously searched for a delicate way to phrase it, “You have been a little irritable lately, and I noticed that you haven’t been doing your yoga as often…I just knew that you really needed to do it.”

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because it’s not my job to tell you. It’s my job to love you… Also that would’ve been your sanity and my life on the line.”

I love Schofie. He knows me better than myself. He know’s when I need to be told, “Baby, I think you should work out…” and when to keep his mouth shut.  But now I know. I know just how much doing consistent yoga affects my life and my loved ones. I could feel that I’ve lost some flexibility in both my muscles, and my mind. So here I sit, showered and clean, and convicted. I have been focused more on the nutrition side of things, and less on the fitness, and Lord knows they go hand-in-hand.

Thanks to my best friend though, I’ve been reminded of finding a balance.

I have found my breath.

Sonance Moments (Or Music Monday, if you like.)

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for spa music.

Today’s Sonance Moment is dedicated to Liquid Mind’s “Journey to Peace”. I happened upon this gorgeous piece while listening to Zen Garden radio on Pandora.The Zen Garden station is a must for me when I do yoga.(Or go to bed. Or wake up. Or pretty much just do life.) This song is full of rich keyboard synthesizers, and reminds me of Enya. Liquid Mind is incredibly calming and makes me very nostalgic and peaceful, which is quite apropos, I think.. 😉

Alright my hippies, the following video only shows the front cover of Liquid Mind’s album, so let’s get stretching…

Take this one for a spin while in tree pose! 

What is your favorite relaxation tune? Is there a song you just can’t do yoga without? 

Peace! 

Rhed

COMING SOON: The American Diet: A Vegetarian’s Take

Oh, Minnesota, how I’ve missed you!

As a few of you may know, I decided to surprise my mother on her 50th birthday with a flight back home to see her for the first time in a year. Boy did she lose it. 😉 It’s so frickin’ cold in the Great North, but it’s wonderful home, sweet home.

Growing up in a family of hunting, gun-loving carnivores, everyone seems very cautious and curious about my eating habits. There are a lot of “rub some bacon on it” jokes happening. I’ve also been eating a lot of food I don’t normally eat because I’m not the one cooking. Pretty much everything is canned and the typical American diet of startch and more starch. This change is definitely effecting my body, and it’s less than thrilled.

I’ve been asked a lot of questions about being a vegetarian,

“What DO you eat every day?”

“But… WHY?”

“Do you do it just for health reasons? Or is it the whole ‘animal rights’ thing?”

So I will be doing a segment, when I return from MN, on the mainstream American lifestyle and how to travel and still stay true to health and wellness choices. (Sorry, WordPress, this app just ain’t cuttin’ it. 😉 )

Peace!

Rhed

WE’RE STARTIN’ TO SMOLDER – RENOVATION STYLE!

Sometimes, you just need a little lift. 

Something that pushes you. Excites you. 

It’s like when I was a kid and my mom would re-paint her bedroom, and re-tile her bathroom, and  re-decorate every month… or when she’d hold out for the Estee Lauder deal where she buys foundation and gets the extra crap included. Sometimes, we all need to feel a little extra sparkle. So, welcome to the new Incense and Sounds. It’s sharper, hopefully a little more organized, and quite frankly, I love it.

What do you think? 

Like the layout? Hate it? Comment below. 

Got a new Vegan/Vegetarian recipe you want to share? Hit me up! Rhed’s got her renovatin’ pants on and things are gonna get interesting…We’re about to make some changes around here folks, so stay tuned!

PEACE, LOVE, and of course, Estee Lauder freebees.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend…

I am becoming a consistent writer.

There. I put that positive statement out into the universe, so it must come to pass eventually… right? I haven’t  posted anything in quite a while due to the flooding of my apartment resulting in a dead laptop. (May he rest in peace.) I am typing this on my husbands laptop that I was able to snag some time with. Bloggers, please tell me I’m not the only one who gets to the computer and thinks, Man. I’m boring. I have nothing to write about except how my fish’s eye is cloudy , and though he’s on meds he keeps running into the tank wall ’cause he can’t see. And though I really feel bad for him….it is kind of a little funny…Then I contemplate what a terrible person I am, and search for a new subject, Well, this is mainly a health and fitness blog now, so I could talk about my new Orange Julius protein shake I concocted…Naaaa…. Today it’s all about the MUSIC.

That’s right folks, welcome to the newest segment of Incense and Sounds:

Sonance Moments

“Sonance” as in “a sound”. Pretty catchy eh? It is here that I shall dissect gorgeous (and not-so-gorgeous) sounds and give you my thoughts on such. We’ll talk about artists, lyrics, redeeming qualities, and why I think a song could perhaps be improved (or just why I flat out hate it haha).  So, without further adieu, I give you:

Simon & Garfunkel- Sound of Silence

Ahhh, this should be on the favorites list of every free-spirit out there. This beautiful classic was written in 1964 by Paul Simon in response to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The raw beauty of these two gentlemen never gets old. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel are excellent storytellers, and in this tribute, they do not disappoint. Every time I hear this song I cannot help but get quiet and simply listen. I didn’t always grow up appreciating folk music, but as time went on, I couldn’t help but fall in love with modern Rock & Roll’s roots. The acoustic guitar gives such a raw, earthy quality to this song, mixed with Paul’s raspy, vulnerable voice and Arts incredible harmonizing, it’s no wonder this song helped propel them to international stardom.

I leave you, dear ones, with this quote by Simon after it was mentioned he had some difficulty writing the lyrics, “The main thing about playing the guitar, though, was that I was able to sit by myself and play and dream. And I was always happy doing that. I used to go off in the bathroom, because the bathroom had tiles, so it was a slight echo chamber. I’d turn on the faucet so that water would run — I like that sound, it’s very soothing to me — and I’d play. In the dark. ‘Hello darkness, my old friend / I’ve come to talk with you again’.”

Resolve: Stop Being So Critical of Ourselves

I find this absolutely breath-taking. Acknowledge today just how lovely your body truly is.

Deana O'Hara - Speaker, Comedian, Author

This video was shared on Tulsa Diva’s today — I have to share it with you guys. As women we are sometimes our own worst critics. I love this.

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