Hey girl-

We’ve all seen them. They’re everywhere. He says exactly what we want to hear. It’s every straight woman’s and gay man’s fantasy. “Hey girl….(fill in the blank).” Music to our ears and candy for eyes. And it doesn’t matter our relationship status- married, single, “it’s complicated”- we swoon. Ryan Gosling has made quite the online presence (through no effort on his part I’m sure).

We all fell in love with The Notebook. The movie Drive gave us a peek into his dark side. And who can forget the shirtless scene in Crazy, Stupid, Love? No one, that’s who. I suppose it wasn’t really until that particular movie that I jumped on the Gosling bandwagon with the rest of the swooners. The hot, sexy, player type turned nice guy? Um, yea- the daydream secretary is busy overbooking that fantastical utopia.

As a happily married woman, I am grateful that I no longer need to participate in the wild, animalistic world of dating. However, I feel the need to reach out to the single men of the jungle and offer you this bit of advice. You are not Ryan Gosling. Please do not ever use cheesy pickup lines such as, “Hey girl, are your legs tired? Cause you’ve been running through my mind all day.” or “Hey girl, I’m so glad I brought my library card…because I’m checking you out.” and the one that takes the cake, Hey girl, guns can be dangerous to society, so I am gonna register my arms before I cuddle with you tonight.” Sure these classic words of romance might sweep the naive damsel off her feet in the movies, but hopefully no respectable girl would succumb to such nonsense. Just sayin’.

Now returning back to our regularly scheduled fantasy…

To all the ladies posting these glorious pictures of this beautiful face/body we shall now refer to as “O Resplendent One”, please do not stop. And please continue to etch into these splendiferous images, words of empowerment, praise and magnificence- for they sing to us a song of “siiiiiiighhhhh…..” with a smile on our faces.

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The 11th Year.

9/11 is a day that will forever be embedded into our memories. It is a day that hangs heavy and somber in our hearts. For those who lost loved ones, it is a day to remember and grieve. But as history has always shown, life goes on. People get up each day, go to work, spend time with their families, spend money, go on vacations, etc. The most immediate reactions and emotions we had that particular day, fade slowly off into the distance.

Each year, we commemorate the anniversary of this tragic event. Some weep, some get angry and I am sure there are those who don’t bat an eye. Me? I feel sadness. But perhaps in a way you might not think. The sadness I feel is more of a yearning to remember and recreate the level of humanity that was expressed that fateful day. Political affiliations, skin color, income levels- none of that mattered. People came together to love, support and embrace one another.

Here, on the 11th anniversary of September 11, 2001, I find myself asking, “Why is it that it takes such a horrific event to bring us together as compassionate human beings?” Of course there are many individuals who practice such things as compassion, unity and love on a day to day basis, but sadly, as a whole, I feel we so easily forget to institute these virtues. Wars rage on, racism thrives, greed and egos grow, agendas implemented. We live in fear of things yet to come. We see these attacks as attacks on AMERICA. We place the blame on other cultures and beliefs. The truth is any such attack that happens anywhere in the world is a tragedy against the human race.

I don’t really believe that this world is ever truly capable of creating a utopia. I feel that there are too many who live to serve their own purpose. There are some who will see this as a cynical point of view. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. What I do know is that I can be me. I can be a positive and empathetic soul in a world seemingly shrouded in darkness. So today, let us not dwell on tragedy. Let us live in compassion and love everyday. Let us live our lives to the fullest in each moment. By doing so, we will continue to honor those who are no longer able.

Burn, Baby, Burn

Fire, fire, hoops on fire…Yup. I did my first hoop burn last night! It wasn’t anything I had been planning on. My plans for the night included well, not much. I was gonna have hoop class but since I hadn’t heard from anyone, I decided to cancel. A friend of mine had emailed me to ask if I was going to the hoop class taking place in downtown. It was the last in a series of elemental flow classes- and the last class was fire. Since I am always the one teaching classes, I thought it would be fun to take a class. Plus it gave me an opportunity to catch up with some of my hoopy friends I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Class started with some breathing and stretching, followed by a fire meditation. Each of us had a candle and as we sat in our circle, flames flickering, we visualized anything that no longer served us, burning away. It was perfect and just what I needed. We worked our way through some new, and some not so new movements and tricks. We spun, swirled and twirled. LED hoops lit up the night. Before I knew it that segment of class was done and it was time to play with fire.

Until last night, I was a fire hooping virgin. But last night, my neverbeforeburned fire hoop got lucky. We had both been waiting until the right time. The peer pressure has never been bad, but part of me felt like everyone else was doing it, maybe I should too. I mean I have been hooping for 2 years now. Everything came together perfectly. Fuel, fire extinguishers, friends, wet towels, the moon glistening in the night sky- almost romantic. It’s like it was meant to be. I didn’t know what to expect. Would it hurt? Would I get burned? But then I was lit. The whooshing sound of the flames was exhilarating. The heat rushed up and down my skin. I was on fire!

And then…my hoop came apart.

I guess these things happen. Your first time is hardly ever perfect, right? But I’m a trooper. I was not gonna let that get me down. My safety person was by my side in the blink of an eye, we popped that hoop back together and I was back in the flame!

I’m already excited about my next time. Will it be just as good as my first? They say fire is addictive for some. I think there is a good chance I am already on that train.

*watch my video here

Pillow Wars

The never ending bedtime tug-of-war. It always starts out okay. Me on my side of the bed and my husband on his. We have a queen size bed. It’s not enormous but provides plenty of space for the both of us. Though when falling asleep we typically like to snuggle up to one another. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe this idea of togetherness while sleeping gets embedded into our subconscious and continues to play out during the night. Or maybe I am just so irresistible to my husband that he just physically can’t be away from me. And that’s usually how it happens. I seem to be perfectly comfortable dreaming away on my side of the bed. He is the one who always squirms his way over.

Most couples seem to have issues with blanket hogging. My issue is with the pillows. And we don’t even just have one per person. There are two, pleasantly plush pillows for the taking, for each of us. And yet, in the wee hours of early morning I find myself without. Not that he has taken my pillow to his side of the bed (at least that way my head would still have a place to rest). No. It’s that his subconscious has maniacally conspired and worked its conniving, deeply sleeping brain container over to MY side of the bed and onto MY pillow. I am forced awake, finding that my head has been displaced from the cushy center of my pillow to the teeny tiny corners of the great beyond. Not cool.

I suppose I could push and shove my lovely husband across the bed-lands, back to his place of origin. Perhaps I need a bit more gusto. But I feel bad. There. I’ve said it. I’ve always been the type of wife to take his needs into consideration in the dream state. “I wouldn’t want to disturb his peaceful slumber, would I?” “He works hard all day, I just need to leave him to relax.” Well, enough is enough! I declare war! I will no longer be victim to his pillow hoarding ways! From here on out, I will pronounce what is rightfully mine and will never again subject myself to the horrors of pillow corners.

Thank you for listening.

*disclaimer*  If you or someone you love has fallen victim to pillow stealing, there is help. Please get in touch with your nearest ‘I’mnottakingthisshitanymore’ representative (aka your newly improved badass self) and put an end to this heinous action. We shall take back our night!

FridayisGlitterday

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before, but I love glitter. Like, a lot. I am confused by those who do not like glitter. That’s like saying you don’t like sunshine. Who doesn’t love sunshine? Glitter literally brings sparkle into your life. It’s a quick fix for lots of life’s problems. Feeling sad and gloomy today? Put some glitter on. It will brighten your mood. Stuck on the side of the road with nothing but your glitter? Throw some at the next oncoming car. They will be sure to stop and help. Image

Today I decided that I need more glitter in my life than currently exists. I explained this to my husband. He didn’t agree but what does he know? I think he got nervous when he saw my eyes darting around the house looking for things to glitter-fy (I propose this word be officially initiated into Websters Dictionary). There had to be something I could sparkle! I mean, when the mood strikes, ya kinda have to go for it. My gaze settled upon two lucky vases that were a bit too ordinary looking for my liking. The glitter color selection in my arsenal is sadly not what it should be, but I decided pink was the declared winner. I got out the glitter glue (yes, my glue has glitter too) and a paintbrush and went to sparkle-town. I have to say, I am quite pleased with my masterpiece.

ImageNext on the glitter agenda was to adorn my body in some fashion. My nails were the ultimate victims. That beautiful teal, glitter polish in my bathroom cabinet has been calling my name for days so it was basically inevitable. 3 layers of polish later and my nails are looking quite spiffy. Now I will admit to having a love/hate relationship with glitter nail polish. Men, you have no real way of understanding the extent of this dilemma (unless of course you wear polish- no judgement). Trying to remove said polish is perhaps one of the most difficult situations we women find ourselves in from time to time. Shredded cotton balls, sweat pouring from our foreheads, an occasional profanity…and that is just after one nail. Eventually, after enough will and determination, we have freed ourselves from the bond of glitter nail polish, only to repeat one day in the near future. While the bane of our existence, it is quite necessary and so worth it.

Adventures in cooking, from a non-cooker

ImageI never had much inspiration in the kitchen growing up (no offense ma). Meals were made for our survival, but exposure to anything much beyond chicken and rice, spaghetti or mac and cheese were left to our imaginations. Sometimes our dad would cook but we typically thought his “creations” were better left alone. With that being said, I have never been much of a kitchen whiz. But suddenly, something has come over me. Could it be my new found healthy living commitment? Could it be the recipes on Pinterest that leave me drooling? I’m not exactly sure- maybe it’s both but turns out when I put my mind to it, I am quite the freaking kitchen goddess!

While bouncing and sweating about on the elliptical machine the other day, I found myself thinking, “Well, if I am going to start exercising to stay healthy, I suppose I should change my eating habits as well.” Many people have it in their minds that in order to eat healthy, everything is required to taste like grass or cardboard. I used to fall into that category. To my surprise however, that is not true!

I have been a self appointed Pinterest addict for some time now- one of those types that pins a million different things, but without ever going back to experiment with any of the ideas I pin. It’s kind of pathetic (you can read about my addiction in an earlier post). For some reason, inspiration has struck and I am actually practicing what I pin. I have discovered that there are many types of delicious morsels that are actually good for you, and they are now coming out of my kitchen! My husband of course is in food heaven. He is loving this domestic side of me. Image

While perusing the inter-web this evening, I came across a blog about Pinterest fails. Ya know, crafts or recipes that us “normies” have tried, based on things we have seen online, but they come out terribly. I can say at this point that I have had nothing but success (granted it is still quite early in the game). Dinners, desserts and appetizers alike have come out tasty and delicious. I’m starting to have high hopes for my abilities. Maybe this is foolish but I am on a roll and am determined not to let anyone rain on my food parade. So proud am I in-fact, that I have even been photo documenting my achievements and posting online. I am like a proud new food mama, sharing her accomplishments with the world. And ain’t nobody putting my baby in a corner.

Plaaaaay Baaaaaaallllll!

Baseball. The American pastime that still is. I haven’t been to a game since I was 10 or so but the husband and myself needed something new to do- and tickets were pretty cheap. I guess I thought the game itself would be more exciting than it actually was. Prior to the game, the downtown Phoenix area was abuzz with anticipation- who was gonna win? Now, I don’t know squat about sports never mind having any idea of what team is better. Since I have no real loyalty to the sport, I just decided to root for the home team- the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I had at least hoped that watching the game in person would be more entertaining than watching on television. I suppose it was a bit, but would have been much more so had the game itself contained more drama. “Our” team just couldn’t seem to hit the ball to save their lives against this other team. The highlights of the game for me included the ump getting pelted with a ball (sorry ump) and the very last batter shattering his bat with his last hit (which resulted in an out anyway). The cheap beer and greasy food however, did live up to expectations. Oh and there were fireworks after the game. There were a number of silly moments with larger than life sized bobblehead looking “players” running around the field in a hurdle race. That was something. There was also the kiss cam- the vain side of me wanted to be featured on the mega screen smooching my man- but there was the other part of me that was sweating just thinking about it. “Does my hair look okay? Is this my best angle? I hope I don’t have food in my mouth!” Fortunately (but also unfortunately because my hair looked awesome), this 3 seconds of fame never came to be.

I think I also felt slight dismay towards the crowd and their obvious lack of energy. I’m not sure if they were less than enthusiastic due to the nature of the game or if they were just kinda lame. There was the occasional “boooo” or “go D-backs!”, but overall not the deep caveman-like grunting and stomping I have become accustomed to anticipating, thanks to Hollywood sports cinema. Nor did I see ONE foam finger. Such a disappointment.

My last couple of complaints are as followed- 1. I am confused by the D-backs mascot. Diamondbacks are a type of snake. Their mascot was some type of weird, furry mountain lion or bobcat or something. If someone could get back to me on why this is, I would appreciate it. 2. Have the players pants gotten baggier or is it just me? I feel the uniform used to be tighter with their pant legs tucked into their socks. This seems to no longer be the case. The current fashions seem less baseball-y to me. Plus it no longer emphasizes their cute round butts.

I fully recognize that this is not the most promotional post for attending a game. With that said, I am sure I will attend another in the future. I feel I owe it to myself to give it another shot and see if I can rustle up some fervor for “America’s greatest pasttime”. Maybe I will wear something red to support “my” team. Yes. That would do it.

How I got my groove back

ImageIt’s been awhile since I had a good hard core, rock out, hoop jam session, but tonight was my night. Part of it has been that the husband and I have just recently returned from a 6 week road trip. The other part of it has been that it  has not dropped below 105 degrees for some time now- and that is just too dang hot to do anything in! Today however I decided to bite the desert dust and go for it, for it has been long over due. That and I have a brand new, super awesome, LED atomic hoop to boot! This hoop is the bees knees and has been patiently sitting in the corner of my room just waiting for a good spin. 

I gave it a go earlier in the day while the sun was still behind cloud cover. I suppose I lasted 15 minutes or so before that burning orb decided to make an inevitable appearance and bake me from the inside out. It felt good but didn’t feel quite enough. My attempt to go to the gym today was quickly thwarted once we arrived and realized that it closes early on Sunday. No matter. It left me with plenty of energy to head out into the cover of night and get my hoop groove on. This plan of action didn’t actually come to fruition until I was finished salivating over my hearty dinner of hawaiian pizza and subjecting my eyes to some rather inspirational hoop videos. They get me every time. 

But that is only half the motivation. The other half consists of music. I will admit, I have been in a music rut. It’s amazing when one has close to 600 songs on one’s playlist and there is just nothing on there worth listening to anymore. That put me on a mission and subsequently brought with it the purchase of 3 new tunes. Naturally, I will listen to these songs until death do us part, (so a few weeks straight maybe?) and then it will once again be time for something new. For this particular evening, they well served their purpose. 

Finally ready to go with hoop in hand and iPod in pocket, I cranked the music and let my body fly. The moon was out and about and gazed over me as I danced. I noticed lightening off in the distance flashing its flashy bolts, probably happy for the company of my flashy lights. I twirled. I swirled. I moved my body in soft, swaying, goddess-like ways. My insides sang songs of bliss. My bare feet took delight connecting to the earth. I transported to a place of freedom with the moon as my witness. 

All this happened in the span of an hour. It was all I needed. 

And this is how I got my groove back.

Back to the GRIND

9am. I just the husband off to work. This time last week we were lazily waking up to the sun rising over red rocks and the sound of a bubbling creek in Zion National Park. Something is wrong with this picture.

We had spent so much time savoring each moment while traveling that we didn’t give much thought at all to home. And now here we are. A few days in feeling comfortable yet strange in our surroundings. It’s almost as if someone plopped us down into someone else’s life with all of our belongings. We find ourselves aimlessly wandering around the house not knowing what to do with ourselves. It feels like we should be going somewhere and doing something. I spent the day yesterday cleaning the house. Even though no one was living here the dust still piles up! I began to realize how much time and effort keeping up a house really takes. It is much more simple when the dirt and dust that surrounds you is supposed to be there because you are outdoors.

Mind you, I am not living a total grind. I still have the luxury of not having to work. My days are filled with writing, cleaning, reading and working on other projects. I come and go as I please and stay as busy, or not, as I desire. Come September I will be joining the resort my husband works at to offer hoop dance classes. A few hours a week of  teaching people how to spin and play with a plastic circle. One could hardly call that work. It will however, be a routine. This is not the worst thing for me though. I enjoy having things to do. I feel I am a better person when I have purpose. I like to share my passions with the world. Usually I am working on a few different things at once. Perhaps this is my Gemini nature.

All in all it feels good to be home. It is taking some adjusting but I am sure it will feel completely normal in no time at all. I am looking forward to connecting with friends I have yet to see and starting up classes and meetups again. Just gotta get back into the swing of things.

And in conclusion-

Image6 weeks, 5 states and 4,871.2 miles later and we are finally home. The little less than 5 hour drive home from Vegas to Phoenix seemed to fly by considering how much time we had already spent on the road. This last month and a half has been exciting, adventurous and well spent- shared with lots of friends and family. Would we do it all over again? Absolutely! Of course next time I am sure we will want to take a different route and check out some new places. I’m already thinking next year of doing New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and maybe Montana but I suppose I shouldn’t get ahead of myself. 

We woke up this morning almost giddy with excitement about the idea of finally heading home. Most vacations never seem to last long enough and the anticipation of home/reality brings a sense of dread. It’s quite different when you have been gone for 6 weeks, at least for us. The idea of sleeping in our own bed, surrounded by our things and playing with our kitties again brought a sense of joy. There was a quick stop by the post office to pick up quite a large stack of mail and the next thing we knew, our driveway was before us. Even though we had had someone coming by on a regular basis to check on things, there was still a wonder as to what condition the house might be in. Not sure if the cats had been too bored and decided to tear up the carpet and furniture or not…thankfully everything was in tact. Well, everything except our plants. All of them dead, dead, dead. We have not completed a full summer here in the Valley of the Sun so didn’t know whether or not anything living had the potential to survive or not. Turns out not. Apparently it just gets waaaaay to hot down here. Plants are replaceable. We were just happy that the cats were alive.

So here at sit back at my very own desk writing dear readers, to you. I hope I have regaled you with the tales of our travels over the last 6 weeks. The blogging will continue- there are other topics to be blogged about other than travel after all. But until I blog again, I think to myself….welcome home.