It’s been a while

university: more than just academically educating
signs on doors are often of great value
It was my first day of classes and – without any real regard – I walked into the class written on my weekly schedule. The professor had been incredibly late, while I had been incredibly early. After about ten minutes, the prof decided it was time to show up. Apparently she was unaware of how far her office was from the classroom.Tardiness is unacceptable.
Regardless, after about two-three minutes into the lecture and a whole bunch of words I didn’t know, I turned to the girl on my right and sheepishly asked, ‘is this Research Methods in Psychology?’
The girl looked at me, puzzled, and replied: ‘No. No, this is taxonomy’.
First of all, I don’t know what ‘taxonomy’ is, but if ‘tax’ and/or ‘taxes’ are involved, one can assume business and/or money is also involved and therefore a one Ms. Caitlyn Mearns needs to get out. So, quietly, I walked out with absolutely no idea as to where I was suppose to be.
Turns out, another building completely.
So, consequently, I boogied my ass right over to the right building and meandered about to find the right class, which by this point was already well on its way. Which, I’ll have you know is no walk in the park  (no pun, intended) considering womem of my age group seem to deem it completely reasonable to wear heals that are way too high for them, causing them to not only walk awkwardly, but slowly. Yeah, I have no time girls. You’re going to Mathematics, not Milan.
But, I digress.
I reached my destination, hoping to find that it was a large class, that allowed me to sneak in unnoticed. Nope. It was actually quite small, housing – at most – 20 students.
So, in the future, I intend to make sure I look around because apparently – unbeknownst to me – there was a sign outside of the original classroom, informing students of a classroom change. Observant? Me? Apparently not.
students are frugal s.o.b’s 
Being a fan of the ability to fold and contort my body in most unusual ways, it is not unlike me to do so in the chair of any given classroom. That is, I tend to sit and balled-up as virtually possible during lectures. Considering the areas where we need to sit tend to run… small, I often find myself placing my textbooks underneath my seat.
Now, being that I am – like – extremely focused, sometimes my mind slips and I leave mentioned book there. Not 75 minutes passed before I scurried back to that classroom to get my book and it had already been scooped up. Now, in the event that this was not a school-made course book valued at 20 dollars, I probably would have had a stroke. But, I just bought a new one. Regardless, I have not again put any book – coursebook or otherwise – under my chair.
being awkward is not something the decreases with age
The moment I turned 21, I thought maybe – just maybe – that would lend itself to my being a little less awkward. Turn the big ol’ two-one is an exciting thing, right? Well, I think it is possible that my levels of awkwardness have only proven to show a correlation with my increasing age: it’s going up with it.
After getting out of class and meandering through my bag – starving – looking for my apple, I looked up to see this guy from my high school. He had changed a fair bit, and I hadn’t seen him for two years so I had to adjust my eyes on him a bit. Anyhow, point is, there I am apple in mouth, apple juice dripping down my chin giving this guy the shocked, “I know you” look that is still somewhat laced with the, “Wait – do I know you?” look.
This would have been weird, yes, but had he of remembered me it would have been justified. Most unfortunately, he did not. So, I merely looked like a apple-hungry weirdo giving him the weird set of eyes known to man.
you’re mind is stronger than your body – lactic acid can kiss me arse
Since there is now a change in my schedule, there is also a change in my routine. Instead of my normal morning routines, I’ve broken it into two smaller routines (20ish minutes each). One in the morning and one in the afternoon. My morning one is mostly cardio with some body weight training and I usually do some toning exercises in the afternoon.  I’ve started to lift a bit heavier and I love it. I’ve also incorporated more yoga – much more yoga. I’ve re-re fallen in love. I happily say I’ve mastered (MASTER) crow pose.
I used to be afraid of working out twice a day. Furthermore, I used to be afraid of only sweating for 20 minutes (typically each work out runs to 30 minutes long, but I do a lot of stretches). But, nope. Turns out, my body loves it and I do too.
school is my home away from home and i’ve missed it
This will sound lame, but on the way to my school I pass where I was working. Or, rather, was working full time. There have been two to three occasions where in I almost turned to my father – who drives me to the bus stop so I don’t have to transfer… cha-ching! – where he was going because he was passing work. It would only be for a split moment until I realized that I wasn’t going to work.
Additionally, last night at work I was talking to a woman about ‘getting out’. I used to literally fear my permanence in retail. Maybe it was just my own insecurities getting the best of me, but I used to look at my name tag and think, ‘get used to it Princess’.
Furthermore, school has pushed me to get better my health. And by that, I mean my diet. And my fitness regime. Each day I go to school I am reminded that I have an entire life ahead of me. A career, a beautifully amazing boyfriend to whom I plan to share a life with (a home, children and probably a few furry friends, included)… I need to get over this. First of all, I want to be strong and beautiful, not brittle.
I’ve decided to commit to 30 minutes of exercise, daily. I love to work out each day, but I need to remember… you don’t need to hurt yourself or over do it. I’m also going to focus more on strength training and yoga, rather than cardio. Essentially, it’ll look like this
Monday and Wednesday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of lower body work .
Tuesday and Thursday: 15 minutes of cardio + 15-25 minutes of upper body work.
Saturday and Sunday: 30 minutes of cardio (5 warm up, 20 HIIT, 5 cool down)
Friday: 45 minute of Spin N’ Stretch (this is my own thing, that incorporates my spin bike and my yoga mat)
These times are pretty set in stone. Until I can prove to myself that I can eat more, I am to stick to these time constraints. This said, stretching is not part of the time limits. If I want to do a 20 minute yoga routine on top of this, I can. Why? Because yoga – in my mind – is more important than anything else. Yoga has toning benefits, cardiovascular benefits, without killing you.
As goes for my food, I’m – effective immediately – increasing my caloric intake. Generally speaking, people – active or not – should be taking in 1900-2100 calories, depending upon their sex and stuff. Well, I’m still at 1750 (on a good day). Last night, I finally made it to 1850 and today will be not different.
I will still have my six meals. Why? Because I still think eating smaller meals is better. But, I will NEED to ensure that these small meals are not… so small. So, essentially, until I can do this without numbers
I will have three meals of 400 calories
and three snacks of  200 calories
🙂 Wish my luck!
Advertisements

Cuckoo for Coconuts

oh, my word, much to discuss!
A lot of stuff to update on today!
First and foremost, I’m starting to develop a general interest in food, again!
You’re probably thinking, what?
Well!
For the past three-four months, I’ve been lovin’ salads. Loving them! Now, before you say something like, ‘have you turned against the greens?’ hear me out!
I still love salads, I have just been getting bored of my salads. Typically speaking, my salads involve grilling of vegetables and meats (which I still plan to do) throwing them on top of some greens (which I still plan to do) and blobbing a dollop of hummus on top and calling it a day! Which – I still plan to do. I mean, come on. It’s hummus!
Regardless, I feel my life needs a little more!
So, I kind of went Cuckoo…
for coconuts. 🙂
In my attempt get my ‘salad recipe making on’ I came up with a really yummy Coconut Balsamic Vinaigrette and two tasty recipes!
The Cuckoo for Coconut Balsamic Vinaigrette
Serves 2-3
1 tablespoon full-fat Coconut Milk from a can
1 tablespoon good quality balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or any oil of your choosing)
1 teaspoon honey (naturally)
1 tablespoon vanilla almond milk/water
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and let set for two or more hours, so all the flavors really start to dance!
From there, you can – if you want to – enjoy my
Cuckoo for Coconut and Peach Salad 
Serves me! Or you.
Ingredients
3oz-4oz of grilled protein source (I used chicken, but feel free to use turkey, salmon, shrimp, etc)
Two handful of Salad Greens
50 grams of mushroom, diced
50 grams of cucumber, diced
50 grams of summer squash, diced
50 grams of peach, diced
1/4-1/2 avocado, diced
1.5-2 tablespoons of my yummy in my tummy Coconut Vinegar .
Preheat your grill and lightly spray it with oil spray.
My meat was grilled by my father, so grill your protein according to what you’re eating with your salad. 🙂
Chop all your vegetables into fours, keeping your mushrooms with your cucumbers and your squash with your peach.
When grill is preheated, place all squash and peach on the grill, leaving it to cook for about five minutes. Keep a watch, so it doesn’t burn on you!
Place salad greens in a bowl and drizzle with a teaspoon of the Coconut Vinegar, then pile on your mushrooms and cucumber (alternatively, you could grill the mushrooms, but I wanted to eat mine… fresh!).
Once you’ve completed that, place all your grilled good on top! Peach… GOOD. Squash… GOOD. MEAT… GOOOOD.
Drizzle with the remainder of the viniagrette and enjoy!
Sorry, Chick(pea)… but you just didn’t make the cut tonight. 😛
Then, today, I had another stroke of genius.
Whilst gobbling down my current cracker obsession (Rosemary and Herb Lentil Crackers), I thought to myself how much I love rosemary. And thus…
Coconut Balsamic Rosemary Roasted Brussel Sprouts
(with just a hint of… vanilla)
Serves 1 to 2 (depending on your belly grumblings)
So, uh, one for me 🙂
3/4 cup (around 80grams) of baby brussel sprouts
1/2 tablespoon of Coconut Viniagrette
1/2 tablespoon of strong vanilla tea (I used two bags to half a cup)
Up to 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice
Dash of Salt and Pepper
Generous dash (or two) of Rosemary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut brussels into halves or quarters.
Lay tinfoil on a cookie sheet, in preparation.
In a bowl, whisk together vanilla, vinaigrette and tea.
Place brussel sprouts onto the tin foil, spray lightly with olive oil spray, drizzle with the balsamic coconut mix and season with rosemary.
When oven is preheated, put brussels into the oven for 20 minutes, checking 10 minutes in.
Enjoy with anything you’d like!
I had mine with a turkey salad that showcased avocado, hummus and cucumber!
Talk about tasty. 🙂
yep, this is the life for me
Just a quick note.Over the past few days, I’ve had several people – customers, old friends and so forth, come up to me and tell me that they think I look absolutely amazing. I have made a valiant effort to be kind and welcoming to this, rather than defensive. Some of the individuals have even told me that they’re trying to lose weight, or something a long that line.

Talking to them has reminded me why it is that I want to pursue a life in fitness, mental health and overall wellness. Each moment I spend pushing someone toward their goals, I feel a sense of power and happiness. Nothing would cause me more happiness that to watch as they achieve their dreams, becoming their ideal self.
I do have some work in regard to discussing diet. It can sometimes be hard for me to discuss food (even still) because I truly feel ashamed of who I’ve been. I’m also extremely worried all the time that people will hurt themselves life I have. I plan to work on this as best as I can to better myself for the future.
Talking to these people makes me remember how amazing I think it’ll be to open up my center, to help people!
If you ever feel like you’re losing sight of what you truly want, find a way to remind yourself ‘why’, okay? Then it’ll all become clear again. 🙂
Keep a close eye.
Tomorrow, I have a Cuckoo for Coconuts Core and Hip Workout to Share!
It’s bananas!
Or coconuts! 🙂
Stay sweet,

Caitlyn

My Take Tuesday: Cutting Carbs and Cardio.

my take tuesday: cutting carbs and cardio
Alright, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I’ll start off by telling you my position on both matters: In regard to cutting your cardio, I am very much a pro! But, in regard to cutting your carb intake… I am a solid heck no!

cutting cardio: when too much sweat is not sweet

Being the erstwhile cardio-queen that I am, I can completely understand why people absolutely love cardio. And, I am not going to sit here and say that isn’t a good form of physical activity, at all! But at the end of the day, I don’t think it is the most important for, by any means!

I guess it really all depends on your goals, but even in the even that you’re looking to lose weight, I think cardio should merely be something to further your toning regime. In my opinion, cardio is extremely harsh on the body. Don’t get my wrong, I love a good sprint or HIIT on my spin bike, but my cardio is usually broken up into small, intesne 5-20 minute blasts. If it is a mainly cardio day, I’ll warm up for five minutes, do a 20 minute HIIT routine, then cool down for 5 minutes. Alternatively, if I am doing Barre/Pilates or Yoga, I will often add 15 minutes of cardio into the circuit, just to keep my heart-rate elevated. That’s it, though. No long distance running. No two hours on the elliptical.

First of all, what is that really accomplishing? Unless you’re training for a marathon of some sort, long distance cardio has virtually no benefits if continued for longer then an hour (depending on your energy expenditure, this time could easily lessen). The more fuel your body burns, the more fuel your body requires. Therefore, after a certain amount of time running on the treadmill, while you’re thinking ‘I’m awesome’, your body is thinking ‘you’re nuts’. By the end you look down at your caloric burn, seeing a high number (which is probably incorrect) and get a feeling of accomplishment.

Then, you go eat a lot because you’re starving.

In my opinion, long distance cardio is best at a low intensity for about 45-60 minutes. If the idea of it didn’t bore me so much, I’d probably adhere to committing to doing this once a week, but eh, it’s not for me. Not to mention, who really here has the time to be at the gym that long? If you do, you might want to evaluate your life a little. Fitness is a great additive to any lifestyle (one I think more people should include in their own), but I don’t think it should ever become the main part of your life. For me, fitness is huge. But not that actual doing of it. Yes, I work out daily, but what I love more is the feeling after and the learning of new and inventive moves. And from there, sharing it with everyone I know! Teaching, inspiring and growing. Not just the part where I sweat.

In the event that you are looking to lose weight, I would suggest HIITs as well as longer distance cardio. Maybe twice a week do a HIIT routine lasting 20-3o minutes, then two times a week do a long distance cardio routine lasting 30-60 minutes. Pair this with ample stretches and toning exercises and you’re set. Oh, and of course – let’s not forget – a clean diet.

Abs be made in the kitchen, not the gym!

 

cutting carbs: when you can have you’re cake and eat it, too… kind of… 

If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the healthy living phenomenon of the ‘low carb’ diet.

I’d like to go on record to say:
This, right here, is bullshit.

Excuse my french.

First of all, I will never condone the ‘cutting’ of any major macro-nutrient from one’s diet.  Second of all, carbohydrates are the best form of energy out of the three! Carbohydrates – from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and pulses – give your body ample energy! So, if you’re looking to increase your cardiovascular activity, please don’t think for a moment that you’re allowed to cut out these bad boys! In all honesty, if you were to talk to a marathon runner, you’d probably find yourself shocked with how many carbs they eat. Why? Because they’re burning so much fuel in their work outs, that that need to refuel with – yes, that’s right – carb-y carbs!

What people don’t seem to comprehend is that fruits and vegetables are carbs. When people hear the word carb, I think they’re actually registering the word ‘cake’ or ‘cookie’. Carbs are not the enemy! What is? simple sugars, processed and refined carbs and even starches in high amounts.

This is where things get a little tricky.

While I don’t ever want you to cut carbs, I am a huge advocate of focusing on getting your carbs from certain foods, instead of others. If you were to read the Canada’s Food Guide, you’d see that you should be getting seven to 11 servings of grains a day. I think that is a load of crock, to be completely truthful. You can get the same nutrient value from fruits and vegetables. You just need to eat more of them and focus on vegetables with a lot of fiber! Broccoli, brussel sprouts, carrots, sweet potatoes, squashes, cauliflower… etc. They’re all starchier, but they’re full of vitamins and fiber. Not to mention your body is meant to process them, so during the digestive process your body knows exactly what to do! This is why eating refined foods – like cakes and chips and stuff – causes weight gain. Sometimes your body isn’t sure how to react to the fuel your giving it. So, instead of thinking too hard, it stores it as fat. It’s kind of like your body’s ‘when all else fails’ approach. Aside from produce, whole grains are a great way to get your carbs! I have committed to having four full grain servings (around 90-110 calories each) and four full fruit servings (60-80 calories each) and an unlimited supply of vegetables. Eat your greens!

yum, carbohydrates!

This works for me, but it may not work for you. Remember when eating listen to your body and you’ll see great results.

That said, I also don’t condone refusing yourself treats. I am kind of a weird girl who doesn’t crave baked goods. If I want a bite, I’ll have a bite. But I don’t have much of a sweet tooth (okay, honey aside) so I don’t really ever want it. I’d much rather suck back on a spoonful of nut butter, to be honest.

Probably with some honey…

and some Greek Yogurt…

Regardless, if you want a slice of cake, I am in no way saying that you can’t have it. That’s, again, denying your body of something, which is just not at all productive. Treat yourself to cake!

 

Gosh dang, Mama makes a good looking baked good, hmmm.

 

That’s my take
Stay sweet,

Caitlyn

Friday Five: Fitness and Future

learning to accept 
Most of you don’t know that about three months ago I applied to be an ambassador of a online fitness group. Yesterday I got word from them, declining me. At first, I was extremely depressed. They told me that I wasn’t yet ready to be an ambassador, but that I have potential and then proceeded to tell me where I should improve. This was something I really wanted, so hearing that I wasn’t ready was a total blow to my ego.
Then it occurred to me that isn’t the end, at all. In fact, that is only the beginning.With the information provided I know how to properly improve my blog – not only to become an ambassador, but to become a full-fledged blogger (which, is an ultimate goal of mine). This inspired my Friday Five of this week, which will be five Fitness and Career Related Goals of mine.
my fitness bucket list
learn to do a full-out yoga headstand
Okay, I know this sounds a little… lame… but a huge goal of mine is to learn how to do a headstand, yoga style! Truth be told this all came about from watching the – you guessed it – Olympics. Damn, those Gymnasts are impressive, huh?
While the idea of being a Gymnast has never really appealed to me, the challenge of balance is something I always strive to accomplish. Why? I’m not overly balanced for being a lover of yoga. I have been known to topple over every now and again. Regardless, I make it an effort to improve! To achieve the yoga headstand would prove to be a great feat for me. It’s something I’ve always looked at thinking it could never and would never happen. But why? Things are only prevented from happening if someone prevents them, and you are in control of your own life. So therefore, one could infer that if you do not allow something from not happening it is most certainly a probability, couldn’t one? 🙂
become certified in Mat Pilates, Yoga and Barre 
It is no big surprise that I love Pilates/Barre/Yoga work outs. In combination to my forever loved intervals, I find this form of exercise to be most beneficial. In the past few months I’ve noticed more changed in not only my body, but in my outlook on healthy living.
As mentioned, the grace and poise of these exercises have allowed me to feel more beautiful and more graceful than ever before (might I remind you that I already told you I have a balance-related issue which needs work).  I kind of shutter to say it, but when I work out I watch myself in the mirror. Why? Because I’m crazy self involved? No, because I absolutely love watching my body grow and change. I love feeling accomplished. Sweat and tears make me feel accomplished, 😛
I don’t really know how to explain it any better than that. This makes me feel beautiful, so why wouldn’t I want to do it every day?
support women all over the world pursue healthy and active lifestyles 
The former leads right into the next goal of mine: the help women all over the world pursue healthy and active lifestyles. Alright. I don’t want to get into it too much, as you know very well my life goals. However the more and more I think about it, the more and more excited I become. I’ve always hated that I let myself go down the road of eating disorders and addictive exercise. It’s made me feel like I’ve been focusing far too much on the wrong things. Ironically enough, I’ve never been too concerned with impressing guys. I mean, yes, there was a few gentleman who’s attention I would have liked, but in a lot of ways I made valiant efforts to go unnoticed. In short, I – not my weight – was my own worst enemy.
So, am I am sure you can imagine, the mere concept that I let this happen to me, Caitlyn, was extremely depressing. I was a strong, independent girl. I loved words and poetry, intellectualism and depth. I was not the kind of girl to get caught up in silly and superficial things such as my appearance. Why the heck am I rambling about this?
Well! I refused to let my disorders go in vain. Simply refused. I knew from the moment I began my personal recovery that I needed to make helping others with their healthy lives a huge part of my future. Granted, I doubt I’ll ever been stable enough to help severe cases (please note that this is my a degradation, but simply a stated fact which I am perfectly happy to attest to). I have become extremely sensitive to the topic and do not believe I’ll ever be stable enough to consider myself the ideal help for a person going through serious and critical issues.
That doesn’t mean I cannot help, though. I’ve discovered a genuine interest in helping women feel good about themselves – even the ones who are not slowly killing themselves have great insecurities, which need to be treated. Why shouldn’t everyone have the chance to boost their self worth and feel elegant and beautiful?
From that moment I knew that I wanted to get a Psychology degree, along with life coaching and fitness credentials to one day strive toward helping women pull physical activity and mental therapy. I’ve always been passionate about Yoga and recently developed a deep connection to Barre and Pilates. They’ve reminded me that strength is not killing yourself and they beauty is not hurting yourself. This a message I want to share with others; this is a message I want to make known. To be able to do this one thing would make me the happiest girl – along with a few other things not related to fitness. 🙂
take up swimming
I used to be a fish. A legitimate fish. I would spend hours upon hours swimming in my small, yet adorable poor in the backyard, absent-minded and blissful. During my childhood, that is when I was most happy. The smell of chlorine…. the taste! As disgusting as it is, the taste and smell of chlorine strike a nostalgic chord with me.
Then, I turned into a electronic-obsessed, house hippo. I spent my days glued to a computer screen (what is all this past tense usage, right?) never stepping foot outside. God forbid I greet the sun, right? I became more interested in chatting instantly, then splashing intensely. In short, the only water-related activity I did was surf. The net, that is.
I miss it.
Today my work’s mail-man (who’s name I don’t know) dropped off some mail, as he tends to do every Friday. Being that it was dead and I was bored, I struck up a conversation with him. Actually, to be honest, he started it, I just kept it going. During the conversation I learned that he had just recently moved here from Calgary for two, simple reasons.
One: His family
And two?
The ocean.
The moment he said it, I couldn’t have agreed more. One of the most valued aspects of my current residence is how close I happen to be to water. I am a true believer that water – life flowers – force people to dream and hope and aspire. Perhaps it is the vast shorelines, or the calming breeze. Or, you know, a combination of the both. Just something about the ocean and water makes me feel like I can do anything.
So, I feel like it is stupid that I don’t spend more time with it. Even if it means a artificial creation (a pool).
Also… I could probably use a tan.
I’m, like, a glitter away from being confused for as a Twilight fan.
try out classes, rather than working out solely from home
As much as I love fitness, I sometimes get discouraged about how it is something that I haven’t gotten anybody to connect with. No one I know is as passionate about it as I am. Or, at least, in the specific style that I am. I feel like it would be extremely beneficial for me to get out more and try out some classes. In the past, I was scared to do so because I felt insecure about my body and technique, but now I understand that no one is really focused on anyone else but themselves. Especially in regards to yoga. You are there because you have a connection to your body. The others are just a great additive and a wonderful way to make friends.
I’ve done a few yoga classes here and there, but I want to get involved in maybe some aerobics classes, or even Pilates.
Maybe one day.
Regardless, stay sweet.Caitlyn.

thursday thoughts

thursday thinkies
On Food
  • Putting Banana’s in the fridge in order to deter fruit flies is effective in the sense it it hinders fruit fly annoyances, but it speeds up the process which a banana ripens and therefore causes me, a person who likes moderately ripened bananas, a little discomfort.
  • Sunflower Seed butter is highly addictive and should therefore be eaten with caution.
  • Zooey is responsible for the disappearance for – I’d say – half of my baby carrots.
  • Eating extremely clean and healthy can become a bit unusual in the company of people who don’t adhere to such a diet. It is important to remember that you’re eating for YOUR body and no one else’s.
  • I learned how to properly roast broccoli and have furthermore fallen in love with roasted broccoli.

On Fitness

  • Running for 35 minutes outside is not as unattainable as I once expected it to be. I am slowly, but surely, finding a love for cardio. I still know how much I need, however.
  • I’ve been spending so much time practicing my turn outs for my Barre exercises, that I often discover myself standing in first position up at my service desk. Can you say Prima Ballerina? …Or, ‘Wishful thinking’?
  • Sometimes even something you really want to happen, might not. It is important to remember to not let it discourage you too too much and continue with life in the best way possible.
  • I learned that ‘oil riggers’ are awesome for you tri’s!
  • Cardio Ladder Intervals might be my new favorite way to get in cardio (Discovered via AR Fit). Essentially you start at and interval of 15 seconds going HARD, then follow it up with 15 seconds recovery and then go up to 30… 45… all the way to 2 minutes. I plan to make my Sunday cardio focus a complete Ladder-styled work out. 🙂

On Fears and Fun 

  • I cannot get enough of word games.
  • There is extensions that you put in your hair… and they stay there. You don’t need to remove your hair before bed!
  • You know you really love someone when waking up without them makes you extremely sad and lonely.
  • People are not out to get you regardless of what you think, so leave your defenses at the door.
  • Marianna’s Trench is my official guilty pleasure.
  • Babies have the best smell in the world. Even if it is drool! Something about baby smells are just so soft and wonderful.
  • If you preface a donation request with something nice like, ‘I love your shirt’ or, ‘Did you find everything alright today?’ people are more apt to oblige!
  • Turning a six hour shift into a game of getting donations makes time go by much faster.
  • Dr. Suess really know what is up!

 

 

 

In other words,
from the moment forward I plan to be more active with visuals! So far, I’ve been pretty slack in regard to taking pictures. Visual aids = good. So, expect to see more photo ops!
Stay sweet
Caitlyn

Dates, S’mores and Changes!

changes to the blog 
This weekend Mama, Baba and I headed to the country! Now, if you know me at all, you would know that I absolutely love everything to do with the country. The still air, the calm, the simplicity and the kind-hearts which you are inevitably bound to encounter. Every time I leave the city – or, more accurately, the suburbs – I find myself subject to an array of emotions.
This week it was all about growth, or better yet, acceptance, of myself. This trip (the destination is called ‘Five Islands’, which is where my Grandfather is from) is an annual trip made by the entire family. Every year around this time, we all collect together at my cousin, Ellen’s, home and enjoy good food and laughs. Last year was a difficult one for me. Let’s be honest, last year was difficult for me all around, however putting myself in a family setting proved to be even more difficult.
For starters, it would have been a year since everyone had last seen me (when I was merely a vegetarian). In those 365 days, my eating disorder truly came it a head, so upon my arrival I had not only lost weight, but lost a lot of the life in my eyes. My entire family knew something was up, but they were unsure what it was. I ate alone in a lot of circumstances. It was just overall a hard experience.
This year, I found myself dealing with similar issues, again (most unfortunately), but also discovered areas where I’ve grown… or accepted who I have become.
The Tale of the Date and the S’more
Every year we have a campfire (which, has never been my favorite part because 1) it is really late and I like to get into bed at a reasonable hour and 2) it pretty much consists of drinking and eating s’mores. For me, I am more of a camp fire song kind of girl! I don’t mind the presence of roasting and I love watching fire (it calms me), but I’ve never been really good in the company of people under the influence. I mean, power to them!
Anyhow, I digress! Last year during the campfire, I denied myself a S’more. I made a promise to myself that night that in a year’s time I would eat a S’more and not worry about it. On the drive there I remembered this promise. I remembered saying, ‘I’m going to eat a S’more and not cry about it’.
You’re probably wondering if I ate the S’more, aren’t you?
I didn’t.
Now, before you get discouraged in thinking that this is just my having not progressed any, I’ll inform you that it is quite the contrary. While I reflected on my promise it occurred to me that I no longer desired the ever-so-temping S’more. At all. In fact, the idea of it kind of bored me. Cool, Graham Crackers… marsh mellows (which have always kind of alluded me… what is a Marsh mellow?)… okay and chocolate… alright, I will give the campfire treat this. Chocolate is pretty amazing. Regardless, of how wonderful chocolate is, I’d much rather in another form. Then I was all discouraged because I felt like if I didn’t eat a S’more I would in some way let myself down.
Then I spotted a date square! After supper, there it was… looking at me. All date-like and square-y, it sat. I meandered about the dessert table. Not contemplating whether or not to eat it! In fact, I had full intentions of splitting one with Baba the whole time. No, no. This was what was going through my head:
‘Alright, date squares are good and unhealthy’; they’re a treat, if you will. Much similar to a S’more. By eating this date square – which I so badly want to try- I will be technically eating something I would have previously denied myself, right? With the mindset, one can suggest that by eating this date square, I will be symbolically eating a S’more and therefore will not have let myself down, couldn’t one?’
One did. One most certainly did.
And one little date square was then enjoyed by Baba and I.
What is the point of all this? I guess what I am saying is that I have progressed, yes! But not only that I’ve changed! I am not the same girl I was before. Now, instead of being unhealthy and frail, I’m passionate about being healthy and strong!
I also ran! I did a 30-35 minute jog at five in the morning before everyone got up. Last year, I was tensed and – essentially – forced my cousin and myself to do a yoga session. It was just not natural. This year, I set my interval timer to a 7 minute warm up, followed by 20 rounds of 20seconds by 20seconds. I sprinted the first 20 and jogged/walked the following. After that, I did changed the interval to 40/20, which was kind of my ‘cool down’/’run back home’. I would walk 40 seconds (briskly), sprint for 20, jog for 40, sprint for 20, walk for 40 and so on. It continued for about ten minute. It was perfect. I had never done that before. I was so very proud of my accomplishment!
In the way back, my ‘run’ kind of turned into a FootLoose-esque dance with fist pumps. Don’t even deny that you wish you saw that.
changes to the blog 
The blog is going to be updated!
Why?
Because way too often I sit here thinking: ‘I don’t know what to write’.

So I plan to take the guesswork out of it, completely!

Each day of the week is going to subject to a certain theme. Simple Sundays and Friday Fives will remain, but the other day will pick up their very own topics.
Monday will be Motivational Monday. On Monday’s I will discuss anything that makes me motivated, how to get motivated, something that inspired me. If it’ll warm up some hearts, I’ll be written about on Monday.
Tuesday will be ‘My Take Tuesday’, where I will give a review on an opinion on something. It could be anything, a fitness trend, a diet, a movie, an article… anything! Each week I will pick a topic and form a decent opinion.
Wednesday will be all about Wishes and Wants! This will be about serious goals of mine that I would like to accomplish (or, things I have accomplished), fun ‘bucket list’ desires and materialist wishes. Like, today… I really want a Lavender Jade ring. 😦
Thursdays will by Thursday Things. Which, mostly will just be a day to write about anything I want! A hodgepodge of little bits I’ve collected over the week!
Fridays will stay the same!
Sweat and Stretch it Saturday will be fitness related posts. I will (try) to commit to making a workout for this day and posting it. 🙂 I will also share my weekly workouts and all that jazz!
Sunday will also stay the same.
These topics are not restrictive! If I decide on day that I want to add something else to the post, I will. Also, if I miss a day, I’ll just try to ensure to not miss that day the following week. I’m not sure how long this will continue, but for now I think it’ll help my creative juice to get flowing again!
I hope this seems like a good plan!
Staysweet,
Caitlyn.

The Other 47 don’t Really Matter…

To start, I have two small things to say:
1) Does anyone else find that certain texts on your computer make it easier for you to write more eloquently? I do. I always HAVE to write in Georgia or Times New Roman, but I do prefer Georgia. If it is for something professional, I will change the text following the editorial and writing processes, because I need to write in my Georgia to really get my point across. I know, I know. I’m nuts.
2) Is anyone else jazzed the Canada metaled in Synchronized Swim? I AM!
three shades of gray
I decided that today I would write a ditty on the different ‘grey’ areas in life. Everyone – regardless of your age, sex and so on – have moments wherein they discover that things are not simply black or white. In fact, more often than not this proves to be the case. Over the past few years, I’ve found this to be true in several facets of my life. In my relationship, in my education, in my fitness and healthy lifestyle pursuits. You name it, there is a grey area.
 
lightest gray: healthy fitness

There is a very fine and faint line between a ‘healthy’ exerciser/eater and an ‘unhealthy’ one. I’ve straddled the line and I’ve been on both sides, so I can tell you this much – being is a healthy eater is far more exception.
Unfortunately, coming with a truly clean and healthy lifestyle, judgement is bound to grow – especially if you’re like me and have an unhealthy history. Some people might look at my current lifestyle and think: she has a problem. Why? Because I am very structural and intuitive in my eating habits, passionate and committed to a workout routine, have a slight obsession with anything related to yoga/Pilate and Ballet Barre… et cetera. To me, this is life. To others it could look like an unhealthy addiction, driven by my past issues.
I understand this. Completely. I mean, yes, in the past I underwent a lot of issues, but working out isn’t so black and white (eh?). People who work out and eat right will all have their own reasons for doing so. Mine is no longer to lose weight, but merely stay toned and feel happy. I do some of my best thinking while working out. It calms me, makes me feel attractive and elegant. I can’t explain it; I just love it. So, I guess what I am trying to say is, if you see someone who seems to be extremely dedicated/addicted to exercise, take the time to really get to know their work out schedule (if you truly care that much), or even just take the time to get to know them! Yes, perhaps you’ll discover that their mentality toward a sweating session isn’t ideal, but maybe you’ll discover that they have a love for it, similar to your love of… reading, or playing video games or… for me, writing and helping people (and, let’s be honest, fitness).
Furthermore – on the topic of fitness, alone – each person has their own idea of what is and isn’t challenging or fun. As I have said many times, I’ve tried to be a cardio lover… I’m just not. You will never see my running a marathon (that said, I’d totally be on the side lines cheering you on… maybe doing some jump squats or a burpee ;D). It just isn’t for me. I do love getting a good sweat on, but I have found other more effective ways of doing so (for me). Again, I state: healthy fitness is not something that can put tucked into one category! Healthy fitness could simply be walking for 20-30 minutes every night after dinner. Does it make you happy? Do you feel good about doing it? Do you feel good about yourself while doing it? Then that’s all that really matters. Don’t feel the need to have the perfect legs, or the greatest buns or whatever! Just love life and you’ll shine!
light grey: healthy diet
This is another one similar to the category above. The definition of ‘healthy eating’ is not simple, at all. It might be more complicated than the definition of healthy fitness, to be completely frank. People watch others all the time and compare what foods they’re stuffing in their mouth to the food others are stuffing into their mouths. STOP. Right now, in this moments, quit it. Okay?
First of all, everyone’s body has a different genetic makeup, so why would we all eat the same way? We wouldn’t. Some people can’t handle certain foods, while others can; some people metabolize food more quickly, causing them to require a higher intake of X, while others need more Y. It’s all about your body at the end of the day.
Let’s talk about potatoes.
Let’s talk about popcorn.
Contrary to what you might think, both are extremely nutrient dense foods. AKA: healthy (of course, coating them in butter and other saturates will lessen this, but on the whole… they’re super good for you). I don’t eat either.
Let’s look at pre-packaged granola bars like Fiber One and Havest Crunch.
Both – in my opinion – hold creditable nutrition, yet I don’t eat them… ever.
Let’s look at chocolate.
Gets a pretty bad rep, right?
I eat it daily.
Yeah, yeah. And I probably eat kale like their is no tomorrow, right?
Uh, no. I never eat kale. Use to – not anymore.
So, what gives? I am a self-credited ‘health  nut’, am I not?
Well, I most certainly am!
To start, potatoes and most other starches (with an excepting to oatmeal, some cereals and quinoa) cause my a great deal of pain and… I don’t like them. While most people see a plate of pasta and think ‘heaven’, I think ‘okay, cool’. I used to love it, but I just don’t anymore. I’ve much rather a plate full of broccoli or brussel sprouts…. or both. Okay, both. It’s just my preference. There is nothing wrong with these foods, at all. So, when I say I don’t eat them… I don’t mean you shouldn’t either. I mean… I don’t eat them. For my own reasons. Popcorn, on the other hand, has more to do with my not being much of a snack-er. I never feel the need to ‘snack’, so snack foods and I don’t really happy. I have snacks, but I look at them more as one of my mini-meals.
As for the granola bars, I do ample research on a product before eating it. I am not suggesting that there is anything wrong with entire of the mentioned products, but they’re not really on my list of ‘highly approved foods’. Again, this in no way means that you shouldn’t eat them. I eat very ‘clean’. What does that mean? Everything I eat, I eat in what can be considered it’s truest form. I don’t not eat granola bars, but I have a list of companies I try to stick to when choosing to do so (Luna, Kind, Lara and Simply). This also goes for crackers (Lentil Crackers and Nut Thins). I look for products with minimal ingredients and try to find products that have few-to-no GMOs. I am also in favor of Kashi products, too. But don’t think because I’m  not (or anyone, really) eating a certain food you are eating, there is a reason you shouldn’t be eating. I don’t even eat ‘clean’ solely to be ‘healthy’, it’s just something I’ve been doing for so long that to not doing it would be… weird.
Chocolate and kale? Well, I am not huge on kale. First of all, I do like a good kale chip, so when I crave that, I’ll buy some. But often I find it to be too much work (yes, lazy). I like it, but I’d rather buy pre-washed and cut foods to make my life easier. Shoot me. Chocolate, I just really like it. A year ago, I’d never eat chocolate. Ever. But now I enjoy dark chocolate nightly (and have even purchased white and milk chocolate granola), so chocolate is on my list. I am much more interested in the sharp taste of dark dark chocolate than I am milk, but if you like milk… eat it!
All in all ‘healthy eating’, is eating in a mindful way that makes your body feel good. That’s all. Don’t feel the need to eat this, or do this in order to be deemed ‘healthy’. If you’re happy with your meals and love how you feel in your skin, my opinion is, you couldn’t be doing any better.
grey: love and intimacy

Love is a gray area onto itself. First it is impossible to define, or explain and you don’t really know how it feels until you truly experience it. I know this first-hand. I used to think I knew what love was, but I didn’t. In friendships, in relationships… with my family. I thought I had it all figured out. But it isn’t that simple.
First of all, you can be intimate without being in love. An individual I know (well, a few) have been intimate with people they didn’t really ‘love’ several times. This used to confuse the heck out of me. First of all, intimacy is the act of closeness and love… so should you not be in love with the person you’re being intimate with? For me, yes. For others, maybe not.
This above all else has become the most notable ‘gray’ area I’ve come to meet.
There are one thousand reasons one might be intimate with another person. Maybe they are hurting and need some solace, or they enjoy their time with the person, but know that it is not something that will leave the confines of an intimate setting. Perhaps there was genuine love in the past and while that love was easy to let go, the physicality of their relationship was not so easy to.
This is something I’ve had to come to terms with in the past. I have had to learn to accept and support others for their choices in intimate encounters, regardless of whether or not it is something I would or would not do. Everyone has their reasons for needing things – just as I have my reasons for not eating certain foods and exercising daily. There should never been any judgement, because there is never a true reason to judge.
What about love?
In most things in my life, I’m crazy structural and planned out. Love isn’t structured and love isn’t planned. Love will hit you when you least expect it – probably for someone you didn’t expect to fall. Love is also not two 2d. When you fall in love, an array of emotions comes over you. You begin to think of that person before yourself and all the time. You want nothing more than to see them happy – sometimes to a fault. You can’t explain why and even though you never thought you’d be the kind of girl who gets excited over making some one a chicken sandwich, you do.
But as I stated before there are several kinds of love, and it cannot be easily defined. My love for my mother is different than the love for my father, as my love for Omar differs from both. Similarly the emotions harbored by another individual toward their close ones could manifest itself completely differently than mine might. Everyone is different, so even love cannot be compared.
Just on a side note: Please don’t be afraid of love. I used to be. I’m still often fearful of intimacy, but love I’ve come to terms with. If you open your heart and let someone truly in, you’ll never ever want to go back. So don’t fear love and don’t fear intimacy. The closeness you’ll experience with those to whom you are intimate with will be breath-taking, I promise you. I just feel I am unable to lecture too heavily to that, being that I still have my own growing to do in this field. Luckily I’ve found an amazing man who is willing to work with me through all my little nits and pics.
🙂
Holy poo, I am pasty.
Stay Sweet, 🙂
Caitlyn

Friday Five with a Fitness Update

friday five
It`s that time of the week, again!
favorite moment
I have two.
One is right now. This very moment. Today.
I am officially unable to count the months Omar and I have been together on my fingers. How exciting that? Today we have officially been a couple for eleven months. Woop woop! To be honest, I find that I become extremely overwhelmed with happiness each time we come up against the 27th of a month. As sad as it might sound, I never expected to find someone to share my life with at all. Let alone, someone like him. Cheese, right?
Regardless of the fromage level of this bad boy, this is a very exciting day for me. I’m so glad I’ve been able to share the past eleven months with you, Baba. Here’s to many more eleven months. 🙂
The second has honestly yet to happen, but I’ve been jazzed for it all week. Tomorrow morning at around nine thirty AM, Mama, Omar and I are packing up the van and heading to Bridgewater to visit my Aunt Niecey. Not only that, but we’re going to do something I haven’t done in an extremely long time.
Berry picking!
To our dismay, strawberry season is over. But, we haven’t let that deter us from getting our pick on! No, no. Instead of being little geese about it, we have decided that any berry is a good berry! So, to Blueberry picking we go! I can’t explain how thrilled I am. I keep looking at people I work with, for no reason and yelping, ‘I’m going berry picking!’ They reason with a lackluster ‘cool’, but that doesn’t slow me down! I am pumped!
favorite food
I think I am addicted…
I love a good health bar. Why? They’re quick, convenient and often tasty. That said, I am not at all interested in eating any foods that are bad for me. At all. I tend to do ample research on foods before buying them to ensure what I’m eating will not be harmful to my body. In the land of bars, this means Lara, Kind and Luna Bars all the way. I’m also pretty supportive of the Simply bar, Oskri bars and Zing! bars.
Regardless, I took a hold of this baby the other day and instantly fell in love.
Like, in love.
Thus began an unusual obsession with the concept of white chocolate macadamia nut flavored things…
http://www.lafourmibionique.com/en/products/
If you’re interested in trying a new healthful granola, giver a go.
favorite work out
This weeks favorite work out is a cardiovascular workout I designed. Lately my two favorite forms of getting my cardio into my workouts is rather a) interval work or b) time priority work. This means, rather a) I will be doing interval training (30 seconds high intensity, 30 seconds moderate or what have you) or b) I will give my self a number of minutes (say, 9) and a circuit and I have to repeat it as many times as possible.

I love this way of cardio!

As you know, I hate cardio in most cases. I will never be interested in running a marathon or anything like that. To me, cardio is intervals and intervals are cardio. That’s that. Another favorite is 20 minutes of  20sec high intensity/ 20 sec moderate intensity. Of course, before doing anything you need to warm up and cool down. Make those a total of ten minute (five minutes each) and you’ve yourself a solid 30 minute cardio workout. Done.
But on the days that I do tone (which, is most), I just want to keep my heart rate up, so I do bursts of cardio between sets. It’s awesome.
This week I designed a new move which can be done during interval or AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) to get that heart rate up, but also tone your tush, inner and outer thighs and even your core (because, being a lover of all things Pilates/Yoga/Barre related… we all know the core is the most important part, right?)
The Lovely Squat
1. Begin in chair pose (feet together, knees bent, abs pulled in, arms strongly reaching overhead or in prayer)
2. Jump out into a wide legged squat
3. Jump back pulling legs halfway to each other

4. Jump back again returning to chair pose
Use all you got to do a wide jump forward, landing where you were originally.
Do this as fast you as can for 35 seconds-40 seconds, rest for 20-25 seconds and repeat.
Do this as many times as you want (I suggest five times through for a short, five minute cardio blast), or simply incorporate the move into your own work out!
The goal s that you will be drawing a heart with your feet as you jump from squat to squat!
Need a little more?
Before jumping back to your original position, jump back into plank and alternate doing
1. 4 tummy tucks
2. Down dog split leg raises.
Now that’s a tough work out!
favorite quote
This is mine and Omar’s little saying. 🙂

I love you to the moon, Baba.
Forever and a day.

favorite find
As you all know, I am falling in love with Barre styled work outs. So much so, that part of me would absolutely love to incorporate not only yoga but Barre into my future wellness center. The concepts and principles of Barre, Yoga and Pilates are – on their own – very strong. But when put together, you workout becomes well rounded and in so many ways, beautiful.
Why Barre and Yoga?
I’ve always loved dancing. Which, to me was never exercise. My mother would often ask, ‘why don’t you just dance for 30 minutes downstairs like you used to… you loved that’. She was right, I did. Unfortunately, it is too late for me to become a true dancer. But, turning to Barre and Ballet styled exercises has allowed me to rekindle my love for dance! Now, I often find myself doing these toning and lengthening exercises and using dance moves for my cardio. This style of exercise is much more me. Not to mention, it’s a very simplistic approach to fitness. I’ll never be into ‘flashy’ fitness. I don’t care for machines (I do like a good stationary bike) and think heavy weights are… really heavy. Barre, is all about isometric work and your own body. During the movements you feel elegant, graceful, long and lean. In a lot of ways, Barre/Ballet exercises use a lot of the practices of Pilates Mat work – again, I am more in favor of mat work to the reformer. So, I still am able to continue my love of all things Pilates Related, whilst doing the Barre work. It’s absolutely amazing.
Similar to Barre, yoga allows me to feel elegant and long, as well as graceful and balanced. But, to be frank, I think yoga is extremely important to keep your muscles stretched and your mind relaxed. People often think too much of the physical aspect of fitness. There is most definitely a mental aspect as well. Now I find myself becoming more worried about how my body feels, rather than how many calories I may have burned.
That’s a good thing.
That’s because I found the right style of fitness for me: simple, elegant and graceful.
I’d love to one day be certified in both yoga and Pilates (which is what one needs to become a Barre instructor, as well), to one day help women – and men who are interested – learn to love themselves and treat their bodies right!
Now, what the heck if my favorite find?
HOLY MOLY, MARY HELEN BOWERS IS PUTTING OUT A DVD.
Over the past few months I’ve been using concepts from her workout snip its and loving them! Now, she has her own DVD coming! Not only that, but it is in the style I love regarding fitness DVDs. I don’t really like long workouts (think Bob Harper). I feel silly only doing half of a workout, but I don’t feel I need a 60 minute high intensity WEIGHT LOSS work outs anymore. This DVD is six 10 minute workouts, targeting different body parts using the Barre Method. Along with one ten minute cardio work out. Can you say perfect?
This is coming out soon and I can’t hardly weight.
At the moment, I’ve abandoned all my work out DVDs, with the exception of:
Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD
and
Trish Stratusphere Yoga
Why?
Because they’re short and affective and allow me to add to them.
I feel like this gem will surely be added to the list, without doubt.
And maybe the future blogilates DVD which I am also impatient about!
Rergardless,
Those are today’s Friday Five.

I hope you enjoyed!

Have a lovely day.

Stay sweet

Caitlyn!

Four Little Things

it’s really the small things in life
Lately little things have been really having an affect one me. Little smells, little moments… little things. Often in life I think we all forget how lovely the little things truly are. Everyone wants big, grande… extravagant. Why? I want to say that the media is the culprit, but I feel like us writer’s need to give the media a bit of a break. At the end of the day, it is just human nature to desire more, wouldn’t you agree?
Being a member of the human race, I find myself often partaking in the common practice of buying pretty things that I don’t really need, but want. You’ve all been there, I’m sure. Walking through the mall, you spot this beautiful shirt… or item, which clearly has been the void in your life. Obviously! Being that you’re so proud of yourself for figuring that out, you rush into said establishment, give them your money in exchange for their goods and call it a job well done. For about three to four months – sometimes less – that void is happily filled, but soon gaps will begin to appear and as you find yourself – again – meandering about a shopping center you’ll notice the next obvious void missing from you life. In all honesty, it’s a viscous circle of retail and regret.
Yet for some reason, we never learn. In my case, after a few months that once beautiful and required object becomes rather dusty and forgotten. There are a few cases wherein I find myself attached to an object for an extended period of time, but more often than not I’ll eventually lose interest.
So why do value these materialist things so much? Because we’re all materialistic snobs with nothing better to do with our time? No. Well, in some cases, yes. But, it’s just because in our society that is normal.
Well, as I mentioned, lately I’ve been experiencing a great deal of attachment to the little and simple thins in life – which, if you ask me, tend to hold value for much longer.
…Okay, so maybe this is stepping on the toes of my little Simple Sunday, but just… don’t worry about it.
The Little Things
Little Puppy Dog Messes
On Sunday morning, my mother and I came home from an unplanned Grocery shopping trip and got right into the housework. This included dusting ,vacuuming, sweeping… you know, you’ve been there. Anyhow, I was in control of the kitchen and living room area. Now, our living room houses a small box which always ends up – regardless of our efforts – empty. If you’re a mother or pet own, you have a similar box, I’m sure. It’s Zooey’s toy box.
All over the floor lay bits and pieces of once adorable hippos and pushy dogs – and one extremely frightening gizzard, surrounded almost methodically by their own inner stuffing. Think CSI crime scene meets Toys R’ Us. At first, all I could think of was, ‘here we go again…’ and then it occurred to me how much I would really miss those beheaded and dismembered toys if that weren’t there.
Picking up the insides and throwing them away, I smiled. I am now unable to imagine what life would be like without all that.
Can I just say, I actually have the cutest dog?

Toothbrushs and Tshirts

: Every morning after my shower, I brush my teeth. C’mon guys. Hygiene first, right? Usually, I look down at a toothbrush holder that is 3/4 full. I meander through the options, locate the purple one (obviously) and begin the ritualistic morning teeth brushing. Lately, however I’ve had to do a bit more scouting. Why? Because we officially have a fourth member of the bathroom. Omar. Now, even though he has left the house there are still traces of him. I love it.

After that, I trail my soaked rump into my bedroom and see a t-shirt lying on my bed. It’s, again. Omar’s. I then see the pillow he sleeps on and the section of my desk where he keeps all of his many belongings… the smile growing and growing.  I can’t really express how much I love it, to be truthful. It feels so, right – so official. When you first start out with someone, nothing feels… solid, I guess. Everything kind of  feels right, or in place. I see these things and I just feel like I’ve found the place I belong – with him.

I know, I know. Cornier than a field in Iowa, right? (Hey, Auntie A!) But it is how I truly feel. Especially in regard to men, I never expected to find someone who makes me feel as at home as I do with him. So, every single time I see that little toothbrush I smile, because it represents everything. My life and my heart. It had always been 3/4 filled, until the dumbdumb walked into my life.

Oatmeal Bowl Notes

One night, not to long ago, Mama and I got into a bit of a rough. Not really a ‘fight’, but a rough. We went to bed still in the rough, but ended our days with a solid ‘I love you’ and ‘Good night’. The next morning when making my bowl of oats, I grabbed my bowl as a normally do – with very little care, as I’m starving – when a small little piece of paper fell to the ground. This caused me to forget about my hunger for a moment. I bent over and picked up the piece of paper, which had flipped to its back and turned it over. On the opposite side, lived a note reading:

‘I love you very much
xoxoxox’

It was from my Mama.

My smile was so large and so goofy that I am extremely glad I was alone in the house. I always leave these notes for Mama, so getting one from her was perhaps the sweetest thing in the world.

I won’t lie; that was the best bowl of oatmeal I had ever tasted.
Which was rather the note, or the fact that I tried a new granola, but for sentimental sake we will say it was the note.

Thank you Mama. I love you too.

…xoxoxoxoxox

Burnin’ Rubber

At work we sell a lot of rugs – some of the are rubber. Lately, it’s been a popular thing to return, the ol’ rubber rug. As unusual as it sounds, I love returning them. Or selling them. I just love dealing with them. They have a strong smell that you can’t escape when around them. I absolutely love that smell.

Why?

The smell of rubber instantly takes me back to when I was a little girl. I would be sitting on a stool, drinking a cup of hot cocoa – which, I was pretending was coffee – watching my Dad talk to his coworkers. It was ‘Take Your Daughter to Work Day’. I lived for that day. I loved getting up and heading to work with my dad, getting lunch and driving around, asking him about his musical tastes.
Lately my dad and my relationship has been interesting. It is so evident we love each other, but sometimes we have a difficult time communicating. Every time I smell that rubber, I remember when my dad and I communicated just fine, which causes me to remember how lucky I am to have a dad quite like him.
I think it extremely important that we all take the time to really value and appreciate the simple and little things in life. After all, hey stay around in our hearts a lot longer, than that shirt stays in our closet.
Speaking of simple things:
Baba’s newest floral installment.

Thank you, 🙂

Stay sweet,

Caitlyn.

The Great Balancing Act

the beauty within balance 
In life there are several things that are not just ‘should haves’, but ‘must haves’.
A little black dress, a spare remote control – for when one gets lost and proper system to ensure that all of your socks are accounted for after going into the wash…
And, most importantly, balance.
Balance – to must people – becomes a quality in life that is widely seen as trivial. Sure, we might need fancy sport cars and ridiculously expensive bags, but balance is simply a word which is used to describe circus acts. I, too, have been guilty of this general lack of attention. It wasn’t until most recently that it became evident to me just how important balance truly is.
First, I noticed it within my work outs. I – like many of us – have made the mistake in thinking that cardio is the most ideal form of fitness, as you burn the most amount of calories with it. While the latter part of that statement holds true, cardio is in no way the optimal for of exercise – and furthermore, there is no ideal form of cardio. In fact, no subsection of fitness holds anymore more important than the other. Why? Because you need a balance in your work outs to ensure total body health.
Cardio allows you to build heart health, burn off unwanted fat – if that is your goal, boost metabolism, establish a certain level of relaxation and much more…
However without its counterparts of toning/sculpting as well as stretching , your body will be missing many other needed qualities. Toning allows your body to build lean muscle and boost metabolism (shockingly enough, more so than the ever-popular cardio), while stretching ensures that your body is lengthened and protects your muscles from injury.
To be frank, if we really want to argue which holds most importance, stretching takes the cake.
After thinking a bit too much about this, I wondered how this theory would hold when applying it to my life.
In other words, was this emphasis on balance important both in and out of the work out room?
Turns out, it very much is.
The area in my life I find most notable is my choice in counterpart – Omar. I’ve had (and heard) of a lot of people suggest that we are ‘so’ different (which, sometimes sounds like ‘too different’) to be together. This, to me, is absolutely ridiculous. Yes, Omar and I are pretty much as different as they come. He’s loud, straight forward, laid-back and ‘chillin’, while I tend to be more uptight, structured and organized – probably to a fault. This doesn’t mean that him and I are not good for each other. In fact, in so many ways, I find that that is what gives us our strengths.
When I need someone to tell me to calm the hell out, he’s right there; when he needs someone to tell him to care a little bit more, well, I’m up for the task. It is the aspects of Omar that are unlike me that I find myself most attracted to, to be quite frank. I would never want him any other way. To be quite honest hearing these comments (both to my face  and his) were circulating was kind of irritating to me. First of all, I see that it is no one’s business our relationship. Second of all, I didn’t quite understand why – to some – differences were seen as a bad thing.
I mean, don’t they say opposite attracts?
I apologize and intend no offense, but I would never want to date someone who was exactly like me. After a while, I fully believe that the relationship would become a little boring and redundant. Always knowing what the other person was going to do… or think, because it is what you would do or think. This would probably lead to very little fighting, as you’d agree on virtually everything (and, regardless of what you might think, fighting in a relationship is healthy), so you’d have no way to grow and learn from each other. If this is exactly that you desire from a relationship, then I say go for it. But for me, that is in no way ideal.
I guess in a lot of ways  I do not believe that these kinds of relationships exist. I think that if two people are that similar, it is safe to assume that one of the members is lying to appease the other. I guess this topic is about to leak itself to an older post – on lying. Girls and boys, if you feel the need to lie to the person you are seeing in order to keep their attention, it is possible that this relationship is not right for you. I am sure that there is someone out there whose heart you will steal for being who you truly are. Wouldn’t you rather be loved for that, then anything else?
Although my focus has been primarily on my relationship with Omar, the importance of balance is easily applicable to every facet of one’s life. If one never experienced hurt, how would the appreciate true happiness? If you never failed, how would you learn and grow and become a more dynamic individual? Without darkness, there cannot be light; without hate there cannot be love and without truly ugliness there cannot be bliss.
I know in many ways it would be easier to write off the negatives in life, but then we’d never be able to fully enjoy or understand the true beauty within the world. So, appreciate the the differences.

Life is merely a series of contrasts, long solely for a beautiful symmetry.

On that note, I still feel void of inspiration. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

Stay lovely,
Tomorrow I plan to post a workout, focused on balance as well as a few reviews on food and fashion.

Enjoy your day and stay lovely.

Also, today Simple Sunday is…
naps.

I just woke up from the most glorious nap. 🙂