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

Babies and Baggies.

what i want this wednesday
First I’d like to apologize for not writing yesterday – after saying I was going to commit more. But, I had a few errands to run, then I had to work, then my cousin came up to hang out! So, it was a pretty busy day, leaving little time to sit down and write. But, I will assure you that next week will have one amazing Tuesday post.
After carefully thinking about how I want to organize these posts, I decided to go ahead and start off with one meaningful ‘want’ and one not-so meaningful ‘want’.  Why? Because I think a balance is extremely important in life! 🙂
My Meaningful Want: Spend more time with Children and Babies
I love kids; I love babies. I’m sure I’ve made this quite clear. I see them, I giggle. I made silly noises to them whenever possible. I just love children. I also love babies. They’re little soft cheeks and rollie-pollie arms; their laughs and smiles. I truly believe that being in the company of a baby can make anyone’s day a bit brighter. Unfortunately, I am horrid at holding them.
I never really thought about it until most recently. I’ve always been exceptionally good with children and infants, but typically speaking I am so when they’re in the arms of another individual.  The moment you put that little being in my arms, I tense. I don’t know why! I will never understand it.
Last night – as I said – my cousin and her boyfriend came over. She is just moving back from being away from home for several years, to rethink her career choices. Considering she had not been home in a long time, we decided to invite another old friend to the house. This old friend is the mother of a beautiful baby girl – who won’t let me whole her!
True, the entire situation had a humorous element to it, but deep down, I couldn’t help but think…
“Why don’t you like me, little girl?”
Before I had the chance to get depressed, my family informed me that it is just because I haven’t been around kids so closely in a very long time. Which couldn’t be more true. So, it was in that moment that I decided that I need to find a way to spend more time with little ones. I am not sure how I plan to do this, yet, but I will make it happen.
One of my greatest fears is that I will be a horrible mother – which, isn’t shocking at all considering my personality. I tend to expect the worst of myself, while anticipating the best of others. I watch my mother – who, I think is the best mother there is – and fear that I will never live up to that. It’s silly, but I cannot help it.  So the moment the baby began to cry, I feared my insecurity was being proven true.  I know now that it isn’t. First of all, it isn’t my child and when I do have one, I am sure she will love me very much because I am her mother and children are naturally connected to their mothers. It’s biology (I think…). And second of all, I’m still very young and have plenty of time to develop my own maternal personality. No rush!
Possible Ways of Surrounding Myself More
Well, I can only think of ONE right now.
I’ve considered applying to the IWK as a volunteer. I am thinking if not during the school year, I will definitely be committing to this next summer! I mean, really, why not? It’ll look amazing on a resume and I’ll get to spend more time with little children, which I really need to do.
I’d like to just take a moment to say that I am quite proud of myself, however. In the moments that the baby wouldn’t let me hold her and everyone laughed, I immediately got internally defensive. But, I stopped myself from overreacting too much because that is something I know I need to work on.
My No-So Meaningful Want
A Burberry Bag…
Typically speaking I find designer names kind of ridiculous. But there is something about the style of a Burberry bag that has always appealed to me. It’s timeless, elegant and classic.
I mean, yes, it’s just a bag. But it’s so pretty 🙂

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

Finally posting this…

a simple sunday (better late than never): berry picking with family
Yesterday was absolutely awesome! Omar, Mama and I drove into the country, where my Aunt and her son live, to meet up with them an take part in the – shockingly- relaxing act of berry picking. Neither Omar nor I had done it in several years! In fact, I’ve never been raspberry picking! I’ve only ever picked blueberries. So upon arriving to the U-Pick farm, I had absolutely no idea what to expect.
At first, my pickings were kind of dull. I was getting kind of depressed as everyone’s pints quickly filled, while mine was only half way full. Later, I discovered why – I was being far too picky about which ones I picked. After a while though, I was all gung ho! I picked like I my life depending on it!
It had actually been Omar’s idea to go picking. We wanted to go strawberry picking, ideally, but due to the fact that we’re working on nature’s time table and not our own, we had to ‘settle’ for raspberries (although, I am more fond of a good raspberry, than I am a strawberry). We picked for a solid hour to 90 minutes when we realized that we had pretty much filled all 18 pints we had brought down! I was so proud of Team Us.
Afterword, Mama, Omar and I went back to my Aunt’s house for some lunch and to play with her dogs. She lives in a on a cute  farm. She has goats, chickens, four dogs… a zoo, basically. So, it is obvious that I was in my glory.
I think that I used this as my Simple Sunday because while picking I had never felt so calm or happy in my entire life. I had (almost) everyone I could have wanted there, picking away for yummy berries. It was honestly ‘bliss’ worthy. It was also a nice chance to bond with my younger cousin, who is a bit older know (he’s fourteen; I feel old).
I am so glad we decided to go! I can’t wait until we go apple picking!
PHOTO DUMP
My raspberries
This is her dog, Daisy.
This is her flower tub! Have an old claw-foot tub hanging around?
This is Lily, another one of her pooches.
They wished me “Good Luck” in getting a picture of her. Challenge accepted.
The love of my life 🙂
Stay sweet.

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!

Special Thanks.

thank you
I’d like to take a moment to reach out and send a personal thank you to whomever sent me a message last night (whilst I was counting sheep) regarding my blog. I often fear that my efforts go in vain. I’d love for this blog to one day become something… anything, really and sometimes that victory seems bleak. But your kind words have inspired ME to keep going.
For all of you – which, is everyone – who doesn’t know what I am talking about, this morning I woke up to an anonymous message from a follower. They informed me that they have been following my blog for quite some time now and have found my words inspirational and easy to relate to. I’m happy to inform everyone that whomever this person is has found my blog to be a personal aid, guiding them through their own recovery.
It is moments like this, as an aspiring therapist/wellness consultant and fellow recover-er, that truly warms my heart. So, I thank you.
I’d also like to take this moment to tell this person how incredibly strong they are. Once thoughts similar to ours get into our heads, it’s so scary and difficult to forget them. It is almost as if – in some weird way – that you become attached to these thoughts and start thinking you’d be missing something if they weren’t there. It’s like a unhealthy security blanket we protect – and hurt – ourselves with. The road to recovery is never any easy one. Some days you’ll shine, while other days you’ll flood yourself with sadness. Don’t let these days slow you down, okay? Each morning you get up you have the chance to make it better than the last. If you had a hard day, or if you feel scared, just try your best to make this day count. OK?
You’ve touched my heart and I thank you for having the courage and drive to let me know how I’ve helped you. You’ve helped me to. If you ever need anything, never hesitate to send me a message with any questions. I am hear to help you. 🙂

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 Beautiful Bump

monday morning musings
(Image from: http://ccg13.wordpress.com/2011/03/12/a-not-so-baby-story/ – not an original)
As you know, I have crazy maternal instincts. The very idea of one day being someone’s mother is absolutely thrilling to me. I spend ample time dreaming about waking up in the early morning, putting together a lunch for my – at the point – six year old daughter or son (as well as an equally youthful lunch for Omar complete with dunkaroos and chicken) before walking them to the bus and beginning my day of work (ideally, working from home as a therapist/wellness consultant).
Several hours will pass, as I help my normal rotation of clients and write my freelance pieces for the magazines which I have contracts with before my little one comes home. I’ll meet them at the door, them looking endearingly messy, from the activities they partook in during both recess and lunch and me looking somewhat exhausted at the mere thought of getting that stain out of their shirt. They’ll run to me, looking for an embrace – which, I will of course oblige to – before we head to the kitchen the prepare our afternoon snack (ants on a log, anyone?)
The next few hours are kind of a blur. Will I still have clients, or will I only schedule myself during the hours of school-time? Which, leads me to the question, will a babysitter be required? Will my future partner be home, or will they still be at work? You know, typical things which will one day all fall into place, I am sure. Regardless of the specifics, this is my one true dream.
Oh, and there will be a dog.
Probably a husky.
Maybe a lab.
Okay, definitely a lab. Deal with it, Baba.
The other day, I decided I wanted to recreate my ‘vision board’. I made one about a year ago and when I looked at it, I’ve seen just how far I’ve come already. Clearly needing an update, I ventured out and bought two magazines to get things rolling. One of these magazines was Self Magazines newest issue. Before cutting the heck out of it, I decided to flip through the pages and see if there was anything of interest (does anyone else find it extremely annoying navigating through magazines? Why don’t all the pages have numbers?), when I spotted an article:

“Does this Baby Make Me Look Fat”

I froze.
The article discussed several statistics relating to issues with disordered eating and pregnancy. For some reason, the idea of carrying a child – to me – seemed like a surefire way to let go of my personal insecurities. I would not longer be eating for me, but for the child inside of me. So, I assumed I would just snap out of it completely. When I saw this article, I immediately wondered, ‘what if I don’t?’.
The article states that “nearly half of women polled used disordered eating to control their weight while preggers” (Jennifer Wolff Perrine. “Does This Baby Make me Look Fat?” Shape Magazine August2012: 114-117, 126. Print.). If you ask me, that is a whopping statistic. I am not judging women on this, by no means. In fact, I can – sadly – attest to understanding this fear. How horrible is that? How horrible is it to worry that my baby will make me lose confidence in my body?
I am not going to sit here and say that this fear was something that I was able to rid myself of, but it is something I’ve decided that I mentally need to work on. More than anything I want to be a mother; more than anything I want to have a family. Am I going to let my past and my fears get in the way? Of course not. As a woman, my body will change and those changes will be beautiful. I will go from a young woman, to a woman who gave life to beautiful children – there is absolutely nothing in that to be ashamed of. These are some of things I am going to begin to tell myself, day in and day out, so when the opportunity does arise, I will not be caught being one of the 21% who restrict their calories while pregnant, or the 49% who refuse to eat certain foods.
I refuse.
It scares me to think that so many women out there think this way. Granted, I have hurt myself in similar ways, as well, but it doesn’t really occur to you – however self-involved this may sound – that you are truly (and unfortunately) not at all alone in the matter. Every woman, not matter who they are, is in some way plagued by how they look. It is almost as if it is a requirement for being female – that, along with the ability to handle intense pain once a month for roughly one week’s time.
Not too long ago I had a lady I work with say to me, ‘I want to be like you’. I didn’t know what she meant, so I responded with an awkward laughter and inquired why. Evidently, my size was appealing to her. I assured her immediately that she was absolutely beautiful and should be in no way comparing herself to… me, of all people. She began to express how after having children she was never able to fully get her body back. That’s when I had to stop her. I told her that there was nothing more beautiful than the body of a mother; nothing more miraculous than the body which gave life. She blushed, unsure what to say, but definitely affected by my words. I expressed to her that as women we are suppose to go through changes – our bodies included. I had been so taken aback by this woman’s comments because I never thought that she would feel this way, at all. Yet, she did.
I hope that everyone girl, young or old, reading this knows that the changes you body will go through before, during and after pregnancy are nothing to be ashamed of, but rather something you should pride yourself on. Remember my statements yesterday regarding love for one’s self? This is a prime example of when that self love is at it’s most important, because trust me… that will be the most beautiful bump you’ll ever see.
Please stay sweet,
Caitlyn.

Over.

getting comfortable
Sometimes when you walk into a room and hear people talking in hushed tones, you’ll find yourself doing the exact opposite of what the people talking were hoping for. Perhaps, if you’re like me, you’ll stand out of sight and listen to what is being said, ashamed that you’re being so secretive toward everything. You don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable, so instead of announcing your presence, you let them go on thinking that their efforts haven’t failed.
Have you been here?
I have.
Now, in some cases the words being spoke of you are with only the intention to hurt you. These are cruel and unnecessary and in these moments I see that it is completely within your right to stand up for yourself. But, what do you do when the words being spoken of you are from a place of pure concern and love?
I cannot answer this for you, most unfortunately.
Yesterday, I overheard my mother talking to my Aunt. At first, all I heard was ‘is she sick?’ which initially caused me to worry. Who were they discussing? Is everything O.K? Then, I heard my mother reply, which answered all of my questions.
Me and… I thought she was.
When you go through your days, recovering from something like this and seeing the same people day in and day out, you actually begin to – in a sense – forget about it. Or, at least, you make it an effort to try. After so many weeks of things going well, you begin to actually push it as far into the back of your mind as possible. Then, when you overhear something like this, you are immediately pulled back.
It was almost as if my mind was saying to me, ‘not so fast, Caitlyn. You’re not past it, yet’. I was ready to break down. I was ready to cry my eyes out (alright, I won’t lie, I did cry in my room), but after five minutes I took control of my mind, and I said, ‘cut that out right now’. I grabbed a – light – sweater and headed out, without much of an reason. Left my phone (sorry, Baba; I know you told me to stop doing that), my purse and just thought. I thought of where I was and where I have come; I thought about all the things I’ve accomplished and all the pain I’ve endured. Then it hit me… my mind was right. I am not ‘past’ it; I might never be ‘past’ it.  That doesn’t mean I am not okay, though.
Every situation in our life stays with us. Even the bad ones, unfortunately. We learn from them, develop and eventually change. I do feel like I’ve come an exceptionally far way in regard to my health, but I most certainly have a far way to go.  I shouldn’t feel ashamed, or anything of my past. I should understand that people love me very much.
There was  picture of me, that I used to look at from time to time and become saddened. All I could see was bone and pain. Now, I look at it and think, ‘look where I am now’ or ‘look how much I’ve accomplished’.
Today is a short post, yes. But I just came onto say that you should never feel embarrassed about who you are, who you were or what you hope to be. That which has caused me – and those around me – pain has also been that which has made me the health-seeking girl I long to be. Always remember in life, you are to love yourself. You need to love yourself. So promise me that you’ll do just that from here on out? Promise me, and I’ll promise you I’ll try my very hardest to do the same.
Stay sweet.
Caitlyn
simple sunday