backward dog…

Leading up to my wedding this past November I became diligent about practicing yoga for almost a full year.  Not only did I want to get my body in tip-top shape (um, can you say yoga arms?), but it provided me calmness and stillness during the hectic and intense wedding planning months.  I was consistently attending class 3x a week and by the time the big night rolled around I felt both physically and mentally strong.  I had even mastered headstand, could hold crow pose for 5 full breaths and was “close” to balancing forearm stand (*disclaimer* before starting yoga – I couldn’t even touch my toes!).  The meditation piece never quite took, but I’ll chalk that up to anxious genes and wedding planning neurosis.  At the rate I was going I didn’t think I would ever lose momentum (something that I’ve habitually done in the past with exercise).  How could I?  I resigned myself to a yoga infused life and it would be weaved into my weekly schedule.  I had gotten relatively good, was enjoying the benefits and had finally found a workout that I liked!

Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 7.32.49 PM*photo from www.freepeople.com

Wellllllllll…..I hate to say this (publicly, no less!) but since back from the moon, I’ve only practiced a total of 3-4x (we got back November 23rd)!  Am I a cliché or what?  You know the story….girl gets in best shape of her life before wedding, declares she’s a changed woman and then falls back into old patterns once wedding is complete.  Please tell me I’m not alone here!  It feels like a huge disappointment and week over week I gear up and meticulously plan (and tell Dina) how I am carving out time for class (believe it or not every week that passes, I truly believe this will be the week), but I’m having some trouble.  I admit – I’ve lost a little bit of my yoga mojo.

While having dinner with my best friend Mika last night (who is in fact a phenomenal yoga instructor – find her teaching schedule/contact information here!) I was whining about how I fell off the wagon, need to get back to it and how I’m such a cliché’.  Her kind reply was this, “Sometimes cliché’s exist for a reason.  It has not been that long since your wedding and you’re probably still adjusting to post wedding life.  It happens!”  And with just those wise and understanding words (coming from a yoga teacher no less!), I decided two things right then and there:

1.  Be gentle on myself.  Sometimes we regress for a moment and that is ok.  We are still moving forward.  Breath, reboot and begin again!
2.  MAKE TIME FOR YOGA

132996995216604352_QU4qbTtF_c*photo from here

viva espana!

Dina and I vacationed in Barcelona back in 2009 and fell in love with the city and country. We loved it so much that we discussed buying a second home there rationalizing “it’s just a little bit further than California, why not?” (Don’t worry Mom, that fantasy was short lived.)  One of the aspects that I truly identified with was their fashion sense. A relaxed bohemian style with an edge, it felt relatable and just my speed. The women were beautiful, confident and chic but not in a forced way. I loved it! While shopping one day we found the most amazing retail store called Massimo Dutti and both could not get enough of it. It reminded me of Zara (my favorite store) so no surprise that they are owned by the same parent company, Inditex.  Like the GAP in the States and H&M in Europe, there was one on every corner. We went into all of them saying to each other “this one may have something different than the last – we can’t miss out.” I’m ecstatic to tell you all that this Spanish gem has arrived in NYC. It opened this past October (the store is on Fifth between 55th and 56th) and today I paid it my first visit.

massimo duttiMassimo Dutti – NYC

It was everything I remembered so I stacked up on some great sweaters (that were on sale) and super cute spring pants. I had to share this news because if you’re like me and appreciate this expression of style (a more refined Zara), the price points are fantastic!  And for all you boys out there – you’re in luck! They carry Mens. Go check it out and tell me what you think. Happy shopping!!!! A few things I picked up today:

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 3.25.48 PMFrom left to right: White Sweater (in store only), $69.90 (sale price), Pleated Palazzo Trousers, $98.50, Fantasy Swan Sweater w/ Twisted Yarn, $49.90 (sale price), Trousers, $89.90 (in store only)

More of my favorites from Massimo Dutti:

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 4.30.48 PMSpring 2013

hair today, gone tomorrow…

There was never a time in my life that I wasn’t hair conscious – or rather I should say self-conscious about my hair. From as far back as kindergarten I cried about how my side pony was too frizzy and asked questions like, “why can’t my hair be smooth and straight like all the other little girls?” My Mom used to brush and pull and smooth, but no matter what we did – my hair felt like a cotton ball protruding from my head.

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 10.51.08 AMFirst Grade Picture: 1985

ponytailRocking the Pony: sometime in the early 80’s

This continued throughout elementary, middle, high school and college. It was only until a few years ago (I’m 33) where I began to “sort of” embrace the curls and own them. I had no more fight in me so I threw in the towel and started to work with what I had. I can’t deny that even though I’ve resolved some of my frustrations with my mane, I still get bent out of shape about it. My wife calls it “hairanoia” (hair + paranoia = hairanoia). She thinks that I see my hair way different from the reality of it. Sort of like when you look in a fun house mirror and your perception is completely distorted. I know I’m not alone here, right??

For the past few years since keratin hit the market, things have increasingly gotten better. I get the treatment 1-2x a year. I wouldn’t say that I’m 100% satisfied though (and the fact that I have grey hair too does not help matters – shhh). My hair is smoother and more manageable, but as each month goes by – I know it’s slowly creeping back towards its original texture (keratin girls – you know what I mean!). And I am not thrilled about putting the chemicals in, but hey – the things we do for beauty. I continue to search for the perfect cocktail of smoothing serum, gel, comb, diffuser, shampoo, conditioner, and any other hair treatment that will tame the mane. Every time I purchase a new product it’s another glimmer of hope towards transforming the locks. I try out my new combination and fingers crossed I’ll look like Penelope Cruz.

This brings me to the present day. Due to my hairanoia I’ve been resistant to getting a “real” cut – keeping it long and simple to maintain some level of ease. I detest haircuts. Every time I go into the salon I sound like Woody Allen – anxious, overly descriptive, nervous, uneasy and annoying to the stylist! I’m pretty sure every one I’ve ever seen thinks I need to be medicated. Haircuts to me are up there with sky diving, bungee jumping and swimming with the sharks. I’ve dreamed of cutting it shorter, but fear that it will be even more difficult than it already is. I know, I know – hair grows back so what am I sweating? And the truth is I don’t know! Like all irrational fears, this one is on my list.

You’ll be happy to know that yesterday I took the plunge, threw caution to the wind and went through with it. I was literally debating it up until the time that I sat in Johnny’s (Bumble and Bumble) chair, but after the first chop there was no turning back. I watched him carefully craft my do and tried my hardest not to freak him (and myself out) along the way. Towards completion I was still on edge about the whole thing and (even though going reverse wasn’t an option) having a conversation with myself whether this was the right move or not. After Johnny was done he shook it out and turned me towards the mirror. I took a deep breath, I put my hands to it, touched and played for a minute and decided that I LOVE IT! It’s a great change, feels fresh, exciting and I think I’m a bit bolder having gone through with it. If in a month or so I hate it….luckily it’s hair and will grow back!

Yesterday morning I asked my wife as we looked in the mirror together, “What if I don’t look sexy without long hair?” and she said this: “Your hair is not what makes you sexy. You are what makes you sexy”. I’ll continue to remind myself of this when I get hairanoid!

Are you thinking about making any changes soon? I’m always inspired by you so please share your stories!

inspirationInspiration: Sarah Paulson

IMG_1984Before

afterAfter

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 9.41.05 AMMy tool kit: Ouidad Climate Control gel, Bumble and Bumble Defrizz, Luxor diffuser, T3 Hair Dryer, Keratin Color Minded Shampoo/Conditioner, Hair Pick Comb