not all who wander are lost.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summertime...and the livin's madness.

So. Summer is just about full swing. We finally had a FULL DAY of sunshine and warm weather and shoobies. Boom. It's really here. Work {I'm still at Mildred's just in case you were wondering} has been super slow and super inconsistent, but I'm hoping that within the next few weeks {ahem, ahem - DAYS} that it will pick up. This is how I've noticed the economy affecting my waitress income: no appetizers, no desserts, shared entrees, and smaller tips. People are pinching their pennies and damnit, that is not good news for my travel-the-world-savings-fund. Speaking of savings: I'm back to the tried and true ENVELOPE SYSTEM. Yes, envelopes: it's the key to my financial success. I've always been good with money -- I definitely got that from my parents. They work hard, they play hard, and they are smart with their mo-nay. Anyways, when I was a kid I started an envelope system: I had 4 envelopes and they were titled "savings", "surf", "retirement", "random". Yes, retirement at age 15. My dad pulled out an article from one of his finance magazines and said "Cailin, look at this number. Now if you put X amount away each year starting today, you will have this number by the time you are 55.". Well, you can't argue with numbers so I was sold and the retirement envelope was enacted. I've always been a saver, so the 'savings' envelope was obvious. "Surf" was a big one -- I saved up in this envelope for wetsuits, bathingsuits, boards, any and all surf. The "random" was probably spent on eyeshadow at Joyce Leslie and cheesesteaks & onion rings at the Shack with my little cousin Bridgey. All of these envelopes had percentages on them...I don't remember what they were specifically, but I'm betting that the SURF and RANDOM were pretty much priority. I did this for a while and then lost touch with it in college. I now have:

  • Savings: 60% {deposit into savings account: 30% save, 70% for winter travel}
  • Bills: 20% {deposit into checking account: rent, cell phone, misc.}
  • Play: 10% {shopping, food, movies, etc.}
  • Retirement: 10%
Every time I get home from waitressing, or cleaning houses, or singing or any other of my odd-jobs, I take the money out and break it up into the percentages, putting the amounts in their respective envelopes. These specific percentages are seasonal though. There is no way that these would work in the winter. In the winter 60% would be saved for bills, 20% savings...the income just isn't there in the cold months. This system: It works. I'm telling you.

With my "play" money I purchased herbs. "Premade", as I call them, herbs from McNaughtons. I did not inherit my father's VERY green thumb...instead I got my mothers very-not-green-thumb. I'm trying very herb, showering my potted herbs with love and attention -- but despite it all my damn cilantro has bugs. This morning I had to kill it. So sad to see if go, but hopefully I will get some good herbs out of this new kit that Gina made me. You all remember Gina Enberg right? My fabulous friend who makes beautiful stationary and cards amoung other things??,

Anyways, we had discussed my new interest in {attempting to} growing herbs. Don't you know it that a little over a week later I get a big box in the mail from Gina. It has a fenced in 'garden' for herbs {an old clementine box, remodeled and renovated} along with seeds, homemade labeled planter sticks, as well as some typewriter-typed instructions on "how to". I love it. I'm going to start them today and give them EXTRA love and attention...hoping that they don't end up with the same dreary fate as my cilantro.

With the envelope system initiated I'm hoping to save enough for a FULL winter of travel..this means leaving in November and returning May 1st....therefore missing every second of chilly weather. I will definitely have to work while I am in Costa Rica, but that's lessons, singing and bartending aren't so bad. Pat and I in Ecuador for 3 weeks in November then headed to Costa for the rest of the winter. I'm hoping {cross your fingers} to go to Australia for the month of April, but I don't know if I could swing it money-wise. Let's hope.

Speaking of Costa Rica...the crew is coming to Jersey!!!!!! Yes, that's right. Ozzie, Adam and Pat are all headed to Jersey in just a few weeks! They arrive in NYC on June 13th, staying there until the 18th...meeting us in Camden for the Jimmy Buffet Concer, then heading down to south jersey for some nose-walkin, trash-talking , pig-roastin extravaganza until the 29th!!!!! To add to the excitement DR LARA PAPPAS arrives in from Cali on the 27th! Madness. They are going to have to WIPE the smiles off our faces.

Random thought of the moment:

When I grow up I want to....

a. be a caterer {this is if i am living in the US of A}
b. own a bed and breakfast {this is if i live abroad...cross your fingers!}, or
c. be a writer. travel writer, or food writer. or just a columnist...hoping that people want to read my random babel.

The other night we had a big Indian Feast at my parents house. My mom had won a personal chef/caterer/whatever the hell he was, as a raffel at the Springtime Health & Music Faire. It was quite an evening. Some things they made were yello dal, coconut curry, chicken tandoori, cucumber yogurt mint salad, saffron rice and more! Here were some pictures from it:

Mom and Me

Coconut Chicken Curry

Brian, the caterer?

Dad, telling a story about something, or maybe his reaction to the spicy string beans?

Mom and Brian in the kitchen

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Soda Mary speakin'...Swahili??

Soda Mary is where I stayed for half of my trip this winter in Costa. I'm sure most of my readers are well aware of this. It is owned by Adam and Les McConnell and Brett aka LAGARTO. After my first week at the Soda, Brett came up to me and asked what I was doing on the computer for over an hour every day...and I replied "blogging!". Ha. I gave him a brief introduction and soon thereafter he had one of his own. Since January I have not missed one blog. They all make me laugh til I parents check it every day as well as some other friends of mine, all of whom have never been to the Soda and have never met Lagarto. Brett is as sweet as sweet can be. He drinks beer like its water and he loves the Soda, and the whole crew..."family" that passes through there. I've mentioned it before, but for those of you who blew it off - you're totally blowing it.

Welcome to Soda Mary, a family of surfers located in Esterillos Oeste, Costa Rica, about 20k south of Jaco on the central pacific coast. We have 4 cabinas for rent to traveling surfers, $10 per night per person, includes community kitchen (wash your dishes before you go surf), laundry and internet. Board rentals are $20 per day, surf lessons $50. Once you become a member of Soda Mary Surf Team, it's like the mob, you can't get out. We surf every day, the gentle waves out front. From the kind right of jailhouse, little reef, lowtide, escuelas and lecheria. When it gets small, we got the beach breaks covered with Bejuco, Este and Centro. People ask, who is Mary? Well she's the mother of Jesus. We offer ding repair and tours, let's go to the waterfall. We host a ton of live music, bring your guitar. Most important, Enjoy Life. Surf Well. Praise God. Pura Vida!

Here is a bit about the author of, Brett:

Also known as Lagarto, Brett is 41, surfs every day, originally from Houston Texas, checked out of the rat race at 35 after a nice career in advertising, now gives surf lessons to tourists, surf rentals, ding repair, tour office, real estate, property management and drinking beer. Not necessarily in that order. Come on down and check out Soda Mary, we got a nice gentle wave here. Pura Vida!

Brett, wearing the precautions.

Here is one of Brett's Blog's...explaining the lingo that he uses...

Well ever body axin me say hey Brett, I caints undastands dat blog you writin but the pitchers sho is pretty, what the hell kinda language you writin in bra? Well I tell dem, cuz every blog got to start out with the word "Well", cus dat how you start out your blog man, well we went surfin today and dranks some beers, but I digest. Any ways, backs to my point, we writin da blog in a higher level where only certain folks can understand, you understand? well den you are part of the higher level tinkers man. Dis language part of new invention and we calls it "Southern Swahili" cuz it really gets hot der in da south of Swahili. Dis is a mixture of multiple languages and cultures, start out with Southeast Houston Texas, mix in some Mexican Spanish hey vato! bring in da Carribean pigeon ting ting mon, you like dem crawfish, well den mix in some Cajun spice from my paw paw, gotta throw in some Hawaiin, hey you fuckin Haole! and bra bra bra, move it down south to Central America, and Bam! You got Southern Swahili...don't axe no mo questions cuz you may not unda stand...

if you arent reading this blog, then you just arent cool.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009


so sweet, so smooth, so sexy.

I have been raving about "bonobo" since I was introduced in February. I keep getting tons of "what is bonobo", "who is bonobo", "how do you bonobo" I figured that it was time to spread some knowledge.

First, I will give you an introduction. I love music. Live it. Breathe it. To say it is a passion would be an understatement. I go through phases with the genres of music that I am listening to...usually there is one specific band that I have on repeat. While I was in Costa Rica I was stuck on singer-songwriters and acoustic tunes. Very raw, very acoustic tunes. Well, one day while sitting in Soda Mary, sweating like crazy and playing some Dominoes, this fro-haired monkey walked in with a sweet mac-laptop under his arm. I said "hey buddy lets be friends". We surfed the reef the next morning and as it turns out, this guy who goes by the name of "Ozzie" is a total music aficionado! I totally violated his itunes and took tons and tons of amazing music from him. I posted a blog when I was down in Costa, boasting of all the new tunes that Oz had hooked me up with. Of all that he gave me, one changed my life. Seriously.



is one man.


Bonobo the band/man is not to be mistaken with Bonobo the chimpanzees from the Congo.

"Bonobos, arguably our closest relatives, are found only in the Congo Basin rainforests of the central Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where they are under threat from bushmeat hunters and habitat loss. Populations have rapidly declined over the last 30 years.

The differences between the common chimpanzee and the Bonobo are slight. The Bonobo has longer legs, shorter arms, and a narrower trunk. It is generally smaller, with a rounder skull and flatter face. Another distinguishing feature is its black face and red lips, and a prominent tail tuft which is retained by adults - chimpanzees only have one at the juvenile stage.

Bonobos exhibit remarkably different social behavior than chimpanzees, with an emphasis on peacemaking."

When you listen to Bonobo you picture a band so big that it fills a room, all collaborating to create this bit of genius. Though in reality, it is one person. Bonobo's real name is Simon Green. He is a British musician, producer and DJ. Bonobo is his main project, but he also performs and DJ's {solo} under the name Barakas...sometimes collaborating with {Robert Louis} under the name Nirobi & Barakas. Music and talent flow through Green's veins, because at 18 he moved to Brighton and released his debut album, Animal Magic (under Tru Thoughts record label). This album as COMPLETELY self-produced and almost totally self-instrumented. The man, or should I say "boy" then, is a genius.


Also released over the next few years under Ninja Tune Records was the Scuba EP (also in 2000), Bonobo Presents "It Came From The Sea", One Off Remixes and B Sides in 2002, and 2003's Dial "M" For Monkey.

October 2nd, 2006 brought the EPIC album "DAYS TO COME" which was highly successful.

"Simon Green a.k.a. Bonobo returns with his third album and the kind of quantum leap in quality that very few artists make. “Days To Come” has the feeling of a classic all over – a big, brooding, emotional and uplifting record that you can dance to, do the dishes to, or sit and really study.This is not just a knob-twiddling producer but a multi-instrumentalist at work, who writes, plays and then manipulates almost every note of music he releases.Green hasn’t abandoned the instrumentals, though. “Ketto” arrives with a dreamlike intensity, “On Your Marks” hits with the all the force of early-era Shadow, while Part 2 of “Transmissions94″ is amongst the most beautiful and transcendent music that this quiet and self-effacing producer has yet crafted. With his fantastic band (in which he plays bass and with whom he has headlined the Big Chill and the Glade at Glastonbury) set to transform these studio pieces into living, breathing music, the stage is set for Simon Green to step up. The days to come look bright indeed, but sad and beautiful and lovely, too. Don’t miss them."

Several songs on the cd feature musician and poet Bajka. Bajka, pronounced "Biker", is currently based in Berlin, Germany. She was born on Christmas Day 1978 {which explains so much, she is certainly a gift to us all!}. I did a bit of digging and this is what I found {thanks Wikipedia!}:

Bajka is B. Pluwatsch (born Christmas day, 1978) is a poet and singer, currently based in Berlin, Germany.

She is the daughter of Uve Müllrich, a member of the German band Embryo and founder of the band Dissidenten. She was born in India, and grow up in Portugal and South Africa. She attended schools in Goa, Bangalore, Lagos, Portugal, Seattle, Durban and Cape Town.

Bajka studied music in Prague. Her relationship with Asia remains the main theme of her poetry. She has performed spoken word poetry on several projects, including Dissidenten's "Instinctive Traveller", Radio Citizen's "Radio City (feat. Bajka)", "Bubblegum". She has also performed among others with the Moroccan singer Noujum Oazza and his band Urban Dervish, Indian singer Manickam Yogeswaran, and for the Royal Moroccan Orchestra.

In recent years, her role has moved from poet to singer. Her voice is described as jazz/soulchill out and electronic dance tracks. Most recently, she appeared on several tracks on Bonobo's latest album, Days To Come


"Bonobo uses a wide variety of samples in his music combined with heavy, often complex basslines. His music generally develops linearly - with new elements such as basslines or percussion coming in one after the other. In Days to Come, he mixes this sonic background with the clean yet distinctive vocals of Bajka, who often uses harmony to build up a multifaceted sound. Whilst often touring solo, and performing DJ sets, in 2004 Bonobo opted to follow the growing trend amongst electronic acts of playing with a full band. The band plays live renditions of studio material, with a singer, keyboardist, guitarist, saxophonist, string section, Electronics, and drummer. Simon Green mainly plays bass guitar, and leads the band from the middle. " --wikipedia

Another collaborator, Brazilian electronic musician and DJ Amon Tobin has done some really fantastic remixes of Bonobo tunes, definitely worth checking out. In the late 90's it is Tobin who is credited for creating the new music genre "trip hop". Also on the Ninja Tune record, he is considered their most successful artist and his music has been featured all over the world.

Bonobo, I love you. Bajka and Amon Tobin, I love you too. Thanks for giving me beautiful music that I can live to. A soundtrack to my life. Yoga has been taken to new, spiritual levels because of your days are brighter because of your beats, and my soul is happy because of your flow. Thank you, Thank you. I hope that everyone else enjoys Simon Green and his crew as much as I do. Big thanks to Oz man for sharing the wealth.


***** : they have some AMAZING musicians, check it out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Arroz con Camarones

MmMmMm, Shrimp and of my favorite things to eat when I'm in Costa Rica. Soda Nanyoa in Dominical makes the best, but I decided to give it a shot here at home on my own. This super limited Candida healing diet that I am on is super duper limiting, but I can have shrimp and a little bit of rice, so a big 'hooray' for that. I whipped this dish up in just a few minutes and it was delicious!! I've been making it every day now and having it for lunch. I thought that I would share the easy recipe with you...

Arroz con Camarones:

1-2 cups cooked rice {i prefer jasmine brown rice}
1 cup cooked shrimp {cleaned and de-shelled, cut in half or in quarters}
1 small yellow/vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons curry powder
1.5 tablespoons salt
handful of cilantro
pat of butter
bit of olive oil
2 heaping tablespoons of homemade salsa {or store bought pico de gallo}
juice of 1 lime

Pour a bit of olive oil into the pan and throw in your diced garlic and onions. Let them sautee for a bit before adding in your cooked rice and shrimp. Season with curry powder, salt, and cilantro. Finish off by throwing a pat of butter in the pan, squeezing the juice of one lime on top and mixing in two heaping tablespoons of salsa {preferably homemade}.

My arroz con camarones might be delicious, but nobody makes it like Soda Nanyoa! My last day in Costa with Mr.Aoynan and his brother, two of my favorite guys! Pat will endorse their Papaya con Leche's as well...she usually orders two.....

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Opening Day Flounder Season 2009

Dad and I weighing in our monster fluke....
I beat him. By 5/8 lb and 1/4 inch!!

This blog is titled Nose Walkin' and Trash Talkin' but I realize that I've been slacking on the trash talking lately!!! I'm sorry if I've let you down! Well what better time to amp up the trash talking then FLOUNDER SEASON. My dad and I take the trash talk to a whole new level. I guess that you could say that him and I are just a tad bit competitive.... ha. I guess that I can't talk too much garbage because my dad, the KING of the Ocean and CERTAINLY the Back Bay taught me all that I know about fishing. His knowledge of the sea is endless. Infinite. He's instilled a ton of knowledge and respect into me...and with that said, I f*in SMOKED his ass yesterday in opening day of flounder season!!! The boat had 6 keeper flounder: Shawn had 1, his childhood buddy, Josh who is visiting from Florida had one, I had two and dad had two. Every year the limit gets more and This year the flounder has to be 18 inches to keep! That's the size of a doormat. We caught about 50 throw backs, me leading the pack with about 25 {I have the magic touch..the flounders and I are one}. Josh had the first keeper, then Dad, then Shawn. I was getting worried...after all, I'm the Queen of the Back Bay and I need to defend my title. But not to worry, on the next drift I pulled a monster outta the water...followed by another two drifts later that was even bigger. On our way to the dock to weigh in don't ya know that Dad pulls up a big guy which left me with a little sweat on my brow...though once we got to the Whale Creek Marina it turns out that the Queen won...beating him by 5/8 of a pound and a 1/4 inch!!

Fast forward to later that night when I'm stuck waitressing on a bunch of shoobies at Mildreds and everyone is at my parents house having a fish fry. I was waiting on a rude table, just had it out with one of the bus kids, whacked my knee and was super stressed by the madness of a Saturday night..literally ready to lose my shit and burst into tears, then Jan Hollinger walked in through the hordes of customers waiting for a table and presented me with my trophy. Glorious. Victory! What a wonderful day...and don't worry Snapper, I'll let you win next time...

Captain Paul...scrambling to catch a fish bigger than mine.

Bradenton Boys and their sissy flounders.

Opening Day's catch {josh is holding one of my flounder}

Snapper, cleanin up the fish for a fish fry supper

My 2nd Place Trophy: see it and weep, snapper!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

natural healing, from the inside - out

Doctors give drugs of which they know little, into bodies, of which they know less, for diseases of which they know nothing at all. - Voltaire

Vegetables: SUPERFOOD, The Best Things You Can Put In Your Body

Baking Soda: Facewash

Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar: The Fountain of Youth

I'm a firm believer in natural healing: changing your diet, changing your lifestyle, positive thinking and staying away from prescription medicines. Everyone wants a magic pill to heal them and make everything right again, but that's just not the case. IN FACT, in many cases the medicine we are prescribed to fix something is hurting something else in our body. "You are what you eat" --- something we hear all the time, and it's so true. I guess that you could say that it has become my mantra lately. My mother was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthretis, unable to get out of bed sometimes. For those of you who know my mother, you know that it is IMPOSSIBLE for her to sit still. For those of you who don't know her -- well, let's just say that she is "Type A" and high-strung. After a ton of frustration with visiting doctors, failed attempts with mediciation and a ton of pain, she altered her diet. More vegetables, less red meat and no dairy {both of which are inflammatory}. She also took up Tai chi. The results were almost instant. My mother is also capable of moving mountains with her mind, so with a positive attitude and the few adjustments she was a new woman.

I discovered a few years ago {well, my mom introduced me to it}. Any and all ailments that I had, or my DOG had, I would go onto this site. It has saved me a ton of money, pain and frustration. I now drink a shot of apple cider vinegar every day which helps my skin stay clear, colds stay away, healthier hair and so much more. When I need an exfoliator, instead of spending a bunch of money at the store I bust out a $0.99 box of baking soda. I wash my face with it, scrub my body with it, and soak with it in the tub. Everyone's always complimenting my white teeth: well, once a week I brush with baking soda and peroxide...and about every other day I sprinkle some baking soda over my toothpaste. Who needs teeth whitening programs for hundreds of dollars when you have baking soda!?

Most over-the-counter and almost all prescribed drug treatments merely mask symptoms or control health problems or in some way alter the way organs or systems such as the circulatory system work. Drugs almost never deal with the reasons why these problems exist, while they frequently create new health problems as side effects of their activities. - John R. Lee, M.D.

I recently discovered that I have a big problem with a little too much Candida Albicans yeast in my body. It has caused me extreme discomfort for years: severe allergies, mood swings, joint pain, cramps, drowsiness, fatigue, extreme food cravings and some serious lady problems. All of these things, that doctors had me convinced I was bound to live with for life -- all because of too much yeast in my body, something easily treated. Once I made this discovery I didn't understand why a doctor hadn't addressed it sooner. It's extremely common {I found after countless hours on the internet and the zillion sites dedicated to this}. The reason it hadn't been diagnosed was because to cure it you don't need medicine -- there's nothing that the doctor can prescribe you, drain your wallet with have to change your diet. Have you EVER had a doctor tell you to change your diet? No. They may tell you that you have to loose some weight, but chances are the person telling YOU this is overweight. I decided to share this with everyone, because I will be making a serious lifestyle change for the next 6 months, and I'm sure that it will work it's way into my blog. To rid myself of this evil candida yeast I need to STARVE the yeast. This means ABSOLUTELY NO:

yeast, sugar {fructose, sucrose, gluclose, honey, molasses, all of it}, fruit {loaded with natural sugar}, dairy products {milk, cheese, etc}, white flour products, seeds + nuts, vinegar, mushrooms, juice, food additives, prepared sauces {soy sauce, worchestshire sauce, dressings, etc.}, any yeast-mold containing food {ketchup, olives, pickles, horseradish, certain spices, buttermilk, sour cream, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, ice cream, milk, certain vitamins, baked goods, biscuits, etc.}. And NO BOOZE. Nothing fermented: which include my 4 favorite things in the whole world, Beer, Wine, Cheese, and BREAD. I'm also not supposed to have coffee because it is prone by growing mold and I'm supposed to cut out caffeine - but I have to draw a line somewhere. So I'm limiting myself just to my morning cup.

The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.- Thomas A Edison

Nobody said that it was going to be easy. I did my research and ordered a bunch of books off of amazon. Reading through these books I was super depressed because of all that I couldn't have, but I was so excited to finally have some ANSWERS as to why I was feeling the way that I was, and SOLUTIONS. Once the yeast is starved it will leave my body. Over the next two weeks I will have a bunch of toxins leaving my body, which I am helping along by drinking the juice of one lemon, straight, every morning and by eating a clove of garlic every afternoon. Both are natural cleansers. Though this diet has only begun recently I have already discovered a new appreciation for food: preparing it, eating it, and enjoying it. Ha, and all of you thought that I already had a serious appreciation for food --- well that has quadrupled. I prepare every.single.meal. - the dressing, what I drink, the sauces I use and the seasonings. We are talking FRESH. At night time now I have a cup of decaf tea...which I savor every sip. It's no chocolate ice cream or cookies, but it sure as hell comes as close as possible, and I feel better than if I was to eat a sugar-filled dessert.

This strict diet is just temporary. Once the yeast has died off and I'm back at full health, I can resume a regular diet, though always being aware of yeast-baring foods and trying to limit my consumption. Waitressing all summer and not have a glass of wine every night seems impossible right now, but every day I become more and more excited about this new way of healing and new, delicious recipes.

Eat well,
drink in moderation,
and sleep sound,
in these three good health abound.

- Latin Proverb

If anyone has any questions about Candida Albicans check out this fabulous book:

Complete Candida Yeast Guidebook: Everything You Need To Know About Prevention, Treatment and Diet by Jeanne Marie Martin

Health is all that we have. It's important to love and nurture your body and your soul. Eating healthy, taking supplements, living a clean lifestyle and daily yoga has healed my body and my mind in ways that a doctor never could. In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Happy Healing!

Monday, May 18, 2009

belated blog.

bah. sorry that the blog hasn't been updated recently -- i just moved into a new apartment and we don't have the internet hooked up! i usually would go through a serious withdraw- but ive been so occupied with moving and working that i haven't had time to stress over it. hopefully the internet will be up and running within the next few days.

just a tid bit...i received an email today from an admirer of my blog. he is venezulean, living in the canary islands. he has a blog "osio in blue" that is dedicated to surfing. it's a spanish, but even if you don't speak the language, the photos will speak for themselves. check it out!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Awake. Aware. Alive.

Hope and I, lunch break on the bay in OC Maryland

The Bay

Hope and I, after a weekend of Enlightenment!


Awake. Aware. Alive.
This is how I felt after my weekend @ the AFPA Fitness Conference.

What an amazing, enlightening weekend I had. On Thursday evening, I picked up my Yoga Instructor {of the Ocean City Fitness Center}, Hope. She is a wonderful teacher, and noticing my ever-growing passion for yoga, she invited me along to the conference. We stopped at Lucky Bones on the way for some mussels and then hopped onto the Cape May Lewes Ferry. We arrived in Ocean City, Maryland a little before 9pm. Took a dip in the hotel's pool {Princess Bayside Hotel: I would highly recommend by the way!} and then got some shut eye. The next morning our first day of classes began at 8am and wouldn't be through until 5:30 in the evening. Friday I took ... Yoga Fundamentals: Poses by Pose, Yoga I.S. For Alternative Healing, Yoga of Heart, Living Yoga & Loving It, and Yoga I.S. Primary Series Analysis. Saturday consisted of Yoga I.S. Vinyasa Mat Training, The Secrets to Sequencing in Yoga, Yoga I.S. Intention, Yoga: A Journey Into Self, and Yoga Posture Assisting Techniques. Wow. Talk about a zen weekend. We had two presenters, Lauren Eirk and Laura Warf. Lauren Eirk is a personal trainer, MAT {muscle activation technics} certified yoga instructor. She's from Kentucky and she's ripped...think Madonna from her Hard Candy album. She was pretty intense, and most of what I got out of her classes were fitness based. Laura Warf on the otherhand, a soft-spoken French Canadian, opened my eyes and heart to what YOGA truly is. Her lectures were heart-felt and sparked me to reassess my way living and thinking. She put emphasis on BREATH which is the MIND-BODY connection, and we talked about spirituality in a sense of it being what your relationship is with YOURSELF. "Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are. The practice of yoga is the practice of meditation - or inner listening - in the poses and meditations, as well as all day long. It's a matter of listening inwardly for guidance all the time, and then daring enough and trusting enough to do as you are propted to do..." -- Eric Schiffman. Power of the mind was so essential in both her lectures and workshops. "Your mind is in every cell in your body" {--Bill Moyers}. Laura's WORKSHOPS were out of this world. I cried twice while practicing yoga. I just felt overwhelmed with happiness and a feeling of being alive, it surged through my fingertips all the way down to my toes. Most of the time during our yoga sessions I would go through the whole session with a smile from ear to ear, my eyes closesd, and the mantra in my head "I am ALIVE". When she would talk us through yoga and meditation, she would sometimes say "What makes you thrive? Where is your happiness" and I would get a crystal clear picture of a day I had with Pat and Ozzie in Costa Rica. The three of us were sitting on my friend Billy's porch in Dominical, having coffee and talking. This image visited me many more times over my weekend during meditation, and it made me cry once. So lucky. So happy. So thankful, for all that I have and all that I have been blessed enough to encounter. Laura would always emphasize the qualities of being FULLY PRESENT. Mindful meditation is living in that moment. She asked what our "Sva-Dharma" was {your "life purpose"}. She said What makes you feel alive inside? Are you thriving or surviving? What lifts you up? What brings you down? Life is like a garden that you must tend: plant the good and help it grow, and weed out the nonsense. Her lecture left me with a really REAL realization, thanks that I felt with my whole body and mind for: the support and love I receive from my boyfriend, clamming on the bay with my dad, family dinners at my parents house, the unconditional love from Maude {shawns black pit-lab mix}, my unique and wonderful friends in Costa Rica, and the small things which are much bigger than I give them credit for: cooking, surfing, music, writing, the beach, wine and movies!

Energy. We have it, others have it - and we have the ability to pass it from one to another. Mind. The most powerful thing that we have, with the ability to heal us, help us, and motivate us to lengths we didn't think possible. Living Yoga Daily: self-study, identify your values and priorities; be guided by them, live your passion, share your knowledge with others, make commitments to live your life fully, empower those around you to do the same. As Laura Warf says, "Awaken the DANCE". Thank you to Laura for sparking my inner "goddess" and helping me to come into the person I truly am. I hope that you all do the same.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Tis the Season for Sneezin'

Tis the season for sneezin. I have awful allergies, and the pollen in our area will leave anyone and everyone with a stuffy nose, sore throat, and swollen eyes. Not to worry though, the Neti solves it all. People think that I'm crazy when I describe it to them, but the ear-nose-and throat are all connected, and a daily flushing with the Neti leaves your system pollen, pollution and sickness free! Shawn swore to me that he would never, NEVER use the was gross and weird and not for him - but after suffering sinus-congestion and headaches for a while he broke down and tried it one day. Need I finish the story? He took my Neti and now uses it daily. It's just too good for me to keep to myself, I figured that it's time to let the masses know...well,atleast my dozen or so readers... I started doing some research on the web for you all, and guess what - the Neti pot was and still is a huge part of Yoga in India...prepping the body for yoga practice!! Here's what I found via the World Wide Web:

In the U.S., sinus problems is the #1 reason people see a doctor. With increasing pollution and chemicals in our environment, there is an enormous rise in the number of people who suffer various forms of nasal congestion and respiratory illnesses. Alternative health practitioners throughout the world recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a saline solution as part of a regular regimen of health and wellness, a basic health-maintenance activity equal to flossing your teeth. Neti is a gentle, safe, efficient way to deliver a good cleansing dose of saline to the nose.

Although the practice of nasal irrigation originated in India, today there are numerous people in Europe and the United States who use this simple technique as part of their daily routine. People practice Neti on a daily basis to help keep their sinuses clean and to make their breathing easier and more free

The practice of nasal cleansing - known as Neti - has been used by practitioners of Ayurvedaand Yoga in India for thousands of years. Neti is one of the 6 purification techniques performed prior to practicing yoga as a way of preparing the body for the yoga practice.

While there exist advanced techniques using various herbal oils and herbs, the simplest Neti technique uses water for the irrigation process. Lukewarm water is used to gently cleanse the nasal passages. A soothing, gentle stream of salt water, the same concentration as tears, flows through your nose, washing away pollens, mucus, viruses and bacteria. Use of a neti pot is recommended to ease this process.

Many health practitioners consider the nasal passages to be the doorway for most diseases. The nasal passage, with its finely-tuned mechanism of hairs and mucus membranes, which are intended to catch and restrain foreign entities from entering our bodies, actually is one of the ways nature protects us from diseases. Unfortunately, this filtering mechanism can become overloaded through high exposure to pollution, chemicals, fragrances, pollen and dust. Cleansing this filter regularly allows it to operate more efficiently.


NETI is SANSKRIT for "Nasal Cleansing"

1. Prepare the saline solution (*) with lukewarm water and fill the neti pot. Hot water is irritating and dangerous. Cool water is not soothing.
2. Tilt your head to the side as shown in the picture at the beginning of this article..
3. Insert spout of neti pot gently into the raised nostril creating a seal between the neti pot and the nostril. If it drains out of your mouth, lower your forehead in relation to your chin. Relax. If you are calm, the water flows right through. But if you aren't, it just won't flow. If you keep breathing through your mouth, relaxed, the water should gently flow through the nose on its own. There's no forcing it.
4. Raise the neti pot slowly to develop a steady flow of saline solution through the upper nostril and out the lower nostril.
5. During the process breathe through your mouth.
6. When you're done, exhale firmly several times to clear the nasal passages.
7. Reverse the tilt of your head and repeat the process on the other side.

*** Mix a heaping ¼ tsp of finely ground non-iodized salt or a slightly rounded ½ tsp of coarsly ground salt in the neti pot with 8oz of warm water until the salt is completely dissolved.

endorses the Neti Pot.
And she's the Queen.

Fiesta. Fiesta.

Cinco De Mayo. One of my favorite holidays!! I threw a little family fiesta this year and the menu was as follows {all food was homemade, from scratch...obviously}: bean dip, mango salsa, shrimp quesadillas {made by Sharonie}, grilled lime corn, tacos, sopapilla cheesecake, fresh fruit {gracias Pablito!}and sangria {i know, i know, this is from Spain, but whatever! They speak spanish there!}. Here are my recipes:

Mango Salsa:
1 mango
2 red onions
3 tomatoes
2 red bell peppers
1 jalapeno {or more if you like it hot}
juice of 2 limes
small handful of cilantro
2-3 cloves of garlic

*dice it all up, drizzle some olive oil on there, little bit of pepper, and a few generous shakes of salt - voila!

Grilled Lime Corn:
corn on the cob, in the husk {however many you are going to eat}
chili powder
chipotle pepper powder
cheese: contija or other mexican cheese. contija looks similar to parmesan sprinkle cheese. you could also substitute feta if you'd like.

*soak the corn in cold water for an hour. fire up the grill on med-high and put on the corn. it will grill for about 20 minutes...more or less depending upon your grill. turn frequently. the outside of the husks will turn golden brown. when they are done, take em off the grill and pull the husks down. you can separate the husks in two and tie them so that they make a handle almost. now time to dress the corn: rub butter on them, sprinkle with chipotle pepper powder and a dash of chili powder...dust with some cheese, squeeze 1/4 of a lime over the corn and then sprinkle with some diced cilantro. BOOM. so delicious.

Sopapilla Cheesecake:
2 packs of cream cheese
2 packages of crescent rolls
pat of butter
cup of sugar
- 9 x 13" baking pan

* preheat the oven to 350. warm cream cheese to room temperature. spray the baking pan with non-stick spray. unroll crescent rolls inside bottom of pan. use 1/2 cup of sugar and mix with cream cheese. spread cream cheese/sugar mixture over crescent dough. unroll second crescent roll dough over top of cheese. melt the bit of butter and brush it over the top layer. mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and sprinkle over top. bake uncovered for 30 minutes. this should ONLY be eaten for cinco de mayo, considering that the calories and fat in it are through the roof! once a year kinda-dessert.

1 big bottle of red wine
2 cans of ginger ale
1/2 cup of contrieau

*pour wine into large pitcher, add contrieau and fruit. i used an orange, a lemon, a lime, blueberries, strawberries, and
an apple. the orange, lemon and lime i sliced into thin circles because it looks cute in your glass like that! anyways, put that in the fridge and let sit over night. pour the ginger ale in right before you serve it - and serve over ice!

pablito and me.

aunt ciss, jeff, paulie, shar and dad feasting

sharonie and mom enjoying my grilled lime corn

the "boys" table: dad, my brother and jeff pace.

sharonie says the sangria is GOOOOOOD.

Cinco de Mayo is NOT just about sopapilla cheesecake and salsa:
(wikipedia says...)

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a regional holiday in Mexico, primarily celebrated in the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico.[1][2] The holiday commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.[3][4] The outnumbered Mexicans defeated a much better-equipped French army that had not been defeated in almost 50 years.[5]

Cinco de Mayo is not "an obligatory federal holiday" in Mexico, but rather a holiday that can be observed voluntarily.[6][7]

While Cinco de Mayo has limited significance nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.[8] A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day,[9] which actually is September 16 (dieciséis de septiembre in Spanish),[10] the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.[11]

the battle of the spotted zebralions