I am not mad about how I celebrated the equinox today. I grabbed my yoga mat and headed to a boardwalk landing at a nearby wildlife refuge 30 minutes within autumn officially starting.
It turned into birdwatching and yoga as a few critters landed nearby during the practice.
I kept an eye out for deer since some young have been seen in the area. Funny enough with walking to and from the landing you could see juniper that had a clear line where deer have been able to reach to nibble off all the berries.
Nature was doing its thing including this small tree showing off ALL THE COLORS
Reflection, movement, and listening. Not a bad way to start the season.
This was a good morning. I hope it was for you as well. May you find the grounding you need as we head into some turbulent political, social, and personal times ahead. xo
Consider Carmel-by-the-Sea as a hub of fresh food with laws meant to keep it a walkable city without the bustling stress in the bay area further
up north. It is and a central point to explore the natural beauty surrounding this one square-mile where tourists are loving the activity and support for healthful restoration on their getaways.
Our host for the area was Hofsas House. It is a longstanding, affordable lodging option in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The proprietor, Carrie, has a grandmother we all wish she had. Her grandmother started lodging with a few small rooms, bought more property, bought the land, had Carrie work under her as a pre-teen and has left a legacy that a fourth generation may take on in the future.
Carrie in her efforts owns and operates with 38-room, Bavarian-inspired tradition as well as serves with local politics for this carefully-curated area. Curation entails no food franchises, no neon signs, no street lights, no harming trees in construction, no street addresses, and no paid parking. All these factors lead to casual European elegance with the warmth of family hospitality. Talk to Carrie or her staff about what to do in this area as you are planning your stay.
My favorite nuggets of the area are:
The BEACH. A white sand beach on the Pacific coastline is rare. Even rarer is the ability to have a bonfire on a public beach. There are a few restrictions, but public bonfires ya’ll!
Carmel Belle – A quick food and drink spot that exemplifies the businesses I choose to support with high-quality, simple food that encourages local sustainability practices. They hosted us for a meal and brought out the organic wine. The open-face mushroom sammich and lentil soup were very tasty! I went back for a turmeric elixir. I then went back for a filling smoothie (carrot and almond butter was not on my radar before). And a big bonus that no one made any issue of dealing with my re-usable container.
Yoga Center of Carmel – I only got a peak instead of a practice. I had planned to do a restorative mid-Monday practice but our itinerary conflicted. They seem inclusive to all bodies and experience, I got a great vibe.
Caraciolli Cellars – There is a wine walk you can do that includes over a dozen cellars where you can get tasting flights. I started at this cellars and stopped. There was nothing I could do after their Brut Cuvée so I called it. I am glad I did, it turns out their winemaster also blends for Holman Ranch. Everyone seemed to enjoy their tastings but I knew this was it for me and I am kicking myself for not bringing some back on the plane to Denver.
Active outdoor tourism – Point Lobos hiking, bike the 17-mile ride with a rental from Monterey, hospitality partners to get a two-day pass to the Monterey Aquarium for the price of one, surf the constantly cool bay, tour the missions, explore Carmel River, and hug some big trees in Big Sur.
The overall ease with access to fresh, local food. This is near America’s Salad Bowl, as Salinas is called. There is fresh produce everywhere. Artichoke production is also big near this area.
One note I will make about the area is that it is very dog-friendly. I am talking about dogs-in-some-wine-cellar-tasting-rooms friendly. Kid-friendly is a little different. The area is affordable and gorgeous. I do not personally think the main attractions in town are appropriate to have kids at all day. Stay in Carmel-on-the-Sea as your area hub for comfort and then radiate out to adventure with the little tykes.
Stay tuned for my next post when I talk about Holman Ranch and what they have done to earn their SIP (Sustainability in Practice) Certification. They were the next stop on our #llnotablogconf trip.
Happy Earth Day everyone. I have seen the online stratosphere gearing up for today with the most American way that it can… sales!!! I am compassionate enough to recognize that as a culture we do not have many more ways to celebrate anything than to buy things for it, try to recreate manicured Pinterest boards for it, and then root for it like it is a football team. I am putting out my meek plea for you to pause for today though.
The intention of this day when it started in 1970 has mixed origins. Was it a national teach-in day about what we have done as a species to this planet? Was it a propaganda day for the newly forming Environmental Protection Agency? No matter the origins the events leading up to the designation from 1970 came from the ravages of a political climate in turmoil and significant environmental detriments.
Here we are in 2016 and our current political climate is pretty fractured. So is our connection to the environment. Going into 1970 the nation was besieged with Rachel Carson’s, “Silent Spring” eight years earlier and there is not any unifying book to gather us under a collective consciousness umbrella but I am going to introduce a contender. E.O. Wilson’s “Half Earth”
If you are not willing to see yourself as interdependent in your ecosystem then scale back and see if you can recognize how your consumer habits impact the natural resources they draw from.
For Earth Day I have a few ways to celebrate:
Do not fall for Earth Day sales of things you do not need. Do not go on a shopping spree as a way to celebrate from your computer.
Find some small connection to the natural world. A true heart connection. Go for a hike. Go to a spot where the sunshine can dapple on your shoulders and just sit there in silence to identify the sounds of what surrounds you (this can even be in your garden or a community garden). Look into the eyes of something wild and feel empathy with what is looking back at you (birds have eyes).
Keep it simple. If you can join an organized program for recycling, tree planting, or litter removal. You do not need to go out of your way to do those actions though – in their origins they would not be needed if people were more conscious consumers in the first place. This is why I push for conscious consumption first coupled with having a connection to the environment.
Happy Earth Day and remember, we are interdependent with this beautiful biosphere. Happy day to us. We are a part of the earth. xoxo
TWO! I am a very proud mama bear. Last Friday our youngest turned two.
We had planned for two children. Since going child-free was not our plan we at least planned for zero population growth on our biological part to be kind to Mother Earth.
Two years on the boob. This was a goal that we took one day at a time to aim to meet WHO (World Health Organization) recommendation of two years even in industrialized nations. I have so many people in my tribe to thank for supporting this journey… we will go until May to get through cold and flu season.
Two kids making it two years on the boob. Heck yeah I am super proud this is a feat I met for both our boys! I still cannot believe we did it.
My post-partum recovery after this second kiddo has been a struggle compared to our first. My nervous system was shot for a while early on, then I stopped metabolizing iron for months which only added to fatigue, and finally the lingering stress fracture and recovery with my foot. I am convinced the foot thing was contributed to by the trials of my post-partum body. Right now I am heavy, have pathetic cardio endurance, and a still healing foot.
Right now I am super proud of my TWO accomplishments and using them as joyful motivation to drop the weight I have piled on in the last year as I continue to nourish myself to better nourish others. By the way that is the mantra I mention most often to the mamas in the Baby + Me Yoga classes I lead.
What are the truths you are beyond proud of that you are currently living day to day?
It seems like I have been trying a lot of new things lately:
Politics (GMO Labeling Colorado)
Non-Profits (Denver Community + Colorado Food Safety)
Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Yoga Therapeutics Certification
I decided to give skate skiing a go with a lesson this week. It was a not so brilliant idea. I did not realize how much I would pushing off the outside of my foot where my foot has been healing. I was working solely on form on a small track. It was a struggle. I was wiped.
The instructor and resort were not shy about being vocal in asking why I was there… that part was a little awkward. But whatever. I got a great lesson in and had a lot of improvement with something I had ZERO experience with. I did not expect them to blow daisies up my rear to make me feel welcome. Ha!
I will be back though. What was the last new thing that you tried?
This past year I have fallen for a local clothing company and was lucky enough to be named as a community leader with Soybu. You may have seen them in my photo streams:
They have collections for women, girls, and men with seasonal collections every few months. Currently The Murano collection is hallmarked with a Dragonfly teal that looks flattering on every skin tone. The pieces layer well with each other and I have stacked a pant with a tunic tank with a dress and a coat. I live in Denver though and our random snow storms lend to layering.
Pictured in the top image are the Darling Coat in Dragonfly ($99), Lanai Tunic Tank in Murano ($46) and Killer Caboose Pant ($78). The other piece I got from the collection was the Elana Dress in Dragonfly Ministripe ($68).
Visit Soybu to get a jump on looking fly while working out and thanks to your workouts for the New Year.
FTC Disclosure: As an ambassador I am compensated with product to review at my own discretion. Opinions are my own and I choose to work with this company.