Fall Equinox 2016

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.

img_4435

img_4468

img_4467
The view in between the planks as I moved in chaturanga.

It turned into birdwatching and yoga as a few critters landed nearby during the practice.

img_4452

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.

img_4488

Nature was doing its thing including this small tree showing off ALL THE COLORS

img_4501

Reflection, movement, and listening. Not a bad way to start the season.

img_4485

img_4504

img_4417

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

img_4496

Carmel on-the-go

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.

L1140051

In Carmel-by-the-Sea the mode of transportation is walking. There are hills but you stay bi-pedal. There is even a LAW prohibiting footwear with anything over a 2″ heel. Honestly, taller footwear is not the best thing for our bodies so kudos to Carmel-by-the-Sea for pushing our fashion savvy and saving our backs. Hello Earth Footwear, Ahnu, or Dansko… do you already work with this area?

L1140068

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. IMG_4585

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.  L1140084

My favorite nuggets of the area are:

  1. 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!L1140043
  2. 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. IMG_4494IMG_4503L1140023 L1140030IMG_4498
  3. 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.
  4. 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.L1140005 L1140067
  5. 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.
  6. 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. L1140059

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.
L1140073 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.
L1140161

I’m FLEAKING out! Denver Flea Holiday Review

If you are anywhere near Denver you hopefully already know about the Denver Flea. It takes place a few times a year, features super trendy vendors, lots of alcohol, tasty food trucks, and loads of entertainment.

holiday flea

I worked with a vendor at the last Flea to offer diastasis checks for women but this last one I went straight up as a blogger to the VIP shopping night. I got over the chill in the air with a few cocktails and saw a load of friends. It was a fun, festive occasion.

The first rule of the flea, you are not going there to bargain shop. Nope, head to the Goodwill, ARC, or Brass Armadillo off the 70 if that is your MO.

You will want to shop so be prepared for what you are willing to buy because there is great stuff everywhere

Yes #Denver. We can haz #OliviaPope #denverfleabloggerfinds @denver_flea

A photo posted by kiamruiz (@kiamruiz) on

 

Got a new duvet. Oh you thought I was shopping for others. Bwahahaha #denverfleabloggerfinds @denver_flea A photo posted by kiamruiz (@kiamruiz) on

You do need to be cautious because since this is Denver Flea folks the ability to imbibe is fierce. And it is easy to swipe on a Square when you are slizzard.  Also there is some douchiness around on the edges but you are big boy or girl and know how to avoid that IF you want. 

Head to the Flea tonight for the UnCorporate party ($35 entry). Hint, hint, hint… Passport folks, check your email for a 2-for-1 deal to attend. The Flea will also be opened on Saturday and Sunday ($5 entry) with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute and Reading Partners.

There is a very good chance you  will see me around there this weekend.  I got some more Irish Coffees to say hello to, lounging, and I really, really want that be hippy hat plus maybe some more holiday gifts.

Disclosure: I was comped entry to the VIP party and given a canvas tote plus two fives to post about this shindig online which was silly since I posted about it online last flea with zero Flea motivation. All opinions are my own.

#ad Soybu Mandala Collection

This time as a Soybu Community Leader has been pretty nice. Thank you Soybu for the opportunity. Thank you for the clothes. Thank you for allowing me to interact with others curious about this line.

I have to admit I was REALLY excited to get to choose from the Mandala collection. Then I got the catalog and most of the things I was going to check out were off-limits since buyers had gobbled these pieces up. I got the dregs, but for dregs they are super cute.

Here is what I received the day I was leaving for the Santa Fe Yoga Festival. As you can see I went for blacks and blues. There were really no oranges or funky combinations to choose from even though they are all over in the collection!

I wore the Alecia Tank in Terra Blue with some frequency this month, here paired with my Killer Caboose Leggings in Charcoal

I also went more casual with this collection with these Faux Leather Hayden Leggings and the Lena Wrap

Soybu Hayden Leggings and Lena Wrap

IMG_6742 2

And lastly new favorites of mine are the Debbie Tank and Angie Tank in Terra Blue. Great size and proportions with thick shoulder straps that are not cumbersome for the Debbie and flirty minimal strapping for the Angie.

debbie tank terra blue

angie tank

The Mandala Collection is a fun collection. Just be sure to actually get your hands on it.

DTC Disclosure: I am not monetarily compensated for this review. I am a community leader with Soybu but all opinions are my own.

Soybu Mod Nouveau Collection

I am a proud Soybu Community Leader and advertise their clothes weekly in my classes.  I am glad that in late May I will get to host an evening at their Denver-area store to share this brand with folks IRL on 28 May. More details to follow but expect discounts, a gift, and loads of treats.

Here are some snapshots for their latest line and how it seamlessly fits into my lifestyle with my little ones.

Soybu Teegan Legging in Elodie and Jacinda Pullover in Motion
Soybu Teegan Legging in Elodie and Jacinda Pullover in Motion

The powerflex fabric of this legging has been super comfy and a fave to wear to my classes lately.

Teegan Legging in Mod Nouveau and Alecia Tank in White
Teegan Legging in Mod Nouveau and Alecia Tank in White

I am a shorty (5’3″) and this Alecia tank has been the best fit since the bombshell tank for my shorter torso so that I am not giving my yoga students a view of all the cleavage. This is my new go-to tank for when I am moving around a good deal.

Soybu Gigi Pullover in Storm and Teegan Legging in Mod Nouveau
Soybu Gigi Pullover in Storm and Teegan Legging in Mod Nouveau

This sweater is hands down my favorite thing to come out of the line. I had no idea how the fit would be so went up a size and hit is a bit looser in the middle and hem than I anticipated so be sure to order true to size. You can barely see them in this picture, but thumbholes!!

Comfy Soybu clothes make chilling in the grass easy to watch the youngest bust out his asanas.
Comfy Soybu clothes make chilling in the grass easy to watch the youngest bust out his asanas.

Check out Soybu to see the Mod Nouveau collection as well their new addition of plus sizes for women, the men’s line, and the girls line.  My boys are still SOL but these little animals get active in anything that they wear so it is no big deal that the rest of the family is covered.

Disclosure: I am a community leader for Soybu who receives clothing from their collections. All opinions are my own.

Also, all photo credits go to Terry Cabeen.

TWO YEARS Post-partum, TWO YEARS Breastfeeding

TWO! I am a very proud mama bear. Last Friday our youngest turned two.

Happy 2nd Birthday

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.

population growth

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.

earth mama breastfeeding

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.

Two years post-partum – this is a time-period I stress like a broken record to my prenatal and postpartum yoga clients. In the ayurvedic tradition it takes two years for a woman’s body to heal after the effort of pregnancy and childbirth.  Three years for maximum benefit of spacing for siblings is not a cross-cultural and cross-temporal coincidence for nothing.

Brothers - Dia De Los Muertos

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.

kai-wetlands-640x576

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?