Namaste in November

I just wrapped up an Instagram Photo Challenge called Namaste in November.  It was just a middle of the month, 13 pose challenge.

I decided not to post the whys and the benefits and all that jazz.  Jus the photos.

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Day 1:  handstand

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Day 2: kapyasana

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Day 3: Sirsasana

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Day 4: dhanurasana

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Day 5: vasisthasna

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Day 6:  hunumanasana

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Day 7: chaturanga

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Day 8:  natarajasana

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Day 9: bakasana

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Day 10:  Eka Pada Sirsasana

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Day 11: Astavakasana

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Day 12:  chopasana

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Day 13:  Eka Pada Koundinyasana A.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.  xo

Top Six Beauty Picks!

My daughter and I went into Ulta the other day and stocked up on some old favorites and tried some new products as well.  Totally out of my comfort zone to buy new products, but my daughter pushes me!

Side note:  Words of wisdom…take your middle school daughter out for sushi.  I swear it is like the wasabi is truth serum or something.  Do not go to Ulta with her after sushi if you have had any adult truth serum.  AKA: mommy juice.  Too much money will be spent!

It has been a while since I shared my favorites with you… I still love my concelear, and the Bare Minerals BB cream is still the best in my opinion!

Here is a look at some other purchases we made:

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  1.  Bare Minerals eye makeup remover.  I have been madly in love with this stuff for years.  I finally caved and bought my daughter the same kind because she has to rub her eyes hard with the cheap stuff and still wakes up looking like a raccoon.

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2.  Too Faced Bronzer.  The lady totally talked me into buying this.  I have been using warmth, but she put some of this on me and I loved the way it looked.  Winter requires a face that is a little cooler, rather than warm.  Plus, it smells like hot chocolate.

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3.  This Tarte eyelash curler.  Go get you one.  I will never buy another eyelash curler again.  It keep my lashes turned up all day long.  Better to be turned up then turned down for what.  (ha ha!) I got the colossal mascara, and my daughter got pumped up.  Yes.  My lashes are turned up and colossal and hers are pumped.

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4.  Bare minerals foundation for me,  and a mineral veil for each of us.  I don’t want my daughter to wear a ton of makeup, so we negotiated on mineral veil and mascara.  I love when they have these big jars on sale during the holidays.  They last forever!

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5.  This No7 line.  I love it.   I feel like I finally found an affordable solution for my skin.  I run out of the night cream and face wash monthly.  The mask, exfoliator and the day cream I buy every other month.  I have not gotten so many compliments on  my skin in years.  I give credit to this skin care line, Plexus, drinking more water, and of course Mandy.

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6.  Oscar de la Renta.  My favorite and only perfume.  My mom’s favorite and only as well.  When I was buying this bottle I asked my daughter if she was going to have a signature perfume as well.  She told me she liked mine.  swoon.

I want to mention that all these photos were taken by the lovely Kadyn Pleasants.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend.  I am praying for you.  xo

Grandfather mountain

Last weekend, my hubby and I had the opportunity to go to the mountains.  One of my #37in37 items was to climb Grandfather Mountain…even though the weather was not optimal, we headed out anyway.  My friend was nice enough to let us stay in her condo…thank you Christy!

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We left the kiddos with Grandma, and headed to Blowing Rock for a quick lunch before hitting the hiking trails.

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Saturday afternoon was pretty wet and cold, but the Nuwati Trail was gorgeous enough to not worry about the messy weather.

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I did not have the best hiking footwear, so there was a lot of slipping and sliding.  Luckily, there was a stream to rinse off!

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Bridge under a bridge.

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After our hiking adventure, we headed back to shower and get cleaned up for dinner.  Our former babysitter, and member of our church youth team waits tables at The Pedalin Pig.  This was a wonderful idea…great food and great service.  I loved seeing her all grown up and professional! (did I mention the homemade pork rinds? YUM!)

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Round Two!  We woke up early on Sunday morning to go at it again.

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We hiked a different trail this time, and the views were gorgeous.  There is something really amazing about being in nature.  We both felt really serene and grounded.

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About halfway down the mountain, I had to stop.  I became overwhelmed with so many emotions.   I was in tears, but my heart was singing.  I felt so loved and supported by my rock of a husband.  I felt really proud of my strong body for climbing a mountain.  I am so grateful for this amazing life.

A few years ago my heart did not sing.  It ached.  A few years ago my body did not feel strong. it was weak. A few years ago, I did not feel loved and supported.

When I was diagnosed with UC, my world fell apart for a period of time. I was sick.  I was in pain. I was exhausted all the time.  I was depressed and anxious.  I missed work, dinners with friends, church services, and family events.  I was on an extremely high dose of prescription medication including anti-inflammatories and sporadic rounds of steroids.  I thought I was going to live in pain forever, lose my colon, or even die.  I remember I told my husband to go ahead and leave me.  I thought he and the kids could just start over and he could find a happy healthy wife to take my place.

We stopped at a little clearing during this time in our hike–gaining composure while gaining perspective.   Ulcerative Colitis , like many others is a “hidden” disease.  If I was not so open about it, not many people would know I have it.  But I do.  And it is chronic.  This is a disease I will have forever and ever.  But I am NOT my disease.  I will not BE my disease.  I choose to fight back everyday and do whatever I can to live my journey.

And what a journey.  It has been such a beautiful journey…and I love that we are so high up now.  There is no traffic up here.  I am off of that hamster wheel, I got off of the roller coaster.  I like to think that we live our lives on a monorail now.  Nobody wants to ride the monorail.  What is wrong with people?  They think it is boring.  I love a good monorail.  Think about it.  It is high in the sky, so you can see the big picture.  It is usually air conditioned and they bring you red wine and cupcakes. (stay with me here…)  The downs are really small and the ups are really small too.

I think they call that balance.  <3

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