My Happiness Project

After reading the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, this winter, I decided to start my own project on a smaller scale.

At first, I started thinking my happiness project needed to be a group, getting out twice a month to meet with others to plan and talk about our personal projects. It would be great – I’d organize it all and even thought about what cookies I’d bake.

Then I stepped back from the idea and realized that I just don’t have the extra time for all that right now. I find that I love to keep busy, but sometimes too busy so that I don’t actually accomplish anything. The result being disappointed and frustrated. So in the end, realized the group idea was one extra thing I shouldn’t put on my plate right now.

So I thought of something that would make my happiness project simple and effective, today and for the next 12 months. I decided the only rule was to give my happiness some good thought the last week of each month. Then to start the next month have two or three things I’d like to change for or about myself. Aware of and working on these things will make me mindful of my well-being, as well as will ripple this happiness to those in my life.

So here’s a recap of the last few months:

January was to cut back on a few of the foods I’ve been indulging on too often. No chips (of any kind) or take-out pizza. This was something I knew I could do and would start my happiness project off on a good foot. It was perfect.

In February, I wanted to cut my sugar use in half and track my water intake. I did great with watching my sugar, I’ve even thought of going without in my morning java. With my water intake I knew I wasn’t getting enough to start with. Having this as a resolution made me research the adequate amounts a person my size and activity level should be taking in. I found the iPhone app Waterlogged to help me record my progress. Which I’m happy to report worked great on the days I started off with a glass of water and kept recording throughout the day. I need to work on remembering that first glass.

As for March, here are my resolutions:

1. Start each day with a glass of water and record it.

2. Embrace early mornings:  love the idea of being a morning person but never really enjoyed it. This month I’m going to make it a habit to get up early and enjoy the calm of the sun coming up. Or the west coast drizzle if I must.

3. Mad Abs – I found this calendar on Pinterest and thought it was an attainable goal.

So far so good. All the best on your happiness project adventures! Please leave comments below of what you are doing to be a little happier.

Here’s the Mad Abs that I’m doing. (Not sure the source of Mad Abs March)

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every WOMAN workshop leader

Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.  ~Carol Welch

This past weekend I had the opportunity to be a workshop leader at Every WOMAN Powell River. I hope everyone enjoyed the sample of yoga. My workshop was first thing in the morning, a perfect way to start the day.

The whole day was filled with inspiring workshops. I took in pilates, nai, Qigong, African drumming, belly dancing, meditation and made time to relaxed in the tea lounge. The lunch and snacks were tasty and seemed to never run out.

Thank you, Kerri and Lynn, for organizing which a memorable, action packed day. I don’t think I’ve stopped shimming my shoulders yet, thanks for the moves Mara. 🙂

For those that couldn’t make it, here’s the link to a slideshow (click here), created by a local photographer. I’m in the drumming segment, to the right of the lady in pink, my good friend Erin.

Also, check out what city is next for Every WOMAN at http://www.everywomanintheworld.com

Lots of celebrating this weekend

It was a great weekend. I had a birthday, spent time with great friends and the men’s hockey team won gold.

Life can get back to normal, the Olympics are closed. The energy was on high all the way to the end – what a hockey game. National free yoga day was also this weekend and we celebrated with a class on Saturday. There was a great turn out and a lot of new faces. Thank you for everyone who came and to Violet for the amazing cookies. The perfect post-yoga treat. Here’s the recipe, try them!

Sivananda Cookies

3 cups plus 1 tablespoon rolled oats
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins or golden raisins
1/3 cup raw unsalted peanuts*
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons oil
About 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease two or three baking sheets. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add the oil, and mix thoroughly. Stir in enough water to make a firm dough.
Take a spoonful of dough, about the size of a ping-pong ball. Roll it into a ball, place on one of the baking sheets, and flatten to a circle about 4 inches in diameter. Repeat to make 12 cookies. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until golden at the edges. Cool on a wire rack.
* Use sunflower seeds, roughly chopped almonds, and/or unsweetened dried coconut instead of, or as well as, the unsalted peanuts.
Makes 12

Recipe from The Yoga Cookbook and recipelink.com

Weekend in the city

Just back from a long weekend down in Vancouver, which started on Thursday. Before you get jealous, the trip was planned around Tyson getting laser eye surgery. His appointment was on Friday morning and he was seeing somewhat clearly by ten that night. He said the surgery was the strangest experience he’s ever been in and the lack of vision right after really put things into perspective (or lack there of). He’s on the mend and is already feeling the benefits of not relying on contacts and glasses.

On Saturday evening we went to the hockey game, Canucks vs Penguins. We made our way to the glass before the game to get a glimpse of the players warming up. To my surprise there was, #71 Evgeni Malkin in Plow Pose (Halasana).

He’s known for his unique style of stretching, which include poses that resemble Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana) and Upward-Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana).

Also, I just couldn’t wait for the soft cover of Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert to come out. Gilbert is the author of Eat, Pray, Love. If you haven’t read this lovely memoir, I highly recommend it. This new book, Committed, is an investigation into matrimony and her coming to terms with entering a second marriage.

Best riding on the coast

In 2003, I had visited Powell River for a summer and fell head over heals for the technical single-track biking trails. I love the speed of downhill mountain biking but there’s a sense of accomplishment when riding the winding, root-filled and hilly trails Powell River offers.

After that summer I vowed to one day come back to this lush rain forest. And here I am. Just a mere three blocks from my house and I’m able to get lost in the bush, push myself to new levels. Experience the riding here in PR first hand though this video. It will make you want to get on your bike and ride.

Getting organized

Ok, where have I been? Good question. Things are starting to pick up at work (Christmas is upon us), renos are still in the works, and I’m ENGAGED (Yahoo!). With all these great things happening in my life and the colder weather zapping my motivation (I have to pin it on something), there is no better time to get organized then the present and a good way to do that is making lists. I scoured the blog list I frequent and came across these nicely designed printable lists by Erin Vale. To download them for yourself click here. (Sorry for the link to a link.)

Printable-list-forms

Image from How About Orange Blog

 

Weekend of rain

It was a lovely weekend of rain out here on the coast. Giving me lots of guilt-free time in the kitchen, baking. I was inspired to try a new recipe for pumpkin cookies. Pink Stripes, a blog I follow, was having pumpkin week, last week and shared a recipe for Pumpkin Nut and Chip cookies. This recipe reminds me of my mom’s good old chocolate chip cookies (minus the pumpkin, cinnamon and nuts) I knew I’d like them. I found they mixed up just the same, I couldn’t wait to try one right out of the oven.

I wasn’t able to find pumpkin pie spice, so I used all spice instead (hope that was a proper substitute). If you know where to get pumpkin pie spice please let me know. Also, I found pecans per-chopped in the bulk section, I want with them instead of walnuts.

pumpkincookiesPumpkin Nut and Chip Cookies

1/2 C butter, softened
1 1/2 C sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 C flour
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 C milk chocolate chips
3/4 C walnuts, finely chopped

• Preheat oven to 350ºF
• Mix butter and sugar until creamy; add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, beating well after each addition
• Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl; gradually add to pumpkin mixture until well-blended
• Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts
• Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto lightly buttered cookie sheets
• Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until edges are golden brown
• Cool on wire racks and store in airtight container

Recipe courtesy of the California Milk Advisory Board

 

Mothers and Daughters

Today was also a first for me. I taught my first Mother and Daughter yoga class. A totally different dynamic than an adult class, the learning curve was steep tonight. I had a great time and some silly giggles too. It’s great to see children in Happy Baby, they don’t have to be told to move and explore the pose, I had happy babies rollin’ around the room enjoying themselves. Thanks to all the ladies coming out to the class.