YOGA I missed you.

This fall has been amazing but also has been super busy and somewhat stressful due to a few new changes in the last two months.  I had three amazing trips pretty much back to back- Italy, Cuba and Disney. Talk about a good time, but with that comes packing and un-packing, a slowly draining bank account, stressing about making up missed school work, and pretty much, two weeks worth of colds which made me lazy and lethargic.

With all that is going on I have had very little Yoga time, and have been eating on the go mostly. My body is begging me to follow my normal eating habits! This is probably the first time I have not practiced yoga for three weeks straight in over 4 years so this feels super foreign to my body. I feel like I have aged 40 years.  It hurts to do a forward fold.  I am stiff, notice lower back pain, constipated, irritable, less balanced and feel heavy. Heavy in step, my balance is off, heavy with stress and my upcoming tuition/credit Jesus Christ Christmas is coming bill. My digestive system is NOT happy with me at all. Too much candy and wine… not enough nutrients. The last two weeks I have been crazy with sugar and dairy…two things I have reduced in my diet significantly because it makes me feel better!

I finally started back up with a new job I love that pays well. ( phew ) My days are long again but I don’t mind. Last night I was so tired (and lazy) by the time I got home from work I literally just crawled into bed with a huge glass of wine, one Reese’s Pieces cup, a few “fun sized” twix bars ( I may or may not have stolen from a kids Halloween bucket…who have I become) two kit-kat bars and eight Hershey kisses later, that was my dinner.

When I awoke at 5AM thanks to all the sugar with a headache from the wine, and severe heartburn from both the sugar and the wine I decided I have had enough.  I am done with feeling shitty. I went to my math class, and came straight home to clean my yoga space (my porch) so that my DAILY practice can begin again. I stepped on my mat this afternoon and smiled. Oh Yoga I have missed you and all you do for me mentally and physically. Please make all the aches and pains go away.  I thank you, I am forever grateful for you, and I will never leave you Yoga, I promise, never again! BYE BYE stress! BYE BYE heartburn BYE BYE stiffness! (can’t touch this)

Note: I hope this little minor rant inspired anyone who has fallen off track in their life, whether it be diet, goals, routines, hobbies, relationships etc. I say minor because this is such a little problem to have in the world we live in today. I am grateful for all that I have and know how blessed I am. I have a roof over my head, I have my loved ones, I have my health. I’m not complaining I am simply just showing an example that I think everyone of us faces. It’s ok to self sabotage. You can always start over, you can always start new. By falling off the ban wagon with my diet and yoga routine I realized HOW important it really is to practice every single day, to move and stretch my body, to meditate and quite my mind, to observe what I put in my body, how is it making me feel, and what is it doing for me. Remember there is always a positive in a negative.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

XOXO

CC

 

Sicily and Amalfi Coast 9.17

Some of you may be tired of hearing me always talk about Italy BUT it is the best place on earth and words cannot even begin to explain the amazingness of this last trip. For the past few years my friend Chrissy and I usually go to Southern Italy in September for a little weekend getaway.  This year instead of doing a one on one trip we went with a group of girls (some I didn’t know some I’m already friends with) and my boyfriend. This trip was extra special because I finally got to show Steve why I am OBSESSED with Italy. (he’s now obsessed too)

First stop was Cefalu in Sicily. The first day we explored the small charming town. While enjoying an aperitivo in the square we were able to witness the most beautiful wedding ceremony! We then checked out the seaport and had a late dinner. Obviously we ended the night with some gelato.

The next day we hiked La Rocca, a historic site, to view ancient ruins. The hike was intense but worth it. The views at the top were beautiful. If your interested in doing the hike I suggest you wear sneakers, go in the early morning to avoid the heat and bring water!

After trekking we were rewarded with a little R&R on the beach before heading to Amalfi.

Cefalu, Sicily

In Amalfi, we stayed in a villa in Praiano. The views of the sea were through-out the whole house. Our room had the cutest decor, amazing bath tub and outdoor veranda.  This was a great option for us rather than staying in a hotel since we were a group of seven people.

We had a magical day which consisted of a wonderful boat ride along the coast exploring grottos. The boat ride is always my favorite part of Amalfi!  We were dropped off in Positano for lunch and a little shopping.  After lunch we were picked up by our boat driver and taken over to One Fire Beach, a beach club on the coast. We had so much fun and the people treated us like royalty. At happy hour every day around 4 o’clock, they come out with a huge watermelon. Everyone has to get out of their chair and dance around the watermelon for them to cut it. (they literally make everyone participate in it) Lets just say the watermelon dance will forever be in my memory, and cutting a watermelon is just not the same these days. I highly suggest going to One fire Beach, the views are stunning, the atmosphere is fun and the staff is amazing, you will leave there with a few more friends then when you arrived.

After trekking up 380 stairs and two huge hills we hung out at our Villa and watched the sunset.

At night we went to the most amazing place to eat, Vivaro Wine Bar, a restaurant with no menu. Gennaro, the owner, runs the show entirely by himself. He is the host, the chef, the server and the sommelier! Talk about an authentic experience. The food, wine and atmosphere was PHENOMENAL. If you are looking for a once in a lifetime experience try and book your reservation here ahead of time, its hard to get in!

As we were walking back to our Villa we ran into our friends from One Fire Beach, talk about a small world! They invited us to join them and have a bottle of wine. The people are the best part of Italy. They really embrace people who love their culture and make you feel right at home. We left this trip with forever friends for sure!

As per usually, a special thank you to my friend Chrissy who always organizes these trips. Thank you for all the hard work you put into this trip by making sure we saw and did the best of the best, but most importantly thank you for bringing this group of seven together. All of you will be in my heart and memories forever.

Cost:

Airfare (including flight to Amalfi from Sicily): $600.00

Hotel/Transportation: $350.00

Spending Money: $150.00

Total: $1,100. 

As you can tell from the pictures, it looks like we would have spent more BUT because we got the flight for so cheap we were able to splurge on spending. Most people spend $1,100 on their flight alone. I can not express the importance of setting price notifications!

Italy is a must see in your lifetime. Between the atmosphere, history, culture and food it will for sure be an experience of a lifetime. The Italians are truly beautiful people. Thank you always for your hospitality.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxQXk9vnme0&t=1s

XOXO

CC

 

 

 

 

 

Must READS

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Those of you who follow me know about my obsession with books, so I thought I would share with you some of my favorites that I have read this summer. Below is a list of just a few, everything from inspiration, self-help, romance, too spooky real life stories, history and drama.  Happy reading!

The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon

The Seed, Jon Gordon

Who Moved My Cheese, Spencer Johnson M.D

Lies She Told, Cate Holahan 

The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls

Half Broke HorsesJeannette Walls

The Book of Joy, Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Douglas Abrams 

The Ghost of Cape May, Craig McManus 

The Hurricane Sisters, Dorothea Benton Frank 

I Have Lived a Thousand Years, Livia Bitton-Jackson

XOXO

CC

Be BRAVE with your life…

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Today was the start to one of my many “new beginnings”.

Funny how the universe works.  Recently I was down and out looking for a career that is stable which can supply benefits. Well without a degree it’s slim to none. The only degree I have is in fashion and I am NOT going back to that!

My boyfriend and I were out on the boat recently and I received a spontaneous phone call from my friend to meet up with them at Tices, a place on the bay where boats tie up and hang. While there, my one friend asked “so what is it that you want to do.” I stated that I would love to just teach yoga because I love to help people but it does not pay enough and there are no benefits. She suggested the field of Physical Therapy, helping those recover from injuries. Ding Ding Ding! A light went off.  Why have I not thought of this before? I get to help people and the pay/benefits are great! Perfect, I am going to be a Physical Therapy Assistant. So, two weeks and a placement test later (yes I literally did this last minute) my 30 year butt walked into my first round of classes.

I must say this was exciting yet scary at the same time. First off, I have not been to school in forever. The college I went to out of high school was a fashion school. Obviously none of my previous credits consisting of “history of polka dots” transferred so I am literally starting from scratch.

I had a few mental breakdowns not going to lie. Long talks with family, friends, students, and my man…gave me the courage to put one foot in front of the other and just do it. The last week, I put my self through torture with the stupidest fears that I created in my own head.

Can I do it? OMG Im going to be the oldest person in class. Im totally going to look like a loser. Ugh people at 34 have babies and homes and ill be sitting here broke and just getting out of school. God this shit is expensive…bye bye savings. I always was the worst in math there is no way I am going to be able to do COLLEGE LEVEL MATH. OMG I forget how to do fractions?! Shit. What if I can’t pass? WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE. People take notes with their laptops? OMG Do I have to bring mine? Can’t I just use a good old fashion notebook? I can’t take notes on my laptop ill be too distracted! Will I be labeled the oldie by taking notes in a notebook? Since when were laptops allowed in classrooms. Am I going to be able to understand? Ugh my spelling is horrible. Will I be able to find the class room? I missed the target sale on school supplies.  JESUS CHRIST. 

I am a firm believer of positive thoughts and the power of intentions. I always practice what I preach, but for some reason I could not help myself and let my fears that I created get the best of me with these super silly thoughts.

AGAIN, Funny how the universe works.  In my first class today I met my English Teacher who I am now obsessed with. She shared her inspiring story with us on how she went to college late in life worked hard and is now a professor. She reiterated to me that ” you’re never too old to start”. Duh! Thats my life motto! All fears aside now, and a laugh or too later I am super excited for this journey and all that is to come 🙂

Thank you to my support group for always cheering me on during all of my “new” endeavors and being the voice of reason. Sometimes y’all talk me off a ledge. Love ya long time.

Always remember you’re not a mess, you’re brave for trying. Even though you may not be quite ready for change be brave. The universe always rewards the brave. Never let your fear decide your future. If I were to listen to my fears I would have never started this journey or have all the amazing experiences I have been able to have in my life so far.

P.S no one was taking notes with a laptop.

XOXO

CC

My MUST Have Essential Oils…and how I use them.

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Essential Oils have been used for centuries to help cure illnesses, spiritually ground, and often used for beauty purposes. When I first became interested in using them, I was blown away by all the different brands, and was unsure of where to start. Through trial and error I have finally found oils, blends, and a brand I prefer. I personally like Young Living because they are convenient, they are all natural, and you can ingest them, literally “Seed to Seal.”  Keep in mind though, it is a personal choice!

Peppermint: This is probably my MOST used oil. I use this along with lemon and lavender to help relieve my allergy symptoms. If I am sore from a workout, or am sick and have body aches, I will add two drops to my bath. I also can not get on a plane without it. I usually put a tad bit under my nose, since airplanes tend to have an unpleasant smell to me. Also I am huge on peppermint tea, so if I run out of tea bags or a place does not have peppermint tea I can place a drop in hot water.

Lemon: I use this along with peppermint and lavender to help relieve my allergy symptoms.  I also like to diffuse this oil by itself because it leaves a room feeling fresh and clean.

Lavender: Again, I use this along with peppermint and lemon to help relieve my allergy symptoms.

Tea Tree:  I defuse this a lot in the wintertime to help fight off any viral infections. If I do catch a cold I rub this oil on the bottom of my feet at bedtime each night. It is also used to treat skin issues, and is the best for taking the itch out of a bug bite. I’m not a huge fan of the smell so I only use it when I need it.

White Angelica: I use this oil every time I teach, so basically I use this oil almost everyday.  As a teacher you are subjected to everyone’s emotions in a room. This oil is a blend of essential oils that calm and soothe, promote feelings of strength and protection, and blocks against any negative energy. As teachers we are healers. People come to yoga for many different reasons but they all have one thing in common…they are looking for a release, looking for some comfort and looking at you for some guidance. I have had students who suffer from severe depression, anxiety, going through divorces, death, sickness, etc. I am an emotionally sensitive person, and because I touch each and every one of my students, their energy definitely radiates through me. Sometimes energies can be overbearing and sometimes these energies have nothing to do with my personal feelings. By applying this oil topically, it helps to keep my aura in check, so that I have nothing but positive vibes to exchange with my students to help them through any tough time they may be going through or feeling.

Myrrh: This oil is a pricey, but it’s my favorite to use for meditation.  I also like to put a few drops when I draw a bath. I love to defuse this scent since it reminds me of Christmas, so obviously it makes me smile.

Thieves: This oil is a must for me because it is specifically designed to support the body’s natural defenses supporting a healthy immune system and energizing the body. I also combine Thieves and RC after any traveling to cleanse the lungs to prevent any respiratory sicknesses.

RC: This oil helps energize before a busy day or workout, so I usually will rub some on my chest when I am lacking energy. Again, after any kind of travel, I combine Thieves and RC  to cleanse the lungs to prevent any respiratory sicknesses.

Frankincense:  This oil is a little pricy so I use it sparingly. I like to diffuse this if I have a stressful day, the scent is calming. This scent also reminds me of Christmas, so smiles are present where this scent is smelled! I also use this on my face if I have a blemish, and have used this on my scars – it works wonders! I like to diffuse this while practicing or teaching yoga since it grounds you spirituality. Frankincense acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier, so I diffuse this when I have a cough or cold.

XOXO

CC

 

 

Scotland 6.17

As per usual my friend Chrissy called me back in December advising there is a cheap nonstop flight through Delta going to Scotland, $457.26 to be exact. As per usual tickets were immediately booked, Scotland has always been on my bucket list!

Last month five girlfriends and I left for JFK on a Thursday night, and 6 hours later (mixed with insane turbulence) we awoke in Scotland thank god! We picked up our sweet ride at Enterprise and were off to see the Castles. FYI in Scotland they drive on the other side of the road. There were some close calls but I must say Chrissy did a great job navigating.

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First stop was Stirling Castle:

Second stop Edinburgh Castle:

We then drove to our B&B in the country side in Stirling and literally stayed in a stable. The outside was a dream…inside not so much. It was funny after the fact but note to self, never book an Airbnb that shows only one image of the inside.

The next morning we awoke early and set out for our top secret excursion. Every trip we take, my friend Chrissy always tests our limits and books some kind of adventure never telling us what or where we are going and doing until we get there. Talk about nerves! We always harass Chrissy to give us clues but she never budges.

 On our way to our “Secret Excursion” we stopped a few times over by the Highlands to explore the beautiful scenery. I must say the drive was stunning. The green rolling hills looked like something out of a movie…totally breathtakingly beautiful. I was completely obsessed and in love with all the little lambs.

We finally arrived in Glencoe and came to this little beach town called Oban which was super cute. We were told to strip in our mini van and get in our bikinis. Next thing I know another mini van pulls up and starts unloading all this equipment including helmets and wetsuits…panic sets in. 

I am informed I am going “Coasteering“. Coasteering is basically rock climbing on the side of the cliff with the ocean underneath you. We had an amazing instructor who put all our fears to rest. It was super fun and talk about a work out! It truly was a one of a kind of experience. I never heard of Coasteering before and I am pretty sure you can only do it there. At the end we all faced our fears and jumped off one of the high cliffs. ( I swear it looked higher in person then it appears on my video! ) 

For those looking for something different to do in Scotland you MUST reach out to Hebridean Pursuits to book your perfect adventure!

After a fun filled day in the ocean risking our lives we headed to our second B&B in Lochearnhead. IT. WAS. STUNNING. The charming Victorian cottage was built in the 1800’s. This place was full of history even still having the servant’s bells. The grounds were full of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen and the cottage over-looked the river. The inside had the cutest bedrooms equipped with vanities and floral decor, bathrooms with clawfoot tubs which I obviously loved, gorgeous dining room overlooking the river, sitting room etc. The hosts were incredibly nice and welcoming. This was literally one of the best places I have ever stayed at. 

That night we went to a local pub overlooking the river.  I tried the Cullen Skink soup, a thick Scottish soup made of smoked haddock, potatoes and onions which was amazing.

The view at 10pm:

Before leaving for the airport to head home we were treated to an amazing breakfast in the formal dining room overlooking the river with all the bells and whistles. Scotland was amazing, the sights were unforgettable and the company couldn’t have been better. To see our full adventure check out my video! Cant wait for out next adventure together ❤

                          

A few tips:

  • Kitchens close usually by 9PM so if your looking to eat out go before then 
  • Driving is on the opposite side of the road
  • Bring an eye mask if your sensitive to falling asleep with light…depending on the time of year it stays light until 10PM and the sun rises at 4AM
  • It’s a constant mix of rain and sunshine so proper footwear is a must 

Airline Ticket $457.26
Airport Parking $20.00 

B&B’s/Car Rental/Coasteering:  $285.00

Food and shopping $100.00

Total: $862.26

XOXO

CC

 

 

 

Book Review: Killers of the Flower Moon 

By David Grann

I have always loved to read about history, so when this book was an option for my book of the month club it obviously was my first choice. This is my first book I have read discussing the American Indians and the injustice they faced on American soil. It covered the Osage tribe and the suspicious murders that took place during the early 20th century. It also discussed the birth of the FBI. It was a page turner for sure and I must say this will not be my last book regarding American Indian history and the Wild West.

XOXO

CC

 

6/2/15

The story of dreaming and becoming Auntie CC

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Once upon a time future Auntie CC was in California for a month visiting her cool cousins.  The night before she was coming home, future Auntie CC had a vivid dream that she was holding a baby girl in her arms at a family holiday party.  This cute little baby had defined eyebrows that looked just like her sisters, perfect little shaped eyes and miniature pouted lips. Future Auntie CC felt a love that was indescribable towards this child like maybe it was her own? That couldn’t be because future Auntie CC was not close to getting married let alone dating anyone.

When future Auntie CC awoke she immediately called her sister…it had to be her who was going to have a baby, after all she was the one with her life together! (lol) Future Auntie CC told her sister about the dream and asked her sister if she was pregnant. Her sister dismissed it and said she was out of her mind.

The next day, future Auntie CC arrived home from Cali. Fifteen minutes after arriving home her sister was at her door with tears in her eyes saying “YES” she was “very newly pregnant” like a few days pregnant! Future Auntie CC dropped to the ground in shock and excitement, her dream was literally coming true.

In October future Auntie CC had her first trip ever planned to Italy. She was nervous because she didn’t want to be so far away form her sister and the baby but she was on the hunt for the perfect gift to give her niece the day she was born.

In Italy while visiting her friend Chrissy who lived there at the time, future Auntie CC took a day trip to Venice by herself.  She had a beautiful time roaming the streets and exploring. It was there she found the perfect gift, a pair of handmade white booties.

A gondola ride and three gelato’s later, future Auntie CC wound up stumbling upon a beautiful church in the middle of the city.  She sat for hours chatting with God and enjoying the peace this little church brought her. Her talk with God basically went like this: ” Please God keep the baby and my sister healthy for the next 9 months…and if you could make the baby a girl then that would be super great…no pressure..health first but also please make the baby a girl…K thanks.”

The whole time up until the gender reveal party future Auntie CC referred to the baby as “she”. As the party was approaching future Auntie CC realized she better start acting like she was ok with the baby being a “boy” as well just incase.  Even at the party future Auntie CC acted like she though it was a boy. Well I guess you can tell how over the moon she was by the picture below that it was a girl. Again…her dream was proving to be true.

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Future Auntie CC had to leave for Bali that night for her teacher training and let me tell you, getting on that plane was the hardest thing she ever did.  She didn’t want to be away from her sister and “Baby She.” During her time in training future Auntie CC was required to meditate. Lets just say meditation was the hardest part of teacher training because all she could think about was all the fun things her and the “Baby She” were going to do together.

 June 2nd 2015. Auntie CC ran down the hospital hall into the room and saw this little perfect peanut resting on her sisters chest…the baby she saw in her dream! Same eyes, same eyebrows full little lips. It was her. Beautiful baby Elle.

In the story of my life, you little Elle are the best part. Forever and for always you’ll have my whole heart.  Happy 2nd Birthday to my whittle princess…no matter how old you get you will alway be my baby.

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(I made sure to wear a tube top so Elle and I could also have skin to skin bonding time)

XOXO

Auntie CC

Beach Yoga!

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I am beyond excited to share with y’all that I will be teaching beach yoga this summer in Lavallette through Breathe Life Sangha Yoga Studio. Classes will take place on the oceanfront at Trenton Ave every Thursday through Sunday, 7:30 – 8:30AM. We have a great line up of amazing teachers from the studio set up to teach. Classes are open to all levels and cost $10.00 for a drop in. Children under 13 are free.  (please bring cash)

To sign in online, more information or to view the schedule visit their website: www.BreatheLifeSangha.com

Dates I am teaching:

Saturday June 17th

Friday July 7th 

Saturday July 22nd

Saturday August 5th

Friday August 11th 

Saturday September 2nd 

Friday September 8th 

Tips:

  • Make sure your wearing waterproof sunscreen so if you sweat it does not run in your eyes.
  • Bring a large beach towel as a mat.
  • Don’t forget water for hydration
  • Bug spray incase there are flies
  • Bring your friends!

So so looking forward to this and hope to see you on your mat at the sea!

XOXO

CC

 

Biggest Bit of Advice 

This quote couldn’t be more true. I can’t even tell you how many times I said yes to something I wasn’t sure of or ready to do, and those moments have brought me the greatest experiences of my life and much happiness. 

Such as the times at work I would say “Yes! I know how to do that” and totally didn’t and would google and guess but it all worked out in the end and I looked more expierenced and learned a thing or too. 

Or when I said “yes” to going on a boat one sunny August day even though I didn’t want too because I was exhausted from recent travel. Winds up I met my soulmate that day. 

And when I said “yes” to South Africa not really understanding what I was getting myself into, and was lucky enough to have had a experience of A LIFE TIME and be one with the animals. 

Or when I said “yes” to visiting this girl Chrissy who was living in Italy when I quit my job. Last time I really knew her was in 8th grade! That trip, we fastly became bffs for life and have collected amazing memories together while traveling the world. 

When you get the flutter of uneasiness in the pit of your stomach like you don’t know what your about to do…always say YES! The risk will be worth it. 

XOXO 

CC