Six Pack Sunday: Enjoy the Ride

We’re coming to the end of an era, folks.  By we, I mean the royal we, as in only I am. But you probably know what I’m saying.

I’ve got 2ish days left until my Costa Rica trip.

5 days left in the office.

12 days left until an epic Florida vacation with Ryan’s family.

And 18ish days left until I make my move (the first part, at least) to the shore for the month of July.

WHOAH JAM!

Until then, I’m going to take the advice of my friends over at New Belgium Brewery and Enjoy the Ride.  So that’s what this week’s Six Pack Sunday is all about!

(PS read through all six for a HUGE surprise at the end! Unless you follow me on Twitter, then it’s less surprising.)

1. Soaking Up the Sun (or the rain?)

So yeah, that Costa Rica trip? Here’s the forecast:

Lookin’ GOOD!

I’ll be honest, though. It could rain every second of the trip and I’m sure I’ll have a blast. I’ll be with my best friend, going on all sorts of adventures.

That being said, cross your fingers, your toes, your legs, your hair (maybe braid it?) that it clears up.  Because we ladies like to get some sunshine now and then.

Recreating our favorite 2005 photo op

2. A Fond Farewell

I had to say farewell to my favorite Zumba instructor of all time (guess what color she was!), Aaron, this Tuesday. It was her last Tuesday class, and my last week at the gym. Though there’s a slim possibility I may take one last class with her, it still felt like goodbye.

She’s also the tiniest

I enjoyed every class I’ve ever taken with her, and wherever she teaches next is getting on hell of a instructor!  Instead of dwelling on the sadness, we rocked out an excellent booty shaking class. Obviously, this sweaty picture was snapped after class.

3. New(new) Lulu

Isn’t it… beautiful?

So lululemon has a new location.  AND it’s virtually in my backyard.  The Durham lululemon just opened up on Friday.  And I may have visited two times already.  I’ve been working very hard the past few weeks on the Healthiest You Challenge, so instead of freaking about the cost, I decided to reward myself with some goodies.

The second time, I walked out with a brand new pair of reversible groove shorts and scoop neck tank (in a pattern not shown on the website. It’s rather adorable, so I’m sure I’ll show it off soon.)

4. Spades Spaz

I played Spades for the first time last night. And my first hand may have been the worst hand known to mankind.

Spells trouble

Luckily, the my partner and I rallied and this newb totally WON her first game ever! It got a little intense, but I managed to let the competitive monster that lives inside of me take the night off in favor of just having fun.  And it paid off.  I liked it. More mellow (but I still won.)

5. Frat So Hard

What happens when a bunch of St. Anthony Hall members live in the Triangle?

We inevitably find the frattiest place in Chapel Hill and invade it en masse.

I literally almost bumped into some of my brothers at the Carolina Inn’s Fridays on the Front Porch, and even though they all hail from Ole Miss, they found their way to our little Southern Part of Heaven.  I love Chapel Hill.

6. I won a bike.

Wait. Let me fix that.

I won THIS BIKE:

Oh yes, you will be mine.

New Belgium’s Enjoy the Ride campaign encouraged their followers to tweet a story that embodied the “Enjoy the Ride” slogan.  And so I did just that.

foodsweatnbeers: It was the end of the boardwalk, but the beginning of ride. Sisters, sweat, sand, and sun. #EnjoyTheRide @newbelgiumhttp://pic.twitter.com/vMo81Nvx

Guess who won the first bike of the campaign?!?!?!?!

THIS GIRL!!

That’s a shot from me at last year’s Tour de Fat in Durham. And as a lover of New Belgium AND bikes, I couldn’t be more excited!! Stay tuned for tales of me cruising the shore on the flyest bike in the world.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever won?

Because this bike definitely takes the cake for me.

Do you like card games? Board games? Mind games?

Six Pack Sunday: The Calm Before the Storm

Hey there all!! Late night for this lady, but all is well considering it’s been a relaxing and lazy weekend.

I had a great time with the Lulus from Lululemon at Durham’s Salutation Nation on Saturday, and felt sore as the high dickens all day today. Luckily, there was LOTS of sleeping, lots of good foods, and I have some fun bits and pieces for this week’s Six Pack Sunday.

1.  Home = Shredding HQ

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m Shredding for the Wedding (of my cousin). And since she just called and asked me to do a reading… I wanna look extra fierce.  I’ve been working it real hard, though maybe not the most effective as I’ve been giving into edible temptations quite a bit. The best part of working out at home, though?

Fierce sock fashion

No one there to see me sweat!! My fashion now consists of socks that don’t match, purple shorts and green shirts, and “I don’t care” dirty tank tops. No qualms with a slightly stinky shirt… no one to impress. Other than Jillian, that judgey broad. Well, she can suck it.

2. Sunshine in a Windowless World

Sometimes, no matter how much you love your job, there’s something missing. In my life, that something… is a window.  I’ve learned to make due, though, with a fancy new friend.

Baby Palm Tree!

Ok, I know it’s not a palm tree. But it’s a bamboo tree, it’s a bit of sunshine in my windowless office.

Hey! In additional green thumbery, my basil plant’s growing flowers!!

I've never seen this IRL before!!

Since most green things I own immediately die upon entering my house (some might say I have a black thumb), this is a NEW RECORD!

3. Lulu Envy

Since I’m spending most of my workouts in my home, lately, I apparently have fallen behind the fashion trends for yoga folks.

Turbo Tanks = Latest Style

These Lululemon Turbo Tanks were…. EVERYWHERE!! I have to admit, I can see why. There must’ve been over a dozen of these puppies in the park, and they look so cute. I want it… Minus the $52 price tag, that is. Yeesh. Yoga’s pricey.

4. Pie Pushers Pizza and Pickles

So maybe two reasons why I’m not making quite the progress I was hoping for?

Chicken and Local Bell Peppers Slice = Di-VINE!

I’m ashamed to say that this was my first time trying a slice of Pie Pushers pizza. Man, I’ve been missing out!!

My slice after my day of yoga was to-die-for!!

Love that chalkboard menu!

My slice featured pesto, caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella, chicken, and bell peppers. I can’t even gush about it enough.

Also on my Saturday menu (following a little trip to Aviator Brewery):

Fried Pickle Spears

Another first for me, fried pickle SPEARS, not slices, were top notch and totally juicier than their disk-like counterparts.  Who knows? Maybe one day, I’ll enjoy some sort of pickle that isn’t deep fried…. (but not likely).

Oh my goodness, I’m now so excited for the NC State Fair I can hardly think straight. Anyone wanna join me October 20th?

5. Planning Polly

It’s not too often that I do this, but I decided to plan some meals for the week.  Tonight, I whipped up three blackened Mahi Mahi filets (2 for dinner tonight, and one for tomorrow) and some delightful looking fried rice, inspired by Beth’s Veggie Fried Rice Recipe (inspired by Beth’s Journey, my newest WW Idol courtesy of her speaking panel during the Healthy Living Summit.)

This week is stacking up to be delicious

The top tupperware USED to contain Johnson’s Caramel Popcorn thanks to the wedding of my cousin, Damon, and his beautiful bride, Melissa . I’ll admit, I’d rather be eating the caramel corn, a favorite treat from Ocean City, NJ than vegggie rice but…. hey, soon enough, right?

6. The Worst Commercial on TV Right Now

Oh. my. goodness.

WHAT IS THIS?!

Chances are, if you’re not watching marathons of iCarly and Victorious like I do all the time since I live sans beau now, you might not ever see this commercial. You are a lucky, lucky human.

For all the rest of you, may God have mercy on your soul.

Kachooz Kachatz, you are tiny, furry demons and your voice is a blight on our planet.

I’m off to watch some Forrest Gump and feel so proud to be an American on this 9/11/11.

I just watched the part where he shows off his buttocks. I die.

Have you seen any truly heinous commercials, lately?

Do you have a green thumb or a black one, like me?

Salutation Nation 2011: Durham, NC

Happy Sunday, Yogi Bears!!

As I tweeted bright and early, yesterday morning:

I was lucky enough to spend the day before 9/11 in a most peaceful setting, and that setting was at the infamous Durham Bull’s Athletic Park during Salutation Nation, a never ending ommmmmm!

Bright and early, I drove into downtown Durham, NC to park and head over to join my fellow Yogis for some Salutation Nation.

Described by Lululemon, Salutation Nation is:

· An annual, international day of yoga
· Complimentary
· Open to all levels
· Led by local yoga ambassadors
· In the Triangle, led by Jill Sockman (Raleigh), Christine Wall (Durham), Tina Ventrella (Cary), and Lori Burgwyn (Chapel Hill).

Invited by my friend Patty, we were pretty sure that the yoga was going to be a class perfect for a newbie like myself. I think that I’ve been to about 5-7 yoga classes before this but hey, outdoor yoga, why the heck not?!

I wasn’t sure if I was definitely going to the right place. Then, I saw this in front of me.

Oh, wait, definitely in the right direction.

I parked and headed over to my first true visit to the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Only I never thought I’d be going to do yoga….

Take me out to the ballpark!

A little early for beer, even for me.

The event started at 9 am, so I wanted to make sure I was there to get a good spot.

All set up, and ready for action!

Good spots were at a premium, as some folks came with giant crews of fellow yogis!

BYOC(rew)

I’ll admit, I may have talked a little smack re: my past experiences with yoga not being very enjoyable or, very hardcore, and the fellow next to me was getting a little sassy. I mentioned that it was very rare that I ever had broken a sweat in a yoga class.

“Clearly, she hasn’t been to any of my yoga classes.”

Clearly.

The Lulus, as I’ll affectionately call them, were the lululemon gals and instructors who were in the front of the crowd with loudspeakers blaring. They got us all organized and ready to pose.

Little Lu-whos!

The first instructor had a pretty wordy intro during which we were supposed to find a partner. Well, I guess the karma gods of yoga got back at me by making sure that I was one of the only single gals in the crowd.

Awkward.

Luckily, a dear woman, Martha, scampered over and was my yogi-buddy, joining me on my mat to share an experience pairing our breath together as we were all told the point of Salutation Nation was for all of us to realize we’re brothers and sisters on this planet. It was a nice way to start the practice.

I was thankful for my Toe Sox initially, as the morning dew left me a little slippery.

Slipping is a no-no for this balanceless yogi.

I’ll admit, while I loved doing yoga outdoors, maybe more than I have in any other environment, the North Carolina early autumn quickly heated up.  Definitely got rid of those sox a little early in the game.

The poses were challenging, and although several women and men confessed to having never been to a yoga class in their lives, the instructors went through them very fast and, most of the time, without explanation.

Thankfully, Mr. Sassy Yoga Instructor was right next to me, and he knew everything from Warrior Two to Happy Baby.’

He looked exactly like this. (Click for Source)

I definitely broke a sweat in this 1.5 hour practice, and REALLY stretched out. I held poses longer than I have in the past, my triceps are super sore today, and the sun beat down on me reminding me that, yes, I was out in the elements, being one with nature.

It was pretty fantastic to wear sunglasses during yoga, it was great to hear “Oms” vibrating through the ballpark, and the attitude of everyone was great. We even enjoyed a moment of careful thought about those affected by 9/11, which meant a lot to me, to just relax and think and be both alone and together in my thoughts.

It’s events like these that remind me why I love being part of a community like the Triangle, and Durham more specifically. Afterwards, we headed over to the Durham Farmer’s Market for pizza from Pie Pushers and muffins from Scratch Bakery. It was the perfect way to start my weekend, and the best way to be part of an amazing community event.

Oh, and I got to tree pose with Wool E. Bull.

So flexible, that Bull.

Did you participate in Salutation Nation anywhere near you? 

Have you ever done yoga outdoors?