It took me a year and a half to finally step up to my yoga challenge goal – but I did it! During November, I redeemed my Groupon for a free month of yoga at Yoga Union in SE Portland. Technically I cheated, since I didn’t do a 30-day experience… it was more like four times a week. However, this is my goal and I can complete it how I wish.
I’ve done plenty of yoga over the years but usually not more than once a week. My goal was to go enough that I would develop a routine and really move forward in my “practice.” The fact that I was living by myself in November made it a perfect time to devote some energy to yoga and really center myself in preparation for the life changes ahead. (Moving!)
Things I learned from my yoga challenge:
- Teachers DO matter – and a higher-quality studio generally means higher-quality teachers.
- I love hot yoga.
- The different styles of yoga are actually very different. I enjoyed every class I went to, but particularly the restorative classes on weekdays and more intense/energetic classes like hot yoga or prana vinyasa on the weekends.
- I can focus for 90 minutes! No really, I had never attended a yoga class longer than 60 minutes. Most of the Yoga Union classes are 90 minutes. The time flew by!
Overall, this was a great experience. And one of my favorite habits was extending my post-yoga “me time” with a chai tea latte or a walk on Mount Tabor! I would definitely consider another yoga-intensive experience.
My 30 before 30 quest is officially over, but I plan on checking a few more goals off the list in the coming year. I may even make a new list … 31 before 31? 12 in 2012? At any rate, here’s one I finally got done.
My goal was to go on a group scooter ride or rally, that is ride with someone, anyone, just not alone! Well, good news: my awesome husband purchased a scooter in October. We took a few rides together before he moved to Hawaii and it was amazingly cool. We may have to start our own scooter gang.
Scootering – it’s even more fun with a friend!
Put your pencils down – time is officially up on my 30 before 30 list. I completed 17 of the 30 items, which leaves 13 undone. This was such a fun experience and I feel incredibly accomplished, despite my measly 60 percent completion rate!
My favorite 30 before 30 “tasks” would have to be: visiting Greece and Turkey, getting a smartphone, being bold enough to make a career change, and sticking to my commitment to reading 13 books in 13 weeks.
Here’s a recap of my list, including a report on the items I’d still like to complete:
1. Eat (hyper) local for a week. I still plan to do this, hopefully during harvest season so the food is as cheap as free.
2. Spend a day at the spa. Yes, please. Sign me up.
Deleted: 3. Buy a new house
4. Start strength training
5. Create a wedding album (eight years and counting)
6. Start a blog, website or side project
7. Create a cozy mini-office at home
8. Volunteer. Shame on me for not finding a good cause to volunteer for. Maybe next year.
9. Do the Apartment Therapy Spring Cure. I have an alibi – they didn’t do the Spring Cure this year. And I have been really good about home purging and organizing!
10. Make a plan to start a family
11. Go to a comedy show
12. Learn CPR. This wasn’t the most glamorous thing for my list, but it could come in handy.
13. Cook a 5-course meal and have a dinner party
14. Do a 30-day yoga experience. I’ll pick a month, I promise.
15. Attend a cooking class
16. Go rafting or sailing
17. Learn how to change a diaper. I’ll cross it off this summer. I’d rather it be a friend’s baby as opposed to approaching a total stranger and asking if I can change their little rugrat’s diaper. Gross!
18. Run a 10k or 1/2 marathon. I feel so guilty. I really want to do another race. I will someday.
19. Get a smart smartphone – or iPhone
20. Visit Turkey, Greece or the Adriatic Sea
21. Make work meaningful or make a career move
22. Go backpacking. If I had an alternate, it would be “learn to ride a road bike,” which I did.
23. Get a full set of grown up dishes. Next few months?
24. Visit 3 National Parks
25. Read 13 books in 13 weeks
26. Take a day or two off work (holidays and vacations don’t count)
27. Try a new class at the gym and the remix
28. Get a dog. I soooo wanted a dog last year. But right now they seem like a lot of work. I’m quite happy with my kitteh.
29. Learn the Tittibhasana (Firefly) pose. I need to complete #14. They go hand-in-hand.
30. Attend a scooter rally or go on a group ride. Excuses, excuses. I’ve tried on this one, but there doesn’t appear to be an active scooter club or gang in Portland. I’ll keep looking.
It was great fun to create this list and track along with it through the year, focusing on trying new things and documenting my experiences. I definitely plan to keep working on my list. Who knows, I might even make a “31 before 31” list!
This goal had me singing “from sea to shining sea…” I love national parks and thought I should check a few more off my list before I turn thirty. My goal was to visit three new (to me) national parks.
Last year, I started scoping out the National Park Service’s handy find a park map, because I’m a huge nerd who plans out each national park siege in great detail. Oregon has a five national parks, sites, monuments and historic places, but I think the only real national park is Crater Lake National Park. I knew I’d be heading out of state to tackle this goal!
- Haleakala National Park (April 2011)
We missed a sunrise at the crater this year, but we did drive around the entire mountain. After the road to Hana, we continued on the Hana/Piilani Highway and enjoyed the transition between lush rainforest and harsh volcanic landscape. It was like driving from paradise to the moon! We even found some adorable little mountain goats scampering up the cliffs. Bliss.
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area (May 2011)
Highlight of my year – sleeping at a National Park. We spent a weekend in San Francisco during May and were able to stay at Cavallo Point Lodge, which is the site of the historic Fort Baker. I also fell in love with the Golden Gate Bridge during our stay (who doesn’t?). Other than the typical city touring, we spent a day biking from downtown San Francisco to Sausalito and spent another morning exploring the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marin Headlands and Point Bonita Lighthouse.
- San Juan Island National Historic Park (May 2011)
I checked this off during an amazing Memorial Day bicycling trip to the San Juans. We spent two days riding around the island, exploring Friday Harbor, relaxing and checking out eye candy yachts.
That wraps up my national parks trek. This is definitely something I’d like to keep doing, maybe I’ll try to hit at least one new national park each year. Love!
I hosted a dinner party for six with this vegetarian Cinco de Mayo menu. Shamefully, I was too busy cooking to take photos of my food!
We started with a simple wild greens salad with a citrus vinaigrette dressing. Then I served two soups: creamy corn soup and vegetarian tortilla soup, with garnishes of tortilla strips, scallions, lime, avocado, green pepper, cilantro, pepper jack cheese and jalapeno. The corn soup is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food cookbook and it was super runny! I’m not sure I’d make it again, but thankfully there was plenty of food to go around and great garnishes so no one seemed to notice. I don’t have a “go to” recipe for vegetarian tortilla soup since I usually use up what I happen to have, but sometimes I combine this one and this one.
I also made a “chicken” taco casserole, a special recipe from Mr. Comma Happy’s mom. It’s bad for you, but a crowd-pleaser. We had several drink choices, but I think Mexican Coke and Jarritos are the only ones worth mentioning. The perfect dessert for this menu is churros with chocolate dipping sauce (including a kick of paprika and red pepper).
Overall, a great dinner party and something I need to plan more often. Who can resist a themed dinner?