Category Archives: Life

Life Lately: 1/17/16

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Another week into 2016 and not only has it been another amazing week, but it has been such a busy week. I’m still waiting for my body to get accustomed to my new routine and not be so tired with my earlier wake up time, but until then I just have to keep pushing through.

Wearing
7bfc4d38-b972-4f04-b83f-3b47699eedcbThis week was another great week for planning out and wearing a variety of outfits, but with something almost every night I spent quite a few mornings rushing around in a sleepy hurry so I’m not quite as proud of my hair and makeup game this week.

Reading
I had something almost every night this week so not a whole lot of reading got done, but I did start a new audiobook, How Doctor’s Think, which has been really interesting, just not quite as much as some of my recent reads.

Listening To
I couldn’t just pick a song or two this week so instead I’m sharing my January 2016 playlist thus far.

Wanting
More hours in the day and more days in the week. Don’t get me wrong I am in love with my new job and the schedule and opportunities that come along with it, but this week was crazy and my body is not used to the new wake up time yet so I feel like I ended up looking around Saturday afternoon realizing I got all of nothing done on some personal projects.

Working On
My flexibility, by doing my stretching routine more often. Now that I’m working out more often I’m trying to be extra diligent about stretching out more so I don’t end up hurting myself which seems to be a theme in my life when I start working out more often.

 

Now I would love to hear, what have you been up to lately? Tried anything out you are dying to share?

Weekly Inspiration #2

I got this video from my brother recently and have watched it a handful of times already. It has inspired me to work harder and better and to not give up on myself. I have gone through many times in my life when I get content and stop trying as hard, I think we all go through those periods, but as long as we are still alive there is no reason to stop moving forward. I hope this video will inspire you to keep pushing and going after your dreams instead of giving into excuses and settling for something that doesn’t make you truly happy, like it has for me.

My dream is to help others discover their best version and become that version of themselves. To inspire others to be their best by being my best. I want to help others and make a positive impact in this world. I want to be a leader, create something that improves the lives of others. I am working on that daily, one step at a time by being true to myself and pushing myself to work harder and create solutions that make the world better. It isn’t something that will happen over night, but it is something that I can do if I set my mind to it.

What is your dream? What are you going to do this week to move closer to you unleashing your full potential and reaching that goal?

Life Lately: 1/9/16

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I really wanted to incorporate more outfits into the blog this year, but I didn’t want to just throw in normal outfit posts. I also wanted to start talking about what I’ve been reading and other things along those lines, but I just didn’t know how to fit it all in, especially when I’m working on simplifying my life. Then I had an “aha” moment while reading Bri’s weekly Trav and Bri Recently post and decided to do something similar. I thought it would be fun to be able to look back on these as well as share all of the things that I want to share each week. So, without further ado, what I’ve been up to lately.

Wearing
58beeaee-b668-4877-91cc-7d5a6ab98999Monday | Jeans from ExpressFlats by MiaTank Top from Express (on sale) – Blazer from Forever 21 – Scarf from Old Navy
Tuesday | Leggings from Forever 21 – Boots from DSW – Shirt from Old Navy – Coat from BP at Nordstrom
Wednesday | Jeans from ExpressHeels by Breckelle’s (different color) – Sweater from Forever 21 – Button Up from Daily Look
Thursday | Leggings from Forever 21 – Boots by Diba (very very similar)Sweater from Patagonia – Scarf from Icing

Reading
This week I finished The First Phone Call From Heaven by Mitch Albom on audiobook, it was my first Mitch Albom book and I loved it, especially how much it made me think. I also started reading Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, and cannot wait to finish it up, it has been bringing back so much nostalgia to my favorite book, How to Kill a Mockingbird.

Listening To
My two favorite songs this week have been these two, they are a little random, but they’ve been practically on repeat on my Spotify this week:

Using Up
I used up a couple of sample foundations this week and as well as a pack of makeup removing wipes and hair cream, reviews below.

20160109_164918Olay Fresh Effects Face Wipes – I probably won’t be repurchasing these, they were fine, but not my favorites that I’ve used before.
Living Proof Thickening Cream – Definitely won’t be repurchasing. I don’t feel like this stuff did anything for my hair, and since I’ve been so used to the Aveda Pure Abundance Style Prep, it was an even bigger disappointment for this to not work anywhere near as well.
Clinique Stay Matte Foundation – I won’t be picking this up, for having the phrases “matte” and “oil-free” in it’s name this actually made me feel pretty oily all day and I don’t usually have that issue.
Josie Maran Argan Matchmaker Foundation – I loved this! I was a little unsure when it had no color to it and had little beads throughout, it almost felt exfoliating at first, but once I had it all on and blended it just made my skin look effortlessly flawless. This is definitely a light coverage foundation, but it basically looked like I wasn’t wearing anything yet covered up and evened out my skin.

Purchasing
While I didn’t purchase them this last week I did receive them on Monday, so that counts right, at least for the first one since I wasn’t doing this when I purchased it? Yes, maybe? Anyways, on Monday I got a package from Sephora containing a bunch of new face masks I got since all of mine were on their last leg. I’m super excited to start using these out.

20160104_211143Peter Thomas Roth Mask-A-HolicBoscia Bright White Mask

Loving
My new job! This was week one and it went so much better than I ever could have hoped for. I had pretty high hopes for this week, and it went so much better than even that. I definitely made the correct choice with my career.

Wanting
Honestly, nothing right now. After Christmas and then a little bit of after the holidays shopping for things I had been eyeing but didn’t receive like those face masks and my new FitBit. This category will have to wait for another week to shine.

Working On
Sticking to my new schedules. I’m not waking up at 6am, working out a couple times of week, and so many other things and although I stuck to it pretty well this week, week two is always harder than week one so this is definitely something I’m focusing on this week.

Doing
Pole dancing, and soon hopefully inverting, because today I passed into inversions and advanced spins and couldn’t be more excited! Unfortunately I don’t get to go back to dance tomorrow because I will instead be sitting at home on the couch cheering on my Seahawks.

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Looking Forward To
My new company put together a co-ed indoor soccer team and the first game is this week, so I’m really excited to get back out on the field.

Now I would love to hear, what have you been up to lately? Tried anything out you are dying to share?

Stretching Routine for the Inflexible

Hi, my name is Sarah Christine, and I am the worlds least flexible woman, nice to meet you. So that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but only a very slight bit. I honestly can’t remember a time in my life when i could touch my toes, I’m sure as a baby I could, because I don’t know any babies that can’t, so I can only assume that I was able to as well. Then at some point along the way I just kind of stopped being able to. I was the girl in middle school who cheated on the stretch test because I was so embarrassed to be by far the least flexible student in class. Flexibility is a big part of dance and so it has become an even bigger focus of mine to work on my flexibility since I started dancing. So today I wanted to share my stretching routine for all my other inflexible people out there working on being more flexible.

I do this routine a few nights a week, typically while I am watching TV. I don’t always do the full routine, but I do at least 75% of each time (different portions each time). If you want to follow along with me what you need for this routine are a foam roller and yoga blocks, past that just put on some comfy clothes and get ready to stretch it out.

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1. Lay flat on foam roller to stretch out back and chest
Make sure your whole spine is resting comfortably on the foam roller then lay your arms out to your side to open up your chest and stretch out your back. To get my spine aligned correctly I will tuck my knees towards my chest and lifting my pelvic bone so my spine lays completely flat on the roller before lowering my legs back down. On days when I’m feeling really tight my arms barely even make it all the way out to my sides, but it always feels good.

2. Roll side to side on foam roller to roll out back
From the same position as above I start rolling from side to side using my legs to support most of my weight as a shift from side to side. Depending on how tight I am feeling I will do this for a couple of seconds to a couple of minutes rolling out all the kinks.

3. Roll out back in and up and down motion
Next I shift the foam roller around the opposite direction and lying perpendicular to it I again use my legs for most of balance and roll up and down slowly releasing more tension. For this one I will start at my shoulder blades and roll up and down in small slow strokes only moving farther down my back when one area feels finished.

4. Roll out hips on each side
Using the exact same technique as I use to roll out my back in step 3 I turn on my side and roll out my hip, loosening up the muscles before we get into the stretching. Make sure and do this on both sides.

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5. Roll out inside of each leg
Once we have rolled out the outside of our legs above it is time to turn to the inner part of our legs and roll those out as well. This one feels a little awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it the amazing feeling of being loose far outweighs the awkward position you have to get into to do it. Just like with when we started rolling out our back on step 2, we just roll side to side on this one as well.

6. Roll out hamstrings and calves
For our final foam roller exercise we want to get our hamstrings and calves warmed and loosened up a bit. Sitting with one leg over the roller I just gently push the roller down along my leg lengthening out my hamstring and calf muscle a few times on each leg.

7. Cross leg hip stretch
For our first stretch we sit cross legged on the ground and push our chest out in front folding over our legs and reaching our arms out as far as we can. The best way to do this (and all these) stretch is to breath through it letting our breath determine how far we go. Instead of explaining this on each stretch I go into more detail about it below, it’s #3 in the things to keep in mind section at the bottom of this post. After I have finished going as far forward as I can keeping my hips squarely on the ground I will change the cross of my legs and do the same thing again focusing on the other hip.

8. Basic forward bend stretch
This one always makes me feel really because I also wish I could go farther than I can, but this is your basic forward bend stretch that we all know and hate love, and also a good point to talk about one of the tools I use to help me get into a deeper stretch than I could on my own: yoga blocks. You can use them on any of the stretches, but sitting up on a block or two helps pivot your hips forward allowing you to stretch a little deeper than you normally could while you are working on your flexibility.

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9. Four stretch on each side
Next we will focus on one side at a time curling the leg we are not focusing on underneath us so our two legs make a 4 shape on the ground. Again focusing on form and breathing we will lean towards the toes of the leg that is out stretched making sure to do the same stretch on both sides.

10. Hurdler stretch on each side
Similar to the four stretch above we will go one leg at a time having one leg outstretched and the other now curled behind us. The big difference here is that we want to make sure and square our hips so the leg stretched in front of us is directly in front of us, on the last one it was less important because we were working on more of a splay type of stretch. As you can see in the picture I am using another technique to help with this stretch, the two most important pieces of good stretch are that your chest is straight against your leg and that your leg is sitting flat on the ground, of course I cannot do both at the same time right now, so I will do both during a given stretch to focus on both my leg and lower back muscles. Starting with keeping my legs flat on the ground and leaning as far as I can and then as in the picture lifting my leg to meet my chest and then extending my leg as flat as I can while keeping my chest pressed to my leg.

11. Center splay
This might be my least favorite stretch because if I could snap my fingers and make myself more flexible in just one way it would be to have a wider splay. At dance when we sit in a splay I can barely hit a 90 degree angle between my legs while everyone else seems to be almost at a split and it can be very frustrating sometimes. Nonetheless the only way to get better at it is to keep practicing so I sit in my splay with my arms in front of me and breath through stretching my splay farther apart.

12. Raised hip splay
If the normal splay is my least favorite stretch, the raised hip splay may be my favorite. Laying on my back I used either the foam roller or a yoga block under my lower back to lift my hips off the ground and stretch into a splay here. Getting my hips off the ground allows me to go a little wider in a splay and I can focus on stretching my splay farther. Especially right after being discouraged by my lack of flexibility in the center splay being able to open wider on my back in this stretch always brings a smile to my face.

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13. Pigeon stretch each side
The pigeon stretch is another one of my favorites. You curl your front leg and stretch your back leg out straight behind you making sure to align your hips and then fold over the front leg stretching into your hip, if you are needing an extra deep hip stretch you can sit up in this position and fold the toes of your back leg underneath you lifting yourself slightly off the ground allowing you to press into your hips farther. As always make sure to do this on both sides.

14. Pigeon quad stretch each side
Starting in the pigeon stretch from above all you have to do is sit up and curl your back leg up grabbing it with your hand to stretch out your quad. Making sure to do the same on both sides, sometimes I will do a combination of 13 and 14 on one side before switching over to do both on the second side instead of doing both sides on one stretch at a time.

15. Froggy stretch
Last, but certainly not least, we have the froggy stretch. This one always feels awkward for me as well, but I know that it is helping my splay so I just focus on that since it is the one thing I want to work on more than anything else. Basically on your knees you open your hips as wide as they will go sinking down into this minor splay and lean forward to support your weight on your hands.

Some things to keep in mind during this, or any, stretching and rolling out routine are:
1. Be sure to drink lots of water. It is easy to not think of this routine as a hard workout, after all we aren’t getting are heart rate up the way we would if we went for a run, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a workout all the same. We are stretching our muscles and need to give them a chance to heal fully. Similarly to how they tell you to drink water after a massage, it is important to rehydrate after stretching and rolling out all our muscles.

2. No matter where you are at in your flexibility journey remember that it is exactly where your body needs you to be and focus on your form over pushing yourself past it’s limits. I am aware that my form looks less than ideal in some of these images and it is something I am working on, plus I quickly went through the routine to snap these pics instead of breathing into each stretch as I normally would, so follow my words on this one and focus on your form even if you don’t feel like you are stretching very far, over time it will make a huge difference.

3. Make sure and breath through each stretch, it can be tempting to just push forward as far as you can go and hold it, but it helps so much more if you follow your breath instead. I typically exhale fully as I slowly push into a stretch letting my breath determine when I have reached my limit, then I inhale relaxing out of my stretch a bit and breathing energy into my muscles, then push deeper into it with my next exhale repeating this process until I have gone as far as I can that day.

Are you as inflexible as I am? Do you focus on stretching weekly or is it something that gets lost in your life like it did in mine for so many years?

Weekly Inspiration #1

With the start of the year we find ourselves full of hopes and dreams. If you are anything like me you are brimming and boiling over with inspiration and ideas right now, ready to see what all 2016 can bring. This is a magical time of year when our curiosity is at it’s peak, when we are looking inward at ourselves and outward at all of the possibilities. For this very first Weekly Inspiration I wanted to embrace that feeling of wonder and excitement that comes with knowing that there is a big world out there where the possibilities are endless.

Week 1

Source: http://underwaterinart.com/post/7459486102/elena-kalis-underwater-photography

When I first saw this photo I instantly fell in love with it. The wonder and curiosity in the girl drew me in immediately. As we go into this first week of the new year, we are like that girl hovering just below the surface, the future lays before us, but right now all we can see is a blurred version of it. We have ideas, hopes, dreams, and plans for what the year will hold. We have set goals and desires for the year ahead, but we haven’t yet broken through the surface and what is on the other side could be exactly as we imagine, or completely different, we won’t know until we break through.

Today I start my first official day at my new job and I plan to go into it with the same curiosity and wonder as that girl above. What are you doing today, or this week? How will you bring the lesson from that image with you through whatever you do?

2016: A Year to be Inspired + A New Series

Last year I chose Balance as my word for 2015 and it has served me so well this year. So now that I am turning towards 2016 it is finally time to announce my word for the new year. I am hoping that the new word will mean just as much to me as the Balance did last year. This is a word that has meant a lot to me for awhile, although I don’t remember specifically it very well may have been in the running for my word last year. As soon as I thought about it this year there was absolutely no competition is was just a given that my word for 2016 would be: Inspire. It is a really important word for me, I think of it in two ways: being inspired and being inspiring.

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Being Inspired

One of the things I really want to work on is surrounding myself with positivity. This world can be so negative and with social media shoving so much information in our faces constantly it can sometimes be so easy to get swept up in it all and let it take you away. Recently I have cleaned out everything in my life both physically and digitally and I am now working oh phase two: adding positivity back in. When I thought of the word inspire I realized that by surrounding myself with things that inspire me I will naturally also be surrounding myself with positivity. So I am focusing on following people and things on social media that inspire me and put me in a place of inspiration. I am filling my life with items and people that inspire me in every way.

I am also actively trying to seek out things that inspire me and when I find them soaking them in instead of letting them just pass on by. As part of that I am starting a new series on the blog called Weekly Inspiration, every Monday I will post something that makes me feel inspired or that is inspiring me that week. It may be a picture, a quote, a song, an outfit, or any other number of things, the only rule is that it is something that has me feeling inspired.

Being Inspiring

The other side of the inspire coin is being inspiring. In the past I have found that the times I am most inspired by people is when they are just being their best or the times that I have been told I have inspired them is when I am doing my best. So this year I want to put some extra focus on being my best version and trying my hardest in all things so that I can inspire others to be and do their best as well.

Along with the image, quote, or whatever else that is inspiring me in the Weekly Inspiration posts on Monday’s I will also be sharing how that particular piece has inspired me and what I will be doing with that inspiration for the given week. I hope these posts will inspire you every week to be your best as well and I hope they open up conversation so we can all be inspired and become our bests together.

What is your word or resolution for 2016? 

Looking Back on 2015

Another year is coming to a close, which means it is that time to look back on all that the last year had in store, all that it meant to me, all that I learned and accomplished. I’ve thought a bit about how I wanted to go about this post because there are so many different ways I could do it. Music is an important part of my life, it helps me express exactly how I am feeling and I think there is a lot to learn from the songs that I listened throughout certain points in time. So between my seasonal playlists on Spotify (I made a new playlist every couple of months to track songs I was enjoying during that time) and the Spotify year in review I am going to piece together the story of my year.

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Winter 2015

I kicked the year off with some traveling. First I headed to Miami and the Bahamas with Jenn for a fun girls trip where despite some weather and accommodation issues, we got a lot of reading and bonding time in. Speaking of which I ended the first month of the year with 6 out of my 50 books already read, already almost 2 full books ahead of schedule. After Miami I headed down to California for a work conference and ended up spending the whole trip sick in my hotel room eating crappy soup straight out of the can heated up in a microwave, sucking Vitamin Water down like it would make me better before I had to catch my plane back home.

After coming back home I started slowly searching for a new job doing the super annoying blogging thing of saying there was some big thing I was working on that I couldn’t talk about because the excitement of figuring out what I would be doing next was overwhelming, but I couldn’t share until I knew what I was doing for sure. By the time winter was over I was well on my way to an incredible 2015.

Spring 2015

To kick off Spring I turned 25 years old and can honestly say it was the best birthday of my life. I have heard so many people who had quarter life crisis so I went into my birthday fearing that I would end up in the same place, but instead with my 25th birthday I found a new sense of peace and calm. It was as if I just settled into myself when I turned a quarter of a century old and that amazing feeling has stuck with me ever since. As I got more comfortable with myself, I continued working on my Opening Up posts here on the blog and settling more into my passion for dance.

As for the job search that started in the winter, I finished it up with a decision to stay at my current company and switch teams. Before switching teams I took a relaxing week off to relax and rejuvenate before starting in the new role and heading right into summer.

Summer 2015

Summer started off with a little hair dye going from my usual combination of blonde and brunette to something a little more fun and adventurous with the hot pink. The free spirited pink haired girl took me straight to the weekend of the 4th of July. Then on the 5th Bryan and I went for a little walk during halftime of the Women’s World Cup soccer final and got engaged!

From that moment out at the point where I first got introduced to this beautiful ring on my finger on, I spent many an hour looking up wedding stuff, trying on dresses, looking at venues, searching for vendors, and all the other things that come with planning a wedding. To seal off the perfect summer of I purchased my wedding dress in the company of my mother, mother-in-law, grandma, and all my bridesmaids.

Fall 2015

As Summer started to cool off into Fall I got really excited about all things pumpkin and cozy. While the holidays came and I continued to plan the wedding, transitioning to working on the smaller pieces of the day after finishing off booking all of our vendors and the big details of the day, I also started another big project of searching for a new job again.

This second job search was much shorter and sweeter because I knew exactly what I wanted by that point and started searching for small companies in the healthcare technology space and found the perfect job for me. I finished up the year with a trip to Houston for the Grace Hopper conference, finished up my time at my previous company, started at my new company for a preliminary week, and finished it out with some time off.

What did your 2015 look like? What did you learn, grow about, accomplish, experience, read, and listen to this year?