Tuesday, March 18, 2014

MYOLYogis March Challenge

If you recall, I was freaking out a little bit because I was chosen to help host the MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK (or #MYOLYogis) Challenge on Instagram Sponsored by Hugger Mugger and MonkeyG yoga: two local and awesome Utah Yoga companies. 

I've been cataloging my pics daily on Instagram as part of the challenge. There are seven "hosts" and we each take a day of the week explaining a pose and then posting a picture. We are also responsible for posting pictures of the other hosts challenge poses. So here's a little taste of what the challenge has included for me: 

Headstand... if this were a video you'd see Zoe crawling around me,...

Upward Facing Dog Poolside. I have this ritual after I swim 800yards to a mile to do a little yoga poolside because my shoulders get SOOOOO tight and I don't want to lose range of motion in them. This is what yoga and triathlons do to a person -- little crazy.

Chin Stand, with a Little Help from some old Magazines:
I actually held this pose for the first time in my life without props
(aka - minus the mags) last night! #practiceandalliscoming

Someday I will post a picture of me in this pose and it will be my hands grabbing my foot.
It may be a year, or more... but it will happen. It just takes time, and practice, and patience.
Namaste Friends. If you'd like to join us on Instagram it's not too late to be eligible for prizes. Find me @shaktisuite on IG and Twitter.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Making Home Upgrades a Little Cozier

Tadah! New Yoga Studio!
Here's my confession: I don't have this big amazing gift for design (I know, big shocker right). But I know what I like when I see it -- sometimes it's hard for me to just come up with a concept out of nowhere -- especially when I lack the funding to style my house straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog. That's why I was thankful the sweet ladies over at CozyWallArt.com asked me if I'd like to check out their designs. They've got some fun new patters.... some inspired by everyone's favorite 15-minutes-of-fame Pop Art Prince, the late Andy Warhol, and plenty of other goodies (because soup cans and Mariyln Monroe are not for everyone, though they should be). Just kidding, it's not like that. But I'm pretty sure in my email correspondence with them I replied: "You had me at Warhol."
I took some time on their website, imagining how this or that would look here or there in my house, and ultimately decided my mantle could make a big splash with some CozyWallArt.com quick (link is to their Etsy store). Oh but before you see the odd picture with the shelving to the left of the mantle, let me say that odd furniture locale was the result of me tearing out the carpet in the sunroom whilst my better-half was on a business trip in DC.  (I had to get the furniture out of there). The before pic is in the top left hand corner... 

Anyway, so we've been in home improvement mode here. Getting ready to put the house back on the market later this month. (Any of my cousins reading this, seriously, I would love to keep this place in the family. Any potential buyers?) But back to the mantle....

Heres the before (again, do not pay attention to the furniture on the left. Just notice how boring I am... 
And then BAM! Splash it up with a little CozyWallArt.com, and suddenly I'm in a whimsical blue spring dream. This is from their Tree Wall Decal section.

I know a lot of people (especially in Utah) embraced vinyl in their house 10 years ago... for us, outside of an Avengers peel-set my mom gave Holden for his playroom, I just hadn't figured out exactly what would work for me. 

But thanks for taking a chance on me CozyWallArt.com. I'm digging my upgraded "digs." 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Make Your Own Luck with Yoga

I am honored to be one of seven hosts for this month's #MakeYourOwnLuck :: #MYOLYogis Challenge on Instagram (my handle is @shaktisuite in case you want to follow along).

The challenge is sponsored by MonkeyG Yoga Clothing and Hugger Mugger (a yoga mat & supply company). Both Local!!! The challenge features a daily pose meant to build up to handstand / inversions: with range of motion and flexibility poses alternating with strength poses.

 Check out my feed on Instagram for details and instructions on how to do the poses if you're new to the groove. So what say you, care to play along?

Day 1: Downward Facing Dog: August 2013

Day 2: Bow Pose w/ Zoe : August 2013
Photos from last summer's photoshoot at We Are Yoga SLC. Photo creed to my sweet friend, fellow Yoga Mama and Cicely's sister-in-Law Aly Sharette. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Save the Planet (and your valuables!)

Well last month we got home from our Disney Cruise to discover we had been burglarized. Total bummer, I know. They took my laptop and my entire jewelry collection (sans the few pieces I actually wore on the cruise).  I'm in a good place about it. I credit Yoga with teaching me the power of detachment, so although it's unfortunate they have pieces of my property that carry sentimental value (and some pretty nice pieces of jewelry), I recognize that it's just stuff.

Our house is now outfitted with a security system; and we're more vigilant... but it also inspired this piece for Make and Takes today. Hope you'll check it out.

Stay safe my friends.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

December -- in Photos

Picking out our Christmas Tree We Did This without Danny - No need to fight about the Christmas Tree EVERY year...
Jolly (not so old) Elves

Decorating Giant GingerbreadPeople -- Thanks Costco!

Holden Enjoying the "Fruits" of his Creativity

I learn a new "Yoga Trick" -- it was the focus posture for my Wed night class: "FIREFLY" 

Zoe does some yoga and helps me get a photo for my Make and Takes Story

How Cute is this little Yogi?!?!

Holden sings some Carols at Elizabeth Academy's Winter Festival

He decorates a Gingerbread House at School - it was BYOC (bring your own candy);
I'm pretty sure his was from Halloween - please note the candycorns

Breakfast with Santa -- I need to add a proper pic of the whole family...

Z gets a baby doll Christmas morning.

Holden shows off his "Warrior" PJ's GG (Danny's Grandma) brought back from China --
one of his MANY gifts from Christmas

Holden does some Yoga before Swim Lessons

And he learns how to ski at Snow Basin before the new year... 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Season's Greetings from the Mangums

In case you missed this year's Holiday greeting....

 “Holden,” I begin, addressing my precocious four-year-old one morning on our way to pre-school, “I'm proud of you for getting your jobs done and getting ready so fast this morning.”
The Front of Our Card
He reciprocates: “And I'm proud of you Mom for telling the truth 'bout how fast I was.”

I can’t promise I’ll be fast for our yearly recount, but I am announcing this as the swan-song for our printed “yearly brag.” (At least for anyone under the age of 60.) My inner-hippie is already conflicted enough about sending Christmas cards, so I guess a move to a future electronic letter is my compromise. We shall consider this December “Lucky 2013” and the end of an era. But as far as this past year’s updates:

We continued our tradition of travel -- St. George a few times, “Upstate Utah” (aka The Barn in Eden) and trying to impersonate the 1% with a couple of adventures to Sun Valley, ID; some time in La Mision, Mexico and a stint in San Diego at the Hotel del Coronado. Some trips for fun, plenty deemed as “work,” but all were a blast.

On the school front – we made the “controversial” decision to homeschool Zoë this year (I’m kidding, nothing controversial about it. She just barely turned two this month!) She’s home with me, and we’re attending a weekly Mommy & Me style class at The Little Gym, where our daughter and her toddling companions are already being ingrained with the importance of a strong and tight core. It’s a “competition free” environment – unless you’re trying to “Keep Up with the (Jonses) Kids” who sport Ralph Lauren and miniature True Religion jeans for tot-time. Oy vey.

For Danny, in addition to his full-time status as a VP at Mountain West Small Business Finance, the man of the house just hit the half-way point for completing his Masters of Human Resource Management at Utah State University.

Holden (turning five in February) is thriving at Elizabeth Academy Montessori. The teachers seem to appreciate and love him for so many of the same reasons we think he’s fabulous: his wit, imagination and enthusiasm. Unfortunately he takes after his mother when it comes to volume control on his voice level: “He’s definitely one of the loudest children in class,” his teacher tells me…she was being gracious using the phrase “one of.” So we’ve all been using this as an opportunity to work on our inside voices. It is harder for some of us than others. #ItsNotHardForDanny

In addition to making lots of friends, and basic preschool curriculum (letters, numbers, science, etc), Holden’s also learning practical life skills. One day after I picked him up he told me it was “another great day at school!”

“Did you learn about art?” I asked.

“No, just finance,” he responded.

Whether or not that’s true, we do know he’s enjoying the art, music therapy and Virginia Tanner dance classes that are included in the curriculum at EA. They also practice yoga daily, and I’ve been volunteering once a month to spread the yoga-love with his fellow Early Childhood classmates.

Speaking of Yoga, we have been getting our asana on this year! There’s been loads of teaching for me (We Are Yoga Studio in Canyon Rim, Tekton Crossfit in Murray, church, community lessons and private students) plus Holden and I were featured on FOX13 for a segment about Yoga for Kids! I know, I know -- the Mangums & “FOX” – who would’ve thought we’d be such a great combination? Obviously it wasn’t their national “news” station. Zoë also joined me at the studio for a plethora of Yoga Playdate classes, and can often be found rolling out her mat at home for an impromptu session -- needless to say Mama’s proud.

Besides, loving her classes at The Little Gym: our spirited and sweet little nursling has been doing lots of things her welf (i.e. Z-speak for “self”). Whether it’s putting on a coat or boots, pouring orange juice or climbing on top of a toilet to use the restroom, she’s surprised us with her independence – which is also accompanied by a deep attachment to yours truly. We are grateful she’s content to be watched by the Grandparents, and someday she may even willingly go to nursery at church without needing one of us by her side.

The Back - obviously...
Family Fitness for All! Holden and Zoë have stayed active with gymnastics and swimming (lessons and plenty of play). Danny and I did a half marathon together, I finished my first Olympic Distance triathlon, but this year’s race highlight was Holden: who ran “The Gobbler” 1k in St. George Thanksgiving morning, getting his first “race” officially under his belt. Not bad for four years old…

We’ve also tried to eat a little cleaner this year. “Red-dye makes me crazy,” Holden has said, on more than one occasion. He has taken an active role in helping our family make better choices, like for instance the time he yelled at his sister: “Come on Zoë! Let's protect the robots of death from stealing our wheatgrass!”

Sometimes his critique on the family-foodstuffs was a little harsh: "Do you have anything better for me to eat than this soup and that sandwich?” Or after my attempt at a stir-fry he did not appreciate: “You ought to be ashamed of yourself!” At which point we reviewed and revamped our media policy trying to figure out where he heard such a thing.

The kid’s full of hilarious one liners (some of which are logged on facebook for posterity) like a few days following a lesson on the Good Samaritan at church: "I really wish the guy that fell on the ground had been wearing a helmet.” And, "Mom You were listening to me great today!" Then proceeds to kind of cry and smile: "This is a happy cry..."

2013 has been a year of “happy cries” and adventure. We’re thankful for you -- our family and friends who inspire us to be better, help keep us grounded and bring so much joy to our lives. We’re thankful for the miracle of Christmas, and for all the special offerings this season (however celebrated) brings. Love and light to you and yours.

Sabrena for The Mangums
December 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Zoë Turns Two

Favorite Things:
Mickey Mouse (and Minnie, but Mickey more).... She calls him MeeMee. 
The Utes, specifically University of Utah Football: She'll pump a fist in the air meaning "go Utes" whenever she spots a logo. 
Butterflies: She's two, and a girl...really no explanation needed. 
Spider-Man: I think this is her brother's influence. But it's definitely one of her favorite superheroes (IronMan's pretty close though). 
Yoga: she will carry my mats up and down the stairs for impromptu sessions. 

Favorite Places: hands down The Little Gym (videos coming soon). I had no idea how much she would enjoy it... I may have a bit of Mommy guilt for not taking Holden there as a toddler (it's much better suited for my children than story time at the Library -- and yet, I tried so hard to make that one "work.") we had her party there and it was sooooo worth it!!! She loves singing the hello song with shakers, walking on the balance beam (with a 'spot' from mommy), hanging on the rings and the bars (on the latter she can pull her feet up to touch her hands while hanging upside down), doing forward rolls (aka somersaults), monkey climbs on the parallel bars, letting the bubbles touch her toes and playing drums with her hands for the goodbye song at the end of class. 

Some of our favorite words of Z:
Milkkkkkkkkagh - said like she's German 
Mam: How she says Mom.
Daaaaaad! Usually yelled down the staircase in the mornings for taking a shower. 
Den (for Holden, though recently Ho!) 
Welf - short for "I'll do it myself." Used for putting on pull-ups, pants, getting in the car, putting on shoes and pouring her own drinks. 

Still nursing at 2, and not showing any real signs of slowing down. While there are plenty of moments when I wish she'd wean, there are far more that I'm thankful for that I can still use the mama's-milk-magic-trick: it has the ability to calm a upset toddler in 0-5 seconds. And I often joke my kids are walking Petri dishes so I'm thankful for the immunity it gives them too. 

Z's not a big talker, there are 19 month olds with more words than she has, but if she's anything like her brother somewhere between 2-3 she'll start narrating the world in long-form-essay (seriously he can talk/tell stories for 90 minutes straight - easy). 

But back to Z: she has a bit of 'stranger-danger.' Especially with males under the age of 12; but has an awesome relationship with her two grandpas. She loves to be held by them, sit on their laps, and loves to say their names. 

She'll tell you her favorite restaurant is "The Dodo." And she's a great eater (yes, even with her nursing -- it's not so much for nutrition as it is for comfort and connection anyway). Some of her favorites: pico and pinto beans from Cafe Rio. Most fruit: grapes, strawberries, raspberries and bananas in particular. She's a huge fan a noodles - what 2yo is isn't? And she loves juicing with me in the mornings: beet juice where we include apples, carrots fresh ginger and like juice. She drinks it and looks like Batman's nemisis "the joker." 

She's working her way towards being diaper-free: and it's been mostly her bidding (although I could do without her insisting on crawling on top of public toilets by her-welf. Eek!)

She's got amazing hair that's never been cut and requires beig wet AND my Aveda conditioner to get a comb through it. She doesn't love bows in her hair - try last 2-3 minutes althought she did keep a pony tail once for a few hours (she had not been in the shower and I needed to hide the evidence of four rats-nest that were her tresses.) 

She has amazing blue eyes, loves to move her body and is now in the 82 percentile for weight at 29 pounds (she dropped almost a pound since her 18mo check up) and is still in the 90's for height. 

We love you Zoë-bug.