Tuesday, May 31, 2011
So, I am about to finish Day 4 of NO Facebook. I will admit I'm pretty dang impressed with myself.
Revisiting my Facebook FREE to-do list:
1. Go to at least 1 Yoga class
2. Complete household purge + run to Goodwill (PURGE DONE!)
3. Get in at least 2 solid cardio workouts (1 BIG run yesterday - felt awesome)
4. Organize / clean-out book cabinet & bookshelf (Done and DONE!)
5. Read a book (or part of one)
6. Spend more time outside! (Done and done x3)
Today I treated myself to a facial (for the record, I only get these about 2-3 times per year). It was awesome, and a perfect way to unwind after a very (very) long month. I left feeling calm, beautiful, refreshed, and I'll admit it - my skin's never looked better.
I have been going to Lauren Sterling (my Esthetician) for about two years. Lauren is truly gifted at what she does. She also has the most wonderful studio - comforting, clean, and heavenly! Lauren provides excellent individualized care to each client and genuinely cares about how you are doing.
My main reason for getting facials is that it allows me to take care of myself, relax, and put my life "on hold" for at least one hour. I feel so calm and am able to close my eyes, breathe, and quit thinking. Rarely do I have this opportunity.
I highly recommend Lauren to anyone who is thinking about getting a facial! She is truly talented and her studio is amazing. She also has wonderful products, including Eminence Organic Skin Care.
Here is Lauren's info!
1817 Queen Anne Ave N #317 Seattle, WA 98109
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Well, Day 1 of no Facebook went surprisingly well - it helped that I was coaching volleyball almost all day yesterday.
This morning, as I think about this week and what I want to accomplish (without Facebook) I have lots of ideas. So I've decided to come up with an official punch list (will report back after the week is over in regard to my success rate):
Margie's FB Free To-Do List:
1. Go to at least 1 Yoga class
2. Complete household purge + run to Goodwill (note: this is my #1 priority on this list, and will take the most time and effort for sure)
3. Get in at least 2 solid cardio workouts
4. Organize / clean-out book cabinet & bookshelf (yes, there are two "areas")
5. Read 1 book (part or all of)
6. Spend more time outside!
Sounds simple enough, right? We shall see...
Friday, May 27, 2011
I'll admit that I'm one of the many people who are addicted to Facebook (FB). I check it every day, update my status regularly, and love seeing new photos posted by friends. I simply find FB entertaining.
When I think about all the time I spend on FB, I can't help but wonder about what I am sacrificing. For example: the things on my "eternal to-do list" that NEVER seem to get done - does my Facebook usage prevent me from tackling these things? (ie. yoga class, cleaning my home, laundry, reading, writing, running, cooking, etc.) Answer: YES...
This month, I've realized I've been spending too much time on FB. I had a wake up call this evening, when my friend Celeste brought up a friend of ours, wondering how they were doing, and I was able to tell Celeste exactly what they were up to in the last hour. Point made.
Celeste and I decided that I need to give up Facebook for a week. I think this undertaking will be way more difficult than I would imagine. Sad.
LATEST UPDATE (9:26 PM)
Margie: "I think I'm going to start it on Monday."
Celeste: "Why don't you start it this weekend?!"
Margie: [MAJOR sad, frowny face]
Celeste: "Margie, you have a three day weekend to get so much shit done, and you want to wait until MONDAY!?"
Margie: "This conversation is going on this Blog post."
I have issues. Major issues. I told Celeste that I don't know if I would be able to start tomorrow. That would be torture. Celeste offered to change my password and give me back my old password at the end of the trial. Ick. That would be the real deal.
OKAY, it will start TOMORROW, May 28th and end at 12am on Saturday, June 4th.
Wish me luck!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Introducing our newest Wellness Diva: Erin Scheopner.
(For the record, I call Erin "Schooner," but for purposes of this post, I'll settle with Erin....)
I am SUPER excited to share about Erin. Erin is one of my closest friends, and I am so honored to write about this gal. I am continually in awe of how incredible and giving of a person she is. I can't even put it into words.
Erin and I met at our first job after college at a local non-profit, Fulcrum Foundation. We both had a passion for education and concept of ALL children receiving access to excellent education (that is what Fulcrum is all about). As I got to know Erin better, I soon learned about her passion for volunteering and giving back to the community. After we both left Fulcrum Foundation, Erin ended up getting involved with my non-profit, Rebuilding Together Seattle, through our Young Professionals Society.
Last month, I highlighted the topic of Service as a Wellness component. I fully believe that giving to others is essential to our overall wellness. There is something incredibly powerful about giving to others, without asking for anything in return. At the end of the day, you know that you almost get more out of giving than receiving.
There is no better person who I think demonstrates the wellness aspect of service than Erin. Erin volunteers more than any other person I know, and I am almost certain that volunteering is her most favorite thing (besides the Beatles, tea, Guinness, and her sister Aubrey).
So, let's cut to the chase, and hear from Erin!
1. When did you first develop your passion for volunteering? Do you remember your first volunteer experience?
I think awareness of others, being grateful for what I have and giving back has always been instilled in me. My family laid the foundation for this and school helped to develop it. My first big commitment to volunteering was probably 8th grade. Each student was assigned to complete 15 hours of volunteer service during the school year. I think I ended up completing upwards of 50 hours by the end because I started working with a group that I loved and didn’t stop after I reached the assigned number of hours. What I was doing never felt like work, I was having too much fun to stop.
High school built upon these experiences and matured them. I went to a high school that highlighted service in all aspects of learning and also put a significant emphasis on being culturally aware. Service projects were part of school life and we were constantly challenged to find ways to be involved in the community and give back. I continued in this vein in college when I got involved with the Children’s Literacy Project at Seattle University and I try to keep this tradition active post-school with the volunteer projects that I am currently involved with.
2. Why is volunteering important to you?
I feel incredibly grateful for and indebted to so many people and experiences and I want to share my gratitude with others. I have been shown generosity and awarded incredible opportunities in my life and I view volunteering as one way to express my appreciation and hopefully make a positive impact on someone else’s life.
Another motivating factor for me, especially with the various homework club programs I’ve been involved with, is the desire to remind people of their talents and intelligence. I think we’ve all had experiences where we feel under qualified and negatively compare ourselves to others. I think it’s important to empower people, especially kids, and remind them of their gifts. I’m honestly blown away week after week by the maturity and depth of the kids who show up to homework help. Many of them say that they’re not smart and I like to help them prove themselves wrong!
3. What volunteer organizations are you currently involved with? Describe what you do.
Right now I’m involved with two organizations, Rebuilding Together Seattle (RTS) and Homework Help at the Seattle Public Library. With RTS I am the Service Chair of the RTS Young Professionals Society, and help to coordinate our volunteer projects (that benefit low income homeowners). The highlight for me is setting up our quarterly projects and meeting with the homeowners to hear their stories. All of them have so much to share and give, it’s always nice to have the opportunity to connect and try to bring some joy and peace in their lives with our projects.
Homework help gets me back to the roots of what I love. I tutor every Monday night for two hours at the Delridge branch of the Seattle Public Library. The number of participants varies from night to night, but there is a core group of kids that I get to see most Monday’s. I absolutely adore the work and connecting with the kids and their families…except when I’m asked to help with algebra! Honestly most nights it doesn’t feel like I help much with the actual homework, but I think that’s the point – I’m there to be a friend and mentor and to show them that there are people who are interested in what they’re doing.
4. How do you feel volunteering contributes to your overall wellness?
The bottom-line is volunteering makes me happy. I always get so much pleasure from talking with people, hearing their stories, learning about their culture and their goals in life. I’ve met some incredible people and get such joy from being a small part of their life. I feel like I’m constantly learning and being inspired. As an added benefit, volunteering also helps keep everything in perspective and is humbling. The best part is that volunteering offers experiences that have to be lived and cannot be bought. I wouldn’t be who I am today and have the interests that I do without these experiences.
5. What are your recommendations for people who want to volunteer more, but aren't sure where to start?
To get the most out of the experience and to be effective you need to find something that you’re truly passionate about and make a commitment. As you can see from my experiences, I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life and working with kids. This may not be for you. If you’re a fan of art, consider volunteering at an art museum, or if you love animals, maybe check out a local shelter. Go directly to the source and see what resources may be available to you. Many organizations have systems in place to accept volunteers or can steer you in the right direction to find a placement.
The hardest part for many is making the commitment, but in the end if you’re truly passionate about what you’re doing I think you’ll find that the commitment is not hard to keep. I look forward to my Monday nights and enjoy the conversations I get to have. You never know whom you’ll meet and the amazing experiences you’ll have.
6. Anything else you'd like to add?
I want to thank you, Margie, for doing this blog and highlighting some really important topics. You’re giving people the chance to read about some really cool things and encouraging us all to take more active steps in our lives. With that, I’d like to encourage and challenge anyone who reads this to think of things that inspire them and consider finding out ways to get involved. I guarantee you’ll learn something, be inspired and will make a positive impact. Thank you!
Erin - THANK YOU. You are incredible. Thank you for being such a huge inspiration in my life and the lives of many! I adore you, Schooner.
Of course it's a rainy day in Seattle (apparently two days is our cap on good weather this month). The bad news is that Seattle is bummed out. The good news is that for the first time in WEEKS, I ended up with an (unplanned) night in, for MYSELF.
I am enjoying a great dinner, great wine, and am actually looking forward to cleaning my room and heading to bed early.
Tonight I'm drinking 14 Hands' Hot to Trot Red Blend (2009). It's fantastic, and I'm so thrilled that grocery stores are finally carrying bottles of 14 Hands wine! This bottle was $8.99 on sale today at Safeway - heck yes.
The Hot to Trot Blend is described as a "smooth and easy drinking red wine" (my favorite) that is "balanced by soft and velvety tannins, and a finish with just a hint of mocha." Sounds like a plan to me!
Monday, May 23, 2011
I am super excited to highlight Freston's seventh Wellness Pillar: Spiritual Practice.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Robin is very special to me. Not only is she my cousin, but I call her "the sister I never had." I'd really like to think that Robin IS my big sister :). In April, Robin and I did a girls' weekend in Phoenix. I still can't think of anyone else that I'd rather spend a weekend with consisting of wine, People magazine, beach reads, walks, trips to Starbucks, and great conversations.
What I love most about Robin:
I could go on and on for hours about why I love Robin, but I'll try to keep things (somewhat) succinct...
Robin is one of the most patient people I know. Things that drive the average person nuts don't even seem to phase her. If I could have one ounce of the patience Robin has, I would consider myself blessed. Robin is always so poised and calm. She is kind to everyone around her and has a wonderful presence. Robin is a REALLY good listener - and I mean really good listener...
Robin also has a great sense of humor. Every so often she'll make the wittiest comment and just crack me up. During our last night in Phoenix, Robin and I decided to dip our feet in the hot tub on our way back from dinner (around 11pm). After sitting there for a while, Robin goes: "I just don't understand why the poolside bar isn't open right now."
Last, but not least, Robin is an incredible mother. She is the mom of two beautiful, hilarious, smart, and loving girls. Jillian and Anna are two of my favorite people in the world, and it's no surprise why they are so wonderful. When Jillian and Anna are older, I know they will feel so fortunate to have been raised by such a patient, kind, and dedicated mother like Robin (and, for the record, an incredible Dad - Alan is amazing, but unfortunately didn't fit the "Diva" criteria).
Robin is a very healthy and beautiful person, inside and out. She also has a very balanced approach toward her health. On top of being a full time mom, she makes time for exercise and healthy eating each week. Robin has been practicing Pilates and Hot Yoga for a number of years. She is incredibly talented at both, and I have always admired her dedication!
Let's hear from Robin about Pilates!
1. When did you first start practicing Pilates? What got you started?
I started practicing Pilates at the recommendation of my physical therapist when I was experiencing lower back pain. I started by taking a few private classes so I could get up to speed to join a mat class and I was instantly hooked. Not only did the shape of my body change dramatically, but my lower back pain has never resurfaced in almost 13 years since I started. The only time it ever comes back to haunt me is when I slack on Pilates.
2. How often do you practice Pilates, on average?
I go to a private or group reformer class once a week. I also try and stretch or do mat exercises at home if I can. I try to take Bikrams hot yoga twice a week and incorporate my Pilates technique to get me through the class.
3. How do you feel Pilates contributes to your overall wellness? (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, etc)
I love Pilates for many reasons. It makes me feel longer, lighter, taller and toned. The breathing that accompanies the exercises is cleansing. Pilates is known for its abdominal focused work, and although it’s true that it will give you nicely toned abs, Pilates is also very therapeutic to the spine, neck, shoulders etc. It serves to strengthen our weaker muscles like inner thighs and hamstrings while relaxing our dominant muscles like quads, resulting in a leaner, more balanced body. As a former ballet dancer, I find it very therapeutic for various injuries that I’ve had. It also serves to lengthen the spine which can get compressed through our daily grind, sitting at a computer, driving and other high impact sports such as skiing, hiking, running etc.
I should also add that I did Pilates through both of my pregnancies which alleviated some back discomfort. Although you wouldn’t want to do a lot of the abdominal compression exercises during pregnancy, there is a lot of arm and leg work and stretching that really helps to keep the swelling and discomfort at bay. And then Pilates was an excellent post partum workout to get back into shape after having a baby!
4. What advice do you have for anyone who might be interested in trying out Pilates for the first time?
Pilates can be a bit overwhelming at first. Give yourself a month, or at least three or four classes to decide if it’s really working for you. Also, Pilates can be expensive. I think having a few privates is worth the expense so that you can really understand the fundamentals and learn how to do them correctly. After that, I recommend finding a teacher that can offer group classes that are less expensive. The mat classes are typically less expensive and beneficial. But it will be well worth your money to try the lessons on the machines (the reformer, Cadillac and chair) when you can afford it to really get the benefit.
5. Anything else you'd like to add?
What’s cool about Pilates is that I am able to carry the technique into all of my other activities. So whether I’m doing yoga, biking, hiking, skiing etc. I use the principles of alignment and breathing to give me more power and less chance of injury. I truly believe that everyone should try Pilates at least once. I plan to practice it for the rest of my life for physical therapy as I get older. My dream is to eventually get trained as an instructor and teach classes to young ballet students. I also would love to help people with injuries.
Thanks, Robin! Just reading this makes me excited to try out Pilates again! :)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
On Sunday, my parents and I drove down to Tacoma, WA to attend my brother's college graduation at the University of Puget Sound (still can't believe that my brother graduated!).
I had the opportunity to hear from Cecilia Munoz, Deputy Assistant to the President and the White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs. Ms. Munoz was a wonderful speaker and I really appreciated her straight forward, sincere message to the graduates, in her speech: "A Decisive Moment."
She shared three focus points for the students to "take with them" after college:
Ms. Munoz stated that the graduates should never stop studying: "know what you don't know." Even if they do not pursue further education, they still have a wealth of knowledge available to them at their fingertips. She said to never lose your desire to learn - it's key to our personal and professional growth at all stages of our lives.
Ms. Munoz talked about 'Silence' and how important it is to spend time in silence each day. We live in a technological age with constant noise, chatter, music, etc. She shared that during Obama's administration, practicing silence has helped him make several critical decisions. I like the idea of spending time meditating or sitting in silence to help us navigate through life and make decisions - or simply, to stop life and breathe.
When we serve, we often get more back than we give. It is our way of connecting with others, and enriches our lives. Simple enough, right?
Thank you, Ms. Munoz! My only point I'd add is to allow time for FUN - such as what my family did after David's graduation :)
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
I am a huge nerd - for many reasons. One example: I love, on occasion, treating myself to something small, for whatever reason I decide is justified. Examples: celebrating a big achievement at work, going on a 6 mile run, cleaning my entire home and taking a car load to Goodwill, starting a Roth IRA, or simply because I feel fabulous and want to celebrate being ME (that's right).
This weekend, I was able to get away from my cabin and go to Leavenworth with my friend Erin. We went shopping on Saturday, and I got a new lip gloss at this darling gift shop. It's called "glossy mineral gloss," and made by Tallulah. Yes, on a Tuesday afternoon at work, I am "this excited" about lip gloss.
This weekend I'd encourage you to treat yourself to something small - whether it be a new lotion, candles, a journal, a new book, a manicure, a nice bottle of wine, or a drop-in yoga class. We all deserve to celebrate ourselves now and then!
ABOUT TALLULAH LIP GLOSS (from haironthebrain.com)
"I’m a big fan of mineral makeup–but one product I had never tried until recently was mineral lip gloss. Tallulah Glossary Mineral Lip Gloss has made me a believer. Their volumizing mineral gloss is paraben free and boasts patent pending MH5, a mineral humectant that draws moisture to the skin–making lips look full and flawless.
Tallulah’s gloss is all natural, non-irritating, and contains Mica, a reflective material that provides sun protection and gives you a lip volumizing look.
I tried the gloss in Skinny Dip–a true nude shade with gold undertone and a slight shimmer, and Punk Rock Pink–a cool toned purplish pink with a hint of shimmer. I thought this color was going to be super bright on me because the shade looked intimidatingly, well, punk rock pink! But it actually looked rather subtle and gorgeous on.
The consistency of both glosses are fantastic. They are super moisturizing, not sticky, and they last. The color stays put and your lips stay soft." (Source: http://www.haironthebrain.com/2009/09/tallulah-mineral-lip-gloss/)
Monday, May 9, 2011
This Friday will be my brother's 22nd birthday, and on Saturday, he will graduate from college (The University of Puget Sound)! Thus, I found it quite fitting that I should do a shout out to my "little" brother, David.
David is one of the most special people in my life. Every day, I feel so blessed to have David as a brother. He is one of my closest friends, and we have been buddies from day one.
WHY I LOVE MY BROTHER:
1. David is the funniest person I know. He makes me laugh every time I see him. In fact, I have laughed so hard at David (on countless occasions) that I start to cry and then cannot breathe.
2. David is a loving and caring friend and family member...most of the time :)
3. David shows respect to everyone around him.
4. David has a great, diverse group of friends.
5. David has many talents and interests, and I am enjoying seeing the entrepreneur that he is becoming.
6. David will watch and quote Tommy Boy (my favorite movie) with me all the time.
7. David is a leader, and is respected by his peers.
8. David and I can call each other at any hour of the day or night when we're having a rough day, and are guaranteed to feel better in a matter of minutes.
9. David is confident and knows what he wants.
10. David is the best brother a sister could ever have!
David - thank you for being an AMAZING :) brother and for making me laugh every day. HAPPY BIRTHDAY and CONGRATULATIONS on your upcoming graduation! I am so proud of you.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
This week, (if you aren't planning on it already) schedule some time to be outside, in a quiet, beautiful place. It can change your mood and provide you with a sense of calm in a matter of minutes - for free!
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I really enjoyed reading about Freston's sixth Pillar, Self-work. Kathy states:
"In life, we are constantly dealing with people and situations that make us feel challenged or uncomfortable, and self-work helps us work through the emotions that come up so that they don't get stuck and poison our field of energy. Not only does self-work keep us from getting bogged down, it actually moves us swiftly along into manifesting more of our potential. Self-work means just that: working on ourselves. It means that we (1) look at where we are; (2) set some goals for where we'd like to be, and then (3) chart the course on how to get there" (QW, 35).
I am a huge fan of self-work and will admit that I'm a regular "self-work practitioner." I also find that I struggle the most in relationships with people who are unwilling to work on self improvement. I believe we can all work on bettering ourselves so we can be at more peace with ourselves and others.
This week, I'd encourage you to think about one area of your personality that relates to you and relationships, and pick one thing that you want to work on. ME: this week at work, I am going to try to work on being as patient and calm as possible when talking to angry clients. I can't change them, but I can change myself and my actions, and the way I react to their demands.
Monday, May 2, 2011
My most favorite project was in Beacon Hill, where we helped two sisters who had lost their brother last year. Facing depression and disabilities, they were unable to take care of their home. I can't even put into words, the transformation of their home AND souls, but this video (and the kitchen before and after shots) should paint the picture.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
After Church, my friend Em and I walked past this new wine bar in the Greenlake neighborhood: Greenlake Wines + Wine bar. Em had to go, but I stopped by to take a look. I was greeted by the nicest guy, and one minute later I was tasting several variety of white wines (for free). To no surprise, I left with two awesome bottles of white, and am looking forward to drinking one of them this afternoon with my mom on this gorgeous day!
Address: 1400 North 80th Street Seattle, WA 98103-4453
Phone: (206) 524-6909