Balance on Both Sides of the Pond

As the days start cooling down heading into Fall, we reflect on the summer.  What a summer it has been – hot and sunny days stretching for weeks – very unlike the Pacific Northwest!  We took advantage of the delightful weather to be outside as much as possible.  Seattle has outdoor yoga classes throughout the summer and boy did we take advantage of them!  We tried to find an outdoor yoga class in the sculpture garden but couldn’t find it so improvised on a lovely evening with legs up the railing.  As we were enjoying the view from our railing a man from Dubai asked us what we were doing and joined in!Guy from Dubai  Always good to send the postive juju of yoga around whenever possible.  Every week we searched out an outdoor studio.  In Cowen Park we went to a sweet yoga class led by the YMCA, the teacher incorporated animal frolics qigong into the practice. cowen park yoga   We hit up Jackie’s boat yoga in Lake Union a couple of times.  What a view from the top deck of the Virginia V and the urban water sounds as we moved through our poses. BogaJasyoga Jasyoga was our weekly go to at Greenlake – wonderful way to reset after a day of work in the soft evening lake breeze. A vigorous outdoor yoga class in South Lake Union Park was led by the staff at Be Luminous Yoga Studio.  The class was more like a yoga party, with a DJ and yoga teacher that would suddenly change gears and have everyone dance or high 5 each other.  Even better the class was a fund raiser for Youthcare. Nice to be a part of such positive energy that went into a good cause.Youthcare fundraiser

We indulged in other summer activities, taking advantage of the hot summer. Swimming with our dogs at Lake Washington in the morning on weekends was a great time.  Julie definitely does not like to be cold in the water – this summer was no problem.  Nice to start a weekend morning swimming around with the dogs, water was calm and very few people around – what a treat!Swimming with Dogs

We were able to get out for some early summer hikes.  Our favorite was an 8 miler off Chuckanut Drive we did with family members.  We even threw in a little dancer pose celebrating the visit of Drew (grandson and nephew).  Being a part of a big family – 6 members of our nuclear family and now growing with spouses, boyfriends and grandchildren – is what we love – time spent together.Dancer With DrewFragance Lake Hike

Which brings Julie to a special trip she took this summer to London.  Erin and Mark (daughter and son in law), are living in London and expecting their first child soon.  Erin, being a yoga teacher and owner of Jasyoga, meant we did some yoga London style!  We took in a rooftop yoga sesh one morning.  London Rooftop Yoga Julie tried to fit in going to prenatal yoga class with Erin.  Such a joy to be with Erin and Mark in this exciting stage of their lives!Prenatal Yoga

Balance is what we worked on this summer.  Yoga outside is something we totally enjoy – the freedom of being outdoors and taking in all the sounds and sights of summer. Family time is special for  us and anytime any members can join us in our activities the better.  Of course, Julie feels very lucky to have also had some special time on the other side of the pond.  As she walked with Erin throughout the beautiful parks in London, she felt such gratitude for the life she has.Walk in London Park

Life is constantly flowing, going with the flow, we believe is the key to finding balance.

Swaying Trees

Spring in Seattle has been incredible!  The sun is out more than in previous years as it shines on trees and flowers blooming.  We have been inspired to get more serious about running.  We have started our Spring session of the girls running group we coach and have been met with mostly sunny runs followed with yoga stretches on the soft green grass.  The girls are training hard, running laps and hills as they gear up for a celebration run around Greenlake. run hills  Building mileage andtree pose with girls speed has also been a focus of ours. Julie has just started running a little more seriously and plans on running a Mother’s Day 5k, hoping some of her family members will join her. At this point that would be a feat after 6 knee surgeries and 2 achilles surgeries  We have been able to make our runs fun by trying new routes, always finishing with a mediative legs up the tree.   Our runs take us out in Kirkland along Lake Washington, and another day we stay on the west side and take a different view of the lake on our run.  Different runs, same lake but different perspectives.  Always a good thing!partner stretch

Beyond the normal Ravenna Run and Greenlake Run we have ventured over to Volunteer Park to run some loops – keeps things interesting.  Of course going to Volunteer Park puts us in restaurant heaven – Capitol Hill.  Can’t go up that way without trying out a well deserved Happy Hour after a run!  We hit up Tallulah’s which is always good – but this time we had chocolate cake.  We both love chocolate cake, not the flourless kind, the old fashioned frosted chocolate that is our thing.  Tallulah’s does an incredible cake, great decadency after a run!!  cake2legs up tree

Yoga is always near and dear to our hearts and we continue to practice regularly in studios around town and throwing in yoga moves after our runs.  Once again we hit up Shefayoga’s Flow and Glow in early April.  Leah’s class is more of a party with black lights and a DJ – definitely a fun and energetic workout.  We also discovered boat yoga taught by Jackie.  The class is the last Monday of the month on a boat moored in South Lake Union called the Virginia V.  Being on the top deck moving through a slow flow in the waning light on the lake is a magical experience.  Perfect, particularly on warm summer days.  We definitely will be hitting up her class again!flow and glow

Of course we are always up for 30 day challenges – this time we went for a 30 day mediation challenge with Faith Hunter on DoYouYoga.com.  What worked for us, was the mediation was short 5 – 15 minutes, which was good practice for our wandering minds.  Faith had a different intention everyday for the 30 day challenge that kept the mediation interesting.  We now try to incorporate just short mediations in our daily lives.

On a different note we went to an event called Rock the Detox.  A fun event at the Kari Gran Skincare HQ in South Lake Union.  Lively and informed discussion from panelists on nutrition, skin care, naturopathic medicine and fitness.  Maia in particular, is very interested in wellness, and works as a holistic esthetician and a skin care consultant.  Bonus were free B12 shots and their signature cocktail of sparkling grapefruit, raspberry and vodka – nice combo!

B12 Shots

B12 Shots

Our motivation coming into the long days of summer is to flow with the moment.  Like a tree swaying in the breeze, sway and flow with the moment – see where it takes you!sway trees 3

New Year – New Challenges – New Discoveries

January is a time of resolutions.  We don’t like the word ‘resolutions’, we prefer new experiences and challenges.  Our big challenge for January was an upper body challenge from a British running newsletter we get called The Running Bug.  The challenge consisted of three exercises, push ups, tricep dips and bicep curls.  This challenge was a doozy, as the days progressed the reps increased.  We got to the point where we had to break up the exercises through the day to get through them.  Whatever gets it done is our motto!upperbodychallupperbodyexec

Of course a big happening for us living in Seattle was the Super Bowl.  What a game, so exciting though not the ending we were hoping for.  Luckily we had some good snacks to get us through the game such as cauliflower hot wings – so good and no chicken died for our snack!hot wings

Discovered a artisan juice bar not far from our hood.  Jujubeet is across the street from University Village so not so crazy to get to.  For us it is a nice walk with our dogs, which we were able to do on one of the sunny January days we had.  Nice to have a fresh juice spot in walking distance. jujubeet

We checked out an Ayurveda workshop for women’s health at 8 Limbs in January.  The teacher, Melinda Meza, covered life cycle issues and related dietary support.  Yoga and Ayurvedic remedies were presented as ways to nourish and support different stages of a women’s life. A lot of good information was had. Before we hit up the workshop we dined at Thaiku – a Thai restaurant in Phinney Ridge.  They serve what is billed as traditional food found in street markets in Thailand.  Food was fresh, delicious and different – not Americanized.  Highly recommend trying this spot!thaiku

Being January and short days we found ourselves inside more and craving comfort food and soups.  One good find was ‘soup in the jar’ by Deliciously Ella.  All is you need is a mason jar, kelp noodles, miso paste, greens and maybe some sea veggies.  Throw everything into the jar, take to work and add water – yummy!  We also got into batch cooking – making enough to freeze for an easy meal.  Quinoa Kale burgers was a great find in the PCC newsletter.  We made a dozen burgers to freeze for a easy meal on a busy night.  Of course a sweet always needs to be in the mix.  One of our favorites is Green Matcha Tea Cake – and so easy to make! Check out http://www.thevintagemixer.com for the recipe.soup in jargreen tea cake

On these short dark days we started experimenting with face masks. Maia, being a holistic esthetician loves to find new ways to nourish the skin.  The one she came up with this month was to use 1 tbs of plain full fat greek yogurt mixed with 1 teas organic honey.  Leave on for 15 min then scrub off with a 1 tbs  of sugar.  So easy and yet left our skin soft and glowy.Maia mask

We finished off January with Yoga in the Glow at Sheyafoga.  Leah – the owner had a special class to celebrate her birthday – complete with a DJ!  Class was a blast as everyone had some white or neon color on complete with neon necklaces/bracelets.  Lights were off, black lights on and music played as Leah lead the flow.  Way to celebrate!glow yoga

Keep growing and discovering!!

XOXO

Think and Wonder

With 2015 upon us, we reflect on what a good year 2014 was for us.  In the past year we had resolved to take more time to slow down and breath.  Breath has been something both of us have really worked on. We both felt calmer and more centered by reminding ourselves to just breathe!  Mediation has been difficult for us to do for a period of time, so we have worked on just a few minutes throughout the day to focus on our breath and in turn have felt more centered.

As we reflect on the past year we are filled with gratitude for our family and friends. For us the wedding of Abe (son & brother) to Alyssa was the high point of the year.  They were married on December 5th in LA.  The occasion was beautiful as we witnessed their love for one another.

The dance - Abe & Alyssa

The dance – Abe & Alyssa

Surrounded by family and friends, we were enveloped in gratitude and love at their very special day.  Time spent with loved ones is really what life is all about.  As we start  a New Year, we are filled with optimism and love, we know we are lucky.  Deep appreciation for what we have as we continue to grow as people and have gratitude and compassion for those we come in contact is our resolution.

Our mantra is quote from Dr. Suess – ‘Think and wonder, wonder and think.’

wonder

wonder

Wishing you good health, happiness and love.

Julie and Maiabench 2

Road Trip With a Greyhound

August was a time of family visits and dog sitting.  Abe and Alyssa and their greyhound Bones, drove to Seattle from San Francisco.  Of course a visit with other members of the family is always a great time.  Bones bonded with his ‘cousins” – Cal and Daisy and became one of the gang, which was a good thing since we were taking care of Bones for 3 weeks.  We likened Bones visit as ‘summer camp’ with daily walks in the ravine, swimming at Sand Point and summer BBQ.  Bones, being a greyhound is not a great swimmer like Cal and Daisy who love the water.  As the week went on, Bones got more comfortable in the water chasing after Daisy and even was able to swim a few feet – kind of a thrashing swim but progress nonetheless.

photo (58)swim

As Abe and Alyssa departed for travels to the East Coast, Erin arrived from London for a couple of weeks.  Erin came on Jasyoga business and then was headed out to Bend, Oregon to teach yoga and mediation at Osielle’s runners camp.  Erin’s week in Seattle was a whirlwind, but fun was still had.  Julie got to be a fangirl as Erin and Maia ran the Lake Union 10k.  For Julie it is a different place to be on the fangirl side but was excited to cheer the girls on.

race

Erin departed for five days in Bend with the plan of Maia and Julie driving down with Bones to pick her up and head down to San Francisco.  Julie and Maia had never been to Bend so we looked forward to the roadtrip with Bones. As soon as we picked Erin up in Bend we headed over to Crux Brewery – perfect place to unwind with a beer, tacos and ice cream on their nice big lawn.  Bones enjoyed the soft grass after so many hours in the car.  We got a room  at the St Francis – a converted school in downtown Bend, so we unloaded and headed to their patio bar for a relaxing evening of Grateful Dead music and a cool refreshing beer.  The next morning Erin showed us around a little.  She took us to a wonderful coffee shop called Strictly Organic Coffee Co.  that also had the best teff and veggie breakfast burritos.  Fortified and caffeinated we took a nice long walk on the city trail that follows the river.  Soon we needed to load up and continue our road trip to SF.  Maia and Julie really enjoyed their short stint in Bend and can’t wait to come back to do some hiking, paddle boarding and drinking!

photo (1)riverbreakfast burrittobrewery

Onward to SF!  A long drive but a beautiful one through national forests.  Bones was a trooper and we made frequent stops at some  picturesque rest stops.  To past the time we had to bring out some old school music to sing along with.  Nothing quite like a girl’s roadtrip with a greyhound – had a great time!

rest stop

Abe and Alyssa were overjoyed to see Bones.  We were staying with them for 3 days before flying home and Erin flying back to London.  Our bay area trip quickly turned into a foodie trip!  We used to live in Berkeley and have some favorite spots.  First thing in the morning we drove to Berkeley and hit one of our favorite breakfast spots – La Note.  A cute French café with just a very basic but fresh breakfast.  Next on our list was Naboloms for a dessert breakfast pastry.  Naboloms is a bakery collective that makes incredible cream and fresh fruit danishes.  Julie dreams of their creamy, fruity deliciousness!  She was in heaven!!  We then walked around College Ave and then Shattuck Ave and then to Solano Ave for a pedicure – after all we are on vacation!  Our next stop was Cheeseboard that is a cheese shop that makes one type of gourmet fresh pizza each day that is written on the chalkboard.  The pizza when we stopped by was blue cheese and fig topped with arugulaphoto (28).  Have to say, pizza went very well with a bottle of la notepastriesnailsRose!  Satisfied, we made our way back to SF to spend the evening with Abe, Alyssa and Bones the greyhound.

Our road trip with a greyhound was fun way to spend time together and do some things new and some favorite old things.  We continued our quest for good food, though taking a break from working out. Feeling invigorated after our break, we looked forward to starting up our workout routine with a new vigor!

  Time spent with family members is always special.  Family is always where the heart is.

TAKE IT OUTSIDE

Summer sunshine has engulfed Seattle and we are so excited to take our workouts outside.  On these dog days of summer we like riding our bikes down to Green Lake to enjoy a Jasyoga sesh under the trees on Tuesday evenings.  A perfect way to top off the day and ‘reset’ with yoga sequences to bring us back in balance.  Sometimes the Jasyoga coaches make reset even sweeter with mighty o donuts at the end of class!  As a side note – Erin (daughter/sister) and owner of Jasyoga, has moved to London with her husband Mark.  We look forward to visiting them in London and checking out her new venture Jasyoga London!

 

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We love to take advantage of the sunshine by integrating many of our workouts with the air, sights and sounds outside.

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Having the advantage of living by a beautiful ravine and summer weather, figured we would multitask.  Cal and Daisy became our new workout companions.  We started off ascending one of our favorite running hills and then doing some boot camp workouts such as plank, sprints, and our new favorite “tree sits.”   Incorporating the dogs’ tennis ball into our workout kept them involved and challenged us to make up new moves!  Time to rehydrate with one of our new favorite smoothies.  Coconut water, goji berries and raspberries all blended together with a little ice for a refreshing drink.

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In goal of not only enjoining the outdoors, we also want to continue challenging ourselves.  Paddleboard yoga was the new class we’ve been looking forward to trying.  Ballard Surf and Paddleboard offers such a class at Shilshole Bay.  Alyssa, the newest member of our family was up for a visit with Abe (our son and brother) and she was game to give the class a try with us.  After a hot summer spell in Seattle, we of course went on the day the weather changed with even little rain in the beginning.  We have never been paddle boarding, let alone yoga on a paddleboard, and Julie was a little nervous – her goal was not to fall in the water!  Our teacher Gwendolyn, was very patient and got us up paddling in no time.  Alyssa was a pro and Maia looked like a natural, Julie brought up the rear – slow and steady!  Class set up for the yoga portion in a cove and Gwendolyn tied the paddleboard together and anchored them to a buoy.  Yoga on a paddleboard was quite a test in balance!  Julie was thrilled she did not fall in the water – success!

paddleboardstand up paddleboarding

 

 

We have heard about aerial yoga and have wanted to try it for awhile. As luck would have it, Levitas anti-gravity yoga studio opened in Fremont. Erin, our (daughter/sister) was up for trying a class with us.   Samantha, the owner, led us through the basic yoga moves while being suspended above ground on silk cocoons.  There was a lot of hanging upside down and fun twists and spins. (Not recommended to eat a meal beforehand.)  Class ended with a heavenly savansa as we were suspended in a cocoon that gently rocked above the ground.  Levitas also offers some yoga mat class.

yoga

We discovered the summer drink, if you are looking for something both refreshing and decadent.  Ginger beer floats at Rachel’s Ginger Beer in Pike Place Market.  Rachel’s has a variety of yummy flavored ginger beers on tap and when mixed with vanilla ice cream all we can say is heavenly!  A must try if you are in the area.

photo (50)Julie is sipping mango/ginger float and Maia  ginger/hibiscus

 

Our summer so far has been a ball – we love being outside and there is nothing better than Seattle sunshine!  Maia will now be able to enjoy summer a little bit more since graduating from the Aveda Institute as an esthetician and starting her new job as Caruh Salon and Spa.

graduate

Feel the sun on your skin – take it outside!

Flavors of Spring

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We took the month of May by storm! Ofcourse it certainly hasn’t hurt that the weather has been great, which has infused us with more energy. Mother’s Day was very memorable for Julie. Erin, Maia and Julie started out the day with a rowing class at Rival Fitness, an intense cardio workout which Julie embraced as an ex-oarswoman. Actually Maia and Erin had also picked up rowing for a time in their youth. For Julie it’s a treat to work out with both daughters. The rowing left us with a big appetite as we met up with Fred and Casey from the family for a special Mom’s brunch at Terra Plata. The organic and locally sourced food was delicious, and just the right thing to restore us after our workout. And quite naturally, being Mother’s Day a nice glass of rosé was in order!

 
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We also attended the opening week of the new Modo Hot Yoga Studio in Greenlake.  The moksha/modo yoga series is based on 40 poses that are done twice in a 90min class.  The atmosphere of the studio is peaceful and calming, yet classes are challenging in working on both strength and endurance.  Modo Studio offers other classes such as yin and vinyasa.  The Modo concept is in large part focused on social consciousness.  This idea is reflected with environmentally friendly studio and pay as you go classes, just part of their 7 Pillar philosophy.  Julie appreciated the multiple variations of a pose she was not familiar with, which made the practice more accessible for her.  We both felt challenged yet rejuvenated by the class.
 
This month we started the Bright Street Running Group with a group of young girls from Pacific Crest  School.  We meet with the girls once a week, introduced and built on our goal of running around Green Lake at the end of the program.   The girls are great, and their enthusiasm and playfulness have made the whole experience a delight!  Taking a page from our daughter/sister Erin, the owner of Jasyoga, we incorporate a post run sequence from Erin’s yoga for athletes.  Maia has enjoyed running with the girls, while Julie’s role is coaching in view of her recovery from a follow-up surgery on her Achilles heel.  Kind of difficult to run with a boot on!
 
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Alyssa, our brother/ son’s fiancé from San Francisco  was in town for a work trip, which was a great excuse to explore a new place to eat.  We tried Tallulah’s, a neighborhood café/bar on 19th Avenue East in Capitol Hill.  The restaurant is on a tree-lined street with a beautiful patio.  We enjoyed a nice selection of small bites which we nursed down with avocado margaritas.  A lovely evening was had as we caught up on our busy lives.
 
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Before the weather changed, as Memorial Day weekend approached, we took one last opportunity to enjoy the sunshine of May.  Maia met Julie and Fred (dad and husband) at Terra Plata after her classes.  After having had a wonderful brunch there, Julie really wanted to hit up the rooftop for an early dinner in the fresh air and lingering warmth of the afternoon sun.  Wow, what an awesome choice!  The rooftop was like another world above the bustle of Capitol Hill.  We shared small plates and Prosecco, and the dessert was on a whole different level.  We shared a fresh ricotta cheesecake with pistachio shortbread, rhubarb compote and lemon curd.  Then there was Julie’s new favorite dessert, salted caramel chocolate bar with peanut brittle and peanut banana semifreddo – which she’s still dreaming about! We had great food this month and connected for special time with loved ones.  Loving these long days!  Now Julie must get back to working out if she’s going to continue satisfying her lust for caramel chocolate bars!  Luckily she is getting her stitches out before the end of May, so hopefully all will be well as she turns the page in another chapter.
terra plotta