Category Archives: beauty

An extra hour, a yoga retreat and your favorite breakfast

E5C504E6-72A5-4AD2-90EE-14230974B2E6When I get busy the first thing to get eliminated from my calendar is yoga. I almost wrote “yoga practice,” but quickly decided that phrase would be overstating my commitment to yoga. I mean, I always feel better after I take a class, but making it to a class, even just weekly, is often a challenge for me. I do my best, you know? Anyway, the recent time change gave me only an additional hour, but I was able to parlay that into a full day of various classes and activities thanks to an offering from my favorite studio, The Hot Yoga Spot.

The day began with a really beautiful drive, orchestrated by WAZE, out to the hill town, Berne. The actual location for the retreat was Switzkill Farm, a property I learned was previously a pheasant farm and a Tibetan Buddhist retreat, but is now community owned. The house, situated atop a hill with glorious views, is the kind of dwelling that makes me fantasize about packing up and leaving the city for more rural digs – beautiful, a bit sprawling and absolutely ripe for cosmetic upgrades.

We convened in what must be the living room, adorned on three sides with windows and a large fireplace anchoring the space. I think there were perhaps 30 or so participants and our mats got arranged in rows facing the front of the room and, beyond, the Helderberg Mountains. Prior to beginning our practice, we were invited to introduce ourselves and share our favorite breakfast – a tough choice for me because I basically like everything breakfast – pancakes, French toast, eggs and omelets, cereal, fruit and yogurt, oatmeal, bagels and pastry…there are no bad breakfast choices in my world! I don’t know – it’s generally the first chance in a new day to provide nourishment to your physical self, isn’t it? I just can’t imagine not eating breakfast. How about you?

We settled on our mats and began what would be a 90-minute yoga class. The instructor was new to me and she gave us a great class with plenty of ab work. Next up was a breathing workshop, which isn’t necessarily my cup of tea, but there were some cool methods demonstrated and I have to admit to adding one particular technique to my toolkit for middle of the night insomnia episodes. Lunch followed and, despite the limitations of my pre-colonoscopy diet, I was able to enjoy my wrap with hummus and cheese, and especially the gluten-free cookies.

We headed outdoors for a walk through the woods which was a perfect digestif. The trails we were on were beautiful and I can see how the Dalai Lama found the property so appealing. It was lovely. By this point in the day, I had almost hit the end of my self-indulgence limit but I’m really glad I decided to participate in the 30-minute Barre inspired class. It brought me to exactly where I wanted to be – satiated without being exhausted. I cut out before the meditation and flow classes but was completely satisfied with my day and the excellent value I received for my $75 fee.

I’ve not been to Kripalu or any other facility specifically for yoga, but this event definitely leaves me open to exploring other retreats in the future. Would you have one to recommend?

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Filed under beauty, breakfast, Events, Exercise, friends, Local, Recommendations, sunday, upstate New York

I’m no shill

You will never confuse me with that Sarah Huckabee Sanders – I could never lie the way that woman does. Seriously? How does she sleep at night? Nope, you couldn’t pay me enough to stand up, much less in front of an audience, and tell people shit that just isn’t true. It’s not my way.

If I like something, or someone, I’m going to tell you about it. Recently I mentioned in an Instagram post a few of my favorite things, including a new hair product made by 58flora. Full disclosure: this small, independent company is owned by a childhood friend. I was introduced to this small line of beauty products last month when I attended Field & Supply, an upscale craft market held in Kingston.

I’m no stranger to high end hair products, choosing Frederic Fekkai  and Malin & Goetz  as my go-to shampoo and conditioner lines. Yes, they’re expensive, but a little goes a long way and I only wash my hair twice a week usually – and that’s where 58flora’s hair parfum comes into play. This organic spray, made from fragrant botanicals, has been the perfect addition to my low maintenance hair regime. I spritz my uncombed mop of hair 3 or 4 times and then do a combination scrunch/fingercombing and my hair has been looking banging. My curls are soft and touchable and my frizz has been tamed beautifully. The texture of my hair is definitely improved – it feels thicker and less dry than it used to and I really couldn’t be happier.

Interested? Check them out over the weekend down in Woodstock when they’ll be participating at Phoenicia Flea.  I can’t make it to Woodstock this weekend, but don’t feel sorry for me. I’ve got this  going on instead and my holy basil + rose hair parfum supply is solid. Hope your weekend is looking as good as my hair!

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3 (Lunar) b*tches and a witch

On a recent and beautiful Sunday morning all three of the Lunar b*tches rendezvoused in Greenwich to run our last scheduled trail race of the season, the Wandering Witch. It was our first time running in this event and we couldn’t have asked for more ideal conditions – the sun was shining, foliage was popping and the scene was completely chill. Truly, perfect race conditions.

Start time was a civilized 9:30, which allowed for plenty of time for packet pickup and use of the real bathrooms. It also provided us with the opportunity to introduce ourselves to a woman we’ve each noticed in other races. I don’t generally approach strangers, but she was familiar to each of us and had a librarian related sticker on her car – done. Turns out she has almost 20 years on me, yet still managed to beat my ass in that particular 10k. Bravo, sister!

The course was a two lap jaunt through the woods, over some hills and around a few turns. Nobody really likes races that simply multiple a 5k route twice to get a 10k or thrice* for. 15k, but this course was so beautiful, that two times around was a treat. So pretty!

I didn’t finish dfl, but I was one of the last finishers. I just didn’t have any juice that day and ended up getting diagnosed with a sinus inflection a few days post-race. If I needed consolation for running this race, my state of health would be a reasonable one. Everyone who got to enjoy that morning was a winner already.

*thrice cracks me up!

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How to spend 24 hours in the Adirondacks

Just in time for your weekend!

• Drive north late in the afternoon just as the sun begins to commit to its trip to the west.
• Settle in with a bowl of chili and more cheese and crackers than you typically consume in one sitting. Rationalize that it’s the mountain air.
• Gather around a bonfire with friends and a big bottle of rioja.
• Stare at the sky filled with magical stars.
• Walk in the deep dark to your accommodations for the night – a hilltop yurt.  CDD230E6-BB97-4242-9155-D47B5F54FAE0
• Snuggle with someone you love.
• Wake in the early morning, step outside and breathe.
• Take in the view and marvel at the beauty that meets your eyes in every direction. E67CFFCF-3FF2-418F-B634-D38079160BBE
• Meet your friends for a trail run.
• Eat a bountiful brunch in a quaint town and appreciate all the gifts you’re fortunate enough to have received.

 

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Filed under beauty, Brunch, Exercise, friends, Recommendations, road trips, running, upstate New York

A half dozen halves

Good friends

I recently ran my 6th half marathon – a claim I never imagined writing, much less accomplishing. The race, Rosendale Runs organized by the Shawagunk Runners group, was essentially a rail trail course, with a couple of miles at the beginning on the road. It was my first time running this race and I really liked the course. There was basically only one hill, and it was very early on, making for a mellow 13+ miles.

Saturday races can be challenging from a practical point of view, especially when they’re out of town. This one worked out pretty well since I crashed at a friend’s place Friday and woke up in close proximity to the course, which was in Rosendale just north of New Paltz. It was a damp, cool morning and I was really glad I had tossed a hat in my bag because I definitely needed it.

What can you say about a half marathon? It was scenic, the runners and organizers were all pleasant and I felt pretty strong running the distance. There was a trestle bridge that offered beautiful views and the path we ran on was soft and wide making for ideal conditions other than in the muddy spots.

Good swag!

I’ve gotten a tad blasé about 1/2s, and have accepted the reality that I’m probably never going to break any speed records. Instead, I run them to push myself a bit and to gain a new experience. I was happy to share this one with a couple of friends and I’ll be checking to see if it fits in my schedule next year again. Maybe I’ll even run it a little faster.

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Chihuly at the New York Botanical Garden

About a month ago,  I came up with a plan for how to spend the holiday from school that happened to land on my birthday – a drive down to the Bronx to check out the Chihuly exhibit at the NYBG.  I went with a friend from Mio, who I knew would appreciate it, and we had a great time.  While I’ve been to the nearby zoo, I’d not been to the botanical garden before and we really picked a winner of a day. It was perfect.

Check out the pictures to see some of my favorite glass sculptures and plants.  The show is up until the end of October and you should definitely try to catch it.

 

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Bees and bruises – Moreau Lake 15K Trail run

2 Lunar B*tches

This time of year is incredibly busy. There are school meetings and events, soccer games and doctor’s appointments all to be worked into a calendar already full of other mundane tasks. This means there’s a lot of picking and choosing when it comes to selecting races in the early fall.  Last week Lunar B*tch Karen and I went with a race that was new to us, but sounded like fun with its 80s theme and challenging trails – the Moreau Lake 15K.

Repping the Class of ’84 (post-race)

The drive started super early in the morning, but took less time than expected. Check in was quick and there were no crowds, making for a pleasant introduction to this new place. When the horn blew, we began, warming up quickly on the somewhat cool morning. Less than a mile in we encountered our first obstacle – bees. We were tipped off to their presence by a woman running slightly ahead of us (Our goal time is “uninjured.” Many people were ahead of us.). Her piercing screams and flailing arms were a clear sign that there was a hazard ahead and we cut off the trail to take a detour. We met her later on the trail and she said she counted at least nine stings. Yikes – good thing she wasn’t allergic.

Beautiful!

A bit swollen, but basically fine.

Back on track, we reveled in the absolutely beautiful terrain. The trails up there are fantastic, soft for the most part and incredibly scenic. It’s a gorgeous course. While we avoided bees, my bad ankle challenged me by continually rolling – 3 times actually in the first four miles. Of course, I picked myself up and, operating on the theory that it’s better to keep it loose with use rather than letting it tighten up, kept going. I think it was the right choice.

Not real pretty, not terribly painful either.

We had a few climbs that were intense, but nothing like Seven Sisters. The course was pretty damn technical, though, and I took another tumble, and a good one at that, but carried on with a colorful scrape on my arm which eventually bruised up in a vivid rainbow of blue, green and yellow. Just a flesh wound, I scoffed, as I swallowed a couple of post-run Aleves.

The last couple of miles were fairly flat and skirted around water. We reached the beach basically intact and that water felt amazing. I’d like to give this race another attempt next year – maybe with an ankle wrap. It was a winner – like Karen and I! We each finished third in out respective age groups. I’m not sure if there were more than three in our age group, but that still sounds like a bronze to me!

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