Take Me Back Tuesday – London!

When thinking about which destination I wanted to write about this Tuesday my mind wandered to London.  Then I realized it was perfectly fitting because it was almost exactly three years ago that I flew across the pond!  I had a pretty darn lucky first year out of college.  I found a company that allowed me to see different parts of the world including Peru and the United Kingdom – some pretty good perks for being one year out of college huh?

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Where We Stayed:  A Co-Worker’s Flat!  She lived close to the Shepard’s Bush tube stop.  It was a good area easily accessible by the tube and easy to get around to the main attraction areas of London.  I absolutely love knowing locals when traveling, it completely changes the experience.  She was so accommodating and showed us some fantastic hidden gems in London.

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Sight Seeing:  We didn’t have too much time to explore the different sites in London so we squeezed them all in to pretty much one day.  I’m used to the abridged versions of sight-seeing since most of Europe travel was done on long weekends while studying abroad.  We still managed to cover a pretty good section of the city.

We saw the main sites including St. Peter’s Basilica, the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Thames River, Convent Garden.  My favorite part of our sight-seeing day though was visiting Borough Market! Check the website first to make sure it’s open.  It’s a foodie’s dream!

We also happened to be there for the Notting Hill Carnival.  I have never in my life seen a festival so big, it’s the largest of its kind in all of Europe!  The festival happens on the last weekend of August in West London and is a celebration of Caribbean Culture.  I actually got separated from my friends during this festival which was probably one of the scariest things I’ve gone through while traveling.  I kept calm (haha) and some how found them eventually.

London is a fantastic city to visit!  It has so much history yet is such a chic and fun city at the same time.  I haven’t thought about this trip in a while and am happy to have taken a trip down memory lane. Take me back!

St. Peter’s Basilica 

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Big Ben!

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Westminster Abbey

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The London Eye (and yes I think that’s Starbucks in our hands)

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Along the Thames River

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The Borough Market – A MUST – SEE in London!!

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Notting Hill Carnival

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Weekend Round-Up – Picnics, Poses, & Paleo Muffins

I can’t believe Labor Day weekend is already here and gone!  I swear summer goes by faster and faster every year but lucky for me Fall is my absolute favorite season!  Even though I love fall I tried to soak up as much little bits of summer that are left.

I started off Friday with a nice cold Sam Adams beer on my deck.  I love that my new apartment has a deck – so nice just to be able to sit out there and get some fresh air.

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PICNICS

 

Saturday, we took a trip to Long Island for a family party.  We took the ferry over, which I haven’t done in a really long time.  It was fun – a little windy – but fun!  We played a few games of corn hole, drank lots of coronas (fresh and cool thanks to this post on cooler bags), and tried not to over eat all the great picnic food. The key: don’t sit next to the food!

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POSES

 

One of the Yoga teachers I follow on Instagram, Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl), had announced a 10 – Day yoga challenge that started on September 1st.  I’ve never done one of these so thought it would be fun to try.  I’ve probably even in the past made comments about people who post all of these types of pictures – but I’ve realized some times you just have to say f*c* it and do what makes you happy!  Focusing on a different yoga pose each day really makes you take a look at your practice and realize what you like, don’t like, are good at or need to work on.  This challenge is called #AimTrueChallenge.  Day 1 was for a pose that empowers you and Day 2 one that challenges you.  I had fun playing around with this and I’m sure Andy loved being my photographer 🙂 Here were my poses:

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PALEO MUFFINS

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We played around with a paleo bread recipe this weekend and came out with some delicious mini paleo muffins!  They’re a great treat to have on the weekends with my go-to omelet.

1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ cup golden flaxseed meal
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
5 eggs
¼ cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Combine all ingredients and spend a few minutes mixing together, making sure to get out any chunks that the coconut oil forms.  It would probably be better to use a food processor if you have one.

Pour batter into a greased (we used some coconut oil) muffin pan.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes

Finding A Yoga Studio in Your New City

I recently just moved from Boston to Stamford, CT (about 45 minutes from NYC).  This might sound silly, but one of my biggest challenges was finding a new studio.

I started practicing yoga in Boston almost two years ago.  In the beginning I was what I called a “studio hopper” or “Groupon hopper.”  Strapped for cash, I would just try to find the best deal for studios around the city.  This led me into studios all over Boston and allowed me to try out different teachers and styles – which worked out pretty well.  But after a couple of months of “hopping” I found my fit.  Two studios owned by Lynne Begier called Sweat and Soul and Back Bay Yoga.  They had me at hello….or should I say Namaste.  I could go on and on about my love of these two studios, but we’ll save that for a later post.

The point is that it was really hard moving to a much, much smaller “city” and finding a yoga studio that clicked with me.  And I swear that’s the best way to explain it….sometimes it just clicks.  I’m happy to say that I have found a great studio in Norwalk, CT called Saraswati’s Yoga Joint.  While different from my first love in Boston, it’s the perfect place for me to explore the next phase in my yoga practice.

So here are my tips on finding a yoga studio after making a move to a new city:

  • Ask Your Current Yoga Teachers to Help:  One of my teachers in Boston was nice enough to post on her Facebook page and ask about studios in the area I was moving to.  Yoga teachers have huge networks and many are connected on social media.  She got about 5 responses and Saraswati’s was one of the suggestions!
  • Take Advantage of Introductory Offers:  Almost every yoga studio has an intro offer.  I took advantage of this for two different studios.  If you’re lucky enough you will find studios with a month unlimited for about a fifth of what they normally charge!  This is a great way to try out a few different studios without dishing out hundreds of dollars.
  • Yelp: I might be a little biased since I am a pretty avid Yelper, but you really can’t go wrong with Yelp.  You get real opinions from real people. It gives you a good sense of what the community and culture of the studio is like.

When it comes down to it, it’s really just about giving a few studios a try.  Everyone’s preferences vary in terms of what styles they like, type of teachers, etc.  These are just some of the ways that I was able to find a studio that just clicked!2013-08-29 18.58.51

And just remember, if you don’t find the perfect fit…..the best thing about yoga is you can do it anywhere!

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