Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Yin Yoga

Since the weather turned cold I have not been running outside at all. I tried to keep it up in the colder weather but found that I hated running in the cold. It’s not so much the cold air because you certainly get warm quick enough when you are out there pounding the pavement. It was the runny nose I had to deal with the entire run. I can’t stand the constant sniffling and blowing while I’m trying to focus on keeping going with one foot in front of the other. Needless to say, I’ve had to find other ways of keeping fit this winter and plan on a few posts to outline my current exercise regime if you can call it that.

Have you ever heard of Yin Yoga? It’s a Yoga practice that is done almost completely on the mat. Poses target connective tissue and joints and are generally held for 3-4 minutes. I cannot say enough good things about it. I typically attend a Hot Yin Yoga class every other Tuesday with the hopes of making it every Tuesday soon.  Each time I go to class I leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Tuesdays are generally very busy for me. It starts with working all day, then rushing home to pick up Caitlyn and get her fed a snack. We head off to her gymnastics class for 5:30pm and get home from that by 6:30pm. If I haven’t had a chance to make her dinner ahead of time I’ll cook it and get her fed, then she’s off to bed. I grab my mat and rush off to pick up my cousin and get to class on time.

Usually we arrive a few minutes early and get to chat before hand. Once I enter the hot studio I set up my mat and lay down for a little slice of heaven. Being able to lay there before class for even a few short minutes does so much to help me get into the proper frame of mind for the yoga class. I try to clear my head so that I can focus solely on my practice and the hour ahead. My favourite instructor Alina starts us off with her calming nature and soothing voice. We go through several poses throughout the class, my favourite being the supported fish pose. I love how this pose makes me feel, it opens up my chest and I feel free to relax and enjoy it.

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Another favourite is the Cat/Cow combination, this pose loosens me up so much and feels so good to do. Near the end of class it’s back to laying down in Savasana I spend the next few minutes hovering between consciousness and sleep in a state of wonderful relaxation.

As I leave the class I feel so good. My body is more flexible and my mind is calm. The week’s stresses have melted away and I know that I will sleep good that night. The next morning I sit and stand taller, hurt a little less and feel so much better. My mind is clear and I’m ready for the week ahead.

Alina and I after class.

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All in all, I’m so happy to have discovered Yin Yoga and really appreciate having the opportunity to take part in this form of yoga. 

Namaste

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Adventures in House Hunting

While we’re preparing our condo for sale we’ve also been heading out to look at a few homes in the area we want to buy that meet our price range, sort of. All I can say, is there is a house out there for everyone, and lots that aren’t for us.

Exhibit A: Smokers Dream

photo courtesy of Google Street View

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A house we saw last week has been on the market for a while, Brock and I had driven by it once and I automatically said no way. Did not like the look of this house at all. When our realtor took us to it I humoured her by going inside. We stepped into the foyer and the first thing I noticed was the smell of cigarettes. It was everywhere in the house, automatic no for me. Still we continued on our tour, we went upstairs to the main floor. There was a nice living room, 3 bedrooms and a bathroom. That was it, notice anything missing?? Next we headed downstairs to the basement where there was another family room, laundry and the kitchen. I couldn’t believe the kitchen was in the basement, very strange. To top it off, the kitchen had a window above the sink that looked into the garage. That’s right folks, want to know if your car is still there never mind going into the garage just look out your kitchen window. Definite no.

Exhibit B: Awkward!

Photo Courtesy of Google Street View

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Nice looking house right? I thought so anyway, it’s newer and in a really nice neighbourhood full of young families. That’s about where the good things end. We got to this house and the owners were home, already that was very awkward. It’s hard to go through someone’s home and be honest with Brock about what I like or don’t like when I know the people who actually own it are probably listening in. We went through the main level, I didn’t care for the layout and the kitchen had some shoddy workmanship. The floors and carpets were cheap, you could tell that this house was built with little to no upgrades. Given the age of the house I expected it to be in better condition. We headed downstairs into the finished basement.  The stairs lead directly into a small room that Brock immediately enters and starts looking around. I on the other hand glanced at the floor where there was a small mattress with a person sleeping on it. I couldn’t believe it, we had just walked into some person’s bedroom and they were in bed! I’m trying to get Brock’s attention because he hadn’t noticed at all and also looking at my agent like what the hell?! We left without seeing the rest of the house, I already knew I wasn’t buying and didn’t need to find myself in any more uncomfortable situations.

Exhibit C: Almost Perfect

Photo courtesy of Google Street View

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The house that wasn’t meant to be. This house came up this week and looked pretty good from the listing. Saturday there was an open house we thought we would check it out, along with 30 other people. The open house was so busy and there was definitely a reason why, the house was almost perfect. It had everything we were looking for, minus the circa 1960’s wallpaper and lighting fixture in the kitchen. The space in the house was incredible and the price was just within our price range. But, it was never meant to be. Since we’ve not sold yet and with the amount of interest in this place, I’m certain it will be gone before we are ready to buy. So long almost perfect home.

I firmly believe that regardless of how stressful it is thinking about finding the right home at the right time, it will happen. The right house is out there waiting for us, I know it. We may just have to see 20 more to find it. Do you have any great house hunting to share?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

#OperationSellThisHouse

After nearly 5 years in our condo we’ve completely outgrown it. The addition of our wonderful daughter and all her stuff has made it necessary to leave the life of Snow and Grass fairies (our landscape company) and look for a house of our own.

It is so important to me that Caitlyn have a yard where she can run and play and I don’t have to worry so much about other people’s dog poop or swing sets that aren’t maintained properly. I dream of being able to sit on a deck with a cold drink and just watch her climb on her own swing set.  Plus a second living space in the form of a finished basement with a play room would be fantastic. 

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Before we can actually buy a new house we need to get our condor ready for sale. The number of websites with advice on how to stage your home and what makes it more desirable to a buyer is insane. Google “how to sell a house” and you’ll back about 815,000,000 results. After sifting through what feels like a thousand of those sites I liked this CMHC one the best since it had a checklist of things to do. I’ve also come to the conclusion that most of the advice is the same: Remove clutter and clean. We’ve been working on that for a couple of weeks now and while I’m sure my local Value Village will be very happy with my donation, it seems like the job is never ending. There is stuff in closets that I haven’t seen in years and don’t get me started about our basement! I actually took two days off last week in order to get the bedrooms upstairs organized and looking their best. So. Much. Work. On the bright side the upstairs is show worthy and almost makes me want to keep living here… almost Smile 

My one piece of advice if you ever plan on spending two full days deep cleaning and moving stuff around your house, book a massage! By Friday evening every part of me was hurting, from my calves to my entire back and even my arms. I was so happy I had a massage scheduled that evening, the one regret was that it was only an hour long.

Today I leave you with this fantastic video Brock took the other day. He doesn’t want me to teach her how to say it properly because it’s pretty cute. I suppose I can let it be for a little longer, it is one of the only words she mispronounces after all.