Love your life in 2015!

Happy New Year!

Let’s take a moment…right now, we have a great opportunity to reflect and look forward! It’s a new chapter in your book – you know all the things coming will somehow build on what’s already happened but you also get to start fresh and experience all new things!

dont live the same life quote

With a new year comes the tradition of resolutions. I’ve learned through trial and error that the important thing when it comes to resolutions (and goals in general) is to fight the urge to make them lofty and unattainable. Goals are wonderful…but only if they are smart, motivating and attainable! Don’t get me wrong, I also would like to add Chris Evans to my list, if that was plausible…

You need direction, focus and motivation to change. And let’s not forget that change is rarely the flip of a switch…it comes with WORK. You need to stick with it! I read a quote that always stuck with me – “The road to success is always under construction.” In other words, even with a goal in mind you’re bound to hit a few road blocks or detours. If you can work toward expecting it, you can be prepared to make another move.

This year, I’m setting new goals for the season, which I’m going to try to revisit in the spring. Check them out below:

  • tone it up love your body quote | sunshine & the bear Find & love: I want to find my version of happiness with myself and ACCEPT IT. There’s is so much pressure to keep up with the proverbial Joneses! We’re always pressured to be skinnier, wealthier, more popular, etc. etc. But are those measures of “happiness” mine? I know the things that make ME happy and I know what I love. I just need to focus on finding and appreciating those things. :)
    Which is another reason I’m so glad the Tone It Up Love Your Body Challenge is coming back – If you know me, you know I enjoy basically every TIU challenge…but I really love this one because it’s not just about working out and eating well, it’s really about making a happy and healthy lifestyle that helps you love yourself!
  • Disconnect: This might be for 5 minutes or it might be for the whole day…I’ve become so tied to my phone, my computer, the TV, etc. We’re checking emails at dinner, scrolling Twitter on the couch…every moment is something. I want to step away from it all and try harder to be present! I want to tune in. Clear out the chaos. And return to that peaceful place again and again.
  • katekatebear letsgetflexy yoga Home yoga routine: I’ve learned to love yoga but I can’t always make it to a class. I want to start regularly practicing at home, if even for a few minutes. Yoga helps me focus, stress less and sleep better!
  • Eat at the table: It seems like a simple thing, but we almost never eat at our kitchen table. We pile books, bags, groceries, packages…everything on our table, except our food! In doing so, we end up eating in front of the TV. I want to get away from that this year!
  • Moderate: So many people are resolving to eat healthier to lose weight (2012 survey estimated that the number of American adults who are dieting jumps from 34 million during the holidays to 50 million in the first two weeks of January!), to undo indulgences, or to simply feel healthier/happier…but I’ve found that never comes from a stark diet change. No need to go cold turkey. The key is moderation.

My wish for your this year is try new things and get out there to do the things that motivate you! Take a break from hating/judging yourself. Meet new people. See new places. Try new things (even if they’re scary). Seek inspiration. Explore the world around you.

Cheers & all the best to you in 2015! ♡

 

A Walk Among the Sunflowers

What a weekend…

I was SO excited that we had some time to head up to a sunflower farm in our area! It was incredible to see the acres and acres of gorgeous yellow…

katekatebear sunflower field

We went up with some friends AND our dogs and had a grand ol’ time taking photos!

At one point, I had this overwhelming feeling of gratitude…and I had to stop and do some yoga poses. I’m a big dork, I know. But I had to share. There’s something about seeing fields and fields of these beautiful things, small bees buzzing around you, people and families taking photos all around…It made my problems and fears feel so minuscule in comparison. We’re all part of this big, beautiful place TOGETHER. It was nice to take a moment and get some perspective. :)

That’s part of why I wear my Tiny Devotions mala beads all the time – to constantly remind myself of the positive energy around (and inside) me. I rock the surfer beads so I feel close to the ocean no matter where I am – so this weekend I had the best of both land and sea…a positive ocean of sunflowers!

katekatebear tiny devotions sunflower field

Where have you gotten lost lately? 

find a beautiful place quote

How Does She Do It: Kristyn

I’m super jazzed to start a new series on my blog, featuring amazing, inspiring people I’ve come across in my life.
We all need a little inspiration and I personally believe in spreading the love…so if I’m inspired, I want to pass it on to others, so they can share and find something/someone that might inspire them!

quote surround yourself

This week, I’m interviewing Kristyn (@KristynJoRuns)! She has been/continues to be an incredible inspiration to me (and I’m sure a ton of others) and I really wanted to help share some positivity from her. She is a consistent voice in the Tone It Up team world, checking in and sharing support and/or recipes with the group. She also has the super cutest pup (Koby) and has made us all jealous by posting photos from the lake! And, in her spare time – she’s a children’s book author! SHE DOES IT ALL – and I have no idea how (hence the blog title haha). She has a lovely blog, Creative with Kristyn, that you should definitely check out! She has tons of great yoga advice and inspiration, recipes and DIY projects, and much more!

kristynjoruns and koby Although I’ve never met Kristyn in real life, I feel kind of like we’re kindred spirits. I sent her some questions to answer – check out her responses below!

How do you start your day? 
I start my day with some hot lemon water and email. If I am feeling a cup of coffee (I’ve been working on dropping back!), I’ll have one after the lemon water. I wake up earlier than I would work out so I can relax for a moment to myself and give myself time to wake up. After email, I do browse social media for a bit, and sometimes get carried away on Pinterest in the early morning. I like to start my day with a workout, and more recently, it has been a yoga flow-either on YouTube, a workout DVD, or my own flow.

What do you never leave home without?
My bottle of water. I go absolutely nowhere without it. It is attached to my hip. I have a KOR water bottle that is made of BPA free plastic and has an organic coconut water filter inside. I am obsessed. It literally goes everywhere with me.

What’s your favorite food?
Toughest question ever. I love food. All of it. I would have to say sushi or when I make gluten-free pizza with all the toppings at home. I also love a good wine and cheese and crackers night. That counts as food, right? It does in my book. I could live on that combo I think. ;)

KristynJoRuns yoga You do a lot of yoga – I just started. It was really intimidating to me but I’m so happy I’ve gotten over the hump and gotten into it. What advice would you give non or new yogis looking to get into it?
Love this question. I started in November and just fell head over heels. I was so intimidated at first too, because there were so many amazing yogis doing insane arm balances and inversions, and there I was a total newbie. But that is the thing about yoga. There is no judgement, no ego; you leave it all at the door. Everyone does. And you do what is best for you and your practice on that given day. My advice for non and new yogis would be to just try. Take it slow. Take it easy. Do not judge yourself based on the performance of those around you. It is not a competition. Yoga is a journey. It is a journey for you and yourself and your body. You will get to wherever you want to get to when the time is right. You will nail that arm balance you have wanted to nail for the new yogis, when the timing is right. You will get that headstand when it is time. Non yogis who want to get into it…go to a studio class. This is just my opinion. Not a class at the gym. Go to a true studio yoga class. You will get the full effect and feel of what yoga is and what it can do for yourself; both body and mind. As we have chatted before, Kate, yoga brought out a side of both of us that we never knew existed, right? And what a wonderful side that is. I have never felt more stronger, both mentally and physically, than I do with my yoga practice. :)

Personally, I found you through our mutual love (obsession? haha) of Tone It Up! How did you first find the Tone It Up family?
Let’s go with obsession, shall we? :) I’ll say obsession…and LOVE…of Tone It Up. I found Tone It Up browsing YouTube videos one day back in like 2010. I was watching a lot of Elle Fowler makeup tutorials and I saw a recommended Tone It Up video. I instantly connected with Karena and Katrina’s fun loving attitude towards life and fitness. I watched their videos and did some here and there. It wasn’t until I got engaged that I really got into the Tone It Up Lifestyle. About 6 months before I got married, I bought the plan and followed it as I moved along through wedding planning. I have met SO MANY amazing women, all of whom I call friends (whether I know them personally, have met them, or not) and the community is so welcoming. So many opportunities have come up for me with all my TIU gals, too. I am forever grateful to Tone It Up for their hard work, dedication, and love they put into their business and the community. They have inspired, and continue to inspire millions of women across the globe and have connected us all in a beautiful, strong community filled with love and inspiration.

kristynjoruns beach How has leading a healthy life changed your life?
It has definitely changed a lot of things in my life! I would definitely say the addition of yoga to my healthy lifestyle really put my life over the edge of awesomeness. It completely changed my mentality to a very positive one. I have always been a pretty positive person, but yoga 360’d that for me and made it even more positive and taught me how to work through those times of personal stress that were always hard for me to work through before. Leading a healthy lifestyle has given me a sense of peace and clarity in this ever changing, busy world.

What is your favorite inspirational quote?
“Travel light. Live light. Spread the light. Be the Light.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

And what a light to be spread indeed…Kristyn is so rad! I hope you are as inspired by her as I am! Check her out on Twitter, Instagram and her blog to find even more daily light! ♥

 

 

Farm To Mat

I’ve been lucky enough to get to know the fun people who are opening M. Power Yoga Studio here in Baltimore and, with them, some amazing other yogis within our Baltimore community. Last night, M. Power hosted a special event with our local lululemon team and a local farm-to-table restaurant Farmstead Grill, and it was GLORIOUS!

farm to mat mpower yoga lululemon farmstead grill katekatebear

As you may have read, I’m new-ish to the yoga scene. I’m learning to get more in touch with my breath and myself through practice, but I’m not a pro by any means. Last night, however, you could really feel it…the weather was incredible, the people were having fun and awesome, there was positivity in the air all around. It was rad!

farm to mat katekatebear

First we set up and enjoyed a beautiful sunset yoga session with M. Power instructor Courtney McKeon, accompanied by live music from The Herd Brothers.

farm to mat mpoweryoga lululemon farmstead grill

farm to mat mpoweryoga lululemon farmstead grill

the herd brothers farm to mat

BUT SERIOUSLY…LOOK AT AT THAT SUNSET! :)

Then we got the special dinner from Farmstead Grill made with local (delicious) ingredients! I LOVED the fresh pressed juice and the hummus!

farm to mat mpoweryoga lululemon farmstead grill

farmstead grill baltimore dinner box farm to mat

It was a beautiful night with beautiful people! I really hope there are more of these amazing community partnerships!

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Post for Tiny Devotions

Recently, I was asked by a wonderful brand that I love, Tiny Devotions, to write a little post about myself. I was first introduced to Tiny Devotions by my lovely trainers at Tone It Up. I was instantly enamored with the company – they have beautiful products, but they are so much more than that. They are always offering inspiration and support on Twitter, their amazing blog Boho Daily, etc. Much like other brands I adore, they get tend to get it. People don’t want to just be sold products. They want to connect. We all need to buy things, sure. But we WANT to buy products that feel right. Items from brands that we understand fit our lifestyle and often our beliefs.

tiny devotions quote

Anyway, after getting up the nerve to sit down and write this, I honestly didn’t know where to start. I had to walk away several times…for months! But seriously, when do you ever write about yourself and who you are? Sure, I write posts about things I like and things I love such food and workouts (ok, mostly food), but it’s never really a “Hi, I’m Kate and I am blah blah blah.”  I was truly thrilled when Tiny Devotions approached me and asked me to write a little ditty about myself. Little did they know it would set me on a course towards inner discovery. OR maybe that was their plan all along. :)

So here’s my post that Tiny Devotions shared with their community today:

Hi, I’m Kate! I’m a 28-year-old fitness nut living in Charm City (aka Baltimore, MD). I love food and working out (oh, and did I mention food?). Until about a year ago, I thought I was a badass. I’ve played  sports starting at a young age, going all the way through college and I always loved how strong that made me feel. But, over the past year, I’ve discovered a new type of strength – a more silent power that I unlocked by finding my way onto a yoga mat.

As I mentioned, I’ve always been an athlete. So you’d think that at some point I would have tried yoga…wrong. I was too busy training doing stairs or plyometrics or lifting at the gym (or being a scaredy cat). It took me a long time to finally admit to myself that of all the things the fitness world had to offer, yoga was one of the most intimidating for me. It’s only now that I realize why – when you’re practicing yoga, it’s you and only you. I’ve almost always been part of a team. The idea of opening up, and maybe failing, on my own was daunting. There’s so many pressures in the world to be perfect, particularly for young women. We say we know ‘perfect isn’t a reality’, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to keep up with the proverbial Joneses…

Long story short, someone finally got me to a yoga class. I’m pretty sure my friend tricked me, but either way I’m glad I got there. I immediately loved it. Where I had feared I’d be judged for my lack of knowledge and practice, I was pleasantly surprised with an overwhelming welcome and support. What was I afraid of all this time? Letting go. I had to let go of my fears. Let go of my closemindedness. Let go of the path I was on and give myself the opportunity to look at all the amazing things going on around me.

So I did. And in that letting go, I found strength and the power of intention I never knew I had. I discovered that you can always begin again, even if you fail. It wasn’t a hard on-switch, but more like a sunrise…slowly creeping light in.

So that’s my tale of finding strength in letting go. Letting go of my fears and trying something new. Allowing myself the opportunity to fail and begin again. I’ll leave you with this parting thought: we are ever-evolving and growing on this journey we call life. Right now, we’re just somewhere along the road so if it gets hard or scary, just know that there might be something amazing around the bend.

I hope to see you on the mat. <3

So what about you? Have you ever had to share part of you that wasn’t exactly comfortable? Was that freeing?