Month: March 2014

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be beautiful: how to find peace with yourself

Let’s start off the week with some deep thoughts.When was the last time you took a minute to check in with yourself and make sure you’re on the right track – the track of a healthy, happy you. Often times we let our own mental and physical health take the back burner while we focus on progressing in work, school or social networks. I find myself snapping so many photos thinking about Instagram when I walk to the beach, instead of just doing what I went there to do: relax and get away. Get away from my own busy mind. That busy mind that often times keeps me up at night, just spinning and running with thoughts so coherent I wonder why I can’t just be productive while sleeping too? Then I wake up drained and tired. Does this sound like you too? Then you definitely need to take a minute and find some peace with yourself. This is the easiest for me to do with yoga. In a restorative class, I am able to …

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menagerie: yoga + healthier sweets

My Pinteresting last week was all yoga and sweets. Partially because of two things: (1) I gave up processed sweets (or desserts after dinner) for Lent and (2) I’m amped about my yoga teacher training in May! I got an approval from my church in Rincon to offer a yoga class once a week for free to our congregation and I was overjoyed to receive this news! Then, because I have a horrible sweet tooth, I’ve been trying to find healthier alternatives to some of the desserts I love to make. For instance, last week I baked chickpea blondies. Yup, that’s right – no flour, no butter, no eggs, no dairy — made with chickpeas, peanut butter and agave, these were heaven sent (no Lenten pun intended). So here are some of pins and things I’m loving lately: black bean brownie | namaste hands | aerial mermaid | beach headstand | toasted coconut mousse | prayer meditation | beach hand stand | forward fold | chickpea blondies | oatmeal peanut butter squares | superfood snack …

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culinary: healthy mexican chicken soup

A quick soup, with a healthy kick and a Mexican flare – is there a better lunch-from-leftovers? We made this last week, to help boost our immune systems with that whole body nourishment from chicken broth and avocado. The perfect light but filling dinner, and the yummiest take to work lunch thereafter. Easy to make, scrumptious to eat. Here ya go: 1 whole chicken 4 carrots, halved crosswise 1 large yellow onion, halved 1 tablespoon kosher salt 1.5 cups long grain white rice 1/4 tsp black pepper 2 avocados 1.5 cup fresh cilantro 3 limes, halved Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place the chicken, carrots, onion, and salt in a 12 quart pot. Add enough cold water to cover it and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 1 hour. Skim off any foam that appears. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cool. Remove and discard the carrots and onions. Add the rice to the broth and simmer for 20 minutes. Now, shred the chicken while …

diy: declutter your life

With spring around the corner, I figured this would be an appropriate post to get us all motivated to clean. Yuck, yes I know, but oh so essential to a sound mind, right? The other day, I got a wild hair and started cleaning and throwing away all sorts of old crafting supplies – like packaging that I was saving to reuse, or old beads and things that just aren’t up to par anymore. I managed to take three drawers of craft supplies and condense it into one. Wow!! So impressed with myself, that I then moved onto my makeup cabinets and boxes and condensed like crazy there too. So, I wanted to share some of these ideas to help motivate you to declutter and organize your life so that you’re ready to start Spring with a fresh house and a fresh mind!  [ Photo via HoneyPieLiving; Design via me] Beauty Products |  Look at expiration dates on sunscreens, toss the old ones. Throw away samples of mascara that you’ve opened and used for months, …

our wedding date & venue

I’m excited to announce the first major details of our wedding! You may remember from this past post where I described my dream venue out at my brother and his fiance’s family ranch – well, they said yes! We’ve got our venue! I’m amped to venture home this summer to snap more photos and walk the land to pick the perfect spot for the ceremony and reception. Not only that, but we’ve also booked our photographers! So excited for Feather & Twine to shoot our special day! Which will be April 18 of next year – early enough to beat the Texas heat but late enough to miss the April showers (we hope). So, that’s three big decisions finalized – venue, date, photography! After the wedding, we’ll be heading out to Bali for a two week honeymoon in paradise, then landing in Florida for our post-wedding party before flying back to Puerto Rico. Why not make a month of it?

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four wedding photographers we love

This is the most important part of wedding decisions, I think. The photography is how we will always and forever remember our special day, so finding the right one and budgeting for the best one is of my top priority. The unique (and potentially pricey) part of our wedding plans? We have two receptions, and thus two photography choices to make. For Texas, we really like the cool tones and attention to details that both Feather & Twine and Heather Hawkins have a eye to capture. Since our wedding will be outdoors, we like that both have ample experience shooting these environments. For Florida, we only need a photographer for just a few hours, mostly to capture some shots of Evan and I on the beach, with our families and then a few shots at this after party, post honeymoon. I’ve scoped out Beulah Anne of the photography duo Wilhelmina Weddings and also my dear blog friend Meghan of M.Newsom Photography. We love the styles of these talented people! Perhaps one or two of them …

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follow up: philippines back pack relief efforts

There has been tremendous success with the relief efforts over in the Philippines. Thank you Lord for all the countries and organizations that have been so diligent in providing care and relief during times of distress and anguish for these people. However, you may have noticed that this disaster is not featured in the news so much anymore. We get numb to the accidents and reports, unfortunately. So in response to several inquiries, I’d love to share an update about a particular Philippines relief effort that I shared in this past post here. Started by my second family, Ralph and Joy Turingan – both school teachers in Florida – is the Back to School Backpack Relief created to help get kids back in school with the supplies they need to learn. You can read more about the relief here. Back in November, they created a Facebook page to reach out to friends, families, communities and anyone willing to donate money to support their cause – to purchase backpacks and supplies to be delivered to the …

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culinary: gluten free apple cinnamon muffins

I love to bake gluten free, but almost rarely have gluten free baking mix because it’s so difficult to find here on the island. However, last week I used up the rest of a box I brought back from Texas to make these delicious treats that Evan and I devoured in two days. We ate 10 muffins in two days. Yup. These are moist, scrumptious and light – despite the buttermilk I substituted in place of almond milk (I did this because I HAVE BUTTERMILK this month, which you know is also really rare for here). So here’s the recipe in case you’d love to bake them too!   What You Need: 1.5 cups gluten free baking mix 0.5 cup sugar 2 tbsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 2 eggs 1/4 coconut oil (liquid) 0.5 cup buttermilk (room temp) 1.2 tsp vanilla 1 cup apple chunks, diced Topping : 1 tbsp sugar + 1/2 tsp cinnamon What To Do |  Preheat oven to 375F .Mix all the dry ingredients …

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travel: honeymoon in bali

This is our honeymoon destination! Bali! We are already so excited about this trip, we can hardly contain ourselves! The night that Evan proposed, we were then headed up the island to San Juan to catch our flight out to Texas the next day. On the plane, I asked Evan where he would want to honeymoon, and we both agreed on Bali. This was officially our first decision concerning wedding plans. We landed in Texas not having any clue about dates and venues, but we knew where we wanted to travel! We both have an eternal travel itch. Given our fields of study, we should have ample opportunities to explore new places in the future, even though right now we’re tied down with studies and research. So we decided to take a relaxing two week honeymoon to the other side of the world. We want to experience this new culture, dive in the Pacific, surf and enjoy massage and yoga on the beach. We want to eat some amazing fresh local food, buy some awesome …

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life changes and new directions

I’ve been practicing yoga for several years now. I began when I moved to Florida, and classes were offered for free to students at our gym. I was able to try out the art in form of exercise, but never gained anything from it spiritually. From there, I began practicing at home, and in smaller studios on the beach. I learned a small bit about meditation, and very little about the morals behind yoga. But I was able to strengthen my body and gain a wider range of poses. Now that I’m living in Puerto Rico, I’ve been practicing several times a week at a couple studios in Rincon. I’ve discovered a lot about myself over the years from this practice – my body can do so much more if I just let my mind relax and stop believing that I cannot. I’ve also discovered that I want to learn this practice beyond simply engaging in classes a couple times a week – I want to understand the rich history of yoga, its morals and …