Trophy Hunting, and Why it is the Most Cowardly Thing Humans Do

This blog has been quiet over the last few weeks because I just haven’t thought of anything that is worthy of a post. But then this happened, and I couldn’t stay quiet.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: AFP/Getty Images)

By now you’ve heard about the idiot dentist, Walter Palmer, who is a trophy hunter, who hunted and killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe. Not only did he kill him, but he and three others lured the lion out of the sanctuary, shot it with a bow and arrow, and then followed the injured lion until they could shoot him. They then skinned and beheaded Cecil. Just typing this brings tears to my eyes.

But Cecil isn’t the first victim of heartless horrible people. This happens all the time. Cecil was an icon for Zimbabwe so this is getting national news…which is great because people are obviously outraged. However, you don’t hear about the other hundred upon hundred of trophy hunters who kills innocent animals all over the world. Last year, 1,004 rhinos were killed in South Africa alone, and more than 25,000 elephants were killed by poachers across Africa.

Rhinos are having their horns chopped off, elephants are having their ivory tusks and hooves cut off, and lions, tigers, polar bears, bears, and countless other animals are being killed so their heads can be hung on some asshole’s wall. This isn’t just happening on land, it’s also happening the water. Sea lions, sharks, dolphins, fish, whales all fall victim to this. There are only 3,000 tigers left in the wild. There is ONE white rhino left in the WORLD. At the turn of the century, there were an estimated 200,000 Asian elephants. Today there are probably no more than 35,000 to 40,000 left in the wild.

I have no other way to describe these people who willingly go and hunt these precious animals other than as cowardly assholes.

This is a huge issue. We are looking at complete mass extinction way too soon. And for no other reason than human selfishness. If you don’t think this affects you, do some research. Nature makes the world go around, and we are killing nature and its inhabitants every single day.

Americans are the biggest problem when it comes to trophy hunting. Sure, there are some hunters who are not Americans, but we make up the vast majority of the problem. Thankfully, there are only a couple of airlines left that will allow the transportation of animals trophies back to the US, making it harder and less enticing for people to go overseas to kill. But, that isn’t stopping a lot of people.

And while I don’t support deer hunting here in the US, I do understand that it won’t lead to a mass extinction. I still think it’s wrong, especially when there are places people can go where they PAY to kill a deer within a controlled and caged environment. I’m not making this up. That’s like paying to go to the zoo and kill helpless animals who have no where to run. It’s disgusting.

And, on an entirely different note, we are killing animals who hurt humans…even though the humans were in the animal’s environment. Don’t we have self-defense laws? Why shouldn’t these animals have the same? Take the story of the boy who was attacked by a bear in the Smoky Mountains. Yes, I feel awful for the boy as he had severe damage done, but then officials went out and killed the bear….but they killed the wrong one! So then, they went out and killed another bear…eventually identifying it as the bear that attacked the kid. So, two bears were killed because they attacked a person who was in the bears home. Makes sense, right?

I saw a TV show during Shark Week that was on while I was at bar (so I couldn’t hear the TV) where humans were capturing sharks and drilling with a drill into it’s fins. Drilling. Now, I don’t know what their reasoning was, but I can’t imagine that the shark/dolphin/whale appreciates being drilled into.

I know I’ve gotten a little off topic, but my whole point is this–Humans have absolutely no right to kill or harm these innocent animals. They deserve to live on this earth too. They make this earth better while we destroy it everyday. To those that are trophy hunters, I hope you get eaten by the next lion that you go after, or trampled by the next elephant you try to track.

These animals deserve rights to. Want to help? Here’s what you can do:

  • Talk about it. This is an issue that gets ignored all the time. It shouldn’t be ignored. Talk about it. Start conversations. Voice your opinion. It’s conversations that lead to action.
  • If you see something, say something. These kinds of things don’t just happen overseas. Animals are being illegally killed (I personally don’t think it matters if it’s legal or not) all the time in the US. Speak up. We have to be the voice.
  • Donate to an organization who works to fight to protect against animal poaching.

We can’t just sit back and let this happen. We can’t just feel bad for the animals. We have to do something, say something, change something.

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Goals from the New Year Half Way Checkpoint

How is it July? I’m pretty sure we just celebrated New Year’s Eve, right? At the beginning of the year, like any other list maker, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish this year. Not necessarily resolutions, but just goals and things that I wanted to cross off. Here is how my list started.

  1. Travel more. Go out of state at least 3 times.
    Check (after this weekend). This year we’ve been to Las Vegas, Indianapolis, and we are headed to Nashville this weekend. We will also be going to Florida for Christmas.
  2. Make yoga a habit. Go more than once a week.
    Check (almost). I’ve been going almost once a week. I think there have been a few weeks where I didn’t make it at all, but I’ve been working hard at fitting in one yoga class a week in addition to spinning and weight training, and I can definitely tell the work is paying off. I can now do this! 
  3. Do a DIY project for our new home.
    Check! We built two vegetable gardens (as seen in the above photo) and made some of our own art for inside the house.
  4. Give more to charity/volunteer more. 
    No check. I did volunteer to pour beer at a charity event–but that’s not the kind of volunteerism I was going for when I made this list. I’ll work on it.
  5. Visit a local winery or brewery and do a tour. 
    No check. We are hoping to go to a local distillery in the next month or so for a tour, though so I think that counts!
  6. Shop less. Buy more pieces that are timeless.
    Umm…no check. I am definitely shopping less–but definitely still buying cheap pieces that will only last a season or two. It’s much easier for me to buy 5 shirts that are under $20 rather than 1 shirt that is $80 and will last me awhile. I’ll keep working on it.
  7. Teach Rogue to be a better off-leash dog.
    We are getting there. And when I say we, I mean I’m getting better. He’s run away from us (me) 3 times when he’s been off leash and I think I had a mini heart attack each time. Not fun. So, yes, I am very anxious when we leave the door open because he could escape at any minute, and yes I still panic when I leave him with other people because he could escape from them as well. But, he’s listening more and hasn’t tried to make a run for it for awhile. We are learning together. 
  8. Save money for trip to Europe in 2016.
    Check…not fully saved but we are working on it. I really really want to take a trip next year to Ireland with Ryan. He’s on board, but being the financially responsible guy he is, wants to make sure we save rather than putting it on a credit card (my solution!!). So, we are saving every week. And I’m sure that will be bumped up even more in the next few months. It’ll be worth it though. Gotta control my impulse purchases!

So, mid-way through the year I think I’m doing okay on my goals. What goals/resolutions did you make at the beginning of the year?

Treating My Allergies and Joint Pain Naturally

I’ve dealt with allergies my entire life. I was the kid who had a permanent white line on her nose from rubbing it so much. I also spent the majority of my childhood outside, so my parents and allergist tried every treatment possible to keep the misery at bay. I’ve tried all sorts of pills, shots, nasal sprays, neti-pots, honey, humidifiers, dehumidifiers…you name it, I’ve tried it.

I’m allergic to the outdoors and animals only in the warmer months, so October-March I rarely have any issues. Once the pollen started to fall this year, I was yet again miserable. After having dinner with my friend Allie and chatting about our miserable noses, she told me about how acupuncture has changed her life. Without asking any questions or doing research on acupuncture, I immediately made an appointment.

After making my appointment, I decided to do a little research as to what I was getting myself into. I learned that acupuncture helps with A LOT of things, including joint pain/arthritis. I’ve had joint pain off an on throughout the years, but in the last year, it’s been very consistent. I’ve been tested for lots of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid (RA) arthritis and they all came back negative. Now, that doesn’t mean a whole lot as RA is hard to diagnose (both my mother and my grandmother have RA), but stil means we don’t really know what’s going on with my body.

At my appointment, I explained both my allergies and joint pain issues to Tessa. She immediately asked about my gluten intake. Now, I’ve tried to cut out gluten before when all the other cool kids were doing it, but I just love my bread so much I eventually fell back into a pile of wheat. But, after Tessa explained that gluten has a strong effect on joint pain, allergies, skin rashes, and acne, I was convinced to jump back on the gluten-free wagon.

After that, the acupuncture and cupping began.

Don’t ask me to explain what cupping does. Tessa explained it in great detail and I just ended up nodding and going along with it. All I know is that Jennifer Aniston does it, so I figure it must be good for me. None of this hurt at all, though I did have some cupping marks on my back for a few days. I also had needles sticking out of my toes, head, face, and fingers.

The whole appointment took a little less than 2 hours. I was mostly relaxed (even though seeing all those needles sticking out of me freaked me out a little bit) and never felt uncomfortable. After a little over a week, my allergies have been completely under control and my joint pain totally gone. Also within this week, I’ve totally cut out gluten (in addition to being vegetarian) and have started taking a Chinese supplement, Yu Ping Feng San.

I currently feel great. I know it’s only been a week, but I also know that during the summer I’m used to having bad allergy days on a regular basis, and my joint pain has been flaring up every 3-4 days prior to this treatment. I’m going to go back for another appointment next week and continue with the herbs and gluten-free diet. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to feel better.

Have you ever tried acupuncture or cupping?

The Effects of Being an (Anxious) Extrovert

It’s no secret that I’m an extrovert. I would much rather be with a group of people than by myself. I can’t even drive in my car without talking to someone on the phone. I think social situations are when I’m at my best. I have no problem with public speaking or being with people I don’t know very well, and I enjoy having my husband around me pretty much all the time.

There are some things I like to do by myself. Shopping is the main one. I like to get in, go where I want, buy what I want, and not have to worry about someone else’s thoughts or schedule. I also like to workout by myself most of the time. I like going to classes, not to the gym, to workout alone. I need someone (the instructor) to tell me what to do when I workout, but I don’t want to go with a group of friends. Sometimes I don’t mind having a girlfriend with me, but I also appreciate the time I have alone in a workout class to just be with my thoughts and sweat.

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But, in general, I’m not good at being alone. I remember when I was a kid, my parents would be out of town on a lot of weekends for work, and while some kids would love the chance to be alone and stay up all night, I would ask as many friends as I could to come stay the night.

This has transferred into my present life–and has coupled with the anxiety that I have grown to have as well. My husband was out of the country in Japan and China for work a few months ago. It was miserable. For me, not him. The first few days were the worst. I went shopping, bought myself flowers and dark chocolate pretzels, and stayed with my parents. Not exactly the most mature set of things I could have done, but I knew it was going to be a rough start. As the week went on, I tried to embrace the loneliness. I had endless conversations with my dog, didn’t make the bed, wore my oldest clothes to sleep in, and ate lots of chocolate pretzels. The week got better, but it wasn’t easy.

Pair the loneliness with my anxiety and you have a bomb about to explode. I’m the queen of coming up with stories in my head that are…horrible. For example, I will convince myself that I left a candle on and the house is going to burn down…or that Ryan isn’t returning my texts/calls because he’s dead on the side of the road. It’s pretty awful and sometimes can be paralyzing to me.

The other downside of being an anxious extrovert is that I’m constantly worried that I have offended someone or said the wrong thing. I replay conversations over and over and over in my head just to be sure that I didn’t say the wrong thing. While I love surrounding myself with people and being as social as possible, the after effects are exhausting.

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So, what have I done to combat this desire to want to be with people and this anxiety I feel when alone or after a social setting?

  1. I’ve tried to be alone more often–and while alone, I’ve resisted the urge to text or call anyone. Nowadays, it’s so easy to not feel alone when you’re diving deep into the social media traps. However, I’ve found that can make me feel worse than better. I’ve become more mindful and appreciate my time by myself in the little place that I get it.
  2. Tried meditation. This is really new to me. It all started with a yoga class. The instructor made us sit still and meditate for 3 min intervals, 3 times. Each time we focused on something different (our bodies, our breathing, our thoughts). This not only challenged me to be alone with my thoughts but also helped with my overall anxiety. Quieting your mind is really hard, but really powerful.
  3. Learn that I can’t control everything. There is a very good chance that my husband is in a meeting or has his phone on silent rather than in a horrific accident like I convince myself to believe.
  4. Continue to surround myself with positive people. Negativity attracts negativity. If I’m surrounding myself with people who lift me up, not only does it make my extroverted self happy, it also helps ease my worries afterwards. I’ve cut out some negativity in my life and it’s made a huge difference.
  5. Embraced myself. For so long I would think that maybe I was too outgoing or too outspoken…which is why much of my anxiety has appeared. Now, I’ve realized that it’s okay to be me. I know I’ll never be the girl to take a vacation by herself, and that’s okay. It’s okay if I say the wrong thing at the wrong time and it’s okay that I’d rather be with someone else than by myself. It’s also okay to be uncomfortable trying new things (spending more time alone) and it’s also okay if not every single person like me. I like me and so do the people that really matter in my life.

The lovely pictures are from the good people at Death to the Stock Photo.

Things I’m Loving Lately – Round 2

Here’s your second edition of Things I’m Loving Lately! (You can view my first post here.)

Unite Beach Day and 7 Seconds Detangler – I don’t know about you, but my hair is always a tangled mess when I get out of the shower. Now, I just spray the 7 Seconds on and I have zero issues getting a brush through. I’ve also been digging the beachy, messy curls look. Beach Day helps to separate and give some textures to curls. Plus, it smells amazing. Added bonus, Unite does not test on animals and is cruelty free!

unite

Alex and Ani Bracelets – I wear these every single day. My husband bought them for me after I mentioned how much I loved my sister-in-law’s set. And they are meaningful. I have one that says “Aunt” and one that says “My Other Half” from Ryan.

Nooma Drinks – The company was started by two brothers who are from Cleveland. The drinks are wonderful…not too sweet, and super smooth like water. They are super refreshing and not full of gross chemicals or added sugars. I hate that Gatorade or other popular sports drinks have so many bad ingredients…Nooma keeps it simple and fresh.

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These bloggers: The Daily Tay, Carrots N Cake, Peanut Butter Fingers, Peanut Butter Runner
I have been reading blogs for at least 5 years now. I follow over 50 blogs, but these ladies have been my favs for the longest. If you like to laugh, workout, eat good food, or like to take an in-depth look into people’s daily lives, follow these girls.

The fact that I get to see this guy in concert tomorrow:
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Ryan and I are driving to Indianapolis tomorrow to catch the Brantley Gilbert, Eric Church, and Kenny Chesney concert. To say I love Eric Church is an understatement. Whew. See you soon, EC! 

What are you loving lately?

Go Faux

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I know some of you might roll your eyes at this post–especially those who have known me for a long time, or those who think all animal activists are crazy and barefoot. Obviously, I haven’t always been a vegetarian or an animal rights activist. But, like everyone else, I grew, I learned, and I got educated. And then my heart started to hurt the more education I got around the animal testing/meat industry. Over the last three years I’ve avoided food that is meat or came from animals. But, I recently started to look at my lifestyle and the items I used each and every day, and I realized that I needed to dive deeper and think beyond the things I eat.

We all know that the majority of beauty/food/cleaning industries only care about the bottom line, not how they get there. Animals are tortured and put through tremendous pain to end up on our plates, but did you know that animals go through just as much pain for you to wash your face at night?

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Did you know that the European Union bans animal testing on beauty products? Why is the United States still allowing this to happen? US law allows animals to be poisoned, drowned, burned, crushed, and killed. All experiments are allowed, no matter how horrible and painful they are to the animal. Science has come a long way and now we know that these tests are completely unnecessary.

Ridding your life of these products can be overwhelming. Almost everywhere you look there are products that have been tested on, or created from, animals. Here are a few simple steps you can do to become more aware of your everyday products, as well as suggestions on how you can stop using products that cause harm to animals prior to landing on store shelves.

Take a look at the products you use to most to get ready each day. If you do some research about the lotion, hair products, makeup, etc. that you use daily, you’ll find that most products undergo extensive and awful testings procedures on animals. Companies like UniteLush, Aveda, and Bath and Body Works are always a safe bet as they do not test on animals. You can also make your own lotions and face washes by using coconut oil, olive oil, and so many other options that are probably in your kitchen cabinet right now!

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Look at what you’re wearing: how much leather do you have? What about wool? For the love, please stop wearing wool and fur. Both of these items don’t just fall off the animals–horrific things have to happen in order for these products to end up in your closet. Save some money and buy a new pleather purse or cotton sweater. The sheep and dogs (yes, dogs) of the world will thank you.

Before you clean, look at the products you’re using. Just like beauty products, cleaning and household products are first tested on animals and then sent off to the grocery stores. Method, Seventh Generation, and Honest Co. products are good for household cleaning products. Or, you can always make your own concoctions using products that you already own.

Once you start finding brands and products that you know are ethical and cruelty free, you’ll be opened up to a whole new world of great brands that you can feel good about wearing and using. And, since most of these products are organic and made from natural ingredients, you can know that you aren’t causing any harm to yourself either!

Rogue thanks you.

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Sources:
http://www.aboutanimaltesting.co.uk/facts-about-animal-testing.html
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/animals-laboratories/
http://www.peta.org/issues/animals-used-for-experimentation/cosmetic-household-products-animal-testing/

I was the kind of kid who…

The Daily Tay
I love reading The Daily Tay’s posts. I’m always truly lol-ing and relating the things she says. Especially her latest one, I Was the Kind of Kid Who…I thought I’d take matters into my own hand and give you a little deeper dive into the weirdness of my childhood:

I was the kind of kid who thought that I was for sure going to be a famous dancer or that girl who choreographed all of Britney Spears’ music videos. I bossed my friends around and made up and videotaped SO MANY dance videos…if only YouTube was big back then.

I was the kid who had bangs. Actually, I’m now the adult who has bangs, but when I was a kid, they were bad. I remember my routine: I would let my awesome not curly but wavy/straightish hair air dry and then take a big round brush and blow dry my bangs. Not the side swept look  that I try to rock today, but truly, a big round puff of bangs that was be secured with cheap hairspray.

Just being a model rocking the bangs with my bro.

I was the kid who never looked good with braces. I always felt like my friends (one in particular) looked sooo cool with her braces, especially with the different colored bands. But my two front teeth have always been bigger than my head (I think I’ve grown into them) so braces was never a great look for me.

I was a bit of a cookie monster growing up and I would take 4-5 Oreo’s/Chips Ahoy and hide them in my pockets so my parents would see me sneak them away. I’m pretty sure I still do that to hide cookies from my husband.

I was the kind of kid who would bite off the end of Twizzlers and then drink Sprite through them like a straw. I don’t know why I thought this was the coolest thing ever, but it was entertaining to me.

Being a kid is weird. And awesome. What kind of kid were you?

Recipe Roundup – My Go-To’s

Eating food is one of my favorite things to do. It might be my MOST favorite thing to do. I wake up and go to bed thinking about food. I love to cook it, create new recipes, and find new options that both my husband and I will love. However, without fail, we always end up falling back into the same mixture of meals each week. We sometimes will add in something new, but typically, we stick with what we know works for us. Here’s a compilation of the foods that we typically eat each week.

Disclaimer: I love to cook and I think most of my meals turn out pretty well. With that said, I do not measure anything and I kind of just throw things together and keep throwing things in til it’s right. My directions and ingredients are not very detailed. This is why I’m horrible at baking.

Also, sorry for the lack of pictures. I have found I take HORRIBLE food pictures. I need some help in that department.

Breakfast:

Avocado toast with sriracha. This is my absolute favorite thing to eat. I’ll eat it at any time of the day, but I get especially excited when I’m going to have it for breakfast. I love anything with sriracha, and this is no exception. It’s the perfect balance of fat and carbs to make a complete breakfast. We’ll also add sea salt, ground pepper, garlic salt, or red pepper flakes to take up the flavor a little more. Oh and I always butter my toast because I also love butter.

Other breakfast staples include: peanut butter toast, scrambled eggs with kale, egg sandwich, smoothies, and Cheerios if we’re in a rush.

Lunch/Dinner:

I’m combining lunch and dinner because if I don’t go out for lunch, I usually am eating leftovers from the night before. If I do go out, lunches consist of: veggie bowls for Chipotle or Bibibop, soup/sandwich/salad combo from Panera, or a giant salad from the local grocery store.

When we are cooking, our meals consist of:

Peanut Butter Chickpea Kale 
Ingredients: kale, chickpeas, 1 big scoop pb, whatever veggies you want, veggie broth, spices, sriracha (optional)
Directions: In a big pan pour the veggie broth and scoop of pb and let it melt down. Add in the chickpeas. I like to cook my kale in a microwavable veggie cooker to get it wilted. You could throw in the kale with the chickpeas, veggie broth, and pb mixture though. While that cooks, chop up your veggies while occasionally stirring the pb/chickpeas. Add in veggies and let cook for 5-7 minutes. Add optional spices and sriracha.

Luna Burgers
These are the best. No directions needed. Find them, buy them, cook them, eat them. My fav is the bbq. Image+3

Tempeh Tacos
Ingredients: tempeh, taco shells, veggies, kale, spices, peanut butter sauce (optional)
Directions: Chop up the tempeh into little 1/2″ pieces. Put oil in pan and turn on medium heat. Once hot, add the tempeh and let cook for 5 minutes on each side. Tempeh tends to soak up the oil quickly so you’ll have to add more or continuously stir it around. Add in your veggies and spices, heat up shells. Boom. Dinner served.

Homemade Pizza
This is a fav. And it’s super quick and easy to make.
Ingredients: wheat flour, oil, water, toppings, marinara, cheese, baking powder
Directions: Turn oven on to 450. While that heats up, add 2 cups of flour to a large bowl. Add in 1 teaspoon baking power and a little salt to the mixture. Add 1/2 cup water and 1/4 cup oil to mixture. Start to roll the dough into a ball with your hands. You might need to add more water. Once the dough is ready, spread onto greased baking pan. Cook for 8 minutes. While cooking, chop up toppings. When dough is ready, top it with sauces, toppings, and cheese. Cook til cheese is melted (I like to broil mine for 2 minutes to get it brown).

As you can tell, most of my recipes involve my favorite veggies (onions, red peps, jalepenos, and kale) and my favorite spices (cumin, cayenne, sriracha). What I love about  cooking is that everything can be tailored to your own specific taste. Luckily, my husband and I both love spicy foods, so we tend to make our food that way. Whenever we have guests over, we always take the spice down and notch and keep the sriracha shelved until someone requests it (which usually always happens anyway!)

What are your favorite go to recipes?

Things I’m Loving Lately

I thought I’d jump on the “Things I’m Loving Lately” trend that all my favorite bloggers do since I really enjoy reading them each week. Here are my top things that I’ve really been loving lately:

This lotion from LUSH. Capture

Since I’ve been trying to cut out all products that test on animals, LUSH has been my go to company for skin care. This lotion is super pricey ($26), but it is AH-Mazing and you really don’t need a ton since it spreads so well. And, LUSH donates 100% the proceeds to a different charity. Extra bonus!!

Andy Grammer

I’ve really liked Andy Grammer’s music for awhile now, but his new song “Honey, I’m Good” is my new fav. All of his music is super catchy and I love his lyrics. I hope to catch him next time he’s in Columbus!

This floor cleaning concoction. 

In my challenge to rid my life of products tested on animals, that means I’m also getting rid of a lot of toxic and expensive cleaning products. Since our entire first floor has laminate wood, I knew I needed something to mop up those paw prints. After some searching, I found this super easy solution that I poured into a used Swiffer WetJet bottle. The vinegar smell is a little overwhelming, but I try to balance it by adding some lavender or tea tree oil to the mix. You could probably add lemon too.

The fact that summer is so close.

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One of the last weddings of the summer last year. We only have one wedding lined up so far this year!

The grass is starting to turn greener and the birds are chirping again. Sure, it’s still 20 degrees in the mornings, but I feel as though we are making progress and I’ll be able to open my windows soon! We have so many plans for our yard this summer and I’m anxious to start working on our projects! (sidenote: I started this draft this afternoon and now at 7 p.m., there is about 2 inches of snow on the ground. ugh.)

Our new house and neighborhood. 

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We’ve been in our new house for just over a month now. We had our housewarming party over the weekend and we were flooded with gifts and love from our closest friends and family. The above photo is our newest addition to the house–we repainted our buffet table and had a wine rack custom built for us. We live in Powell, but we are also within 10 minutes of Dublin and Worthington. I have always adored Powell and all the restaurants and shops that are there, so it’s awesome being so close to downtown Powell as well as Dublin and Worthington.

What are you loving this week?

Things that drive me crazy in a group fitness class

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I’m a group fitness junkie. I would much rather take a group class than spend 20 minutes in the gym by myself. I take a big variety of classes–yoga, strength, hip hop, spinning. I also teach spinning 1-2 times a week, so as an instructor, I know it’s impossible to please everyone. That said, there are a few things that both the instructor and the attendees do that drive me up the wall.

1. Starting a class late/students coming late to class. This is obvious, but man it is so annoying–and it happens all the time. I know I’m guilty of this in spinning sometimes…but it’s usually not my fault. Someone will walk in late and be a first-timer, so I have to spend the next 5 minutes getting their bikes set up and explaining the different hand positions. I’ve also been to yoga classes where 5-10 minutes in someone will walk in the room and make everyone shift their mats over in the already crowded class and just interrupt the entire flow that we just started.

2. Music being too loud/too quiet. There is nothing worse than being in an extremely crowded room, unable to see the instructor, and not be able to hear what they are saying either. On the flip side, I can’t get into the groove with super quiet music. I need some noise! This balance is sometimes hard to find, but it is so important.

3. Instructors that don’t do the work too. I get it…lots of classes require the instructor to walk around to encourage and correct form, but I also think it’s important for the instructor to participate in what she is teaching. How can someone tell you that you can do 15 more burpees when they haven’t done one? It’s good to have a model up front doing the moves correctly and with you so they can also feel your pain.

4. Students that half-ass the moves. Trust me, I’ve been there. There have been many times in yoga where I just say, “not today,” and sit in down dog for a few minutes. It’s okay and I always encourage people to listen to their bodies. But, when other students who are just plain lazy decide not to participate and then interfere with my space/energy, I want to yell at them. Why are you here if you aren’t going to move your body? Don’t half ass a class. You won’t get your money’s worth.

5. Instructors that don’t cool you down or stretch you out when class is over. I know instructors want to squeeze as much in to the class as possible, and I also know all the arguments about stretching…but I think this is so important. If you are doing a high-intensity workout and end class with your heart rate at 90%, chances are you’re going to be leaving that class in the next 3-5 minutes and that can be dangerous. You really need to let your body come back down to a normal level before you go on about your day. I personally also think stretching after a workout is just as important, and if the class time is already over, we all know you’re not going to stay any longer to stretch by yourself.

I do love my group classes..the ones I teach and the ones I attend. But, if you’re guilty of any of the above items, cut it out!

What bothers you in group fitness classes?