Free Hot Yoga at Home

I’m back in Texas.

Hot Home, Sweet, Hot Home.

It’s odd to be “on vacation” back in Texas. It is great to be with hubby, full-time again. We really don’t do well apart. After 24 years, we still act like teenagers talking on the phone at night for hours, when we are living bi-coastal. Go ahead. Roll your eyes.

This week is filled with “re-entry” (as a friend says), i.e. mail, restocking the fridge, remembering what is where. Also, catching up and visiting with family and friends. Two months away is a long time.

The funny thing is that here, in The Heights house, there aren’t any hungry kids popping in and out, arriving with friends or staying out late. There aren’t big meals to plan or loads of laundry (oh my God, the towels!) to stay on top of.  Here, I have my devoted Lorena, helping me to make sure our home continues to look like, well, a hotel. An empty nest perk, just you wait!

Every night, it’s a romantic dinner for two and since we live in The Heights, the restaurant mecca of Houston, it is almost criminal to NOT go out.

Who’d have thought that The Heights would become our vacation home?!

It’s pretty freaking wonderful.

Except for the stifling humidity, heat, crazy flash floods and mosquitos, that are big enough to carry Juliet away. It is almost paradise.

Almost.

Juliet on the Vineyard.  No Hot “Doga” for her. She refuses to go outside in Texas unless she is dragged out, on a leash. 

So, let’s make the most of it, shall we?

FREE HOT YOGA FOR EVERYONE!

The benefits of a Hot Yoga class in a yoga studio are immense. I have practiced Bikram Yoga for 11 years and maintain that it is one of the best workouts to kickstart a healthy lifestyle. It will truly change the way you look at the dreaded diet and exercise routine, forever.

In the meantime, why not give it a go by simply grabbing your mat and heading outdoors? You can take advantage of this lovely, natural God-forsaken heat.

I am currently nursing “impingement syndrome” (it’s a thing!), which is the new bursitis. Bursitis! How old am I?!  Hot Yoga on my balcony has done wonders for stretching and healing my sad shoulder. I set my mat out, 15 minutes before I want to work out and voila! A giant heating pad for my whole body.

Here is an easy sequence from my personal guru, Tara Stiles. And, by personal, I mean that I personally watch her videos on YouTube.  If I had a personal yogini, this is who I would want. Of course, I would have to share her with Deepak Chopra. But, I’m sure we could work something out.

This is basic yoga that anyone can do outside on your back porch, balcony or anywhere that you can fit a yoga mat or beach towel.

 

 LivingLola Tip: Need a new yoga mat? Before you run out to Target or Academy or speciality sports store, hit up a Tuesday Morning, Marshall’s or Ross. The selection may be a little sparse, but for $6.00, I am fine with aqua blue. The quality of mat is pretty damn good, too.

Home is what you choose to make of your space. It is more than geography.

“Wherever you go, there you are.” (unknown)

Texas, Martha’s Vineyard.

“Alabama, Arkansas….Home is wherever I’m with you.”

Namaste.

 

Style Me Proud

I interrupt this vacation to bring you BIG, fabulous, stylish news regarding my “share-daughter”, Nicole.

By the way, fairy tales have ruined the words “stepmother” and “stepdaughter”, forever. Thanks, Mr. Disney.

Anyway.

My oh-so-lovely “share-daughter”, Nicole, was featured on the oh-so-lovely wedding blog, Style Me Pretty She is a very talented photographer in Austin, as you can see.

via nicole ryan photography

Nicole has always had such a natural, creative eye and a gift for discerning the unique from the classic obvious. 

via nicole ryan photography

 With her stunning photography, she has a talent for capturing the quiet miracle of a moment.

 

via nicole ryan photography

 

I am a wicked-proud-stepmother.  It is times like these I am so happy to have a blog.

It is the mom equivalent of shouting from the rooftops.

Oh, did I mention Nicole Ryan Photography ?

Spring Fling in The Heights

You’re invited to Shop Heights 19th Street for our annual Spring Fling! Join us for an afternoon of Family Fun and an evening of Relaxation and Live Music. Shop all your favorite stores on 19th Street and enjoy complimentary refreshments and fun activities for the whole family. Relax as the sun starts to set with live music and more. This is a free event and all are welcome. Come help us celebrate SPRING!

We all live in communities that we can support. The small businesses in our neighborhoods, our towns, our cities all need our help to thrive and grow. Do you shop local? Eat local? Spend local?

“One of the greatest things an individual can do to support his or her local community is to patronize its locally owned businesses. Compared to their national competitors, local independent businesses recycle more money back into the local economy and give greater support to a community’s nonprofit and civic needs.” – BALLE (Business Alliance for Living Local Economies)

Mother Nature Network-The Benefits of Buying Local

I love living in The Heights in Houston, Texas. There is a true sense of community that we all share along with a unique pride that Heights residents celebrate, and celebrate well.

We enjoy the best restaurants, live music, art, antiques, clothing, home decor, hardware, nurseries, yoga, Pilates, opera…even, burlesque classes to which, I’m dying to drag my sister. (C’mon, Jen!)

In our timeless tract of the 4th largest city in the nation, we are charmingly hip. Urban and small town. Historic and modern.

A great place for Living Lola.

A great place to come shop, sip and stroll.

A “chick-less” Easter

Our home has had more than its share of big Easter celebrations with riotous, roller derby style egg hunts, chocolate meltdown overdoses and even an impromptu golf lesson that turned into a trip to the emergency room and 12 stitches.

Yep, I did it. I laid my husband out cold with a Big Bertha Callaway driver, Easter Sunday 1994, in front of about 30 guests, including small children and the elderly.  It was just like when David took down Goliath. With a lot more blood.

This year, in honor of our new Empty Nest freedom, Larkin and I jumped in the Prius (Gas is $4.19 a gallon.) and set out for the open roads of Texas. We packed up our puppy, Juliet, playlists of road tunes and set our destination for a fabulous Texas diner. Larkin and I are simple people. (The key to being together for almost 25 years.)

Last year, when Texas Monthly Magazine came out with their list of Texas’ best diners and places for pie, we knew immediately how we wanted to spend some of our new free time. Eating.

It was a gorgeous day for a road trip and a perfect way to spend our first “kid-less” Easter holiday. We hit Austin, Georgetown, Round Rock, Round Top, Brenham and Hutto, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hutto, a 100-year-old town, home of the Texan Cafe and Pie Shop. Texas Monthly did not disappoint. Chicken Fried Steak, as big as the county, mashed potatoes, cream gravy, Pork Chops, Mac ‘n Cheese, with green beans and peas for color. All of the Texas food groups were represented.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, my God, the PIE. The creamiest Coconut Cream pie we have ever had. They have a sign inside the restaurant that says “Pie Fixes Everything.” Indeed, sometimes, it does. The toasted coconut on top of the pie did wonders for me.

Riding out our “pie high” through the back roads of the Texas Hill country, we stopped and took pictures, read the historical markers and even risked our lives by pulling over to the side of the road for the time-honored tradition of taking Texas Bluebonnet pictures.

Getting the perfect spring bluebonnet picture is two-fold. One, don’t get killed by the cars, pick-up trucks and 18 wheelers that are careening down the highway at 90mph. Two, attempt to get a shot that doesn’t have someone else in your frame. Yes, Texas is big. But, THAT many people are out, on a gorgeous day, propping up their cute, Easter outfitted kids (or dogs) amidst the glory of the Texas state flower. And, risking their lives, as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Texas thing. You haven’t lived on the edge, until you have swerved to the edge of HWY 290 at 75mph, just to shoot bluebonnet pics.  Just like you haven’t had a Stallings’ Family Easter, until you’ve nearly knocked your husband’s eye out, from your back swing.

Relaxing from the road trip, we reminisced about that Easter while watching The Masters Golf Tournament, yesterday. Larkin’s golf clubs safely stored in the trunk of his car. Locked.