forgive yourself

Oh, the blog. How I have neglected thee.  I got really busy with work, a move, the gym, yoga, friends, new boyfriend, summer, roommates...and the list goes on.  And now it's the middle of October, with not a post to be had in months.  I feel guilty and annoyed at the missed opportunity to document so many exciting happenings over recent months.

I was recently accepted into a yoga teacher training program at a studio in Savannah, Georgia.  It is a nine month program that meets one weekend a month.  My first weekend was this past weekend.  I can't even begin to describe all of the awesomeness that happened this weekend...just that I am on a journey, and I like where I'm going.  Practing yoga this year has fundamentally changed my outlook on life, and for that reason I want to teach so I can help facilitate that experience for others.

The instructor for our program talked a lot about guilt and forgiveness this weekend.  She told us to get used to fogiving ourselves for things that we've done and haven't done that we feel guilty about.  Life is too short!  So, in that vein, I'm going to forgive myself for abandoning the blog for the better part of 2009.  I'm going to stop feeling guilty about it.  I can only change what is happening NOW.  I urge you to heed that advice and apply it to whatever it is that you're feeling guilty about.  Learning to do this will make you feel so much lighter.

If you've never been to a yoga class, I invite you to try one.  One of the great things about yoga as a form of exercise is that it's really accessible for anyone.  Give it a try.  I bet that you will love the way it makes you feel afterwards.

kristinmadesimple is shifting away from home decor, DIY projects, etc. and will be a place for me to document my journey in a public forum.  Know that I willl be giving my blog the love and attention that it deserves.

Namaste, Kristin


I'm ready, I'm ready

One week. In one week, I move to a new house on IOP. New house, new roommates. I painted the bathroom this weekend and will be doing a variety of projects around the house this weekend (of course, with a large chunk of beach time allotted for). Will take some photos while I am over there...I am so excited about this house. I need the salt air!!


be inspired, run a 5K

I had a very special visitor in town this Easter weekend. Katherine was in town and we ate at some great downtown restaurants (Vickery's was one, with Alexis!), went to the beach, ran a 5K, took a day trip to Savannah, and a lot of other fun things. It was weekend jam packed of friends and fun!

The 5K that we participated in was the Run Forrest Run, sponsored by the Riverdogs and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. It was really fun! I enjoyed the race so much (and the sweet t-shirt we got) that I was inspired to look for more upcoming runs in the greater Charleston area. I registered to run in the "Run for the 9" event happening at the Palmetto Islands County Park in Mt. Pleasant. The race is held in memorial of 9 local firefighters who lost their lives battling a furniture warehouse fire 2 years ago.

If you are interested in finding races in your area, search active.com. It is a great resource!


five songs that will get you moving

Integrate these songs into your usual gym routine and inject some fresh energy into your workout.
  1. Right Round -- flo rida
  2. Like I Love You -- Justin Timberlake (oooh, JT love)
  3. Starstruck -- Lady Gaga
  4. Lose Control -- Missy Eliott
  5. Shake -- ying yang twins
Yeah, I have a preference for pop and hip-hop while in the gym. If you are looking for songs to get you through some interval training, try songs with a good beat to keep you going when it gets tough. I recommend the entire Laga Gaga album for your workout needs, actually. Check it out!

and if you really want to work on your abs...

Do yoga. By practicing yoga, you are building your core strength way deep down in your abdominal muscles. If you incorporate yoga poses into your weekly routine, you will likely start to notice increased flexibility within eight weeks. It will also lower your blood pressure, make you happier, reduce stress hormones in the body, and may even slow the aging process. I am hooked. To read a brief rundown of yoga's health benefits in detail, click here.

grab a fitness mag, a handful of walnuts and hop to it

I picked up the latest issue of Shape magazine while grocery shopping at Harris Teeter the other day. They always have great, healthy recipes and easy-to-follow, speedy work-outs that are guaranteed to get you toned up in no time. I am now a firm believer that a commitment to regular exercise is the only way to really get into shape -- any type/level of exercise is beneficial, consistency is the key. I enjoy seeing things in the magazine and incorporating them into my gym routine. If you need an extra push to get into a regular fitness routine, pick up a magazine like this. Even if you don't have a gym membership, Shape offers plenty of things you can do in the privacy of your living room.

There is an article in this issue on how to beat belly fat. For women, the belly is a) a really hard place to lose fat from and b) a pretty dangerous place to have fat as far as your long term health in concerned. A diet with a lot of fiber/other nutrients will make you less likely to have fat around the middle than a diet of less healthy food but with fewer calories. The article recommends adding more grapefruit, melon, whole wheat bread, walnuts, and a glass of wine (surprisingly!) to your diet while avoiding foods like sugar substitutes, canned soup, and partially hydrated oil. Basically, eat more fiber!! We all need more fruits and vegetables in our lives. A good read on this topic is In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan.


v. 2.0 coming soon

Look for a new version of my blog coming soon. kristin made simple, v. 2.0 if you will. I haven't been inspired to post because I haven't really been doing much to my apartment on the home decor front. I've been in a stalemate, and felt like I had nothing to write about. I'm slowing getting some ideas, and am looking forward to moving into a new house soon with Leigh and maybe my sister. We'll see. Anyway, I'm going to shift my focus and concentrate more on those things that are making my life "simple" and the profound effect they are having on my overall sense of peace and contentment. So a lot of yoga talk, vegetarian talk, gym talk, friend talk, etc coming this way soon. In the meantime:
  • I am hooked on my Lady Gaga Pandora station. Pandora is like a friend to me at this point after a year of hardcore usage. I guess that is why they have ads on there now. Anyway, her entire album makes me want to dance.
  • I went to a yoga class with my co-worker Jaime at the studio where she is also an instructor. It was awesome. The studio is called Serenity Now and you can also visit their blog by clicking here.
  • I saw Ryan Adams perform an incredible show on Wednesday (apparently he married Mandy Moore in Savannah the night before, so it was quite a lovely show) and last night I saw Badfish play at the Music Farm. Upcoming is Slightly Stoopid and Kings of Leon.
  • Almost halfway through March and I haven't fallen off the gym-hitting resolution that I pledged. At this point, I don't really foresee ever falling out of the routine as it has become so ingrained in my daily schedule. Yay!

Charleston, SC: Notes from the Beaches

I am excited to announce that our blog is up and running at work! We've been looking forward to having one for a long time, and here it is! I can't wait to post there in the future. To visit our blog, please click here and check out what we have been up to!


Wow, I haven't posted since January. That's terrible.

I'll admit that my resolution of hitting the gym more has taken precedent over blogging these days. I try to take at least two yoga classes a week (it is the BEST way to de-stress). It is my fun new hobby. The weather is also getting warmer here. Spring is almost here! I'm ready for beach weather and cute bikinis..

Today I toured SCAD with my mom and sister. Savannah is a beautiful city, and SCAD has a really cool, urban campus. Katherine is applying for graduate school there and I think she would really love it there. I was really impressed with their programs and facilities.

I have a new super nice pair of yoga pants. When you buy something from a lululemon store, you get a really cool reusable bag with really inspiring quotes printed all over it. My favorite quote says "Breate deeply and appreciate the moment. Living in the moment could be the meaning of life." Although a close second is "A daily hit of athletic-induced endorphins gives you the power to make better decisions helps you be at peace with yourself and offsets stress." And that pretty much sums up why I am in super gym mode right now.


great looking source of vegetarian slow-cooker recipes

After several years of being "almost there" when it comes to vegetarianism, I officially declared myself the other day. Not really to anyone other than to myself, scrawled with the date in my journal. "Now is the time", "seize the day", that kind of thing I guess.

Anywho, now I find myself with the ever-challenging question of: what to eat? And tonight it dawned on me. I need to invest in a slow-cooker, stat. I saw a really cute red one at Target the other day, and I remember it being pretty cheap. But what kind of meals can a vegetarian prepare in a slow cooker? I imagined that you could make a lot of things, so I turned to the internets. And look what I found on Amazon! This cookbook is exactly what I need. "Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow-Cooker" has some rave reviews from amazon users. I might need to add this one to my cookbook collection. Can 3 books count as a collection?

Has anyone else read this book? Anyone else a vegetarian, and do you have recipes you swear by? Drop a line!