Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Black and White at Santa Clara University

On Sunday, the kid had his "big" piano test at Santa Clara University. Parents are strictly prohibited inside the building, so Andy and I explored the beautiful campus a bit. I loved all the green, the beautiful buildings, including Mission Santa Clara, the blooming trees, and all the palm trees. It's truly an oasis in the middle of Silicon Valley.

I decided to keep my outfit simple and chose a black/white striped tee, my black/white coat, and black jeans.  I also wore my favorite pearl statement necklace.

Questions: Do you like wearing black and white? Yes, it's often my go-to choice when I'm not sure what to wear. 


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Fogo de Chao: A Great Place to Celebrate

Andy and I were fortunate to be invited to experience a traditional Brazilian gaucho dinner at Fogo de Chao in Santana Row*. Life has been stressful, and it was perfect to get away for a few hours and celebrate everything good in our lives despite all the challenges.

We both really enjoyed the extensive, colorful, fresh and very tasty Market Table that included several seasonal dishes and of course the fabulous meat dishes. It was truly a memorable afternoon, and we tried to capture the experience with the photos we took.

I love the inviting and calming decor when you walk into the restaurant. It was a true respite from the hustle and bustle outside of the restaurant.

The wine wall is quite impressive.

The main dining room is modern and warm.

Soon after we were seated, the most delicious cheese bread was brought out. I'm sensitive to gluten, but I couldn't help myself and indulged in one. It was hard to stop at just one, and Andy certainly had a few...

Andy and I are new to the cocktail scene, so we each ordered one on the recommendation of our helpful server. I got one of the seasonal cocktails: Guava Do Sul – Belvedere Vodka, shaken with guava puree and fresh lemon, then topped with La Marca Prosecco. Both cocktails were delicious, and we both commented that we could get used to drinking cocktails more often...

We started with the Market Table, which featured a lovely and fresh selection of fruits, vegetables and salads.

This is one of the seasonal salads - Spring Pea & Asparagus Salad. The arugula, asparagus, peas and goat cheese go perfectly together. It's a very enjoyable salad, featuring spring flavors.

The cheese selection was also very nice, and I had a little piece of each.

Look at that ham! It was very tasty.

The meats are served with garlic mashed potatoes, polenta and caramelized bananas.  I love mashed potatoes and these did not disappoint. I also really enjoyed the polenta, but Andy was seriously in love with the caramelized bananas. I think he could have eaten twenty of them...

Here we are served filet mignon.

It was very good.

And this is the picanha. Also very tasty.

My favorite meat were the beef ribs. I'm still dreaming of them. So flavorful and tender.

We really enjoyed the interactive dining experience, and the excellent service by all the staff. Our younger son, after seeing the photos, made us already promise to take him there soon. Fogo de Chao is a great place to celebrate a special occasion or experience a special meal "just because."

Cheers to coming back soon!

Questions: Have you ever been to Fogo de Chao? If so, what was your experience like? If you haven't been, would you like to go?

Be well,

*Our meals and drinks were comped, but, as always, all opinions are my own.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

New Embroidered Jeans

A few years ago, I bought a pair of embroidered jeans that I loved. Unfortunately, (or really fortunately!), they are now way too big. So I was looking for a new pair when I came across this pair.

 This post contains affiliate links, and www.andreaswellnessnotes.com benefits from actions taken on the links.

I bought these embroidered jeans a few weeks ago, and they have since gotten a bit too loose as well. Andy pointed out that they would look a bit better if they weren't so loose. But they still fit and are very comfortable. Plus, they'll fit if I gain a few pounds...

And here is a look from the back: 

And one last silly pose. We can't take ourselves too seriously, right?! 

Questions: Do you like the embroidery trend? I love it. I now own the jeans that are way too big, this pair and my embroidered denim jacket. I love them all. 


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

My Nine Year Journey to Well Being

I started my blog exactly nine years ago. At the time, the kid was a toddler, and the older kid was a teenager. Besides being a mom, I was also busy teaching at several community colleges in the area. To say that I was stretched thin would be an understatement.

I started this blog as a way to make sure that I would focus enough on myself. I made changes to the way I eat, how I exercise and how I relieve stress. My blog has changed a lot over the years. And my life has changed a lot in the last nine years as well. I have found that when life is "easy," taking care of myself has become relatively easy. But when life gets difficult, it can be a struggle to remember to do so.

And things haven't always been easy. In 2011, my dad was diagnosed with melanoma in his eye and underwent numerous experimental treatments that eventually were able to stop the cancer. Then my sister was diagnosed with, and underwent treatment for, breast cancer. My mom had both her knees replaced, one surgery resulting in permanent nerve damage. And on March 28, 2015, I got the phone call I had had premonitions about when my dad suffered a major stroke. A year later, my mom had to undergo treatment for breast cancer.

Each event made me painfully aware of how far away I am from my loved ones. For months at a time, I got up at 3 a.m. so that I was able to talk to my family members as much as possible, took short (and long) trips to Germany whenever possible, and really often forgot about myself.

But two "healthy living strategies" that I was introduced to via my blog have helped me a lot to get back on track.

Barre Classes

I took my first barre class in 2010 with my friend Lara. The class was free and held at a local Lulalemon store. We got invited to attend a free class at the studio after that, and we both loved the challenging workout. I have been taking barre classes ever since (although not as regularly as I would have liked to).

Barre classes have helped tremendously with my low back pain, made me more flexible, stronger, and helped me stand taller. My husband keeps joking that I'm finally tall enough... And when I felt I hit an all time low last summer, getting back to regular barre classes was what got me back on track toward health and taking care of myself.

 Disclosure: I'm a Conscious Cleanse ambassador, and I will earn a commission if you sign up using one of my links. As always all opinions are my own, and I only recommend items and services I believe in. 

The Conscious Cleanse

The other strategy I was introduced to via my blog is the Conscious Cleanse. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you'll have probably seen quite a few Conscious Cleanse posts. I was invited to try out the January 2013 Conscious Cleanse last minute, and I remember almost saying no as I really didn't need one more thing on my plate right at the beginning of the winter quarter. But my gut told me to give it a try. And I have learned over the years that it's a good idea to listen to your gut...

And the Conscious Cleanse changed my life in so many ways. The most obvious change is that I discovered my sensitivity to gluten and that alone was life changing as it not only eliminated painful digestive problems but also achy joints, brain fog, and headaches. But I also learned to listen to my body in general, take care of myself every day, be mindful, start the day in silence, and so much more. I also lost weight, but that truly wasn't the main focus at the time. However, I get back to good, whole foods and the principles I learned from doing the cleanse whenever I want to lose some weight.

I have done the cleanse numerous times over the years (both on my own and with the support of a group), and I learn something new every time. The support of the online community, the daily emails and the availability of the coaches is truly priceless.

I like that the cleanse provides plenty of recipes and eating plans if you want to follow one, but that there is also a great amount of flexibility. You add certain things into your diet (warm lemon water, green smoothies, lots and lots of greens) and take out others (gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee, etc.), but beyond that there is a lot of flexibility. As someone who "can't" follow a diet (or a recipe), that part really appealed to me.

I have written many posts about the Conscious Cleanse on this blog. Check out my Conscious Cleanse page here if you are interest in more information. Or click here to sign up for the April 11 cleanse.
Questions: What are some important events in your life journey? How about your health journey? 


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Bell Sleeves Top

I have been intrigued by bell sleeves tops for a while but was hesitant to buy one until I came across one in Germany in December. I tried one on in a local boutique that I like to support and thought it would be a fun piece to add to my wardrobe. Wearing a jacket with it does pose a problem however...

This post contains affiliate links, and www.andreaswellnessnotes.com benefits from actions taken on the links.

I wore the top for the first time when we did some wine tasting in San Luis Obispo County. It was very windy and cold, and wearing the top with a jacket was a bit challenging. Nonetheless, I am happy that I bought it and that it does remind me of my hometown.

Here are some bell sleeves tops that have caught my eye:

Questions: Do you own any bell sleeves tops? If so, what jackets do you wear with them? Or do you stick to vests?


Thursday, March 1, 2018

A Sentence a Day: February 2018

I first joined Sarah and Leslie in writing one sentence a day in January 2017, and I wrote one sentence a day through November 2017. Then I took a little break in December and January, partly because we went to Germany in December to visit my parents and things were very hectic and difficult. While we were in Germany, my father-in-law suffered another stroke, so January was very difficult as well. But I'm really glad that I'm back writing and blogging a bit this month. And I guess I'm trying to make up for all the missed sentences as many of my sentences this month are very long and don't necessarily follow grammatical conventions...

Thursday, February 1, 2018
I started the day with a barre class, got lots of grading and prep work done, went on a long walk and then powered through my 3-hour evening class, which left me quite wired.

Friday, February 2, 2018
I was up bright and early for office hours and to teach my 3-hour morning class and am very proud that I made it to an afternoon barre class (I mainly went because I'm quite behind in the barre challenge I'm participating in as I was very sick all of last week).

Saturday, February 3, 2018
While Andy visited his dad in the nursing home, I got a call from my mom that my dad was hospitalized because they couldn't get his blood pressure under control, but he seems to be fine now; I'm very thankful that we went on a long hike in the afternoon, which was much needed stress relief.

Sunday, February 4, 2018
I started the day with a barre class and talked to my mom (my dad seems fine), and then we walked to a Korean BBQ restaurant that's two miles away and really enjoyed the food, the nice weather, and the conversation.

Monday, February 5, 2018
I'm still busy catching up on my barre challenge, so I started the day with another barre class, called my mom to check on my dad (he seems okay), then did a lot of grading and prep work and finally "rewarded" myself with some yard work, cleaning and making zoodles for dinner.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
My dad had a bunch of tests done, his medication has been adjusted and he has been released from the hospital; hopefully, things will stay calm for a while on that front as we are still trying to figure out things with Andy's dad.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
After ten barre classes in a row, I decided it was time for a break, and I loved having a bit more time in the morning.

Thursday, February 8, 2018
I got a haircut today.

Friday, February 9, 2018
After an early morning barre class, office hours, followed by a 3-hour class, we headed up to San Francisco to the Opening Gala of San Francisco Beer Week; it was especially fun catching up with people we hadn't seen in quite some time.

Saturday, February 10, 2018
Andy had a really hard time with his dad in the morning, and we were thankful to go to downtown San Jose to the beerwalk and enjoyed seeing all the wall art in the afternoon.
Sunday, February 11, 2018
We went on a hilly 4.5 mile hike.

Monday, February 12, 2018
I woke up with a scratchy throat and a bit of a runny nose (hopefully it won't get worse!!!), but I made it to my 20th barre class of the challenge (level 1 completed); I'm not done yet as the level 2 challenge is 25 classes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
I'm still fighting this cold, but - knock on wood - it's not too bad (nothing compared to what I had in January when I couldn't get out of bed for a week).

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
I skipped barre class due to my cold and made the boys croissants for breakfast.

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Since I have been resting a lot this week to fight this cold, it's a super busy day catching up on work projects.

Friday, February 16, 2018
I was off today, so I went to lunch at the Whole Foods Salad Bar (since I never go, I had no idea how expensive it can get...) and enjoyed my lunch in the sunshine.

Saturday, February 17, 2018
We visited Andy's dad for 2.5 hours in the morning and spent a lot of time trying to get the CNAs to put him in a wheelchair via a Hoyer lift; it was nice to be able to wheel him outside in the sunshine for a bit, but he really couldn't tolerate sitting for very long.

Sunday, February 18, 2018
I got up bright and early and drove to the Sacramento area for a barre class, coffee, lunch, a bit of shopping, and a long talk with my friend Lara; it was truly a perfect morning/early afternoon.

Monday, February 19, 2018
I did barre class 24/25, did a couple hours of grading, went out to lunch and then to Costco.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018
It was a very busy day with lots of grading and prep work, but I also cleaned out several sections of my closet, which was long overdue and felt very good! (I also finished the barre class challenge!!!).

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Another busy day of grading, but I also made time to go on a hike with the kid who is on break, and I continued to clean out my closet.

Thursday, February 22, 2018
I was super busy grading and getting ready for my classes.
Friday, February 23, 2018
We drove to the Central Coast in the afternoon and stopped in Gilroy on the way, where we found this cute wall.

Saturday, February 24, 2018
We went for a walk on the beach; it was quite windy and cold, but still relaxing.

Sunday, February 25, 2018
We enjoyed brunch with a view before we drove back home.

Monday, February 26, 2018
While I love weekends away, they also makes Mondays even more hectic than they already are...

Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Today was another super busy day, working on several projects and trying to get all those midterms graded...

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Still trying to catch up on grading and work projects...

Click here to check out the fabulous bloggers I’m linking up with.

Be well,