Clearing your mind with yoga- and a smelly mat

I’ve recently relocated back to Los Angeles for work.  I arrived over the weekend and for some reason the jet lag really hit me, I was also extremely achy from the flight and stress of the move.  I hadn’t been to a yoga class or even attempted yoga on my own in over a week.  I knew I needed to get back into the swing of things so Monday morning set my alarm for 5:15am and made it to my first early morning class back at Yoga Blend.

My usual yoga mat is a bit on the thick side so I brought my thinner traveling mat.  This mat I bought just before I attended my yoga teacher training in Costa Rica and used it the entire time I was there.  The mat has seen a lot of action so it is fairly dirty and very thin.  There were a couple of times in the past where I nearly donated it or threw it in a Goodwill pile.  However, it always brought me good memories and a connection to a very happy time in my life.  So it stuck around:)  On this particular Monday I used it for my practice.

I unrolled the mat a bit embarrassed by its appearance, hoping in vain that the lights in class would soon go off.  As I settled down into my mat and began my pre-class relaxation stretches the mat no longer offended me.  In fact it felt very warm and inviting.  Once we began practice, upon my first Chaturanga as I lowered down and deepened my breath I had this overwhelming sensation of being back in Costa Rica.  The mat literally smells exactly like my memory of the trip.  I was so overjoyed I wanted to sniff the mat some more!  Each pose and each time I was close to the mat I inhaled deeply and the memories of my trip and the happiness of that moment came rushing back.

After class I decided to stop by this apartment I kept seeing online.  It is a  small apartment community in Burbank near the Equestrian center.  I’m not a huge fan of amenity driven, homogenized complexes but after driving past twice I decided to pop in for a look.  I was only going to look.  However, when I saw it and I spoke with the leasing agent, I knew this is exactly where I needed to be.  I will be moving into my new home on Wednesday and I’m getting more and more excited.  In fact, they even have a small yoga studio on the premises.  The manager mentioned they would love to have a resident teach a class once a week.  It definitely has peaked my interest.

I truly do not think I would have had the clarity had I not dragged myself out of bed yesterday morning to attend my first class in LA.  I also feel that the strong smell of the mat and the happiness it invoked really brought me to a level of understanding what I was searching for.

Enjoying a cup of tea






while watching the sunrise in Costa Rica:)


Alice’s Tea Cup

Today is my last official day on the East Coast.  Sabrina and I are heading back to California.  I am in NYC and had the morning free before heading to the airport.  I took a walk and found myself at Alice’s Tea Cup on 64th Street.  I have always wanted to check out this tearoom but know how popular and busy it usually is.  They have three locations but today I visited their Chapter two location.

It is a very quaint looking tearoom.  The theme of course is Alice in Wonderland.  The tea selection is quite impressive and there were so many I wanted to try.  I was having a bit of travel jitters so settled on the Serenitea which is green tea with chamomile and lemon.  I also ordered the Scones benedict, poached eggs over a savory scone.  It was really yummy and the scone was a very simple buttermilk but delish!  The place is really adorable and a must if you have little girls or can borrow one for the day:)  I plan to go back with my nieces because I know they will love it!  There was a little girl at the table across from me celebrating her 6th birthday.  The staff came out with a decorative cupcake and sang happy birthday to her.  She was very excited!

The entire experience was sublime:)  Next time in NYC plan a visit.  Tip:  I overheard the hostess saying if you come before 10am the crowds are much thinner.

snagged from internet as I forgot my camera

Orlando teatime part 2

On my last night in Orlando I gathered some of my girl’s and headed to Infusion Tea in College Park.  This area of Orlando has really grown since I moved away eight years ago.  It’s a fantastic little “secret” in Orlando, hidden from the tourists and known by locals.  It has a wonderful main street with restaurants and antique shops.  When I read about Infusion tea I knew I had to check it out!  It is a great teashop with fantastic food but also a coop with a cool shop attached selling really fun and funky items.

After over-indulging the previous night on wine and cheese it was nice to have a calming cup of tea and an organic salad.  It was a really fabulous visit and of course it helped by having good company!

Infusion Tea in Orlando, FL (College Park for those in the know!)


funky shop








display of teas








lavender cupcake I couldn't resist









Sunday tea time at Pom Pom’s

I’m visiting my old stomping ground this week Orlando, FL.  It’s entirely too short of a visit but so refreshing to be back in the “hood.”  Sunday, upon arrival I met my gorgeous friend Birgit for a brunch of tea and sandwiches at a very cute little teahouse called Pom Pom’s.  As soon as I suggested we meet at Pom Pom’s the idea was met with a very satisfying “yes!  the food is fabulous!”  Pom Pom’s is not your typical teahouse, there are no lace girly touches.. it’s a cute, little grungy place that serves a variety of excellent food and a small but good list of teas.  It has a very bohemian artsy flair to it and it is busy!

I had a tea called “New Monk’s Blend.”  It’s a black tea that has a touch of spice and mint.  It was so delish!  The sandwich I ordered was Turkey with Ginger cranberry chutney, Cream Cheese, Smoked Gouda & Red Onions- and soooo good!  It’s pretty dense so ate half and brought the rest home for later.

We stayed for quite a long time, chatting and catching up over a second pot of tea.  It was such a lovely way to arrive back to my old home and a perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.  A good friend and a pot of tea:)

Pom Pom’s Teahouse

Tea and Spices

Currently I am in Florida taking a mini break and enjoying the warm weather.  While here a friend of mine referred me to a small quaint little town called Stuart, FL.  Stuart is on the east coast nestled between Orlando and West Palm beach.  It has a really cute historic downtown that is right on the inlet.  While wandering the downtown I came upon this darling spice shop.  The shop is called “All Spiced up.”  It is owned by a lovely woman named Ana.  As I perused the delicious smelling spices I was pleasantly surprised to find that Ana also carries tea in her shop.  Not only does she carry Elmwood Inn Fine Teas but she also carries tea from the Charleston Tea Plantation.  Did you know the US has a tea plantation?  I have heard the urban legend but never actually encountered the teas.  So you can imagine my surprise when I saw them at this wonderful shop!  I immediately purchased a tin of “Plantation Peach.”

As I sit here writing, I’m sipping a cold, refreshing glass of peach tea and it is fabulous!  I can close my eyes and fantasize that I am a true Southern belle sipping tea on a wrap around porch of a grand olde Plantation!

I cannot wait to plan a visit to Charleston Tea Plantation!




Charleston Plantation Peach








If ever in Stuart, FL be sure to drop by and say “hello” to Ana!

All Spiced up - Stuart, FL