Bali T-13

The cold in New Jersey is completely and utterly unbearable! ZERO degrees is about 60 degrees lower than I am comfortable with.

Quite a few times a day I visualize getting on a plane in Newark, layered in clothing, sleeping like a baby then landing in Denpasar and stripping down to my “unmentionables”. I am not sure what the Balinese will think about me in my skivvies but, if the weather doesn’t start acting right, I am liable to have that reaction. Just a warning!

On top of having to be bundled and layered, I am the girl who gets home from work and before the door can even close behind me, my bra is strewn across the banister. I can’t even. Literally. Comfort is so important to me. I have even validated wearing joggers to work by telling my boss that I can’t focus when I am in real clothes! My office OOTD (outfit of the day) today was an oversized Pompton Lakes High School Black Hooded Sweatshirt, a pair of black leggings, a scarf, socks and slippers. I know it isn’t corporate-casual but, remember I work better like this!

Needless to say, I look forward to the warmer days ahead.

The Villa accommodations they arranged look amazing online, just steps away from the beach, with all kinds of diving and snorkeling spots within walking distance. Each villa is open air style (meaning NO WALLS) just you and the beauty of nature, fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, air-conditioning, private balconies, desks, and private bathrooms (outdoor bathing) which looks amazing!

Yesterday something VERY exciting happened on Instagram! I was left a message from a person who I have followed for years letting me know that she will be in Bali TOO on the same retreat! I cannot wait to meet her in person! She is traveling with someone, so they will be rooming together, so I am still eagerly awaiting to meeting of my roommate!bloo

Less than 2 weeks away, I am so excited!

 

 

 

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February 14th 

I guess I should start by stating the obvious, it’s Valentine’s Day. I don’t really have much invested into the day itself. Sorry to be one of “those” people because when I was younger it meant something to me. It meant the one man in my life, Dad, was going to give us chocolate hearts, candies and flowers. It was sweet both figuratively and literally! We’d make giant mailboxes in our classrooms and put the little tiny cards into it and then read cute little love notes from our friends, classmates and crushes. Then in high school there was carnation day. I was mildly popular in high school, I had a decent friend circle, but would I be getting carnations? Oh the stress! What if I was the girl without ANY carnations! It meant something then. Then I had my first and only real “boyfriend” which was cute, he was a little younger and had a heart of gold. He’d work double and triple shifts to buy me very expensive Barbie Dolls for my Barbie Collection, jewelry, flowers, balloons, candy hearts, romantic dinners, cards and pretty much anything else that he could possibly think of, and it was reciprocated with very expensive Jordan’s and stuff that the average 17 year old would want back in the 90’s. Then I had a few years without a Valentine and boy, when you’re 19 & 20, and you didn’t have a VALENTINE, it was rough! (Insert sarcastic laugh here!) Me and my other single friends would go into the city to Carbon, LimeLight or The Tunnel, or all three to wallow in our sorrows! Bahhhhhh

Then, in 2000 I met him. My husband. We moved in together, had a baby, got married, yes in that order, and I don’t think a Valentine’s Day has ever been a THING for us. We show love everyday. We rather spend $100 towards groceries than flowers. We have a romantic dinner any time we get a chance to sit and eat together, not just 2/14! Plus, like my father, his little girl is his Valentine. In the hopes (I guess) that she will not look for balloons or a few chocolate covered strawberries elsewhere. I also see this new trend of daddy daughter Valentine dances which is adorable. 

We acknowledge the day, joke about where my roses are and why was I the only girl at work who didn’t get spoiled, then I make him a sexy offer that no man can refuse, his favorite meal (which I cook at least once a week anyway) and Netflix, which lets be real, I’m watching with or without him! 

No judgements here though. Social media has made it nearly impossible to avoid the thought that you’re the only person who would much rather put $100 towards the principal of the mortgage than birds of paradise in a vase for a week. Maybe it’s me, maybe I’m weird, maybe I don’t know love when I see it? 

Either way, you have a fantastic Valentine’s Day! Bottom line. Any day that reminds people to actually SHOW LOVE is a good day in my book! Because love is free, feels great to both the giver and the taker! 

  
 

The Tree Of Life (Pants!)

Last night I had the pleasure of cooking dinner for one of the most beautiful souls I know, my lifelong bestie, Desireé. She only lives about 20 minutes away, but it’s still a rare occasion that we get to sit without a time restraint, have a home cooked meal and enjoy each other’s company! 

We talked about everything from me being a prude to our love for Broadway! We may (or may not) have watched poor quality YouTube videos of musicals too. 

We got on the subject of what I intend to accomplish while in Bali. Was is rest, a spiritual awakening, just finding inner peace? I told her in one swift sentence. “I’m going to figure out how namaste home and earn a living doing what I love!”. 

Yes, I’m working on a life plan. No timeline. Just figure out how I can actually wake up and do what I love while bettering myself, my loved ones, my community, the world!

So, as a gift to enjoy on my journey she gave me a beautiful pair of Tree of Life yoga pants, they’re beautiful! I decided that they couldn’t wait until Bali to make their debut, so I’m wearing them today as I brave the bitter cold!

Keep warm! 

16 days!!!

Not sure about the rest of my Bali Bliss Buddies but, I think I’m ready to go. Like, literally, ready to get on the plane and fly tonight! My bags were packed with care to completion yesterday. There’s everything from aerosol DEET bugspray (that I’m probably going to get the side eye for even having) to Lemon & Eucalyptus BugRepellent (which I’ll use to cover up the smell of the DEET!) 

Did you know that when I bought my house, one of the major draws was its Eco-friendly concept! The previous owner, grew up in North Bergen, NJ (just like me!) bought her first house in Pompton Lakes, NJ (just like me!), had a ZEN ROOM where she meditated and did yoga… Wait for it… (JUST LIKE ME!!!) was in the process of turning this house into a wonderfully green, chemical free, low energy, solar paneled, practically FREE to run house! Because we had that immediate North Bergen thing going, I felt super comfortable asking her for the real DEETS on her monthly utilities bills… She had her agent fax them over and I was floored… Averaging $37/month in Electric over 3 years and $66/month in gas over 3 years. And don’t even ask about the water bill, because when I saw that I began to wonder if they ever flushed the toilet! Needless to say, I was S. O. L. D. !!!

When we moved in, I was in my GREEN LIVING HEAVEN! I couldn’t wait to use all natural products on my GRASS FLOORS! What? You have hardwood still, get with it people! Bamboo floors are where it’s at! 

One of the oldest building materials known to mankind! It has been used to build fences, houses, and furniture. Not to mention there’s BRIDGES made of bamboo, so fear not fellas, it’s built to last!

Bamboo is very much like hardwood, but it’s not wood. “Technically speaking” it’s a grass that grows very fast! There’s evidence that shoots of bamboo can grow up to 3′ a DAY, yes THREE FEET A DAY! I read that the bamboo used in flooring is planted, harvested, made and shelved in 4 years, as opposed to trees that will go 60-70 years before they’re cut down. (Why do you think there is so much deforestation?) I wouldn’t have known this stuff if she hadn’t laid the groundwork for me!!! So I am grateful for that woman and her green ideas!

No, we haven’t installed the solar panels like I told her we would.  But, that comes down the road when we replace the roof, which had a good 15 years left! (My fingers to the big guys ears!) 

So, back to my packed bags! With convenience and practicality comes guilt. Yes, I do feel guilty for buying a bunch of little plastic bottles, tubes, toiletries in  dispensers that are disposable. Nothing says I’m a yogi who practices Buddhism like bug killing sprays and earth poisoning toxins. I’m dealing with this guilt the best way I know how, I’m going to be extra diligent in my home practices of being earth friendly, I’m going to enforce the old rules that I’ve become so lax on and make up for this! 

I never claimed to be sane!

Happy Friday! Don’t forget to recycle! 

Around us.

IMG_7015In am in a lottery pool at work, you know what they say, A Dollar And A Dream!

Each time the prize gets really big, I start to wonder, what would I do with all that money. Let’s set aside the charitable and generous philanthropy that will probably turn me into a household name because of the Documentary they do on TRU TV about me.

You see, the reality of ME is, I know I can only occupy a maximum of 15 Sq Ft of any space at ANY given time. When I started on my quest to finding my version of enlightenment, I was so amazed by what I thought brought people happiness. I totally bought into the work hard, dream big, buy things and you will be happy. Then I saw the reality, once you had the things you thought brought you happiness, you began to work harder and work more, to dream of bigger and better, so you could spend more and get even happier. Then, yes, once you had that… The cycle started all over again. Was this my purpose on this Earth? I can’t imagine.

I know, sounds pretty ironic coming from me. I wake up in my comfy and warm house on my tempurpedic mattress, smack in the middle of suburbia, take a long hot shower, play with my “designer” dog, then hop in my Mercedes and drive my well dressed teenager across town, where I pay sky high taxes so she can go to Public School and be taught how SHE TOO can have the “AMERICAN DREAM” through Common Core testing, being politically and socially correct at all times. She will spend her day reading from textbooks that skip over some of the really good stuff, just to make sure they cover whatever will be on the standardized tests that year. I have an “executive” position at a company I’ve worked at for well over a decade. After I put in my 8 or so hours, I am out the door, in my car, grabbing groceries on the way home and who knows… I might even make a stop somewhere along the way to buy something like, say, another flat iron, because the four I currently have are, well… Just not the NEWEST and LATEST and GREATEST! Oh the irony is not lost on me.

Today I came across a post on World Travelers Association’s FB Page, “Jobs fill your pocket, Adventures fill your soul.” and it resonated with me. Not because I am an adventure seeking, cliff diving, world traveling gypsy! Not at all. It is simply because I am starting to see changes in my personal everyday life that make me WANT less “stuff” and crave MORE experiences. I understand that to maintain my life, I need to work. I get that my child enjoys going out with her friends to eat and shop, spending summers in Canada and all of that costs money. I love to make my bracelets and when I started beading, that was a big expense. But, it is most obvious when you come to my house that not conforming to the GROWN UP RULES OF LIFE didn’t start yesterday or even last year… This has been years in the making. I stop before I shop. I think of my “bucket” of loose change and dollar bills and remember that I do not work as hard as I do, as long as I do for a flat iron that I already have three times over. I crave more! That $40 goes right into the EXPERIENCE fund!

People who come to my house wonder how long I’ve been living there because I don’t have rooms full of furniture, coffee tables, TV’s, vases, shelves, pictures on the walls, heck – I don’t even have a dining room set anymore! I got rid of it all when it was time and never replaced it. I could count the number of times I sat at our dining room table on ONE hand and finally gave it away! I am still paying for that thing and don’t even own it! I don’t have dressers to fill with clothes, I have a closet and at this point, it is only 1/4 full. Now, don’t get me wrong. I live in a world of contrasts. A husband whose wardrobe is 50 times the size of mine, much higher end than my Target and American Eagle labels would have it NO other way. He is the YIN to my YANG. He likes the so called “finer” things in life. I prefer the simple things. It’s a balancing act. He has lived a colorful life and without getting into his business too much, this is what makes us a great COUPLE. We are perfect opposites, literally.

What do I love? I love that I have chaise lounges on the grass in summer, a patio set, a trampoline, a huge Rubbermaid bin of bats, balls, boxing gloves, swords, jump-ropes, sidewalk chalk, pompoms, batons, etc… Why? Because these are the things I crave now. I crave my nieces laughter coming from my backyard. My daughter laying on a blanket reading a magazine while we sip seltzer water with lemon. I yearn for the seasons to change so I can meditate on the cool sand, shaded by the big tree, with a fountain trickling to my right and Uncle Jim’s cement Buddha statue to my left. I crave a good book on the hammock, a chilly fall night with my husband by the fire-pit, Princeton on my lap and 80’s music on Pandora. THIS is what makes my heart swell up.

To each their own. Right?

I guess what I am trying to say is, I am happy with my simple life and every time it gets a little bit “simpler” I find myself a little bit HAPPIER! I want to travel alone. I want to travel as a family. I want to continue my yearly Mother/Daughter trips. I want to go on romantic getaways. That’s what I see myself doing. Does every experience need to be a BALI experience across the globe? Absolutely not! There are places in my own town I have yet to explore! But, that is what fills me up, experiences.

So, I apologize in advance to the visitors who have to eat on a little TV Tray, or even worse – eat on their laps! I just don’t want to buy a dining room set to collect dust and take up space, because it’s the GROWN UP thing to do. I can’t do it anymore, I am who I am. I am grateful for the ones who never question it, like my 86 year old grandfather who just smiles when I pull up his tray with a warm meal or my Scarlett Mae who will sprawl out on the floor for the night without a single complaint. That’s my HOME.

Will it always be this way? I don’t know. I am human and I am evolving everyday… But I am pretty damn happy today.

Bali Fashion Week March 1-7

I was going through my wardrobe, or lack there of, after the GREAT WARDROBE PURGE of 2016! (I told you guys about that, right? I watched a YOUTUBER purge 90% of her wardrobe and got motivated and DID IT!) Nevermind! Where were we? OH! YES! I was packing and going through my wardrobe at the same time! I am having a splendid time packing for this trip, especially after the “schedule” arrived. I guess I should give you a typical day in Bali on a Yoga retreat.

  • 6:41 am Sunrise
  • 7:00 – 8:00 am YOGA Class
  • 8:30 – 10:00 am Breakfast at your leisure
  •  10:00 – 1:00 pm Free Time, Pool, Beach, Day Trips into town (on your own)
  • 1:30 – 2:30 pm Lunch
  • 2:30 – 5:30 pm Free Time, Pool, Beach
  • 5:30 – 6:45 pm YOGA Class
  • Free Time
  • 8:30 Dinner, Free Time, Sleep, Repeat

NOW, aside from three meals a day, there are a few day trips that were included in the retreat, such as a Snorkeling Tour, a Balinese Water Cleansing Ceremony and a SPA DAY! But, aside from those three “planned” outings, the rest is pretty much, YOGA, EAT & RELAX. Three things I basically wrote the book on!

The Clothing Packing portion of this trip was a cinch!

Welcome to Dee-Dee’s Version of Bali Fashion Week!

  1. 9 Yoga Pants/Leggings all colors, lengths, brands and materials
  2. 3 BumBums and 2 Yoga Shorts
  3. 5 Tank tops, mostly Black but, I threw colors in t0 really spice things up!
  4. 5 Extra Lightweight Tee Shirts
  5. 2 pair of Flip Flops
  6. 1 pair od Strappy FLAT Sandals
  7. A few pair on undies, I am about 99.9% sure I won’t be wearing them, but… You never know!
  8. 5 Sports Bras and 2 REAL Bras
  9. 5 Bathing Suits
  10. 3 Black Summer Dresses that can be dressed UP or DOWN with accessories (hats, a little jewelry, etc…)
  11. 1 Sweatshirt
  12. 2 sleep tees
  13. Socks and Sneakers (for hiking apparently?) which I am wearing while I travel so they aren’t even going in the bag!

I am going to splurge on a lightweight suitcase I saw at TJMAXX for $ 49.95 which weighs a whopping 3.8 lbs! I have debated over it for 2 weeks so hopefully it is still there tonight!

I am pretty sure that my accessories, toiletries and beads will take up 3/4 of the suitcase! It feels amazing to not have to worry about three outfits a day, heels and all that crap!

Just me, my comfy clothes and nature! YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!

(PHOTO COLLAGES WILL FOLLOW!)