On Yoga

I went to my first Restorative Yoga class tonight and though I immediately paused at the Tarot-like “words of wisdom” cards that they passed out at the beginning of class. I’m glad I went. My yoga studio cancelled my 6AM Saturday yoga and replaced my Wednesday Pilates Barre class with a sprightly dance/barre class. Pretty much any form of exercise that incorporates dance especially, and I realize how hokey I sound when I say this, “sexy” dance moves, makes me wish I was anywhere else doing basically anything else. Ballet has seemed to be the exception (but, like, totally amateur, just-for-fun ballet).

I’ve been slightly adrift ever since. I hope by going to yoga last Saturday at 8AM and then to tonight’s class, I’ll get back into my groove. I walk to the trax every morning and night, but as my job requires so much sitting, I know I need to do something a bit extra.

The Restorative class has less postures, but you stay in them much longer. The instructor, Alexis had such a calm voice and towards the end of class she moved my head and shoulders (technical term?) and smelled of spearmint. I think I’ll go back.

Family Cross Stitch Project: The Ria’s (My Parents)


I realize this genealogical family cross stitch project is going to become pretty embarrassing, pretty quickly as I can barely get the right names and birth dates for my grandparents (yikes!).

Even so, I thought I would start with my family first. I was born the second child to Winton and Jaime Ria nee Miya in Murray, UT. My older sis was not even two years old when I was born and my parents quite often treated us like we were twins (dressing us in similar clothes and such). The little sis came quite a few years later. My little bro came a few years after that.

I read an article awhile back about this photography project, Before They Pass Away. My dad passed away before I hit junior high, but I’ll never forget how incredibly proud he was to be Maori. He spoke the language and was always trying to teach my older sis and I to know where we came from. If we weren’t going to Saturday morning Maori practice, we were practicing for the Obon Festival or whatever luau or cultural event.

My dad had a huge, crooked nose that apparently broke when he was swimming in the ocean in New Zealand. He had kind eyes, large hands and sausage-like fingers that were constantly fidgeting. He played the guitar and would sing to himself so often it was as if he didn’t realize he was doing it. When you heard him singing even if it was a song you had heard a million times before, it would light you up from the inside.

My mom is 5 foot nothing and getting shorter. My auntie from New Zealand referred to her as an “oriental princess” the first time my mom visited my dad’s family. It could be her amazing Japanese genes or her religious application of Vaseline, but my mom has looked pretty much the same for the past 10+ years.

My older sis and I were obsessed with smelling my mom’s hands and hair when we were little. She always smells so wonderful and she is the most put together, capable person you will ever meet. My mom used to call me “darling” when I was little and sometimes as an adult when she refers to me with that moniker I feel like a beaming 5 year old. Small and special.

I don’t know if these little bits of memories will help with my project, but it’s nice to remember them.


Thoughts on Flowers and Gardening


Bought this from Richard and killed it 2 weeks later (blame this on our dungeon apartment and not the plant)

A couple years ago, a sweet neighbor brought me an arrangement of green kermit mums that magically did not die after two weeks in my home. The husband and I unsuccessfully tried flower arranging for a few weeks after that to no avail. I do enjoy the special occasion bouquet, but I wish I could have more greenery in my home that did not consist of fake plants.

Besides being a wizard piemaker, a natty dresser, an apiarist and overall interior design expert, my friend, Richard is also amazing with plants and landscaping. His instagram and pinterest boards are inspiring.

Print Inspiration


Most of my walls are still pretty bare. The minimalist vibe the husband and I have been going for hasn’t made us rush into anything, but eventually I’d like something on the walls. As I’ve poured over 20×200 prints, Society6 and 1000Museums, we both keep coming back to the MIT Baker House piano drop which print doesn’t appear to be available for commercial sale.

Do What We Can

I’m half way through Goldfinch and feeling a little discouraged and sad about life. The husband calls it the Felicity effect in that when I was marathoning the show all I wanted to do was eat cereal.

The grouchiness made me search out Elder Holland’s recent conference talk called “Are We Not All Beggars?”. May I say that I am the worst at accepting help. Ask me for a ride ever? The answer will almost certainly be no. Help me with my groceries? ‘That’s okay, I got this’. Clean my house for me? Buy me dinner? ‘Um, why is my house dirty in this imaginary scenario’ and ‘that’s so sweet to offer, but no’.

I’d like to blame the majority on this personality trait on my mom who once refused a ride from a stranger after severely twisting her ankle and limping a mile back home. But the pride is all me, man. And in refusing to be the kind of person that needs help, I wonder how often I overlook opportunities to extend help.

This made me think of the absolutely amazing and kind folks in my life. These people have   an ease for kindness. They extend themselves without any kind of trumpet or flair. A couple of years ago, I was in a weird mood and saw my friend in the parking lot. I ranted to her for, like, twenty minutes and felt immediately better. The next day, I looked on my doorstep to see a bag of homemade cookies. I can not express how moved I was by that simple and sweet gesture.

I took a picture of it because I wanted to remember that on that day I was seen, that someone without any provocation whatsoever cared enough about me to tell me that they noticed me, that I wasn’t alone. Can I say if I’ve been that to someone? I hope I have.


Halloween Crafting Under $20

The husband and I have a family tradition of carving pumpkins. Although we are still keeping that tradition alive, I thought I would try to decorate our house a little bit to maybe prepare for trick or treaters (gasp!). I gave myself a $20 budget and took to Pinterest for ideas.

My first project was a snake wreath. I bought a wreath at Walmart for $4.97, black spray paint for $0.97 and toy snakes from The Dollar Tree which came up to $6.00 (5 medium sized snakes and 1 package of mini glow-in-the-dark snakes). Total: $11.94

The 2nd project was a floating ghost. The lil sis bought the stuff for this one so this was a total cheat. She bought two styrofoam heads from Michael’s ($4.99 each), cheesecloth, fishing wire, and dish towels from Walmart that we ended up dying with tea bags. Total: free (for me)

The 3rd project were vampire pumpkins. I bought mini pumpkins at Trader Joes for $2.07 (3 for $0.69). The lil sis bought 3 vampire teeth for a dollar each. Total: $2.07 (for me)

I also bought a couple bags of “spider webs” at a dollar each and skull faces made out of cardboard from Michael’s, 3 for $0.99. I spraypainted these with glow-in-the-dark paint (also bought by the lil sis), but I’m not sure how well this one turned out. Total: $4.97

We’re still putting together all of the projects, but I was happy to have kept pretty close to my budget.

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Family Cross-Stich Project


My crafting experience is only gift knitter, but the Christmas season that begins right after Labor Day for all gift knitters is upon us and I have put it into my head that I’d like to start a cross stitching project that I saw on Martha Stewart.

I can vaguely remember a cross stitching project I did when I was middle school age, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t count as I quit half way through the project. I also have it into my head that I’d like to include my genealogy with this project. My mom assures me that our genealogy is “done”, but we are sometimes a family of…what’s the opposite of oversharers? Close-to-the-vesters? Secretive? That’s sounds worse than it is.

My maternal grandma died before I was born. My maternal grandpa lives in California whom we saw once a year from the time I was born until I moved out of my mom’s house. Both paternal grandparents live in New Zealand. The stories of any great-grandparents are so vague as to be barely remembered. I’d like to know those people. Even if it’s just to get an idea of who they were to include in this project. Does that sound silly?