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What’s Your Dharma? + Memorial Day Weekend 2017

Hi! I hope you guys enjoyed your long weekend and also spent some time reflecting on the bravery and selflessness of our fallen servicemen and women. My message to my yoga classes over the weekend was about finding your dharma and using it to be of service. Your dharma is all about discovering your unique gifts and learning how to harness them to positively impact the world around you. I hesitate to say that it’s about “finding your life’s purpose” because that can feel a little overwhelming but that’s essentially what it is.

My dharma is empowering people (especially women) around their strength so that they can take ownership of their health, happiness and life in general. My friend Dorie’s dharma is being the best listener and always making people feel seen, heard and supported. My friend Rodney’s dharma is in using the power of yoga assists to help people feel safe and grounded in their bodies. Tanner’s dharma is always bringing a sense of humor and ease to the table and the ability to model how to not take everything so seriously. My friend Gail’s dharma is fighting for animal rights through her involvement in the Beagle Freedom Project. My friend Kristi’s dharma is helping young girls to discover healthy and active lifestyles through coaching middle school track.

I could go on and on but hopefully these examples help you get started. If you’re open to share, I’d LOVE to hear what your dharma is. <3

About the long weekend…I went to edit photos from it and realized that over 50% of my photos had dogs in them. #sorrynotsorry #youvebeenwarned

charlotte dog walk

My weekend kicked off early. I subbed out my Friday 9:30 a.m. class to get some work done and to soak up the gorgeous weather. I took the girls for a four-mile walk. Later that day I ran 3.5 miles and ended up getting almost 20,000 steps in. I was proud of myself. 😉

la shish kabob postmates

We both taught a ton last week so Friday night was all about relaxing. We ordered La Shish Kabob from Postmates. Our Postmate was SUPER fast and our food arrived in under 30 minutes. We had lamb, rice, falafel, salad, babaganoush, hummus and pita.

(If you’re new to Postmates use code EZ8IN and you’ll get $100 in delivery fee credits to use for your first 7 days!!!)

The highlight of my Saturday was getting my hair cut and colored. I hadn’t had a cut in over 5 months!

cowfish sushi

On Saturday night we went over to a friend’s house for sushi, cocktails, conversation and pool time.

yoga friends

Yogi friends! 🙂

cockapoo puppy

Virginia brought her cockapoo puppy Stella and we dunked her in the pool for the first time. She ran around like a crazy after getting wet (like dogs always do) and decided that Tanner’s white shorts were the best place to roll around and dry herself out. She leapt on his lap out of nowhere and we were all cracking up.

cockapoo puppy

After she got dry she made herself at home on my lap and I was totally okay with that. 🙂

suarez bakery cupcakes

The evening ended with a cupcake. I had classic yellow cake with chocolate frosting. You can never go wrong with that combo.

whole foods market waverly south charlotte

I spent a couple of hours on Sunday morning at the studio working with a teacher I’m mentoring and then made the trek down to Charlotte’s newest Whole Foods Market at Waverly to do my weekly shopping. It was a little out of the way for me but I had coupons for the grand opening and it’s hard to resist a new grocery store!

zoey and sullie

Since we were out late on Saturday, we stayed in on Sunday night and hung out outside and grilled. This photo is a great depiction of life around here. Sullie wants to cuddle and Zoey is like, “Look at this ball. Isn’t it awesome? Want to throw it?”

tahini marinated chicken

Dinner was so, so good! I highly recommend this recipe for tahini-marinated grilled chicken thighs with cucumber tomato salad from Cooking Light! The only modification I made to the recipe was to add a little balsamic to my tomato cucumber salad. I served it all over some of the leftover rice from La Shish Kabob.

dog life jackets

On Memorial Day I taught hot yoga, took half of Tanner’s class and then taught Y2 Strength before meeting up with Virginia to take the girls swimming at the lake. Here they are all suited up!

outward hound life jacket

I ended up ordering the Outward Hound life jackets. They were highly-rated and reasonably priced. Based on the size chart, it seemed the girls were solidly in the large range but I wish I’d have gotten XL. The large fit but they were a little tight getting the underside piece to velcro in place. Both girls were total champs about the jackets and didn’t seem to mind them at all.

lake wylie dog swim

Swimmers! I have to tell you that little Stella was not a fan. Virginia got in the water with her and she was not on board. She was a great swimmer when she actually did swim but would not do it on her own volition.

cockapoo swim

When she got out of the water she hid between my legs!

golden retriever life jacket

Sullie Phelps. 😉

golden retriever shake

My crazy ball girl.

I’m sharing this video to show you how much Sullie loves the water (and because I know my mom and grandmother will love to watch it…haha!). She kept dipping her head under and it was so cute. There’s also some funny footage of Stella swimming.

deviled eggs

Once we got home Tanner and I tag teamed some food for a cookout we were attending. I made deviled eggs and my lemon feta potato salad.

memorial day cookout

The cookout was just six of us and the perfect low-key way to end the long weekend. We ate out on my friend’s screened-in porch and while we sat chatting some nice evening storms rolled through.

key lime pie

We capped off the evening with key lime pie!

Let’s talk about Dharma…do you know what your Dharma is?

What did you do for Memorial Day?

Best cookout food you ate over the weekend?

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Lauren C May 30, 2017, 3:35 pm

    Looks like a really fun weekend! And never apologize for dog photos – they’re so cute! I may not have a dog (yet), but I have two little kids and my phone is full of pics of them, so I get it (as I’m sure many of us do)! 🙂

    Love the question about finding your dharma, although if I’m honest, it’s a little frustrating, too. I’ve been trying to spend more time to figure that out, and am not sure I have yet. Do I focus on what I’m good at? What I enjoy? Some combo of the two? Or something else? Ultimately not asking you to be a life coach (lol) but acknowledging that it’s a process.

    As for best food this weekend – my husband’s bday cake (chocolate choc chip with homemade vanilla buttercream – was pretty proud of how it turned out) and a pretty solid vegan mac n’ cheese.

    Happy Tuesday!

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 8:12 pm

      Thanks for the puppy picture support! 🙂 They are definitely the closest thing I have to kids right now and they just bring me so much joy.

      RE: the dharma. Thank you for being honest and I don’t think it’s super simple for everyone, thus why I didn’t want to make light of it in my post. I think it’s not just what you’re good at but what seems to be your calling. I would ask some of your friends and family what they see as your strongest gifts and start there. It can be really eye-opening because a lot of times we don’t even see them because they come so naturally to us.

      That cake…YUM!

  • Juliette | Namastay Traveling May 30, 2017, 4:19 pm

    I always wonder when I’ll know my dharma for sure..but after getting my yoga certification and being able to bring peace into other peoples’ lives, this is feeling right! Loved reading this post 🙂

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 7:52 pm

      I LOVE reading this! If you feel inspired to teach and share, it’s such a gift to the world. <3

  • Erin May 30, 2017, 4:21 pm

    I don’t really consider myself a “dog person” but your girls are the cutest and I love seeing pictures of them.

    We visited family in Chapel Hill over the weekend where I had a pretty tasty fried green tomato and egg biscuit along with a creme brulee donut that I split with the kids. On the drive home we stopped for lunch where I had the best chicken sandwich ever: grilled chicken on a fresh ciabatta roll with tomato jam, goat cheese and pickled cauliflower. I need to figure out how to recreate it at home or I might be making a road trip back to that restaurant:)

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 7:52 pm

      Aw, we all feel honored over here that you like all of the dog pics! 🙂

      That biscuit sounds amazing! Would you mind sharing the restaurant with the chicken sandwich? That sounds incredible!

      • Erin May 31, 2017, 8:55 am

        The restaurant is Fry’s Spring Station in Charlottesville, VA.
        I definitely recommend checking it out if you are ever in that area!
        (http://www.frysspringstation.com/). We took a different route back to the DC area to avoid traffic, didn’t really save much time, but lunch made it totally worth it.

        Donut and biscuit were from Rise (there’s a location in Charlotte too;) I though of you because it also had pimento cheese on it.

        • Lauren C May 31, 2017, 11:33 am

          Charlottesville has SO MANY great spots. If you ever drive through there again, try either Bellair Market (which is inside a gas station on Ivy Rd – trust me, it’s awesome!) Or Take-it-Away on the corner across from the UVA grounds (University Ave). Both are excellent!

  • Shannon May 30, 2017, 4:49 pm

    I went out on the lake! We have a shitzu-poodle mix that reminds me of your friends black dog! He did not like the water when we first introduced him to it but after many re-introductions any time we get ready to go on the boat he’s just waiting and so disappointed if we can’t. He jumps off the back now too when stopped! And loves those floats with the mesh bottom, so he can lay IN the water…just picture me rolling my eyes now! Ha!

    • Jen May 30, 2017, 7:51 pm

      I laughed out loud at your dog swimming story and the floats! It’s too much!!!

  • Julie Running in a Skirt May 31, 2017, 9:22 am

    What a fun weekend! It’s so cute that the big dogs love the water so much. Sullie looks so cute in the video.

  • Gail May 31, 2017, 11:01 am

    Aw, Jen. . .what a sweet surprise. I feel so honored to be acknowledged in finding your dharma. Thanks for the shout out to Beagle Freedom Project too. 🙂

  • Kate Nightlinger May 31, 2017, 12:40 pm

    I’ve really found my dharma in the last year as a weight loss coach. Like you, I began my career in marketing but it never fed my soul. I went back to school to become a registered dietetic technician and am studying for my NASM personal training certification. I want to help others tap in to the potential of healthy eating and moving their bodies to create energy, wellness and well being! You are such an inspiration and I LOVE your blog.

  • Amanda May 31, 2017, 2:45 pm

    That looks like such a fun and low-key weekend and the girls are adorable in their little doggie life jackets!

    I’m not sure what I consider my dharma to be, but it feels like something worth reflecting on over the summer as I move across the country to start a new career.

    On a somewhat lighter note – I made your lemon feta potato salad over the weekend along with grilled turkey burgers and it was so good! Both me and my husband are potato salad haters (also, mayo haters) but I’d always liked the idea of potato salad because potatoes are one of my favorite foods. Just wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed it, and I definitely plan to make it again this summer.

  • Amanda June 1, 2017, 3:42 pm

    Love that about summer, being able to spend weekend nights outside with friends and food! Best food I ate was all the dessert my co-workers brought to work! And someone made an awesome salad with spinach/chicken/goat cheese/peaches and blueberries!

  • JennyV June 2, 2017, 9:35 pm

    LOVE your insight in sharing your own dharma as well as that of your close friends. I would love to dig into this deeper because the question of knowing what my own dharma is really had me stumped. My position within our clinic was out of necessity — though I love facilitating positive health changes in our patients! I think mine lies somewhere close to that — encouraging and supporting belief in ones self. (Full disclosure: I struggle with this so maybe its within my own struggle that I want to help others?)

    And dog pictures — bring them on any and every day 😉 My instagram featured pictures are either dogs or fitness related. Ridiculous and I love it!!

    Loved my Memorial Weekend — made time for my family which included a great morning at the farmers market, chatting on a patio w/ my parents, and taking life slowly.

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