Local Honey & Chinese Tea

Hope everyone had a great weekend, can’t wait to tell you all about mine! So as some of you know we have just bought a house in Boonton, NJ. This is a really cute area of town, a lot of local shops, and local farms that I’m already starting to support! It’s been a bit chaotic trying to get everything ready with the house and work but all I can say is that yoga/meditation room is complete… what else do I need? Oh and the kitchen was brand new renovated before we even bought #winning! lol.

So I got to experience quite a few fun things this weekend: The Denville Farmers Market, The Local Honey at Gooserock Farms, and the local tea shop called Sinolfilia Tea. Let’s start with how amazing a dinner I made with all the purchases from the farmers market…. Because it is still the winter season and it was only about 30 degrees here this last Sunday not a lot of vendors are out just yet, but more will be coming starting May 6th for those of you in the area. However, there was a local ravioli guy who had over 20 different kinds ranging from beet & goat cheese raviolis to lobster raviolis… whatever your preference, they had one for you! Because we weren’t aware that they would be one of the most amazing freshest pastas ever we only bought  1 kind. We chose the Artichoke and Goat Cheese raviolis. Another stand called Silver Birch specializes in different soups and sauces and meatballs! Of course we needed something to go with our raviolis so we got a basil pesto with chicken buffalo meatballs, of course all cage free & no hormones in any of their products.  (See photos below)

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Gooserock farms is a small little self-service local honey and egg shop. They are a small family owned company and have free range chickens and multiple bee hives. Not only do they just use the honey from the bees but they create soap bars, hand creams, lip balms, and facial creams using the beeswax and propolis from their bees. I could not believe how adorable their little shop was and how delicious it is! From them I got a Cider Spice soap bar, which is a bit like an apple cider but not overly sweet and obnoxious. They had several other kinds I would like to try like Honey & Oats, Lemon, and a Lavender… for me the only one that smelled a little too sweet was the mango. I have used it 2x this weekend on even my face and everyone keeps telling me my skin is glowing… It does not leave a sticky feeling in the shower, or a dryness, in fact it left my skin quite moist and less oily. I also bought their Cinnamon Honey spread… which is to die for!!!! I am in love, it can be put on anything, perhaps a fresh loaf of bread out of the oven, or in your tea if you like that sorta combo. The best part is the combination of local honey and cinnamon is an amazing natural way to remedy allergies as the season approaches along with sinus and throat infections…. feel free to combine it with a squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tsp for any of these illnesses. I also bought a blueberry wildflower honey, I only taste tested this quickly, but it was delicious and not artificial at all! I will be using it more this week to create some tasty sweets in the kitchen, will let you know how it goes. The last thing I bought, because I cannot resist… was a dozen fresh eggs….. what is amazing is that they are all different colors because different colored chickens lay different colored eggs. This to me is a sure sign that there is nothing artificial about this place…. you can even see the farm area that they raise everything in right from the side of the honey shop. It is so key to buy local products and things you know are grown 100% free from all the chemicals and crap we buy at the stores. This is not to say that everything at a grocery store is bad for you…. deff not!!! You just need to know what to look for but any time you get a chance to try your local neighbors gardening and farming please do so! It is an amazing way to support the community and keep fresh products coming. I wish I lived in a state or area where you could grow anything you wanted at any time and weather wasn’t an issue, but unfortunately NJ has a horrific winter and makes it hard to find anything that’s not imported during this season…. On a plus note, Spring is coming and more farmers markets will begin to open. =)

 

Lastly, the 3rd place I visited this weekend was a local tea shop called Sinofilia. The couple who owns this shop were absolutely adorable and sweet. The wife comes from China and every tea in the shop is 100% organic, no artificial colors or flavors whatsoever. They are some of the best quality teas you can get without massive amounts of sugar. She had multiple flavors including licorice, green tea, rosehips, and herbs I’ve never even heard of. To top it off she explained to me she practices something called Tea Ceremonies which is an ancient Chinese practice in which you learn about the Gods, the herbs and it is a mutual respect Buddhist like practice; “If you respect the herbs, they respect you”. She further went on to explain that even the poorest people of China are drinking better quality tea than the U.S. because they never use anything artificial just pure leaves and herbs and hot water and they only drink very small glasses of tea because of the way it is filtered. I will deff be doing a tea ceremony with her in which I can taste test all the different kinds and choose what is best for my body. Will let you know how it goes. Here are just a few photos of the store itself and the little tiny horse cup I bought because it reminded me of my dad and my cousin Madeline who have both taught me how to ride.

 

I hope for those of you reading that are local will check out these 3 places when you get the chance. They are well worth it. For those of you not so local, comment below and let me know what your favorite local shops are. =)

 

Namaste my yogis!

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How do you do it?

This weekend I got my Barre Teacher Training certification from Tula (the same place I did my yoga training). It was absolutely incredible! Megan, the teacher has the best energy I’ve felt in so long and she was so extremely knowledgeable  on the subject between anatomy, injuries, pregnancies, you name it, she know how to adjust for it!

When going in to class on Saturday I ran into a friend of mine and fellow teacher, Erica (we got our yoga certificates together, and she is fantastic!), she asked me “How do you do it all? Where do you get your energy from? How do you have time for everything you do?” This is a big question, and it’s funny because I generally just say I don’t know, or I just try my hardest to make a difference for others…. but it was something I put a lot of thought into this weekend.

To backtrack a little… what exactly is it that I do everyday that she’s so curious about? Or what is Erica talking about?…. I work a 9-5 job in NYC as a fragrance chemist, but commuting from NJ does mean I’m up at 5:30 am and home at 6:30 pm (that in itself can be exhausting)…. 2 nights a week I teach my powerflow yoga class from 6:45-8 pm, I often wind up subbing at least 1 more time almost every single week around that same time, on Sundays I also teach a vinyasa class at 9 am, I am taking online courses for my nutrition degree that come out with a new lecture every Monday, I was getting my Barre Certification, I am teaching in Costa Rica next month, planning a yoga retreat, writing a yoga program, health coaching on the weekends, and somehow in between all of that I find time for hockey and football season, spending time with loved ones, and oh yeah even taking some fitness classes as well (TRX, yoga, barre, etc)…. Well….how? I almost don’t always know the answer myself… it seems like I am crazy, and that there’s not enough hours in a day for all of that to get done, and the truth is sometimes there isn’t!

I think part of my personality has always done better with having something to do. I am not someone who can binge watch a show or read a whole book in one weekend, no matter how good either are… I don’t often like to sit still…. it is rare that I ever just stay home for an entire weekend; it is not for me… but with that being said, it is probably exactly what I need sometimes…. Developing a balance between the two is a huge challenge of mine that I am trying to overcome. I often forget to take a little time for myself, whether it’s a massage, a weekend getaway, or just an afternoon of doing simply nothing… it is well needed, and I will get better at it with time… The first step is a little self reflection which I am making a point to take, especially each time I notice an important question like this come up…

I don’t think of any of the things I mentioned above as work…. I love my science, always have, hence me continuing school for further science degrees… the commute, I could do without, but for now that’s ok. Teaching yoga, really comes from the heart with me, it is never something I find stressful, I love my students, and knowing that I have made such an impact on so many people with their injuries, relationships, and self care really always reminds me that this is why I do it. Don’t get me wrong it is not as easy day, nor does it mean I stay calm 24/7 or never break down, I am human… but the times where I am losing my cool, I look inside and remember why it is I started on this path.

The energy I have can be overwhelming to others at times, maybe even intimidating… I am the type of person who gets excited about everything, and not everyone understands this… I’ve been called “annoyingly happy” many times and even told in the workforce “I cannot be taken seriously” because of it…. well…. maybe they’re right, maybe I am a little annoying, maybe I am too excited about the smaller things…. but ya know what? I don’t care! That is what makes me who I am…. my passion is always all in… if it’s not, then what’s the point?

It is safe to say that sometimes I am completely exhausted and drained, but I never really let that show. I put on a smile and let everyone think I am perfectly fine all the time, but it is pretty obvious when I am not… The struggle is most deff. real with trying to be there for everyone all the time, making sure everyone I care about is happy, making sure my students and clients are safe, healthy, and thriving…. but I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world. I could sit here and tell you all my problems about my bills and family drama, or relationship struggles… but all of that comes and goes…. we all have ups and downs, highs and lows, this is inevitable, but finding passion….. now that is something we have to look within for and no one should ever take that away from you… whatever it is that you are passionate about, please go and do it! Do not let anyone’s negative opinions stop you, especially your own…. do not ever feel silly for being passionate about something, a mistake I made for so long b/c “I wasn’t serious enough” , have your breakdowns, but know that you are enough, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. If your heart is in the right place, you will always be right where you need to be and nothing will stop you.

The light in me shines, because of the light that shines in you; together we light up the sky. From my heart to yours, Namaste! Xoxo