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Monday, November 18, 2013

Why Getting Fired From Lululemon Changed My Life

Yup, I said it. I got fired from lululemon. The company that prides itself on making the best technical athletic gear. More recently, the company with the see through pants and the founder who can't speak without inserting his foot into his mouth. 

I got fired for literally asking a question. And those individuals who called my "integrity" into questions were the very people who's integrity was in question. Why? Because they were sleeping with their manager and decided to throw me under the bus to get promoted. Shitty, isn't it? I thought so.

Then I realized that the show goes on, and so does life.

After the initial shock and a much needed vacation to visit my sister and brother-in-law (thanks again!), I have started the job search and guess what?! After my first interview, I got hired! Not just hired, but hired into a better job than I could have every dreamed would happen.

So at first, I applied a bunch of different places, thinking I was too overqualified to work at those places . . . and I was really discouraged.

Then unemployment came back and said they were going to pay me pending an interview. Not too worried about that since I technically did not violate company policy like management thought I did . . . and I have that all in writing. I'm the wrong bitch to mess with . . . just saying.

From there, I relaxed a little, and then started looking for jobs online. Applied for some, sent a bunch of yoga teaching related emails to studios I was interested in. BOOM! Got an interview. Went in today and left with an offer to for not only a teaching slot, but a full time salaried position with the offer to create my own position.

I am really excited. I have never been asked what my salary requirements are and after much deliberation, I sent the email requesting a certain salary given the hours and the rate they are willing to pay me per class.

The best part? This place feels like my vibe, is there to help me grow, is willing to allow me to learn, and is willing to listen to my ideas and allow me to really create something amazing for myself. It's right in line with all that I want to do post social work school AND can connect me to doing the research I'm already interested in.

I am hoping that this isn't too good to be true, but even if it is, I know that getting fired from lululemon was the best thing to happen to me personally and professionally. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oil Pulling

While I was on vacation in North Carolina, I came across an article that talks about oil pulling. In a nutshell, oil pulling is the process of removing toxins from your body through the mouth. There is a ton of bacteria in your mouth and oil pulling is one way to ride your body of harmful bacteria. Most articles I have read says that oil pulling can lead to a better, glowing complexion, whiter teeth, clear sinuses, a better immune system, and healthier skin. I've been practicing this age old Ayurveda process for two days now and I've already noted some improvements. My sinuses are much clearly, my skin looks and feels better, and my teeth are getting whiter. 

I'll keep you updated on the process and its' results. 

Here's how:

Take one tablespoon of coconut oil and swish it in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. I do it first thing in the morning when I wake up as it's best to do it on an empty stomach. I'll usually take the dog out, get my bag ready, start breakfast, etc while I'm swishing.

After the 15-20 minutes, spit out the oil in the toliet or in a tissue (it can clog your drain), and give yourself a good brushing. 

Repeat every morning. 

So I use coconut oil for a lot of things, cooking, moisturizer, chapstick, etc. I just put a jar of it in my bathroom and it's right there from any other bathroom needs. There's also one in the kitchen to cook with! :-P

Also see: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10517/why-im-in-love-with-oil-pulling-and-why-you-should-be-too.html


Why I Will No Longer Support Lululemon

I will be the first to say that I drank the Kool-Aid when I started working for lululemon last October. On a very superficial level, the company seems amazing. It's a company that states that it cares about its' employees goals and that wants "to elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness." Again, I thought this AMAZEBALLS when I first started working for the company.

I was a supporter of lululemon from the moment it was introduces to be, buying into the latest workout fashions and the "best" technology for workout gear there was to offer. I spend thousands of dollars on this new fashion trend and workout technology. While I still love the gear, I mean it is comfortable and the older stuff holds up for years if you take care of it properly, I will no longer be spending my hard earned money on this Canadian-based company. Here's why:

1. The founder, Chip Wilson, has been on record saying that he supports sweat shops in third world countries because it provides employment. Ok, got it, stop there. His mistake: saying that he pays them shit money. If you really want to elevate the world, then pay them better wages. These people work 16-hour days in crappy conditions and get paid very little money.

2. Chip Wilson said he named lululemon with three "L"s in it to make fun of Asian people. He never wanted the company to reach out to Asian countries and wanted it to remain an American based company so that Asian people can't pronounce the name. Hey Chip! I'm 100% Thai and I can pronounce "lululemon". Epic fail.

3. The quality of the product has gone significantly down in the last year. We all know about the see through pants debacle, but the quality of their products have gone way down. In the time I was with the company, I saw numerous returns on piling products, holes, snags, seams ripping, etc. The older lululemon items I have stand up way better to the elements than any of the newer stuff I have purchase. Also - see through pants? Well maybe you should pay those who work in the sweat shops more money and they will care more about the products they produce.

4. The company says that the price reflects the quality of the product and the latest technology. Wrong again. Why are your branded yoga pants $98? Because lululemon will purchase yarn from one country, ship it across the world to have the fabric made, then ship it again across the world to have the garments made, then ship to headquarters in Vancouver, then to the store across the nation. You aren't paying for the best fabric or the best technology, you are paying for shipping the shit across the world multiple times.

5. It's a company that says that integrity is one of its core values. Going back to #1, if integrity is so important to you, then pay the people in the sweat shops more money. Have some INTEGRITY about what you will pay to those third world countries you are "providing" jobs for. Better yet, make their working conditions better, shorter hours, better working quarters, etc. Also -- make sure that your individual stores also stand for integrity. I worked at a store where the store manager was so obsessed with making a good impression on corporate that she forgot about the basics of running a store: making sure your floor is appropriately staffed, making sure that when you are supposed to be on the floor, you are there and no hiding in the back room, make sure your guests are happy, make sure your managers and treating everyone with respect . . . oh this list could go on. But to top the list, make sure that your manager aren't sleeping with you part and full time employees and the entire store knows about it and no one does a damn thing about it. Talk about integrity! That last one really hits my point home!

While I used to love lululemon and was hard core drinking the Kool-Aid, the buzz has worn off and I will be investing my money in USA made and manufactured companies such as alo, nut, etc. Their stuff is just as good, if not better, and way cuter than anything lululemon can make.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

CLEAN Eating Con't

So since my original post, I have made a few more recipes.

Here are my favorites:

Slow Cooker CLEAN Chili (recipe in previous post)

Cilantro Lime Chicken Freezer to Crock Pot Meal (recipe in previous post)

Rosemary Balsamic Crock Pot Chicken (recipe in previous post)

That's as far as I've gotten so far. Ever since I started eating clean, I have noticed an increase in energy and my body feels better. My mind is clear and sharp and I feel like I can get through my day without extra cups of coffee. Workouts feel great and they are being supplemented with the best of foods.

I recently had lunch with a good friend and we talked about clean eating, the basics, what it means, how it works. I hope that I have inspired her to start eating clean, or at least experiment with it. :-) (Love you, Ashley!)

Keep you posted!

Til next time!

xoxo,
Amy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

CLEAN Eating

Joey and I just moved from the city to the burbs. For the first few weeks we lived here, we basically ordered pizza from the amazing place down the street. Long story short, we were eating like shit. Together we decided to start eating healthier. It started with taking vitamins and supplements and when I mentioned the idea of clean eating, he was all for it, to my surprise.

So here's my next new blogfest . . . CLEAN eating. Keep checking back for links to recipes I have found amazingly delicious and clean. 

Some Ideas to Start Planning:

1. http://www.thegraciouspantry.com/clean-eating-bbq-pork-stew/

2. http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/recipes/dinner-tonight/chicken-rioja-with-garlicky-spinach/

3. http://freezeyourwayfit.blogspot.com/2011/02/portobello-mushroom-ragu.html

4. http://freezeyourwayfit.blogspot.jp/2012/10/clean-eating-brown-rice-risotto-with.html

5. How to Freeze: http://freezeyourwayfit.blogspot.com/2011/02/unleashing-power-of-your-freezer.html

6. http://freezeyourwayfit.blogspot.com/2011/02/rosemary-balsamic-glazed-chicken-with.html

7. http://freezeyourwayfit.blogspot.com/2011/02/clean-eating-peach-almond-crumble.html

8. http://ashleynoelbarnes.blogspot.com/2013/05/10-freezer-to-crockpot-meals.html

So far I have made # 3, 4, 6, 8. My favorite is by far #6. The taste is great, the only thing I would do is add the zuchinni about an hour before it's done. Sitting in the crockpot for that long made them mushy. 

#3 is good, but could use more vegetables. I thinking broccoli, asparagus, carrots . . . keep you updated

#4 is also good, but I need more flavor . . . maybe add a little more cheese

#8 . . . meals are in the freezer, going to make them this week . . . keep you posted.

AND FOR MY FAVORITE CLEAN EATING RECIPE THUS FAR: Slow Cooker Chili

http://www.eatcleandiet.com/the_kitchen_table/recipe/recipe.aspx?id=768

The best flavor ever! This was my first time making chili and I nailed it thanks to this recipe. I also added a bag of dice butternut squash and I would recommend adding some potatoes or sweet potatoes too! 

#foodie #eatclean #thiswastoomuchfun


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal!)




It's been a week since I embarked on my self-imposed Lululemon Challenge (aka Amy Saves Money). The BHAG: I will wear every piece of Lululemon I own before I purchase a new piece of Lululemon (with the exception of ONE Power Y Tank!).

Why would anyone do such a thing?! Because I single-handedly get our store to goal . . . just kidding . . . but not really! ;-) I have a huge spending problem at Lululemon. Yes, the product is great and made for quality assurance, but there's a such thing as having too much Lululemon and I've hit that point. Any of my co-workers, family members and friends can and will attest to my Lululemon addiction. My guess is that my current Lululemon wardrobe will last me at least two months. Who knows how much I will save (or put towards my debt!)!

I'm going to continue to blog about this challenge and I will say that I almost failed last week twice when the Fluffin' Awesome Vest came in, along with the Dance Studio Jacket . . . but I didn't! I was strong-willed. Almost failed today when I saw the Right As Rain Jacket, but then decided that I already have a rain jacket I barely wear. Going strong . . . sort of . . .

Here are the pieces I've worn last week:

Wunder Under Crops (SYBL)
Blissed Out Dress (GRNI/WHT)
Universal Wrap (HBLK)
Ebb and Flow Racerback (BLK)
Swiftly Headband (SYBL)
Free to Be Bra (SYBL)
Speedy Runsie (SYBL)
Swiftly Racerbacks (PKLI, VRGR, BLEC)
Groovy Run Shorts (GRNI/WHT)
Speed Shorts (SEMU/ANGW/PLUW, ZIGR, )
Boogie Shorts (color code is so old I don't even remember it)
Cool Racerback *Mod Waves (RAGL/BLK)
In the Flow Crops (VRGR)
Calm SS (blue and white stripes)
Voyage Pullover (NIMB)
Track Attack Shorts (BLK)
Cool Racerback (PKLI)
Straight to Studio Crop (DUNE)

And that's just week one. Stay tuned for more! There's sure to be some crazy outfits coming soon!


















Growth. Time. Truth. Closure.

So it's been a while. I somewhat forgot I had a blog. Oopsies!!

A lot has happened. Most for the better, with some rough patches in between. But that's a different blog for a different time.

I've posted a lot about this guy named Grant. Yes, that one. The guy that broke my heart in ways I didn't even know it could be broken. The guy I never thought I'd be over.

A few months back, he still got to me. I found myself looking at his what I thought girlfriend's Facebook page and also trying to look at his. I thought he had deleted and blocked me from Facebook. Come to find out, he went AWOL and just decided to get rid of Facebook. 

It wasn't until I met the most amazing man ever that I began to heal from what Grant did to me. Joey is the man I will spend the rest of my life with, the man I will raise a family with, and the man I will grow old with. He is the man who treats me better than I deserve and shows me what true love really is. And I would not do anything to hurt him, ever.

I believe that time heals all wounds, especially those you thought would never heal.

While I was going through a personal rough patch and getting ready to head back to Ann Arbor, I received a Facebook message from non other than Grant. It simply stated that if I was ever back in Ann Arbor and wanted to stunt, to get a hold of him. At first glance, I was furious that he would have the nerve to even contact me. Joey was furious and of course, wanted to handle the situation.

I went back to Ann Arbor that weekend with no intention of contacting Grant. I felt that he was out of my life for a year and during that year, I was perfectly capable living without him, without knowing how he was doing . . . hell, I was even happy . . .and I found Joey. I had finally stopped caring and started truly healing, and he went and did it again, made all those icky feelings come up.

It wasn't until I was sitting at my parents house in silence that I decided I needed to do something for me. I text Grant and asked if he'd be interested in getting a drink. Much to the dismay of Joey and my good friends, I decided that something needed to be done face to face. Grant never did me the respectable thing when he chose not to tell me he had started dating Katie, nor did she might I add. I didn't want to do that. Not that I owed Grant a damn thing, but I wanted to rise above and just be respectful.

So I met him for a drink. Not even five minutes into the conversation, I had said to him, "So I need to ask you a favor. We've spent the last year apart from one another, not being in contact, and I think it's really unfair of you to just pop back into my life like no time has passed. I've been happy not thinking about you and not knowing what you're up to. After tonight, I need to ask you to not talk to me. No texts, no Facebook messages, no contact whatsoever. I have met the man of my dreams, and I'm going to marry him, start a family with him, and grow old with him. And I refuse to let you ruin that. So if you have ever cared about me, and out of respect for me, I need you to leave me alone after tonight."

He was silent. Then he said that it's been a year since we have talked and since we have gone that long without talking, then we could just continue not talking. 

After that was all said and done, I felt like I accomplished something. I didn't even know I had it in me to tell him all that. I kept looking at him thinking, "Why was I ever attracted to you? You were such a dick to me!" Felt like that was a good sign. 

Since I was drunk after a couple ciders, we decided to talk a walk around campus. We did a stunt in the diag for old time's sake and just wandered. It had been a while since I've been on campus and I wanted to soak it all in and sober up before driving 45 minutes back to my parents. We walked about four feet apart at all times, until Grant thought it would be a smart idea to pull me in and try to kiss me. I fought against it and ended up slapping him in the face for trying. The slap woke him up and I told him not to think about trying to do it again. And asked what the hell he was thinking. He just said he had the urge to kiss me.

I gotta say that it's so nice to be wanted after being a second choice for a year. Not that I agree with his choice to kiss me, because I don't, but it's nice to know that you're wanted, especially after you weren't for so long. Too little, too late. 

It was nice to catch up with Grant and to know that he is doing well. And to let it all out. To be honest, to have some closure on a situation that wained for way too long. Just to make sure my point was made, I sent Grant a text message that said:

       "Thanks for the closure, Grant. We were more honest with each other than we've ever been. Time to go our separate ways. I wish you the best of luck with everything you do and truly hope you fall madly in love with someone who is more madly in love with you than I was. If you see me in Ann Arbor, act as if you have no idea who I am. A part of me is always going to care about you in some weird fucked up way, but I can't let you be a part of my life that I've done so well building without you in it. I hope you can respect and honor my wishes. Goodbye."


Time heals all wounds. Time allows you to grow, to see the truth and speak your truth, to have closure, and most of all, time allows you to move onto something better.