Maui (aka paradise) Trip 2017!

My husband and I just got back this week from the most amazing trip ever… Maui, HI!  We went to Oahu a couple of years ago, fell in love with Hawaii, and knew right away that we had to go back and visit a different island as soon as we could.  We finally made it back to Hawaii last week and had the most amazing trip exploring Maui! If we could move there right now, we would!  It was definitely more mellow and relaxed feeling than Oahu.

Here are some of our trip’s highlights:

THE FOOD!!! If you still didn’t know, I am a big big lover of food.  I am happiest when I am eating (lol) so of course I have pictures of my favorite eats:

Haleakala Sunrise – you MUST MUST do watch the sunrise at the Haleakala Summit if you are ever in Maui.  You are above the clouds and it is the most amazing view, it’s almost unreal!  We woke up at 3 am to drive the 2 hours to get to the summit and then there was nothing else to do but wait.. or look at the stars while waiting for the sunrise.  IT IS FREEZING up there so if you ever go, make sure you bring your WINTER gear.. not even kidding!  jacket, hat, gloves, blanket, you will need it all!  For more info, check out this website: Go Hawaii.  After the sunrise, we hiked 4 miles of the Sliding Sands at Haleakala National Park.  Woof.  Major inclined hike, but I just kept telling myself “one step at a time, left right left right” lol.. it worked!

Mini adventures around West Maui including Nakalele Blowhole, Heart Shaped Rock, Dragon’s Teeth AND BEACHES!  We had to go down the side of cliffs, climb up rocks, to get to the bottom and see the blowhole and the heart shaped rock (cannot believe I did that) but definitely worth it.

 

WHALE WATCHING!!  One of the best things ever was going whale watching!  Omg I didn’t know I was obsessed with whales until this trip.. what a freakin majestic animal.  We even saw a baby whale that the guide named Dill (LOL!)  We went through Pacific Whale Foundations that our $ went back to them!  I took so many pictures but only two really turned out lol but WORTH IT.

 

Ocean Pools:  Olivine Pools off the Kahekili Hwy and my favorite, Venus Pools, off Hana Hwy.  First of all, what a view!  These pools are so beautiful.  Second, you have to climb down rocks to get to them.. again, I cannot believe I did that!  I was too scared to do the same thing to get to some pools when we were in Oahu but for some reason, Maui just brought out the fearlessness.. must be the pursue your legend ‘tude (thanks Alchemy!)  Between the two, I definitely liked the Venus Pools more AND ALSO YOU HAD TO JUMP OFF THE SIDE OF THE CLIFF TO GET INTO THE VENUS POOL!  Thank god I didn’t know that or else I don’t think I would’ve gone but I did it! .. ok , it was like the lowest point but whatever, I got into that damn pool.  I definitely recommend visiting this if you are ever in Maui!

The Road to Hana.. duh!  Of course we had to do this!  Instead of just doing the drive and going back to Lahaina, we decided to check out of our Lahaina airbnb and stay one night in Hana so that we could take our time.  Thank god for my husband who can plan things.  We stopped at so many waterfalls and views and god nature is beautiful!  I highly recommend buying the travel guide book “Maui Revealed” as it has all the tips you need.. it’s the blue book.  It tells you where to stop and how to get to a specific spot that we would have never known or seen without this guide.

Red Sands Beach & Black Sands Beach:  The way to get to the Red Sands beach is considered so dangerous that there was a warning sign right before getting on the trail and we also a sign at a local Hana cafe that they were not able to give directions on how to get there.  Naturally, we went and took pics duh 🙂 and the Black Sands beach? BEAUTIFUL!

Pipiwai Trail:  a 4 mile hike that rewards you with the most beautiful majestic waterfall ever.. wow!  And a mile of bamboo trail! LIKE WHAT?!  MUST DO!

Ho’okipa Beach Park : Our flight back home wasn’t until 9 pm so we had the whole day to just chill before having to go back to reality.  We didn’t really have a plan but thanks to Instagram, I found a tag for this beach park and so thankful that we got to see this! Beautiful views, surfers surfing big BIG huge waves, oh AND SEA TURTLES!!!

 

I am so thankful that we were able to experience Maui. What a beautiful, beautiful place and I cannot wait to go back!

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How I pursue my legend

I wrote this piece for my gym, Alchemy, after going through their A101 and Masters program (not to be confused with a masters degree lol).  But I thought that I would share on my personal blog because it really explains me and my two passions in life 🙂

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(pic by Alexa Kay https://www.instagram.com/alexakay/)

“There is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything.  Negative people find their walls.  So never apologize for your enthusiasm.  Never.  Ever.  Never.”- Ryan Adams

Have you ever heard of the 5 languages of love?  Well, if you haven’t, go ahead, google it.  I’ll wait.  Now that we all know about the 5 languages of love, I wanted to inform you that mine is Words of affirmation.  It’s probably why I started my PYL story with a quote.  I am all about quotes.   And that quote resonated with me as soon as I saw it.  When I love something, I REALLY love it.  I’m vocal about it.  I’m unabashedly enthusiastic about it.  And there are two things I am unabashedly passionate about: my love for animals and my health.

Let’s first talk about my love (really an obsession) for animals.  I LOVE ANIMALS.  I am that weirdo that will squeal whenever I see a dog or the one who would rather hang out with the cat at a holiday party than socialize (let’s get real, I socialize plenty but if there’s an animal in the room..).  My ultimate dream scenario would be to have my own island where I could have all my rescued animals with me.  But since that’s not happening any time soon, I pursue my legend by volunteering with local animal rescues and being on the board of a local non-profit that assist animals in need by providing resources to animal rescues.  It feels so good to give back by providing love and be the voice for our four legged friends.

My health is also extremely important to me.  Being healthy to me means eating right (that would be another topic) and exercising!  And that is where Alchemy comes in.  Alchemy is my fitness transformed.  Ever since taking my very first A10 class at Crossfit Minneapolis, before Alchemy even opened their NL space, I was hooked!  I remember the moves included pull-ups and telling the person next to me that I wasn’t going to do that because I never would be able to do a pull-up.  But the coach (I think it was Brigitte!) was not going to let me off the hook!  She showed me other ways that I could participate in class by modifying the move for me.  And that’s when I knew that NEVER would NEVER be a part of my vocabulary again when it comes to Alchemy.  Every single class is always a challenge but it’s a challenge that I meet head on, knowing that I am there to embrace that discomfort, like I did when I attended my first A10 with those pull ups.

I would like to end my PYL story the same way I started it.  With a quote.  (it’s my love language after all)

“I began to realize how important it was to be an enthusiast in life.  If you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it full speed.  Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all, become passionate about it.  Lukewarm is no good” – Roald Dahl

So there you go my friends, the author of THE BFG said it best, go pursue your own legend whatever that means to you!

ESFP

Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are?  How was your personality shaped?  What does your personality say about you?  What are your strengths? weaknesses?  Why one thing could be such a big deal to someone and not a big deal to you and vice versa?  Whoa that was a lot of questions #sorryNotsorry :p

I swear I was going somewhere with that…

So speaking of your personality, have you ever heard of the Myers-Briggs personality test?

The purpose of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory is to make the theory of psychological types described by C. G. Jung understandable and useful in people’s lives. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.

I am always down to take personality quizzes and tests so of course I had to find out my personality type.  I remember taking the actual test years ago at my old job and wanted to know if I would still get the same type now.  So I googled.  Because even though I wanted to take it, I was not willing to pay :p  I found 16personalities.com and took that quiz there.  and lo and behold, I did indeed get the same personality type as I did years ago according to this quiz.

Apparently, I am an “ESFP” Extrovert, Sensing, Feeling, Perception.  When I read how they started the description of this type, I knew that it was not a mistake.

If anyone is to be found spontaneously breaking into song and dance, it is the ESFP personality type. ESFPs get caught up in the excitement of the moment, and want everyone else to feel that way, too. No other personality type is as generous with their time and energy as ESFPs when it comes to encouraging others, and no other personality type does it with such irresistible style.

If you know me in real life, you know I’m always singing and dancing… randomly.. embarrassingly sometimes.  But hey, it’s just my ESFP ok!!?

Here are some other points about this personality type that I thought was dead on about me:

ESFPs are known for their irrepressibly social and excited attitudes. They don’t internalize much of anything, sharing it all with their extensive circles of friends with wit, style, enthusiasm, and optimism. ESFPs are explorers of the pleasures of life, and they take particular pleasure in sharing those experiences with others. For ESFPs, there’s no point in living if you can’t feel alive.

I’m loud, outgoing, and enthusiastic about everything.. what can I say? :p

Conflict-Averse – ESFPs sometimes ignore and avoid conflict entirely. They tend to say and do what’s needed to get out of such situations, then move on to something more fun.

ME TO A T.

Poor Long-Term Planners – In fact, ESFP personalities rarely make detailed plans for the future. To them, things come as they come, and they rarely bother with taking the time to lay out steps and consequences, with the belief that they could change at any moment – even with things that can be planned.

um yes.

Making new friends isn’t a problem for ESFPs though – they use an alluring combination of blunt truths and disarming openness and charm to keep things moving. Where ESFP personalities falter is in keeping the friends they already have. In their excitement and focus on here and now over history, ESFPs too easily exhaust the adventure one person has to offer, moving on once one person’s novelty has worn off.

That last sentence.  So true about me.  It’s something that I’ve realized about myself the past couple of years.  I think that’s why I don’t like to hang out with the same people too much because I don’t want to “easily exhaust the adventure”.  But I also have those friends that I’ve had for years, where we might not see each other for a while, but then get together and it feels like nothing has changed at all.  Strange, right??

It’s uncanny how reading about this personality type makes me gasp and say “Omg that is so me!”  If you would like to see what personality type you are, check out the quiz here: https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test

Let me know which one you get in the comments, kk?

optimist

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I feel like my life is always on the cusp of a great big change lately.  One week, I want to be  yoga instructor, the next week not.  One week I want to quit my job and move somewhere brand new with my husband and animals with no plans whatsoever, the next week I chide myself on daydreaming that I can just pack everything and leave.  But no matter the day or the week, I never stop dreaming!  My husband teases me on how I am always daydreaming and sometimes I will forget that I’m daydreaming.

For example, and this is kind of embarrassing, I was driving on 494E and saw a billboard on the powerball.. I think it was some insane amount of gazillion bajillion dollars that you could win.  As I’m driving down the highway, I start thinking about what I would do with that amount of money.  And I get lost in my daydream , as usual.  I call my husband and tell him all these things that we were going to do with that money and he had to (kindly) remind me that, no, Susel, we don’t have a gazillion dollars to spend on a private island for abused animals (dammit!)

But I actually really like that about me and I never want to lose my optimistic, day dreaming, can do anything, side of myself.  And I think because I am surrounded by other people who have the same mentality, I keep on planning and dreaming and searching.  And here are some things that I have control over (unlike the powerball..)

  • go back to school to get my MBA : for the longest time, I thought I wanted to be a counselor or a social worker.  So I went to school for social work.  8 years later, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to be a counselor or a social worker.  I want to be in marketing, social media, or something where I can use my outgoing personality to my advantage.  Unfortunately, my resume does not show my personality (too bad!).  And I want to learn more, I want to learn about business, I want to learn about marketing, I want to be an actual boss so I am exploring the notion of going back to school.  First step:  meeting with my director at work this week who obtained her MBA at Carlson School of Management and learn about her experience.  And I already met with another director at work about her experience at St. Thomas.  Like I said, surrounded by amazing people always.
  • have a financial advisor: stocks? bonds? CDs? mutual funds? index funds? savings? checking? WHAT DO I NEED TO DO WITH THIS MONEY?? (not gazillion dollars unfortunately ..)  *in process*
  • start a family?? : who knows…if my dad had his way, he would have 5 grandchildren already LOL

 

What about you?? What’s on your immediate bucket list?  Anything that you’ve been thinking about lately? Tell me what it is!  And I SAY GO FOR IT!

 

words of affirmation

I don’t know about you, but I love quotes.  Give me all the typography, motivational posters, inspiring “go get it, life is good” quotes, I heart them all.  No wonder that my love language is “words of affirmation” (and probably why I find myself working even harder in a workout class when the coach says “Good job Susel!”.. just love me with your words, that’s all I ask haha ❤)

It’s also not a surprise that my favorite pinterest board is my quotes board.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite quotes I’ve pinned so far ☺

 

 

What about you?? Share your favorite quotes with me in the comments, kk??

 

 

pre-fall oats ♥

If you know me at all, you know that I am obsessed with breakfast.  Savory or sweet, I am all over that.  It’s really nice to find friends that loves breakfast food just as much as I do.. and that’s where Emily comes in.  Or at least I think she likes breakfast food as much as I do? ☺

Today, we whipped up a fast and easy oatmeal recipe that is so easy and so savory that it might turn non breakfast eaters into … breakfast eaters? ☺ We made a big enough batch that should last you the whole week! (If you’re reading this today, Sunday 09/11, check out our instagram stories for even more fun when we were preparing this ☺ I will link our IG handles below!)

So I think I will call this … pre-fall oatmeal bowl?  just a thought.. the name needs work.

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pre-fall oats

 

Base Ingredients:

2 cups of gluten free oats (we used Trader Joe’s brand!)
1-2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1 cup of cut up plums
1/2 cup of cut up black figs
2 tbs of chia seeds
2 tbs of flax seeds
1-2 tbs of cinnamon (If you’re Emily though, she will try to put a whole container of cinnamon in there ☺)

  • Add the oats and almond milk into a pot and bring to a boil.. then stir!
  • lower heat down to a simmer // add plums and figs
  • stir until sticky consistency (5-7 mins)
  • add chia seeds and flax seeds
  • add cinnamon
  • serve into a bowl
  • VOILA!
  • p.s. I didn’t claim to be a recipe maker ok??  ☺
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with all the toppings!

You can top your bowl with whatever toppings you want!  The possibilities are endless!
Emily topped hers with:  coconut shavings, almond shavings, and “a little bit of cashew butter”.  I topped mine with banana slices, blueberries, almonds, coconut shavings, more chia seeds and a dollop of cashew butter.  The green stuff in the previous picture is the Amazing Grass Green Superfood that I sometimes add to my oats too just not this time around.  Scoop up the rest into mason jars and you are set for the week!

Ok leave me a comment if you try this recipe or just leave me a comment letting my know your favorite oat toppings.  Or just leave me a comment to say hi!  I would love to hear from you ♥

Emily’s social media links:
Blog: Embodied Wellness
IG: @embodiedwellness

Women in Charge- Molly H.

When I first thought of doing this series, I immediately started thinking of a list of women that I find inspiring.  I also asked some of my gfs who they thought were inspiring.  One person came up a couple of times in my circle of friends.  Yep, you might have guessed who it is from the title.  If you’re in the Twin Cities area and active in the fitness/wellness/yoga/crossfit/lululemon (you might have seen her pics at the Mall of America store!) /Alchemy community, you have definitely met or seen or heard of Molly Hanten.

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I knew I had to interview her because, duh, she’s a freakin boss!  Molly is one of the owners of my gym, Alchemy, and that’s where I first met her.  You read that right.. one of the OWNERS.  Oh, and did I mention she’s younger than me?  I’m pretty sure when I was in my late 20s, I had no idea what I was doing or wanted to do, let alone own my own business.. ok let’s be honest, I still don’t know what I’m doing but I’m slowly finding out what I want to do.. ok but I digress, this post isn’t about me :p  Let’s just get into the interview before I start gushing and embarrass myself, shall we?

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1) Tell us a bit about yourself!

– I am 28, living in Minneapolis with my Ross and my dog Summit. I have been in the fitness industry for nine years, went to UST and love the Twin Cities. I am a one of the Founders and Owners of Alchemy!

2) How did you get started in the fitness industry?

 I was a big marathon runner (even competitive for a bit) in college. I over-did it and became injured so found my way into CorePower Yoga. I love the group aspect right away and took the teacher training the summer I started. I started teaching soon after! After a few years, I noticed I was not getting stronger or more fit with just running and yoga and found my way into a CrossFit gym. I then met my current business partners and we talked and talked about how we could come up with a concept better, more sustainable, approachable and effective than both yoga and CrossFit… and after a lot of work, trial and error and fun, Alchemy was born.


3) How would you describe Alchemy to someone who has never tried a class there?


Exhilarating and empowering. The workouts don’t get easier, you get more fit and work harder. You can always improve and will leave the class feeling alive and empowered no matter what your fitness level is.


4) What is your favorite A10/A20 moves?

I enjoy pull-ups and burpees!

5) Any advice to anyone who wants to start their own startup/ business?


Find business parters who are your perfect match. That is MUCH easier said than done. I am so blessed that not only are my partners some of my best friends, but we compliment one another and know how to work well together. I would never be where I am without my awesome team. Many hands make light work.


6) Any favorite recipes you would like to share? 🙂

OMG- I honestly LOVE food very much but my cooking is super simple, I also rarely follow recipes. I have a kale salad i eat like every day. Kale, coconut amino, garlic, red onion, Apple Cider Vinegar (or dijon mustard), nutritional yeast and smashed avocado. Mash it all up together and it turns into a creamy delicious dressing for the kale. I know it’s lame to say a salad but I love it. In the morning I will add roasted sweet potato and eggs or some other protein/ carb if I have it for lunch or dinner.

When I’m not being healthy, I live for desserts. I am a good baker, but I don’t bake often. I will for Holidays but that’s about it. So my recipe for your sweet tooth? Find the best bakery in town (Cocoa and Fig in MPLS) and treat yourself to a pistachio and a salted caramel macaroon. I could live on macaroons, eggs, roasted brussels sprouts and avocados 🙂
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Check out the Torpedo Kickstarter at alchemy365.com

 

If you’re in the Twin Cities and haven’t met this boss yet, you definitely need to check her class at Alchemy!  It will be an amazing workout for sure!

You can also check out Molly here:

Website: http://www.alchemy365.com

IG: @mbhanten