Tuesday, December 1, 2015

FIT FOR LIFE | Surviving The Holidays

This time of year is absolutely destructive to the health-life.  There are a few things I like to do before the holidays take over.  Cleaning out the pantry and fridge of all bad foods including any added sugars and packaged, over-processed foods is one big step, but another thing I like to do is to prep my gym bag with some new gear.

Here's a quick list:

















Wednesday, November 18, 2015

FIRMOO | The Story of a Blind Girl

I first found out that I had pretty poor eyesight when I was about to join the Girl Scouts in the 4th grade.  They had me do an eye test, the standard wall eye test with letters that go from large to small as you read down, and I'm not sure how bad my sight was then, but now I can barely read that top line. 

Before taking this test and my mom finding out that I was severely in need of glasses I had some specific things happen that were huge hints to this fact.  My mom would point to a V of geese flying above us as we were driving and I would say that I couldn't see it—she wouldn't believe me.  One time, we were picking up my dad from the airport and I mistakenly thought another man was him...I'm not sure I ever fessed up to that out of embarrassment!  I was that kid who always asked to sit in the front of the classroom, especially if the teacher was using a yellow marker.  (What sort of monster uses a yellow marker on a whiteboard?!)
The first few years of wearing glasses were hard.  I not only loathed the horrible so-called "style" of eyewear at the time, but I also longed for the day when I could wear contacts.  Back in the '90s the eyeglass style of the moment were these horrible oval frames that didn't complement anyone's face shape.  They were small, giving you limited visual range, and they were just really dorky to an elementary and middle-schooler.  

It wasn't until high school when black frames made their comeback.  It began with rectangles and slowly, thanks to Weezer, wayfarers came back into style.  At this time I could also use contacts, and did so regularly, not only because of the dork-factor, but also because of the fact that I was in marching band and therefore was outside practicing most days.  Since high school, I've slowly grown accustom to wearing glasses on the daily.  The only time I really feel the need for contacts is while swimming, diving, or hiking. 
 Nowadays, I'm constantly in a search to find fun glasses to put a little bit of flare into my outfits.  I've got a general tomboy style, so finding glasses with a rad, classic style in fun colors is my sweet spot.  These so-called purple glasses from www.firmoo.com hit that sweet spot on the nose.  They've got that classic wayfarer style with a rosey, almost maroon color to them.  I love wearing them because when the light shines through it's as if I'm really seeing through rose-colored glasses.  
Shopping for glasses online is really as easy as uploading a good front-facing photo of yourself to their site, and virtually trying on different frames. If you remember the general size and shape that works on your face, it'll make picking frames that much easier. As for prescription, well, I have pretty bad vision and have to get the thinnest lenses possible. For just about $60 you can get lenses as thin and clear as you would for hundreds of dollars from your eye doctor's.

If you're interested in trying out a new online glasses company, head on over to www.firmoo.com for the latest promos and top picks. If you go to the page "Daily New" http://www.firmoo.com/new-arrivals.html you can find the frames that were added that day, and if you've never shopped with Firmoo before, head over to their 15% off page: http://www.firmoo.com/z/new-50-off.html to get a coupon code for your first pair.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

BRINGING IT BACK


There comes a time in everyone's lives when things come full circle.  In many ways, the end of this year and the whole turning 30 thing have allowed me to question who I really am and why I do the things I do.  I have worked this office job for some time now, and when I first started working here in 2008 I decided that my extra time could be used to help me expand as a blogger.  As life changed with different influences and circumstances, I lost myself in others.  The emergence of adventure blogging as a huge thing caught my curiosity and my wanderlust fell in love—the only problem, which is a pretty big problem to have, is that I have this 9-5 job still.  I finished my general education at college, decided to drop out as soon as I transferred because scary, but have since (in the span of the last year) reassessed my choices and found that in order to spark my curiosities and keep my whimsy and my creativity alive, I must continue to learn and work towards my goals.  With my (hopefully) eventual degree in Library Science I can not only become a librarian, but I can also look into being a curator at museums and all sorts of scientific libraries as well as simply my first love—books.

With this emerging thought came the fact that this is what I've always loved to do.  From a young age I loved books and bugs, rocks and plants, animals and all sorts of odd collections.  I loved playing dress-up, and with this whole adventure blogging thing, dressing up sort of isn't an option.  Here I am, now, wanting to re-embrace the skirt, the tight, the shoes!  I am ready to relearn how to do my hair and makeup and be that girl who first began to blog in the hopes of sharing a story, inspiring others, and keeping herself interested.  If you have an audience to write to, you're more likely to do things worth writing about.


I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do exactly, or write about ... but I do have a house that I'm slowly fixing up.  The photo of the cactus garden is from a recent trip to the Jurupa Mountains Cultural Center which has an enormous nursery, a rad rock shop, and really awesome children's programs where they can learn how to dig up rocks, crack them open, tumble them, and identify the type of mineral it is.  Not only that, but they have some pretty cool and creepy dinosaur sculptures.  Look for the woolly mammoth on the hill north of the 60frwy near Pedly in Southern California.  The top photo was from a recent trip to Oak Glen, Southern California's local "everything apples."  For the season, they have some deer in a feeding pen, and there are stands with apple cider and all sorts of crafts lining the town.  We wandered into a little cavernous animal museum filled with bad taxidermy, live reptiles and rodents, and a few friendly parrots in the gift shop area.  These are some of the things I like to do.  I enjoy the natural world, I am amused by knickknacks, and I really dig a good road trip.

I hope you stick around for a bit to read some more of my adventures and what I've been up to.  I don't want to promise anything, but I'm sure there will be a few outfit posts in my future, some bike riding, adventuring, and hopefully a bit of fitness motivation.  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 2, 2015

GRATITUDE

I love that gratitude rhymes with attitude because lately I've been all sorts of attitude, and it's exhausting.

This year has seemed like a giant pit of snakes that love breaking things, ruining plans, losing money, and all around being snarky snakes.  Except maybe the pit is filled with spiders or something a little easier to get away from, because just when we think we're out, we get bit again and fall back into that dogon pit.

It's not like this year has been all bad days.  It's just that sometimes you have one of those days where all the bad stuff seems to drown the good times that were just a part of your memory, and for some reason you can't seem to remember the good.


But this is why I'm here.  I'm sick of being down in the dumps, and I'm really ready to see what happens with this list I'm about to make.  So, here it is.  Here are the things I'm grateful for:

-I am SO grateful that the weather is finally changing and Fall is peaking its head out from behind the curtains.
-I am grateful that I have a car that works, is paid off, runs well, is reliable as all getout, and even has ac and a rad iPhone system to boot!
-I am grateful that I have a roof over my head—a home to call my own.
-I am grateful that I can afford food, clothes, and the luxuries of this first world life we lead.
-I am grateful that I am healthy and in some sort of shape.
-I am ridiculously grateful that I have an amazing husband who puts up with my mood swings, and loves going on adventures with me!
-I am grateful for my furbabies.  They keep me warm at night, cuddle me when I'm sad or cold, and love me so unconditionally.  It's really awesome.
-I am grateful that the friends I have are really rad, and even though we don't see each other as much as we did in the past, we still have a sort of familial connection that will last the ages.
-I am grateful that my parents are kind and giving, no matter how much they drive me crazy sometimes.
-I am very much honored and grateful that my mom and grandma are both such amazingly progressive and liberal ladies for their times.
-I am grateful that eye doctors can help me see all the beauty in the world that otherwise would be but a blur.
-I am grateful for my shoes, my clean underwear, shampoo, toothpaste, nail clippers, q-tips, lotion, clean water, and coffee.

Basically, not just the little things in life, but the big things, too.  Life is full of things to be grateful for, it's just a matter of recognizing these things on a daily basis, and especially when we think that there is so much getting us down.  Look up!  See the good and the great, and be grateful!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

FRIENDS | Big Sur #OurBigBigLove and San Simeon State Park


When friends get married a magical thing happens—people come together in laughter, food, drink, experience, and love.

Some good friends of ours recently got married at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park on a perfect early summer day.  They were staying at the Big Sur Lodge, which is off the same road and rests, hidden, inside of the state park.  It was a small, beautiful wedding hidden in the oaks of the park near one of the many perfectly placed creeks.  All I can really say about a wedding like this is that it's like magic.

The night before, Jonathan and I drove up to San Simeon to camp at San Simeon State Park.  The campgrounds are on the other side of Highway 1, but there is a boardwalk that goes under the highway and leads to the beach, which is a few miles south of the one where the elephant seals go to to mate and molt.  We parked Ranger Russell, threw up some hammocks, roasted some killer kabobs, drank some pretty stellar Basecamp Brews from aluminum bottles designed for camping, and walked out to the beach to watch the sun set.  It was an early morning the next day, so we slept fairly early after that and decided that the next order of business for Russell is definitely curtains.  Getting ready for a wedding in a van is hard enough as it is—curtains would have helped a lot!

On our way up to Big Sur for the wedding we spotted the amazing San Simeon beach, which is a seasonal home to elephant seals.  Being on a time limit, we didn't make too many other stops, but witnesses that lovely wedding was worth the rush.  I'm so happy for the bride and groom and their amazing life together.


Friday, May 29, 2015

TUNES | Miley Cyrus



It may seem out of the ordinary for me to post something having to do with Miley Cyrus here.  I'm not sure I've posted much pop music at all.  It's not that I'm against it, it's just not my go-to unless I'm having a late-night dance off, or driving for a long distance.  Even then, I love slow driving songs for some reason.  But I am not above pop.  It has it's purpose and it serves it well. 

Anywho, this isn't pop ... so none of that rant really matters, does it?  What matters is that through her foundation, the Happy Hippie Foundation, Miley has put together these rad backyard sessions.  This one is the song Look What They've Done to My Song Ma, which was written by Melanie Safka who's performing here with Miley. 

More importantly is her foundation.  "The Happy Hippie Foundation is a nonprofit organization that rallies young people to fight injustice facing homeless youth, LGBT youth, and other vulnerable populations."  Head on over to check them out, and click to donate, here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

CAMP VIBES | Barton Flats to Tranquility Base


A few weekends ago, we headed up to the mountains with some friends for a short camping adventure.  This was our first time taking Russell (the van) out to sleep-camp, and the weather was not really what we had expected for night.  We're taking him up to Big Sur next weekend for our friend's wedding, and hopefully making curtains at some point this week to cut down on the nighttime cold.  We'll see if that helps at all because man oh man were we cold that first night in the van!

After the first night camping, we woke up to the roar of a family in fully decked out tents setting up breakfast right next to us.  They had generators, random dubstep music blasting, and electric chain saws to cut down trees for wood, which a) wouldn't work because the wood has to dry, and b) is illegal.  It was a pretty ridiculous sight and we weren't up for dealing with them for an extended weekend, so we took our party 20 minutes further into the mountains to my parent's cabin where we could camp or stay inside that night.

We set up our chairs around a portable fire pit, roasted marshmallows, and listened to the sound of coyotes in the National Forest behind us.  It was quieter, more convenient, and cheaper than moving to another campsite.  Since my parent's are in the middle of redoing their kitchen in the cabin, we used our camp stove and the grill to cook all of our food.  It's also nice to have a fence around us so the dogs can go off leash, because somehow every time we take Turbo camping he wiggles out of his harness.

The weekend ended up being a success despite our quick relocation.  We hiked in the forest behind the cabin, made plenty of camp coffee with our AeroPress, lounged in hammocks wearing our Poler Napsacks, threw throwing-knives, and got some pretty awesome star shots thanks to our new MeFOTO RoadTrip Tripod.

Thanks for stopping by!  For a deeper look into our adventures, follow me on Instagram:
+ @cassandrayost

Friday, May 22, 2015

CREATURE FEATURE


I'm super excited to announce that I've been graciously featured over at my friend's amazing women's magazine, Lumen.  This is something she's been working long and hard on, so to be able to take part in this with her is just such an amazing opportunity.  Please, head on over to Lumenmag.net to check out my piece on The Art of Unplugging:

"More and more, people count on their phones for much of their livelihood: creating the perfect playlist to their lives, finding directions to wherever they’re going, keeping track of how many calories they’re consuming, maintaining some sort of connection to what used to be real life friendships, measuring their worth in steps walked per day.

When I unplug, I can breathe easier knowing that life is going on and that everything will be there for me to catch up on when I’m ready. 

Life becomes simple, it becomes important, it slows down, and it allows you to see that all that stuff online can wait, because what really matters is sitting right next to you on the couch."

For more info and super-rad writings, you can follow Lumen:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Friday, May 1, 2015

CLEANING UP

Lately, I've been in the mood to clean house, ritualize my life, and take care of myself more; mind and body, inside and out.


I've always had a strong desire to eat real foods from the earth, use products that don't have chemicals, and exercise almost daily in some way or another.  For a while there, I was even practicing yoga at home on a daily basis.  But life always gets in the way, and somehow those easier, faster options seem to show up on my doorstep ... via delivery ... in a bag that says "Thank You" on it.  So... I'm sort of obsessed with Thai food delivery, who can blame me?  

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chapter 29 | LIFE

Grab yourself a cup of something hot & yummy, & get ready for a roller coaster of emotions, ramblings, rants, & digressions because this, folks, is about life after college ... when you drop out.

First thing's first: my name is Cassandra (Cal), I am 29, I went to a junior college for a semester after high school (when I was still 17), & decided to head to art school where I stayed for three years.  After art school, I dabbled back at the junior college part time until I finished with enough transfer credits to head off to a university but not get an Associates degree (because they're useless & I don't need to take physical education in college).  After making the Dean's List, I transferred to a university ... only to realize that 1. holy-hell it's expensive, & 2. I'm totally never going to use this degree.  The combination of these two points solidified my thoughts that, even though I was finally having fun at school (besides the random elective History/English/Astronomy courses at the junior college), the cost of this fun just wasn't worth the expense.  Taking those elective courses for free at the junior college was way more fulfilling to me due to the fact that parking was only $20 a semester, & that I could continue to do that as I pleased - learn things for free, without them being classes I was required to take.  That they weren't required somehow made them more fun for me.  I'm odd, I know.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

CREATE | The Hike Guy

“The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.”
― Mary Oliver



Oh, shit ... I'm in trouble.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

TUNES | Great Lake Swimmers

For your listening pleasure:



Give me all of the banjo - the perfect instrument - god, I'm white.

Monday, March 2, 2015

STUFF | Change

The weather has been changing a lot lately here in Southern California.  These changing winds make me question a lot of things.  Change in temperature can inspire change of location for me.  Differences in the color of the sky, the grass, the weeds, can make me crave those colors, those temperatures, those precipitation levels ... not kidding.




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Going Out | Going In

It's a weird thing, that being outside only makes me want to be outside more.  When I'm in, I want to get out, when I'm out, I don't have that urge to go back in.  Don't get me wrong, when I say "in," I mean inside a building, a home, a shelter - civilization.  When I say "out," I mean really far out - into the wild, away from civilization - away from the chaos, & the noise.

I'd love to be able to ignore everyday irks, ignorances, snide comments, opinions that should be kept to themselves.  But I guess a big part of life is being able to live in harmony with people's judgements & critiques, & learn to just brush them off.  Not caring is SO HARD for me, though.  To not care what people think is something I'd love to learn to do.  I suppose this is why I love going "out" so much.  Being away from the negativity is easier than dealing with it.  I suppose even while I'm here I don't necessarily have to deal with it ... I could just brush it off.  Maybe that is my big lesson of the year - to learn how to be okay with other people's issues, & not take them on as my own, or care to try & process them.

Going outside really makes me think about the deeper things in life.  The things that really matter, love, happiness, friendship, family, freedom, truth.  I used to walk in order to think.  I used to hike in order to contemplate.  It seems like an age old tradition - one of scholars & mystics.  Vision quests & pilgrimages, alike.  I crave the outdoors.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

WILD | First Aid Kit



Two of my favorite things combined in this amazing song & video.  The book "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail" is heartbreaking, heartwarming, & so very important.  The band, First Aid Kit, is my favorite - I can say that now without any hesitation.  Enjoy this listen, & if you're the reading type, pick up a copy of Wild & devour it.