of insect repellant and yoga (and a giveaway!)

Flowers and cool shwag.  Photographed with Nikon D300 and 35mm lens.

First of all, I want to thank you all for your lovely birthday wishes -- they truly made my day.  I have to tell you that for the first time in my life, this birthday hit me a bit hard, which is so unlike me.  I'm not sure why I was having a hard time with it this year, but there it is.  However, having your emails and messages coming my way all day yesterday was just an amazingly wonderful way to pull me out of my funk, and by the end of the day, I was on a positive high.  So thank you so much.

On a completely unrelated note, about a month ago, I received an e-mail from PR company Edelman, who represents the good people at OFF!, asking me if I would be interested in hosting a yoga party for some blogging friends of mine here in town, in honour of OFF!'s launching of their new clip-on mosquito repellant.  At first, Jenny, the author of the email, suggested that we have the party outside in July, where we could do yoga in a sunny park, followed by some refreshments.

Bless her.  Jenny lives in Chicago.  She didn't realize that Houston in July is about the same temperature as the bowels of hell.  I picked up the phone and set her straight. 

Still, the idea of doing yoga in the evening with some good bloggy friends the night before a birthday that I was having a problem dealing with sounded most appealing.  And so, I gladly accepted.  I called my friend Beth Irvine, who is an author and a certified yoga instructor and asked her if she would assist.  We called Bright Sky Press, the publisher of both of our books, and asked pretty please if we could use their beautiful space.  Then I emailed my friends Laura, Katie, Monica, Julie, Michelle, and Jodi, and lo and behold, a party was born:

Afterwards, we had some delicious appetizers and drinks, and they even busted out a birthday cake for me.  And everyone left with a gift bag.  I have to say, it was a lovely way to end a day, in such a relaxed, gentle, warm way.  Thanks so much to everyone who came, and thanks to the lovely folks at Edelman and OFF! for such a good time.

* * * * * * *

And now, for some fun: I managed to score another gift bag to use as a giveaway on the site.   The bag includes:

  • OFF! Clip-On Insect Repellant -- Just so you know, I would never agree to do this for a product I didn't like, or wouldn't use.  Prior to the party, I was sent a couple of samples to try out.  So one evening, a few weeks ago, Marcus and I decided to paint our patio furniture.  We waited until nightfall (lest the 100 degree daytime temperatures melt us dead away), then each of us strapped one of these babies on, and painted for 3 hours.  In that entire time, I only got two mosquito bites, despite the fact that our garden is infested with mosquitos as big as our heads (trust me:  Texas mosquitos put tropical mosquitos to shame).  Marcus was relatively bite-free, too.  This clip-on thing, big as it is (and Lord, it's big), works.  Not necessarily something you'd want to wear to a fancy garden party, but say you're outside grilling, or painting patio furniture?  Well, I definitely saw a difference.  And the best part?  No nasty smelling substance on your skin. Awesome.
  • A Flip and Tumble shopping bag -- I love this thing.  It rolls itself up into a little pouch, which you can throw in your handbag/backpack/glove compartment, just waiting to be used to carry your groceries or any other shopping.  Never agonize between paper or plastic again.
  • Beth Irvine's book, Healthy Mother, Healthy Child -- Chock-full of great advice on how to bring relaxation and holistic wellness to your daily life.  Really good resource.
  • Gaiam travel yoga mat -- Tuck this puppy into your suitcase, and you'll never miss a sun salutation while traveling again.

Simply leave a comment below, saying anything you want, and 12:00 a.m. Monday morning/Sunday evening, I'll pick one commenter at random to receive all of the items listed in the gift bag, above.

Have a great weekend, everyone.


SongThose sweet words by Norah Jones