Sep 22, 2014
As some of you know I have partnered with Villager Yoga this month to experience a month of unlimited yoga at their studio. So here's my first week update. I was very intentional in setting realistic goals that are more about my health and well being than reaching fitness milestones. And I think a yoga practice is about how well your mind, body and spirit are connecting. Let me just say, this week has rocked my world.
So I have attended three classes-- Yoga for Healing, Sacred Flow and Hatha Flow in studio. Yoga for Healing is so great for someone with injuries, chronic pain or someone who may feel some trepidation in starting out yoga. The room (with no mirrors!) is dim and cool with soothing music as you move through gentle to deep stretches and focus on your breath to release some of the physical or emotional tension. I felt good starting here. I haven't been able to move my body due to pregnancy or post partum complications in basically a year and a half. I left class without feeling like I had overdone it, and to be honest, I really felt like that first low impact class got my energy flowing again and started working on cleansing my lymphatic system (your lymphatic system can only eliminate toxins with movement and I have felt totally clogged up, sickly, lethargic).
Sacred Flow. Whoa. This class is really rooted in breath, meditation and movement to deepen those experiences. I know that yoga and meditation can sound intimidating. These are very intimate and vulnerable places to go with your emotions and your mind. Man, let that stuff go! I've really enjoyed that Villager Yoga is a place where I don't feel self-conscious. I don't feel like anyone is trying to "outpose" anyone else. And I don't worry about looking silly scrunching up my face and letting out a lion's breath with my eyes and mouth wide open with my tongue stuck out as far as possible. This class really realigned me with myself, something that has been SO OUT OF WHACK. This is the class for the person who wants to feel like him/herself again. The person who needs tools to quieten the mind, deal with stress better and is looking for a deep spiritual realignment.
Hatha Flow. Annie (Villager Yoga owner and instructor) modified the class to be a little more gentle for a small Friday morning class while maintaining a steady movement and pace through pose sequences (typical of classes called "flow"). I was a little nervous to see how well I could follow along in a flow class, since I was only three days into picking up a long dormant yoga practice and without having any range of motion or endurance in about a year. I shocked myself. While still dropping into resting child's pose a couple times, I never felt exhausted or like I was overdoing it. I broke a sweat while maintaining steady breathing and felt like I worked out some pent up emotions while doing warrior poses and sun salutations. And after class, Annie worked with me on my plank and downward dog so I would get the most out of my poses without injury. I love that!
Speaking of sun salutations... Saturday was a really cool event called Global Mala, hosted by Sweet Om Alabama and Villager Yoga at Vulcan Park, overlooking the beautiful Birmingham skyline. 108 sun salutations as people focus on prayer and meditation for peace. Over 200 people came to do this together. I anticipated that my body would only allow me to do a handful of sun salutation sequences before giving out, which I was totally okay with. I wanted to stand there and do as many as possible to celebrate this new part of my journey that I am on, to thank God for healing my body and allowing me to be in the place that I am and to focus my energy on something so beautiful and positive. While it doesn't matter how many I did or didn't complete, I think it stands as a testimony of how far your body can come in only a little amount of time- I completed somewhere over sixty sun salutations when I thought I could only do five.
This was really emotional for me because only five months ago I was fighting a deadly infection and didn't know if I would make it or not. And to feel the peace of mind in the this past week of yoga, it's priceless. Our whole home feels more peaceful and positive. My husband and I are communicating better than ever. My seven month old son has such a better disposition because he can feel the energy that comes from me. He can sense that I am a happier and more peaceful mama. I can't wait to see how this week of yoga plays out for me! Here are some photos from Global Mala, and be sure to check out Villager Yoga to see what might work for you!
That's me in the middle of the photo with a long sleeve shirt on.
You know that there is going to be tie dye and hula hoops at a thing like this!
About 85 sun salutations deep, lots of meditation breaks.
Tennessee and Duq came and hung out in the grass. They both had a blast!
This is my friend Faye Claire, who I have watched totally transform her life, body and spirit in becoming a yoga instructor. Her journey definitely influenced me stepping out and taking my own. Check her out here.
Sep 17, 2014
I'm a little busy today! So I want to share a couple images of Tennessee that my dear friend Hailey Farris sent me late last night. Hailey and her best friend Katie are amazing photographers, capturing really unique style in the streets of Birmingham and posting it to their web site, Birmingham Street Style. I love the perspective they have on life, style and art. Oh, and they're sixteen years old.
And here are a few from their amazing project, Birmingham Street Style.
Have a beautiful day!
Sep 16, 2014
I am so excited about this. I am partnering with Villager Yoga for a month of unlimited classes to experience, explore and to write about here and on my Instagram. Many readers know how sick I got after having Tennessee in February and what a physical and emotional setback the bacterial infection was for me. Through lifestyle change, including a very strict dietary regimen, vitamins and Young Living essential oils and regular chiropractic adjustments, I can say that I am doing SO SO SOOOOOOOOO much better. I believe our health can be measured by how well our bodies and minds respond to stress, and I think there is one last piece missing in my jigsaw puzzle of a health regimen. Exercise.
I tried to do some yoga a few months ago and my body was just not ready for it yet, especially any sort of "flow" that has repeated poses at a pace that made my post partum body just hurt. And let me say, several years ago I had really gotten into a practice of yoga, so I can firsthand speak to the benefits of implementing a practice-- the way it stills the mind, grows your personal discipline in life, and yeah, tones the body.
So physically this is where I am right now--I need the quietness of mind and some meditation BIG TIME. I am a new mom. I am a wife. I am a business owner and an artist. I need the tools to slow it all down and really, honestly focus on my breath and calmness. I want to rebuild my physical strength, especially to my core since having it cut in half with an emergency c-section. Let me be clear, I am setting no goals for weight loss or endurance milestones because that's not what this or what yoga is about. I want to work on building more strength than I have in my body as part of my journey to wellness.
I'm thrilled to partner with Villager Yoga as it's really a family friendly environment and provides a safe, super chill environment for all sorts of people to come in and experience yoga. There aren't any mirrors so you're not competing with anyone (or yourself). They have awesome classes for kids and families (including baby sign language, that I am so excited about!). They have childcare two mornings a week so you don't have an excuse to miss, or maybe that's just the right reason to attend! Ha.
You can check out their full range of classes, here. And be sure to check back here on Rugged and Fancy as I get my yoga journey started, follow my Instagram to see what classes I am doing and my progress and check out Villager Yoga's Instagram where they announce really exciting happenings and give great visual advice on poses!
And it's National Yoga Month, too! So come to a class, and if you see me there please say hello!
Sep 15, 2014
It was honestly like a dream. If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we have been preparing for the biggest show Duquette has ever played, with a fifteen piece band. A show like this, with an orchestra, has been a dream of his since he was a child and a dream of ours since we met thirteen years ago. Some people sit around and talk about what they would do if they won the lottery. We talked about what we would do if he got to play a show like this. And it happened this past Friday at the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center in Birmingham, Alabama. It was beautiful. I just want to share some photos today leading up to it and of the hours before the show.
Tennessee helped us pick out and pack up the many, many rugs for the stage set.
Our boy had some milestone moments, too. We are exploring REAL FOOD. He loves sweet potatoes. Spinach is a little questionable.
This one just because. Babies melting down can be pretty funny!
Load in and checking. That was a big part of our day. Duq was so calm and peaceful.
Brother from another mother, Jon Murray. More checking.
Green Room time before the show. Jon Murray and our dear buddy Anderson East.
I was SO excited to walk backstage and see that the venue had set up a nursery for us. Our sweet friends Katie Deter and Hailey Farris hung out with Tennessee all day and backstage so we could all be together as a family. We tried to keep TWJ awake until his papa played a song, but he was straight up passed out at 7:30pm. Sound check is the way to go with babies.
This is William, the son of two of our closest friends. They couldn't find a sitter so we stuck him in the nursery with sleeping Tennessee and miss Hailey (pictured) and Katie.
This is our amazing holistic doc, Dr. Jessica Dietrich-Marsh. She came to the show and came back stage to adjust us before Duq went on. Her presence is such a comfort and encouragement to us. This woman means so much to us. She saved my life after I had the baby and got sick, and she's really been an inadvertant mentor to us. We love you Dr.J!
This is the full band from the sound board. It was so amazing. We are both still in that humming after shock of the whole experience. A film crew was there to make a concert film of the night, and we really look forward to sharing that soon! I'm really excited to share some new and exciting things this week. So check back tomorrow to see what we have brewing!
Love y'all, and thank you for the support, encouragement and love.
Morgan, Duq and Tennessee
Sep 10, 2014
I love a lot of people, it's true. But I LOVE love Carrie Rollwagen. She's my bookseller. She's my coffee maker. She's my friend. She's totally hilarious, has the prettiest blue eyes ever, rides Amtrak back and forth just to have the ideal writing experience and she shopped 100% local for a year. And then wrote a book about it. With her wit, honesty and love for ma and pa shops, I am DYING to read this book!
Sep 9, 2014
I'm not really big on keeping up with fashion trends, but it's been hard not to notice that the 1990s are back big time. There's flannel shirts tied around waists, round glasses, burgundy lipstick, sunflower motifs and, I shudder, mom jeans. While the aforementioned weren't really my style in the 90s, there are a few things happening lately that make me nostalgic about those years.
I was a tween and young teen in the nineties. I went to see Clueless in the theater and pretended to be Cher Horowitz for all of fifth grade. I obsessed over my grandmother's Bazaar magazines in elementary school, dogearing photos of the big supermodels: Shalom, Naomi, Linda, Cindy, Claudia. I wanted to be Shirley Manson, Gwen Stefani and that dominatrix/yogini incarnation of Madonna all tied into one. My music came from the radio and from movie soundtracks (hello, The Craft and The Crow!). And all I wanted was to be a little older and cooler.
And now I am. Haha. I never would have thought that I'd ever want any sort of reincarnation of this fashion period (um, can you say overplucked eyebrows and gel crunchy hair), but here are a few things I am revisiting and am really excited about!
I remember having a burgundy crystal rosary necklace in 1996. It was my favorite piece of jewelry. Ever since Pamela Love issues her dagger rosary a year or two ago, I've been pulling out my actual rosaries and wearing them occasionally. Pictured here from left, Natalie B Roma rosary necklace, Ettika beaded rosary necklace, Pamela Dagger rosary.
I had so many pairs of chunky heeled black platform boots. I honestly wish I still had this one pair that were like black Blundstones with a rubber platform heel. I think they were made by Stuart Weitzman or DKNY or something. They were super comfy and gave me an extra two or three inches in height, which a twelve year obviously wants... and so does a thirty year old. I love these boots for the same reasons today. They make you taller and your legs look longer and you can totally wear them all day without pain. So tough looking, too. From left: River Island black cleated sole platform ankle boots, Acne Studios Flaire suede ankle boots, Jeffrey Campbell Mulder boot.
Oh, the black backpack. I never would have ever thought I'd talk about this again, let alone be carrying one myself! When I was fourteen I went to Europe for the first time. In Florence, Italy I bought a knockoff Prada nylong backpack and thought it was the greatest thing EVER. Years went by and the backpacks faded into 90s obscurity. Until lately. And just yesterday I totally found the exact backpack and I am totally carrying it (and without the awful tension headaches I get from carrying heavy shoulder bags). They're so functional and hold a lot of stuff. These are actually great bags. Top from left: 1/2/3 Middle from left: 1/2/3 Bottom from left: 1/2/3.
Sep 8, 2014
This week is going to be a wild one. Between me having a photo shoot for an ad agency, Duquette doing radio interviews in anticipation of his huge show this Friday at the Alys Stephens Center and taking care of a baby while trying to prepare our home for band mates and guests coming into town...it's going to be a true exercise in time management, peaceful spirits and being able to just roll with it. And literally as I typed those words I receive emails about details changing. Ha. That's how it works, right?
Here are some recent photos of the family from our trip to Chicago and Wisconsin recently.
Duquette and Tennessee overlook the lake at Camp Wandawega. Wisconsin was having a major heat wave so Tennessee was basically naked the whole time.
Tennessee was such a trooper on our journey. It's a thirteen hour drive one way and he was awesome. He loved being in the woods so much, even with the heat and humidity and bugs. He would just intently observe everything. It was so cool to watch my little one seeing something pretty grand for the first time.
Sunsets at the lake were just perfect lighting.
Our little family at one of Camp Wandawega's boy scout tents. Photo taken by our dear friend Sam Newman of The Amatourist.
Y'all have a great day.
Sep 5, 2014
1. MANSUR GAVRIEL BAG. It's this season's "IT bag" but it's such a classic with durable leather and clean lines. I love this brand and look forward to seeing how they grow!
2. SOMETHING LEOPARD. Every time cooler temps roll around I have this urge to don leopard print. It's powerful and sexy but classic at the same time. From left: MANGO leopard faux fur coat, Manolo Blahnik Soussaba Leopard Calf Hair Flat and Vince Camuto leopard clutch.
3. THE ANKLE BOOT. It's been a thing for a few years now and is obviously going nowhere. I mean, it's a staple of the cool girl's wardrobe. I love this season's spin on the new classic with studded embellishments and luxe materials like suede and hair. It's comfortable and edgy at the same time. Totally pulls together the jeans and t-shirt standard. Pictured here clockwise from top left: J.Crew collection Remi calf hair boot, Golden Goose zip ankle boot, Anine Bing gold studded boot and Lanvin ankle boots.
4. THE STRIPED SHIRT. It's the one thing that I am really obsessive over. I will go weeks in a row, rotating striped shirts. It's an obsession. Really. From top left clockwise: Proenza Schouler Striped Tissue Tee, R13 Sid Striped Boy tee, R13 Striped Slub Cotton shirt, WOOD WOOD Adrian Striped longsleeve.
5. THE POINTED BLACK FLAT. I am obviously a big believer that a shoe can make an outfit. I love the look of a sexy heel, but I just can't work them into my lifestly. Enter the pointed toe black flat. It's sexy and pulled together and totally works with the jeans and tee, too. From top left clockwise: Chloe ballerina flat, Pierre Hardy Arletty flats, Lex Calf Hair flats, Chloe classic ballerina.
Sep 4, 2014
Our friends Sean and Alex are happy newlyweds. Their sweet little Camry is about 310K miles deep and nearing her last breaths. So they made a car commercial to enter in a contest to win a new car for their new little family. The car commercial is pretttttty funny, so just share and 'like' it and share it a lot on Facebook to help them get ahead a little. And what makes this so much cooler is that for every 'like' they get, they're going to donate $1 to John Mark and Ashley Dorough's journey to adoption. This is the kind of stuff we love- a simple action that will bless two families. Share it.
Sep 3, 2014
My love of the city of Chicago is just BIG. We did a lot of walking and I just loved taking photos by foot or from the car of all the amazing signs. There are so many pockets of tiny neighborhoods, and I was really interested to learn that Chicago is home to the nation's second largest population of Mexican-Americans. There were so many amazing markets and taquerias. The smells were amazing block to block.