Friday, July 31, 2015

Yoga and Meditation Classes in Chula Vista, Ca.

Lotus Fitness and Wellness 331 E St. Chula Vista, Ca.

Yoga and Meditation Class at Lotus Fitness and Wellness
331 E St. Chula Vista Ca. www.lovelivelotus.com

Sunday's at 10 am

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Picnics In The Park



Today I am grateful for picnics in the park. I really enjoy getting together with friends, sharing a meal while being outdoors . Whether we are watching a movie, listening to music at a concert or just a regular day/evening outdoors.

I like being surprised by what friends bring to share and also enjoy getting creative and prepping easy to carry appetizers.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Monday, July 27, 2015

Ah... Coffee

Decaf Latte at Heartwork Coffee Bar Mission Hills San Diego

Today I feel grateful for coffee. Good coffee.

It's a bit unusual but since I went caffeine free I have learned to enjoy the pure taste of coffee.

I used to drink a large cup of coffee sweetened with 2 overflowing tablespoons of raw sugar and about 1/4 cup of half and half. With the intention to make slow but long lasting dietary changes I learned to drink my coffee black, which took a few steps and a lot of affirmations to learn to like it that way. Once I was drinking black coffee I switched to decaf and have been that way for about 4 months now.

Now I have a cup of coffee once or twice a week and when I do, I savor it.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Modern Yoga and Meditation at Presidio Park, San Diego Ca.

Presidio Park, San Diego Ca.

Modern Yoga and Meditation Classes
Saturday's
9 am Beginner's Yoga
10 am Guided Meditation

At Presidio Park, San Diego Ca.
Near the pergola Presidio Dr. and Cosoy Way

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Nature Fills My Heart

Ocean Beach San Diego CA.

Today I feel grateful that I can be in nature often. Nature fills my heart. Whether I am walking through a park, hiking, or at the beach, I always feel happier when I get to be outdoors.

I like to take off my shoes and walk barefoot on the sand or on the grass. I have read many times that walking barefoot in nature is a wonderful way to release stress and I couldn't agree more. I feel grounded and connected to the world when I take the time to be in nature.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Hooray For Date Night!


Today I am grateful for date night. I love spending time with my spouse. We have a lot in common so conversation doesn't run dry and we make each other laugh out loud which is a treat. We usually pick: yoga, gym, coffee, a walk, hike, bookstore, dinner, movie, or a combination of these. I can honestly say that even going on a Target run while holding hands can feel romantic. Although, we try not to do that on date night.

It's so important to have adult conversations and reconnect with each other regularly.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Introduction to Meditation Workshop


331 E St. Chula Vista CA. www.lovelivelotus.com

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Happy Hour With Friends!

Ortega's Bistro Hillcrest, San Diego CA.

Today I feel grateful for Happy Hour with friends. In a few hours we managed to laugh out loud a few times, share deep conversation and down a couple of drinks.

It is important to make time for friends. As time passes and  responsibilities grow, it gets harder to stay in touch. I try to see friends once or twice a week with children and at least once a month just the adults.

As women trying to juggle kids, work, household chores, it's important to reconnect with our individuality and spend time with friends and family sans children.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Power Nap Makes It All Better


Today I am grateful for that luxurious 2 hour nap I got to take. My husband and son rock! They were mindful that I have peace and quiet so I could rest.

I try to get 8 to 10 hours of sleep nightly. Lack of sleep is my kryptonite. In my college and pre-baby days I napped regularly 10 to 30 minutes almost daily. Since becoming a mom 6 and a half years ago, I hardly ever nap.

Sleeping well has always been a priority in my life. My paternal grandfather, a Pediatrician and Professor, battled insomnia most of his adult life. He made sure to regularly speak to us about the importance of good sleeping habits and power napping. I am grateful that I listened.

A power nap makes it all better.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Meal Planning Makes My Life Easier

Image by Tania Franco




Today I am grateful for meal planning. It makes life so much easier! The picture I share above  is the meal plan I made for our household this week and a few of the foods we ate.

I usually pick 4 main dish recipes and 4 sides. I make my grocery list with the ingredients of the recipes I picked along with my kitchen staples.

To keep it interesting I have many cookbooks, study recipes and use Pinterest to keep track of new and healthy meal options. I am not a fan of cooking but I am a big fan of eating yummy foods, so I look for easy and doable recipes.

I will usually ask my husband and son what they are in the mood for that week and plan accordingly. I also try to choose meals that use many of the same ingredients so I am not left with lots of leftover food.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Easy Healthy Appetizer Recipe - Only 3 Ingredients!

Image by Tania Franco


A couple of months ago I hosted an Appetizer-Sangria get together. A couple of friends came over and one of them brought this delicious dip/salsa creation that was delicious and healthy. Right away I asked her for the recipe. I could not believe it had only 3 ingredients!

Recently as I was meal planning, each week I plan 4 dinners and 4 sides and draw up my grocery list, I remembered this recipe. I looked it up online and decided to make it as one of our dinners accompanied with a salad.

I made it in a flash and we devoured it, we being my husband, my 6 year old son and me. Yes, my finicky eater loved it and ate 1/2 a cup! This practically made it perfect in my eyes. It made for 2 meals for 3 people for approx.$13 dollars. Inexpensive and healthy.

Easy Healthy Appetizer - Only 3 Ingredients!:

1 package of Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils
1 container of Trader Joe's Fresh Bruschetta
1 container of Trader Joe's Crumbled Feta Cheese

Mix it together and serve. I accompanied mine with pita chips. You can eat it as is or accompany it with tortilla chips, raw veggies, serve in a lettuce wrap, you name it. Get creative.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Tania Franco

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Ocean Is My Temple

Torrey Pines, La Jolla Ca. Image By Tania Franco




Today I am grateful that I live near the ocean and have access to beautiful beaches. Being in nature makes me feel alive and fuels my sense of wonder.

Today I had a picnic with my family, then practiced yoga with this view. The beach has always been a place where I center myself, feel connected to the earth and to the ethereal.

The Ocean is my temple.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Lego Time = OMG What Can I do Right Now?

My son's recent Lego creations

Today I am grateful for Lego-time (quiet individual playtime), in other words, mommy gets a break time.

My son will follow instructions exactly as needed (mostly when it comes to building Lego's), sit still for up to 45 minutes, and use his creativity. Meanwhile I get to write this post, blog, cook, clean, read, or all of the above. Basically I try to make the most of these valuable moments.

What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Connecting With Your Inner Wisdom

Practicing The Art of Happiness Meditation Group

Today I am grateful that I was able to share a felt sense exercise with my meditation group.

One of my favorite ways of teaching and practicing meditation is by connecting with the felt sense. The felt sense are subtle sensations that occur in our body that help us be more in tune with our inner wisdom. Consciously paying attention to our body's messages throughout the day strengthens our ability to listen to our deeper self and become empowered by it.

There are certain physical symptom's that each of us have when under stress: shallow breathing, tightness in jaw, tightness in neck and shoulders, butterflies in the stomach. Checking in with these sensations throughout the day can empower us to practice a relaxation technique and reduce the symptom's.

The symptom's are very subtle. I like to rate them on a 0 to10 scale. 0 being nothing and 10 being extreme. If I notice that I have tightness in my jaw and I rate it a 5, it is a cue to remind myself to take deep breaths. By practicing sensing, I have come to know how my body feels in many situations and have been empowered by it. We all have this ability.

Notice how your body feels when you are with someone you really like.

Notice how it feels when you are with someone you don't.

Our body doesn't lie.

Practice checking in with your body throughout the day and use this awareness to make subtle changes to improve your quality of life.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco


Friday, July 3, 2015

Enjoying New Flavors


I grew up being a finicky eater and was very selective in my food choices growing up. It wasn't until I was pregnant at 30 years old that my taste buds began to enjoy and crave new flavors. I began to eat spicy salsas and even tried making them to add to my meals. Onions and garlic took on a richer taste and I began to try foods from all over the world.

Today I am grateful for all the new flavors I have come to enjoy. This week on my menu are many Greek dishes and foods I would never have eaten before.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Joy of Reading

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 





I love to read! There is something very special when I find a book I feel connected to, immerse myself in it's particular perspective and learn to value the diversity of its characters. It's like living various lives and attaining pearls of wisdom to add onto my own.

Today I am grateful for "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society". It is a charming book. It has made me laugh out loud and touched my heart. Many times a good book has felt like a good friend.

Gratitude creates happiness. What are you grateful for today?

Tania Franco