Sunshine Kir

On a daily quest for the eternal sunshine!

Month: February, 2014

Do What You Love…Part 2

A few days ago, I posted Do What You Love – Part 1. Here is part 2…

A couple of days ago, I talked about how a big goal of mine is to work with and promote wonderful, smart, vibrant women. A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with two such women. Kristin, my dear dear friend, and owner of Betty Designs and Elise Walker, arguably one of the nicest, most beautiful humans inside and out. Both are bright, fit, athletic and driven in their own ways. We had 20s, 30s and 40s represented – three happy women (and one great photographer, Matt, the token male) together for the Betty Designs photo shoot to promote the new line.

Aside from relaxing on a tropical beach somewhere, reading a good book or sitting on my yoga mat, working on the set of a photo shoot is one of my happiest places to be. I love taking care of the little details so the photographer can focus on the light and the model can relax knowing someone’s dedicated to making her look good. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a great shot only find out the logo was hidden or the model’s hair is hiding a key feature. When I’m on a shoot, time flies and I lose myself in the mood, the collaborative effort of the model and photographer and it all just flows. Creating the mood, putting the respective players at ease…I can go on and on!

Could I be any happier working?

Could I be any happier working?

Point being, when you are doing what you love, you can talk about it for hours. You can’t wait to get up and do it again. And work just flies. I have a friend who’s a social media genius. He can go on and on about analytics, pros and cons of buying tweets, the problem with bots (bots???), etc. Another friend, an oncology nurse, can tell stories with such passion and humor about a typical day at her office. Any one of her numerous scenarios would send most of us to tears, but she loves it and her team is so lucky to have her. Before you think I’ve gone too idealistic, I know there will be things about any dream job that you may not love. For me, I’m not big on researching permits and I don’t particularly enjoy negotiating rates or dealing with accounting. But it’s the cost of doing business (sometimes literally) and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s worth it.

Betty Designs Editorial Shoot

Betty Designs Editorial Shoot

Betty Designs Product Shoot

Betty Designs Product Shoot

Both of these shoots were so fun. Four gorgeous athletes and two days of play time. Well, if you consider play squatting on the floor with the photographer, lining up booties, straightening shirts and making sure the beautiful Kristin’s shorts aren’t hidden by her book. Which, lucky for me, I totally do! As I progress on my life journey, I’m going to always strive to find joy in what I do. To promote value, vitality, good health and being kind to one another is always at the front of my mind. For now, writing copy (in all forms) and producing shoots are both such personally satisfying vehicles for me to express these things are to world. To minimize cynicism and degradation of women (often self inflicted), to show many forms of beauty and to encourage people to take some risks to achieve personal happiness. What if we could all do this for each other? How amazing would that feel for all of us each day?

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Just some things I’m musing about as a big birthday approaches mid March. Have a happy happy weekend ♥

Do What You Love…Part 1

Anyone who’s read my blog knows that being happy and doing what you love is a recurring theme ’round here. Basically, if you can, do what you love. As often as you can. It’s so simple, but not always easy. With bills to pay, responsibilities to honor, obligations to live up to, things can get in the way of us pursuing our dreams. But if we can find a way to really hone in on the things we love to do, maybe just maybe, we can make a living doing it too. Why not? I’m lucky to be surrounded by people that inspire me daily that it’s possible to do what you love if you work hard, take some risks and stay focused on your ultimate end game.

One of the blessings of being on this planet for a bit (ahem) is the acquisition of my bag of skills, tricks and accomplishments. My friend, Shannon, and I were chatting yesterday and she referred to it as my Mary Poppins carpet bag. Remember this?

Bag of tricks

Mary Poppin’s endless bag of tricks…I know you have one too!

We all have our bag. (not to be confused with baggage – that’s for a different post) It’s amazing the random stuff that gets stashed in there over the years.  I have things from being a Journalism major in college, skills from various jobs and relationships. It all counts and I never know when something is going to come in handy. Some things may languish in the magic bag for a while, but they’re there for us to pull out to use, put away and grab again later on an as needed basis. The more we acquire, the more we can do in life. Then it becomes the question of…there are a lot of things we can do, but what is it we really enjoy doing?

What do you want to do on your road?

What do you want to do on your road?

What lights us up? How do we make our vision real? For me, it’s about shaping words (through writing and editing) and executing a vision of health and vitality, especially in women. Honing in on that even more…it would be in the form of writing/editing copy that inspires women and creating/executing photo shoots. Even more specific you ask? Getting the image of the healthy, vibrant woman out into the world. She comes in all shapes and sizes and has a multitude of talents and interests. So many women are so hard on themselves. What a gift to be able to show them how wonderful, special and talented they are.

I figured I needed to start with myself and create something I could call my own where I could use my voice and my vision. It’s always easier to promote others, but it’s important to identify what our strengths and joys are and get them out into the world. In other words, to put my money where my mouth is. With the help of some incredible friends, was born and went live in November. Thank you James and Kristin and my tribe of wonderful supporters!!! Funny enough, it took me until the end of January to muster up the courage to tell anyone outside of a teeny tiny circle of folks about it. Actually, it may have even been February. Yikes.

Whoa, it's real and it's live...

Whoa, it’s real and it’s live…

Want a good writing exercise? Try writing your Bio!!!

Want a good writing exercise? Try writing your Bio!!!

If you want a good writing exercise, try writing your own Bio. Man oh man, I don’t know if there is anything harder. Trying to articulate why you’re great and why someone should listen to and/or hire you without sounding like a complete narcissist is tricky business. But if you can do that, seriously, you can do anything 🙂

I have no idea where will end up or how it will morph. Will it always be a fun, little side business to supplement income? Maybe. Will it evolve into a “collective” of other people’s ideas, products and works that are inspiring? Quite possibly. Will it always strive to promote healthy, happy, wonderful work? Yes, absolutely without a single doubt.

So keep an eye on it. Just like I launched my first little “baby”, Sunshine Kir, I had no idea what I was doing or what I would write about. I just knew I needed to write. This website is now in the same boat. It’s live and, at this point, a bit out of my hands. So we’ll see what way the wind blows…Thanks, as always, for reading, supporting and allowing me the space to put thoughts out into the world – sometimes clunky, sometimes eloquent. Here’s to imperfect perfection. xo♥

Don’t Be That Guy In Yoga…

Dusting off an old chestnut…Don’t be that guy in yoga was one of my favorite blog posts to write. I was going through some writing samples this morning and found this one. So I tightened up the grammar a bit and voila, my first re-post is born! To the fellas out there…It’s geared for the single ones, but everyone can benefit.  

Yoga is a great way to cross-train, relieve stress and increase flexibility. For you single guys, your odds of being one of three dudes in a sea of women are pretty dang good.  Here are some pointers on how not to look like a goober in class.  The guy doing yoga next to me last night inspired 80 percent of these lessons. Yikes.

Best place to be in class

Second to last row and at least one person in from the edge. It’s tempting to hide in the back row, but some teachers get creative and then, bam, the back row becomes the front row and you’re in the spotlight. Same thing goes for the edges so stick to the middle of the room at all times.

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Wash your towel and shorts

Sweat a lot? It’s okay. Just make sure your shorts, towel and mat are fresh each time you do yoga. Nothing’s more off-putting to a girl than a stinky guy next to her before class has even started. Show up fresh and get stinky as we go. It’s all good. At least you made the effort.

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Wear deodorant for the love of goodness

I don’t care if you’re Mr. Vegan/Zen/Bio-diesel/GlobalNomad, for the 60-90 minutes you’re in yoga, pretty please, suck it up and put on some Speedstick. No deodorant, no girls. I promise.

Pro Yogi, often also the Stinky Guy

Skip the 13 extra push-ups

Yeah you. Those extra 13 push-ups you just knocked out during your chaturanga? Yawn. Give us a guy who’s just trying to get through the sequence any day. He’s endearing and cute. Push up guy? Not so much.

Try not to stare

I’m guessing half the reason you’re in class in the first place is for the girls. Be subtle and try to not to gawk. I sympathize and can only imagine how tough this is, but do your best. A friendly smile if you make eye contact is one thing, but ogling cleavage in up-dog is a no-no.

The Ogler, not so subtle...

Talk to her after class

See a girl you like? Talk to her after class. Say something like, “Can I ask you a dumb yoga question?” (Of course she’ll say yes. You seem sincere.)  Say, “When the teacher had us do ‘x’ I was a bit lost. Is there a trick to it? You looked like you knew what your were doing. ” How cute are you? Be low-key and you might just pull it off.

Not flexible? No problem

Ever said you can’t do yoga because you’re not flexible? You have an advantage here. No one expects you to be a) flexible or b) good at yoga. Just stick to the basic pose. Remember the dance scene in Hitch with Albert? “This is where you live.” Don’t try to keep up with the girl next to you. Trust me, she was probably a gymnast in high school.

"This is where you live!"

“This is where you live!”

Best uniform and accessory

Best news yet. Board shorts are your uniform, my friend. You probably have tons of them. Grab one of your stretchy pairs. Just make sure to wash them regularly. Most girls agree boys look hot in them. Save lululemon for the ladies.

Invest in a good yoga mat.  The Manduka PROlite is awesome. Minimal slipping and sliding and should last you 2-3 years. It’s worth it.

Okay, you’re ready. This ought to see you through your first month in yoga. Now go get ‘em and namaste you wonderful guy you. Happy Sunday ♥