New site and a name change!

A new site!  A name change!  

I am excited to be making these much needed changes.  While this little blog has been great in helping me keep memories, and share my photos, it is time to make the leap to a new site.

And the name change? That was prompted by (several) people asking me who "Carly" is.  Carlyle is apparently not an easy name to pronounce.  That, paired with the fact that people thought Carly was one of my sisters, really brought home the fact that a change was needed.  

So here we are. The last post on this blog.  

Sad, but exciting.

If you wish to continue following me, my little family, and my photography, feel free to log onto www.robinchandlerphoto.com and choose the blog tab.



30 Day Bikram Challenge-- Class #16-21

...Not sure how this one didn't get published... All these months later, here it is!

Class #16
  • 4:30 Friday class- sooo empty!
  • There is a new teacher in class.  She was a B-.
  • I had to do class in glasses.  They were constantly sliding down my face.  I don't need another thing to distract me from this goal. Arg!
  • Why am I in glasses? Oh that's a fun story.  It's because I tore my cornea.  Allow me to explain. During class, inevitably my mascara starts to run and I look like a monster. So I grabbed a tissue to wipe the mascara off my face and must of hulked out on my right eye.  There is a for real chunk gone. I'm such a spaz!

Class #17
  • Class was packed so I had to stand where my reflection was split by a seam in the giant mirror. One second I looked super skinny, but one shift in the mirror and I looked like some sort of jabba/Robin hybrid.  Kept things interesting.
  • I had to wear glasses again. The sliding. The fogging. The drips of sweat on the lenses. 
  • Take them off you say? HA!  I have no balance when they are not on since my eye sight is so bad. Thanks for the advice.
  • During the seated postures (more accurately, the laying down on your stomach postures), the teacher came and walked on the pads of my feet. I'm not exactly a foot enthusiast, so it was equal parts gross and amazing.
  • I was SO HUNGRY after class.  Below is disguising evidence of my aimless post yoga grocery store wandering.

Class #18

  • Unless I have practiced with someone a ton, there are normally two looks I get from other students. 
    • Smiling.  You can do this tubby tubby!
    • What is that thing doing in here?
  • I don't know which look I hate more.
  • There were no newbies in class so the teacher was able to give extra instructions for each pose so I was able to get really far into each pose.  So much excitement followed by soul crushing knee pain.

Class #19
  • Just an ordinary class.
  • I don't think I have 11 classes left in me.
  • Tomorrow is a double. I have a ton more doubles to do if I want to pull this thing off.
  • I have a friend coming to both classes so I'm super excited about that at least...

Class #20
  • My friend Crystal came to class #1 of tonight's double. YAAH!  She was kinda amazing at it.  Some people are just naturals, and she was certainly one of them.  
  • After class I ran out to grab friend #2, Julianne!

Class #21
  • Julianne might have been my favorite guest of all times. She was so bubbly the whole time. Not sure how it possible!
  • After class, the teacher was rude to my guest and acted like he would rather talk to a dog than my guest or myself.
  • Tonight my body feels so beaten up, I am considering stopping because I am ver it.  My schedule is also really getting in the way. Whats more? I am not sure I want to do it any more.
  • Knees, achilles, shoulders, elbows.  Ouch, ouch, ouch.

21 classes in 30 days.

I woke up the day after class 21 completely at peace that I was done.  Finished.  I had learned so much about myself and my body.  I was so happy and relieved.  

It's time to heal, tubby body, heal!


Heather and Matt Maternity

Heather and Matt are two of the sweetest and most geniuine people you could ever wish to meet.  Jeff and I had the pleasure of having them in our small group a few semesters, but taking their maternity pictures?  No offense to small group... but THAT was the most fun.

Heather and Matt are expecting a baby girl any day now.  Baby Girl is going to be so lucky to have two such down-to-earth and caring people as her parents.  Plus, she is bound to be gorgeous, because, ummm HAVE YOU SEEN THESE TWO?

Lovely on the inside and out I tell yah.

Thank you, Heather and Matt, for being so much fun, for dealing with 'the naked assistant' and for walking so much.  I can't wait to meet the lucky gorgeous girl when she arrives!

See what I mean? Stunning.

Look! It's Jeff the naked assistant!

To see the whole shoot- click riiiiiight here!  HINT-- It's also a link to the upcoming new website! GASP!


30 Day Bikram Challenge - Class #12, #13, #14 & #15

Image via
Class #12--
  • This was my first double!  Jeff had band practice, so I felt ok with doing 3+ hours of bikram related activities.
  • I sat right in front because all of the other spots were taken. I immediately felt the need to be perfect.
  • I saw the back wall during the pose above.  Even the teacher gave me a shout out!
  • First class went quickly because I knew I had a whole 'nuther class to do. 
Class #13-
  • Class #2 of my first double
  • I packed almonds in my bag to scarf a few between classes, but I was too afraid to eat more than 4 out of fear of what might happen to my stomach if I ate more.  I also gulped a small coconut water out of necessity. 
  • My knees were a little less secure in the second class, but I was expecting that. 
  • Other than sitting out/modifying due to knee pain, there was nothing else that I had to sit out.
  • Can I do four more doubles??
Class #14-
  • My second double!  This time I didn't sit out of anything. My knees are going to hate me. 
  • I had a bit of a melt down before class because I realized I was going to have to flake on plans I had made in order to knock out another double. Bikram is beginning to take over my life, and I am in pain while I do it.  I'm struggling to see the point and find my original motivation.
  • Again... my toenail polish is a disaster.  
  • The woman who was doing her 100th class told me that that hardest classes of any challenge are the first 15 classes. I am holding onto that. 
Class #15
  • There are some teachers I really jive with, but there are ones that I just find so jarring.  That was the teacher in class 15.  Buuuuh.
  • I got two call outs in class. I'm begninning to think there was another Robin in the class or the instructor did not know any one else's name.
  • I love when new people come to class. I feel far less inferior.  
  • At the end of class, the instructor exists the class and says 'namaste'.  Loosely translated, Namaste means the light/spirit/god in me, bows to the light/spirit/god in you. If I'm honest, sometimes my light is not in the mood to bow to anyones light. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but sometimes I can't help myself. So far I have subbed God bless, toodles, yippee, and gargoyle. Don't know where that last one came from. Toodles.


30 Day Bikram Challenge -- Class #9, #10, & #11

Class #9-
  • I am officially up on the 30 day challenge board!  It's officially official!  (official)
  • I am so sore from working out with my sister after work.  UGH.
  • There are three more days that I will have to double up on (do two classes in one day) and a ton of overtime to do as well.  July may not have been the best month to do this.
  • At the beginning of class I saw someone through the class windows that I knew.  Completely forgetting where I was, I waved!  It was not just a small polite wave, either.  A full body flail. In that single movement, I lost all concentration and probably the respect of my fellow classmates.  I blame the heat.

Class #10-
  • Uh oh. I heard something in my knee pop.
  • For the first time, I didn't know anyone in class. It was refreshing. And less distracting.
  • I practically had to beg the waitress at lunch to bring me more and more and more and more and more water. I finally explained (like the classic over-sharer that I am) what I was doing. She said her yoga mentor (her whaaaat?) told her bikram was not good for her, because it  extends your ligaments past their normal level and can hurt you.
  • Read bullet point #1 again. Craaaap.
  • My sister told me my skin looked nice.  Could it be the lack of toxins?  Because how can their be toxins any more? They have to be 100% gone at this point, right?  Better be.

Class #11-

  • I had to sit in the very front row. I immediately felt the need to be perfect. 
  • When we were on our stomachs for the first part of the seated poses, I realized the lady next to me had on a pinky ring. All I could think was how many times I would need to roll to get close enough to kiss the ring.  Why else would you wear a pinky ring? I'm not being weird here.
  • I had to sit out a few postures because of my knees. Boo.  I kind of like being the fatty who can do everything well.  I don't like being the fatty who can't do things. I wanted to wear a sign. I'm hurt, not lazy!
  • I went to my chiropractor and got lots of work done on my knees. I am so thankful for him!
  • I don't know if I should keep going.  Bikram is seriously obsessed with locked knees, and that action seems to exacerbate the problem.  Every class the teacher squawks  "lock your knees, lock you knees, last time, LOCK YOUR KNEES".  Every instructor I've spoken to says the pain is normal, but I just wonder if my pain is worse because of my... ummm... extra gravitational pull?  
  • I don't know what to do. 


30 Day Bikram Challenge - Class #6, #7 and #8

iPhone traffic cam

Class #6-
  • I almost didn't make it to class on time. I had to sneak in at the very last minute, and had to sit behind someone, which means I couldn't see myself at all. That's not a good thing during the balance series!
  • I'm starting to feel guilty for leaving my husband so much. Between overtime and bikram, I hardly see the man.  I wonder what he's eating for dinner these days...
  • I was able to do every single pose!  This was HUGE!  I think it might have something to do with the fact that this was my third class back to back and my body was, dare I say, used to it?
  • I don't know that I can do this. Jeff keeps saying I can, but I think he just really likes to use the phrase 'sweat box'.  
  • Walking out of class, I passed a group of youths.  They snickered as I walked by.  Then I got a look at myself in a window.  YIKES.  I looked like an overweight sweat drenched homeless gremlin.  I was too excited about doing every pose that I didn't l let it phase me... too much.
  • After class I didn't get a coconut water. Bad idea- I had a big headache afterward.

Class #7-
  • New people don't sweat as much.  I'm a little jealous and at the same time a little worried about what is going on inside their bodies.  Today I sweat (sweated, swatted... sweateded...??) so much that fingers were pruney.  Now I'm worried about what is going on inside my body.
  • I had NO balance today!
  • My thoughts took a completely schizophrenic pattern. Love, hate, angry, proud, etc.
  • My forearms are going to get beefy! 
  • Someone FINALLY farted in 'wind releasing pose'. It works as advertised! I can now fully endorse this pose.
  • Kind of wish I had not told as many people about doing this.  But being held accountable is good, right?  
Class #8
  • 6:15am class.  I am officially certifiable.  
  • There were not many people there. Why am I surprised?
  • Didn't sit out of a single pose again.  Major win for so early in the morning.
  • Breathing exercise (first thing in class) was hard today because each time I looked up my tired eyes would want to slam shut and my contacts would revolt.
  • During the seated poses, I realized my toenails are a mess. I should really do something about it before I have to stare at them for at least 45 minutes during the next 22 days.
  • Trying to get ready for work was an effing mess. I laid on the ground for 15 minutes complaining to my husband about something or other. Needless to say (and yet I'm saying it?), I was late for work.
  • After work I worked out with my sister.  Two a days! What whaaaat!


30 Day Bikram Challenge - Class #4 and #5

  • When doing Bikram you should not eat for roughly two hours before the class.   I take this rule to heart after what happened during class #4.  It was a Saturday and somehow I didn't quite get my timing right and ended up eating fajitas about and hour before class...?  The whole time I was catching (or imagining?) whiffs of peppers and onions. Come on, Chandler.

  • My favorite quote from class was when the teacher declared "this position is equally as beneficial as it is uncomfortable".  I am convinced this should be the warning tag line for all bikram classes.

  • During the final savasana (laying on your back quietly), the instructor advised that we should try to remain absolutely still, which includes resisting the temptation to wipe your sweat.  After 90 minutes in a 100+ room, your sweat is no longer just glistening on your forehead.  You are actively dripping, rivers/tributaries/oceans of sweat you lay perfectly still.  I cannot tell you how similar this feels to having spiders crawling on you.  I mean, I've never experience it myself, but in class #5 I was imagining Harry Potter sized spiders. And yet it was glorious and satisfying feeling my fat crying.

So fajitas and imaginary spiders. That what you get for class #4 and #5.  Sad it wasn't a 100 day challenge?


30 Day Bikram Challenge - Class #3

I've decided the hardest thing about bikram, is walking up the steps in the parking garage after class.  An activity that normally does nothing to me physically, now makes my legs feel like jell-o and my head throb like it is about to split open and spray rainbow colored brain matter onto the concrete walls.  But the climb up the steps also means that I am done for the day.  Oh, the joyous pain.

Class three was much less rage inducing than class two.  Hooray!  After class I treated myself to coconut water, and I felt like a million bucks after sucking it down.  Do I taste a tradition?

The hot room itself was pretty boring, but when I got into the (semi-nude) locker room, I realized that I actually knew someone.  We got to talking and she revealed that she was on class #99.  In a row.  Talk about some serious commitment.  She doled out words of encouragement about my 30 day challenge.  The pep talk did almost as much good for me as the coconut water.

Also during class #3, I tried to find out how many calories I was burning by wearing my calorie counting device. There are several different articles out there about bikram's calorie melting potential.  Some say you burn close to 1000, some say you burn very few.  I decided to wear my bodybugg to figure it out once and for all.

I rushed home after class to plug in the bodybugg and determine what kind of crazy burn I had just experienced.  The blessed thing said that I had only burnt 220 during the 90 minute class.  I knew it had to be wrong since I burn close to 300 just sitting on my tail for 90 minutes.  Theeeen I did some research.  Apparently it is too hot for the bodybugg to get a real calculation.  Too hot??  I'm too hot!! Grrrrrrr...

I don't like to do workouts without knowing their exact perks.  Why do them if you don't know what the precise benefit is right away, I ask you?

This workout = X cupcakes.  It's simple, really.  I like to call it instant grati-fat-cation.

So I guess I have to let it go and trust that bikram is a great workout, a great stamina builder, a great confidence builder, a great way to spend 90 minutes a day. Forget the exact numbers and calculations. Breeeeeathe.

Why can't I just do the work out and not learn a freaking lesson? Ohhh yoga.


30 Day Bikram Challenge -- Class #2

When you come to your first class, the instructor will tell you a few things.  1) If you get light headed, please feel free to take a knee.  2) Sit out the first posture and watch if you are unsure how to do something.  3) There is only one official water break. If you need water any other time, please only drink between postures.  4) Stay in the room.

The last is the most important. In all of the classes I have taken, I have only witnessed three people leave class, and even then, they always came back into the room to finish.  Until class #2.

Class #2 was the craziest, hottest class I've ever been in.  To start out, I made the mistake of sitting under some sort of vent pumping in air straight from hell.  Or the sun.  Either way, I was angry.  How could I have been so stupid?  I kept berating myself for not paying attention to where I was rolling out my mat.

Deliriously, I wondered if I had put on enough sunscreen because I felt like I might be getting sunburnt.  

I eventually realized that I was not the only one suffering from the blistering licks of solar wind.  Everyone around me was having a terrible time.  I've never seen so many people drinking water, taking a knee or leaving the room.

All around me, bikram veterans were reduced to mere noobs! I wanted to yell at the instructor;  don't you see what is going on??  Turn down the heat, dummy!  Instead of turning down the heat, she would call out: "hold on guys, there are only _____ more postures".  Was that supposed to be encouraging!?!  Crack a door, you loon!

At one point, I saw a woman roll up her mat to leave before the class was over, only to stop and prop herself up on the back wall.  Instead of continuing on towards the door, she slid down the wall and sat there with her matt between her knees looking as wrung out as I felt.

It was a disaster.

The man who had practiced beside me had also parked next me in the garage.  As we walked to our cars after conquering the heat, he told me that he had been going to the studio for seven years.  In all his time there, he claimed that was by far the hottest class he had ever been to.  I felt like some sort of warrior for making through the class without leaving.  I also felt like I wanted a nap, and a bucket of ice.

I later found out why the class had been so unbearable. Apparently, it was not the heat so much as it is the humidity.  This particular class was ultra crowded and there was thunderstorm outside, which both contributed to the misery.  Lesson learned.


30 Day Bikram Yoga Challenge -- Class #1

Getting pumped with Melissa before class #1

Class #1: 

I had not been to a bikram class in over a year and yeeeesh, I was nervous!  Nervous that I would not be able to complete the class; nervous that I would remain angry at the heat for the full 90 minutes; nervous that I would be embarrassed in front of the all the amazing yogis around me.

I was also consumed with thoughts of donning the scant workout gear.  You see, since the class is so hot, the name of the game is wearing as litttle as possible.  Which is totally fine when you look like a waif-ish ballerina, but not so much when you are built like me.  The good thing about bikram is that any such feelings of insecurity last for only for the first 5 minutes, or until staying alive takes over as the number one thought.

For this first class, I was lucky to have a friend join me.  I can get really squirrely about going into certain situations alone, and getting back into yoga was certainly one of those situations. 

During this first class, I had to take a knee a few times. I blame this on getting a little over zealous, and forgetting the way bikram can make you feel. I must remember in future classes that woozy is normal, and you just have to ride it out.  

By the end of the class I was glad I had come, but was ready to leave--which is fairly normal for me in regards to almost any physical activity.  

Day #2:

There was no day two, because I had no idea that I was going to be doing the 30 day challenge, and in general was not motivated enough to go back.   I know. LAME. 

Check back for day 3 & 4!


Bikram Yoga 30 day Challenge

Can I, a 27 year chubster, complete a 30 day bikram yoga challenge?  I'm sure gonna try.

Bikram Yoga: 90 minutes yoga classes that consist of the same series of 26 postures done in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%. Hotter than Hades.
Image Source

Earlier this month, I purchased a groupon good for thirty days of unlimited bikram yoga.  After a few days of back to back classes, I'm considering going headlong into a 30 day challenge.  I'm starting to think I can do it!  And in the same (pranayama) breath, I'm pretty sure I can't.  

The idea behind the 30 day challenge is pretty simple.  Complete 30 classes in 30 days, and win a life time supply of bragging rights and questions regarding your sanity.  If you happen to miss a day, you simply do two classes in one day to make up for it.  It's supposed to be transformative of both the mind and body.  

Personally, I am doing it because I love a (seemingly) insurmountable quest.  I'm very hobbit-ish like that.  

I also love a good list, so here is a pro/con list I've complied for this epic journey of sweat. 

Pros for doing the 30 day challenge:

-I like having a goal and working towards it.
-It's a killer workout.
-The people in class are actually really cool. Not just dirty hippies who take yoga too seriously.
-I feel super bendy during class.
-After class I float on a yoga cloud all the way back to my car.
-My legs are getting so strong!
-Post work out coconut water.  Yum.


-It's 103 degrees.  Was that made clear?
-So. Much. Laundry.
-There is sweat EVERYWHERE.  The worst is when it gets in my eyes and/or up my nose. 
-Every class is 90 minutes.  It's quite the time consuming hobby.
-When I say it's 103 degrees, that's just on a good day. Some classes get out of control and have been known to go up to 110.
-I can sometimes smell the studio in my hair.  It has been washed, but the smell... it sticks around. 

Stick around for what I am sure will be a rather ridiculous and spandex laden adventure. 


Mountain Views

During vacation in North Carolina, the husband found a few hikes for us to do.  The first one was up to a defunct government "fire" watch tower. Lets be honest... it was a moonshine distillery watch tower. You say potato, I say mash liquor.

Looks like something from Lost, doesn't it?

Half way up. 

I swear I'd marry him again tomorrow.

By the time we got to the very top, my legs were shaking like crazy. This thing was HIGH. And lord only knows the last time its stability was checked. No hands was a big deal.

These are the mountains where Last of the Mohicans and The Hunger Games were filmed.  I'm nerd enough to enjoy that tidbit.

Jeff and the in-laws.

Another hike we did was to a waterfall called "Skinny dipping falls". Too bad the water was FREEZING.  I only dipped my fully clothed legs in.  

Oh, what's that? You want more photos of mountains? Lucky you.


Busy- as told by my iPhone

Boy oh boy oh boy, this is been one busy season in my life! Right now I am sitting on the couch doing nothing. So it feels a bit odd to be telling you about how busy I am. So what have I been doing?

1) My sister got married. Holy crap, she was the most gorgeous bride EVER.  I'm not kidding, she was the most beautiful bride I've ever seen in real life. There were lots of parties leading up to the big event that kept me happily busy.
Decorating the trellis the day before the wedding!
My parents were jazzed.

Busted my chin while doing the worm.  Second worm in two weddings.
I've officially retired the move.

2) I went to visit my BFF in Tennessee! It was a quick trip, but we were able to talk a ton, giggle even more, and hang out with her sweet boys, and hilarious husband.

Moonshine?  When in Rome...

3) I've been working.  "Mandatory" overtime rocks. :)  And no, I'm not kidding. I actually kind of like working overtime (read: I like time and a half in my paycheck).

Yeah. I have a stand up desk. I look like a total tool at work.

4) I've been taking pictures of cows.  Ok, so it's not really a thing I'm doing, per say, but it did happen the other day and it felt preeeeeetty note worthy.

5) I've gotten to babysit these sweet boys!


Duncan and Whit!

6) I went to visit my alma mater. Most of the glory spots still stand, these five years after I graduated.

My old dorm!
The best pizza ever. I wish I was kidding.

BCM!  Yes, these are all iPhone drive by shots
First place I smooched my husband.

7) And the thing that keeps me the busiest of all is of course loving on this one...

 Good day.