New Fitness Adventures


Since I moved, I’ve gotten to broaden my work out horizons and take some new classes, different workouts, and try some disciplines I’ve never gotten around to (I took hip hop cycle a week ago and my “area” is still not totally recovered) .

As part of my gym membership, I got a free health assessment/personal training session. I knew it was just going to be a sales gimmick, but I went anyway, hoping that a trainer would correct my form on things like squats and lunges where I’ve been having so much knee pain lately. It started with him asking about my fitness goals, why I joined a gym, etc etc. It was totally scripted and geared toward someone insecure who had never been a gym member (or at least hadn’t been for a long time.) Once I think it was finally clear to him that I’m not unhappy with how I look, he started to go on about body fat percent like I hadn’t heard any of it before. Once we got into the actual workout, it was hard, and he had me do weight training things I’d never done, but he didn’t once correct my form and spent half the time watching a female bodybuilder lift. I guess I had always thought that trainers were as much for counting reps and teaching new moves as they were for correcting and motivation. (Needless to say I did not sign up to train with someone four times a week for the low low sum of $500 per month.)


I compare that with the group classes I’ve taken – all the Les Mills teachers in my Charlottesville gym were The. Best. I loved every single one of them were extremely engaging and took the time to help, to fix form, and motivate.

This weekend, a new friend invited me to the hot yoga studio where she teaches. By the end of it, I was so sweaty that I was sliding all over my mat and falling out of poses, but it felt great. I never really thought yoga was something I would enjoy (aside from restorative, which, let’s face it – is more “naptime” than active) and I really didn’t think that anything would stop the racing thoughts I’m so used to now.

What you can't see is the salt caked under my shirt and the beads of sweat rolling down the sides of my face.

What you can’t see is the salt caked under my shirt and the beads of sweat rolling down the sides of my face.

Both the training session and the hot yoga class have gotten my mind thinking hard again. Ever since I started taking group classes, I’ve known I want to teach someday. But I had never seriously considered personal training. After having a bad experience, I’m starting to consider it more and more – like there are probably a whole lot of people I can connect with and help without making them feel bad and helping to empower them, whether their goal is weight loss or something else.

Do you prefer group ex, personal training, or just working out by yourself? What do you think would make a great teacher?

Stand Up 2 Cancer


This post is a sponsored post on behalf of Yahoo! Live.

Stand Up 2 Cancer is a non-profit whose mission is to raise funding for leading oncologists and cancer researchers. The first televised fundraiser event, held in 2008, raised over $100 million dollars for research and featured dozens of musicians and celebrities, including Patrick Swayze and Sheryl Crow, who spoke of their fights against the disease. The SU2C theme song, “Just Stand Up,” featured more than ten female performers (girl power!)

In the years since, the annual event continues to get bigger and feature more influencers who are standing up to fight cancer. The concert airs tonight across all the major networks – ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox – and many cable partners. This year, through a partnership with Yahoo! Screen, it’s also streaming online. Yahoo has partnered with LiveNation to launch Yahoo! Live to air select concerts live, and then loop them online for 24 hours after the performance. Yahoo! Live will air one concert every day for a full 365 days, so you can see a concert from the comfort of your house for a full year. (Join me this Monday as I watch my favorite band in sweatpants and a messy bun. And then join me for the next 24 hours as I live the dream of my life always being a The Hold Steady show.) Check out the next 30 shows here.

I’ll be watching Stand Up 2 Cancer live tonight, thinking of those I have lost, those who have won their battles like my mom, thinking of friends who are still fighting, and sending special prayers to a friend as her family rallies around their fighter. If you’ve never had the chance to watch Stand Up 2 Cancer, it’s a deeply moving experience. To donate now, visit Stand Up 2 Cancer’s website.


“In my world, in my vision the hero always defeats the villian, the boy always gets the girl, and cancer is no more.” SU2C cofounder and guiding light, Laura Ziskin

Summer Lovin’ – Favorites Time!

Time for a favorites post! It’s been awhile since I posted one, and they’re my favorite kinds to write, so it’s time. Here’s what I’ve been digging on this summer:

enhanced-buzz-17569-1376320294-4As much as I love TV shows like Dateline and 20/20, I’ve never gotten into fictional crime dramas. It’s why I’ve stuck to medical – just give me my T.V.M.D already! But I was at a friend’s house right after they put Criminal Minds on Netflix, and she had just started to marathon it. For whatever reason, I was immediately hooked. Again, in less than a week, I’ve finished the whole first season. Not something I ever would have seen myself liking, but the heart wants what the heart wants…

… and my heart has decided on Matthew Gray Gubler. Do I really need to say any more?


I didn’t think so.

As a designer, I have a perennial Font Problem. I’m addicted in a bad way. I’ve recently discovered Playfair Display, and while its regular typeface is just okay to me, when you make it bold and italic, it speaks to me.

I’ve been reading Venus Trapped in Mars for almost a year now. I love finding other female sports fans (even if she doesn’t like hockey the way I do <3) and Sarah is HILARIOUS. You have to be careful, though, or else you might accidentally learn about football or become an SEC fan.

cory branan

My favorite music find isn’t new at all so I barely consider it a find, but Cory Branan released his new album a couple weeks ago. He’s a phenomenal songwriter, a great performer (I got to go to his release show and had probably the best time ever. Plus Chris Carrabba, formerly of Dashboard Confessional, was his opener, and I got to hold his guitar. I’m basically the guitar tech for Dashboard Confessional. Can someone just take me on tour now please?) At any rate, check out Cory’s album No Hit Wonder. It might be my favorite album of the year. He also gave a pretty hilarious NPR interview where he said this:

“My music doesn’t go very well with a bachelorette party.”

And while you’re at it, Chris’ new project Twin Forks isn’t too bad either.

And finally, a restaurant. I LOVE sushi, which is no secret. There’s this great place in Nashville called O’Sake. I’ve lived here for three weeks and we have eaten there three times. For real. They have a great happy hour and the most overwhelming selection of rolls I’ve ever seen, but everything is so yummy. Definitely my favorite Nashville restaurant.

What were you loving on this summer?

September Goals

After that whirlwind summer, I’m desperate to get back on track. While I did, arguably, complete my biggest goals of the year in getting a new job and moving out of Virginia, many other things that are important to me flew way to the wayside.

  • Be active every day, even if it’s just a walk around my complex or the golf course
  • Pay off my credit cards (I utilized them often during my move. Oops.)
  • Go to 3 networking events
  • Eat at least 5 fruits and veggies per day
  • Drink 8 glasses of water a day (I used to be very good at this, but I fell off the rails as soon as I left my last job.)
  • Bring lunch to work 3x a week
  • Go to the gym 4x a week
  • Post 2x a week
  • Read 2 books
  • Get better organized

Through all of the moving frustration (the Ikea fail – actually, all the furniture fails, since there are more I didn’t blog about) the thing I have been most disappointed in myself for is that I’ve put my health to the wayside. I can’t remember the last time I went for a run. I eat more sugar that I need to. Actually, I eat more than I need to in general, so I’ve gained some weight back. It’s also hard to work in a restaurant where I get 50% off, so the delicious food is less than fast food… but I’m not sure how “good” for me it is. (The chefs have already caught on to me, though, and offer me a sweet potato every day.) As soon as my budget will allow it this month, I’m going to do a juice cleanse to get all the crap out of my system and really reboot everything.

I am a really big fan of specific goals, which is why mine typically include a number. But it’s hard to quantify how you “get better organized” – so I’m trying to work on a plan that involves maintaining meeting notes (I now sit in meetings for over ten hours a week), and on top of that, I have so many other things going on that I’m really starting to outgrow my Moleskine. Managing work events, networking, personal life, goals and fitness, I’m exploring all kinds of printers and planners and ways to make everything work.

The nice thing about my new job is that we have GREAT coffee, so I’m very rarely tempted to stop for Starbucks on my way in. We also get free pop or juice, and we just installed an espresso bar. The only thing I’ll need to go see the Siren for now is my sweet PSL.

In addition to my day job, I’ve also landed a side hustle in the city that I’m really excited about. So even as down as I still am a lot of the time, I’m trying to keep my head up. Good things are happening and I just need to keep believing that!

When you’ve “gone off the rails,” whether it’s with food, spending, or whatever else, how do you reel yourself in?

Make-Up & Hair Ritual

daily face ritual/make-up applicationphoto via death to stock photo

As soon as I got in my apartment I knew I would have to install at least one shelf in my bathroom to get my makeup products out of the sink – the original apartment they showed me featured a huge counter in the bathroom, which was one of my selling points on picking this place. but naturally, as with every other part of this move, that wasn’t to be in my actual apartment (when you see me whining about how everything has gone wrong with this move on social media – I’m not just being a drama queen, it’s really turning out to be true!) So, inspired by my pretty new shelf, I thought I’d cover the products I slather on my face and through my hair every day.

I start in the shower with my face wash. I don’t really have a specific product, I just kind of use whatever is around or on sale. Right now I’m using the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub which I picked up on sale at Ulta this summer and paired it with an additional coupon and rewards points, so I got two bottles for $2. I try to do a deep clean twice a month with Boots Botanics Ionic Shine Away, but sometimes I forget. Oops.

This summer I was in the market for a new primer, and right now I’m using Urban Decay Naked Beauty Balm for its added SPF benefits. It’s not really a true primer so it doesn’t seem to hold makeup as well as Hourglass or Laura Mercier.

After months of trying to make do with a foundation I hated, I picked up the Naked Foundation from Urban Decay as well. It’s smooth, natural, and buildable and I apply it with a stippling brush from elf.

For my cheeks, I’m a long-time Nars Orgasm devotee. On my Ulta haul earlier this summer I was really into contouring, so I picked up a Cargo Swimmables bronzer.

Mascara is one of my favorite makeup items, and right now I use Tarte Lights Camera Lashes from the Sephora Lash Stash right now but I don’t love it. I find it a little sticky.  I don’t really wear a lot of eye shadow anymore, but I do have the Naked Basics palette from Urban Decay that I occasionally use for daytime. At night, I like using the Orgasm blush for some color. To set my face I spray on Urban Decay All Nighter – apparently I’m something of an Urban Decay loyalist now (blame all the Hard Candy nail polish I lusted after as a youth?)

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain has been my favorite go-to lip product forever, but Revlon has forsaken me and discontinued it this summer. I also like their lip butters a lot.

That’s my “everyday” face. When I’m feeling really lazy, I will just throw on some Garnier BB cream (SPF!) and call it good.

makeup shelf

At night I use whatever face wipes are on hand to scrub off the day. Right now I’m using Simple, but I also use Neutrogena and the Yes To line a lot. I really like Yes To Grapefruit – has a great smell.

My hair is kind of my baby – I use whatever shampoo is cheap, but I’m devoted to Suave’s Professionals line for conditioner. Deep conditioning once a week with their Morrocan oil-infused coniditoner makes your hair so soft (and it’s always pretty cheap too.) When I moved, my sad, broken, sucks-your-hair-in-the-motor hair dryer did not come with me, and I upgraded to a Hot Tools hair dryer, which came with a pik I’m newly obsessed with. On really humid days, I use Aveda Smooth Infusion Style Prep to try to tame the mane a little more. Apparently the cheap hair products work too, because last time I got my hair cut (at Aveda) they assumed that I used the full Smooth Infusions line because my hair is so healthy and strong. Who knew.

What’s your favorite beauty product? I’m in the market for new concealer so make some suggestions!