Tag Archives: tone it up

Thinking Out Loud: 2DAYZZZZ

Two days. Said to the “tune” of “2 Chainzzzzz”. As in two days until I move to Boston. Now I will use the 2 Chainz reference to plug my current favorite song.

I’m short on time today so let’s dive right in and think out loud. Thanks as always to Amanda for giving me an excuse to ramble and feel like there’s purpose behind said rambling.

1. I’m really totally kinda dreading the whole actual act of moving. The movers are arriving Saturday morning around 7:30AM and the day before (aka tomorrow) is my last day of work followed by happy hour co-worker shenanigans. I’m expecting I’ll be feeling the shenanigans the next morning and an early wake up call followed by a drive to Boston won’t be at the top of my list of things to experience. Gotta power through! And drink ALL the water.

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Three Things Thursday: Seuss Style

Thanks to all who entered my Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD giveaway! I enjoyed reading your comments about which workout you’d most want to try. Seems all of them are of interest! Out of 134 total entries, the lucky winner is…


…Loli! Congrats and I will contact you for shipping info!


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Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD Review and Giveaway!

Before this post gets going, please read this hilarious Gawker article my friend Rachel sent me about the food menu at this year’s Golden Globes. I hope it brightens your Monday!

I was first introduced to the Tone It Up trainers, Karena and Katrina, through Heather. She’s a huge fan of their workouts, boho style, and general real-ness. I have to agree! I even had the chance to meet the lovely ladies themselves at the Oakley Store in Times Square.

Beautiful women, they were such sweethearts!

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Healthy Living Summit 2012 – Part One

I suppose I could have come up with a more creative title than that. I’m pretty sure a zillion other bloggers have been publishing posts this week that say the exact same thing. But #sorrynotsorry, I hope (I KNOW) the content of my posts make up for any lame titles I throw your way 🙂 and remember if you missed my recap of the Chobani dinner I attended while in Boston for the 2012 Healthy Living Summit, you can check it out here!


Please keep reading. Don’t be afraid!

My HLS ’12 weekend actually started in a different MA town, home of my BB (best blend) Heather. Since her house is on my way to Boston, I decided to stay over with her Thursday night to make the drive in on Friday shorter. AND oh yeah, because I love hanging out with her. I took a half day at work on Thursday and got to her house before rush hour traffic hit (win) and we immediately hit the road for one of my favorite restaurants ever, Garden Grille…after we took some pics, of course.

We chatted away during that rush hour/accident-caused traffic I’d missed before, and arrived at Garden Grille about to eat each others’ arms off. Appetizers were necessary.

Instagram them apps.

I finally got to try the famous Garden Grille sweet potato fries, and was so impressed. I have to admit I prefer ION’s because those are crispier (more fried 😉 hehe) but these were still amazing, especially paired with that housemade BBQ sauce. We also went with the special side, garlicky sauteed greens. My Garden Party beverage (vodka, basil, mint, lime) matched perfectly!

I was so happy that we got to sit outside and savored my refreshing cocktail throughout the meal, which blew my MIND: blackened Cajun-spiced tofu with pepper jam, charred corn & black beans, squashes, and smoked paprika aioli. HEAVEN. I’m so glad I’ve gotten over my tofu-texture aversion.

I never wanted this to end! Unfortunately it did. I was tres sad.

A walk down Thayer Street and shopping trip in its Urban Outfitters location cheered me right up! I adore the artsy vibe from this college town. Every person and business I pass seems so open to new ideas and ready to learn. I could probably sit outside with a cup of coffee and people watch for a good while. Or maybe with a cup of fro-yo?

I knew the second I finished dinner that I was going to want a dessert. Do you ever have those evenings? I honored my craving (and am proud to say I did so) at a self-serve frozen yogurt shop whose name now escapes me. As usual I did mostly toppings. After I finished, we did a bit more walking and called it a night.


I woke up at 8AM the next morning (I was shocked – that’s late for me!) and did two Tone It Up Beach Babe DVD workouts recommended to me by Heather, who happens to be a TIU enthusiast. The Surfer Girl and Summer Arms segments combined to give me a pretty good 45-minute workout, which felt pretty GREAT since I’d had two lackluster gym days previously. I only have one more segment to try out and then I will finally be able to review the DVD – and give you guys a GIVEAWAY! Oh I’m a tease.


After the workout I had one thing on my mind – my beloved vegan spinach and mushroom Wildflour scone. I don’t normally eat baked goods for breakfast. They don’t give me that energy I need to power through my morning. However, this savory scone does not have the same “crash” effects as most cafe offerings. I treat myself to one of these bad boys each time I visit Heather. Last time I went I went through a guilt-ridden debate over whether or not I should get it, but this time I just WENT for it without questioning whether or not I “should” get the scone – something I noticed and took pride in!

About to head to Boston with my Dino.

We blogged and I did encounter a challenge of “shoulds” and “should-nots” before we departed for HLS. I wanted a Wildflour green smoothie that Jenny had let me try last time the three of us went there and she ordered one. The Dino is made with good-for-you ingredients – spinach, kale, blueberry, banana, almond milk, almond butter – but I have always had a stigma in my brain about smoothies that says they don’t fill me up yet are still many calories, which can then result in me intaking too many calories. Heather was there for me as usual and offered to share the Dino with me on the ride to Boston. Deal! I was in heaven with each sip and am so glad that I fought the guilt and ordered it. And thankful too, because we got stuck in traffic and didn’t make it to our originally planned lunch at Flour Bakery & Cafe until an hour past schedule!

Salad as big as my head? Yes please!

I again went through a bit of an embarrassing debate in my mind – and at the counter – over what to order. The poor Flour employee had to deal with my questions about how much mayo was in the curried tuna salad I had my eye on. Even after trying a sample and LOVING it, it was hard to let myself choose that as my salad’s protein. Another stigma I have stored away…tuna/chicken/seafood salads are full of hidden calories from too much mayo. Finally I mentally said “fuck it” to the guilt and ordered the curried tuna salad on my greens. And then I threw in a side of homemade hummus for good measure, and ate every last bite. WHAT WHAT.

Lindsay, Chelsea, Meg, Heather, me, Lisa

Once Heather and I checked in at our hotel, the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, we grabbed our HLS swag and lugged it up to our room so we could get settled and ready for dinner. It was around this time that the weekend became all about connecting with so many of the bloggers I’d been following, chatting with, and relating to for as long as years in some cases. At BlogHer I learned so much about myself and experienced NYC through food, drink, and workouts. At HLS I forged bonds with girls I never truly thought I’d get the chance to meet. That was the main takeaway for me from this conference.

Meg, Lisa, and me at dinner at Figs.

Two girls I was most excited to meet were my Canadian blends Meg and Lisa. The three of us have bonded over our struggles, past for some and present for others, with our relationships with food. We support and guide each other in the journey to balance every single day. When I first saw Meg at the door of my hotel room, I hugged her so hard that I think I crushed her…and pushed her into a wall. Every single word we said to each other was just so US and we already knew that. Does that make any sense?! We just seamlessly transition from blend to friend. Of course I had to snap a picture of her with her MUSSELS and her MUSCLES, since she adores seafood and we are always sending each other photos of seafood we’re eating.

That broth was so good. I stole my fair share.

And I attacked Lisa the moment I saw her too! She is just as beautiful in person as she is on her blog – always looks SO put together and has the best wavy hair! And she was wearing a brightly colored dress, which I can always count on her for. I truly never imagined we’d meet one day, so I am just so thankful that I could hang out with the girl who encourages me anytime I open up on this blog about my guilt issues.

Our dinner group!

Oh yeah – the food at dinner! Well I had a late lunch so I just got a roasted beet salad with goat cheese. Very average, but Chelsea and Linz shared a slice of their fig and prosciutto pizza with me, and THAT was impressive.

Can I have a vanity moment here – arms?

After dinner it was time to head to the hotel for the HLS Cocktail Party. I wish the music had been louder – there was no dancing! I was too busy chatting and being a goofy ham anyway, though.

First stop: photobooth with costume props.

How funky is your chicken?


Who doesn’t love a good selfie?

There were apps and desserts there, but I skipped out on the latter. When there is cheese available, and when I am drinking wine, that is ALLLL I want.


I’ll have some crackers with my cheese.

Kettle corn and Taza dark chocolate.

Regular, red velvet, and poppy (?!) whoopie pies.

Meghann, Julie, and the rest of those who put on HLS did a really great job. I cannot imagine undertaking such a task!

Kicking things off.

This girl does it all!

My BB has totally turned me into a Pinot Grigio fan!

I say YES to her dress.

What a fun evening of reuniting, meeting for the first time, and lots of PICS.

Meg, my love, you are so tiny!

I could squeeze her all day long.

I am forever in awe of Tina‘s amazing upper body. Hello Crossfit!

It was good to see Theodora again, in her trademark Lilly attire.

Courtney is so beautiful!

What a thrill to finally meet Sara. I could chat with her for hours!

The best moment of the evening (of HLS…of the week…the month…you get it) came courtesy of Becki. She approached me and introduced herself. I smiled and said hello back, but honestly didn’t at first make the connection that this was one of the girls who had written her own #AmazingMe post after I had written mine. However as soon as Becki said that she had to come introduce herself to “the girl who wrote #AmazingMe”, I immediately realized who she was…and felt tears come to my eyes. The comments and feedback I have gotten on that post have touched me several times over, but THIS was the culmination of it all. THIS was the chance for me to meet, in person, someone that I directly inspired and someone I made feel good about herself.

Two amazing girls.

Becki’s post about her accomplishments and why she is a wonderful human being was heartwarming to read, but to literally FEEL how genuinely thankful she was to have been inspired to write it was a feeling I really can’t even begin to describe. I am so thankful in turn to her for helping me see how beneficial it is to put myself out there as a blogger and be honest and myself in my posts, because not only will I get feedback from readers that will aid me in my journey to balance, but I also will continue to be someone readers can relate to and remember whenever they are fighting that negative voice themselves. THANK YOU BECKI for introducing yourself, and I hope that we can have a good long chat next time I am in town!

What is the most touching moment blogging has brought to you?

If you were at the HLS cocktail party, what was your fave photobooth prop? Your fave food item?

Out of all the eats in this post, what looks best to you? 🙂

Tone It Up in Times Square!

Huge thanks to fellow Fitfluential Ambassador Carissa for featuring me on her and her husband’s blog, Fit2Flex, as part of their “5 Questions With…” series! Check out my answer to her five questions here!

Thank you for all the positive feedback you guys have been leaving on my recap posts about the big events I attended two weeks ago. I can’t believe it’s already been that long! In case you missed anything:

In the Meet & Tweet recap, I mentioned that after our time at Fitness Magazine HQ, Heather, Bess, and I trekked ourselves and our swag (commence viewing of silly vlog by Heather here) through the streets of NYC to the Oakley Store in Times Square for an event that meant a lot to my two blends – the Self Magazine Tone It Up Meet-Up!

The event didn’t disappoint! We arrived early enough (among the first 50 guests) to be gifted with more swag. And how appropriate for the event to be held in the Oakley Store, after we’d just received a pair of their fabulous new active wear sunglasses!

In our gift bags we found a $10 Oakley gift card, a copy of SELF, an Oakley towel and reusable water bottle, TIU’s Perfect Fit Protein Powder (not a user of powders so I gave mine to Heather), and best of all, a copy of their much-raved about Beach Babe DVD! Heather, Bess, and the rest of the TIU ladies I’ve met through blogging just LOVE these quick and efficient workouts. I’ve already tried HIIT the Beach, Long & Lean, and the abs segment. I really like how I can just pick segments and put them together based on what I’m feeling each day. I’m taking this DVD with me on a trip this coming weekend for potential hotel room workouts…and will also be using it this fall, once my night classes start back up, to get in quick morning sweats that will replace my usual evening gym trips!

Waiting in line!

Heather shows off her DVD – I love this pic!

Mattie joined us soon after we arrived. We got many questions from fellow line members about the eons of stuff we were dragging along with us. We’d (practically) sing out in chorus “We’re bloggers!” in response

So much stuff. The Vera flower gym bag was already mine! Haha

Our electronics were dying slow painful deaths, and Mattie had the brilliant idea to bust out her Mac and turn it into a portable iPhone charging station. Desperate times, desperate bloggers.

The event progressed very smoothly and in what seemed like not much time at all, we were at the front of the line and just moments from meeting Karena (in love with that spelling of that name, by the way) and Katrina.

Heather met the girls first, which seemed appropriate to me given the fact that they and their program have played such a huge part in her life, both personally and blog-related. Seeing her meet them was so much fun for me because I could tell just how much the chance meant to her! Sappy moment, but I just love seeing people happy.

The TIU trainers seemed to be all about the hugs!

Cannot help but notice some similarity in arm tone-age there! Go Heather!

Karena and Katrina even featured Heather and a recipe she made with the Perfect Fit Protein Powder on the TIU Facebook page after the event!

Next up it was time for Bess to meet the trainers! Bess is also a huge part of the Tone It Up team.

Dying over the outfits!

Mattie got some q-time in with the girls as well!

Three lovely ladies!

Then it was my turn! I have to say I was in awe of these two women. They are so, so beautiful and really radiated warmth and what I can only call a sort of “light”. And no, it wasn’t the camera flashes going off!

How much do you love the pink carpet?!

I felt totally comfortable giving both Karena and Katrina each a big hug and telling them how excited I was to finally try their Beach Babe DVD after I’d heard so much about it from Heather and Bess. They seemed genuinely touched and happy to hear it! Also, they signed my DVD…so now my copy is extra special 😀

Such a fun event to attend…I felt so swept up in the atmosphere of the city and the opportunities that I felt were awaiting me around every corner. I didn’t want the day to end. And luckily, it wasn’t going to!

Next up on the agenda for Heather and I was a meal of a lifetime at Pure Food & Wine, which as fate would have it, was right next to where our car was parked. So, she and I hopped in a taxi (no more swag-lugging for these girls), and set off for some clean eats…to be continued!

Have you ever heard of Tone It Up and/or tried any of their workouts or recipes?

Have you ever met a “celebrity” of the fitness world in person? What was it like?