Fitbloggin 2016 Recap

Photo thanks to David’s Twitter account

Those of you that follow me on Twitter or Instagram know that this past weekend I attended Fitbloggin in Indianapolis. Fitbloggin’ is essentially the gathering of those who blog about their fitness journeys, or people who are interested in starting to blog. This was my second time attending Fitbloggin. My first experience was in Savannah, GA in 2014.

Because this year’s Fitbloggin was in Indianapolis, I was lucky enough to only be a few hours drive away, which definitely helped me determine if I would go or not. I arrived on Thursday night, and the only thing on the agenda was registration and appetizers at Scotty’s Brewhouse about half a mile from the hotel. I ended up arriving an hour late, but I happened to walk in at the same time as two girls in attendance on behalf of Sworkit, so they were kind enough to eat with me. Registration was nothing more than picking up or name tags. Not too exciting.

Breakfast both days was provided by Siggi’s yogurt in the form of a parfait bar. While this was quite tasty, the breakfast was not enough to keep me satisfied for long. Thankfully, I brought a strong supply of Quest bars with me.

Friday and Saturday had me attending some awesome sessions that had both blogging and weight loss related topics. I started my education on Friday with a blog themed day of “Being a Consistent Blogger Forever” led by the lovely and knowledgable Nellie of Brooklyn Active Mama, followed by learning some SEO basics (that were really helpful) taught by Jessica Woodbury of Don’t Mind the Mess. Saturday was my weight loss focused day with amazing discussions about falling off (and getting back on) the weight loss wagon led by David from Keep it Up David and weight loss highs and lows (led by Angela Gillis from We Beat Fat). The afternoon led me to a session about overcoming setbacks with Kristin Meekhof, and I topped off my education with a discussion on training your brain, habits, and all that jazz from Steve Carmichael from Run Buzz. All great sessions and amazing people.

Friday also had author of Secrets of A Former Fat Girl, Lisa Delaney, as a keynote speaker who told her story and answered our questions. There was also a panel discussion, and one of the panelists was Dawn Jackson Blatner. I thought she looked familiar to me, but it wasn’t until she uttered the words “Superfood Diet” that I realized why I recognized her. She was the trainer that WON the reality show “My Diet is Better Than Yours.” Since I’m a sucker for weight loss shows, I definitely tuned in to that one. Needless to say, I fangirled for a moment over the fact she was there. She went to the sessions and listened, learned, and participated just like the rest of us. It was pretty neat.

Saturday only had one keynote speaker before conference close, and that was Brooke Randolph. She gave a presentation on emotionally healthy living, and let’s be honest..we all could use a few reminders in that area.

In addition to sessions full of learning and discussion, there are also fitness sessions at Fitbloggin (duh!). There were 4 total, but I attended 2 of them. On Friday I attended a booty burning workout thanks to Sworkit. While I’ve never had any experience with that app before, the amount of soreness I was experiencing on Saturday made it very clear to me that the app works! Saturday was the ever popular Zumba class, led by Margo aka ShesNachoMamma, and Nellie from Brooklyn Active Mama. Zumba was an amazing time!! We danced, laughed, bonded, got sweaty, and felt amazing. Anything that closes with a showtune sung by the great Liza, a kick line, and dance party is amazing in my book!

While the content was awesome, and the attendees were fantastic, I will admit that Fitbloggin 2016 left something to be desired compared to when I attended in 2014. For one, there were zero evening activities planned. I was used to evening receptions with provided meals and more opportunities to mingle, and here I was literally on my own Friday night because I didn’t feel like I had necessarily bonded with anyone enough to seek out dinner plans (my closest Fitbloggin friends all couldn’t attend this year for one reason or another), so I walked to find dinner, brought it back to the room, and hung out by myself. Could I have actively sought out some group to tag along with? Sure, but a chance for us all to be together would have been much more my style. On Saturday, the conference closed at 5:30pm, so I just decided to go home since I was only 3.5 hours away.

In addition to the lack of even activities, I’ll admit that I was very disappointed in the lack of food. If there’s one thing I know about Fitbloggin attendees it’s that we all love food, and the only food that was provided to us was yogurt parfait bars for breakfast and a few appetizers Thursday (most of us ordered our own food anyway) and at Friday’s expo. Lunches, dinners, and snacks were all provided by myself. Thank goodness for the Starbucks in the hotel lobby and the awesome cafe a short walk away. Maybe it’s just me (okay, I know it’s not just me..), but I feel like having more food provided would have just made sense. It would have been nice anyway.

My last complaint is about the sponsors and the expo. At my last Fitbloggin I felt like there were sponsors that I actually wanted to connect with, and this time around I felt a lot less so. A lot of food sponsors, but not necessarily the kind that would be considered a valuable connection for my blog personally. While I did come home with a bit of swag (mostly food) and a new love for figs (California Figs was a sponsor and we all had the chance to try them. I’d never had a fresh fig before), I just didn’t feel like the expo and sponsors were up to snuff.

While Fitbloggin 16 left me with something to be desired, I did enjoy meeting new people, making connections, and opening my mind to all of the knowledge and experience that was there for me to absorb. Oh, and since I had never been to Indy before, it was my first time seeing the city, and while I only saw a very small bit of it, I loved it. Indianapolis is a beautiful, clean, and very friendly city. Kudos to you for being awesome, Indy.

Benefit Cosmetics New Brow Collection Review

Benefit Brows Title

 

I haven’t always been on the brow game train.  It wasn’t until rather recently that I started paying attention to my brows at all, and at first it was only because my sister complained about how lame and sparse they were.  After finding my discovery and use of the original Benefit Gimme Brow and the Anastasia Brow Wiz pencil, I truly began to appreciate how much better done brows made me look and feel.  While I don’t think I will ever have the skills to make my brows “on fleek,” I do pay attention now, and because of that I managed to obtain a few of the items in the new brow collection from Benefit Cosmetics, and I wanted to give you my two cents about them. 

While there are 10 products in the brow line (who knew we needed 10 different products?!), I am only going to be talking about 3. These happen to be the 3 that I think are most practical to own: Gimme Brow, Goof Proof Brow Pencil, and Ka-Brow cream-gel color.  While I purchased the Goof Proof pencil because I needed a new brow pencil, but I obtained the other two in sample sizes,; one from my Birchbox and one from a bonus with a Sephora order.  While they aren’t all full size, I feel this gives me enough experience with them to justify a review.

The way I want to talk about these 3 products is in terms of coverage, like with foundation. I actually really like all 3 of them for various reasons, but I found it very easy to classify each as a light, medium, or full coverage eyebrow product, and I find all 3 to be useful for different reasons Read more

Thinking Out Loud #15

 

I haven’t done a Thinking Out Loud post since October, but I felt one was due. 

  1. I’ve been suffering from some major blogger burnout lately, and between that and life getting in the way (vacation and weddings are a positive thing, but still mess up my routines), it’s been a hot minute since I’ve published anything.  Do you ever suffer from burnout? What do you do to cope?IMG_2547
  2. Vacation not only feels like it messes with routines, but boy does it mess with my diet too!  At the end of the day, the key to living a healthy lifestyle is balance, right?  Some days, I did a great job, like when I started my day with my favorite green juice from a local breakfast place in Florida. It’s very similar to this juice, which is available online.  I get green juice every time I visit. It’s refreshing in the Florida heat, and it makes me feel like I’m doing something healthy for myself while on vacation.13566910_10154373500542755_7470224330840985296_n
  3. And then there’s the day that I started off with Cinnabon… Delicious? Absolutely!  Worth the 36 Smart Points?? (Yes..I said 36..aka more than my entire day) Not at all. That was just for the “center of the roll” treat.  Not even an entire bun.

Read more

June 2016 Favorites

June Favorites
Styling MousseLush Facial Scrub | Lancome Juicy Shakers | Champagne Pop Palette | Buxom Eye Shadows | Yogurt | Waitress | It’s Not Okay

Guys..we are halfway done with 2016!  What kind of craziness is that??  Anyway, I’ve been way busy with non-blog related things, so my favorites are a little late, but since there were some things I’ve been dying to tell you about, I figured better late than never was appropriate here.  Enjoy!

Surface Curls Firm Styling Mousse: During the summer I like to let my hair air dry and let the little bit of natural wave do its thing.  This mousse is one of the more sticky foaming products I’ve tried, but it really gets the job done.  I just put a little leave in conditioner in my hair and then flip my head over and scrunch a golf ball sized amount at the ends and I get separated, textured, and curly looking locks that are perfect for that natural, air dried look we love for summer. 

Lush Smugglers Soul Facial Scrub ($13.95): I hate to mention this because this product is a limited edition for Father’s Day (but as of this post it’s STILL available!!), but I want you all to be aware of this for next year.  This is a scrub that was actually geared towards men (at least that’s what I’ve been told) as a facial exfoliant, but once I touched it in store, I knew I had to have it.  There are bamboo granules ground up in here and it reminds me of the fine ground feel of a paste made with baking soda (which I’ve used as exfoliant in the past), which really gets the job done without feeling too abrasive.  My skin feels amazing after using this.  Bonus: it has the faint smell of sandalwood, which is so nice.  Be ready for it next year, because it’s definitely worth picking up.    Read more

Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment…but Marriage IS!

Marriage Accomplishment

Allow me to be more specific: a good marriage, that is.

I’ve seen this article titled “Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment” floating around Facebook and getting shared by various people for a few weeks or so now, and while it made some great points, it’s the reaction and comments of the readers that really got me thinking. 

The entire premise of this article is the getting married part.  The excitement and ritual leading up to the big day.  People are then taking this to mean that marriage is not an accomplishment. I say that getting married and marriage are two very different things, and I do agree that getting married is not an accomplishment. However…

I also believe that a marriage; a good, strong, loving marriage, is a huge accomplishment.

Read more

10 Things To Do This Month | June 2016

I’m seriously having a hard time with the fact it’s already June!  Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that the summer weather is here, but I feel like it was only a few weeks ago that my in-laws were here celebrating Christmas.  Time flies.  

This month I decided that I didn’t want to do a “goals” post, but I wanted to take a slightly different route.  Here is my new “10 things to do this month” post, where we can take a look at 10 things that we want to accomplish or do.  Some things can be goal-like, but others can just be fun and simple to do list items that will make those of us who like to live seasonally feel a bit more seasonal.  Here’s my list of 10 things, but if you have something to add, comment below.  Read more

2017 Erin Condren Life Planner & Accessories

The 2017 Erin Condren Life Planner Walkthrough and Review

The countdown is almost over and planner addicts everywhere are on the edge of their seats waiting for this moment.  The launch of the Erin Condren 2017 Life Planner is tomorrow!  I’m here to tell you a but about hat you can expect from the updates to the planner and some of the new accessories. 

As you probably know, one of the many joys of getting an ECLP is that you have options to choose from like what cover you want, how you want it personalized, and even what layout you want the insides to have.  This year, there are more ways to customize your ECLP than ever.  Read more

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box | May 2016

I finally got off the waitlist for the coveted Play! by Sephora subscription box.  Yes, a subscription box by Sephora.  It’s a beauty addict’s heaven! For $10 a month you get 5 or so deluxe sized samples (roughly 100 point perks) delivered to your door. Anyway, I got my first box this month, and I filmed the unboxing.  To keep the post easy, I’m going to post the video below, but I mentioned pricing the products to see if I got my money’s worth, so those are below.  Enjoy!

Orange Sanguine Cologne: $5 value

Briogeo Hair Mask: $9 value

Origins Maskimizer: $0.34 ; Masks $0.76 each.  Total: $1.86

Korres Rose Mask: $12.06

Tarte Lip Crayon: $1.80 value

Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick: $8.66

Total Value: $38.38

 

NEW Recollections Planner Inserts at Michaels

Recollection Inserts

By now there’s a chance you have heard that Michael’s stores have brand new planners and planner inserts by Recollections showing up in store.  I happened to see a fellow YouTuber’s video when she saw them in store, and I knew I had to hunt them down.  I managed to find the Recollections planner display in a store not too far away (they seem to be rolling out now, but aren’t available everywhere yet) and while I looked through all of the insert options, I decided to only purchase a few that were the most relevant to me at this moment: Goals, Inspiration, and To Do’s. I didn’t get any of the planners because I currently use my Erin Condren Life Planner and I have a personal sized Filofax Malden, so I didn’t need one.  Although, since the planners are only $19.99 and it’s easy to get a 40% off Michaels coupon, I’m sure I’ll own one at some point.  Read more

Foods & Supplements for Strong Bones | Osteoporosis Awareness Month

Foods and Supplements for

May is National Osteoporosis Month, so I wanted to chat a little bit about this problem that effects (or will in the future) so many of us.  Simply put, osteoporosis is a disease that causes weak bones and makes them more likely to break.  Now, broken bones are a bummer as it is, but I feel like it’s even more of a bummer when the breaking can happen at random rather than trying to do some risky stunt on a skateboard or something.  According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s website, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. 

Now, I’m willing to bet that there are plenty of my readers that are well under the age of 50 and are therefore about ready to click out of this post because it doesn’t apply to you.  Well, my dear friend, you would be wrong.  The best treatment for osteoporosis (as with many other medical conditions, in my opinion) is to prevent all together.  Keep in mind, I am not a doctor or medical professional in any way.  I’m just a woman trying to survive life in the healthiest (most of the time..) way I can.  Read more