Five Tips from #Blogfest with Propel + an Exciting Invite

I am thrilled to say that this is the third year that I’ve attended Blogfest by Sweat Pink! It’s almost funny to see how much changes each year—strangers turn into familiar faces and I feel more and more comfortable networking and talking about Sweat and Repeat. I was such a tiny brand at my first time Blogfest and now I finally feel legitimate!

From learning more about search engine optimization to hearing how to effectively work with brands, it’s amazing to be in a room full of seasoned bloggers for two days straight. This year, I had the privilege of attending the conference with Propel Electrolyte Water, the only water that replenishes what your body loses in sweat. Propel hosted an awesome modelFIT workout on Friday morning (actually worth waking up for!!) and was one of the sponsors of BlogFest.

DSC03814

For those of you who weren’t able to make it to Vegas, here are my five takeaways from this year’s event.

1   Repurpose your content. Running out of blog ideas? Find evergreen content (stories that aren’t time sensitive and can be relevant forever) and change it up a bit. Hint: use Google analytics to figure out your most popular posts. If these posts are doing so well, figure out how you can re-write them so they are new, trendy, and engaging again.

2   Find an editor. I’m not talking about someone you pay to look over stories (although if you can do that, more power to ya!). I’m talking about a good friend, a parent, a cousin, etc. When we stare at our posts for hours, it’s hard to find typos and errors. Enlist a fresh pair of eyes to help out before you hit publish.

3   Understand the products that you post about. Brands notice when you can honestly speak about their product from experience. They want to work with people who pay attention to on-brand messaging, have new + unique ideas, and fit well with their product or company.

4   The importance of a pitch. If you want to make money guest blogging for a blog besides your own, the pitch is what will seal the deal. Effective pitch emails include the following: a compelling subject line, an intro where you explain your idea, why you’re qualified to write this piece, additional skills you can bring to the table (photography? social media?), and a concluding statement with links to published posts. Before the pitch, make sure that the blog you are reaching out to accepts guest posts!

5   Pick your own color on Instagram. Ok, this one I actually learned from one of my fellow Propel blogger babes, Torey at Torey’s Treasures. Did you know that you aren’t limited to the colors at the bottom of the Instagram screen?! Hold down a color and swipe up to activate a rainbow of colors to choose from. PS…if you have any more Insta story tricks…let me know!!

I am already looking forward to next year’s Blogfest and am so thankful that I was able to attend the conference + IDEA fitness expo with Propel!

IMG_8944

I am thrilled to share that there are two chances for YOU to work out with ME + PROPEL!

Propel CoLabs are coming to Los Angeles from July 31st to August 5th and you can be there and sweat for FREE! Propel is teaming up with some incredible fitness studios + DJs to bring you the hottest workouts with modelFIT, Playlist Yoga, The Class by Taryn Toomey, Prevail, Speedplay, and NW Method. Sign up is LIVE so be sure to claim a spot asap here.

Los Angeles will also be home to Propel’s jam-packed Fitness Festival from August 11th-13th, a true celebration of what it means to Get Ugly during your workouts. Expect trendy, heart-pounding fitness classes, loud beats from well-known DJs, and celebrity appearances (yep, Shay Mitchell is going to be there!!!). Click here to buy your tickets and use the code TENOFF for $10 off! (PS…early bird pricing ends Friday, July 28th!) SEE YOU THERE!!!

This post is sponsored by Propel Electrolyte Water, but all opinions are my own.

sweetgreen Passion for Pesto Event Recap

As a sweetgreen ambassador for the last six months, I’ve had the pleasure of repping one of my favorite brands non-stop. If you follow me on social, you know that I am a die-hard sweetgreen fan–mostly because it allows me to be a picky eater yet still eat healthy.

Sweetgreen also has incredible ethics that they carry throughout their brand—everything is local, seasonal, sustainable, and responsibly sourced. Their food ethos state, “We believe the choices we make about what we eat, where it comes from and how it’s prepared have a direct and powerful impact on the health of individuals, communities and the environment.” Can I get an AMEN?!

After having so many fitness themed events, I wanted to host something unique and decided to team up with sweetgreen to create a one-of-a-kind experience: Passion for Pesto.

I invited my Instagram community to join me at sweetgreen Hollywood before walking over to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and purchasing a very large bag of basil.

IMG_8609

IMG_8622

After exploring the market for a while, we headed back to the store to learn how to make the incredibly delicious pesto vinaigrette salad dressing. We also had the opportunity to learn more about the sweetgreen community while chatting and making new friends.

IMG_8633

Each guest walked away with the cutest mason jar of dressing to use on their own creations, a cute sweetgreen tote, and the homemade hot sauce (because, why not?!)!

IMG_8692IMG_8654

Thank you to everyone who joined me at the event—and to sweetgreen for being the best hosts!!

30-Minute Bodyweight Circuit Workout

Getting back on the workout train can be pretty difficult after any sort of hiatus. Thankfully, I have some motivation in the form of awesome friends who are always down to try something new and athletic together. Last week, Whitney, Rachel, and I got together for a little outdoor sweat session. With Whitney’s personal training background, and all of our fitness class addictions, we were able to piece together the perfect 30-minute bodyweight workout.

Since it was so gorgeous outside, we decided to get our sweat on in Whitney’s front yard. This workout is especially awesome because all you need is yourself (a cute Watermelon themed yoga mat doesn’t hurt either) and it includes cardio along with moves to tone your abs, arms, legs, and booty!

It’s a tough workout so don’t forget to hydrate, especially in the hot summer months when you sweat more than usual. Thankfully, our friends at Propel sent over some of their brand new watermelon flavor to test out. Since Propel is the only water with enough electrolytes to replace what is lost in sweat, it was the perfect addition to our circuit workout and the new flavor is equal parts refreshing and summery.

IMG_4003

The low down: The workout consists of three circuits, each with three moves done three times. You do each move for 45 seconds, with a 15 second break in between. Once you’ve completed a circuit, you take a one-minute break and move on to the next! Easy peasy lemon squeezy (ok, I totally stole that from Luke at Training Mate…).

Circuit 1:

1. Side-Step Squat

How to: Start in a squat position, feet parallel about shoulder distance apart. While maintaining a low squat, bring your feet together. Step to the other side, staying in a the entire time. Keep alternating sides, coming together in the middle each time, for 45 seconds.

IMG_3817 IMG_7628 IMG_7648

2. Squat Jump

How to: Start in a squat position with your hands in prayer or lightly touching. Power through your heels and explode upwards, shooting your arms straight down and back. Land gently in a squat and repeat.

3. Plank with Shoulder Taps

How to: Begin in a full plank. Carefully take your right hand and tap your left shoulder while maintaining balance and alignment as best you can (try not to shift your body to compensate). Repeat with left hand tapping right shoulder.

Finished with this circuit? Head to Just Dimple It for Rachel’s three moves and To Live and Diet in LA so Whitney can show you hers!

We’re also thrilled you invite you to join Whitney, Rachel, and me as we team up with Propel at the Co-Lab Los Angeles event this summer! Although the sign-ups haven’t gone live quite yet, here’s the link where you can scope out the classes!

Want a chance to join us for the Propel Fitness Festival in LA this August? As part of the “Let’s Get Ugly” campaign, Propel has partnered with the Under Armour Map My Fitness app to celebrate the hard work at the gym. From May 15 – July 15, fitness enthusiasts who track their progress with Under Armour Map My Fitness app can earn rewards leading up to the event. If you earn enough points, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a trip to Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival in Los Angeles, as well as a private workout with celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson (!!!!), and a $500 Under Armour gift card.

For more details on the contests and prizes, to sign up, and for contest rules, click here.

This post is sponsored by Propel but all opinions are my own.

Let’s Get Ugly with Propel in NYC

What an absolute whirlwind this month has been! From traveling to NYC, to having my mom in town, to apartment hunting, my mind has been going non-stop and I’m thrilled to have a weekend of reflection and relaxation.

I was so excited when Propel reached out to me again this year to be an ambassador for their new campaign, Let’s Get Ugly. The campaign is all about the grittiness of working out, the moment when you don’t care what you look like and are just down to get sweaty and give it your all. I can totally relate—especially in the middle of spin class or when my Barry’s instructor gives the order to start sprinting. For me, working out has never been about looking good while doing it; it’s about giving each work out everything I have and walking out a better, stronger person.

Last year, our ambassador responsibilities were here in LA, so I couldn’t believe that this year’s campaign included a trip to New York City! Since Propel Water has more electrolytes than any other water and replenishes what you lose in sweat, the trip was filled to the brim with workouts!

To start our 48 hours in NYC, we got all glammed up and ready for photoshoots. I opted for light make up (per usual) and a super cute side braid that went into a ponytail. I always have to have my hair up during sweat sessions so I knew this look was most authentic to me.

IMG_6907

We traveled in groups with two other bloggers around each set to get our pictures taken. The photographers were so fun to work with, offering advice on poses, and trying their best to get me to put on my serious face when all I could do was giggle.

IMG_6903

After the photoshoot, we had a full afternoon/evening of workouts. First, we took “The Class” by Taryn Toomey. I’ve taken over 600 classes and this has to be one of the more unique ones. During each song we would only do one or two movements, some small and slow, others cardio intensive. I knew I would be sore for days so the sound bath conclusion was much appreciated.

Once we rested a bit (oh, whoops, we decided to go for rose on the rooftop during our allotted rest time), we headed back to the space for two more workouts—boxing with Prevail LA and yoga with Yoga for Bad People. Boxing was such a blast and I love the Prevail team because they always make everyone feel welcome, no matter their level.

IMG_6909

The Propel team shared with us the incredible new commercial that features Jessie J!!! She was even at the event and spoke for a bit about how important fitness is to her as well. I loved that she was a little awkward and seemed really down to earth.

IMG_6905

I was so sad when the amazing trip was over, but thankful to get to meet and spend time with a group of strong, friendly, and fun women. I am thrilled to report that the Propel Co:Labs are coming to LA. I’ll be sharing more about how you can get in on the fun in the coming months so look out for an exclusive invite!

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Propel Electrolyte Water, but all opinions are my own.

Cheers to Healthy Choices (even) at a Burger Joint

If there’s one thing that’s certain about going out to eat, it’s that it is super challenging to eat healthy when the menu is screaming burgers and fries. Since the new year started, I’ve made it my resolution to make healthy choices as often as possible. I know it sounds silly, and maybe simple, but after a December of complete gluttony, it’s just what the doctor ordered.

When Islands Restaurant reached out to try their healthy food menu, I grabbed three of my fav blogger babes (Whitney from To Live and Diet in LA, Maggie, and Alyssa) and we headed in to check it out.

img_4144

Naturally, we were excited to start our meal with a skinny margarita. Despite the fact that we were scheduled for a workout immediately after lunch, it’s hard to turn down an afternoon marg. I can attest that the bartenders are very generous with their pours!

On the bottom right of the menu, we found the “Paradise’s Bikini Beach” low-cal options. I was worried that the healthier menu items would lack flavor, but each one sounded yummy. It turns out, we all agreed, as 3/4 of us ordered the “No-Blame Grilled Veggie Tacos” (480 cals) and added grilled mahi-mahi for a kick of protein. The two tacos came with grilled vegetables, a sprinkle of cheddar, roasted corn, black beans, pico de gallo & avocado. The side was vinegar based slaw, but I swapped it for steamed veggies. Alyssa went for a salad and added a veggie patty! Our meals were delicious and I left satisfied but not weighed down. Thanks so much for having us, Islands!

img_4148

img_4149

Five Takeaways from #BlogFest with Propel

I can’t begin to explain the craziness of my July. I’ve been overwhelmed with weddings, buying a new car, starting a new job, keeping up my blog and Instagram page, etc.

Unfortunately, BlogFest fell on the same weekend as the wedding of my brother-in-law and I was only able to attend the first day. Nonetheless, it turned out to be extremely impactful and full of great moments of learning, networking, and sweating! Here are my top five tips from two of my favorite sessions:

1  The best food pictures are taken with natural light from the side. The light should not be harsh. Brooke’s trick was to cover your window with a mesh curtain to get the look of a cloudy day even when it’s sunny outside. Find an example of lighting here.

2  Add props! Things like wooden spoons, ceramic bowls, and linen napkins make pictures really interesting. Find great bases like fancy marble slaps that can be purchased for a decent price at Home Depot. Don’t sweep away the crumbs either; these add great texture to the pictures. Messy can be very appealing! Check out a pic where Brooke uses this idea here.

3  Brooke actually uses Instagram for her editing. She suggests bumping up the contrast, clarity, vignette, and highlights, and putting the saturation at about 20%. Her favorite Insta filter is Ludwig. Find a perfectly edited picture here.

above tips are from Food Photography with Brooke Conroy Bass of Chocolate + Marrow

4  Triple. Filters. My mind is blown. Did you know that you could layer up to three filters on pictures?! I always stressed over picking one filter for my snaps. Was the time or temp more important than the one that makes my skin look flawless?! So thankful that Katie shared this tip with us.

5  Ghostcodes. If finding friends and new people to follow frustrates you, download the app Ghostcodes where you can search by name and category for accounts that interest you. Similar to Reddit, accounts get voted up and down so the most popular and exciting ones make it to the top. Make sure to add yourself to the app so people can find you!

above tips are from Building Your Brand on Snapchat with Katie Dunlap of Love, Sweat, and Fitness

I had such a great time at Blogfest with Propel and, since I wasn’t able to attend the Friday sessions, check out the blog posts by my fellow Propel Ambassadors for even more tips, tricks, and pics of the weekend!

Whitney from To Live and Diet in LA

Gwen from The LA Girl

Evann from Evann Clingan

Melanie from Headstands and Heels

This post is sponsored by Propel Electrolyte Water, but all opinions are my own.

Propel Workout with Gunnar Peterson Recap

You know those things that you look forward to for so long and are so excited about? There is nothing worse than when they pass by so quickly.

My second workout with celeb (read: Kardashian) trainer, Gunnar Peterson, has been something I’ve counted down for months. I was eager to meet the NYC Propel Ambassador gals and spend some more time with bloggers-turned-friends, Whitney and Gwen. With the anticipation bubbling, I didn’t even want it to start for fear that it would end too soon. Well, I was right. Although it’s over, I am so thankful for such a great experience and can’t want to share the deets with you!

dsc05472_27692971703_o

Continue reading

BootcampFit at Platefit

At a Glance:

Website: http://www.platefit.co
Address: 309 N Kings Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90048
Length: 30 minutes
Price: 1 class/$27, 10 classes/$220, month unlimited without contract/$220
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

Los Angeles truly does have the most unique workouts—something that I appreciate more every time I exercise in another city. From machines that simulate climbing to vibrating plates, they sure do know how to keep it interesting around here.

Continue reading

Five Things I’m Loving Lately – July

Ah! I am so sorry I have been extremely MIA recently. But I promise it’s for a very legitimate reason and not just because I’m a slacker (eh, maybe a bit of both). I got a new job! I’ll spare you the details but I’m still working in nonprofit, however now on the marketing/outreach side of things instead of programs. I just finished my first week and so far so good—I love it! Hopefully with all the craziness settling down, I’ll be back to my normal Tues/Thurs posting schedule. And I do apologize for my absence.

To fill you in on some updates let’s get down to the five things I’m loving lately, July edition.

Weddings

The best (and sometimes maybe worst?) thing about summer in your late 20s is seeing many of your closest friends tie the knot. My husband and I were in Connecticut last weekend where we witnessed my Memphis roommate of three years tie the knot. It was so amazing being able to see her and celebrate such a special day—and let’s give it up for the mac and cheese bar and bacon wrapped scallops that made the trip even more worth it! We’re heading to another wedding in Miami next Friday where I will get a new sister-in-law (yay Jessica and Justin!).

IMG_8606

Fellow blogger babes

One thing that I absolutely love about having a blog is being able to connect with other bloggers via social media and IRL. I am SO excited because next week we ALL get to come together for BlogFest in downtown LA! I’ll be going with my fellow Propel ambassadors, Whitney from To Live and Diet and Gwen from The LA Girl. It’s always a good time when we get to hang out and rep one of our favorite workout accessories together. Drinking Propel during and right after an intense fitness class, run, or gym sesh is crucial because it replenishes the electrolytes you lose when you sweat.

IMG_6741

McDonald’s iced coffee

I’m obsessed with a good deal which is why I’m shocked and upset that I just learned about this promo going on right now. Buy one get one free iced coffee!!! Dreams do come true! I will say, the promo is only good Monday-Friday (when coffee is most necessary, duh) but I can’t find anything about it online so hopefully it’s at your local Micky D’s too. My tip is to be very specific with how you want it prepared or you’ll leave there with more cream and sugar than anyone can handle. (PS yes, I did get fries, I went to Carrie’s Pilates Plus that evening so I don’t feel guilty. Also I gave the “get one free” to a coworker…nothing like making new friends by giving them free coffee!)

IMG_8658

Squarebars

The lovely people at Squarebars sent over a sample pack and so far I love them. I had tried them in the past and didn’t enjoy the flavors I had chosen at Vitamin Shoppe but now that I have an array, the cherry chocolate is my fav.

Snapseed

Training Mate

I always found the parking situation at Training Mate to be daunting and typically didn’t seek out the classes but that all changed when they opened the Stud(io) City location. I’m not absolutely addicted to Luke’s class. Whenever I go in there tired, upset, or just not in the mood, I come out on cloud nine still laughing from one of the awful jokes. If you haven’t been, go, first class is free.

IMG_7974

This post is sponsored by Propel Electrolyte Water, but all opinions are my own.

SWEAT at Prevail

At a Glance:

Website: http://www.prevaillosangeles.com
Address: 5957 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Length: 45 minutes
Price: first class/$20, 1 class/$25, 10 classes/$230, month unlimited/$249
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

I’m seriously embarrassed and kind of sad that it took me almost two years to get the courage to take a class at Prevail—one of everyone’s FAVORITE boxing studios in LA. I giggle a little too much to even take myself seriously while I’m wearing the gloves. I decided to finally take the plunge and signed up for class.

Continue reading