Four Ways to Stay Motivated in 2018

After years and years of being basically sedentary and unaware of healthy eating, I totally changed my ways because of a New Year’s resolution. While resolutions get a bad rap, I’m living proof that they can actually can work. Four years ago, I started the year with a simple idea. I wanted to move my body. I wanted to want to work out and eat healthy.

I was living in Memphis at the time (not exactly the epicenter of health + wellness, more like fried chicken + bbq), and working as a third grade teacher. After long days of teaching, I would come home utterly exhausted and not at all in the mood to cook or exercise. Over New Year’s Day brunch with a particularly motivated friend, she let me in on her little secret…that there really is NO secret…you just have to DO IT.

I know it sounds simple, and silly, maybe, but realizing that getting it done isn’t always as easy as it looks was life-changing for me. Instead of searching for motivation to go to the gym, I simply started just going to the gym. The rumor was true, after about three weeks I was hooked and literally haven’t looked back since.

I was thrilled when Kohl’s invited me to a day full of Tone It Up workouts in celebration of a healthy January + the launch of TIU’s new app–Studio Tone It Up. I previously attended one of the TIU retreats and LOVED the community, the workouts, and (of course) Karena and Katrina. Those girls have a way of encouraging everyone to try and do their best–and I love that.


#KohlsxStudioToneItUp was full of the TIU fit fam + delicious Perfect Fit protein smoothies + manis + massages + booch + lots of sweat + gorgeous athleisure. It was the absolute perfect way to start the day and to keep the energy strong as we head into week three of 2018.


About 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February but Kohl’s and I don’t want you to be one of them!! Here are my top four ways to stay motivated ALL YEAR!

Four Ways to Stay Motivated in 2018

  1. Work out with friends or join a community. Something that is so great about TIU is the sense of community and therefore accountability. They encourage you to post your meals, #tiubootycall, and daily workouts on social media. It’s fun to brag about getting stuff done, and these gals definitely see the benefits of getting fit and healthy together. Personally, since leaving ClassPass I’ve seen the benefit of having a gym that I LOVE going to. It’s super encouraging when the people at the front desk at Equinox greet me by name. I’ve become a regular in the Thursday barre class and weekend spin classes. We don’t have to do this alone when there are so many people cheering for us!
  2. Treat yourself to some cute athleisure. There’s nothing that makes me want to get to the gym more than having a cute new outfit to flaunt. I got so many compliments on my New Balance sneaks and adorable jacket–all reasonably priced from Kohl’s! You can take advantage of their functional + affordable activewear here. Pro tip: there are pretty much always additional discounts too! See below for Karena and Katrina’s fav picks.
  3. Make a plan. Instead of taking it one day at a time, spend an hour or so on Sundays planning out your weekly workouts. Sundays are also the perfect time to grocery shop and meal prep. If you’re like me and don’t love a Sunday full of cooking, stock your fridge with some meals in mind. That way, when you get home from work and the gym, you aren’t caught empty handed and starving reaching for all the snacks!
  4. Keep it FUN. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, there is NO REASON to dread your workouts. Find things that you love doing so you actually look forward to sweating. I love spin, barre, and pilates so I try to keep my weekly workouts heavy on those three. When I want to run on the treadmill, I try to find a good podcast (always taking recommendations) so I can feel productive and happy while I run. You’re way more likely to keep up the routine if you truly love it!

Karena and Katrina’s Top Picks at Kohl’s!


Thank you to Kohl’s for helping us all stay motivated this January!

This post was sponsored by Kohl’s but all opinions are my own.


RETROFIT Event Recap

There’s a brand new group fitness studio in town with a piece of equipment that I guarantee will surprise you and make you sweat (hint: it’s a self-propelled treadmill that is permanently on an incline!)! I was lucky enough to bring in the sweat and repeat crew in for a killer class at RETROFIT. While RETROFIT has existed as a gorgeous personal training space since 2009, they recently opened up a group training area to offer their unique technique and holistic approach to more people.


Each of their four classes is 45-minutes long and we were treated to the signature HIITX (they also offer Sculpt, Burn, and Cardio). The room is broken down into ten stations with two people at each station. You complete one minute at each station with 15 seconds to rotate in between stations. Once you have completed all ten, you take a short break and then go through twice more. Some of the stations change a bit each round while others stay the same. Our stations included:

  • Self-propelled permanent incline treadmill (KILLER!)
  • Hill climb on a stationary bike
  • Wall mounted skiier
  • Air assault bike
  • Rower
  • Free weights
  • Body weight cardio exercises
  • Push-ups, tricep dips, and body holds
  • TRX
  • Fitness ball (planks, crunches)

While there may be studios out there with a similar format, the high number of cardio stations is very unique and really helps to get your heart rate up for a majority of the class.

Once we were done with three rounds, we stretched as a group. During this time, instructors are encouraged to add in some opportunities for learning. Christian spoke about the importance of nutrition, emphasizing that no matter how hard you work in the gym, if you don’t do the same in the kitchen, you won’t see results.

After class was over, we enjoyed treats from Siggi’s Dairy and Perfect Bar along with smoothies provided by the cafe at the front of the studio.


Interested in attending a class at RETROFIT? You can find their schedule here and pricing here.

Music Meets Sweat: Propel Fitness Festival Recap

Current mood: I would do ANYTHING go to back to the Propel Fitness Festival.

The Let’s Get Ugly campaign with Propel Electrolyte Water has been nothing short of amazing. From photoshoots in NYC, to BlogFest in Vegas, it was only natural that it end with a sweaty bang here in Los Angeles.

Propel rented out the entire Quixote Studios in West Hollywood and transformed it into the most insane fitness mecca. With four gorgeous, amped up studios, the best workouts in the country, music geniuses, and thousands of fitness enthusiasts, it was a weekend like no other.


Let me be honest for a hot sec. The max number of classes you could sign up for pre-event was four…per day. Obviously, I did just that, but come the weekend I was not so thrilled about this decision. Although I adore working out on the weekends, I also love doing nothing (LOL). My original schedule looked like this:


  • 9am ModelFit
  • 11am Soundbath Meditation
  • 1pm Shay Mitchell x Harley Pasternak
  • 3pm Barry’s Bootcamp x Vixen Workout


  • 11am Scott Foley x Gunnar Peterson
  • 2pm Prevail Boxing
  • 3pm Speedplay x Tone House
  • 4pm The Class by Taryn Toomey

…But actually went down like this:


  • 11am Soundbath Meditation
  • 12pm Fitness in the City x FIT36 (yes, literally wasn’t signed up, but it was amazing)


  • 11am Scott Foley x Gunnar Peterson

+ LOTS of mingling, snacking, Propel drinking, braid getting, and DreamPops eating scattered throughout.


The Propel Blogger Babes with Mega Trainer Gunnar Peterson

Since Propel is the only water to replace what is lost in sweat, it was no problem that the weekend was, in usual LA fashion, super hot and VERY sunny.

My weekend started with the most amazing meditation class by Inscape where we sat on small pillows in a deeply lit up room with headphones that led us through a gentle meditation session. I don’t have a ton of experience meditating but this environment was beautiful and I was able to relax quickly–as was Evan who joined me.


Once I was all zen-ed out, it was time to completely reverse that calmness and head to the Fitness in the City x FIT36 class. I chose this one because the set up was amazing–ropes and bands and wall sits, I could go on! The guys who run both studios are JACKED and SO FRIGGIN COOL it’s not even funny. They’re all so positive and motivating and I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with them throughout the Propel campaign.


That class wiped. me. out. so I decided to nix all previously scheduled plans and hit up the hotel pool for some R&R.

Sunday started off strong with an amazing sweat with celeb trainer Gunnar Peterson and the celeb himself, Scott Foley. The two were hilarious together and we ran through three circuits with a variety of exercises in each. It was tough but it was also so much fun–the perfect combo when you’re working out!

I spent the rest of the day enjoying all of the Fitness Festival amenities like the braid bar by Glamsquad, healthy pops by DreamPops, salad by sweetgreen, and the most amazing avocado toast by Di Alba.



This wall was made of tiny pics from our photo shoot! (with Rachel from @JustDimpleIt)

All in all the weekend was one for the books. I will never forget the memories I made with my fellow blogger gals, the sweaty workouts, and the guzzling of Propel Water. It was perfect and I am so thankful!! Make sure to follow @PropelWater to stay up to date on all future events!

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

Breakfast for Dinner with Siggi’s

I was first introduced to Siggi’s at BlogFest three years ago and fell in love with their tagline “Simple ingredients, not a lot of sugar.” I am a HUGE yogurt lover–if I’m not eating it for breakfast, I’m always having a carton for my 3pm snack. I’m turned off by brands that load on the jam like “fruit” that tastes and looks like pure sugar. I try to pick around it, but alas, I would much rather dig into a brand I trust–the more protein the better–enter Siggi’s.

I was thrilled to be invited to Siggi’s “Breakfast for Dinner” event in Santa Monica. The event was held at an awesome space — Stage + Table. We walked in and were immediately offered turmeric, matcha, or blueberry oat smoothies to sip on and a selection of wine if we were feeling a little more adventurous. Our name tags were spread throughout the kitchen and working tables and we soon found out that these were our cooking stations!


The entire premise of the evening was to work together in groups to cook dinner, and each dish utilized Siggi’s in a different way.

My group was in charge of the avocado toast–my personal specialty! I learned that including Siggi’s adds some protein into my favorite easy snack. You’ll find the recipe below!

While my group was bonding over #toasttuesday, the others were busy slaving away on pancakes, parfait, pizza, shashuka, kale salad, energy balls, and apple rounds. It was an incredible spread and so cool to see how Siggi’s can be used for sweet and savory dishes! Once everything was prepared, we all sat together at gorgeous wooden tables and feasted. Everything was amazing but I was particularly impressed by the pizza–Siggi’s was in the dough AND the sauce.



Thank you again for an amazing evening!

Siggi’s Avocado Toast


  • Whole grain bread, sliced
  • Avocado
  • Siggi’s pain 0% (about 3 tablespoons to every 1/2 an avocado)
  • Heirloom tomato
  • Microgreens
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

How to:

  1. Slice and toast bread
  2. In a small bowl, mash avocado and Siggi’s. Season with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
  3. Spread mixture on the bread. Top with tomatoes and micro greens. Enjoy!

Propel Co:Labs Come to LA

If it’s not the constant 75 degree weather and gorgeous sunshine that makes living in LA like a dream, it’s the access to hundreds of sweaty, top-notch workout classes. I started an entire blog/instagram off of attending such classes on the reg–from aerial fitness to spin class on a roof. As we all know, these premium classes come with a premium price tag, which is why it was even more clutch when the Propel Co:Labs came to town!

During the “Let’s Get Ugly” campaign, Propel traveled to cities across the US including NYC, Miami, Chicago, Denver, and last but not least, LA, bringing sweaty classes to fitness-fanatics for free. In true Propel fashion, classes rocked out with DJs, photobooths, and an unlimited amount of Propel Electrolyte Water to replenish the electrolytes lost in sweat.

I was lucky enough to attend two Co:Lab classes at two of my absolute favorite studios: Prevail Boxing and Speedplay. Both of these workouts are super unique to LA making them perfect spots for a Propel party!

Prevail is a boxing studio on 3rd and La Brea. Their signature class, Sweat, always follows the same circuit format. You start with a warm up, and then learn the boxing routine of the day. Once you’ve practiced a few times, you rotate in groups between five stations. Some stations involve practicing your punches on the heavy bag, doing plyometrics or ab work, and boxing against the instructors. Something I love about this studio is that they are extremely friendly and welcoming to newcomers. I always feel a little awkward, but they encourage trial and error and help you get into a fierce character.

I was sore from Prevail for five days (!!!!), but still made it to Speedplay two days later. Nothing beats the views at the Beverly Hills location (see below). Lucky enough, Evan joined me and the live DJ really kept the energy up throughout this crazy hard class. Speedplay is a high-intensity interval training workout with four stations: a Woodway Curve treadmill, rower, free weights, and body weight exercises. The treadmills are unlike anything else–instead of being powered by electricity, they are self-propelled, meaning they only go as fast as you go and you have to use your force just to make it move! This is why they’re oddly shaped and curved to really help you get going. If you want a killer booty workout, these treadmills will help!


While I also attended the Propel Co:Labs pop up last year in Venice, this year’s events were amazing and really allowed attendees to get to know the studio, the Propel brand, and each other. I had such a great time and can’t wait to see how it goes down next year!!

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

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.


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!


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.



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.


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?!)!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!