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.

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!


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BootcampFit at Platefit

At a Glance:

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.

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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.


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!).


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.


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!)



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.


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.


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

SWEAT at Prevail

At a Glance:

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.

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What’s in my Gym Bag?

Many people are shocked to hear that I don’t plan my workouts ahead of time. Remember when ClassPass started limiting class reservations to four at a time? Yeah, I had no clue it happened because I wait until the last minute to book every class. I never know what kind of mood I’ll be in or what time I’ll need to leave the office, so around 3:00 every day, I start perusing to decide what sweat-scapade will have that night.

There are a few downsides to this. First off, since so many people do schedule ahead of time, it can be kind of difficult to get into a class last minute. The longer I wait, the more they fill up. It’s the worst feeling when I finally make a decision only to find out the class is now full!

It can also be a pain because of what’s required for each class. Barre requires sticky socks and longer leggings and I enjoy wearing baggy shirts and need tennis shoes for bootcamp. The worst is forgetting a pair of socks and then signing up for spin class!

For this reason, every morning I pack my bag full of anything I might need for the night’s workout. I’m not very high-maintenance so this is what I typically include:


  1. Sneakers
  2. Sticky socks for barre and Pilates
  3. Regular socks for spin or bootcamp
  4. Headphones in case I go on an outdoor run
  5. Sports bra
  6. Leggings
  7. Tank
  8. Propel to replenish electrolytes after class
  9. Dry shampoo

What do you keep in your gym bag?

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

Paddle Board 60 Minute Session at Marina Paddle Fit

At a Glance:

Address: 4601 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Length: 60 minutes
Price: one hour rental/$30, two hour rental/$40, SUP Yoga class/$20, Paddle Fit class/$20
Sweat scale: low
Energy level: low

I have been dying to try paddle boarding ever since my husband and I were in Mexico and I watched him from the shore with a drink in my hand. Not wanting to get in the ocean, I decided to sit that activity out, but I knew I needed to give it a shot in the calm marina water.

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Megaburn 55 at Pilates Plus Studio City

At a Glance:

Address: 13205 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City, CA 91604
Length: 55 minutes
Price: first class/$15, one class/$35, 10 classes/$270, month unlimited/$229 with no contract, $215 with contract
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: medium

To be completely honest, I’ve been coming to this studio for almost a year now and had a few negative experiences at the beginning. I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t feel comfortable on the megaformer, or that the instructors I had were just not super friendly, but I was determined to succeed and kept coming back anyways. After plenty of classes, I am finally writing my (positive) review.

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Beginner Class at Physique 57

At a Glance:

Address: 320 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Length: 60 minutes
Price: one class/$31, 10 classes/$270, month unlimited/$275
Sweat scale: low
Energy level: low

This studio played hard to get for a while. The longer they stayed off of ClassPass, the more eager I became to try it. I thought about shelling out the money for a single class, but when push came to shove, I waited it out. Finally, my prayers were answered! As much as I wanted to check it out, it wasn’t until this weekend that I finally made the drive to Beverly Hills for a class.

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