Toned Up Premiere Party

Happy, happy Friday!

As you probably know, I’m a Bravo devotee so I was hugely excited about the new Tone It Up show “Toned Up.”

I officially joined Tone It Up a few weeks ago. I’ve done a few of their workouts before and really liked them, but the nutrition plan was pricey. I’ve been mulling over joining (via purchasing the nutrition plan) for a while because I  realize that nutrition is one of my big problems – mainly because I’m so uneducated about every aspect of it, and because I’m such a rookie in the kitchen with zero experience/culinary flair. TIU had a Cyber Monday deal involving the plan that was too good. I entered, deleted, re-entered my credit card info, deleted for most day of Monday, still hesitant to take the plunge, and then forgot about it. When they extended the deal to Tuesday, I was all ‘It’s a sign!’ Plus, I knew TIU has a huge crew here  in Baltimore and it would be a great way to meet more people here who could help keep me motivated and help me achieve my fitness goals.  Sooo it’s official! I’ve made a few recipes so far and they’ve been excellent. Except I ignored the “serving size” on one recipe(I’m an idiot) and have been eating mint chocolate chia pudding for three days now. It even served as my drunken post-NYE snack. It’s a better choice then pizza so I’m kicking off 2014 right, ha.

For last night’s Toned Up premiere on Bravo, we had an awesome premiere party at Rowhouse Grille (who also hosted our blogger meet-up in July). While walking to Rowhouse, I realized how I hadn’t been there since our last blogger meet-up (too long) and when I walked there in July, I was first to arrive with my straightened hair in a sweaty, tangled mess, and I was first to arrive last night with my straightened hair in a soaking, snowy mess. Has it really been 6 months since last time I was there? Crazy. I over-estimated how long my walk would take, so I was about 35 minutes too early, and just sat at the bar awkwardly nursing my Orange Crushes waiting for other patrons to clear out of our space. I wish I could say this wasn’t typical.

I had a great time seeing some familiar faces and meeting many new girls. In typical Baltimore healthy living crew style, a bunch went to yoga before walking over so it was really casual. I am not a yogi – I can’t even touch my toes so my one yoga class in college was a disaster and the teacher proclaimed I was the stiffest person she’s ever seen- buuut maybe I will make it over sometime.

All the girls were so so nice, and everyone was excited to be there. Rowhouse was like “hey this is great let’s make this a weekly thing.” I hope so because it was such a fun and relaxing evening. I am hugely excited to make new work-out friends. The show was adorable and my texts from friends (okay there was like 3) went something like this: “Can we seriously just be them?” Please God.

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always with the sorority girl pose.

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had to strike a work-out pose. 

Huge thanks to Kate for getting this together (also these pictures are hers) and to  Rowhouse Grille for being so supportive, fun and awesome.

Anddddd I want it on the record that I cannot stand snow that starts AFTER work, falls nicely for hours, and then stops a few hours before work the next day. What is the point? There is none. This snow does not get me any snow days, so I hereby render it useless.

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When The Earth, The Sun, The Stars All Align.

Conferences: I was in DC for the second round of conferences for work and I didn’t really hate it. Well, I hate the conferences part and having to keep up my cheery “goddamn it I’m a professional!!1!1” facade for 10.5 consecutive hours, teetering around on my heels longing to sit down. A woman slipped a book proposal and a sample chapter under my breakfast plate which I did not notice until someone else pointed it out to me. That made me feel very important and I crowed about it to all my friends…. I might have framed it as she was stalking me because she was so excited to see me, knew the important role I held in my company and she wanted me specifically to be the gatekeeper of her long-awaited dream but really she just wanted someone from our publisher to possess it and didn’t care who it was. Clearly. I can’t even influence ordering a new department printer when ours is broken.

Hotels: I really like hotels, guys. The staff has to be nice to you. They take care of unnecessary tasks like cleaning or lugging boxes around. I think room service is the best thing ever invented, especially for introverts like myself who just want to be alone and inhale food without stopping for breath and worrying about public decency and manners all while catching up on internet reading and TV watching whilst wearing sweatpants. It is so fun. I sleep like a rock in hotels. My latest hotel had a king sized bed and my insomnia stood.no.chance. It was amazing.

Healthy Eating On The Road: Is hard. I know. Do you need a second to recover from the bombshell I just dropped on you? Surrounded by continental breakfasts featuring a cinnamon bun table, a croissant table, muffin table, donut table….dear God, is this what heaven is like? If so I swear I’ll clean up my act. I went nuts the first day– give me all of the cheese danishes– but then I realized I needed to fit into a dress for a reception the next night and I literally had no other option packed beside squeezing myself into that dress so I had to reign it in. Donuts are no match for a girl who needs to fit into a dress. Then after I wore the dress, it was so tempting to order chicken fingers from room service every night- after all, nobody would know! But……. I would know. And I’d love it in the moment and hate myself later. I made it to the gym once and when I left, some guy took a break from his weight lifting grunting (such a stereotype. c’mon dude) “I’ll see you later sweetheart” and uh, no you won’t. If you do you will only see my backside as I sprint the other direction.

Fitness: Blah. I came home to our hot water being out. Hoorah, but it’s the best motivation ever to propel my sleepy self out of bed at 4 a.m so I can go to the gym and shower.

Class Clown: A girl I went to high school with was working at the hotel I was recently at. We had a nice um-hi-quickly-summing-up-the-last-5-years conversation. We had a few classes together over the  high school years and she said, “I never forgot Creative Writing class and your poem during poetry unit.” I had no idea what occurred during poetry unit, and she reminded me “You stood up in front of the class and read the chorus of Hilary Duff’s song Come Clean. [Teacher] was so impressed by your imagery about the rain….” I have no recollection (I think I blacked out most of high school) but I  can readily believe I did this. I told her I  hoped I didn’t get a grade for my plagiarism of a Disney tween queen’s songwriters and she assured me no it was just free-write. What is wrong with me?

Lean In: I bought it ages ago, read half, then under-my-bed borrowed the book for a few months, I recently reclaimed, and finished it. It was a great read with some powerful anecdotes and recommendations, but one thing I can’t stop mulling over is the Heidi/Howard study Sheryl Sandberg mentioned. A professor at Columbia Business School handed out the resume of a guy named Howard to one half of the class.  The other half of the class got the resume of a woman named Heidi. The students who received Howard’s resume thought Howard was likable, competent and they would absolutely want him to join their company. The students who received Heidi’s resume thought she was selfish, unlikeable and they would not hire her. The catch? The resumes were exactly the same. The professor just changed the name and pronouns. Howard was made up for the sake of the study. Isn’t that fascinating?

Happy One Year: …to me. And zee blog. Truth be told, I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it this long. I started my blog because I had moved to a new city two months prior and I was lonely and friendless. When I started the blog, I could have never imagined what it would become and what it would mean to me. I would have never imagined that I’d ever go to a blogger meet-up — let alone host one! It’s surprising how important blogging has become, although I acknowledge I’ve been the laziest, worst blogger ever for the past two months. It still astonishes me that people read here. The blogs I read are really inspiring to me because sometimes [a lot] I slack off on working out because “omgz i’m so exhaustedddddd sitting in a chair for 8.5 hours drains me like nuffin’ else i wanna die” and then, I kid you not, I think about the blogs I read and how much people cram into a day and how they still manage to cram in a good sweaty work-out and then eat healthy meals….and then I’m all..”oh…well I’m pathetic. I’m not special. I need to get my ass up.” I also have learned so so much through the blogs I read. I’m pretty dumb/ignorant about all things health and wellness and the healthy living blogs I read teach me a lot. For free! I’m so grateful for this community and how nice people are and how much you share. I really count a lot of you as friends and I spill a lot on here and yet you still come back (!!!!!) and I’m the most thankful person. I write about something totally rambly and people are like “I know! I’m that way too! I do that too!” and I love knowing I’m not alone (because sometimes, it really feels like you are!) or leave the most insightful comments and give the best advice and it’s just the coolest thing ever. come on over and i’ll make us all cocktails with…

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yep. i know. I KNOW!!!!!!! Remember how my parents have been kicking butt at weight loss?! Wellll…..I’ve been chattering their ear off for the last year about the power of the almighty Vitamix. Now that they’re working at maintaining their newfound healthy lifestyles, they decided to get a Vitamix to help them out. And I collected a splendid finders fee–>my own Vitamix. Yep. They bought me one too (for Christmas/birthday) and I am paying them back for a little bit of it. I still can’t believe it. I walk past my kitchen counter, it catches my eye, I stand there and blink rapidly in confusion until it dawns on me that i am a Vitamix owner and OMG all is right with the world forever and ever amen!! If you ever hear me complain about how hard it is to get veggies in waaaahhh wahh wahhh, punch me in the face.

this was a ginormous post. sorry. i’ve bottled a lot up, eh? probably should have broken this up into two but…here we are anyway.

The End.

Baltimore HLB Meet-up Recap

I’ve prattled on and on about how I’ve been in my new city a year and making friends  has really been a struggle because I’m an introvert and yadda yadda yadda. I was skimming my own blog and thought ‘Sheesh I’m annoying’.  Stop going on and on about how hard it is and DO something about it. Easier said than done for sure. Then I read about Alex arranging a Pittsburgh blogger meet-up and I was inspired. I could at least manage to arrange a Baltimore healthy living blogger meet-up. Alex was also foolish gracious enough to open and reply to an e-mail from me with the tame and timid subject line HHHHEEEELLLLPPPPPP!!!!!

A Sunday afternoon was spent gathering blogs from Healthy Living Blogs site and social media then tracking down blogger e-mails. Bloggers with no e-mail addresses on your blog, it takes 4.4 seconds to register a new e-mail account on Gmail. Make a blog e-mail account. It makes everyone’s life easier.

I was a teensy bit nervous sending the e-mail out worrying they would think I was a creepy Internet weirdo (this is actually true, mwahaha) or they’d be like “Uh, who the hell are you?! Please take a seat.” But the replies started pouring in and people were  into the idea. It was awesome, and they were already plotting out more creative ideas for future get-togethers.

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Last night, around 9 of us met up at local bar The Rowhouse Grille for a happy hour. On my way there, I realized that this would be my first time meeting people who read my blog. I was a little panic stricken for a good minute or two that my stupid ramblings were their first impression ha.

We were expecting around 13 or 14, but there was a massive accident that derailed a handful of bloggers. It was so great to hang out “IRL” with these awesome and charming Charm City bloggers for three hours and step beyond the computer screen. Everyone was friendly and excited to meet each other. Rowhouse was gracious enough to give us our own space with a private bartender and offered us tons of awesome drink specials. It was the perfect way to end a Monday night and everyone left voicing their eagerness  to make it a monthly thing! Woohoo.

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Back row from L to R: Kerry, Jess, Megan, Dani, Kait

Front row: Brittany, Kate, a weird passerby, Lauren 

Have you ever participated in a blogger meet-up?