California, DAY TWO (a recap…AND A GIVEAWAY!)

WARNING: This is a super picture-heavy post. But full of lots of fun and awesome. At the bottom is a giveaway, Proceed accordingly.

When we last left off, I was having dinner and going to sleep at Angela’s house, because on Day One of BlogFest at IdeaWorld, it was game on.

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For real, y’all. That wild-eyed look in my eyes is no joke. We had to get up at 4:45 to get to the convention center by 6 for the run with Pavement Runner and the RunGo App.

—–> click here to download the RunGo app!

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The group was set to run 3 miles through downtown Disney and around the area, but Elizabeth from Train With Bain and I decided to take it easy. With at least 2 other workouts that day, I wasn’t about to  The original plan was to do a little run/walking, but we just took a stroll and walked through the Disneyland Hotel grounds and towards Downtown Disney.

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Had to stop at the Mickey Hat to get a photo. By this point, the running group blew past us, so we headed back to the convention center.

Yoga with SweatGuru was next up! I ran into Kristen from Exploring Domesticity before we stretched it out – she was nice enough to let me crash in her hotel room that night because of the tight turnaround between the end of day 1 and the beginning of day 2. THANK YOU KRISTEN!

After yoga, we went right into it. Kickoff for the BlogFest was with Lorna Jane! I have to be honest, I had never heard of Lorna Jane, her philosophy or her clothes before.

Yes, I am aware I may be living under a rock.

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Lorna Jane Active provided all of the BlogFest attendees with one of their Inspirational Tanks. I love mine. I have done a lot of giving up in the past few years, and I’m done. So this was perfect.

Hearing all about Lorna Jane’s “Move, Nourish, Believe” is what really sealed it for me.

Move is doing whatever movement works for your body. Yoga, Pilates, running, crossfit…do that. Nourish is feeding your body the food it needs. Quit filling yourself with junk and eat what your body needs. Believe is knowing that you can do this. You can be whatever you want to be as long as you believe.

I really enjoyed Lorna Jane and her team and reading more about their philosophy at their Move Nourish Believe website. I got a peek at the Nourish cookbook by Lorna Jane at the expo, and that is going to be my next purchase, next time I have a budget for books! :)

I got up and walked around a bit after this…it was only 9am and look at how many steps I already had!

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There was a welcome from the lovely ladies of the SweatPink crew, and then a lecture on “Meal Prepping and How To Blog About It”. I thought it was going to be how to meal prep, but it was mostly focused on photographing and posting your recipes, which was great.

Then the Idea World Opening Ceremonies. Some awards were given, and we nearly left because we didn’t know any of the recipients, but then Augie and Lynne Nieto came on stage.

Augie is battling ALS. As most of you know via the Ice Bucket Challenge videos everyone is doing, ALS is a terrible neurodegenerative disease that robs people of the use of their limbs. Augie, being an incredible pioneer in the fitness industry, hasn’t let ALS stop him. A few months ago with the assistance of an amazing apparatus, he was able to walk his daughter down the aisle at her wedding.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

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Augie and Lynne run a great foundation called Augie’s Quest,  helping to further the research for a cure for ALS. Consider making a donation to their cause if yu have some extra cash lying around :)

Next up was Elaine LaLanne, widow of Jack LaLanne.

Man, she is spunky for 88. She got down on the ground and did pushups and did them better than I do. I hope I have even half that energy when I’m that age!

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Diana Nyad and her amazing keynote speech rounded out the event, and then we were let loose for a bit.

Kristin and I hit the expo. Now let me remind you again, that I had never previously been to a blog conference. The only conference I’ve ever been to was by accident in Las Vegas that one time.

So to say I was overwhelmed by this expo was definitely an understatement. Kristin had to get me back on track a few times because I was just staring at everything. It was a lot of information all at once for this small town girl who doesn’t get out much.

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It was like walking into a fitness video. Only there were like 30 of them all happening at the same time. It was pretty awesome.

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Thank God that Kristin kept me on track or we never would have been able to meet up with Lorna Jane at her massive booth, and then get our free Banded headbands (I went back later and bought 4 more and some of their adorable hair elastics.)

There was an amazing panel with Kelly Olexa, Tracy Hollywood and Whitney English.  A great combination of a woman running an influencer fitness group, a public relations VP and a blogger who is kicking some major tail and who just got her CPT certification!

Dannon then hosted a fabulous tweet break.

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Oikos yogurt is great. And I happened to have a huge mass of granola in my purse, so this got me through the afternoon, since I completely forgot to eat lunch.

They had one of the trainers from USC come up and talk a little about how they feed their athletes and how greek yogurt factors into their dietary needs. They talked a little about the cafeteria they have and how they dole out food to the athletes, and it is pretty great that they are treating the whole athlete. Good to see.

IMG_4751PLUS THE SPOONS WERE ALSO GLOWSTICKS, Y’ALL.

One of my favorite people in the blog world spoke next. Rita Barry is a genius, and actually the person behind the design of this blog! She is an amazing blog queen and loves to teach fitness bloggers how to make it happen. I would try to recap her chat, but her blog has so much information that I would recommend you just head there instead.

After Rita blew our minds, we headed back to the Expo.

And I noticed the Spartan Race booth.

And I wanted one of their teeshirts. Dude told me I could have one if I did 20 burpees in a minute.

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So I did. And I proudly changed my shirt right there in the middle of everything.

PIYO WITH CHALENE JOHNSON. That’s what was next on our agenda. Oops.

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So I had speed burpees as a warmup for PiYo. That was not entirely bright of me, because Chalene is a beast and I adore her. The PiYo Flip however, is insanity. I was able to do most of it, but I really wanted to be able to walk for the next few days so I held back just a little

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I did manage to snag a sweaty selfie with Chalene before dashing off with Kristin to get ready. Chalene and her crew are some of the sweetest people.

So back we dash to Kristin’s hotel room (again, sweetest woman in the world for letting me crash with her) and pretty ourselves up and then head back for our Happy Hour.

Got to meet Jared from Subway! He’s kept that weight off for 16 years. That is so impressive.

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It was a long day. A lot of walking and a lot of fun and so so so many things to learn

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That was just one day. I don’t know how y’all are going to make it through 4 more of these ;)

But now that you have, a GIVEAWAY! This is all swag from the IdeaWorld BlogFest, so none of these giveaways are sponsored. I just really like to share :)

And there are more giveways to come!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

California, DAY ONE. (a recap)

So as most of you know, I’ve been back from my California trip for about a week.

And now, I am happy to say that I think I have finally recovered enough from the trip, plus my best friend Angela’s visit this past weekend, to finally write a recap.

Also, because I love you THAT MUCH, starting with the “Day Two Recap” post, there will be some fun giveaways! So keep your eyes open for that post!

Where we start this trip, at 4am on a Wednesday, was in the airport at Bellingham. (A MASSIVE SHOUTOUT TO my friend Monica who woke up at the crack of 3am to take me to the airport. She drove 45 minutes from her house to brighten my morning and drive me the 5 minutes from my house to the airport. I seriously have the best bunch of friends around.)

I adore flying out of Bellingham early in the morning because there is almost nobody at the airport. Alaska Airlines is one of two airlines that fly out of our little hamlet, and they are always a delight, with amazing customer service. No, I am not paid to say that. But I won’t fly any other airline.

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Finally landed at LAX, after one ridiculously short flight (I waited longer for the flight to take off than the actual flight itself), two extremely chatty seatmates, one early morning sprint through SeaTac while wearing my headphones and singing Disney music at the very top of my lungs, and one flight where the girl next to me pretty much passed right out when we got on the plane and woke up as we pulled into the gate.

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It was glorious to finally get off the plane and into my getaway vehicle. My BFF Angela and her two littles, Mayhem and Meatball, picked me up and off we went to our first adventure.

Let me just stop here for a second. I need to explain how I do my vacations. I get so few, and for such short periods of time, that I like to go hard. I pack as much as humanly possible into each second of every day, and if I could figure out a way to just not sleep at all while on vacation, I would probably do it. I enjoy my vacation as much as humanly possible. So when I stepped off that plane, it was Game On.

We headed off to a pretty sweet event out at the Sole Technologies headquarters in Lake Forest, CA. I have never actually been to a blogger event, but I can say with 100% certainty that Sole Technologies treated this group of mom bloggers right.

We listened to Pierre-Andre Senizergues, the CEO and founder of Sole Technologies (the parent company of Etnies) talk about his amazing company, and their sustainable business practices. From the solar panels on their building’s roof, to the renewable materials they used for decorating and building the space, to managing the materials to manufacture their products, they make an amazing effort towards being good citizens of the earth and doing their part to make this a better place.

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Plus, you can’t help but love a company who mentions “ by installing water saving toilets, we’ve saved the equivalent of more than 3 million bottles of beer annually” on their website.

Let’s just pause here for a second to talk about Etnies shoes. Etnies is a brand that builds shoes for skateboarders. And skateboarders will abuse their shoes like no other. Dragging the soles on the ground. Falling. Grinding. A mom could go through a lot of shoes with a skateboarding kiddo, but Etnies is built to last. I would know, I have a teenager who DESTROYS shoes and since we switched to Etnies, I only have to buy him shoes when he grows out of them. So nice work, Etnies!

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So after our chat with Pierre-Andre (his kids were completely adorable and running up and down the stairs behind him…they are a SUPER family-friendly company!), we got to go into the display room. And being completely obsessed with shoes and skater shoes in particular, I was in heaven.

Rick Marmolijo, who is the lead designer for Etnies, went through how the shoe is built, what the difference is between the Marana line and the Scout line (Marana is built to withstand the beating a skateboarder can dish out, the Scout is  more of an athletic shoe, with a flexible sole and a cushiony insole) and then let the kids go wild in designing their dream shoe. Mayhem (Angela’s second-youngest) needed to inspect the shoes VERRRRRRY CLOSELY, as you can see.

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Angela got a pair of shoes for each of her four monkeys, which was pretty awesome, but Meatball is 8 months old and the crib shoes they gave her were ridiculously adorable.

Anyhoo, so off we all walked (after the kids got to design their own shoes and the moms got to chat for a while) to the Etnies Skatepark, across the street from the Sole Technologies headquarters. Pierre and his son rolled their way on over, completely adorable. Seriously, this guy is French and one of the nicest people I have ever met. He was completely charming and his children and his wife were just lovely.

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The Etnies skatepark is HUGE. Boasting 40,000 square feet of skateboarding (and some BMXing!) glory, it’s the largest free skatepark in the state of California. The city actually owns and operates it, which is pretty awesome. There was a huge summer camp going on when we got there; it was fun to see all of these tiny people dropping into the bowl like pros.

Mayhem, being as awesome as he is, kept running straight towards the skateboarders. One time we almost lost him over the side of the bowl, another time Ryan Sheckler put him on his board and rolled him back and forth. I am pretty sure that Mayhem will be a skateboarder and we will all get to go to some amazing skateboarding expo something in 10 years to cheer him on.

Anyway.

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We got to meet Ryan Sheckler, whom I have actually heard of, and who all the kids were freaking out over. He was incredibly polite and so sweet to the kids, and Angela and I made sure to tell his momma on the way back to the car that she did a good job raising him. Because she totally did. Nice work, mom!

 

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He was really sweaty, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a photo, since The Boy was freaking out I got to meet him. (PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF MY FABULOUS PANTS.)

By this time, I was starving. I had been up for nearly 10 hours, and had not yet eaten. And boy, did Etnies do it right.

They brought in Matt Meddock from Sessions in Newport Beach. Matt not only had the best sandwiches I’ve ever tasted (and I am NOT just saying that because I was beyond hungry), he brought them without the chowchow mustard so they wouldn’t get soggy while waiting for us to devour them.

Plus the chips. OH MAN THE CHIPS. Housemade potato chips with rosemary, sea salt and parmesan. And the cucumber salad. I could go on ALL DAY LONG about these sandwiches, but since I went there two more times in the next week before I went home, we will save some for later.

Etnies and Sole Technologies was kind enough to provide us with some credits at their company store and let us go wild. I ended up with a pair of ridiculously amazing shoes for me, a pretty sweet pair for The Boy and I would have picked up a pair of new kicks for Chuck but a) she does not care for it when I shop for clothes or shoes for her without her and b) her feet are growing so fast, I wouldn’t have felt comfortable buying shoes she would hate or already have grown out of. (So I just took her and bought her a pair when I got home!)

You love Etnies too? Head on over to their website and enter to win a $250 Back to School shopping spree of your very own!

After the Etnies bonanza, we headed out to the Anaheim Convention center so I could pick up my packet for the IdeaWorld Blogfest and fitness conference, which I was down in SoCal to attend. It was a little overwhelming. I had never been to a blogger conference before, so I had NO idea what to expect.

The swag bag was epic. Watch the video below for the full list of all the things I got (plus all the snacks I picked up at Target!)

We had dinner at a nice place near Angela’s house and then I had to get to bed because the next morning started early!

To be continued…..

 

DISCLAIMER: I went to the Sole Technologies event as a guest of Angela from Mommy Mania. I did receive gifts, but the opinions here are all mine. This post does contain affiliate links, I do receive a small portion if you choose to purchase something using that link. (that money usually goes to shoes for the Boy or glitter for Chuck. Just so you know.)

While You Were Sleeping…

I feel like sometimes I look back on my life and I was letting it happen TO me. I was sleepwalking my way through life and not making things happen for a long long time.

I was in a relationship and it didn’t end well. I was left with a really broken heart, my two fabulous children and boxes full of STUFF I had been lugging through my life from house to house, and never really unpacking. I was hurt and outside of my kids, that was all I could see. Like a wounded bear.

I pushed people away and reduced my circle until it was just me and my kids and a few friends, who were total troopers. I hid a lot from my feelings because it was easier to explain when I smiled and pretended like nothing hurt and everything was fine.

It was dark in my world when I turned off the lights. Sometimes I slept with them on. I was afraid of what I would see when I turned out the lights, because that’s where my skeletons hid. Where the things I didn’t want to face were waiting for me. I lashed out a lot, sadly. The people that have stuck with me this long are saints, for real.

I’ve since (through a lot of love and a lot of acceptance and a lot of therapy and a TON of forgiveness) been able to unpack. Both the physical boxes and the mental and emotional ones. I have given up a lot to gain a lot more.

By waking up in my life, getting rid of stuff I didn’t need and looking around, I’ve FINALLY found where I am supposed to be. And I know what I want. And I’m 99.2% sure I know how to get there.

Still working on that part.

IMG_2993This is Diana Nyad.  Playing a bugle. Apparently it’s her thing.

This past week, at the IdeaWorld Fitness Convention, she gave an amazing keynote speech at the opening ceremonies on how, at age 64, she finally reached her goal. She let nothing stop her. Jellyfish. Sharks. Her age. The craziness of the course and the swim itself. NOTHING. She had tried and failed before, and she just kept on going because she knew this was what she was meant to do.

She knew.

She didn’t sleep through her life and allow it to happen to her. She didn’t give up after the first attempt. Or the second. Or the fourth.

She got out there, and made it freaking HAPPEN.

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This is me. And my BFF Angela’s little, Mayhem.

I am wearing a bikini. At the beach. In California

This may not seem like a big deal to you. But for me, it is a huge deal. I do not wear swimsuits in public. But in continuing with my “wear what I want so I can have fun” campaign,  I wanted to wear a swimsuit at the beach so I could run in the waves with my pseudo nephews.

The ocean is my favorite.  And I wanted to enjoy it.

So I did. And that’s what I want to do with my life. I want to enjoy it. I want to live the life right out of it so when I die, I can say “that was a really good time”. I want to say “yes” to things that enhance my life (and my family’s) and “no” to things that don’t.

I want to visit the beach more often. I want to photograph surfers and skateboarders and learn how to skate and surf. I want to run a marathon. I want to make this blog into a place where y’all can come for encouragement and virtual hugs and some fitness and health tips. I want to crossfit and run more. I want to get my personal trainer certification and my CrossFit Level 1 certification. I want to teach this spinning class, because if I can stay on the bike and do that, you can too.

I also want do a whole bunch of things I’m not going to put on the internet, because what fun would that be if I divulged all my deep dark secrets?

I said these things out loud. Now I need to go out and do them.

What are your goals for the rest of the year? What’s your BHAG? (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)

I <3 LA

It has been a really long six days. I left my home in Bellingham WA at 3am last Wednesday and won’t cross my threshold until tonight after midnight.

In the past six days, a ridiculous amount of change has happened. I started compiling my long term plan, and a lot of things that have been really amoebic are taking actual recognizable shape. I made new friends. (Those of you who have been reading the blog long enough know how tough I make it for people to be friends with me and how sometimes I pretend i am not a nice person. Hi to Brian and Elizabeth and Kristen and Tiffany and Tasha and Alicia!)

Angela and I decided we enjoyed talking to ourselves and putting it on the internet so much, we are planning to make regular videos. (We haven’t figured out how.) But you guys know me, Ang and I will make it happen. You can check out the videos we have already posted (please leave a comment!) here on my youtube channel.

I have had such a good time, but I am so ready to go home.

I’ll have some proper recaps up when I recover (before the weekend, I promise!) and I will have some pretty killer giveaways coming up really soon and will be working with some companies to bring y’all some opportunities to win more swag.

And who doesn’t like swag?

Until then…..I leave you with the ocean. I’ve been obsessing on surfing lately, lots of surfing dreams. So a trip to the ocean was the perfect way to wrap my trip up!

Have a great rest of your day!

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blogFest day 2!

It’s been crazy today.  Four workouts and countless people met and I’ve got a TON of swag from some great companies to give away when I get home and compose myself.

Until then, here’s a quick vlog!