GAME ON with The Fitness Games (a review!)

When I was offered this review opportunity, I was a bit skeptical. Like always.

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Like Tasha over at Hip Healthy Chick, I was like “I can totally do a couple of  squats and some jumping jacks. I totally can do this.”

So I opened up the app to take a look. There’s a lot more involved than just jumping jacks and squats. FOR. SURE.

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I figured at my pace, I cannot outrun many people. Unless we are talking about Chuck, and that’s only because my legs are longer than hers and after a bit, she just wants me to carry her. I assumed that any of my opponents would not have that same issue.

Uh, yeah. So I started with a full body workout. I challenged a random person, because I absolutely did not want to embarrass myself with someone I already knew. I am intensely competitive and really do not like losing. Which is a great thing! And a terrible thing all at once.

They have each workout outlined, before you jump in. Which was my favorite part. My other favorite was, in case you didn’t have the brainpower after an 8 hour day in the office to remember what a rope pull down was, there are directions broken down for each movement as well.

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I do not have a proper #sweatyselfie for after this workout. But it is safe to say that the guy next to me on the machines at the gym may have herniated himself laughing at my super red face and my flailing through the pul downs and my almost-face-plant into the floor trying to power through the last plank.

This is no joke, man. And this is the beginning level.

BUT. If I can do this, you are all over it like hot fudge on a sundae. YOU CAN DO THIS.

And you totally should.

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You can join in on the craziness! Check out the app on iOS for Apple iPhones or on Android or check TFG on Instagram or their pretty awesome Facebook page!

This post is was sponsored by The Fitness Games through their partnership with FitApproach.  I was not compensated monetarily, but was provided the Platinum version of the application for review.  As always, all opinions are my own.

Fall is coming.

I’m having a hard time with fall this year.Don’t get me wrong. Sweaters, fog, boots, pie, Halloween, back to school…I’m in. I love fall. Fall is my favorite.

But I feel a little melancholy that summer is over.

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This summer, I took time and put my phone down. I went to California for my first blog conference. I spent more time with my kids and less time with my computer and my cell phone. We had adventures. We went to the beach more times than I can count. We blew bubbles. We watched the stars. We went swimming and inner-tubing and out on a boat. We went to multiple jazz band concerts and danced. We read books and pretended and learned.

It’s the first summer where I felt like I was ok being a single parent. That my kids were ok, I had not irrevocably messed them up by staying a single parent and not seeking a partner.

That we would all be ok if I parented solo a little while longer. Or forever.
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It was one of the first summers in a very long time where I could relax when I was done with work and just be with my kids.

I didn’t feel the need to do more and be more and say more and more more more more of everything. We flew by the seat of our pants a lot and it paid off with memories and funny stories to tell and a jar full of rocks and seashells and a lot of falling into bed at night, exhausted and happy.

IMG_3640And I guess I am not ready for fall, because I don’t want that to end.

Plus, the rain is coming, and I’m never ready for that.

How was your summer? Are you ready for your fall?

 

California, DAY THREE POINT FIVE (and another giveaway!)

When we last left our heroine, I was swooning over Jillian. Seriously, that was the coolest.

In this installment of Cupcake’s Epic Blogfest Bonanza and California and Workouts, after Jillian, I was topped out. I needed a break.

So off I wandered to explore the area. I went in search of food and found a Carl’s Jr. Which was my first mistake.

I ate the Carl’s Jr. That was my second mistake.

My third mistake was doing all of that before I headed to a bootcamp with Kasey from Powercakes. Now Kasey is one of my new favorite human beings. And I got the opportunity to work out with one of my other favorite humans, Tasha.

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Kasey is the real deal, yo. This circuit-based workout she had us doing was no joke. (And was done with Harbinger gear – holler to a fellow HumanX ambassador!)

It was hot. I was not used to this sort of workout. It was a lot of working out in a very short period of time.

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But Tasha? Tasha wouldn’t let me give up. She is seriously the best workout partner ever. She let me take a rest and then she made me get right back into it – encouraging e the whole way. I wish I lived closer to her, I would DEFINITELY hit her classes up.

So off we went back to the conference center, sweaty and well worked out. I hit up the expo center quickly before our next “tweet break” and picked up quite a bit of swag.

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To be totally honest, the headbands and the bottle and the band came from the Powercakes workout. But still, awesome.

So next up was a “tweet break” with Under Armour. I was excited because of all of the hubbub around the Misty Copeland ad.

I let people tel me I was too tall for ballet. That I was too big for modeling. That I was too dumb for college. That I could never be what I wanted to be because I wasn’t enough or I was too much.

And the “I Will What I Want” campaign is reminding women that they do not need permission or approval from anyone to do what you want to do. The best things in life are given, not earned. I wish this campaign had been around when I was younger. I hope my baby girl grows up driven by strong women role models like Misty or like Shauna Harrison, who is one of my new favorite humans and who spoke during the tweet break. Love her.

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I managed to tweet enough about Under Armour and their campaign during that time that they actually ended up giving me a prize pack! So grateful for the gifts and the amazing work they’re doing with this campaign.

Next was another workout.

No, I am not kidding.

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This was yoga with Tara Stiles. Everyone was freaking out and telling me this would be great. I was totally not feeling like I was in a zen state of mind.

But this was not your typical yoga. This was Strala yoga, Tara Stiles-style.

Some people didn’t care for it, but I thought it was great. She moved pretty quickly through the poses, and was a little giggly, but I really enjoyed her. I would totally take yoga from her if she was local. I spent a lot of time in the corpse pose and every time she walked by me, she would high five me and tell me I was rocking the corpse pose.

So of course I had to get a selfie with her. She is lovely and called me “high five girl.”

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Last but certainly not least in the BlogFest portion of things was the Happy Hour Networking Hour. I was so tired at this point, it was all a blur. I did get Caroline from Trendy Trainer and Kasey from Powercakes together for a selfie.

Because selfies are my favorite, and these two lovely ladies handed me my own ego and reminded me I have a bit to go before I can call myself a fitness fanatic:)

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At this point, I was so far beyond exhausted, I was ready to go home. I headed back to the hotel room, posted this amazing vlog and packed up all my swag and my overnight gear.

So all of the swag for two days, plus one small bag with my overnight stuff ended up looking something like this.

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What you cannot see is the fully jam-packed backpack on my back.

This was pretty awesome. But heavy.

So that was the end of Blogfest, but I still had two days to go with the conference….

AND NOW FOR A GIVEAWAY!

None of these companies are sponsoring this giveaway directly. I just got a whole mess of swag at the BlogFest and wanted to share <3
a Rafflecopter giveaway

California, DAY THREE (and another giveaway!)

This is complete craziness. I am looking back on these recaps and the photos and I just finished unpacking my suitcase and for real guys, how did I cram this much in six days y’all? I don’t know.

So when we last left our heroine…. (DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THAT GIVEAWAY!) I was passing the heck out going to bed at the hotel on the couch in Kristin’s room, because she’s awesome and shared.

Day three.

Wait.

One part I did forget from Day Two is the amazing generosity of Reebok. They gave me a pair of their awesome new One Cushion running shoes and a sweet tank top and a bag at the Happy Hour on Day Two.

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Oh, and this happened too.

IMG_4782Ahem.

SO! Day THREE. Dawn was early. Like ridiculously early.

But Kristin and I got up and went after it ridiculously early. Like champs.

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I really wanted to swim in that pool.

BUT WE HAD BOOTCAMP. With Caroline of The Trendy Trainer and Moe of Fitness MoeJo. They were like two Energizer bunnies.

Most of the workout was a partner workout, and involved high fives. High fives are my favorite. Also, Alicia is pretty awesome. More on that later.

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Also, Tiffany is a really good multitasker. Instagram and workout at the same time? Nice work!

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It was 7am and I was ridiculously sweaty and redfaced already.  I love it.

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So off we went to our first seminar of the day, with Cassey Ho from Blogilates.  I have to be totally honest. I had no idea who Cassey was. Yes, we have already established that I might live under a rock. I thought she was the “What’s Your Excuse” lady, and I was unamused.

But I was pleasantly surprised. Her adorable outfit and her spunky personality really sold me. She is an hardworking entrepreneur who took the time to chat with a few ladies after the seminar and really was quite lovely.

I tried to prepare myself for the next speaker with a little Mamma Chia.

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But is there really sufficient preparation for getting to hear Jillian Michaels speak in person? Off the cuff, with no notes and with her team shaking their heads every once in a while?

No. No there is not.

Jillian is a completely different person up close. Not looks. She looks exactly the same as she does on television. But the editors on the Biggest Loser tend to make her look like a villain.

Because honestly, somebody has to be.

But Jillian is hilarious, and called us peers (which made me tear up a little because there is no way I am close to the same plane as her yet) and cussed a lot and made fun of herself and made a really funny joke about a school based on Avatar and something about sugar I cannot remember.

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Plus, those pants.

But she said something that will stick with me. She says a lot of interviewers will ask “why you?”, wanting to know why she succeeded and so many others have failed. Her answer?

WHY NOT ME.

Why not you? No, seriously. Why not? Why don’t you go get that new job or that new haircut or that amazing opportunity? Go get it.

So because this day was so intense and so jam pack full of a thousand different things, I had to split it into pieces.

Also, I needed one bonus day because I had an extra giveaway :)

SO! We will stop day three here and pick up again in the next installment of Cupcake’s Epic Blogfest Bonanza and California and Workouts.

NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY.

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None of these companies are sponsoring this giveaway directly. I just got a whole mess of swag at the BlogFest and wanted to share <3

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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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