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.


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.

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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”



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:)


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.


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….


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
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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.


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.


Oh, and this happened too.


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

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


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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 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.



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


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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.


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!



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.


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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


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.


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


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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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.

photo 1

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.



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.


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!


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.


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.


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.




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!



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.)