My Style: Sporty Swimsuits

May 26, 2017

I literally cannot stop daydreaming about summer and all the fun activities I plan to do like paddle boarding, hiking, swimming, white water kayaking, and hopefully a vacation to Mexico. This ridiculous rain isn't helping, either. (Plus, I saw Baywatch last night. So good.)

Naturally, I started searching for swim suits and somehow the idea of buying a sporty swimsuit popped into my head and I've been on the hunt for one ever since. It would be the perfect piece - especially for paddle boarding - to throw on when I know I'm going to be doing more than just laying on the beach or swimming.


I've had a lot of time to think and research, so here's my criteria for the perfect suit:

- One piece. This is my number one must-have. The last thing I want to do is worry about my bikini top riding up while I'm paddle boarding. I just want to enjoy the water and maybe even stop for some paddle board yoga along the way. I'd also like to find a one piece that isn't too tight but that I might also be able to slip on over a bikini if needed.

- Simple. Where do I put my arm through? Am I cutting off my circulation with this criss-cross business? I really don't want to have to think about how to put it on. Simple does it. Bonus points for a zipper in the back with a pull tab.

- Sleeveless. Sleeves of any kind annoy me in the summer months, even at work, so definitely I don't want to feel constricted while I'm paddling or kayaking. Just remind me to apply extra SPF.

- Not all white. All white swimsuits scare me anyway (I feel like they'd be super see-through) but if I'm going to be doing everything except laying on the beach, I don't want a suit that will get dirty fast or show dirt. Would it be boring if I got an all black suit? Should I go for this palm print swimsuit? Am I thinking too much about this?

- Affordable. If you've been reading Naturally Me for any amount of time, you know I'm all about affordable items that won't break the bank. My price range for this particular quest? I'd say no more than $100 - but even that amount makes me hyperventilate and want to tell my boyfriend to hide my bank card. It would have to be a REALLY good suit for me to go into triple digits. I'm always on the lookout for a sale, too. #noshame

Now that I think about it, I'll have to keep an eye on Memorial Day weekend sales. Might be able to score myself a sporty swimsuit at a great deal. If you come across any, let me know! ;)


Do you have a sport swimsuit or brand you'd recommend? Share with me in the comments! 

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Spring & Summer Fitness With Fitbit

May 22, 2017

I can't believe we're in the middle of May already. Since we have less than a month until summer, I'm kicking off this week with some serious #mondaymotivation. I'm so excited to finally share this collaboration!

Naturally Me, FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Charge 2 Review, Running with the FitBit Charge 2, Track Sprints

Now that the weather is shaping up, it's been a much needed change of pace to be able to do weekend track sprints or park workouts on days I don't want to see the inside of a gym. Saturday morning, I also went to Great Falls for the first time this season to hike with friends. Being outside is definitely where my heart is.

Naturally Me, FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Charge 2 Review, Running with the FitBit Charge 2, Track Sprints, Bleacher Workouts, Outdoor Workouts

Naturally Me, FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Charge 2 Review, Running with the FitBit Charge 2, Outdoor Workouts, Arctic Cool Tank

What could possibly make enjoying this weather even more fun? The Fitbit Charge 2!

Of course, tracking my daily steps and calories are my favorite parts of this fitness tracker and I always try to beat my steps from the day before. Now that the weather has improved, there's no excuse! (It has also made me realize that I wasn't even close to walking enough during the day).

Naturally Me, FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Charge 2 Review, Running with the FitBit Charge 2, Track Sprints, Outdoor Workouts To Do In The Summer

Naturally Me, FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Charge 2 Review, Running with the FitBit Charge 2

Some of the additional features I like about the FitBit Charge 2:

-Tracking my heart rate. It's a game changer seeing that number and making sure it is where it needs to be during an outdoor run or HIIT session.

-Multi-sport modes. You can set your Fitbit Charge 2 on a specific activity (like run or walk) so you can really keep track of your heart rate and steps that align with a certain activity.

-Watch your progress. You can wirelessly sync your stats to your computer or phone and log your workouts which really helps in seeing your progress over time.

-Measures your sleep quality. I hate even sleeping with socks on, so I didn't try this feature because I know I wouldn't sleep well (ha!) but it's still a great option for those who want to track sleep patterns. It can also wake you with a vibrating alarm!

(Side note: a good morning message also scrolls across the screen when you wake up. That was a nice surprise when I first started using it!)

With the FitBit Charge 2, it's so easy to keep track of your fitness goals in style!

Naturally Me, FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Charge 2 Review, Running with the FitBit Charge 2, Flipping Tires, Outdoor Workouts

Naturally Me, FitBit Charge 2, FitBit Charge 2 Review, Running with the FitBit Charge 2, Track Sprints, Outdoor Workouts

I already have so many activities on my summer to-do list which I may share in an upcoming post - but here are some of my favorite ways to get more daily steps using my FitBit Charge 2!

Ways to Get More Daily Steps:


1. Go hiking

2. Take your workouts outside to the playground, track, or bleachers

3. Go for a walk around the neighborhood

4. Go on a run

5. Explore your local farmer's market

6. Visit museums and walk around the National Mall

7. Visit the National Zoo

8. Dance to Bruno Mars' new album (seriously)


PS: My tank is Arctic Cool - and I can't recommend it enough!


So tell me, what's your favorite fitness tracker? What is your record amount of daily steps?


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I received the Fitbit Charge 2 to try c/o Verizon, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Naturally Me!

My Style: Mesh & Floral

May 19, 2017

Naturally Me, Sheinside, Shein, Sheinside White Floral Mesh Tee, Summer outfit idea, floral tee, denim shorts, Annapolis

TEE: c/o SheIn // SHORTS: Old Navy [similar] //  
SANDALS: Target [similar] // BAG: Forever 21 [love this one] // SUNNIES: Sojos // 

What better way to enjoy this amazing weather than a day trip to Annapolis? Sometimes I forget I only live an hour away from such a historic town. There's so much to see (even just looking at the cute row homes) so I was thinking about sharing what we did.. would that be of interest to you guys? Don't worry, I can totally include details on our 3pm happy hour.

Another thing I forget? It's sunscreen season and the lobster look is not cute, so be careful of those outdoor tables during said happy hour. Sigh.

Now let's get to this outfit. I usually prefer to leave any mesh details to my activewear - but for some reason this floral/mesh tee intrigued me. I decided to wear it to Annapolis even though I still wasn't sold - and then our waitress said she loved it and I breathed a sigh of relief. Currently leaning toward wearing it more. What do you guys think?

One thing is for sure: I'm never not wearing a cami underneath. ;)

Happy Friday, #fitfam!

Naturally Me, Annapolis, William Paca House & Garden, What to see in Annapolis, Peach Tree

Naturally Me, Sheinside, Shein, Sheinside White Floral Mesh Tee, Summer outfit idea, floral tee, denim shorts, Annapolis

Naturally Me, Annapolis, William Paca House & Garden, What to see in Annapolis, Peach Tree

Naturally Me, Sheinside, Shein, Sheinside White Floral Mesh Tee, Summer outfit idea, floral tee, denim shorts, Annapolis, United States Naval Academy


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No Sweat with Arctic Cool

May 15, 2017

'Tis the season for outdoor activities - especially now that this week is looking very warm. Bring on walks around the neighborhood, hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding and park workouts. Ahhh, spring, I really like you and all the extra fun fitness possibilities you bring us.

What if I told you that I discovered a brand of activewear that can keep you cooler as you sweat, thanks to some pretty cool technology. Literally. Sounds impossible, right? Not with Arctic Cool!

Naturally Me, Arctic Cool Tank Top, Arctic Cool Workout Tank, Track Workout, Monday Motivation, Arctic Cool Gear, Stretching

Naturally Me, Arctic Cool Tank Top, Arctic Cool Workout Tank, Track Workout, Monday Motivation, Arctic Cool Gear, Stretching

Arctic Cool clothing uses HydroFreeze X Cooling Technology in its products. It sounds complicated, but really just means that it moves moisture away from the skin and lowers the temperature of the fabric so you can keep active and cool.

So..... cool, right? ;)

Naturally Me, Arctic Cool Tank Top, Arctic Cool Workout Tank, Track Workout, Monday Motivation, Arctic Cool Gear, Bleacher Workouts, Bleacher Runs

I couldn't wait to try this tank when it came in the mail so what better place than the gym? One very sweaty workout later and you know what? It really did absorb my sweat, even after my (killer) 10 minute cardio HIIT warm up. Not once did I feel uncomfortable as sweat was dripping down my back (so pretty, I know) because the tank was absorbing every drop. The same goes for a warm weather track workout!

Naturally Me, Arctic Cool Tank Top, Arctic Cool Workout Tank, Track Workout, Monday Motivation, Arctic Cool Gear, Tire Flips

Naturally Me, Arctic Cool Tank Top, Arctic Cool Workout Tank, Track Workout, Monday Motivation, Arctic Cool Gear, Tire Flip

No matter your level of activity, these Arctic Cool tanks are perfect for this time of year. (There are also v-neck tees and polos that come in tons of colors!) From walking to weightlifting, Arctic Cool can keep you looking - and feeling - cool. They're so comfortable, you can even wear them to yoga. They'll definitely stay in place but aren't too tight which is perfect - especially during downward dog.

Naturally Me, Arctic Cool Tank Top, Arctic Cool Workout Tank, Track Workout, Monday Motivation, Arctic Cool Gear, Running, Track Running

Naturally Me, Arctic Cool Tank Top, Arctic Cool Workout Tank, Track Workout, Monday Motivation, Arctic Cool Gear

Another thing I love? There aren't any crazy washing instructions. Since I go through a lot of activewear each week, laundry is a regular weekend activity. Luckily, I don't have to worry about washing my Arctic Cool tank in some crazy special way. It's built to last and is machine washable while still maintaining its cooling properties. (Plus, it's anti-microbial.)

It really is no sweat with Arctic Cool!

Shop Arctic Cool products here!


I was gifted an Arctic Cool tank, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Naturally Me!

Affordable Activewear for Spring

April 28, 2017

Happy Friday!

It has been a whirlwind two weeks of work trips, so I've been catching up on studying, social media, and sleep. Despite a crazy schedule, I am very proud of myself for only missing two days of workouts. Although, I was at the gym at 5:30am before leaving for Richmond last week. I can't say I'll make a habit of that, but it's good to know that I can get my butt up early if needed.

Naturally Me, Affordable Activewear for Spring, Spring Activewear

Anywho, if you've been reading Naturally Me for a while, you know I totally believe that activewear makes me even more motivated. There's nothing like a new pair of Nike's or a cute pair of leggings to make you ready to sweat, especially if I'm getting up before the sun.

With the change in season, I'm reaching for more color, so let's celebrate spring with my favorite (affordable) activewear picks you can take to the gym, track, yoga mat, and beyond!

Think Pink


When is pink ever a bad idea? I think the closest thing to pink I own in activewear would be the Alo Yoga leggings from this post, but I've been dying to add these Nike's to my collection.




Light Rain Coats


The rain has been ridiculous in the DC-area and I usually forget my umbrella in my car (ugh) so why not invest in a cute rain coat or windbreaker? I've been wearing this windbreaker nonstop and have gotten so many compliments on it. Functional and cute! And this coral rain jacket folds into the pocket!




Metallic Shorts


Okay, maybe it's not quite time for shorts on the regular, but I am loving the metallic trend after reading this article. With white sneakers? Stop. If it's really supposed to be in the 80s this weekend, these would be perfect!




Bright White


I go back and forth about my love for white - only in swimsuits and activewear - because I wonder just how see-through it is. While I'm not ready to go the white swimsuit route, Alo Yoga has me drooling over so many white items.





I have so many favorites for spring that didn't make the post, but you can always check out my Shop page where I share all of my current favorites. It's updated weekly and you can shop right from the image!

What are your favorite activewear pieces for spring?


MORE PIECES TO LOVE:


How To Treat Planter Fasciitis

April 26, 2017

A few weeks ago, on a Monday morning, I got out of bed and could barely walk on my right foot. Not a good start to the week.

As I was getting ready for work, I was simultaneously wondering how I'd walk anywhere and what was causing this immense pain. I didn't remember falling, or dropping a weight on my foot, and I didn't see any bruising which confused me even more.

I went about my work day, and even worked out that night, since I thought my foot was getting better. But, on my drive home from the gym, it started to hurt again. The next morning when I woke up, walking was ten times more painful.

Naturally Me, How to Treat Planter Fasciitis, Foot Problems, What is Planter Fasciitis, S'ip by S'well bottle, black leggings, Under Armour shoes

I asked my friend and trainer, Alison, and she said it sounded like planter fasciitis. It was a new concept to me so I started researching it and after reading one article, I knew that's what I had. So, I figured it'd be helpful to share my experience and how I treated it - and still treat it every day in hopes that it doesn't come back.

What is Planter Fasciitis? 


The plantar fascia is a flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects our heel bone to our toes, and supports the arch of our feet. Planter fasciitis happens when people strain this tissue by wearing the wrong shoes, carrying excess weight, standing a lot on their feet, or train on hard/uneven surfaces. It's also a very common issue for runners. For me, I believe it was a combination of not stretching, a pair of shoes I wore that makes the arches of my feet sore, and tight calf muscles.

How to Treat Planter Fasciitis


Luckily, there are many ways to treat planter fascittis in hopes of preventing it from becoming chronic. I was very diligent about doing the below routine and after about a week, my foot felt great but I still took it slow. (These may not work for everyone, so it's important to find what works best for you.)

Here is what I did:

1. Walk as little as possible - as much as it pained me to have to fill my water bottle less at work, and not workout at all, the pain I experienced when walking was worse. Stay off your foot as much as possible.

2. Toe stretches - I still do these regularly and, while they may seem a little silly, they work! You can also do a towel stretch.

3. Ice for 20 minutes - Once I was able to pin-point the area of my foot that was painful, I focused on icing that spot several times a day. (Even at work.) I used a plastic storage bag filled with ice that I draped across the top and sides of my foot which worked really well. Twenty minutes and done for a few hours. You can also freeze a water bottle and roll your foot on that.

4. Massage ball - this is by far my FAVORITE treatment, ha! As I'm sitting at work or home, I roll the ball from heel to toe, applying some pressure especially in the area of pain. It seriously works wonders. I use these therapy balls which are for any sore muscles, not just your feet. (I keep one at home and one at work.) I also read online you can use a foam roller, however in my opinion it won't be able to get to a trigger point as well as the ball can. Tennis balls or lacrosse balls also work well.

5. Icy hot + compression socks - Each night after icing my foot for 20 minutes, I'd apply Icy Hot and two compression socks to sleep in. (I hate sleeping in socks, but this really helped too!)

Don't be deceived - you may think it's getting better because the pain starts to subside through out the day as the tissue begins to loosen up, but the next morning, the pain will be back in full force. (Also, don't work out when you start to experience pain like I did. I learned my lesson!) It's been a few weeks now and I haven't had any pain or issues walking or working out thank goodness! I definitely learned my lesson - stretch stretch stretch!

Have you ever experienced planter fasciitis? How did you treat it?


What's In My March Yogi Surprise Box

April 12, 2017

In celebration of finding my inner yogi again, I signed up to receive a monthly Yogi Surprise Box. You guys, I love this idea! It's the perfect way for me to explore products - whether they're for my practice, muscles, or taste buds. ;)

Naturally Me, March Yogi Surprise Box, Yogi Surprise Subscription, Yogi Surprise Review

What I love about the monthly boxes is that they're full sized items worth way more than the monthly price of a box. Think of it as Birchbox for Yogis - without the tiny sample-sized products. I've been using these products for about a month now, so here are my thoughts on each - some missed the mark for me - and where you can buy them.

Chakra Healing Stones


Honestly, I went online to Yogi Surprise to maybe sign up, but when I saw these chakra healing stones were a bonus item in the March box, well... add to cart. This is the perfect way for me to start to learn about our 7 chakras and how to stay balanced.

Naturally Me, March Yogi Surprise Box, Yogi Surprise Subscription, Yogi Surprise Review, Chakra Healing Stones

Soul Flower Boho Headband


Soul Flower's eco friendly headbands are meant to calm your mind and are made in the USA from 50% organic cotton and 50% plastic beverage bottles. It's so soft and doesn't give me a headache like most headbands. I like to fold it in half and wear it that way for yoga. They have so many cute designs but the mandala is definitely my favorite!

Moon Valley Organics Muscle Rub


I love Icy Hot. Like.. always carrying it with me (thank goodness for the roller ball stick) and I have a library of different size patches, too. Sorry to everyone for smelling like Icy Hot all. the. time. When I saw this Moon Valley muscle rub, I was intrigued but still used Icy Hot for a while because it's the best. When I finally decided to try this rub on my foot, I wasn't impressed. It smells great, but it's kind of oily and needs to be rubbed in (obvi). The directions say you can put a hot compress on it for even more effect but I didn't feel any difference. There was no hot/cold sensation like Icy Hot, so I'm just gonna stick to my favorite muscle therapy.

Naturally Me, March Yogi Surprise Box, Yogi Surprise Subscription, Yogi Surprise Review, Andalou Naturals Coconut Milk Firming Mask, Jivana Body Butter, Moon Valley Organic Muscle Rub

Jivana Body Butter


I always struggle with dry skin so I was really happy to get this body butter made of organic ingredients. After reading more about the brand, it was started by an OB/GYN and mother of five girls who didn't want to treat her daughter's severe eczema with steroid creams. I also have issues with eczema and couldn't wait to give this a try.

Andalou Naturals Coconut Milk Firming Mask


Since my skin is sensitive, I have to be careful what I put on my face. Even masks scare me but I wanted to try this coconut milk one. I crossed my fingers in hopes my skin wouldn't freak out and was so happy to see my skin responded well. It felt so incredibly soft and hydrated so it's now my new favorite weekend ritual! One thing I noticed though: the mask goes on almost clear so it's hard to tell where you put it. No joke, it looks like you have nothing on your face! I could totally see myself forgetting I have it on and leave the house, lol!

Rhythm Superfoods Broccoli Bites (Garden Ranch)


I've been wanting to find some healthy snacks and I love broccoli so I figured I'd probably like these broccoli bites. Wrong! They definitely have a broccoli + ranch taste but I ate two and got a little grossed out. Maybe because I haven't had ranch dressing in a long time? Can't pinpoint exactly why I'm not a fan, but let's not force it, okay?

Naturally Me, March Yogi Surprise Box, Yogi Surprise Subscription, Yogi Surprise Review, Rythm Superfoods Broccoli Bites, UliMana Coco Nectar Truffles

UliMana Coco Nectar Truffles 


If I do have any cravings, it's for chocolate and these truffles are the perfect treat. I think they're very rich, so I'll usually just eat half of one to satisfy my sweet tooth. The small container is even perfect to keep at your desk or throw in your travel bag.


Have you tried any of these products?

Want to try Yogi Surprise? Get 20% off here!


This is not a sponsored post, I just love Yogi Surprise!

My Style: C9 Champion Workout Tank

April 7, 2017

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear

WORKOUT TANK: Target // LEGGINGS: Target //
SPORTS BRA: Nike // SNEAKERS: Nike [love these] //

I really wanted to call this post "the most comfortable workout tank ever and you need to run to Target and buy it" but I don't want to sound pushy.

But seriously though, you need this tank for several reasons. The biggest one I think is the fact that it is the softest material I've discovered in active wear. Seriously even after being washed it holds its shape and comfort factor. (I recently saw on Target's website that Champion has redone all of its C9 active wear line to be more comfortable, and performance-driven. Goal: attained.)

Can we also talk about the color? This tank is described as "dark berry purple" but I see burgundy. It does come in several other colors, too, including spring colors. (Linked below!) It's a little longer on my short frame, however I think it would also be cute tied with some high-waisted leggings. 

And lastly, if you've been reading Naturally Me for any amount of time, you know I'm all about affordable clothes of any kind. You can't beat the $15 price tag. I kind of want to get another color, or two....

What is your favorite workout wear right now? Share in the comments!

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear, Nike Flyknit Sneakers, Black and White Nike Sneakers

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear, Stretching, Stretching Before Your Workout, Black and White Nike Flyknit Sneakers

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear, The Softest Workout Tank

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear, Warrior Pose

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear, Burgundy Mesh Leggings, Target Mesh Leggings

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear

Naturally Me, Spring Workout Outfit, Target activewear, C9 Champion Workout Tank, C9 Champion Workout Leggings with Mesh, Burgundy Activewear, Black Nike Flyknits, Black and White Sneakers


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Photos by Rosa

7 Free First Time Workouts

April 5, 2017

There are so many different workout classes available it's crazy! Soul Cycle, kickboxing, CorePower Yoga, and I just discovered 305 Fitness (which I am dying to try).

It can be very overwhelming (and expensive) to find a sweat session that is something you actually enjoy doing regularly, let alone fits your schedule. My friends and I have recently been trying some different workouts (one of which I talked about in this Insta post) where the concept is a quick (usually around 30 minutes) high intensity-style workout that speeds up your heart rate and burns more fat in less time.

7 Free First Time Workouts, Naturally Me, Free Workouts, Workouts You Can Try for Free

I'll be honest: I'm more inclined to try a new workout if it's free. How else will I know it's worth a monthly membership? This all got me thinking - and researching - about places that offer a free first-time workout. Read on for a list of places that I've found and leave a comment if you've tried any - or know of any others I can add to the list!

9Round


9Round is a 30 minute kickboxing theme fitness program that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training methods. It's not in a "class" form - instead, there are nine rounds of exercises and you can start at any round. If cycle 5 is open, you can start there and end at cycle 4. There are even trainers on stand by if you have questions, want nutritional advice, or need help. Since the workouts change each day, you'll never get bored. (How could you when you're punching things??) The idea is to go as hard as possible for three minutes until you hear the timer and move to the next round. My friend and I tried a class and we loved it!

Find a location near you here.

Zengo Cycle


Zengo Cycle is a full-body, cycle workout. It's a 50 minute, full-body workout that is my kind of happy hour. The goal of Zengo Cycle is to always keep your legs pedaling while your upper body moves to the beat, keeping your core, obliquest, and triceps tight. This hard core cardio and strength training workout is my kind of happy (almost) hour.

Find a location near you here.

CorePower Yoga, Naturally Me, Yoga Class, Free Yoga Class

CorePower Yoga


Anything incorporating yoga - sign me up! This high intensity workout works every part of your body - especially your core. Since there's a wide range of classes, there's something for everyone no matter how flexible you are. I'm definitely all about turning my stress into sweat!

*Bonus: not just your first class - but your first WEEK at CorePower Yoga is free!

Find a location near you here.

Orangetheory Fitness


Another workout craze that has really caught on is Orangetheory Fitness. During the one hour workout, your heart rate is monitored as you sweat through a high-intensity workout scientifically designed to keep heart rates in a target zone that spikes metabolism and increases energy.

Find a location near you here.

Nike+ Training Club


The Nike+ Training Club is a great way to take advantage of free fitness events and runs in your area - and make new friends now that the warm weather is upon us. All you have to do? Sign up for a free Nike+ account to find events where you are. There are also over 130 free workouts available through the app that you can do at the gym or at home.

Download the app here.

Crunch Gym


Crunch Gym is known for fusing fitness and entertainment to make serious exercise fun. (I've said before it IS possible to love your workout!) Crunch facilities have a supersized menu of group fitness classes, dedicated spin and yoga studios, expanded facilities, state-of-the-art equipment. The possibilities are pretty much endless at Crunch - so you'll definitely put your free pass to good use!

Find a location near you here.

Get your free 1-day pass here!

Check your local gym


Gyms are always holding free trial classes for upcoming workouts. You may have seen my Instagram stories several weeks ago about how my friend and I tried a new Les Mills HIIT cycle class called Sprint. It was in the "testing" phase at my gym so we tried the (free) 30 minute class and it had me dripping sweat all over the bike. (The class is now on the schedule at my gym three days a week and I'm definitely going to go again!) Always watch out for signs about free classes or check with the front desk to see if there are any coming - and if you need to sign up in advance. It's a great way to try a workout you might normally look past - and you can't beat the free price tag!


Have you tried any of these workouts? How did you like them?

A Guide to Camping on Assateague Island

March 29, 2017

Sometimes life throws you a curve ball and you crave a mini getaway and (slower) change of pace. Extra points for very little cell phone reception and no electricity.

That's how my friend and I felt after what seemed like a few draining months. We decided to get away for a weekend and both agreed on one thing: it had to be affordable.


I'm not much of a traveler but I sure know how to pinch pennies, and in my opinion a great way to keep costs down is to take a trip somewhere close to home. So, we planned a weekend camping trip at Assateague Island National Seashore. Yup, we decided to go camping in March. Perhaps we had a moment of crazy when we booked this trip but it was a blast - frozen fingers, high winds, and all!

Here's what you need to know about planning a trip to Assateague - especially in the colder months.

Making Reservations


You can make reservations via recreation.gov. The site is super easy to navigate: you can filter your search by date, and campsite location, and amenities - even down to having pets. Another great feature is the ability to see photos of each campsite. This helped me a lot when picking a site because we wanted a bit of cover instead of being directly on the beach like our neighbors.

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Coleman tent, Coleman 4 person tent

In peak season (April-October) you'll definitely want to make sure you secure reservations as far in advance as possible as sites tend to fill up fast. In off-peak season (November - March) there are many more sites to choose from of course. I booked our trip about three weeks in advance.

Arrival


Check-in is at noon but since we both worked half a day on Friday, we arrived around 5:30pm to find no one there. I mean, the gates were closed and this was about the point that I started freaking out. (Okay, maybe it was when I saw the "campground closed" sign.)

After wondering how we'd manage to sleep in the car with everything we packed, a good Samaritan driving by figured out really fast we were lost and told us there is another entrance during off-peak months. Phew. So we followed him down a different road for about a mile to a separate campground entrance. The ranger station was already closed for the day by the time we got there, but we just set up camp and had to check-in Saturday morning instead. So no need to worry as much as I did, ha!

*I didn't receive any information about this other entrance in my reservation email, so email me if you have questions! I can help now that we learned the hard way. ;)

What To Do


Of course, there isn't a whole lot to do in the colder months, but we still had a blast!

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Wild Horses, Wild Horses

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Island Wild Horses, Wild Horses

The biggest thing we were excited about was seeing wild horses - which is probably the most popular attraction at Assateague. Saturday afternoon we spent a few hours hanging out with a group of horses that just ate the whole time. (Later on in the day a group of about eight horses decided to hang out right by our campsite!)

Just in case you're wondering: visitors are not allowed to feed or touch the wild horses. It's at least a $100 fine. (Plus, they can kick and bite.) But take all the photos you want like we did!

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Exploring the Beach on Assateague Island

We also took a few walks on the beach, and made a campfire to cook dinner Saturday night. (For dessert we made roasted apples on the fire and they came out perfectly! It was seriously just like eating apple pie!)

There are three trails visitors can check out: Life of the Dunes, Life of the Forest, and Life of the Marsh. When we went to the ranger station Saturday morning, we grabbed a map and that day we decided to check out every trail. The dune and forest trails were fun - marsh was a bit boring this time of year - but each had little signs along the way with interesting information which I always like.

During spring/summer there's plenty of beach area, bike/canoe rentals, fishing, and much more. We'll definitely be going back then!

Exploring Beyond Assateague


Ocean City is about nine miles from the park and can be seen from the island. Also, the historic town of Berlin is about eight miles away and is full of quaint shops, and small restaurants. Fun fact: Berlin was the filming location for Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting!

Due to the fact that we basically slept on the ground (aka sand) Friday night because my air mattress was missing its plug, we ended up venturing out beyond Assateague to find something more comfortable. So, we know for a fact there is a Wal-Mart about 20 miles away, and a Food Lion about 15 minutes away just in case you forget anything like I did.

We also found the most adorable shop called the Assateague Island Surf Shop. The people there were so nice and they had the cutest souvenirs. Sunday morning before we left for home we stopped by there again for our first ever acai bowls and they were even better than they looked. It would be dangerous if I lived closer.

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, Assateague Island Surf Shop, Acai Bowl, The perfect acai bowl

Also, we discovered the Fractured Prune donut shoppe right down Route 611 so naturally we each got 3 donuts. They were SO good. (Pro tip: the mint chocolate chip doughnut tastes just like Thin Mints - which is why I picked it.)

Naturally Me, Maryland, Assateague State Park, Assateague Island, Assateague Island National Seashore, The Fracture Prune Donut Shoppe, Donuts

And Don't Forget


I highly recommend going in March when we did - it's a whole different experience and we really enjoyed it. Especially the fact that only four other people were camping. It was so peaceful yet still just as pretty as ever. Of course, make sure you pack warm clothes and several pairs of hand warmers. We even used them as we were preparing dinner Saturday night, ha! Also, watch out for those pesky orioles... they'll break into your bag of bagels when you're too busy taking photos of sand dunes and dogs. But seriously.

If you have any questions about visiting Assateague that I may not have covered, please let me know in the comments or reach out via Twitter. (And no, this is not sponsored in any way. I just love camping - and sharing my experiences/funny stories!)


What's your favorite (affordable) weekend getaway?