My Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Experience

August 31, 2017

It's only been four days since I was in Philadelphia for the  Susan G. Komen 3-Day® and I am still smiling when I think of the amazing time I had.

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To say that it was a fun experience is a total understatement. For those of you that followed along across my social media channels - thank you! If you missed anything, hopefully this post will help you get an idea of what a 3-Day event is like.

I can sum it up pretty quickly: an experience unlike any other! However, I can't not share some of my favorite memories, photos, and perhaps the most important... some things I learned from my first 3-Day event.

Friday

The Opening Ceremony was an emotional kick-off to the 3-Day and one of the events of the weekend I won't forget. Men and women shared why they were walking and to hear their stories was so inspiring.

The route was through several neighborhoods and there were SO many residents that had cheering stations along the way. Some even had music playing which really put a pep in my step!

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We also walked through Bra Street. (Um, can I live here? Seriously.) I saw photos of this from past events and let me tell you the pictures don't do it justice. The street was lined with bras, music was blastin', and it was just one big party. Let's do it again!

Saturday

In my opinion this was the toughest day to walk. Friday I pretty much power walked because I was so excited and everyone's energy just made my feet go faster. However, by Saturday afternoon, my feet and calves hurt so bad I had to head back to camp early... even after much debate. As much as I wanted to finish the full route, I decided to rest up in hopes of being able to walk all day Sunday.

Needless to day, the one lesson I was reminded of on this particular day was to listen to my body. Walking 20 miles a day for three days isn't easy and by the middle of the day, my body had had enough. Sometimes it's best to rest and recharge so you can come back stronger. (And avoid injury.)

Sunday

Sunday's route was all through downtown Philly and it was so cool! I haven't been to Philly in over 10 years so it was fun to play tourist. We walked through the Philadelphia Zoo, Kelly Street, the Rocky steps, and we even passed an Eagles practice! (I wish I had my terrible towel to wave, ha!)

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I've never given so many high-fives in my life than I did over the course of these three days, but let's just say I still want to high-five everyone I pass!

What I Learned


Since it was my first 3-Day experience, I really wasn't sure what to expect. Of course I had an idea by seeing posts from 3-Day events in other cities, but until you actually live it yourself, ya just don't fully know. Ya know?

I learned a lot, especially in my first day, so of course I'm sharing 'em all with you!

Blister protection = essential. I got a lot of advice from walkers who have done several 3-Day events and they recommended seamless socks, friction block, as well as switching out your socks halfway throughout the day. I was also told to try rubbing vaseline all over your feet before putting socks on (even just to bed if you already have blisters like I did) and I'm still shocked at how well it worked! Who knew?!

Slides over flip flops. I realized this the very first night as I was hanging out at camp, barely able to walk because my feet hurt. Flip flops are fine for showering - but bring slides to wear in the evening when you are eating dinner and enjoying camp festivities. (These slides are my favorite!) I even had a fellow walker give me the same advice when she saw me limping, haha!

Use the Medical Crew. I am not exaggerating when I say I was in the medical tent 2-3 times a day. They are there to help! And not just in a case of emergency. They also treat blisters and roll out tight muscles which was SO helpful for me!

Fun fact: my first night I met Vicky because she rolled out my very tight calves. After that, I saw her three times a day (in the morning before breakfast, at lunch, and in the evening at camp) so she could loosen my calf muscles. She was great! We became BFF's real fast. ;)

Airplane Mode. I don't know about you, but I love taking photos. And I knew I'd be taking tons of photos all three days as I was walking which can drain your battery very quickly. Thank goodness for airplane mode! It conserves your battery and you can still snap photos! That really helped my battery last all day until I could get to camp to recharge.

You're Never Alone. Even though I was a solo walker, I met so many people along the way that were eager to add another person to their group. It was awesome! We walked, talked, and shared stories, laughs, and sunscreen. There is even a solo walkers area where people can meet on the first day to get to know each other. I certainly never felt alone!

Use the sweep vans. Much like the medical crew, the sweep vans are incredibly helpful when you need a break from walking. I loved that each one had a different theme, too. Two of my favorites were the S.S. Nauti-Girl and America the Boob-iful. lol!

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I had a great three days walking, seeing Philadelphia sights, and meeting people, but I will never forget their stories and spirit.... long after my blisters heal. In just three days, 60 miles, and over 124,000 steps, I met breast cancer survivors, those still fighting each day, women who lost friends, men who lost their mom or wife, and many more. It was really eye-opening for me because I realized just how much breast cancer affects everyone. Overall, the event had 400 walkers and $1.1M was raised. That's quite a big step closer in the fight against breast cancer!

Just in case you missed it, you can read about why I walked in the 3-Day here - and if you're walking in an upcoming 3-Day, check out my training schedule and packing list!

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If you're looking into participating in the 3-Day yourself, I'm giving you a virtual high-five! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day schedule for 2018 is already online - I'd love for you to join in on the fight against breast cancer!


This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, however all opinions are my own.

How I'm Training for the
Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day

August 16, 2017

Next weekend, I'll finally be walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®! Can you believe it? (If you missed my post on why I'm walking, you can check it out here!) I'm so excited to join in the fight against breast cancer and experience my first 3-Day walk.

Since I last filled you guys in, I've made a list of things I need to tackle before I head to Philly, gathered up all the pink I can find in my closet, as well as some other important items that I'll highlight below.

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Perhaps the most important preparation I've been doing has been my training. After all, walking 60 miles in three days is more continuous activity than my body is used to and I plan on walking every single mile!

Keep on reading to find out how I've been getting ready for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day!

How I'm Training

 

1. Increasing cardio - Even though we will just be walking, 60 miles adds up! I'm making sure that I increase my cardiovascular activity to be able to tackle any hills as well as a full day of walking. I don't think I'll have to worry about reaching my 10,000 step goal each day!

2. Regular workouts - When was the last time you walked 60 miles in three days? I'd say it would be pretty difficult without any regular workouts and training. Anyone who has done a marathon will tell you they had a daily schedule of mileage goals they needed to meet in order to condition their body to be able to run for 26.2 miles. The same applies here (but to a lesser extent, of course). My daily workouts will only help my endurance!

3. Foam rolling - I'll have a full post on foam rolling soon but the biggest advantage to foam rolling is that it speeds up our muscle recovery. And since I'm training for the 3-Day in addition to my regular workout schedule, it's a very important tool. No injuries welcome here! Bonus points for stretching, too.

4. Walking outside - I always love going for walks outside, but since we'll be walking though out the Philly streets, it's important to get used to paying attention to stop signs, crosswalks and traffic. I'll try not to take too many photos along the way, too. ;)

5. Staying hydrated - One of my biggest goals this year has been to drink my 8-9 glasses of water a day... even if I'm sitting at my desk. Dehydration increases heart rate which, as you can imagine, doesn't usually end well if you're out in the summer heat walking all day.

Bonus: if you don't know where to start, Susan G. Komen provides both a 16-week training program as well as a 24-week training program which makes it super easy to start and stay on track!

My #PHL3Day Packing List


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You guys know I love my lists! Luckily, when you log in to The3day.org - there's a handy packing list that I've already printed out - yay for not having to write everything down myself! (And run the risk of forgetting something important...)

Luckily, since it's still summer I don't need any layers or bulky clothes so I can pack light. Or, can I? Here are a few must-haves for me:

1. 3-Day Gear - I love a good excuse to wear pink, so I'm definitely ready to roll with my new t-shirts! And they'll be a perfect reminder of my experience for years to come. I will always wear them with pride!

2. Sleeping bag - camping is one of my favorite things, so I was super excited to finally have a need for my own sleeping bag and can't wait to go out this weekend to buy my own. No more borrowing from Mom & Dad!

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3. Notebook - I've always been big on journaling and (in addition to taking photos), I want to remember this special weekend as I live it. Even if I write down a few thoughts when we have free time, I want to remember this weekend for years to come!

4. Water Bottle - (see training tip #5 ;) Not only will it be helpful when I'm walking - but I can also make sure I stay hydrated before bed so I can wake up ready to tackle 20 more miles!

Of course, I'll be packing all the other essentials including: SPF, lots of socks, hats, blister block, and sunglasses. Do ya think I can keep my bag under 35 pounds? ;)

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Want to join me in walking 60 miles and making an impact in the fight against breast cancer? You can register at The3Day.org. Be sure to use code ALISSA10 for $10 off registration for the Philadelphia event!

If you haven't already, be sure to follow me on Instagram for live updates of the #PHL3Day!

I am also fundraising up until the event and would love it if you'd donate directly on my page. It's super quick and easy - and every dollar helps in the fight against breast cancer!


All items pictured are c/o Susan G. Komen.
 This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, however all opinions are my own.

A Big Life & Blog Update

August 9, 2017

Remember this vague post where I was talking about some BIG changes that were coming?? Well, I can finally spill the beans on what I've been working toward......

I am now a NASM Certified Personal Trainer!




Nearly six months of studying, lots of workouts sacrificed, lunch breaks and so many beautiful weekends spent studying has finally paid off! (It's so weird not to carry a backpack to work now!)

My test was Monday afternoon and when I tell you I studied ALL weekend, I am not exaggerating. (Okay, minus one hour to go get a quick lunch & some groceries on Saturday.) I even woke up early Monday and went right back to studying until I had to leave.

Almost two hours later, I walked out of the testing center crying happy tears, incredibly thankful and excited about where my life is heading. Even though not many people knew I was doing this until it happened, I can't say thank you enough for the sweet congratulations texts and messages across social media. It means the world.

I am still smiling and have to remind myself this is real. Health and fitness have become a huge passion of mine and I am so proud to be part of the NASM family and eager to get started doing something I truly love.

Now.....

What about the blog??



In case you're wondering where this little blog is headed, I can tell you that it's not going anywhere.. but it is morphing into a bigger and better outlet for all things health and fitness. (With a new look, too?) I cannot wait to bring you guys even more helpful posts as well as inspiration and motivation for leading a healthy life.

My list of post ideas (i.e. why you need to eat carbs) keeps growing by the day which is definitely not a bad thing. I am currently working on a post about foam rolling which was heavily requested by readers so look out for that very soon.

As always, if you have an idea or topic you want me to cover, don't hesitate to let me know! (Workout questions welcomed, too!) I am all "ears" and want to give you the tools necessary to get started and succeed. I'd love for you to connect with me on Instagram, too!

Cheers to new beginnings and getting in as many bike rides as possible, and starting a new book! :)

New Podcasts I Discovered

August 7, 2017

My new favorite way to pass the time when I'm making the 4.5 hour drive home to PA is listening to podcasts on my iPad. (I used to have the podcast app on my phone, but #storagealmostfull.)

Since I don't really have time to listen to podcasts any other time, the drive home and back is the perfect opportunity to listen and learn. I can usually get through several podcasts in that time and it makes the drive go a lot quicker.

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I still listen to the podcasts from this blog post, but I've been looking for a few more to add to my downloads list.... fitness-related and beyond.

There are definitely no shortage of podcasts out there, and I found six more that I immediately added to my list. Some I've already listened to a bunch, and some I literally just discovered and can't wait to listen to.

Here they are:

NPR's How I Built This - This is probably my favorite new podcast find and the one that started my quest for new podcasts. If you haven't heard of HIBT yet, the host (Guy) interviews entrepreneurs on how they got started. And there are some craaaazy stories! My absolute favorite episode is with the founder of TRX, Randy Hetrick. I had no idea he was a former SEAL and created TRX when he started using straps to work out on missions.

Mindbodygreen - I read articles every day on Mindbodygreen because they cover so many different health and wellness topics and they're full of great information. When I heard they finally jumped on the podcast train, I was so excited to listen in and have already crossed a lot of episodes off the downloads list. My favorite one so far is with

Bodybuilding.com - I've been reading articles on Bodybuilding.com ever since I started to get into fitness and never even thought to see if there was a podcast, too. Duh! Can't wait to check it out once life calms down a bit. Anyone else out there listen to it? What do you think?

Free Cookies - You guys may remember when I attended the Aim True workshop with Kathryn Budig last year (it was the most amazing day!). I still stalk follow her and she's had some pretty big life changes recently, including moving to NYC, divorcing her husband, and starting a podcast with ESPN contributor Kate Fagan. They talk about sports, lifestyle, wellness, and much more.

The LadyGang Podcast - I just literally discovered this podcast and can't wait to listen in. Each week, a celebrity joins the three hosts to talk about what life is really like in Hollywood. I think it'd be a fascinating podcast to listen to, especially when my mind needs a break lol

The Ultimate Health Podcast - I discovered this podcast because Kathryn Budig was on it recently. The hosts interview world-class experts on in the health and wellness community.. and tackle topics like cholesterol, the importance of carbs, and more. Hello, totally right up my alley! I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but it's at the top of my list for new (to me) podcasts to check out.


What are your favorite podcasts? Share with me in the comments so I can check 'em out!

Namaslay Box: A Monthly Care Package
That's Perfect for Yogis

August 2, 2017

The past couple of months, I've been having a lot of fun testing out all natural products and accessories for my yoga practice. (And so far, no skin issues!)

I don't know about you, but I tend to feel overwhelmed by all the products out there. And I'm sure not many of us have the time to really research products but - the good news is.... Namaslay Box does all the work for you.


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It's a monthly wellness yoga subscription box filled with products to nourish your mind, body, and soul.... something I've been working on more this year. All too often we forget to take time for ourselves but Namaslay Box is like a monthly care package. ;) Sign me up!
Every Namaslay Box comes with 5 to 7 items, as well as some extra goodies like positive affirmations, a simple yoga flow, and quick and easy vegetarian recipes (which I definitely need to try).

And bonus: unlike my Nordstrom order, I know when my box will arrive each month, ha!

(Editor's note: if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I'm still waiting for my #NSale order to arrive but the delivery date keeps being pushed back and UPS decided to stop scanning it at destinations.)

Anywho!

Here's what came in the latest box:


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Top Knot Chicago Hair Ties

I actually only use these elastic hair ties and also have a habit of losing them around the house so these are definitely a welcome sight. The middle one is a headband!

HumbleLove Sun Aromatherapy Spray

This aromatherapy spray is specifically designed to help motivate you and wake you up during those mornings where you just can't get out of bed. (Um, that's every day for me....) Funny side-note: the bottle says you can spray it on sluggish coworkers, haha! But seriously, can I??

HumbleLove Goodnight Moon Salve

This bedtime salve smells amazing! It's made with natural ingredients such as Vitamin E, beeswax, lavender oil, and is made to calm your mind and relax the tension brought on by everyday life. I think it's time I add this to my night time routine.

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Yoga Girl By Rachel Brathen

I admittedly have never heard of yogi Rachel Brathen, but I am super excited to get her book in my Namaslay Box! It's full of yoga sequences and simple recipes for a healthy lifestyle. Can't wait to dig in!

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Kind Bar (similar)

Real life: I ate this Kind Bar as soon as I finished shooting these photos. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate but love this bar. It almost felt like eating a dessert!

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Meet Matcha Organic Matcha Tea

I have seen so much about matcha and now I can finally try it! I mentioned here before I'm not a tea drinker, but this kind says you can add it to baked goods or smoothies. I'm definitely going to try it in a smoothie! It's considered to have 137 times more antioxidants than traditional green tea. Have you had it before? How do you like to use it?

Also - isn't the "Inhale joy, exhale love" card the cutest? I have it on my desk... such a cute reminder!

Yoga heals the soul.. and Namaslay Box is definitely the perfect addition!


Ready to Namaslay? Subscribe here and use code NMB10 to receive $5 off your monthly Namaslay Box subscription for life! Plus, enjoy free shipping in the U.S. and Canada!


I was gifted a Namaslay Box, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Naturally Me!

Why I'm Walking in the
Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day

July 31, 2017

Today, I have a different kind of #MondayMotivation post for you guys. I'm sharing something very close to my heart that I've never opened up about here before.

Every two minutes, one case of breast cancer is diagnosed in a woman in the U.S. Do you know anyone who has been affected? I do.

I also know first-hand the rush of emotions and helpless feelings upon receiving a cancer diagnosis. Although it wasn’t breast cancer, you never expect to hear the word cancer from your doctor, yet it begins a series of life-changing discussions and decisions. Three years after what was supposed to be a routine check-up, I still think about that day. And it’s still a reality I face at each appointment, knowing there’s a possibility it could return.

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Sidenote: a few days after my diagnosis, I ran my first 5K in DC even though I felt defeated and really wanted to stay at home. Instead, I used that race to run out my emotions: fear, anger, helplessness, and ended up beating my own PR by several minutes. (A goal I had been trying to accomplish during months of training.) The photo above was taken when I finished the race, and has become a very important reminder of how I pushed through a tough race and am stronger than I give myself credit for. Tears still begin to form when I think of that day (especially while writing this post).

Because of my experience, I'm joining in on the fight against breast cancer by walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® event in Philadelphia August 25-27. It’s a three-day, 60-mile walk that’s making a huge impact in the breast cancer fight.

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In the past 14 years and 156 events, more than $820 million has been raised to save lives and make huge strides in breast cancer research.

I am incredibly excited to be part of such an amazing event. One of my goals for this year is to volunteer my time for a cause I believe in and, up until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know where to start. Now, I can’t think of a better way to spend three days as cancer hits very close to home.

Whether you know a loved one who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, or you yourself have been affected, I want women to know that they don't have to go through the journey alone. It's during events like the 3-Day where we all find strength and inspiration together to fight. I can't wait to be part of it.


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In 2016, Susan G. Komen announced a Bold Goal – to reduce the current number of breast cancer deaths by 50% in the U.S. by 2026. I want to be part of turning that goal into reality.

Will you join me in walking 60 miles and making an impact in the fight against breast cancer? You can register at The3Day.org. Be sure to use code ALISSA10 for $10 off registration for the Philadelphia event!

I would love it if you’d join me! Who wouldn’t want to fight breast cancer by spending three days walking, making friends, and sleeping in pink tents?

The countdown is on... we are less than a month away from the start of the 3-Day event and I can't wait to share this journey with you. I'll be updating you guys on much more throughout August, including how I’m preparing to walk 60 miles so definitely stay tuned!

If you aren't able to walk in the 3-Day event and would like to help, I am also fundraising up until the event and would love it if you'd donate directly on my page. It's super quick and easy - and every dollar helps in the fight against breast cancer!

This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, 
however all opinions are my own.
Last two images via Susan G. Komen. 

Splashin' Around With Splash Cycle

July 26, 2017

What if I told you there's a fun new workout in DC making quite a splash?

It's called Splash Cycle and it's 45 minutes of... you guessed it.... underwater spinning. I have seriously been wanting to try a class all summer. Last weekend, I finally made my way to the Embassy Row Hotel rooftop for a morning class.

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I wasn't quite sure what to expect and thought it'd be more of a "regular" spin class but it was actually set up a little differently. We did bicep curls, tricep exercises, leg and even ab exercises - all while continuously cycling. My arms were burning by the time class was over!

In fact, I was having so much fun I didn't even get out of the pool to snap photos, ha! (The instructor, Rachel, was also great... and not just because she had a killer Beyonce playlist.)

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Not only was it just plain ol' fun to cycle in a pool, but many people don't realize how effective water workouts actually are. They have less of an impact on our bones and joints, which means we can build more endurance with less stress on our bodies. (Fun fact: Splash Cycle founder Sarah started the company because of knee problems!)

You don't even have to worry about adjusting resistance on your bike like traditional cycling classes because you're pedaling against the water resistance. You get to decide how fast you pedal, or move your arms in the water during exercises. Of course, the faster you go, the more of a workout you'll get. And even though you're using your own body weight, you'll definitely feel the burn!

Bonus: throughout the workout the water is also massaging your legs (especially the calves) which helps in getting rid of toxins. Betcha didn't know you'd get a workout AND a massage in one class!

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It was such a fun time I texted my BFF and told her we need to take a class together. If you're interested in taking a class (or several), check out the class schedule but don't wait to register... classes fill up fast.

Here are some things to remember for your class:

What to Wear


I couldn't decide between a bikini or one piece, and ultimately decided to wear my favorite sporty swimsuit which was perfect for the class. You can also wear shorts and a sports bra.

I recommend wearing sunglasses (maybe even a hat) for early morning/afternoon classes. (You can also wear swim caps if you don't want to get your hair wet.) Splash Cycle does provide water shoes if you don't have your own pair. (I wore my cute ones ;)

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What to Bring


The hotel provides towels, but I suggest bringing your own since there may not be any available due to guests using them. I always like to have my own towel, anyway.

Since it's so hot out there, especially in the morning classes, don't forget a bottle of water (or two). You need to replenish the water lost from sweating and avoid dehydration.

And also - don't forget the SPF!

SHOP THE POST:




I was given a complimentary Splash Cycle class, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Naturally Me!

Working Out With Earhoox

July 24, 2017

Working out is a daily part of my life, and one thing I NEED to have for every workout is music. I don't know what it is but I just can't go without it. (Well, music and gum.) Luckily, I use Slacker Radio on my phone so I'm never without tunes.

As much as I'd rather not wear any headphones, you'll always find me working out with my trusty Apple earbuds since I haven't found anything else that I like.

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Sidenote: I did try a pair of headphones once but the cord was so long + I felt like I looked absolutely ridiculous with 2 giant satellite dishes covering my tiny head. Plus, they didn't adjust to a size small enough for my head. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be adjusting headphones (or anything, really) during a workout. I want to focus on those gains!

Anywho. I made a mental note that I really need to find some sort of easy solution to listen to music while I'm at the gym - especially something that doesn't fall out during circuit training or HIIT.

Enter Earhoox.


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They're a small silicone attachment that fits Apple's EarPods and the new wireless AirPods. So cool, right! The folks at Earhoox reached out to me about trying a pair for myself and once I read about them on the website, I knew I had to give them a try. Perfect timing!

Here's what I thought about my Earhoox:

Earhoox Pros


They're affordable - hello, that's probably my number one must-have. (And why you'll never see me walkin' around wearing Beats.) They won't break the bank, and work with your existing Apple pods... #addtocart!

They're comfortable - another important thing for me since I get headaches easily. I've literally been testing them out every day - even when I'm not working out. The day I got them I attached them to my EarPods (more on that below) and wore them around the apartment lol. No music, just me and my Earhoox. They're made out of silicone and feel SO much better in my ear than just the EarPods alone.

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They stay put - bring on the burpees! I have had zero issues with them moving.. no matter what I'm doing. I can even lay down with them in if I wanted to listen to podcasts or binge watch Bruno Mars YouTube videos all day.

You receive 2 sizes - hallelujah! Each set of Earhoox comes with a large and small pair. I can't tell you how happy that makes me and my small ears! And, if they still don't fit perfectly, Earhoox has an easy full refund policy.

Easy peasy set-up - okay, I admit I did have to use the directions that are included with each pair, but it was a breeze to get them on my EarPods. You might need to rotate them a bit so they fit in your ears, but it seriously couldn't be any easier.

Earhoox Cons


The only thing I noticed is....... there isn't currently a pink pair ;) Seriously, I love them, buuuut I'd love them even more if they came in pink. Or purple!

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Naturally Me, Earhoox, Earhoox Review, Workout Gear, Workout Accessories, Gym Accessories, Ear Buds, #FitFam

I can't recommend Earhoox enough! They're definitely perfect for those of us who can't find headphones small enough. Oh and also for working out, but I could also totally see myself wearing them on an airplane to listen to music or watch movies. If you want to try them for yourself, starting shopping here - and use the special discount code below!

Try Earhoox for yourself! Use code EARHOOX30 at checkout.
Offer expires July 31st.


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

The Best Activewear
From The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

July 21, 2017

Happy happy Friday, friends... we made it! Time to celebrate by shopping because the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now open to the public! I'm sure you had no idea so I'm glad I could help. ;)

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't let you know this important information and share my picks? Don't worry though, my "coverage" of the #NSale is only going to be today's post because I love a good sale when it comes to my favorite active brands. There's no better time than the #NSale to stock up on heavily discounted and cute gym wear.... like all of my favorites below!

(Editor's note: to shop each item, just click on the black square icon! Easy peasy!)

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As usual, this sale is good. Think pink, black and white, and adorable patterns. I'm also finding myself itching to buy a cute, light jacket for when the weather starts to get cooler. I can't decide between this Nike windbreaker jacket or this waterproof jacket. It's also the perfect time to stock up on sports bras (my favorites are Nike) and leggings - especially if you need to replace a pair or two of black leggings.

Of course the prices can't be beat, but wanna know another great detail? The fact that these items will take you well though fall and winter, including trips to the grocery store. You'll definitely get your money's worth!

I have my eyes on a few new pairs of sneakers and now that access has opened up to those of us without a Nordy's card, it's time to get shopping. After all, shopping is an acceptable form of cardio, right?!

PS: the sale ends August 6th.


MORE #NSALE FAVORITES:



Life Lately, Vol. 2

July 17, 2017


Let your dreams be bigger than your fears.


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Hi, #FitFam!! Not to scare you but - we are more than halfway through 2017. Wut.

After that shock wore off a bit, I realized it's been a few months since I've done a life lately post - so I'm filling yinz in on what's been going on in my world. It'll be a shorter post since I can't reveal a whole lot yet - but I'm facing a lot of life changes.

While my 2017 goals list is pretty long, I've been working toward one major goal for the past 6 months. I shared some news in this Instagram post, but also wanted to fill you guys in here - just in case you don't follow me on Instagram. (Which, you should!) So, hiiiiiii and also I'm sorry for being kind of silent on the blog lately. It's had to take a backseat so I can focus on some bigger things but I promise it won't last much longer.

Since I'm getting SO close, I am feeling both incredibly excited and nervous. Yoga classes and workouts will be few and far between, and no more binge-watching Game of Thrones as I focus on completing what I set out to do. (But, man I can't wait to get back to all those things!).

In case you're wondering - Naturally Me will not be going anywhere. In fact, I'll be able to give you guys much more fitness-related posts and guidance. There are also some amazing collaborations in the works - one involving traveling which I don't get to do much of!

You can keep up with me over on Instagram or Twitter - I'd love to connect! Of course, if you ever have questions, ideas about blog content you want to see, or just want to talk about how awesome dinosaurs are - shoot me an email! ;)

Oh, and a few more things --

Your dreams and passions may change from where you once thought you'd be, and that's okay. Will it seem scary? Oh yes. Will you contemplate whether you should make such a huge change? Probably. Could it be categorized as a mid-life crisis? Debatable. ;) But taking the first step toward a dream you can't get out of your head will light an even bigger fire within you. (Even if it takes some nudging by loved ones.) Use that passion to go after it and don't give up until you're spending each day doing something that makes you wildly happy.

Editor's note: I thought I was finished writing this post, then I came across this thought/quote from one of my friends that I've been holding close: "There is no growth without disturbance." 

I also found (and bookmarked) an eye-opening Mindbodygreen article about how fear is holding us back and ways to cover come it.


Just some food for thought. ;) Xo

My Style: Summer Purchases

June 30, 2017

We are nine days into the official summer season and oops, I went on a shopping spree for all the summer things. Swimsuits, flip flops, and even some "real clothes", too. Who am I? I just found too many good deals and cute things I couldn't say no to, so I'm sharing all my finds! #treatyoself

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My style is definitely changing into more of an easy and quick-but-put together style and I hate shopping for "real clothes". Never thought I'd say that. My shopping trips (or online orders) consist of activewear about 97% of the time - however lately I've felt the need to find some new clothes I can't wear to a gym.

Anywho, my latest purchases are all super affordable (even though most I bought were on sale) so you can still have enough funds for summer vacation, to finally try a paddle boarding class, or indulge in a spontaneous ice cream trip. Maybe several. Bruster's coupons for the win!

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I seriously am so in love with everything, but wanted to highlight some of my top purchases.

Target one-piece swimsuit - I'm never gonna shut up about this swimsuit because it's that perfect. I wore it last weekend when we went whitewater tubing in Harper's Ferry and it was the perfect suit to wear for a fun (and eventful) afternoon. Even though I got some scrapes from a few encounters with rocks, my suit was untouched, thankfully. ;)

Havaianas black ring flip flops - along with a sporty swimsuit, I've been looking for flip flops that I can wear paddle boarding, or to the beach, that will also last me a while. I bought my first pair of Havaianas and I really love them. They're cute and functional and come in 6 different colors. I wasn't sure if they run true to size, and ended up having to get a 7/8 (I'm usually a size 6 or 7).

LOFT curvy frayed cuff jeans - if you follow me on Instagram, you saw my stories a couple weekends ago when I went to LOFT to find a pair of white jeans. I saw they were having a sale - and I've always loved their jeans - so I decided to see what they had. Trying to find jeans is not fun and I was having fit issues until a sweet employee suggested trying on a straight fit (instead of skinny). You guys - GAME CHANGER! The straight fit gave me enough leg room, weren't too tight and I didn't have that awful bulge in the back. I love them so much I want to get the same pair in a dark denim wash.

If you have size/fit questions about any of my purchases, feel free to email me or leave a comment and I'll be sure to help ya out!


PS: Happy Friday! We made it through another week! I hope everyone has a great weekend/July 4th! After work today, I'm headed home to PA for 4 days and I cannot wait to spend time with my family and celebrate my birthday. #firecracker I even packed my new bicycle! Follow along over on Instastories for all the fun! ;)

What summer purchases have you made so far?


SHOP THE POST


10 Lessons I've Learned From Yoga

June 21, 2017

"Get out of your head and into your heart. Think less. Feel more." ~ Osho

Happy International Day of Yoga!!

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I thought it would be fun to celebrate by sharing some of my favorite yoga photos, as well as some lessons I've learned in the 3 years that I've been on the mat. Of course, I am by no means done learning as I go through my regular yoga practice, but I have learned some some pretty amazing lessons.

1. Buy TWO yoga blocks - not long into my yoga practice I wanted to get some accessories for my practice at home so I bought a yoga block. One single yoga block. I now realize that was kinda silly. While there are many yoga poses that you can do with one block, there are some I want to work on that require two.

2. When you want to get out of the pose, you need to stay in it - during each yoga class, it's your breath that keeps you centered, grounded. When I'm in a tough pose and want nothing more than to plop to the floor, I focus on my breathing technique and never give up. It's an amazing feeling to work through the uncomfortable poses and know that you were strong enough (mentally and physically) to stick with it.

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3. Finding YOUR studio takes time, but it's worth it - yoga studios are popping up everywhere, if they're not already established. Especially here in the DC area, it can be overwhelming to find a studio that you love. In my opinion, it's not just about the classes you take. Your instructor(s), fellow yogis, and the whole vibe of the studio is so important. It's fun to make friends and trust me, you will! You'll start to see the same people in classes and develop a bond. It's incredible!

4. YouTube yoga is a good alternative - I'd much rather practice yoga at my studio, with my favorite instructors, but if I can't make it to class I'll get out my iPad and find a YouTube yoga video. It's certainly not as intimate, and a bit harder to focus (for me, anyway) but it works. Sometimes I'll even skip the YouTube part and put on a soothing Pandora station while I go through my own practice. (I like the Soundscapes & Lullabies Pandora station.)

5. There are so many different types of yoga; try them all - It's a lot of fun to try different types of yoga classes to see what you like best. My favorites are Vinyasa, Hatha, and Restorative (especially on a Friday night.) And if Artoga is offered near you, try a class...I highly recommend it, it's so much fun!

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Naturally Me, Yoga Diaries, Yogi, Yoga Pose, Yoga Lessons, ToeSox, International Day of Yoga, International Yoga Day, Artoga

6. No one cares if your feet look perfect - I remember reading an article about this a while ago and the more I think about it, the more I realize it's true. No one cares what your feet look like, or the fact that nail polish has come off 2 of your toes. Everyone is there for one goal: to deepen their yoga practice and connect with their soul and breathing. If I have chipped polish, oh well!

7. Yoga will help you live better off your mat - literally every time I finish a yoga class, I'm much more calm, less stressed, and have a more positive outlook on the world. I try to keep that balance off the mat - especially during the work week. If I am stressed, I always find myself going through a round of breaths, too, just like in class. And I don't even realize I'm doing it!

8. Our bodies are beautiful - it is seriously amazing what our bodies can do. Even during a simple act like walking, there is so much that needs to happen throughout our system to make that happen. Yoga is just another way to challenge our body and muscles in ways they may not be used to. (Which is a good thing!)

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9. Not flexible? Not a problem - a lot of people have the misconception that anyone and everyone who practices yoga is super flexible. That's not the case! Sure, we do get more flexible as our practice grows - but it takes time. And constant work. But here's another thing to remember: it doesn't matter how flexible you are a year from now. During a yoga class, the instructor always tells us to stay within our scope of practice, and modify a pose if needed. There are plenty of times I have to do that, and it's okay. It's better to take your time (as well as avoid injury).

10. It's never too late to start practicing - as much as I wish I'd discovered yoga years ago, I'm so glad that it's been part of my life for over three years now. I can't imagine life without it! While it may not be for everyone, it's never too late to step on the mat and see where it takes you. (And if yoga has taken a backseat in your life for a while, it's never too late to jumpstart your yoga practice again!)

Namaste, friends! <3


What lessons have you learned through your yoga practice?

My Summer 2017 Bucket List

June 16, 2017

Since there are just five days until the official start of summer (woohoo!), let's celebrate by thinking about all the fun activities we have planned, shall we?

Of course, I plan to spend as much time outside as possible and now that I bought mineral sunscreen, I'm ready to go! (Side note: does anyone else use mineral sunscreen? When I applied it, I couldn't rub it in all the way so my skin looked white. Any tips or tricks?) I also purchased a few other summertime necessities I've linked below.

Anywho - I'm just so excited for everything summer (even my birthday) - so let's jump right in! ;)

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My plans for the summer include:

1. Hiking at Great Falls - I've already done this with some friends, but it certainly won't be the last time! Plus, the main view of the falls were closed so hopefully it'll reopen soon. I love all the trails, even just walking along the canal, and the fact that your $10 admission is good for 3 days.

2. Visiting Soleado Lavender Farm - there's just something about spending a relaxing day in a lavender field that I'm just drawn to. I also think it'd be fun to take a lavender wand making class, or try some lavender honey! (Also, it's located at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain which I always go to!)

3. Paddle boarding - My first paddle boarding class was last summer with Paddle Nova and my friend and I LOVED it. I definitely want to take another class (or several) - including the yoga paddle boarding class they offer.

4. Skydiving - fun fact: my dad and I were supposed to go together years ago, but when we got to the airport, we found out I wasn't old enough (and he went without me!). It's time I jump out of a plane!

5. Butler's Orchard - I love this place in the summer and how you can pick your own fresh fruit. Strawberries, black raspberries... give me all the fresh fruit! And they always have fun events happening, too.

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6. GoApe - I "went ape" a few years ago and loved it. You're literally in the trees which is a pretty unique experience. I also like the fact that you can go at your own speed and choose to take a more challenging course, too. And the zipline? I could do that all day!

7. Rock Climbing - as someone who has never been rock climbing, I'd love to go to Earth Treks Rockville. I've heard so many good things about it and it's the perfect way to get started.

8. Sandy Spring Adventure Park - I don't even remember how I discovered this place but holy cow it looks SO fun, especially Glow in the Park!

9. Whitewater kayaking - this was all my Dad's idea but I'm totally on board to try this! About two years ago we did whitewater rafting and that was a blast so I can imagine how much fun the kayaking version is. I just bought this Havaianas wristlet that will be perfect to take along. It's made of a water-resistant silicone, comes in 17 colors and it's on sale!

10. Trying Splash Cycle - I just saw this article a few days ago and I'm intrigued. It's a cycle class... yep, you guessed it... in a pool where you are pedaling against the water resistance. (This article is gives you a great overview of what to expect.) Now that class have started in DC... who wants to go with me??

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It also wouldn't be summer without lots of outdoor runs, pool time, froyo/ice cream trips, and a cookout or two. Hopefully there will be a beach trip in there as well, since the last time I was on a beach it was freezing!

PS: I definitely bought one of these sporty swimsuits that I posted about - can you guess which one? It'll be perfect for paddle boarding and whitewater kayaking. You can shop all my summer must-haves below!


What's on your bucket list this summer?  


SHOP MY SUMMER MUST-HAVES: