disney weekend and a hiit workout.

It was cold this weekend! And by cold I mean 60s-70s and I’m a huge wimp $*&$!*$*!

winter in florida

This weekend I skipped town for a weekend at Disney with the fam. It was the perfect time, too, because the Gasparilla festival of belligerent drunk pirates just happened to be in town. Here’s a very small taste of the festivities from when I lived on Davis Islands.

splash mountain disney world

This was the first time I got soaked on Splash Mountain. Usually you get just sprinkled a little bit, but it really looked like the three of us were hanging out in a pool for a while.

splash mountain magic kingdomdisney world vacationdisney world parade collage

Later we all learned that nothing makes people more anxious and irritated than when you stand up in the front row during a parade. I think I ruined no less than three peoples’ vacations. I did a 30-minute HIIT workout when I got home, then we had hibachi & sushi at ari. We rolled ourselves home and some of us took a nap on top of the fridge.

sleeping cat

Hope your weekend was awesome!

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Here’s a very loose version of the HIIT workout I did. I made it up as I went along and threw in more high knees than just two sets, but this is pretty close.

pool deck hiit workout

Just a reminder: I’m not a certified trainer, just a fitness enthusiast. If you do any sort of workout, go at your own speed. KTHANKSBYE.

my first week with classpass (it was awesome!!).

I really like to workout. And if you’re new around here, I’ll tell you that’s quite an understatement. 

Two weeks ago I was contacted by a rep from ClassPass (hi, Jess!) asking if I wanted to partner for a month to try out this gym subscription service which was launching in Tampa on Monday of this week.

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I think you know my answer: HECK to the YES. 

Background:
ClassPass is a service that allows you to take classes for one flat monthly fee (varies based on your city) at tons of studios in your area such as yoga (hot, warm, flow, vinyasa, gentle, beginner, etc), spin, Crossfit, bootcamps, barre, kickboxing, dance, martial arts, and strength training.

Fine print:
You’re limited to three classes at one studio per month but you can go to as many different places as you want. Once you sign up for a class, make sure you are willing and able to go because there’s a $20 fee if you cancel. You’re not charged if you don’t show up, but it will cut into your 3-class max at that studio for the month.

User interface:
The site is insanely easy to use. All you need to do is choose a date, scroll through the classes for that day, then reserve a class (or more!). You can filter your results, too, if you want to search classes in a certain location or studio.

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On Monday afternoon Jess sent me an email that ClassPass had officially launched, so I spent a good portion of my lunch break planning out which classes I wanted to take the rest of the week. (Squeeee so excited!!)

Barre immediately jumped out at me. I’ve wanted to try a class there for awhile but the individual drop-in prices turned me away. Another one was 650 Fit which I had never heard of, but I’ll get to that in a second.

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This week’s schedule:
Tuesday, 1/27 6AM Barre @ Barre Fitness
Wednesday, 1/28 7:15PM Barre Cardio @ Barre Fitness
Thursday, 1/29 6AM Bootcamp @ 650 FIT

Tuesday:
My first barre class was awesome. It got off to a rocky start because of some miscommunication but it ended up working out really well because there were just two of us in the class. It felt like a personal session!

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Wednesday:
Long story short, I was given a free class after my first so I chose to sign up for Wednesday evening’s barre cardio and it was even better than the first. There were more cardio moves mixed in with the strength and stretching so it felt like more my speed. I will for sure be back for this one next week!

Thursday:
Holy smokes, friends. 650 Fit is LEGIT. One of the reasons I signed up for this class was because of the building it was in.

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Background: I’ve lived in Tampa for five (six?) years and never knew what was in this cool building next to my Starbucks–until this week! I always saw people working out up there but never knew who. There weren’t any signs! When I clicked on 650 Fit on the ClassPass site, I freaked out and signed up immediately.

This bootcamp slash Crossfit slash group fitness workout was intense–exactly the kind of workout I like. Again there were only two people at this one: me and another guy twice my age. We used kettlebells, weights, TRX equipment, steps, and we ran back and forth…and back and forth a million times. I LOVED it so much. The trainer/owner said it’s always dead on Tuesday and Thursday mornings so you know I’ll be signing up again.

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The official verdict:
One super sweaty high five to ClassPass. It reminds me why I love group fitness so much–and why the price is so worth it. It’s motivating, and such a nice change from solo workouts. The only downside is the 3-class per month max.

Have you tried ClassPass? What’s your take on group fitness? Any classes/studios in your area you want to try?

**I was provided a complimentary one-month ClassPass subscription with no obligation to blog about it. I chose to write this post on my own because my experience with ClassPass has been so awesome and I can’t wait to finish out the month. I’m 99% sure I’ll buy a membership at the end of my trial.**

tbt: things running xc and track in college taught me.

Cross country changed me. 

Running for my university was one of the best times of my life. And that’s saying a lot because I also worked at Walt Disney World for six months. 

cross country lehigh meet

The day I joined, I got 30+ brand new friends, which I needed because I transferred two years in. Then in my second season, two of those friends became my roommates. We ran and suffered and loved every second together.

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Our coaches were something special, too. They believed in us so hard–sometimes more than we believed in ourselves, and I think that’s why we were so successful as a team.

nationals d2 cross country

Even though we run as individuals in cross country, it’s a team sport. You score points as one team when each person crosses the finish line. I can’t tell you how many times during a race I thought, “Come on, Edwards, just pass ONE MORE girl. You can do it. ONE MORE girl.” Moving up just one place could mean the difference between first and second place. Nerve wracking, yes. Completely awesome, hell yes.

Today, I’m throwing it back to those crazy-amazing years of cross country and track that is still a huge part of who I am. Here’s what I learned.

1. Take every day and every minute one at a time. Running is running, some say, but in a big meet it’s strategy. When to hold on, when to follow, when to lead, when to let go and haul ass. You figure everything out one step at a time.

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2. It doesn’t get easier if you’re doing it right. Every day and workout should bring a challenge. We didn’t get up insanely early to half-ass anything. We were all there for the same reason–to get better and to push ourselves and each other.

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3. People remember hard work more than natural talent. Natural talent is something special, but the people who show up and keep showing up is what they’ll be known for. Read: That practice in the sideways rain better not have gone unnoticed. ;)

4. Work 10x as hard when someone says you can’t do it. When I started track the older girls on the team told me I wouldn’t be able to handle XC. What a load of bullshit. It was the best time of my life and I have times/awards/scholarships to show for it. Make it your job to show people you CAN.

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5. It’s OK to lean on others. // It’s OK to let others lead. My coach always told me that runners go through peaks and valleys. Highs and lows every week. One day I would be up with the front girls, the next I’d be holding up the back. Learning to let others take the lead only helps you build trust and break down the ego.

6. Push out of the turn. This is something my family always says and it simply means: when life throws you through the hard, messy stuff, stay strong and persevere until you come out the other side. I love this. It makes me feel fearless.

7. Keep a “There’s always someone better than you.” mentality. There is and will always be someone better than me, and I try to never forget that. It breeds motivation and then success.

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8. Get out of your own head. During track meets I would get so nervous that I’d feel nauseous on the start line. Over time, meet after meet, I focused on the hard work that got me there and put the trust in my legs.

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9. Stay thankful. I can’t tell you how grateful I was/am to have such an amazing support system. My coaches, my teammates, but most importantly my family. They lived up north for most of these seasons and they still came to as many meets as possible.

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The most important thing that I’ve learned, however, is to never give up, which is lame and expected but so true. After I graduated I developed Dystonia (lots of posts on that here), a neurological disorder that has taken away my ability to run “correctly.” It’s been a struggle since my racing, marathon and ironman dreams have come crashing down. But I’ve always held on to those dreams and I thank xc/track for that.

that adulthood thing.

Adulthood has always been a mystery to me. 

I’ve kind of done my own thing, dancing to the beat of my plastic heels on the linoleum and probably embarrassing my parents in public.

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My sister, though, she’s always had her shit together. She has made growing up look so easy. She’s a doctor, she’s married, and her fashion choices are always better than mine.

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I often wonder if we’re really related. By blood.

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This is me at my first job. When I thought adulthood was staying at the office until 11 p.m. and having Juicy Fruit for dinner.

But the adult thing. It didn’t hit me when I walked across a stage carrying a diploma or the day I started paying (all of my) rent. But it stopped me today while I was researching the best OB/GYN doctors in Tampa.

Yup. As I read reviews on the best places to get legally violated, a little voice welcomed me to the other side. “Come,” it said, “we have all the new patient forms and co-pays you could ever want.”

Twenty fifteen is the year I promised myself I’d get my life together and establish relationships with a family doctor, OB/GYN, dentist, and orthodontist in Tampa.

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This is when I thought adulthood was using an expired student ID to get a museum discount. 

I’ve floated between several places in the area, but never loved any of them–or stuck around long enough to find out. Heh. It’s time to get serious. I’m an adult whether I like it or not (eh…indifferent so far) so I better start acting like it (if I have to). Even if some appointments are more uncomfortable than that time I burned my face on the curling wand.

get the looks for less: f21 vs lululemon activewear.

Can we talk about Forever 21’s new activewear for just a minute?

Wait. First, let’s rewind to when I was all “omg stop hating on lulu, their clothes are quality and you don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to and blah blah.” I certainly don’t take back that post…

lululemon outfit
Turn It Up Long Sleeve
Straight-Up Pant (No longer available)

…because, hello, I wear lulu all day every day on the weekends. But I also realize that lulu’s prices are steeeeep and it’s easy to find look-alike styles for, like, 75% less at stores like Forever21.

In case you’re not into lululemon or just want to find that look for a little less, here are some of my favorite pieces from f21 and their lulu inspiration.

running capris
f21:Luxe-Printed Workout Leggings $21.90
lulu: Wunder Under Pant *Full-On Luon (Roll Down) $102

workout tshirt
f21: Eat Dust Muscle Tank $9.90
lulu: Roll Around Tee $58

workout tank top
f21: Cross-Strap Studio Tank $7.80
lulu: Clip-In Tank $58

sports bras
f21: Medium Impact – Caged Sports Bra $12.90
lulu: On Your Way Bra $58
f21: Medium Impact – Crossover Back Sports Bra $12.90
lulu: Energy Bra $48

lulu f21 tank
f21: Today I Will Succeed Workout Tank $12.90
lulu: Run: Swiftly Tech Racerback $48

tight workout pants
f21: Side-Pocket Colorblocked Leggings $19.90
lulu: Speed Tight II *Full-On Luxtreme (Brushed) $108

running workout jacket
f21: Woven Pullover Hoodie $19.90
lulu: Feelin’ Frosty Softshell *Insulated $248 (!!!!)

workout shorts f21 lulu
f21: Skinny Fit Geo Print Performance Shorts $12.90
lulu: Groove Short *Full-On Luon (Regular) $48
f21: Faux Leather Training Shorts $15.90
lulu: Run: Speed Short *4-way Stretch $58

running hats
f21: Reflective Night Runner’s Hat $9.90
lulu: Play The Field Cap $38

workout accessories
f21: Om Yoga Mat $9.90
lulu: The Mat $68
f21: Faux Leather Paneled Gym Bag $22.90
lulu: Weekend Warrior Bag *Reflective $178

Where do you buy your workout gear? What do you think of f21’s activewear line? Here are all the products.

1/25/15 weekend things.

Afternoon!

Don’t mind me. Just enjoying the middles of some cinnamon raisin bread with my coffee. Post-bike ride feasting!

breakfast and coffee

I rarely buy bread, but I had such a craving yesterday that I bought two loaves and shamelessly enjoyed a piece in my car on the way home. This is the single life, people, be jealous. 

Some other things I guiltlessly enjoy…

Instant coffee. You know when the coffee pot is sitting there all clean, and the last thing in the world you want to do is brew a few cups and have to deal with that mess later? That’s when instant coffee sounds the most delicious. It literally tastes better knowing there’s no clean-up.

keeping it together planner 2

Not touching makeup for two days. I made zero plans this weekend so my skin got a nice break from the daily face paint.

Sitting inside on a sunny day. After my afternoon run/walk yesterday I sat in my big comfy chair with coffee for the better part of 2 hours. My stomach started to feel a little weird, so I enjoyed the down time and let the wind blow like crazy through my windows.

lululemon pants that double and triple as workout pants and shopping pants and coffee pants. Hello. It’s called athleisure.

Listening to this song on repeat. I shared it on Twitter on Friday night and Mr Hudson favorited my tweet on Saturday morning. LIFE MADE.

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Hope you’re all having a fabulous weekend!

wiaw: staples.

There’s a lot of food uncertainty going on around here. 

It’s a thing, OK?

First of all, we had Monday off which kind of threw my schedule a little bit. We also have photo shoots going on this week, which means I’ll be out of the office all day. Lunch is usually provided but I’m never sure if I’ll need snacks or dinner. And what in the heck do I prepare for dinners during the week because what happens if I’m starving and eat everything? Or what about if I’m just not feeling a huge dinner and then I have a fridge full of food going bad by Friday?

These are real adult problems.

wiaw food prep
Oh, hi. My name’s Not Enough Counter Space AT ALL. What about you?

In any case, I just decided to pick up a bunch of things that I knew I’d really like, including ingredients for a slow cooker stew that I could freeze if I made too much. Which I did. Because I always do.

I like craving what’s already in my fridge and pantry. Real, whole foods is what I’m all about: zucchini (I bought organic because OMG the pesticide podcast I listened to last week had me cringing), carrots, celery, spinach, grapes, broccoli, spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, bananas, lentils, brown rice.

wiaw food prep 2
That’s Toasted Coconut coffee. We’re getting married later this year. You’re all invited.

I like looking forward to breakfasts in the morning with my coffee and a small scoop of carob powder. <– It’s an acquired taste that took me a bit to…acquire. I like munching on salted peanuts and granola while I work.

peanut butter
Mo servings mo problems.

And I really, really like sharing a jar of peanut butter with my partner at work. :)

All of these staples keep me fueled and filled up during a crazy week. It doesn’t gotta be difficult, yo. It’s just gotta be delicious!

***These groceries aren’t an exhaustive list of what I eat during the week. They’re just some of my favorites and the ones I eat the most.***

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Now ‘scuse me, I’ve got coffee to drink. Thanks for hosting, Jenn! What are you munching on this week?

a story about a water bottle.

Until today I never thought water bottles were anything special. They hold liquids. Some keep those liquids hot, others keep them cold, and there are those real space agey ones that do both.

work

I’m not sure what kind of H20 container I’ve got here, but I can tell you a pretty cool story about it.

Here’s my Look-What-I-Did-Mom?! Story:

About six months ago we kicked off a biggum project at work. We were tasked with creating a campaign that would launch our client’s brand new super top secret product. Oh, and our timeline was thiiiiiiiiiis long, which is a mathematical term for like 72 hours.

Our final presentation included digital ads, social posts, in-store materials, mobile units and more. We crammed that product launch full of our best and most awesome ideas. Like any campaign, it needed a name. And a campaign with any sort of social components needs a hashtag.

That’s what I, as a writer, got super stoked about. I sat in our big comfy chairs, put on my thinking cap and wore a hole through my notebook.

sheldon-coopers-thinking-hat

After awhile I landed on a hashtag that became the name of the campaign and was the one printed on that may-hold-hot-or-may-hold-cold water bottle above. Our client brought it to a photo shoot we were doing today and I about peed my pants. I’m proud. Total fridge material.

I am proof that hard work pays off. 

Wait. That sounded so Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Hate her. What I mean is that chances are if you work really hard at something you really like, you’ll eventually get where you wanna go. And I can totally vouch for that.

SIP ON THAT KNOWLEDGE BOMB.

How was your day?

a few ways i stay creative as a writer.

When people ask me what I do–even people I work with because they think I’ve just been goofing off for two years–I tell them I’m a copywriter at an advertising agency and work mostly on social content. And then I laugh because it’s still weird to me when I say it out loud. I write for a living– how cool is that?!

A company pays me to take the good stuff in my brain and write it down. They rely on me to bring fresh ideas for social content, product launches, radio and TV commercials (only when I get really lucky!), and more. 

When you think about it, though, that’s a lot of pressure. What if all my ideas run out? What if I can’t think of anything really awesome on the spot? What if I’m never clever or funny ever again? I’m writing tweets! Why am I not saving the world?!

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Then I calm down and remember I don’t know how to save the world, but I do know how to write. And I’ve definitely had those days where I feel like I’m scraping the bottom of the brainstorming barrel. The days when I think the same thoughts over and over again.

Ever since tricking people into paying me to write 2.5 years ago, I’ve tried to make sure my mind stays loose and limber–not just when I go into a big project, but when I’m working on day-to-day stuff. I want everything I write to have a purpose and a specialness, whether it’s a Facebook post or a bigger concept for a brand re-launch.

These are a few ways I keep my creative juices from spoiling.

1. Write a lot. I love to write, and thank goodness for that because it keeps the electricity on in my apartment. Everywhere I go I write. When I traveled to Germany, I filled up about five notebook pages just on the way over. Whatever comes to mind, I write it down–a quote I saw somewhere, something funny I heard someone say, a description of the amaaazzzinnnggg Frankfurt train station–anything! I carry pens and paper in my purse at all times. It’s a sickness, being a writer.

notebooks

2. Read a lot. When I’m not writing, I’m reading. Right now my favorite genres are biographies and non-fiction. The real stuff! I always have at least three books checked out from the library and 2/3 are usually overdue. Ninety nine percent of humans on Earth are probably smarter than me and I like to hear what they have to say. Reading also gives me awesome ideas and sometimes I write down my favorite quotes–you know on the paper I hoard in my purse and pockets just like grandmas with tissues.

books

3. Read a lot–online! It’s easier for me to keep my words and ideas fresh when I know what’s going on in the advertising world. The way a platform changes can affect how I’m communicating a message. I’m always reading Fast Co., INCTech Crunch, and Bustle because Bustle is the shiiiiiiit, people. The way the authors write articles, too, is a cool form of storytelling that I really dig.

4. Get involved at work. We do a lot of cool stuff for our clients at work. One of them is photo shoots. I like to go to those as often as possible to be in a new environment, working with other awesome people and experiencing a new medium firsthand.

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I took my GoPro on set with me and got some really cool photos and video. I love to write but I also really love taking pictures. 

5. Take a break from writing. Yeah it’s great to practice but if I don’t take a break I’m totally burned out. And I bet you can guess what I do. Yup, WORKOUT. I love to sweat and it’s exactly what I need to take a breather between projects.

trail running

6. Make a creative space for myself. You’ve probably seen it before, but advertising agencies are notorious for having white boards on every wall and half pipes in the hallways and couches everywhere. All of that is true because creatives need awesome, fun spaces to feel inspired. I try to make my apartment as fun and comfy as possible.

apartment wall art

7. Scroll through Pinterest. Talk about inspiration. I think some of my best ideas have come from Pinterest. Just seeing a certain color palette, a vase of flowers, a few new words, or a dreamy pile of brownies can launch me into a new headspace.

8. Talk to other people. I love having a partner at work because her head is full of different ideas than mine. When I can’t get my brain around something, I ask her what she thinks of the idea or what first comes to her mind when she hears a topic. It’s funny because sometimes we’ll completely switch roles: she’ll come up with an awesome line of copy and I’ll think of the visual for it. I still don’t know how I got so lucky with my partner. We’re the best team.

9. Keep a diary. Yeah, that’s right. I use my Keeping It Together Daily Planner as a really cool lady diary where I write my deepest feelings and try to decode my dreams.  <– Half true. It’s therapeutic and helps me start fresh every day.

keeping it together planner 2015

What do you do for a living? Or do you have to kill me? In that case, we’re done here.

deep cleansing mask thoughts.

Being a girl is hard. The skinny jeans. The high heels. The panty hose. Wait, are those still a thing? I wouldn’t even know where to get them. Ugh, girl stuff. It’s hard. But while I’m doing the girly things I know how to do–like put gunk on my face–I want to tell you what I’m thinking about.

cleansing mask products

+ Pretty sure if I try to eat I’ll get charcoal and black sugar in my mouth.

+ How long is marinara sauce good for in the fridge after it has been opened?

+ Last night I dreamt that my friend had a cat named Spaghetti.

+ I also dreamt that I held hands with Brody Jenner.

cleansing mask

+ It says to leave the scrub on for 5-7 minutes. Better be safe and go the full seven minutes. This mug needs maintenance.

+ Big Lots has the most crazy off-brand products I’ve ever seen, but they’re so insanely cheap. Bleach: $1! Body wash: $1! Hand lotion: 25 cents! Face wipes: $1.50! I considered buying it all.

+ I really hated running today, but loved it when I was done. It always sorta happens that way. #Dystonia

+ Gas is $1.97 here. WHERE SHOULD I GO???

+ Why is good flavored decaf coffee so difficult to find? It’s nowhere!

+ I need a free manicure.

Gimme some thoughts. How’s your weekend going?