15 Facts About Me

Good morning! Christmas is exactly one week away. One week! Can you believe it? Scott and I are heading back home to NJ on Monday. We are really looking forward to seeing our families. It has been too long.

I saw the 15 Facts About Me survey on Ange’s blog, and I thought it would be fun to fill out and share here! There are lots of questionnaires that float around online, but I thought this one had some really original questions.

So I decided to settle in with a glass of Merlot last night, and put together some witty answers for this Q&A…let us roll!

15 Facts About Me

What is your current health related goal?

Getting stronger! I suffered a shoulder injury several years ago, and it has been very slow to heal. I would like to finally start to build up my upper body strength, and move beyond my Barbie weights at the gym.

2014-11-02 17.01.55

What is your biggest irrational fear?

It is being trapped in a car under water. I have no idea why, but it is something that crosses my mind occasionally. I also hate escalators. There is one in the downtown Whole Foods in Austin. I have to take a breath every time I ride it. I hold the cart plus the side rail. It is not a pretty scene.

Do you enjoy wrapping presents?

It all depends on the circumstance for me! If it is festive, and it is by tree around Christmas – then yes. I only really like boxes I can wrap evenly. I feel that bow and ribbons can cover a multitude of sins though.

What is your favorite cross training activity?

My current regime is weight training, HIIT cardio or running and yoga. I like variety, but I do enough to make myself interested – not crazy. I used to think every workout had to be completely different. That is not the way to improve! You cannot be one and done with lunges or squats. Every time I do them I strive to be better. I used to be a total cardio bunny, but now I embrace so many more aspects of fitness.

If I came to visit you, what would we do?

We would explore Austin! I am still very new to this city so I am very much still a newbie. We might go to Barton Springs to hang out, go see a musical festival, or get lunch on South Congress Avenue.

ACL

There is a lot to do and it is very much a warm weather culture! Plus there is a million restaurants to try.

I also love Picnik which is a outdoor Paleo Café so we would go there for a grain-free treat and a butter latte.

2014-10-17 10.44.39

You have two weeks off work and two airplane tickets to go anywhere! Where would you go and who would you bring?

I would take Scott and explore Hawaii for two weeks. We have never been and talk about how much we would like the beaches and surfing…

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you during a run or race?

I cannot think of anything! Honestly. I have really only run a race or two. I have had my share of wardrobe malfunctions at the beach and even during workouts. Enough said.

The three best days of your life? Or three that come to mind?
    1. Being in Ireland with my mother and sister
    2. The Mumford & Sons Concert in Austin with Scott
    3. Theatre! Nothing specific, but either being in a play or going to see one.

Mumford & Sons

You have to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant do you choose and what do you order?

Tough one. I seriously never eat fast food. I used to occasionally eat a Subway sandwich but then all those stories came out about the bread containing chemicals they use in tires.

Does Chipotle count? If not, I guess Wendy’s. I would order a burger and fries and cross my fingers…

Have you ever met a celebrity?

I met Julia Roberts when I was an extra on the set of Mona Lisa Smile. I did not really “meet” her, but we were in close proximity. I also saw Mike Meyers in the Chelsea area of NYC when I was walking around one day.

I wish I had the picture from the set to share here! I have to dig it up while I am at home…

Share a pic of yourself in non-workout clothes.

Outside in Austin

If you could choose to have a “do over” and switch careers what would you do and why?

Part of me always wishes I had stayed with acting longer.

However, given my current interests it would be in the fitness or nutrition fields. I have changed so much since I was in college. That seems like a lifetime ago!

If you won an Olympic medal, how would you react?

I would be BEYOND shocked…like drop to the floor in awe.

What do you want for Christmas?2012-12-20 21.53.20

Nothing that is a physical present! I am looking forward to catching up with family and friends. Simply relaxing and seeing everyone will be nice.

What skill do you lack?

I have a terrible sense of time. I was also never the singer I wanted to be.

I am going to pass this along to YOU! Please feel free to share the questions and pass them along! They are fun for a blog post or a party game. Perhaps an awkward conversation starter at a holiday party? Cheers!

Linking up with Amanda today and see you tomorrow for Friday’s Favorite Things!

Question of the Day: What do you want for Christmas? What skill do you lack? Where would you go with those airplane tickets to anywhere?

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WIAW #20: Eats & Health Coaching

Happy Wednesday! Wednesdays mean it is time for another round up of eats for WIAW. Plus an update on my health coaching page!

I had mentioned in last week’s post I was going to try to share my Monday eats so I could write up my posts a little earlier in the day on Tuesday. Well…major fail on my part. I realized at the end of the day that I did not ANY pictures except for a dinner I shared on Instagram. This is the reason I am all about building habits slowly. It takes time to remember to do them!

I jumping into a new What I Ate Wednesday to share with you today. Many thanks to Jen who continues to host this popular link up party every week.

What I Ate Tuesday Wednesday

Yesterday was exciting because it was the kick off to my first giveaway on the blog for my friend’s company, Be Lovely. There is still time to enter to win by commenting on the post. I am selecting a winner on Friday.

CoffeeI was up early to make sure that everything turned out ok on the blog. I am always suspicious of the internet. I worry that something might get distorted when it goes to publish. I told one of my old bosses this once, and he looked at me in disbelief. He then asked me how old I was (jokingly)…apparently it is odd for a young person such as myself to not have full faith in the web.

Giveaway notices went up on my social media as I drank my first coffee of the day typing away on my computer. I caught up on some blogs and emails until I was hungry and decided it was time for breakfast.

I cooked three pastured eggs in coconut oil on the stove and popped some Ezekiel bread into the toaster oven. Once the eggs were done, I added some butter to the toast and settled in. This picture could have been a little more stylized, but I waited a little too long to eat. I was WAY hungry at this point.Pastured Eggs & Toast

I got ready for the day and did some miscellaneous house chores. I have working from home since I moved to Austin, and I am sort of in-between worlds at the moment. The blog, freelance writing and studying have been filling up my days.

As we enter the new year, I am hoping that the right job opportunity comes my way. It is nice to have the feeling of working at work sometimes. When I am home, I am often distracted by laundry and such calling to me. I could wait, but I often feel obligated to always be keeping up. However, I love the blog and my other projects so I am striving to find a good balance. Big goal for 2015!

One of the benefits to working from home is workout leggings, and getting to go for a  late morning walk. I even talked Scott into joining me, and it was nice to have company.

Morning Walk

Waking up earlier I have found the need for a mid-morning snack. We are trying to be careful and not buy too much food because we leave on Monday to go home for Christmas. After looking through my options I settled on a small protein shake.

Protein Shake

My post-walk refuel included Sunwarrior Protein Power in Chocolate, Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, MCT oil and a splash of cold brew with ice. I have been listening to Christmas music every day on my Pandora station. It was also time to dig out this big text book from our coat closet. I studied on and off to get my personal training certification this past year. Now that I finished my Precision Nutrition training it is time to get back on the bandwagon and get certified.

Speaking of coaching, my drop down page is now live! It details the services I am offering now that I have completed my Precision Nutrition Certification. I would love to hear if you have any questions or thoughts!

Lunch included a mix of vegetables from our farmer’s market trip on Sunday. Yellow tomato, spinach, zucchini and pepper. These yellow tomatoes are awesome. I also enjoyed a piece of grilled chicken that was leftover from the previous nights dinner. I forgot avocado at the grocery store over the weekend, and felt it would have made the meal perfect. An orange La Croix on the side to keep the trend going.

Sauteed VeggiesCoffee and some chocolate served as a mid-day meal dessert.Chocolate & Coffee

I applies for a few different jobs online, and started to organize my notes from my previous studying. It is going to be quite a project.

A Kind Bar to get through the afternoon. The Salted Caramel is one of the best flavors in my opinion.

Kind Bar

I fit in a super quick workout in the living room in the late afternoon. Squats, lunges, planks and crunches. It was short, but something is always better than nothing.

Living Room Workout

Dinner was a standout and will hopefully be re-created again later this week! A grass-fed burger Greek style. Spinach, burger, zucchini and onion sautéed in coconut oil on the stove and topped with goat feta. The goat feta was a last minute purchase from a recent Whole Foods trip. So good!

Greek Style Burger

I grabbed another small piece of chocolate as I was cleaning up from dinner.

Scott came home from work late so I chatted with him in the kitchen for a while. I then studied for a little while longer, and did a little bit of reading. Before I knew it, I was tired and it was time to hit the hay.

See you back on the blog tomorrow!

In the mean time, feel free to explore the“WIAW” category on the right hand sidebar, click over to Peas & Crayons, or even link your own!

Question of the Day: What is the best thing you ate yesterday?

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Be Lovely Giveaway

Good morning! How about treating yourself to a giveaway? As I mentioned in Friday’s post, Be Lovely is my first giveaway on the blog. I am super excited to share it with you today!

Lauren Jennings is a designer that I know through my sister. They are very close friends and worked together for several years. Lauren is currently building her company, Be Lovely. I love the tote that Lauren was sweet enough to send to me! It is perfect to use as a purse, on a shopping trip or for all your extras!

Be Lovely Giveaway

Be Lovely

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lauren about Be Lovely recently. It was great to learn more about all of the fun projects she is developing. I am always so inspired by anyone who is working hard to follow their dreams.

Lauren_Jennings

Read on to learn more about Lauren and enter the giveaway. One lucky reader will be sent a unique tote bag and hand designed card!

Please share some of your background with our readers…

I was born and raised in a small city in England. I now live in Hell’s Kitchen having found my dream apartment 2 years ago! It’s still my favorite place in the city. I’m a bit of a home-body!

I currently work as a freelance designer and have 2 businesses of my own!

How did Be Lovely start? I saw on your website that you were motivated to create new cards because you did not see anything out there that excited you. Did it build from there?

I’ve loved to draw ever since I was young and I’ve always been selective about the cards I give to people for any occasion- I think they are so personal. I love that I can create a card that encompasses everything I want for that one person. Everyone is unique… so every gift should be too.

How are you using social media to promote your work? Please share your process for marketing your designs.

Social media is a blessing for any start up. There’s no limit to how a company can grow online. My Instagram, @Be_Lovely_Designs has connected me to other designers in New York, wine makers in Champagne, France and event planners all over America.

Each of your cards is unique. Where do you find inspiration for all of your card designs?

Be Lovely CardNew York! The girls I live with, my friends, co-workers, models on the street and everything in between. I collect images in my head throughout the day and then work them all together. I like each design to include a unique texture, whether it’s plaid, leopard print or denim- there’s always something for everyone.

I follow you on Instagram and have noticed you have lots of places you like to craft your designs – home office, coffee shops, etc. What do you feel you get out of each environment?

I’m inspired by the people around me so my favorite coffee stop, Think Coffee is a great place to people watch… I mean sketch! I also adore my apartment, it has lots of natural light and my roommates are always offering up ideas for new card designs.

Please share a past experience that has shaped you.

There was a point in my career as a designer when the company I worked for downsized leading me to claim unemployment and try to find another job. In the weeks that I was interviewing for new companies, Be Lovely kept my positivity and productivity up. I was still drawing and for the first time, working on my own company before someone else’s!

If you could have three items on a desert island what would they be?

Does my best friend count as an item? Because that would be ideal… My music, and a pen that never runs out of ink.

What are you looking forward to most in 2015?

I’ve just become an aunt so I’m excited to see him grow and his personality come through! In terms of Be Lovely, I know this year will be a great year- watch this space for partnerships with great companies and bespoke designs all over the globe!

If you could give someone advice on becoming a better designer what would it be?

Always keep your eyes open and your head up. Your surroundings are your biggest inspiration! Also don’t force anything; whatever comes naturally will be your best designs.

What are your future plans for Be Lovely Designs? I would love to know your career goals/aspirations.

I would love to start a stationary line of simple yet cute designs. Think gift wrap, cards, envelopes and gift-tags!

Thank you to Lauren for taking the time to share her aspirations and goals with us today!

Be Lovely Tote

How to Enter the Giveaway

  • Mandatory: Leave a comment on the blog sharing why you would like to win the tote.
  • Extra Point: Like The Bikini Experiment on Facebook and leave another comment on the blog to let me know.
  • Extra Point: Follow Lauren on Instagram @ be_lovely_designs and leave another comment here to let me know. I will randomly select a winner on Friday. Good luck!

Be Lovely Totes can also be purchased on Lauren’s website by visiting this link.

Question of the Day: Why would you want to win the tote? Ready, set go!

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Fitness Competition Motivation

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday, Scott and I attended a fitness compeition in Austin. A fitness competition can be a great way to ramp up your motivation when it comes to working out. Scott teaches classes and trains athletes at Champion Performance in Austin. I tagged along to help out for the day.

Couple Selfie

I was also sort of curious as to what to expect from the experience. Cross fit gyms host events all the time, but I vacillate between thinking they look kind of fun and feeling a little intimidated.

I wanted to share the events of our day so you could get a feel for what a fitness competition can look like. If your gym is hosting one, do not feel like it is out of your reach! Always ask, but most of the time exercises can be modified if you are newer to exercise or have suffered from an injury.

We were put in charge of the track area which is where Scott trains most of his athletes. Track Set Up

The workout needed to be challenging, offer an option for men and women, and fit within a confined space. Also, without more knowledge of their participants individual fitness levels, it needed to be challenging but not impossible.

The Crew

Group

WOD

WOD

One Mile Run

Before getting to our track station the participants had to run a mile outside. Not an easy warm up! I was busy setting up the track so I was too distracted to snag a picture.

Skill Games

For a fun twist, there were different skill games set up as a bridge between workouts. I thought it was a nice way to bring everyone together as a group and give them a little breather since there was quite a solid line up.

Drill

Cups

The events set up as a carnival. You had to complete all of the exercises, but it was not in any particular order. No lines! It kept everything flowing smoothly.

Flip Crawl Drag

We designed three different exercises that everyone needed to be complete and was measured by time. The best time of the group was 3:53. A lot of physical work for a short amount of time.

First up was a tire flip with a jump. The tire looks huge in the picture, but it was more awkward then heavy. It was followed by a bear crawl with a weighted plate and then a sled drag. Everyone was feeling it by the time they finished up that is for sure!

Track Exercise

It was awesome that everyone cheered each other on. I always love to see that encouragement. I am someone who responds really well to positive feedback. It makes me want to work harder. Coaches who yell or are negative are just not my style.

Farmer Carry

Next up the crowd headed on outside! This round was also intense and the participants were competing to get the best time. Even though it was technically for fun there are some people who love a challenge. You can almost see their competitive spirit become more and more apparent. The heavier weights were for men, and the lighters ones were for women.

Farmers Walk

  • Farmer Carry (25lb or 50lb Dumbbells)
  • Farmer Carry
  • 10 Burpees
  • Farmer Carry (30 lb or 50lb Sandbag)
  • 10 Push Ups
  • Farmer Carry
  • 10 Push Ups
  • Farmer Carry (50 lb Sandbag or 75 lb Heavy Bag)

Best time was 5:03 which was pretty darn impressive.

The Winners

Winners

Next Event

All in al it was a lot of fun. It was the first time Champion Performance hosted this type of event so they were fine tuning all the little details. There will be another day planned for the near future where there will be prizes for the winners.

It is always important to have fun when you workout and challenge yourself. Sometimes this can be hard alone so a group can be great for some extra motivation. Linking up with Katie & Erin today!

Question of the Day: Have you ever participated in a fitness competition?

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Kushyfoot Sock Review

Hello there! Happy Sunday. I was delighted when Kushyfoot reached out to me last week. They offered to send me a few samples of their socks and stockings to review. I lose socks frequently -I am convinced the dryer eats them and/or they camp out behind my sock dresser drawer. I am also pretty hard on my exercise gear, and often wear through the socks I use during workouts.

Kushyfoot is known for comfort as well as high-end quality at affordable price points. Their goal is to to make your feet feel good while remaining stylish. When the package showed up the other night I was eager to dive in and check them out!

Kushyfoot Sock Review

Kushyfoot Sock Review Frame

Yoga Socks

I do not often wear socks to yoga. However, in the winter my feet get very cold, and I feel like I do need a little something. Regular socks are not an option since they are a bit slippery and could potentially be a problem when you have to grip the floor in certain poses. Kushyfoot Yoga Socks were just thin enough, and I would definitely recommend them for Yoga, Pilates, or Barre. They are also supposed to come in handy for a pedicure, but I found them to be a little long for that purpose.

Yoga Socks

Foot Covers (Extreme Low Cut)

When it comes to wearing high heels I am often left in a quandary. I often do not like the look of socks or stocks as part of my outfit. I prefer whatever shows of my foot or ankle to be bare. Most of the foot covers I have tried peep through the top part of my shoes. The sock and pumps look is just not my thing.Foot Cover

The Kushyfoot Foot Covers are very low and simply disappear under the shoe, but do not slip down. Win-win! One of my pet peeves is my socks sliding down in my shoes. I will stop whatever I am doing, drop to the ground, and make sure it is just right. Call it “Princess in the Pea” syndrome.

These also came in neutral and black which conveniently are my two top shoe color preferences. I felt like they were just made for my favorite pair of tan heels in my closet!

Sport Foot Cover

The Sport Foot Covers were a serious shade of hot pink! However, they slipped right under my sneakers and you cannot even tell that I am wearing them. Again, this is much better than going barefoot, but skips the whole issue of your socks showing.

Sport Foot Cover

Low Cut Socks

I was most intrigued by the Low Cut Socks since they promised on the cover that they would massage my feet with every step. Say what? Is that even possible??

Skeptical I was, but these socks are pretty fantastic. Their padded soles massage your feet, and they are super comfortable. They could be used as athletic socks, but I prefer very thin socks when I wear sneakers. I think they are ideal for when I am lounging at home in my sweat pants. Our Christmas Tree approves. Smile

Low Cut Socks

Takeaway

I felt these were all worthwhile products that I would purchase on my own. I hope to be sharing more fashion posts on The Bikini Experiment in the future. Remember you do not always need to spend a fortune to feel better in your own skin. Sometimes buying something small that does not break the bank will add a little pep to your step. Pun intended…

Linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons today!

Disclaimer: I was provided products from Kushyfoot, however, I was not compensated for writing this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Question of the Day: What is your favorite small fashion purchase?

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