There is no better time to be true to yourself than…NOW!

Weekend Motivation

 

There is a person in my life who is just so miserable. They are not a bad person nor a mean person. If they could look outside their own head they would see how fortunate they really are. I never see this person truly happy. It makes me sad for them. When I encounter this person I can feel their judgement simply by the way they look at me or their reaction to my happiness. They think it’s fake. They’ve never said it directly to me but they have said, “You are always so happy”, with a doubting tone in their voice.

The last time they made a similar comment I said, “For a long time there was not much to happy about. When you lose someone so valuable in your life, you appreciate everything that you have now.”

A third person who was listening to our conversation and knew I was referring to losing my dad. Agreed with me. Hopefully this put any doubters to rest. I have no time to be fake. To be less than who I am. I grieved openly for years for my dad. I still grieve every day for him but it is in a different way. I miss him every single day and that will never change.

I don’t have time for other people’s ridiculous thoughts. I don’t have time to be anyone else but me.

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It’s Wednesday and surprisingly I do not have a photo to post for the Wordless Wednesday link up! This has not happened in a long time. :) Actually I do have some great photos of the recent events I’ve attended but I am saving them for future posts. Today I am going to share my favorite iPhone photography apps. I take 99% of my blog photos with my iPhone camera. Especially now with the awesome iPhone 6 camera, it’s hard not to go with the camera already in my purse instead of bringing another piece of equipment with me.

Here’s a look inside my Photography folder.

iPhone Apps For Blogging

PhotoMarkr: This is my #1 favorite app. It is a FREE app that allows you to add watermarks to your photos. It is super easy (and quick) to use. Simply select the font, the copyright symbol and desired text. Chose the photo from your library and add the watermark text. You can place the watermark anywhere on the photo by dragging it with your finger. You can even make it larger or smaller. There is even a slide to make the font more or less visible. The color of the text can also be changed. I add the watermark on every picture I post on instagram, Twitter, Facebook or my blog. Even when I am at an event tweeting, I watermark my photos. It takes two seconds.

Instasize: Another FREE app that allows you to post an entire photo on instagram. I find it especially useful when I have a landscape picture. I do not like to crop my picture, just because of the instagram size requirements. This app will re-size the entire photo to fit the instagram parameters. It also allows you to add colorful borders to your photos after they have been re-sized. If you follow me on instagram, you know polka dots and chevron are my favorite patterns to use.

Diptic: This app costs 0.99 cents but it is totally worth it! It has great editing options but what I use it for most is to create collages. It gives you tons of options when it comes to layouts. If you take a look at yesterday’s post, every collage was made with done with Diptic.

A Beautiful Mess (or ABM): This app costs 0.99 cents and it is a fun app to use if you want to add borders, doodle text or phrases to your photos. I like this app (especially when my sister and I are being silly with our photos) but I do not use it very much. However recently I learned about creating custom thumbnails for your YouTube videos, so I know this app will come in really handy with that.

Photobucket: A FREE app I absolutely love especially after its update for iOS 8. Since most of the pictures I use in blog posts are stored on my iPhone, after I add the watermark, I upload them to photobucket. This way when I got to write my post on the computer, I can login to Photobucket on the web and quickly grab the photo html code to insert into the post. This avoid the whole process of having to email the photo to myself, save it and then upload it to WordPress. It’s a real time saver.

PhotoRepost: I found this app while reading an article of Google Play apps and some how bought it for the iPhone for 0.99 cents. I could not find this particular app in the App Store but somehow it’s still on my iPhone. The closest app I did find is Repost for Instagram, which is FREE. Maybe I will switch over. Both apps give you a way to repost instagram pictures from your friends to your feed while giving credit to the original instagrammer. This was very key for me especially if I want to share someone else’s photo. I always want to give them credit.

I hope this post shows you just how amazing your iPhone photo editing capabilities can be.

Please share your favorite iPhone apps in the comments. They can be photography related or not, I am always interested in finding new apps for the iPhone.

 

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For the last two years it has been an honor to attend Fitness Magazine‘s Blogger Meet & Tweet event, as known as FitBlogNYC. It is one of my most anticipated events of the year. It is a time where I get to spend the entire day with my fellow health and fitness bloggers. Friends I may only see once a year. Together we get to listen, learn and be inspired by the expert panels and network with the brands who support the event and our community of fitness bloggers. Once again Fitness Magazine did a terrific job of putting this event together.

FitBlogNYC

The day began with a welcome from Fitness Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief, Betty Wong (@FITNESSBetty) who gave us the general rundown of the day’s events. She set the tone for all the goodness of FitBlogNYC with the introduction of the first guest speaker, fitness trainer and genuinely inspiring person, Holly Rilinger. After sharing a bit about her personal story, Holly gave some amazing tips to get yourself motivated. She suggested finding ways to maximize 20-30 minutes of exercise. Holly reminded everyone that no matter where you are in your fitness journey, you are always learning something new. Embrace it. One of the things she mentioned as her motivating too was her dream board. She placed on it things she wanted to do with her business, companies she wanted to align herself with and other goals. Nike was on her dream board long before they reached out to work with her. I’m not sure what has held me back from setting up a dream board but Holly inspired me to go and finally do it!

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The next panelist was Dr. Marci A. Goolsby, from the Hospital for Special Surgery. She spoke about how we can all stay healthy in a very active world. One piece of advise that resonated with me personally was when she mentioned the three running mistakes most beginners make: (1) increasing mileage too soon (2) not strength training, and (3) not adjusting nutrition intake. I have definitely been guilty of the last two, so it is time to remedy this once and for all. Dr. Goolsby also advised if you are working through an injury there is almost always an alternate exercise. Look for variety in our workouts to avoid injuries. Important words to take to heart.

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Right before a break to network with the event sponsors and a delicious lunch we were treated to a fun and energizing panel with chef and star of The Chew, Carla Hall. From the moment she took the stage Carla was a breath of fresh air and the positive energy radiated from her. Carla shared with us the nontraditional way she discovered her love of cooking and how she worked towards the career she has today. A career she clearly loves. Her most valuable piece of advice to someone considering a career change is to play with different roles, volunteer in the industry you want to be in to see if you really like it. Carla also gave some simply genius advice about cooking. She suggested taking five go-to recipes and simply change the spices. Brilliant! Carla also warned not to change everything when cooking, especially Thanksgiving traditions. People love those, so do not mess with them. This reminded me of the year I made a “healthy” cornbread and my family hated it. Never again. I learned Carla has authored two cookbooks and is in the process of opening up her own restaurant. It was a real pleasure to hear her speak. What a beautiful soul!

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At this point of the day there was a long break for bloggers to visit the sponsor tables. What a fabulous group of brands: @HokaOneOne, @EddieBauer@PureProteinPro, @TriaBeauty@BalanceBar@Dermalogica@1TonalinCLA @LunaBar, and @OsterBlending just to name a few. I have a separate post about the FitBlogNYC sponsors coming in the next few days. The sponsors were extremely generous and I have already found so many new products I love. Can’t wait to share more details.

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The last panel of the day featured three amazing entrepreneurs Bianca Jade (@Mizzfit_Bianca), Anne Mauney, RD (@fANNEtasticfood) and Laura Sykora (@laurasykora on instagram). All creators of their own brand and businesses, they gave invaluable advice to all of us in the social media world. They encouraged each of us to blog because you love it and connect with brands only if it fits your voice. They emphasized being authentic as the best way to connect to your audience. Two statements from this panel that have stayed with me is to remember you cannot please everyone with your blog. It’s inevitable some people will agree with you and others won’t. Don’t let this deter you if blogging is what you love to do. The other piece of advice I believe was from Bianca who said to use what you don’t know to become an expert at it. She taught herself various skills that have helped her in setting up her website and business. It was such an informative session and one that sparked a lot of ideas for what I want to do with this blog.

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Of course the day would not have been complete without out all my beautiful friends. The ones I have known for years and new ones met at FitBlogNYC.

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Thank you Fitness Magazine for an amazing day of learning and fun!

 

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I am so excited to be going to Fitness Magazine‘s amazing blogger event today.

FitBlogNYC 2014

This is my favorite fitness event of the year! Not only because it is held in my home town but because Fitness Magazine has been my constant companion since I began my healthy living journey. I rely on them for the latest news in workouts, recipes, books, fashion and everything else related to living a healthier life. The fact they put this event together for fitness bloggers is amazing. We can expect interesting panels, amazing sponsors and a day with my fellow bloggers. Some who I know very well and some I can’t wait to meet!

Make sure you are following the #FitBlogNYC hashtag on Twitter or the link below which Fitness Magazine has set up to capture all event happenings.

Keep it open all day and follow along! :)

Live From Our #FitBlogNYC Meet and Tweet

While you are there, make sure to check out their new website look! I think it’s very awesome.

If you want to get an idea of what FitBlogNYC is all about, check out my recap from last year’s event.
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All my life this word is what gets me through the day. In any situation I have faced I have help on to this one word…

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Now I see it every day out side my office. :)

 

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Last week I had the pleasure of attending the second annual Sweat and the City event hosted by Nautilus Inc. A company who works hard to provide top of the line equipment for home fitness. As a person who works out exclusively at home, I am alway interested in the newest releases. This year’s event was tailored to showcase:

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The first product we were introduced to was the shakes from the Bowflex Body nutrition product line. The shakes can be a pre or post workout drink to boost energy or a meal replacement. The flavors served were French Vanilla and Rich Chocolate. The vanilla shake contains premium proteins, essential fibers, and powerful antioxidants for general well-being. While the chocolate shake is a metabolism booster and weight loss aid. Both shakes were full of flavor. I do not normally drink shakes, mostly due to the fact that I am not a sweets person, but I would definitely give the Bowflex Body shakes a try.

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The next product is very impressive not only because of its advance technology but also its practicality. The Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbells, are the first smart dumbbells.

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Using a free app (available for iOS and Android) the 560 Dumbbells give users a full interactive workout. Their Three Dimensional Trainer (3DT) records and counts reps, tracks weight lifted and rep speed. It also provides audio cues for the rest time between sets and can track calories burned during your workout. In fact, the app has 70 exercises and can keep your workout history so you can track and share workouts. Here is athlete Tom Holland giving a demonstration of the Bowflex SelectTech 560 Dumbbells. I love the versatility of the dumbbells and the fact they are a huge space saver. With the 560’s I can alway have the appropriate dumbbell for each workout.

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Last but not least are the high-quality ellipticals, treadmills, and bikes from Nautilus.  Their machines feature the ground-breaking technology to offer users the ultimate at-home workout experience. The smart machines have a DualTrack multi-LCD display console with Bluetooth technology, to allow users access to the Nautilus Trainer app. The app gives you 20 customizable programs to track workout time, distance traveled and calories burned. It also allows users to set and track goals base on their personal preferences. There are features in the app to provide real-time coaching to monitor progress and the ability to sync your workout data with the MyFitnessPal app.

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Thank you Nautilus Inc.for a fabulous evening. I will leave you with some fantastic quotes from the event panel which clearly reflects the company’s philosophy.

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The season has changed in my neck of the woods. Time to appreciate running in cooler weather. Luckily the track was beautiful this past weekend.

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This weekend was a running first for me. On Saturday, my sister and I had to run a 5k race at our college campus. We were so excited for this race because it has been awhile since we were back there. All week the weatherman was saying it was going to rain on Saturday. We hoped he was wrong. Friday night the weather forecast called for torrential rain on Saturday morning. Yikes! What are the chances it would happen at race time.

Well, it did! At 10:00 AM as the runners gathered at the starting line the rain started coming down. Luckily I had a hat to keep the rain out of my face but it was still insane. I was soaked within a few minutes of the race starting. We had to run up the biggest hill on campus and it was very slippery. The rain added a whole new level to running. Hills became just a bit more dangerous, whether going up or down. This was my first time running in the rain. For a little while there I thought about not finishing the race. I realized it was a silly. I’m here. I was already wet, might as well keep going. I ran mostly but I did have to walk a few times. I was not aiming for a PR, I just wanted to finish the race. After the race the only word I could use to describe what I was feeling was accomplished.

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This was also the weekend I ran the day after my 5k race. We actually could not help ourselves. Sunday was a beautiful fall day. Perfect for a run in a long sleeve shirt. Since we ran in horrible rain it would truly be a pity to not run with all this sunshine. Both times I have taken up running was in the Summer months. I can easily run on a hot summer morning but the cold weather has always been a challenge for me. I have never succeeded in running after October. Partly because I hate the cold and it put a lot of pressure on my lungs. I also think it could be because I don’t have the right type of cold weather running clothes. I will have to ask my friends about what I need to buy now that summer is gone and a t-shirt and yoga pants won’t cut it anymore.

I know this year will be different and to ensure we keep running as the temperatures drop, we signed up for our November 5k race, which coincides with Marathon weekend. I also started a budgeting envelope for 5k races. Those entry fees can sure add up and put a pinch in my budget. 5k races are now an expense I need to plan for. :) That’s exciting!

If you are a runner, can you please share your best tip for running in the colder months?

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Last week I attended the third annual Fashion Forward Conference at Studio 450 in NYC. The event is hosted by Audrey McClelland from Mom Generations, Nicole Feliciano from Momtrends and Vera Sweeney from Lady and the Blog. Three incredible ladies who have joined together to create a day filled valuable information ranging from fashion tips, industry related panels, a charity partner and the hottest brands. It was my first year attending and I was honored to be invited. I remember last year following the #FashForward hashtag on Twitter and reading the tidbits of information being shared at the conference. Audrey, Nicole and Vera did a fantastic job and the Fashion Forward Conference continues to live up to its excellent reputation.

The day started with fascinating panel about  Empowering Your Community with Marcy Massura (MSL Group), Chrysula Winegar (Wake Up World Communications), Sharon Basel (GM Energy and Environmental Communication) and Christine Hunsicker (Gwynnie Bee Founder and CEO). Each an expert in their field, the advice they provided was a solid base for any blogger, no matter if you are just starting out or a seasoned blogger. They suggested being a better listener in your digital space. Keeping on top of what people are saying about your brand. Social Media influencers are so important. Make sure you are sharing what you believe in. Find a way to raise the level of a brand you want to work with. Authentic voices along with great content and aligned values give brand the appropriate audience. Remember relationships drive advocacy. It was a very powerful panel.

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One of the most eye-opening parts of Fashion Forward was listening to Christy Turlington Burns speak about the non-profit organization she founded in 2010, Every Mother Counts. This organization was founded by Christy after she suffered a complication during the birth of her first child. Luckily she was in a hospital and every thing turned out okay. This incident made her aware that mothers around the world do not have access to the same care during pregnancy and childbirth. Every Mother Counts brings the vital prenatal care to mothers in all areas of the world. They also inform and engage people to take actions by raising funds to support maternal health programs all around the world. It is such a worthy cause especially when you read the statistics on their website that says 98% of the deaths in pregnancy or childbirth could have been prevented. Christy inspired me to do more in any way I can. For starters I signed up for Charity Miles to run for Every Mother Counts. This way every mile I run will help in making a difference.

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The final panel of the day was the Power Players of Social Media with Jessie Artigue, Jordan Reid, and Dina Ferro. These ladies are so savvy and smart about social media platforms. It was a pleasure to hear them speak and their words of wisdom made for some excellent Twitter gems. Here are just a few.

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It was a fabulous day filled with a lots of learning, a fun fashion show, and networking with fabulous brands and fellow bloggers. I was so grateful to be there and be able to share in this event. I posted additional pictures on my post last week. Come back later this week for another post where I will showcase the brands I met at Fashion Forward.

Thank you Audrey, Nicole and Vera for a great day.

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Last week someone sent me this Ted Talk video Keep Your Goals To Yourself.

It’s a short video (3:00), go ahead and watch it.

Three key points stood out for me:

  • Resist temptation to share your personal goal
  • Delay the gratification of getting the congratulations for it
  • Remember the mind mistakes talking for doing

I find the concept of keeping your goals to yourself very interesting. I have always struggled with writing goal posts. In fact I have a love/hate relationship with these kind of posts. I hate to write them but I love to read other people’s goal posts. I get inspired. When I have written goal post, I feel like I never get anything done.

It’s so frustrating, may this is the reason why.

I’m curious…

What do my fellow bloggers think about this concept of keeping goals to yourself? 

Believe it or not, this has been my mom’s advice for years. She is a very private person when it comes to anything she is doing. She has always been so accomplished. When she sets her mind to do something, it gets done! Now I see she may be right. With her advice always in the back of my mind, I have changed the way I blog and even what I share with people in my private life. In my previous blog, I was an over sharer. I wrote pretty much every thought that came into my head. I do not regret any of it because at the time, this was what I needed to do. People change and now I tell a story after I have finished the activity or project. I feel it suits who I am now.

It was perfect timing to receive this video because I was about to share a personal goal on the blog. I was not 100% sure if it was the right time to do it but I had started writing the post. After giving it some thought over the weekend, I realize that I am not yet fully committed to this goal. There is a more research and work to be done so until them I will say nothing. If we are going by this theory, it means I will get a lot done and then have something wonderful to share. :)

Sounds good to me!

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