On Monday night, when I was doing laundry in my building, I had an interesting thing happen to me.

For the records, I hate doing laundry and usually send it out. Since I am running more these days, there are more workout clothes that need to be washed. It just can’t wait until the end of the week to be sent out. Gross! Already I was not happy about taking an hour for this chore. Also most people in my building are super grouchy when they are doing laundry (must be the task at hand…LOL!). It’s not a fun experience so I usually mind my business. If they say hello or start chatting , I do the same. If not, fine by me. I don’t want to be there either. This night there was an older man doing his laundry and when I went to say hello he looked away, ignored me and left the room. I wasn’t surprised. I smiled to myself because some things are just so predictable.

For laundry, we pre-load money onto a card and then insert the card into machines to pay. When I went to load money on my card, I saw there was a card already in the machine. I checked it and sure enough it had $6.00 on it. Woo-Hoo! Free laundry! Yay! :) It’s like finding money on the street since no one else was in the laundry room with me. It was so easy to pocket the card and be done with it. Something about that did not feel right. What if the card belonged to Mr Not-So-Friendly? I put it aside and loaded my card then started my wash.

Twenty minutes later, no one had come looking for the card. It was taunting me. Should I just leave it there? Take it? Somehow I thought it belonged to the older man who was in there before me. He was obviously of retirement age, so I assume he’s on a fixed income. If he lost his laundry card, it’s $15 to replace. That’s a lot for someone with limited income. He could be someone’s cute little grandpa and I wish he’d come back looking for his card. Clearly I was over thinking the situation but that’s how I am and it’s one of the reason this incident amuses me. As I contemplated the card situation, I thought of who I am. I don’t take stuff that ‘s not mine. If I take this card, it feels like stealing from a little old man. That’s just not me. So as I was walking back to put the card back in the machine, the building super came out of his office. I took the card and gave it to him. He looked at me like I was crazy for giving it back instead of just taking it. I knew I had done the right thing.

The funny part comes about a half hour later when I went back to the laundry room to get my clothes from the dryer. The same little old man is there with his granddaughter. She’s using her laundry card to put his clothes in the dryer. He tells her he must have lost his card. I tell him, he left it in the machine, I found it and I gave it to the super. He was so grateful and appreciative. He was also surprised that I turned it in but clearly he was so happy. Gone was the indifference from when I first saw him earlier in the night. He was so sweet and appreciative. I am so glad I did the right thing by turning the card in to the super. Maybe he would have found it in the machine or maybe someone else may have taken it.

Life is funny this way. This insignificant incident was a big deal for me because it got me to look at the kind of person I am. It was a validation of the standards I want to live by. I know right from wrong and when I situation presents itself I know to do the right thing. No matter how small the situation is. I didn’t do anything spectacular for this person, I did right by me. That was already enough for me. It was a bonus to know he got his card back.

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I am super excited to watch the NYC Marathon on Sunday! I normally watch it every year because it’s a huge event for NYC. However this year it means more to me because I have rediscovered my love for running. I am amazed by the athletes who run this race in record time. I am inspired by my family members and friends who have run or are running the marathon. It’s such an amazing accomplishment!

Right now I do not see myself running a marathon, but I have learned to never say never in this life. :)

Good luck to all the runners!

This week’s picture is a fall running picture with my favorite running buddy –  my sister – who inspires and encouraged me most of all! :)

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Last week I took advantage of the FREE COVER promotion from the folks at Erin Condren  and ordered a new cover for my 2015 life planner. Earlier this year I bought the 2015 planner in the Charcoal Platinum Edition and I did not like cover. You can read my reasons on this post. Since then I had been considering a new cover, since the life planner covers are now interchangeable. I held off as I looked into other planners to use in 2015. I currently have an Erin Condren life planner for 2014 and I LOVE it. This is the only planner I have used every single day since I got it back in March. It really is an amazing planner and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a new planner.  This is why I’ve had such a hard time finding a comparable substitute. The Charcoal cover just bummed me out. It’s a personal preference and I’m sure other people love it.

This FREE COVER promotion was the best thing for someone like me who loves the life planner but picked a design that does not match my personality.  My new cover is called Favorite Things. You can customize all of the text on the cover. I wanted this cover since my sister got hers for the 2014 life planner. I started keeping a list of my favorite things/words in current planner just in case I wanted to design this cover. The list came in very handy so I took advantage of the FREE COVER promotion. The cover is valued at $10.95, and all you pay for is shipping costs which is $7.95. A great deal! :) Make sure you take advantage of this promotion which ends on 11/2/14.

I changed the cover on my 2015 life planner this morning and it is as easy as Erin shows us in this video.

The new cover is perfect for me. All the words have a special meaning and make me smile or laugh out loud. From my favorite cities to my favorite vampire, my puppy (who is now in Heaven), my weight watcher meeting (WNHH) and my favorite activities. How can I not LOVE this cover! :)

Erin Condren Interchangeable Covers

It even has a special place for the word “daddy“. I don’t get to say this word as often as I use to, though he is always on my mind. There is something powerful and tangible about seeing this word, it makes me feel part of my dad is with me.

Erin Condren Interchangeable Covers

Thank you Erin Condren for this cover. It has given my 2015 life planner a whole new look and feel. I am once again excited to use it for 2015. This cover just make me so happy. Very smart marketing move on your part! ;) I love it when companies are smart with their business and find a way to reward their loyal customers.

If you are new to Erin Condren, please use this link to sign up for their newsletter and save $10 on your first purchase! Happy Shopping! :)

 

Disclosure: This post contains referral links.
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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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