Tag Archives: Fitbloggin

Fitbloggin’ 15 and Family

I’m making some changes here, but I couldn’t wait to share my Fitbloggin’ recap.

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After spending a glorious week in Colorado, I’m back home in New Orleans. I haven’t really had an opportunity to process everything yet because as I was departing yesterday, I became ill. I’ll spare you most of the details, but let’s just say that I now have a new “worst flight ever” to remember. I’m pretty sure the people sitting next to me would agree too.  Thankfully, we were in the air before the decided to call a medic, otherwise I’m not sure I would have made it home at all yesterday.

I’m not 100% yet, but I’m far less miserable than I was. I have no appetite, but I no longer feel so putrid that I can’t even think of food. A sweet someone brought me dinner and meds, and I’m on the mend now.

Fitbloggin’ didn’t officially start until Thursday evening, so I spent the afternoon with my sister and nieces, and Leslie and Jaason joined us. It was awesome to let my worlds collide for an afternoon by introducing my family to friends who feel like family. We walked around downtown dinner, chatted for a bit, and relaxed.

Leslie Steph and More

My oldest niece, Hannah, knows how to make her auntie feel good. When she spotted me she ran through the lobby of my hotel to greet me. I love that kid. She’s so awesome! My youngest niece, “Haddy,” took a while to warm up to me. She’s only one, and she didn’t know me. Thankfully, through offering her a bite of a cookie, we became instant BFF’s. I definitely think she’ll remember me when she’s here in a few weeks.

Westin Denver

They loved that I let them jump on my bed too. (What can I say? They’re adorable.)

I didn’t spend a lot of time at the opening mixer because I had dinner plans with Leslie, Jaason and David, which I’ll discuss more in a moment. I did stay long enough to say hello to a lot of people whom I adore and to make my official Fitbloggin’ badge. It’s a fun way to kick off the conference every year, and this year we were instructed to place a star on our badge for every year of attendance.

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They’re some of the coolest California people I know.

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Five years of Fitbloggin’. Wow..

I’ve attended this conference for five years in a row, and there’s one specific reason for it: the people. I don’t care about blogging now nearly as much as I did when I started attending this conference, but enjoying a friendly reunion weekend never gets old.

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J’s pretty good at taking selfies. I’m glad he’s tall.

Everyone should have a friend like Kris.

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After hours…

I wouldn’t have gone this year if Leslie hadn’t agreed to go as well because it’s just not the same without her, but I’m glad she did. I’m glad we all went. Thursday night we ate at Mercantile Dining & Provisions inside Union Station. We shared several appetizers, and I chose the Boulder Natural Crispy Half Chicken heirloom grain porridge, shaved asparagus & morel mushroom salad, spring onion crema.

Mercantile Denver

My chicken is definitely fancier than your chicken…

Earlier that day I had breakfast with some of my other Fitbloggin’ pals, Kris, Deb, June and Julie.

Fitbloggin Breakfast

Julie, Me, Kris, June and Deb

The conference offers some cool sessions and opportunities to work with various brands, but some of my favorite things happened after hours this year.

My friend, Kelly at No Thanks to Cake, decided to have an impromptu chat Friday evening, and people filled the room to listen. I wasn’t sure exactly what was happening at the time, but it led to an amazing conversation with friends in the other room.

Fitbloggin Women

Deb, Pauly, Dani, DeAnna and me

We talked about life, self-love, love from others and a myriad of other things. Pauly shared the most amazing beer ever with me too, Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment. (It’s probably good that I’ve never seen it in New Orleans because it’s too delicious!) Anyway, these women all come from different backgrounds, cities, etc., but they reminded me that we all want the same thing at our core. Moments like the ones we shared that evening are the reason I go to Fitbloggin’ every year, and I’m so thankful for them.

After the conference I picked up a rental car and drove to Colorado Springs. My favorite thing about the conference this year was the proximity to my sister’s house. It was great to spend time with her family, and we filled every moment with something fun.

One of the highlights of our time together was a little hike we did near their house. We had an amazing view of Pike’s Peak and Pulpit Rock, and the weather was perfect! Colorad Springs  We did a lot of other fun things, including mani/pedi time with Auntie, a cupcake date with Mom and Auntie, shopping at Trader Joe’s (because I can always use more Belgian chocolate) and breakfast that included a flight of pancakes.

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I’m so thankful for the week that I got to spend surrounded by people I love. I left to conference with some insight into where I’d like to take my blog in the future. (I kind of regret trying to merge the two.) I also created some small, reasonable goals that I hope to share here soon.

My first year at Fitbloggin’ will probably always be my favorite, but this year gave it a run for its money. I can’t count on both hands how many people I know and love as a result of this community, and I can’t wait until it’s time to see them again.

Until next year…

 

 

 

Fitbloggin, Friends, NOLA Church and Stuff

I can’t believe that it’s already finals week for the summer session.  The last few weeks have been busy and awesome, and while I haven’t made much time to check in here, I decided to do that this evening.  (I should be studying for a final exam that I’m taking tomorrow at noon, but blogging is more fun than studying – regardless of the topic.)

My weekend was jam packed.  Brandi, who many of you probably know from DietsinReview.com, spent a couple of days at my place with her family.  They weren’t here long, but we managed to explore the French Quarter, eat a po boy sandwich and beignets, take a nap during a thunderstorm and take a selfie or two (while I was a sweaty mess!)

Brandi and Kenlie

I did homework spent Sunday morning at church and had lunch with some special people too.  I am part of the worship team at NOLA Church, and God’s presence filled the place.  It was pretty amazing.

Kenlie NOLA Church

During Monte’s sermon, he said that God’s rewards always come with responsibility, and that hit me like a ton of bricks.

Sometimes (okay, most of the time) it’s not easy for me to invite people to church or to share with them that Jesus wants to be in their lives.  I hate ‘pushing’ these important, well-meaning statements on people because I *hated* being invited to church.  If you wanted to piss me off, all you had to do was tell me to go to church.  (Seriously?  I know…)

I still don’t always feel comfortable pushing my beliefs on anyone, but sometimes I want to share my faith.  If you don’t want to hear it, stop reading now, and come back on a different day.

 

Here are some things that have been on my mind lately:

  • Life without God is a downward spiral.  I’m in a small group, in which Monte is unpacking the book of Romans, and  it’s been awesome so far.  If you want to understand God’s character, read Romans. I can’t tell you how much better life is with God than it is without Him.
  • Religion can’t save you.  Following a set of rules, then showing off how well you did on Sunday is not part of God’s plan for me.
  • God’s rewards always come with responsibility.  When you’re involved in planting a church, there’s a long list of things that you have an opportunity to do.  We’re currently worshipping in a construction zone, which means that we have to do set-up and tear downs each week.  Some of us host small groups or Bible studies, etc.  I do social media and lead worship with an amazing team, and it all takes time.  With great reward (a permanent location, brains, etc.) comes great responsibility.  Check out Luke 12 if you want to see that confirmed.

Now it’s time to get back to the grind.  I had decided that I wasn’t going to attend Fitbloggin this year since I’m heading to New York the following week.  I’ve been feeling disconnected from the blog world this year, but after spending the weekend with Brandi, I was reminded of how much I love Fitbloggin.  I’m about 99% sure that I’ll be heading that way later this week, which means that I have a lot to accomplish before that.

When I started writing this post, it was still light outside.  Now it’s dark, which is a reminder than I need to study.  I also need to complete a research paper before Wednesday.  Yikes.

What are you doing that’s exciting this week?

What I Loved About Fitbloggin

Last week while I was on a plane I wrote a gushy post about everything that I was looking forward to once I arrived in Portland.  The week before had been incredibly stressful, and I was determined to leave it in the past so I focused on what would make me happy.  I scheduled it, but it never published.  Oops!  I scheduled a Friend Makin’ Mondays post (knowing that I’d still be in Portland on the following Monday,)  and that published early.  Oops!  I had some technical issues last week, and I hope they’re resolved now.  I suppose we’ll see in time, won’t we? 😉

Once I arrived in Portland, I didn’t spend much time blogging.  I wrote a post for Fitbloggin.com, but apart from that, I enjoyed everything as it happened.  I did a little tweeting, Facebook-ing and Instagram-ing, but I didn’t spend much time looking at my computer screen or my phone which is odd for me.  I also managed to miss an entire week of news, and for this Anderson Cooper junkie, that’s unheard of!

As a blogger it’s easy to forget to live “in the now.”  I often joke about my love for social media by saying “Why do it if you can’t take a picture of it and post it on your blog?”  But being there last week and absorbing all of the experiences with old friends and new friends made me happy.  I felt as though I had walked into a big hug when I arrived and that it continued throughout the conference.  I knew that going would be a good thing, and it was a great thing.

I saw several friends that I haven’t seen in ages.  I’m always happy to see Leslie and Jaason.  They’re always at the top of my list.  We dined at lovely 5-star restaurants, tasted various types of ice cream at Salt and Straw and spent time joking with each other, discussing life and other things.  Meeting Leslie is easily the best thing that has come as a result of Fitbloggin, and that’s saying a lot because I’ve met so many wonderful people throughout the years.

Leslie McClure and Kenlie Tiggeman Fitbloggin 13

Jaason and Kenlie at Fitbloggin

I was also excited this year because my long-time friend, KeepItUpDavid, was going to be in attendance for the first time.  It was hard to contain my excitement when I saw him…so I didn’t.  I immediately began hugging him and gushing about how wonderful it was to see him again, and it was as awesome as I thought it would be.  We got to spend some time outside of the conference too, and I’m so thankful that he was there.

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Keep it Up David Kenlie BookieBoo MerBear

I also made some new friends this year.  I had met Leah (aka BookieBoo) at conferences in the past, but we enjoyed a night out on the town this year.  I knew she’d love David too, and I was right.  What’s not to love? 🙂   I also got to spend time with Meredith and Tasha (who took the photo above) as well.

After Friday morning’s 6 am boot camp, we stopped in to report the news.  (No we didn’t.)  We did get a cool tour of KGW’s studio though!

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And after Zumba, I went to a session for those of us who have a lot to lose, and Emmie gave us flowers when we cried.  Did a few ugly tears stop us from taking photos?  Of course not!

Fitbloggin-Peonies

I went to lunch with Lyn and enjoyed deep conversations about our lives – where they are, what we’d like to do differently, etc.  It felt good to be so candid with someone who understands what’s inside my head, and I hope she’ll find her way to New Orleans sooner rather than later.  (Hint, Hint Lyn!)

And what would Fitbloggin be without Martinus and Dre?  These dudes crack me up, and I couldn’t even begin to describe how awesome they are if I tried.  Martinus is the man.  He knows how to sport a bow tie, but he’s just as comfortable in sneakers.  His blog is almost a year old now, and I can’t really imagine what this community would be like without him.  Take a minute to say hello to him and wish him a happy birthday. 🙂  And Dre just makes me smile every time I see him.  What can I say?  These guys are great…

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I spent time with so many people who matter to me that I couldn’t possibly post pictures of all of them without driving myself crazy, but you get the idea.  It was a great week in which I laughed, cried, learned, sweated, made new friends, kissed a cow and enjoyed being surrounded by people who “get” me.

There’s so much more I could say about last week, but I haven’t even made it home yet so I’m exhausted.  After the conference ended I stuck around to see friends who lived in the area and didn’t attend Fitbloggin.  I met my long-time web friend, Melissa, and I also met another friend (who will likely be at Fitbloggin in 2014, Emily.)  Another friend who doesn’t live in the area drove in so we could spend some time together too, and that feeling I described above (like I walked into one big hug) lasted even after the conference was over.

Melissa and Kenlie  Vancouver, Washington

Emily and Kenlie Portland, OR

I’ll return to New Orleans tomorrow just in time to celebrate the nation’s birthday, then mine (on Friday.)  I have family visiting too which is something that I always look forward to.  I have so much more to say about Fitbloggin and what I learned about myself last week, but I’ll need to some time to settle in before I collect my thoughts.  I also have some work to do which will take priority for a bit when I get home.

The last ten days have been amazing, and I’m so thankful for the community of people that I was able to connect with once again.  I’m already looking forward to next year, and can’t wait to paint the town with these people…in Nashville or Austin.

Until then…

 

Packing For A Week of Travel

Traveling is different when you’re obese.  I have to take things into consideration that the average size person doesn’t have to think about, and I’m ready for this trip.

  • How big are the seats on the airplane? 
  • Should I board early to ask for a seat belt extension? 
  • Can I pack a week’s worth of clothes (plus workout clothes and sneakers) in one suitcase? 
  • Which airline should I fly?
  • Will I have to take a connecting flight? 
  • What kind of snacks should I pack so I don’t have to eat crappy, overpriced airline food?
  • Will the person next to me be rude? 

It’s not easy traveling when you weigh more than the average person, and if you know me (or watch the news) you may know that most trips I take are fine even though I’ve had more than my fair share of horrific travel experiences.  You may also know that I do whatever I can to ensure that my trips will go smoothly for myself and everyone around me.

I’m looking forward to a long day of travel tomorrow, and when shopping for this flight I chose Frontier Airlines because I’ve had several good experiences with them in the past.  I have a long layover that I’m not looking forward to, but I’m prepared for it.  I plan to read Entwined in You, the next book in the Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day which will likely keep my mind occupied.

I haven’t needed a seat belt extension on my last few flights, but I’ll probably still ask for one out of habit and insecurity.

My goal is to pack a week’s worth of clothes into one suitcase too because I always check and additional bag when I come home from Fitbloggin.  Packing for this conference is tricky too because it requires more clothing than other trips.  I need clothes for working out, going out and for learning sessions during the day, and I have to be picture ready too, of course.  😉

The plan is to bring one pair of sneakers (because I’ll probably receive a new pair when I get there) and only a couple of other pairs for the week.  As I started packing I noticed that there’s an interesting mix of sparkle, lace and dri-fit in my bag that only happens when I pack for this yearly trip.

I’m looking forward to getting to Portland and recharging with friends while learning how to be a better blogger among other things.  I hope you’ll check out my live blogging on Fitbloggin.com, and if we’re friends, I hope to see you there.

Do you do anything special when planning for a trip?  Will I see you at Fitbloggin this year?

 

 

 

No More Shame, Or Why I Almost Decided Not To Go To Fitbloggin’

If you know me, you probably know that I go through phases in which I travel a lot.  You may also know that Fitbloggin’ has been one of my favorite events to attend over the years.  The first two years I attended were in Baltimore which, for me, was a no-brainer, but I gave it more thought this year for a few reasons.

First, it’s in Portland, OR which has never been on my list of places I’d like to go.  I’ve heard that it’s a beautiful city and that the hotel in which the conference will be held is equally beautiful.  (That’s good to know!)  I’m just an east coast girl so it has never been on my radar.  After doing some research and hearing some amazing stories about it, I’ve extended my trip, and I plan to spend a few days there after the conference.   (I’m obviously excited now.)

Secondly, it’s a much longer flight that requires a connection.  If you know me even a little bit, you know that I despise connecting flights.  When I lived in New York, it was easy to say that I’d fly direct, or I wouldn’t go.  That’s not as easy flying out of New Orleans, and it seemed to be impossible when I was perusing flights online.

The third reason is much bigger though.  I haven’t lost any weight since the last one.  The conference is designed for fitness-minded bloggers (many of whom will weigh less than they did last time I saw them,) and I’m going to be about 10 pounds heavier this year than I was at the last one.  Do you know how ridiculous and shameful I feel when I think about how I’ve spent the last several months moving in the wrong direction?! 

Here’s the thing about Fitbloggin’ though – it’s about growth and progress, self-acceptance and a lot of other positive things.  Maybe folks will notice that I’m a bit larger than I was at the last one, but I can’t imagine imagine missing out on giant the giant hugs, learning experiences, awesome workouts and happy reunions that are imminent because I’m not happy that my clothes fit a bit tighter right now.

Many of the people in attendance, some of whom are dear friends, know how much I’ve struggled to hang on by a thread, and some of them understand it because they’ve lived it.  Some of my best friends came as a result of Fitbloggin’ too, and they’ve never liked or disliked me based on the size of my clothes.

It may not be quite as easy to face old friends and new ones as it would be if I were at least a few sizes smaller, but it would be far more difficult to let the opportunities pass me by because I’m not happy with myself.   I’ve been trying to listen to my body lately, and it seems to be working better than I imagined that it would.  I’m also feeling good about my workouts, and I’m in a happier, much more settled place than I was during the previous years.  I’ve made tremendous amounts of progress within my mind, and my body is still strong as well.

I’m glad that I’ve decided to get over the embarrassment so I can attend Fitbloggin’ because when I go, I always feel as though I’m right where I belong, and I can’t wait to have that feeling again.

Get ready, Portland.  I’ll be there soon.

Have you ever attended Fitbloggin?  Will you be there this year?

 

 

 

What Are Your Summer Travel Plans?

Do you ever go through periods of life in which you feel like you can’t catch up?  I’m going through that right now, but I feel like I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

After feeling sick for over a week, I recovered (apart from the coughing that won’t stop)  just in time for finals.  The most difficult exam I’ll take  will be today, and my brain is fried from the studying I’ve been doing. Thankfully, it is also the last final I have to take this semester, but I have a B in the class right now (which is totally unacceptable) so I have to ace it.  Wish me luck!

Between being under the weather and studying (and let’s be honest – procrastinating when I should have been studying,) my workouts have suffered lately.  I’ve managed to hit the gym upstairs a few times, but I’m not doing my best.  I’m not even coming close, and there’s really no excuse for that.

When class is over today, I’ll have two weeks off before my summer courses begin.  I have spent far too long trying to figure out how I can make my summer class schedule work with my travel schedule.  It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be, but I think I have it figured out.

I’m looking forward to Summer because I’m going to some great places, seeing some extraordinary people and attending some highly anticipated events.

Fitbloggin will be the first of them, and I can’t wait! This will be my third year to attend, and there are so many people that need to be prepared for gigantic hugs from me!  I’m looking forward to meeting some new people too.  Will I see you at Fitbloggin?

A month later I will be attending BlogHer for the first time, and I’m excited about that too!  It will be my first BlogHer conference, and I plan to stay for a few extra days to spend time with friends in Chicago.

I’m heading to Washington, D.C., New York and some other places as well.  I haven’t been New York lately, and it’s time to head back.  I have places to go and people to see.  😉

I’m also seeing my sister and my niece when they visit New Orleans in July.  My birthday month is going to be a good one! Maybe a special someone in our nation’s capital will help me make this birthday as perfect as my last one. 😉  (Hey! July will be here before we know it, and it’s never too early to make a birthday wish!)

It has been a few weeks since I’ve been on an airplane, but I’ll be bouncing around the country again soon.  What are your travel plans? Where will you be as the weather turns warm?

 

 

 

Fitbloggin’ Photos

There’s so much to say about Fitbloggin’ that I really don’t know where to begin.  Right now I’m just exhausted.  Following Baltimore The Suit and I spent a few days in New York, and last night we slept for about 90 minutes before waking up to fly back to New Orleans.

{Photo courtesy of Fitbloggin'}

I want to talk about the trip, what I took away from Baltimore and what my hopes are pertaining to next year’s conference which will be in Portland, but I’ll do it when I’m done playing catch up with everything else.

When I arrived Thursday morning I was immediately greeted by some of my favorite people, and I quickly found myself surrounded by people who love and understand me. The week was filled with amazing people and incredible moments, but for now I think I’ll just let the pictures tell my story.

Do you see anyone you recognize?

It’s Time!

I can’t believe that Fitbloggin’ is finally here!  I’m so excited and thankful to be part of such an incredible event again this year, and I can’t wait to see old friends and to connect with new ones.

The Suit and I are heading out early this morning so we can arrive in time for the off-site McCormick event where we’ll experience healthy food at its best.  I can’t wait to share more about what we try and what we learn here.

Yesterday was a busy day (as Wednesdays typically are,) but we got everything finished before heading out for drinks with our friend and classmate.  We had a few drinks and lots of laughs.

They’re both so handsome and adorable in their own ways.  I obviously enjoyed myself. 😉 They even got me to drink beer, but they didn’t exactly have to try to persuade me.

Life has been good this week, but it’s about to get better.  I’m so thankful for the opportunities that my blog enabled me to have, and I can’t wait to post obnoxious pictures, stories and more pictures.

What are your plans for the rest of the week?

Friend Makin’ Mondays: Blog Stuff

Monday is finally here which is exciting because I’m looking forward to everything that’s happening later this week.  Fitbloggin’ is only a few days away, and I’ve already mentioned how excited I am to connect with so many people I adore from the blogosphere again this year. I’ve written blogger specific questions before, but these are a bit different.   I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say!

 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

 

 Blog Stuff

 

1.  Have you ever met anyone through your blog that led to an in-person friendship/relationship? I have met so many incredible people through my blog, and I have some pretty phenomenal friends as a result.

2.  Most bloggers have a specific niche.  What would you discuss if it didn’t seem inappropriate on your blog? I’d talk about sex more often.  Maybe I will talk about it later this week.

3. If you could meet three bloggers, who would they be? I’m really excited about meeting Renee (aka PinkyPie!)  She’s coming all the way from the Netherlands to be at Fitbloggin’ this year, and you better believe I’m going to hug her tight!  She’s one of my favorite twitter friends. There are so many others I’d love to meet as well, but I’m thankful that I’ve met so many already!

4. If you had to choose between Facebook or Twitter which one would you choose?  Don’t ask me to make that choice. I couldn’t.  I enjoy twitter more, but Facebook is filled with photos.  Tough choice.

5. Do you vlog (video blog?) I have been known to do it, but I stopped for a while when I didn’t have a Macbook.  Maybe I’ll put that on my list of things to do soon.

6. How many blogs do you read on an average day? It varies depending on what day it is, but I read as many as I can.  I don’t always comment because I cannot be bothered by the immense hassles one must often go through to post a comment on blogger.  (Whoa. Sorry about the little rant. hehe)

7.  What is the coolest thing that you’ve seen online recently? I saw a post via Roni’s blog recently entiteld “Hey, Fat Girl, and it stopped me in my tracks.  I had tears in my eyes and chills down my arms.

8. If you gave your blog a new name what would it be? I’ve considered this lately, and I won’t be changing my name.  Though if I were going to I’d call it Becoming Kenlie, or Kenlie’s Life or something like that.  It will just remain as is though.

9. Have you ever attended a blog conference like Fitbloggin?  If not, would you? I attended last year which has me psyched about being there again this year.  I love the people, the sessions, the activities, the fun evenings…I just can’t wait.  Can you tell I’m excited?!

10. In the past I have asked why you blog.  Now I want to know why you read blogs?  What do you take from it?  I read blogs for a variety of reasons.  I read some to enhance my fashion and style, some to feel inspired and some because it’s nice to feel like people understand what my life is like.

 

Now it’s your turn to fill out this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

What Can I Say? Next Week = Awesome!

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday!  My week has been extraordinarily busy, and some cool things have happened.  I started a new job.  It’s just a part-time thing in addition to what I already do, but I’m really enjoying it so far.  The work is interesting, and the people are great!

The Suit and I are also learning a lot about building our own business, and we have some big ideas.  We’ve been lucky to meet and learn from some of New Orleans’ most successful entrepreneurs, and we’re just getting started.

And a month from today I’m moving into an awesome little apartment downtown.  It’s been a long time since I lived alone, and I’m looking forward to it for several reasons:

  • I’m looking forward to being independent again and having a glass of wine, or a Belgian tripel after a long day if I want to.
  • It will be nice to fill my DVR with shows that I love (like Drop Dead Diva, Suits, Covert Affairs and White Collar.)
  • I can decorate my place the way I want to…I chose the sofa, and I’ll choose everything else.  I like the mildly contemporary, minimalist look – clean lines, but with pops of color.
  • It’s in a beautiful building in the heart of New Orleans.  It will take me less than 15 minutes to get to school and work, and my apartment is less than a mile from The Suit.  It will be nice to walk to his condo in ten minutes instead of driving for over an hour.
  • It features stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops throughout, wood floors and floor to ceiling windows.
  • It’s close enough to Mom’s house that I can visit whenever I want to.  I can spend the weekend on the bayou, or Mom can visit me for a day of lunch and shopping or whatever we want.
I’ve been hoping to move into the place since I first learned about it in July.  It’s been a long time coming, but I have a lot to do between now and October 12.  It’s probably a good idea to have furniture when I move in, right? 😉

And next week is going to be one of the coolest weeks of my year.  It’s time to go to Baltimore!  Last year I attended Fitbloggin’ for the first time, and I knew as soon as I arrived that I’d be back this year.  Having the opportunity to spend face time with people that I’ve grown to adore over the years makes the trip worthwhile, and there are added benefits like improving my blog, experiencing new fitness techniques and meeting new, awesome people who will be in attendance this year.

I’ve been fortunate to do some pretty cool things in my life, but Fitbloggin’ is near the top of my fun list, and it’s only a week away! Can you believe I’ll get to spend time with so many of my favorite people at once?!

This year I’m excited to be connecting with McCormick to bring you tips and information that will make your food more interesting.  As a major sponsor at Fitbloggin’ this year, McCormick is going to show us how spices and herbs can dramatically alter a meal without forcing us to take a hit on calories and fat.  They’re hosting an afternoon tour on Thursday, and I’ll be there.  Will you?  If you’ve already signed up for Fitbloggin, I hope you’ll join me.  You can sign up here, but do it soon because spots are almost full.  I’m looking forward to so many things this year, and seeing so many of my kindred spirits will be an incredible part of that.

Following Baltimore, The Suit and I are heading to New York for a few days.  Among other things, we plan is to sail on the Hudson, attend a taping of Anderson Cooper’s daytime show and end our evenings when the sun comes up – probably somewhere in the meat-packing district.  There’s also a guy somewhere in New York who owes me some 50-calorie cupcakes.  (Note to the man with the cupcakes: You know who you are, and you know what I want.)

Next week will be filled with hugs, learning, fun and new experiences, and at times like these it’s easy to recognize that I have so many reasons to be grateful for my life and everything in it.

Will you be at Fitbloggin?  If so, I’ll see you there!  What are you most excited about?