Vlogging About My Hair Routine [Reader Request Video]

My hair.

Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s bad. But most days it’s top-knotted, messy and held together with a headband and dry shampoo.

IMG_3409

My hair has always been straight, blonde and something I spend about .086 seconds on each and every day. IMG_3688

A few weeks back I received an Instagram question about my hair washing/styling routine since I teach 2409593017539025 spin classes each week. In the photo I mentioned I only wash my hair 3x/week (even after hot yoga … stop judging me) … which led me to put together this quckie video :)

Enjoy!

What hair products do you use? Do you wash your hair every day??

Taming My Sweet Tooth: A Work in Progress

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. As always, all opinions and commentary are my own. 

CMFp66oUYAAB4_p

Sugar.

I love it.

Candy, FroYo, chocolate … give me it all. But, thankfully, my stomach hates it. I get such a bellyache when I overindulge (which of course is my only option with it comes to that deliciousness), so I must find alternative options.

Enter: the newest edition to the Blue Diamond Almonds family, Salted Caramel & Blueberry.

Holy yum.

Since receiving this delicious bundle from Blue Diamonds, I’ve snacked on them by the handful, tossed them on top of my dairy-free yogurt and even chopped and sprinkled them on my shakes. The packaging says, irresistible … and it couldn’t be more spot on.

Salted Caramel was definitely my favorite. How do I know this? Maybe because the canister was devoured in less than 3 days. No shame. Salty and sweet, my fave way to snack on these bad boys was straight out of the container.

The blueberry flavor was my second favorite … only took me 6 days to polish those off :)

Blueberry BD

With a stronger berry coating and sweeter taste, I tossed them into my Greek yogurt on my dairy days — I’m currently still trying to figure out if milk products are causing me any stomach issues. As of now, the jury is still out — and on top of my PB shakes the other days (PB+J anyone??).

So there you have it, folks. Two new flavors from Blue Diamonds. And if you ask me — or look in my pantry — you’ll know these delicious morsels of healthy snacking are a must.

Plus, when my sugar cravings kick in (and a quick trip to the mini mart for a pint of my fave ice cream is calling my name) these are a wayyyyyyyy smarter option.

Nom. Nom. Snack on.

Are you a sugar lover? How do you curb your sweet tooth? 

-TTT

Kevin from Comcast

ab86d7374efb451ed1b2452530d71ded

If you’ve ever moved you know just how many companies you must call to switch things over; Cable, utilities, change of address, possible street parking permit and the hundreds — okay, maybe only a few — bills that must now be rerouted to your new home.

For me moving is always stressful. It’s never fun and it’s always hot.

Shlepping dorm room belongings between residence halls and storage units during May and August in Tampa, FL was not the most glamorous of times. Fast forward to Boston where the dreaded September 1st move-in date annually leaves the city streets looking more like an abandoned flea market than a bustling young professional neighborhood.

Like I said, moving sucks.

And amongst the unpacked boxes and feelings of unsettledness, the overwhelming amount of phone calls still loom. Customer service experiences on the horizon, buckle up.

So when I rang Comcast to chat about switching my  cable from my old abode to my new digs, I was pleasantly surprised when a jolly voice came across the line. Hello, Kevin.

At this point in my moving process I had spoken to nearly 10 customer service peeps. Ranging from automated systems to cranky overseas individuals, chatting with Kevin was a breath of fresh air.

Perhaps it was my newly single mentality or vulnerable mid-move state, but Kevin was kind and spent so much time explaining  each step of the process to me. Lowering my monthly rate and making my life easier, it lead me to think … what if all customer service reps were this simple to speak with?

Sure, sure, Comcast wants you to spend money on their services … so OF course they’re going to shower you with love and affection over the phone. Geez, I’m shocked Kevin didn’t propose over the phone if I committed to HBO and Showtime. However, there have been many a times where this has not been the case (not with Comcast, but others who’s products or services I’ve purchased).

So here in lies the lesson. No matter who you’re speaking with, be kind, be helpful and be patient.

This convo with Kevin from Comcast was 4 weeks ago. Clearly it left reality TV-filled imprint on my heart.

Be present, kiddos, you never know who’s on the other end of that phone. You could be making quite a positive mark on that person’s day.

Oh, and hey, Kevin … call me.

 

Joking, people. But really, have you ever had an unexpected and positive experience like this?

-TTT

 

3 Opportunities to Get Healthier (With Me) this Fall

c78e603d13e461e542ce4012a85cf302

Have y’all seen those commercials for back to school? There’s one in particular that plays the recognizable New Years Eve song, Auld Lang Syne”

And while I certainly don’t want to think about summer coming to a close (at all), fall is certainly a time for new beginnings and fresh starts.

Just like kids reading for the new school year with brand new Jansport backpacks and sharpened #2 pencils, as adults we must prep for the new season. Start by getting your overall health in check.

Lucky for you, late summer and fall I am turning up the volume on my health and fitness offerings. Here are 3 ways to integrate more health and wellness into your life this in the coming months. And I highly recommend all three ;)

1. AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge! 

Cost: $200 (approx. depending on shipping/tax)

When: August 25 – September 17

What: As many of you know, I am a huge advocate of Advocare. I am NOT only for gimmicky programs and fads, and for me this is not one of them. I genuinely love the products and use them daily. From my multi-vitamin to omega-3s, probiotics and of course, Spark (caffeinated vitamin and mineral drink — i.e. my coffee replacement) — I’m hooked.

The challenge is 24 days — think of this as a total body reset. The first 10 days consist of eliminating all processed foods, refined sugars, alcohol, coffee (sorry) — think addictive foods/beverages. The remaining 14 days (MAX Phase) you’ll begin to incorporate vitamins into the mix — now that you’re body has rid itself of the unhealthy additives, you’ll be able to better absorb the nutrients from the remaining 2 weeks.

Check out this full video here on the challenge.

I’ll be leading AND participating in this challenge. We have a sweet FB group too; such a fun way to circulate recipes, questions, etc.

Questions? Email me [trendytrainer AT gmail dot com]

Ready to order? Do it here. Should take 5 days or so for shipping.

2. Fall Hiking & Spinning Retreat with Me on Martha’s Vineyard

Cost: If paid in full by September 1st: Single occupancy: $695, Double occupancy $595 | After September 1st: Single occupancy: $795, Double occupancy: $895

When: October 30 – November 1

What: Friday through Sunday: Hiking, spin classes, yoga and incredible LOCAL food. I will be joining forces with the unbelievable Emily Phillips this fall for a retreat like none other. All lodging, food and classes are included in the cost.

If you’re thinking of taking a fall vaca before the holidays hit, this trip is for you.

3. Ready for a Personal Trainer? Good, I’m Ready for YOU.

Cost: Varies depending on training package (in-home, online). Email for rates [trendytrainer at gmail dot com]

When: NOW. But really, if you’re interested, email me and we can chat :)

What: I offer in-home, outdoor and online personal training sessions to clients of all levels. I bring the equipment, you show up. If online training is more up your alley (or you live far from Boston :)) I will provide you with week-to-week programs and workouts to meet your fitness needs. Initial meetings will be done via Skype or Google Hangout.

So, what are you waiting for?? Get your health and fitness on track before Target begins displaying Halloween decorations and — ahem — candy.  

-TTT

Crying in Hot Yoga

I’m about to get all honest up in here. So grab a seat and possibly pour yourself a cup of tea. Let’s get real.

d1aa67c1c989744b91783cdb15459ef0

This past weekend I moved from my adorable apartment (that I shared with my college best friend and dog Baxter) to a 2 BR/1BA apartment I’m sharing with a complete stranger off of Craigslist.

This person is also a guy.

Before you start commenting about how terrifying it must be to live (and share a bathroom) with a randO male or that you’re about to call the Boston police department because you’re scared for my life — hold up.

This was entirely my decision. And while I’m happy with my choice, that doesn’t make the process of moving any less stressful, tiring, physically demanding or mentally exhausting. On top that I’ve been trying to get back into a somewhat normal day-to-day life routine ever since the colossal Tornado of Summer ’15 hit.

It goes a little something like this …

Wake up, drive to the studio, teach, call mom, eat, possibly take yoga, shower, teach, eat, catch up on emails, teach, shower, hang with friends, eat, watch trashy reality TV shows, sleep. 

Repeat. 

Today I went to one of my favorite hot yoga classes. A 60 minute Hot Power Fusion class at CorePower Yoga in Medford (a mere 5 minutes from my new place!!) Per normal, this class was filled with buckets of sweat and ample stretching … oh, and today … tears.

Luckily my face was drenched and too rosy red for anyone to notice — not that I would’ve cared at that point … this was my practice and I had a mild emotional breakdown, so sue me.

As we began our first salutation I could tell a huge difference in the way my body moved. Just last week while I was attending the same class, I felt weak, exhausted and could barely keep myself moving. I blamed it on (“the al-al-al-al-alchol” … kidding) the overwhelming stress I’ve been under recently. Bills, jobs, relationships, moving, issues with my car … the problems just seemed to multiple like an ameba, only visible.

Today, however, was different — I felt strong. And then it was time for savasana … and this song played,

As I lay there, eyes closed, arms and legs splayed out on my mat and heart pumping … I started to cry. Instead of attempt to push out the racing thoughts from my mind, I felt an overwhelming since of relief.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have moments where I wanted my old life back: A stable income and job I had worked my tail off for. My relationship and someone I truly saw a future with. Being roommates with my best friend and the adorable Bax.

But as I lay there — my body temperature finally regulating — I listened to the lyrics of this song. And, as corny as it sounds, they radiated with me.

I love my new home. I am surrounded by an incredibly supportive group of friends and family. And I have my health; my body is able to practice yoga, run long distances and teach spin.

And if it takes a song like this during savasana for me to break down and realize all of this, well then, bring on the tears.

Truth time: Have you ever cried in yoga?? Spill in the comments below. 

-TTT

Staying Healthy Through a Bachelorette Party & Moving

Disclaimer: This “Flavor Your Adventure” post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almonds. For more snack ideas to “Flavor Your Adventure” this summer, visit Blue Diamond Almonds on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. As always, all opinions and commentary are my own.

When you’ve just endured a 2-day beach and booze-filled bachelorette party, the last thing you want is to be stuck in 3 hours of traffic (non-traffic travel time: 1.5hr).

Literally, the worst.

However, as I sat in the car flipping through the XM radio options, I was really (I mean really) happy to have packed up a healthy snack.

Enter: Lightly Salted Almonds from Blue Diamonds. Crunchy, portioned and just the salty snack I needed while blasting my AC and being in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The two short days in Dennisport on Cape Cod were filled with tons of laughter between college friends and ample amounts of beach time … even if the impending thunderstorms had us taking afternoon naps yesterday :) Gave me more time to read my book.

IMG_4061

However, to say my diet was on point last weekend would be a ginormous lie. I thoroughly enjoyed handfuls of chips, cheese, wine, fireball (oops), wine and oh … more wine. I mean, when in Cape Cod … 

IMG_4060

So, being that the festivities are now over it’s time to get back on track. That means meal planning, workout scheduling and readying myself for the BIG week ahead — I’m moving.

But, with these tasty almonds in hand I knew I couldn’t derail my diet.

IMG_4134

Luckily I’ve got a few canisters from Blue Diamonds … so my snacking (and diet) this week has been back on track … with the occasional glass of wine of course.

No judgement … just over here celebrating 3 glorious years at an amazing apartment with my best friend.

I’ll cheers to that :)

-TTT

Homemade Mocha Hazelnut Cold Brew Coffee [recipe]

If you’ve been keeping up to date with my beverage choices of late, there has been one item consistently missing.

Coffee.

Yup, I hate to say it but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to enjoy the caffeinated java. While I love the taste of black coffee (hot and iced), my stomach does not. Gurgling noises and pangs of pain have intensified as I’ve gotten older — yuck.

So aside from my daily Sparktail, I have started introducing my body to cold brew coffee … and let me tell you … it’s amazing. The price, however, not so much. Coming in hot — ahem, cold — at $3.50, I decided it was time to make this delicious creation at home.

I learned that cold brew is made in a process similar to tea. Instead of pouring boiling water over the grounds, you steep them at room temperature. This prevents the coffee’s oils from secreting and prevents my stomach from speaking a language all its own.

And while I love my coffee black (even more so as cold brew), I decided to sweeten up the drink using Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Chocolate and hazelnut (lactose free) creamer. The result? An easy, breezy summertime drink that can be enjoyed alongside Sunday brunch or every day if you’d like!!

Cold Brew

Serves: 8, 8-ounce glasses

Ingredients: 

64 ounces room temperature water

3/4 C coffee grounds

Directions:

In a large carafe pour in room temp water. Evenly distribute coffee grounds in empty tea bags OR use a french press method instead — If using this method, pour water into french press, not carafe.

Cover and let sit for 12 hours at room temperature.

Remove tea bags OR use french press to separate the grounds from the water (now coffee). Chill and enjoy!!

Mocha-Hazelnut FlavoringBD

Serves: 1

Ingredients

1/4 C Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almond Milk, Chocolate

2 TBSP Hazelnut (lactose free) creamer

Directions: 

Mix together and pour desired amount into Cold Brew coffee. Sip and enjoy over plenty of ice!

6-Pack Spotlight: Modern Barre Founder & Instructor, Julia Williamson

Modern BarreLet’s get one thing straight. I’m not the most graceful person in the world.

I took ballet from age 3 – 6 (maybe older … Mom, can I get a confirmation?) and then I took a pretty hard nose dive into sports. I’m talking basketball, lacrosse, field hockey, soccer, tennis … you name it, I did it.

And after trading in my tights and slippers for rolled soffe shorts and cleats, there was no looking back … until now.

A few weeks ago — pre-chaotic mess — I had the incredible opportunity to take Julia Williamson’s Ultimate Modern Barre class at her very own studio, Modern Barre in Chestnut Hill.

To say I was nervous is an understatement. However, I went with my energetic friend Allison who knew Williamson from their days at Hamilton College.

Class was incredible. And while I did not revert back to my days as a ‘gum drop’ wearing oversized purple tights that bunched around my knobby knees, I did manage to break a significant sweat — and more importantly have a blast doing it.

So let’s get to know this barre owner, who instead of slinging drinks is sporting sticky socks and crafting a killer total-body fitness class.

Caroline Earle: Do you remember the first barre class you took?

Julia Williamson: I do remember the first barre class I took, very clearly, almost down to the exact exercises we did. I was doing personal training at the time and one of my clients told me about barre. I’m not going to lie, I was a little hesitant to try a class. My first reaction was that my classical ballet days were behind me and my lifting and running routines were working pretty well; however, I thought I would give it a try.

Expecting to encounter a low intensity dance class, I was quite surprised to find it was in fact a fitness class (a very HARD fitness class!) and wondered if I was the only one shaking out of control from total muscle fatigue. I tried a few more classes at a smaller boutique style studio and realized how much I loved the concept of a workout that combined strength, endurance, grace and mind body integration.

Each class left me feeling completely energized and inspired and I really started feeling and seeing results in a short amount of time.

CE: Before opening Modern Barre, what were you doing for work? What made change careers?

JW: Before opening the studio I was working in outside sales for a start up company based in Kendall Square. Although I had been in sales for a number of years, it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I was also doing personal training part-time as well as teaching barre and dance classes because those were the things I was truly passionate about.

I really wanted to blend my experience in both the business and fitness worlds and create something that would help and inspire other people. I had so many ideas for what I wanted to do and I wanted to be able to bring a lot of creative energy to my work without the constraints that you can sometimes encounter in the corporate world.

It took me about a year from when I decided that I wanted to open my own studio to actually leaving my job and opening Modern Barre. That year was a really exciting time for me and included a lot of brainstorming, planning, and learning … which still happens every single day when you own and operate your own business.

CE: Aside from teaching, what is your favorite way to stay in shape?Julia R. Class

JW: I love running in any form – long runs, interval runs, track sprints, outside, inside, road races, you name it. I played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse in high school and lacrosse and cross country in college so running was always what I did to get in shape for the season.

It is very meditative for me and allows me to both clear my head and get a lot of thinking done. No matter how I feel when I start, I always feel better after I run.

CE: Favorite pre-class go-to snack — go!

JW: My favorite go to snack before class would have to be rice cakes with peanut butter and jelly. However, I do eat like an adult throughout the rest of the day. And I almost always have an apple and Kind Bar in my bag.

CE: If you could teach anywhere in the world (at any venue) where would it be?

JW: I’ve been really into Outlander lately so I would say the Scottish Highlands circa 1740. But seriously. I would love to go to Europe and do a huge pop up class in one of the big cities — plan it on a really nice day, in the middle of city, when everyone is getting out of work — flash mob style so everyone walking by just jumps in and starts working out. I think that would be pretty cool.

CE: What’s up next for Modern Barre? Studio 2?

JW: We have a lot of exciting things in the works. We are in midst of filming some short online videos for our new blog that will launch at the end of the summer.

We are also going to start offering live virtual classes so people from all over can join a class from the comfort of home. We’ve had some amazing clients who have moved to other states or out of the country and we are excited to be able to reconnect with them, as well as with new clients, through this new program.

Another offering that we are really looking forward to is our teen and kids’ dance and fitness program that will launch this Fall.

As far as a second location, it is certainly on my mind. Since 18th Century Scotland isn’t in the cards, it will have to be sometime in the future … probably around the Boston area.

Be sure to check out Modern Barre’s array of classes and try their new client 3 for $30 deal. They are also offering a summer special; unlimited classes for $145 per month using promo code ‘summer15′. 

It’s All About Time, Y’all

unnamed

Have you ever been to Charleston, SC in July? Imagine stepping into a sauna wearing all of your clothes. Talk about heat and humidity … thank goodness for air conditioning. Phew!

This past weekend I was blessed to be able to visit my family that lives down south. For 3 days I unplugged (for the most part), enjoyed being outside and most significantly I took time to be with my family.

11227056_10100529872682938_3850994008165002883_n

So rarely do we savor these moments. Most of our days are spent running errands, glued to our phones and dragging ourselves to each and every obligation we’ve penciled in our At-A-Glance. Am I the only one still using one of those??

When was the last time you truly just had time and did something you really wanted to do? Think about it.

Well, for me, this past weekend was a reminder that the element of time is not only relaxing and enjoyable — it is also extremely vital. My girl Becky recently wrote about ‘The Value of Time‘ stating,

The most valuable gift we can give anyone in our lifetime isn’t money or possessions … It is the gift of TIME. Time is our most important, yet finite, resource and every minute you spend away from your loved ones or doing something you love is a minute that is gone forever.

Time. If you had a full day with nothing planned, how would you spend it? Time to chat it up in the comments below :) 

-TTT

 

On Trust

Let’s play a game.

22ef277769deda90a35ae33a154a6c8c

What is one large commonality between relationships and jobs? Gah, if you read my headline you already know it … 

Trust.

Both require you to entrust some degree of yourself within them. Whether it be financial, emotional, sexual — ultimately it doesn’t really matter. It’s trust. And if you’ve ever held a job or had a connection with someone, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

When certain aspects of my life came crumbling down almost two weeks agotrust was the one singular wound I was nervous would ultimately scar. I was fearful it would leave me with an inability to fully feel vulnerable in either situation.

Would I be able to let my guard down with another guy? Could I entrust my bills, expenses and future on another company? These were all valid questions … and ones I really wasn’t able to fully answer until now.

All I can say is THANK GOD FOR MARATHON TRAINING. Listen, running for an hour and a half … alone … with your own thoughts … now that’s an effing therapy session (sorry mom, salty language). But really though, the Chicago 26.2-miler could not have come at a better time.

Most of my days have been spent doing the following things (not necessarily in this order):

– Eating

– Sleeping

– Reading

– Running

– Teaching spin

– Eating

– Running

– On hold with Mass Health

– Teaching spin

– On hold with Mass Health

– Eating

What? Stop judging me. 

I had a real ‘come to Jesus meeting’ with myself during one of my long Sunday runs.

Trust is a non-physical, non-tangible thing. It’s fucking weird (oops, sorry mom). It is most certainly scary. And — in my experience — when you lose it, it makes you feel like a complete hormonal catastrophe.

However, regardless of how painful it is to lose, the moments in which you have it are precious. They’re significant. They are raw. And honestly, they should be cherished a-heck-of-a-whole-lot more.

So take a moment. Evaluate. Are your relationships and the trust-encompassing interactions you face on a daily basis being given the value they deserve? Or are they merely being taken for granted. I truly believe that once and a while taking a deep dive such as this is necessary — heck, it’s vital.

And no, you certainly don’t need to be marathon training in order to spend some time in your own head. But pounding the pavement and zoning out the pain of double-digit miles doesn’t hurt ;)

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below … share away :) 

-TTT