How I am Making the Tone it Up Bikini Series My Own



This year I’ve finally decided to participate in the Tone It Up Bikini Series: an 8 week fitness challenge hosted by the founders of Tone It Up, Karena & Katrina. It’s a big step for me because I’ve never successfully completed a fitness challenge before.

Some challenges had way too many rules, other’s didn’t speak to me, but other times I just I didn’t believe in myself. Not too long ago, I was still working on improving my relationship with food & exercise. Whoa, I think that’s the first time I’m ever mentioning that online. That’s a big deal for me.

I’d find myself obsessing over my food & body much more than I’d like. I’d compare myself to others far too much and spent too much time criticizing my own flaws. I was aware of my somewhat “unhealthy mindset” and I knew a fitness challenge may make me focus more on the superficial than I should.

It’s taken me a lot of trial and error to get to where I am now but I am at the point where I feel comfortable and happy with my relationship with fitness. I’m ready to give this challenge a shot.

I’m someone who marches to the beat of their own drum so I don’t think I’d be successful if I tried to follow all the rules of the challenge. For example, I’m not exactly following the TIU meals on their nutrition plan nor I am doing all of the TIU workouts. They do, however, serve as helpful guidelines.

Everyone has different goals for the Bikini Series but here are my top 3 I’d like to achieve:

My Goals:

  1. Successfully complete my first challenge. Really all I want is to keep my motivation going for 8 weeks. And I want to make sure I continuously love and accept myself the way I am the entire way through it. One week down already!
  2. Become a morning person: my goal is to wake up by 6:30 at least 4 times a week to either get in a morning workout (aka “Booty Call”) or to take time to write for my blog. Two of those four days I teach, so it’s really only 2 more days I need to get motivated for.
  3. Prep my meals. I’m lucky to be fed both breakfast and lunch at work so I really only need to prepare one healthy snack and dinner for each day. I easily get stressed/overwhelmed by cooking and I want this challenge to make my life easier! I’ll definitely be using the meal plan for inspiration.

I know I wouldn’t be sticking to this challenge without my accountability groups. I’m part of two group threads with other women who are participating in this challenge. We don’t only talk about working out, but literally everything and anything in life. Everyone is so supportive and kind. I’m a bit introverted so I was scared I’d be overwhelmed but it is quite nice I must say :).

Okay that’s all I have to say about the Bikini Series now. I feel even more accountable sharing this online.

Do you have any questions about it? Shall I do another update in a few weeks? Are you doing it as well? Let me know in the comments below!

My Kind of Retail Therapy: Whole Foods



Hi all!

How was everyone’s weekend? Mine was great! I went to a music festival in San Francisco, Outside Lands, all weekend with my boyfriend and some friends. It was a bit exhausting but it felt great being able to disconnect from my regular routine. Oh I also got to see one of my favorite artists EVER, Lana Del Rey :D.

Soo I’m working on another more thoughtful, raw post but I need some time before I can fully write it. Honestly I can’t really figure out how to vocalize how I feel….my words haven’t caught up to my mind yet. But anyways, it will happen in due time!

What I can share is that I have had more than a couple of bad days these past few months and I’ve need different outlets to brighten my mood. Sometimes it’s yoga or a nice walk, but other times good-old retail therapy seems to do the trick.

My kind of retail therapy does not include shoes, clothes, or handbags, but rather a few fun snacks from Whole Foods. I don’t shop there on a weekly basis but I like to treat myself to quirky vegan, gluten-free, healthier treats occasionally.

Here’s a few things from my shopping “haul” last week (I’ve wanted to use that word ever since I saw Blair Fowler doing them on YouTube 10 years ago).

Whole Foods Haul


    1. Harmless Harvest Raw Coconut Water – I discovered this coconut water a couple of years ago at Whole Foods and it’s now my favorite packaged coconut water! For a while I could only find them at Whole Foods but luckily they are available at many more places now.
    2. I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Puffs – I tried these puffs our Chicago office and I was addicted instantly. They are a local Chicago brand so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find them here but luckily Whole Foods carries the brand!
    3. Veggie Fresh Rolls – These look very pretty but were a tad bit dry. Will try making my own version at home soon.
    4. Grindstone Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie – Hmm this cookie is a bit mealy and dry but still enjoyable (probably because it had chocolate). Though calories are not a huge deal for me and I was a bit surprised the cookie is over 500 calories. I’m sure they are nutrient dense!
    5. Kite Hill Vegan Cheese – nothing compares to the real thing, but Kite Hill makes a good alternative.

Any recommendations on what I should try next?

P.S. I’m doing a fun ab-challenge on Instagram for the month of August. Follow along if you aren’t already 🙂