FRIDAY FAVORITES

Happy Friday. Boy, am I glad to see you! This week brought about a new normal. My schedule is ramping up as I've started working with several new clients, and I'm back to working out as well. Next week will be a good one, because guess who's turning 32? THIS GAL! My birthday is Wednesday, January 25 and even though my birthdays are definitely no longer the same since my mom is gone (she made each and every birthday felt like it was the best day ever AND like it lasted for weeks) I'm making a point to truly try to enjoy it this year. (For various reasons my 30th and 31st birthdays were both kind of womp-womp.) I took the day off from work, I'm getting my hair done, and I'm planning to relax as much as possible. My dad already gave me my present (this crossbody bag) and I told Ben no gifts this year, so my only wish is to have a beautiful, enjoyable day. Below are my favorites from the week... have a great weekend and I'll see ya soon!

The Affair was officially reviewed for Season 4!!!

Speaking of Showtime. Anyone else having Shameless withdrawals? I love this interview with Lip.

Do you lift weights in your running sneaks? You may want to rethink your workout footwear.

I love {and need one of} these handbag storage ideas.

I can't wait to read this book about eating for your personality written by my fav celeb trainer. 

I love these easy-to-make, grain-free pasta side dishes. It's like a cleaner version of those Lipton packets!

This eye makeup eraser stick saves me on a daily basis. #sweaty

Speaking of makeup, this fine liquid eyeliner has become a staple in my daily routine. 

I got Ben and myself matching Patagonia Better Sweaters for Hanukkah (gray for him, violet for me). I'm looking forward to the cheesy family photo they will most certainly inspire.

I recently discovered this brand of luxe, cozy basics in the Equinox Shop.

Anyone else still rockin' some gift cards from the holidays? Just ordered this pretty stackable ring set.

This sweet sweater makes me happy because it reminds me of my mom. (I also have a Club Monaco gift card.)

Last but not least, let's all go have a celebratory Eggo and martini at Cafe Jacque's because WILL & GRACE IS COMING BACK! (1,000 points to anyone who got that reference. I love you.)

FRIDAY FAVORITES

Happy Friday! How was everyone's first week of January? Did you make resolutions and if so, how are they coming? I'm still not entirely sure what mine are, so I'll have to keep you posted. I've had a few people ask me if the gym has been crazy crowded this week and the answer is... no. I haven't seen a ton of new faces yet, and while I'm hoping to pick up a few new clients in the next month or so, I almost feel like the hype about people going crazy with "get in shape" and "lose weight" resolutions in January is almost bigger than the actual act. Anyone else?

Anyway, feel free to follow me on Snapchat for more random ramblings like the one above, photos of my food, my not-so-famous daily rants and gratuitous videos of Winnie. My username is teddisetgo. Here's what I'm loving this week... it's a short list because, well, #PuppyMomLife.

One of my clients and I are both obsessed with reading recaps and reviews of The Affair. This week I liked Vulture's and Refinery 29's. (Also, did it bother anyone else that twice Martin's age was stated as 19 and he's still in high school...?!?!)

Ben and I really got into that Truth and Lies: The Menendez Brothers documentary on ABC last night... did anyone else watch? Looking forward to reading this book Hung Jury that's coming out next month - it's an updated version of one juror's diary of the trial.

Curious to know if any of you read about Something Navy's plane drama and if so, what did you think? (Personally, I think her family is adorable but I see how arguments can be made for both sides. Babies cry and flight passengers want a quiet 6 hour cross-country flight... And there will always be internet trolls who will find any possible way to spin something negatively. These are all facts.)

Made a few good beauty discoveries this week: this Too Faced Boudoir Eyes may be the only eyeshadow palette I ever need again. Not exaggerating... the colors are soft and gorgeous. For a more budget-friendly version, I actually owned this palette first, which is definitely more wallet friendly and goof-proof.

We all know I love my Skinfix lip repair balm, but this eos shimmer lip balm is also great and imparts a pretty little sparkle.

I recently rediscovered my Sultra curling rod and I can't believe I ever stopped using it. (For the record, it was because I misplaced the safety glove for a bit. I found it, and I'm never breaking up with this rod ever again! I've had it since spring 2011 and it's still going strong! Well worth the investment, and I found it on sale here.)

The photo above is a throwback from about 3+ years ago, but I still own and love those boots

Have a wonderful weekend! 

TIPS TO TAKE WITH YOU ON YOUR FITNESS JOURNEY

I'm not one of those trainers/coaches who rolls their eyes at January 1 gym-goers. If you've been following along for awhile, you know that I am very passionate about clean slates and starting lines. If it's your New Years Resolution to get healthy or healthier this year, I want to be the first to tell you BRAVO. The willingness to change is the first step in the right direction, and it's a big one. I want to share a few things I wish I'd known when I embarked on MY fitness journey almost 6 years ago.

TAKE PICTURES. You're not going to want to. But you should, because I promise you, you will regret not having them down the road. I WISH I'd tracked my progress with photos. So much so, that I'm actually going to start taking monthly photos once I get my boot off and re-start my workouts again. I know it may feel icky at first (I've had a tough couple of months...) but I'm looking forward to the visual motivation I know it'll provide.

TRY EVERYTHING. AND I MEAN EVERYTHINGDon't relegate yourself to one specific workout or a limited selection of food. Variety is the spice of life, my friends! Challenge equals change. One of the most challenging aspects of fitness for me is that it's all about being uncomfortable, and I HATE being uncomfortable. Comfort is literally the most important thing to me in the entire world. So stepping onto the gym floor and out of my comfort zone simultaneously will always be some level of terrifying for me, but I love a challenge and relish the opportunity to rise to it. And I love being able to help others step out of their comfort zone as well, for it's there you find victory, success and confidence you never knew you had. I encourage you to try at least one new workout each month; I think you'll be surprised to see what you end up enjoying!

NO ONE DIET WORKS FOR EVERYONE. We all have individual needs and unique palettes. Maybe you have celiac disease or a dairy intolerance. Maybe you can eat a crap ton of Chic Fil A and Cracker Barrel and still look bangin' in a bikini (looking at you, Cameran from Southern Charm). In the past year I've found that a gluten-free lifestyle works well for me. If you're not sure what your body needs, I encourage you to do some research, talk to a nutritionist/dietician/health coach or look into an elimination diet. 

BE OPEN-MINDED. YOU DON'T KNOW EVERYTHING AND YOU NEVER WILL. One of the most important lessons I've learned working in this industry is that it's constantly evolving and ever-changing. New studies are always taking place and new information is always surfacing. I used to think I could achieve the body of my dreams with semi-clean eating, cardio and yoga. (Read more about this below.) Now, maybe you can. But I cannot because ultimately I have always wanted the kind of muscle definition that is achieved through resistance training. Unfortunately, it took me many years to figure this out!

CARDIO OR WEIGHTS? YOU NEED BOTH. Around the time that I decided I wanted to actively try to lose some weight (because for years I just wished I'd magically become thin again) and make some healthy changes in my life, I signed up for a yoga studio membership and began to reevaluate all of my food choices. That's when everything began to change.

I was such a rookie in yoga those first few times... wearing regular cotton leggings that kept sliding down my non-existent hips (I hadn't yet discovered luon) and fighting to keep up with the rest of class and lengthen my downward dog. I liked how aware yoga made me of my body and my being; I began to truly zone in on how I treated myself, what I ate, etc. A few months later, I tried SoulCycle for the first time and we all know how that went. (I was a fanatic for years. I still love it, but rarely go because I can take cycling classes for free at Equinox.)

However, it wasn't until years later that I began lifting weights. Oh, if I could turn back time! I cringe a little every time I meet a new client who says, "I don't lift weights because I don't want to get bulky." (To which I always reply, "Well, do I look bulky?") Weight lifting has given me such confidence and a strong sense of self. I wish so badly that I had started lifting years ago. So I'm here to tell you... you need both. You need cardio to keep your heart healthy, reduce risk of disease and control your weight. You need resistance training (weight lifting, weight machines, etc.) to reduce body fat, increase lean muscle and keep your bones and joints healthy. Those are just a few of the benefits of each. 

DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. I ask for help a lot. When I was training for my half marathon three and a half years ago with the lovely trainer/coach in the photo above, I made sure to ask plenty of questions and absorb as much information as possible. When I wanted to get stronger and change my body composition two years ago, I knew I needed help and invested in a personal trainer, which helped inspire me to become one! No one can - or should have to - go at this alone. Any good trainer/coach will be happy to help you if they can, but you have to ask. :) (If you have any specific questions, my current certifications are listed here.)

Happy 2017! I dare you to go make it the best, brightest, healthiest and happiest year yet. 

THE 16 BEST THINGS I'VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

I think we can all agree that, on the whole, this year has royally sucked. So I'm spending the last few days of it focusing on the GOOD stuff. 

I love putting together these kinds of posts because I'm clearly passionate about sharing my favorite things with all of you. As a consumer, I've changed my tune quite a bit in the past few years. Gone are the days of treasure hunting for discounted Phillip Lim dresses and Prada platforms at every Neiman Marcus outlet this side of the Mason Dixon line (and sometimes, the other). I spend 80% of my time in workout clothes and while I miss getting gussied up more often, I relish the constant comfort that comes with my everyday life.

This year if I bought something, it was because I analyzed and researched the hell out of it first. In terms of anything over $25, I can't think of a single thing that I saw on a shelf and thought, "Oooh!" and make a beeline to the checkout. I scaled back this year and ensured everything I was bringing home with me had long shelf life potential. Below are the best things I've bought this year, and I'd love for you to share yours in the comments! (I'm still on the lookout for the perfect pair of ripped jeans and warm well-fitting e-tip gloves.)

The only thing I love more than this puffy vest's price tag (less than $100) are its GIANT pockets which mean I can go bag-less in a pinch.

I've already professed my love for this color corrector, but it deserves multiple shout-outs. 

These chic, comfy wedge booties were rocking my world pre-ankle break, and I cannot wait to wear them again. (Also on sale here, here, here. Currently, the best sale price I've found is here, but that could change due to coupons, deals, etc.)

This wire-free bra is slightly sexier than a sports bra that feels equally weightless and supportive.

This pavé necklace (and matching earrings) (both gifts!) are my go-to jewelry for everyday life, and they're perfect for work: just enough sparkle.

I bought a bunch of sneakers this year, but I have to admit these sporty slip-ons are my favorite of all.

I don't know how to describe this repairing cleansing gel other than to say it's literally the best thing I put on my skin. It just feels SO good.

This intuitive eyeshadow pencil enhances your natural eye color - I have the "bronzed garnet" and use it as liner. 

In general, I freaking hate socks (I am from Florida, after all) but these wool socks are worth every damn penny: they're warm, comfortable, and they don't slip! And the sport sock version are an absolute Godsend with sneakers in winter.

Speaking of warm, I reach for these merino-lined running tights (now on sale!) on the chilliest mornings.

I like this side split sweatshirt so much that I bought it in two colors.

These faux leather leggings are my version of "dressing up". (I have the wine color.)

This lightweight backpack is easy to wear and fits a surprising amount of stuff.

This grain-free mac & cheese will knock your socks off.

I have a tube of this lip repair balm in every coat pocket; it's magic on my notoriously dry, chapped lips.

But by far, the best money I/we spent in 2016 was the adoption fee to Social Tees Animal Rescue for Winnie.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Be happy, be healthy, be safe and I will see you all in 2017. XOXO

Linking up with Heather for Friday Favorites. Thanks for hosting!

FRIDAY FAVORITES

Another oldie but goodie to kick off this week's Friday Favorites, because a) no way am I being photographed in this hideous boot cast and b) even though this pic is three years old (almost to the day) the clutch and booties are still in heavy rotation when I'm wearing real clothes.

Well, first and foremost, if you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you know that Ben and I added to our family over the weekend... We adopted a puppy! Her name is Winnie, she's a labloodhood, and according to her microchip, she was born on our 1 year wedding anniversary (10/10/16). Now how's that for meant to be? She's DEFINITELY my most favorite thing this week, but here's the rest of it...

The five coolest things you'll see at Whole Foods in 2017.

I finally finished the Gilmore Girls revival. I thought the first three episodes ("Winter", "Spring" and "Summer") felt uneven and drawn out, but the last one, "Fall," was almost perfection and I didn't want it to end. I agree with A.V. Club's review - but don't read it if you haven't watched yet.

I finally got around to seeing Cafe Society, and I absolutely loved it.

How to embrace your 'barely there wave.' Curious to try this next time I don't feel like heat styling.

One of my best friends sent me a "Get Well Soon" care package that included The Assistants. If you're embarking on holiday travel and looking for a book to escape/a read you can't put down, I highly recommend it!

Sugars ranked from best to worst.

Super soft jogger PJ pants. Perfect for those nights when you want to start warm but fleece feels too heavy. 

My dad went on a Target run for me and brought back this cozy chenille cocoon sweater. I've been living in it at home.

I'm cooking whenever I can, but we've been using Postmates a bit when I'm just too tired to do much of anything but couch potato it. Use code X7KAIL for a free delivery. If you do, I get a free delivery, too. Yay!

Speaking of cozy, I picked up this super snuggly boxy pullover. Going for that 'effortless comfort' look this winter.

I can't wear pants if they aren't high-waisted, so sadly these gorgeous marble-print leggings (on sale!) are out for me. 

I think I want this to be my new motto.

Fingers crossed I get a few lulu cards this holiday season... dying for a pair of these chic leggings.

We were supposed to be in Florida right now... think I'll treat myself to this flamingo top in lieu of the trip. #FUbrokenankle

Winnie would like this for Hanukkah, if anyone's wondering. :)

I'm not working next week, so I hope to be able to post a bit more then. In the meantime, I wish a very Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas to all those celebrating! 

MONDAY MOTIVATION: SANITY OVER VANITY

Four more weeks in this boot. It seems far away (it'll be a whole different year for crying out loud) but I'm trying so hard to stay proactive and positive. And I have to admit these past few weeks flew by in kind of a blur. And a week from today, I'll be back here telling you that I'm halfway there. So that's something!

Last week someone wrote a comment that was really eye-opening. She said she was uplifted by my desire to focus on performance rather than my weight, fat, etc. That meant a lot to me. And it reminded me of something that happened recently. When Ben and I were in Chicago last month, I went to Equinox Gold Coast on Saturday morning to workout. Straight up, Saturday workouts are pretty much always a struggle for me. It's the end of the week, and we'd had a particularly long day of travel the day before. (Lots of delays, a 90-minute cab ride into the city after a long flight with no food and I rarely sleep well in hotel beds.) But I got my ass over there. 

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Me on "Picture Day"... The day I had my photo taken for the Equinox personal training wall.

There was a girl who looked kind of like Snooki from Jersey Shore working out near me, very short and small. I smile at everyone whom I make eye contact with in the gym whether I'm working or not. The reason for this is I always remember how self-conscious I used to feel in the gym and know from experience a smile from anyone stranger can make a difference in someone's day! Snooki didn't smile back, but I'm sure my smiling at everyone is creepy to some. That's fine. 

There are some women in the gym whom I see and think, "DAMN." They're obviously cut and in sick shape. Snooki and I kept winding up next to each other on the floor, and I couldn't help but admire her workout. As I sleepily made my way through my deadlift sets, this gal was back squatting like a boss, pumping out set after set of 10 reps. (I wasn't counting her sets; I'm not THAT creepy. I knew it was 10 because I heard her yell to one of the trainers on the floor, "I'm doing sets of 10!" And for reference, she was lifting more than my max weight, and I only do 8 in a set!) Then when I was doing my lat pull downs, she was next to me pumping out pull-up after pull-up. This little chick was a powerhouse. It was awesome!

It was also a great reminder that strength has no shape or size. I think it's too easy for people to see someone thin and assume they're fit, or to think, "Wow," when someone who isn't "ripped" lifts lots of weight at the gym. This past weekend, I went back to work. I have to be honest with you; I was so happy to see my clients but wasn't exactly thrilled to be back at the 'scene of the crime' if you will. I pushed any personal discomfort aside because my clients are EVERYTHING to me and I love them like family. On Saturday, I was training one of my brides-to-be. You know how sometimes you can FEEL someone's eyes on you? I had that feeling, and I looked up from cueing her to see a guy watching me, and he smiled and waved when he caught my eye. I smiled and mouthed, "HEY!" back quickly before looking down again. It took me a few seconds to realize it was an ex-boyfriend of mine whom I hadn't seen in YEARS. And he was probably staring trying to figure out if it was really ME! Because I was a good 15lb heavier and out of shape back in those days! HA! That gave me a good laugh for the rest of the day! 

Photo taken after one of the best workouts of my life... trained by my then-manager, who is a badass mother of three and Figure Competitor. Also wearing that tank right now!

Look, I don't think most people would look at me and guess my profession, and I'm okay with that. I'm passionate about what I do, and I love reminders that being "strong" really has nothing to do with what you look like. It's about so much more! Your drive and determination are what define you... not numbers on a scale or in a body comp read. Now don't get me wrong - I do use a lot of figures when helping a client set goals. But at the end of day, who you are mentally and emotionally is what truly matters in life. And if you don't have those kinds of strength, you won't get much of anywhere in the gym. Take it from someone who's suffered from clinical depression and crippling self doubt. Looking good means NOTHING if you're not feeling good, too.

This week, I challenge you to work out for sanity over vanity, whatever that means for you. Exercise to feel better. Sweat for the endorphins! Let me know how it goes.

FRIDAY FAVORITES

Tough week, so I thought I'd start off this post with a picture of me looking WAY happier than I am right now...

Ah. That's better. GOD, I wish my hair were still that long. I also need to find those pants...

It turns out a week on the couch doesn't come without its upsides. I've had an abundant amount of time to read and watch various mediums, online shop, and do a variety of other things while I probably should've been sleeping or relaxing. So I thought it'd be fun to share my favorite things from the week...

This duet of two of my most favorite female vocalists of all time - Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande - made sitting through the whole 3 hours of Hairspray Live! totally worth it.

Speaking of Ariana - here are nine times she refused to wear a coat correctly. I also have a weird obsession with my shoulders and can TOTALLY relate...

This cute Tone It Up feature on Hallmark's Home & Family.

All of Jennifer Close's books. I read The Smart One (a quick and funny read); re-read Girls In White Dresses (because I have a horrible memory for books and knew I'd enjoyed it the first time... a must read if you're a 20- or 30-something female living in NYC) and am currently in the middle of The Hopefuls.

Any fellow A.V. Club fans here? I love reading their TV reviews, this week specifically: The Affair; This Is Us (I love the show but in this case enjoyed A.V.'s recap more than the actual episode); and of course, their sum of Hairspray Live.

I ordered this Anti-Aging Armour to pair with my favorite moisturizer. I have loved every single thing I've bought from this brand!

These sweet Kendra Scott earrings from a dear friend. Little did she know I've long been wanting a pair to go with my favorite necklace!

My dad scooped up a few treats at Lulu for when I'm back on my feet: this insanely soft tee, this 2-in-1 tank and this sleek 1/2 zip. He's the best. 

Currently in my J.Crew cart: this sweatshirt. And if we were still going to Florida in a few weeks, I'd scoop up this bow swimsuit in a freakin' heartbeat.

My favorite booties are on sale! Counting down the days 'til I can wear these again...

Have a wonderful weekend. 

Psst: linking up with Heather to share these favs.