10 Things I Learned at BlogHer 2014


This past weekend, I attended BlogHer 2014 in San Jose, California. It was my first BlogHer conference, and my first trip to California all jumbled into a crazy 3.5 day trip. I had so much fun, but I also learned so much. I now look at BlogHer as THE industry conference for blogging, especially for women. The insight and experience that I gained was truly invaluable. If you are a blogger and looking to attend a conference to learn and grow, I highly suggest you book your ticket for the next BlogHer conference (whenever they announce the date – last year I snagged my ticket in November 2013).
10 Things I Learned at BlogHer 2014

1. Bloggers of all sizes are welcome to attend. I went to BlogHer expecting it to be a conference geared towards bloggers who are more serious about having a certain level of success in their blogging careers. However, I quickly learned that many people were curious about blogging. At the newbie breakfast on Friday morning, I remember a woman stood up and asked if someone would be able to teach her how to tweet since she just downloaded the application. I also met several people who didn’t blog as yet. They were coming for ideas, insight,  and tips to begin their blogging journey. On the flip side, I met many women who have overwhelmingly successful blogs and freelance write for well known digital and print publications. Continue Reading

Favorite Things: Bruchetta, Motivation Mojo and Survival Kits

NYC West End

As you are reading this, I am in San Jose, CA for the annual BlogHer Conference. I have never been to Cali, so I am super excited. As usual, it’s me and my girl Nellie (aka my traveling companion/blogger bestie/roomie for life) taking Cali by storm. The weekend will be filled with workshops, brand conversations, parties, and fun. Make sure you are following me on social media to keep up with all the fun times! Cheers to a weekend on the west coast! Now onto my favorite links from the week. Continue Reading

Interview with Ashleigh VanHouten: Figure Competitor

As I am starting my journey to compete in my very first bikini competition, I am overly excited to meet anyone who is doing the same thing or has already done it. Low and behold, Ashleigh asked me to do an interview on her site (go here to read it), and I mentioned that I just started training.

Clearly we become virtual friends instantly and I asked if she would be open to talking about her experiences training for a figure competition here. While she competed ina  different category than I will be, the preparation process is basically the same. I’ve gotten many supportive comments, but also some really rude reactions to the idea of competing. As someone whose already done it, Ashleigh addresses some of the common myths about body building. 

Ashleigh VanHouten

I recently reached out to Kimberly for an interview for my online lifestyle magazine, milieumag.ca – I thought Kimberly had an impressive resume and lots to say, and I’m glad we touched base. Turns out we have something else in common: we both recently entered the world of fitness competitions! She is training for an upcoming bikini competition, and I had just participated in my first figure competition in June. Kimberly asked me to write about my experience and about some of the misconceptions people have about bodybuilding and fitness competitions, and I’m happy to do it – the experience is still fresh and as usual, I have plenty to say

In my own blog posts about my journey, you can read about my training, diet, concerns, and the competition itself – I’ve always been very upfront about what I saw, heard, and experienced throughout my preparation. It’s a small, niche community, and with any physical pursuit, there are people who take it too far or behave in a dysfunctional, harmful way to meet their goals. But for some reason (perhaps because so much of fitness competitions are based on aesthetics, and as a society we both revere and punish people for caring about their looks) this sport above all others gets flack for being unhealthy. When I decided to compete I was surprised at the overwhelming support I received—less so at the inevitable comments like, “but you already get attention, why are you doing this?” or, “It just doesn’t seem like something you’d do.” I totally understand people’s reservations, but with anything, it’s important to learn about a topic before you judge it. I’m guilty of this myself.

I enjoyed my journey to my first figure competition—it was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done, because patience, willpower, and, well, not eating donuts are all weaknesses of mine, but proving to myself that I had the dedication to stick to a tough goal, and proving that I did in fact have a six pack under there somewhere, were all incredibly rewarding.

Here are a couple bodybuilding/fitness competition myths I’d like to dispel. As you read these, keep in mind that I acknowledge that there is a right and a wrong way to prepare for a bodybuilding competition. Lots of people take drugs, over exercise and under eat. But lots of people don’t.Continue Reading

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