Everyone Could Use a Little Staycation

Hi babes! It’s officially the summertime and the perfect time for a staycation. I recently stayed at the Hotel Indigo Atlanta Downtown for an overnight staycation and had the best time relaxing and just having a cozy night in.

The hotel was super cute and modern, which I loved. They have this huge acrylic-looking staircase in the middle of the lobby that I’m obsessed with. (It was under renovation BUT it’s the perfect place for your IG pics, let me tell ya.)

I love the idea of a staycation because 1) the travel time is way shorter (luckily for me, I only live six minutes away) 2) you save money – because you’re eliminating the travel part 3) you can still hit up your fave spots 4) there’s just something boujee about staying in a hotel when you live – like – minutes away. Fun, fun.

So Friday evening, we headed over to the hotel for a fun night, which we obviously started with a little champs!

We proceeded to the lobby bar for a drink before heading out to one of our fave restaurants for a casual dinner – Superica. Guys, if you haven’t been here, drop what you’re doing, order an O.G. marg and the barbacoa tacos and thank me later. Life-changing.

Again, it was only a short Uber ride away so that was lovely. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel like the grandparents we are to stay in and watch some TV.

The hotel room, like the rest of the hotel, was very chic, clean and modern. Lots of bright whites, clean lines and just an overall modern design that I was very into.

And the bed was SO comfy. I could’ve slept in forever on Saturday!

Saturday morning, we woke up and headed to JP Atlanta in their lobby for brunch. We ordered the JP Omelette and Blueberry French Toast – because you’ve obviously gotta have sweet & savory. Both dishes were really, really good and the coffee was a’flowin’.

After brunch, we packed up and headed home! Spending just one night away from home was such a nice treat and something I highly recommend as a fun girls night, date night, or even by yourself. I would SO do a solo staycation, book a spa appointment, order room service and champagne – YES.

I’m off to take a barre3 class and lay out by my pool while reading my new obsession You Are a Badass (SO good.) Happy Saturday, babes.

This post was in collaboration with Hotel Indigo Atlanta Downtown. A big thank you to the hotel for hosting me! All opinions are my own.

Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know From a Personal Trainer

Happy weekend, guys! I have pigeonholed myself into the blogging/errands/working out/cleaning cave this weekend and am kind of loving it. Sometimes you’ve really got to force the productivity, am I right?
photo via @seewantshop

So, as many of you all know through my Instagram stories and photos, about a month ago, I was working out twice a week with personal trainer, Kyle Black, CEO Of KB2Trainu-Fitness, LLC, at H.E.A.T., located in Midtown, while supplementing those workouts with my own cardio and full-body workouts in addition. I had always wanted to try personal training, but let’s be real – it ain’t cheap. I honestly think that was the main thing holding me back; it wasn’t that I was too scared about the workouts or that I felt uncomfortable, but dishing out the kind of money some of these trainers were asking for just wasn’t plausible to me.

When I met Kyle and he offered me a free session to try a workout with him and see how I felt, I of course reached out to him within a couple of days to get that scheduled because, what did I have to lose? My first session with him was awesome. I felt empowered and strong (thanks to maintaining a generally healthy lifestyle prior to meeting him), but also challenged and a little weary of whether or not I could finish the workout. As I quickly learned, those last few, hard-as-shit reps are where you really begin to see the change. So, after that, I was hooked and knew I wanted to train more with him.

Shelling out my precious funds to Kyle (although at a discounted rate for my blogging and social media services) wasn’t easy – I mean, let’s be honest…. how many margs and tacos at BarTaco could that money have bought?!… but so worth it.

I spent one month training with him at two sessions a week, like I said, and really learned a lot about proper form, the right workout formula and, really, a lot about myself. I haven’t done a full pull-up in my life, and Kyle had me doing 3 sets of 15 (granted, they were assisted with a band buuuuut still, an accomplishment nonetheless.) That’s something I learned, too – treating the so-called small wins as large accomplishments is an amazing source of motivation to continue pushing through your workouts, and living a generally healthy lifestyle overall.

While I wish I could’ve trained with Kyle forever, as I mentioned, champagne taste on a beer budget doesn’t quiiiite allow for it – but hey, when I’m ready to start working out with a trainer again, Kyle will be my first call. His kind, supportive demeanor really helped me to work toward my goals, and not get discouraged or frustrated. No scary drill sergeant with Kyle!

So, all rambling aside, I conjured up all of the questions I’ve ever wanted to know from a trainer and had Kyle answer them. Grab a cup of coffee (or wine… or a protein shake… whatever floats your boat) and sit down for a great read.

Yes Girl: What do you recommend eating or drinking pre- and post-workout?

Kyle Black: I recommend eating something light about 1.5-2 hrs before working out. Hydration is really important too. I would say something like a banana, oatmeal, protein bar or egg whites. I also drink a pre-workout drink 20-30 minutes before my workout for extra energy. I drink a protein shake post-workout & I make sure that I get it in me within 30-60 minutes so that my body can absorb the protein, which helps rebuild & repair the muscle fibers that are broken down while working out/training.

YG: What type of cocktail do you order when you go out but don’t want all the calories?

KB: Kettle One or Tito’s Vodka on the rocks/ice with a lime. Vodka has the least calories.  You get the calories when you start adding juices & soda.

YG: What is the ideal combo of cardio and strength training in a week? In other words, how much time per week would you dedicate to each?
KB: I do think they are both very important. You should at least train 3 days at a minimum of 30-60 minutes. Time is the number one reason that people give an excuse for not training. So I would say do half cardio & half strength training.  Cardio works your heart (cardiovascular system) & burns calories as well as fat. Strength Training builds muscle mass. Both are very important & should be done with one another. Cardio alone will not make you toned – you may be slim but you will be soft or mushy. Strength training alone will not burn as many calories as cardio, which burns the extra fat off of the muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn daily.
YG: Do you think women must lift heavier weights to see toned muscles, or what do you recommend?

KB: No, I do not think women should lift heavier to see toned muscles. If you cannot control the weight then you should not be lifting it. I recommend light to medium weight & high repetitions – 15-20 repetitions, 30-60 seconds, or until you reach failure. Circuit training/ H.I.I.T. (High-Intensity-Interval-Training, which is getting your heart rate up, then back down is the quickest way to burn fat/calories. Correct form & having a workout prepared instead of just winging it & trying some machines or not having a plan is the most important thing.

YG: What’s the best type of cardio for fat-burning?

KB: The Step Mill on Fat Burner or Interval Training, the Rower, Spinning, the WoodWay Manual Treadmill or Curve. You can do sprint intervals with 30 seconds sprinting 30 sec rest, running 20-100 yard sprints or suicides, sprint up hills, running up & down steps, jump rope & swimming.

YG: Do you recommend women take any supplements for working out? IE: pre-workout, certain vitamins, etc.

KB: I do recommend that women take a multivitamin, vitamin C, calcium because women are at risk of osteoporosis & most women do not drink enough milk to get the calcium that their body needs, which helps keep the bones strong. One supplement I recommend is taking protein post-workout like Core-Power or Muscle Milk. They also come in light if you are trying to watch your calories. You can also do some type of whey protein. All it does is rebuild & repair the muscles after they are broken/torn down during the workout.  Protein shakes can also be used as a meal replacement/snack.

YG: Give an example day for what you think women should eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

KB: Breakfast: egg white & spinach in a whole wheat wrap or on a whole wheat bun & turkey bacon, or a bowl of oatmeal with fruit/banana. Lunch: Lean turkey, chicken or fish with a side salad or a green vegetable & fruit., with a cup of brown rice if needed. Dinner: A lean protein like turkey, chicken, fish or a lean steak & vegetables like a sweet potato, broccoli, zucchini, squash, or salad with balsamic vinaigrette – not ranch or those fattening dressings. Snacks can be almonds, fruit, yogurt, protein bars, or healthy smoothies. Basically 3 meals & 3 snacks – you should be eating every 2-3 hours, that way your metabolism is constantly firing.

YG: What are your absolute favorite ab toning, tricep toning and booty-toning moves?

KB: Favorite ab toning exercise is hanging leg lifts with straps, v-ups & planks. Favorite tricep toning move is tricep push-downs with the braided rope & tricep dips – different ways using different equipment – & tricep kickbacks. Favorite booty toning exercises: squats, pistol squats, glute bridges, single-legged deadlifts, both walking and stationary lunges, fire hydrants & kickbacks.

YG: What’s your advice for losing workout motivation… How do you stay motivated to stay in shape and live a healthy life?

KB: It is too easy to be lazy – you have to find an underlying motivation but it also has to be a lifestyle. You cannot workout/train for a vacation, wedding, or something short-term because it will not last. It has to be part of your daily routine just like bathing or brushing your teeth, & you have to do it even when you do not want to or feel like it. I have never heard someone say after a workout that I wish I had not worked. It is one of the best stress relievers, it helps you look & feel good & I know that everybody wants to look & feel good! Everybody wants to improve something on his or her body. My motivation to workout relentlessly is #1 that I am an athlete to the core & I know that is my gift/talent & I do not want to take it for granted. My goal every year is to be in better shape than the year before, so that means that I have to constantly turn up the intensity every year – I don’t believe in getting old. Some past experiences also drive me: not making it to the NFL & losing my mother when I was 14, my grandmother in college & my father 4 years ago who was my best friend, but they all smoked cigarettes & had health issues because of it. So as long as I can control my health, I will continue to push myself to GREATNESS & nothing less.

A big thank you to Kyle for training me and for collaborating with me on this post! If you’re interested in trying personal training, he’s your guy. Feel free to email me with any questions or reach out directly to Kyle at kb2trainu@yahoo.com.

The 8 Commandments of Finding Your Hustle

Having been in the blogging world for a little under a year now, I’ve met some pretty badass women. It’s so inspiring to me to see women I meet succeed at business ventures, on their blogs or in their careers. Corny? Maybe. But I think more of us need to start appreciating each other and all of the amazing things we’re capable of. Instead of tearing each other down or letting the green monster of jealousy get to us, why not utilize those strong women in your life for advice, help, inspiration… right?

Anyways. Tangents aside, three of my favorite Atlanta bloggers, Kale Me Kelly, Eating with Erica and Peachfully Chic have taken off on a really, really exciting new business venture called Girl Talk Series, and it’s giving me life. *hands up emoji*

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 4.44.53 PMErica, Kelly & Allie of Eating with Erica, Kale Me Kelly & Peachfully Chic, otherwise known as the women behind Girl Talk Series.

In their first event of 2016, the “Find Your Hustle” brunch at Orsmby’s, we heard from women at Pink Barre, Bene Scarves, Spa Sydell and Atlanta Eats on HOW to find your passion and run with it. I feel like this has become such a thing, especially with us as millennials – this idea of “finding your passion” and incorporating it into your career/life. I think the first one or two years out of college, a lot of us just want to take the first secure job that comes our way, and then when we start to get complacent, we begin to search for that missing thing, that thing that lights us up and gets our heart racing. Believe it or not, it’s not always easy to find, so these women spoke on how it happened for them. 

Based on their amazing advice, here are the 8 Commandments of Finding Your Hustle:

8 Commandments (1)

Want to attend the next Girl Talk Series event with me? Head to www.girltalkseries.com for more info!