A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is Not Your Average 9 to 5 (+Giveaway)

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogAs promised, I’ve got another day-in-the-life post, this one documenting a hands-on, active blog work day. If you missed my first post, here’s a day of desk-job blogging. For today’s I thought it’d be interesting to tie in one of my current blog partners as well so that you get a peek into what the interaction with product sponsors is like.

Orchard Valley Harvest has two new fruit and nut mixes available as Multi Packs (eight, one-ounce pouches), and as they’re delicious, I was excited to team up with them. As part of the project they sent me a bunch of samples of the Omega-3 and Antioxidant mixes and when you combine edible free gift packages with a work-from-home job, the result is often nonstop snacking. I’ve been on a three-pack-a-day habit, and as I was documenting my day for this post and realized every other picture was me eating a nut mix pack, I decided that this should be the feature. So while, yes, Orchard Valley Harvest is a partner of this blog post, the copious mentions are by no means forced. You try looking at snack-sized portions of nuts all day without going to chow town on them! 😉

This post was my day Wednesday–on the calendar for me was a video shoot and recipe test.

A Day in the Life: When Blogging Is Not Your Average 9 to 5

5 AM | Wake up, flawless

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogHair on fleek, face on fleek, breath on fleek. I had stayed up until 2AM watching election coverage against my better judgement (I couldn’t have slept if I tried) so I wouldn’t exactly say that alarm was welcomed. But one good thing about my late night was that I had the time to brew a big pot of coffee to have in the refrigerator for the morning. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I downed a glass of water and my vitamins (MegaFood vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach–score!); poured a little almond milk into my iced coffee; and grabbed a snack to keep me energized through my classes.

6 – 9AM | Teach

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

shirt c/o Fabletics // Booty By Brabants leggings // ToeSox grippy socks

On Wednesdays I teach three classes at Btone’s Back Bay studio. I don’t do the workout while teaching (I demo exercises and then walk around correcting form) so teaching three isn’t as daunting as it may sound.

9 – 9:30AM | “Me” time

I just could not shake the sadness I felt about the election, so as I walked home through the Public Garden and Commons, I decided to take a few minutes to sit on a bench, clear my head and meditate. I’m about to sound like a total weirdo, but I have a favorite bench in the Public Garden (sure, why not) and any time it’s unoccupied on my walk home from teaching in the morning, I take it as a sign I should stop for 5-10 minutes, sit down and meditate. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I meditated for about 10 minutes and then continued to sit there calmly, appreciating the beautiful city I call home and the crisp fall weather. In all it was only about 20 minutes out of my morning, but it really helped set the tone for a productive, positive day. Remind me again why I don’t do this every morning?? A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

On the walk home, I ate the Omega-3 Mix that was still in my purse (I surprisingly wasn’t hungry while teaching).

9:30 | Breakfast

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogI had some leftover roasted veggies in the fridge from last night’s dinner so I reheated those and spread them over a piece of toast and a fried egg. Easy, yummy, filling. I had roasted the veggies in cumin, paprika and cayenne so breakfast had a bit of a kick to it which I love.

10 – 1:30 | Shoot three videos (two workouts and a form tutorial)

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogGoing into a shoot, I already have the workouts planned out. I have a notebook that I write them down in along with recipes in the works and any other blog content ideas I come up with throughout the week. I also plan the outfits the night before so that I can be sure to incorporate any new activewear I haven’t yet worn on the blog. There are other little considerations that also need to go into the outfit planning: If it’s a sponsored post, I often need to make sure no other brand labels are visible; if it’s a tutorial on form, I try to wear a tight-fitting top instead of a loose muscle tank so that you can more clearly see my body alignment. I had these three outfits already planned: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

After almost a year of using Breather room rentals for video shoots, I’m done with the service. At first I had credit with them, but the credit has dried up and their prices have risen so it doesn’t make sense for me to spend $30-60/hour to shoot blog content. Plus, lugging workout equipment to the rooms was buh-ru-tal.

My apartment is not by any means ideal for shooting workouts. The bedroom is the only room with natural light but there’s not a ton of space so I have to push the dresser out of the bedroom and into the living room in order to shoot. Still way more convenient than shooting elsewhere though! Eventually I need to come up with a better solution but my motto with blogging has always been “Do the best you can with what you have,” so this will be a-ok for now. 🙂

Joe and I are messy, so in addition to moving my dresser, I have to spend some time cleaning before I can shoot. And in our defense, there is a big difference between messy and dirty, and we’re just messy. I scrub the bathrooms, do the dishes, dust, vacuum–I have a sanitary home, I promise. I just also happen to throw my clothes all over the place when getting dressed and haven’t made the bed in, oh I don’t know, five years.

I start with ambitious cleaning goals before shooting workouts but usually end up just pushing my heaps of clothing out of the video frame. Here’s the side of the room that’ll be in the shot vs. the side of the room behind the camera: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

L.O.L.

My least favorite part of days when I have to be in the pictures is making myself look presentable (wow I’m really making myself seem like a slob in this blog post, huh??). I’m unskilled and uninterested when it comes to hair and makeup but I cover the basics before putting on my first outfit. When choosing the order of videos to shoot I usually save the sweatiest workout for last so that I don’t look like a hot mess in the others.  A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

Usually between two and fifteen things don’t go as planned during shoots (another reason it makes sense to do them in my apartment!). The three I did that day went fairly smoothly, but I shot the last workout and as I watched it back realized how obnoxious these cables look: A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

Do I re-shoot it somewhere else? Where? They’re threaded into the wall so I can’t remove the cables. Ughhh. Might just call it a wash and post to YouTube, cables and all. A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

In between shooting, I had two more Orchard Valley Harvest mixes. The first one because I was hungry; the second because, well, you try working four feet from your kitchen. 😉

1:30 – 3 | Recipe testing for lunch

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogI had a baked oatmeal recipe I wanted to test out and planned ahead to have all the ingredients on hand. It’s a recipe I’ve played around with before so I was hoping I’d nail it this time and be able to photograph it for the blog. Success! I shot the pretty oatmeal cups by my bedroom window and enjoyed a couple for lunch.

3-6 PM | Emails, social scheduling, class planning

By now my energy is starting to wane (staying up until 2AM will do that to you), and while I had high hopes of editing all the video material I just shot, I needed to call it a day with that. Instead I spent a couple hours digging myself out of the never-ending email hole I’m in, scheduling posts for Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest, and planning the next day’s class.

6PM | Veg Out

img_5849I had plans to get out of the apartment, grocery shop and make a nice dinner but I’m clearly not in my early 20s anymore because that whole three hours of sleep thing knocked me on my ass. How did I used to pull all-nighters in the library (…and club, let’s be honest here) during college and still be fully functional the next day? How?? Oh, to be young again. 😉 A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the Blog

I lounged on my couch reading (just finished Still Life, which I’d summarize as a good–not great–murder mystery), and instead of grocery shopping and cooking, Joe brought me home a bowl from Sweetgreen (Earth Bowl, no chicken = my go-to order).

8:30PM | Bedtime

With another 5AM wake up ahead of me, I went to bed early and it was glorious. I’m actually surprised I even managed to stay up that late.

Reader Giveaway

A Day in the Life: Creating Content for the BlogOrchard Valley Harvest is giving one reader a prize package of these two mixes AND a $50 Visa gift card. The Antioxidant Mix is a blend of roasted almonds, dried sweetened cranberries, blueberries, roasted cashews and pepitas. The Omega-3 Mix is a blend of walnuts, dried sweetened cranberries and blueberries, almonds and pistachios. Both are delicious, non-GMO and free of artificial ingredients. Score!

Use the widget below to enter the giveaway. I’ll pick a winner Monday evening. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have you tried Orchard Valley Harvest’s fruit and nut mixes?

Did you stay up late to watch the election or wait until the morning to see the results?

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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Orchard Valley Harvest. The opinions and text are all mine.

12-Minute Full-Body Slider Workout (+Giveaway!)

12-Minute Full Body Slider Workout -- low impact but CHALLENGING! I have a challenging workout for you guys today (my legs were quivering by the end!) and a giveaway to reward you for your efforts. 🙂 Daniel Glass water bottle giveaway - glass & bpa-free

I’ve teamed up with daniel glass on today’s post and one lucky winner will get one of their super cute glass water bottles. They come in a bunch of different fun colors and are BPA-free, which is so important. The colorful silicon sleeve that’s wrapped around the glass makes the bottle easy to grip during sweaty workouts.

So yes, there are lots of other BPA-free glass water bottles out there, but what got me excited to work with daniel glass is that the company donates 10% of its proceeds to ocean pollution clean-up charities. I love it when companies give back!

Enter to win. If you win you’ll get to pick out the water bottle color of your choice. You’ll notice they all have fun names–I had to go with Fuchsia AF because “AF” is my favorite unit of measurement. 😉 The below link will bring you to the entry page. You’ll just need to enter in an email address so that daniel glass can contact you (so to be clear, I’m not collecting your email address, DG is).

ENTER TO WIN 

The winner will be chosen October 31st.Daniel Glass water bottle giveaway - glass & bpa-free

Alright now that we’ve covered hydration, it’s time to get your game face on for today’s workout …

12-Minute Full-Body Slider Workout

Equipment I Used

  • Sliders (dish towel works for hardwood floors and paper plates work on carpet)

This workout flows one move right into the next–it’s short, but it is continuous work with the exception of a 30-second breather in the middle. Think of the sequence as being broken up into three progressions. With the progressions, we add in moves every 30 seconds, building up a combo, and then take away moves in a similar fashion. Writing out the description makes it sound confusing so I’d highly recommend just following along with the video or at least watching it before doing the workout on your own–everything will make much more sense! That being said, here’s the general flow:

  1. Lunge Slides –> Lunge Slides + Crunch –> Crunch
  2. Lunge –> Lunge + Swan Dive –> Lunge + Swan Dive + Single Leg Bear –> Swan Dive + Single Leg Bear –> Single Leg Bear
  3. Twisted Push Ups –> Twisted Push Ups + Thread the Needle Pike –> Thread the Needle Pike

12-Minute Full Body Slider Workout -- low impact but CHALLENGING! Follow along with the video to get the whole flow of the sequence.

This workout is no joke–I was trembling getting through the second side. That being said, if you need to take more breaks, just pause the video occasionally. Listen to your body–remember there’s a difference between hurts so good and hurts. As with any workout, make sure to warm up beforehand.  12-Minute Full Body Slider Workout -- low impact but CHALLENGING!

WEARING | Movement Intuition Leggings by Free People c/o Shopbop // Nike Sports bra (old but this bra top is similar) // Adidas neo sneakers (also love these similar all-white sneakers from Nike)

Let me know how it goes if you try this workout! Were your legs burning as much as mine were?? And good luck to everyone entering the giveaway!

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This post was sponsored by daniel glass. All opinions–as always!–are my own. I appreciate your support of the brands that make this blog possible. 🙂

Another Reason to Love Larabar (+Giveaway!)

Larabars #ShareRealFood movement and giveawayI eat a Larabar a day. Sometimes two. Heck there was even a day I ate four. (Leave me alone, it was that time of the month when interpretation of serving sizes gets a little fogged by hormones.) Yes they’re delicious, but what sets them apart and makes me such a loyal customer is that they’re made of real food. Just 2-9 ingredients, all unsweetened fruits, nuts and spices. That’s it. I can pronounce everything on the ingredient list, and more often than not have the foods right in my kitchen. So when I got the opportunity to work with Larabar to help spread the word about their #ShareRealFood movement, it was a no-brainer.

The #ShareRealFood Movement

Larabars #ShareRealFood movement and giveawayAccording to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 in 7 Americans is at risk of hunger. Larabar, which was founded on the idea that real food should be accessible for all, is joining the movement to help. A majority of cheap, easily accessible food is processed junk (think fast food, convenience store snacks, etc.), and that’s where Larabar strives to make a difference by producing real food that’s conveniently packaged, only about $1.50, and is available in an increasingly large number of national retailers (CVS for example).

They’ve teamed up with Feeding America to donate $150,000 to fight hunger and are asking their community (you and me!) to pitch in and spread the word using #ShareRealFood and tagging @larabar. Donate canned goods, volunteer at a local food bank, buy someone less fortunate a meal–get involved in any way small or large. You could even start by sharing one of the Larabars you’re about to win …

Win a Variety Pack of Larabars

Larabar is going to send one lucky P&I reader a variety pack of bars! Larabars #ShareRealFood movement and giveaway

Since Super Tuesday is leaving me Super Disappointed, let’s focus on a tastier debate: What’s the best Larabar flavor? I’m diehard Blueberry Muffin. Guys, I wasn’t lying earlier in this post–one day I ate FOUR. Joe came home from work and opened up the cabinet and unknowingly asked, “Wait, weren’t there a bunch of Larabars in here this morning?” MAYBE THERE WERE MAYBE THERE WEREN’T OK?!!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog post with your favorite flavor.

No purchase necessary to win. Value of Larabar product prize pack is $30. Giveaway is open to all US residents age 18 and older. I’ll pick a winner in exactly one week (3/8). Good luck! Larabars #ShareRealFood movement and giveaway

You can visit Larabar.com for a list of retailers (I usually get mine right at Whole Foods!) and can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.

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This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Larabar.