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What’s In My Gym Bag {updated}

Posted in Work Out by

what's in my bag

I love “what’s in my bag” posts and videos, and it’s been a long time since I updated my gym bag post. Since I’ve transitioned into mostly going to the gym after work instead of before, I don’t need to tote around my entire morning routine anymore, which has helped me downsize what I carry around considerably. In the spirit of full disclosure (and also probably some humour) I didn’t clean my bag out or anything before I did this post so I’m sure there are some funny finds in here.

Bag: I picked this Apana bag up at Marshall’s for $29. It has a lot of compartments, which is great. I am not crazy about the color, but it met all my other wants, so it came home with me and I’ve been using it for about three months.

Gym clothes: usually a mix of about two sports bras, four shirts, mismatched socks and if – IF I’m lucky – I remembered to throw in some activity-appropriate bottoms. I forget to do this more often than you think lately, which explains the overabundance of bras and tops. By some miracle, today there are two pairs of capris. There’s also a pair of Injinji socks and some Crazy Compression socks as well.

Toiletries: deodorant, Vaseline, Bodyglide, mascara, face/body wipes, lipstick, lotion, perfume. Whatever will let me run out to an impromptu post-gym dinner date.

Wallet and planner: I’ve just been toting my gym bag to work as a purse lately. It works for now. This also means that 4/5 days a week when I haven’t remembered to bring my lunch bag home, there’s also a sandwich or sweet potato in here.

Hair accouterments: Sweaty Bands and extra hair ties. I never remember that the hair ties are in my bag, so they never get used.

Nutirtion: various snacks, protein, and drink mixes. Note the absence of a water bottle.

Injury support: Dr. Cool wrap, KT Tape, wrist brace.

Armpocket, iPad, earbuds: treadmill entertainment. (Unless the wireless at the gym isn’t working and I get wrapped up in an episode of Dateline that keeps me hooked for 45 minutes longer than I anticipated to run.)

(At least) two pairs of sunglasses and an empty sunglass case: I have no explanation for this. For some reason the glasses never make it to the case.

Target receipt: there is nothing in this bag that was purchased on that receipt.

Does your “gym” bag do double duty? What’s your must-have product?

I was provided a sample from Crazy Compression, Showerpill Dr. Cool, and Armpocket for review, but as always, all opinions are my own. 

Update, 5/15/14: I’ve been using this bag since early February, and after three months of use, the handles started to come undone. If you’re a heavy gym go-er like me, I wouldn’t recommend this bag, even though I still love the organization of it.

April 21, 2014

What I Wore: Fit Style {workout wednesday}

Posted in Style, Work Out by

Sometimes when I look back on this blog, I have to laugh. I had originally started it thinking it would be more personal finance-oriented with a focus on frugal fashion. Outfits of the day breaking down the cost of each item, spending recaps, things like that. While I still try to incorporate those kinds of posts, I now mostly blog about fitness. When I started writing around two years ago, running and lifting were nowhere on my radar, and weight loss was something I thought about passively, but I was never as unhappy with my weight like many weight loss bloggers talk about. By far the most popular posts now are those about fitness fashion – I love that I’m not alone in my quest to be stylish as I sweat!

“I refuse to do anything if I can’t look cute.”

I said this a few weeks ago while trying on clothes at the local running store, and the girls around me were rolling. “You have a point,” they said. I completely believe that having a great outfit to work out in makes me more efficient. Maybe it doesn’t help most people, (and is probably totally psychological for me) but it makes me feel good, so I do it! (Sorry, every media outlet that has published articles about how people concerned with looking “cute” aren’t in it for a real workout.)

So today I thought I’d share a couple of my favorite outfits.

workout fashionThis outfit features the most expensive item in my closet, including “real” clothes. It’s the lululemon Run Full Tilt top with Ellie capris from last summer (and of course a chevron Sweaty Band.)

I tried this shirt on at Thanksgiving and didn’t buy it because of the price tag. I regret not buying it every day until I found it again (and this time it was on sale!) I didn’t wear the capris for a long time because I felt the sizing was ill-fitting, but I would be willing to try Ellie again to see if they have gotten better. This was the first time they offered their styles in XL, so maybe they’ve gotten feedback for a better fit.

IMG_2447 This is another one of those shirts that you put on and you just know. It feels like a second skin and oh, I love it. It’s a Nike Drifit 1/4 zip that I scored for around $12 at the Outlet at Thanksgiving. Under it is a lululemon Cool Racerback and a pair of black Old Navy capris ($8 on sale combined with a coupon.)








I wore this on a night where I double-dipped and did both a BodyPUMP class and Zumba (which I have been doing very rarely since my favorite teacher left.) The long-sleeve top and booty shorts are both from Gap, which I’ve mentioned many times is a favorite of mine for gear on the cheap. The shorts were $4! The top was a pricier $17, and those shoes (Nike Free Fit 2, which I only wear for classes) were another Nike Outlet find for $40. Sweaty Bands are my fave, and I picked this one up at the warehouse sale for $3!

What’s your favorite thing to work out in? Does feeling stylish motivate you?

I was provided samples from Ellie to review, but all opinions are my own.
April 16, 2014

deck those halls, trim those trees {Christmas recap}

Posted in Living by

Even though I got to take nearly a week off to go to Ohio for the holidays, I hardly know where it went. Christmas has not been a very big deal to me for the last couple of years, and it’s a hard time of year for me. Getting to go to my cousin’s for some family time, even when the rest of my family isn’t around, helps a lot.


I got to NP’s around 12:30 on Friday night… and Niece 1 promptly woke up puking at 1am. I was supposed to babysit the next day while NP and her husband worked, but my uncle ended up having to come over for awhile so I could run out and get medicine and supplies. It takes a village, I’m telling you.


Viva Tequila!

By Sunday, everyone was feeling better. I sat again until 2, did some shopping of my own, and went to our favorite restaurant for dinner. NP and I really learned our lesson last year when we had left all the presents to be wrapped on Christmas Eve, so we took some time that night to get a head start. This turned out to be the greatest decision we made all weekend. We also compiled a list of things that still needed to be bought, so I ran all over greater Cincinnati on Monday picking up presents and playing Santa. Happily, the crowds weren’t overwhelming at all. One of the places I stopped on Monday was the Sweaty Bands warehouse sale. It was really cool to see the warehouse, and I spent WAY too much money.. but how could I pass up $2 and $3 bands? (Answer: I couldn’t) I also stopped to see my other cousin for awhile and by the time pizza arrived for dinner, my tummy was feeling unsettled. I figured it was what I had been eating until NP text me that she was throwing up at work. Yep, we both caught the bug. Instead of our last minute preparations, we put on our pj’s and robes and passed out in front of the TV.


Gold Star Chili, God’s gift to my tastebuds

Christmas Eve we went to her aunt’s house in Northern Kentucky, but we still had some errands to run. We ended up being an hour and a half late to dinner… what are you going to say to two sick girls? Thankfully we were feeling good enough to eat (and drink) by 3. We tried to wrangle the kids into bed as soon as we got home, but it didn’t happen. At one point the doorbell rang, and we panicked, thinking the neighbors had begun to bring over the boxes that were stored in their garage – but it was carolers! I’ve never had carolers come before. Amanda and I both cried. It was beautiful. Youngest was up until after 10 with NP and I while we snuggled in bed and watched Christmas on the Bayou.

Playing Santa is always so much fun. (We even got our own presents when her husband got sick around 11pm. Karma!) The kids got up at 6am and I drove back to Virginia yesterday on four hours of sleep. I am still feeling the effects of no sleep the night we were sick, so I’m definitely ready to go home and crash today.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday (or day off, if you don’t celebrate) free of that ugly stomach bug! Did you get any great gifts?

December 26, 2013

My Newest Love Affair: Sweaty Bands Review {fitness & fashion friday}

Posted in Living by

Earlier this year when I started really working on training for Flying Pig, I’ll be honest – I had no idea what I was doing. But I knew I needed something that would motivate me and make me want to get in the gym – who would figure that a headband would be impetus for that! In February or March, I ordered my first two Sweaty Bands – Run Michigan and Run Cincinnati. (My face doesn’t show it in this photo, but Run Michigan is probably my favorite piece of workout wear I own!)

Then at the Flying Pig expo, I bought a couple more (they were my only MUST VISIT booth there!). My cousin even bought one to match my Run Cincinnati one, and I’m sure we looked very cute with our matching headbands and shirts. The Sweaty Bands did exactly what they advertise for me – they didn’t move at all while I was running and I never had to consider my hair getting in my way. Fast forward to my next race in July, where I chose a different brand of headband. Since I didn’t know any different, I expected it would do just fine – wrong! It flew off my head when I picked up the pace for the final sprint to the finish line. (I actually didn’t even know it fell off until I was walking back to my car and found it on the side of the race path.) Lesson definitely learned – my head is strictly for Sweaty Bands now.

This past weekend in a class, my favorite instructor at the gym asked for sweat band recommendations as sweat kept getting in her eyes. After class I ran up and told her that I swear by Sweaty Bands, even though I don’t sweat into my eyes. Wouldn’t you know it – I forgot my headband for the next BodySTEP class… and dripped sweat into my eyes. I imagine that’s what getting maced must feel like! I wear them to keep my hair in place anytime I’m at the gym whether I’m running, doing kettlebells, in a dance class, and even at the pool.

sweaty bands collage

Basically, I’m having a love affair with my Sweaty Bands. They’re pricey, but to me, they’re definitely worth it. I’d rather pay a little more to rock headbands that I know won’t move, will keep my hair in place without giving me a headache (I have really thick hair and a lot of headbands don’t take that into account, so they give me those pinchy-headaches), and are super cute than run the risk of losing them mid-race or suffering some pain. I’m a big fan of the Run This Town series (I now have Michigan, two different Cincinnati designs, and Boston), but they have all kinds of designs . You can even represent your sorority or favorite non-profit. Next on my list to buy is the cute chevron print.

Do you use Sweaty Bands during your workouts? What’s your favorite print?

I was not paid to write this post – Sweaty Bands did provide me a free headband to review, but all opinions are my own.

August 23, 2013