This proved to be a very busy weekend, filled with bloggy awesomeness–from Soulcycle x Target, to sushi + mani-pedis with Tiff, to an all day blog conference–it was almost a mini Blogfest, and a perfect way to beat any blahs that might have been hiding! Of course, we ended the weekend with Super Bowl madness, but how about we rewind and go through the awesomeness of the weekend, step by step first?
Thank you to Katie for hosting Marvelous Monday!
Soulcycle x Target Chicago Pop Up
Soulcycle x Target reached out to secure me a spot at the pop up as well as a pair of tights and shirt, but all classes were free to all and all opinions are my own.
You all know that I love spin classes, and who the freak DOESN’T love Target, so when I found out that Soulcycle x Target was going to be offering free spin classes (free + spin class is music to an unemployed girl’s ears), you know that I jumped at the chance! The classes were held this weekend, Friday through Sunday, in a lofty exhibition space with a pop up store, a restroom transformed into a changing room (seriously, best smelling bathroom ever), and then, behind the gray curtain, a white Soulcycle studio, complete with bikes, DJ, and stage.
My instructor was Ryan L, and I have to say, it was the best Soulcycle class I have ever taken, period. He teaches all over Chicago, and I highly recommend that if you want to try Soulcycle, you take from him! He led us through a very balanced class with a MASTERFUL playlist–Soulcycle x Target has developed their own Spotify playlist!–and he was just too cute.
The clothes themselves are sleek and comfy (that sweatshirt!), and, in true Target style, affordable. When I was talking to some of the reps, they had said that Target was looking for a new collaboration with an upmarket brand that they could make accessible to the wider audience in the vein of the Lily Pulitzer or Nate Berkus and Target partnerships, and I think that they hit it out of the park.
I talked about my strategies for workout motivation on Friday, but I have to say that going to my first spin class, and my first real test of my recovery since my injury, was motivation enough! Would my injury hold? Spin is not as high impact even as elliptical (which I have been doing this week as a test), but it puts my back at the worst possible position (my hips in flexion, engaged gluteal muscles). I even felt a little something on the walk down there, but I honestly think it was just my pants, lol.
But not only was I on a high from HIIT endorphins and music afterward, I was so incredibly happy because not once did my injury hurt. NOT ONCE. Not even on the long walk back! Thank you so much to Soulcycle x Target not only for the clothes and the spin class but also for the opportunity to push myself and feel empowered in my recovery. There is still work to do, but any (pain free) step, no matter how small, feels like a giant leap!
Sushi and Mani-Pedi’s with Tiffy
Friday continued to be an excellent day because as soon as I was finished with Soulcycle, I went home, cleaned up, and then headed out to have a girldate with Tiffy! We had planned to meet up a while back, but the weather was terrible (it was our little blizzard), so we had to postpone.
But this time, it was on! I picked her up and we headed to Ruk Sushi for lunch (nooooms) and then to Twinkle Toes for some much needed manual therapy. I figured that now was as good a time as any to get a pedicure (the last pedicure I had was…. before my wedding?) because a) my feet are so dry that the skin gets caught on things and b) I don’t really have my running calluses anymore, so I’ll have to rebuild them anyway!
The esthetitian asked if I “liked my [toe] nails short.” No. I just pick at myself. I don’t think she really knew what to do with me.
Something awesome about Twinkle Toes is that they serenade you with a hilarious mix of Classical, Robin Hood-esque, and Enya tunes and they play cat You Tube videos on a TV. It was awesome. But the time with Tiffy was definitely the highlight. We didn’t shut up the whole time!
Windy City Bloggers Blog Your Best Conference 2016
Saturday, Erin and I attended the Windy City Bloggers Collective Blog Your Best Conference at the Dana Hotel in River North. It was an all day event with panel discussions on everything from finding your niche to pitching to brands to creating media kits and blog tools. To be honest, I feel like it was best suited for bloggers within the first year of blogging, and definitely some of the discussion (such as camera stuff) was better suited for fashion and food bloggers, but I thought that Kit and Erin (the co-founders of WCBC) did an excellent job of presenting the material in an accessible and informative fashion. I definitely feel that it was the best conference that I had been to for newer bloggers, for certain.
I have to say that I had some kind of mixed feelings being there, as I was the only fitness and healthy living blogger and Erin was the only Wellness blogger present. Here I was, sitting around people who have as many pageviews a day as I have in a month, even though I know more about the business of blogging (as it were) than they do. So basically, I felt a little bit like a failure at what I do for a little bit.
But at the same time, I love what I do. Though numbers are important, the way that I blog is not predicated or focused just on the numbers: my goal with this site is to educate, connect, and inspire my readers. I actually thought of a new mission statement that says just that, as you can now see in the side bar, at 3 AM Sunday (I woke up and it came to me). Many of the people that were at this conference get few, if any, genuine comments on their posts, and I feel that every comment I get here is heartfelt. I look at the relationships that I have built, and continue to build every day, and that means so much more to me.
It doesn’t mean that I don’t get jealous of the recipe blogs and other blogs with 82450184750 likes on their Instagrams, or getting paid $$$$ for posts, but I believe that my readers (and clients) know that every time they come to Suzlyfe, or get a newsletter or referral from me, that it is 100% a product that I would, or do, use in my everyday life. The sponsored content that I post is genuine and real. And maybe my photos suffer a little bit because of it, but this is real life. Or at least my version. I say all the power to us all. We need those beautifully styled posts because they give us something to aspire to and take inspiration from, but we also need to see the “real life” application that shows the nitty gritty, accessible applications. And that is what I hope I can be for you all.
As they said Saturday, “Manifesto, over.”
Time with Alex!
Something pretty special this weekend were two date nights with Alex–the first at Barcocina (which inspired me to create another delicious new copycat recipe!!!) and then at La Madia. Barcocinia, was average, La Madia was above average. But the time for us to concentrate on each other, especially with the news that Alex will have to do a brief stint back in the hardest inpatient rotation (to cover for a very sick fellow doctor and friend of ours), made even the average meal something I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Sunday we did our routine of gym, brunch, groceries (he had already done laundry), and then we met up with friends last night for the Super Bowl.
This week, I am going to try to nip Funemployment in the bud and get something secured. I am going to be starting a cleanse of sorts towards the end of the week in preparation for my colonoscopy next week, but I am actually a little bit excited about this cleanse because I reached out to the folks at Green Blender and they are going to help me! By the way, if you want to try Green Blender (a smoothie kit delivery service) for yourself, use code SUZLYFE for 20% off! Affiliate Links.From #SoulCyclexTarget to Blends to a new #blogging mission statement, @suzlyfe had a full weekend! #fitfluential Click To Tweet