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Posted by & filed under Life & More.

Sorry for the unintended hiatus! Life got the best of me for a bit.

I’m back on schedule now. I am still doing well with making all of my own meals during the week. I’ve been having fun trying out new recipes. I’m also back on my workout schedule. Over the past few weeks, I’ve figured out that doing morning workouts helps me stay focused throughout the day! This week:

Sunday – AM: 30 minute walk

Monday – PM: Trying a new trainer

Tuesday – Rest – might be sore from new trainer

Wednesday – AM: Spin class

Thursday – Kettletoning

Friday – AM: 30 minutes cardio PM: Halloween – I got a fabulous costume that I can’t wait to share.

Saturday – Body  Works + Abs w/ Workout Halloween wear (fun, fun, fun)


Over the weekend, I had Delicata squash and Kabocha Squash. Both turned out fantastic. Here’s the Kabocha:

A photo posted by thegreatdanaj (@thegreatdanaj) on

I’m going to share all of my favorite fall recipes soon. I have been spending way more time on Snapchat and Vine lately. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve had insomnia. Vine is fun to watch during those waking hours. With Snapchat, I made my very first story over the weekend. It’s a great way to give people insight into what you are doing throughout the day. If you are using either site, let’s connect! I have the same username on both: search thegreatdanaj on Snapchat, and Vine.

Are you using Snapchat and Vine?

Any big plans for Halloween?

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

Plants have always been a fixture in my bedroom. I always believed that they make things a little bit brighter and help me breathe a little bit easier. I didn’t know that flowers had similar benefits when you have them in your home. Makes sense why people are always giving flowers in the midst of hospital visits and baby births. The benefits exceed just appearances. Indoor flowers are linked to wellbeing. Plus, the smell of floral scents is linked to helping us feel less anxious. Here’s a great article about the mental health benefits of flowers from Huffington Post.

Have you ever heard of The Bouqs? I learned more about them during BlogHer this summer. The Bouqs make it easy to order flowers online. They make it happen in three easy steps. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to order flowers through other websites but the process is lengthy, annoying and tedious. I end up quitting before I get to the end. Check out all of the bouq love on Twitter.

I received my first bouq for review and it brightened up my place for 2.5 weeks 🙂 The bouq arrives in a box with easy unwrapping and care details.



My bouq ended up fitting into two vases. I used a mason jar for the second vase and kept one on top of the fridge and the other on the bar.



I’d love to budget in a bouq once a month or so. I enjoyed just looking at them every day. It was calming. They were so beautiful. This month, The Bouqs has a few great autumn and National Breast Cancer Awareness month themed specials. Purchasing one of the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month Power of Hope bouqs gives 5% of the purchase to Susan G. Komen LA County.



I was given a bouq at a discounted price for review purposes. As always, the thoughts and opinions expressed are all my own.


Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

This has been a whirlwind of a week.

Just yesterday, I won a ticket to Blogalicious in San Antonio! I have a friend there, so I’m hoping to make it a mini girls vacay. I’m beyond excited! I also just found out I’ll be going to see Outkast this weekend. Fun, fun, fun 😉

And tonight…..

Scandal is back!

I’m glad that we will finally lean where Oivia Pope went. Have you seen the Where on Earth is Olivia Pope game? It took me back to the days when I used to watch Where in The World is Carmen San Diego? It’s on the Scandal official Tumblr page. You have to move the wine glass to wherever you think Olivia Pope went.


Play the game on the official Tumblr here.

Personally, I picked Maldives. Honestly though, I think Olivia Pope won’t be going very far…if she actually went anywhere.

Where do you think that Olivia Pope went?

Any fun plans for the weekend?


Posted by & filed under Reviews.

I started taking a new multivitamin after coming home from BlogHer in July. It’s the Kind Organics Women’s Once Daily created by Garden of Life. I’ve read about Alicia Silverstone’s Kind Diet in the past. In fact, I have her book The Kind Diet. I was excited to test out the vitamins because I’ve heard about them via Twitter. I often switch out my multivitamins, but I’d like to stick with this one for a while.


I take mine once a day every morning. A few great things about the multivitamin:

– It has 100% of the recommended daily amounts of 15 important vitamins and minerals. I usually take the multivitamin in the morning when I get up or just before breakfast. I have noticed that my hair is getting thicker and the curl pattern is growing in more defined. My coworker also takes the vitamin and has noticed hair growth too.

– Certified vegan, USDA Organic, Non- GMO Project Verified and gluten free

– Great levels of B vitamins for skin and nails (my skin is looking great)

– Tablet is easy to swallow with no after taste

– 60 tablets are a plus for me. You take one a day, so essentially one bottle lasts for about two months. At a price point of $35 per bottle, that’s $17.50/month and a great price in comparison to other vitamins with much less to offer. Some multivitamins ask too much in my opinion. I don’t want to take 3 of them a day at all! I’ve found some great coupons and also recommend subscribing to the email list for offers and following on social media.

More details about this vitamin and other Garden of Life products here. Do you take a multivitamin? What kind of benefits do you see?


*I was given a bottle of Garden of Life Kind Organics Women’s Once Daily to try. As always, all opinions are my own.

Posted by & filed under Life & More.


It’s been a long week. I’m thankful that the finish line is so close. I don’t have big plans for the weekend, and I’m okay with that.

This week, I tried turkey meatballs and veggies over Quest Nutrition spinach fettuccine.



I found out about Quest Nutrition on YouTube. Then when I went to FitBloggin’ in June, I got to learn even more about them. I’ll definitely be purchasing the spinach fettuccine for future meals. They were super easy to make!

I bought a desk!



I had to buy a hammer to put it together, but hopefully, it’s ready for use. I really wanted a designated place to sit my laptop and do work. Writing, planning, budgeting, etc. Doing it on the sofa wasn’t very productive because sofas are for “relaxing”. Now all I need is a chair and I’m good to go!

I enjoyed reading this article by Paul C. Brunson on the 9 Biggest Problems with Dating. I had a first date over the weekend. It was a learning experience. I always tell people that my dating life is like a comedy show. Like In Living Color. Have to make the most of it right?

Did you hear about the Digorno tweet on the domestic violence hashtag #WhyIStayed? As a social media manager, it’s important to not only monitor trends, but to know and understand the trend. I hope the person handling it doesn’t get into too much trouble and will think twice about future “trend hopping”.

I loved the NIssan #RoyalBaby tweet. Simple, but effective.

What’s on your mind this week?

Posted by & filed under Books.

A few years ago, I was in a tough spot.

I was in between jobs, steadily interviewing and going through a cycle of rejection and frustration.

Often times, I’d be on an interview with one company while receiving rejection letters from other companies all in the same day. It was a humbling time. What really helped me make it through that period was sticking to a solid schedule filled with exercise, reading (mostly memoirs), networking, mid day movie matinees, and interviewing. I went on so many interviews. I can’t even remember them all. I know that I went through all of this, but lately, I was reminded of that period.

I started getting alerts on my phone from Tumblr. Honestly, I love Tumblr as a platform, however, I’m not incredibly active on there. I kept getting these alerts on my phone about a quote being reblogged. One that I posted a while back by Kelly Cutrone after reading her book If You Have to Cry, Go Outside.




As soon as I saw the quote, I remembered that period of struggle. I remembered receiving those rejection emails, while on the phone interviewing for other positions. Feeling confused and frustrated about where I was in life, feeling doubtful about my career standing. I learned so much during that period about being patient, and resilient. Was it a tough time? Absolutely, but from that period came lessons that I needed to learn. I just wanted to share this for anyone as motivation this morning. It’s hard to see outside of the season your in. We’ve all been there.

But things get better.

What season are you in? What’s preventing you from living your best life?

Posted by & filed under Marketing & Social Media.

I have been fortunate enough to enjoy these gorgeous flowers for the last week.



Expect a full review on my experience with The Bouqs soon here on the blog.

I have been focused on making my new place feel like home. I know it’s not the things that make a home, but more about the people and experiences. So far, I’ve had a few visitors over for dinner. My goal is to have one guest per week to try out some of my meals. I’m also slowly but surely adding little bits of decor.

I set a goal to eat in every meal of the week and take my lunch daily. I allow myself one lunch and one dinner “out” per week. That’s it. This really helps me stay on top of my spending on food and I have been able to try new dishes and entertain guests ;).

My plan is always to hit the grocery store on Sunday, then make all of the food after that. SO far, this plan hasn’t gone as expected. Usually, after hitting 1-3 grocery stores to get everything on my list, I’m hungry, tired and ready for a nap. This week I went Monday since it was a holiday. This worked out fine, but instead of cooking while it was 95 degrees out, I decided to hit the pool. So yeah, meals didn’t get made.
I’m not sure if my plan is too solid or if I need to think things through on Friday or Saturday and hit the grocery store right after church Sunday, have break time for lunch, then make everything. Perhaps I’m overthinking things…I will give myself credit for the fact that this “plan” has gone really well and I have in fact eaten what I make with the exception of two meals a week ovevr the last three weeks. I’ve made it work. **Pats self on the back**


This week’s list

Here are a few tips that have helped me stick to it over these last few weeks:

1. Fit Men Cook – I saw this video where he talks about how to make your food budget happen. He explains the importance of selecting quality proteins first then everything else after that. This was so helpful for me because I usually spend the most money on the “fluff” as opposed to buying quality proteins.
2. Pinterest – This Monday, before my grocery trip, I took inventory of what I already had and also the pins on my board of recipes that I wanted to try. By doing this, I realized that I had a surplus of qunioa and I planned a few meals around that
3. Invite a friend – By inviting a friend/guy to impress 😉 over for dinner helps me get feedback on my cooking in addition to preventing me from getting bored with leftovers.
4. Experiment – By the end of the week, I’m drained from everything. So the meals need to be easy to make and simple. Last week, I got creative with the ingredients that I had left.
5. Be flexible – Of course, schedules are not permanent. I’ve had to adapt or move things around. That’s life. As long as I have my plan set prior to the week, it helps me remain flexible throughout.

I definitely plan on improving my process. I want to reduce my spend as soon as I have all of the essential kitchen items. I also plan on creating a list of staple products and an inventory. Seems like so much, but I’ll get there. I’m working on my fall bucket list too.

Do you meal plan? What works best for you?


Posted by & filed under Food.

Last week, I had the opportunity to try new menu items at Olive Garden. I haven’t been there in forever, so I was excited to attend. I’m so glad that I saved room at lunch because we were treated to eleven new menu items.



Row 1: Crispy Risotto Bites, Artichoke Fritta, Poenta Shrimp alla Greco,

Row 2: Lasagna Fresca, Smashed Chicken Meatball Sandwich, Pappardelle Pescatore

Row 3: Bucatini with Diavolo Sauce and Sausage Meatballs, Chichek Abruzzi*, Vanila Panna Cotta with Strawberries

(* – Lighter Italian Fare menu item)

Everything was delicious. On my next trip, I would definitely love to try the Vanilla Panna Cotta with Strawberries. It’s a light dessert with loads of flavor. The Chicken Abruzzi and chicken meatballs were excellent and light as well. I am not the biggest fan of heavy menu items at all, so the items that had lots of flavor without the heavy sauces stood out most for me.

I saved my favorite two items for last 😉


The Roasted Tomato Caprese Salad Topper adds a topper to your traditional Olive Garden salad. I always enjoy Olive Garden’s salad and breadsticks during my trips. The addition of roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and kale really take the salad up a notch. I love how there wasn’t too much dressing so that I could really taste and enjoy the flavors. I would order this on another trip.


My absolute favorite entree was the Garlic Rosemary Chicken. I loved the rich rosemary flavor. The raw spinach and mashed potatoes were a perfect compliment. This dish is on the lighter fare menu too so it’s under 575 calories!

I’m getting full again just looking through all of these photos 😉 Will have to go back for date night or girl’s night soon!

Have you been to Olive Garden lately? Have you tried any of these menu items?

If you’d like to see what others thought of the menu items. Check out my Storify below!

*I was invited to attend a media dinner with food and drinks provided by Olive Garden. As usual, all thoughts and opinions in this post are my own!

Posted by & filed under Life & More.

The week after BlogHer, I moved ITP. (ITP = Inside the Perimeter for non Atlantans ;))

I must admit now, that between FitBloggin’, BlogHer everyday life and this move, I took on a little too much in a span of a couple of weeks. But that’s life right? Summer has been a rollercoaster, and hopefully things will pace themselves out during this last half of summer and through fall. I’ve been settling in and getting organized. I’ve learned this about myself: I’m not a neat freak, I’m no slob and I’m not OCD, but everything has to have a place in my home and it things don’t have a place yet. It bothers me a little bit. So, I’m working on giving everything a home to dwell. I also had to purchase furniture. Pinterest has been great with helping me organize what I like and even helping me come back to it when I’m ready to purchase. It’s nice to enjoy time at home as opposed to eating breakfast in the car, sitting in traffic and always being in a rush.

My commute is down to 15 minutes and I’m beyond thankful. Why did I wait so long to do this?



I get to sit down and enjoy my breakfast every morning. My car is thankful for less spills! One of my favorite mugs ever. Love it!

I have set a few goals since I moved and I’ll be sharing them over the next few weeks on the blog. I’m excited that I will have more time to spend here and I’ll have updates about decorating and organizing my new place.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Posted by & filed under Events.

BlogHer 2014 was beyond words. Great stories, great people, fabulous fashion and tons of inspiration.

Seriously, I’m so glad that I went!
It was my first time in San Jose. What a gorgeous place!

On Thursday night, I hit up the Eppa sangria party. It was toasty out but the sangria was nice. I took a selfie with Stacy, the founder of Blogalicious!

On Friday, the conference kicked off with a newbie breakfast. From there, the fun only continued. Here are a few of my favorite moments:

Kerry Washington
Yes, the Olivia Pope live in the flesh graced us with her presence during a much anticipated keynote. I admire Kerry for not talking about her family and private life. It’s nice to have a celebrity that draws the line between work and personal life. She spoke with blogger Demetria Lucas of A Belle in Brooklyn about her life, work and Scandal fashion. I’m even more excited about the Scandal collabo with The Limited happening this fall.
Alie and Georgia
While charging my phone at the WIFI Family booth. I found out about a cool event happening at the NesCafe Dolce Gusto booth in the expo. I ended up enjoying a great cocktail creating demo from the duo. It was my first time learning about Alie and Georgia, but I’ll definitely be following them for drink and party inspiration.
Aren’t they the cutest??
I love the vintage dresses, glam hair and eye makeup. They served us this great cocktail with lavender simple syrup, grapefruit juice and lemon flavored Smirnoff. So yummy. I will be making it for poolside enjoyment before the summer ends 😉 I remained caffeinated with the help of the Chai tea from the lovely ladies at the booth all weekend!
Rev Run
Rev Run put on a show for us at the McDonald’s closing party. I enjoyed a happy meal and even tried McDonald’s strawberry smoothie. Then we all jumped around to tunes by Kanye West, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Run DMC of course right at the front of to the stage during a hyped playlist from the Rev.

RevRun selfie.thegreatdanaj
My Rev Run selfie 🙂
The Multi Culti Suite
I got there first and ended up winning a copy of Ananda Leeke’s latest book Digital Sisterhood! Can’t wait to read it.
Goldieblox Suite
I enjoyed the Goldiblox Suite on Friday night. Candy, cocktails and building things all go well together. I heard about Goldieblox after seeing the funny commercials. I like how they are encouraging women to get into building things.

I’m having a great time connecting with other conference attendees through these recap posts. Did you attend BlogHer? Let me know in the comments so that I can check out your recap! Have you ever attended BlogHer?