Category: FITNESS

Favorite Blogs + YouTube Channels

favorite blogs youtube channels(Me watching “Getting Doug with High” on YouTube…while probably high…and eating Oreos.)

After taking a long break from reading magazines and blogs, I got back into it this summer. Writing a blog makes it tough to read them sometimes. It’s that whole “knowing how the sausage is made” issue. Many blogs became a string of sponsored posts and advertisements, and I gave up on those. Others changed their content drastically after having kids, a topic I have no interest or relation to. I typically read my blogs through Bloglovin’, and after doing a “clean-out,” got rid of almost 2/3 of the blogs in my feed – and I don’t miss a single one.

I also got back into watching YouTube again, and found a few channels I really like. YouTube is another place where I kind of lost interest, but thankfully there are people out there putting out amazing new shit every day!

Here are just a few of the blogs and YouTube channels I’m digging lately. Enjoy!

Blogs I’m Loving Lately

Hello Glow

I am on a DIY-beauty kick lately, and Hello Glow has been a great resource for my newfound hobby! Stephanie has recipes for DIY sugar scrub, eye masks, rosewater, and much more. Her site also has great posts on essential oils, food recipes, and overall wellness. If you want to learn more about wellness, this is a great site to start with!

The Chalkboard Mag

If you want to dive a little deeper into the spiritual and wellness world, check out Pressed Juicery‘s blog, The Chalkboard Mag. I love reading the refrigerator tours of course – because #nutritiongoals. They also have articles like what the upcoming solar eclipse means for your wellness journey, the best organic bed sheets, and Nauli (the weirdest yoga move I’ve ever seen). The site is a little more hardcore than Hello Glow, but it has a ton of useful information!

Because Im Addicted

After Geri Hirsch left LEAFtv, she decided to revamp her blog – and I am all about it! She encourages her readers to try her Wellness Challenges, which are (usually) simple tasks aimed at making us happier and healthier. Her healthy recipes are another reason I keep coming back. They are all super healthy and easy to make! I can’t wait to see her blog grow over the coming months!

Man Repeller

Man Repeller is a blog I come back to from time to time when I need some fashun and snark in my life. They were the first to inform me that low-rise jeans are coming back (gross), and that I’m not the only one who thinks quinoa is a load of crap (also gross). I also recently read that yellow is now the new “Millennial Pink,” which is great because I might be one of the few people who can pull off bright yellow.

YouTube Channels I’m Loving Lately

The Sorry Girls

If you are a DIY fan like me, definitely check out The Sorry Girls, a Canadian duo that have some of the coolest tutorials out there. Everything they do is totally #pinterestgoals, from their midcentury plant stand to their amazing DIY Halloween costumes! I know Halloween is a couple months away, but if you’re like me and always wait until the last minute, their site is full of last-minute ideas!

The Lo Down

Yes, I used to watch Laguna Beach and The Hills obsessively when I was in college. It’s no surprise that when I heard Lo Bosworth started her own YouTube channel, called The Lo Down, I subscribed immediately. She has great videos on skincare, wellness, recipes (she went to culinary school, after all), and her battle with depression. If you’re looking for videos that sound more like you’re chatting with your best friend who has all the right answers, check her out!

Lisa Eldridge

If you don’t know how to do your makeup, or always wanted to learn how to master the illusive cat eye, go here. Seriously. She will change your whole life. I started watching her videos before my wedding 6 years ago, and I’m still watching. Lisa’s relaxing voice is mind-numbingly amazing, and her tutorials are totally do-able for most people. My makeup skills improved a ton after watching her videos – and yours will too!


I wasn’t sure what would happen to this channel after its two founding members, Geri Hirsch and Erin Falconer, left the brand. It took them a while to find their footing, but the new LEAF channel (short for living, eating, and fashion) has become a new favorite. I’m enjoying their #WakeUpWith series, and the longer videos in general! I’m glad LEAF is living on with new creators and great new ideas!

Summer Hiking

Summer Hiking

Summer hiking spots (clockwise from top-left):
Lewis Creek Park / Cougar Mountain / Cougar Mountain / Timberlake Park

Hiking this summer has been…sporadic at best. The weather was either extremely rainy or extremely hot – neither of which make for great hikes. I was looking forward to August, when we usually get a break from the extreme weather…but that didn’t happen this year!

At the beginning of August, I stayed near home because every time I went out, it would start pouring down rain. I don’t mind a little rain while I’m outside, but a crazy deluge isn’t fun. As the month dragged on, it got warmer – a lot warmer. We are seeing temperatures well into the 90s, so any hiking I do now has to be early in the morning (if at all).

In my summer hiking adventures, I managed to check out a few new parks. Timberlake Park was my most recent trek, and it was the perfect, flat loop out to Lake Sammamish that I need when I’m looking for an easy morning run (yes, I sometimes run…I know, crazy me). The views are amazing, and it’s only a few minutes from home. I also mentioned a few places I checked out earlier in the summer in my “Chasing Views” post if you want to see more!

I haven’t gotten out as often as I’d like to, but isn’t that always the case? I’m hoping things will chill out (literally and figuratively) in September. I also want to start going to some new places, and revisit some old favorites I went to last fall. Let’s hope the weather cooperates!

Where have you been hiking lately? Any great places to try out this fall?

Winter Hiking

winter hiking

Instead of doing my monthly “PNW Parks” posts this winter, I decided to stick with parks I already know and love. This means I don’t take too many photos of my treks, since I’ve shared so many photos from these places already. I also haven’t really blogged about them much, since it’s hard to say anything new about a park I run laps around 3 times a week!

While sticking to my usual haunts, I find myself becoming a stronger and more confident hiker. Each time I visit a park I’ve been to a dozen times, I try to push myself just a little bit harder, and a little farther out of my comfort zone. This has led me to find amazing new sights (like the waterfall above), gain better understanding of the trail system, and even rescue a dog who got stuck in a nearby creek (to his credit, he was chasing a tennis ball and didn’t want to abandon it). I even got a little lost on my Valentine’s Day hike, and ended up at the wrong parking lot – but I eventually figured it out, and got back to my car without much trouble. That will teach me to rely too heavily on my GPS (which crapped out in the middle of my hike without my knowing it)!

Thankfully, the weather this winter has worked out heavily in my favor. Sure, it rains a lot during the winter here, but when the temperatures stay hovering around 50 every day, even a rainy day is a great day to get outside. I’m thankful that the winters here are mild, which means I get outside a lot more than I ever used to in Ohio. I don’t know how long this warm trend will last, but I’m taking advantage of it every chance I get!

As the weather starts to warm up, I’ll be heading back out to find new and amazing parks in the PNW area. For now, though, I’m happy sticking to the familiar.

PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park Anti Aircraft Peak Trailhead

PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park

The Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is one of my favorite places to hike in the Bellevue area. It’s an enormous park with four trailheads (I’ve been to three so far) and 38 miles of hiking trails – of which I’ve barely hiked maybe a third of it.

The trails are much easier to handle than most of the other parks I’ve been to, so it’s the perfect place for a beginner hiker. They also have horse trails, if you happen to have a horse and want somewhere awesome to take them!

Cougar Mountain has been through a lot before it became a park in June 1983 (coincidentally also the month I was born). It was originally inhabited by the Snoqualmie and Sammamish tribes, then later became a mining site (hence Coal Creek running nearby) in the 19th century. There are still many mining shafts and equipment lining the trails, with signs up explaining some of the history behind it.

It later became the home of a Cold War anti-aircraft missile station in the 1950s. While the missiles are gone, there is still some evidence of the military’s presence if you hike up to the Sky Country Trailhead.

In fact, there are signs up all over the park that explain facts about the park’s history and wildlife. I learn something new every time I head up there!

PNW Parks: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park Sky Country Trailhead Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park has been my favorite park to hike through this fall. The trails are well maintained, which has been great given how much rain we’ve been getting! It’s also a great park to view the changing colors of fall – there are so many great viewpoints, open fields, and wide trails to take it all in.

So if you find yourself in the Bellevue area, I highly recommend checking out Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park. It’s easy to find, easy to hike, and very easy to enjoy!

Back to Normal

Back to Normal

Yesterday, I forced myself outside for an afternoon hike in my neighborhood park. It was well needed, and a great way to get life back to some sense of normal. After almost two weeks with a terrible cold, I finally feel better (for the most part) and ready to get back to work.

While it might look like I took this hike early in the morning, I actually left the house around 2:00pm! It has been cool, cloudy, and very foggy in the area lately – even well into the afternoons. The sun didn’t come out until after I got home (of course), so I hiked a bit faster to keep warm.

Once I got home, I cranked up the oven and popped in a Beer Can Chicken and some baked potatoes for dinner. While I was sick, I didn’t have the desire or the energy to cook much, so we ate a lot of last minute, lazy dinners. I know that baked chicken and potatoes seems lazy already, but I couldn’t even handle that last week!

Back to Normal

The other reason I have a renewed energy in the kitchen is thanks to my new toy! I’ve already made sugar cookies with it, but they turned out so bad that I’m not sure we’ll even finish them! I am looking forward to trying some new recipes, and figuring out all the ways a mixer will make my life easier. I’ve already found out, thanks to a great friend, that I can shred chicken with it – and I hate shredding chicken by hand!

Well, I’m off for the day. I hope you’re all doing well!

Hiking Love

Hiking Love
Hiking in Bellevue, WA


While I wouldn’t consider myself a hardcore hiker, I have spent the past few years outside exploring different parks in both Ohio and Washington. It has been a great hobby to keep in shape, and also to keep my sanity. I’m not summiting any mountains or anything, but it has been a fun way to spend an afternoon.

I originally started hiking as a way to get in shape, after failing to work out in both at a gym and at home. Something about exercising indoors bores the shit out of me. So I looked up local parks nearby, and found one that I instantly enjoyed. The views were great (especially for boring ass Ohio), the trails were challenging, and it was a quick 10 minute drive from home and work. I found myself going out a few times a week, and more often when I needed a break.

One reason I love hiking so much is that it forces me to unplug from technology. If I work out at home, or in the gym, I still feel too distracted by my phone, computer, or the TV. When I was working as a teacher, hiking was the one time I couldn’t answer student emails or grade papers – which I spent way too much time doing. Now, as a blogger, I find that I need to get off the computer more often. I could spend hours editing photos, writing, and fiddling with my blog design – which is a good thing – but it does start to zap my energy after a while. Even if I’m only out for a little while, I always come home more energized and motivated.

Another reason I got into hiking was to reconnect with things I used to enjoy. While growing up, I spent a lot of time outside playing, whether it was riding bikes, shooting basketballs, swimming, playing softball, or just wandering around. As I got older, my summers outdoors were replaced with work, school, and the dumb assumption that I had to give up things like going outside. It wasn’t until after I got married that I realized I had given up a lot of things I loved to be what I thought an adult should be – including going outside to run around. Hiking is just one way for me to get back some of the random fun I used to have just screwing around outside. I don’t run around as much as I used to, but I’m getting there!

A major reason I pushed for moving to Washington was the outdoor recreation. There are parks everywhere here, and I have yet to find one I don’t like! There are 3 of them within walking distance of where I live, and hundreds more that are just a short drive away.

While I’ve only checked out a few area parks so far, I can’t wait to find more great places to get outside and breathe in the fresh air (even if it does make me sneeze).

If you live in the Seattle area, leave a comment below if you have any good suggestions of places to go hiking!