Hey there happy people! About a week ago, I got the opportunity to go to a pilates class at Re/Forme. For those that have never heard of Re/Forme, it is a Lagree style class on a refomer. I will say this was much different from any reformer class that I have ever taken. I’ve taken several pilates reformer classes and thought I would know what I was doing and be good, but I was wrong. My legs were shaking and we were barely 10 minutes into the workout. This is not a good sign. Visions of the struggle of sitting down the next day quickly popped into my head. but whatever. Since I attended the soft opening, the class I took was abbreviated to only 30 minutes. However, the standard class is 45 minutes and spends more time on each muscle group. It is high intensity so you are doing the movements quicker on the reformer. This is where I started getting tired.

I’ll be honest. I have taken a couple of weeks off from the gym. I have been taking my usual Soul Cycle classes, but haven’t been doing any weight training or fasted cardio like I usually do. Also, if I’m going to be completely transparent, I just discovered Zaxby’s and I love chicken tenders so yeah. There’s that. I’ve been living my best life. If you’ve never been to Zaxby’s, find one near you. I believe it’s better than Raising Canes. I digress. But given these factors, I quickly tired and was like, damn. I’m out of shape. But then again, this was a different type of workout, and the body reacts differently to movements it’s not used to. My legs were shaking before I could even get to my car. If I was slaughtered with 30 minutes, I can only imagine what a full 45-minute class is like. Well, I will find out soon, cause I have every intention of going back. Ya know, I enjoy torture – and I enjoy different workouts. I’m not the type of person to go out and run a bunch of miles and feel awesome after. You go, marathon runners. The only marathons I partake in are those of the Netflix variety.

Overall, I loved the workout. I would definitely have to build up to look cute on the reformer 🙂 Maybe after a few classes I’ll be adjusted. For me personally, the only drawback for the studio me is Re/Forme is a little far for me. I’m out in the ‘burbs and the studio is on the other side of Houston in the Heights. It’s roughly 40 minutes away from me…really 30 minutes with my driving skills. Don’t worry I’m a safe driver, I went to the Daryl Hunt School of Driving. I’m a pro. (That’s my dad, btw).

Anyway! Check out Re/Forme in the Heights: 1737 W. 34th Street, Houston 77018 Ste 800. Click the link below for more information! **This post is in no way sponsored by Re/Forme.**  Click here for more info.

On another note, Opening Day is Thursday, y’all! Going to the Rockets game tonight and I’m ready for some popcorn and beer. Maybe even the chicken nachos at Toyota Center. Have you tried those? So good. And the waffle fries. Okay, I’m done. It’s okay I did fasted cardio this morning and I’m going to Soul Cycle on Wednesday… getting back into a groove.

Black Up and Pat McGrath

I will admit I am a makeup snob. I’m a VIB Rouge member at Sephora and I’m not ashamed of it. This weekend I went into Sephora and came out with a few new things for my lovely collection. I have been eyeing the Pat McGrath (the queen) Mthrshp Subversive La Vie en Rose palette and decided to pick it up along with a new highlighter palette and lipstick by Black Up.

I had never heard of Black Up before but was intrigued. It is a line for women of color so the shades definitely worked well with my skin tone. I love a good highlighter, but sometimes I buy a shade that just looks off and ashy. For reference, some highlighter palettes I have used in the past include Anastasia Beverly Hills and Pat McGrath. I’ve used ABH’s glow palette in Sun Dipped for forever but have needed a backup. I recently shattered my Pat McGrath Skin Fetish in 003 – and I cried. Not only cause that highlighter cost an arm and a leg (I mean it’s Pat McGrath), but it was my favorite and I wore it almost every day. So I have replaced it with Black Up. I purchased Lightpal 02 and have linked it here . It’s perfect. I’ve been wearing it every day since I bought it. Although I miss my Skin Fetish, it will not be forgotten. An addition to the highlighter, I also got a liquid lipstick in purple. Bold colors on the lips can scare me sometimes – unless it is red – so this was a little out of the box for me. I have every shade of nude on the face of the planet. Well, maybe not every color, but I probably have about fifteen different lipsticks all within maybe one shade lighter or darker than the other. You know what they say, you can have 50 different shades of dusty rose. 🙂 I branched out last week and purchased Black Up’s matte liquid lip color in purple. It’s not a scary purple either. Here I am wearing it below.

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I’m looking forward to trying out more Black Up products and will definitely let you know what I think about them once I’ve tried them. Maybe I’ll do a full face of Black Up products….There’s a thought. *Schedules trip to Sephora*

Speaking of Pat McGrath, I also purchased the new MTHRSHP Subversive La Vie En Rose. It’s perfect for spring and summer. It’s a little bit of a splurge but it’s so pretty. There are some good neutral colors in the palette and can be used for every day. There are other colorways available like Platinum Bronze and Bronze Ambition. If you want that pop of color for spring, then En Rose is for you! I will probably try the Bronze Ambition next.

I’m ready for summer to come around, and ready to break out all of the fun eyeshadow colors. Speaking of summer, I can’t believe how close we are to June. I swear March just started and we’re already in the last half of the month with April on the horizon. This also means MLB’s Opening Day is less than a week away! 6 more days until the Yankees take on the Blue Jays in Toronto. No, I have not skipped over basketball season… #gorockets


I *Don’t* Got This


If you’re like me, when the OTR II announcement came out you shut everything down, changed all of your plans, just to make sure you got the pre-sale tickets for the that September 15th show in Houston, or wherever you are. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, Beyonce and Jay Z are heading back out together like the King and Queen they are for On The Run II. They’ll be in Houston together in September and of course, I could never miss that for the world. I missed out on their first On The Run tour a couple of years ago, and I wasn’t missing this one. So I got tickets on Thursday. I pounced on that presale. Anyone else?

Aside from my excitement about Hov and Bey, here is a little honesty moment. I don’t have it all together and am not as stress-free like I said I was a few weeks ago. All the herbal tea and Soul Cycle in the world can’t handle this one. Truthfully, I have been hiding from all of the things I have going on hoping that all of my imaginary clones are going to do it all for me. Work out for me. Write my thesis for me. Meal prep for me. Teach my students for me. Be social for me. I’m tired. I don’t wanna move. I wanna sit on the couch with Willie and eat chips. I like taking on projects and setting goals for myself. Sometimes those goals are a little lofty and unattainable even though I tell myself, “I got it”, all the time. But these last two weeks, I haven’t had it. I’ve reached a breaking point. I’ve officially taken on more than I could ever handle. I’m running out of time on my thesis (yet again), and I don’t have time to do everything that I want to do. I haven’t had time to work out – which has been my stress release in the past. So I’ve had to press the pause button on many of my goals so that I can get what’s most important done; Theo.

I have two weeks (I think ) to finish what I’ve started. The finish line is so close if I could just block out all of the distractions and work. If I could transport myself to some writer’s ranch or something, I would. I originally planned to use my Spring Break to get everything done, but I was so mentally exhausted that the only thing I wanted to do was sleep and watch MLB Spring Training. No, I can never get enough baseball. Hmmmm maybe next year I’ll spend Spring Break in Tampa with the Yankees. Anyone down? Hit me up if you are.

Anyway, I know I’ve been saying for weeks that new content would be live this week but honestly, I can’t even keep my mind focused on one thing. But here’s what is coming up next week: a review on Black Up, a makeup line that I just found out about, and *gasp* I bought some apparel from Athleta so I will be reviewing that as well. For those of you that know me, you know I am Team Lululemon. But I just might make the switch…maybe…

Next week! I’ll be back!

Be Authentic: Create and Cultivate LA 2018

Holy Moly! What a whirlwind of a weekend in Los Angeles. I thought I was going to be able to see some friends and hang out, but honestly, if I wasn’t at the conference, I was laying down! I will say, Friday morning and afternoon I got some work done on my thesis and had a little time to just chill before the madness began.
I had original plans to stay downtown close to the conference but decided to stay in Playa Vista in a house. Best decision ever. Not only was it gorgeous (duh), but it’s in quite possibly the cutest neighborhood ever. Every morning I walked (yes, walked) to Starbucks and Whole Foods for coffee and a few things I’d crave for the day. The less than five-minute walk to Starbucks was awesome. The hour it took to get everywhere was NOT. I mean, seriously, what the hell? And why?! What is the deal?
playa vista
Outside of Starbucks. There were firepits for those chilly mornings. It was 40 degrees every morning in LA. I was ready for the 80s…boy was I mistaken.
Anyway, about the conference…
The happy hour at Rolling Greens was so much fun. We had all the rosé and opportunities to mix and mingle with fellow attendees. Since I was flying solo this trip and obviously had no clue what I was doing, this gave me the opportunity to meet people to hang out with. I ended up meeting Alyssa who is an excellent photographer. I know from personal experience. 🙂 **ahem header photo** We ended up running around the conference together.
Conference Day
I had a VIP ticket and I’m kinda glad I did, cause the swag bag at the end was insane! It was a heavy bag, even for me, and I pride myself on lifting pretty heavy in the gym – thank you very much! Anyway. We started with check-in and breakfast. I had a Noosa and granola with champagne, of course! This was another perk of VIP – you got alcohol all day. General Admission wasn’t served until 7 at the happy hour.
The day was jammed packed with speaks and sessions and lunch and of course, shopping. I attended three of the morning sessions. There were more, but I wanted the opportunity to walk around some of the pop ups without all of the crowd. The first I attended was Body Positivity, followed by “Never Not Posting” with one of my personal favorites, Brittany Xavier of Thirfts and Threads. Now give me a minute to explain. I first stumbled upon Thrifts and Threads early last year. I loved Brittany’s vibe and presence on both Instagram and her blog. I also connected with her hi-lo approach to fashion. As someone who loves mixing high-end accessories with moderately priced outfits, her blog was right up my alley. I could go on and on about Brittany for days, but to not sound like a weirdo I’ll stop. But one more thing, I showcase her in my thesis and she’s an inspiration and I love her! Okay, I’m done. One more thing, I did get to meet her and talk to her in the VIP lounge.
Dani Brittney Thrifts and Threads
Brittany Xavier @thriftsandthreads and me! I gotta get my posing down. lol. I was cheesing super hard.
The next panel session I went to was Keeping It One Million. With speakers like Julia Engel, Arielle Vandenberg (adore her), Nina Dobrev, Aimee Song and Maria Hatzistefanis. I was not missing that. These women have at least a million followers each. Yeah, they’re the truth and had so many insightful things to share. After this final panel session and a failed attempt at reserving a seat for the keynote speakers, I headed back out to the pop-ups once again and ran into (well let’s be honest, I just went up to her) Collins Tuohy Smith. What a doll! She’s just as sweet in person as I thought she would be – and genuine! She was there with her friend Megan and we chatted for a few minutes about the conference and regular blog struggles. Considering I’m a newbie in this game, it was definitely comforting to chat with experienced bloggers to only find out they have the same issues as I do. A little while later was the main event: The Keynote Speakers.
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It was so nice meeting @collinstuohysmith in between my stages of hungry and HANGRY.
Here’s where my VIP really came in clutch. The first few rows were reserved for VIPs so I was very happy to be in the third row. First up was Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla with Sophia Rossi. I purchased my ticket when only Lauren had been announced as a keynote. So I was already excited to see her. As someone who is the same age as Lauren (and a former Laguna Beach and Hills lover), I felt a personal connection. Who didn’t cry when LC cried those famous mascara tears, was disgusted at Spencer and always wanted a BFF a la Lo? Was that just me? Am I alone? Anyway, hearing about the development of The Little Market was inspiring and eye-opening. I love how all of the merchandise is handmade by women from different countries, refugees and those right here in the US. LC is a Boss Babe to no end.
LC and Hannah Skvarla
Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla share how they started The Little Market.
Next up was quite possibly my favorite celebrity (and last announced speaker) Chrissy Teigen. She reminds me of that fun bestie that you just laugh and be silly with, but will always speak her mind and build you up. Chrissy – along with Jen Atkin – talked branding, speaking her mind and gave a little hint at her next collaboration. I figured out what it was (she dropped plenty of hints) and I can’t freaking wait! Little does Chrissy know, we are actually soul sisters and long lost best friends. Of course, I had to take a pic of her.
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Chrissy Teigen and Jen Atkin share a laugh on how much Chrissy deletes before posting!
After the first two keynotes, we had to exit the room for happy hour. Here’s where things got a little annoying for me. We hadn’t had a meal since about 11. While there were plenty of snacks and booze for me to consume, baby girl wanted a meal. It was now 7 pm and I was ready for something a little more filling. Lunch (which was around 11 am) had some options available, but I had a nice gluten-free cobb salad with some lemonade from Flower Child. Needless to say, I was starving and the line for food was pretty long. I ended up meeting more cool kids while waiting on some tacos and nachos (score) and of course they ran out before we go there. They were down to chips and no queso (people kept calling cheese. Ummm excuse me? The Texas in me was a little offended) and no tacos. Sigh. Popcorn and and a cocktail it is. By the time I grabbed a few more snacks, it was time for the final keynote.
So I didn’t get as close to the final speaker, but I was in about the 8th row. They added chairs (I think) for this one…because of course everyone wants to see Mrs. Kim Kardashian West.
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Kim Kardashian West
Kim K was the second announced keynote, and I will say I had mixed feelings. She has built an empire, but come on, really? Kim? What’s she gonna tell me to do? Post more selfies? Eye roll. Oh, but I was wrong about her. I will admit it. I was taking notes from Miss Kim, yes I was. There were a few things that she said that I need to heed. To sum it up cause I don’t wanna misquote, you can’t be lazy, don’t make excuses and you have to put in the work. Overall, Kim had some meaningful things to say and I enjoyed hearing her take on life and managing a business. After all, the girl does have a bazillion business ventures.
After Kim spoke, we celebrated the close of an amazing day with a shower of pink, white and gold confetti, turned in our badges, picked up our swag bags and swiftly exited. The VIP swag bag was massive and extremely heavy. If you saw my Instagram Stories, you saw me struggle a little to pick it up. May I also add that I had picked up several freebies, and did a little shopping throughout the day so I was already weighted down. So the addition of this bag provided my weight training for the day. I had so much stuff I had to get creative with my packing. But it ALL came back to Houston. Maybe just not in the original packing. That FabFitFun box I scored as a VIP (oh yeah I got one), I ended up unboxing it all in order to keep my now checked bag under 50 pounds.
A few things that kept being brought up over the course of the day from all of the speakers, it doesn’t happen overnight, be authentic and consistent. Those are the three things I’ll be keeping in mind as I continue this new journey that is According To DK.
Check out Create and Cultivate to see if there’s a pop up happening near year. Next up is Austin at SXSW. Anyone up for a road trip?