Travel Diary: Create + Cultivate Recap // Chicago Experience!

Happy Tuesday, my loves! I have been back from the Create + Cultivate conference in Chicago for nearly a week and a half now, and every day since I’ve returned I’ve planned on sitting down and writing a recap of the experience. What’s taken me so long, you ask? Me, the girl who pours her heart out on the Internet every single day in some way, shape, or form? Why has it taken me days and days to find the right words to express how the experience affected me & what I got out of it…?! Let me tell ya why. :)

( BTW, in case you’re unfamiliar with Create + Cultivate, it’s a conference for female entrepreneurs in the digital space, & I spoke on one of their many awesome panels at the Chicago conference two weekends ago! PS, here is the link to what I’m wearing in all of the below photos. )

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Pretty much, speaking at the C+C conference was a dream come true in the many ways I thought it would be, but beyond that it also held so much more weight and inspiration than I could have possibly expected in ways that were much less tangible. The ways I expected it to resonate with me were pretty obvious. I was looking forward to spending the weekend with creative, successful, like-minded women in the digital space who I would no doubt be able to draw inspiration from, including several women I have already admired in the blogging space for years. (Hint: Garance Dore, Emily Jackson from Ivory Lane, & Amber Fillerup from The Barefoot Blonde!) I was also excited to meet the girls attending the conference and hopefully pass along some words of wisdom that they could take home with them and apply to their own blogs and projects in the works.

Obviously I was also excited to check out Chicago, hang with my fellow speakers at the W rooftop speaker dinner on Friday night, soak in some epic knowledge at the conference and take endless amounts of photos with the super-Instagrammable set up at the event. I had my photographer Danika in tow and we were ready to take on the day by storm. (So ready, in fact, that I straight up left my cell phone in the back seat of our cab right before the event started. I noticed with about ONE second to spare, chased the sh*t out of the cab driver – in my heels – while he drove away, and by some stroke of miracle caught him before he was gone with my phone forever. Then I solemnly swore to myself I would *hopefully* stop letting my nerves/excitement get in the way of my common sense, but the day kept unwinding as such… #TypicalTBB.)

Getting glammed up before going on stage!

Getting glammed up before going on stage!

Those were the clearcut things I knew I would get out of the event. But what I didn’t realize was how much more I would walk away with that day. I happened to be placed on the panel that was to speak about “Using the Digital Space for Good through Blogging, Commerce & Content.” It sounded like pretty open speaking terms to me, and I wasn’t sure exactly which way our conversation would flow. I was down for whichever way it ended up going, since my blog is so rooted in lifestyle content, inspirational content (I try, at least) and commerce (TBV Apparel!) but I still wasn’t sure how exactly to prepare.

The way the conversation ended up going totally BLEW MY MIND and ROCKED MY WORLD in the best of ways. The night before we spoke I met an awesome girl, Camellia, who works for the organization I Am That Girl, and I instantly pounced on her for info because I knew her boss, Emily Greener, was the moderator of my panel the next day. After talking to Camellia for .02 seconds I already knew I was super into what I Am That Girl is all about and that I would be in great hands with Emily as a moderator. Plus, Emily had sent over potential talking points including, “What is your favorite non-material accessory, i.e. compassion, creativity, passion, etc.” and I already fell in love with her. (Sidenote: where has I Am That Girl been all my life?!?! I am OBSESSED with everything they promote and stand for.)

Then, the morning of, (after I had chased down my phone #thankgod), I met some of my other panel members. Tracy Le from Darling Magazine became an immediate soul sis as we chugged wine spritzers at 9:30am (okay, I chugged, she delicately sipped) and Katie Sturino from The 12ish Style & Toast Meets World (and wifey of The Fat Jewish!) calmed me down by just having her and her doggy nearby. There was also the fab Julianne Goldmark from EmiJay (who started her company when she was 14!!! And I thought I was the young one!) and Kathleen Wright from Piece & Co who I also had an instant connection with.

Posing with Tracy & Julianne before heading down to speak!

Posing with Tracy & Julianne before heading down to speak!

Am I gushing about them too hard yet? Is it clear that I fell in love with these women and everything they stand for before we even stepped foot onto the stage?

I was getting a little nervous to speak, even after the wine chug sesh, because hello this was an awesome opportunity and I didn’t want to forget to say anything important! But Emily warmed up the audience for us by being her super real, down to earth, radically honest and beautiful self and by the time we walked on stage my butterflies were still there but my nerves were gone.

Just a little pre-speaking sippity sip :)

Just a little pre-speaking sippity sip :)

We went on to talk about awesome things from finding and maintaining balance in the blogosphere (both health-wise and work-wise), starting companies that inspire people on a daily basis, building a business at a super young age (Julianne!) and how family plays into that / how important their support & guidance is, how we stay true to ourselves when sh*t gets messy and stressful, and so much more.

Our killer panel getting it going!

Our killer lady panel getting it going!

I was so high off of the speaking adrenaline I was later told by some of my blog readers in the audience that I held the microphone up to my mouth even when I wasn’t speaking — which made it so clear that I wanted to leap right back into speaking as soon as there was a window for me to! But I promise I wasn’t a speaking hog… That can be so annoying on a panel of 6 super awesome women who all want the chance to speak from the heart and go into depth.

So, after we spoke and the hour + 15 mins whizzed by in the blink of an eye, I walked off the stage with not only a heart bursting with happiness and inspiration, but 6 new girlfriends who motivated me in a whole new way. The whole thing was too awesome for words.

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Danika and I stayed for pretty much the rest of the day to listen to other people speak and to hang out in the super cool speakers’ lounge upstairs, and by the time we left in the early evening we were pretty much only leaving because we were starving and wanted to try one of the awesome restaurants we’d been recommended to go to while in town. We ended up going to The Girl & The Goat, which was hands down one of the BEST meals I’ve had in a very, very long time. I could eat that chicken every day… And the green beans! Ah!

Afterward we had drinks with the one and only Hillary Sawchuck from A Drink With, on the SoHo House rooftop overlooking the city. It was a pretty picturesque end to an epic day. We chatted about all the things we wish we could have covered on our panel (the conference would have had to quadruple in length in order to cover EVERYTHING we wanted to say, but it was a damn good overview) and of course all of our observations and enjoyments from the day.

Also these hotties rocking TBV Apparel at the event made my day & then some!

Also these hotties rocking TBV Apparel at the event made my day & then some!

Sunday also rocked. I had juice at one of the yummiest low-glycemic juice places I’ve ever been to, Owen & Alchemy, with a long lost soul sis of mine Jessica Murnane from One Part Plant. (We have the same kickass literary agent.) And the juice bar was INSIDE of Eataly, which is one of my favorite markets on earth… I’ve missed it dearly from my NYC days and was all too stoked to find out that there was one in Chi town.

Then Danika & I hosted a super fun meet up at Real Good Juice Co for some of my Chicago based TBB readers. (Surprise, surprise, they were all girls! Where the guy TBB readers at?! I know you guys are out there!) It was so fun and so special to meet the girls I’ve chatted with from afar, and I also fell in love with Real Good Juice. If you’re ever in Chicago do yourself a favor and mosey on in there… Their smoothie/juice names are on another level of awesomeness.

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So, basically, that’s why it’s taken me so long to recap C+C. It was too great, and there were so many layers to it. It was also mentally and physically exhausting, because when I travel to events like that I FEED off of the energy of my surroundings… So much so that I don’t even notice when my body/mind starts to get super tired, jetlagged and on overload. Then I crash hardcore, which kind of happened last week, but not in a bad way. Just in a “damn Jordan you need to sleep in past 8am JUST ONCE, PLEASE kind of way” and a “no need to workout majorly every morning, J” and I even napped a few times midday last week to recover. #balance

I hope to speak at many of the C+C conferences to come, and hopefully even share my book with you guys at one of the upcoming events! I have some speaking ideas up my sleeve…! Speaking of the C+C team, a HUGE thanks to Jaclyn, Hope and Priscilla and their team for putting on a sensational event. They are the ultimate rockstars.

Have you been to Create + Cultivate before?! What are your thoughts on the event? If you haven’t been, you’ve got to check it out. It’s an unreal event that you will learn so much from — and gain tons of inspiration from to boot. 

ALSO, we stayed at the W Hotel City Center & I loved it. It was perfect for the weekend. We also went to an event at the W Hotel Lakeshore which I also loved… I may actually choose to stay at that one next time! And of course there is always SoHo House which I adore & fell in love with while I was in town!

More photos from the weekend…

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Speaking it up between two badass babes!

Chatting with two awesome conference goers after my panel. Xx

Chatting with two awesome conference goers + bloggers after my panel. Xx

Strolling down to the stage to speak!

Strolling down to the stage to speak w/ the panel crew!

THE BEST meal from Girl & The Goat... I want to go back again & again!

THE BEST meal from Girl & The Goat… I want to go back again and again!

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Toast being the cutest babe on earth… I want his life.

Awesome humans all around

Awesome humans all around

TBV Babe the Week: The Inspirational Heart Throb Maddy Moon

TBV Apparel x Maddy Moon

A.K.A A Very Truth, Balance, Virtue & BABE-A-LICIOUS Collab!

HAPPY FRIDAYYYY my lover loves. This week has been nothing short of UPSIDE DOWN (not in a bad way but you feel me?) after returning from Chicago annddd simultaneously preparing for some fun trips coming up over the next few weeks. Plus my mama is in town so I am going back and forth between trying to take breaks & do fun LA stuff with her, and catching up on work from being away. This weekend I will be sharing details from my Create + Cultivate experience in Chi-town and I cannot waaaiiittt.

In other news, (and by that I mean other incredibly awesome news)… I am so thrilled and so HONORED to have the beautiful Miss Maddy Moon on the bloggy today repping TBV APPAREL!! This girl has inspired me from the first day I stumbled upon her blog & podcast and fell in love with her amazing message of balance. She interviewed me for her podcast a little over a year ago, and it was clear from the conversation that took place and the instant connection we had (can you say same person?) that this girl and I needed to be BFF’s.

Since then, we have appeared on ABC News + BBC News Times’ Two together (you can catch the video here!!!) and I keep up on her killer body positivity posts & balance inspiration via her blog, FB and more. This girl is a rockstar in the arena of finding BALANCE after going to an extreme with diet and exercise (sound familiar?) and hers is a story we should all draw inspiration from again and again. Maddy, you rock, and I am so lucky to know you!

Wearing: Health is The New Black — very fitting, because this beaut radiates health from the inside out and back in again. 

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Q: Maddy!!! We are so honored to feature you as a TBV babe of the week because you truly embody the elements of truth, balance and virtue that we seek to represent with our brand. Can you tell us what truth, balance and virtue each mean to you in your life?

A: First off, thank you so much Jordan for inviting me to be a TBV babe because it’s truly such an honor! I relate to you on a very personal and deep level because of our many similarities, and I absolutely cannot wait to come to Cali and hang out with you!

In my life, the word truth means authenticity of the heart. I believe that our heart changes on a moment-to-moment basis, and that our character and identity rely on adapting to those changes without feeling guilty or shameful for it. My truth today might be different from my truth tomorrow, but that’s because I’m open to learning from my day-to-day and moment-to-moment experiences.

Next is balance. This word is probably one of my most-used words, but also one of the most unexplainable. If I could define balance for myself it would mean to indulge in a full spectrum of life, whether it’s in regards to emotions, work, play, money, food, movement, love, sleep, or any other arena. Balance is hard to master in our culture because we’re taught to “go hard or go home!” and that “we can rest when we’re dead!” but once you learn to block out all of those nonsense quotes, you can fully allow yourself to enjoy every part of any spectrum of life. In regards to food, balance means to eat what your body wants in that moment and not have to justify your reason for eating it; it also means to allow your body to eat something completely opposite next time you sit down.

Virtue means to have a personal moral compass that guides you when the rest of the world doesn’t. It means to be faithful to your dreams, desires, and aspirations but also to be kind to those that have ones that differ from yours. Whether or not you always feel virtue within doesn’t mean it’s not there. You simply have to listen and let your compass guide you in life, fearlessly and with confidence.

Wearing: Loving Lately tank. Straight up gorgeous!

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Q: You and I have so many similarities (in some photos I see of you I even totally think we look alike), one of those being that we both took healthy eating too far and developed orthorexia. Can you give us a little glimpse into what your life looked like when you were suffering from orthorexia?

Absolutely!

The interesting thing about orthorexia is that it’s a mental anxiety disorder completely dependent on the person. My definition of orthorexia was anything that I considered to be clean eating, low calorie and metabolic-enhancers.

The ironic thing is that my metabolism was utterly destroyed in the process of seeking a “faster” one.

Starting back in high school, I began vegetarianism, veganism, paleo, and then bodybuilding. I was always a fan of a good diet, but none of the diets I was following gave me the type of body you found on the cover of a fitness magazine. I wanted the abs, the tan, the praise, and the admiration. I wanted people to look at me and say, “Wow, she’s disciplined.”

So I set out for my first fitness competition. Before my bodybuilding days, I used to run hours on the treadmill every single day to feed my OCD behavior, so it was easy for me to change my focus from running to weight lifting, fasted cardio, and meal plans. It was addicting and thrilling, to say the least.

I loved the ability to cut out major food groups from my diet, knowing that in 5 months I would have the body on the fitness magazines.

A little glimpse into the fitness magazine esque body Maddy was so eager to achieve… (DAMN GIRL.)

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But back to your question- though I had eating disorder tendencies in high school, nothing compared to the habits, rituals and coping strategies I formed with orthorexia. For 4 months at a time, I followed one single meal plan, and even though I ate the same 7 foods day in and day out, I still weighed all of the meals to make sure that every single gram of food was spot on what my trainer told me to have. I weighed cinnamon. I weighed spinach.

I was absolutely obsessed with hitting the numbers perfectly. 

But what happened after my first fitness competition (and even second competition) was over? What happened when I didn’t place where I thought I would, and I discovered that it hurts really freaking bad to have a panel of 6 judges tell you that your body isn’t enough?

More than that, how do you go back to seeing food as nourishment and not just a method of body manipulation?

For me, I didn’t for a long time. I continued to obsess. I had panic attacks when confronted with chicken with more salt or fat than the chicken breasts I made at home. I put grapes in my mouth and then spit them back out into the sink out of fear of what they would do to my body if I swallowed them. I bought food only to take it back to the grocery store the next day and say, “I bought the wrong thing.”

I didn’t go to restaurants for months at a time. I cried on my bathroom floor out of the fear of missing an AM fasted cardio workout since I was on vacation.

I was trapped inside of a perfect body I had created and nobody else could see it because all they saw was a “fit and healthy” body built from…self-discipline.

 

Q: Your podcast Mind Body Musings is a big source of inspiration for girls (and guys) all over. What do you try to focus on with your podcast, and how did you find the inspiration to get started?

Thank you! With my podcast, I aim to share insight in regards to body image, perfectionism, disordered eating, shame and guilt whether I elaborate on my own experiences or I bring on guests who I know will vulnerably share theirs. Before every episode, I put myself back in the shoes of hungry, anxious, deprived Madelyn and wonder to myself, “What would she want to hear in this podcast episode?” and that’s how I go about recording the podcast with the guests I bring on. I only bring people onto the show that I know are going to bring vulnerability, honesty, authenticity and truth to the table because that’s what listeners need to hear the most.

I also try to make sure that I have a full spectrum of topics ranging from relationships, disordered eating, metabolic damage, women’s health (fertility, PCOS, etc), male body dysmorphia, yoga, spirituality, sexuality and shame, and holistic medicine.

I found inspiration to get started because I was tired of struggling alone and I wanted to build a community. I wanted to interview others that have “been there” but I also wanted to help other people who were struggling feel less alone. I am so grateful, a year later, to actually experience this dream come to life.

Wearing Loving Lately + styling in the cutest way!

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Q: You recently changed your site name from Mind Body Musings to your name, Maddy Moon. What was the reasoning behind the switch?

I changed from Mind Body Musings to Maddy Moon because I do not want to identify with my podcast; I want my podcast to identify with me. I am not my podcast in the same way that I am not my body. I am a spirit that just so happens to (luckily) have a body, and have a podcast!

This change also helps me to open up the doors to exploring so many other avenues outside of just the mind-body connection. I want that kind of freedom in my business forever.

Q: Favorite TBV tees and favorite way to style them?

My two favourite tees are the “Health is the New Black” tee and the “Loving Lately” tee.

I like to wear the “Health is the New Black” tee with my handy dandy black boots, jean shorts and sometimes my black kimono-esque shawl. I am a jean short girl all the way in the summer because Colorado heat is no joke! I also like to pair it with black lounge pants or even white linen pants if I’m feeling super zen.

For the “Loving Lately” tee, I usually pair this with my pink floral shawl, which I absolutely adore, and my black boots again. Sometimes I will wear this tea with a striped floor length skirt, or add a pop of color like a hot pink purse, but generally I always want to go back to the minimalistic look.

Point blank, both of these tops “make” the outfit because they are just so dang cute!

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Q: Tell us three quirky things about yourself that make you YOU!

  1. I am absolutely enthralled and in love with anything directed or produced by Tim Burton. Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, Sweeney Todd…you name it, I love it!
  2. I love the brown paper butchers wrap the meat in. Something about holding it…
  3. I am a big hard alternative rock fan, like Rage Against the Machine, Avenged Sevenfold and Volbeat! Any recommendations are always welcome!

Q: Favorite meal? Favorite dessert?!

Of course, this is the toughest question of them all! I think any food that you can eat every single day and never get tired of has to be your favourite food, so I’m going to say good ole’ oatmeal. Something I don’t want every day but still love is sushi!

My favourite dessert would have to be my mom’s amazing pumpkin cheesecake, or anything lemon (lemon bars, lemon cake, Lemon Cookie Three Twins ice cream).

Q: Do you ever feel those restrictive, rigid thoughts coming back to you from your orthorexic days? If so, how do you deal with them?

Yup, sure do! Recently, I’ve come to terms with my IBS and so I have to watch my food again. This makes it particularly difficult to experience total and utter food freedom and sometimes I’ll notice those sneaky thoughts pop in telling me a certain food is bad or good.

Today, I deal with this by reminding myself of the awesome trade off I’ve been given: orthorexia for an amazing relationship, a fun podcast, a vision, a career, body acceptance and love. Do I really want to think that the grass is greener on the other side where there are meal plans, food scales and macros to count? No way!

Generally, after thinking about that I snap out of it. It’s certainly challenging when your body rejects certain foods, but instead of playing the victim card, I see myself as the victor. I CHOOSE to not eat that food because I love myself, not because I don’t love myself! That’s a huge difference.

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Q: When we Skyped, I loved that you told me your first “off the plan” meal was a sandwich with your mom, the day after you had had what was supposed to be your cheat meal for the month. (Ahhh, the anxiety even writing that causes me, lol.) How has your family and those close to you played a role in your recovery process?

That’s a good question. I believe during my orthorexia days my family never fully understood what was going on because I had that nice and safe cover up of “living a fit lifestyle” to have my back. Even though I was feeling tortured on the inside, I didn’t show that to them often out of fear they would try to take away my food obsessions and coping mechanisms. The person closest to seeing through the façade was my mother…she could tell that something unhealthy was going on, and once I finally opened up to her she was extremely supportive and helpful.

I have memories of calling her while I was in Whole Foods, breaking down crying, because I felt that I ate too much. She spent hours listening to me and helping me work through my internal battles. My mom was definitely the most helpful and thoughtful person in my recovery.

Next to that, I would have to say my mentor, Matt Stone, who wrote Diet Recovery and Eat for Heat. He helped me through so much during those days and today I am so fortunate to soak up his knowledge on a daily basis. If you don’t know him, go look him up.

Q: Are you spiritual? If so, has that helped you maintain balance on your difficult days?

Yes ma’am I am!

Absolutely, my faith has helped me. A huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders when I finally realized that my body doesn’t prove my worth to God. My food obsession does not impress Him. Fitness is not the key to eternal life.

In fact, I came to terms with the fact that my body was becoming an idol and taking me further away from my faith and true purpose in life. For a person that desires validation or permission to do certain things, this was the perfect validation for ending my food obsession and not feeling guilty for it.

Q: Favorite quote.

“Those who are certain of the outcome can afford to wait, and wait without anxiety”- A Course In Miracles

Q: Lastly, if you could give ONE piece of advice to girls everywhere, what would you say?

My one piece of advice would have to be to start filling your life, your social media feed, your mind, and your bookshelves with the messages of people promoting food freedom and body positivity. You’re already exposed to over 500 advertisements a day centered on dieting and perfection. You see the same photo-shopped bodies every single day, so it’s no wonder you think you’re alone when you see you have a bit of cellulite! But the truth is, you’re not. We all do. The sooner you can limit your exposure to the fake stuff floating out there, and start filling your life up with the real stuff, the sooner you will start to see your own body and eating habits as real and honorable. Our culture, especially the media, need more real in this world and if you can start by being real with your friends and family about your struggles, I know others will open up too. That’s how attraction works. If you’re looking for reasons to obsess over food, you’ll find them. But, if you’re looking for reasons to stop dieting and start living intuitively, you will certainly find that as well.

Look at this straight up BABE on the right, glowing, happy, healthy, vibrant, radiating positivity from the inside and out. The babe on the left is absolutely gorgeous too, but not that we know what was going through Maddy’s mind while she was preparing for her fitness competitions and battling orthorexia versus the BALANCED, healthy minded woman she is now– it makes us think twice when we look at these two photos, yes? I am not a big “before & after” photo kind of person, because I think health and balance are both such an ever-evolving process and are often so, so, SO much more internal than external, but I do think in this case the physical juxtaposition when we know how she was feeling on the inside adds to how much we can learn from and value about this beautiful soul. 

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MADDDYYYY YOU ARE AMAZING! We are so lucky to have you on TBB today sharing your beautiful message. Guys, check out Maddy’s blog, podcast & social media and show her some love! She is so right when she reminds us to fill our lives, our social media feeds and our MINDS with people promoting food freedom and body positivity. And check out her fav TBV tees HERE for some extra inspiration & good vibes (and style, duh).

The Hottest New LA Juice Bar ;)

Hello, beauties! Did you know that one of the reasons I started blogging in the first place was to share healthy food and healthy restaurant finds with you guys to make your health endeavors as easy & delicious as humanly possible? Over the years, the blog has turned into a hub for all sorts of things: fitness, lifestyle, fashion, recovery, inspirational Q&A’s, business building advice, follow your heart vibes, TBV Apparel behind the scenes info, general spill-my-life-and-everything-about-it diary… you know, pretty much nothing is off limits around here.

But sometimes it feels really good to get back to the basics, my roots, and blog about FOOD. Health food, that is. Even if I don’t blog about it on the daily, seeking out healthy restaurants in my city and everywhere I travel to is one of my greatest passions. In my off-the-screen life, nearly every day you can find me wandering the aisles of a hole-in-the-wall organic grocery store and/or scrolling through my phone to seek out the nearest up & coming juice bar. Plus, I have my staples that I visit way too often. Kreation Juicery is a staple, and it has been for a longgggg time.

Plus, they have food, which is so deliciously amazing.

Plus, they have food, which is so deliciously amazing.

Let’s have a little story time real quick: 

When I first became vegan and started incorporating delish, cold-pressed juices into my daily routine, there weren’t a WHOLE lot of options for me. I lived in L.A., but it was late 2012 and the juicing boom hadn’t exactly hit yet. There were a couple of decent options, but for the most part they were hippie-hippie (totally fine with me as far as food goes, I’m a hippie-dippie) spots that lacked ambiance, decor and all around great vibes. I am all about the vibe of a place… Even if their food/juice rocks, it has to be a place I want to hang out.

Then I discovered Kreation — a little grab & go juicery in Manhattan Beach that so happened to be directly next to the yoga studio where I worked at the time, The Green Yogi. I was instantly hooked. It was trendy in a “not many people know about this place yet but I know it’s going to blow up & be huge” kind of way, their packaging was awesome and forward-thinking, the people working there were insanely nice and their juice flavors were delicious and had a lot of variety. Kreation soon became a morningly stop for me, and then a twice daily stop, and whenever people came into town to visit I took them by to get a juice or smoothie and go down to the MB Pier for a beach walk.

I felt like it was my little healthy haven down on the beach, by the yoga studio, and super indicative of my new uber healthy lifestyle. It was such a refuge for me as I was finishing up college and felt the overwhelming desire to be in a less structured, more health-minded and creatively stimulating environment. It rocked! I will always remember going in there, chatting with the people working there about my latest mint-blueberry green tea mason jar concoction (before mason jars were a thing, mind you), sipping on a green juice and feeling so utterly in the right place.

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Then they opened a Beverly Hills location which was equally convenient when I began working over there, and I could already tell the company was expanding in a good way because they had a made to order smoothie bar and a bigger space to accommodate more customers at once. Plus, right there on Beverly, very trendy area — always a good sign for a growing business.

Of course, as you all know, a lot of things have changed for me over the last few years. I moved to NYC right after college and then moved back to LA last year, I stopped being vegan, and I have tried to disconnect myself from the ultra-health-minded vibes I was putting out there for a while because I had become so obsessive (read: orthorexic). But one thing that has not changed is my love for healthy restaurants, well-made and delicious juices and smoothies, and up and coming healthy spots with great ambiance. I still frequent Kreation ALL the time, although perhaps the two juices per day thing was a little much. (But perhaps not, depending on the day!)

I had the pleasure of attending Kreation West Hollywood’s Grand Opening party last weekend, and woah was it a killer event. As far as juice bars go, this new Kreation location is top of the line. It keeps up with the energy of the trendy WeHo restaurants that surround it, and for a juice & smoothie place (they have really yummy food too, but you know juices and smoothies are my FAV, always) it holds its own entirely. The earthy chic decor and positive energy radiating through the place stole my heart. Between the sleek wooden dining tables, bright green grass covering the outdoor patio, brightly lit refrigerators chalk-full of glowing juices and healthy food options, a super big made to order juice bar, the simple yet colorful block-color menus on the wall, and super friendly staff, Kreation’s got it goin’ ON.

Relish cold-pressed juice mimosas at the launch party ;)

Relish cold-pressed juice mimosas at the launch party ;)

Plus, any party that has body paint, acro yoga, fresh juice cocktails (yes, COCKTAILS), live music and yummy food totally wins me over. I brought two of my girlfriends with me and we had a blast. Afterward we walked around the neighborhood and popped into some fun bars to keep the night going, and I couldn’t help but keep saying, “It’s so COOL that we started our night with a party and cocktails at a juice bar. The world is making shifts in such a good way.”

Plus, Kreation will soon have their liquor license, meaning that there is about to be a sweet new brunch spot in town. Do you know where you’re going to find me every Sunday afternoon from now on if that’s the case…? Not joking. And I say afternoon because obvi I hit up yoga and the farmer’s market every Sunday morning before brunch— balance, duh.

But COLD-PRESSED JUICE MIMOSAS? Yes please.

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Also, Kreation just launched on Uber Eats, so if you feel like ordering in versus heading out to their new WeHo location (or any of the westside locations like Montana, Abbott Kinney, Brentwood or Beverly Hills!) you can do that too. I still love my little Brentwood Kreation up the hill from my apartment (literally on my street, actually) but if I am looking for more of a sit-down dining experience or a full meal versus a quick post-workout smoothie, then WeHo is where I will be.

If you live in LA or you’re coming to visit LA soon, you’ve gotta check this spot out. I wouldn’t share it with you if I didn’t 100% believe in it and love what they are doing. Also, do you think I should make “Weekly L.A. Hot Spot” a thing on TBB?! I pretty much already do that in the newsletter each week, but I think it would be a fun weekly installment, kind of like TBV Babe of the Week on Fridays. If so, Kreation is the first weekly hot spot on my list. 😉

And when you’re there, you must get the ENHANCE juice with coconut, coconut water and cacao. Trust me you’ll be in for a major treat. And any / all green smoothies there = amazing.

Hangin' with the beautiful owner of Kreation, Marjan Sarshar

Hangin’ with the beautiful owner of Kreation, Marjan Sarshar

P.S. Kreation WeHo won major points for me when I popped in there the week that they opened, in the middle of my Carbon38 shoot, and asked them if they would mind blending my protein powder packet from my “Clean” Cleanse Program into a smoothie from their menu. They were super nice about it and blended my packet in without being weird about it. A lot of restaurants develop an attitude in which they would never add something to their food/drink that doesn’t come from in-house, but their laid-back attitude and acceptance really made me happy. I love when a place will do stuff like that. Check them out & show them some love!

ALSO, doing a fun TBV Apparel + Kreation collab very soon, so keep an eye out for that!

More amazing drinkies, food & fun from the party…

KreationDrinks

 

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An Open Letter to the Alabama Alpha Phi Girls Who Are Getting Virally Bashed…

I posted this on Facebook earlier today, and I am pretty sure no Facebook post of mine has ever gotten more “likes” & responses (both positive and negative, as to be expected). In reading the passionate responses and the great points that were raised from women of all ages, I realized I absolutely had to post about this subject on the blog. Not only is it an important message that I feel NEEDS to be shared, but I also have more to say than I said on FB earlier and I can only bare to be a minorly wordy Facebook ranter (lol)…

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First of all, if you have no idea what I am talking about: I am addressing an article that was posted this afternoon by A.L. Bailey bashing a recent Alabama Alpha Phi recruitment video. The article has since gone completely viral, and has been reposted everywhere from Elite Daily to Hello Giggles and a thousand sites in between. When I first discovered the hateful article this afternoon I was pretty horrified, but as the day has gone on I have only gotten more upset and annoyed.

Bailey calls out the women in the video as being, “racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition. It’s all so … unempowering.”

First of all: GAG ME. The anger in all of those statements alone, all so completely unjustified and harsh, is the clearest example of blind judgement I have seen in a LONG time.

“Unempowering,” to innocently display a group of girls having fun, laughing with one another and showcasing their genuine friendships? In a YOUTUBE recruitment video? Give me a break.

And then Bailey goes on to say, “Meanwhile, these young women, with all their flouncing and hair-flipping, are making it so terribly difficult for anyone to take them seriously, now or in the future.”

And I’m just wondering — since when does “flouncing and hair-flipping” have anything to do with one’s intelligence and deservedness to be taken seriously? Can I just say that I, *oh, the horror* flipped my hair in a sorority video or two in college, and I also served as the Director of Fraternal Education in my sorority (Alpha Phi, represent) my junior year and formed bonds with the girls two years below me that will last a lifetime? The girls who I educated on all things Alpha Phi joined our sorority for countless reasons, including videos that showcased nothing but friendship and fun and the social side of a sorority (a huge aspect of college), AS WELL AS a full weekend of heartfelt and detailed speeches about our philanthropic efforts, our year-round service opportunities, our leadership positions, our lifelong support systems, and our genuine FRIENDSHIPS. Those girls, as well as the girls in my pledge class and everyone I encountered in Alpha Phi have helped me to this day with things from breakups to job applications to spreading the word about my book to helping me run events for my now business, The Balanced Blonde.

To try to judge the girls at Alabama University for one video and claim that it has anything to do with their brains, substance and tact is just Internet bullying at its finest.

One of my readers & commenters on my Facebook post wrote something that really struck a chord with me: “I served on the National Council for my sorority. I genuinely believe that women who recognize the real power that can be found in friendships shared with their girlfriends are healthy minded women.”

YES. Anyone who tears down women for being close with each other and showcasing their friendships has something seriously wrong going on (jealousy, perhaps?). I have come across countless women and girls in my life who make negative comments about certain other female friendships. I can truly say, after my years forming incredible friendships with intelligent women both in my sorority and far, far away from the college/sorority scene, that I would be nowhere without my friends. Nowhere. NOWHERE.

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^ The girls in my pledge class & I joking around after Lip Sync one year… Yeah, you might say we look silly here & maybe even “UNEMPOWERING” (??) but we were having a blast and bonding and striking a funny pose (that I initiated, of course) after months of hard work practicing for our annual lip sync competition. And clearly we were flexible as f***. (lol), Do you spot me?!

That’s what being a woman and gaining respect is all about, right? Being happy with ourselves, supporting each other, helping each other grow and blossom and follow our hearts and kick butt in the world and bring our dreams to life. It’s certainly not about flipping the heck out about a recruitment video online. Recruitment videos are meant to be a fun, entertaining glimpse into what the social life of a sorority has to offer. I am more than positive these girls accurately portrayed their philanthropic & service efforts throughout the actual recruitment process and will continue to do so. But let’s not pretend here that sororities aren’t also about making friends and finding likeminded women to spend your college years surrounded with.

Another really wonderful comment (excerpt) from my extremely smart, talented, capable ANDDD Greek (literally and Panhellenically) friend Eleni on my FB post:

Further, our society has begun a positive movement to embrace an attitude that all women should love their bodies, regardless of what they look like. We encourage women to stand strong and feel confident, no matter what they look like. But the moment that a group of “stereotypically beautiful” women wear bathing suits, go swimming, and have fun with their friends, they are criticized for “selling themselves on looks alone, as a commodity.” Criticism from minds like A.L. Bailey put all women in a lose-lose situation.

So, what I’m really saying here…

Here’s what really pisses me off, and the only reason why I am writing this article: THESE POOR GIRLS. I mean, come on. How do you think it feels to be a girl in this video, 18-22ish years old and being BASHED on the Internet by some self-righteous stranger who doesn’t seem to know the first thing about true empowerment of women or, obviously, about recruitment videos? These girls in the video are probably devastated, and I shudder to think that they might be missing out on any opportunities or feeling poorly about themselves because of what this judgmental writer felt like saying about them.

“Worse than Donald Trump?” #GetOverYourself.

To Alabama A Phi, Love The Balanced Blonde

Dear Alabama Alpha Phi girls, 

As a subject of some pretty vicious “viral bashing” myself (when I transitioned away from veganism), I know what a toll it can take on a person’s psyche when strangers on the Internet are out to get them. For that reason I will put THIS out there instead: You beautiful (inside and out, duh) Alpha Phi girls killed it in your video. It was well-edited, you put a lot of time and effort into it, and I think it turned out awesomely well. And because I was in a sorority and I know all the layers there are within recruitment, I KNOW that you did & will continue to do a phenomenal job getting the philanthropic, supportive and sisterhood messages out there to potential new members as well. The video is a very small slice of what Alpha Phi has to offer, but from what I can see… It was just a bunch of girls laughing, having a good time and showcasing their genuine friendship.

You deserve to be taken seriously, regardless of the “hair flipping” and football field dancing you partook in in the video. (By the way, that looked like a lot of fun to me.) Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are anything less than intelligent, capable, worthy of respect and gorgeous inside and out. You will learn so much from your years in Alpha Phi and in college, and you will go on to take the world by storm. You can have fun AND study hard, you can go to parties with your friends AND engage in service opportunities, you can forge lifelong bonds with your sistas and other girls in college AND pursue what you’re passionate about in the process… The amount of FUN you have has nothing to do with your capabilities and academics. I know you already know this, but after the recent negativity you may need to have it reiterated.

And being white / blonde / brunette / long and lean doesn’t make you (or your sorority sisters) racist or aesthetically homogenous. That is just silly and blindly ridiculous. 

Don’t let the bashing get to you. People will get over this nonsense and move on to the next “groundbreaking” viral bashing topic. I hope that being the subject of such negativity doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself (you all roc), and gives you a little more compassion next time you see someone else being unfairly targeted on the Internet or in real life… Step in, make your voice heard, you are strong independent women and you deserve to stand up for yourselves and for others who end up in a similar position. 

PS– Whoever put in the time and energy to edit this 5 minute long video, I give you props. I know how long that takes!!

PSS — I have been hated on by plenty of Internet trolls, and the cruelty gave me a tough skin & showed me who my real friends and supporters were. Find the positivity in this situation, because there is certainly a lot of it. 

PSSS — to the girls rushing sororities at Alabama and at EVERY school this Fall… look for GENUINE people who you can see yourself being friends with, learning what your passions are with, and getting to know yourself as you grow up & grow into adulthood with. That’s what sisterhood is all about. Look past the videos and the frills and the details of recruitment– engage with the people, talk to the girls, find out about the leadership and service and academic and social opportunities. Everyone in and out of a sorority knows, plain and simple, instincts are everything. Don’t let the Internet trolls’ craziness turn you off or on to a particular sorority house. 

AOE,

Jordan / A fellow woman who values how important it is to be open and empower women for who they ARE, where they are going, and the massive potential that they have. 

* Sorry if this whole post comes off as a little angry, but when someone on the Internet verbally attacks a group of young, impressionable girls for being part of their sorority recruitment video… I am going to stand up for them. Always. Not cool!!!

TBV Babe of the Week: Superfood Goddess Sophie Jaffe

Happy Friday, beautiful babes! Two really awesome things are going down right now: I am headed to Chicago today to speak at the Create + Cultivate conference (eek, SO EXCITED) & I am featuring my soul sister gal pal sista friend healthy rockstar yogi love Sophie on the bloggy today as our Truth Balance Virtue Babe of the Week.

Sophie is truly the ultimate ray of sunshine in my life — there is no other way to put it. As one of my dearest friends in the whole wide universe and also one of the most glowing, energetically positive, brilliantly capable & light-spreading people that I know, she is the definition of what we strive to represent at Truth Balance Virtue.

Wearing I’d Rather Be a Mermaid Crop Tee

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Let’s get a big YAY to have Soph on the bloggy today, because we get to get a glimpse into the life of a business owner, magic maker, fitness / yogi queen + mamacita of the year (mama, a huge aspect of who she is, and her children are my spirit humans in life). Like MAJOR LOVE for those kids. Major, major. We all need a little more SOPHIE in our lives, so let’s go!

TBV Babe of the Week… Miss Sophie Jaffe! Otherwise known as the Goddess in Chief at Philosophie Superfoods, beautiful mama & one of my very best friends.

Q: Give us a little glimpse into what inspired you to start your business, The Philosophie, and what it is now versus what it was when you began.

A: Philosophie began with me simply wishing that I could have an amazing blend of superfoods and proteins together in one, convenient jar. I didn’t want to run out of camu camu or another individual ingredient and then feel like my smoothie wasn’t complete, so I went all over LA searching for high quality, fair-trade, organic superfoods and then began packing them into mason jars and little bags. I started giving the blends to friends and family and making everyone workout and nutrition guides. One day, I was in the sea in Israel with my husband, Adi, and he turned to me and said, “You should really grow what you’re doing and share it with more people, make it a company.” And since that day, Philosophie has blossomed into something much bigger than I had ever imagined. Our products have helped everyone from George Clooney to my own dad and are continuing to help so many more people discover wellness and feel as vibrant + alive as they can.

Wearing I’d Rather Be a Mermaid Crop Tee + Make Your Own Magic Crop Tee

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Q: You are the true definition of a powerhouse woman who has a LOT on her plate. Between running Philosophie, being mama to Kai & Leo, spending quality time with the hubs, being seriously one of the most open & energetically available friends I have ever had the pleasure of having, showing up to work-related events, running Philosophie demos, filming Youtube vids, keeping up your yoga & fitness, travel and taking time for you… What helps you stay grounded? Hoowww do you do it, stay on top of it of it all, and refrain from breaking the f down sometimes?

A: I used to feel so stressed about making sure that everything in Philosophie was moving forward while also being the best mother and wife I could. One day, it hit me though—as long as my kids are safe, happy, and healthy, that’s all that truly matters. Everything else is an added bonus in life. In addition to using this standard for my definition of “success,” I also meditate and set intentions for my day, returning to those when I need a positivity boost. Working out + eating healthy also play an integral part in helping me feel my best and be able to power through everything that I need to get done.

Wearing Make Your Own Magic Crop Tee, Flowing through Dancer Pose

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Q: On that note, how has learning to delegate certain aspects of your business helped you to grow it? You have a small but mighty team, you are super trusting, and at the core YOU are the face of your brand… Was it ever hard to give up the control of running every little aspect of the business?

A: Yes, it’s absolutely hard to completely give in and trust. However, I absolutely love watching people take ownership over where they sparkle and shine and adore helping them express that. By opening up my team to more people, I try and create a safe place for them to grow and expand, while spreading their wings and the Philosophie message. I still pretty much have my hands in every single aspect of Philosophie – just not  single handedly anymore. It feels good to feel supported while providing support at the same time.

Wearing I’d Rather Be a MermaidMake Your Own Magic Crop Tee

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Q: Enough about work for a sec. Tell us how you first got into the healthy lifestyle that is such a huge part of your life today, and how it’s evolved over time.

A: I gravitated towards health psychology and received my B.A. in the field—I really see it as something that helped me forge a path to inner strength and wellness. Then, after college, I began working at an organic raw juice bar down the block from my house and eventually became the manager of the store. I was so excited to help change the eating habits of others and was also able to change my own habits and find a path to curing some of my own discomfort that I faced with dairy, meat, and other foods that weren’t working for me at the time. I became a certified raw vegan chef, a yoga instructor, personal trainer and my passion for healthy living lead me to create Philosophie.

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Q: You, like me, were raw vegan for many years before you found your way back to balance… What does a true “healthy diet” mean to you, and how do you practice balance in your every day life?

A: Instead of creating a “healthy diet” based on limitations and rules, I eat from a place of love—love for myself, my family, and my world. I eat because I love how the food tastes and how it makes me feel. The moment you do something that’s “good for you” without having any passion for it is the moment that it loses some of its power. So it’s simple—find recipes for nourishing dishes you can’t wait to make, buy organic fruits + veggies from local farmers who pour their passion into their food, and enjoy each bite, each sip that you take for the gift of vitality that it is. I don’t like to put myself in a box or label myself — it feels more opener here (as Dr. Seuss would say).

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Q: Speaking of balance, what do the elements of truth, balance & virtue mean to you, and how do you practice them on the daily?

A: Truth means being authentic, not forgetting who I am. Yes, I’m a business owner, a chef, a yogi, and a fitness and wellness coach, but above these ventures and passions, I’m a friend, a daughter, a sister, a wife, and a mother. And to be the best version of myself that I can, I actively try to use love + compassion as my guiding light in everything I do. In fact, Rumi’s quote, “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do,” is essentially my mantra for how I go about my life.  Everything I do is rooted in wanting to make the world a brighter, more healthy place for my kids, my husband, my family, my friends, and even people whose paths may never cross with my own. I want to put as much love as I can into the world, and for me, this means sharing nourishment and wellness.

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Q: Anyone who follows you on social media develops a strong connection to your beautiful humans Kai and Leo. I for one am madly addicted to them and feel a crazy intense connection where they appear in my dreams at night more often than they do not, but that’s another story. Tell us about your little men and how DIFFERENT their two personalities are! How does it feel to watch them grow into their own? (I mean, they’re still babies, but you know what I mean…)

A: Wow. Great question! Kai is our first born and came out earth side very wise, introspective and kind hearted. He’s always been pensive, careful and calculated. He wants to understand everything in a cerebral and spiritual way. He FEELS things and is highly highly sensitive. I saw a healer / psychic who connects with angels once and he told me Kai is at a level above that of angels. That I should allow him to have as normal a life as possible but to always know he’s incredibly unique. We talk about death and life and cycles a lot… He’s not like other kids. His sun sign is in Virgo which shows up often — he’s very grounded, an earth sign, desires everything in order. He’s almost 5 and I CANNOT believe it.

Me + Leo at his 3rd Bday Party!

Me + Leo at his 3rd Bday Party!

LEO Beo, our second, was 3 1/2 weeks early. He came through earth side with such ease. My birth with him was pretty magical, I had an emergency c-section with Kai (super traumatic) and with Leo I wanted a different, more natural experience. We successfully had an incredible birth connection, I felt like a rock star and he came out happy and easily. Since then, it’s not been as easy. He’s also a wonderful kiddo but SO different from Kai! We weren’t quite prepared :) Leo is FEARLESS, will try anything Kai is doing (who’s 2 years older!) and is more opinionated, a bit more simple compared to Kai and super fiery. Leo makes us laugh so deeply and has a sense of humor about him that’s impossible to not to admire! He moves through things much more easily, unlike Kai who gets stuck on things and needs to really work on it to get to the other side. Leo reminds me not to take life so seriously and to have FUNNNNN while Kai reminds me of the magic every single day contains if you just look around and stop to notice.

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Q: You have shared super intimate details of your personal life and marriage online, on the radio and on your site for people to see and connect to. I am hugely inspired by your honesty — how has being so open about your experience helped you grow in your relationship and as a person?

A: Once we overcome the fear of being incredibly raw and vulnerable, we have the capacity to truly grow. Sharing my own intimate experiences has helped me heal and come to terms with some of the more difficult moments in my life by creating a space for others to discuss these sorts of issues and just know that they’re not alone in dealing with them. It also helps us connect more deeply with one another. By stripping down to our truest selves, we allow others to see us for who we really are, and they, in turn, are so much more likely to share with us their true selves, ultimately allowing for greater trust and compassion. Here’s my most recent women’s health article, and adis TedX talk all about Shame. You can read more here & here.

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Q: Favorite TBV tees, and how you like to style them!

A: LOVE the mermaid shirt with black yoga pants, LOVE the Do you Even Yoga with cut off shorts!!!!! Not gonna lie, I love ALL OF THEM.

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Q: If you had ONE DAY, entirely to yourself, no phone, no kids, no people around or obligations at all, what would you spend that day doing?

A: I would get a Thai massage! It’s so relaxing and makes me feel like I’m in Thailand again, traveling and so free. I’d also go to a yoga class, take a hike through nature, journal in my backyard naked, or go to Venice to visit all of my beautiful soul sisters.

Q: Fav quote:

A: It’s long, but it’s a goodie!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson

Q: Where else can we find you?! Social handles, site, YouTube, etc…

A: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube! You can find my collab vid with Jordan here— lots more where that came from!

Wearing Loving Lately Tee + Oh Kale Yes Tee

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 11.42.27 PMVisit Sophie at The Philosophie, check out her AMAZING superfood powders (especially Cacao Magic… I literally live for it) & check out her fav TBV tees!!! And check her out on social media & fall IN LOVE with her children + her high vibe lifestyle.

Hope everyone has a phenomenal weekend! Love you all! And if you live in Chicago… I’d better be seeing you this weekend! We are having a meet up on Sunday– email me for details.

The Top 5 Ways I Like to Stay Active! (+ Degree at Walgreens)

Disclosure: Post sponsored by Lunchbox. Opinions are 100% my own

So if there is one thing I am good for, and one thing only, it is to inspire you to be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself. I have made so many changes in the last year to become as happy in my life and in my own skin as possible. And amidst all the changes health has always been hugely important to me, even when I didn’t necessarily prioritize it in my own life because I went too extreme with the whole “I only eat veggies” thing… but regardless, health was at the core of it all.

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The way I maintained my health even when I suffered pretty badly from orthorexia nutrition-wise, I still exercised in a very healthy way. I didn’t necessarily go too extreme, but I made sure that physical activity was a fixture in my life each and every day.

If we traveled back in time to 5, 10, and even 15 years ago, we would find a Jordan that was completely obsessed with physical activity. Whether it was me running around on the soccer field (even though I was severely allergic to grass, #lol), starting my high school’s dance team (you don’t have to have rhythm to create a dance team… Let me tell ya), or my complete and utter relationship with power vinyasa yoga and running, I was always moving. That’s how I still am to this day.

I am going to give you a brief rundown on the different ways I like to stay active, because every day is different and I truly believe the key to consistency with exercise is having enough variety so you don’t ever burn out in one area.

And THEN I am going to challenge you to get moving with the Degree Get Moving challenge (in partnership with WALGREENS!), where you can track your progress, get wellness tips & tricks from celeb trainer Chris Powell, and utilize a community of people to report back to to stay motivated & keep active. And of course, I fully expect to be updated on your progress as well! You can always email me with any questions you have or if you need an extra dose of motivation. I know how it feels to be overwhelmed about starting something when the road ahead feels so bumpy & challenging, but hey— once you start, you’ve BEGUN. You’ve already completed the hardest part. And your progress, inside and out, will give you the motivation you need in order to keep going.

Annddd it's TBB in hiking selfie mode ;)

Annddd it’s TBB in hiking selfie mode ;)

Trust me. It’s kind of like running a marathon. Or even a half marathon (trust me, that’s long ENOUGH.) One foot in front of the other. We’ve got this.

The ways I like to keep active…

1. YOGA: We all know that I am a complete & total Yoga Junkie. Even though my relationship with yoga has gone through an ebb and flow over the years, and it still evolves with each and every practice, at the end of the day it is always my favorite way to exercise and to keep my mind, body and soul in connection with one another. Yoga keeps me limber, strong and gives me the mental strength to deal with the hectic days life throws my way. The yoga retreat I went on last April served as a major emotional turning point for me, and I am forever grateful for the insight I gained while I was there… on who I am as a person and so much more. While I was there I learned that if I had no responsibilities in the world to answer to, I would do yoga twice a day, read great memoirs on the beach, write first thing in the morning, drink chilled white wine every night while watching the sunset with people I love to the moon and back, meet new people, eat lots of fresh sushi and have deep & meaningful conversations with people who inspire me to no end. ALL the time. So, there’s that. Yoga is everything to me.

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2. Orange Theory Fitness, a.k.a high intensity interval training: While yoga keeps my mind at ease and gives me the strength and flexibility to deal with life, HIIT keeps me in SHAPE, man. The intense combo of running, floor exercises and rowing for an hour straight never fails. It is the most efficient workout out there, by far. I am a high intensity person, so I thrive off of the intensity of the workout and I have also met so many people in the OTF community who I love surrounding myself with every day — it’s so fun to workout and spend time with likeminded people!

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3. Hiking: Who doesn’t like to get outdoors as often as possible? I may or may not have gone on a crazy intense hike to one of the highest peaks in Southern California this past weekend, but I also like to go on more relaxing & enjoyable hikes to spend time with people, get my bod moving & enjoy the views. I feel so lucky to live in a place like L.A. where the abundance of great hikes is endless, but even when I lived in NYC I made “hiking” work… even if it was just hiking across the urban high line in the snow. Make it work, wherever you live.

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4. Stretching: No excuses here. When I get out of bed in the morning, I stretch. It gets my blood flowing and prepares my body for the day ahead… whether I am going to have a big day of running around or a day sitting at my computer writing my brains out. You can get on the ground and stretch whenever/wherever. Ask anyone who knows me… I’m never not stretching. (Maybe weird, but that’s fine.) It also calms me and helps alleviate my back/neck problems. I am all about it.

5. Long Walks: If nothing else, start here. Walking is the easiest, most social, most doable type of exercise. I always say that if I haven’t walked for at least an hour total during the day, then I didn’t move enough. Park far away from the stores/restaurants you drive to, take walks around the block when you’re catching up with people on the phone, go on an evening stroll after you eat dinner to get some fresh air and get your body moving. It makes a world of difference, I’m telling you. Even if you’re not used to doing it, once you start incorporating it into your routine it will feel normal and it will reset your body into understanding that moving feels GOOD. I promise.

So now that I have told you all about the different ways I love to get moving, I will also tell ya… When you live an active lifestyle, having the right deodorant is SO IMPORTANT. I literally go downstairs into my apartment building’s gym in the middle of the morning sometimes to just run out my anxiety for 20 minutes, and then I drive straight to a meeting. Deodorant is important, or else I would not be fun to be around… Really.

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I love Degree Antiperspirants because they are specifically made to assist our toughest workouts. They use a MOTIONSENSE formula to protect against odors and keep us active peeps feeling nice and fresh. You can find Degree at Walgreens ( which is awesome, because Walgreens’ are all over & very affordable… and they conveniently have a bunch of other stuff you’ll probably need anyway! ), and when you get it you will receive a code to unlock the exclusive digital content that allows you to join the #GetMoving challenge! I wouldn’t just say that, I’m telling you this because when I find something that works it only feels natural to share the info with my favorite people… You guys.

And once you buy the deodorant, go here and enter your unique code to receive your free digital health and wellness magazine… Ummm, COOL. You guys, I’m telling you, if you are intimidated about making a lifestyle change to prioritize health and wellness, having this type of resource will be hugely beneficial to you. I’m actually extremely excited for you to start, because having fitness goals and working toward them is such an inspirational thing to get going.

The offer for the digital wellness mag ends August 11th, so get into Walgreens & buy your Degree super soon if you want in on this awesomeness!

PS, funny story, I was literally photographing Degree in the coffee shop where I wrote this post because I had it with me and felt like creating some content… And in doing so I think I solidified to the people around me that I am a total weirdo. Totally cool with it. (See below! LOL.)

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How are you guys going to #GetMoving this month?! Let’s do it together.

You Know I Love Activewear, But Here’s a Reason WHY…

Hi guys! So, I know you already know that I am completely obsessed with activewear and wear it about 95% of the time. If you’re new to this bloggy, 95% is not an exaggeration. I live in workout clothes, and I even wear them out to events and dress them up by piecing them with non-activewear items. You’d never know, but a huge percentage of my plain black leggings or basic black or white tanks are actually from activewear collections. Usually they’re either some form of Carbon38, Lorna Jane or Lululemon, but I don’t discriminate. I love it all.

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And because I wear SOOOO much activewear, I get a lot of questions from you guys like: “how do I pick the right pieces?” “A lot of these items are pricey, I want to be sure I’m choosing the right one — what should I look for?” “How is the fit?” “Are they actually comfortable, or do you just buy them because they’re awesome and you like the way they look?” “I want to buy that outfit, but I would feel bad sweating in it because its so pretty! How do you justify that?”

Well, guys. It all comes down to one simple answer, and it’s simpler than you might think. Are you ready for this? It all comes down to cotton.

Comfortable, well-made, durable, trendy activewear brands all have one thing in common… they use cotton-rich fabric. Cotton isn’t just used in activewear (obvi), but because it’s such a versatile fabric it is something that has quality and benefits that are unmatched.

Have you ever worn really cute workout pants that end up being super itchy by the end of the workout (once you start sweating) and you regret ever buying them? Well, that happened to me a LOT before I started getting pickier and pickier about fabric quality. I started checking the labels while I was shopping & noticing a huge difference between high quality fabric and lower quality.

Also, running TBV Apparel alongside my two main men has taught me way more than I ever thought I would learn about fabric quality. When we choose fabric for our t-shirts, we make sure we are choosing high-quality, cotton-rich, natural fabrics. We tend to choose eco-friendly, ethical, made in the U.S. lines to wholesale from because that is what we are most comfortable with — but when it comes to the comfort of what I am buying versus what I producing my main staple is cotton quality.

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When you’re looking for a cotton-rich fabric, you typically want to make sure that the item is 60% cotton or higher. Blends are okay! You’re not always going to find 100% cotton item, and trust me it’s not always necessary. Our TBV Apparel tees vary from 67% cotton to 100% cotton, depending on the style — but if you are looking for the COMFIEST tee, something that you could sleep in, workout in, live in… I always recommend the highest cotton percentage.

It’s funny to be talking about cotton, right? It’s honestly something a lot of us take for granted, since we are so used to having it as a part of our lives. It’s in our home goods, active wear, beauty products and even DIY projects. But I am in the business of helping you take care of YOU as best you can, and when it comes to making good choices for ourselves, it’s important to be knowledgable about all of the aspects of what we are putting on our bodies and into our bodies. These are our precious lives, and we’ve gotta treat them right!

Another suuuuppperrr cool thing about cotton is that it’s so easy to take care of. My mother, the fashionista herself, always taught me that the best clothing purchases are items you can throw in the washing machine. Who has time to take their daily-worn clothes to the dry cleaners? I mean, for special occasions, yeah of course! But for the clothes you throw on every day, you want to be able to take care of them with as much ease as possible. Plus, cotton is breathable and doesn’t retain odors… So that is a super huge plus.

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ANNNDD last but not least, cotton is NATURAL. Since I am all about living as natural of a lifestyle as possible (ever notice I seriously don’t wear makeup? Don’t do a whole lot with the maintenance of my hair? Don’t wear clothes that need to be taken to the dry cleaners every week?) — I look for natural fabrics to fill my closet with.

So, from now on, when you babes are shopping for your activewear (and anything else for your closet, really): check the labels! So important. If you have sensitive skin like me, it will make a world of difference. And even if you don’t, it’s a good habit to cultivate.

As far as specific cotton-rich products…

I am always a huge fan of my Lulu Lemon Wunder Under roll down pants that are specifically designed for yoga. They are made of four-way stretch Practice Cotton that is naturally breathable and feels soft against the skin. I love them because they are super comfortable and they allow me to do what I love: yoga. Beyond that, yoga has allowed me to fall in love with my body again post-eating disorder and has taught me to be kind and forgiving to my body, and fuel it with the best, healthiest foods to stay energized in a lasting way. Now THAT is a whole lot of meaning rolled into one single clothing item…. and ladies and gentlemen, that’s how I roll.

Some other cotton-rich products I LOVE are t-shirts from Everlane and local LA brand Bella + Canvas. We have started wholesaling from these companies for TBV Apparel, and we love what they do. They also have great mission statements behind their brand, which is always a big plus in our book.

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What are YOUR thoughts on the fabric of the clothes you wear? Specifically activewear, because come on… It’s the best!! Huge thanks to Cotton Incorporated for partnering with me for this campaign. We love how easy you make it to be comfy, natural & trendy all at the same time!

This post is sponsored by Cotton Incorporated. Find your cotton favorites here.

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TBV Babe of the Week // Social Media Maven Calli Cholodenko

Hi babes! My question for you is… HOW is it already Friday again? This week whizzed by, and everyone I’ve talked to about it unanimously agrees. I am always so fascinated by how some weeks feel very fast and others feel slower, and somehow most people tend to agree on the rate at which they felt it went by. It makes me think that there is something in the universe (or even just in the air) making that all go down, ya feel me?

I love it. I’m all about anything that makes us feel connected to each other and to the earth, so if this week flying by super quickly has anything to do with the cosmos — give me the deets, universe! I wanna know.

Anyway, I love Fridays even more than I used to because they are now our designated day to feature our TBV Apparel Babes of the Week!!! Typically I would explain what the babe of the week is and how I go about choosing each week’s awesome human, but for those of you who read this bloggy regularly you’ve heard me talk about it here (Natasia!) & here (Rachelle!). For those who don’t, peak back for an overview.

Today is all about miss Calli Cholodenko, a.k.a the girl who puts nearly all other Instagrammers to shame, because, well, she has a ridiculously good eye for the ‘gram game & she may or may not have a lot of practice, otherwise known as her business.

TBV Apparel x Calli Cholodenko // wearing I’d Rather be a Mermaid Crop; sipping Blue Bottle LA coffee

CalliTBVbabeThe moment I met Calli I knew we were going to be very good friends. Actually, I met her in the funniest & the most modern, tech-savvy, two girls who social media up a storm kind of way. I was at a “Disconnect to Reconnect” event at the Mountain Mermaid in Topanga Canyon back in February or so, and since the point was to disconnect from reality for the day & get back to our true selves, we left our phones in a basket at the front door.

Very cool, very unlike me. I was so obsessed with the Mountain Mermaid event space and I am so passionate about sharing the pretty places/things that I stumble upon, I was getting annoyed I couldn’t share a photo. I had taken a grand total of zero while I was there, and while I tried to be cool with having no imagery from my awesome day I really wasn’t. It’s in my bloggy blood! I never do this, but I decided to scroll on through the Instagram geotag for the Mountain Mermaid and find whichever photo I felt represented the space the best.

After skimming a TON of photos (oh, you know, casually flipped through every photo in the entire geotag like only a tiny bit of a #maniac), it was very, VERY clear which photo I was going to go with to share on my IG. This photo, right here, by a girl named @callicholo

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 5.14.42 PMI posted it, credited her, and silently hoped that this chick wouldn’t hate me for stealing her photo and blasting it out to my followers. Some people get very offended about that stuff, as you can imagine. However, Calli was the sweetest ever, thanked me for digging her photography, and we set a date for coffee. I could continue on in this great amount of detail about how much we hit it off when we hung out, but that’s another story for another day!

I soon learned that Calli has the DREAM JOB of managing business’s social media accounts for a living — specifically businesses in the wellness and lifestyle space. So for those of you beauties who are curious about how to get into the digital space & do it well, take note with our Calli Q&A below…

Wearing: Make Your Own Magic crop & Namaste or Whatever crop

CalliTBV2Q&A time, Something Social + TBB Style:

Q: Calli! We are so excited to have you on TBB today, as we believe you encompass our mottos of truth, balance and virtue to a tee. (And you rock the shirts way well, obvi.) Can you tell us what the elements of truth, balance and virtue mean to you in your life?

A: Ahh thank you, I am BEYOND thrilled to be here! Let’s see, starting with balance. This is a concept I really had to master, and still work hard at. I have so many interests and priorities, so between work, fitness, family, friends, eating healthy, going out and having me time, I had to get real comfortable with the concept of balance real quick. For me it’s all about moderation, and making sure I have time for everything important in my life. I have a pretty addictive personality, so it’s easy for me to focus on one thing and run with it, but the more attention I’ve put into balancing my life, the more happiness I seem to find. Virtue to me can be summed up in a line: to build self esteem, you have to do esteemable acts. I try to remember that to have is to give, and to practice being grateful for what I already have in my life, otherwise how could I expect to handle more?

I saved truth for last because it’s the one that I hold closest to my heart. From day one, my mom taught me never to lie. She’d probably kill me for saying this, but she always told “if you killed someone and told me, I’d help you hide the body!” She taught me to always be honest, and I’ve lived my life that way. In later years it took on a new meaning for me, in being true to myself. Trusting my gut and my intuition took me some time to learn, and now that I’ve started meditating and sitting with myself a bit more, I’ve finally learned how special that relationship with myself really is. Everyone is going to have an opinion, but at the end of the day I want to put my head on my pillow and be happy with the choices I made that day.

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Q: You are a young entrepreneur with your own social media management business, a.k.a you’re absolutely killing it. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind Something Social LA and how you got started?

A: You’re too sweet! Sometimes I still laugh when I think of myself as a boss or running a company. It feels a bit surreal, but also totally meant to be. It all happened so organically and sort of fell into place. I majored in Communication at USC and had NO clue what I wanted to do with it. I had internships in college in PR, events, and fashion, but nothing had really clicked. I always knew I wanted to create a position with the freedom to be creative, the ability to work with people, but that also incorporated an analytical/business element, I just didn’t know what that looked like. Sort of by happenstance I began working for a boutique social media firm out of college, and took to it pretty quickly. After about 8 months I was approached by another business to run their social media internally, and that’s when I decided I would set up my own company, with that new business as my first client. I figured if other people were doing it, why couldn’t I? I also had the encouragement and support of my friends and family, so I felt comfortable making the jump. Within two weeks I had a second client, then a third and fourth through referrals. Social Media is such a growing and necessary element to brands these days, that the inquiries and referrals kept coming in, and in turn my business grew and expanded! It’s definitely been a one foot in front of the other sort of process. I’ve had to make decisions and learn as I go, and I’m lucky to have some really great people in my life I’ve been able to learn from and bounce ideas off of.

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Q: Tell us some funny BTS things that go down in the world of social media management. You know, like moving tables at restaurants because of shadow issues… Lol.

A: Oh man, the things we do for a good photo! When I first started out, I’d be really timid or shy when I was in public places. Now, standing on tables and chairs at restaurants is about as regular as ordering ice water for the table! We’ve literally all had to become semi-professional hand models, aka fresh manis in the workplace are a must! I can’t tell you how many poor donuts and cupcakes have been sacrificed for the good of the Instagram. By the time we’re done repositioning, moving, squishing and shooting them, there’s not much left to enjoy.

Speaking of Behind the Scenes… Sometimes TBB thinks she’s the photographer. And Kyle is always the best moral support. 😉

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Q: You were born and raised in LA, annddd you went to college in LA. Top three LA restaurants, go!

A: Such a tough one since I’m such a foodie, and they’ve definitely changed over the years. But right now, I’d have to say Bestia, Gjelina and let’s be real, I still get Joan’s on Third at least twice per week.

( And HELLOOO, check out her Salt & Straw drippity drop ice cream shot. Can we all eat this NOW? )

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Q: Favorite hole in the wall spot to grab something healthy in LA: 

A: Backyard Bowls just opened up near me in West Hollywood, and I’m addicted! They also have quinoa bowls, which are a nice alternative to acai / smoothie bowls. It’s not exactly a hole in the wall, but Greenleaf is another favorite.

( TBB SIDENOTE: Backyard Bowls is my JAM! So good… )

Q: You are definitely up on your fitness game, just like everyone here at TBV. What are some of your favorite workouts to do and fitness studios to go to?

A: Oh boy do I love a good group fitness class. I mean LOVE. My go-to’s are definitely spin at Cycle House, pilates at Fitmix, boxing at Prevail, weights/HIIT at Training Mate and I finally just tried Body By Simone for the first time and absolutely loved it! I also do Barry’s Bootcamp and Hot 8 Yoga Barre or Sculpt a few times a month. The obsession with LA fitness studios is real.

Hmmm, it sounds like I will be able to drag Calli to an OTF class soon, no problem!

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Q: You do social media for a living (#dreams!), give us your top three tips for making a post that meets your criteria.

A: Yes, I do live and breathe social media. For me, it’s all about aesthetic and lighting. Lighting, lighting, lighting. Overall, you want your account to have a recognizable look and feel to it, to the point that if someone saw a post not tied to your account, they’d still know it was you. The image has to be 1. Clear (no blurry images!) 2. Tells a story 3. Speaks to some element about who you are, or what your brand is about.

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Q: Something about you that most people don’t know…

A: I spin 5 times a week, and yet I can’t ride a bicycle!

Q: Any funny behind the scenes moments from your TBV Apparel shoot?

A: Let’s see, I was honked at by a friend driving by and sent a Snapchat of myself from another friend who saw our shoot taking place, but the funniest moment by far would have to be when our photographer dropped her poor little iPhone in the gutter at the end of our shoot! Sorry Danika, RIP phone.

Wearing Make Your Own Magic Crop + Vibes Don’t Lie Pullover

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Q: Favorite ways to style our TBV tees… 

A: I love that you can wear them casual with workout clothes, or throw on a pair of jeans shorts and a flannel (my go-to) and you have a super cute day outfit. I’d even put on a pair of jeans with boots and wear one of the tees out to dinner. My style is definitely laid back, so the tees fit perfectly with pretty much anything and everything I’d ever wear. Plus, my plain black & white tees could use a break from the rotation.

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Q: Finish this sentence: Life can be crazy, but it’s worth living because ________.

A: It has the potential to be anything you want it to be, and every day brings on a new challenge, but also a new opportunity to try, fail, learn, succeed, grow, live, laugh and enjoy!

TBB SIDENOTE: I love this so much. I could not agree more. Wise words, missy. )

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Q: Lastly, advice you would give to someone who is interested in following their hearts & creating a life for themselves that is outside of the box. 

A: At the end of the day, and I know this is so annoying to hear, but you really have to just trust yourself, trust that the universe has your back, and take the leap. You won’t know until you do it, and that’s part of the excitement of going out on your own! You create the vision, then you put one foot in front of the other. The other main advice I’d give is that you can be attached to how you want to feel in your new venture, but don’t be so attached to the outcome or exactly what it will look like. You want to stay open to any direction or any path that your heart takes you, and not be so rigid in exactly what it’s going to look like.

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Q: Where else can we find you?! Social handles, website, upcoming events, etc.

A: You can follow me at @callicholo and our biz at @somethingsocial_la! Website is www.somethingsocial-la.com. We just redid it and I’m super happy with it, so I hope you enjoy! xx

MermaidSo, all in all, Calli rocks. Yes? Yes. Check out her site & get a feel for what social media management is — her site explains it super well, straightforward, and of course beautifully (photos and all). Which is your fav look of Calli’s from the shoot?!?! I love it ALL, but I think my fav might be the Mermaid crop with the flannel, jean shorts & boots.

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In Case You Were Wondering what “LiketoKNOWit” on Instagram Means…

Hey beauties! First off, it’s August. WHAT? This month has been nutso so far, and we are only 5 days in!

I thought I was going to spend the month settling into my new place, getting back into my routine and getting my bloggy bloggin’ on every day, but… such as life, new things pop up with every day that passes. Exciting new things of course.

Like… A trip to Chicago to speak at the awesome conference for women in the digital space Create + Cultivate, where I am speaking on using the digital space for good via blogging, commerce, content and more. The conference is on August 15th and I would LOVE, love, love to have you there if you live anywhere nearby. I attended the conference this last year in LA and learned so much I could burst (my recap of the experience here), plus got to meet so many cool & inspiring people. I would highly recommend it.

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After Chicago, I am going to Palm Springs for my cousin’s bachelorette party  (woo!), and then straight to Seattle for an Eddie Bauer brand summit and week of outdoor adventure. Ummm, sweet? YEAH. More travel than I planned on this month? Yeah. The new apartment decor can wait. :)

So, back to the title of this post.

I’m rambling, I know, and it’s because I am excited to update you guys on everything that’s going on over here. OH, and for those of you who are subscribed to my newsletter, I didn’t send one out this Sunday and will be hitting you with a double whammy this coming Sunday. Don’t worry, your email did not glitch!

No wait, now really back to the title of this post.

Okay, so, you guys may have noticed me posting some Instagrams with the links & tags “@LIKEtoKNOWit” and “LIKEtoKNOW.it,” and you may have been like, “Uhhh, what is Jordan doing cluttering up her caption box like that when she is usually such a psycho about having a really conversational, generally semi-concise caption?”

Or at least that’s what I thought when I saw bloggers like Gal Meets Glam & Pink Peonies using it far earlier than I did. Then I started working with rewardStyle and came to learn that the Like to Know It feature is actually the coolest thing ever — because it connects us from blogger to reader/follower, and allows US as bloggers to basically do the shopping for you.

Because of the nature of what I do, there are two main things I strive for with blogging: 1) to entertain and inspire you, 2) to make your life easier. (Maybe that’s 3 things? #whatever)! Like to Know It actually serves all three… especially the last one. It allows me to share my favorite outfits, home goods, etc. with you, and all you need to do is “like” my photo on Instagram (yes, double tap it, so easy) and you will get all outfit or product details delivered straight to your email inbox.

For example, I am about to post the below on my Instagram with the LiketoKnow.it widget. ALL you need to do is sign up for LiketoKnow.it (takes two secs and it’s way free), go to the photo on my Instagram, double tap it, and then you have all of these outfit details. Boom done, your shopping for the day/month is donezo. Because you’re a busy person and you don’t have time to peruse & browse around until you’ve found the hottest new fitness clothes!

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No, that doesn’t mean that you automatically get charged for a purchase. Once you get the link sent to your inbox, you just go to the respective website and order it. You still get to pick your size, details, and/or change your mind about the purchase entirely, BUT the hard part is done. I have done the shopping for you. And with the extreme abundance of killer fitness clothes I have access to because of what I do, with “Like to Know It” you will be some of the first to discover some rockin’ new brands and styles.

Look, I told you I wear a lot of workout clothes…

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Annddd a lot of other clothes too I suppose (lots of stripes! And PJs!):

Basically, I just want to help you guys live easier, more fit & active anndd stylish lives. Because when you feel good about what you’re wearing, your confidence increases tenfold. That’s what I want for all of you. Happy, healthy lives bursting with confidence, joy and a whole lot of fun. And yoga and running and late night lounging in comfy workout clothes and all that good stuff.

So, in conclusion: sign up for LiketoKNOW.it, double tap my outfit photos that have the link, and get the clothing info sent straight to your inbox. And if you’re not an Instagram person, that’s cool too. There’s always the bloggy, and I have included this handy dandy “Shop the Post” widget below in case you liked any of the clothing in this post!

And as always, if you have any questions just EMAIL ME and I am happy to answer them & help you out. I have a new email address, thanks to my boy Ty, and you can now reach me at jordan@truthbalancevirtue.com… it’s way more legitimate than the pretty unprofessional gmail account I’ve been using for years, and it suits us in our TBV Apparel expansion just swimmingly. :)

Thoughts?! Did you ever wonder what LIKEtoKNOW.it was?! Now ya know, and you can shop, shop, shop away! Any suggestions for the next few LiketoKNOW.it posts I should do for ya?!

TBV Babe of the Week: the lovely Rachelle Tratt

Hellllooo my beautiful loves, and welcome to our second official TBV Babe of the Week! Miss Natasia Lutes kicked it off last week with a real bang, and we are so stoked to be adding to our TBV babe gang this week with the incredibly soul-shining & inspirational beauty Rachelle Tratt !!!

Below Rachelle is rocking her fav TBV tee: My Kale Shake Brings All the Boys to the Yard, & styling it like the lovely, gypsy, yogi soul that she is. (Reminds me of someone’s style I know… Oh wait, MINE! No wonder I am obsessed.) Plus she paired the outfit with her gorgeous Neshama Project jewelry… The combo, too stellar, I die.

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And in case you missed last week’s intro to the new weekly #TBVBabe installment, let me give you a little rundown: the people I am choosing to represent our brand in this fun new way are babes from the INSIDE out, and their beauty radiates outward into everything they dip their hand, heart & soul into. These people are inspiring and living life outside of the box, in all of their very own magical ways, and creating a life full of happiness and GOOD VIBES for themselves & everyone around them. I am choosing people who inspire in all areas from yoga to entrepreneurship to fashionistas to nutritionists & everything in between.

Today’s babe of the week can’t be summed up in any one particular category. She is a yogi, she is a teacher, she is a business owner, she is a world traveler, adventurer, fountain of knowledge (especially about Israel! Talk to this girl about Israel, she will blow your mind), and of course a loving Golden Doodle mama.

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Rachelle & I have had a lot of mutual friends for a long time, and whenever I learned more about her I became more and more hooked on everything I knew she represented. I am in love with her hamsa necklaces, and even more in love with the message behind them. In a video on her site, Rachelle explains a bit of the inspiration behind her company…

“I always knew that I wanted this to be greater. Not just a necklace, not just a product that’s sitting on a shelf somewhere.”

And I was like woah. Yes. This girl and I need to be friends and my TBB readers need to know about her.

And thus she became our second babe of the week, this interview went down annnddd the beautiful Friday morning I spent at the Venice Farmer’s Market with her made my day a whole lot brighter.

Q&A with high vibe yogi livin’ babe Rachelle Tratt:

Q: As I mentioned above, I am so inspired by the kind, open, loving energy you radiate. What do you do in your “me time” to ensure that you are able to bring it in your yoga teaching, friendships and relationships? (Seriously wondering, because whatever you do I’m going to implement!)
A: Aw thanks so much love. Honestly, I spend as much time outdoors in nature  as possible. Moving my body, practicing yoga, dancing, walking Bailey, and or some form of movement, every day, ensures that I am able to stay that kind, open, loving, energetic being that you so sweetly mentioned above. Oh and I only surround  myself with like minded supportive beautiful Souls who get me and love me to the moon and back. This is a huge factor, I have no more room for negativity or heavy relationships in my life, this right here is the key to helping me stay energetically light.
( TBB Side Note… I LOVE THIS ANSWER. YES, YES, YES. )
You Had Me At Savasana tank | Do You Even Yoga? tank | Photo ft. BAILEY!
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Q: When we were shooting your photos at the Farmer’s Market, you told us a great story about where Neshama Project, your jewelry line, got its name. Will you share that with our TBB readers?!
A: Neshama (means) Soul in Hebrew and the N in Neshama is in honor of my mom, Nicole, who passed away when I was nine years old. She met my dad in Israel in 1973, and through their love story, I have created and formed my own unique love story with the country. I have never considered myself to be a religious or political person, and well, with every hamsa or meaningful product from us, that is out their in the world, adorned by a beautiful Soul, is our way of spreading light for a country that houses my heart. My mom was a humble artist who stood for charity, kindness and creating ways to inspire and give back to the world. This is at the core of The Neshama Project and why I continue to do what I do. “In every day, in every moment, find ways to make someone smile, give them hope, wake them up and let them shine” has and always will be our mission statement.
( TBB Sidenote: The above quote is also in Rachelle’s email signature… Which I think is so cool. How often do we get such an important & beautiful reminder in EMAIL land? Hardly ever. )
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Q: Our line TBV Apparel stands for finding Truth, Balance and Virtue in every day life. What significance do those three attributes hold in your life, and what do they bring to mind for you?
A: Truth –> to me is my ability to share authentically from my heart, the good-the challenging-the inspiring-and the messy- at all times, regardless of how it may be perceived by others.
Balance –> to me is my ability to work hard and play hard. The kinda’ gypsy soul that likes her green juice with a side of kale after a sweaty yoga class, and the same gypsy soul who likes some tequila with a side of tacos after partying with her friends.
Q: What brought you to your yoga mat for the very first time, and what inspired you to stay, and eventually teach?
A: I grew up a total tom boy, I played tennis and basketball, so after college when I was no longer a part of a competitive team I found myself looking for an outlet to express myself.  During that time I was about  20 years old and was experiencing intense stomach problems that the doctors didn’t really know what was going on. A roommate at the time suggested that I should try yoga, and i remember laughing at her and being like “Yea ok, sure, I’m just gonna sit here and meditate, oommmmmmm”-  So I took my first class, it happened to have been a Bikram class, and well, I hated every single moment of it. I hated the fact that the teacher was yelling at me, I was judging myself and every single very fit and barely clothed person in the room, and to top it all off- there were mirrors! I already felt so uncomfortable in my own skin, and I had to look at myself in the mirror for an hour and a half, c’mon!!! Then- the AHA moment came- Shavasana. I finally felt at peace in my mind, in my body, and in my stomach, and that was it. I was hooked. And its been a done deal ever since :)
So I guess “You Had Me at Savasana” holds a little more significance for Rachelle then we even realized… SO COOL. 
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A, cont: For me these days, my practice has evolved into less of a physical outlet, and more of a spirited way to clear my mind, listen to my heart, and connect with my body. I look at it like every time that I step onto my mat, I have an opportunity to move with meaning, and allow my practice to stand for something greater by being rooted in intention.
It’s funny someone asked me the other day why after 8 years do I still teach? Teaching yoga has become a means for me to humbly share my wisdom; an internal acknowledgment that comes from my own personal experience on this w i l d beautiful & often messy adventure called, life & love.
Q: Quote that you live by?
A: I have so many quotes and sayings that inspire me daily, but this poem below, always always does it for me…

“…I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” – Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903

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Q: Who in your life inspires you?
A: My family, my friends, my colleagues, people who have struggled in their lives, and preserved, and who have created something beautiful from something challenging.
Q: What is your favorite TBV Apparel phrase?!
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Q: Tips for overcoming fear & pursuing your dreams and passions.
A: If there is something you want to do and create – GO DO IT – because no one is going to do it for you!
Q: Complete this sentence: Life is worth living, because…
A: love, beauty, & magic exist around every corner.
Q: If you were stuck in the middle of the jungle and had only three items to bring with you, what would they be?
A: Bailey.
My man.
Some hummus. :):):)
Hiiii Bailey! 
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Q: FAVORITE part of what you do!!
A: Connecting with amazing, inspiring, holy beautiful, powerful, loving, playful, creative, women – like YOU!
Q: Where can we get more Rachelle in our lives?! Your website, your jewelry, your retreats… Tell us!
A: Enjoy visiting our site The Neshama Project and learn more about how the company started, our mission, and the inspiring organizations that we support with each sale. Shop with Meaning!
I teach that thang called yoga in Venice at The Yoga Collective Mon & Wed 7:45pm candle lit soulful flow. And Friday and Sunday at 10:45am! And one Sunday a month, my girlfriend DJ Glenniest and I host a charity yoga class. We call ourselves Dirt & Glitter. Wanna know why? Come this Sunday Aug 2 and experience the magic!
I have some exciting opportunities coming up to Wake up to magic. Nourish your Soul. and Travel with Meaning. I believe that travel is one of the things that truly makes your life richer. All aspects of the trips that I have designed have a volunteering element so that our wild adventures both have the power to give back and stand for something greater!
Soulful Adventure to Bali this September 915 ! To learn more visit the yoga page to our site and Seek Retreat. Our second Soulful Adventure to Israel is happening in March- and my sister wife Sophie from Philosophie and I will be hosting our second Nourish Your Soul retreat to Tulum with dates still to be determined!
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Rachelle, thank you so much for being our BABE OF THE WEEK this fine Friday, for rocking TBV Apparel like a boss, for sharing your soul with us and opening our eyes to the fab Neshama Project world you’ve created. WE HEART YOU.
Don’t forget to visit Rachelle on her website & her Insta, where she posts awesome stuff allll da time. And visit us at TBV Apparel & check out the line! PS, what’s everybody up to this weekend?! Some true, balance, virtue, yoga, fun & good vibey stuff I hope! xx
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All photography by the AMAZINGLY talented Iselin & Hale.