Friday, October 31, 2014

Volunteers are just so awesome, aren't they? My latest video for the USO.

BOO! Happy Halloween, you spooky one, you ;)


When I was down in Ft. Benning a few weeks ago shooting a few stories for the USO, I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and chat with the October Sesame Street/USO Moment Maker of the Month, Elizabeth Gasper.

In my line of work with the USO, I get to talk to a lot of amazing people: Troops who have been injured; Stay at home moms who hold down the fort at home while daddy protects America overseas; Even 60-year-old grandmas who spend their days volunteering for free at their local USO center; And yes, people like Elizabeth Gasper, who are just trying to do the little everyday things to make a difference in their local community.

While Elizabeth has not won any wars or ever worn a uniform herself, she's played a key role in the web of support for those that do chose to put their lives on the line for our country. Elizabeth works for the Ft. Benning MWR, or, for us laypeople, the Ft. Benning Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation -- aka the people who help make sure troops and their families are happy and healthy participants their community.

While this might sound like any old desk job, the more I thought about the importance of Elizabeth Gasper's job to troops across Ft. Benning. Without people like Elizabeth, who would help plan fun family activities during the holidays? Who would ensure military families, and not just the troops, also receive the adequate care and entertainment they so desperately need during difficult times, like deployments?

It's for all these reasons that Elizabeth Gasper was awarded October's Sesame Street/USO Moment Maker of the Month Award, and the reason why I was able to do a video feature about her and her wonderful work with the Ft. Benning community.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Behind the Shoot: Spooktacular-ly-awesome photos for Fiterazzi Magazine!

Happy almost Halloween! I hope you're as jazzed about the festivities tomorrow as I am!

This past weekend I hosted the fall shoot for Fiterazzi Magazine with a few of my fit-minded friends. the idea behind this shoot, in comparison to the summer shoot was to capture some fall foliage/scenes and showcase some new fitness moves in the cooler autumnal weather -- andd talk about autumnal weather, we scored the JACKPOT on Sunday. 60 degrees. Sunny. What's not to like?


My four lovely models and dear friends -- Alisha, Sarah, Autumn and Sara -- donated their smiling faces and strutted their stuff on camera for me about two hours total.

It's funny, before the shoot,  I don't think any of the girls new each other, but they all knew me, and by the end of the session, they were all laughing, smiling and getting along splendidly.



I met each of these ladies in a very different way and each at a different time in my life.

Autumn, the lovely African-American sporting the charcoal sweater, met me when I was 18 when we were both starting out playing on the GW softball team together


Alisha, who's gorgeous dark complexion makes her pink jacket just POP, I met earlier this year while playing dodge ball at a local social sports league, USS, here in the city.

 
Sara, the fierce gal rocking the short hair cut, has been my creative competitor and close friend for years, since we studied journalism and video production together at SMPA.



And the other Sarah, who's wearing my favorite pair of BODYPOP watercolor print leggings, was one of the first real-world friends I made when I was working with her at Post TV -- the video outlet of the Washington Post.


Each of these women has been a friend to me in her own special way -- which is why I was so glad they all got to meet each other and help represent Fiterazzi with me, looking fit and fabulous in on the streets of D.C. on that spectacular fall day.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Like fitness? Like empowerment? Love your ta-tas? Then read this NOW!

I don't want to steal the clicks, from Fiterazzi.com, but I had to share a couple of snippets from some of my recent articles that I've done for them that I'm super jazzed about!

I just loved working all all of these stories -- they're all very real and very personal for me. I think that's why I like writing for Fiterazzi so much.

Anyway, enough of my blabbering. Check out a few snippets from my Fiterazzi latests below & be sure to head to Fiterazzi.com for the full stories and more good healthy living reads!


Sports Bras 101: What Your Mom Never Told You

Boobs. Ta-tas. The girls. Breasts. Whatever you call them, if you’ve got two X chromosomes and survived puberty, then you’re familiar with the fabulous (and sometime annoying) experience that is having a pair of breasts to call your own.

While having breasts makes for a sexy silhouette, caring for them and keeping them under control can be a tricky task, especially for an active girl. Let’s be real — who ever invented tuck jumps didn’t do so with chesty girls in mind.

As fitness companies are evolving to cater more towards the needs of female athletes, so too are their sports bras technologies. Gone are the days of non-supportive and uncomfortable sports bras and in are the days of specially designed, high-impact sports bras tailored towards just about any cup size.
(Read more here!)

This 12-Year-Old Girl’s Letter Sparked a Big Conversation about Female Representation in Fitness

[...]

When I was growing up, I remember dealing with this constant dilemma when I was looking for new sporting gear to wear while playing softball. Did I want to wear boy’s gear that featured an annoying baggy crotch? Or did I prefer some awkwardly cut, high-waisted women’s gear that transformed me into a pre-teen soccer mom? Why wasn’t there anything made just for me?

Only I was a teenager, circa mid-2000s, did I start to see a wider-variety of products tailored toward the tastes and styles of female athletes and fitness fashionistas like myself. Brands like Lululemon and Athleta popped onto the market and major sporting companies like Nike, UnderArmour and Mizuno started to create special lines tailored towards the growing female demographic.

However, as much as I love seeing more and more female sporting good products in stores, it’s hard to deny that the large majority of sporting good apparel is still tailored towards men.

It’s 2014, not 1964. The Title XI ruling was in 1972.

(Read the full story here!)

Behind the Shoot: Can you say DC event photography? I can. It's spelt UWIB.

Long story short, I'm on the board of a fab non-profit called United Women in Business (UWIB). My old roommate and sorority sister (Alpha Delta Pi!) was a founding member of UWIB, and obviously, because I moved in with her and knew how to use a camera and program websites, I had to get involved too.

What can I say? I like staying busy!

Anyway, almost a year later, things as the DC VP of Digital Media for UWIB are in full gear for me and the organization is busier than ever.

This past Wednesday we had an awesome event focusing on the MBA application process and I had the wonderful opportunity to take pictures of the night, as well as live Instagram and tweet (check out the hashtag #womenmba) the entire event.


Between covering the event on social and taking pictures, I learned a lot about the MBA process (gulp, says the girl thinking about grad school for next fall). Resumes. Essays. Recommendations. GMAT scores. All those things really do matter.

Applying is definitely a lot of work, but the payoffs are, to me, 100% worth it.


If you live in the DC, Chicago and NYC chapter, consider visiting the UWIB website and signing up for our events. They're all free and meant for young, professional women looking for professional-based educational opportunities. I recommend it!



A family's Sesame Street story: Tales from Ft. Benning

Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was in Ft. Benning for work for the USO? Well, I finally finished the second story I shot from my trip!

It's a really special video about Samantha Curtis, mother of two, and her awesome family. Right now, Samantha's husband, Zach, is deployed, leaving her home with two kids under three.

While she does what she can to keep the kids busy while daddy's away, Curtis had the chance to go see the USO/Sesame Street show in Ft. Benning -- entirely for free -- and I got to tag along.

Here's their story:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Taste of Fall: A trip to Butler's Orchard

This past Saturday was a totally gorgeous day in the Washington, D.C. area. After a week of rainy weather, seeing the sunshine, even for just a few short afternoon hours, was an especially welcome treat.

Since Mr. Boyfriend and I were planning to head to the farm last week for Columbus Day, but got rained out and ended up at breweries instead (whoops?), we took advantage of the weather and put on our fall best and headed out to Butler's Orchard.

After a lot of traffic (and I mean A LOT, like hours worth of stop-and-go) we arrived at the Orchard and got lost in the slew of fall-themed activities they had to offer.

I think its safe to say that both my and Mr. Boyfriend's favorite farm attraction was the pumpkin chucker -- Think huge cannon that can launch pumpkins at speeds that they were never intended to travel at. We couldn't help but just sit and stare at it for minutes... that is, before we both had to whip out cameras and take a few pictures. Obviously.


While the pumpkin chucker was a novel sight, I'll admit, the rest of Butler's Orchard was a little disappointing. Maybe I'm getting too old for rink-a-dink corn mazes and hayrides. Or maybe I just need something a bit more "adult sized." 

Either way, it was nice to get outside and enjoy one of the areas first true fall days.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fiterazzi Sports Bra Preview & Photos That I Love!

I love looking at my friends' photography work. I love working with them on photography projects even more.

So when I got a chance to work my my fabulous friend, Sara Snyder, on an upcoming Fiterazzi sports bra article, I was tickled pink with excitement. While the article isn't quite finished yet, the photos are, and they turned out fabulous!

Take a look at my favorite pics from Sara's work & come back for my low-down about the article when its published!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Let's get some shoes. No really.

Late last week, a blog post I worked with Potomac River Running on about the importance of getting fit for the proper workout shoe finally ran on Fiterazzi... yay! You can check it out here!

Not only did the post feature some pretty awesome photos by my fellow photographer and long-time friend Sara Snyder, but it totally dove into the importance of taking care of your main mode of transportation... your feet!


I think most people go to the running store and think, 'Oh, that shoe's the most expensive, so it's the best' or 'That shoe looks really intense, and I'm having foot pain, so I need an intense shoe like that,' when honestly, that's not how it works. Just read the article and you'll see what I mean.

See, every person walks differently, so, every person needs a different type of shoe. Think of your shoe as your finger print -- it should be unique and fitting just for you!

In the two hours I spent at PR Running learning about the science of running shoes and talking to the shoe fit team, I have one big takeaway to pass on... Go. Get. Fitted!

P.S. PR Running also did an adaptation of my Fiterazzi article... how cool!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Finding my way to Sesame Street... via Fort Benning, Georgia


Last week, I went to a place where the sun always shines and happiness fills the air. Nope. Not Narnia. But close. I went to Sesame Street (the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families, to be exact)!

To help the USO mark 500,000 military family members entertained by the Sesame Street/USO show, I grabbed my camera gear and trekked down to Fort Benning, Georgia to capture the magical moment.


While I was there (working on 3 stories, mind you) I got to spend a significant amount of time talking to military family members in Fort Benning about life on base and how something so simple, like a Sesame Street show, can make a huge difference in their lives.

In particular, I spent quite a bit of time with Samantha Curtis (married to her active-duty husband, Zack, who is deployed overseas with the Army right now) and got an inside life at what it's like to be married to a military man. Look for a video all about her fab family and cute little kiddos to come!

I also got to speak to the USO/Sesame Street Moment Maker of the Month, Elizabeth Gasper, about how important USO programming is to the Fort Benning Community.

Pretty fun, eh?

Friday, October 3, 2014

It's live! My Fiterazzi headband palooza post is live!

Guys! I've been looking forward to this for weeks!

After weeks of testing, Instagramming and toting headbands around everywhere I go, my all-inclusive headbands review is ready for your eyes!

http://www.fiterazzi.com/2014/10/03/8-workout-headbands-you-have-to-try/

If you love headbands as much as I do, then you'll love this article. Plus, the pictures are so pretty, if I do say so myself! Go check it out!