Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Battle of the Bulge. Take 48.

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Self-sabotage. It's a hot button topic that I hear so many women talk about. Sabotage wears many different outfits, and none of them are designer. Some of us sabotage ourselves with relationships. Some of us do it with our careers. The most evident example of self-sabotage in my life is my struggle with my weight. 

I started gaining weight in the 2nd grade, right around the time my parents got divorced. Food quickly became my big, soft, cozy blanket, and I ate my feelings in the form of Chips Ahoy and Doritos (Vile, I know). Food and I have always had a complicated relationship, and by the time I was 30 years old I realized that maybe - just maybe - this was on purpose. 

I've been able to accomplish anything I set my mind to. Write a book? Done. Write four? No problem. Go on live television for the first time and totally slay it? Check. Why was I able to conquer all of my goals except get to - and maintain - a healthy weight? I mean, millions of people can nail this (I've seen the infomercials at 3 am). What the hell was wrong with me?

Now don't get me wrong. I've never really been fat fat. But I've always danced with an extra fifteen to twenty pounds that I couldn't quite shake for good. It was enough to haunt me and destroy my body image for most of my adult life. The way I looked controlled me. It stalked my thoughts. It ruled my self-esteem. I thought about (and still think about) my body on a constant basis. Do I look more toned? Do I look bloated? Am I losing weight? Are my muscles popping yet? Do my legs look thinner? Will I ever look like a "fit person?"

I am no stranger to the weight loss game. I've gained weight. I've lost weight. In fact, right now, I am down 46 pounds from my all-time high that literally tipped the scales in 2014. Do you know what happened to me? I wrote a book in 2013 called The Champagne Diet which is all about getting healthy, physically and emotionally. It's all about confidence and wellness. It's a story about how I (thought) I finally conquered my body image demons. It's not a diet book; it's a lifestyle guide to feeling and looking your best.

The book came out, and then I went and gained over 30 pounds.

I have come to understand through the years that the science of weight loss is easy. It's the emotional side that's the challenge. But I'm a fucking master life coach. So why couldn't I master this? As Oprah said in a 2009 issue of O Magazine, "I can't believe that after all these years, all the things I know how to do, I'm still talking about my weight."

I feel ya, O.

So look. Maybe weight will be my forever-challenge. Maybe it won't. I know I'm still a work in progress. I know I'm improving every day. I know there is still a lot to learn. When I gained all that weight between 2013 and 2014, a lot of personal shit was going down in my life. I was deeply unhappy with my full-time job. I battled limiting beliefs around what I could or couldn't accomplish professionally. I was trying to be a new wife. I was stressed. Through the process of losing that weight (again), I have realized that I can't overcome my self-sabotage unless I am loving myself in every area of my life. It's not just about celebrating my curves and loving my body. It's about having the courage to face every single thing that's not working and address it. 

I'm on a different journey now. It's the same, but it's not. I know so much more about myself. I'm braver. I'm wiser. I'm happier. If you've been following me on Instagram and Snapchat (my username over there is GlitterGutsGlam), you've seen the positive changes I'm making in my life. I've got a full-blown addition to SoulCycle and I ain't complaining. I've cut back drastically on drinking and completely overhauled my relationship with wine (blog post about that here). I'm madly in love with my work as a full-time inspirational author after cutting loose from my day job at MTV in the end of 2014. I've taken consistent, positive action steps toward truly creating my "Champagne Life" (with or without actual champagne - LOL). 

Losing these last couple of pounds feels fairly effortless this time around. Perhaps it's because I ditched a lot of dead weight in other areas of my life. Perhaps it was finally taking the blame off external circumstances (shitty "diet" plans, genetics, age) that allowed me to step up and claim accountability. Or perhaps, most of all, it was realizing that all along, I haven't been at war with my weight. I've been at war with myself. And I'm finally ready to wave the white flag.

With love,

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Women, Wine, and What Nobody is Talking About

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When I moved out on my own after my big breakup in 2008, I had a bit of a rebirth (read: I went fucking crazy). And by fucking crazy, I mean embracing a newfound freedom to be myself, understand myself, and love myself. I spent age 21-28 in the throes of a serious, committed, often toxic relationship, so you can imagine there were some wild oats to sew as I was rapidly approaching 30 as a newly single woman in New York City.

I began sewing those oats by spending night after night with my girlfriends in my tiny little Brooklyn apartment. The apartment that was all mine. My besties and I spent hours recounting my breakup, going over every single detail, every single email, and every single text; you know, the stuff girlfriends do together after something major goes down with a guy. As painful and confusing as that time was, I knew one thing: I was going to be alright. I had great friends who knew how to make me laugh my ass off through my tears, and I am forever grateful to the ones who showed up when I needed them most. Aside from my girlfriends, one very special companion was by my side during these intimate nights of overanalyzation, laughter, and tears. Her name was wine.

Prior to my breakup, I really never drank on a regular basis. I never touched drugs. I wasn't particularly wild. I wasn't a prude either, but I knew how to keep my cool and never got into any big trouble. Party nights were reserved for bars, where we all wound up drunk on vodka cranberries (gross), and I didn't drink again until the next time there was some sort of social outing. Wine with dinner wasn't a thing. And wine home alone on the couch really wasn't a thing. But as I embraced being a single girl in New York City, making relatively good money, my lifestyle began changing. Suddenly wild party nights were traded for amazing restaurants with phenomenal wine lists and four-hour long dinners. Rather than dealing with the singles scene in a dirty dive bar, I much preferred cocktails with girlfriends in a swanky hotel lounge or at someone's apartment. And when my girlfriends weren't around, I spent many nights curled up to Sex and the City with a bottle of Pinot Noir next to me. I mean, that's what you do when you're single and in New York, right?

Soon I was indulging in a glass -- or three -- of wine a few times a week. I didn't think much of it, as I never really got drunk or felt hungover the next day. But I did notice one thing: I was thinking less about my ex, less about the breakup, and less about a lot of things. Wine soon became my numbing agent, helping me escape a shitty day at work, helping me sleep when my mind was racing at night, and helping me feel less alone in that tiny little Brooklyn apartment when my girlfriends weren't around.

As the years went on, my relationship with wine did not waver. She was my trusty right-hand woman, helping me navigate all of life's moments: traveling alone, toasting to a promotion, nursing a break-up, celebrating a new relationship, attending social functions, joining me on awkward first dates, and more. Wine represented many things to me: comfort, escape, reward, companionship, reliability, happiness, sadness, relief, the list goes on.

I've suffered from anxiety for much of my life. I'm not quite sure when it began, but I can vividly recall many situations where I felt shortness of breath, pins and needles, and mind racing panic. Most of these situations were brought on by things like flying, overthinking, or for no clear reason at all. But with wine, the anxiety seemed to lessen. I could suddenly fly to another country by myself. I could feel more at ease in a social situation where I might have felt uptight in the past. Wine went from being a fun treat, to being my "shut off" and my way to cope with dis-ease.

What I didn't realize at the time is that wine was also shutting off parts of me that shouldn't have been shut off. My passion, my creativity, and my high energy were all being muted as well.

I knew in the back of my mind that my relationship with wine was changing -- and it was different than most people's. I knew it wasn't healthy to walk into a party or event and immediately scour the room for the nearest glass of something. I knew it wasn't healthy to routinely pour myself a glass of wine before calling a car service to go to dinner, only to drink more wine. I knew it wasn't healthy to book my flights in the afternoon to ensure the airport bar would be open.

I also knew that the momentary relief I was getting from drinking wasn't worth the way I felt afterwards. I can't think of anything more miserable than a hangover, or the emptiness and depression you feel after a night of drinking. I started coming to the realization that I wanted to cut back on drinking, but I honestly wasn't sure I was capable. I truly thought I needed it. Keyword there: thought. As a master life coach, I also know how powerful our minds are, so I began trying to "think" I didn't need it as much as I had convinced myself. This was a process.

I thought long and hard for a while about whether or not I thought I had a "problem" with alcohol. And after much research and consideration, I realized I did not have a problem in the traditional sense. I didn't need AA. I didn't need to never drink again. I just did not like the relationship I had formed with it, and that was reason enough for me to want to change.

There were other reasons, too, however. I knew that my relationship with wine was holding me back from my full potential in so many areas, like losing weight for example. Yes, a glass of champagne or wine is fine, in fact many studies suggest its actually healthy (and believe me, I was the first one to whip out those studies to prove that I was actually doing myself a favor by drinking each night!) That is what inspired The Champagne Diet blog in the first place. My innocent days of indulging in a glass of bubbly here or there instead of a fattening, sugary piece of cake for dessert were fine. But wine and champagne are only "healthy" when the reasons you're drinking them are, and mine had become anything but. Drinking is fine, in most cases, in moderation. But what is moderation, anyway? Whatever it is, I wasn't experiencing it.

There was a point where I got my diet down to such a science, I was working out hard 5 times a week, and the scale wasn't budging. When you tack on a few glasses of wine per night, that's on average, 300 additional calories you're consuming per day (cause come on, let's be real, I wasn't stopping at 1 glass). And on top of that, your body prioritizes alcohol when burning off what you've ingested, so before you even process the rest of your food, your metabolism is working overtime to get rid of those empty, boozy calories. Even on the most structured weight loss plans, you're surely giving up calories that you could be "spending" on a piece of fruit or some veggies, or any nutritious food, for that matter. Trading calories in for wine that literally does nothing for your system except make you tired and slow. Again, once a week or so? Probably fine. Every night? Not so fine.

Speaking of slow, have enough vino the night before, and chances are you're brushing off your workout the next day more often than you'd prefer. Who wants to SoulCycle with a hangover? I've done it, it's not fun. Who wants to do much of anything with that sluggish, unmotivated vibe that a night of drinking most certainly brings on? And if I'm totally honest here, SoulCycle did play a huge role in my desire to stop drinking. And I am so grateful for it. As I became more involved with my workouts, I realized that the real work involved is less about the physical and much more about the mental. And not drinking made me feel more present, more fit, and so much stronger in every way. You can read more about my SoulCycle journey here if you're curious.

So how did I get here? How did I finally realize that me and wine needed a little space? I'm really not sure. I can't really recall the series of events that led to me wanting to cut back significantly on drinking. There was no "a ha" moment where I announced to the world that I was changing. It was more of a slow burn. Boredom, mainly. When you allow yourself to indulge any time you want, it becomes less indulgent. And when indulgence ultimately makes you feel blah, you start getting over it. Maybe its also my age. Maybe I also found something more in my life that is worth being present for. Actually, I know that I did.

I also want to mention that I have not quit alcohol cold turkey. I changed my relationship status with wine on November 7th, 2015, and during the month of November I drank moderately about 4 times. During the month of December, I drank 3 times. And in January, I've drank once. And each time I did, I felt less and less connected to it. I only got "drunk" one of those nights, and the way I felt the next day just wasn't worth it. The biggest accomplishment for me was not drinking on any of the holidays -- especially New Years Eve. Instead, I celebrated on a bike at my SoulCycle class, had the best sleep of my life that night, and woke up and rode a 90 minute class on New Years Day. And I loved every second of it.  

Wine-lovin' Cara (on the left) vs. The New and Improved Me

The benefits I've experienced from not drinking are endless:

    •    I've lost 20 pounds in the past 2 months (combined with eating healthy and working out)
    •    I am happy all the time (seriously, all the time, yes its weird, but I'm not complaining)
    •    I'm sleeping better than I have in years
    •    I feel more at peace, I'm less anxious (how's that for irony?)
    •    I'm insanely productive
    •    My SoulCycle rides are better than I ever imagined they'd be
    •    My confidence has soared
    •    I love getting dressed
    •    My face looks so much prettier
    •    I'm walking taller
    •    I have more clarity
    •    My skin glows
    •    My business has soared and I am generating more income than ever before

The things I was afraid of (not sleeping well, feeling socially anxious) have actually become some of the best parts of not drinking. I sleep like a baby and I actually prefer going out and spending time with friends without a drink. Pellegrino in a beautiful wine glass with some lemon and lime is my new "mocktail" of choice.

Again, I want to stress that this is a very personal trade off. Not everyone feels the way I do after drinking, or, not drinking. I'm not sitting here on a high horse preaching anything to you other than my own personal experiences. I mean, let's be real, about 3 months ago I was nearly peeling myself off the floor in Tokyo after 78 glasses of champagne. I am not better than anyone because I chose to take a break from drinking. I may even drink again more regularly. But for right now, this feels damn good. And why would I want to ruin that "buzz?"

I'm sure you're thinking, but what about The Champagne Diet? Isn't champagne your thing? The answer is yes. It is my thing. And it will be, whether or not I choose to drink it. Champagne has always been a metaphor for me. The Champagne Diet has and always will be a lifestyle; a state of mind, and an opportunity to fall in love with your life and celebrate the hell out of it every chance you get. And you can do that with or without booze. I've finally proved that to myself.

If you're thinking about taking a break from drinking, or reevaluating your relationship with it, I'll give you this piece of advice: rather than looking at it as deprivation, or focusing on what you're missing out on, (which we all know never works), try to focus on the positives and how much you'll gain. I now associate alcohol with all the crappy ways it makes me feel. And I associate not drinking with feeling more fabulous than I ever have in my life. That simple mindset shift works wonders.

The reason I'm sharing all of this is because I think -- actually, I know -- so many women are feeling the same way about their relationship with wine and just not talking about it. Alcohol is glorified in our culture. It's sexy to go out and have fancy cocktails. It's chic to come home and pour yourself a glass of champagne. But when that glass of champagne or those fancy cocktails take you to a place you don't feel so sexy or chic about, it's hard to take a good hard look at what's going on and explore it.

I hope that if you've questioned your relationship with wine, this post will help you feel less alone. I hope that if you've needed a little courage to look in the mirror and face some big stuff, you've found it. And I hope that if you needed a reason to make your health and well-being a priority, this will be it.

With love,

Friday, November 20, 2015

20 Things I Learned About Myself During SoulCycle's Turn It Up 20

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If you've been following my blog for a while, you know that I have a serious love affair (okay, obsession) with SoulCycle. I started spinning at my local gym over 5 years ago, and although I enjoyed it, I always felt like something was missing.

Enter Soul.

I made a commitment at the end of 2014 to start really exploring SoulCycle. I loved everything about the brand and I was dedicated to finding a way to fall in love with it the way so many others were. I knew there was something special there and I wanted to find my soul, too. I started trying out different instructors and new studios, until I found my "home."  In fact, I was so focused on making Soul work this year that I actually rode on New Years Day to make it even more official.

A photo of my Instagram page on New Years Day, 2015

I started riding more and more around New York City, and then one fateful afternoon in April I googled "SoulCycle transformations" to get inspired. That's when I came across Noa Shaw's story and within minutes, I had booked a bike in his next available class. 

That ride is a total blur to me now, but I knew one thing: every bit of it was magical. From the music he played (I'm a rocker chick at heart; don't let the Chanel and champagne fool you), to the things he was saying, I was immediately hooked. As a life coach, I am typically the one doing the motivating, so it was a breath of fresh air to have someone motivating me. And it was not just about our abs; everything Noa talks about in class is powerful and authentic, and served up with a side of dark humor that keeps me going even on my hardest days.

I started riding more and more with Noa, and was soon in his classes 4 times a week. I felt amazing, both mentally and physically, but I knew I still had more work to do. After a summer on the road for my Girl Code book tour, I came home and was ready to dive back in. But this time, things were different. I had bad habits I knew I wanted to break. I had gained a little bit of weight from living on airplanes and in hotels, and my endurance was low. I needed something to inspire me, and that's when I learned SoulCycle was doing another round of Turn it Up 20. 

In short, Turn it Up 20 means you ride 20 times in 30 days. That didn't seem too hard for me from a physical standpoint (which is actually kind of mind-blowing to say out loud because I am the farthest thing from a natural athlete), but prior to my book tour I was riding 4 times a week. What was one more day?

I took this photo the Friday before Turn it Up 20 began and made it the screen saver on my phone to keep me motivated.

I signed up for the challenge, and within a few days I quickly realized what the real obstacle would be here: being stronger than my excuses. With only 30 days to complete 20 rides, you can't back out of class because you've had a few too many glasses of wine the night before, or because it's raining and cold outside, or because you have work to catch up on. You've made a promise to yourself, and you most likely want to keep it, so you grit through your own B.S. and go.

I decided to document each ride on my Instagram page using the hash tag #TurnItUp20 for accountability and to support other riders who might need a little inspiration. I posted a photo either before or after every ride, and included a caption, sometimes sharing a few of Noa's words he told us in class, or a new perspective I gained from that particular ride.

Some of my Instagram snaps during #TurnItUp20

Truthfully, I really did not expect this experience to impact me on this level; but it did and I am so grateful. I've made so many positive changes in my life over the past 30 days, and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it.  I completed Turn It Up 20 2 days early, and then got up and rode a double the next day. That should give you an idea how of just how powerfully this experience has affected me. I decided to put together a list of 20 things I learned about myself during Turn it Up 20. And honestly, this list could have 100 more items on it. I am so thankful I've found SoulCycle -- and more importantly Noa -- who has been a constant source of support and motivation, and given a space to push myself, change myself, and most importantly -- find myself.

Ride 20!

So without further ado, here's my list of the 20 things I learned about myself during Turn it Up 20:

1. Riding consistently builds confidence -- in every area of life.
2. Food can make or break your workout. Eat wisely.
3. Don't let your hills become your breaks. I used to lower my resistance when nobody was looking during my hills and take a little time-out. Now I push myself to work the hardest.
4. I'd rather spend money on cute Soul gear than regular clothes.
5. Follow through is sexy. When you say you're going to do something -- like showing up for class -- and you actually do it, you build your self-worth.
6. My body is capable of so. much. shit. Doubles? Piece of cake!
7. Five pound weights are an awesome upgrade; as long as your arm song isn't 8 minutes long! Check with your instructor before class which weight size to choose.
8. Hair washing is really unnecessary when you're riding nearly every day.
9. Wearing red lipstick during my rides makes me feel like a badass.
10. I am totally capable of breaking bad habits.
11. When you feel everything "click" in class (riding on the beat, not feeling tired, being totally in sync with the choreography), it can actually feel like magic.
12. "1-2, 1-2" is all I hear in my head while listening to music now.
13. Speaking of, every song I know and love now has a SoulCycle routine I've mentally created for it.
14. It feels really good to let go.
15. Showing up for class, no matter how many other things are going on, is always the right choice.
16. The things I thought I "needed" (aka a glass - or 3 - of wine each night to unwind, that day off from class, that plate of fries) are often just illusions draped in fear.
17. Change is only effective when you change with love.
18. Sweating every day is better for your skin than any facial you'll ever get.
19. The best project you will ever work on is yourself.
20. You are so, so, so much stronger than you think.

And if you're wondering if I'm planning to continue riding 20 times a month, that's a big fat (well, toned) YES.

If you're in the New York area and want to try SoulCycle, then come ride with us at my private Girl Code book party ride on December 5th at 6 PM in Brooklyn Heights! We're packing out an entire class with the most inspirational and powerful women in New York City and you don't want to miss it! Email me at to learn more. Space is limited so make sure you reach out ASAP.

Monday, November 2, 2015

How to Create a High-End Morning Routine

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The way you start your day can literally change everything. Do you ever wonder why when you wake up in a beautiful hotel room you feel ready to tackle the world? Sleeping on 1500 thread count sheets and being served hot espresso by a white-gloved man can certainly put a smile on my face, but unfortunately that's not my every day (yet). But we can still make small tweaks to our daily morning rituals that make us feel just as luxurious.

If your typical weekday morning feels more like a Category 5 hurricane than a 5-star hotel experience, then its time you start reassessing the way you are waking up in the morning. Just a few key changes can take you from rushed, anxious and stressed out to peaceful, creative, and productive. 

Here are a few things you can do to take your morning from Category 5 hurricane to 5-Star Hotel in under 15 minutes:

Instead of wearing your old ratty sweats, wear a fluffy white robe while getting ready. You can find my favorite here

Instead of watching the news, turn on some jazz. Nobody needs to hear about a murder before they've had a sip of coffee. Am I right?

Take 10 minutes to journal. Write down your top goals for the day. How do you want to feel? What are your priorities? What is making you happy right now? And how can you add more of that to your day?   

Swap your Mr. Coffee for a French Press. Your java will taste a thousand times better and your entire home will smell like a Parisian cafe. Trust.

While savoring your morning coffee, read a few inspirational blogs or some positive quotes to get your day going on the right note. If you're a #GirlBoss, check out Adriana Langford's Profit Girl blog. She's hilarious and knows her shit. If you're into fashion and lifestyle, check out Katy McFarlan's Chronicles of Frivolity. Warning: she will make you want to make a bee-line for Nordstrom immediately. And if your interior space needs some love, check out my girl Ashlina's blog, The Decorista. She has developed a concept called "Glam Feng Shui" and it will blow your Louboutins off. Plus she helped me redesign Champagne Diet Headquarters which has significantly increased my productivity and glam-factor! And don't forget to grab your copy of Girl Code and re-read the chapters you love most!

However you decide to enhance your morning routine, remember that you deserve to start your day feeling gorgeous, glamorous, and inspired. And nothing less.

With love and bubbles,

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I'm Finally Ready to Talk About What Happened in Tokyo

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So as you may or may not know, I recently spent some time in Japan. Before my trip, I was approached by the American Chamber of Commerce in Tokyo to come and speak to their members. This was not the reason for my trip, but one of my fabulous readers, Susanne (who works for the ACCJ), invited me to come to one of their luncheons when she found out I was going to be out there. So of course, being that it was an amazing opportunity, I jumped on it.

I got to choose the topic for my presentation and I picked personal branding through social media, an area that I am super passionate about and super comfortable speaking on. In fact, the title of my event was The Power of You: Why Everyone Can Benefit from Building a Personal Brand Through Social Media. Now, if you've ever seen me speak, you know I am anything but traditional. I never have a speech prepared, I don't use note cards, and I sure as hell don't memorize anything. I am very comfortable talking to almost anyone, and I have found the best way for me to get my point across and connect with my audience is when I speak from my heart. However, because this event was a little bit more corporate, and in a brand new space I was totally unfamiliar with, I convinced myself I needed to put together a Powerpoint; you know, the full shebang.

That was probably mistake #1. It's fine to get out of your comfort zone, but always, always, listen to your gut. And my gut hates Powerpoints.

But regardless, I showed up on a sunny Thursday afternoon at the Place of Tokyo, an absolutely stunning banquet hall with a breathtaking view of the Tokyo Tower, ready to take on the day and crush my presentation. Although I felt confident up to that point, I started to feel nervous a few minutes into being in the space. As the members filed in, I could feel myself getting more and more anxious. Was I cut out for this? Was this the right audience for me? They're in business suits! I don't do business suits! The negative chatter flooded my brain and as much as I tried to stop it, I couldn't help but feel progressively freaked out as the lunch entrees began coming out from the back. I knew that as soon as those coffees were on the table, I was up.

After a wonderful introduction from Susanne, it was my turn to take the stage. I immediately began connecting with the crowd, speaking off the cuff and chatting about how much this trip meant to me and how excited I was to be there, one year after quitting my full-time job at MTV. Everyone seemed pleased and I felt a little calmer.

Until I had to start operating my laptop.

The moment I started clicking through my slides, I lost it. My voice began shaking, I started to sweat, and a wave of panic rushed over my entire body. I stared blankly at my Powerpoint, not knowing what the hell to say next. I quickly looked at my slides on the projector, then back at my laptop. I totally blanked.

By this point, my voice continued to quiver. I repeated myself a few times, and then the next thing I knew, the entire room started to spin. My vision got blurry and one of the very kind members appeared beside me with a glass of water. I think that was the "point of no return" moment where I knew in my heart that I had royally fucked up.

It was my worst nightmare coming true.

I fucked up my first-ever international speaking gig. In Tokyo.

I've talked about my anxiety a few times in the past, most notably in my books, but in my mind, it was something I had conquered. I hadn't endured a full-blown panic attack in nearly 10 years. My mind has become so strong that even when I feel myself getting nervous, I can usually take a few deep breaths and get centered. Not this time.

I somehow salvaged the presentation by first making a joke about my nervousness to lighten the room, and thank God I got a few laughs, and then by continuing on, shaky voice and all. I pulled myself together and got through it. In fact, when I watch the video on my phone, it's not nearly as bad as it felt to me, but it still was not my most stellar performance. And it took me nearly 2 weeks to even be able to address it with you ladies and share this story.

Oddly enough, after my talk, the members were lining up to me telling me how much they loved the presentation and that I was the most authentic speaker they've ever had. The kindness helped, but I was still rocked to the core.

Who knows what brought on the anxiety. Jet lag? Maybe. Being too far out of my comfort zone? Perhaps. I'll never really know. But I knew I had to talk about it.

The reason I'm sharing this is because a) I am always real, and I will never sugarcoat anything to make myself look good, and b) Because no matter what happens to us in life, we must keep going.

3 days after I landed back in New York City, I had my Girl Code book signing. There I was again, in front of a room full of people, about to speak. I could let Tokyo get in my head and destroy me, or I could stand up there, take a sip of my champagne, and move on.

I think you know what I chose to do.

Ironically, I took the day after my book signing off and stayed home to relax, and THIS episode of Sex & The City was on. It was truly perfect timing, and I bawled as I watched it.

As Carrie says, when real people fall down in life, they get right back up and keep walking.

I hope that my story inspires you to keep walking.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Champagne Diet Takes Chicago! Event Recap

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Back in January, I booked a segment on Good Day Chicago on how to overcome your fears to turn your New Year's resolutions into reality. I was in town for less than 48 hours, we flew through a snow storm to get there (and yes, it was just as terrifying as it sounds), and it was -7 degrees the entire time. Yet despite the circumstances, I fell in love with Chicago.

I came back in March to do the show again and this time I loved it even more. I met so many wonderful people during both trips, that I even came back for my birthday in April! (when I love something, I love it hard). After realizing so many of my Champagne Girls lived in the Windy City, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to celebrate my Girl Code book launch with some fun events for all my ladies of Chitown. So last week, I strapped on my stilettos and blew through town yet again for a whirlwind trip meeting so many fans, readers, and fellow female entrepreneurs, and it was truly a blast.

First up on the agenda was a coffee date with Nicole of Cedar and Rush. We met up at Allis in the West Loop area and chatted all things Girl Code over some yummy cappuccinos. Nicole is a truly doll and I suggest checking out her blog and/or connecting with her if you're local. We had a lovely morning that I capped off with some shopping and relaxing before my big weekend.

Then it was time to sparkle.

....when your book matches your outfit #SorryNotSorry
Purchase my shoes here

On Friday night, we officially kicked off the party with a champagne happy hour at Nellcote, which despite a torrential rain storm, turned out absolutely perfect. Our original plans were to have our event in the patio of RM Champagne, but due to the weather it was impossible. Plus, we would have ruined the gorgeous blowouts Glowout salon treated us to beforehand! Can we talk about those for a second?

When Jenn Dieas (@Glowprah) found out I was going to be in town, she invited me in to her salon for a complimentary blowout in true Girl Code style. I invited my dear client and friend Brittnae of Bling Girl Fitness who flew into town just for these events (!!) and we had a fabulous time. From the moment we walked in, I immediately fell in love with the vibe of Glowout and Jenn and the stylists made everything that much better. Champagne, blowouts, and Buddhas? Yes, please!

These candles smelled divine

I already told Jenn I'm moving in. I've got dibs on that couch, so don't even try it.

After we raised our glam vibration, we darted across the street to Nellcote, just missing the rain. The lounge area was not reserved by anyone else, so we ordered a couple of bottles of bubbles, decorated the tables with books, and waited for the ladies! Don't you just love when things just flow like that? Thanks, Universe!

I was so blown away by how many women showed up to mix, mingle, and celebrate Girl Code. There's nothing more exciting to me than the sound of champagne bottles popping and women connecting. Okay, maybe the sound of my waiter bringing me a cheese board. But that's about it.

Leopard print was on the menu. And we were ordering it. 
Purchase my top here.
After Friday night wrapped up, it was time for our dream board party at Madame Zuzu's teahouse in Highland Park. Billy so graciously offered his space for me to throw an event while I was in town, and it was the perfect backdrop for a night of inspiration, art, and creativity. 

Upon arrival, we had some of the best coffee I've ever tasted (seriously), and thumbed through a stack of goddess guidance cards. I mean really, could these not be more up my alley? #SpiritualGlamour

The teahouse (which is so charming, by the way, you really need to check it out) filled up fast and some more of my clients and readers showed up, some who also traveled from Michigan just like Brittnae. You ladies rock! I also got to meet some brand new women who were absolutely wonderful and ready to dive right in to our dream boarding...

All in all we had a fabulous evening and everyone left feeling relaxed and inspired. 

Then it was time for my Sunday afternoon book signing at Standout Style boutique. Are you exhausted yet? Because I feel like I need a cup of coffee just writing this. Whirlwind weekend for sure. Tamika Price, who owns Standout Style, reached out to me on Instagram a few weeks before my trip to see if I'd ever be interested in collaborating on an event with her. As synergy would have it, I was already booked for Chicago so we picked a date and started planning!

From start to finish, the event was absolutely amazing. Bubbly was provided by Le Grand Courtage, and you can actually check out an interview with the owner, Tawnya, in Girl Code (page 109!), so that was a lovely touch. Custom Champagne Diet themed cookies were made by Deelishables, and they were truly "deelish." Kim took the time out to create mini, edible version of my quotes and the book cover. Could you die?

I got to connect with so many of my readers, sign books, take photos, and we even had a little Q&A session where I got to answer questions from the women who came out. If you missed my Periscope, you can catch the replay here on my YouTube channel. Huge shout out to Tamika who opened her shop on a Sunday afternoon to host this event. I am so grateful!

Bubbly so graciously provided by Le Grand Courtage helped us kick off the afternoon in sparkling style!

not sure who this photo belongs to, but please let me know if its yours so I can credit you!

photo via @nikeyayoung

This time in Chicago just reinforced the fact that when women (and men, thanks Billy!) come together to support one another, amazing things happen. When we ask how we can help someone else, when we let go of the need to compete, and when we genuinely show up for each other, it leads to magic.

Thank you so much to everyone who showed up for me. I appreciate you all more than you know.

With love and bubbles,

To purchase Girl Code, click here.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Ideas for a Soulful, Sexy, Champagne Sunday

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So, full disclosure: Sundays used to be a day I would dread. I knew my weekend was coming to a close, and I would get major anxiety knowing that Monday was around the corner and I had to go back to a life and a job that I was anything but passionate about.

But as years went on, and I started taking positive action steps toward living my Champagne Life, I began viewing Sundays in a whole new light. They were my day to recharge my soul, renew my spirit, and craft my "plan of attack" for the week to start making things happen. I knew that I could spend Sundays filling my flute, so to speak, so that when Monday rolled around I was ready to create opportunities for myself and continue moving toward my dreams.

If you're feeling blue today, or getting that tinge of anxiety knowing that Monday is almost here, I want to share a few ideas with you on how to make your Sunday fabulous. Remember, everything is a choice. Every feeling, every decision, every thought. What are you choosing today?

Here's my Soulful, Sexy, Champagne Sunday plan:

-- Take a bubble bath with lavender essential oil. If you don't have lavender oil, you can find some in Whole Foods or most health food stores.

-- Get sweaty: in the gym, in a SoulCycle class, in bed, in whatever way works for you ;)

-- Read an empowering, feel-good book. Here are some options!

-- Treat yourself to a solo brunch date in an outfit that makes you feel gorgeous.

-- Set your intentions by writing down your top 3 goals for the week. Pick the most important goal, and list 1 thing you can do tomorrow to get closer to making it a reality. Theme of the week: be bold.

-- Download one of the official Champagne Diet home study programs and get to work (hint: they are best paired with a beautiful bottle of bubbles).
-- Meditate.

-- Dream up one huge, big, scary, insane dream and write it down on paper. If it scares the shit out of you, you're on the right track.

And remember, whatever you do, do it with all of your heart.

Wishing you a deliciously dazzling day... 

With love and bubbles,