Super excited/flattered that I was asked to speak at Create & Cultivate: Chicago, which is a conference for women entrepreneurs in the digital space, to connect.
I’ll let the Create & Cultivate team explain it further:
“This is a 365 day conversation around entrepreneurship and being a woman in the modern digital world. We gather the next generation of curious creatives, entrepreneurs and girl bosses to spark conversation around the topics they are passionate about from influencer marketing and brand building to raising money.
At Create & Cultivate you are destined to meet other talented, like-minded creatives, all while learning tips and tricks from some of the best in the business. Attendees get access to a highly curated, impactful one-day program of workshops, mentor sessions, and panels, as well as delicious cocktails, food, pop-up shops, photo booths, gift bags, and more.
Our attendees come to feel inspired, enhance their business, drink killer cocktails and cultivate new friendships in an amazing and beautiful environment! Create & Cultivate has taken place in Brooklyn, Montauk, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Portland, and continues three times a year, nationwide.
SO. If you’re a brand new blogger or a brand, you have to check out Create & Cultivate. Especially if you’re in the Chicago area.
Dates: Friday, August 14th to Sunday, August 16th.
In all honestly ( & this is NO BULLSHIT ), when I was starting out 4 years ago, I would have figured out a way to go to this conference. It’s all blogging/branding questions answered in one space so it makes it so much easier for someone who’s new-ish to navigate the web space. This isn’t one of those conferences that you go to & realize three days later that you learned NOTHING. This is a conference with resources, amazing influencers, & answers to questions that are weird to ask ( AKA how do bloggers/vloggers make money ). Essentially with this conference, you’re investing in yourself. I’m very excited to be part of it.
I’ll be speaking on branding, content, blogging, & commerce. So COME!
Some other influencers at the conference this year? Rachel Parcell ( Pink Peonies ), Amber Fillerup Clark ( Barefoot Blonde ), Gaby Dalkin ( What’s Gabi Cooking ), Whitney Port ( The Hills ), the founders of The Everyday Girl, Jenny Bernheim ( Margo & Me ), Erica Domesek ( P.S. I Made This… ), Emily Jackson ( The Ivory Lane ), Courtney Wartman ( Head of partnerships at ShopStyle ), Claire Thomas ( Kitchy Kitchen ), Joshua Zad ( owner of Alfred’s Coffee ), My Nguyen ( My Healthy Dish ), & MANY MORE!
WHAT DOES MY TICKET GET ME?
Everything you get is outlined in our ticket center, but let’s put it this way– the opportunity of a lifetime! You get to mix and mingle with the best in the business all while sipping cocktails, shopping and rubbing shoulders with other creatives!
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
We suggest comfortable shoes as you are going to be out for the day (or pack a pair of heels in your bag). Beyond that, dress as you would to attend a stylish conference! There will be plenty of photo ops!
If you’re in the Chicago area, I would love restaurant/sight/must-go recommendations. Leave them below!! Oh, & I’ll probably still be Nutty Professor-swollen, but what can I do, ya know? I’m icing my face religiously, pounding turmeric, & drinking green juice so let’s hope I look slightly more presentable in a month. Fingers crossed.
First of all, I LOVE HALLOWEEN. Who doesn’t though? Right?
You get to dress up & let your freak flag fly ( hey, alter egos! ). And well, candy is just so damn pretty to decorate with…that let’s just say I get carried away on this spooky holiday.
Believe me when I say I’m the bitch roaming the Home Good aisles, dying to get creative in any way. I’m very pro Home Goods. Pro pixy straws, cooper plates, lucite candle holders, & cute doorstep rugs, if you haven’t noticed?
Anyway when I found out we’d be in Florida for Halloween I was a teensy bit PISSED OFF because BOO!! I wanted to get real in to the festivities at home. Since I knew I’d be missing out, I invited my friend, Jacqueline over & we had a little Halloween soirée with copious amounts of chilled champagne, Euro cheese, & sour Skittles.
Here’s a peak inside our night:
Ok, let’s talk must-haves. Please note that the black faux fur is included because it’s the perfect non-costume for Halloween. It kind of reminds me of that movie “The Birds” for some odd reason which was totally eerie & creepy. I mean, can you imagine 35982734 birds flying around you? OUCH.
And another thing: how fun is it to use creepy-ass plastic spiders as wine charms?? Just make sure you buy different colors so you can tell each person’s glass apart. Throwing plastic eyeballs in to cocktails is funny too. Sometimes I make Michael dinner when it’s not Halloween & add plastic eyeballs to his pesto spaghetti squash…MUHAHAHA. I can’t help it, guys— it’s too easy.
Rock candy is the BEST champagne garnish because it’s super long & kind of looks like a stirrer. Make sure to use black cups, plates, details for a spooky effect & you’re good to go!
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go search for a plastic, kiddo Halloween mask in Miami. Wish me luck— Lauryn
…& of course I had to share a throwback from last Halloween too:
Remember Sara and Eileen? Whelp, they’re both hot, sweet, & rad. A while back, I interview Sara here & for more info on Eileen, click here. Sara is the brunette babe who’s rocking a hot COW necklace below & Eileen is the gorgeous blonde below who’s the face behind Child of Wild. They’re both inspiring because they kick ass at being women entrepreneurs. Nothing better than teaming up with these hotties:
What I love about Child of Wild is that it pays attention to cultures— each piece of Eileen’s jewelry has a story & there’s depth behind it. So when you’re wearing her jewelry, it’s special. Eileen pays attention to detail like no other business owner. Her Instagram is perfect example of how she brands her beautiful pieces in the most creative way possible. She’s one of the most passionate people I know.
Ok, so let’s talk about the contest. Here are the super easy requirements:
So. Here’s how you enter to win the arm band // belt:
I’m stoked!!! Literally so, so excited to introduce you to my all-time favorite fitness guru: Kayla Itsines.
Yes. This is real life. She is real.
& she is DIE x a million.
I am so in love with her because we have a very, very similar fitness mentality ( quick & effective workouts= win ) & similar eating habits ( she mixes proteins & healthy fats ) & she just has the most rocking bod. Ever.
& boy, oh boy do I have news for you babes: Kayla is going to be a Skinny Confidential regular contributor. This will DEF not be the last you see of her. We’ll be working together once a month!
So get reallllll excited because she’s the total package & has the best advice.
First, check out Kayla’s client transformations ( all done with her eBook ):
Ok, now meet the gorgeous, fit Kayla:
|| Introduce yourself ||:
Hi, my name is Kayla and I am a twenty three year old personal trainer from Australia. I specialize in training women & helping them achieve their goals whether they are appearance, health or confidence based.
I love summer, the beach and travelling with my partner, Tobi, and hope to continue to grow as a person and be able to bring more information to women around the world.
|| Tell us all about your fitness/clean eating program ||:
I have been a trainer for nearly six years and have spent the majority of this time doing one-on-one sessions. I recently took my work to the online world and it has flourished greater than I could have ever imagined. So many people enjoyed the training style in my videos and kept requesting that I release a book of workouts. January 2014 I released a training program & nutritional guidelines that are for women only. Girls of all ages, all over the world have been enjoying my programs ever since & there will definitely be more coming soon. Shh…: )
|| Why is your program geared more towards women? ||:
First and foremost, I am a woman; I understand the problems we all have. Early with my experience in the health and fitness industry I quickly realized that no one properly addressed typical female problems or truly cared the way I care. So many girls were scared of getting bulky from certain training styles or not looking the way they want and most personal trainers cared more about the paycheck then their client. As a result of this unfilled demand and my passion for the industry I wanted to bring something unique to all of the women who had “tried everything.”
I wanted to help them get the change they had been seeking for so long and show them that someone really does care. You can find my programs here.
|| Why is your program different than other fitness programs? ||
My training concept is about getting the most out of a limited amount of time. In today’s society most people are time poor so I wanted to help them burn as much fat as fast as possible in as little time as possible without sacrificing quality of training. By applying science-based concepts to my particular style of training I was able to get the outcomes that girls wanted. These included flat stomachs, toned thighs, & strong, slim arms. With the customer’s goal in focus, the knowledge that I had learnt over the years and a passion to create something unique, I came up with my eBook concept, The Bikini Body Guide.
The three weekly resistance workouts go for twenty eight minutes, require minimal equipment and can be used by almost all fitness levels. Outside of these resistance sessions there is a comprehensive week-by-week cardio guide that breaks down different types of cardio, how they all work together and why they work. I thought that the science behind my guide was almost more important than the program so I made sure I incorporated it inside the books with a quite extensive education section.
I believe in helping my clients grow through exercise but also respect that education is an important factor when committing to any new lifestyle. If you do not understand something, you will not place trust in it. If you do not trust it, you will not dedicate to it.
|| What inspires you? ||
My mission is what inspires me. I have a dream to end confusion within the health and fitness industry. Fads and scams in this industry have created so much distrust and insecurity around weight-loss programs.
I want all people to understand their body, have a place to learn about health and fitness and in turn feel confident & happy.
|| What’s a day of eating like? From when you wake up to when you go to bed? ||
Like everyone else I have my own few dishes that I love to have on repeat. These are the ones I have most regularly at each time of the day, spread out with at least a few hours in between. Because I work a ‘split-shift’ type day my meals are very consistent.
♥ Breakfast: toast with poached eggs, avocado, & tomato plus a cup of herbal tea. I love berry tea in the mornings.
♥ After morning shift: one piece of fruit.
♥ Lunch: chicken yiros ( a wrap ) with homemade tzatziki, lettuce, tomato, & onion.
♥ Evening: I always have a peppermint or chamomile tea in the evening.
|| Best tip for weight loss? ||
A lot of the time people try and go too hard, too fast. The biggest causes are too much training, restricting calories too far or even not resting enough. This typically results in an overload of stress that can heavily prevent weight loss. If your body is comfortable and not stressed it will act the way you want.
Basically if you over work your body and treat it poorly it won’t do what you want.
|| How much water do you drink? ||
This usually varies a little bit depending on whether I am exercising on that day. On average I consume around two liters per day. When I have a big resistance training session I will always have a little extra to make sure I am not dehydrated before, during or after the workout.
|| Cocktail of choice? Can you drink alcohol on your program? If no, why don’t you recommend it? ||
I personally haven’t consumed any alcohol in nearly 3 years, not even one sip. Whether or not people consume alcohol is entirely their choice. However, because I am not only about appearance but also health and lifestyle, I steer clear of this with my clients. There are so many reasons I will never promote its consumption even recreationally. The most prominent are toxicity, liver stress and metabolic stalling. Toxicity and liver stress are quite obvious and well known. However, metabolic stalling as I like to call it is the process where the body uses alcohol for energy and hinders the metabolism of all other macronutrients. During this time all carbohydrates, protein and fat you ingest are essentially “stored”.
So if you have been drinking, partying and snacking on finger food and McDonald’s, quite a large portion of those fats and carbohydrates will be hanging around a lot longer then your hangover.
|| Biggest misconception about weight loss? ||
More exercise = more results.
Most people are under the illusion that you have to train twice a day, seven days a week and weigh all your food to the gram to get results. This could not be further from the truth. I have heard of many people increasing their training amount just because they weren’t getting any results.
Over training and stressing your body will actually make it harder for you to lose weight. Both exercising for a long time in one session or exercising multiple times per day, every day, will raise your cortisol ( stress hormone ) levels and inhibit your bodies normal functions/reaction to training including hormone production, weight loss, & energy production. It is not as simple as calories in vs. energy out.
|| What’s your favorite snack? ||
There is a Greek restaurant that I love to go to and they serve the most amazing grilled octopus, beetroot and skordalia dish. Its sort of like lemony octopus with sliced beetroot resting on a bed of garlic/potato dip. I know it sounds a little strange but it is amazing during summer and is really healthy.
|| Favorite smoothie ||
I have recently really been getting into juice blends over smoothies to be honest. My favorite at the moment would definitely be watermelon, lime, mint, & pineapple.
♥ 2/3 watermelon
♥ 1/3 pineapple
♥ 1 big squeeze of lime
♥ A few leaves of mint
|| Favorite beauty tip? ||
Umm…this is a hard one to answer. I guess, having good skin is really important to me. As I grew up my skin wasn’t the best so now trying to maintain good skin is really important. So don’t over do it with products & let your skin breathe. Get some sun, keep your skin clean, & moisturize, just use the essentials.
If you over apply or over exfoliate when you have blemishes you are only leaving yourself susceptible to more of them. Your skin is sensitive and easily affected; so take good care of it. Find a few good products that match your skin type, everyone is different. Use them sparingly and stick to them. I find every time I have changed to something different my skin usually doesn’t like it.
|| Quick, easy recipe ||
I love baked eggs from my favorite café. I definitely stole their recipe and use it now haha!
Fresh Napolitana sauce with herbs
A tiny serve of cheese
Two pieces of fresh bread
Directions: pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Half fill the clay dish with the Napolitana sauce & place into a preheated oven at 160-180 degrees celcius ( 320-356 ). After five minutes add the egg(s) plus a few tiny pieces of cheese into the sauce and leave to bake for five to eight minutes. Be sure to check regularly so that the egg(s) is cooked the way you like it. Just before you remove the dish from the oven make sure your bread is toasted nice and crisp.
Fall in love!
I always tear the bread up into pieces and dip it in the sauce after already breaking up the egg. It’s amazing!