2014: Best of F&F

As I mentioned in my New Year’s post, I prefer that a few weeks in January go by before I begin reflecting on the year before. Now that we’re mid month and I’m feeling a little more into the swing of things, I want to do some blog reflections and share the best of F&F in 2014 with all of you. I did something similar last year with my 2013 posts, and it was a lot of fun!

Ready for a content dump?

Best of F&F in 2014

2014 was a breakout year for Fitness & Feta. The blog celebrated its third birthday and got its own logo and header. I hosted my first blog event/workout class. I had a Reader Focus Week and hosted a Heart My Health social media campaign in February. In December, I hosted my most life changing and inspiring challenge yet. Also, the F&F newsletter was born! If you aren’t subscribed, please sign up! I’m sending out a fun update this weekend.

Athleta Legacy Place: Birthday Bootcamp

2014 was also the first year that I finally started monetizing this blog, which I attribute to being selected as a FitFluential ambassador and a PopSugar Select fitness blogger. I was able to attend a lot of really awesome events thanks to my relationship with New Balance Boston, and I received several other products to review and give away as well. 2014 was also the first year that I actually started turning opportunities away! This was partly because I couldn’t keep up, but also because I didn’t believe in the message of the some of the companies trying to work with me. Below are the blog projects I was able to participate in over the past year, so THANK YOU to for reading this blog and supporting not only me, but the companies I choose to work with for a little extra income. I appreciate each and every one of your clicks. 😉

2014 F&F Blog Opportunities

New Balance Fresh Foam 980s

Perfect Vermont: Warm Welcome

Fitbit Charge Review

2014 F&F Blog Series
On F&F, I launched a few different series, some of which stuck, and some of which didn’t. You guys look forward to my F&F Friday Favorites every week, and I really believe in sharing other bloggers’ content, so that continues to be popular!

Friday FavoritesFor awhile, I continued to write about my weekly workouts, but I grew bored of that and changed it up to giving you guys updates every month or so instead. There was also Journey to Fit, a series that features an F&F reader with an inspirational weight loss or weight gain story to share. I want to thank Mary, Liz, Laura, Jen and Kelly, and Jackie for sharing their stories. Keep your eyes out for more stories like this in 2015, and please let me know if you or someone you know would be a good fit for this!

Finally, at the beginning of the year, I launched Sunday Sweat Talk. I really, really enjoyed posting on a different fitness topic each week, and I think it helped me branch out a bit with my writing. Once our crazy wedding schedule picked up in the spring, having this little “fitness chat” with you guys was just too much to keep up with. I miss it, but here’s a list of the Sunday Sweat Talk topics I wrote about last year!

Sunday Sweat Talk

2014 F&F Workouts
Of course it wouldn’t be a successful fitness blog without continuing to share workouts with you guys. Here’s a rundown of the sweaty favorites I posted last year. Have you tried any of these?

4x4 Medicine Ball Ab Circuit

Park Bench Circuit Workout

2014 F&F Recipes
Last year I shared tons of food pictures in my weekly eats/catching up on eats posts, but here are the recipes that debuted on the blog this year. Have you made any of them?

Pistachio Muffins

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Ricotta Pizza

Cranberry Avocado Salsa

2014 F&F Personal Favorites
I also thought it would be fun to share some of my personal favorite posts that I wrote over the course of the past year. They aren’t necessarily specific workouts or recipes, but these are fun and different posts I want to remember and remind you guys about. Also, if you are new to F&F, you may have missed some of them!

Blogging Lessons Learned

2014 F&F Life Recaps
Finally, one of the best parts about having a blog is being able to go back and see fun recaps of my life! It was too hard to write about every single thing we had this year in individual posts (I still have some major 2014 things I never got around to recapping), so I introduced Life Lately as a way to capture monthly recaps. Aside from my monthly Life Lately posts, here are some other fun recaps from throughout the year:

Engagement BBQ: Me and Tim


And that’s that! I’m excited to see what 2015 has in store for this little space of mine. Thanks for continuing along for the ride! You guys are the best.

Readers, let’s chat! What on F&F from 2014 stands out to you as most memorable? What do you want to see more or less of in 2015? Bloggers, what were your blog accomplishments last year? Anything you are setting out to do or grow in 2015?

Happy New Year! Make Commitments, Not Resolutions

Happy New Year!

Whether you rang in 2015 with a crazy night out, a nice dinner, or a low-key night at home in your sweats, I hope you had a great time and were able to live in the moment.

A lot of people use the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day to reflect on the year past and review their goals for 2015. Along the same lines, a lot of bloggers use this time to post their “best of recipes/workouts/etc.” posts and give a rundown of both blog and life highlights.

I typically like to let the holiday hustle die down a bit before I do any reflecting or commitment making of my own. I don’t think there’s any magic rule that says all of that needs to be done by January 1st.

One thing I do want to do today is point out how I used the phrase “commitment making.” I didn’t say anything about New Year’s resolutions.

When I hear the word resolution, it makes me think of the result of something that was once broken or a situation that needed fixing. Every year, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, and this has a very rear-view mirror way of looking at things, don’t you think? By making New Year’s resolutions, we essentially acknowledge all the baggage and crap we’ve carried around. We dwell on the things we’ve done incorrectly in some way, and then through our New Year’s resolutions, we resolve to fix them.

When we resolve to fix something, it implies that something was broken in the first place.

That seems like a pretty negative way of looking at things, if you ask me. Not exactly the way I would want to start fresh and anew.

My advice to you this year? Forget all the crap!

If we kick off 2015 focused on what we CAN’T eat anymore or what behaviors we WON’T do anymore, then we will immediately start our year with a deprivation mindset. It will make us feel like these items are off-limits, and that’s typically when we’ll feel MORE compelled to eat the junk or indulge in the “bad” behaviors.

So let’s make a little shift this year. Let’s make POSITIVE commitments for ourselves instead by looking ahead. Let’s ask ourselves:

  • What WILL I do this year?
  • What foods will I eat MORE of?
  • What behaviors will I START doing?

new years resolutions


To commit to something means to make a pledge or promise. Today, or when it feels right for you, set yourself up for success and make a commitment that is meaningful to YOU.

Pledge to take positive action.

Promise yourself you will add choices and behaviors that add purpose, health, and happiness to your life.

Isn’t this a much more positive way to start the year than looking back on the could have, should have, and would have?

Readers, let’s chat! I’m wondering, what do you think of this concept? Have you made any personal commitments yet for 2015?

Wishing everyone a fresh start and a wonderful first weekend of the new year. ❤

2012 Reflections Part 1: Goals & Accomplishments

I feel like every other blogger on the planet had his or her “2012 recap” posts up the second the clocks struck midnight on New Year’s.  I am typically all about these types of things, but this year I just wasn’t feeling it at the start of January.  I was trying to relax after a very busy December, and I wanted to wait a bit before reflecting on 2012.  I was feeling a little pressured into doing the looking back thing and making new goals thing and mapping out every single thing I want to do in 2013 thing.  Doing that just because “everyone else was” certainly wouldn’t be doing it for the right reasons!  That being said, now that I’m back into my groove, I am ready to reflect on 2012 – it was quite the big year for me in terms of my achievements.

2012 Major Accomplishments

I accomplished a lot last year, but these are what stand out as the biggies:

Passing my ASCM exam and becoming an ASCM Certified Personal Trainer…

ACSM Personal Trainer Certificate

Figuring out what I want to do with my life…

do what you love

Quitting my marketing job and starting my new full-time position

career and passion

Becoming the Group Exercise Coordinator at the Y…

Oak Scare 5k

And last but not least, moving in with Tim!

Steph & Brett's Wedding:  Me & Tim

2012 Goals In Review

In 2012, I set SO many goals for myself.  I wrote a huge post on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals instead of New Year’s Resolutions, and apparently I tried to apply the S.M.A.R.T. goal philosophy to every aspect of my life!

In terms of my personal goals (besides the career stuff)…

I wanted to get in a better place financially.

  • I said I would save money at the grocery store by evaluating what I have in my apartment ahead of time, comparing prices between grocery stores, planning meals ahead of time, cutting coupons, and making grocery shopping a weekly event.  With the exception of comparing prices regularly between grocery stores, I do all these things now.
  • I said I would open an IRA account, and I didn’t.  Wah wuhhh.
  • I said I would consider buying stock in my company, which I did.
  • And I said I would realize it’s okay to say no to social events and pick and choose which things meant the most to me.  I am definitely better at this now.

grocery shopping

I wanted to de-clutter.
I said that I would pick on “space” or “area” to clean at least every other week.  I would say that I definitely didn’t do this every other week, but more like once a month.  Also, I somehow managed to turn into a crazy OCD person when it comes to having a clean space.  I pretty much have to clean/organize SOMETHING the second I get home.  And I just went through a massive “out with the old” de-cluttering spree over New Year’s weekend.  Maybe that’s what I was doing instead of recapping 2012.

Organized Closet

I wanted to improve on my mental health.
Not sure if there is a real cut and dry on this one, but I think I did.  While I didn’t go to church more or use all those spa gift certificates that have piled up over the years, I took some necessary steps to distance myself from people who bring stress to my life and continue to work on not feeling so anxious all the time.



In terms of my health & wellness goals…

I wanted to drink more water.  I still have my one cup of coffee in the morning, but bringing my large water bottle to work definitely helped me drink more water this year.  I also have pretty much completely cut out soda.  I used to drink diet coke at least a couple of afternoons a week, but no more!

I wanted to consume less cheese.  Was that a sick joke?  Why would I ever tell myself I wanted to do that?

I wanted to take (and pass) the ACSM Personal Trainer Certification Exam by Spring 2012.   The second part of that goal was to train my first real personal training client.  Done and done!!

Personal Training Outfit

I wanted to successfully complete the Wellcoaches Coach Training Program.  I completed the class, but have yet to go through my exam process.  My time is running out, so that will be what’s up for the next couple of months!

I wanted to take ballet classes.  Fail.

I wanted to try at least one new type of group exercise class or group fitness program.  Dynamax!


And in terms of blogging goals…

I wanted to increase my blog readership.  I wanted to double all my stats, which I pretty much did!

  • My goal was to reach 47,000 total F&F page views, and I’m at 189,474 hits.  Boo ya.
  • I wanted to get up to 950 total followers, and I’m at 1,009.
  • I wanted to reach 186 email / WordPress followers, and I’m at 263.
    Note, you can see do this by subscribing to get my posts to your inbox.  Just click the “Sign Me Up” button on the right hand side of my page!
  • The goal was to hit 542 Facebook followers, which I came close to!  I’m at 511.
    Note you can do this by clicking here for my Facebook page, and clicking the Like button!
  • And finally, I wanted 170 Twitter followers and I did hit 239.
    You can do this too by clicking here for my Twitter account, and clicking the Follow button!

Monetizing the blog and self-hosting didn’t happen, but taking a space upgrade did.  I think that’s okay, considering the career changes that distracted me from achieving these.

While I didn’t do everything I set for myself (I am human after all), I think I accomplished a lot and am proud of myself.  I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store!  Stay tuned for my 2012 goals and reflections part 2 – all the fun trips, adventures, and events to remember!

What was your biggest accomplishment in 2012?  Did you reach the goals you set for yourself?

It’s Friday!  I am trying to get myself to the gym (don’t forget today’s Ab Challenge!!) and then Tim and I are having a date night tonight.  Have a great weekend everyone… it’s a three day one for me!