Last night, I attended a Boston Bloggers Meetup hosted by the lovely Alison and Kate through Eventbrite. (Big thanks to Sara from Boston Eventbrite for taking part!) The event was held at Scampo, a tasty upscale Italian-inspired restaurant inside the Liberty Hotel.
While the wine was lovely (I changed it up with a refreshing Pinot Grigio as opposed to my usual red), the food was delectable (um, can you say sausage-stuffed bacon wrapped dates and mini Endive salads?) the best part of the night hands down was mingling with other positive, fun, like-minded bloggers!
What I love most about these kinds of events is you get the chance to meet people in all different walks of life, with many different passions! Being a healthy living blogger, I find it fascinating to meet fashion, travel, lifestyle, arts & crafts, and even beer bloggers. It completely blows my mind how many talented, created people there are out there with one big thing in common: writing it out & sharing stories.
Here’s a little snippet from some of the fascinating people I mingled with last night…
Abigail, The Fabulous Life of a Natural Disaster: Spunky, adorable and sweet as can be, Abigail shares simple, affordable fashion tips for the average women.
Clair, Finding Clairity: Clair is a longtime favorite of mine, who I actually met at a past Boston Bloggers event, so it was so nice to see her smiling face! I love Clair’s beautiful photos, creative writing and artistic talents (the girl can sew, cook, you name it!) that shine through each of her posts. Plus, she’s newly engaged and her ring is oh-so-pretty (congrats!)
Agnes, Spoons and Stilettos: Yummy food & stunning fashion all in one spot! Can you say delish?
Jen, Boston Bachelorette: This girl is The Boston Guru and literally knows everything you need to know about everything in the city! She even gave me some sweet restaurant recommendations!
Celia, It’s a Penguin Life: A lover of style, photos, DIY crafts, and simply soaking up life’s pleasures, Celia does it all! Plus, her beautiful wedding photos were featured in The Knot. How gorgeous?
Jodi, Jodi Beans Blog: Jodi is a super-smiley social worker who loves scrapbooking, photography and navigating the city!
Marie, Twin Living: This fun, upbeat lifestyle blog is hosted by two fabulous twins!
Sarah, Hemenway Street: You will get lost in her photography. It’s simply that addicting! I love Sarah’s attention to detail and ability to really capture the moment.
Eileen, CrookedFlight: Incredible writer and travel expert. The girl’s been everywhere and shares some fascinating stories!
Becky, Pop And Circumstance: Becky has a knack for simple, vintage, beautiful things! What’s not to love?
Erin, Hungry in the Hub: Erin just started her blog, so I want to give her a warm welcome to the blogging world! She’s already off to a fabulous start, writing about her food & lifestyle adventures in Boston.
I think it’s safe to say I’ve got some reading to do! Thanks again to Boston Bloggers and Eventbrite for hosting yet another fabulous event.
Last night, I was invited to attend “New Year, NEW YOU!” a fitness-inspired fashion event at Athleta on Newbury Street. Since I love fitness and fashion (well, when it comes to my workout gear) I was IN.
The event was hosted by Eventbrite and Athleta, two fabulous community-oriented companies in my book, so unsurprisingly was a huge hit. The evening entailed a sneak peek at Athleta’s new spring line, with local fitness teachers walking around to mingle and show off their beautiful clothes.
When I walked in there was a great crowd of ladies, all looking to have a good time and get their Fitness & Fashion on! After I signed in and chatted with some of the management team, I head over to the apps & drinks table to grab some quick, healthy bites. I filled my plate with a variety of cheese, some toasted pita, hummus and stuffed grape leaves and also snagged a Peach HINT Fizz for a light and tasty treat.
I was so excited to see Melina’s juice (from e.t.c Juicery) being served too! “How cool, I know her!” It’s safe to say her new juice is going to be a hit, as I went up for two cups myself while I was there.
Speaking of familiar names and faces, one of the first fitness models I saw was Kristy, someone I used to work with a while back at one of my first jobs in Boston, and who I ran into again at Ombe (where she now works) a few months ago.
[Kristy (left) posing with two other Athleta Fitness Fashionistas]
I also chatted with some other fabulous ladies along the way, all looking chic in their Athleta-wear.
[The whole group of stylish ladies smiling big!]
[Me & the ever-so-graceful Pilates teacher Swan Lyon]
It was so nice seeing all of these strong, fit, happy ladies. They’re ALL Healthy Chicks in my book.
We had so much fun chatting about life, positive affirmations, fitness and nutrition. In fact, I was so touched by her words that I even bought her “Create the Best Life Ever” Positive Affirmation cards, which I think will be a wonderful addition for my own practice with yoga and meditation, and to use with my clients during health coaching.
I then went picture-crazy, trying to capture all of my favorite Athleta items & colors:
Overall, it was a wonderful evening filled with inspiring ladies, delicious food (and drinks), and incredible fashion. I also can’t get over how lovely Athleta’s store is, from the lighting to the impeccable layout. If you haven’t stopped in yet, you MUST. Just head on over to 92 Newbury Street, and I promise you’ll be in for a treat.
What’s your go-to fashion style during an exercise? Comfy & casual? Cute & fitted? Colorful or neutrals?Share below! P.S. If you haven’t already done so, please go check out my Healthy Chicks in the Community initiative. I’d love to get as many fabulous ladies involved as possible!
Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Massachusetts Conference for Women at the Boston Convention Center, in a space filled with 8,000 inspiring women, thanks to my blogging partnership with Harvard Pilgrim’s “Count Us In” initiative. This enabled me to simply enjoy the day, take notes and breathe everything in.
My day started at 8 a.m. when I arrived for registration, coffee and continental breakfast, followed by keynote speakers including Dr. Brené Brown, and the fascinating spiritual guru Deepak Chopra.
Then, it was a morning of action-packed learning including Personal Development Sessions “Five Seconds to a Healthier and Happier You” with relationship expert/bestselling author Mel Robbins, and “Using Your Professional Skills to Make a Difference” with panelists Renee Connolly (VP of EMD Serono and Board Member of Mass Conference for Women), Charley Johnson (president of Pay it Forward Foundation), Sharon Reilly (founder of Women’s Lunch Place) and Doreen Rigby (Executive VP of Global Operations, State Street Corporation).
During our lovely lunch (fresh salad with toppings like feta, chicken, olives, peppers, tomatoes and mini carrot cake muffins/truffles for dessert) we heard from a number powerful women including Ariana Huffington (President of the Huffington Post Media Group), Emmy and Tony Award Winner Kristin Chenoweth (who actually sang two of her beautiful numbers and had the whole room in awe with goosebumps), and co-founder of Vera Bradley, Barbara Bradley Baekgaard herself.
I finished out the rest of the afternoon networking with some incredible women, walking around the Health Pavilion and Career Pavilion (filled with brands from Rebook and Olivia’s Organics to nonprofits like yogaHOPE and Big Sister Association of Greater Boston), and wrapping up the evening with Spark & Hustle Small Business Boot Camp’s “Pitch It!”
While it’s nearly impossible to wrap up everything I learned in a blog post, I wanted to share with you 11 valuable lessons I took away from the conference. But one thing is clear: that was hands down one of the most empowering days in my entire life. Hands down.
11 INSIGHTFUL TAKEAWAYS
1. VALUE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS: According to Charlotte Beers, who was named “The Most Powerful Woman In Advertising,”It’s not about the work; it’s about the relationships you make.” As women we’re naturally inclined to compete and become envious of one another, but instead we need to come together and build meaningful, powerful relationships for true success.
2. RELISH IN THE COMPANY OF PEOPLE YOU ADMIRE: Marla Copozzi, leader of McKinsey & Company’s global innovation practice, put it perfectly: “Spend time finding other people who can make you feel great.” There’s nothing quite like the power of others.
3. LET YOUR INNER GODDESS SHINE THROUGH: The ever-so-inspiring Dr. Brené Brown explained that “the millisecond you decide to step into your power, you open yourself up to all kinds of stuff.” She also reminded us that it’s OK to be vulnerable, and that our vulnerability is a measure of our courage. “Show up, take risks and be really clear about your values,” she added.
4. WE NEED A WISDOM BASED CULTURE, according to Deepak Chopra.
5. IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA, DO IT IN FIVE SECONDS OR LESS: Mel Robbins, relationship expert, bestselling author and host of A & Es Monster-In-Laws, explained that we have just five seconds to take action before our brain kills the idea. Thus, we must realize that our lives can change in five seconds, so be sure to seek out small opportunities in each day! A few things you can do to start: (1) don’t hit the snooze button because that’s starting your day procrastinating (2) never check your phone in bed because that sets the day up as overwhelming when you’re not even vertical yet (3) Name two things you want to get done each day for YOU (4) Find a 30 minute block of time to schedule your “to-dos.”
6. GET IN FRONT OF PEOPLE: Mel Robbins mentioned that at these kinds of conferences, women tend to stick to their social networks, shying away from meeting new people or putting themselves out there. This happens every day. We hide behind our laptops, our iPhones, our books, our music instead of communicating with people. She encouraged each and every one of us to make it a big goal to get 25 business cards while at the conference. I am proud to say I collected 21. I was not afraid. I put fear behind me, and simply started a conversation with a stranger. And you no what? Not as scary as it sounds.
7. DO SOMETHING GOOD EVERY DAY: President of the Pay it Forward Foundation, Charley Johnson, explained that people often only give back around the holidays, by donating to food drives during Christmas or Thanksgiving once or twice a year. However, he challenges us all to do something good every day, even if it’s the little things like holding the door for someone, holding back from flicking someone off in the midst of road rage, or stopping yourself before picking a nasty, loud, screaming fight with your family.
8. JUST DO IT: Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley, said that if you have an interesting business idea (yes, her Vera Bradley bags once started as just an idea), JUST DO IT. “Don’t worry about dotting every i and crossing every t,” she said. When she started her company, she had no money at all and had to borrow $200 from her husband, but she believed in her idea. Now look where she is.
9. SELLING YOURSELF TRUMPS ALL: Barbara Bradley Baekgaard’s quote from her father says it best: “Sell yourself first, your company second and your product third.” Did I mention Barbara was one of the nicest, most humble woman there? In fact, she gave each attendee an adorable Veera Bradley change purse to take home!
10. BE BRAVE, EVERY DAY. I can’t even believe that I’m saying this, but I actually stood up in front of a room of 100+ women with a MICROPHONE and pitched myself & my business. “My name is Rachel Chemerynski from Zesty Living Health Coaching and I motivate women to de-stress, gain energy and ultimately get their inner zesty back through personalized one-on-one coaching. I work with clients both locally in the Boston area, by phone or through Skype. I’d like to invite you to sign up for a free initial health consultation with me today.” BAM. It felt amazing. The only advice the critics (or “sharks” I like to call them if you watch Shark Tank) was to use powerful words, such as “empower” instead of “motivate.” That one brave thing I did lead to three incredible conversations, 8 business card exchanges and a powerful discussion with one of the hosts (hopefully future mentor) who told me to call her any time, and that I’m going to completely rock it! I think I’m still on a high.
11. IMAGINE: Imagine was the theme of the conference. So go ahead and imagine what you want your life to be like, and then go out there and get it. On this note, Kristin Chenoweth urges us to listen to that little voice inside your head and those gut instincts because more often than not, it’s right.
What was your favorite piece of advice? What do you hope to work on both in your personal life and career?
Note: I have partnered with Harvard Pilgrim on this sponsored post but as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Boston Organics Food Festival in celebration of their 10-year anniversary delivering fresh, organic food to your doorstep. Even though it was pouring rain, my sister, a few friends and I bundled up in raincoats and made the 35-minute walk from the North End all the way to the company’s warehouse in Charlestown, MA because we knew it’d be totally worth it.
If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I’m a huge fan of buying fresh, organic produce as often as I can and that I myself am a loyal customer of Boston Organics (currently taking a break for the summertime) as it pretty much saved my life during the cold, winter months and beyond. I admire their dedication to making organic food more available, especially for folks like myself who live in areas where organic food isn’t as common (particularly in the winter)…unless I want trek t 1.5 miles in the snow to Whole Foods.
As we walked into the warehouse to sign in for the event, soggy feet, wet hair and all, we were greeted by the friendliest staff who immediately told us, “Grab a Plate!” When I looked at the endless spread of organic goodies that lined the room, I knew I was in for a treat.
There was savory eats like green salad with apple cider & maple viagerette, black bean dip & chips, asparagus quiche (both crustless to accomadate gluten free eaters and with crust), fresh veggies with yogurt & and feta herb dip, veggie kebobs and my personal favorite: wheatberry & garbonzo bean pilaf.
And then there were the decadent sweets such as oat biscuits, maple grilled peaches, and the most rich, moist carrot cake I’ve ever tasted, that was local and organic mind you.
Not to mention the feta samples from Neighborly Farms of Vermont, delicious homamde bread from The Nashoba Brook Bakery (the Harvest bread was to-die-for!), tortilla chips from Number 9, and chocolates from the one and only Taza Chocolate.
And then there were drinks: local brews, organic coffee from Equal Exchange, peppermint iced tea, and lemonade.
[my sister in line for a peak organic brew!]
Most of the food was prepared by the fabulous company Cuisine En Locale, a team of savvy chefs who provide personal cooking services to the Cambridge/Boston area. I was able to chat with one of their team members Ken who is also an avid fisherman! I could have talked with him for ages about one of my favorite topics: high quality, wholesome food.
Later in the afternoon, I was able to meet the founder of Boston Organics, Jeff Barry, who couldn’t have been more friendly! This man truly is dedicated to his customers, as was evident by his thoughtful speech and more-than-generous event.
[me, Jeff, one of the local vendors, & my sister Krista!]
Other event highlights? The company made a significant effort to keep the entire event green by recycling, using eco-friendly cutlery, and even the band that was playing was running off green energy!
Needless to say, we all had a wonderful time, and left with a smile on our faces and a bagful of organic apples and bananas that were free for the taking!
Thank you Boston Organics for a fun-filled, delicious rainy day!
[Now is the time to stand up on your two feet and make things happen]
Good aftenoon chickies! Sorry I haven’t posted in quite some time, but I’ve been super busy living the life, which is what it’s all about after all right? From working (and attending) some pretty amazing events like the Top Chef Tour of Boston and the Boston Organics Food Festival (recap on the blog coming soon!) to writing and publishing my little heart away, growing my business and planning my first workshop, I’ve been one busy lady.
Now that summer is just around the corner, I’m dedicating these next few months to making it happen. More specifically, that is putting my “wants”, “needs” and dreams into effect.
Last night while at the Dave Mathews Band concert with The Boy, the lyrics to one of their new songs Gaucho really struck a chord with me:
“We gotta do much more than believe if we really wanna change things
We gotta do much more than believe if we wanna see the world change…
I know its hard to imagine
But we could do anything
Under the stars.”
I know it’s easier said than done, but what I took away from these meaningul words is that if you want something badly enough, you need to go out there and make it happen. No one ever accomplished their biggest dreams and aspirations by sitting in an office (or behind a computer) waiting, wishing and hoping. And I’ve also come to realize that complaining, stressing, or whining about a particular situation does no good either.
If you know me well or read my blog often, you can tell that I’m a woman of many wonderful ideas but that sometimes I struggle with following through and making it really happen. But now is the time to stop all that contemplating and thinking and just do it.
While I’m not ready to fully announce what’s in store, some of my plans include starting a walking/running club for women in Boston featuring healthy snacks and weekly wellness meetings to build confidence, vent about life, and most importantly: laugh. I’m also taking part in an island yoga retreat series, where I’ll be assisting my good friend and business partner Kelley in cooking holistic, nutritious meals for the group.
So what’s a gal to do when she’s not clear on her dreams, or simply needs a little push? How will I (and you too) go about getting exactly what you want effectively? Whether you’re looking to make a big career change or have a personal goal of running a half marathon, here are my personal “words of wisdom” that have worked in the past:
1. Check in with yourself every now and then. Ask questions like, “Am I happy?” “Are there any changes I need to make?” “What do I want to change?” “What’s holding me back?” “What am I missing?”
2. Once you’re clear on exactly what’s going on internally, it’s time to Set some clear goals. Write down exactly what you want on a sheet of paper, and post it to your bulliten board. Or post some inspirational photos to your fridge of places, people you admire or even pictures of yourself at your happiest time. Better yet, create a vision board of all things you want in life and post it somewhere you’ll see it every day to remind yourself what it is you’re working toward.
Try not to be too vague about your goals, but rather create real landmarks that are easy to envision. For example, on my vision board you can see that I posted a picture of Natural Health magazine and wrote “Be published in a women’s health magazine featuring an article on holistic health & wellness…a dream come true to have my own byline!” instead of just “Get published.” And instead of writing, “Make more money,” I wrote down exactly how much I want to be making and what I’d want to use that money for. “Have enough money to be able to treat myself to monthly massages, gym memberships, yoga retreats and other wellness activities”
3. Take Action. Vision boards and lists are a great way to visualize what it is you want, but it’s up to you to make that happen. So get out there and take action! At Nutrition School, the teachers always remind us that we’re not going to get any clients sitting behind a computer all day, or hiding inside. Rather we need to step outside our comfort zone, get outside and begin talking/networking/building relationships if we want things to start changing.
This has forced me to get outside and attend networking events, talk to people who are older or in higher positions than me whom I’d normally be too shy to do so, and build confidence in my work.
4. Give it Time. Learn to be patient, and understand that the greatest things in life don’t transpire overnight. If we all got what we wanted as easy as that, we’d be a big bunch of bored women. Work hard at it, want it, and I can assure you it will happen for you.
In the meantime, pamper yourself with love. Take yoga classes, go on long, thought-provoking walks, meet up with friends who make you feel good inside. Little things like such can sometimes be just as important as the big things.
Alright, I’m out. About to go step away from my Mac and make it happen, reallllly happen.
Good afternoon, and Happy Memorial weekend! I hope you are all out enjoying this beautiful weather, BBQing, beaching and sipping on refreshing, summery drinks.
Attention Boston friends & readers: I just wanted to remind you that I’ll be hosting an interactive workshop called Get Real (About Food) for my business Zesty Living at Oficio on Newbury Street on Thursday, June 14th. You can read more details below, and purchase your “Early Bird” tickets here on Eventbrite. It’ll be a wonderful night of networking, socializing, learning and eating delectable (healthy) treats. Yes, I’ll even feed you!
Special Bonus: To all my blog readers and friends of readers, you can use promo code blogperk for $2 off your ticket!
[Big thanks to best friend/inspirer/other half Marybeth P. for designing my logo]
Happy Friday ladies! Remember a few weeks ago when I laid out my Life “Wish List” goals? Well, I’m happy to say that many of them are coming into full affect, particularly my business-related goals for Zesty Living.
I’ve been really focusing on networking, reaching out, and putting myself out there lately (even if that means writing and working on business ideas at the local coffee shop instead of at my apartment in my PJs.) It’s amazing how many opportunities and inspiration you can find from other like-minded passionate people; the world really is a big place filled with many, many ideas!
Well, partly due to my positive vibes and vision board (I’m certain this is part of it), things have really been picking up lately. In fact, I’m hosting my very own healthy eating workshop all by myself (eek!) in mid-June , with another speaking engagement at the end of June (details to come).
Here are the ins & outs of my “Get Real (About Food)” workshop on June 14th at Oficio on Newbury Street:
Join Rachel Chemerynski, Health Coach and founder of Zesty Living, for a healthy, casual Girl’s Night Out on Newbury Street.
Forget about non fat, sugar free, carb-free, diet-obsessed living! During this interactive workshop, you’ll learn how to incorporate a variety of flavorful foods made with real ingredients that actually taste good (and are good for your body too).
During the workshop, Rachel will touch upon deceiving marketing gimmicks (including a list of “healthy” foods that aren’t), analyzing food labels, and how to maneuver your way through the supermarket without having a mental breakdown in the baked goods aisle.
Oh, and be sure to bring your appetite! You’ll be provided with delicious drinks and all-natural appetizers to complement the discussion, as well as a healthy “goodie bag” for each attendee to go home with at the end.
Get ready for great conversation, delectable eats, and of course lots of laughs with an amazing group of like-minded ladies!
To learn more about my workshop, check out the event details on Eventbrite here.
Have a wonderful weekend,