Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

15 January 2019

Six Tips to Find Fitness Motivation in 2019

Thank you to all of the brands that make Venus Trapped in Mars possible! This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own! 




Thirty one, this was the year of my life when my body REALLY started to show the effects of aging. I'm not talking about wrinkles or grey hair, I'm talking about my actual body changing. My whole life, I've had a flat stomach. My problem areas were (are) my butt and legs. Well now, it seems to be everywhere is a problem. I need to make fitness a top priority now, more than ever to combat time taking me past age 30. I need to find fitness motivation in 2019.

Not to mention just improving my general health. After our wedding and wanting to look great in the dress, I pretty much "enjoyed myself" for what went from a couple of weeks to many months. I wasn't working out, and I was eating. As you probably know, I run Dallas Love List which is essentially a free meal whenever I want it. All of my friends are food bloggers, so we'd go out to dinner together all the time, having apps, desserts, multiple entrees for the table to photograph plus cocktails - several times a week. SEVERAL TIMES PER WEEK.

In December, things really got out of hand as they tend to do for everyone. I just kept thinking, just get to January and I'll make changes. So now, here we are. As of about a month ago, I turned 32 years old and feel like a stranger in my own body. This isn't MY BODY. There's no way. What the hell happened here.

The hardest part for me is finding fitness motivation. It comes time to work out and I find any excuse to not get my butt in gear. My biggest excuse is usually that I've recently straightened my hair. Recently could be 4 days ago, and I'll still use it as a reason to not workout.

I AM DONE THOUGH. No more excuses. Maybe typing this out will help. So here are 6 tips to help  find motivation to workout in 2019.

1. LOOK THE PART
My workout clothes are SO OLD. I think I legit have a workout bra in my drawer from high school. HIGH SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!! WHY! I 100% have workout shorts from high school softball too. WHO AM I??? (Answer: not Marie Kondo).

I have two new products from Under Armour (one of my favorite fitness brands of all time) that you're going to love to add to your workout clothes drawer.

The first is this great Under Armour Seamless Longline Bra which is SO comfortable and great when you just need light, all day support. I don't have huge boobs, so this is perfect for me.




The second product I'm loving is......... no joke, PJs.
Yes, but they're workout related, I promise, hear me out.

It's an Athlete Recovery Jumpsuit from Under Armour. This sleepwear is legit designed to help athletes recover faster, get more sleep and wake up feeling ready to do it all again the next day. The jumpsuit is designed with Celliant within the fabric, which has been determined by the FDA to increase localized circulation, leading to faster recovery.

Also, Drew said my butt looked good in it so I guess it also is good for your love life. (This is not tested by the FDA, but I'm sure Drew and I would volunteer if they needed subjects, LOLS!)






2. INVEST IN A FITNESS ROUTINE YOU LOVE


I've already checked this one off my list. Back in November, Drew and I bought a Peloton. I cancelled my Class Pass membership, and Drew cancelled with Planet Fitness. Between both of us cancelling, it was the same price as the monthly payment on the Peloton. I love spin, but I hate getting up at the butt crack of dawn (read also, lazy) to get to a studio before work. Now I have time to do a workout I really like, in the privacy of my own home.

I'm working on a full Peloton blog post, but in the meantime - feel free to ask any questions you like!

3. BLAST THE TUNES

If there's anything I have to have it's LOUD MUSIC. I mean music that blasts you out of the room. Although the Peloton for a normal human it is plenty loud, I could really use Nicki Minaj blasting even louder in my ears to get motivated to kill it.






I just started using the AfterShokz Trekz Air Open-Ear Headphones. They're so great because they not only fit securely but sound awesome!! I love that they're not IN MY EAR. That always grosses me out for some reason. To take $50 off “Endurance Bundle” for AfterShokz Trekz Air and AfterShokz Trekz Titanium you can use code “BABBLEBOXX”!


4. BANISH PAIN

My workout motivation is so often sabotaged by soreness and pain from muscles that aren't used to being worked out. I'll skip a day in between classes because I'm sore. Then that skipped day turns to two days, which turns to three, which then turns to a weekend off. Then all of a sudden I'm back to Monday and finally now ready to workout again.


By adding the Tiger Balm Patch and Tiger Palm Ultra Ointment you can contour to the area of your body you need pain relief most, by providing penetrating heat to joint pain, stiff muscles and backaches! Getting you back to your workout schedule way faster!


5. BOOST YOUR ENERGY 

When you're tired, a workout is the first thing to go. Or - your workout is worthless because you half ass it. Zero energy = major lack of motivation to get moving.




You guys need to try CELSIUS. You just pour a packet into your water bottle and you'll be able to capitalize on an added energy boost. I like to pour this in my water right before I leave work, then I'm ready (and hyped up) to hop in the bike when I get home. It is available in four flavors, so if cranberry lemon isn't your thing, try their orange, berry or coconut flavors! 

6. SET YOUR CALENDAR UP FOR SUCCESS 

In December, I had a media dinner, party or had to work late on the calendar EVERY SINGLE DAY. EVERY DAY.

If I go out to dinner or don't get home until late, I'm not going to workout.

For Q1, I'm setting myself up for success through my calendar. I'm saying no to all food related media events during the work week. If someone wants to hang, we can do it on the weekend or at a healthy lunch. My nights are dedicated to fitness and eating healthy.

I'm not leaving my schedule up to chance. If it involves food, it'll have to wait until the weekend. I don't want to give myself the option to cheat on being healthy in January.

WITH THAT SAID, I know if I don't have anything on the calendar, I'll be miserable. So I'm also making it a point to fill my calendar with non-food related fun. I have some fun collaborations coming up with a nail salon, a blow-out salon and a few different pop up color museums in the area. There are lots of great things to go do that don't involve eating a million calories!



Those are my tips for finding fitness motivation in 2019. Do you have any tips you'd add to my list that have worked for you?? I'd love to know more so maybe I can adopt them myself! Let me know in the comments below! 


04 January 2019

Why Making a Career As A Blogger is More Realistic Than Ever in 2019


Today I want to talk about careers. What do YOU do for a living? What do you WISH you did for a living? Want to hear my theory? Going full time as a blogger is more possible than ever in 2019, and you don't need half a million followers to do it. 

I got to thinking about this after chatting with my friend Lily from Dallasites101. Two lovely ladies run this account, Lily and Kara. They host tons of events and are a wealth of knowledge for what to do in Dallas on any given week. Their e-mail blasts are always my go-to, not to mention they're always so helpful with promoting Adolphus events without us even asking! The reason I bring this up, is because their account is doing so great - nearly 95k followers - and even though there are two of them on the account, they're going FULL TIME with their account this year. 

I have tons of friends who have worked hard enough to have the ability to run their blog as their full-time job, Helene and Jessica are a couple who come to mind. I have countless other friends here in Dallas who run their blog AND have a few social media clients on the side, providing them more than enough money to make a great living. 

When I first started blogging, it felt like the only people who could EVER make enough money to do this full time were fashion bloggers or people who sold a product on their blog like a class on how to grow a blog or social media or photography. 

Only just a few years ago, Fashion Bloggers were the only ones making substantial money. They were not only getting campaigns left and right from big brands like Nordstrom or skin care products, they were also making a killing on Reward Style affiliate links. 

Side Note: I'm going to be completely transparent with you guys, I think I've made like $140 LIFETIME on Reward Style affiliate links. It just isn't worth my time (and boy does it take a lot of it) to link to what I'm wearing on instagram for one or two people to screenshot it and to RARELY have someone click purchase. For a while there I thought, man this is going to be my ticket to MONEY. NAW, naw it wasn't. 

Back to my point, though. NOW, now it seems ANYONE can go full time with blogging. I'd like to thank the over saturation of the market for that. Yes, I'm the first to complain that there are SO MANY BLOGGERS (read also: influencers who don't even have a blog) that it is near impossible to stand out. Because of that that, so many brands have turned their financial resources to investing in influencer marketing. 

YOU NO LONGER NEED TO BE A FASHION BLOGGER TO GO FULL TIME WITH BLOGGING. Even crazier to me, localized bloggers can now go full time, like my two friends with Dallasites101. That would have never been a possibility just two years ago, simply because BRANDS didn't yet embrace the power of influencer marketing. 

Let's take a step back to when I first began to take on sponsored blog posts. I had to go apply for them in places like social fabric. They generally had nothing to do with my brand and I just wanted some extra money. The vast majority of the campaigns centered around a grocery store or Walmart, so I'd cook something and post my recipe.

GUYS - I HATE COOKING. Like, I hate it. I don't want to cook, I only cook so I won't starve and need to eat healthy from time to time. 

I hate that I did that, but it was the only way to justify the amount of time I put into blogging back then. 

Again though, everything is totally different now. I can make money now from brand partnerships I actually care about. In the past I've worked with some of my favorites like the NFL and Rent the Runway. Brands that made me jump up and down with excitement that they wanted ME to represent them. 

Even locally, the way I make money from sponsored instagram posts rarely comes across as a blatant #AD. I partnered on Dallas Love List recently with 7-Eleven to announce their new delivery service in Dallas. In the past, my first thought would be 7-eleven, I'll be a sell out. But honestly, because it was so localized and relevant to my audience, everyone was so excited to find out they could now have beer delivered to their door. The campaign was effective for 7-eleven and ended up being excellent content that performed so well for me. 

With all of this said though, I 100% work full time as the Social Media Manager for The Adolphus in Downtown Dallas. I love love LOVE my job. I'm good at it too, I've taken The Adolphus Instagram page from 1500 followers to 14,700 followers in just over a year. 

I do NOT have a job where I can do blog stuff at work, all of my blog content is generated on my own free time after work or on the weekends. I am CONSTANTLY declining opportunities - particularly of the travel variety - due to time constraints. 

As far as going full time, I'm not currently there. I am not a hard enough worker in my free time to get there. What can I say, I love hanging with Drew and going to breweries. Also, I love The Adolphus - I got married there after all! 

I just wanted to talk about how fascinating it is how things have changed so drastically, and how many doors have been opened. People are quitting their careers - careers as lawyers and nurses - to take on their passion of building their own brand. 

2019 I think is the year that any blogger can do absolutely anything they want to work hard at. I am going to use 2019 to find out what I'm good at on this platform of mine. I started this blog six years ago and I've changed a lot as a person in six years. What can I do on here that a million other ladies aren't doing on their platforms??? 

If you can find your own unique voice, or brand, or niche that makes YOU relatable or helpful in 2019, the sky is the limit. HOW COOL IS THAT???? 


02 January 2019

The Best Mexico Beach Trip Planner || The Best Way To Explore Playa Del Carmen, Tulum and Cenotes


In October I went to Mexico. I didn’t go to Mexico with Drew, or with my mom or with Veenie (is that a thing, can I take a Mexican vacation with my dog?? I need to look into that). I went to Mexico with my pal Susie. Now, before this trip, Susie and I hadn’t really hung out outside of blogger or media events, we’d always been in a group setting.

Her blog name is SUSIE DRINKS THOUGH.
I mean, I feel like that immediately lets me know she’s my kinda gal.

Susie and I had always gotten along. We would constantly ask the question, “Why don’t we hang out more often????” Still though, we hadn’t really hung out. One day, Susie goes - do you have a media kit, I think we should go to Mexico.

“HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.” - me.

I haven’t been one of those bloggers who has been blessed with the gift of constant travel. Perhaps if I did this full time, but I just don’t have the time to dedicate to seeking out travel collaborations.

This is where Susie comes in.
(Side note: find you a “Susie")

Susie is so well connected in the blogging, social media and travel sphere that she connected with an amazing woman named Devin. Devin is better known as The Beach Planner. Devin's services extend from Playa Del Carmen all the way to Tulum and everything in between.

If there’s one thing I’m terrible at, it’s planning a trip. I’ll spend about 12 minutes on Pinterest, maybe 8 - 10 minutes on costco.com looking at their deals and then I give up. Planning our honeymoon was easily the most overwhelming experience.

Do you do all-inclusive? 
Why are these hotels so expensive?
Why are a few that look great so INEXPENSIVE? 

These are questions I find myself asking, pictures are usually so vague for beach vacations - it’s generally some model on a beach in a bikini. Yes, she’s lovely but how are y’alls fish tacos? Is there a swim up bar (this is oddly important to me), do I get a beautiful view, are the rooms magnificent, are there big balconies overlooking perfectly sparkling water?

None of this information ever seems to come from websites for Mexico beach hotels.

This is where Devin comes in. She’s an expert, she LIVES THERE!

She’ll be the first one to tell you to ditch the all-inclusive destination. When you’re at an all-inclusive, you feel like you can’t leave the property because you wont’ be getting your money’s worth. Devin would tell you that’s all wrong!

The culture - and I mean the culture outside the tourist traps - is where the fun is. Beers are cheap, people are friendly and from my experience the music is way better. Is it just me or do resort pools only seem to play rap from the early 00’s???

I’m not here to knock all-inclusives - I’m sure my days of visiting an all-inclusive resort are not over, I drink a lot - but I want you to know there are beach planning options out there that won’t cost you a dime.

WAIT - DID YOU HEAR THAT? THAT’S RIGHT, DEVIN’S SERVICES COST YOU NOTHING! 

Her services are paid for by the resort!! I honestly did not know I could access something and someone so powerful without having to pay for it.

SO………

AWAY SUSIE AND I WENT TO MEXICO! All of which was planed by The Beach Planner, Devin.

First stop - Playa Del Carmen for a couple of nights.

Wait, back up, first Susie and I did fireball shots at DFW Airport, I feel like that is important information, no?

PLAYA DEL CARMEN






We stayed at a great hotel that offered breakfast with your room. The breakfast had lots of fresh fruit - and of course some great Mexican brunch options like Chilaquiles  Big fan of eating nachos for breakfast, but that's just me!




They also had an amazing rooftop pool. We actually didn't use the pool at this hotel, because we "Beach club hopped". As someone who works at a hotel whose pool is very much only intended for hotel guests, it blew my mind to find that many of the hotels allowed the public to come enjoy their beach and pool access as long as they were eating and drinking.

This also could have been because we had Devin, she had contacts at every hotel/resort beach and pool club we went to. We were welcomed with open arms.

Here were a few stops Devin took us on our day of hopping.
Want to know the exact details of where we went - you gotta message Devin!
(Psssst.... see what I did there, it's called marketing :P LOLS!)














That night, we showered up and went to dinner in town at an amazing spot called Piola! The bartenders sent us over cocktails to try and we filled our bellies with delicious seafood! Highly recommend adding this restaurant to your Playa Del Carmen list. 

Again, told y'all Devin would get you to experience the actual culture, not just the tourist spots! 




The next morning before heading out for Tulum, I walked the streets of Playa Del Carmen a bit. It's a town filled with colorful street art - you guys should know by now that's the way to my heart!!



After our breakfast at the hotel, we loaded up on the road to Tulum!
The road to Tulum was paved with Cenotes. If you don't know, a Cenote is a sinkhole that has formed naturally from a collapse of bedrock, resulting in exposed groundwater.

Devin handled all of the transportation for us with our amazing driver, Cesar from Memo Tours and Adventures! He won me over immediately when he picked us up from the airport and had cold Coronas waiting. Thank you, sir. Yes, I will have one of those. 

CENOTES
The Cenotes were so majestic and beautiful. Another plus is by using Devin (and Cesar) we had the best recommendation for the most secluded (Read also, not crowded) cenotes that tourists wouldn't be able to find easily just from searching the internet.

We stopped at two different cenotes and did a little snorkeling!




One more stop for some of the best ceviche and fresh fish EVER, before landing in Tulum for two more nights of fun!





TULUM
Where do I begin with Tulum. How about some pictures because I'd never in my life seen a place so beautiful. When I think Mexico, I think more about Cabo and Cancun (and spring break) with people blowing whistles and shoving shots down your throat. And Vicki and Tamra from Real Housewives dancing on bars.

Now, I do love shots. But there is WAY more beauty in Mexico that will make your jaw drop.
Just take a look...



The first night we stayed at an absolutely breathtaking IKAL bungalow in the heart of the jungle. This would be a great spot for a secluded getaway or even for a big bachelor or bachelorette party. We had our own private pool and it was far from the hustle and bustle of the resort areas.





The next night we stayed in town, where we could walk to a bunch of bars and beach clubs.
Again, much like Playa, Tulum allowed you to visit many beach clubs, regardless of if you were staying there!

We loved a hotel called Nomad where we watched the sunset and had a delicious margarita. Honestly though, every resort on the beach we went to looked like this. I'm not joking, each place outdid the next.





We rode some bikes we rented for a couple of hours and visited Pablo Escobar's old mansion which is now a hotel called Casa Malca! GOALS. I mean, good lawwwwd.







We also rode the bikes to the complete opposite side of the resort area and hit up a hotel called Azulik. I'm not sure what Azulik stands for (other than too expensive for Sarah's blood) but it was a mesmerizing jungle tree house that I wanted to live in forever and ever. Or maybe for just one night, CB- we both need to get rich so we can stay here!!!







Another place I for sure want to call out was a restaurant called Gitano.
This was the most aesthetically pleasing restaurant and the meal was just as divine.






It was just so pretty, that we went back during to see the space in daylight. I'm glad we did, it was completely different but certainly just as sultry.





I know I've probably shown you more than enough to convince you to
CONTACT THE BEACH PLANNER RIGHT MEOW....

.... but in the event you need more persuading, here are a few more snaps that I think will do the trick.





I can't thank Devin enough for putting together such a magical long weekend for me and Susie. You guys, this is a no brainer to contact The Beach Planner for your next trip. She can help you plan an amazing honeymoon, a bomb bachelorette party that you'll never forget, or just a great getaway to help you forget the real world.

Her services are all free to you, they're paid for by the hotels as long as your lodging is booked through Devin. Take the guess work and stress out of planning your next trip and let a local expert do it! Easy peasy.

CONTACT THE BEACH PLANNER HERE!

Thank you so much to The Beach Planner for hosting us for a long weekend in Mexico, my thoughts and opinions are my own!