Archive for the ‘INSPIRATION’ Category




well, here i am. 15 pounds over my normal weight after going through a breakup (well, two actually) drinking a little too often with friends to talk about said breakups, and then traveling 6 weeks to europe eating every carb in sight. do i regret the carbs? nope. do i wish my pants fit? yep. so when i got home, i decided to jump on a new healthy track and to document it right here to keep me accountable. joanie, who works on the business side of designlovefest, is amazing at staying in shape. she’s always bringing a healthy lunch to work and talking about her crazy aerial yoga classes. to me, working out has always been very annoying. i’m lazy! i did get in shape about two years ago by going to bar method and felt amazing, but lost steam and got bored. wine was way more fun at the time.

my body has always gone up and down in weight. let me show you. i was pretty thin as a teenager and my first two years of college. i think i used to weigh around 118-120Ibs…


then i gained 30 pounds around 22 years old! (making me 148Ibs) this is when i realized my metabolism wasn’t the same and i went on birth control which put on an extra 10 pounds or so…


so shocked by the weight gain i decided to cut out almost all carbs and drink way less. by 24 i was the thinnest i had ever been, 112 pounds and i started eating pretty unhealthy honestly…like coffee and salad. i’m not trying to get back to that weight because it was too thin for me. i think at the time i was just so happy to not feel insecure about my body that i took it way overboard. i seriously looked like a bobble head!


over the next few years i maintained a healthy weight for me (125-128Ibs) and then when i started feeling myself slipping is when i went to bar method. it really toned my body and i could really notice a difference. i wish i could have kept that up…but kinda fell off the wagon.


now, i’m 29 years old, weigh 140Ibs, and i haven’t worked out in quite a long time. it’s interesting to see how people hold their weight differently. it’s always been easy for me to go up and down because my weight gain usually happens very proportionally, so i can barely notice until all of a sudden my pants are all tight (and it’s not because they were in the dryer) i also have size D boobs, which adds more weight to my frame. that’s usually one of the first places i lose the weight also. i don’t feel like i’m way overweight, but i just don’t feel comfortable in my body. you know when you start grabbing the clothes that cover you instead of showing you? and now it’s summer, so it’s time to face the music and get healthy.


so let’s talk about MY GOALS and how the column is going to work. joanie is my motivator and she’s going to be telling you her story too below. we are going to document the kinds of classes we are taking (i’ve already gone to 4 this week), what we are eating and not eating, and finally the progress that i’ve (hopefully) made. i have a short term goal of 2 months to feel better about my body before a summer beach vacation with friends, and a longer term goal to feel healthy and fit by my 30th birthday in january. i can do it! and i hope it motivates you to do it with us!

joanie: i’m psyched that bri wants to start working out. i’m all about the workout partner and i find that having someone to exercise with is a huge motivation. it’s one thing to miss your morning workout when it’s you and another thing entirely to leave your friend hanging at the 7am class. this will be fun to do together.


joanie: working out for me has been a journey, i grew up in an active family which actually made me not want to exercise at all since i was around it all of the time. i didn’t take my health seriously until college. starting the road to fitness is always awkward and uncomfortable, running hurts, there’s an annoying learning curve in your classes where everyone is doing the moves and you’re lost and it feels like you’ll never catch on. so i started the only way i knew how and that was by committing to run three times a week for 25 minutes and i hated it but i did it anyway. and now i have a system, i know i need to take classes because i’m not self motivated enough to hit the gym and push myself. i think i’ve tried every crazy fitness trend that has hit LA, and trust me, there’s a lot of them. current favorite workout is the sweat class, here. welcoming, fun and intense! i use this yoga mat, and i highly recommend it. a bit of an investment but i’ve had mine for years and it’s great.

bri: this week i have done 4 workout classes. it’s been fun to try new things. strength yoga was day 1. i liked it, i felt like it was a good workout but not too difficult (i have only done yoga once before) i think i could get into it. day 2 was pop physique which is way more intense. it’s very similar to bar method but i find it’s faster pace and a little harder. day 3 was bar method. i was happy to be back in that room where i made all the progress before, so my nostalgia might be taking over here. it was my favorite workout so far because i like how comfortable it is in that studio, i love how the teachers give you individual help, and the pace is nice. the only downside to bar for me is that it’s the same workout every time so it can get a little tedious after a few months. day 4 was “flow” yoga which was slow and i wanted to jump off a cliff i was so bored. the moves hurt my bad knees and ankle, and i just wasn’t into it at all. maybe i was just in a weird mood, but that was just too slow for me. i want to try pilates, dance, and cardio bar this week!


joanie: i took about a 3 year break from cooking and have recently finally gotten back into it. some recent favorites are these quinoa patties, so simple and delicious, sweet potatoes prepared like this and shishito peppers which i purchased at the farmers market and pan fried, they were so good.

bri: like i said above, i have been eating veeeery bad for a few months. i was feeling sad and i just wanted to indulge. i probably had wine almost every day with dinner (which sounds bad when you say it out loud, but hopefully some of you can relate) 2 days a week i would have a cocktail or three with friends. pasta, pizza, white rice, bread…i have been just GOING FOR IT. when i got back last week, i slowly started to eat better each day. i have only had 2 nights of drinking with friends and one was a holiday. i’ve been eating around 1200-1500 calories a day. (i use the lose it app to keep track!) a typical day of eating right now for me would beegg whites, black beans and red pepper for breakfast. or maybe a brown rice cake with avocado and a pressed juice. grilled chicken breast and a small salad for lunch. white fish with brussels sprouts and brown rice for dinner. luckily, i really do like eating healthy if i cook at home. it’s pretty easy to manage. my problem is that i usually eat out 5 times a week with friends, dates, or social events. my self control sucks when i am at a restaurant, so i am trying to stay home more often to adjust. what are some of your favorite healthy recipes, i would love to hear!


joanie: in terms of my current state, i’m already living a pretty healthy/active lifestyle. i workout 3- 4 days a week and eat moderately. so i’m not in this with bri for weight lose but to continue the healthy journey that’s so easy to abandon!

bri: well, i just weighed myself yesterday and it said 140Ibs. not ideal for me. i have a goal of 125 that i hope i can make over the next 6 months. i will say that without the alcohol/sugar i already feel less bloated in my stomach and face and more clear headed. the workouts are making me feel better in my body because i’m sore pretty much everywhere so it feels like something is happening. and i can honestly say my mood has been really positive and happy this week. it’s cool to start a new goal, so i am feeling really excited right now. just hope i can keep it up! your comments and stories will really help me, i promise. let’s do it together! i’ll do my best to keep up with this, and will stay totally open and honest through the process. thanks for following along!



hey guys! i got a lot of comments asking if i could do a packing post from my trip, so i decided to choose berlin. it was my last stop and the most fresh in my mind. berlin has a very sporty style overall and lacks a lot of color. the people look so chic and put together, but always in a very simple way. tennis shoes everywhere since there is so much walking. long black coats, nice materials, functional but beautiful…let me show you what i would pack (and a lot of these items i did have with me!)

shop above: rimowa bag (the smoothest rolling suitcase), A.P.C. backpack.

shop above:  hansel from basel socks, pons for daytime comfort, white vans that go with almost everything, a pair of fancier sandals from loeffler randall, and the perfect black ankle boots from sam edelman for night outfits.

an interesting white top from zara, a striped shirt from A.P.C., solid color linen t-shirts from j.crew are my favorite, a grey sweatshirt from madewell for comfy days, a button up pink shirt for a more refined look, and a fun graphic sweatshirt.

shop above:  dress up or down this black dress from club monoco, head to the museums in this black jumper with a cool back, eat all you want in those elastic band wide leg trousers from cos, and a pair of black skinny jeans from joe’s always comes in handy.

shop above:  you will see oversized cardigans everywhere in berlin, a black sporty coat for colder days, my favorite low rise thongs from hanky panky, and a nice bra from cosabella. a kate spade dotted scarf for layering, aesop (very) hydrating face moisturizer and hand cream, the best bobbi pins from, a crossbody clutch i wore the whole time from loeffler randall, and a mophie that kept my phone charged up always. 




i’m back home now in my own bed (and thoroughly enjoying it!) but i sure did love our berlin apartment as well. white floors, wonderful light, minimal decor, and a cool berlin style.

(ps, see my two amsterdam airbnb rentals here and here)


the first time i visited berlin (see this very old post here) we stayed in the mitte area and really enjoyed it. this time we decided to explore the kreuzberg neighborhood and it was a totally different vibe. they compare it to the “hipster” areas like williamsburg in NY or silver lake in LA. i get sort of irritated with that term, but whatever. it sort of felt like echo park in LA, but even more grungy. lots of graffiti and a very mixed vibe of restaurants and shops. at first i wasn’t actually sure if i liked it that much. but it turns out it’s just one of those places you kind of have to explore and learn all the good spots. luckily right around the corner from us was some of my favorite restaurants of the trip (cocolo ramenchan thai market and concierge coffee) more on my neighborhood finds soon…

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the apartment was quite dreamy and just my style. i loved the pink stripped down walls in the kitchen and the random design elements that you don’t normally see. the place was even better than in the photos on airbnb!

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what do you think of the place? i don’t think it would be for everyone, but i thought it was so cool!

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i loved working in the afternoons in this calming living room…and how bout those sticks on the floor? pretty genius actually.


i prefer to have a good mix of hotels and airbnb spots when i travel. seeing how people in other countries live is so fascinating!

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to rent this apartment: go here
to get $25 off your first stay with airbnb: go here

photos by designlovefest



one of my favorite memories of my trip was definitely visiting the keukenhof garden and tulip fields. we took an uber about an hour outside of amsterdam and had an amazing experience. i felt so happy that we were visiting at the perfect time of year!

i couldn’t believe how many beautiful flowers were all in one place! it was by far the prettiest park i had ever seen. it costs 16 euros to get in, and you can just wander around the grounds (which are quite big.) i took an embarrassing amount of photos, i must admit.

but we also had our eyes on the tulip fields we saw when we were driving in to the gardens. about a 1 mile walk away we were able to go walk through the rows and rows of tulips. (see here for the ideal times of the year to see them in full bloom!)

we sat in the dirt rows and talked and laughed through the flowers. it was a memory i will never forget and perfect friend time. you have to try to go if you can!!

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photos by designlovefest



i love road trips during the warm summer months. just driving and experiencing new places with people i love, or unwinding in my old favorite spots (palm springs!). road trips are a wonderful opportunity to create memories of a lifetime. one thing i’m guilty of is getting hangry if i haven’t eaten in too long, so i’ve learned that without proper planning a road trip can easily become a nightmare.

someone told me a cute story about a wedding vow they heard a bride tell her husband. “i promise that if i’m ever angry with you i will either eat an apple or take a nap before we talk about it.” i thought that was funny. being hungry can make people irrational, it’s true!

this year, i thought of making cute little snack packs for me and my travel companions. wouldn’t it be fun to hand these out to your girlfriends while you all load in the car? if you knew me, you would know i am an almond addict…always eating them at home, in the car, and at work. i have a strange habit of loving to bite them perfectly in half. weird, i know!

how to make them:

we got inspired by these fun and colorful bento boxes (you can buy them, here!). lining the boxes with these cactus motif linens (we made our own napkins from fabric we purchased, here!) give it that special touch. since kumquats and cherries are in season, we took advantage and paired them with our favorite blue diamond almonds.

these lightly salted almonds provide a subtle flavor that blend greatly with the sweet tartness of the cherries. and the honey roasted chipotle almonds have a sweet kick that go well with the citrus flavor of the kumquats.

and finally, these spinach turkey wraps made with non-dairy spread, help finish this healthy little snack pack. what’s your favorite road trip snack? we’d love to hear!

photos and styling by: ivan solis
want more food posts? click here!
this post is in partnership with blue diamond almonds. all opinions are my own.

Blue Diamond Almonds

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Why hello there designlovefest readers! Welcome to my place of inspiration + creation. Thanks for stopping by. I believe in giving credit where credit is due, so if at any time you see work that is improperly recognized, please send me quick note and I’ll gladly update the information.

Similarly, all graphic design elements and layouts present here were created specifically for designlovefest and should therefore be credited appropriately if reposted. We like to keep things nice and friendly here on the web, you see. It’s all about spreading the love. Ok, enough serious talk....go get inspired!