Vegan Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Truffle Ball Recipe

Hello, my beauties! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I took the weekend to chill out, clean up around the apartment, do my laundry (fun times), get my marathon training on with my NutriBullet team, spend time with some good friends, go kayaking in the Marina, and LOUNGE on my brand new couch with Huddy. (Huddy is my kitten that I am madly in love with, in case you haven’t seen my Instagram or read the bloggy lately.)

Here's a snapshot from our little kayaking adventure!

Here’s a snapshot from our little kayaking adventure!

Basically, I took the weekend to hang out and enjoy being pretty darn relaxed because this upcoming weekend is going to be full of birthday celebrations, visitors (yay!), fun dinners, family time, a long run with my NutriBullet team in Pasadena, catching up with my best friends from SF and more. And the following weekend is the Veuve polo classic, which will be a blast, so relaxing was my JAM this weekend. Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 2.49.11 PM

In other news, a few months ago I filmed a video with my friend Talia Fuhrman who happens to be a total plant-based baking rockstar. She’s written a fab book about eating smart & getting healthy called Love Your Body, and yes, she is the daughter of the amazingly successful plant-based MD Joel Fuhrman.

One thing Talia & I have in common above all else is that we LOVE CHOCOLATE. Like, we are obsessed with chocolate. You guys may know that I had made an Instagram account called @chocolateaddicts earlier this year that I updated with all the yummiest chocolate pics I found on Instagram before I lost the password to the account and was unable to sign back into it forevermore (really sad experience, lol).

We also both have a lot of fun on camera together. I’ve said it before and I will say it again… I much prefer to be on camera with friends. I love talking to the camera on my own (as you know from all of my solo Youtube vids…), but my FAVORITE videos to film always include other people. Like the Green Dream Cashew Butter recipe video Sophie & I made together and the Mess Up Your Life video I made with a bunch of my BFF’s earlier this year.

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So, when Talia and I were trying to figure out what type of video we wanted to film together first… A chocolate recipe video made immediate and obvious sense. Talia had this delicious chocolate vanilla swirl truffle ball recipe up her sleeve, and I was definitely not going to say no to this one.

Check out the video we made to see the recipe, and if you like it, give it a thumbs up & subscribe! Here it is…

PS, on the note of YouTube videos… I really, really enjoy making them. I love the whole process from deciding what to film to getting ready for the filming process to connecting with the film crew, bringing the right people together to collaborate, to the creativity and production of the final product. Even videos that are far less professional quality than this one, I enjoy making and enjoy the FACE TO FACE aspect of connecting with you guys. Do you think I should make it a priority to make more videos?!?!

I ask because as it stands my time is spread pretty thin right now. I am trying to only say “yes” to things that are an extremely good thing for me to be spending my time on. I personally think videos are a rad addition to the business and would love nothing more than to keep bringing them to you, but as far as views go… I know that people gravitate more toward my blog an my Instagram for the most part. Do tell, and I would love your help figuring it out!!!

Ready, set, check it out / tell me your thoughts! If you want me to just keep writing, I can do that too. 😉

PS, Breaking Vegan was #1 in the Eating Disorder Self Help category of Amazon last week… HELL YEAH! One month and one week until it launches… Preorder that ish for me!!! LOVE YOU.

Meet TBB’s Nutritionist: Kelly Leveque!

ITTTTT’S FRIDAY! I am usually not so overexcited about Fridays because nearly all days of the week are the same for me with my funky schedule, but sometimes it’s fun to get kinda pumped up about Fridays like the rest of the world does. So, YAY for Friday!

Plus, I’m extra pumped for today because I am spending the day with my dear Kelly LeVeque, who happens to be my friend, running buddy (LA Marathon training partner in crime!), my neighbor AND my nutritionist all rolled into one.


Someone asked Kelly & me the other night at our running team practice how long we’d known each other, and we both kind of said, “Uh, two years, one year, three years? A few years? Not sure, it feels like forever!”

It really does feel like this girl has been in my life for far longer than she has, because she has had such an impact on me, she has taught me SO MUCH about science/my body/balancing my blood sugar and metabolism, and we kind of sort of have all the same goals in life and know way too many of the same people.

It was truly only a matter of time before Kelly made her way into my life, and I am SO GLAD that she did. I thought it would be fun to give you guys a glimpse into who I turn to when I need an extra kick to stay on the healthy train and when I’ve needed reassurance and guidance throughout my recovery process.


If you live in LA, I HIGHLY recommend her services. She even just traveled to Maui to speak at a wellness event there… she’s badass, what can I say?

Also, I think everyone needs someone in their life who can say, “Should we run the LA Marathon this year even though it scares the sh*t out of us? HELL YEAH WE SHOULD.”

Thanks Kelly for being that person for me and so much more.

Q&A with my gal below!

Q: Kelly! Tell us your full name & business title, for those of us who don’t yet know ya.

A: Be Well by Kelly – Kelly LeVeque

Here we are havin' a blast with our OTF crew Laura + Jonathan!

Here we are havin’ a blast with our OTF crew Laura + Jonathan!

Q: I am consistently inspired by women who follow their hearts, pursue their passions and live a life that they love. YOU are one of those people. What inspired you to become a nutritionist and wellness coach?

A: I fell in love with Health and Nutrition at a young age, my friends and family have leaned on me for nutrition support for as long as I can remember. From health magazines in junior high to pubmed studies in college, my love for biology has never been satiated.  My favorite class at USC was nature of human health and disease and had I listened to my heart then I would have started Be Well right out of college. However, I spent the early part of my career in the medical field, specifically in cancer and genetics. Finally hitting my breaking point with the disease epidemic, constant misinformation and just straight “I love this and I want to help people” passion I went back to school and I took my hobby full time. I haven’t looked back, moved full force in the direction of my dreams and feel so blessed to touch the lives that I do.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of what you do?

A: My clients, they truly are a gift to me daily. I empathize with them, empower them and rejoice with them when they hit goals. It isn’t about me, its about them. when they lean in and learn with me, the biology always sets them free.

Kelly rockin' her TBV !!!

Kelly rockin’ her TBV !!!

Q: You’ve taught me so much about regulating my blood sugar (thank you!). What are your top tips for my readers about stabilizing blood sugar?

A: I love science! Balancing blood sugar with healthy fat, wild protein and fiber rich vegetables will have you eating less overall, feeling relaxed around food and keep you in a muscle sparing fat burning space. Honestly, the best part of blood sugar balance is you stop obsessing over food. Food freedom through biology is my goal and a measly bar or calorie conscious breakfast isn’t going to get you where you need to go in the long run. Start your day with a #bewellsmoothie or four egg veggie omelet with avocado, feel satiated and go into lunch balanced.


Q: Biggest nutrition pet peeve? (I.e. “Fat is so bad for you!” or something like that.)
A: Such a good question! I can’t decide if “fat fear” or a “bad smoothie” is worse. Fat increases insulin sensitivity, increases brain activity, gives your body the precursors for hormones that keep you skinny, hydrates the skin and keeps you happy. I probably eat 6-8 tbsp of healthy fat daily. The good news is my clients are no longer fearful of fat. Its harder for me when a really skinny girl posts a bikini pic with her smoothie…….ingredients “coconut water, 1 cup pineapple, 1 cup mango, 2 dates and a banana” – she is genetically skinny folks, for the rest of us, we might as well add rum. I just feel a visceral need to stand up for the ladies out there trying so hard to feel strong and lean. Sadly, 100% of that fructose is metabolized in the liver and turns to fat 20-30x faster than glucose.


Q: If you could say one thing to a person struggling from an eating disorder but doesn’t know where to begin recovery, what would it be?

A: Tell someone. Ask for help. You aren’t alone. Eating disorders are a control mechanism. Everyone is controlling something in their life in some way. You have chosen food, lets break down the self inflicted rules and work through the “why”? Then, let’s let the science set you free. We can sit down and talk about kombucha, fruit, red meat and all the controversial and fad foods….I can break down the “good” and “bad” for it all. When you see both sides of the story there are no longer rules; just intuition, feelings and really living life.

Q: Favorite meal?

A: I love food. I basically just want to know the science so I can eat whatever I want. My last meal would be a buffet… Bandera BBQ Salmon with Avocado Cucumber Salad and Slaw… M Cafe Salmon Salad with Peanut Kale and Slaw (I love slaw)…


Q: Favorite indulgence?

A: Homemade snicker doodle ice cream sandwich….enough said. Gluten free cookies, full fat creamy wonderland.

Q: Top 3 pantry/refrigerator “must have” items!

A: Coconut Oil, for coffee, freezer fudge and roasted veggies like carrot fries. Cans of Wild Salmon for a quick protein bite and walnuts, I can whip up a divine walnut butter that tastes like cookie dough.


Q: What’s in your gym bag?

A: I need to get a gym bag. My trunk however is a real mess; yoga mats, kettlebells, tennis shoes, Trader Joes nut packs and old water bottles. Don’t ask me to think ahead, I am a real fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl and you can absolutely be healthy on the fly.

Q: How important is a consistent fitness routine on top of eating well when it comes to overall health?

A: Muscle mass dictates metabolism, it helps control blood sugar and working out helps you deal with stress naturally creating happy endorphins. I encourage my clients to stay consistent more to avoid the binge & cleanse cycles that happen when we feel out of control and out of shape. When we workout we sustain clean eating results and maintain progress. A clean diet can only take you so far, working out keeps the scale at your achieved goal.

Q: Tell us what the BE WELL principles are!

A: Transforming our mindset, nutrition and body is a journey, you must enjoy it and love on yourself. Don’t count calories. Eat whole foods that induce satiety like mineral dense protein, healthy fat and fibrous vegetables. You are human, focus on balance not perfection. Balance is found with intentional movement to eat clean, sweat and even enjoy a glass of wine with friends. Accept who you are, love who you are and build a lifestyle focused on health, not some abstract idea of “perfection.” Punishing yourself for “failing” is unhealthy, unproductive and breeds disappointment. Instead, set realistic goals, make them habit and enjoy the heck out of your balanced life!


Well, there you have it, folks! SO MUCH wisdom and so many great tips from the fabulous Kelly LeVeque. I work with her often and even I just learned a ton from reading through this interview. Everyone do yourselves a favor and check out this babe’s work. Also, who’s a fan of me doing more partnership posts with Kelly?! I know that this info is SO USEFUL and I want all of you to have access to it. Kelly, thanks for kicking ass, GF. Can’t wait to get into marathon shape with you… EEK!

Baby Get Your SHINE ON!

Sooo if you know a thing or two about my personality, you know that I am always open to trying anything that will help me channel my inner CALM. I am notoriously high strung, full of energy, an overanalyzer, stresser to the max & a total insomniac. I can hide it well in most settings, but when something tips me over the edge I am DONE-ZO– and all “calmness” zooms out the window.

Anyone who knows me super well has likely experienced that anxious side of me. Two weeks ago my sweet, lovely intern Danika experienced my c-r-a-z-y manic side for the first time (well, my really, really, really manic side for the first time at least) because my baby kitten Hudson got stuck under the dishwasher. As you can imagine, and as anyone would have, I FLIPPED out. Every possible awful thing that could have happened while he was stuck rushed through my brain– such bad & scary things I won’t even say them on the blog because no one needs to think about a kitten getting hypothetically seriously injured or dying…

Quite frankly, I lost my sh*t. And Danika was there to pick up the pieces. I swear  had she not been here I think I would have gathered every ounce of strength and adrenaline in my body to rip the dishwasher out of the wall with my own bare hands so I could get him out. Then again, he was stuck under the wires which was the WORST PART because I was earth shatteringly terrified of crushing him or electrocuting him in the process of moving the dishwasher.

It was traumatic. Times a million.

But even in less scary and stressful situations, I am known to go a little overboard with the panicking. Has anyone ever wondered WHY I am so drawn to yoga, meditation, running, bubble baths, reading, me time, traveling, etc? It’s because I NEED that downtime, exercise and that type of distraction in order to live my daily life without letting my raging anxiety take over. I am such an over thinker in every situation, and finding relaxation techniques like yoga has changed my life in so, so many good ways.


Because of my tendency toward the extremes when it comes to NOT being able to relax, when Shine Organics asked me to join their “Show Us Your Time to Shine” campaign and explain how I channel my inner CALM in my every day life, I was so, so in. I try to keep my blog pretty uplifting on most days, but I also try to be real with you guys. And to let you in and give you a little peak into what it’s like in the hours before I channel my inner calm– that makes me happy because I’m sharing a little piece of my soul with you. If you’ve dealt with issues regarding finding your own calm, you’re not alone.

So, on that note, let me tell you a little bit about the fabulous brand that inspired this post. As their name indicates, they are an organic healthy brand with a line of pouches made with special blends of mindful ingredients meant to feed the moment. And as I mentioned the blends are in POUCH form, which you know I love since I am so on the go and I love anything that makes staying healthy easy. 


Of course among all of their yummy flavors, the CALM variation is my favorite. Not only is it in a pretty purple pouch (I am so into purple these days — as you can see with a few of my latest Instagram posts!), but the combo of banana, pumpkin, chia, blackberry, vanilla, passion flower and coconut successfully combines almost ALL of my favorite things into one. (And I say “almost” because putting absolutely everything I love into one pouch would be overkill, lol.)

And it’s so, so perfect for Fall with the pumpkin and coconut! Can anyone say Pumpkin Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies?!

Anyway, in the CALM blend you are getting…

  • 240MG OF OMEGA-3 (ALA)

Can I get a HELL YEAH?! So many awesome things in this healthy, on-the-go, mindful little pouch with incredible messaging.


My favorite way to eat enjoy blends is when I am craving something sweet but I know I want to stick to a healthy fruit combo. It is also a great post-workout treat that will flood your bod with vitamins and minerals, and it’s super easy on the stomach to digest.

And to address their campaign initiative of how I channel CALM in my daily life: YOGA. Yoga, yoga, yoga. Without yoga, I would be a ball of nerves. And trust me, when I go a few days without practicing I definitely am a ball of nerves. To combat that issue, I keep my yoga mat rolled out on the floor beside my desk (perks of working from home) so I can lay down and stretch and channel my inner zen when things get a little rocky.

I love, love having the mindful little reminder to stay CALM as often as possible. When I’m not doing yoga, I have learned certain breathing techniques to stay calm (maybe a post on this next?!?) and the types of exercise I need to do to get all of my nerves and anxiety out so I can sleep peacefully at night. Above all, I’ve learned that staying true to myself no matter WHAT is going down keeps me calmest of all. Trying to be something/someone I’m not, or trying to ignore emotions that are not always the easiest to deal with always leaves me feeling anxious and the opposite of calm.


How do YOU channel your inner calm?!

Check out Shine Organics & show them some love. Here they are on Instagram, Facebook Pinterest, depending on which social channel most strikes your fancy.They are available at Target– along with so many of my other favorite organic and healthy goodies right now. With so many incredible products out there right now, there are no excuses to stay away from healthy, nutritious, organic food & snacks anymore. Sorry, but I simply won’t let ya.

Have you tried Shine Organics before?! What’s your favorite flavor? Or more importantly, what’s your favorite sentiment– CALM, PURIFY, ELEVATE or REVIVE? They all have their place, but you know which one is my fav!


TBV Apparel Giveawayyy!

Hi loves! Exciting news ALLLL around. My publishing company has officially received the early copies of the FINAL PRODUCT of my book! They had 16 copies available for friends/family that I swiftly sent off to 16 people who I am super duper close to to get an early glimpse at the book, give it a review, etc.

Some of the books came in the mail yesterday and the rest are arriving today… Meaning that people like my MOM, my BEST FRIENDS, my SISTER, my BROTHER IN LAW, my BOOK PHOTOGRAPHER (slash good friend Ty Ty), and my AGENT (oh, and ME!) are reading it for the very, very first time. Well, my agent saw it through the whole process, but my family and friends hadn’t read one single word of the book until some of them received it yesterday. I have kept nearly everything about it a huge secret to them, and it is astoundingly thrilling to think that they are able to see it now and read what I’ve been working on for the last year and a half.

EEK!!!!! The book on my sister’s counter!! UNREAL VISION.

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So, this is where you guys come in. With only a month and a half until the release of the book, preorders are SUUUUPERRR important. Some of the big outlets & book stores are placing their orders this week and next, and their orders ALL depend on the amount of preorders that are received. Plus, a preordered book is about $6.00 less than it will be when the book is actually out in November. Save yourself a few bucks, be one of the first to get it in your hands, ensure that you get one before it (maybe) goes into backorder, and help a sista out who is wildly excited to share her book/baby with the world!!!

This has to be said: I would not be here, at ALL, without you guys. If you didn’t read my blog, support my story, value the messages of balance/wellness/nutrition/authenticity/taking care of ourselves/finding HAPPINESS in our bodies and lives, then there is no way I would have had the opportunity to write this book and get it published. Massive thanks to those of you who have been along for the ride with me, and to those of you who are just finding this blog now, ALL of you who made your way to this little corner of the web: THANK YOU.

Thanks for helping make my dreams come true– and I will keep on making it my mission to bring you guys content that you love and answer as many questions and get to as many topics as I can for this bloggy for FREEE (duh) so that when you do support me by buying my book it’s like an investment in tons of free content on top of it, hehe.

To thank you all for your immense support, I am hosting a giveaway for people who send me their preorder receipts. (Just email them to me at!!!

G I V E A W A Y !!! For TWOOOOO lucky winners, whom I will choose on Friday afternoon!

I am giving away 2 TBV APPAREL TEES of your choice. Check out the line here!!!!



2 BOXES OF LIQUID IV healthy hydration supplement!

1 JAR OF PHILOSOPHIE CACAO COCONUT BUTTER + 1 JAR OF PHILOSOPHIE MANUKA HONEY (….otherwise known as, the healthy version of crack cocaine.)

To enter, all you need to do is PREORDER the book here & email me your receipt!!!! So grateful. So stoked for all of you to read this. Like beyond stoked. Never been so excited about something in my lifetime.

ALSO!!!! The book is #1 in the Eating Disorder Self-Help category on Amazon right now! If it stays there until Friday, I will release a recipe photo and recipe from the book on the bloggy along with the winning names!! Woooo!!!



When Life Gets a Little Overwhelming…

Take a chill pill.

Take a deep breath, relax & remind yourself that feeling overwhelmed is just part of the process of living life and getting comfortable in the messiness – and it’s sure as heck a lot better than being bored.

I’ve had to remind myself to chill out about my emotions and reactions to things a lot over the last few weeks. As you may have seen on my Instagram, I am very convinced that this past weekend’s lunar eclipse has had me feeling all sorts of energies & releases to a highly intense degree that I’m not really used to.

( I will do a whole separate post on the moon and how fascinated I am by how much it can affect our bodies, our minds and our spirits (is anyone else fascinated by this?!?! Like what the heck how cool and powerful and semi scary because of the power and intensity at the same time…) SO intriguing. )

But regardless of where our flood of emotions comes from, we all know one thing about it: it COMES. Sometimes the feeling sneaks up on you and sometimes it’s a gradual build up when issue after stressor after unexpected project after annoying person after obsessive thought piles up and up until you can’t take it anymore and you kind of break.

I won’t get into far too much detail, but I had one of those weeks last week. Everything seemed to be going wrong… From my kitten Hudson developing an infected abscess on his tummy (so sad) to me locking myself out of my apartment more times than I can count to lots of sleepless nights to my cousin’s dog passing away to forgetting about a big deadline I had and lots of other little annoyances. And then, on a much more real note, my dear brother in law, who has been in my life since I was young and is my real brother in my eyes & one of my best friends, lost his father suddenly.

That put everything into perspective for me and also cast an even darker shadow over the week– I kept asking myself whatttt is going on?! Why are all of these tragic, upsetting and frustrating things happening to me and the people I love and when are we all going to get a break?

And after days of struggling and staying up all night with Hudson because I was such a wreck that he was going to die in his sleep from his minor abscess infection (#newmom), something hit me:


Chill. Out.

It was time to start letting that shit go. All of these upsetting things were happening, yes, and I had no power over fixing them. The only thing I had power over was my reaction to them. I am not the kind of person who can wake up in a shitty mood several days in a row… I just can’t. If I do, I make it my mission to turn that mood around. I’ll do whatever it takes to make it happen and try to feel better, because letting that depressed feeling envelope me isn’t really an option in my mind.

Here are a few things I do when I absolutely know I need to Chill the F Out:

A) YOGA. I won’t go into too much detail about this one because you all know that yoga is my saving grace, helps me breathe, clears my head & gets me out of a funk simply by moving my body and releasing that negative energy. If you want to hear more about this,  I am happy to write a full post on yoga again soon. I could talk about it for days. 😉

B) Switch Things UP!! If I’ve been spending most of my time around people and I am feeling super overwhelmed or stressed out, then I know its time to switch gears and spend some time alone. Seriously– when I feel this way I know it’s a good idea for me to not even answer my phone calls for a day or two (sorry peeps I do love you, I swear) because I need that time to be ALONE and to let that negative energy release. I spent a day like that at the end of last week and it was so therapeutic, I can’t even tell you. Alternately, if I’ve been spending more time alone due to work or mood or anything, then I switch it up by making plans with people that I love and feeding off of their positive energy. Sometimes all it takes is a slight little change in what you’re doing to change your attitude.

C) Being kind to myself & making healthy choices: I always feel my best when I am exercising consistently, eating well and sleeping well. If any one of those three things is missing, I feel very thrown off. I know that my lack of sleep as a new kitten mama has been throwing me off, so I have made it a point to try to sleep better and chill out about Hudson in the middle of the night because the truth is he is FIIIINE and I know that. I have to take care of myself first and then I am able to best take care of my kitty baby and everyone else around me.

D) JOURNALING! When I was looking up different ways to deal with the flood of emotions I was experiencing from the full moon, every single resource said this: Journal, journal, journal. Write your heart out. Funny enough, this bloggy is pretty much my journal anyway so you guys are getting to read my emotions + reflections firsthand most of the time. Pretty fun, right?! But seriously… Getting your emotions down on paper helps so much. For me at least, I can think more clearly once I start getting the excess down and out.

E) Good music. Music has always helped me calm down when I really need it most. Hearing someone sing a song lyric that is so on point to how I feel makes me feel so much less alone in whatever way I’m feeling in that moment– plus the beauty and creativity behind good music is so inspiring and soul-soothing. Blasting good music is a must.

F) Family!!! I know I am always writing about the importance of friends and family and good people in your life, but when you’re really down in the dumps… Family is more helpful than words can describe. When I was super upset last week about everything going on, I called my house and talked to my dad and then my mom one after the other, and I immediately started feeling so much better. Their words aren’t a cure-all, but they are so comforting and they know me SO WELL that it’s hard not to feel better after talking to them. Share what you’re feeling with those around you, because it really helps.

Has anyone else been particularly overwhelmed with life the past few days/weeks? If so, would love to hear your tips for dealing! I could always use a few more tricks up my sleeve. 😉


I’ve Never Liked Soda Before, But…

It’s true. I’ve NEVER liked soda. Not in my whole entire life. When I was young, I thought that soda tasted spicy (my reaction to the carbonation, haha) and absolutely hated it. As I got a little older, I was so used to disliking it that I didn’t even try a sip again until I was old enough to start drinking alcohol and oftentimes the only chaser around would be a bottle or can of soda.

Even then, I hated it. I had to pinch my nose to even down a single sip of Coke or Pepsi (Ewww). I was always a little more okay with clear sodas, but I still disliked them. Then, being the health freak that I am, the sugar content and over processed-ness ensured that I stayed away from it forever.


But, as with all things, I knew that there were healthy versions of soda out there. And trust me, I’m not the kind of girl who is fooled by a “healthy” label. You can’t slap a label on something saying it’s organic or gluten-free or fat-free or sugar-free and have me believing that I’ve just won the healthy food jackpot. (Although I will admit at one point in my life I had myself utterly convinced that gluten-free brownies MUST mean that they have zero calories, too…. LOL, but that was just wishful thinking at its finest).

So when I recently found out about Zevia, a sugar-free, zero-calorie, Non-GMO Project verified, clear in color, naturally sweetened “soda,” I was like UMMM is this for real? I wasn’t sure that I could believe it until I saw it / tasted it.

And then after yoga one afternoon I cracked open a few flavors with my friend Chloe (yes, the same Chloe that is my dear Huddy’s kitten sitter whenever I am gone for a night!) and let me be the first to tell you…. ZEVIA is CRACK!!! In the best way.


Since I have never been a soda drinker, I’ve actually never had a cream soda before. It has always sounded delicious to me, so the cream soda flavor of Zevia was the first one that I cracked open with Chloe that afternoon. (She had the Strawberry flavor!). O M G is the cream soda good, like woah. Not only is it refreshing, light, fizzy and sweet– but it is HEALTHY and won’t spike your blood sugar or pack on the pounds.

You guys know that ever since I recognized having orthorexia and have moved away from dietary labels, “zero calorie” foods aren’t always on top of my list– for many reasons. But when it comes to beverages, the less calories, the better. I want to eat my calories, thank you very much. And those pesky high calorie beverages are the ones that get a lot of us and leave us wondering, “I eat so well, why do I still feel bloated & need to lose a few pounds?”

WELLLL my friends, drink Zevia instead and that problem will be alleviated. ESPECIALLY those of you who love soda and/or are addicted to soda. Soda addiction is a real thing.


According to the Global Healing Center: “There are toxins in soda that bombard your body and overwhelm the colon so much that your body can’t always expel them efficiently. When you drink soft drinks you’re voluntarily adding to the body’s work. Retained poisons remain in the colon making it toxic. The damages that can be done to your body as a result of toxins built up are many, starting with the intestinal tract.”

Well excuse me, but I know that NONE of us need that addiction in our lives, nor do we need the added sugar. So unbelievably not worth it. But all of my soda addicts out there (or even people who just enjoy the taste) are in luck with Zevia because it’s a healthy and seriously delicious alternative.

And the best part — there is NOTHING bad for you in it. Nothing. And there are tons of flavors… even GINGER ROOT BEER!!! Can you say amazing? Can you say healthy root beer float? OMG can you say Ginger Root Beer + Dairy-free Coconut Ice cream withhhh my healthy chocolate sauce recipe (cacao powder + coconut oil)… Healthy and nutritious treat, calling our names!



Follow @zevialife on Instagram and tag a friend who is #ClearlyDifferent to be one of 5 winners of a case of Zevia for you and a friend! Also, tag @thebalancedblonde so I can check out your post & choose some winners!

What are your guys’ thoughts? Do you like soda / have you ever found a soda alternative that you’re happy with? I can’t wait for you guys to try this so I can hear what you think! You’re going to thank me for this one. 😉


Loving Lately, September Style

Hi loves! It’s been a little bit since my last Loving Lately post, but truth be told writing about what I am loving lately is probably my favorite type of post to write… Mainly because I freaking love lists, and if all forms of expression could be summed up in list form I would be the happiest person ever. Seriously, I sometimes write out lists to my friends and family of all the things I need to tell them or all the reasons why I love them — my brain functions in a list format.

I’m crazy, I know. But also SO STOKED to share this loving lately list with you!!!



▶▷▸▹► The Fact that it’s Almost FALL!

And I swear I don’t mean that in the most basic way possible. There are many layers behind why I am so thrilled for this new season to roll in. This summer was full of changes & adventure for me– I moved into my first-ever one bedroom living-alone situation, and it’s been awesome, but the moving process has of course been hectic. In the last few months I’ve been to NYC twice, Seattle, Chicago, Sacramento, SF, Hawaii, Napa, Palm Springs, Laguna Beach, San Diego, Santa Barbara and more. The travel has been so much fun and it has also given me some fantastic blog content, but I am really looking forward to the quieter holiday months that will give me more time at home, with my kitty, writing, and getting acclimated in my new apartment!

Some summer memories from Chicago, NYC, Maui, San Diego and Create & Cultivate!


ALSO, with Fall here now, we will be launching our TBV Apparel Fall Collection in no time. Keep an eye out for it, because we have some new and exciting things up our sleeves (think not JUST t-shirts…) and we are unbelievably excited to share with you. AND now with Fall finally being here, it’s officially the season in which my BOOK IS COMING OUT!!!! There is basically only a month and a half until Breaking Vegan hits shelves, and that will be the greatest day of my life, for real. You can still preorder it now, BTW. ! ! ! !

▶▷▸▹► Thinking About… Thinking!

Funny, right? I have been reading this fab book called Think Like A Freak, and although I’m getting through it crazy slowly (life as a new kitten mama doesn’t leave a whoooole lot of time for leisure reading), the main takeaway I’ve gotten from it so far is that in order to think like a freak & tap into your true creative potential, the first thing you have to do is actually THINK!! So many people just go through the motions of life (I know a lot of you… and I’ve been there too) and don’t actually live in the moment or sit down to think about what they need to do in order to chase their dreams, make positive changes in their life, or even know what it is that they want to make a change to. Making the time to sit down and “think,” without distractions (no phone, no people around, no eating, nada) for even just 30 minutes per week can make all the difference between a creative-minded entrepreneur and a creative-minded dreamer. Think about it… No pun intended. 😉

▶▷▸▹► This jumpsuit. And everything from this exclusive collection from The Fifth Label — I told you, I’m seriously an Australian at heart. (The Fifth Label is an Australian line… and I am obsessed with it.)


Here it is in Ivory, & here it is in Navy — my monochrome version is out of stock! 


▶▷▸▹► Marathon training… Well, what I really love about is the consistency. And the thrill of such a big, new-to-me GOAL. I absolutely love setting goals and (trying not to obsess about them, lol) work toward checking them off of my list. Running a marathon has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, but it was one of those things that always felt very far off and like something I would do “when I was ready.” But, funny thing is, I sit here all day long and explain to people why they should not wait to do things until they are “ready,” because in most cases they’re either already ready or they’re never going to be ready… And now is the time. But I wasn’t taking my own advice when it came to the marathon running…

And then I got lucky enough to meet some very seasoned & motivational marathon runners through my community at Orange Theory Fitness. One of those people is the fab Jonathan Albrecht who has already promised to run this race with me beginning, middle & end, even though I am FAR slower than him a million times over– he is just that wonderful. And another one of those people is the lovely Jimmy Dean Freeman who is now my marathon training coach through the NutriBullet Team! There are 100 of us on the team, we practice every Saturday morning (and Weds nights), and I am about to get my butt kicked in the best way.

SO STOKED about this goal and beginning to run more consistently. If you’ve had a goal on your list for a long time and are looking for an excuse to make it happen — now is the time. Let this be your motivation. 😉 

Here I am, in all of my sweaty glory, after our first running practice this past Saturday morning. It felt damn good to get out there — bright and EARLAYYYY.

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▶▷▸▹► H Y D R A T I ON : Those of you who know me know that I am pretty much obsessed with hydration, especially now that I’m doing this marathon training. Not only do I run Liquid IV‘s social media account, which is a company that is centered on hydration and getting it into our bloodstreams 3x faster than simply drinking water, but I also drink a sh*t ton of water. All the time. I get dehydrated so rapidly because of the way my body is and also because I am so active, that if I don’t drink water all day long I get dehydration headaches and start to feel lightheaded. Because of my water obsession, I’ve had to make sure to be extremely on top of which water companies are the purest, most economical and have the best policies and give-back initiatives (with so much of our world being deficient in water supply, that is.)

One company I can definitely stand behind is Waiakea Springs. Their three principles are to drink healthy, drink sustainably and drink ethically. Their water is naturally filtered through volcanic rock in Hawaii that gives it a variety of natural health benefits from naturally enhanced magnesium, calcium, potassium, sodium and silica, and it also has a naturally alkaline 8.8 pH balance. For those of us who need that extra alkalinity in our bodies, drinking the proper water is absolutely essential.

Waiakea also uses one of the most sustainable fresh water resources in the world, using only 100% RPET bottles, utilizing low emission shipping, and actively participating in regional carbon offset programs- all of which have led Waiakea to be the first Hawaiian bottled water to be certified CarbonNeutral®. SO COOL!

Lastly, to make them even cooler, for every liter of Waiakea that is purchased, they donate 650 liters of clean water to those in need in Africa and throughout the world, through their incredible partner, SWEET, RIGHT?

Check them out on Insta too, and show them some love!!! ANNDDD use **DISCOUNT CODE** “BalancedBlonde” for 20% off all Waiakea online orders! Do itttt. You won’t regret it. (Plus that saves you $$ rather than buying it in-store somewhere!)

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▶▷▸▹► My first ever article getting published on Elite Daily! Check it out! I have so many more fun ones up my sleeeeve– I love being able to share my writing in a public space other than my bloggy blog. When this was posted a lot of my friends & readers were like ummm what’s the big deal, you have been on Elite Daily before?! But I have never gotten an article that I’ve written myself published on the site… SOOOO that’s the excitement!! Would love for you to read it & “like” it. 😉

▶▷▸▹► Obvi, loving to the MOON & BACK being a kitten mama. But does that even have to be said? This little Hudson Riley bear is my life. I cannot get enough of him… And he is even changing my lifestyle — making this crazy kook of a blogger stay home more often & get to bed much earlier! How I adore him. #thoseeyes

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▶▷▸▹► Weddings. Before this weekend, It had been awhile since I’d been to a wedding– my friends aren’t quite at the getting married stage yet. Over the weekend I went to my cousin Marisa’s wedding in Laguna Beach & it was just beautiful. First of all, Marisa and her new husband Greg are PERFECT for each other and their love makes me so happy. It really is inspiring to be in the presence of two people who are committing to spending the rest of their lives together… Especially when they are as blissfully happy and lovable as these two. I mean, look at them:

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The other best part about weddings is being able to spend the entire weekend with your whole family and people that you love. It’s so refreshing. And of course, weddings are always a great party. :) We had the best time. If you follow me on Snapchat (username jojoyounger) then you knowwww I had a good time (lol)! Here’s a funny one of me & my dad from the very end of the night–


▶▷▸▹► YouTube!!! I am releasing my new recipe YouTube video with the fabulous Talia Fuhrman tomorrow… Get ExCiTeD … Especially if you’re a chocolate lover ! ! !

▶▷▸▹► Working with people who GET ME. Danika, my AMAZING intern/photographer/friend knew that I was having a rough week– and she surprised me yesterday and brought me flowers to my door. I don’t know if this girl even realizes the impact she’s had on my life or how incredibly grateful I am for her love and support, but every little gesture she makes shows me that she is one of the most selfless, talented & special people that I know. How did I get so lucky?

▶▷▸▹► This Topshop dress.

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 3.29.45 PMAND SO MUCH MORE. I guess this post is a testament to the fact that Loving Lately posts seriously are my favorite posts to write… So I guess I should start working them back into my routine. 😉

Don’t forget to use the Waiakea discount code “BalancedBlonde” if you order any h2o from their site!

What are YOU loving lately?!?!

Guess Who’s a Brand New Kitten Mama?!

Hi guys. :) I know I’ve been MIA for several days but I promise it’s been for a good reason. Last Tuesday I became a MOM!!!! A kitten mom, that is. You may have seen that Hudson already has his own Instagram account, and was reposted by a huge kitty account today where his photo received a grand total of 16,000+ likes & counting, which is about 13,000 more than his long-time blogging mama has EVER gotten.


Meet HUDDY! Otherwise known as my baby Hudson Riley. :)

And for those of you who know me personally, you know I’ve never in my life had a pet. I had lots of fish when I was really young, but after I stepped on a gold fish in a pet store and it crunched under my shoe (true story), the novelty of fish was ruined and I stopped getting fishies. So between the years of 1999 – 2015, I had a grand total of zero pets.

I begged my parents for years and years and yeeears to get a puppy or a kitten for us, but it was never going to happen. My parents are not animal people at all and they are also OCD about our house and its cleanliness, and nothing quite gives my dad more anxiety than the thought of a fur baby running around our house and potentially making a mess. (He has a hard enough time with children and people in general being in our house, lol… I’m telling you: OCD!!!)

I got used to never having a pet, and as a result I kind of dropped the topic of getting an animal for many, many years. I really liked my friends’ animals, and there have been a few animals that I have developed major bonds with over the years, but I was SO intimidated by the amount of work that would go into having a pet I imagined I wouldn’t get one until maybe I was married– that way at least one person in the house would (most likely) be used to taking care of a pet and the pet would have a chance at a super normal life! (Lol. I’m serious. I had zero confidence in my ability to be a pet mama on my own.)

Then about a year and a half ago I started getting major urges to get a pet, despite the commitment I knew it would be. I longed for the companionship, the responsibility, the cuddliness, the happiness a little animal would bring, a buddy to hang out at home with me since I work from home, and a little baby to be responsible for taking care of. I also wanted something that would bind me to being home more– I’m notoriously all over the place, and having a pet is like having a little family. I guess you could say after years of being on my own and pretty wild and travel-obsessed and spur of the moment and adventurous (well, that’s not going to change) I knew I was ready for a big commitment to “settling down” — even just a little bit!


Huddy lovey

I’ve been obsessing over the idea for a while now– to the point where drunkenly on my last birthday after an afternoon of day-drinking I almost adopted a dog at an adoption stand in Santa Monica. Luckily some of my friends talked me out of it because drunk decisions are never the best serious decisions…. #oops.

And THEN all signs in my life started pointing toward me getting a cat. I spoke with someone from India who does energy work and reads birth charts, and he told me that the animal I needed to have around me in order for me to thrive to my full potential was a female cat. At first I was surprised. A cat? I had never been particularly drawn to cats. But after he said it I started thinking… Wait a sec, getting a kitten might be the best freaking thing in the entire world.

It was still just fantasy, because at that point I had a whole summer of travel ahead of me. And thank god I did, because I am known to make very impulsive decisions far too soon. So I had all summer to think about it, and while I did– cat signs popped up everywhere. I moved into an apartment where cats were allowed but not dogs, I fell in love with a friend’s kitten, I went through a few life changes that left me yearning for a little animal to take care of more than ever, and I just started feeling more and more ready to commit to a little baby kitten.


Checking out his new digs on his second day at home!

And THEN after months and months of travel, I started feeling like okay I need to be in LA more, how do I go about doing that? I signed up for the LA Marathon, which officially binds me to be here every weekend to practice with my team until February, and then getting a kitten and being around more seemed to make more and more sense.

And thennnnn it happened.

So last week, in typical Jordan fashion, the intense desire to adopt a kitten that very day came over me. I ditched my work for the day, drove all over LA checking out adoption centers, talking on the phone with organizations and searching for a kitten that I bonded with. The first day was a wash, but I woke up the next day with the feeling that that was going to be the day I found my perfect kitty.

I ended up going to an adoption center called No Kill LA and falling HEAD OVER HEELS in love with a kitten named Hudson– not a female cat, but a little baby boy cat. I have always been drawn toward boy babies over girls for some reason, so it sort of made sense. I will spare you all of the details of the day, because it was spontaneous and awesome and monumental and so special, but I will say that it’s a day I will never forget.

Bringing Huddy home was one of the greatest, proudest, most thrilling feelings I have ever felt– combined with tons of terror and anxiety. What if he hates it here?! What if he’s afraid of me forever? What if I am not meant to take care of a kitten and I do something wrong? What if he dehydrates or starves or falls out of a window?!

Needless to say… I was a nervous wreck. And so was he. He hid under my bed for about four hours and I laid under it (as much as I could… he is far tinier than me, lol) and tried to show him his new toys and pet him. He was scared shitless and his little heart was beating ferociously out of his chest. I was SO SCARED and was afraid for a few hot minutes that I’d made a terrible mistake.

Eventually, after a long evening of Huddy running from me, he crawled out from underneath my bed and circled me on the floor. Then he laid down on his back right in front of me and started meowing. He was finally starting to trust me. To say that I teared up from happiness and pride would be a vast understatement… I totally cried and knew that he was beginning to realize this was his home and I was his mama.

Is this face real life?

Is this face real life?

I brought him into bed with me that night to cuddle and he fell asleep purring on my chest and rubbing noses with me– and the rest is history!! Now we sleep cuddling and holding hands every night (seriously. It’s perfection), and while my friends and family are ASTOUNDED (and some of them mildly horrified) that I am now a kitten mama, it’s pretty clear to them that I am over the moon with Hudson.

It sounds crazy, but my maternal instinct kicked right in and I went immediately into mama mode. Huddy’s safety and happiness is basically all I care about right now, and I have spent COUNTLESS hours laying on the ground playing with him and staring at him because he is actual perfection. Those of you who know me understand the hilarity of this situation, since I have never been one to stay home for a full day or even sit in one place for several hours.

Even from just reading this blog consistently you know what a workaholic I am!! I run two businesses and several social media accounts and I have a book coming out and a YouTube channel and all sorts of commitments… But Huddy  somehow manages to fit right into my life, and he is my top priority right now. :)

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Some funny reactions…

One of the best parts about getting Hudson is that adopting him was 110% my decision. I am the type of person who consults a LOT of people in my life when it comes to just about everything that I do. I have regular daily texting convos with about 10-20 people that I am super close to, and they are a big part of my decision making process and my daily ups and downs. The day that I got Hudson… About ONE person knew that I was doing it, and that’s because she happened to me with me that afternoon. (Hi, Nile!)

I started Snapchatting photos from the adoption center, and all of my friends thought that Nile, the friend I was with, was getting the kitten and not me– that’s how surprising the decision was.

Some of the funniest reactions I got…

Katie & Danielle (my lifelong besties who have known me since I was  very young): “Ok, we have a question for you. Do you actually clean the litter box?? We really can’t picture it. OMG you actually do?! That is shocking!!!!”

Danika (my lovely intern & photographer who took most of the fab photos in this post): [After we spent the day in my apartment with Hudson] “I don’t think I’ve never spent this many hours in one place with you… Ever.”

My dad: “Hate to break it to you, but you’re going to have to take the kitten back. You CANNOT keep him.”

“Dad, I’m 25. I think I’ll be fine.”

“Okay, good point.”

Everyone in my life from my sister to my niece to my friends: “Wait, this is a joke, right? You didn’t ACTUALLY get a kitten?”

And perhaps the best of all, my mom, unsure whether to be supportive and excited or absolutely terrified at the commitment I’d just made: [In response to a photo of Hudson that I sent her the night I adopted him] “Adorable kitten :/”


Now I’m happy to say everyone is supportive & excited for me, and those who have met Huddy know how unbelievably perfect, sweet, mild mannered, cuddly and lovable he is. He is going to be in one VERY loved household from now on– and it’s SO WEIRDDD and wonderful to think that Huddy will be with me for years and be a part of my future kids’ lives. It’s amazing. I love it.

Now we even do yoga together. 😉

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I am open to any and ALLLLLLLLL kitten tips! I am so so so so lucky to have my dear friend Chloe Dove who stayed with Huddy this weekend while I was at a wedding, and has been the kitten whisperer since day 1 with him. Would love to know any toys, tips, tricks, organic/healthy food brands, vet tips, ANYTHING— send it my way!!! Huddy is going to be one spoiled baby. 😉

10 Things You Should Know About Orthorexia

Hi babes! Ahhh, the whirlwind of life, RIGHT? I mean, all I wanna do is sit here and blog and talk to you guys and create new content for the site, and all I seem to be able to do these days is travel my booty off, get ready for the BOOK to come out (ahhhh!), film fun vids (YES!), plan events, ya know…

Here’s a particularly exciting photo from one of my NYC adventures if you haven’t seen this on Instagram yet! At Carrie’s CALIA NYFW show!


Okay, I’ll admit. It’s all been really fun. But I sure do love blogging and it makes my heart happy to have chill time in front of the computer & connect with all of you, so I am looking forward to live settling down a little bit in the next months so I can blog it out and bring you guys new recipes, how-to’s, videos, etc.

Oh, speaking of videos… I have a real good one for you guys today. Once that I hope will answer a lot of questions and clear up quite a bit when it comes to that interesting lil’ subject of orthorexia.

Before I came forward on the bloggy about my struggle with orthorexia, I had no idea that the disorder was such a little-known phenomenon. I discovered orthorexia when I was frantically searching the web one night to see if anyone else felt the way that I did when it came to food fears & obsessions with health, dietary label and restriction… And then found the Wikipedia definition of orthorexia that wound up quite swiftly changing my life… a lot.

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Now, a year and a half later, a lot has changed. I’ve written a book about my transition from veganism and my orthorexia recovery, Breaking Vegan, that will be out this November. (YEAH!) I also write about eating disorder recovery on the bloggy now and have had the opportunity to connect with people all over the world (you guys!!!) who are also suffering. Hearing your stories and having that support system has helped me greatly, and I feel very lucky to have a platform where I am able to connect and communicate with people who understand.

Because of the amount of questions and confusion that I get about orthorexia on a daily basis (I get it, it can be confusing before you learn about it!), I have put together this handy dandy YouTube video to answer the most commonly asked questions. The video is titled “10 Things You Should Know About Orthorexia,” and I hope it sheds some light on the disorder for you. If you are suffering from orthorexia, or know someone who is, you are not alone. There is help out there, and there is a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. It’s all about recognizing the problem so you can start to heal from the inside out!

10 Things You Should Know About Orthorexia video!!!


The List…

(Compiled by moi, edited by my fab book editor Amanda Waddell & with lots of great input and support from Dr. Steven Bratman, as always)

1. Orthorexia is a serious disorder and indicates an unhealthy obsession with “correct diet.” The term was coined in 1996 by Dr. Steven Bratman and many experts are working on getting it officially recognized by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

2. The disorder is often brought on or triggered by restrictive dietary theories, as part of a lifestyle almost singularly focused on health.

3. Behaviors to look out for are anything extreme when it comes to diet. “Clean eating,” “pure foods,” “veganism,” “raw foods,” “paleo,” and so on are all perfectly fine (and healthy) lifestyles to follow – it’s only when such things are taken too far that there may be cause for concern. This includes, but is not limited to: severe restriction of calories, fear and anxiety regarding “impure” or “off-limit” foods, and a near-constant focus on diet and health.

4. Orthorexia is not about saying that any one diet ir wrong or right, i’s about the fact that some people take whatever their dietary theory is to unhealthy extremes. We must accept that everyone is different and allow room for that.

5. Orthorexia is occasionally intertwined with elements of other eating disorders, such as anorexia, binge eating, bulimia and more, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. It often stands on its own as well, and can develop over years or even months.

6. It can be as hard for a person with orthorexia to relax about diet as it is for an addict to give up drugs or alcohol. One of the signs that orthorexia has developed is that the dietary theory followed by that person takes on a life of its own; even if a person wants to lighten up and “eat more protein,” for example, they may feel unable to do so.

7. Many people with orthorexia also go to extremes with exercise, not necessarily to lose weight, but in a quest to optimize their health. Athletes may develop orthorexia in a quest for optimum sports performance, only to find that they have become entrapped in a restrictive dietary theory that impairs their performance.

8. The effects of orthorexia can range from person to person. I lost my period, developed several nutritional deficiencies, had bacterial overgrowths, lost my digestive enzymes, and have had to work extremely hard to get back to health again in many ways.

9. Orthorexia can affect anyone. Teenage girls, especially vegans, are particularly susceptible, but the disorder has no one “type” of sufferer. Some naysayers may classify it as a “first world problem,” meaning that it is a problem that only afflicts a certain socio-economic group. But it is important to remember that everyone has their own journey and the struggle can develop into a life threatening disorder which must be taken seriously.

10. There is no ONE DIET that is the healthiest under the sun and don’t let anyone’s “research” trick you into thinking that. Every body is different, and what works for one may not work for another. Orthorexia awareness is not synonymous at ALL with “anti-health,” but with BALANCE. Many people who recover from orthorexia are still passionate about health, and because of what they’ve been through they are able to exercise that passion in a truly healthy and balanced way.

& for the record…

Recovering from orthorexia, although it’s a tough road, is actually a beautiful journey toward self-discovery, growth, personal progress, compassion for others and for yourself, and a true way to get to know your body from the inside out.

For more information on orthorexia and to read my full story, click here to purchase my orthorexia memoir, Breaking Vegan.

can’t wait to hear what you guys think. Let me know if this video resonated with you, if it answered any pressing questions or confusion you’ve had about orthorexia, or if there are any more Q’s I can answer. Also, i you like it, give it a thumbs up on YouTube & subscribe to my channel! Love making videos for you guys and hope to make more and more! 

( P.S. NYC recap to come. A bit lighter of a topic, haha. Can’t waaaiiitttt! )

What Does It Mean to Be a “Blogger,” Anyway?

What Does It Mean to Be a “Blogger,” Anyway?

Story of my life:

“So, what do you do for a living?”

“I’m a blogger.”

“Oh, awesome… But what do you do for work?”

“I blog…”

“Yeah, but how do you make money?”

“You know, lots of different ways.”

“Like what? I mean, I don’t wanna pry but I really want to know…”

“Wellllll, there are lots of different ways to make money as a blogger. I sell products, I partner with brands that I want to share with people, I review restaurants, I have advertising space on my site, I wrote a book…”

“Ohhh, got it. But like, what do you DO on a daily basis?”

Lol, I get it. I get it. I am totally not trying to say that people shouldn’t ask these questions. I love when people ask me about my job and when they’re interested in learning more. I even loved when my Uber driver in Seattle wanted to know all about blogging until he then told me he wanted to start a blog about guns… Yikes, haha.

I’m not debating it. Blogging is a confusing business! It wasn’t even possible to have a job as a blogger until the last couple of years, which is why I especially admire those select few people who have been blogging for YEARS as a side hobby until they were able to turn their blog into a business. (Geri Hirsch from Because I’m Addicted has been blogging since 2005! I think it’s incredibly cool.) Pretty much, brands started realizing that blogs were a legitimate form of marketing (a really, really great way to market because they get a target audience AND a genuine, reliable marketer) and slowly but surely, making a living as a blogger started to become possible.

There are all sorts of blogs from fashion to fitness to lifestyle to food (food is a huge one, everyone loves a good #foodporn post), and pretty much everything in between. Mommy blogs are huge right now. Adventure blogs are awesome, travel blogs rock, photography blogs are beautiful, and there are running blogs, music blogs, DIY blogs, home decor blogs, beauty blogs, gender studies blogs, eating disorder recovery blogs, lawyer blogs, marriage and wedding blogs, VIDEO blogs on all of the above, and soooo much more. And then there’s YouTube but I won’t even get into that right now… Being a successful YouTuber is basically our 2015 equivalent to the 60s’ Beatles. Or perhaps more accurately to Britney Spears circa 2000, because the Beatles are just untouchable…

So when your blog happens to fall under the category of “lifestyle,” the details can be particularly hard to explain. I like to describe my blogging space as somewhat of an online diary… because that’s what it is. Sometimes I write on a whim about what I’m feeling in a singular moment (like yesterday’s post about travel), but sometimes my posts are planned out months in advance with professional photography, interviews, videos, edits and all that jazz.

Other than the fact that a blog is a place to express anything you want, however you want, whenever you want, being a “blogger” also has a lot more layers to it than that. It will always have those elements, but doing it full time sort of takes it to a different level. If I had to describe blogging as a business in one sentence, this is probably what I would say: Being a blogger is pretty synonymous to being a freelance artist: whether you’re a writer, photographer or a curator of information, your blog is a space to share an intimate look into a specific subject (or subjects) with a targeted audience that finds it way to you and grows over time.  

More simply put (god, I’m wordy): Blogging is a form of freelance artistry. 

That “artistry” can be anything from prose, photos, videos, look books, links to other information or, um, pretty much anything. That’s the awesomeness of it. There isn’t a whole lot of categorization, which gives a TON of leeway for creative exploration.

And then of course there’s the structure of it all. You can be the most creative and passionate blogger on the block, but if there is no organization then there’s really no oomph. There’s no room to make a business out of it, because businesses need structure, strategy and planning (a little bit, at least).

So not only are you a freelance artist when you have a bloggy, but you also have the responsibility of being the BOSS of your own website. You’ve gotta call the shots. Are you going to reach out to brands, or are you going to have a spot on your website where they can reach out to you? Are you going to work with a team, or are you going to do it all on your own? Is there a specific amount of time you allot yourself to get back to people, or will you fly by the seat of your pants? How professional do you want to make the space, and/or how laid back do you want to be about this whole thing?

Inherently, I don’t have the “laid back” trait when it keeps to doing something I love. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to dive in full throttle. I find that characteristic a lot with bloggers because if you’re going to try to grow a brand on the Internet you’ve gotta be pretty darn determined and you’ve also gotta have something you’re very passionate about sharing.

I spent the beginning of last week in Seattle with a handful of bloggers at an Eddie Bauer influencer summit (so much amazingness to come with that, by the way!), and one thing between most of us was pretty clear: we are hardcore people. We take on a lot (too much, sometimes), we are in a little over our heads, but at the end of the day we are happy because we spent the day doing what we freaking love.

All of this to say what I really wanted to say which is my new definition of blogging up there. Maybe one day it will be reworded in the dictionary, because this definition isn’t necessarily cutting it for me:

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Other bloggers, do you agree?! I want to hear what you have to say. Let me know if you agree or if you think my definition is way off. Also people who read blogs, do you have any Q’s I can answer in my next post on a topic like this? Xox