Wisdom from Yes, Please!

yes please book | sunshine & the bear I just finished reading (listening to) Amy Poehler’s new book Yes, Please and I loved it!

Along with its hysterical moments and inside scoop on some of our favorite Hollywood stars, the book gave some really great life advice. Not I’m-better-than-you-because-I’m-an-actress advice that you can’t believe for even a second, but advice that you could really understand because…well, maybe you’ve been through it yourself.

Below are some of my favorite quotes and moments of wisdom from Yes, Please (I promise I’m not ruining the book…please don’t sue me Amy haha):

You can be whoever you want to be. Your only job is to surround yourself with people who respect and support that choice. Preach, Amy. Preach.

Learn to live with your demon – it never goes away. She talks about being a young girl with passion and excitement and love for yourself. Then, somewhere along the way, a demon shows up and tells us we’re not beautiful. We’re too fat, too skinny, not worth being loved, etc. While we don’t want to give into it, she talks about learning to live with it because, even as a movie star, it doesn’t go away. Get real. Work on ways to fight it and love yourself.

Change is the only constant. Your ability to navigate and tolerate change and its painful uncomfortableness directly correlates to your happiness and general wellbeing…If you can surf your life, rather than plant your feet, you can be happier.  

Good for her. Not for me. Along the same lines as dealing with demons, Amy talks about recognizing what’s for you and what’s just not for you. She uses this to talk about pregnancy plans, which is totally valid I assume, but personally I took it for so many other things. At some point, you get better at knowing what you want and need – and you’re not just following a fad or listening to what’s “right” for you.

Learn the right balance of sorry. I’ve posted about this sorry phenomenon before…it’s tough to change. I’ve been working to find the right balance of taking responsibility for things I’m actually sorry for and using that word for when it matters. Otherwise, there are usually other ways to express yourself and apologize, if you even need to.

Sleep will help you win at life. I need more of it…to win. :)

Too often we try to tackle the chaos that is not ours to fix. Oh yes yes yes…way too often. It’s hard to let go, but worth letting go sometimes to keep your sanity and to practice self control. I’ve put this one on a post-it and put it next to my computer to remind me regularly!

The only way we will survive us by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it along, no matter how great the machines are. 

Ok, so I don’t want to ruin the book but basically it’s a really great read/listen! Go check it out for yourself!

As I mentioned, I listened to this book. Seriously, Audible.com is fantastic! The coolest part is that you can listen to the author read their book! Yes, Amy read her own book – which seems to make much more sense because she is really the only one who knows how she meant a chapter or phrase to come across.

Shop Small in Baltimore

shop small logo | sunshine & the bear This weekend, November 29, marks the 5th annual Small Business Saturday! This is one of my favorite concepts because it really helps take a break after the terrifying Black Friday and focuses on supporting our local businesses!

We have tons of great spots in Charm City to shop small, find a truly unique treasure and really support our local economy! Check out some of my favorite Baltimore stores:

Trohv: Trohv is one of my favorite shops in the area! It has home goods and furniture, unique gifts, amazing handmade cards, jewelry and much more! Plus, they are right on the Avenue in Hampden – perfect part of a stroll!

Charm City Run: Great one stop shop for all your running and fitness needs! They have a great variety of sneakers, and knowledgeable staff to help you pick the rights ones.

charm city run small business saturday | sunshine & the bear

fells point surf shop baltimore | sunshine & the bear Fells Point Surf Shop: Surfs up, even when your miles from waves! Love this shop, where you can get all the flip flops, great sunglasses and beach brand apparel you need. Also, they just got in a motorized skateboard that is on my Xmas list! Haha

Pandora’s Box: Lovely little accessories shop! They always have fabulous, affordable jewelry, scarves and hostess gifts!

Sound Garden: Vinyl, new/used CDs, new/used DVDs, posted for your basement…they’ve got it all. Such a great hangout where you can really get lost and find some great jams.

Also, while some people can have physical stores, I can’t forget some of my favorite online peoples!

katekatebear and littleasiansweatshop | sunshine & the bear Little Asian Sweatshop: Ok technically she’s in DC, but you have to check out her shop for some adorable hair pieces and pouches! I try to see her every year at Baltimore Comic Con, but she has tons of stuff online in her Etsy store – The Maryland Flag Hair Flower is one of my faves!

The Broken Plate: Juliet truly makes beautiful works of art out of seemingly regular plates! I have two pieces from her and they are truly one of a kind. Each piece is made careful for you – definitely worth checking out for you or a loved one!

Amy Weldon: Do you need the hand-painted hat? Yes. The answer is yes. I work with Amy at the Aquarium but on the side, she makes amazing creations like hand painted hats (like you see on me below) and Toms shoes and more! So awesome.

maryland hat by amy weldon | sunshine & the bear

I hope you get the chance to step out this Saturday (and often!) to support your local businesses. Get to know some of the owners, support your area AND get some cool stuff in the meantime! haha

What are your favorite local small businesses?! 







Thanksgiving gratitude ♡

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE! I hope everyone is able to have a wonderful day with family and friends!

We just drove up to my parent’s house in New Jersey, and brought along my bestie Catey and her pup Bruiser…the dogs are having blast. Haha

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While this holiday has become all about that turkey, I’d love to take a moment to remember what this holiday is really about: being grateful.

Studies show that being grateful is associated a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure, more energy and more happiness. Showing gratitude also helps you focus on positive thinking and being optimistic!


Being home with Tom, Catey and my family is incredible. I’m so happy to be here! Hope you’re all having an equally wonderful day! xoxo


Also, do yourself, and others, a favor share some gratitude this week! And maybe, the next time you catch yourself in a bit of a sour mood, you’ll take a moment to reflect on the things that have made you happy before.

Week of thanks: Tone It Up family

To continue my little week of thanks, I want to take a day to recognize how grateful I am for my Tone It Up family. And yes, I say family, because they really are family to me! Even though I haven’t met all THOUSANDS of them…they mean so much to me and have really become my extended fit family! :)

It all started back in 2011, when I first found the TIU team. I was working for an agency and one of my clients was a fitness brand. In the process of looking for content to share with them, I found an ab workout from these two spunky, beautiful women, Katrina and Karena, and was instantly hooked…

I joined the TIU team personally and even got some of my office co-workers to join in the fun. There were office ‘plank breaks’ where we’d go into the hallway and do planks…no joke. haha My TIU family grew locally and we became lovingly calling ourselves BMOREtoned…where BMOREtoned was born! We grown to be a very close knit group over the years, and I can honestly say I’ve found some of my best friends forever through TIU! I was lucky enough to end up winning the first TIU Bikini Series and got the opportunity to fly to California for an incredible few days with Katrina & Karena…

It’s been a whirlwind since then and it has been incredible to watch the team grow along the way. Over the years, I’ve joined as K&K have launched their very own Perfect Fit Protein (which has expanded…) and gear (which has expanded…) and so much more! I’ve been attended three TIU weddings (including my own!). I’ve seen more than a few TIU babies born. This summer, I got to attend the first ever Tone It Up retreat! Every day I meet (virtually) more and more new TIU girls and get more and more inspired!

For all of this I am eternally grateful. It has been (and continues to be) an amazing journey! Thank you, to K&K, to the amazing TIU team, to my incredible family who literally helps me every day. I love you all so much!

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds… ♡

Want to learn more about the Tone It Up team? I absolutely, definitely advise you to check out the Tone It Up site! They have blog posts, tips, recipes and so much more available right there for you! 

Week of thanks: Good Karma Weekend

It’s going to be an amazing week. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it really brings together friends and family around the idea of giving thanks – something that is so important, even though we don’t always remember to do it.

I kicked off this thankful week last night with a great class at M. Power Yoga Studio in Canton. As you may or may not know, I’ve gotten to know this awesome crew this past summer through various classes they’ve held around town at lululemon, on the rooftop of their building, at Farmstead Grill….so so fun!

Their team is thoughtful and happy and inspiring and I’m so so happy they’ve finally opened their studio in Canton’s Natty Boh Building! It’s such a great addition to the Baltimore fitness scene! If you haven’t already, take a look at their site (you’ll see a familiar face haha) and classes! They’ve got a great mentality and a beautiful spot for newbie and well established ones!

mpower yoga studio katekatebear | sunshine & the bear

mpower yoga studio katekatebear | sunshine & the bear

After a week of time with family, friends and turkey back home in NJ, I’ll be heading back to town to join for M. Power’s upcoming Good Karma Weekend! It’s going to be a fun-filled few days with fitness, food, discounts and more – all benefiting the Holistic Life Foundation, a non profit organization that is dedicated to bringing Yoga and mindfulness to underserved communities in Baltimore City. There will be:

  • mpower yoga studio store | sunshine & the bear Complimentary yoga & barre classes all day on Saturday November 29th!
    Suggested donation of $8 goes to Holistic Life Foundation
  • Live music and DJs in classes throughout the day
  • Complimentary henna tattoos on Saturday November 29
  • Complimentary coffee & pastries provided by Atwater’s
  • Complimentary food provided by Of Love And Regret
  • Mini spa services by Nava Health & Vitality Center (I seriously need this…) 
  • 15% off the entire retail boutique from Friday November 28th – Sunday November 30th
    (M.Power members get 20% off)

Hope you can come join me at a great studio for a great cause!