Tunes For Tuesday – RetroFutura Tour Artist – Midge Ure

Welcome To Tunes For Tuesday – Retro Futura Tour Style!


I can’t even explain how excited I am about this Friday’s Retro Futura show at the Greek Theatre!


Many of East Coasters have already put up some great videos (CONCERTCHICK has quite a few) and photos all over the internet.  It isn’t often a bill has multiple artists you want to see and today’s featured artists, Midge Ure, is someone I absolutely can’t wait to see live!  Midge is not only immensely talented, he’s got a sense of humor and is very engaged in social media.


I’ll admit that I’m still not over the fact that I missed two special Midge Ure shows in New York (#heartinNYbodyinLA) where he played a special acoustic show of “Answers To Nothing”.  It seems now that I’m not in NYC, that all of the New Wave artists I love are doing special shows there.  Grrr!


But I digress.  Today’s tune “Cold Cold Heart” (it was hard not to choose “One Small Day” or “Vienna” especially learning from Mad World Book that it was a mondegreen that inspired the latter title – read here for details).  

“Cold Cold Heart” isn’t actually from the 1980′s but I was searching YouTube and was reminded of how much I really like this song.  Also, how could someone born on Valentine’s Day not feature a song about a heart?!


The video is both funny and touching.  I love the diversity and tongue in cheek humor throughout.  Ignore the fact that the soundtrack and the lip synch are off because there are some great tidbits.  Hope you enjoy and I’ll give a review of the concert next week!



Since this is the last Tuesday of August, this is the last Retro Futura Tour Tunes For Tuesday Artist post.  If you missed any of the posts, you can catch them here:


Midge Ure also has a new album called Fragile available now

FYI – I have no affiliation with Retro Futura and I’m under no obligation to write about the artists or show dates.  I’m just a fan.

Which Midge Ure/Ultravox song is your favorite? 

Old School Blogging – Summertime and The Living is Easy

Even though it’s perennially summer in Southern California, the summer season is coming to a close and now that Wild Boy is back at school, I can’t deny the end is here. I love the Old School Blogging prompts from Elaine@MissElaineousLife and figured I’d wrap up my summer experiences here today.


What was your favorite thing you did alone this summer?

FitBloggin’ and BlogFest were two of my favorite things that I technically did alone this summer (I arrived alone and left alone but I had many old friends at both events and I got to make many new ones so I never felt alone).  If hard pressed to choose a solo activity though, I’d say my Duran Duran run was my favorite alone time this summer.


What was your favorite thing you did as a family this summer?

It’s hard to choose one favorite thing because we did a lot things that may not have been spectacular to others but were very meaningful to me.  We traveled to Chicago and spent some quality time with friends that left the NY area soon after we did.  Spending a simple Fourth of July a friend’s house and seeing happy kids and hanging out was really perfect.

We even had a typical California beach bonfire night that was everything a New Yorker living in LA needed to be seduced by this great city.  However, if I had to choose one thing, I’d say getting the chance to watch Wild Boy perform a Hap Kido demonstration on the Dodger Stadium field and watching the game with friends was a great memory of Summer 2014.


What books did you read this summer?

I’ve been slacking terribly in the book reading department.  I did finally read “The Fault in Our Stars” and some nutrition related books though.



What do you WISH you had done this summer?

I wish we could have traveled back to NYC.  I miss New York in summer tremendously.  I especially miss not being able to run on Summer Streets – 7 miles of car free roads in the middle of New York is a runners paradise.

Brooklyn Bridge, running, Kick Ass 5K,


People are going to hate me for saying this but I do wish that there was at least one rainy day so that we could have spent some more lazy days together as a family.


What movies did you see this summer (if any)?

Movies?  Like in a theater?  That rarely happens any more.  I did see “Wolf of Wall Street”, “Philomena” and “Don Jon” (which I really liked despite the somewhat uncomfortable subject matter).  I caught up on a ton of television this summer.

James Spader

James Spader Now and in Pretty in Pink.


I exhausted my 15 Bingeworthy Shows list so I started watching Season 1 of “The BlackList”.  Seeing how James Spader has aged reminds me just how long ago “Pretty In Pink” (my favorite movie) and “Less Than Zero” really were.  I’m choosing to remember that James Spader despite liking his new TV character.


Where did you travel this summer?

Chicago, Atlanta (for one night), Savannah, Augusta (for 2 hours), Anaheim and Westwood (if you live in California anywhere more than 15 miles away really is considered traveling).


What was your favorite treat (as in dessert) this summer?

I love ice cream but I don’t eat it often.  My favorite treats that I discovered were all alcoholic – the strawberry lemonade French Press drink at Hard Rock Cafe, discovered I can drink vodka (with lots of pineapple juice and sparkling water) and I had my first real Moscow Mule in a copper mug in Chicago.


What did you celebrate this summer?

Duran Duran, Duran Duran Appreciation Day

Image: Mirella Stirvani

I celebrated 2 years of living in California and Duran Duran Appreciation Day with my 2nd annual 10K.  I also celebrated turning a half year older on August 14th.  I might have cried a little.


Did you grow anything this summer?

My hair.  My hair is long (and is need of color – damn you grey hairs – see above answer).  My hair was pretty long back in April and I haven’t cut it since then.  (PS – It’s hard to find a more recent photo of me with my hair down).

Duran Duran, Mad World

I have a black thumb and have issues growing anything that requires sunlight and water.   I will take credit for my child growing though.  He must have grown 1-2 inches this summer and at the rate he’s going, he’ll tower over me by 5th grade.


What is a favorite post (if you blog) that you wrote this Summer?

As you can tell, I’m not very good at picking one favorite so I’ll keep up the trend.  I enjoyed writing my 10 Women You Need to Meet at BlogHer and BlogFest posts but I have a soft spot for my post about my favorite pieces of vintage activewear.  I loved writing about why I still have a few pieces of fitness clothes/activewear.

Rock n Roll Marathon, Iron Girl, Hind, #oldestpieceofactivewear

Iron Girl hat, Hind Leggings, Iron Girl hat day of the San Diego RnR Marathon 1999 and that medal.

 I know people keep pieces of activewear for sentimental reasons and wanted to find out why but I never started a link-up.  Let me know if you think I should.


What is a favorite photograph that you took this summer?

My favorite photograph would have to be this one of Wild Boy entering the Dodger Stadium field to do his Hap Kido demonstration.


Dodger Stadium, Hap Kido, Wild Boy


What do you want to do next summer?

Our good friends have a family home in France.  It would be dreamy to be able to go with my family and friends.  The only time I was in France was when I was 25 and I was alone, in Paris for only two days.  If the France trip doesn’t happen, I hope to be able to travel domestically and spend at least some time doing nothing on a beach.


That’s a wrap on Summer 2014 for me.

If you’re a blogger, think about joining the meme and go and check out Old School Blogging by the MissElaineousLife for future awesome prompts.  She has some great ones.  Here’s one that I liked a lot - the A to Z Meme OSB post.



What was your favorite thing that you did this summer?


Disclosure:  There are Amazon Affiliate links within this post which may yield a small referral fee (to my Duran Duran concert fund) for any purchase you make when using those links.

Friday’s Featured Female – Danielle@TRexRunner

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Female!

Friday's Featured Female, #FFF


This weekly series features inspirational stories from admirable women.  IMHO, it’s always good to be reminded of how strength, determination, hard work, heart and ingenuity can impact the quality of one’s life and I’m proud that these women will allow me to share their stories here.

Today, I’m featuring the exceptionally impressive Danielle@TRexRunner.  Danielle blew the room away with her Ignite Presentation at FitBloggin’ 2013 “Learning To Say Yes”.  Her bravery and unique view of the world was refreshing and inspiring.  Danielle started her blog as a way to chronicle her quest to run a marathon in every state (and Washington D.C.) before her 30th birthday in 2015.  In addition to her marathon recaps on her blog, Danielle shares her many facets of struggle from her eating disorder to her recent back surgery.

I try to read all of Danielle’s blog not only because I love to read her running adventures but she was a fabulously wry voice and the way she always finds a way to weave her love for craft beer, travel and wickedly funny GIF’s into her posts is pure genius!

Danielle also writes for Women’s Running and is the co-founder of Ramblen, which provides reviews of health and fitness resources for travelers.  If not for the blogging world, I never would have met this wonderful human being.  The T-Rex Runner blog continues to make me laugh and cry (often in the same post) every time I read it.  Danielle also has an admirable combination of in your face bravery mixed with thoughtfulness, sensitivity and sarcasm that is rarely found.  I’m proud to call Danielle my friend.  You need to meet her if you don’t already know her.  Like right now!


So…..have you met Danielle?

Danielle Hastings, The T-Rex Runner, runner, marathoner

How Running Made Me Fearless


When most people meet me now, they assume I’ve always been this way – headstrong, independent, and unconcerned with any notion of the way things “should” be done. While I wish I could say that was the case, it’s certainly not; I was a wallflower through most of my adolescence and early adult years. With rock bottom self-esteem and a raging eating disorder, I deferred the important decisions in my life to the people around me. Let’s just say they didn’t always have my best interests at heart. Looking back, I feel sad for that girl because I know how many years she spent afraid of what people would think, say, or do in response to her actions and how devastating the emotional impacts of those consequences were for her. I also feel mad because I didn’t take action to fix the situation sooner.


I started running in 2009 as my too-young marriage started to crumble around me and it seemed like nothing was going right. I had no confidence in myself to leave my husband, take care of my house, pay my bills, or anything else. Everything seemed completely impossible, and I was trapped. There was no way out, or so I thought. Never an athlete (I quit my soccer team on the first day of practice when I was 7 because the coach told us to run one lap around the field), the idea of running for any distance seemed ludicrous. One day, I saw some people running down the street, though, and they just looked so happy. For some reason, my desperate brain figured that running must make people happy, and therefore, I figured I too would be happy if I ran. Yes! Running would solve all my problems!


Spoiler alert: running didn’t solve all my problems. What it did do was give me confidence in my abilities every single day. Every time I ran farther than I had before or faster than I had before, I slowly started believing that I could do things – hard things – by myself and without anyone’s help. I trained for and ran my first marathon completely alone. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was now powerful.


I got divorced. I took care of my house. I paid all the bills by myself. And then, I started traveling to races and running them by myself for no other reason than I wanted to run them and no one wanted to come with me. Was I scared at first? Hell yes. But after awhile, the overwhelming desire to do what I wanted to do overcame the thoughts of what I thought I could do. So I did it.


And now, it’s hard to think of anything I truly feel like I can’t do. Practically speaking, of course. I’m unlikely to become the next President or a Zumba instructor – actually, I’d probably be better suited as President – but I can (and did) hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu with a girlfriend, fly halfway across the world and navigate the Japanese subway system, and run 44 marathons in 35 different states and 2 countries.  Who would have expected that from a wallflower?


Danielle, The T-Rex Runner, marathoner,


If you’d like to connect further with Danielle, you can find her via her blog, TRexRunner, like her on Facebook or connect with her on Twitter via @thetrexrunner.   She’s not on Instagram (but she should be).


What’s the most unexpected thing you’ve ever done that you’re proud of?

IDEAWorld BlogFest Recap

Finally, it’s the #IDEAWorld BlogFest Recap.  It’s long so get comfortable.

IdeaWorld Fitness Blogfest, #Blogfest, @SweatPink


There are a lot of fitness and blogging conferences and from each one you may walk away with education, networking and brand connections –  there are the  friends you make and the cards you take (and give) as you try to make sense of all the information you come home with.

It’s hard not to want to be a better blogger, writer and business person while being more motivated, efficient and invested as a blogger and fitness enthusiast after returning from a conference.  It’s overwhelming and exciting at the same time.  It is fun to take that conference inspiration and translate it into action.


#BlogFest was pretty amazing and here’s why in thevalentineRD signature style:


B – Bloggers

When you get 140 health and fitness bloggers together there’s fun to be had whether it’s reconnecting with old friends or making new ones (even if you have to stare at their badge to figure out who the person with the regular sized face actually is).

There are bloggers who just know you’re going to have fun with like Brian@Pavement Runner (Did you know his real name?  I had to ask when I met him last year too) , smiley Bobbi@NHerShoes and of course, the 10 Women You Need To Meet At BlogFest which included some of these crazy girls:


Then you realize that there are some amazing people you didn’t know before like Kasey@Powercakes, Lyndsay@The Balanced Brunette and NeverEverBeenSkinny or the ones you didn’t meet but someone else lets you know about like 9 Bloggers To Read via Tiffany@Running Hutch (and the many others I didn’t get to know but will try).


L – Learning

Besides having fun with new and old friends, you definitely want to get some education out of a conference, right?  I didn’t attend the IDEAWorld sessions geared toward personal trainers and fitness instructors (but maybe next year – I’ve always been tempted to get a fitness certification of some sort) but I did attend the BlogFest education sessions.


Alyse and Jamie from Fit Approach announcing sessions

BlogFest sessions were geared toward using improving not only the design of your blog but to improve your blog as a brand and business.

  • Meal Prepping and How To Blog About It was disappointing.  While Laura Lynn Klein was personable and showed some gorgeous pictures of food, she lost credibility with me when she mispronounced and incorrectly spelled the name of one of the most well known chefs in America as “Julia Childs” and not Julia Child.
  • How To Approach Brands and Sell Yourself  was a panel with Whitney English, Tracy Hollywood of FleishmanHillard (yes, her real name) and Kelly Olexa brought up good points about how to connect with brands you’re passionate about,  not selling yourself short but to also be creative and flexible with a pitch, what to deliver and payment.
  • Blog Design Tips and Tricks on a Budget by Rita Barry was very comprehensive and her ability to help writers communicate with designers about their ideas for look and feel was exceptional.
  • Business Of Blogging with trademark attorney Ashley Long, CPA and Health Coach Jessica Mishra and Katy Widrick helped bloggers think about liability, finances and media kits.  Blogs take brain power, money, time and effort, that work needs to be professional, organized and ready to produce if/when you make the brand connection of your dreams.
  • Bloggers Tell All with Julie@PeanutButterFingers, Gina@Fitnessista and Monica@RunEatRepeat was eye-opening.  These 3 all blog full time (which means often posting twice a day!) and they were very open about how getting paid by brands and agencies has changed from page views to CPM’s and why there has been an increase in sponsored posts.  I was very impressed by Julie – she makes a great effort to unplug from social media (leaves her phone at home on dates with her husband and doesn’t even bring the phone into her bedroom at night) and the idea that if/when she has a child she’s not sure how (or if) she’ll allow the child(ten) to be part of her social media effort.


*Side note: There are so many well known health and fitness bloggers that are pregnant right now and I’m curious to see how the next wave of parents incorporate their child into their blog.


O – OMG! Moments

(there were quite a few)

  • Hearing from Lorna Jane Clarkson at the BlogFest kick-off  Not only did Lorna Jane talk to the group about her company philosophy of Move Nourish Believe, she talked about how she got started as a designer in Australia 25 years ago.  Her stores are popping up all over the US and the activewear is adorable.  As someone born on Valentine’s Day, it made me smile to learn that there’s a heart in every single Lorna Jane garment to symbolize that the design was made with love.
Lorna Jane

Me with Lorna Jane Clarkson of Lorna Jane.


  • If you didn’t cry during the IDEAWorld Opening Ceremonies, you must have been dead inside: hearing about the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Augie Nieto and the story of #AugiesQuest (against ALS) was tragic but hopeful, seeing Elaine LaLanne do full body push-ups on stage (she’s 88 years old) and listening to long distance swimmer Diana Nyad talk about her life and her determination to be the first person to make the swim from Florida to Cuba were all unbelievable.  It was an amazing reminder about the physical and emotional strength of humans and the human spirit.

IDEA Opening Ceremonies – the Filharmonic at the opening, Augie Nieto, Elaine LaLanne doing pushups and Diana Nyad playing the trumpet.


  • Even before hearing the story of Augie Nieto and Augie’s Quest, a bunch of us decided to do the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. We did it.  It was cold and for a good cause.



Image: MelissyK Instagram


  • Getting the chance to do a PiYo class led by the woman who invented it, Chalene Johnson was pretty epic.  You’d never guess that she just had 2 teeth pulled before instructing our class.  She worked us hard while making jokes and smiled the entire time.  She also was a great sport and took a bunch of pictures.
PiYo, chalene johnson

Image: PavementRunner


  • Learning about turning your blog into a money making brand with Cassey@Blogilates was educational.  Much like when I heard Cassey speak at FitBlogLA, she still gave the passionate message about being true to who you are and connecting with your audience but this time there were more business lessons like invest in a product, Facebook isn’t always your friend (she promoted a post on Facebook once and it was detrimental to her Facebook Page), use licensed music and like Martha Stewart, she doesn’t sleep much!  Cassey and her Blogilates and Pop Pilates brand is proof that passion + hard work pays.


  • The most surprising OMG moment of the conference was listening to the Keynote by Jillian Michaels.  Who knew she was so humble, funny, self-depricating and honest.  She talked about being worthy (“Why Not Me?), her early weight struggles, failure, media perception and even her philosophy on teaching healthy eating to her children.
Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels (PS – She likes these Stella McCartney leggings – see EFC link below).


I went into the Keynote with a negative attitude about Jillian Michaels due to the Evolution Fitness Conference experience with her BodyShred class but now I’m a total convert.  I hope Jillian and her people get her in front of more people who can talk about her to prove that the perception that most people have of her is incorrect.


G – Glowing Goodness

More than just the glow of sweat, there was a glow of goodness that radiated at this conference.  Maybe it’s hokey but when a group of people who have passion for health and fitness are in a room together, there’s a feeling of hope, motivation, inspiration, drive.  There’s an overwhelming desire to help oneself and others to reach their true potential.


People are health and fitness professionals (and bloggers) because there is something more to being committed to an active lifestyle than just teaching or taking a class, working out or working at a gym or writing about one’s experiences in the quest or upkeep of a healthy lifestyle.  The “something more” that each person individually feels when their work is their passion might be that glowing goodness feeling.  For me, being at BlogFest made me exceptionally proud to be part of the health and fitness community as a blogger and as a Registered Dietitian.


F – Fitness

You can’t have a fitness conference without some exercise….

Day One Fitness

  • Fitness started early with a 6am Downtown Disney Fun Run.  Due to my ankle sprain from my Duran Duran 10K the week before, I decided to support but not run.  I had coffee with Alyse and Bianca from Fit Approach and Pavement Runner’s bag.

Pavement Runner, Chocolate Milk

  • Right after the run was some Yoga with Stephanie Ring.  I was late but the stretches felt good after laying low for a few days (ankle again).
BlogFest, Yoga

Down Dogs for days


  • Day One Fitness ended with a PiYo workout with Chalene Johnson.  This hybrid of Pilates and Yoga was made for those who need training for core strength and flexibility (me!).  As a Duran Duran super fan girl, I had a deep appreciation for seeing Katy Widrick geek out a bit when Chalene commented on her form during class (it’s something I would totally do).


Day Two Fitness


  • Yoga with Tara Stiles was odd.  First, I forgot how shockingly thin Tara Stiles is.  I took a class with her at her NYC yoga studio a few years ago and remember remarking to my husband how emaciated her appearance was even then.  I know she was a model and is likely naturally thin but I was not the only one in the room who audibly gasped when seeing her in person.

Tara Stiles Yoga


  • Despite how uncomfortable I was with what Tara Stiles looked like, I was even more uncomfortable in her yoga class.  The class had poor flow but seemed to be encouraging students to do as many poses as possible at great speed and just wasn’t for me.  It wasn’t very yogic but I left the class about halfway through.  I do remember enjoying Strala Yoga in NYC but this class didn’t do it for me.


E – Empowerment and Being Enough



Believing and having faith in yourself as a person, a blogger, an athlete and a business person was a theme throughout BlogFest.  I think the message of “being enough” came through clearest when listening to Jillian Michaels during her Keynote.  The inspiration to be self empowered and achieve your own definition of success and happiness was impactful.


S – Swag

Swag is a perk of every conference but fitness and blogging conferences are like the motherlode. BlogFest attendees were given amazing gifts from Lorna Jane, Reebok, Under Armour, SubwayMerrithew Health & Fitness, Propel and Manitoba Harvest.  There are a few things I can’t wait to try out and another giveaway may be in order!


T – Transformation

From panelists and brand stories (like Reebok and their BOKS program for children and Under Armour’s I WILL WHAT I WANT) to the Lightning Round speakers, the message of life changing effects of a healthy life were clear.




The messages of transformation that were clear at BlogFest were much more than the superficial transformation of the physical body through fitness.  Every person involved in health and fitness can tell you that there is no real change within a person without an effect on the mind, body and soul.  These transformations weren’t all extraordinary.

In fact, the most powerful transformations were those that were accessible  - showing that health and fitness efforts along with drive and determination, can and will bring forth a positive change in a realm encompassing more than just a person’s athletic stamina.


Overall, that’s my interpretation of BlogFest.  This conference reaffirmed my commitment to health and fitness efforts not only for myself and my family but in my profession.  This was a conference i’d definitely pay for again but maybe next year I’ll come home with a fitness certification!


Do you have a fitness certification?  If so, which one do you have and why did you choose that one?



Live Well 360 BlogFest Giveaway Winner

Because there was so much to take in from IDEAWorld BlogFest, the recap will be published tomorrow


so instead today’s post will be an announcement of the winner is of the Live Well 360 BlogFest Giveaway


IDEAWorld BlogFest, Sweatpink, Live Well 360

It’s Tiffany@RunningHutch (as determined by True Random Number Generator – see photo)!

Tiffany, Running Hutch, Live Well 360, giveaway winner, BlogFest


Congratulations Tiffany and I hope you enjoy The Core!

Many thanks for all of your entries and support!

If you didn’t win but are still interested in purchasing one of the Live Well 360 bags for yourself, feel free to use my affiliate link.  Your purchase will add a few pennies to my Duran Duran 2015 tour fund and I’ll be very grateful.

Even though I don’t normally post on Thursdays, I will be posting my BlogFest recap tomorrow, so don’t miss it!

What’s the best giveaway you’ve ever won?