Merry Christmas

May your days always be merry and bright. And may the joy of Christmas be with you through the new year.

You are loved.



Give Thanks For

(I) Give Thanks For:

the delicious food and wine I’m about to inhale.

dry socks, because wet socks are aggravating.

strong legs that endure mile after mile.

wonderful people who love me in spite of all my flaws and inspire me to be better.

a patient boyfriend who gives me the freedom to experiment and try different things, even if it seems crazy.

the ability to think, dream, and doodle because without which there would be no hope.

good health, because nothing replaces that.

the opportunity to work in an industry that most only dream of.

being able to afford yoga classes, races, or anything else that you can technically do for free but still pay to participate.

a local running organization that hosts a race every week, I’ve learned this week that this is rare.

and last but certainly not least – amazing LGC readers. I am truly grateful, humbled, and hope to bring you more exciting, inspiring content in the future. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!


There’s so much more for which I’m grateful and I don’t want today to be the only day in which I express my gratitude. I made this “Give Thanks For” frame inspired by the “I Love You Because” frames I’ve seen on pinterest. You can use a dry erase marker to finish the sentence every day. Check out T&K, the other blog I co-write, for supplies and instructions.

Have a wonderful, carb-filled, starchy and delicious Thanksgiving Holiday.









Top 10 Gym Pet Peeves

As January is coming to an end, I’m encouraged by the fact that the gym will be less crowded by the end of February. But the reality is that newbies and veterans are all guilty of annoying somebody. Here are the top gym pet peeves surveyed by Lean Girls, fitness fanatics on twitter, and myself.


10. When people come to the gym with makeup that’s been freshly reapplied or pour on the perfume/cologne. If you’re coming from work, we get it. But don’t put on a coat of mascara right before that Zumba class!

9. When people DO NOT wipe down the with disinfectant.

8. When people come to the gym sick. Please refer back to #9.

7. When people hog multiple sets of weights.

6. When people DO NOT return weights or any other equipment to their original location. Please refer also to #7.

5. When the fitness instructor or trainer has no idea what they’re doing and has worse form than you.

4. When people who are using the machine you need, sit there texting, watching TV, or rest for a really really really long time.

3. When people drop weights after a set. There’s usually a sign that says “please do not drop weights”.

2. When you are the only one doing cardio and then some other person comes up and uses the machine right next to you.  It’s like bathroom etiquette – occupy every other until it’s full!

1. When people walk around the locker room completely naked and have no intention of dressing.


There are too many to list. What did I miss? What’s your gym pet peeve? Leave a comment or tweet me @gracekelle with #gympetpeeve #leangirlsclub.

This ‘New Girl’ ROCKS: Zooey Deschanel

This week was Fall TV Time! Or whatever it is it’s called. TV premiere week. Or the start of the new TV season, I guess.

You can tell I don’t watch that much TV. I don’t even have cable — just Season Two of Mad Men on DVD and a fondness for Saturday morning cooking shows on PBS.

But I did tune in for one premiere: New Girl, 9/8 Central Tuesdays on FOX.

It was a little awkward, as most pilots are, but it had some good lines about “reverse Mormons” (I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t used that one before… don’t ask why…) and a “stripper with a heart of gold.” That last one hit me funny because I’m pretty sure one of my former roommates owns the domain name Or she did at one point, at least. I’m also pretty sure another of my former roommates is actually Zooey Deschanel’s character, Jess. Which, considering the premise of the show is Jess moving in to an apartment full of men, might actually make me a man.

While we’re on the subject, how do I love thee, Zooey Deschanel? Let me count the ways…

  1. Deschanel acts on TV in New Girl. She acts in movies, like (500) Days of Summer and Elf and that Our Idiot Brother movie that just came out that didn’t look all that great aside from the fact I adore, like, everybody in the cast. But who didn’t love both (500) Days of Summer and Elf, The Best Christmas Movie Ever Made? She also is the “She” half of the band She & Him. And she and her friends just launched the blog Oh, AND she is the face of Rimmel makeup. AND! And, in her “free time,” she bakes, according to her personal Tumblr, Zooey’s Miscellany. Clearly, she is a girl after my own heart, a heart strained by the life philosophy that I will sleep when I am dead. Or, at least, she knows her passions, and she pursues them, a very Lean Girl thing to do.
  2. Also, have you visited HelloGiggles? The site bills itself “the ultimate entertainment destination for smart, independent and creative females.” Its Illustrated Tweet of the Day feature is genius, and how badly do I want to make my fingernails look like THIS?! It makes my day, every day. And happiness is good for your heart, according to Science.
  3. Thanks to the New Girl premiere, the Internet is a veritable primer on how to be as “adorkable” as Deschanel right now. There’s how to get her hair (via HelloGiggles). And how to get her face (read: makeup) (also via HelloGiggles) (also, I will warn you, none of the shades of Rimmel makeup mentioned in this post are available yet in stores — I checked). AND all her fashion and beauty secrets, spilled (via Refinery29).
  4. Earlier this summer, Deschanel also talked to SELF Magazine about, most importantly, how to get a happy and healthy life. I won’t give away all her tips — you can visit SELF for that — but my favorite, probably, is her approach to exercise: Do things you enjoy, and do them because you want to be healthy, not skinny. That, and “everyone needs a theme song.” Yes. You heard me: A theme song.

Um, yeah. Can she join the club? Because I think it’s pretty clear this “New Girl” rocks!

Question: If you had a theme song, what would it be? (Deschanel said hers would be “Friends of Mine” by The Zombies. And, of course, Jess from “New Girl” has her own, “Hey Girl,” sung by guess who?)

Follow Em on Twitter at @mcemilywrites and everywhere else at

7 Things of a Stylish Blogger

Lisa at Early Morning Run presented me the Stylish Blogger Award. And as my acceptance speech I’m to list seven random facts about me. I’m going to TRY to make this about diet, fitness, and health but forgive me if it’s … Continue reading

California, Girls, Is Unforgettable

I’ve been in California nine days on business working with Boney James, Carl Thomas, and Ledisi. Somehow in between morning TV, promotional events, going to the studio, and meetings I somehow managed to find a way to work out every … Continue reading