Maja is a huge inspiration to me because in addition to living an extremely healthy lifestyle (she and her husband even grow their own vegetables), she is also incredibly kind, intelligent and beautiful inside and out.
I annoyed Maja enough and I am thrilled to tell you that she finally launched her very own blog, HautePNK!
Maja's blog focuses on health and fitness, with a little style and beauty mixed in. The best part is that she shares her workouts (her body is amazing---and she works hard for it!) and also shows photos of how to do each move. If you ever don't know what to do at the gym, you can use your phone to pull up HautePNK and try one of Maja's workouts.
In celebration of the launch of her very own blog, I asked Maja to share with us some of her fitness updates, favorite foods and overall fitness advice and motivation.
Over a year ago, you were my first Motivation Monday feature---I think you pretty much inspired the entire series---so what made you finally decide to start your own blog (after me badgering you for well over a year?)
I am a big blog reader, but had never envisioned being one myself until that first Motivation Monday post. Veronika’s Blushing is what really sparked the fire! The one thing I admire most from you and other blogs I follow is that they really earn my trust. You see a real person with real life experiences and over time you trust their feedback. In parallel, I had a growing number of friends seeking advice on workouts, recipes, products I use, etc. It kind of all clicked together and realized I wanted to take the love I had for blogs and action it with something I am passionate about. I love the community, support, and the feedback from like-minded people. I think most of all, I wanted to take the opportunity to share all that I’ve learned (and am learning) through real life experiences to reach anyone who is looking for it.
As cliché as it sounds, if my blog reaches even one person and positively impacts them or helps them reach their goals in any way shape or form, I feel I’ll have fulfilled the intent. The thought of someone changing their lifestyle to get in shape and eat better while using some of my feedback as a guide, blows me away. I want to create a positive community where we can support one another and share feedback.
HautePNK is still in its infancy stages. I tried to start with a vast taste of what’s to come when I launched. In short, it will have a strong focus on workouts, diet and nutrition, tons of tips and tricks that work for me - it’s what I LOVE most! I’ll also plan to post reviews of products I love (and ones I don't). Also, some outfits of the days/nights and maybe the odd shopping haul. It’ll almost be a mash of all the things I find most interesting in the blogs I follow. I am hugely open to feedback and requests too.
Will you also blog about style and beauty? You have amazing makeup/hair/everything!
I most definitely intend to! Some of the most common questions I get are about hair and makeup, so I figure I’ll consolidate my response and just make a blog post about it. I’m not one of those quirky people who can pull off various different unique/adventurous styles, but I think there is still something nice and classic about the girly girl conservative look. Maybe this blog and the people I meet through it will eventually take me out of my comfort zone and I’ll try some new things.
I love how you show photos of how to do all of the moves---it's so easy to look up the workouts on your iPhone when you get to the gym---what inspired you to make your blog so user-friendly?
When I really started thinking of a blog, one of the things I wanted to put lots of attention on was planning out was the site map, usability and most importantly reader experience. I have spent the better part of my career in technology, so it was natural for me. It doesn’t follow the standard blog format where the whole post is on the landing page, but I had this vision all along, so I went with the tiles. I wanted to make a nice browsing experience (I feel it’s easy to browse through older posts), and I put lots of attention in the details (i.e the animations when you scroll over the post name, the custom twitter bird, swipe feature from a smart phone/iPad etc).
This is an easy question because there are a couple of definitive things that I was told and think of every single day – I mulled over this and couldn’t pick just one, so here they are:
1. It isn’t the number of reps you do to feel a burn, it’s the number of reps you push out after you start feeling the burn
o This one statement stands out in my mind every time I work out and just give it that extra push. As soon as I think I am done because I can start feeling it, that’s when I know I have to step up and keep going. That is where the results are hiding.
o Patience truly is a virtue. A lot of people are really good at starting a program and being dedicated, but what I find mostly (true for me some days as well) is that you think that you’re going to start seeing amazing results within the first week. Reality check: you need to be patient and trust the system. Keep going and do not get distracted – remain focused and be patient.
What are some of your current favorite snacks?
I snack a lot! When I post food journals to give a glimpse into some of my daily meals, you will find that I snack in between every meal. Some of my favourites are baby carrots, bananas, apples, berries, salads and of coure; homemadeoat bars.
How about dinners?
FISH! I love cod, haddock, tilapia, and salmon the most. I will post some great healthy recipes for baking fish and their benefits. Other than that, I find some tiny pleasures in having breakfast-y items in the evening, so I might make some omelettes or scrambled eggs. Alongside, I will always have a salad, zucchini or some kind of veggie. For carbs, it usually a small sweet potato, rice or something like that.
Tell us about your vegetable garden? What made you decide to grow one? What vegetables do you grow?
I grew up with my dad planting a huge garden every summer. I distinctly remember the difference in taste between everything we grew at home and what we were forced to buy in the winters from a grocery store (same with my husband when he grew up). So when we got married and bought our first home we immediately converted over half of our back yard into a vegetable garden. We don’t use any pesticides and all the soil and seeds we use are certified organic. We grow TONS of lettuce, kale, swiss chard, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, hot peppers, green onions, beets, radishes and spinach. Again, I plan on doing a whole tutorial on the garden and how little of space you actually need to grow a large amount of vegetables.
Your husband is so supportive of you---what is his involvement with the blog?
He’s amazing – I am truly blessed. From the first minute I mentioned that I wanted to start a blog he’s always offered his advice and infinite support. He owns a full service design and advertising company and he took me on in his spare time, then had his developers build “the dream”. The team did an amazing job through design, build and testing. I am so thankful to all of them!
Where do you see your blog a year from now?
If someone told me I’d even have a blog one year ago, I probably wouldn’t have believed them. So thinking a year ahead, I am hoping that I will have developed a community that can learn and share with me. I have no intention of slowing down and will continue to always share my honest opinion, feedback and tips.
What other interests do you have other than fitness that your readers might want to know about?
I have a deep appreciation for art and music. I love high fashion. I love movies, but not TV (we don't even have cable or the basic channels at home). I aspire to be an advanced seamstress one day and admire anyone who is really good at sewing. I adore baking! I never bake for myself, but jump on the opportunity to bring a treat when we are invited to a party or dinner. I'm also very crafty and put a lot of effort into something as little as decorating a cake or wrapping a gift.
Thank you Maja, for motivating us this Monday! I am personally so thrilled that we will all have your blog as such an amazing resource to learn more about fitness and health so thank you for all of the time and effort you put into it!