Elizabeth Lowry

I'm a member of SparkPeople's editorial team and I write, edit and manage the content you read. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and enjoy cooking for my family and friends, running, strength training, teaching weekly spin classes and playing outside with my kids. I also love a good challenge and recently found that in Barre class. That's not to say I don't enjoy a good indulgence once in a while--wine and chocolate are two of my favorite things. I am grateful to be here, helping our members reach their own healthy living goals.


Read More of Elizabeth's Blogs:

10 Plus-Size Leggings for Women Who Love Their Curves

These days, it's hard to go to the produce aisle, much less the park without running into at least a few people sporting chic black leggings. Once relegated to workout days only, the black legging is here to stay. Luckily, the legging look isn't only for the lithe, long, limber yogi. Black leggings are available in every size, shape and silhouette, and are a great wardrobe addition for any woman, even those with curves.

Posted 3/21/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 52 comments   20,160 views

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Balance Work and Life with Tips from the 'Mom Boss'

Inspirational women are all around us, teaching, motivating and leading others by example through the way they live their lives and inspire others. The Spark Your Life Series connects you to thought-provoking female leaders whose stories can help you achieve life balance, a health and fitness goal or a better state of mind.

This month, we talked to Nicole Feliciano, founder and CEO of Momtrends and author of "Mom Boss," about how to maintain a healthy work/life balance in today's hectic world. Click here for a printable checklist that will help you make the most of your work day!

About Nicole:

Nicole Feliciano is the founder and CEO of Momtrends Media, a million-dollar brand providing busy women with a daily dose of style. Each day, Nicole and her team of editors interpret trends for modern moms who want to look and feel great, but have less time and energy than before kids. Using social media as her playground, Nicole has built a loyal following by making fashion fun and accessible. In her book debut, "Mom Boss: Balancing Entrepreneurship, Kids & Success," Feliciano proves that being successful isn't about degrees or sacrifices. "Every mom has it in her to be a badass business woman," she says.

Before launching Momtrends, Nicole graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in English Literature and spent a decade working in fashion—most notably as an executive with Polo Ralph Lauren. When she became a mom in 2005, the fashion maven embarked on her social media career and began contributing to many online publications. Seeing a void in the blogosphere, she launched Momtrends.com in 2007.

Nicole is a polished public speaker and has worked with such prominent companies as Ralph Lauren, American Express, Microsoft, Tide, cabi and Avon. When she's not scoping out trends, you can find her in New York City with her two daughters and husband. Outside her work and family, her passions include travel, running, reading and cooking.

How did you get started in the fashion industry?
I've loved clothes since birth. I played with Barbie incessantly. As a teen, I worked in all sorts of retail stores to earn money for clothes. When I graduated from Vanderbilt with an English degree, I got a job in advertising for The May Department Stores Company, working closely with the creative buying teams. I was hooked on the creativity surrounding fashion.

How did you make the leap from fashion to Momtrends?
After nearly a decade at Ralph Lauren, I was ready for a career that offered a bit more breathing room. My husband and I were getting ready to start a family and I wanted more flexible hours and the ability to travel. I transitioned by first freelance writing for other blogs and then launched my own in 2007. This year, I celebrate 10 years in business. Blogging gives me the ability to "play" with clothes every day and I love it.

From what areas of your work or home do you receive the most satisfaction?
Storytelling is my favorite thing. I used to tell stories via words; now photos are becoming more important. I love bringing clothes, beauty products and travel locations to life. I want to inspire other moms to look and feel their best. When a mom comments and tells me she tried something I recommended and loved it, I swoon. I also love helping brands achieve their goals. We are really picky about advertising partners—I must believe in the message. If we sign on to work with them, we aim to make them shine.

Who has inspired you as either an entrepreneur or a mother?
I'm inspired by the moms I see every day who give their very best to their families. I know we are all trying so hard to not mess up this motherhood gig. I truly believe there are a million ways to be a great mom. I try to make Momtrends a judgement-free zone.

When it comes to business, I love what Mariam Naficy has built with Minted. That company knocks my socks off with their customer service and creativity.

What are the three most important qualities for a mom boss to possess?
1. A sense of humor! Some days are going to be rough. You need to be able to laugh.
2. Determination. No one is going to hand success to you. You have to work through the rough patches without anyone cheering you on.
3. Creativity. You'll need to be able to find the 25th hour of the day. You will learn to master your schedule, multi-task and blend work and life. When creativity flows, nothing feels better. Is it possible for a mom to "have it all"? I think you can have two things in life: a great, connected family and work you love. After that, all bets are off. I don't have a lot of time for my girlfriends or pursuing hobbies. I've come to terms with that. I do what I can to keep the friendships going and take care of my health, but "me time" [sometimes] takes a back seat.

What's the best advice you've ever received?
"It'll all look better in the morning"—that's from my mom. On the rough days of parenting or work, I try not to stay up late and obsess. Really, things do look better after a good night of sleep.

What are your top three tips for staying motivated?
1. Track your goals. If you don't know where you've been, how do you know where you're going?
2. Network. When you connect with other women in your field or industry, you can make sure to keep pace.
3. Read. I am always digging into a new business book. Right now I'm reading "Hug Your Customers."

What do you enjoy most about helping other moms?
I love knowing that I'm helping them create better relationships with their kids.

How does physical activity help you unwind?
I'm a runner—unplugged miles help me exhale.

How can a busy mom find time for innovation?
You've got to build it into the calendar. Time won't magically appear. Build in a day or two each month to go to conferences or attend seminars.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to strike that perfect balance between work and home life?
There's never enough time in the day. Get comfortable saying "no." You have to get really good at building boundaries.

Get Your Action Plan

Discover how to best balance your work and life with a daily checklist from Nicole Feliciano.

Click here

Posted 3/20/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 0 comments   9,113 views

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Induce Sleep Naturally With These 5 Tips

Try as you might, there will simply be times when you have a hard time getting to sleep. As you toss and turn, you might wonder what you're doing wrong that keeps you from sleeping. Are you going to bed too early? Too late? Is your room too noisy? Too dark? Too light?
 
It can be hard to determine the root cause of sleeping issues. The good news is there are many foods, drinks, herbs and other natural sleep remedies you can try at home to help you drift off to sleep—and keep you there. Before tossing in the proverbial pillow, try one or more of these solid sleep inducers and take back the night!  

Posted 3/15/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 16,057 views

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27 Members Weigh In on What They Gained After Losing Weight

It's not uncommon to experience lifestyle limitations when you're overweight. You might struggle to find flattering clothes to wear to the gym, much less to go out to dinner. Spending nice, summer mornings tending to your garden? Not possible if your knees won't allow you to get down to the beds and back up again. Tying your shoes can be a chore. How does it feel when you want to play with your grandkids, but all you can do is sit in a lawn chair and watch them run around the backyard for hours for fear of getting winded? And forget about biking to the park—even a half a mile feels nearly impossible.

Posted 3/1/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 11 comments   14,945 views

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How a Brain Injury Awakened My Creativity

Inspirational women are all around us, teaching, motivating and leading others by example through the way they live their lives and inspire others. The Spark Your Life Series connects you to thought-provoking female leaders whose stories can help you achieve life balance, a health and fitness goal or a better state of mind.

Posted 2/20/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 17,298 views

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Banish Dry, Winter Workout Skin With These 10 Essentials

It's hard enough to find the motivation to get up, get dressed and get out the door for that 10K training or trip to the gym any time of year. Trying to do it against the cold, windy, overcast days of winter makes it that much more difficult, especially when the bitter breeze makes it feel like pins and needles are driving into your flushed cheeks and hands. Between outdoor workouts, sweating it out in spin class or just running in and out of the manufactured heat, though, there's a good chance your winter skin is coming up short, leaving you with dry, red or chapped skin. Give your skin the extra bit of help it needs this season to protect and heal before, during and after your winter workouts. 

Posted 2/16/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 10 comments   16,301 views

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Members Share Their 20 Favorite Health & Fitness Purchases

We asked and you delivered. From sports bras to blenders, heart rate monitors to training shoes, and everything in between, you let us know which health and fitness purchases from the last year have made living your healthy lifestyle easier. Our members are out there putting products to the test year round, and these 20 products all received gold stars and rave reviews from our members. If it makes you happy, then we know it will make our other health-conscious members happy, too.

Posted 2/9/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 13 comments   19,720 views

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20 Essential Items the Fitness Pros Never Leave Home Without

When you get ready to go to your favorite fitness class, do you have your bag packed and ready to go? Or are you the person frantically scrambling at the last minute, trying to think of what you might need on your way out the door? Sure, you should always pack a water bottle, hair ties and change of clothes, but what other items are you missing?

Posted 2/1/2017  4:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 0 comments   18,921 views

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Reward Hard Work With 25 Goal Gifts Under $25

The process of losing weight is riddled with thousands of deliberate decisions to do and be better. You consciously start your day with a healthy mindset that helps you eat that bowl of overnight oats for breakfast, say "no" to a high-fat lunch with coworkers, avert your eyes from the dish of chocolates staring at you from your coworker's desk and drive straight home to prepare a healthy meal for yourself or your family. You try to stick closely to your exercise schedule, stay properly hydrated and get enough sleep.

Getting healthy often feels like a lot of effort with little reward along the way. Sure, the ultimate reward is somewhere in the distance, when you finally get to your goal weight or bring your cholesterol numbers down to acceptable levels, but what about the little wins?

Posted 1/26/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 9 comments   29,442 views

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Finding Inspiration with Juliet Kaska

Inspirational women are all around us, teaching, motivating and leading others by example through the way they live their lives and inspire others. The Spark Your Life Series connects you to thought-provoking female leaders whose stories can help you achieve life balance, a health and fitness goal or a better state of mind.

Posted 1/23/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 21,934 views

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Build Your Perfect Workout Wardrobe on Any Budget

Just as it's important to mix up your workouts, it's also good to freshen up your workout wardrobe every so often. Invest in the right staples and you'll be able to mix and match items that are equally appropriate for yoga or spin class." Plus, with three different price point options, you can choose to splurge on socks and save on shorts, or swap in a colorful, budget-friendly T-shirt to go along with your favorite-but-worth-every-penny black leggings. Now the only thing you'll have to worry about is proper plank form. 

Posted 1/10/2017  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 10 comments   18,552 views

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100 Songs That Will Fuel Your New Year's Resolutions

Whether you’re feeling uninspired, bored, tired or just sick of the same old routine, a new playlist could be just the thing to kick your workouts back into high gear. In the past couple of years, various artists have delivered some amazing, funky, fast-paced and just plain fun tunes that offer a seemingly never-ending supply of music for every kind of workout—from spin to Pilates and everything in between.  

Posted 12/28/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 8 comments   26,665 views

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How to Organize 10 Empowering Weight-Loss Challenges

It's easy enough to make a New Year's resolution. All you have to do is say it right? "I will not eat sweets." "I will go to the gym five days a week." "I will lose 20 pounds." Even if you say it and don't exactly do it for more than a few days, weeks or months, then there's always next year right?  

Posted 12/26/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 5 comments   19,209 views

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10 Kitchen Tools That Help You Prep Like a Pro

By now you probably have a good idea which foods you should eat, which to skip and a general idea of the ideal portion size for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight. Unfortunately, a lot of healthy foods spoil quickly or need special treatment when cooking or storing, and a lot of serving sizes are elusive. Is a serving of poultry the size of a deck of cards? A billiard ball? How much is a pinch? What do those measurements really mean, anyway?

Posted 12/14/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 13 comments   21,811 views

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A 5-Step Action Plan for Achieving Your Goals

What are your dreams? Everyone has at least one. Is it to finally finish that novel? Run a 5K? Start your own business? Watch all best picture Oscar movie nominations from the past five years? Fold all your laundry the same day it's washed and dried?

Posted 12/12/2016  12:00:00 AM By: Elizabeth Lowry : 10 comments   45,026 views

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