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Working the EHD Crew out with Culligan Water

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve gone into a new year and mentally started a workout bet with myself, I’d have enough to pay for a personal trainer. For. The. Rest. Of. My. Life. On the flip side, once I start working out regularly, my body tells my brain how happy the activity is making me…so why is committing to a workout/sticking with a health-focused New Year’s resolution so hard? Working out is one of those things that we all have the best intentions for, but have the hardest time following through with (#newyearsresolutions, right?). If you have been following along on the blog, you know that a few years back, the entire EHD crew participated in a workout bet, because apparently none of us can commit to working out unless it involves the thought of winning money in the end. Bribery at its finest! All kidding aside, group activities and mutual peer-to-peer support is something that we all thrive under. As someone who loves being around people while doing just about everything—working out with people who are also working out and pushing me is the ultimate motivation. So I thought for the new year it would be fun to kick off one of our first posts with some new years resolutions dedicated to health and working out – one thing that I did a lot more of this last year, and loved.

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It’s a well-known fact that the EHD crew loves to participate in things together—case in point, that time I hosted everyone in my backyard for an EHD spa day, or when we went up to Malibu for an EHD day out of the office. During that field trip, we were reminded during our sound bath that our bodies are about 60% water (that water contributes to so much of our body’s function: joint lubrication, aids in digestion, helps to deliver oxygen, and so much more). That sound bath jiggled all my water in such a nice way and apparently my brain as well, as it got me thinking if our bodies are 60% water, then it should be VERY important where that water comes from and the quality of it. Right? You wouldn’t put regular unleaded gas into a Bentley—it would not be good for the engine, so you better believe my Rolls Royce body (and engine) demands only the highest quality water.

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I’ve discussed my love for my fresh-tasting Culligan Water that comes directly from our faucets before, and have partnered with Culligan this past year to create this content, but it wasn’t until that euphoric sound bath that it hit me how important it is to know where our water comes from, how that water is filtered, and how much of it we consume every day. The whole home Culligan Water System is what we have, and is installed at the source of all the water our family gets at home. It was installed in our garage and it’s not huge—about half the size of old hot water tanks. The system softens all the water which is then distributed to our house.

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Without getting too deep into the water softening and filtration lingo, water softener systems are designed to remove high concentrations of minerals in hard water that can leave deposits on dishes and plumbing fixtures, while water filtration systems are designed to reduce certain contaminants and foul odors that might be in your drinking water. So although filtered water is great and delicious and something your family should enjoy the benefits of, soft water goes beyond just what you drink every day and is easier on your plumbing, appliances, fixtures and just about anything else that water touches in your house (even sensitive skin). I talked about why I love it for my faucets and home in this post, but today it’s all about the delicious water I get to drink pre- and post-workout without contributing to an ever-growing landfill with one-time-use “disposable” water bottles. If you’ve given yourself the intention to drink more water/workout more/have a better relationship in general with health-focused goals, keep reading.

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Recently, I’ve been storying about how happy a little bit of endorphin-boosting running has made me in the mornings, so we decided that it was time to pull together an EHD workout post. We’re not a fitness blog by any means, so this blog post is not one where we all go to a fancy club and work out together but one where we really dissect what all of us are wanting to work on and then employ a professional to guide us through easy to do exercises that we can do to achieve our goals in a totally manageable way. Group fitness, professional trainer, a little effort and hopefully a big return? Count me in (as well as the EHD crew). I know that for me, it’s all about setting manageable goals so I can actually follow through with them. Committing to a run every day for at least 20 minutes. Totally doable. Adding on a quick 5-minute pre- and post-run workout? Even more doable. So we decided to do that with every person here at EHD.

Everyone here has totally different goals when it comes to working out, as I’m sure is the case with all you readers, so we figured with nine totally different bodies, goals and personalities, we might be able to throw a bunch of darts at that workout pinboard and find something that could stick for a lot of you guys, especially if they are easy to replicate in your own homes. We had each person write down a specific goal that they wanted to achieve—mine was something that I could do at home in the morning that would boost my endorphins (hello happy feelings), relieve my stress in the morning (ugh) and also maintain my weight (souping is also helping with this and a lot more on that this month), and then we would have a trainer look through all of those goals and pull together actionable items that each person could do to see results. We also thought it would be fun for every member to recommend their go-to workout items (including their favorite water bottle, workout gear, and clothing as well as a go-to playlist they enjoy while getting their sweat on).

Emily Henderson Culligan Water And Fitness44

For the workout portion, we worked with Madeleine Starkey (that lovely lady up there running with Brady). She’s a SoulCycle instructor, Pilates guru and also a yoga professional…basically, a fully certified one-woman show that could approach our goals with a lot of insight and expertise. She is local to LA, offers personal training and teaches a handful of classes (read: 20+) each week. If you are in the LA area and looking to get yourself into shape, then you can get in touch with her through her Instagram. For those of you that are elsewhere, she developed these workouts to be done just about anywhere and with very, very minimal effort, equipment or experience. Best of all, they are totally free. So let’s get into each person, starting with yours truly.


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I like a fast and efficient workout OR yoga. I’m not an endurance runner, more of a sprint and crasher (shocking). As discussed before, my goals included workouts that could involve stress release, boost endorphins (running) and help me not gain weight even on less healthy weeks. Oh, and once I was face to face with the trainer, I also told her I wanted a go-to exercise that could tighten and lift my behind. We all want that don’t we? So she worked to create these four moves that can be done quickly and just about anywhere I happen to find myself.

Emilys Workout

1. Jump squats: Squat down, hands come together in front of heart. Sink an inch or two lower in the squat then explode upward as you jump up and off the ground as you swing your arms down toward the earth, by your hips. Land back in a squat, repeat. 15 reps

2. Superman planks: Shoulders over wrists, heels over toes. Extend one arm, pick up opposite leg. Hold for 2 breaths, release, switch. 10x per side

3. Downward facing dog to high lunge: From downward facing dog, lift one leg. Exhale to step the foot between hands, then inhale to rise up with arms overhead. One breath, then step back to dog and repeat on other side. 5x per side

4. Boat pose crunches: Lie on your back. Lift legs, then bend knees so you create a sort of shelf with your shins. Lift chest and shoulders off the mat so that the torso and upper legs create a V shape, extend arms by your hips. Back comes back down toward mat, repeat. 12 reps

Get The Look Culligan Emily 1

1. Water Bottle | 2. Shoes | 3. T-Shirt | 4. Leggings | 5. Jacket | 6. Headphones


Emily Henderson Culligan Water And Fitness14

Brady is the resident dude in the office. He wasn’t looking to lift his butt or relieve his stress, but instead, to build his chest and abs through exercises he could do in his own home before bed or first thing in the morning. Madeleine took to action and rather than tell him to do 50 pushups every morning, she worked with him through a combination of Pilates and yoga-inspired moves to chisel core muscles, like his abs and oblique, in addition to exercises that free the shoulder-girdle from movement patterns that inhibit the development of toned muscle. If you know what a shoulder girdle is then you are one step above both me and Brady. But freeing up body parts that inhibit growth from other body parts sounds like something that we should all be doing. Thank you, Madeleine. Here is what his workout consisted of:

Bradys Workout

1. Russian twist: Similar setup to Emily H’s boat pose crunches, but here you hold free weights or a kettlebell at heart height and twist from the middle of the spine from side to side. Keep the chin over the middle of the chest so the twist comes from the abdominal work, and not a mere shake of the head! 10 reps each side

2. Dumbbell chest press: On a bench or angled on a couch or bed so that feet rest on the ground, one dumbbell in each hand. Extend arms up toward ceiling with palms facing forward, then bend elbows out wide until they come to 90-degree angles and arms look like a goal post. Push weights back up overhead to touch. 15-20 reps

3. Plank shoulder touches with weights: Come into a plank with weights in hand, shoulders on top of wrists and heels on top of toes. Try to minimize side to side rocking as you lift one weighted hand to its opposite shoulder, then return the weigh to the mat so the wrist is under the shoulder again. Switch sides. 12 reps each side

4. Tricep dips: Using a chair, bench or couch to prop hands on, come into a reverse plank shape with legs extended and heels on floor. Belly faces up, hands rest on furniture so fingers point forward toward feet. Elbows hug in toward side body, and the strength of the upper arms, chest, and shoulders help stabilize as you bend elbows to lower down as far as you can, then engage outside of upper arms to push back up to where you came from. To make it even harder, you could rest a weight on your lap as you dip down. 12 reps

Get The Look Culligan Brady

1. Running Shirt | 2. Shorts | 3. Playlist | 4. Duffle Bag | 5. Headphones | 6. Shoes | 7. Water Bottle


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Sara’s words: “My arms are my least favorite part of my body, and I have zero upper body strength.” So she wanted to try a series of exercises that she could do every morning (or evening) to tone her upper arms and build her upper body strength. She also challenged Madeleine to create exercises that would simultaneously tone and flatten her belly. Here is what she did:

Saras Workout

1. Kettlebell swings: Feet hips’ width, generous bend in knees, hinge at hips. Holding kettlebell in both hands, hinge at hips to rise upright as you swing kettlebell as high as shoulders. Immediately swing back down to where you came from. Repeat. 20 reps

2. Reverse bent arm butterfly row: Feet hips’ width, generous bend in knees, hinge at hips, elbows bent to 90 degrees with dumbbells in hand. Raise one elbow to the height of its shoulder, then return it to be underneath its shoulder. Switch. 12-15 reps

3. Forearm side plank: From a high plank, lower down onto right forearm, then roll into outside of right foot, staking left foot on top. Raise left arm to the ceiling. Switch sides. 12 reps each side

4. Jackknife crunches: Lie on your back with arms by your side. Extend legs up to the sky, then lift chest and shoulder blades off the floor and reach hands toward feet. Lower back down, then immediately repeat. 15 reps

Get The Look Culligan Sara 11

1. Duffle Bag | 2. Leggings | 3. Shoes | 4. Shirt | 5. Socks


Emily Henderson Culligan Water And Fitness10

Jess wanted a “super doable” 20-30 minute workout that she could do when she gets home after work that helps to build lean muscles and core strength. She loves yoga and already does a fair amount of hot yoga (typically in the mornings), so a complementary quick routine to help promote weight loss was what she was after. On top of that, she has sensitive wrists so Madeleine created workouts that could work for her as well as her goals. Here is her workout:


1. King of the mountain: This shape is meant to lift the upper body off the lower body, reorganizing the bones so that again, they can support optimal core stability, and also so that the bones in the arms, wrists and hands can remember how to situate so that Jess’ wrist discomfort becomes a thing of the past. Simply interlace fingers, flip palms away from your face and reach arms up overhead until arms land next to ears. Breathe! Pick your frontal hip points up so you don’t dump into your lower back. Wrap your armpits in toward your ears. Keep arms straight. Push the thumb side part of the hands up up up!

2. Downward facing dog on yoga blocks: Propped up on blocks, downward facing dog becomes less strenuous on the wrists and is a great way to align the spine so that it can well support the core in its strength exercises.

3. Forearm plank play: On hands and knees, grab opposite elbows with forearms coming onto the ground. This gives you the distance of your shoulders, between your elbows. Clasp hands together so the forearms are on the ground. Extend legs back behind you, toes tucked and underneath heels. Keep one foot’s length between your two feet, and using the stability of your deep abdominals and obliques, roll onto the outside of the right foot and inside of the left. Come back through center, then switch directions. 10 reps per side

4. Flipped wrist planks (modify with knees on the ground): In an effort to continue to help Jess regain the support of her wrist joints, we played with flipping a hand around 180 degrees. This helps to reorganize the muscle, bone, and fascia in the wrists and forearms for more optimal function. In a plank with shoulders over wrists and heels over toes (or, knees on the ground), inhale and wing one elbow up toward the ceiling, then as you exhale bring the hand back to the mat, but flipped! You can then either keep the wrist flipped then flip the other one in the same fashion, or do one at a time. All the while, you’re in a plank of some kind that demands core stability.

Get The Look Culligan Jess 11

1. Leggings | 2. Sports Bra | 3. Shoes | 4. Yoga Blanket | 5. Yoga Mat


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Velinda wanted to supplement her twice-weekly group classes (way to go Velinda) with a routine that would keep her in shape on the days when she wants to get in a workout but maybe doesn’t make it to the gym. Here is her workout:

Velindas Workout Workout

1. Burpees: From standing position, plant hands on ground and jump back to a plank. Optionally, do a push up, or skip it if your form is going to get sloppy. From plank, jump feet toward hands then jump straight up bringing arms up overhead. Immediately plant hands and repeat. 15 reps

2. High plank to forearm plank: From a high plank, shift down to a forearm plank, one arm at a time. Then raise yourself back up to a high plank. 10 reps for each version

3. Weighted bridges: Lay on your back as you would for a crunch with your legs bent and in line with your body. Rest two weights on your hips and slowly press down evenly through both heels to lift pelvis off the mat. Knees bend to 90 degrees staying over the middle of the ankle, chest lifts, too. Slowly lower down. 12-15 reps thrust up until your spine and legs are in line, then return to the ground. 

4. Weighted lunges: One dumbbell per hand, step one foot far enough forward to lunge and bend both knees to 90 degrees. Push through front heel to step front foot back next to back foot. Switch sides. 12 reps per side

Get The Look Culligan Velinda 11

1. Shorts | 2. Sports Bra | 3. Tank Top | 4. Wireless Headphones | 5. Sex with Emily Podcast | 6. Sword and Scale Podcast | 7. Sapiens Audio Book | 8. The Last Girl Audio Book | 9. Audible


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Ryann’s target areas that she wanted to work on are were her stomach and her arms. She mentioned that she was not an “avid worker-outer (I might go on a run MAYBE once a week)” and that those two areas are where her weight fluctuates the most. So Madeleine came up with an effective 15-20 minute morning workout that could help lean her out while building her upper body strength. Ryann was interested in a morning workout to slim down a touch and develop some more core strength. Here is her workout:

Ryanns Workout

1. Jump rope: Good old-fashioned cardio to get the heart rate up first thing in the morning. Intervals: 30 seconds on as fast as you can, 15 seconds off. Repeat. 4 sets

2. Tricep kickback: Using an elevated flat surface on which to rest left knee and hand, grab one dumbbell in the right hand and plant the right foot on the ground. Bend the right elbow and hold it near the right hip, and keep it pinning in toward the side body with a long spine as you extend the right arm back behind you. Rebend the elbow, then repeat. 12 reps

3. Bicycle crunches: Lie on your back, legs extended, hands behind head. Lift chest and shoulder blades off mat, and draw right elbow to left knee. Then switch sides. Exhale when drawing elbow to knee. 20 reps

4. Plank with knee to elbow: In a plank with shoulders over wrists and heels over toes, use core stability to draw right knee to right elbow, then place foot back where it came from. Switch sides. 10 reps per side

Get The Look Culligan Ryan 11

1. Sports Bra | 2. Slides | 3. Leggings | 4. The Dollop Podcast | 5. Uhh Yeah Dude Podcast | 6. Hoodrat to Headwrap Podcast


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Arlyn mentioned from the get go that she has “a horrendous lower back, so I’d love to hear about exercises that could help strengthen my lower back, or at the very least, are easy on my lower back.” Overall, her goal was to develop more strength, stability and comfort in her lower back, so Madeleine played both with body weight exercises in addition to a kettlebell movement. Her exercises are to be executed in the order listed, three to four sets of each. Here is her workout:

Arlyns Workout

1. Bridges: Press down evenly through both heels to lift pelvis off the mat. Knees bend to 90 degrees staying over the middle of the ankle, chest lifts, too. Slowly lower down. 12-15 reps

2. Kettlebell upright row: Holding kettlebell with both hands, slight knee bend, feet hips’ width, hover kettlebell in front of feet, long spine (should feel like a half lift from a forward fold). Hinge at hips to rise up and bend elbows to shoulder height as you raise kettlebell in front of chest. Hinge at hips to lower down. 10 reps

3. Tabletop opposite arm/leg extending: On all fours, wrists under shoulders and knees under hips, lift and extend one arm, then lift and extend the opposite leg. Pull these opposing limbs even farther away from each other on an inhale, then on the exhale, draw elbow to knee for a crunch. Inhale, re-extend, exhale, hand and knee back on the mat. Switch sides. 10-12 reps each side

Get The Look Culligan Arlyn 11

1. Water Bottle | 2. Shirt | 3. Shoes | 4. Leggings | 5. Sports Bra | 6. Socks


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Grace’s goal was fabulously specific, you know how I feel about people that know what they want. She wanted to increase her upper body and core strength so that she could do pull-ups! The workout that Madeleine came up for her will not only help her build that strength she wants in her arms to do a pullup but will also help tone everything, as well.

Graces Workout

1. Boat pose crunches with yoga block: Lie on your back, bend knees to stack them on top of hips, creating a little shelf with your shins. With a yoga block between the palms on its longer width, lift the chest and shoulder blades away from the mat as the yoga block reaches up and past the knees. Don’t tuck the chin! 10 reps

2. Modified Situps: Lie on your back with the yoga block in between your hands. With legs lifted 6 inches from the floor, crunch your stomach in and twist to switch from side to side, returning to center in between each. 10 reps

3. Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts: Feet hips’ width apart, very slight bend at knees, stick your sitz bones way back in space, and keep your spine long. Hinge at the hips to rise up, keeping the weights super close to the body on the way up, and on the way back down. 12 reps

4. Modified push-ups: A classic! With knees bent and on the ground, arms are straight and wrists are under shoulders. Elbows stay pinning in toward the midline and bend directly behind you as you lower yourself toward the mat, using stability in the core to guide you. Next, push the palms firmly into the mat to use the strength of the arms to push you back up. 12 repsGet The Look Culligan Grace

1. Shirt | 2. Shirt | 3. Shoes | 4. Protein Bar | 5. Water Bottle | 6. Leggings


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Emily B. rides a home stationary bike a lot (she recently got a Peloton), and had lots of tension in her shoulders and upper back. To combat that, Madeleine designed some moves for her to unwind the effects of repeated bike riding (hunched over posture on the bike gives you that stress in your back and shoulders), so that she can move more freely in the body.

Emily Bs Workout

1. Shoulder flossing: Stand with feet hips’ width apart, gentle bend in the knees. Holding a yoga strap between your hands with palms facing down, extend arms wider than shoulders and keep them straight, pulling the rope taught. Inhale to draw the strap up, overhead, then behind the back with straight arms (just try it! You’ll surprise yourself!). After that, simply draw the strap back to where it came from. Repeat. 15 reps

2. Eagle pose: To help Emily loosen her upper back and develop more core strength, we incorporated this classic yoga pose. From standing, put all the weight into the right foot as you sink into a bent knee as though you were going to sit in a chair, then pick the left leg up and wrap it on top of the right. Maybe the left foot then wraps behind the right ankle. Next, wrap the left arm underneath the right, either giving yourself a hug with this arm orientation or further wrapping the arms so the palms make contact. Try to bring elbows forward and up, as you also try to get the elbows and knees to align with the midline. Switch sides. 3 reps per side

3. Shoulder opening hip hinges: Stand with feet hips’ width apart, gentle bend in the knees. Interlace fingers behind the back and hinge at the hips to fold forward until your torso is parallel to the ground. Flick your sitz bones up, pull crown and tail farther away from one another, pull upper arms bones back in space using connection between hands. Option (not pictured) to lift hands toward sky, depending on shoulder mobility. Inhale to hinge back upright.

4. Lunges with knee taps: From standing, come into a runner’s lunge with the front knee at a 90-degree angle and hands framing the front foot. Slice front hip back in space to even out the pelvis, then tap the back knee down toward the mat to lengthen the back leg’s psoas. Bend then straighten the knee. 15 reps per side

Get The Look Culligan Emily B 1

1. Shoes | 2. Sports Bra | 3. Leggings | 4. Sweatshirt | 5. A Tribe Called Quest Album | 6. Miya Folick Album

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Turns out, working out not only makes you feel good, but makes your body feel good, as well. And while all of the staff headed back to the office after this shoot to finish up work, I took the liberty (I am the boss after all) to head back home to finish my day, but not before a quick shower. We discussed the benefits of Culligan’s softened water earlier in the post but in addition to those, Culligan Water recently did a survey where participants noticed an improvement in hair quality from using softened water. Ever switch from shampoo to shampoo wondering why your hair still feels dry and frizzy? Well, it may not be the shampoo. Instead, it might be the water that you are washing it with. In our very first post from earlier this year with Culligan Water, there were a handful of comments that all attested to the fact that people noticed quite a difference when using softened water vs. hard water when washing their hair. The proof is in the pudding (or water) in this case. And this lady is very into having soft water for your body, your hair, your kids, and your home which is why I wanted to work together with Culligan Water this last year.

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Also, do you want to know one of many great things about millennials? They carry water bottles and abhor using plastic bottles. See how happy they all are with their reusable water bottles up there? That was one of the inspirations for this post. It’s generational and my generation (only slightly behind them) was strangely okay with buying “disposable” water bottles. Every time I walk into the office, I see all of their bottles sitting on their desks waiting for the next refill – not a one-time plastic bottle in site. Well done, guys. We are going to look back and be disgusted that they are still being sold instead of water stations (like paper bags). Anyway, that’s my “hey, way to go millennials (including everyone on my team) by making the world a less wasteful place.” And you know what you can put in your water bottles like us?

The most delicious water in the world via CULLIGAN WATER.

Let us know below if you have any questions on any of the workouts or our Culligan Water system. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2019 all around.

**Photography by Sara Tramp for EHD

*This post is in partnership with Culligan Water, all words, designs and selections are our own. Thanks for supporting the brands we love that support the blog.


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5 years ago

Emily B! What are your thoughts on the Peloton please? I’m seeing ads everywhere and I’m intrigued!

5 years ago
Reply to  SG

The Peloton is amazing! I committed to eating better, drinking more water and working out on it and after letting it sit in my house for almost 10 months unused and I lost 8 lbs my first months putting the work in! If you like cycle classes you will really enjoy the Peloton.

Hilary W Taylor
5 years ago
Reply to  SG

I don’t have a Peloton bike (too spendy for my budget) but do use the iPhone/iPad Peloton app with my own spin bike that I purchased off Amazon and LOVE it. Cycle, running, boot camp, yoga, walking, mediation workouts, all sortable by music style, workout time, instructor.

5 years ago

Hilary- would you mind sharing the spin bike you purchased? I’d love to get a Peleton but it’s unfortunately not in my budget, sounds like this could be an affordable alternative!

5 years ago

LOL what a follow-up to your reader survey. If you’re still in the mood for reader feedback – you probably should have hit pause on this one after all of the comments you received yesterday (I get that it’s sponsored so you’re obligated to post it at some point, but the timing after yesterday’s feedback makes it extra jarring). To be honest, I did not read anything in this post past the second paragraph.

jill hill
5 years ago
Reply to  Hillary

I thought this was an incredibly creative way to include the sponsored water information but also create useful content. I will be referencing this post for workout ideas! Emily and team, I think this is a great post. Thank you for all you do! You shouldn’t have to do it for free!

5 years ago
Reply to  jill hill

I agree that EHD shouldn’t have to do it for free. I do not take issue with the fact that it is a sponsored post – sponsored posts are fine and I am generally impressed at the effort that the EHD team puts in to make sponsored posts about something more than just “hey buy this product!” My point was that I thought this post was poorly timed given the reader feedback request yesterday and the fact that the overwhelming majority of comments (at least to the post – I obviously haven’t seen the survey results) were that readers come here for design content and that posts about extraneous things (sponsored or not) like fitness are not interesting, and that the sponsored posts about completely non-design related things (like Culligan and life insurance) seem forced. Clearly some readers like this post and of course not everyone is going to like the same thing. It’s not about a negative comment or saying something that isn’t nice – constructive feedback was requested YESTERDAY and to me posting this post immediately after receiving the comments that were given felt like a big “hah, thanks but I don’t actually care.”

5 years ago
Reply to  Hillary

Hillary, your comments helped me identify the reason why this post, and other posts, sometimes turn me off. In all honesty, I have no problem with sponsored posts, and some have helped me find services and products that are helpful to my family. It was the timing of this post, right after the survey yesterday, that bothered me. When I realized that, I remembered the times I would eagerly tune in to a blog post, or IG the next day after a survey, or a very interactive comment section to get feedback from Emily or the EHD team, only to find – well nothing related to the survey or discussion. Emily or the team usually address the comments and results at some point, but the related content is often so removed from the original discussion that it becomes irrelevant. And it does feel like EHD doesn’t care. I’m a long time reader, and know that to be not true. EHD always circles back to the topic, but it’s the timing that makes it feel as if our comments may have been ignored. Would love to see something on IG or stories the next day or two after a post like… Read more »

5 years ago
Reply to  Hillary

I thought the same. It’s a nice blog post, but I’m not here for exercise advice. Just one recap post about interiors this week. 🙁

5 years ago
Reply to  Hillary

Just an FYI, corporate employee surveys often backfire when corporations don’t acknowledge or improve the issues reported. This feels the same for this reader.

5 years ago
Reply to  Hillary

Agree. I nearly didn’t scroll down & almost missed the fun (& well-done) workout part because the culligan stuff was just so forced. I generally skip over the culligan posts because they’re just so far away from my own lifestyle. Perhaps if you reworked it so the workout part was at the top? I enjoy the posts that have multiple people in them because I feel like I’m getting their opinions as well as yours.

5 years ago
Reply to  Hillary

Agreed. I even mentioned the Culligan water posts specifically in the survey yesterday as those that seem the most forced. I always sigh when I see them, because I basically just skip over them.

5 years ago

I didn’t expect this to be such a fun post, feeling very inspired to try some of the workouts!

5 years ago

Love the unique spin on this sponsored post and the photography angles are so fun!! Pinning some of these to try for myself.

5 years ago

Agree–love the photos, the gear round-up and the specific exercises for targeting specific goals. Once again, y’all take a multi-faceted approach to a topic, which keeps even sponsored posts interesting. Only problem is that I need to work on nearly ALL THE THINGS. Thanks for the ideas and explanations!

5 years ago

Since y’all are looking for feedback- I read every single word of this post and kind of loved it bc I’m not into working out (I’m into interior design) but I do Have A Body and liked these low pressure workouts. TY for the clever sponsored posts! *also btw I’m looking at a water filtration system now so IDK but this seemed like a perfect post. 🙂

5 years ago

Great photos! Love the in-movement captures!

5 years ago

The workouts look fun and it’s good inspiration! Honestly, the Culligan posts seem the most forced. You’ve already talked about them more than once and I feel like it’s all copy+paste when you write about them. I get that you HAVE to as they are a partner but there’s gotta be a shorter way to talk about it!

5 years ago
Reply to  Amanda

Agreed – this stuff turns me off to the blog generally as feels so commercial.

5 years ago
Reply to  Amanda


5 years ago

This is obviously not your fault, but something with mentioning for your sponsor.
After your first post, I called them to get an estimate….no reply.

A few posts later, I called again. No reply.

I kinda gave up and lost interest in giving them by business. The is the East Bay nor cal area.

I did however just buy your ride gold water bottle and I’m thinking about some Nikes above. 🙂

Happy New Year!

5 years ago

Another question about the water system which is why I haven’t gotten it for my house (I do have a small system I put in for a secondary spout on my sink w/ hot & cold water which I LOVE!), does the soft water cause any problems washing soap off in the shower? That would drive me bananas. I know it’s something people in soft water areas complain about and it’s never been mentioned here.

5 years ago
Reply to  Emma

personal experience after living with soft water my whole life (it’s a must have in our area, water softener systems are a given.), the soap washes off just fine. It just doesnt always FEEL like it washes off. In other words, hard water gives you that “squeaky clean” feeling on your skin. As in, literal squeak, your hands stop if you rub them over skin or hair (I think because mineral residue is left behind, but I might be making that up). Soft water, even when the soap is gone…the skin/hair can still feel slippery and silky. But, it’s not soap. Hope that helps!

5 years ago

I’m a bit surprised how many people seem upset by a thoughtful exercise heavy water sponsored post. I don’t mind your culligan sponsorship as much as some others, and I thought this was an extremely helpful blog post for people who want to work out. Although, I do understand some people don’t care who y’all are as individuals and only care about the pretty decor stuff. It was fun to see all the mini workouts and think about incorporating them!

5 years ago
Reply to  Kel

Jumping to the conclusion that critical feedback means that we don’t care about who the team are as individuals is an incorrect and pretty judgemental leap. Emily asked for feedback on a recent post because she recognized that readers aren’t connecting and/or engaging with her posts. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t comment & I think many others feel the same. The net’s a big place. Poorly-placed sponsorship posts just mean that I generally skip over the post entirely and spend my time somewhere else.

5 years ago

Great post! I love the mixture of design/parenting/personal posts. People are so intense with the negative comments. Once again people, remember what you were taught as a child: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”

I live in an apartment, and our city has very hard water. I wish I could install a total-house system to get softer water.

Your team is very lucky to have you as a boss.

Arthella Starke
5 years ago

When you use the yellow print for the links, they are really hard to read. Could you use a different color so that us poor old readers can see them easier?

5 years ago

I don’t mind sponsored posts and I kind of like the timing of a post about exercise, given it’s the new year and I myself do need to get back into an exercise routine. You obviously put a lot of effort into creating this post, which I do appreciate.

One thing that occurred to me, though, as I scrolled through looking at the clothes/shoes – is the post also sponsored by Nike? I think every pair of shoes and most of the clothing is Nike? If so, you may want to be transparent about that. Just a thought!

5 years ago

I love this post! I want to be able to do a pull up. Thanks for the great tips!

5 years ago

Blah. Honestly I realize that this is a sponsored post but I read the headline and just stopped. I would like to see interior/design/home tour posts, NOT exercise posts. Blah.

5 years ago

Guys, water IS super important. I get that sponsored posts can feel a little forced sometimes but I’ve never doubted that Emily is truly impressed by the change that water filtration has brought to her life! Particularly if you have city water running through your taps, I URGE you to ask some questions and find out what’s in it! You might just be horrified, I’m sorry to say. And a standard carbon (Ie Brita) filer is not going to touch many of the nasties that are in municipal water.
The one thing I’d plug is to find a local small business to take care of your water filtration needs instead of a large national corporation. Local companies will be much more familiar with the specific water in your area and will (should) customize a solution that’s not over or under-kill. My boyfriend is a local water filtration expert so I’m biased of course, but I think Emily generally agrees with the small/local sentiment when there’s not a sponsorship involved!
PS- loved the workout piece and kudos to the brave EHD team for being willing to work out with a camera pointed at you! #hardpass

5 years ago

I already commented, but wanted to add one more thing. Looking at your top IG posts of 2018, every one of them save for the hair post was about interior design or home tours. That seems to pretty strongly indicate what topics your readers are interested in and which topics you may want to focus on in 2019. The hair one…well, who isn’t interested in hair?? I can totally see why that landed there. I may be alone here, but I’d MUCH rather see interior design/home tour posts than posts about water or exercise.

5 years ago

I just have to say i think you do sponsored posts so well! Still Creative and useful to readers! Way to go EHD!

5 years ago

Although there are states/cities in Australia that have a less than perfect water supply, I am lucky enough to live in one that provides excellent quality tap water. I tend to think that good quality water supply should be a basic requirement in developed countries.
Whilst many places could improve their recycled water supply for garden maintenance etc. I also think that people should put more pressure on their elected officials to improve drinking/house water supplies rather than the crapola that our governments currently concern themselves with.
If we could achieve this, then good quality water would be available to everyone, not just those wealthy enough to install water filtration systems.

5 years ago

So I love that you promote such practical, accessible things like softened water. Also can confirm that it makes a huge difference with hair. I can tell whenever I travel – people usually blame humidity when in fact, its hard water, causing bad hair days. But I also want to comment since you’ve been asking about content for 2019. This blog post is so generous – so much content and lots of images. I can imagine it was a lot of work to put together. I also think if I compare to other blogs, this would likely have been a series. Each person’s work out/outfit would have been another daily post. Had been recapping your post A Modern and Organic Living Room Makeover and had the same thought there. You tell a lot of stories in a single post. which I do love, but may be fragmenting your metrics a bit, making it hard to tell which parts of the post people are responding to… just two cents for you. Maybe it’s obvious that I am on a work break and therefore have lots of time to think about YOUR problems 🙂 But mostly want you to keep blogging and… Read more »

5 years ago
Reply to  Michelle

Totally agree with this! Don’t be afraid to break up your posts into smaller, digestible pieces of content. I often only have five minutes here and there to read my blogs, and this post took me all day to get through! It’s an awesome post (I love your content) but could have been broken into pieces. Just a thought!

5 years ago

shout out to Sara for doing some really great photos for this post! the shot of Emily running and the use of light and shadow in these shots is sooooo good!!

5 years ago

I thought this was a great post! The timing was spot on with the new year, and could serve as motivation for readers who want to set some “new year” exercise intentions. I don’t understand why some readers get so upset when you deviate from home design and interiors. Yes, there is a wide audience, but for every person who dislikes the deviation, there is someone else enjoying it! If the post doesn’t excite you, just come back the following day; no need to get your panties in a bunch. But also, as someone else pointed out, water is so important! We have a water filtration system as well as softening system in our house and it has significantly changed my hair and skin. Everyone should be able to relate to drinking and using safe water.

I took the reader survey and tried to provide really thoughtful answers as to what I like and want to see more of. I love all the design stuff, but also like the lifestyle stuff equally as well. Because, hello, we all have multifaceted lives and think about other things beside home design.

5 years ago

I’m mostly amazed with how game your crew is. Group exercise, with coworkers, PHOTOGRAPHED…. inconceivable! (and a hard pass)

5 years ago

I liked this post a lot, and have zero objections to sponsored posts. I didn’t think it was forced, and I love the highly personalized workouts. Good work Team EHD.

5 years ago

I cannot believe people! Sponsored post or not, the exercise information was excellent – well presented and useful. Not everything is going to be to each persons liking. Anyone who has read this blog for long knows the content is mostly design based, and includes other well researched and presented content as well. It has been determined to be one of the top 10 blogs to follow. It is rare that I find myself inclined to simply delete a post as not worth reading. I very much like the diverse content and appreciate the time and effort made to make all posts creative, informative and interesting whether sponsored or not. Well done Emily et al!

5 years ago

I am a personal trainer/guru and I think that this trainer did an amazing job. I really hope everyone does these workouts. I love the blend. That is also how I work out. I love the length of the workouts are do-able for busy people and also they don’t require much equipment. I am always telling people that fitness doesn’t have to be stressful or all or nothing. Ten minutes done consistently can be effective!!!!

I also love all of the Nike clothes and a few Target items. I want Sara’s leggings from Target. She looked adorable in them!!!!

🙂 Thank you Culligan!

5 years ago

Jesus people are so negative! It’s still Christmas season, the team have been having a break and I think you usually expect some slightly more random/non-design heavy or roundup stuff at this time of year.

I think this post was really interesting and I loved the gifs to help illustrate the exercises – it works so well! Personally of course I come here for the design stuff, I’m sure everyone does, but I don’t object to the other stuff – in fact I really enjoy the more personal bits and bobs, Emily isn’t just an interior design machine and it doesn’t bother me at all that the blog would reflect something slightly broader.

But right now in rainy grey England I am VERY jealous of the team all doing workouts in glorious SoCal sunshine! Getting out for a run feels a lot less appealing in an english January…

5 years ago

Maybe this is just me but does anyone else have issues finding underwear that work with leggings? Emily, do you have super amazing underwear you are comfortably wearing in these pictures? Or do you go commando? But then what happens when a little pee comes out during some sort of jump/land combination? Not to paint a too vivid picture but after two kids my what used to work undies just aren’t cutting the mustard!

5 years ago

Hello EHD team! Can you please share information on the rug shown in Emily’s kitchen? If it’s not vintage and available somewhere, I’d love to know where I can find it – it’s beautiful.

5 years ago

Really great blog and awesome exercises….To be honest, I was most impressed with the kitchen and bathroom decoration. The Turkish carpets on the ground are always the most sophisticated decorative objects that I prefer to use in my own home decoration.
The most adaptability to this decoration is the vintage Turkish towels. I think this hold good to both the kitchen and the bathroom.
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