Search Results : urban athletic club

Jul 072016
 

Hey friends! How’s everyone doing today? I attended another fun class at Urban Athletic Club with my buddies Anne and Kathleen yesterday, and instead of just glossing over it with some vague details I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you more about how this class is structured and why I love it so much.

I’ve received a few emails/comments lately from other DC locals on ClassPass who are looking for recommendations on classes to take, and Urban Athletic Club (UAC) is definitely one of my favorites! I usually go once a week using a combination of my ClassPass classes and a package of classes that I bought a while back, and it’s such a great workout every time. Plus, I love having the opportunity to spend an hour catching up with Anne and Kathleen while we work out! Multitasking at its finest!

UAC has a couple of different locations, but I’ve only ever been to the one in north Georgetown. Take note that it’s not down by the waterfront, but up closer to Dupont on 27th and Q NW. There is usually street parking and/or meters available nearby, and the entrance is located right on 27th up a flight of stairs. There are signs, but if you don’t know where you’re going it can be easy to miss!

When you arrive just ring the doorbell (it’s marked) and the instructor will come open the door for you.

Speaking of instructors, my favorites right now are Teisha, Romain, and Graham. Graham is the owner so he’s not teaching classes very often, but when he does they are always fun and challenging! Teisha’s classes feature tons of 90s throwback songs and plenty of cardio, whereas Romain plays the latest house music and songs on the radio and is a little more focused on mobility and strength (though really, all the classes are pretty similar).

When you arrive, the instructor will take you through a warm-up (Teisha’s are usually ladder drills and Romain’s are usually stretching/walking movements) and then he/she will go over the workout for the day!

The class is broken out into three sections: turf, grid, and open.

The turf area is usually where all the cardio takes place, the grid uses TRX and monkey bars, and the open uses weights. The class divides up into groups of 3 or 4, and each group will cycle through all three stations for a set period of time (either as many reps as possible – AMRAP – in a certain number of minutes, or tabata style with a few seconds on and a few seconds of rest).

Once each group has gone through all three stations, it’s time for “half time” which will usually involve something like running around the block or holding a plank. After that, everyone breaks out into their groups again and goes to each station for the second half, but this time with completely different movements than the first half.

I’ll explain all of this in greater detail as we go, so I think this will all make more sense in a minute!

Turf

The turf is a long strip of red turf, and is usually used for activities like burpees, suicide sprints, shuffle runs, wall balls, bear walks/crab walks, jump rope and more.

This is the area where most of the cardio takes place, so you’ll likely be the most winded after being at the turf. Phew!

Grid

The grid has a combination of monkey bars and TRX equipment, and in my opinion is the hardest station!

Exercises at the grid can include pull-ups, chin-ups, knees-to-chest, various rows, and pistol squats (among others).

The hardest part for me is when the TRX straps are lowered down to the floor and we put our feet in the straps for mountain climbers and ab work. Ouch! Any time I walk into the studio and see that the straps are low I know it’s going to be a hard workout. 

Wouldn’t it be more fun to just hang around on the monkey bars? 🙂

Open

The open is just an open space in the back of the gym with lots of different kettlebells and weights. Usually this area will include kettlebell swings, walking lunges, sumo squats, snatches, cleans, and whatever else the instructor throws at us that day.

Some of the toughest moves we do in the open involve really light weights. Whenever the instructor tells us to grab a lighter weight that usual, it’s another sign that a tough move is coming!

Halftime

Halftime occurs once each group has cycled through all three stations, and is totally different each time! Yesterday we had the option of running around the block or doing a wall sit with bicep curls. It was really muggy outside so Kathleen, Anne, and I opted for the wall sit. It was tough!

Sometimes the halftime challenge is something more simple like a plank, which makes chatting easier. 🙂

After halftime we go to each station again and do completely different exercises! Because the class is structured this way, it absolutely flies by and I usually am left feeling sweaty, tired, and completely shocked that an hour has passed by already. In this class I’m always thinking about what movement I need to do next, and before I know it class it over and it’s time to stretch!

By the way, there is a shower at UAC, but only one. They provide towels too!

If you couldn’t already tell, I love this class so much and really enjoy working out there every week. If you’re local and haven’t tried it yet, give it a shot! 🙂

*Note: this post is not sponsored in any way and I pay for all Urban Athletic Club classes on my own. I just really love these classes!

Question of the day: What’s your favorite type of class to take?

 Posted by on July 7, 2016
Feb 122018
 

Hey friends! I’m coming at you this morning (Saturday, as I write this) from a cafe in Baltimore – Fabio has a dentist appointment with our brother-in-law, Alex, and I decided to use this time to park myself down and do some writing. No stress and no pressure, which is exactly how I think blogging is supposed to be. Honestly, it’s been a big shift for me not to post two or three times every week, but I think giving myself the freedom not to blog has actually given me more creative inspiration to write about some more fun things. Like today!

Last week I took four workout classes – three on ClassPass and one at OrangeTheory Fitness – and I had a mix of instructors I loved and instructors that I just didn’t. This made me think about the topic for today’s post, a review of some of my favorite instructors and what makes them so great!

First, let’s talk about what’s not so great. I won’t name any names or even say what studio I went to, but I had an instructor on Thursday that left me feeling so turned off. Don’t get me wrong, her actual workout was challenging and left me feeling pretty good, but her attitude was a big NO for me. As soon as she walked into the room I got this sort of vibe from her – like she thought she was just soooo much better than everyone else there. She didn’t help anyone with form, she didn’t give much encouragement, she just told us what to do in kind of a bossy, this-is-what-comes-next tone of voice. It was almost like she thought she was “too cool” to give us any personal attention? Maybe she was just shy in actuality and that’s how it came across? When we left (Fabio was with me) we said goodbye and she didn’t even look us in the eye as she said “Byeeeeeee – have a good one.” As you’ll see from the rest of this post, this is totally NOT what I like in an instructor, especially when there are so many who get it right.

I also want to say quickly that while I’ve been taking classes through ClassPass all over the D.C. area since it first came the area in 2014 (wow!), there are still tons of classes that I haven’t been to and probably lots of awesome instructors that I’ve missed. These are just the ones I go to time and time again because I love them so much.

Stephen from BLAST DC and Fly Wheel/Fly Barre

Does anyone remember the “hardest barre class I ever took” back in 2015? Well, that was Stephen’s class. Back then I’m pretty sure he only taught barre, but he now also teaches spin at Flywheel and, what’s even better for me, bootcamp classes at BLAST DC. And what I said before about his barre class being super hard applies to everything he teaches – I took his class at BLAST earlier this week with my friend Kathleen, and told her I thought it was one of the hardest classes that I have EVER taken. Stephen is just really good at pushing you to work as hard as you can. He tells you to turn up the speed on your treadmill and hold your weights for 10 seconds longer than you thought you could, but always in a really positive, encouraging way. Another thing I love is his music!! He plays all the normal stuff, but then sometimes will throw in something amazing like Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey. I remember one time around the holidays he played a song from the Prince of Egypt during FlyWheel and I thought I was going to fall off my bike, I was so excited. Those fun throwbacks are so motivating! Lastly, Stephen is super nice, encouraging, and always gives you a high-five when you’re done with your workout. I love his classes and frequently look for him on the schedule!

Plus, I love following Stephen on Instagram @SnapsFromSteve!

Virginia from BodyMass Gym

Virginia and her husband Kris own BodyMass Gym in Arlington, and their blast class is one of my favorites! First, I will start by saying that there’s a very similar gym to BodyMass less than a block away from it, and it’s usually empty. But not BodyMass – every time we go it’s absolutely packed! It’s not too fancy (though there is a dog!!) but you can tell people come for the instructors and the workout. The blast class is interval bootcamp style with mostly strength exercises and a bit of cardio mixed in. Virginia knows everyone’s name and does the BEST job at walking around to correct form and encourage you. When ClassPass prompted me to vote for a top instructor for 2017, she’s the one I instantly thought of and voted for. I just think she does a great job at inspiring you and teaches you the right way to do something. I feel like even basic exercises – from my deadlifts to my squats – have all improved since I started taking her class. It’s also really hard, and I love her playlists of rap from the early 2000s. Ja Rule?! Yes!

Virgina also competed (competes?) in bodybuilding competitions, and her Instagram includes some really impressive photos. Follow her @VirginiaVKinkel!

(I should also say that I love all the coaches at BodyMass Gym – especially Chase! – but Virginia really stands out. I’ve also never taken a class with her husband Kris, but somehow he knows my name too, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t know anything about my blog. Amazing!)

Earl and DeShay from Definitions

I’m clearly not the only one who likes Earl and DeShay from Definitions DC – Earl even won most motivating ClassPass instructor for 2016! Though I usually take DeShay’s classes because of scheduling, I’ve had Earl a number of times and love the big smile he wears during a class and his positivity. He also calls the different colored kettlebells and resistance bands flavors instead of colors (so the hardest resistance band, which is purple, he calls grape, and the heaviest kettlebell, which is orange, he calls tangerine) which I think is a cute little touch. DeShay is great too, and she always makes sure new students are welcomed by the rest of the class. They both know everyone’s name, and even have a system where they’ll take your picture and save it on their computer so they can always match a face to a name, even if you don’t attend their class reglarly. Though their gym space is small, the intervals they plan are really thoughtful and make great use of the equipment and space they do have. The classes always fly by and are a lot of fun!

Alex from OrangeTheory Fitness Clarendon

Hopefully I’m not being biased here since Alex does read the blog (hi, Alex!) and is the one who invited me to try OrangeTheory in the first place. 🙂 BUT her classes are always packed, often with a waitlist of 20ish people trying to get in. I’ve heard plenty of people say how much they love her classes, so I know I’m not alone! Let me just set the stage for a minute – around this time last year (wait I actually just looked it up and it was exactly a year ago today – weird!) Alex invited me to try out a class at OrangeTheory so I went with Anne and Fabio. I remember loving the class and thinking it was really good/hard, but when I looked at the pricing sheet I knew it wasn’t going to happen – how could I justify paying that price on top of my monthly ClassPass fees? Every time I drove past an OTF after that I would think about it – it was just such a good class and I really liked how challenging it was. Then my friend Courtney moved to Clarendon from the West Coast, and she said she was in the market for a new fitness routine. I suggested we try out OTF since your first class is free and I knew she wouldn’t have to pay anything. So one morning we went together and I paid the drop-in fee to take another class with Alex. At this point, I knew it wasn’t something I could walk away from again. I just LOVED her class – how hard it was, how encouraging she is, and the music (she plays some great 2000s throwbacks, and I even heard some of my favorite old Simple Plan songs that took me back to middle school days). Alex is also really friendly and relatable, and I feel like we could totally be friends. I ran out of classes a couple weeks ago, and just shelled out $500 (ughhh) to get 30 more classes. Right now I am working out at OTF once a week, and I pretty much only take Alex’s classes. (The other instructors are good too, but I feel like I’d rather “save” my classes for Alex.) I’m a fairly frugal person in general, so the fact that Alex got me to splurge on another fitness program on top of ClassPass is pretty telling.

She’s another one who I like following on Instagram – @Alshabes.

Although there are lots of other instructors in the D.C. area that I really like – like Richard from FlyWheel Dupont and Graham from Urban Athletic Club, for exmaple – the ones above are the ones that really stand out for me. I will go out of my way to take their classes and will even move my schedule around if needed. Love these guys!

Question of the day: Who are your favorite DC-area instructors??

 Posted by on February 12, 2018
Dec 142017
 

It’s beginning to look feel a lot like Christmas…

Phew! It’s finally getting cold around these parts! Brrrr! I kind of like it though – it makes me feel more festive and ready for the holidays!

How are you guys doing today? It’s been forever since I wrote more than two words about food and fitness, so I’m planning to share an update on that with you today.

But first, did I ever show you our tree this year? Fabio and I picked it up from Home Depot after work last Monday. We’ve learned that all the tree places near us are totally swamped on weekends in December and sell out of most of their trees, so last year we bought our tree on a weeknight and had much better luck. We tried the same thing this year, and practically had the place to ourselves! I think we have a new tradition on our hands, at least for now.

When we set up it up and started decorating, I was thrilled to see that Elf was playing on Freeform (anyone else still think of it as ABC Family?).

Woohoo–my favorite Christmas movie! (Home Alone is my second fav, followed by the original cartoon version of The Grinch).

While I put the lights and the ribbon on, Fabio headed outside to do our outdoor decorations. We keep things pretty simple outside – just some candles and wreaths in the windows, and white lights outlining the door with a white star on top. (The light-up star and lights were given to us by my grandparents  last year – hooray for free decorations!)

When Fabio came back inside, we finished decorating the tree together. I always wait for him to do the ornaments since we always buy an ornament when we travel, and each Christmas we have a blast looking back at old ones and reminiscing about past trips. We had a new one for Thailand this year, plus a few “just married” ones!

I think our other decorations look pretty cute too – we have a fun, red sequin “Holly Jolly” pillow, and our little bar area is decked out in “snow” and nutcrackers.

There’s also a string of battery-operated thin white lights hung across this area, which unfortunately you can’t see here. They’re super cute though!

Ok so, now that I’ve blabbered on about the holidays, let’s talk food and fitness!

As far as workouts go, I’ve still been chugging along with ClassPass, though I’ve been thinking a bit about switching up my plan. I’ve really been loving Orange Theory lately, and I’ve found that for the last two months I haven’t been used up all my CP classes. Plus CP is beta testing a new “credits” format, which I’m still trying to figure out if I like. Anyone else on the new credits plan?

For now though, I’m still putting CP to good use with classes at Urban Athletic Club, BodyMass Gym, Definitions, and Biker Barre. Speaking of Urban Athletic Club, the Georgetown location is closing this weekend! We’ve been going there for years, and it’s hard to believe we won’t be going back there anymore. I’m sure we’ll still visit the Glover Park and Shaw locations though, which we’ve been going to a bit more lately.

Now that Anne has had her baby, Kathleen and I are going to classes just the two of us. We miss Anne and can’t wait to have her back, but I’m so lucky that I still have a solid workout buddy!

I’m currently averaging around 3 classes per week with a couple of runs with Jack thrown in between, and I’m feeling like that’s a decent enough amount for right now.

As far as food goes…well, I could be doing better. I feel like I always gain weight around this time of year – it starts with my birthday in late September, then I eat candy around Halloween, then it’s Thanksgiving, and then the treats really come around during the holidays. My work environment is the worst for trying to make good food choices too – every day there are new treats to enjoy.

In theory, I should pick and choose what to splurge on and only enjoy the items that I decide are worth it. But something about sitting at my desk (feeling bored, most likely) and knowing there are delicious brownies, cookies, bagels, and pie available for at any point really tests my willpower. I know it’s not a huge deal if I eat treats here and there, but every day for the whole month of December is a problem (for me).

But it is what it is, and if I eat too much I just try to do better the next day.

Alright – that’s all I have for you guys today! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Question of the day: How do you handle treats around the holidays?

 Posted by on December 14, 2017
Oct 272017
 

Hi friends! How was your week?

Mine was pretty crazy once again, but hopefully the end is in sight. I’m tired of leaving the office at 7 or 8 p.m. only to pull out my laptop and do more work after getting home. It’s fun and rewarding work (thank goodness!) but this schedule is exhausting!

Luckily I was able to step away for a little while this week to get more of a “regular” blog post written for you guys, which is a summary of some of my food and fitness updates from the last few weeks. I think I mentioned this a little while back, but when I’m stressed, I crave all the comfort foods. Of course life is all about balance, but I’ve definitely been doing my fair share of stress eating lately and I know I need to reign it in. Here’s a peek at how I’ve been trying to balance everything.

Fitness

Despite my busy schedule, I’m still prioritizing getting in a workout as much as I can during the week. That’s one of the benefits to being a morning workout person – no matter how late in the evenings I have to work, I’m still able to get a workout in since I get it over with as soon as I wake up!

ClassPass is still going strong (<–referral link for $40 off!) and I’m taking between two and three classes a week through there, usually with my buddies Anne and Kathleen. In the last few weeks, we’ve been making regular visits to Definitions, Urban Athletic Club (though we’re not a fan of this new format they’re trying out), Next Phase Studio, and BodyMass Gym.

While I like all of these classes a lot, BodyMass is probably my favorite now. We especially like the instructor Virginia, who’s super energetic and encouraging. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a cute pup named Flex that we get to play with when class is over. Love that place!

Anne is super pregnant right now, but trucking along like a champ! I’m sure going to miss her when she’s out after the baby is born. 🙁

Aside from my classes with the girls, I’m taking a lot of Orange Theory Fitness classes with my college friend Courtney who recently moved back to Arlington. I bought a pack of 14 classes a while back, and I’m going about once a week right now. The classes are challenging but fun, and I always feel like I got a really great workout afterwords. I’ve been going to the Clarendon location even though Ballston is in walking distance because a) it’s closer for Courtney and b) I really like the instructors, especially Alex who invited me to OTF in the first place back in February. She’s great!

Question for any of you OTF regulars: Do you try to get your heart rate in a pyramid, with most of your time spent in green, then orange, then red? One of the instructors told us about this goal recently, but Courtney and I couldn’t quite figure out why you’d want to spend most of your time in the green zone vs. really pushing yourself during the workout. We’re told it’s so you can burn fat longer, but I’d love to hear your guys’ thoughts!

Lastly, I’ve been dropping into the occasional spin class and yoga class and still running a bit with Jack, but bootcamp dates with friends are definitely taking up most of my workout schedule right now. 🙂

Food

Since I’ve been staying at work so late, I’ve been trying to cook big meals over the weekend that can last as leftovers throughout the week. As I mentioned, we had meatloaf on Sunday (it came out great!) and then I repurposed it for a few different meals throughout the week.

So for example, on Sunday we had it with mashed potatoes and broccoli (I told you, I want all the comfort foods right now!), and then on Tuesday we had it in a chopped salad with roasted acorn squash and spiced nuts. It was really good both ways! (And a little healthier on Tuesday, obviously).

The roasted acorn squash and spiced nuts were leftovers from another dish I made late last week: quinoa-and-kale-stuffed acorn squash with pecans that I found in the latest issue of Giant’s magazine, Savory. This was another really tasty meal!

As you can see, I’m definitely craving all the comfort foods, but I’m still not eating too unhealthfully, and I’m still having my standard breakfasts of cottage cheese+fresh berries and salads with either hard-boiled eggs or chicken for lunch, plus yogurts for an afternoon snack.

There was one night last week where I caved and got Jimmy Johns for dinner – including one of their giant cookies – and there have been some work treats like cookies and donuts floating around the office that made their way into my belly. But those days are to be expected, and that’s what all the planning is for the rest of the time, right? 😉

Questions of the day: What do you make for dinner when you know you won’t have time to cook? OTF peeps, what do you think of this pyramid goal thing?

 Posted by on October 27, 2017
Sep 152017
 

Hellooooooo there! And happy Friday! 🙂 This week was another doozy for me – lots of stress at work – and I’m SO ready for the weekend. Woohoo!

I have a few random things from the week to share with you guys today, but I’m going to attempt to keep things short because I’m a bit distracted by a new doggy friend who’s currently running in circles around our couch with Jack. (It’s Thursday night as I type this.)

Fabio and I are watching my coworker Carly’s sweet chocolate lab, Rooney, for a couple of days, and these two are playing nonstop!

Both dogs are going to sleep well tonight, that’s for sure.

With that, here’s a few other updates from the week!

1. I had some really great workouts this week! On Tuesday, I joined my friends Anne and Kathleen for a class at Urban Athletic Club. UAC has a new program on Tuesdays and Thursdays where the first half of the class is dedicated to skill work, and the second half is the actual workout. To be honest, I don’t usually love this format – I feel like there’s a lot of time wasted standing around/taking breaks from the skill – but it was good to mix it up this time.

Our skill for the day was handstands and L-sits, which we did for about 10 minutes.

Then we got into our workout of the day, which was a really good one! I was sore the next day, which doesn’t always happen since I take these classes so often. Woo!

I also took a class at Orange Theory Fitness this week! You may remember I took a class there back in February and loved it, and then when my friend Courtney expressed interest in taking a class there a couple of weeks ago, I decided to drop in with her. Like last time, I absolutely loved the workout and felt really challenged, so I decided to go ahead and buy a package of classes. Yep, call me a sucker.

My package includes 14 classes that I have a whole year to use up, and because I enjoyed the workout so much, I feel like I’m going to go through them in no time. I know it’s a lot of money to spend on fitness on top of my monthly ClassPass payments, but it’s something that makes me happy and is good for me so I decided it was worth it.

Also, just as a side note, the staff at the Clarendon location of OTF have been absolutely phenomenal. They’re so encouraging and friendly, and their classes are so hard! Eventually I’ll probably give the Ballston location a try since I can walk to it, but I feel a sense of loyalty to the Clarendon one since they’re the ones who first invited me in!  🙂

Aside from OTF, I’m also signed up for a “blast” bootcamp class at BodyMass Gym tomorrow with Anne, and I’m excited for that too! Those workouts are always killer. Lots of good stuff happening on the fitness front this week, that’s for sure!

 2. I have some new(ish) Nikes that I’ve been wearing for workouts, and I love them!

They’re these Nikes and didn’t cost too much and have been really great for all my different bootcamps. I bought them a few months ago and wanted to really break them in before blogging about them, and now I can report that they’re awesome! I think they look sporty and fun, and I like that there’s a velcro strap to help keep my laces from coming untied. I haven’t been running too much in them, but I think they’d probably be just fine for that as well. If you’re in the market for some new sneakers, definitely check these out!

3. We have some destructive bunnies/squirrels in our neighborhood. Remember last week when I said my mom gave us two pumpkins from the garden? Well, I cooked one and made soup, and I put the other one out on the front stoop for some fall festiveness. And then this happened. Womp womp.

My mom said I could cut off the chewed up part and still cook the other half, but I might just toss this one. What do you guys think?

4. We had homemade pizza one night this week, and it felt like such a treat!

When meal planning this week, I found some homemade dough in the freezer from the last time I made pizza, so I took it out to defrost and then we enjoyed the quick and easy pizza on Tuesday night. It was delicious!

5. You guys might kill me for telling you about this – but have any of you tried Trunk ClubIt’s the exact same premise as Stitch Fix — i.e., you fill out a style profile and get a delivery of clothes sent to your house, which you can then choose to keep or send back — only I absolutely LOVED everything in my trunk and wound up wanting to keep the entire thing. FYI – I think Trunk Club has been around a while for men, but only recently started offering the service for women.

I also felt like working with the Trunk Club stylist made my box feel more personalized to the types of clothes I want, and I got to review everything and swap items out before the trunk was sent. This was really helpful since I already had a few similar pieces to what my stylist was planning to include, so I traded those two things out for something different.

It’s hard for me to explain exactly why I liked this service so much more than Stitch Fix, but I will just say I felt like every piece in my box was a perfect fit for me. Like, literal fit and also style fit. Ha! I guess I was just really excited about everything in my box and didn’t feel like anything was a dud, which seems to happen to me a lot with SF. I wound up sending two things back (which was also super easy) but really only because I couldn’t justify paying for everything. It was such a great experience, and I will definitely be ordering more of these!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today! I will leave you with this picture of Jack snuggling on the couch. 🙂

Have a good weekend!

Question of the day: Have you ever tried Trunk Club? How about OTF?

 Posted by on September 15, 2017
Aug 102017
 

Hey friends! I’m dropping by today with six random things that are on my mind. 🙂

1. We are heading out of town again this weekend, this time for another fun weekend getaway up at Aunt CC and Uncle Steve’s place in Otis, MA. It’s a long, 6.5 hour drive, but it’s always so fun once we get up there. We have a couple of friends joining us this time, so I wanted to bring a couple of treats up with us so CC and Steve don’t spend the whole weekend slaving away over food. I wound up making this Mediterranean Farro Salad and this Lemon Blueberry Bread. The lemon blueberry bread in particular looks amazing, and I can’t wait to dig into it! Woohooo!! Otis weekends are the best.

2. Our wedding pictures are ready!!!!! Eeek!! I got the email from our photographer in the middle of the work day, and it was all I could do not to tear through them right away. Luckily I waited until I got home so Fabio and I could enjoy going through them together. They came out so beautifully and now I’m trying to figure out what to do with them all! I’m thinking I’ll wait until Shutterfly or one of those sites has a sale, and then I’ll make some albums for family and order a few prints. Any recommendations? Here’s one sneak peek for you guys…

3. And now that our wedding pictures are ready, I can get working on the wedding blog recaps! I still have one last honeymoon post to write, and then I’ll dive into all things wedding. It was such a fun, magical weekend, and I want to make sure I capture it all perfectly! It’s going to take some time, but I can’t wait to share it with you all.

4. Speaking of blog posts, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time to sit down and write here on CET. Work and life have both been really busy, and I’ve always wanted writing in this space to be something I look forward to doing, or get to do, and I don’t ever want it to feel like an obligation. Some days I think, “Oh man, I have to get a blog post up today,” and then I think, “Wait, I don’t have to do anything.” I’m not planning on changing my posting schedule drastically or anything like that, but I wanted to let you guys know how I was feeling and just give you a heads up that some days there might be a post, and some days there might not. That’s just sort of how life is working out for me right now.

5. We didn’t make it to the grocery store last weekend, so our dinners have sort of been all over the place. We used up a lot of random produce we had in the fridge from last week, and I’ve made a bunch of weird thrown-together meals that actually came out pretty tasty. Last night, for example, I made us a pasta dish with leftover roasted carrots, corn salad, and Peruvian chicken, and somehow it all tasted great together once I mixed up a random dressing to tie it all together. Hey, whatever works!

6. Workouts have been pretty good so far this week, with a short run on Monday, a spin class at FlyWheel on Tuesday, a sculpt class at CorePower yoga on Wednesday, and a bootcamp class at Urban Athletic Club planned for tomorrow (it’s Wednesday as I write this). Plus I’m sure I’ll probably get in some fun activities this weekend in Otis as well!

Aaaaand there you have it – six random thoughts in my head this morning. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Question of the day: What’s your dinner go-to when you haven’t been to the grocery store?

 Posted by on August 10, 2017
Aug 042017
 

Hello there! Happy Friday! Did you have a good week? Mine was a busy one and included lots of good workouts and good food! Let’s take a look.

Workouts

On Monday, I took Jack for a very short run (only about a mile). I wound up getting home from Fire Island pretty late and thought sleeping in sounded better than setting an early alarm. I still wanted to get some movement though, so a one-mile run did the trick.

On Tuesday, I joined my favorite workout buddy Anne for a class at Next Phase Studio via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $40 off!). We wound up being the only two people in the class, so we got a custom workout. Sweet! Our class incorporated a ton of moves on the TRX – I always forget how many things you can do on there – and then we went through two interval circuits and a cooldown/stretch.

It was a good one, and my upper body was pretty sore afterward.

On Wednesday, I went for another one-mile run with Jack and then dropped him off at home before running over to the track at Washington Lee High School. I ran a couple of laps on the track – sprinting the straights and running the curves – and then ran the bleachers. I ran up and down the stairs on both sets of bleachers and then ran home.

This was a great workout because it was free, got me outside in the sunshine, and didn’t take too long!

While running up and down the bleachers was certainly tough, I actually felt way more winded after the sprints on the track. I really pushed myself, and I was definitely feeling it after.

On Thursday, I joined Anne and our other friend Kathleen for a workout at Urban Athletic Club! This week we tried out the Glover Park location to switch things up (and we liked the instructor who was teaching there better than the one at the Georgetown location that day).

The focus of the class was on strength, and we completed a bunch of intervals where we didn’t worry about speed and instead tried to push ourselves with heavier weights. It was a good one!

Tomorrow (it’s Thursday as I type this), I’m not sure what exactly my workout plan is. I’ve looked up a couple of classes but haven’t signed up for any yet, which likely means I will set my alarm early, hit snooze, and then wind up going on a run with Jack instead. Ha! Whatever it is, I’m definitely planning on getting some movement into my morning.

Eats

Fabio and I enjoyed lots of tasty dinners this week thanks to a Sun Basket subscription! Since I knew I would be getting home from the beach late on Sunday, I signed up for Sun Basket in advance and was so happy to get a delivery of ingredients on my door step on Monday afternoon.

If you’ve never tried Sun Basket, it’s the same concept as Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, but with slightly healthier recipes. You can choose from options like paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, or lean and clean, which is the option we chose.

Here are the tasty meals we had this week!

Asian noodle salad with jammy eggs: This one was delicious and had so many fresh veggies! Fabio doused his in sriracha which made it extra tasty. (I wanted to be able to taste the fresh veggies and the dressing, so I skipped the sriracha but had a bite of his which was definitely yummy.)

Spiced lamb patties with warm carrot salad: This dish! Ah! It was so flavorful and delicious, and I can’t wait to recreate it on my own. It was also really comforting with the warm veggies and toasted almonds in the salad. Yummmm. This one might have been my favorite of the three.

Chicken salad lettuce cups: This was another really tasty dish with chicken, green beans, new potatoes, and scallions. The dressing was a really yummy mustard, lemon, tarragon situation, which I loved. Actually, maybe this one was my favorite? Ha.

So good! Overall I really liked Sun Basket and would definitely order it again.

Oh and one last thing I have to mention: I want to give a big thank you to Giant for sending me a box of their new limited edition salted caramel products! I’m so excited to try the salted caramel pancake mix, and I’ve already put quite a big dent in this bag of salted caramel chocolates. #sorrynotsorry

Keep an eye out for these products at your local Giant!

Alright friends, that’s all for today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: How often do you order meal services like Blue Apron or Sun Basket?

We probably get it just a few times a year!

 Posted by on August 4, 2017
Jul 212017
 

Helloooo! How’s everyone doing today? Did you have a good week?

Mine was really crazy – work is incredibly busy right now and I’ve been trying to do too many things at once and wind up doing none of them very well. I can feel myself making stupid mistakes because I’m trying to juggle too many projects, and for the first time in possibly my whole life I’m not meeting all my deadlines. Hellpppppp!

Needless to say, this weekend couldn’t come soon enough.

At least my boys made me smile a lot this week when I finally got to head home and relax!

I especially love this picture from bed time the other night. 🙂

That face!

Anyway, let’s take a look at my workouts this week!

Saturday, July 15 – As I mentioned, on Saturday morning I took a very slow, easy-going yoga class with my friend Jojo at Lincoln Park in D.C.

Although it barely felt like a workout, it was nice to get outside and relax my mind a bit!

Sunday, July 16 – Rest day! We spent Sunday helping Diane and Alex prepare for the baby, who will be here before we know it! (Still no sign of him yet though..)

Monday, July 17 – On Monday, I took Jack for a steamy three-mile run. This week has been super hot, and both of us were feeling the heat. By the end of the run, Jack was lagging behind me a bit, which almost never happens. Poor guy! We definitely took it easy on our speed and will continue to do so until the weather cools down a bit.

Tuesday, July 18 – Tuesday morning kicked off with a bootcamp class with Anne at Next Phase Studio via ClassPass (<– affiliate link for $40 off!).

This time we had Emily as our instructor, and she was great! Our workout included lots of unique and challenging exercises, and she was very efficient when telling us which stations to go to and what moves to do at each. There wasn’t a ton of time spent standing around listening to instructions, which I loved!

Here I am post-workout demonstrating one of the moves we did – kettlebell squats!

The hardest move she had us do though was pull-ups on the TRX straps. For this, she had us sit on the floor with our legs out in front of us and then we had to pull ourselves up using the TRX straps. It was so, so hard (much harder than a pull-up with bands) and my arms were sore for days afterword. Awesome workout!

Wednesday, July 19 – On Wednesday, I joined Anne again and our buddy Kathleen for a bootcamp class at our favorite spot, Urban Athletic Club. We had Graham for our teacher, and his workouts are always really hard (in the best way).

At one point he had me doing hanging knee raises, and he then he came over and put a 10-pound medicine ball in my lap. As if hanging knee raises weren’t hard enough!

Thursday, July 20 – Thursday was a rest day, and I enjoyed sleeping in and snuggling with Jack and Fabio for an extra hour and 45 minutes. 🙂

Friday, July 21 – It’s Thursday night as I’m typing this up, but tomorrow morning I’m planning to take Jack for a one-mile run and then complete an interval workout at the track. It should be a good one!

As for other highlights this week, I had a fun happy hour/dinner with my old coworkers – Jojo, Claire, Shriya, and Brittany – on Wednesday night at Farmers Fishers Bakers on the Georgetown waterfront.

I started off with a delicious cucumber cocktail and then ordered the crunchy tuna roll for my meal. We also got tableside guacamole and chips!

Yum! It was a really fun night with my girl friends, but it was also super hot! We sat outside thinking there might be a breeze since we were by the water, but no dice. Ordering cold sushi and sipping an icy cocktail helped though!

We also enjoyed a bunch of Blue Apron meals this week.

On Tuesday evening, our neighbor knocked on our door and offered us a free Blue Apron box. Apparently Blue Apron made a mistake and sent him two boxes of the same thing (he only ordered one), so he offered the extra to us. YES!!

We hadn’t had Blue Apron in ages, and it was really nice to have a bunch of meals ready to make without me having to think too much. So far we’ve enjoyed pasta with basil, zucchini, tomatoes, and Parmesan, and steak with potatoes, homemade pickles, and more zucchini. And we have a corn and chicken dish still to make! Woohoo! Best neighbor ever. Haha!

Alright friends, that’s all I have for you today. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Question of the day: How hot is it where you are?

 Posted by on July 21, 2017
Jun 302017
 

Hey friends! On Monday I made my return back to work after taking 2.5 weeks off for the wedding and honeymoon, and it was rough. Luckily we got back from our vacation on Saturday afternoon so we had Sunday to recuperate, but with an 11-hour time difference between D.C. and Bangkok, I was still feeling pretty jet-lagged and exhausted all week.

Even though I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do in the evenings (laundry, putting away wedding presents, catching up on TV, reading my book, etc.) I could barely keep my eyes open once dinner was done. There were a lot of early nights this week, I’ll tell you that.

One thing that definitely helped my mood was the weather! It’s officially summer here, and we enjoyed some beautiful sunny days and warm evenings this week. This, of course, meant Fabio and I did lots of grilling! (Err – Fabio grilled and I watched. 🙂 Lol.)

One night we had grilled corn, which I topped with a basil butter. Yum! With this meal, we also had pan-seared salmon (simply seasoned with salt and pepper) and side salads (mixed greens with feta, olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper). Delicious!

Another night we grilled these chicken parm burgers which are quickly becoming a favorite in our house. We also grilled some asparagus for the side, and they came out perfectly! Usually our asparagus come out slightly too salty, too bland, too overdone, or too underdone, but this night they were excellent.

And we even kept Jack from eating the cheese for the chicken burgers, so I’d say that’s a win. 🙂

Spending time with my two favorite boys on our little front stoop while Fabio grills and I sip a glass of cold white wine has definitely made this whole re-entry process a bit easier. 🙂

And now, let’s chat about this week’s workouts!

Saturday, June 24: Considering it took 29 hours from the time our first flight took off in Koh Samui to the time our last flight landed in Dulles, there were definitely no workouts happening on Saturday. In fact, I feel like I spent the whole day sitting on my butt stuck on a plane (the 14-hour flight from Qatar was especially terrible). Oof.

Sunday, June 25: Rest day! On Sunday we went over to my mom and stepdad’s house to pick up Jack and have a celebration lunch to tell everyone about our trip! A few of our family friends came over for the lunch and a bunch of our family joined as well, including my dad, stepmom, sister, step-sister, and her boyfriend. It was such a fun day! I missed my family. (And Jack, obviously.)

Monday, June 26: On Monday I ran three miles with Jack! He had gained a little weight during his two-week stay with “grandma,” so I figured the run would do us both some good. Plus it was a gorgeous morning – not too hot or humid – so we really enjoyed the miles.

Tuesday, June 27: On Tuesday I was back to my usual bootcamp workouts with Anne! We hit up one of our favorites, Definitions, via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $40 off) and it was great as usual! Our workout had us using all of the different equipment that Definitions has in their studio including the rowers, weights, kettlebells, TRX bands, and more. It felt so good to be back!

Wednesday, June 28: I had planned on going for another run with Jack on Wednesday, but writing my first honeymoon recap blog post took longer than I expected, so I set my alarm for a little earlier in the morning to finish it up before work. Luckily I had an hour-and-a-half webinar to listen to during work, so I headed over to one of the treadmill desks we have in the office to walk while I listened. I wound up covering three miles on the treadmill, which was such a nice bonus! I need to use these desks more often.

Thursday, June 29: On Thursday, I headed over to FlyWheel City Center for a spin class! I hadn’t been to FlyWheel in ages (maybe two months?!) so it felt really good to get my sweat on there.

It also happened to be the City Center location’s first birthday (I can’t believe it’s been open for a year already!) so they were having a birthday celebration with free food and iced coffee. The line for the coffee was insane so I skipped it, but I snagged some breakfast goodies from honeygrow before I headed out the door.

When I got home I munched on the delicious granola, vegan chocolate, and fruit. Jack wanted some, obviously.

Yum!

Friday, June 30: Tomorrow (it’s Thursday night as I’m typing this up) I’m signed up for a bootcamp class at one of my other favorite spots, Urban Athletic Club, with Anne and Kathleen. I can’t wait for the whole gang to be reunited!

**Edited to add: I just had to pop in quickly to say that this morning’s (it’s Friday now) workout at UAC was extra great! Our instructor Jana included a lot of unique exercises, including a fun pyramid workout for our second half and some wall walks! What a great workout!**

And that’s all I have for you guys today! I’ll be out for the early part of next week since we’ll be in Otis, Massachusetts celebrating the July 4 holiday, but I’ll catch up with you guys after that! 🙂

Question(s) of the day: If you’re from the U.S., how do you celebrate July 4? Do you get affected by jet lag?

 Posted by on June 30, 2017
Jun 022017
 

Hi friends! Things are super busy around here, so I’m going to keep today’s blog post pretty short. I want to chat about a few of my last minute wedding thoughts (it’s next weekend! Eek!) but first let’s go over this week’s workouts.

Saturday, May 27 – Rest day! I spent this day day-drinking with my best friends at the beach!

Sunday, May 28 – On Sunday morning, I tackled a 3.7 mile run along the boardwalk, and then walked another two-ish miles with my friends to get breakfast. It was a beautiful day for a beach-side run!

Monday, May 29 – Monday was a rest day! This entire day was spent wedding planning. Oof!

Tuesday, May 30 – On Tuesday morning, I headed to Definitions via ClassPass (<–affiliate link for $30 off) for a bootcamp class with Anne and Fabio!

We had a great class with lots of different exercises like rowing, jump squats, planks, push-ups, shuffle runs, and more. It was a good one, and I had fun chatting with Anne and Fabio about wedding stuff. 🙂

Wednesday, May 31 – On Wednesday I met up with Anne again and our buddy Kathleen for another bootcamp class, only this time at Urban Athletic Club! Wednesday’s workout included all of my least favorite (read: hardest) exercises including pull-up holds, mountain climbers with our feet in the TRX straps, mountain climbers on the sliders, and a three-minute jump rope finisher. Phew! I was exhausted after this workout, but it left me feeling nice and accomplished!

Thursday, June 1 – I was feeling pretty stressed out on Wednesday, so Fabio suggested we take a yoga class on Thursday morning to zone out a bit. We wound up signing up for CorePower Yoga’s How Power Fusion class (again, via ClassPass), which is similar to their Yoga 2 class but with slightly more strength work. It was super hot and I sweat like crazy, but I really felt like I was able to relax and be present in the moment during this fun time of prepping for the wedding. Toward the end of class when we were in half pigeon, the instructor came over and gave me a little massage which felt absolutely amazing. It really, really helped me relax, and weirdly even made me feel emotional. I remember thinking, how did she know I needed this little massage? Ha! I think I’m losing it. 🙂

Friday, June 2 – Tomorrow (it’s Thursday night as I’m writing this) I’m planning to run three miles with Jack. This will allow me to sleep in a little later, which I’m really looking forward to! Plus the weather is supposed to be nice. 🙂

Overall it was a great week of workouts!

As for wedding planning, it’s going well! All of the big stuff is done, and this weekend we’re going to have a crafting day at my mom’s house to finish up some of the other items like assembling the programs, folding the escort cards, painting some signs, etc. There’s still a lot of last-minute details to wrap up, but overall I’m feeling pretty good about my to-do list!

Emotionally, I’m not sure it’s hit me yet. This big event that we’ve been planning since we got engaged on Christmas 2015 is finally here!

What’s more than that though, is that this guy who I met when we were sophomores in college back in 2008 is going to become my husband. We’re going to make a promise to each other to be bonded for life, and I don’t think all of the emotions that come along with that kind of commitment have really set in yet. It will be interesting to see how I’m feeling as the day continues to come closer!

Starting this weekend we’ll have family coming into town, and then next week I have a lot of last-minute wedding stuff to finish up (for example, after work next week I have some nail appointments, hair appointments, stuff like that) and then on Thursday morning we head out for the venue! And then on Sunday we head out for a two-week honeymoon! 🙂 I will try to get one more post up before then, but if I don’t, you’ll know why. 🙂 I can’t believe this time has come!

Question of the day: Do you have any advice for me?

 Posted by on June 2, 2017