Tuesday, March 31, 2015

What to Wear to Barre

First thing, barre classes are a great total body workout. I have noticed huge changes in my muscles and flexibility since starting Pure Barre five months agog. The added benefit of looking cute is a bonus. One of my favorite things are the flattering, cute clothing you get the chance to sport to class. I know many are intimated when attending their first class due to not knowing what to wear. I have but together a little cheat sheet to make sure your not worrying about your outfit and can focus on getting your burn on! 
  • Tops
Barre classes incorporate a lot of upper boy movements which require your arms to be able to move freely. Loose tanks are my go to for barre. They keep you cool while enabling a wide range of movement. I prefer tanks with built in support which allows me to not worry about a sports bra as an extra layer. 

Favorite Tanks:
Zella Tanks {here}
All Current Tank {here}
Lululemon Wild Tank {here}
C9 Tanks {here} {here}
Under Armour Tanks {here}

  • Bottoms 
During barre classes your legs are often in odd positions such as up in the air or with a band around both thighs, so always make sure your legs are covered. I have been rocking leggings for most of the winter but now as it warms up I find myself granting toward crops. Don't let the light weights fool you, I still get pretty sweaty. 

Favorite Bottoms:
Alo Goddess Ribbed Leggings {here}
Lululemon WonderUnder {here}
Zella Live In Leggings {here}
  • Socks & Accessories 

Most barre classes I have attended require socks of some sort during class. They help you keep your highest heels and prevent you from slipping. My go to are the Pure Barre socks that they sell at the studio. However, you are not limited to these as there are tons of other options! Shashi makes adorable glitter barre socks that are on the top of my list. Also, Lululemon makes some cute ones with sayings like nice ledge or higher heels. You have got to be quick to pick them up as they sell out quickly. 

I always bring a water bottle with me to class. I try and sip as much water I can during transitions. As you know, staying hydrated can help increase far burn. My favorite bottles have straws to making sipping water during class easier. 

My favorite brands for barre/yoga gear are Alo, Zella, Splits59, Lululemon and Target. Lots of my friends love Old Navy's activewear line. However, I have found it just does not work for me. Here are some of my favorites to make your shopping easy...
A quick note on caring for your workout gear. Always air dry them. I wash everything in cold water and on the delicate cycle. Then air dry. They last longer and there is less pilling. Also, it maintains the intregity of the sweat wicking material.

What is your favorite workout gear?

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekly Meal Plan {March 29- April 4}

After consistently meal planning for the past month, our grocery budget and the amount of time I spend planning has decreased. That is motivation enough for me to keep on meal planning. A bonus is developing favorite recipes that we can rotate. Last week's favorite was the Slow Cooker Pepperoni Chicken. After removing the chicken from the crockpot, I tossed it in some whole wheat pasta and served with a side salad. That being said, it's on the menu again for this week!

Sunday: Spinach Omelette 
with sweet potato hash browns 

Monday: Slow Cooker Pepperoni and Chicken 
served with pasta and salad

Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Margherita Pizza
served with strawberry feta salad

Wednesday: Healthy Garlic Shrimp Pasta
served with garlic bread 

Thursday & Friday: Leftovers

This week is a bit short for us as we are heading home for Easter. I am hoping the warm weather holds through the weekend. So we can spend sometime enjoying the sunshine at the beach. 

What's on your menu this week?

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Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday Five

Today marks the last day of work before spring break. I am currently rocking out to some mellow tunes Spotify and am ready to tackle this last day! Spotify has become my recent go to for workout jams as well. I love that you can follow other's playlists and can always find new tunes. New music always equals a good workout for me. I hope you have had a great start to your Friday as well. Let's get to a few of my favorite things this week. 

One. Currently Drinking. I am loving Synergy's Gingerberry Kombucha. I picked up a few flavors this week while at the store and Gingerberry was by far my favorite.

Two. Obsessing Over. Yesterday Lilly Pulitzer released their look-book for the Target collaboration. It made me way too excited for April 12th! If you haven't seen it pop up all over Facebook yesterday you can check it out here. These are a few of my favorites. 

Three. New Shopping. This week a new Earth Fare opened in to our local shopping center in Cary. I have heard great things about Earth Fare and am excited to check it out. Mostly I am looking forward to checking out their fresh pressed juice bar. You bet tomorrow after Pure Barre I will be treating myself to a beet/ginger juice combo. I have my own juicer but refuse to get beet juice all over the kitchen. 

Four. Running. I was able to squeeze in two short runs this week. While I did not get in all the miles I had planned. I am excited to get back in it. One thing I noticed this week is that I desperately need new shoes. M<<y current running shoes have taken me through two half marathons and one marathon. Needless to say there is minimal cushioning left in the sole. I am looking forward to giving the newest Mizuno wave riders a try!

Five. Spring Break. I am so excited and blessed to have a week to rest and recharge before wrapping up the school year. I know I will have to hit the ground running once April hits. So I am going to take advantage of this week break and soak up all the down time I can. 

What are you loving this week? I'd love to hear about your favorite juice blend or your favorite Lilly piece from the new collaboration. 

Linking up with TiffClareKarliAmanda & April .

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Hair Care Routine: Dessange Pairs

Today I am popping in to share quite a different type of post for me- hair product review. Honestly, I am not even close to being a beauty blogger. Especially since I have been rocking the wash and go hairstyle this week. When I was sent samples of Dessange Paris's new line from Target I knew I had to break out of my typical post and share a review. I apologize in advanced for the selfies.

Capturing one of the few days I have styled my hair this week. Let's be honest Spring Break is only a few days away.  

I was sent Shampoo, Conditioner and Treatment from Dessange Paris's new California Blonde line. The products were formulated to be gentle on color-treated hair like mine. The first thing I noted was the smell of the products- which I loved. It has hints of musk which keep the floral smell from being too overwhelming. It is quite a unique smell due to the musk and it is hard to describe. I recommend picking up a bottle and smelling it yourself  before purchasing because I know the scent it not for everyone. Also, this is one of the first shampoos I have ever used that I can still smell after washing and blow drying. 

After trying it for several weeks now I have noticed that my hair has more shine and less frizz than with my other shampoos. It is also incredibly soft even with product in. Unfortunately, the trade off was it weighed down my hair and I lost a lot of volume. I would be interested in trying a volumizing  shampoo from their line to see how that worked for my hair.
Check out that shine! 

Overall, I would recommend this shampoo for natural or enhanced (like me) blondes that are looking to increase shine and softness.


What's your favorite shampoo brand?

I used to be a L'Oreal professional fan for years until my local Target stopped carrying it. Since then I have been rotating between several different brands. 

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Walt Disney World: Epcot

Today I am sharing the highlights of our trip Epcot. Better late than never right? You can read about our fun outside the park and exploring Animal Kingdom here and here

We visited Epcot over the course of two days. One day we made sure to arrive right as the park was opening to get in the popular rides without the hour long lines. Within an hour of the park opening we were able to ride Soarin', Mission Space and Test Track. 

Soarin' is a flight simulator ride that takes you on a hang glider ride over California. This was surprisingly the group favorite. I was surprised how fun the ride was due to it's unassuming location. It is located in The Land Pavillon down a long hallway with little fanfare. 

Not a favorite, Mission Space.  Mission Space is another simulator ride but extremely intense. The simulation was built to mirror the g forces astronauts experience when going into space. Thanks to this ride I know I will not be singing up to go to space. This ride made all of us extremely nauseous. Not in a fun roller coster way. If you want to do this ride, choose the Green Team!

Another favorite was Turtle Talk with Crush. Crush interacts with the crowd answering kid's questions about the ocean. I was amazed by the ability to recognize and respond to  specific individuals in the room. 

We also made sure to ride the most iconic ride at Epcot, Spaceship Earth. 

The end of the ride now features an interactive story. It uses your picture to tell a story of how life might be in the future based on answers to a series of questions. June and my story placed us on vacation under the sea while an automated robot took care of our dogs!

We also took one afternoon to enjoy drinks around the world. I could have spend days enjoying the different countries and trying all the unique food and beverages. We also stumbled upon one restaurant that served cronuts which of course we had to try!
Nome in Norway

Drinks in Italy

Delicious Cronut

We enjoyed dinner at Canada and hung out to see the fireworks around the world showcase lagoon. Everything was beautiful lit up at night!

There you have it our trip to Epcot in a nutshell!

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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weeknight Meal Plan

I am thrilled to have taken this chance this afternoon to spend a few minutes meal planning for the week. I always try and plan my dinners around the weekly specials. Unfortunately, there is not much on sale at the local teeter this week, so I'm sticking with the staples. The dinner I am most looking forward to is Monday's night Apricot Chicken. This was a favorite of mine growing up that my grandmother made. 

Monday: Apricot- Orange Slow Cooker Chicken 

Tuesday: Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Wednesday: Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday: Leftovers 

Friday: Slow Cooker Chicken and Pepperoni 

I also took the time to plan out my weekly workouts. I really want to start training for a 10k mid April. So this week I am adding in some easy miles along with barre classes. Anyone else training for spring races?

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! I am off to the grocery store to pick up everything for the week.

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Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Five

Let's just take a minute and realize that the weekend is almost here! I am beyond ready for a break from work. This week has been a whirlwind and I know it won't be letting up soon. More on that in a bit. Let's get started with my five things I am loving this week! 

{One} Gym Time. This month Pure Barre is holding a challenge for clients to complete 20 classes in the month of March which is 31 days. I love that the studio holds challenges regularly. The competition really pushes me on days that I am feeling a nap over a workout (keeping it honest). I am currently at 14/20! 

{Two}. Currently Watching. The Jinx on HBO. The Skimm Monday morning alerted me to this HBO documentary on Robert Durst and his recent arrest this past weekend. Oh my goodness this show is interesting. Joe and I started watching it Monday and have enjoyed an episode every night since. I am trying to keep an open mind and listen to all the sides of the stories. However, just feels off about this man. Super creepy. If you enjoyed Serial you will enjoy this series! Also, if you have not listened to Serial you need to ASAP. 

{Three} Currently Eating. Greek Yogurt Whips. This stuff is delicious. It is a great afternoon pick-me-up if your craving something sweet or an after dinner treat. I am following the 21 Day Fix meal plan which suggests 4 servings of protein daily. That fourth serving is always a struggle. With this treat I have no problem squeezing in another serving of protein in the afternoon. My current favorite is the strawberry cheesecake. 

{Four} Coming Up. I am thrilled that I will be hosting a Stella and Dot party! Their summer line launches mid April which lines up perfectly with my party date. Don't worry I will be sharing my favorites with you and giving y'all a chance to shop online!!

{Five} Happy Friday! Cheers to the weekend friends. This week has been a whirlwind as the days are dwindling until Spring Break. The busy season in school for me starts as I am trying to wrap up as many evaluations as I can before April 1st. 

Have you watched The Jinx? If so, what did you think? 

Any others in education feel like work is really piled on at the end of the school year?

Linking up with TiffClareKarliAmanda & April

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Little Late: Weekend Recap

Happy St. Patrick's Day friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend and that your week is started off on the right foot. It has been quite hectic lately and today has been the first chance to sit down and catch up. I apologize for the lack of pictures as I completely slacked on documenting this weekend. Thursday my mother had surgery at Duke to correct slipping disks in her upper vertebrae. As with any major surgery, I always get a bit nervous before the actual procedure. The doctor was amazing  and said a beautiful prayer before they took her back. This really helped to ease our worries. Everything went well with the procedure and she was released to go home and recover Friday afternoon.

After visiting my parents at Duke Friday, I went home and got ready for company! It is strange to host people in our tiny apartment. I guess if they don't mind the lack of space then I should not either. Two of our friends Christina and Joe came into visit for the weekend. Once everyone arrived after work we headed off to Winston Salem to visit a friend's brewery White Street Brewery. The brewery had a local food truck outside to provide dinner for customers. I knew this was something the group would love. We had a great time trying their custom beers. I even found one I liked! That is a rare occurrence since I don't drink beer.

After a few rounds of drinks, we headed back to the apartment where we turned into our old college selves. Circle of death made an embarrassing appearance. While it was fun to relive our college memories my body does not recover like it used to!

Saturday's weather left much to be desired. So Christina and I hit the mall and enjoyed the chance to stretch our legs. I have a feeling that when I get older I will be one of those old ladies in a wind suit walking laps around the mall.

That night we headed out for dinner at Tribecca Tavern in Cary. This was one of the first restaurants Joe and I discovered when we moved to the area. It quickly became a favorite and we enjoy taking all of our friends when they are in town.

After a busy weekend, Sunday was spent recovering and catching up on chores.  Sundays are quickly becoming my favorite day of the week especially when I am  able to get in a great Pure Barre workout. I also got the chance to try on bridesmaid dresses for my little's wedding! After trying on dresses, I am ready to get my booty back in shape. I have a plan and will be sharing it with you all soon!

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Walt Disney World: Animal Kingdom

Since it is coming on on two weeks since I came back from the happiest place on earth,  it's about time I share the rest of my trip! You can check out my first recap here. We snuck in time at the parks as much as week could between attending sessions at conference. So that meant visiting the same park across multiple days. I thought it would be easier to share the highlights of each park.

 First stop, Animal Kingdom! We visited the park first thing in the morning which meant minimal lines and crowds. I highly recommend taking advantage of extra magic hours if you are staying on the resort property. Thanks to getting to the park early we were able to ride multiple popular rides with minimal wait. 

There were so many highlights of Animal Kingdom. I believe it may be the most underrated of the parks. However, it should not be as it has so many attractions! The group favorites were Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris (and the nature walk nearby) and The Lion King Show.

Photos from Expedition Everest. A great tip I learned was you use your magic band to save the pictures at each attraction then when you get home you can screen shot the ones you love. No paying for unnecessary pictures! Also, the photographers around each park are more than happy to take a picture with your personal camera. 

Behind the Tree of Life

We stumbled upon a meet and greet with Baloo and King Louie. 

Of course, the highlight of the park was all the animals you get to see! 

Up next, Epcot! 

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