Archive of ‘LIFESTYLE’ category

Wellness Wednesday: solidcore (the hardest workout in Washington, D.C.)

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A few weeks ago I participated in a class at solidcore. The class has been touted by many people, including my fitness trainer friends as the hardest workout in Washington, D.C.. At first I was skeptical and then I watched the video and became afraid, very afraid. I was still excited to try the workout and glad I put my fear on the back burner.

A few of my blogging friends were at the studio with me so we bonded over fear, sweat, and a kick butt instructor, Alex. I sweated so hard and at times I thought I had been dipped into a pool. I will say it was the hardest workout I have ever done in my life. I’ve taken hardcore exercise classes in New York and L.A. and this one kicked my butt and took everything out of me. There were times I thought I was going to throw up. I pushed through it. And guess what? I loved every single minute, second, and drop of sweat of it.

I was sore for three days after the class and all I can think about is figuring out a way to make solidcore a part of my lifestyle a few days a week.

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{This is after I dried off and was still trying to look cute}

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Reading Pretty: Yoga Girl by Rachel Brathen

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If you practice yoga regularly and don’t know who Rachel Brathen (“Yoga Girl“) well you must be living under a rock, not on Instagram, and definitely not one of her 1.2 million followers. I have been following Rachel and her adventures on her home island of Aruba, traveling the world teaching classes, and dealing with major life heartaches for a long time. It’s one of my favorite Instagram yoga accounts.

What I love about her page is not only is it inspirational, but she says what we all think. Sometimes life sucks. In one year she lost her best friend and grandmother (lows). It was a year of getting married (high), writing her book (another high), and much more. As a follower you see all the good, bad, and ugly. It’s still hard for me to be so open how every morning I want to scream since Jamie died and yes my life is good, but it sucks not to hear his voice every single day.

Rachel’s book is a mixture of memoir, yoga, and cookbook. I missed Rachel and Dennis (her husband) when they came to D.C. last year and I was bummed. She’s on book tour and I’m bummed again that I can’t make any of the dates. I am pushing for them to come back to D.C. because they have a lot of fans. My husband tells me I should go to her Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Teacher Training in Aruba. That sounds like it’s up my alley. Water, yoga, sand, and get bronzed.

Yoga Girl comes out today. I received a copy to preview, but I love it so much I ordered a copy for my Kindle. I spent my Saturday afternoon savoring the book and a matcha tea latte. It’s on my nightstand where I keep most of my yoga books and I still can’t get enough.

Capture Artisan Wine Tour

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Capture Artisan Wine Tour 2015

 

It might be snowing this morning in D.C. on the Spring Equinox, but I know warm weather, festivals, outdoor events and fun outside is around the corner. It also means the first Capture Wine Tour is almost here in D.C. Capture Wine Tour is a twelve-city celebration of wine. Capture Wine Tour includes music, food and spirits and is going to be a party.

Instead of a regular wine festival where you see, swirl, sip and savor and taste wine this tour allows you to meet the wine makers and wine country entrepreneurs.  The tour has more than forty wineries and food based on the farm-to-table movement from local restaurants in each city.

Tickets are on sale now and I hope to see you there.

 

 

Onward and Upward in Beauty: Nine Years & Counting

Blog

{Writing tools of the trade.}

I woke up this morning thinking of my blog. Today it’s nine years old and it’s hard to believe that this tiny space of mine on the internet has been around this long. When I first started blogging everything was so different. I wrote about my day-to-day shenanigans, travels, and all my beauty purchases. I spent most of my time trying a new product, researching, a new product, and buying more products. My research centers then were Neiman Marcus, Sephora, and CVS. I still have these stores, but the Internet has introduced me to some amazing brands I never would have tried or even known.

This was before everything was about being perfectly styled, photo ready at all times, and a perfect life. This year started with a death of my brother and is eerily similar to why I started a blog in 2006. One of my brothers had just passed away and I was searching for something. I’m thankful that I met Tia and started blogging. I’ve met so many amazing people who are now part of my life forever and experiences I couldn’t have dreamed of.

I’m nine years older, admitting to myself and to the world that I’m a creative (believe me this was hard to come to terms with) and need lots of creative time. I’ve signed up for a few writing classes, looking into teaching more yoga (yay!), and committed to leading more beauty retreats around the globe. I realized something was missing and I figured out what it was? I wish beauty was fun for a lot of women. When did beauty stop being fun?

The minute women decided to base our worth on some fictitious and made up ideal that none of us can achieve. Please stop the madness. Perfection does not exist so quit trying. You get one life. Do you? Does it mean going out the house looking a hot mess. No. It means taking care of yourself, on your own terms, and whatever that means to you. There is nothing wrong with a rocking a vibrant lip, mascara that makes your lashes you amazing, and a perfume that brings great memories. For me it’s quiet time with a good book, traveling, a yoga class, good food, great wine, massages, facials, red lipstick, hot pink lip gloss, perfumes, a new manicure, and blabbing about beauty. Beauty is fun, try it. You just might like it.

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Wellness Wednesday: ClassPass for Fitness

ClassPass
{Photo by Jackie Garcia Photography}

Have you heard about ClassPass? It’s a pass to visit various studios and gyms in your area and take all your favorite classes for one set monthly price. Over the past few months I have been able to test out ClassPass and guess what? I am in deep LOVE. Barre, Pilates, yoga oh my!

First off there are a variety of exercises I want to participate in like TRX, Core Power Yoga, spinning and dance. Well, ClassPass allows me to do that. I can take a Monday, 8:00am Pilates, a Wednesday, TRX, my favorite Saturday, 8:30am Heated Core Power Yoga and a chill Sunday yoga class. All you do is reserve the classes online or with their app. Easy breezy.

I will say you have to live in a major metro area to participate in the classes (sorry to my readers in the suburbs). If you commute into the city I still think it’s worth it because there are classes all day. I know most of the fitness classes here in DC cost on average $20 per class so this is a steal. My only drawback? You can only visit the same studio three times in a membership cycle which means I have to make a strategic plan on my classes. It is still worth it in my opinion.

Reading Pretty: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

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I’m sure you have heard of this little book that has become a juggernaut about clearing clutter for EVER. Like ever, ever? The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is not only a best seller, but really a game changer. I’m serious. No joke. The book makes you think of everything you own, desire, and love as either joyful or not. It’s really simple. Every item you touch a piece of clothing, paper, or book you ask yourself “does this bring me joy?” If it doesn’t it goes. I am a big believer in donating, so after a few hours of using this method I had four large garbage bags ready to go to Goodwill and a shelter. I got rid of all the yoga clothes I don’t wear anymore, coats, shoes, bags, and much more. Also, Marie doesn’t recommend using old clothes as “lounge” clothes so you don’t “save” them. I look forward to the beautiful boudoir pieces I’ve acquired by not recycling them. I honored them for their purpose and let them go.

It not only helped me in what I have, but what I buy. Totally crazy for me. I don’t hoard clothes, but beauty products? Yep. I had lotions I bought in Greece from 2006. Yes, girl. I went through and tossed them because most only had a fourth of product left. This allowed me to really see my favorite winter lotion is the Mario Badescu Olive Lotion. All those half used bottles of watery lotions gone. Now my beauty closet is clean and organized. I didn’t have to KonMari (the term used in this endeavor) my perfume because I am so selective about fragrance that I don’t buy anything I don’t love. All my scents have a meaning and a story behind them.

I did a huge cleaning out and donating of books last year so I only buy books I really love like the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. Everything else I read through the library which also helps my wallet. If you want to know what all the fuss is about, read this article from The New York Times. I seriously suggest you read this book. If your new year’s resolution of clutter has gone by the wayside try this method. It’s hard. Be prepared to spend most of the day doing it.

“As you put your house in order and decrease your possessions, you’ll see what your true values are, what is really important to you in your life . . . focus instead on choosing the things that inspire joy.” ~ Marie Kondo

Wellness Wednesday: Yoga Download ~ Online Yoga Classes

Yoga Download

Many of you know I’m a yogi and yoga teacher. I am always trying to find new ways to enhance my practice and like to practice at different studios although I have my main studio in DC. Because the weather has been so crazy I decided to try yoga at home via my computer with Yoga Download. There are many online classes and I have decided to try one out every few months to see which one I like the most. First up, Yoga Download.

Yoga Download offers a variety of teachers and a variety of styles.  I will say I have enjoyed practicing with teachers such as Ana Forrest (super hard), Ashtanga, Baptiste, Vinyasa (the style I mainly practice), and more. Classes start at just $10 a month for streaming, but you can pay more if you want to download particular classes to keep forever and can be played without a Wi-Fi connection.

I will admit it felt weird looking at a screen to practice yoga, but after a few times trying the classes I was able to follow along without looking at times. I’m working on lots of strength training through yoga and contemplating getting rid of my gym membership now that the weather is about to get better. I really rather be outside working out.

As with any exercise programing please take it easy. I know we see these glorious mind-blowing yoga poses, but if you aren’t warmed up and listening to your body you can hurt yourself.

Om Pretty!

Jo Malone Cardamom and Moroccan Rose Candle

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Jo Malone can do no wrong in my opinion when it comes to their candles. I have a few that I love such as their Dark Amber and Ginger Lily candle, but I was blown away by one of their latest scents. The Jo Malone Cardamom and Moroccan Rose Candle is the latest and I say one of the greatest candle scents from the brand. This scent is perfect for these cold winter days and nights. I know Spring is somewhere around the corner, but right now I can’t find her. I’m drinking lots of hot tea, making various chowders, and reading through a few books that have been on my list. The Neiman Marcus Beauty Event has started and this is going into my basket.

For the last few weeks I have been going back and forth with latest book on editing clearing clutter and editing your life. I will say I have the day scheduled next month to really Kondo my entire life. Stay tuned.

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