CLASSPASS Month In Review: August 2016

NYC Classpass reviews

It’s time for another recap of my ClassPass workout adventures in New York City.  Since I spent time running outside and traveling during August, I didn’t get to use all 10 of my classes. I am thankful that I decided to drop down to the CORE plan for summer and am going to keep using this same plan in September as I know I’ll be running outside a lot for 10k training. As a reminder, the Core Plan is $125 per month and allows ClassPass (Use this link to save $20 on your first month!) members to take 10 classes per cycle and visit any studio up to 3 times.   

If you’re on CLASSPASS  feel free to follow my fitness schedule here. I love meeting readers so if you see me in a class, please say hello! If you want to check out my previous monthly recaps, click herehere,  herehere, andhere.  Also, my friends are taking me up on this offer already, but if you guys have ANY questions about ClassPass, even if you’re not in NYC, feel free to email me! I’m happy to help and can also reach out to the team if you have specific questions. 

August 2016

  • Number of classes taken: 8
  • Number of studios visited: 6
  • Average cost per workout based on NYC rate of $125 per month for 10 classes: $15.62

Area Yoga Basics

I’m a huge fan of the Area Yoga studio in Carroll Gardens due to the hands on approach to teaching, airy second floor studio and proximity to our house. This class included 60 minutes of  yoga and a total of 10 minutes of meditation and childs pose/savasana at the beginning and end. The basics class ensures that any student, regardless their level, can reap the benefits of yoga and try new things during class. This particular class included everything from some slower flow, focusing on alignment, to an introduction to headstands. I was so relaxed by the end that I fell asleep during an especially relaxing savasana which included props to make it even more restorative and relaxing than normal. Make sure to bring your mat and towels to this no-frills studio as it’s $2 to rent.

IMAX Shift

Unfortunately this new Brooklyn spin studio did not delivery on our expectations. The IMAX screen reminded us more of the Windows screensaver while the huge studio was awkwardly empty with only 5 of 50 bikes filled. While I did get a pretty good workout during the class, I didn’t enjoy it. If you want to read more, check out the full review I wrote last week following the class.

We Flow Hard Y7 (2)

This studio isn’t for everyone, but man do I enjoy it. Luckily, my friends like it too so lately it’s become a “happy hour” workout choice on Friday evenings. Each class is a bit different but in the WeFlowHard classes, students should come prepared to sweat – a lot. The infared heated room is darkened so that students can focus on their flow versus watching others or feeling self conscious. The music is often rap or top 40 music which creates a very different vibe than you have at most yoga studios. Throughout the class there is time for free flow which allows students to complete a sequence at their own rhythm and pace.  The Flatiron location doesn’t have showers but both locations feature a “refresh bar” where students can blow dry hair, freshen up and apply makeup. If you want to read more about Y7 you can read my full studio review here.

Box Group at Work Train Fight (2)

Recently boxing has become Bo’s favorite workout so finding a studio that we both like was a priority during August. Work Train Fight, which I first learned about from Meaghan’s review, is the perfect studio for us. The classes have no more than 15 students, ensuring corrections and adjustments from the instructor. Each of the classes we have taken there so far have been challenging but not so hard that we want to quit. The instructors take time at the beginning of each section to review the moves so everyone, even new students, can quickly follow along.  The gym also offers treadmills and weights which students can use if they arrive early or stay after class. If you want to shower before work, the studio has locker rooms and showers but make sure to bring your own toiletries.

Church Street Boxing

The second boxing studio we tried in August, this is definitely more of a gritty experience which I would recommend to people who have previously taken boxing classes. While the staff was very friendly and welcoming, I felt like a beginner in this class, barely able to keep up with the other students as the class quickly transitioned movements. Even though I’ve taken multiple boxing and HIIT classes, the ten minute warm-up left me sweating and against the wall catching my breath as well as confused since I’d never heard of some of the moves and the teacher didn’t demonstrate them. After the warm up we headed outside for walking lunges around the block, which when done correctly, takes longer than you’d think. The actual boxing work portion of the class was great but the 25 minutes of warm-up and cardio before that really turned me off to the studio. In addition, the showers and lockeroom are quite small and grimy so make sure to bring your own towel, shower shoes and toiletries.

Mixed Level Bar Method Brooklyn

This is hands down my favorite barre studio. It’s super convenient, spotless, welcoming and offers more than eight classes per day. The 60-minute, non-impact total body workout includes a warm-up, arm section using free-weights and body weight followed by intense leg work at the bar and finally an ab section. The teachers are welcoming and do a wonderful job providing adjustments and helping you ensure you get the most out of the workout. This studio has two showers so you can easily get ready for work after class. Make sure to bring socks with you for class and wear leggings or crops. My favorite teachers are Lauren, Alyssa and Katie!

Your turn: If you’re a NYC local, what are your favorite studios? Where should I sweat next? 

This post is not compensated nor requested of me via CLASSPASS. While it does contain affiliate links, as a CLASSPASS affiliate, I only receive a small compensation if you choose to purchase a CLASSPASS membership.

 

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Friday Favorites – August 26th, 2016

fall-fashion-chunky-knit-vest

Happy Friday friends!

This week was crazier than expected and I didn’t have time to save as many articles, blog posts, or recipes this week. In fact, I have about 20 different things screen shot on my phone so I can go back and read them this weekend. Luckily, there is plenty of time to relax and catch up this weekend head of my Monday morning flight to Las Vegas. I am not a fan of Las Vegas and therefore have denied the fact that I’ll be there for four nights. I need to figure out dinner plans for Monday so please let me know if you have recommendations on the Strip that are worth the money while not breaking the bank.

Anyway, back to today’s post. Instead of skipping today’s Friday Favorites post I figured that I’d dedicate this week’s Friday Favorites to talking about something I started during last week’s flight – Fall window shopping. As I rarely head to Park Avenue to browse Saks, Bloomingdales or any of the other windows, I love that I can easily window shop online by opening my favorite retailer tabs and clicking their Fall or New sections.  While some people aren’t quite ready to hear the F-word (Fall), I am already dreaming of mums, crunchy leaves, and wearing layers! Even though I’m still not doing much shopping, a little “window” shopping never hurt anyone, right? Here are the items on my wish list, aka Pinterest board for Fall.

  • This blazer in camel & black because who wants to pay full price for a blazer anyway?
  • These over-the-knee boots in taupe or grey are perfect for Fall without breaking the bank.
  • I burn this candle in my home office October through February without fail.
  • This Joie blouse is beautiful, but more than I’d want to spend, so now I’m on the hunt for a cheaper version.
  • I loved J.Crew’s silk ruffle blouses back in 2010 and this updated version would pair perfectly with the blazer, dark jeans, skinny belt, and the over the knee boots for a casual Friday office outfit.
  • I’m so in love with this cross-body purse that I may use a J.Crew gift card I’ve been saving to buy it!
  • This wool sweater coat screams “curl up by the fire with a hot toddy and a good book.”
  • These pants showed up in a Nordstrom email as a top-rated item and I can see why.  Everyone who has reviewed them, from 25-55, raves about their flattering fit.

Hopefully this weekend I’ll have time to update you guys on a few of the other things on my radar as well as the next round of ClassPass reviews!  Have a great weekend!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored and instead is a list of the things of my favorite things this week. As normal, it includes lots of beauty and fashion items which means there are a few affiliate links via ShopStyle. It takes time and money to maintain a blog so I thank you for the support and few cents that come from clicking through the links!

Photo source is http://wachabuy.com/fall-outfits-to-copy/.

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10 Day Jasper and Banff Itinerary

ash bo lake louise

Everyone has asked me how we enjoyed our 10-day Canadian vacation and I immediately say that it was the best trip we’ve taken together. When you’ve been together for 13 years, that is a pretty strong statement. It is no exaggeration though as this area of the world was magical and every turn in the road and hike left us in awe.  I am going to do a thorough, detailed recap of our trip but I want to balance the number of travel posts I do with my regular content. Since there are a few readers who have emailed me requesting our itinerary in preparation for Labor Day and September vacations, here is a brief itinerary of our trip. As always, I am available to answer questions via email, comments or social media. There are a few things to keep in mind when reviewing our itinerary:

  • We did not book this trip until early June which meant that many of the smaller bed and breakfast or inns were fully booked and most of our hotels only had availability for one to two nights, hence the frequent change of location.
  • Since the smaller inns were booked, in some cases the Fairmont was the only option available which in the end, worked far better than expected. We were able to leverage Expedia and/or American Express points to reduce the cost and the level of service we experienced from their staff was incredible!
  • We enjoy active vacations.
  • We always allowed time when traveling between two towns for stops and explorations. If Google Maps predicted it would take two hours, we gave ourselves three hours because sometimes randoms stops at roadside waterfalls or streams ended up being the most fun part of the day.
  • We were very lucky with the weather as it only rained twice during the trip and the average morning temperature was 40 degrees and the afternoon high was around 70 degrees.
  • While I did reach out to a few of the tour groups we used in advance, we did not receive any compensation or discounts from companies. This is not a sponsored post.

Day 1 – Travel Day – We booked the Newark – Minneapolis – Calgary flight on Delta and were very pleased with the itinerary as it left mid-afternoon on Friday and landed in Calgary at 9:30pm. We stayed at the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary as it is a quick, 20-minute drive from the airport and we knew we’d be too exhausted to drive further. We chose this hotel on Expedia due to their inexpensive weekend rate as well as the opportunity to use Expedia points towards the cost.

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Day 2 – After grabbing breakfast and coffee at Philosafy Coffee in Calgary, we spent the entire day driving from Calgary to Jasper, enjoying a few stops along the Icefields Parkway including a 2-hour hike.  We stayed at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and dined the first night at the Moose’s Nook Chophouse which was one of our favorite meals of the trip! Even if you don’t stay at the Jasper Park Lodge, come over to enjoy the sunset along the lake and dine there afterwards!

Day 3 –  We spent this day enjoying two hikes – Edge of the World Hike and Maligne CanyonAt Maligne Canyon we enjoyed exploring different trails and ended up hiking more than 7 miles by the time we rejoined the original trail. We stayed at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge again that night and enjoyed s’mores along the lake while watching the sunset after a delicious, relaxed dinner on their terrace.

Day 4 – We enjoyed a sunrise walk and leisurely breakfast before checking out of our hotel and heading towards Canmore.  Along Icefields Parkway we stopped at the Athabasca Glacier where we spent three hours hiking the massive glacier. We booked the Ice Cubed tour in advance and highly recommend it! It is informative and far more enjoyable than merely experiencing the glacier from a large bus!  The tour is offered three times per day but this mid-day tour option worked well for us as it allowed us time to have a leisurely morning and still get to our Airbnb in Canmore early enough to relax and shower before our dinner at Crazyweed

Day 5 – Since the meteorologists were forecasting rain for the remainder of the week, we updated our itinerary to do our longest hike of the trip at Lake Louise, on the prettiest day. We picked up breakfast and a sandwich to go from The Summit Cafe before heading to Lake Louise to embark on a day of hiking.  We did the Tea House Challenge which combines two popular hikes – Six Glaciers and Big Beehive hikes to create one, 6 hour hike which included two tea houses, a lunch stop and scrambling rocks. It was an incredible hike which covered more than 14 miles.

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Day 6 – We relaxed the next day, exhausted from the previous day’s hike. After checking out of our Airbnb we enjoyed breakfast in Banff at Wild Flour Cafe. Their frittata egg sandwich may be my new favorite breakfast sandwich, especially when paired with their large cappuccino. We leisurely explored the town of Banff and did some shopping at the Farmer’s Market which is in the middle of town every Wednesday. We headed towards are hotel, Fairmont Cheateau Lake Louise at 1pm in time for a late lunch along the lake.  After lunch we returned to the trail for a relaxed, 5k along the lake before spending an hour canoeing on the cerulean lake, as this was included in our room rate.  Based on the concierge’s recommendation, we headed down the road to Moraine Lake for our own little lakeside happy hour complete with wine, cheese and dried meats we picked up at store in Canmore. This is also when we had our bear sighting, which he predicted as he said the traffic is stopped at least once along that road for bears or other wildlife.

Day 7 – We woke up at 5:30 for the sunrise canoe trip we booked in advance of the trip. Unfortunately they didn’t allow cancellations for overcast weather, so we spent an hour laughing and talking on the water together even though the clouds made the experience far less picturesque than expected. By 9:30 we were at Mt. Norquay Ski Area, near Banff, for a 4-hour Via Ferrata adventure. Via Ferrata is an assisted climbing adventure which allows you to climb ladders, suspension bridges, and cliffs while seeing Banff from a whole different perspective. The entire experience was thrilling and safely put me outside of my comfort zone!  We checked into our next hotel, Fairmont Banff Springs before spending an afternoon at the spa since afternoon thunderstorms derailed our hike. Their spa, Willow Stream receives high accolades each year, including top spa in Canada, so this was the perfect place for us to rest and rejuvenate after a busy few days. If you don’t want to have a spa treatment but want to enjoy their mineral baths, pools, saunas and indoor and outdoor hot tubs you can pay an entrance fee to enjoy it for the entire day. We took advantage of their complimentary tennis lessons that evening, spending two hours going through drills and matches in the evening sunshine with five other guests.

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Day 8 – We headed to the Kicking Horse River for a morning of white water rafting with Hydra RaftingThe 20 kilometer rafting trip was 2-hours and began calmly before taking us through lots of class IV rapids! We had a blast and really liked the group as well as the delicious burgers they served for lunch following the rafting trip. We returned to our hotel just in time to enjoy high tea overlooking the river and enjoying dinner at 1888 Chop House – one of our favorite meals of the trip.

Day 9 – We slept in quite late on our final day of vacation before enjoying a hike around Banff and the nearby waterfalls as well as one last leisurely breakfast. We headed back to Calgary and stayed at Hotel Le Germain where we snagged a room for less than $90 USD! Their concierge recommended a nearby sushi restaurant, Ki Modern, where we were able to eat outside and enjoy the Tragically Hip concert which was being broadcast at every nearby bar as well as on two shutdown streets. (Don’t know who Tragically Hip is? Neither did we until we read this Rolling Stone article.)

Day 10 – Travel Day  – I recommend booking an early flight as it minimizes the delay potentials and allows you to have some time at home on Sunday to prepare for the week.

Your turn: Any specific questions you have? Otherwise, the next post will be dedicated to what we packed and wore during the ten day trip! 

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