Friday Favorites – July 1, 2016

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I can’t believe that today is July 1st! I feel like Summer is flying by way too quickly.  This weekend I am taking time to slow down and be with family in light of a pretty rough week; in fact, my in-laws decided to make a spur of the moment decision to hop up to NYC from Savannah for the long weekend.  Our only plans for the weekend are to enjoy time together and relax. In my mind that translates to lots of sleep, relaxing on the back patio with a good book, working in the yard, lots of grilled dinners and some outdoor workouts with Bo – swimming, running and biking.  What are your weekend plans? 

Now, let’s dive into this week’s edition of Friday Favorites, including recipes, articles, posts and other things that caught my eye this week.

  • Social media has been the topic of a few people’s posts this week including this Instagram post and this blog post. While I am thankful for the friendships and opportunities social media has provided over the years, sometimes even the most active social media users and bloggers need to take a step back, breathe and ensure that we aren’t letting it negatively impact our lives and that everything is kept in perspective. Thanks to your emails and comments, it’s clear I’m not the only person who feels this way.
  • The second NYC byChloe location opened in Flatiron last week and I’m happy to share that the food is incredible and the lines are far faster and shorter than the original location. Add this spot to your list of places to eat in NYC if you haven’t been already. I’m in love with their salads! If you’ve eaten there before, what was your favorite?
  • Need a laugh? Read this, especially if your refrigerator is covered in birth announcements.
  • When I saw that my favorite t-shirt is marked down to less than $10, I couldn’t resist ordering it in three more colors as the slim fit and soft feel has me wearing it all weekend long and even pairing it with a flowy skirt for meetings.
  • These nine cocktail recipes make it easy to stay hydrated this Summer even during happy hour as they are all made with sparkling water! I think I’ll have to make the GreyMousse for happy hour tonight!
  • I am hoping that these 12 travel photography tips will help me capture breathtaking pictures when we’re in Canada next month.
  • I wonder if this means that we’re in for a whole new round of podcasts following Adnan Syed’s journey. I didn’t realize that the spinoff, “Undisclosed” actually unearthed crucial new evidence!
  • Our herbs are growing so quickly that I’ve started searching Pinterest for recipes that will use mint and basil since these two are growing faster than we’ve been using them. I am going to double this recipe for Monday’s Fourth of July festivities and change up the pasta choice so it feels more like a side dish than a main course.
  • This Summer Running Playlist introduced me to three new songs I immediately added to my Spotify workout playlist.
  • Over my five Summers in NYC, I thought I had done everything on most magazine and friends Summer Lists. This article, 92 Days of Summer in NYCmade me realize just how much I have left to experience including brunch at Claudette, Pier A Harbor House, Sabbia, Magnum pop-up, Met Breuer, Grand Banks, Wave Hill and mini golf at Hudson River Park!

Okay guys, with that I’m ready for the weekend! Hope you have wonderful weather wherever you are this weekend and enjoy time with friends and family.

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!

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CLASSPASS MONTH IN REVIEW: APRIL, MAY AND JUNE

snapchatIf you follow ClassPass on Snapchat (@classpass) you may have seen a familiar face today! I have had a blast taking over their SnapChat today, sharing a glimpse into my life. I was even inspired to do a brief interview with the instructor at ICE who described the workout!  In honor of the Snapchat takeover, I want to share my next round of ClassPass  reviews.

Classpass-month-in-review-APRIL MAY AND JUNE

Instead of doing one single month in this post, I wanted to get caught up. Therefore, this post has three months of classes including the number of classes taken, average cost per class and a brief recap of the studios where we sweat in April, May and June. In addition, 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,  here and here.

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. 

Also, since a few people have asked, as of this month, I decided to drop down to the NYC CORE plan which includes 10 classes per cycle for $125 per month. I tend to take advantage of outdoor workouts and running more during the Summer months, hence why I believe that 10 classes will be enough.

 

March 21- April 20:

  • Number of classes taken: 11
  • Number of studios visited: 7
  • Average cost per workout based on NYC rate of $125 per month:

April 21 – May 20:

  • Number of classes taken: 10
  • Number of studios visited: 7
  • Average cost per workout based on NYC rate of $125 per month: $12.50

May 21 – June 20

  • Number of classes taken: 14
  • Number of studios visited: 8
  • Average cost per workout based on NYC rate of $125 per month:  $8.92

Over the past three months I’ve been all over the place with my workouts as I haven’t had a real focus or plan and was battling two separate injuries which limited my running and high impact workouts. My only goal was to stay active. There are a few studios that I frequented on a weekly basis – Row House, Bar Method and FlyWheel.

Row House Full Body 45 at Row House Chelsea (6)

Rowing is a wonderful, low-impact workout which can supplement any workout plan. While I’ve taken classes at CityRow, Row House is the first rowing workout in NYC that truly reminded me of the rowing practices Bo and I sweat through in high school. The Full Body 45 class is a 45-minute class which includes a 5 minutes of rowing drills to warm-up, 15 minutes of rowing intervals and sprints, 5-10 minutes of strength work, another 15 minutes of rowing intervals and sprints, followed by a short cooldown. The class is perfect for people of all abilities as each person controls the speed or intensity at which they row. Scott is our favorite instructor, constantly motivating students while correcting form and ensuring that everyone is pushing themselves. For those who need to sweat and then dash to work, the Row House Chelsea location includes a small, but nice locker room featuring two showers, blow dryers and toiletries where you can get ready for work or date night.

Fly 45 at Flywheel (5)

Historically, I’ve had a love hate relationship with Flywheel. I love that the studio provides water, spin shoes, towels and healthy snacks with the cost of every class. But, I have had one too many sub-par teachers who don’t inspire or push me during class. Luckily, last month, Bo discovered two teachers (Josh Arden, Holly Rilinger and Johnny De Triquet) who merged challenging classes with awesome, upbeat playlists. Now that we’ve discovered these teachers, we’ll more than likely use our 3 classes per month allowance since they have 5:30 or  6 AM classes daily

High 45 at Mile High Run Club (3)

I’ve professed my love of Mile High multiple times (full review here). Their High 45 class is a great class for runners of all abilities. As you can guess from the class name, the workout includes 45-minutes of running. The running includes a five minute warm-up and five minute cool down. In between that you’ll sweat through 35 minutes of tempo work. A typical class includes half hills and half speed with most intervals ranging from three to six minutes! My favorite teachers are Jes Woods and Deborah Woods!

Dash 28 at Mile High Run Club (2)

If you’re newer to Mile High or running, this class is a great option for you! The 45-minute class includes 28 minutes of treadmill running followed by 10 minutes of strength training using body weight and kettle bells. The running portion includes a mix of hills and speed work, similar to the distance class, but due to the short duration, flies by quickly. I highly recommend Andia Wilson and Corinne!

The Distance at Mile High Run Club (2)

I’ve professed my love of Mile High multiple times (full review here) but only recently did I begin taking their distance classes. The distance class is 60 minutes of running, and is therefore designed specifically for the advanced runner or athlete who is looking for a challenge. The 60 minute class isn’t for the feign of heart as it includes 50 minutes of non-stop running including hills and speed work. During the three classes I covered an average of 5.5 miles per class, which included race simulations, sprints and hill work. I highly recommend class with Luke or Michael who each teach a handful of distance classes per week. If you are new to Mile High or running, the Dash 28 class with Andia Wilson is also a great option!

WeFlowHard Vinyasa Yoga at Y7 (2)

This studio isn’t for everyone, but man do I love it. 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.

Barre3 at Barre3 West Village (2)

This 60-minute barre workout promises to give you the length of a dancer and the strength of an athlete. After two classes with the studio manager and teacher extraordinaire, Dino Malvone, I have to say that I am a convert. The class consists of a yoga inspired warm-up, barre section then floor section.  I leave each class sweating and shaking as they do a great job of challenging my muscles more than the average class due to the extended time spent on the lower body and the time that each pose is held – especially those killer squats!

Prana Power Yoga in Brooklyn (2)

While I really like hot yoga and any studio that is walking distance from our apartment gets extra points, I just don’t love Prana Power Yoga. I’ve taken five classes here and have yet to have a teacher that I adore. In fact, two of the teachers never provided adjustments or walk around the class.  For me, Prana is the studio that I go to when I decide last minute that I want to squeeze in a yoga class. I took this class on a whim, the day after Thanksgiving.  The studio is clean, and doesn’t have that “hot, steamy, sweaty smell” that you get at some hot or Bikram yoga studios. There aren’t showers but they have two bathrooms which are large enough to do a quick wet wipe bath and change. They offer five to six classes per day so regardless the hour, there is probably a class that meets your schedule.

B/X Brick Chelsea (2)

Brick New York features multiple types of workouts in their space ranging from CrossFit to yoga. In between is their hybrid workout, B/X.  A high intensity, functional training class it is very similar to Fhitting Room. After a short warm-up we spent the next 45 minutes moving through circuits which included rowers, treadmills, wall balls, med balls, kettlebells and box jumps.  There are no breaks so you will be dripping sweat in no time but the energy of those around you will keep you moving and motivated. I love that the instructor constantly walks the class, helping ensure everyone has the proper form. In addition, if they notice that a move comes to easy, they are quick to provide a recommended adjustment to make it harder. There are locations at Grand Central, Chelsea and Brooklyn so this workout is convenient for just about anyone. There are plenty of lockers and showers so you can get ready here before work if you need without rushing out of class early.

Power Flow 60 Tangerine Hot Power Yoga (2)

There is a reason this studios classes quickly sell out, especially evening and weekends when Brooklyn locals and Manattanites flock to Tangerine Yoga. The 60-minute class isn’t for the weak as it is a heated strong, power yoga class. But, don’t fear, instructors provide lots of adjustments and guidance to ensure everyone has the best session possible. The studio provides complimentary yoga mats and towels as well as selling juices and coconut water in the small boutique and lounge area. I’ve now taken eleven classes at this studio and grow more in love with it each class. They develop a great sense of community and each instructor is more supportive than the next. So far, my favorite instructors are Emily and Tamara.

Mixed Level at The Bar Method Brooklyn (5)

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!

Signature Fhix at Fhitting Room (2)

Bo and I love the 50-minute high intensity classes which pair two instructors with a class of 20-25 students for a sweat inducing good time. The music is always perfectly on point, motivating and pushing us while the instructors lead the group through functional movements such as lunges, burpees and squats followed by strength training with kettle bells and finally high intensity exercises including rowing machines, ski-ergs and box jumps. The atmosphere is one of the most supportive I’ve felt and it is a great starting place for people who want to learn more about functional training and using items like boxes and kettlebells as the instructors adjust students during class. The dual instructor model means that there is always someone watching you! The studio offers showers, lockers, towels and water. Our favorite instructors are Eric and Ben W!

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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Stitch Fix Review #5

Happy Tuesday guys!

It has been a while since I last talked about Stitch Fix on the blog. As I am currently in between sizes and not feeling my best, I have started scheduling fixes every other month versus every month. Whether it’s shopping online, in-person or with the help of my Stitch Fix stylist, it’s hard to shop when you don’t feel your best. But, after receiving an email reminder from them a few weeks ago, I figured it was time to schedule a fix and test my luck.

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In case this is your first time hearing about Stitch Fix back in January. It is an online personal shopping and styling website. After registering for the site, new members fill out an in-depth style survey and profile which helps the Stitch Fix personal stylists get to know you. The questions include things like sizes, styles, favorite colors, brands, and other likes and dislikes.  Once you finish the profile you are able to schedule your first Stitch Fix delivery. Each Stitch Fix delivery is a box of five pieces of clothing or accessories. Each month I share with you a recap of what I receive (January FebruaryMarch and April) and my thoughts on each piece. Your personal stylists selects the items for your individual fix based on the answers you provided in the survey. There is a $20 styling fee which you have to pay up front, but, the good news is that this $20 works as credit towards any of the items you want to keep.


Many of my friends who have loved Stitch Fix for years told me to give my stylist time to figure out my personal style, and therefore expect each box to get better. In advance of scheduling this fix, I spent time going through m profile and leaving a note for my stylist regarding my recent weight fluctuation. This month’s box had a few items that definitely took this feedback into account. I’m hoping that next month I’ll finally get to try out their newest feature – SHOES!

Here we go! Remember – If you see anything that you like below, feel free to pin and/or ask your stylist in the notes section of your next fix for something similar! Your stylist does her best to get to know you and therefore will read your blog, check out your Pinterest board and even your Facebook page if you give her access so she can see what you wear and love! In addition, remember that while I do get a small amount of compensation if you join Stitch Fix, all thoughts and feedback are my own opinion!

Stitch Fix Wilam Blouse

Papermoon Wilam Blouse – $38  – Keep – The moment I touched this top I hoped it would fit. The light weight fabric is perfect for the hot Summer months and it is unlike anything I own. The vibrant pastels brighten up any look and the material, while sheer, works well with my nude t-shirt bra. I have paired this blouse with shorts, skinny jeans and even a pencil skirt – each time receiving multiple compliments!

Stitch Fix Cindie Linen Short

Skies are Blue Garrick Button Down Top – $58 – Return –  As soon as I saw this top I laughed because it reminded me more of my mom than me. She has an almost identical top that she wears frequently. This top was the only pure disappointment in the box as it was way too large and just didn’t seem to fit my style profile or age.

Level 99 Cindie Linen Short – $78 – Return – I loved these shorts SO much. The fit was flattering and the material was light weight and comfortable.  Shorts tend to run small on me due to long legs and muscular thighs but these worked perfectly. The price tag was far to steep, in my mind, for a pair of casual shorts. I tend to buy my shorts at J Crew Factory so I’m accustomed to an under $30 price point for shorts, not nearly $80.

Stitch Fix Blouse

Hawthorn Lisbon Stud Detail Blouse – $58 – Return – While I loved the color of this blouse, I just couldn’t get past the stud design nor the sleeves. The shirt fit perfectly in the neck and body but the sleeves were too puffy for my taste.  The heavy, metallic studs seemed to ruin the the light, flowy fabric and feel of the top.

Stitch Fix Scallop Blouse

 

Papermoon Violeta Scallop Detail Blouse – $44 – Return – I loved this top as soon as I saw it in my box. The scallop detail and open back are a fun change from most of my tops. But, as soon as I put it on I realized how plain it was from the front which therefore made it seem like just another black tank. If I didn’t have two black tanks that I loved already, I would have kept it but since from the front this looked identical to both of them, I just couldn’t rationalize keeping it.

Your turn: What piece is your favorite? What would have you kept? 

 

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