Five Things from the Long Weekend

Happy Monday! The sun is shining and the temperature is supposed to reach a mild 70 degrees today in Brooklyn. Our plan for the day is to stay local, exploring and doing some shopping before relaxing this evening with leftovers and Manchester By the Sea.

Washington Square ParkI thought it’d be fun to share a few of the things we did with my parents over the past few days during their visit. As you guys know, my parents visit us in New York at least 2 to 3 times per year so we tend to relax together and just enjoy versus trying to hit museums and tourist spots that they’ve seen multiple times. Since it was my dad’s birthday weekend, we chose a few restaurants that we knew he’d love so he could enjoy his favorite cuisine.

  1. Birthday dinner at Joe’s Shanghai in Chinatown for their famous soup dumplings. If you’re local or visiting and love Chinese food, Joe’s Shanghai’s Chinatown location is a great option for authentic, reasonably priced Chinese food. Unlike many places in Chinatown, they offer an English menu so you aren’t clueless. We loved that the restaurant was filled with locals versus a line of tourists. Soup dumplings
  2. A long, cold walk through Gramercy, Union Square, West Village, NoHo, SoHo and Tribeca. Even though the sun was shining and the sky was blue, the weather in NYC yesterday was deceptively frigid due to the strong wind gusts. We bundled up and enjoyed a long walk through some areas my parents are less familiar with while perusing shops and enjoying the sights, such as Washington Square Park. 
  3. Delicious Italian dinner at Gran Morsi in Tribeca. Our friends Mike and Liz introduced us to Gran Morsi earlier this year and since then I’ve been dreaming about their delicious meatballs and the cast iron Eggplant Parmesan.  My parents loved the relaxed yet chic atmosphere and the service and food were just as good as we remembered.  Ashley bump
  4. A very successful shopping experience at Seraphine Maternity. As you guys know, I haven’t purchased many maternity items thus far, instead relying on a few hand me downs and a few key items. Now that Spring is coming and I’ve also popped quite significantly over the past two weeks, my mom and I agreed that it was time to go shopping. The experience shopping in the Seraphine SoHo location was incredible. The staff was very friendly and helpful while their seasonal sale allowed me to walk out with seven pieces, 3 dresses, 3 tops, 1 sweater and one pair of panty hose, without breaking the bank. I couldn’t believe that two of my favorite items were under $60! I was able to find two dresses (this one and this one) which will be perfect for my Savannah and NYC showers. 
  5. Two nights of delicious cooking and baking with Mom and Bo. After two nights of eating out we decided to spend Saturday and Sunday nights cooking in and relaxing together. We were all craving meat so we opted for a traditional steakhouse dinner on Saturday night followed by a slow-cooked pot roast on Sunday night. Since my mom and I enjoy baking together so much, we spent both nights baking delicious treats including this delicious German Chocolate cake.  Even though my dad doesn’t cook, it was still fun to have everyone in the kitchen relaxing together.

 

Follow:

CorePower Yoga New York City

Get excited New York City – CorePower Yoga is finally coming to Manhattan.  This May CorePower Yoga is opening the doors of it’s first New York City location at 70th and Broadway on the Upper West Side.

170204_CorePowerYoga_002

For years, I’ve heard friends and fellow bloggers rave about CorePower Yoga. With over 160 studios nationwide, it seemed like there was a studio in just about every metropolitan city except New York. Focused on helping students live their power, push beyond their boundaries and turn stress into sweat, CorePower Yoga is far more than your typical yoga studio.  Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to preview CorePower Yoga thanks to a lovely morning event hosted by CorePower Yoga and Well+Good NYC at Central Park’s Tavern on the Green.

170204_CorePowerYoga_017

Evann and I attended the 11 AM event together, during which we enjoyed a hybrid class, hosted by three dynamic and energetic women who are leading the opening of the NYC location. The hybrid class blended aspects of two of their class offerings,  Yoga Sculpt and Core Power Yoga 2, together in one 60-minute class.

Evann and Ashley CorePower YogaCan we take a minute to appreciate the sunlight that flowed through the space? Tavern on the Green’s atrium was the perfect venue for a morning flow as we were able to enjoy the blue skies and morning sun as we stretched and energized our bodies.  Even though it was freezing outside, it was warm and toasty on our mats.

Since this was my first time experiencing CorePower Yoga, one of the first things I noticed were the hand weights which they recommended we place on our mat. Unlike other studios, one of their signature classes, Yoga Sculpt, include light hand weights to intensify each yoga pose. In addition, throughout the flow weights are incorporated into strength-training moves such as squats, lunges and bicep curls.

170204_CorePowerYoga_003

Once we were all situated on our mats, the three instructors welcomed us, introduced us to CorePower Yoga and explained the flow of class. As you can see from this picture, they were on Cloud Nine, thrilled to finally be sharing CorePower Yoga and the news of their new studio with so many New York City yogis. Their positive energy set a great tone for class before we even started. I loved when they told us each to not take class too seriously – it’s only Saturday morning yoga.

170204_CorePowerYoga_314

After a few minutes of intention setting, we  started the flow with time in child’s pose, grounding ourselves, before quickly transitioning into the flow portion.  During the flow, which moved at a pace fast enough to induce a sweat but slow enough to ensure proper form, the instructors were hyper-focused on form and adjustments, which I always appreciate. They also created a supportive, inspiring environment for the students motivating us to do our best and be present in the moment.

170204_CorePowerYoga_211

170204_CorePowerYoga_128
After thirty minutes we regrouped and transitioned into the challenging but fun yoga sculpt portion of class. Unlike any yoga class I’ve taken before, this class mixed strength, cardio and flexibility into the practice. For example, in chair pose we would hold the pose and then begin doing arm exercises using the weights before flowing to the next move. I really enjoyed the use of weights and appreciated the added challenge EXCEPT for the transition points on the mat. This may have been that the lighter weights didn’t have enough space to be held properly while also allowing for wrist movement but I felt clumsy during plank and sun salutations.  The cardio bursts were also a fun change of pace, incorporating things like mountain climbers into the middle of a plank series, or burpees following a flow.

170204_CorePowerYoga_294

170204_CorePowerYoga_257

170204_CorePowerYoga_251
By the end of the class, I was exhausted but completely zen. My muscles were still shaking from the strength training and my tank top was sweaty from the cardio but I was standing taller and feeling lighter due to the yoga and positive vibes. Regardless of your level of practice, CorePower Yoga offers a class that is right for you. I appreciate that under one roof you can find sculpting, cardio and zen.

Core Power Yoga Ashley

Even though it is a trek from our apartment in Carroll Gardens, I will certainly be heading to the Upper West Side to enjoy classes once they open.

Interested to learn more about CorePower Yoga’s UWS location? Head over to their website to learn more about the studio and their limited time 25% off special.

Thank you to Turner PR, Well + Good NYC and CorePower Yoga for inviting me to a wonderful event. Photo credit: Barbara Corella, Evann Clingan and Well+Good NYC

Follow:

A Sweaty Start to Valentines Day

orange theory valentines day workout

Happy Valentine’s Day friends! Most years I roll my eyes at this commercial holiday that has become focused more on chocolates, flowers and gifts than just taking time to be thankful for loved ones. However, this year, I woke up this morning bursting with happiness.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been reminded multiple times that I am blessed with an incredible support group of friends, co-workers and family members both near and far.  So regardless of your status this Valentine’s Day, I hope you can take a moment to be thankful for yourself and those people in your life you hold dear.  I took a few minutes earlier today to thank each of my team members for their support by gifting them $5 on Venmo for a coffee or sweet treat. It isn’t much but sometimes the smallest, unexpected gestures are the most rewarding.

This morning Bo and I kicked off Valentine’s Day at Orangetheory Park Slope with a grueling Valentine’s Day themed partner workout led by Coach Corey. One of my favorite coaches, his playlist is always amazing and he did a great job motivating the class today as well as providing prenatal adjustments. This morning’s partner workout included an endurance hill and speed treadmill station, rowing and squat thrust station and a strength station that was packed with squats, chest flies and tricep extensions. By the time the clock hit 7:45, Bo and I were both dripping in sweat. Speaking of Orangetheory workouts, did you guys know that every Orangetheory location across the US does the same workout each day? My mind was blown when I discovered this the other day. How fun is that?!

Ashley and Bo 100 pound journey

Workout dates are something that Bo and I are trying to prioritize in our schedule between now and June when Baby Girl Diamond arrives.  As many of you know, we both enjoy sweating together as it provides us with time before our busy days to connect, workout and enjoy each other’s company.  When we started dating fourteen years ago, fitness was not a priority, as you can tell from the above picture. Since we’ve been together we’ve lost a combined weight of one hundred pounds, much of which can be attributed to our healthier and more active lifestyle. I’m so thankful that these days Bo and I equally enjoy working out and staying active together. In fact, it’s become such a part of our routine that I often take it for granted until I read posts like this.  Since running is something that I enjoy more than him, most of our workout dates revolve around workouts we enjoy equally such as high intensity interval training at Orangetheory or Fhitting Room, spin classes at FlyWheel or swimming at the YMCA.

This evening we will continue to enjoy Valentine’s Day together by cooking one of our favorite dishes together, sesame encrusted tuna, and relax with a movie.

Hope you guys have a great day!

Follow: