Valentine’s Day Weekend Recap

Happy Monday morning all! I hope each of you had a fabulous and awesome Valentine’s Day weekend. The hubs and I had one of the most fun weekends together in a long time.

We kicked off the weekend on Friday night with a Bring Your Man to the Barre class at my local Pure Barre studio. We had so much fun together during class! I was really excited to bring B so he could see why I love the class so much. There was 10 couples in class and all of us spent the first few minutes during warm up laughing at our significant others as they tried to make their way through abs and arms. The men quickly got quiet throughout the rest of class as we worked on thighs and buns because it got progressively harder for the 55 minute class. I kept looking over at B who would mouth to me “this is hard!” I couldn’t help but giggle as I watched him try each of the exercises. The final report is he made it through class with only minor soreness the next day. I’m trying to convince him to come to another class with me but he’s just not feeling it.

Pure Barre Bring Your Man

Saturday we kicked off the day with a trip to our favorite donut place. And then proceeded to burn off those calories at the gym. But calories don’t count on a holiday, right?

Donuts

That afternoon we headed to the movie theater to see 50 Shades of Grey. I’ve read 2 of the 3 books and since B and I had not been to the theater in over 3 years we thought this would be a good Valentine’s Day afternoon date. We went to a theater that has a restaurant in it where you can order food to eat during the show. Overall I didn’t think the movie was horrible. Not the best I’ve ever seen, but not the worst. Prior to going, I had heard from others how bad the movie was so maybe I was expecting it to be much worse. I thought the movie followed the first book almost exactly and after the way it ended, I’m looking forward to seeing the next installment of the movie. My only suggestion for the directors would be to use a different Christian Grey. To me, Jamie Dornan does not scream sexy the way I had pictured Mr. Grey to be. However, I thought choosing Dakota Johnson to play the part of Anastasia Steele was spot-on.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Image source

On Saturday night, hubs and I exchanged presents. He got me a pair of Tieks which I have wanted for the longest time! If you haven’t heard of them, they’re italian-made ballet flats that come in a variety of colors. They have turquoise blue bottoms and you are able to fold them up for easy keeping in your purse. I’ve wanted a pair of these for when we travel since they’re so compact. I love the bright pink he chose and I can’t wait to put them to use for our trip to Palm Springs in less than 2 weeks!

Tieks

This is one of the presents I made B. He loves fun socks so I made him a sock and boxer bouquet. He got a good chuckle at this and absolutely loved it. The pictures don’t do it justice, but it turned out pretty cute. If you’re looking for an easy present for your guy, look this idea up on Pinterest. I also got him a monogramed Tumi wallet that will match his briefcase and luggage since he travels so much.

Sock and Boxers bouquet

Sock and Boxers bouquet

We opted to make dinner at home since neither of us are fans of those prix-fixed menus restaurants have on holidays. I love any excuse to break out my Kate Spade china we got for our wedding.

Valentine's Dinner

Sunday we were pretty lazy around the house. We decided that we might be getting rid of cable soon so we are trying out Sling TV for the next week and not using our cable. Sling TV is a $20/month service that has some cable channels you access via a Roku. Since we pretty much only watch HGTV in our house, we decided to give it a go for a week. Neither of us actually sit and watch TV anymore. We always have the TV on for background noise but it’s always on HGTV. After 2 days of using the service, along with watching Netflix and Amazon Prime TV, I haven’t missed our cable once. I figure I can watch any of the shows I would normally DVR on my iPad when I want to.

Sling TV

QUESTION // What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Do you have cable TV?

Pure Barre for Runners

Right now I’m in the midst of training for my 7th half marathon. I started running half marathons 3 1/2 years ago as a way to challenge myself. I often get into the same workout rut  and I thought that having something to train for would give me a little boost to my exercise routine. It’s true what they say about running competitively. After you’ve done it once, you want to do it again. While I don’t run many races each year, the few that I do help to keep me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and stick to a training routine.

Since I’ve caught the running bug, I’ve always struggled with incorporating other workouts into my exercise regime. I’m a firm believer that if I’m not breaking a sweat then I didn’t work out hard enough which I know is not entirely true. I run a few times a week and I’ve always struggled with sticking to a stretching/yoga once a week routine. It all goes back to the I need to do cardio and strength training to feel like I got a good workout in.

Pure Barre for Runners

This is why I’m so glad that I discovered Pure Barre. While it’s a low impact exercise, it’s a full body workout that challenges me and I sweat like crazy during class. Since I’ve been starting to increase my running mileage with my half marathon approaching, I’ve started to notice that running isn’t as hard as it used to be for me. I feel lighter on my feet, I’m not in as much pain after a long run and it almost feels easy to me to run for awhile now. And I’m crediting all of this to Pure Barre. Here’s why ::

  • Stretching

While Pure Barre is all about lifting, toning and burning your muscles, one of the biggest things I love about it is the stretch after we work each muscle group. Even though I’m not anywhere near as flexible as I was in my days as a dancer, I’ve noticed improvement in how far I can go in my stretching now. All of the stretching in class has lead to less injury and soreness before, during and after my runs.

  • Total Body Workout

You work everything in class from your arms to abs to seat to thighs. It’s a total body workout and a great replacement workout from doing just free weights at the gym.

  • Low Impact Exercise

As runners, we don’t want to run consecutive days in a row. Running is such a high impact workout for your whole body that you need some rest in between your runs. Pure Barre is such a great alternative because it’s low impact while still getting in a great full body workout.

  • Core Muscle Strength

The ab work in Pure Barre classes are no joke. There’s a solid 10 minutes of abs but since you are also balancing and using the ball in exercises in class your abs are always engaged. My core has never felt or looked stronger and this has really helped me in my long runs.

  • Stronger Feet

Is it even possible to get stronger feet? I’m not sure if there’s a scientific answer to this but I believe mine have gotten stronger. Since you do class in socks it forces your feet to work harder than they normally do. I used to suffer from plantar fasciitis which was so painful in the arches of my feet. I haven’t noticed any pain in my foot after my runs and lucky for my husband, he doesn’t need to massage my feet anymore!

  • Challenging For Your Body And Mind

Not only will your muscles shake during class because you’re working them in new ways, but class also challenges your mind because it requires you to focus. It’s almost like meditative time for me. Having this dual challenge has helped me in my running because it causes me to only focus on my run and nothing else around me.

 

QUESTION // Do you take Pure Barre? Are you training for any races right now?

What to Wear to Pure Barre

About a month ago, I signed up for 6 weeks of unlimited classes at my local Pure Barre studio. I’ve heard so much about this fitness phenomenon from my friends who live in big cities, so I was really anxious to give this a try because I love to try new fitness classes, I wasted no time signing up for a 6 weeks of unlimited classes. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE going to class! Being in a classroom atmosphere with the mirrors and barres, it reminds me of my days in the dance studio not only as a student but when I was a dance teacher in college too. It makes me feel like I’m home again!

If you haven’t heard of Pure Barre, it’s a low-impact, full-body, dance/pilates fusion class. You do small, isometric movements until your muscles reach fatigue and follow up each muscle group that you’re working on with a stretch. The result is long, lean muscles similar to that of a ballerina.

 What to Wear to Pure Barre

The mantra of the 55-minute Pure Barre class is to “lift, tone and burn.” You’ll notice while you’re fatiguing your muscles that you’ll start to shake. While it’s an odd feeling, it’s a good sign because it let you know you are really working your muscles.

Once I started taking classes, the fashionista in me decided I needed some new workout clothes. The majority of my workout clothes are running shorts and tank tops. Since there would be a lot of stretching in class, I figured I didn’t want everybody looking at my goodies so I needed to stock up on some basics. Here have been my personal favorites to wear the past few weeks during class.

What to wear to Pure Barre

  • Yoga Pants Capris or Yoga/Running Tights

Like I said, the majority of class you’ll be lifting legs and doing pulsating movements while also stretching. I personally like to wear capris because tights and pants make me a bit too hot. Your pants should be on the fitted side to help you see the movements you are making. But, make sure they aren’t too tight, as you’ll want to be comfortable during the 55-minute class.

What to wear to Pure Barre

 My Favorites ::

Old Navy Compression Capris :: Comfortable and stretchy, this is a great and affordable option to have. They come in multiple colors and prints as well as a tights option in case you want your legs fully covered.

Lululemon Wonder Unders :: I know, they’re pricey but so worth it! I’ve had these for years and they hold up well and are really comfortable to wear not only for working out but as loungewear too)

Athleta Chatarunga Capri :: I have become OBSESSED with these. They fit the same as the pants listed above, but best of all is this print! I love black and white stripes and it’s fun to pair bright colored tops with these. It helps to make you stand out in a sea dark colors!

  • Tank Tops

I’ve worn both fitted and loose fitting tank tops and both have worked well for me, it just depends on your preference. One quality that’s important to have in a work out top is for it to be moisture wicking. While you’re working up a sweat, you don’t want to feel wet the entire time. And with any type of workout, I recommend wearing a sports bra or making sure your ta-tas aren’t bouncing around.

What to wear to Pure Barre

My Favorites ::

Lululemon Power Y Tank :: I love these tanks because they’re form fitting but are also comfortable enough that when you move around, they don’t ride up on you. These come in a variety of colors and prints. An added bonus-it has a built in bra.

Athleta Chi Mesh Tank :: These tanks are nice to wear on days you just don’t want something totally form fitting. The mesh helps it stay breathable which means you stay less sweaty. And while it’s loose fitting, it’s not baggy and still has a feminine shape to it so you don’t feel frumpy wearing it.

C9 by Champion Racerback Seamless Sports Bra :: Target has the BEST sports bras. Not only are they affordable and moisture wicking, but they hold up to the wear and tear of me working out 6 days a week.

  • Grippy Socks

Pure Barre is done on a carpeted floor so grippy socks are must. Many of my classmates purchase the $12 pair available in the studio, but I have seen other yoga socks available at sporting good stores and on Etsy.

What to wear to Pure Barre

My Favorite ::

Pure Barre Sticky Sock :: Available in multiple colors, they help you get a good grip while doing the moves throughout class.

  • Long Sleeve T-Shirt or Quarter Zip Pullover

While you will work up a sweat during class, it’s nice to have a lightweight pullover on before class starts especially on these cold, winter mornings. You can wear it before class starts and during warm up to make sure you don’t get too cold.

What to wear to Pure Barre

My favorites ::

C9 by Champion Long Sleeve Seamless T-Shirt :: These are light weight enough that you won’t get too hot too quickly.

C9 by Champion Pullover Zip :: I’ve had these for a few years now and I LOVE them! They’re lightweight but also are thick enough to keep you warm. I also love to wear mine during runs outside when it’s still chilly outside in the spring and fall.

  • Water Bottle, Towel, and Headband

A water bottle is an absolute necessity to have with any type of workout to make sure you stay hydrated. I also like to wear a headband during class to keep hair out of my face and I like to bring a towel to wipe off any sweat beads that form.

 Disclaimer :: A few affiliate links are included above and, as always, I sincerely appreciate your support!

QUESTION // Have you ever done a barre or Pure Barre class? What other fitness classes have you tried that you liked?

What I’m Loving Friday #6

So happy that it’s finally Friday and time for the weekend! My husband has been out of town all week for work and I’m so excited to have him home again. Our pups will be over the moon excited to see him too. For some reason they both completely sulk around the house when he’s gone and they stare at the door thinking it will make him come home sooner. I think they like him a lot more than me because they don’t even care that I’m there! But enough about me, time for some Friday Favorites!

  • Pure Barre

Pure Barre

I’ve been anticipating the Pure Barre studio opening down the street from our house for quite a few months and the time has finally arrived! I purchased a new client package that lasts me for 6 weeks so I’ve been getting up bright and early at 5 am to make it to class. I absolutely love the class and am totally addicted to it already! It’s unlike any other workout I’ve done before and each class so far has been different and has really challenged my body in ways I’ve never done before.

  • Blind Heart

Speaking of Pure Barre, in a couple of classes this has been the last song played while we do our last exercise and I found myself jamming out to it while I finished out class. I was so excited to tell my husband about this song but turns out he’s already heard it. Side note about my husband, I swear this kid could be a music producer in his free time. He always knows songs before they become popular. Years ago he told me about Maroon 5 and how he thought they’d be the next big thing. 6 months later, what’s on the radio all the time? Yep, Maroon 5. He has really great taste in music and has made me listen to songs that always become popular a few months later. I had to laugh when I was listening to a Spotify playlist he made and this song was on it.

  • Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

I talked about my love for peppermint bark in my last Friday Favorites and here’s another one to add to the list. I cannot get enough of this chocolate! And it’s in fun bell shapes which makes it even more festive

QUESTION // What are you up to this weekend?