Simply Barre in Southie

Have you tried Simply Barre, Southie’s newest boutique fitness studio?

Barre is my favorite type of workout, so I was psyched when this place opened on West Broadway earlier this year. I was even more psyched to try them out as part of a fun blogger class hosted by Elissa of Style Wire .

The studio is beautiful and the classes are very challenging. If you love Pure Barre or Exhale and live in Southie, you definitely need to check this place out!

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After class we also tried some healthy and delicious food prepared by Paleo Life, a delivery service for healthy, fresh, paleo meals based in Boston.

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I’ve already been back to Simply Barre a couple of times with Class Pass, and I like them so much I’m considering a monthly membership. They have some great specials for first time clients, brides, and mothers to be.

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Endurance Pilates and Yoga

Endurance is a new studio that just opened up in the South End; they offer a variety of classes including pilates mat, pilates reformer, barre, and yoga.

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I went in recently for a class with Blog and Tweet Boston, where we got to try a little bit of everything! It was definitely challenging, and owner / instructor Julie made sure to check in with everyone to see if there were any injuries or modifications needed.

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That’s owner and instructor Julie Erickson. I wish I could say I learned to do this, but I think that might take a few (or a few hundred) more classes!

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Julie won Boston Magazine’s Best Personal Trainer in 2014, and has extensive experience working with clients of all levels including injury recovery. She even volunteers her services to several of the Boston Marathon victims!

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I didn’t try the reformer this time, but definitely plan to check out a class sometime. They’re on on Class Pass and offer a variety of packages and single sessions on their website. If you want to try them out, your first mat class is always free!

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Resolutions

2014 was a big year for me, both good and bad. Starting with the good: I moved back to Boston, bought a condo, and got engaged. The bad: my mom passed away after having dementia for a long time and getting progressively worse, I had appendicitis and surgery, and then complications after the surgery including a back and hip injury that I’m still recovering from.

I wasn’t in the best shape before the appendicitis; I’d been going out a lot and eating whatever I wanted for most of the year (at some times celebrations, other times stressed / upset about my mom). Just before surgery my weight hit an all time high, and I was finally motivated to start working out. I went pretty hard and at first thought my stomach pains were just a strained muscle. Luckily I realized something was wrong and went to the hospital before my appendix actually ruptured (though they told me it was close).

I followed my post op instructions exactly, but inactivity for a few weeks combined with other muscles over compensating for my abs resulted in a back and hip injury. I’ve just started physical therapy after 2 months of not getting better, and was told there’s nothing I did to cause this – any surgery puts a lot of stress on the body and sometimes these things just happen. But I can’t help but wonder if I had been taking better care of myself all along, would my body have been more resilient?

Since October I haven’t been able to work out like I’d like (at all really), and all I can do for the next six – eight weeks is walk and do the daily strengthening exercises for my hip and abs prescribed by my physical therapist. This means if I want to lose weight I need to be even more careful about what I eat, which is why I’ve come up with the resolutions that I have.

I’m not normally good at resolutions, but after all that’s happened I understand more than ever the value of taking care of yourself. Since a big part of them involve healing, I plan to reevaluate after the first few months of the year.

With that, here are my resolutions that I hope to accomplish within the first 2-4 months of 2015

1. Stick with the New Lifestyle Diet until I reach my weight loss goal (40 lbs)

2. Wear my fit bit and get in at least 10,000 steps every day

3. Complete all of my daily physical therapy exercises as prescribed until my back and hip injury are both fully recovered (~6-8 weeks)

4. Drink 8 glasses of water a day

What are your goals for 2015? If you’d like, leave them in the comments section and we’ll keep each other accountable!

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Spooky World: Nightmare New England

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday, and though I haven’t been in years I was psyched for the opportunity to check out Spooky World’s Nightmare New England, with VIP tickets.

It was pouring but they had ponchos available for us and we had a great time!

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We got a special behind the scenes tour where we saw the actors having their makeup applied, and got to walk through the Brigham Manor with the lights on.

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I really enjoyed it, because I don’t think I would’ve caught all of the cool effects with the lights off!

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Here’s a description of all the attractions; but my favorite was by far the Brigham Manor!

Brigham Manor:

In 1954 Encee Bishop the patriarch of this unusual family built a stately plantation home along the banks of the Merrimack River.

What little is now known about the Bishops primarily was learned through word of mouth by and the observation of neighbors that they seemed devoted to dark rituals and appeared fanatical about commemorating the passage of Halloween each year.  It wasn’t until the mid-1960’s that the community began to speculate horrible things related to the Bishop family even though very few had ever encountered family members in person.

Although the property has been abandoned since they’ve been taken into custody, strange and fearful sounds continue to accompany the riverside property in Litchfield even to this day. Moreover, not all the remains of the missing people have been discovered and new reports have been filed every year on behalf of people who have disappeared after venturing onto the Bishops land.

This fall – the Bishops return to Litchfield, N.H.

Freak Show in 3D:

Enter the mind-bending labyrinth of 3-D Freak Show where a mutant army of freaks, evil clowns, and starving zombies reign supreme. Once in their world, navigate through the sewers, laboratories, mazes, and carnival attractions without turning into the main attraction yourself!

Carnage:

What would it be like to be trapped in a nightmare that you could not wake up from? You have stumbled into a place where rot, decay, and the filth from the earth are a haven for evil. There’s no place to hide from nightly scavengers and life takers. You might make it out alive, but your soul will be gone. Try to make it out of Carnage.

The Colony:

A New Breed has taken over the wooded banks of the Merrimack River, transforming The Colony into something we couldn’t even have imaged. Enter this renovated labyrinth of chaos at your own risk, and meet a new strain of hell’s servants. Once hidden amongst the cover of darkness, these unnatural beings have reemerged and are looking for bodies to torture and souls to destroy. Revamped trails of terror lead you through the back woods of Nightmare New England where you can discover what real fear feels like.

Ravensclaw:

Walking deep into the woods, under the iron archway and into the cemetery, guests immediately are surrounded by crypts, tombstones, mausoleums and freshly dug graves. Corpses and zombies lurk in the shadows and fog that blanket this legendary cemetery. The cemetery is set within the natural landscape around the historic Merrimack River and is guaranteed to deliver thrills and screams to all who dare to enter!

In addition to all of the exhibits, there are booths with food, drink, dancing, a fire pit, and carnival games!

I definitely recommend the smoked turkey leg!

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I highly recommend Spooky World if you love Halloween, or are just looking for something fun and different to do this fall!

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New running class at equinox

If you read my blog Urban Foodie Finds you know that I recently got engaged! I’m sooo excited, and also have a new found motivation for losing weight and getting in shape! I’ve been doing the couch to 5K program to get back into running, so the timing was perfect when I was invited to try Equinox’s new precision running class.

A few obligatory ring pics:

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And back to the class….

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About Precision Running:

Created exclusively for Equinox by David Siik, a track & field record holder with a degree in biomedical science and chemistry, Precision Running is based on a unique method of interval training called Balanced Interval Training Experience, or B.I.T.E. This precise running formula mathematically strikes a balance between aerobic and anaerobic forms of interval training and allowing runners of all abilities to run right, hurt less and burn more.

By balancing all four core principles of running: speed, incline, duration and recovery, Precision Running’s has three distinct results: the burn, the build and the body. It’s long been accepted that high intensity interval training destroys calories, but with the balanced approach (B.I.T.E.), the class’ unique design torches calories without putting a strain on the rest of the body. The class also helps build skill, confidence and endurance over the course of time resulting in a strong, long, lean runner’s body.

Unlike running on the treadmill alone, Precision Running is a high energy and exciting group running program that incorporates socializing and exercise into the hour-long class. The benefits are a high calorie burn in a short amount of time, with calculable data collection that provides runners with personalized specifics to help improve records and reach individual goals. For more information, visit www.equinox.com.

My Experience with Rachel at Equinox, Franklin Street, Boston

I was a little intimidated by the 50 minute long class, having only run about 25 minutes at a time as part of the couch to 5K program. But, this class is geared towards all levels and you can definitely go at your own pace!

The class takes place in the main cardio area of the gym, you just plug your head phones into the treadmill and you can hear the instructions.

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You start with a five minute warmup, and then do a mix intervals of running and recovery (which can  be walking or jogging) at different inclines. You never run for more than one minute at a time, and the total amount of running is probably around 15 minutes. Like I said before, you set your own pace, and I burned about 450 calories running 6.3 at my fastest!

The class ends with 10 minutes of abs and stretching, and there were some great stretches that were new to me and I definitely plan to use in the future!

Overall I loved this class and thought the instructor Rachel was excellent. Currently it’s limited to 9 people, and it’s been full every week since they started. I would seriously consider joining Equinox just for this class.

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Gilt’s 2014 Boston Warehouse Sale

Last week I attended Gilt’s warehouse sale at the Revere Hotel in Boston, and it was so much fun! I went on the first night, and scored some great pieces including:

This Chanel – esque blazer

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This really cute black dress

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These Bally black leather flats were probably the best deal – I paid around $120 for them, and they go for $495 on Gilt. I’m not sure the original retail price, but I’m sure it’s even more!

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I also spotted a Nike Fuel Band for $49.95 (which I would’ve bought if there was one in my size) and some girls walking out with a pair of Louboutins (sooo jealous!) and a Kitchen Aid mixer!

Here are a few tips for success at future sales:

1. Buy a ticket for the very earliest session you can attend. Do it early, they sell out fast!

2. Get there as early as possible, don’t bring a coat or a large purse and skip the coat check line

3. If you aren’t among the first to arrive hang out by the dressing rooms to check out items that others put back because they don’t fit

3. Wear leggings and a tank top so you can try things on over your clothes and skip the dressing room lines

4. Just before the sale ends is another good time to do one last look through everything to see what others have put back, but if you do this you will wait in a looong line to check out

5. Once you see the check out line start to form have one person in your group hold a spot in line while the rest of you take one last look around (and then switch out).

6. The check out line isn’t so bad, because there were people coming around offering drinks and snacks while you wait!

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Gilt Warehouse Sale Coming to Boston

I’m so excited that the legendary Gilt City Warehouse Sale is coming back to Boston next week! On Friday, September 12 and Saturday, September 13 at Space 57 at The Revere Hotel (200 Stuart Street) you can attend this pop-up shopping party and score some amazing deals!

Tickets range from $10 – $25 and include entrance plus complimentary cocktails, drinks, and snacks! Purchase yours here.

Complete Details

Guests can sip cocktails with their friends during the two-day shopping party, where they’ll find designer clothing and accessories from Gilt’s top brands for women, men and kids, plus home decor and more at up to 90% off retail.

Shop hundreds of the most coveted brands, from both up-and-coming designers and the most venerable fashion houses. Score designer finds from brands like Zac Posen, Helmut Lang, Missoni, Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka, Carolina Herrera and more. For the guys, think John Varvatos, Paul Smith and GANT, just to name a few.

Plus – for the first time, we’re opening up our exclusive VIP media preview session to Gilt City members. A very limited number of tickets are available to this session, so be sure to snag one to get first access to the sale!

Choose from 6 different sessions:

Early Access VIP media preview (limited number of tickets available to Gilt City members): Friday, September 12, 7PM-9PM, $25
Friday, September 12, 9:30PM-11:30PM, $20
Saturday, September 13, 9AM-11AM, $10
Saturday, September 13, 11AM-1PM, $10
Saturday, September 13, 1PM-3PM, $10
Saturday, September 13, 3PM-5PM, $10

Ticket also includes:

Complimentary signature cocktails
Fashionable, fun and affordable statement pieces by greenbeads by Emily & Ashley available for purchase
Complimentary snacks and drinks provided by Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, popchips and evamor

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