SoulCycle

Let’s Talk about Fitness

I have a couple of gift certificates for fitness classes that I’ve been putting off using for months. And now, since a couple of them are getting ready to expire, of course I’m going to try to use them at the very last minute!

First, let’s talk about SoulCycle.

Let’s. Talk. About. SoulCycle. SoulCycle-Logo

If you’re into the exercise scene at all, you’ve probably heard of this hyped-up indoor spin class. It’s gotten tons of celebrity endorsements and is a fav among Hollywood and New York fitness aficionados. I myself was partially motivated to finally check it out this week after Kristin Chenoweth tweeted about going in for her first time.

But let me tell you something about SoulCycle. It is HARD. Like, really hard. Think about the hardest exercise you’ve ever done, then put yourself in a darkened room with music blasting and people sweating all around you, and multiply that hard exercise by about fifty — then you’re at SoulCycle.

Let me tell you something else. I had never done a spin class before this. I didn’t even know how to clip into my bike. It was only a couple minutes into the workout when I had my first moment of, Am I going to pass out in this dark, windowless room today?

I have no idea how people do this. That’s pretty much my biggest thought. I get why they love it, because if you’re strong enough to stay out of the saddle the whole time (I’m not) and are motivated by the sweat and the loud music and yelling (meep), then you leave feeling like you’ve climbed a mountain. I left proud that I didn’t faint.

I liked that the room was dark — then I felt like I was alone with my shame. I didn’t like that there were supposed to be fans, but I couldn’t feel any air circulating. I liked the music.  I didn’t like that I couldn’t ride out of the saddle for very long. (Seriously, how do you do that?) I think I need to do a beginner’s class or something before I go back to SoulCycle.

Classes are $30 each, and you have to rent the shoes that clip into the bikes for $3. Many complain that this is on the pricier side. I think if spinning is really something that you’re into, and you want to get brutally (brutally) worked out for about an hour, it’s probably worth every dollar.

Next! Classes at Exhale Spa.

Exhale logo

Exhale has locations around the U.S. and offers core fusion and yoga classes. I tried a Core Fusion Barre class for my first time there (again, never done barre before), but I think it’s much more my speed. There was never a thought like, Wow, I just can’t do this, even though a lot of the exercises are hard, and I was definitely sweating by the end. I had a great instructor and felt like I got a lot of attention as she corrected some poses, pushed me harder, and encouraged me.

Overall I think I prefer to be in a yoga-style studio where the focus is on breathing and using your own body as resistance, which helps to find the areas that need more work and flexibility. It’s not as manic as a spin class. I left core fusion barre feeling refreshed, and like I wanted to high-five the whole world.

Exhale classes are just a bit cheaper at $25 each and all equipment is provided.

Of course both of these are excellent sources of exercise and great ways to keep in shape, but they’re not the only ones! How do you exercise? Have you barely survived a SoulCycle class too? We can be friends.

Featured image credit: domainehome.com

Park_Bench_1_by_bean_stock

Wednesday Playlists: A WALK IN THE PARK

Happy music for a walk in the park.

  1. “Bounce the Ball” by Rachael Dadd
    Such a simple song, but I love that clarinet with the banjo.
  2. “Down by the River (FlicFlac Edit)” by Milky Chance
    I got stuck on a lot of chillwave this week. I can’t get over the mix of gritty vocals and smooth backing on this one.
  3. “Magic Lady”  by Mayra & Mr.Mow
    A straight-up folksy Americana tune. But this group is French!
  4. “Logic of Color” by Wye Oak
    If you haven’t gotten into Wye Oak, do it. Their brand of smart, dreamy, folk-influenced rock is exactly what I love.
  5. “My Silver Lining” by First Aid Kit
    First Aid Kit’s new album, released earlier this year, is perfection. I’ve always liked this twangy Swedish duo.
  6. “Gold (Flume Re-Work)” by Chet Faker
    More chillwave. I can’t help myself! It’s so fluid, but those beats are so intense.
  7. “Evil” by PHOX
    PHOX just released their full-length album, and I’m very happy they’re getting some much-deserved attention.
  8. “Oblivious” by Miniature Tigers
    To finish, have some synth-drenched pop from Miniature Tigers.

Have a fabulous week. Go outside, enjoy some sunshine.

Featured image credit: Park Bench 1 by bean-stock

Just One of the Guys

Wednesday Playlists: Something Different

I wanted to do something a bit different this week. Since I’m really into a couple of music videos right now, I decided to share them as a playlist instead.

First is Jenny Lewis’ video for “Just One of the Guys,” which features Anne Hathaway, Kristen Stewart and Brie Larson as backup dancers — sometimes dressed as dudes.

You’ve probably heard that Weird Al is releasing a new music video every day this week to promote his new album, Mandatory Fun. My favorite so far is his “Happy” parody, “Tacky.”

And finally, I’ve been seeing this video of Lissie doing an acoustic version of “They All Want You” going around Tumblr for a couple of weeks. It’s such a great, heartrending track.

What videos do you like right now?

Have a wonderful week!

beach_through_the_palms_by_mogieg123-d4n5sdj

Makeup Monday: Beach Hair

In the summer months, the heat and humidity can make it impossible to control my hair’s natural frizz. So I ditch the straightener and decide to go for tousled looks popularized by stars like Blake Lively or Rihanna. Below are a few of my favorite hair products to help tame frizz and tangles.

Beach Hair Products

Pureology’s Sea-Kissed Texturizer is my first fav, and definitely has the most appropriate name for this post. A few spritzes of this salt-free product after showering leaves my hair fresh and wavy — it does a lot to calm the frizz and detangle, and is great for relaxed curls. Pureology is a color care line, and this product is made for highlighted hair (which mine is), but it could be great for anyone looking to texture their hair.

Next is A Beautiful Life’s Pregame Texturizing Spray. This is a great summer spray with a faint coconut scent that makes me feel beachy even if I’m just walking to the store. This one gives more scrunch (but no hard, crunchy curls), making for more volume and more of a “wild” curly look, so I use it when I want a more tousled head of hair. Think Lorde curls.

Finally, a creme option from Bumble and Bumble — their Curl Conscious Defining Creme. This is a product that is not heavy in the hair, one I definitely never feel. I like to spread this through my damp hair and then turn my head upside down and blow-dry for a minute. It leaves my hair soft and controlled.

Any of these products would be at home on the beach! What do you use to get a beach-ready, tousled look?

Featured image credit: Beach Through the Palms by MogieG123

shark

Someday Dog: SoCal Corgi Beach Day

Oops. This happened.

SoCal Corgi Beach Day

 

This past Saturday was the annual summer SoCal Corgi Beach Day, hosted by the SoCal Corgi Nation and held at Huntington Dog Beach. This year’s theme was “CORG-A-BUNGA.”

Despite this event including almost all the things I love, I did not know Corgi Beach Day was happening until a friend (and corgi owner) emailed me early that morning. At the last minute, I decided to hastily smear some sunscreen on and grab a towel so I could high-tail it down to Huntington Beach from Los Angeles.

Best decision EVER.

When I arrived, I met quite a few little friends and took way too many photos and videos. Throughout the afternoon, over 374 corgis and their owners came to the beach to socialize and participate in fun games… including a Fourth of July costume contest, corgi limbo, and a “who traveled the farthest” contest. Dogs of all kinds barked and chased each other through the waves. A corgi wearing a shark fin harness ran after his owner in the water.

Corgi Shark

I stood on the beach thinking, “MY PEOPLE!”

I also learned from this event that if I ever get the chance to have a white corgi, I am going to pounce. I NEED ONE. I saw this beautiful girl, Tegan, when I was there.

Fluffy Butt Tegan

Isn’t she the cutest? Her Instagram is fluffybutttegan.

 

All in all, even without a puppy of my own, I loved Corgi Beach Day and had a great time. I plan to attend — hopefully next year — with my new corgi in tow.

Photos in this post were all taken by me.

chris piascik

Wednesday Playlists: OKAY.

You thought I forgot, but I didn’t! Here’s a new Wednesday Playlist.

Been feeling a bit tired and worn out this week. Slightly “meh,” if you will. Just generally “over it.” I made a playlist to reflect these feelings, but also to hopefully inspire happier ones.

  1. “Little Pieces” by Declan/Mckenna
    This was featured in Hannah Hart’s latest TUNESDAY video, and I really dug the sound. I chose it for this playlist because the contrast between that bouncy little xylophone beat and the cute, quiet vocals perfectly matched my mood this week. I’m marching along, kind of halfheartedly, trying to have a better attitude!
  2. “The Sun” by The Naked & Famous
    A driving, motivating song that I’ve been turning to a lot when writing. This song doesn’t take any guff. Get your stuff done, or else.
  3. “I Am Not a Robot (Clock Opera Remix)”  by Marina & the Diamonds
    One of my favorite remixes of all time. Marina Diamandis has always had the ability to sound a little bit morose, even when singing catchy pop tunes.
  4. “Until Your Father Sleeps” by Slow Machete
    This is a layered song, distant and shuffling and wandering. Another one I’ve been playing while writing. It’s a song that makes me think of searching for things.
  5. “Dear Mother” by Cake Bake Betty
    Proud, unflinching, decisive. This song is more like the attitude I’d like to have.
  6. “People Who Blow About” by Liz Isenberg
    I can’t actually remember how I came upon Liz Isenberg a few years ago. Her album indifferent & imaginary is completely stripped-down and straightforward, filled with brief, heartfelt songs. It reminds me of simple times.
  7. “These Days (DUMBO Sessions)” by St. Vincent
    Found a way to squeeze a fav on here — both song and artist. “These Days” (particularly the Nico version) reminds me of a specific summer about four years ago, when everything was green and warm, and I was eating Raising Cane’s at every opportunity.
  8. “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones
    And the moral of the story is…

Have a great week, y’all.

Featured image credit: Chris Piascik

penny

Someday Dog: Corgi Research

I am undeterred. Since my first post, my wish for a dog has only gotten stronger. I’m looking mainly at corgis… though I passed at least three boxers while walking today, and one was looking at me pretty plaintively… and I saw a picture of basset hound puppies the day before… and… and…

I’m focusing on corgis for a lot of reasons, the foremost being that they’re FREAKING ADORABLE.

disco the corgi

Disco the Corgi

Corgis are also charismatic, intelligent, sweet babies with wiggly butts that I plan to someday love 24/7.

They’re a great compact size, making them a good possibility for an indoor pet. Though I would ideally prefer to have yard space for my pet, I’m not exactly sure when that’s going to be possible, and I don’t want to wait until then to get a puppy.

There is, however, the shedding to consider.

corgi shedding

That is a serious amount of hair. And as someone with mild allergies, this is… mildly concerning. I’ve been speaking to friends and acquaintances who live with both allergies and pets, and I’ve heard great things about the Furminator. Supposedly this tool will one day be my best friend.

In speaking to others and doing research, I’ve learned corgis can have bad back and hip problems. They can also have eye issues. Corgis are technically “dwarfed” dogs and have special needs. For example, because of the way their bones develop, corgi puppies should not overexert themselves until they are grown, at about one to one and a half years old. So don’t take that baby jogging!

red haired shanks the corgi

Red Haired Shanks the Corgi

That’s okay, because I don’t really like overexerting myself, either.

In looking for a breeder, I’m going to keep these issues in mind and find one who is certified through the American Kennel Club, and tests their dogs for hips and eyes. The hip testing will be done through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). I’ll want to find puppy parents who have high OFA ratings — hopefully “excellent” or “good.” And then my corgi will be the healthiest it can be.

chubby the corgi

Chubby the Corgi

I’m still learning, and still determining when it’ll be feasible to find my new best friend. I’m reading a lot of dog blogs and talking to as many people as I can. Any corgi owners out there have good insight on owning one? I’m always open to hearing others’ experiences.

tedford woofington

Tedford Woofington

One more. Just because.

Featured image credit: kellikrysh