Twice in One Week

Well, we made it to Friday. How is everyone feeling? I am exhausted. I’ve been doing a lot lately (and by the time I get home at night, blogging is out the window!), so I’m ready for some R&R tonight. And perhaps some wine. Lots of o’ wine!

I mentioned on Wednesday that my friend Mel is in town with her hubby and his work for a convention… well, that convention is for helicopters.  Super cool, right? (He’s a helicopter mechanic by profession.) So yesterday I picked Mel up and we headed over to the convention so Nia could experience something new and interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever really been up close and personal with a helicopter, so it was pretty fascinating. Nia kept calling them ‘airplanes’ but hey, I totally get why – some felt as big as airplanes.

This particular one floats on water. Mind = boggled.

The going rate on a helicopter is well above what I ever would have thought it to be. It seems I have a bit to learn in the area.

Apart from going to this and all the other activities, we have been partaking it, like kiddie pool swimming, or lululemon shopping (and taking selfies to ask the husband if these are valid/good items to purchase),

I’ve also been fitting fitness classes in like my life depended on it.

Remember me saying on Wednesday how I hoped Pure Barre didn’t destroy me? Well, ya, it did, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the music, the moves, and how different the workout felt compared to others. Plus, picking a morning class on a Wednesday luckily meant only a few other people and not a jam-packed room.

I was thankful that Mel braved it with me for the first class ever just because new situations are always a little intimidating (especially when you arrive there with only a few minutes to spare, which we did). We gave each other multiple looks throughout the class, like, holy eff this kills, which was nice to know we were on the same page. I left feeling challenged, but not overly in torturous pain. And then the next day happened: calves, my butt, my side above my hips sore – all places I wasn’t expecting! (I also should mention that I did attend hot yoga that same night, so maybe it was the combo of the two that put me over the edge.)

And then I did what any (in)sane person would do – I registered for another barre class for today (this afternoon). I only have four days left to use my ClassPass and I love that I can attend Pure Barre two more times with it (because it’s a total of three max at the same studio). After today’s class, I hope I can make it to another one on Monday. I can’t wait to see what today’s workout has in store and how my muscles will react to being re-challenged so soon!  I think my body secretly likes all the challenges I’m putting on it lately. Plus, it really needs a bit of butt-kicking.

And then for the weekend, my agenda is as so: vino drinking tonight, possibly with popcorn, farmers’ market on Saturday morning, which I hope my grandparents will attend with me, and then heading to meet up with Tyler on late Saturday afternoon because he’ll be away this weekend at a golf tourney for his players. Nia and I are going to keep him company one night and then hang by the pool while he works.

What are you up to this weekend?

Have you ever tried Pure Barre? If so, what was your first experience like?


The Future of Working Out + YouTube Videos

And just like that, it’s Friday! Where the week goes is beyond me. Also, where has the month gone? Doesn’t it feel crazy to think that we’re nearly halfway through February? I seriously need time to sloooooow down a little bit so I can enjoy it a bit more.

Anywaaaaaays, I wanted to dive into something I like to consider the future of working out because it gets me really excited.


If you’ve never heard of ClassPass before, then you’re in for a treat. I was contacted by them to try out their service because it just launched in Orlando!!

What it is, is a monthly membership that gives you access to the best fitness studios in your city. Instead of committing to just one gym or studio, why not try out multiple, but pay a monthly-membership that doesn’t tie you down to anyone?! You have the freedom to try them all because ClassPass gives you unlimited classes to the studios in the ClassPass network. You can essential go to as many classes as you want to in your monthly membership cycle; try out one new thing, or try them all!

[One thing to note: While you can visit as many classes as you’d like per month, you can only visit the same studio up to three times per monthly subscription cycle.]

When I initially found out about this concept, I was very on board with it. Even the hubby thought it was a super cool idea. Why should I have to commit to one gym that may deliver amazing on one thing, but sub-par on another? I’ve been wanting to try out Barre for months and now I have the chance to do that. But, I can also do hot yoga, a boot camp, CrossFit, and the list goes on!

I promise you this word-venom spewing from my mouth is pure because I think this is a great idea and one that fitness forgoers have been longing for! Just two more things to share.

First, the log-in details of ClassPass. This is the screen once you log into your ClassPass account.

I love the simplistic nature of showing you all of your options; how to book your first class, upcoming classes, and completed classes. This might be good for those wondering if the membership is worth it to them, depending on how many workouts they’re actually getting out of it. Plus, it gives you the details on when your cycle will end – so hey, maybe you want to squeeze in another two workouts before it ends to round off a stellar month.

Next, searching for and selecting a class (by clicking on the ‘class schedule’ link seen in the screenshot above).

It shows you all the available class options for that day (or whatever day you choose to select at the top), with the ability to reserve a spot online. When I first logged into this two days ago, I loved seeing it for two reasons.

Reason #1: Being new to the area, unless I’m randomly googling for fitness studios, I really have no idea what’s out there. And even with googling, there’s no way I would have found some of the options listed above because I would have never known to type in those exact words for the search form (example: The Bar Method – did not know it even existed here!).

Reason #2: I’m a visual learner, so seeing all my workout options in one place for a specified day is music to my ear’s eyes.

I have SO many new fitness classes I can’t wait to try. I’d love to update you guys on how some of them are if you want me to. Not a full-blown post, but just a little info about what I attended and how it went.

I’ve paid $15/class the last two weeks for hot yoga, so my goal is to use this pass at the very least 5+ times over the course of the month to make it worth it (i.e.: to make it like “paying” $15 or less per class, as if I was paying for each individual class). Where we’re located in Orlando isn’t exactly centralized, which is where a lot of the classes are, and that’s one reason why I won’t be attending classes every day. You bet though that I’m going to try and attend as many as I very well can in the month. My grandparents come to Florida on February 26th and they’ve expressed that if I need to get out on my own at all while they’re here, they’d be happy to watch Nia…SOLD!

Ok, now I need to ask you some questions that go along with YouTube videos. It’s only three videos and they aren’t mandatory for watching, but you might enjoy #1 and #3…at least #1. And you don’t even want to know how many Frozen related videos are stored in my history thanks to Nia. It’s like I have a Frozen obsession or something (oh wait, my daughter actually does!).

  • Who is seeing Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend?

Originally, I didn’t think I would ever want to watch the movie or read the book, but multiple TV ads later (for the movie) and I think I’m ready to watch the film. It could be for the actor playing the lead, or just to see what all the fuss is about. But I’m not telling you which is the real answer.

Also on this subject, if you haven’t seen Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades main star) on the Jimmy Fallon show doing a Fifty Accents of Grey game, then you must watch it below. Hilaaarious.

  • Has anyone heard the Florida Georgia Line song ‘Sippin’ on Fire’?

I just heard it for the first time yesterday aaaaaand I loved it. I heard it in the car and proceeded home to listen to it another 5-10 times. There’s no legit music video yet, but here’s the song made video form.

  • Do you need some perspective on how great your life actually is?

I saw this video a couple weeks back when I was reading an email from a website I subscribe to and they linked to this video. It’s Louis CK on how everything is pretty awesome, yet we’re never happy. Obviously, he’s a comedian and you laugh at his references, but it really does make you think!

That’s it!

And now for you all to have a good weekend! I have some good content coming your way next week, so look forward to that! Also still debating whether to take Monday off from blogging or not. You’ll know by Monday, haha ;).

Disclosure: Although I am being provided one complimentary month of ClassPass to try out for myself, I was not instructed to write this post on behalf of them. I am purely doing it on my own to help spread the word because I think it’s a pretty awesome concepts for those interested in fitness.


Trying Three New Things in Orlando

{Note about the blog: I experienced some issues this morning and had to revert to a backup from yesterday morning, so this is actually my second time posting this post. Plus, I lost my post from yesterday, which will be coming back up later. Sorry if you commented in between yesterday morning to this morning and it’s now lost!!}

Hello and happy Tuesday.

This is my attempt to take the focus away from any blog-related problems I’ve been having because that’s so boring. Instead today I want to talk about my new stomping grounds and the fact that I was able to visit three new places this past week. The neat thing is that they’re all completely different and that going to them makes me still feel like a tourist. I told Tyler that the defining moment of when I won’t feel like one anymore is when I won’t have to depend on GPS to take me somewhere. Let’s just assume that, that won’t be happening anytime soon. I can barely learn the highways, let alone understand which direction they run. This also means I’ll probably keep enjoying the tourist attractions while figuring out where all the locals hang out.

I wanted to showcase each new place I visited in order of appearance, so let’s first rewind to Thursday morning.

1. Brook Hollow Farm

A friend invited me to go strawberry picking at a farm located not too far from us: Brook Hollow Farm. The cool thing about this farm is that it’s actually a hydroponic farm. What this means is that they’re able to deliver the right amount of nutrients to the strawberries every day because the strawberries are actually not planted in the dirt. The set up looks like this:

The strawberries grow instead in a mixture of Vermiculite and Pearlite, which are both natural resources. And because there is no soil, there’s no reliance on pesticides, so they pride themselves in using only organic products, which leads to delicious and safe fruit.

You actually take scissors with you when you go picking and cut the strawberries off the stems leaving some still intact, which helps to deliver additional nutrients to the strawberry once it’s been picked and keep it fresh longer. I was thoroughly impressed with the whole process and couldn’t stop myself from filling up the basket.

It’s probably wise that you don’t know how much I ended up spending on strawberries, along with how many still remain in our fridge, but even still, it was so worth it. I’m already thinking ahead to the next time I can take Nia back.

Here she is with her friends.

2. Ethos Vegan Kitchen

I had heard about it before moving to Orlando from various people, but last week it came up with two different people on separate occasions, so we decided to check it out on Saturday night.

We didn’t book a reservation, so we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, which was understandable because it was a Saturday night.

Ethos Vegan Kitchen is your “classic foods” style restaurant that tries to showcase the comfort cuisines you’re used to. I think it’s a great concept and the restaurant was busy the entire time we were there. Not that I can tell the vegans from the non-vegans, but it looked to me like there was a big variety of eaters there. Maybe that’s how they have the pull: it’s vegan, but it’s a dish that you’d enjoy on a regular menu, so people are a little less intimidated to eat an exclusively vegan restaurant. That’s just my theory. Roll with it ;).

We decided to do appetizers + entrees and started with garlic knots.

They were so warm and doughy, and delicious. I really enjoyed these, but I’ve become one of those picky (vegan) eaters and could tell that the butter was just with original Earth Balance, whereas we only use organic whipped in our home because it has a far better taste. I’ve become a brat, I know!

Next, we tried the soup on special, which was a vegetable medley.

This was sub-par at best because it majorly lacked flavor. It had a nice amount of veggies in it, but I really needed more herbs or something!

For dinner, Nia got the pasta primavera with parmesan off the kids’ menu.

I got the Sheep’s Pie (mashed potatoes with veggies smothered in gravy and then oven-baked).

And Tyler got Yo Mama’s Lasagna (lasagna noodles with marinara sauce and noodles).

I enjoyed my dish, but I was filled to the brim (I think it was that + the appetizer combo). I had Nia help me finish my dinner. Tyler had he was ok, but he’s also become a snooty eater. I think I probably created that problem because of the way I cook at home. Whoops!

Overall, we thought it was a good place to try, but after feeling like we had to be rolled down the hallway after eating, we agreed that we enjoy the vegan-style restaurants that focus on power bowls and the like. Don’t get me wrong, it was good, but I like feeling good after a meal, also. Someone the hubby convinced me to work out that night after eating. It was probably the right call for feeling better.

3. Disney Boardwalk

On Sunday, we were trying to figure out what to do on the hubby’s day off. He usually works six days a week, so I love when he gets a day off and we can actually go somewhere. He came up with the idea of going to the Disney Boardwalk. What that is, is a collection of restaurants, entertainment, and recreation. We thought it would be something nice to do that was free – the biggest motivator for going someplace new. When we first arrived we actually ended up getting a margarita.

Then we started to do the walk around the boardwalk (which is 0.8 miles in length, which I discovered on a sign).

After a bit of walking, we went back to where we arrived and decided to rent a bike for 30 minutes. That way we could tour around the full boardwalk; something that wouldn’t have happened while on foot with a toddler.

It really is a gorgeous setting. There’s a little beach at one point (but don’t swim in the water – eek!), a path that would lead into Epcot, and access to a bunch of hotels, including the Swan & Dolphin.

We ended up looping around the boardwalk twice but stopped on the beach on our second lap because we had some extra time before we had to return the bike.

I can tell Nia had a lot of fun because whenever we stopped pedaling (i.e.: after getting up the hills, while huffing and puffing the entire way up) she would tell us, “Keep going!” We know who runs the show.

The bike, itself, was awesome too. We got a 3-seater, but they had bigger options to accommodate more. Whatever option you choose, the two seats on the outsides can pedal, and the person in the “driver’s seat” has control of the steering.

After we finished up on the bike, we headed out because we had a tired little conductor on our hands. As we were leaving, I thought I saw my fellow ZOOMA ambassador, Mary Beth, but I wasn’t quite sure. Turns out it was her (I sent her a message on twitter!), and wish I had stopped to say hi. Next time, MB???

That adventure made me want to get a Disney pass even more than ever. I mean, it honestly is in our backyard (as I learn the more as we venture over there), which means it’s pretty much a given that it should happen soon.

I can’t wait to keep updating you with Orlando attractions as we continue to find/visit them. I received an email about doing an Orlando post on non-touristy places to visit and it seriously is my mission to make that happen. Oh darn, it just means that Nia and I will have to start venturing out more. Such a tragedy!

Every been to any of the above?