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turks and caicos #bartrip.

11 Aug

Hi everyone!  So about two weeks ago I was preparing to take the bar exam, and a week ago I left for 5 nights in the Caribbean (specifically on the island of Turks and Caicos).  I went with one of my law school friends, Aviva, and we had a great time!

We stayed at the Club Med there, known as Turkoise.  I wanted an easy vacation that required little thought and allowed lots of time for relaxation, sun, and outdoor activities, and Club Med delivered.  I wasn’t wild about some of the cruise-ship type activities (aqua jogging? choreographed dancing? third-rate (at best) “shows”? No thanks)  But I did love the wide array of activities to choose from, the gorgeous turquoise waters, live music, an endless open bar, the fact it was adults only so there were no loud parents screaming at their kids (I love kids, parents are usually the ones who are annoying), and all of the fun, talkative people I met.

Here are some highlights:

Stand-up Paddleboarding!

10599138_10152214129796456_5074804215555824643_nI could not get enough of this.  I love SUP-ing in LA but don’t do it enough.  I got out four different times during my vacation.

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Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 9.04.46 AMI didn’t take a sailing lesson while I was there (next time) but I did go sailing with someone who knew what they were doing.  I used to sail when I was younger (woo-hoo sailing camp when I was like 12), but it was great being out there!

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FINALLY reading for pleasure:

I crushed The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in about two days and it is without a doubt one of my favorite books, ever.  It is an amazing blend of science, medical ethics issues, and law.  This non-fiction book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose cancerous cells were taken without her knowledge in the 1950s and became the first “immortal” line of cells, proving to be valuable for subsequent medical research for decades. Fascinating.

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Before I left, one of my Dad’s friends who I don’t even know mailed me a book for my trip — incredibly sweet and surprising.  He knows I am an avid runner (and Nike fan) so he sent me a biography on Bill Bowerman – famed University of Oregon track and XC coach (Steve Prefontaine, duh) and the brain behind Nike.  I’m about half-way through it now and am loving it.

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Running

The resort had a running group every M/W/F head out for a 5k and I joined them twice.  It was hot and humid, but I loved running with some new people and we kept a nice pace.  I met a sweet Dad and son duo from SF and a guy from Germany who asked if running was my “full time job.” Hah.

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Even though the runs were SHORT, the humidity really got to me and it made breathing pretty difficult! 10501787_10103354850988533_7433380317236588020_nSnorkeling

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We took a boat out to a reef and spent about 40 minutes taking in all of the gorgeous fish.  I loved the Princess Parrotfish I spotted.

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Sunsets 

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I loved spending the evening hours at the local bar – weirdly named “the Sharkies” to hear some live music and to watch the sunset.

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This was also a great time to meet other members at the resort.  During this time, Aviva and I became friends with the resort’s lifeguard, the resident DJ who HOOKED ME UP on the last night and played an hour straight of hip hop, two guys from Montreal who are also Dodger fans, and an older guy from my hometown who had on a cap with my running store’s logo on it, and many others.

This was one of my favorite parts of the trip — I liked that everyone at Club Med was social — it felt like a higher-end hostel, and I LOVED the hostel vibe when I studied abroad in Spain and again when I lived there again after college.

“Raging”

There was a party every night at the resort which was great.  Aviva and I had the most fun at the Pirate-themed one (randomly packed a skull-print dress #winning) and the party on the last night was fun too.  We met a super nice guy (kid?) who was NINETEEN and  I have literally never felt older.

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We also enjoyed lounging poolside and by the ocean (even I came back with a pretty gnarly sunburn).  This was the view from our room: 10580132_10103352519031793_7583800574037898765_n

I also liked the fact that there was a gym with tons of weights and machines, yoga classes, and the food (buffet style) was pretty good and there were tons of options.

I’d definitely consider going the all-inclusive route again, especially when traveling to a place where all you want to do is relax.

Where’s the last place you traveled to? Most exotic place you’ve gone running? 

vinyasa, vino, & my fav L.A.-dy bloggers.

28 Jun

This past Tuesday, I was privileged to attend “Vinyasa y Vino,” hosted by Whitney of To Live and Diet in L.A. and One Medical Group at General Assembly in Santa Monica!

IMG_7369I have been reading Whitney’s blog for awhile now and love how she balances studying to become a Registered Dietician with fitness as well as having a lot of fun in LA!  We hadn’t met in person until Tuesday, so I was glad I was able to attend!

The event kicked off with a fabulous 45 minute yoga class led by Jake Ferree  of Aura Yoga.

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I loved Jake’s style and the pace of the class. Since I started studying for the bar, I have been mostly doing spin, body pump, and running and have let yoga fall away a little bit.  This class was so energizing and also calming and it felt SO WONDERFUL that it reminded me I need to do more yoga.

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{Photo Credit: Leigh Green Photography}

I will definitely check out Aura Yoga again post-bar!

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After the vinyasa came the vino!  I enjoyed a glass of Chardonay from One Hope Wine.IMG_7375Every bottle sold benefitted a different charity, which I thought was pretty cool.yoga_13{Photo Credit: Leigh Green Photography}

I also enjoyed some tasty passed appetizers from Luvo, and I just learned Luvo is now doing in-flight meals with Delta! Sort of makes me want to book a flight just to try it…

I spent the rest of the evening chatting with some of my favorite L.A.-dy (get it?) bloggers.  It was so nice seeing Gigi, Ashley, and Katy!   I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I love how blogging allows you to meet people you wouldn’t otherwise.  When I recently met Katy for the first time in April, it felt like meeting an old friend, so it was so great to see her again and meet her fiancé.  I tried to seem as not-weird as possible so he doesn’t think it’s weird Katy makes friends online…

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Katy and Me!

Whitney gave out some raffle prizes and passed out goodie bags to everyone full of some great products.  It was one of those “how cool is this?” experiences and I am so lucky I had the chance to go.  It was a much-needed Tuesday night break amidst monotonous and draining bar studying!

I can’t wait to try these Luvo frozen meals…Maybe not 100% paleo, but a good healthy option.

IMG_7386…And some of the awesome products in the goodie bags.   So far I’ve LOVED the cherry cashew pure bar, hint water (I was already a huge fan),   and I love this Clean Plates LA book!

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The co-host of the evening was One Medical Group, and we all were given a free one-year membership to check it out.  My primary care physician is in my hometown, so I may check it out!

Thanks again for a great Tuesday night vinyasa y vino sesh, Whitney!

What would you rather do to de-stress: vinyasa or vino? 

nah, i’ma stay. [myyogaworks review]

10 May

[Disclosure:  I received a free six-month trial of MyYogaWorks in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own].

Yes, this post’s title is a line from the Yoga Girl video.

I recently heard about MyYogaWorks from Lindsay @ Fit and Awesome.  One of my goals for 2014 was to do yoga 50 times this year — I was right on track for the first couple months, but post-LA Marathon my desire to do yoga has dwindled noticeably.  I was really excited to get the opportunity to check out MyYogaWorks in the hopes of re-vitalizing whatever “yogi” may be lying dormant inside me.

MyYogaWorks is a subscription-based website with hundreds of yoga videos available.  Here’s just a short list of the different types and styles they offer:

  • Road Trip Yoga Classes
  • Yoga for Runners
  • Stability and Balance
  • Mindful Fitness Classes like Pilates, BarWorks, and SculptWorks
  • Relentless Flow
  • Nap Time Yoga for Moms

The videos range in length (from short 5-minute flows to full-on 90 minute sessions) as well as skill-levels, goals, and target areas.  I am not the most “zen” of people but yoga has helped my strength, speed, and has been HUGE for injury prevention for me.

I signed up for MyYogaWorks and got an email soon after suggesting a class — I liked this aspect a lot!

I spent part of last weekend at home with my parents (slash recovering from a friend’s really fun wedding).  I wasn’t up for a run, but I had my mom join me for a quick yoga session.  We did the 20-minute video suggested to me in the welcome e-mail, seen below.

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We both really liked the instructor’s style, pace, and structure of the class.  The stretching felt great and it was the perfect 20-minute yoga practice.

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My mom used a towel and let me borrow her yoga mat. She’s the best.

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Later that week, I incorporated a “stretching for runners” practice into my day after doing a morning run with Back on My Feet and a 5-miler in the afternoon.

There are so many other MyYogaWorks classes I want to try — and I know MyYogaWorks will be helpful when I start studying for the bar exam in a couple of weeks!

Do you want to try MyYogaWorks?  You can get your first month for only $5 using the coupon code “Blogger14

How do you incorporate yoga into your life?

controversial yoga in the park?

25 Oct

Yesterday I did my first Yoga Echo Park session (through meetup.com). The founder, Steve Arcos, teaches a 70 minute yoga class at Echo Park Lake free of charge (he asks for a $5 suggested minimum donation).

not taken at 9 am, but another cool view of EP lake

not taken at 9 am, but a cool view of EP lake

I have been on the hunt for a great yoga class. I like YAS DTLA, but it’s a little pricey and if fewer than 3 people are there for a class it is cancelled, which is a massive bummer. When I lived in West Hollywood, I tried to make it to outdoor, donation-based yoga at Runyon Canyon as often as possible.

I enjoyed the class and will be back.  There were about 6 of us taking the class and despite the loud noise of traffic rushing by the park, it was so nice to be outside. I had to jet off a few minutes before the end to avoid a parking ticket (street sweeping apparently…typical LA). My only other criticism was that the grass was pretty wet so my mat got slippery, but I could always get a thicker mat.

source: Facebook Yoga Echo Park -- YEP

source: Facebook Yoga Echo Park — YEP

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Echo Park Lake

The thing that struck me as weird, though, is the amount of controversy that has sprung up about the fact that yoga is being offered in a public space, for a “charge” [for people who do yoga, $5 is pretty nominal] and without a permit. The comments on this article in The Eastsider LA are crazy to me — if outdoor yoga isn’t your thing, wait the 70 minutes for the class to end and then do whatever you want on the small portion of the lawn the class takes up.

It makes me sad that something positive for the community is being seen in a negative light.  I doubt the founder is getting rich off of 3 classes a week in the park. His intentions are admirable:

“Having grown up around Echo Park, I remember when the park was frequented by gang members and derelicts.  I wanted to make sure that the park never returned to this so I came up with this class.

I am not sure what the rules are from a legal standpoint in terms of permits, but from a moral point of view I think Steve should continue to offer the yoga classes. If the park isn’t okay with it — they’ll seek him out and let him know. Isn’t the whole point of parks to allow outdoor recreation? How is this much different from runners or walkers utilizing the walking path?

I was happy to see HuffPost have a more postive spin on it this morning.

What do you think? Are your for or against yoga in the park? Give your two cents in the comments! 

Favorite place to do yoga in LA? 

fitness trends.

15 Mar

Hi blog budz – this week has been tough – I’ve been super busy and work was especially challenging. I’ll report more about that later in the next couple of days, but I wanted to get this post out first! I had a little bit too much fun last weekend (read: I may actually never drink again), and I vowed to get myself back on a healthy track this week. I got my fitness goals a little bit more in line…now here’s to hoping everything else starts falling into place!

Also, while most of the world was super concerned with words like “papal conclave” and “white smoke” on Wednesday, I was FLIPPING out about Google announcing the eventual demise of Google Reader. I’ve since calmed down. Well, except for the fact that I sort of want to switch to Bing and cancel my G-mail in protest, but let’s not get crazy. I transferred my RSS feed to Feedly. So far, I like it. It has a cool magazine-style layout, and they’re promising a seamless transition come D-day. (July 1, duh).

Anyway…

I work out mostly using what some call a “hopscotch method.” I belong to a gym, but I also like jumping into other studios, running and hiking outside, and mixing it up constantly. It makes working out MUCH more fun, and is also effective cross-training.

I’ve blogged previously about my experience at Pure Barre (one of my most commented on and cited-to posts) and SoulCycle (LOVE LOVE LOVE). I have a few more to add to the mix:

Cardio Barre Beverly Hills

source: Google

source: Google

Cardio Barre Beverly Hills

source: Google

I bought a deal through Living Social (or something similar) for 10 Cardio Barre classes. The deal expired in November, and I only made it to 7 classes. I’m not a barre convert by any means – I was never a dancer so a lot of the moves and footwork comes a little bit unnaturally to me, and I am not coordinated AT ALL. I felt like I worked out afterward, but I didn’t like this as much as Pure Barre. Also, the room is pretty big and they really packed us in there, so there was little to no correction or individual attention. On the plus side, however, is that Cardio Barre’s prices are much more reasonable than Pure Barre’s. I’d say check this place out if you’re looking to try a barre place, but if you’re already a fan of another studio, stay where you’re at.

Pop Physique (3rd & Fairfax Location)

3rd & Fairfax Location

3rd & Fairfax Location (source: Google)

poppin'

poppin’ (source: Google)

Pop Physique is another barre place that I checked out through a deal of some sort – this one was a 3 classes for $20 – I’ve used two so far but will probably use the last one. It’s all the same style of small, isolated movements, light weights, and some weird glute exercises up against the wall that I am convinced are made up and uneffective. I like the ambience/decor of the place (and yes, that is indeed a Marshawn Lynch reference, thank you). I also like the fact that the class sizes are smaller, and the instructors make an attempt to use our names. Still, not my favorite way to work out, but I did feel the burn!

YAS Fitness Center –  DTLA

source: Google

source: Google

source: Google

source: Google

Yeah yeah, I know you are all sick of me proclaiming my love for all things spin. While I’m not sure anything will top my SoulCycle obsession, YAS is a budget-friendly alternative. First class is free, newcomers can grab a 5 classes for $50 deal, and there’s a student discount. They also offer yoga classes which I need to be better about. The instructors are high energy and the music is up my alley – housey and full of mash-ups. It’s also nice that the classes I’ve been to so far haven’t come close to selling out, so the need to race there super early is slim to none. There’s lots of hills, seated climbs, jumps, and sprints – all the makings of a great spin class. It’s a little bit of an adjustment that “tap it up” in YAS-speak means something totally different than SoulCycle’s “tap it back” but what can you do? I like this place – and the sort of grungy, unpretentious (but still super nice!) furnishings. Oh, and free parking with validation = music to my angeleno ears.

CorePower Yoga – Wilshire Location

CorePower Yoga

source: CorePower website

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source: CorePower website

I have always been bad about incorporating stretching and yoga into my routine – and I need to get back on it. Whitney introduced me to CorePower last fall and we made it a habit for awhile to go to their weekly free Monday night class. I love one instructor there – Alex – he made it fun and very un-woo-woo which is a big deal for me. I normally burst out laughing when we have to “find our centers” or whatever. This isn’t a bikram studio, but the room is still in the 80 F range, meaning I am dripping in sweat before the first shavasana. This place will also give you one week unlimited for free, which I should make use of eventually. I’d recommend this place – it’s probably the best place I’ve done yoga (besides my days at Fred Segal in SM with Lori Steele who moved to Manhattan Beach..sad). 

What are other fitness trends, deals, or studios I should check out? I can’t wait to try CrossFit at Brick soon! Let me know your favorite places! 

crafts, córdoba, and crescent pose.

8 Jul

So after my mix of productive (10k) and lazy (pool lounging and margaritas) on the 4th, I was zonked on Thursday, although I did find my little field trip to the Mental Health Courts really interesting. Yay, Psychology! I had a random little day – field trip in the morning, swim workout (!) at lunch time, and then I popped back over to my judge’s chambers for a couple of hours.

Later that night, I met up with Aviva for an event at the Craft and Folk Art Museum on Museum Row on Wilshire’s Miracle Mile. We tapped into our crafty sides for an event put on by Etsy and Mark Montano to make our own zip-tie bracelets! For $7 we got snacks (there was also beer but I passed), enough supplies and instructions to make 3 bracelets, and free entry to the museum exhibits.

CAFAM.

The technique was pretty easy. Trim the zip-ties to fit loosely (bangle style) and secure with scotch tape. Then tie a string of beads to the zip-tie between the fourth and fifth beads, and wind the ribbon around the beads twice. Secure the ribbon with a little crazy glue and voila! Homemade zip-tie bangles! It was fun to flex my arts and crafts muscle for the first time in forever, even if Aviva had to help me at points due to my insane impatience.

We checked out the exhibits – there were two really interesting ones on baseball memorabilia and another on war. I want to make an effort to go to more museums – and will definitely try and make it to another CAFAM event soon…maybe the one next weekend about craft beer? Hmm.

Saturday involved some poolside lounging with my friend Armita, and I FINALLY re-created my favorite spanish dish, Salmorejo cordobés! I fell  in love with salmorejo when I traveled to Córdoba with my friend Laura and her (now fiancé) Juan to visit his family. His mother made this INCREDIBLE dish for us – it’s like a cold soup but I eat it as a dip. I need to make this every day, it is that good.

do not knock this until you’ve tried it.

Armita and I gorged on salmorejo and she made incredible stuffed red bell peppers. We also watched some of one of our favorite childhood movies – The Parent Trap with Lilo before she went cray. Such a classic.

sad.

I then realized that I am an old person. Early dinner and a movie and I was exhausted. That is mildly troubling.

Sunday morning Whitney, Riley, and I hit up yoga at Runyon Canyon. The instructor wasn’t my favorite at first, but I warmed up to him. He was crazy speedy with the sun salutations and I definitely think he’s in the “yoga is exercise” and not “yoga is meditation” camp, but I sorta dug that. By the end, I really enjoyed his no nonsense attitude and I had definitely gotten a good workout in. After yoga, we tried a new-to-me brunch place in WeHo, Basix.

The prices were great for the area – it’s hard to beat $8.50 for an egg white omelette in these parts. I went for a spinach-avocado-chicken apple sausage omelette and an iced coffee. I’ll definitely hit up Basix again, the service and food were both excellent.

Looking forward to a full week ahead! Here’s my workouts from this last week. I am trying to ramp up my cross-training by incorporating swimming into my routine, and work on doing things other than running so that I will actually be a stronger runner. I am eyeing a fall marathon and want to be healthy and strong.

Here’s to a happy, sunny, and healthy Monday 🙂

For my Spain-o-philes…what is your ONE favorite dish? 

la la land.

2 Jul

After a whirlwind weekend in SF, I was overdue to get re-acquainted with my home, good ol’ Los Angeles, this past weekend.

It kicked off on Thursday with dinner with 4/5 my law school posse at Toscanova in the Century City Mall. The pizza was delicious, but with everyone’s different eating styles we ended up looking like we ordered the big kids’ version of a kid’s meal.

kids’ meal status.

After dinner, we saw Moonrise Kingdom. It was quirky and weird, but also hilarious. I loved it.

Friday featured a trek out to the Chavez Ravine for my friend A.K.’s birthday to see the Dodgers lose ten-nothing to the Mets. Boo.

super dog + garlic fries.

No trip to Dodgertown is complete without some solid Dodger eats. And Friday night fireworks to get us in the mood for the 4th of July.

I got up bright and early on Saturday to pick up Whitney for a Malibu-filled day. First, we hiked to Escondido Falls – a short but challenging hike! Some of the rocks even had ropes you had to hold onto in order to hoist yourself up.

It was gorgeous and I totally recommend this hike.

We stopped at Malibu Kitchen for some sammies to take to the beach…

And headed to my favorite little pseudo-private beach in Malibu Colony.

On Saturday night, I met up with Aviva, Armita, and Aviva’s friend Kyle for the Eat. See. Hear. outdoor screening of Zoolander at Paul Revere Middle School in Brentwood.

If you know me, you know that Zoolander is one of my favorite movies (of all time) and that I quote it incessantly. (“Lucky for you no one I know reads your little TIME magazine or whatever it’s called.”)

I chowed at one of the food trucks – these are the Fingerling Potatoes and the Blackened Chicken sliders from the Vizzi truck. Pricey but they were both thebomb.com.

On Sunday, I got in a workout and ended the evening with dinner with my parentals on Larchmont Blvd. I have lots of posts on the way – my thoughts on taking a breather from oh-so-many IPAs, a fun Fourth of July 10k on the way, some recent workout reviews, etc.

Until then, and to keep up with my OCD tendencies, here are last week’s “hopscotch” workouts:

  • Monday: 4.52 mi. run + CorePower Yoga 
  • Tuesday: NROLFW 3A + 2 mi treadmill shakeout run
  • Wednesday: Cardio Barre
  • Thursday: 3 mi. run (AM)
  • Friday: OFF
  • Saturday: 4.2 mi hike (Escondido Falls) + 3.78 mi. run (PM)
  • Sunday: Spin

If you made it all the way here, I dare you to answer one of these:

What’s your favorite addition to your workout routine?

Do anything fun or funky this weekend?  

Favorite Zoolander quote?