Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Song of the Moment: Girls @ - Joey Purp ft. Chance the Rapper

You know I love my music. And my beats by dre. (I just wanted to type that out, "beats by dre.")

How did I discover this tune?

Fourth of July weekend. My sister's sister-in-law's boyfriend (now fiancé) played it on our way to the annual 4 on the Fourth road race in Bridgton, ME. I was diggin' it so I quietly shazam'ed it in the backseat of the car. - Why do I do that? What's so scary about just asking the person commandeering the tunes 'hey, what's this song?' I love when people ask me what I'm playing. - Note to self: stop shazaming things when not necessary.

When do I listen to this tune?

It's a pump-up jam, the gym, on my commute, pre-going out. Sometimes on repeat.

Have you been listening to any good pump-up jams lately? My "Gym 2" playlist could use a refresher, so let me know in the comments!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Using ClassPass in Boston

I'm late to the game; ClassPass has been in Boston for quite some time now (years) and I've only just come around to it this past March (2016).

What took me so long?
Some fairly legitimate reasons: price, budget math/fear that I wouldn't use it enough to make it worth the monthly fees, general aversion towards organized group fitness classes, and ok, straight up laziness, etc.

What changed my mind?
My sister suggesting a class on it for one of my visits to see her in DC. The fact that I could either pay $50-something to take 2 classes in DC while visiting my sister, or $65 for 2 classes in DC and then the remaining 3 more in Boston, sounded like the perfect time to give ClassPass a go. Pretty sure the 5-choice option was very new at the time. I hadn't known it was an option prior to investigating for that trip.

Why have I kept my membership?
First and foremost, it forces me to change up my usual workout routine (re: running only) and get in some cross-training workouts. But there are some other reasons I've kept ClassPass around...
  • Forces me to cross-train.
  • Classes are actually fun. I no longer hate group classes. Why did I before? Who knows.
  • I love doing the math in my head and figuring out how much I'm saving when compared to full price or even studio package deals (not that I would have purchased those options anyways, but hey).
  • I love the flexibility--no need to commit to one type of workout, one studio, one goal, etc. I can do yoga on a Monday after a long run Sunday or a HIIT class after an indulgent trip
  • The usability. So easy. Whoever designed the app is amazing. The interface is easy to navigate and makes searching for classes a breeze--I appreciate that.
  • It's practically everywhere. I can take classes when I travel to different cities, they're in Boston, New York City, Minneapolis, Washington DC, San Francisco, London, and more.
I'm even considering bumping up to the 10-classes/month option. I like it that much.

What have my favorite classes been so far?
Dibs on the following:
  • MyStryde in the North End: my latest obsession--treadmill based workout. I did the "endurance" class and loved how beginner-friendly this class was because I didn't know what to expect. I started out on the conservative side effort-wise but ended the 45-minute class feeling accomplished and satisfied with my workout.
  • Barre  & Soul in Harvard Square: went to a Vinyasa Yoga class and actually felt good about it. I have a very tough relationship with yoga; I want so bad to get better but I don't do it often enough to see any measurable results and I'm really un-flexible. Like, one of the more recent classes I went to (not this one) the teacher had to keep downgrading my modifications, on one pose in particular--and it was an open-level class! But I left Barre & Soul feeling like I had made some progress from this one session. I will be going back for sure.
  • The Handle Bar 45 in Harvard Square: I've returned to this studio the most during my time as a ClassPass member because I love the music, energetic instructors, and feel like it's a great cardio workout in general. They incorporate some arm workouts with weights, too.
  • Barry's Bootcamp in Downtown Crossing: located near my office, this is a very convenient option for me when I want an intense, 60-minute workout. I'm not big on weights so classes like this are great for me because they force me to get a good amount of muscle work in but also give me the cardio that I feel necessary to consider anything a "workout." Perhaps I need to adjust my mindset on that point.
  • Indo-Row in Back Bay: if this were more conveniently located, I'd go more often. The class is small, maybe 8 attendees, and everyone is on a rowing machine centered around the instructor. I was so glad I took this class because it turns out, I've been using poor form on the rowing machines for a very long time and straining my back too much. I had no idea, I honestly thought I remembered perfectly well how to properly use the rowing machines. Oops.
  • Turnstyle in Back Bay: another class I'd attend if Back Bay were easier for me to get to. I was so impressed with the instructors here--they seem like they could spin at maximum effort forever. How do they move their legs so fast? And I love how each workout is designed around a pre-determined music theme. I was seriously bummed I couldn't go to the Taylor Swift vs. Calvin Harris one--so topical.
  • Ride North End: this 45 minute spin class was a good cardio workout. My bike had 4 lb weights on it instead of the usual 3 so I was struggling during the arm portion of it, but definitely felt like I got a good workout in. The space was pretty cool too, in what looks like a converted garage with a smoothie bar attached that can have your pre-ordered smoothie ready for you when class is over.
  • Pure Barre (Brookline): gave barre another go at this place and definitely intend to go back. I didn't really break a sweat but I definitely embraced the shake. Sometimes in barre I'm just not sure I 'get it,' or that I'm doing it entirely right...
  • Vixen Army: went to the location in Back Bay on Mass Ave and wasn't sure what to expect, but I had a blast. It's basically Zumba for club dancing--great place to learn some new moves for the dancefloor. I felt like I got a good workout in (sweaty), but wished I wore a different outfit! Think: leggings, wedge heel sneakers, crop tops, Beyoncé.
  • ROAD+TRIATHLON (at EveryBodyFights, the club by George Forman): loved this intense cardio-only HIIT class. The class was equal parts treadmill, cycling, and rowing and by the time I got to the last one (rowing) I wanted to die. Or throw up. In a good way, of course. I will definitely be back, and look forward to trying a class that incorporates boxing, too. (Just experiencing the gym scene here was pretty energizing--you have to see it.)
Clearly, I don't seem to be able to completely shake the cardio lover in me. I've tried barre and pilates classes with ClassPass too but still don't love them. It's not them, it's me. I'll try more and make a point to include some that I like on this post.

Next on my list to try? Kickboxing. Stay tuned...

Thinking of signing up for ClassPass in Boston or any other city? Do it! Let me know what you think of it and what your favorite classes are, I'll be updating this post with any new finds I come across.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Tips for Getting That Summer Glow (and equating your tushie to the sun)

Tanning the natural way is not the best way for everybody.

If you're like me, you burn in less than 30 minutes when exposed to sun. Even if it's not prime sun time (12pm - 3pm), and even with SPF 30+ applied liberally. To add insult to injury, when you do burn, it hurts like a mofo for about a week, and then it just peels away  you're back to being pale AF and slightly more paranoid about getting melanoma and dying.

If you're not like me, well, must be nice, huh.

Either way, tanning lotion is always an option for getting a faux summer glow. Or getting a faux, summer-in-the-winter glow, too.

Tips for Getting the Perfect (Faux) Summer Glow

Come mid/end of May I am regularly applying Jergens Natural Glow tanning lotion in lieu of my regular post-shower lotion routine. This prevents me from looking too...translucent. But, sometimes I like to amp it up a notch or two from the gradual tanning lotion and head straight for the full-on tan with Kiehl's Sun-Free Self-Tanning Formula.
Jergens natural glow
Kiehl's self-tanning formula
(My go-to tanning lotions)
1. Start this process after you shower in the evening. Do not exfoliate or do anything out of the ordinary (shaving is ok).

2. Towel dry, remove all jewelry (earrings too), and pull your hair completely back and out of the way/ off your neck completely.

3. Apply your regular face lotion to your face (slightly less than usual), and apply a light amount of regular lotion to your knee caps, elbows, and creases of your wrists, fingers, and toes.

4. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Everywhere on your body that the sunshine touches. Your kingdom.

5. Do your face all over (eye lids, as close to under eye as possible, under nose), push lotion up into hairline as well, brush hand over ears, make sure you get the back of your neck and behind ears up into the hairline as well.

6. THE HANDS! The hands are the toughie, and usually the faux-glow give-away, so take notes: Dispense a generous amount of sunless tanner onto your hands and put it on your butt--do not rub it in all the way. Wash your hands with soap and water, lay a towel on the seat of a chair, and then sit on your hands, palms down so that your butt, is essentially, the equivalent of the sun's rays. Think: TUSHIE=SUN. Sit there for a minute or so, contemplating life and feeling good about staying out of the sun, and then you can remove your hands from under your sun bum.

Could I have asked for a better image result for this post? I think not.
Bums = Sun
(photo from here)
7. Wait 10-15 minutes before putting on loose clothing (if any) for bed (skip the undies, and nothing fancy-- just in case the lotion dyes fabric).

8. Optional: work a small amount of the lotion into your face lotion the next morning for a little extra glow.

Result: a tanner version of yourself that will have people wondering what tropical island you've just returned from.

Have you any advice or product recommendations for the faux-glowers? I'd love to hear it!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sweet Sweet Saturdays

Not gonna lie, I wore this outfit out and about Saturday during the day, on the dance floor at Landsdowne that evening, and then put it back on on Sunday. Ya know, for good measure.

Sweatshirt: Anthropologie // Jeans: J. Brand (via Marshall's)
Shoes: Franco Sarto (via The Rack) // Nails: OPI - Manicurist of Seville

Is it just me, or has Anthropologie been on fire lately? If I ever fell off of the Anthropologie wagon, I'm back on said wagon now more than ever. I even bought something at full price (gasp!) recently. Which if you follow my blog you know is something I never never do. Except this once. Or at Forever 21/ H&M/ Zara or other places where waiting for a sale means there's less than a 10% chance you're getting that item. Amiright?

What stores can you not stay away from lately? 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sweet and Tangy Brussel Sprout Coleslaw

Howdy partner!

I recently had a hankering for southern comfort food which turned into a homemade pulled pork and coleslaw. 

I wanted to lighten up the calorie count so I used a nifty substitute for the coleslaw dressing.

Shopping list:
- shredded carrots (which you could DIY but... I did not)
- 5 large brussel sprouts
- 1 small head of purple cabbage 
- 1 very small white onion 
- 1/4 cup mayo or miracle whip for a hint of tang
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (I use Chobani 0% fat)
- 1/8 cup white vinegar 
- 3 tbs sugar
- pepper to taste

*disclaimer: measurements are mental estimates, I believe I have a keen eyeball for measuring things so I generally don't measure things.

- shave (thinly slice) cabbage and brussels. Rinse, dry and place in large Tupperware container.
- dice onion.
- add all ingredients to container and shake, shake, shake (your booty, that is).
- marinate in the refrigerator overnight and enjoy (when I woke up I turned the container upside down to spread around the goodness).

Lasts 3-4 days in the refrigerator.

True story: I made this meal while dog sitting and staying at my parents place. I swung by to finish off the yummy left overs I had been dreaming about all morning the other day only to find that my dad had kindly beaten me to it

I'm still silently fuming to myself about it. And venting about it to the internet.

Lesson of the day? Make this in mass amounts.

I substituted Greek yogurt in place of more mayo in this recipe to lighten it up. Do you have any healthy substitute tricks you use? Leave a comment below!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

How to Make the Most of Your Daily Commute

I commute to and from work every day in my car. My drive can be anywhere between 40 minutes to over an hour (those days are the WORST). To reduce my risk of a heart attack from the stress of commuting, I try to make the most of my twice daily ride. Here’s how I like to spend my time commuting:

Audiobooks are a girl's best friend.  And they can be yours too. If you’re like me you have a list of classics that you’ve been meaning to read but never got around to them. Sound expensive? It’s not. Remember that fabulous wealth of free knowledge called the library? Here’s a pro tip: register your card for your library’s digital network. This way you can put items on hold for pick-up, browse titles, join waitlists, and get notified when your requests are ready for pick-up (and due!) right from home or on your phone.

This works for digital books too. Most books I read today are on my kindle and from the library. Don’t have a kindle? Me either. Download the kindle app, that’s free too. You’ll need an Amazon account as well which if you don’t have one, sign up now and welcome to the 21st century my friend, you too can have a shrimp ecosystem delivered right to your door (true story!). You can place a hold on books, create lists, renew titles, and more. The best part? No late fees! The books disappear when your loan ends. Which also happens to be their one downside and why I still buy physical copies of books I’m reading for book club. And then I sell them on e-bay.


There’s nothing worse than listening to an audiobook that's not engaging you, so don’t force it. I could NOT get through “The Great Gatsby” on audiobook but I wanted to re-read it before seeing the movie so I did put eyeballs to paper on that one and it’s one of my favorite books!

My favorites so far have been: “The Help”, “Perks of Being a Wall Flower”, all of the Dragon Tattoo books, “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime”, “The Art of Racing in the Rain”, “The Love Plot”, “Unbroken”, anything by David Sedaris is instantly funnier on audio- trust me, “Bossy Pants”, and “Lean In”

Books I did NOT enjoy listening to: “The Great Gatsby”, “The Princes of Ireland” (powered through it), “Middlesex” (powered through it), “Paris Wife”, and “The Time Keeper”

And yes, I count listening to a book as having read it. I read books with my eyeballs too so calm down I know what I’m saying. I've enjoyed some books in both forms and in some cases enjoyed them more in audio form! 

My newest commute buddy: Pod Casts!

This is a recent discovery of mine via a new friend. Your phone might have come with a pod cast app. If not, you can download it. It connects to your iTunes account.


Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips. This pod cast is easily digestible (pun intended) useful information about eating healthy. I like that each “episode” is short, usually under 10 minutes and addresses everything from more scientific matters that I remember learning about in my nutrition 101 class like HDL vs. LDL, smoke points of different cooking oils and why that matters, foods that can prevent a sunburn (um, thank you!), to how to make a healthy and tasty smoothie and the difference between California or "hass" avocados and Florida avocados. 

Spanish Grammar Review: This is Spanish language review for advanced speakers but there are many language pod casts for all levels! I use this one to keep my mind sharp (I fear I’m losing my Spanish language skills).

Social Media Marketing Podcast: This is a pod cast from Social Media Examiner, a blog that I follow religiously (it relates to my job). There are TONS of specialized pod casts in every industry, find ones that apply to your job and stay up to date with what’s happening.

If you’re like me, you’ll subscribe to a lot of things that you think you should because they'll make you smarter or help you own the stock market, but then you’ll never listen to them or you’ll try them out and decide they’re not for you and lose interest in pod casts altogether. Try to find pod casts on subjects that you’re genuinely interested in. Bonus? You'll have so much to talk about at your next social event.

Pro tip: download new pod casts when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you’ll use less data.


If you know me, you know that my missed life calling was to be a DJ. I love music. Sometimes I like to put on a great playlist, zone out and just brave the traffic. Singing along to music just feels right. When I have a good mix on that I can sing to (yes I shamelessly sing my car), I actually notice my mood improving. The only downside to this is that I get sick of music quickly and I don’t stay on top of updating my iPod and I don’t pay for Spotify or anything (I’d rather own my music thank you) so I only do this every so often.

Let me know in the comments if you have any audiobook or pod cast recommendations. You can find me on GoodReads and keep up with my posts on Facebook!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bomb Salad

I'm calling this one "Bomb Salad" because it's da bomb, and it's kind of a salad.

This quinoa salad is made with roasted sweet potatoes, beats, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black beans, and green peas.

It was going to be called "Casey Pony Salad" but then I started thinking about other salad possibilities that would better compliment the Casey Pony Sandwich, so I'll revisit that later.

Not gonna lie, I've been eating this same meal for lunch all five days this week and there's still more so get your tupperwares ready. Here goes:

You will need:
-1 can black beans
-1 can kidney beans 
-1 can garbanzo beans
-1 medium/large sweet potato
-4 Brussels sprouts
-3 beats (I bought the pre-cooked kind.. Surprisingly they were cheaper)
-1 head of broccoli
-1 bag frozen peas
-1 package of quinoa


  1. Cook the entire package of quinoa per instructions. Set aside.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
  3. Peel sweet potato and cut into pieces (about 1 square inch). Put in plastic Baggie with 1 tbs olive oil and seasonings of choice- I used pepper, garlic powder, and dried rosemary. Mix around until coated evenly. Pour potatoes onto a baking pan (do not cook the plastic baggie!) and place in oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes (ish)
  4. Chop chop the broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Sautée in high heat for about 3-5 minutes (I may or may not have used a little bit of leftover bacon fat)
  5. Slice up them beats
  6. Microwave them peas
  7. Drain and rinse all beans
  8. Divide cooked quinoa among containers (I made 5 go-lunches and still had a good amount of quinoa left over for later). 
  9. Divide the rest of ingredients among your go-containers as well. Store any remaining separately. 

Serve plain or with a little dressing, I tried it with this dressing recipe which I make on the regular and it was pretty dang dang good. Makes a great meal by itself or is a yummy side salad. At work I zap it in the microwave for about 1:25.  

Makes 8-10 servings, maybe more! 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Pear Lover Poser

I don't even like pears but I'll gladly wear them on my sweater- does that make me a poser? Ap-pear-entally it does. Ok I'll stop the pear puns.
sweater: J. Crew // pants: Sara Campbell // shoes: Ralph Lauren
glasses: Warby Parker // necklace: initial reaction
watch: DKNY // earrings: Ralph Lauren

This is how I do casual Friday (no jeans allowed).

It's hard to tell but... my pants? They're maroon. And they're my favorite. The kind of favorite where you have to keep track of when you wear them so that you don't accidentally become the maroon pants everyday lady at work. (But I also have them in navy, black, and taupe-nbd.)

What's your favorite color pant to wear to work?