Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks: Alo Block High Waist Mesh Insert Leggings and Nike Essential Logo Tank

I took two pieces from my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale haul for a spin today in a PiYo class and you guys…well…I know the trend is to gush, but this is an authentic gush. Let’s take it from the top down, shall we?

Picked up this classic Nike tank in a size medium (I’m 5’8″ and long-torsoed for reference) and it fit just as I hoped – slightly loose with enough space at the bottom to be flattering or to cinch in the waist by tying a small knot. The rust pink is a beautiful shade of blush that will pair well with dusty blues and grey, burgundy and black for fall.

The glamorous life: cat photobomb edition.
Tank
  |  Leggings  |  Shoes 

These leggings are my first experience with Alo (I know…what took me so long?!) and I must say they’re raved about for a reason. The fabric is thick, opaque and cut to figure-flatter while the mesh inserts are both stylish and functional, letting these stems breathe in today’s broiling PiYo class. Ordered a small and they fit perfectly; snug but not muffin-top inducing. They’re still in stock, so snap them up before they’re gone.

 

Still so glam, so photobombed. Stratty Boom, aka Tux E. Tux don’t care.
Tank  |  Leggings  |  Shoes 

Tory Burch Private Sale

Hey there! I’m going to gloss over how long it’s been since I last posted…sigh, gah, arrrgh. Long, uninteresting story short – we’ve had a lot going on since I came back from mom’s cruise in February. Everyone got sick, then my husband’s car hit the skids and had to buy a new one, then ill again, then potty training, because why not. I’m still trying to catch up on life, the blog, with friends and family.

Meatier content to come, but for now, I’m here to report today’s the last day of the Tory Burch private sale. I’ve been a Tory fan for years and whether it’s shoes, clothing or accessories (like my diaper bag at a crazy great price – 2000% recommend), you know you’re getting quality and timeless style. Here’s a few of my favorite picks from the sale – scoop up your goods before they’re gone!

Jeans: J.Crew  |  Shoes: Tory Burch (old, try these or these for spring and summer!)
Sports bra:  lululemon  |  Tank: Tory Sport (exact and similar here)

 

Durable and chic, with plenty of pockets. Changing pad included. 
This shirt is a workhorse – wear on its own or layer over tanks for the gym. It’s soft and light without compromising warmth.
This bracelet is a staple for me – it dresses up or down and doesn’t jingle, jangle or catch on anything. Perfect for the office as it’s not distracting or for anyone who wants a no-fuss yet chic bracelet. University of Kentucky fans, pick it up in blue!
Leopard wedges under $100? Yes, please. Perfect for spring and summer!

2018 Wellness Goals

Tis the season for indulging, whether it’s eating, drinking, shopping, lounging around not knowing what day or time it is, and then BAM! Straight into diet and exercise season. Such a harsh transition, isn’t it? This year, I’m hoping to ease back into real life a bit more smoothly than in years past. Jon and I have had nearly endless conversations about how we want to tweak our wellness and exercise plans for 2018; here’s how we’re working on our minds and bodies into the coming year.

Mind

Studies show meditation can benefit both your physical and emotional well-being by reducing anxiety and negative emotions, increasing patience, imagination and creativity, and may help people manage symptoms of asthma, chronic pain, depression, high blood pressure, sleep problems, etc1. The Headspace and Mindfulness apps are two my husband and I have tested in the past weeks and enjoy; they walk you through the process and offer 1, 2, 3 , 5, 10+ minute meditations. My 2018 goal is to complete guided meditations 3x a week for overall wellness and anxiety management.

Green top: lululemon  |  Black top: lululemon  |  Tights: lululemon  | Scrunchie (for realz): lululemon  |  Mat: lululemon  |  Weights:  Amazon

Body

Gym/BBG:

While I’ve attended HIRT and cardio classes at our local YMCA, I’ve also added Kayla Itsines’s Bikini Body Guide, or BBG, to the mix. Using the Sweat app, I’ve added BBG workouts when I can’t get to the Y. Guys, they are INTENSE in the best possible way. I love that the moves are tried-and-true (no inventing variations just for invention’s sake), they get the job done in 28 minutes and most of all, they work! Follow Kayla on Instagram and check #BBG – there’s no shortage of before and afters, testimonials and legions of fans sharing results! I love that she also posts workouts to her Insta, allowing you to test out the program before buying. More often than not they’re bodyweight based or require very basic/minimal equipment, making them perfect to have saved when traveling or times when you just can’t hit the gym.

Training:

For the past month, I’ve worked one-on-one with my dear friend Noelle Yanik, named one of the top trainers in the country by Women’s Health Magazine and competed as one of the final 5 contestants for the Next Fitness Star Competition. Amazing doesn’t begin to describe her – she’s not only my friend and confidant, but she’s encouraged me to try methods and practices I hadn’t considered in the past, with results I can see in just 30 days. Every session with her is a treat (really…even when sweating and out of breath!) as not only is she an excellent and renowned professional, but she’s just a joy to be with. Follow her on Instagram, where she shares workouts, tips and meals and check out her ebook, Unbreakable Core, to strengthen your core and lift the pelvic floor post-partum.

Running: the lululemon 40 | 80 challenge

The lululemon 40 | 80 challenge starts on January 2 and ends on January 15 – the goal is to run either 40k or 80k outdoor miles (no treadmill!) within that timeframe and log your successes with Strava, an activity-tracking app/website that’s also a social network for athletes. Rumor has it if you complete the challenge and show your Strava badge in person at your local lululemon, you *might* get some free swag! That alone is motivation for me to giddy up and go. Follow the journey on Instagram and at #4080challenge.

Green shirt: lululemon  |  Black shirt: lululemon  |  Tights: lululemon  |  Shoes: Birkenstock |  Workbook: Amazon |  Water bottle: Target

 

What are your health and wellness plans for 2018? Anyone else sloooowly easing into it after a month of decadence?

1A beginner’s guide to meditation. (2017, October 17). Retrieved December 30, 2017, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

 

Fit to Fight/Krav Maga: Weeks 1-2 Recap

For better or for worse, exercise-wise, I tend to stick with what I know. Typically I’ll do HIRT on Tuesday and Wednesday, cardio on Friday, weights or cardio Saturday and on a good week, a Sunday run or long walk. Recently, some friends and I decided to sign up for a 6 week, 12 session evening Fit to Fight krav maga class. Krav maga, the official combat system of the Israeli Defence force, combines elements of self-defense, fighting with cardio and strength. I took a self-defense course years ago but recognize the skills and techniques taught could use refreshing. Also, my usual routine became, well, routine.

Here’s a recap of weeks 1-2 and what I’ve learned so far…

Week 1-2:

Our class consists of eight women and our instructor, so the class size is great for pairing up and one-on-one instruction. We received shinguards and boxing gloves (legit!) to use when sparring, then kicked off our course with learning the fundamentals – a jab, a hook, a cross, etc, as well as determined what our fighting stance would be by working through positioning our feet. We shadowboxed to gain comfort and familiarity with the moves, learned self-defense tactics (how to release from a chokehold, etc) and how to do a power slap, then worked on sparring with a partner to practice techniques learned.

Our primary gear – shinguards and gloves

I won’t lie – once we received our shinguards and gloves, I was a little intimidated. However, our instructor provided guidance to make sure everything fit properly and would protect effectively while sparring. Once I put everything on and started to box with a partner, I got increasingly more comfortable with the gear and the concepts. It’s not intuitive to hit or kick your friends, so there was no shortage of laughter and “oh, I’m sorry!” as we practiced.

After my Tuesday and Thursday evening sessions, I was worn out! Friday’s usual workout didn’t happen and I found my shoulders, wrists (from punching) and back were still a bit sore on Saturday. Here’s to hoping for Michelle Obama arms by the time the class concludes.

Not exactly Michelle, but bruised up from manhandling. Top: sold out in this color, more here.

To wear or not to wear:

Be sure to bring your gear to every class – I packed a gym bag with my shinguards, gloves, mouthguard, water bottle, Burt’s Bees (I’m an addict!) an extra hair tie/bobby pin, deodorant and a small bag to store my jewelry. That said, jewelry isn’t recommended – no rings, bracelets, earrings, etc. – so that can also easily be left at home.

Really, anything goes, from tanks and shorts to a sleeved shirt and tights. I typically wear a short-sleeved shirt, tights/yoga pants to class and training (these are gorgeous!) or running shoes. Several of the maneuvers require you to have your arms around a partner, so I prefer to have sleeves covering my armpits vs. wearing a tank. Here’s to hoping my partner appreciates it, too *laughing emoji*. I also like the coverage tights provide when doing floor work, so I tend to stick with those over shorts. It’s truly whatever you feel most comfortable in, though, and I could see where the openness of a tank provides the maximum range of motion for punches.

You’ll get close to your partner – all up in their face and body as you pretend to attack each other – so while there’s no need to shower and perfume yourself as if you were headed for a night out, I now spend a few minutes cleaning myself up a bit prior to class so my partner doesn’t get an unsavory whiff of pit.

As we moved into week 2, we started training barefoot, so socks and toes will be visible; an instant reminder that I needed a pedicure and to not wear that pair of socks that are so comfortable yet so embarrassingly worn out. Speaking of…a small yet pro tip: keep your nails short! Long nails dig into your palms while making a fist. Feel free to use this as an excuse to add a mani onto your pedicure; just make sure they’re hacked back to where you can comfortably hold your hands into fists.

Yellow top: New Balance for J. Crew | Pink top: lululemon swiftly | Pants: New Balance for J. Crew | Shoes: Birkenstock | Water bottle: Ban.do

Lessons learned:

Look through your eyebrows. Never leave your jaw undefended. Clench your jaw – you’re trying to rattle brains and bones with a punch. Stay on the balls of your feet. Prepare to move quickly and in short bursts of effort – it’s a workout that is far more of a sprint than a marathon. I also have increasing confidence that if the worst were to happen, the skills I’ve acquired thus far will help me defend myself. Also, plan to adjust or taper back on your regular workouts as well as tweak your diet in order to save fuel for krav maga. I’ve increased complex carbs just a bit, gone to bed a little earlier and omitted one HIRT class to save energy for classes.

Stretch, stretch after class and a post-workout beer with your classmates may help ease any immediate soreness. 😉