Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Why Flex City Fitness in Lansing is The Best Workout [review]

I'm almost done with a 2 week new student special at flexcity fitness and I am in love.

FlexCity is what I would describe as a bootcamp style fitness class. Each class is 56 minutes long and includes cardio, strength and flexibility.

source: flexcity facebook. also thats me! on the spin bike on the right in the pink tank. go me!
The cardio is accomplished through time on both the spin bike and the treadmill, but if you have an injury that would prevent you from doing one or the other, you could surely just do all your cardio on one machine. Most classes the cardio component is either 10 minutes on each, or two sets of 6 minutes on each.

The strength component changes each time. The classes I've attended have utilized the following equipment: weights, barre, magic circle, TRX, bosu, scooters, resistance bands. The instructors are great at providing modifications for injuries, and fitness level (in both directions -- more challenging and easier options).

The class splits up into groups to accommodate the various stations - 8 on bikes, 8 on treadmill, and the other half of the class on the floor. and then we swap.

The studio is clean and bright -- its my understanding they knocked down some walls to open up the space and it honestly looks great. There's a large open floor area for strength and TRX work - plenty of space to spread out without worrying about whacking your neighbor with your hand or even worse your weight. The treadmills are up against one wall, and the spin bikes are usually in line with the treadmills, unless its a day when we're using the bar.

There's a good amount of mirrors to keep an eye on form and how sweaty you're getting.

I've used my heart rate monitor for several of the classes, and hit over 500 calories burned on all of them.

The instructors, Trista and Jenny, are great. They really know what they're doing, are motivating, are great at cuing form, and really just incredible. I know I could never keep track of what's supposed to be going on in 3 different places at once!

Interested in signing up?

New students get their first class free, and then they also offer a new student special -- 2 weeks unlimited for $35! (which I am totally taking advantage of. I've been 6 times already!)

There are two locations, one in Lansing and one in Grand Rapids. The GR location has a groupon special right now -- it's totally worth it!

Despite only having been at flex city for less than 2 weeks, I'm already repping flex city and bought an "I ♥ Flexcity" tank. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

TiLT #11: how sweet eats, oberon, michigan capitol

perfect shot of the capitol at sunset.

love love love this photo. may even get it printed and framed at some point, because its that awesome. seriously just some really good timing.

first oberon of the year

love this beer. makes it seem like spring/summer even if the high today is BELOW FREEZING. ::snowman emoji::

how sweet eats pork enchiladas & shrimp quesadillas.

i made the full recipe of these on sunday and they were gone by wednesday. and Joe only ate them twice. they were just so so good. i may have liked the quesadillas more? its hard to decide. there's just something about baked corn tortillas that just speaks to me.

little loves: a clean car (although lets be real, maizey hair will be all over it again soon) | flex city (review coming MONDAY) | runs followed by beer | an accommodating YMCA | runs w/ high school friends | starbucks birthday cake frappuccino | free indian food | maximizing chase freedom 5% cash back | lunchtime trips to horrock's for basically just snacks |

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Upcoming Races

1) Gazelle Girl Half Marathon - April 19, Grand Rapids Michigan

I'm excited for this! One of my good friends ran it two years ago and really enjoyed it! I'm excited for it -- plus I have 3 friends running it. It will be my first "all-girl race" which I'm also excited about -- gotta love girl power (def. putting some spice girls on the playlist for this one!)

half marathon tee on the right! 
and charm on the left! (source for both: gazelle girl fb)

2) Fifth Third Riverbank Run 25K - May 9, Grand Rapids Michigan

My very first 25K! I think that there's a chance this will be my "goldilocks distance." I love halfs, hate fulls, but always feel like I can go a bit longer on  the half marathons. So I think 25K (which works out to ~15 miles) will be perfect.

Plus, by running both of these races, I'm gonna get this bad boy:

looooove great medals :)
So that's the racing agenda. In terms of training, I'm trying to squeeze in long runs on the weekends, and my mile-a-day for lent is keeping my running endurance up as well. I did 7 last weekend, am looking forward to 8 or 9 this weekend, and then there's a few more weekends to go before gazelle girl!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TiLT #10: irish carbomb cupcakes, irish soda bread, march madness


cheating on lent on st paddys day

i think this started 1L year when J gave up alcohol for lent and then decided he would drink on st paddys. last year i gave up sweets as well, and I'm pretty sure I still made irish car bomb cupcakes for st paddys. and I did the same thing this year. And they are just so so so good. I finally used the dutch process cocoa powder the recipe calls for and i think it makes all the difference. love you tj's cocoa powder, but the dutch process ish is so much better. So i ate a cupcake. and irish soda bread. *heart eyes emjoi*

March Madness

I didn't make brackets until law school and now its just so addicting. sad my team isnt in it, but i'll still bracket along. I named my bracket "unbreakable" aka kimmy schmidt. but its already pretty broken (WTF 13 seeds!)

little loves: hannah brencher's monday morning email this week | door to door organics (full post/review coming soon) | being a birchbox book club winner | and a origins original skin/quarter life crisis winner! | flex city (also full post coming soon!) | a no spending money week until butter london nailpolish was 40% off today. whoops. bought this and this | julep's march box  (basically the colors in that photo) | maizey's barkbox | this recipe. now i just need an occasion |

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wednesday Ramblings

1) yesterday i walked into target at 8AM and bought a six pack of beer and a bottle of kombucha. Now it was st paddys day, but I no longer live in a college town, so I think this is now unacceptable. But I was getting it in order to make my corned beef in the crockpot because my mom swears by a bottle of beer in the pot. So there you go. justification for 8AM six pack purchases.

2) i made irish car bomb cupcakes yesterday and ate one despite my "no sweets during lent." whoops. its just tradition at this point though.

3) pretty sure I'll be making this sometime this week. 20 minutes, ingredients i mostly have? done and done babycakes.

4) the skimm march madness guide is the bomb dot com. They pulled a lot of it into this morning's skimm. so bracket tips in your morning email? sign up here

5) definitely want to make this cake.

6) finally, a sciencey link:Genetic Modification I can get behind
and a legal one: supreme court reenactment by dogs (literally amazing!) 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy 313 Day!

3/13 has been adopted as 313 day, a day to celebrate detroit and what makes it great. My parent's home phone number and my cell number are actually both 313 numbers, so I feel like I can safely say I'm from the 313.

I actually really love going to downtown detroit. there are tons of restaurants, the greatest art museum, races, sporting events -- I've yet to have a bad experience in Detroit.

So I thought I'd join some bloggers today in posting some pics of my favorite things about/in detroit.

our baseball stadium can look like this

or like this!
we've got a whole foods! 
the paczki run in hamtramk, which completely engulfed by detroit.

paczki's from hamtramck

I've ran the turkey trot in detroit for the past 3 years. It's on thanksgiving/my birthday two years ago, and right before totally awesome detroit thanksgiving day parade
these footballs on I-94 always indicate that i'm home

awesome coffee and croissants at great lakes coffee roasting co

my half marathon PR race!

and my ten miler PR/only 10 miler + atwater brewery!

Basically there's a lot to love in Detroit, and I'm proud to say that I'm from the D.

Please check out the other blogger's posts about why the D is awesome!

Something Beautiful

Thursday, March 12, 2015

TiLT #9: skimm day and skimmbassadors, acacia scarves, maizey


This is my second scarf from acacia scarves and I'm in love. At one point this winter, I considered going to Jo-Ann's, getting some fabric, and making my own scarf. but the material is just not comparable at all. So I splurged a little and bought another scarf.
Acacia Scarves is run by Jaclyn Day (and her husband Brandon) -- who's blog I've been obsessed with lately, moreso for her life and book updates than the fashion, since I'm trying not to buy clothes currently. Her suggestion of ballet beautiful has made me add "ballet shoes" to my list of things to retrieve from my parents house.

Sip & Skimm

yesterday was skimm day! A day to blitz social media with the skimm, and celebrate the awesomeness. Skimm partnered up with Netflix for this one, to commemorate unbreakable kimmy schmidt's release. And because Kimmy's last time in the real world was the 90s, its perfect 90s nostalgia, and a perfect skimm day theme.

yes that is my hand digging into the pizza while the photo is being taken #impatient
Some fellow Michigan skimmbassadors and I met up for drinks and dinner and swag last night which was so much fun! It was so easy to chat with these girls about life and the skimm, and current events because we were all equally informed! Go #skimmlife.

This little nugget eating snow on Friday 

When maizey and I were walking around on Friday she decided she was literally going to chomp at the snow. 

little loves: pineapple and cashew fried rice | papersource |  this article | trader joe's | sunshine and warmer weather | extra hour of daylight (even if it means feeling like I'm waking up way earlier) | unbreakable kimmy schmidt (that autotuned theme song is so damn catchy. "they alive dammit!") | baking (even if I can't eat the final product) | oiselle flyte shorts on sale on amazon | communicating with j through instagram comments | me before you (i'm not finished yet! no spoilers!)

note: this post does contain some amazon affiliate links!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Shamrocks and Shenanigans 5K 2015 Race Recap

Shamrock and Shenanigans 5K

I signed up for shamrocks and shenanigans pretty spur of the moment. I wanted to run a st paddys race, none of them seemed to work out with friends, and finally I just decided to run one. S&S made sense because 1) it was in ann arbor, and I've been meaning to get my butt to trader joe's for a restock; 2) it benefited Mott Children's Hospital's Save a Heart program. Where I worked for 5  years. So it was an easy choice.

I registered online a few days before. Registration fees were reasonable (~42 all said and done).

I decided to do packet pick-up morning of, which was actually kind of killer considering it felt like an hour earlier (you go DST). As I was skedaddling out of the parking lot to get to packet pick in time to get back to my car and drop off my shirt, I hit and patch of ice, and BOOM down I went. busting up both knees and my hand and ripping a hole in my really nice cw-x capris. ::crying emoji:: 😭

So that was embarrassing and unfortunate, but luckily I made it to pick-up, easily grabbed my shirt, bib, and a cute magnet, and then brought them back to the car, and walked back to the start with plenty of time to spare.

The race course was a little wonky -- lots of loops downtown to start, and then down Main St to the stadium and back. They were clearly trying to get to 3.1 while closing the least number of streets possible, which I totally get, but was a little weird to start and finish.

thanks capstone photo

It was nice to run where I ran for my last two years of law school - up and down Main street with its hills was my jam. It felt very familiar.

The worst part was that we went up this very steep (but fairly short) hill TWICE, once before mile 1 and again RIGHT BEFORE THE FINISH. thanks race planners. I don't mind short steep hills, but I was pushing myself, and that last one was a little tough.

thanks capstone photo
Final time: 26:40, for 8:36's. not my PR, but also pretty damn good for not having done speedwork in a while.

At the finish we got medals and pint glasses(!) which I loved. always nice when you can add to the pint glass collection.

Post race was bagels, bananas, ICE CREAM (WHAAAA), and granola bars. i grabbed a banana and called it good.

So that was my first 5K of 2015! Weeeeee. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

What I'm Giving up for Lent: Halfway There

Nothing like being a little late to blogging about this, but I'm getting a little crazy this lent, and cutting out and committing.

So until easter, with  the exception of st patricks day, I am not eating sweets, nor bread.

If you know me at all, you know I love bread. bagels, toast, sandwiches, baguette, pita bread, breadsticks, pizza. all bread.

So this has been hard. I don't count tortillas, so I can still have wraps or quesadillas, but sweet breads, bagels, pizza, pita bread, that all counts.

And sweets. Which I also did last lent. Things that count: candy, ice cream, dessert of any kind, cookies, etc. I'm not counting things with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving (for example, my justin's vanilla almond butter has added sugar, but it only has 8 grams of sugar/serving. I'll call that okay).

And I'm committing to running a mile a day for the 46 days of lent. Although I did not run at all on Saturday, but only because it was the day before a race, so I think that's okay. Most of my miles have been weak single treadmill miles, but now that it is light until 730, and above freezing I'm sure there will be more outside runs, and I can finally ditch my gym membership. Yipee!

So no sweets, no bread, and at least 1 mile/day.

Totally do-able.

the st. paddy's day exception is for irish car bomb cupcakes -- a st paddys tradition. And probably a shamrock shake. And maybe these everything breadsticks from cottage inn because everything seasoning is EVERYTHING. (one cheat day never hurt anyone...)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Weekend Highlights

1) J and I watched mockingjay part 1 and gone girl this weekend. I had already seen mockingjay part 1 and enjoyed it. J read the entire first hunger games book in a meijer while waiting for his car to be fixed, and has since been interested in all the movies. Although his impatience lead to him googling "who does katniss choose" which gave away just about every plot point in the last movie. poophead.
I thought gone girl the movie was really well done. I read the book a few summers ago, knew all the twists, etc. J liked it to despite not having read the book, and was thoroughly impressed that it was not just "did he or didnt he" the whole way through as he expected. apparently the world was good at not filling the internet with gone girl twist spoilers. It made me want to read "sharp objects" the last of the gillian flynn books for me to read. I own it, so I should probably just do that right?

2) I very very impromptu signed up for the shamrocks and shenanigans 5K in ann arbor. The proceeds went to mott, its a st paddys 5K, I got a shirt, pint glass, medal and magnet. It was just all good. Full recap to come, but I just wanted to share that before the race I was walking too fast on ice and totally bit it. two skinned knees, one scraped up hand, and a hole in my super nice CW-X capris. not so nice. Luckily the pain isnt too bad, and its not like I'm hobbling around. but still, not so graceful, not so awesome.

source: S&S facebook page
3) I ate an omelet yesterday that was smothered in gravy and filled with hash browns it was the best thing ever.

4) I spent all the money at trader joe's yesterday. And I didn't even buy booze. But I am going to eat so healthy and so well for the next 2+ weeks. I just need to make sure not to waste any of the delicious things I bought. But really, is it even possible to waste things like cookie butter sandwiches or perfectly ripe organic strawberries? I dont think so.

5) Ann Arbor meant stopping at PaperSource the new bane of my existence. They had a few things on clearance that I picked up and a few things not on clearance. Whoops. I started embossing cards, and I am super pumped about it. I will probably do a full post on it soon, but its so fun.

6)  Saturday night girls night dinner. loved it.

7) HEAT WAVE. for the first time in months the temperature was above 40. it was glorious.

8) last week's broad city was so so so hilarious. Ilana and Oliver was just awesome -- and Trey. Oh dear, Trey. And I watched the first episode of unbreakable kimmy schmidt and really liked it! Looking forward to more episodes!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

TiLT #8: GR edition -- brewery vivant, rehabbedhandmade

Untitled  Brewery Vivant

A friend and I went here last week for Grand Rapids Beer week. It was great! We each got a flight and liked all the beers we got -- my favorites were a paczki beer (are you surprised? I'm not) made with powdered sugar and prunes, and one called Nun's garden, which was a pale ale aged in a wine barrel (again, are you surprised?). I also got the duck nachos which were crazy huge but crazy good. all in moderation, right?

Food earrings

Ordered these from rehabbedhandmade last week and I'm in love. the avocado with its pit on one side is particularly adorable. also who doesnt think donuts are cute? no one, that's who.

little loves: Free barkbox for you and me! | pancakes as big as my face (and their leftovers) | loopy mango blanket kit | long runs with a running group | one of the kind ladies in the day designer facebook group who sent me sticky flags to decorate/designate | mini luna bars | Olivia's tirade against Fitz on Scandal | baked fruit in ramekins

Monday, March 2, 2015

Weekend Highlights

All of the House of Cards

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkMJtORCr80

J is pretty obsessed, so I spent approximately 12 hours watching this political drama this weekend. I have to say its quite different than the last two seasons -- SPOILER for s2: Frank as president is interesting and a new type of manipulation from season 1 and 2. It was kind of cool that this season was a bit more realistic. I thought they kind of jumped the shark with season 2, but this did bring it back to reality a bit, but it didn't have all the exciting have to keep watching drama of season 1. If we weren't binge watching, I'm not sure how excited I would have been to keep watching these episodes if they were instead airing week after week. So that's my general House of Cards season 3 review.

A Sunday Afternoon Run Club Run

legs up against the wall
Anne, a fellow oiselle flockster, told me about the Lansing running group when I moved here in October, but I never made it to an event until yesterday. I met up with some awesome people, and ran 9 miles around East Lansing. It was exactly what I needed after Austin -- a reminder that I can run 9 miles without walk breaks and without stopping for much other than a few stoplights and a single bathroom break. And then followed by a beer and chili and crack fries at hopcat. What more could you want?

Breakfast at Theio's

Typical diner breakfast, but I opted for pancakes with my eggs to fuel the 9 miler (because I'm not eating bread :crying face emoji: more on that later), and they were as big as my head. sold!

Yoga at Firefly Hot Yoga Bar

source: @fireflyhotyogabar insta
Man, this was the weekend for new fitness experiences. On Saturday afternoon I went to Firefly Hot Yoga Bar for the first time. I attended their free(!!) slow burn, and it was great. It was weird for me to not do a vinyasa class -- that's totally what I'm used to, but this series flowed as well, and really stretched me out. Plus I was totally sweating through it -- thanks heated room!

Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast

Yup. As always, Jessica was right. This is pretty phenomenal. I didn't by the appropriate cut of beef (because lets be honest, I very rarely buy meat), but it still turned out great. My next shot at it will probably include potatoes though. Because what is pot roast without potatoes?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Race Recap - 2015 Austin Half Marathon

So it has now been over a week since the Austin Half Marathon and I think I'm far enough removed from those vicious hills that I can write this without phantom pain my body. The Austin half was HARD. for many reasons, including my failure to properly train, but I think it was also just an objectively hard race. But definitely humbling. And because I didn't push myself too hard, I was able to jump back into running pretty quickly. so that's good too.

From the beginning:

Sign-up: through active, so lots of hoops and fees. I paid ~$105 to run the half.

Packet Pick Up: at a convention center in downtown Austin. They emailed us bib numbers ahead of time, and then we used that to get gear check bags and shirts. I ordered my shirt in a women's medium which i felt was pretty TTS for women's running shirts.

There were a few samples in the packet - but one of mine was a sample for men's collagen, which I thought was a little weird. If you're going to give out sex-specific samples you should separate the bags.

The expo was fairly large - lots of vendors like nuun and local running stores and larabars.

Race Day: the starting area was super close to our hotel which was so nice. I didn't use any porta-potties before the race, but I'm sure lines were long, and per usual there weren't enough.

race start was at 7AM, which I thought was a good time. It wasn't too cold at that point.

Race course: first three miles? all uphill. mother-&*#$er. then we turned and headed downhill-ish for 3. It was around mile 5 that I stopped to use the bathroom and the line took FOREVER. My watch indicated we waited 10 minutes in line for that bathroom.

At that point, we just said screw it, and decided to "run" and by run I mean, run a bit, and walk the uphills, and stop and take pictures, and drink beer and champagne and yesssss.

So we got pictures all along the course from kind individuals running with their phones who then texted the photos to us. It was kind of awesome.

I don't really remember specifics about miles 6-12, but I do know there were a ton of hills. 12 had a huge hill, that I probably could have ran but I was just not feeling it. so i walked it.


right towards the end I thought for the very first time during a race that i might throw up. This is probably due to the champagne and beer I drank on the course at miles 10 and 12.5ish. whoops. I luckily did not throw up and ran through to the finish (which my watch said was long, but who can really trust garmin's anyway), and got medalled, and taco'ed and all was good.

This was definitely not a "push yourself" half marathon for me. It wasn't even really a "steady long haul" half marathon. It was really really hard. But I did it, and it was a reason to get out of Michigan in the coldest February on record. So I'll take it.

It was very humbling. I'm think I will definitely have a different approach to races from now on, especially ones that are hilly or in a warmer climate than I'm used to running in.