Barre Blast Class and Starbucks VIA Review!

Today’s post is about two of my favorite and coffee.


Yesterday I went to the Yoga Room in Astoria to take a Pilates Barre Blast class. I got one of the best presents ever from my friend Beth(a gift certificate there) so I wanted to take full advantage of it. Beth, her friend Ashley and I all went to the class. Ashley goes to the yoga room often and was telling me about the best classes there. I can’t wait to try the hot vinyasa, which is supposed to be awesome. (Ashley is also a blog reader and it was SO nice to meet her…hi Ashley!) I can’t wait to take more classes there with both of them.

The Barre Blast class was very similar to Core Fusion and the Bar Method, minus the pretzel moves. It was full body work, starting with lots of thigh work, doing pilates and dance moves that really burned. There also was lots of pushups and bear crawls. The leg portion was definitely the longest, which I’ve found is usually the case with barre classes, and then arms and abs. There was not one part of my body that wasn’t screaming over the hour and after. And of course I loved every second of it.

The funny part is, is that halfway through my class I realized the instructor was my neighbor. As in literal next door neighbor. Our building isn’t very social…or maybe it’s just me…but I introduced myself to her after class. She was super nice and I can’t wait to take more classes with her, because she definitely kicked my butt. The Yoga Room was a very welcoming place and I can’t wait to go back. The class was $18 and you can get a student discount (if you are a student..which I’m not.)

I loved being in an actual class again. I LOVE the core fusion dvds, but I just don’t push myself as much when I’m in my own living room.



I have to share with you my recent obsession with VIA from Starbucks. My day usually would go something like this: wake up, have coffee, go to work with coffee, teach, teach, teach, drink some water, want a coffee, teach more, want a coffee even more because my students still do not know their math facts or how to divide and then go home. I have a mini coffee/hot water maker that someone at work lets me use, but she’s very adamant of not putting coffee in it. (She’s a tea drinker). So I have tea on most days, especially during the cold winter months. Some days, tea is great, but others you just NEED a coffee. My co-teacher and I look at each other basically daily and go, “we really wish we had a coffee”.Finally it came to my co-teacher that we should get some VIA. Now when I think of instant coffee, I think of the brand my grandma gets at the supermarket. I am greatly turned off to this kind because I always see the coffee grounds floating in the water, so I was a bit skeptical of VIA. However, this is NOT the case with VIA at ALL!

I have tried the Columbian VIA and the vanilla VIA. I usually have my coffee with a smidge of skim milk and sugar but for some reason I drink the VIA black. As a matter of fact the vanilla VIA was too sweet for me black, so I didn’t like that one.

This is a great option for needed coffee in a pinch without a coffee maker. I would actually go so far to say that I would drink this daily if something happened to my coffee maker, or I was stranded on an island without one.

Okay I’m done.This was my longest post ever.

Have you ever done a barre class or had VIA? Did you like both, neither or one?

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway! Today’s the last day!

Disclaimer: I bought the VIA with my own money.

Core Fusion Class!

Last week I had the pleasure of going to a free core fusion class hosted by Dori. It was at the Exhale location on Madison Avenue, between 76th and 77th st. I have been to core fusion sport, but that’s it so I was really excited to try the class and meet some new bloggers (and see some I had already met!)

I drove into the city because I wasn’t feeling the subway. It took me an hour to get in, which is pretty rare. It usually takes 25-30 minutes to get it, but I still left with enough time, so it was okay. I got there 5 minutes before the class started. This location is on the 2nd floor and seems smaller than the Central Park South location. Still it was very neat and clean and the people who worked there were super friendly!

After we went into the class, we got set up with light hand weights and a strap. I grabbed 3 and 4 pound weights. We started off with some pushups and then went into some arm exercises. We did a variety of pushups, even using the red ball for some of them. (One hand on floor, one hand on red ball.) Laurie, the instructor, told us we should grab what we were comfortable with. Right away I liked Laurie because she was friendly but I could tell she was tough and meant business. I started with the 3 pound weights to be safe, but ended up switching to the 4 about half way through. I tried to be conservative with the weight, but now I know I can handle the 4 pound weights. The exercises definitely made my arms BURN by the end…or half way through. We did things with high reps of shoulder raises, kickbacks and curls. When we were done with arms, we moved onto torturous legs.

I hate working out my legs. Have I ever told you that? I just hate it. I’m also not the biggest fan of my legs, but we have a working relationship. I run and do some squats occasionally and they are generally happy. Well, this was the biggest workout they’ve gotten in awhile. There were tons of leg exercises that involved different types of squats, squats using the ball, single leg stretches and some yoga moves (hence core fusion). Even though it burned, I still was having fun. I really appreciated Laurie coming around, motivating us and also the adjustments she made, made a world of a difference in that “wow it hurts even more but it feels good” kind of way. I also have to mention, even though I have gotten a LOT more flexible from yoga, I still am not what you call a bendy person. At one point you had to put your back to the wall, hold onto the bar and lift your feet straight up, think pike crunch. I had to take the extreme modification and only put one leg up at a time. Don’t feel bad for me, I don’t feel bad for myself, as a matter of fact I was pretty close to breaking out in laughter and how inflexible I am.

We finished up with some ab work. I really do enjoy working my abs, but I have to say I don’t do it enough. The ab work was welcomed. Laurie finished the class with some stretches and relaxation. Overall I really, really liked this class. I will be going back some time in the near future. As a matter of fact I loved the class so much I paid $10 to do an online version of the class with the cofounders of Exhale. You can do this through I highly reccomend it if you want to try it out before buying the dvds. It’s an amazing class and you can do it in your own living room. All you need are light weights and a chair. If you have a strap and a workout mat, even better, but you don’t need it. This class will kick your butt just as much as going to the studio kicked mine.

Have you tried core fusion?

* Also Lindsey from Sound Eats has created a Healthy Living Blogs resource. Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Thanks for doing this Lindsey! Here is a blurb from her:

 HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy
living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more
blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy
discussion and support. If you're interested in having your site listed on
HLB, simply send the following information to healthylivingblogs@gmail.comand
check the site out for yourself!

The Bar Method Soho

Do you ever flash back to your elementary or middle school self? I had some brief flashes yesterday. When I was in elementary school I was pretty shy. I was always the child that hung around my mom at parties until I got comfortable and “warmed” up enough to the situation or place I was in. I was the kid that my mom would say, “give her a couple of minutes, she’ll warm up”.

One of my friends from college says the first time she met me she thought I was a (enter not so nice word that begins with a b) because I didn’t say much. I just was quiet and reserved and she thought I was judging her (maybe I was?? haha). In reality I’m just shy, I just like to sit back and observe until I get comfortable enough to say anything.

Well, when you are 25 and you are meeting new people, there is no time to be “quiet and reserved” because people will think you are a “not so nice word”. So yesterday when I was going to meet some bloggers at The Bar Method in Soho, I knew I had to just be myself, as quick as possible, without being shy first.

When I was with my sister and cousin beforehand I was telling them I was nervous and they kept reassuring me I’d be fine. If there are any 2 people that know me inside and out, it’s Chris and Jess and since they were telling me I’d be okay, I knew I would be. They know that I just need to say it a million times and then I’d be okay. I love them.

So I went home, changed into the workout clothes and headed into the city. I got off the subway and wasn’t sure which way to go, so what do I do? What would most people do? Ask someone? Look at their phone? I usually call my husband, my human gps…but I actually spotted Ashley. Blogging is a very funny thing. You “meet” all these people in this blogging community and you kind of get to know them…their blogs, avatars, husband/boyfriends/spouses all without meeting them face to face. So I kind of felt like a creep for recognizing her and then sort of following her to The Bar Method.

When I got to The Bar Method I put on my big girl pants, walked in and started talking to the girls there. I had pang of nervousness right before I walked out of the elevator, but the people there were SO welcoming.  I quickly realized my nervousness was for nothing (as usual).

The owners were SUPER friendly and the space is very clean, neat and friendly. I was immediately greeted by the 3 people who worked there/owned the place and then I met Jes, Erica, Missy, Ashley and Jackie. We got to know each other a little bit before we went into class. I was walked around by Tim to get to know the place. They have 2 studios, a men’s and women’s locker room, and a very welcoming lobby area with more lockers and a refreshment area.

I was very impressed with the size of the place. I didn’t feel cramped. The lobby and locker room were both very spacious and very well kept. They provide lockers for free, you just keep your key with you.

The class was led by Amy. I didn’t really know what to expect because I hadn’t ever taken a barre class before. I went into it with an open mind, like I usually do with new workouts and I really loved this. The class uses light weights (2 and 3 pounds) a light ball, the bar,  and a mat. The exercises are basically all meant to keep you going till muscle failure. I was burning away on every exercise. Amy was super motivating, friendly and challenging. She amazed me because she knew every persons name in the class, and it really helped you feel a part of the class when she called your name.

Ashley did a really thorough review of The Bar Method, so you can check it out if you want more information. Jes also wrote about an exercise we did last night that was killer!
Overall I really enjoyed the class.

The Bar Method Soho is:
– very clean, nicely set up, spacious
– the owners were extremely friendly, knowledgeable, welcoming, motivating
– the class was challenging but not intimidating
– worth the money!

Thanks to Jes for setting up this special class for her readers AND bringing yummy treats. I look forward to taking another class here over the summer. I am so glad I signed up to come to this class. I made some new friends and workout buddies.
As far as being shy, I flash back to my elementary school self, but I quickly get over it when I am put into the situation. With most things, its the before that’s the worst part because you think about it too much. Everyone was SO nice and I’m so glad I went. It was so wonderful meeting everyone and I look forward to more meet ups!
I also went to a Brendan Brazier seminar at Lululemon Soho, which was amazingly interesting. That has to be a separate post, because this is always way too long.

Do you ever let your kid self get the best of you?