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Raving about YogaWorks

29 Mar

Yogaworks

Every so often, don’t we need to mix things up and make things interesting when it comes to working out? When YogaWorks opened a location in Pasadena, I signed up immediately. Prior to then, I hadn’t found a studio or an instructor since moving to Southern California that inspired me to continue with consistent classes. I was taking Pilates with an instructor on a reformer, but the instructors were always changing, my schedule always conflicting with class times, and the semi-private or private lessons were an added expense in addition to the gym membership dues; so when I received a flyer in the mail advertising a gym that offered a variety of yoga classes, Pilates classes, and more, I headed to the studio with my friend, Ro, and we signed up. After a few months of taking classes at this gym, I have nothing but rave reviews about it. Sonya, who teaches Vinyasa Flow, is one of the best yoga instructors I’ve come across. She inspires me to want to develop my regular yoga practice, which in the last few years became irregular (although I did begin practicing Bikram yoga during this time). Sonya also has such a calm demeanor, soothing voice, and communicates concise instructions that make the hour and a half class fly by. I always look forward to her classes. I was also introduced to TRX, Total body Resistance eXercise, which is a suspension training class that incorporates circuit exercises and rotating through different exercise stations in timed intervals. Demian, who also teaches at Cardio Barre (also Rave worthy, as I have previously mentioned) is also an excellent TRX instructor. Speaking of Cardio Barre instructors, Micki also teaches YogawWorks Cardio Flow, and she is just insane. I have nothing but great things to say about Micki, she is amazing. In my opinion, instructors always make a class or studio worth investing time and money. I’d have to say that the three I’ve mentioned have so far made my decision to join this new studio one of the best moves I’ve made in regards to incorporating new workouts into my routine.

Raving about Cardio Barre

26 Feb

CardioBarre

Don’t dancers have some of the best looking bodies on the planet? Cardio Barre is a workout studio that offers classes, which integrates ballet movements, cardio, and weights. We don’t have to be dancers or have any formal dance training to participate in class, but we do have to channel our inner ballerinas. The low impact, high energy, and core-focused movements and the exercises with lots of reps and light weights to 8-counts on the beat of music that plays during class helps us sculpt long leans muscles, burn fat, and tone the body to look like a dancer’s. The class starts out with a warm-up, then to other parts: a ballet section, floor section, cardio section, barre section, weights section, then we’re on our mats or towels for abs, inner/out thighs, glutes and the class ends with a cool down. The hour class flies by since we’re constantly moving and every part of the body is worked. Fortunately, the Cardio Barre in Eagle Rock is 5 minutes away from my office and 15 minutes away from my home, making it easy to find a reason to make a class. After several years of taking exercise classes at Cardio Barre, it hasn’t gotten old or boring for me. The best part of the class; however, are the incredible instructors. My favorites are Demian, Byron, and Micki, who are all always motivating and inspire us get stronger and go beyond our comfort zones while still keeping good form. While each instructor is great, Micki’s classes are definitely the most challenging in my opinion and not to mention her body is amazing, not just it’s appearance but what it can do in terms of strength and flexibility.

Our bodies allow us to do and experience so many great things, it’s only right that we do things that keep us healthy and fit. If Cardio Barre contributes to doing that, it’s something to rave about it my book.

Wow Brow! Raving about Zooey Van Jones

16 Feb

zoeyvanjones

brows

If eyes are the windows of our souls, what are our brows? They must be the shutters, or the curtains, depending on if we’re looking from the outside in or the inside out… either way, they’re pretty important. Brows frame not only our eyes, but also our face, making everything look symmetrical and balanced. After years of over-plucking, over-waxing, over-threading, I learned to stay true to my brows and their natural shape. This meant finding trustworthy professionals that understand that when it comes to brows, missteps of over-anything can cost years of trying to correct botched jobs and possibly waiting for regrowth that may never ever happen. At Zooey Van Jones Brow Studio in Old Town Pasadena (http://www.zoeyvanjones.com/), a salon that specializes in full natural brows, all of the brow artists understand this philosophy and instead of completely trying to refashion our arches, they take time to listen to clients and also take the time to make recommendations, give explanations, and offer unique instructions on how to keeping brows looking great everyday. Mandy, my most recent artist was exceptionally helpful, giving me tips on how to comb my brows, how to fill them in, and how to maintain the shape with simple “clean-up techniques.” I appreciated the personal advise from Mandy, who didn’t suggest coming back every month, which makes one visit last several months (or more).

The products that I purchase from the studio that work great for me are the Vanity Mark Ultra Brow Powder in Blondie (https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=14017) and the Tweezerman Brow Mousse (https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/ASP/home.asp?studioid=14017). These rave worthy products keep me brows full and groomed and at times, they are the only products I use. Even on those usual sans make-up days, my brows would be the only thing I don’t leave home without styling. I’ve said goodbye to those days of the super thin brow and said hello to the modern and bold Wow Brow.

Craving For, Raving About, and Savoring My Favorite Restaurant Giorgio Baldi

15 Feb

Giorgio Baldi

Giorgio Baldi2

If there was one last meal you could have before leaving this world, what would it be? It’s a silly hypothetical question that we would never likely have to answer. Still, last night when my boyfriend took me to Giorgio Baldi, my favorite restaurant in the whole world, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I posed this question and responded with my answer. I told him if I knew I were to die tomorrow, I could probably be ok going after having what I ordered for dinner. Not a very romantic statement to make, but I sincerely meant it because I ate like I wasn’t going to see the next day. Off of the Pacific Coast Highway on 114 W. Channel Rd in Santa Monica, this little Italian restaurant that seats about 60 people at capacity has people packed to the max to be served food that is simply out of this world good. We each ordered the Mista salad: Butter lettuce, radicchio, carrots, and tomatoes in a red wine vinaigrette and we shared the Clams, Langostines, and Agnolotti: homemade ravioli filled with sweet white corn in a white truffle sauce. I dream about this ravioli, it’s the best, I love it so much that I get butterflies in my stomach in nervous and anxious anticipation of having it. I had one order as an appetizer, one order with my main course, the Dover Sole with spinach and potatoes, and another order before my dessert. I call them “crack ravioli;” I have become a fiend for them. For dessert, we had the Butterscotch pudding, which I die for.

The first time I had this pudding was an unforgettable and funny story, which will always have me order this dessert before we even get seated at a table. A few years ago when eating at GB for by birthday, there was a table behind us with three men who were all eating something out of this tiny glass, all just going at it with spoons in hand, they all stopped talking; I had never seen anything like it. I mentioned that I just had to have what they were having. Keep in mind, GB is tiny, so the people at the neighboring tables can hear your entire dinner conversation; it’s unavoidable, the tables are so close. The men heard what I mentioned and then offered to share theirs with me. Pulcone (my favorite server, the entire staff; however, is is very sweet) then took a spoonful from their dessert and offered it to me. I told him that I couldn’t accept a bite from their pudding and I would just order my own. To my disappointment, they were sold out. Considering the restaurant’s clientele, of course there was a good reason why three men in a restaurant were all eating out of one cup, they were having the last one. Or so I thought… Pulcone then took a spoonful out of the very last pudding in the restaurant that the men had paid for to-go and had already wrapped in a doggie bag, so I was obligated to try it. That spoonful was heaven and every time I order it, I think of that night. We offered to pay for the dessert, but it was actually for the wife of one of those men and had already been paid for. Poor woman will probably always wonder why a bite was missing from her butterscotch pudding; however, GB no longer allows any one to take the cups home or take this dessert to go (cup shortage issue).

Thank you Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi, you are my favorite! I crave, I rave about, I savor you forever!

Raving About A Raincoat

9 Feb

freepeopleraincoat

Is it raining today? If so, we can’t leave home without something that will keep us nice and dry. Since umbrellas can be quite cumbersome and they only leave one hand free, having a raincoat could be a lot more handy ;). Free People’s ‘Lacey’ Raincoat (which is 69% off here http://www.6pm.com/free-people-lacey-raincoat-aqua-combo) is the perfect and most stylish raincoat at an affordable price. The raincoat is light-weight and comes with a little pouch that can tote around the folded coat (or anything else if the coat isn’t in there) and can easy fit in a purse. The lace pattern and the scalloped trim has every one asking wear it’s from and in additional to being functional, it’s versatile enough to wear with any outfit. All of it’s features make this raincoat rave-worthy, rain or shine.

Raving About Fan Footballs and Baseballs, Island Style

2 Feb

coconutfootball

coconutballs

coconutbaseball

Who’s got it better than us (San Francisco Fans)? Nobody! It would be pretty amazing if, or rather when, the 49ers win tomorrow’s Superbowl; which would follow the Giant’s World Series win. After coming back from Hawaii, I thought I’d share the pieces of art that I ordered from an artist who resides in Maui by the name of Vince, who hand paints coconuts with various designs. Being a big time sports fan, I ordered a football and baseball with our sports teams logos to give to one of my best friends and her hubby to add to their extensive fan memorabilia. They are usually sold in Hawaiian flea markets as souvenirs, but can also be ordered by sending an email to: salondelacruz@yahoo.com. I enjoy supporting local artists and think these make great and unique gifts. The ultimate gift to us fans; however, would be the Superbowl trophy going to SF.

Raving about Blogging, Bloggers and the Blogsphere

23 Jan

versatile blogger award1

versatile blogger award

I received this from http://periscopegirl.com/. Thank you for so much http://periscopegirl.com/ for my very first award nomination in this blogsphere. I am almost two months into my participation with social media. I had my goal set to learning all about Pinterest, Polyvore, Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc, but it turns out that having one social outlet, this blog, is so much more than I thought it would be in addition to the rest of my life (I honestly don’t know how people can keep up with more than one). The time spent here; however, is enjoyable and has brought me back to writing for pleasure instead of writing for practical reasons (work). Plus, I’ve found so many blogs that have provided me an insight into other blogger’s lives, passions, and knowledge, which I can’t get enough of. I am truly grateful for this award nomination; my blog allows me to share a bit of myself, and this allows me to share some of the inspiration I get from other blogs.

The rules are:
·Display the award logo on your blog
·Link back to the person who nominated you
·State seven things about yourself
·Nominate fifteen other bloggers for this award and link to the them
·Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

7 Random Things About Me:
1. I had an imaginary friend that I talked to when I was younger named Peter
2. I have a dangerous love affair with sweets (if you didn’t already know), and especially with strawberry cheesecake (damn you, why do you have to be sooo good?!)
3. I dream vividly, and in color… I can usually remember what people were wearing in my dreams
4. I have a green birthmark that could be mistaken for a bruise
5. My second toe is longer than my big toe
6. I’m the clumsiest person I know
7. I don’t usually drink alcohol, but when I do, my drink of choice is scotch neat or on the rocks, depending on my mood

There are so many blogs that I have really liked so far and so many more that I have yet to explore. I know there are some that I’m missing, but here are 15 of that I am nominating (in no particular order) that have inspired me with beautiful pictures, interesting posts, and thought provoking writing that made me want to trying new recipes, put down the gummy bears and work out, write more, write better, or read until I couldn’t any more.

http://periscopegirl.com/
http://soathome.blogspot.com/
http://tuesdayswithrachel.com/
http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/
http://cravingchronicles.com/
http://into-mind.com/
http://thecitizensoffashion.com/
http://ilovegreeninspiration.com/
http://lifeisshorteathard.wordpress.com/
http://mygymsuccess.wordpress.com/
http://asklotta.com/
http://janethesub.wordpress.com/
http://teenieyogini.wordpress.com/
http://alotonyourplate.wordpress.com/
http://idolanuel.com/

Thank you again for all of the love! Can’t stop raving about Blogging, Bloggers and the Blogsphere.

Ay Juice Mio

22 Jan

Juice

Have you watched that documentary called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead? I haven’t either, but I have heard of it. It is a film documenting a man who lost over 100 lbs in sixty days (OMG) and cured himself of an auto-immune disease by juicing. I’m not the dieting-type, but I am a healthy conscious-type and had also heard about the many benefits of drinking fruit and vegetable juices so over a year ago, this led me to purchase my Breville 800JEXL Juice Fountain Elite 1000-Watt Juice Extractor, which I use all of the time. This juicer is really high powered and I feel works as well as the juicers I see used at the Whole Foods Juice Bar. The other night, I made my boyfriend and I juice with Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, Broccoli, Carrots, Red Kale, Blueberries, and an apple (fruit always mutes the strong taste of kale). If I have a really heavy breakfast or lunch, come back from a workout or Bikram yoga class too late to have dinner, or don’t have time to make something to eat for breakfast, I will make a juice as a meal replacement. Thanks to mi amiga, who comes to my office to sell fruit and vegetables every week, I always have something fresh to juice and some one, who I can practice speaking Spanish with.

Raving About The Blo Out Lounge

20 Jan

blooutlounge

How does fabulous hair make your feel? To me, it makes me feel like a million bucks, which is why I have a membership at the Blo Out Lounge in Pasadena. I received a one month gift certificate from my boyfriend’s sister and I have been a happy and regular member since. I have never been very handy with a blow dryer, so it’s a treat to be able to sit and relax in chair while one of the really hip and friendly stylists washes, blow dries, and styles my hair for me. The BOL is a ten minute drive from my house and an even shorter drive from my work, so it’s really convenient to go in before i go into work, during lunch, right after, or during the weekends after a workout. I think this concept is probably one of the best things ever, as despite it taking forty-five minutes to an hour (depending on if I come in with already washed/wet hair), the type of hair style I request, or the stylist I request, I am usually always productive while getting my hair done by either catching up on reading or checking and replying to emails (they have wi-fi), after chatting with my stylist for a bit. While this Salon doesn’t cut hair or color (only tint/color rinse for roots or grays), they do have make-up application and brow services. A monthly membership of $99 allows six blow outs or make-up applications per month (since I joined before it became 5 blo outs per month). I don’t really wear face make up and have only really had my make-up applied for Halloween (Raggedy Ann doll one year and a Ventriloquist Dummy this past year), but I see that they do great work. Going into the salon at least three times a month is worth the membership cost as one blo out is $35; so for me, I am usually saving 50% per month by being a member opposed to paying per visit. It’s such an cutesy lounge with girlie decor, mirrors everywhere, cool tunes, televisions (playing movies from Clueless to Mrs. Doubtfire) and the most welcoming staff, who always ask if I would like something to drink. With an active lifestyle, I am always in need of a wash (after swimming, or bikram yoga, or other activities that won’t allow me to get away without a wash), and no matter how great the outfit, having bad hair never makes me feel as confident as a great outfit with a blo out. I couldn’t be more complimentary of and thankful for the Blo Out Lounge.

Raving About Bikram Yoga

9 Jan

Bikramyogaposes1-13

bikramyogaposes14-26

Have you ever felt like you were swimming, but you weren’t in water? I only really felt that way while in a Bikram yoga class, sweating so profusely that I felt as if I could drown. Initially, this didn’t sound like my cup of tea, especially when I was new to the practice. Bikram yoga is totally different from my other yoga experiences. The amount of sweat flinging around the room, the close proximity to the persons next to me in a packed room, the positions that look almost impossible to get into (or out of), and the instructor pointing out when anyone takes a water break out of turn had me wondering, is this really for me? After completing my first class; however, I felt completely renewed, which led me to keep going back for more. I took a late class tonight with my boyfriend at the Bikram yoga studio in Pasadena on Colorado. This studio is actually undergoing an expansion and face-lift, which I am excited about, but I didn’t want to wait until renovations were complete to attempt to maintain a regular practice there. With a regular practice, I am increasing circulation and flexibility, firming and strengthening muscles, reducing stress, and generally restoring body system to healthy working order. Bikram yoga, also called hot yoga, was founded by Bikram Choudhury and is a system of 26 postures (or asanas) with 2 breathing exercises, one at the beginning and one at the end of class, done in a 105 + degrees room in 90 minutes (Be prepared, my first class I thought was only an hour, and every minute after the 60th was spent staring at the clock, giving it the meanest stink eye). In those 90 minutes; however, I’m not thinking about any of the benefits I mentioned. Actually, I’m not even sure I am thinking about anything at all other than the instructions coming from the yogi telling us to stretch longer, or go deeper, or kick harder. The temperature in the room and intensity of the postures requires complete concentration and focus. My mind is known to wander and think about what’s next on the agenda, but in this class, I am forced to be in the moment and focus on myself. I am not only improving my physical strength, but also my mental strength. This class also makes me appreciative of the smallest things, which could be a gust of air from the door opening. I’m literally praising life itself when the instructor is kind enough to turn on the fan for 2 seconds. It’s a very humbling and amazing experience, one I recommend to every one. As the only way I see fit to properly end this post, I say Namaste.