Favorite Fitness Classes in New York City

Best Group WorkoutsThis post is a bit different for me, but exercise is a major part of my life and these studios are the best I’ve found here in the city. I like to take a variety of classes from dance to weightlifting in order to train and strengthen my body in different ways. I also find each one corresponds to a mood or evokes an emotion (more on that below).My absolute favorite discovery workout-wise has been Classpass. It’s a subscription based app that lets you use credits for classes all across the city. That’s how I discovered almost all of these studios and instructors. I pay $45 a month and take around 3-4 classes a month. Sometimes I’ll stretch my credits and use a couple for Gym Time as well.I love that Classpass is a low-risk way to try out a new class, considering how some drop-in fees are $30 or more. I also don’t like being tied to one gym or studio since my workout schedule varies so much due to travel or what I’m up for that week. If you’re interested in trying Classpass, you can get $40 off your first month by using my referral link!Pilates is my favorite workout class, so there are a couple options on this list. I do Reformer and a combination Mat and dance class.

  • WundaBar – this intimate, ground-level studio in Soho houses the WundaFormer, a twist on the classic Reformer machine with an added ballet barre and jump board. This class is a lovely, doable challenge and I leave feeling stronger physically and mentally. The small studio size means it’s great for beginners since there are only about eight people in any class. There are always advanced modifications too, so I haven’t gotten bored or plateaued.
  • Pop Pilates @ Athleta Flatiron – this one isn’t on Classpass, but it is free! I love this fusion exercise from Blogilates founder Cassey Ho. It’s a mixture of traditional mat pilates set to music with some choreography. I feel the burn in this class, but it’s also really fun. Now that it’s during the middle of the day on Mondays, I don’t really get to go, but you can catch Omayra teaching Zumba too.

Dance and Barre classes are in my top favorites as well. Sometimes I want a deep-burn or a sweaty cardio session and other times I want something closer to traditional ballet.

  • Feels Pretty Awesome – this is one of the most uplifting classes I’ve ever been to. Kristen is an amazing teacher and has combined dance cardio with the therapeutic feeling of a yoga class. You’ll sweat it out in a carefree way and feel happy afterward.
  • Pop Physique – this is the best class for sculpting in my opinion. It’s a Barre class featuring the Lotte Berk method focused on core stability (like Pilates) while drawing from ballet. I still shake while doing this class, but the fun music and bright pink decor makes it feel less rigid.
  • Buns Out Ballet – this is another class I originally found through Athleta and Kiva now teaches privately. It’s a more relaxed approach to ballet, but you will still improve your technique and learn the language. I find this class brings me back to my childhood ballet practice.

The last two are kind of opposites as one is an intense weightlifting class and the other is a yoga class.

  • Liftonic – this is a weightlifting class that will really push you. My favorite one is  Abs and Core, but Full Body is a great all around workout. There are several sets of lifting with some body-weight and cardio training in between. I leave exhausted but empowered.
  • Coreworks – this is a class at Sacred Sounds Yoga. It has traditional stretching and flow sequences with a focus on the core. I love that it makes me feel relaxed and centered, but like I still got a workout in too.

I’ve also taken boxing, rowing, and other dance classes through ClassPass, but these are my very favorites. Have you ever tried ClassPass? What’s your favorite workout?

Making Pesto Sauce (Rare Recipe #2)

Easy and delicious

I don’t share recipes often – the last one was around Christmas – because I don’t cook that much, (which you can tell by my note to peel the garlic 😂). However, this sauce is something I’ve been making for years and it’s my mom’s recipe, so you know it’s delicious.

You will need:

  • 3 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1.5 cups of walnuts or pine nuts
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup of grated parmesean cheese
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

I use a Nutribullet to combine all the ingredients. The recipe notes to add oil slowly, but I just add it all at once. Sometimes I don’t have fresh garlic cloves, so I’ll use garlic powder. I’ve also tried this with pistachios and it was still delicious. There’s a lot of wiggle room with the recipe thankfully!

I don’t have to measure anything now that I’ve made this so many times, so do what works for you. I always make a whole batch and freeze it into cubes to throw on pasta or chicken. My fiancé loves it too (first time saying that!).

Would you try this recipe? What’s your go-to for a quick, easy dinner?

A Christmas Recipe

My favorite holiday tradition

One of the best parts of Christmas is baking cookies and holiday treats with my mom. We’ve made this variation on a Rice Krispie treat for almost two decades and it’s one of my favorites.

I should note that I’m not domestic at all – I burnt butter yesterday – but this recipe is quite simple and doesn’t require any baking. Just melting marshmallows on the stovetop.

You will need:

  • 16 oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 stick of butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp green food coloring
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • Cinnamon candies (red hots)

Steps:

  1. Melt butter and marshmallows in saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  2. Add vanilla extract and food coloring.
  3. In large bowl, pour mixture over cornflakes; toss until coated.
  4. Moisten hands with cold water and shape 1/4 cup mixture into circular wreath on wax paper.
  5. Press in red hots and let cool for 1 hour.

What’s your favorite holiday recipe? Let me know if you try this one!!

Gift Guide: Home/Hostess ($40 and under)

2017 Gift Guide: Home
Gifts for the home are great because they’re generally useful and can be really thoughtful as well. I think these options work well for family and friends or for a hostess you’ve never met before.
  1. Ceramic Picture Frame from Target ($13) – This is pretty but relatively neutral, so it should match most home decor themes. I’d recommend printing out a meaningful picture if you know the recipient.
  2. Mini Waffle Maker from Urban Outfitters ($18) – How adorable is this tiny waffle maker? It’s a fun gift that doesn’t take up too much room – something I’m hyper aware of in our tiny NYC apartment.
  3. Kate Spade Trinket Tray ($40) – I’m always dropping my rings, keys, lipsticks, etc. in mini dishes and love the “odds and ends” print on this one.
  4. Hot Chocolate and A Pretty Mug ($20 and $14) – Edible gifts are the best! This would also make a great gift for teachers.
  5. Cookies and Recipe Cards from Rifle Paper Co. ($12) – Again, love a gift that is edible and these recipe cards are so cute.
  6. Hammered Coasters from World Market ($20) – Coasters are a pretty useful gift, especially for a party. I love the gold color and hammered details; these look way more expensive than they are!
  7. Reversible Throw Blanket ($30) – It’s always nice to have a new, cozy throw. I love this blue one, but maybe stick with cream or gray if you don’t know the hostess’ color theme.

Let me know your favorite item from these home/hostess ideas and feel free to link to your gift guides as well!