Saturday, March 21, 2015

and while I'm reviewing things...Pure Barre

My opinion on Pure Barre is as follows:

First of all, I will say the classes are a little bit expensive.  I like to change up my routine when it comes to staying active so I don't get bored, so I currently have my Y membership on hold and am snagging classes here and there with the money that would have gone to monthly membership fees to a gym and running since -hello Spring- it's warm enough all the sudden for that now. :D

The tagline for Pure Barre is Lift Tone Burn.  and It's pretty much what you will do...although a more accurate description would be to add the word Shake in-between like this: Lift (shake) Tone (shake) Burn (shake more).  It's based on ballet techniques but no dancing skills required...just the mental space to not mind holding planks and squats for longer than 2 minutes at a time without crying (after doing some other squat posture right before that).  Participants are required to wear socks but they don't have to be sticky socks (although planks are easier with those sticky soles).  Beyond that, just bring yourself and some black pants as that seems to be the going color for barre.

Classes are 55 minutes
It's hard to describe how little movement there is during reps but how much it burns anyway.  The goal is to move about an inch back and forth but about a minute or so in, everything gets fatigued and then the real work begins.  Once muscles are shaking like crazy, you know you've squatted far enough and held your abs tight enough to challenge yourself.  I think it would be impossible to breeze though a class the first time or twentieth time, but if you didn't break a sweat, it would be worth talking to an instructor to make sure your postures are correct.  The instructors are really good about fixing form during the class though...so you get your muscle shakes worth.  The life long goal for barre is to get the correct "tuck" form and to lift the "shelf".  So there's your vocab lesson ;)  
I think that it would be hard to injure anything which is great for longterm participation.  I do put the red ball on the small of my back for some of the core work because I have curvature of the spine and notice my posture can be unsupportive of my neck if my back bends out when I'm doing crunch like motions.  After about four or five classes I did notice a bit of difference in my leg muscle shape along the calf.  That's fast for noticeable form change so, this technique is legit based on that.  I'm not tracking weight loss and don't participate often enough to use this class for that.  Also, Even though you can do most of this work with a chair or stair banister, I don't think a movie at home could replace the instructor and class positive energy that makes you shake a little more and not stop. That's just harder to do in your living room with no one else telling you to keep going. :)  Also, instructors are very tuned into when to turn the music up for intense reps which helps a lot.  For hard core work they dim the lights down too which is nice when your nearly spent.

Final verdict:  I really like it and will probably continue to show up for this class when time allows.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Fault in Our Stars-a book review

I'm totally not above youth fiction but I probably would have passed this book up on the shelves had it not been written by a guy who resides in Carmel just north of where I live.  It's fiction, but he uses a lot of locations in the book that most Indy people know about like Castleton Mall theater and Holiday park.  This older cover pictured isn't bad but the newer cover (also movie cover) is two teens with their faces nuzzled together laying in the grass...so ya, probably wouldn't have been "oh my, I must read that fun looking book." ;)

I wasn't totally hooked the first chapter...the main characters had very grown up dialect and it seemed a bit unrealistic.  In an interview, John Green says he was writing with what teens think they sound like or are conveying in their minds which does make some sense.  It still got a little distracting at times when Agustus would answer the question "how are you doing" with "grand". But then after a few more chapters and him still answering "grand"...I got kind of used to it and pictured kind of a too cool for School kind of kid which sort of fits him so...I guess the author did what he intended with that.  Overall...I don't really agree with the main character's thoughts on the value of human suffering which is a really big concept to wade through.  And while her opinion is just an opinion, she's the main voice of the book and she's dying so she has some built in authority on the subject.  I think human suffering does have value (not that I've had cancer, but my dad has and based on the emotional suffering I've experienced in my life).  Hazel (first person point of view character) from the beginning of the book is quite cynical about preconceived notions (mostly religious) like her support group meeting in the literal heart of Jesus since the church is shaped like a cross and they meet at the cross beam where his heart would have been for meetings is an ongoing joke and something to roll eyes about.  To say "literal" heart of Jesus is annoying to be fair.  It's probably pretty realistic to how a dying teen would feel in that situation but there is quite a lot of ongoing disdain for cultural shows of respect, even a typical funeral set up drives Hazel nuts...or is it her grief?  Thinking back, it is somewhat rounded out at times, like at one point they make fun of bad nurses and then later really appreciate nurses too.

At the end of the book I did tear up which I guess is a typical response from most readers.

There is quite a lot of language in the book which I don't find really necessary but I guess with all the proper sounding speech, the author must have thought it was needed to make them sound human.

I couldn't help noticing that is it a modern era Romeo and Juliet story with star crossed lovers...which is actually referenced in the book (not to mention title) if you chanced to miss it. ;)

If you want to read a book that will make you tear up just enough, contemplate fate/suffering and people in general, I would read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  That's a book that comes back to my mind sometimes in different situations while this book will probably not stay in my mind as vividly.
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fashion prep for NYC

NYC trip is fast approaching!  Super excited as we haven't traveled anywhere (just the two of us) for a while.  Some would say that NYC is the fashion capital of the world...it's made me consider what I should pack a little more carefully.  I'm very practical when it comes to style trends and I usually consider less as more, so it's hard for me to narrow down outfits for a trip like this.  I also have a great fear of trying too hard and really missing the mark badly...I'd rather just have a simple t-shirt on than have that happen. :)  So I thought it would be fun to post some fashion pictures to illustrate what I like, what I don't like-feedback via comments welcome. :)  Let the fashion post begin.

NOOOOOOO........ I will not wear beige or jumpsuits! I just won't.  How could this look so bad on someone so fit and sweet looking.  She is basically all one color expect for her shoes and that's totally what happens to me in this color too with my pale skin and lighter hair.
I'm pretty sure this is what Luke thinks I'll make him look like assembling outfits for him to wear sightseeing on the streets. ;)  ha The jacket's not bad...but the jeans (and styles similar)....no thanks. :)   
This sweater layering thing going on here is great though.  Not white pants in the city but...may need to get a light sweater for the Mr.
 Optimizes what I think I'll look like if I try too hard to stay on the fashion curve.  I think this girl is really cute...but the top and the pants are so busy and so loose billowy...and the shoes are bright as well...and her earnings are big....and I don't like the sleeve ending length...I don't have a clue where I'm supposed to look first.  Like I said before...I'd rather be seen in a black t-shirt than this.
 I do like this dress for seeing grandmas childhood home.  It looks like dresses I saw her wear in pictures (although hers always had sleeves) and has a vintage length.  It could be ruined with bold shoes since the length is quirky but...I really like this a lot.  I don't like the bracelet in this picture though...it seems too chunky-my eyes keep going to it.
This is what I fear I look like in dresses with sleeves (longer than cap sleeve)...most times it makes the outfit look tight and ill-fitting because my shoulders are pretty broad.  And the pattern of this dress...?...is is like space...? The high neckline I'm not loving on her (maybe if her hair was down so it didn't look so stark but then it would blend it because everything is so dark I guess).  This is an example of kill the dress shoes/boots for me.
leggings...with warmers and odd matched shoes...and then the puffer jacket is huge.  So many versions of grey...again...no idea where to look first here.  In her defense, it looks like she's trying to grab something to eat on the way home from the gym.  I'll give her a break, but I'm not packing any tights/leggings.
 But I am packing running shoes/clothes for central park. :D  Wootwooot
No... gathered waist band...really...?
 yes...
 No...because everything else on you must be perfect to pull it off...
 no...odd length (for my legs at least) and wash...
 Nope...for same reasons I won't do jumpsuits...
 Yes...I love asymmetrical 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Nashville-the city of music

We stayed at a hotel called Loews-I liked it quite a lot
At the Aveda Salon waiting for our massage appointments drinking expensive water. ;)  At breakfast, we ordered bottled water and then the waiter brought the menu stating our drinks cost $5 and $9 respectively.  You better believe we took them with us even though they had no lids and told everyone how much they were over and over.  what in the world?  $9?
 Lunch at "fido" we got there for the lunch rush and waited about an hour in line for food. I guess that's the cool thing to do though in hipster-ville.  with no kids in tow in seemed really reasonable ;)

 This...I'm still dreaming about... perfectly seared potatoes.
Here we all are listening carefully about how to not die...
right before we left mom told us about a friend in high school that was clipped in wrong rock climbing...she died.  It was a really great pre climbing pep talk let me tell you. ;) haha thanks mom.

 Don't look down...just jump off the wall and don't think about it too long.  Or at least don't think about mom's friend that died while your hanging three stories up... :P It was pretty scary
 Come on down Kait! :)
 Annie got quite comfortable with the automatic ropes :D ha  weeeeeeee
Dinner at The Treehouse
 laughed my head off at failed panorama photos here, distorted faces abounded... :D
very very good carrots :)
This sign was in our rooms...as part of the decor :)  Turns out we did have a run in with some live music...
 This picture makes me laugh so hard just remembering (Kaitlin's oh my word glossy face, and mom behind us still waking up and Mia wondering what kind of family she is part of now :)... this memory goes into the never forget it bank.  The younger guy in the hat ran into us at the elevators right when we arrived with our suitcases rolling along behind us on Friday and had had a few drinks.  He wanted us to play a practical joke on his brother because it was his birthday....then a second later said it was his own birthday... all I heard was bla bla bla... I turned into a little mother hen shooing us along to our rooms telling the guy that was not going to happen.  Whew....

but then the next night we were in the lobby sitting area drinking green tea and coffee chatting instead of singing karaoke and the same guy came walking over and gave a very sincere apology for whatever he might have said the night before.  And it turned out that he did have a real brother with him and it was both of their birthdays ten days apart so they had gone on an adventure together per their tradition.  Somehow the idea of waking mom up with a song as a practical joke because it was just her birthday seemed like a really good idea and since they seemed quite sober and proper (and we outnumbered them by quite a lot) I was less mother hennish than friday night about the scheme. :D  Mom about killed us but it was totally worth it.  SO funny.  And it seemed to fit into our Nashville themed adventure really well. :) haha poor mom...
 someone at Aveda asked about our plans..and then after hearing them asked why we drove to Nashville just to workout? haha  It's a good question. :)  I'm so sore.  Pure Barre is no joke.  This was my first class and it was a little crazy in there.
 another lunch together...

 huge drink in a bowl sized cup with no handle! :D

 brûlée grapefruit
Old made good shop...
 finding treasures...
 and pictures in the fitting room...
 A few of us went to the Parthenon replica art museum...
 full scale concrete replica
paintings of civil war injuries inside...kind of made you want to sit down for a minute...
 crazy huge statue of Athena where it would have stood in original Greek temple
 weeeeee....mom's without their kids have so much energy ;) haha
 I kept getting confused and saying that we were going to Louisville instead of Nashville ...well, we ate in Louisville on the way home without that being the plan...so I guess I'm vindicated. :D
 Don't worry...no one noticed that we left our two cars in this 24-hour open store parking lot.  How would they prove we left it there two days...  I mean-snow...we could have been waiting out the snowstorm huddled up in the store or something. ;) ;)
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