Dine, Play

It’s Gonna Be May


This still hasn’t gotten old to me.

Well, it’s looking like the warm weather is here to stay in the Carolinas…and it won’t be long before things get hot. Like really really hot.

Two weekends ago we went down to Atlanta for Game #1 in the Playoffs against the Boston Celtics. Hotlanta is about two hours (sometimes a little more depending on 85) away, so it’s not too bad of a drive. Since I don’t have a lot of red clothing (that aren’t workout pants) and knew Randall wouldn’t appreciate me wearing a Celtics jersey, I borrowed a pair of pants from my Mom. Just kidding…


I know she actually had a really similar pair of pants when I was kid.


It was like a yellow highlighter exploded throughout the entire arena.

After the game, I managed to run into a friend/former coworker, Danielle, at one of the bars we ended up at.  Danielle and I worked together at Red Bull.  I had gone down to New Orleans when she first came on board full time to work with her for a few days.


Danielle Nicole X 2 = Double Trouble

Better yet, we were on the Red Bull dance team together in Austria (when the U.S. won for the second year in a row).  That is definitely still one of my favorite memories that I had during my eight years at Red Bull.


Copa del Toro US Dance & Soccer Team 2014. 

I must’ve known that I was going to run into a dance pal…I mean I was even wearing a leotard.


At least I couldn’t lose him in the bar.

The Hub City Co-Op opened right around the corner from the Pure Barre Corporate Office. Being a small town there aren’t a ton of options within walking distance, so I’m absolutely loving it. Hub City Co-op is a full-service retail grocery store, owned by thousands of community members. They feature a wide variety of local, natural and organic foods and products. So far, I’ve had items from their hot food bar, deli, get my Kevita fix in and of course had the chance to try out some sweets.


I spotted the Hail Merry Merry Bites and knew I had to give them a try.  I couldn’t decide which kind to get so I went with the Chocolate Chip and Caramel Sea Salt and shared them with my coworkers.  The Chocolate Chip was my favorite.  As much as I love sweets, I can be very picky about them, especially if they are a “healthier” option.  With the Chocolate Chip Merry Bites I 100% felt like I satisfied my sweet tooth.  I spent some time on their website reading all about their company, checking out recipes and seeing what other products they had. I had been told to try their tarts so that was up next.


I got this at the Earth Fare on Pelham Road in Greenville, South Carolina.  It was good, but I definitely enjoyed the Merry Bites more.

Speaking of sweets, this bad boy popped up on my instagram the other day and I’ve had it saved on my phone for days…


Ugh, I need that…but need this…


…even more.

But seriously, Cupcrazed has my favorite cupcakes and then you’re going to add a donut to it? AND, I am obsessed with Heath. Thankfully, I don’t live close enough to go there often.

On Thursday night, I taught a class at Pure Barre to help raise money for LLS.  Brittany, who I work with at the Corporate office, has a friend who is running for LLS’s Man of The Year.  You can read more about Patrick Noble and all of the great events he’s been a part of to raise money for the organization by heading here.

Before class I went over to Earth Fare to grab a Kevita (still obsessed) and saw a new item in that area and had to pick ’em up.


Deluxe Honey Drop.

They were both good, but I’m partial to the Lemon Cayenne Cleanse.  The Lemon Cayenne Kevita is also my favorite, so that was no surprise.  The Strawberry Lemon was made up of water, lemons, local raw honey and strawberries.  Lemon Cayenne was the same…except the strawberries were substituted with organic cayenne.

Saturday morning we headed to Charlotte to meet some of our friends at the Queen’s Cup Steeplechase.  We had gone to the event last year and it rained most of the day.  Despite the rain we still had a great time.  There was no rain in sight so I was really excited about this year’s cup.  It did end up raining a little bit towards the end of the day, but overall the weather was perfect.  Well, maybe a little warm, but hey, I’m not complaining.

I don’t always like shopping, especially when I’m on the hunt for something very particular.  I get frustrated really quickly and the *amazing* lighting in dressing rooms doesn’t usually contribute to my mood either.


Someone was looking out for me because I found a dress that I really really liked that was “appropriate” for the attire.  Better yet, I found out I’m actually kind of obsessed with big hats.  The dress was from Macy’s and the hat was from Sears. Now, I just can’t wait until I can find a time to where this hat again (and the dress too).  Maybe I will just wear it to work on Monday.


Plaid, pastels, floral and lace. 


And one more.

What are your favorite events to go to? Have you been to Queen’s Cup or a similar event? 

Dine, Play

I Want to Wake up in that City that Doesn’t Sleep

Last Thursday, I drove to Charlotte to head up to the Big Apple. Before boarding the plane, I went to grab a water and of course the “smaller” size bags of Cookie Chips caught my eye.  Obviously, I needed a snack for the plane.


I (almost) always manage to finish my snacks before we even take off.

Once I landed in New York, I headed to baggage claim to get my bag. I’m usually not a victim of scams, but they happen to the best of us, right?  Someone holding an “UBER” sign directed me outside.  I was a little confused, but thought, “hey, maybe they do things different in New York”. I asked the guy if I needed to open up my app and he said the driver would help. I hopped in the car only to realize this was NOT an uber. I watch way too many movies and suddenly felt like I was in the movie Taken.  For some reason, I decided to just roll it with.  Let’s just say it wasn’t the cheapest ride I’ve taken, but I eventually arrived safely at my hotel.

After getting settled in and getting some work done, it was off to Soul Cycle in West Village.  I took Soul Cycle for the first time this past January when I was leading a training in Bronxville, New York.  I did enjoy it and do see why people get really into it.  Unfortunately, there’s not one around me for me to know if I would get as addicted as some of the people I know.

I normally wouldn’t go to two different classes in one day, but I NEEDED to go back to 305 Fitness.  There are two locations in New York and I had taken at the Midtown studio in January.  This time The Village location was closer, so I found myself there ready to get my dance on.


Sizeism is the new Sexism.

As expected, the class was great.  Last time, I took class from the founder, Sadie, so I was anxious to see if I would love it as much. Hannah did not disappoint in any way. Ugh. Can’t wait to go back. Side note, they just opened in Boston, so if you are ever in NYC, Boston or DC, I highly suggest you give them a try!

After the two classes we went to eat at The Meatball Shop. The music was great, the food was delicious and the Moscow Mule was on point.

On the way to 305 we had passed Culture: An American Yogurt Shop, so after dinner we headed back that way.  They manufacture fresh and frozen yogurt in house. It is made from specially selected live probiotic cultures and the freshest local milk from Hudson Valley Fresh.  I opted for the original with coconut flakes and dark chocolate chips. So so so good. They have original every day and then a few other flavors in rotation. There were two fridges stocked with to go containers of frozen yogurt, non-frozen yogurt, yogurt cookie sandwiches (small and large), parfaits and more! They also deliver. Highly recommend visiting one of the their two locations or picking some up where they are sold in store.

On Friday I led a training at the Pure Barre in the Financial District.  For lunch I went next door to Dig Inn. They use local and seasonal ingredients and have great prices. Their main concept is a “marketplate” where you pick a main item (protein) on your choice of grains with two sides. I opted for the lemon chicken on brown rice with mac and cheese (duh) and sautéed broccoli. I had a delicious cold pressed lemonade.  I’m drawing a blank at the exact ingredients, but remember there being ginger in it.

After training, I went to Juice Generation to hold me over until dinner.  I had the Joyful Almond smoothie which was made with banana, coconut, almond milk and cacao nibs. So great.  I decided to walk back to my hotel instead of hopping in an uber. My 2+ mile walk was pretty easy to follow, so luckily I didn’t get lost.

For dinner we went to grab salads at sweetgreen. I went for the “Kale Caesar” – shredded kale + chopped romaine, tomatoes, shaved parmesan, parmesan crisp, roasted chicken, fresh lime squeeze and caesar dressing. Afterwards, the child of the group *cough cough* needed to get ice cream, so we made the adventure to Big Gay Ice Cream.


Salty pimp = Vanilla Ice Cream + Dulce de Leche + Sea Salt + Chocolate Dip

Sometimes I just like to stare at this picture. Until we meet again, BGIS, S.W.A.K.

All of the walking was balancing out the sweets. Right?

Saturday morning we woke up and headed to Andaz 5th Avenue for Real Simple‘s Beauty & Balance event. Those in attendance had a day full of blow outs, a brow bar, all sorts of healthy food, makeup, giveaways and of course…Pure Barre classes!


Where the magic happened. 


The view from where the magic happened.

There were eight classes on the hour starting promptly at 10am that attendees could join. It was so fun (and maybe a little exhausting) to teach and assist with the classes throughout the day.  Afterwards, we made a pit stop at Whole Foods for some snacks since our dinner reservation wasn’t until 9pm.

We headed to Beauty & Essex in the Lower East Side. To enter the restaurant you go through an actual thrift shop…


I couldn’t decide if this was my second dinner or I just had a really late lunch and this was first dinner.  Either way, I decided not to over do it on the food so I could save room for the “box of donuts” I saw on the dessert menu. Priorities.  I ordered the tuna poke wonton tacos with cilantro, radish and wasabi kewpie along with the grilled Cheese, smoked bacon and tomato soup dumplings. The lighting wasn’t optimal for photos of either appetizer, just trust me, they were both amazing!

Oh, don’t worry, I was able to figure out the lighting to get a picture of these bad boys…


IMG_6711Vanilla beignets with  raspberry jam (3 on left) & chocolate hazelnut crème (3 on right)

Yes, they are were as good as they looked.

Before heading out, I had to go down to the ladies’ room because the girls told me there was champagne in the bathroom. Wait, what?


Poppin’ bottles.

The night took us a few more places and look we even got a picture in semi real clothes!


Oh weird, leggings still reppin’ hard.

I flew back to Charlotte on Sunday morning.  I decided to go to my parent’s house instead of driving back to Greenville.  After going to the grocery store with my Mom and getting something to eat, I decided to lay down for a bit.


But, for real.

I ended up staying for dinner…and spending the night there.

Monday morning I went to Pure Barre South Park to take a Platform class with my Mom. Don’t be proud. Right after, Mom and I went to give M J Donuts in Pineville a try.


They get me.

It just made sense to get a dozen donuts and sample pieces of as many as possible. At least that was our rationale.


Life is like a box of donuts.

And look what they gave you complimentary…


…as if we needed more. Hey, I wasn’t going to complain.

I saw this shortly after….and everything just made sense.


I hope you had a wonderful week!  What are your favorite places to go in New York City? Let me know so I can give them a try the next time I make my way up there. Do you have a sweet tooth?! If so, let me know must try places (donuts, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, you name it) in ANY city!  You never know where I will end up next. 


Dine, Play, Pure Barre

Hippity hoppity, Happy Easter Day!

“A good conversation always involves a certain amount of complaining. I like to bond over mutual hatreds and petty grievances.” – Lisa Kleypas

Don’t worry, I’m not about to start complaining to you all.  I read the quote above the other day and couldn’t help but laugh at how relevant it was. Everyone has to have that certain friend, family member and / or coworker that they have that special bond with, right? No? That’s just me…Oh, ok. 😉

Last weekend I went to Charlotte to teach a Pure Barre class to celebrate my friend, Caroline, who is getting married this week. A bunch of teachers and “barretenders” came to take the class last Saturday morning at Pure Barre South Park.  It. Was. So. Much. Fun.


Special spot for the Bride to Be. 

After class, we did what anyone should do after working out. Snacks and mimosas. Duh. Oh yeah, and cake.


Congratulations, Chad & Caroline!!! 

“Friendship is weird. You pick a human you’ve met and you’re like, “yup I like this one,” and you just do stuff with them.”


White tutu. Beyond necessary. 

That night a big group of us went to dinner at Aria Tuscan Grill.  There was a “Milano Mule” on the menu, so naturally, I had to give that a try. It was Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur Vodka, Galliano and Lime Juice Ginger Beer.  The first one was amazing. The second one, I swear they must’ve grabbed the wrong liquor (or liqueur) and I ended up sending it back. I NEVER send anything back.  The redo still tasted a little off to me, but oh well. For dinner I had the Wild Mushroom pizza that was made with goat cheese, caramelized onion, arugula and truffle oil. Surprisingly, I didn’t eat the whole thing. That’s a first. After dinner, some of us headed on over to Bubble to burn off dinner on the dance floor.

Sunday morning, my Mom made me a breakfast sandwich.  That should’ve been enough, but she also had leftover pizza so I had a slice of that as well. I headed back to Greenville on Sunday afternoon and didn’t feel like cooking so I picked up take out from Carrabba’s.  On the bag it said:



On Monday morning, I was starving shortly after I got to work.  I happened to look in my bag and find this:


YES! Caroline had given me it when I was at her studio on Saturday.  A couple days before she had given me the Apple Pecan one to try.  They were both so good. Probably the best bars I’ve ever had.  I had tried them before when I lived in Charlotte, but I think they may have changed them up a bit. I highly suggest giving them a try.  They are made from scratch in Charlotte. Read all about ’em on their website.

This past Thursday, I went to meet up with a few of my fellow Pure Barre Greenville teachers to take some photos.  There’s a reason why we’re sporting all white (or black or gray or blue) everythang.  Stay tuned…I can’t wait to see the finished product!


Lauren, Josha, moi, Helen ❤ 

I was rushing to get there (I know that’s a surprise) and didn’t have time to stop for lunch.  Once I got home I begged Randall to go get Mexican with me.  He knows better than to say no when Hangry Hippo comes through the door.  Our waiter asked if I wanted a regular or a large.  Large seemed like the logical option. Right? Little did I know that it was going to be larger than my head (and my head is pretty big). Whoops.


I guess it’s a fishbowl Margarita?

Friday night I did a whole lot of nothing.  On Saturday morning I woke up to Full House.  It was right at the point when Stephanie was dancing to “Good Vibrations”.  I wouldn’t let myself sleep at night if I didn’t share this scene with you:

Hold on, I can’t stop now…

I really can’t think of a better way to start my day.  After being inspired, reevaluating my life and getting ready I headed to the studio to teach and take class. And then headed home to do…a whole lot of nothin’.  I watched Hitch, The Breakup, Jerry Maguire, Sleepless in Seattle and then fell asleep at some point during You’ve Got Mail. I’ve seen all of those movies at least once.

This song played during some point of Sleepless in Seattle. Enjoy one minute and fifty one seconds of happiness from 1964.

“It’s so important to make someone happy.
Make just one someone happy.
Make just one heart to heart you, you sing to
One smile that cheers you.
One face that lights when it nears you.
One girl you’re – you’re everything to
Fame, if you win it,
Comes and goes in a minutes
Where’s the real stuff in life, to cling to?
Love is the answer.
Someone to love is the answer.
Once you’ve found her,
Build your world around her.
Make someone happy.
Make just one someone happy.
And you will be happy too.”

This morning I headed to the studio to teach myself a class before heading to Charlotte to go stuff my face at my parents. My Mom had made ham, broccoli casserole, green bean casserole, maple carrots and mashed potatoes, which I was VERY excited about.  She had hinted that she had made SOMETHING with Cadbury eggs and I could barely sleep last night wondering what it was going to be.  Let me introduce to you Cadbury Candy Coated Mini Egg fudge.

IMG_6636Happy Easter!

I mean who even needs food…


I hope you all had a marvelous Easter and had the chance to spend time with friends and family. 

Dine, Play

Sugar Sugar How You Get So Fly

“The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in the pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of everyday moments.” – Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I know I wanted to write (post) more in 2016, but I also wanted to take more time to live in the moment (aka less time on my phone and computer).  I’ve been trying to find a balance of the two…quickly snapping the photo and then putting it away to be more present.

On a completely unrelated note, this came in the mail the other day…


From, Aretha.

First, I haven’t lived in Charlotte for over a year. Second, the apartment complex is gated and we lived on the third floor, did Aretha really treck up the stairs to win me over? Third, how did she get my full name?! Fourth, I am not becoming a Jehovah’s Witness.

My cousin, Heather, posted this adorable photo of little Madison for Valentine’s Day and I quickly realized that I dress like a three month old baby!


Making decisions at restaurants can be really hard. They can be especially hard when you’re tired, stressed out and hangry.  So, sometimes you just need to get two things….and eat breakfast all day.


Brunch and dinner from Another Broken Egg Cafe. Top :: Veggie & Goat Cheese Omelet & Bottom :: Cinnamon Bun French Toast.

Babies, babies, everywhere! Last weekend I flew home (again) for another baby shower. My cousin, Brittany, is expecting next month.  I flew out of Charlotte so I could have a direct flight.  To my surprise, I had the whole row to myself.


I landed in Providence shortly after 9am.  First stop, Allie’s Donuts. Ashley introduced me to them the last time I was home and they’ve been on my mind ever since.  I was going to visit some family after, so figured getting a dozen was a fantastic idea.  Obviously I couldn’t wait an hour to eat one, so I sat in their parking lot, listening to “Work” as I inhaled a donut with sprinkles…and then sampled a piece of two others.

I made my way to my Aunt and Uncle’s (one of the many) house to meet my cousin and baby Madison. We hung there for a bit and then went to lunch with two of my other cousin’s.  My Aunt pulled out this gem…

IMG_6510PLEASE say you remember this book?! 

After some quality family time, it was off to meet Ashley at the bar(re) to do damage control.  After baby she can meet me at the other bar — can’t wait!

That night, we went to dinner in Providence at Hemenway’s.  I was the fifth wheel…is that a thing? I guess not, but oh well.  We started with oysters and calamari and I was torn between about six menu items for my entree and finally decided on this….

Whole lobster, Cavatappi pasta, Vermont white cheddar, bechamel & seasoned crumbs served with garlic sauteed spinach.

The spinach balances out all of the pasta and cheese.

The next day, I decided to continue my healthy eating streak and picked up Papa Gino’s to bring to my Nana’s house to have lunch with my Nana and one of my Uncles.

Clearly, I had to put it in the trunk so I didn’t have to torture myself on the drive over.  It was so so wonderful to catch up with my Nana and Uncle and reminisce about when I used to go over there when I was a little kid.


Been a loud mouth since the beginning.


Not really sure about this outfit…

scan0012…guess mini Danielle wasn’t either. Tights were a better look on my head instead.

scan0011Been practicing my Pure Barre moves since a young age.

My Mom got into town on Saturday night and it was off to get Mexican with her and Aunt June.


Cadillac Margaritas all around! 


Thee FEAST. 

I woke up Sunday morning to this surprise….


From Jumbo Donuts.

Welp. So much for all that healthy eating in February…maybe, I’ll get back on track soon. Maybe not.

Then it was off to Brittany’s baby shower.

IMG_6546Hangin’ with some of the cousins waiting on our little mama.


Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake.


Can’t wait to meet baby girl!!! ❤ 

It doesn’t take much for me to cry,  but felt pretty confident I was going to make it through Britt’s shower with out tears. Ha, yeah right.  A good friend of the family, made such an amazing blanket for Brittany (and baby).  It was made from shirts that belonged to Peter (Brittany’s late brother)….and I literally lost it.  Can’t take me anywhere.

This past Wednesday, I made a bad choice to go get TWO cupcakes from Gigi’s. One for Randall and one for me.  I couldn’t decide what kind to get so that number got upped to two. I was trying to decide between 5 options….and then, the girl suggested I do the buy 5 get one 1 free.  And there you have it…


Peanut Butter Cup. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Red Velvet. Strawberry Shortcake. Wedding Cake. Carrot Cake. 

Yesterday, I made chocolate covered strawberries for Kristyn’s baby shower.  Go get yourself some strawberries ASAP, they are so good right now… Or just let me make you some of these 😉


I met Kristyn back in 2013 when we both joined the Pure Barre Training Team.  When I moved to Greenville last year, I had the privilege of getting to see her more now that we teach at the same studios.  I was itching with anticipation to give her these Splits 59 Tendue leggings for future baby girl.  When 80% of your wardrobe consists of “athleisure” clothes, you get way too excited about something like this:


Now, I just have to wait until she’s big enough to wear the leggings!  Hurry up, baby girl Belote! 

After I made the strawberries, Randall and I went to Charlotte to see our friends and their little princess. I absolutely fell in love and can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of her (or with her).  She’s so so precious. She’ll make her debut on here sooner than later.

The only way to close this “I love you like a fat kid loves cake” post out is this….


Hope you all have a wonderful Sunday!  Enjoy what’s left of the weekend.


Dine, Play, Pure Barre

Love is in the Air

“There are only three things women need in life: Food, water and compliments.” – Chris Rock

Last weekend I headed to Rhode Island for one of my closest friend’s baby shower.  My flight was leaving out of Charlotte, so I made sure to get there in enough time to eat dinner at Luna’s before I made my way to the airport.


Still in love with the Manicotti.

I’ll never be able to wrap my head around the fact that everything here is raw and vegan and SO delicious.

Of course my flight was delayed a bit…by the time I landed in Providence and then made it to my Aunt & Uncle’s house it was about midnight, so I went right to bed.

I woke up to a winter wonderland the next morning.  Normally, I would’ve loved this, but I had so much to do and the snow was accumulating fast and wasn’t showing any sign of stopping.


At least it was pretty.

I finally made it on the road and headed to Ashley and Keith’s in Rhode Island.  On the way there, I stopped at Garden City to grab a few things and get a bite to eat.  I finally ate at b.good. My friend, Christina, eats there all the time and I’ve been dying to give it a try.  I opted for the Citrus & Avocado salad (with chicken) that was made with boston lettuce, radicchio, orange, avocado, pistachios, goat cheese, fennel and lemon-mint vinaigrette. So good.

We went to dinner at Celestial Cafe.  Growing up, I hated seafood, which is such a shame considering that I grew up in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  About eight years ago I gave it another try and voila!  These days, there aren’t too many things that I don’t like.  I decided to get the RI Mushroom, Kale & Onion Risotto with Scallops.  The dish was spinach, artichoke hearts, Schartner Farm kale, RI mushrooms, carmelized onions, Naragannasett Creamery garlic & herb cheese, roasted garlic and Marsala broth with risotto.  My mouth is watering as I am writing this!  We started with “Pat’s Pork Nachos”, which were made with Pat’s Pastured smoked cubed pork belly & pulled pork, Celestial’s honey onion BBQ, pickled hot peppers, green onions, cheddar and served with a side of salsa and side of Cool Ranch.  Since we had a (pregnant) DD, it was time to go all out. Just kidding. However, “The Navidad” caught my eye and I found myself sipping on tequila, tepache, ginger liqueur, pineapple juice, cinnamon syrup and bitters.

Saturday morning, Ashley got up and she made us a healthy green smoothie.  Moments later, her husband, Keith, arrived with Allie’s Donuts.  Basically the best of both worlds.  If they weren’t expecting a baby in two months, I would’ve probably asked if I could move in.


Been around since 1968. 

Then, it was off to the shower.  The snow added such a beautiful touch to the back drop of the shower and perfected the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” theme.


Quidnessett Country Club

Ashley’s Bridal Shower was perfect. Her wedding was straight out of a magazine.  So, it was no surprise when her baby shower had my heart melting quicker than the snow.


Can. Not. Wait. To. Meet. Him.

All of the sweets were right up my alley…


Tasted as good as it it looked.


Hot Cocoa Bar. YES!


Tiniest little mama to be.

I seriously can’t wait to meet Ashley and Keith’s little man.  They’re definitely one of my favorite couples and Ashley and I have been super close since 9th grade…hope this kid lives up to my expectations and is as wonderful as his parents (and grandparents…and Uncle) 😉

After the shower we went back to Ashley and Keith’s for a bit and later went out for dinner.  That night we watched 21 Jump Street and then called it a night.

I had an early flight back down to Charlotte the next morning.  I decided to stay in Charlotte for the Super Bowl. I was really excited to relax a bit before heading to my friend’s an then out.  And then, the auras started. Noooooo…. not a migraine?! Yes, indeed.  Plans got rearranged, but I did end up making it over to my friend’s house to watch the Super Bowl.  It’s always so wonderful to catch up with my “big sissy”.  Especially, when Snap Chat gave us this option:

We really bring out the best in each other.

Monday morning, I went to check out Pure Barre South Park with my Mom.  Afterwards we headed to lunch at Luna’s. Yes, again. I clearly had to get the Manicotti, but also ordered the Cacao Cacao smoothie.  It was even better than I remembered.  We were torn between getting the Caramel Brownie and the Turtle Cake. And by we, I mean me.  Luckily they were out of brownies, so Mom and I decided to share the Turtle Cake.


Thee Best Raw Food.

On Thursday, I figured it was time to make sure my coworkers were feelin’ the love since Valentine’s Day was right around the corner. With some love inspired jams and a red tutu that my coworker, Elizabeth, had in her desk drawer, I was ready to go!


I want to wear this every time I teach.

On Thursday night, I stayed in Sparkle to teach a Platform class.  I had been going and going all day and didn’t even realize how cold it was when I went outside to talk to Olivia.


Get back inside!

When I taught on Friday morning in Greenville, the girls told me it was supposed to snow.  I didn’t take it too seriously.  I made my way to Spartanburg, taught class and then came out of the studio to find that it was snowing….hard!  By the afternoon it had all melted.  Short lived. After working in Sparkle all day, I made my way back to Greenville to teach Bring on the Men.  This version was particularly special because 1. It was Platform instead of regular Pure Barre 2. 5 of the girls from the office were bringing their significant others!


SO much fun!

The guys did AWESOME! (Girls, I guess you did alright too).  I had so much fun teaching it and think I may have been sweating as much as everyone else.

I had today (and tomorrow) entirely off.  I still got up around 8 because I don’t know how to sleep in, but took advantage of all of the free time. Made breakfast. Cleaned. Cleaned some more. Laundry. Cleaned even more.

I wanted to bake, so it was time to convince Randall that he wanted sweets for Valentine’s Day tomorrow.  At the end of January, Randall suggested we eat “clean” for the month of February.  I was semi on board.  I decided I would do my absolute best Monday-Friday, but then on the weekends would treat myself as much (or as little) as I felt like.  Randall has zero interests in any sweets, so I found myself on Yelp looking at bakeries.  I decided to head to GiGi’s to get cupcakes.  If I baked, there would be WAY too much in the house and I wouldn’t be able to cut myself off.  Most of the cupcakes were decked out for Valentine’s Day.  I couldn’t decide which one I wanted so I got the Red Velvet and Champagne.


Champagne is already gone. Red Velvet half way gone (half way there). Whoops!

Having sweets and treats sometimes and eating clean and green other times is a MUCH better balance for ME.  Last year, when I did 30 Clean, I felt like I was losing my mind.  Afterwards, I had a really weird relationship with food… for a while.  Hey, I’m not knockin’ it, so much respect to you if it works for you, but eating “good” during the week and then mixing it up on the weekends is working wonders for me (says the girl that has been doing this for only two weeks)

Whether you’re single and ready to mingle or have googly eyes for your boo thang, I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow. Treat yourself. Love yourself. Remember it’s Sunday Funday.  Tell someone how fabulous they are or how much they mean to you.  The world needs more love.

Dine, Play, Pure Barre

Calm Down 2016

“Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness.”
― Karen Joy Fowler

And just like that I said farewell to January. Not only that, but we are already into the second week of February. Slow down! January seemed to get the best of me and I never found myself able to catch up.

Looking back the first two weeks of the year are kind of a blur. After that, I headed to Bronxville, New York to lead two days of training.


Hopefully this means something to you.

In addition to working while I was there, I had a few other items on my agenda. Katelyn had been raving about 305 Fitness and promised I would love it…and man, oh man she was so so right. I was obsessed from the moment I walked in the door.


Smart Water chandelier, anyone? Password – I’m in love.

“Named after Miami’s area code, 305 Fitness is a dance cardio workout based in New York City. Each class infuses dance moves, sports drills and high intensity interval training (HIIT) to create a full-body, fun workout. Featuring a live DJ and the city’s best instructors, our non-stop cardio classes feel like a night out partying disguised as a workout.”

If you’re anything like me, you’re known to burn some calories on the dance floor (which balances out the calories coming from the drink in your hand). I think I may have blacked out during a mashup of Adele, Justin Bieber, Trina and Missy Elliott.  The class is so fun. You will more than break just a little bit of a sweat. It’s 55 minutes of non stop dancing complete with a DJ (uh, yeah) and lights. To really get an idea of what to expect at 305 Fitness, head over here and watch the video they provide for you.

A lot…and I mean a lot of my friends have raved about Soul Cycle and I know I am late to the party.  There was one right nearby where I was staying so I was finally able to give it a try!  Once again, no disappointments or complaints.

All this working out meant I had to treat myself to a New York bagel.


When in New York.

I made it back down South and headed just about two hours North to get my hair did (love you, Kristy) and visit some long lost friends at Pure Barre Lake Norman.

IMG_6217 ❤

And then I got to spend some time with one of my fave coworkers. Can not wait to meet her baby girl in just over a month!


Tucking for two.

Then, South Carolina braced for a winter storm. I’ve finally gotten used to handling snow / ice entirely different down here rather than back home.


All is calm, all is bright.

I ended up spending the night in Sparkle City to make sure the scheduled training could still take place. These chicas don’t play around.


Platform. Over. Err. Thang.

Oh, can’t forget about cupcakes in the office to celebrate the bride to be.  Katie, thanks for getting married and giving us a reason to celebrate (eat) 😉


Gimme s’more.

I’m sure a lot of other fantastic things happened in January, but it came and went just like that.  February was off to quite the start…but, more to come on that next time!

Dine, Play, Pure Barre

Happy New Year!

Well, well, well…where do I even begin?  I guess I will start by saying Happy New Year!  I hope you all had a chance to relax over the holidays and spend time with family and friends.

Let’s rewind to November…yes, it’s been that long.

My parents came down for Thanksgiving and the four of us went to a late lunch at The Nose Dive and then headed to The Local Cue later on to watch football and play board games (Don’t Break the Ice, Chutes and Ladders, Penguin Pile Up, Let’s Go Fishin’, etc.) . Oh, and I can’t forget the most important part of the day – Mom showing me up with her hula hooping skills.

The day after Thanksgiving would’ve been my sister’s 23rd birthday. I can’t believe this is already the fifth Thanksgiving / birthday without her here.


Served with a side of tears. ;(

The next day, Randall and I went to Columbia for the USC vs. Clemson game. It was incredibly warm (I’m not complaining) and a perfect way to spend a work free Saturday.  I’ve finally gotten used to drinking beer, thanks to his job.


I miss taking pictures for the @redbullnc instagram. 

I had a lot of nutritious food that day – mini hot dogs, french fries and… cheetos.


I only ate them to show my Clemson pride.

No long day of tailgating would be complete, if you didn’t walk two miles back to your car to find it had been towed. Womp womp.

On December 5th, I decided to try to cut out caffeine (chocolate doesn’t count). Other than an emergency Red Bull on December 12th, I haven’t had any!

The second week of December, I flew up to Boston to lead a Training in Hingham, MA.  My second flight got delayed and I was stuck at the Newark airport for an extra 3+ hours.  However, I wasn’t too upset once I got situated with this sweet lil setup:


iPad Menu (order from it too!), outlet at each seat & awesome sushi. 

After Training each day I was lucky enough to see two of my best friends. On Friday, Christina and I went to dinner at Spoke Wine Bar.  On Saturday, Ashley and I went to dinner at Tavolino at Patriot’s Place.  It was so fantastic to see both of them.  WHY, didn’t we take any pictures?! We are the worst.

It’s finally starting to get cold here. Well, every once in a while.  This is probably the closet thing I will see to snow this year..


Car window on December 19th.

Tuesday the 22nd, was the last day that I would be in the office before the holidays.  On Tuesdays we have a class at noon, so it only made sense to dress like this:


 Red and green all the way.

When I got home that night, I was welcomed by this amazing gift from Katelyn and Katy. We have way too many work conversations with the help of Bitmojis…and any of my friends who have this app, know I’m basically obsessed.


Katelyn even photoshopped my bun to complete the bit.

My parents gave me an early Christmas present – Marley headphones.  I’ve been dying for a pair of headphones like this, so I was very very excited.


I just can’t get enough of ’em.

Speaking of not being able to get enough.  I got to meet my cousin’s little bundle of joy, Madison, on Christmas Eve.  It was love at first sight.


❤ ❤ ❤

And the other side of the family will welcome another little baby girl in just a few more months…


My little Mama to be.

On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, both sides of the family had a great time torturing each other by playing Beanboozled. What better way to say I love you than getting someone to eat jelly beans that could be any of the following flavors; dog food, rotten eggs, moldy cheese, skunk, grass, boogers and more!

My trip home was short, but I’ll be back again in February (can’t wait!!)… I headed back to Greenville for a few days, then took a day trip to Charlotte to go the Hip Hop Nutcracker with my Mom.  That night, my parents and I went to dinner at CO.  I loved CO when I lived in Charleston, so I was very happy that there is now one a little bit closer to me.

On New Year’s Eve I went out with my better half…


Goodbye, 2015. Hello, 2016.

Of course, a lot more has happened in the past month and half, but here’s a few highlights.  And to finish this post out… here’s my “Best Nine” Instagram posts:


(1) Popping bottles (2) Purple hair – I miss you! (3) Platform (4) Elfin’ (5) Pretending to join the circus (6) More Platform (7) Moved to Greenville (8) Barre in the Park in Nashville (9) Donuts 

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and that 2016 is off to a magnificent start.  My only new resolution is to let less time go by in between posts 😉 


Dine, Play

It’s Saturday, not FRYday

After much procrastinating, I finally got my haircut.  I couldn’t make it back to Charlotte and have this weird thing about taking someone else’s recommendations on a specific person to go to, so I took to Yelp where I knew I could be taking an even bigger risk.  It’s just hair, right? Psh. Speak for yourself.

I stumbled across dv8 salons and liked what I read and the few reviews on Yelp were good. I took a chance and emailed one of the stylists, Melissa, to see if she had any openings THAT day and she did. #blessed. Finally, I can see again!

Last weekend we laid pretty low. Cleaned a bit. Went to some parks. Hobby Lobby. Michael’s. Wait, where is this going?

“Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.”

Work was really busy all week, but I got to see a bunch of coworkers that I normally don’t get to so that was great. I’ve also found myself reintroducing an old friend back into my life..


Judge away.

On Thursday, I taught a Bring on the Men class at Pure Barre. It’s been forever since I taught one and I forgot how much fun they are to teach.


Come back soon!

Today we drove up to Charlotte so Randall could get his haircut (see, it’s not just me).  I rode up to my parents to hang with them for a bit and went to Ulta with my Mom.  Speaking of Mom, I saw this a couple of days ago and keep thinking about it…

Version 2

Clearly my sister knew more about this than I did 😉 

You know when you end up on an Instagram photo and you have no idea how you got there? No? That’s just me? Stop it, I know it happens to you! Well, I stumbled across Too Faced’s Stardust by Vegas Nay and realized that I NEEDED to have it. I’m every Marketers dream…just slap “Exclusive” on something and BOOM swipe the card. The fact that #selfie is the name of one of the eyeshadows kind of makes me want to slap myself, but let’s be serious I cannot wait to use it.



All of these goodies for $45. It’s sold out online, which makes me feel even better about my in store purchase today!

Before heading back we stopped at What the Fries Food Truck.

The guys that started it graduated from Johnson & Wales University (yes, proud alum right here). It. Was. So. Good. I opted for a single cheeseburger and Randall really showed me up by getting the Mac N Cheese Bacon Burger.


I had trouble deciding what fries, so I went with their suggestion of the Chicken Pot Pie fries.


So basically this is my new mindset…

The weekend isn’t over yet, go on and enjoy yourself!  Time to go and figure out what to do tonight, tomorrow AND Monday.  ❤

Dine, Play

When a moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, That’s amore

I woke up from a little nap today and immediately called my Mom to let her know I had a really intense dream…about Papa Gino’s pizza.

Clarissa speaks the truth.

What a disappointment since the closest Papa Gino’s is 13 hours away. Hopefully, I’m not the only one that has dreams about food…

Speaking of food, I went to Trader Joe’s today to grab a few things. Obviously you can’t just grab a few things in there, but at least my intentions are always good. I picked up three of the new items and one item I had never noticed before.


I threw the pizza in my shopping cart because it reminded me of one of my best friends from home, Ashley.  When Randall and I went to her and her husband’s house for dinner when we visited this was similar to one of the pizzas she made us.  Obviously her pizza was better, but this wasn’t too bad for a frozen pizza. I already sampled the Toffee Chips – mainly because I have no self control.  They were good, but would be better mashed up on some ice cream or gelato.  Speaking of gelato, I added HannahMax Baking Cookie Chips to some Talenti Sea Salt Caramel gelato the other night and it totally rocked my world. The Margarita Mix is not a new product, but figured it wouldn’t hurt to have around the house…just in case.  I’ve never had it before, so I’ll report back in once I give it a try.  I figured the Super Seed Blend would balance out my three other purchases.

They had free samples of their Portabella Mushroom Fries that were dipped in Sriracha Ranch dressing. Both products also new. They ran out of the Sriracha dressing (to purchase) and I was pretty close to shedding a tear. WHAT a tease. The dressing had much more of a kick than I anticipated.  I was already dreaming of what I was going to put it on, so when I found out they were temporarily out I definitely went into the next aisle to pout.

I recently discovered that there is a place across the street from where I work that has kiddie cones. This was the best/worst discovery I’ve had in a while.


I’ve been dying to get back down to Charleston lately so this just felt right.

What else has been going on? We went to Straight Outta Compton. Great movie. Didn’t claim to be a super fan before or after going. It was great to learn more about the lives of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren and the impact they had on hiphop.

The day after that I led a ten hour training so decided it was time for a little Mexican.


The next day, I had a freak out moment and dyed my own hair… To all my hair stylist friends, I already know what you’re thinking – I’m sorry. Sort of.


Hey girl.

My parents decided to come into town last night, so we went out for sushi and some drinks.  I just can’t get enough of Moscow Mules.


It’s not just because of the copper mug, I promise.

This was at Chicora Alley in Downtown Greenville.  There were two highlights of my night that I need to share with you all:

There was a couple that came in that danced up a storm. I would say the girl was in her late 30’s / early 40’s and the guy had at least 10 years on her. The lady made me think of Olivia Newton John in Grease when she reveals her madeover self for the first time. She was wearing this tight LBD and boots. The guy….well picture this but 20 years older:

Secondly, I guess the couple really did dance up a storm… Once we decided to leave we were welcomed by some rain drops. Then came the lightning in the distance. Before we knew it the thunder started rolling. We started to power walk in the direction we needed to go. The quicker we walked the quicker the rain started to come down. My Dad and I ended up having my Mom stay under a covered area and we would go get my car. Of course I had my highest wedges on possible.  Instead of breaking my ankle, I decided to take them off and we started to run in the rain. Looking back, it sounds a little silly…but it was actually really cool.  Maybe I need to run in the rain more often. Sometimes, it’s those little memories in time that really stick with you. I noticed my heel was feeling a little funny once I got home.  Come to find out, I had stepped in some glass.  Way to ruin the cool memory 😉

After taking class and teaching Breaking Down the Barre this morning I went back Downtown to meet my parents for brunch before they went back to Charlotte.  I don’t know what I was thinking but I ordered the Chicora Grand Slam (yes, we brunched at the same place we drank at last night).  The Grand Slam had bacon, eggs, cheese grits, hashbrowns and biscuits with gravy.  I barely put a dent in the grits and definitely didn’t finish it all.  Maybe that’s what triggered my nap later on in the day.

After eating, I decided to go get my nails done before it was too late.  Every time I get a gel manicure, I end up peeling the polish off and basically destroying my nails.  If I waited one more day, it just might be too late.  I got my nails done over three weeks ago and they had no chips and still looked pretty good.  They were just growing out a bit so a good portion of my nail beds were showing.  The place I went to last time was closed so I stopped by a different one a little closer to my house.  I always love a freshly done manicure, but for some reason I’m particularly obsessed with this one.


OPI Bubble Bath. 

Oh and before I go…

How was your weekend? What are your favorite Trader Joe products? Favorite nail color? 

Dine, Play

Queen City of the South to the Queen City of the West

I’ve always known Denver as the Mile High City, but just read that it’s also nicknamed the Queen City of the West. Well, well, well… Looks like I was traveling from the Queen City of the South to the Queen City of the West.

Sunday afternoon I headed to the airport to begin my journey to Denver. I had a flight to Charlotte with a three hour layover. Summer storms pushed back the flight time and once I got outside, I was glad we didn’t head out earlier than we did. This little nugget was going to jet me on up to the QC…

Time to fly away…

I finally made it to Denver late Sunday night. If you’ve ever been there, you know the airport is a bit of a hike to downtown, but luckily I had a great taxi driver that held just the right amount of conversation with me.


Come to mama.

The next morning I started my day off with some greens, eggs and ham. Too bad it wasn’t green eggs and ham!


So fresh and so green, green.

When I worked out Monday morning, I definitely felt a little off… That dang elevation gets me every time! I convinced myself it was part mental and powered through 😉 It was so great walking to lunch later on in the day and being able to enjoy the weather. I love the Carolinas, but it’s nice to get a break from the heat and humidity from time to time. After I was done working for the day, we went to check out a new restaurant concept that opened called Avanti Food and Beverage.

“One collective space. Seven culinary options. Inspired by European markets and food truck roundups we have created a modern day food hall. Seven different restaurant concepts, housed in modified shipping containers, will provide our guests with an eclectic mix of affordably priced, chef-inspired cuisine. Finally answering the age-old question, “where should we go eat?”

Explore your culinary options after grabbing one of our twenty draft beers, classic cocktails, or affordably priced wines. Find us for a beverage at one of two large bars (main level and rooftop) or grab a seat in our lounge, dining area or rooftop deck and one of our many servers will find you.”

LOVED this concept and it has a killer view of Downtown Denver.


Skyline panoramas all day everyday. 

On Tuesday, we headed to WaterCourse Foods for lunch. This carnivore hasn’t been to a vegan restaurant in a while, so I was super excited to switch it up.  I was hangry and wanted everything on the menu.  I opted for the “Orange Beef & Broccoli Bowl” – crispy seitan in a citrus teriyaki glaze with broccoli and brown rice.  Didn’t miss meat or dairy one bit during this delicious entree. However, I DID find myself missing Puree and my friend Jenan back in Charleston. ❤


Yum yum yum.

After we were done working my boss and I decided to go take a class at CorePower Yoga.  I had never been and was super excited to try out the Yoga Sculpt class we signed up for.


CorePower Yoga Sculpt classes are set to energizing music and designed to tone and sculpt every major muscle group. This class complements your regular yoga practice while boosting your metabolism and pushing your strength and flexibility to new heights. Free weights are added to the CorePower Yoga 2 (C2) sequence, creating resistance and intensifying each pose. Strength-training exercises such as squats, lunges, bicep and tricep curls are incorporated to build lean muscle mass. You will see visible results in your body.

Definitely did NOT hurt, that your first week is free. Check their website to see if there is a location near you and give it a try.  This class was AWESOME.  Definitely nothing like a traditional yoga class… not sure if that’s what made me love it even more.  I may post a video of myself doing some of the moves for your entertainment.

We were going to take a Car2go to get to yoga, but realized the account info on file was out of date so ended up taking uber (no complaints). Have you ever heard of Car2go?! I was immediately intrigued and slightly obsessed with this concept:



Maybe next time, Denver…or other cool city.

After getting our sweat on, we headed to Linger to their rooftop bar.  The food and cocktail menu is awesome and the vibe makes you want to stay forever.


The former site of Denver’s historic Olinger Mortuary is now a new bar and restaurant called Linger. Rather than being skeeved out by the building’s history, chef/owner Justin Cucci has embraced the concept, darkening the first letter of Olinger’s prominent neon sign to name his place, and changing the word “mortuaries” to “eatuaries.’ The host stand is a former church pew and the decor also includes vintage funeral fans, a giant photo from Harold and Maude, and other little touches just on the whimsical side of macabre. – eater.com

We had tried to go to Uncle Ramen the night before, but the wait was over an hour. Tuesday night we headed there a little later in hopes of being able to get right in.  We were in luck.  The food was SO good. It’s been forever since I had ramen and I can’t imagine a better place to revisit my love.


Spicy sesame broth, scallion, bean sprouts, soft egg and chicken

After dinner we started to make our way back towards the hotel, but not without stopping at Forest Room 5. Think log cabin meets camping meets bar. You have to check out their website for the pictures. If someone whipped out a Hershey’s bar, graham crackers and marshmallows, I don’t think I would have ever left.

We passed by the The Union Station and took a quick walk inside so I could see what it was all about.


The Union Station has been there since 1881, but went through over $50 million in renovations a few years ago to make it a hub for dining, shopping and lodging. Oh, and, transportation.

On Wednesday, I decided to walk a little over a mile to check out a different CorePower Yoga location and take a different class.  This class was more along the lines of a power yoga class you would expect to take.

Ready to sweat? CorePower Yoga 2 (C2) is a rigorous yoga class with demanding strength postures that will have you moving, breathing and sweating! True to its name, a C2 class focuses on building and enaging your core strength to support you in more advanced postures. Set to energizing music in a heated, climate-controlled room.

I liked it, but I REALLY liked the Yoga Sculpt class I had taken the day before.

For lunch, it was Crepes N Crepes and then off to the airport to begin my journey back to Greenville.

Until I see you again, Mile High City…stay high, my friends.

Have you been to Denver before? Any must see (or more importantly must eat at) in case I’m there again soon?