Monday Musings

Well I think it looks like I really need to get back on my blogging game, no?

Especially considering that in just a few (!!!) short weeks, there will be a tiny human that will be (adorably) demanding all of my attention for a while, so the blog will likely go on a bit of a mini hiatus at that point. I have so many good ideas in my brain, the struggle lately has just been finding the time and energy on top of everything else going on, in order to get it down on the page coherently!

It’s now my busy season at work, and add in the fact that I was selected to serve on a jury that started last week. It’s actually extremely interesting, so I’m not complaining about that, but when you add together the jury service, organizing the new place (more on that in a second), getting everything ready for baby, and work, things have been a bit of a blur for the past week or so!  I can see the light at the end though, and I just have to trust that we will be able to get everything organized and set up before this baby gets here. Or at least the essentials, and the rest may have to wait.

And… on to the Monday Musings!

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New Balance just gets me.

Honestly, I love just about everything New Balance has to offer. I also love surprises. So imagine how awesome it was to arrive home after a stressful day last week and find a box from my favorite company on my doorstep! I opened it up to find a complete outfit from the Newbury Collection from NB Women. I can tell you with 100% certainty that this is some of my favorite NB gear I’ve ever had. The colors are spot on, and all of the clothing is not only comfortable but super flattering.

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Love the combo of this sports bra and tank!

 The leggings are so comfortable that I can even wear them right now, at 8 months pregnant, and feel really darn good about myself! The material is lightweight and breathable, but fully supportive and flattering at the same time. Hello, new favorite workout tights!

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The navy cropped jacket pictured below is also something that I can’t wait to wear when the weather cools down a little bit.I’m not one to wish away summer, but I’m looking forward to some cool crisp days when I can rock this jacket!

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And I can’t go without mentioning the shoes, the Vazee Transform. These are extremely comfortable, and according to New Balance, the designed to be the perfect shoe for both strength training work and cross training. I wouldn’t wear these for heavy lifting days but group classes at the gym? weight circuits? outdoor workouts? Absolutely.

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The red/navy combo is just delicious! High-five, NB Women! 

We are home owners!! 

If you follow along on Instagram, you may have noticed a little photo a couple of weeks ago about moving into our new place. Well, at 33 years old I can finally say that we are homeowners and it feels so good! The move was a bit chaotic, as it coincided with my return to work, but we got it done. As for unpacking? There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight, although we sort of have to finish things up soon since (very) soon our little babe is going to want to come home to a clean, organized house! Or at least her mama is. 🙂

Where has the time gone? 

I swear I was just announcing my pregnancy. And then I swear I was just 20 weeks pregnant. Now here I am, just a few short weeks away from my due date, and I’m just wondering how this has all gone by so fast? With everything we still have left to do, I feel like I have just kept telling myself all along that we have so much time, we’ll get it all done. But all of a sudden I’m feeling a little bit overwhelmed at how little time we actually have, and how much of that stuff remains on the To Do list! (Can you sense I’m a little anxious these days?) Not to mention that little baby girl is growing so fast, it’s pretty amazing to watch my body change so rapidly over the past few weeks. There was so long where I felt like my normal self, just a little bigger, and now all of a sudden I can actually see big changes from day to day. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how amazing all of this is, and that it’s true that you don’t truly understand any of it until you’re going through it.

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This is me just a few weeks ago at my baby shower. I was just 30 weeks, and I swear the bump has doubled in size since then! 

Spread a little sunshine. 

Not that I wanted to make this post all about pregnancy (I know there are a lot of my readers who come here for other things!) I just have to share this story.  A couple of days ago, I was walking down the street downtown, and a stranger stopped me out of nowhere, just to tell me that I looked beautiful and radiant. Now, of course this would be appreciated at any time, any day, but to combine all of the emotions of being 8 months pregnant, with the crazy body changes I’ve had lately, I’ve been feeling less and less like myself. And for this woman to go out of her way to pay me such an amazing compliment truly made my day. It was a great reminder of how much we can affect others through simple words and gestures, even complete strangers in passing on the street.

Take a little time and spread a little sunshine wherever you are today! Pay someone a compliment, pay for someone’s coffee behind you in the Starbucks line, even just smile more throughout the day. Positivity is contagious, and that woman made me feel on top of the world for the rest of that day, even though I was absolutely exhausted and feeling a bit haggard prior to that. You never know how much just one comment or gesture can turn someone’s day around!

Readers: Has a stranger brought a little sunshine into your day recently? Anyone else moving this summer and feeling like it’s a never ending process? What’s your top organizing priority when you move into a new home? 

 

High Intensity Bootcamp Workout

Hello, friends!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a workout for you, so that’s what we’re doing today. This is a killer workout that my bootcamp ladies completed as their “Summer Challenge” workout in the end of July. This coming Thursday, they will repeat the workout, in the hopes of improving their time from trial 1 until now.

What point are tough workouts if we’re not seeing progress, right?

And to celebrate that progress, the lucky RGF lady who improves her time by the largest margin will be winning a pretty amazing prize — the entire outfit below, courtesy of my friends over at New Balance!

This includes the “Shapely Shaper” sports bra (amazing), this fabulous NB Dry top and bottom, AND the crazy cute Fresh Foam trainers.

It’s all from the New Balance fall line, and might I say that I am OBSESSED with every piece here. The Fresh Foam trainers are so incredibly comfortable, and the color palette here couldn’t be better. I’m so happy for whoever wins and I hope they love this outfit as much as I do!

This is a workout that requires very little equipment, so it’s easy to do on your own or with a group. You do need a little bit of space — a field where you have 100 yards of running space will be fine. You can also substitute the exercises I have listed here to suit your needs better, so it really is something that anyone can do!

So go ahead, lace up those sneakers, and let’s give this a try!

RGF Summer Challenge

Equipment Needed

5 cones or place markers

Sandbags or kettlebells (as many participants as you have)

Relatively light resistance bands (as many participants as you have)

Relatively heavy resistance bands (as many participants as you have)

The Set Up

Set up the 6 cones in a straight line, with 20 yards in between each one. The first cone is the starting point. Place the lighter resistance bands at the 40 yard cone, the sand bags at the 60 yard cone, and the heavier resistance bands at the 80 yard cone.

Lets Get Started

Starting at the first cone, run 20 yards to the second cone. Complete 10 jump squats. Run to the next cone, completing 10 reps of bicep curls and tricep extensions with the band. Continue running cone by cone, completing 10 reps of each exercise. When you have completed 10 reps of Plank Up-Downs, run 100 yards back to the start. Take as little rest as possible and continue. Now run to each cone, completing 9 reps of each exercise. Continue in this fashion until you get to ZERO reps of each exercise, which means you will run straight to the 100 yard cone and back.

The Moves

Jump Squats – Self explanatory. Go down into a body weight squat, keeping your weight back on your heels. Jump up as high as you can, landing carefully and softly back down in your squat.

Bicep Curls and Tricep Extensions – We completed these with resistance bands, Bicep curls standing on band, and tricep extensions 1/2 kneeling on band, raising band above and behind head to an extended position.

Weighted Rear Lunge – We did these as a sandbag lunge. Holding the sandbag (or weight) in front of you, step one foot back into a lunge, rotating your torso to swing the weight over the leg that is forward. Return to standing and switch legs. This is one rep.

Sumo Squat w/band – Stand with feet in a wide stance, toes pointed out slightly. Standing on a resistance band, hold the band with both hands on the outside of your legs, as close to your ankles as possible. The closer you are to your ankles, and the tighter the band is, the more resistance you will get.

Plank Up-Downs – Start in a high plank position (on hands and toes). Bring one arm down to rest on your forearm, immediately followed by the other arm. Bring the first arm back to high – plank position followed by the other arm. Continue alternating between high and low plank position continuously, with a cycle of one up and down as one rep.

The Timing

This took my boot campers anywhere from 30 minutes to 35 minutes, and let me tell you, it is a TOUGH 30 minutes! Even if you are used to longer workouts, there is no need to supplement with anything at the end of this. My bootcamp ladies can attest to that!

If you try it out, enjoy, and let me know your time!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to New Balance for supplying the winner of my bootcamp challenge with such an amazing prize. Check out their website for more of their awesome fall line — I’m pretty sure I want every new piece they have! 

Fitness Lately: New Balance NBGNO and Turnstyle Rave The Roof

It is August? Whaaaaaaaaaat? I know I sound like a broken record every year, but the summer seems go by quicker and quicker with each year that passes.

I think this year it had something to do with the unexpected move that took over a good portion of June and July, but oh well. Here we are!

There is so much going on in the fitness world right now, and it’s pretty awesome. There are group workouts popping up all over the place, pop-up studios, and some of my favorite studios opening new locations. It really is impossible to stay on top of it all, but the good news is that it gives people so many options, so many opportunities to find the right fitness fit for them!

Gone are the days when all we had to choose from were Planet Fitness and Gold’s Gym, now you can probably find anything you want that relates to fitness.

And along these lines, recently, I’ve been to some amazing workouts that I just have to tell you guys about. A couple of weeks ago, I went to yet another New Balance Girls Night Out (NBGNO) event. They are simply the best, and this was no exception — in fact, this was one of my favorites that I’ve been to!

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With a couple of my favorite blog ladies, Athena and Sherri

This event was all about trying new things, and boy did that end up being true. Each NBGNO event has a 3.6 mile fun run around the city, as well as an alternate workout that changes each month. This month, the alternate workout was a Surfset workout with Stefanie Lograsso, and boy was it tough! Tougher than I expected, that’s for sure.

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If you haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t), Surfset is a workout you do on actual surfboards that are basically attached to something like Bosu Balls, meaning that you are wobbling and stabilizing the entire time you are on that board. With all of the lunges, planks, push ups, and even jumps (!) that Stefanie had us doing, I was a sweaty mess by the end, but I had a blast.

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The rest of that evening was just as fun as always, catching up with some real life friends, and some of my favorite Boston Blogger ladies. I love spending time with so many inspirational women at these events, as each one of them motivates me to work even harder in my own life and fitness endeavors.

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The host of this particular NBGNO was Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor, who is always charming, funny, and down to earth. She did a wonderful job hosting and I can’t wait to see her at the next event! As the host, Sherri gave a brief talk to the crowd about what trying new things has meant to her. Her story was awesome, detailing a pretty bad injury that lead her to trying things other than running, and now because of that “set back”, she’s doing more fitness wise than ever before. Pretty inspiring, I’d say!

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Sherri doing her hosting gig… I was OBSESSED with her outfit. How cute is this NB combo?? 

These events are always a blast, so I highly recommending trying one out if you haven’t in the past, or coming back if you’ve been away from the NBGNO scene for a while. I hope to see you at the next one!

Rave The Roof 

The other amazing workout that I attended, actually the night after NBGNO, was put on by my very favorite indoor cycling studio, although a spin bike was nowhere to be found! This was Rave The Roof, an outdoor, roof top bootcamp put on by the team at Turnstyle Cycle.

(I have to apologize for my lack of quality photos for this event… it just didn’t happen!)

Turnstyle just happens to have two of my very favorite instructors in Boston, Laura and Caroline. They are both incredibly energetic, strong, powerful women, and they know how to kick your booty in a workout while making you feel empowered at the same time! I honestly feel lucky to know them and to be able to train with them from time to time — they are both just amazing.

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Caroline showing us some upcoming tricep work! 

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Laura demonstrating at the legs station.

The workout was the kickoff to Turnstyle’s new studio at Ink Block, a trendy new area of the South End here in Boston. Lucky for me, this is much closer to work than their studio in Kendall Sq, so I’ll be able to hit up Laura’s and Caroline’s classes more often now! (#winning).

The theme for this bootcamp was neon, so the outfits were outrageous, and there were many tubes of neon body/face paint floating around the place.

The workout was a station-style bootcamp on the roof deck/pool deck, and I must say, the view was awesome as the sun set, it was so nice to be gazing at the pink clouds in between sets rather than a gym ceiling! The workout was high energy, and each of the Turnstyle instructors that were there put us through some grueling stations. I had so much fun, and as I said am SO excited for Turnstyle to open up the new indoor cycling in this location!

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Check out this view for the workout.. can’t beat it! And that up there is a pool deck… yep, it’s a roof deck AND a pool deck workout. BOOM. 

For now, definitely check out their schedule to get your booty to one of these amazing roof deck bootcamp sessions — you won’t be disappointed, trust me.

Readers: What awesome workouts have you done lately? Have you noticed the insane amount of groups/studios that are opening up in the Boston area? Were you at either of these events with me?

**All NB pics in this post are courtesy of New Balance. <<< Click on the link to see the rest of the photos from the event!

New Balance Girls Night Out and MyNB

Hello friends!

I just recapped my west coast trip for you last week, and if you’re following along on Instagram, you can see that I’m off on another trip already! This summer was shaping up to be a whirlwind, and then we found out we had to move and things got a little bit TOO crazy. This trip is a welcome escape from the stresses of packing and moving, and although the timing isn’t great I’m going to enjoy every last second of it! I’m currently road tripping to St. Louis with my coworkers/friends, with a few stops along the way. Jersey Shore, Morgantown, WV, Louisville, and then finally on to St. Louis for a conference (the main reason for this trip).

Hopefully as you’re reading this we’re cruising along with no major mishaps, I’m sure you’ll get some stories from the trip at some point!

Anyway, the point of today is to recap an event I went to about a week and a half ago — another New Balance Girls Night Out event. You all know how much I love these, and this one was no different. The theme of this event was Heating Things Up For Summer, with a Booty and Arm workout from the awesome Sarah Kusch. The night was hosted by Rachel of Healthy Chicks, and both ladies did a wonderful job!

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As always, there was a 3.6 mile fun run, but this time I joined the alternate workout, which was a hot and sweaty booty and arm blast from Sarah.

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DJ Brek One killed it on the beats as usual, and the workout was a killer! We ran to a park about a half mile away, blasted our booties with about 10,000 squats (I don’t even think I’m exaggerating here), and then headed back to the store for snacks, cocktails, sparkly tattoos, photo booth fun, and more.

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Guys. This juice was SO GOOD. I don’t know about you, but I love spicy drinks… and is it inappropriate to say that this would make a killer cocktail? 

Although the theme of the night had to do with getting “summer ready”, both lovely ladies stood up and spoke personally about what this means to them. Rachel spoke from the heart about the days when she used to hate summer due to insecurities surrounding shorts, bathing suit weather, etc. She reminded us that we are all “bikini ready” no matter what, and loving ourselves is what is most important. Sarah spoke about the importance of hard work and doing everything you can to take care of yourself, mind and body equally.

Although most of the blogger ladies that I usually see at these events couldn’t make it, I was so excited to be able to meet and spend a little bit of time with the adorable Sherri from Fun Fit Flavor. We chatted for a while, and I can’t wait to see her again at future events. If you haven’t checked out her blog, do it now!

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All in all, it was another awesome girl-power night from New Balance, with a kick-ass workout, a great message, and a pretty great party. I can’t wait for the next one!

I also have another exciting announcement for all of you. New Balance has just launched their signature program, called MyNB, accessible on the NB website, and available as an app download for both iPhone and Android devices.  From New Balance:

MyNB members can earn points through different New Balance activities such as online product purchases, event check-ins, social media interactions, fitness activity within the RunKeeper app, and custom shoe purchases, among others. Points can then be redeemed, at the member’s convenience, for unique reward options that enable consumers to meet their fitness and lifestyle goals. Rewards include free race bibs, product reward certificates, RunKeeper Elite memberships, and TeamNB Meet & Greets.”

MyNB also offers 3 different levels — bronze, silver, and gold, each with their own privileges. You choose which one is best for you and your needs, and start earning those rewards! I don’t know about you all, but I’m definitely going to jump on this. Earn rewards for using a brand I know and already love? Especially since I can earn points for checking in at some super awesome events, like NBGNO. Yes please!

Alright, I’m out. Have yourselves a lovely day!

Every photo on this post except for the juice photo is courtesy of New Balance

Recap: New Balance Girls Night Out – Shake It Up

As I mentioned last week, I was asked a while ago to host the most recent New Balance Girls Night Out event here in Boston. This event took place on Thursday evening, and I must say, it was incredible.

I arrived at the store at 5, quickly checked out the bikes being set up across the street in Copley Square (more on that in a bit), and headed into the store. Much to my surprise, I was greeted by a massive sign out front and there was my name, smack dab in the middle of it! I may have loved that sign so much that I kind of wanted to take it home, but alas, I knew Will probably wouldn’t be too happy with a 6 foot tall sign taking up residence in our living room. (What a party pooper, huh?)

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Ok, back to the night. Having gone to a few NBGNO events in the past, I knew what to expect. Being the host though, it was a whole different ball game — we were on a pretty tight schedule and I wanted to make sure that the ladies in attendance had the best time possible! I was super excited to have home friends, Boston friends, work friends, and blog friends in attendance, and was ecstatic to be able to share the night with them. I welcomed the girls first and gave them a little bit of a rundown about what NBGNO is all about. If you’re not familiar, you can read about it more in my previous posts here, here, and here. Basically, Girls Night Out is a new kind of ladies night out, one that brings together fun and fitness with the emerging fitness trends today.

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The theme of this particular event was Shake It Up — with the underlying theme of using dance and music to help motivate and shake up your fitness routine. Each GNO event begins with a workout, which always consists of a run as well as an alternative workout. The alternative workout this time may have just been the best one yet — A spin session in Copley Square with the famed Aly Raymer (New Balance Ambassador and lead spin instructor at B/Spoke studios here in Boston). Aly is famous for providing a “dance party on a bike” in her classes, and boy did she deliver at Girls Night Out!

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Aly CRUSHING it in Copley Square 

A group of girls headed out for a run through Beacon Hill, which I heard was amazing but also TOUGH. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience Aly’s dance party on a bike though, so I stuck with the spin group for the workout portion. Unfortunately, once we got out there and started getting everyone set up, we realized that we were one bike short. I was already feeling pretty spoiled as the host of the event so I gave my bike to another participant so that she could experience this awesome workout. It was too late for me to leave with the run group, but have no fear, I spent the whole time just dancing around the bikes to the live beats being dropped by the incredible DJ Brek.One. Seriously, whether you were on the bike or off, Copley Square turned into a dance party like no other.

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The girls on the bikes worked it, Aly was absolutely amazing, and the views were incredible. I felt so lucky to be a part of such an awesome event — and judging by the crowd we drew, it looked like a lot of other people wanted to be a part of it too!

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Once the workouts were over, we headed back to the New Balance store to continue with the event. Back in the store, we were hydrated by Essentia Water, the leading alkaline balanced and electrolyte infused water on the market. There were also some delicious cocktails, as well as smoothies from Thirst Juice Co., which is a local smoothie and juice bar here in Boston. The smoothies were out of this world, and I can’t wait to get my butt on down to Thirst sometime soon to try some different flavors!

Once everyone was back and settled from the run and spin workouts, Aly and I got to share a little bit with the crowd about what Shake It Up means to us. Aly spoke about shaking up your fitness routine, as well as your location. She talked to the crowd about traveling somewhere warm during the winter to get out of your winter rut and jumpstart your fitness. I can’t say that’s a bad idea — don’t we all wish we could escape every winter?

When I stood up, I talked about “shaking things up” in terms of trying new things and getting outside of your comfort zone. I briefly told the girls about my recent transformation from someone who is in the weight room 100% of the time, to someone who still enjoys lifting immensely, but who also has begun to enjoy running and spin. Last year, I pushed myself extremely far outside of my comfort zone by signing up to run the Falmouth Road Race, a 7 mile race in August. It terrified me and couldn’t be further from what I was used to doing — that is squatting and deadlifting in a power rack. But I took on the challenge because I knew that I was in a rut and needed to “shake things up”. I ended up loving the race, and honestly would love to run it again this year. I’ve found a new appreciation for running, and more recently for spinning.

It’s been interesting to watch myself go through this transformation. Honestly, if you’d told me 2 years ago that I’d be running and spinning regularly, I would have laughed in  your face. At the time, those things seemed like a waste of time for me, the weight room was the only part of training that was important. Now, I really treasure the variety in my training, and feel better mentally and physically than I have in years.

The important thing, and my main point on Thursday night, was that it’s ok to take yourself out of the little box that you’ve put yourself into. Before, I was a weight lifter. Now, I’m a weight lifting, running, spinning fitness enthusiast, and I’ve found the right balance for me at this time in my life. It’s ok to shake things up, and it’s ok (and encouraged!) to try new things every once in a while.

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This is one of my favorite pics because it makes me giggle — could we look any sassier? 

After our mini-speeches, the night continued with Brek.One spinning the beats, a little bit of dance floor action, and more tasty food, smoothies and cocktails. One other great feature of the night was the Instaprint station that New Balance had set up. Just by using the #NBGNO hashtag, Instagram photos would be printed out immediately in the store, so that you could take them home at the end of the night! This was very cool, also something that I think would be PERFECT at a wedding.

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The night finished up with the Swag “bag” giveaway, which were actually Swag Cups this time! The girls were lucky to head out with an NBGNO shaker cup that was filled with treats such as ear buds, a class pass to B/Spoke studios, a flash drive playlist from the amazing Brek.One, and some other awesome goodies. The ladies of this Girls Night Out lucked out, if you ask me!

Honestly, I can’t express how happy I was to be part of such a wonderful event. I am a huge believer in Girls Night Out and everything it stands for, so to be able to play a part and hopefully help the crowd have a great time that night was incredible. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the next GNO event, and if you’re in Boston, maybe I’ll see you there! I would also like to give a huge thank you to New Balance for inviting me to host, and also to Aly for providing such a kick ass workout with such amazing energy.

For more pictures, check out the entire gallery HERE. There are some awesome pics!!

Readers: How do you shake up your workout routine? Does music and dance play any role in your fitness program, and how does it motivate you?

Disclaimer: I was compensated for hosting this event, and was also provided items from the New Balance spring and summer collection through my affiliation with Girls Night Out. As always, all opinions are my own. 

HUGE Blog Announcement: New Balance Girls Night Out

Hello friends! Today on the blog I have a HUGE announcement that I have been dying to tell you all! I’ll give you 2 hints:

1. New Balance

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2. Girls Night Out

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[All photos in this post except for the first and last are courtesy of NBGNO]

Do you get it yet? Let’s start out with clue number one. I’ve been fortunate to have an amazing partnership with New Balance for the past couple of years. Not only do I love their apparel and shoe lines, but I love the company as a whole. As a Boston based company, they are very engaged in the local community, and it’s been wonderful to see how much they’ve inspired and contributed to the Boston fitness community over the years.

I’ve been fortunate to work with New Balance for several different blog events and campaigns, including the LaceUp365 campaign promoting the fight against breast cancer, teamed up with them to run the Falmouth Road Race, and have most recently been lucky enough to be a part of their product collaboration with Kate Spade Saturday.

But my absolute favorite events that I’ve been a part of are the new series that NB began last year. It’s called Girls Night Out (here’s where we get to that second clue), and it’s the new kind of night out, complete with fitness, healthy snacks, cocktails, and fun. I was able to make it to a couple of these last year in May and August, and I had in incredible time at each one. They are a great way to combine fun and fitness, all while surrounding yourself with inspirational women. Before we talk more about NBGNO, here’s where we get to my super exciting news:

New Balance reached out a couple of weeks ago to invite me to host their upcoming Boston GNO event on May 7!

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this, and how excited I am to get to see some of YOU, my readers at the event!

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Now, let’s talk details:

When and where is this awesome event? 

Thursday, May 7th at 6 pm at the New Balance store on Boylston St (Copley Square) in Boston.

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What will happen at this awesome event? 

NBGNO events always start with a kick-ass workout. This month, there will be a 3.6 mile fun-run, as well as a spin workout led by the amazing Aly Raymer. Rumor has it that this spin workout will take place IN Copley Square, with a live DJ as music. Dance party on a bike in the park? Count me in!!

Following whichever workout you choose, everyone will convene back at the store for some delicious healthy snacks, cocktails, swag bags, a few thoughts from Aly and myself, and more fun stuff that I’m so excited for. Are you getting excited yet?? The theme for this particular event is “Shake It Up”, and we’ll be shaking things up with dance infused fitness and a whole lot of fun! I’m honored to be hosting the event alongside Aly, who is a force to be reckoned with in the Boston fitness world.

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How do I get into this awesome event? It’s super easy. For more details and to register, just head on over to www.nbgirlsnightout.com (<< Or click HERE), click on Events, scroll on down to the Boston event, and register!

But be warned: These events have filled up very quickly in the past — we’re talking a couple of hours here. So if you want to get your sweat on in Copley Sq, head out for a run around the city, get an awesome NB Swag Bag, and/or mingle with some of the raddest fit chicks that this city has to offer, make sure you register ASAP.

**UPDATE: This event is now full. But don’t worry — there will be more of these throughout the summer, so stay tuned for more to come! 

Ok, I’m registered and I’m PUMPED. Tell me more about NB Girls Night Out!

Girls Night Out was created by New Balance to help women come together and re-define what it means to have a night out on the town. Combining fitness, health, community and fun, these events are anything but your typical happy hour. With events currently planned in Boston, New York and Philly with more locations to come, NBGNO is paving the way in fusing women’s fitness and social lives into one. Now, head on over to register before it’s too late — you don’t have much time! NB Steph2

Can’t wait to see you there!! 

Who will be joining me on Thursday May 7? 

New Balance and Barry’s Bootcamp

A few weeks ago, I arrived home to a glorious surprise on my doorstep. Unbeknownst to me, New Balance was (is) pairing up with Kate Spade Saturday to create a line of fun, funky sneakers that can take you to the gym, around town on a Saturday, or anywhere in between. When I opened the box, I was excited to find a handwritten note about the product, as well as these beauties right here:

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Needless to say, after the winter we’ve had, the burst of yellow was akin to some MUCH needed sunshine in my life. Also in the box was an offer to try out a Barry’s Bootcamp class here in Boston. You may remember I’ve tried one of these before with New Balance, and it totally kicked my ass.

Today, I just want to talk a little bit about the class and the shoes, and what I love about them both!

The Class

I was trying to figure out a time to go with some other Boston bloggers, but with my weirdo work schedule, it just wasn’t going to work out. I ended up going solo to a weekday morning “butt and legs” class, which I was equally excited and nervous for. If you remember, the first Barry’s class I went to had been after work, and training after work for me has always been deathly difficult. Going before work, plus going to a butt and legs class would hopefully make this time around a little bit better.

Barrys Bootcamp 3

Class setup. You can see the treadmills on the left, and floor section on the right.

The class was taught by Sarah, and was super high intensity and high energy throughout. Barry’s classes are split into floor work and treadmill work, alternating between the two. There were a lot of incline sprints, lunges, squats, and burpees, and at the end of it I was dead, but in a good way. I would say the hardest part was the “manual” mode on the treadmills, when the power was turned off and we were pushing the belts under our own power. With the manual power, running at a 4.0 felt like a hill sprint, and left me totally gassed.

It was helpful my second time around to know what to expect with the treadmill work, but that didn’t make it any easier! If you’re looking for a high intensity workout to add to your routine, I definitely recommend checking out a Barry’s Bootcamp in your area.

Barrys Bootcamp

Sweaty post-class pic with Sarah — Thanks for a great class! 

The Shoes:

Can I say enough about these shoes? I love them. The color is fantastic and fun, and they are seriously comfortable. I will admit that I was skeptical to run in them at Barry’s, because my feet/legs tend to be very picky about what shoes I run in, but it ended up going just fine and they felt great. I don’t think I would run in these long distance, but for a class, they offered the perfect amount of support.

Barrys Bootcamp 2

Not only are they comfortable and supportive, but they’re definitely cute enough to wear around for a casual “Saturday” (hehe, get it?) or any day! I have received so many compliments on these shoes every time I wear them.  And trust me, it’s hard for me to find sneakers that I want to wear around on a regular basis. I have a hard time finding sneakers that I feel work with casual, non-athletic outfits. These work. They are cute and casual, and low profile enough to not feel like you’re wearing big clunky sneakers (does anyone else feel clunky when they wear sneakers with jeans, or is that just me?).

There are a couple different models of the New Balance Kate Spade Saturday, the WX711 (what I have) and the WX811.  These are limited edition shoes, so if you want a pair I’d snag them now! However, if you can’t get your hands on one of the NBxKSS styles, New Balance does have the 711 and 811 outside of the limited edition KSS, which are available now.

Here’s a little bit of information on each one to help you make your decision. 🙂

811
“For spring 2015, New Balance introduces a new fitness trainer for women in which science meets style: the 811. Inspired by Kinesiology taping techniques and the aesthetic it creates, the 811 provides bonded lightweight, strategically-positioned support for athletes. The versatile shoe can take women from studio and circuit training to cardio workouts without sacrificing style. The full CUSH+ midsole provides lightweight cushioning, and Fantom Tape technology enhances the mesh upper to deliver dynamic support to move with the foot.”

711
“The WX711 features Cush+ technology, providing one of the softest midsole foams offered by New Balance designed to comfortably take you through your whole workout, whether in the gym or the studio. But its extra softness doesn’t mean sacrificing durability. Cush+ is responsive, offering extra bounce to help keep you moving. Forefoot flex grooves enhance flexibility, enabling you to move freely, while a minimal upper construction provides a contoured fit.”

So there you have it, great shoes, great class, I couldn’t ask for more! I want to send HUGE Thank You to New Balance and to Barry’s Bootcamp for their generosity. Now, I’m off to brighten the world a little bit in my NBxKSS kicks!

New Balance NBxKSS 2

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, although I did receive a pair of NBxKSS sneakers as well as a complimentary Barrys Bootcamp Class. All opinions, as always, are my own.