Why We Love Orangetheory Fitness

Orangetheory Fitness Review

Today marks 1 year since we first tried Orangetheory Fitness. If you follow me on Instagram you’ve problem seen me share my workout summary in my Story from time-to-time. I’ve gotten a lot of messages asking “What’s this app?” “What’s this workout?” as well as general inquiries about my fitness routine. Well, I’m no physical specimen, but I am excited to tell you more about Orangetheory Fitness and why we love it!

Josh and I are both pretty active, but most of our favorite activities come to a halt in the wintertime. Josh routinely participates in two weekly basketball leagues, so last winter I decided to start going to Hot Yoga classes on the nights he was at basketball. I did it for a few months and loved it, but come February I felt like I was ready for something that was more challenging and would result in a higher calorie burn and was really interested in finding something we could do together. I had found Orangetheory Fitness through Instagram, so I asked Josh to attend a free class with me (your first one is free).

Well we went, and never really looked back! We’ve been doing their unlimited plan for a year, which gives us access to as many classes per month as we can fit into our schedule. We try to go a minimum of 2-3 times per week, but have gone through spurts where we’ve gone 4+ times each week. We tend to go less during the months when we are biking and Josh is biking to/from work. We honestly just love it, and the classes are so fun and enjoyable.

So, what is OTF? Here’s how I’d explain it: it’s a 60 minute group workout. The room is split into 3 areas—treadmills, water rowers, and a floor area with an assortment of equipment (free weights, ab rollers, plyo boxes. etc). The class is typically split into 2 or 3 groups, and you usually spend between 15-30 minutes in each area of the room, depending on the style of the workout. The room is low-lit with orange lighting—which is kind of nice if you roll out of bed and head to a 6AM class (I’m so vain, but seriously, everyone looks so tan and toned in orange light). All classes are “the same” and there aren’t particular types of classes you sign up for, but no session is ever the same—you’ll always be doing a different workout whenever you step into the room! There’ll be variations in the order, the focus (speed, endurance, strength etc), the types of exercises you are doing in the floor routine or the amount of time you spend at each station. The best part is that you never know what the workout is going to be—so you never have the time to dread going. You just show up and 60 minutes later you’ve gotten in a great workout.

orangetheory fitness 2

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Undercover Beauty: Review of Eyebrow Microblading by Buttercup Beauty

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When I was in second grade I stood in the entryway of my house and shaved my eyebrows off with a pink Bic razor. I can literally remember the entire process of carefully thinning and shaping my brows, just like my mom and sister (for some reason I thought that’s what razors were for, nbd) and eventually getting to a point of no return…my brows just got thinner and further apart and eventually I just shaved them off entirely and then put on a hat.

Props to my mom who somehow managed to not obnoxiously laugh in my face when she saw what I’d done, and also to my second grade teacher who let me wear a hat for the next two weeks.

And that, my friends, is where my story with eyebrows begins. Over the past 31 years they’ve been shaved off, over-plucked, cursed at, tinted, subjected to $8 wax jobs and then, thank god, totally rehabed. They’ve come a long way, and I love where my brows are at now thanks to my eyebrow coach, Buttercup Beauty, who has spent the past 6 months swatting my hands away from the tweezer and lovingly whipping my brows back into shape. The first time she tinted, shaped and filled my brows nearly brought me to tears. I really had no idea the magic that a true brow technician can work (this is the part where I tell you that if you’re still paying your hair stylist $8 to wax your brows you need to upgrade that routine stat). 

Before Microblading

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Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Free Printable Valentine's Day Card 2017 | get one for your husband, wife, mom. dad, brother, sister etc.

Well Valentine’s Day sure did sneak right up on us! I love to hook you up with free printables, and this year’s version has a bit of political snark, which I think should help get your Valentine’s Day off to a romantic start, eh? Nothing says let’s get it on quite like a little foreign policy and national divide!

The inside is blank, but I recommend adding a sexy little love note. Perhaps something along the lines of:

“My love for you is so yuuuge! I’ve donated $10 (or $25, $50 or $1000) to ________________________ in your honor!”

Fill in the blank with a charity of your choice. Some of my suggestions would be the ACLU, She Should Run, The Hot Bread Kitchen or Fetch Wisconsin Rescue (the rescue group I volunteer with)!

I’ve created versions for your husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, daughter, son, mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, mother-in-law, father-in-law, partner, step-mom, step-dad, co-worker, partner, boss and best friend! Grab whichever versions you need via the link the below. Happy Valentine’s Day, happy printing, happy resisting!

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Lets Be Friends on Instagram 2017

 

One Month in Northern and Southern Thailand

One Month in Northern and Southern Thailand: our tips for the best of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Krabi, Tonsai, Phi Phi and Phuket.

Remember that time we spent a month in Asia? We got home like 12 weeks ago and although I actively worked on this blog post throughout the month, actually finishing and publishing it when we got home totally got away from me. Having 4 weeks of work to catch up on amid the already busy holiday season + all the crazy of the election meant that the couple months since we got home from Japan and Thailand totally flew by and the next thing I knew we were boarding a plane for our ski trip to Germany and Austria. Well, I promised myself that I wouldn’t publish a trip post about Europe until I finally took the time to finish this post. So, without further ado here are our travel tips for Northern and Southern Thailand!

This past fall we spent a month traveling in Asia. We started our trip with 4 days in Tokyo, Japan, but quickly made our way over to Thailand. Although we had originally planned to mix one or maybe even two more countries into our trip, we really enjoyed Thailand and ended up spending the duration of our trip traveling the country.

Our flight itinerary had us going through Tokyo, so we decided to cut the 20 hour flight up into 14 and 6 hour legs by spending a few days in Tokyo. This was a great way to see another country and also break up a long international flight, and it didn’t really change our ticket prices. I talked more about this in my post about Tokyo, so pop over there if you want to hear more.

Below is our itinerary for Thailand, along with tips, lodging and activity suggestions for each city. I hope it will help you plan your dream escape!

ITINERARY

Day 1-4 – Tokyo, Japan
Day 5 – Bangkok, Thailand
Day 6 – Bangkok and overnight train to Chiang Mai, Thailand
Day 7-9 Chiang Mai, Thailand
Day 10-21 – Two weeks in Pai, Thailand
Day 22 – Bus from Pai to Chiang Mai, flight to Krabi, Thailand
Day 23-24 Boat to Tonsai Beach, Thailand
Day 25-26 – Northern Phi Phi Island
Day 27-28 – Longboat to Phi Phi, Thailand
Day 29 – Ferry to Phuket Thailand
Day 30 – Flight home

Our 30 Day Trip to Northern and Southern Thailand! All our tips for the best of Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Pai, Krabi, Tonsai, Phi Phi and Phuket!

Days 1-4 – Tokyo, Japan

Day 1-4 – We landed in Tokyo, Japan and spent 3 nights at an Airbnb in Shinjuku. We of course spent a lot of time hunting down great Ramen and Sushi, but also enjoyed walking around town, visiting the beautiful parks and gardens, and going to the Golden Gai District at night. You can read more about our time in Tokyo in this post.

Day 5 – We flew from Tokyo, Japan to Bangkok, Thailand (6 hours)

Lodging: Bangkok Bed and Bike ($15-70 USD per night depending on room type)

This is a hip hostel, where you can choose from communal or private rooms. The location is great, the vibe is awesome, and the lobby is a great place to meet fellow travelers.

Activities: Bangkok at Night—by Bike! ($50 USD per person)

We were only in Bangkok for one night, so although we were tired from a day of travel we wanted to make the most of it. We signed up for the Bangkok by Bike Night Tour through our hotel. A private English-speaking guide met us in the hotel lobby around sunset, and the 3 of us set out on bikes to tour Bangkok. From what I could tell, they’d let you go on this tour no matter what your skill level, and had we not been pretty avid cyclists perhaps our guide would have babied us a bit more, but I would recommend that you not only be comfortable on a bike, but that you be pretty acquainted with urban biking. We’ve biked all over the US (NYC, Boston, Chicago), and in cities across Europe (Brugges, Denmark, Antwerp, Amsterdam), and nothing quite compared to biking in Bangkok, at night.

There are no bike lanes, not a lot of street lights, and the tuk tuks and taxis zoom around. Our guide was pretty fearless with his riding, and he expected us to keep up. We thought it was a riot and had a great time! We were also pretty surprised when we made it through the night without a single incident. I have a vivid memory of flying down a dark street in Bangkok late at night and feeling 100% alive, it was a rush. It also gives you the opportunity to see areas of town that you wouldn’t see on your own. We ended up biking over 10 miles and it was a great way to see a lot of the city quickly and with a guide. He took us out for dinner to his favorite pad thai restaurant, and took photos for us at some of the popular stops. This activity is probably not for everyone, but if you’re up for a real adventure this is a great way to spend a night in Bangkok.

Pro tips: If you do the bike tour you’ll want to make sure you have on comfortable shoes. There were times where we were biking through about a foot of water (in the dark). Fortunately we didn’t have to put our feet down, but having Keens or Teva sandals might be a good footwear choice over sneakers, depending on the time of year.

Day 6-7 – Day in Bangkok and the overnight train from Bangkok north to Chiang Mai, Thailand  (14 hours)

Lodging: Overnight Train

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Good Jams No. 11

Good Jams No. 11 - songs to add to your playlist | January 2017

Hot damn, been a long time since I dropped some tunes in this joint! I’ve featured a couple songs in recent Instagram Stories and had people inquire about the artists, so figured a Good Jams roundup was long overdue. Here are a few great tunes I’ve been enjoying lately.

Sleeping on the Blacktop” by Colter Walls  (Click Here to Listen on Spotify) – Love Johnny Cash? Okay then, you’re welcome. Also check out “The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie”.

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