Making the Most of Shorter Winter Days – Thursday Waylay

stop winter bluesWinter gives us the blues. It’s science and has almost nothing to do with the fact that we prefer dresses over pants, and tights are annoying.

So I’ve been on the hunt for ways to squeeze every drop of productiveness out of these shorter days until summer FINALLY gets here.

Today’s Waylay is full of the best links I’ve found, but let me know if I’m missing anything!

Also, if you don’t have time to read these here are the cliffs notes: sleep more, sleep better, move more, unplug, be with those you love, and trust.  Annnnnd go?

8 Tricks to Make Your Yourself Wake Up Earlier. (Fast Company)

2 Life Hacks to turn off, recharge, and be more productive (inc.com)

The easiest way to get more done? Work fewer hours. (slate.com)

7 Hacks to help you body cope with Winter (RealSimple.com)

10 Ways to Beat the Winter blues (Cup of Joe)

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Top 5 Fitness Trends of 2015

2014 was an awesome year in the fitness industry! Some of the highlights for us were the designers who got in on the fitness apparel action (hello, Trina Turk!), the increase in boutique options in Atlanta (some of our favorites include Torq and Pink Barre) and new (inexpensive) ways to visit gyms that put the power of price back in the hands of the gym goer – thanks Class Pass!!

Fitness 2015

So, what does 2015 hold? Here are the top five things we are most excited about!

Barre, baby! – Barre classes have EXPLODED in popularity, and with that have come great new barre options, workout wear especially designed for this type of class (for example grippy socks galore), and more girls hitting the barre before the bar. Dare I say barre class is the new brunch? Eh, maybe not, but we’re moving in that direction!

Function AND fashion – I dare you to walk into a grocery store, mall or shop without seeing a least one very fashionable woman in workout clothes…who looks fabulous. Yoga pants, colorful sneakers and flowing comfy tops are now the uniform of women everyone – and not just to go to the gym. So retailers are stepping up their game and making sure your outfits can take you from push-up to Publix without blinking an eye. Our favorite new product is the fivesse line of gym bags. The consumer is demanding more from their workout wear, and brands like these have stepped up to offer both a great look and amazing functionality.

Fitness Trends in 2015

High-intensity interval training (think P90X) – This type of workout fell from the number one spot on the 2013 ACSM survey to number two this year (fun fact – I (Meg) interned for the ACSM in college), but we don’t think it’s slowing down in popularity anytime soon. In fact, I think it’s getting even more mainstream. Gyms that traditionally didn’t offer this workout now have a couple classes dedicated to it, and spots are filling up fast. Why? The workouts tend to be shorter (some even as quick as 20 minutes) and are POWERFUL and exhausting. Strong is the new skinny.

Green juice – Veggies are definitely in vogue, people. Kale has taken off in the past couple of years, but instead of just salads people are stocking up on this left green for smoothie consumption. I try and make a green smoothie every morning, so even if the rest of the day revolves around mac-and-cheese and beer I’ve done something good for myself. Plus by adding things like moringa you can get an energy boost that sustains you longer than your cup o’ joe!

Brooks Running

Big data – We’re talking tracking here, from competition based workouts to wristbands that track your daily activity, heart rate monitors and sleep. It’s all about knowing exactly what you (and those around you) are doing and the immediate benefits it’s providing. Integrating personal health and wellness data such as steps taken, sleep cycles, blood PH, with apps or software is incredibly engaging and helping more people try to live healthier lifestyle. My mom just got the new Fitbit Charge and I had so much fun checking out the functionality when they visited this past weekend!

Would you agree with our top 5? What’s on your list?

Meg is wearing: top (The North Face Quarter Zip), pants (Nordstrom Zella Live In Leggings), shoes (Brooks Ghost 7)

The Power Tunic – A Feel Good Favorite

Everyone has a piece of clothing they feel fantastic in. A little black dress, a pair of Chucks, whatever makes you feel runway ready. It is it doesn’t take a woman long to identify the item in her closet that never fails her. For me, it’s a great tunic.

Tunic Swimsuit Cover Up

I’ve never met a tunic I don’t like – dress length, top, expensive, budget-friendly – I love them ALL! And aren’t they fun as a beach coverup? It’s my favorite way to wear them! I have a soft spot in my heart for a Tory Burch tunic because they fit like a dream and flatter any body type. HOWEVER, these babies don’t come cheap, so it’s important to pick a pattern you LOVE.

In my case that’s the flamingo pattern because…come on. What’s better than a good flamingo print?

Tory in the Palms

Flamingos

Tory Burch Tunic

Can’t think of anything? Neither can I. It may not be tunic season in Atlanta (or anywhere in the states) yet, but I can’t resist sharing these fun pics from my Christmas beach vacation. Tunic power!

Tunic Beach Coverup

Meg is wearing: printed tunic (similar here and loving this more breezy option), sunglasses (custom Ray-Ban design, similar here), bracelets (Kate Spade single band, Bauble Bar spikey band similar here)

It’s Not Supposed to be Easy – Dare to NOT Compare in the Gym

This year I decided to be incredibly original and make (part of) my resolution to be more healthy and active – the bedrock being hitting the gym five times a week. This is a big departure from 2014 where I wore yoga pants five times a week, but did not actually partake in said yoga.

Meg in Lucy

Meg in lucy 2

Getting back in a more strenuous, committed fitness routine is really tough. I started my #RoadToFitness (restart) Journey back in December, motivated by the opportunity to join in complaining about how ANNOYING Jan 1 starters are. I mean, can you BELIEVE how crowded the gym is now? 😉 It hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing.

Lucy Lifts Weights

Being committed (for me) means holding the position the WHOLE time…not giving up 10 seconds before I’m supposed to. Picking up the heavier weights and maintaining the proper form, even when cheating would be a lot more comfortable. It also means sweating, having a really red face and looking like a hot ol’ mess, instead of brunch ready, after a sweat sesh. And it’s hard, because at the awesome gym I go to there are a lot of very, very in shape women who began their road to fitness in December (of 1996) and are kicking my ass without breaking a sweat. It’s easy to get wrapped up in comparisons – but I’m taking a new approach:

Get over it. Keep working hard.

Stretch in lucy

If I’m sweating it means I’m pushing myself, maybe they aren’t – or maybe their botox prevents sweat glands from forming on their foreheads (lucky.) If my legs are shaking two minutes into my barre work it means I’ve stuck the position and my form is on pointe (ballet humor.) Who cares if I look like a mess in the gym – It’s not a catwalk and the work will pay off and be visible under my six layers of clothes and blanket scarf. Plus I can eat more cheese dip and drink more beer– which makes looking like a fool worth it every time!

Beer in Lucy

How to you keep from getting gym envy? Or does it motivate you?

Meg is wearing: tank: lucy Studio Cami Racerback c/o lucy, shirt: Final Rep Long Sleeve c/o lucy, pants: Splits 59 tights similar here

Fit for the New Year – Take Advantage of Free Exercise Classes

“I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.”

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Christmas is over (wipe the tears) which means 2015 is dangerously close. Kelly and I are committed to getting even more serious about our Road to Fitness this year, and, while we took the holidays off, it’s time to get moving. There’s only one issue…while we’re a bit heavier (thanks Christmas cookies) our wallets are a little lighter from the flurry of present buying. That’s why we want to encourage you to embrace the FREE FITNESS this year.

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We’ve talked about using the city as your free gym – which really just means get out and run or do yoga in the park (the outdoors are free…) – don’t make your wallet do the heavy lifting. But for times when you need a little more structure and someone to force help guide you in your workout, look for free fitness classes going on in your city!

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Lots of gym offer the first class free. Here is a quick list of opportunities in Atlanta.

But sometimes you need to get creative about finding these opportunities. For example, Belk (yes, the Belk known for it’s awesome selection of Lilly Pulitzer shift dresses and great sales) is having a FitFest on January 3 at locations around the South (a complete list is at the bottom of the post.) We are going to be at the Atlanta Phipps Plaza location – come join us if you’re in the area!

Belk is hosting free mini #FitFest classes: whether it’s a 15 minute fitness boot camp in the parking lot, a 10 minute yoga stretching class by the fitness apparel, or a 5 minute dance session designed to get you moving, there’s some kind of class lead by a local fitness expert. Plus,they will have shoe fittings there with experts who can help you identify what shoe is best for your foot AND your workout…something I’m looking forward to since I need a new pair of kicks.

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They’re also having healthy food tastings – think granola, fruit, smoothies, juice, and protein bars. Recharge, y’all!

And in true Belk fashion there will be cosmetics sampling so you won’t leave empty handed and can stock up on any skin and body care products Santa didn’t bring you.

Fit Fest

Let us know what other free fitness classes you find – AND if you’re going to the Belk Phipps Plaza event. We’re looking forward to getting our fitness kicked off the FREE way! 🙂

Meg is wearing: pants: lululemon Speed Tight (other colors here), top: Old Navy graphic tee – LOVE these for working out (similar styles here), shoes Brooks Pure Drift (similar here)

List of locations hosting #FITFEST events:

  • Charlotte, NC (Southpark)
  • Raleigh, NC (Crabtree)
  • Greensboro, NC (Shops at Friendly Center)
  • Winston Salem, NC (Hanes Mall)
  • Hickory, NC (Valley Hills Mall)
  • Wilmington, NC
  • Charlottesville, VA (Charlottesville Fashion Square Mall)
  • Dallas, TX (Galleria Dallas)
  • Huntsville, AL (Brudgestreet)
  • Huntsville, AL (Parkway Place)
  • Birmingham, AL (Riverchase)
  • Tuscaloosa, AL (University Mall)
  • Jackson, MS (Ridgeland)
  • Jackson, MS (Flowood)
  • Greenville, SC
  • Columbia, SC (Columbiana)
  • Savannah, GA
  • Atlanta, GA (Phipps Plaza)
  • Mt. Pleasant, SC
  • Florence, SC
  • Statesboro, GA

Christmas In Dixie

If you told me six years ago I would be putting down roots in the South I would have told you you’ve got the wrong girl.

Meg and Bo

Atlanta was just a stop for me. I was only passing through…

Meg and Baby

But plans change, and dreams you didn’t know you had come true.

Barrett and Bo

Christmas with Bo

And you find yourself spending the Christmas season on the wrong side of the Mason Dixon line with your Georgia boy and dog named Bocephus.

Bo and Tree

Baby by the Tree

Thank goodness for them. Thank goodness for Christmas in Dixie.

Working(out) our Way to Cocktails

One of the biggest perks of working out is you don’t have to feel guilty ordering the FRIED chicken taco instead of grilled, or the full-fat margarita instead of skinny (which never compare – stop pretending they do.) It’s probably 90% of the reason we do what we do in the gym.

In order to capitalize on the free-falling, no-guilt feeling from the gym is to go straight from the studio to the restaurant. Do not pass go, do not shower (unless there is cilantro scented shampoo in the studio – like at Torq Cycle Atlanta – lawd have mercy!) So there’s a catch to all of this – your workout togs must serve two functions – keep you cool and hawt while you’re getting your fitness on AND keep you looking sharp when you head out for tacos or mimosas post sweat sesh.

We have several suggestions for how you can do this:

Combine Comfort and Joy, y’all – moisture-wicking fabric and no-chafe flat locked seams are key. You want to look like you just worked out, but you don’t want to look like you just worked out, ya follow? Ain’t nobody got time for sweat patches on their tops (or even worse BOTTOMS) because you have a bloody mary to catch. The fabric is key. We love the fabric from lucy because it does just that – and trust me, I put it to the test.

kelly stretch

kelly legsKelly Torqs

I Woke Up Like This Colors – I’m a huge fan of the dark pants – think navy blue or black. It’s boring, but if we’ve learned anything from Michael Bolton it’s that boring can be classic and it just WORKS. Plus, it makes you look skinny and hides imperfections. So pair your dark bottoms with bright, well tailored tops that say “LOOK AT ME, I’M FABULOUS” while at the same time say “don’t look at me, man, I’m just here to get swoll.”

Lockers

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Kelly Torq2

Kelly Torq

Kelly spin

LAYERS GURL – just like you layer your chambray with your cardigan and finish off with a blanket scarf you want to layer at the gym as well. We suggest a fitted tank as a base layer, followed by a loose fitting dancer’s top (the shirt after the shirt if you will) for a little more coverage, and then as a finishing touch add a long-sleeve fitted sweatshirt to keep you warm and looking right.

Kelly Brunch

We trust our reputation as profesh worker-outers and brunch-goers to lucy because their workout wear NEVER let us down. We also wear their leggings to work because WE CAN, and they honestly look better than some of our former favorite leggings from a store that rhymes with May Blue. We’re keeping it real, while keeping it fancy in our lucy. Let us know if you want any recos about where to start with their line – but DO NOT leave their site without a pair of their yoga pants.

P.S. you may be asking where this amazing spin studio is…it’s Torq Cycle Atlanta and it’s THE (new to us) place to get your bike on. We signed up for a THREE MONTH membership after our first ride if that tells you anything – and it should because we never pull the trigger on memberships this quickly. Honestly, it’s never been done. See below, Kelly is texting her posse telling them the news. Get yourself over there NOW. (First ride is free if you mention you heard about them from us – or if you don’t – but do us a solid, mmkay?)

Kelly Text

Kelly is wearing Dance Workout Top in Winter Blue c/o lucy, Pocket Leggings c/o lucy, Blissed Out Long Sleeve c/o lucy, Workout Racerback (similar here) c/o lucy and Cardio Sculpt Tank (similar here).

Road to Fitness: Fighting the Festively Plump Feeling

I’ve really enjoyed the holidays. Turns out my pants have not, and have apparently gone on strike. It’s time to get back in the healthy swing of things BEFORE the New Year so I can be confident in my resolution (which I will reveal very soon!)

For me, the way I start my day is the way I finish it. If I wake up and start my day by eating a couple of donuts and stoping by Starbucks for a full fat Gingerbread latte I will finish it in an equally indulgent and unhealthy way. BUT – if I start my day with a green smoothie and a walk I can usually keep up the momentum.

healthy way to give you all-day energy and mental clarity

Luckily for me I love the taste of a green smoothie and really enjoy the process of making them! I’ve been thinking of adding protein powder to my rotation, but haven’t pulled the trigger (any reccomendations?) which is unfortunate because I know the key to maintaining the smoothie habit is mixing up your recipes.

Recently, I was introduced to Moringa, a dried leaf powder that is one of the most nutrient-dense plants in the world, AND contains protein, so I had to give it a try.

Check out these comparisons:

  • 9x the Protein of yogurt – WOOHOO
  • 10x the Vitamin A of carrots
  • 17x the Calcium of milk
  • 15x the Potassium of bananas
  • 25x the Iron of spinach
  • 4x more Fiber than oats
  • 1/2 the Vitamin C of oranges

NutriB Moringa Green Virgin Products

Moringa Powder Smoothie

They recommend that you add a teaspoon of Moringa to your drink – in my case a smoothie. The energy it gives you is amazing!!! I’m not saying it replaces my morning coffee – but the energy I get from Moringa lasts longer and is also coupled with some alertness I don’t get from my Kcups.

Green Smoothie Moringa

Moringa.  Dr. OzGreen Juice

Interested? You should be. Here is what you need to know: Moringa comes in many different forms, powder, tea, oil, capsules – but the powder is the right choice for me. It’s also very important that you get 100% leaf powder and avoid products that state “proprietary blend” – that’s marketing witchcraft.  Read the fine print and know what you are buying.

I use Green Virgin Products’ moringa because it comes in a resealable pouch that shuts out the light and sucks up all the oxygen inside.

I highly recommend you give moringa a try. I’m hooked!

Hey y’all: Green Virgin Products compensated us for this post, but my holiday bloat and opinions are all my own!

Moringa Micro-Fine

http://greenvirginproducts.com/

Thursday Waylay – December in Atlanta

most expensive cocktail

Where to eat/drink: We’ve got some tasty news to wet your whistle just in time for the holidays! SweetWater is debuting an all-new winter seasonal from their Catch & Release lineup that just hit shelves and taps throughout the Southeast on Dec. 1. … Continue reading

High School Friends – Quantity over Quality

I don’t stay in touch with many people from high school. I’m lucky enough to have met the majority of my lifelong best friends in college and afterwards when I really had grown into my own. A lot of people from my hometown moved back after college and are still running around with the same folks – which is certainly fun to follow on Facebook – but it just wasn’t the path for me. I was excited to experience new places and start a new adventures – in fact I’m shocked that I only lived in one place (Atlanta) before settling down a bit.

However, I met my oldest and dearest friend Tony in high school, and I can’t tell you how much his friendship means to me. We have been close and loyal friends through SO many life stages together (many we don’t speak of in mixed company…), and it’s nice to have someone who knows and understands your journey from the beginning. 

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Meg and Tony

While I don’t have many friends who’ve known me while wearing braces, I count myself lucky to have him – and I think the expression quality over quantity has never been more relevant.

He recently moved out to Seattle, which is amazing since my big brother and his wife are also out there, and I absolutely love visiting them and their darling dog Tahoma – such a pretty lady.

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I got to visit Tony last week and it was SO amazing to see how he is thriving in his new West Coast home. He has lived all over the country, but it seems like Seattle is a perfect fit for him and his little family of three.

Tony and Kyle 3

Seattle

I don’t get to see Tony as much as I would like to, but it doesn’t make our friendship any less strong. Because, when you’ve known someone for as long as we have, you’ve already forgiven a multitude of sins and love each other unconditionally. We just pick up where we left off, which usually involved brunch and a cocktail, and keep making memories. 

Tony and Meg2

Cheers to my long distance best friend on his birthday. Love you, Toe!

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Second Self – Doing what You Love and Drinking Beer

This post is going to have multiple personalities – and I’m okay with that. This post is about two things I love – the pursuit of what makes you feel happy and fulfilled…and beer.

My new FAVORITE beer of all time (no, really) is the Thai Wheat from Second Self Beer Company. I could wax poetic about this beer for hours. Let’s also preface this with…I know nothing about beers except what tastes good. And this is good stuff. It has lemongrass and ginger and everything delicious. I’m told it’s dry and a spicy American-style wheat beer, which is great and all, but really it’s just amazing. Get it. Try it. Buy a lot but leave some for me. They have other good beers too, but I’m going to hold off talking about them and just hope the guys read this post and bring us back in for another taste test extravaganza.

Second Self Kegs Beer

So that’s the beer part of the post, now lets move on to the pursuit of happiness side. There are two guys behind Second Self, Georgia Tech grads and fraternity roommates, Jason Santamaria and Chris Doyle. Both Jason and Chris had (really good) corporate jobs in 2010 when they started Second Self, but what they LOVED was brewing beer. To them, brewing felt like it was their second life – what they were truly passionate about – not just what they “did.”

Thai Wheat Second Self

So, long story short, they quit their jobs and opened Second Self. And they LOVE it. It’s evident from the moment you talk to these guys that they are super passionate about what they do and love to share it with others. Heck, it’s why they named their company SECOND SELF.

Second Self Brewery Team

Jason is the company’s “beer architect” and deals with a lot of the business outside of the brewery. Chris is the company’s “Alechemist” and deals with what goes on inside the brewery, located in a warehouse building on Logan Circle in northwest Atlanta. But they are true partners when it comes to the flavors and recipes of the beers.

It made me think about how Kelly and I work. We are partners in everything we do, but we don’t always do it together. We rarely write posts together, we don’t take pictures for each other, we help each other achieve goals like working out consistently and remembering to branch out and try new cocktails – but we are equal partners. And we’re LOVING it. Peachtree Roadies has become a second self for us, and it’s really enriched our lives. We won’t be quitting our corporate jobs anytime soon, but it sure is nice to be able to work on something you are passionate about everyday. And I hope all of our readers have an outlet like that as well. So, do you? Let us know!

Second Self Atlanta