Friday Favorites: What’s In My Gym Bag

It’s been quite some time since I did a Friday Favorites post! I thought now that I’m attending a lot of fitness classes, it would a great opportunity for me to share with you the favorite things I keep in my gym bag. So far since being injured I’ve taken a bunch of different yoga classes (including aerial!), spin classes, and my current beloved, Refine Method. It’s almost a guarantee that I’ll be a sweaty mess after every class, so I make sure to pack my bag accordingly – doesn’t matter whether I have errands to do after class or I’m just going home… no one wants to smell or be sweaty on the train or while walking home in the cold!

Gym Bag Essentials |

My collage making skills are less than stellar, so this one goes counter-clockwise… which kind of drives me insane, but I don’t have the patience or time to re-make the collage.

Forever21 Gym Bag

The most important piece here is my gym bag, obviously. I never had the need for one before, but since I started taking classes that require me to hop on the train, I knew it was time to upgrade from my old Long Champ Le Pliage tote. I really loved the look of quite a few bags, but didn’t want to plunk down the cash for something that was just going to hold my sweaty clothes and sneakers. Eventually I found one from Forever21 that was only $23 and had great reviews. I figured that for $23, I couldn’t go wrong! I’ve been using it multiple times a week for a few weeks now and couldn’t be happier with it. It has plenty of compartments both inside and out, and is large enough to hold everything I could possibly need without being a huge bag. Unfortunately they don’t have the same bag online anymore, but they do have a few others that look awesome!

Pacifica Coconut Water Facial Wipes

I got these facial wipes as a sample pack in the Fitness Magazine Meet & Tweet goodie bag, immediately fell in love with them, and went to Target to buy some. They smell amazing (think coconut butter on a tropical island) and do a good job of wiping off all the dirt and sweat without being harsh. My skin is really sensitive (and dry and acne prone, yay!) so I have to be careful about what products I use. I love them so much that I also bought some of their body butter which is equally amazing.

Nathan Power Shower Body Wipes

These bad-boys are a life saver. I’ve had plans after almost every Refine Method class (usually errands or brunch and not something that required a full shower) and I sweat a lot, so these have come in handy. One wipe is all you need to refresh yourself and feel like you can go about your business without being the smelly kid in class. They aren’t a shower replacement by any means, but they definitely keep me from feeling gross. I bought a bunch on Amazon and they’ve been perfect after races where I want to hang out and cheer or go grab food after!

Nuun/Picky Bars Water Bottle

This might seem silly, but I’m kind of picky about my water bottles when it comes to working out. I want something that I can easily grab and don’t have to struggle with to get a drink from. The bottles that I’ve gotten from Nuun and Picky Bars do the trick! The body of the bottle has enough give so I can squeeze it if I’m in dire need of water, and the  top doesn’t require anything fancy from me in order to actually get water out. Plus, it fits perfectly on a FlyWheel bike, next to my yoga mat, or in between stations at Refine Method!

Infinity Scarves! 

With winter (officially) only a few days away, I’ve found an infinity scarf is the perfect thing to have with me for pre and post class. It keeps me warm on the walk there, but it also helps to keep my sweaty hair off my neck for the walk home! My favorites are the Oiselle Runfinity scarf (I have the regular stripe in fresh green, the lux runfinity in fast red, and the fleece infinity scarf) as well as the Lululemon Vinyasa scarf. I pack one even if it’s a “warmer” day because by the time I’m heading home and back out in the cooler air after sweating, I need a little something extra. Once the cooler weather months hit, you can almost always find me wearing some type of scarf, so it seemed only natural to wear it to and from my workouts, too!

Tell me…
Do you have any gym bag essentials? 
What’s your favorite group fitness class?

Friday Favorites

While I was running on Monday thinking about how awesome my new Oiselle tank top is, I thought to myself, “I always like to know when people think products are awesome (and aren’t being compensated for saying so), and can never find enough reviews of things online.” I’ve recently started doing my best to review products I get where they have the option online, but I also appreciate when I stumble upon people’s blogs doing the same. So I figured why not share with you what I’m loving (McDonalds didn’t make the list… this time).

Lululemon’s Dart and Dash shorts. These bad boys are awesome. I have a few pairs of spandex shorts, and I find myself tugging at them during most runs afraid I’m showing off a little cheek. Most of the longer pairs I find are a bit too long and border on bike shorts, so when I saw these I figured I’d give them a try. Yes, they’re more expensive than I would like to pay for some spandex, but I’ve been more than happy with them, making it worth the money. They have two little pockets on the inside (as most running shorts have), as well as two on the either side on the outside of the short (which are cool, but look awkward when something thicker than say a small Gu is in there), and my favorite part is the rubber material also on the outside of the shorts to help your shirt from rising up. Because I have a small waist and larger hips, I find that most running shirts that are on the more fitted side like to turn into belly shirts, which is not cute. So this helps keep them in place, and reminds me of my old racing suits that had the same material on the inside to keep it snug on your leg while swimming. So, the bottom line is despite the high price tag, I absolutely recommend these shorts to anyone looking for a little more coverage than your average spandex booty short.

Oiselle’s Aero Tank. I paid zero dollars for this tank thanks to winning a Twitter contest, and received the tank just in time for my birthday (fate, I tell you!). I’m not usually a fan of sleeveless shirts (I prefer either racerback tank tops or short sleeve shirts, nothing in between), but am happy to report I love this one. The real kicker for me is that there is a little side pocket with a zipper, perfect for a set of keys or a Gu. I actually brought some keys with me on my test run with the shirt, and had no problems with it. Not only do I love how into running Oiselle is and the support they provide the running community, but they make great gear, too! I’ve heard wonderful things about their shorts, and who doesn’t love the rundies?

Send the Trend. This is a new-to-me website, and I’m obsessed. You sign up, and can then get adorable accessories for $29 – always (bags are usually $39). They were having a sale a few weeks ago and I scored two awesome necklaces (one seen above), and a set of bangles. For anyone that’s looking for affordable on-trend accessories, this is definitely the place! I also appreciate that there isn’t any pressure to buy, since I’ve found so many of those “you’re guaranteed a price” sites require you to spend X amount each month, etc. Their shipping is also incredibly fast – I ordered something Thursday morning, and had it at my doorstep Saturday.

Big Ass Salads. I’m not usually one to order a salad when I’m out at a restaurant, but lately with the temperatures being so high, they’re the perfect filling refreshment. I’ve found that diner salads are my favorite, because they’re HUGE, and have a ton of stuff in them. Plus, when I make them at home they’re super easy and require little to no cooking, keeping the house cool. I also like the tortilla shells, and make them at home by baking a burrito sized tortilla in a glass bowl (yes, I realize that requires the oven, but I don’t make them all the time), which makes the salad a little more fun… because let’s be honest, just lettuce is boring.

While the things I mentioned may seem to be a little random, they pretty much show who I am – someone that loves running, fashion, and food. RFF? FRF? RFF? Either way, these are the things I’m currently obsessing over.

So, have any of you used/tried these products? What are your thoughts?
Or, do you have others that you just love and want to share?

The Making of a Yogi

For the longest time, I’ve wanted to seriously try to practice yoga. Being that I’m rather shy (only at first though, ask my fiancé about what happens when I get comfortable!), the thought of going to take a class by myself and do something I’ve never done before is extremely intimidating. I give myself a workout simply by thinking about that type of situation – elevated heart rate and all! That being said, I’ve put off taking an actual yoga class for years.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done yoga quite a few times through FitnessTV, and also with my iPhone/iPad/Macbook (hello Apple nerd). But, I’ve never ventured to have that actual yoga class experience which I got to experience through Marianne Wells Yoga Instructor. Turns out, though, one of my co-workers and friends is actually in the process of becoming a certified yoga teacher, and in the process he has to do practical hours. Think of it as student teaching for yoga. When I mentioned to him how I’ve been interested in yoga for quite some time, he offered to do some classes with me to help complete his hours. Of course, I jumped at the offer.

So, after a late night on Friday at a local bar in support of a friend’s fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, we had our first yoga session Saturday morning. I don’t know how I managed to get up at 7am, but it was likely a combination of excitement and knowing there were people that would be waiting for me. In addition to my co-worker, two other friends (one a veteran yogi and the other a newbie such as myself) joined me in my living room for an excellent 1-hour session. Of course, I had to dress the part too, with some newly acquired Lululemon attire.

Lululemon Wunder Under Crops & Ballerina Tank

I realized a few things during this session; 1. I am NOT flexible (I knew that already, but man, it’s serious), 2. My balance isn’t as bad as I thought it was, and 3. yoga is pretty awesome. I really can’t wait to practice again. Maybe after I get a little more comfortable with these small group sessions, I’ll venture out to an actual yoga studio for a class. Any suggestions for the greater Central New Jersey area would be greatly appreciated!

After yoga, I went for a 10 mile run on a local trail with my fiancé. I was a little wary as to how my legs and body in general would react based on being out late the night before, getting up early, and already having done some physical activity. It wound up working out pretty well, though, and aside from a side-stitch at one point, it was a decent run!

If I keep up this yoga and running regimen, I’ll be one svelte bride come September 10th!