March 22, 2017

Meet Me at the Barre

The other weekend, The Alberta Blog Squad was invited to have a private class at Barre Body Studio at their Ramsey location here in Calgary. I'm no stranger to barre, I've even done Mommy & Baby classes at one of their Edmonton locations, but it's not an activity that I get to go to very often. Plus, a private class with my girlfriends is always a good time. And the youngest honorary member of the Blog Squad, Emmy, even got to tag along! I had planned to wear her, but the little slacker slept through the whole thing in her carseat.
Barre Body Studio Review
Anyway. Barre class. It's not a new fitness trend and I'm pretty confident it's not going anywhere anytime soon! I'm also pretty sure that if you haven't yet tried a class, you have at least heard all about it. And if you haven't tried a class yet, you should really get on that! (Psst - there's a discount code for you at the bottom of this post!)

Barre Body is a low-impact workout, consisting of a million repetitions (not even joking!) in order to build lean muscles, tighter behinds and stronger cores. The phrase "up an inch/down an inch" will haunt you in your dreams! Little pulses are no laughing matter. Classes often utilize equipment such as light weights (1, 2, 3 or 5 pound weights - I stuck to 2 pound weights and was sore the next day!), resistance bands, a ball, and a balance disk, but a lot of the class focuses on using just body weight as well.
Barre Body What to Expect
Barre class review
In your one hour class, you are put through a warm-up, strength exercises for your arms, leg exercises which can consist of movements both on and away from the barre, cardio sprints and a core workout, ending with a cool down. If you think you aren't going to sweat just because this class is low-impact, you would be wrong! Our instructor Lanette, put us through a gruelling workout that had us all sweating by the end.

Barre is one of those classes that you go into thinking "this is no big deal, how hard can this actually be!?", only to find yourself swearing under your breath at the burning sensation in your gluten and thighs! This class works muscles you didn't even know existed! Which is why I love it. Plus, the inner ballerina in me loves me some barre work. Plié, first position, second position, etc...it all takes me back to my days of dancing. 
Review of Barre Body Studio Calgary
Review of Barre Body Studio Calgary
Barre Body Studio Calgary
Alberta Blog Squad Barre Body Class
Anyway, the class is tough, but the beautiful exposed brick walls and pretty lighting in the studios at the Ramsey location distract you from the pain a bit. The locker rooms are equally as stunning, and offer guests complimentary hair dryers, deodorant, hand cream, hair elastics, as well as free lockers. There's even a private shower should you wish to use it. The entire ambiance of Barre Body is on point! 

What you should know before taking your first class at Barre Body:
  • you must wear grip socks (bring your own, purchase a pair for sale at the studio, or rent a pair for $1 - proceeds go to charity)
  • wear comfortable athletic clothing (think yoga/dance wear)
  • bring a water bottle, you will need it!
  • most importantly, don't be afraid! Even if you don't have a dance background, the moves will be explained and nothing is overly complicated (meaning you will pick it up quickly!)
  • 1-Month New Client Intro pass: $65
  • Drop-in: $25
  • 5-Card Class Pass: $112
  • 10-Card Class Pass: $195
  • 20-Card Class Pass: $390
  • Mommy &b Me Class: $225 (I did this in Edmonton with Sully when he was 7 months old and highly recommend it!)

Locations:
  • Ramsey: 1202 20 Ave SW, Calgary, AB
  • Bow Trail: 4251 Bow Trail SW, Calgary, AB
  • Whitemud Crossing: #184, 4211 - 106 Street, Edmonton, AB
  • Holland Plaza: 11996 - 109A Avenue, Edmonton, AB
Barre Body Studio Review
{Ange//Leigh//Jen//Kaella//Me//Alison//Becky//Laura}

And good news for you! Use code BRIE10 to receive $10 off either a 10-Card Class Pass, 
or a 1-Month New Client Intro!

Thanks again to BBS for hosting the Blog Squad, and to Ange for organizing it! 


Have you tried Barre before? Thoughts? Let me know in the comments!



March 21, 2017

A Little Mountain Getaway

Last week, we decided on a whim, to head to the mountains for the weekend! Meaning, we booked a hotel room Friday afternoon, packed that evening and loaded up the car Saturday morning. Who says all spontaneity dies once you have children? ;)

We didn't have too much of an agenda - the hotel we booked had a pool with a waterslide, and we knew we wanted lots of time to enjoy it with Sully. He loves swimming right now, and loves going down waterslides, so we knew it would be a big hit with him (it was!). We stayed at the Best Western in Canmore, and I would definitely stay there again. The rooms are nice and clean, there was a fridge and microwave (a definite must when traveling with kids!), and a fireplace! Plus, my other must have when staying at a hotel: hot continental breakfast. Nothing makes you feel like you're getting your monies worth than a free breakfast for you and your kids! Unlimited juice for everyone!

On Saturday, we headed out past our hotel, to Banff, where we had lunch and then walked around for about an hour. It was unfortunately raining all day, but it wasn't too cold so it wasn't miserable. Plus, Sully had a blast jumping in all the puddles and throwing snowballs on the sidewalks (snow plus light rain equals the best snowballs).
Banff, Alberta Weekend Getaway
Banff, Alberta
Banff, Alberta
Explore Banff, Alberta
Explore Banff, Alberta
The hotel had a late check-in time of 4pm, so around then, we made our way from Banff back to the hotel. We changed into our swimsuits and headed down to the pool for a few hours. Emmy slept in her bassinet the entire time, which allowed me to get a few runs in down the slide and some time in the hot tub. We ordered pizza in that night for supper and when it was time for bed, Jim and I wished each other the best of luck! Haha! We chose a room with two queen beds so that Jim and Sully could sleep in one, and Emmy and I slept in the other. Sully was pretty restless all night and fell out of bed once (oops!), but thankfully Emmy slept well, other than needing to be fed and changed once in the middle of the night.
Pool and Waterslide at Pocaterra Best Western
Pocaterra Best Western
Best Western Pocaterra
We didn't have time to go swimming again Sunday morning, but we did take advantage of the hot breakfast, and then once we were packed up, we headed back out towards Banff to drive around and explore. There's so much out that way that I've never actually seen and we made lots of notes of places we will return to once it's a) warmer out and b) the kids are older.
Lake Minnewanka, Banff, AlbertaTunnel Mountain, Alberta
Then on our way back into the city, we detoured a bit towards Kananaskis and attempted to hike to Troll Falls. I did this hike on a girls weekend trip just over a year ago, and it's an easy, family friendly hike. I knew I wanted to return with Jim and Sully one day, but unfortunately, all the rain turned the trail into a sheet of ice. We managed to get about 3/4 of the way by walking on the edges of the trail where there was still some untouched snow, but it was challenging for Sully and for me since I was wearing Emmy. But my family was a great sport about it and Sully walked the entire time, so I was proud of him! I'm sad they didn't get to see the frozen waterfalls, but we will be back!
Troll Falls Family Friendly Hike
Troll Falls Family Friendly Hike, Alberta
Troll Falls - A family friendly hike in Kananaskis, Alberta
Troll Falls - A Family Friendly Hike
And that was about it! Our little hike ended around 5:30pm, so we hopped back in the vehicle and made the drive home. Despite the logistics of traveling with a toddler and a newborn (ohhhh the logistics!!), we had a really nice time. The weather didn't end up being as nice as we had thought it was going to be, which made everything a little bit more challenging - like stopping to nurse and change diapers - everything had to be done in the vehicle with it running. But I think we made the best of it, and a trip to the mountains, no matter how short, is always so good for the soul.



March 16, 2017

Get Ready to Rumble!

The other weekend, The Alberta Blog Squad had the opportunity to try out another boxing studio. Having just taken my first boxing class shortly before this, I was super excited to have another go at throwing punches and unleashing my inner bad-ass. There is something so cathartic about wrapping your hands, donning boxing gloves and letting loose in a dark, loud boxing studio.
What to expect at Rumble Boxing Studio
Rumble Boxing Studio invited The Blog Squad to have a private class and I have to say, I was much less intimidated this time around. Both because I sort of knew what to expect, and also because I was surrounded by my girlfriends and I'm not nearly as worried about making a fool of myself in front of them!

Rumble is located in the heart of 17th Ave in Calgary. When we arrived, we checked in at the front desk which also doubles as an acai/juice bar (perfect for refuelling after class!), were given boxing gloves (which are always complimentary), and got to work wrapping our hands (you must purchase wraps if you don't already own them). There's also free lockers to stash your stuff in, full change rooms complete with showers, a water fountain and complimentary towels. Make sure you take a towel into class with you - you will need it!
What to expect at your first boxing class
The Alberta Blog Squad at Rumble Boxing Studio Calgary
what to expect at Rumble Boxing Studio
The studio is set up in such a way that the instructor is smack dab in the centre of the room, with the participants boxing bags surrounding them. This allowed all of us to grab a bag facing the instructor. Because of this, I found this class much easier to follow along with and it also made it easier for our awesome instructor, Kealen, to come around to each of us to check our form or encourage us to punch harder. Just like last time, each punch is given a number (1=jab; 2=cross; etc), and I felt much more in control with my punches this time. I found if I over thought the combinations, I got flustered and lost track of which punches to throw, but if you can learn to let your mind relax and zone out, it just flows. Boxing is a really cool sport that way! You get to punch sh*t and meditate, haha!

Kealen led us through a tough and sweaty workout for an hour, that combined punches and squats. We were spared an ab workout at the end which I appreciated. I feel like boxing is already an ab workout as you need to engage your core the whole time. I'd rather box for an extra ten minutes than get down on the floor and do crunches!
Alberta Blog Squad boxing class
what to expect at a boxing studio
After class, we were treated to the best part: Ewan MacGregor! He was in the studio boxing it out in the boxing ring that's in the foyer of Rumble when you first walk in!
Ewan MacGregor at Rumble Boxing Studio Calgary

Anyway, here's what you need to know before taking a class at Rumble:

-You have to purchase your own wraps ($15) or bring your own
-Boxing gloves are complimentary
-Prior boxing experience is not necessary
-Arrive early to fill out your waiver and wrap your hands
-Wear running shoes and bring a water bottle
-Most importantly: don't be afraid! The staff at Rumble are so friendly and welcoming!
-Parking tips HERE

Prices:
  • Drop-in: $20
  • 10-Class Pass: $180
  • 20-Class Pass: $320
  • 1, 3, 6 & 12 Month Passes also available 

If you can't tell yet, I have a newfound love for boxing! I tried really hard (both during this class and while writing this post), not to compare the two studios I've been to. Based on my experiences, I liked the style of the class at Rumble more, but that could be because I wasn't as intimated this time and had a better idea of what I was doing. Of course, I need to go take more classes to really pick a favourite though!



Have I encouraged you to take a boxing class yet?! 

Have you ever had a random celebrity encounter? I want to hear about it!