Monday, February 15, 2016

Long Weekend

Since my parents are visiting for the month from the snowy east coast, B and I have been doing all sorts of things in OC with them! It's been so much fun to revisit some of our favorite spots and check out some new places.

We went to 4th Street Market in Santa Ana for dinner one night. I loved going there for dinner, because last time I went was for brunch and it was pretty quiet. At night though--wow. Santa Ana is such a vibrant little city! There's live music, street vendors selling jewelry and art, along with so many cool bars, restaurants and theaters!

We took my mom and dad to Taco Maria for my mom's birthday dinner. Taco Maria is BY FAR the best restaurant in Orange County--it should be, since Carlos Salgado was on 2015's list of Food & Wine's best new chefs! B and I first went there for my birthday dinner about 5 days after we moved to Orange County. Once I had a bite of the first dish (calamari tacos), I knew this was a place I would need to visit again and again! Seriously---we have used any excuse to go, especially with out of town guests :)

Taco Maria's amazing spicy peanut and grilled calamari tacos on a homemade blue corn tortilla. Delicioso! 
Fortunately, the weather has been amazing while my parents have been here. In the 80's and sunny most days! We took advantage of the great weather and the long weekend to go for a beautiful walk along the bluffs in Newport.

This beautiful weather has me thinking all summer-like! I couldn't help myself from getting some bright pink toes (OPI Strawberry Margarita) when my mom and I went to get mani/pedis!

My husband and I aren't super in to Valentine's Day, so it was nice to just chill with my parents. We went to Sherman Library and Gardens, which is walking distance from my parent's rental cottage in Corona del Mar, for an evening illuminated walk through the beautiful gardens before having a BBQ at home.

It is definitely going to be rough getting back to work tomorrow, but I am excited because this coming weekend we are taking a weekend trip to Catalina Island! I love this CA living!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Working Out with Groupon

Back in Philly and New York, I was dedicated to my gym schedule-- sometimes to a fault. I figured out right after college that in order to actually work-out during a workout, I would have to join fitness classes. Sure, I would do the elliptical or the bike every day, but no one was there telling me to increase my speed or amp up my resistance, so as a result I never really saw much improvement.

I quickly got super in to spin, yoga and Zumba classes when I joined a gym in NYC. In Philly, I started going to barre classes and finally felt like I had a varied, fun workout plan. I had my favorite instructors and times. If a conflict arose and I couldn't get to a class, I almost had a panic attack!

When I first moved to California, I was definitely in a fitness rut. I was hesitant to join a gym when we first arrived because we were in temporary housing for a few weeks, and I seriously missed my gym and classes back in Philly. Once we moved into our permanent place, I thought that I didn't need to join a gym because our complex fitness center had classes. Unfortunately, the class times didn't match with my work schedule, and I found myself back in the routine of simply doing the bare minimum on the cardio machines.

Eventually I got settled into work and decided to check out some gyms in the area. I was disappointed because the gym right across the street from our complex had a terrible class schedule. Other gyms seemed good but were pricey.

One day, I was on Groupon looking for a painting and wine class that my friends and I were planning on doing and I came across a Groupon for Bike 2 the Beat spin studio. $20 for 8 classes! Most spin studios charge $20-30 for ONE CLASS! The studio was a bit farther from my apartment but how could I pass that up? I'm glad I didn't, because OMG these classes are amazing! Great music, really fun instructors and a great ambience in the studio (glow lights, disco balls, the works). I'm almost done with my 8 classes and may just have to bite the bullet and buy the monthly pass for $180 :(

Groupon steered me in the right direction with Bike 2 the Beat, so I decided to see what other fitness deals they had. I was so happy to see that there was an awesome deal for Cardio Barre (10 classes for $49). I just used up my last class yesterday, and I am also very tempted to just go for the monthly there as well. I guess that's how they get ya! Still, I have been trolling Groupon daily to see if any other deals for spin, yoga or barre studios come up!

Here's hoping that I either come into a lot more money in the next week so I can pay for these monthlies, or Groupon gets a new batch of good deals- hint, hint Groupon ;) 

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