Two short & sweet HIIT Workouts for Your Vacation

Do you workout while on vacation?

I know, it’s a good time to unwind and stray away from usual routine.

I do that from time to time too.

However, if you travel frequently, you shouldn’t use every vacation as a “break from the gym”. OR if you are new in your fitness journey, you should still be squeezing in at least a bit of purposeful activity that goes beyond walking around wherever your destination is.

The benefits of working out while on vacation are huge!

  • Reduce stress, especially if you are traveling with family ūüėČ
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Increase energy levels, especially beneficial if traveling with kids!
  • Allows you to sweat and naturally detox the out of the norm foods you are undoubtingly eating or drinking
  • Gives you a fresh start to the day
  • Gives your brain a refresh as well
  • The feeling of accomplishment
  • Keeps you on track to your goals
  • Have you ever exercised with the sunrise on the beach or in a new city? Talk about magic!

With that being said, not all vacation workouts need to be outrageous or long. Try these 2 workouts that can be done in 20-40 minutes! Short enough to squeeze in while the rest of the family is waking up, or while they’re getting their suits and sunscreen on for the beach even! Remember, it’s YOUR goals to stay on track to, so it is up to YOU to do it!

Now get to work, go on GET!

 

BODYWEIGHT HIIT

SINGLE WEIGHT “TAKE AWAY” DECREASING REP COUNT

(a fun one for mental games)

 

*workout details including time, rep counts, etc. are included in the video

If you try one of these out, tag me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_ and I’ll give you some hype and support!

 

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Happy Sweating!

Happy Holidays!



In health<3

Carly B

An open letter to Orangetheory Fitness

Isn’t it both funny and amazing how¬†one decision can change the trajectory of your life?

How one new relationship, connection, job, move, etc. can have a bigger impact on your life as a whole than all other decisions you’ve made combined?

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If you follow me on Instagram, then you definitely already know my love for Orangetheory, but maybe you don’t know how it started.

I had heard of Orangetheory Fitness long before I lived in a town where there was a studio. I mean, back in late 2016, Orangetheory Fitness hadn’t made its way into Iowa yet, let alone small town Iowa. I was so intrigued, and I had imagined traveling somewhere someday where I could try a class! But things have a funny way of working out exactly how they’re supposed to.

Whether you’re a current or former Orangetheory member, an owner, a coach or a sales associate, or someone simply interested, you’ve likely had an experience with Orangetheory worth noting. My hopes, is that many of you reading this have had a similar experience that I have. Because if that’s true, then it confirms my beliefs that Orangetheory is bigger than a 60 minute workout, bigger than a multi-country corporation, bigger than the numbers on the screen.

It confirms that Orangetheory is absolutely life changing. 

It’s hard to put into words something that takes up such a big part of your heart, something that has altered your life completely, but here it goes….

Dear Orangetheory,

It was approximately January 25, 2017 when my world changed. My husband got a job moving us 1,000+ miles across country from Cedar Falls, IA to Greensboro, NC. I was excited, shocked, and sad to be leaving home. However, the very next day began my search to get a job in our new city that we were bound to be in within 3 weeks. My first Google search? “North Carolina Orangetheory Locations”. And hold. the. flipping. phone?! There you were, a location right there in Greensboro.

Orangetheory, you already know the story, but for those of you who don’t, long story short, I got the job! I got in contact with the manager, had an interview only 10 days later when we flew out to find a place to live, and began work there 16 days after that interview.

When I stepped into Orangetheory for the first time, it felt as if I was in a movie when they open the doors to some place spectacular and a halo of light shines around it accompanied by an “ahhhhhh”. A bit dramatic? Maybe. But the point is that something struck me deep with that first step. I felt home, my gut feeling was that I was home. It’s been 2.5 years since then and I haven’t looked back once. Within 2 months I went from sales associate to coach, and 2 years later I went from coach to assistant head coach. I’ve grown as an employee, as a leader, and as a coach. I’ve gotten new, “big girl” jobs between then and now, I’ve moved houses, I’ve begun volunteering and taking on more responsibilities, but one thing remained the same: OTF has to stay on my schedule, and in my life.

In case I haven’t said it before, or said it enough, thank you Orangetheory.

Thank you for the friendships

When I look at all of my friends in this city, literally all of them, I know that I know them because of you. If I didn’t meet someone directly in the studio, between exasperated breaths after an all out, or while wiping the sweat from our faces, I met them directly through someone I¬†did¬†meet at OTF.

To this day, my very first friend in this city I met on my, oh 3rd day of the job, and she stood by my side at my wedding.

I guess it makes sense to make friends with people inside of these walls, because if we’re all crazy enough to be there in the first place, we all have a common factor ūüėČ

Beyond that, I watch people walk in the door every single day at Orangetheory, and they too come there to chat with friends they’ve made along the way. The time in the lobby before class begins has become a little bit of a social hour. It’s amazing to be standing there, with the mic around my neck and coaches shirt on my back and watch new friendships bloom. I’ve seen people introduce themselves for the first time and weeks later they’re choosing each other for the partner workout and then hopping across the street after for post workout beers. That’s a benefit I have being a coach that the members don’t have, I¬†get¬†to watch friendships blossom, friendships that aren’t mine but put a smile on my heart just the same.

 

 

Call us a cult, call us a tribe, call us whatever you want. Orangetheory, you grow families, so thank you for that.

Thank you for the mentorship

Not many people become close friends with their boss in their lifetimes. I’m glad I’ve had that chance through you, Orangetheory. My boss, the OG head coach at our studio, has become more than my boss, more than my friend, more than my “NC MOM” (as I call her), she’s my mentor. I turn to her for advice that could be OTF related, dog related, LIFE related. And I recognize that none of this wouldn’t be possible had I not stepped into those doors on February 3, 2017. I think my head might have fallen off from whirlwind of stress had things gone differently.

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Thank you for my physical health

Sometime in the fall of 2017 I said, somewhat arrogantly, “for the first time in my career, I contribute my physical health and success to something outside of my own workout programming”. I’m talking about YOU. In all of the jobs I’ve had, the group exercise classes I’ve taught, I’ve never fully¬†wanted¬†to participate in the workouts like I want to participate in these. In the past, I felt like I had to, you know just part of the job description. But now, you are a part of my weekly routine. You’ve helped me run a half marathon only 1 month after signing up. You’ve helped me be the most confident in clothes and swim suits that I’ve ever been. And my strong heart and strong muscles are here to prove the rest of the benefits I’ve felt from you.

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And then there’s the members, the transformations they’ve gone through. Losing 50+ lb, running again for the first time in years, lifting weights they never though possible, going from awkward and novice rowers to leaderboard rowers! The list could go on, and I’m sure to anyone reading this, you could find a friend that you know who does Orangetheory, and they have some sort of success story to share!

Thank you for the connections

Beyond the friendships, the connections I’ve made through people I’ve met inside your walls has been INCREDIBLE. I’m not going to go into details of every little thing, but let me just leave it with: I’ve done things, experienced things, and tried new things that never would have crossed my mind had I not been influenced by my connections from you.

Thank you for the stress relief

After a hard day at work, a long day in general, family stress, life stress, any stress, I turn to you. I hop in my car, get to the studio 20-30 minutes before class and shoot the sh*t with my friends and connections there. And then, when the studio door opens, my phone is on do not disturb, and I laser focus on the workout. If I need to get out of my head completely, the bumping loud music, the interactive heart rate monitors, and the fast paced, grueling (yet fit for anyone) workouts do the trick!

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Thank you for the comic relief

On the days when I’m not there solely for stress relief, well, we open the door to fun a little more. The one-line zingers from coach Val, the comedic relief to keep us going into our 10th all out from Tracy, the friendly competition on the rowers from Kristen, Ed, or Dave, or when I trip over another dumbbell, all offer much needed comic relief. Life needs comedy, every single day. And there is not a day I leave this studio without smiling ear to ear at least once.

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Thank you for the career skills

A person cannot grow within a company like I have without learning crucial career skills along the way. They just cannot. The skills I’ve learned,¬†so far, through you have spilled over into my day job. Literally, my boss has said before that he appreciates the added skills and creativity that Orangetheory offers me, he can see it in how I program my classes and schedules at work. I believe that job should always be more than a job, it should leave you with more, it should¬†give you more.¬†

Thank you for the life skills

Besides the ability to multi-task like a freaking pro (legit, watch a coach the next time you’re in a 3G class and how they most of the time, seamlessly get 36 different people going, throughout 3 different sections, all within a 2 minute window. Or for more comedy, watch how a coach talks through the “Orangetheory works through 5 heart rate zones” warm up while a member is asking them a question- and the coach can still spout off that warm up scpheel while helping the member fix their heart rate monitor), I’ve learned necessary life skills through you. Patience, extra customer service, how to not give up, how to put yourself first, how to truly care for yourself. The list could go on.

Thank you for quite literally everything about my life as is.

When everything in life seems to be going left, I turn right….. right to Orangetheory. I know I annoy my non-orangetheory friends with how much I talk and post about you, but when you’re passionate about something you should let it be known!

And to all of my friends that I have met through Orangetheory, all of the members, and my co-workers. I love you DEARLY. I couldn’t do my weeks without you. If the sad day comes sometime when I can no longer coach (you know, if kids ever come), I will hands down STILL purchase a membership to be there! I’m not letting you go, and I’m not letting YOU let me go”

 

-Much love, now and always,

Carly B

And for the record: for those of you thinking “if she says everything about her life here is from Orangetheory, how do you explain her full-time job, and the people she’s met there?” Well, while at Orangetheory, my friend (the first friend I made if you recall), told me to use the Linkedin easy apply options just for shits and giggles, something that never would have crossed my mind. The result? I found the job I currently have and obviously….. I got it.

 

Thanks for reading!

Are you an Orangetheory member too?

Let's connect! @lifeofcarlyb_

Got questions? Want a topic covered?

Email me @ lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com

In HEALTH,

Carly B

The One Thing I Wish I Would Have Done on My Wedding Day

Take. it. all. in.

Five minutes of uninterrupted silence with my new husband.

Watching everyone from a birds eye view.

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People say it all the time, to take it all in on your wedding day. You think “duh, why wouldn’t I do that?!” But regardless, it’s the advice everyone tells you leading up to the big day.

But what they fail to explain is what they really mean when they say to take it all in.

I remember going up to my husband at least 3 times during our wedding and putting my hands on his shoulders to look him straight in the eye and say “this is our reminder to take it all in“. And looking back, the whole night was still a blur! It’s not that we weren’t taking it all in, I mean we were! We just weren’t taking it all in as just the two of us. Instead, we stayed in the midst of it all, center stage, life of the party, so we took it in as us and 150 other people. And that’s how the night blurs together. The alcohol didn’t have much of a factor in that, especially in the earlier hours, and yet we still got pictures back from our photographer where I’m like wtf when did¬†that¬†happen?! (Thank goodness for photographers and videographers though! If you don’t have one booked for your wedding then you are sorely fooling yourself).

Here’s the truth. The day goes by both slow and lightning speed fast, and there are moments you can’t decipher between the two speeds. But before you know it, it’s over, and you’re sitting there the next morning with the biggest smile on your face with your new spouse, trying to piece together parts of the night.

So take it all in my friend.

Set an alarm on your phone.

And when that goes off, make sure no excuse, no matter how big, can hold you back from grabbing your new husband or wife to get away together for 5 quiet minutes together with a bottle of champagne.

If you can, find a birds eye view to watch everyone who gathered there today for you, everyone who you love, mingle together having the best time.

And if it’s your style, take a quick 10 second video of all that action.

And then put the phones away and anything else that can serve as a distraction and just sit there. Together. Breathe deeply. and take. it. all. in.

 

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Health, love, and happiness from a former bride,

Carly B

9 Books to Add to Your Summer Reading List (with a wide variety to fit all personality types)

I’ve got some books sitting on my shelves that I’ve never finished. I’ve also got some books sitting on my shelves that I have read multiple times. The following books fall somewhere in that category of “I can’t get enough, and think YOU should feel the same way too!”

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So huddle up on your porch early some morning or late some night. Bring these to the beach or the pool. Or save them for a long car ride. Because these books all have captivated me.

Self Help, Self Empowerment.

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1)  Girl, Wash Your Face

Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be.

By Rachel Hollis.

Let’s be real,¬†WHAT¬†reading list in 2019 can you NOT find Rachel Hollis on? I actually hope you’ve read this one, and¬†Girl, Stop¬†Apologizing¬†(recommendation #2 below) but if you haven’t, here’s your cue to head to your nearest¬†Target¬†and purchase yourself a copy!

Girl, Wash Your Face is¬†a self-love, self-empowering, total #girlboss motivational type of book. Rachel Hollis goes into detail of every lie she’s ever believed about herself and how she found the way and the courage to get past that lie. Both equally humorous and serious, you’ll find yourself pausing multiple times to jot down some brilliant line or self-help tip Rachel has relayed to her readers, yet again.¬† Even if you don’t think you’re in need of a self-help journey, this book will find a way to reel you back down to Earth and give yourself a chance to assess your goals, your dreams, and your current reality.

“You and only you are responsible for how happy you are”

-Rachel Hollis

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2) Girl, Stop Apologizing.

A shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals

By Rachel Hollis.

Trailing off of her first female empowerment book, Girl, Wash your Face, Rachel goes into everything she feels women feel the need to apologize for, and why we SHOULDN’T. This book has a more detailed “map” for you to follow, as she breaks it down into behaviors that we possess to make us feel apologetic, and skills we can develop to overcome that.

“You are beautiful and worthy of good things, and if you don’t believe that, nobody will”

-Rachel Hollis.

A story of overcoming the impossible. A story to make you stop feeling bad about yourself because¬†you don’t have it that bad.

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3) Locked In

-By Victoria Arlen

Out of all books on this list, as much as I love Rachel Hollis or dogs, this book is hands down my favorite. It reels you in, it makes you sit there with your jaw hanging open that something like this could actually happen to someone. Better yet, your jaw will hit the floor when you read how Victoria rose above all expectations, surpassing miracles to be the inspiration she is today.

About the book (from Simon and Schuster )

ESPN personality and Paralympics champion Victoria Arlen shares her courageous and miraculous story of recovery after falling into a mysterious vegetative state at age eleven and how she broke free, overcoming the odds and never giving up hope, eventually living a full and inspiring life.

When Victoria Arlen was eleven years old, she contracted two rare diseases simultaneously and fell into a mysterious vegetative state. For two years her mind was dark, but in the third year, her mind broke free, and she was able to think clearly and to hear and feel everything‚ÄĒbut no one knew.

When she was fifteen years old, against all odds and medical predictions, she was finally able to communicate through eye blinks, and she gradually regained her ability to speak and eat and move her upper body, but she faced the devastating reality of paralysis from the waist down because of damage to her spine. However, Victoria didn’t lose her strength or steadfast determination, and two years later, she won a gold medal for swimming at the London 2012 Paralympics.

In¬†Locked In, Victoria shares her never-before-published story‚ÄĒthe pain, the struggle, the fight to live and thrive, and most importantly, the faith that carried her through. Her journey was not easy, but by believing in God‚Äôs healing power and forgiveness, she is living proof that, despite seemingly insurmountable odds and challenges, the will to survive and resolve to live can be a force stronger than our worst deterrents.

Not many people get a second chance at life like Victoria has, and she made a promise to God that she would make every moment count.

“I learned early on that extraordinary challenges lead to extraordinary victories”

-Victoria Arlen

If you’re in need of a sappy book or a totally basic beach (or basic b*tch) book to take your mind away

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4) The Real Deal

By Lauren Blakely

I don’t normally go into book stores and think “oohh I want a sappy romance book!” but I found myself in a Barnes and Noble stalling some extra time and for some reason, I kept getting drawn to those basic chick books. So I went for this one, and was pleasantly surprised! I finished in within a week, which is pretty darn fast for me.

About the book from Good Reads

“April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend¬†that¬†much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family’s summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.¬†

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s¬†this¬†close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo.¬†Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau — the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?”

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5) Firefly Lane

I got this gifted to me from my mother in law one Christmas, and to be honest this book never would have been on my radar but it was SO GOOD. In fact, it was so good that it is on my list of “to-read-agains”, once I get through my current list of “to-read-for-the-first-time”.

About the book from Good Reads
“From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness.

Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .

For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship—jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they‚Äôve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.

Firefly Lane¬†is for anyone who ever drank Boone‚Äôs Farm apple wine while listening to Abba or Fleetwood Mac. More than a coming-of-age novel, it‚Äôs the story of a generation of women who were both blessed and cursed by choices. It‚Äôs about promises and secrets and betrayals. And ultimately, about the one person who really, truly knows you—and knows what has the power to hurt you . . . and heal you.¬†Firefly Lane¬†is a story you‚Äôll never forget . . . one you‚Äôll want to pass on to your best friend.”

For all Dog Lovers

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6) Saving Sadie

How a Dog That No One Wanted Inspired the World

By Joal Derse Dauer

Another one gifted to me by my mother in law, she’s coming in clutch eh?! It’s dog book that ends¬†happy! I figured this is a good one to start with. Not only does it end happily, Sadie, the star of the show, is still alive today! She is inspiring others, especially children to embrace your uniqueness and to not let others tell you what you can and cannot do. I’d recommend this book a hundred times over, a great book to read to or with your middle aged children as well!

Reviews from Saving Sadie website

‚ÄúAn uplifting story with tremendous heart. I couldn‚Äôt put it down.‚ÄĚ ~¬†Helen Brown,¬†NYT¬†Bestselling Author of¬†Cleo

‚ÄúA triumphant tale of second chances that shows how patience, hope, compassion and love can truly transform lives.‚ÄĚ ~ Modern Dog on Saving Sadie

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7) The Art of Racing in The Rain

By Garth Stein

Clearly, I was even more drawn to this book by the sheer fact that the main character is a Golden Retriever. It hit home with me, growing up in a household that always had Goldens, and being a dog mom to two Golden’s now, I couldn’t not¬†read this.

This might be #7 on this list, but if you are a dog lover, and a dog lover who watches each and every movie starring a dog, no matter how hard you know you’ll cry, then you need to put this on NUMBER ONE of your list! Because this is becoming a¬†movie¬†this summer!

About the book from GarthStein.com

“Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. Through Denny, Enzo has gained tremendous insight into the human condition, and he sees that life, like racing, isn‚Äôt simply about going fast. Using the techniques needed on the race track, one can successfully navigate all of life‚Äôs ordeals.”

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8) Walking With Peety

The Dog Who Saved My Life

By Eric O’Grey

I first heard about this book on some segment of the Today Show. The author came on to tell his story of how one old, and overweight dog, helped him go from a severely unhealthy lifestyle, overweight with joints aching, to a healthy man with a newfound love.

A book great for both dog lovers and those on search for a new life path, a new healthy life path.

About the book from EricnandPeety.com

“Walking with Peety is an inspirational and informative story about recovery, redemption, hope and achieving dreams, made possible by a doctor who listened and cared, the unconditional love between a man who thought life was over and a shelter dog who wouldn’t let him quit, and the kindness of others who inspired him to become the person he always wanted to be. The book includes many surprises and subplots featuring stories of legendary man/dog road trips, animal kindness, overcoming chronic disease with plant based nutrition, how angels are not always human, and a fairy tale of love lost and found again 40 years later.

Eric was 150 pounds overweight, depressed, and sick. After a lifetime of failed diet attempts, and the onset of type-2 diabetes, Eric went to a new doctor, who surprisingly prescribed a shelter dog. And that’s when Eric met Peety: an overweight, middle-aged and forgotten dog who, like Eric, had seen better days. The two adopted each other and began an incredible journey together, forming a bond of brotherhood and unconditional love that forever changed their lives. Over the next year, just by going on walks, playing together, and eating plant-based food, Eric lost 150 pounds, and Peety lost 25. As a result, Eric reversed his diabetes, got off all medication, and became happy and healthy for the first time in his life, eventually reconnecting with and marrying his high school sweetheart. Walking with Peety is for anyone ready to make a change in their life, and for everyone who knows the joy, love, and hope that dogs can bring. This is more than a tale of mutual rescue. This is an epic comeback story of friendship and strength.”

And for a good freaking laugh

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9) My Horizontal Life

A collection of one night stands

By Chelsea Handler

“In this raucous collection of true-life stories, Chelsea Handler recounts her time spent in the social trenches with that wild, strange, irresistible, and often gratifying beast: the one-night stand.”

As always, thanks for stopping by!

To hear more from Carly B or to get my emails

Subscribe to my email list here

You can also find me on Instagram @lifeofcarlyb_

Got questions? Reach out to me at lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com



In health, and good reading,

Carly B

5 Boozy places you must visit in D.C.

Doing touristy things in the nations capital is fun and all, but all of that can work up a real thirst. In between touristy things, or hell if you’ve already done the touristy things and are looking to visit D.C. like a local, here are 5 very cool, and very unique places to go- for the Boozy Traveler.

1) Agora

This place is so cool, like SO COOL. It was literally the first place we went to once we got to D.C. We enjoyed our first experience here THAT much. I tell all my friends about it, and now, I’m telling all of YOU about it.

I mean, who wouldn’t love endless food dishes AND bottomless mimosas, Bloody Mary’s, or well liquor drinks?!

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You sit down, they automatically assume you want the bottomless brunch, because DUH you do (side note, everyone at the table has to do the bottomless, or none, that is a rule of theirs. It makes sense though once you keep reading). They ask you what you want for your drink and they bring it right out, along with all of their “spreads”, which can be called appetizers. Your drinks get filled up even before they’re empty, and all the food is brought out into small, yet shareable sizes. And the best part?! If you want items A,B,C,D,E,F, & G on the menu, they’ll bring them ALL to your table in the same shareable sizes, and they’ll do it again until your belly is stuffed. Which is why everyone at the table must be doing the bottomless, otherwise there would be a lot of freeloaders, ya feel?

Fair warning: by the end of your meal (which is a 2 hour time limit), your bottomless mimosa pretty much turns into a flute of champagne, they just keep topping it off.

But hey that’s okay, it leaves ya feeling bubbly and happy, as seen here ūüėČ

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Agora: 1527 17th st NW.
Washington, DC
Brunch hours: 11AM-4PM

2) Blue Jacket Brewery

I love finding amazing places, unexpectedly. Okay, our D.C. friend we were with did recommend this one, but I was fully expecting it to be like any other brewery that are popping up across the U.S. But it was goooood. Not only was the beer spectacular, the Bloody Mary? Good lord, it was tasty and a perfect blend of spicy and not, if ya feel me? And then there was the food. #GetInMyBelly

My recommendation? Go with a group of people, each of you get your own flights of beer, a few get a Bloody or another signature cocktail, and plenty of apps, and share them all! 

Blue Jacket: 300 Tingey St SE.
Washington DC

3) Bardo

Located on the Anacostia River, which is a nice draw, but this one was an odd one for sure. The most compelling thing about it, wasn’t even the river behind it, no it was the freaking car on the roof. Yep, a¬†car on the roof. And then the second surprise came, it was a completely outdoor brewery. Like completely. And then there were all of the old restaurant booths, crooked tables, and old school chairs for seating that made it just out of the world weird. But let me tell you, on a nice summer day I bet this place is BANGING.

Even if you don’t like beer, go just to see the unusual-ness of this place. Just go.

Bardo. 25 Potomac Ave SE.
Washington, DC.

4) Dacha

I wish I could show you the bathrooms in this place, but that would just be weird, and also creepy and likely a felony if I had taken a video in there. But this place was LEGIT. And also suppperrrr futuristic.

IMG_7081 (1)There are 2 locations, to my knowledge, in the D.C. area, the one we went to was also located on the river and had only been open a week but y’all… they had their¬†shit together.¬†The service? Excellent. The food? Speedy and delicious. The drinks? Crafty, adorable, tasty and strong as f*ck. It’s a nice cocktail lounge if you’re looking to chill with the girls, but also upbeat enough to be a pregame spot for a soccer game (which is what we did). Oh plus a nifty outdoor area. It kind of can fit all needs. Like I said, it’s legit.

 

Dacha. 79 Potomac Ave. SE
Washington, DC.

5) Jack Rose

IMG_7077For the love of whiskey, this place had it ALL. Bookshelves on bookshelves of whiskey could be intimidating to someone who doesn’t know jack about whiskey, but their staff was so highly trained that we all got something we thoroughly enjoyed. I went for a cocktail, the 2 guys I were with went for whiskey neat, and our fabulous bartender helped each of find our “taste”. Like I said, we all enjoyed what we got, and somehow she managed to narrow down our choices among thousands of whiskey to just the right one. Miraculous.

Oh, and if you’re on the fence of going here, let me just say that when we asked the bartender if she had ever met anyone famous there she replied “I don’t kiss and tell”, which means she had. I mean with 2oz pours of whiskey costing $1,2000 (at the max, don’t worry we were more in the $10-20 range!), it can be assumed that some famous people would float into there. Not to mention that she’s had “regulars” come in from around the world, just for the whiskey here. If that doesn’t scream this place is the shit and the whiskey is bomb, then I don’t know what does!

I¬†highly¬†recommend this place. Even if you’re not a whiskey connoisseur, the atmosphere of the place is neat enough! Plus, they can make a cocktail to fit your taste, I promise.

Jack Rose Whiskey Bar. 2007 18th St. NW
Washington, DC.

 

Cheers to that! 

If you find other favorite boozy place in D.C.

Especially ones that go kind of off the radar.

Or aren't the traditional 'tourist' spots.

Let me know!

Holla at me at lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com

Or on Instagram at lifeofcarlyb_

Subscribe to my email! 

Cheers,

Carly B

 

 

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable- Part 1: Health and Fitness

My favorite quote of all time:

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Meaning, in the quickest explanation possible, that nothing can be achieved within your comfort zone. If you’re uncomfortable, embrace that, because it means something great is on the horizon.

In this 3 part series we will talk about what it means to get comfortable being uncomfortable in 3 different areas of your life. Your health and fitness, your relationships, and your life and lifestyle in general.

What makes us most uncomfortable in each area? Do we avoid whatever makes us uncomfortable because we don’t know how to handle it? Are we staying stagnant and going through monotonous efforts because we don’t know how to step outside of our comfort zone? More importantly, because we don’t know¬†why we should¬†step outside of our comfort zones?

The easiest and most obvious comfort zones that we can identify nowadays are those related to your health and fitness journey, which is why that is Part 1 of this series. Those comfort zones are what keep people from achieving their goals that they’ve had for a long time. The goals that they’ve written down at the beginning of each new year, resolving to finally achieve them, but don’t.

In order to step out of these comfort zones and launch ourselves on this great health and fitness journey, we first need to pin-point the areas that are holding ourselves back.

Generally, these are the areas where we feel the slightest ping of discomfort and we go running for the covers. Hiding from what could be. They can be broken down into physical and mental barriers. 

The physical:

When your body actually feels, oh I don’t know, the actual effects of exercise

This one kind of baffles me. So many people go to the gym, yet they don’t push themselves to the points they need to. When was the last time you’ve gone¬†outside¬†of your routine in the gym (that is if you’ve been actually going to the gym)? It’s hard for people to feel levels of well, pain.

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But here’s the truth:

The last few reps of your sets¬†should be hard. If they’re not then you simply are not working hard enough. Put those 5 lb weights away that you’ve been using for the past year and pick up something heavier. But wait, that is where people lose it. When they get to rep 8 out of 10 in a set of bicep curls and their muscles are burning. It’s weird, so they stop at that 8th rep and drop their weight the next set they do. Wait what?!? That is not helping you grow, at all. It’s actually teaching yourself to accept failure. You let that feeling of discomfort win over you.

No my friend, those last few reps of¬†each set¬†should be challenging.¬†Aim for the last 2-4 reps, depending on how many reps total you’re doing (the more reps total, the more challenging reps you’ll feel). Because if you find that the reps are getting challenging, it means you are challenging yourself. Get comfortable with that. That is where the magic happens.

And when doing cardio? You need to get comfortable with the feeling of your lungs burning. If you hop on the elliptical day after day and only break a light sweat, then you haven’t challenged your body to a new stimulus. Therefore, you will not improve, and your fitness goals will always be dangling in front of you – just out of reach. Try incorporating HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into your workout. There will be points where you can’t speak more than a few sentences, that’s¬†normal,¬†don’t let that scare you. And when you really amp it up, there will be points where you can’t speak more than a few¬†words.¬†Again, that’s normal. All of the above (including some steady state such as the elliptical), need to be worked into your workout in a balanced format. Try doing some intervals – on a cardio machine, or with bodyweight cardio exercises. To program a HIIT workout, you can use the formats below, in order of beginner to advanced:

1:1 ratio= equal work and rest time

2:1 ratio= 2X the amount of challenging work to rest time

4:1 ratio= 4X the amount of challenging work to rest time

The above ratios can be seen in formats such as:

60:60 = 60 seconds of challenging work followed by 60 seconds of rest
60:30= 60 seconds of challenging work, followed by 30 seconds of rest.
60:15= 60 seconds of challenging work, followed by 15 seconds of rest.

or 30:30, 30:15, 30:10, 20:20, 20:10, and so on. As long as you have rest periods on there, you are working in a HIIT format.

In addition to creating your own HIIT workouts, you can also try publicly known workout programs such as Orangetheory Fitness, first class free!

*p.s. this is not an Orangetheory sponsored Ad, but I know first hand the amazing effects that can come out of it, in true HIIT fashion. Not to mention I’ve seen it first hand help people overcome every single one of the barriers listed in this blog ūüėČ

And lastly, if your muscles are shaking, that isn’t a BAD thing! Shaking muscles while holding a plank or a wall sit? Yeah, your muscles are under constant contraction, and this is okay,¬†as long as you are keeping good and proper form!

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The mental:

“I’m scared”

“I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know where to start. I am probably the only person in this gym who hasn’t worked out before”.

You’re scared? Good. Use that and let it ignite the flame. Don’t use is as an excuse to turn towards the door and run. You’ve already paid the gym membership, you’re already at the grocery store. So don’t waste your money, or your time. Finish what you came to start.

If we all let our feelings of being scared dictate the ending of each situation we’re in, then we all would have walked into a job, felt scared, and turned right back around. We’d let that happen over and over again until we’re all unemployed and living under a bridge.

But what do you actually do when you’re scared and nervous on your first day at a new job? You run with it! You let it fuel you. You focus in on learning as if your life depends on it, because it kind of does. You are open to trying new things. And most importantly, you COMMIT to it.

So you’re scared as you walk into the gym? Let it fuel you. Let it help you learn new things. Let it open your mind (and body) to trying new things. Let it allow you to COMMIT.

Scared is a feeling of discomfort. But that’s what we’re looking for here aren’t we? Yes. So go run with it. Get comfortable with using your feelings of fright to launch you into something new.

“I’m not good enough”

I’m sorry, but good enough for what? The images you have in your head because social media has pounded them there? Yeah, okay, let’s stop that.

Let’s allow feelings of discomfort to come in for a moment to squash those images. I know, that’s a hard thing to do. Because you want to cling to those images to allow yourself to keep telling yourself you’re not good enough. Because with that, at least you have an excuse.¬†

Not today Satan. 

So go ahead, squash them. And then when you’re left with a clean slate. One where you can draw ANY image of yourself you want. Make it one you are proud of. And let me tell you, THAT can be one of the most uncomfortable things. Talking ourselves up, hyping ourselves up and dreaming big. But do it friend. The world needs more self-hype.

“I don’t know how to do it correctly”

This one can fall under both physical and mental, and it is the most logical barrier out of all of them. Bad form can indeed bring your fitness journey to a screeching halt. But what makes people the most uncomfortable is¬†asking for help. But here’s the secret- ask for help! You don’t have to commit to hiring a personal trainer 4X a week, but every single gym [should*] have qualified professionals who can help you! In my years of working in a gym it has surprised me by how little people actually ask for help. I mean sometimes people don’t even ask how to turn on a machine. If it’s not on, it won’t work, and therefore- neither will you.

I think the biggest barrier here is that you might feel embarrassed for helping. But let me remind you that every single fitness professional, and every single long-term gym member all WERE BEGINNERS. None of us just “poofed” into the gym knowing how to use it all. We all had to learn. We all had those moments where we felt uncomfortable too. But the difference between your repeated efforts and repeated resolutions to telling yourself that “this is the year I go to the gym!” is that we actually sought out help. We learned. And now, we’re here to HELP YOU TOO! And if you find that someone is an asshole and not willing to help, politely tell them to fuck off, and then go ask someone more friendly (there’s always one asshole or one un-knowledgable person who only got the job because their mom is screwing the manager in each gym. I wish there wasn’t, but if you find them on the first try, just move onto to the next employee or a friendly well-versed member and ask for help!)

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When it comes down to it, it’s talking to yourself and telling yourself that you are bigger than even your BIGGEST barrier. Mind > matter.

What’s your biggest barrier in actually going for your health and fitness goals? Identify it and read the paragraph corresponding to it above. And if you’ve identified a barrier that isn’t listed above (because had I listed out all barriers, you’d be here reading this for the next year) then reach out to me at lifeofcarlyb@gmail.com OR on Instagram at lifeofcarlyb_ and I’d be glad to help you find ways around those barriers.

But spoiler alert:

The first thing I’m going to tell you to do is….

Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable.

Your true abilities don’t lie within those comfort zones.

They’re somewhere out there, behind each lie you tell yourself and each excuse, just waiting for you to grab them.

Just like how the juiciest apples could be sitting at the top of the tree, but no one wants to climb to get them.

Your greatest abilities could be sitting up there too, just out of reach if you stay in your comfort zone.

So go grab that apple friend.

Go grab it.

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Thanks for stopping by!

Be sure to subscribe to my email list 

so you don't miss out on parts 2 & 3 of this 3 part series

(going over lifestyle and relationships comfort zones)

Happy to have you here!

Take That Leap of Faith

Take that leap of faith.

And take it with your whole heart.

Lately, I’ve been places, in social situations, hanging with friends, etc. where I have
stopped and looked around and literally thought “man I love it here”.
PicMonkey Collage
But it hasn’t always been that way.

17 months ago, almost exactly, we moved from Iowa to North Carolina.

That’s over 1,000 miles between where we’ve always been to where we were heading.

I grew up in the MidWest. It was all I knew.

But then the time came where we knew we wanted to venture out, we felt stuck. And so we began acting on that. Alex starting applying for jobs around the country. Yes, most were in the Midwest, but in places that we loved- such as Madison, WI and Kansas City, KS. But then there was one in Greensboro, NC with Volvo.

We acted on our feelings of wanting to be elsewhere, but did I ever think it would happen? Nope, not really to be honest.

And then it did. Volvo called Alex. They did a phone interview, and then flew him to Greensboro for an interview. 3 weeks later he got the call that he got the job.

I remember that night. He had a call set up about the interview, he knew it would go one of 2 ways. The phone rang, he stepped into our bedroom for 5 minutes, and then he slowly came out. He was quiet, he walked slow, and then a smile crept across his face as he said “I got the job”. We cried. We cried out of happiness, but then literally 60 seconds into that cry I started to sob.

And that wasn’t happiness.¬†

I was hit with a wave of realization that I was going to have to leave my family and the place of the nation where I always called home, the Midwest.

I grew up in Illinois. Every Sunday when we were young we would go to my dad’s parents house for Taco Sunday. My dad was one of six children, so the family was large. My cousin on my dad’s side was my best friend growing up and still is to this day. We’d always go to my dad’s side for Christmas Eve or Christmas day, and go to my mom’s side for the other. Every year. My mom was one of five children, so that family was big as well. I would go to my mom’s sisters house and hang out with my other best friend cousin. We would put on my aunts shoes and play dress up. As we got older we would party in their pool and eventually we started a “Black Wednesday” tradition of getting a party¬† bus for the family the night before Thanksgiving. Growing up we never missed holidays with the family, even Easter where we began doing “Adult Easter egg hunts”. We would go to every birthday party that we could. We were involved, and family time was never something I hated.

Alex and I had lived in Iowa for 4.5 years at this point. It was where we went to college and met. It was where we met the people that are standing beside us in our wedding in 4 weeks. It was home away from home, with a family there too. Sure, a slightly more inebriated, crazy, stay up late and eat bread sticks kind of family, but a family nonetheless.
Alex &amp; Carly-11
So there I was, sobbing. It was scary. How was I going to move away and miss all of that? How was I going to be ONLY one on both extended sides of the family to make a permanent move farther than 3 hours away from home?

I was 23 years old and terrified. The dreams of leaving that we had hoped and prayed for had come true and I was terrified.

I remember the night before we left, our friends came over to say goodbye and the conversation kept going, as if to put off the actual good bye.

And I said goodbye to my best friend. My literal twin in a shorter versioned body of myself. Someone I never would have met if it weren’t for Iowa. And when she left I went into our empty bedroom and cried. And Alex came in and said “We don’t have to do this. We don’t have to leave. I don’t want you to do anything you don’t want to, but I need you to tell me now” And I contemplated saying “yes let’s stay here, I can’t leave”.

But I didn’t. And the next morning we packed up the uhaul and began our 15 hour trek, divided into 2 days, across country.

 

And then, 3 days later when I dropped my dad and brother off at the airport after they had helped us move. Even after getting into a screaming argument with my very hungover brother on the car ride there. I sobbed again. Alone in my car. I put my sunglasses on so no one could see. I cried because this was it, we were on our own.

Now so far, I probably seem like some wildly emotional person, and I kind of am. But 90% of my cries are dog related. But in this period of my life I was crying for other reasons.

I was crying because I went from a town of less than 10,000 growing up, to a town of 41,000 for college, to a town of 287,000. And now we were on our own, with 287,000 strangers surrounding us.

My mom worried, because I didn’t know anyone out here. She knew the kind of social butterfly I was and how important it is to me to have social events to go to and friends to hang with. It’s true, I am an extrovert like that.

But to no one’s surprise, I dove in, I got a job at Orangetheory Fitness and within the first 2 weeks I met one of my bridesmaids. The first 4 months flew by and I was making friends, I had stopped using my GPS as much (but definitely still needed it!), we had found places that we liked to revisit, such as 913 whiskey bar.

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But truth be told I still would drive to and from work and miss home so agonizingly bad that I would either crank up some upbeat tunes for jamming to get my mind off of it, or I would play songs that reminded me of home.

On this exact weekend last year we went back to my hometown in Byron, IL for the annual summer festival. We were supposed to fly in on Thursday night, but our flight got cancelled and I cried. I cried because that was 13 hours less of family time that I would have, even though we would see them bright and early the next morning.

That trip home reminded me of why i loved the Midwest. And when people asked why I was so excited to be going home, I would simply say “you don’t understand the Midwest unless you’ve lived there”.

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And we returned from that trip and I still didn’t feel like I was home, I feel like I just left it, because i did. Yes, I was making friends. We were fitting in. We were engaged and moving into a new home, but I still missed some things.

But then we went back to Iowa in September and this wave of “ahh things DO happen for a reason” came over me. Maybe I didn’t need to miss the Midwest so agonizingly bad afterall. I realized that the college town needed to stay that, the college town. That it’s better to look back at places with good memories than to be stuck there wishing you were out.

And as time flew by I made more friends either through Orangetheory, or my new job, or Alex’s job. And things have changed.

I took me 9 months to say for the first time “I like it here”

It took me about 14 months to say for the first time “I love it here”

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I now view this place with the same loving heart that I viewed my Midwest home’s with. Except I also realize the potential within the city that was not possible in Illinois or Iowa. I don’t want to leave.

You see, Greensboro has introduced me to a wide variety of friendships.
We got engaged here (okay well Myrtle Beach but you get the point), we bought a house.
I’ve walked in a few fashion shows.
I’ve done a photo shoot.
I’ve started an online business.
I’ve started volunteering with animal rescues which has put animal rescue into the very center of my heart.
I’ve seen the craziest sunset and some pretty sweet fireworks from the top of a parking deck.
I’ve dipped my toes in the sand more times in these past 17 months than I had my entire life prior.
I’ve also seen the prettiest view from high up in the mountains,
I’ve made friends with owners of restaurants and bars.
I’ve been a boat for the first time in years.
I’ve tried wake surfing.
I’ve had a birthday bar crawl that I have to say, was beyond epic.
I’ve gone to my first NFL game.
Greensboro has given me opportunity after opportunity.
I get to coach people at OTF weekly who are my friends, who are grateful for the experience.
I have friends who refer friends to me and my business, in which I’ve gotten to change people’s lives.
We have friend groups that are so separate that can also intertwine and mingle as if they’ve know each other for ages.
We’ve made friends that would fly across the country to go to Vegas with us, or to Kansas City.
We’ve made friends that are fellow dog parents and therefore, have had many doggy play dates!
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So when I take a step back and look at the people I’ve met and the experiences I have had SO far. I am happy. I am blessed.

I freaking love this city. I still miss the Midwest. But I consider myself lucky. Because not everyone gets excited about vacationing to the MidWest. Hell, some people will NEVER travel there. But I get to go there, and go to all of our favorite places and it is a darn good vacation when we doo!

Greensboro, you and your community of nice, yet wild people have stolen my heart.

I fell in love with this city and the experience.

I did it because of a leap of faith.

You can too.

God’s Patient Hand

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The hardest thing, in my opinion, for humans to be is patient. Yet I believe the most important thing a human can have is patience. It takes a lot of will to be able to tell yourself that things always work out in the end; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. God has his plans for us, plans that we will never know until they are done and finished with. So kick back, enjoy this life, and be patient with God’s working hand.