Equinox – My Home Away From Home + Free Pass for Readers!

It’s no surprise that I have fallen in love with Equinox.  If you have been around the blog for awhile or know me well, I love to work out.  As a matter of fact, besides my college gym, I didn’t think that I would be one to sign up and pay for a gym.  You have the roads outside and a bike if need be.  But let me take a step back in my gym-fitness journey.  When I moved back in 2013, I decided to bite the bullet and signed up for 24 Hour Fitness.  There were three locations in the city, one of which was close to my work at the time (and a decent walk from my apartment) and the second was later close (closer) to work and served as a good shower spot after November Project workouts.

I mainly utilized the gym for its classes, fell in love with my schedule – a 30/60/90 class on Wednesday nights, a spin class with an epic playlist, a Saturday morning bootcamp class, etc.  I made some friends (mostly surface level, but still – for a girl who didn’t know a soul in the city, this was progress) by going to the same classes week after week, and even joining a group on Tuesday and Thursday nights for TRX training.  The showers were decent and it meant that even with a crowded apartment, I rarely had to worry about waiting for a shower (if I timed it correctly).  I even found that the midtown location had an indoor lap pool!  Nothing like the Rose Bowl lap pool in Pasadena or my college pool at Santa Clara, but for the city, it was a nice find.

Well, things worked out for awhile, but it started to become a hassle when I would have to travel uptown to workout, downtown to shower and out to the west side for work.  Even worse was when NP worked out on the west side, then back to the east to shower, and back to the west for work.  (noting that this are first world problems and I give full credit and props to people making much longer and strenuous commutes).  It was a slight hassle, but doable.

You might be wondering where I’m going with this.  How does a shower and commute have to do with a gym membership.  Well, hold tight.

Back around late March and early April, I started asking my friends at work if they wanted to go to lunch.  They kept deferring my invitation, saying that they were actually going to work out at lunch.  What?  A group of people who like to use their lunch out to do more than sit?  Sign me up!

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No really.  I decided to bite the bullet and sign up for an Equinox membership.  Turns out it wasn’t much more than my 24 Hour membership and had oodles more locations (including one in my building!!), fresh and fluffy towels galore, chilled towels for during/post workouts, and an endless array of classes to choose from.

Yes, the classes.  This is pretty much the BEST part of Equinox.  I took my fare share of classes at 24 Hour Fitness and sampled out Class Pass for a month or so.  There is no comparison.  The level of teachers, the facilities, and the wide range of options is UNBELIEVABLE.  Seriously though.  I have my Equinox App set to my three favorite locations – Greenwich Village, 19th Street, and Columbus Circle, and have a tough time decided each week which classes I want to take and which classes I’ll have to miss.  I even tested out the Pasadena location when I was home back in July.

From spin to barre burn and pilates and Metcon.  No joke, it is a class enthusiast’s dream.  I’ve narrowed down some of my favorites and settled into a routine – spin and barre burn on Mondays, a fabulous yoga class on Thursdays, and so on.

This might sound obsessive but let’s refer back to the top.  I like to workout, it’s my personal “me” time, and it gets me in a good mood.  You want a happy Kaitlin, right?  No, I rarely cancel plans to work out, so all is good in the neighborhood.  (no canceling of plans unless it means raging until all hours of the morning, forcing me to either not sleep much or force me to miss my morning class…that’s where I draw the line.  I deem that as normal, some may think that’s just missing out on all the good times you can have when you’re young.  Agree to disagree)

I’m all about that “free fitness” but sometimes you just need to pamper yourself a little.  You only have one life, make it a good one.  So, if you made it to the end, here’s a free-trial for all the California Endless Summer readers!!

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Finding Happiness

It’s no lie that I am obsessed with Instagram.  I have always loved pictures and I adore scrolling through quotes, vacation pictures, and even drooling over some delicious looking meals.  However, like any social media platform, it comes at a cost.  If I’m not careful, I can easily get caught up in the “grass is greener” mindset.  How does my life compare to my cohorts or other bloggers or celebrities?  Why do I no longer feel satisfied with my life?  No longer accomplished or feel athletic?

Every social media platform enables us to perfectly cultivate a profile that only reveals the best and brightest of our daily lives.  The trips, the outfits, the awesome abs (ok, you won’t actually see that on my profile as they are nonexistent), etc.  We are all searching for happiness and within that, we are often searching for validation – validation that we are normal, we are loved, and we are lucky.  However, we have to realize that everyone’s views of happiness are different. Everyone’s life and trials and triumphs are different.  We lead different lives and that’s ok.

I stumbled upon this post from Chakabars (then reposted by The Good Quote) and it resonated so much with me that it deserves to be shared once more.

 

“As you read this, remember you have a warm bed and a cooked meal at home.  Everyone wants to be happy, so pay attention.

Acknowledge that happiness is not quantified by materialism.

I know many people who are reading this right now aren’t happy with their lives. I used to think that when I have a nice car and a lot of money I would be happy.  Yet on my journey I have met hundreds of people with all of these things, yet none of the happiness.  If your bank balance outweighs your sense of purpose, or your only sense of purpose is working to achieve a greater bank balance, you will struggle to find happiness.

Some guidelines for happiness I wrote down:

  • Appreciate what you have, gaining more wont’ make you happy if you aren’t happy with what you already have.
  • Live in the moment, don’t video everything you see, take it in whilst it is happening, then relive the memories forever. You were there but looking at a phone screen…?
  • Give more than you receive, be it your time, money, gifts, love, and laughs. When you give someone your best, the best comes out of you.
  • Stop worrying about your future! Your future is going to happen, it is your to happen to. If you want something then work towards I, but make sure you are happy on the way there.
  • We are all going to die. Concentrate on living.
  • Don’t practice escapism because you are unhappy with your reality, be real, keep level headed and make sense of your life. Being high or drunk all the time is a problem, nobody wants to be ill or crazy or both!
  • Life is a journey not a destination, you never want to get too comfortable, comfort is where you put on weight, get slow, become bored.
  • I’m not saying throw yourself out of a plane, but you should try to do something that scares you now and again.
  • Don’t worry too much what people are doing, they are on their own journeys, enjoy yours and try not to compare your behind the scenes life to someone else’s highlight reel.
  • Bling from the inside out, not the outside in, as it doesn’t work the other way round.
  • What’s in your heart and head shines brighter than on what’s on your wrist and neck.
  • Love your work, this will be a big part of your life.”

Enjoy.

Happiness Is…

Happiness is … reaching the end of the week.

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Happiness is … Going through pictures and reminiscing the good and oh-more-interesting times.  It’s been a long while since I went through my study abroad photos, so there may be some Barcelona love coming at you soon.   IMG_4042We three traveling amigos in front of the London Eye. IMG_3902Been almost four months since I’ve seen these guys.  Looking forward to the next summer family adventure.

As we enter the last weekend of March Madness, I wanted to share this little gem. Kenny “The Jet” Smith who played for the NBA and is now an announcer on TNT came to chat to a crowdful of basketball enthusiasts at work.  Well, some might have been drawn to the free lunch but that never hurts 🙂IMG_3643

Happiness is … walking home from the gym in shorts and a sweatshirt.  No more down coats and double layered pants (fingers crossed)

Happiness is … planning future trips with friends and establishing my own adventures along the way.

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“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”
– Leo Rosten

Looking Fine with 39 (Questions)

It was a good attempt at a catchy title.  Ok, it was a terrible one but I digress. If I haven’t told the world in awhile, I simply LOVE asking and answering random questions so when I saw my inbox flood with posts titled “39 Questions”, I knew I had to write one of my own.  Thanks to A Piece of Cait and Blonde Ambition as you two were the two that finally got me to write it 😉

1. Were you named after anyone? – “Kaitlin” was a top ’90s name for girls but it was partly inspired by my aunt Katie.  “K” for the win! 🙂  My middle name is after my great-grandma and I definitely think some of her personality shines through – at least based on the stories I hear about her.

IMG_9205(Meghan, Aunt Katie, Aunt Annette, Madre, Me)

2. When was the last time you cried? Does running in 5F Wednesday count?

3. Do you like your handwriting? Yes indeed I do.  Not to brag buuut I get a lot of compliments on my handwriting and my notes 🙂

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4. What is your favorite lunch meat? Goodness it’s been ages since I ordered a lunch meat sandwich.  Grilled chicken is my go to but if I’m going extra big, it’s the Godmother from Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica – complete with every lunch meat imaginable.

5. Do you have kids? Oh no, no, no.  This girl can’t handle herself let alone children.

6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? I sure hope so.  I tend to think I’m pretty easy going (at least I’ve reached that point in my life…sorry if you knew me when I was super high-strung), spontaneous, and positive.  I will not bat an eye if you ask me to be friends when we meet for the first time.  Oh wait, that’s what I would say to people if it weren’t so weird 😉

7. Do you use sarcasm a lot? Oh yes.  It’s my favorite.

8. Do you still have your tonsils? – Yep, only have had my wisdom teeth removed and I looked like one chubby chipmunk.  Not fun.

9. Would you bungee jump? – Adrenaline junkie so YES.

10. What is your favorite cereal? – I don’t really like cereal because it doesn’t fill me up buuuut Trader Joe’s has some tasty wheat flakes with oat clusters that I tend to snack on when I’m at my grandma’s.  Maybe I’ll treat myself to a box next time I brave TJ’s.

11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? – Yes.  OCD issue and even if I take them off first, I end up un-doing the laces afterwards.

12. Do you think you are strong? – I do think I’ve grown a ton in the last few months in terms of physical and mental strength.  It takes a lot to move across the country and start from scratch, meanwhile trying to find your identity and establish a life.  In terms of physical strength, I’ve been taking more strength classes and do feel a lot stronger.  (Insert muscle emoji)

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13. What is your favorite ice cream? – ICE CREAM ALL DAY EVERY DAY.  Mint chip (used to hate it) as a classic, coffee with fudge, really anything with chocolate chunks. I’m never picky.

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14. What is the first thing you notice about other people? – Their thinking face/energy.  Smiling, happy, unhappy, bored, ticked off – whatever it may be I think people are fascinating to watch and make up stories about what they do for a living, why they are wearing such an outfit and so on.  

15. Red or pink? Red for fierce (and Santa Clara and USC)

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16. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? – Oh this thing called insecurities.  About life, social, body, you know the usual 😉 Don’t we all struggle with it at some point or another?

17. Any tattoos? – Nope.  Doubt this would ever happen.  So not worth it.  I do have a cartilage piercing I got in Barcelona. What a rebel 😉

18. Do you have any hobbies? – Oh doooo I.  Blogging, baking, crafting, adventuring, working out, running, eating, sewing, scrapbooking, should I go on?

19. What color shoes are you wearing? – None as I prefer barefoot > shoes in the house.

20. What was the last thing you ate? – Banana bread sent to me by my grandmother 🙂 It was wrapped in the most adorable manner with foil and red hearts but I was so excited I forgot to take a picture.

21. What are you listening to right now? – My air purifier and the Olympics on my lap top.  Last time I checked we are on figure skating and Les Mis is the song of choice.

22. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? – Some form of turquoise – bright, tropical, and fabulous.

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23. Favorite smells? – Pine (my favorite part of the winter holidays) and tropical flowers such as plumerias.  Oh, and the OCEAN!

24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? – My mom (twice).

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25. Mountain hideaway or beach house? – Tough because being in the mountains means fresh air, escape from reality, no cellphone signals, tranquility.  But I’m also happiest on the sand.  Good thing about California is you can have both 🙂

26. Favorite sport to watch? – Soccer although I can watch just about anything.  It’s great for background noise while I work.

27. Hair color? BLONDE! Forever and always 🙂 I never have had my hair highlighted professionally, but have started using “Sun-in” on my own.  Yes I know it damages my hair but there’s no way I’m paying for someone to do it and I am not losing my California color.

28. Eye color? Blue

29. Do you wear contacts? Nope, just reading glasses when I remember and when I have the right prescription.

30. Scary movies or happy endings? – Happy but not sappy.

31. Last movie you watched?  – That Awkward Moment.  Made me laugh but also roll my eyes at our generation of girls and guys.

32. What color shirt are you wearing? – Blue

33. Summer or winter? Summer

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34. Hugs or kisses? – Probably more of a hug person.

35. Computer or television? Computer = television

36. What book are you reading right now? – Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers

37. What’s on your mouse pad? – They still make those? Just kidding 😉 Don’t have one.

38. What color is your house? – Home home has green shingles and here in NYC we have classic red brick.

39. What color is your car? White 🙂 Actually in the possession of my sister at the moment since driving + NYC = disaster.

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“Sometimes you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.”
– Miles Davis

What Makes You Happy?

For me, it comes down to the small things.  I’ve published posts about giving back, eating a cookie, perfecting a craft, laughing with my friends, exploring with my family, or going for a run in the open air.  Thanks to my friend Kat’s post last week about 100 Happy Days, I found a way to share these little things and remind myself what it means to be happy.

Too often we find ourselves caught up in the daily grind, wishing it was the weekend, wishing we lived or worked somewhere else, or just going through the motions.  I try to snap myself out of this and realize what a wonderful world we live in.  Sure there is crime and the Olympic issues are a bit scary, but let’s not let every day be a Debbie Downer day, ok?

In order to do this, I’m going to participate in the 100 Happy Days challenge and for 100 days I’ll be posting a picture of something that makes me happy.  You can follow along on Instagram and if you are game, you should test it out too!  Waiting for another incentive?  At the end of the 100 days you will receive a little book with all your photographic memories.  Now how’s that for awesome?

For more information and to join the fun travel over here.

b6119efa931a8b10baeef4dd94391935 (1)Tell me, what makes you happy?

 

Power On in the New Year

A new day, a new year, a new start.  Last night was the first time I attended an actual New Year’s Eve party.  Normally my New Years Eves are spent watching a movie with the family and possibly walking the Rose Parade Route.  Our New Year’s day is built around Pasadena’s Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game, both classics at least for those native Southern Californians.  While some of us might be nursing the after-effects of last night’s fun, I’m ready to get the ball rolling and start off 2014 right.

I’m taking a leaf out of the Thought Catalog and Elite Daily (honestly they have the BEST recommendations) listing out some of my aspirations and thoughts.  No strict resolutions, no hard deadlines, just goals, and positive thoughts for the future.  These authors have some of the best advice I’ve read yet – “24 Rules For Being Human in 2014” and “25 New Year’s Resolutions Every Person Should Make for 2014

“Realize that perspective determines everything”

  • Run Baby Run – Sign up and run in at lest two half marathons and potentially consider running a full. (*I would love to run a full marathon by my 26th birthday, so this year I could just throw around ideas of where and when to run) 🙂 
  • Balance – Test out more workouts with strength training and rest days.  I’m in love with the selection of classes at 24 Hour Fitness, so I plan to make those part of my weekly routine.  Also, listen to my body so that years from now you’ll still see me running those road races.
  • Reduce my use of technology and social media and become more present –  It’s fascinating how we spend so much time cultivating the perfect image through online media – posting cropped pictures, brainstorming the best caption or update, even claiming our FB friends as our true friends. (Exception where some of my blends truly are my friends)  I could write up a post about loneliness and image (and I may in the future) but this video says it perfectly.

“Be radically, sincerely honest. Be shocked at how deeply you can connect with people when you are.”

  • Proofread more – Yes, some most of my posts come out as tangents rather than cohesive thoughts, but I try 🙂
  • Break Free – “Go an entire Saturday without a smartphone, and intentionally get lost in your own city — ask for directions from strangers and read street maps if you need to find your way back somewhere.” (based on this article) ALSO, don’t check your social media feeds with friends, it’s called living in the moment for a reason.
  • Be Bold – “Approach someone at a bar/event who seems cute and cool, and without even thinking about it, just start up a conversation with them. Remind yourself that you don’t even know this person, and even if they don’t like you back, it will have no bearing on your life.” (based on this article)

“Boldly make yourself your first priority. You’ll do everything better when you do.”

  • Less judgement, more empathy – Reduce criticism of myself and of others. I’ve gotten myself into a few tiffs over this in the past, so I plan to take a different perspective on the world and who knows what I’ll learn?
  • Continue to appreciate me for being me – from my random tangents to crazy (sometimes “blonde”) ideas to my athletic lifestyle.
  • Strengthen relationships with family members. Blood is thicker than water.

“Reach out to people, open your heart, and watch how eagerly they jump in and do the same.”

  • Help strangers. “Pay it forward,” do good things for the world — and don’t post a Facebook status about it.”
  • Shop locally, eat locally and recognize where your money is going.  
  • Keep Learning – Expand my vocabulary (yes Meghan, you know what I’m talking about)

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” — Omar Khayyam

  • Travel More – There are so many places to see that it’s time to just be bold and do it!
  • Continuing last Friday’s post, learn to let go, relax, and appreciate me.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, Dream, Discover.” – Mark Twain