I have become obsessed with Whole Foods/New Seasons hot bar foods. I have no idea how to track these Weight Watchers points, but a bite here and there can’t do toooooo much damage, right? Really, I should be making the salad bar my new BFF, but it’s too damn cold.




Post Bar Method brunches:

Smoked salmon pretzel at Nuvrei.

unnamed-7Chilaquiles at Isabel.
unnamed-3Both are fantastic brunch spots and deserve their own reviews, but then you’d discover how great they are! It doesn’t hurt that they’re both around the corner from Bar Method. Speaking of which…

New socks!

1653291_10102477619612263_457140323_nYes, my Bar socks are proposing to me. And I will marry them.

Lastly, and most importantly. I went to a Blazer game…and met Blaze! Yes, our team has a CAT mascot. Because we are AWESOME.

1385005_10102483493780383_1245413317_nIf you can’t tell, I was really excited to meet Blaze.

So in hopes of encouraging all 5 of my readers to speak up and join in the fun that I’m having, I’m going to try this whole daily question thing.

Question of the Day: What have YOU been up to lately? And more importantly, if you could meet any team mascot, who would it be? I would obviously pick my man Blaze. But if I could meet any other mascot it would have to be the Phillie Phanatic, simply because I remember seeing him from afar at games as a kid, and he’s a weird green blob, so that’s pretty cool.



Why Hello There

Yeah, I kind of snuck back on here after a long hiatus, posted a few book reviews, and didn’t say hi or anything. How rude of me! In the spirit of moving forward, just a quick recap, and then we will move forward! Hooray!

Me, Lately:

  • I got a new job. I’m now a technical editor at a consulting firm. And I work from home. I have the best new coworker:

Business Cat

  •    I went to the SCBWI–Oregon Silver Falls Retreat. Met with an agent and talked about my manuscript, and am now knee deep in revisions. Apparently I didn’t take any pictures. I plan on blogging about the whole experience, but it’s already been a month, so in summary: it was totally exhausting and totally worth it. Four days, in the woods, talking about writing.
    Writing can be such a solitary experience, that getting so many writers together and sticking us in some cabins without internet for a few days so that we could talk about the craft was fantastic. My brain felt like mush afterwords, and I was a bit terrified to get back into my manuscript, but I learned a lot, made some great connections, and love love love my fellow YA/Children’s writers. We’re great people.
  •    Totally failed the Bar Method Fall Fitness Challenge and wanted to cry. The challenge just came at a terrible time for me, transitioning to a new job and going through some personal things (what? there are things too personal for blogging?! ha!), Bar helped me a LOT getting through the tough times, but I just didn’t have the time to go 50 times in 84 days. I did get to 40, I think? And as punishment/preparation for the New Year I went to FOUR level 2 classes in a row. I’m in pain. And let me admit something to you: I probably don’t belong in level 2. My form sucks. My endurance sucks. But you know what? We have the BEST instructors, and I really really REALLY am trying.
       I want to be a pretty ballerina SO badly. And I’m not going to get any better if I don’t try. So I’m trying. I’m trying to be patient, but also push myself at the same time. I’m trying to keep my shoulders down. I’m trying to lift my heels. Sometimes I try push-ups on my toes. I have not lost a single pound since I started Bar Method over 6 months ago, and sometimes I do cry over the number on the scale. Technically I’m obese for my height. Which, while bullshit, is absolutely devastating.  But then I feel my buff arms and clench my muscley ass and smile. Except right now I can’t clench anything. So much pain. I’m starting the New Year with a very sore seat.
       Last year I started the new year running my first 5k. That’s not happening this year, but I have started running again since stress-fracturing my foot over the summer, and holy shit. Bar really is doing SOMETHING my first run back in the game was so much easier. My muscles felt like they were working with me, not against me. I couldn’t run very fast or very far because I’ve been out of the race (ha.) for months now, but it made all of my hard work feel much more worth it. I want to try to get back into running, but I’m afraid of injuries, so we will see. If anyone wants to sign-up for some fun runs let me know, I could use the motivation!

In summary: New Job, Writing Writing Writing, Sore Butt.

As I look to the New Year, I would like you all (all three of you) to know that my new job gives me a lot more freedom/time to blog, and I fully intend to keep up my lovely space on the internet. So look for more book reviews, Bar Method sore-butt whining (I mean, health and fitness posts!), and too much information about a Portland Writer Girl who doesn’t understand blogs but likes to overshare!

My Morning Bar

baroutsideFor the past two and a half months I have been waking up and going to the bar at 6am. Ok, ok stupid joke. But I have been going to 6am Bar Method classes every weekday morning. I’ve had a lot of people ask me what the hell is Bar Method. I always respond “it’s like yoga and pilates on a ballet bar.” But you know what? That really does not cover the intense amount of work and pain involved (NOT that yoga and pilates aren’t painful/effortless) but Bar Method is its own personal beast.  I think the best way to describe it is to explain the different parts. Step into my studio:

studioWhile every day the exercises vary, there is a pretty strict order that we do things in. It’s nice because you know what to expect, but things do change. During most of the entire class you are in the “Bar Method Tuck” which means you are squeezing your abs and butt tight the whole time, shoulders are relaxed and down (the hardest thing for me), chin up, chest open. Think ballerina. Think poise!

Every class starts with warm-up and arms. We use two different sets of hand weights–I use 2lbs and 3lbs. There’s a LOT of repetition, those weights start feeling heavy. We do a few million repetitions of arm stuff, including killer triceps work and push-ups. Oh push-ups, how I hate thee. After we put away our weights we get to go to the bar!

barinsideWe do some stretching on the bar (and I channel my inner Black Swan), and then we do thigh work. The best way I can describe thigh is, tiny baby squats over and over and over again…on your tip toes. There are three different thigh exercises each class, but they vary so you never know what you’re going to get. Sometimes they involve squeezing a lovely white ball in-between your thighs. It’s fun. After thigh is seat! What is seat? It’s working your “dancers dent” … your butt. And it hurts. These exercises vary too, but there’s always the possibility of The Pretzel:

It sucks. Trust me. (and that lady’s outfit is awesome) Then we do some more stretching, and then curl! Curl = crunches = ow. It’s like fancy painful crunches. A lot of them. In different variations. Almost done! The last little bit of work is called “seat dancing” or what I call “air humping,” because that’s basically what you do. Lie on your back and hump the air. For a good long time. It’s good for your butt. And then more stretching and done! And by done! I mean hobbling out of the room in pain. It’s great.

One of the best things about Bar Method for me is the personal attention you get. The instructors are SO nice, at least at the Portland location, they go around adjusting EVERYONE and they will know and memorize your name after the first class. It’s kind of awesome. At first I was like “oh shit I’m the terrible new kids who keeps getting called out,” but then I realized that everyone needs adjusting. It’s easier for the instructor to see when you’ve gotten off balance, so I welcome the corrections now. Also, I was expecting the studio to be full of crazy mean skinny bitches. I am a judgemental asshole. Everyone is LOVELY. Although I have NO IDEA how they all afford LuLuLemon. Actually I have no idea how anyone affords Bar Method, but for me it’s worth the crazy insane price tag (seriously, its ONLY downfall).

And that, my friends, is what I’ve been doing every morning. It’s only been two and a half months, but I feel stronger and more confident, and I’m still excited to go to class every morning–which is saying something because I have commitment issues when it comes to working out. One week I’m a runner, the next I’m addicted to Body Pump. Spinning! Yoga! Change is great, but I’m glad to find something I can stick to without getting sick of it and giving up and getting out my fat jeans after two months. So far so good. Oh and if you’re still confused, watch Ellie Kemper try to teach Ellen Bar Method: