5 Workouts Worth Checking Out in LA

Planning a trip to LA soon and want to stay active while in the area? I share some of my favourite local workouts that will keep you sweating while on the go!

1) Barry’s Bootcamp – There are now 3 Barry’s Bootcamp located across the greater Los Angeles area. They offer a variety of classes, ranging from full-body workouts to leg or arm specific-classes. Half of the workout happens on the treadmill and the other half will have you working on different muscle groups from the floor with free weight and bodyweight exercises. Their easy circuit keeps you on your toes the entire hour. Their post-workout smoothie bar is also a great post-workout treat.

2) Flywheel – Their latest LA location just opened up a few months ago in downtown Santa Monica. Unlike other spin studios, the Flywheel studio is set up like an auditorium and the workout is based on RPMs and TORQ. The instructor will give riders suggestions of where they would like them to be during each song. There are two tv monitors at the front of the class that will show riders how they’re doing throughout the class (if they choose to register a profile) and will also throw in a few 30-second challenges throughout the class. Always one of the hardest spin classes.

3) Playlist Yoga – Located in West Hollywood, this small yoga studio revolves around creating the perfect hip hop and pop playlist for a Vinyasa Flow. Playlist Yoga is a candle lit yoga practice that includes lots of planks, downward dogs and warrior poses that will get you sweating. Though there are no showers or many amenities provided in the studio, each locker and studio quote was carefully curated to match the studio’s hip hop aesthetic.

4) BoxUnion – Also located in Santa Monica, BoxUnion is a trendy boxing studio offers boxing enthusiasts or the curious seeking a new fitness experience, the chance to glove up and throw a few 1-2 punch combos. Think of it like SoulCycle but for boxing, as in working out to the beat of the music. The 45-minute class is a great workout for cardio because it involves lots of dynamic body movements and +2000 punches per class.

5) SpeedPlay – One of the most talked about workout spots in downtown LA that boasts incredible city line views from their rooftop studio. SpeedPlay offers a variety of 45 or 60-minute workouts, some also include a special strength, glutes or ab portion. They incorporate running, rowing and a floor workout to create a great full-body workout. Watch for their second location opening up in West Hollywood soon!

#MeetTheOffners

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Today, Offner and I are celebrating our 1 month wedding anniversary.

I hesitated doing an actual blog post about the wedding itself for a while but figured I could share a few photos from the beach ceremony. It’s not that I don’t want to share with everyone how magical and dreamy the whole thing was but it’s mostly because it still all seems very surreal. Additionally, I’ve been very personal on my website and have always included Offner in my posts, but this is something that I wanted to keep as intimate and private as possible because of how special it was to me.

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Growing up, I always wondered if I would get married one day. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic and always fantasied about what it would be like to be a wife one day. Life is filled with so many twists and turns, that I never knew if I would find that person I would want to spend the rest of my life with one day.

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The past couple of years with Offner have brought me so much joy, laughter, serenity and have made me feel so alive. Our life together has been such a beautiful adventure. He keeps me on my toes, he teaches me so much and for the first time in my life, I’m with someone who truly accepts me for who I am, supports me 100% and gives me all of his heart. So to us, getting married in a time where there’s so much negativity around, we just saw it as a positive gesture and a way to share love and positivity.

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Additionally, a wedding and marriage can mean so many things for so many different people. We wanted to do it 100% our way and all by ourselves (it was SUPER diy!). So we did. California, the beach, gold outfits, tacos, booze cruise, donuts, etc., the #MeetTheOffners wedding was exactly how we wanted it to be and we wouldn’t of had it any other way. We kept it super intimate and had the honor of sharing it with the most wonderful group of people.

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I am truly humbled by all the kind words, well wishes and support we’ve received this past month. I cannot believe it’s already been a month since this all happened. When I think back my heart is filled with so many emotions. It really feels like it was the most beautiful dream. I’m excited to see what the future has in store for us and can’t wait to continue this adventure with my husband, Offner.

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Photos by: Daniel Forand
Dress: RUDYBOIS
Bracelet: Elizabeth Stone Jewelry
Hair & Makeup: Juli Tang
Nails: Mayay Apple

The Ambrose

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The year 2016 started off with a bang. On January 1st, my partner in crime, Offner and I got hitched while in California. I haven’t spoken much about our nuptials or anything wedding-related just yet but I plan on doing a little post on February 1st.

While planning our wedding, we were looking for a cool and unique hotel to stay at the weekend of our nuptials. I found The Ambrose, via social media and immediately fell in love with this quiet gem located just a few minutes from the ocean, 3rd street promenade and the PCH in Santa Monica. The Ambrose looked like the perfect intimate spot for us to get ready for our big day and also spend the night of our wedding… and we weren’t disappointed.

I love checking out boutique hotels because they always offer an original alternative to the bigger chains. The one thing that caught my eye when deciding on where to stay was the fact that this hotel was also very Eco-friendly.

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When you arrive on the grounds of the hotel, you are right away transported into an area of tranquility with its beautiful garden and outdoor lounge area. The candles and zen-like decor make you feel at home.

The entire hotel staff was exceptionally friendly and accommodating. A huge plus is their free underground parking garage, so you never have to worry about paying for expensive parking lots. Additionally, if you don’t have a vehicle, the hotel offers complimentary car service to its guests.

Their lobby and lounge is decorated with taste and uses local craftsman influences to create a very warm ambiance. The lounge is also where they offer a complimentary organic breakfast buffet every morning for their guests. It’s the first time I go to a hotel that offers healthy organic and quality breakfast free of charge for their guests. This made me very content and was super appreciated especially on our big day as we were running around the city getting everything ready.

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All the rooms at The Ambrose are unique but with the same amount of comfort and luxury. Some rooms even have beautiful outdoor terraces that you can access.

Our room was spacious, had the most sumptuous king bed equipped with luxury bed linens. We also each had cotton robes, all natural bath products, complimentary newspapers in the morning and also, a necessity – complimentary Wi-Fi access. The hallways and the room itself were very quiet, which made it easy for us to have a really good night sleep after our special day. The room was also big enough to get all the flowers ready for our celebration, my makeup and hair done and still have enough space to relax before our busy day.

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I briefly mentioned it earlier in this post, but it’s important to mention that The Ambrose has received several awards for their Eco-friendly initiatives, which include the Excellence Award – Stewardship of the Natural Environment Sustainable Quality Award 2013 and were the Sustainable Quality Award Grand Prize Winner 2006, just to name a few. The hotel has also received a handful of green and sustainable business certifications and make big efforts daily in energy conservation, water conservation, indoor environmental air quality, non-toxic housekeeping practices, waste reduction, etc. I think other hotels should follow in their footsteps to do their part in conserving our beautiful planet. To see all of their green and sustainable initiatives and awards they’ve received, go here.

All in all, we had the dreamiest stay at The Ambrose for our wedding. We can’t thank the hotel staff enough for making it the most magical few days. I look forward to our next visit! For more information on The Ambrose, please go here.

5 Things to do in Los Angeles

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1) Visit the Arts District – The Downtown Los Angeles Arts District is an amazing hub for young professionals, up and coming artists and creatives. The mix of warehouses and new condos/lofts makes it an interesting place to visit. In the Arts District, you’ll find beautiful murals, stunning buildings, stylish galleries, cute boutiques, hype coffee shops and also a ton of delicious restaurants. The approximate neighborhood limits are Second Street to Seventh Street and Alameda Street and the LA River. If you’re a fan of the series New Girl on Fox, you may also recognize some buildings from the show. The famous apartment in the tv series can be found in the Arts District. When in the area, another famous spot to visit is the L.A. River. Finding the entrance can be a bit tricky but it’s worth the trek and exploration. As soon as you get there, you’ll recognize it from countless movies, music videos, photoshoots, etc.

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2) Make a stop at California Donuts – Those who know me know that I have a serious thing for donuts. Thanks to Instagram, I heard of the infamous California Donuts shop, where they make the most colorful and unique donuts I’ve ever seen. Whether they’d be shaped like a panda, covered in cereal, cookies, peanut butter cups, etc, these donuts are beautiful to look at and most importantly super tasty! One of the coolest things they make are letter donuts that you can custom order for any special occasion. If you also have a thing for donuts, you’ll want to follow them on Instagram.

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3) Explore Marina Del Rey’s fisherman’s village – If you’re looking for a cute spot to ride a bike or for a leisurely stroll, the fisherman’s village is a great spot to spend time at. You can rent kayaks or SUPs and paddle around the different channels, you can also go for a boat ride or go fishing. It’s a great place to have an afternoon snack or beverage. Watching the sunset from the village is never a bad time either. It may feel a little touristy in the summer but during the rest of the year, it’s actually pretty quiet. They’ve also got a handful of shops (which I personally don’t care for) that could interest those looking for a local souvenir. But if you were to ask me what the best thing about the area is… I’d tell you that it’s looking for seals. They’re all over the place. I guarantee you’ll see them either propped up on a pier or swimming around the marina. They’re really the funniest to watch!

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4) Rent a surfboard from Malibu Surf Shack – The Malibu Surf Shack is a local institution in, you guessed it, Malibu. Located right across the PCH from the Malibu Pier, this shop has been around since 1972. They rent a great selection of longboards, shortboards, softops and also for those not into surfing, kayaks, SUPs, Body Boards as well as wetsuits. They also give lessons and tours of the area. The shop is located right beside the Surfrider Beach, the perfect spot if you want to longboard and spend the day at the ocean.

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5) Go for a trail run – There are so many great places to go running in and around Los Angeles. If you’re looking for a group run, you can join the Nike Running Club (NRC) in either Santa Monica, at The Grove in Beverly Hills or Pasadena for a guided run evenings and weekends. If you’re looking for a flat run, take the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, it’s a 22-mile trail that you can find right along the beach in Venice, Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades. If you’re looking for more of an incline, you can choose from a variety of trails such as Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park, etc. If you’re looking for a track, the Drake Stadium at UCLA, is a 9-lane 400-meter track that you can use if none of their local teams are training. There are so many other places to run in and around the city, but these are some of my favorites.

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Summer Planning

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With summer right around the corner, it’s time to start summer planning! After having spent the spring primarily at home, I’m excited for all the travels that are coming my way this summer. For the first time since I was a teenager, I will actually get one full month of vacation, I can hardly believe it! I couldn’t be more excited to be spending this time in my favorite place on the planet, you guessed it: California!

This upcoming trip will be a fun one since we’ll be incorporating a mini road trip along the way, spending time in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada. We’ve already started planning for it and I can’t hardly wait! We’ll also be spending time in my favorite little beach town – Encinitas as well as Los Angeles and also going out to Palm Springs for the first time ever. If you have any travel recommendations, or must-see things while we’re there, please send them my way. I’ll be publishing a special series of blogs during and after the trip, so lot’s of travel tips coming your way this summer!

Today’s outfit, couldn’t be more representative of the California state of mind. This is the perfect post-surf and biking outfit. Boyfriend jeans, a California tee and a pair of brand new Sanuks. I love these new ones called “The Boardwalk“, they’re the perfect summer colour! Comfort and class, all wrapped into one!

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Photos by @Offner

Sanuk The Boardwalk shoes (get them here)

H&M distressed boyfriend jeans

Zara TRF California tee

Stand Out In Style With Sanuk

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I couldn’t be more thrilled to have partnered up with Sanuk, to showcase some of my favorite shoes, sandals and sidewalk surfers from their brand new Spring and Summer 2015 collection. Long before Sanuks were available in Canada, I would always come home with a new pair of Sanuks, every time I traveled to California. Because all the local surfers had a pair and because I was so in love with everything surf-related, my obsession with Sanuks began. I’ll always remember how my feet felt trying on my first pair, it felt like I was wearing slippers, hands down the most comfortable thing I’ve ever put on my feet! It’s only fitting that the brand’s slogan is “Never Uncomfortable” because I have yet to get a pair of Sanuks that didn’t feel like I had cushions under my feet.

Their sidewalk surfers have become my go-to summer footwear. Not only are they perfect for the beach but also for walking around, biking and all the outdoor activities that I get up to. I’m thrilled to see the brand has grown and introduced so many new styles over the years. They always present lot’s of great colors, prints and fabrics yet without ever compromising comfort.

I’m excited to be showing off my new MOLLIE shoes, with their super comfy footbed. What always gets me is their rad outsole, how awesome is a brand that puts smiley faces on their soles? I love the Sanuk spirit! They radiate sunshine, positive vibes and I’m all about it! You can check out other styles from the new Sanuk Spring and Summer 2015 collection here 🙂

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Photos by @Offner

Sanuk MOLLIE shoe (get them here)

Anine Bing Straight Ripped Jeans In Black (get them here)

Anine Bing black silk blouse (get it here)

Anine Bing dark grey cardigan (get it here)

 

First Signs Of Spring

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Nothing makes me happier than seeing the first signs of Spring in Toronto! I love my city and especially love the city when spring rolls around. Spring in Toronto is just sublime! It’s always super sunny, the patios start opening, people are out and about, you see more people running outdoors and everyone can finally start dressing down a little more. The city just comes alive again when Spring hits and this couldn’t make me more excited! What are some of your favorite things about Spring?

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Photos by @Offner

Zara TRF leopard furry coat

Anine Bing black silk blouse (get it here)

Anine Bing boyfriend jeans (get them here)

The Kooples faux python embossed boots (get them here)

Elizabeth Stone double geode cuff ring (get it here)

 

Bing Obsession

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The Anine Bing obsession continues! As of late, I haven’t been making too many fashion purchases, instead I’ve been saving money for other things (ie. travel, wedding & more!) but I couldn’t resist stopping by the Anine Bing shop while I was in LA last week. I always have the best welcome at her shop and am always tempted to buy absolutely everything in there. Over the past couple of years, my closet has really transformed into almost exclusively Anine Bing threads, can’t really explain why, she just makes the most comfortable and coolest clothes!

My dear friend Maggie (m.y. photography) was nice enough to lend her awesome photography skills for my latest outfit post. We took a little walk to capture the beautiful Southern California scenery. I love all the trees, plants, flowers and landscapes there so much! Hope you guys enjoy these! 😀

Do you have a designer you’re currently obsessed with?

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Photos by: m.y. photography

Anine Bing Straight Ripped Jeans In Black (get them here)

Anine Bing Studded Boots With Buckles (get them here)

Zara silk leopard tank 

Neon Museum

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I learned so much this past weekend from visiting the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. It was so beautiful and interesting to walk around all of these vintage symbolic neons. I’ll be talking about my experience in Vegas on an upcoming travel blog, so stay tuned! One thing’s for sure, some of my favorite discoveries were the story behind this beautiful Stardust sign and also the Moulin Rouge sign. Did you know that the Moulin Rouge (pictured above) came to Vegas? Though it only was around for a couple of months, it was the first casino in Vegas that was against segregation and allowed everyone to play and go to the casino. How amazing is that? Frank Sinatra was also a regular at the casino.

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Photos by @Offner

Anine Bing boyfriend jeans (get them here)

Converse – Chuck Taylor Dainty (get them here)

Sincerely Jules Muse tee

February 1st

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Can’t believe it’s February 1st already! January flew by and I have the feeling that this month will be just the same since I’ll be spending most of the month on the road. This year, each month I’m trying to set some goals for myself. My goals for February are: keep eating healthy and clean even while on the road, keep up on my running and training for my 10k and 15k races this spring and keep being positive. Do you set yourself any monthly goals? If so, what are your goals for this month?

Happy Superbowl Sunday everyone! Here’s to a great February!! 😀

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Photos by @Offner

Anine Bing double zipper jeans light grey (get them here)

Anine Bing olive plaid shirt (get it here)

Fjällräven Ovik melange beanie (get it here)

The North Face olive long winter jacket 

Dr Martens metallic boots