Apr 20, 2016

If Spin Classes Were Kardashians

I get asked about spin class a lot. Perhaps it’s an LA/NY thing, but everyone wants to know my preferred studio. Frankly, spin drives me nuts because I don’t think I set up my bike very well and I always end up effing up my knees. 

A few weeks ago, I went to a spin class, and I got irrationally mad during it. I was so pissed off that I considered walking out. It was SO HOT. And not like, "I FEEL THE BURN!" It was more, “why am I suffocating after two songs?” Granted, I am not the beacon of physical fitness that I used to be, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the type of person who is on the verge of passing out after 6 minutes of double tapbacks, either.

This got me thinking about individual studios in the area and which Kardashian they remind me of. (During my rage, I apparently do a great job ideating content.) So I took off my shirt, removed all the resistance off my bike and began to compare.

SoulCycle is Kim
SoulCycle is what put spinning on the map. Oh, you thought it was the Tour de France? Yeah right. If SoulCycle is Kim, Tour de France is Paris Hilton. Sure, it was the first, technically – since spin is meant to mimic cycling. Sure, it’s an institution. But SoulCycle is trendy. The studio is sexy. It’s a luxury studio that people want to be apart of. It’s not necessarily better than other studios, but it costs more, so people associate it with being better.
But it’s vain as hell. Sometimes I go into a class and I’m like… what are these instructors on? (Side note: why is it that every spin instructor sounds like they have nose plugs in? Same with flight attendants. Never ceases to amaze me that I cannot understand a word anyone is saying in spin class or on flights.) The spin instructors are supposed to be motivating, but sometimes their chants and mantras are so ridiculous, you wonder if they even believe themselves. Like when Kim went on a tangent about her own pregnancy when Kendall, her 20-year-old sister called to confess she was with child. (It was a prank.)
There’s also the religious component associated with SoulCycle: to some, it’s a spiritual experience to be apart of. I’ll let you make all the Yeezus comparisons for yourself.
And finally? it’s pretty. It doesn’t smell at SoulCycle. The music is (usually) legit. You feel good knowing you went to a $40 spin class and didn’t break both of your kneecaps. And you want to keep going back, even if it’s shameless.

FlyWheel is Khloé
I love Khloé, but that’s not why I picked her as FlyWheel. FlyWheel keeps you accountable. I believe in Flywheel. When I go to a class, the instructors are relatable — smoking hot, but relatable. When they push me, I feel compelled to work harder; not tell them to piss off. They look out for you: with your power pack and class standings, you are able keep yourself in check; a little healthy competition never hurt anyone. And we know how much KoKo loves a good reality check. Also, you’re not working out blindly! If you’re falling behind, Flywheel lets you know with the help of those power packs. And the music is similar to SoulCycle in that the playlists a curated to help you stay the path. You walk away feeling invigorated, not like you're getting duped into some hokey workout.

CycleHouse is Kylie
I like Kylie, so it kind of pains me to associate her with CycleHouse. Some of my friends have gotten amazing results by going to CH five days a week (lord help me), but I’ve never been able to get into it. I have tried rather hard to make it happen for me, and it just hasn’t. CycleHouse is a unique concept because they donate two meals to those in need for each class you attend, and I love the charitable approach to their business. But why is their studio always hotter than three hells? 
Once, an instructor read my mind and said, “Yes, the AC is on, y'all are just working so hard!” Lady, I wasn’t born yesterday. We’re two-and-a-half songs in. I shouldn’t feel like I’m in a chokehold at this point. (This was the class that pissed me off.) TURN THE AC ON — I didn't sign up for hot yoga. People are going to sweat regardless. Don’t cut the air circulation in order to make people feel like they’re getting a better workout. That drives me mad. 
I know this was the case because towards the end of the class, the AC actually did kick on, and while I was sweating my ass off, I could feel air circulating through the studio. Probably the hardest 3 ½ minutes I worked the entire class.

That said, CycleHouse is the new kid on the block. It goes hard – it’s definitely the most gangster studio. Nichelle and Aaron are great motivators, and I’ve spun to hardcore rap every time I booked a class there, so if that’s your jam, you’ll love this place. It got a little overexposed with the debut of a reality show last year, but overall it’s just a studio that wants to make you feel (and look) good. It could end up being the most profitable studio of all, thanks to the charity component. 

Apr 11, 2016

"I'm a Dude... What the Hell Do I Wear to Coachella?" 2016

Coachella weekend 1 is about to commence, and since my original post from 2011 decided to stop showcasing the mood boards I created, I figured I'd dust off the ol' blog and come up with some fresh outfits.  YAY FASHION. You know, Coachella is basically becoming NYFW. Music? What music?

Below is visual inspiration; most of those items have sold out, since I'm repurposing this post for 2016. I did include some links, though, should you want to shop.

Let's start with...

If you're going for a preppy vibe, plaid needs to be a major part of your weekend uniform. Plaid shirts, shorts, shoes — not altogether, though. White lace-ups are clean and crisp, but don't expect them to go without a little dirt by the end of the festival. If you're worried, buy a cheap pair you can toss after the weekend ends. And don't forgo socks! You'll end up with blisters, and that ain't cute. (Especially if you plan on wearing sandals at some point.) Also, on the grooming front, moisturize your damn feet before you gallivant around the fair grounds. You can thank me later.

The shirts showing up on this widget are black and red, but the ones I had originally picked were blue. They matched the Ray-Bans.

Trim-fit plaid shirt
Straw fedora
White shoes (or these for you sneaker freaks)
Plaid shorts
Black tee
No-show socks 
V-neck tee

If you want the "IDGAF" look, pack 1000 muscle tees and you'll be fine. Please don't pair them with gym shorts, though — this isn't the pre-season, okay? Go with cutoff jean shorts and slides. Dress up the look with boots if you prefer. Graphic tanks and tees will also be your friend!

White muscle tee
Jean shorts
Leather boat shoes
Vibrant tank
Timbaland boots
Graphic tank
Olive sneakers
Rock concert tee

For the night

Jackets are key, because while you could possibly undergo a heat stroke during the day, it gets cold at night. So swap your shorts for jeans, put on some boots, and add a beanie and jacket or hoodie to your look. 

Aztec hoodie
Sweatshirt hoodie
Leather jacket
Bomber jacket


This is for the guy who wants comfort over anything else. Pack v-necks with moisture-wicking material (think Adidas and UnderArmour). I'm still telling you "no" to basketball shorts, but at least you'll feel normal and won't be a sweaty mess.


Bust out your fake vintage rocker shirts and rip a bunch of holes in them — you should be fine. Bonus points if they have cigarette burns. Pair with black, shredded-knee jeans and a leather jacket at night. If you want, throw on a beanie during the day. It will be 1000 degrees, but it will complete the look — and you won't have to shower! If you're concerned about your skin, because let's get real, any guy who goes to Coachella is 90% vain and there for photo-ops, try this giant fedora to protect yourself from the sun. Combat or Chelsea boots are your best shoe options.

Can someone please buy and wear this? Entertainment value = priceless.

Mar 23, 2016

The One Where Nobody Knew Matthew Lawrence

My brother is a solid six years younger than me. I think I enjoyed being an only child, but I was much happier when he was born. I enjoy being a big sister; God only knows if he'll sacrifice a few children's lives and make me their mother, so being a big sister is my outlet for all things maternal. 

That said, my brother teaches me things as well. Mostly about slang I don't understand, but sometimes, he really opens my eyes! It always ends with me feeling geriatric, but I learn something nonetheless.

Being six years younger, Nick wasn't exposed to a lot of the popular culture that I grew up with, and he definitely doesn't remember things the way I do. Here's an example: my mom got Botox for the first time a few years back. I loved it — she looked amazing! Basically it was my mom with 20 years taken off; a refreshed, enhanced version of the woman who runs the house. (PS: she loved it too. She wants me to be her Botox broker.) While I was singing her praises, Nick couldn't have been any more disturbed. It freaked him out. He didn't like seeing her without lines on her face. And that got me thinking: when Nick was old enough to really look at Mom, she was probably 40. (She had him at 34.)  So of course, he only knew her with the fine lines. But I knew what she looked like without them, because I was born a good six years before him. Mom and I laugh about that still — how he's never known her without wrinkles. Weird stuff.

Anyway, today, my coworker (and one of my favorite people to follow on social media) Britt posted this article.
Names, photos and profanity blurred so nobody loses a job

The chain that ensued is probably one of my favorite chains to ever appear on the internet. Women were OUTRAGED. And rightfully so! "The boy from Mrs. Doubtfire." ARE YOU FOR REAL, CHILD? It's Matthew Lawrence for God's sake! 

Please dive into this post with me. 

First, I'm very concerned that she explains what Mrs. Doubtfire is.  Moving on.

At this point: is she joking? Of course he's hot. He's a Lawrence brother. In fact, he's the hottest one! (No offense, Joey and Andy.)

"The actor" ???????????? — face palm. I mean, true statement. He is an actor. But he's not just a random dude that got booked one movie! He was all over Tiger Beat and J-14! 

Hello butt cut

At this point, you're thinking, "Surely she knows that's the youngest bro, ANDREW. That HAS to spark her memory! Brotherly Love anyone? ANYONE?"

But no. Even with a tweet that references the three boys as "The Lawrence Family," she still denies Matthew's legacy as one of the greatest teen heartthrobs of our generation. 

So here's the deal. The author is 23. She just graduated college in 2015. I don't knock her for her youth! In fact, I'm applaud it! (I digress.) That means she was born in 1992/1993. It makes sense that she might not be aware of people like Joey Lawrence, who paved the way for his younger siblings. I don't blame her for not knowing what Blossom is. But surely she recalls a little show called Boy Meets World?! 

And guess what? I might be older, but I am a millennial. I made the cut by a whopping five years! So if I'm required to understand what dabbing is, how to "properly" use Snapchat and know people like One Direction, Halsey and Fifth Harmony (who I love, BTW), younger millennials are required to do their homework and pay their proper respects. Truthfully, I'd be more devastated if this was a post about "an actor named Jonathan Taylor Thomas," but this still hurts.

Anyway, I know you're thinking this post is over now. It's not. I couldn't believe that there were people in the world who would look at Matthew Lawrence and think, "oh yeah, the kid from Mrs. Doubtfire!" So I interrogated my brother. 

Breaking down the facts. He was born in 1992, graduated last year. (I knew that. I gave him his first bath in the hospital and  I had the worst hangover of my life at his graduation. Just wanted to clarify for you guys.) Now to the meat.

Yikes. "He's from Mrs. Doubtfire." This isn't good, but I'm not giving up on him yet.

MATTHEW! Yes child. Mama has done good. 


How does one just forget one of the greatest television series of all time? Does Mr. Feeney mean nothing to you? 

This is when I broke things down for him. 

Joey Lawrence = pop star in the 80's/90's, wore ripped, tight jeans and appeared in Blossom. He said "whoa!" a sh*t ton. As the eldest brother, he paved the way for Matthew (the middle child) and Andrew (the youngest).

They had a show on Disney channel called Brotherly Love. Joey sang the theme song. 

The show appeared after Growing Pains and I watched it religiously. It got cancelled after a year (I think) and then Matthew went on to be the hot dude that lived with Eric on Boy Meets World. Probably a decade later, Joey starred in show with Melissa Joan Hart. 

YEAH BOY. You might redeem yourself...

I got carried away and started educating him about many teen stars of the 90's. Surely he knew Kirk Cameron, right? I watched Growing Pains on the regular. Leo was in GP! But no. He had no idea.

"I usually remember guys that look like douchebags lol" -_- 

You can't talk about Mike Seaver and not bring up the fact that his sister is, in fact, DJ TANNER. So I explained that bit to him. And Nick probably only recognizes her because she's on The View now. 

It all came full circle, though.

I don't know why I'm so surprised by all of this. This is the kid who started watching the entire series of FRIENDS last year and messaged me this:

Dec 21, 2015

My Favorite Things (That You Will Also Love) -- Gift Guide 2015

YO. I guess this is the year I admit I am turning into my mother. Definitely not a bad thing, it's just a surprise, that's all. Mom and I are very close, but we have many differences as well. (Not as many as I thought, though!) As a kid, my family would always bet on the fact that my mom was going cry at one point during a family gathering — out of happiness or when she was overcome with emotion. And lately, the holidays have made me super emo. Case and point? I opted to say the Thanksgiving blessing in an effort to keep Mom from crying this year; I didn't get through one sentence before I broke down and cried myself. Great job, Kirbie!

But this post isn't about my hormonal outbursts. (I'm not pregnant, don't worry — I know many would be concerned if I were to bear a child at this point in my life. I digress.) Since I've always wanted to be like Oprah, I'm bringing back my holiday gift guide. If you want some major LOLs, go watch my old school holiday gift guides, which I filmed in my room with possibly the worst lighting of all time.

Sure, it's late. But who actually plans ahead?! And I'm starting to think I'm turning into Gwyneth Paltrow (a $42 water bottle?!) but they're actually good gifts, so spare me. Here are a few of my favorite things! 

My philosophy on personalized jewelry is akin to that one woman on Intervention, who constantly sucked on crack lollipops and had half of her teeth rot out of her head: what’s one more going to hurt? Miansai’s Thin Hudson Cuff is gold-plated and is the sexiest piece of hardware I've ever seen. (I own three different styles and everyone always asks who makes them!) This cuff has a large enough plate so that you can get it monogramed with whatever you want: a significant date, a mantra, or in my case, MY NAME, BIOTCH! 

To be honest, I was never a beauty personalization fan — I always think of Carrie Bradshaw’s version with the hideous font — even though finding my name on something is literally rarer than bumping into Jay Leno at Whole Foods on 3rd street, but the tide has turned. Maybe that makes me a narcissist? But who cares. Basically, I’m doing men at the bar a favor by wearing my name on my actual sleeve. 

Giant Capri Blue Volcano Candle,  $62 (marked down from $88!)
Nothing says first-world privilege than a $100 giant candle from a store that sells $50 door knobs and $350 pillows. Once you get over the fact that this candle is, in fact, as big as a tire, you'll fall in love. This is the best-smelling (and most accessible) candle out there. Trust me. I usually buy a ton of tiny versions to give away for the holidays, and I love the room freshener as well. It's like you're actually living in an Anthropologie, which might drive me insane from time to time, but it still sounds lovely.

Brevity Custom Signature Necklace, $295
See the Miansai bracelet, but change to "necklace." This is pretty cool because it takes something as personal as your own signature and makes it into jewelry. Once you place your order, you'll send in your signature to the Brevity team. What you get back is a 24K gold-dipped signature with stainless steel chain.
Admittedly, this has to be a hard gift to give without ruining the surprise — "HEY, SIGN THIS, I NEED YOUR AUTOGRAPH!!!" — because unless you're going through someone's wallet or trash, when in the world are you going to have their signature? So it might be smarter to get them a gift card for this one, unless you love sleuthing through your loved one's personal property. Another option is to get this for a superfan since many celebrity signatures are online (like Harry Styles.... what?), but I can't imagine spending $300 on something like that, unless you're in the cast of Rich Kids of Beverly Hills. 

Rebecca Minkoff Charging Wristlet, $120
Apparently Apple realizes the iPhone’s battery is temperamental, so they’re coming out with a case that Mashable compares to a "Dr. Scholl’s for your foot," that charges your battery all the live-long day.

Sorry if this sounds snobby, but I don’t want some whack “cushion for my phone” displayed to the general public. I have a presh Sonix case with cacti on it, and I plan to keep it. (Unless they have the option to personalize a case.) The cooler way to charge your phone on-the-go is with Rebecca Minkoff’s Charging Wristlet. Wrap your phone up like it’s getting ready to hit a Rolling Stones concert in genuine leather, and protect it from shattering to smithereens while it rests gently inside, taking a nap and recharging.

Over-the-Ear Headphones
I had a great pair of over-the-ear Bose headphones when I was in 5th grade. They were a gift along with a portable DVD player, on which I'd watch Cast Away (with subsequent nightmares) and Holiday in the Sun. They were grand.

But I haven't had a pair since. When working out, I like my wireless Beats or my new in-ear Bose headphones, but ever since I landed a job in digital TV production, I've realized nothing compares to the surround-sound of a good OTE headphone sitch. Sorry to my producer, Nicole, for stealing hers any time I can.

These are pretty AND I like the sound quality, too!

FRENDS Taylor Headphones, $200

Molami Plica Headphones, $100

Molami Pleat Collapsable Headphones, $300

Ringly Daydream Rainbow Moonstone Smart Ring, $195
Embarrassing moment: I actually owned this ring and now it's nowhere to be found. I also threw out the case, which was, as I recently learned, THE CHARGER. For the love. Ringly's Smart Ring is functional, polite jewelry. You can program it so it lights up, based on the alerts you want to get: your Uber is arriving, Mr. Wonderful just called, etc. In a society where everyone's nose is shoved in their phones, this at least gives people the option to have some manners. It comes in a variety of shades and finishes, but I think the gold with the moonstone is a classic.

I have an obsession with sunglasses. Blame my mother, Janet – the woman should consider investing stock in solar protection eyewear.  And one of my dreams is that, someday, I’ll have a luxurious closet where I can artfully (and neatly) display my bags, shoes and jewelry. If I’m investing my hard earned money in something, I want to display it every chance I can. This sunglass display from OYOBox will be put to great use – especially if it’s filled with a bunch of gorgeous sunnies from IllestevaTom Ford and Ray-Ban. The box includes a see-through lid and velvet lining to nest up to eight pairs.

This needs no description. It is the best.

I figure I'll drink the recommended amount of water each day if it ends up in this chic gold water bottle. Swell bottles are built to last, and since it looks this good, there's a 100% chance I won't lose it, either. Bonus: you're saving the environment!

Crosley X UO AV Room White Portable USB Vinyl Record Player, $169
According to know-it-all Susan Miller, because I am a Capricorn, I like refined, luxe or vintage gifts — the latter of which is where this gift comes in. I know this isn't an old-school record player. You go antiquing to find those! But I love that this record player from Crosley incorporates a classic turntable along with modern technology of a USB input. I would collect records if I had a turntable! 

Just to clarify, it does play records. It's legit. But it also includes the ability to play mp3s, too. It also includes built-in speakers. 


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