Who wants a round, perky butt? *raises hand* We all do, but glute exercises to help build that booty can be difficult, daunting and if you’re not well-versed in lifting heavy weights… scary! Why is a killer booty workout so important? Well, aside from making your butt perkier, rounder and perhaps even a little larger, weighted glute exercises are a basically a results factory for your entire body. Each time you squat or deadlift with the bar you’re targeting your glutes, but giving yourself a stronger core, more defined legs, and toned arms. Plus, you’re helping to ensure your knees and hips stay in proper alignment. What’s not to love about that?

glute exercises

 

Okay, so how does one get started? First, take a deep breath. We all start glute workouts the same way. The very beginning. A year-and-a-half ago I was there looking at the seriously toned girl at my gym deadlifting 200lbs hoping that could be me, but feeling more than inadequate. I spent months laying the groundwork with good glute work to raise that booty up and now I’m very proud to say I can deadlift almost as much as her. I’ve managed to deadlift 190lbs so far which I honestly never thought that would be possible two years ago. How did I do it? Working my way up s-l-o-w-l-y from beginner-friendly exercises which are comprised of resistance work with a resistance band (grab one on Amazon if you don’t have one) and Pilates-inspired moves to get those muscles and brain ready for the more advanced stuff. Today, I’m excited to share the tried and true exercises that made my workout regimen (and my glutes) more well-rounded.

 

glute exercises

 

Resistance-band Deep Squats and Side Steps

The resistance squat helps to activate the IT band and external rotators. Focusing on the muscles and fibers increases the neuro-muscular connection which will help maintain a proper form when doing weighted squats. Always remember: you do not want to let the knees pass the toes and maintain a 90-degree angle. For the side steps, stay in the squat position with the band below the knees or at the ankles. Staying low, take one step to the right and back, then one step to the left and back for one rep.

 

glute exercises

 

Butt Kick Back and Bridge Hip Thrusts

A butt kickback has the added benefit of targeting your hamstrings too. Start on all fours with a band around your feet. Extend your right foot behind you, keeping the band straight, and lower for 1 rep. Do this without the band for a modification (don’t worry, it will still torch your glutes). As for bridge hip thrusts, these are great to do to a Pussy Cat Doll’s song–just trust me. It’s a thing. From bridge position with the band places around your legs below your knees, simply lift and lower your hips. To make it more difficult you can hold a weight at your chest and/or place shoulders on an incline to increase the range of motion.

 

glute exercises

Bridge with Leg Lift

Get in to bridge position on your shoulders and feet and extend one leg straight into the air reaching for the sky. Lower and lift your leg for one rep. Being in bride pose has so many benefits outside of toning your glutes, so don’t be afraid to use it to help you get your blood flowing or to alleviate stress.

 

glute exercises

Standing Kickback

Stabilize yourself on something – a wall or tree will do. With the band around both legs (at about ankle-height) kick back your left leg keeping band taut and return to a standing position for one rep. Note: you can bring each out to the side to target either side of your glutes as well!

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For many of you, spring break is the highlight of the season. It’s the first time in forever that you’re able to thaw out and take a break from the norm. With so many places to choose from, there’s no doubt that packing lists vary depending on the destination. But, if there’s one thing we think deserves a spot on everybody’s spring break packing list, it’s denim. Nothing says “relaxed and unplugged” quite like a good pair of denim, so we’ve rounded up the perfect pieces no matter where you’re headed along with our go-to spots on where to grub and explore. Warning: travel bug highly contagious.

spring break packing list: sarasota

Sarasota, FL

Ah, we can smell a hint of coconut now. If you’re looking for a good balance of relaxation and adventure, Sarasota is a no-brainer. Whether you’re looking to sip umbrella drinks on the sand (keep ’em comin’ 🍹) or explore your surroundings, there’s a little bit of something for everybody.

packing list:

  • white denim
  • your favorite swimsuit
  • slip-on sandals to take you to and from the beach
  • sunglasses
  • sunscreen
  • beach towel

wear this: Denim shorts are essential for your spring break packing list if you’re heading to Florida, but we especially love a crisp white pair. They’re the perfect piece to throw over your swimsuit or pair with a flowy blouse for a beachside dinner. Don’t forget your sunscreen and beach towel!

do that: Located on the Golf Coast, there are plenty of gorgeous beaches to choose from in Sarasota. Gather a group for some sand volleyball, pack your favorite books, or simply get some shut-eye in the sun. If you’re looking to explore the water, a kayak tour will allow you to experience things that you can’t by foot–you may even see some sea creatures!

 

spring break packing list: death valley

Death Valley, CA

This location was chosen with the adventurer in mind. With some locations in the valley accessible only by Jeep (or something equivalent), you’ve gotta love the journey as much as the destination. Abandoned towns and scenic drives will provide plenty of Insta-worthy moments.

packing list: 

  • boyfriend jeans
  • a Polaroid camera
  • wide-brimmed hat
  • casual tee
  • open-front cardigan

wear this: Boyfriend jeans are key when you’re roaming around the desert. Their loose fit will allow you to move around easily, and a distressed pair will especially come in handy to allow for more breathability. We’re loving the look finished with a wide-brimmed hat. It fits right in with the boho vibe and also offers protection from the sun.

do that:  In addition to checking out highly recommended spots like Badwater Basin, we suggest exploring the various ghost towns or driving through Titus Canyon. The average time to hit all the highlights in Death Valley is 2 days, so when you’re finished touring the national park (or just need a break from a remote setting), you can head to Las Vegas which is only two hours away.

 

spring break packing list: charleston

Charleston, SC

Southern charm combined with excellent shopping, floppy hats, and outdoor brunch spots makes Charleston the perfect destination for a girls trip. Darling local business and beautiful ocean views will make you question whether you’ll actually head back home.

packing list:

  • denim jacket
  • light and breezy sundress
  • open-toed sandals
  • oversized tote
  • a book or magazine
  • simple accessories

wear this: A denim jacket is the perfect layer to accommodate fluctuating temperatures. Drape it over your sundress or layer over a tee and chinos. Be sure to pack some comfortable shoes. A thick heel will keep you steady on those old-timey streets while providing plenty of support for your feet. Finish your look with some freshly picked flowers from the farmers market–you’ll look like a local!

do that: We highly recommend checking out the local farmers markets. You’ll find plenty of cool vendors and maybe even get some free samples (score). If you’ve never been, renting a bike is a great way to see the city. It’ll get you from point A-to-B faster and you’ll be able to fit more into your day.

 

spring break packing list: new orleans

New Orleans, LA

If you’re looking for something a little quirky, our top pick is New Orleans. The best part about NOLA is that there’s an activity for any kind of traveler. You can do anything from alligator-spotting on a swamp tour to indulging in the food to immersing yourself in the curiosities of the city.

packing list: 

  • black denim
  • peasant blouse
  • convertible back to take you from day to night
  • bold shades
  • heels for a night out

wear this: Try out some distressed dark denim for your trip to New Orleans. A pair with a raw hemline and straight silhouette will exude a care-free attitude perfect for all of the exploring you’ll be doing. You’ll see plenty of sun on the gulf coast, so wear a peasant blouse and open-toed shoes to keep you cool.

do that:  Start your day with a Bellini and beignet and head off to the Garden District or take a stroll down Magazine Street. At night, you can check out a historic cemetery or sign up for a walking ghost tour. 👻 If spooky things aren’t up your alley, you can always hit up a legendary live music venue or explore the local art scene.

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There’s something so appealing about transitioning into a spring wardrobe. Pretty florals, fresh colors, and lighter clothing are all a much-needed change after a few months of muted tones and heavy knits. But, seeing as it’s only February, it may be a bit before we can fully pack up our winter wardrobe. (After all, most of us are still recovering from the polar vortex.) To be honest, this time of year is a little awkward. You’re probably tired of heavy layering, but it’s not quite warm enough for spring pieces – ugh.  We’re here to help you nail the transition from winter to spring with a few easy-to-replicate outfit ideas.

 

Don’t Say No to Neon

Ever since neon made a comeback last fall, it’s been the most anticipated trend of 2019. If you’re neutral about neon, don’t fret. Brightening up your wardrobe doesn’t have to happen overnight. Try out the trend in a pullover sweater or your accessories to get a feel for it. Who knows, you may be obsessed with the trend after you wear in small doses (guilty). Paired with cool tones like grey (a winter staple), it’s a fail-proof combo that makes for the perfect transitional spring outfit.

 

winter to spring: neon

( 🎶 i’m blue – bah ba de ba doo ba 🎶 )

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winter to spring: grey denim

(whoa – hey there, washed out denim. you’re lookin’ good)

 

Pair a Warm Moto With a Dress

A heavy-weight moto jacket paired with a light chiffon dress is a winning combo for transitioning your winter wardrobe into spring. A faux suede jacket or sherpa lined denim could also make for the perfect frock topper – just pick whatever suits your style. Finish your ensemble with over-the-knee boots on chilly days or ankle booties when those spring temperatures finally stop by to say hi.

 

winter to spring: chiffon dress

(winter to spring outfit on point)

Classic Trench With Colorful Chinos

This season, we’re seeing pants show up in all sorts of colors. Yellow, lilac, green, you name it. We love that you can pair them with the most neutral of pieces and your outfit will still feel all sorts of spring. The perfect finishing touch? A classic trench coat. Its long length makes it great for layering and you can still add your favorite winter accessories to keep warm. Our bets are on the trench coat as the must-have piece for spring, so you may as well snag one early.

 

winter to spring: trench coat

(it’s like, Carmen Sandiego meets True Detective)

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winter to spring: colored chinos

(for when you need sunshine on a cloudy day)

 

Feminine Florals on Boyfriend Jeans

Transitioning your denim into spring can mean a few things. The obvious choice is to lighten the wash or bring the hem up a bit, but we like to take it to the next level by adding spring-inspired embellishments. Much like our friend neon, embroidery is a highly anticipated trend for not only spring but all of 2019. We love mixing a vintage silhouette with floral accents for a match made in denim heaven.

 

winter to spring: embroidered denim

(these will make your wardrobe come alive again)

 

Pair Pastel With Dark Denim

An easy way to freshen up your look is by taking your favorite winter silhouettes and trying them out in lighter colors. A jacket in a blush or cream hue instantly brightens up your look and will still ward off any unwanted chill. Layered over a casual tee and paired with the dark distressed denim you’ve been rocking all winter long, your whole outfit will feel effortless and street-savvy. Pro Tip: Add animal print accessories for a totally on-trend look.

 

winter to spring: cream moto jacket

(this cool cream moto will complete any ensemble)

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winter to spring: colorful cotton tee

(a comfy cotton tee?! what more could we ask for)

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winter to spring: dark denim

(hey, this outfit looks familiar… 👀 )

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The big game is almost here. The holy grail for football lovers and food lovers alike. That’s right, it’s the Super Bowl. Many of you have been waiting and waiting for this day whether it’s been in anticipation of the game itself, the tasty food, amazing commercials, or the insanely adorable pregame Puppy Bowl – we’ll adopt them all, thank you very much (and probably leave the party looking a little like this). While the hype of the Super Bowl can be a ton of fun, it can also be a little stressful. Hosting the party itself can come with a lot of responsibility, so we’ve gathered a few ideas to help you throw your most epic (and stress-free) Super Bowl party yet.

 

Curate a Killer Playlist

Spoiler: we already did that part for you. Kick off the big game right by cranking this preparty playlist featuring 2019 halftime artists Maroon 5, Travis Scott and other favorites. We’ve rounded out the playlist with a little something for everybody so even *that* person (there’s always one) who always asks for the AUX cord won’t have any complaints – #winning. With jams like these, you’ll have everybody singing along into their impromptu microphone in no time.

 

Dress Comfortably

Getting together with friends is obviously one of the highlights of a Super Bowl party, but we think picking out a fun outfit is another great way to celebrate the big game. Whether you’re team Patriots, team Rams or team snacks, it’s a chance to go all out. You can rock your favorite team gear or stick to sporty pieces to get into the game-day spirit. Either way, we suggest showing up in comfortable pieces with a little breathing room (hello, gotta have room for snacks). Speaking of snacks…

 

Have a Go-To Recipe Handy

Honestly, is there anything more stressful than trying to decide what to bring to a potluck party? You want to make sure it’s a crowd-pleaser, but that it’s something that won’t take up too much of your time either. We’ve rounded up two of our favorite game day recipes that are done in about 20 minutes or less (heck yes) and are sure to score some tastebud touchdowns.

 

Jalapeño Popper Crisps 

What You’ll Need: 

  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup of shredded Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly
  • Ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large nonstick pan skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy (about 8 minutes). Drain on a paper towel lined plate, then chop it.
  2. Spoon 1 tablespoon of Parmesan into a small mound on a large baking sheet and top with one tablespoon of cheddar cheese. Carefully press the mound down with a spoon to create a flat surface and top with a jalapeno slice. Sprinkle with bacon and top with pepper.
  3. Bake until golden and crispy (about 12 minutes).
  4. Let them cool before serving.

 


Oven Fried Pickles 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pickle slices (pat dry with paper towels)
  • Ranch dressing, for dipping (because ranch tastes good with everything)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil. In a bowl, mix bread crumbs, melted butter, dill, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Put flour in a separate bowl. In a third bowl, beat the eggs.
  2. Working in order, toss the dry pickles in the flour until lightly coated. Then, dip them in the eggs. Finally, toss them in the panko mixture until fully coated and place on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 15 minutes (or until lightly browned and crispy).
  4. Serve with ranch.

 

 

tasty food images by: sophie lillie

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Anyone else feeling like the month of January has lasted approximately 832 days? 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏾‍♀️ Yeah, it’s been a real struggle. We’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to fall into a style rut during the cold-weather months. We find ourselves bored of reaching for the same pieces over and over, and record-breaking low temperatures have us layering up like Lenny Kravitz. As hard as it may be to ditch the oversized blanket scarf, it’s time to give our winter outfits a fresh new look. While we may not be able to fast-forward to spring (believe us, we would if we could), we’re bringing you the latest dose of style inspiration to help you beat those winter blues.

winter outfits: camo jacket

1. Experiment With an Eclectic Style

We love a good surprise, and when it comes to fashion, it can be so much fun to play with unexpected pairings. While a camo utility jacket is often associated with a more urban style, when paired with a gorgeous shade of blush, it brings a whole new twist to a familiar piece. A pair of black jeans can serve as the perfect foundation for playing with different pieces, so go ahead and mix patterns or try cool color combos to create an eclectic ensemble.

 

2. Swap Solids for Stripes

Updating your business-casual winter wardrobe can be as easy as swapping your solid blouse for a striped linen shirt. Stripes are a staple year-round, but we love the idea of combining cool tones like chambray with warm hues for the perfect way to slowly transition your outfits towards spring. Give your look an even more of-the-moment feel with trendy accents like a wrap-around clutch or printed blazer (pattern play for the win).

 

winter outfits: patterned shirt

3. Make a Printed Button Down Your Main Squeeze

When life hands you lemons, we say wear them. Sporting your favorite fruit on a classic silhouette like a button-down is a trend that has us going bananas (in the best way possible). Pear it with relaxed denim and a casual utility jacket for a low-key look. The vibrant colors and playful prints will bring a cheerful attitude both to you and those around you to ensure that you all have a berry nice day (okay, we’re done).

 

winter outfits: colored denim

4. Try Colored Denim to Cure Your Winter Woes

Jeans are undoubtedly a must-have in any wardrobe and we’ll always have our trusty baby blues to fall back on, but it’s time to freshen up your look with a pair of colored denim. Bold hues are dominating the denim industry and will continue to do so well into 2019, so it’s the perfect time to test out the trend. Your pretty jeans will be doing all of the leg work, so stick with a classic white tee and denim jacket when pulling together winter outfits with a bold new hue.

 

winter outfits: pastel knits

5. Add a Punch of Pastel to Break Up the Neutrals

We love a chunky knit sweater, but just because it’s still sweater season doesn’t mean you have to stick to dark and monochromatic tones. Add a pop of pastel to your ensemble to make your go-to winter staples feel fresh and current. The best part is that you won’t be compromising warmth for style. You can easily layer the sweater over a printed tee or a plaid button-down to keep you nice and toasty.

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We’ve all seen the Instagram and Facebook photos captioned “living my best life,” but what the heck does that even mean? An overly filtered photo of a perfectly posed individual (who swears it’s candid) or a swoon-worthy Insta-story capturing every angle of the best brunch you’ve ever seen can be a little misleading. In an age where social media sets high expectations for what happiness looks like, it can be easy to lose sight of where it all begins. We believe that living your best life starts within and thrives by nurturing every aspect of your mind, body, and soul. To support your self-love mission, we’ve gathered a few easy ways to maintain a positive body image and be your happiest, healthiest self.

positive body image

1. Find a Workout That Makes You Happy

It’s natural to try a few—or maybe a whole bunch of—workouts before you find a fitness routine that really sticks. If you’re not comfortable heading to a new class on your own, grab a friend to check it out with you! If it keeps you coming back for more, you’ve definitely found a keeper. It’s an incredible feeling when you actually look forward to your workout instead of dreading it.

 

2. Journal

Take the time each day, or even a couple of times a week, to recognize and jot down all of the amazing qualities that you have, things that you’re proud of, or a goal you met that day. Remind yourself how much you love and respect your body. Even if you have a bad day here and there, journaling can serve as a great reminder when you’ve overcome any difficulties and provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on how strong of an individual you are (#grlpwr).

 

3. Focus on a Balanced Diet (Not a Crazy One)

Sure, we’re here to remind you it’s important to put healthy nutrients into your body. But, we’re also here to tell you that enjoying pizza or your favorite ice cream flavor once in a while is totally fine, too. It’s all about balance. Trying every single new diet craze isn’t necessarily the healthiest choice. Instead, find what works for your body and makes you feel energized and ready to take on the day.

 

4. Set Goals

Don’t stress—your goals don’t have to be anything outrageous. They can be as simple as committing to walking around the block every day or grocery shopping more frequently instead of eating out all the time. Once you get into a routine, you can set loftier goals that stretch you more and more to ensure you’re always growing.

 

positive body image

5. Unplug & Practice Self-Love

It’s totally acceptable to make your well-being your #1 priority. Focusing on what your body needs is extremely important. If you need a weekend to yourself instead of filled to the brim with plans, do it. You’re allowed to give yourself a time-out, no guilt involved! While you’re at it, take a moment to meditate. It can be as little as one minute, but thinking about nothing besides the inhale and exhale of your breath can provide a much-needed reset.

 

6. Wear What Makes You Happy

Choosing what to wear for the day can be a little overwhelming, especially if your wardrobe is cluttered. Start by cleaning out your closet and in the words of the great Marie Kondo, get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” Whether you’re heading to a workout or getting ready for the weekend, let your heart decide what to wear instead of your head. If an item makes your heart skip a beat or brings a smile to your face, go ahead and wrap yourself in that little piece of happiness. Your positive energy is sure to radiate off of you and be contagious to others.

 

7. Cut Out the Bad & Replace it With the Good

If there are any source frustration or insecurity in your life that constantly get you down, it’s time to say buh-bye. Whether it’s an individual, Instagram account, or television show, there’s no reason to surround yourself with anything that makes you feel less than your absolute best. Replace those sources of negativity with positive influences that share the same values as you and reinforce a healthy and happy body image.

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In a time when it seems impossible to escape the obsession that is binging Netflix’s latest hit ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’, you may be feeling inspired to completely KonMari your home. We’d love our very own personal organization consultant to magically show up on our doorstep, but alas, we’re faced with tackling this project on our own. Luckily, we’ve gathered a few tips and tricks to help you tackle organization in your own house or apartment. The question is: how do you know when it’s time for a closet cleanse? If you’re having trouble finding a certain item or your wardrobe is full of pieces you no longer wear, it may be a sign that you have a cluttered closet and it’s time for a purge. We’ve created an easy step-by-step process for decluttering your closet and creating a wardrobe foundation that will survive any closet cleanout.

closet ideas: donate

 

1. Sort

First things first. Grab three different bags, boxes, or totes and label them with ‘donate’, ‘sell’, and ‘toss’. It’s time to decide which category each piece belongs to. If the item is worth more than the effort it would take sell it, go for it. If you’re not tech-savvy and don’t want to go through the hassle of selling online, see if your friends or coworkers are interested in a clothing swap. Not feeling like going through the steps to sell at all? Donate. As long as the item is in working condition and is decent quality, it’s a contender for the donation bag. If it doesn’t meet the sell or donate standards, it’s time to toss it. Starting the sorting process may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t let the stress of deciding to sell, donate, or toss prevent you from finishing the task. Simply gather what you no longer need and let it go.

closet ideas: nostalgic pieces

 

2. Letting Go

If you experience a ping of sadness when you’re putting your college tees into the donate bag, you’re not alone. While some view clothes as just things, the truth is that they’re linked to a moment in time and often have stories attached to them. It’s natural to feel a bit nostalgic, and it’s okay to set a few pieces aside to keep. Minimizing your wardrobe doesn’t mean you have to get rid of everything that brings you happiness. Even if you haven’t worn something in a few years, if it puts a smile on your face, it’s worth holding on to. Set these pieces aside in a box and reach for it any time you need a walk down memory lane.

 

3. Seasonal Organization

Whew! The hard part is officially over. Now it’s time to sort your clothing seasonally. Before you get started, keep in mind that there should be a few staple pieces that have a spot in your closet year-round. The best part about organizing seasonally is that it’s an opportunity to assess anything you might have missed during the decluttering. It’s also the perfect time to do any dry-cleaning and tidy your space by vacuuming and dusting. If sturdy hangers aren’t something you’ve already invested in, now’s the time. Swap out your wire hangers for slim and durable hangers to create more space in your closet. Once you’re finished, decide which pieces you won’t be wearing for the next few months and store them in a clear container for an easy swap in the future.

closet ideas:

 

4. Assess the Holes in Your Wardrobe

Now that you have a clean slate, it’s time to figure out what’s missing. During the decluttering process, you probably got rid of pieces that no longer fit or are worn out and need replacing. Knowing your personal style is beneficial in helping you realize what you’ll need to purchase. A great rule of thumb is starting with the pieces make you look and feel your best during your day-to-day routine. If you’re still not sure where to start, our lovely Stylists are here to help! Plus, they’ve rounded up a list of the style essentials every woman needs in her wardrobe (thank you, next).

closet ideas: essentials

 

5. Stock Your Closet With the Essentials

While each wardrobe will vary from person to person, there a few essentials that should be in every lady’s closet. The fail-proof, time-defying pieces that solve your what-to-wear woes on those nothing-to-wear days. Versatility is key when creating the foundation for your wardrobe. With these staples, you’ll be able to create an endless amount of outfits for a wide variety of occasions.

premium denim: Get yourself a perfectly fitting pair of jeans in a dark wash. A dark wash is easy to keep clean and will pair with just about everything. While you may need to invest more to get the perfect pair, they’ll last for years to come, making them worth every penny.

a plain white tee and/or button down: We’d argue that no closet is complete without a plain white tee or button down. They are must-have pieces no matter your individual style and will always be an easy fallback piece if you’re not sure what to put on for the day.

a little black dress: The LBD is truly a blank slate when it comes to styling. You can add accessories or shoes to give it some flair, or you can wear it on its own and it will still be a standout piece.

a sharp blazer: A blazer (patterned or solid) has become a closet chameleon. A blazer is perfect for the office and looks equally amazing with jeans and a timeless tee.

black trousers: If you’re starting to sense a theme here, you’re 100% right. A black trouser is undeniably versatile. No matter the silhouette you choose, you’ll be able to wear these throughout the workweek or to your next weekend brunch.

 

Images by Lindsey Cole Photography

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As we settle into the new year and get comfortable with the resolutions we’ve set for 2019, it’s a good time to take a look around and evaluate what you’ll need to stay on track. Whether you’ve decided to get back at it at the gym after some time off, or are a fitness regular, you need no-fail gear that can hold up throughout your workout. And, let’s face it, we rarely give our fitness gear all of the credit it deserves. Keeping up with us class after class, enduring hours upon hours of blood, sweat, and tears (okay, maybe not blood, but definitely a tiny tear every once in a while), and being there every step of the way as we reach for our goals. But when is it time to let go of some of our favorite pieces and replace them with better-performing gear? It varies from item to item (and your workout schedule), so we’ve broken it down by category to guide you through as you bid adieu to the old and say hello the new.

fitness gear: leggings

Favorite Item: The Legging

When to Say Farewell: 6 Months to 1 Year

Holding on to a pair of leggings for too long can result in fraying and loose seams (especially along the inner thighs), loss of moisture-wicking properties, and pilling. If you’re particularly fond of certain leggings, try to reserve them just for the gym (it’s hard, we know). While it can be tempting to wear them for brunch or out for a day of errands if you really want them to last, save them solely for working out.

 

Favorite Item: The Gym Shoe

When to Say Farewell: 8 Months to 1 Year

Usually, the lifespan of your sneakers is most accurately gauged based on mileage. Once you reach approximately 400 miles, start to notice holes, leaning to one side, or pain along your shins it’s definitely time to trade in for a new pair. If you’re a runner or do high impact activities frequently, you may want to keep a standby pair handy so that you can rotate between sneakers and extend the lifespan.

 

fitness gear: sports bra

Favorite Item: The Sports Bra

When to Say Farewell: 6 to 12 Months

Cycle after cycle in the wash can really take a toll on your sports bras. If you’re looking to make it closer to the one year mark, try to handwash your sports bras, use a lingerie bag when washing in the machine, or, or at the very least, carefully follow the care instructions when it comes to choosing the cycle and washing temp. Take a peek at our post on How to Wash Your Workout Clothes for a few more guidelines to follow. Once your sports bra starts to stretch out, it also loses its support, which can be harmful to both your back and your chest. As soon as you notice your go-to sports bra isn’t being as supportive as it once was, it’s time to replace it.

 

Favorite Item: The Yoga Mat

When to say Farewell: 6 to 12 Months

When it comes to refreshing your fitness gear, your yoga mat is an essential piece of equipment that’s often overlooked. The lifespan of your yoga mat can depend on a lot of things. How frequently you’re using it, the quality, the type of cleaner you use, and how much you sweat. When it comes to washing, keep it gentle for your mat. Avoid harsh chemical cleaners for your mat and stick with warm water and mild soap to prolong its life. If you start to notice the edges curling, tears, or odor, it’s a sure sign it’s time to go shopping for a new one. Having the right mat for your practice can do wonders to extend its lifespan, so be sure to ask your instructor, a knowledgable salesperson, or do some of your own research to find one that’s best suited for you.

 

fitness gear: tops

Favorite Item: The Moisture-Wicking Top

When to Say Farewell: Anywhere from 6 Months to 5+ Years

There are so many different kinds of workout tops, which means a top’s time with you may be as short as 6 months or as long as 5 years. Once you start to see it lose its shape or the color you once loved fade, it’s time to trade in. Pro tip: if you tend to wear tanks with built-in-bras, use the same guidelines that you would for a sports bra.

 

Favorite Item: The Water Bottle

When to Say Farewell: Well, this one’s a little tricky…

Water bottles are arguably one of the most essential pieces of fitness gear to have in your arsenal. But, they are made up of many different materials, and the lifespan varies drastically between the various types, so it’s important to choose the right one. If you’ve invested in a glass or insulated option, you may even have it for an upwards of 10 years, but if you go with plastic, it will start to break down after continuous usage and washes. While it’s important to pick one that works best for your workout and budget, we suggest looking for a BPA-free bottle to keep you hydrated. It will keep you (and the earth!) safe and free of toxins.

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partner workouts

We all have them: Those nights when you come home from work knowing you need to work out, but wanting to spend time snuggled up on the couch with your sweetie or sipping vino with your bff instead? Well, what if I told you that you could hang out with your S.O. or bestie and get your sweat on at the same time? You can—by working out together. And I’m not talking about a “let’s go to the gym, and I’ll hit the treadmill while you lift weights” kind of thing. I mean legitimately fun partner exercises and activities that let you spend quality time together while you get fit—no gym required. A total win-win, right? Check out 9 of the best partner workouts below.

 

couples workouts: stairs

@lauryncakes

Kickboxing

For those days when you really need to let off some steam, grab your gloves (and your favorite human) for a little high-powered kickboxing. Square off in one-on-one combat—but don’t take it too hard on your partner—or try a group class rather than a partner workout for a less-intense alternative that still burns major calories.

 

Hiking

Pack your backpacks, lace up your boots, and get ready for a day of calorie-burning and sightseeing with your favorite person. Even better, bring along a tent and set up camp at the top of the mountain or prettiest part of the trail for a quiet night of star-gazing and s’mores-roasting.

 

couples workouts: training

@mendezfitness  @iamjennyhofit 

Train for a race

Be it a Spartan race, mud run or just your everyday 10K, training for weeks—even months—together can be even more rewarding than completing the race itself. Having your partner there to support you (and vice versa) can be a great reminder of how important it is to support one another, and training multiple times a week guarantees you’ll have plenty of time to bond. Plus, there’s no equipment required to get started.

 

partner workouts

@gabriela_ana_  @lafreecaine_

Partner yoga

If you and your partner are more into meditative exercises than something super high energy, partner exercises like acro yoga are the perfect way to increase strength and flexibility while deepening your connection. Known to improve communication and trust in one another, partner yoga also allows you to achieve a deeper stretch in many poses while challenging and improving your balance all at the same time. This is especially great as a couple’s workout because it’s an intimate, hands-on practice that helps you feel closer to and deeply trust your partner.

 

couples workouts: beach

@moderntarzan  @acrosprout

Kayaking

Fans of anything water-related will love this partner workout, which is great for toning arm muscles and learning how to work together as a team. Go for a tandem version to get a little closer, or have a race in single kayaks to up the competition. And unless you want a truly challenging (and somewhat risky) adventure, stick to still water like a lake or calm river.

 

Skiing

This winter sport is a blast on its own, but even better when you do it together. Known to improve flexibility, strengthen joints, and get your heart rate up, this full-body workout feels like both a challenge and a mini-getaway at the same time. (Just imagine the cozy nights snuggled up in your ski chalet after a day on the slopes).

 

couples workouts: rest

@lauryncakes

Doubles tennis

Playing one-on-one tennis with your partner can be both exciting and competitive, but why not work together to take on another pair? By playing as a team, you’ll improve your communication skills, while toning muscles and getting a major cardio workout. And who knows? Maybe you’ll pick up new friends along the way (we all know good ones can be really hard to find…).

 

couples workouts: plank

@iamjennyhofit   @mendezfitness

Rock climbing

If you’re big on outdoor adventures and want to take things a step beyond hiking, this is just the partner workout for you. Although perfectly safe when using the correct equipment, the risk and adrenaline will create an instantly deeper bond between you and your partner. No mountains nearby? Not a problem—just search for a local indoor rock climbing facility instead.

 

partner workouts

@gabriela_ana_  @lafreecaine_

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Still finalizing your list of New Year’s resolutions? Yeah, us too. Getting back into the grind is hard enough after the holidays, and trying to form new habits may not always come naturally. Contrary to popular belief that it only takes 21 days to develop a new habit, studies show it actually takes around 66 (way to go, science). So it might take a little bit longer than expected, but we’re here to help with 5 super easy ways to squeeze healthy habits into your daily routine.

healthy habits: meditation

1. Meditation

Take a moment to meditate throughout your day. It may not always be easy to snag some “me” time, but the best thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere. In the morning before you head to work, on the bus or train during your morning commute, or even at the office. Practicing meditation allows us to be more present and all it takes is ten minutes to feel a sense of calmness. Try downloading a few apps on your phone for a guided practice to get you started. A few of our favorites are Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer.

 

healthy habits: healthy snacks

2. Healthy Snacks

Let’s be honest. After taking time off around the holidays, the workday seems ten times longer than normal, and your body can feel worn out. Having a few go-to healthy snacks can do a lot for helping you get through a dragging afternoon. Bring an apple (you know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away), a delicious green smoothie, or try out a homemade trail mix. Many grocery stores even have a build-your-own trail mix station, so get creative!

 

healthy habits: refuel after workout

3. Refuel After Your Workout

It’s important to listen to your body and what it needs after you’ve finished a workout. But how do we know what that is, exactly? Carbs, carbs, carbs (that’s the best news we’ve heard all day).  In order for your muscles to start to recover properly, you’ll also need plenty of protein and hydration. Depending on your workout, the best time frame for absorbing these nutrients varies, so make sure to research your activity to find out what best suits your workout and your body’s needs.

 

healthy tips: share goals

4. Share Your Goals With Friends

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times. Having a friend to share your goals and resolutions with makes it that much more likely for you to keep them. There are plenty of benefits of working out with a friend, but one of the best is accountability. Not to mention, it encourages you to work just a bit harder (a little friendly competition never hurt anybody), you’ll have more fun (it’s practically a social hour), and you might even feel more motivated (hello, brunch after).

 

healthy habits: meal prep

5. Plan Your Meals

There are plenty of great benefits to prepping your meals in advance. It takes some of the stress out of the work week by having easy grab-and-go meals ready before you head out of the door. If this is your first go at it, Meal Prep Haven features a complete step-by-step guide for beginners complete with tips and tools that you’ll need.  Too busy to cook (or just don’t like to)? Not to worry. Put together a list of healthy local spots you can count on if you need to order a last-minute lunch.

 

Images by Lindsey Cole Photography

Featuring @lafreecaine & @gabriela_ana_

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