2/28/16

Sunday Happenings

It was a long week but a great weekend to rest and relax. I completely updated the template of my blog, hope you like it! Still working out some kinks, but will hopefully get those fixed soon.

Here are my Sunday Happenings this week.

Kelly Clarkson's emotional performance on American Idol
If you haven't seen this yet, get your tissues ready. Kelly Clarkson was a guest judge this week on American Idol and at the end she performed her song Piece by Piece. She wrote it when she was pregnant with her little girl and now she's pregnant with her son. The song is about how her husband loves and cares for her, and how she didn't have that growing up. Sadly, her dad left her family when she was a little girl. It's a very touching song and reminds me how thankful I am for my amazing husband and dad.


Sleep Cycle
I felt like I hadn't been sleeping as well lately, no idea if it's true or not but I've heard how waking up in the middle of a REM cycle can cause you to feel tired. So I recently downloaded an app called Sleep Cycle to see if it would help me feel more rested. I set what time I want to wake up and it'll wake me up within 15 minutes of that time. So if I want to wake up at 7:15, my alarm will go off between 7:00 and 7:15. I've done it for about the last 3 weeks and I think it's really making a difference. Pretty neat and it will show me trends, etc. after I had been using it for a few weeks.

Comparison Trap
My bible study is going through a book by Sandra Stanley (her husband Andy Stanley is the pastor of our church, Buckhead Church) called The Comparison Trap. It's easy to get caught up in comparing myself to others around me, especially with social media being everywhere now. Here's a word of encouragement from the book this week. 


MacKenzie Bourg
I'm obsessed with the song Hallelujah and I've heard some really beautiful covers of this song. MacKenzie Bourg who is currently in the top 10 of American Idol's final season performed Hallelujah on his YouTube channel. 


Wine + Girl Scout Cookies
Houston and I have bought wine from a website called Club W for several years. They are private label wines getting you nice wines at a discount, typically between $13-18. Their blog posted this last week and I thought it was truly fabulous - they paired their wines with Girl Scout Cookies. GENIUS.

See the full blog post here


Hope everyone has a great week!

xx, A

2/27/16

ClassPass Atlanta: Pure Barre & Bikinis

I'm on my second month of ClassPass and still really enjoying it. This month I'm trying to hit as many Pure Barre locations as I can, I first discovered Pure Barre in college and it's always been my favorite. I've been going to the Vinnings and Druid Hills locations the most. After just a few weeks of ClassPass I've been able to feel stronger and it's a great feeling when you can start to see your body changing! So here's the lifting, toning and burning this month.

image from Pure Barre
Houston and I are trying to plan an anniversary trip for this spring/summer (I can't believe we got married almost two years ago!!), so I have some new-found inspiration wanting to look good and feel confident in a bikini! What motivates you to workout?

Speaking of swimsuits I've been shopping around for one to get for our trip, here are a few of my favorites.
Triangl Swim

Triangle Swim
Triangl Swim
Target Swim
Target Swim
Target Swim
Hitting the end of winter and with spring around the corner I'm feeling motivated for my workouts. Favorite song at Pure Barre Druid Hills this morning during "back dancing" - Whistle (While You Work It) by Katy Tiz. Happy Saturday!!

xx, A

2/7/16

My Favorite Classes in Atlanta for ClassPass

I'm just finishing my first month of ClassPass. One of my goals for 2016 is to get back into fitness and eating healthier (whose isn't right?) so my first step toward that goal was to join ClassPass.

ClassPass is a gym membership that gives you access to several studios and gyms in your area for $99 a month. It's available in a ton of cities, including Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Tampa, New York, Boston, Miami, and several others. I've really enjoyed getting to try several different gyms and workouts this month (for much less than a monthly membership to just one of these gyms) the "catch" is that you can only go to one particular gym up to 3 times a month and you don't have access to all of their classes, but I didn't have a problem getting into classes.

Image from ClassPass


For you chicas in Atlanta, here are a few of my favorites so far:

1. Forme Studios

Forme Studios was by far my favorite barre studio I tried. First of all, it's the most convenient location for me and I was able to try a few of their 6 AM "Booty Barre" classes which was nice to knock out my workout in the morning before work. I have a love/hate relationship with the instructor Donna who is also the owner. I really enjoyed her class but man, her classes kicked my booty. I was so sore after!

I loved this studio because it has a very neighborhood and community feel to it. They even have running club on Thursdays after work which I'd be interested in trying. I feel like barre classes sometimes miss the cardio piece to my workout so I love that she offers running together and I got an email about a barre class followed by wine tasting they had this month... my kind of gym ;)

2. Pink Barre - Buckhead

I had tried Pink Barre before so I knew I'd like this one. They had definitely changed a few things since the last time I had been, I found it more challenging this time around. In college I went to Pure Barre which I loved, I find Pink Barre to be pretty similar. Pink Barre has a wood floor instead of carpet and they replace Pure Barre's flat back series with what they call Barre Connect. It's a little more ballet-focused and is used to get your heart rate up between the thighs and seat series. I don't necessarily like one more than the other, those are just the biggest differences I've noticed.

Pink Barre was the most similar to what I did in college, when I first fell in love with barre classes. They have several Atlanta locations - Buckhead, Emory Point, Virginia Highlands, Sandy Springs and Lake Lanier.

3. Roc House Fitness Spa

I tried Roc House because my best friend is a member there already, so it was definitely nice to have a workout partner when I went. I did a barre and yoga class at Roc House together and I liked both. Not your "typical barre" class, but I was really impressed with the amenities they had. A really nice bathroom with showers and lockers, a full gym, cycling bikes for classes and studio for lots of different types of classes. This would be a great gym because they have everything you need - equipment if I wanted to workout on my own, classes if I want someone to tell me what to do/motive me and complete with showers to use if I'm going straight to work in the mornings or have plans with friends or Houston after my workout, which I thought was a huge plus!

4. Red Hot Yoga

I had only done 1 or 2 yoga classes before and I had never tried hot yoga, so this was a first for me. I didn't think I would like Red Hot Yoga, but I actually did! They have 2 studios there, I did the Power 1 class which apparently isn't as HOT as their Hot 1 class so I'm glad I did that one. I'm not sure I could have handled a studio much hotter but I did like it. Definitely felt like I sweat out my fair share of toxins for the day. It was a particularly cold day when I went, so I didn't mind the heat. Not sure if I could handle this in the summer! But I liked it and would definitely go back. Our class was packed so it's clearly popular with a mix of both guys and girls, which surprised me.


I mostly tried barre classes but was proud of myself for trying hot yoga and cycling for the first time this month. Have you tried ClassPass? If you've tried it in Atlanta, I'd love to hear some recommendations of what to try next time around!

If you want to try ClassPass for the first time, I'd love for you to use my link. You'll get $20 off your month and so will I! :)

xox,
A

2/6/16

New Year, New Goals - 2016

I can't believe it's already 2016 (I know it's February but better late than never, right?!) ! I feel like 2015 just flew by and I'm so excited for what's ahead. We had a lot of major milestones this year, here are a few highlights:

1. We bought our first home!

In February, we closed on our first home. We feel so blessed to have gotten this beautiful home that we can see ourselves in for many, many years to come. I can't believe it's almost been a year since we moved into our little Hough Home. (Anyone notice the blog name-change?!)



2. New jobs for both of us

After 2 year at a great PR/Marketing agency, I decided it was time for a change! I wanted to switch from an agency to corporate setting and completely change what field of marketing. I've been in a marketing role at the Home Depot corporate office for just over 7 months and am absolutely loving it! I miss some great friends from my old job, but knew this was the right career move for me and am so thankful I took this new job.

I work with some really awesome people and am passionate about going to work each day!

Houston also took a new role last year in June. He's been working extremely hard and I'm so proud of him!!

3. Betsy's wedding

My sister Betsy married the love of her life Michael in November! It was absolutely stunning and I wish we could do it all over again!! Here are a few special pictures from their unbelievable photographer Kristen Weaver.


Don't they just look like models?! (insert emoji heart eyes)





4. Trips

We took some really awesome trips this year including Salt Lake City to celebrate our 1st anniversary, Highlands (twice!) to have an Engagement Weekend for Betsy and Michael and then again with Juliann and Daniel for a fun couples weekend, Boston to visit Houston's brother and sister-in-law. Charleston for Betsy's Bachelorette, Louisville for our friends' engagement party, Destin (our favorite place to go to the beach!), Naples to visit grandparents and see one of my best friends get married, Birmingham for another best friend's wedding and St. Simons to celebrate my mom's special birthday.

Here's a few pictures from our trips:


Goals for 2016:
1. More Reading

I feel like I say this every year, but I really am going to try to read more this year and minimize my time on social media. I'm off to a pretty good start! I started reading How To Win at the Sport of Business, a compiling of some of Mark Cuban's blog posts. It's an easy read and really interesting to hear how he became so successful. I'm also re-reading Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life. This book has made such a wonderful impact on my spiritual life. Houston and I actually read this together when we first started dating and it's amazing how you can re-read something and God can speak to you in a completely different way each time.

Any other suggestions of books I should add to my list?!

2. Health

I'm trying to get back into eating healthy and working out consistently. Now that it's officially cold in Atlanta with the snow we had this past weekend my option of running in the neighborhood isn't an option. I joined something called ClassPass and am really enjoying it so far. It lets you go to classes at several different gyms (barre, yoga, kickboxing, etc.) or in different cities if you travel for work. Some cities are Atlanta, Orlando, Chicago, Boston, Nashville, New York, D.C., and many others. Check out if your city offers ClassPass to give it a try! Use this link and you'll get $20 off your first month and I'll get $20 bucks off too, win-win!

I'll write soon on some of my favorites after the first few weeks. It's nice to try new classes and workouts a try that I wouldn't normally try.

3. Opening our home more

Something else we want to do this year is open our home more to have friends over. I grew up with a love for hosting from my momma, who is the hostess with the mostest! We're going to try and make an effort to have people over more often this year.

4. Get a puppy!

So this may not necessarily be a "goal" but I really want to get a puppy this year!!! Houston and I are still working on a breed we can agree on. One day it's big, then small, then a Goldendoodle then a King Charles Spaniel. Also, I still don't think we're fully ready for the responsibility just yet... but we're close :)

So those are my goals for the year! Come on 2016, can't wait to see everything you have in store for our Hough Home! What are some of your goals for this year?!

xox, A