Thursday, 30 July 2015

Soul Cycle: My First Time

Soul Cycle. It's the cult fitness phenomena that's taken America and now London by storm. It's loved by A-listers, and at $20 a class it's not a cheap addiction. 

For a long time this cycle class have been on my fitness tick list and finally, I recently had to opportunity to attend a class in Santa Monica. Expectations were high and I found myself both nervous and excited to finally be experiencing this hyped up class. To briefly explain; Soul Cycle is essentially a "spinning" class.  You cycle on static bikes, in a mirrored, candle lit (grapefruit scented by the way) room in extremely close proximity to 40 other riders.  It's a mixture of killer workout, dance party, meditation, mindfull thinking and social event all combined to create 45 minutes of powerful endorphine laden amazingness. 

It's more than just a workout. Calories could not be further from my mind 5 minutes into the class as I found my mind a body fully embracing the OTT euphoric sense of "riding as a pack" as we were told. The energy in the room was mesmerising and powerful! Each person inspiring each other to ride to the beat and keep pedalling through the thigh burn. Sentences such as "Reach for the stars and pull down what you need." and "We ride today as a pack, feel the energy from one another" were said explosively by our instructor and although they may sound a little dramatic, I was completely enchanted throughout the whole experience.

Photo: Oliva Lau

During the class we rode on our seats, off our seats, turned resistance high and then lower again for some fast sprint series. We leant forward on the bikes and did press ups to the music , focusing on each muscle group. Light dumbells were used for an upper body workout and our warm down was incredibly yoga-esqe and calming.  

The minutes sped by and I left the class feeling extremely sweaty, and totally buzzing. The wise words of motivation, inspiration, mindful thinking and self belief that were shouted to us throughout the class had been completely absorbed and my body was shattered. 

My point of view? Worth every penny. 

Lots Of Love

B xx 


Saturday, 25 July 2015

Brunching In Cali: Malibu Farm Cafe

The Californian coast is somewhere I'd wanted to go for a long time. The "Lifestyle" tab on Squats & A Side Of... is intended for exactly this. Allocating a space on the internet that through my eyes is enriching, refreshing, insightful or just too good not to mention. Travel and dining definitely fall into that category and if you're into fitness and fashion, I'll bet you're also into trendy bars that serve amazing pancakes.   

My Instagram has documented my experience in photos but a beautiful eatery called Malibu Farm Cafe is somewhere I adored and wanted to share also in words. 

On June 28th we ventured there for brunch. 

The cafe is situated right on the tip of Malibu Pier which makes it an incredible viewpoint and setting for dining and parties. For hours I could drink coffee, watch the surfers and soak up the sunshine. Being English, we obviously chose to sit outside on the rooftop but should it get a bit chilly there's also plenty of light and airy indoor seating. 

It has a rustic farm-to-plate feel about it and this was more than evident in the food. Fresh, Local & Organic is their message and from service to salt shaker the consistency was apparent. Having a flat stomach for sunbathing that afternoon couldn't be further from my mind, I fully intended on eating an American sized portion no problem, but knowing you're indulgences aren't packed full of un-natural and processed ingredients makes them taste even better.   

"I use mostly whole wheat flours and whole grains. Lots of veggies, and fruits, I love arugula and I totally believe there is no such a thing as too much lemon. We use no fake food. Margarine, veggie butter, sugar substitutes? What is that stuff? If you don't know how to make it, or where it comes from, don't eat it. don't buy it.
I don't use low fat or non fat products, cause nothing makes you fatter than eating fat free. This is a fact. Eat the real thing, or don't eat it at all." 
Helene, Owner. 

Photo Cred: Julie Carlson

Multigrain pancakes with bacon bits and maple syrup was my spoilt-for-choice, choice. Complete with unlimited coffee and lemon iced water. A grand total to $14 incredibly well spent. 3 pancakes on top of one another with a glass jug to serve my own syrup was brought out within 10 minutes of ordering. Hot, fresh and melty in my mouth, they were INCREDIBLE. 

My boyfriend opted for the Farm Scrambled eggs with seasonal sauteed veg and wheat toast. Wowzers was that a generous portion. By that point I was too busy enjoying such a perfect morning, taking more photos slipped my mind. But to capture a bit more of the Malibu Farm essence, head to their website here.

If you're ever in the area, it's a must do! 

Lots of Love,

B xx

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Shop The Trend // Statement Shorts


After what I'll call a sabbatical from blogging, reading, Twitter and media things I'm feeling super ready to crawl out of internet hibernation! For me I felt being away and taking a month out undisturbed for traveling, a holiday and quality time with friends &  fam, unscheduling my life around checking Instagram was necessary to fully enjoy that time and be present in the moment. But now I'm back, I have lots of ramblings to catch up on and amazing things to share.

It's been a while since I've done a fashion post so say hello to my new loves, Statement Shorts. My fave outfit aaaalllll Summer! 

Rucksack: Alpkit /  Vest and Shorts: SweatyBetty / Bottle: SweatyBetty / Trainers: Asics Gel Kayano / Sunglasses: H&M 

Typically I stay away from prints and prefer to wear monochrome, pastels and occasionally block colour but after some gentle persuasion I tried Sweaty Betty's super summery , on trend, tree print Gait Run shorts. 

Dare I say I'm now a print convert. 

In the last few weeks I've loved dressing them with different vests, cover ups and trainers. Black, teals, blues, greens, pinks and yellows all tried and tested! I didn't expect them to be such a versatile item. The waist band is elasticated and a drawstring on the side makes them adjustable if you prefer to wear them rouched up and shorter. They wash and dry in about 5 minutes and so super lightweight they are an absolute must for your suitcase and best-run-ever! 

They're still available in store or online for £25 here. Definitely check out the other items also available in this print, and the inspiration behind the design over on the  Run Looks page. It's always so inspiring you can't not want to feel involved and get moving. Looking fabulous of course. 

Lots of Love, 

B xx 

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