Things We're Too Lazy To Blog About: With Special Guest Annabelle DeSisto

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We welcome our first guest for episode 4, the brilliant and hilarious Annabelle DeSisto of the Adderall and Compliments Podcast. If you’re an A&C Kitten, thank you for listening, we love you.

In this episode we discuss how amazing Annabelle’s hair is (to a nearly obsessive level), Joan Rivers (Annabelle’s former boss), Postmates, why needing cash is a complete nightmare, Kim Kardashian, The Drybar Book and compare the post-jail styles of Paris Hilton and Teresa Giudice.

But we mostly talk about our collective favorite docu-series The Real Housewives. Specifically, Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards, caftans, how Kim Richards ruins everything, Lisa Rinna, Kim Zolciak vs Erika Jayne, Bethenny Frankel’s hustle and Sojna Morgan’s townhouse. Ali spills all about styling Lisa Vanderpump and what it’s really like at Villa Rosa. Spoiler Alert: Giggy is alive.

However, if you aren’t a Housewives person, we also dish on lots of other things including  Scheana  Shay from Vanderpump Rules, Lilly Pulitzer dresses, plastic surgery, CoolSculpting, being an only child, Amanda’s Gossip Girl life, staircases, marble flooring, bidets, Queer as Folk and vagina juice.

Annabelle also shares an inspirational story about how one of the Kittens bought her crystal kit and won the lottery!

Can someone please come up with a better sign off for us?

Please visit Ali’s website and Amanda’s blog.

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New York Fitness Fave AKT Comes To Los Angeles & Target Stores

If you haven’t heard of AKT yet, I won’t judge you (that much), but let me take this opportunity to inform you, it’s one of the hottest workouts right now. AKT was created by Anna Kaiser, a professional dancer turned A-list celeb trainer. After shaping some of the hottest bodies including Kelly Ripa (I know I can stop right here, but let me drop a few more names), Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker, she opened up her first New York studio in 2013. Very quickly, AKT achieved “it” status. Four east coast locations later, they are getting ready add another one in Los Angeles in 2017. The brand is also launching a limited edition collaboration with C9 Champion, available exclusively at Target (so feel free to pronounce it Tar-jay).

Last week, I had the full-on AKT experience at their Beverly Hills pop-up. I previewed the line and was totally wowed. Everything about this collaboration impressed me, including the quality, construction and (let me be truly honest about my priorities) style. Priced between $12.99-$41.99, every piece looks way more expensive than it is. Another great thing about this collab is that it’s body positive and size inclusive ranging from XS-3X. While I wasn’t able to preview the entire line, overall, I felt what I saw was cut on the more generous side. I plan to order a size smaller than I normally wear. 

I also got my workout on, taking a Sweat Dreams class. While this sounds like something that involves napping and losing weight, don’t let the name fool you. It was a fast-paced program that consisted of circuits, which alternated between strength training with weights and cardio moves as well as mat exercises. Designed to consistently challenge the body, I found as soon as I got the hang of each circuit, it was time to move on to the next one. I really had to keep my focus, which made the hour fly by. Incredibly intense, it was a lot of fun with an encouraging atmosphere. I also give the playlist bonus points because playlists tend to make or break my motivation. 

Sweat Dreams compelled me to push myself in ways I normally don’t. Because the class was in a smaller space, we only used two props, 3 and 8 pound weights. I rarely use weights heavier than 3 pounds. It was as if I took a magic confidence pill and I was really surprised about what my body could do. The entire experience has actually made me feel more confident in my other workouts. 

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

I do not look this fabulous when I exercise, but at least I can buy the clothes.

The class was taught by one of AKT’s top instructors, Ariel Hoffman. I was floored by her ability to take command of such a large group, making sure no one was lost, especially because it was the first time quite a few of the participants were trying AKT. Anna herself didn’t teach the class, but she had a really good excuse because she is eight months pregnant. However, she was there to supervise and correct forms (mine included). Anna glowed hard and had such a kind, happy vibe about her. I can’t wait until she gets back from maternity leave, so I can take a class with her personally.

While AKT isn’t officially open in LA yet, they have semi-secret classes at the Pacific Arts Center. You can check the schedule and book through the Mindbody and AKT apps. 

If you don’t live in a location with an AKT studio, no FOMO is necessary because a streaming program is available, as well as DVDs. But you will have FOMO if you don’t kick off the New Year with new gear on January 1st at Target. So, don’t forget to log in at midnight. Try not to think of this as drunk shopping so much as starting your resolutions at the earliest possible moment. If you prefer to shop in store, the line is available at select locations only. 

It's Amanda Lauren X The Kitchn: How Dinner Changed When I Moved in with My Husband

My husband had me at "Chinese food."

The first time we met, we discovered that we grew up just blocks away from each other on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. When I asked him if his family liked to order takeout from China Fun, he recited the phone number. I swooned. Clearly, I thought, food was going to play an important role in our relationship. And it did — just not in the way that I expected it to.

As it turns out, China Fun takeout was basically the only food my husband and I had in common. From early on in our relationship, it was apparent we were not going to reenact the infamous spaghetti scene from Lady and The Tramp. He likes lamb chops; I love quinoa and kale. But our divergent culinary preferences were never an issue — that is, until we moved in together.

Moving into our first place together in Los Angeles, I remember unpacking all the goodies from our registry: All-Clad pans, Wüsthof knives, beautiful Kate Spade dishes, and gadgets galore. I finally had everything I needed to really cook the way I wanted to — not to mention a dream kitchen.

Sure, my bachelorette pad had a kitchen, but the range leaked gas more adequately than it cooked food. By comparison, our new apartment's kitchen had granite countertops, modern stainless steel appliances — the works! It was even smoke-alarm snafu-proof, thanks to cathedral-height ceilings in the living room and French doors leading out to the terrace.

Realistically, I knew I was no Nigella — but still, I was so excited to finally be able to really cook!

(To read the rest of this essay, head on over to The Kitchn)

The Olympics of Activewear: Gold Metal Edition

While I've enjoyed watching the Olympics, I realize I can't make any profound statements about sports. I will never write for Deadspin or ESPN women. While I spent one semester on the basketball team in middle school, I am very much aware I'm not an athlete. That being said, I take group fitness classes four to five days per week. That's at least worthy of a participation  metal, right?

Speaking of competition, I’m finding lately my group fitness classes are becoming way more competitive, at least in terms of what people are wearing. Especially in Los Angeles, even a dark spin class can feel like a sexy fashion show. While no one should feel obligated to get dressed up to workout, I actually find it motivating. I love any excuse to wear something that isn’t just comfortable, but flatters my body and makes me feel good. Seriously, this trick works.

Here are some of my favorite pieces, some of which I currently own and several of which are currently on sale (yay!).  Click the photos or bolds for shopping links. 

 
 

Adventures At Crunch's Sex-Ed Class

As someone who takes 4-5 group fitness classes per week, I feel my routine can sometimes get a little boring and repetitive. Sure, every spin, barre and Pilates class is somewhat different, but I like to try new things and keep challenging my muscles. So, in an effort to mix it up, I tried Crunch’s Sex-Ed. While the class wasn’t as naughty as I imagined it would be, it was way more fun than I anticipated.

While many fitness classes I’ve taken use props toys, none have been quite like the ones used in Sex-Ed. You can choose from working with “Carlos” or “Lucy,” who are male and female sex dolls. While Lucy has breasts and Carlos has chest hair, neither has genitalia. Call me dirty, but I checked. With Lucy’s loud blue eye shadow and Carlos’ creepy moustache, it’s almost impossible to work out with a straight face. While it’s a serious workout, you can’t take yourself too seriously while doing it.

Another source of humor was Sex-Ed’s creator and instructor, Jorge del Busto. From Malibu by way of Argentina, Jorge is kind of Central Casting for the stereotypical sexy, Latin man. Watching him demonstrate the moves with his hips and dancing around with Lucy, you just can’t help but smile. While I took his instruction seriously, I couldn’t stop giggling. The rest of the class couldn’t either.

As fun and lively as Sex-Ed was, I actually found it to be a welcome challenge. In addition to dancing with the dolls (sounds like a reality show, right?), the routines consisted of a variety of movements including squatting, thrusting and shaking the hips. Kind of a less graceful and more exaggerated version of what you might do in a barre class. Jorge designed this workout to use and strengthen the core and lower regions of the body aka all the muscles you use when you get it on. And much like having sex and dancing, it looks a whole lot easier than it is. Going back and fourth and tucking, I even got a few kegels in (#multitasking). Sex-Ed was perhaps one of the more interesting lower body workouts I’ve ever had. It’s also worth noting that all of the participants of the class that day happened to be women. While men would certainly find it fun, some might be a little self-conscious to attempt Jorge’s moves outside the bedroom.

As the class was ending, I was having so much fun, I started to wonder if any of the workout was actually affective. I actually wasn’t quite sure if I spent 45 minutes working out or just fooling around with a sex doll. However, it turned out to be pretty affective because (pardon the analogy) I was delightfully sore the next day. You know that feeling!

So, should you add sexercise to your routine? If you want a class that is really like nothing else out there, yes! If you are looking for a class to take with group of friends at different fitness levels, this is it! While Sex-Ed felt more like fun than foreplay, doing it with your partner might just get you in the mood to practice some of the moves you learned outside of class. No matter what, I’m pretty sure Jorge will be leading fun fitness orgies for a long time.