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. 

Kicking It With Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (M.R.K.T) Handbags

Last July, I was invited to the Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (M.R.K.T.) pop-up store opening party on Third Street in Los Angeles and my handbag collection hasn’t been the same since. If you haven’t heard of them, M.R.K.T. is a really innovative company that was started in 2010 by Tom Pen, who is a Harvard trained architect. His approach to design combines form and function in a really unique way. The bags are made from felt and other vegan and eco-friendly materials (so bonus karma points-yay!). They also feature lots of pockets and removable pouches so your bag doesn’t became an abyss of lost keys and lip glosses (so, annoying, right?). Another thing I like about M.R.K.T. is that all of their bags are very affordable. My favorite one is even under $100, which we all know happens pretty much never. 

Knowing how enthusiastic I am about the brand, M.R.K.T. asked me if I wanted to collaborate and do a photoshoot with them. How could I say no to that? They sent out photographer Chin-Chin Hao, who you might know from her work with Chanel (yes, that Chanel) and Violet Grey. We hit the glamorous streets of West Hollywood and Hancock Park. Here are some of my favorite pictures from the shoot.

Don't mess with my style!

Don't mess with my style!

Both M.R.K.T. and I are very serious about removable straps. 

Both M.R.K.T. and I are very serious about removable straps. 

How cute are these dogs that just stopped by to say hello?

How cute are these dogs that just stopped by to say hello?

I love that M.R.K.T. can be mixed and matched with other styles. 

I love that M.R.K.T. can be mixed and matched with other styles. 

If I had to choose a favorite M.R.K.T. bag, it would be the  Parker Tote  because it's so unique looking. I literally can't wear it without being stopped in the street by people telling me how stylish my bag is. It's seriously out of control!

If I had to choose a favorite M.R.K.T. bag, it would be the Parker Tote because it's so unique looking. I literally can't wear it without being stopped in the street by people telling me how stylish my bag is. It's seriously out of control!

Yay for grey on grey! 

Yay for grey on grey! 

I heart  Corduroy Magazine.  
M.R.K.T's  weekenders  fit so much stuff. They're also great for the gym. 

M.R.K.T's weekenders fit so much stuff. They're also great for the gym. 

I'm not over it, I'm just obsessed with Kendall Jenner.

I'm not over it, I'm just obsessed with Kendall Jenner.

Makeup By Kevin Spear

Special Thanks to Ali Levine

Summer Hostess Gifts

It's August and summer is going at full-throttle right now. I was away for nearly the entire month of July and as awesome as it was, I'm so happy to be home. I have lots of parties, events and BBQs coming up. Most of the time, if I'm going to someone's home, I bring some sort of vice like alcohol or dessert (I’m truly a dessert enthusiast). But if it’s been a while, I like to bring a hostess gift. Since I'm currently looking for two hostess gifts, I thought I'd share my search with you (#mutitasking). Here are some of my favorites.

Oh, and if you're one of the people I'm bringing a hostess gift to, can you please pretend you didn't read this and act really surprised?