Hello there, and Happy Friday!
It’s been quite the week! There’s been so many things I’ve wanted to share with you guys.
Does it sound like I keep saying that on repeat? Because it feels like I keep typing it. Hopefully, a work/life/blog balance will come some day soon. Until then, I really do appreciate you all checking in when you can. For now, you can at least count on Friday Favorites to appear on the regular, and this week I’m flashing back to the weekend and covering some events worth mentioning.
As always, I encourage you to share what you’ve been loving this week in the comments section below. Bloggers — link up!
Happy (almost) weekend!
Friday Favorites #175: Week of 4/14
• Rinalds Vanadzins custom painting
I walked into our bedroom to find a surprise last night. Scott has been on the hunt to find unique art to make our apartment more put together, and he found an artist by the name of Rinalds Vanadzins several weeks ago. One piece, in particular, spoke to him and he went back and forth in conversations with him to create a custom painting for us.
In a sense, it is us. I’m the kind-hearted companion and Scott’s the crazy-minded optimist!
As it turns out, Scott sent him a few pictures of me to try to pick up features in the woman’s face, and he was really excited to receive it this week. It was a complete surprise to me, and while my taste in decorating does not include bright colors, this piece is absolutely beautiful. We’ll cherish it for years and years!
• Bowery Hotel
We didn’t actually stay at the Bowery Hotel, but it’s definitely on the bucket list while we’re living in the City. It was built in the — and is rumored to be haunted! We had dinner plans for their restaurant named The Gemma last Saturday, and we purposely showed up to meet our friends an hour early to wait in their public bar area until our table was ready.
The hotel lobby is next to that, and they are strict on keeping it closed off for hotel guests only. No outsiders and standing allowed! We’re hoping to revisit and find a way in because the environment is classic and beautiful. Since we were mere guests of the restaurant, we hung at the bar that felt more like a speak easy. The furniture reminded me of other under-the-radar bars we have been to before, so it was neat to experience on-site before dinner.
Dinner in The Gemma was delicious, but I do have to note that the service wasn’t that impressive. Our friends had been there a few times and noted they’d never had that issue, so hopefully it was just a crazy night paired with a subpar server. Even so, Scott and I plan to go back, and I’ll have to update you when we do!
Have you ever visited an escape room? Some of you might remember that I had my first escape experience in Detroit with some friends a few summers ago. (Side note: how was that almost two years ago? Time really does fly!)
I’ll be the first to admit that my first experience wasn’t crazy exciting … for me at least. Scott and the rest of our group enjoyed the challenge, but I was overwhelmed and confused most of the time that we had allotted in the room. Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to work on puzzles that day? Who knows.
Luckily, Paradiso was completely different. Every person in our group received ambiguous texts and videos with clues leading up to our visit. We also received several alerts hours before, and used what we saw to our advantage during the game.
What I liked most about this experience was that we actually felt a part of a story line. There were three different escape rooms we had to crack codes to travel through, and each had live actors interacting with us to hint towards the answers. There were black outs, ringing phones to answer, screams, and even a bomb to disarm in a window of time in order to save ourselves and the hostages in the room. It was really fun and thrilling!
Plus, we escaped with just under four minutes to spare! I’d highly recommend buying tickets to Paradiso if you’re ever in the area looking for something challenging and fun to do with friends.
• Tone House workout
This week Gilt invited me to attend an exclusive workout at Tone House NYC with Evan Betts! Gilt is celebrating the launch of their Spring activewear collections, and the site offers trendy apparel and gifts for great deals if you look around long enough to find them.
I had never been to Tone House before, so I was looking forward to giving the workout a try. I’d heard it’s intense and I was ready for the the bootcamp style of training. I took the F train over to Midtown and arrived at their facility early yesterday morning. The set up is pretty cool!
There are multiple levels for workouts, lounging, and showering, and I was really impressed by their lock room amenities that included a hot tub and vanity area with hair dryers and beauty products. As for the workout, it was a version of their TH101 class that is meant to be for all levels of athletes trying to break a sweat.
It totally kicked my booty! I have a feeling that a lot of people get intimidated by the workouts at Tone House. Modifications were offered, but we did a lot of advanced movements including a 12-minute running warm-up (that included burpees!), box jumps, trx handstand push-ups, sled pushes, and rowing.
I will say that I loved the difficulty and hadn’t been pushed like that in quite some time. A lot of the class circuits split us up into teams, and we had to compete against each other for time. We started and ended the workout in a huddle yelling “Who’s House? Tone House!” and it felt like we were there conditioning as a team. It brought me back to my athletic training days at the University of South Florida, and I can see how people love the community there.
I know Scott would love the workouts at Tone House, so I plan to come back with him in the future when I’m ready. Thanks for inviting me out, Gilt!
• favorite LIL posts
some throwbacks in case you’re looking for fitness motivation!
Have a great weekend!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. Friday Favorites is a series of posts that features items I genuinely want to share with you, and affiliate links may appear from time to time. As always, any support is much appreciated! <3