Hi friend! How are you doing out there?
It’s been a busy week here in Brooklyn, and every bullet point below could easily be its own blog post. (Shout out to the nostalgic days of Life In Leggings where blogging twice a day was a thing and that is exactly what you would have gotten!)
Well, we all know that doesn’t happen anymore, so a good ‘ol Friday Favorites round-up that covers the highlights is where we’re at. And, please know that I appreciate you being here and along for the journey whether you’re newer or from the early days when we lived in Orlando and/or Detroit. Y’all are the best!
Happy Friday and here we go!
FRIDAY FAVORITES: WEEK OF 4/9
- Easter Weekend 2021
Typing this up to link to last year’s Easter Weekend celebrations spiraled me into a deep hole of re-reading blog posts from around this time last year. Woof! We have all been through a lot, right? And to think that these posts were just around five weeks into Quarantine which seemed like A LOT back then. Man, we had no clue, haha.
Last year’s post (the holiday recap paired with some coffee talk) got me feeling all the feels and does a great job at explaining how I still feel to this day. I have my good days and bad days. There are times where I feel like I’m thriving and others where I’m simply surviving. I have moments that make me proud for all we’ve gotten through, and others where I doubt just about anything and everything. It’s the definition of an emotional roller coaster, and I think we’re going to be on the ride for a bit longer.
It was weird to be at home celebrating this special holiday for the second year in a row, but we made the most of it. Once again, we went with the typical business at-home video call attire, per Scott’s inspiration.
We streamed our church’s virtual service, Skyler chatted with his friends in his kid’s church Zoom Room, and we spent some time video chatting with our families. The biggest difference this year is that we went out for an afternoon adventure to the zoo! It was really fun and the highlight on that is below.
We had a mini Easter egg hunt in the morning, enough Italian food to feed a family of twenty, (thanks to our neighbors who graciously shared their catered spread), and we ate way too much chocolate and candy by the end of the day.
All in all, it was a good day. He Is Risen!
- Prospect Park Zoo
After a misunderstanding about our tickets to visit our local zoo last summer, we had free passes to visit again and finally put them to good use on Sunday!
The Prospect Park Zoo is only about a mile away from our apartment, and it’s always a treat to see. After stalking the outside gates during all of Quarantine (we took long park walks around the main gates where you can peep the sea lions and usually see peacocks – throwback post to Quarantine Week 10 where we got lucky here!), we realized that the zoo offers more entertainment than we realized.
There are safety protocols to adhere to, and you need to purchase tickets ahead of time. More exhibits were open this time around, and it was our first time seeing the monkeys, the Hall of Animals that included many amphibians and reptiles, nocturnal animals in their habitats, and more. We were able to watch a family of Hamadryas baboons jump, climb and play, and it was hilarious.
Exhibits that we had seen in the past and revisited included walking Discovery Trail, seeing the bird aviary, feeding the barn animals, and – our favorite – seeing the sea lions swim and play. The peacocks were walking around again and came very close to us a few times!
Skyler loved, loved our visit and can’t wait to go back again soon. I’m sure it won’t be long!
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden
If you are anywhere near New York City in the spring time, you have to visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. You really, really do.
The garden is absolutely stunning and provides a breath of fresh air for anyone and everyone. Even though the toddler interactive area is currently closed, kids have a good time walking around seeing the flowers, fish, turtles and more. There’s a lot to do and see!
It’s not quite time for the debut of the cherry blossoms (which are incredible!), but it was the perfect time to visit and see the pre-bloom season that still provided plenty of beautiful flowers and trees to enjoy. Magnolia Plaza is a must-stop and there were way too many spots like this to capture and feature here.
The garden is open every day but Monday and you have to purchase tickets in advance due to safety protocols limiting the size of crowds. We have a family membership and plan to put it to good use throughout the spring, summer and fall seasons coming up.
The dining areas are currently closed, but there are a few cafe options to tide you over if you need a drink or snack. Picnics aren’t encouraged, but you are allowed to roll out a blanket and sit on the lawn of Cherry Esplanade. We’ll be doing this in the near future for sure.
I could share twenty more photos, but I’ll wrap them up here and steer you over to my latest reel if you would like to see more on our visit. It was the perfect spring day and experience!
- Barre Bootcamp 2.0 with Fitnessista
One of my closest blogging (and Beautycounter!) buddies, Gina, is releasing another Barre Bootcamp that starts Monday, April 19th! It’s a group accountability and coaching program with fun, new workouts, weekly Zoom calls with fitness and nutrition experts, and daily motivation in a private Facebook community.
If you’ve never tried barre before, it’s a type of workout that will challenge your body in a completely new way. I have been a huge fan of barre workouts since 2010, and I was a full-time barre instructor back in Orlando. I would LOVE to teach the format again one day, so we’ll see what happens. Barre is low-impact and helps you build strength while increasing flexibility and endurance. It came natural to me as a dancer, but you don’t have to be a dancer to enjoy it.
Gina released Barre Bootcamp back in 2017, and this is the follow-up program, Barre Bootcamp 2.0.
You can enjoy the 30-40-minute workouts at your own pace by incorporating them into your current routine as you’d like or following the plan that is provided. I haven’t been able to personally try these workouts yet, but I have taken barre classes from Gina in person before and they are fantastic. She’s a great instructor and incorporates challenging moves that are always modifiable for beginners, pregnant, and postpartum ladies. I just love her as a person and friend, so I am more than happy to support her and get the word out!
There are two ways to join:
The only equipment you need for these workouts is a light set of dumbbells, something sturdy to hold onto for balance, and a mat. The workouts never expire, so you can get in on the challenge now or save them for when you want to try them down the road.
Let me know if you join the challenge and Congrats Gina – go get ’em!
- favorite LIL posts
Since this edition of favorites didn’t cover the usual new workout share, let’s take a look back at two dedicated workout posts featured here on the blog. (Including a new one published earlier this week!)
If you’re not a big fan of cardio, this type of format could be good to add into your fitness routine every now and then. Just don’t get caught up in the “go hard or go home” mindset all the time. Try this twenty-minute HIIT-style workout for a quick cardio & strength challenge. You don’t need any equipment, and this post includes exercise breakdowns and a video demo!
I love throwing extra moves into my running workouts because it breaks up the monotony of doing the same thing mile after mile. You can use a bench on your route for the push-ups and dips, or even grab a mat to circle back to. Just make sure to wash your hands and wipe or wash everything you bring home with you (stay healthy & safe!).
Okay, that wraps things up for today as it’s time for me to get back to Skyler and figure out what we’re going to do activity-wise. It’s supposed to rain all weekend so we definitely want to be out and about a bit today.
Thank you so much for clicking over to read today, and I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend ahead.
See ya back here next week and over on Instagram!