Lithe Method | photo via Facebook
Last week, as I was rushing to make it to my first-ever Lithe Method class, I realized that I’d not only forgotten my water bottle, I’d also forgotten my inhaler, one of my must-haves for basically any physical activity beyond a brisk walk. But instead of panicking about the possibility of not being able to breathe in front of a room full of strangers, I thought to myself: I probably won’t need it, anyway. After all, it’s called Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting. The classes have names like “Skinny Jeans” and “All That.” How hard can it be?
Boy, was I fooled.
Within the first 10 minutes of the class—an hourlong, demo-style medley of the Lithe Essential Workout classes, taught by Lithe Method creator Lauren Boggi—my legs were trembling, I could barely feel my arms, and my face resembled a sweaty, overripe tomato. And I really wished I’d remembered my freakin’ inhaler.
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The lobby of La Rêve Spa in Rittenhouse.
When I was invited to preview the services at just-opened Le Rêve Spa in Rittenhouse, I jumped. Sure, they had massages and facials and all the regular run-of-the-mill spa stuff, but they also had a salt therapy bed. And chromotherapy. This is the stuff my spa dreams are made of: cracked-out treatments that promise to do things like ‘detoxify’ and ‘realign your chakras’ and ‘provide healing energy.’ I’m obsessed with detoxing (meaning: I buy lots of books and read about it while drinking wine).
I went after work last week, prickling with anticipation. Not only was I getting a peek at the brand-spanking-new spa, I was also guinea-pigging the Pure Himalayan Salt Therapy treatment. And I had just started a detox diet that pretty much consists of eating only lettuce and pea-rice protein shakes for three weeks. My body would soon be a temple of holistic nontoxic health. I could practically feel myself turning into Gwyneth Paltrow.
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Long, lush lashes — without makeup? | Shutterstock
I have two friends who, every three weeks, get their eyelashes filled. They’ve sat through the process of getting the eyelash extensions once—an hours-long power nap where individual extensions are painstakingly applied to each and every one of their natural lashes—and now, they enjoy a 20-minute cat nap every now and then while the lashes that have shed since their last visit and grown anew are given their extension once again.
These days, eyelash treatments are climbing right up there with gel manis and hair trims on ladies’ regular rounds of grooming exercises, and more and more salons are extending their menus to cater to them. Laurentius Salon in South Philly’s Italian Market neighborhood is one of the most recent to add tinting and a battery of extensions (from silk to mink) to their roster, and so the other day, to see what all this lash hubbub was about, I let them play with mine.
See the results here.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I stepped off the trolley in West Philly onto a deserted stretch of Lancaster Avenue on Monday morning, gym bag in hand. But a fuchsia pole dance studio barely a stone’s throw away from a liquor store definitely wasn’t it. I was headed to Stiletto Fit at A Sensual You, a class all about toning your butt, legs and abs, done entirely in sky-high heels. To say I was unprepared is a gross understatement.
From the second I walked in, it was clear that I was completely out of place. In fact, the first words out of my mouth were, “Don’t worry, you can totally laugh at me.” And believe me, these ladies should have. The uniform of choice was booty shorts and strappy platform stilettos that would impress stilt walkers and strippers alike. I had on leggings and heels I bought on sale in high school. To make matters worse, there was only one other student in the class, so there was no hiding in the back. I felt like a walking—no, a stumbling, disaster, and the class hadn’t even begun. Read more »
That’s me—all smiles at Mama’s Wellness Joint // Photograph by Adam Jones
It’s an unseasonably warm Monday evening, and even warmer inside the studio at DIG Yoga in Queen Village. I’m hiding in the back near the door. Sweat drips from my forehead, staining my new Lululemon yoga mat, as I struggle in downward-facing dog. I glance at the girl next to me—she looks totally Zen—and begin contemplating a fast, early exit. This is only day one of my 30-day yoga challenge, and I’m starting to think I’ve made a terrible mistake.
I always assumed I would hate yoga: the snail-like pace, the lack of competitiveness, the hippie-dippy ommmms. But for the sake of New Year’s—fresh starts! Personal challenges!—I decided to give it a fair shake: 30 days of yoga classes, at 30 different studios in the Philadelphia area. If I didn’t like yoga after this experiment, I figured I’d officially be a lost cause.
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Photo by Joseph Balestra.
Deena Roemer’s year-old wardrobe consultation business may be called Closet Redemption, but when she showed up at my house to survey my clothes, it became clear that what my closet needed was more like an intervention.
So $20 Payless shoes don’t work?