New Video! My favorite spots in the West Village, Uptown Dallas

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Hello there! I can’t believe it’s almost Holiday Season can you?! Holidays are not only one of the busiest times, but they can also become quiet and slow down for some of us! When I used to live in Rochester, NY, you were sort of forced to take a day (because of all the snow) and enjoy the slow-down! This time of year, I can finally take a step back and say ‘ahhhhh…clarity’.  I set goals BEFORE January 1st, so I’m not shell-shocked when it rolls around and I can’t figure out where to start! It may seem like I’m a regimented gal, but try as I may, life just ebs and flows too much for me to live every week the same! But some things may never change…like my favorite hang-outs! I’m looking forward to spending some time at my favorite café Sip N Stir, featured in this Vlog! I come here a lot to blog, which is one of the things I enjoy doing the most. I wanted to take y’all around my part of town because many of you don’t know much about Dallas. So if you ever come for a visit, there’s more than enough to do. I haven’t even made a dent! I’m definitely going to continue this trend, as there are new stores opening up, and restaurants to try….and you can expect more wedding planning updates too! Hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit better, and some of the things I like to do in the West Village.

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Who’s shopping for New Years Eve?! A lot of you are always asking me where I get my crop tops and outfits! Well I wanted to share my favorite/and affordable little store here called Pitaya. Their branded clothes are made in the USA! There are several around the country but you can shop online-check out their fleece leggings for $8! I LOVE them. They have such a unique story and I really enjoy giving local business owners my money. There’s a story behind everyone’s journey and it allows me to get to know entrepreneurs like myself!  The owner started traveling around the country years ago, and then to South America finding new clothing ideas and textiles. After their first store opened in Indiana 20 years ago, they opened up 12 stores around the country and now have a boutique shop in the West Village of Dallas. Pretty great success story, and we have so much fun playing dress-up every time I go in! What can I say, trying clothes on is more fun now that I feel confident in my own skin! Pop into the shop to see some of these looks I tried on! I really enjoy their trends and unique pieces! Of course, I had to get that hat.

Another one of my favorite spots to go, is the Katy Trail…these stairs are quite hidden in the woods and they are really long! I love running up and down them to get some variety into my workouts. Last weekend was FREEZING for Dallas, I promise =)

And if you’re in the mood for a brew after your run, hit up the Katy Trail Ice House! They have a dozen fire pits in the backyard going in the fall/winter to warm up at and chill out by!

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Hope you enjoy seeing my favorite things to do on a typical week, and the fact that Lorna Jane is coming, will definitely warrant another fun photo shoot when it opens! A HUGE thank you to my wonderful Fiancé Hunter, who shot and edited this video for me, and puts up with my new ideas for photshoots on a ‘whenever we see each other’ basis. I couldn’t have nearly as much fun without you. Love you babe!

xoxo

Ari

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Guest post from Brittani Rettig: Making time for fitness, fun and following your dreams!

I am so excited to be featuring Brit on my blog today! She is truly an inspiration and role model to me and I have had the pleasure of taking her classes, following her advice, and living vicariously through her newest venture HER OWN FITNESS STUDIO! I couldn’t be more thrilled to share in her dreams by supporting her new chapter, and have plans of teaching in Dallas next year myself! Stay tuned! If you are looking for advice on how to balance a career, a healthy lifestyle, and building your dream job, Brit has all the answers. Please visit her blog and her IG (@gritbybrit) page for your daily dose of fun! Thanks for sharing Brit! 2015 is gunna be HUGE.

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Hi Guys!  My name is Brittani, and I’m a fitness instructor/blogger/business woman.  I titled my blog “GRIT by Brit” because I believe that mental grit or “passion and perseverance for long-term goals” is the key to getting everything you want out of life.  As fellow fabulous wonder women, I’m sure you know that sometimes there’s just not enough time in the day to do everything on your ‘To Do” lists.  If you’re like me, I’ve often found it difficult to balance work, working out, relationships, family commitments and a social life. To make matters worse, for the 2 and half years I’ve worked full-time as a traveling management consultant and part-time as a fitness instructor/wellness blogger.  I just recently left my consulting career to open a fitness studio and work in fitness/wellness full-time.  My dream came true!  It took a long time and lot of juggling commitments to get me to this point, so I wanted to share some helpful words of wisdom that allowed me to balance everything on my plate.

While Teaching fitness classes is my absolute passion, I had to maintaining my full-time consulting career in order to pay off my student loans.  When I picked up my part-time fitness instructor job at 24 hour fitness, many people told me it was impossible maintain my “side hustle” AND perform well at my demanding consulting job.  I believe that where there is a will there is a way and when you enjoy what you’re doing, you naturally have more will.  1st Word of Wisdom: Don’t let your full-time job be an excuse for not pursuing your interests and passions.  I actually found that my part-time gig teaching fitness classes gave me more confidence and enhanced my performance in my full time consulting job.

I’m not gonna lie, my schedule was pretty hectic (and still is), but by planning ahead and staying committed to my personal schedule everything works out.  You will be amazed at what you can do when you just do it!

People ask me all the time, “how do you do it all?”  Well the honest answer is, “I don’t.”  I’ve learned that I have to prioritize the things that really matter and push everything else to the wayside.  2nd Word of Wisdom: If everything is important, nothing is important.  This means I had to give up a lot of “kinda important” activities like going to every single happy hour I’m invited to or watching TV during the week (I know  – harsh). I still make time for a social life and down time, but now I’m much better at saying “No” to things I don’t really wanna do or activities that aren’t critical to reaching my goals. One thing I didn’t give up is my workout routine.  Over the years I’ve learned that pushing myself through intense physical fitness enhances all aspects of my life – my corporate career, relationships, spirituality and mental health.   That said,  I’ve found it very helpful to create and follow a weekly workout schedule.  Just like I write down the due dates of my bills, I write down the due date of my leg workouts.  I find that having a clear exercise schedule keeps me committed because I can prioritize my workouts and plan around them.

One word of caution – I’ve found that there’s a fine line between being committed to my workouts and being obsessed with them.  I have to admit; I use to be a little obsessed.   But now I’ve found a healthy balance.  There are 5 habits in particular that helped me find this healthy middle ground.  So to conclude this post, I want leave you with 5 Final Words of Wisdom that have helped me maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  1. Workout in the mornings – You never know what will come about it the evening – dinner plans, late night at work, feeling groggy, etc. I’ve found that a morning workout routine is better for staying committed to my exercise goals.
  2. Make a weekly workout schedule – Each day you plan to workout, write down the date, time and type of workout in your day planner and be sure to show up for it just like you would for a business meeting.
  3. Pack healthy snacks – When I’m traveling a lot for work I always pack 3 apples 3 oranges and 3 low sugar protein bars. Having these snacks handy deters from impulse junk food purchases when I’m starving.  Also, every now and then I’ll swap out dinner for a protein bar.
  4. Go to bed early – Late night snacking is the devil. The good thing is, late night snacking can’t happen if you go to bed early.  Also getting adequate sleep ensures I’m ready for my long days at the office and my workouts!
  5. Travel with a water bottle – Hydration is SO important for clear skin, a fast metabolism, high energy and good overall health. Drinking lots of water also curbs your appetite.  I’ve found that drinking at least 2 liters of water per day is the perfect amount for me.  I highly recommend increasing your water intake.

Alright gang – that’s the end!  I know I’ve said I lot, but I really hope these words of wisdom are as helpful to you as they are to me.  Be encouraged and know that even though it’s challenging to balance all of life’s demands, when you have grit and discipline you can pursue your dreams AND live a healthy lifestyle!

All the best.  Luv, Brit

Drink up Sailor: 6 Reasons to Drink More Water!

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I truly, 100% believe that drinking half my weight in fl oz./water every day, is the reason that I feel and look my best. I can definitely tell when I haven’t had enough water. I can also certainly tell during my exercise or workouts that I am tired, dizzy, or nauseous. Helloooooo! You’re dehydrated! If you are going on any time of adventure, water is nothing to skimp on! So please drink up, and enjoy these benefits from Web.MD below.

1. Drinking Water Helps Maintain the Balance of Body Fluids. Your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

“Through the posterior pituitary gland, your brain communicates with your kidneys and tells it how much water to excrete as urine or hold onto for reserves,” says Guest, who is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Stanford University.

When you’re low on fluids, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. And unless you are taking medications that make you thirsty, Guest says, you should listen to those cues and get yourself a drink of water, juice, milk, coffee — anything but alcohol.

“Alcohol interferes with the brain and kidney communication and causes excess excretion of fluids which can then lead to dehydration,” he says.

2. Water Can Help Control Calories. For years, dieters have been drinking lots of water as a weight loss strategy. While water doesn’t have any magical effect on weight loss, substituting it for higher calorie beverages can certainly help.

“What works with weight loss is if you choose water or a non-caloric beverage over a caloric beverage and/or eat a diet higher in water-rich foods that are healthier, more filling, and help you trim calorie intake,” says Penn State researcher Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan.

Food with high water content tends to look larger, its higher volume requires more chewing, and it is absorbed more slowly by the body, which helps you feel full. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, oatmeal, and beans.

3. Water Helps Energize Muscles. Cells that don’t maintain their balance of fluids and electrolytes shrivel, which can result in muscle fatigue. “When muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids, they don’t work as well and performance can suffer,” says Guest.

Drinking enough fluids is important when exercising. Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for fluid intake before and during physical activity. These guidelines recommend that people drink about 17 ounces of fluid about two hours before exercise. During exercise, they recommend that people start drinking fluids early, and drink them at regular intervals to replace fluids lost by sweating.

4. Water Helps Keep Skin Looking Good. Your skin contains plenty of water, and functions as a protective barrier to prevent excess fluid loss. But don’t expect over-hydration to erase wrinkles or fine lines, says Atlanta dermatologist Kenneth Ellner, MD.

“Dehydration makes your skin look more dry and wrinkled, which can be improved with proper hydration,” he says. “But once you are adequately hydrated, the kidneys take over and excrete excess fluids.”

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You can also help “lock” moisture into your skin by using moisturizer, which creates a physical barrier to keep moisture in.

5. Water Helps Your Kidneys. Body fluids transport waste products in and out of cells. The main toxin in the body is blood urea nitrogen, a water-soluble waste that is able to pass through the kidneys to be excreted in the urine, explains Guest. “Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate,” he says.

When you’re getting enough fluids, urine flows freely, is light in color and free of odor. When your body is not getting enough fluids, urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.

If you chronically drink too little, you may be at higher risk for kidney stones, especially in warm climates, Guest warns.

6. Water Helps Maintain Normal Bowel Function. Adequate hydration keeps things flowing along your gastrointestinal tract and prevents constipation. When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration — and the result is constipation.

“Adequate fluid and fiber is the perfect combination, because the fluid pumps up the fiber and acts like a broom to keep your bowel functioning properly,” says Koelemay.

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How do you get more water in your day? Get a new bottle! Click the pic above to go to the VS site and snag one up! 

  1. Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
  2. Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more liquids if you like the way they taste.
  3. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Their high water content will add to your hydration. About 20% of our fluid intake comes from foods.
  4. Keep a bottle of water with you in your car, at your desk, or in your bag.
  5. Choose beverages that meet your individual needs. If you’re watching calories, go for non-caloric beverages or water.

Summer Sweat

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Hellooooooo-Summer is still in full swing! You may not have sunny days every day where you live, or maybe you do-make every one of them count! I feel guilty when I’m not outside on a nice day.  Living in the north-east, the sunny days are a bit scattered. But even when it’s raining, I’d still rather be outside than the gym. (However, we all have priorities-studying, kids, cooking, cleaning, working-let’s get serious, eating is important too). Now you’re probably wondering what you will do to challenge yourself for the next 30 days, and for August, because you are just so excited to keep up your new pace of happiness. What will you do besides lift weights???

I’m challenging you to 30 minutes of activity EVERY day. You may be in the middle of getting back to your routine, or you’re not sure if it’s the ‘right’ time to start getting in shape because summer is almost over. WRONG!  Summer bodies are for the binge work-out fiend. We want an EVERYDAY body! So I don’t care if you are walking every day, or biking-playing kickball, walking the dog, roller-blading, hockey, basketball, tennis, softball, yoga, biking, swimming, running around with the kids, playing on the playground, swimming in the ocean, kick-boxing. GET OUTSIDE!  Find something you love, and make sure you are sweating for 30 minutes a day. You will be amazed at the energy boost you get, the happiness that comes with losing weight because you are doing something you love. How rewarding is that? Check in with me on the Facebook page-Fitgirl Mechanic, Ariana Michelle. Or on Instagram. I want to see what you’re doing, it makes me happy too 🙂

Sweat everyday, sweat often, be grateful. Healthy first. Happy Second.

p.s I’ll be adding a new toning routine for you every week too 😉