I Love Fall: Blue Ridge Mountain, GA

Hey hey friends!  How’s your week going?  I’m back in action after enjoying an AMAZING getaway to Blue Ridge Mountain, GA!  My classmates from Harvard Business School and I have an annual tradition of going on a “family vacation.”  We basically pick a random rural city and spend a few days cooking, engaging in conversations about life, making fun of each other and simply disconnecting from the craziness of our demanding careers.

We’ve each taken different career paths and culturally have very different backgrounds, but we’re connected by our values and senses of humor.  This year we rented a beautiful lake house about 2 hours outside of Atlanta in Blue Ridge Mountain, GA.  2 years ago we went to Asheville, North Carolina which was also a blast.  We even made a “Buddy Bootcamp” video at our lake house that year, haha – you can view it here.

I just wanted to share some pics from the trip, because during this time with my best buds I felt so grateful and content.  It’s crazy how simply taking some time out of the day-to-day can restore and rejuvenate your spirit.

Brit Rettig Blog- Harvard Business School Trip
View from our porch
Jen, Eric, Chris, Lakshmi and I starting the day with a homemade breakfast and coffee!
Hiking with IPA in hand
Family pic with the self stick after our hike!
Finishing a long day with a home-cooked meal and a puzzle.  Smiling from ear to ear after we DOMINATED the “Where in the US is Carmen San Diego” puzzle -we finished it just under 45 minutes – yeah buddy!

Overall, I think the Fall is great season to chill out a bit and reflect on how great life is.  I’m grateful for my awesome friends and for the time that we spend together. How do you reflect and rejuvenate?

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3 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day #morningwin

Hello Friends!  My mom always says that the first hour of your day sets the tone for the rest of it. I think she’s right. I’ve found that a simple #morningwin can do wonders for my overall productivity and well-being. Let’s face it. Some days I wake up with a case of the “Mondays.” However,  if I incorporate these 3 simple actions into the first hour of my day, my outlook instantly brightens:

My morning glass of water – I sleep with it on my night stand

1. Drink a large glass of water – It’s a healthy practice to drink one large glass of water immediately upon waking up. Our bodies burn lots of calories overnight so we need to replenish our water supply. This is especially important if you participate in any resistance/weight training activity. I’ve started placing a large glass of water on my nightstand before I go to bed and I drink it immediately upon waking up. Don’t forget staying hydrated also has detoxifying benefits 🙂

Black coffee + beVita Bites = my go to breakfast combo

2. Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking up. This one is HUGE. I actually find it difficult to consistently eat breakfast early in the morning; especially if I’m teaching 5:45am spin class (which I do). However, I recently discovered belVita Bites and I love them! Not only do they taste amazing but also they give me enough “spunk” to teach back-to-back classes. (They even come in mixed berry AND chocolate flavors – YASSSS).  On most days my simple breakfast solution is 1 cup of black coffee and 1 bag of belVita Bites.   It’s the perfect amount of caffeine and carbs to sustain high energy for 4 hours until I’m ready for a mid-morning snack or early lunch.  Also, eating breakfast prevents me from binging at lunchtime as I’m not starving.

Trying my best to leave the phone and laptop off for the first portion of my day…

3. DON’T check your phone. I’m still trying to master this one. My first goal is stop sleeping with my phone in my bed (so bad I know). Personally, I find that checking my phone first thing in the morning sets a tone of panic and even dread. To manage stress, refrain from checking your phone the first 30 minutes of the day and THEN start cracking on the “to do” list.

This week, I encourage you to incorporate a #morningwin into your daily routine. Do you have any morning wins to add to my list?

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by belVita through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about belVita, all opinions are my own.

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Southern Charm Weekend in Nashville, TN

Good morning my friends.  I hope your week is off to a wonderful start.  I just got home from my morning spin class at BEYOND Pedaling .  I had to work off the yummy southern food I enjoyed this weekend in Nashville, TN for Leslie’s wedding.   I definitely had my fair share of mac and cheese, fried chicken and Goo Goo Clusters.  This was my first time to visit Nashville, so I was eager to get a true Tenessee experience.

My Southern goodies and snacks in my welcome bag!

Leslie, my BFF, had the most beautiful “Souther Charm” wedding at the historic Bellemeade Plantation. I was bridesmaid along with our other childhood friend, Bethany.  Immediately when we saw each other, we busted out all of our old inside jokes.  I think I laughed more this past weekend than I have all year.  It was like old times – we didn’t miss a beat.

On Friday night we attended a festive welcome dinner at Sambuca in Downtown Nashville.  Afterwards we went out on the town to enjoy the Halloweeen parties.  As a bridesmaid, I had to be the “responsible” one and get the bride home at decent hour so she could be nice and refreshed for her big day.  Mission accomplished – she was gorgeous as you can see!

Me and Leslie (the bride) at the welcome dinner on Friday night and then getting ready for the wedding on Saturday!

There ceremony was inside a beautiful stable lit only by candlelight.  It was so romantic  and intimate.

The beautiful ceremony at BelleMeade Plantation

I was super nervous about giving the maid of honor toast, but I’m happy to report that it went really well.  My friend Lakshmi gave me some helpful tips for for giving a  solid toast so I’ll summarize those pointers and share them with you ladies in case you have any weddings coming up 😉

Me, Leslie and Bethany’s partying it up at the reception

On Sunday we enjoyed a tasty breakfast and a crisp Autumn stroll throughout the Vanderbilt University campus.  Walking through college campuses in the Fall is one of my most favorite things to do in the world – oh academia, I love you!

After we sipped one final mimosa in the hotel lobby, we said our goodbyes and headed to the airport.

I’m still riding high from my wonderful Southern Charm weekend and now I’m looking forward to a great week ahead.  Stay tuned – I’m preparing lots of Fall recipes, workouts and fitness class reviews for the blog this week and next.

Have a wonderful Monday and Happy November!

Luv, Brit

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Bridal Shower, Kickboxing & Pumpkins – OH MY!

Happy Monday my friends!  I hope your week is off to wonderful start.  I taught an indoor cycling class this morning and now I’m at my neighborhood Starbucks sipping away on my grande bold coffee and working away on my blog.  This was a big football weekend in Dallas.  Our city hosted the Red River Shoot Out (Texas vs. Oklahoma football game) so every bar and restaurant was filled with the energy of football enthusiast.  I loved it!

Enjoying the poolside view at SiSu Dallas on Friday night!

On Friday night, my friends Andria, Ashley and I went out for happy hour at SiSu Uptown Dallas.  They have beautiful outdoor pool bar, as you can see above.  We mixed, mingled and sipped our drinks while enjoying the lovely Dallas skyline.  The weather was absolutely perfect – cool enough to wear jeans and cute scarves but warm enough that we we’re weren’t chilly.  I didn’t stay out to too late because I had a teach an 8:00am cycling class at Beyond Pedaling  on Saturday morning.

Me and my bestie Leslie at her bridal shower this weekend.

After my cycling class on Saturday, I co-hosted a bridal shower for a my childhood best friend Leslie who’s getting married in 2 weeks (pictured above).  We’ve been friends since we were 12.    Just for a little Monday chuckle, I’m also sharing a pic of us when we were 13 – haha (see below).  We’ve come a long way.  She’s gonna kill me when she sees this post.  Oh well, I value our friendship and am so grateful to have a friend who loves me unconditionally, flaws and all.  We had a wonderful time eating yummy brunch food, playing games and sipping mimosas.  After the bridal shower I was super tired, so I laid low and chilled at my bachelorette pad for the rest of the day.

Me and Leslie over 15 years ago – the mini pony tails around the hair line (yikes!) – haha

On Sunday, I did my usual: Wake up early > eat a big breakfast > Church/read some inspirational books/watch OWN Super Soul Sunday > teach afternoon Turbo Kick.  I’m so happy that my class has been growing.  When I first took over this class, only 10-15 people would show up each week and now our class has grown to 25-30 attendees.  I love the energy of the class and that everyone works so hard.  We have a lot of fun and, of course, I blast the music to keep things lively 🙂

Post Turbo Kick Selfie (I was spent!)

After kickboxing, I stopped by my parents’ house to watch the Dallas Cowboys whip up on the Seattle Seahawks!  How bout dem Cowboys?!  I also enjoyed my mom’s Sunday dinner – yum!  I love a free meal.  When I got home last night I worked on my blog, lit my pumpkin scented candles and sipped some hot Lemon-Ginger tea (wonderful for digestion BTW).  It was the perfect end to a wonderful weekend.

My little pumpkins (gifts from my friend Lew) alongside my pumpkin-scented candle

 How was your weekend?  What are your workout plans this week? 

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Sculpt-N-Cycle Workout & Onzie Tank Giveaway Winner

Hey guys!  Hope you had a good morning and your afternoon is off to a good start.  I’m loving working from home this week!  Being on the road every week for work is really hard on my body.  When I’m home I appreciate the little things like making breakfast and coffee in my own kitchen.  This morning I made some simple scrambled eggs, toast and coffee.  Later on I ate another whole wheat English muffin topped with crunchy peanut butter and banana (my mid-morning snack. I was HONGRY)

Enjoying working from home – made myself some scrambled eggs & whole wheat English muffin with strawberry preserves (a big pot of black coffee is a must)

So…I have great news to share with you guys!  This Thursday (9/20/14) I’m going to start teaching at a new cycling studio, Beyond Pedaling in Dallas, TX.  If you recall, I took a class at Beyond earlier this year and had a great experience.  I’m so excited because this studio let’s me teach a music-based cycling workout with some choreographed moves. LOVE IT!  Also the ride incorporates hand weights, so I’ll guide my class through a ~5 minute arm workout while cycling.  I’ve been working on my playlist and practicing all week.  It’s weird because even though I’ve been teaching group fitness classes for almost 3 years, I still have that nervous excitement that makes it difficult to sleep.  Please wish me luck!

In the spirit of my new cycling gig, I designed a “Sculpt & Cycle” workout just for you.  This workout should take about 30 minutes to complete.  The time will fly by because you’re doing the arm workout while cycling – I love simultaneous muscle toning and cardio conditioning.  Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes.

Last but not least, what you guys are “really” waiting for – the winner of the Onzie Knot-back Tank Giveaway is Liana!  I hope you had an amazing time at your craft show and sold lots of your homemade skin products – I love a fellow business woman!  I’ll be in touch to send your Onzie tank – in the meanwhile please email me your mailing address to [email protected]

Thanks so much to all of your for sharing your weekend plans.  Hearing what you guys were up to motivated me to have a super active weekend as well.  Enjoy the rest of your day.  Show your GRIT!  Luv, Brit

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Weekend Recap: PiYo, Shopping, Cooking and More!

Happy Monday friends!  Thanks for sharing your weekend plans last Friday – you guys are an active bunch!  I’ll announce the winner of the Onzie knot-back tank top giveaway tomorrow, so stay tuned.  For those who didn’t participate in the giveaway, how was your weekend?  Mine was a little bittersweet but overall fantastic.  Here’s the “run down” of what “went down”…

On Friday evening I hung out with my friends at Fossil Corporate HQ for their National Run at Work Day celebration.  We coordinated a “fun run” and enjoyed healthy snacks. Afterwards I was pretty tired so I just called it a night.  I had to wake up bright and early to teach my PiYo class.  This was my last class of the Summer (tear).  Two of my favorite students bought me a really nice Lululemon yoga mat and matching headband as an “end of the summer thank you” gift – so sweet!  My yoga mat is super raggedy and dirty so I needed a new one BADLY.  I was a so grateful that I cried like a baby before class.  There’s nothing better that doing something that you love  to do and helping people in the process.  I feel so purposeful when I’m teaching.  It’s my calling.  What do you love to do?

My last PiYo class of 2014 at the W Dallas Hotel #bittersweet

After class, I headed to Dallas’s North Park mall for a little shopping and walking around.  I spent way too much time in my new favorite activewear store, Lorna Jane.  Have you guys checked out their stuff?  It’s like Lululemon but brighter and funkier – I’m obsessed.  The clothes are super high quality and designed to flatter the female body while providing athletic support.  In particular, their yoga pants make me look like a have a booty – YES!  I highly recommend.

A girl can never have too much activewear – loved my shopping sesh at Lorna Jane

On Sunday I did my grocery shopping for the week.  I don’t have to travel for work this week, which means I get to cook real food at home.  I was instantly energized by the site of yummy fall veggies.  I love butternut squash and pumpkin-anything.  Over the next couple of weeks I’m going to explore some new healthy fall recipes.  What are some of your favorites fall dishes?

Loving Fall! Yay for pumpkins and squash!

To wrap up the weekend my sister, Kortani, came over for dinner last night.  We made these super savory Tex-Mex chicken enchiladas (I’ll post the recipe tomorrow).  They were delicious and we have a lot left over, so I’ll enjoy them all week.

Homemade, high protein Tex-Mex chicken enchiladas! SUCCESS 🙂

While our food was delicious and the vino was flowing, the best part of my Sunday night was the company.  I love my little sister so much and am so proud of the woman she has become.  Hopefully you got to spend some quality time this weekend with your friends and family too!

Quality time with my lil sis – doesn’t get any better than that!
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Weekend Recap: Feeling Domestic & Paying Tribute Lady O (Michelle Obama) and Queen B (Beyonce)

Hey friends – how’s it going?  Hope you had a good weekend.  Those of you in Dallas know that we had an oddly chilly weekend – weather in the 50’s!  Cray Cray.  However, that didn’t stop us from rockin’ it out at PiYo on Saturday morning.  We threw on our long sleeve activewear and got our pushups, burpees and downward dogs in action at the W Dallas hotel!  After class I was feeling kinda groggy (I think it was the lack of sun).  This made me wanna stay inside all weekend, so I did…

Bundled up in scarves & jackets on a chilly Saturday morning in Dallas – didn’t keep us away from PiYo class!

In my “homebody” state of mind, I made a quick trip to Target and bought some new Nate Berkus throw pillows for my couch (can’t go wrong with black and white).  I also stopped by Home Goods and got this cute gold serving tray to put on my ottoman.  While I was there, I saw this white faux fur throw and had to pick it up as well to accessorize my couch.  Just these small touches give my living room a fresh new look.  I love it!

So excited about my bachelorette pad and all of the cute new stuff I got from Target & Homegoods!

Last but not least, I finally framed the VOGUE magazine covers that I’ve had sitting in my kitchen drawer for almost a year.  I’m really happy with how my creation came out.  What do you think?  Most of you know that I a HUGE fan of both Michelle Obama and Beyonce.  In fact a made a Sexy Arms Circuit inspired by “Lady O” and an Amazing Abs Workout as a tribute to “Queen B” – I highly recommend you give both workouts a whirl.

Beyonce on the cover of Vogue in the “Power Issue” of 2013 – now framed on my mantel!
Michelle Obama on the cover of Vogue showing off her sexy arms – I liked this framed on my mantel for workout motivation (wink wink)

On Satruday night, I stayed in and rented a movie On Demand – it was glorious!  On Sunday morning, I made myself some breakfast and watched church online.  It weird because I’m actually a very extraverted person and go out of my way to be around people.  However, every now and then I like to have weekend all to my self – no social plans and lots of time at home.  Do any of you feel like this sometimes?  

Now I’m happily watching football and blogging – working on lots of cool new workouts and giveaways for you this week.  What did you do this weekend?  I hope you have an amazing week ahead.  Lots of love, Brit

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Weekend Recap: Manicures, Ice Cream, Pole Dancing & More!

Hello ladies and gents.  Hope you are wrapping up a lovely weekend.  Mine weekend was super busy (just how I like it).  Last week I didn’t have to travel to Chicago for work because it was a shorter week with Labor Day.  This gave me the opportunity to go to my favorite fitness classes in the evenings and volunteer at my community placement with the Junior League of Dallas.  On Friday, I woke up super early, made some black coffee and taught my 6am spin class at 24 Hour Fitness.  I LOVE my playlist right now – “Undressed” by Kim Cesarion is my jam!

Up early enjoying my coffee in all of my Cornell gear – GO BIG RED!

After class I showered at the gym and headed to my office in Downtown Dallas to work for the day.  We had breakfast tacos catered in from Taco Cabana – yummy!  After catching up with my colleagues, completing my expense reports and finishing some client work, I scurried over to the nail salon for a mani/pedi.  Now that its September, I got a Fall color – “chinchilly” by Essie .  What do you guys think?  What’s your favorite Fall nail polish color?  Also, I had a major sweet tooth and treated myself to a McDonald’s ice cream cone (only 140 calories – not terrible right?)

Showin’ off my mani and enjoying my Mickey D’s ice cream cone (yes I needed to get some gas – I was “Ridin’ on E”)

On Friday night I went our for a sushi dinner with my friend Casey.  I love that my friends are so engaging and positive.  Just being around positive people can totally put a smile on my face.  It’s like sunshine.  We didn’t stay out too late because on Saturday mornings I teach PiYo for the W Dallas Hotel.  Class was PACKED this weekend (as you can see).  I think everyone was trying work of the Labor Day BBQ…or just savor some fun in the sun.  It was a hot, sweaty BLAST!

Teaching my PiYo class last Saturday. I threw in some extra ab work 😉

I chilled out and ran a couple of errands on Saturday afternoon.  That evening I had a BALL at my little sister’s 23rd birthday party.  My sister, Kortani, is a Texas Tech Varsity Pom Squad alumn and now dances for the Dallas Cowboys.  She decided to throw a pole-dancing party for her b-day and invited all of her dancer friends.  I was super intimidated.  We ended up drinking wine, dancing and have a really good time trying out new moves on the pole.  My mom came along and took lots of pics.  Long story short, I have so much respect for girls who can legitimately pole dance – HOLY CORE STRENGTH!

Kortani (sis), Lexi (her Yorkie), Mom and Me enjoying b-day cake and food after the pole-dancing!
My sister 23rd birthday pole-facing party! That’s the whole crew and our instructor – so fun!
Woo hoo – I got up there! #twerkin

This morning I had a some quiet time and reflected on my week and what I want to happen during the week ahead.  I skipped church today (oops – don’t tell my mom).  For breakfast I toasted a whole wheat English muffin and topped it with almond butter and strawberry preserves.  I also made a giant pot of black coffee which I sipped slowly throughout the morning.  I need to start being careful about my caffeine intake – I’m a coffee junkie!  Drinking lots of water it critical if you’re a heavy coffee drinker like me.  While I enjoyed my breakfast I also learned some new moves for my Sunday afternoon Turbo Kick class – teaching Round 62.   Have any of you ever taken a Turbo Kick class?  If not, I highly recommend.  Especially if you take it with me 🙂

Spending my Sunday morning learning new Turbo Kick choreography for class!

After my Turbo Kick class I stopped by parents house to watch a little bit of the Cowboys game.  After seeing that it was going to be a total disaster, I cut my watching time short and headed home to clean up my place and chill.  I was so happy that the orange roses I bought 4 days ago are still alive and kicking.  They are the perfect touch to my little bachelorette pad.  I’m going to have to throw them away tonight though because I’m catching a 6am flight to Chicago tomorrow morning for work.

Enjoying fresh flowers in my clean bachelorette pad!

Now I’m packing up and getting ready to wake up early.  I still need to plan my workouts for the week.  Maybe I’ll do my old trusty hotel room workout tomorrow night.  What are your workout plans?  

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead filled with fun, fun and more fun!  Lots of luv, Brit

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Double Duty – Pursuing Fitness and Business Goals

Happy Monday everyone!  Today I’m celebrating my 30th birthday – woop woop!  I threw a massive “GRIT by Brit” themed birthday party last weekend.  Long story short, it was the best night of the my life.  DJ, dancing, cupcakes, family and friends – what more could I ask for?  I have lots of pics and stories to share with you guys so be on the lookout.  I’ll post them soon!  Here’s a sneak peak in the meanwhile…

Celebrating my 30th Birthday in Herve Leger!

In honor of my milestone birthday, I decided to use an entire week of vacation time to stay home from my corporate career and teach fitness classes all over Dallas!  If you are local to Dallas, come join me for a class!  My schedule is below.  Also, I’ve added a new Google calendar (to the right side panel) so you guys can keep up with my teaching schedule each week.  YAY!

Brit’s Group Fitness Teaching Schedule, Dallas, TX

  • Mon 7/14, 5:30pm – Indoor Cycling, 24 HF Royal
  • Mon 7/14, 7:00pm – Turbo Kick, 24 HF Mockingbird
  • Wed 7/16, 12:00pm – Indoor Cycling, 24 HR Downtown
  • Thurs 7/17, 6:30pm – Turbo Kick, 24 HF Coit/Campbell
  • Fri 7/18, 6:00am – Indoor Cycling, 24 HF Downtown
  • Sat 7/19, 9:00am – PiYo, W Dallas Hotel Wetdeck
  • Sun 7/20, 3:00pm – TurboKick, 24 HF Mesquite

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know that fitness is not my full-time profession, but rather a passion that I pursue in conjunction with my consulting career.  While balancing the two can be challenging, I find that writing this blog and teaching fitness classes actually helps me in my corporate career.  Recently I did an interview with my alma mater, Harvard Business School, to share details of my “double duty” life.  You can read the full article here.  I hope my experiences encourage you to pursue your interests and put in the work to get everything you want out of life!  Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done – with hard work, faith and confidence, ALL THINGS are possible.  Have a great week.  xoxo, Brit

Do you have a passion that you wish you spent more time pursuing?  

What’s your side hustle?

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Wine Country Weekend Reflections #CaliSwag

Happy Monday gang!  I’m just returning from a wonderful weekend in wine country – Sonoma County, CA.  I headed out West to celebrate my bestie’s 30th birthday.  I’m so grateful for good friends. I’m also proud to say that despite our busy agenda, I got a solid workout in on Saturday morning = 30 minutes of hills sprints.  My thighs are still on fire!

Here are some pics from the weekend for you to peruse.  Now that the wining and dining #caliswag style is over, it’s back to work and back to my workouts!  Stay tuned for some new routines this week – lots of good stuff in store for you.  Love you lots, Brit

IMG_5856Chillin’s pool side at Francis Ford Coppola Winery

photo (2)A little wine country scenery – I love Sunflowers

photo (3)My friend Jan (directly behind me) and the rest of b-day celebration crew

photo (4)Crossing the Golden Gate bridge on my way back to the San Fran airport

photo (2)Posing with a BIG smile and LOVING heart for all of the GRIT gurls & guys

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