Category Archives: Fitness

Goodbye May, Hello June!

Lots of fun stuff happening lately!

First off – donuts. Oh how I love donuts! The DC area is getting in on an Outer Banks beach vacation treat: Duck Donuts! These were excellent! I can see what everyone is talking about when they rave about these!

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The annual PBS Memorial Day Concert on the lawn of the Capitol Building was awesome as always! 

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If you have never been to Harper’s Ferry, VA/MD/WV, I highly recommend it! All 3 states converge at this beautiful spot and there are historical sites, outdoor adventure activities, and much more!

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I am trying to eat more veggies at lunch, I get tired of a typical salad and then realize that I end up in a rut of eating basically nothing green at lunch for weeks at a time! So this is the #summerofsalads that are of a non-traditional variety! This tasty combo below lasted the whole week and was so yummy! Strawberries, broccoli, almond slivers, get crumbles, chickpeas, and a poppyseed slaw dressing. 

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Last week I had the pleasure of getting to attend a VIP pre-opening dinner at Arlington’s new Tupelo Honey Cafe! Usually I hate Facebook ads, but seeing the ad was what led to getting on the list for this event!  I know this is a popular chain throughout the south and I can see why! Every single thing I ate was so tasty! Can’t wait to go back again!





Last weekend I said goodbye to May with another year of running the Virginia Wine Half Marathon. It was hot and humid but luckily overcast! 





I love you, wine!



And wine tasting back at one of my fave wineries afterwards was a largest way to celebrate a great run!

Oh! And last but certainly not least! A HUGE thank you to everyone who shopped my Stella & Dot eBoutique in the month of May! Thanks to you, we were able to make a donation of $400 to Nepal earthquake relief !

That’s all for right now! Be on the lookout for another post very soon, I just finished a really great book that I can’t wait to share about!

Jamaica weekend!

Just wanted to do a quick photo recap of my trip to Jamaica a few weeks ago to attend the wedding of a dear friend! Talk about a great weekend away from the chilly winter in DC! The weather there was absolutely amazing, and one day of reading and napping poolside with great girlfriends blended right into the next. Perfection!

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Then the day we got back it was to this majestic winter weather 🙂 but with a day off from work to relax post-trip I made the best of the cold by taking my first ever Solidcore class! Talk about sweating! Oh man. It was so challenging and I loved it. Definitely go try them out if you haven’t yet!

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Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon

Another year completed of the Virginia Wine Half Marathon! This race is such a beautiful and peaceful course. Which can at times trick you into thinking you’re bored, but it’s just the calm and relaxed pace of the scenery 🙂 With a mix of rolling hills, paved country roads, and gravel paths, the course is challenging. And there isn’t the roadside crowd excitement that you’d get at a race set in the city. But in a way it made it feel more like a regular run than a pressure-filled race. I spent the last 2.5 miles alongside a woman in her 50’s who was awesome. We talked and laughed and the finish line seemed much closer than it had. Then of course the end of the race is the best part — a day of picnicking and wine tasting with friends!

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Some of my new favorite things!

Some of my favorite things as of late:

Funny and amusing graphic tank tops for working out. Y’all, my workout wardrobe has gotten out of control over the years, especially heavy on expensive tops. Granted, they always far outlast my cheaper impulse bargain buys from places like Target, but it just gets to be a lot either way. But lately I have been stumbling upon lots of great, lightweight, and inexpensive tanks that make me feel great while wearing them, and also make my wallet happy while buying them. See below for a couple glimpses of my new fave: a cupcake and kettlebell Reebok tank 🙂 I got it just in time to wear to a Crossfit fundraiser workout party. It saw me through a great WOD, a yoga class, and then a free sports massage that day 🙂 if only all workouts were followed by free sports massages….then that would be my favorite

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The new Stella & Dot summer collection! This winter has been such a long and cold one that I think I am craving summer more than ever! Agh, seriously, I want to live inside every beachy photo shoot! Check it: http://www.stelladot.com/brittanyallen

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I discovered this Heaven-sent blessing last week! Cute jars of edible cookie dough available in the fancy grocery store’s refrigerator case! Bless. I love this stuff. Sure I could make it, and probably more cheaply, but I am a sucker for good packaging and convenience. This is everything you could hope for and more!

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We had about 5 days of spring last week/weekend before winter came back with another cold front. But thankfully it was JUST enough time to head out in some new sandals and get a springy pedicure!

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Pumpkin time is back!

I cannot believe that summer is over and fall is upon us! My neighborhood Caribou coffee was threatening the arrival of pumpkin drinks back in the 2nd week of August! I have a serious love for pumpkin but I believe there is an appropriate time (see past posts about APCT – “appropriate pumpkin consumption time”). So last night I was out enjoying Shirlington’s Girls Night Out where all the shops and restaurants and such have specials and samples and all that good stuff. Caribou had samples of their light roast pumpkin coffee and I have to say, I quite enjoyed it! I also saw pumpkin scones at Starbucks this morning which I had to fight myself so hard to not buy! My mind went through all the scenarios by which I could justify it: If you get this you can’t eat till lunch – no snacks. If you get this you have to have a salad for dinner and self-loathing for dessert. It was rough. I ended up leaving without one. Score for willpower!

I have also been busy with some fun wedding crafts for a good friend’s wedding that was a couple weeks ago. Stella & Dot is keeping me super busy as I try to grow my business in the busiest shopping time of the year. I am loving it! This month I am participating in an online virtual vendor show to raise money to help support a boy fighting brain cancer and his family as they face mounting medical bills. http://www.stelladot.com/ts/0tns5

I have been trying out a lot of great recipes in the last month and will post a few soon! Also about to start ramping up my running as some fall races are quickly approaching!

That’s all the good stuff for now! Expect more posts this weekend!

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Pool barre

On the phone with my mom after work last night discussing my evening plans….
Me: Mom, I’m going to do barre at the pool!
Mom: You’re going to a bar at the pool? Good for you!
Me: noooo, a b-a-r-r-e class. At a rooftop pool in DC.
Mom: oh, well that would be fun too, I guess.

Hahahaha. I could’ve used a trip to the poolside bar after last night’s barre class. I tried my first one last Tuesday at a studio in Arlington called Lava Barre, and wasn’t sure I was into it enough to become a real follower. But then a friend wanted me to join her in going to the weekly rooftop poolside class that this studio just added to their schedule for the summer, so I bought a pack of classes (last week’s I tried for free) and we made the 4:30pm drive over the bridge into DC to make it to the hotel it was at by 5 (not fun!). The class was way more enjoyable than the last one was. I also loved being outside, enjoying the view, being amused by the expressions of pool-goers as they stared at the group of us 7 girls doing pliés, leg lifts, and lots and lots and lots of pelvic tucks. Haha! The hour passed much faster, the breeze was fabulous, and I am definitely feeling the soreness today. I have to say, when I feel like I’m in good shape with lots of running, lifting lots of weight in Crossfit, and doing yoga as often as I can, it is SO humbling to realize how easily I want to lay down and cry after standing in a second position plié for a few minutes with one heel up and pulsing an inch up and down. Or just doing arm weight lifting. Or old school glute work by being on all fours, lifting a leg at a time behind you and poking the sky with your toes. I think I took for granted how well-rounded my muscles were in all my years of dancing. After I moved to DC post-college I only made time to take a drop in class at a studio once in awhile. But maybe a barre class mixed into my other workout routines will help round out the very targeted strength and toning that I have missed all these years.

I’m curious if other people are on the barre kick?? It is so popular here! I think I might try to find some barre-type workouts online that I can do on my own when I don’t feel like paying to go to a class.

Here are some pics from last night:

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Sunday already?!

The weeks of summer are flying by! And the weekends are definitely not long enough. This weekend was pretty tiring but I accomplished a lot. Started the day on Saturday with a spur of the moment morning run along the Alexandria waterfront. The humidity made it pretty stifling – it has been sooooo hot all week, but I definitely felt better for having a workout out of the way. Then I spent the afternoon at the pool tanning, relaxing, and getting in a mini pool workout. I found some awesome pool workouts a couple weeks ago and have been trying to integrate them into my routine of the week. Now, the workouts are seriously good, but the execution is a little silly. A few of them require a kickboard and now that stores like Target have cleared summer supplies to make space for back-to-school stuff, the pickins’ were a little slim. Sooooo I had to buy a kid’s one. I bought one for a friend too so that I could talk her into joining me for pool workouts in hopes that I’d look a little less ridiculous, but I think maybe it only looks a little funnier 🙂 oh well!

Check them out!

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Then today I did a donut making class through Living Social – it took place at their offices in DC and was put on by a DC shop called District Doughnut. This was the first time I have ever fried anything!! Such a fun class! And the donuts were amazing!!!!!

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A coworker sent me home with a couple tomatoes on Friday that I have been dying to turn into bruschetta from the moment I saw them. So I diced them up with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, my fresh basil (getting sooooo much use out of it this summer!!!), and garlic. And then had my salad obsession: the watermelon/feta/balsamic.

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