Category Archives: Travel

Travel Guide to Paris

2nd February 2018

Grace and I are complete opposites when it comes to working out while traveling. Grace always wakes up early and takes a group fitness class nearby or does Kayla Itsines’ BBG workout in her hotel/AirBnb. Me on the other hand, I wake up early and get breakfast. Usually when I’m traveling, it’s to a city that has great public transportation and walking is normal (if you’re from LA, you know it’s rare to see people walking around unless it’s in Downtown or near the beach). I always end up walking over 20,000 steps a day so I consider that my workout. I definitely don’t stress about getting in a workout and it’s low on my priority list.

Popsicle Stick Grace snuck into my luggage!

Being a fitness/health influencer, you probably thought this would be a workout or healthy guide to Paris. NOPE! You know we’re all about balance so when I’m in vacation mode, I’m all about enjoying good food with great company.

For the sake of this blog post, I did look into group fitness classes in Paris, but was limited on time and the language barrier was also an issue. My friend, Kayla and I also rented a small studio apartment on AirBnb and I don’t think she would have appreciated being woken up to me doing burpees at 7 am.

Activities

A popular spot with bloggers. Unfortunately it was closed so we only took photos.

These activities might not really be considered a workout in most people’s eyes, but it did require a lot of walking so I’m counting it as a semi-workout. And the majority of these activities were done in heeled boots and wedge booties so bonus points to me for getting in an extra calf workout!

1. Eiffel Tower

Definitely worth waking up early for! (Photo by: Lika Banshoya)

I always travel with non-bloggers and I hate dragging my friends around for the perfect Instagram photo. I decided the best solution would be shooting with a photographer and getting all my photos out of the way. The best spot for photos of the Eiffel Tower in the background is Tocadéro. This is where all the fashion bloggers take photos of themselves sitting on the stairs.

2. Louvre and Palais-Royal

WEE! Wearing: Goldsheep (Photo by: Lika Banshoya)

I didn’t visit the inside of the Louvre this trip because of time restrictions, but shot around the pyramids. There’s so many cute, hidden corners to take photos at. Palais-Royal is also a couple of minutes away and definitely worth taking photos at.

3. Montmartre, Top of the Hill

The things I do for an Instagram photo…

Sinking House.

After a really filling lunch, we walked up to Montmartre, to the top of the hill, in front of Sacré-Cœur Basilica. It was a bit of a climb, but we needed the fresh air after too much food and wine. This is one of the best spots to view Paris from above and definitely worth the climb.

4. Musée d’Orsay

The iconic clock at Musée d’Orsay.

Musée d’Orsay is one of the must visit museums when you’re in Paris. The Louvre is of course the most popular, but it’s HUGE and extremely easy to get lost in. If you’re limited on time, I definitely recommend Musée d’Orsay. You can check out a few exhibits and get a photo in front of this iconic clock.

5. Shopping

Yes, shopping counts as cardio.

Designer shopping is a must when you’re in Paris since the prices are lower than the U.S. and you also get a VAT refund. Also, take your time and really enjoy the shopping process. Browse, enjoy a glass or two… or bottle of champagne and make a day out of it. I always make the mistake of leaving my shopping to the last day so I’m rushing and sprinting to the next store.

Restaurants

Behind the scenes of an Instagram photo.

This is not a food blog so I won’t go into elaborate details about restaurants or dishes I ate. Besides the 4 am drunchies (drunk munchies), every meal I had in Paris this trip was amazing.

1. L’Avant Comptoir du Marche

There are multiple locations of L’Avant Comptoir du Marche. We went to the new, bigger location, but it’s still really small. It’s standing only and you’ll be really squished, but it’s definitely worth it. The most memorable part about this meal was the FRENCH BUTTER. There’s a huge, communal slab of butter and trust me, YOU HAVE TO EAT IT. The butter is life changing and so worth the cheat!

2. Le Sot L’y Laisse

Lunch at Le Sot L’y Laisse. Everything was fresh and delicious!

This is a restaurant mostly locals know about. It’s classic French cuisine by a Japanese chef. We went for lunch and loved how fresh and light all the dishes were. It was a nice change from some of the heavier meals we had on the trip.

3. David Toutain

There’s something nice about having a decadent meal for lunch. I prefer nice, long lunches over fancy dinners. David Toutain was the most expensive meal we had on the trip, but enjoying at least one Michelin rated restaurant is a must while in Paris.

4. Comptoir de la Gastronomie

Definitely not exaggerating when I said the profiterole was the size of our heads!

If you love foie gras, this restaurant is a must! It was my first meal in Paris during this trip and last trip in 2015. Everything is rich and on the heavier side so don’t over order. We also ordered a profiterole for dessert without realizing it would be the size of our heads.

5. Holybelly

While my friend had a meeting, I went and got myself croissants and madeleines at Blé Sucré (so good and definitely worth the trip!) and took myself to brunch at Holybelly. It’s a typical American brunch spot and the food is delicious and service is super friendly. There’s something nice about enjoying a solo meal when traveling with friends. It’s nice to unwind and have a quiet hour or two to myself.

I have an obsession with carousels and Paris has so many pretty ones.

Have you guys been to Paris before? If so, tell me your favorite spots!

– Joanna

Staycation and Travel Guide to Pasadena

1st February 2018

Over the weekend, we staycationed at the Westin in Pasadena. We’ve had such a busy week, so it was really nice to just relax, order some room service, and lounge. But, of course, we wanted to remain active, so here are some recommendations on how to remain active on vacation/staycation and specific recommendations for Pasadena.

Tip 1: Utilize the hotel gym and amenities.

We love using TRX Training straps to add some instability to our planks. It works our core so much more. (Photo by Stephanie Vu)

The Westin’s gym was so beautiful and so nice! When we went in, there was no one there, so we enjoyed the gym to ourselves. They had the basics such as a treadmill, elliptical, and free weights. But they also had a Peloton bike (!!), TRX Training straps, kettlebells, bosu balls, and so much!

We rarely go to the gym by ourselves, since we usually take classes or train with our personal trainer. So, it was nice to get in a full body workout at our own pace. We even did a little yoga at the end to stretch it out.

We like to warm up with a little cardio. Even though we hate running, we usually do a few sprints and runs on inclines. (Photo by Stephanie Vu)

Tip 2: Find a workout class nearby.

We love workout classes because it forces us to stay present for the whole 45-60 minutes. Plus it’s so much more motivating working out with other people. Some Pasadena favorites are:

SoulCycle
140 South Lake Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101

SoulCycle is one of our favorite workouts. Whenever we travel, we love to visit other SoulCycle studios! (Photo credit: Pasadena Now)

Our favorite spin studio! 45 minutes of spinning, dancing, and just pure FUN. Our favorite instructor at this studio is definitely Ross.

CorePower Yoga
168 West Green Street
Pasadena, CA 91105

We recently started doing yoga, and we love CorePower. Our favorite class is the sculpt class, which is a heated yoga class that adds weights and cardio. It moves fast, but the flow is never too difficult.

Basecamp Fitness
38 South El Molino Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101

We haven’t tried Basecamp yet, but a lot of our friends have recommended it to us! It seems to be a great HIIT workout. Plus they have assault bikes, which are INSANELY hard!

Tip 3: Find healthy restaurants nearby such as a pressed juice bar.

You can always find some healthy, fresh options nearby using Yelp and a little research. Some of our favorites in Pasadena are:

Pressed Juicery
59 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105

Grabbing a juice after a workout. Grace got an activated charcoal lemonade. Joanna got a green juice. (Photo by Stephanie Vu)

We love to get a green juice to drink our veggies. When we’re feeling a little under the weather, we like to get a ginger shot to boost our immune system and chase it with a Greens 5, which has a ton of Vitamin C.

Sage Vegan Bistro
41 Hugus Alley
Pasadena, CA 91103

We haven’t tried Sage yet, but it’s been on our list for so long! We’ve heard amazing things about this restaurant, so this is on our list to try. We definitely want to try the cauliflower wings and the jackfruit nachos!

True Food Kitchen
168 West Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105

All of their food is amazing! You can’t go wrong with any dish, but we usually get a pizza and salad to split. Also, their squash pie with the coconut whipped cream is delicious.

Tip 4: But if it’s your cheat day, go for it!

Being healthy isn’t about always restricting yourself. We love to keep it balanced (case in point, our blog name). Some of our favorite indulgences are:

Pie Hole
59 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105

Earl Grey is definitely our favorite flavor at Pie Hole! (Photo by Stephanie Vu)

Just delicious. The Earl Grey and the Maple Custard are definitely our favorites. We haven’t tried the savory ones yet, but they look just as amazing as the sweet ones.

Umami Burger
49 East Colorado Boulevard
Pasadena, CA 91105

You can never go wrong with a burger and fries. We love the Hatch burger because we love the additional spice. We’ve really been wanting to try the Impossible Burger also, which is a veggie burger that looks, tastes, and smells like beef!

Lucky Boy
640 South Arroyo Parkway
Pasadena, CA 91105

Hands down, best breakfast burritos ever. We like to get our with sausage and bacon. Always ask for extra ranch and salsa. But we also love their burger. Super simple, but so good.

How do you stay active and healthy during vacations? Leave us any tips if you have any!