Wouldn't Mind Doing Dishes Here


Kitchen Sink Window - KiraSemple.com

Dishes. We have to do them, it's a fact of life. While some people don't mind them, others (raises hand!) find them rather dreadful.  I'm lucky enough that my husband and I have a mutual agreement- one cooks and one cleans (as in cleans up after dinner) and vice versa. It's always worked for us. Here we are 10 years later ;) 

 While I'd much rather be the one cooking, dishes are a necessary chore/evil. What would make said chore even nicer would be a huge window (or two) above the sink with a view...

Perhaps a garden, a courtyard, a pool... heck, just plain grass or a tree would do it. It's definitely an item on the dream house list. 

Here are some of my favorite kitchens that I wouldn't mind washing dishes in!

Kitchen Sink Window - KiraSemple.com
Kitchen Sink Window - KiraSemple.com
Kitchen Sink Window - KiraSemple.com
Kitchen Sink Window - KiraSemple.com

Besides the view through some pretty magnificent windows, I've noticed many of these spaces also have unique lighting- either sconces or pendants. When my parents renovated their kitchen, we made sure to have a pendant overhead for late night dishwashing in addition to overhead recessed lights. Harsh light is never a good thing. 

Another trend I've seen in homes lately is a table lamp perched on the countertop (note the first image.) Sounds odd, but they add an unexpected layer of homey-ness and coziness.  Always helpful when the task ahead of you involves a sink full of lovely, dirty dishes, right?

And what about hardware? It's got to be functional and powerful yet beautiful. I myself am a fan of traditional fixtures in either a chrome or brass finish (ahem, the brass in the Patina Farm Kitchen is my favorite!) 

For comfort, a plush rug or ergonomic mat can make all the difference on your feet. Although they don't make any appearances in the above photos (these are their beauty shots, after all!) standing on tile, stone, and hardwood surfaces for extended periods of time can wreak havoc on our bodies. I've had my eye on this Williams-Sonoma one for some time.


For more inspiring kitchens where you might actually enjoy washing the dishes, check out my Kitchen Board on Pinterest and see what over 9,000 others are loving and saving! 


ClassPass Charlotte


^^Newbie Yoga Essentials...

^^Newbie Yoga Essentials...

Last month I signed up for ClassPass because I was in a fitness rut. I've been an at-home workout girl for basically, ever. Rural New York has one Gold's Gym and ten different yoga studios. So I decided back in college to commit to Tracy Anderson's at home DVDs. Six years later, I was ready for a change. 

Once I moved to Charlotte, I tried Kayla Itsine's at home Bikini Body Guide after seeing incredible results via social media. After two rounds of BBG, as they call it, I looked nothing like a progress photo from Instagram. Discouraged and frustrated, I looked into studios here. Gosh, I didn't realize how pricy a single class was (anywhere from $15-$30!) This is why I worked out at home all those years, I thought. But results... I wasn't getting them. Don't they say insanity is repeating the same thing over and over expecting a different result?

 Ahem... me... working out... at home...! No more. So I took the ClassPass plunge.

Since I signed up a month ago, I've taken 23 classes all around Charlotte. I began with their Base plan and upgraded to their Unlimited plan my second month. I've loved getting out, trying new things, and best of all, challenging my body like never before. While it seems the majority of studios that participate with ClassPass are yoga studios, there are plenty of other activities/styles to try. I've focused on barre for toning and cycling for cardio. I've just tried yoga for the first time (total newbie) and am excited that I can sample so many places with my ClassPass membership.


TIPS AND THINGS I'VE LEARNED

ClassPass does not have an 800 number for customer service. It's done entirely via email. Response time can be up to three days. The quickest someone got back to me was one day after initially emailing. Let's be real, nothing is life or death so I understand that email is their m.o.. Everyone I've dealt with has been helpful and accommodating! 

FlyBarre and FlyWheel are displayed as two separate studios but essentially are the same when it comes to booking. They also only allow three visits total per month (that's just their ClassPass policy I guess, boo!) For cycling class, you are unable to switch your bike, as it is automatically picked for you. Lots of rules but I love spinning here regardless. 

Pure Barre is only offered at three locations (even though we have additional studios in the greater Charlotte area) including Ballantyne, Myers Park, and Fort Mill. You can only attend across all locations for a grand total of four times per month. After I maxed out quickly at Pure Barre Ballantyne, I thought I could head to Myers Park four more times. NOPE. Also, you cannot take their "platform" classes on ClassPass.

You can only have four active reservations at a time. My advice is to book the classes that fill up quicker first to ensure you get in. I haven't had any trouble registering for a class due to availability (yet.) I typically book 2 days in advance. 


PLANS

ClassPass Charlotte offers two plans: BASE and UNLIMITED. Here's the breakdown:

BASE

  • $50 per month
  • Only 5 total visits per month
  • Can visit same studio 2 times per month

UNLIMITED

  • $95 per month
  • While it's called "unlimited" you can only visit same studio 4 times per month
  • You can create your own workout schedule and hit your favorites about once per week

MY FAVORITE STUDIOS (thus far)

CycleSouth- I love riding to the beat (best playlists ever, can't help but dance) the hands on attention (the sweetest instructors!), and the challenge. Seriously, I've never sweat so much. 

FlyWheel- I love the energy in the "stadium" (class is always packed), their schedule (classes run pretty much every hour), and the technology that helps me stay focused during my workout and tells me how many calories I burned via their app. 

Hilliard Studio Method- The most difficult workout I've done. I didn't believe till I tried it myself. Each minute of this hourlong workout is a challenge. Slowly but surely I'm getting stronger and I love it. 

Pure Barre- Such small movements, such small weights! But killer burn. I felt muscles that I didn't know existed the next day. Love that they have so many classes per day and how different each instructor's style is. Side note: I've only been to the Ballantyne location. 

Other notable studios: Carolina Barre & Core and Core Revolution- They've got some killer barre classes. Haven't left a class without my legs shaking (that's a good thing!) 

On my radar to try next: AIR, Xtend Barre, and HSM Core. And all those yoga studios (Y2, BeYoga, and Charlotte Yoga are on the short list.) 


I am incredibly happy with ClassPass! It gives me the freedom to be non-exclusive, is certainly cost effective, and is very user friendly. If you crave variety, feel like you've hit a fitness plateau, are bored with your current routine, or are looking to try something new, ClassPass is for you! If you've pondered joining, now's a great time to try. ClassPass is doing their best referral promo yet- get $30 off your first month (either plan) when you use this code from moi before July 29th: 

http://class.ps/d4FiO

Friend must be a new ClassPass subscriber and must purchase a membership using referrer's unique link by July 29, 2016 11:59pm PT to receive and give $30 reward. After July 29th the reward will be $20. Offer ends July 29, 2016.

If you sign up as my "friend" I also receive the same amount off my monthly plan FYI. ClassPass didn't ask me to write this, I just genuinely have loved the experience and have seen such great results by switching up my routine. I've finally pushed through my plateau and have lost an inch from my waist in a month, woo!


Happy workout and namaste, y'all!