Alll the Summer Barre News

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Attention all planners:

The Summer Challenge starts July 1st & will run all of July & August.  Attend 15 classes in 2 months and take home the rewards of consistency.  Stay tuned for swag reveal...

That’s 15 classes in 9 weeks = 1.66 classes/week.  #doable #sodoable

New to studio challenges?  All you need to do is book online & attend.  We will track progress to 15 in the studio. 

Summer Fridays! 

5:30pm Barretending: July 5 & Aug 30
6:30pm Club Barre:  July 19 & Aug 16
All other Fridays:  5:30pm

Early-birds!  You’ve asked us for a repeat & we’re very happy to oblige.  Another 5 week 6:15am session has been added to the calendar.  Details here.

Summer Stretch!  July & August stretch classes have been added to the calendar.

Plan away 💕

- Melissa

‘Round Here

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It’s beautiful out!  I finally have summer on the brain.  Hope whatever you have planned for this weekend, it is outside & wonderful.  A small group of us OG Barre Studio women are getting together to drink wine in the sunshine & catch up today.  Can’t wait.

In other news, a good friend of mine (and first a good friend of the studio) is in town this week from France. She’s half of our two member international barre family, and PS, we’re accepting more members.  Even better... I booked a week in Nice in September & she booked herself a weekend there as well.  Sure, I’ll meet you for dinner in the South of France.  Already can’t wait to stay in this dreamy Airbnb.

And if you’ve ever wondered how I travel so often on a barre studio salary.  Travel hacking.  I honestly can’t tell you the last time I paid for a flight.  I got my dad into it & he has surpassed my focus with spreadsheets & a binder.  This is the websiteI used most often as a reference when I started.

It’s been a couple years now washing my face with a multi-step “Korean” approach.  I’ve definitely found a few things I love & keep repurchasing.  But hands down my favorite is this face wash.  I use it every morning & a little goes a long way.  It’s moisturizing, not at all stripping.  Every other morning I throw a very light exfoliating scrub on in front of it.

Finally, I ordered this to wear to 80’s Jazzercise Club Barre.  Oh yeah.

That’s it for now.  ☀️

Melissa

Club Barre: 80’s Jazzercise Edition

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Hi there 👋 me again, Emily.

Club Barre is back with a fresh new edition: 
80s Jazzercise!

Friday, June 14th @ 6:30pm

Join us for a vibrant, energetic class to start your Friday evening off right. Feel free to go all out in your favorite 80’s exercise pieces, the bigger, the better!  Think bright neons, legwarmers, sweatbands, big hair, leotards, and an inordinate amount of pep.

This class will be featuring the hottest hits from the 80’s, a fun freebie accessory, and a whole lot of energy. 👯

As suggested before, it's recommended to have already taken at least one barre class prior to attending Club Barre.  This class is booked using regular class credits.

It’s Been A Minute

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It’s been a minute since I checked in on a more personal note.  Hi there.  We are rounding the corner into summer where some evening folks become morning folks at the barre, the AC is back on in the studio & it’s light out even after the 7pm class.  Had a recent lovely night out with these beautiful women.  It all feels good.

Today is national rescue dog day.  There is a now a day for everything... but I spent the morning with my 11 month old rescue, Moxie.  This was her final PT appointment for elbow dysplasia & they now think she needs surgery.  She has had a hard little start to life, I’m hoping things soften soon, for both our sakes.

I’ve been reading a ton lately & get asked occasionally how I make that happen.  Look, some of our lives have more down time than others.  But also, it’s a priority and a choice over TV or my phone.  It calms me.  I have a daily goal of 50 pages & I almost always meet it.  I track it on an app called Done 🤓 so I can see my streak.  And I find once I’m on a streak, I tend to exceed 50 pages because my brain is happy & engaged.  Summer is hands down my favorite reading season.

Currently reading:  Where The Crawdads Sing

Up next:  The Flight Portfolio

These mules.  I found this boutique through Instagram (of course) and have since ordered a top & swimsuit, both of which I love.  Their price point is very approachable for cute summer items.

Caitlin’s 6:15am early summer barre series is well subscribed.  Four spots remain if you’ve been interested in joining, registration closes 5/31.

12 days & 32 classes remain in the May Challenge.  Upcoming Stretch Therapydates have been added to the calendar.  Oh & stay tuned for the next Club Barre date, details & dress code. 💃🏿

Love - Melissa

Calling All Early-Birds

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** UPDATE: This class series has 5 attendees & is a go!  If you already purchased, you’ll now see the 10 classes on your schedule.  The Summer Series package will be available for purchase until May 31st or until fully subscribed. **

Got early morning plans between Memorial Day & the 4th of July?  Now you do.

Caitlin will be teaching the summer class many of you have been asking for.  Get your workout in before work or your day with the kiddos.

The details:
5 weeks
Fri, May 31st through Wed, July 3rd
Fri & Wed mornings
6:15-7am

The commitment:
10 class summer 6:15am series for $104. That’s 10 classes for the cost of 8 at the $13 rate.  You’ll be booked in all 10 without the ability to cancel.  Committed!  The 2 class buffer is to allow for sleep, vacations, or come to them all & reward your consistency!

The instructions:
Purchase the package Summer Series.

Finally:  Yes, that May 31st class counts toward the May Challenge.  And yes, July 3rd will count toward the Summer Challenge.

See you in the studio bright & early this summer...  Well, I won’t, but Caitlin will. 🙃

~ Melissa

Get To Know Amber Wiehe

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Amber found the studio in January 2017 & visibly fell in love with the practice.  She was a regular for most of that year until she messaged me to let me know that the East Aurora to Hamburg barre commute was killing her lease mileage allowance.  We mourned.  She downloaded The Barre Studio On Demand.  She went through Exhale’s barre certification program with the goal of teaching in EA.  I silently filed her in the back of my mind to hopefully work together someday when life & leases would allow.

The studio is a powerful place, if I do say so myself.  You all come here to get something out of us instructors, out of the workout, out of the community.  We do the same.  I’m very honored to have Amber back home with us, both contributing to & pulling from that energy.

You can find Amber at the barre Tuesday & Thursday mornings at 8:30am.  Please read on & enjoy... Melissa

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an Elmwood Village to Southtown transplant living in East Aurora. I love the village vibes of EA and Hamburg; a sense of community is really important to me. My educational background is in Social Work. I'm a Family Therapist, turned stay-at-home mom, turned working single-mom/barre instructor. My schedule is hectic, but I've prioritized a space for barre in my life because it's my break from the crazy.

What originally brought you to the studio & what made you want to teach?

I was lured to the studio by a January challenge and a super cute sweatshirt upon completion. My honeymoon was fast approaching and I wanted to be toned while skipping through the sand...also that sweatshirt. I remember feeling uncoordinated at first (what the heck is 1st position?) After a few classes I felt more confident, saw results, and was hooked, so much so that a year later I took an instructor certification course at Exhale Spa in NYC. At the time I was a stay-at-home mom pursuing a fitness side-gig. Shortly after teacher training, my husband unexpectedly passed away. My type-A plan was out the window. I went back to work, and soon after received a message from Melissa asking if I wanted to teach.  I knew I had a lot on my plate, but this was something I really wanted to do; to have something in my life that’s just “mine” amidst the chaos.  I'm sometimes hesitant to share parts of my story, but in this situation I think it's important. My experience has shown me that we're all usually capable of far more than we ever imagined.

Most rewarding part of the job?

Our lives are so scheduled, and many of us are pulled in so many directions on a daily basis; by our jobs, families, etc. When you come to the studio it's your time, it will be what you make it, and for 45 min a few times a week it's a much needed safe haven.

What do you do in your free time?

My favorite thing to do is cook. Usually accompanied by a glass of wine and John Mayer playing on Amazon Alexa. I'm obsessed with vegetables. When I impulse shop, it's usually in the produce section for things like purple cauliflower. When I'm not cooking or royally screwing up baked goods (lots to learn there), I can be found wandering WNY with my daughter trying to find kid-friendly places to grab a drink and food with friends. It takes a village, and I'm so happy The Barre Studio is now part of mine.

Things I’m Loving

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 • These beautiful sneak peak photos from our shoot with Lindsey Robinson Photography yesterday.  She’s basically barre family after shooting family photos for both Sara & Amber & now making us look good in the studio for the third time.

• Hearing nothing but amazing feedback from all of you about Barb & Stretch Therapy.  Her May classes have been added to the schedule. 

• The Village.  Have you watched it yet?  So good.

• These chopped salads from Aldi’s.  Im slightly addicted to the Sweet Kale & the Southwest.  And they’re like $2.50!

Beyond The Point.  My love affair with Book of The Month club continues.  This book is about three young women who go through West Point, written by a woman who was raised on campus.

• These cute sneaks I picked up this week at yes, Target.  Sigh.  Really should probably be banned from that store.

• That we are back in Challenge mode on Wednesday.  Challenge board going up today!

See you at the barre,

Melissa

Happy Wednesday

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Good morning,

I was up thinking & googling early this morning.  I spent last night with a few girlfriends & one of them commented on how relaxed I looked in the few pics I posted from my recent Hawaii trip.  I was relaxed, it’s vacation.

But my first & honest reaction to the compliment was, yeah, I was with my brother.

I realize I’m lucky to have relatively friction free friendships with both my brother & sister.  Turns out studies on sibling relationships show that during middle age 🙋🏼‍♀️ and old age, many wellness indicators (mood, health, morale, stress, depression, loneliness, life satisfaction) can be linked to how you feel about your siblings.

A Swedish study showed that by the time we are in our eighties, sibling relationships correlate to health & positive mood sometimes more strongly than relationships with friends or even adult children.

At any rate, I came home from this trip grateful, restored & ready to be back in the studio.

One of my favorite things to do with my sister is take a class side by side.  Do you have a sibling that has yet to check out the studio?  Shoot me a note with their name & email & I’ll comp her (or him!) a class so you can come together.  👯‍♀️

See you at the barre,
Melissa

May Challenge, That Snug Life

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I love shopping travel swag for the May Challenge.  We’re just rounding the corner firmly into Spring & it feels celebratory to add something special to our carry-ons & beach bags ahead of summer vacations.

I never used to travel with jewelry.  Half of it would tangle & I felt guilty dropping pieces I care about into random makeup bags.  Then a friend gave me a Jewelry Snug.  I’ve stocked the studio with these perfectly protected pouches in black & cream, I promise they’ll become your new favorite travel essential.

May Challenge ~
Attend TEN classes in May,
And take home:
• A tighter barre booty
• A Jewelry Snug
• The discovery or reminder of what consistency feels like on your body

There’s a reason our challenges are ten classes in one month.  I firmly believe that a goal should be manageable & attainable, and something that can become a part of a healthy lifestyle.  Otherwise, why bother?

New to Studio Challenges? All you need to do to participate is book classes & attend.  That’s it!  There will be a challenge board in the studio to monitor progress to ten.

Sat 10am, Sun 8am & several Sun 5:30pm overflow classes have been added.  Memorial Day Monday has an extra morning class in lieu of the evening.

See you at the barre,
Melissa

New to the Studio?

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Get to know us.

Challenges!  We run challenges typically every other month.  Attend 10 classes in the month & take home the benefits of a consistent barre practice as well as the current swag.  May Challenge details out next week.

First class?  Arrive 10 min early to complete a waiver & get a quick intro.  We will run you through everything you need to know.

Want to check out the class first from home before coming to the studio?  That’s possible.

Easiest way to book a class?  The app. 
It’s called Studiobookings.  Simple booking of your class schedule.  Straightforward purchase of classes.  Waitlist notifications sent to your phone if promoted to booked.

How does the waitlist work?

Always feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.  It’s what I’m here for.

See you at the barre,
Melissa

Club Barre. Yes, Club Barre.

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Emily here 👋

Want to know what happens when Melissa heads to Hawaii & leaves the rest of us in charge?  Amazing ideas, that’s what.

Introducing the hottest new class in Hamburg: Club Barre.

You know that feeling when you're out and you think, "I could really crush my workout to this song?" Well, SAME.

That's why we're bringing you our first ever Club Barre class to give you all the feel good vibes as a night out with the girls, except you'll be getting a body burning and booty lifting workout at the same time!

Friday, April 19th @ 6:30pm with me, Emily

We'll be pulsing it down to your favorite club hits in a disco-lit room to start your weekend off right, giving you all the more reason to spend the rest of your night out in yoga pants.

That said, Club Barre might not be the class for you if you find high-energy music and flashing/colorful lights bothersome. We do recommend having taken at least one of our normal classes prior to Club Barre.  Finally, normal class package credits apply for this class, so book away.

Four Years

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Last year, my sister introduced me to a female owned small business that I love.  It is called Soulku, based in Asheville, NC.  I’m sure you’ve seen me wearing their beaded bracelet above, I teach in it very often.

Their mission is to empower women.  So much so that their business model employs stay-at-home moms to craft their jewelry & earn a thriving wage.  As a female business owner & proud employer of women, this is close to my heart.

I’ve stocked the studio with their Be Your Own Hero bracelets, Tribe bracelets & Intention necklaces.  Each package is signed by the woman who crafted it & all pieces I have marked at $25.

The studio is celebrating FOUR YEARS in business today.  We wouldn’t be here without all of you - our tribe.  Thank you for supporting the studio, me, and each other.

To that - purchase a package of ten classes or greater between April 1-7 & take home the bracelet or necklace of your choice.  I’ll email you gift confirmation & you select when next in the studio.

One per person.  All class packs have a one year expiration.  An unlimited purchase will extend any existing package.

With love,

Melissa

Mid Week Musings

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Happy Humpday, ya’ll.

Agreed, eight things that come with consistency at the barre.

65+ of you are due to complete the March Challenge.  Go team.

April Stretch Therapy classes have been added to the calendar.  I’m attending this Sunday & already looking forward to it.

This Spring reading list is making me happy... I just finished Queenie (B+) and am currently LOVING Daisy Jones & The Six (author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!)

I plan to pick a good stack of them to take to Hawaii early April & read while lounging at this Airstream in Paradise.

I also plan to take this recent $17 Amazon find thanks to Liz Adams.  Can you say swimsuit tunnel vision?  I have it.  So impressed with the quality, but size up, I’m in a medium.

I’m a carryon girl, always have been.  I never, ever check a bag.  I love these totes (I get the large size with long handles for travel - monogrammed, natch).  You’ve probably seen my navy short handle one for studio towels.

Finally, a reminder that yes, we take health & wellness cards.  They do not run through online but I can run them in person, through text, phone or email.  And love doing it.  It’s a win win.

See you soon ~

Melissa

I Went to Target for Toilet Paper

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Target is just killing it.  Am I right?  I find it especially tempting to wander the aisles this time of year between spring cleaning (hello, Joanna Gaines home goods) and dreaming of nicer weather (one of these days).  Sorry, not sorry, for sharing my recent finds.

I just dropped this super cute scalloped one piece in my Target cart after years now of eyeing different versions of this 352 dollar number & JCrew no longer selling their take on it.

Prefer ruffles to scallops?  I also ordered this cute crossback for $30 compared to its $80 Madewell lookalike.

Every summer I cycle through a small pile of new tanks & tees.  Just bought two of these perfect V-necks (thank you, Universal Thread)... which fit identically to their Madewell counterpart, but are $8.  They come in solids, too.

Add a cute cardigan & strappy sandals & call it a day.

And did I mention summer is coming???  Oh Target.  I might need to take you up on this one considering the whole set is the price of this one chair.

In other bargain friendly news, we have 3 grey barre tanks left (pictured above), all size large, all $10.  Reply back if you’d like us to hold one for you or ask any instructor to grab from upstairs.

I’ll stop now.  See you at Target.  And the barre.

~ Melissa

Sun Kissed “Secrets”

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Greetings from Los Angeles (Glendale, to be exact).  I arrived Thursday & have had precious time with my sister Shannon & her family.  I spent an afternoon with my best friend, we celebrated my Mom’s birthday, and Emily & I took Stretch Therapy at Shannon’s studio followed by Sunday brunch.  A pretty lovely trip home.  But hey, I head home tomorrow because have you heard?  There’s a challenge to get back to.

In other news... I’ve been giving it some thought.  Over the past two weeks I have had many of you comment on my skin.  That I look tan, that it looks youthful... umm, thank you.  But I have NOT been in the sun (hello, WNY) & am certainly not getting any younger.  I have, however, changed ONE thing & with so little forethought or research.

I typically use Clinique Stay-Matte Invisible Powder on top of moisturizer in the morning.  It was running out & I was too lazy to get to Sephora (but never too lazy for Target) so I picked up this $6 drugstore find in soft luminance.  Knock yourselves out.  I can’t guarantee it’s the special sauce, but it seems to add a subtle shimmer that reads as healthy looking.

On top of that, I swipe this bronzer/blush across my cheeks & eyelids.  But this is not a new addition (just an old fave). So when I get back from this moody weather trip to LA & you all think I look properly vaca’d, you now know my trick that I didn’t even realize I was pulling off.

May we all look sun kissed & smitten at the barre.  Meet you back there ~

Melissa

March Challenge, Think Spring

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We are still a full 2 weeks out from the March Challenge, but I thought we all could use a little dose of Spring on this rainy February Friday.  And these seriously scream Spring.

Attend TEN or more classes in the full month of March.  Take home the benefits of a consistent barre practice on your body & a Rifle Paper Co X Corkcicle 16oz tumbler.

Barretending. We'll kick the Challenge off with Barretending on Friday, March 1st.  Will be a 6:30 class time rather than 5:30 to hopefully catch some of you who have been unable to attend in the past.  Barre followed by complimentary wine in the studio.

Overflows.  Sat 10am & Sun 8am added to the March calendar.

Our family is growing. Thrilled to announce Amber Wiehe has joined our teaching team.  Amber has been a part of the studio for two plus years & comes to us beautifully certified by Exhale (which also happens to be where I started my barre journey in NYC in 2007).  Small, charmed world.  Amber & I will co-teach Tues 8:30am & Thurs 9:30am in March.

New to studio challenges? To participate, just book & attend classes!  There will be a challenge board in the studio to monitor progress to ten.

So many of you are heading away to warmer locales next week.  Soak up the sunshine, bring some of it back, and see you at the barre very soon.

~ Melissa

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I Could Talk For Hours

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Yesterday’s Forever35 podcast episode talked again about one of my favorite topics. Planners & lists & how we all organize all the things we need to get done.  Of course my sister & I immediately jumped on the phone & rehashed our current strategies...

My control center is my Rifle Co monthly planner.  (Shocking, I know).  I use the monthly view with colored sharpies.  I layer things on to the page according to a very specific priority...

Travel:  Challenge dates gets organized & then vacations (mostly family, then friends or solo) get blocked out asap.  My big trips are locked & loaded early in the year so they happen & life & studio do not get in the way.

Work:  The barre classes I’m teaching get added in purple.  Whiteout is a girl’s best friend as we move through the month & swap classes for coverage purposes.

Self-Care & Life: Any known appointments get added in black.  I’ve learned to pre-book ones that are important to me (doctors, dentist, massage, puppy obedience classes, standing dinner dates) so again, they happen

Workouts:  I take one extra workout class a week. I often book & plan the exact class in advance in which case it’s added as a black appointment so it’s prioritized.  If not, I circle the date each week in green to mentally set the placeholder in case I’m not able to prebook (some studios allow only 1 week of future availability).  I also often combine my workout with seeing a friend.

Any time leftover is up for grabs.  Up for grabs to either make plans with a friend, go away for a weekend, or stay in & do nothing... I’m an introvert & homebody, and seeing my month laid out ahead of time gives me clarity on when to grab precious recharge time.

This method works for me because it takes work, obviously, but also lifestyle & turns everything into non-negotiables.  I also can visually see if a week is going to be too much for me so I have clarity to say no to dinner plans & book them on a week where they’re a treat, not a to-do.

The weekly planner view is my daily to do lists.  I assign tasks out to myself to days where they make sense & I can see (from my monthly view) that I’ll have the time or be in the right place.  I looooove checking the done box.  Hello, challenge checkmarks.

A recent change for me is I leave my planner at home.  I used to carry it everywhere with me, but too much of anything can be a bad thing & I found myself addicted.  Yes, I would pull the car over to check something off a list.  Yes, I would sit unnecessarily long upstairs at the studio after class “playing” in my planner.

Now it lives at home & each morning we spend time together over coffee.  I translate the days to-do’s into my phone, admire my colorful monthly view handiwork, hug it & kiss it & tuck it back in its drawer.

How do you handle your planning?  Are you one of those fascinating people who keeps it all in your head?  Feel free to respond back to me.  Many of you often do & as you can see, this is a topic I could talk about for hours.

Happy planning 🤓

~ Melissa

Housekeeping

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It’s important to me that your experience in the studio is consistently nourishing.  A great, efficient workout, wonderful women, and an opportunity to care for yourself for 45 minutes free of as many outside distractions as possible.

With that in mind, a few studio reminders:

Cell phones must be silenced.  I do understand there are times when it makes sense to have them near you at the barre.  I do ask that if you need to check your phone or send a text, leave the room to do so.

Please refrain from holding private conversations during warmup, stretch, and during sets.  Talking between sets (or more often sharing a moment of exclamation) is just fine & encouraged.  It’s part of how we find & build bonds with each other in the studio.

Final stretching... for many, this is the only five minutes of the day where we stretch or privately put our head down & reflect.  If you cannot stay for all of stretching, please let the instructor know before class & quietly sneak out.  We will clean your mat so as not to disrupt your neighbor.

Thanking you in advance 💕

Melissa

February in the Studio

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A week remains in January & it’s looking as though more than 80 of you will finish the Challenge.  Some perspective on how impressive you all have been this month...

Dec:  52 classes on calendar
January?  103

Dec:  466 workouts total
January?  1003 (with a week to go!)

Got Valentines Day plans? Bring your man to the barre Sat, Feb 9th @ 6pm.  Michelle (and her hubby Nick) will be teaching.  Book a dinner reservation afterward & call it date night, you both will have earned it.  Just six spots open, $30 per couple.  Purchase “Date Night” online or in the app, no cancellation available on these spots once booked!

Checked out Stretch Therapy yet? Read here for more details.  Such a beautiful complement to barre & a nice alternative to a massage.  Note:  prepare to be sore the next day!  These are deep, wonderfully therapeutic stretches.

Finally, I’ve added a Sunday, Feb 3rd 8am overflow to the calendar with yours truly.  Book away.  💕

~ Melissa

Be More Okay

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I stumbled across this article this week (6 months after it was published) about ways to be more okay.  Some points resonated with me, but what really stood out is this list does a nice job of highlighting things that don’t cost an arm & a leg.  Because my god, “self care” can be expensive, amiright?

I’m sure different points will resonate with you, but skim through & read the ones that jump out at you.  Here’s what caught my eye.

Ask for help.  I was just telling Alex how I swapped the upstairs & downstairs queen mattresses this week.  Why.  By myself.  I swear it was a mixture of adrenaline, anger & ego that finally hoisted the mattress up the stairs.  My takeaway is that mattresses should have handles on the sides & that I really need to learn to phone a friend. 

Boundaries.  This is a constant work in progress but I am trying to pay attention to the complaints I hear myself voicing over & over (and over) again.  Why am I waiting for a change in someone else that I have no control over when I can instead just firm up my boundaries.... 

Finish something small.  I love this one.  I feel so much more at peace after I’ve mailed the package ✔️ restocked the barre socks ✔️ and dropped off that JCrew return. ✔️ It’s satisfying to finish something when so many other things linger longer on the to do list.

Hobbies. I turned my hobby into my job... and I love it.  But I did find myself short a hobby.  So now I play bridge, as many of you know.  Every Wednesday I get together at ZJ’s Diner & play cards for 4 hours with seven 80-somethings.  It is my favorite day of the week.  My brain is off.  We laugh so much, eat soup & BLT’s & talk about seriously everything. 

Plan.  I find calm in knowing what next week looks like & I find inspiration & drive from knowing what 6 months from now will look like.  I love scheduling in the people that matter to me.  While I may not be spontaneous, I am consistently intentional & it feeds me.

Unfollow.  I went through at the New Year & muted almost everyone’s Instagram stories (sorry!) My 15 year old niece showed me the trick (of course).  I still follow the feeds I care about but no longer have the story showing up top.  I’m spending less time on social media as a result, which I know is better for me & how I spend my free time.

See you at the barre ~

Melissa