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Barre Favs: New Years Resolutions

As we bid farewell to 2015 and the New Year rolls around, many of us begin to think of new resolutions, intentions and goals to achieve in 2016. Envision the best version of yourself, mastermind a plan to get there and then … rock it out. Maybe your goal is to get back in shape, drink more water, or lift that seat just a little bit (butt buster, anyone?). But regardless, if your goals include a happier, healthier version of yourself, then you know that the barre is the best place to start. If you're still seeking out a resolution or intention to set for 2016, we have turned to your barretenders for a little inspiration. Take a look at what we are going to conquer in the New Year!  

"Generally for New Years Resolutions, I like to keep them broad - this way they are applicable to every aspect of my life and I can follow different paths to achieve them. So for 2016, my resolution is to roll with the punches." - Katarina

"For 2016, my resolution is to unplug from technology once a day and invest in more "me-time" by reading. By the end of 2016 I would like to have completed reading 24 new books (making that 2 books a month)!" - Julia 

"Instead of resolutions, I set intentions for the upcoming year and name them like in Chinese tradition. For example, 2014 was the year of money, 2015 was the year of travel, and 2016 will be the year of love & career focus." - Lindsey 

"Last year I gave up alcohol for 2015, so this new year cocktails will re-enter my life! I also want to make travel a bigger part of my life this upcoming year." - Kristin G

"My 2016 resolution is to try not to over schedule myself!" - Erika

"My new years resolution is to try and read more books! And to drink more water (which is my new years resolution every year...)" - Jamie

"My New Years resolution is to support local businesses whenever possible and to try a new restaurant every time I go out to eat instead of always going to the same places." - Charlotte

"My new years resolution for 2016 would be to read the workings of Jane Austen, all 6 books accompanied by a bottle of wine and a bar of milk chocolate. This way I am exposed to and understand each character and make an unbiased choice of my favourite male character -- though we all know, it is of course Mr Darcy ;-) I would also like to attempt to learn how to properly ice skate and the key: To stop-- not twirl like a figure skater until I lose momentum haha! Lastly I want to keep hiking in Scotland and climb at least 3 munros with my family. There are 282 Munros ( a mountain over 3000 feet.) Munros are unlike the great heights of the Rockies, none the less, a magical and unforgettable climb, the rolling hills of the Scottish highlands is a site to behold from the summit." - Kirsten

"For 2016, my New Years resolution is to finally beat Katarina in a Minute To Win It game, eat more bread, and read more books ... None of those things will actually happen but a girl can dream." - Katharine   

What resolutions have you set for yourself in 2016?



Happy Holidays BBS

May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright New Year.

Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Peace. Love. Plies,



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#WomanCrushWednesday - Instructor Spotlight: Mary Jo

IMG_4508-683x1024Why do you barre so hard?  

Having danced growing up I missed the studio vibe and classical movements of ballet when working out. I have always made a point of being active but getting to the gym sometimes felt like a chore. The combination of dance, pilates and yoga inspired moves set to upbeat music is the perfect balance between form, function and fun. The workout is low impact yet effective and I know if I am a little sore the next day I have had a good workout. Exercising isn’t a chore anymore and look forward to the days when I can hit the studio.

Any advice for the barre stars in your class? 

Have fun, breathe and don’t forget to smile!

How has barre impacted you? 

Barre has changed my life! After taking my first class at Barre Body Studio, I knew I had found ‘my thing’. Through the low impact workouts, barre has helped me stay strong and active throughout my pregnancy and helped me get back to my pre-pregnancy body, with leaner legs than before! Barre is where I go to unwind, and I always come home happy feeling energized and refreshed.

What is your favorite move @ the barre? 

The butt buster! It burns but is so effective. Chair pose comes in as a close second.

Where could we most likely find you after the barre? 

Picking up groceries at the Italian Centre, getting gas, washing the car or running errands without baby. IMG_4671-768x512

Enjoy the little things – what little things make you smile? 

My little guy Jack. He is always full of smiles and makes me laugh all the time.  Watching him grow is the best thing ever. I also have a dog named Charlie. He is a black Goldendoodle, otherwise known as the happiest furry teddy bear around.

What is your favorite post workout snack? 

Smoothies with plain yoghurt, frozen fruit and spinach or kale and milk.

What is your guilty pleasure/ pleasures? 

Naps, cookies and coffee


Barre Menu: OMeGGnog Cookies

Christmas is the time to eat, drink, be merry ... and maybe throw in a few barre classes! ;) You may need an extra barre class after you try these delicious cookies but trust, they are worth it. One of our own barre family introduced us to these wonderful eggnog cookies after a family dinner. We all had to try them and then proceeded to hide them from the rest of the family (they are that good, we didn’t want to share). So we thought we would share the yummy recipe from Cooking Classy with the rest of our barre family! Enjoy!  


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 1/2 cup eggnog


  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (I used 1/4 cup salted and 1/4 cup unsalted butter)
  • 3 - 5 Tbsp eggnog
  • 1/2 tsp rum extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon for 30 seconds, set aside. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in egg yolks one at a time, blending just until combined after each addition. Mix in vanilla extract, rum extract and egg nog. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Scoop dough out by the heaping tablespoonfuls and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets, spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 11 - 13 minutes. Allow to rest on baking sheet several minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool completely then frost with Eggnog Frosting and sprinkle tops lightly with nutmeg.

For the Eggnog Frosting:
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter until very pale and fluffy. Add in rum extract and 3 Tbsp eggnog and mix in powdered sugar. Add additional eggnog to reach desired consistency.  

Follow this link to see the original and other delicious recipes from Cooking Classy: http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/11/melt-mouth-eggnog-cookies/


Barre Favs: Winter Style

Let is snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Old man winter, although fashionably late, has made an appearance. And just in time for christmas! You knIMG_3721-683x1024ow what that means... As much as we love our barre tanks and lulu leggings, its time to break out those mittens, scarfs and leg warmers. This week we have mixed up our newest blog segment, Studio Style, with our Barre Favs to find out what your barretenders are wearing studio to street this winter.

"My favorite winter style is anything that keeps me warm. I love uggs #basic" - Katharine

"For street to studio when the snow starts to fly I love to layer some cozy skinny sweats over my leggings and then top with an oversized sweater and infinity scarf. The requisite Ugg boots are also a part of my ‘uniform’ when the weather dips low!" - Erika

"I spend most of my winters wrapped in blankets trying to stay warm, so I will be fully embracing the blanket scarf this winter. It’s a great way to take my blankets on the go!" - Kristin G 

"As the weather gets colder I'm almost always wearing knee-high toe socks to barre. Slip them into tall boots and voila! - no need to carry extra socks. I also love vests. And anything fur! Fur is always in style." - Lindsey

"I'm a trendy but cozy clothing sort of girl. I love to wear my cozy winter boots, with just a little heal lift in them-- I love my heals. I've got a great winter jacket, topped off with one of my many scarfs. But no outfit is complete without a fabulous pair of earrings!" - Kirsten 

"Leg warmers for sure! They remind me of my ballet days, which means that they are perfect for the barre + super cute anywhere else!" - Katarina

Keep warm barrestars - we will see you at the barre!



Live Local: Candy Cane Lane

FullSizeRender-10It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in YEG. To get in the Christmas spirit, we went for a stroll down Candy Cane Lane. This Edmonton neighborhood has become a family-favorite tradition over the years in our community. These lights and decoration display are located on the west end of the city (148th street between 100 Ave and 92 Ave.) You have until January 3rd to pack up the whole fam and check out this festive neighborhood. You can drive, walk or even book a horse drawn carriage ride to make your way down the lane. Bundle up, and get out there to make the most out of your white Christmas.

We’ve made a list of a couple other family-fun events happening in our city:  

IMG_0177-e1450144480106-768x432You could also grab some skates and head to the neighborhood outdoor rink or pick up a cup of hot chocolate from your favorite coffee shop around the corner. Spread the cheer, celebrate with neighbors and support local businesses and communities this holiday season.


Form Friday: Plank

Plank is an isometric exercise that revs up your heart rate and tones your entire body. In plank, you are actively using your core, chest, back, shoulders, glutes and thighs to stabilize the position. Plank proves that even in stillness, you can get the heart rate lifted and strengthen your entire body!

Here’s how it’s done. Start from a kneeling position; place your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Step your feet back and straighten your legs so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your heels. Engage your core by tilting your pelvis and pulling your belly button toward your spine. Keep your abdominal muscles engaged and your glutes tight. These are the two major muscle groups you’ll be working in this exercise. The challenge is to actively use your core to keep your hips in line with your shoulders. Draw your shoulder blades down your back and keep your neck and spine neutral. Imagine that you’re a plank of wood. This requires a lot of concentration to maintain proper form, so now is the time to start bringing your body and mind together.

Let’s review…  


#WomanCrushWednesday: Barre Star Spotlight - Richelle

Why do you barre so hard? 

IMG_4938-683x1024Its an unbelievable work out! The music motivates me, the barre tenders are all so fantastic with their unique teaching styles and class routines! I always leave class exhausted and happy knowing I am leaving stronger and ready to take on the rest of my day!

What keeps you inspired and motivated?

The other amazing women in the room! Seeing women of all ages and fitness levels give it their all is so fantastic! This motivates me to make every second of class count, even if I am exhausted or having a bad day. Plus the awesome music and encouragement of the incredible barre tenders never hurts either :)

What was your experience using barre as prenatal exercise? 

It saved me! I did barre 4 or 5 times a week right up until two days before my due date! I probably would have kept going, except it was Christmas and Barre was closed! Ha Ha. I was exhausted and sick my ENTIRE pregnancy. But believe it or not, getting out of bed at 5:30 before work actually gave me the energy I needed to give my students my all at school. It also helped curb that nausea which was a huge help! Anyone who has given birth knows that that is the most insane physical thing you can put your body through, so I wanted to make sure I trained for it! Ha Ha. Plus, I had worked so hard to get into better shape prior to becoming pregnant, I didn't want all that hard work to go to waste! I was hoping to bounce back as soon as possible! 

Tell us about baby barre! and Post-natal, how has barre been working for you?

I loved bringing my little man to baby barre. It is tough for the first little while to find child care and when you are nursing, you cant leave them for long! It was a great way to start getting back into shape while still being with my little man. Unfortunately, I had an emergency c- section, so my recovery was much longer post natal than I would have hoped. That said, Baby barre was a great way to transition myself back into it while my body healed! My peanut was over 9 lbs at birth, so we didn't last in Baby Barre too long, but fortunately, I have been able to make it back to bands and fit classes at least once a week since then. Thanks to barre, I’m feeling ( and looking) like my pre baby self.. which by no means is perfect.. its always a work in progress! Ha Ha.

How has barre impacted you? 

It has helped me to improve my fitness level, to tone and strengthen different parts of my body as well as to feel confident in ways I haven't before.

What is your favorite move @ the barre? 

The arm series. NO QUESTION! It is so tough, but definitely my favorite part of the class! I always force myself to use the 5 lb weights to maximize that arm work out! As we get older we need to keep those arms as tight as possible!!! I also absolutely love monster walks with the bands, and inner thigh work with the ball. I’m determined to be the first one to pop it!

What other exercise do you love (in addition to barre) to keep your routine well rounded? 

I speed swim twice a week with a great group of ladies and a killer coach that always makes sure to kick our butts! I do a private HIIT class twice a week and Spin is also in the rotation!! In the winter I love to ski in the mountains, and in the summer, my favourite thing to do is run in the River Valley!

How did you get introduced to barre? 

Megan and Elissa’s sister in law, Shauna told me about it when they were first starting out! From the first class in that studio down town I was HOOKED! Barre was my go to to get in shape before my wedding!! Megan and Elissa are such wonderful, genuine people, as are the rest of the talented team at Barre Body. I love coming to a studio owned/ operated by such incredible individuals. The atmosphere is always positive and welcoming! IMG_4918-683x1024

What is the best “side effect” you have noticed from barre?

The toning in my legs for sure! Nothing else tones your legs like barre. Even though I hate that LOOONG chair series!!

Fit, Bands, Stretch + Core, Blast – What’s your favorite and why? 

Bands! Everything is just that much tougher! What can I say… go big or go home! Plus the stretching with the bands is so awesome.. a great reward for those muscles after all that hard work!!

What advice do you have for your fellow barrestars? 

Make every minute of that class count. Leave your stress at the door and don't ever feel guilty about taking an hour to do you! We are better wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, friends, entrepreneurs, career women when we take care of our selves too!

Tell us something that we don’t know about you! 

I am a junior high social studies and math teacher, and I am a HUGE nerd when it comes to all things politics, history and current events. I could talk about the above for hours and hours on end!

What is your guilty pleasure/ pleasures? 

Bubble baths, Champagne, gangsta rap, tough work outs, and online shopping!!

What is your favorite quote? 

All time favourite has GOT to be “ It doesn't matter how young or old you are, what matters is your graciousness. If you are gracious, you have won the game” said by the one and only Stevie Nicks. Im obsessed with her! She is just fearless as an individual. Not only she is talented and intelligent but she just goes after what she wants in life and makes no apologies for it.  


Surviving The Holiday Season 101

Hello holidays! The month of December brings an endless array of opportunities to overindulge. From the staff Christmas parties to the holiday baking, December most definitely puts our health and fitness goals to the test. And while this month seems to be the busiest of them all, keeping up with your Barre Body schedule is a crucial for staying on track. Alongside that, we have assembled a few tactics to help you though this season of temptation!  

Plan Ahead - Look ahead and schedule out when your Christmas parties or get together fit on the schedule. By having a clear idea of which days you plan to indulge, you can make other health-conscious decisions on the days leading up to and following those.

Find Balance At The Barre - We are all about cleansing you from those naughty sins. Scheduling time to get in a workout at least three times a week will not only clear the holiday chaos currently residing in your head, but it will also have you feeling great. PS. extra points to those of you that show up the morning after your Christmas parties! ;)

Don’t Do It Alone - Find a BF (barre friend) or anyone else for that matter, with similar health goals to your own. Endure the holiday season with them by your side. It is always motivating to have someone holding you accountable to your exercise schedule.

Eat With Intention - We mean it when we say, take no shame in eating that pecan pie with dinner! If you mindfully plan when to indulge and when not to, you are far less likely to overeat. Plus… treat yourself once and a while, you deserve it!

Redirect Your Focus - The holiday season is more than just eating and drinking (although, its up there as one of our favs). Redirect your focus unto the company that you will share and the love, gratitude and great conversations that typically accompany this time of year.

Hydration is Key - Water, water, and more water! Drink a big glass in between alcoholic beverages or before a big meal. Our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger. This also seems to make us overestimate how hungry we actually are. While we know, 8 glasses of wine with dinner feels like a walk in the park, somehow 8 glasses of water is not quite as easy.

Be A Healthy Host - Having people over to your place for the holiday festivities? Don’t torture yourself! Make health conscious delicious as to what you are serving up. Little things, like setting out a veggie tray or cutting down the sugar, makes a big difference. Your guests will thank you too.

Last but not least, Enjoy Yourself - The holidays are a wonderful time of year that are all about sharing joy! Don’t let strict diets get in the way of that. Don’t be too hard on your self and just remember that moderation is key! We are wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons xo.  

The BBS YEG Team