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katarina@barrebodystudio.com

Barre Favs: New Years Resolution

BarreFavs - New Years

As we say goodbye to 2016 and the New Year rolls in, many of us begin to think of new resolutions, intentions and goals to achieve in 2017. Think about the best version of yourself, mastermind a plan to get there and then … rock it out. Maybe your goal is to work on your fitness, drink more water or perhaps lift that seat just a little bit (butt buster, anyone?). If your goals include a happier, healthier version of yourself, then you know that the barre is a great place to start. If you're still seeking out a resolution or intention to set for 2017, we have turned to your barretenders for a little inspiration. Take a look at what we are going to conquer in the New Year!

"I'm not really into making a resolution but every year in January both my husband and I make a yearly "bucket list" and we write down 12 things that we want to do or accomplish in the year! This year I have things like, learn to make macarons, take a photography course, learn how to knit (anyone want to teach me?!), try at least five of Edmonton's top 10 restaurants, travel to Ireland and other fun and exciting things!" - Jill

"To spend more time outdoors! I don’t get enough time doing things outside during the year, we have such a beautiful river valley and landscape and I want to take more advantage of what our beautiful landscapes has to offer." - Hannah 

"In 2017 I will hit the 1000lb club! HA just kidding ... but I do really want to stay committed to my fitness and continue to grow stronger and stronger!" - Katarina  

"My New Years resolution is to find a bit of time each day to be present with myself, find stillness, and just breath. Even if it is just for 5 minutes." - Jessica 

"Considering I have thus far accomplished 1of the 3 goals of last years resolution (awfully poor show on my part) I am going to carry forward a couple... learning how to stop in a pair of skates has thus far been non-existent and disastrous. However I will persevere and keep trying! I also think being more in the moment, keeping up with the spontaneity of this year and last minute trips around the world has done wonders for me, so I'll definitely have to make that a goal for next year, and maybe include sharing these experiences with a special someone. ;-)" - Kirsten 

"To get 8 hours sleep every night." - Mary Jo

"One of my resolutions for 2017 is to sleep more. I have never really enjoyed sleeping or taking naps (I am aware that a lot of people think I am bonkers because of it!), and have always subscribed to Arnold's idea of "sleeping faster"! However, knowing the multiple health benefits associated with a good night's sleep have me putting 'sleep more, not just faster' on my resolution list! (...but let's be real...I'm not talking 8 hours a night - I'm just talking more than I currently sleep. Baby steps.)" - Michelle

"I don’t typically make New Years Resolutions but if I had to make one it would be to continue to take time each week for me and not to over schedule myself!!" - Erika

"To cut back my coffee/red bull/caffeine intake in 2017!" - Sarah 

"My New Years resolution is to meal prep more!! School gets so busy and wears me down fast if I'm not properly fueled. So my goal is to make time for prep time!" - Lauren 

"My new years resolution is to get more sleep and drink less coffee! Actually just get more sleep. Scratch the coffee part." - Emily

"I've never had a new years resolution - I'm constantly setting goals and achieving them as I go. However, the big one for 2017 is renovating our basement." - Lindsey

"This new year I plan to make more of an effort to plan ahead with snacks! I am always packing my son a lunch or snack, but I forget about myself and that is when my poor choices happen. Making sure I have fruits or veggies with me at all times will keep me from getting hungry." - Kristin 

"In 2017, I want to be the best version of myself!" - Katharine

What resolutions have you set for yourself in 2017? Let the tribe know through any of our social media handles, you will find us on facebook at Barre Body Studio Edmonton or instagram/twitter at @barrebodyyeg. Ready to crush this new year? We know you are! 

XO

Barre Body Studio - Edmonton

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katarina@barrebodystudio.com

Barre Favs: Holiday Tradition

BarreFavs - Holiday Tradition

There is officially less than ONE WEEK until Christmas! You are probably busy as ever with social events, gift shopping/wrapping, and party hosting but don't let the hustle and bustle of the holiday season distract you from the joy of your favourite Christmas tradition. This week, your BBS barretenders are sharing their favourite holiday traditions with you. Check it out!

"My favorite Christmas Tradition is getting together with family Christmas Eve! Going to a church service then heading to someone's house all decked out in Christmas decorations, eating food, doing a Chinese gift exchange and laughing so hard it hurts!" - Michelle

"My favourite Christmas tradition is Boxing day! Our family spends the whole day in PJs, eating left overs and treats, watching movies, playing games and with new toys, and just enjoying time together. It can be such a busy season, we like to balance that with some family relaxation." - Jessica 

"Favourite Christmas tradition? Well, there are so many things to choose from. In my family, on Christmas morning we have champagne and orange juice and this delicious breakie treat my mum makes for us, not to mention enjoying all of this together as a family and lounging around in our PJs for most of, if not all of the day! <3 <3" - Kirsten 

"Make shortbread, drink eggnog chai, and watch the notebook." - Mary Jo

"My favourite Christmas tradition is making cookies and baking with my girlfriends that is my kick off to the holidays - wine, comfy clothes, sweets and chinese food to top it off is how it goes down each year!" - Erika 

"The best part is when the board/card games come out... and so do the drinks!" - Sarah 

"We aren’t really a family of traditions, but I do love making the trip to my grandma’s farm where there is lots of homemade sweets, mulled wine, and family time!" - Emily

"I especially miss my family back in New Brunswick over the holidays, so my favourite Christmas tradition is a good old kitchen party with tons of food, moose milk, and my huge, crazy family! Next year, "I'll be Home With Bells On"!" - Lindsey

"Each year my family goes on the ETS lights tour. Edmonton Transit has buses that tour the city so you can see all the Christmas lights, staying warm and not worrying about having to watch where you drive. They know all the good spots to go and it is a great way to get in the holiday spirit." - Kristin 

"Although it's a new-ish tradition, over the last six years my husband and I have gotten together with a group of people from his work on Christmas Eve and we eat and drink and always share hilarious stories - it's so fun to catch up with everyone and their kids! My mom also always gives us new pyjamas on Christmas Eve and we ALWAYS watch Home Alone during brunch on Christmas Day!" - Jill

"Baking cookies! I love baking Christmas goodies and of course eating them even more!" - Hannah 

"Every Christmas Eve my husband and I exchange one gift: a new pair of pajamas to wear Christmas morning." - Megan 

"My favourite holiday tradition is the Christmas movies. I am really not the biggest fan of Christmas music or anything like that (hello, grinch!) but the movies get me excited every year. As soon as December 1st hit, we got right to it! I like smiling, smiling is my favourite." - Katarina 

Do you have a favourite Christmas moment? Share them with us through our social media - you can find us on Facebook at Barre Body Studio Edmonton and Instagram/Twitter at @barrebodyyeg. 

XO

Barre Body Studio Edmonton

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katarina@barrebodystudio.com

#SweatForSanta Favorite Holiday Recipes

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The North Pole


Ingredients: 
4 ounces vodka
2 ounces Kahlúa (or more to taste)
4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons molasses
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup heavy cream or whole milk
whipped cream, candy canes and gingerbread cookies, for serving (optional)

In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the vodka, Kahlúa, chocolate syrup, vanilla, molasses, and ginger. Shake until combined well. Strain into 4 glasses. Top off each glass with heavy cream. Dollop with whipped cream and garnish as desired. DRINK!

Skor Bar Squares

Ingredients:
¾ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups flour
2 tbsp margarine
1 can condensed milk
1 pkg chocolate chips
1 pkg Skor chips
 
Mix butter, brown sugar and flour; press into 9 x 13 inch foil lined pan. Bake at 350 F. for 20 – 25 minutes. Heat margarine and condensed milk for 10 minutes until thickened. Pour over crust. Pour chocolate chips over the squares and bake 2 minutes until glossy. Spread evenly. Pour Skor chips over and press lightly. Cool and cut.

*Tip: score the bars before they are completely cooled so they are easier to cut when they are fully cooled.  

Cocoa Cranberry Coconut Cookies

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cocoa
1 cup shredded or flaked coconut
1 cup dried cranberries

 Mix all together and add more cocoa if mixture is too soft to form drop cookies. Bake on parchment lined baking sheets at 350F for about 10 minutes until set. Remove from baking sheets as soon as possible.

Grain and Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups peanut butter (any kind)
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup chocolate chips

 Mix peanut butter and sugar together until smooth. Add 2 eggs and stir until mixture is stiff or firm enough to roll into balls. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into balls. Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet and flatten with fork. Bake in preheated 325F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden and firm. Careful not to over-bake or the bottoms will burn.

 Other types of nut butters (almond, cashew, etc), other sweeteners (white sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc), and other add-ins (raisins or dried cranberries, chopped dried fruit, chopped nuts) can easily be substituted.

Bourbon Balls

2 cups finely crushed cookie crumbs (ie. Oreos)
2 cups finely chopped almonds
2 cups icing sugar 
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup corn syrup 

In a bowl, mix all of the above. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Roll them in a coating of icing sugar. Cover and refrigerate 5 days before serving. 

Chocolate Mint Sparklers

1 cup butter (softened) 
3/4 cup sugan 
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp mint extract 
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour 
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or mix of white and semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar in the raw (natural turbinado sugar)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugars until creamy in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and mint extract. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, mixing until incorporated. Add in chocolate chips. Roll dough in 1" balls. Roll balls into natural turbinado sugar. Place on prepared baking sheet, 2" apart. Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Cookies should still be soft in the centre. Let cool on baking sheet 1-2 minutes. Remove, cool on wire rack. 


Chili Roasted Nuts 

1/4 cup white sugar 
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp cayenne
1 lb unsalted mixed nuts (~4 cups)

Preheat oven to 325F. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper & lightly oil. In a bowl, mix sugar & salt. In a large pot, melt honey with cayenne. Add nuts & stir to coat. Spread nuts in a single layer on the parchment paper. Bake 10-15 minutes. Let cool slightly then add to bowl with sugar/salt mixture. Toss to coat. Discard paper and transfer nuts to cookie sheet to cool. Store in an airtight container. Great for host/hostess gifts (or to eat yourself). 

Honey Moon Squares

Crust:
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tbsp white sugar 
3/4 cup butter

Combine flour and sugar. Cut in butter until mealy textured. Press firmly into bottom of lightly greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. lower over to 300 degrees. 

Filling:
2 eggs 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 tsp. vanilla 
1 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
3 tbsp flour 
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Beat eggs gradually adding sugar and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder and salt and add to sugar mixture. add remaining ingredients. Spread over crust and return to oven. bake at 25 to 30 minute unitl top is set and lightly brown. 

Butter icing: 
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 cups icing sugar 
3 tbsp milk or cream 
1 tsp vanilla 

Cream butter. Add icing sugar alternately with cream and vanilla until spreading consistency is reached. Spread over cooled squares.


Get-Ahead Gravy

Ingredients:
2 onions
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
2 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
2 fresh bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh sage
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 star anise
10 free-range chicken wings
olive oil
60 ml sherry or port , optional
4 tablespoons plain flour
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Peel the onions, wash the carrots, then roughly chop with the celery and bacon. Put the veg, bay leaves, sage, rosemary and star anise into a sturdy high-sided roasting tray, then scatter the chopped bacon on top. Break the chicken wings open, bash with a rolling pin to help release extra flavour as they cook, then add to the tray. Drizzle with oil, season with sea salt and black pepper, toss, then cook for 1 hour, or until tender.

Remove the tray from the oven and transfer to a low heat on the hob. Really grind and mash everything with a potato masher, scraping up all the goodness from the base of the tray (the longer you let it fry, the darker your gravy will be). If you want to add sherry or port, now’s the time to do so; just leave it to cook away for a few minutes. Gradually stir in the flour, then pour in 2 litres of boiling kettle water. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally.

When the gravy is the consistency of your liking, pour it through a coarse sieve into a large bowl, pushing all the goodness through with the back of a spoon. Taste and season to perfection, cool to room temperature, then pour into containers or bags and pop into the fridge or freezer, ready to finish off on Christmas Day.

If frozen, take the gravy out to defrost when your turkey goes into the oven.When the turkey’s perfectly cooked, remove it to a platter to rest for up to 2 hours, covered with a double layer of tin foil and a clean tea towel. Skim away most of the fat from the tray, cool, and place into a jar in the fridge for tasty cooking another day. Pour your Get-ahead gravy into the tray with the rest of the turkey juices. Bring to the boil over the hob and scrape up all those sticky bits from the base. Have a taste, then stir in the Cranberry sauce to balance the flavours.

Once your gravy is piping hot, carefully strain through a coarse sieve into a pan, then leave it on the lowest heat until you’re ready to serve. Skim away any fat that rises to the top, and add any extra resting juices from the turkey before serving.



katarina@barrebodystudio.com

Barre Beats: Christmas Songs

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If you're anything like us, Christmas beats are always bumpin' at this time of year! Nothing gets you in the Christmas spirit like holiday tunes. For our barre beats this month, we have opted out of whats trending and hot in the music scene right now and have set our sights on something a little bit more festive. Your barretenders have put together a list of a few of their favourite holiday tracks ... who knows, maybe you will catch them playing one or two of these in class to earn you your mini-challenge sticker! 

All I Want For Christmas is You - Mariah Carey
River - Sarah McLachlan
Jingle Bell Rock - Mean Girls (LOL)
White Winter Hymnal - Pentatonix
Anything by Boney M
Cold December Night – Michael Buble
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays - NSYNC
Happy Christmas (War is over) Remix - John Lennon
I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas - Shirley Temple (Just in case you were wondering ... this is Elissa's choice.)

What is your all-time favourite Christmas tune - share with us via social media. Catch us on Facebook at Barre Body Studio Edmonton or Insta/Twitter at @barrebodyyeg. 

XO

Barre Body Studio - Edmonton

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katarina@barrebodystudio.com

Surviving The Holidays 101

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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 crucial for staying on track. Alongside that, we have assembled a few tactics to help you stay strong though this season of temptation!  

Plan Ahead - Look ahead and schedule out when your Christmas parties are planned for. 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 barre bestie or anyone else for that matter, with similar health goals to your own and 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 damn 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 accompanies 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 and this always 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 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 BBS tribe!  

XO

Barre Body Studio - Edmonton

katarina@barrebodystudio.com

Barre Favs: Summer to Winter Fitness Routine

BarreFavs - Summer to Winter

Baby, it's cold outside! Although we are always keeping things HOT @ the barre, the same can't be said for every aspect of our health/fitness routine. We are storing away the short shorts and retiring your favorite pair of runners and trading them in for mitts, toques and scarfs. This week, we asked your barretenders how their own personal health and fitness routines transform from season to season. Here is how you will catch them keeping warm this winter:

"I’m staying motivated this winter by keeping my muscles warm before and after practice. It makes the commute more bearable, and once I get to the studio my body still feels motivated and ready to get right into the workout. I’m MEGA layering, using things like: vests over sweaters, heavier jackets, sweatpants over leggings, and/or leg warmers and socks—and even once I’m in studio, still wearing a sweater or just my vest so that my core stays warm and ready to go!" - Kendra

"I am a huge fun of all things summer fitness and equally loathe the snow/cold. So while I spent every minute I can outside during the summer, you won't catch me outside very often in the winter. My workouts shift over to inside activities during the winter: barre, rebounding, spin and weight training. Although there is less variation in my wintertime fitness, my gym workouts always last much longer just to avoid going back outside into the cold." - Katarina  

"I definitely try and stick to my goal of doing at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Whether that be taking a walk outside with my dog or meeting up with one of my girlfriends for a killer barre class, I always remember that my body (and mind) is going to feel SO much better after my workout." - Jill

"I don’t find mine changes much at all. I workout daily because it makes me feel good both physically and mentally. I actually might work out a bit more in the Winter as I need the mental boost more over the dreary Winter months. But I will admit to also indulging more food and drink wise over the Winter, because my Winter wardrobe is more “cozy”… aka covered up ;)" - Jessica

"I think we just need to adapt and accept that the seasons will change. We know we live in a place that gets cold at the same time every year so why not embrace each season and try to make the most of it. Just because it is getting colder, doesn't mean we have to hibernate. It means we get out our sweaters, slap on a toque and go skating." - Erin

"In autumn, my fitness routine shifts more indoors as I am able to attend more barre classes, and in winter it shifts back outdoors because I absolutely love winter activities! I've always been an active & adventurous person, so surrounding myself with people who share the same interests helps to keep me motivated. I also wear a Fitbit that helps to keep me accountable to reaching my weekly exercise goal." - Lindsey

"My fitness routine definitely shifts to all indoor activities for the winter months (unless making snow angels count as fitness!?) - the time I spend outside in the summer is replaced with checking out different fitness studios in the city, aaand just like last winter I am sure I'll be spending even more time at BBS! When winter hits, my motivation shifts from short shorts to Starbucks (those drinks aren't easy on the calories), knowing how much delicious food I will be eating over the holidays & staying healthy in general (the more diligent I am with my fitness routine, the less I catch those nasty winter colds!)." - Michelle

"As the weather gets colder I find I run a lot less than I do in the warmer months. In order to make up for this I try and go barre a lot more! I also have fun winter sports like snowboarding and cross country skiing to look forward to. It can definitely be hard to stay motivated, especially since it is so dark all the time, but I know that if I go to class the endorphin release and positive energy from the other barre stars will help cure any "winter blues" so it's worth the effort!" - Jaime

"I find scheduling the time for exercise in each day the way to stay motivated as the weather turns cool as well as using the buddy system to keep me accountable and less likely to cancel or not do a workout that day." - Erika

"My personal fitness routine doesn't really change from summer to winter - I try and balance barre with cardio such as running and spin classes (and have recently tried a SOAR class - which was a lot of fun). I just find I have to stay more motivated when the weather gets cooler! I try to keep to my goals by pre-booking classes and booking classes with friends to stay motivated!" - Sarah

"I definitely try to spend as much time outside as I can summer or winter, I love all seasons so my shift mostly goes from running stairs or playing tennis outside to snowshoeing or cross country skiing when the snow hits. I try to stay motivated and hitting my daily activity goals by registering for group fitness classes. I know I can't skip out when that no show or cancellation fee is involved and there is a room full of other people ready to sweat along side me." - Charlotte 

"As the days get shorter, I am typically am more motivated to work out into the evening. You don’t have to worry about missing out on the warm weather and hours of sunshine, so you might as well be at barre, or get your cardio blast at Soar. Plus the workouts help beat the winter blues." - Kristin 

"I find myself substituting outdoor activities (like running, hiking) for more indoor activities (like spin) as the weather gets colder. Through the winter I find it really important to have a balance of more outwardly exerting activities with more introspective ones (yoga). It may not be short short season, but feeling great in skinny jeans and a cozy sweater is just as important!" - Kyra


XO

Barre Body Studio - Edmonton


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