Workouts Worth Setting The Alarm For

Over the years, I've tried everything from the bar, the bike, jump roping, boxing, running, swimming, and surfing. As someone who gets bored of the same workout routine pretty easily, my go-to has always been running - I love how you can pick your own path, your own speed and your own distance each time.

In mid-February, when a 6:30 am jog isn't really something I'm jumping out of bed for, I turn indoors. Below is a selection of gyms and boutique studios in the Dallas area that are worth setting the alarm for: 

beyond pilates

Beyond Pilates: Founders, Brandi Marino and Bethany Meyers joined forces in Spring 2010, BEYOND was born. They combined their passions and experience to develop a fiercely independent, highly imaginative, determined-to-the-core concept focused on empowering and inspiring people to make changes beyond their wildest expectations.  

Cooper Aerobics Center, Boxing: When I was in high school, I worked out several times a week with a personal trainer who knew exactly how to get me to my breaking point. But no matter how hard I worked, I never seemed to be able to get her body. Envious of my trainer's physique, I asked her what else she was doing to get into such great shape. The answer: Derrick James at Cooper Aerobics Center. Derrick is an olympic boxing pro with 35 years of experience under his belt. His boxing classes or simple but extremely intense. If you ever want that extra fitness push, sign up for a 30 minute private with Derrick. I promise you won't regret it.  

City Surf Fitness: City Surf is designed for the person who loves an active lifestyle. Building upon the components of natural human movement- foundation training, cardiovascular and strength training, always focusing on building core, stability, balance and body/muscle awareness. The goal at City Surf is to help you improve your body's natural state to the be the best and most beautiful it can be.  

The Bar Method: The Bar Method exercise targets the muscles that play the greatest role in body change, then keeps these muscles working intensely and safely long enough for them to change. It then intensely stretches each muscle worked to make it look and feel longer and more graceful. 


The Verandah Club: Several years ago, I started working out with a trainer in Dallas named Joe. Joe is known for offering bootcamp classes outdoors at Germany Park during warmer months, but during the winter it's always a challenge to find a great spot indoors where we can all spread out. Recently Joe suggested we all join The Verandah Club at The Anatole Hotel. I was skeptical at first about joining a hotel gym but upon arrival I knew I'd found my spot. The 80,000 square foot facility offers everything from state-of-the-art fitness equipment, to an indoor sauna and steam room to an outdoor track and tennis courts. We take advantage of an racquetball court that we turned into our own personal fitness studio. 

A Little Beach Town Called Delray

I've spent the past few weeks in preparation for this week in particular. It's officially my last week living in South Florida. While in the process of closing one chapter of life and opening another, there are always bittersweet moments, yet there never really seems to be a right way to say goodbye to the place or people you will soon be leaving.

A box of shells souvenirs I packed up for the move to Dallas

A box of shells souvenirs I packed up for the move to Dallas

In honor of this chapter of "my beach life" closing, I'd like to share what I've found to be the best of Delray Beach in hopes that one day if you are looking for a nice little place to escape by the sea, you'll think of this quaint little beach town just 20 minutes south of Palm Beach. 

Schaffer's Tea Room on Swinton Ave

Schaffer's Tea Room on Swinton Ave

Where to Eat:

Schaffer's Tea Room: Step inside this cute little beach bungalow located right off of Swinton Ave to discovery an incredible sensory experience with cozy reading nooks, a room filled with teas sourced from around the world and a table filled with locally made treats. 

Luna Rosa: My favorite brunch spot. It's located right on A1A across from the beach and has pretty much anything you could ever ask for in one place. Hint: Get their early to put your name on the waiting list. 

Green Owl: A mom and pop diner from a bygone era that serves the most simple breakfasts - think scrambled eggs, white bread toast, black coffee. Tip: Cash Only

J&J Seafood Bar and Grill: This small Delray oyster establishment has been ranked for having the best Oysters in Delray for years. Even with the the newer, trendier seafood joints popping up in town, your hotel concierge will tell you that this place is still the best. 

Park Tavern: If you like new American food with a trendy bar scene, this is your spot. Tip: You have to order the deviled eggs!

Kilwins: The most amazing homemade ice cream I never had before coming here. They have seasonal flavors like pumpkin pie as well as your traditional all American vanilla. Hint: Look for fresh fudge samples by the front entrance. 

Home furnishings from Morley, Delray Beach

Home furnishings from Morley, Delray Beach

Where to Shop: 

Nest: The cutest little antique shop ever. They have everything from art deco inspired lucite chairs from the 70's to ottoman's draped in vintage fabrics. 

Periwinkle: Best clothing and accessories on Atlantic Avenue. New arrivals daily from designers like Diane Von Furstenberg, Trina Turk and Joie. Also, don't forget to check out their sale room for some great last season finds. 

Wags to Riches: This is my favorite place for an afternoon smile, literally. Inside the store is filled with the cutest little real puppies from Morkies to French Bulldogs. Even if you don't need a pet, you have to at least stop by and say hi. 

Morley: A favorite new store on Atlantic Avenue filled with the best home items for your beach bungalow along with clothes from cult-favorite jetsetter brands like Calypso. The store is also man-friendly with several men's clothing lines and and even a tiki bar and TV for watching the games!

The Seagate Beach Club, available exclusively to guests of the Seagate Hotel & Spa

The Seagate Beach Club, available exclusively to guests of the Seagate Hotel & Spa

Where to Stay:

The Seagate Hotel & Spa: Huge hotel rooms, great seafood restaurant, incredible spa, a private country club, beach club and walkability to the beach. This is by far the nicest hotel on Atlantic Avenue with direct beach access. 

The Sundy House: This Victorian home turned hotel is known for its five star service, serene rooms and incredible Sunday brunch. 

The Colony Hotel: Located right in the center of downtown Delray, The Colony is built inside of a historic building boasting old school charm, early morning yoga classes and ease of access to all the amenities that Delray has to offer.