Life is better at the barre- 100 club!

On Thursday, 7/24 I finally joined the 100 club!


I remember the first time I heard about it. My studio opened in December ’13, and during the holidays it got busy from people traveling to visit home. I noticed a girl wore a white tank that said 100 club and red socks that also said 100 club- which at that time there was only the black plain socks, not even the color ones I’ve been buying. I was baffle- where did she get this stuff? Where did it come from? I’ve never seen them for sale in the retail area.

After class I googled it and right away I made up my mind I was going to join it too. I should of known I was a crazy goal orientated person then- since I was just starting to work out, I pushed myself one week to see if I can go to classes 5 days in a row since I knew I wouldn’t be in town for the weekend due to an engagement party. It was right after that I was nominated for Thursday Thigh Warrior!

I needed a way to count and see the classes I was going to. I’m a google calendar freak, so I made a calendar just for fitness related things- like half marathon training. I decided to put pure barre classes I was going to, and I would also include the class number it was so I could keep track.

It’s been quite a journey and I still surprise myself that wasn’t too long ago- just 7 months ago! A year ago, I’ve never heard of pure barre! And if my life didn’t get so hectic I would of been able to join the 100 club even sooner! I was in quite the lead for awhile before I disappeared thanks to nursing school, a second and new job, and half marathon training.

Although there are many reasons why I love Pure Barre and I want to spread the love and get others in the 100 club, I figured I would list 10 tips instead of 100 or else this would be a really long post ๐Ÿ™‚


1) Create smaller milestone goals.

On my journey to the 100 club, I would have a mini celebration every time I hit a quarter of the way- so at 25, 50, 75, and 100! I would treat myself to some new socks and that was how I got all of the colored socks.

I think I will use this method again towards the 250 club. I have been eyeing these new water tumblers they have, and Pure Barre location tees!

2) Keep track of your classes yourselves.

Once I learned about the 100 club, and before I had the google calendar idea, I was always at the front desk asking about my class count. I didn’t like that, so one day, I went into my Pure Barre app and made a fitness calendar in my google calendar and not only put the classes I was going to, but the number and that’s how I tracked it!

Of course, every once in awhile, I would ask the front desk to make sure I was counting correctly and that we were on the same page ๐Ÿ™‚


3) Allow yourself to have rest days.

This is something I still need to work on since I had such a huge goal to finish this before my next race, but rest days are just as important as going to class days.

4) Listen to your body.

There are going to be classes where you don’t feel like you did your best. The instructor came and corrected you way too many times than you would like. Or when you know you need to do a modified version of something. Just do it. No one else in class is looking!


5) Go to a Breaking Down the Barre class.

I went to one even though I have been going constantly for over a month. You just learn way more about the technique and other ways to adjust and modify the moves to make them better. I’m planning on attending another one soon, since the classes are changing again, I need to learn more tricks and could always use some more tips! And you know what- bring a friend! This class is always free and is a great introduction for someone to go and learn more about Pure Barre ๐Ÿ™‚

6) It’s all about little movements.

I remember my first few days when they would tell us- “Cut that movement in half” I thought it was impossible. But now I always make an effort to make my movements as small as possible


7) Embrace the shake.

I know the first time my legs started shaking I got scared- this isn’t normal. This isn’t what health magazines tell us to try to get to this level. This isn’t sweat. What is happening to me?! But it’s your body changing! So I always make an effort to get to the shaking point.

8) Close your eyes.

Sometimes your worst enemy is the person staring right back you in the mirror- you. And so much of exercise is mental, so just close you eyes, you can do it and before you know it you will hear them say “Final ten!”


9) Fuel your body- before and after.

I’m not a person that likes a huge meal before class, so I often try to have a granola bar/cliff bar/luna bar. And thank goodness water is complimentary so even if I forgot my water bottle I have cold water to hydrate me during class ๐Ÿ™‚

10) Prep yourself for class on the fly.

I always have my gym bag ready to go to Pure Barre when I suddenly find myself able to go to class. I have to have my headbands and socks ready at all times. That way I just have to change and be on my way ๐Ÿ™‚


Money can’t buy these socks ๐Ÿ™‚


Me and Gabby- who taught my 100th class ๐Ÿ™‚

Weekly recap- btn big 10k week 8

Sunday, July 20
-Pure Barre #93

I had the goal to double classes this day but I was just so exhausted from wedding activities the night before that I didn’t make it to the second class. It just would of made the rest of the week easier but whatever.

Monday, July 21
-Pure Barre #94 and 95

Tuesday, July 22
-Pure Barre #96 and 97

Wednesday, July 23
-Pure Barre #98 and 99

Yeah last double and last day in the double digits!


Thursday, July 24
-Pure Barre #100! And Run for Gus 5k race!


Yeah I did it!

Friday, July 25
-nothing/rest day

Saturday, July 27
-btn big 10k-Race day!


Yeah 10k finishers!

So yeah, that’s a preview of what’s to come on the blog this week- Pure Barre 100 club, Run for Gus 5k and BTN big 10k recap!

Btn big 10k- reflect and preview

So tomorrow, I’m running the btn big 10k race for the third time!

This is a race I don’t mind repeating. It’s such a fun race since it involves all of the schools in big ten and you get to represent your alma mater!

This race first came to Chicago in July ’12. I remember it was the first race that appeal to me mainly because of the Illini stuff you get at the end. The first year I did the 5k option.


That year was horrible. It was so hot and humid. And I didn’t train for it at all. So that wasn’t fun either. I was like, um people do this for fun? This running thing? Lol

Besides getting a shirt in your school they always give away something else. That year it was foam fingers! I still have mine!


Then last year my friends and I decided to take it to the next level- let’s do the 10k. And my friend Taylor got some of her friends to join and I was outnumber by MSU people.


They also gave out medals for the first time. And the other item that gave away in your school colors were sunglasses which I still use all the time ๐Ÿ™‚



The only thing I didn’t like about last year was I didn’t understand why they switch Illinois from orange to blue. As you can tell in the pics my friend Taylor in MSU- they were green both years and are green this year also. It’s not like there’s another school that has similar or the same colors as the Illini- so why switch it? Orange is so unique in big ten- no one else has that color but the Illini.

And I also didn’t train for the 10k either. Boy was my body hurting for awhile after the race!

I’ll save pics of this years race for my recap after it happens. But as of right now- I’m not too thrilled. The shirt I feel has a lot going on but it’s orange, and the item giving away is trucker hats. And once again I didn’t really train for this. One thing I noticed was different already is normally they give you a drawstring bag for bag check and this year is clear. Probably since clear bags are the new thing? Sorry I don’t have a pic of those bags, i do t know where they are! So yeah…should be interesting!

SUP yoga

So on the 4th of July, me and my friend Heidi went and did SUP yoga!

I was excited to try this out after I heard about it when I did just regular SUP. I though- hey, I did SUP fine, and I’m okay with yoga so this should be okay.

Boy was I wrong.

We ended up going to the same harbor I went last time for SUP. The instructor gave us a rundown of how to SUP, which I found was good and better then the one I received last time!

Before I knew it, we went into the harbor and tied ourselves to the pier and the yoga started!

The teacher did tell us there was bigger meaning to the class, and that was fear. We needed to let go of the fear of us falling into the water or else we would not be able to do any of the moves.

At first the moves were simple, then they got complex. I couldn’t do any of them, in one point she is on 1 foot on board and 1 foot up in the air, and both hands on the board and she told us to clap. And as soon as I did that I fell into the water! And Lake Michigan is freezing thanks to chiberia!

The worst part of falling into the water was your board and body was wet so I felt that made things more difficult to do. But once you fall in you really didn’t care if you fell again. You let go of that fear the teacher was talking about earlier.

Overall I enjoyed the class and would definitely do it again! And another thing I liked about doing it with Royal Pigeon Yoga is the teacher took care of taking pictures for you and sending it to you! How awesome! Now, I’m not sure if this is just a special 4th of July thingy or they do that for all classes, but it was something I did appreciate.

And now you can check out my bad SUP yoga skills.












Very inspirational blogger award


Omg, thank you so much to Brittany at Briteratiย for nominating me for this award! Yay!

Theย Rules of the Award

  • Thank and link back to the blogger(s) that nominated you.
  • List the rules
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other inspiring blogs
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

Seven Facts about Myself

1) I feel a question I get asked a lot is what kind of asian I am, so I’ll tell ya- I’m half Vietnamese and half Chinese. I mainly connect more with the Vietnamese side since that’s where both of my parents are from and I can understand that language, I never picked up Chinese, but believe me, I wish I did! I would love to be more fluent in other languages, and for lame reasons, just so I can eves drop more lol

2) I love Chicago. Seriously. Wish I could live there but currently life doesn’t allow me too, but once I’m done with my nursing program, you better believe I’ll be applying for jobs in the city and will move out there as soon as I can! I always said if I could live anywhere else beside Chicago, I would consider San Fran area, San Diego, DC, or Boston (I like the idea of being close by water and being on the coast) but I feel these moves would be pointless because I would be trying to find a way to get back to Chicago. I just love everything about it- the city, the food, the lake, and it’s a much more reasonable size compare to LA or NYC.

3) If there’s any chore I hate doing the most, it’s laundry. I blame my retail job- it’s basically folding laundry all day so it’s probably why I never want to do it at home. I’ll do laundry and fold it but I just end up leaving it folded in the basket and wear that stuff so it never makes it to the drawers. Oops. Oh I also hate dishes- because my house doesn’t have a dish washer- something my future Chicago apartment must have!

4) This shocks many people, but I’m not a huge fan of chocolate or peanut butter. I know, what kind of girl am I? I just don’t care for it all that much. I don’t go crazy over it either. After the hot chocolate run I did last year, I didn’t consume much of it, in fact I remember giving much of it to the guy I ran the race with. I prefer vanilla. But I do like Nutella. And anything red velvet. And cookie dough. And coconut.

5) I can’t cook. And it doesn’t help I haven’t made much an attempt to do so. I’m hopeless in the kitchen, why does food taste so much better if someone else makes it for you? I would like to learn how to cook, but I think a part that kills it for me is I feel I don’t have much patience for it. Gotta work on that. Besides, I gotta learn all of these famous Momma Phu recipes- egg rolls, pho, potstickers, spring rolls, fried rice, stir fry, oh my!

6) Another skill I lack but I would love to know is how to sew. Being short, my mom always hems all of my pants and many clothing don’t for me right since it’s not made for petite people. I’m really inspired by those fashion bloggers who will buy a huge shirt and know how to tailor it to fit them and make it a one of a kind piece.

7) I’m a monogram freak/love anything personalized. I think this stems from the fact as a kid (or even now) I could never go to a store and buy a key chain with my name in it. Even when just the initial phase was cool- it was still hard to find mine! I’m looking into buying something that has all of my initials at the moment, and I’m also loving those bar necklaces people are wearing and want to have Roman numerals on it, and I have seen cool pieces of jewelry that have the longitude and latitude of a special place, and you know, I would have Chicago ๐Ÿ™‚

Inspiring Blogs

Alright, so I know I don’t read 15 blogs regularly, I don’t think I’m even subscribe to that many people! Therefore, I’m just going to nominate the ones I read on a regular basis! Also, don’t feel pressure if you don’t have time to do it! It’s just for fun and another great way to learn more about one another ๐Ÿ™‚

Kathleen and Lauren from Sister to Sister Runningย 

Sarah from Half Dietitian Half Human

Chaitali fromย Running and Enjoying

Heather from Another Girl Runner

Ali from 99 Problems and Running is Oneย 

Runner and Bride from Runner and the Brideย 

Weekly recap- btn big 10k week 7

Sunday, July 13
-nothing! Was still in Madison. And I found out that I can go to the Pure Barre studio here with my membership! What?!

Each studio is independently own, but some are owned by the same people, and I never imagine one in Wisconsin would be owned by Chicagoland people. Ugh but now I know for next time! And it’s so close to my friends place.

Lift tone burn? Nope all I did was lift tacos, pizzas, and margaritas this past weekend.


Me at the Pure Barre studio in Madison!

Monday, July 14
-none because I discover this:


When I was in Wisconsin we went to a botanical garden. It rained and I’m one of those people mosquitoes LOVE me. I can go outside for a second and will be eaten alive and the rain made it worst. And I’m guessing something else got me because I couldn’t believe how swollen my ankle was.

Tuesday, July 15
-Pure Barre #84 and 85

Wednesday, July 16
-Pure Barre #86 and 87 and yoga!

Rooftop yoga finally happened! Ahhh!


Thursday, July 17
-Pure Barre #88 and 89

Friday, July 18
-Pure Barre #90

Saturday, July 19
-Pure Barre #91 and 92

So yeah, the btn big 10k is this week so we shall see how I do. And I have a 5k race now. I’m sure after I join the 100 club I’ll be better at balancing pure barre and running, which I’ve heard the same thing from other people who do both also at my studio. Just gahhh I’m so close!

Weekly recap- btn big 10k week 6

This has not been a great week, this is going to look weak so I’ll try to include what other things I did this week

Sunday, July 6
-Pure Barre #80

Monday, July 7
-Pure Barre #81

Had to go because I ate a doughnut ice cream sandwich! It was pretty good, it’s strange to describe it as light and fluffy, but it was.


I know it looks like a stick of button, but it’s ice cream! They have a sheet of ice cream they just cut out to put in the doughnut.

Tuesday, July 8
-Pure Barre #82

Wednesday, July 9
-Pure Barre #83

I also went to the Taste of Chicago! I haven’t been since I last went w/Lauren and her sister in summer 2010? But things have changed, and I had a good experience. I think the last time I went, it was way too hot and crowded. I’ll do a recap of the foods I ate ๐Ÿ™‚

Thursday, July 10
-No exercise ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I worked and right after that I headed back into the city for a Girl Talk Concert! I now have seen him 3 times!

Friday, July 11
-No exercise ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I can’t believe I forgot my phone at home! I worked in the city, and I did so much! I went to a BBQ place in the loop for lunch, got a free slurpee, and then my train was running behind so I didn’t make it to Pure Barre ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Saturday, July 12
-No exercise ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

I headed to Madison, Wisconsin to see some friends I haven’t seen in awhile! I was all ready to head out and of course it was thunder storming like crazy. And the traffic to Madison was bad due to all of the construction, and people heading to the Dells. Gahhhhhh

I definitely didn’t get to do as much working out as I wanted too. Life got kinda insane.