Spin. Sweat. Sip. Socialize. @revuup

When I like something, I obsess over it. Examples: running, coffee, the beach, Baltimore. So it’s not at all surprising that when my friend Jane told me about a new spin studio – Rev Cycle Studio – opening up in McHenry Row in Baltimore, MD (technically it’s Locust Point, I think. Basically, south Baltimore.), it really isn’t surprising at all that I quickly became obsessed.

I started going shortly after they opened. I remember that I was signed up for a class at 6 a.m. the morning of one of Baltimore’s eight-million snowstorms, and I bravely trekked down to get my butt kicked by Eddie, one of Rev’s instructors. He wasn’t able to make it in, but Esther did. And the rest, they say, is history.

Rev in January:

Rev in February:

Rev in March:

Rev in April:

Rev in May:

(Side note: I love how much I’ve improved… I can look back at my stats and see how much more power I have gained. #progress)

I dropped all of my instagram pictures of Rev in above because I want any potential newbies to Rev who might be reading this blog post to understand that I’m serious about my Rev-love. It’s not new – it’s been going strong since January 2014, and I have zero plans on stopping.

When I was invited to attend an event at Rev as a “social media influencer,” I almost felt bad about going because I was already clearly in love. But I’m trying to get back into the blogging community in Baltimore and I really wanted to take a Rev Blast class, so I figured… why not?

I’m so glad I went.

Spin + Sweat

Jami – who is a ball of energy and so much fun – led the twenty-or-so of us in a modified REV60 Blast class:

Blast your body and mind in this action packed 60-minute interval ride where the cycle studio becomes your playground. Start out with 30 minutes of high intensity cycling and then get ready for some interval riding coupled with boot camp exercises that will have you on and off the bike for a full body work out that will leave you completely invigorated and screaming for more!

It was so much fun! I loved it, the time flew by, and I felt like I got in a really solid workout. We spun (spinned?) for 20 minutes to a kick-ass soundtrack, then alternated groups of interval sprints or strength moves on the mats down front.

jami teaching rev60 blast

I was covered in sweat which always makes me feel accomplished. Thanks Jami!

Sip + Socialize

After the class – and some group pictures (naturally) – it was time for the sip and socialize portion of the evening. Check out the spread, courtesy of The Wine Market:

wine market bistro food

wine market bistro

Yum! Turns out, drinking wine post-spinning is just as fun as drinking beer! Also fun? Getting to know some people who I only knew previously online. It was great to talk to you, Mary! To meet you, Annie and Chris! And see you again, Kathleen!

Here’s a list of all those who attended (and their twitter handles):

Rev Cycle Studio: @revuup on twitter, @revcyclestudio on instagram
@katekatebear of sunshineandthebear.com
@BreatheBlog of breathedeeplyandsmile.com
@theurbanathletica of theurbanathletica.com
@JessJanksA of justcallmejanks.com
@moutlawRun of outlawontherun.com
@KathleenBands
@Katie_Blaha
@TIUSami
@Emcielle25
@WBALDash
@aznstarlette of aznstarlette.com (Definitely check out her new REV60 Barre class every Saturday at 9AM!)
@jami2joy (Check out her regularly scheduled REV60 Blast class every Monday at 7:30PM!)

I’d suggest following them if you have an interest in healthy living, fitness and/or Baltimore. It was a pleasure to meet everyone! Thanks to Rev Cycle Studio and Wine Market Bistro for hosting!

Beach Vacations Remind Me I Love to Read Actual Books

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at the beach. One beach in particular: Fenwick Island, Delaware. My parents purchased our beach cottage about three years before I was born, thus ensuring I would always know what it was like to go to the beach each spring, summer and fall. For me, having a beach house and regular/easy access to a beach was something I largely took for granted since it was always there.

With age comes wisdom, and now I could just kick that little Molly who always begged her parents to stay in Baltimore so she could hang out with her friends all summer. Going to the beach for all of August was TORTURE to a pre-teen. (UGH. That girl was the worst.)

But that’s life, right? We live, we learn and we try not to repeat mistakes. For me, that means just trying my best to enjoy the time I get to spend here and not letting anything – especially work-related emails or worries – ruin my time. There are too many pretty sunsets to catch.

I drove down to the beach on Friday, June 26 and was so excited to have a full week off from work, a chance to visit with good friends that don’t live near me, quality time with my dad (who lives full time downey oshun, hon) and to read, learn and daydream. It all sounds so hokey, doesn’t it? But it’s true. I had big plans for my next week-and-few days.

As I write this, I’m on my last day before I drive home and go back to work. I might leave late on Sunday, I might learn EARLY Monday morning and drive straight to work. That’s still to be determined. (As I sit here editing nearly ten days later, I can now let you in on a little secret: I left Sunday night, got stuck in massive traffic due to an accident, and arrived home at 2 a.m. GNARLY.) But either way, I feel like I’m in a good position to wax poetic about the great life lesson I learned.

Humor me? Thanks.

Hey Molly: Make Time to Read! Actual Books!

I read a lot, but 90 percent of the reading I do is online. By the time I work a full day, workout, make dinner and do whatever it is I’m doing with my life, I’m tired. Instead of reading myself to sleep as I used to do, I fell into the terrible habit of Netflixing myself to sleep.

Mollytics defines “Netflixing” as: the art of watching television shows that you would not ordinarily watch as a means to avoid being alone with one’s thoughts. For example, “I am currently Netflixing 19 Kids and Counting and Man Versus Wild.” WHAT?! WHY?!?!!

Before leaving for my beach vacation, I went to the library (I know, right? Sometimes I forget about the library) and checked-out a boatload of books. During the week, in between pool-time with CK and HK, various Mexican meals with LM, breakfasts with Dad and running around the island, I read:

beach reads 2014

I don’t own a Nook or Kindle or Firebird or whatever. I do own an iPad, but that’s used almost exclusively for Netflixing. I’m not one of those people who thinks that everyone should read actual books they can hold because… you do you. I do know that it’s the only way for me to go. There is something exciting about holding a book, flipping back and forth between pages to re-read favorite passages and highlighting or dog-earing important sections. I kinda like the ache of a heavy book that is switched back and forth between hands – the option of closing or reading later not even an option because you are so engrossed in what you’re reading. When I lug a suitcase full of books on a vacation that involves flying, I love leaving books behind for someone else to discover. I AM A DREAMER AND A GIVER, PEOPLE! (ha)

Here’s what I did not read: I did not read blogs. I did not read articles online. I was on Facebook much less than normal. These actions affected my life approximately NOT AT ALL, which is a good little life lesson in itself. Hey Molly, feel free to step away from the social media!

To be fair, I did check instagram religiously because that’s one addiction I don’t even want to shake.

Here’s what I learned: I love reading words on paper bound together. I love book-cover art (a topic recently featured on one of my favorite podcasts – and blogs - NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour).

eleanor & park, food rules

I love the satisfaction of finishing a book. I love the way they send me off to sleep and I love the dreams I have when I’m really into a good novel. I love young-adult fiction, even though I’m decidedly not a young adult. (Or am I? I mean – I’m certainly not an old adult… or even a grown-up. At least not yet.) I do love reading blogs, and I will admit I’m excited to catch-up with my Feedly when I get back home.

And so, like a good New-Year’s Resolution, I’m going to try and remember to turn off the TV and open a book. I’ve learned a lot and really given myself some good ideas based on things I’ve read, so I’m eager to keep it up back in the “real word.” I’m going to, once again, ban electronics from my bedroom. There’s a reason I don’t have a TV in there, and now that rule must apply to my iPad. I’m happier when I’m a regular reader, so I should give myself every opportunity to do it more. After all, 19 Kids and Counting will no doubt be 21 Kids and Counting soon, and it won’t matter a lick if I didn’t watch it all unfold in “real time.”

Do you have any books you’d recommend? I’m fresh out of reading material and I can’t wait to get back to the library to return most of these and pick up some new ones.

eleanor & park & the beach

P.S. Everyone should read Eleanor & Park immediately. It’s honestly the best love story I ever read (thought that’s not even one of the top five reasons why it rocks) and it only took a cool three hours to read, all accomplished while lounging in the sand and drinking wine water.

(You can fit a half bottle of wine in a @nuunhydration water bottle. I mean, that’s what I heard. From a friend. #fenwickisland)

Baltimore’s Best Summer Salads

Over last week and this past weekend, I had two really outstanding summer salads that got me amped-up for summer-salad season.

Ever the unprepared blogger, I failed to get pictures of these two salads. And yet – ever the eternal optimist that this site will, once again, feature updates on my life – I am going to detail the ingredients and tastes so that I can hopefully reproduce in the future. You know, for posterity, and all that.

The Food Market

You can’t read a “best restaurants in Baltimore” list without coming across The Food Market, located in Hampden in North Baltimore. So please know that this salad is only a small part of the bounty that The Food Market brings to the proverbial and literal table on the daily.

The salad: watermelon + basil + feta. While this is hardly a new concept, the way I had it at TFM was coupled with white vinegar and vanilla with balsamic vinaigrette. I can’t recall all the ingredients (I think there were garlic scapes involved, for instance), but the knock-out taste was vanilla. It was so delicious, I probably should have had it as dessert.

Bagby Pizza Co.

We stopped at BPC for a quick lunch (and, if I’m being honest, to catch some of the Germany v. Ghana World Cup match) and while my initial plan was pizza, I ended up ordering their special salad of the day.

The salad: arugula, mango slices, apple slices, fresh feta, toasted cashews and a lime vinaigrette. Not only was the serving size HUGE (and I was super hungry), but it was so fresh and tasty that I forced myself to save half so I could enjoy it later. It’s a shame that this salad is not a standard part of the menu because I would drive out of my way to carry-out this salad on the regular.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that I’m mildly allergic to mangoes, so my tongue swelled a smidge but it was worth it. That’s how tasty this salad is.

I’m leaving for the beach (Fenwick Island, DE) on Friday for the next ten days, and one of the best parts of this beach time is stopping at all the produce stands on the way downy oshun, hon so that I can stock the kitchen with good eats (to counteract the good drinks*). Mangoes aren’t indigenous to the mid-Atlantic (shocking!) but I’m sure strawberries or blueberries would work as well.

YAY SUMMER. YAY SALAD.

*Speaking of good drinks: I had about four or five (or six?) (I KNOW) grapefruit crushes at Cowboys & Rednecks Pub (terrible name, really great food and drinks) on Sunday. Well, I had two watermelon crushes and upwards of two grapefruit crushes as we brunched and watched the World Cup matches. DELICIOUS and made to order (ie – I like mine less sweet). Aaron is a great bartender, so if you’re in the Baltimore area (Federal Hill) and need a watering hole that has good food AND drink, I would recommend C&R.

Seagull Sass

Maybe it’s the extended winter, maybe it’s the fantastic coral color, maybe it’s the way it pops against the sea of gray-blue-gray, maybe it’s the side eye… or maybe I’m just excited for summer… but this seagull is really doing it for me today.

Mother Nature, you are an artist. Happy Earth Day.

(But really, shouldn’t every day be Earth day? I mean, it’s 2014 and the metaphorical (and literal) frost on my tulips each morning certainly begs the question.)

Also: Guess which bird never, ever divorces?

(Photo source: davide ragusa.)