Now Open, An Even More Beautiful Space

Now Open, An Even More Beautiful Space

I am so excited to announce that Upside Motion has officially opened their THIRD studio!  Settled in Singapore’s bustling CBD, Upside Motion has moved in to the new OUE Downtown Gallery at 6A Shenton Way.

To be honest, I was a bit weary of this new location.  Malls irritate me; bottom line.  And when I heard the new studio would be in a mall, I was a bit disappointed.  But when I drove past OUE Downtown, I literally did a double take.  The building is gorgeous.  After I did the double take, I realized this was the new spot for our studio!  I couldn’t wait to see pictures and plans.

My summer holiday is over, and I come back to Singapore to Upside Motion’s new studio.  It is more beautiful than I could have imagined.  With 2 huge group studios and a private Reformer studio, they knock it out of the park.  This is by far the nicest fitness studio I’ve seen in Singapore.

Step aside from the studios and you will find a relaxing zen zone to chill out before or after class.  There is even a work space if you want to get out of the office for a while.  No need to worry about how much you sweat in class because Upside Motion now has a stylish locker room with showers and vanities.  Due note, it is unisex, so don’t get too comfortable after that steamy shower!

I will note it is a bit tricky to find.  So give yourself plenty of time before class or your session.  Look for the travellator to go down to The Providore on B1.  You will see signs above while on the travellator that will direct you to Upside Motion.  You do have to walk through The Providore, so brace yourself; temptation!

As of right now, my schedule at the Shenton studio is below.  Check out my full class schedule on my website!  See you at the barre.

Monday | 7:30pm | Xtend Barre

Wednesday | 7:30pm | Xtend Barre

 

 

Advertisements

What’s In My Bag; the Long Haul Flight Edition

What’s In My Bag…….the Long Haul Flight Edition

The time has come; the dreaded 24 hour journey half way around the world.  With a 10 month old.  Alone.  Most people would be freaking out about what to pack for the 6 week holiday.  Please, this is the least of my worries. Instead, I am freaking out about what to pack in my carry on, and how to strategically pack everything into one bag.  After all, I am traveling alone, with my 10 month old, so the less I can lug around airports the better.

I start with a checklist, a week before departure.  This gives me time to decide whether or not things are really necessary, or if I’m wasting valuable real estate.  Don’t worry, the gummy candy made the cut.  Obviously.

So what made the list for the 24 hour journey from Singapore to NY? Take a look.  And yes, I did manage one bag, thanks to Lululemon, with a few attachments; the Skip Hop Pronto Signature Changing Station and a cooler bag.

12 diapers.  Better safe than sorry.  Even though James has been averaging five diapers a day, I plan for the worst; a diaper every 2 hours. I put four or five into the changing station bag for the trips to the changing room, while all the others live in the backpack.  In the end, I only used six.

Wipes, travel pack.  Wipes are very heavy, so I opt for the travel pack, which lived in the changing station bag.  I had plenty left over at the end of the trip.

Destin.  Never leave home without it.

2 changes of clothes for James.  You never want to risk the potential blowout.  And, with solid foods, eating can get messy.  We used all outfits, and managed no blowouts!

1 change of clothes for mum.  I think I ended up getting dirtier than James.  I wish I had an extra change of clothes.

2 board books.  James has been loving his board books, so naturally I went to the store and bought two new and exciting books.  They never came out of the bag.

1 soft book.  I am so excited by this new soft book that has all sorts of touch and feel activities.  James has no interest on the plane.  Still, 3 weeks later, he hates it.

3 toys.  Again, I spent so much time buying new toys for James so they seem exciting when I take them out of the bag.  And I strategically pick toys that would fit easily into the bag.  Ironically enough, his favorite game the entire flight was opening and closing the arm rest and playing with the tv remote.

3 chew toys, including toothbrush.  James has no interest on the plane, except for his toothbrush.

2 large bottles, 1 small bottle.  I use the small bottle for water, as it creates the least mess.  Sippy cups are not a good idea at this point in his career.  Staying hydrated on a long haul flight is so important, so we refilled that thing several times.  Because I am still breastfeeding about half the time, I only used one of the bottles, maybe once or twice.  And I definitely took advantage of the lovely Singapore Air crew and had them wash out the used bottle.

Haakaa portable breast pump.  Flight aside, this is the best thing in the world for breastfeeding mums.  Get one!  The worst thing in the world is feeling engorged on an airplane.  Thankfully I didn’t have to use it!

2 magazines.  I didn’t get around to reading these magazine until weeks after we arrived.

iPad.  The best part about being jet lagged is catching up on bad television via Hulu!

Passports.  Yes, I have to put this on my checklist.

Wallet.  Since I’m not planning on bringing my purse, there needs to be a place for the wallet!

iPhone. Can’t forget this!

Oatmeal.  I want to keep James on his normal eating schedule as much as possible, so I brought just two servings of Earth’s Best Whole Grain Oatmeal Cereal.

Formula.  James has a history of not wanting to nurse while on the airplane, so I am sure to pack plenty, just in case.

7 pouches of baby food.  Singapore Airlines offers a baby meal, but I don’t love not knowing exactly where it came from.  I instead opt for Earth’s Best Puree Pouches.  I originally had eight, but somehow managed to loose one, so we are down to seven.  In the end, we used four.  These are the best for travel.

Skip Hop cooler bag.  This attaches to my backpack and holds all of our pouches and oatmeal.  I didn’t use it to keep things cool, but just to keep all the food in one place.

Puffs.  The ultimate distraction!

Gummy candy for mum.  I love gummy candy on airplanes.  However, I never opened a single bag.

Overall, I used most of the things I brought.  I will be referring back to my handy checklist for the long journey back.  On the plus side, my hubby will be traveling with us!  He has no idea what he’s in for.

Confessions of an Expat Mom

Confessions of an Expat Mom

…or should I say “mum”.  Five months ago, my family relocated back to Singapore.  It’s been two years since we’ve lived here.  This time around, things are different.  We have a baby.  So I am officially an expat mum.

IMG_7588

It’s been far too long since I’ve written anything on the blog, let alone something relating to Pilates or fitness.  My time for the past five months has been devoted to James, our now eight month old son, and setting up our new life in Singapore.

Yes, I flew 10,000 miles alone with my 3 month old baby.

It all started with a 26 hour journey half way around the world.  Alone, with a three month old baby, I put on a happy face as I entered the first class cabin of Singapore Airlines.  I know, I know, first class seems a bit much.  But it was the deal I cut with my husband; if I fly alone with James, I have to fly in first.  Deep down though, despite the luxurious accommodations, I was terrified.  Terrified to be bringing a baby into first class, spending the entire flight on edge that at any moment this little monster would start screaming.

IMG_7546

IMG_7524

James was an angel and slept almost the entire journey.  The flight attendants even set up an entire bed just for him.  Gotta love a cabin that only has two of the eight seats occupied.  Word of advice for mammas traveling on a long haul flight with a baby?  Cash in all of your airline and credit card points for a business or first class seat.

IMG_7537

Landing in Singapore, I finally took that deep breath I had been waiting for since we left the US.  Steve greeted us at amazing Changi Airport and our new life began.

The dreaded move in day.

Our container arrived about three weeks after James and I arrived.  Yes, that meant we were all living out of a suitcase (or 7) in temporary housing for 19 days.  Most of which were without Steve, who was traveling for work.  It was the worst 19 days of my life.  So I will not elaborate.

The day came that I’m sure Steve was dreading; showing me our new house that weeks before I arrived, he had picked out.  Good news is I loved it.  Bad news is I was going to have to manage move in day alone; Steve would be in China.

The truck arrived and as one would hope the team unloaded faster than I could keep up.  One would hope; not me.  I had no idea where anything was going.  So before I could even decide where I wanted the toaster oven that we couldn’t even use due to its American voltage, we had dozens of other appliances stacking up.  The result? A whole house literally dumped into the rooms of our new home.

IMG_0219

Home is where all of our furniture is.

After probably 2 weeks everything was in its place.  Our high rise Tanjong Pagar condo was now beginning to feel like home.  This so far has been the biggest difference between Singapore 1.0 and Singapore 2.0.  (1.0 refers to the first time Steve and I lived in Singapore, 2012 – 2014.  2.0 refers to our current stint).  The first time around we were in a tiny furnished apartment; it felt more like a hotel.  We were both always itching to leave the island and go on an adventure.  Now, I look forward to our weekends home, lounging on our Pottery Barn sofa.  We have the space to host guests, to let James run free, and even a few outdoor patios!

Don’t get me wrong.  One of the major advantages to living in Singapore is the travel we get to experience.  And to have James along with us is something that I am so grateful for.  James has already banked stamps in his passport from Thailand, Vietnam, and Australia, and will soon get some from the Maldives and Indonesia.  After all, this is exactly what being an expat is all about.

IMG_1917

IMG_2731

IMG_2693

IMG_2646

IMG_1820

The true confessions of being an expat mom. 

When news first came out that we were moving to Singapore with our new baby, the first question out of everyone’s mouth was “…but your family will be so far away! Do you have any idea what it’s like to not have any support system?”  Well, yes, actually I do.  Living in California, our family was still on the other side of the country.  So what was another ocean, right?

But I will be blunt now; in Singapore we have a live in “helper”.  A good helper can do it all.  She is a maid, a nanny, a dog walker, a cook, a shopper.  I will not hide it; I will be completely honest.  Beth, our helper, is the glue that holds our house together.  I will not lie and say I am the glue.  I do not do it all.  Far from it actually.  In fact, I am a better mother because of Beth.  I am amazed when I look at friends and family back home, and they do do it all.  They are superheroes.  I may be selling myself short, but I really don’t think I could do it.  Not without Beth.

IMG_0882

IMG_1497

Since James, I have put my full time career on hold.  You probably have noticed a lack of Pilates and fitness inspired posts, a very slim teaching schedule, and more and more photos of James.  So why the need for Beth?  Well, like I mentioned earlier, to help me be the best mum I can be.  I am happier, healthier and stronger because of the help she gives us.   We can go out with friends, without thinking about a babysitter.  I can workout without feeling guilty.  I can have some alone time to enjoy a long shower.  And I can go out to teach a few classes.  The time I then spend with James (and let’s not get confused or the wrong idea, I am with him most of the day) it is more cherished because I don’t feel like I am being put on the back burner.  I will never be ashamed of admitting I have help.  I never forget how lucky we are to have the opportunity to live in Singapore, where we can have this help.  I also think about how hard it is going to be when we do eventually repatriate back to the US.  Which is why we must stay in Singapore until James can take care of himself…so at 5 years old, right? They are pretty self sufficient by then, aren’t they?

IMG_1453

IMG_1278

Adventures with a baby; not so adventurous. 

There are some pretty crazy places to go in this part of the world.  Tree houses in the jungle, beach chalets with no locks on the doors, dusty temples in the equatorial sun, and endless hours snorkeling the world’s best reefs.  Well, we quickly realized after our first trip to Phuket with James, that these trips are few and far between.  When the simple task of washing a bottle becomes a 20 minute endeavor, you think twice about where you want to travel.

Kid club? Check.  Shady beach and pool cabanas that shield you from the sun? Double check.  Overpriced big name resort that purifies its own water? Jackpot!  All things that we would have run away from in the past are now at the top of our list.

The ultimate expat mum adventure? Bringing your helper on your holiday.  Now that sounds like a plan.

There is no place like home.

Every now and then I think about home, and what we are missing, and what James is missing.  He doesn’t get to grow up with his cousins, or his grandparents.  There are no Sunday dinners with all of them.  His only perception right now of them is on a screen.  We don’t get to keep a car seat permanently installed in a car, let alone drive him to soccer practice.  And I do miss that.  I am so grateful for everything we have here in Singapore, especially Beth, and the time that I get to spend with him, not working full time.  But I do look forward to the new experiences we will have as a family back on the homeland.

We will see you this summer!  James and I will be back Stateside on June 30th. We will spend a week out in NY on Long Island with my family, and then a few weeks in Houston, and will finish the trip in Boston in August where we will be reunited with Steve!

Coming Soon, Baby Lampert!

Coming Soon, Baby Lampert!

I promised myself I was going to blog about our exciting announcement as soon as we began telling people.  But naturally life got in the way.  Believe it or not, Steve and I are expecting our first baby in just 2 weeks.  August 14th to be exact.  I look back at these past 9 months and am kicking myself for not sharing stories, feelings, cravings, and all the things that come along with growing a human inside of me.  But, I will try to condense into one story.

The Day We Found Out…

It all starts back in December, like most pregnancy stories begin; peeing on a stick.  My timing is, as always, impeccable.  Steve is getting ready for work and I just go for it.  He waits the 3 minutes it takes for the stick to tell us our lives are about to change forever.  And there it is.  +, clear as day.  Neither of us speak a word; we are speechless.  The feeling at this moment can hardly be explained.  Excited, scared, terrified, overjoyed, denial, are only a few words to explain.  Before all these emotions completely took over, we think we should try again, just to be sure.  And sure enough, not one but two additional tests later, it is certain.  We are going to be parents.

IMG_5293

FullSizeRender

 

I break the rule and immediately call my mom who was in Australia visiting my brother and sister in law who coincidentally just had a baby on that same day I find out we are going to have a baby.  I don’t want to take away from their big news, but I may have.  We decide to only tell our parents at this point because it is still so early.  In fact, we decide to wait until March to tell everyone outside of our close friends and family.

First Pregger Trip

Two weeks after finding out the news, we are off to Mexico with the family to celebrate Christmas.  Luckily I am not suffering from any morning sickness, but I never did feel 100%, so the thought of rice and beans and drowning in sun while my husband and his family enjoy ice cold cervesas did not excite me, as it normally would.  Do you know how much I love Mexican food?  And Margaritas? Yea, well I definitely kiss those goodbye.  For some reason, all the food completely turns me off.  Maybe I am subconsciously remembering all the stories from people who would get so sick when traveling to Mexico, and I didn’t want to risk it.  So I enjoy the week eating pasta, toast and crackers.  Awesome.  However I will say it is so wonderful being able to spend this exciting time with family and to share all of our excitement.

Daily Advice

Every week we watch a new video, to see how big our baby is, what is developing, how my body is changing, and the best part….what fruit it is!  I don’t know why, but they always compare the size of your baby to fruit.  When we first found out it was a blueberry. It then became a raspberry, a prune, a peach, a large banana, and so on. It is always a fun surprise as to what it will be next.  Our favorite app to get our weekly updates is What to Expect.  In addition to the weekly fruit update you get daily tips and advice.

unnamed

The First Look

Surprisingly when you find out you’re pregnant, you actually don’t go to the doctor for a few weeks.  It was week 10 (the size of a prune) when we have our first doctor visit.  This is the moment every girl thinks about; seeing your little peanut on the screen and hearing its little heartbeat.  But what you don’t necessarily know or think about is how uncomfortable getting an ultrasound is.  You have to have a full bladder going into it, so they tell you around 32oz of water prior to the visit.  For some reason, I hear 60oz.  That’s right.  On the way to the doctor, I drink 2 big bottles of Smart Water in preparation for this moment I have been waiting for.  Within 20 minutes I am not only incredibly full from drinking water, but have to pee more than I ever had to before.  All I can think about while in the waiting room filling out endless paperwork (yay for being a new patient!) is going to the bathroom.  They finally call my name and I can barely stand up.   I am also so excited/nervous I can’t stop shaking.  I get up on the bed and in so much pain lay myself down.  As the technician does her thing, all I want to do is leave and relieve myself.  She can’t see anything because my bladder is so full.  Wait, what? I thought it’s supposed to be!  She asked, “how much water did you drink?!”  She allowed me to use the restroom.  OH THANK GOD!!!!!!

I get back and she tries again, and in a much more comfortable position we see it; our little blob that we created.  And I can actually make out the features; it is amazing.  The heartbeat comes in at 165 beats per minute.  How is this thing living inside of me? It is all very real now.  We are given an estimated due date of August 14th.  It seems like ages away.

FullSizeRender-1

 

 

Boy or Girl?!

My husband and I decide to do some prenatal testing early on.  We think it is important to prepare ourselves if need be, and also just want a bit of peace of mind.  One of the tests we did actually looks at our baby’s DNA.  You know what that means, don’t you?  Boy or girl?!  We could have obviously elected to not find out this soon, and wait for the anatomy ultrasound, but we thought, why not? I receive the phone call while I am in the presales office at Equinox.  I step outside and my heart feels like it skipped a beat.  First, the nurse explains all the tests came back clear, and our baby is, so far at this point, healthy.  She then asks if I want to hear the sex.  I hesitate for a moment as this one word will change everything.  I say yes, and she says “you’re having a boy.”  For some reason this is so much more emotional than seeing our baby at that first appointment.  I wasn’t hoping for a boy or a girl, but knowing makes everything so different.  “It” is now a “he”.  Our son.

IMG_5819

I immediately call Steve to tell him the news.  I can feel his excitement when I tell him.  “Can we name him _________?!” is his first sentence.  I kept that out because we are keeping his name a secret.  And although Steve’s original reaction was our first choice for a name then, we have decided to go a different route.   Stay tuned!

IMG_6012

Zika

Steve and I have a long weekend trip planned with our friends and their new baby to Cabo for February, when I am just starting my second trimester.  However, Zika is in full force and travel advisories are popping up all over Mexico.  We decide to play it safe and cancel our trip.  We do get to change our flight, so long as we travel during the same time, and on the same airline.  We decide to go to Maui, since it is the only other tropical place Alaskan Airlines flies that does not have a Zika threat.  We have a lovely time, despite the fact that I am still in the place where people have no idea I am pregnant; I just look chubby.  Not a good feeling when you are in a swim suit all day.

Ugh, My Aching Back!

Now fully in to my second trimester and I feel great.  Except for one thing.  Back pain.  Sciatica to be exact.  Very common for this to hit at about this point.  I have never experienced back pain before and holy cow, it’s debilitating.  I cannot put any weight onto my right leg at times.  I am longing for my chiropractor back in San Francisco, Dr. Nick!  In fact, I actually have a trip planned to see some friends in San Francisco, and make sure to stop by and see him.  As soon as I return to San Diego I find a chiropractor, Dr. Robinson, and see him twice a week for a small adjustment that seem to make it a bit better and more manageable.  I also start prenatal massage every other week which helps even more.  And yes, you guessed it; I also get myself an obscenely big pregnancy pillow.  The Snoogle. It is great, until I wake up in the middle of the night and need to use the bathroom or change positions.  I have to literally snake myself out of it.  Still, highly recommend one.

7118XzSz0yL._SL1500_

IMG_6045

The Preggo at the Bachelorette Party

Another highly anticipated trip pops up; one that has been in the works for about a year.  My sister’s bachelorette party will take me just outside Austin, TX to Texas Wine Country.  Yes, that is correct; a weekend of wine tastings.  Temptation at its finest.  I proved to have incredible self control.

When You Find Out You Are Not in Control of Everything

At week 20 we go in for our big anatomy ultrasound.  This is when you would typically find out boy or girl.  But we already know, so the excitement for this one is to see our baby boy again and to make sure he has all 10 fingers and toes.  The technician points everything out; the head, the nose, the leg bone, the kidneys, and the boy parts! There it is!  Definitely a boy!

IMG_6048

As she continues with the ultrasound, she stops pointing things out.  Maybe it’s because it’s nothing too exciting.  But I sense something else; and I immediately have a bad feeling.  When she is finished she tells me the baby looks great, and the Dr. Nelson will be contacting me in the next day or two.  There is was.  Something was not right.

Steve assures me everything is fine, and that is is probably just common practice, since she is just the technician and it’s not her job to go over the results.  The next day I get the call from the doctor.  She happily tells me the baby looks great and from what they can tell is perfectly healthy.  She then goes on to tell me that I have what is called a velamentous cord insertion, or VCI.  In the simplest explanation, it is when the umbilical cord does not properly insert into the placenta.

“What did I do? How did this happen?” These are the first thoughts that go through my head.  My doctor assures me it is purely by chance that this happens.  Nothing I did, or can do, will make it better or worse.  It turns out the biggest concern with VCI is that the baby doesn’t get the nutrients it needs.  Based on the anatomy ultrasound at 20 weeks, our baby was measuring in the 86th percentile, so clearly the baby is growing.  Going forward I will just need to be monitored with a few more growth ultrasounds to make sure baby is growing, and later on, go in for frequent fetal monitoring.  You never want to hear that something is not right, especially when it comes to your baby, and the possibility of not being able to give him what he needs.

Back to Work! 

In the midst of my second trimester, Equinox finally opens, and I am back at work.  I’ve never felt better, and more like myself.  I love telling clients and students that I am expecting, and being an example of how Pilates can help you feel amazing when pregnant. In fact, a member almost brings me to tears a bit later on when she stops me in the locker room to tell me how inspiring I am.  She had seen me and my big belly working out with a trainer and wanted to thank me for being an inspiration to her and all women!  Is this a joke, I thought?  And when I see her sincerity, I almost break down.  Maybe it’s the hormones, but it’s a pretty cool feeling.

IMG_6141

IMG_6341

Child Birth Class….hee hee hee who.

Steve and I decide to take a child birth class.  We thought it may be a good idea to get a sense of what to expect and how to prepare ourselves as best we can.  The class runs for 4 weeks, every Wednesday night from 6:30 – 9pm.  Although long, the class is extremely helpful.  Taught by a doula, we learn all the stages of labor and different breathing and relaxation techniques to get through it.  We also learn about all the different birth scenarios that can occur during labor and how to prepare for them.  I highly recommend the class for all new mommies out there.

Breastfeeding Class

We also decide to take a breastfeeding class.  And yes, Steve joins in on this.  Only one night, we learn the importance of breast feeding and how it’s harder than you will ever imagine.  I had no idea how many positions there were to hold your baby while feeding.  Also, the importance of a good latch is key!  Steve once asked me what I was most excited and most nervous about.  And I told him I was most excited about the prospect of being able to breast feed, but also most nervous about it too.   I can’t wait to have that bonding time where I can look down and see him looking right back at me.  But at the same time I am also pretty nervous about the whole thing.  The class put me at a bit of ease, and knowing that there is help from specialized lactation consultants and support groups is comforting to know.

Babymoon!  and Pop Goes the Belly…

Week 32 or so hits and I have officially popped.  People weren’t kidding when they would tell me it happens over night.  Not only do I really look pregnant, but I am feeling more and more pressure in my low belly.  Walking around I feel comfort in holding it up.  Now I understand why I would always see pregnant women holding their bellies.  It feels so much better!  We also decide to take an official Baby Moon to Palm Springs.  I know, I know.  Palm Springs in the summer? Are we crazy?  The answer is yes.  Absolutely.  I do not recommend it to anyone, especially if you are pregnant!  It tops out at 119 degrees.  All we can do is sit in the pool.  Thank God we are in a peaceful, gorgeous hotel, the Korakia Pensione.  It is perfect.  I would just go back maybe in October.

FullSizeRender-2

FullSizeRender-1

IMG_6559

FullSizeRender-4

Twice Weekly Doctor’s Appointments

At week 34 I begin twice weekly doctor appointments and get to know the receptionists and nurses all too well.  Monday is AFI and NST and Thursday is AFI, NST and a visit with my doctor.  AFI is a quick ultrasound that measures my amniotic fluid, plus I get to maybe catch a glimpse of the little guy.  NST is when I get to sit in a nice comfy reclining chair and listen to his heartbeat and watch my contractions for at least 20 minutes.  I grow to actually enjoy this time; no cell phones, just me and my baby’s heart beat.  They look for a certain amount of activity within the 20 minutes, so we want to get him moving to elevate that heart rate several times during my visit.  Ice cold water or apple juice usually does the trick.  Otherwise he tries to just nap; he takes after me.

On Thursdays I see my doctor and she goes over the results of the tests, checks in with how I am feeling and will also begin checking to see if I am dialed.  To be honest, I love the attention and knowing that baby and me are doing just fine.

Another Move

Week 36 rolls around, and naturally we are moving.  Luckily we are only moving 2 miles away, but nothing is ever as easy as you expect.  We, and by “we” I mean my amazing husband, do a lot of the packing prior to the movers arriving, so most of our things are already in boxes.  Well, leave it to highly articulate movers to take 4 hours to load our 750 square foot apartment into the truck.  I make myself unavailable for most of it; sitting by the pool, interviewing pediatricians, and hanging out with Paya and her BFF Molly at Molly’s highly air-conditioned apartment watching old episodes of Law and Order.  It’s lovely.  Still, it is now approaching 6pm and they are just finishing up.

Being only 2 miles away, the movers should have been to our new house in no time.  30 minutes go by.  Then an hour.  No movers.  Steve is convinced they stopped somewhere for dinner.  Now it’s been over an hour and we call the moving company.  They assure us they are 5 minutes away.  Now it’s 8PM.  No movers.  They somehow went to the wrong house.  How? Where?  Mexico??  They finally arrive after 8PM and begin to unload frantically.  Long story short, they finish by 11PM.  Typically I am the type who cannot go to sleep until everything is put in its proper place.  Not tonight.  I wake up the next morning to a house full of boxes.  And because I have the world’s best husband, I go off to teach a few clients, and he unpacks.  By that evening, we are settled.

FullSizeRender

We Made it! The Countdown Begins

Week 37 comes and goes and I am officially 1 cm dilated.  It’s happening!  This is real.  This naturally puts me in “go time” mode and the nursery is complete, the car seat is installed and breast feeding accessories purchased.  I am ready!

FullSizeRender-3

FullSizeRender-1

IMG_6631

IMG_6693

FullSizeRender-2

FullSizeRender-4

IMG_6670

We are currently in week 38 and I have started my maternity leave.  Steve’s parents arrive next week, and then my parents arrive just a few days after.  In a perfect world, baby Lampert will be patient and wait until everyone is here to make his grand entrance.  I cannot wait to share the rest of this journey with you, and join the amazing club we call motherhood.

IMG_6696

IMG_6710

IMG_6683

FullSizeRender

IMG_6697

 

 

 

Calling All SF Pilates Instructors!

Calling All SF Pilates Instructors!

As a Pilates instructor, the studio you teach at has a huge impact on your career and your presence in your city.  Like the neighborhood you choose to live in, it shapes who you are.  For some, instructors will always teach in a small boutique studio focusing on private sessions and with few intimate classes.  For others instructors may never work in a studio but choose to run all over the city from house to house to studio to gym.  The environment a Pilates instructor chooses to work in is very much directly related to that person’s personality, values and style.

Teaching at Equinox is so unique, in that it is like having your very own small studio within a huge fitness facility.  You also have a huge presence, being in front of 3,000 plus members.  As a Pilates instructor at Equinox you have the opportunity to also teach group Mat Pilates, barre and fusion classes within the group fitness department which increases your presence dramatically.  For me, there is no better adrenaline rush than getting up in front of 40 students to lead them in a workout.  All of a sudden people you don’t necessarily recognize at first, are saying hi to you on the street.  You are changing so many people’s lives without evening realizing it.

eqx 2

The Pilates studio at Equinox is a little piece of heaven amongst an energy fueled, music pumping, beautiful people filled gym.  Working with top of the line Peak equipment, we keep the Pilates experience authentic.  Taking new members through perhaps their very first Pilates workout, you have the opportunity to earn them as a longtime client.  You literally have over 2,000 potential clients to work with.  Every member at Equinox could be your client.

PEAK

eqx3

With working for a huge company like Equinox, there come many perks.  The monetary result is directly influenced by how well you build your business.  But aside from that, Equinox offers its full time employees a very comprehensive benefits package with health insurance, dental care, eye care, 401k, maternity leave, 40% all services at the spa and training sessions and our shop.  There are opportunities to grow within the company as a teacher.  Equinox now has a comprehensive certification program where our teachers have the opportunity to become teacher trainers.  Your career doesn’t have to be just teaching session after session.  We want to see our instructors grow into something great.

I am working on building my Pilates team at Equinox Union St. in San Francisco.  I need fun, enthusiastic, dedicated instructors who care as much as building the team as they do building their own business.  I want the Pilates studio to be the place every member wants to be.  I want the whole town talking about our instructors and our studio.  Be a part of it.

eqx

San Francisco; my new home and the city responsible for my new bum.

San Francisco; my new home, and the city responsible for my new bum.

It’s been a week since my husband and I moved to the city by the bay, and I can already tell that this is going to be the perfect place for us.  San Francisco has it all; its big city feel around Union Square, charming unique neighborhoods, amazing national parks, mountains, the ocean, the list goes on.

photo 2-2photo 4-1The first few days we really got a good feel for a few of the neighborhoods we were interested in living in.  The Marina with its resident frat boys, amazing homes and gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, was immediately crossed off the list, not because of the college life feel, but simply because it is build on landfill, and well, I’m terrified of earthquakes and falling into the ocean.  It will, however, be our goto hangout with our dog, Paya.

photo 5

Golden gate

MarinaPacific Heights was my favorite, with some of the most gorgeous homes and views perched high up in the hills of the city.  Ironically, this is the exact reason we decided against this neighborhood.  First, our housing budget didn’t allow for the purchase of a 10 million dollar condo.  Second, and I think most prevalent, there were the hills.  I am not even kidding when I tell you these hills are steep.  Sure it feels great when you walk up one or two.  But there would be several more of those hills, several times a day.  I don’t aspire for that good of an ass.  Also, have you ever tried parallel parking on a hill with a “grade” of more than 30%?  Yeah…..No.

photo 2

photo 1

photo 5-1Noe Valley seemed liked the obvious choice.  Dog friendly, tons of strollers, lots of sun, parks and adorable shops along 24th Street.  Unfortunately, my driving and parking skills have to improve quite a bit for me to be okay with driving up and parking on those hills!   The only way it could be done is with a private garage, and again, our budget did not allow for those multi million dollar homes.  I was promised, however, that we can revisit in a few years.  Love you honey!  Turns out, if we decided to live in Noe Valley, it would have been an absolute pain for Steve and me to get to work downtown.

photo 3-2

photo 4-2

photo 3-1

photo 2-1Russian Hill was the little happy medium that gave us the solid bedrock, some pretty (manageable) hills to give us stunning views, and a neighborhood feel with a great foodie and shopping scene along Polk Street.  We are just a few blocks away from the famous crooked Lombard St. and blocks away from the Cow Hollow/Marina neighborhood.  It has charm, local coffee shops, and a barre studio!  There are plenty of hills, but not ridiculous; enough to lift and tone my bum without even trying!  That’s what I really call the happy medium.

Lombard StreetIn the week I’ve been in this new city, I’ve also managed to land a teaching gig!  I will be rejoining the amazing team at Equinox.  I have been teaching for Equinox off and on since 2009, and they are an absolutely incredible group of fitness professionals.  There was no question I was going to get in touch with them as soon as our move was confirmed.  As soon as I entered the 1920’s cinema turned fitness playhouse, I felt the energy and love.  I instantly clicked with the Pilates and Group Fitness managers, and cannot wait to get started, working and collaborating with them.

photo 4There are so many opportunities here in San Francisco, and I am so excited to start our life here.  There is so much energy, motivation and adventure amongst the community in San Francisco, and I can’t wait to share my Pilates experience and passion with this amazing city.

photo 1-1

photo 5-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My (Singapore) Bucket List

My (Singapore) Bucket List

As an expat in Singapore, your plans can change at a moments notice, and before you know it, you are packing and getting ready to move back home.  Some people move out to Singapore on a 2 year plan, and end up spending their whole lives here.  My husband and I arrived around 2 years ago, and well, the truth is, we could be leaving in a few months, or we could be here for another 2 years!  If it turns out we end up moving home sooner than we think, I would hate to think back, wishing we did more right here in Singapore.  The island is small, but there really is so much to see, do and experience.  Last weekend, as I was sitting my our pool enjoying the 98% humidity thinking about my friends back home battling another snow storm, I decided to put together my Singapore Bucket List.

1.  Eat Chicken Rice.  I know, it’s bizarre than I have not, in 2 years, tried Singapore’s signature dish.  It will happen, I promise.

2.  Take a day trip to Pulau Ubin.  People say this is what Singapore used to be like, and what you imagine Singapore should feel like.  Just a short ferry ride, and apparently you feel like you are in an entirely different country, enjoying cheap beer and local food.

ubin1

3.  Spend a night at Marina Bay Sands.  Sure it’s new and some would say an eye sore to Singapore’s skyline, but have you seen the pool?

mice

4.  Go on a coffee shop crawl through Tiong Bahru.  I’m a sucker for good coffee, and I always read about the new hipster coffee shops popping up all over Singapore’s oldest neighborhood. It’s like the Brooklyn of Singapore, and just like Brooklyn, I just don’t think I’m cool enough to pull it off, but why not try?!

5.  A Sunday champagne brunch at the Ritz.  It’s the expat thing to do, and I am probably the only person I know who has not gone to at least 3 Sunday brunches in my expat lifetime.

Greenhouse-Ritz-Carlton-Singapore-Champagne-Brunch

6.  High Tea at the Raffles Hotel.  I’m a girly girl, so it’s only natural for this to be on my list.

tea time

7. Expat Auction.  With so many expats coming and going, you can imagine the goods you could find here!  And often, expats have to leave quickly, so some great steals could be found!  Well, so I hear!  So we have got to get to this.

8.  Finally, the National Museum.  I walk by it at least twice a day, as it is literally in our backyard.  As a foreigner living in Singapore, this should have been one of the first things we did.

National_Museum_of_Singapore_19,_Aug_06

 

Just Glow!

Just Glow!

This just in!  Get your spray tan IN YOUR OWN HOME!  The worst part of going for a spray tan is the long walk, subway ride, or drive home from the salon in your ultra baggy clothes with no bra on, praying that you don’t run into anyone you know.   Well, this problem no longer exists because Spray Tanner Hannah comes to you!  She arrives at your door with her portable spray and tent.  All you need is a power outlet and you are ready to tan!  In less than 15 minutes you are glowing.

I promised many people I would let them know how it turned out, as this was my first tan with Spray Tanner Hannah.  I will admit, I was nervous as I am leaving for the Maldives tomorrow and I would be devastated if I was the tropical tone of orange.  Fear not.  Hannah was amazing working to even out my already tanned skin, helping to get rid of my tan lines so I could wear my new swim suit without having those uneven lines.

Hannah’s tanning product, flown in from Australia, is said to wash off in just 2 hours, but she had recommended not washing until tomorrow morning for better results.  Hannah is super sweet and hilarious, which could make it tough to stay still.

Two thumbs up for my $60 tan from Spray Tanner Hannah!

1901393_657754757605417_380025926_n

 

64114_504924336221794_1419996416_n

Anticipation…

Anticipation…

You always hear about people’s holidays after they return.  But, what is more exciting than the weeks and days before that highly anticipated holiday?  The ways you prepare for the big ski trip, volcano trek, or beach holiday are so exciting! I’ve had so many clients come in to class wanting to train for a specific trip, focusing on the specific muscles needed for skiing, hiking, or even just to look amazing in that bikini!

I decided to share with you how I am preparing for my upcoming holiday, from workouts and diets to shopping for the essentials.  Where is it I am going this time?  It is a place I have wanted to visit since learning of their existence.  A place I thought I would never see.  A place that I knew I had to get to now, before they disappear.  The Maldives.

Constance_AerialView04

 

Constance-Moofushi-Resort-Maldives4

I don’t think I have been this excited before a big trip since last summer when we were going back to the US for our wedding.  Every time I think about going to the airport and boarding the plane, I get a surge of adrenaline, and I can’t stop myself from looking through pictures and videos of this magical place that somehow exists.

So, how am I preparing for my dream holiday?  There is probably one thing that comes close to being as much fun as going to the Maldives…and that’s shopping for the Maldives!  As soon as I think of the Maldives, I envision  white, bright colors and soft, flowy dresses and beach cover ups.  I went straight to two of my favorite designers here in Singapore; Vamastyle and Simone Irani.  Vamastyle has great swimsuits that are so flattering and make you feel amazing.  Their dresses are also so light and comfortable, it almost feels like you aren’t wearing anything!  Simone Irani has a very eclectic style.  A little bohemian, a little tribal, all with the brightest and most beautiful colors, I found a few perfect pieces that will look beautiful in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

simone

 

vama

The clothes, though, will only look as good as the body under it feels!  In addition to my Pilates classes I typically take to maintain my “Pilates expertise”, I have increased my attendance quite a bit to feel even better.  I try to get to Options Studio every day, as long as my schedule permits me to! Options is great because they have a lot of classes at the weird times when I’m normally not teaching.  Plus, their Orchard studio is around the corner from my apartment.  I also try to force myself to do a bit more in the classes I teach during the week.  It’s so hard to get a good workout in while I am teaching because I am so focused on you! When teaching four classes a day, it’s easy to do a little arm work in one class, and then a little bum work in another class.  There is nothing better than starting your holiday on the beach feeling great.

IMG_4174

 

rollover

 

splits

Exercise isn’t everything though.  It’s all about the diet!  I’m a sucker for dessert, I will be the first to admit it.  My husband and I have both promised each other that we will be skipping dessert for the last two months before our trip.  I’m not going to lie, it’s not easy.  But there are great alternatives to a piece of chocolate or a scoop of frozen yogurt.  Lately, one of my favorites is peanut butter on celery sticks with a few raisins.  It was a childhood snack that I loved and still do!  Another little invention I came up with, although sadly I’m sure I’m not the first to discover this, is to freeze the little extra smoothie I may have in the blender when I make them for breakfast.  It makes a great little dessert! Be careful though, you don’t want to leave the smoothie in the freezer for longer than six hours, as it could get a bit icy.  The best consistency happens between three and four hours.

celery

 

smoothie

The best part of an island getaway has got to be the sun kissed golden glow you have when you leave.  But what about the moment you arrive? No one likes to get into the swimsuit on the first day feeling pasty white next to everyone else who has been there for days.  I will avoid this by getting a golden spray tan from the one and only Spray Tanner Hannah! Now, there will be a blog dedicated entirely to Spray Tanner Hannah after I get it done, but I just had to share with everyone the best part.  Hannah comes to you!!! She brings her entire set up with her and comes to your house.  If that’s not a selling point to a spray tan, I’m not sure what is!

1901393_657754757605417_380025926_n

I have to say the excitement leading up to a holiday is the best part.  You might think that I am wishing for next week to go by as fast as possible, but really, I’m okay with it just going by.  I am loving the excitement, mystery, and anticipation of getting to experience this natural wonder of the world.