FitMob Review: Why Fitness Passports Are The Way Forward

FitMob San Francisco reviewFor this month’s Fitness post, I wanted to talk about ‘fitness passports’. If you follow me on Twitter then you’ve probably seen me raving about a company called FitMob, and all the exercise classes I’ve been loving recently.

In a nutshell, fitness passport companies allow members to attend lots of different exercise studios for a set fee per month. In San Francisco the two most popular companies are FitMob and Class Pass (which also operates in London). There are lots of differences between them and I agonised for ages trying to choose which one to sign up to, but I went with FitMob and as I’ve been using it for a couple of months now, I thought I’d review the service. To be clear, this isn’t sponsored content, I just really dig what they do!

The reason I decided to sign up for a fitness passport is that I’m not a massive gym bunny, but I love exercise classes. There are a ton of boutique gyms and studios in San Francisco, but unfortunately the going rate is around $20-25 per class. If you’re going to classes three or four times a week that soon adds up! With FitMob you pay $99 per month (though I got my first month for $1 through a promotion) and you can attend as many classes as you like. Now if I go to three or four classes a week the average cost is around $6-7 per class, which is much better for my sanity, and my bank balance.

On another thrifty note, one of the things I like best about being a member is that I can try lots of different activities without fear of wasting my money. Since signing up I’ve tried heated yoga, pilates, boxing, TRX training, acroyoga, barre classes, and circus stretching. Some have stuck (I’m loving reformer pilates at the moment) some haven’t (acrobatic yoga was not my bag) and that’s ok. Even if I don’t like a class I know it hasn’t cost me the earth.

Classes can be booked two weeks to a few minutes in advance, so it’s handy if you have a sudden urge to go to a class after work. The only downside is that the most popular classes get booked up so quickly – there’s an aerial silks studio I’ve been trying to get into for weeks which is permanently fully booked, which is frustrating. Some studios only allow a limit of one visit per week but this isn’t the case for every studio, and given that there are over 50 to try, it’s not too much of an issue.

FitMob also offers access to selected gyms for a a few hours at a time, though I’ve yet to use this part of the service as I’ve got more than enough on my plate with all the classes I’m taking. Classes can be booked via their app or online and while the interface is a little clunky, having a map of all the different locations is really handy – especially as I’m still finding my feet in the city.

I love the variety that fitness passport companies offer, so it’s definitely something I’ll stick with to help me reach my fitness goals for 2015. Have you tried a service like this and if not then do you think you would? Thoughts on a postcard please… Also, if you have tried FitMob in San Francisco and have any recommendations for classes then I’m all ears!

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Walking The High Line

Chunky Zara scarfWhen we booked our trip to New York, visiting The High Line was at the top of my wishlist of places to visit, and I’m so pleased we managed to fit it in.

The High Line is a park built on top of old freight train tracks and runs along Manhattan’s Lower West Side. Flowers and trees have been planted among the tracks and the park stretches on for about 20 blocks, allowing for elevated views of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.

Walking along it on Sunday morning was one of the highlights of the weekend – due to the elevation it feels secluded and yet you’re also completely in the thick of it, walking inches away from apartment blocks, walls of graffiti and of course all the other tourists. The park is less than eight years old and although it’s a very urban space, the plants and trees within it ground it, making it feel like nature has taken over and claimed back a disused part of New York.

We were really lucky with the weather while we were there but it was still a little cooler than San Francisco, so I layered up with one of my favourite thrift shop finds and Mr Ship-Shape’s oversized Zara scarf for the day. Peek a little closer and you can also see the sensible socks poking out the top of my boots – not exactly pretty, but definitely practical.

I’m going to put together a photo diary of our time in New York soon, but if you’re planning on heading over there anytime soon, I can’t recommend visiting The High Line enough, it really is a brilliant way to explore the West Side.

Tartan cardigan – thrift shop / Beige t-shirt –  clothes swap / Black leggings – Primark (menswear) / Black and red scarf – Zara (menswear) / Red leather satchel – c/o Dr Martens / Tan brogue ankle boots – Kurt Geiger

Flowers grow in old railroadPosing on the NYC High LineThe Meatpacking districtWalking the High LineBlossoms in New York High Line parkThrifted cardigan and Zara scarfView from the high lineBlossom trees on the High LineGraffiti by New York's High LineVintage and high street New York OOTDBloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

The Little Things #11

Little Things #11It feels like such a long time since I wrote a Little Things post. But here we are, it’s spring, our trip to New York has happened and I’m now another year older. Here are the small (and sizable) things that have made me happy recently…

Blogging about: The reverse bucket list that’s my take on a ’30 before 30’ post, the beauty miniatures that are my carry-on must-haves and the view from Rockefeller Center.
Watching: The last of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (I finally got into it after a rocky start) and three seasons of Scandal in just over a month – I’m completely hooked on Olivia Pope & Associates and can’t wait for season four to come to Netflix. Also, Game of Thrones, big time.
Buying: Flights back to the UK for a wedding this summer – woohoo! Speaking of flying, Mr Ship-Shape and I have also signed up to do a skydive *gulp*…
Making: Sushi! I was invited to a sushi-making birthday party at the weekend and had a brilliant time making veggie rainbow rolls – check out the results here.
Reading: The books I picked up at a secondhand book fair at the start of the month.
Listening to: Alt-J perform at The Greek at UC Berkley on Friday night. The Greek is an outdoor amphitheatre on the outskirts of the university’s campus and it holds over 8,000 people. It was an amazing gig and being outdoors gave the evening something of a festival vibe.
Wearing: A Canada goose jumper, obviously.
Trying: Indoor climbing – I’ve only ever tried climbing once before, so being up high was a little intimidating, but it was great fun and I’m definitely going back so I can climb the big walls like the dude in the photo above. I also had a go at paddle boarding when we went to  Santa Cruz with friends a couple of weeks ago, and miraculously managed to stay on my board the whole time.
Eating: All the pizza, bagels, gelato and cupcakes that New York had to offer. My favourite places for pizza were Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn and Lombardi’s in Little Italy.
Enjoying: My snazzy new laptop, which was a birthday present from Mr Ship-Shape
Looking forward to: Getting back into a 9-5 now that my work permit has come through.

What little things have you been loving lately?

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Top of The Rock

Posing in front of Empire State BuildingIt’s amazing how quickly you settle back into life after a holiday, don’t you think? I’m back on Californian soil after spending a long weekend in New York with Mr Ship-Shape to celebrate my birthday. It was the perfect way to see in a new year (and indeed a new decade *gulp*) and the city itself was just as good as I remember from previous visits.

On my actual birthday we managed to fit in bagels, Brooklyn, pizza and an early morning visit to the observation deck of the Rockefeller Centre, which is where these photos were taken. They’re just touristy snaps but I wanted to feature them on the blog as a reminder of how kick-ass this trip was.

Although we used the subway a few times, for the majority of the trip we walked everywhere, so I wanted to wear an outfit that could go the distance. I’m having a bit of a thing for denim at the moment so I picked this denim dress from New York for the occasion. The design is quite fitted but loose enough to hide the bagel belly I accumulated within a couple of days– result! The little fox badge is from the birthday card Mr Ship-Shape got me and I’m also wearing my favourite new Chelsea boots, which aren’t in shot because Top of The Rock on a Saturday morning = too crowded for full length photos.

I’ll be sharing more snaps from NYC soon, but in the meantime check out my Instagram to see what we got up to!

PS. I treated myself to a new ‘do before our trip so I’m a full-blown redhead again – do you like it?

Rockefeller CentreNBC Rainbow Room signPosing at the top of the rockRockefeller Centre viewDenim dress and fox badge outfitSleeping fox badgeView of the Empire State Building

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

My Reverse Bucket List

Reverse Bucket ListHello! Greetings from New York. Right now I’m celebrating my birthday in the Big Apple and as it’s something of a milestone, I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on the last *gulp* 30 years.

There are so many ’30 before 30′ lists out there and they all focus on what a person hasn’t done, as opposed to what they have. That’s why, when I spotted Tara’s reverse bucket list post, I knew I wanted to write a similar list. When we’re always striving to do/be/have more, we can sometimes forget the goals and milestones we’ve already achieved.

So, please forgive the self-indulgence – it is my birthday after all – and have a read of my reverse ’30 before 30′ bucket list. If you’ve had any of the same experiences (or some of them are on your own bucket list) let me know in the comments!

Travelled around Europe on the back of a motorbike
Learned to hula hoop
Went hobbit-spotting in New Zealand
Got married to my favourite person
Learned to dive in Thailand
Colour-coded all my book shelves
Bought a house
Tried my hand at running a vintage stall
Gained a first class degree
Had features published in national magazines
Went on safari in Uganda
Slept on a junk boat in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Met my literary hero Caitlin Moran (three times)
Planned a wedding
Tried paddle boarding and didn’t fall off once
Tried skiing and fell down a lot
Attended seven wonderful Glastonbury Festivals
Started freelancing even though it was super scary
Learned to French plait my hair
Ran two half marathons
Kayaked the Nile
Dived with manta rays in the Maldives
Trapped and disposed of two spiders (and counting), despite being terrified of them
Started a blog, which is still going after five years
Hung out with koalas, crocodiles and kangaroos in Australia
Spun social media for Worthy FM during three Glastonbury Festivals
Learned to pick myself up when things go wrong
Swum in the Great Barrier Reef
Moved to another country
Celebrated my 30th birthday in New York

Bloglovin |Twitter | Facebook | Instagram