A 5'3 Perspective


The Time That Jillian Michaels Kicked My Butt

Last Friday I experienced the opportunity of a lifetime. I worked out with celebrity trainer [and drill sergeant], Jillian Michaels. It is quite uncommon for me to enter big contests because I always get discouraged when I lose, but when I saw a chance to workout with one of the most iconic fitness professionals, I couldn’t help myself. I just had to give it a shot.

Let’s make a long story short. I won – I was going to workout with Jillian Michaels, and I could bring a friend to torture as well! Off I went to Toronto to get my butt seriously kicked by the most intense trainer I know of. a day with jillian michaels body shred with jillian michaelsSince I was only in town for one day, I packed as much into it as possible; registering for the workout bright and early, grabbing some Starbucks [and a banana] for workout fuel, a quick pit stop at Anthropologie [a quite successful one too], and then finally – the moment I had been waiting for –  a Jillian Michaels “ass kicking” [her words, not mine]. JMWith my best friend in tow, we secured spots near the front of the class. I was in for a surprise – I figured that the room would be filled with contest winners like myself. Boy was I wrong. About half of the attendees were actually fitness professionals… and there we were, right near the front. I wish I could have gotten a closer/clear/one on one picture with Michaels, however, just breathing the same air as someone so motivated and influential in the fitness world was unbelievable!

As soon as Jillian Michaels emerged from backstage things got serious. She began to walk us through the exercises we would be using for the class, explaining the structure as she went. If you aren’t familiar with her workout program I’ll give you a quick run down. Body Shred, which is offered through Goodlife Fitness in Canada, is a high intensity interval training class. It follows a 3-2-1 format, with only 24 minutes of work. Sure it sounds easy when you type it out, but in practice, 24 minutes without breaks, while your heart rate is between 90 – 100% of your max is no laughing matter. During the half an hour class you will warm up and cool down [3 minutes each] and complete 4 rounds of circuits in between which are comprised of 3 minutes of resistance, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of active recovery [which actually means intense ab workouts – not break time]. I highly recommend visiting a Goodlife Fitness near you to try this class for yourself. You’ll love me and hate me all at the same time! before and after bodyshredWorking out with such an intense instructor [and a huge group of fitness professionals and enthusiasts] was one of the most motivating experiences I have ever had and it allowed me to push myself harder than I thought possible. Although the workout Jillian Michaels led us through was challenging, I must admit that my Tuesday night Rideau Center instructor Sarah, works her class ten times harder – she is ruthless, but awesome. It didn’t surprise me when I found out that Jillian Michaels was one of her idols – they definitely have that drill sergeant thing in common! I loved that options were given so that first time shredders and veterans could choose their levels to intensify [or not] the workout. canfit pro conferenceMy guest, Sarah, had never tried the class before – you can see our pre workout faces here, she was terrified. I however, was on top of the world! Sarah was an awesome sport and made it through the half hour HIIT workout like a champ, she even admitted to enjoying it afterwards. Unfortunately as soon as the workout ended Jillian ran off the stage leaving no opportunities to get a group photo, let alone individual pictures. Not to worry though, a life-size cut out was waiting outside to pose with after we finished the class. If you look quickly it almost looks real!

Working out with the tiny dynamo only fueled my admiration and appreciation for her even more. The entire experience was something I could only ever dream about and I am still pinching myself to make sure it really happened! Thanks again to Goodlife for hosting this contest and giving fitness enthusiasts and professionals the opportunity to meet such an influential trainer in the industry – you better believe my motivation to workout has sky rocketed after this class!

Have you ever tried BodyShred or any other Jillian Michaels workouts?

xo Lauren

Leave a comment

Holiday Gift Guide for The Socialite

Remember when I told you to keep your eyes peeled for my Guest Blogger Holiday Gift Guide Series – well open them up, it is here! Today I am thrilled to introduce to you one of the city’s most connected and social gals, and not to mention a great friend of mine, Zeina. If you don’t already follow her on Twitter, you can change that by clicking here, she is always entertaining and honest – you won’t be disappointed! Now let’s get to it, you’re in for a treat!


Gift Guide for The Socialite

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

1. There is something extremely sexy about a fierce pair of combat boots. They are perfect to dress down and party approved for a night out on the town.  You can pair them with an off the shoulder sweater dress or keep it casual with jeans and a sweater. Combat boots demand confidence – I kind of dig that.

2. I can’t pin-point when my obsession with nail polish flourished into a full blown addiction but I welcome it with open arms. Nail art is the coolest new way to express yourself and everyone is talking about it. However, with so many colors and trends, organization and clutter-free storage is an absolute necessity! What’s neat about this carousel is that it can be a simple DIY project during the holidays and there are plenty of Pinterest inspired examples to help you get started. Go on now, organize your life!

3. What is better than a friday night with your girlfriends, laughing and enjoying a delicious cocktail? A cocktail that was under 100 calories. If we’re going to be honest with ourselves, people telling us that our drink of choice is ‘fattening’ has not really stopped us from indulging during our weekly girls night rituals. Skinny girl vodka is smooth, crisp and refreshing all at the same time. Bethenny Frankel is a genius and this very successful line has recently expanded to include plenty of flavours to excite your palate. My personal favourite is a yummy island coconut vodka.

4. Anyone who knows me can attest to the following two things; 1) I am ALWAYS on my iPhone and 2) over the years I have lost a wallet/purse at the bar more than once. So you can imagine the great joy I take in discovering this life-saving item they call the ‘iPhone wristlet’. Innovation meets chic and practical meets compact with this stylish answer to your prayers. You can keep your important IDs safe and stow cash in it while hittin’ the clubs. There is nothing more suitable this holiday season for a city socialite than a MK (or Kate Spade) iPhone wristlet.

5. I remember the first time I saw a friend of mine with her newly purchased Marc Jacobs’ laptop case. She looked so comfortable yet stylish with this sleek and colourful handbag. As I sat across from her at Starbucks with my bulky black laptop bag, I was burning with envy. This is the kind of case you need for it to be socially acceptable to sit at coffee shops with your cute macbook and fill the world in on your life through 140 characters.

6. Sweaters have always been one of my favourite go-to attire in the brisk and chilly winter months. I love the warmth they bring and how they hug my skin while I sip on hot chocolate, curled up on my couch watching some trashy reality TV. The newest trend in winter clothing includes these cute heart cut out shapes on the back of sweaters. It’s a great way to still feel sexy when you have so many layers on.

7. For some reason, the chance to party one more time in 2012 before starting fresh and swearing off pizza is really a great feeling. Every year, I look forward to New years eve and more importantly — my New Years eve outfit. In my mind, I picture a classy black lace dress with these beautiful Princess Ribbon Pave’ earrings. They are flashy but not too in-your-face and I think they will compliment and complete the look. I can’t wait to look and feel like a million bucks!

8. These new white leopard print shoes from Nike are the best thing since sliced bread or at least since plain-jane boring runners. These sneakers scream “look at me, I have leopard print shoes on and they’re comfortable”! What I love most about them is the femininity and interesting colour blocking. Good job Nike on a refreshing and fashionable approach to classic sportswear.

9. My addiction to my iPhone is no secret (refer to item 4) and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. All the apps and communication tools literally have me hanging onto every word. So it should come as no surprise that I feel nothing short of an anxiety attack when my battery levels are below 20% – which is often due to my excessive use. When I stumbled upon the power charger battery bank, I thought to myself “this can’t be real”. You mean to tell me that I can charge my phone while using it on the go? I expect flying cars next.

10. Pictures are a great way to tell a story – your story. From silly nights out with your girlfriends to beautiful trips around the world with your family, a picture really is worth a thousand words. With vintage fashion dominating the world, what better blast from the past then this vintage polaroid 1970’s camera. Now you can just snap a photo with this iconic camera and upload to Facebook without the workings of instagram filters. I don’t know about you but I would be ecstatic if I was greeted with this gem of a gift on Christmas morning.

Happy Holidays and good luck shopping!


Feeling Like An Animal

Since I began writing this blog I have always wanted to share some of my personal style with you – but to be honest, it is a lot easier said than done. Finding the perfect back drop [or in my case an acceptable one], a photographer [thanks N and Papa P], and not to mention figuring out how to pose without looking completely ridiculous [this one still needs some work] is definitely challenging, but if you don’t push yourself you’ll never grow.

After a long girlie Skype date with one of my besties, I was inspired to chase my fears – we both agreed that doing this brings us success, or at least teaches us a few valuable lessons and makes for some good stories. So I’m ready – here is my first personal style post.

Bear with me, I am hoping the photo quality [aka my posing] only gets better from here – at least it is a starting point.

Oh hi!

Oh hi!


Vest: Anthropologie (similar) Button Up: Joe Fresh (similar) Jeans: Citizens of Humanity (similar) Boots: Hunter (in black) Bracelet (unpictured): Michael Kors (in gold)

OPI Casino Royale nails with a hint of essie Penny Talk - and my morning coffee!

OPI Casino Royale nails with a hint of essie Penny Talk – and my morning coffee!

And just like that – my first outfit post is complete! Hope you like it!

Leave a comment

The Starbucks Secret Menu

Has anyone seen this yet? I’ve come across  a few secret menus elsewhere [mostly American fast food joints], but this is the first I’ve heard about Starbucks. As far as I can tell it was released about six months ago.

The Starbucks Secret Menu

To be honest the items on there are too indulgent for me [I’m more of a coffee gal] – but they do sound pretty awesome if you are looking for a treat! There are a few more that caught my eye though:

Short Cappuccino – A “Short” cappuccino is a more Italian style cappuccino. Basically this cappuccino leaves out the gallons of milk Starbucks puts in for the more traditional amount of dairy that the drink originated with.

Red Eye – A shot of espresso in regular drip coffee.

Black Eye – Two shots of espresso in regular drip coffee.

Green Eye – Three shots of espresso in regular drip coffee. Not for anyone with a heart condition or road rage issues.

Poor Man’s Latte – Iced Americano with no water and half ice, then you can add free half and half at the little milk and condiments table. This is the same drink as a Breve Latte but costs much less. Just watch out for the classy police. This is definitely not the most chic thing to be caught doing by your mother-in-law or boss.

Poor Man’s Chai Latte – Order a Chai Tea Misto with extra foam, two tea bags, and half cinnamon-half vanilla syrup. This is basically the same drink but almost half the price.

Cafe au Lait – Order the Misto without foam for a classic French coffee drink.

French Pressed Coffee – Choose any coffee they sell by the bag and have it served in a French press.

Dirty Chai – Chair latte with a shot of espresso

Chocolate Cream Frapuccino – Chocolate syrup and chocolate flavoring. Lots and Lots of chocolate! Do not underestimate the amount of chocolate in this frozen blended coffee. Only for the true chocolate lover die hard.

Chocolate Dalmation – The Chocolate Dalmatian adds java chips and chocolate chips to a white chocolate mocha for that extra something.

Now, I don’t recommend ordering a “Tuxedo Mocha” or a “Captain Crunch” by name – but if you are able to explain what you want to the barista [extra points for using Starbucks terminology] you shouldn’t have a problem getting any of these wacky items!

So – which will you try first? I’ve got my eye on the “Black Eye”!

Sources: The Stir, Starbucks, and BuzzFeed