Fab Fitness Finds for Under $30

Earlier this year, I posted a round-up of some of my favorite fitness finds for under $40. (Check out that list here!)

I found some killer bargains, but I think we can do better! So, here are some of my favorite fitness finds for under $30.

1. Patterned Compression Leggings in Green Floral – $25.00 from Old Navy

Working out is always a little more fun when you’ve got colorful gear to sport. Try these funky leggings from Old Navy!

2. Stott Pilates Toning Ball – $13.99 at DICK’S Sporting Goods

STOTT PILATES 2 lb Toning Ball - Dick's Sporting Goods

These pilate balls are a great addition for your home or office. Swap out your desk chair for a few hours a day to increase core strength and stability- and also take a load off your lower back. Or, use at home for your abs routine! Get yours at DICK’S Sporting Goods.

3. C9 Champion Women’s Wide Strap T-Back Bra – $12.99 at Target

Add a pop of color under your workout gear with this sports bra. The wide strap and T-back provides extra support, too! Get yours from Target!

4. Sweat like a Pig Tank Look Like a Fox– $21.75 from Activate Apparel

One of my favorite videos last year was “This Girl Can,” which featured this awesome slogan. Gotta love throwing in a little humor to your workout!

P.S. Check out the video here

5. S’well Water Bottle in Peridot – $25 from S’Well

These trendy new water bottles are alllll the rage, and they help reduce waste while you’re at it. Get a 9 oz. S’well bottle and sip in style!

What are some of your favorite fitness finds on the cheap? Leave them in the comments section below!



Fab Fitness Finds – for under $40


photo credit: pinterest

It’s January. The trimmed trees have been trashed, the gifts have been put away, and so have all of those holiday calories you consumed… in your butt, legs, stomach, arms, face… need I go on?

After the holidays, a lot of people feel motivated to get back to the gym and get back in shape – whether your inspiration is a New Year’s Resolution or just trying to squeeze back into those skinny jeans.

I gave up on the “Lose Weight” New Year’s resolution years ago – mainly because, for me, it feels like it’s only a short term surge of motivation, when it should be a long term lifestyle choice. My 2015 resolution is to be a better version of me – always, and in all ways (thanks Ryan Serhant from Million Dollar Listing for that last bit of wordsmithing) — and this definitely includes being the healthiest, fittest version of myself.

I’m so lucky to have my trainer, Mara, help me reach my goals. She pushes me — hard — but I always have so much fun with her and our weekly training session always flies by.

When I’m not working out with Mara, though, I try to look for other ways to get motivated to put in the time at the gym. And as silly as it sounds, sometimes some cute new gear can provide just the right motivation.

So, here are some of my Fab Fitness Finds for 2015 — and they’re all less than $40!

1. Yurbuds Inspire Pro for Women – $30.99 from Amazon










My Apple earbuds cracked a few weeks ago, so I’ve been in the market for new headphones. While I am dying for a pair of Beats by Dre Solos, the Yurbuds Inspire headphones got great reviews on Amazon and they mold to fit in your ear so they don’t fall out if you’re doing heavy cardio like running.

2. Patterned Compression Capris – on sale – $22.00 from Old Navy

I’m obsessed with patterned leggings and have really enjoyed the different options at Old Navy. These are a steal at $22!

3. TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller – $38.00 from Amazon

If you do any sort of strenuous exercise that leaves your calves, thighs, quads, or back sore — ever– you need a foam roller.  Mara introduced me this cylindrical massage wonder a few months ago and it helps so much to release tight muscles and knots. It’s also great to get blood circulating and is downright relaxing, too.

4. bkr Water Bottle – $30 from mybkr.com

I’ve posted about the bkr water bottles before. I’m obsessed with mine. They’re glass, so you can fill them up all day to stay hydrated and pop it in the dishwasher when it needs a scrub. They’re also really cute. Saving the environment, one adorable water bottle at a time? Sign me up.

5. C9 by Champion Tank – $16.99 at Target

C9 by Champion® Women's Tank

Lulu, you can have your lemons. I’ll take this pretty double strap tank for under $20 any day. Same style, waaaay lower price.

What are some of your favorite fitness finds to keep you motivated? Post them in the comments below!


Five on Friday // Five Must Haves with Man Crates | Gifts for Men

Happy Friday!!! It’s been a long week, but I am looking forward to a weekend filled with football, sleeping in a little, and lots of long walks with our girl Millie.

It’s my husband’s birthday next week, so I have been spending the past few weeks brainstorming on gift ideas for him. Luckily, I think I’ve found him something he’ll love, but a recent email from the folks at Man Crates | Gifts for Men had me re-thinking my gifts! These people don’t believe in ugly neckties and cologne wrapped in ribbons. Instead, they have curated “survival kit” crates for all of the men in your life, whether they’re sports enthusiasts, foodies, or beer lovers.

They’ll also work with you to create custom crates if you’re looking for something more unique! How genius is this company?

Here are a few of my favorite Man Crates | Gifts for Men:

Image 1

NFL Barware Crate

Warning: this crate may obliterate entire nights of sleep. 2 classic Nintendo games waiting to be beaten and plenty of old-school fuel give you the sugar rush needed to hang tough.

Retro Gamer Crate

Now that the Sriracha Crate exists, if you're still complaining about the taste of food,  the taste may not be the problem.

Sriracha Crate

Pretty awesome, right?

The Man Crates | Gifts for Men peeps challenged me to think about what would go in my crate — the can’t-live-without items I use on a daily basis. We’re not talking batteries or emergency blankets for this challenge — this one was more of an opportunity to get creative and include the things that help make me tick.

Survival Kit

1. Boots No. 7 Protect and Perfect Night Cream – This stuff is amazing. I first discovered it when I was living in London and now use it every night before going to bed. You can never start too early on taking care of your skin!

2. Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarer – I bought these sunglasses a few months ago and I am obsessed with them. I love the classic Wayfarer design, but what makes these even better is that they fold up! The case for these is actually smaller than an iPhone, so they’re super convenient and can fit just about anywhere.

3. Bkr bottle – I swear by these water bottles. They are glass bottles with silicone skin and come in tons of different colors. These bottles are a celeb favorite, but also a favorite of mine!

4. FitBit Flex – I am serious about getting in my 10k steps a day, even on a desert island!

5. iPhone 5s – I know, I know. Kind of sad that my smartphone is on my “must have” list, but it’s probably my most used possession on a daily basis. I’ve got everything on there – my calendar, work email, personal email, social networking apps, music, videos, Netflix, you name it — it’s in that phone. It would be very hard to go without!

What would go in YOUR survival kit?


12 Secret Pandora Workout Stations


Tired of the same ole, same ole on your gym playlist? Pandora has 12 secret workout stations to keep you pumped up while you pump iron. Click on the links below to check them out!

80’s Cardio– Madonna, Michael Jackson

Alternative Endurance Training– Sublime, Dave Matthews

Classic Rock Power Workout– ACDC, Jimi Hendrix

Country Fitness Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan

Dance Cardio– Jennifer Lopez, Tiesto

Electronic Cardio– Skrillex, anything Dubstep

Hard Rock Strength Training– Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold

Pop and Hip Hop Power Workout– Usher, Ne-Yo, Rhianna

Pop Fitness– Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake

Rap Strength Training– Jay-Z, Lil Wayne

Yoga– Deepak Chopra

Yoga Workout– Low key dubstep

RECIPE | Healthy Green Smoothie: “The Perfect Pear”


With fall in full swing and colder temperatures, it can be soooooo easy to fall off the diet wagon and reach for comfort foods. Hot, buttery biscuits? Hearty stews? Pot pies? Stuffing? All sound delicious, but are absolutely sinful if you’re trying to keep the weight off around the holidays.

My philosophy has always been that if you start the day off right with a healthy breakfast, you’re much more likely to make healthy decisions throughout the day. That’s why I am a BIG fan of making yummy green smoothies in the mornings for breakfast. Best part? The possibilities are endless.


Here’s one of my favorites that I’m sipping on this morning, which I call the “Perfect Pear” Smoothie. Before we get into the recipe, here are just a few health benefits of the ingredients:


  • Kale: The “queen of greens” is one of the healthiest superfoods on the planet. It’s low in calories, high in fiber and has zero fat. It’s also high in iron, antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, and is a great anti-inflammatory food.
  • Pears: Pears are one of the highest fiber fruits. Filling up on fiber can help keep you full, prevent a bloated belly, and also helps to lower your cholesterol. They’re also jam-packed with vitamins like C, K, B2, B3, and B6.
  • Peaches: Peaches are great to help rid your body of toxins. Since they’re packed with Vitamin C, peaches are also great for skincare (they’re even rumored to help reduce wrinkles and dark under-eye circles).
  • Bananas: You’ll never look at bananas the same way again after reading this article. Bananas are THE superfood!
  • Water: Well, DUH!

So, here’s what you’ll need:


  • A vegetable peeler (I like the OXO Serrated Peeler from Williams-Sonoma, $12.95))
  • A blender, juicer, or food processor (I use the Ninja Master Prep Pro blender, below. It’s amazing –you can get one at Target for $60)










  • 4 kale leaves or two handful of frozen kale
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 5 frozen peach slices
  • 1 Bosc pear, peeled and sliced
  • 2 packets of Splenda (or more if you like your smoothies super-sweet)

Place your kale in your blender with enough water to make it easier to blend. Pulse for 30 seconds. Add in your fruit and Splenda. Pulse for another 30 seconds. If the consistency is too thick for your taste, add in a little water bit by bit to thin it out, but be careful not too add too much.

If you do end up adding too much, I recommend adding another banana to thicken it (you can save the extra smoothie for later in the fridge).


That’s it! Easy, delicious, and super healthy! I like to drink mine out of these cute paper straws to add a little sass to my morning routine 🙂



Please share YOUR favorite smoothie recipes in the comments section below!



FITnotes | Make it Work! Working Out on Vacay Made Easy


When you’re on vacation, usually the last things you think about are diet and exercise. In fact, most of us tend to “fall off the wagon” during vacations, what with rich dinners out, lots of frozen cocktails, and lazy days by the pool.

Since we have been down in Florida, however, I’ve been trying to stay active. We’ve been for long walks on the beach, paddle boarding, kayaking and swimming.

This morning, I did an at-home barre exercise by the pool, which was SO fun, I thought I would share!

[Read more…]

FITnotes | The Beauty of the Barre: New Fitness Obsession

barre-classOver the past year or so, there have been a few new exercise studios popping up all over Richmond focusing barre, an exercise practice which provides the perfect balance of safe and challenging work through a blend of yoga, Pilates, and ballet.

I’ve tried just about every studio in Richmond, and they’re all great — Richmond Barre, Corner Barre (formerly Local Barre), and Richmond Balance. However, I have finally found my barre “home” — the Barre Boutique in Carytown (2820 C W. Cary Street, where Carytown Cupcakes used to be!)

[Read more…]

FITnotes | Bkr Chic


Earlier this month, my boyfriend and I made a trip out to the Los Angeles area to visit his brother and sister-in-law. I was expecting the Santa Monica Pier to be dotted with beach combing celebrities, and Hollywood Boulevard to be studded with starlets, but alas, was disappointed. The closest thing I came to seeing a celebrity was a Darth Vader impersonator outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

ImageHowever, I did spot one gem at the LAX airport (in the Kitson boutique, no less): the bkr, a glass and silicone water bottle that’s so simple, it’s chic. The bottle is made out of glass and is enveloped in a silicone sleeve in your choice of color. Color choices range from cotton candy pink (like mine) to Alabama crimson to Granny Smith green apple. Impossibly chic way to get your 8 glasses of water in a day, all the while being environmentally conscious. Now that is stylish.

(bkr water bottle, $28, www.mybkr.com)

FITnotes | Kanye’s New Workout Plan: Gym Playlist

The playlist on my iPod that inevitably needs the most updating is my “gym mix.” C’mon, you can only listen to the same nnst-nnst-nnst beats over and over while sweating it at the gym but so many times.

After mostly fruitless internet searches for workout music suggestions, I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. I was sick of reading post after post of suggestions that included tracks like “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child and “I Saw the Sign” by Ace of Base. I need something I can get on pace to when I’m working out, and, we don’t live in 1993 anymore.

So, Caroline’s Platers, here is a glimpse into my “gym mix” that has been tirelessly and carefully crafted together. Hopefully, you can pull a track or two for your own playlist! If you’ve got some suggestions for me, leave ’em in the comments!

“I Wanna Go Crazy” – David Guetta ft. will.i.am
“Major Tom” – Shiny Toy Guns
“Bulletproof” – La Roux
“Pump It” – Black Eyed Peas
“Hot Stuff (World Hold On Remix)” – Craig David v. Bob Sinclair
“Belly Dancer” – Bob Sinclair ft. Kevin Lyttle
“Memories” – Kid CuDi ft. David Guetta
“Kids” – Chiddy Bang ft. MGMT
“Mowgli’s Road” – Marina and the Diamonds
“Woman Trouble” – Artful Dodger & Craig David
“Live at Jimmy’s” -Angie Martinez
“Good Luck” – Basement Jaxx
“Rock that Body” – Black Eyed Peas
“Honest Mistake” – The Bravery
“Fighter” – Christina Aguilera
“Crazy Bitch” – Buckcherry
“Standing in the Way of Control” – The Gossip
“Embrace the Martian” – Kid CuDi ft. Crookers
“Touch Me” – DJ Tiesto
“Desperate Guys” – The Faint
“So Human” – Lady Sovereign
“Photobooth” – Friendly Fires
“Shake & Pop” – Green Velvet
“Embers” – Just Jack
“Pretty Green” – Mark Ronson ft. Santogold
“Electric Feel” – MGMT
“ABCs” – K’naan
“With Every Heartbeat” – Kleerup ft. Robyn
“Bad Romance” – Lady GaGa
“In Search Of” – Miike Snow
“Don’t Upset the Rhythm” – The Noisettes
“Shut it Down” – Pitbull ft. Akon
“Bum Like You” – Robyn
“Black & Gold” – Sam Sparro
“Church” – T-Pain
“A Cause de Garcons” – YELLE
“Shots” – LMFAO ft. Lil Jon
“Addiction” – Kanye West
“Take It Off” – Ke$ha
“Cookie Jar” – Gym Class Heroes ft. The Dream
“Sleepyhead” – Passion Pit
“Mercy” – Duffy ft. The Game
“Break Your Heart” – Taio Cruz ft. Ludacris
“Eenie Meenie” – Justin Bieber ft. Sean Kingston
“Keep it Going Louder” – Major Lazer
“Like Mine” – Gucci Mane
“Late Night Tip” – Three 6 Mafia
“Stick ‘n’ Move” – Fort Minor
“Heartbreaker” – MSTRKRFT ft. John Legend
“Little Secrets” – Passion Pit
“Tambourine” – Eve ft. Swizz Beats
“Fireman” – Lil Wayne
“I Need You Tonight” – Professor Green
“Discotraxx” – Ladytron

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