Friday, February 11, 2011

Hello 2011 and New Year's Resolution!

One of my New Year's resolutions was to start heading to the gym again. The last time I was on a treadmill was last summer, so I really, REALLY needed to get back to addressing my post-pregnancy weight gain and building muscle to carry my little man around. Ironically, as I'm typing this I'm uncontrollably stuffing my mouth with mini eclairs fresh from the bakery.

One of the amenities at our residential community is a clubhouse complete with fitness center, pool, sauna, etc. When we left for the Philippines, it was still under construction and we were told it would be done by January. I have been looking forward to its completion because I was ready to get started on my resolution. Well, a month came and went, and when we returned it was STILL being built.

But alas, a few days ago, we drove by the building and saw it completed, and residents seemed to be using the facilities. So today hubs and I decided to see it for ourselves. M has also been itching to go to the gym since we moved here but we weren't prepared to pay $2.7k annual membership for the nearest gym (I kid you not, thats how much it cost a year), when a few months later one would open at no additional cost to us, and a mere 30 feet from our front door.

I digress. So today we FINALLY toured the gym, and since I've been in this "interiors" mode lately my heart fluttered when I saw the sauna and group exercise area. This clubhouse really exceeded my design expectations. So what about it made my heart smile? Check out this lounge area in front of the saunas (and please pardon the quality of my phone's camera):

This space is in the basement level so the hidden skylight above is such a spectacular solution to bringing natural sunlight into what otherwise would have been a dark and dreary area. It's hard to tell from the photo but water runs down from the top of the lit wall. That and the greenery they added to this space gives off a calming effect and makes it one of the more exemplary examples of "bringing the outside in".

Forget using the facilities, next time Noah has a temper tantrum this is where hubby can find me, curled up in one of those lounge chairs.
This skylight, wall water fountain, lighting, shrubbery, wood floors combination has me dreaming about Bali. In fact, I think it's where the concept originated because I remember going to a restaurant (albeit in Jakarta, not Bali) and marvelling at the soothing ambiance that these simple elements create. Here's a pic of the Indonesian restaurant I'm referring to:

And now on to the other room that I can't wait to use - the studio.

This is one of two studios, both laid out the same way. This is again in the basement level but you would never guess from the way they brought light in via skylight and all the greenery. I've been to a few gyms/sports clubs in all shapes, sizes, and budgets, but never have I seen one with a garden view! I LOVE IT!!! I don't meditate, but I just might start with a room like this, especially if I could have it all to myself.

So anyway folks. With a place like this to work out in, I don't have any reason not to follow through with my New  Year's resolution... all year round. What do you think? Is it too much for a fitness center, or do you think this is the direction that all sports centers should be going?

Friday Night and We're Live!

It's Friday night and while there are a ton of other things I should be doing like cleaning up the chaos in Noah's nursery, finishing up a job application, or a hundred other things (I'm trying not to remember), here I am on my laptop, desperately looking for excuses websites to divert me from the more urgent tasks awaiting.

But then I had a better idea, instead of passing time by reading other people's blogs, I thought it might be more productive for me to write on mine - something I've been wanting to do for the last couple of weeks. I've been doing so many DIY projects (some successful and some not-so), and seen some really fancy things that I've been wanting to share with you through this blog. So the time has come. We are live again!

And please do pardon my extended absence. You might be wondering where I've been, or not, but either way you're going to hear the reason for my disappearance :) I've been having too much fun! Two weeks after my last post about my Mediterranean vacay, we went on another vacation to the Philippines. Although we spent a month there, it flew by really quickly thanks to all the festivities that took place - Noah turned 1, hubs and I celebrated our wedding anniversary, my brother got married, and then of course there was Christmas and New Year’s.

I still have to upload a good 80% of the pictures and since our time there kept me away from blogging, the whole vacation really deserves its own post. Until then, here are pics of Noah enjoying his favorite past time during our vacay.

My muscle man with Papa on the first day we arrived. He wasted no time getting familair with the pool.
Now that the formalities are out of the way, allow me to post my first blog of the year!
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