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My At-Home Barre Setup

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa stretches at the Bootykicker portable barre.

This post is for the fellow Bar Method enthusiasts working out at home and trying to figure out an optimal setup! As I mentioned in my last post, I recently upgraded what I use for livestream classes. Before this, I was MacGyvering with whatever I had around the condo: a chair instead of a real barre, throw pillows instead of risers and mini mats, an old yoga mat that wasn't cushy enough for my joints. That was okay for the short term, but over time these improvised solutions didn't support me in trying to get into my best form. I could feel myself holding back (not great for maintaining strength and trying to get stronger), and the limitations of my equipment were starting to create bad muscle memory habits and imbalances. The new gear definitely helped me achieve a more intense burn in tilted seat, a more balanced posture in foldover and arabesque, and a deeper ab contraction in curl work.

Quarantine Life Lately

Vancouver beauty, life and style blogger Solo Lisa sits on a rock at Chesterman Beach, Tofino, BC, looking out to the ocean. It is a cloudy day.

Looking back at recent posts, I realize that I've done a lot of grumbling about work and being at home 24/7. But hey, life wasn't all bad! I'm grateful that I'm still gainfully employed, my loved ones are healthy, and I can WFH safely during a global pandemic. Plus, there were a few bright spots this summer. Here's a quick look at some highlights that occurred away from the laptop and the Zoom calls.

Product Review: AG Hair Natural Collection

AG Hair Natural Collection sample sizes featuring Balance Shampoo, Boost Conditioner, Remedy Leave On Mist, Rosehip Balm Hair Dry Lotion

While WFH and riding out summer's heat waves sans air conditioning, I've been air-drying my hair whenever possible, and reaching for the AG Hair Natural To Go Kit ($29.95) to keep it from turning into a frizzy mess. Full disclosure: I received this gifted PR sample ages ago—so long ago, in fact, that AG has since changed the mix of products in their Natural To Go Kit. (The newer version includes the same shampoo and conditioner, but different styling products.) This kit may have languished in my beauty stash for eons, but good products speak for themselves no matter when you get around to testing them and these AG haircare products are incredible.

Empties: August 2020

All of the products described in this post featured together. Affordable natural and drugstore beauty, skincare, body care and haircare products by Nivea, Garnier, Herbal Essences, Not Your Mother's Naturals, BVSpa, Woodlot, Herbivore Botanicals, Rocky Mountain Soap Company, Trader Joe's, Derma E, Saje, Fresh, The Face Shop, Bliss.

Ugh, this year. Before I recap the empty products I've used this summer, I need to get something off my chest. When the pandemic started, I have to admit, the bizarre novelty of the situation didn't faze me. Asking an introverted homebody to spend even more time at home? Okay! I still had my job and could WFH; I could do barre classes over Zoom; and my husband and I were spending more time together than ever. I found ways to fill my time, from reading more books and discovering new TV shows to trying different recipes. But as time wore on and the novelty faded, between the perpetual stress of 2020 humming in the background, and the work burnout I alluded to in previous posts, I've been pretty depressed this summer.

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