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IT’S WEDDING SEASON…

…&& the #TandemTribe has a lot to celebrate! In this post, we talk with three members of our amazing community – two brides, Melissa & Steph, and one Mother of the Bride, Annmarie – on the big day, the planning process and more. First, we talk to Melissa about her beautiful wedding in Ocean, NJ.

Tandem: Tell us a little about your love story with husband, Adam!

Melissa: Adam and I met in high school in Brick and dated all four years. We went our separate ways during college, in large part because we were seven hours apart by car, but we got back together when I returned to the NYC area for work. We dated another 10 years and then finally figured it was time to make it official!

Tandem: It’s crazy how life brings the right people back to you, what a journey for you two! On to the wedding day, can you pick a favorite part?

Melissa: The whole day was magical, but I think it was when the groom and groomsmen arrived at the wedding venue. All the bridesmaids were peeking out the windows watching them get out of the limo, and I realized I couldn’t wait to see my groom and get married! Dancing was also amazing – having all those friends and family members in one place, cutting loose, is so awesome.

Tandem: Sounds like an absolute blast! How did you decide on a dress for such a MAJOR day?

Melissa: I had a vision in mind (lace, A-line), and the first two dress shops I visited didn’t have any that fit my vision. I tried on several lace mermaid/trumpet styles that I really liked, and almost bought, but thankfully I held out for dress shop #3 which had my perfect dress and in my budget (David Tutera for Mon Cheri’s “Wyomia” from Castle Couture in Manalapan).

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Tandem: Well, you were STUNNING! You took shedding for the wedding to another level – tell the tribe how Tandem helped you prepare for the big day.

Melissa: Tandem helped me to get in shape — I dropped about 2 dress sizes by toning up my midsection, arms, and legs — but it also provided a much needed stress release.  Breathing deeply, clearing your mind of wedding worries, and just sweating for 45-60 minutes does wonders for the psyche!

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Tandem: We have a few newly engaged members of our tribe – what is your advice for brides to be?

Melissa: Weddings are so stressful because they require a lot of planning (time) and money (particularly in the Tri-State area) and other people (especially moms) may have their own visions of what your day should look like. Prioritize what is most important to you and splurge a little in those areas (for us, it was food!). Try to stay true to your vision but accept that it probably won’t look like the StyleMePretty blog (but will still be awesome!). Embrace and enjoy being “the bride” while you have the chance. And don’t be too hard on your fiancé because he is not nearly as interested in flowers and colors as you are.

Tandem: Awesome advice – one last question – how was the honeymoon?!

Melissa: We went to Antigua for a few days – it was glorious!

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Now, Annmarie breaks down the MOB perspective for us, as mom to beautiful bride, Michele, in their upstate NY celebration.

Tandem: Let’s start with some reflection for the Tandem community, looking back, what is some advice you would offer to new brides & their moms?

Annmarie: My advice – get yourselves organized- set a budget and then prepare to go over that budget! – get your venue and vendors in order – keep accurate records regarding dates and times – ask lots of questions! Ask for referrals, and don’t be afraid to ask if they are willing to discount their services to suit your budget.  You may be surprised.  Don’t forget to communicate with the groom to be – he may have some ideas of his own! Most importantly, enjoy every minute of creating your dream wedding  – it is such a fun time, and passes by so quickly!

Tandem: It sounds like you have it figured out! How did Tandem helped manage some of the planning stress?

Annmarie: Planning a wedding is a stressful endeavor regardless of how well organized you are – little things come up – but taking the time each day to ride at Tandem and being reminded in the beginning of each class that “the next 45 minuets are yours”   allows you to clear your mind – let go of your thoughts -release your stress during your workout and make a fresh start – to put things into perspective with a clear, more relaxed mind.

Tandem: We love that we could help! What’s a favorite memory from the planning process?

Annmarie: My favorite part of the planning was wedding dress shopping with Michele.  Michele decided she wanted  to shop with her sister Toniann, my husband and myself. The four of us took a few days and went from dress shop to dress shop both in New York and New Jersey trying to find the perfect dress – and in our opinion, she succeeded.  When she came out with the dress she eventually chose, we all knew that it was the one.  We went out to dinner and celebrated – it was a special time.

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Tandem: What a beautiful memory for your family – what about your dress, how did you decide on yours?

Annmarie: Deciding on  my dress was not an easy task – my mom actually chose my dress.  I knew what I didn’t want to wear – I just had to find what I wanted to wear – I drove everyone crazy, including the girls at Tandem 🙂  We found my dress in a shop in Connecticut, and had it altered to what I thought would be right for the day – I was still looking for a dress up until the week of the wedding!

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Tandem: You looked amazing- the dress was perfect! What about the day of, favorite memory?

Annmarie: My favorite part of the day is hard to choose, it was such a magical day –  but I think when her processional song began, and I saw her and her dad walking through the field –  it was such a special moment – so beautiful. But, a close tie would be Michele and David’s ceremony – a friend of David’s family married them which made it so personal – their vows were so heartfelt – you could feel the love in the air!

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Finally, Steph talks with us about her love story & experience with wedding planning!

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Tandem: We constantly hear how stressful planning can be, yet you really prioritized your fitness, how did Tandem help you get through the more stressful parts of wedding planning?

Steph: Tandem became my place of zen. I joined Tandem on New Years Eve and had my first ride with AK. I knew there was something special in that studio. The energy in the room was so contagious and really made me feel alive. I started going as a way to shake up my workout routine and it became something that I wanted to do all the time. Not only did it help transform my body, it helped refocus my energy and mind anytime the stresses of wedding planning started to creep on my psyche. Now that the wedding is over, going to the studio just reminds me of the journey I went on for myself. It’s a place to reconnect with me and ride it out, the good and bad.

Tandem: Tell us a little bit about you & your NOW HUBBY’s love story!
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Steph: The short version, we met in a bar during the NCAA tournaments, but the longer story is that I had “declared” one day that the next guy I dated had to be Southern. All my friends joked that I would have a hard time finding a Southern man in Jersey but I brushed them off. Two weeks later, I bump into this guy at a bar in Belmar and knew he talked a little different so I asked, “you don’t sound like you’re from here” to which he laughed and replied, “well that’s because I’m from Kentucky.” My friends thought it was a total “Steph” thing to happen. We dated for about a year before we got engaged, going on adventures throughout the entire year because he actually moved to North Carolina for 3 months right after we started dating for work. It was tough but I think we both knew right away that there was something special between us and had to make it work. We got engaged in April of 2015 in Spring Lake following a walk through the Divine Park where he had his two friends play our “song” on guitar. It was perfect.
Tandem: That seems like it is out of a movie – what a gem! What was a highlight of planning the big day?
Steph: I had a lot of fun putting the menu together to reflect both our cultures. I’m Latina and he’s southern, so it was really important to us that our culture was featured. We also had a lot of fun weaving a few “How I Met Your Mother” tokens throughout the wedding.
Tandem: What about once the day finally arrived, reflecting on your wedding, what was your favorite part?
Steph: I think my favorite part of the day was our vows. We had both decided to write our own and I had been so excited to share them with each other throughout the entire planning process. It was the biggest “secret” we had kept from each other. While we were reading them it felt as though we were the only two people there even though I felt the incredible energy from all our friends and family.
Tandem: The dress options seem almost endless from Pinterest, Instagram, etc – how did you decide on yours?
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Steph: This part is so interesting. The dress I picked absolutely did not match what I had in my head. I went to a dress shop and the rep put me in a bunch of dresses I “thought” I wanted, then, she picked out a ringer, just for fun and it turned out to be “THE DRESS”. It was amazing and I felt so “me” in it.
Tandem: The dress, the hair…you looked absolutely GORGEOUS! Lastly, what is your advice for newly engaged brides to be?
Steph: Don’t be afraid to put your foot down. There are going to be a lot of voices offering advice throughout your wedding planning process and it’s so important that you and your fiance are on the same page for how you envision the big day. Want kids at the wedding? Casual and laid back reception? Destination wedding? Whatever it is that you want- stick to your guns! Sometimes, in order to avoid friction, we’ll go back on our plan and then kick ourselves afterwards. On that same note though, when you’re feeling stressed out with the planning remember that what matters most is that you will be soon marrying your best friend and the stresses will fade away soon. PS! One more thing- don’t let Pinterest drive you crazy. There are so many ideas and you will go broke if you try to do them all. ha!

Thank you Melissa, Annmarie & Steph for taking the time to share your experience, and advice with the #TandemTribe!

 

XO,

The Tandem Team

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Instructor EATTSSSS

Heading into swimsuit season, we are always looking for delicious & healthy pre and post ride snacks. Here, some of our instructors share their faves:

Katelyn – Honey Balsamic Brussel Sprouts. Super easy & delish – Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut brussels in halves, toss in salt & pepper, and a little olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy & brown on edges. Toss in 1 Tsp honey, and 1 Tsp balsamic vinegar until coated. I literally eat bowls of them!

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MC – Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel English muffin with peanut butter, and a green juice!

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AK – Avocado Toast. Super easy & delish! I use 1 or 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, toast it up,  mash 1 avocado, add garlic salt, pepper, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes & Sriricha – so bomb. trust me.

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Have a favorite go-to healthy snack? Share it with us! Comment below for a chance to be featured in our newsletter!

Much Love,

The Tandem Team

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#TandemTribe Feature – Annmarie F. & Kristina M.

For our first #TandemTribe article, we could not think of a better duo than Annmarie & Kristina. These two have supported us unconditionally and continue to bring their incredible energy into the studio every single day. It seemed only right that we reflect on their past year here at Tandem, a little bit about their friendship, and what they love about the Tandem community. Check out our interview with these two #frontrowlocals:

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TC: We love you two! It’s been so amazing watching your growth over the past year at Tandem – seeing your faces in the front row makes our day. Can you tell us about some of the initial challenges you both dealt with when you first started tapping it back with us?

KM: I faced quite a few challenges when I first started at Tandem: I couldn’t ride to the beat, my legs were all over the place, I kept unclipping out of the pedals, I couldn’t stand up, or do a tap back. I kept trying so hard  to keep up with everyone else, when instead I should have slowed it down, and listened to my own body. Once I started to do that, I became stronger, faster, and more confident, and now I love pushing and tapping!

AF: My initial challenge was getting in the door at Tandem – I was convinced I would not like spin. I like outdoor activities: riding my bike, walking, and running. I came to my first Tandem class with my daughter, Michele, just to spend more time with her. Once I started riding regularly, I had a very hard time keeping up. It took me a while to feel comfortable on the bike, especially not hurting my tailbone during arms – but MC gave me a few tips, and now I can’t get enough!

TC: What advice would you give to a new rider?

KM: Stick with it! It’s going to take a few rides before you actually “catch the beat”, or master how to work your resistance, all while simultaneously listening to the instructor – but once you do get it (and you will!) you’re going to love it – it just gets better and better!

AF: Don’t give up. These classes are not easy, especially if you’re new to spin, but with the help/motivation you receive from the instructors, you will settle right in! Give yourself time – spin at your own pace – have patience – I can promise you before long you’ll feel like a much healthier/better version of yourself.

TC: Talk to us about moving from the third row to the front row.

KM: I used to really like the third row because I could see what everyone else was doing, and follow along.  However, as I got more comfortable on the bike, I was told I should try the front row. I finally gave it a try, and it was a game changer! I like the front row because I am able to see myself in the mirror, allowing me to really focus on my technique, and see how I move my body. Now, I can’t imagine not riding in the front row.

AF: Moving from my comfy spot in the 2nd row to the front row terrified me. I felt that I needed someone in front of me to follow, and to hide behind if need be :). Not true! MC asked us to move one day, so, of course, we obliged. Not so scary up there! In fact, I think having a clear view of the instructor, and the ability to see yourself in the mirror makes for a better ride when you’re speeding along, or huffing and puffing through the class.

TC: Did you two know each other before Tandem?

KM: I never knew Annmarie before Tandem. When I first started here we were both new to spinning, and were going to all the same classes, so we would talk before and after class. As time went on, we became closer and now we’re great friends – I’m really glad I met her!

AF: Kristina and I did not know each other – we met at Tandem. We both started spinning mid-summer. After seeing each other almost every day, we started talking and haven’t stopped since! At first we talked about challenges we both faced regarding spin class. We discussed the instructors and agreed on what our favorite classes were. We moved on from there to everything from mutual friends, children, family, and the challenges life throws at you. We usually find something to text each other about during the day as well. I consider Kristina a special person and a friend, a very important part of my day, and just one more wonderful thing I have gained from Tandem.

TC: In your own words, what makes Tandem different from other gyms/studios?

KM: The people behind Tandem make it different from any other gym I’ve been to.When I first came into the studio, I knew nothing about spinning, and was a bit nervous about starting something new. From the very beginning, I was welcomed and encouraged, and because of that I’ve changed not only my whole look out on exercise and health, but also my life! I don’t feel like it’s a place I just come to workout, you can tell the instructors really enjoy what they’re doing,  and want you to reach your goals. You feel like you’re apart of something, and that’s what makes Tandem above the rest!

AF: Tandem is different from other gyms/studios in so many ways. I have joined quite a few of the years, and never felt so at home – such a sense of belonging/inclusive atmosphere. Everyone here is so welcoming and friendly. During class, you can feel the energy in the room – its as if we are all working together, regardless of your age or athletic ability – we are working towards one common goal – to leave everything else behind for that short time, and just do your best.

TC: Thank you both for the kind words!  What’s your favorite song to hear in the studio?

KM: I’m loving Indian Summer by Jai Wolf!

AF: I love a lot of the songs that were played when I first started: Cake By the Ocean, Run Away With Me, Try Me, and Ex’s & Oh’s.

TC: Any go-to healthy snacks you refuel with after a class?

KM: I love making a Raw Fit Chocolate Protein shake with 1/2 of a banana, 1 cup almond milk, 1 tsp of almond butter, and 1 tsp of coconut oil over ice.

AF: My go to breakfast after spin is a hardboiled egg with avocado, sliced tomato, and Frank’s hot sauce.  I also love to grab a Strawberry Fields shake from Rejuicenation.

TC: We can’t wait to try all three of those! What about outside the studio – where can we find each of you when you are not killing it in the front row?

KM: If I’m not at Tandem, you can find me at work for a for a local dentist in Spring Lake, or enjoying the beach life with my husband and 3 year old twin boys!!

AF: When I am not at Tandem, you can find me at work with my hubby, walking my dog, Sophie, or – when it finally warms up- on the beach! I also love to bake, cook and feed people, so check my kitchen!

TC: Thank you both so much for your time, continued support, and great energy in the studio!

Much Love,

The Tandem Team

 

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What Are We Drinkin’? – The Patte Special

You may have noticed our Tandem water bottles filled with an orange drink recently – let us enlighten you to the delicious #PatteSpecial. A member of the #TandemTribe, Patte P., introduced us to this nutrient rich drink a couple of months ago, and we cannot get enough! The best part? The ingredients are super simple! Check it out:

 

Patte Special
1/2 Coconut Water
1/2 H20
1 Freshly Squeezed Honeybee Orange (or whatever Orange you have available)

This drink is great pre, post, or even during your ride with us. It’s also a great recovery drink after a night on the town :). We love coconut water because it’s rich in electrolytes (including potassium which is great for muscle soreness), natural sugar, and fiber.

Give the Patte Special a try, and let us know what you think!

Much Love,

The Tandem Team

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