The Bottomless Pit || a.k.a. Katy’s ‘Gym’ Bag

You most likely will not see Katy toting around a gym bag; you will, however, probably find her with an oversized purse on her shoulder, holding all of her essentials. Amongst the crumpled Post-Its, half eaten granola bars, mail, and bobby pins (hello, Monday Bunday) you will find a few items you’ll want to grab on your next run to the store..see below:

katys bag

Aveda aircontrol hairspray: perfect for a quick fluff in between classes, plus..its lightweight and smells great.

Dr. Jart Highlighter & Concealer: “I put it under my eyes to brighten me up after a long day…I should probably put some on now”- Quotes from Katy

NARS blush/bronzer combo: We can’t all have time to contour between classes, but this double duty will put the color back to your cheeks after a tired day of typing, tucking, and talking.

Daily Juice Kickstarter: made with lemon, agave and cayenne, it truly is the ‘kickstart’ you need to start your day on the right foot. Not only will it suppress your appetite and speed up your metabolism, it tastes delicious and is the original to it’s pseudo drink, “beyonce-aid”.

Macbook Air/iPhone: the Macbook’s light and portableI design makes it uber easy to set up shop on the go . You will also never see Katy without her other trusty work device – her phone! Actually, if you do, she is probably lost or been robbed, so help her.

Hermes bangle: “because everyone needs a chic accessory” – Katy

Meet Amber // Meet Amber’s Gym Bag

Meet Amber// 

Resident Neighborhood Barre extraordinaire and co-star of Barre Skinny Vol. 1 & 2.
amber headshot

Meet Amber’s ‘Gym Bag’//use this one

Curious to see what this long-time barre-bie carries in her super chic Milly bag? Us, we took a peek inside to find out!

Here are the essentials…

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo: This stuff is perfect if your locks need a refresher but you’re in a time crunch (i.e. you have dinner plans at 7:00 but you HAD to go to 5:30 barre because your sanity depends on it).

2. Chia Bar: These bars are small and mighty (only 100 calories with 4 grams of protein!). The chocolate peanut butter flavor is delicious, and the chia seeds keep you feeling fuller for longer than most 100 calorie bars.

3. Lilly Pulitzer planner: This planner is a great way to keep up with everything from work to play. *Side note- I only write in mechanical pencil…life is always changing and it’s nice to be able to erase a mistake every once in a while ;)

4. Mineral Fusion Powder SPF 30: My skin has never reacted well to facial sunscreens, so this product has been a game-changer for me. The mineral powder controls oily skin and provides protection from the sun.

5. Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads: There’s nothing cute about eye makeup running down your face during/after a sweaty workout. These pads are great at removing makeup without adding more oil to the surface of your skin.

6. Clean and Clear Hydrating Gel Moisturizer: This stuff is like a drink of water for your face. It’s a perfect way to wake my skin up before teaching a 6 a.m. class

Fighting the Headache Battle With Neighborhood Barre

hallie 2 With Summer allergies rearing their ugly head, it’s not uncommon to be feeling a little more achy this time of year. For those of you who suffer from headaches, this one’s for you. Resident instructor Hallie Wallen shares how exercise has helped her to better cope and manage chronic migraines via NEIGHBORHOOD barre classes and their combination of:

  • getting my heart rate up in the always stellar warmups
  • forward folds and downward movements to increase blood flow
  • the unique workout that, in general, lowered my blood pressure through the constricting/contracting of my blood vessels

Read more about Hallie’s story here: “Living in East Tennessee you are likely to either suffer from migraines or know someone who does. East Tennessee ranks as one of the highest concentration of migraine sufferers in the country. I myself have been diagnosed with chronic migraines….. BUT I discovered Neighborhood barre and it has helped tremendously with my migraine “hygiene”. Low impact exercises (you should avoid jarring exercises such as running) that still maintain a cardio element are proven to reduce migraines. When I started coming to NB I noticed a significant decrease in my number of migraine days. Even on days when I had a migraine I still pushed myself to go to help reduce the pain. It works!hallie blog 2 I have tried other low-impact exercises and barre-based classes, but I did not get the same benefit due to the imbalance of cardio vs. strength training. Neighborhood Barre classes seem to balance this perfectly to maximize the benefits of both. Still doubtful? When I began NB I was taking more than a handful of medicine everyday, referred to as prophylactics. Exercise stimulates your body to release natural pain controlling chemicals called endorphins and natural anti-depressant chemicals called enkephalins. NB allowed me to embark on a well planned exercise program that enabled me to reduce my drug intake, particularly those drugs taken daily to prevent migraines (prophylactic medicine). Now I take only ONE pill a day! I encourage you to come try the health benefits of NB for yourself.” -Hallie

Meet Your Bikini’s Newest Friend: Beyonc-Aid

Post-Fourth cookout (pig-out), we felt it appropriate to introduce you to our favorite summer vice, Beyonc-aid. The name is, of course, an ode to the Master Cleanse Diet Queen, Bey, who used this method to drop over 20lbs for Dreamgirls. However, instead of completely cutting solid foods out of the equation, we choose to be mindful of our choices throughout the day and use the drink to keep our appetite at bay.

Why we love it? It’s tasty, refreshing, and a natural diuretic to keep you from bloating in your swimmie. It also suppresses the appetite and boots the metabolism, which makes it extra useful as a morning juice. Try to drink a full serving before eating breakfast, then sip on it throughout the day to keep the puffiness away.

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What you need: Lemons, a lemon press, stevia in the raw, cayenne pepper

For one Bkr bottle:

Press 2 Lemons, add 1-2 packs of Stevia, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (don’t be shy, the spicier the better).

For a full 1/2 gallon pitcher (pictured):

7 lemons, 6-7 packs of Stevia, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix, chill, and enjoy :)

Summer Sippin’ Without The Cals!

We know all too well the struggle of derailing our diet and hard earned physique with a marg over mexican or frozen daiquiri beachside. With the help of our resident mixologist, Katy, we whipped up a few cocktails so you can have a social drink (or two) while sparing your waistline. See below….

Items you’ll need:

  • Muddled or torn mint (you have to at least chop or tear the leaves to get the mint effervescence to come out)
  • Ice
  • 1 oz of Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka – Why we love it: it’s a hip brand out of Austin,Texas that uses REAL ingredients. This is not a simple syrup fake grapefruit, rather, it’s distilled 4x with grapefruit to give it the color and flavor). Available at Admiral Wine and Spirits at The Northshore Town Center (like them on Facebook here).
  • Lacroix Grapefruit flavored sparkling water or Club Soda. We recommend Club Q (also available at AWS) because there is no sodium or additives, only crisp bubbles – and a lot of them.

blog july 4 1blog july 4 3blog july 4 2So tasty you would never guess it’s only 65 calories….

Never fear..if you aren’t into cocktails our FAVE beer is Skinny Dip by New Belgium. At only 114 calories a pop it packs a ton of flavor and will not disappoint!

blog july 4

5 Tips To Staying On Track This Summer

Erica Hopper, of Simple Bites Gourmet is a mom, marathon runner, and chef who knows a thing or two about healthy living. It’s easy to fall off the wagon this time of year… helloooooo, tis the season for beers, burgers, and hot dogs! Here to save us from ourselves, she’s given us her top 5 tips for staying on track this Summer!  View More:

Yes!  Summer is FINALLY here!  Winter in Knoxville was brutal this year.  We were stuck inside, snowed out of barre class (what?!), and spent way too many days without power.  Now that it’s nice and toasty outside, it’s time to add a little nutrition to all those tucks.

It can be a little tough to maintain healthy eating habits when there are countless backyard barbecues, afternoons on the lake, and weddings to attend.  Have no fear, though.  All you need to do is practice a little mindful eating, and use a few tricks to sneak in your fruits and veggies.

Here are my top 5 tips for staying healthy this summer:

  1. Smoothies- This is a great way to clean out your fridge, use some summery fruits, and sneak in some greens.  My favorite is mixed berries, frozen spinach, banana, a little almond butter, your favorite protein powder, and some unsweetened almond milk.  Throw in a little ice, and whir it up!  (***I sometimes use frozen fruit instead of ice, for a creamier “milkshake-like” texture)
  2. Visit the Farmer’s Market-Not only is the farmer’s market a fun family activity, but eating local is the way to go.  You will be supporting a local business, and eating fruits and vegetables at their peak.  The longer veggies sit on the shelf in the grocery store, the less nutritional value they contain.  By purchasing local produce, you can rest assured that what you are getting is fresh picked.
  3. “Spiralize”-Instead of using heavy pasta, use a spiralizer (or veghetti machine…I’ve heard it both ways) to make “noodles” out of that zucchini you purchased from your local farmer.  Not only is it something fun and different, but it’s a lighter option to pasta.
  4. Grow Your Own Herbs-How many times have your bought a bunch of parsley, only to find it smashed to smithereens in your veggie drawer the following week?  I will admit that I am not a seasoned gardener, but I love looking out of my kitchen window and seeing the fresh herbs growing.  It saves loads of money at the grocery store, and I know I will always have fresh herbs to add to any grilled chicken, fish, or vinaigrette.
  5. Get Your Kids Involved-It’s summer!  Kids are off school, and they are probably already calling you during the day because they’re bored and looking to you for something fun to do.  If they’re old enough to use a knife, get them to help you prep veggies for the week.  If they’re not quite dexterous enough yet, let them help you measure ingredients or pick beans…again using those local farmer’s market finds!  Another fun activity to do with kids-homemade popsicles.  Use fresh produce, and sneak in some spinach or kale.  Puree with some coconut milk for creamy pops.

See, healthy eating can be a fun-filled, family activity!  Just do a little planning, and don’t forget to support your local farmers.

View More:

To inquire on ordering some of Erica’s amazing meals and/or snacks, simply email

Seeded In The South Spills Her Gym Bag!

Natalie Bell - Image from

Natalie Bell – Image from

Seeded In The South – you might already be following her down-to-earth and super chic fashion blog (if not, you should) – has spilled out her Gym Bag to show us how she stays fab throughout her busy day. Whether attending her Neighborhood Barre class at 12:00 or 5:30, she’s always prepared for work or happy hour with a few essentials that keep her fresh, clean, and STYLISH (duh).


Natalie Spills her Rebecca Minkoff (dying) gym bag Just for us!

Blue Print Juice & Kind Bars (Whole Foods): I’m always on the road for work and popping into barre at 12, so lunch or snacks are key!
favorite juice– pineapple, apple, mint
favorite bars – peanut butter dark chocolate & blueberry pecan

Sports Bra (Lululemon $48)– black leopard print with crisscross back

Black Crops (Lululemon $96) – current favorite are the ones with mesh inserts because I throw on a tshirt and flats for lunch or happy hour

Hair brush & dry shampoo – MUST – love treseme (Walgreens $4.99) – cheap and effective

Ear phones – always run to music

Sunnies (Ray-Ban $150) – blue Ray-Ban aviators (slight obsession with aviators of all kind).

Tory Burch make up bag (Saks) – sometimes I go from barre or gym to work, dinner, etc – always have the basics: Dior foundation, Nars bronzer and blush, Laura Mercier pressed powder (best for covering up oily spots and t zone), Chanel mascara

Kate Spade GLASS water bottle (Kate Spade $30)

Ponds Cleansing Towelettes (Walgreens $4.99) to remove any sweat or dirt before reapplying or touching up my make up (cheap and soothing!)

Be sure to follow Natalie on Instagram @seededinthesouth

Long & Strong: Stretching Makes A Difference

Thigh Stretch

Instructor: “… finish strong! last, 3, 2, and 1… great job, face the barre, let’s get a stretch…” You: “uhhh. owwww…. omg hurry up… whew oh thank God, I think I got a snap chat…” {immediately grabs phone}. If this … Continue reading

Now Open: NEIGHBORHOOD barre Nashville!

This week Katy and I had the chance to work remotely from Neighborhood barre’s newest studio in Nashville…and it’s pretty fab, if we do say so ourselves. The studio was the first business to open its doors in Brentwood’s most recent development, CityPark. With dining, retail and, of course, a fitness studio, the center has the perfect influx of shoppers. Kelly serves as head barrebie at the studio and is doing a wonderful job. Leaving her corporate career to pursue her passion, Kelly truly embodies the heart of NB.

From a design standpoint, the studio has influences of both Birmingham and Knoxville, while creating is own rustic chic flair. The refurbished finishes seen in the recycled barn wood, corrugated metal, and cork flooring exude an element of ‘green’ throughout the studio.

Corrugated Metal Check-In Desk and Galvanized Pipe Retail Display

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Lobby Ceiling

barre studio blog

Reclaimed Barn Wood Wall and Cork Flooring

katy and kelly blog

Left: Kelly Phillips, Owner, Neighborhood Barre Nashville Right: Katy Richardson, Founder, Neighborhood Barre

Seeing Kelly in her element makes us excited to see what the future holds for Neighborhood Barre! Interested in bringing NB to your home town? Our Franchising program could be the right fit in helping you turn what you love into what you do. For more information, contact or visit our website.

ROLL OUT! Foam Rolling: The Down And Dirty

This week’s post is brought to you by transplanted barre-bie, Bethany Stearns! She relies on her foam roller to get the max benefit from her barre workouts and is laying down what you need to know about this newly rising trend for peak muscle performance!

Do you ever have those days you feel like you could join the American Ballet Company or maybe even the Rockettes and other days you hope no one sees that your leg is barely hovering the ground in leg extension? More times than not, it has nothing to do with how strongyour muscles are, but how healthy and efficient they are working.

What is Foam Rolling? 

Foam rolling is a secret weapon used by elite athletes, physical therapists, and athletic trainers (like me) to help muscle recovery for those overworked muscles. When muscles are overused, microspasms or “trigger points” form in the muscle and leads to dysfunction in the surrounding fascia. Fascia is a thin, elastic connective tissue that covers muscles and when it becomes constrained it results in tension and pain. Foam rolling irons out that fascia and releases the muscles knots, like the sports massage you love except with a foam roller, you have all the control and its FREE.

How does it work? 

Foam rolling utilizes your own body weight to work out muscle tightness, trigger points and tension. Foam rolling relaxes and stretches your muscles as it improves inefficient muscle patterns, muscle imbalances, and decreased blood flow restoring optimal length and tension to the muscle and restoring fascial elasticity. As you work your muscles without properly working out the trigger points your muscles continue to tighten which can cause joint dysfunction, leading to muscle strains or other injury.

 Why should I foam roll?

  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Increase circulation
  • Increase range of motion
  • Increase speed of muscle recovery

All of this means that using the foam roller can help you #werkit harder and stay in that pesky pretzel longer so you can burn it up at the barre. What are the Ground Rules? Warning: Foam Rolling won’t give you the warm and fuzzies. It can be uncomfortable, but working out your trigger points will make your muscles and fascia more elastic and ready for the next barre sesh.

  • Roll towards your heart when you are rolling out your arms or legs.
  • First time foam rolling? Follow up with plenty of water (I know you already drink half your body weight in ounces, right?), keep an eye out for any bruising or discoloration, and give your muscles a couple days recovery time. Your muscles will become accustomed to the discomfort over time.
  • Stop for 30-90 seconds when you find a place of tension in your muscle and hold it until you feel the tension release.
  • Keep your muscles as relaxed as possible as you roll it out.
  • Breathe through the uncomfortable parts. Trust me, my dog looks at me funny when I’m whimpering through the pain.
  • You shouldn’t have any pain once you take your body weight off of the foam roller. Just like when you get a sports massage it is uncomfortable during the massage but you feel so much better afterwards.
  • You can foam roll before or after your workout. I personally like it as a part of my stretching/cool down routine. It is most effective when it is immediately followed up by stretching.

What should I foam roll?  

IT Band: Its the muscular band that runs from your hip all the way down to the outside of your knee. Start at the outside of your thigh near your knee, prop your upper body on your elbow and roll up towards your hip. You can use your opposite leg to help propel your body along the foam roller. When you reach a trigger point (trust me, you’ll feel the zing) pause there for 20-30 seconds….this part isn’t fun. Breathe through it. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Continue moving, stopping at each trigger point. Move slowly. If you need a little more, bend your working leg’s knee towards your seat.


Ouch! Repeat 1-2 more times

   Piriformis: It’s that small muscle that does most of the work during outside seat. I think it’s the key to releasing your low back and hip flexors, your whole barre practice (it is a part of your core). You will definitely feel every bit of work you did during seat while your roll it out. Sit on your foam roller with your feet firmly planted on the ground, prop your upper body with hands behind the foam roller and cross your ankle over your thigh to make the number four. Lean towards the leg that is crossed and roll over your outside seat. Same as before, stop at any trigger points you come across and hold for 20-30 seconds. Need a little more? Use a smaller piece of equipment – like a tennis ball!


Hamstrings: Depending on how tight you’re holding your “heal to seat” you may have a more than a few trigger points to roll out. Sitting on the ground, place the back of both knees on the foam roller and place your hands on the ground at your sides to prop yourself up. Roll towards your seat, stopping at each trigger point for 20-30 seconds. Need a little more? Cross your legs at the ankle to put more pressure on the leg you are rolling out.


 Mid-Back: Sitting on the ground with foam roller at lower back, lean backwards holding in your core, raise your hips off the ground and place hands behind your head and shoulder blades pinching that penny. Use your feet to push your body along the foam roller towards your shoulders. Make sure the foam roller is centered at your midline, you want it to do equal work on both sides of your spine. This will help with your posture at the barre and away from it, too.IMG_4328

Which one should I buy?

If you are “in it to win it” The Grid is my favorite. I suggest it to my athletes, bought several for the athletic training room, as a gift for my marathon running father-in-law, and have one sitting in my living room as we speak. It is covered in foam, but it is hollow which gives it more rigidity to work out those pesky trigger points. This one runs you about $40 for the 13-inch or $60 for the 26-inch on amazon or your local running store. Worth the investment, I promise. foam roller 2 When you barre so hard to get those long, lean muscles….let the foam roller do some work to help your stems reach their budding potential. Hurts sooooo good.