47 posts categorized " 25 Things "


Sayeh's Living Lithe


What you need: Gloves!
Props: Pom Bands
Clothing Considerations: Whatever you're comfortable in.
Sweat Factor: Ice Bucket Challenge Status

I'm going to be bold and proclaim something big right now. Sideline is the new Lithe class that will change your entire body. Fast. We all know the staples like Waspie, Skinny Jeans and Higher Power will whittle you into shape, and we take them religiously. Add Sideline to the list, sister girls. Add Sideline to the list.

It kicked my ever-loving butt in a thousand ways. Unlike its title may convey, this is not a class where you can hang out on the fringes and observe. You are in high gear from the jump, and don't let that intimidate you. It was the perfect mix of high-intensity CCS, but also slower-paced sculpting interspersed throughout using Vertical Band Sculpting. This is where you stand up and step on handles of the Pom bands instead of holding the handles with your hands. You then push and pull on the bands that now have incredible resistance since you are holding them extremely taught with your feet. (Where you place your feet matters...up too close to the ball of your foot, and you'll be in pain quick...go back towards your heels.)

The Vertical Band arms sequence in this class might be the most challenging arms sequence I've yet to encounter at Lithe. My shoulders, biceps and back were on FIRE. During the cardio sequences I was praying for them to be over, so we could cool it down with the sculpting, but the arms and back stuff was so intense, that I was quickly praying for the sculpting to be over so I could get back to jumping around (and I'm not a cardio lover). 

If you're trying to get your arms and back on point for any reason (wedding dress, just to be a badass) take this class. From butt to thighs to calves to waist to fingertips--you are working it out in Sideline. As I left, a fellow Lither and I agreed that taking that class on a consistent basis would whip us into shape in no time. 

See you in class!

Image of Sayeh Magaziner via Dom


25 THINGS! {KALIKA FAIL} 21 Jan 2015


I love the flair and edge that this week's subject of 25 Things! brings to Lithe. She is a powerhouse of strength and explosive energy who exudes confidence in the studio. I love her classes because she's firm and relentless, but supportive while pushing us to get lower, finish every rep and work through the transitions. When I take Kalika's classes, I can feel how invested she is that Lithers leave her class getting the best possible workout. So when I read number 25 on her list, I wasn't suprised at all. Read on to find out more about the Lithe vixen she is. 

1. I was born and raised in Neptune Beach, Florida.

2. I have a BA in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida (in Tampa).

3. My boyfriend and I moved to Philadelphia in 2005 and it was the best decision we ever made.

4. I have been a member of the Peek-A-Boo Revue Neo-burlesque show since 2006.

5. We won Best Troupe at Burlesque Hall of Fame Weekend in 2008 and 2012.

6. My boyfriend, Chris, and I have been together for 13 years. We're considering marriage.

7. I have a 10-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Kya who doesn't act a day over 2. It is impossible to be in a bad mood around her.

8. I am the oldest of three. I'm seven years older than my brother Andrew and ten years older than my brother Matthew. They're my half brothers, but really they're my brothers. We are different in many ways, but share the same overly sarcastic sense of humor.

9. The Exorcist and Garden State are tied for my favorite movie. The Breakfast Club is a close second.

10. My troupe was on America's Got Talent in 2010. We made it to Vegas.

11. I dislike most reality TV shows.

12. I have never seen a Harry Potter movie.

13. The first job I had in Philly was in "The Freezer" at Nightmare on Broad Street, a haunted attraction at the Spectrum.

14. I worked with a wheelchair dance company in Tampa.

15. One of my earliest childhood memories is seeing Michael Jackson in concert while sitting on my dad's shoulders.

16. Most people call me Kaley and my stage name is Ginger Leigh.

17. Three things I can't live without: coffee, sushi, and peanut butter.

18. I am gluten-free 93% of the time.

19. I perform with The Roddenberries, a Star Trek cabaret band.

20. I quickly became a city girl, but am most at ease near the ocean.

21. My first experience with Lithe was at my instructor audition. I instantly fell in love.

22. I used to say I would never be a cheerleader. Now I can't get enough Lithe CCS.

23. I have been dancing since the age of 3; ballet, tap, jazz, modern dance, and many other forms have been sprinkled in over the years. I love and hate to choreograph.

24. Entertaining and teaching both make my heart sing, but in different ways.

25. I teach burlesque classes. Helping women feel comfortable and sexy in their own skin is far more rewarding than teaching them dance steps.



We all know Lauren as the brains (and the body) behind everything Lithe. From the constantly evolving classes, to the clean drinks she creates to compliment them, to the stylish, high performance gear she designs for us to wear during them (and out to dinner after we leave), she has carefully crafted an entire lifestyle for her clients. One that is without gimmick and that gains die-hard converts daily, because of one simple fact: it works. But aside from all of that (and that's a lot), one of the things I l love most about Lauren is the genuine joy she still gets when she watches how Lithe changes her clients' bodies and lives.

I'll never forget when I ran into her a couple of months after my initial Lithe Diving commitment. I had lost another 7 or 8 pounds and toned up quite a bit. She saw me, and just seemed overwhelmed by my results. She had this childlike delight and surprise – almost like she couldn't believe that it was she, herself who had created this thing that had worked so completely. It was a glimmer of something underneath that typically unwavering, fierce vision she has when it comes to Lithe – the almost preternatural confidence she has about what it can do for a woman who commits to it, and how much it will continue to grow. It was a brief flash of that side of her that still cries at every love letter and whose jaw still drops at every before and after picture and endless summer hashtag. The side that kind of still can't believe that her dream is coming true. This week, she brings us 25 NEW Things to share as she continues her constantly evolving journey to better herself, life, love, and Lithe. Like me, I'm sure you'll tip your hat at the screen a bit thinking about her skills, business acumen and the general bad-assery she's brought to our lives.

1. Being a mom has inspired me in so many ways. I'm working on two new projects for 2015 (one food and one fitness) that I think all the mom's out there will love! 

2. I can't believe that I'm saying this out loud ... I've been toying with the idea of possibly having another baby at some point. I've gone from never again, to maybe...

3. I'm developing two new incredible in-studio workouts for 2015 and even more content will be debuted online. For the many displaced Lithers who have been dying for VOD for all these years, we've heard your cries : )

4. I'm never idle. When you don't see me on the schedule, I'm where the business needs me: instructor training, working on my book, Lithe Foods, a project, or another aspect of the businessLithe is so much bigger than me and most days I go from 5AM to 12AM, just trying to chase it!

5. I don't have a favorite studio, but Rittenhouse is conveniently located two blocks away from my house, so to make my life easier, I prefer to teach there. Since having Mars, I've realized that my time is so incredibly valuable. I’ve really learned how to work smarter and not harder, as well as choose quality over quantity.

6. Teaching is my happy place. I'd always rather be teaching. 

7. I've been asked to be a ambassador/sponsor for many companies. I'm taking on my first one this year. The most important lesson I’ve learned when it comes to associating yourself with another brand is to be selective and to align yourself with something that you truly believe in. I believe that it's vital to work with companies that are harmonious with Lithe and myself. By being selective, I strengthen the connection with my fans as well as their confidence in me. At the end of the day, it’s really about authenticity and staying true to yourself and your brand.

8. Lithe is such a small business. We are a team of approximately 50 (and only three studios), but our brand is so much bigger than the business itself. I giggle at some of the things that I hear. Sometimes people assume we have "issues" because it takes us time to install mirrors, for example. It all boils down to being a small business. At our core, we are a workout. We're not a large company (yet!).  

9. At this point in my career, I feel like I have an MBA. I learned it all through experience and that is priceless.

10. When I opened our first studio in 2005, there were no boutique fitness options in Philly. I feel like Lithe (and Lithers!) are the pride of Philadelphia. In my opinion, the rise of the local fitness scene was due to Lithe. We put Philly on the map. The big box fitness brands wouldn't be here if we hadn't built and proved the market. I've enjoyed watching Philly grow and reach its full potential!  

11. Lithe is absolutely amazing. We're working towards a goal and every six months we're stronger and more united. Our current manangement team is phenomenal and I pinch myself every day. I work with such talented, hard-working people.  

12. Pepsi recently asked me what my proudest (business) moment has been so far. Honestly, it has to be having THREE men on the Lithe team. I couldn't be more proud of that and the direction that we're moving in.  

13. I'm striving for Lithe to make it on one of the best places to work list, and someday that will happen. Over the past year and a half we've completely changed our culture. I don't believe in your typical workplace seniority. A very smart business man taught me about the importance of horizontal organization charts.

14. Eventually, I will cut back to only one studio in Philadelphia. I look forward to shifting my focus and scaling the business in a different way.  I'm an entrepreneur at heart. 

15. When it comes to my leadership style, I'm a big believer in hiring great people, and then getting the hell out of their way. 

16. Don't believe everything you think and don't worry about what other people think.

17. Fit.Hip.Healthy turned seven this year! Because I have so many hats to wear, many aspiring bloggers want to know how I continue to blog and support each facet of my business effectively. It all boils down to time management and your team. I changed the type of staff I've had a lot over the past several years. I started with interns during the early days of 2008. Then, I worked with freelance contributors. Then, last year, I decided to go back to blogging by myself and now I only have a few Lithe-specific contributors posting on occasion. I feel like I've found the perfect balance that works best for me. 

18. Progress is impossible without change. So many people are afraid of change and become caught up in failure. Do not worry about failing. Its your failures that inspire you to go out and do something better. Missed opportunities open doors to better opportunities and help you recognize how you can improve in preparation for them.

19. I hate excuses. Our 6AMers have inspired me so much over the years. There's always a way to get your workout in!  When I find myself in a bit of a fitness slump, I realize that the best way to get back on the horse is to stop making excuses. When it comes to working out, we all set our own limitations. The truth of the matter is that if something is a priority, you will make time for it.  

20. Confidence is the key to happiness. Embrace your thighs and measure yourself in strength, not pounds. Allow yourself to be the best version of the person you really are!  

21. Working with 45+ females (and over 1,000 female Lithers) is fascinating. There are so many different personalities to manage and some women tend to be negative and gossip instead of support each other. When I catch wind of something negative that's happening in-studio, it changes the way that I think about that person. This quote has really stuck with me: If those words appeared on your skin, would you still be beautiful?

22. I still cry over every love letter that I receive.   

23. Yes, send us your before-and-after photos! I never tire of seeing Lithers' progress and results. It totally makes my day and makes me realize why I do what I'm doing. It's a true light bulb moment every time!

24. I'm an eternal cheerleader and I believe that everyone needs one. Whenever I'm overtired or just not feeling 100 percent, I pump myself up by watching this clip of USC's Sandstorm, and then I head out to face the world. Channel your alma mater!  I swear it works. 

25. I highly recommend having a fierce vision when it comes to yourself. There's nothing wrong with being a little egotistical! The best project you'll ever work on is you – the trickle down effect is profound. 

Image of Lauren for Prevention Mag wearing Michi NY, Lithe & Norma Kamali via Dom


FIT. HIP & HEALTHY. 11 Nov 2014


Did you attend Lithe Tour Philly? Last Saturday was fantastic. After teaching two killer classes, hanging out and chatting it up with many of you, I realized that over the past ten years I truly have fulfilled my mission.

My mission through Lithe is to inspire people to be fit, hip and healthy. This is the core of our company and what drives me every day. I live and breathe the concept through our philosophy which is my secret to having a healthy, happy, and inspired life.

My goal has never been to be just fit and healthy, but to also lead a hip and happy life, full of fun and purpose. And I want to inspire all of you to to live your best life, as well. I believe that many of you are! For me, Fit, Hip & Healthy is the driving force of everything that I do and it's a mantra that many of you have adopted in your own life.  Over the past six years (can you believe that the FHH blog is 6 years old!?) many people have asked me what it means to be Fit, Hip & Healthy. 

It starts with Fit. Being fit is the core of Lithe. I move my body every day. 

Next comes Hip. Hip means in the know. Hip does not refer to one specific quality, and what's considered hip is constantly changing.

And finally, Healthy. Being healthy through the food you eat, a positive mindset, and a healthy relationship with yourself is so important. 

All people who Lithe are part of an amazing community that embraces a healthy lifestyle and want to influence others to think the same way. Today my goal is to continue to inspire all of you and spread our message far and wide. I hope that Lithe can become synonymous with active living on a global scale, so that all people can achieve and be their best selves. 

I'm constantly searching for ways that I can do better and feel that it's my responsibility to ensure that Lithe lives up to your expectations. Every workout, food product, and piece of clothing is made to inspire you all to be fit, hip and healthy. At the end of the day, I too am a Lither; I create and design what motivates me to be fit, hip, and healthy and I love inspiring you to do the same! 

Lithe Tour images via Lauren & Katie Kempf

25 THINGS! {BY SAYEH} 28 May 2014


The subject of this week's 25 Things is exactly what number 7 on her list says she is--a natural born teacher. As a long time Lither, I really enjoy watching new instructors evolve--in terms of confidence, methodology and style. No instructor's evolution has struck me as much as Jenn Mitchell's has. I happened to take a Higher Power with her when she was fresh out of training, and then didn't get to take another class with her until Rock Steady a few months later. I was shocked at how comfortable and natural she had become in such a short time. She was self-possessed and had the let's-get-down-to-business focus of a veteran instructor. I came to look forward to her classes in the same way I looked forward to the classes I had in high school that were taught by my seasoned teachers--the ones who always had control of class and really knew their stuff. Read on to find out more than her time in the studio allows us to be privy to. 

  1. I am an only child.  People always ask me if I miss having siblings, frankly I do not know any different.
  2. I took tap and jazz class from the time I was 4 until I graduated high school.
  3. I started cheerleading in second grade.
  4. I actually began college at Rutgers University and spent 1 year there on the cheerleading squad.  Due to personal reasons I left after 1 year and thought I was going to have to give up cheerleading for good.
  5. I graduated from University of the Sciences, also known as Philadelphia College of Pharmacy with a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.  I do not have a Bachelor’s degree.  
  6. I currently have 4 jobs, with numerous responsibilities.  Full-time I work at Hahnemann University Hospital as the Critical Care Pharmacist.  I round every day with physicians in the Medical ICU.  I am also the Pharmacy Residency Program Director.  Our program graduates 2 residents every year.   I am also an adjunct clinical professor at University of the Sciences.  Although I only teach 2 classes every semester, I love every minute of it.  Additionally, I precept 15 pharmacy students every year.  I also work once a month at CVS pharmacy.  AND…finally I teach lithe!  
  7. I am a natural teacher and thoroughly enjoy every moment of it, so becoming a lithe instructor was second nature to me. 
  8. I grew up in Allentown, PA just an hour north of Philadelphia.  
  9. I bought my first house almost 3 years ago, all by myself.  It was one of the biggest accomplishments of my life, with the exception of graduating from college.  
  10. I love being busy.  During my senior year of high school, I took dance and piano lessons, was captain of the cheerleading squad, editor-in-chief of the school yearbook, and class treasurer. 
  11. I also took piano lessons from the age of 4 until I graduated high school. But I have barely played in almost 15 years.
  12. My fiancé bought me a keyboard last year for Christmas.  I am just too busy to find time to practice.  It is very relaxing to just sit and play! 
  13. My fiancé and I have been together for over 3 years.  We recently got engaged this past New Year’s Day in Paris.  He proposed on the lover’s lock bridge, Pont des Arts.  He made sure to bring a lock, in fact he brought 2!  One was engraved Will you Marry me, the other we left on the bridge. 
  14. I am very clumsy.  I have been known to stumble, trip and fall over nearly anything.  In fact, those of you who take my classes may have seen my falls up the instructor platform once or twice or even the more than occasional stubbing of my toe on weights throughout the room! 
  15. I RARELY cook.  I missed cooking 101 during my childhood.  When I was in college I burned nearly everything from soup to eggs.  My fiancé does all the cooking.  
  16. My favorite food is pizza!  I could eat pizza EVERYDAY if I was allowed.  I still splurge about once a week! 
  17. I absolutely love attending sporting events.  My 2 favorite are football and baseball.  My dad has had season tickets to Penn State Football since before I was born.  I continue to go to about 2 games a year.  
  18. My fiancé and I finally were able to obtain our own season tickets for the Philadelphia Eagles.  We are so excited about the upcoming season. Go Birds! 
  19. I also go to numerous Phillies games, some Flyers games and occasionally go to see the Sixers.
  20. I am also a HUGE concert fanatic.  I do not ever want to miss a concert.  In fact I am very upset that I was never able to see Michael Jacskson or Whitney Houston in concert.  My very first concert was the Beach Boys with my dad when I was 9.  Every year I go to see Jimmy Buffett with my dad as a father daughter outing.  This year marks year 10! My favorite concert of all time is ColdPlay....although Justin Timberlake puts on a great show.  I am going to see him again in December!  
  21. I have a black cat, she was rescued by my best friend from underneath a shed over 4 years ago.  Her name is Sasha.  She recently got a brother, my fiance's cat, Tiger.  He is 12.  It's a bit weird living with cats, as I grew up with dog's!
  22. I met my best friend Niccole in 5th grade.  We still see each other often and talks most days of the week.  I don't know how I would get through life without her!
  23. I have been fortunate to travel many places within the United States, however I only got a passport in 2008!  Now I absolutely love seeing the world.  Most recently I was in Costa Rica! 
  24. I have a fear of elevators.  Although I often do not have a choice, I still get a bit of anxiety every time I get in one!
  25. Due to schoolwork and trying to establish myself at work, I fell off the workout bandwagon for many years during college and immediately after. Thankfully I discovered Groupon and Living Social in 2010 and started taking classes anywhere I possibly could, including Lithe Method! Yup, thanks to a Living Social voucher, I discovered Lithe!  Lithe allowed me lose 12 lbs in just a few months and get my blood pressure under control.  I no longer require a medication. 

25 THINGS! {BY SAYEH} 21 May 2014


The subject of this week's 25 Things is one of the newer instructor faces around the studios, and she is a welcome addition. I've only taken a couple of classes with Meredith Steinberg, but her careful attention to form and technique, coupled with her genuinely NICE and supportive personality was immediately apparent. When she broke down a move I had been doing for a long time--incorrectly--her class brought me back to the fundamentals of Lithe and how to do them WELL. This was so beneficial to me as a veteran Lither, but I also thought of new Lithers, and how happy I am that they will encounter Meredith as they embark on the often terrifying prospect of going to a Lithe class. I thought that through her, they will learn how to Lithe correctly, and feel both encouraged and pushed in her incredibly gentle way. After reading her 25 Things, it won't be difficult to realize how her background has prepared her perfectly to do just that. I look forward to watching her evolve as an instructor and hope you will too. 

  1. I grew up in Larchmont, NY, a suburb north of New York City.
  2. I received my BA in Dance & Theater from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and my MFA in Dance from Temple University in Philadelphia.
  3. I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn for four years before moving to Philadelphia for graduate school.
  4. In New York I worked in arts administration, dance education, arts producing, and exhibition management. One of my favorite jobs was at the Guggenheim Museum, where I trained 120 children to participate in a live exhibit by the artist Tino Sehgal.
  5. I currently work full-time at the Performance Garage, a non-profit dance organization in Philadelphia. I manage marketing and fundraising initiatives and oversee our youth outreach program. I love supporting local dancers and emerging choreographers.
  6. I am a certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher and have completed over 300 hours of training in yoga postures, anatomy and therapeutics, sequencing, and philosophy. I am always happy to talk about alignment and form!
  7. I have had injuries to my shoulders, knees, and foot. I think it’s so important to listen to our bodies, modify when we need to, and find ways of moving that are healing—not painful!
  8. I am an early riser. 6AM classes are my favorite.
  9. I have taught dance to students of all ages. I currently teach pre-ballet to very cute 4 year-olds at Koresh Dance Company. In grad school I taught large undergraduate lecture courses focusing on analyzing dance performances through aesthetic, cultural, and historical lenses.  
  10. I have a background as a choreographer, theater director, and performer. I like creating work that is surprising, unconventional, and fun. I have studied many dance forms, but most love improvisation and physical theater.
  11. For a class in grad school I performed a dance piece in the middle of a crosswalk, barefoot in the winter. A passerby called the police because he thought I needed help.
  12.  I grew up taking classes in tap, jazz, and hip hop. I still catch myself tapping while waiting for the subway.
  13. I have always liked board games. I have a poster on my wall of all of the 2-letter Scrabble words.
  14. I took a semester off in college and worked on a dairy farm, herding and milking cows and making cheese.
  15. My full name is Meredith A. Steinberg. The A doesn’t stand for anything.
  16. I love reading on the beach.
  17. I spontaneously make up songs about almost anything: my dog, my houseplants, my sister’s IKEA bookcase.
  18. I can play the piano, violin, carillon, and a few chords on the guitar.
  19. I’d like to build a Rube Goldberg machine one day.
  20. I met my boyfriend Ben on our front stoop when we lived in the same brownstone on Spruce Street. He is an Emergency Medicine Resident at Hahnemann Hospital. Here’s a photo of him Lithing on Instagram!
  21. Ben and I rescued our dog Fergus this year. He is the sweetest little Shih Tzu/Poodle mix and is so friendly. He is my first pet and I absolutely adore him!
  22. I do a lot of yoga and foam-rolling in my living room. When Ben and I were apartment hunting one of my requirements was a wall where I could practice handstands.  
  23. I have two smart and beautiful sisters. My younger sister Genna is an associate at a law firm in New York. She loves dogs and never gets tired of looking at pictures of Fergus. My older sister Beth is developmentally disabled, and is the most sweet-tempered person you’ll ever meet. I gained so much from growing up surrounded by the special needs community.
  24. I wasn’t sure what to write about myself for this post, so I consulted a team of advisors. My sister said to list 25 things that I don’t like (close-mindedness, dill). My boyfriend said to list 25 things about Fergus (enjoys jumping, buries food). My dad said to say, “I owe all my musicality and talent to my father, who is a jazz drummer.” My mom said to tell you that I have a very supportive family (it’s true) and that she once took Lithe 101 and loved it.
  25. I found Lithe through my friend Jennie Katz. (Thanks Jennie!) I love the attention to form, the hardcore but graceful quality of the movement, and the fun energy when we’re all in sync with our CCS. I’m always genuinely happy to be in the studio, whether teaching or taking class. Thanks to all of you for being so lovely to work with!  

Images via Meredith & Dom

25 THINGS! {BY SAYEH} 24 Apr 2014


I could write my own 25 things about this week’s feature instructor, Colleen McNally. Among those 25 things I would include that I look forward to her classes, how infectious her energy is, how she pumps me up by getting louder at just the right times, and shouting things like YOU’RE SO STRONG, right when I’m about to give in to the burning desire for a break. I’d include how she always seems to pick the right playlist, how the volume is just high enough to keep things up-beat, and just low enough that I can hear her cues. I’d say that she reminds me of a beautiful elf from a Lord of the Rings Movie (this is a compliment!), and that you can tell she enjoys teaching and how that shows in my new favorite class: Colleen’s Sleeveless 2.0. I hope you enjoy finding out more about as much as I did.

  1. I am 31 not 24. Ladies, you are the sweetest.
  2. I have 2 calendars to keep my life straight. One in the kitchen so I can see it constantly and the one on my phone. I’d be lost without them.
  3. I despise being late. That being said, I’m either really late or really, really early.
  4. I have a son. His full name is Maximillian Ryan McNally. He’ll be three next month.
  5. I delivered my son naturally. Aka no drugs
  6. Nothing makes me feel more strong and sexy than a full plank push-up.
  7. My dream life would be to sell everything I own and move to somewhere warm and tropical near a beach, and to live minimally and shoeless. I hate shoes.
  8. My biggest fear is roller coasters. I went on one once to face my fear. I hyperventilated and threw up.
  9. I have really bad vision. My eyes are a -6.75 and -6.0.
  10. I was in college for 7 years but not because I was failing. I started community college when I was 21 to get some core credits done. I applied to Temple University for Dance my third year and was rejected. So, I decided to keep at it and the following year I was accepted into Temple. Once I got there, they wouldn’t let me take my dance composition course out of sequence. That added on another three and a half years. Even though it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, I learned so many different things in those 7 years. Painting, pottery, drawing, art history, psychology, spanish, and dance to name just a few.
  11. I was vegetarian for 12 years, vegan for 2. I started eating meat again in November. Now when I open my fridge, I can’t help but laugh at all the meat.
  12. Some of my favorite movies are Bring it On, Labyrinth, A League of their Own, and Mean Girls. Sometimes I quote them in class to give you ladies a little boost of motivation.
  13. Growing up, I watched a lot of documentaries and National Geographic Shows that explained the cultural or aesthetic reasons behind tattooing and piercing. I was obsessed and my parents knew they were in for it. So, when I turned 18 my mom had the foresight to take me for my first.
  14. When I was a little girl, I would almost always fall down the steps in front of my house around Easter. In most of my Easter pictures, I have a scab on my nose.
  15. I was named by a drunk man. My mother wanted to name me Brooke but her sister took it for her daughter. So my parents were at a loss. My dad wanted to name me Grace Kelly because he thought she was the most beautiful woman alive. My mom didn’t care for it. They were at the VFW one night and one of our family friends said, “Well what about Colleen Grace?” There it was...my name.
  16. I’ve been on a year goal with physical fitness. My main focus is consistency.  I can go really strong for 3 months then I burn out and have to start all over again right when I start to really see results. So i changed my attitude and decided to be more gentle and true to myself. I am a single mother with two jobs and some days fitting in everything is impossible. Do or die is no longer my main approach. Instead, I get more sleep and work consistently toward my best results by the end of the year. It has made all the difference.
  17. Early in my pregnancy, I was crazy about cereal. At one point I looked in my cabinet and I had 6 boxes of cereal. Not the healthy kind, but Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Lucky Charms, Crunch Berries. Roasted peppers and cooked vegetables grossed me out. My other obsession was ice cream. That one stuck. I am so OBSESSED with ice cream. Cookies and cream is my favorite, half baked by Ben and Jerry’s, anything at Franklin Fountain, Little Babies, frozen yogurt...whatever you name it. Nothing beats that cold, creamy, yummy goodness.
  18. I love coffee. Sometimes I dream about my morning coffee and rush to bed so I can wake up and have it. Last spring I did a 3 week cleanse sans caffeine. At first I wanted cheese, bread, ice cream, sugar, anything. By the end, I almost broke the entire cleanse for that morning cup. All I wanted was that coffee.
  19. I went to Catholic School for 12 years. In that time, I played piccolo and flute, was in the theater department, literary magazine, and a cheerleader.
  20. I also use to play the piano.
  21. I have 14 tattoos in total. When I was younger, I wanted to be reborn as a star. (that’s not a joke ;)) so naturally my first tattoo was the three stars on my back. An owl on my left calf because I collect kitschy owls. Hello Kitty on my right ankle because I’ve been obsessed with her for as long as I can remember. Kuan Yin on the back of my right calf. I went vegan after reading about Zen Buddhism. The flowers on my right wrist are a pretty cover-up. The two on my wrists are Biblical references from the Old and New Testaments. The power lines and windmills because I think they are the two most beautiful man made things. A sketch of my favorite modern dancer, Martha Graham. I have a mantra on the top of my stomach that says “Loka samasta sukino bahvantu.” Finally, Wall-e and Eve.  They are reminders that love should be simple and as humans we make it complicated. The whole movie he just wanted to hold her hand.
  22. I started dancing when I was four. I remember the distinct moment when I was in ballet class and at the barre thinking that there was nothing I could ever love more. I grew up doing tap, jazz and ballet and was finally introduced to modern dance in 2002. At first I thought it was so crazy. Why are these people making me dance like a tree? But I fell in love with it. It is boundless and limitless. You can do anything in modern dance. I couldn’t imagine my life not being a mover.
  23. I’m really shy. Like nervous and anxious at a party-shy. That’s why I really love people who make you feel like you’ve known them for a million years.
  24. I once went camping by myself for four days in Atsion, NJ. I was going through a rough period in my life.  I needed to get away from all human contact. I pitched my own tent, started my own fires, went hiking, canoeing and swimming in the red cedar water.
  25. All things Lithe: My favorite workout to teach is Sleeveless 2.0. The look of determination on your faces from beginning to end is remarkable. It is seriously amazing. I started Lithe in 2012 with my girlfriend, Nicole Andreola. You’ve probably seen her around. Barre is my nemesis. It takes tons of mental motivation for me to get through it. I believe in the saying though, “if you hate it, you probably need to be doing it.” I love Lithe. It’s seriously changeling and fun. It has been the only form of exercise that has been close to my dance training. I love that it can take me back to cheerleading and dance and completely kick my butt.

Image of Colleen in a heel stretch via Dom

25 THINGS! {BY SAYEH} 26 Mar 2014

Been frequenting the Rittenhouse studio? Then you've seen Meghan Lechette, this week's author of 25 Things . She's a hard woman to pin down, and it's easy to see why! With her myriad talents, I'd be a busy lady too. Read on for fun facts and great tips on her favorite products!

  1. Even though I don’t get to see them as often as I’d like, family definitely comes first on my list! My parents are divorced and have both remarried. Between the 4 families, we’re clocking 102 people (I counted over the holidays for crafts/cookies – it’s an overwhelming time of year!).
  2. Contrary to the seemingly French spelling of my last name, it is actually Italian (pronounced like machete).  The Lechettes make up a majority of my family unit with 51 people in our immediate family. Despite the large number, we are incredibly close and try to meet for donuts and coffee every Sunday morning.
  3. I am 10 & 12 years older than my 3 brothers, and words cannot express how grateful I am for them (and for our age gap)! My father’s eldest son and my mother’s son were born 8 days apart - talk about weird. I also have an older stepbrother. Yep, I’m the only gal. “Me & the dog”, as my brothers would say.
  4. I’m a Philadelphia native and grew up split between Northeast Philadelphia and Drexel Hill (yes, Delco).  “Wooder”, Schuykill, Wawa, and scrapple are all part of my standard vernacular.
  5. I went to Catholic school for 11 years, including an all-girls Catholic high school. It was an incredible experience, and I would choose all-girls over coed any day! (Prendie! LYLS!) No, I am not a practicing Catholic.
  6. Maine is a very special, sentimental place for me. My grandmother grew up outside of Augusta, and we’ve vacationed there almost every summer since I was born. My great-grandmother was the original host of “Sunday donuts” (see #2) and just like the Lechette fam, the Maine-iacs still observe this tradition weekly.
  7. Along with my brothers and Maine, music is my heart. I discovered my singing voice when I was 8, played the flute in grade school, participated in as many musical theatre productions as I could (when I wasn’t grounded), and I FINALLY started teaching myself to play guitar last Spring. I do a wicked Lana Del Rey. 
  8. I lived in New York from April 2004 through September 2008. I moved back to Philly just in time to experience the Phillies’ World Series win! GO PHILS!!! The following season, I ended up working for them as a “Phanstomer” – double win!
  9. As Ashton once told me, “I’ve lived 5 lives.” (see #8). I’ve worked in freelance TV/film production since 2005 with an eclectic range of gigs before and between: TV Guide “scheduling reporter”, music industry admin, brand ambassador, personal assistant, ballroom dance studio manager, producer of “live TV’’ for preschoolers, floral assistant, etc. It’s been a colorful 12 years!
  10. I was first inspired to become a Lither after reading the 2010 “Heavenly Bodies” feature in Philly Mag. I conquered my laziness and fear of regular exercise with Immersion in April 2011 to prepare my body for an intense film gig, and I’ve never looked back (though I have fallen off the wagon a few times).
  11. After an intense bought of depression in 2009, I started to explore “The Secret” (or not so secret)/Law of Attraction/”A New Earth”/TUT. Whatever you call it, it has changed my life. Frequent challenges make an “attitude of gratitude” difficult to maintain, and Lithe gives me the added inspiration and extra push in the right direction when I face a downward spiral.  Lighthearted “Notes from The Universe” are also a huge help!
  12.  I start EVERY morning with my “Home Colombe” French press coffee.  Freshly ground Phocea beans in a boiling Bodum topped off with almond milk and a teaspoon of vanilla sugar – cue Sinead O’Conner’s “Nothing Compares.” For me, there is no other bean or brew.
  13. I have a voracious appetite. Always have. My 1st grade teacher actually asked my mother if she fed me enough at home, since I “ate like I had a wooden leg.” Thankfully, my mom made sure that I loved fruits, veggies, and wheat germ as much as a King-size pack of Reese’s.
  14.  My lifelong love affair with food evolved into a passion for baking and recipe experimentation. Since my metabolism can’t hang like it could at 21, I now focus my recipes on nutrition.  I once attempted a “recipe a day” from my fave Gwenyth cookbook. I got through 24 of them before I tired of it and started adapting them to better suit my lifestyle.
  15.  I started a recipe blog during a stint of unemployment to occupy my time and support the efforts of #14. It trailed off after I booked a few consecutive film gigs, though I continue to tweak and log recipes by hand. One of my goals for 2014 is to renew the blog this Spring! http://sop-upthegravy.blogspot.com/
  16. I have a wicked sweet tooth, and yet, I have never had a cavity. My dentist told me recently that it’s due to a great mouth pH. I absolutely hate going to the dentist, so this was great news!
  17. I don’t drink soda (though I’ll occasionally enjoy a rum & Coke w/ lime). Lemon water has been my beverage staple since I was a kid, and I can’t rave enough about its benefits! You can even utilize the “used” wedges to scrub pots & pans and freshen the garbage disposal! 
  18. I try to take a spa-style soak at least 2-3 times a week. I add kettles of boiling water to the running bath, along with Epsom salts, coconut oil, lavender bubbles, and whatever detoxifying, indulgent additions I have on hand (French green clay is a treat!). It’s therapy for my skin and my soul.
  19. I am a product junkie. Working on TV & film sets with actors & their amazing HMU teams definitely encouraged this addiction. I’ve tried many items and trust few. Biologique Recherche Lotion P50, Moroccan Hair Oil, Mario Badescu Drying Lotion, Comodynes Makeup Remover wipes, and Kai Perfume Oil are a few set-worthy staples.
  20. Due to #18 and working as an uber-prepared P.A., I am never without Clear Eyes/Visine, Kiehl’s Eye Alert (undisputed fave since 2007), Jack Black lip balm, hand lotion, bobby pins, and mini Altoids – all stashed in my purse.
  21. I have never dyed my hair.  Highlights happened many moons ago, but I’ve never colored my whole head. Also, I will NEVER tan. Ever. Never-ever, and not for lack of trying. My sunburns fade back to lily-white within a few days. I’ve grown to like this about myself, though it was a loathsome trait as a teenager. My friends still joke that they could lose me in a blizzard.
  22. I buy myself flowers at least once a month. I find it therapeutic to prep and arrange them, and I keep a bud vase on my bedside table to greet me with a smile when I wake up! J
  23.  One of my favorite hobbies is gardening (both indoor and out, weather permitting). Like cooking and floral design, I find it therapeutic and incredibly gratifying. It is so rewarding to cook and enjoy the fresh herbs and veggies I’ve nurtured since seedlings!
  24. I’ve unintentionally started an unofficial Phalaenopsis orchid rescue at my apartment. Orchids are one of my fave plants, and I can’t bear to pass by a suffering bloom. Resuscitating their delicate, temperamental blossoms is inspirational and heartwarming!
  25.  Lastly, my random fear: emetophobia. The fear of vomit. It’s very real, and VERY scary for people like me, Cameron Diaz, and Matt Lauer (so I’ve read). It’s also my family and friends’ ultimate prank. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve thrown up since I was 5 years old, and I’m knocking on wood as I write this… How long was that hummus stashed in the fridge…. ??!! Yikes!

25 THINGS! {BY SAYEH} 5 Mar 2014


Continuing our series of 25 Things! featuring the bright shining faces of the studio staff that greet us, help us with scheduling issues, make sure our studios are set up and that we have everything we need is Manager, Katie Kempf. If you frequent the Rittenhouse Studio, you have seen her tall, long-haired, gentle self standing behind the desk smiling kindly at you. But don't be fooled. Under that seemingly quiet exterior, is a girl who goes HARD. Read her 25 Things to find out that if you mess with her, she may jack you with an elbow, among many other fascinating things!

  1. I have two younger sisters named Chrissy and Kelly.  Apparently, my parents really love names that start with the C/K sound.
  2. My mom is the best.  She is one of the kindest and most caring people I know.  I can count on her for anything and everything.  I’m also amazed that she survived raising me and my sisters.  We were a handful!    
  3. For some strange reason my parents named me Catherine (w/ a C) but nicknamed me Katie (w/ a K).  When I was growing up I was always confused if my initials should be CMK or KMK.
  4. My roommate and I were matched as random roommates our freshman year of college.  Her name is also Katie, and she’s been one of my best friends and main partners in crime ever since.  
  5. A lot of my friends call me KK, and my roommate KO, in order to distinguish us.  However, if we are both around and someone calls our name, we almost always know which one of us they are actually talking to.   
  6. I spent 2012 and most of 2013 living in Thailand and traveling throughout SE Asia with three of my best friends.  In Thailand I taught English to kindergartners and 1st graders.  They were so freaking cute, I wanted to adopt all of them!
  7. My favorite festival in the world is Songkran.  It’s a Thai festival celebrating the Buddhist New Year.  During Songkran, Thai cities shut down for 3-5 days to celebrate with a giant city wide water fight.  EVERYONE (from babies to police officers to little old ladies) participates.  It was one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.  I felt like I was 10 years old again!   
  8. I love all animals, but I generally consider myself a dog person. I’ve always had dogs growing up and I plan to always have them in the future.   My roommate and I looked into fostering dogs this weekend so hopefully I will have one soon!
  9. The most interesting pet I’ve had besides a dog was a baby duck.  We found a duckling abandoned in our front yard when I was in 4th grade.  We kept it for a couple of months, then we had to give it to a nature center so that it could be released into the wild.  
  10. I love to travel.  For me, nothing beats having a new adventure, experiencing a new culture, meeting new people and trying new food.  I don’t even mind long journeys because it builds my anticipation and makes me more excited for the adventure ahead.  
  11. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to over 20 countries.  However, that has not even begun to satisfy my travel itch.  The list of places I want to see is always growing (which is bad since it already seems endless). A few places on the top of my list are:  Machu Picchu, the Galapagos and the Philippines (mostly for diving), and Norway/Finland/Iceland to see the Northern Lights.
  12. I am lucky because I can sleep almost everywhere.  I think this is probably part of the reason I don’t mind long trips.  When I was backpacking, my friends were always bitter that I could sleep through our worst journeys, while they were usually awake, miserable, and fearing for their lives.  
  13. I love pizza.  I wish I could eat it every day of the week.  I have been known to easily crush half a pizza by myself.  
  14. I used to have an irrational fear of scuba diving.  I was terrified that I would be attacked by a shark because I couldn’t see it coming from behind me.  Last year I overcame that fear and I am now obsessed with diving.  It’s a completely different world under the water!
  15. The coolest place I dove was in Komodo National Park, Indonesia.  I spent 3 days on a live aboard with two of my best friends. We dove three times a day in crystal clear water with sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, and lots of other cool fish!  I loved it so much that I almost decided to stay and get my dive masters instead of coming back to the states.  
  16. One of my scariest dives was a night dive on the Tulamben Shipwreck in Bali.  The dive itself was great. The water was full of bioluminescent algae that lit up every time you flailed around.  It felt like you were floating in the stars.  I was a so distracted by all of the awesome things around me, that I got lost and began to follow a different dive group.  I was terrified when I realized I was alone at night on a shipwreck.  Luckily my best friend/dive buddy found me almost immediately.  
  17. Last year I was in a motor bike accident in Thailand.  I had to break suddenly and a pickup truck hit me from behind.  I flipped off of my bike and landed on my head.  My helmet completely saved my life.  I walked away from the accident with a few cuts and scrapes and a $3.00 hospital bill. (That $3.00  bill also included my antibiotics!)   
  18. I love to snowboard.  My sister lives in Colorado and I usually visit her a few times each season.  
  19. I hate cold weather unless I’m snowboarding.  I always prefer 100 degree weather over anything that’s below 50 degrees.  
  20. I had severe arachnophobia growing up.  Anytime I saw a spider I had to make a family member kill it or take it outside.  I got over this fear when I studied abroad in Belize.  We stayed on a jungle reserve and there were tarantulas in our outhouses.  It was terrifying, but I’m glad it made me face my fear!
  21. I have a terrible habit of twirling my hair whenever I’m deep in thought.  I’m pretty sure it’s genetic because my dad and sister both do it.
  22. I never watch TV shows on a weekly basis.  When I do have time to watch TV, I usually binge watch a TV show, and it’s usually Always Sunny in Philadelphia.  
  23. I love the excitement of being in a city, but I need to escape to nature on a regular basis.  Camping, hiking, and kayaking are my go to activities if I don’t have a lof of free time.  However, there is nothing I love more than being on a boat!
  24. In Thailand I took Muay Thai classes to make up for not having Lithe.  I now have a pretty deadly spin elbow.
  25. I have never found a workout that I love as much as Lithe.  In my opinion, it’s perfect.  I never get bored, and I always walk out of class feeling amazing!  Some of my favorite classes are Rock Steady, Sleeveless 2.0, Twiggy, and Waspie.  

25 THINGS! {BY SAYEH} 19 Feb 2014

Jonathan Cedrone

When Lauren reached out to me to ask that I do my next 25 Things profile on Jonathan, she told me how fun and great he was, and how she was eager for Lithers to get to know him better. Now, I have yet had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but if text messages and emails are any indication of someone's personality (and I think they totally are, as I am not of the school that one cannot communicate tone with the written word because...well that's crazy), then Jonathan and I need to become friends. He was so friendly and flexible and just seemed...NICE. And I really LOVE nice. I feel like it might be one of the best things a human can be. So simple, yet kinda rare...especially among strangers. Suffice it to say, I'm not surprised at all to find out what his favorite color is or at many of his other 25 things. Jonathan, the next time you and Krissy engage in #24, invite me! I'm not a trained dancer, but I WILL get down with the get down. Sounds so fun!

  1. My full name is Jonathan Cedrone - My parents never gave me a middle name. :(
  2. My birthday is October 3rd, and I’m the textbook definition of a Libra.
  3. My favorite color is yellow! :D Pretty indicative of my overall personality…
  4. When I'm not spending my time smiling at you lovely Lithers from behind the front desk, I'm a full-time undergraduate at Drexel University. I am currently studying International Area Studies, with a concentration in International Business and Economics.
  5. I’m 100% Italian and proud of my heritage! My Dad was actually born in a small town outside of Rome and came here at 9 years old, but my Mom’s family immigrated to the US about 4 generations ago. To put things into perspective, when my Mom’s family came to PA, they owned a farm in what is now West Philly! Times have definitely changed…
  6. My Dad’s name is Massimo and my Mom’s maiden name is Quagliariello (pronounced kwah-ya-ree-ello). Basically, with cousins who have names like Fabrizio and Paola, I’m still bitter I didn’t get an awesome Italian name.
  7. I am the younger of 2 boys. My brother, Julian (also without a middle or awesome Italian name), is 25 years old and currently stationed in Portsmouth, VA with the US Coast Guard. We get along extremely well, although we couldn’t be more different. He has thin blond hair, fair skin, blue eyes, and enjoys cars, sports, and women. Ha!
  8. Oddly enough, the majority of my family is left-handed, including my grandmother, aunt, uncle, both little cousins, and myself.
  9. My favorite family member is definitely my 2-year-old puppy, Dino Spumoni! He’s a Morkie (Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier mix) with more personality than his size could possibly contain. He might be a bigger diva than me...but that’s debatable.
  10. I definitely pride myself on my sense of fashion, and often feel out of place if not properly dressed. However, my favorite feature about myself is definitely my hair! If male pattern baldness takes hold I don’t even know what I’ll do.
  11. For all of you doctors, nurses, etc., when I was born I had a rare heart complication called “coarctation of the aortic valve”. That basically means that my aorta, the major artery coming from the heart, is narrower than it should be, which forces my heart to work harder to pump blood through the smaller opening. I was one of the first cases to receive a surgery called “subclavian flap aortoplasty” at the University of Penn, where a flap is used to expand the narrow section of the aorta. My parents were told I wouldn’t be able to do much strenuous physical activity to avoid over-exerting my heart.
  12. Due to my heart condition and inability to play sports, I devoted a lot of my childhood to the performing arts. I started piano lessons at 7 years old and was a member of the Philadelphia Boys Choir!
  13. But, dance is most certainly my passion. I started with ballet in middle school, and soon after, began taking jazz, tap, contemporary, and a bit of hip hop (EXTRA stress on “bit”). I did the whole “Dance Moms” competition scene throughout high school, and now I am currently on scholarship at Drexel as a member of the Drexel Dance Ensemble, where we perform mostly modern repertoire. Ask me if you’re interested in seeing a performance sometime!
  14. In addition to dance, I have a ton of experience in theater. I performed in every one of the musicals in high school and have participated in a summer theater camp called Summerstage at Upper Darby High School every year since 6th grade (this is the same camp that Tina Fey came from!). Of all the roles I’ve played, my favorites were Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, Jojo in Seussical the Musical, and Chino in West Side Story! But my dream is to one day perform as Mr. Mistoffelees in Cats. With that said, I’m a total theater geek.
  15. Although my heart condition kept me away from sports, I am honestly not upset about it. I actually really do not enjoy them in any shape or form (minus figure skating?). Ask any of my friends, my signature phrase in this respect is to yell, “Go, Sports!” whenever there’s anything athletic on the television.
  16. To date, I have been to 16 foreign countries, including Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Panama, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Iceland.
  17. Of all the places I have been, my favorite is definitely France. Specifically, it would be an even toss up between Paris and Marseilles. For this reason, I started taking French classes in high school, and have continued through college. I am almost fluent, I just need more practice speaking it all of the time!
  18. In addition to the tons of show tunes you can find on my iPhone, I enjoy a lot of different music styles. Some of my favorite artists are Ingrid Michaelson, Whitney Houston, Olafur Arnalds, and Ellie Goulding. But in all honesty, I’m actually obsessed with Sara Bareilles. I own every album she’s ever released, sat in the front row of every concert she’s had in Philadelphia, and have cried through all of them.
  19. Although I don’t have much time to watch tv, my favorite shows include: RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Real Housewives of Miami, Will & Grace, Project Runway, American Horror Story, and anything HGTV.
  20. Most of you may know my bearded, baby blue-eyed boyfriend, Fran Gress. He’s the reason I’m here at Lithe. Check out his 25 things on the blog! (I’m featured in his #23 and #24!)
  21. Fran is actually an amazing cook, so my favorite thing in the world is just spending the night in and making dinner with him! Fran usually cooks and I’ll bake - my French macaron is deadly.
  22. I have over 2 years of experience in the residential leasing market, and hope to build a career in commercial real estate and international relocations! Maybe you’ll see me on House Hunters International in the future. :P
  23. I might actually be addicted to Burt’s Bees. But like, only the original peppermint. The pomegranate stuff is for newbies.
  24. Here’s a little secret I’ll let you know about me at work: When you all leave and I’m here cleaning up at the end of the night, I usually crank up the tunes, sing at the top of my lungs, and practice my jumps/turns/sass in the studio. (This usually occurs with my main girl, Kristin.)
  25. I actually started working at Lithe before taking my first class! But I’m now hooked, and have taken classes with many of you ladies. Yes, men can do this stuff too! If all goes as planned, I should be working with Lauren on becoming the first male Lithe-structor this summer! Clearly my heart condition is no longer an issue. :)

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