links + loves

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I shared the photos above on Instagram this week in order to tell you about the perfect eyeshadow base I found. It’s a cream eyeshadow in a stick and it has provided the perfect taupe/brown shade for all over the lid. I love a simple makeup look, along with uncomplicated eye shadow, and Au Natural is such a gorgeous color.

On a recent run through Target, my eye caught some jeans laid out on a table and the wash looked so good that I decided to give them a try. I’ve had some mediocre experiences with cheaper jeans in the past so I didn’t have high hopes but I am THRILLED to report that I really love these $20 jeans. If I hadn’t seen the label, I would have thought I was putting on Madewell denim.

There is such nice stretch without bagging or stretching out, and the high rise is perfect for my body. I shared all of this on Instagram Stories over the past week or so (click here to follow along!)

This is totally random but in case you take pills every day, I thought this was a really sleek and compact weekly pillbox!

Becca launched a Brightening Concealer Wand that looks like something I’d love to try.

My family and I are traveling somewhere warm in February and I bought this swimsuit online at LOFT with high hopes that it will be as good (or better!) than it looks on the website. Good news: it’s great. It’s very flattering, and I love that the subtle cutout and bow in front make it a bit more unique than a typical black one piece. This tie front suit from Aerie is also a really cute option that comes highly reviewed and is full coverage in the booty.

I started a new book on Audible last weekend and my DM’s almost broke with feedback from followers that it’s the best book they’ve read! The book is called “The Great Alone”, by Kristin Hannah. I usually only listen to books when I’m driving so I think I may have to pick up the hardcover version to finish it!

Did you catch the flat ironing tutorial from Monday? I talked through a bunch of common mistakes and how to fix them! Watch it by clicking here!

I hope you have a great weekend!

 

In this post:

First Impression + Experience with the Peloton

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I took the plunge.

After a lot of consideration, and taking note of the 30-day return policy, I decided to buy the Peloton bike. I was intrigued whenever I would see people I know talking about it, and after hearing a few really positive personal reviews from people I trusted, I bit the bullet and the bike was delivered December 30th.

I’ve had it for about two weeks and wanted to share my first impression, as well as some of my experience with it thus far.

Prior to working out on the Peloton, I was attending Burn Bootcamp classes as regularly as possible. November and December are really busy times for my business, as well as my personal home life, so it was becoming harder and harder to find time to make it to even the very early 5:30am classes. I wanted to try something at home that would save me about an hour of “wasted time”, so the Peloton was what I chose

I’ve never really been one that enjoys working out at home because I thrive on the competition and social aspect of a group class. I also push myself harder when I have a trainer telling me what to do. The Peloton, though, has a social aspect tied into the bike in that you are able to live-stream classes and participate on the leaderboard just like those cyclists in the actual class.

My first ride was exciting. I felt good, albeit very much not in bike-shape, and was looking forward to my second class before my first class was even over.

The following day the second class I took brought the painful reality of sore sitz bones. I could barely sit on the saddle to get through the class. The good news is I was able to sit comfortably on the bike just a few days later and now I don’t experience any discomfort. This was something I expected, but in case you hadn’t thought of that aspect and you are new to cycling, be aware that it may take a week to feel comfortable on the seat.

I started to see pretty quickly that there are a wide variety of trainers, and each has its own spin on the class. Ben, from London, is a bit more serious and intense. Cody is lively and entertaining (I laugh during all of his classes). Hannah has a wonderful accent and is very warm and inviting. I’ve already picked a few of my personal favorites but I know there are a handful of trainers that I still need to try out!

Within about 10 rides on the bike I started to feel really great, a significant improvement in my cardiovascular strength and endurance for a ride, and I could feel ready to push myself a little harder.

There have been a few moments where I’ve felt slightly bored, especially in 30-minute classes that don’t have a lot of variety. I like to come out of the saddle and really crank up the resistance instead of pushing myself on speed, so if I need to get my heart rate up a bit during an otherwise slow part of a class, I’ll just do that.

The trainers say, and they truly mean it, that you are in charge of your experience with the class. You control everything so it’s up to you to push yourself and give it your all.

Overall I don’t have a lot of negative points to mention. It can be a really tough, intense workout or you can choose a more easy-going, low impact ride. You do not need to have spent any time cycling before getting the bike, as I had very little experience myself!

The Peloton bike is quite expensive, and you have to pay for the monthly subscription to the digital part of the business as well. It’s also a very heavy piece of equipment and it takes up a lot of space. Cycling instructors have reached out to me to make sure I’m sitting on the bike properly to avoid injury. Like with any new exercise plan or machine, you need to be sure you are using it correctly.

I love the social aspect of giving virtual high fives to other riders in my class, and seeing my achievements at the end of a workout. It’s really motivating for me to see my personal record above my leaderboard name as well so I can push myself to beat it.

I spent three days traveling for work recently and genuinely missed getting a ride in. I did alternative classes via the Peloton app (a strength class and a running class), but I must admit I was ready to get back on the bike for a calorie-blasting ride.

In case you are interested, you can use my referral code: “6Q9YHQ” to get $100 off accessories when you purchase!

Quick Q&A:

One. How much does it cost? You can find all the cost and info here. I would highly recommend the Essentials Package that includes the shoes and the floor mat for under the bike.

Two. Is Peloton sponsoring you? No, I bought the bike myself. All opinions are my own (as always).

Three. Didn’t your pedal fall off? Yes. My pedal fell off during one of my rides. My husband was able to screw it back in. I didn’t contact Peloton because the pedal is fixed, but I heard from many other riders that Peloton will fix it and has great customer service if you have an issue with your bike.

Four. Is it called spinning or cycling? I haven’t heard a single person who works for the brand say the word “spinning”. I think they prefer the word cycling.

Five. What is so special about the Peloton bike? The Peloton bike is like any cycling bike in that it has pedals you click into (not necessary though it makes a huge impact in your rides) and a resistance knob. I’ve used a bike identical to it, save the digital interface on the screen, at various gyms. What makes it unique is that it connects to the screen which allows you to track your leaderboard progress and rank. The software also connects into the bike to allow you to view your output based on your speed and resistance, and that number plays a part in your leaderboard ranking. It also syncs with a Bluetooth heart rate monitor as well. You do not need to own the bike or the tread in order to use the app, which offers a wide range of classes from yoga to strength to running to cycling. You could download the app, sign up for a membership, and set a device on the info area of a regular bike or tread. You wouldn’t be able to track your rank on the leaderboard, though, so the social aspect would be sort of different!

Six. Do you have to pay for the monthly subscription as well? Yes. I do wish this was free if you buy the tread or the bike, but it isn’t. Like I said above, you can subscribe to the app and do any and all of the classes WITHOUT buying a piece of Peloton equipment. If you have Peloton equipment (bike or tread) you are going to want the app.

Seven. Is every class live? Do they talk to you directly? No, some classes are offered live at certain times (you can look on the schedule) but there is a huge offering of past classes that you can do at any time that works for you. I’ve only done one or two live classes. More often than not I choose a class based on how much time I have and what instructor I’m in the mood for. New classes are being added regularly! And they do not talk to you directly unless they call you out from the leaderboard during a live class.

I hope this post was helpful if you are considering the bike! I will write a follow-up post to this one at the end of the month sharing whether or not I’m going to keep the bike just before my 30-day “trial period” is up!

P.S. If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy this one about some other apps I love too!

Flat Iron Mistakes You May Be Making & How to Fix Them!

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There is a right way and a wrong way, gals.

It may seem like styling hair straight is pretty simple and straight forward, but there are a few common mistakes that I see women make that I’m sharing on today’s video. I’ll discuss the wrong way something is being done, and share what you can do to avoid that mistake!

Throughout the video, I share a few product recommendations as well as tips for encouraging volume at the root area with a flat iron.

I also shared a few helpful links to other videos at the end of today’s video, so make sure to watch until the very end to see!

If you are interested in any of the products or tools I used in today’s tutorial, simply click here to explore them!

My hair is always on the dry side, but it is especially dry after coming off of a few months of hard, unfiltered water in our shower at the new house. Thankfully I’ve resolved that issue now, so I’m trying to rehydrate and replenish the ends of my hair to see if I can restore some health into them!

It may be past that point, but I’m attempting to grow my hair out right now and I’d like to avoid a 2-3 inch chop if I can!

 

P.S. If you enjoyed this video, you may love watching this one

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