a new collection i’m loving

It’s been a while since I’ve done some “online window shopping”, as I like to call it. Keeping tabs on new arrivals from my favorite retailers has always been one of my favorite things, and constantly keeps me inspired and looking forward to what’s ahead!

It’s been a while since I’ve done some “online window shopping”, as I like to call it. Keeping tabs on new arrivals from my favorite retailers has always been one of my favorite things, and constantly keeps me inspired and looking forward to what’s ahead!

As my mind has been on other things over the past two-ish weeks, it was so refreshing and flat out fun to just let myself be distracted by beautiful things today. Reminder: you don’t have to spend a thing to do that!

While pursuing from the comfort of my own desk, I came across a new collection from one of my favorite affordable fashion destinations, H&M. And wow… I was instantly transported to a time when summer travels were just ahead and bags were in need of packing!

While that isn’t our current reality now, I think you’ll still enjoy looking at these beautiful pieces, which, fun fact, are made from sustainably sourced materials and using sustainable methods. Feast your eyes on my favorites below, and check out the entire collection here!

(Psst, the model shots showcase these pieces more accurately. You can click directly on each piece for those images!)

 

 

Fabulous, right?! I have to confess, I couldn’t stop myself from ordering this blue and white dress that’s under $100! I grabbed the matching scarf and think, with the scarf tied in my hair or on my bag, they’ll be adorable paired together!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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my social distancing bucket list + template

Ok, friends. Here’s the deal. We are in a weird season. One filled with a lot of uncertainty, doubt, anxiety, heartbreak… a lot of real, hard stuff. I had a moment yesterday, well really I had a whole day yesterday, where I let myself wallow in that. It was kinda…

Ok, friends. Here’s the deal. We are in a weird season. One filled with a lot of uncertainty, doubt, anxiety, heartbreak… a lot of real, hard stuff.

I had a moment yesterday, well really I had a whole day yesterday, where I let myself wallow in that. It was kinda pitiful, but I just needed to be sad. But like He always does, the Lord met me right where I was, in the midst of that sadness, and laid this well-known verse on my heart:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

In that moment, right the middle of my sadness, I knew a new morning was coming. And I was reminded of something: my sadness, anxiety and funk would come to an end, but the Lord’s faithfulness, mercy, presence and love in my life never will.

Dang. Why do I let myself worry again?

So this morning, I got up and decided to rewire my brain a bit. Instead of letting myself dwell on the anxious thoughts in my head, I decided to create a bucket list in an effort to focus on making the most out of this time! Because when I look back on this season, I don’t want to look back to see that I worried it all away.

What I do want to look back and see? That I was present in both the joys and the hardships, that I looked for (and saw) the ways the Lord showed up, and that I lived each day with a grateful heart. When I look back on this time, I want to be able to count just as many blessings as trials. And a large part of that is up to me!

So today, I want to share a bucket list I’ve created to keep me hunting for joy and living in gratitude. To be honest, it’s a bunch of silly things and many of them I should have already been doing! But I’m excited for a chance to really make them happen now that things have slowed down.

As I knock them off, I’ll keep you updated. And as I add more to my list, I’ll let you know! I hope you’ll do the same, and together all find ways to make the most out of this season.

 

my social distancing bucket list

 

Take a long bath with a light candle, a glass of wine, and Enya playing. (Judge all you want.)

Make my mom’s unbelievable homemade apple pie for the first time.

Unpack and organize Andrew’s study.

Complete my first needlepoint project. (I got my canvas in last night and have already started!)

Paint my front door.

Respond to 20 DMs a day.

Finally put some flowers in my pots.

Spring clean our closet and donate/sell unwanted items.

Give Flynn a hair cut.

Memorize one verse a week.

Clean out my car.

Change the lightbulbs in my house.

Research waxing my own eyebrows. (HA! But seriously….)

Get photos off of my phone and into physical photo albums.

Dress up one night a week.

Start and finish a new lighthearted book. (Recommendations welcome!)

Do a facemask with Andrew.

Update the @myfriendflynn Instagram page.

Give myself a hair trim.

Take a yoga class on my back porch.

Create an interior inspiration board for my office.

Clean out and organize the laundry room.

Try one new Peloton instructor a week.

Make a fancy cocktail.

My goal is to document each one on Instagram Stories so you can see me check off the list! Perhaps I’ll even turn some of them (like my mom’s unbelievable apple pie recipe) into full blog posts. I’m getting excited just thinking about it! :)

Now, it’s your turn! Let me know what’s on your list, and let’s keep each other accountable while making the most out of this season! If you’d like, feel free to save this photo to your phone, upload to your IG Stories and fill it in! (Tag me, I’d love to see it!)

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

P.S. If you have any ideas for cuter names to call this bucket list (social distancing bucket list doesn’t have the smoothest ring to it) let me know!

bare necessities

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j.crew factory sale // five looks for 50% off

This morning, after scrolling through update upon update, I confess craving that sense of normalcy. So, in an effort to give myself (and perhaps you!) that, I decided to create something lighthearted and fun. Five looks from the J.Crew Factory 50% off sale!

A fresh week and a fresh start… after last week, I don’t think I’ve ever been so thankful for a Monday! While our weekend looked very low-key, Andrew and I both agreed it was one of the best we’ve had here in Gainesville. After all, it’s no secret that omething about slowing down is good for the soul.

With everything going on, it’s been therapeutic to build a sense of routine and normalcy into my day-to-day. (I shared a post about this last week if you missed it!) This morning, after scrolling through update upon update, I confess craving that sense of normalcy. So, in an effort to give myself (and perhaps you!) that, I decided to create something lighthearted and fun. Five looks from the J.Crew Factory 50% off sale!

I want to be incredibly sensitive to the strange times we’re in, and so I hope this doesn’t come across as a sales push. More than anything, creating these outfits gave me a really great distraction today… and hopefully, they give you a nice distraction as well!

With that being said, here are a few looks giving me a bit of spring inspiration.

 

look no. 1

What can I say… I love an all-white ensemble with a well-placed leopard accessory! I’ve been eyeing this headband and think it makes the perfect finishing touch. Also, are these sandals (currently on sale for $25) not so chic?!

 

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look no. 2

 

Wrap skirts and ruffles is one combination I’ll never grow weary of. This blue and white striped piece is picture-perfect. Dress down with sandals and a white tee, or dress up with a pretty blouse and heels! Don’t even get me started on the precious waist tie.

 

shop the look

 

 

look no. 3

 

Work-ready, and effortlessly chic! Elevate your 9-5 game with this sassy twist on the tan and black cap-toe trend. And trust me… this blouse looks even cuter on than it does in this collage!

 

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look no. 4

 

The perfect vacation ensemble… easy, lovely and light. Since my plans involve staying on my couch for the foreseeable future, I’ll just dream of brighter days when I can take this skirt out for a spin along the seashore.

 

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look no. 5

 

Navy, twice, and everything nice! There’s something classic about a navy and white ensemble. Pairing one of these adorable swimsuits with this navy rickrack coverup is something I hope I get to do very soon!

 

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Here’s to hoping your start to the week is happy and bright. Sending you a big hug if it isn’t, because that’s ok too.

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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the happy list

I recognize that not everyone needs lighthearted right now. There’s a lot of seriousness and heavy things happening all around, and I don’t want to downplay that by any means. But if you find yourself in the same boat that I do this Friday, I hope you enjoy this little roundup… something I’m calling “The Happy List.”

I woke up this morning feeling like I needed to rest. Not physically… goodness knows we’ve all had more downtime than usual. But emotionally. I just needed a day to think of normal, lighthearted, fun and happy things.

So, I ventured out for the first time since last week to pick up my favorite donuts from a local food truck here in Gainesville (where I and the one other patron there kept a safe 6 feet distance between us), came home to make a cup of coffee, and am now sitting down to hunt for lots of happy things to share with you today before signing off for a weekend of social distancing with my lil’ fam right here in this house.

I recognize that not everyone needs lighthearted right now. There’s a lot of seriousness and heavy things happening all around, and I don’t want to downplay that by any means. But if you find yourself in the same boat that I do this Friday, I hope you enjoy this little roundup… something I’m calling “The Happy List.”

shirt // skirt (old, linked similar) // shoes // headband (old, linked similar) // self tanner (use with this mitt)

 

the happy list

 

  • This Instagram account, @GoodNews_Movement, will lift your spirits in the midst of everything going on.
  • The new adaption of Emma, currently in theaters, has been released early! Rent it today on Amazon, Apple, and many other platforms.
  • Texas restaurants are now permitted to offer alcoholic beverages to-go in an effort to boost the restaurant economy. What I wouldn’t give for a Mambo Taxi to-go, ya feel?
  • New hobby alert! I ordered my first needlepoint canvas (you Friday Night Light fans may recognize this) and am excited to try my hand at something new.
  • Scribd is offering free access to their huge selection of books, audiobooks, magazines and more for thirty days, no credit card required!
  • If you’re in need of retail therapy, there are some great sales going on right now: Nordstrom is 25% off site-wide, Anthropologie is 25% off everything + free shipping over $50, Tuckernuck is 20% off site-wide with code TNUCK20N, Verishop is 10-25% off everything
  • I’m looking forward to making this guac recipe when Andrew gets home from work today!
  • Did you know you can Facetime more than one friend at once? While Facetiming a friend, swipe up from the bottom of your screen and tap “add person.”
  • Country music fan? Kelsea Ballerini just released a new album!
  • A couple of weeks ago, I bought a new nail color on a whim and I’m now obsessed. This shade is the perfect light-almost-white pink color and best of all, it’s not sheer. Highly recommend!
  • Set your alarms! Mi Golondrina will be restocking their beautiful, hand embroidered headbands (see mine here) tomorrow morning at 10am CDT!

If you have a happy you’d like to add to this list, leave a note in the comments below! I think we could all use a little extra dose of it today.

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

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lights, camera…

wedding wednesday // a letter to the brides affected by COVID-19

 Last Friday, March 19, was when I started to really take the COVID-19 spread seriously. I had been loosely following it since late February because my parents were supposed to travel to Italy, but it wasn’t until the end of last week that the gravity of what was going on…

 Last Friday, March 19, was when I started to really take the COVID-19 spread seriously. I had been loosely following it since late February because my parents were supposed to travel to Italy, but it wasn’t until the end of last week that the gravity of what was going on started to sink in.

Last Friday, my parents were driving to Austin for the wedding of the daughter of some dear friends. Upon learning that a guest had potential symptoms, they had to make a choice. Because my grandmother is currently in a nursing home in Dallas, and my mother visits her daily (that has obviously now changed), my parents made the heart-wrenching decision to come back home.

As I talked to my parents on their drive home, I remember feeling absolutely heartbroken for this bride. And the groom, the families, the vendors, and the other guests, of course! But especially for the bride. I don’t know why, necessarily. Maybe it’s because I just went through the process and so it hits close to home. Whatever the reason, I haven’t been able to shake that pit in my stomach ever since.

Let me pause for one second to make something very clear: There are so many people the COVID-19 spread has already affected, and there are so many people it has yet to affect before this is all over. Both in big, life-altering ways and in small ways. Livelihoods lost. Schools closed. Friends missed. Hospitals overwhelmed. I get dazed when I think about it all, and today I don’t want to go there.

It goes without saying that in the grand scheme of things, a postponed or changed wedding is not the direst thing happening right now. I certainly, certainly understand that. We all do. And as the wife of someone in the medical field, I am not tone-deaf to the sacrifices being made by those on the frontlines of this thing. In fact, I am in total awe of the brave individuals sacrificing their own wellbeing for that of others. And now and in the coming months, I am looking for ways to support my neighbors, my community, small businesses, healthcare workers, and everyone else affected by COVID-19. We all should be.

But today, on a day I usually reserve for wedding-related content, I just want to write a little note to one of the many people affected by this. Not because her loss is any greater or any less than anyone else’s, but because I was just her myself. And for some reason, I can’t stop thinking of her. To the bride who has had to change her wedding day in the wake of COVID-19.

 

Dear Bride,

 

Today, I wanted to take a second to write to you. To let you know you’re on my heart, you haven’t been forgotten, and whatever feelings you’re experiencing right now, sadness, fear, defeat or loss, they are valid. Today, I wanted to let you know that with each escalation and update, from low-key murmurs to mandated cancellations, my heart has continually sunk for you, and for what you are being asked to give up.

Today, while you watch your friends make the most of this time on social media… posting lighthearted memes, figuring out how to work from home, ordering takeout instead of dining in… you’re grappling with changing, postponing or canceling a dream you’ve most likely had for years and years. While many of us are trying to decide on a new Netflix series to start, you’re trying to come to terms with the fact that a special day you’ve been working towards for a while may look vastly different than you had hoped.

Today, I wanted to say I am sorry that in the midst of an already emotionally-packed wedding planning process, you’re being asked to handle not only more high emotions, but logistical chaos as well. Maybe moving or changing your wedding to accommodate this new season has been a breeze. But I have a feeling it hasn’t been that way for everyone. Finding a different date, coordinating with out-of-town relatives and guests, contacting each and every vendor, and trying to decide how on earth to celebrate in this new reality. I cannot imagine.

I do imagine you’re caught in a hard place right now. Maybe you feel guilty for being upset when there seem to be more important things happening right now. Maybe you feel sad that important people in your life won’t be able to stand by you on this important day. Maybe you feel overwhelmed at all the decisions you’re going to have to make for a second time. I can’t imagine exactly how you’re feeling, but I know you’re feeling a lot.

So today, in case no one has told you, I just want to say I am so sorry. I want to say that I recognize what you’re having to go through, and I wish more than anything that I could give you a big hug, sit on the couch with you over a bottle of wine and cry it out together.

And today, I want to promise you one final thing. Your day will come. It may look different than you had initially planned, but it will come. And not only will it come, but it will shine all the more brightly be all the sweeter because of what you walking through now.

Because here’s the thing: you are demonstrating what marriage, and what a whole wedding celebration, is really all about. Loving someone else more than yourself, no matter the cost. You are living out love, not just as an ideal, but as an action. Not the hollywood-crafted, romanticized, “happily ever after” kind of love. You are living out sacrificial love. And love that sacrifices for others is the truest, deepest, most perfect love there is.

And perfect love, even in the midst of global epidemics, canceled plans, financial instability and changed dreams, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:6)

So on behalf of every single one of us who are not walking in your shoes, I want to thank you. For making a unique, but no less important, sacrifice that many of us do not have to make in this strange season. For changing one of your dreams so that people you may never meet can continue to dream theirs. And for reminding us what true love is really all about.

I have a feeling all the people you’re loving by the choices you’re making right now can’t wait to return the love when they finally do get to celebrate you!

All my love,

Kate

On this “Wedding Wednesday” I’d love to encourage you to think of any friends you know who are having to change, postpone or cancel their day. Reach out with a call or text and ask how they’re doing. Send a little something to brighten their day that also supports small businesses, like fresh cookies from a local bakery, flowers from a local florist or maybe a hand-painted champagne bottle. Let’s let them know just how excited we are to celebrate them both now, and “officially” the second all of this is over.

Everyone, everyone, is in need of a little extra love these days, so let’s be on the lookout for ways to support one another during this time, shall we?

Sending all my love to the brides, the vendors, the mamas-turned-homeschool-teachers, the overworked medical staff on the frontlines, the small businesses, and every group who are making brave sacrifices during this time. We are all in this together.

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate

4 months with a peloton bike // updated review plus Q+A

Now that I’ve had the chance to really use my Peloton bike and observe how it fits in my normal day-to-day over the course of a few months, I feel like I’m in a more qualified place to share my experience. Let’s start with my initial thoughts, and then answer a few questions y’all have sent in!

peloton bike review, outdoor voices matching set

 

outfit details

 

TOP outdoor voices slashback crop top (old style, similar linked) } LEGGINGS outdoor voices leggings

 

I have been meaning to update y’all on my Peloton experience for a few weeks now! Now that we’re all spending much more time at home, I’ve received many requests for my updated thoughts on the bike after my first review. What better day than today?! Let’s dive in!

As a quick little refresher, my husband bought me a Peloton bike for my Christmas gift in early December. If you haven’t checked out my initial post, 10 Days with a Peloton Bike, it’s a great place to start!

Now that I’ve had the chance to really use my Peloton bike and observe how it fits in my normal day-to-day, I feel like I’m in a more qualified place to share my experience. Let’s start with my initial thoughts, and then answer a few questions y’all have sent in over Instagram Stories.

 

4 months with a peloton

 

My thoughts in a nutshell? I love my Peloton bike even more now than when I first got it. And I am so relieved to share that!

There was part of me that worried over time, I’d get bored of it and lose interest. Honestly, I’m sure that’s happened for riders out there! In my experience, though, incorporating a daily morning Peloton into my routine has transformed my day-to-day.

What do I love so much about this bike, now that I’ve owned it for a few moths?

 

convenience

 

Our new home here in Gainesville is about 20-30 minutes away from the closest cardio studio and full gym that I enjoy. (Huge Orange Theory fan, here!) I tried making that drive for a few months here in Gainesville, but started to find that my day simply didn’t have the bandwidth to compensate for all of that time. At least not with the work and personal life balance I was trying to strike.

Having a way to get a high-intensity cardio workout that I enjoy one room over has been a game-changer for me. As someone who has worked from home for years, it’s easy to sit down at my computer and not move for the entire day. (No coworkers to get up and talk to, no lunch breaks to go try a new spot with a friend, etc.) On my busiest days, I don’t have to sacrifice a workout because of workload… I’ve found that no matter how busy I am, I can always spare 30 minutes if I make it a priority, unlike a full hour and a half to two hours (depending on the drive) to drive to a studio.

 

structure

 

A huge reason why I’m loving the Peloton is that it adds structure to my day. This year, I’ve decided to make routine a priority… having a routine helps me be productive, feel content and purposeful, and enjoy working from home while still transitioning to a new city.

There are obvious exceptions (when I’m traveling for example, or if I’m feeling sick) but I’ve started to start each weekday morning with exercise. Three-five times a week, that’s with my Peloton! Since I don’t have to completely disrupt my day to get a workout in, having a Peloton bike and using it consistently helps me stick to my routine and has become a habit instead of a daily decision.

I will say, when I got the bike, I was in the middle of the Christmas season. In January, I went to Rwanda for nearly two weeks, and recently traveled to Dallas. So if you were to look at my rides on paper, you wouldn’t necessarily feel that they were consistent. But for me and what was going on in my life at the time, they were!

 

instant mood boost and added confidence

 

When I was on the phone with my mom the other day, I told her “I seem to always have great days when I start them with a quiet time and a workout! If I can check off those two things, the rest of the day seems to flow really well.”

Here’s the thing. I don’t always wake up thinking “I can’t WAIT to get a hard workout in for forty-five minutes!” But I always, always feel amazing after completing a ride. No matter what the rest of my day holds, no matter how productive or unproductive it ends up being, I still feel accomplished and proud for moving my body and pushing my limits first thing every morning!

One of the keys, in my opinion, to getting the most out of your Peloton is finding classes and instructors that motivate you. I shoot for at least three 45-minute rides and two 30-minute rides a week. To challenge myself, I look for Tabata or HIIT rides. To take it easier, I enjoy pop and country rides. There’s a huge variety of classes and instructors offered… and it’s all about finding classes that give you what you need, like pushing you when you need to be pushed and giving you a way to take it down a notch when you just need to move.

When I push myself on the Peloton, I feel amazing all day afterward. Truly! And to me, that’s all the motivation I need to wake up and do it all over again.

 

enjoyment

 

Here’s the thing. I just love spin. Apart from dancing (and you probably don’t want to see that, hahaha) it’s my absolute favorite way to work out!

So having a way to work out in a manner in which I truly love has been the biggest blessing. I never, ever dread getting on my Peloton. No matter the class, it’s always fun to me because I genuinely enjoy spin!

That’s why, if you’re considering a Peloton, I would ask you to think about what type of workouts do you truly enjoy? Do you love to run? Are you a barre junkie? The biggest reason I think Peloton works for me is because I love to spin.

On the contrary, I hate to run. Barre is great and a killer workout, but isn’t “fun” to me like spinning is. BBG SWEAT workouts make me want to die. (Huge props to you girls who do it… I have so much respect!)

I really thing it boils down to this: If you don’t love spin, you won’t love a Peloton. I love spin, so I love my Peloton and everything it’s brought into my life!

 

peloton q+a

 

Now that I’ve given you an update on my experience with my Peloton bike, I want to answer the questions you’ve sent in about it!

 

“Results?”

 

It depends on what you mean by “results,” but here are some of the things I’ve experienced with my Peloton:

Greater consistency in workout out daily due to the convenience of having a Peloton bike in my home.

Greater productivity and over “happiness level” due to endorphins on the days I use my Peloton.

Greater confidence in feeling and looking strong and fit when I combine consistent Peloton rides with healthy, mindful eating.

 

“What’s your favorite workout on the Peloton?”

 

Currently, I am loving “30-minute pop rides” with Ally Love! I typically select a challenging 45-minute class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, so I treat myself to these shorter classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They are always so much fun (the music is great!) and upbeat. Ally Love puts you in the best mood. She’s so positive and inspiring, and she doesn’t take herself too seriously!

 

“On average, what would you say the price per ride is? Or how long until you break even?”

 

This will 100% vary from person to person, depending on how much you use your Peloton and what class/membership price you’re comparing it to. Let’s look at it through the lens of one year. If you were to add up the total cost of the basic bike package ($2,245 for the bike only) and the monthly subscription fee ($39/month) and divide it over twelve months, you’re looking at about $225 a month. Keep in mind, that’s paying off the bike in twelve months, but Peloton offers 39-month plans.

That $225 a month is roughly equivalent to:

6 SoulCycle classes a month

8 FlyWheel classes

10 CycleBar classes a month

Keep in mind, studio prices vary by location. This is just to give you a general idea!

 

“How do you stay motivated to use it?”

 

My strongest motivation for using my Peloton is thinking about how amazing I feel afterward. Those post-workout endorphins are no joke! It sounds dramatic, but my day is so much better when I start it off with a good sweat.

Peloton also does a great job of motivating you by keeping track of your “streaks.” For example, I love seeing that I have a “9 week streak” going because I’ve taken at least one class a week over the past nine weeks.

I also love having insights into the analytics behind my workouts. I take the “12 minute Orange Theory” mentality and try to make sure my heart rate stays in the orange and red zone for at least 12 minutes of each workout.

The bottom line is, though, I genuinely enjoy spin. If I hated spin class (like I hate running) I can promise I would have a far harder time being consistent. I really believe it’s all about finding a workout you enjoy. Spin is that for me!

 

“Do you add your own choreography? Huge SoulCycle fan and miss choreography.”

 

Yes, I’ve actually recently started doing this! I’m with you, the “dance party” feel of SoulCycle was my favorite. Even though some Peloton classes do incorporate choreography (look for “Groove” rides) I’ve found they’re nowhere near the level of SoulCycle. (If you ever took a Dallas Soulcycle class by Hayes or Kevin you know what I mean!) So I throw in my own sequence of tapbacks, pushups, etc. into my rides! It’s not the same as doing it in tandem with an entire class, but it is still fun and let’s me pretend I’m an instructor – ha!

 

“Does Andrew use it too?”

 

He hasn’t yet, but he’s planning to! I bought him a pair of shoes for Christmas. He’s been studying non-stop for a bit ophthalmology exam this weekend, and is planning on starting to use it after he gets that behind him!

 

“How do you get variety in your Peloton workouts?”

 

The great thing about Peloton is that they have so many different types of classes. When I’m really looking for a kick in the rear, I take a Tabata class. When I’m wanting to get a great workout in while also having a lot of fun, I choose a Pop class. When I’m wanting to move but not really push it, I opt for a Country ride.

Having a monthly subscription to Peloton also gives you access to tons of off-the-bike classes, like yoga, arms, abs, etc. I’ve personally been loving getting more into yoga lately, especially with everything going on!

 

“Who are your favorite instructors?”

 

So far:

Ally Love has been my absolute favorite! She is always upbeat, and inspirational and consistently pushes me. She’s also a believer, and her “Sunday’s With Love” rides have been some of my favorites. (They usually incorporate worship music!) Her classes leave you feeling exhausted but inspired and grateful. It’s always hard for me to choose a different instructor because I enjoy her classes so much! The hardest Peloton class I’ve ever taken was one of her 45-minute Tabata class. Whew.

Cody Rigsby is great for high-energy fun. His “Groove” classes remind me of SoulCycle, and he constantly makes me laugh.

Alex Toussant is my go-to for rides that incorporate arms. He’s incredibly positive, has a great, likable, motivating personality, and always incorporates great music into his rides.

Emma Lovewell is a new one for me. I took one of her classes for the first time this week, and definitely plan to take more! She has a deep, soulful vibe and incorporated a bunch of new-to-me music into her rides.

 

“Did you find it challenging at first?”

 

Do I find the classes challenging? Absolutely! But did I find it challenging to get the hang of the Peloton bike? No. The format is very similar to every other in-studio class I’ve done. If you’ve taken spin classes before, it shouldn’t be that big of a learning curve at all! If you’re totally new to spin, though, I think it would definitely take a little bit of time to get the hang of.

 

“How big is it?! I really want one but live in an apartment.”

 

I found this great article on the exact dimensions of the bike. Right now, it’s sitting in Andrew’s uncompleted study. I’m not sure exactly where I’ll put it once we furnish and decorate the room! The Peloton website says this: “The Peloton Bike has a compact, 4′ x 2′ footprint and fits nicely in living-rooms, offices, bedrooms, and home-gyms.

 

“Do you use it every day?”

 

No, not every day! That was never my goal. I aim for 3-5 times a week and give myself the weekend “off” but usually end up doing a ride or two just because I enjoy them so much!

 

“Is it worth the money or are there dupes that are just as good?”

 

For me, personally, it’s definitely worth the money, but I think that’s something everyone needs to decide for themself! If you don’t want to buy the Peloton bike, you could buy a normal stationary bike and subscribe to the Peloton app ($39/month) and the classes on your phone or tablet! If anyone has a recommendation for a similar, less expensive bike, I’d love to know and share with y’all!

(And just so y’all know, SoulCycle recently revealed they will be releasing an at-home bike as well! Here are the details.)

 

“Do you use the other classes like arms, core, yoga, etc?”

 

While I definitely use the spin classes the most, I have taken a few stretching classes and arm classes. They’re great! I’ve also been using the app to take a few yoga classes and have really enjoyed those. I wouldn’t necessarily get the bike to have accesses to those (I really love the Obe streaming service, you can use the code LONESTAR for $10 off your first month, and it’s a bit cheaper) but they’re a nice add-on!

 

“Shipping time?”

 

Good question! Here is the page that addresses that.

 

“After you pay the price of the bike, how much is your monthly membership?”

 

A monthly Peloton membership is $39/month.

 

“Do you like to ride with or without the leaderboard? I don’t really like the social comparison!”

 

I’ve done, and enjoyed, both! It just depends on my mood. I love seeing my personal record and trying to beat it, and it’s always fun to have a little healthy competition with other riders taking the class the same time you are! I’m also super cheesy and love the ability to give virtual high-fives. But, if you don’t want the pressure, you can easily swipe the leaderboard away so you don’t see it! I do that from time to time when I just want to zone in and not worry about anyone else.

 

“Is it more difficult to motivate yourself to workout at home vs. having to show up for a class?”

 

For me, it’s actually much easier to motivate myself to workout at home than to commit the time I need to drive to a studio and back. But, as I’ve said before, I think that’s because I genuinely enjoy the classes. Knowing that I can get a killer workout in no matter how much time I have available (there are rides from 5-90 minutes long) leaves me with zero excuses. I also really like the fact that I’m not losing money if, for whatever reason, I don’t take a class. I’m much more motivated by how great I feel when I workout than I am from losing money, but that’s just me! Everyone is different.

 

“Would you recommend a Peloton over a traditional gym membership?”

 

This is a tough one, because it truly depends on the person. I actually kept my gym membership in case I realized I wanted to switch things up, but in four months I’ve only been back twice. And they were both for this one dance class I love! Needless to say, I’m actually going to cancel my gym membership now that I have a Peloton. Again, it definitely depends on the person and what type of workouts you enjoy.

 

“Do you get bored with just doing cycle rides?”

 

No, I really don’t! That’s because spinning is my favorite form of cardio. I’ve actually started taking Pilates as well, but that was because a studio opened nearby and I wanted a social outlet. That’s not to say I never will get bored with cycling. I think everyone goes through phases. For me, personally, I keep coming back to it.

 

“How does it compare to the in-person class experience?”

 

Again, this depends on what in-person spin studio you’re comparing it to. For SoulCycle, Peloton is similar in the sense that you’re getting a great, high-energy spin workout in with a charismatic instructor. Classes, however, are sometimes formatted differently. For example, SoulCycle has a pretty standard format for every class… full on cardio for the first 3/4ths of the ride, then five or so minutes of arms, then two more songs and a cooldown. Peloton offers lots of different class formats, though, from HIIT to Tabata and much more. That being said, you really can’t reproduce the special energy and comradery of an in-person class online. I’ve found that isn’t a deal-breaker by any means, but I do miss it!

 

“Is it beginner-friendly? No spin studios near me but it seems right up my alley!”

 

I would say yes in the sense that a beginner could definitely figure a Peloton bike out, but I would not recommend buying a Peloton bike until you’ve taken enough spin classes to learn whether or not it’s a form of exercise you love! In fact, I would only suggest getting a Peloton if you love spinning! If you’re curious, I’d recommend signing up for a free trial of the app and using a stationary bike (once we are past COVID-19) to get a feel for the classes before committing.

 

“Do you still love it and think it’s worth it?”

 

100%! I actually have started to love it more and more as I’ve seen the impact using it consistently it makes on the rest of my day.

 

“How do you motivate yourself when working out alone?”

 

  1. I set aside a time each day for it. For example, I know that after my quiet time, I will take a Peloton class before doing anything else. Making it a non-negotiable, scheduled part of my day keeps me consistent!
  2. If I’m wavering, I remind myself how amazing I feel after each class.
  3. I keep track of my heart rate, calories burned, and position on the leaderboard to inspire me to push harder.
  4. I check-in and see what classes my friends are taking and how often they’re taking them for a bit of healthy competition.
  5. If I’m feeling totally uninspired, I try a class format or instructor I’ve never tried before to switch things up!
  6. I make a weekly goal. “This week, given my schedule, I want to work out X amount of times.” Giving it forethought and being realistic about what’s on your plate really helps!

 

“How do you pick different teachers?”

 

Peloton recommends different rides based on your preferences, so every once in a while I switch things up and try someone new! I also rely on recommendations from friends and from y’all. Let me know your favorites!

 

“Does it bulk up the thighs?”

 

Not in my experience!

 

“Is there a good place to buy a used Peloton bike from?”

 

That’s a great question. I’d imagine eBay and Craigs List are good places to check. Keep in mind, though, a used bike won’t come with setup!

 

“Do you get the same hype as in a gym class?”

 

Unfortunately, no. There’s nothing like the energy in a spin studio! (Especially PRST SoulCycle!) I still have tones of fun in the classes, but I do miss the feeling of community SoulCycle, and I’m sure many other spin studios, provide!

 

“Can you adjust it based on height?”

 

Yes! The setup instructions are helpful in making sure you properly set up your bike. I’m sure there are lots of great YouTube videos, too!

 

“What package did you get?”

 

Andrew gifted me with “The Works” package. It comes with not only the bike, but shoes, weights, headphones, a mat, and a heartrate monitor as well.

 

“Did you pay in full to get the bike or did you use the payment plan? Debating on which to do.”

 

That’s a great question – I just asked Andrew and he said he bought it outright. I’m always inclined to pay-in-full when possible so as to not incur debt.

 

“Do you play music during the workout or just listen to the instructor?”

 

All of the classes are set to music, so you don’t need to use your own!

 

“Tips for beginners, please.”

 

Be patient with yourself! When I took my first spin class, I walked out feeling so defeated. Everything felt way too fast-paced, and I couldn’t figure out many of the forms or moves. I even had trouble clipping and unclipping onto the bike! After a few consistent classes, though, I started to get the hang of it. Before I knew it, I was addicted! So give yourself time, and use your analytics to see how you improve each ride!

Also, don’t sell yourself short! I try to set my resistance at the heaviest recommended. Sometimes I have too let off a bit of resistance because it’s just too much, but tjat strategy always ensures that I’m giving my max!

 

“What are the payment options?”

 

Here is the Peloton page with payment information. It looks like you can either purchase the bike up-front or qualify for as low as $62/mo for 39 months with 0% APR.

 

“Is it tricker to motivate yourself since you don’t lose money on a missed class?”

 

Not for me! It actually really annoyed me when I’d lose money for missing a class, even though I 100% understand why studios do this! I’m more motivated by how great it makes me feel and the sense of accomplishment I know I’ll feel afterwards.

 

“What’s your working schedule? Number of days working out, mix of floor vs. spin, etc.”

 

It varies based on what I have going on, but this is what a best-case scenario week looks like for me:

Monday // 45 minute Peloton Ride

Tuesday // 30 minute Peloton Ride + Pilates class

Wednesday // 45 minute Peloton Ride

Thursday // 30 minute Peloton Ride + Pilates class

Friday or Sunday // 45 minute Peloton Ride

I like to throw in a yoga class when I’m feeling overwhelmed, or like I just need to stretch and breathe. I’d say I do yoga once a week.

 

“Do you pick classes based on instructor and music like me?”

 

Sometimes! I tend to pick classes based on A) the amount of time I’m wanting to workout and B) the difficulty level I’m looking for.

 

“I love SoulCycle and loved Peloton at first but got bored of it. Tips?”

 

I think getting bored with any workout is 100% normal. I even burnt out of SoulCycle for a little bit! My advice? Try finding some other form of exercise you enjoy in the meantime, and make a goal to use your Peloton at least once a week. Switch up the type of class and instructor you take so you can find something new and fun! Also, if you have friends on the Peloton app, use them to keep you accountable. You could all decide to take a class virtually on a certain day of the week, for example!

 

“What’s your username?”

 

I’m currently debating whether or not I want to share it. I’ll let y’all know if I decide to!

 

“How does it compare to SoulCycle?”

 

I would say that if you let them, Peloton classes can be just as fun and challenging as SoulCycle. I will say, though, Peloton hasn’t been able to recreate the amazing community feel that I loved so much at SoulCycle. There’s also something about the instructor knowing you personally that gives you an extra boost of motivation that’s hard to manufacture virtually.

 

“Can someone non-athletic use it?”

 

Totally! The great thing is you can set resistance levels at a place that work for you, and gradually build as you get stronger! It’s also nice that since you’re by yourself, you can take things slower if you need to without feeling super conspicuous.

“After having it for a couple of months do you still love it as much as you did at the beginning?”

I love it even more than I did at the beginning!

 

“What to know before purchasing and any surprises (good or bad) after having it for a few months?”

 

I think my Peloton bike has been pretty much what I expected it would be. The one thing that has surprised me, though, is how heavy it is! I was under the impression you could easily move it around. Not so! A good surprise? How in-depth the analytics are! I love geeking out and delving into my metrics after each workout.

 

“Do you feel like you need to do strength training for upper body as well as doing the bike?”

 

I think it’s always great to make sure you’re getting a well-rounded workout! I supplement spinning with Pilates and have loved the combination. Even before I had my Peloton, I liked to combine cardio classes (like Orange Theory) with more strength-based classes (like barre.)

 

“I’m worried I’ll get bored and stop using it after a while! Was this a concern for you?”

 

It definitely was a concern for me! It all comes down to your level of commitment, and that’s an important thing to think through. I’ve found that I use it even more than I thought I would! Even on days when I’m not “feeling it,” I push myself to do even a short ride. Anything to get moving!

 

“How is the sound/video quality?”

 

It’s amazing! In the four months that I’ve had the bike, I’ve had issues twice. Once was streaming quality during a live ride (it paused randomly and took a few moments to synch bjack up)

 

“Would you still love it if SoulCycle was close by? Do you miss the class atmosphere?”

 

To be honest, I don’t think I would have gotten a Peloton bike if there was, in fact, a SoulCycle was close by. I think I would have still “wanted it” in theory, but wouldn’t have actually pulled the trigger. I miss SoulCycle so much, but that’s because the studio became so much more for me than just a workout! The Dallas team and community of riders was so amazing, and there’s a special synergy there that I hate missing out on. If you have the ability to join a local studio you love, I’d highly recommend it!

 

“Are the shoes comfortable?”

 

Yes! I haven’t had any issues with them whatsoever. I ordered these non-Peloton cycling shoes for Andrew and will update y’all on how he likes them!

 

“What is your preferred class length?”

 

I think the 45-minute classes give me the best, most effective workout!

 

“Favorite non-bike classes?”

 

I haven’t taken a ton, but I have loved the handful of yoga classes I’ve done thus far.

 

“Do you feel like you get as good of a workout as you were in an actual studio?”

 

This is a hard question because I never measured my metrics at SoulCycle. I’m tempted to think that yes, I do, but only because I really give it my all each class! If you wanted to, you could slack off, but that just feels like a waste of time to me. It all boils down to you and your personal drive/motivation, but know that the Peloton classes are incredibly challenging and really give you an amazing workout if you buy in and go all-out!

All in all, I am loving my Peloton bike even more now than when I first got it. I’m seeing how consistent, daily exercise directly impacts mood and self-esteem, and I can’t get enough of it!

I hope this Peloton bike review was helpful for you, friends! If you have any more questions, or a class or instructor you recommend, leave them in the comments below!

Love from the Sunshine State,

Kate