2 In fitness

Echelon Bike – Your questions answered

Woman on Echelon bike

This post contains affiliate links meaning I make a small commission.

I am so excited for this post because I’m answering all of your questions about the Echelon bike. For the record, this post is in no way sponsored. Since sharing that I got an Echelon, many of you were curious so I am giving my honest review and answering all of your questions. (And for the record, I do not look this cute when I’m working out on my Echelon. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my sweaty selfies)

So about a month ago, we pulled the trigger and ordered an Echelon bike. Prior to kids, I used to go to a spin class at my local gym daily. It was my favorite way to workout and I felt my best physically and mentally when I was cycling.  I am a much better person when I am exercising and since having kids, I have not been consistent with it. I’ve had a gym membership for years and realistically, I just never go for a variety of different reasons whether it be childcare, time, or just not being motivated enough to go.

I love cycling and since getting my own Echelon at home, it’s been really convenient for me to get back into it and do something for me!

Echelon bike EX3

Q – Which bike did you get?

I got the Echelon Smart Connect Bike EX3.

Q – What are the differences between the Peloton and the Echelon?

The major difference is the price.

The Peloton retails for a little over $2,000 plus you have to pay the additional membership fee for the app of $39/month and it requires you to use the Peloton shoes.

The Echelon cost $1,444 which includes the 1 year subscription to the Echelon app for all the classes and came with a free IPad (The IPad was part of a promotion). Once the 1 year subscription to the app is up, it costs $30/month. You do not need to buy certain shoes. There are clips if you have clip in shoes or you can reverse the pedal to just strap in with your own sneakers.

Other differences

One of the other major differences is that the Peloton has a large built in touch screen with all of the available classes.  The EX3 does not have a built in screen but it does have a holder to hold your Ipad and you can view the classes on the app. If you have Apple TV you could also just download the Echelon app on there and stream that way.

The Peloton claims to have 24/7 live classes 365 days/year. While the Echelon does not have as many live classes, I have been able to catch a live class every time I’ve wanted to. They also have pre-recorded classes you can do at any time which I found good too though I prefer the live ones.

Q – Do you find the bike to be sturdy?

In my opinion, I think it’s just as sturdy as any other bike I’ve rode in a spin class. According to the Echelon website, the steel frame can hold up to 300lbs.

Q – What is a typical class like?

You have the option to choose from live classes or pre-recorded classes. If I can get a live class I prefer those because you can see how your stats compare to the others in the class and the instructor calls you out by names so it pushes me to do better. But with that being said, I’ve done plenty of pre-recorded classes and those are very good too.

Classes range anywhere from 20 minutes – 1 hour. Each class starts with a warm up with your bike on “flat road”, (a comfortable low resistance) to get the legs and body moving.  The bike has a resistance wheel and throughout the class you will increase and decrease the resistance to simulate going up and down hills, and increase and decrease your cadence accordingly.  It’s an amazing cardiovascular workout and great for overall weight loss, toning and increasing your endurance.

Like all fitness classes, there’s going to be some instructors that you like and feel really motivate you and then others that you find a little lackluster. There’s a few instructors that I LOVE and always try to do their live classes.

Q – Do you have to be in really good shape in order to keep up?

No! The thing that got me hooked on cycling years ago is that you are in control of that resistance wheel. So if you’re a beginner, you can start out easy on yourself and then as your increase your level of fitness, make it even more challenging.

Q – What tips do you have for starting out?

First, I would invest either in a cushioned bike seat or a pair of cycling shorts with a padded bottom. The bike seat is VERY firm and you eventually will get used to it, but a padded seat or bottoms definitely make it more comfortable and will help you stick with it.

Secondly, start with a beginner class. The Echelon app has a variety of beginner classes to get you accustomed to how a typical workout will go.

Stick with it! Remember, it’s your ride and you can make it as challenging or as easy as you need.

 

If you have any other questions, drop them below and I will answer them for you!

 

woman working out on echelon bike indoor cycling class

 

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Woman on Echelon Bike

4 In Lifestyle

Best purchases of 2019

My best purchases of 2019

This post contains affiliate links

You asked for it. So here it is.

Last weekend I did a Q&A in my Instagram stories and one of my followers asked that I do a post on my top purchases from 2019. (If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you can follow me here).

I’ve compiled a list of my top purchases I made in 2019 for the home, hair/beauty, fashion and baby stuff .

Check out my list below.

For the Home

Dyson cordless V8 – This was by far both Rick and my favorite purchase of the year. I have an insane obsession with this thing. It’s super lightweight and cordless so makes it so easy to go up and down the stairs cleaning. The top part is also detachable which makes it handy to vacuum the couches and stairs. Totally worth every single penny.

Immersion Blender – Super easy way to make smoothies, soups and whip up some fancy coffee drinks at home. This has also become a staple in our kitchen for blending up whatever we’re eating for dinner to feed to the babe.

Deep pocket fitted sheets No more hubby standing on one side of the bed and me on the other struggling to get the fitted sheet on our bed. These have deep pockets, stays in place and is made of a nice cool fabric.

Hair/Beauty

Revlon Hot Air Brush – I had been seeing all of the reviews and was doubtful that this would live up to the hype. It it seriously life-changing! Not only does it give you that “you just left the salon and had a blow out” look, it also dries your hair really fast.

Tarte lipgloss – this was a beauty find that I was inspired to buy from Lauren McBride. It gives you just enough color, a little shine, and moisturizes your lips. I have a couple of these in shade “Nude”.

Fashion

Amazon Headbands – a set of 10 cute headbands for less than $10. Great on those days I don’t get to shower and need to look cute and put together. I love that they don’t go all the way around your head.

Amazon dress – my favorite thing I wore in 2019. I bought this dress when I went to the Saratoga Living Event where I met Dorinda Medley. Super feminine and comfortable.

Baby

Nesting Olive Dress – I bought these dresses when I was pregnant. I wore them towards the end of my pregnancy, when I was postpartum, (they were great for nursing), and I still wear them now as like a modern house dress. Super comfy.

Dockatot – This was a lifesaver. A great way to cosleep with your baby or bring with you when you travel.

Hakka – for all the breastfeeding mamas. Place this on the side opposite the one you’re feeding on and it collects milk.

What was the best thing you purchased last year?

 

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My best purchases of 2019

 

2 In marriage

8 ways to reconnect with your significant other after baby

couple kissing on the counter having a date night
Thank you to The Shaker and Vine for sponsoring this post

After our son was born, I resented my husband. Like majorly. He got to go to work and communicate with adults while I stayed home and washed laundry and bottles all day.  When I was up breastfeeding the baby in the middle of the night, he was snoring soundly. He didn’t understand the baby’s different cries and sometimes it was easier for me to just do things myself. Some days our only form of communication with each other was sighing when one of us would go to change the baby and we were out of diapers again.

That’s not to say he didn’t help me. He was a huge help, especially when we had our second baby. He kept the oldest occupied so I could tend to our youngest and recover from my csection. But I still held some feelings of resentment towards him. Our relationship had changed and I often felt like we were living on two different planets.  This feeling of disconnect after baby is more common than you think. Blame it on hormones, lack of sleep and just having to adjust to new roles but it’s something that every couple faces to an extent after having a baby.

Around the time I was 6 months postpartum and we were out of that new baby season, we decided we needed to make a conscious effort to reconnect with each other and work on our marriage. I’m sharing some easy ways to reconnect with your significant other. Read on below.

Here are 8 ways to reconnect with your significant other after baby:

1.) Go to bed at the same time – Bedtime is a time for couples to talk and be intimate. That time after we’ve put the kids to bed and it’s just us is often the only peace and quiet we get. In addition, it’s also been shown that couples that go to bed at the same time together, sleep better.

2.) Touch each other – hug, hold hands or give each other a massage. Even high-fiving each other after a tough parenting moment can make you feel connected.

3.) Have a date night – Sometimes we put the kids to bed early and sit on the couch with a glass of wine or a beer. Other times, we get someone to watch the kids and go out.

When we do go out, our favorite place is The Shaker and Vine in Schenectady. Located on the Mohawk Harbor it’s a cool self-serve wine bar. The hubby and I just went last weekend for a long overdue date night. A couple of glasses of wine, a charcuterie board and cheesecake sampler later,  we were back to laughing and reminiscing about when we met in our college days. It was just what we needed.

charcuterie board at Shaker and Vine in Schenectady

 

Couple out for a date at Shaker and Vine in Schenectady

The Shaker and Vine has given me a $25 gift card to giveaway to one of my followers. Head to my Instagram to see how to win!

4.) Block out some screen-free time – Schedule some time in your day or your week for “no screen time”. That means no tv’s, no phones, no tablets or technology. Being present with each other not only enhances communication but it also makes each other feel like a priority.

5.) Create your bucket list as a couple – Sharing your goals or dreams that you have for each other and as a couple can help you get to learn about each other more and connect.

6.) Do something active together – whether it be going to the gym together or on a hike, exercise gets your endorphins going.

7.) Learn each other’s Love Language – When we first started dating, I read the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. The book describes that there are 5 ways that people feel love – either by touch, acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, or receiving gifts. You can take the quiz here to learn about which type you and your partner are.

8.) Find a mutual hobby that doesn’t revolve around the kids – Find something that the two of you enjoy doing as a couple. Not only does this give you the opportunity to find something you’re both passionate about, it’s also a common ground that doesn’t revolve around the kids. Rick and I enjoy doing projects together around the house. I usually get the idea, Rick does the work, and then I add my personal touch to finish it off.  Seeing our finished product that we created together makes us feel like a team.  (Some of our previous projects include whitewashing our fireplace and these DIY engineer prints).

 

I hope you find these little tips helpful for you and your significant other to re-connect. It’s easy to let our relationships take the backseat when we become parents but our relationship should be a priority too!

And don’t forget if you’re local, be sure to check out my Instagram for a chance to win a $25 gift card to The Shaker and Vine.

 

8 ways to reocnnect after baby

 

0 In kids/ valentines day

Valentines Day Outfits for kids

Kids Valentine's Day Outfits

I’ve rounded up some of my favorite Valentine’s Day Outfits for kids this year.

To shop the post click the thumbnail photos

 

Baby

Girl

Boy

 

For more Valentine’s inspired posts check out the links below

Free Valentine’s Day Printable

My Favorite Valentine’s Day Ideas

 

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Kids Valentine's Day Outfits