All in on the Peloton

I’ve been a subscriber to the Peloton app since early 2020, initially downloading it thinking it’d be great to use while I was traveling for work; little did I know that it would become my go to workout for the next two years.

The Peloton app has expanded its offerings significantly over the last few years it now includes boxing, pilates and barre classes along with the original set of cycling, yoga, strength and running and all for a mere 12.99 a month (app without bike). I have personally been a big fan of their yoga classes as I’ve been trying to master a handstand and generally have poor balance. Something about being in the comfort of your own home makes it easier to try and fail doing side crow vs doing it in the studio.

I had been holding out on purchasing the actual bike as 1) I’m a SoulCycle loyalist and 2) I couldn’t justify spending close to $2k on an at-home bike. But after going through a very gloomy winter (break up + job burn out) when I saw that I could purchase a refurbished bike for just above $1k (note it only includes the bike, weights, shoes and mat must be purchased separately) I jumped on it! I thought that by cutting my workout commute to moving from my bed to the bike in my office would get me back into a groove, and I was right!

Without further a do here is my sweat rating of their cycling classes:

A couple of differences between a Peloton workout and Soulcycle:

  • Peloton uses resistance and speed ranges to build a sweat during your workout vs SoulCycle that allows you to set your own resistance
  • There is little to no choreography in Peloton classes, you are generally seated or in standing position
  • Overall the two have similar energy levels with instructor pumping you up as you go

Have I become a Peloton only cycler? Nope! I still enjoy dropping in to the occasional SoulCycle or other spin class from time to time. I do love having the bike option at home when I can’t muster the energy to bus to a studio.

Here are a couple of classes that I’ve loved:

  • 30 Min 90s ride- Kendall Toole
  • 30 Min Intervals & Arms ride- Emma Lovewell
  • 30 Min Pop ride- Cody Rigsby
  • 30 Min Hip Hop ride- Kendall Toole
  • 30 Min Broadway ride- Sam Yo

What about you? Are you a Peloton fan? And if yes, what are your favorite classes/ instructors? You can add me on Peloton @ktink

Tiny House, Big Adventure

As winter fully sets in here in Chicago you may be looking for an escape from the city; which is exactly what C and I did last year! A little over 6 months into our relationship we decided to really put it to the test and stay in a tiny house. Do people need more than 200 sq ft of space? Read on to find out!

Our tiny house was located in Charlevoix, Michigan (Airbnb link) which is all the way up in northern Michigan about a 6 hour drive from Chicago. We were so close to Canada we probably could have seen it on a super clear day.

As it was the middle of February and during Covid we decided it would be smarter to cook in the house vs trying to eat out. We stocked up on some groceries and a copious amount of beer and hit the road (shout out to Martins for having an A+ beer selection)! If you’re driving up from Chicago, I’d recommend getting an early start up as it got dark very early and we wound up driving through a blizzard to get there. We promptly cracked open a beer upon our arrival and settled into our home for the weekend. The place was very cute and of course tiny. The house was almost 2 stories with a lofted bed, eating nook and little reading nook in the corner complete with a record player 🙂

We spent our one full day in Charlevoix going snow shoeing, which neither of us had tried before. We rented snow shoes from the local ski hill and headed out to Fisherman’s Island State park to enjoy nature and the fresh snow. Snow shoeing was slightly clunky at first but I found it easier than going cross-country skiing. We got a little lost trekking around the park, we kept trying to find the beach but after hiking around for almost 2 hours it was somehow still another mile away. Despite getting lost multiple times and at least one of our snow shoes coming undone we had a great time in the snow. We did eventually wind up on a path by the lake and even saw some swans!

Pro tip: Bring a selfie stick with you, it makes it a lot easier to take photos in the cold and when your boyfriend is significantly taller 🙂

All in all it was a great weekend! The house didn’t have wifi and the cell service was pretty spotty so it was nice to spend some quality time together with no distractions. I will warn that in a house that small you can hear everything, so the illusion that girls don’t poop will be shattered 😉 I’m happy to report that C and I survived the smaller space, and while we may not stay in a tiny house again; I recommend it as a great way to bond with your partner.*

Have you spent time in a tiny house or other unique stay? Let me know below!

*note: C and I are no longer together, but I will cherish our tiny house memories 🙂

An Obsession With The Collective

After a very long hiatus, I’m back and ready to tell you all about my favorite brand- Girlfriend Collective. Girlfriend collective first caught my eye years ago when they were offering to send you free leggings. I thought it was too good to be true and passed on the opportunity; given that I now own 4 pairs of their leggings I kick myself at night for missing it. If you’re not familiar with the brand they started in 2017 initially with leggings and now carry a myriad of products that are made out of recycled materials (predominately plastic). You can learn more about them here:

Paloma bra and leggings in Tart

My first set was a pair of leggings and their Paloma top in plum. The Paloma is a cute scoop neck with decent stomach coverage and shows a little bit of cleavage. The top and bottom are both pretty compressive which provides a level of feeling supported- however the first class I wore these bad boys to was a boxing class and my boob almost punched me in the face :/ I would advise that if you’re a little more blessed in the chest to size up from what your normal size is. I also own their Topanga bra which is more of a halter top style- no cleavage but better coverage. I also have the Dylan bra which has built in cups so it’s the most supportive of the three styles that I own. Their leggings come in different lengths which is great for a shorty like me. I find that the 3/4 length leggings hit me at just the right spot, they’re full length on me (I’m 5’2″). I generally wear their items for lower impact activities such as yoga, barre and SoulCycle; I have yet to take them on a run but I will try this summer.

GC sleep wear shorts and tank

As a true fanatic I have a pair of their pjs, sweats and recently purchased a puffer jacket. Have you tried them out yet? Let me know below!

P.s. apologies for the mirror selfies with this year I haven’t had as many chances to get out and about. I had some hesitancy about posting them but would rather give you an honest view and a review with photos 🙂

The Joys of Puppydom


I’m back to talk about the one quarantine hobby I participated in (ok, I tried and failed at sourdough starter, puppies. It seems that everywhere I look in my neighborhood I see puppies, I have wanted a dog for SO long and when my work travel was banned until March of 2021- I thought why not now? So just after the 4th of July I picked out the newest member of my family, Iris:

Iris at 2 mo

Iris is an Aussie doodle (part Australian Shepard, part poodle) she doesn’t shed and is incredibly smart. When I picked her up from the breeder she weighed about 7 pounds, now she is almost 6 months old and weighs about 30 pounds.

5 mo at the p-patch

One of my main criteria when getting a dog was that I wanted it to by hypoallergenic (my dad has a bad dog allergy) and so I went down the breeder path vs going to an animal shelter. I found Iris’s breeder by googling Aussie Doodle breeders near Chicago (note- no breeder actually lives in a city, ask any dog parent and they’ll say their breeder is out in the middle of nowhere- it’s just a thing), I drunkenly emailed a bunch of breeders asking when their next litter would arrive. After a bit of back and forth, Iris’s breeder informed me that they had a bigger litter then initially planned and I could pick a pup up in July. Here is a brief timeline/ pay schedule:

Email breeders in April —-> breeder says pup is available asks for deposit—-> pup is born (May)—> Early July drive down to breeder to pick out the puppy and pay first half minus the deposit—-> July 12th- drive down to breeder’s to pick up Iris and pay remaining half (Iris is about 2 mo old)

Also during this time I am reading up on dog training and trying to puppy proof my house: making sure my stuff is picked up, putting locks on cabinets, etc (similar to a baby). I’m also nervous that I’ll be a bad dog mom and have made a mistake- so far we’re ok. While Iris is a bundle of pure joy here are a couple of things I knew before bringing her home:

  1. Dogs are expensive, there is the initial upfront cost (if you go the breeder route) but puppies need A LOT of vaccines that are around $30-40 depending on your vet. Iris needed about 10 of them this summer, which quickly adds up. Also going to the vet in general is just $$
  2. Prepare for not a lot of sleep- I took the first 2 weeks off after I brought her home and I’m happy I did, she woke up about every 2 hours- she still wakes me up early/ needs to go out often but it’s not as bad.
  3. Puppies have razor sharp teeth- maybe I forgot that my family’s dogs teethed, but the teething phase is really painful. I recommend getting some chew toys you can refrigerate- helps soothe their gums

Lastly remember that once you bring them home you’re their parent and they should be your top priority; there are definitely times when they can be challenging but it’s an overall rewarding experience.

What about you? Have you gotten a Covid puppy?

Jab, Cross, Hook

I first went to Shadowbox, River North’s newest fitness studio, earlier this fall with my friend J. We had been talking about going to we heard about the studio opening in July.

Shadowbox is a 45-60 minute boxing class that combines punches with HIIT moves. You leave the class feeling stronger and for me less stressed. I’ve found that boxing is a better work stress reliever then yoga- not sure what that says about me as a person….

The in-studio class starts with a demo of the punches, and defense moves, followed by a warm up and 2 rounds of shadow boxing (punching the air without gloves on) followed by 7 rounds (45 min class) or 9 rounds (60 min class) of various punch combinations and HIIT moves (lots of squats and burpees).

With Covid-19 all fitness studios have been shut down- leaving a definite void. Luckily for me, Shadowbox has been offering free classes on their Instagram live; they have quickly become the highlight of my week. My friend J and I have been taking a class together every Saturday and then face timing after to discuss it- it’s almost like we were actually “under the blue lights”.

The live classes are either 45 or 60 minutes and don’t require a bag. It’s all shadow boxing rounds and HIIT moves taught by both the New York and Chicago instructors. Even without the bag the class still kicks my ass; there are plenty of lunges, burpees and mountain climbers packed into every class. My goal by the end of quarantine is to make it the full time when doing mountain climbers.

If you get a chance I recommend checking out the classes on their Instagram or signing up for a virtual class on their website- the instructors are lively and a lot of fun. Plus you will leave covered in sweat and feeling like you got your butt kicked (for me always a win).

Let me know if you’ve ever tried it! I can’t wait to get back into the studio!

A Small Hop Over the Pond

I’ve had the itch to travel for the past couple of months, I had been dreaming of trips and endlessly pinning different vacation spots. My friend and I finally landed on a loose schedule that included round trip tickets to Lisbon and a loose plan to go to Malta for a couple of days. In case you’re curious Malta is quite far from Lisbon:

As you can see, not close

I spent the first couple of days in Lisbon by myself (my friend C was flying in later). I’ve never really traveled by myself before so I was nervously excited to do some solo traveling in Lisbon. After working 7 days a week for the majority of my summer I was looking forward to being able to disconnect and relax ( I slept for the 15 hours the first night! You could say I was tired). I spent the majority of my solo time wandering around Lisbon and exploring as many castles as possible. My second day I took the train from Lisbon to Sintra which is about an hour or so outside of the city and home to several castles. You can take the hop on hop off bus for 7 Euro round trip, which I would recommend since the whole trek is pretty hilly.

I truly loved being in Lisbon, the Portuguese are very friendly and the city is beautiful. My only weirdness was around eating alone, my only experience has been eating food in my hotel room solo during my weekly work travel (exciting I know). I truly ate out once when I was solo in Lisbon, I went to Tapisco ( in the Barrio Alto district, it was delicious. They have a little walk up bar where you can grab a drink while you wait for your table (it’s a bit of a wait). The food was fresh and delicious, and I would highly recommend it!

To break-up our travel time, C and I spent the night in Madrid on our way to Malta. We only had about 5 hours in the city before we had to go to bed to get up for our flight and we headed straight for food! We wasted no time in grabbing a glass of wine at the hotel bar and then heading out to find some paella. We went to this cute place where the owner served us copious amounts of wine and a yellow liquor at the end (still not sure what it was) and of course delicious paella. We left Madrid a little hungover and high on the high that good food gives you.

Our last stop on our Euro tour was the tiny island of Malta. Malta is a small island country in between the southern tip of Italy and the northern coast of Africa; it has a rich history as it has been ruled by a variety of rulers. We spent the majority of our trip in Malta, exploring the capital city of Valletta, the island of Gozo and taking a dip in the Blue Lagoon. Our day trip to Gozo was by far the highlight of our trip. Gozo is the smaller island, it’s more rural and home to some truly beautiful natural sites. We joined an Air BnB tour that took us all around the island to secret spots, it was an awesome day spent in the sun. I love being outside and really miss hiking out west so it was great to spend a day outside exploring.

Our last day we headed over to the Blue Lagoon, which is a small lagoon that has the most beautiful blue water. It’s also a very popular tourist spot, we went during off season but the beach was still quite packed. The beach is a rocky cliff and you can rent lounge chairs that are toward the bottom of the cliff. C and I roughed it up on the top of the rocks, which gave an awesome views but was not super comfortable to nap on. I found a flatish looking rock and spent the afternoon half in sleep and half listening to the multitude of languages around me. It was a perfect last day!

A couple of PSAs when traveling to Malta; the tap water isn’t safe to drink. It won’t kill you but since it doesn’t sit well in your stomach (I learned the hard way). There’s no Uber in Malta and the bus system can be kind of tricky; I would recommend using a cab app or if you feel brave driving.

All in all it was a wonderful trip! The temps just dropped in Chicago and I’m already looking forward to my next trip!

Let me know your travel recommendations!

Row Row Row Your Boat

This past weekend I tried Row House, which as the name implies is a studio that solely dedicated to rowing. The rowing machine has always intimidated me at the gym, mostly because I constantly do it wrong. I’ve always thought it was an upper body work out and I try to pull that thing with all the upper body strength I have (aka none). They explained at Row House that rowing is about 60% legs, 30% abs and 10% arms so not all arms like I previously believed.

I tried the full body work out which consisted of warming up on the rowing machine and alternating between rowing and lifting weights. Once I started rowing I didn’t find it as intimidating as I previously thought. At Row House the goal is to move as one boat, all rowing together. I followed the teacher and tried to match her pace, focusing on form rather than speed (per my dad’s advice). The weight portion focused on all the body parts that I neglect at the gym- meaning chest exercises, the ones you’re supposed to do if you don’t want your boobs to sag to your knees. I left exhilarated and was definitely sore for the next few days.

After class you get an email with your class stats, you can see mine below (not too shabby for a first timer):

I liked the format of the class and even though it was low intensity I felt like I got a good workout in. I will definitely be back!

Have you tried rowing? Let me know!

Alo Leggings and Sky High Yoga

One of my New Years Resolutions was to blog every month right now we’re at once a season and honestly one of my biggest blockers is photos. I’ve been stressing about my photos not being good enough for blog worthy content but I think this one of those shit or get off the pot situations so here we go.

I’m constantly in the search for leggings, I have short legs and thick thighs so finding leggings that fit and don’t fall down is a miracle. I bought a pair of Alo leggings earlier in the fall and I’ve wanted to fall in love with them but despite my best effort I haven’t and here’s why.

Alo makes aesthetically pleasing leggings, they look good on the rack and look good on your legs however it’s rough out there for us short girls. I’m only 5’2″ and most leggings are too long for me so I either bunch them at my ankles or look like I’m a child playing dress up. I bought the crop version of the leggings and they hit almost at my ankles, which means I would have completely have drowned in the normal length. I’m unaware of petite leggings ( if you know, let me know) and for me this is a constant struggle. No one wants the bunched fabric at the ankle, it’s not attractive and although hemming is a thing it frequently cuts off in the wrong spot.

I’m part of the yoga club at my office and we got up bright and early to do yoga on the sky deck of the Sears Tower ( I know it’s called the Willis now, but I refuse to change) I wore my Alo leggings for the occasion. Alo leggings are designed for yoga so in theory they should stay up during a workout, right? Wrong, these leggings constantly roll down, you’re mid downward dog and realize that you’re leggings have slid down and shirt has ridden up so now you’re non-summer body is exposed, it’s not pleasant. For $80+ a pair you’d think they would stay in place but at least for me they slid down.

Here’s my rating for Alo leggings:

4 out of 5 for style: while cute I’m annoyed that I can’t wear the normal length pants and have to wear crops which are a weird length

3 out of 5 for usability: They slide down during every workout I wear them to which is the last thing I want to worry about during work outs

5 out 5 for comfort: overall the fabric is soft and they’re pretty comfortable to run around in

Mid-way Checkpoint

Happy Valentine’s Day! And sorry for the long delay, one of my New Years resolutions was to write a new post at least monthly (so far I’m not doing too great).

New Years is a time where people set goals that they want to achieve for the year, in recent years I have started to set my goals based on my birthday. I write out a list of things that I would like to accomplish before my next birthday, to me turning another year older is more significant than a new year. As this is my half-birthday, here is a quick update on my goals!

Things I’d like to accomplish before turning 28:

  • Buy a Condo or find somewhere I can live for a few years
  • Work on something that I’m passionate about (career change, new project, charity work, etc…)
  • have 20k in savings
  • establish a work out/ healthy eating balance

I bought a condo toward the end of last year! It’s a cute vintage condo right in Lincoln Park! I moved in a few weeks ago and I’m so excited yet it still feels weird to look around and think all this is mine. I’m really excited to decorate and very nervous about anything breaking (I’m not that handy). Being a first time home buyer is both exciting and very confusing, I’m working on a tips and tricks… be on the lookout!

Work on something I’m passionate about: I started this blog, although slow at posting I’m very enthused about the idea and am looking forward to how this develops. I’ve also moved into a new industry at work and am rolling off my current project in the next few months and am so looking forward to a new industry, new teammates and new challenges 🙂

The other two goals are still in progress! As the last one isn’t truly tangible I think it will always be a work in progress and will hopefully improve as I grow.

Anyway I wanted to provide a quick update of where I’m at, and writing down your goals makes you more accountable…

How do you set goals? Yearly? Monthly? And how do you track them after you’ve set them?



Searching for Soul

The cult classic, Soulcycle; started in 2006 in New York City it needs no formal introduction. Popular among millennials and trendy moms it was no surprise that my mom took to it. My mom has always been up on the latest trends ranging from Twilight (when it was all the rage) to listening to the EDM music my middle brother enjoys- I know, I know I don’t have a regular mom, I have a cool mom.

But we’ll get into my mom and her fitness journey at another time… back to me and my journey. I have never been a big spin class person, I have always mocked people who get their exercise from spinning a bike in place. As a life long runner, I’ve been like why spin when you can run outside? I have now tried Soulcycle 3 times (clearly I’ve gotten over my snobbery, mostly) and say while not 100% for me I can see the appeal. I have also now tried it on both coasts, my first time with a good friend of mine in New York and twice out here in Seattle with my mom.

If you live under a rock and don’t know what Soul is, here is the basic concept: It’s a candlelit spin class ( I seem to have a theme with taking classes in the dark), you move to the rhythm of the beat with an instructor telling you to adjust resistance and speed based on the move. You’re in a dark room filled with about 40 other people sweating it out with you; no there aren’t boards that post your speed or resistance, which is a blessing. Full disclosure I can barely figure out how the bike works and am perpetually worried that I’m going to fall off a la Amy Schumer in “I Feel Pretty”. This isn’t my first spin class but it’s definitely the one I have liked the most. I have taken classes at the gym where they yell “turn your resistance up to 22/24” and I’m like hey soo I can no longer make the bike move and have to use my hands to push my legs- not encouraging. Soul is different, you set your own resistance and pace. It’s all about you, how hard do you want to push yourself, which is great if your new and have no clue WTF you’re doing or if you’re advanced and want to really crank it out. The instructors are encouraging and are right in there with you. This morning in class she came by and said “you’re doing amazing”- honestly it was what I needed to push me to finish the last bit of class. I finished the class thinking damn straight I am a bad ass. Yet I cannot get my feet to unhook from the pedals; I’m that person who has to leave their shoes behind. My mom and I didn’t ride next to each other today, and now I’m starting to see why….

Soul is a great workout, it gets your heart rate going and as far as the actual biking portion it’s relatively easy to keep up with the class. Where it gets tricky is you do push-ups on the handlebars and other abs moves, and you’re supposed to move at the same flow as the rest of class. My first class I was very confused and I think I asked my friend post class if I was missing something. Short answer, yes. You use various handlebar positions to do different pushups to get your upper body engaged in class. As I was doing the pushups on my bike this week, I thought is this going to support my weight? Or am I going to pitch forward into the person next to me? My mom informed me that the bikes are nailed into the ground, but I’m still a little worried.

All in all it’s a fun workout, it’s challenging without being overwhelming and the instructors are friendly. Their goal is to create a community, they ask you your name and have you high five your neighbor. I could definitely feel the community vibe coming out of class again. While I’m still not a spin person, I would definitely do class a few more times

My mom and I are wearing matching Soul shirts, she’s the real deal. I’m just a poser

Have you tried Soul? Or other spin classes? Let me know what you think!