My Second Stitch Fix (Review)

Stitch Fix Review (my second fix)When I got back from the Stitch Fix & LUNA Vacay in June, I was all amped up to schedule another Fix. For those of you who may have missed those posts, there are recaps of the trip here, here & here and a review of my first Stitch Fix here.

As a little refresher, Stitch Fix is essentially an online styling service. You take a survey to help define your personal style (also making a fashion/style Pinterest board is a huge help with this!), and then get five items shipped to you, handpicked by a stylist. You keep the clothes/accessories you want, return the ones you don’t, and get a 25% discount off the entire purchase if you keep all five items. I kept two of the five items in my first fix, but this time around kept all five! Let’s get into some gratuitous selfies and check out what I got this month…

Ellison Leopard Print Cardigan = KEEPER

leopard-cardiganThis is easily my favorite item from my Fix! I need more cardigans, and I love the leopard print. The material is lightweight, so I can wear it throughout the summer, and I know it’ll be a regular wear throughout the fall as well. And the long length is great because I’ll be able to wear it with leggings and yoga pants on those lazy cold-weather days when I don’t feel like putting on real pants (in other words, every day December through February).

Laila Jayde Striped Pocket Tee = KEEPER

striped-pocket-teeThis is a prime example of something I would probably never buy if out shopping on my own, but need more of in my closet. It’s simple, but something I know I’ll wear a ton. And it can even be dressed up—I’m thinking black skinny jeans, pumps and a blazer for a dressed-up laidback look.

Kut from the Kloth Distressed Boyfriend Jean Shorts = KEEPER

distressed-boyfriend-shortsStitch Fix is now batting .400 when it comes to finding bottoms that fit me—I’m impressed! I love distressed denim, and don’t have any other shorts this length in my closet, so these are a fun new addition to the wardrobe. And the back pockets are cute!

Tart Maxi Dress = KEEPER

tart-tie-dye-maxi-dressI’m really into articles of clothing that don’t require me to wear a bra so this was a no-brainer. Fun, summery print = check. Trendy maxi length = check. Tight enough up top to go braless = CHECK.

Beaded Bib Necklace = STRATEGIC KEEPER

beaded-bib-necklaceLike I mentioned above, you get 25% off your order if you keep all five items, so I actually saved money by keeping this necklace. If that weren’t the case, I probably would have returned it. It’s just not quite my style. I like more “masculine” jewelry (if that makes any sense?)—metals, stones, etc. That being said, it’s already growing on me—so pretty!

Stitch Fix Review (my second fix)

What do you think of my second Stitch Fix? Which items would you have kept?

The links to Stitch Fix in this post are my personal referral link. If you decide to try it out, I get a $25 credit. You get your own personal link once you sign up!

signature

My Favorite Things: July

My Favorite Things: July

This past week was out of control. I taught 18 megaformer classes (8 of those were in one day!), taught my first spin class, spent two days in the hospital (my boyfriend had a second hand surgery to correct the first surgery), and am in the process of moving out of my place in Southie. You know when you feel like you’re forgetting something but can’t figure out what it is? That was my permanent emotional state for like four days straight. And as you probably noticed, poor little Pumps & Iron had to take a backseat.

But I’m not complaining—hospital waiting rooms notwithstanding, it was a good kind of busy, doing a lot of what I love. And I have so much to write about! A rundown of the Spinning instructor certification program (finally got around to taking the online exam), a FitBit review, workouts, my latest Stitch Fix delivery—lots of fun stuff coming your way this week now that the proverbial dust of my life has settled. But first, it’s time to share some random favorites from July (hint: Mass General didn’t make the cut, although they do give you delicious graham crackers after surgery)…

Teaching Spin


Ahhh! After talking about it for, ohh, two years, I finally made it happen—I’m an indoor cycling instructor! I started by subbing one of the Tone ‘n Ryde classes at Btone last Saturday. It’s 20 minutes of core and arm work on the megaformers followed by 25-30 minutes of cycling on the Real Ryders (bikes that move side to side). Aside from the fact that I had a whopping three people in class, I’d say it was a huge success! I practiced my routine the night before so I felt comfortable with it, and I thought I put together a great playlist with fun choreography. The biggest challenge is just being able to talk while doing the class—a few times I got so winded trying to countdown jumps outloud while doing them with the class. I love the challenge though—I’ll master it eventually. (Emphasis on “eventually” haha.)

After that class, I immediately reached out to my friends at Vélo-City about teaching spin at their studio. I subbed a class there Wednesday night and am teaching again this coming Friday morning at 7AM. I would love to see some local readers there (and get your feedback)! First class is free and you can sign up HERE. Throughout August, I’ll probably just teach one-off classes here and there while I work out some of the newbie errors and polish my skills. In September, I’ll be a regular addition to the Vélo class schedule and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll do a full post with the details once the time comes.

Teemid Covers

I had heard Teemid’s Gnarles Barkley cover before, but had no idea there was a whole treasure trove of other amazing Teemid covers on SoundCloud until a few weeks ago. Topping my list: Crazy, Seven Nation Army, Crave You, Love at First Sight. Check ‘em out!

This “Don’t Worry Be Yoncé” Shirt

dont-worry-be-yonce-tankI know, I know. I worship Beyoncé, follow dogs on Instagram, and take pictures of my food…I’m such a #basicbitch. WHATEVER. I saw this Style Stalker tank and had to buy it, and I think I wore it 17 days straight this past month.

But speaking of Queen Bey—you know what is not one of my favorite things this month? That fact that after reading 14 gossip mags in the Mass General hospital waiting room, I am fairly certain that Jay-Z cheated/cheats on Beyoncé. NO! NO NO NO.

The @HistoryInPics Twitter Account

I stumbled upon this Twitter account when searching for something about Hemingway online (I’m a recovering English major/literature nerd…don’t ask), and I love it! It shares iconic and entertaining historical photographs, and not to sound like a total cheeseball, but it’s actually pretty crazy how powerful some of the pictures are. And then there are the ones like this…

A for effort, Ebony Magazine. A. For. Effort.

What were some of your highlights from July?

signature

Resistance Band Core Workout

Resistance Band Core WorkoutResistance bands are the easiest piece of workout gear to pack, and when I went to visit my parents on the Vineyard at the beginning of the month, I brought one along. I wanted to do a quick ab workout to pair with my morning run, and this totally did the trick. By adding the resistance band around my legs during some of these go-to core exercises you’ve seen a million times on the blog, it changed each move from strictly targeting the abs to incorporating some outer thigh work as well.

Resistance Band Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

This workout is broken up into three parts. For each part, you’ll do three rounds of three exercises for 30 seconds each. Go from one exercise to the next without taking a break. Between parts, you can rest for 30-60 seconds. I used an interval timer and set it to 9 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest so that it would just beep every 30 seconds.

Place a resistance band around your lower calf area. I used a long one so I looped it twice before tying. You’ll keep the band in this position throughout the entire workout.

Resistance Band Core Workout

PART 1

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds. For this part, you’ll be keeping your legs straight the entire time, pressing them outward against the band. Don’t cheat yourself by not pressing outward! You want to feel your outer thighs and glutes engaged the entire time.

  • Resistance Band Toe Touches: Start laying on your back with arms outstretched overhead, feet straight up in the air, resistance band around your lower calves with your legs spread wide enough apart to engage the outer thighs—you should be pressing hard against the resistance of the band the entire time. From here, crunch up, lifting shoulders off the ground and touching the band or your toes with your hands.
  • Resistance Band Windshield Wipers: Start laying on your back, arms outstretched to either side for support. Legs are lifted straight up with a resistance band around your lower calves. Press your legs out to the sides so that there is tension on the band. You want to press this way throughout the entire exercise—never let the band go slack. From here, lower your legs to the right and then back up and down to the left, back and forth in a windshield wiper motion, twisting through the waist and hips.
  • Resistance Band Leg Lifts: Start laying on your back with your hands underneath your bum for support, resistance band around your lower calves. Spread your legs out to the sides until you feel tension in the resistance band—you want your outer thighs and glutes engaged, pushing hard against that band the entire time. Lift your legs up a couple inches so that they’re hovering straight out over the ground. This is your starting position. From here, lift legs straight up so that they’re perpendicular with the ground (and still pushing out against the band). Lower them back to starting. Your feet should never come to rest on the ground.

PART 2

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds.

  • Resistance Band Side Plank Lift Pulses RIGHT: Start in a side plank position, resistance band around your lower calves. Lift the top leg high enough so that there’s tension on the band—don’t let that leg drop below this point the entire time. Press the top leg up against the band, pulsing up continuously while holding the side plank.
  • Resistance Band Frog Stamps: Start in a plank position with your feet spread wide enough apart so that there’s tension on the resistance band (have it around your lower calves). From there, jump your feet up towards your hands and out wide. This will need to be an explosive movement so that you can push against the band while your feet are in the air. You want to land with your feet at least as wide as your hands (preferably wider). Quickly jump them back to starting plank position.
  • Resistance Band Side Plank Lift Pulses LEFT

PART 3

Complete three rounds of the following three exercises, doing each for 30 seconds.

  • Resistance Band Seated Spread Pulses: Start in a seated position with fingertips lightly on the ground by your sides for support. Lean your torso back, core tight (think of pulling your belly button and spine together) and lift your legs about 6” to a foot off the ground, keeping them straight. Resistance band should be around your lower calves. Holding legs at this height the entire time, press your legs out wide to the sides. You want to feel tension in the resistance band the entire time, so legs should stay wide the whole time, pulsing them out to the sides continuously.
  • Resistance Band V-Ups: Start laying on your back, arms reaching overhead, resistance band around your lower calves, and feet spread wide enough apart so that they’re pushing out against the band. Hover feet a couple inches off the ground. This is your starting point. Exhaling and explosively crunching your abs, bring your legs straight up at the same time you lift your torso off the ground, bringing hands to meet your feet, balancing on the tailbone. Release, lowering back to starting point (never let your feet come to rest on the ground). Throughout this crunch, press out with your legs against he resistance band.
  • Resistance Band Boat Pose Spread Pulses: This is just like traditional boat pose, except you’ll be pushing your legs out against the resistance band with little pulses while holding the pose. Start sitting on your tailbone with the resistance band around your lower calves. Lift your legs straight up and wide in a “v” shape. Engaging your core (I think of trying to squeeze my belly button and spine together), hold your arms straight out, parallel to the ground. Hold this pose, and as you do, push your legs out to the sides in little pulses. You always want to feel tension on the band, so never let your legs come together (or close to it). To modify, bend your knees instead of holding legs up straight.

You might recognize the structure of this workout from the 15-Minute Ab Workout I posted last year. It was featured on BuzzFeed and became one of my most popular P&I workouts, so I figured it was worth revisiting! :)

Resistance Band Core Workout

WEARING | tank: H&M // shorts: Athleta

P.S. Just to clarify, despite my tank top, I am most definitely not a cat person. Team Dog for life.

signature