SO. MANY. DEALS. Definitely overwhelming BUT word on the street is that these are here to stay and are not going to change much between now and Cyber Monday… time will tell! Here are the deals I am taking advantage of (updating as I find them so check back OR follow along on my instagram @kitty.mills)
BACKYARD PLAYHOUSE – I am trying to go for gifts for the kids that will weather more than one season of play AND will be liked by all three babes! This playhouse is adorable and the reviews are rock solid! It comes with lots of fun bells and whistles including a functioning doorbell and a little kitchen inside! https://amzn.to/2YcVNN8
BEST. SOUND MACHINE. EVER. – We live for our sound machines and this one is on a deal right now (12/3) for 35% off – https://amzn.to/364wujb
LITTLE TIKES INFLATABLE JUMP AND SLIDE HOUSE: THIS IS ALMOST 50% OFF!!!! Winter can be a dark time when you are stuck inside with the littles and ALL.OF.THEIR.ENERGY. This bounce house is an awesome trick to keep up your sleeve to bring out to help get some of that energy out! This deal is amazing – adding to the Christmas list for the grandparents to gift to our crew. https://amzn.to/34ymj69
STEP 2 ROLLER COASTER: Another toy that my kids go wild over at other friends’ houses and good for both indoor and outdoor use! This is 10% off on Amazon and $10 less on the Step 2 website but you pay shipping there…
I linked a few options on my Instagram story/Black FRIYAY Highlight from Nordstrom! Here are those links…
NEST (STAINLESS STEEL COLOR) THERMOSTAT: THIS IS A DEAL — Normally $249.00 and on sale for $139.00!!!! 44% off aka savings of $110.00 — and by far the best I have seen!!! This is a game changer if you want to A. Save money by way of a “smart thermostat” that knows when you are home/away and B. Have the ability to control your thermostat via an app on your phone! We love ours and I am definitely purchasing for the next house. https://amzn.to/33zJTxO
NESTCAM OUTDOOR HD CAMERA 2 PACK: HOT HOT HOT DEAL!!! USUALLY $449.99 FOR 2 CAMERAS – 45% off aka $201.99 off so you get them for $248.99!!! We actually have these in the twins’ room as their baby monitors. They have two way audio as well so that you can talk through them – whether you are using them outside as security measures or inside for monitoring! https://amzn.to/33BOrnm
Winter is here to stay and we would hate for the little ones in our lives to be uncomfortable in the cold! I am sharing a few of our favorite toddler winter essentials for your own kids and/or gifts for the mini humans you know and love! CLICK ANY PINK WRITING for links! As always, thank you for following along and do not hesitate to reach out with questions/shares/comments!!!
WIDGEON COAT. You have probably seen and/or heard of these cute and functional heavy fleece winter jacket but more than a few of moms have asked me about Max and Maeve’s coats (blue Widgeon for Max and Pink for Maeve) so felt the need to share the intel for those who are still in the dark. What do I like? The velcro fasteners are a GAME-CHANGER. Putting a coat on my children is an uphill battle, so it is key to be able to pop in the arms, pull the front closed, slap the Velcro together on the shoulder area and BOOM! FINISHED! Snaps and Zippers add more steps than necessary! Additionally, the weight of the jacket is warm and cozy without being a huge puffer that essentially eats a toddler up in bulk. It has a nice oversized HOOD for the stubborn littles who refuse a hat but might not notice a looser, pulled up hood as much. And they are just SO adorable and come in a variety of colors. Fancy moms throw a monogram on the center for the cherry on top touch! They run VERY LARGE – Maeve is 20 months and the 12 months fits her perfectly. You can roll the sleeves and let them grow into it so it lasts for more than a season, but be aware of sizing gap!
NURSERY SPACE HEATER – If your gut reaction to reading the words “space heater” is DANGER, I get it. I felt the same way. However, this time last year I was keeping myself awake on freezing cold nights wondering if the twins were shivering in their cribs since they couldn’t have blankets (choking hazard). My girlfriend/childrens’ product guru, Marianne, suggested a Vornadobaby Tempa Nursery Heater as she had recently bought one to address the same issues with her littles! Here is the product description from the site: The Tempa is like no other heater – built with the needs of parents and baby in mind. Tempa provides gentle yet effective vortex heat circulation that maintains a comfortable temperature. Effective heat circulation means the heater can be placed anywhere in the room and still keep baby comfortable. Two fan settings – “continuous” provides air constant circulation, while “auto” only runs the fan when actively warming the room. Safety is essential in the nursery, so Tempa has been designed to stay cool to the touch. Tempa has concealed cord management built right into the base with a stretchable cover that keeps the cord out of harm’s way and securely grips to the floor. Its unique tamper resistant controls keep children from turning Tempa on without parents’ knowledge and turns off automatically if tipped over. The smooth exterior features no sharp edges, no pinch points and an extra stable base.
WIRELESS THERMOMETER – Along that same nursery temperature wavelength… DO NOT BELIEVE THE TEMPERATURE THAT A BABY MONITOR DISPLAYS!!! The anxiety ridden text messages my friends and I have sent to each other the first few nights our babies have been in their cribs are almost comical to look back on. In the dead of summer/winter, do not be alarmed if your monitor registers a very warm or very cool temperature – as it is NOT always accurate. I love this little gadget to help give parents an accurate temperature reading in a child’s room. You can mount it near your child’s crib/bed or just place on a changing table/dresser, download the app on your phone (very easy instructions), and then you can check in on the actual temperature in the room without going in to feel it and risk waking a sleeping angel!
HATS – A cute winter hat serves both fashion and function! Last year I snagged these for all three kids at the recommendation of another amazing mama who has the same dynamic (toddler + twins) and had them on her cute kiddos! They held up great and still fit this year. This link takes you to a variety of colors and your choice between the “fur” or “wool” pom pom! Enjoy!
Yesterday was my four month anniversary of going ALL IN, and I can happily report that I am a little over 30 pounds lighter than I was the day I started. Incase you missed the first post I wrote about why I signed up for Accountability Coaching through the ALL IN by TEDDI program, click HERE to go back and read it! I rarely leave out a detail (for better or worse) and that post is a great representation of my own experience, including the background, program specifics and my personal journey. Long story short, I knew I wasn’t operating at my maximum potential when it came to eating, exercising and overall wellness, and I felt ready to invest in myself and make a change. Enter: ALL IN!!! While I still am a far cry from looking like JLo, I feel MUCH stronger, leaner and lighter and that makes me feel BEYOND GRATEFUL to the ALL IN family, especially my coach (Marcy!!!) the other coaches who have helped along the way, (Megan, Allison and Brooke) and the woman who started this revolution, Teddi!
Today was an EXTRA SPECIAL day because I GOT TO MEET (!!!!) Marcy, Teddi and a few other key players behind the ALL IN operation and look them in the eye to say THANK YOU FOR HELPING ME CHANGE MY LIFE!!! Most of these gals live on the West Coast but they were over on this side of the country for BravoCon and invited clients to come meet up for an ALL IN cycle class. I of course wanted to go but the hectic status of our life right now made it feel almost impossible to pull off a trip away. Thank god for Miller (my husband) reminding me how much of a difference these women have made in my life and pointing out that the chance to give them a hug and spend some face to face time together would likely not present itself again anytime soon… SO, I decided to make a quick trip to NYC for that hug and workout alongside them and other ALL IN community members. It was MAGICAL and I could not be happier that I made it happen. It also helped that two of my best friends from Baltimore live in NYC, so I got to spend some incredible quality time with them on Friday/Friday night and Emily actually came with me to the spin class this morning 🙂
As a few people are starting to notice the change in my physical appearance and ask me “what I am doing”, I struggle with exactly how to answer… in some ways seems the answer seems complex but in other ways feels pretty simple. We all know that the way to lose unwanted weight is to control your caloric intake and live an active lifestyle.. More simply said, eat well the majority of the time and exercise regularly. Unfortunately, this realization is MUCH easier said than done, and MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people struggle with food and exercise every single day. For me, adding the accountability piece has been the KEY to my success. At first it felt unnecessary and over the top to send in pictures of the decisions I was making with food and exercise every single day… but then I realized that having that permanent watchdog on the other end of my phone helped me to be WAY more intentional about my food and exercise choices, and that helped produce immediate results. Those results have helped me create new habits that are lasting and sustainable.
CHANGE is a tricky thing that people tend to approach differently. Some people move full speed ahead and dive in head first with zero hesitation, which can work to their benefit or against them depending on how wise of a choice is being made. Other people do everything in their power to avoid it and come up with excuse after excuse to justify remaining stagnant regardless of how unhappy or unsatisfied they may be. I fall pretty much directly in the middle of enjoying and avoiding change. A big part of me craves and welcomes change, but I have a habit of spending an excessive amount of time talking about, planning for, and thinking through a change rather than just ripping the bandaid and starting the process. My mom can cite hundreds of examples of this behavioral pattern and was the person who brought it to my attention so that I could be cognizant of my tendency to waste time thinking instead of starting to ACT and try to correct this habit. Once I do finally spring into action, my track record is fairly legitimate and I can be productive, dynamic and determined. NOT surprisingly, the weight loss journey falls into the category of CHANGE that I was READY FOR but was having a hard time jumping off the edge to make that head first dive in on.
I am SO HAPPY that I didn’t overthink my decision to go ALL IN (and I am grateful that my husband supports me and knows me better than I know myself and helped me take the plunge before I felt “fully ready”. If you are searching for something to help you take control of you health and wellness, I urge you to look at the website and social media for ALL IN and reach out to me with any questions you may have. If I was able to stay compliant and change my lifestyle, SO. CAN. YOU!!!
Marcy, Allison, Megan, Brooke and Teddi – THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Cheers to all!!!
If you follow me on Instagram, you likely know that I figuratively and literally hopped on the Peloton bandwagon in August. We had been thinking about buying one for a little while for the following reasons: 1. We both enjoy “biking” – Miller is more of an outdoor cyclist (legit has gone on trips with Trek travel to do parts of the Tour de France course and cheer on the professionals competing in the Tour. Also might be the only human I know who DVRs and WATCHES the Tour de France #SNOOZEFEST)… and I am more of a fun music, upbeat spin class attendee. 2. We are busy and Miller travels a good bit, so getting to the gym is not always in the cards. 3. Part of the ALL IN lifestyle is incorporating 60 minutes of cardio a day into your lifestyle, and I was realizing that having a Peloton would help me check that box on tricker days! 4. I am admittedly VERY impressionable and if you have seen the branding and marketing coming from these people… YOU GET IT. Hats off to the branding and marketing teams at Peloton – hook, line and SUNK Kitty Mills.
I did a poll of my virtual friends on Instagram to see what the consensus was re: purchasing a Peloton and the results overwhelming showed that almost everyone who has the bike, LOVES IT. A few people mentioned that they liked it but did not share the same passion/love for a class on the Peloton as they do for an in studio class with an awesome instructor. I also got a few responses where people explained that they don’t have the actual Peloton bike, but they have a subscription on the Peloton Digital App and take the Peloton specific classes on their phone or tablet on a regular spin bike at their house/gym/hotel when traveling — which is a GREAT option. The Peloton app is seriously AWESOME and in my opinion, what keeps users coming back for more. The downside of using the app on a different bike is that the target metrics (resistance, output and cadence (speed)) will not be listed on the screen, but you can easily gauge those things from what the instructor is saying/doing.
SO, the abridged version of my answer when someone asks me if I think the Peloton is worth it is YES!!!! If you are committed to exercising, the Peloton is SUCH a great tool to have within the four walls of your home. It’s a SOLID machine with incredible technology and an empowering community of instructors and users.
And now for the unabridged version for those of you who like hearing all of the details 🙂
You order the bike online and the company reaches out to schedule delivery. The delivery process was seamless. The guys brought it in, put it together in probably 10 minutes, and then set up the large tablet/screen and walked us through setting up our profiles, connecting to the internet, adjusting the bike to the correct settings for our needs, etc. I don’t think it could be more straight-forward or easy!
Once the bike is delivered and set up, the world is your oyster! I think a key misconception a lot of people have is that you have to take a live class so your class times/lengths are limited. This is FAKE NEWS!!! The “On-Demand” library of classes on the Peloton Digital App is OUTRAGEOUSLY AMAZING!!!! It is SUPER user-friendly and gives you all. of. the. FILTERING. OPTIONS. If you too tend to be a relatively demanding human with specific needs and enjoy personalizing everything from your coffee to your dinner at a restaurant, this is for YOU. I LOVE how easy it is for me to be particular about the workout I am looking for… you can filter by…
CLASS LENGTH – 5 mins, 10 mins, 20 mins, 30 mins, 45 mins, 60 mins and more!
TYPE OF WORKOUT – Peloton Digital is NOT just for spinning! The app offers treadmill workouts, outdoor audio runs, strength, yoga, meditation, stretching, bootcamp, walking and cardio. There is something for EVERYONE.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL – The app allows you to filter your search based on the level of intensity you are looking for! Options here include intervals, low impact, high impact, beginner, professional, heart rate zone, and more.
MUSIC GENRE – This might be my favorite filtering option. Not only can you decide if you want hip hop, pop, rock, electronic, country, etc, but you can see the entire playlist for the class before you decide to take it. Is it Sunday night and you want to get out some pent up Sunday Scary energy? Check out Ally Love’s “Sundays with Love” class that has a positive, spiritual undertone and gets your mind and body right at the same time. Or is it a Tuesday morning at 5 am and you are looking to WAKE UP and get MOVING? Alex Touissant brings the noise with his “Club Bangers” workout. In need of a Wednesday night pick me up? Cody Rigsby has the BEST playlists and perfectly syncs the ride with the beat of the music. He is also hysterical. Which brings me to another filtering option…
INSTRUCTOR – I just counted and there are currently 21 different instructors to choose from. Most users have a few favorites who they take religiously, but others mix it up regularly. These instructors are practically celebrities in the Peloton community and for good reason!! They are inspiring, challenging, helpful… the list goes on and on.
To my earlier point about the live classes, those are an option to! Maybe you find it motivating to take a class in real time and pay close attention to the leaderboard… or you need a hard START TIME to get on the bike and get moving… the live classes are a great option. The instructors also call out users live riding during a milestone ride etc. You can also choose to do a scenic ride and determine how fast/hard you want to push on your own.
The technology that a Peloton offers is another key feature that contributes to why I believe it is worth the investment. Your screen displays three numbers: cadence – the speed that the pedals are moving, resistance – how hard you have to push to move the pedals so think of creating a flat road vs. a steep hill, and output – the combination of the two and overall metric for how hard you are working. The instructor will call out where these numbers should be throughout the workout and the screen will display them once the class is added to the On Demand library (the live rides don’t have them on the screen in real time but you just listen to the instructor). I love the data and the numbers really help you hold yourself accountable to working as hard as the class intends.
What would I change? Can someone please share ways for my over active sweat glands to SLOW THE HECK DOWN!! We all know I am a sweaty human, but I think the combo between being in a basement with little air movement and then the difficulty of the classes, I am soaking-sopping wet with sweat by the end of the workout. Wait… thats the point… BUT I have as much hair on my head as I do sweat in my body and washing and drying and styling it daily is NOT in the cards over here. So, I guess what I am trying to say is expect to SWEAT! 🙂 And then the only other thing – clipping out of the pedals on the bike is super tight. The guys who installed told me that obviously since the bike has not been used, the shoes and pedals are very secure – which is ideal – but makes clipping out a tiny bit challenging. Literally the SMALLEST thing but I am trying to be fully transparent on ALL of my thoughts.
It will not force you to get on it and use it, but if you can commit to that piece, I say GO FOR IT! OF COURSE reach out if you have any questions or follow up curiosities. CHEERS!!!