I had always dreamed of living in a big house and when we purchased our home, I knew that this would be the stepping stone we would need to get us to where we REALLY belonged. Thirteen years ago, my plans and life were laid out so very differently than they are now.
Honestly, my own thinking about what we could make work in our space.
Only one shower?
Let’s put a corner to work in our half bath.
Always wanted a fireplace?
I’ll just make a little addition to a corner in our office.
More recently it was the desire to have a kitchen island that would require a complete renovation of our kitchen to make work. Guess who found a foldable island this week that can be brought out when needed (see below)? This girl! Sometimes small spaces require us to think outside of the box.
The real blessing of this smaller home came into fruition when my own health took a turn. My body doesn’t have the capacity it used to and this year, I realized I owed God a big thank you.
This home is just right for our needs and just right for my life.
Here are three other things that are making me awfully happy this week!
Boutique Workouts at Home
I have a membership to a local yoga studio, but I have been missing cardio a lot in my life. One type of exercise my doctor had suggested would be good for me would be biking because it would be low-impact and still give me that cardio high I had been after.
I gave a spinning class a try at a local gym and knew that I really loved it, but the reality of carrying two gym memberships and making time to use them both was making me a little anxious. There was just no way to do this with working full-time and the kid juggle.
I actually found that purchasing a stationary bike was about the equivalent of a three month membership and being able to do this at home allows me to workout AND work on my own schedule rather than wasting my time at the gym. After reading a ton of reviews, I got the Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Bike and we were amazed at how awesome this turned out to be for its price. Our home is small so we appreciated that this bike wouldn’t intrude too much on our living room space and it would be a little quieter way to workout rather than pounding on that treadmill in the mornings. It is well-built, quiet, and does a really great job for what I was looking for in an at-home workout.
The real problem for me though was getting in a proper workout without a proper trainer. Honestly, I need guidance or I’m lazy.
YOU GUYS! I found the BEST trainer app for my phone and now I am KILLING it in this little corner of our house.
Once you purchase a stationary bike, you can get the CycleCast app and have a fresh workout each week for $9.99 a month. Basically, it costs less than a single class at our gym and I have a whole month of classes with a variety of instructors every single week.
With this app, you can pick the duration of your workouts and you can select an instructor whose music taste fits with your own. Once the workout starts, you have guided training throughout to help push you to burn calories and increase your distance. The first workout I did, I burned over 500 calories and clocked in over ten miles on my stationary bike.
Actual conversations I had with my imaginary trainer…
ME: I can’t do it anymore. My legs are burning and I’m tired.
JONATHAN: I’m going to put on a little Turn Down for What to see if you can push yourself more.
ME: You got me. I’ll keep riding. I do love some Turn Down for What….you’re the best, Jonathan!
Each week the instructors add a new workout so you don’t get bored or have to do the same thing twice. The music is awesome and the price is just right for a cheapskate!
The first month membership is free so you have 30-days to try it out. I can’t recommend it enough and I’m very excited about how I’ve been able to squeeze this into my week in a realistic way. I also love that my husband can use this in the winter and get some cardio in as well. We both need it in these long winter months.
Foldable Kitchen Island
A kitchen island has been a dream of mine, but my small kitchen would need a complete overhaul to make it happen. I started researching to see if there were any portable kitchen islands that would work and ran across these Origami Kitchen Carts and told my husband that I thought this would make the perfect solution for our kitchen.
As you can see it’s a metal cart that comes in a variety of colors and the entire top is solid wood. It comes almost fully assembled (you only need to attach the casters) and it is easy to pop up or put down as needed. Not only does it make a great kitchen island, but it could be a makeshift bar cart, can be used for your outdoor entertaining, or a as a grilling station set-up next to the grill. Since I do a ton of food photography for our site, it’s actually the perfect solution for prepping and pulling into a well-lit corner for photos.
This folds into a very reasonable size too so it can be put away when it is not needed.
I know I’ve talked about the Honey extension for your computer on this list, but download that before purchasing. Honey will find a coupon code for you and, if you are lucky like me, it brings the cost of this baby down to just $80! They also offer these on Amazon, but purchasing through HSN makes more sense if you have a coupon code going for you or you want some fun colors! It was my first purchase with them and I was pleasantly surprised at the quick shipping and the way it was packed.
This definitely will come in handy for holiday food prep and our many gatherings in our home.
I needed an escape this week and I found a breathtaking one in The Crown on Netflix. I had been waiting with bated breath for the show and asked my hubby if he might want to give this show a shot this week. Although he isn’t into period pieces the way that I am, we are both absolutely stunned by the incredible acting, costuming, sets, and stories of the Royal family in this series.
First of all, if you aren’t familiar with what it’s about, this story focuses on Queen Elizabeth II as a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with legendary Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill. Her father’s untimely death leaves her in a position of authority and it is a mixed blessing for Elizabeth and her family.
As a fun fact, this is Netflix’s most expensive series and they are anticipating at least six seasons of this show so it is one you can get fully committed to for awhile. They are, in fact, already shooting the second season.
If you haven’t tuned into The Crown yet, make this part of your weekend agenda. I promise you will not be disappointed!
Loving: Today’s highlights include how Christmas feels when you have a cat, a PSA for Hufflepuffs, Thanksgiving amidst a heated political climate, me when I’m listening to A Tribe Called Quest, some amazing dancing, and Enter Sandman with classroom instruments.
If you want to laugh at something a little less PC, this subway prank with book covers made me LOL repeatedly. It’s juvenile and sometimes you just need that!
Reading: My book club meets up today so I have been working through this book. It has been a good mystery exploring a missing person’s case. I would say if you enjoyed What She Knew or All the Missing Girls, this would be a good book for you!
Laughing: If Ross Geller had an IG account- so funny and loving the comments from his family below the pics. If you are a Friends fan, you will appreciate this one!!
Thankful: For a semi-annual date night with my husband this week. We shared a beer and talked our way through our feelings on politics. Blessed to be in a partnership with someone who shares many of my same views on politics and the world. It’s good to talk it through, if you can, with someone you love, respect, and trust. I got to do that this weekend and it was some good stuff for both of us!
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