On The Bandwagon

I’ve been secretly coveting a subscription to FabFitFun ever since last year, when they had a stunning plaid blanket scarf and colouring book in fall 2016. Being in Canada and with the conversion to USD being stupid lately, it was definitely nothing more than a pricy wish… until the hubby decided it was going to be my anniversary gift for this year. What better way to spoil me than with a gift that I’ll actually get not once, but 4 times? (And here I thought he never listens what I babble about things I love on Pinterest!)

Since the order was placed after the select process was closed, neither of us got any choice as to what was in my first box. Being a bit picky, I was a touch worried, but I shouldn’t have been. I loved everything! After looking at the options I would have been given, I knew I would have chosen exactly the same ones that I got. How’s that for luck?

I’ve been trying out my new products since I got my box in early October, and I’ll have a few posts about what I think once I’ve been able to use them enough to have an “expert” opinion. I love FFF unboxing posts as much as the next girl, but you rarely get reviews on the products themselves besides the initial one.

I’m going to start with the box itself, like we all do.

Never having received one before, I hadn’t realized that the box was not going to have outer packaging. The art on the Fall 2017 box is absolutely stunning… it’s one you want to keep and use to store things, even if it’s just for a little. I love that the inside of the box was decorated too… it definitely adds a bit of whimsy and sparkle to the whole package.

Inside my box was the newsletter, which I didn’t think I’d read, but which turned out to be awesome. Not only did it give me great information on the products I received (which, let’s face it, I’m not beauty-savvy enough to really always know what to do with), as well as a few articles I really enjoyed.

Tucked inside the delicate wrapping were 10 products. I’ve reviewed them all now, in batches, so make with the clickies if you’re interested in what I thought! Here’s what was in my box:

Home and Fashion accessories:

  • Wire and ceramic jewelry holder
  • Denim gym bag (Private Party)
  • Black belt (B’low the Belt)
  • Cozy wrap (mer-sea)

Beauty and Wellness:

  • Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse (dpHUE)
  • Mud mask (Whish)
  • Lip crayon (TreSTIQUE)
  • Cuticle oil (Deco)
  • Hot and cold pack (my tagalongs)
  • Wet wipes (Cottonelle)

I’m super excited to get my Winter box (made my choices this week… doubly excited!). I’ll do an unboxing post most likely and then give my review of the products if I can, too.

Not only does my subscription get me 4 boxes of goodies, it also gets me access to their “TV” section, which has workouts, it also gives me access to offers from the companies featured in the boxes, past products and those from those companies for an amazing price (12$ for earrings, 19$ for a crossbody purse… yes please!), as well as some amazing giveaways.

I don’t know how they manage to get so many amazing items into a box for such a fantastic price, and from awesome companies (so many are run by women!!!), but I’m glad I’ve finally hopped on this bandwagon. I am not disappointed!

**Please note that all opinions and experiences are my own. This post is not sponsored or affiliated with FabFitFun or any other third party.

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Keep Calm and Barre3 On

When I got an email from Barre3 in June inviting me (and everyone else who has an account) to join this summer's B3 Anywhere challenge, I signed up immediately. I'm not paying for a Barre3 online subscription right now, but I keep my account open (I love the recipes and blog posts, plus I do want to get back to B3 soon).

Anyways, the B3 Anywhere challenge caught my attention for 3 reasons:

  1. It was super easy to do and follow – you got workout videos sent to you, a 4-week meal plan, and all the recipes
  2. I was able to do workouts on my own time – I got an email every Monday morning with links to free new workouts (and the new post for the subscribers) as well as the live workout on Wednesdays, but I could do them whenever
  3. It wasn't demanding – the recommended number of workouts (3x/week) and clean meals (5x/week) were super doable, and of course you could modify upwards from there

I printed the meal plan, thinking my 5 clean meals would be lunch only, but found that many of the recipes work for my whole family! I ended up making at least four or five of the dinners every week and most of the breakfasts. I call that a win.

For the exercise calendar, I filled in 3 days a week that I wanted to do a Barre3 workout, plus my HIIT (another post on this later) and my walks to and from work… it was a very full calendar.

So… 4 weeks of clean eating (and proper portion sizes!) plus extra exercise… where did that get me?

  • Weight: I didn't weigh myself before starting the challenge, but I want to say there's been no difference (that's not to say I didn't swap some fat for some muscle!)
  • Body measurements: from just putting on clothes in the morning, I can tell I've lost a bit of fat off my legs, butt, and stomach. Unfortunately this last week I was more bloated than usual (thanks, Mother Nature), so I'll find out exactly what the difference is in a couple days.
  • Muscles: it amazes me how a workout can kill you one day and after some time feel so much easier. I never did the same workouts twice in a row, but I started and ended the challenge with the same workout set, and while the first time I did it I thought I'd need a leg transplant, this last time was so much easier and better. I was able to hold the positions longer, even modify them a bit, and I only took one short break. Win!
  • Energy: I did most of my Barre3 workouts after getting home from work, and the burst of energy they gave me helped me get through busy evenings and a tiny human who decided not to go to sleep until 1am one night!! I did my HIIT in the mornings right after waking up, and the energy lasted until I got into the office a couple of hours later. Combining this with healthy foods to fuel my day, I felt more energy in these four weeks than I used to.
  • Motivation: I want to put this here, because I was so motivated when I started the challenge, I wanted to do Barre3 workouts every day! Of course, this fizzled out by day 4, but I still managed to keep up with the challenge. I wasn't 100% motivated every day, but when my motivation failed me I powered through with discipline, which I think is not only more telling but awesome for your mind and spirit. I have a quote pinned that I turn to when I want to blame my lack of motivation for skipping a workout: You will never always be motivated. You have to learn to be disciplined.

On top of these benefits, I've also found some fantastic and healthy summery recipes we all enjoyed, and I've been much better with portion sizes and treats (no eating a whole box of donuts for me!). Even though I wish I could drop all of my stubborn fat in a couple weeks, I know it's not possible, and this challenge reminded me that a little extra effort can go a long way.

I'm definitely signing up for whatever challenge Barre3 comes up with next, and I hope you will too!

** Please note that I am in no way affiliated or sponsored by Barre3. All opinions and experiences are my own. Please consult your doctor before starting a new diet or heavy exercise plan.