March – 2017 – Frugal Novice
Monthly Archives

March 2017

Getting Fit with Planet Fitness

I received a membership to Planet Fitness to facilitate my path to fitness and my blog posts chronicling my progress.

As a full-time working, blogging, DIY-ing, mom of three kids, life is busy. A good busy, don’t get me wrong – I love my job, my blog, my hobbies, and my family. But busy is busy, and that means it’s hard to fit anything extra into my week.

I’m 35, though, and am still (ahem, 4+ years later) hanging on to some baby weight (can you still call it that 4 years later? I’m going with yes.) I know how important it is to be healthy, and that means I need to make it a priority now. I’m tracking what I eat, but diet is just one aspect of getting healthy. I want to build strength and endurance, too – and that means I need to get active.

Planet Fitness is the perfect place for a mom like me for many reasons. Number one? It’s not intimidating at all. As a non-fitness-buff person it can be a turn-off to go to a gym and feel like you don’t fit in, but Planet Fitness truly is a place for everyone. Their motto is “judgement-free zone” and they’ve really achieved that feeling.

Another reason I love Planet Fitness is the flexibility. It’s open 24 hours a day, so I can go whenever I want – before the kids wake up for the day, or after they’ve gone to bed.

Price is a big factor for me when considering a gym, too, and Planet Fitness has the most affordable pricing structure I’ve ever heard of – just $10/month for the basic plan, or $20/month for the black card (plus a once-a-year $39.99 fee). I’m trying out the black card membership, and guys, the perks really make it worth the extra $10 a month. For one thing, I can bring a guest with me every single time I go work out. Having company makes working out so much more fun, and makes me more likely to actually go. The black card membership also offers access to the hydromassage beds, massage chairs, and even tanning beds.

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PlanetFitness-HydroMassage

I went and signed up for my membership, and every single employee I encountered seemed happy to be there and happy to help. The staff can really make or break a gym experience, and they really set the tone  that this was going to be a welcoming place to work out.

PlanetFitnessGrid

I went the very next day for my first workout. It was a Saturday morning and it was busy but not overly crowded. I worked out on the elliptical (spoiler alert: it’s really hard to take a photo while using an elliptical – but here I am in all my blurry glory!):

PlanetFitness-Elliptical

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I did 30 minutes, which went by incredibly quickly because I was able to watch TV while I work out. They have TVs tuned to various channels, so I set up near HGTV and was a happy camper while I burned a decent amount of calories and got some good cardio in.

I tried out the machines on a subsequent visit, and also tested out the 30-minute circuit, which is an easy way to get strength training in for a variety of muscle groups. Brian and I even had a date night to Planet Fitness last week and had a lot of fun.

I’ll be posting once a month to let you know my progress – so check back in a couple of weeks for my first update! I’m going Thursday to meet with a (free!) personal trainer so I can get a plan tailored just for me.

Find a Planet Fitness near you – at $10 a month you can’t really justify not working out!

Dressing Up Has Never Been So Fun! Little Adventures Princess Dress Review {& Giveaway!}

We received two princess dresses and some accessories for our review. I was not compensated monetarily for this post. And thanks to Little Adventures for providing the awesome giveaway prize! 

My daughter, E, loves to dress up. My boys dressed up a little here and there – they loved to be superheroes or ninjas – but having a little girl is just a Whole New World (yes, we’ve watched Aladdin recently – why do you ask?). She likes to dress up as characters to coordinate with the movie she’s watching, to play with her friends when they’re over, or just for fun while she plays in her room.

The problem with the frequency of her dressing up is that the clothes get worn out pretty quickly. The seams come undone, the fabric rips – or she might get a stain on the fabric, which is a pain since the clothes don’t always hold up well in the washing machine.

I know I’m not alone in how I feel about dress-up clothes. In 2002, when two moms discovered the lack of clothing-quality dress-ups and princess costumes available for their children, they decided take action. Jenny Harrison, mother of ten, and Heather Granata, mother of five, began their own little adventure by sewing and selling their very own dress-ups at local craft fairs. They made them soft and machine washable! They engineered them for everyday, all-day adventure! The brand Little Adventures was born, and I wish I’d discovered them years ago!

I’m not kidding you when I tell you that these are – by far – the best quality princess dresses we’ve ever had. There are no rough edges and itchy internal seams or fabric. Everything is soft and so well finished. Seriously, it’s such high-quality work that I would think these dresses were out of our price range (spoiler alert: they’re totally reasonably priced – I’ll tell you more about that in a bit).

We requested the Snow White dress and the Cinderella Butterfly dress – and we also received the fullness slip (which is super soft, not scratchy netting like many other dresses have), the soft gold crown, and the Cinderella accessory set.

The attention to detail is just impeccable. The fabrics feel luxurious, but they’re also durable… and washable. This means that these are dresses girls can actually play in.

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LittleAdventures_Cinderella

These dresses make it easy for girls to feel like they’re transported into a fairy tale!

Here are some of the details of the Snow White dress:

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SnowWhite-Skirt

SnowWhite-Spinning

And here are some photos of the Cinderella dress and accessories:

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Cinderella-Skirt

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Heart-Cinderella

You can easily see that every aspect of the dresses are well-crafted. And these deluxe dresses are just $39.99 each! There are standard versions of the dresses, too, which are also really great and just cost $29.99. That’s seriously not much more at all than dresses you’d find at big-box stores, and the quality of Little Adventures dresses is just above and beyond any other dresses we’ve had.

I’ve got GREAT news for you –  well, two pieces of great news, actually! First of all, for the next 30 days I’m getting to share a code for 15% off all purchases at LittleAdventures.com. Just enter the code lapromo-fn at checkout. Remember, this code is only good through April 20!

And secondly, I’m getting to host a giveaway for a $75 gift code to Little Adventures! If you don’t have girls, don’t worry – Little Adventures has great items for boys, too. Just enter the giveaway via the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway