Hi friends! Happy Friday! How was the week? Ours went by in a blur… I feel like the holidays are flying at warp speed right now. Usually I have everything ordered and figured out, but this year the kids are making it a little tricky haha. They’re changing their Santa gift requests every day (and some of them are completely made up, like P said she wants stuffed ducks with their own little swimming pool) and I’m over here scratching my head. I’ve also been trying to order gifts when they’re not standing behind my shoulder or asking me for a snack every 15 seconds. 😉  Things are just a little different this year to say the least. (My watch just told me to “Breathe” while typing that sentence.)

I’m looking forward to the weekend with the crew! We’re going to decorate our giant Christmas tree. (We got a real one for the first time ever!! I’ll post pics soon.) The Pilot was gone this week and got back late last night, just in time to pop some Prosecco with me. He’s been in the process of completely emptying our garage so we can park the cars in there again and utilize the gym space more efficiently. It’s going to feel great when it’s finished.

Some Black Friday and Cyber Monday finds have arrived and they’ve all been hits. We ordered a new classic Vitamix – mine bit the dust a couple of years ago, so I’ve been mostly using my tiny Vitamix – and I’m so excited to use it this weekend. We ordered the Always Pan, which is AMAZING,

and I was influenced by Brittany into splurging on this sauna blanket from HigherDOSE. I’ve tested it out twice and it’s a dream come true. I’m usually cold, so I tend to gravitate towards anything warm and toasty. This is why we live at the pool all summer and why I’m a huge fan of super sweaty hot yoga classes. I’d been toying with investing in a real sauna since we can’t go to our usual option (it’s closed because of ‘Rona) and thought this would be the perfect alternative.

HigherDOSE sauna blanket review

Here’s how it works:

– You preheat the blanket for about 10 minutes. They recommend starting it around a level 5 and adjusting the heat slowly if you don’t sweat after a while. They don’t recommend level 9 unless you’re unable to sweat at level 8 (which seems bananas to me because I was at a 6 and it was perfectly hot).

– You wear cotton and loose-fitting clothing. I wore lightweight jogger pants, a long-sleeved tee, and my Frida Kahlo socks. 🙂 It felt warm and comfy and I was surprised to see how much I was sweating after 20 minutes!

– It’s super easy to clean. I just use the same wipes I use on my Peloton bike and let the blanket cool for at least 30 minutes before folding it up to store.

– There’s a list of contraindications on the brochure, and one is that you shouldn’t use the blanket if you have any type of implant in the body. Glad I got my implants out 😉

– Benefits: there are quite a few benefits of using infrared technology and saunas, but my main reasons for getting this blanket were for relaxation, detoxification (some may argue that it’s a myth but I’m a huge believer in the cleansing properties of sweat), and immune system benefits.

– I’ll probably use it 2-3 times a week on the nights I can get the kids to bed earlier. You can’t multi-task while you’re in there, but you can absolutely watch Netflix or listen to a podcast.

It’s time for some faves from the week and around the web! I’d love to hear about your faves, too, so please shout out something you’re loving in the comments section below.

Fashion + beauty:

Beautycounter Mini Skin Stars! This set consists of mini versions of three of my very favorite products. You’ll get the bestselling overnight peel, all bright C serum (prob my #1 fave right now), and brightening facial oil (with hydrating botanical oils). These are the perfect trial size if you haven’t sampled these yet, and you can also use them for travel or to stash in your makeup bag. Check them out there!

Liv said these shoes are terrible, but I love them! Plus, they were a steal at Target for $17.

If you’re still shopping for the holidays check out these gift guides supporting small businesses, this gift guide for her, and these gift ideas for the kids. I’ll share my gift guide for the guys on Monday!

Fitness + good eats:

This truffle power from Trader Joe’s. You guyyyyyyyss. If you have a TJ’s near you, pick up a jar of this magic. It’s so delicious on baked French fries (the best), eggs, and veggies. I can’t help but feel a little fancypants when I use it, too. It’s the little things, right?

Check out this fitness advent calendar for workout surprises leading up to Christmas.

We were out of Thanksgiving leftovers by Sunday, but I had this beloved sandwich three days in a row. It’s gluten-free sprouted bread, Kite Hill cream cheese, turkey, cranberry sauce, and gluten-free stuffing. This is my favorite sandwich in the entire world and I look forward to it all year long.

This veggie korma looks like a dream.

Bodyweight glute and ab workout.

I hosted a FREE barre class via Zoom on Tuesday and it was so much fun. It felt so great to blast some music and actually teach! (Filming videos is so different than interacting with real people in real time and it reminded me of how much I miss group fitness.) I’m doing a live HIIT and Strength workout this Thursday. If you want to get the details for when I host these live classes, make sure you’re on my newsletter list here!

If you’re looking for new monthly strength training workouts, join us on Fit Team here. (The code BLACKFRIDAY gets you $10 off.)

Functional circuits total body workout.

Read, watch, listen:

This made me LOL.

What’s your most embarrassing moment?

An interesting podcast about how stress is affecting our immune systems.

Has anyone watched all of Holidate? I started it one night while the Pilot was away and was wondering if it was worth finishing or if I’d be wasting my life.

Happy Friday, friends!
xo

Gina



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