It seems every city has these salt float places now and the Charlotte version is the franchise True Rest Float Spa. First-time floaters (like me) get the introductory rate of $39 versus the regular $79 price. Every blog I read talked about the owners and the history but didn’t really prepare me for the experience. I dragged Joe and we went to try it out.
My goal this year was originally 75, then I changed it to 100, and now I’m at 104 books in mid-September. I read a mix of fiction and non-fiction although lately, it’s just been a TON of fiction which makes reading a lot of books pretty easy. When people ask how I can read so much, I wonder, how can you spend so much time watching TV or surfing social media on your phone? Each year, I’ve increased my goal bit by bit and here’s how I read so much.
Party like it’s 2003. What? That’s the same confusion I felt when I was looking under the bathroom sink and stumbled across Joe’s body splash.
It’s not the first time I’ve seen it. When I first saw it, I thought it was odd that a man have Bath and Body Works body splash but I let it go. So when I was going through the bin under the sink a few months later, I took a closer look and noticed it was from 2003.
I hate the cold and I’m always cold. I’m also the one that doesn’t wear shorts until it’s 85 degrees outside. I had seven ClassPass credits left for the month and I see this Cryotherapy pop up as a new option. If you want to help a girl out, feel free to use my ClassPass referral link where you get $40 credit and I get the same. I’ve been using ClassPass for years and love it.
I know my BFF Julie has tried it and had a great experience. So with only 30 minutes until the appointment time, I book on ClassPass and head over to Restore Cryotherapy on Montford in Charlotte.
(4 minutes – check in) Giovanni, takes me through an intake process on an iPad where I have to read about all kinds of scary things that might happen to me in Cryotherapy. Then I have to agree that I don’t have a bunch of unusual medical conditions I’ve never heard of.
(4 minutes – dressing room orientation and getting changed) I’m led to the Cryo Zone which looks like several dressing rooms that all open into the Cryotherapy area. I undress and get a choice of two robes – standard tie around waist and the one pictured below. You can’t wear a bra with underwire and men must wear underwear but interestingly, women do not. No jewelry is allowed either. I have to put on tall socks and slippers that are provided. Once I enter the cryo zone, I’m given thick mittens. He measures my body temperature behind my knees – 86 I think. He didn’t seem too concerned.
(5 minutes – cryo experience explanation and actual cryo time) The whole time, Giovanni is there telling me exactly what will happen to my body like blood rushing to my organs and away from my arms and legs leaving them tingling. I’ll get a blast of cold for 60 seconds which will be the worst of it. There’s a timer running next to the temperature (pictured below) of -186 degrees. He tells me to move around so the cold will get to all of my body but when I turn to the timer, he says I don’t have to look at it. Evidently most people don’t like seeing it. Whoops.
The first 60 seconds are definitely the toughest especially since I’ve never done this before. Then the blast slows down. Giovanni is talking to me the whole time reassuring me that I’m doing great and much better than other first timers. I’m not so sure about that but I was quite focused on getting some photos taken 🤤
First timers can only stay in two and half minutes. Giovanni tells me that another quick 30 second blast is coming and then it will almost be done. It’s cold. I turn around a bit but my legs and body feel stiff and frozen. It’s almost over. I glance at the timer and just five seconds left. Next thing I know, he’s opening the chamber and I’m done. I get out and he measures my temperature at 54 which he says is normal. He said that seasoned folks can stay three minutes but I’m good with my time.
(2 minutes) By the time I get dressed, I’m already feeling the effects of thawing out. The blood is rushing back to my extremities. I’m told that this burns 500-800 calories. I had no idea! Giovanni warns me that I may be hungry and that my metabolism is going to be boosted. Who knew all this was happening? He said he does it daily but he does work there after all.
In the end, I’m so glad that I tried something new and it was a really cool (pun intended) experience. I don’t see myself going back daily but with my monthly ClassPass credits, I could see using it every few months. I needed 12 credits and I already had seven so I had to buy 5 credits for $12 – not too bad. Plus the whole thing took about 15 minutes. Now that I’ve done my intake and not needing all the orientation and pep talk, I can see how this appointment can be done in about 5 minutes.
They sell memberships and by the looks of the “regulars” breezing in and out and being called by their first names by the staff, folks are buying. I haven’t even scratched the surface of restoration therapy for athletes but I know my Cryotherapy is definitely a popular thing to do.
Give it a try! If you want to be kind and share the $40 referral credit, you can try it through my ClassPass referral link (shameless self promotion here). Enjoy!
I grew up in Charlotte reading the Charlotte Observer. My parents had the old black plastic box on a stake next to their regular mailbox. When I went to college, I continued to subscribe and they’d drop it off at my dorm room door. I grew up reading and loving Tommy Tomlinson’s column. His writing was real, just real, and always witty but not overly sarcastic.
What does an oversized KitKat have to do with a goal of being debt free? Gather round kiddies. The figures regarding household debt in the US are absolutely staggering.
The average American household carries $137,063 in debt, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest numbers.
Thankfully, our household has no credit card debt, no auto loans, no student loans, and we are aggressively working to pay off the mortgage. In terms of our finances, I will share some things that we do well and what we don’t do well and should improve. Why am I sharing so much?
- It forces me to think about these topics.
- It allows me to share our process publicly in hopes of helping others.
- It holds me accountable to my audience.
- For every financial win, we have a corresponding not-so-good so there is always room to improve.
- We drive older cars.
- We live in a modest and moderately priced home compared to our income.
- We bring our lunches almost everyday and try to be discerning in our eating out.
- We are conservative to buy clothes used, on sale, etc.
- I am faithful to the library. Had I bought each of the 89 books I read last year, I would have easily spent $1500+ plus hoarded all those books!
- I spend very little on home furnishings and buy most of our furniture used (think chalk painted original NC wood pieces).
- I sell/donate/trash almost everything we don’t use anymore.
Not so good
- We drive luxury cars that are expensive to maintain and insure, lose value rapidly, and are much more than we need.
- Our home has an EXTREMELY high HOA which basically equates to a rent payment even once the mortgage is gone. Location is key due to school zone and walkability to school and other amenities.
- We still eat out way too much. We rarely turn down a social engagement especially that involves food stuff.
- We still buy way too many clothes and they tend to be expensive (even if used) and name brand.
- We cycle through our home furnishings pretty quickly. I tend to tire of my home styles and then want to replace it.
- We spend crazy amounts on our gym membership, tennis club, ClassPass (use my referral link if you’re interested!), and other boutique fitness classes (yoga, barre, and more).
- We opt for easy online/convenient drive-through shopping at the overpriced local grocery store and buy bulk at Costco. We could do better and shop at less expensive stores like Wal-Mart. Oh here’s the tie-in to the oversized Kit Kat bar. We are traveling and have to stop in a local Wal-Mart which I normally avoid at all costs (but not ALL costs) because when I’m there, I’m always amazed at how it’s SO cheap. I pick up several not-on-the-original-list items because they are literally 1/4 to 1/3 the price of my local grocery store. I would say if I were willing to shop at Wal-Mart and Aldi more, I could cut 20 – 40% off our grocery bill. Where else can you enjoy the gluttony of a horrifically oversized Kit Kat bar?
- We have so many gadgets, current ones, and the expensive cellular service to go along with it too.
- We are indulgent in certain aspects of life – spa days, vacations, events, hosting friends, etc. Although we try to be frugal in those events, they aren’t exactly life essentials.
- We use Uber/Lyft a lot. It’s super convenient but tacking on $25 – 30 of ride fares to each event adds up fast!
- We are far from the biggest consumers considering we live in a townhouse and I’m a wanna be minimalist. Having said that, we still spend crazy amounts of money at Amazon and Costco. Costco is the dollar store but more like the $20 store. Most items there range between $10 – 20 so it’s multiples of that 😮
I’ll have to write another post on the balance between living for today and saving for tomorrow. For this post, it’s about cutting back on today to prepare better for tomorrow.
Of course, would you expect any less? We pretty much track every expense down to the penny and have money and budget discussions at least monthly.
This isn’t exactly a “vision board” but this is my commitment to 2019 financial goals.
Man, that’s some gorgeous photography with my post-it note. Background, composition, and subject matter are flawless!
I recently finished Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki, a recommendation from Tory. This is more about the “why” and not another “how to” book like Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Cluttering and Organizing.
I love how the author chronicles his journey to minimalism. He explains why he chose this lifestyle and speaks candidly about how it made him feel before, during, and after the process. It makes sense when he describes how his ego was tied up in what he perceived himself to be based on his possessions. He describes his mounds of books, DVD’s, photography equipment, etc. and how that made him think he was a connoisseur of those topics just through ownership. He didn’t want to let them go because he’d be letting go a part of his image.
I’ve been on my minimalism journey for YEARS. Two items on his “more tips” section really struck me. Now that I’ve been going down this path for so long, it’s really hard for me to understand why everyone else isn’t doing the same thing.
15 more tips for the next stage of your minimalist journey
12. Minimalism is not a competition. Don’t boast about how little you have. Don’t judge someone who has more than you.
13. The desire to discard and the desire to possess are flip sides of the same coin.
I’ve created my own version of tunnel vision about minimalism. I’m a wannabe minimalist snob. I turn up my nose at people with lots of stuff and it physically makes me uncomfortable being around it. The pendulum has swung too far for me.
No matter far I’m on the journey, I realize that I still have so far to go. Recently, Patagonia fleeces have come back in style. I knew they would! My daughter got one and I must admit, it’s warm, cozy, and quite “ski lodge” cute. So I dragged out my ol’ Patagonia fleece. I’ve had this bad boy for TWENTY YEARS. It was a gift from my stepdad who once a year would take me to the bike shop and pick out any one item I wanted. It was glorious! I wore this fleece all over Europe when I backpacked after college. I wore this fleece like a coat for many days. It never got a single rip and the plastic buttons clicked together like they were brand new despite the hundreds of washings.
So I wore it one more time (and here’s the) BUT it no longer fit and felt the way I liked. I didn’t really change shape so much as the styles have changed slightly. Clothes are more fitted and straight lined instead of the rounded bottoms. The fleece wasn’t soft and cozy like the materials now. It was matted and scratchy mostly from design and some from wear after 20 years.
Second, I offered it to my daughter who tried it on and then said, no, I don’t want it because I won’t wear it. Plus she has her new soft fitted one that looks fab.
Third, I had to really stop and think before NOT slipping it back into my closet. I posted it online and within 24 hours, someone bought it for $5. The buyer wanted it as a ski layer and said it was perfect. There you go. My 20 year old Patagonia found new life as someone’s ski gear. Now, I can let go of the guilt and justifications:
- It was a gift from my stepdad
- I wore it through so many seasons of my life
- It was still in really decent shape
- I’ve kept it so long
Two lessons learned from this book:
- I have a LONG way to go on my minimalist journey.
- No matter how far along I am on the journey, someone else is always further so I should be mindful not be so snooty. We are all somewhere along in our minimalist journey.
Goodbye, Things. Goodbye, Patagonia fleece from the late 90s.
Here is a photo of my BFF Julie holding Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover << Shameless Amazon affiliate link below>> . This photo was taken in 2011. For those don’t know, I’m not a holiday gift giver. I don’t believe in giving gifts because it’s Christmas or your birthday or whatever but that’s a whole different blog. That year, I asked Julie to give me a gift. I asked her to read this book with an open mind and open heart about her financial situation. Julie is a smart girl with a good job but it never hurts to learn more – especially in regards to your finances, right? I’d say that it impacted her life in a very positive way so I’m a big believer in the teachings and process.
I read. A lot. And I love it. Reading is a way for me to disappear into another world and focus on something for an extended period of time. It allows me to disconnect from devices – unless it’s my Kindle but thankfully, there aren’t notifications popping up everywhere. Reading gives me something to talk about that isn’t TV or gossip.
It’s a new year. It’s a new you.
Is it really? I’m still the same me. The only difference is today, on the first day of this new year, I’m committing my goals to paper (in the case, my blog).
I’m telling the world that I vow to work on these SMART goals in 2019. Forgive the biz speak.
1. Get back my splits on both legs.
2. Decide on a book topic. Commit to learning the process. Set time boxes for writing. This is inspired by G!
3. Make extra payments on the mortgage so it will paid off in five years. It’s time to start chipping away at this.
4. Blog at least once a week. I used to blog daily. Once a week should be a breeze!
5. Read at least 75 books. Each year, I set a goal of 50 books. Last year (as in yesterday), my end of year total was 88 and the year before was 62. Clearly, I’m passing 50 so time to up the goal!
Did you commit to your goals for 2019 in writing?