Thinking Out Loud | NYC, Fear of Flying and Road Trips

It’s almost the weekend, and it’s also almost time for me to go on vacation. I can’t wait! Before that happens though, let’s do some catching up with the weekly Thinking Out Loud linkup.

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Thinking Out Loud about Traveling

1. It’s a packing extravaganza today, and I think I’m definitely erring on the side of overpacking. Since we’re driving, there’s more freedom to pack things even if I’m not completely sure they’re necessary. I like when I don’t have to overthink the packing process, and after traveling internationally last year, this seems like a breeze.

2. What isn’t a breeze is trying to find the perfect purse to take with me for travel. I feel like I’ve been searching for the perfect travel purse for years, but still haven’t found something exactly right. I need something lightweight, possibly crossbody and easy to carry. But it also has to have a decent amount of room inside it. Any recommendations?

3. We’re lucky that we live within driving distance to New York City because we both love going there. We went twice last year and have been going consistently since we’ve been together. It takes about 4 – 5 hours to drive from where we live, which isn’t bad at all.

4. I much prefer road trips like this one over getting on a plane. I’m quite scared of flying, though I do still push through because I don’t want to miss out on travel experiences just because of the fear. It’s funny though, because I remember going to Disney World with my family when I was a kid, and I loved flying back then. It’s funny what age will do to you.

5. Flying internationally is a little easier on me, even though we’re on the plane for considerably longer. I find that the really large international planes experience a lot less turbulence. Thank goodness because I don’t think I could deal with 13 – 15 hours of turbulence when going to Japan!

6. And now that I’m thinking about flying after writing those few paragraphs, I’m super glad I don’t have to get on a plane this week!

Thinking Out Loud about Blogging

7. I was not too happy with this month’s BoxyCharm. Take a look at my review here.

8. Tuesday, I wrote up a review on my experience with StepBet. It’s an awesome way to get motivated to meet your step goals.

9. Also, don’t forget to check back on Saturday for my Sephora Play box review. There were two major hits in this one!

Tell me about the last place you traveled to!

Do you like flying or do you hate it like me?

My Experience Joining a StepBet

At the end of last year, I decided to do something to get myself moving more: I joined a StepBet. As of last week, I completed my third round on the app and I thought it would be fun to do a rundown of what exactly happens during a bet and what I think of the whole process.

Usual disclaimer: I am not affiliated with StepBet in any way. These are just my thoughts from my own personal experience.

What is StepBet?

StepBetis an offshoot of the company that created DietBet. They’re still a pretty new company, but the concept is a lot of fun. There are any number of 6 week challenges running at any given time, and to join, you must put up a $40 “bet”.

How does it work?

StepBet calculates your weekly goals based on your recent fitness tracker history. I’ve been using a FitBit for many years now, so it was easy to sync my FitBit to the StepBet app for the challenge. You are assigned 4 “active” days and 2 “stretch” days per week. The 7th day is given to you as a free day, and everyone’s goals will be unique to their own recent stepping history.

Stepbet - How it works

During one of my more active time periods, I was assigned an active goal of around 11k and a stretch goal of around 13k. During one of my less active times, my active goal was in the 7000s and my strech was in the 9000s. I think this is great because it makes sure that the goal is both doable and challenging for each individual person’s needs.

What do you have to do to win?

To win, you just need to hit all your weekly goals for the duration of the challenge. The first week of every challenge is considered a “warm up” meaning that you’re not eliminated if you don’t hit your goals. For the remaining 5 weeks you need to hit your 4 active and 2 stretch goals per week.

If you’re one of the few left standing at the end, you win!

Do you really win money?

Yes — but not much. How much you win depends on how many people join the bet and how many drop out over the course of the six weeks. Each person pays the $40 into the pot at the beginning of the challenge and regardless of what happens, StepBet takes 12.5% of the pot. What’s left is divided up between everyone who wins.

For example, here’s what I won for each of the three bets I joined:

Bet 1: Invested $40, Got $51.92 back Profit: $11.92
Bet 2: Invested $40, Got $44.99 back Profit: $4.99
Bet 3: Invested $40, Got $46.76 back Profit: $6.76

So you’re not winning much, but it’s still nice to get a little back. Also as someone pointed out in one of my challenge groups, it’s a lot more money than what you would have made if you invested the $40 in a savings account for the same time.

Stepbet - Challenges

The reason I do StepBets is not for the money, but for the amazing community atmosphere and the sheer motivation it gives me to hit my goals. Everyone is always so encouraging and motivating. If you’re looking for something to motivate you, I’d highly recommend this kind of a challenge.

Will I join another StepBet in the future?

Absolutely! When I joined my first bet in the fall of last year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. But after that first experience, I’ve gone back two more times, both at times when I felt I needed a push of motivation to get moving. I feel like I will keep going back anytime motivation is low. It really forces me to get up and hit my step goals!

StepBet also released a new membership feature recently where you pay a yearly fee and get access to challenges that allow you to win more money. I haven’t looked much into this yet, but it sounds like an interesting option.

In conclusion, StepBet really works for me, and I can see myself going back again and again in the future!

This post contains a referral link but is not sponsored. All images are screenshots taken from the I just wanted to share a fun experience with all of you!

Have you ever joined a StepBet?

What’s your favorite fitness tracker?

Thinking Out Loud | Heat Wave, Countdown to Vacation, and Goals

Happy Thursday! Let’s jump right into some Thinking Out Loud courtesy of the Running with Spoons weekly linkup:

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Thinking Out Loud about Life

1. It’s in the 90s outside today. What?? Last week we barely got out of the 40s, and it seems like we skipped right over the nice spring temps. I went straight from blasting the heat to blasting the air conditioner. I’ll take the hot weather over the cold any day though.

2. One of the things I love about this time of year is all the baby animals that start making their appearance. There was a tiny baby bunny in our yard last week and just yesterday I caught a glimpse of some of the new Canadian geese chicks. So cute!

3. I got my new 2018 Erin Condren planner in the mail yesterday, and it’s as beautiful as I expected it to be. They upgraded their paper this year, and you can really tell the difference. I’ll be doing a walkthrough of the book and the changes they made soon on the blog.

4. I’m starting to count down to our New York City vacation which is coming up fast! I can’t wait to get away for a while and do some things purely for fun. We’re going to be staying downtown in what looks to be a pretty nice hotel, and we already have tickets for a Broadway show. If you want to follow along with our vacation adventures, make sure to follow me on Instagram.

5. I can’t believe that next week is the last week of May. The year is flying by, and I really need to do a check-in on my yearly goals soon. I’m doing pretty good with some, but failing miserably in one or two categories. Nothing like a halfway check-in point to help you regroup!

6. I finally caved and downloaded SnapChat, though I’m only using it to keep up with some of my favorite YouTubers. It’s so fun to peek into the everyday lives of other people! If you have any recommendations for some fun accounts to follow, let me know.

Thinking Out Loud about Blogging

7. I have a BoxyCharm review coming up this Saturday, and I’m going to be discussing why I’m starting to become slightly disillusioned with the box. Make sure to check back.

8. Also, make sure to check out some of my recent posts including my Sephora VIB sale haul as well as my reviews on the Modern Renaissance and Viseart Theory palettes in One Week One Palette.

Have you seen any cute baby animals this spring?

Tell me a random thought from your life!