Way back in 2017, I decided that I was sick and tired of buying vacuums that would smell like death within a few months of normal use. I did a bunch of research and decided to purchase a fancy vacuum… specifically the Dyson V7 Animal Cordless Stick Vacuum.
It checked ALL my boxes: it was cordless, you charge it by attaching it to a wall mount, and the battery lasted long enough that I could vacuum one level of my house at a time before needing another charge. It was also bagless, so I could just dump the yuck directly into the trash.
When I was researching the vacuum, as always there were a few different places I could buy it with varying prices. Back in 2017, the Dyson V7 was brand new and the price was right around $400. Which to me is A LOT for a vacuum. My choices narrowed down to buying it at Bed Bath and Beyond or buying it at Costco. It was about $20 cheaper at BBB… but I went with Costco specifically for their return policy.
As we all know, it is only a matter of time before a vacuum breaks… no matter how much you pay for it. The Bed Bath and Beyond policy only covered the vacuum for one year. However, the Costco policy was much, much better.
Costco’s Return Policy: We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell, and will refund your purchase price (exceptions and additional info here) That’s right. If the vacuum breaks EVER, they will return your money.
So, I happily went to Costco and bought my new vacuum. I mean I wasn’t *happy* about spending $400 on an appliance. But you know what I mean. So yeah, this was way back in April 2017 and I had four years of awesome vacuuming experiences.
And then last month, my Dyson stopped working.
While I had tentatively planned for this to happen one day, I was suddenly nervous about whether Costco would really replace my broken vacuum. Even worse, I couldn’t find my receipt.
So, I loaded up all my vacuum pieces into a bag and drove on over to Costco. I walked up to the friendly guy at the Member Services desk and let him know that my vacuum stopped working and I’d like to return or exchange it. He scanned in my membership card, started click-clicking around on his computer and immediately pulled up my receipt. Within a couple minutes, he refunded $400 to my credit card.
It was THAT EASY.
To say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement. I couldn’t believe that I could walk in with a broken vacuum cleaner in a bag with no receipt from 4 years ago and they would magically give me my money back. As an added bonus, they now had a newer version of my vacuum for $75 CHEAPER than I paid.
So, of course I turned right back around and gave Costco back my money to buy the Dyson V8. I mean, with a return policy like that they have certainly earned my business!
Disclosure: Not sponsored. I wish it was… Costco, call me!
While clicking around on my social media, I recently came across an ad for the limited-edition Universal Standard Mystery box. I have been eying the brand for a while, as it has a great line of luxe classics in a super generous size-range, but hadn’t yet completed an order because they are a bit pricy. I read some Mystery Box reviews though and decided to give it a try!
They offered Mystery Boxes for one week, ending on 2/17/21 and these were the options:
Loungewear box: 3 pieces for $95 (valued up to $290)
Athleisure box: 3 pieces for $95 (valued up to $292)
Tops box: 3 pieces for $55 (valued up to $250)
Bottoms box: 3 pieces for $120 (valued up to $421)
Classic box: 3 pieces for $98 (valued up to $434)
Petites box: 3 petite pieces for $95 (valued up to $302)
Dresses box: 3 pieces for $98 (valued up to $358)
Polished box: 3 pieces for $145 (valued up to $469)
Premier box: 3 pieces for $165 (valued up to $571)
Luxe box: 3 pieces for $198 (valued up to $708)
Surprise Me box: 3 pieces for $75 (valued up to $310)
I considered the Classic box of wardrobe staples you can mix and match, as well as the Luxe box of elevated styles made from luxurious fabrics.
I finally decided on the Athleisure box. Here is their description of the box:
For the ones who prefer comfortable pieces to move in, or chill in. Pick this Mystery Box, and our stylists will select a 3-piece athleisure outfit (valued up to $292) specifically for your closet. Think anytime styles that are soft & stretchy enough for your morning yoga and afternoon nap. Oh, and expect the unexpected. We’re talking the best of our best sellers, styles you haven’t thought to try, and even never-before-seen exclusives! Yes, that means you could be the first to see and wear our newest styles directly out of the box.
Why I picked this one:
The price point was $95 (just over $30 per item) which I was okay with.
When I click through the Universal Standard website, I tend to gravitate towards the more casual options.
I can wear Athleisure when working from home, mix it in with my normal wardrobe, and also to exercise.
Before I completed my purchase, I did a quick search online for promo codes and found one for 10% off, so after tax I ended up paying $90.63 for the box. Once I submitted my order, I received a survey where I could let them know my preferences. Questions included whether I preferred crew or v-neck tops (v-neck always!), and my color preferences of colorful or neutrals (I picked neutrals, hoping for black and gray).
Unfortunately, they apparently sold a bazillion Mystery Boxes and everything was taking much longer than usual to ship. However, they were really good at sending updates. I received an email on 2/24, another on 3/4, and then another on 3/9.
The last email said that they wanted to make up for the delay and decided to do so in three different ways:
They mailed out a special gift. I actually received it just 2 days later and it was a bottle of Soak (an eco-friendly laundering wash) and delicates bag. Also, they sent a super soft mask with filters. It looks like the Merlot mask on their website (retail $15), however the ear loops are not adjustable and it doesn’t have any logo on it.
They’ve added a 4th item to the Mystery Box.
They sent a special 15% off code towards my next Universal Standard order.
I finally received my box on Sunday, 3/21 and immediately opened it and tried everything on. Before we get into the try-on’s, I wanted to write a quick note about their sizing options.
As I mentioned, they have a generous size range that fits from a size 0 to a size 40. They have their size 0 as a “4XS” which means that my typical size 10-12 would be a “XS”. However, many of their tops are very fitted and I tend to like a more flowy fit up top, so for the athlesure box I ordered a size S, which they say fits 14-16.
For the past month, I’ve been nervous that everything would be too big, but as you can see that was not the case. If you decide to order from Universal Standard, keep their size chart in mind and maybe even do some measurements before placing your order.
I was hoping to get a pair of leggings in my Mystery Box, so I was thrilled to find these inside. One of the things I had heard about Universal Standard was that their leggings fit so well and the fabric is both strong and incredibly soft. I tried this pair of leggings on as soon as I opened the box and I left them on for the rest of the day because they are so amazing.
They are high waisted, so they suck my tummy in a bit without being uncomfortable. The mesh isn’t scratchy at all and the fabric is even softer than my favorite pair from Athleta. The size S fit me well, but they are very stretchy so it is possible I could have sized down to an XS. I like to be able to breathe in my leggings though, so I’m happy with the larger size. Throughout the day, they didn’t bag out or start falling down my waist at all.
This looks like a standard black crewneck sweatshirt, but the fabric is super lightweight, silky and soft. It has really good drape to it and by sizing up I got a little extra slouch, which I enjoy.
I threw this on with my Gabby leggings on Sunday night for some 4-wheeling around the yard and to run out to pick up dinner. I think this looks cute with leggings for a casual athletic look, and I also think it will be great with joggers and even jeans for a cooler spring day. This sweatshirt along with the leggings are my favorite items in the box!
The foundation crewneck is made from fine ribbed jersey and it is fitted and once again… super soft. It is light and breathable, and according to their website many use it as a layering top and people typically size up on this item.
I’m glad I did end up sizing up for the box, because as it is this top is certainly hugging my curves. It is soft and lightweight, but I would not feel comfortable wearing this out and about unless it were layered under something. I’m also not a huge fan of the crewneck and would have much preferred a v-neck version. As it is, I think I’ll either use this for layering under sweaters in the cooler months or perhaps add it to my pajama drawer to wear to bed.
I’m not sure if this tee or the foundation tee was my bonus item, but one of them is extra for the box taking so long to be sent out. This active tee is made from sweat-wicking, antimicrobial fabric that can be used for working out or weekend errands.
Once again, I would have preferred a v-neck option, but otherwise this tee is fine. I like the color, the fit is okay… it’s just a basic t-shirt. This one will most likely be added to my workout clothes drawer. While I prefer sleeveless tops for indoor cycling, this one would be useful for a yoga workout or outdoor walk.
I didn’t really know what to expect from the Universal Standard Mystery Box, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I received. I very much love the leggings and the sweatshirt. However, both of the tee’s are just ‘okay’ for me. I would have much preferred a v-neck option, even if there was just 1 item in place of the 2.
The overall price ended up being $90 for the entire box, which broke down to $22.50 per item. The overall retail price of my box was $269. However, I also received a face mask (retail $15) and a special scratch off code for a free crew neck tee (retail $50). Unfortunately, the code will not work for their v-neck options… so I will most likely pass on that offer.
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I have previously posted about the equipment I’ve purchased and my thoughts on the Peloton app. My opinions have not changed and I’m still happy with everything so far.
Would I switch to a Peloton Bike?
One question I’ve received is whether I would switch an actual Peloton bike if I had the opportunity. And the answer to that is… I don’t know. My sister and my BFF both have an actual Peloton bike and I absolutely want to give it a try so that I can better see the difference between the official bike and my less expensive option. If I am super blown away, I’ll let you all know!
However, once life starts returning to ‘normal’ with me going back into the office, I anticipate using the bike a little less so I’m sure mine will still be perfectly fine.
How Much Weight Have I Lost?
This question is probably my fault because I posted on my Instagram stories that I was finally starting to lose a small amount of weight and it was helping to motivate me.
After I posted that, I got a few DMs asking how much weight I’ve lost. So, here’s the tea. NOT that much.
My main reason for hopping on the cycling trend was to help motivate myself to stay active. Also, I was getting lonely at home and wanted to enjoy some fun classes with peppy instructors. Working out with my sisters on the weekends (by way of the Peloton app + Zoom or Facetime) has been a total bonus.
Yes, I also wanted to lose a bit of weight. However, I’m trying very hard to focus more on the ‘let’s move’ part of things and less the ‘let’s lose weight’ part. It’s much healthier for my brain that way. Otherwise, I start obsessing about workouts and calories and it’s not a lot of fun inside my head.
While I am much more active, I’m not drastically changing my diet so I’m not expecting any crazy before/after changes. I’m trying to do the slow and steady thing, so that any weight changes I see stick around for good.
I did take my measurements at the end of January (about a month and a half after I started using the Peloton app) and plan to check measurements every month or two to see if there are any small changes happening.
So, for those curious, in the past 2ish months here are my measurement changes:
Bust: – 1/2 inch
Belly: – 1 inch
Butt: – 1/2 inch
Thighs: – 1/2 inch each
As for weight, I weigh about 4-5 pounds less than I did in mid-December when I started using the Peloton app. Considering that even getting the scale to move with a pound has been very difficult for me, I’m very happy with the results I’m seeing so far.