All posts by theamerican

Pure Cycle

My First Spin Class in San Diego

Most of the blog has been dedicated towards preparing ourselves to the birth of our baby. The carpets that we should purchase, or the types of cribs that would keep our cherished ones the safest – but what about us?

I’ve given birth two times now to two beautiful boys, but after I was done with the second child, but body had taken quite the toll. I might have been in my mid 30’s at that point, but that didn’t mean I didn’t have to try to get my figure back for my husband, and for myself.

I’m sure you’ve read enough on this topic, that going to the gym, or attending yoga classes are the best approaches. Well, they do work, that’s if you’re a naturally motivated person.

I tried the gym and yoga, I couldn’t get it to stick. I knew I had to go, but managing to motivate myself after a long day at work and feeding my babies was extremely tough.

So what ended up working for me?

During work, my co-worker Stacy mentioned a spinning studio that she attends in downtown San Diego. I was quite clueless when she mentioned spinning and asked her what is it?

Well, apparently spinning classes are akin to in-door cycling that is being held in a studio with flashing lights and music.

At first, I compared it to the bicycles that I typically use at a local gym, but she reassured me that even though the equipment might be somewhat similar, the experience and workout are completely different.

She won me over when she mentioned that the spinning studio that she goes to actually gives a free first class. The name of the spinning studio in San Diego is Pure Indoor Cycling.

Luckily I lived pretty close to their location on W A St so I simply hopped into the train and was there in 10 minutes.

When I first entered the location, I was blown away at the how clean and modern everything looked looked. It didn’t take long for me to find out that the facility had only been open since the summer so that explained the clean/modern look.

I walked right up to the counter with my friend who was waiting for me there already and we inquired for a free class for me. The helpful woman behind the counter explained what I should expect out of the class, and reserved a seat for me in the next class. I also want to point out that she offered me a free pair of cycling shoes for the session, but I declined since I didn’t want to complete things any further.

My friend and I walked into the locker room to change, and I was delighted to see that the locker room was stocked up nicely with different amenities. We got changed quickly, and headed over the studio.

When we first entered the studio, the instructor introduced herself and walked us over to our reserved bikes. She was kind enough to adjust the bike for me and to also explain the proper posture for cycling.

When the class began, it was fairly obvious. The light dimmed down, the music was turned away, and spot lights were dancing on all walls – it felt cool!

At first, the exercise and tempo were slow to warm us up but after 5 minutes, everything was kicked into high gear!

I was mistaken when I thought that this was only a workout for the lower body, we actually used light weights for our arms and were utilizing our arms during the cycling session. By the end of the session, I can honestly say I have never had such a strenuous work out in my life. I was sweating from every centimeter on my body!

After the session, we went off into the locker room to share up and prep ourselves. Once we left the locker room, I walked up to the receptionist desk to give back the cycling shoes and also talk about the packages they offer. I was quite fond of their work out and prices so I ended up grabbing a package of 20 sessions.

That was 2 months ago.

I’ve already used 18 out of those 20 sessions.

I’ve lost 7 pounds in the past 2 months.

Losing an average of 800-900 calories per session.

Now that’s impressive!

I’m really glad that I found out how fun cycling is, and why it works – because the instructor is incredibly talented in keeping the class motivated and striving. That’s the only reason I keep coming back and working my butt off during the sessions – because I’m feeding off my instructor’s energy.

I can say with certainty that cycling is one of the best ways for someone to exercise while enjoying their time. If you’re in San Diego, I highly suggest checking out Pure Indoor Cycling, the fact that they offer a free class is very generous. I haven’t had a chance to visit other cycling studios, but based on what I’ve heard, Pure Indoor Cycling has the #1 spinning studio in San Diego!

Noise reducing felt rug pads

Several people will tell you how particularly annoying it is to walk on a rug or a floor and hear a squeaky sound follow their footsteps. This is often caused by the increased spaces between the floor and the rug, or simply because of a cheaply purchased felt rug pad.  However sometimes hardwood floors get squeaky over time and covering it with a rug does not seem to help. So if you are someone who does not want their guests to feel that their house is in poor shape because of the unnecessary squeaking, you should get a noise reducing felt rug pad and make your life easier. Getting the comfort and security that comes with a pad may just be the priority of the buyer but what they do not know is there are several felt rug pads out there that reduce this unnecessary noise coming from the floors to a minimum if not a zero.

Line the room to hide the sound!

If you have a carpeted floor then the easiest and the best way is to get a thick felt rug pad which will not only increases the comfort level in walking around but significantly reduce the sound being created. It can be lined throughout the room so the thickness retains and absorbs the noise. However if it is only coming from a certain corner or part of the room and the wood is not covered in carpet, it is best to get a rug and protect it with a thick felt rug pad; this does the trick. It is not just any rug pad that will reduce the noise; it has to be thick in order to have a nose reducing impact. It will keep the house and you warm, form a very nice insulating layer and as a result of all these qualities reduce the noise coming from the floor.

Felt rug pads are a lot thicker in nature and this thickness can vary depending on how comfortable you want your floor to feel. The constitution of a noise reducing felt rug pad is of very intricately and closely woven fibers that form an almost laminated layer on top of the floor avoiding any material to pass through down to the floor and destroying it and any noise to prevail and find its way to the surface. These felt rug pads are so affective they are also known as soundproof rug pads.

The thickness of the rug pad makes sure that every time you step on it the pressure of your body that made the floor go “creek” no longer reaches it, rather bounces back from the pad and gives you the comfort of walking on a cushioned floor. Its constitution is dense, thick and intricate without any air or vacuum.

Baby’s room – The most important room in the house

The reason why the baby’s room is considered the most important room in anyone’s home is obvious to most. Babies need the very best environment possible so that they can properly mature into youngsters with the help of the right stimulation.

Therefore, you need to pay close attention to each and every part of the baby’s room during your decor. It’s not like a less important room in the house where you can afford to skip some details and perhaps leave some things out. In the baby’s room, everything needs to be in accordance with the needs of the toddler and the adults that will care for it.


You might want to hire a professional
in order to help you with your baby’s room decor. This is a great idea for those parents that feel at a loss when considering what their baby’s room should look like and what it might need. A professional decorator will ensure that the room has everything required for the duration of the baby’s stay there.
Even if you wish to avoid hiring a third party to help you with your decor, you can still make an exceptional baby’s room by following some guidelines set in place by countless parents before you, all of whom looked to provide their baby with the very best environment.
In general, health and functionality tend to be the primary concerns as opposed to aesthetics, seeing as how babies are very vulnerable. You will also need to be cautious about anyone entering the baby’s room, even yourself, as adults might infect the child with a series of airborne illnesses – babies’ immune systems aren’t the best.

The functionality aspect also means that you will have to make sure the room provides the baby with everything it needs to stay comfortable and entertained, from a comfy crib and a hygienic cupboard all the way to toys and similar objects that will positively stimulate the baby’s emotional development. Also, your own needs should also be considered as you’ll need to make your stay inside the room comfortable while having everything involved with baby care close at hand.

Once you have gotten these out of the way, only then should you move onto the style of the baby’s room, looking to make it visually appealing both for the baby and anyone else spending time inside. This involves matching furniture as well as appropriate colors if you aren’t choosing to have an all-white room.

As you can see, it’s no surprise that this room is the most important one in the entire home. Unlike with some others, it’s not enough to simply design a visually appealing interior and feel like you have done a good job. Other, even more important factors, all need to be considered before the baby first steps foot into the room.
Don’t skip on doing loads of research prior to finishing the design, as it’s best to stave off making the room until you know it will have everything necessary, as opposed to potentially overlooking something of importance. There is no other room in your home to which you will need to pay as much attention as the baby’s room.

Get your flooring done online

I can’t imagine not having a rug in any room, and that includes the appropriate rug pad to go with it, or rather, underneath it. I am used to them, and I always pick a rug that blends in well. Doing so may seem easy, but believe me; sometimes it’s harder than you might think. Not only do I need a carpet in every room I inhabit, but I also enjoy having thick rug pads under each of the carpets. They give off a really nice feel of cushiness and I find them an integral part of every carpet. I remember when I moved to my apartment; it was empty, the walls were white and there were no rugs. Well, don’t think that was a problem though: it was a great opportunity for me to arrange my apartment just the way I wanted it.
Being able to decide how you will decorate your own home is a blessing. Well, I know some people who don’t like this, but I love it. I decorated my home on my own, and I really love how it turned out.

I have to admit, I also thought that choosing a rug would be a piece of cake. Upon further inspection and searching articles related to choosing a perfect rug, I found out that this task might be a bit more complicated. You see, there are various types or rugs and there are also various types of materials from which the rugs are made. So, how to choose the perfect rug?

What I found out while I was searching for a rug is that my taste is quite problematic. When I found a rug that I really liked, there was always something, some minor thing, that bothered me, and this resulted in me skipping the rug. It was usually the inappropriate size, or I didn’t like the material. Of course, this made the whole endeavor exhausting. Just when I was about to give up on finding a rug I liked, a friend of mine suggested I tried searching online.

As I soon came to realize, the internet is a wonderful thing. Before I even started browsing through various online stores for a rug, I wanted to see what decoration blogs and websites have in store for me. This also gave me a few more great ideas for my apartment overall (indirect lighting is great, you have to check this, no matter what), and then, after gathering more insight and information, I checked the stores.

What I found on those blogs and sites were coupons for various discounts, and guess what – after a while, I found a rug that would look awesome in my living room, and I got a 10% discount on it too. It was delivered to my doorstep, and all I had to do was to unpack it and set it in my living room. No transportation problems or anything else. I love online shopping. Next order of business, for me, will be ordering a new rug pad. The prices of rug pads scale with the thickness as well as size, and when we combine the rug in the living room being fairly large and my aforementioned love for thick rug pads, the price might not be the best thing ever. But who knows, maybe I get a discount here too.

So, my piece of advice for choosing a rug would be to check online and enjoy your coffee while doing so. Check online galleries and home décor websites, you might find additional ideas for your home. Make sure to check the materials of the rugs you are interested in, and choose a good durable rug with a good design and pattern that will fit into your room.

Should you make a baby’s room before or after the baby is born?

While everyone tends to agree that each child needs its own room, many are in disagreement over when such a room should be constructed. The choice mainly falls between decorating the baby’s room while the child is still on its way, oftentimes as soon as the news are known, and decorating it after the child is born. Each choice has its good and bad sides and you should evaluate what’s most important to you before opting for either.

Decorating the baby’s room before the child is born has its advantages in that the room will be done and ready for the child to use as soon as it enters this world. The baby’s room decor can often be a tedious process and you might not feel you have the right amount of time after your child is born, needing to give it your undivided attention constantly. Constructing a baby’s room during pregnancy will mean that the room will be ready in its entirety whenever you choose it’s time for your child to move to it.

On the other hand, making the child’s room after birth will allow you to style it in accordance with the child’s preferences, making it much more hospitable for a specific toddler. Baby’s rooms that follow a general design might miss some of the things that the child would enjoy having and might even include colors or objects that might distress it constantly during its time there.

Making the baby’s room after the child is born will allow you to check your child’s response to various shapes and colors, letting you pick only the right additions for its room. A baby’s room that was made after birth will tend to be more customized to the child in question and, as such, will provide it with a much better environment throughout its stay there as it will be surrounded by objects and colors it enjoys.

cool diy baby room

Indeed, making the baby’s room before birth can sometimes be a gamble, especially during early pregnancy before you are aware of the child’s gender. Many parents wish to promote gender identity through an appropriately styled baby’s room, and decorating a baby’s room during the earliest stages of pregnancy renders you unable to do so, likely forcing you to go for a bland and neutral design.

If you are sure you’d like a more neutral style for your baby’s room, however, feel free to get on with the decorating while your toddler is still on its way. This is especially advisable for parents who wish to have a minimalistic baby’s room decor as such a design isn’t likely to make any baby particularly unhappy. Therefore, the choice of having the room done beforehand simply takes a load of work off the hands of parents that will likely be busy with their newborn.

Consult your significant other once you are aware that a child is on its way and try to reach an agreement regarding the best time to create the baby’s room, evaluating the additional effort after birth against the possibility of creating a much more pleasant environment for your baby.

How do I care for my wool rug

There are almost no circumstances where you’d regret getting a wool rug. The extra price is always considered an investment as these rugs have the potential to outlive generations. Notice how we said potential –they also have the potential to get destroyed to the point where you need to throw them away a year within purchase. So what is it that makes the difference between these two options? How do you ensure your rug is in the first group, on its way to one day being used by your grandchildren? Well, the difference starts and ends with you, or rather, how you yourself choose to care for your wool rug. A wool carpet is a fine thing with a lot of manual effort behind it. There were no easy shortcuts in its creation. The sheep giving the wool needed to come about as slowly as sheep usually do, their wool needed to be shed carefully and prepared by sheep farmers to be used in the manufacturing of rugs and clothing, and this was before the actual rug making process began. So it only seems reasonable that extra thought is needed when dealing with wool rugs.

links silver also available ivory

You won’t want to use one for that high traffic area you’ve been looking to cover. It seems counterintuitive to let more people than necessary stomp all over your delicate wool carpet when the job is much better suited for something sturdier. Instead, look to place the rug in an area where it will be constantly appreciated and yet not feeling too great of a burden due to traffic. Living rooms are always a good choice, but keep the furniture in mind: while wool is extremely durable as a fabric itself, you won’t want to push your luck by placing heavy furniture on your wool rug and hoping it won’t end up indentured. If you must place wool carpets under furniture, do it only with the presence of adequate rug pads, compliant with woolen rugs and dense enough to make sure they offer resistance against the furniture. When cleaning the rug in any way, whether completely or just addressing a stain, stay as far away from alkaline-based chemical cleaners as possible, as many can damage the fine fibers or even cause new stains. Look to always be slow and methodical in the way you clean your wool rug. Remember that they can stick around for generations, so why be in a rush about cleaning them? If you get a liquid spill, you need to take advantage of the wool rug’s natural suspension of liquid. As long as you act quickly enough, the fibers won’t absorb the liquid, and you can simply blot it out with a mixture of vinegar and water(but not too much vinegar!). Unfortunately, many people are simply unaware that scrubbing the stained spot, even with the right mixture, will only serve to deepen the stain, making it worse and accomplishing little else. Your wool rug was kind enough to not let the liquid through, don’t repay its kindness by pushing that liquid inside by violently scrubbing the spot you are supposed to gently blot.

The Dangers of Plastic Bath Mats

Most synthetic made mats have vinyl or PVC. These materials are toxic and studies show they also cause damage to the respiratory system, central nervous system, the reproductive system and the liver. Vinyl gives off gasses that can penetrate into the water in your bath tub. This will compromise your health and your entire household.


At first, you will think plastic bath mats smell nice when you first open it. It has this “plastic” smell that some think is normal for newly bought mats. However, what you truly smell are off-gasses of chemicals that are deemed toxic.

You can prevent these toxic chemicals from polluting your indoor air by buying non toxic products. There are non-toxic bath mats and shower curtains available in the market including 100% natural rubber mats. These are made with non-vinyl, non-phthalate and non-chlorine materials. Although rubber will leave off a smell, you are sure it is not toxic. You can also easily clean it because it is machine washable.

Another option is to buy Thermo Plastic Elastomer (TPE) bathroom mats. This is a type of material used to make plastic mats that are safe as they do not leach toxins. TPE mats also better than vinyl mats but natural ones are still the best choice.

When you are shopping for bath mats and curtains, you can start by reading labels. Look for the ones that are PVC-Free. This will help ensure that what you are about to bring home and use will not have harmful effects to your body.

Homeowners would not want to let their children bathe in a tub with plastic bath mats. Harmful toxins have already penetrated the water before you even realize it. A study was conducted by Sweden’s University of Gothenburg stating the hazards brought by generic plastics on the market. The study showed PVC plastics to be widely used in manufacturing products including bathroom mats.

The same study said PVC should be given extra attention because of its properties. It contains carcinogenic monomer and other hazardous chemicals posing threat to your health. Meanwhile, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice conducted a similar study showing phthalates also known as plasticizer agents to be disruptors of the endocrine system.

The study also showed that DEHP, a chemical responsible in making PVC, transfers to the food you eat during storage and processing. Oral exposure to materials having DEHP increases the chance of liver tumors. It is also has an effect with the reproduction of rats and mice. If you’re thinking about recycling, that may not be possible as PVC has a lot of additives making it too difficult to do. Other products combined with PVC for recycling will only be compromised.

These are some of the many reasons why plastic is considered harmful not only to your body but to the entire environment. When your plastic bath mat has already worn out, your tendency is to throw it away. It will only bring damage to our environment as these products do not decompose.

Synthetic Carpets VS Natural-made Carpets

Most homeowners don’t really know the difference between a synthetic made rug and those that are naturally made. Most of them may think that it makes no difference at all. However, this is not true. Health risks and environmental hazards must be put into consideration when choosing rugs and rug pads. After all, you don’t want to breathe VOCs inside your own house.

So what are VOCs? VOCs are volatile organic compounds that emit high pressure even when set at room temperature. This compromises the quality of the air inside the house and can even be more polluted than the air outdoors. VOCs are usually present in products that are found even inside your house. They are even found in the carpets, carpet pads, rugs and rug pads you use at home or in the office.

Carpet pads are the reason why the carpet you use is softer and comfortable. These are also the reason why carpets and rugs you use at home, office or school have an appealing look. Carpet pads are made from various materials. They can be very thick depending on what your preference is. Usually, thick pads are used in areas where more people visit including hallways and stairwells.

This may sound comfortable however studies show that synthetic made carpets emit VOCs because of deep dust store them. In return, this is emitted into the air and makes it polluted even inside the house. Children are prone to inhaling impure air and allergens that can lead to increased health risks.

Aside from polluting the air inside the house, synthetic made carpets are also abundant in chemicals including styrene, ethyl benzene, toluene, 1,2-dichloroethe, 1,1,1-Trichloroethane and xylenes. These chemicals can give off gas for as long as 3 years after they get installed in your house.

A great option to avoid all these hazards is to choose eco-friendly rugs and carpets. Wool carpets and rugs are widely available in the market. They are made from wool coming from New Zealand which is known to be the home of the world’s finest. They are also renewable as sheep can be shorn annually. They also feed on grass which is abundant everywhere.

wool carpet made natural sheep texture

Wool is also fire retardant and stain resistant. It makes it difficult to burn and emit less smoke and toxic gasses. You don’t have to worry about spilling juice and coffee because liquid cannot penetrate easily. Natural made carpets and rugs are also long lasting when maintained properly. In fact, they could last up to 50 years compared to the 10 year lifespan of a synthetic made carpet.

However, natural made carpets including wool cost more than the regular ones. They could cost $90 per square yard compared to the $10 per square yard price of synthetic made carpets. But still a lot of customers opt to buy natural made carpets because of the numerous advantages they can get. Aside from having to keep your body healthy from the air you breathe, you also help preserve the environment and reducing air pollution from the products you use.