Questions of the Month: May

Before it was time for me to teach water fitness this afternoon, I broke into the lunch I brought to work with me.


A Pear + Tuna salad + Red pepper + Smartfood white cheddar popcorn


Perfectly portable!

After lunch, I changed and put on some sunscreen before heading out into the heat to teach. I’ve been incorporating 30 second intervals into the class where I have class participants do underwater tuck jumps (modified for some, of course) or another difficult move for 30 seconds, followed by a brief rest period before we go through it all over again. Apparently this is something new to the water fitness regulars and I’ve received positive feedback on it so far, which is great. I just want to keep everything moving and challenging so they leave the class feeling like their workout was worthwhile.

On my way home from the gym, I popped into WalMart to buy some supersize sunscreen so I’m prepared for teaching outside throughout the summer. While I was there, I found myself in the hair care aisle checking out the curling wands.

I tried using a wand once before at my friend Laurel’s bachelorette party and burned the inside of my arm like a champ. I’ve watched a few YouTube videos and feel like it’s time to give it another go since I absolutely love the loose, beachy waves that the curling wands produce.

Thanks to your recommendations on Twitter, I left with a Conair wand. It actually comes with a protective glove that you know I’ll be using!

conair wand

I’ll be sure to report back after I give it a go!

Questions of the Month: May

It’s time for a fun monthly feature! For those of you who may be new around here, once a month I take a few minutes to address some of the common questions I received from you guys throughout the month on the blog. Let’s get to it!

  • Where did you get the blue lace dress you wore to Laurel’s rehearsal dinner?

Madison Marcus Lace Blue Dress

I got it on super-sale on Hautelook! (I updated the Fashion page this afternoon with all the details and links to the dress in black and yellow.) It’s really quite a comfortable dress!

  • I am hoping to get certified to teach group exercise and am wondering what made you select AFAA?

Nearly every group exercise instructor that I spoke with at my gym highly recommended AFAA and it is a certification that seems to be respected in the fitness industry. When I started looking into it, I loved that the certification involved an all-day workshop. (I still need to recap my experience at the workshop. That’s coming soon!) When I was studying for my NASM personal training certification, I really missed the classroom environment and wished there would’ve been an in-person component that didn’t cost extra money. The AFAA certification includes an in-person workshop because there are a few practical portions of the exam where you must demonstrate exercises or a sequence of exercises and that is included in the cost of the certification. (Apparently you can also do this online using Skype!?) I was also able to borrow an old book from one of the trainers at my gym which cut down on the cost. Always a plus!

Past Questions of the Month:

  • March 2013: Mascara, sunless tanner
  • February 2013: Creating workout images, favorite crock pot, timing circuit workouts
  • January 2013: Tips for new bloggers, wrist wallet for running fuel, 5K training plans
  • November 2012: Red lipstick, vitamins and non-healthy living blogs
  • July 2012: Sadie’s harness, half marathon training, peanut butter
  • March 2012: Heart rate monitor/running watch, roasting vegetables, planning workouts, protein powder


  1. Alexis says

    i have 2 curling wands (one shaped like yours and one shaped like a baseball bat). they both came with gloves which i immediately toss because i never feel like i get a good grip on my hair and they get in the way. this results in finger burns every. time. ohh what we go through to look good :)


  2. Sara Lopez says

    I love my curling wand! Use the protective glove. I did for awhile and then got tired of it and ditched it. Bad mistake because I always burn my finger, forehead, hand or arm. LOVE YOUR BLOG


  3. says

    I’ve burnt my ear before with my ghd not fun! It is a great idea including a protective glove as those things can really burn.

    I think it’s great you are including 30 seconds of a harder exercise to challenge the class a bit more as its only going to benefit them anyway :)


  4. says

    That’s a super cute blue dress. I love it.
    I have that curling iron! It’s good, but not my favorite one that I have…I have 3 more…yikes. That’s probably too many. It’s definitely a nice starter iron though!


  5. brooke lyn says

    i have a nice scar on my forearm from a curling wand fail. it looks like gun shot wound or something tragic, wa wahh!


  6. Caitlin says

    I’ve considered getting a curling wand- let us know your review of this one once you’ve used it a few times- the glove looks silly, but totally necessary, I’d burn my fingers every time.

    What do you put in your tuna? It looks so filling and yummy.


  7. says

    Oh my goodness, I’ve been thinking about getting a wand for a while now so thanks for the recommendation! Definitely keep us posted on what you think of it. I should watch some of those videos too because even though I’ve been using a straightener for years, I still manage to burn myself occasionally!


  8. S. says

    I have that exact curling wand. It’s cheap and foolproof so it’s definitely a good starter. It gives me great curls for more formal looks, but it’s not the right size to do loose beachy waves/curls. If it weren’t tapered, and it were 1.5 inches all around, it would be better for that purpose. I’ve never used the glove – it’s not really helpful.


  9. says

    I’m looking forward for your review of the wand! I don’t have one, I just wrap my hair around my regular curling iron without opening the clamp. The result is good, it’s just that I have so much hair!


  10. says

    Bonjour! Julie, I think you are going to love that wand. My hair is very fine, very straight, and very flat, which is good because it’s easy and I am hair inept and lazy, but bad because it always looks the same. My hair really does not like to curl and the wand is the ONLY iron I’ve found that does it well. I burned myself the first time too, but now I am a pro. I am confident you’ll get the hang of it and once you do you’ll be in looooove.


  11. says

    water circuits are completely new to me but I’m so intrigued! Sounds like they love your teaching style, Julie. ;) And you might call me crazy but at one point I wanted a curling wand so badly that I disarmed my regular thin conair curling iron to turn it into a wand, haha. But I’m not sure if it rends the same results.


  12. kc says

    Hi Julie! I’ve been a fan of your blog for awhile and have just noticed such a change in your writing. You seem to be writing less and your posts are so impersonal and cryptic. It kinda seems like you don’t like blogging anymore.. I miss the old PBF :(


  13. Maggie says

    Do you know if the dress you wore is still available on Hautelook? I have been looking but can’t seem to find it :/


  14. alli says

    I have the same curling wand and love it!! It definitely took some getting used to, but works great once you get the hang of it!


  15. Brandy says

    Hi Julie!

    I actually just bought that exact same curling wand last weekend! It’s a little awkward to use at first but once you get used to it it’s really quick and looks great – I got a ton of compliments at work on Monday. :)



  16. says

    I love the beachy waves look too, especially this time of year! I can usually make it happen (sort of) with a regular curling iron. But it takes so much more work than my normal hairstyle, I definitely only do it for special occasions!


  17. susie miller says

    I love my curling wand; it’s so easy! And they stay until the next day if you have thinner hair like I do. I always curl my hair and then flip my hair over and run my fingers through it before I hairspray. So much easier than using a straightener to curl! Good luck!

    P.s. I’m thinking about trying body pump at my YMCA… any tips?!


  18. Mandy says

    Hello! Do you think you will ever be posting a water fitness workout on your blog? I would LOVE to be able to do some exercises this summer when I am at the pool! It would be a nice break from doing the same workouts in the gym all the time.


  19. says

    I have that wand and use it at least once a week, but it took me a little while to learn how to use it! The first time I tried it out, I wrapped my hair around the wand too tightly and looked like Goldilocks! Now I’m more careful to leave my hair loose around the wand…it’s so hot that it will hold its curl for a loooong time (like 2 or 3 days if you can go without washing your hair that long) with no hairspray. Just don’t hold your hair too tight or you will have ringlets! Good luck :)


  20. Cally says

    Hi Julie!

    As always I love reading your blog :). I am an avid hair curler – when I don’t straighten it, I scrunch it or add curls with a wand. I just retired my older curling wand and went with the Cortex 4 in 1. It is INCREDIBLE. I have recommended it to everyone and so far, everyone loves it as much as I do! It comes with 4 sizes, and it’s not as expensive as the other 4 in ones. It heats up within seconds (which makes getting ready for work a breeze) and also has a protective glove. I’ve burned myself a couple of times, but other than that I’m obsessed with the results :)


  21. Summer says

    I find the glove to be more trouble than help however, I have VERY thick hair which protects me from burning myself some. I know you have mentioned having thinner hair, so I wanted to give you the tip to use some kind of heat protectant spray before curling to protect your hair from the heat. Those wands get VERY hot and can quickly damage your hair. (Everyone should do this, not just people with thin hair). The one time I didn’t I lost a big clump of my hair with my wand. We are currently “on a break”.


  22. says

    I can’t wait to hear what you think about the curling wand. The last time I got my haircut, my stylist recommended I get one to style my hair; however, I’m scared of having a burning hair problem like the video above. LOL


  23. Becca says

    I like big, waves in my hair and always felt like the small curling wands gave me tight waves. So, I bought a curling iron that had a bigger barrel and just took the clamp off…instant curling wand.


  24. says

    I had my hairstylist demo using the curling wand for me, and I felt like it gave me Shirley-Temple-ish curls. I might get a large barrel one instead of the thin ones everyone sells. I used my 2″ curling iron without the clip and it worked much much better, gave me the beachy waves I wanted. Definitely use the glove, though! Burned fingers are not fun!



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