Reviews

I’m on the team: Nuun Ambassador 2015

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Nuun-Flavor-LineupI’m very excited that I was accepted as Nuun Ambassador for next year! I started using Nuun a few years ago when I someone gave me some to add to my water to help rehydrate after a race I had done. If you aren’t familiar with Nuun- they are these drink tabs that you add to water that enhance it with electrolytes to help keep you hydrated. They don’t have all the additives or high sugar content like Gatorade or other sports/energy drinks.  That’s what I liked about them to begin with – they don’t have all of that crap added to it. I also like that the tabs don’t overpower my water with a sugary, sweet taste.

Here’s some more info from the Nuun product page.

What does being an ambassador mean?

To be on Team Nuun, you need to be passionate about staying hydrated, no matter the activity or sport.  I applied and was just notified that I’m on the 2015 team! I’m excited and happy to help spread the word about Nuun.  So stay tuned throughout the year, as I share info, pictures and resources about hydration and Nuun!

Nuun Ambassador 2015

 

 

Blast Motion: Blast Athletic Performance Smart Video Capture

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Blast Motion - Athletic PerformanceOne of the unplanned perks of my blog is that nice business owners send me products or samples from time to time to try out. I get lots of offers for products and I definitely pick and choose which ones I accept. If it doesn’t align with what I believe or am about – then I don’t accept it even when most times, the vendors do not place any sort of expectations on accepting the product. For example, diet pills are not something I would ever review, recommend or promote. It’s not a part of living a healthy and fit life according to me… so it would be a no go.

The latest product I have been sent is from Blast Motion. It’s a Smart Video Capture tool that allows you to analyze, compare and share your movements.

From their website: Blast Athletic Performance

The easy to use app not only records as you move, but allows you to share your highlights instantly with friends.

  • Precision Motion Sensor easily and securely attaches to the waistband of your clothing
  • Connects to your iPhone, iPad or iPod via Low Energy Bluetooth.
  • Smart Video Capture tracks metrics while you move.  Video is saved into your personal history as shareable clips synced with movement data.
  • Detect key events and identify trends by viewing movement history.
  • Capture performance metrics and detect key events like acceleration, rotation and jump height.
  • Tracks and stores moves when the sensor is out of range
  • Instantly share your stats via Facebook, Twitter, and E-mail without leaving the Blast App.

I downloaded the app for my iPad/iPhone and am connecting the sensor to my tablet today. I can see this being a great tool to help with my oly lifts and some other HIIT movements. I will post a follow up with my thoughts in the next week or so, so stay tuned!

Thanks to Blast Motion for sending me the Athletic Performance Precision Motion Sensor.  Even though I received it for Free, there was no expectation on their part to influence my review. My opinions here are my own. 

Related Link: Initial Press Release: C Spire and Blast Motion Partner to Offer State-of-the-Art Motion Technology Products to Improve Athletic Performance 

Win An Autographed One Direction: Looks Make Up Collection

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One Direction at NationalsA few weeks ago, I took HB to her first concert - One Direction at Nationals Stadium. It was just as you would imagine it would be — lots of young girls, screaming, crying, singing along in their 1D schwag. There were a ton of Moms bopping along and Dads sitting in their seats wondering how they got roped into taking their daughters.

I’m not going to lie — I really enjoyed the event. It brought back a lot of memories of being a Duran Duran loving tween. And my 12 year old daughter LOVED it.

I took a lot of photos during the show – click on the concert pic below to see my One Direction photo gallery on Facebook.

One Direction at Nationals 2014 Washington DC

One Direction “The Looks Collection”

One Direction seems to be taking over the world just like Duran Duran did in the 80’s.  Case in point, just released:

2rSpCEMS1yQZYHpYNSvw_MM CollectionThe affordable limited edition One Direction “The Looks Collection” cosmetics collection was created to be fun and bold and a tad mischievous – like Harry Styles, right?

Backed by Markwins International, it’s now available at Macy’s! I was asked to spread the word about a special giveaway to win one of these really cool Looks Collection sets autographed by the band. That’s right – signed by Niall, Harry, Liam, Zayn and Louis!! How happy would you or your daughter be if you won!? Details and entry method info are at the bottom of this post.

Brandbacker: One Direction Macy's Collection “The Looks Collection” comprises three keepsake tins inspired by One Direction’s globe-conquering albums, “Up All Night, “Take Me Home” and the latest chart topper, ‘Midnight Memories.” Each tin comes complete with everything you need to show off your personality. Are you a rock n’ roll girl, a fun party girl or the girl next door? We have just the right collection for you and illustrations to help show you just how to get your perfect look. All your beauty essentials are housed in a LIMITED EDITION collectible keepsake tin with removable sleeve, complete with ONE DIRECTION doodle stencils to decorate your keepsake tin and make it uniquely your own! “

Win a Looks Collection set autographed by the band!

Giveaway Details:

If the giveaway widget doesn’t load, click here


Thanks to BrandBacker for sponsoring this post & offering me an opportunity to spread the word. 

Women’s Running Magazine: National Running Day 2014

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Running Magazine OfferDid you know that today – June 4th is National Running Day?

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Women’s Running magazine asked for help to get the word out about a special subscription offer to their magazine for today only —

Women’s Running is the world’s largest women-specific running magazine.

Women’s Running covers all aspects of the running lifestyle, from active beauty needs to training plans. The Women’s Running mission is simple: to create a high-quality magazine for smart, successful women who use running to balance and enrich their lives. Women’s Running features quality editorial that motivates women to train intelligently, participate in active travel, adopt healthy nutrition habits and keep moving.

Women’s Running Magazine: National Running Day offer 

National Running Day Offer: Subscribe or renew today only for $1 an issue

I have not been shy about sharing the fact that running is one of my least favorite activities. I know that means it’s something I need to work on. I’m all about working weaknesses, so I started running a few weeks ago again– and have signed up for a 5K in July at Reston Town Center.  I’m lucky that I live so close to the W&OD trail – so the scenery makes the running worth it for sure.

If you need more motivation to start running,  here’s some info about the benefits of running: 

Benefits of Running

 

Disclosure: I am sharing this information in exchange for goods provided by Women’s Running. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the brand or company. 

What Do You Feed Your Dog?

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TaliaI am in the process of considering rescuing a dog — I don’t really want a puppy, dealing with the dreaded puppy stage. I know they are cute and all but I would rather skip that part and find a two-three year old doggy in need of a good home.

Did you know that according to the American Pet Products Association, 164 million Americans owned dogs in 2012? That’s a lot of dogs!!

Here are some other interesting facts about dog ownership in the US that I didn’t know:

  • 83.3 million – Number of owned dogs
  • 47% – of households own at least one dog
  • 70% – of owners have one dog
  • 20% – of owners have two dogs
  • 10% – of owners have three or more dogs
  • 1.47 – the average number of owned dogs per household
  • 20% – of owned dogs were adopted from animal shelters

What Do You Feed Your Dog?

All of this info got me thinking about what people feed their beloved best friends. I can only imagine what’s in the regular dog food you get at the store -and I know a ton of friends who have dogs with allergies. It has to be something related to what we are feeding them…

We should be feeding our dogs a healthy, natural diet, just like we should eat! So, when Wellness Pet Food reached out to me asking if I would highlight their dog food, I agreed because I think we all should be eating healthier, including our pets. Their Wellness Pet Foodrecipes do not include added artificial colors, flavors or ingredients. Sounds a lot like how I recommend eating!

While Wellness might not be as widely-known as some of the more mainstream brands of dog food, their devotion to quality and natural, high-quality ingredients makes their food safe, wholesome and beneficial to pets’ health and well being.

Are you curious about how Wellness Dog Food compares to what you are currently buying for your dog?  Visit their “Check Your Bag” website, where you can compare their natural dog food to some competitors who claim to be natural.

Curious to give it a try? Connect with their free online program, Naturally Well Pet Community, to get savings offers, fun contests and helpful tips about keeping your pets happy and healthy.

And follow them on Facebook and Twitter (use hashtags #naturaldogfood, #checkyourbag or #wellness or #lovemydog) to find out even more info about their devotion to keeping pets happy and healthy.

Benefits of Wellness® Complete Health® Pet Food

  • Live Active Probiotics – Added after the cooking process to promote a healthy intestinal tract and overall digestive health at guaranteed levels

  • Omega 3 & 6 Mix – Offering guaranteed levels of essential fatty acids for cellular function and healthy skin

  • Essential Vitamins & Minerals – Designed for cellular health, immunity and disease resistance

  • Fruit & Veggie Antioxidants – A proactive step in improving your pet’s nutrition

  • Rigorous Safety Testing – A Quality Assurance program that maintains strict standards for food safety

  • Excellent Nutritional Standards – Every batch of dry food is tested throughout the entire manufacturing process, from its basic ingredients to the finished products

Here is a store locator to help you find out which stores near you carry Wellness Pet Food and/or where you can buy it online.

We love our pets as if they were our children, so it’s hard to understand why anyone would cheap out and buy processed-who-knows-what for them to eat. Let me know what your dog thinks of Wellness Pet Food after they try it…

 

 

 

Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Wellness Complete Health Pet Food for this post. Any opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience. 

 

Greg Everett’s American Weightlifting

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I loved the workout programmed today. It was all about endurance!  I love when a workout really challenges me mentally. It had broad jumps, hang squat cleans and slam balls and the combo left me breathless – so I really have to focus on steadying my breath and continue on. Again, it’s one of the things I love about CrossFit. I get challenged every single day I walk in. How many of us are just going through the motions day in and day out and if they stopped and really thought about it — they would realize they thrive on being challenged and learning new things. We are so caught up in the day to day. I force myself out of my comfort zone daily and you should too!

american weightlifting - the filmThis past weekend, I watched a really interesting documentary called American Weightlifting.

American Weightlifting introduces us to the people, the passion, the dedication and the reality of the sport of Olympic Weightlifting in the US.

The sport is extremely popular internationally, with many countries supporting their professional lifters during their training. In the US, it has not received nearly enough attention compared to the more popular US sports of Football and Basketball. Most talented Olympic lifters and coaches must train on their own and pay their own way to success, giving the international lifting community a distinct advantage during competitions.

The benefits of adding in Strength work and Olympic lifting – including the clean and jerk and snatch – have proven time and time again to benefit athletes of all sports.  The sport loses out on many possible stand-out lifters, because many times younger athletes who are developing, opt for the more popular sports because they are able to obtain scholarships and receive more recognition.

Throughout the documentary, you are introduced to some of the pioneers of the sport and within the first few minutes of meeting them, their passion shines through. They love their sport. Weightlifting is not about making money to them – it’s about really doing something they love. They have seen it change people’s lives, including their own. Each athlete and/or coach we meet along the way is changing someone’s life.

Created by Coach Greg Everett, owner of Catalyst Athletics, publisher of the Performance Menu Journal and coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team in California and a very well respected Olympic Lifting coach. He made this documentary on his own – a one man show.- and after watching it, you can feel how much he loves the sport.

As a CrossFitter who has been introduced to Oly lifting and as someone who wants to learn more about the sport – I loved it. The people highlighted are the coaches I have heard of and have always looked to for inspiration and instruction. But more than that – I love hearing from people who love what they do and have found something that they are so passionate about – they put all their effort and drive into making it into something that changes lives. Many people out there won’t understand it – but it’s goes much deeper than just lifting heavy shit. It’s about understanding how your body moves, it’s about discipline, it’s about mental grit, it’s about sheer will.  To choose a sport that very few people understand or even care about — and pursue it despite all of that, means you really have found your thing. And I am always fascinated by people who are doing what they are meant to do, what they are born to do, who have found their purpose. So few of us really do.

Before CrossFit, I did not know anything about weightlifting. But having been at it for 5+ years now, weightlifting is probably one of the greatest, most challenging things I have done. When you hit a lift right – it’s exhilarating and it feels like the stars align. And it makes it that much harder to accept when your lifts aren’t happening.

CrossFit has brought a tremendous amount attention to this sport — but keep in mind that attending a weekend Oly Lifting Trainer’s course does not a good coach make.

I know, I am rambling but it really is a life changing experience when you start lifting – for a woman, it’s a badass feeling that stays with you and carries into so many other facets of your life.

That’s my review of this documentary – for more information about this documentary, here are some links from people in the sport of weightlifting:

The folks at Catalyst Athletics provided me with pre-screening access, but the actual documentary is available NOVEMBER 16TH! If you have the slightest interest in weightlifting, I highly recommend checking it out.

October is Fair Trade Month

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Today while we were running as a part of the workout, I couldn’t help but notice the absolutely gorgeous sunrise. It reminded me of Tucson, Arizona — just amazing. That is one of the best parts of being up so early in the morning. You miss that if you sleep in!

A small change in my blog to share: I am no longer going to be sharing my exact workout WODs publicly. The reason I post them is really for my own personal record keeping and unless it’s a benchmark or I have something amazing to share directly related to it — I will post. If you have to know what I did — I am going to have them, just posted privately.

I did work on muscle up progressions again today — and I was able to complete one part of the movement — I’m making progress!

I am always looking for ways to give back – locally and globally. And I think all efforts count – big, small, personal or more global. On that note, yesterday, I received a really cool box of stuff from Klout.

Fair Trade

Your Klout Score is a 1-100 number showing how influential you are online. It’s not a matter of having a ton of online followers, it’s how interactive and engaged you and they are that determines your score. The higher the score, the more influential you are considered. And for me – I try very hard to stick to what I love and am passionate about. So, I am influential around CrossFit, Health and Fitness, Parenting, Social Media, Marketing and related stuff.

And your score can fluctuate depending on how active you are in any given week or what you are posting. Anyway, based on my score, I am offered these things called Perks on occasion and depending on what it is, I can accept the offer or not. The cool thing is – you aren’t pressured to make up lies about what you receive or really expected to do anything. The companies that send the stuff are hoping you will like it enough to mention it to the people in your circles, but you don’t have to.

I don’t accept everything that is offered either. For me, this blog and what I share is a labor of love – so I don’t want to muck it up for a free whatever it is if it doesn’t align with my philosophy or belief. Then how can you trust me with everything I share?

The box yesterday, contained products that are all Fair Trade Certified. It was sent to help bring awareness around Fair Trade since October is Fair Trade Month.

According to their websiteFair Trade goods are just that. Fair. From far-away farms to your shopping cart, products that bear our logo come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. We help farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. We’re a nonprofit, but we don’t do charity. Instead, we teach disadvantaged communities how to use the free market to their advantage. With Fair Trade USA, the money you spend on day-to-day goods can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives.

Sounds pretty good right? When you are out shopping, look for products with a Fair Trade Certified label on them and you are helping. Here’s a video that explains it a bit more:

There are some great products that are fair trade certified too: Archer Farms which I find at Target all the time, Larabars, Prana, and a really yummy package of Bark Thins – dark chocolate, peanuts to name a few.

Anyway – some good products and a way to help some other people around the world out. Sounds like a win/win for us all.

 

Klout Disclosure:

I was given a free product because I am a Klout influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company. 

 

Planet Spooky at Kings Dominion

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Planet Snoopy - Kings DominonSaturday, after Nate’s football game and my workout, we headed to Kings Dominion to check out their Planet Spooky event*. I wish we had left earlier to avoid the horrible traffic on 95 and of course there was an accident so it took forever – but we got there eventually. It was a gorgeous day too — upper 80s, maybe even 90.

When we arrived, we picked up our tickets at Guest Services. Along with the tickets, they gave each of us with a Planet Snoopy drawstring bag – which HB and Nate loved! Looking at the time we had, we decided to check out the Dinosaurs first.

Trick or Treat with the Dinosaurskings dominion

I have never seen this attraction before, so it was cool to see these gigantic dinosaurs complete with sound effects and movement. As you walk through, you get the feeling you are actually walking around where Dinosaurs actually live thanks to the all the special effects. As you are walking through, they have trick or treat stations where they give out candy and/or other treats.


Oh, I forgot to mention that some of the dinosaurs have their own specially fitted costumes – one was a wizard, one a clown, one a bunny…

Kings Dominion charges an extra $5 to do this attraction – if you haven’t seen this attraction before, it’s pretty cool. Very realistic looking dinosaurs and candy for the kids. (They did have non candy treats available upon request.)

Then we headed to Planet Spooky in the younger kids area – we didn’t get to hit all the special attractions set up but the ones we did – the kiddos loved including the Pig Pen’s People Washer:

people washer

All the normal rides were open too – so the kids drove the cars, went on the swings and the mini-roller coasters and the lines weren’t long at all.

As part of Planet Spooky, there was a petting zoo set up with Polish Chickens, Baby Pigs, Goats and more. The Polish Chicken seemed to really get comfy on my arm –falling asleep for a few seconds.

Kings Dominion

As the day was winding down, the kids kept asking if they could stay for the evening attraction of Haunt. They could handle it they said. So around 630P, the park started to get foggy, the lights were going dim and by 7P -the park was transformed into a spooky, creepy haunted park. As we walked through and hit our first zombie, HB went hysterical with fear. Guess what? She couldn’t handle it –and we high tailed our butts out of the park as she had a mini-breakdown the entire way out.  They have zombies walking throughout the park so as we were leaving, one in particular zeroed in on her fear and went for it. HB fell to the ground super scared — and it was over. We couldn’t get her calmed down. I had to take her off to the side, near a store entrance and tell her to pull it together – didn’t really work well but well enough to get us out of the park. As a side note – Nate was fine. Go figure!

If you are looking for a fun family road trip – go for it. The lines were short, lots of kid friendly and adult friendly stuff to do – and with the weather the way it has been in the DC metro area, it’s a great experience that the kids will love.

VF11-195-Planet-Spooky-Logo-final

Planet Spooky at Kings Dominion.

Families can enjoy Halloween together with a street party of frightful fun including a petting zoo, foam pit, pumpkin painting and more! Planet Spooky runs every Saturday and Sunday from Sept. 28 – Oct. 27. Activities are from 12:00pm until 5:00pm.

kings dominion*DISCLOSURE: The great folks at Kings Dominion provided my family with free tickets to attend Planet Spooky and Trick or Treating with the Dinosaurs. They in no way requested that I share a specific viewpoint or details of my experience in exchange for the tickets. My opinions and recommendations are my own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

t-rex

All About Gifts and Baskets: Fruit Basket Giveaway

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Spring and Summer are here and it means most of us are eating more fruit!  I have my dehydrator going every day making my new favorite snack –dehydrated fruit. Yum. I was pretty excited to get contacted to help co-host a Fruit Basket giveaway from the fine folks at All About Gifts and Baskets. The giveaway is for a Fruit Basket, Box or Tower valued at up to $100 and it runs through April 28th, 2013. The winner can choose from over 30 fresh and delicious designs including some organic ones from their Fruit Gift Baskets page.

All About Gifts and Baskets has lots of gifts to choose from –including ones on the healthier side! I have been sending gift baskets of fruit to lots of people in recent years in lieu of sending things that they don’t need or necessarily want.  I have never met anyone who didn’t love to get a basket full of fruit, snacks or other stuff.  I personally LOVE them. <hint hint>

And in regards to eating fruit, Spring and summer are my favorite time of year.-I  love strawberries, peaches, nectarines and really good Oranges. Here’s a great resource to find out about when your favorite fruit is in season.

Here are some details about the giveaway and you can enter right on my page!  Good Luck!

Fruit_Basket_Giveaway

Giveaway Rules Summary

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. Any of the options listed for entry are acceptable, and entries per person are limited to the number indicated in this contest form. Entries will be reviewed and any duplicate or incomplete entries will be removed.

If you have issues using the Rafflecopter form, be sure you are running the latest version of your web browser and have the latest update of JavaScript.

NOTE – You must complete the specified entry task in order to be eligible to win the contest.  If you click the entry button without completing the task, your entry will be thrown out (disqualified from winning).

This contest is open to all residents of the 48 Contiguous States and only to those 18 or older.

Winner is picked random from all eligible entries.  The lucky winner will receive their choice of fruit gift basket (valued at up to $100) from this page.

Prize will be fulfilled by the contest sponsor http://www.aagiftsandbaskets.com/.

If you are the lucky winner, you will be notified via email. Winners must respond within three days of being contacted. If you do not respond within that time, another winner will be chosen.

The full list of rules can be found here.

Remember: Sweepstakes ends at midnight EST on April 28, 2013. The sweepstakes winners will be announced by May 5, 2013.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Getting Into The Modern

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17625_495300250526527_2036369235_nYesterday, I was interviewed for a local magazine about being a Modern Mom. I was nominated by one of my dear friends Tina, who I met at the very beginning of my fitness journey.  What’s funny is that magazine is called I am Modern Magazine and it’s geared towards Modern Moms (whatever that means).  I had never been interviewed before so I had no idea what to expect.

I met the writer, Gwen, at CFI in our coach’s office so we could have a quiet place to chat. Gwen is a local writer and you ever just meet someone and just instantly feel connected? Yeah, well that was how it was with her. The conversation just flowed. A mom herself, with three boys – she and I connected on a lot of things and issues relating to health, wellness and parenting.  She also believes strongly in giving back and has started a local non-profit to help underprivileged families called: www.growlearnthrive.org

“Our mission is to help children of financially disadvantaged families to thrive through each developmental phase of their first five years by contributing material needs, providing parental education and support, and stimulating learning and early literacy through exposure to age-appropriate educational toys and books.”

We talked for a long time — and what surprised me was all the emotions me sharing my story with her brought up. I don’t often go back to the actual moments of ‘cancer’ being in our lives, so when I do, it always surprises me.  It seems so long ago and my family was so different back then, but what became clear after talking about it — there were some wonderful things it taught me and fundamentally changed me.  As bad as it was, and as scary as it was — it taught me about perspective, and what’s important, and showed me how much I love Scott and my family. It helped me filter the people in my life, it brought new and amazing people and opportunities and ultimately led me to finding my passion that surrounds me with a group of people that I now call ‘family’.

I hope the story conveys the intentions behind why I do what I do day in and day out — to inspire and support people out there to live a healthy and well life –not just physically, but mentally and not just focused on exercise but on things that make you happy, creating perspective and finding real joy in your life.

Hannah always tells me I am not cool –she says “Mom, get into the modern”, and now, that I will be in I am Modern Magazine – I can confidently say to her -well look, I am!

Here are some interesting things I have been reading about this week:

warmup

  • 600m jog
  • mobility
  • DROM

skill

  • Front Squat

WOD

  • 5×5 Front Squat
    75,95,105,125,145#
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