|May 15th, 2013||Gear, Reviews|
You all know how much I love my compression socks. They’re amazing when I’ve completed a long run (which hasn’t happened in SO long), because they help circulate the blood and assist with muscle recovery.
After my half marathon, I wore compression socks for the next few days. I even wore them to work under my pants with my winter boots.
Since we have warmer weather & I hope to start running again VERY SOON, I realized that I can’t exactly wear compression socks under my pants with open toed wedges or other summer-time shoes.
… until I was introduced to compression sleeves.
The new Reflect Compression Leg Sleeves by Zensah offer front and back visibility with 400% more reflectivity than any other compression sleeves on the market. So if you like running during early morning, evening, or dark hour runs, these sleeves will keep you visible! Additional benefits include calf support, shin splint relief, faster recovery, and reduced fatigue.
I really enjoy these sleeves because although they are have pretty tight compression, they don’t hurt if I wear them to bed. Initially, I thought that since they didn’t cover my feet and they cut off at the ankle, they would be really tight and uncomfortable… but that is not the case! Sometimes I forget that I even have them on.
Key Features & Specs
They are available in 5 colors: neon green (as shown above), black, neon pink, neon orange and neon yellow. You’ll be sure to find a color to match your favorite running skirt
If you’re interested in purchasing Zensah Reflect Compression Leg Sleeves, you can get them from their website for $39.99 a pair. They come in three sizes: XS/S, S/M, L/XL.
FTC: The compression sleeves were provided by Zensah for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Talk to Me
- Do you own compression sleeves?
- How often do you wear compression material after working out?
- If you had to pick one color to buy, which would you choose?
|February 27th, 2013||Beauty, Reviews|
I’ve always been a huge fan of The Body Shop because of what they stand for. The Body Shop is against animal testing! All of their products are animal cruelty free and vegetarian. Another amazing quality is that they launched Community Fair Trade in 1987. That is their commitment to trading fairly with suppliers. The Body Shop uses small-scale farmers, traditional artisans and rural co-ops that are experts in their field. In exchange they offer good trading practices and prices.
The Body Shop has 5 Core Values:
- Support community trade
- Defend human rights
- Against animal testing
- Activate self-esteem
- Protect our planet
I was thrilled when I was given the opportunity to try out some of The Body Shop products! I already own one of their lip glosses and couldn’t wait to try out some of their bath items. I’ve integrated most of these products into my nightly routine (some I use every night and others only sparingly). For the purpose of this post, I’ll only talk about the items that I’m using every single night and/or day.
1. Coconut Body Scrub. The scrub leaves the skin smelling just fresh coconuts! It’s made from organic, virgin, cold-pressed Community Trade coconut oil and coconut milk, and organic Community Trade babassu oil to help restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
I’ve been using this every night with a warm wash cloth. I’ve noticed that my skin is so much softer and actually glows more.
2. Nutriganics Soothing Eye Cream. I’ve been on the hunt for a while for a nice eye cream. I don’t need anything right now for wrinkles, but I could use something that is hydrating for the thin skin under my eyes. (At some point I WILL definitely need a wrinkle cream). In the mean time, this works wonders. The cream contains organic red grapes from Frank, plantain and elderflower from Switzerland and organic buddleji and thyme from Switzerland.
I’ve been using this product every night and every morning. I’m using the Bobbi Brown corrector and concealer to conceal dark under eye circles, and I’ve found that unless the skin there is super hydrated, the makeup cakes up very quickly. Using this eye cream has been a blessing!
3. Absinthe Purifying Hand Cream. The hand cream from their new Absinthe line is perfect for the mornings. It does have a strong fragrance of bergamot, petit grain and neroli. This is why I can’t use this product at night. It’s a bit too strong for my liking, however it’s perfect for mornings! It definitely does leave my hands moisturized and feeling fresh.
FTC: All of the items above were provided by The Body Shop for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever tried out The Body Shop’s products?
- What is your favorite body scrub to use at night?
- Do you use an eye cream? If so, which one?
|January 22nd, 2013||Reviews|
The other day when I went to Target, I came across candy bars. No, not just any candy bars but an all natural candy bar, called UNREAL. I bought two bars: UNREAL77 and UNREAL5. UNREAL77 is comparable to a Reese’s and the UNREAL5 is like a Milky Way. Other flavors include UNREAL54 (peanut MnMs), UNREAL41 (MnMs) and UNREAL8 (snickers).
The great thing about these bars (besides tasting amazing?)
- no corn syrup
- no partially hydrogenated oil
- no artificial ingredients
- no GMOs
- no preservatives
- low glycemic index
Let’s take a look at some stats.
Ingredients: milk chocolate (cane sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milk powder, organic blue agave inulin, skim milk powder, soy lecithin, vanilla extract), peanut butter (dry roasted peanuts, icing sugar, palm fruit oil, salt), cane sugar, organic palm fruit oil, peanut flour, blue agave inulin, whey protein isolate, salt, soy lecithin
Ingredients: milk chocolate (cane sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milk powder, organic blue agave inulin, skim milk, soy lecithin, vanilla extract) caramel (tapioca syrup, cane sugar, fructan, organic palm kernel oil, whey, milk protein concentrate, organic cream, vanilla extract, salt, soy lecithin), tapioca syrup, cane sugar, milk protein concentrate, organic palm kernel oil, skim milk powder, cocoa powder, salt, hydrolyzed milk protein, evaporated cane syrup, soy lecithin, vanilla extract
In my opinion the candy bars taste similar to Milky Way and Reese’s. Bryan thought otherwise. However, I will say that the UNREAL5 had a strange aftertaste, but nothing too terrible. I’m not a fan of Hershey’s chocolate, so I actually really enjoyed these bars! The chocolate tasted so much better than Hershey’s!
The peanut butter in the UNREAL77 was much creamier than Reese’s. If you’ve ever had a Reese’s (which I’m probably sure you have), you know that the peanut butter is grainy. The UNREAL77 has a much smoother texture, which I really enjoyed!
So where can you buy them? I bought mine from Target, but I’ve also seen the bars at CVS, BJs and Michaels. For a list of stores in your area, please go to the UNREAL website.
FTC: I purchased these bars with my own money. All opinions are my own.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever tried UNREAL candy?
- What’s your favorite candy bar?
- Are you a milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate fan?
|December 5th, 2012||Dinner, Food, Reviews|
Now that we have a wedding to save for, date nights out at restaurants won’t occur that often. Entrees at chain restaurants cost at least $10-15 and fancier restaurants can be up to $40 plus! However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t do date night in!
Some of my favorite memories with Bryan have been nights when we just relax at home, cook a nice meal and watch Netflix. I don’t get home from work until 6pm each night so I don’t like complicated recipes after a long day.
If you feel the same way, these options allow you to decrease time in the kitchen and increase time spent with your loved ones.
The appetizer we chose was VERY easy to make. In fact, there was no cooking at all – cheese and crackers! The cheese we picked out was Emmi’s Kaltbach Le Gruyere Switzerland. This block of cheese is a true Swiss with a crumbly body. It has a salty taste at first, but then ends with a lingering sweet finish. It’s great with a bold red wine!
Usually I wouldn’t grab a frozen dinner at the grocery store. I haven’t found one that really wowed me. However, the Contessa World Cuisine brand offers many options and they are pretty amazing. Our grocery store didn’t have much variety to choose from, but the brand does make them!
I picked out the Shrimp Primavera and Bryan got the Beef Mongolian. Let’s take a look at the ingredients.
The Shrimp Primavera has linguini pasta, veggies (broccoli, carrots, green beans, red bell peppers and garlic), shrimp and a light butter sauce. The Beef Mongolian contains veggies (green beans, onions, water chestnuts and garlic), cooked long grain white rice, seasoned beef sirloin and a soy sauce marinade.
The sodium content is high on these, so I wouldn’t eat these meals everyday. We did enjoy them though, and plan to keep these in our freezer for a quick meal.
Contessa World Cuisine products are minimally processed and contain:
- No msg
- No trans-fat
- No artificial colors or flavors
- No preservatives
What better way to end your date night in than with fondue?! We picked the Swiss Fondue from Emmi. Fondue is perfect because you don’t need a fondue pot – just use your stove top! This version is a traditional Swiss chocolate and contains bittersweet chocolate, natural flavor, white chocolate and sunflower oil.
FTC: I received the above items for review. No compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.
Talk to Me
- What’s your favorite appetizer for a date night in?
- Have you tried Contessa World Cuisine? What did you think?
- What is your favorite flavor of chocolate fondue? I’m a milk chocolate gal.
|November 29th, 2012||Fitfluential, Reviews|
During my half marathon training, although I had originally planned to do yoga as cross training… I never did it. That being said, I haven’t done a yoga sequence or attended a class in months!
That was until this morning.
I had the Tara Stiles Ultimate Yoga DVD Series sitting in my TV unit for a few weeks now just waiting for the perfect moment to try them out. Yesterday for work I had to take a short plane ride from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh for a meeting, and then a plane back to Philadelphia by way of NYC. The layover wasn’t long at all, but it was frustrating to know that we basically had to pass Philadelphia to get to NYC.
With everything that happened yesterday, I knew I needed the morning to myself. I was able to go to work a bit later than usual this morning, so I popped in the Tara Stiles AM/PM Yoga for Everyone DVD!
The DVD has four different flow options for you to choose from: AM yoga in bed (can’t wait to do this one!), Daily Flow, Energy Flow, and PM yoga in bed. I did the Daily Flow sequence and enjoyed every minute of it. I lit some candles, turned off the lights, and had time to just focus on myself.
Her DVDs are great because they are basically an encyclopedia that embraces every aspect of yoga: movement, strength building, stress reduction, relaxation, and convenience.
Tara designed the program to make yoga accessible and approachable for everyone, while incorporating it into anyone’s schedule. I’ve been a huge fan of Tara Stiles for years now and find her sequences doable for yogis of any level.
I’m pretty sure I’ll be doing the PM yoga in bed tonight!
FTC: I received these DVDs for review through Fitfluential, LLC. No other compensation has been provided.
Talk to Me
- Do you like to do yoga or fitness DVDs at home or do you prefer in-person classes? I know I prefer in-person classes, but DVDs at home give you more flexibility if you had a tight schedule.
- What’s your favorite type of yoga?
- How often do you practice?
|November 27th, 2012||Gear, Reviews, Running|
I haven’t gone for a run since the Half Marathon, so there isn’t much to post about running. However I do want to tell you about the Zensah Smart Touch Running Gloves. A representative from Zensah asked me if I’d like to try out their gloves for the half marathon, and of course I said YES! I’d be looking for a pair of gloves to wear and had no luck until I saw these.
The gloves are great because they have the iTip technology, which allows you to use your iPhone or other touch-screen devices. When I found out that little fact, I was sold! I hate when I go for a run in the winter and I have to take off my gloves to flip through my music.
During the half marathon, I wore the gloves for the first few miles until my whole body started to warm up. The gloves are very breathable and keep your hands warm but not too warm. I think these are perfect for running, but probably not too great for your everyday commute. I prefer to have fleece or leather gloves for the day-to-day, but I will keep these gloves around for my outdoor runs this season.
The gloves also have silicon gripping on the palm of each glove to keep your devices in place. Although a minor detail, I find this to be critical. There’s nothing worse than wearing gloves and have your expensive iPhone slip out of your hands and onto the ground.
I don’t typically run at night, but if you do these gloves also have reflective stripes for increased visibility.
For $29.99 you can’t really beat these gloves. They are the perfect holiday present for the runner in your life.
Talk to Me
- What winter gear do you wear when you run outside?
- Have you ever tried gloves with iTip technology?
- How long do you typically keep gloves on during your runs?
|November 23rd, 2012||Advice, Reviews|
I gave you a lot of tips in the past on how to eat healthy while working a 9 to 5, but I never addressed how I stay organized at work.
If you saw my office right now, you’d think it looked shabby chic with the exposed brick walls. However, you’d also notice that I don’t have much stuff in it yet. I got my new job in the middle of September, so I’m still trying to figure out what I want to put into my office.
One thing I do have in my office right now is an organization system. I have a very Type A personality, so I thrive on being organized. If I’m not organized, I can’t seem to stay focused or be productive.
I’ve tried to use a bunch of things to stay organized so I know what works for me. Everyone works differently, but these are top 5 ways to organize your office.
1. Use a letter tray to organize items you need to mail or get approval on.
2. Keep a notebook for your to-do lists. Group tasks by client or project.
3. Keep essential items within reach in a desk caddy. I like to keep a nail file, hair spray, a stapler and my business cards on my desk, because these are items I grab the most often.
small desk caddy c/o MyPrettyOffice.com // $12.00
4. Use iCal or Outlook Calendar to schedule appointments. I like using this calendar because it links up to my personal calendar on my iPhone. Makes scheduling appointments, meetings and happy hours easy!
5. Clean out your inbox at the end of every day. I like to make sure all my inbox items are in specific folders by the end of each day. For instance, I’ll categorize my emails by client and drag each email into the appropriate folder.
FTC: The items from MyPrettyOffice.com were sent to me for review. No other compensation has been provided. All opinion are my own.
Talk to Me
- What are your tricks of the trade to saying organized at work?
- How do you write down your to-do lists? On paper, on a computer, on your cell?
- What’s the one thing you wish you could be more productive on during the day?
|November 13th, 2012||Reviews, Running|
You know how much I love my ProCompression Marathon socks. I wear them anytime that I need extra recovery or support at night or during a long run. I’ve been looking for a shorter sock for my lower mileage runs, and then I found Swiftwick. I received the socks at the Runner’s World Half Festival and I couldn’t wait to try them!
Aspire Zero Compression Socks
The socks that I have are the Aspire Zero Compression. Here are some of my initial thoughts:
- These socks look small.
- These socks are soft.
- Wow, these socks really stretch to fit.
- I love these socks.
These socks are marketed towards a narrow foot, but I have pretty wide feet and they fit perfectly. Let’s take a look at the technology of this sock:
- No seams at the toe
- Olefin toe and heel making it a lighter and thinner sock
- Double covered with multi-filament T-66 nylon and wrapping core spandex to hold shape and deliver arch support
- Olefin footbed – T-66 throughout the sock, olefin content at 39% or more making a high quality compression
- Y-Heel contour
- Thin channeled upper allowing air flow with less bulk in your shoe
- Double welt compression cuff at ankle
Before getting these socks, the only socks I wore were 100% cotton (with the occasional run in my ProCompression socks). You can definitely tell the difference when you slip on these socks. They do exactly what the website says they will. They keep my feet dry and don’t bunch at the heel or toe in my sneakers, which is very important. I’ve worn them probably 10x since receiving the sock and they are still the same shape as the first time I took them out of the package. Some socks tend to stretch at the ankle, but not these.
The socks are knitted at 200 needles making them the highest density you’ll find. The high needle count does not allow train debris or other materials to penetrate through your sock. The high-gauge construction produces a softer, denser, and more durable garment.
Made in the USA
Swiftwick makes all these products in Tennessee and allows the company to really take a look at how their products are being made. Swiftwick’s American factory improves quality control, while employing an American workforce.
You can purchase these socks for only $11.99 from the Swiftwick website.
FTC: I was given a pair of Swiftwick socks for review at the Runner’s World Half Festival. All opinions are my own. No compensation was given.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever worn a pair of socks from Swiftwick?
- Do you wear compression socks during your run? After? Or Both?
- How many pairs of compression socks do you own?
|November 5th, 2012||Gear, Reviews, Running|
Instead of doing my usual weekend recap this morning, I wanted to make sure I mentioned these amazing products that I’ve been wearing a LOT during my runs.
While I was at Runner’s World Half Festival, I was able to try some new running gear. Two of the things I picked up were the FreeMotion Performance Apparel “Wind” Jacket and a headband from Sweaty Bands.
FreeMotion Performance Apparel Wind Jacket
I’ve been looking for a running jacket for quite some time so I knew I’d be wearing this jacket a lot. Bryan already makes fun of me, because I always seem to be wearing it. It’s extremely comfortable, what can I say?!
According to the website,
“We’re not going to lie. This is the cutest workout jacket ever. We’ve layered a lightweight crop windbreaker over a soft, supple jacket to bring some fashion and flair to fitness. And, since life doesn’t stop after the gym, you could wear this everywhere. The sleeve cuffs are extra wide and super stretchy. Push them up so you can get down.”
I’d say this is 100% true.
The one thing that I do want to point out is that I love that the jacket is on the longer side. I have a pretty long torso and it’s always been a problem finding tops that don’t fit like a belly shirt. I’m not lying. There’s nothing worse than running in the cooler months with a top that creeps up in the back- leaving space for freezing air. No thank you.
I’m also loving the gorgeous colors on this jacket. Most of my work out gear is black, so it’s nice to have a pop of color every now and then. The jacket literally matches with almost 100% of my work out bottoms. The only thing it doesn’t match are my neon green Nike Tempo Shorts. But maybe I’ll feel adventurous next spring and bust out all of these colors at once.
Another amazing thing about this jacket (there are many things, I know) are the sleeve cuffs. I love how stretchy they are and how they are also really long. They keep my wrists warm and I don’t have to worry about my sleeves coming up thanks to the thumb holes. Perfection!
You can purchase this jacket for $99 by going to the FreeMotion website.
Have you ever been on a run when you have to fix your hair multiple times because it keeps getting into your face? Have you ever worn a headband that kept falling back on your head? I know I have and although I do love my Lululemon anti-slip headband, I was looking for other options.
Enter in: Sweaty Bands.
The inside of the band is a soft, fuzzy material, similar to velvet. This makes the band anti-slip and I love it. I’ve been wearing it on every run since I first got the headband, and I haven’t been happier. I love the embroidery on the top of the headband, because it’s different than any other headband I’ve ever seen.
The headbands range from $15-$18, which is pricey, but you can purchase on the Sweaty Bands website. The quality of these headbands make it worth the purchase. I know I’ll have this headband for many years and races to come.
Talk to Me
- What is your favorite place to purchase headbands?
- Do you have a wind jacket that you like to run in? What does it look like?
- Tell me about a piece of running clothing that you seem to always wear.
|October 31st, 2012||Gear, Half Marathon Training, Reviews, Running|
By now you all know that I got to attend the Runner’s World Half Festival in Bethlehem PA a few weekends ago. It was the first time I met up with other healthy living bloggers and it was definitely an event to remember. Want to read my recaps so far and get caught up on this madness?
This, my friends, is Part 3 of my recap from that awesome event! I received a bunch of awesome goodies to test out on my blog. But one item that I tried out right away is this little gem. If you’re a runner or athlete in general, you’re going to really appreciate what I’m going to tell you…
THE STICK IS AMAZING.
What is The Stick?
The stick is also referred to as the “toothbrush for muscles.” It’s a device used to compress and stretch your muscles. It treats muscle pain and trigger points.
Some benefits associated with the Stick:
- Prevents and predicts muscle injuries
- Dramatically improves strength, flexibility, and endurance
- Rapidly prepares muscles for activity
- Disperses the effects of lactic acid
- Accelerates muscles recovery!
Which Stick is best for me?
The company offers a range of Sticks to choose from based on your body type and the reasons for using the Stick. Here is a graphic that outlines the different Sticks they offer and details about each one.
How do you use The Stick?
It’s pretty self explanatory, but after you do a hard run (or really any workout), you use The Stick to massage any muscle that needs it! I like using this on my calves and hamstrings after a long run to speed recovery!
Which Stick did I choose?
I chose the Stiff Stick because I wanted something that would be firm enough for a deep massage, but could be used for lighter massages as well.
I’ve been using the Stick after my runs and I notice a significant difference the next day when I use it. I love this because I don’t even need to lay on the floor to use it. I used it on the floor in the photo below because the photo came out better than when I used it on my couch (blogger secret!).
I enjoy The Stick over my foam roller because:
- I don’t need to lay on the floor to use it. I can lay on the couch and use it while I’m watching TV.
- It travels a LOT easier.
- It targets my legs and gives it a deeper massage.
For more information on The Stick and where to purchase, check out The Stick website.
FTC: I was given a complimentary stick for review at the Runner’s World Half Festival. All opinions are my own. No compensation was given.
Talk to Me
- Have you ever tried The Stick?
- Which Stick are you interested in trying?
- What type of recovery method do you do post-runs? Ice bath, foam roller, other?