Monday, September 15, 2014

More 5K Prep #SGMA5K

Today marks the last full week of training before the SGMA 5K. Next week we will be traveling, and obviously we'll still get some extra preparation runs in, but not as long and hard as I've been training the past few weeks! I am very thankful for the cooler weather we finally have, as it makes training outside so much nicer! Now I just come back from running very sweaty, instead of literally dripping sweat wherever I step-yes, it really was that bad for a couple weeks!

First of all, a "new" item I'm using in training this week is my new Tervis Tumbler Water Bottle. I have been a fan of Tervis ever since my first experience with their cups about 7 years ago, and when I discovered they had water bottles, I knew it would be a good one! Of course, I also love the fun designs they offer; for example, mine has goldfish swimming around the bottle. Very bright and fun! (I will be posting a full review and giveaway with a Tervis Water Bottle later this week, so be watching). Anyways, the Tervis bottle is sturdy, holds 24 ounces of water, and has a handy flip-top for easy drinking.

I also added a new piece of clothing to my running outfit-compression socks. I use a compression sleeve for my ankle, but during the first week of training for the 5K, my shins were super-sore. I found a pair of compression socks the next week, and have been using them ever since-with great results! If you ever wonder, "Do those things really work?" Yes, they do!

Of course one necessity for my workouts is some music, which I love being able to bring along thanks to the ArmPocket. I failed to mention last week that the i-15 has audio jack ports strategically placed so that no matter what device you're carrying, you'll be able to plug in a pair of headphones. I also love the little attachment on the side that allows you to stash your earbuds when you're not listening to music, or even take up the slack in your cord while running. It's perfect!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TrailHoppers-The Only Baby Performance Blanket!! #Giveaway

Yes, it may sound like a unique product, but it is so perfect! In short, a TrailHopper is/does the following:
"In our world of multitasking, everyone could use a hand. TrailHoppers are a simple solution to keep them toasty down to their little toes. This will allow you to easily walk your dog, carry your diaper bag, or push their sibling on a swing."

I received the Frost Blue TrailHopper for review. First impression, I was amazed-at how simple yet ingenious this is! How has no one invented one of these until now?! It's basically a fleece (manufactured in the USA) blanket armholes and legs. It's a little generous in the sizing, so they can wear it over a onesie or regular outfit. The TrailHopper features reversible toe-flaps, so if it's warm enough, or your little one has shoes on, you can let their feet "go free". But, if it's too cold, simply fold the flaps over their feet. 

TrailHoppers also have a zippered front for easy on/off, and I like the flap that folds over the zipper at the neckline. No worries about your little one catching or scratching themselves on the zipper, and when they're a little older and curious, it's harder for them to unzip the TrailHopper themselves. :)

Each TrailHopper also comes with a little sack that you can stuff the TrailHopper in when not in use, or use it as a snack bag while you're on-the-go. 

The TrailHopper is honestly a must-have for any baby/toddler! It is perfect for so many occasions: hiking, biking, or any other outdoor activity. It's also great to keep baby warm during the cooler months, even when you're just running errands and going in and out of the cold. TrailHoppers are available for up to 2T, so your child can enjoy the warmth of their "performance blanket" while they're outside playing. There's no other way I've ever seen that allows you to keep a baby snugly wrapped in a blanket, yet be able to do so much!

One of our readers will receive a TrailHopper in their choice of color and size!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Door Country Coffee Fall Coffee Sampler!! #Giveaway

I have found a new favorite coffee. Seriously. Like, "I know this is a fall flavor, but I want to drink it year-round" kind of favorite. Let me back up a little and start from the beginning...

Door County Coffee graciously sent me their 12 Pack Fall Coffee Set. This comes with: 2-Pumpkin Spice, 2-Cranberry Creme, 2-Harvest Blend, 2-Autumn Spice, 2-Door County Maple, 1-Caramel Apple, and 1-Apple Cobbler. The day the coffees arrived, I (of course) had to try one out. The first flavor I chose was the Caramel Apple, but all of the flavors sounded great so it was a hard call. Caramel Apple coffee has a very unique taste; definitely fruity, but also with a nice caramel taste. I really liked it, which made me excited about trying the rest. My second choice (the next day) was the Pumpkin Spice-and that's where my coffee tasting about stopped. 

No, it wasn't that bad. The reason I almost stopped trying the other flavors, is because I like the Pumpkin Spice so much! It's honestly not a flavor I would have imagined myself really enjoying, but I do! Imagine pumpkin pie in a cup, with a nice dash of coffee added, and that's what this is. I have been enjoying mine iced right now, but I imagine this will taste amazing hot as well-once our weather finally gets the memo about it being autumn!

I did finally make myself move on to other flavors; the Autumn Spice is a close second. This one has a hint of cinnamon-sugar, almost like a Snickerdoodle flavor. Out of all 7 flavors, I actually like them all, even though none are quite as much a favorite as the Pumpkin Spice. :) This one is definitely going on my holiday wish list, because a few 5-pound bags wouldn't hurt my feelings at all on Christmas!!

Door County Coffee not only sells various flavored coffees, they also have regular coffee, K-Cups, gift sets, and an assortment of teas. I would highly recommend you check out their coffee if you want to try some incredible flavors. And to get one of my readers acquainted with Door County's fall flavors, we're doing a giveaway!!

One of my readers will receive a Door County Coffee 
12-Pack Fall Flavor Set!!

Preparing for a 5K Run! #SGMA5K

As I told you all last week, we will be heading to the Smoky Mountains in a couple weeks for a vacation/blog trip. I am super, super excited about the trip for many reasons, and one of them is that I will be participating in a 5K Run-my first ever!

In conjunction with the National Quartet Convention (the main reason we are going to PF), the Southern Gospel Music Association is holding a 5K, on Saturday, Sept. 27. Now, although I am very active, and enjoy a lot of sports, I have never been much of a runner. I do interval walk-run sessions occasionally to change up the exercise routine, but not very often. So when I learned about the 5K a couple weeks ago, I decided to train for a little bit before signing up! Just in case I couldn't do it :)

I found a training schedule online and have spent the last 2 weeks following that. It's coming along very well, and I'm actually looking forward to the run! I have had a couple companies jump in and help out with my training, but sending product for review. The first product I received is an ArmPocket. This is just like it sounds; an armband that allows you to carry items while running. I received the i-15, which is designed for iPod Touch with a slim case on, or a device of similar size. 

I've used armband phone/iPod carriers before, but this is definitely the luxury model of armbands! The ArmPocket has memory foam padding, which ensures that it doesn't rub or irritate. The actual strap is vented, and the case, in addition to the memory foam, is also wicking-so you can run and literally not feel any discomfort while wearing an ArmPocket! I also like that the ArmPocket isn't just for your iPod/device; there are 2 pockets inside the zippered compartment that are perfect for holding cash, cards, driver's license, etc. I love being able to listen to my music while running, and also carry some cash to buy a nice cold water at the end of my training!

Yes, I know there's no iPod-we used it to take the pictures! 

Another product I'm using a lot for training is an Ankle Compression Sleeve from Tommie Copper. As you may remember, I reviewed these some time back, and now that I've started running, it is a must-have piece of my gear. The first couple days of training I was really feeling it in my legs, especially the left ankle. However, by wearing the compression sleeve, it reduces the fatigue, and helps prevent injury.

These are just a couple items I'm using daily in my training; check back next Monday for news about how the training is going, and to see some more running products!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

After-School Snacks Made Easy With DoubleTree Cookie Dough!!

How many of you have ever stayed at a DoubleTree by Hilton? I have many times, and one of my favorite parts? The chocolate chip cookie each guest receives at check-in!! I was honestly excited when I found out that DoubleTree is now offering their signature chocolate chip cookie dough for online orders! The dough is shipped frozen, and a 6-pound container will make approximately 42 (large) cookies. I wasn't able to actually try the cookie dough, but DoubleTree did send me a tin of 6 ready-to-eat cookies.

The cookies arrived just as we were heading out for a small road trip, so they were a welcome addition for us all! I love that the cookies include walnuts as well; chocolate chip and walnut are my favorite combination for cookies. I was surprised to find out that each cookie weighs 2 ounces, and contains about 20 chocolate chips! Yep, they're loaded with yummy goodness! The cookies didn't last long; every crumb was quickly scarfed down. The only evidence left of our experience with the Cookie from DoubleTree is the tin they arrived in!

I'm not normally a huge fan of pre-made doughs and mixes; I prefer to bake from scratch. However, I must admit I am a fan of being able to purchase DoubleTree's cookie dough to make at home! This is perfect for quick and easy-yet definitely delicious-snacks after school, in between appointments, or anytime you feel like indulging! If you're interested in purchasing some DoubleTree Cookie Dough or ready-made cookies, visit The Cookie website today! I promise, you will fall in love with these cookies!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So Delicious Dairy Free Products! #Giveaway

I love milk. Ever since I was a young child, I have enjoyed nothing more than a glass of ice cold milk to go along with breakfast, dinner, snacks, and any other possible occasion. However, when my brother was younger (early teens) he became lactose intolerant, which made for some rather stressful times. What teenage boy wants to find out he can't eat ice cream? Or have a cup of chocolate milk? If he wants to enjoy a yogurt, then he'll have to deal with a stomach ache soon after. Needless to say, we all (and especially he) were very thankful when after a couple years the intolerance seemed to go away, and he is now able to enjoy dairy products again. Unfortunately the options back then for dairy-free products were very limited, and not like they are today. For example, So Delicious Dairy Free is a company that specializes solely in dairy free products of all kinds. 

I was able to try one of the So Delicious Coconut Milk Frozen Desserts, which is basically an ice cream "substitute". I use the word substitute loosely, because it's not one of those "I can't have the real thing, so this is the best I can come up with." Even though I don't like coconut, I found the frozen dessert very tasty! I had the chocolate, and it is so creamy and smooth! It's almost more like frozen custard than ice cream, because of the texture and consistency. The chocolate flavor was perfect, and not at all like the fake diet chocolate products we've probably all experienced! I could honestly enjoy a helping of the So Delicious Frozen Desserts with regular ice cream toppings, instead of my normal rocky road or cookie dough ice cream. 

So Delicious offers much more than just ice cream alternatives; whether you or a family member is lactose intolerant, or you're just looking for dairy free options, you will want to check out their beverages, creamers, and selection of almond and coconut milks. Oh, and they also have specialty frozen desserts that are the dairy-free equivalent of ice cream sandwiches, fudge bars, and ice cream bars!

One of my readers will receive a coupon for a FREE So Delicious 
Dairy-Free Item of their choice!!

Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm Back!! Plus Exciting News! #NQC2014

Hey y'all! My apologies for being AWOL the past week or so. I believe this summer has literally flown by, and I have had so much to catch up on! So, I'm sorry about the lack of posts recently, and I will be doing my best to stay on top of things from now on! I do have a giveaway and a really cute review I'll be posting in the next day or so, but first wanted to share some exciting news. 

In a few weeks, I will be spending 10 days in the Smoky Mountains, and will be attending a special event in Pigeon Forge, TN. I have probably mentioned this event on here before; our family has been attending the National Quartet Convention every year for the past 6 years. They've had some big changes since last year though; the biggest one being the change in location from Louisville, KY to Pigeon Forge, TN. I am super excited about this, and can not wait to see how it turns out. The NQC will be held at the new Leconte Center in PF, and there are so many benefits to this move: lower prices for lodging, free parking at the center, trolleys to take you to and from your hotel, and a wealth of family fun activities in the area! Yes, we will be visiting some of those as well, and I will be sure to share pictures and details of each one. So, Sept. 22-Oct. 1, my posting may be sporadic, but I will try to at least share pictures a few times, if not actual reviews. I may even have a couple giveaways, so be sure to keep an eye out. And if you're in the Pigeon Forge area Sept. 21-27, check out the National Quartet Convention!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Crazy Aaron's Putty! Fun For Kids AND Adults!!

I know exactly what you're thinking. "Putty? Isn't that a toy for kids? How could adults ever have fun with putty?!" I would have agreed with you just a short time ago, until I experienced Crazy Aaron's Putty!

I received a tin of the Aura Glow In The Dark Putty for review. The putty is actually white, but when used with the Blacklight Keychain (not included) from Aaron's, it glows a purple/violet color. However, even without the glow in the dark feature, we had plenty of fun with the putty!

First of all, it's a great tension reliever. I work at a computer for anywhere from as little as 2 hours a day, to as much as 6+ hours a day. Since I'm an active person, I can get tense just from sitting at the computer for an hour or two! I've found that keeping the putty nearby to "snap, crackle and pop" helps relieve the boredom and stress. I don't work in an office, but for those of you who do, Aaron recommends doing this and enjoying the aggravation it causes your coworkers! Yeah, I see how that could be fun! :)

The kids also enjoyed making shapes and creations with the Thinking Putty. Snakes and hot dog shapes are the most obvious, but some pretty unique designs came out too.

However much fun popping and creating with Thinking Putty is, my favorite part is the bouncing. Remember the old Disney "Absent-Minded Professor" movie? If you recall the wonderful invention of flubber, then you'll have a good idea of how the putty responds. No, it's not quite as "bouncy" as flubber-I have yet to be able to leap up and slam-dunk a basketball due to attaching this putty to my sneakers-but it is remarkably bounce-able! Check out this video if you don't believe me...


As you can tell, the family is really enjoying Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty. There are so many varieties and colors available, ranging from basic putty to magnetic putty, heat sensitive putty, and even phantom putty. Check them out today for some creative, thinking, fun!