My Fears About Aging + a Product Review

I’m not going to lie, I have this irrational fear of aging. And it’s not all about vanity (though I’m very much not excited for wrinkles, age spots, saggy skin…I’m getting a nervous stomach just listing those!) It’s about so much more than that. First of all, did you know that most YP groups allow members ages 21-40? Soooo, do they just kick you out when you turn 40?! As if turning 40 didn’t have enough gloom surrounding it!

I’m not trying to be rude to anyone at or above age 40, I’m simply talking about my own (irrational) feelings towards aging and ME — me aging. Then, I’m going to talk to you about a product that I’ve been testing to help with some of those vanity items!

On a serious note, I have this feeling that time is running out, that it’s going too fast. Time with my kids, time to be successful (probably should get on that), just time in general. And then there’s this idea that my opinion will no longer matter to people when they need to know what “young people” want (this is why I said irrational fears). For instance, I have a job in community and economic development and am very active in talent initiatives. For a while, I’ve been at the table of people that asked how to recruit/retain people my age. In a couple of years…they won’t want to know what I think because I won’t be a part of the target group anymore. I was at a conference a few weeks ago and the speaker said, “who in here is Gen X? she asked. Yeah, we don’t matter, we kind of disappeared off the list.” Um, okay, so where do we go from here? Well I, for one am going to continue to speak up, share my opinions, and continue to be relevant, perhaps without bragging about my age. Which brings me to…vanity. If I look young, no one will know the wiser, right? Okay, I feel ashamed for even writing that!

I’m the queen of beauty products. I have tried it all from acne products to anti-aging products (some that target both — which I love!) When you read about aging skin, at the top of the list is 1) don’t forget about your neck and chest! and 2) don’t forget about your hands! These areas show aging the fastest, mostly due to sun exposure in our younger days and these areas are most often neglected when in comes to products.

Enter in…Exuviance Age Reverse Hand Rejuvenator available at exuviance.com ($65). This powerful duo helps to restore smoother, firmer, and younger looking hands using a 10% Citric Acid Peel followed by a rejuvenating hand cream.

Exuviance Hand Treatment

I grew up outdoors and enjoyed many hours in the sun. While I did use sunscreen, I have to admit that I didn’t put it on my hands. I spent much of my youth working in the hayfield, driving a tractor in the sun all day long. This type of exposure is going to lead me to dark spots on my hands, I just know it. My grandfather had them, my mother has them, so chances are… I’ll buck that trend by taking care of them now, using sunblock on them, using products like this peel, and applying regular anti-aging products just as I do to my face.

Exuviance Peel and Rejuvenating Hand Cream

Protect Your Hands!

Me – putting sunscreen on my hands before heading outdoors!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The acid peel felt invigorating. You apply it with a cotton ball, let it dry and then apply some more. After it dries, apply the Age Reverse Rejuvenating Hand Cream and then…go to bed and let it do its magic! In the morning, simply apply the hand cream once more. I used this every other day (though, you certainly can use it daily). I don’t yet have any noticable spots on my hands, so I can’t tell you if they are lighter or disappeared. What I can tell you is that my hands do feel softer and smoother as the acid peel exfoliates dead skin. I also notice that I need more lotion throughout the day in order to keep that new layer of skin happy. All in all, I think this is a product that I will continue to use and maybe even share with my mom!

***Please note, this post was sponsored by Brandbacker. I received this product complimentary in exchange of my honest review. All opinions are my own.***

First Ultimate Coffee Date of 2017

Happy New Year! Thanks to Coco and Deborah for hosting this awesome monthly link-up! Let’s get started!

If we were having coffee…I would show off my brand new coffee mug! I love mugs and have to restrain myself from buying a new one whenever I come across a cute one. This time, though, I went for it. I mean, this one was made for me. My birthday is in January and I’m kind of a sucker for anything related to my zodiac sign. This super cute mug says on the rim, “Aquarius is the sign of visionaries, unconventionality and intellectual independence.” I. Love. It. Happy early birthday to me!

If we were having coffee….I would tell you that SweatPink, one of the ambassador groups I’m involved in, is doing a year-long campaign, titled #IAmEmpowered I’m not sure if it really needs an explanation — the hashtag phrase itself is so powerful. We can all use a daily reminder of what makes us feel empowered. I’m excited to be a part of it! 

If we were having coffee…you’d ask me about any New Year’s Resolutions that I might have made. I’d tell you that I’m still deciding whether or not to put them on paper. Each NYE, my family and I have our own mini bash that includes making a time capsule. Part of the capsule is filling out a goal sheet. This year I left it pretty general (you know the drill: be more organized, keep a cleaner house, drink more water, etc). If I put one resolution down on paper (or here on the blog) it is: Be more consistent

This is from our NYE Family Bash!

Well, I’m to the bottom of my (super cute) mug of coffee, so I better let you go. I hope we can meet up again soon!

I’d love to hear about your thoughts on resolutions!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Join the Ultimate Coffee Date Link-up!

Friday Five: 5 Things to do for newbies at your gym

It’s that time of year when the gyms are flooded with new people, the trails are being utilized by those that have never set foot out, yoga studios have expanded classes for new students, etc. Ahhh, the first week of the new year, a week full of resolutions focused on change.

I always see/hear a lot of grumbling this time of year from fellow gym-goers about the flood of people crowding the machines, the weights, the pool and about how they “can’t wait until they fall off their resolution wagon.”  

As a fitness enthusiast, I want everyone to find a passion for fitness, even that new guy that’s on my favorite treadmill at the gym. We should all want that. Let’s resolve to welcome newbies and help them stick to their resolutions for a healthy 2017.

Here are 5 easy ways to get started:


Actually say “welcome, nice to see you here.” Be excited!
High Five: you can never go wrong with a high five (unless they leave you hanging– and then,…well, I’m sorry).

high five left hanging

Find out if they need any help. Show them how to use the machines. Even as a regular gym-goer, there are certain machines that still scare me (Hello Jacob’s Ladder)

Invite them to your favorite exercise class. Again, it is intimidating to walk into a gym for the first time. A class helps ease people into things in a group setting, offering some camaraderie and ultimately support.

 

Tell them you’ll see them tomorrow: nothing works better than accountability, especially when it comes from a long-time fitness enthusiast/stranger. Just make sure you’re there tomorrow 🙂

Have you welcomed any newbies yet? I’d love to hear how you’re helping others stick to their goals this 2017!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Review: Vibrance by Eu Natural for Healthy Hair Growth

As you know, I am a beauty-product fanatic. I love to try the latest products and even more than that, I love to be able to share my experience and opinions.

Recently, BrandBacker announced a campaign working with Eu Natural on a vitamin to support healthy hair growth. As you may not know, I cut my long hair last fall and, while it needed it and I have enjoyed the change, I very much am longing for my hair to be long again. So, I jumped at the chance to sample this product in hopes of rushing the re-growth process along a little.

I received a full-size bottle, which is a 30-day supply (retail value of $29.99 on Amazon). While I am not yet finished with 30 days, I have noticed a difference. I haven’t measured my hair growth, but my hair does feel healthier overall. I am pretty rough on my hair. I shower daily due to my running, I use a hair dryer and straightener on a regular basis, so the damage is definitely occurring. After 3 weeks of using Vibrance my hair feels thicker and is shinier.

According to the company, most results are visible around 60 days of use. Another great tidbit about Eu Natural — they have a 90-day money back guarantee with no questions asked! I love when a brand stands behind their promise with a guarantee like that.

Another perk: I’ve really noticed a difference is in my fingernail growth. My nails are stronger and longer than they have been in years!

Each soft capsule is packed with 23 vitamins, minerals, and herbs, including Biotin and OptiMSM®, that revitalize your hair from the inside. The vitamins are gluten, wheat, and dairy free and are packed with pure and natural ingredients (no junk or fillers!)

I’ve ordered a second bottle in hopes of maximizing the results and will check in with you later with my results!

PS: Want to try it for yourself? Grab a bottle here for only $5!

Do you have any tips on growing your hair quicker? I’d love to hear them!

Until Next Time,
Meg

This is a sponsored post. I received a complimentary product in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

Refuel with Hemp

**I received these Hemp Heart Bars from Manitoba Harvest through my role as a Sweat Pink Ambassador. As always, all opinions are my own**

If you have not heard of hemp and all the amazing ways to use it, you should check out Manitoba Harvest’s website where they detail so many handy (and delicious) ways it can be used! You have heard of super foods, well this is a super plant! You can use the entire plant for things without any waste! It can be used for items such as clothing and building materials as well as food items.

Enter in: Hemp Heart Bars. These little bars pack 10 grams of plant-based protein and 10 grams of omegas – plus they pack 4 grams of fiber! They are the perfect pre- or post-workout snack.

I received a sample of the chocolate and a sample of the apple cinnamon. Now, I’d love to tell you that they are a delightful snack and that I could eat an entire box in one sitting. My favorite part about the bars is that they are chewy and really satiating. My only gripe is that they kinda taste like birdseed (or at least what I imaging birdseed tasting like). Now, don’t get me wrong, because of the protein and omega benefits, I would still add them to my list for the perfect post workout re-fuel snack. I think the flavor will grow on me.

If you are curious to try them I have two ways that you can get your hands on some. The first is using this 15% off discount code hhbarlaunch1015 by March 31, 2016. The second is to enter Manitoba Harvest’s monthly photo contest. Simply post a photo on Instagram of how you’re fueled by Hemp (use hashtag #fuelledbyhemp (yes, with two ‘l’s) and tag @manitobaharvest. They pick a winner monthly!

This is not my first try at Hemp products. In fact, Manitoba Harvest sent me a sample of Hemp Hearts about a year ago. They were delicious! You can see my review here.  I’ve also tried the Hemp Protein (also from Manitoba Harvest) and it is by far my favorite hemp product to date.

Have you tried any Hemp products? What are your thoughts?

Until Next Time,
Meg

#BuluBox Review and Special Offer!

*I received a free Bulu Box from Sweat Pink through my participation in the Ambassador Program. I was not compensated in any other way for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Fist of all, who knew that Bulu Box is located in Lincoln, NE?! As a fellow Nebraskan, I am extremely excited and honored to share my review of their service. Second, I LOVE the packaging — how motivational!

What it is: Bulu Box is a subscription service that offers monthly delivery of a box filled with 4-5 premium samples (and sometimes full-sized products) to your mailbox. The samples are geared towards wellness, fitness, health, and/or weight loss.

This is not a new concept, Birchbox (which I believe to be the first subscription box service) launched in 2010 and since then, the trend has taken off. There seems to be a subscription box service to meet all needs. The idea is to allow subscribers to sample products to determine if they want to purchase full sized products later, rather than wasting money on a full sized product only to discover it didn’t work/didn’t like it/etc. Enter Bulu Box in 2012 as the first subscription service to target health and health related items, such as vitamins.

What it costs: Most subscription box services range from $10-$40 monthly and Bulu Box does not deviate from that range, coming in at only $10 per month for a 1, 3, or 6 month subscription (and that includes shipping). It is slightly cheaper if you opt for a 12 month subscription. **Use code: SWEATPINK to save 50% on a 3 month subscription! 

What’s inside: Each box contains 4-5 samples of various products targeting general health and wellness. *Note: you can also subscribe to a weight loss box that is specifically targeted towards weight loss. The products sent are based on the subscriber’s profile so  boxes will vary among subscribers.

Here are the items that I received:

As promised, 4-5 sample-sized products (plus one full sized and one Lifestyle Bonus)

I tried these before a long run and was surprised that I didn’t get a side ache (you have to eat the entire package -11 gummies 20 minutes prior to exercise).

These are the tastiest vitamins EVER! But I wouldn’t expect less from Martha Stewart!

Have you tried Bulu Box? If so, what did you get in  your last box? Do you subscribe to any other monthly box services? I’m a sucker for them and have tried quite a variety. I’d love to hear your favorite services.

Don’t forget, you can save 50% on a 3 month subscription to Bulu Box by using code SWEATPINK at checkout!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Snacks!

I’m the first to admit, I love snacks. There is just something about the word “snack” that makes my eyes light up and my saliva glands get all worked up! Now, though I have yet to try it, I discovered Fit Snack via Erica Finds. Fit Snack is a subscription service that provides a healthy way for people who are on the go, to have guilt-free snacks on-hand. You get a monthly box packed with snacks, free music downloads, and free workouts. Check them out at www.fitsnack.com.

You can order a single month, 3 month, 6 month, or annual subscription. The price is a bit higher than the subscription boxes that I am used to, but it looks like you get A LOT of items packed in each box (see the image below), so it is likely worth the nearly $25 per month (that price includes shipping).

You all know how much I like subscription boxes (stay tuned for my Bulu Box review coming soon)! Right now, via Erica Finds, you can enter to win a FitSnack box.

If you’re not into ordering a snack box to help you maintain healthy eating throughout each day, here are my recommendations for go-to, waist healthy snacks:

 

  • Apples and Almond Butter (or regular ol’ peanut butter, if you prefer)
  • Sliced banana on whole wheat/grain bread with peanut butter
  •  Jiff Bars (can you tell that I. Love. Peanut Butter?
  • Kind Bars
  • Protein shake or a smoothie
  • I’m also a HUGE fan of PopChips, but I don’t actually classify them as a healthy snack.

What is your favorite snack? Don’t forget to head over to Erica Finds blog and enter her giveaway!

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

#1MillionMinutes – Final Week

To kick off the final week of the #SweatPink #1MillionMinutes campaign, I am participating in a fun ad-lib featuring PrAna, one of the sponsors of this challenge.

Let the Fun Begin!

When the 1 million minutes challenge started, I set out to achieve _1400___ [goal minutes of activity]. And I will shatter [verb] that goal by running  [verb] and lifting  [verb] my way to over 1500 [# of minutes].

The best part of this challenge for me was the online community support. I probably spent the most time tracking my minutes while I was running  with my trusty iPod [person]

I was stoked [verb] to see so many Sweat Pink’ers joining in on the challenge and breaking a sweat running, yoga-ing, and more [type of activity]. Jamie King [person] was one of my favorite people to stalk follow during the challenge because he/she posts such inspiring poses [verb] it!

I’m sad that it’s the last week but also excited that prAna is our sponsor because I’m coveting my first pair of PrAna running shorts [item from prAna] and going to post [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!

Plus, I’ll need The Maison Knicker capris in Indigo_______ [item from prAna website] to help me get through my Fall goals which are To keep my mileage up in spite of the dark mornings

How many minutes have you been active this summer? I bet it’s more than you think once you write it all out!

Want to join the fun? Copy the below blank ad lib for your own blog!

When the 1 million minutes challenge started, I set out to achieve ______ [goal minutes of activity]. And I ________ [verb] that goal by ________ [verb] and ______ [verb] my way to ______ [# of minutes].

 The best part of this challenge for me was ________. I probably spent the most time tracking my minutes while I was _______ with _______ [person]

 I was ________ [verb] to see so many Sweat Pink’ers joining in on the challenge and breaking a sweat ________ [type of activity]. _______ [person] was one of my favorite people to stalk follow during the challenge because he/she ________ [verb] it!

 I’m sad that it’s the last week but also excited that prAna is our sponsor because I’m coveting ______ [item from prAna] and going to _____ [verb] my little heart out in hopes to win!

 Plus, I’ll need _______ [item from prAna website] to help me get through my Fall goals which are _________. And now I tag _____ [person] and_____ [person] and ______ [person] to join in on the fun!

Get Your Freekeh On: Product Review and Giveaway!

I received a sample of Freekeh through my association with SweatPink and FitApproach. Other than free product, I was not compensated for this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

By now I am sure you’re asking, “what the freekeh is Freekeh?” Well, according to their websiteFreekeh is a process which means “to rub” in Arabic. Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze. Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and “Eureka!” Freekeh was created. 

Freekeh boasts 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of dietary fiber per serving, so it is very filling. It is also non-GMO verified.

I tried Freekeh Original and Tamari. They also have Rosemary Sage (which I think sounds Uh-mazing!) The Tamari has only a subtle flavor and can be used a base in anything or eaten on it’s own. If you like rice and quinoa, you will love Freekeh! We used it as a side dish with salmon, as a salad topper, and also as a base in stir-fry.

I am already picturing using this instead of brown rice in my special recipe jambalaya that I make in the fall and winter! **Recipe coming soon**

Freekeh is very versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They have a handy cookbook (that you have a chance to win below) plus there are a lot of recipe ideas on their Pinterest boards as well.

As a side dish

 

as a base in shrimp and veggie stir fry

 

I even used it as a topping for my salad the next day!

Freekeh Foods was kind enough to allow me to give away a copy of their cookbook along with a package of Freekeh in your choice of flavor! Enter below and stay tuned!

Have you ever tried Freekeh? What recipe are you dying to try?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want more giveaways? I’m adding my giveaway link to the  Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds Wednesday Giveaway Round-up

Five Things Friday

Ahhh, it has been awhile since I have written a 5 things post. I have quite a list going, but I’ll cap it at 5 and maybe be proactive about next week’s 5 things post!

Since school is starting in less than one week (insert sigh here), I decided to post 5 of my favorite memories that we made this summer. For those of you keeping up, we recently relocated, which meant leaving my previous job. So, since June 1, I have been able to stay at home with my kids and we have had the best. summer. ever.  Below are some photos that only capture a glimpse of the fun that we’ve had!

We took our kids to an eighties “hair band” concert during the local fair. It was awesome! The bass guitarist even handed them his guitar during one of the songs!

Relaxing by the river while my kids play, swim, and build sand castles. It is pure bliss!

Spending time at the lake and finally using our boat! The girls could ride on that tube for hours!

Getting in some quality and “healthy” family time this summer! Including my youngest daughter’s first 1 Mile Kid’s Race!

Enjoying the “country” life at our new house

I have to say that I’m ready for the humidity to go down a bit and for the mornings to be a little cooler, but I am sad to see summer go. It has been the best summer that I’ve ever had. I have never has the chance to stay at home with my girls and I would not trade it for anything!

What are some of your highlights from this summer? Can you believe that summer is already nearing the end?! Happy Friday all!

Until Next Time,
Meg