Ultimate Coffee Date — May 2017 Edition

Even though I am not ready at all for May to be here, I am ready to sit down with you all and catch up over coffee! I’m linking up with Deborah and Coco for the May edition of the  Ultimate Coffee Date Linkup! 

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were having coffee…. You would ask me if I had any summer vacation plans. I would tell you that the day after school gets out for the girls, they are going to go with my mother-in-law to Washington to stay for about 10 days. I’m already anxious about it as I’ve never been away from them for that long and from that distance. I deliberately signed up for a conference at work that will keep my mind occupied for the first 4 days they are gone. The part I didn’t tell you yet, is that said conference is in Las Vegas! My husband is coming with me, so it should be a lot of fun (Plus, it’s halfway to Washington)!

If we were having coffee… you would ask me how my running is coming. I’d confess to you that my miles are way down. I’d tell you that I am SO ready for my husband’s foot to heal so he can run again — thus getting us back on a regular schedule. In case you have forgotten, he has a stress fracture in his foot and has been unable to run for many weeks. He is used to running every. Single. Day. So it’s been like a punch in his gut when I go run. So I’ve been running less. I did do some running while away for work. It was a beautiful location!


If we were having coffee… you would tell me that I’ll be back to running soon enough and that I should pick out a race or two. I would tell you that I just read an article in my Runner’s World about crushing a 5K. I’m inspired and think I’ll give that plan a try!

I better finish up my coffee and get back to work (I am helping family clean and organize for an estate sale).

Do you have any awesome summer plans? If you have children, have you ever been without them for 10 full days?

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

#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!

10 Minutes Is All You Need

I’m linking up today with Jill Conyers and Jessica Joy for the Fit Dish Link-Up. Today’s optional topic is: If you only have 10 minutes, how do you fit in something healthy?

I love this topic, because the most common excuse for people to skip exercise or don’t pack a healthy lunch (me included) is “I don’t have time.”  As a mom working a full time job outside of the home, I have just as many time suckers as the next person. Yet, my health is a priority and so I find ways to sneak fitness and healthy habits into each day.

That being said, I know that if I don’t get my workout done first thing in the morning before my kids get up and the craziness of the day begins, I know I’m in trouble. So my blog post will be this scenario: I slept through my alarm, my girls are up and hungry…I’m hungry too. So, I skip my morning run, promising myself that I’ll get it in later. Later comes and it is now 97 degrees outside and I know it won’t be cooling off until somewhere in the neighborhood of 3am at which point I will not be running! 

Rather than skip exercising completely and having that guilty feeling all day long, I enlist my girls to do a quick work out with me. They love doing work outs that we find online or we make up our own (see below). They have even created their own workout videos, see Ava’s here!

A couple of my favorite online resources are Amanda Russell and POPSugar Fitness. On both sites, you can find a variety of workouts whether you’re looking for a certain length of time or whether you’re looking to work a certain body part – they have a huge variety.

For today’s scenario, my girls and I came up with our own 10 minute, full body circuit. Here it is!

10 minute full body circuit

How do you fit in something healthy if all you have is 10 minutes? I’d love to hear what you think of our 10 minute circuit!

Until Next Time,
Meg

Live Intentionally

This quote covers it all — Live each day with intention; have a purpose when you get up each morning; feel accomplished when you lay down at night.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little lost and I believe that it is because I am going about daily by the seat of my pants and without any intention. As you know, we recently relocated to a new community. I gave up a career that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. The first few weeks after the move we were still super busy getting boxes unpacked and finding a place for everything, painting, renovating, and just working like mad All. Day. Long. I had no time to wonder about my next career or worry about what would come next in my life. I interviewed for a job that I thought I really wanted and waited to hear back from them. And waited….and waited….They touched base every now and again over the last 4 weeks to tell me that they were still in the selection process and that I was a finalist. Then last Friday (nearly 4pm) I got the call (drum roll…..) I was not selected for the position, but please keep checking our site as we hope to be adding more positions soon and you would be perfect, blah blah blah (after the part about not being selected, everything else just sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher).  I’ll admit it to you, I cried. I couldn’t help it. I haven’t felt that kind of rejection in more than 10 years, maybe not ever.

On further reflection: I have been blessed to be able to spend so much time with my two daughters. I said today to them that so far, this has been my best summer ever. Typically, I miss so much in the summer (my husband is in education and has been able to be home in the summers until now). I have also been blessed to have been in a career that I love for 10 years. I have been able to wake up every day and want to go to work.  I have had the best boss in the entire world. Even now, he has allowed me to stay on as a consultant through the end of July to help with special projects remotely. Because of this, I am not freaking out over not being employed and I am still a tiny bit connected to my old job.

So, rather than get up each day with no purpose in mind, I am pledging to get up, get my run in and 10 minutes of stretching (I’m going to do Cassey Ho‘s #JourneyToSplits in July), get back to where I need to be with my social media activity and blogging, and live with purpose and intention, and I know I will find a career. What is meant to be….

Have you ever stumbled off the path?

Until Next Time,
Meg

 

Dandelion Root Tea: Product Review


I had heard that you could use dandelions for various ailments but had never tried them for anything. You can actually use the dandelions that grow in your own yard! Since this is my first experience, I’m glad that I let someone else do the growing, picking, and preparing. Plus, who doesn’t love tea?!

I received some Organic Dandelion Root Tea from Kiss Me Organics to review and I was pleasantly surprised. I mean, not to judge a tea by its name, but dandelion roots? Not exactly appetizing!  In addition to the dandelion roots, the tea also contains hibiscus and cinnamon. The tea is subtle and not overpowering. I can taste the cinnamon, but it blends well with the other flavors. I even tried this tea iced and it was good! 

There are so many health benefits to such a variety of teas that are on the market today. What is that saying? A few of cups of tea a day keep the doctor away. Okay, that isn’t actually how it goes, but you have to agree that you have heard many claims of health benefits of drinking tea.

The claims with this tea are that it helps support a healthy digestion and aids in liver and kidney detox. It also can aid in stabilizing blood sugar, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol, and is full of antioxidants.  I can’t tell you if it’s doing any of those things for me or not, but I can tell you it is a very delicious tasting tea and I will continue to drink it. The health benefits are just icing on the cake!

In addition to learning about how you can use dandelion roots to make tea, I also learned that you can cook with dandelion root. Now, if you’re a little worried about picking a dandelion out of your back yard and then adding it to whatever you’re cooking, you are not alone! The good news is that Kiss Me Organics have a book of recipes, including this one below for Avocado Mayonnaise, using dandelion root tea (you just cut open the tea bag and dump it in)!

dandelion tea

Whether or not I have convinced you to give this tea a try, at least I might have convinced you that dandelions are more than just an annoying weed! If you are interested in trying it out, you can purchase it on Amazon and Kiss Me Organics has a 100% money back guarantee!

I received this product through BrandBacker from Kiss Me Organics to sample and review. I was not compensated in any other way besides a free product. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Anti-Aging Blemish Fighting Serum

**Sponsored Post**

As many of you know, I have struggled with acne nearly my entire life. My first visit to a dermatologist came at 14 and my most recent visit was at age 35 and yes, it was for acne.  I have had some good periods in my life where I’ve been able to stay off medications or prescribed topical treatments for months at a time, but I always have a re-occurrence and it is almost always severe enough to have to undergo prescribed treatments. About 2 years ago, my dermatologist recommended Acutane (it’s called something different now, but that is what it is most commonly known as). I was fearful of the side effects, but decided to give it a go. It is one of the best things that I’ve ever done. Since that treatment, I have not had any ongoing acne-related skin issues. I am able to experiment with products (which you all know I love) and I’m actually able to work on my next issue – combating the effects of aging. 

That brings me to InstaNatural’s Age Defying Skin Clearing Serum, which I received through Brandbacker to sample and review.  Along with the serum, I also received the Vitamin C Facial Toner which targets tightening pores and reducing the signs of aging.

The products have a strong citrus scent, which took some getting used to. If citrus is not your thing – these products may not be for you because it is pretty strong. In terms of helping with skin issues: I have used the products for 7 days in a row and did not experience any breakouts (which is still big deal for me when trying a new product, even one geared for reducing acne). I use the serum just once per day as it does have retinol in it and that can be drying on sensitive skin. The Serum is focused on reversing the signs of aging while at the same time treating acne and hyperpigmentation. It is packed with a great line-up of proven acne and anti-aging ingredients. Besides retinol, the formula also includes acne champions sulfer, salicylic acid, niacinamide for redness, Vitamin C and Hyaluronic Acid to repairing damaged skin.  The toner, I used twice each day. It is so refreshing! I have come to like the invigorating citrus scent.

InstaNatural

InstaNatural is a leading online and global distributor of more than a dozen nature inspired beauty and cosmetics products. Our products are one of the top sellers on Amazon and can also be found in leading spas, salons and aesthetic centers in the US, as well as internationally in UAE, UK and Canada (coming soon). We are constantly in search of wonderful natural and organic ingredients from the around the globe, so we can bring you the absolute best products, no matter the cost. In addition, we strongly believe in treating our customers the way we would want to be treated. This is why our lifetime satisfaction guarantee and our customer service is unlike any other company in the industry.

I received these products complimentary through Brandbacker from InstaNatural for testing and review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

5 Things Friday – In Snapshots

This has been a crazy week. I attribute it to the wild weather pattern that we experienced. We had below 20 degrees with 5-6 inches of snow and a snow day for the kids followed by a 50+ degree day and today it’s nearly 70 degrees. CRAZY!

I’m glad it’s a 5 Things Friday day and even more fun that I’m doing it in snapshots. See below my post for the Link-Ups that I’m participating in today and join in on the fun!

#NoExcuses

Wrapping up the #NoExcuses #SweatPink Challenge. It was a fun week of yoga, push-ups, high knees, and planks.

Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar

Running outside always takes its toll on my skin, whether it be protecting it from the sun or the wind and cold – a good moisturizer is always essential. This Renewed Hope in a Jar is a great choice. It is time released moisture and feels luxurious! Plus, the theme is kind of my motto: Live with optimism renew with hope..

Aeropostale, VSX, SparklySoul, FlipBelt

Fun workout clothes. As you all know, I LOVE pink (borderline obsessive). This top and pants are from Aeropostale (who knew they had such cute workout clothes?!). The Bra is from Victoria’s Secret Sport, FlipBelt, and Sparkly Soul headbands.

Nothing like a warm day to convince me to add a little color into my drab winter wardrobe!

Nothing like a warm day to convince me to add a little color into my drab winter wardrobe!

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“Spring breathes new life into the world around us” – Unknown

 

Today I’m linking up with the following:
Fit-Fashionable-Friday-Link-Up fituful focus

FitnessFriday Jill Conyers Linkup

dc_linkup

Five Things Friday – 30 Day Challenges

As the new year approached, I noticed all the campaigns for 30 day challenges. Whether those be for organization, nutrition, fitness, or fashion – you could find one (or more) challenges to help you stay focused on your goals through January 2015. I signed up for a couple (okay, maybe 4) of the fitness related ones and though I am not active in all of them, I do think they have made my January more productive. I also have been stockpiling the daily or weekly tasks to use later in the year when 1) I’m not overwhelmed with workouts and 2) when my resolutions are waning. Below are the four 30-day fitness related challenges that I signed up for plus one more that would be worthwhile.

1. #100JanuaryMiles with Greater Fitness – The goal here is pretty clear: run/bike/elliptical your way to 100 miles in January. One of my resolutions is to run 1,000 miles this year, so I thought this would be a great way to kick that off and I was right. It is amazing how something so simple as checking in on Facebook with my daily miles is so motivating. I find myself even wanting to do a few miles on my rest day – just for the sake of posting! Plus, did I mention that there is a prize drawing at the end if you meet the 100 mile goal?!

2. 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene – I signed up for this one after seeing it on Jill Conyer’s blog. I held strong for about 4 days and then my participation has been sketchy ever since. It isn’t that it is not enjoyable and I don’t want to use the excuse that “I don’t have time” but I haven’t done a great job of making time. The good news is that she allows you to download all the videos (and has them all up on her YouTube Channel) to do at a later date. I plan to continue to tune in when I can and to not feel guilty about missing a day…or three.

3. Pop Sugar Fitness – Get Fit 2015 – This is a great challenge if you are one to get bored with a workout routine. They change it up daily from cardio to strength to yoga. You don’t have to have much if any equipment and most workouts can be done in your own home. The good news about this is that it is online and archived so you can start at any time. I’ve also been pinning several of the daily workouts to come back and do later.

4. Blogilates 30 Day Ab Challenge – This challenge, by Cassey Ho, is all about Abs. It’s also very easy to follow. It basically is 5 moves and you work up doing more and more reps each week. There is a printable calendar so this would be very easy to archive and do later, though it honestly takes only minutes each day.

5. Livestrong: Start 2015 Strong Challenge – I am not as familiar with this one as I did not complete the registration process. I just knew that I wouldn’t follow through and couldn’t bear the thought of the daily reminder emails coming in! This is a weight loss challenge that incorporates both fitness and nutrition and it looks as if it is tailored to you (weight, height, gender). Trainer, Nicky Holender is the feature trainer for the challenge. Again, I assume this will be available to sign up for at a later date – maybe March when most people have long forgotten their New Year’s Resolutions.

Are you doing any 30 day challenges to kick off 2015? I’d love to hear about it!

Until Next Time,
Meg

I’m linking up today with:
FitnessFriday Jill Conyers Linkup Fit-Fashionable-Friday-Link-Up fituful focus

dc_linkup farmerbell.blogspot.com Friday Favorites Fitting It all In Fri_Favs_ running4cupcakes Friday-Favorites-Link-Up-Winter-housewifeglamour.com_