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
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).
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!
On this Thanksgiving Day, take time to reflect on all of the things that you have to be thankful for. So often we get caught up in what is wrong or what we are missing, that we don’t appreciate all of the wonderful blessings in our lives.
Just a few of the things on my list that I am thankful for:
My amazing family. I have a wonderful and thoughtful husband that I don’t thank enough. I also have great kids. They are polite, fun, and they love me. No matter what.
More family. I have pretty terrific parents, siblings, in-laws, aunts, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
My health. I am well and I am thankful for that.
My job. I have a good job with an exceptional boss that truly lets me use my talents to shape my “job description.”
My home. I love my house, the town that we live in, the school my kids attend, and our neighbors.
You all. Thank you all for continuing to read my blog. I know that it is sporadic at best, but I sincerely appreciate your comments, shares, and readership.
While you don’t have to actually make a list like I did, truly take some time to actually BE thankful this holiday season.
As you might remember, I have suffered from acne nearly my entire life and lately, though I’m not going to share my exact age, I’ve been faced with the challenge of dealing with acne prone skin at the same time as trying to fight the early signs of aging. There are not many products that are effective in targeting both (though, there are getting to be more out there). Many acne products, geared towards adolescent acne, are just too harsh for aging skin. There has to be a happy medium, right? One of the most effective ingredients in anti-aging formulas as well as acne topical treatments (remember Retin A?) is Retinol. One of the things that you have to be careful of when using Retinol products is over drying sensitive skin — even acne-prone and oily skin.
As most of you know, I am a beauty product fanatic. I love to try the latest makeup, skincare, hair care, nail products, you name it! So when I had the the opportunity to sample Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum through my affiliation with BrandBacker, I jumped at the chance.
The great part about this Valentia Night Revive Retinol Serum is that it also contains things like Vitamin C (for absorption) and vitamin E to replace moisture. I stillfound that I had to alternate nights when using this product as it tended to dry out my skin on my cheeks.
I’ve been using this product for about 3 weeks and am very happy with the results. Short term, my skin feels smoother and I can tell a difference in my forehead “frown” lines. **There isn’t a big enough difference (yet) to merit before and after photos.** With long-term use, I am hoping to see improved coloration, more even skin-tone, and continued diminishing wrinkles.
You can get this product (plus many other great skin care products) on the Valentia website or at Amazon for $35.
**This is a sponsored post powered by BrandBacker. As always, all opinions are my own.**
I was on a roll. I was back. I had run every single day for more than a week and I was feeling good. Even the dark scary mornings weren’t keeping me from getting out there. Then, circumstances beyond my control derailed things and I almost can’t recall the exact day that I ran last.
Whether it’s excuses or life events, we probably have all been there. And we all know what we have to do now: get back out there and #OwnTheRun
Easier said than done, right? Especially with the promise of colder and wetter weather looming as winter approaches.
Those of you who know me or have followed my running journey on my blog, know that I am somewhat of a fair weather runner. I like sunshine, a slight breeze (at my back the entire time, of course), no rain, no snow, sleet, nothing adverse. Of course, you might also know that I live in Nebraska, where those types of perfect running days don’t come around very often. You can either choose to run on a treadmill or buck up, get outside, face the elements, and take on Mother Nature no matter what she throws your way. Rather than suffer the monotony of every day treadmill runs, I choose the latter.
The game-changer for running in adverse weather conditions always comes down to the gear/clothes you choose.
My head-to-toe guide for winter running includes:
a stocking hat (I’m partial to my Brooks Cross Country stocking hat with a cute little pom-pom on top — sorry, I don’t have a link to this one as it was a coach’s special)
a wind-proof pullover (waterproof is also a plus — no link to this one either as it is a golf pullover that my sister gave me!)
wind-stopper running pants (my husband found these Saucony Wind Resistant Nomad Pants for me and they are the BEST!)
a good pair of gloves (no link because I’m still looking for the perfect pair of gloves — so any recommendations that you have, please put in the comments!)
waterproof shoes (like these Brooks Ghost 9 running shoes with GoreTex)
Let’s talk more about these GORE-TEX lined running shoes. Yes, they are a thing and yes, they are a-w-e-s-o-m-e! This is one genius collaboration and runners everywhere will be thanking brands for joining the GORE-TEX bandwagon. Want a chance to try a pair out for yourself? How about a chance to win an entire outfit? Our partners at GORE-TEX are offering readers the chance to enter the #OwnTheRun contest for a chance at great prizes. One lucky winner will win an entire outfit including new shoes with GORE-TEX® liner, running shorts, running pants, a jacket, headphones, and more. Head over to their website, share your #OwnTheRun story and cross your fingers!
I’m forever a Brooks fan, so I’m a little biased, but look at the details — clear down to the insole!
Links contained within this post are NOT affiliate links, but simply placed for your convenience. As always, all opinions are my own
What gear do you swear by to get you through the winter months? Any glove/mitten recommendations?
I’ve been longing for a pair of compression socks. I’m not going to lie, it’s mostly because of all the runners that I follow on Instagram and the pics they post wearing super cute socks! I’m a big fan of the fun colors and patterns, bold colors, oh, and the benefits of post race and long-run comfort that they claim to help with.
That being said, I finally got my first pair (or 3) of compression socks and I LOVE them! For all of the reasons stated above. I have now tried all three pairs out, wearing one pair in an adventure cross country race. Needless to say, they are stinky, sweaty, and in dire need of a wash. Which brings me to my guest post from SLS3. Workout wear does require a little bit of thought (and sorting) when in the laundry room and these socks are no different. After all, at approximately $30 per pair, you want them to keep their fit/tightness and last a long time. Read on below for tips from the experts at SLS3!
Plus use discount code BLOG40 for 40% off at SLS3!
You’ve spent your hard earned money on your exercise gear like Running Shorts or Compression Socks and now it’s time to put it to the test. After a grueling workout, you and your Lycra® containing gear are ready for a bath. By the way, Spandex is the generic Lycra® version. Lycra® is a brand name trademarked by DuPont.
After Your Workout
As much as we hate it, we’re all drenched in sweat after a good workout, which means our clothes are, too. If you don’t have time to wash your clothes right after your workout, or you’re too tired like me, then hang dry your workout clothes, making sure there are no wrinkle or overlaps. This prevents your gear from turning into a mildew breeding ground. Gross! It also helps prevent weird stenches from staying trapped inside your clothes.
Getting the Stink Out
The best method for remedying smelly gym clothes is to give them a prewash. Soak your Lycra® outfits in one part vinegar, and four parts water for at least 30 minutes before hand washing, or throwing them into the washing machine. Rinse your clothes thoroughly before washing them to get rid of any vinegar.
Some Dont’s to Remember
Do not mix vinegar and bleach ever! If your detergent contains bleach rinse out your vinegar soaked clothes before throwing them in the washer. Do not use vinegar in the rinse cycle of your washer if your detergent contains bleach.
Do not use heat for any of your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy the elastic properties aka the Lycra® fibers of your outfits. Avoid the dryer, ironing and the sun. Remember: Heat is bad.
Do not use chlorine or bleach. This will destroy the fibers of the fabric and you will get “bag and sag” syndrome.
Do not use Fabric Softener. These are used to soften clothes and will make sure your expensive garment will never retain its shape. Avoid the fabric softener.
In the Wash They Go
Although it is said that hand washing is always the way to go, most of us don’t have time for that. Don’t fret though! It is safe for your Lycra® garments to go into the washing machine following these steps. First, make sure that all of your zippered garments are zipped all the way up to prevent the zipper track from snagging onto other fabric during the washing cycle. Turn your clothes inside out. Put delicate items into a mesh laundry bag, lingerie bag, or pillowcase to protect them (Definitely do this for Bib Shorts).
Photo Courtesy of Instagram
If you are worried that a pre-soak just won’t cut it for getting all the smells out, you can put some vinegar in the fabric softener dispenser of your washer. This will make sure your washer will dispense vinegar in the rinse cycle. Always use cold water when washing your Lycra® garments. Heat will destroy them. Set your washer on the “Delicates” setting to prevent damage of your clothes.
Less is More?
Use less detergent than you normally would for your Lycra® clothes. While detergent cleans your clothes, you definitely don’t want a build up of it on your workout clothes. A build up of detergent will trap in dead skin cells and trap bacteria into the fabric. If you want to make sure your clothes last, try a detergent designed for washing workout clothes.
After the washing cycle has been finished, hang your clothes up, or lay them down flat to dry. Never put them in the dryer. Remember heat is not friendly to Lycra® clothes. Lycra® is a fast drying fiber so your clothes should not take too long to air dry.
And now you have it! The right way to wash your compression socks (and other workout wear)! Thanks SLS3 for your expertise (and for your offer of 40% off to my readers! –use code BLOG40 at checkout!)
Are you a fan of compression socks and sleeves? I’d love to hear from you!
This week’s Friday Five features AfterShokz headphones in an effort to promote #AwareWithPink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (which, in case you live under a rock, is the month of October).
1. Tunes that inspire! As you know, I mostly listen to audiobooks during my sweat sessions (if you didn’t know, you can read about my obsession here). I also love old-school tunes such as Free Falling, Baby Got Back, and Bitch (I know, not appropriate, but the tempo is great and it’s fun to sing!) I would love to tryAfterShokz new PINK headphones for a coupole of reasons: 1) they are PINK! 2) 25% of each purchase goes to Bright Pink – a non profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and education, and 3) They are safer than my current headphones, which pretty much block out my surroundings (PS: I run with only one earbud in so that I can still hear)
2. Give back!? I am hyper aware during October about Breast Cancer, but I need to do a better job throughout the year of educating and supporting #BCA. One of the things that I really like to do is research which companies donate 100% of proceeds from a purchase to an organization for cancer treatment, education, or research. I love that commitment and always try to purchase from that company. A few examples are: This super cute bra from Aerie, or this Key to the Cure Tee by Christian Louboutin, eos body lotion in Berry Blossom.
3. Be a self care advocate: It’s no secret that I am a fitness fanatic. If I can’t get a good workout in each day, I at least try and get a long walk in either by myself or with my kiddos. I lead by example in my household, always reaching for a healthy snack first (popcorn is a whole grain, right?!) Just kidding, my kids know that we expect them to eat fruit and veggies at every meal and we do the same.
4. Inspiring threads! While these aren’t exactly inspiring, they are still my favorites of the moment: Of course, I love my Sweat Pink tank and lately, due to the morning chill, I also love my Brooks compression capris. They fall just below my knee, so they are perfect transition-wear for fall to winter. I’m also a stickler about my SparklySoul headbands. Seriously, if you have not tried them yet, you are missing out! I am ordering the reflector one in light of my recent running in the dark (find out about my skunk encounters here) and I might or might not own Every. Single. Pink. one they make.
What’s inspiring is all the pink things that are helping spread awareness for #bca…#wearpinkwednesday such as these cool AfterShokz headphones! I’m definitely a fan of the #AwareWithPink movement!
Trekz Titanium Pink wireless earbuds (AfterShokz is donating 25% of each purchase to Bright Pink!)
5. People who inspire! Nothing inspires me more than my little girls (who aren’t so little anymore — insert sobbing face here). I want to lead by example by leading a healthy lifestyle so that they can have long, happy, healthy lives as well.
Do you do anything special to raise awareness during BCA? Or for any other cause?
Until Next Time,
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AfterShokz in an effort to spread awareness about their new Pink Trekz headphones, in partnership with Bright Pink to support and spread awareness around breast cancer awareness. All opinions and words are my own and the links that are included in the post are NOT affiliate links, but link to the products for your convenience. I truly appreciate all of the brands that support the Sweat Pink community.
Hello, friends! I’m actually ahead of the game this month (even though the first Saturday of the month happened to fall on the first day of the month!) Super happy to be joining the Ultimate Coffee Date Link-up hosted by Coco at Running with Perseverance and Deborah at Confessions of A Mother Runner. Please stop by their blogs and thank them for hosting!
If we were having coffee….you’d ask me what is new? Since it has ben FOR.EVER. since we last chatted, I’d have a lot to tell you. I’ve been in my position for a year now and things are going well. I’m happy and content and really really busy! I’d also tell you that I’m still writing freelance for FashionWeek.com and love it. It doesn’t pay much at all, so I’m not in it for the money. It is just fun to keep up on the fashion and beauty scene and write super quick articles. Plus, my hope is that it will get my foot in the door for more opportunities. You can check out my stories here.
If we were having coffee….you’d want to know about my running. I’d tell you that this fall has been tough (actually, summer was tough too). My mileage is way down, but I’m still getting out there. Lately it’s been super dark in the mornings and I’m such a chicken! Twice now I’ve encountered a skunk. The first time I didn’t see it until I was almost on top of it. The good news is, that I scared it as much as it scared me, so we both jumped, one of us screamed, and we ran away from each other. This morning I saw him, but luckily I was about 10 yards from him and managed to run across the highway before getting too close.
If we were having coffee….You would likely ask about my kids. They are growing So. Fast. I cannot get over it. I already have a 7th grader?! What?! How did that happen? It’s been pretty fun for the most part. I’m enjoying junior high sports but not junior high drama. I’m sure it will end….
Great to catch up with you! Can’t wait until next month when we can sit down again over coffee and chat.
Tell me about any tips you have for running in the dark or any funny stories about encounters you’ve had on a dark run.
**Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my two giveaways going on right now: Enter to win 50 customized holiday cards from Basic Invite and sign up with Audible for a free 30-day trial!
Running is different for everyone. Some people run for fun, others for fitness, others to compete and some for all of those reasons combined. I’ve been running now for about 15 years and I still have to work to enjoy it and sometimes, I have to admit, I get bored. I know! My husband would have a fit if I admitted this to him. But, I need a distraction, especially on long runs. I need to have something to take my mind off of my aching legs or burning lungs. I started running later in life as a way to get into shape and lose a few pounds. It is work for me every time, every mile. My husband knows that about me and so he lovingly purchased an iPod for me about 10 years ago. It truly was a game changer for me and my daily mileage.
I was commuting to work about 25 minutes each way and I had become somewhat addicted to audiobooks. The drive never bothered me because I was always into a great book. I thought, “why not try the same thing while I run?” So I set to work downloading an audiobook onto my iPod and tried it out. Unbelievable! I found myself running a bit further just to get to the end of the chapter. I’ve been listening to audiobooks for nearly every mile that I’ve run for the last 10 years. I think I might have mentioned my obsession with audiobooks a time or two previous posts (here, here, here, and here) — see, I am obsessed! I credit this form of distraction for getting me through the training for several half marathons among many other distances over the years.
On my iPod at the moment: one of my favorite authors, James Patterson
My favorite type of books are mystery novels. And I have a handful of favorite authors as well, such as James Patterson, John Grisham, David Baldacci, and Michael Connelly. Another author that I just love is Janet Evanovich. She writes this series about a bond enforcement agent, Stephanie Plum, who is such a goof that it typically has me laughing out loud while running. *Try to imagine the looks that I get when I run on the treadmill at the gym–yeah, that happened!
**Disclaimer** Please be safe. Just as listening to music lessens your awareness to your surroundings, so does listening to audiobooks. When I run outside, I always only have one ear bud in my ear to leave the other one free to hear cars, bicyclists, or other runners.
You can find audiobooks in a variety of locations. There is a HUGE selection of books, genres, authors, etc. at Audible. If you are unsure of where to start, just head over to their website. They make it easy to find something that interests you.
Audible allows you to search by type, subject, author, etc.
And, as you can see from the image above, they are offering you a free trial for 30 days to see how you like it. So don’t just take my word for it, go ahead and give it a try!
With a title like that, I am sure you are expecting me to talk about the leaves, the crisp cool mornings, how it is super dark (and somewhat scary) out on my morning runs… BUT, you would be mistaken! I am going in a totally different direction this time!
With the start of fall, comes the rush of the holiday season. I am sure there is a study somewhere that shows that time actually speeds up during this time of year and if you close your eyes for too long, the year will be over and we’ll be ringing in 2017.
It is because of this time-moving-at-warp-speed thing, that I fail Every. Single. Year. to get my Christmas cards out on time (on time = before Christmas). Last year, I didn’t even get them out by Valentine’s Day!
I stumbled upon Basic Invite late in the summer when researching holiday cards and I love the many creative cards with fun colors and cool fonts.
Keep reading to see how you can win 50 free customizable cards from Basic Invite!
Basic Invite has almost unlimited color options with over 160 different colors! Once you select a card design, you can change the color of each element on the card and get instant previews online. Speaking of colors, even the envelopes come in over 40 different color options!
This is an example of the editor box. Once you select a color or element you want to customize, the options seem endless!
In addition, Basic Invite lets you order a printed sample of the actual card. I don’t know about you, but I am a fan of touch. I have to feel everything (my husband always complains about this when he shops with me). Who knew this would be so important when selecting cards, wedding invitations, baby announcements?! You get to actually feel the paper, the embossed lettering, the envelopes (which are peel and stick, I might add)!
Basic Invite has a huge library of cards ranging from thank you notes, invitations, save-the-dates, bridal or baby shower, graduation…you name it! I just happen to be a fan of Christmas cards!
Here are a couple of the examples that I created on the site. Now to narrow it down to my favorite!
….And because I couldn’t choose a favorite, I ordered 5!
This is the editor box for the card to the right
And now…how can you enter to win 50 customizable cards from Basic Invite? Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below! The giveaway will be open until October 9. I will notify the winner shortly after closing the drawing.