The perfect gift for the girl-on-the-go

If you’re looking for a last minute gift for the traveler in your life, look no further than SeatDreamzzz. A new product solving for an old problem – the dreaded head-bob (and also drool, if you’re like me).  The extended “airline” strap wraps around the independent headrest, keeping your head stationed during the flight. For at home, or other traditional uses for a sleeping mask, you remove the extended strap to reveal the regular mask strap.

SeatDreamzzz is lightweight, waterproof and washable. Plus it’s compact and comes in an sidekick bag, allowing for extreme organization to keep all of your essentials in one place.

Plus you can get really creative and find other uses – like camping and hammock napping – in addition to traveling via plane, train and car, or using in bed.

My friend, Will, recently launched this Kickstarter campaign and I’ve been lucky to help him with his efforts!

And since SeatDreamzzz is still live on Kickstarter, if you wish to buy this product as a holiday gift, you can back this project and get instant access to a gift certificate to print at-home.…

Nothing Says Love Like Lobster Tails

When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I was obsessed with being the ultimate gourmet domestic goddess.  I would make everything from scratch; cinnamon ice cream, focaccia bread, key lime pies, etc.  Looking back I was a little ridiculous, because honestly, he would have been satisfied eating dinner from 7/11.  However, one of my favorite meals I cooked was from Valentine’s Day a couple years ago.  This dish includes two of the most over-advertised items this time of year: champagne and lobster tails.  It’s delicious, healthy and a little bit sexy.

 

Champagne and Orange-Steamed Lobster Tails en Papillote
from Cooking Light
INGREDIENTS:
8 orange slices
4 (5-ounce) lobster tails
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
3/4 cup dry Champagne or sparkling wine
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
DIRECTIONS:

    1. Preheat oven to 425°.
    2. Cut 4 (15 x 24-inch) pieces of parchment paper. Fold in half crosswise. Draw a large heart half on each piece, with the fold of the paper being the center of the heart.
    3. Cut out the heart, and open.
    4. Layer 2 orange slices, 1 lobster tail, 1 1/2 teaspoons butter, and 1 tablespoon fennel fronds near the fold of each piece of parchment.

  1. Spoon 3 tablespoons Champagne over each serving.
  2. Starting at the top of the heart, fold edges of parchment, sealing edges with narrow folds. Twist the end tip to secure tightly.
  3. Place packets on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.
  5. Carefully open packets. Remove meat from lobster tails; coarsely chop.
  6. Return meat to lobster tail shell; place on plate.
  7. Drizzle 1 packet of juices over serving; repeat with remaining 3 lobster tails and 3 packets.
  8. Sprinkle evenly with salt.

Under Armour Speedform Apollo Vent – Shoe Review

“The Under Armour SpeedForm Apollo running shoe is so lightweight, you might even forget you’re wearing shoes! The new ArmourVent upper makes this shoe even more breathable, allowing for your feet to quickly dry on hot days and sweaty sessions. I find it’s the perfect performance shoe for neutral runners, ideal for any fast distance 5k or less.”

See what others are saying about the Under Armour Speed…

Hoka One One: what shoes I'm running in

Even though EVERYONE (namely Andy) loves to make fun of me for these shoes, Hoka’s are my number one, absolute favorite running shoe.

I’ve been wearing these shoes since I got my first pair last December for a gift. I was hesitant because the first time I tested a pair (around Summer 2013), they were super chunky, rocky and felt like a whole-lotta shoe (this was around the time that minimalist shoes were still pretty popular). Fast forward to 2014 and more styles had been produced for a variety of different uses.

From marathon training to marathoning for M2B, what started out as a long-run shoe for me quickly transitioned into my all-the-time shoe.

When I heard they were discontinuing the Huaka style (the “lower profile” Hoka– a mix between a trail and road shoe), I got a little bummed. That is, until I found several pairs in different colors available on Running Warehouse (so of course I had to stock up).  Eventually I’ll have to transition to another style (probably either the Clifton or the Speed Goat), but until then I’ve got a couple pairs of Huaka’s to last me a couple more trainin cycles…

Food Blogger Cookie Swap : Eggnog Snickerdoodles: December – Thing One

This year I learned about and decided to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap.  And while this blog is primarily about running and healthy living, food makes up a good portion, sweets and treats included.  I mean, it’s all about balance, right?

The Food Blogger Cookie Swap is pretty simple.  You sign up, donate $4 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, get matched with 3 food bloggers, bake, ship out your cookies, receive cookies from 3 different food bloggers and post your recipe!

And today is the day that all the participating food bloggers post their cookie recipes.

For the swap, I made some truly holiday-spirited cookies.  This is a go-to recipe I’ve been making for the past 2 years during Christmas time –Eggnog Snickerdoodles.  These cookies combine the soft and fluffy goodness of a Snickerdoodle with the subtle holiday hint of eggnog and its spices.

I decided to package my cookies in ½ gallon mason jars, which fit 1 dozen cookies perfectly stacked.  I also opted for flat-rate boxes so that the weight of the package wouldn’t matter.

I sent 1 dozen each to 3 different food bloggers (A Kitchen Addiction, Miss In The Kitchen, and Stay And Have A Cookie) and received cookies from Where Has All The Flour Gone, Nicki’s Random Musings and Tales From The Crumb Tray.  I had so much fun making, packaging, and sending out my cookies and it was really exciting to unexpectedly receive a box of mysterious cookies…three times!  I also haven’t baked in a really long time, so it was great to engage in a swap.

Below is my recipe for Eggnog Snickerdoodles if you want to try them for yourself.  You won’t be disappointed!…

The secret to beautiful skin

I’ve mentioned it before, and Kate’s literally laughed in my face when I’ve said one of my goals has been to clear up my skin. For someone who had moderate pubescent acne, it’s stricken pretty hard as an adult.

For the past couple of months I’ve been pretty religious with my skin care, taking my “acne kit” around with me for anytime I’m not home.

I’ve gone from dermatologist prescribed (day topical: Acanya, night topical: Atralin, oral: minocycline,wash: Sumadan), to OTC (Juice Beauty), back to derm (night topical: Epiduo, oral: spironolactone).  You’ll see instead of having the whole gamut of prescriptions, I have one night topical and a blood pressure pill that doesn’t really work well to lower blood pressure but works better for acne (don’t ask me).

With this regimen, I was in need of a gentle wash and natural moisturizers. In search of this, I found my favorite skincare, Skinfix, just came out with a face line! Like the hand repair cream and rash repair balm I use, the face line is about as natural as you can get (which is important, especially when you’re dealing with an acne war zone!).  Made with natural ingredients and pH balanced, the formula is free of parabens, synthetic fragrance and dyes making it gentle and non-irritating.

Here’s what I’ve been using:

Foaming oil cleanser (97% natural) — I know my gut instinct is to gravitate towards an abrasive scrub to get rid of all oils and impurities.  However, when I do this, I find my skin produces more oil to compensate for everything it’s been stripped of. In stark contrast, this Skinfix foaming oil cleanser utilizes natural oils to keep your skin supple.  It’s dermatologist recommended and for all skin types.  It also uses coconut based cleansers that gently wash away …

Creamy Kale Green Drink

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  What better way to celebrate than by chugging a big ole green drink?!

Lately I feel like I keep wanting to add more and more kale to my drinks.  I think I’ve gotten over any evidence of taste…it’s become like spinach to my tastebuds.  This one is super frothy in a creamy, dreamy, tropical and filling way.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 cups kale
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup mango, frozen
1 cup pineapple, fresh
1 small banana, frozen
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place everything in a blender and blend until you reach a nice and smooth consistency.

La Croix Can Costume

This past weekend London and I had planned for the ultimate La Croix costume flavor throw down — Coconut vs. Pamplemousse.  Unfortunately, London ended up being too sickly to go out, so I ended up just being a single La Croix.

I love a good creative, inexpensive costume.  We probably spent around ~$20 total for this costume.  And I feel like we caught this right on the cusp of the La Croix trend.

What you need:

For the shirt:

  • Oversized Tshirt — H&M had some great men’s long tee’s that were perfect for this!  I bought taupe and London got a dusty rose color
  • Metallic acrylic paints
  • Cheap paint brushes and/or sponge applicator
  • Iron-on transfer sheets (we used these— came with 5 sheets for dark material– and they worked great!)
  • Printer and iron (duh)

For the headband:

  • Silver headband — the metal material of this one (also from H&M) matched
  • Can tab
  • Hot glue gun

Directions:

  1. Start by painting the back of the t-shirt first.  We followed the same design as the front of the La Croix cans, sans the logo.   Let dry overnight.
  2. Print the La Croix logo onto transfer paper.  I took the logo and separated it into “La” and “Croix” since the cans have a stacked logo but the La Croix logo is horizontal.  “La” and “Croix” each received their own transfer sheet (4 sheets total for 2 costumes).
  3. I also found a font that’s similar to the can flavor font (Comfortaa). I typed out the flavor names and picked up the dark blue color of the La Croix logo.  We shared a transfer sheet for “coconut” and “pamplemousse.”
  4. Cut the designs on the transfer sheet, leaving some white around.  The transfer sheets we used do not require you to mirror the image when you print

Be KIND (Bar Review)

I like KIND Bars for a light snack when you’re not feeling like heavy-duty protein bar.  They’re just like a nice cluster of nuts, spices and fruits in an easy, grab-and-go format.  These bars lived up to their names and all of the flavors tasted as they should, if not, even better.  All of these bars are around 200 calories, with roughly 5-7g of protein, 5-7g of fiber, and less than 5g of sugar.

 

 

Flavor review:

  • Almond Walnut Macadamia + Protein (with peanuts) – The addition of peanuts makes this bar taste reminiscent of a “peanut roll” candy bar.  I like that it has 10g of protein vs. the regular 5-7g.
  • Cashew & Ginger Spice – tastes like ginger snap cookies.
  • Madagascar Vanilla Almond – ever since fro-yo introduced me to “Madagascar vanilla” I’m a sucker for anything with that in the title.
  • Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Pecan – anything with dark chocolate, cinnamon and nuts is a winner in my book!
  • Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt – If I had to choose one of these bars to eat everyday for the rest of my life, it would probably be this one.  It  tastes like a decadant/gourmet chocolate, except for it’s not bad for you.

 

 

What’s your favorite kind of snack/granola/protein bar?

Disclaimer:  I was not compensated for this post, but  I received complimentary KIND Bars for my review.  However, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Be Thankful

The other night my yoga instructor read part of this sentiment and I wanted to share it.  We often don’t think of negatives as something to be thankful for; we primarily associate being thankful with positives.  This quote should shift your perspective about “being thankful,” at all moments in life, both good and bad.

The three verses I think would be good mantras are:

“Be thankful for the difficult times.  During those times you grow.”

“Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.”

“Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.”

 

Be Thankful
(Author Unknown)

Thanks for not having
Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Thanks for lacking knowledge
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Thanks for difficult times
Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Thanks for limitations
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Thanks for challenges
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.

Thanks for mistakes made
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Thanks for exhaustion
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made the effort.

Thanks for setbacks
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.

Thanks for troubles
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.…