Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Archive for May, 2016

Chula Vista Community Fun Run

Earlier this month I participated in the 8th annual Chula Vista Community 5k.  The first thing that drew me to this run was that it’s held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.  How cool is that?!  You get to run around a venue where actual Olympic athletes have spent several hours training for the grandest athletic event in the world!  Now, you can come at certain times during the week for a free audio-guided tour; however, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to actually run around the training grounds and pretend to be an Olympian myself!  The second thing that attracted me to this event was that it was only $10!  I like cheap – so a 10 buck run is right up my alley.  I did have to pay a two dollar online fee (those pesky fees), but the price included a custom bib with my name printed on it and a t-shirt.  Also, children 3 and under were free although they don’t receive a bib or t-shirt.

You could choose to pick-up your packet either the day before or the morning of – I had someone grab mine the day before and from what I heard it went pretty smoothly.  The parking situation was interesting.  I arrived to the venue about 10 minutes early (it was a fun run, not a timed race – so I wasn’t worried about being exactly on time.) But much to my dismay, I was met with a long line of cars waiting to get in and find parking.  There were a couple of parking attendees, but they didn’t seem really prepared for the amount of cars that morning.  By the time I got close to the parking lot, I was informed that it was full and I needed to turn around and drive back to a church I had passed earlier and park in a dirt lot behind the church parking lot.  This was a little frustrating because it did make me a later than I wanted to be for the start of the race.  I wish that there had been better communication between the parking lot attendants so that I didn’t waste time waiting in line and driving around in a circle.  But, eh whatever, 10 dollar race – you live and learn.

 

 

It was kind of a bummer that I started the run 10 minutes late, but I caught up pretty quick to everyone and it was a cool and misty morning (thanks, marine layer).  It was really amazing just running through all of the different event areas and imagining all of the athletes that have been there displaying their talents. There were plenty of volunteers at the start and end of the run and a couple of water stations.  Here are some course pics!

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My favorite part of the race was getting to run on an actual Olympic training track!  It was not only inspiring, but insanely soft and springy – it felt like running on a cloud!

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There was also a bounce house about 3/4 of the way into the course which was a nice touch for the kids!  The finish line included water and fruit and there was an optional $5 pancake breakfast.  Afterwards, we headed up to visit the sponsor tents and see the torch!  A few athletes were signing posters and Sea World had a big table with activities where they brought a few small animals for everyone to meet.

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The DJ looked lonely as usual until the raffle started and then he was surrounded.  I didn’t enter the raffle this time, but I did hear him announce a few restaurant gift cards.

Besides visiting the vendors and checking out the torch, there was also a gift shop and BMX bike museum to checkout and a podium to pose on.

olympic_bikesIMG_5807IMG_5804IMG_5806IMG_5552P.S. I don’t know those people ^^^     So what was the SWAG?!

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  • I already mentioned the t-shirt, although I will add that it’s a tech tee, so bonus!
  • A signed poster by a few athletes (although I had no idea who they were)
  • The Hubert’s strawberry lemonade was pretty good, I would probably drink it again
  • A custom bib as previously mentioned
  • Bottle of water
  • Tote bag
  • Magnetic clip
  • Flash light keychain
  • Free trial coupons from 24-Hour Fitness
  • Toothbrushes
  • Lots of toothpaste!

I will also say that I didn’t get a chance to hit up every vendor as I brought my squirmy baby-toddler with me this time and he doesn’t have a lot patience for swag shenanigans. So the haul could have been greater, but I really was just taking in the scenery and enjoying roaming around the facility.  Also, race photos were available for purchase a few days after the event.

I really enjoyed this event and since it is super family-friendly I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun run.  I will warn you that dogs were warmly welcomed to this event, which is great because I love dogs; however, I had to swerve and dodge a lot of them so you really have to pay attention to your path.  I also liked that the proceeds went to help afterschool health programs in the area.   My only recommendations:

  • Better preparation/communication for the whole parking situation.
  • Offer medals/awards so we could at least pretend to be winners of the day!  I would have paid a little extra in registration fees so that I could add an “Olympic medal” to my collection. ūüėČ

Overall, it’s a great event especially for the price – so check it out!  Go Team USA!!

 

 

~SM 

 

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Walmart Beauty Box (Spring 2016)

I received my Walmart Beauty Box¬†last month and was pleasantly surprised with the contents.¬† Walmart must have heard my complaints about the flimsy one time use samples because I¬†only received one of¬†those this time around!¬† As a reminder, this box ships every season and costs $5 to cover shipping.¬† They also ask¬†for your age to¬†customize your¬†items.¬† Under 35 gets the Trendsetter version;¬†Over 35 gets the Classic version. ¬†Let’s take a look inside the Trendsetter box!

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Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer – This lotion has improved over the years.¬† When it first came out I thought it kind of had an orange tint and a horrible smell.¬† The scent is lighter now and it has more of a natural color now.¬† I already have a pretty decent tan so I didn’t see a huge difference; however, maybe if I used this for a few weeks in a darker shade I would see more of a dramatic change.¬† I think it’s a great alternative to lying in the sun for hours or hitting up the tanning bed.¬† Protect your skin, people!!

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Subtle Lightning Shampoo – I only used this once because¬† I got my hair colored the day after receiving this box and I was worried about it interfering with my already processed hair.¬† I think it’s a great idea for anyone wanting a subtle color change without paying big bucks.¬† It kind of reminds me of a new age Sun-In (do they still make that stuff?)

Burt’s Bees BB Cream – This was the only one time use packet in the box, but I didn’t mind since it was foundation.¬† I really liked this product – it covered well and I like Burt’s Bees products in general.¬† I would most likely purchase this in the future.¬† It also included a $3 off coupon so even more reason to switch to this brand!

Curel Itch Defense Body Wash – This had a very clean and smooth feel to it with not much of a scent.¬† I don’t really have super dry skin, but I would imagine this would be very beneficial to someone suffering from a dry skin issue.

CeraVe Healing Ointment – I only used this once, but I like that it didn’t feel greasy or go on heavy at all.¬† I think this would also be a great product who has issues with chafed or cracked skin.

Colgate Optic White High Impact White Toothpaste – I was pretty stoked to receive a whole tube of toothpaste in this box!¬† I did notice a slight difference in my teeth after about a week of use.¬† I also have pretty sensitive teeth and this toothpaste didn’t seem to make them anymore sensitive.

Neutrogena Moisture Smooth Color Stick – Pink Grapefruit – I love, love, love this lipstick!¬† I love the color and that how¬†it leaves¬†my lips feeling moisturized and smooth.¬† It also has a wonderful grapefruit scent that¬†isn’t too overwhelming.¬† The color also lasted longer than many of my other lip glosses.¬† I did combine it with one of my lip glosses on occasion to add an extra bit of shine.¬† I have pretty much used this product every day and will continue to use it in the future!

Overall, I was really pleased with this beauty box.  The Neutrogena Color Stick retails for around $6-$7 and the toothpaste retails for around $4, so just with those products alone I would say the $5 for this particular box was worth it.  I also discovered some pretty awesome products that I would not have otherwise tried.

Let me know what you received in your Walmart Beauty Box!

~SM

ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k

Last weekend, I participated in the ACT (Autism Care & Treatment) Today! for Military Families 5k/10k in Fiesta Island (Mission Bay).  I did the 5k last year and I really like the cause that this event supports, so this race was a must-do this year!  This time was a little different, I completed the 10k (my first!) and I joined a team (Stroller Warriors) – which made me both excited and nervous. This race also puts out various promo codes leading up to the race, so I paid around $29, which is a pretty good deal for a 10k. I knew completing my first 10k would be much more enjoyable in the company of supportive women that I run with all the time…but I also didn’t train as much as I wanted – so the lingering thought of running 6.2 miles with a stroller was a bit overwhelming.

There were two options for packet pick-up – the evening before the race at  Woodstock Pizza in Pacific Beach or the morning of the race – I opted for the morning of.  The race started at 7:30am so I was up pretty early since I was bringing my 3-year old along for this ride.  We left on time (and by on time, I mean 10 minutes late – which is about normal for me) and found a parking spot a little less than half a mile from the start line.  Since I did this race before,  I remembered that the later you arrive, the further away you will have to park since it’s mostly street parking.  I really didn’t mind the warm-up though and it helped me get mentally prepared for the day.  However, what I did NOT prepare for was the rain!  This is Southern California people – it’s not supposed to rain – like, ever.  But lo and behold, here we are, on a cold (60-65 degrees) and rainy/drizzly early morning.  Luckily I brought an extra blanket for my DD (that’s darling daughter in case you aren’t down with mom lingo) and she was so sleepy that she didn’t even really notice the weather conditions.  Everything in me wanted to turn around and go home, but I knew that a group of Stroller Warriors would be waiting and ready to go, so I pushed forward and made it to the registration table to pick-up my bib number, chip-timer, and t-shirt.  Side note: I was pretty impressed with the t-shirts this year, they were a dark blue color compared to the grey color they were last year.

Then,  I headed over to meet up with the other Stroller Warriors.  Because we had around 35 members on our team, we received two tents with tables, chairs and snacks.  This was really nice because it gave us a place to all meet up before and after the race (since some of us were running the 5k and some the 10k).  The location of our tents was also close to the bounce house area, which was extra convenient so we could all watch the kiddos.  So moving on to the race!  Here we go!

I wish I had some really amazingly, beautiful pics for this race – but it was gloomy and drizzly the whole time so I didn’t have a lot to work with.  The 10k started 30 minutes before the 5k and I started near the back of the race since I knew I might be a little slower with my lack of training and stroller-pushing.  Another thing I really like about this race is that there is a separate stroller division when it comes to results, so that us stroller-pushers have a fighting chance at receiving an award.  Course support consisted of a few friendly volunteers cheering along the way and about three water stations; however, no course photographers.

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It was a pretty flat course the whole way, which is awesome for someone completing their first 10K and we were met at the finish with medals and water.  The DJ announced the runner’s name as they crossed the finish line – he got my name wrong, but whatevs…he tried.  See previous blog posts for my feelings on race DJ’s (hint: I kinda feel bad for them.).  I’ll also add that the race wasn’t overly crowded, which made passing and pulling over much easier. After the race, there was a big celebration catering to both kids and adults.  There were a ton of vendors, probably the most I’ve seen at any race – plus there were a lot of activities for the kids (I mentioned the bounce house earlier), a beer and wine garden, and a live band. And since this is an event benefitting autistic children, there was a quiet zone set up for children who may be sensitive to all of the noise and crowds which I thought was fantastic!

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I didn’t checkout the beer/wine garden cause I was freezing and would have preferred coffee, but I heard mixed reviews on the alcohol selection so I assume it was just all a personal preference.  The race directors and volunteers were all amazing and super helpful.  At one point, I lost my medal ūüė¶ but I told one of the volunteers and they gladly gave me a new one with no questions asked.  Overall, despite the cold and rain, it was really a great morning and I would definitely do this race again!  There are so many things to love about this race: The course, the price, the time of year (it’s not too hot yet), the course support, the sponsors, the vendors, free event photos, the children’s activities, the food, the music, the beverages, the medal, the swag (we will get to that in a moment), my amazing Stroller Warriors team, and above all else- the cause.  I think Autism awareness is really important, but being a military spouse myself I also like events that support military families- so this was all around a really great event!

So what was the SWAG?!

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I already mentioned that I liked the shirt much better this year, but I also think the medal was better as well.  As for the swag, there is too much to list!  But they were giving away bubbles like crazy!  And not pictured, they gave out a lot of fruit, bagels, bottles of Gatorade and bottles of water.  All of the vendors were very generous and friendly.  They all engaged in friendly conversation and I could tell that they really loved kids.  They also were kind enough to give away tons of swag and coupons.  I cannot say enough great things about this event and I would recommend this race to anyone looking for a fun and family friendly run!  Thanks again to ACT Today for Military Families and One Hope Wine!

Also, shoutout to my awesome friend for snagging this awesome pic of me crossing my first 10k finish line!

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See you at the next event!

~SM

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