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

Archive for November, 2016

Go With Your Gut

In case you’re not familiar with probiotics, they are basically “good bacteria” that benefit your digestive system or all that junk in your gut.  You can find it in the form of pills, powders or certain foods, like yogurt.  I was excited to try Dr. Mercola’s Complete Probiotic Powder Packets since I’m not really good with taking pills and I kind of get burnt out on yogurt.

I was even more excited to receive my package because it came with…you guessed it…SWAG!

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The SWAG included a tote bag, a shaker cup, and Dr. Mercola’s own health magazine.

I was a little worried that the taste of the powder would be too grainy or fake, but I was surprised that it tasted like raspberry Kool-Aid!

I definitely recommend taking advantage of the shaker cup because if you just stir up the powder with water, there might be some tiny clumps.  You can also add it into juice, but I think it’s sweet enough to just add to water.

I didn’t really have any digestive health problems prior to trying Dr. Mercola’s packets, but I was interested to see if I would feel any different after taking them.  I took a packet each morning and after a couple of weeks, I definitely felt less bloated, which is pretty awesome since I tried these during the week of Thanksgiving.

Then, I let my daughter try the Kid’s version!  The main difference between the adults and kids packets is that the adult probiotic contains 270 mg of the active ingredients and the kids probiotic contains only 33 mg of the active ingredients.

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I have a pretty picky four-year-old so I wasn’t really expecting her to be interested in this new beverage.  But she proved me wrong by guzzling down her “raspberry drink” and then asking for more!  So I’m looking forward to adding this to her daily diet!

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In addition to testing out the probiotics, I also read the magazine that came along with the packets.  There was some interesting information including lots of tips and guidelines for healthy eating.

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I had heard of some of the information before from other sources, but some of it was new to me.  Like the recommendation of occasionally skipping breakfast? And the Emotional Freedom Technique.  Overall, It was a pretty interesting read and even included a couple of worksheets.

As my first time really trying a probiotic supplement, I would say this is something that  I would continue to use in the future.  I like that the packets are easy to throw in a purse without the worry of refrigeration.  I liked the taste and I liked that there is a version for kids.  Dr. Mercola also gets extra points because my daughter actually approved of the taste as well! They are also soy-free and gluten-free which is great for people with allergies. You can learn more about Dr. Mercola on his website and also read more health related articles as well as shop for other products.

The Complete Probiotics Powder Packets for Adults (30 packets per box) retails for $41.97.

The Complete Probiotics Powder Packets for Kids (30 packets per box) retails for $29.87.

*Note: I received this product for free from Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet Blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog.  The opinions posted are my own.

What do you think of probiotics?!

~SM

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Not All Heroes (or Heroines) Wear Capes

What does the word “hero” mean to you?  Maybe you think of someone who fights crime, dresses in costume, or someone with an intimidating name.  Or maybe you think of someone who saves people, stands up for what is right or acts selflessly.  Either way, whether we know it or not, real life heroes and heroines are a big part of history and now we have books that highlight these special people.

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National Geographic Kids has compiled a list of real life heroes and heroines and conveys them in a way that is relatable to kids!  These hardcover books are aimed at kids aged 8-12, but I did try and discuss them a little with my almost 4-year-old.  And my almost 2-year-old enjoyed flipping through the books and looking at all of the colorful pictures.

And something else awesome happened….I enjoyed reading the books myself!  History is probably my least favorite subject, but I liked how the book was organized in a way where you could easily read all of the facts about each person.  I was familiar with most of the people in the book, but I was introduced to some new heroes and heroines as well!  I was also intrigued by many of the men and women in each book and it inspired me to learn more about their stories.

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I liked that the books highlighted important people from all genres, backgrounds and categories.  Some I had never even thought of as heroes and heroines before…like animals!  Yes, there is an animal section and I love it!

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Within the Heroes Book, there is a little section that highlights “Gutsy Gals” and within the Heroines Book, there is a “Daring Dudes” section.  I think this is an interesting aspect of the books that highlights the importance of each gender.

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And my daughter was super excited to see her favorite superhero showcased in the book!

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Yep, Wonder Woman!  She has a Wonder Woman costume from a couple of Halloweens ago, but she loves putting the costume on sometimes and pretending to save the day!

Another cool thing about the books is that they each end with an “Action Plan”.  Basically there are suggestions for kids about simple ways they can be real life heroes and heroines in their own community.

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While my kids are still a bit too young to really understand these books, I think they are good to have on hand so I can show them how real life heroes and heroines can be present in our everyday lives.

Overall, I think these books are a great learning tool and educational resources for kids.  They are great to keep in your book collection and they would also make great gifts!

What qualities do you look for in a hero or heroine? Try asking your kiddos and see what types of responses you get!

Each book retails for $14.99 and can be found in most bookstores and on Amazon: Book of Heroes and Book of Heroines.

*Disclaimer:  I received this product for free from Moms Meet , May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I have agreed to use this product and post my honest opinion. The opinions posted are my own.

Can’t wait to review the next product!

~SM

 

 

Look Fly with a SPI(belt)

If you’re like me, at one time or another you have tried running while juggling at least three things in hand…and not like one of those cool running juggler people either.  More than likely, you probably look uncomfortable and not to mention inefficient. Which is why I was stoked to learn about the SPIbelt!

So what is a SPIbelt, you ask?  Well the name says it all!  A SPIbelt is a “small personal item” belt designed to hold all of your essentials while on the run…and you also kind of look like a rad secret agent with your handy belt. 😉

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I’m gonna go ahead and state the obvious…yes, it kind of looks like a glorified fanny pack at first…but I assure you…they are much cuter and less bulky than a fanny pack.  And if by chance you DO love fanny packs, then I am confident that you will also love this SPIbelt.

There are several SPIbelt options to choose from. I had the chance to review the SPIbelt Performance Series in pink!  Here are a few quick facts about the SPIbelt:

  • It holds most smartphones
  • It’s bounce-free
  • It has 4 loops for energy gels
  • It fits waist sizes up to 52″
  • It’s weather-resistant, but NOT waterproof

And it came with some SWAG! Yippee!

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These stickers are great to spice up boring hydration bottles! 🙂

It also came with some instructions, which is perfect for us visual learners.

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So before I tell you about my experience with the SPIbelt, let me tell you how I lived life without one.  Now, I usually push a stroller on my runs which normally blows cause of the extra weight, uneven terrains, hills, etc.  However, the one great thing about pushing a stroller is that you always have a place to store your things.  My Bob Revolution has cup holders, zippered pockets, and a huge storage basket.  It’s basically like the Cadillac of strollers.  But a couple of times a week, I do have the opportunity to run stroller-free and this is where I run into logistical problems.  Where do I put my keys, cash, phone, etc.?  Most running shorts don’t have pockets.  At best, there is a tiny inside pocket that will hold one key and maybe some cash.  I’ve had to run many races with my key tied to my shoelaces, money hidden in my shoe, all while holding my phone. It’s awkward and annoying.  Which by the way, phones are getting bigger so they aren’t as easy to hold for 3+ miles anymore.

So I was overjoyed to finally try a SPIbelt!  It was perfect timing since I am training for the upcoming Carlsbad Half Marathon and I have been adding in some longer runs.  I couldn’t wait to ditch the kiddos so I could try this puppy out.

It was super easy to put on and adjust before heading out for an afternoon run.  It took a little time to get used to running with it the first time.  It almost felt like trying to run when your six months pregnant.  The extra weight on the lower part of your stomach feels awkward at first, but then you get used it after a mile or so. I was really surprised at how well if conformed to my body and didn’t bounce throughout my runs.  Even when climbing some pretty steep stairs!

I also liked that I had place to store my pepper spray!

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Another one of my running adventures was to Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach.  This is also a very hilly and windy area and I liked being able to store my keys and phone without the worry of my things falling off scary cliffs.

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Another great time to use your SPIbelt is when taking your dog on the run!  It’s a great place to store baggies so you can quickly clean up after your dog and continue on with your activity!

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And if your dog is big enough, they can rock the SPIbelt too! 😉

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So let’s talk about the functionality of the pocket and the loops.  I’m not a huge energy gel person just because I’m not a fan of most of the tastes and textures, but I like the energy blocks or anything that has more of a “gummy bear” texture.  The loops were kind of tight and I had to work to get anything in there.  Design wise, I imagine it’s to keep the SPIbelt as small and flexible as possible…but function wise, I wasn’t a huge fan mostly because I don’t have a ton of patience for that type of stuff.  Not a big deal though, because I can easily throw the energy supplements into the zippered pocket part.

And speaking of the zippered pocket, I thought it was great except for one thing – Getting the phone in and out was kind of a hassle.  I think if I had taken the case off (I have an iPhone 6S), it would have fit a little better.  However, due to my children I never take the case off.  I also run with Bluetooth headphones sometimes and I felt that at certain points during the run (mostly if I had to stop), the phone and the headphones didn’t sync as well – meaning the song would go in and out or completely stop.  But it was only if I stopped in certain spots and wasn’t a complete deal breaker.  The other issue is if you want to change a song or if you needed to pause your run (like when using a running app).  I typically run with a Garmin so pausing or stopping wasn’t an issue, but changing a song or declining a call was kind of a pain.  If you are going to keep your phone in there with a few other things, I suggest trying to keep it in there for the duration of the run.  Or else you will be spending extra time trying to squeeze it back in the pocket.

I think the SPIbelt Performance Series comes at a reasonable price as well – $25.99 with free shipping on U.S. orders.  And you can save 20% using code “BibChat2016” until November 18th, 2016.  There are also come nifty accessories that you can add, like a race bib holder (so you don’t put holes in your fancy race day shirts) and an H20 companion.

Overall, I really liked the SPIbelt and I know I will be using it more as the half marathon draws closer and my runs become longer.  I think it’s a great tool that all runners should check out and they make great gifts for a runner in your life! I know I’m grateful for mine!

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Don’t forget to catch #BibChat this Tuesday on Twitter at 6pm PST.  You will have the chance to learn more about the SPibelt and maybe even win one of your own!  Chat with you then! 😉

You can also read what some other BibRave Pros thought of the SPIbelt Performance series:

Erica’s Review

Carolyn’s Review

*Disclaimer: I received the SPIbelt Performance Series for free to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Can’t wait to review the next product!

~SM

Be a Real Life Superhero!

Do your kids love dressing up and role playing?  Well if they enjoy being superheroes and saving the day, then checkout Superfly Kids!  It’s a place where you can create custom capes for both yourself and your littles.  Yes, you can play dress up along with the kiddos!  These are great for both everyday fun and parties or special occasions.

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The steps are simple to follow to create a unique cape:

First you pick a size – I picked “sidekick” for my almost 4-year-old.

Then you pick a color – I picked “purple” out of 12 options.

Choose an emblem – I picked “heart” out of 8 options.

Then an emblem color, cape letter, and cape letter color.  I let my daughter help pick all of these options since she was the one that was gonna be rockin’ it.

Then you get to preview your creation and make any changes!

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My cape arrived about a week later, although per the website, it says it takes about 2-3 weeks.

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Then it was time to see my creation in person!

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Ta-da!  Pretty rad, huh?

Then it was time to put my cape into action and my tiny hero couldn’t wait to test it out!

This is her superhero stance by the way.  And she’s about 37 inches to give you an idea on the size.  She’s kind of a smaller 3-year-old so it was a little big, but not enough to slow her down.  She also really loved the colors and that it had her initial on it.  She ran around in it all day without it falling off so I was pretty impressed as well.

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That’s her “flying” stance by the way.  Overall, we both really loved the cape and I think it would make a great gift for any hero in your life, big or small!

The best part about Superfly Kids is that they offer “Cause Capes”. You can create, donate, or fundraise for a cape that will support a various cause.  You can learn more about these capes and the supported causes here.  If you are interested in being a real life hero then I definitely recommend getting involved with Cause Capes!  You will bring joy and happiness to a child who is going through a difficult situation.  If you love scoring swag like me, then you’ll definitely love giving some back to a deserving child!  Generosity is a fantastic superpower! 😉

Another way you can get involved is to donate or participate in The Super Run!  I actually ran this 5k earlier this year and thought it was a fun event for the whole family.  Check it out and look for a Super Run event at a city near you! You can refresh your memory on my experience (and the swag) at The Super Run with my previous blog post here.

I think the Cause Capes as well as the custom capes from Superfly Kids are a fun and creative way to turn the whole family into real life superheroes!

**Disclaimer: I received a free custom cape from Superfly Kids in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Aloha, beaches!

Last month I ran The Aloha Run in San Diego on a beautiful day near Mission Bay!  This event has a 5k or 10k option and I ran the 5k with my mini-runner in the Bob Stroller.  The pricing for this run ranged from $30-$55 depending on your registration date with an option to add a timing chip for $2. I actually was able to run this for FREE and I’ll tell you how a little later on.  So onto the race breakdown!

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Expo/ Packet pick-up: There was a packet pick-up option the day before the race at Road Runner Sports.  I was unable to make it in time so I snagged my stuff the morning of the race. This is one of the perks of pushing a stroller during a race – you always have a place to stash all of your race goodies.

Parking: Free parking was available close to the race start line if you arrived early enough.  I, of course, arrived last minute so I had to park about a half mile away in a big dirt lot.

Race location: The event was held at Tecolote Shores Park in Mission Bay near Sea World.  Many races are held in this area due to its flat, paved course (although some spots can be a bit narrow when trying to push a stroller). It’s also a very scenic area along the water and the weather was great in the morning, but it got pretty warm later on.  Luckily, the race began at 7:30am so I was able to enjoy some of the cool breeze before the heat set in.

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Race Course/Organization: Again, the course was flat and paved…however it was quite a crowded race.  And since it is considered a fun run, many people were walking and hogging up the whole sidewalk.  The 10k started 15 minutes prior to the 5k and we were separated into waves about five minutes apart.  I started a little towards the back since I had my stroller and wasn’t planning on trying to PR.  This was a big mistake because I got stuck behind tons of walkers…so if you plan to run this race in the future, and I mean actually RUN, then I suggest starting at the front.  But the course was unique in that there were various areas of Hawaiian entertainment along the way.  How fun!

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Finish Line/Post-Race party: We were greeted at the finish line with a beautiful medal (my mini even got one!) and some water that tasted not so great.  There were lots of vendors and there was finally a good DJ!  He stayed near the band and gave out prizes to the dancing audience.  He also was the one getting us hype during the wait time in our waves at the start of the race.  People were also walking around handing out leis to everyone, but I think it would have been more dope if they had given them out along with the medals at the finish line.

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And two of my fave vendors were at the race: Hubert’s Lemonade and Arctic Zero!

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My mini also approved of these flavors!  Check them out!

Overall impressions of the event: I loved the location, especially since it was right next to a playground so my daughter could let out some energy after being in the stroller for a while.  The scenery was also beautiful and fit perfectly with the Hawaiian theme.  The only downfall was that it was crowded, so I would start towards the front next time.  Overall, I had fun and really felt positive vibes throughout the event! I liked the different elements of Hawaii that were incorporated throughout the race and the volunteers were all very friendly and helpful.  I also ran this with a couple of other Stroller Warriors which made the post-race experience even more fun!

How did run for FREE?!  The Aloha Run held a contest on their Facebook page about a month before the race.  The challenge was to write a short poem about running and the post with the most likes would win a 5k entry (not including the $2 price of the timing chip).  Only about four of us entered and I shared on my personal FB page asking people to help out by liking my entry.  And my friends totally rock cause I won! So a big Mahalo to all of you that helped me score a free race entry! Many races run these types of contests on their Facebook pages so keep a lookout and you could win, too!

So what was the SWAG?!

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-A beautiful medal with leis

-A unisex cotton shirt, which ended up being too big

Kashi granola bar

Jenny Craig granola bar

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar – this was delicious!

Kashi Go Lean Clusters bowl

Bio Freeze gel sample

Gaslamp Popcorn Co. All Natural Kettle Corn

Wanu Vitamin Water

Coola Sport Sunscreen – this has really great reviews!

-Bunch of coupons and flyers

-Free race photos

-Beautiful scenery

And the hula skirt moves! 🙂

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What do you think?  Did you participate in The Aloha Run and score some great swag?!  Or maybe you ran the Long Beach Aloha Run and had a different experience?  I’d love to hear!

See you at the next event! Aloha!

~SM

 

 

 

 

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