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

Archive for November, 2017

From Japan with Love

You may have noticed that the scenery has changed a bit in my pictures and that’s because it HAS! That’s because a few months ago I relocated from sunny Southern California to The Land of the Rising Sun (seriously, the sun rises crazy early).

So I thought I would share what I’ve been up to and what I’ve learned over the last few months!

Trains are the way of life.  I’m still trying to navigate the train systems – like figure out if I need to be on a local or express train.  I had never been on a train before living here, so this has been quite the experience.  There is also train etiquette – everyone is pretty quiet and you don’t invade other people’s space.  They are also very clean!  This is kind of surprising since public trash cans aren’t as common as they are in the U.S.

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Noodles are on every corner.  You won’t find many drive thru fast food restaurants here with the exception of a McDonald’s here and there, but you will find sushi and noodles spots everywhere!  And ramen is amazeballs here!

No drink refills.  Unlike dining in the U.S., you will have to pay for each cup of soda in most restaurants.  But you will get unlimited water and many places have pitchers of ice water right on the table!  Also, there is no tipping and the servers rarely check on you because they want you to enjoy your meal without being interrupted.

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Treats are everywhere!  While we are on the topic of food, you will also find donut shops, ice cream, pastries, crepes, etc. on almost every block.  Sweets are a big deal here and it’s all delicious!  You will also find KitKat bars in all types of flavors like wasabi and wine flavor!

Starbucks isn’t the same.  You will find Starbucks all over Japan, but their drink options aren’t quite the same as they are in the U.S. (no pumpkin spice lattes here) 😦 And the drinks are also a little sweeter than they are back home, but I’ve tried some interesting flavors as well like the Almond Milk and Granola Frappuccino!

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Vending machines.  Speaking of coffee, you can find it in any vending machine.  Cold or HOT!  That’s right, you can get hot coffee, tea, or hot chocolate right out of the vending machine!  And you literally can’t walk more than 10 steps without passing a vending machine in Japan.

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Toilets.  Toilets are either really fancy or really primitive.  😉

Playgrounds.  The parks in Japan are unlike anything you’ve ever seen!  So much larger and complete with streams, bouncy areas, zip lines, roller coaster slides, etc.  Even the adults have a great time!

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Manhole covers. You can find art everywhere you look, including the street!  Even the manhole covers are beautifully painted!

Nature.  You really don’t have to go far to appreciate the nature in Japan!  There are gardens everywhere, beautiful forests, and the trees are so unique and gorgeous!

Temples.  Temples are everywhere and they are quite sacred so do as the locals do as respect the grounds.  Also visit the Big Buddha! It looks just the way it does in the history books!

Narrow Roads.  The roads are pretty narrow here which takes some getting used to…as well as the whole driving on the left side of the road deal.  There’s also tons of pedestrians so you gotta watch out for people riding bikes and crossing the street.

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Tokyo.  Tokyo is enormous.  There are so many different districts and things to look at…you could easily get lost for days in this city.  Harajuku has some pretty amazing shopping spots and the architecture is unique and beautiful!  Shibuya Crossing (Pedestrian Scramble) is insanely busy and a great place to sit and watch all the traffic!

The people.  The people here are so friendly and many will try to speak as much English as they can when speaking to you. They are so polite and will help you if you are lost!

I’m still adjusting to this new life, but trying to enjoy the ride. 🙂  Stay tuned for more updates on Japan and I will continue to share the SWAG as much as I can!

And continue to enjoy the view! 🙂

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Have you been to Japan?  What was your favorite part?

I’m off to explore!

~SM

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Rockin’ Out with My Shokz Out

“Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Earlier this year, I tested a pair of wired Aftershokz headphones and they were pretty great…buuutttt wired has kinda become soooo 2016. Cause ya know, some phones don’t even have headphone ports now.  And then Aftershokz stepped up their game and came out with a new version of their bone-conducting headphones – called Trekz Air!

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In case you aren’t familiar with bone-conducting technology, here is an explanation straight from the Aftershokz website: “Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.”  Basically, the headphones sit ABOVE your ears rather than going INSIDE of your ears.

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Me and Mount Fuji

Pretty fancy huh?  But how do they feel?  Umm…I barely noticed I was wearing them!  The unique thing about the Trekz Air is that they are the most lightweight model from Aftershokz.  The entire product is made from titanium so that they fit snug and secure…and did I mention that you can barely feel them?  And you don’t have to fumble with ANY wires!  I even ran on some pretty windy and rainy days and they didn’t budge one bit!

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How do they sound?  I was a little skeptical about trying headphones that don’t go inside my ears, because sometimes I like to really jam out (like when I’m cleaning) and tune out everything around me.  So the first thing I did when I put these on was crank up the volume.  And surprisingly, I actually had to turn it down a few notches – the sound was clearer and louder than I had imagined.  I even used them to watch a whole movie while on the elliptical and hit the treadmill during “rush hour” at the gym and had no sound issues either time.

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But could I REALLY hear my surroundings?  Yes! I usually run with my kids or take them along to the family gym so I love knowing that I can hear them as well as my surroundings while running and working out.

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What about performance?   Trekz Air were inspired by elite athletes and I definitely feel that these are an elite pair of headphones.  Music motivates me to run and workout so I always expect my headphones to perform well.  I loved that I was able to just focus on my run while wearing these, rather than adjusting my headphones or worrying about an earbud falling out. I also liked that “Audrey” (the little voice lady in the headphones) talks you through powering on and off, pairing, and playing music.

Overall, I really love this product and I will continue using them for my future runs and workouts!

Who else would love them?  Anyone!  Maybe you are looking for the perfect gift for a special person in your life.  Look no further!  Everyone would love a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air in their stocking!  They aren’t just for athletes!  They work great with hearing aids too!  Or maybe you share your headphones with friends sometimes but don’t like the idea of sharing earwax and whatnot (yeah…gross).  Well no wax worries here!  And you aren’t killing your eardrums by listening to your music too loud.  So there are lots of reasons why a pair of Aftershokz should always be in your bag!

Price?  $149.95 – This is pretty comparable to other Bluetooth headphone brands.  Plus FREE SHIPPING!

Battery life? – Awesome!  6 hours on a continuous charge!

Any cons?  –  Well I do wish they came in other colors so hopefully they will be adding colors to their line in the near future.

What comes in the package?

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-A charging cable, a sleek carrying case, ear plugs, and an instruction booklet

SWAG BONUS: You can score a FREE Bibrave Trucker Hat with your order!bibrave.aftershokz.com

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to #beopen!  The only thing you will need to worry about are what new songs to add to your playlist!

Join me on #Bibchat on Twitter on Tuesday, November 28th at 6pm CST for your chance to win a pair of your own!

I’m off to review the next product!

~SM

Why Being a BibRave Pro Rocks!

“Disclaimer: I received awesome products and race entries to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I’ve been a BibRave Pro for a little over a year now and I really wanted to share why I love being an ambassador for BibRave. I’ll also share how you can become one too! So here are a few reasons why I’ve decided to continue as a Pro into 2018! IMG_1274

  • Sweet SWAG!  – Let’s go ahead and get the obvious reason out of the way.  BibRave provides some awesome swag for their ambassadors and this year we even received a welcome gift from RunnerBox!
  • Awesome Running Products! – BibRave also offers their Pros opportunities to test out the latest and greatest in running gear and nutrition.  I never would have discovered some of my fave running products if it weren’t for BibRave!
  • Amazing Races! – Do you have your eye on a particular race?  BibRave partners with some awesome race organizations and as a BibRave Pro you’ll have a shot at free race entries to some popular events!  This year, BibRave partnered with the Hot Chocolate 15k and Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon just to name a few!

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  • Rad Running Community! – Once you become a BibRave Pro you’ll be connected with a fun group of other Pros to share all of your running-related questions, advice, and experiences!  You may even get to meet a few of them at some of your races!

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So do you love: Running? The color orange? Reviewing races? Social media? Testing running gear? Blogging about running? Networking with other runners?  Then BibRave is for you!  Apply today!

https://www.bibrave.com/bibravepro

Get Social!

See what all of the BibRave Pros are up to on social media by following the hashtag #Bibchat  – And join the BibRave party every Tuesday night on Twitter at 8pm CST!

Also learn something new each week on the BibRave Podcast!

And be sure to check out the newest BibRave Blog for all things running and racing!

So what are you waiting for!  Apply today and see where BibRave can take you!

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~SM

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