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

Posts tagged ‘charity’

Feet in the Clouds

*Disclaimer: I received a free pair of OOFOS footwear 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!

“Your Feet Earned This!” – That’s the motto from OOFOS footwear. These little babies are not like any other type of footwear you’ve tried in the past.  These will literally change your life.

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At first glance they look like foam-platform sandals. Then, you put them on your feet and the magic happens.  It immediately feels like you are walking on clouds. On. Clouds. For real.  So what exactly are these magical cloud sandals?  Well here are some quick facts:

  • They absorb more shock than other foam footwear
  • They reduce stress on knees and back
  • Extra arch support to relieve pressure from hips, knees, and ankles
  • Soft and flexible so your foot keeps a natural stride
  • The OOfoam cushion lasts the life of the sandal
  • Machine washable and safe for showers
  • Super light – they even float!
  • Get more details here!

When I first received the OOFOS sandals, I thought they would be great for recovery after long runs…especially while training for the upcoming Hot Chocolate 15k.

 

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Recovering in my OOFOS and LEGend Compression sleeves!

But then I realized that I never wanted to take them off!  I wore them all around the house and they were great for folding laundry and doing the dishes!

 

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Dishes aren’t so bad in my OOFOS!

I have high arches and occasionally experience lower back pain, so slipping these sandals on felt like a dream!  They especially saved me after a grueling hike up to Potato Chip Rock (Elevation: 1800-2000 ft.)

I don’t think my back and hips would have recovered as quickly without the OOFOS! They were even light enough to throw in a bag for a little relaxation time to soak up some vitamin sea. 😉

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It doesn’t get better than beach time with some OOFOS!  Clouds! Really…Clouds!

I also took them along on a trip.  They were perfect for foot recovery after a long day of sight-seeing (almost 6 miles to be exact).

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As a bonus, I liked having comfy sandals to protect my feet from questionable hotel carpet. 😉

As you can see I’m wearing a pink pair of OOFOS with a ribbon.  That’s because they are from the Project Pink line.  For every pair sold, $10 will be donated to Dana Farber Breast Cancer research.  How amazing is that?!  You can make an impact on the world while reducing the impact on your feet. 😉  Check out the Project Pink collection here.  And don’t worry guys, there are plenty of options for men too!

Pricing ranges from about $45-$65 with free shipping/returns and they are also available in select countries.  There is also a 6 month warranty.

So if you are experiencing any foot issues such as plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, bunions…then I highly recommend giving the OOFOS a shot!  Or if you just want to experience the feeling of walking around on clouds, then order a pair and see for yourself.

They feel just like clouds!

#FeeltheOO and your feet will thank you!

~SM

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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.

Imperial Beach 5k

Last month I participated in the inaugural Imperial Beach 5k Beach Run.  I was little hesitant to register since it’s the organization’s first race and I prefer all of the kinks to be worked out before I participate in a race.  But they offered a promo code and a military discount so I only paid about $25 after the fees (darn you Active.com!)…and I always enjoy a nice run on the beach.  So I decided to go ahead and run this one along with a couple of friends.

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If you’re wondering how close Imperial Beach is to Mexico, it’s this close:

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I found free street parking fairly easy (the race started at 8:00 am) and I only had to wait a few minutes in the line to pick-up my packet.  The race was held on the actual packed sand of the beach and there were probably about 250-300 participants.  There was also a 1 mile fun run option for those not quite ready to tackle a 5k which meant there were two separate race courses.  The 5k race route was a bit odd to me – it was an out-and-back followed by another out-and-back.  We will get to the details on that later.  The terrain was sand (obviously) but there was an added hurdle that I did not take into account for this run – rocks.  There were rocks buried all throughout the sand, which made for an obstacle course that I was unprepared for.  It wasn’t too crazy, but since the beach was also kind of slanted, I had to pay attention a little more to my footing so that I wouldn’t trip or roll an ankle.  My friend pushed a stroller during this race, so it wasn’t an impossible feat – just a challenging one.  There was also a water station about halfway in and some volunteers directing the runners along the course.

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Note the rocks in the last pic and in case you’re wondering…no, I did not fall.  After the run there was a big expo with lots of activities for kids, including a bounce house and face painting.  There were also fitness demos, a band and free pancakes!  I would say the free pancake breakfast – which included, pancakes, syrup, sausage and juice – was one of the best parts of the event.  I have no pictures of this delicious ensemble because I consumed the whole meal in about six and a half minutes.  You’ll just have to use your imagination on this one.  I also thought the band was pretty great.  Since this event was held to benefit the Calvary Training Center in Mexico, the band played worship music but with a Mexican flare…and I totally dug it.  I didn’t bring my kiddos to this event so I can’t say I participated in any of the activities – but they looked fun and the bounce house seemed pretty rad.  There was also a raffle, but they weren’t doing the giveaways until two hours later.  In the words of the great Sweet Brown – “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Participation medals were not given out at this race, but they were given to those who placed in the top three of each age group.  I ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior and placed first in her age group so I did hang around for the medal ceremony.

Now, back to the course.  There was a big issue that I had with the race course and that was the fact that it was NOT A TRUE 5K, which drives me crazy when races are not the length that they are advertised.  This one ended up being around 2.38 miles so there was obviously some miscommunication or miscalculation when the course was originally created.  I will give them a little bit of a slide since this was the inaugural race and like I said, I expected some things to not go as smoothly as they would in other established races.  However, since I did pay $25 for a 5k, I expect a true 5k.  Other than that, the views were beautiful and everyone was friendly; although I feel like all those people who placed 4th or 5th in their age group kind of got screwed since they would have had at least half a mile to pass the people in front of them.  Anywho, besides that hiccup I enjoyed the event and although I didn’t bring my kids this time I like that it was a fun event for the whole family to enjoy in beautiful Imperial Beach.

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So what was the SWAG?!

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Aloe Gloe is a refreshing drink that comes in a few tasty flavors!

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~ A cotton tshirt – I love the design, but it runs fairly large so I’m not sure I will be wearing this one very often.

~Clif bar trail mix bar

~Kashi Go Lean granola bar

~Larabar

~Homemade cookie

~Beachside FroYo keychain

~D’ames Day Spa tube of something (not sure what this is as there were no instructions, perhaps a face scrub?  But it smells divine!)

~Suicide prevention pin

~Various coupons and pamphlets

~And Scenery, of course!

See you at the next event!

~SM

 

Ashley Horner – Camp Valor

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend Ashley Horner’s Camp Valor Boot Camp here in Coronado.  If you have not heard of  Ashley Horner, she is a fitness guru, bodybuilder, competitor, triathlete, ultrarunner…you get the picture.  But best of all, she’s a mother of three and a military supporter.  In addition to all of her awesome trainers (that you can learn more about on her website at Ashleyhorner.co), she owns two training facilities, a clothing line and runs various programs…but again, you can read all about how awesome she is on her website.  Another cool thing she does is host Camp Valor Boot Camps around the country.  Luckily, since one of her American Sled Dogs training facilities is located in Coronado, she comes her pretty often to facilitate the Camp Valor Boot Camp.

So, what is Camp Valor?  Basically, it’s an opportunity to workout with Ashley and her staff!  It’s only $10 and the event runs for about 2 hours.  No, you are not working out for the entire 2 hours (yes, she is hardcore – but not that crazy since all fitness abilities are welcome.)  She also stresses that it is a family friendly event, so you can bring the kiddos if needed. I left mine at home since the event was held at the beach and I didn’t want to worry about them running into the water.  You workout for about 45 minutes and the rest of the time is left for you to meet with Ashley, take pics and purchase merchandise.  The fact that this event was on the beach was a catch 22 – it was great weather and beautiful scenery, but working out and sprinting in the sand was quite the challenge!

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We were also asked to each bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.  A few Marines were on hand to accept and sort the toys as well as monitor us during the workout to make sure we weren’t slacking and kept good form.

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I didn’t take pics during the workout because I was just trying to survive (also, the margaritas the night before did NOT help).  It was basically circuit training – using your own weight for resistance and sprinting around in the sand.  There was also some partner work (i.e. squat walls, sit-ups, wheelbarrows – or is it wheel barrels? hmmm) and it ended with a plank challenge.  The plank challenge was fun and reminded me that I really need to work on planks.  Ashley said that the plank record for her boot camps is around 11 minutes and no male has ever won the challenge.  On this day, a woman also won (sorry guys) and she held it for about five or six minutes.  Prizes were awarded to the last three standing “plankers”.

Ashley and her team were really motivating and inspiring throughout the day.  They were constantly pushing us and giving us lots of encouragement.  After the event, I waited in line and spoke briefly with Ashley and got a picture with her.  She really is incredibly nice and amazing in person.  This was an awesome event and  I would recommend it to anyone looking to get a great workout and be inspired, regardless of fitness levels (there were a couple of pregnant women participating along with some elite crossfitters – so anyone could attend). Checkout out future Camp Valor events here.

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*This last photo is courtesy of one Ashley’s awesome team members.

So what was the SWAG?!

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~A very sturdy and thick drawstring bag from BodyBuilding.com

~A sweet shaker cup from BodyBuilding

~A nice towel from Bodybuilding

~A drawstring bag from ReebokOne

~A full sample of Rock Tape

~A sample packet of muscle pain relief cream

~The amazing views of Coronado

~Free photo op and advice from Ashley Horner herself!

Again, big thanks to all of the sponsors!  I think this event was well worth the $10 and I would most definitely do it again!  If you are planning to attend one of her boot camps, be prepared to get sandy and sweaty!  Also eat something before you go and bring lots of water and a towel!  There will also be some merchandise for sale that runs about $20-$25 per item so bring some cash and/or credit card.  Hope to see you at the next event!

Also, I had to represent Stroller Warriors on this beautiful day since it was held right next to a military base! 🙂

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And to make the day even radder, it was also Armed Forces day!  This meant that the streets of Coronado were lined with beautiful American Flags!

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~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 😦 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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