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

Posts tagged ‘the swag mama’

Running for Autism Awareness

Last month, I ran the ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k for the third year in a row and it did not disappoint!  I really love this event for a few reasons: 1.  It supports military families and autism awareness.  2.  It’s family friendly and offers fun activities for all ages.  3.  The course is fast and flat which makes it much easier to push a stroller – and Bonus: There’s even a Stroller Division!  So here’s my race breakdown:

Pricing: The pricing ranges from $20-$45 depending on your distance and how early you register.  But they do offer a few promo codes throughout the year so be on the lookout!  I paid around $30 for the 10k, which is a fantastic deal!

Expo: There are two options for packet pick-up: Pick up at Woodstock Pizza in Pacific Beach the evening before OR pick up the morning of the race.  I had a friend pick-up my bib at Woodstock, but picking up the morning of the race is really quick and easy too.

Parking: Free parking is available all around the event location.  The later you arrive, the further you will have to park.  I parked about .5 mile away in the dirt “Sun Runners Lot” and it allowed me to warm up on the way to the start line.

Race Course: The course runs around Fiesta Island in Mission Bay so it’s a pretty flat and scenic route.  The weather was nice this year so it made for an enjoyable run.  The 10k starts a half hour before the 5k so that everyone is funneled into the finish line area around the same time.  I like that it’s staggered that way and the course was not crowded at all.

IMG_5381IMG_5379IMG_5380IMG_5378

Course Support: There were a few water station, energetic volunteers and police officers directing traffic and cheering us on.  If you notice in the above pictures, there was one thing missing: Spectators!  There were spectators cheering us on around the Finish Line area, but none on the course.  It wasn’t a huge deal, since the course was peaceful…but it would have been nice to have that extra energy at times.

Post-race: After you cross the finish line, you are given a medal and a volunteer will remove your timing chip from your shoe.  Then you are free to grab water and fruit.  This event has a lot of vendors and they were all generous with their products and free samples.  There were also some areas for the kids to do crafts or jump in a bounce house.  And since it is an event that benefits children with autism – there was also a quiet zone to accommodate children with sensory sensitivities.   And like I said in the beginning, there are activities for all ages…meaning: There was also a beer garden!  I didn’t get a chance to sample any adult beverages because I had my daughter with me, but it was a packed area so I’m sure it was tasty!

IMG_5375IMG_5374IMG_5373IMG_5372

There were also a few contests that included: highest fundraiser, largest team, and best costume.  Winners received gift cards and free wine from One Hope Wine.

And some free hugs!

IMG_5369

Since this year’s event was held during Easter weekend, there was also an Easter Egg hunt and appearance from the Easter Bunny!

IMG_5368

So what was the SWAG?!

I love the color of this year’s t-shirt and the beach ball is still going strong in my house.  Not pictured: lots of other drinks and snacks that got consumed before the photo. ūüôā And I always count scenery as swag!  Plus the Easter Eggs that were filled with stickers and coupons. Also, Naked Juice is pretty delicious!

And of course, the medal!

IMG_4553

I also ran with my running group, Stroller Warriors and because we had such a large group they provided us with a tent, table, and extra snacks!  Score! It was nice to have a meeting spot for everyone before and after the race.

IMG_5370

Overall, I really enjoyed this race and would totally do it again next year!  So grab your family and friends and get prepared to register for next year’s event!  Start your own team or begin a fundraiser and you could even win a prize!

See you at the next event! ūüėČ

FullSizeRender

~SM

Advertisements

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.

IMG_2712

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.

 

Processed with MOLDIV

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!

 

IMG_2894

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. ūüėČ

IMG_2983

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).

IMG_3276

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

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. ūüėȬ† 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

6 Reasons Why The Hot Chocolate 15k Will Give You FOMO

**Disclaimer: I received a free race entry to the Hot Chocolate 15k in exchange for an honest 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!

Next month, I will be running the Hot Chocolate 15k¬†and I could not be more stoked!¬† I’ve been wanting to participate in this event for a while so I knew I could not miss out again this year.¬† In case you’ve never heard of this event, you basically run and consume chocolate for 9.3 miles…and then take a chocolate shower at the finish line.¬† Okay, maybe the last part isn’t true…but I assure you that¬†there will be multiple opportunities to fill up on all things chocolate.¬† So here are six reasons why I think YOU should also¬†attend a chocolate-filled running party!

  • The Amazing Cities! – The Hot Chocolate race travels to¬†over 20 major cities with amazing views.¬† Some of these include: Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Orlando, and of course…San Diego!¬† There’s bound to be an event near you so there is no excuse for you to miss out!¬† Check out the full list of cities here.

 

  • Charities! – Participating in the Hot Chocolate Race Series means you get to contribute to a local charity.¬† One of the charities benefitting from this race is the Ronald McDonald House.¬† These facilities provide a comforting and encouraging place for families to eat, sleep, shower, etc. while their children receive treatment and care for difficult medical issues.¬† They even offer an onsite school for siblings of the hospitalized children.¬† And if you really wanna make a difference in your community, you can fundraise and score a free¬†race entry!¬† It’s a win-win for all!

 

  • Training Plan! – Maybe this is your first 15k.¬† Maybe you’re coming off of a running hiatus.¬† Maybe you’re looking to set a new PR (personal record).¬† Either way, you will need some time to train.¬† Training for a race can seem overwhelming.¬† When do I run intervals?¬† When should I complete a long run?¬† When should I cross-train?¬† When should I rest?¬† Well the Hot Chocolate run takes out all of the guess work and provides you with a weekly training plan that goes straight to your inbox!¬† In addition, you will receive tips on hydration and recovery and advice on running gear!¬† You can also calculate your pace with the McMillan Running Calculator so you can customize your plan.

Here’s a little peek at how my training is going starting with a sample of my weekly training plan! ūüėČ

fullsizerender

 

  • Chocolate! – This seems like a pretty obvious reason, but I don’t think you realize the amount of chocolate that will be present at this event!¬† You will literally be taken to a wonderland of chocolate!¬† There will be chocolate opps at the Expo as well as tons of photo opps with Chocolate mascots!¬† There will be sweet stations at various stops throughout the 15k!¬†You will receive tons of chocolate goodies at the finish line followed by an all out chocolate party!¬† Here’s some more info on the chocolate goodies!

 

Print

Diagram courtesy of hotchocolate15k.com

 

And just in case you’re wondering how I’m training for the chocolate portion of the event…¬† ūüėČ

I gotta make sure I’m prepared, right?¬† Ya know… “nothing new on race day!” ūüôā

  • SWAG!!!!!!!! – Okay this is where you will really want to pay attention. There will be SWAG GA-LORE at this run!¬† You will be greeted at the finish line with a large mug full of marshmallows, bananas, pretzels, and duh…chocolate! (see above diagram) You will also receive FREE race photos!¬†Then there’s the medal…chocolate gold!

 

hc_medal

photo from hotchocolate15k.com

You will also get a high quality finisher’s jacket!¬† Not many races offer this type of thing…so even if chocolate isn’t your jam, this fitted¬†jacket alone should motivate you to register for the nearest run!¬† There’s even a spot at the Expo where you can switch your size to guarantee the best fit.

 

hc_jacket

photo from hotchocolate15k.com

  • BONUS SWAG!!!! – And the last reason you won’t want to miss the Hot Chocolate 15k is that you can receive bonus swag!¬† Use code “SDBRHC” for the San Diego race (check out my race discount page for more codes for other cities) to receive a sweet visor!

hc_visor

 

 

 

And just in case¬†you aren’t ready to commit to a 15k just yet,¬†have no fear!¬† There’s also a 5k option, but less swag!¬† Or become a volunteer and score a little swag along with all of the chocolate epicness!

Ready to run for chocolate?  Come join me in San Diego!  Here are some quick facts:

Date: March 26th, 2017

Location: Petco Park

Pricing Р15k: $74 Р5k: $49  But hurry, the price will increase soon!

But don’t just take it from me, here are some testimonials from¬†other Bibrave Pros¬†¬†courtesy of Bibrave.com:

Haley says: “The course was very scenic and I had a good time. Plenty of aid stations, and they supplied Nuun and water which was a life saver for me because I forgot my salt tabs.”¬† Read the full review here.

Jenny says: “I actually really liked the course, I didn’t feel like there were any moments where I was disappointed. The finish was nice because it was pretty much all down hill from mile 8 on.”¬† Read the full review here.

 

See you next month!¬† I’ll be the one covered in chocolate! ūüėČ

~SM

 

The Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo

Do you have a food allergy?

Do you enjoy eating healthy foods?

Do you enjoy learning about new products?

Do you like networking with bloggers and authors?

Do you LOVE scoring SWAG?!

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you won’t want to miss the upcoming Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo (GFAF) in San Diego!

gf_expo2

The event will be held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on February 11-12, 2017.  More details about the time, location, and parking can be found here.

I am really excited to attend this event not only to score SWAG, but to also learn more about healthier food choices and to network with other health-minded individuals.  There will be tons of samples as well as classes and presentations!  Check out the schedule here.

As a bonus, the event is being held in a beautiful location! The Del Mar Fairgrounds offer great views and are located within walking distance to the beach!  So snag a hotel and check out the sights after the Expo.  It would make for a pleasant weekend getaway!


So what should you expect from this event?

  • You will get to explore over 100 vendors and brands!
  • Samples and Coupons!
  • Discounted items to purchase at the expo!
  • Classes and presentations about living a more gluten-free and allergen-friendly lifestyle!
  • Free bag to carry all of your SWAG!
  • An opportunity to meet authors and bloggers!

This will be an amazing event that you won’t want to miss!  I hope to see you there!

Tickets cost between $5-$35 and you can purchase them here!

And the sooner you purchase, the more you save! Use code “ADVANCE” to save 20%!


As an added Bonus, I will be giving away tickets this month on my Instagram so make sure you are following me (@theswagmama) so you don’t miss your chance to win!

***Note: I am receiving complimentary admission to the Gluten Free Allergen Friendly Expo in exchange for participation in the blogger program.  I am also associated with the affiliate program for ticket sales.

~SM

Well Beginnings Diapers/Wipes

I was given the opportunity to test out Well Beginnings diapers and wipes through the Massive Sway sampling campaign.  Well Beginnings is a line of products for babies and toddlers that are exclusive to Walgreens.  They claim to display the same quality as the more popular baby product brands, but at a fraction of the cost.

img_9078

I used the size 5¬†diapers¬†on my very active almost-2-year-old son.¬† He wore them throughout the day and during the night.¬† I was surprised at well these held up!¬† As far as thickness and quality, I would say they are a step-up from the Huggies Snug & Dry…but not as thick and durable as the Huggies Little Movers.¬† We also didn’t encounter any rashes or irritation.¬† The designs are pretty simple – just some giraffes doing yoga or something. Designs on diapers are not a big deal to me or my kids, so this really isn’t even a factor when it comes to diaper buying decisions.

fullsizerender2

The wipes also held up well.¬† I didn’t have any rips or tears during my review and the scent is very subtle.¬† I really liked the packaging on the wipes, too.¬† Instead of just a lift-up flap, you can press the button and the lid flings up on its own.¬† Fancy.

 


The pricing is very reasonable compared to other brands.  A standard pack of wipes goes for $1.99 and a box goes for $8.79.  A box of 70 diapers (size 5) goes for $16.99.

Overall, I was pleased with this product and surprised that I had good results from a drugstore brand.¬† The only negative is that I don’t¬†really live¬†close to a Walgreens.¬† I live much closer to Costco and Target and would probably shop there first before travelling out of my way to a Walgreens.¬† But I’m glad to know that this brand works in case I am travelling and happen to be near a Walgreens.¬† You can learn more about this brand and shop here.

What do you think?  Would you try a drugstore brand of diapers/wipes?

***Note: I was provided a free package of Well Beginnings diapers and wipes in exchange for an honest review as part of the Massive Sway sampling campaign.

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!

img_7366

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 Рyou 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.

img_7358img_4879

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!

img_7360img_4880img_4882img_7368img_7364img_7362img_7367img_4885img_4881

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.

img_7373img_7370img_7372img_7371

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

img_4874img_4876

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?!

img_6713img_7374

-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! ūüôā

img_4887

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

 

 

 

 

Six Reasons to Attend the San Diego Kids Expo & Fair!

Every April and October, the San Diego Kids Expo & Fair¬†comes to town and it’s a whole weekend filled with fun for the whole family!¬† So why should you go?¬† I’ll give you six reasons!

kidsexpoblog

  • Del Mar – The event is held in the¬†coastal and¬†picturesque town of Del Mar at the Fairgrounds.¬† It’s right off the freeway and it has a fairly large parking lot.¬† I’ve always found a parking space fairly close to the entrance with no issues.¬† It’s also right near the beach!¬† So after you attend the event, you can drive a few blocks and see some pretty amazing views!

img_1790

  • The Shows and Performances – The expo provides an opportunity for local dance and drama groups to show off their awesome talents!¬† These shows are all included in the price of admission so check the performance schedule before you head out so you don’t miss your favorite group.

img_1787

  • The Animals – Keep an eye out for your chance to get up close and personal¬†with a unique animal or reptile!

img_1777img_1776

  • Outdoor Activities – Make sure you¬†take the kiddos¬†outside to jump in one of the many bounce houses or take the zip line for a spin.¬† There are also bungy jumps, human hamster balls and rock n’ roll bands providing some sweet entertainment!¬† This is where the tiny ones can burn off some serious energy!

img_1784img_1782img_1781

  • Interactive Exhibits – The main focus of the San Diego Kids Expo & Fair is to educate the community on all of the awesome opportunities for the kids of San Diego.¬† Take some time and visit the vendors and partake in some of the demo activities that many of them offer.¬† The kids might be able to kick a few balls, run through an obstacle course, tour an ambulance or hop in a photo booth.¬†They will also¬†love¬†spinning the prize wheels at some of the tables! And if you have super tiny kiddos, don’t worry…there is a mommy and daddy lounge for nursing, changing or just some quiet time for sleepy babies.

img_1774img_1775img_1779img_1786img_1788

And last, but not least…my favorite part of the Expo!!¬†Can you guess?!

  • SWAG! – You will not leave this event empty handed!¬† You will be loaded up with samples, coupons and maybe even some prizes!¬† I actually won free movie tickets and got free photo booth pictures!¬† My daughter also¬†loved spinning all of the prize wheels and getting lots of stickers and tattoos!

img_1792

These are just a few reasons to attend the Kids Expo!¬† Checkout the website for a full list of vendors and schedule of the entertainment and shows.¬† Also, note that this expo comes around twice a year and each time the vendors change.¬† So basically, it’s almost like a new event each time you attend!

What about pricing?¬†Tickets are $10 at the gate (children 12 and under are free), but you can save money by purchasing on the website.¬† The outdoor activities also require a wristband which is a separate purchase. But, again, you can save money by bundling and purchasing packages online.¬† Also check Groupon for group deals! I received free tickets both times I attended through local mom’s groups (I scored these tickets from Mom’s Guide to San Diego).¬† Check out mom’s groups on Facebook and Instagram and search hashtags for a chance to win free tickets!¬† Unfortunately, parking is $10 and there really isn’t any way around that.

Have you attended the San Diego Kids Expo¬†in the past?¬† What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s event?¬† I’d love to know what you think!

See you at the next event!

~SM

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: