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

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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

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Shocked by Aftershokz

Before I get into my review, let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with headphones.  Our relationship throughout the years has been, well…a bit complicated.  It’s usually hard to find a set that fits consistently and doesn’t die out quickly.  I’ve also had issues with some not jiving with my iPhone – for whatever reason, some headphones will activate the voice control on my phone and interrupt my music.  This is the most irritating thing to ever happen on a run.  You get into a zone and then suddenly your music stops and Siri asks, “What Can I Help You With?”  Annoying.

This has led to a graveyard of headphones in my junk drawer.  It’s quite sad, but I don’t really know what to do with them.  I feel bad just throwing them out like garbage when I know they meant well and they tried, they really tried…but the relationship just wasn’t working out and we had to part ways.  So I just keep them there for emergencies in case my first string headphones (a popular wireless brand that used to be endorsed by a certain music producer) get injured and I need to call upon a backup pair.

So when I heard there was a brand of headphones that don’t actually fit inside your ears, but rather go on the OUTSIDE of your ears, I was intrigued.  I originally thought, No way these will work at all!

Allow me to introduce you to…Aftershokz!

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Aftershokz headphones are different because they are bone-conducting.  What does that mean?  Basically the sound is transmitted through your cheekbones to your inner ear via vibrations – avoiding your eardrums altogether.  Pretty sweet, huh?  No more worrying about killing your eardrums with all that loud music and most importantly, you can listen to your music while staying aware of your surroundings.  That second part was especially important to me since I run alone sometimes or while pushing my kids.  Whether I’m running on a scenic path or around the neighborhood with a lot of traffic, I like the idea of being able to hear everything around me while still enjoying my tunes or a Bibrave Podcast.

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You will first have to charge up your headphones even though they’re wired, but don’t sweat, it doesn’t take too long.  The first thing I noticed about the Aftershokz headphones was that they fit really well!  Even during a 5-mile run, they didn’t budge!  And I could hear the music loud and clear! Now, if you are used to listening to your music at an obscene volume level, these will take a little getting used to…but your 50-year-old eardrums will thank you later.  😉  I could also hear my surroundings, which is great for trails!

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Then I took my Aftershokz for a spin on the bike in the gym!

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This was both good and bad. The good – I usually watch a Netflix show while I’m on the stationary bike and these headphones really bring your shows to life!  If there was a train or a car in a scene, the sides of my head would vibrate – so it almost makes your favorite shows interactive. 😉  The bad – I could hear my surroundings a little too well.  As in…other people’s conversations in the gym.  So that part was a little distracting as I like to kind of zone out while I’m cross-training or strength training.

So what about that microphone part?  Well, I put it to the ultimate test.  I took it outside and made a phone call to an automated service.  Gasp!  Yes, and guess what?  I didn’t have to repeat myself one time and I was transferred correctly the first time, every time.  I was…Shocked.  Also, when I received a notification on my phone I didn’t get an alert tone through the headphones, but the music did lower briefly and then increase again.

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Can you hear me now?  Just kidding.

How much does it cost?  This model – the Sportz Titanium with Mic runs $59.95 and comes in 2 colors.  You can learn about their other products here.  And they always offer FREE shipping!  They also offer a 45-day return period and a 2-year limited warranty.

So here is my overall impression:

Pros:

  • Open-ear concept – I liked being able to hear my surroundings while outside
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Good fit – lightweight and comfortable
  • Reasonable price plus free shipping
  • In-line controls with options to play, skip, and pause
  • 12 hours of music on one charge
  • Good quality microphone

Cons:

  • Being able to hear conversations in smaller areas
  • No option to adjust the headband – while it worked fine for me, I’m not sure these are one-size-fits-all
  • The power source is the heaviest part and is at the bottom of the wire, close to the headphone jack…which makes it a little cumbersome
  • Wired – I’ve sorta gotten used to the wireless life so it takes a little adjusting to go back to wired headphones.  However, it’s nice to know that these won’t automatically die after about 2 hours of play.

Overall, I was literally SHOCKED by the Aftershokz headphones!  I’m now a believer in bone-conducting headphones!  I’ll definitely be using these more often when I’m in an area where I need to hear my surroundings.  I think I would invest in a pair of the wireless ones in order to use them ALL the time since the wire gets in the way sometimes.  I also didn’t use the microphone feature a whole lot as I prefer to text or just ignore calls altogether while I’m running so it’s not something I would need right now.

But wait!  There’s more!  My headphones came with….you guessed it!  SWAG!

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Yep, they came with a sweet water bottle that I use all the time!  I love that it’s stainless steel so it doesn’t hold all the bacteria that plastic bottles do.  It also has a screw-top, leak-proof lid and keeps my water super cold all throughout my workout!  It’s sleek and fits in most cup-holders and well, I think it looks pretty snazzy. 😉

Want one for yourself?!  Order a pair of Sportz Titanium w/mic and score a FREE water bottle (a $14.95 value) of your own!  But you must use this link! —>  http://bibrave.aftershokz.com

Don’t you want to fall in love with your own pair? 😉  Happy running!

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And catch me on #Bibchat on Twitter every Tuesday at 6pm PST!  You may even win a prize! 😉

***Disclaimer: I received a set of Aftershokz Sportz Titanium headphones with microphone along with a water bottle 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!

~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

Green Moms Meet – WOW Summit Part 2

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween and got lots of candy swag! 😉  Now for part 2 of the WOW Summit that I attended last weekend.  Once we returned from the break and visiting all of the wonderful vendors, we met back in the ballroom to listen to Drs. Greenspan and Deardorff speak about environmental issues regarding puberty.  They were very informative and gave out copies of their new book, “The New Puberty” to a few lucky attendees! Check out their new book here!

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Next, we split up into groups and attended various workshops.  The first one I attended was called, “Rid, Restock and Reorganize: Simple Ways to Detox Your Home” by Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD.  You may have seen her on various talk shows such as “LIVE with Kelly and Michael” and she also has a new book out called, “Eat Clean, Stay Lean’. She gave us a lot of great tips about how to replace junk in our fridges and pantries with healthier options!  Check her out!

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The next workshop I attended was basically a nutrition and fitness class presented by someone from Smart Flour Foods and personal trainer Jill Anenberg.  She had lots of energy and great information!  Follow her on YouTube and Instagram!

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After the workshops we went back to the ballroom to hear one last speaker and wait for the raffle giveaways!  Sadly, I did not win anything but that’s okay because I had so much fun and scored tons of swag!  So the last person to speak was Kimberly Blaine a.k.a. The Go To Mom and she discussed ways for moms to have more awareness in the moment.  She was super inspirational and she had a sense of calmness about her that was quite reassuring.  She reminded us that we need to give and take love in order to better ourselves. It was a perfect ending to the day! And check out The Go To Mom on Twitter and Instagram.

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Then we waited in this long line for our amazing swag bags….

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But that’s okay, it was totally worth it! 😉

Now, for what you all have been waiting for…the SWAG!

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Yes, it was that much!!  And all of the vendors were super friendly and generous.  I also got a lot of coupons for free items that I can’t wait to cash in on!  I’m not going to list everything out on this one because it would be overwhelming. But, you can check out my Instagram where I tagged most of the brands!  This was a fabulous experience and if you get the chance to attend one of these events, definitely jump all over it!  You will meet lots of great people and have the opportunity to try out different healthy brands!  Thanks again Green Moms Meet and Kiwi Magazine!

~SM

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