Friday, December 30, 2011

Zenith Top Review

I've reviewed a few Icebreaker items lately and I've loved all of them.  The Zenith top is no different.  However, this top isn't for working out, its to wear out to all the other aspects of your life; work, dinner, meetings, coffee, play, etc.

I wore this top to a client's house.  I had no idea what I'd be doing that day.  I ended up organizing an office area first.  I was comfortable and the top wasn't itchy at all.  I never thought about my shirt, which means it was perfect for organizing.  I never felt exposed on top or on bottom even with lots of bending, lifting and moving.

I then moved into a workshop area in a garage.  While it wasn't frigid outside, it was certainly cooler, in the 40s.  I was concerned I'd be cold working in the area.  I was very comfortable.  The same shirt that kept me cool previously, was now keeping me warm.

The styling of the shirt is quite flattering.  Its loose fit, but not baggy.   The sleeves have a slight flare to them which adds a sophistication to the shirt.  I love wearing this with jeans and a long beaded necklace.

Oh and it washes wonderfully.  I dropped it in the wash with the rest of my clothes and hung it to dry.  It looks just like new and felt even softer!

I'm becoming a bit of an Icebreaker addict, but you can beat this stuff for durability, comfort and cute looks!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Nathan Quickdraw Elite Water Bottle Review

Last year I reviewed the Nathan Quickdraw water bottle.  Since then, they have revamped it and made some improvements.

Its still a durable plastic water bottle that holds 22 ounces.  The nipple pops up and down to release liquid.  Its easy to manipulate while you are running.

The hand strap is now adjustable so you can fin d the perfect fit for your hand. Or in my case, I can share it with my husband.  The strap is shaped so that you can hold onto the bottle in different ways.  What I liked was that I didn't need to actively hold the bottle.  It simply stays on your hand with very little movement.

Another touch I loved is that there is a reflective patch on the bottle.  Its one more safety feature and a little bit more peace of mind for me.

There is a small pouch attached to the bottle.  Its perfect for a key or other small necessary item.  Finally, there is a built in ID card!  So not only is this a water bottle, its a safety tool.  Its a great starter water bottle for someone getting in shape for the first time.  Its also a great gift for the veteran runner!

For under $20 its a great deal too!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Its hard to believe another year has flown by.  Its also so hard to believe that so much can change from year to year.

Sometimes when I stop and think about all of the changes, past and present and future, I can get overwhelmed.  However, when I stop and think about all the blessings in my life, I feel reassured.

This year I've been blessed with being able to graduate with my MBA and a grade point average I'm quite proud of.  My husband and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. I was able to take over two minutes off my personal record 5k time.  I ran 10 races.

I have been blessed with laughter and friends and the consciousness of the meaning of my relationships and the effort and strength to deepen them.

I have been blessed with learning to strive for more and at the same time stop and accept what I have.

I started taking yoga and learned an appreciation for my own perseverance, strength and acceptance.

So overall I feel like 2011 was my best year yet, and of course, I feel like 2012 will be ever better.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Silk Wrap Bracelet by Niyama Jewelry

I was recently sent a silk wrap bracelet by Michelle Marocco.  This bracelet is the most versatile and comfortable piece of jewelry I own, hands down.  

The bracelet I was sent is made from hand dyed silk with faceted Emeralds, faceted Labradorite, faceted Sapphires and a diamond Ganesh charm.

The bracelet can be worn a variety of ways including a necklace, an anklet and as a wrap bracelet.

While the bracelet appears delicate its quite durable.  They say you can wear it from yoga, to the shower and out for coffee afterwards.  Its true.  I've worn it ever since I put it on. 

This is a high quality bracelet made with natural and beautiful semi precious materials.  I love it because it has meaning and sentiment.  

It can be worn with my yoga gear and it looks great.  I can also easily wear it with a dress on my way to a meeting and it still looks great.  

This is a great gift for a loved one or better yet, a great gift for yourself.  Its a wear with everything item that you can't go wrong with.

The best part is that they come in all sorts of colors and various stones and charms!  

I love being able to look down and find my inner "om" throughout the day!  Take a look at all of their beautiful offerings here:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tiny Devotions

I know that this is a running blog and I've been talking a lot about yoga lately, but it really has been playing a bigger and more important role in my life as time goes on.

Yoga is a moving meditation.  However, sometimes we want to meditate and be still.  When your body isn't quite as involved, your mind starts to race.  It become difficult to calm those thoughts and quiet the mind.  That's where prayer beads come in.  The beads can be held in your hand and touched or counted throughout meditation or prayer in any way you want.

I was sent a set of prayer beads by Tiny Devotions.  I was immediately struck by how strong and delicate they were at the same time.

They weren't a gift shop set of prayer beads, these are a hand made, high quality set.  The components are striking and together they are a little work of art.

I was sent the African Turquoise mala.  The beats are amazing little beads that feel wonderful in your hand and look great around your neck.  The turquoise is meant to promote communication and healing.  Its a unique and powerful stone.  It makes a striking pendant on the beads.

I've used the beads for meditation and I've worn them around to meetings, errands, etc.  They are heavy enough to be substantial and they are light enough to be comfortable.

The beads are the perfect gift for anyone who needs a little peace in their life!  Its rare that you find something as beautiful and meaningful as these malas.  And the best part is that you look good wearing them!

Tiny Devotions sells lots of different mala combinations.  Find one that's perfect for you here:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Running The Edge Review

When I received Running The Edge in the mail, I couldn't wait to dive into it.  However, I was in the middle of a move, renovation and starting a new company.  And so it sat in my "to read" pile for quite some time.  I tried to pick it up and read but I always felt as if the book needed my full attention.  I shouldn't have felt this way.

Once I really started reading the book I was so motivated I couldn't put it down.  Not only was I motivated to keep reading, I was motivated to try new workouts, to excel in my businesses, etc.

While the book does focus on running, its not filled with workout plans, diets to follow or show advice.  This is a book for your whole body and soul.

What the book does cover is how to find your inner motivation.  Whether your goals is a 5k or a marathon this book contains motivational techniques to allow you to take either the first step or the next step.

So many times in life we hang back, afraid to fail and therefore we never start.  However, this book makes you hold a mirror up to yourself and determine WHY you are holding back and gives you to courage to take the leap you've been avoiding.

There are work books sections of the book where you can stop and assess your personality, goals and life.  These are helpful and eye opening.  So many times we read something and although we feel inspired, its difficult to apply it to our own lives.  By completing the work book sections you've already starting applying the lessons you've learned!

One of my favorite parts of the book is the section in which acting and re-acting are discussed.  I was shocked as to how clear the message was and how detrimental being a re-actor is.

This book is a great gift for runners.  However, its really a great gift for anyone who wants to find a little motivation and direction in their life. Instead of just addressing the runner in you, Running The Edge addresses the whole person and the whole life.

The book is available on Kindle and Amazon.  You can take a peek at their website here:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shiva Rea Yoga DVD Review

Its no secret that I've recently fallen in love with yoga.  Although I love taking classes, I do feel like a great at home DVD is a great thing to have for a snowy day, or a very busy day.
I was sent a copy of Shiva Rea: Daily Energy to try out.

I turned it on and I was amazed at all the options the DVD has!  Most DVDs have one main theme and there are no choices.  This DVD had LOTS of choices.  I also like the way the choices are like menu options and you can order them in any order you want.  You can even pick a set that's already been placed together for you.  Each one of the sections is 20 minutes in length so you can go for as long or as short as you want to.

The instructions are clear and match the visual instructions given.  There are modifications given as well.
There are some instances where the "technical" yoga terms are used.  Its not over powering and you don't lose anything.  However, i you know the terms ahead of time you will have a little advantage.

I love the tone of the DVD.  Despite this being a challenging workout, its a calming DVD.  Even if you don't feel comfortable with yoga or your body just yet, try this DVD.  You will find what feels good for you.

Regardless of how long or short your yoga practice, after working with Shiva Rea, you will feel calm and energized.
While I don't think a DVD will ever take the place of being in the presence of a teacher, I think this DVD is the perfect compliment to your yoga practice. 

Take a peek at all of their yoga offerings here:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Banana Blossom Press' Newest Feat

Banana Blossom Press has done it again.  I've done reviews on their products
in the past.  However, in case you missed them, let me fill you in.

Banana Blossom press make tee shirts and cards all with empowering, athletic
related themes.  They are so adorable and cute!

I feel like they can't possibly come up with anything better than what they
already have and every time they come out with something new, I feel as
though they have outdone themselves all over again.

I have their "I Love Running/I Hate Running" and their "No Run=Cranky and
Moody" tee shirts and I wear them all the time.

All of their tees shirts are a flattering, feminine cut made from a soft
blend of polyester and cotton.  I will also tell you that mine have been
washed over and over and over again and held their shape and color and still
look brand new.

I have sent many of their cards.  Every time someone receives one from me
they tell me how the perfect the card is and are amazed that I found a card
so cute and wonderful.

Banana Blossom's newest tee boasts a slogan of "Every Run is a Redemption".
It couldn't be more true!  Every time I head out the door for a run, I am
looking for redemption.  It may be from what I ate last night, it may be
from my last run, it may be from the bad day I'm having.  However,
regardless, I find redemption on the road in my running sneakers and this
tee shirt is the perfect reminder of that.

This tee shirt, and all of Banana Blossom's make great gifts for your
favorite runner or for yourself!

They are reasonably priced and did I mention, ADORABLE?

Take a look at all their products here:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Icebreaker Leggings Review

 A girl needs a good pair of leggings in her wardrobe.  These are the only ones you will need.  I used to have a pair for running, a pair for around town, etc.  However, I just need more pairs of these now!  

The Icebreaker Merino Bodyfit 200 leggings are the perfect leggings for anything you can dish at them.  They are comfortable and chafe free when running.  I thought I might be hot during a run but I wasn't.  When I was done, instead of getting a chill like I normally do, I was warm and toasty.

Right now I have the leggings on with a pair of books and a long sweater.  I just got back from running errands.  I was warm and comfy the whole time.

Icebreaker's wool is renewable and traceable directly back to its source.  The leggings are biodegradable (when the time comes).  

They are soft and comfy next to your skin, something I never thought I'd say about wool.

The temperature control is the best part.  Cool when working out and warm afterwards.
The tights are anti stink.  They don't get that workout smell that so many workout clothes do  (even after they've been washed).

And for all of this would think that they would be much more expensive than they are.  I will admit I have more expensive pairs, and they aren't nearly as comfortable or versatile.  

Take a peek at these leggings here:,en,pd.html?dwvar_IBE115_color=C46&start=1&cgid=womens-bottoms-leggings

They have other colors besides black and they do have other leggings also.  
New Zealand wool is renewable and Icebreaker's factory is environmentally friendly.  By purchasing Icebreaker products oyua re doing yourself and the Earth a favor.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Swim WITH Your iPod!

Swimming is great cross training for an athlete who plays another sport and its a great workout on its own.  Its becoming increasingly popular for its low impact nature. 

However, for someone like me, working out without music just ins't as much fun as cranking up the tunes and taking off.  That's where H2O Audio's ipod holder comes into play.

I have an iPod Shuffle from last year so I tested the waterproof system to match.  It can be seen here:
The system attaches to the back of swim goggles.  While it took me a minute to make sure I had my iPod in correctly the first time, after that it was easy and super quick to use each and every time.  When I closed the compartment, I was confident that my iPod was safe and sound.

I love the fact that I could customize the headphones to fit my ears too.  We don't all have the same ears after all :)

Finally, I actually have started using this item out of the pool. Its great to use while swimming but I also love using it in the rain, attached to my hat!

Take a peek at all of H2O Audio's water proof products here:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Icebreaker Villa Hood Review

This is the second piece of Icebreaker clothing I was reviewing.  Despite loving the last piece, I didn't know if I would like this one as it was a thicker wool.   I shouldn't have been concerned, I loved this one too.
I threw it on in the am while I was a little chilly.  I anticipated taking it off during the day, however, I ended up peeling it off right before my shower, after a 16 hour day in it.  There wasn't a moment where I was uncomfortable or my temperature too hot to too cold.

The wool is truly an amazing temperature regulator!

The Villa Hood has a hood that actually stays on.  I had it on during a hike and it never moved.  I also love the fact that the pockets are deep enough to fit a phone and a pair of keys in.  AND they zip!  Its so hard to find cute, comfortable clothes that are also functional and technical.  Icebreaker is making those types of clothes easy to find and even easier to wear!

Again, I'm in love with the way that you can trace the wool in your garment right back to Iceland!  Each garment comes with a code you can type in on their website.  

Oh and this hoodie washes like a dream.  I have been putting in my washer (please follow the washing instructions!) and hanging it to dry and its just as soft, cuddly and cute as when it went in (minus all the dog hair and sweat.)

Take a look at the Villa Hood here:,en,pd.html?dwvar_IBXA47_color=001&start=2&q=villa
In the world of disposable clothing, give the gift of a quality piece of clothing this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thanksgiving Race Review

On Thanksgiving I ran in a Turkey Trot.  It was my second year running this race.  Its my 11th race and I'm finally getting the hand of my night before routine, my morning routine, what to eat etc.

The Thanksgiving race is always tough to make sure I'm well rested and well for for it seems.  There is always something going on around the holiday!

I got to the race and watched the kids fun run.  Watching those will never get old.

There were lots more people there this year than last year, about 1000 in total.

It was about 32 degrees out and I wore compression capris and a thin wool top.  I had another fleece on before running and I peeled it off at the last minute.  I also wore my Thanksgiving Sweaty Band and gloves.  I handed off the gloves to my husband at the half way mark.

My uncle ran with me and also had a PR!

I placed myself too far back in the pack at the start.  I hate being passed and I like to pass people, but there was a big bottle neck that felt like it took forever to clear up.
I didn't wear a watch and I honestly had no idea how fast or slow I was going.  I felt like I was flying at times and at other times like I was crawling.  I just kept going strong.

I had some great music come on my iPod and I just kept going and telling myself it was easy.

When I came around the last corner I was shocked to see that I was over a minute shorter than my fastest time.  Any thoughts I had of being tired went out of my head and I picked it up.

I was all smiles at the finish line.  I was elated that after a year I was able to have another PR!  I'm thrilled and inspired to make new goals, and determine where I was to go next.
I feel happy and accomplished and I've given myself a few days off of running to do some yoga and a walk in the woods with my family.  Tomorrow is back to training!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Icebreaker LS Rush Top Review

When I found out I was going to be able to review Icebreaker products, I thought might like their products, but I was uncertain.  I am pretty sensitive when it comes to things like wool and I was concerned that the clothing would irritate me.  Originally I thought that I would be reviewing a hoody which I could always wear a long sleeve tee under.  However, one of the pieces I was sent was the Rush long sleeve half zip.  It arrived the day before I was running a race so I figured it was cute and why not wear it.

It was about 32 degrees at the start of the race.  I stood at the start line in this top for about 30 minutes and I was only slightly chilled.  I only had a tank top on under neath.  While I was running I was comfortable.  I over heat a lot and this race I was comfortable throughout my whole run.  I wasn't hot or cold.  

The top is cute.  I especially love the tighter band on the bottom that makes the cut flattering and cute.  The color is awesome.  I got a ton of compliments lining up at the start line.

I love the thumbholes.  Not only do they help the top stay in place, but they add warmth to your hands.  
The half zip feature allows you to temperature regulate as you see fit.  Once I was fully warmed up I could zip it down and allow my body to cool off a little bit.  

I also wasn't sweaty during my run.  The top wicked away the sweat and I was dry when I stopped running.  How nice is that?  That leads me to my next (and favorite) point.

Okay, here's my favorite part.  Normally when I'm done running, I have a few minutes before I get COLD.  This top kept me comfortable and toasty warm after I ran.  I could live in this top!  And its reasonably priced!  

The top also have an easy to access pocket perfect for a car key or small MP3 player.  
Something else I love about Icebreaker is they provide you with a tracking number for your garment.  By typing in this number you can trace your garment all the way back to Iceland.  How cool is that?

Take a look at all of Icebreaker's products here:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Natural Light Candle Review

This is another review from my professional blog...

I am a big fan of wax tarts.  I love how I can change scents quickly and
easily.  I tried the Namaste scent in these.  I loved how quickly the wax
tarts melted.  But most importantly, I loved the smell.  I had a family
member over and they were in love with how the whole house was filled with a
fresh, but not over powering scent.  What I liked most best was the after
scent.  Long after I blew the tea light out and the wax had hardened back
up, the room still smelled wonderfully fresh.
The second candle I tried was the 11 oz. jar candle.  It comes in a cute little jar with a pretty lid so even when its not lit, it looks nice.
Just like the wax tarts, this candle got warm and glowing quickly and in just a short period of time, my entire space was filled with a yummy almond scent.  My husband usually hates it when I burn candles because he feels the scents are too strong.  He loves this candle.  The scent is noticable, yet not over powering.  Its pleasant, as if your room is meant to smell like that, not as if you sprayed something to cover up another smell.
I’ve been burning the candle a lot and I feel like I haven’t made a dent in the candle itself.  Its a great value for the money.
Natural Light candles are made locally to me in small batches so you never get an old candle.  They are made of 100% soy wax so you get a clean burn.
You can take a look at their entire prodict line here:
I always talk about giving consumable gifts during the holidays.  This is a perfect example.  The recipient will love it, use it and there is no clutter left behind!  These are also great gifts for your teachers, mail person, delivery people, etc.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Chi Walk/Run Program Review

I have previously review the Chi Running program.  Since then, Chi Walk/Run was released.  I was sent a copy to review.
I am a runner.  Its taken me a while to say that with confidence, but that's another blog entry entirely.  I have read, watched and used the Chi Running program extensively.  However, I didn't know what to expect from this DVD.
I watched it as if I were just starting a run/walk program and I honestly didn't anticipate learning anything new for my own practice.   I was so wrong!

The DVD starts out with the principles of Chi Walking and how to align the body.  While I had heard these before, seeing the demonstrations again and a different explanation helped solidify them in my mind.  There were various small demonstrations that I could participate in right in my own living room.  I found myself getting up out of my chair to try them.  I was shocked at to how good they felt and how they applied to running and walking.
The DVD progresses into running and while learning both is important, I think of the most important things addressed was how to transition.  Every runner walks from time to time and knowing how to safely and easily make the transition is a wonderful asset.  I will be using it in my upcoming workouts.

I loved how the video was very attainable and personable.  Even the newest runner/walker would feel comfortable trying this routine.  I hear from a lot of people that they are uncomfortable leaving their homes and working out and public at first.  While this workout program will require you to leave home eventually, you can practice in your living room for quite some time before heading out.

The DVD is set up in chapters so you can easily and quickly get back to the lesson you want to refresh or watch again.

The DVD also comes with a training book that spells out your daily and weekly workouts to work towards the goal of a 5k.  This takes the guess work out of what to do, when to do it and if you're doing the right thing.  I also prevents the common mistake of over training too quickly and getting injured.

Chi Walk-Run program gives you a strong foundation upon which to build a life long running career.  I think its a great gift for a fitness newbie or a veteran runner.  You can't go wrong.

If you want to purchase a copy of the program, click here:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Weleda Body Oil Review

This is a review from my business' blog:  I figured I'd post it here as well in case you are looking for some holiday inspiration.

Winter is harsh on skin.  There is no way around dry, cracked skin, itchy arms and legs and even lots of paper cuts.  I always moisturize a lot in the winter, but I have had a hard time finding moisturizer that stays with me throughout the day.  I was introduced to Weleda's products through a friend.  I was sent their Body Oil Essentials Kit and I think its the only moisturizer I will use this winter.  The body oils are thick enough to moisturize your legs, arms, elbows. knees and feet.

The moisture lasts all day.  However, they are not difficult to rub in and they are quickly absorbed.  They aren't greasy like other oils.

And since they are all natural, you can feel good about what you are rubbing into your skin!

The kit includes: Birch Cellulite Oil, 0.34 fl. oz.
Arnica Massage Oil, 0.34 fl. oz.
Lavender Relaxing Body Oil, 0.34 fl. oz.
Wild Rose Body Oil, 0.34 fl. oz.
Citrus Refreshing Body Oil, 0.34 fl. oz.
Sea Buckthorn Body Oil, 0.34 fl. oz.

I love the variety of the pack.  However, I think I will be buying a larger bottle of the lavender relaxing body oil.  Its wonderful to use before bed to wind down and take care of yourself.

Weleda products are available at Target, Whole Foods and other health food stores.  You can also buy them online. They are extremely reasonably priced for what you are getting.  This body oil kit and many other Weleda products are perfect gift ideas for this holiday season.  Again, this is a clutter free gift!  Its given, loved, used up and there is no clutter left behind!

Take a peek at their whole line of products here:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Banjees Wrist Band Review

I was recently sent a wrist wallet from Banjees.  I had seen them on people around town etc.  However, I had never tried a wrist wallet.  I tried one out today during my morning run.  I like to carry a few small things with me when I run.  I am always looking for an easy way to carry things and not have to carry a big bag, or something that distracts me from my run.

It was a cold day in Connecticut the other day and I had on a long sleeve top.  The Banjee easily slipped over my top with no problem. I tried to get my key into it once it was on my wrist, however the zipper was hard to grab that way.  (I also had gloves on.)  I slipped it back off, put my key and iphone inside and easily slipped it back on.

That was the last I thought about the Banjee until I got back to the car.  It was so comfortable that I didn't have to think about it once.  The one I tried was organic cotton.  So not only was it functional, it was cute too!

I think I'm going to use the Banjee when I travel.  I fly for business a lot and I'm always juggling tickets, my phone, etc.  This would give me an extra pocket that's easy to get to.
Banjess come in lots of designs and colors and are affordable.  They are a great gift for a runner, mom, business person, of kid (what a great way to store lunch money, etc!).

Take a peek at all they have to offer here:

And do you want to know the best part? I have some to give away!  In order to enter, Tweet about this giveaway!  Use @thejoyfulorg or @joyfulrungirl in your tweet so I can see that you've entered.  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Yoga Versus Running

I went to lunch with a dear friend today and she asked me if I liked hot yoga more than I do running.  I had to stop and think for a moment and I realized that I love them both and for every different reasons.

When I'm running, I love the opportunity to think things through. I may have a business idea that needs some thought and I can work it out on a run.  I may have something bothering me and I need the release that running provides me.  I may want to challenge myself and run as hard as I can doing sprints or something like that.  Regardless of what workout I'm doing, I love the fact that running allows me time to think about what's going on in my life and allows me time to work it out.

Yoga is just the opposite.  During yoga, I'm there for the time it gives me to NOT think.  I enter every class with my mind racing and my head full of what I need to do that night, what I was doing and had to stop in order to come to class, emails I need to answer etc.  I always think that like running, I will work it out during class.  However, before I know it I'm lost in my own breathing and trying to get the alignment right for the poses and before I know it the hour and a half class is coming to a close.  I'm drenched in sweat and although I haven't been able to work out anything in my head per se, my mind is clear and focused.

So I can't say if I like one or the other better.  One allows me to focus inward, the other allows me to focus outward.  I love both and I think they compliment each other perfectly.  And, they are both addictive!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bic Bands Review

I love headbands.  Over the past few years I'd changed from being obsessed with purses and designer jeans to yoga clothes and running headbands.

Anyway, I'm always on the lookout for something that stays in place and something that can keep my massive amount of hair in place.  Bic Bands fit both of these qualifications.

They come in lots of cute colors and styles and they are affordable.  I was sent the Skinnie Minnie Black Sparkle and the Scrolling Along in Blue and Brown.

I tried them both out for runs, hot yoga and around town.  They at times felt a little big but it was just comfort in disguise.  They stayed in place no matter what I did....downward dog, sprints, and rushed ot my next appointment.  They are cute enough to wear out for coffee, to a movie etc.

I will admit that I have aspirations of wearing the black Skinnie Minnie to a holiday party this year with an "updo".

Bic Bands has lots of options and lots of different styles.  Take a peek at them here:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today, and always, give thanks for those you love.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Endure Shop Review

If you're looking for a unique, beautiful, high quality and meaningful gift, look no further than Endure Jewelry.  I was sent their Tortoise and the Hare necklace and despite having it seen it online, I was shocked at how beautiful it was when it arrived.  The silver shines and is beautiful while not showy.  

The necklace is understated but I've gotten a lot of compliments on it during the short time I've had it on.  Its meaning isn't lost on people either.  The tortoise is always in front of the hare.  Its a wonderful reminder of trying hard in life and the success of the under dog.  I love the meaning behind the jewelry.

Its a stunning piece to look at, but just wearing it can be a motivator for you.  So while Endure Shop has lots of cool jewelry for the runner on your list, this is a great gift for anyone, old and young, athelete or not, o remind them the importance of trying hard. 

Its high quality and affordable too.  Take a look at everything Endure Shop has to offer here:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Halloween Race Review

As you may have heard Connecticut was hit with a BIG storm and we were without power for over a week.  I had no cable and internet and some people were blocked into their homes by downed trees.  All of this meant that the Halloween race that I was supposed to run on the 30th of October was bumped back to the 6th of November.

The race weather couldn't have been more beautiful!  It was about 40 outside and bright and sunny!

I wore the costume that I've talked about earlier and while I thought that I may be cold I was pleasantly surprised and wasn't cold at all.

I wasn't expecting a lot from myself at this race as I hadn't been able to run much lately due to the weather.

As I started out my lungs were tight but before I knew it I was at the two mile mark at a time faster that I'd hoped.  I had just stopped for water, something I look back and wonder if I needed to do...but I was able to push out the last mile at the same pace and came out with a PR.

I also want to mention that my whole family ran the race with me.  My uncle has been running with me off and on for about a year now and he had a great race.  My aunt and cousin ran/walked it and completed their first 5k ever!  I'm so proud of everyone!

This was the fourth race in a series in Brookfield, CT this year.  Because I ran all of the races, I got a cool metal water bottle!  I am now going to sit down and plan out my races for the next year, just as I did last year at this time.  I am also going to redo my training program....but that may take me some more time.

Here are a few pictures from the race!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Smartwool Hoody Review

I was recently sent Smartwool's Dazzle Dot Hoody in Claret.  Its part of their new line of "urban" clothes.  Items that are functional, cute, warm and beautiful.

I have used Smartwool's sock for years and loved them.  However, I was curious and a little nervous about putting wool on my upper half.  I will tell you that I live in CT and we were hit by a freak October snow storm so it arrived during a week we had no power and little heat.  I put the hoody on and I was instantly in love.

Its a stunning pink color with bands on the sleeves that are eye catching.  It has a flattering v neck and one button closure.  My favorite parts are the hood itself, with a contrast pattern and a kangaroo pouch.  Its ADORABLE and I've gotten a lot of compliments while wearing it.  I wore it out to the local coffee shop during the storm and I was actually stopped by people wanted to know where I could get such a nice sweater.

I have to tell you, the warmth is unmatched.  I am ALWAYS cold and when I put this on I feel comfy and cozy, inside and out.

This would make a wonderful holiday present for the active lady on your list or even as a treat to yourself.  You can see the hoody here:

Keep in mind this is just one of their many new items that look good, feel great and are functional at the same time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Moving Out~Part Four

So I learned something very valuable during the move out and renovation....well I learned a lot of valuable things.  I figured I'd break it down into a list...because that's what organizers do :)

1.  Everything takes more time than you think it will.

2.  You can't help but depend on other people.  There is only so much you can get done along.

3.  Surround yourself with the things you use and love.  Everything else doesn't matter.

4.  Make your surroundings beautiful.  It makes all the difference in the world.

5.  Challenge yourself to learn a new skill.  You will feel so accomplished when you tackle it.

6.  Let go of excess.

7.  Let go of negativity.

8.  Take your time and be present.

9.  Make decisions slowly.

10.  Smile, no matter what happens.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Moving Out~Part Three

Well since I wrote my last post a lot has gotten done.  I have completed my closet installation first of all.  Despite the fact that I design, install and organize closets for a living, doing one for myself was a lot of fun.

I used Elfa systems and a few bins I already had in my old closet.  I ended up with lots more hanging space than I had previously as well as four drawers that were just right for my running clothes.  I also have a great top shelf that I'm using for out of season shoes and rarely used shoes (like shoes to wear to a wedding) in plastic shoe boxes.

I have still been keeping up with my daily to do lists to manage the process.  Now, I am in the packing and moving stage.  EVery day I pack up some items from my old location and then bring them to my new location and put them away.  I'm sure this process does take a little longer.  However, I don't have a mass of boxes anywhere that is over whelming to me and I know exactly where items are going to go before they even arrive at my new location.

My husband is working on getting all of the TV/Internet/Cable sytems hooked up.  I will be the firt to admit, its not my expertise and he's much better at it than I would ever be.

We are also in the picture hanging stage.   I'm just letting things go where I feel they should go this time. I feel like its more natural and easier to tackle that way.  I will see if I like the end result.

Thus far I've gotten some great bargain finds.  I found some throw pillows for the bed or couch.  They ere just $2.50 and by Nautica!  I also found some awesome Umbra curtains for $2 a piece!  Gotta love a clearance table in the middle of the store!

I know that I have miles to go before I sleep but at least for now, I'm cautiously optimistic!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Moving Out~Part Two

Well although this week felt like it moved slowly, in retrospect, we really did get a lot done.  The entire basement area is clear of all of the stuff that was down there.

We Freecycled a LOT, Goodwill took a lot and we were even able to use a local children's consignment store to sell some items back.

The area is now clear and ready to be painted, the carpets need to be cleaned and then we can start moving things into the space.

The painting doesn't seem that daunting, however I know it should as it is a lot of "cutting in" to do, a lot of  taping things off, runs to the supply store, etc.
However, paint feels more productive than moving things around to me for some reason.

The other big thing we finished this week was the floors in the bedroom.  They came out amazing and I am so proud of my uncle and husband who really did a lot with just a little Googling and some rented equipment.  Take a peek at them!

They say the devil is in the details and I agree.  Its taking the longest it seems to get the small things done; paint the base board, install toe kick, install the lights, etc.  However, I know it will all be worth it in the end!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Moving Out~Part One

My husband and I have recently gone through a move.  By the time you are reading this, it will be done and I will hopefully be happily settled in.  However, as I right this I'm in the middle of what I like to call organized chaos.
We are moving into a place that needs some work. It is partially finished, partially full of stuff, etc.  Let's just say it needs work to be able to bring our things in.

So this week we tackled the bedroom.  This really sounded like the small, easy part of the process.  Well I was wrong.  And I have to say, I think I'm pretty good at project management as I do it all the time for my clients.  I've even played the role of general contractor on lots of jobs for clients.  However, this time there was one difference, I am doing all of the work myself (with my husband) AND managing the project.

Okay so we started by taking everything out of the room, filling the holes in the walls, sanding, etc.  Just getting them ready to paint was a project in itself.  And the dry wall dust was worse than locusts.  It got on and in everything.  It even stuck to the silicone case I keep my iPhone in!

Then came the paint.  Well I will be honest.  My husband and I have never picked out paint colors before.  Ever.  It was a hilarious journey with two only children neither of which have a clue about design.  My husband wanted bright blue.  I meant BRIGHT blue.  I wanted something serene but in the blue or green genre.  (I clearly didn't really have any idea as that didn't narrow it down much.)

Well we settled on a lovely color by Benjamin Moore called Casco Bay.  Its a deep green/blue and its just right to accent all of our Maine pottery, bedspread and nautical maps that we plan to decorate with.  I will post a finished product picture later.

The bathroom was a whole other project.  The tile floor needed to be fixed and regrouted.  The shower needed new caulk.

The fixtures had paint on them from the last time the room was painted and the cabinet was falling apart.  So all of that took little old me one day to fix.  I did it and honestly, I'm quite proud of the outcome.

And so we are currently in the process of putting paint on the walls....every area needs more than one coat and every area needs to be "cut in" before every coat .  I feel like its a funny game of solitaire.

However, its all starting to come together and look amazing.  After the painting is done, we are going to tackle redoing the floors ourselves.  However, we have one day before the floor sanding rental arrives and I'm hoping to get all the fixtures hung back up in the space and get all the trim painted.    Time will tell and I will keep you posted!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Justin's Nut Butter Review

I recently had the experience of reviewing the entire line of Jason's Nut Butter products.  I had tried some of them previously that I received as gifts but I wasn't familiar with the whole line.  

I tried the following products; Maple Almond Butter, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, Classic Almond Butter, Classic Peanut Butter, Honey Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Almond Butter.  While its very hard to pick a favorite, I have to say that the Maple Almond Butter was the most versatile of the bunch. It fed my sweet cravings, and was a yummy snack just out if the jar.  

I have to confess I'm a HUGE peanut butter fan.  I eat it on just about anything and everything.  I like it as a snack, as a topping and generally as its own food group.  

I love Justin's Nut Butters because its healthy and all natural.  I love reading the ingredient list and its short, pronounceable and healthy.  

Kids will love the Chocolate butters.  They are wonderful for satisfying a sweet tooth craving without doing too much damage to your diet.  I LOVE the chocolate Hazelnut butter in particular.  Its great on crackers, toast and my personal favorite, waffles.  

If you want to buy Justin's Nut Butters take a look at where they are sold in your area.  I actually just found some at my local Target.  

So while peanut butter might be seen as an odd holiday present by some, I think it would make a great addition to a foodies' gift basket or an adorable gourmet peanut butter and jelly gift basket.  Even if you don't give Justin's Nut Butter this holiday season, try it for yourself and your kids, you will never go back!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Year Straight Review

I was recently sent a copy of A Year Straight.  I had no idea what idea to
expect but I couldn't wait to get started.  We were just hit with a freak
October snow storm so I was given the perfect opportunity to read a lot.  I
grabbed the book and started it.  I was immediately enraptured in the
characters and the plot line.  Despite the book being non fiction and the
characters being real people, the book reads like fiction.  It very quickly
becomes a page turner.  You can't wait to find out what the main "character"
is going to do next and you can't wait to find out where her adventures will.
lead her. 

The plot line is unbelievable at times, as only real life can.
The book will make you laugh out loud one minute and sympathize with the the 
main character the next.  What makes this different from most books you read
it that this one tells the real tale of a modern girl, living and surviving
in New York City.  There are no perfect shoes and no perfect job, just real
life and some of the all struggles we face day in and day out.  Of course,
these are told so that you can laugh about them.

Unlike most books, you aren't sure how you want this one to end.  You don't
know if you want the main character to end up with her current boyfriend,
some one new, a boy or a know you want her to be happy, no
matter what version of "happily ever after" she desires.
You will love this book, its a great book to buy a your best friend going
into the holiday season!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Our Love Yoga Review

Over the years yoga has gone from a rarely seen hobby to a mainstream topic.  Chances are you not only know someone who does yoga, you have someone on your holiday shopping list who does yoga!  Since they probably already have a mat and the necessary accessories, I'm going to give you a great alternative to buy for them.

The first item is Our Love Yoga's ChakraVee-Willfullness Tee.  The tee is part of their Chakra line of tees and you can get one featuring each of the seven charkas.  This tee has a very flattering v neck.  Not too deep, but enough to give it some style.  It looks more like a top and less like a plain tee.  Its burnout fabric also adds some depth.  Of course the graphic on the back really adds style!  However, its not overpowering.  This is a tee I'd throw on with a nice cardigan, as opposed to a tee you'd wear to bed at night.  I will warn you though.  You won't want to change out of it.  It is amazingly soft and comfy!

The second item I want to tell you about is the chakra burnout thermal.  Its the warmest, comfy long sleeve tee I have.  Unlike most of my long sleeve tees, it has a shape to it.  Its stylish and functional, something that's hard to come by.  The seven charkras are depicted down the back of the black thermal.  I keep throwing this top on to go to and from the yoga studio and then being disappointed later int he day when its dirty and I can't throw it on to hang out, read a book, etc.

Both of these tops would make great presents for the yogi in your life or the fashionista. They are not expensive, but good quality and fabulous comfort!

Take a look at all of Our Love Yoga's items here:

My Ring Guard~Such a Great Idea!

MyRingGuard Product and Campaign Description:
MyRingGuard is safety on your hand. It is a ring with a push button that uses blue tooth to connect to your smart phone via an app that allows anyone to send a message for help with their GPS location to your emergency contact(s). MyRingGuard is light weight, comfortable, and allows you to easily make an uninterruptible call for help with a touch of your thumb to your index finger in the case of an emergency - without having to fumble for your phone.

MyRingGuard was created with runners, bikers, hikers, night shift workers, and college co-eds in mind. It was created to help women feel more secure as they head out at night or in the early mornings alone on a path, or walking through large empty parking lots, or commuting across campuses.

MyRingGuard is now ready to head into production and is utilizing a website,, which allows for companies to “crowd-fund” through pre-sales and additional contributions.  This type of funding exposes unique products to early believers, adopters and fans who - through their advance purchase or contribution - help fund the company and in the end get rewarded with a great product at a discount and the knowledge that they are part of launching a new business.

Through IndieGoGo MyRunningGuard is offering their early adopters / crowd-funders discounts on MyRingGuard starting at 20% and increasing up to 33% for a family package.

To learn more about MyRingGuard, see a video with product demonstration, and to take advantage of the pre-sales discounts visit:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Love This Life Review

Know how you always wear some of your clothes over and over again because
they are comfortable and SO SOFT?  Well that's how you will feel about Love
This Life wear.  I was recently sent their Buddha hoodie.  I expected to
wear it before and after yoga class on the way to the studio.  Well it
quickly became a staple in my closet.  I took it out of my "workout" section
and put it into my "favorites" section.

The hoodie is made from soft cotton and flows with me as I wear it.  I don't
have to pull it down as it has a little extra length to it.  I love that I
can bend over or reach over my head and not worry about exposing my back or

The arms are just the right length, again not too short like some hoodies.
It washed very well and is still soft.

The Buddha graphic on the front is calming and cute.  Its in silver which
adds a little pizzazz to the shirt.  I always get compliments when I wear
this piece.  Its truly a piece of your wardrobe, not just anther tee shirt.

And Love This Life has TONS of other clothing options!  Check them all out
They are not overly expensive as you'd expect a boutique brand like this to
be and the company is made up of genuinely nice people.
Their line would make great gifts for anyone in your life who needs a little
reminder of peace throughout the day, and who couldn't use that?