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?