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: