Introducing Caring Crate

Caring Crate

You all know how much I love subscription boxes. I mean, who doesn’t love getting fun stuff in the mail?! So when Janelle from Caring Crate reached out to me about her new subscription box, I was excited to hear more about it!

Caring Crate is monthly subscription box that is crafted for anyone who is dealing with mental health issues, a chronic illness or anyone who just needs to give themselves a little extra TLC. I don’t know about you, but I think we all could benefit by giving ourselves a little extra self-care as far too many of us put ourselves at the bottom of our to-do lists.

“By curating a selection of only the best products for our subscription boxes, Caring Crate seeks to change the way you care for your mind and body.

From mood enhancing aromatherapy and teas, to personal journals and healthy snacks, Caring Crate is the perfect solution to indulging in a little self-care, or gifting a thoughtfully curated box to friends, family & loved ones.”

Intrigued? So am I. The first Caring Crate will be shipping out this month which also happens to be the same month that Mother’s Day resides in. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I would like to think not, as I Caring Crate would make the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Every Mom deserves some extra self-care this month and every month for that matter.

Ready to get a Caring Crate of your own? Click HERE to go to the Caring Crate website for more information and to order a crate for yourself or someone else. The deadline to get a May Crate is the 6th so act fast.

I will be receiving the May Caring Crate for review purposes, so stay tuned for a full review!

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United Relay of America

United Relay of America Logo

I am so excited to add another race to my race calendar thanks to Fit Approach, AfterShokz and the United Relay of America!

The United Relay of America is the first of its kind, so I am pumped to get to participate in it! It is the first ever triple cost-to-coast charity relay. The three relay legs start in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles with all three legs ending in New York City. Those three legs will run through 33 states and will total right around 12,000 miles! How amazing and crazy is that?!

On top of those amazing stats, this is even more amazing in my book:

“The United Relay of America aims to inspire, empower, connect and unite people for a better world. Funds raised help support local children’s hospitals, as well as the coalition of charities partnered with the We Are Here Movement to provide youth education, improve healthcare, fight hunger, end gender discrimination and provide a safe home for orphans. What’s extra special is that 100% of the event’s proceeds go directly to the causes.”

Pretty incredible right?!

Ready to find out more about the United Relay of America? Here is a look at the three race routes. You can get more specific information on each leg of each route by clicking here.

United Relay of America

Originally I was going to sign up for a leg in Ohio, Indiana or Illinois since the relay doesn’t enter Michigan and those would be the closest states to me but I couldn’t get any of the dates in those states to line up with my schedule. So after a bit of an arm twisting, Chris and I decided that we will be heading to St. Louis so I can join the red team on May 21st for a group run in Forest Park. (He did have to twist my arm a bit because this adventure is going to involve us and the 3 kids in the car for over 8 hours there and over 8 hours back. Oy!)

You will notice that some legs of the relay are group stages. These legs accommodate more people and are of shorter distance. I thought it would be fun to do a group stage plus I am not comfortable running alone in an unfamiliar area. Keep in mind this is not a typical race with a course mapped out for you. The legs of the race just indicate a starting point and an ending point. You get to figure out what the middle looks like. Whereas the group stages are set up as a more traditional race.

Because the race is not a traditional race, traditional headphones are not allowed. That is certainly understandable as I mentioned that there is no official course and as such many runners will be making their own route which will probably involve roadways and cars. It is best to be alert when you are not on a closed race course. You can however, wear AfterShokz headphones which are not your traditional headphones.

AfterShokz Headphones

AfterShokz headphones offer an open ear design and the music is transmitted through bone conduction which allows you to listen to your music while still being aware of the sounds around you. They seem pretty awesome and I look forward to trying them out when I run the relay next month. To find out more about AfterShokz and to see all of the products that they offer, click here.

The relay started on April 27th and will end on June 4th, so there is still plenty of time for you to join in! To save 30% off of your registration fees and to join me in running the United Relay of America click HERE.

Make a difference

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Tour Detroit Tuesday: Beauty and the Beast Giveaway

It’s been a while since I have been to the Fox! Too long actually. Fortunately they have an amazing play coming in May that is a must see….Disney’s Beauty and the Beast!

Beauty And The Beast at the Fox Theatre Detroit

Chris and I saw Beauty and the Beast at Disney World the last time we were there and it was amazing. I am sure that the show at the Fox will be longer and even better than the one that we saw at Disney World.

In fact the show is an award-winning Broadway musical that is based on the 1991  Academy Award®-winning animated feature film. It is also celebrating its 20th year since it had its Broadway debut.

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has become an international sensation that has been seen by over 35 million people worldwide in 22 countries, and has been translated into 9 different languages.  This production launched in February 2010 and has been seen by 3 million people while playing over 1,000 performances in all 50 United States and 8 Canadian Provinces.  Currently, there are four other productions playing around the world including Paris, tours in Japan and Germany, and a new international tour that currently will visit over 12 countries in two years.”

Beauty And The Beast at the Fox Detroit

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be at the Fox Theatre May 20th through May 22nd. Tickets starts at $37.50 and can be purchased through Olympia Entertainment.

Thanks to Olympia Entertainment, you can also enter to win a family four pack of tickets to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for the May 20th 7:30pm performance. Just use the widget below to enter to win. Good luck!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Giveaway!

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Tips For Running With Your Dog

This post is sponsored by Absopure. All opinions are my own. 

Tips For Running With Your Dog

Now that Mowgli and I have a few runs under our belt (our should I say feet?) I thought I would share my tips for running with a dog.

Start Slow

Remember when you first started running? That’s what it is like for your dog right now. He has no idea how to pace himself and he has no idea how far a mile really is. It’s up to you to set the pace so that he doesn’t tire himself out too soon or else you may find yourself having to carry him back to the car.

Start Short

Don’t plan on taking your dog out for long runs until he is acclimated to running longer distances. Like people, dogs need to build a base before they can put in some serious mileage. Also, you should keep in mind that some dogs are made to be sprinters and some dogs are made for distance, so you will have to see what suits your dog best.

Running Gear

The right running gear is important for you, right? Well, it’s also important for your dog as well. You may need to experiment with different harnesses / collars and leashes to find out what works best for running.

Mowgli uses a Kurgo Harness which we love. It’s great for running and walking and it also has an adapter that lets me buckle him into the car which gives me the added piece of mind when we are driving to and from the trails. (He likes running trails better than road running too, go figure.)

Hydration

Absopure Water

Hydration is just as important for your dog as it is for you. I always carry Absopure water with me on my runs and I always make sure that I have enough to give Mowgli as well.

I keep a plastic container with me in my car so that Mowgli has something to drink out of when we are done running but I think I would also like to get a collapsible dog bowl like this one that I found an Amazon, so that  he can  drink while we are out on our run. Or maybe I can teach him to let me squirt the water into this mouth. I’m guessing the bowl will be the easier option.

Make it Fun!

Your initial runs with your dog should be just for fun. If you try to take him out with you when you have a certain time or distance goal in mind you are setting yourself (and your dog) up for failure. Go out for your run with no expectation other than to have fun and you will not be disappointed.

Please keep in mind that I am not a dog expert nor am I a running expert. I just happen to like both and wanted to share my experiences with you. I recommend that you consult your vet before running with your dog to make sure that he is healthy enough to do so. Also you should wait until your dog is at least one year of age before running with him so that his bones have time to grow and mature.

Do you run with your dog? Tell me about it!

Any tips or tricks?

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Think About Your Eyes

This post was sponsored by Think About Your Eyes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my review.

How crazy are these eye statistics from Think About Your Eyes?

Think About Your Eyes is a national program that is encouraging people to think about their eye health and to get their annual eye exams. They recently surveyed members of Life Time Fitness, people who you would think are very health conscious, but even they sometimes neglected their eye health. Just like the rest of our body, our eyes need regular care in order for them to be in the best shape.

Are you surprised by these statistics? I honestly had no idea that so many people were not taking care of their eyes. I first started wearing glasses when I was in the 6th grade, so regular eye exams have always been a part of my life. And an important part of my life! (Trust me when I say that I know what can happen when you overuse your contacts. I’ve endured a scratched cornea and it was not fun.)

I know that we all want to lead healthier lives and that when we make strives to do so, we often think about exercising regularly and eating healthier. And while those are important areas to focus on, your eye health should be something that you focus on as well.

Regular eye exams can help detect eye problems when they are most treatable. Eye exams can even detect other health issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

And let’s not forget how much we put our eyes through with all of all electronic devices that we use! Visual fatigue is a very real thing and I think we have all felt it at one time or another. Because of how much we rely on our eyes, it is always a good idea to make sure that they are healthy by getting an eye exam regularly.

To learn more about eye health please visit the Think About You Eyes Website by clicking here and to find a local eye care professional near you to schedule an eye exam, click here.

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Stitch Fix Review #21: April 2016

Stitch Fix Review April 2016

I was so excited to get this month’s fix because I was finally getting a pair of shoes in my fix. I feel like I have been waiting ages for this!!

Yay, there are shoes in my fix!!
Yay, there are shoes in my fix!!

In case you are not familiar with Stitch Fix, let me bring you up to speed. Stitch Fix is a monthly subscription service (although you don’t have to get one every month, you pick how often) that sends you clothes, accessories and SHOES (finally) based on a style profile that you fill out. You can keep what you like and send back what you don’t. There is a $20 styling fee but if you keep any of the items, the $20 fee is deducted from the total purchase price of the item(s) you keep. If you keep all 5 of the items from your fix you receive a 25% discount on EVERYTHING. Basically it is like playing dress up as an adult…..and it is both fun and addicting! To sign up to get a fix of your own, click here to use my referral link!

Every month you can also leave a note for your stylist. So if you have an event that you need some clothes for or if you just have an idea of what kind of pieces you want to add to your wardrobe you can pass that information along!

This month, I asked my stylist Diana for a few specific items I pinned on my Pinterest style board as well as a great spring jacket. I also changed my profile to reflect that I did not want to receive any polyester items. Let’s see if she was able to accommodate my requests.

Item #1: Laju Aberdale Cargo Jacket

Laju Aberdale Cargo Jacket

I thought this jacket was a sure keeper as I have been on the hunt for the perfect olive green cargo jacket.

Laju Aberdale Cargo Jacket - Stitch Fix

Unfortunately it was a size too big, especially in the sleeves. It also felt more like a shirt than a jacket as it was very thin. Other than those two issues I really loved the jacket and almost kept it but I couldn’t justify the cost. For $98 it would have to be perfect to be a keeper.

Cost to Keep: $98.00

Status: Returned

Item #2: Skies Are Blue Azazel Crochet Detail Top

Skies Are Blue Azazel Crochet Detail Top

I love the color and the detailing on this top! Oddly enough, I really do not have any red tops in my closet.

Skies Are Blue Azazel Crochet Detail Top - Stitch Fix

On the downside, because I know that Golden Tote carries the Skies Are Blue brand I have a hard time justifying buying this brand from Stitch Fix because I know that it is overpriced.

Cost to Keep: $48.00

Status: Returned

Item #3: Adrianna Papell Hannigan Dress

-Adrianna Papell Hannigan Dress

This dress is similar to the dress I requested so I can see why Diana sent it to me.

-Adrianna Papell Hannigan Dress - Stitch Fix

However, it is just not me. It’s too dressy for my needs and I don’t think it is flattering on me. It is also polyester which I want to stay away from unless something is just too amazing to pass up.

Cost to Keep: $124.00

Status: Returned

Item #4: Collective Concepts Lorele Peplum Blouse

Collective Concepts Lorele Peplum Blouse

I love peplum tops and I requested a different one but it wasn’t available so Diana sent me this one instead.

Collective Concepts Lorele Peplum Blouse - Stitch Fix

And this is a great top! It’s very flattering and cute. But I ultimately decided not to keep it because I would rather have something with color versus black and white. I have enough black and white in my wardrobe.

Cost to Keep: $58.00

Status: Returned

Item #5: Nine West Xeena Pointed Toe Pump

Nine West Xeena Pointed Toe Pump

When my fix was marked as shipped, I peeked (I always do, can’t help it) and saw these were going to be my first SF shoes and honestly, I was disappointed. I was hoping for an open toe strappy or fringy pair that screamed fun.

I was so convinced these shoes were not for me that I wasn’t even going to try them on. But I reluctantly did and turns out….I LOVE them. Diana suggested pairing them with the dress she sent me but I didn’t love the dress and I didn’t love the shoes with the dress. I did however love the shoes with a pair of jeans and a cute top.

Nine West Xeena Pointed Toe Pump - Stitch Fix

The shoes add an unexpected pop of color that I think looks great and the shoes are super comfy.

I also felt the shoes were warranted their price since I did a Google search and found the exact pair priced the same on multiple sites.

Cost to Keep: $79.00

Status: Kept!

This was definitely not my most favorite fix of all time but I got a great pair of shoes out of it so I really can’t complain. Diana did send me several items that were almost keepers but not quite for one reason or another. I also still got polyester items despite changing my profile to reflect that I no longer wanted polyester items. I think I will try to include my dislike of polyester in my note to Diana for May and see if that makes a difference.

Ready to get your own fix? Click HERE to sign up for Stitch Fix through my referral link. It makes me happy when you do! 

Want to see my past fixes? Click on the links below.

Stitch Fix #18: January 2016

Stitch Fix #19: February 2016

Stitch Fix #20: March 2016

What did you think of my fix this month?

Have you received any shoes in your fix yet??





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Spartan Race News AND Giveaway!

Ah Spring! It’s that time of the year that gets me longing for an OCR (and warm weather evidently as Michigan still thinks it is Winter). And while I don’t have any OCRs on my race calendar (yet) for this year, I can still get my fix from the Spartan Race and Joe DeSena’s new book, Spartan Fit!

Spartan Fit

Spartan Fit is a follow-up to Joe’s Spartan Up!. Once you have Spartan Fit! and 31 days of commitment, Joe promises to transform your body and mind. It is “a complete Spartan training guide, Spartan Fit! arms readers with the strength, knowledge, and grit to never question their potential again, both on and off the race course.”

The book will not be released until this Summer but you can click here to pre-order it through Amazon. And I highly recommend that you do because I’ve read the first chapter and it is AMAZING!

In other Spartan news, have you heard about the Agoge? No? Check this out!

Are you crazy amazing enough to tackle the Agoge?

Now about that giveaway…. Spartan Race has given me a race entry to give away to one of you! The entry is  good for any open heat with a non-confirmed start time in any Spartan Race in the continental US. To enter just use the widget below. Good luck and Aroo!

Spartan Race Giveaway

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Fashion Files Friday: Slippers Giveaway!

It may be Spring but it sure doesn’t feel like it here in Michigan. In fact, the weather forecast is calling for SNOW this weekend. Meh. That’s how I feel about that.

My solution for this meh weather? Stay inside wearing something comfy and cozy. Or stay inside and win something comfy and cozy!

Millie Women's Alpaca House Slippers

Thanks to Gambrell Renard I am giving away a pair of his Millie Women’s Alpaca House Slippers. They retail for $53 and are available in either white, brown or brown and white. They are handcrafted and have an Alpaca outer, a suede bottom and sheepskin wool inside. And I have no doubt that they will keep you cozy and comfy.

Gambrell Renard designs and manufactures various items including throws, rugs, blankets and many more items. He also happens to have ties to Michigan which is a plus in my book!

To find out more about Gambrell Renard and the other products he offers, click here to go to his site. To enter the giveaway, please use the widget below. Good luck!

Millie Women’s Alpaca House Slippers Giveaway

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Tour Detroit Tuesday: LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Michigan

I have been waiting for what seems like forever for the new LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Great Lakes Crossing to open. Every time B sees the commercial for LEGOLAND in Florida he begs me to take him there. I realize that the two LEGOLANDS are vastly different from each other, but I still knew that he would have a great time.

And guess what?! The Michigan location is finally open!

I could tell you all about it but I thought I would let the pictures speak for themselves.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center

LEGOLAND - Kingdom Quest

LEGOLAND - MINILAND

LEGOLAND - Uniroyal Tire

LEGOLAND - Spirit of Detroit

I loved MINILAND, can you tell??
I loved MINILAND, can you tell??

LEGOLAND - Fox Theatre

Some of the MINILAND exhibits were interactive, like this one.
Some of the MINILAND exhibits were interactive, like this one.

LEGOLAND Auburn Hills

LEGOLAND LEGOS

LEGOLAND Test Track

So what were our favorite things to do at LEGOLAND? We loved the Kingdom Quest Laser Ride, the 4D Movie, MINILAND and the LEGO City Play Zone the best. I mean it was all great of course but those were our favorites.

Want a few pointers before you go to LEGOLAND?

  • Buy your tickets in advance. You can not purchase tickets in person. Several people got turned away that were waiting in line without tickets.
  • When you purchase your tickets you have to select a time slot. I recommend selecting the first time slot of the day since that is what we did and it seemed like we had the place to ourselves for a little while. You can stay as long as you like so that time slot just indicates what time you get to go inside LEGOLAND.
  • Skip purchasing the activity pack. Granted it is only $4 but B was not that into it.
  • If you have not already been to Sea Life you can purchase combo tickets to both and save money. That is what B and I did and it worked out well. I will talk about our time at Sea Life in a later post.

Unbeknownst to me, B went to LEGOLAND with his Dad before I surprised him with our Mom and son date day to Great Lakes Crossing. And while it was a bit of a let down to find that out, B and I both still had a great time. We highly recommend that you head out to Auburn Hills to spend some time at LEGOLAND!


Chicago_125x125



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Golden Tote Review #8: March 2016

Golden Tote Review - February 2016

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to review my March Golden Tote. It’s one of my most favorite ones yet, so you would think I would be shouting about it to anyone who is willing to listen.

Not familiar with Golden Tote? Golden Tote is similar to Stitch Fix but a little different. Golden Tote is a fashion service but you do not automatically receive a Tote each month. (And yes the items actually do arrive in a Tote!) Instead, Totes go on sale the first Monday of the month (the day is sometimes different) on the Golden Tote website. You can choose between either a small Tote for $49 which contains 2 items (you pick 1 of the items yourself) or a large Tote for $149 which contains 5-6 items (you pick 2 of the items yourself).

Like Stitch Fix you fill out your style profile on Golden Tote and that style profile will help your stylist select the surprise items that they send in your Tote!

Golden Tote also has a boutique so you can purchase items separately as well and there is discounted pricing for adding items on to your Tote order. Oh one more thing! The clothing available for the Totes typically changes every month. And since there is a limited supply, getting a Tote with your preferred item(s) feels pretty similar to signing up for a Disney race (of course I compare everything to running somehow). At least in my opinion!

My February Tote was styled by KB and since it was so amazing, I requested her again. And she delivered on all 3 of my surprise items that I requested this month!

Item #1: Out & About Dress

Out & About Dress

I am not usually a midi dress kind of gal. Mostly because my height makes them not midi length of me but this dress was calling out to me.

Out And About Dress Golden Tote

I am so glad that I listened as I think this dress is great. The length ended up being not quite a maxi on me but I think it still works. The dress is super soft and comfy and it has POCKETS! The colors are also brighter than I expected which I am happy about.

Item #2: Puella Swing Into Spring Dress

Puella Swing Into Spring Dress

This was my other chosen item as I can not resist the Puella swing dresses. They make putting together an outfit quick and easy while still looking fashionable.

Puella Swing Into Spring Dress - Golden Tote

I prefer to belt my swings, although I know not everyone does, but to each their own.

Item #3: Give ‘Em the Cold Shoulder Top

Give 'Em the Cold Shoulder Top

Give 'Em the Cold Shoulder Top - Golden Tote

This was an add on item that I think will be great for the weekend or a date night. I think it is super cute!

Item #4: Gilli Cold Shoulder Dress

Gilli Cold Shoulder Dress

This is my first surprise item and it was one of three that I requested. Did I mention that KB came through on all 3 of my surprise item requests???

Gilli Cold Shoulder Dress - Golden Tote

Although I like the dress I did not end up liking it on me. I felt it was a bit too big on me. I ended up selling the dress on the GT Facebook Group so it all worked out in the end.

Item #5: Renee C Polkadot Tab Sleeve Blouse

Renee C Polkadot Tab Sleeve Blouse

This top is cute and it is perfect for work as long as I wear a cami underneath it because it is a little low-cut. It’s definitely a keeper though!

Renee C Polkadot Tab Sleeve Blouse - Golden Tote

Item #6: Chris & Carol Printed Hoodie

Chris & Carol Printed Hoodie

This hoodie is lightweight and it feels like my favorite t-shirt but in hoodie form! It will be a great transitional piece for Spring. Whenever Spring actually gets here.

Chris & Carol Printed Hoodie - Golden Tote

Item #7: Joy & Co FLoral Lace Trim Top

Joy & Co FLoral Lace Trim Top

I love this top except for one thing…it’s a bit boxy on me. I am thinking that wearing it with a belt looks better?

Joy & Co FLoral Lace Trim Top - Golden Tote

I am going to make it work because it is too cute.

Accessories:

I also added on a few accessories to this Tote which I don’t do very often.

Golden Tote Accessories

As I mentioned before, this is my favorite Tote yet! I’ve already requested KB for my April Tote but I plan to not request as many surprise items because I would rather by surprised by a few things.

Speaking of the April Tote, here are the two chosen items that I picked.

Want to get a Tote for yourself? Click here to use my referral link to sign up!

Want to see my other Golden Tote Reviews? Click on the links below.

Golden Tote #1 March 2015

Golden Tote #2: April 2015

Golden Tote #3: May 2015

Golden Tote #4: June 2015

Golden Tote #5: July 2015

Golden Tote #6: August 2015

Golden Tote: #7: February 2016

Have you tried Golden Tote? What do you think of it?

What do you think of the items I got in my Tote?

 



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