Bulu Box Review


Disclosure: I received something of value from Bulu Box. All opinions are my own. 

Bulu Box

We are big fans of subscription boxes in our house. As you know, I am a Stitch Fix addict and Chris subscribes to a plethora of nerdy boxes (click here to see Chris’s nerdy reviews).

Since we love subscription boxes so much, I was very excited to have the opportunity to review Bulu Box!

Bulu Box is a health, nutrition and weight loss focused box. Each month you will receive samples of products picked just for you. The size of the samples are adequate enough for you to decide if the product is something that you would like to continue using. After you try your samples you can take surveys to give your feedback about the samples and by doing so, you earn rewards points. The shipping of the samples is free and you can cancel your subscription at any time!

Now that you know all of the details of Bulu Box, let’s take a look at what I received in my box!

Bulu Box Review

 1. NeoCell Biotin Bursts – Soft chews purported to improve hair, skin and nails.

2. AllergEase - Natural herbal lozenges meant to stop allergy symptoms.

3. Supreme Protein Accelerate Bar - Gluten free protein bars made with natural sweeteners and flavors.

4. Brode Electrolyte Vitamins - Electrolyte supplement that contains no caffeine and no sugar.

5. DSpeed Fast-Melt Vitamin D3 - Designed to deliver immune support and cellular health benefits from the vitamin D3.

6. Waxelene Lip Tubes – An organic and natural alternative to petroleum jelly.

My favorite item from the box was the Waxelene. I am a big fan of chap sticks and lip glosses, especially during the Winter as Michigan Winters are very drying. The Waxelene is very moisturizing and I like that it is made from natural ingredients.

Want to try Bulu Box out for yourself? Use the code AMAZING at check out to receive a 3 month subscription for only $10. That is a savings of $20!

Have you tried Bulu Box?

What subscription boxes do you like?

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On My Nightstand: Strong Is The New Skinny

Disclosure: I received a copy of Strong Is The New Skinny from Blogging for Books. All opinions are my own. 

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I just finished up reading Strong Is The New Skinny: How To Eat, Live, And Move To Maximize Your Power by Jennifer Cohen and Stacey Colino.

I was initially interested in the book because I liked the title and I also liked the “Go Hard or Go Home” approach of the book. I know that not everyone subscribes to those philosophies but I happen to find a lot of inspiration in those statements.

Although I did like the book, I didn’t think that there was anything in the book that I didn’t already know. I am pretty immersed in the fitness world so I guess that is understandable.

With that being said there were several areas of the book that I found to be of more interest to me than the others. The sections that I liked the most were the lifestyle check-up and the section on how to tackle a pull-up. The lifestyle check-up involved a series of exercises that I completed to see where I fell in the rating scale. For the most part I landed in the “average” section which reinforced that I have some work to do. I also liked the pull up section because I have struggled with being able to do pull ups and there were some great tips in there.

In addition to those sections,  I liked that the book included a section on being mentally tough as I think that is a key component to any fitness regimen. And I also liked that all of the exercises in the book can be performed at home with minimal equipment, so no gym membership or large monetary investment is needed.

Overall, I think this is a great book for people starting out on their fitness journey or for someone who is looking to get back on track.

I am giving away one copy of the book! To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. US entries only please and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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RunDisney Star Wars Half Marathon Costume

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

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As you know, Chris and I are doing the Rebel Challenge at the inaugural RunDisney Star Wars weekend. You’ve already seen my costume for the 1ok (but if not click here) and I promised you a peek at my costume for the half marathon. So here it is!

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That’s right, I am going as a blinged out version of Darth Vader. I can only assume that if Darth Vader was aware of the power of a little sparkle he would have been all for it.

For the half marathon I went with more official running gear as opposed to costume gear. I can run in anything for a 10k or less but for a half I need to be a little bit more in more in my comfort zone.

Let’s break down the costume piece by piece!

1. Darth Vader Tank – Like the R2D2 tank, I also got the Darth Vader tank from ThinkGeek. It is not a tech shirt but it is flowy enough where I think I will be ok with it. I can always put a tech shirt under it if I decide to.

2. Black Sparkle Skirt from Sparkle Athletic – These skirts are super comfy and you can wear them over your favorite pair of running shorts!

3. Nike Pro Shorts – My favorite running shorts. They are the only kind that I run in!

4. Gunmetal Sparkle Headsweats Visor – I am a big fan of wearing visors when I run and this particular one I got this past Summer and I love it. It keeps the sweat out of my face, doesn’t squeeze my head and it sparkles. What more could you ask for?

So there you have it! Stay tuned next month for a recap of the Rebel Challenge weekend!

Have you ever done a RunDisney event?

Have you ever raced in a costume?

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VARIDESK Review

Disclosure: I received something of value from VARIDESK for this review. All opinions are my own. 

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Remember my FITmas Wishlist post that I did not too long back? Well it turns out that Santa VARIDESK decided that I was on the nice list this year and made one of my Christmas wishes come true! I am now the happy owner of a VARIDESK SINGLE PLUS standing desk and THE MAT from VARIDESK!!!

I am sure it goes without saying how excited I was about this but just for visual reference, I was literally jumping up and down when these two boxes showed up at my workplace! And I can honestly tell you that VARIDESK has been the best thing that has happened to my workday.

Once we got my VARIDESK out of the box, it was very easy to set up on my current desk. I had already measured my desk beforehand so I knew it was going to be a perfect fit. The real question for me was how easily was the VARIDESK going to go up and down…..

Very, very easily it turns out. Going from standing to sitting is a snap. There are two levers, one on each underside of the display shelf that you push to move the desk up and down. The desk also has a spring assisted lift so it takes little to no effort to move the desk to your desired position.

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Once I figured out how to use my VARIDSEK SINGLE PLUS standing desk, I made sure THE MAT was in place to provide the support I would need to be standing and then I downloaded the VARIDESK DESKTOP APP.

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The app is absolutely amazing! I was able to customize it with my preferred sitting and standing intervals. The app then reminded me when it was time to sit or stand. Sometimes if I was feeling good, I would skip some of the sitting intervals by clicking skip on the app. I could also pause the app if I needed to leave my desk for a bit. The app monitored my standing calories burned based upon my weight and at the end of the day it gave me my total standing calories burned, along with the total time that I spent sitting and standing. I have found the app to be a great motivator to encourage me stand more often throughout the day!

BEFORE

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I have been using my VARIDESK for over a week now and I absolutely love it! If you have a job that requires a lot of desk work, I encourage you to invest in one for yourself (or ask for it as a gift). I understand that it is a bit of an investment money wise but with all the talk about sitting being the new smoking (read this article from Runners World) it would be a great investment in your health and happiness.

I can assure you that the VARIDESK is well made and is worth every penny plus it is much less expensive than replacing your whole desk! I also encourage you to get THE MAT with whatever VARIDESK you chose as I am able to stand for longer periods without fatigue because of it.

To pick out your own VARIDESK or learn more information, click here to go to the VARIDESK site. You can also connect with VARIDESK on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you have a VARIDESK or have you been wanting one?

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Tried It Tuesday: Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites

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Today I am linking up with Lake Shore Runner in her Tried It Tuesday Series!

Around Thanksgiving I was scouring the internet for a pumpkin dessert that was more healthified than the ones that are traditionally on the Thanksgiving table and I came across this recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Pie Bites.

They looked tasty and I had most of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to make them.

A big requirement for me for any recipe is that it has to be easy to make as I am not going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen making something. It just isn’t my thing. These fit that requirement to a T!

As far as the taste goes, I can tell you that the name of the recipe is a bit deceiving. These are nothing like pumpkin pie. The texture is more like a muffin and the pumpkin taste is very mild. I didn’t mind that they were muffiny but I was expecting a stronger pumpkin taste.

After sampling a few from the first batch I thought I would eat what I made and probably not make them again. But I was wrong. The first batch lasted me around a week and after they were gone I longed for some more. So I made them again and I can guarantee I will keep making them.

I have found them to be the perfect portable snack. They are very satisfying and although they are mini sized I find that just two or three of them are enough to get me through until my next meal. And since I am trying to eat more Paleo-ish these are a great option for me to have on hand. I would definitely encourage you to give them a try!

Have you made anything new lately?

Do you have any Paleo recipes I should try?

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Stitch Fix Review #5: December 2014

Disclosure: This post contains referral links that will help support my Stitch Fix addiction. All sign ups through my referral link are greatly appreciated!

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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 and accessories 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 items 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!

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 did not leave a note for my stylist BUT I ended up with a fabulous Fix. Let’s take a look at what she picked out for me!

Item #1: Pixley Elissa Striped French Terry Moto Jacket

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I am starting out with my favorite item first because I am so excited about this jacket! From the minute I opened the box I knew that I would love it. It fits perfectly and I love the little details from the off-center zipper to the buttons on the shoulders. I know I will be getting a lot of use out of this jacket!

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Status: Kept!

Item #2: 41Hawthorn Moni Abstract Geo Print Blouse

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I have seen different variations of this top in other people’s fixes but I wasn’t sure if it was something that I would like. Turns out I was wrong! I like everything about it. It fits well, the colors are nice and I like the detailing around the neckline and sleeves.

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Status: Kept!

Item #3: Mavi Freida Ankle Length Skinny Jean

When I pulled these pants out of the box, they didn’t strike me as anything special. But when I put them on, they fit like a glove and went perfectly with the 41Hawthorn blouse and the Pixley jacket as you can see from the pictures above.

Status: Kept!

Item #4: Skies are Blue Kali 3/4 Sleeve Eyelet Placket Dress

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I really did not think I would like this dress although I thought the deep purple was a stunning color. It just didn’t seem like something I would pick out for myself but when I put it on I really liked it.

When B saw me in it he told me that I looked beautiful and that I should wear it to a wedding. Not sure what wedding I will be wearing it to but when your kid tells you that you look beautiful, you keep the dress.

I wish that the dress was a size smaller than what I received but when I contacted Stitch Fix to see about an exchange, they didn’t have the dress in the size I was looking for. Since I already was keeping the first three items, it made sense for me to keep the dress as the 25% off for keeping all five items was better than just keeping the first three pieces. I also updated my style profile so that any dresses I receive going forward should be in the correct size.

Status: Kept!

Item #5: Octavia Henry Birds on Branch Infinity Scarf

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By the time I got to the scarf I already knew that I was keeping it just based on wanting to get the 25% discount. I don’t wear scarves often, although I do like them. This one in particular, I do like and I think it will give a nice pop of color to my outfits.

Status: Kept!

This month’s fix was my favorite one yet! I am planing to request the same stylist next month since she did such a great job.

Ready to get your own fix? Click HERE to sign up for Stitch Fix.

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

Stitch Fix #1: August 2014

Stitch Fix #2: September 2014

Stitch Fix #3: October 2014

Stitch Fix #4: November 2014

What did you think of my fix this month?

What would you have kept?

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FRS Two-10 Discovery Challenge Review + Giveaway

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by FRS Energy + Endurance through FitFluential. All opinions are my own. 
FRS

Extra energy is something that I can always use more of. Between my full-time job, my running / working out and being a Mom, (and most especially being a Mom as my kid never runs out of energy!) I find myself not feeling as energized as I would like to be.

Recently FRS Energy + Endurance challenged me to take their FRS Two-10 Discovery Challenge thanks to my ambassadorship with FitFluential. I am not one to turn down a challenge and since I was eager to see if FRS would give me the energy I was craving I said YES!

I did however, do a bit of research before I jumped blindly into the challenge. Naturally I wanted to know a little bit about FRS, their product and the challenge itself.

FRS was actually developed in 2004 by scientists who were trying to find a way to increase energy naturally for chemotherapy patients. They came up with a blend of antioxidants and vitamins that did just that. That blend became known as FRS. The key ingredients of FRS are quercetin, green tea extract and seven essential vitamins. In addition to helping chemotherapy patients, FRS has been found to enhance fitness performance, increase mental function and promote a healthy immune system.

The Two-10 Discovery Challenge is quite simple. The challenge pack includes 1 full size bottle of FRS concentrate (16 servings), 1 sample pack of FRS soft chews (2 servings) and 2 regular sized cans of FRS drink (2 servings). To complete the challenge all you have to do is ingest two servings of FRS each day for 10 days.

The first FRS item that I tried was the chews. I had the pomegranate blueberry flavor which would not have been my flavor of choice but it was still good. It had a fruity taste and a pleasing chewy texture. The FRS concentrate was next up. The taste is definitely an acquired taste but it was something that I got used to as the days went by. Lastly I tried the drinks which I found to be quite flavorful.  Overall, I preferred the chews because they were convenient and portable making it easy for me to use them on the go!

At the end of the 10 day challenge I definitely feel like I have more energy! I also have not been sick since I started the challenge and last year at this time I kept on getting a cold after a cold after a cold.  I did not however, notice any difference in my mental function.

So do I think you should try it? Yes, absolutely! FRS is a great product and in 10 days you would be able to determine if it is a right fit for you. You have got nothing to lose and so much that you could gain! Click HERE to get more info on the challenge pack.

Thanks to FRS, I get to give away one FRS Two-10 Discovery Challenge Pack to one of you! Just use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of FRS.

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The Perfect Training Journal

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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I am the type of person that once I have an idea of something I am looking for I won’t settle for anything else until I find exactly what I am looking for. Even if it takes forever.

Don’t believe me? Last year on my Holiday Fitness Wish List, I indicated that I wanted a training log. I even mentioned a particular brand of training log that I thought I would like. I never bought said training log because although I liked it, I didn’t love it. I wanted to find a training log that spoke to me. One that was fun and motivating. One that made me excited to workout out just so I could record my workout in it.

And while I realize that seems like a lot to expect of just a training log, I knew I would eventually find THE one.

So one day while on Twitter (don’t all good stories start out like that?) I came across a post from Picky Bars that immediately caught my attention. It was about the Believe Training Journal that is co-authored by one of the founders of Picky Bars, Lauren Fleshman. Lauren happens to be a badass runner and Picky Bars are badass bars so I took a look at the training log and fell in love with it. Just the cover alone screamed fun and inspiring to me.

I loved it so much that I pre-ordered it through Amazon and patiently waited for it to arrive.

I received it a few weeks ago and I love it even more in person!

Want a peek of the inside?

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As you can see this is the section of the journal where you record your workouts. It is undated so you can start the book at any time (although I am holding off to start mine on January 1st…it is an OCD thing.). The only thing that I would change about this section is that I wish that the days of the week were not already printed. That way if you are weird like me and start your week on Sunday, you could choose to do so. I plan to just cross out the days of the week and write mine in. No biggie.

In addition to recording your workouts there are many other purposes and sections to the training journal. There is a section for you to record your goals, pages of advice from both Lauren and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas (the other author of the book and also a badass runner) and lots of inspiration throughout all of the pages PLUS lots more.

I can not wait to start using it! This journal alone makes me thing that 2015 is going to be a badass year!

Do you use a training journal?

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A Christmas Story Run 2014 Recap

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As you guys know, Chris and I ran the Christmas Story Run 5k this past weekend and I am happy to report that it was a much better experience for me this year than last! I wasn’t sick and it wasn’t bitterly cold. That is the short recap, ready for the longer version?

On Friday night Chris, his parents and myself headed to Cleveland. The drive from where we live is a little over 3 hours and since Chris’s Dad was doing the driving I got to sit back and enjoy the ride. I am typically the driver everywhere Chris and I go so it was nice to be the passenger for a change.

We got to our hotel pretty late so we pretty much just slept there. It was the exact same hotel that we stayed at last year and it is located relatively close to where the race starts.

On Saturday morning we headed over to packet pick up which was at the Renaissance Hotel, a slightly different location than last year, but in the same general area. Packet pick up was smooth and quick and we ended up having quite a bit of time before the race got underway.

With the extra time we checked out the Christmas Tree at Tower City Center and the window  displays at Higbee’s! Tower City Center also had a bunch of a guitars throughout the mall which were pretty cool too!

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Before long it was time for the race to start and as luck would have it the rain dissipated and although it was cold (temps were in the high 30’s) it wasn’t 2013 cold. It was also a bit windy but nothing crazy.

The start line was in a slightly different spot this year, we suspect due to some road construction, but we had no complaints about starting in front of the Hard Rock.

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The course was pretty much exactly the same as last year but this time I actually got to enjoy it more. Last year I was just trying to make it to the finish line since I wasn’t feeling well.

Like last year they had quotes from A Christmas Story on various signs throughout the run. Although a few of them had blown over because of the wind.

One of the best parts of this race is the costumes! There were so many people dressed up as different characters from the movie from people dressed up as a leg lamp to people dressed up as Ralphie himself!

Thanks to all the costume watching, we were at the Christmas Story House and the finish line in no time!

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Once we crossed the finish line we got our medal and some snacks to refuel with. They had a good selection of post race fuel including bagels, cookies, yogurt, milk, Ovaltine and more!

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While we waited for Chris’s parents to catch up to us, I grabbed us a spot in line to go inside the Christmas Story House. The line was much longer than last year but we all took turns going inside the gift shop to warm up.

After touring the house we went over to the museum. We did not do that last year so that was new to us. The museum houses a lot of original items from the movie and it was fun to check out.

After the museum we headed to the buses so we could get back to the start line and to our car so we could head back home. Last year we waited in line for 30-45 minutes for the bus but this year we got right on! I think this was mostly due to us spending more time in the area after the race but they may have also made some improvements in the bussing as well.

Speaking of improvements there are a few things that I noticed that are worthy of noting.

1) The 10k racers run an out and back course so once they get to the Christmas Story house they make a turn and head back on the same path that the 5k runners are on. There needs to be some sort of divider so that the 10k people don’t have to shout at the 5k people to move over.

2. They ran out of race medals. Chris and I got a medal but his Mom did not. She will receive hers in the mail in about a month as there was a shipping issue with the medals. I’ve seen this happen at races before but I have never been on the end of not receiving a medal. I can only imagine how much it sucks to cross the finish line and not get the medal that you were looking forward to getting.

3. I had the unusual opportunity to be present when they were breaking down the post race food areas. I’m usually not at races long enough to see that so maybe this happens at every race but there was a TON of food left over. I am talking about cases upon cases of water, yogurt, milk, cookies etc. I don’t know what happens to all of the leftover stuff but I really hope it gets donated to an organization that can put it to good use.

These items are all very minor and didn’t detract from our race experience at all. We loved the race swag, the race and we would definitely do the race again!

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Up Next: A Christmas Story Run 2014

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Tomorrow Chris and I will be tackling our last race of the season…. A Christmas Story Run 5k! You may remember that we did this race last year and although it was a fun race, it wasn’t a great experience for me because I was really sick. You can read my recap from last year by clicking here.

I am hopeful that I will enjoy the race more this year as I am feeling normal. Normal for me anyways. ;) *Hang on while I knock on some wood, just to be safe.*

In addition to feeling healthier, this year’s race will be even more enjoyable because Chris’s Mom is joining us out on the race course. She will be walking the 5k!!!

All three of us are very excited about the race!

I will be sure to share a full recap of our experience next week but feel free to follow me on Instagram and Twitter for pictures and live updates!

What are your plans for the weekend?

 

 

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