SantaWillWrite.com Review + Giveaway!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through Tomoson. All opinions are my own. 

SCULPTURE & ART

If you follow me on Instagram than you probably already know that my over eager child has already sent a letter to Santa. I would blame the snow for his desire to have Christmas here so quickly but the reality is he just loves Christmas. Even more than the average child, as he talks about Christmas and Santa all year-long.

So you can imagine his excitement when he received a shiny red package in the mail from Santa! He was literally jumping up and down and squealing with excitement.

Thanks to Santa’s helpers over at SantaWillWrite.com, B received their deluxe package which included a personalized letter from Santa, a Nice List certificate with Santa’s and Rudolph’s signature, a personalized letter from Rudolph, Santa’s workshop stickers, a Christmas game board, a Special Delivery from the North Pole stamp, magic Christmas dust, washable Christmas tattoos, and a free phone call from Santa! (See examples below.)

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 It made B’s day and he has talked about it every day since he received it! It was the perfect way to make Christmas a little bit more magical than it already is!

Want to win this for a special kid in your life from Santa’s helpers at SantaWillWrite.com? Use the rafflecopter widget below to enter to win! Continental United States only, please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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2014 FITmas Wishlist + Giveaway!

Disclosure: In the past I may have received items from one or more of the companies on this list for review purposes. For this post however, I have not received any items nor have I been compensated in any way. I just genuinely love all of these products and think you will too! This post does however contain affiliate links which help support my running habit.

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This week marks the official start of the holiday season and children everywhere are frantically putting together their holiday wishlists. There is no reason for kids to have all the fun, so I put together my own wishlist! And mine is a list with a fit twist!

Ready to see what made my list? Here we go! (In no particular order.)

1. Spartan Race Entry

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This year I ran my first Spartan Race and then I went on to achieve my first Spartan Trifecta! Aroo! Spartan is hands down my favorite obstacle course race and I believe it is something that everyone should try.  Not to mention there really is no better present than a race entry, especially a Spartan Race entry! Experiences are always greater than things and I guarantee you will carry a Spartan experience with you forever! Unless of course, you run the Las Vegas Spartan Race, then that will stay in Vegas. ;)

Spartan Race was nice enough to give me a free entry to give to one of you! The race entry is good for any Spartan Race in the continental US in an open heat with a non-confirmed start time. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
2. Varidesk   49901_glassdesk_imac_091714  I have been lusting over a Varidesk for quite sometime now. And yes, Chris knows about my infatuation and he is okay with it. While I recognize that they are a bit of an investment, I truly believe that they are one of the best investments you can make for yourself if you have a job that requires you to be at a desk for the majority of the day. Why waste away in a chair when you can stand up (and sit down when you want) and burn some calories while you work? I love that Varidesk goes on top of your existing desk so it is far better priced that those other companies who expect you to replace your whole desk. This would be a great present for anyone on your list (or for yourself).   3. ShowerPill Athletic Body Wipe    51PA2qga0TL._SY355_   You may recall the review I did a while back ago on the ShowerPill Wipes. These wipes are perfect for those times when you either don’t have enough time to take a shower after your workout or you don’t have access to a shower after your workout. I can vouch that they clean up the sweat and dirt and leave you smelling fresh!   The fresh smelling people over at ShowerPill want to make sure that one of you is always smelling fresh as well! They have asked me to give away one box of ShowerPill wipes to one of you! (Continental US only.) Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter and in the meantime use code runner10 to save 10% off your order of ShowerPill wipes both on their website and on Amazon through December 31st 2014! a Rafflecopter giveaway

4. Stitch Fix

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 I know I don’t have to explain how much I LOVE Stitch Fix but maybe I should explain how this fits on a fitness minded wish list. For me there is no better reward for staying on track with my fitness goals than getting some new clothes. Clothes that make me look good and feel good. Obviously this is for women but you guys know what I am talking about too, I know you do.

I am giving away one $20 Stitch Fix card (that I have purchased) to one reader! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter and for those of you looking to sign up for Stitch Fix or to gift a Stitch Fix subscription to someone click HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
5. WIN Detergent   unnamed   WIN Detergent is the only detergent that I use on my workout clothes. It really does get the stink out like no other detergent I have ever used before and there really is nothing worse than workout clothes that are stinky before you workout out in them. For a full recap of my thoughts on WIN, click here. WIN wants one of you to be stink free this holiday season by letting me give away a bottle of WIN detergent to one of you! (Continental US only.) To enter use the Rafflecopter widget below. You can also use the code WINGIVE2 for one dollar off single bottles of WIN detergent purchases. a Rafflecopter giveaway

6. HelloFresh

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Being fit in my opinion, means working out AND eating healthy. An easy and fun way to eat healthy is by signing up for HelloFresh. You can get a shipment of three meals every week (or less often if you prefer) with fresh and healthy meals to fuel you and your workouts. Just about everything you need is included in the box to make the meals and all the meals are extremely tasty and fresh. To read my recap of my first HelloFresh box, click here. To save $20 off your first box use code UNYFA9.

7. The Fat Burn Revolution Book

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If you don’t have a copy of The Fat Burn Revolution by Julia Buckley you are really missing out! This is my favorite fitness book and the workouts in it are the bomb! Julia’s approach to health and fitness is very down to earth and simple. No matter where you are in your fitness journey you can use Julia’s program to achieve your fitness goals.

Julia was nice enough to provide me with a copy of her book to give away to one of you! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
8. PRO Compression   10613058_10152483346338283_542749804136492290_n   Every runner and athlete needs a good pair of compression socks for recovery and I LOVE my PRO Compression socks. Not only do they aid in the recovery process after a tough workout but they also have so many colors and styles to choose from! If you haven’t already read my full review on them, click here to do so.   The fine folks at PRO Compression want to make sure that you #keepittight this season and recover in style so they are giving away one pair of socks to one of you! You will get to pick what style and size you want as long as it is in stock. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win (continental US only) and use code BLG14 to score 40% off for everyone on your holiday list! a Rafflecopter giveaway

9. Monkey Do Project

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 For some people, having a “fit” holiday means something very different from what you and I might think of it as. Sometimes it is a simple as having basic needs met like a warm place to sleep at night and food to eat.

Odds are if you are reading this, you probably have your basic needs (and then some) met every day. But that is not the case for everyone. It is a sad but true situation that is happening right where we live but you can help out and make a difference!

My friend Jackie (we go back to B’s toddler years) started a non-profit called the Monkey Do Project which helps the people of Appalachia, which the U.S. government defines as the poorest area of our nation. There are many ways to help out from donating money to donating the small toiletries from hotels that you stay at that you may not even use.

I realize that there are lots of charities that you could choose to support this year but why not choose to support a smaller charity run by a passionate person that will make sure every cent gets put to the best possible use? For more information on how you can help the Monkey Do Project click HERE.

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RunDisney Star Wars Weekend Running Costume

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

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The countdown is on to my first ever RunDisney event! Chris and I will be headed to Disneyland In January to partake in their first ever Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend! We are both doing the Rebel Challenge which means that we will be running the 10k on Saturday and the Half Marathon on Sunday. Yep, we are crazy and we like it!

Naturally running a RunDisney event means that I need a great running costume for each race! That is part of the fun after all, right?

Here is what I have planned for the 10k!

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Average temps in Disneyland are mid 40’s to mid 60’s in January. So it if it is on the cooler side I can just add a layer underneath if need be.

Let’s break down my costume piece by piece.

1. R2D2 Mickey Eats Hat – B got this hat when we went to Disney World earlier this year. I don’t think he will mind if I borrow it.

2. R2D2 Tank – I got the tank from ThinkGeek and although it is not a tech shirt, I think it will work just fine for a 10k. Isn’t it awesome?

3. Nike Pro Shorts – These were already in my closet as they are my favorite running shorts and pretty much the only ones that I run in.

4. R2D2 Socks – I love fun socks and I thought that these made my costume feel complete. You can pick up a pair of your own over at Amazon.

Stay tuned for next week’s post, where I will bring you my Half Marathon costume!

Do you like running in costume?

Have you ever done a RunDisney event?

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Leave No Trace With prAna

Disclosure: As a Sweat Pink Ambassador I received something of value from prAna for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Leave No Trace

Being that I am an OCR / mud run enthusiast, it should come as no surprise that I also love running trails. Nothing beats connecting with nature while I am out on my runs as I find trail running to be very calming, centering and de-stressing. It is truly my happy place.

As a trail runner I am very careful to leave no trace when I leave the trails for the day. Whatever I take out onto the trails with me, leaves the trails with me. This ensures that my happy place remains just the way that I found it and it also ensures that those who get on the trails after me can have just as an enjoyable experience as I did.

Since I subscribe to the leave no trace philosophy I always thought it would be nice if an athletic wear company also subscribed to that philosophy. And it turns out that one does. That company is prAna!

prAna got started 22 years ago in a garage by a couple who thought that their brand “should give much more than it takes from the world” be being mindful of how they use natural resources. They are a company that you can feel good about buying from and wearing their products.

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Speaking of wearing their products, prAna was nice enough to let me try out a few items from their Early Winter Collection. I selected their Alicia Pullover Top and Prism Capri Leggings. Both were super comfy and great for a run or any other type of workout. These would make a great holiday gift for any athlete on your list!

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To help you with your holiday shopping, prAna has given me a 15% off code that I can share with you! Click HERE to head over to their site and enter pspf14tedw at check out. Happy shopping!

 

 

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HelloFresh Review: October 2014

HelloFresh Review

Last month I signed up for a new subscription box called HelloFresh. Have you heard of it? Well, it is AMAZING!

The short story is that it has made me feel like a rock start in the kitchen. The long story is that it is a weekly subscription box (although you do not have to get it weekly, you pick how often) that includes all the items that you need to make 3 amazingly delicious and fresh meals. It includes all of the food items (minus a few things like olive oil or other normal items you would already have on hand) and the recipe cards to make the dishes. The package is sent to your door with large ice packs in a cooler so there is no need to worry about the food going bad during transport.

So now that you know the details let’s take a look at my first HelloFresh experience.

First up is a look at how it is packaged.

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I can vouch that the ice packs were still frozen and that all of the food was perfectly cold. The bonus is that the ice packs are reusable so I just stuck them in the freezer for us to use again and again. I can also reuse the cooler too!

A feature of HelloFresh that I really liked is that before you receive your shipment you can log in and see what the dishes are for the week. From the 5 options that are listed, you choose the 3 that you are most interested in trying! For this shipment I received the Sausage and Kale Penne, Herb Roasted Chicken and Veggies, and the Soy Glazed Steak with Wasbai Mashed Potatoes and Garlicky Sesame Spinach.

The ingredients for the individual meals (other than the meat) are packaged into their own bags so you can easily start preparing your meal of choice.

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I found the directions to be very user-friendly. They list out all the tools you will need to make the dish, the ingredients (so you can make it again if you end up liking it) and a step by step preparation guide. It really is a foolproof set up!

The very best part of HelloFresh is that the meals tasted fantastic! I liked all of them and they were boyfriend approved as well, so you know they have to be good!

October 2014

So will I continue to use HelloFresh? Yes, absolutely! BUT not every week. My grocery budget does not allow for it. When I signed up for HelloFresh I had a promo code which made it a bargain. I will however, try to make room in my grocery budget for one shipment each month because I enjoyed the experience and the food so much!

Interested in trying HelloFresh out for yourself? I have a discount code for you! When you sign up just enter UNYFA9 and you will save $20 off your first delivery. By using that code, I will receive a referral credit as well.

Do you have an interest in trying HelloFresh?

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Stitch Fix Review #4: November 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 told my stylist that I wanted a statement necklace, colored denim and some sweaters to keep me warm now that the temps have dropped.

So let’s take a look at what I got in my fix!

Item #1: Rita Teardrop Bib Necklace 

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I think we all can agree that this is definitely a statement necklace! I don’t normally like jewelry that is gold tone, although this is more bronze than gold, but I do love this necklace! I would have preferred it in a silver tone (I’ve seen other people who have received a silver one) but I still like it nonetheless.

Status: Kept!

Item #2: Ashlyn Heathered Knit Top

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When I saw this top in the box I wasn’t too wild about it. It just didn’t excite me and that feeling remained when I put it on as well. It was however, very soft, so I wish I liked the look of it because it was super comfy. Oh well.

Status: Returned

Item #3: Elda Sequins & Stripes Sweater

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I am in love with this sweater! It is soft, it is comfy, it fits well and it has some sass to it. I love the sequins on the shoulder and the thumb holes in the sleeves. As a runner I am partial to running tops that have thumb holes in the sleeves although this will be my first non-running top I have ever owned with thumb holes. I see myself getting a lot of use out of this sweater throughout the Fall and Winter!

Status: Kept!

Items #4: Nigel Tall Length Skinny Jeans

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Before I get the clothes out of my Stitch Fix box I always look at the style cards and the note from my stylist. When I saw “tall length” listed for these pants I knew I was in trouble. I am 5 foot 1.5 inches (yes the half an inch matters!) so there is nothing tall about me. In fact, I have to buy short length pants in order to avoid having to get my pants hemmed. I am puzzled as to why I received tall length pants since my height is listed on my Stitch Fix profile. I am guessing it was an oversight. If it wasn’t for the length issue I may have actually kept the pants because I did like them, especially the color. I guess they were just not meant to be….

Status: Returned

Items #5: Ida 3/4 Sleeve Striped Shirt Dress

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This was another piece that I wanted to like. I normally love shirt dresses and the fabric on this dress was very soft. The dress however was too long on me and it wasn’t figure flattering so it was a no go.

Status: Returned

This month’s fix was another mixed bag but again I am okay with that as long as I get at least one item that I love and in this case I got two! And thanks to those of you who signed up with my referral link, I also had some credit to use on this month’s fix. You guys rock!

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

Fix #1: August 2014

Fix #2: September 2014

Fix #3: October 2014

Want to get a fix of your own or gift one to someone else? Click HERE to use my referral link and I will be your new bff.

What did you think of my fix this month?

What would you have kept?

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Kona Chocolate Run Recap

Your guide to healthy living

On Sunday Chris and I ran the 4th and last race in the Kona Grand Slam Series, the Kona Chocolate Run 10k! This race was not new to us as we ran it last year on its inaugural debut. Like all first time races, they had some issues. Most notably the line for the chocolate buffet was so long that we ended up not getting any chocolate at all. Kona is known for listening to its runners and implementing change to improve the runner experience, so we went into this years race confident that things had changed for the better.

The great thing about running the Kona Grand Slam Series this year is that 3 of the 4 races took place in the exact same location so that made race morning comfortably smooth for us since we knew what time to get there, where to park, where packet pick up was and where to find the start line.

The 10k had a 3 wave start and Chris and I got there in time to jump into the first wave.

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That’s my I’m super cold pre-race selfie. Winter seems to be moving in a tad early this year. Bah humbug. Luckily once I got moving I warmed up.

It was nice being familiar with the race course. I recognized a lot of the volunteers and spectators from the previous races. Although there was one spectator that I don’t recall seeing previously. I am going to call him the Happy Sunday Guy because he was out in his driveway with his tailgate down giving out small shots of Bud Light while saying “Happy Sunday!” I don’t like beer but I thought that was pretty awesome!

Chris and I didn’t have a time goal for this race so we just took it easy and enjoyed the run. And of course collected our medal when we crossed the finish line.

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And this time around we actually got some chocolate. We didn’t have to wait at all. Much improved over last years insanely long line. Nice job Kona!

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Once our bellies were adequately full of chocolate we collected our Kona Grand Slam medals which we have been working towards since March!

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Here’s a look at all of the medals that we added to our collection by doing this series!

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Kona has some nice bling for their races. Their swag is always very nice too. Here’s the swag we got from the Chocolate Run.

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In some ways it is sad that the series is over because that means that my 2014 race season is wrapping up. But on the other hand, I am excited that I accomplished another one of my goals for the year.

I would highly recommend the Kona series or any of their races individually as they always put on a great race and put the runner experience as their top priority. If you are thinking of running one of their events next year, I say go for it! You will not be disappointed!

For a recap of the individual races of the series, click on the links below.

St. Patrick’s Day 10k

Kona Run 10k

Wicked Halloween Run 10k

What did you do this weekend?

Anyone else do some running or racing?

 

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Idle Feet Do the Devil’s Work Book Review

 

Disclosure: I received a copy of Idle Feed Do The Devil’s Work for review purposes. All opinions are my own. 

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I’m just about finished reading Ray Charbonneau’s new book, Idle Feet Do the Devil’s Work and as expected it was another good read! I am a big fan of Ray’s laid back writing style as well as his sense of humor. The book kept me entertained and I learned a few things along the way as well.

The book is a collection of short stories that cover everything between running advice (some of it serious and some of it not so much) and finish line stories.

Here is an excerpt from my favorite “advice” section of the book. It is of course meant to be humorous.

“In order to be the best, you have to make running your number one priority. Friends, family, a job-those are all nice to have, but you always have to be ready to push them aside to make time for number one, or you’ll never finish number one. If you want, it’s OK to make friends with your fellow runners and train with them, but only if they always run with you at your pace and when it fits your schedule. “

I think all runners can identify with that in some way, right? lol

As entertaining as all of Ray’s advice can be, my favorite part of the book was reading about how he guided a blind runner at the 2013 Boston Marathon. I love hearing finish line stories and this one is definitely one of my favorites!

I highly recommend this book! If you are a runner, know a runner, or are thinking about becoming a runner, this book is for you!

How do you get your hands on a copy of this book? If you are Scott D, you are the winner of my giveaway so check your email. If you are not Scott D, click HERE to purchase your own copy. The book is very affordable and would make a great gift for yourself or someone else!

 

 

 

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Up Next: Kona Chocolate Run

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That’s right, another race weekend is upon us! On Sunday, Chris and I will be running the Kona Chocolate Run 10k. We both ran this race last year and you can read my recap by clicking here.

As you can see, there were a few things race wise that we were disappointed with last year but I am confident that those areas have been improved upon to make this year’s race better! I am especially hoping that the line for chocolate will be much speedier so I can actually partake in it this year! *Fingers Crossed*

This race is the fourth and final race of the Kona Grand Slam series which will earn Chris and I the bonus Grand Slam medal! We love ourselves some bling!

Want to see how the other races in the series went? Just click on the links below.

Kona St Patrick’s Day 10k

Kona Run 10k

Wicked Halloween Run 10k

In addition to the race improvements, we are also hoping that the weather turns out to be decent. It has been pretty cold around rainy around here lately, which isn’t our preferred racing conditions. But no matter what happens we will still get out there and get it done.

What are your plans for the weekend?

Anyone else racing?

 

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Holiday Sweat Challenge!

Holiday Sweat Challenge 2014[4]

The Holiday season is about to be in full swing soon which means food, food and more food. And if you are anything like me that can result in lack of motivation, lack of self-control and weight gain. So much for Holiday cheer right?

This year I am hoping to avoid falling into the Holiday weight gain trap and one way that I plan to do that is by participating in the Holiday Sweat Challenge that is being hosted by Sweat Guru / Sweat Pink and Run To The Finish.

The Holiday Sweat Challenge runs from November 24th through January 5th and it is a friendly competition meant to encourage you (and me) to exercise and eat healthy. If you join the challenge you will receive 3 emails a week with tips, recipes etc, you will have access to their Facebook group for motivation and support and you will also have a chance to win prizes just for participating plus much more! And btw, there are over $3,000 worth of prizes available!!!

The fee to join the challenge is $16 which is very nominal for all that you get in the 6 week challenge. I am pretty certain it will be money well spent!

To learn more about the Holiday Sweat Challenge click HERE and to join the challenge click HERE. If you do sign up, please indicate that I referred you as that will earn me a chance at winning a referral prize!

Will you be joining me in the Holiday Sweat Challenge?

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