PRO Compression Review & Giveaway

Disclosure: I was give a pair of PRO Compression socks to review in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. 

PRO Compression Marathon Neon Yellow and Pink Swirls Socks

PRO Compression Marathon Neon Yellow and Pink SwirlsSocks

Thanks to the fine folks over at PRO Compression I received a pair of their Marathon socks to review. They also gave me a pair to give away as well but we will get to that in a minute!

I am no stranger to compression socks although I will admit that this was my first pair from PRO Compression. I have been using compression socks for several years now to aid in my recovery especially after long runs or a grueling race. I truly believe that they make a HUGE difference in both the amount of time it takes for me to recover and how I feel during the recovery process. In short, compression socks make my legs happy!

Happy Legs!

Happy Legs!

One thing I have come to learn about compression socks is that it does matter which ones you use. You may be tempted to buy a cheap pair thinking that it shouldn’t make a difference, but it does! You really want to invest in a good pair of compression socks that are of good quality and that will last. Snazzy colors are preferred as well! (For me at least!)

After using the PRO Compression socks, I can attest that they meet my criteria of being well made, durable and fun! So I highly recommend them!

Want to try out a pair of PRO Compression socks for yourself? Thanks to PRO Compression one lucky reader will win their choice of a pair of PRO Compression Marathon Socks or Sleeves! To enter to win just use the Rafflecopter widget below.

In addition to the giveaway I have a special code that will get you 40% off Marathon Socks and Sleeves. The code is BLG14  and that is a great savings!

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A Toe Walking Update

Every couple of months or so I get an email from someone asking me questions about toe walking and other items related to B’s medical journey. It always catches me a bit off guard because I haven’t blogged about it or thought much about it since the end of 2011. (How crazy is it that I have been blogging for THAT long?) But because of the emails I thought I would update you all on B’s toe walking.

Take a look at toes!

Take a look at those toes!

In case you weren’t reading my blog in 2011 or if you just need a refresh I will bring you up to speed. At one of B’s check ups when he was 3, his doctor noticed that he was toe walking, meaning he walked on his tippy toes. He had been doing it since he started walking so it never occurred to me that it was an issue. In addition to that, his doctor felt that his speech was not on par for his age. The speech issue was rectified very quickly through speech therapy which B only had to do for a couple of months. The toe walking thing took a bit longer to “rectify”. He was referred to a neurologist who had him tested for many things. Most tests came back negative, thankfully. However, it was noted by the neurologist that B had a small degree of scoliosis that may have been causing the toe walking or the toe walking may have caused the scoliosis. Or they may have been unrelated to each other. Fortunately the scoliosis was not severe enough to warrant any sort of medical treatment. For the toe walking B ended up getting fitted for an afo or an ankle foot orthotic which would prohibit B from walking on his toes. After wearing the afo for a couple of months B was reassessed and lo and behold without the afo on he would still toe walk. We were advised that B should wear the afo for another 3 months and if that did not resolve the issue then the neurologist wanted to pursue botox injections for B’s calves. I was strongly against the idea of botox injections.

B wearing his AFO's the he called his Scoobys.

B wearing his AFO’s the he called his Scoobys.

And that is where the story ended…..on my blog anyways.

So what happened after the additional 3 months of wearing the afo’s? B still toe walked. Not as often mind you but he still did it and since we were still strongly against the idea of botox injections there was no further medical treatment pursued. The reason that we were against the injections is because there was no guarantee that they would work and the risks of the procedures far out weighed the potential benefits, in our opinion.

Now at the age of 6 (or 6 and a HALF as he would say) he still does toe walk. Not all the time but he definitely does it without even realizing it. It doesn’t concern me because when I tell him to walk flat footed he does and he is able to straighten his leg without a problem. Often times toe walkers lose the ability to stand flat footed because they spent so much of their time on their toes. At this point, that is not an issue for B.

So our plan still remains the same as 2011. We will continue to monitor B’s toe walking and if we see any issues that concern us we will follow up on them but if not we will continue as we have been!

 

 

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Monthly Subscription Boxes

Disclosure: Post contains referral and affiliate links. 

M Y  E S C A P E

Monthly subscription boxes seem to be all the rage right now so naturally we are staying far away from them so that we do not get sucked in as well.

Hahahaha, I kid, I kid. We are totally sucked in and quite frankly we subscribe to some subscription boxes that we really love, so I thought it would be fun to share our experiences with you!

Dollar Shave Club - If you go anywhere on the internet you are bound to run into an advertisement for the Dollar Shave Club. I eventually succumbed to the advertisements and signed up because razors are expensive and the idea of getting them for just a dollar was very enticing. I ended up getting their $6 a month razor instead just because I liked the look of it and at $6 it is still a steal! I have been using their service for several months now and I have been happy with both their razors and their customer service. If you are considering signing up, click here to do so, and I will receive a referral credit, which would make me very happy!

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BarkBox - Yes, even Chewie has been getting his own subscription box. He is spoiled, what can I say. I ended up purchasing three months of the BarkBox because the price was less expensive by doing so. We have already received all three months and we have enjoyed each box that Chewie has received. The products have been all good quality but the only issue that we have is that since Chewie is a heavy chewer (hence his name), the toys we receive don’t last long. But then again, the toys we buy him outside of the box don’t last long either. Chris reviewed one of the boxed more in-depth on his blog, you can check that out by clicking here. If you decide to sign up your dog for a BarkBox, Chewie would love it if you clicked here to do so because not only will you save 10% but he will also get a free box! I guarantee he will give you lots of kisses as a thank you for that!

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Stitch Fix - A lot of bloggers that I follow have been posting their Stitch Fix reviews month after month and quite frankly I was jealous of all the cute clothes and accessories that they were getting. I was going to wait to subscribe once I got back in shape but I decided that I should just love the shape that I currently am and I went ahead and signed up. You can read about my first fix by clicking here. I really enjoyed the experience and I am looking forward to getting my next fix in September. If you want to sign up for Stitch Fix, please use my referral link by clicking here, which earns me credits off my next fix and earns you the title of my new bff!

Nadine West - I enjoyed my Stitch Fix experience so much that I scoured the internet looking for any similar services and I came across Nadine West. It is similar to Stitch Fix in that it sends you clothing (but only tops) and accessories. You keep what you like and send back what you don’t, so you only pay for the things you want. Unlike Stitch Fix, there is no monthly fee (Stitch Fix has a $20 styling fee that is deducted from whatever you purchase), so I figured I had nothing to lose. I should be getting my first package in a few days so stay tuned for a review!

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Nerd Block - This is a subscription that Chris has been trying out and he has really liked it. It is a subscription box for nerds which is right up his alley. He has been blogging about his experience so far over on his blog, so you can read more by clicking here. There are many different version of the Nerd Block including a Nerd Block Jr. which I got for B for a few months.

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Loot Crate - Loot Crate is very similar to the Nerd Block and Chris’s youngest received a three-month subscription of it for his birthday. Some months the Loot Crate is better and some months the Nerd Block is better….it just depends. To read Chris’s review of the Loot Crate click here and to sign up for the Loot Crate using his son’s referral link which will earn him credit click here.

I think that covers all of the ones that we have tried! Obviously there are a TON more out there and we would love to hear about your experiences with them.

What are your favorite monthly subscription boxes?

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On My Nightstand – The Paleo Manifesto

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

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I really enjoy reading and since I am pretty passionate about health and fitness I tend to find myself reading health and fitness related books. The book that has currently been on my nightstand has been no exception.

I don’t follow a Paleo lifestyle but I certainly know plenty of people who do. I knew the general guidelines of the diet but I was curious to learn more and thanks to The Paleo Manifesto by John Durant I did just that!

This book delves into every piece of information regarding living a Paleo lifestyle. From what to eat, what not to eat, why it is a “thing” and the history behind it. With that being said because it does cover everything there is a TON of information packed into this book. This can be a good thing and a bad thing, at least for me. As much as I appreciated the information, at times it just seemed like too much information so I ended up skimming through several sections of the book.

Despite the fact that I skimmed some sections, I did find the book to be very well written and that the information was conveyed in a way that was easy and fun to read. The author was the perfect person to write this book as he is pretty much the leader of the Paleo movement. If you want to learn more about Paleo he would be the best source to start with, for sure!

So will I be jumping on the Paleo bandwagon? Probably not. I know myself well enough to know that I can’t eat from such rigid guidelines as those. I could probably become paleo-ish at best, if that’s even a thing. I have never been one to jump on board with something completely. I instead take what works for me and leave behind what does not.

So what about you, have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Are you Paleo or Paleo-ish? Why or why not?

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Down & Dirty Obstacle Race Review

Yesterday Chris and I ran the Detroit Down & Dirty Obstacle Race and I have the battle wounds and medal to prove it!

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Before I get to my wounds and the sweet medal, I will give you all the nitty gritty details of the day because that is what race recaps are all about….right?

As I mentioned before, this was my second time running this event whereas it was Chris’s first time. The course was laid out very similar to when I ran it in 2012 so you are welcome to click here to read a more in-depth report of the individual obstacles and the course as there is not much point in me rehashing it all again.

On race morning we left a little later than we intended but we still had enough time to park, collect our packet (after I ran back to the car for my ID! Shouldn’t I be used to the process by now????), use the facilities and get in line for the 7:30am wave.

Before we knew it, Chris and I were off and running…..ready to get down and dirty. Chris and I ran the entire course together because it is more fun that way although it is guaranteed that neither of us will never get a PR again because it seems like we are never in sync. Oh well, PR’s are overrated (Ok, that’s a lie).

There wasn’t a lot of mud on the course except for the two mud pits but there was a lot of obstacles and we enjoyed each and every one of them. My favorite obstacle was the push up area. Which is funny since it isn’t really an obstacle but I like that I am able to hammer out 20 push ups without any issue. My least favorite obstacle is whichever one reopened my Warrior Dash wound.

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Gross, right? (I did promise you a battle wound, so you were warned!) I think this may become a permanent scar as we have several more OCR’s ahead of us and I seem to use this spot on my elbow a lot.

The only obstacle on the course that seemed different from 2012 was what I like to refer to as the “pole obstacle.” Fancy name, I know. It was a pole that had several small ledges to place your feet on to assist you in climbing up it. Once to the top you had to swing your body over the top edge of a cargo net and work your way down. It seemed scarier than it was because of the whole me being scared of heights thing.

To be quite honest none of the obstacles are very difficult. I think that they are very doable by most people. They are more difficult than Warrior Dash but not as difficult as Spartan Race if that helps give you a frame of reference.  The terrain of the race is quite hilly which does make the race as a whole seem more difficult.

All right….ready to check out the medal???

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I don’t know about you but I think it is pretty darn sweet and a great improvement from the medal I got in 2012!

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Here is a look at the rest of the swag I got!

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A tech shirt and a buff!

Overall the Down and Dirty Obstacle Race was a great experience! And dare I say that it is pretty close to edging out Warrior Dash as being in the top 3 of OCRs / Mud Runs in my opinion. It has timing which Warrior Dash eliminated and the obstacles at Down and Dirty are more challenging than Warrior Dash.

The only issue that I had with Down and Dirty is that they served the water at the aid stations from garbage cans. Granted the cans were lined and I am sure the water was fine but seeing someone get you water from a garbage can just makes you suspicious. Plus the water had a brownish tint to it and people were confusing the water cans for garbage cans and tossing their half drank cups back into the water that was to be served. It grossed me out.

Other than that it was a great race and a great day! If you want to read Chris’s take on it, click here to head on over to his blog!

Did you race this weekend?

If not, what were you up to?

 

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Next Up: Down & Dirty Obstacle Race

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Woohoo, it is a race weekend for Chris and I!

On Sunday we will be at the Down & Dirty Obstacle Race in Milford at Kensington Metropark. I ran this event in 2012 and really liked it. You can read that race report by clicking here. This will be Chris’s first time doing a Down & Dirty event but he is an old pro at mud runs and OCR’s now, so I know he will enjoy it and do just fine.

Chris and I will both be doing the 10k but they also have a 5k and a Kids Run as well. I don’t believe that they are sold out, so there is still time to sign up if you are interested.

As usual, I will have a full recap for you sometime next week!

Oh and one more thing, if you live in the Detroit / Ann Arbor area don’t forget to enter my Super Run giveaway because who doesn’t like to get a free race entry??? Click here to enter!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Anyone else racing or running?

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Homemade Nut Milk Bag Review

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This post is sponsored by Everyday Kitchen Essentials Nut Milk Bag. All opinions are my own. 

I have been drinking almond milk for quite some time now and I really like it. Not only does it taste good but it is good for me and it is a great alternative to traditional dairy milk.

Until I was contacted by Everyday Kitchen Essentials I never considered making my own almond milk but it turns out that it is not as difficult at you would think.

Ready to find out just how simple it is? Well first you need to head over to Amazon by clicking here so you can get your very own Homemade Nut Milk Bag.

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Now that you have your bag, we can get started.

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Step 1: Soak 1 cup of almonds in filtered water (I used tap water, and it worked just fine) over night or all day.

Step 2: Strain and rinse almonds and then put them in a blender with 4 cups of filtered water (again I used tap) on high for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Squeeze the milk through the bag into a bowl. You can then return the milk to the blender and add the sweetener of your choice and re-blend.

Step 4: Pour into a glass and enjoy!

See I told you it was easy!

The bag is completely reusable AND it has a lifetime guarantee!

Are you an almond milk drinker? Have you considered making your own?

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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Stitch Fix Review #1

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I am a little late on jumping on the Stitch Fix bandwagon but I finally took the plunge!

In case you are not familiar with Stitch Fix it is a monthly subscription service that sends you clothes and accessories based on an extensive style profile that you fill out when you sign up. You try the items on in the comfort of your home and then send back what you don’t like in the postage paid packet that is included in your shipment. If you end up keeping all of the items, you receive 25% off the total cost.

Also included in your shipment are style cards that show you different ways to style the items that you received. I love that!

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It should be noted that there is a $20 styling fee for each fix that you receive but that amount is deducted from cost of the items you keep. If you do not keep any items, you do still have to pay the $20 styling fee.

Ready to see what I got in my first fix???

Item #1: Leslie Striped Chiffon Trim Tank

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I really liked the color and the look of the top. However, I did not like the flowiness (is that a word?) in the mid section. I thought it made me look pregnant and Chris agreed so this top was sent back.

Status: Returned

Item #2: Jaylie Skinny Jean

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Yes I am showing you my butt because these jeans fit like a glove! I have a really hard time finding jeans that fit because as Chris says, I have a ghetto booty. So naturally when I find a pair of jeans that fit well, I keep them. And these ones were kept!

Status: Kept

Item 3: Manning Chevron Print Button-Up Blouse

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Just like the other top, I liked everything about it except the fit in the stomach area. It was too billowy and not figure flattering, in my opinion. So this was returned as well.

Status: Returned

Item 4: Ronnie 3/4 Sleeve Printed Shift Dress

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There really isn’t anything about this dress that I liked. I didn’t like the style, the print, the fit …nada. I felt like I was wearing a nightgown. I even tried adding a belt to it which helped but not much. As you can imagine, this was returned.

Status: Returned

Item 5: Charlston Hammered Circle Charm Layering Necklace

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You may have noticed that I had this necklace on when I was wearing the first two outfits but here is a closer view of it. I love the necklace as it is perfect for both work and non work functions.

Status: Kept

I really enjoyed my first Stitch Fix even though not all of the pieces were keepers for me. I have been told by others that use Stich Fix that your fixes will get better if you give honest feedback to your stylist so that is exactly what I did. And lets not forget that I got two really great items that I am very happy with!

I definitely will be continuing my Stitch Fix service and I am already looking forward to getting next month’s fix.

If you are interested in trying Stitch Fix I would love it if you would sign up by using my referral link. Just click here to do so. By using my link I will get credit towards a future fix and you will be my new best friend. ;)

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Mandala Massage Ball Review

I think it is time for me to talk about a topic that I have not yet covered on my blog…..balls!

Mandala Massage Balls to be exact.

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I have used the Mandala Massage Balls for a few weeks now and I have found them to be a great way to speed recovery after a tough workout.

Prior to receiving the massage balls, I have been an avid foam roller (it hurts so good) and I would say that the balls act very similar to a foam roller with one exception: the massage balls can access areas that are hard to get to with the foam roller. My current favorite place to utilize the massage balls is the bottoms of my feet. It feels SO GOOD!

Another perk of the massage balls is that because of their size I could easily pack them in my suitcase and take them with me to my next destination race. They would take up minimal space and would provide me much-needed relief. That is a win win in my book!

The massage balls are made of solid rubber which makes them easy to clean and prevents them from collapsing like tennis balls (I know a lot of runners use tennis balls to help with recovery).

Although I received the massage balls for free in exchange for my review, I can honestly tell you that I would spend my money on them as I think they are a great tool for every type of athlete.

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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The Super Run Giveaway!

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Recently the folks from The Super Run contacted me to see if I would be interested in running at their Ann Arbor event on 9/6. Immediately I said YES, but sadly I already have something scheduled for that day. So my loss is your gain because not only will I be giving away the free entry they offered to my readers but I will also be giving away the entry that they offered me. As an added bonus each winner will also receive a custom cape from SuperflyKids! I am already jealous of whoever wins!

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Not familiar with The Super Run? The Super Run is a family friendly race with a 1k SuperFun Run for those aged 12 and under and a 5k for those over 12.  As you may expect, you will receive some Super swag with your race registration. The swag includes a superhero cape, a temporary tattoo and a silicone awareness bracelet.

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The Super Run partners with different charities depending on the location of the race. For the Ann Arbor event the charity is Lutheran Social Services of Michigan. So not only will you be running a race and having a super time, you will also be doing it for a good cause!

Another fun perk of The Super Run is that they offer free space to vendors as long as the vendor provides a family friendly activity or giveaway. Isn’t that super?

All right, ready for the giveaway?! Just in case you are not one of the winners you can use my super promo code to snag yourself $5 off adult registration. Just click here to register and enter SUPERWARRIOR5. Want to save on a custom cape at SuperflyKids? Use promo code SUPERRUNFAN to save 20%!

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. Good luck!
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