Our Family Is Charmin Essentials Strong!

This post was sponsored by Charmin as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

When you live in a house full of boys you think about things you never imagined you would have to think about. A lot of those thoughts revolve around the bathroom. (Bathroom and body function jokes are big with boy crowd for a reason right?) Like for one, why can’t they ever get it in the toilet? I mean come on, already! And why do we go through so much toilet paper? These questions boggle the mind, well at least the mind of a woman anyways.

It’s these kind of thoughts that will cause a woman to pace around the toilet paper aisle wondering what product can give her family the most bang for their buck. On the one hand, we need something that is affordable and on the other hand, we need something that is strong and will stand up to the task of four rough and tumble boys.


Thankfully I found both of those important qualities in Charmin Essentials Strong.

Charmin Essentials Strong is durable, high-quality and budget friendly. We also use less toilet paper when our bathrooms are stocked with Charmin Essentials Strong versus those other budget brands we had been using. This is a big win for us!

Are you ready to toss those bargain brands that you have been using? Charmin is making it easy for you to make the switch from Angel Soft® or Scott® 1000 to Charmin Essentials Strong or Charmin Essentials Soft. Charmin Essentials Soft offers Charmin-­like softness at an Angel Soft®- like price whereas Charmin Essentials Strong offers a large Charmin roll at a Scott® 1000- like price.

To participate in the swap all you have to do is tweet your request to @Charmin using the following hashtags: #CharminEssentials and #Promotion and then they will send you a free roll! For the full details of the Charmin Essentials toilet paper swap program, click here.

 Charmin is social. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter if you are interested in connecting with them.

That is a satisfied Charmin Essentials Strong customer!
That is a satisfied Charmin Essentials Strong customer!
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Spartan Fit! Review


Thanks to Spartan Race I received a free copy of Joe DeSena’s new book, Spartan Fit, for review purposes.

Since I enjoyed Joe DeSena’s first book Spartan Up so much, I knew I would like Spartan Fit as well and I was right!

Spartan Fit is an inspiring read on how to get in the best possible shape to tackle a Spartan Race. It is written by Joe DeSena, founder of Spartan Race, so there is no better source to get you to the starting line than Joe.

The book includes a workout and diet plan as well as inspirational stories to get you pumped up. It will also help you with your greatest obstacle. Yourself.

“Look, if being fit were as easy as having a list of the right exercises, the Internet would have ended the obesity crisis. There are a gazillion exercise programs out there! The team at Spartan Race posts a new workout every day- it’s all there, it’s all free. We have all this information at our fingertips. Lack of information isn’t your main obstacle.

Your main obstacle is you.

You are also your greatest opportunity.”

If you know anything about Joe or the Spartan Race you will know that the plan will not be easy but it will definitely be worth it! If you are ready to get Spartan Fit, head on over to Amazon to get your copy!

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CycleBar Troy Review + Giveaway

CycleBar Troy

Recently I had the opportunity to try out the new CycleBar location in Troy! Prior to my visit I had never taken a spin class so I was excited to give it a try and to see what CycleBar was all about.

Registering for the class was super easy! I even got to pick out my bike in advance. Having options is always a plus.

Upon my arrival at CycleBar, the friendly staff helped me get signed in, got me a pair of shoes and a locker to store my personal items.

Cycle Bar Troy

After chatting with the other bloggers that came to the event, the class was soon underway! The staff helped us adjust our bikes and get clipped into the pedals. Our instructor was enthusiastic, the music was pumping and wouldn’t you know it….we were all having fun while we worked out! Fun and fitness, it can be a thing y’all.

CycleBar Troy Instructor

You don't have to bring your own water but I never leave home without Absopure!
You don’t have to bring your own water but I never leave home without Absopure!

The only downside to the class is that my butt was pretty sore from the seat but I’ve encountered that when riding my bike at home too so it may just be me. Or maybe over time my butt would adjust? If you take spin on a regular basis I would love for you to weigh in on my booty issue lol.

If you are near Troy and want to give CycleBar a try they are offering 2,500 free rides through August the 7th in celebration of their opening. To take advantage of their CycleBlast free rides connect with them on Facebook or on their website.

In addition to the CycleBlast, I am giving away one free ride plus a CycleBar shirt and water bottle. To enter to win, just use the widget below. Good luck and happy spinning!

Update: CycleBar just opened another location in Northville! Their CycleBlast rides will be occuring between August 18-28. To sign up for one of their free classes or to find out more about the Northville CycleBar location, click here.

CycleBar Troy Giveaway

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CF Champions: My Story

This post was sponsored by Walgreens Cystic Fibrosis Services as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central. I received compensation as a thank you for my post.
Another school year is in the books! And while I am excited about the summer fun ahead, I can’t help but use this milestone to reflect on the past.
For those of you who are not familiar with B’s story, you can read the full version here. The short version is that he was very wanted and very loved long before he was ever conceived. His Dad and I had a difficult journey into parenthood. One that would span two years from the time we started trying to have a family until the time I finally got pregnant. It was through many tests that we finally discovered that the reason for our difficulty in getting pregnant was becuase his Dad had Cystic Fibrosis.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic diseases that causes a thick buld up of mucus in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. Symptoms include breathing difficulties, very satly skin, persistent coughing and many other symptoms.
It is important to keep in mind that symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis can vary greatly from person to person and that symptoms primarily affect the respiratory and digestive systems. In the case of B’s Dad, he didn’t really have any symptoms and didn’t know he had Cystic Fibrosis until we started undergoing testing due to our inability to get pregnant. In his case the Cystic Fibrosis was only affecting his ability to have children naturally.
I say only now as if it isn’t a big deal. Back when we were trying to have B it definitely was a big deal but in the grand scheme of things, it could have been much worse.
About 30,000 people (adults and children) in the United States have Cystic Fibrosis. It is something that they have to live with every day and it affects all aspects of their lives. People with Cystic Fibrosis have an increased risk of infection and cross contamination and because of which, they may isolate themselves from others which puts them at an increased risk of depression and anxiety. The depression and anxiety in turn can greatly impact the disease.
Fortunately there is a lot that can be done for people with Cystic Fibrosis (medication and the correct treatment regimine can work wonders) and I have teamed up with Walgreens and their CF Champions: Navigating the Journey Together Program to share some of the positive momentum that is changing how people with Cystic Fibrosis live. To read more about the Walgreen CF Champions: Navigating the Journey Together program, please click here to visit their website. There are some great stories of people living very full lives on the site that I think you will find inspiring.
So how did B come into our lives? After I underwent genetic testing (it was determined that I was not a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis) we pursued in vitro fertilization and I got pregnant with B. After B was born however, his newborn screens came back positive for Cystic Fibrosis. That was super scary and he had to undergo several sweat tests which eventually led the doctors to believe that B was a carrier of Cystic Fibrosis. If he decides to have children when he grows up, that will be a conversation that he may need to have with his partner.
We are very fortunate that Cystic Fibrosis has only impacted our lives in a very minimal way. For others, the impact is far greater. We will however always feel a strong tie to Cystic Fibrosis becuase of our journey and we will continue to be an ally for the Cystic Fibrosis community. A big thanks to Walgreens for being an ally as well!

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Stitch Fix Review #23: June 2016

Stitch Fix Review June 2016

This Stitch Fix review is alternatively titled: It’s a super crazy busy week here and I had no time for styling / trying on pictures so here you go, this is better than nothing. Granted that title is very long and rambly sounding so I stuck with the tried and true title of Stitch Fix #23.

But yes, it is a busy week. It is B’s last week of school and we are gearing up for a weekend getaway to celebrate the start of Summer. And naturally my fix came this week as well. So instead of pushing myself to make time for pictures for this review, I just made do with what I had time for. I’m sure you understand.

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 told my stylist Diana to surprise me. So let’s take a look at what she sent.

Item #1: Level 99 Cindie Printed Linen Short

Stitch Fix Level 99 Cindie Printed Linen Short

Level 99 Cindie Printed Linen Short - Stitch Fix June 2016

I could definitely use some more shorts in my wardrobe as I don’t have very many for some reason. I think it is because I naturally gravitate towards skirts and dresses.

I like the fabric of these shorts and the print but I would have prefered a brighter color versus the muted pastels. In fact, I have the exact same shorts pinned on my Pinterest board, but in a brighter print. Take a look here. These shorts also seem to run a bit big, so I would also need them in a smaller size if I wanted to keep them.

Ultimately I decided to send them back but I am going to ask Diana to send me the version on my Pinterest board next month.

Cost to Keep: $78.00

Status: Returned

Item #2: Level 99 Giavanni Ankle Straight Leg Jean

Stitch Fix Level 99 Giavanni Ankle Straight Leg Jean

Level 99 Giavanni Ankle Straight Leg Jean - Stitch Fix June 2016

I have these exact (well almost exact) pants but they are white and have a more distressed look. I love them and these pants are equally as great.

If it was a different time of the year I may have been more inclined to keep these as they really are a great pair of pants but right now I can finally show my legs since the weather is nice and I want to take advantage of that!

Cost to Keep: $98.00

Status: Returned

Item #3: Collective Concepts Claussen Ruffle Hem Top

Stitch Fix Collective Concepts Claussen Ruffle Hem Top

Collective Concepts Claussen Ruffle Hem Top - Stitch Fix June 2016

Before I get to talking about how amazing I think this top is, can I just say that the claussen part of the top name made me think of pickles? I am not the only one that thought this right?

Ok moving on.

I love this shirt! It has a very nautical vibe to it which makes it perfect for Summer! I love the ruffles and the fit of it. It’s definitely a must have Summer staple.

Cost to Keep: $54.00

Status: Kept!

Item #4: Collective Concepts Junien Split Back Top

Collective Concepts Junien Split Back Top - Stitch Fix June 2016

Stitch Fix Collective Concepts Junien Split Back Top

I am really loving back details right now and this split back top is certainly speaking to that part of me. This top is light weight and an easy breezy piece to wear on hot summer nights. It also has a nautical vibe which I am liking as well.

Despite all of those positives I am undecided right now if I am keeping it. When I initially tried it on I felt that the neckline was too high for me. I feel lower necklines are more flattering on me. But now looking at the pictures, the neckline doesn’t look high. I am going to have to try it on again before I make my final decision. What are your thoughts?

Cost to Keep: $58.00

Status: Undecided

Item #5: Fun2Fun Omar Crochet Bib Top

What’s not to love about this top?! It’s a fun color, has great detailing and it is a great price. I would keep it but I already have several similar tops.

Cost to Keep: $38.00

Status: Returned

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

Stitch Fix #21: April 2016

Stitch Fix #22: May 2016

What did you think of my fix this month?

What would you have kept?

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Caring Crate Review

Thanks to Janelle at Caring Crate (who also blogs at Wholly Healthy), I received one of the very first Caring Crates to review!

You may remember from my previous post about Caring Crate, that Caring Crate is a 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.

Ready to see a box that is all about taking care of you??

Caring Crate Review

Item #1: Mindful Mandala Cards 

Adult coloring books are very popular right now but I love this idea even more! They are portable and have meaningful sayings on them. Who is ready to color??

Item #2: Scratch and Gran Muffin Mix

B is a muffin addict and he loves to bake with me so this is something that both of us will love. Yes, I know this box is supposed to be all about me but spending quality time with my kid is good for me too.

Item #3: Potting Shed Creations Garden-in-a-Bag

I love garden in a bag type kits because it makes gardening easy and fun. I can’t wait to get the lavender planted!

Item #4: Fable Naturals Body Balm

This smells amazing and makes my skin feel so soft! It’s going in my purse so I can use it everywhere I go.

Item #5: Pluck Teas

I am not a tea person but I will be sure to pass them along to someone who is because they sound delicious.

Want to get a Caring Crate of your own? Click here to head on over to the Caring Crate website, you deserve it!

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Rocksbox Review

Rocksbox Review

For the last few months I have been trying out a new to me subscription box, Rocksbox!

Rocksbox is a jewelry subscription box with a monthly fee of $19.00. You receive three pieces of jewelry in each box that you can keep as long as you like or you can send them back and get new pieces as often as you like. You can also purchase any of the items that you receive. Each month you will receive $10 in shine credit to use towards any item that you purchase. When you first sign up with Rocksbox you will take a style quiz and then you can add items to your wish list that you would like your stylist to send you.

I have found that Rocksbox has been a great way to build my accessory collection.

Here’s a look at some of my favorite pieces from Rocksbox so far!

Gorjana DIY Necklace with V Chain in Silver
Gorjana DIY Necklace with V Chain in Silver
Kendra Scott Rayne Silver Necklace in Slate
Kendra Scott Rayne Silver Necklace in Slate
SLATE Total Eclipse Cuff
SLATE Total Eclipse Cuff

Want to try Rocksbox for FREE? Click here to sign up and use my code BETSYBFF36 to receive a one free month of Rocksbox!

What do you think of the pieces I kept?

Have you tried Rocksbox yet?

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Tour Detroit Thursday: NKD Pizza

I received a complimentary meal from NKD Pizza in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. 

NKD Pizza Sterling Heights MI

Last week I met up with a few of my favorite Michigan bloggers at NKD Pizza in Sterling Heights. For those that are not from the D, that is a suburb of Detroit.

Never heard of NKD Pizza (pronounced naked pizza btw)? Me neither! But now that I have been introduced properly, I will be visiting often!

NKD Pizza is very very different from your run of the mill pizza place. It was obvious from my first visit just how much they care about their customers. From taking the time to truly understand different dietary needs to utilizing only the highest quality of ingredients, they are an entirely different breed of pizza.

Are you gluten free? You can eat at NKD Pizza! Are you dairy free? You can eat at NKD Pizza! Are you a vegetarian? You can eat at NKD Pizza. Basically if you like pizza in any shape or form you can eat at NKD Pizza and you will love it.

And there are so many options to choose from!

NKD Pizza - Sterling Heights

I went with the Evermore pizza! And it was delicious.

Evermore Pizza at NKD Pizza

After inhaling our food, we got to tour the kitchen so we can see firsthand just how serious they take preparing all of the food. The kitchen was clean and orderly. And for those that are gluten free, you will be happy to hear that they use seperate areas to prepare gluten free items. They also use different utensils to avoid cross contamination. They really do understand that for some people, gluten is a big concern and not just a diet fad.

I personally do not have any dietary needs other than I like to try to give my body food that fuels it rather than food that works against it. NKD Pizza uses no additives, preservatives or artificial colors or flavors. Their regular pizza crust is made using an Ancestral Blend of 10 grains plus prebiotics and probititics. That is unheard of at a pizza place.

Not only is their pizza healthy but it is also delicious! I can’t wait to go back and try another one of their pizzas!

For more information on NKD Pizza, click here to go to their site!

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AfterShokz Headphones Review

AfterShokz headphones review

One of the perks of running in the United Relay of America with Fit Approach was getting a pair of AfterShokz headphones!

As a trail runner one of the things that I have been struggling to find is the perfect pair of headphones. I like to run with music but I still want to be aware of what is going on around me.

Prior to receivng the AfterShokz headphones, I had been running with a pair of corded headphones so that I could have one earbud in and the other tucked into my shirt. It got the job done but I was really wanting to go cordless. I did try a pair of wireless headphones which I really liked but I couldn’t hear people coming up behind me, so while I liked the freedom of not having any cords, that pair of wireless headphones did not work for me.

The AfterShokz headphones (I should clarify that I was not required to write a review about them, I love them so much, I wanted to share.) are a perfect match for me though! The earbuds rest on your cheekbones as opposed to going in your ears so I am able to hear what is going on around me very clearly. And thanks to the bone conduction technology of the AfterShokz headphones, I am also able to hear my music. It’s a beautiful thing!

AfterShokz Headphone

AfterShokz headphones are a bit of an investment. The pair that I have costs $129.95 (you can purchase on Amazon here) but for me they are worth it and I definitely would have used my own money to purchase them. They are my new favorite piece of running gear!

What headphones do you run with?

Have you found a new favorite piece of running gear recently?

Gifts Under $20

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United Relay Recap

This past weekend I joined the red team in St Louis to continue passing the baton in the United Relay of America thanks to United Relay, Fit Approach and AfterShokz. My leg of the relay took place entirely in Forest Park, a new to me running spot and a great excuse to go on an adventure to Missouri.

The whole family at the start of the Forest Park leg!
The whole family at the start of the Forest Park leg!

My route was a group stage but my group turned out to be just me and Richard (a big thanks to Richard for all of the pictures) from United Relay. We had a great time running around the park chatting about the relay, running and life.

Richard and I at the finish!
Richard and I at the finish!
Our start and end point was the Art Museum.
Our start and end point was the Art Museum.

I have to admit, that I am envious of Richard and his experience with the United Relay. Who wouldn’t want to run across the US? It sounds like he has been to a lot of great places and has met a lot of amazing people along the way.

Prior to my arrival at Forest Park, I learned through Google research that Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the US, even bigger than Central Park! It has many paths that are great for walking, running and biking. It also has great scenery, monuments, fountains and some fabulous attractions like the St Louis Zoo and the Science Center.

We didn’t encounter any trails on our run (doesn’t mean they didn’t exist because the park is HUGE) but it was still a good run nonetheless. It was also for a great cause which makes it even better!

If you are interested in joining the United Relay there is still time! Click here to sign up for a stage near you (or far away from you if you are up for a road trip like I was). And if you are ever in St. Louis, make sure you visit Forest Park!

My future relayer!
My future relayer!

Now tell me about your weekend! 

Did you do any running or adventuring?

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