Thursday, April 23, 2015

Live Infinitely Infusion Water Bottle: Product Review

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge to facilitate review. No monetary compensation was receive.

I have a new workout companion.

I never go to the gym without a water bottle. But sometimes I get tired of drinking plain old water. The Live Infinitely Infusion Water Bottle helps me add pizazz to my boring water.

The first time I used the infuser, I added two small slices of cucumber, three small slices of lime and fresh peppermint leaves. The bottom of the bottle unscrews where you find the infuser. After unscrewing the infuser, I added my fresh produce, tightened the screw, removed the lid and filled with water. All day long, I had a refreshing taste without adding sweeteners or powders with ingredients I can't even pronounce. Lemons and strawberries are an awesome combination as well.

The bottle is BPA approved which means I don't have to worry whether or not is safe. The FDA has done that for me. One of my concerns is getting enough water during my busy days. I tend to lose a lot of fluid when I work out and have trouble replacing it. Now that I have my new water bottle, I get  get excited to drink and take in more than usual. I can try different combinations every day. 

The infusion water bottle is durable and as long as I make sure I screw everything back together, I have no trouble with leakage. I love keeping my fruit in the middle where I don't have to worry about chunks of it seeping out into my water. I get the flavor without the "floaties." The bottle comes in several color choices. I love my purple. So far, I haven't found anything about the water bottle I dislike. The bottle even came with a sports backpack that makes carrying my things to the gym easy.

Product Rating:  ★★★★☆

This product can be purchased on Amazon.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Thigh Compression Sleeves Product Review #compressionz

**FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge to facilitate review.**
My hamstrings and quads get tired when I bike a lot. Now that the weather is nice and I am back on my bike, it's not uncommon for me to awake in the middle of the night with hamstring cramps. Calf compression sleeves are easy to find but it I've wanted a pair of thigh compression sleeves for quite some time.

I jumped at the chance to review the thigh compression sleeves by CompressionZ. I've used the compression sleeves while riding and sleeping. While I like them, I didn't fall in love with them. First, I used the sizing chart and ordered a large. That was my first mistake. I really needed a size smaller and would suggest sizing down. The fabric is a thinner fabric, like biker shorts. This gives a light compression. Those looking for a lot of compression probably wouldn't be happy with these. Because I ordered the wrong size, they did not stay up well while riding nor did they offer the level of compression I would like.

What I did like is that the compression sleeves were easy to sleep in. I get hot at night and worried that having them on would make sleeping unbearable but they did not. I didn't get leg cramps while sleeping with the sleeves. The thinner fabric is comfortable and holds up well during wash. I did wash them in cold water and let them hang dry. The sleeves also helped keep my legs warm during riding. I also like the price. The $19.99 is a fair price for the fabric type. I would rather pay less and make sure I'm going to like compression sleeves than pay for an expensive pair and not like them.
Product Rating: ★★★★☆

This product can be purchased through Amazon.

Outdoors in Utah: Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point

Looking for something to do outside during spring in Utah?

The Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving Point is a great way to spend an afternoon. From April 10 thru May 9, 2015, a vast array of tulips at Thanksgiving Point's gardens delight visitors. I got a chance to visit for the first time after winning tickets on the internet.

I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. I had been to Thanksgiving Point before but I had never explored the gardens. I was shocked at the size of the gardens. They are large and beautiful.

 The northeast side of the gardens boasts spectacular manmade waterfalls. Near the waterfalls is a music stage where entertainers perform on Fridays and Saturdays. Vendors and food can also be found on those days.

The cost is $15 per person or $12 for children and seniors. For those who have trouble walking long distances, golf carts are available for rent. Segways are also available for rent and they look like a ton of fun. Next time I go, I'm renting a Segway

Getting there:

Take I-15 to exit #284 (Timpanogos Hwy). Proceed west on Clubhouse Drive. After the bridge, take a  right onto Garden Drive and proceed to the garden area.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Earth Day: Take Care of Mother Earth

Nature's rock is not your canvas.

A few months ago, a "self-proclaimed" artist foolishly posted her artwork on social media. Sadly, she used our national parks to tag her work.

A few weeks ago, I came across a similar scenario while hiking up Cedar Canyon near Cedar City, Utah. Some fool decided to use the beautiful scenery as a canvas to their graffiti. The three photos are the sad examples I found in less than a mile of hiking. I wish I could have caught the fools who did this.
Outdoor trails are not your trashcans

I wish I could stand at the top of every mountain and shout
that tagging rocks along trails is not okay and have every person in the world stop. It's discouraging to hike a trail and find graffiti and trash. I try to pick up along the way but sometimes I don't dare pick up some of the trash I find without gloves. I do make sure I always pick up after myself. 

For this earth day, I thought I would give a shout out to how we can all protect our trails.

Things we can do:

Organize a clean up day - Work together with a local outdoors store to organize a trail clean up, not just trash but rock washing graffiti as well. Outdoor stores love these kinds of projects. Local hiking, climbing and mountain biking groups love them too.

Pack it in and pack it out - Always pack out what you bring with you. Make sure you zip wrappers inside of your pack and look around after resting.

NO! Just NO!
Report bad behavior - If you see somebody defacing a trail, take down a description, take a photo and write down a license plates of other cars at the trailhead. Report to the local forest   service office.

Carry an extra bag - A plastic grocery bag is perfect for picking up trash along the way.

Stay on trails - No matter how many signs I see posted, I am always amazed at how many unofficial trails are made. These cause unintended consequences like erosion and damage to native plants.

Leave a comment telling me what you plan on doing for Earth Day.

Mountain Biking in Southern Utah: Guacamole Trail Virgin, Utah


I have to admit, I walked almost as much of the Guacamole Mountain Bike Trail as I rode. After years of being afraid of mountain biking, I finally got the courage a year ago to get back on the saddle. I've found some awesome trails all over the state of Utah.  I'm learning that it's okay if I have to get off my bike and walk a little bit.

The Guacamole Trail is located in Virgin, Utah just outside of Zion National Park. It sits on top of a mesa overlooking the Virgin River and there are some stunning views all around. The trail is a mix of single track through juniper, pinion and brush and open rock riding. It is rated upper-intermediate with a section near the southeast corner of the loop that is advanced technical. This is where I did most of my walking. What I liked about the trail is that my husband and son could find plenty of technical areas to keep them challenged while I hung back on the easiest parts of the trail. What I found the most challenging is what I like to refer to as blind corners.
I easily lose confidence when I turn a blind corner and am thrust into a  technical uphill. Even though I encountered quite a few of those corners on Guacamole, I left with the feeling of wanting to try harder next time (Yes, there will be a next time). 
 The trail is shaped like a lollipop and the first part or the stem is called the Marguarita Trail. This part is a nice warm up for the technical areas ahead. If you start the ride from the fork at the Mesa, the trail is about 7.7 miles or if you start in the traditional spot it is about 6.5 miles. Most riders can do this ride in about one and a half hours. It took me a bit longer but I was still able to finish before dark. We started early evening on a spring day. The trail is marked with cairns but we sometimes had a hard time locating them. The bike shops in nearby St. George, Utahiconwill have maps of the area.

Getting there: 

Take Hwy. 9 toward Zion National Park. Go through the town of Virgin past Kolob Reservoir Road (on the left). Look for a dirt road after the Kolob Road on the left. This is called Dalton Wash Road. Drive 1.9 miles north on the dirt road until it makes a fork near a farm, turn left (north). Go another 1.7 miles. As you approach the steep mesa, stay straight on the rough road. At the top of the mesa, turn right (south) and find the open slickrock area where the trail begins. You will find cairns on the slickrock marking the trail. You can bike up the last part if you don't want to tackle the rough road with your vehicle.

What are you waiting for? Pull up your biking shorts and get ready to hit the trail.

Post contains affiliate links.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Resistance Workout Bands by #workoutbands: Product Review

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review. No monetary compensation was received and review is based upon actual experience.

My husband and I have been looking for a nice set of resistance bands to use at home for quite some time. The ones we saw at our local retailers were not quite what we were looking for. They were also more money than we were willing to pay. I was so excited to get the opportunity to review the Exercise Bands by WorkoutBands. The set contained everything we were looking for. I wanted comfortable handles that would attach to my workout bands and my husband wanted a variety of bands with different resistance levels. The five different bands can be used alone or you can combine them for up to 70 pounds of resistance. I like that everybody in the family can use them regardless of their fitness level.

I have a gym membership and these bands are as good as quality as any I've used at the gym. The clips on the end are lightweight and durable.

I love the insert that comes with the bands. It shows a variety of different ways to use the bands and covers just about every muscle group. My muscles get a good workout and I like the bands better than weights for strength training. They are more compact, easy to store and great for traveling. I have a week long trip coming up and I plan to pack the bands to take with me. That way I don't have to worry about not being close to the gym. I can still get my weight training in.

After pricing resistance bands for so long, I was shocked to find this set was less than $25.00. For all that the set offers, that is a great price and well worth it. I can't wait until the weather warms up and I can move my yoga mat to my porch and enjoy the outdoors while weight training.

Product Rating:  ★★★★★

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Purex Crystals ScentSplash Review and Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: The Purex® brand provided me with a free sample of the product in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my actual experience and are my own.

I've had a front load washer for about five years. While I like that it uses less water than top load washers, I don't like that it sometimes leaves my clothes with an almost sour smell. That is one of the biggest reasons why I like adding an in-wash fragrance booster. I got a chance to try the new Purex® 
Crystals ScentSplash in the Fresh Lavender Blossom scent and I love how it leaves my clothes with a fresh scent instead of sour. I don't like a lot of extra scent on my clothes so I found that using about a quarter of a cap works perfect. I get a subtle scent instead of a strong one which also extends the life of the bottle. The ScentSplash comes in liquid form which I like just as well as the crystal form.

I'm happy that Purex® Crystals helps to eliminate laundry odors. I have an active family which means lots of sweaty work out clothes. When I pull those out of my dryer, I don't want them to smell like sweat and they didn't with the ScentSplash. That makes it worth using on every load.

Giveaway Details:

One of my lucky readers will receive 2 free bottles of  Purex® Crystals in-wash fragrance booster in the form of free product coupons. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 4/25/2015 at 11:59 EST. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them.

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Monday, April 6, 2015

System 911 Emergency Pak Hair Product Review

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge to facilitate my review. No monetary compensation was received and I all opinions are based upon my actual experience.

Between coloring my hair and spending time outdoors in the sun and wind, my hair takes a beating. When I was a teenager, I never though my hair would be anything but greasy. As I've aged, my hair has become drier and more brittle. It has long ago lost the shine of youth. 

I need products that will help me bring back a little shine and a lot of moisture to my hair. System 911 Emergency Pak by Hayashi gives my hair the relief it needs. After using it for a week and a half I found it made a difference.

What System 911 Emergency Pak did for me:
  • Gave me softer hair
  • Made my hair shinier 
  • I didn't notice as much breakage so it helped strengthen my hair.
  • My scalp didn't itch as much as it usually does.
Since I am sensitive to some smells, I always pay close attention to the way my hair smells after I use products. The System 911 has a mild smell that does not linger after drying hair. However, my hair still smelled fresh and clean after use; a big bonus for me. While the price of $23.75 seemed high  at first, I realized it was for an 8.4 ounce tube which is a little more than some salon products I've used for the same price. 

I definitely feel good about recommending System 911 Emergency Pack to my readers.

Product Rating:  ★★★★☆

This item can be purchased on the retailers website HERE.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Dial Miracle Oil Hand Soap Review

FTC Disclosure: The Dial® brand provided me with a free sample of the Miracle Oil Hand Soap in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are based upon my actual experience and are my own.

I just got a chance to try the Dial® Miracle Oil Body Wash and love it so I was more than thrilled to find out that it now comes in a hand soap too.

My active family needs a deep cleansing hand soap but my skin needs something that doesn't merely clean but provides refreshing moisture as well. The Dial® Miracle Oil Hand Soap does both. After working in the garden, I had no trouble getting my hands to come clean and I didn't have to use very much of the hand soap to do so. I love the Marula Oil that help keeps my hands soft after use.

My family likes the Miracle Oil hand soap as well. I have to keep taking it from the bathroom, to keep by the kitchen sink. The smell is neutral so my boys don't have to worry about smelling like a pretty flower. Another thing I love about the Dial® brand of soaps is that they are easy to find at my local retailer at a fair price. I'm so glad I got to try it.

Giveaway Details:

One of my lucky readers will receive 2 free bottles of  Dial® hand soap in the form of free product coupons. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 4/19/2015 at 11:59 EST. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them.
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Rock Climbing in St. George, Utah: Prophecy Wall

My first visit to Prophecy Wall in St. George, Utah was awesome. Early spring is a great time to visit. It gets hot in St. George so March ended up being a great month.

Getting there
Drive north out of St. George on Bluff Street (Rt. 18) staying in the right lane as you exit town.
At mile post 18, turn left onto a dirt road.
Drive 2 miles past the Upper Sand Cove Water Reservoir (on the right) then turn left toward the cliff walls.

At the parking area, there is an obvious trail for a short hike to the cliffs. Most of the climbs are moderate 5.10's with a few more challenging ones. We used the bolts on the easier climbs to the right (southwest side). Our first climb was the fist pitch of a climb called Sticky Revelations. Though the climb is rated 5.10, that is only if you do the multi-pitch (3 pitches). Since we are beginners, we only did the first pitch which is about a 5.8.

We also did the climb next to it called Breaking the Sabbath which is rated 5.7. Bolts are already in place so we didn't have as much work to do. 

The rock is sandstone with nice varnish edges. I didn't have any trouble getting up either route after my awesome lead climber set the rope for me. We had a great time getting some quick climbs in after spending part of the day mountain biking.

Wildlife on Prophecy Wall

Pack up you're climbing gear and take a road trip to Southern Utah. There's a lot of climbing around Snow Canyon as well. You never know what you'll run into.

Post contains affiliate links.

Friday, April 3, 2015

How Make Your Own Body Butter with La Vida Essentials Coconut Oil

Ever since my daughter was diagnosed with cancer as a young adult, I have wondered about the safety of not only the chemicals that I put in my body but on it too. I'm always looking for natural products to replace those with artificial preservatives.

I was so excited to try the Fractionated Coconut Oil  by La Vida Essentials. It's 100% pure therapeutic grade which makes me feel good about using it on my skin. Just by itself, it is a great moisturizer. It absorbs quickly into the skin and doesn't stain my clothing. However, I was excited to try some of the recipes for bath and beauty products that came with my purchase and decided to share my step by step first time ever attempt at making body butter. The body butter ended up being nourishing to my skin but a little to greasy for my face.

Calming Lavender Whipped Body Butter

1/2 cup coca butter
1/2 cu shea butter
1/2 cup La Vida Essentials fractionated coconut oil
30 dros lavender essential oil (I used lemon)

Step 1

Combine all indredients, except the essential oils, and place in a glass container

Step 2

Set the container in a saucepan with approximately 1 inch of boiling water. Stir for approximately 15 minutes (until ingredients are fully melted and combined), removed from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Add essential oils and str, then let cool in the refrigerator about 2-3 hours).

Step 3

When the lotion is chilled, use an electric mixer to whip it for 4 minutes (until fluffy). I know it looks good enough to eat but don't. Instead, place in a small container (I used small canning jars) and use as a very moisturizing, all natural skin product.

Note: I used 35 drops of lemon oil and wished I had used 40. This is very easy to make right the first time.

FTC Disclosure: I received the product free for review purposes. No monetary compensation was received. This post may contain affiliate links.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Book Giveaway: Firstborn by Tor Seidler

        Book Giveaway: 
Firstborn by Tor Seidler

On my blog, Boys to Books, I review children's literature. It's not often that I find a book about the outdoors but when I do, I want to share it with my readers of this blog as well. A great introduction to wildlife relocation.

In Firstborn, Seidler eloquently introduces an outdoor world of beauty and true to life wilderness danger while exploring the meaning of true friendship. A touching tribute to family togetherness, love, devotion, and forever friends.

                Giveaway Details:

Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form. Winner will receive a hardback copy of Firstborn by Tor Seidler. Contest ends 4/14/2015 at 11:59 EST

Check out my review.
Read the interview with author, Tor Seidler.

FTC Disclosure: Prize provided by the publisher. No monetary compensation was received by blog owner.
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Veri Soda Review and Giveaway

I grew up on soda. I switched to diet soda as a teenager and have grown to love the taste. However, after all of the hidden health risks I keep reading about diet sodas and artificial sweetener, I have cut back and tried to break the habit altogether. I have gone to having one a day to one a week. My health is worth giving up one of the things I love.

I never though I would see the day when I would see organic soda. I was so excited to receive my free samples of Veri organic sodas. I could hardly contain my excitement at the prospect of switching from soda with artificial sweeteners to soda made with organic fruit juice, organic cane sugar, and organic stevia. The biggest question for me was would the taste convince me to switch. I got to try each of the four flavors. One disappointed while another knocked my socks off. The price of $4.99 for a four pack may seem high but it is well in line with comparable organic products.

Veri Ginger Ale

I'll start with the flavor I was most disappointed with. I have to preface by saying I've never been a fan of ginger ale so my expectations were low to begin with. The Veri Ginger Ale reminded me of drinking seltzer water. The one thing I did like was the that it genuinely tastes like real ginger. It is made with organic ginger extract. It's not a strong taste nor is it sweet. Sadly, nobody in my family loved it. We wanted to but couldn't.

Rating:  ★★☆☆☆

Veri Cola

While I liked the cola soda, I didn't love it. What I liked the best is that it's not too sweet and doesn't overwhelm with carbonation. The flavor was just meh. My family felt the same about it as I did. Nobody hated it but nobody loved it either. One nice thing about the cola is that it's caffeine free as are all Veri Sodas. 
Rating:  ★★☆☆

Veri Orange

This is where Veri Soda gets it right. Made with organic orange juice concentrate, the Veri Orange Soda tastes like real orange. None of that fake fruit flavor found in other sodas. In fact, I have never liked any orange soda, diet or regular, so the fact that I like this one was truly amazing. I like the mild taste. I love the real citrus. I'll be looking for this one next time I want a treat.
Rating:  ★★☆

Veri Lemon Lime

I'm not going to lie. I was prepared to hate the Veri Lemon Lime. My mom gave me lemon lime soda every time I was sick and I haven't been able to drink any brand since. Most brands are sickening sweet. One swallow of the Veri Lemon Lime about knocked my socks off (figuratively not literally). I loved it. Thankfully, it's not sickly sweet. What I love the most about it, is that it tastes like real fruit, not imitation. With organic flavors and organic lemon juice concentrate, it is almost like putting fresh lime and lemon in carbonated water.  This was my family's favorite as well. I'll definitely purchase this one again. I like that each flavor is only 60 calories which is about half of a regular can of soda.
Rating:  ★★


FTC Disclosure: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLS, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

Giveaway Details:

One of my lucky readers will receive four free four packs of Veri Soda in the form of free product coupons. That way you can try the same four flavors I got to try. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 4/17/2015 at 11:59 EST.

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