Sunday, May 31, 2015

Help Those Tired Muscles: Muscle Mauler Max Foam Roller Review #MuscleMaulerMax

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

I have to start by saying I love foam rollers and have used many different brands both at home and at the gym. I am an avid hiker, cyclist and any other outdoor activity that gets me moving. My spouse is an avid runner and does volunteer track and cross country coaching at the local high school. He rarely misses a day rolling his sore muscles and has encouraged me to try them.

I was excited about the prospect of trying to new foam roller. I've never used one with grooves and bumps. The ones I've used are all smooth. The Muscle Mauler Max Foam Roller exceeded all of my expectations. My husband loves it as well. The grooves and bumps really are an excellent addition to foam rollers. They help get deep into our muscles to loosen them up. 

The size of the Muscle Mauler Max is perfect for massaging both my my legs at the same time or getting my back. The solid hollow core gives this roller a lot of stability and the feel of high quality. It also makes it a little harder than some rollers I've used which is a plus when trying to get deep into the muscles and for trigger point.

While I've found cheaper foam rollers, the Muscle Mauler Max is definitely worth the extra cost. When doing reviews, I like to point out the cons of a product but there is nothing I dislike or think this product can improve on. For those who exercise a lot, this is one of those purchases you won't regret.

Product Rating: ★★★★★

This item can be purchased through Amazon.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Review: Health Gurus Upper Arm Blood Pressure Monitor by #GreaterGoods

FTC Disclosure: Product received free in exchange for an honest review.
My and my families' health is important to me. We do everything we can to stay healthy from eating right, staying active and getting enough sleep.

With a family history of high blood pressure, it's important for me to monitor mine. I don't want to ask others to do it for me. The Health Gurus Blood Pressure Monitor by Greater Goods gives me the easy option of checking my blood pressure at home. Not only can I check my blood pressure but I can check my pulse rate as well. Besides the convenience, some of the other things I love about the monitor is that it keeps a memory of my blood pressure so that I can note changes from one day to another. It also has a memory for a second user. The cuff is really easy to put on with one hand. After applying the cuff, with the push of one button, I can get a readout that is easy to understand. It also can detect an irregular heart rate though I haven't had it alert me to one, thank goodness.

  • Easy to use
  • Cuff can be put on with one hand
  • One button for readout
  • 60 entry memory
  • 2 user memory
  • Reads pulse as well as heart rate
  • Runs on 4 AAA batteries so make sure not to store it with them inside
  • Readings may or may not be consistent with health care provider
I always worry about accuracy with home health products. However, I found that if I use the blood pressure monitor at the same time each day (preferably in the morning), I get a consistent a blood pressure reading. It seems to be accurate. I can't comment on the long term durability but it's keeping it stored in a safe place inside the case without the batteries inside of the unit, will prolong the unit. For ease of use, this monitor gets a five star rating.

Product Rating: ★★★★★

Review of Quick Sweat Dice by Stack 52

Cross-training has always been hard for me because I usually find it fairly boring. I am an avid runner and love it more than anything else. However, I know it is important to keep up on my weight training and plyometric exercises. I try going to the gym, but am never motivated enough or get bored quickly while I'm there. Weights, weights, weights.....not my style! When I got these dice, they seemed like the perfect way to do a "gym" workout, while still getting to be outside or even with the convenience of never leaving my house (perfect for cold winter days!). I put the dice I got free in exchange for an honest review in my running pocket and ran to my nearest park. They are small and easily portable, which is perfect for my kind of training!

I loved the variety of exercises incorporated in the Stack 52 Quick Sweat Dice. Each color represents a different large muscle group (arms, legs, core, etc.) Within 10 minutes I had worked up a sweat! These are perfect for getting in a short, but impactful workout! I love the versatility that I can make the workout as long or short as I want. I also love the spontaneity. I have a short attention span and get bored easily so a workout plan with the same exercises in the same order never works for me. These are perfect for my need for variety. 

Overall, these are great little dice for anyone wanting to get into a workout routine that isn't boring, or for those that are looking to change things up.

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Fruit Infused Water Bottle by Brimma: Fitness Product Review

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

I've always been one to skimp on water intake mostly because I get bored with water. I used to love diet soda but became alarmed when I realized it was not as harmless for my health as I was led to believe. Giving up soda for flavored drinks wasn't really an option either as many contain artificial sweeteners. Infuser bottles ended up being the answer for me. By adding fruit to an infuser, I can add refreshing flavors to my water without artificial sweeteners or ingredients I can't pronounce.

The Fruit Infused Water bottle by Brimma is a perfect way to get the water I need in the flavors I love. I've tried a lot of different combinations. My favorite is a berry mix of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries or blackberries. Frozen berries work as well as fresh berries. I also love lemons and strawberries together. It is like strawberry lemonade without the sugar.

The bottle is easy to take apart to fill with fruit. Simply unscrew the lid, pull out the infuser with the middle tap, unscrew it and fill with your favorite fruit. Don't limit yourself to fruit. Mint leaves, cucumber and loose tea works well too.

After filling the infuser, fill the bottle 3/4 the way with water 
insert the infuser, and screw on the lid. As long as the lid is screwed on tight, the bottle doesn't leak.

I like that the lid has a convenient handle that makes it easy to clip to my hiking backpack with a carabiner or just hooking through a strap so I don't lose it.

I find myself drinking a lot more water since I started using the infuser water bottle and this is a great bottle at a great price.

Product Rating: ★★★★★

This bottle can be purchased on Amazon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Shredded Memory Foam Pillow with Kool-Flow Bamboo Cover: Product Review

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

After a long run or bike ride I need a good night's rest to be ready for the next day. It's surprising how well I sleep depends on what type of pillow I use. I used to buy the cheapest pillows I could find at at my local retailers. When I started waking up with headaches, I decided it was time to spend a little more to find the pillow that was right for me. It took me a lot of pillows and a lot of wasted before I discovered memory foam. 

After my first memory foam pillow mysteriously disappeared and kept reappearing in my son's bedroom, I was excited to get a new pillow so I wouldn't have to keep chasing down my old one. The Shredded Memory Foam Pillow with Kool-Flow Micro-Vented Bamboo Cover did not disappoint. When I took it out of the shipping box, I have to admit, I was skeptical. The pillow was rolled tight like a bedroll and looked like it would be completely flat. However, it plumped right up after taking it out of the packaging. After sleeping on it a week, I can say I like it better than other pillows I've tried. 

Pros of the Memory Foam Pillow:
  • Retains it's shape
  • Comfortable
  • Breathable
  • Good back support for reading in bed
Cons of the Memory Foam Pillow:
  • Hard to sleep in the middle as it keeps my head up to high.
I don't like to sleep with my head up too high as it puts strain on my neck. However,  I found with this pillow, I could sleep closer to the edge and it's really comfortable on my neck. One thing that really stands out for me is the micro-vented cover. My body temperature rises at night and I tend to sweat. While the pillow didn't stop the rest of my body from sweating, it did keep my head and neck from getting sticky. A huge plus for me. The pros definitely outweighed the cons.

Product Rating:  ★★★★★
This product can me purchase through Amazon.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gear Trunk Unisex Multi-Sport Helment Review

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

One of the things I've learned from my outdoor activities is how important it is to wear a helmet. No matter how careful I am, it's inevitable I slam my head on something hard. I hit my head hard enough that I have temporarily blacked out and that was with a helmet. I don't want to even begin to wonder what would have happened had I not been wearing one.

I like to have a helmet that can be used for a variety of sports. Having a separate bike, ski, and climbing helmet gets to be a hassle when it comes to storage.

The Unisex Multi-Sport Helmet by Gear Trunk worked well for me for rock climbing. The helmet is lightweight and has several vent holes to keep it from getting too hot. Also, the strap is easy to clip and tighten. Unfortunately, the medium size was too large for me and the helmet is not available in a smaller size. While I could tighten it well enough for rock climbing, I would feel comfortable using this helmet for skiing or biking. So though it is a multi-sport helmet, it doesn't solve my problem of using different helmets for different sports. Truthfully, my teenage son will be ecstatic when he finds out the helmet is too big for me.

I love the plain white matte finish. This means I'll get to decorate my helmet with all of my favorite outdoor stickers. I also like how the helmet comes down in the back so it protects my entire head. The price is very reasonable compared to what I've paid for the other helmets I own. I feel good  rappelling off a cliff knowing my head will be safe from rocks.

Product Rating: ★★★★☆

This product can be purchased on Amazon

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Renuzit Pearl Scents Review and Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge to facilitate review.
With a physical active family, it's no surprise our home doesn't exactly smell inviting. Sweaty running shirts, dirty biking shorts and socks, and three day old gym clothes leave behind unpleasant odors. While the best way to keep odors at bay is to wash our laundry everyday, it's not always feasible.

Renuzit® Pearl Scents helps neutralize odors and keeps my bathroom and laundry room smelling fresh. I got the chance to try the Blue Sky Breeze.

What I like most about the Pearl Scents the pearl balls that don't have to be burned or heated to provide a fresh scent. The attractive top contains decorative holes that allow the scent to escape. The Blue Sky Breeze scent provides a refreshing smell without being too overpowering. I am allergic to most floral scents but my allergies don't seem to bother me with this scent. While I would rather have a fruity scent, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I like the Blue Sky Breeze. I have to admit, if I would have had my choice, I would have preferred to try the Seductive Pineapple but what's nice about the Renuzit® Pearl Scents, there are other scents to choose from. I don't have to worry about hiding them as they look nice enough to keep out for company.

Renuzit® really helped keep my guest bathroom smelling fresh during a family party at my house last weekend.

Product Rating: ★★★★☆

Giveaway Details:

One of my lucky readers will receive 2 free bottles of  Renuzit® Pearl Scents 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 5/26/2015 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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Handy Panda Bungee Cord Set Review and Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge to facilitate review.

We go through a lot of bungee cords. We have so many things we use them for, that it's not surprising they get lost or worn out. Bungee cords work great for our outdoor adventures, like securing our ATV's to our trailer, or keeping our mountain bike tires from moving while they're strapped to the back of the car.

I was happy to get the opportunity to review the Handy Panda 24 Piece Bungee Cord Set. This versatile set includes the following:

(6) - 10" cords
(6) - 18" cords
(4) - 24" cords
(2) - 32 "cords
(2) - 40" cords
(4) - 6" canopy ties

I love the variety of cords. I haven't used bungees with balls before but I found these to be useful for keeping skis together. Besides the variety, the cords are really durable. Made with half rubber and half latex, they have a good, strong stretch. The metal hooks of the bigger cords are coated with a durable plastic which helps prevent scratching or other damage.

Also included, is a bonus carabiner measuring tape. This comes in handy when trying to measure something by yourself. The carry case is also a nice addition. While I found these cords to be a bit more expensive than other bungee cords I've purchased, the extras as well as the case make it worth it. I love being able to keep them all in one place. The case fits nicely on a garage shelf and the handle makes it easy to grab. The way the cords are packaged makes it perfect for gift giving.

Product Rating:  ★★★★★

Giveaway Details:
 Handy Panda is offering one of my lucky readers a set of bungee cords. To enter, follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter form. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 5/25/2015 at 11:59 EST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 11, 2015

NutraBear Vitamin D3 Chewable Gummies Review

Product received at no charge to facilitate review.

I have trouble swallowing large pills but I need to take calcium and vitamin D for my osteopenia. Sadly, those tend to be the ones I have the most trouble with. I've been looking for another form to use that won't get stuck on the way down and give me heartburn. I am lucky I got to try the Nutrabear Vitamin D3 for review. This is exactly what I've been looking for in a supplement. I don't have to worry about swallowing a big pill and I get a great tasting product that is easy to digest.
The Nutrabear Vitamin D3 is a cherry, peach flavored gummy supplement. It is easy to use for children and adults. Each serving of two bears contains 800 IU of vitamin D3. I take it with my chewable calcium and since I switched to the chewable form, I've been faithful about taking them everyday. I use to skip days as I couldn't bear to swallow large pills. Now I take one gummy bear in the morning and one at night. I set it near my sink where I won't forget. While I found the gummy chewables to be a little more expensive that pill form, I am more than happy to pay the little extra. There is nothing I disliked about the Nutrabear Gummies. In fact, they taste so good, I have to remind myself they're medicine and not candy. Because of that, I would definitely keep them out of reach of small children. It would be easy for them to eat a whole bottle, not realizing too much might be harmful. I feel good about recommending them to my readers.

In accordance with FDA requirements, I make no claim as to the supplement's effectiveness. However, I give it 5 stars for was of use and taste.

Rating: ★★★★★

This product can be purchased on Amazon.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve Review and Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: Product received at a reduced price to facilitate review.
I do a lot of work on my laptop. Sadly, this causes me more elbow pain than working out. For the past two weeks, I've been wearing the Copper Compression Infused Fit Recovery Elbow Sleeve. While it hasn't made my elbow pain disappear, it has helped alleviate some of it. I ordered the medium size which fits well. I had no trouble with the sleeve sliding, even while participating in various activities. It is not too hot to wear while working out and provides a mid-level compression support.

I really like wearing the compression sleeve while working on my computer. It really helps my elbow pain from getting worse. So far, I've only washed it once and have not put it in the dryer. I've found heat usually breaks down compression products so I recommend line drying like I did. The sleeve fit the same after washing. There's no way I can stop using my elbow, at least I have something that can give it good support while I work.
                            Rating: ★★★★☆

This product can be purchased on Amazon.

Giveaway Details:

One of my lucky readers will receive one Copper Compression Elbow Sleeve. 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 5/19/2015 at 11:59 EST. 
  a Rafflecopter giveaway