Monday, June 29, 2015

Leather Wrap Bracelet Giveaway


Did you know we offer jewelry for the outdoor enthusiast on our blog? 
We are giving away two of our awesome leather wrap bracelets to one lucky winner.

Don't want to wait?
You can purchase the Flower Garden Bracelet for $14.99.


Or this Chain Link Leather Wrap Bracelet for $9.99.


We also have sterling silver necklaces and bracelets for the hiking and biking enthusiast.

Visit our shop HERE

Giveaway Details

Winner will receive both leather wrap bracelets pictured in this post ($24.99 ARV).
Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the term on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 7/7/2015 at 11:59 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 28, 2015

My favorite Ride: Little Red Riding Hood 2015 (LRRH)


The first saturday in June brings our favorite organized bike ride, Little Red Riding Hood, in the beautiful Cache Valley in northern Utah. It's become a tradition for Kalina and I to ride together. Three years ago, Kalina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just 48 hours before our ride. As a worried mom, I though we should skip the ride so she could prepare to have two large tumors removed. Instead, she put on a brave face and helped me put on one too. We worked toward the finish line in our last hurrah before the reality of major surgery and months of chemotherapy set in.

Since then, we have only missed one ride.  Now we ride to celebrate another year together. This year was no exception. We love getting out our road bikes and hitting the pavement.

Besides the fact that I get to ride with my daughter, I love Little Red for so many other reasons. It's an all women's ride. That means we don't have fast guys zipping by making us feel intimidated. Also, it's a  non-competitive, fully supported ride which means no timing It also means lots of stops with food along the way and a ride shirt. We had the option of purchasing matching bike jerseys and we couldn't resist the dark pink. Cute huh?



The terrain is awesome. The roads go through farmland and the small towns in Cache Valley Though there are some rolling hills and a steep climb after the lunch stop, much of the ride is flat. Good thing since I wasn't as in good shape this year as I have been in the past.




As always, five different distance options from 27-100 miles make Little Red a ride even young riders or beginners can participate. We chose the 70 mile option. This gives us a challenge but still allows us to have fun without worrying we won't make the time cut off for the more difficult 100 miler.





It's always amusing to see the spread of food at the support stops. I think it's the only ride I know where you could easily take in more calories than you burn out. I've learned to be conservative at the stops and concentrate on keeping hydrated and going for the fruit table instead of the cookies and licorice.

An amazing lunch catered by Subway® and supplemented with frozen treats from Creamies® helps riders fuel up for the most difficult hill climb of the day.

After the downhill, it's a nice ride into Lewiston, Utah to finish the ride and celebrate with... what else? More food of course and entertainment while eating.

Best of all, Little Red is a fundraising ride for one of our favorite charities, the Huntsman Cancer Institute. All of the proceeds raised through fund raising efforts of the Huntsman Hometown Heroes goes toward cancer research for women's cancers which includes breast and ovarian. I'm hoping someday for a cure.

Thanks Bonneville Cycling Club for another great year!



Not a sponsored post though post does contain affiliate links.

Do you have a favorite ride? 
Leave us a comment telling us which one and why it's your favorite.




Saturday, June 27, 2015

Mizuno Wave Enigma 5: Product Review


**This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.**


I like biking and hiking more than I do running but I'll be the first to admit that nothing beats running for a quick, inexpensive, and thorough workout. No expensive bike parts or gym membership required and for the time it takes me to drive to the gym and back, I could have run two or three miles and that doesn't even count the extra mileage I could add during the gym workout.

All I need is a good pair of running shoes. I've been running long enough to know that good shoes are worth every penny spent. It's never worth trying to save money on shoes that aren't quite right.

My favorite all time pair of running shoes was a from Mizuno. I don't even remember the style but I loved them. After working on my running form, I was ready to try a neutral shoe and was thrilled to try the new Mizuno Wave Enigma 5.
I wanted to love these shoes even half as much as my old ones but they fell a little short for me.

While I like them now, I don't love them. I had problems in the first few weeks with my feet going numb. Confusing since the sizing is perfect. The cushioning is good for a neutral shoe. After putting about 25 miles on the shoes and making sure I landed mid foot and rolled to the heel, the numbness finally went away. I've taken some time off running and have gained a little weight since doing so. Now that I'm back to running, I think the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 works for a little heavier runner. However, for a lightweight runner looking for a lightweight shoe, I would not recommend this shoe.

What I do like about the Wave Enigma 5 is the fit. My little toe turns out so I have never been able to wear a shoe with a narrow toe are. This shoe fits good around the toe and snug enough at the heel to keep my foot from moving around inside the shoe. Even on a rocky, flat trail, the shoes kept my feet stable. I run about 20-25 miles a week and the shoes are good for this mileage but I think I would like to find another shoe when I start upping my mileage.

Overall the Mizuno Wave Enigma 5 is a solid shoe that would make a better gym shoe than a running shoe. I've used it at the gym on the elliptical machines and the spin bikes and have had no problems there and it's nice to have an extra pair of running shoes for rotation purposes.
Product Rating: ★★★★☆

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Goforit LED Rechargeable Waist Belt Review


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

I'm always looking for accessories that make running easier. It's hard to get out the door on running days when I'd rather be on my bike. At least once I get out, I usually enjoy it. I've been looking for a running belt that's comfortable but has all of the features I want.

Kalina modeling the Goforit Led Waist Belt

The Goforit LED Rechargeable Waist Belt seemed like the perfect belt. The neoprene fabric is really comfortable. I absolutely love where it sits on my hips. The bottles are in the perfect position. My arms don't hit them when I run but they're still easy to remove for a fast drink.

The belt is also easy to adjust. It has a zippered compartment that easily fits a phone or other music device. A clever addition of a small hole for a set of earphones on the inside means I can keep the zipper all of the way closed during my workout.

If I were rating this belt strictly on comfort and ease of use, it would definitely deserve five stars. However, I had a few problems with the quality of the belt and ended up disappointed as those things were the most important to me.

First, I love the shape of the bottles. However, at 150 ml., they are too small for hydrating for more than about 30 to 60 minutes on a warm day. I'm hoping to find some bigger bottles to replace the smaller ones. Also, one the elastic straps that goes around the top of the water bottle came undone before I had even tried it the first time.

The biggest disappointment was with the LED lights. This is what sets this belt apart from other belts. The LED lights are rechargeable and does come with the charging cord. However, only two out of the six lights worked on my belt. I tried to jiggle the wires to see if that would solve the problem but it didn't. The lights have three settings, one steady, one slow flashing, and one fast flashing. It's an awesome feature for running at dawn, dusk, or the dark but only if it works right. I wish I could figure out how to make mine work.

I love the product in theory but the quality needs to be improved. Hopefully, mine was just defective and they're not all like that. In the meantime, I'll still be looking for the perfect belt.

Product Rating: ★★★☆☆

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Viva Selfie Stick with Bluetooth: Product Review

FTC Disclosure: Product received free in exchange for an honest review.

I love going on crazy adventures. Most of my adventures take me pretty remote places. I'm always trying to get a picture of myself and my adventure buddy in the beautiful places we explore. But unfailingly it ends up looking just like any other old selfie...our huge faces at an awkward angle and virtually none of the pretty scenery. I have gotten decent at self timer mode, propping my camera up against a rock or a tree branch, but it takes a lot of time and effort.



Finally, I had the opportunity to try out a "selfie stick." I hear it's all the new fad. I knew about selfie sticks for GoPros, but I didn't really know they made them for phones. VivaSelfie Selfie Stick with Bluetooth comes with a telescoping selfie stick and two phone holders-one for iPhones and one for Androids. The instructions are simple too which is a huge plus! No flipping through 18 pages of microscopic print trying to find the one paragraph that tells you what to do. This is a simple spread with bullet points clearly stating how to work the device. The selfie stick works via bluetooth, so first you have to charge it. The first use you must pair it with your phone. Once you've done this, you don't have to do it again. As soon as that is done (takes about 3 minutes), you are ready to go! My Galaxy S5 phone fit perfectly and securely in the Android holder. The stick has a tilting stand that locks in place so you can adjust to the angle you need.

I took a few pictures with the selfie stick and then suddenly it stopped working. I was really confused and frustrated for a while. After doing some research I found that the rubber handle can rotate a little bit and moves off the camera button. So even though I was pressing where the handle said the button was, nothing was happening. As soon as I rotated the rubber back into place, and made sure the stick was extended, it worked just fine again.

So the rubber moving around is a little bit of a downside because it slides quite easily. Now that I know its a problem, it will be easy to fix in the future, but it would be nice not to have to worry about it. I do like how simple it was to set up and my phone feels pretty secure. I'm not sure I would use it hanging above the trees in a zip-line or out of an airplane window, but its definitely good enough for mountain peaks, beaches, my own backyard, etc. It is a little bit heavy with a phone on the end, but I think that's the nature of a selfie stick, not something inherent to Viva's design. If you are looking for a portable and simple selfie stick for your phone, I would recommend VivaSelfie.


Rating:  ★★★★☆





Monday, June 15, 2015

MeasuPro Wireless Bicycle Computer: Product Review

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

I gave up on a cycling computer a few years ago and started using a GPS cycling app on my smartphone. However, for long bike rides, I hate running the app and have missed having a cycling computer that didn't use as much battery power as my phone. It's more important for me to keep my phone charged in case of an emergency than it is to find out far I've gone. However, I love to keep track of my speed when I ride.


Ready for the ride with my Measupro.


I've come to the conclusion that it's better to ride with a bike computer AND a cell phone. The MeasuPro Wireless Bicycle Computer is just what I wanted. Upon starting it, I can see the constant reading without having to push buttons while I'm riding. It's much easier to keep my speed constant when I can see my MPH on the screen.

The MeasuPro Computer is easy to set up. Just attach the magnet to the wheel and the other magnet to the post with no wires needed. It took me a few minutes to figure out the unit but it can be set up in miles or kilometers according to your rim size. I also like that I can put in my weight and it will keep track of calories burned. It also has a built in timer, speedometer and odometer and comes with an optional heart rate monitor strap so I can get a heart rate reading while I ride. This is the first cycling computer I've had that offers the heart rate monitor, a definite  bonus.







My first time using the MeasuPro Computer was on a 70 mile bike ride. That way I got a chance to really see how it worked. I loved it. I was able to watch my speed the whole ride and pick up my cadence when I fell short of my goal. I had no problems with the battery lasting during my entire ride though the one on my phone died. I would definitely recommend the cycling computer. The price is great for a wireless computer with a heart rate monitor.

Product Rating: ★★★★★



This item can be purchased on Amazon.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Electronic Pulse Massager Product Review & Giveaway


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

I have lower back pain from bulging disks and spinal stenosis but I don't want it to slow me down. I have been to physical therapy for my back pain and one of the things my therapist uses on my back is a tens unit. I like the option of using a unit at home. The Electronic Pulse Massager by Santa Medical gives me the chance to have similar therapy in the the comfort of my favorite chair.

The Santa Medical at home tens unit is great for stimulating my muscles to contract and relax in my back. However, my husband and I also like to use it on our feet for plantar fasciitis. It really helps relieve the pain and also helps our feet to heal faster.

While I have used higher quality tens units, they have also been more expensive. For the price, this unit is solid at home product. I haven't had any problems with the electronics on this unit. It is powerful enough for good muscle stimulation. I also like that it has dual controls so two people could use it at the same time or I can use it on both of my feet or different muscle groups. I also like the different option buttons for things like the sole, shoulders, etc. All around this is a solid unit.

                                                         Product Rating ★★★★☆



  Giveaway Details:

Santa Medical has generously agreed to give one of my lucky readers their own Tens Handheld Electronic Pulse Massager. 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 6/29/2015 at 11:59 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Shandali Yoga Mat: Product Review

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

I've used several different yoga mats both at home and at the gym. The Shandali Yoga Mat is my favorite for several reasons. First of all, the mat is larger than other mats I've used. It's made out of 100% renewable tree rubber instead of foam. This gives it extra grip. Even doing yoga outside on our porch on a warm day,  I had no problems with it slipping. Especially good for Bikram/hot yoga. It also doesn't roll or bunch while using it.

 When I took it out of the package, I couldn't help notice the strong rubber smell. The mat is made from rubber. I didn't like it at first but the smell fades. The plus side to that is that it is super easy to clean and doesn't retain moisture. It also doesn't smell like sweat after hot yoga which is a huge plus.

Though I use the mat mainly at home and outside, it does roll up nicely to take to the gym. It also grips well to the gym flooring. While the mat doesn't have the foam cushioning of other mats, the fact that it's made of renewable resources more than makes up for the lack of padding.

The only trouble I have with the Shandali Yoga Mat is keeping other family members from taking it as it's quickly become a family favorite.

Product Rating ★★★★★


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Fugetek High End Selfie Stick Review.


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

I have to admit, I'm not one who loves to take a ton of selfies but when I do, it's because I am on a hiking trail with an awesome view or sightseeing in a country. When I want to get a picture of myself on a mountain peak or next to an ancient statue, I want to see those backgrounds next to me. I'm not interested in hundreds of photos of just my face.

With the Fugetek High End Selfie Stick, I can get those amazing shots I've been missing for so long.
Unlike other selfie sticks I've seen, the Fugetek selfie stick really is high quality. It is easily adjustable to three lengths. Though it might seem a little more cumbersome to pull the black tabs, pull out the stick and push the tabs in, it really isn't. Those tabs actually act as an anchor that keeps the stick from bending and feeling flimsy. It's a really sturdy stick.

Another feature I like is the spring loaded camera/phone insert. It is easy to place your phone or camera onto the end of the stick and the padding inside the area prevents damage to your unit.


My favorite feature is the blue tooth capable rechargeable remote. It can be left in the case at the end of the handle or can easily be removed if you want to rig the stick so it doesn't show in your photos.

The selfie stick comes with a nice carry bag with strap that can be slung over your shoulders for easy carrying. It's great for traveling. No need to ask a stranger to take a picture of the group. The Fugetek Selfie Stick makes it possible to do it yourself.

I didn't find any drawbacks to the selfie stick though I wonder if some will be skeptical about tabs for adjusting rather than the push of one button.

Product Rating: ★★★★★


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Goodbye Artificial Sweeteners, Hello Natural XLEAR Products: Product Review

FTC Disclosure: Products received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.
My family and I are always looking for ways to lead a healthier lifestyle. We stay active, try to eat right and look for products with more natural ingredients. One of my resolutions for the year is to cut back on artificial sweeteners. I'm amazed at how many products contain them.

I don't have to worry about artificial sweeteners with XLEAR® products. XLEAR uses Xylitol instead of artificial sweeteners. What is Xylitol? Xylitol is a natural sugar alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables and is even produced in small amounts in the human body. It's been studied for over 40 years and research has confirmed it's safety and effectiveness (www.xclear.com).

As much as I want to switch to more natural products, I have to like them to stick with them. After trying the XLEAR products, I won't have any problems using them over and over again.



XLEAR Nasal Spray Review

I live in a dry climate which causes my nasal passages to get sore. The nasal spray helps keep my nasal passages moist. Xylitol and saline combine to keep my sinuses healthy. Some nasal drops contain decongestants which dry out nasal passages.  XLEAR doesn't contain these ingredients. I suffer from allergies and this spring has been one of the worst. When I use the XLEAR nasal spray twice a day, it really helps wash away pollutants that irritate my nose. It's been a nice addition to my allergy product regimen. My husband is a physician and when he saw my review kit, he asked if he could have a bottle of the nasal spray. Apparently, he has used it quite a bit it and says is by far the best nasal spray he's ever used and one he recommends to his patients. I wish I had known about his stash and tried it earlier.  

Spry Dental Products Review

I got a chance to try the fluoride-free peppermint Spry toothpaste. My teeth feel clean after use. The flavor is good and I like the natural ingredients. While I'm not totally against fluoride, I do worry about getting too much and love the idea of going fluoride free for a while.
I learned that Xylitol increases mineral absorption into the enamel of my teeth which can lead to better protection. Just one more great reason to use it.

The Spry spearmint oral rinse is awesome.
I like that it has a low-alcohol content so it is less likely to kill the good bacteria in my mouth. It's also less likely to dry out my mouth than mouthwash with a higher alcohol content. It's also made with herbal extracts like aloe vera, echinacea, and chamomile which helps sooth irritated mouth tissue. I like it better than the mouthwash I currently use and my husband asked if I would get this kind from now on.

While the Spry toothbrush doesn't work better than any other toothbrush, it is made with bamboo which is an organic product that breaks down in the landfill upon disposal. Bamboo is also a natural anti-microbial which means it helps protect my mouth from harmful bacteria. Out of all of the product I tried, this is the one that I would have the hardest time sticking with. I put my toothbrush in the dishwasher at least once a month to sterilize it. I haven't tried to put the Spry toothbrush in as I am afraid the dishwasher would dry out the bamboo handle. I will give it a try though and see how it does.


I tried the Spry Gems mints in the lemon creme flavor and the spearmint. One of the things I loved about both is that they have a smooth feel in my mouth and kept it moist. I am not usually a fan of lemon flavored anything but I loved the lemon creme Spry Gems. I ate the whole container in three days. Usually I keep mints for 1-2 weeks but couldn't with these.

I also had a chance to try the Spry gum. I've always been a gum chewer. However, as I age, chewing gums seems to hurt my teeth and jaw more. However, the Spry gum stays softer than the other brands I use. This means it didn't cause problems for me. I like the flavor and it stays for a long time, though I don't tend to chew one piece of any gum for more than 45 minutes.

Overall, I liked every product I tried with my favorites being the XLEAR nasal spray and the lemon cream Spry Gems mints. I also want to mention that the products are made in the U.S.A.

Learn more about XLEAR products:

Online 
Facebook
Twitter

Overall Combined Rating: ★★★★

Get this kit for $25

Offer expires June 30, 2015

Hurry! My readers can get this awesome kit for $25 (normally $65.08).

Click HERE to claim your offer.

I received this product for free from the sponsor of the Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who receivedit 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. 



Monday, June 1, 2015

Product Review: Extra Large Waterproof Picnic Blanket by Practico Outdoors #Praticopicnic


Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review. No monetary compensation was received.

My family spends a lot of time outdoors during the summer. I've been looking for a blanket with a waterproof backing to keep in my car and to take with us on our lake vacation. The extra large picnic blanket by Practico Outdoors is exactly what I've been looking for.

The soft fleece top of the blanket is perfect for sitting on at the beach or the grass at the park. The waterproof backing makes it nice for those times when the grass is a little damp and we don't want to get our butts wet. Also, the extra large size 60"x 80" ensures that there is room for more than one person. In fact, it works better at the water park than laying out towels.



Another thing I like about the blanket is that it's easy to carry. It is lightweight, only weighing 1.3  pounds and it has a nice carry handle.



The only drawback about the blanket is that it's not machine washable and a little bulky to wash by hand. However, it's fairly easy to spot clean but it would be nice to throw it in the washer. Otherwise, it's a great blanket.
Product Rating: ★★★★☆

This product can be purchase through Amazon.

]

FlashBright LED Bike Light: Product Review


FTC Disclosure: Product received free in exchange for an honest review.

As much as I ride my road and mountain bikes, a bike light is one of those 'must have' accessories that could literally save my life. Next to my helmet, it is the one thing I don't want to leave behind if I am riding in the early morning hours or get stuck after dark. I've faced riding in the dark on more than one occasion because of unexpected mechanical problems. Nothing is worse than getting stuck on a trail after dark and not being able to see what is in front of me.

The FlashBright LED Bike Light helps keep me safe. It's easy to install. No tools required and it fits on both my mountain and road bikes. The light is easy to remove and can be used as a flashlight. I don't have to worry about it getting ruined in a storm as it is waterproof.



I like how bright the light is. It lights up the trail or the road well. It also has a nice zoom feature that lets me zoom in or out. Another feature I love is the option of turning the light on steady or flashing. The flashing light works well when I'm road biking and helps cars see me better. In addition to the light, I also received a tail light that gives me the option of steady or flashing light. For trail riding, I like the steady light. 
As with any electronic device, it is powered by batteries so the only drawback is getting caught in the dark with dead batteries. I have added a set of three extra batteries to my emergency tool kit. I have not complaints with this light. It is priced right.
Product Rating: ★★★★★