Monday, May 23, 2016

Grandeur Peak: 2 of 13 Peak Goal 2016

I love hiking so when Kalina, my daughter, made a 2016 goal to bag 26 peaks, I rose to the challenge and decided I would set a goal to do half as many. Thirteen peaks, no problem right? Wrong!
It's been a more challenging goal than I imagined with weather and health problems setting me back. I thought I would be able to climb some peaks in the winter. I would make it all of the way to the saddle of a peak only to find out the snow has made it too treacherous to finish the climb. Take Mount Olympus in Salt Lake City for example. I set out on a beautiful winter day with my climbing spikes and made it to the saddle. No way could I go any further. Kalina met me at the saddle and let me know it was way too slippery to make it any further. Not worth risking a life. An all day ordeal felt like a failure but shouldn't have as the views from the saddle were amazing anyway.

The weather problems were only half the equation. I didn't anticipate I would also develop achilles tendonitis with swelling on the back of my heel. A six week rest barely made it feel better.

Now I'm finally back on the trails and hoping to do some catch up. I chose Grandeur Peak for my back to work trail as it is it easily accessible from the Wasatch Front. This trail  has two main access points. One from the West Ridge and the other from Millcreek Canyon. I chose the easier but longer route from the Church Fork Picnic Area. Best to park along the street and walk along the road to the trail. It is well marked and not hard to find. It's a short hike up to a small bridge. Before the bridge, take a left on the Pipeline Trail. The fork for the trail for Grandeur Peak is the first right.

I always enjoy the lower part of the trail. It is shaded with a nice, steady climb. Nearing the top, the trail becomes exposed and rocky in spots. I've been trying to do some trail running but I can never manage on the way up and have to wait for the downhill and the less rocky parts.

It's exciting to get to the traverse that leads directly to the saddle and see the peak across the way. It always looks so close but ends up being the hardest part of the hike. It's one of those "Are we almost there," moments that seems to take forever.

Overlooking the Salt Lake Valley
As I neared the top, I thought we were going to have to turn around again. My little hiking buddy got sick and threw up. It's hard to tell if a dog is really okay. I made sure he was well hydrated and took a long rest and while my buddy made a bit of a recovery. We made the final push to the top and enjoyed the breathtaking views. The Salt Lake Valley lies to the west with downtown Salt Lake on the north end. In my first photo, Mount Olympus is in the background to the south. To the east is Mt. Aire with the reservoirs of Parley's Canyon.

The views from the top make the 6.2 miles round trip worth it. At 8299 feet, it really feels like I'm on top of the world. While the trail is rated moderate to hard at the end, it is obtainable for beginners. Staring at Mt. Aire gave helped me set my next peak goal. Mt. Aire here I come. I can't wait to tackle you this next week.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Novapolt External DVD and CD Drive Product Review #externaldvddrive

Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.
I've loved my Macbook Air ever since I switched from another laptop brand. I love the faster speeds and the lighter weight. In fact, the only thing I've ever missed is having a DVD/CD drive. For the most part, I've learned to adapt without one. With flash drives and online downloads, it's been years since I've used a DVD drive. I have a lot of DVD's and music CD's I've wanted to access but haven't been able to until now.

The Novapolt External DVD and CD Drive

helps me transfer my music CD's to my iTunes account seamlessly. I've also been able to watch  movies on my laptop when other family members are using the television. The external drive has been really easy to figure out. I'm not a computer guru so I like things that are easy. When I plug in the Novapolt drive, my Macbook immediately recognizes it. If I insert a music CD, it pulls up my iTunes account and transfers the music. I can also use the Apple Finder on my computer and find the external drive under "devices" column.

The only small complaint I have about the Novapolt External Drive is that the USB cord that plugs into the computer is too short. It's not a problem when I'm sitting at a desk or table but I usually use my laptop on my lap. I don't like the way the drive dangles off the side of my leg because it can't quite reach the chair. It's not really a big deal but it would be nice if the cord was a little longer and retractable. I do like the way the cord fits into the back of the drive and stays flat for storage. I'm not sure if it would do that if it were longer unless it was retractable.

Overall, the Novapolt External DVD and CD drive is one of the best accessories I've acquired to use with my Mac. It's nice to have a non-Apple accessory work with my laptop without some of the problems I've had with other non-Apple products.

FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review. I always reserve the right to give my honest opinion based upon actual experience.

Product can be purchased through Amazon.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Love Organic with Santa Cruz Agua Fresca: Review and Giveaway

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

I can't count how many times I've purchased a juice drink and brought it home before looking at the label. Then I  find out very little of it is made from actual fruit. With Santa Cruz Organic® Agua Fresca, I don't have to worry if it's really made with fruit. In fact, organic juice/fruit puree is listed as the second ingredient right after water. For those who read labels, the ingredients are listed in order from the ingredient with the largest amount to the smallest. It's nice to know that there is more fruit juice than sugar. I also like that the Agua Fresca is made with certified organic ingredients.

While my adult daughter is picky about the things she puts into her body and won't try anything before she reads the labels, my teenage son could care less. All he cares about is the taste. Luckily, the Santa Cruz Agua Fresca mango passionfruit passed his taste test. I had to stop him from drinking the entire bottle so we could try it. What I like about the mango passionfruit flavor is that it has actual mango puree as an ingredient, not an artificial flavoring. I also like that it is lightly sweetened. Some juice drinks are too sweet. Not so with the Santa Cruz drinks. I'm sure my son would have liked it a little sweeter but both my daughter and I thought the Agua Fresca was perfect.

We also got to try the lemonade. We didn't like it nearly as well as we liked the mango passionfruit. I can't quite figure out what it is about it I didn't love. It didn't have a nice lemon tang like some of the other lemonade I've tried. For those who don't like their lemonade too sour, this might be appealing. I don't like really sour lemonade but I would have liked a bit more tang.

As a member of Moms Meet, I enjoy the green living products I get to try and review. I've discovered brands I've never heard of like Santa Cruz Organics. Now I have one more brand to look  for while I'm shopping.

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

Thanks to Santa Cruz Organics and Moms Meet, I am awarding one of my lucky readers two bottles of Santa Cruz Organics products ($7.00 ARV) 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 5/29/2016 at 11:59 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 7, 2016

For Healthy Skin: Soniclear Petite Deluxe Review by #michaeltoddbeauty

Product received at no charge in exchange for an honest review.
Taking care of my skin is as important to me keeping the rest of my body healthy. That's why I use sunscreen and moisturizers. It's also why I wash my face every night before bed time. I've wanted to buy a cleansing brush for a long time but never took the time to find the right one.
I was thrilled to get the opportunity to review the Soniclear Petite Deluxe cleansing brush.

Since I have never used a cleansing brush before, I have nothing with which to compare the Soniclear. Sometimes I like this better as it allows me to focus on what I really like about the product  at hand.
e I care more about how well a product works than how it looks but the blue color I ordered looks great. I love the way the product is packaged with a nice storage case. This protects the Soniclear from getting banged by my blow dryer in the drawer I stow it in.

The Soniclear comes with a USB charging cable. However,  the only drawback about the product is that it doesn't come with a wall charging port to use with the USB cable. I have plenty laying around the house but I would love to see it added in the future. I like the base for the brush. The port has a magnet that sticks to the handle for charging.

The Soniclear Petite Deluxe cleansing brush is easy to use. It's lightweight which means my arm doesn't get tired. The bristles are soft enough that they don't irritate my sensitive skin but sturdy enough that they won't wear out quickly. While I prefer cleaning my skin at the end of the day to get off all of the grime and make up, I actually use the Soniclear more in the shower. This is where I'm really impressed. The brush is completely waterproof, not just water resistant. I haven't had any problems with it in the shower.

As for the rest of the brush, the power and speed buttons are  little harder to turn on and off than I expected but it's not a big enough deal to drop the rating on the product. I do like that it has three speeds. I like the slower speed best. The  built in 20 second timer is great to let me know when I've spent enough time cleaning an area.

Another great feature of the Soniclear brush is that it has a built in antimicrobial protection to keep bacteria from growing on the brush.

My kit came with the Michael Todd Cleanser. It was a nice bonus. The cleanser is mild enough that it doesn't hurt my skin but also tough enough to really clean my face. My face feels great after using the brush with the cleaner. I'm happy to finally have a cleansing brush and look forward to having a healthy face.

Rating ★★★★★

FTC Disclosure: I received the product at no charge in exchange for an honest review. Regardless, all opinions are my own and based upon actual experience with the product.

Monday, May 2, 2016

May Shoe Event at Road Runner Sports: Save 15% or 25% for VIPs

This post contains affiliate links.

When I choose affiliate programs for my blog, they are all places I already shop. I want to share with my readers my enthusiasm for great companies. Road Runner Sports is one of those great companies. While I like to support my local running stores whenever possible, they rarely carry the running shoe I love. Yes, I'm stuck on Mizunos but I like Asics too. My last two pair of running shoes have both been pairs I haven't been able to find locally. That's why I turn to Road Runner Sports.  With the vast array of running shoes in their catalogs, I can always find what I'm looking for. And with their return policy, I can't go wrong.

It was my husband who first introduced me to running and to Road Runner Sports. He had a VIP membership and wanted to make sure he got his money's worth. Now most of the family are runners, or at least wanna bees. and we all buy at least one pair of running shoes a year. With the VIP program, we can save even more on shoes. I'm excited to share the latest Road Runner Sports sale with my readers.


Road Runner Sports is having one of the best sales I've ever seen on shoes. For those who sign up for the VIP program, you can save 25% with free shipping. Don't want to sign up? No problem. You can still save 15% off with free shipping. The event ends 5/16. Use the link to save.

Sign Up & Save 25% on SHOES + Free Shipping! Use offer code RUN4FUN16 at checkout. Offer ends 5/16. Some exclusions may apply, see site for details. Coupon Code: RUN4FUN16

**FTC Disclosure: This post is an affiliate post and I receive a small portion of any sale from the affiliate program.**

Purex Plus Clorox Detergent Review and Giveaway #PurexPlusClorox2

The Purex® brand provided me with a sample of Purex® plus Clorox 2® detergent in exchange for a product review. However all the opinions expressed here are my own. #SocialInsiders

A sure thing we can bring home from our outdoor adventures is plenty of stinky and stained clothing. The red sand from our many hiking adventures in the desert permanently stains our socks. We can always tell after washing them which pair we took with us on our hikes. While liquid bleach sometimes works on our whites, we have trouble finding something that works on our dark colors.

Purex® and Clorox®  has teamed up for the rescue.

We put our dirty laundry from our most recent trip to the test. Shirts and shorts full of sand from hiking, jumping in the water to cool off, and hiking again made a perfect test for the stain fighters in the Purex detergent. First, I didn't have to worry about the added Clorox being safe for colors as it is designed for that. Our shorts and shirts came out looking great with no new stains. Also, it took away the stinky sweat smells without leaving a strong detergent odor. In fact, one of the things I've always liked about Purex is that it is mild on my skin. The Purex plus Clorox2 is no exception. I get itchy skin and even skin rashes with some of the well known brands. I've never had a problem with Purex.

I feel good about adding Purex to my wash. It works great in my front loading washing machine. It also rinses well so my clothes don't have detergent on them when coming out of the dryer.

Who knows where my next adventure will take me but I can rest assured knowing Purex can tackle whatever stains I might bring home.
Giveaway Details

Who wants to tackle their next stain with Purex?
I'm giving away a coupon for a free bottle of Purex to two of my lucky readers. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 5/11/2016 at 11:59EST.