Friday, May 31, 2013

Fitness Friday & A Giveaway



This week, I’m happy to report that I have Fitness related things to report about! YAY!

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Since my sunburn is MUCH improved, I started the week excited about working out! I am not yet allowing myself to run, but I did enjoy several other non-running options this week!

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….walk…like the wind?

Saturday/Sunday – Yard work most of both days
Monday – Memorial Day, rest day
Tuesday – Ripped in 30 Week #1 and 6 mile bike ride
Wednesday – Ripped in 30 Week #1
Thursday – Ripped in 30 Week #1 and 2 mile vigorous walk with the puppies
Friday – Ripped in 30 Week #1 and hopefully a bike ride after work

I’m also hoping to take a longer bike ride on Saturday, we’ll see what my running buddies are up to and they might let me tag along behind them while they run!

Now, I have good news and I have bad news. I’ll start with the bad news first – my grandfather is back in the hospital. He’s losing blood because his blood counts are dropping. Back in December, he started complaining of not feeling well and I think that’s when all of this started (like a long, slow bleed). His stools are positive for microscopic blood, so they are doing a colonoscopy this morning to check him out. If you think about him today, please say a prayer that what they find is something fixable! Thank you so much to everyone who has prayed thus far! You guys are awesome!

Aaaand now the good news… I am hosting a giveaway!
The awesome people at Zensah contacted me to write a review of their Argyle Compression Socks, then host a giveaway for you lovely people! Of course I agreed!

I was given the option to choose any Argyle print Zensah Compression sock, so I chose these:

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I am a fan of compression socks and I absolutely love the teal blue color on these! Even though I’m not running at the moment, I took these out a few times for bike rides and walks with my puppies. I’ve also worn them for recovery post cross training!

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I sure do wear this shirt a lot, don’t I? :0)

Per their website, Zensah Argyle Compression Socks provide runners, triathletes, cyclists, and all athletes with increased circulation and decreased recovery time by utilizing advanced graduated compression in each pair of argyle compression socks.”

  • Graduated compression provides increased oxygenated blood flow and decreased recovery time
  • Moisture wicking fabric keeps the socks dry
  • Silver ions for thermal regulation
  • Padded toe and heel for shock absorption
  • Arch support keep feet feeling comfortable
  • Padding protection for achilles
  • Seamless technology for added support

The best part? We will have not one, not two, but THREE lucky winners! Each winner will receive a pair of Zensah Argyle Compression Socks of their choosing!

Enter via Rafflecopter below. This giveaway will be live x 1 week. Winner to be announced next week!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclaimer: I received products from Zensah for free for the purpose of the review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.

Happy Friday! Have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Favorite Smoothies

Lately, I’ve been on quite the smoothie kick with Summer just around the corner. I love cold, icy beverages during the hot summer months…I even prefer my coffee iced! To beat the heat, I decided to share a few of my favorite smoothies with you!

My first step in creating a smoothie is to decide what type of fruit I’m hungry for…which usually involves one or more of the following: strawberries, blueberries, bananas, mango, or pineapple.

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After gathering my ingredients, I then decide what type of liquid to put in my smoothie.

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For me, this usually consists of coconut milk or almond milk…I’ve even used coconut water!

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…and because I always have two ravishing puppies staring at me while I preparing my smoothies, I share a little bit with them, too! :0)

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Last but not least, don’t forget a fun beverage dispenser to drink the smoothie out of! What better way to show off your hard work than with a fancy cup!

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Now without further ado, here’s a few of my favorite smoothies!  I’ll start with my absolute FAVORTIE!

Salted Caramel Thickshake
Adapted from: Eat Drink Paleo

1/2 cup cold almond or coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp almond butter
1/3 frozen banana
2 dried pitted Medjool dates
1 tsp pure maple syrup or honey
A pinch of sea salt
A couple of ice cubes

Method: Process all ingredients in a blender until well incorporated. Enjoy!


Strawberry Banana Almond Smoothie
Adapted from: Fast Paleo

1 ripe frozen banana
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup plain almonds

Method: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until incorporated! Enjoy!
Note: I decided to add the almonds to this smoothie because I realized the calorie count of this smoothie was low with just the fruit and milk. Since this smoothie was my breakfast, I decided to add the almonds so it would carry me over to lunch! :0)


Pineapple Mango Smoothie 
Adapted from: My Kitchen :0)

1 ripe frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen pineapple/mango chunks (If using fresh, than 1/4 cup of each)
3/4 to 1 cup of almond milk
A few ice cubes

Method: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until incorporated! Enjoy!


Blueberry Almond Smoothie
Adapted from: My Kitchen :0)

1 cup of frozen or blueberries
1/2 to 3/4 cup of almond milk
1 tablespoon of almond butter
A few ice cubes

Method: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until incorporated! Enjoy!

If you’d like to make any of these smoothies “green”, feel free to add your choice of leaf! I’ve added 1 cup of spinach to the last three smoothies listed above and they have all been delicious! I’ve yet to try Kale in a smoothie, but that’s next on my list! I hope you enjoy!!

What is your favorite type of smoothie?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

nuNAAT Keratin Review

Being from Southwest Louisiana, my hair doesn’t always cooperate with me. I have very curly, thick, frizzy hair that loves to do exactly what I don’t want it to do.

Most of the time, you’ll see me with my hair up in a pony tail, wearing an athletic band, especially if the temperatures are on the warmer end.

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My flat iron is pretty much my best friend and without it, my hair is a mess.

Enter: nuNAAT

I recently discovered their Keratin infused products and I am in love!

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The nuNAAT Brazilian Keratin product is a 5 step process that I go over in my short You Tube video below! Check it out!

Step 1 and 2 involves washing/rinsing your hair with nuNAAT Brazilian Keratin Shampoo and Conditioner as normal.

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Step 3 is an intensive hair mask that you place in your hair while wet and wrap in a towel for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, the mask is then rinsed.

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Step 4 and 5 is a serum and reconstructor. The serum can be placed in wet or dry hair (and needs to be used in small amounts, otherwise it will make your hair look greasy). The reconstructor is used on wet hair. It is recommended that after using reconstructor, the hair is blown dry and then flat ironed, because heat activates and locks the keratin in place.

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The end result? Silky, smooth, and manageable hair! I have used this product for 2 weeks and I love it! nuNAAT makes different products for all different hair types – they even have a hair type selector on their website that helps you find the best product for your hair! Please know, this Keratin product works very well with my hair type – if you have a different hair type, this specific product might work differently for your hair. Each of nuNAAT’s collections are designed to meet the needs of different hair types, textures, and styling routines.

From their website, Brazilian Keratin nuNAAT products:

  • Works with all hair types
  • Repairs cuticle damage
  • Regenerates and strengthens hair fibers
  • Restores natural shine and softness
  • Seals hair cuticles
  • Reduces volume and frizz
  • Makes hair resilient and healthy
  • Formaldehyde and sodium chloride free

One downfall I’ve seen – time. If I don’t have time to use the mask, 15 minutes is out of the question. However, the hair mask doesn’t have to be used every time you wash your hair! It’s recommended that the hair mask is used once a week to once per month depending on the dryness of your hair.

Other than the time factor, I have NO complaints! I absolutely love the way my hair feels and behaves after using these Keratin infused products!

To find nuNAAT on social media, check them out here:
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/nunaat
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/nunaat
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/nunaatbeauty

Also, their website states that these products are available at selected Walgreens, Wal-Mart stores, and Beauty Supply stores! (Score!) Believe it or not, this whole 5 step system is around $32.00 total! Comparing the price of nuNAAT products with Keratin products I’ve used in the past, this is a VERY good deal.

Please note: I received products from nuNAAT for free for the purpose of the review. All of the opinions expressed are my own.

What’s your hair like? Does it behave and do what you want it to do? Have you ever tried Keratin products?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Backyard Landscaping Project Take 1

I hope you are all enjoying your Memorial Day Weekend!

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May we never forget the men and women who paid the price for our freedom! Thank you to all who serve and sacrifice for us!

This is how I spent my weekend:

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Summer = Watermelon!

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My brother was in town for his 10 year reunion, so we spent a lot of time with him and Kayla. :0)

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I enjoyed a little relaxation time – not a lot, but a little!

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We spent a good bit of time shopping for items to spruce up our deck and begin our backyard landscaping project.

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Ignore the monkey in the tree…he’s just a little bit silly! :0)

Here’s a few before/after pictures of our backyard project…

Before

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This is the deck after it was pressure washed, ready for staining.

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Here’s the corner where we began our landscaping project.

Halfway There

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We absolutely love the fleur de lis stones we found at a local hardware store!

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Working hard! :0) Besides working in the yard, I also re-stained the surface of the deck. No worries, I wore sunscreen this time!

Finished

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Well, almost finished. Our next project is to uproot the grass in the photo shown above, then set the groundwork for patio stone. We had a lot going on this weekend and didn’t want to overwhelm ourselves with too many projects, so this will come soon. For now, this area will be home of our hammock…

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Here’s a few close-ups…

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A little splash of color!

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This corner landscaping project idea has been rolling around in my mind for at least a year. I’m glad we finally got it started, and just in time for a backyard Memorial Day BBQ with family!

Another soon-to-be project is the fence – I’m planning on staining it the same color as the deck!

Whew…what a weekend! I’m tired now just thinking about everything we accomplished. I hope you had a fabulous weekend as well! If you were off work, did you enjoy your time off? Any Memorial Day plans?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Friday Favorites

Besides my knee issue, the sunburn I endured on Saturday has prevented me from doing any type of physical activity this week. How could a measly sunburn be that bad? It blistered. Yes, you read that right – the sunburn that covers 90% of my back broke out into blisters. I’m ashamed of myself and embarrassed because I know better and it’s crazy to think I allowed it to happen! The burn hurts like CRAZY and is driving me mad! I have one spot left that I’m sure will take a few additional days to heal – the spot where the largest blister was located but overall today, my back is feeling much better! I started using a gel that I was given at a conference, meant for radiation burns and 2nd degree burns (with lidocaine as ingredient) and I think the gel has helped a lot with the healing process. I had to spend the first two nights on the couch - the rest were spent lying on my stomach in bed trying to get comfortable. Not. Fun.

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I have to keep reminding myself that we all make mistakes, we learn from those mistakes, and life goes on. I will definitely continue to keep a close eye on any freckles or developing spots.

OK, I said all of that to say, there’s no reason to have a Fitness Friday today because this was the basics of my week: go to work, read blogs, sit around, and try not to move too much. Not much to say for a Fitness Friday!

Instead, I’m bringing you a Friday Favorite! :0)

Balega socks

(It should be sunscreen, right?!)

Any Balega fans out there?

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I discovered these bad boys when I attended a Brooks Cavalcade of Curiosities at my local running store a few months ago. As we browsed the store while waiting on the truck to set up, my running buddies introduced me to them. My friends run in Balega and I was curious, so I purchased a few pairs, too!

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These socks are incredibly comfortable and I love them. I won’t run in anything else from now on!

Balega has several different types of socks meant for various types of running. For my case, I purchased a pair with a lot of cushion and a pair with light cushion. I’ve run in both and honestly I don’t have a favorite of the two!

The word Balega is taken from the Zulu language and means “to move with speed”. Sweet! I see major potential for the future!

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Besides the awesome socks, Balega is a community based company and gives back in many different ways! Taken from their website, “In 2006, through the generosity of Fleet Feet, which matched our donation, we were able to pay the tuitions of 10 students at Ethembeni.  The following year, we were able to raise enough funds to purchase a specialty-outfitted bus - one that could accommodate wheelchairs and other needs - to transport the children from the school's rural location to nearby sporting events.”

How great is that?! I love supporting companies who do good things for others!

Wanna learn more about Balega? Check out their website or follow them:

Have a fabulous Friday and an awesome weekend!! :0) Any fun plans? Remember, wear sunscreen if you are going to spend time out in the sun!

Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this review. All opinions and views expressed are completely my own!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy 100th Birthday, ACS!

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Yesterday, the American Cancer Society celebrated it’s 100th Birthday. 100 years as an organization. We’ve come a LONG way in the fight against cancer in 100 years. Through research, awareness has been raised for early detection and treatment. Longevity after diagnosis has become a more common thing and the survival rate has risen a tremendous amount.

We’ve come a long way, but don’t get me wrong - we haven’t finished the fight just yet. We still have a long way to go in the fight against this terrible disease.

According to their website, the American Cancer Society states, “We estimate that there are now 13.7 million Americans alive today who have a history of cancer, and that this number is expected to grow to nearly 18 million by 2022.”

There’s many ways to get involved and help in the fight! The American Cancer Society hosts numerous fundraising events thorough out the year. Funds received through these events are used in many different ways – ACS uses these funds for research,  transportation grants for patients to get to and from treatments, lodging in various areas, wigs, printed materials, etc.

Events hosted during the year include:

Check your local ACS calendar for events as I’m sure there are many events I didn’t mention!

Let’s give a shout out to all of our awesome survivors! You rock!

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Happy Birthday, American Cancer Society! Let’s finish this fight and create a world with LESS cancer and MORE birthdays!!

Do you know someone or have you been affected by cancer in any way? Please share if you feel ok with doing so!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

April & May Bulu Box Review

If you’ve been around running blogs lately, you may have seen a badge that looks similar to this one:

That’s right, folks, I am now a Bulu Box Ambassador!

Besides telling you about it, I’m going to show you, too!

Here I have 2 boxes – one from April and one from May…cause two is always better than one! :0)

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April Box


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Inside the April box was an array of goodies!

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Cocoa Via x 4 samples – Sweetened Dark Chocolate, Cran-Raspberry, Summer Citrus, and Unsweetened Dark Chocolate
CocoaVia® is a powdered, daily cocoa extract supplement designed to help support cardiovascular health by helping support healthy circulation and blood flow.† Heart, brain, and eye health—even exercise performance—depend on a healthy circulatory system.
The suggestion is to add chocolate flavored Cocoa Via to milk, coffee drinks, yogurt, smoothies, or oatmeal. For the fruiter flavors, adding Cocoa Via to water, smoothies, iced tea, or yogurt is recommended.
I tried the cran-raspberry flavor in my iced tea and I really enjoyed it! I’m looking forward to trying one of the chocolate flavors to my coffee soon!

XyloBurst Chewing Gum – Green Tea flavor
Your mouth is about to indulge in the cleanest, healthiest burst of sweet tooth satisfaction it will ever meet. Your teeth will multitask their way to a lifetime of uneventful dental checkups by chewing a few pieces of XyloBurst gum each day. And if happier visits to the dentist aren't enough to hook you, our flavors will captivate your taste buds and have them begging for more. XyloBurst is made from completely natural xylitol.
I love this gum! It holds its flavor and doesn’t get old like typical chewing gum! It’s also good for popping a few bubbles…cause that’s important when choosing gum!! :0)

Barlean’s Omega Swirl Fish Oil – Key Lime flavor
 An Omega-3 Sensation with the taste and texture of a fruit smoothie! Now everyone can enjoy the benefits of Omega-3 without the oily taste and texture of liquids or having to swallow large capsules. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega Swirl flax and fish oil supplements are the freshest, best-tasting and most nutritious Omega-3 products, naturally.
I’m a huge proponent of Omega-3’s so I tried this sample immediately! The taste was great and it had good texture (I’m always worried about texture). I highly recommend it!

Eboost Natural Energy – Acai Pomegranate flavor
This EBOOST formula is loaded with green tea, vitamins and super nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin D and B-12, sweetened with Stevia and contains only 10 calories!
This sample really reminds me of your typical electrolyte beverage, but with an awesome flavor! I loved the Acai Pomegranate sample!

BQuick Fuel Performance Protein Blend – Chocolate flavor
BQuick FUEL packs in 25 grams of protein per serving. As a functional recovery protein shake and performance blend made with all-natural ingredients, BQuick FUEL also includes 2000mg of L-Glutamine per serving for improved tissue repair and post-exercise recovery along with 5g of fiber per serving. BQuick Fuel has an abundant balance of electrolytes to replenish the body, and contains natural flavors and sweeteners too, with added Sambazon® Açaí Fruit Powder as a powerful antioxidant with healthy omegas.
Since I haven’t done any heavy duty runs/workouts lately, I haven’t tried this sample yet!

Neo-Chill Tablets
Neo-Chill is an easy-to-use dietary supplement that promotes relaxation without drowsiness – meaning, it helps the body and mind to “chill out” without dulling the senses nor exerting a hazy, enervated feeling.* It contains Suntheanine®, a patented, proprietary L-theanine (an amino acid) also found in green tea. Clinical studies on Suntheanine show that doses of between 50 mg and 200 mg naturally stimulates alpha waves – specific brain activity which is associated with a relaxed but alert mental state. 

May Box

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I loved how the May box not only included a list of ingredients, it also featured three fellow healthy living bloggers and their take on a few of the items inside! Awesome idea, Bulu!!
 
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AllerDx Seasonal Relief Tablets
AllerDx is a clinically-tested blend of herbal ingredients created by doctors to help control and moderate the body's reaction to seasonal environmental stress. AllerDx is designed to help regulate the immune system as well as reduce sensitivity to conditions in your environment. AllerDx addresses both the cause and the symptoms of seasonal challenges without drowsiness.
Since I just received this Bulu Box this week, I took these capsules before falling asleep last night! I tend to have allergy issues while sleeping (might be my pillows, I’m conducing an experiment) so we will see what happens!

Neo-Cell Beauty Bursts Chews – Super Fruit Punch flavor
Provides specific amino acids necessary to replenishing the body’s collagen supply Helps minimize fine lines & wrinkles, and improves elasticity in the skin Builds and supports bone matrix Corrects weak, broken, split and damaged nail beds Thickens fine hair, adds body and slows down hair loss Repairs connective tissues for improved elasticity; improves circulation; promotes wound healing Glycine builds lean muscle to help burn fat while you sleep.
Can you say YUM?! Not only are these good for your skin, they taste delicious, too!! I will definitely look into these for the future!

Artisana Nut Butter – Acai Berry flavor
Delightfully tasty and easy to spread, contains no hydrogenated oils, and is cholesterol and trans-fat free. A perfect complement to your healthy diet and on-the-go activities. Indulge yourself right now.
I am eating this with a whole wheat English Muffin this morning! I’ll let you know what I think! :0)

Fit-Mixer Amino Supplement – Fruit Punch flavor
fitmixer® is a nutritional supplement brand designed for regular people interested in creating and maintaining healthy lifestyles. fitmixer® amino®, slim®, and protein® help provide vital nutrients required to maintain a healthy body. fitmixer® products won’t mold your body into a finely-tuned machine, but they can help provide the fuel your body will need to perform.

Fit ‘n Crisp – Vanilla Marshmallow Flavor
This new snack satisfies your sweet tooth while providing the energy you need to keep you fueled between meals. With 13 grams of replenishing protein, only 140 calories and light crispy texture, Promax Fit ‘n Crisp is a guilt-free reward; whether it’s a 4 o’clock snack or an after workout treat.
Any fellow Rice Crispy Treat fans out there?! Fit ‘n Crisp was delicious. Nuff said.

Interested in testing out Bulu Box?

There’s two different types:

  • BULU BOX
    A variety of vitamins & supplement samples
    Targets all areas of health
    4 to 5 premium vitamin & supplement
    samples plus occasional lifesytle extras
  • BULU BOX WEIGHT LOSS
    A variety of weight loss items
    Targets weight loss
    4 to 5 items such as supplements
    fitness gear & healthy eating tools

You can get a month to month subscription for $10.00 (plus free shipping, a 3 month subscription for $30.00 (plus free shipping), a 6 month subscription for $60.00 (plus free shipping), and a 12 month subscription for $110.00 (plus free shipping).

Click here or on the logo below to place your order!

Have you tried Bulu Box? What were your thoughts?

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