Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fun Toys for Dining Out

Dining out with kids can be stressful - but it doesn't have to be! My best advice when going out to eat with kiddos is to have fun toys that are ONLY for when you go out. This makes them always fun and exciting and almost guaranteed to entertain. Below are a few of our most recent favs that we took with us last Friday night - BONUS, each of these toys are small enough to stash in a diaper bag and under $10 - score!

The Magnetic Car Race Game from The Purple Cow was so much fun!! My 7 year old and hubby loved to play it. The dice and playing pieces are magnetic and the metal case unfolds and then is held together with a plastic clip to form the playing surface - brilliant! The game is straight forward, rolling the dice, and moving forward or backward a certain number of spaces, but it lead to quite the entertaining wait time for the two of them!

Playgro Playmate Elephant is perfect for my little 10 month old baby girl! It is brightly colored and fun and there are so many things on it to engage her senses. The elephants ears crinkle. She loved to suck on the elephants trunk, and the little plastic rings that slide around were another fun feature. She basically had a grip on this fun toy the majority of the night!

HABA Wooden Puzzle was another fun toy for the baby and her big brother to play with. It's a series of 4 emergency vehicles in a layered puzzle design. Not only did we have fun putting the puzzle together, but we also loved using the puzzle pieces for pretend play too! HABA products are the best quality wooden toys and we're big fans of everything they make!

How do you keep your kiddos entertained at restaurants? Liked this post? You can read more about dining out with a baby here!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I'm preparing to take on a Sparkling Detox - Join Me!

Summer was a blast - I lived it up with my family taking multiple vacations and indulging in all of the local flavors. I was in the moment and I loved it. Now that school is back in session though, and Fall racing season is approaching, I want to get more serious about my training and my eating habits. I have some big goals this Fall and I know I train and race better when I fuel my body with healthy options.

Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water is hosting a #SparklingDetox Challenge that I’m really excited about! They are challenging you to replace your normal beverages with Gerolsteiner Sparkling Natural Mineral Water for 5 days (from September 11-15). Part of eating healthy is drinking healthy too, especially when running and training in the hot desert climate like I am in Arizona.

For those 5 days I plan on eating and drinking 100% clean. I’ve never done this before - I’m more an 80/20 eater - I love my lunchtime salads but my after dinner ice cream and glass of wine are daily indulgences too.

Avoiding certain foods, even just for 5 days, can make a big impact. It will help reset your body and retrain your mind, leading to new behaviors and helping you develop new long term healthier habits. How am I going to do this? The weekend before my Sparkling Detox I plan on making a meal plan and formulating a grocery list. Once I get my meals and snacks planned out and shopped for, I will meal prep as much as I can ahead of time: hard boil eggs, chop veggies, wash fruit, etc. By prepping ahead of time, it will allow me to stay on track by simplifying meal times.

How will I prepare for my Sparkling Detox?

  1. Stockpile Healthy Snacks - Eating healthy snacks can help curb overeating and control cravings too. For me, if I have a healthy snack prepped, I’ll reach for that over a handful of the kiddos chips in the pantry. The key though, is pre-portioning out the healthy snacks. One ounce of nuts is a great clean snack - the entire bag is not! If a healthy snack doesn't already come portioned out, I’ll do it myself ahead of time, so when hunger strikes, I’ll be able to grab a snack and move on.

2. Organize my refrigerator - Make your healthy prepared foods and drinks the first thing you see in your fridge and those will be what you reach for! I line the top shelf of my fridge with my bottles of Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water and have my cut up fruits and veggies in clear containers right at eye level so I’ll be most inclined to reach for them.

3. Get Support - Tell your friends and family that you are participating in the Sparkling Detox Challenge. You’ll be able to rely on them for support and encouragement and who knows - you may even inspire them to join you too! Gerolsteiner has set up an online Facebook Group for the challenge. I encourage you to join it  for extra support, daily motivation, and useful nutrition tips from experts and the community! Visit HERE for a direct link to the free challenge support group.

Want to join me? Gerolsteiner invites you to “Mineralize Your Life” for a chance to win a FREE Gerolsteiner Water Supply just in time for the challenge. Go HERE to find out details and register to win. I know we can do this together!!

This post was written in partnership with Fit Approach and Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Baby Butz

IS there anything more adorable than a sweet little baby butt? I think not! My normally happy baby only cries at 2 times - when she's tired and when her bum has a diaper rash.

 She has eczema, so it's extremely important for me to find something to treat her diaper rash in a natural way that will not irritate her skin even more.

Baby Butz Cream is our holy grail of diaper rash cream. I apply some on her bum at the first sign of irritation and typically it's all cleared up by the next diaper change! It's 100% all natural and super soothing.

The consistency is like a thick paste so a little goes a super long way. I also love that it's in a tub, not a tube, so you can use every last bit of it! It has a pediatrician gold standard and even a money back guarantee.

And Taylor likes it so that's what really matters :) You can get your own tub of Baby Butz Cream here on Amazon.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Mio Slice Review - Heart Rate Matters

I have always been motivated by counting steps and seeing my progress numbers light up on my wrist or an app - it can be incredibly motivating. On the same token, it can be incredibly frustrating when I'd do an intense cross or strength training routine and get little to no steps added to my daily total! I worked HARD for those efforts and dang it - I wanted them to COUNT!

This, combined with all of the recent buzz surrounding heart rate training throughout my friends in the running community, left me so excited to try out the Mio SLICE, a wearable heart rate and activity tracker. Slice technology is based off a PAI score. PAI stands for Personal Activity Intelligence, which is a revolutionary new way of tracking that turns your heart rate into a score. In a nutshell - it shows you how much activity you need to stay healthy.

Your goal is to maintain a PAI score over 100 for a 7 day rolling period. People with scores over 100 are said to live a longer and more healthy life.

Being a competitive person  by nature, there is no doubt in my mind that I had a more active then usual week while wearing my Slice, because heck, I knew I was going to write a post about this and I wanted an impressive score! I am just so visually motivated and having the PAI app to show me my results fueled my fire to fit in bonus activity whenever I could!

Ever had a workout that just FELT so much harder even though it's one you routinely do? Me too! In fact last week, I set our to do the same running workout that I had done the day before except that particular morning the temperature was soaring and the dew point was through the roof. I felt like my leg were just dragging the entire time! Guess what? My heart rate reflected that and even though my distance and pace were the same as the previous day, the higher temps and humidity made my EFFORTS greater and that gave me a higher PAI score for my workout. Pretty great to be rewarded for working harder. right?

The Mio SLICE gives you instant feedback on every workout and all day long. While running, I could glance down at my wrist and at any given moment know exactly what my heart rate was - I LOVE that. Open up the app and you will see it also tracks steps, distance, active calories burned, and sleep quality (how long you are in light vs deep sleep), all in pretty graph form (so easy to read and understand too!) It really helped me to have a well-rounded and overall picture of my health at a glance.

PAI tracks your heart rate intensity and shows you which activities and efforts have the greatest results on your overall health and fitness. For example, last week, we went on a road trip and stayed overnight in hotel off the beach, I got up early and ran along the shoreline solo that morning and then went back the hotel shower and got ready so that we could walk to breakfast.

I was shocked to see that I had medium - high efforts while leisurely pushing the stroller to the cute downtown breakfast joint! again, it was so NICE to see that all of my efforts were being ranked and counted, not just my running steps.

The Mio SLICE adapts to your unique growing and changing fitness level too, since it gives real time feedback, so it's not another fitness device that you'll eventually outgrow. The styling is great too and the fact that it's water resistant means I can wear (and track my PAI points) all day and night. I only take it off 1-2 times a week to charge while I'm showering and getting ready, and it charges up super quick and is ready to roll again!

I think I have finally found the best way for me to track my fitness goals and am so excite to continue using this (and maintain that PAI score!) as I train for my upcoming hilly half marathon in a couple months. Here's to reaching new levels of health with the Mio SLICE!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fun in the Sun

Pop Up Tent by Fun in the Sun - This is such a fun way for our baby to stay cool and have fun outdoors! This tent has a UV rating of over 50 SPF and pops up in a matter of seconds (it even has stakes to help securely hold it down if its a windy day!). It's nice and roomy, but my favorite thing about it was the bottom can be filled with water (using the included collapsible water bucket) providing a shallow little water "puddle" for sweet babe to splash in.

I loved how this kept my 8 month old safe and shaded, while giving her a fun little sensory play with the water. She loved kicking her feet in the little bit of water. I loved that this can be easily transported for beach vacations as well as trips across town. I'll know she'll always have a way to stay cool and play too no matter where we go.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Aftershokx Trekx Titanium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones Review

Music is a HUGE part of my running strategy. Whether it be a casual run around my neighborhood, or a PR attempt at a big race, I always have my playlist perfected and ready. My hubbie had been trying to get me to try wireless headphones for awhile when running, but I, being resistant to change and a bit stuck in my ways, have always ran with my freebie white corded earbuds from Apple. When Sweat Pink presented me with the opportunity to partner with and try the Aftershokx Trekx Titanium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones I figured now was a better time than any to see if wireless headphones were for me!

Spoiler alert - I LOVED them :)

Below are 8 reasons I am making the switch to Aftershokx Trekx Titanium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones:

1. Comfort! These headphones are super lightweight and made of a flexible titanium design, so if it weren't for the great music pumping through them, I think I'd forget I had them on half the time!! I also love the fact that I don't have to jam any ear buds into my ear, which never stay put and always have to be reinserted several times throughout a run! They did have about a week or two comfort break in period. It's sort of like if you never wore flip flops and then suddenly started wearing them fir the first time ever. It may feel weird or bothersome having something rub between your toes. That's how these felt on my ears at first. Now they are super-duper comfy, but I just wanted to throw that out there honestly if anyone else was making the switch!

2. Safety! These are super unique and made with an open air design, delivering the sound through ear drum vibrations. Since my ears are uncovered while I wear these I can still hear and be aware of my surroundings. I love this feature because I often jog in the earlier mornings and share paths with other runners and mountain bikers. It makes me feel 100% more safe knowing that I can hear someone approaching me from behind and still listen to my music! Before having these headphones, if I was running in the early morning or a new area, I would carry my phone and play music out loud. I'm so glad I no longer have to use that tactic!

3. Sweat Resistant! Trekx are IP55 certified to survive event the sweatiest runs! I have had friends with other wireless headphones that have broken due to getting too wet from sweat!! How does that even make sense? Sports headphones should be designed to survive sweaty workouts and I'm so thankful that these are able to stand up to the sweat test - especially since it's going to be well over 100 degrees here for the next several months in Phoenix!

4. Long Battery Life! I'll be honest, if something needs to constantly re-charged, I won't use it. I mean, I am responsible for keeping 2 children fed, alive, and happy, I can't possibly be expected to keep all of my electronics at constant full-charge too! That's why I love that these headphones have a 6+ battery life before they need to be recharged. That's long enough to get me through a full week of running. Once a week charging I can manage.

5. Incredible sound quality! My music sounds so incredibly good through these earphones and I have experienced ZERO skipping. Incredible.

6. They are Pink! This might be a vain reason, but I love bright and colorful workout gear and gadgets, they make me happy and motivate me too. Pink not your favorite color? They also come in blue, grey, and yellow too!

7. They come with a 45 day money back guarantee! Incredible!! I wish everything came with that kind of a guarantee! Trust me though, you'll love them!

8. Free Water Bottle! If you order your Aftershokx Trekx Titanium Wireless Bluetooth Headphones through this special link HERE you also get a free water bottle with your purchase! Two running essentials: water and great tunes!

Speaking of great tunes, what are some of your current favorites! I'm in desperate need of freshening up my playlist!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Keeping Kids Creative Week

Keeping Kids Creative week is September 18-24, but I wanted to share some fun ways that my kids and I have been keeping creative indoors during our hot Arizona Summer months because when the daily temperatures hover around 110 or higher - we all need to get creative with our indoor play :)

Zoo Keeper Sorter Box from HABA My daughter is nine months old and is so into touching, feeling, and exploring life with all of her five senses right now and that's why this toy is absolutely perfect for her! The rich and brightly colored block shapes can be sorted into the box, but only after sliding the matching little colored towards upwards.

 It's so fun to play this with her because we can practice colors, and shapes, and when sliding the little wooden doors up to "feed" the animal it's correctly shaped block, we can make animal noises together!

Or rather, I can make the animal noises and she can snort like a ping (her preferred and only animal noise of choice right now! We also love to stack and knock down the block shapes together too (another favorite baby pastime that never does seem to go out of style!)

Water Play - Okay technically this is outdoor fun, but there are seriously so many ways to be creative with water (and stay cool in the process!) Some of our favorite ways are: making a toy car or bike "Wash" with a big tub of bubbles and a few sponges, "painting" with water and jumbo paintbrushes on the sidewalk, and making our own sprinklers by cutting holes into empty 2-liter bottles and then sticking the hose head inside.

Hot Wheels Play Tape This tape is SO MUCH fun!! It's a special repostion-able tape that is printed like a two-lane road.

Joining the straight pieces with different angles and corners, and kids imaginations can create the racetrack or city street layout of their dreams! We set up unique street scape in our downstairs playroom and plan on leaving it up all Summer long!

We have all enjoyed hours of pretend play, cruising cars, tractors, and trains over the life-like street design.

 The Play Tape is reposition-able, recyclable, and safe for any smooth-surface, and really a must-have for any car-obsessed kiddo like mine!

You can also check out Pinterest too, as they always are a wonderful and never-ending source of creative ideas for children's play!