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The Fitness Games App Review

The Fitness Games and Sweat Pink

The Fitness Games and Sweat Pink

Through a partnership with Sweat Pink, I recently was given the opportunity to try and review The Fitness Games app.  This app is available for iPhone users and uses the power of social media to help keep yourself motivated.  Inside the app, you have the ability to challenge other users or accept challenges from other users.  After each of you complete a workout, a winner is declared, usually based on who finishes the workout with the fastest time.  There are a number of different workouts available so boredom is not an issue.  The workouts are also categorized based on fitness level so it works for novices and fitness experts alike.  After I downloaded the free app, I was to be upgraded to the platinum version at no cost to me for the purpose of this review.  I honestly could not tell the difference in the 2 versions so I’m not sure if I really was upgraded or if they are just that similar. 

The Fitness Games

The Fitness Games

This app works best if you use it with friends.  I did challenge a few Sweat Pink users but as far as I could tell, my challenges were not accepted.  So, I really wasn’t able to test this app with other users.  However, I still really enjoyed using it.  The real benefit of the app for me was the tutorials.  When I first looked at the workouts, I was a bit intimidated.  The majority of my exercise comes from running or DVDs.  I have ventured to weight machines in the past but other than that, I’m pretty much in the dark.  What’s a Superman?  I read the workouts and immediately thought I would never be able to figure them out.  To my delight, I discovered short video clips showing the correct way to do the exercises, right inside the app.  I learned all kinds of new moves, things I had never heard of and things I had heard of but just didn’t have a clue what it was, like the aforementioned Superman.

The Fitness Games App is available in the app store for iPhone users.

The Fitness Games App is available in the app store for iPhone users.

I think the app is great for cross training, and I can see how it would be really fun with friends.  I’m sure all fitness enthusiasts can find something they will love in this app.  If you are an iPhone user, you can find it in the app store.  Check it out and challenge me to a workout!

Disclosure: I received the platinum version (I think) of The Fitness Games for free to review through a partnership with Sweat Pink.  As always, all opinions are my own.

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Influenster Spring Fling Vox Box

I recently received a box of products from Influenster free for testing purposes that they called the Spring Fling Vox Box.  I love getting vox boxes from Influenster because it’s like a little bit of Christmas!  Influenster is a company that rewards members who have social media influence by connecting them with brands and products to try for free.  It’s free to join and you never know what you’ll get or when you’ll be selected for a box so the anticipation makes it that much more fun!

Influenster

Influenster

This particular box had several things I was excited to try.

Spring Vox Box Contents

Spring Vox Box Contents

  • Rimmel London Retro Glam Mascara–I loved this product!  I use mascara everyday, and I’m usually not picky as to what brand.  I really only have 2 needs:  that it not smudge and give me “raccoon eyes” throughout the day, and that it not flake and get in my eyes.  This met both of those needs and I loved the applicator!  It was long and fluffy, so I could easily apply the product quickly.  The “fluff” aspect of it kept my lashes separated during application. 
    After I applied the Rimmel London Retro Glam mascara

    After I applied the Rimmel London Retro Glam mascara

    I will definitely get this again.  I saw that it also comes in a waterproof variety, too.  I will be getting that one for when I’m running.  It’s less than half the cost of the waterproof mascara I currently use for running so, bonus!

  • Nivea Skin Firming Lotion–This is another product I was excited to try.  I’m approaching a new decade so my skin is not getting any younger.  The timing of this could not be more perfect!  Right away, I noticed the light fragrance and feel.  This is a body lotion and not a face lotion.  While my skin did feel more supple where I applied the product, I don’t think you should expect any miracles.  Still, it is something I would consider purchasing in the future.
  • Kiss Everlasting Manicure–At first glance, these looked like the press on nails of the 80s and 90s.  However, they are more along the lines of artificial nails you can get in a professional salon.  There were lots of different sizes included in the package so finding the right size to fit your nails would not be a problem.  When I read the directions, one thing that caught my attention is the process for removal.  Similar to salon nails, you have to file the artificial nail down to get it as thin as possible, then soak your nails in acetone until the product basically melts off.  I admit I did not use this product for this reason.  My nails are long enough to not need artificial nails.  Also, my nails are kind of thin and brittle, and acetone basically kills them.  It would take months for my natural nails to recover from that so I passed.  I will be giving this product to a friend, though.
  • Labor Day Movie hanging air freshener–This was a promo item to promote the movie Labor Day.  It was released on DVD during this vox box campaign, and promoting the movie was part of it.  I haven’t seen the movie yet but I intend to.  The reviews look really cute.  It stars Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet so I’m curious about their chemistry.
  • Playtex Sport Tampons–What can I say about this?  Tampons aren’t very exciting.  They got the job done, but there is no way I will ever be excited about feminine hygiene, unless it comes with a trip to Hawaii or a new convertible.  Let’s face it, this isn’t going to happen so, it is what it is.

Some Influensters also received a Soft Lips Cube in their box to try, but I was not one of them.  I’ve never tried the product, either, so I can’t say anything about it other than it looks really cute.

I really enjoyed getting this box and trying the products, and I really love Influenster.  The mascara and the skin firming lotion were definitely my favorite products!  Did you get the Spring Fling Vox Box?  What was your favorite product?

Disclosure:  I received these products free from Influenster for testing purposes.  I was not required to write this post, and other than the free products, I’ve received no compensation.  As always, my opinions are my own.

Congratulations to Becky Ginther for winning the headband from RUNway Gear!

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RUNway Gear and Giveaway

I don’t know about you but I like to wear cute athletic gear when I work out.  One of my favorite things is running skirts.  I like to feel like a girl, even when sweating.  Plus, the skirts cover up my, um, backside.  Those of you who know me also know that I love theme races so I can run in costume.  That’s one of the things I like about Disney races.  As soon as I’ve registered for a race that lends itself to a costume, I get to planning.  Here is where my friend Vicky comes in.

RUNway Gear

RUNway Gear

Vicky has an Etsy shop called RUNway Gear, and she makes the most adorable running costumes.  If you can dream it, she can do it!  Some of the things she has made in the past include Mrs. Potato Head, a cowgirl, Jessica Rabbit, coronation Anna from Frozen, Dopey, and a NASA space suit for the Spacecoast Marathon, just to name a few.

Bettina as Mrs. Potato Head

Bettina as Mrs. Potato Head

Vicky in her NASA space suit ready for Spacecoast Marathon

Vicky in her NASA space suit ready for Spacecoast Marathon

Bettina as a Cowgirl

Bettina as a Cowgirl

Dopey

Dopey

She also makes super cute skirts either for racing or just training.

Love this cute skirt from RUNway Gear

Love this cute skirt from RUNway Gear

She sources out the cutest fabrics, and if you are looking for something in particular, she will stop at nothing to help you find it.  And yes, the fabrics she uses are suitable for athletic wear so no worries there.  She also makes headbands and can even customize them for you.  She can use the same fabric as she uses in her skirts if you like to be matchy-matchy (me) or she can embroider most anything you’d like on them.

Vicky can embroider what you want to make a custom headband for you or your team.

Vicky can embroider what you want to make a custom headband for you or your team.

I can see this working out great for cheer and dance teams, too.  She even makes other things runners would like such as lounge pants (hello comfort after a cold run), dish towels, and coffee sleeves.

Comfy lounge pants

Comfy lounge pants

Kitchen Gifts for the runner

Kitchen Gifts for the runner

Coffee Sleeves

Coffee Sleeves

Check out her Etsy shop here.  She also recently launched her Facebook page so be sure to check that out here.

Vicky has been generous enough to offer up one of her headbands for one of my readers.

One lucky ready will win this headband from RUNway Gear.

One lucky ready will win this headband from RUNway Gear.

You can enter by clicking the Rafflecopter link below.  Sweepstakes is open to US residents with a US shipping address only and is void where prohibited.  All entries are subject to verification.  The winner will be announced on Tuesday, July 8 and there are daily entries available.  Good luck!

Disclosure:  Vicky is a friend of mine and is providing a headband free to one reader.  I have not been provided any products for free nor have I been compensated in any way.  As always, all opinions are my own.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Coppertone Clearlysheer Review and Giveaway

I am so excited because it’s almost summer and I love it!  I love being in the sun and lazy pool days!  I love cold beverages, hot grills, and cool, breezy dresses.  Unfortunately, summer can really do a number on your skin.  I, like so many people, didn’t really give my skin health the attention I should have during my teen years.  I’ve always hated the way sunscreen feels on my skin, and even when I forced myself to apply it, I usually wouldn’t reapply throughout the day.  As an adult, I really try to do better, but I still have a hard time finding a sunscreen that doesn’t feel greasy and sticky.  So I was really excited when BzzAgent gave me the opportunity to try the new Coppertone Clearlysheer sunscreen.

I was sent both a spray and a lotion to try, also different SPFs, one was 50 and the other was 30.  Right away, as soon as I opened them, I noticed the light, clean fragrance and loved it.  When I applied the lotion, I noticed it soaked right in and did not leave my skin feeling oily at all.  I noticed the same thing with the spray.  I liked that they gave me options.  I preferred the lotion on dry skin because it made me feel like I was getting good coverage and had more control over where it went.  I enjoyed the spray for reapplying, especially on damp skin, and for applying to those hard-to-reach places.

Coppertone Clearly Sheer

Coppertone Clearly Sheer

Here are a few things that stood out to me in the product information they sent me:

  • It absorbs in seconds for a clean and light feel.
  • Its moisturizing formulas help leave your skin soft and smooth.
  • It won’t clog pores or cause breakouts, and it was even clinically tested on acne prone skin.
  • Its matte finish is perfect for use under makeup.

I also have some other exciting news!  They sent me some to share with y’all, too!  So one lucky reader will recieve a generous sample of both the lotion and the spray.  To enter, click on my Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be announced on 6/28/14.  All entries will be verified.  This sweepstakes is open to US residents with US shipping addresses only and is void where prohibited.  Good luck!

One lucky ready will win these!

One lucky ready will win these!

Disclosure:  The product and coupons were sent to me free to try and share because of a partnership with BzzAgent.  I was not compensated or required to write this blog post.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

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I’m a Bad Blogger!

I guess you’ve noticed by now I’ve been a little MIA lately.  Sorry for that!  Have you ever felt totally overwhelmed with life in general to the point that you can only focus and complete what absolutely has to happen at that particular moment and everything else gets put on the back burner?  That’s been me lately.  Between work, a huge list of things around the house that need attention, and my running woes, I haven’t really had the mental capacity to fill you all in on what’s been going on.  I’ve been doing some fun things that I’m sure you all would love to read about, and if you follow me on Twitter and Instagram you might already know about some of it.  However, when it comes time to share after the fact, I’m already in the mentality of handling what’s next on my it-has-to-get-done-now list.   I deeply apologize and hope you’ll stick with me while I catch you up.

So, here are a few of the things I’ve been doing this year (I do plan to write more in-depthly in the coming weeks about these things).

  • I took a semi-last minute trip to New York in January with a girlfriend of mine.  It was my first time going!
  • My family booked our third Disney Cruise Line trip, which will be coming up next year.
  • I once again registered as a St. Jude Hero for the Memphis St. Jude Half Marathon.  To support me, visit my fund-raising page here.
  • Over Memorial Day weekend I spent 24 consecutive hours in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World for the Rock Your Disney Side 24 Hour Event.
  • I also took some extra time to enjoy some of the special things happening during Star Wars Weekends at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
  • I finished my first distance event since being injured–the Navy 10 Nautical Miler.
  • I’ve been working with a company called BzzAgent and will be bringing you a Coppertone product review and giveaway soon.
  • I’m also working with a company called Influenster and will be reviewing their Spring Fling Vox Box.
  • I’ve also had a request from a reader to share exactly how I went from couch to half marathoner.  I’ve touched on my story a little bit but I never really shared what happened between point A and point B.
  • Finally, I have developed a summer slush recipe that my family loves and I hope yours will, too.

So, what story should I tackle first?  What are you most interested in?

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My Disney Side @ Home Celebration

This past Saturday I hosted my Disney Side @ Home Celebration.  Thanks to a partnership with MomSelect and Disney Parks, I received a kit full of fun to help me host my party.  I had so much fun hosting this party, and I think everyone else had a great time, too.
Show Your Disney Side

First let’s talk food!  I wanted to feature all four parks at Walt Disney World Resort as well as Disney Cruise Line in my menu.  So, this is what I served:

My menu card

My menu card

  • Fantasmic! Firecrackers (Hollywood Studios)
  • Farmer Mickey Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (Epcot)
  • Living with the Land Tomato Soup (Epcot)
  • Chilled Strawberry Soup (1900 Park Fare at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort)
  • Mickey on Safari Rice Crispy Treats (Animal Kingdom)
  • Dole Whip Push Ups (Magic Kingdom)
  • Nemo’s Konk Kooler (Disney Cruise Line)
    This is most of the food I served.  I forgot to take a pic of the soup but here are some garnishes I put out for it.  I also forgot to take a pic of the sandwiches after they were toasted, but you get the idea.

    This is most of the food I served. I forgot to take a pic of the soup but here are some garnishes I put out for it. I also forgot to take a pic of the sandwiches after they were toasted, but you get the idea.

For some items, I actually used Disney recipes, like the Konk Kooler (minus the alcohol, thus Nemo’s) and the Chilled Strawberry Soup.  Everything else, I merely made as a representation of the Disney Parks theme.  I really had fun developing the menu, and everything was really easy to put together.  I also used some popcorn buckets I’ve gotten in the past at the parks and put some different store-bought flavored popcorn in them.

No party is complete without great decorations!  My kit contained plates, napkins, cups, a table cloth, and swirly decorations. 

Cups, plates and napkins were included in the kit.  I also used a flower pot I bought at World of Disney last year for the utensils.  I took it on my DCL Dream cruise last year and had the characters sign it.

Cups, plates and napkins were included in the kit. I also used a flower pot I bought at World of Disney last year for the utensils. I took it on my DCL Dream cruise last year and had the characters sign it.

I used everything except the table cloth.  I had a different idea for the table.  The kit also contained runDisney/ESPN ChEar cards, as used at runDisney races and ESPN sporting events.  I covered the cards in clear contact paper to protect them, and used them as place mats. 

ChEar cards make great place mats.

ChEar cards make great place mats.

I also picked up some containers from the dollar store, added some ribbon and tulle fabric to them, and made some fresh flower arrangements for the center of my table. 

I made three of these flower arrangements and placed them down the center of the table.

I made three of these flower arrangements and placed them down the center of the table.

My finished table

I used the swirly decorations on the back drop to a photo booth I made along with plastic table cloths, also from the dollar store.

Back drop for my photo booth

Back drop for my photo booth

My friend Beth picked up some of these celebration buttons for me in the parks and sent them to me. 

I used these celebration buttons as name tags.  Beth even included a penny for good luck!

I used these celebration buttons as name tags. Beth even included a penny for good luck!

Disney Parks has complimentary buttons for pretty much any occasion and it’s not uncommon to see lots of people in the parks with them.  I thought they would make really fun name tags since some of my guests didn’t know each other. 

After we had spent some time eating and chatting, it was time to play Bingo, which had been generously included in my hostess kit.  After a few minutes, it was pretty apparent that all the cards were very similar and it was likely that everyone was going to Bingo at the same time.  It became a race to see who could yell it out first. 

We played three games of Bingo before it was time to have fun with the photo booth I set up.  HP was a sponsor of the party and had included some photo cards for my guests.  I thought it would be fun to take some pictures and play around with the Disney Memories app on my iPhone.  The kids had such a blast with it!  They enjoyed putting borders, stickers and characters on their photos with the app.

My Pic

My Pic

This pic won the day!

This pic of my mom won the day!

Later on, I texted all the photos to my guests that they could print out at home using the HP photo cards each family took home with them.

Each guest also received goodies from the sponsors.  The adults got a poster, the HP photo cards, a runDisney/ESPN bumper sticker, and a Muppets calendar.  The kids got runDisney arm bands, Craisins, stickers, temporary tattoos, and a few other things I threw in for them.

All my guests got goodies to take home with them.

All my guests got goodies to take home with them.

It was a really fun way to spend an afternoon, and I’m very thankful to all the sponsors who helped put together the generous hostess kit.  I especially love my hostess gift from American Tourister!

Decorations, gifts for my guests, and this piece of luggage from American Tourister were all included in my hostess kit.

Decorations, gifts for my guests, and this piece of luggage from American Tourister were all included in my hostess kit.

Disclosure:  I received free products from MomSelect and Disney Parks with which to host a party.  As always, my opinions are my own.

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Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day

I cringe when I hear people say they don’t eat breakfast.  For me, breakfast sets the stage for how I’m going to feel the rest of the day.  If I eat poorly, I’m going to feel bad all day.  You know the tired, dragging feeling I’m talking about.  If I eat correctly, I will usually have plenty of energy to sustain me.  Also, I am more likely to make proper food choices for the remainder of the day if I start the day off right.  But what exactly is eating correctly?

After almost an entire lifetime of dieting and trying different “food formulas” the one thing I’ve taken away from all that is what a good breakfast is for me.  It’s a balance of protein and carbs and consists of three things.  I’ll have a protein item like fat free yogurt, a hard boiled egg or a piece of cheese (about 1 ounce).  I’ll also have a fruit, usually an apple or a banana or sometimes berries to go in my yogurt.  Finally, I’ll add an entree like a granola bar, granola if I’m having yogurt, or oatmeal.  I also read lables and try to make sure my entree has a decent amount of protein as well.  Since I run and walk quite a bit, I like to sneak in as much protein as possible so my muscles have something to build with as I’m working out. 

This has been a great formula for many years for me but recently I realized I wasn’t getting enough fiber.  I’ll spare you the story of how I realized this.  You’re welcome.  In doing my research I found out that most women don’t get enough fiber.  As if they could read my mind, Bzz Agent contacted me about participating in their Fiber One Meal Bars campaign.  They sent me two boxes of Fiber One Meal Bars to try, chocolate peanut butter and strawberry greek yogurt. 

Fiber One Meal Bars

Fiber One Meal Bars

Yum!  I immediately knew these meal bars would become my breakfast entree.  When I got the boxes, I was drawn to the 10 grams of protein just as much as the 9 grams of fiber.  I was pretty much sold on them when I tasted them.  They are both delicous but the strawberry greek yogurt is my absolute favorite!  I love the convenience of them, too.  I usually pop one in my handbag to either eat on the way to work or at my desk when I get to work. 

Fiber One Meal Bars are great for on the go.

Fiber One Meal Bars are great for on the go.

In case you are wondering, I have found the added fiber to be helpful as well.  I only have one bar left of the free ones they sent me, and I will definitely be buying more this weekend!

Disclosure:  I received free products and coupons because I’m a Bzz Agent.  All opinions are my own, as always.

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I’m a Disney Side @ Home Celebration Host

Show Your Disney Side

I’m so excited because a couple of weeks ago I was notified that I was chosen to host a Disney Side @ Home Celebration.  This means that through a partnership with Disney Parks and MomSelect, I would be receiving a free celebration kit with which to host a party.  Last week I got my party kit and was blown away by the generosity of the sponsors.

This sticker let me know something special was inside my box!

This sticker let me know something special was inside my box!

I knew the kit would contain lots of items to help me host a great party, and I knew it would contain a special hostess gift for me.  However, I had no idea just what was in store.

I was thrilled when I opened my box to find a carry-on sized piece of American Tourister luggage, the official luggage of Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort as my hostess gift.

American Tourister is the official luggage of Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort.

American Tourister is the official luggage of Disneyland and the Walt Disney World Resort.

Their official hash tag #PackMoreFun really came to life when I unzipped the bag to find it stuffed full of wonderful things to help me plan and host my party.  There were decorations, plates, napkins, cups, cupcake liners, balloons and games, all to use for my party.  There were also more hostess gifts for me like measuring cups from ABC’s The Chew and cookie cutters, which will both also come in handy for party preparations.  There were party favors for adults and kids such as runDisney ChEar cards, runDisney rubber bracelets, runDisney/ESPN bumper stickers, HP photo cards, stickers, temporary tattoos, Craisins and Mickey and Minnie Valentine’s Day posters.  So much party-planning inspiration was inside that luggage!

So much awesome was inside the box!

So much awesome was inside the box!

I’ve already started putting together several ideas for my party, including my menu.  My menu will feature items to represent each of the four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), Disney Cruise Line, and a couple of the Walt Disney World Resort Hotels.  I’m so excited to host this party, and I plan to make it a great one!

For ideas on hosting your own Disney Side Celebration, visit www.disneysidecelebrations.com

I received free products in order to host the Disney Side @ Home Celebration.  The opinions expressed here are my own.

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Influenster Jolly Vox Box

Back in October I registered on the Influenster website in hopes that some day I would get to participate in a Vox Box campaign.  Influenster is a website that in a nutshell tries to find people with the most social media influence who are willing to try products for free and use said social media influence to promote those products.  Sound like a scam?  Nope! Totally legit!

Here’s how it works.  You register, link your social media accounts, take a few surveys in areas you feel you have the most expertise or interest in such as beauty or fitness, do various other tasks and watch your Influenster score rise.  A high score means a better chance of getting a Vox Box. A Vox Box is a box of products to try for free.  In exchange, Influenster along with the companies represented in the boxes wants its Influensters, as we are called, to promote the products using our social media channels.  I love free stuff.  I love social media.  Seemed like a perfect match to me!

So in December I got my very first Vox Box, the Jolly Vox Box.

Jolly Vox Box

Jolly Vox Box

In it was a sample of Puffs Ultra Soft and Strong To Go Tissue, NYC New York Color HD Color Trio Eye Shadow, Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer, Skinny Cow Candy, and Ducklings Mini Rolls by The Duck Brand.

Look at all the cool stuff!

Look at all the cool stuff!

I couldn’t wait to try all the products!  The tissue was a perfect size to slip into my purse.  The lip lacquer was so silky and the color was super vibrant.  The eye shadow was a perfect day time color and something I can easily wear every day.

Love the neutral shades!

Love the neutral shades!

The Ducklings came in very handy when I had to insulate my outdoor faucets due to record cold arctic air.

I have the prettiest insulated outdoor faucets in the neighborhood!

I have the prettiest insulated outdoor faucets in the neighborhood!

My favorite, though, was the candy.  In no way did it taste light or low cal.  Delish!

It was really fun to get this box and try all the products.

I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

voxbox-blogimage-popup2

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