Friday, July 29, 2011

(Random) Friday Fluff

Tazer and Gaigai signed up for the Chicago Kids Triathlon.  Of course it is all about fun at this age, their training consists of horsing around in the pool and at the beach, biking with friends, and running during soccer (and an occasional mandatory run around the block when tempers flare:)).  They had a great time last year, and this year some of their friends will join them so should be even more fun!

Kind of a bummer - during my last LSD with K, according to his Garmin, I'm slower and have been running shorter distances than I thought:(  Turns out my Nike+ needed to be calibrated.  Without hesitation my gear nut hubby said I needed a Garmin:)  After running a calibration run (with Gaigai), I'm back on track, but still considering that Garmin-maybe for my bday.

If you didn't catch his Wednesday post, K tried his hand at shooting (and then ate at a slightly upscale martini bar).  I'm all for trying new things, as long it doesn't lead to this...

Do your kids participate in any races?  
Have you tried a new sport/activity lately? 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


With a bit of asked, I answer.

Teamarcia asked...
You do lots of activities: which is your favorite and why?
Depending on the season - I love to ski in the spring, sail in the summer, camp in the fall and hibernate in the winter:)  I like running year round for my sanity and health.

Kovas asked...
If you could use only one word to describe me, what would it be?
stubborn :) self-assured

Molly asked...
I've been asking people this question, what would your last meal be?
Steak, salad and a glass of red wine - and chocolate for dessert

Kate asked...When did you start running?  
In grade school my father would get us up extra early before school and make us run up and down our lane for exercise (and if we missed the bus - all the way to school:)).  My real running started with high school track - I ran hurdles (because the coach couldn't convince anyone else to run them).
What's your favorite thing about running?
My favorite thing about running is how great it makes me feel - mind and body.
What's one of your favorite vacation memories?
My favorite vacation memories are from my childhood - spending my summers at the beach with my grandparents and skiing with my family in the spring.

misszippy asked...Who's faster, you or Kovas?
Kovas - when he writes he started out ssllloooooowwww - that’s due to my “pacing” him:)

*~*~* Tracy asked...Do you have a 'big running goal' qualify for Boston by the time you're 50, or something like that
No - may sound strange to some, but my main purpose of running is to keep me on somewhat of an even keel.  I use running as a means to keep fit, think through things and for a little extra bit of time to myself.  I like slowly increasing my pace and distance but not having to worry about missing a run now and then.  Maybe when the kids are all in school, I'll start more serious training.

XLMIC asked...Did you always know you wanted to be a mom?

Did you always want four kids... or do you still want more?  I always wanted at least 3.  I would have loved to have more - Kovas and I are both from large families, but for us the timing/spacing and finances are what capped our family at 6.  

How do you do the juggle? I know how challenging it is :P
I am lucky to be able to stay home with my kiddos.  My two older ones really do help with the two little ones and this summer we’ve started working more on chores, cooking, cleaning etc.  Pretty soon I will be sitting by the pool eating bonbons (as Kovas says/thinks I do now:).

Chris K asked...
1) Was marrying Kovas the proudest moment of your life?  I don’t think proud is the right word - but one of the happiest yes.

2) Where did you grow up? Wayne, Il - about 1/2 hour from where we live now.  My parents still live there - which is part of the reason we haven’t moved in with you:).

3) When you and Kovas are empty-nesters, where do you want to live?  I would like to spend most of my time traveling and have a home base close to our children (hopefully they choose somewhere with nice weather).

4) Laima is an interesting name. What is the story behind it?  I’m named in honor of my mother.

Friday, July 22, 2011

GoLite Stream Lite - Sandal Review

GoLite Stream Lite
For a day of touring or just relaxing, the GoLite Stream Lite is the perfect footwear choice. This sandal features Golite BareTech - zero drop heel and low profile sole, a contoured leather footbed with supportive EVA midsole and two fully adjustable hook-and-loop closure straps. The Sticky Gecko sole is “inspired by the gravity defying traction of geckos. More than 300 small lugs replicate the tiny hairs on a gecko’s feet that create maximum surface contact for better traction, especially on wet, uneven surfaces.”

I was so excited to be sent a pair to try - they remind me of a hip and sporty version of the sandals I wore as a child. These sandals are great for walking around town and running errands.  I love the grippy rubber sole which is both cool looking and functional. Although the sandals won’t have you climbing walls like a lizard, the sandals do provide incredible traction on uneven terrain and slip resistance on flat surfaces.  One note- they seem to run about 1/2 size large.  Comfortable and sporty, the GoLite Stream Lite is a great shoe for summer.

...and for more GoLite news check out today's post at Midwest Multisport Life - EXTREMELY SCIENTIFIC STUDY FINDS SHOCKING DISCOVERY and more details on the GoLite website

(Disclaimer:  I was sent these sandals for free to review on my blog - courtesy of GoLite Footwear. I did not pay for the item, receive payment, or agree to give them a positive review.  Aside from information gleaned from the company's website, the opinions are my own.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits-Women and Wine-Red Rules

A glass of wine a night may do more than arouse the taste buds of women...

The properties found within red wine when drunk in moderation have been shown to reduce heart disease and decrease the inflammation found within arthritis in women. And depending on the amount of wine consumption and the type of cancer, the drinking of red wine can decrease the rate of cancer.

Red wine contains compounds that help ward off pathogens known to cause food-borne illness. With wine's combination of ethanol, low pH, and phytochemicals—such as resveratrol, which is also known for its antioxidant properties—strings of E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella can’t endure the chemical cocktail.

Consuming a glass of red wine before dinner may help shed a few pounds by increasing a woman’s sense of fullness. However, it can also hurt a weight loss program because the wine reduces the focus on appropriate eating. In other words, after a little too much wine, the bag of potato chips may become irresistible.

Red wine may increase a woman’s libido. Consuming a glass of wine may diminish a woman’s stress level and increase her focus on her partner, ultimately creating a more intimate sexual experience. But can’t a Cosmopolitan do the same? Researchers believe certain chemical compounds in red wine increase blood flow to one’s erogenous areas, ultimately causing an influx of sexual stimulation.

But imbibers beware: Before you load your wine rack with red varieties in hopes of strengthening your heart or luring out your inner sex goddess, these results should be taken lightly. There are some studies with conflicting results, and as with most things - moderation is key.

Read the complete article at

Here's a little music to go along with the red wine theme...

Do you enjoy a glass of wine with/before dinner? 

Monday, July 18, 2011

You Ask, I Answer + Rokit Fuel Giveaway Winner

Colleen at IRONDIVA started it all, then The Manly Runner ran with the idea tagging Kovas, who then chose me as one of his 5 with the "You Ask, I Answer Award." 

So, here we go.   Ask me anything, no subject too serious or frivolous (but I'll only answer a limited number of questions regarding life with Kovas). So ask away - and I'll answer only the questions that I choose to answer.

ChrisK liked this idea so much that he turned this into a Blogger Award called the "You Ask, I Answer Award". The Award is bestowed to five people who have to do this on their blog, then pass it on to five others. Everyone uses the same image as the others. I choose:

1.  Amanda at Runninghood
2.  Jill at Run for the Hills
3.  The Running Green Girl
4.  Funderson at The House of Funderson
5.  Penny at Pink Hat Runner

...And for the winner of my Rokit Fuel giveaway, lucky #13

Congratulations Molly, please send me your mailing address, and I'll get the Energy Mixes out to you!  

Also congrats to Laura, from Live Well, Laugh Often, Run Much  who won the giveaway at Midwest Multisport Life.

Happy Monday!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday Fluff - Summer Running/Racing, Rokit Fuel Giveaway...

The purpose of my runs has officially changed from my leisurely (but pretty consistent) running for my sanity to training for a race.  This morning I registered for a half on Labor Day.  I'm a little worried about the potential heat and humidity (never know what to expect in the Midwest) and that we'll be in Lithuania for 10 days 2 weeks prior to the race, but I decided to go for it anyways.  Since this is my first half marathon, my goal is simply to finish it.

I've taken (been forced to take:)) Miss Zippy's advice, and started my runs a little later than normal.  My options this summer are to run early alone on the treadmill, or outside pushing the double stroller (thanks K!) with the other two on bikes.  I've opted for the latter this week and although it's been more difficult, I've really enjoyed it, plus it's getting me better prepared for my race.  With a little grumbling, we've managed to get out the door by 7:30.

Double stroller with Little A and Munchkin

Last week we did a Rokit Fuel tasting.  The family consensus - super delicious and nutritious!  Check out our reviews and enter the giveaway through July 17 -  here and at Midwest Multisport Life!

Have a great weekend!  It's going to be HOT! 
How do you plan to stay cool?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

INKnBURN Tech Shirts and Tank Top - Fun for the Whole Family

We were super excited when INKnBURN sent us all (except Little A) tech shirts.  

We all chose our own (to see K's check out his review) -

Father's Day hike 2011

Tazer and Munchkin chose the same tech shirt, but different's what they have to say about their shirts:
Tazer (10) - I love the colors and design - it looks kind of like a Transformer's thing...great for sports.
Munchkin (4) - I like it because it's comfortable and red and black and grey.

"Clone Trooper with the blaster"

and Gaigai chose one for the saying -

Check out that smirk :)
Gaigai (8):  Super comfortable, great for sports, and I love teasing the boys with the saying.

I chose the Sun Totem Tank for the cool design and for the tank top option.

INKnBURN Sun Totem Tank
The design on this tank is by artist Jesse Miller.  Jesse Miller grew up in Costa Mesa, CA where he developed his eclectic, 70's surf influenced art style.  He has worked in every possible medium - clothing, posters, cd covers, chalk, commercial logos, murals, surfboards, wood carving, and leaded glass to name a few.  Jesse was kind enough to answer some questions for me...

What's the meaning of your Sun Totem design?
This design doesn't have any particular meaning, it's more a free flow of lines arranged in a semi symmetrical eye pleasing way

Where do you find inspiration for your art?
I find inspiration for my art in nature and all things unique and beautiful, but mostly the ocean and the coast

Are you doing more designs for Ink n Burn?
I recently completed a few new designs for ink n burn and hope to do more if the opportunity arises

Do you consciously change styles when working with different materials or does your work remain constant?
For me each medium has it's own set of challenges and a certain approach, so ya because of this the style changes a bit to stay within the confines of the material. That's what makes it fun as well as challenging

Check out his work at

I have worn my INKnBURN shirt almost exclusively for running, but the kids have worn theirs for soccer, bike riding, playing and casual every day.  They are super light weight, wicking, and breathable with no scratchy tag - the tag is burned into the neckband.  Best of all they are fun, colorful and different!

INKnBURN designs, cuts and sews all our athletic gear to create the ultimate in workout clothes. The fabrics we use are moisture wicking, light and they breathe -- helping you stay comfortable as you achieve your peak performance. Our proprietary technique for getting art on our apparel creates vivid and powerful designs that you can’t feel, and that do not compromise the performance of the fabric. Our technical running shirts are great for cross-country races, marathons, ultras or trail-running. They also just feel great to lounge around in after a tough training session or race. We want to empower you to do your best, and our designs are all about personal strength and performance. Don’t disappear into the crowd... Distance yourself with INKnBURN and the Art of Running.

Check out their whole line of tech shirts, tanks, 4Arms and bras on their website.

(Disclaimer:  I was sent these products for free to review on my blog - courtesy of INKnBURN. I did not pay for the items, receive payment, or agree to give them a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company's website, the opinions are my own.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits (a day early) + FREE Slurpees

According to an article in the most recent Runners World, 3 ways to optimize summer race performance are  acclimatization, proper hydration, and precooling.  

It takes two weeks to get acclimated to exercising in the heat.  You use fewer muscle fibers as your body adjusts, so don’t push too hard too fast! 

Here's the rest of the RW pre-race/race strategy: 
  • Night before race - eat salty food with dinner
  • Drink 20oz of water 3 hours before bed
  • Check for light colored urine
  • Sleep in air conditioning (get decent shut eye)
  • Upon waking, drink 10oz
  • Drink a Slurpee on hour prior to start
  • Put on a cooling vest 30 min prior to start
  • Hydrate properly during race
Arctic Heat Cooling Vest, $220
Something cheaper else to try...
The neck is the best place to put a cooling compress so you can endure a warm-weather workout.  Runners lasted five minutes longer in a 90 degree F chamber when they wore a cooling neck collar than without the icy gear. 

Happy 7-Eleven Day!  In honor of 7-Eleven's 84th birthday, the chain will be giving away 5 million FREE 7.11 oz Slurpee drinks today.  

7-Elevn Slurpee

Tidbits taken from Shape, Women's Health, Runners World and

What's your favorite hot racing strategy or Slurpee flavor?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Rokit Fuel Review and Giveaway

Butt-Kickin' Fuel for the Body

For breakfast yesterday we had the pleasure of eating a whole sampling of Rokit Fuel products - bars, energy mixes and cereal. I try to feed my family whole, healthy foods (especially at breakfast) - and that is exactly what Rokit Fuel products are! Rokit Fuel is made with nutritious and delicious whole foods (from 9-19) including grains, nuts, seeds and fruit. With all natural healthy ingredients that are easy to pronounce and (most) readily identifiable (I have to admit I didn't know what gotu kola, maca root (both functional herbs) and pinole were), it was wholesome and delicious (and a fun breakfast at the beach)!

Munchkin digging in - thumbs up!
We all tested 3 cereals, 4 energy mixes and two different energy bars, the original and peanut.  We added unsweetened soymilk to the cereals and energy mixes.  The three cereals in their own cups were all delicious and very different in tastes.  The energy mixes were well "spiced" with nutmeg, cloves and ginger and also had very distinct tastes, but a little sweeter than their "cereal" counterparts. In addition to the wholesome ingredients, the products are portable for nutritious eating on the go.  Their energy or "booster" bars are delicious, but "NOT FOR WUSSIES".  The two bars were very similar in taste - chocolaty and not too sweet.  The peanut bar had added crunch and in my opinion a little less sweet.  (The booster bar is) similar to rocket fuel, with it's incredibly nutrient-dense, energy-loaded sustenance that your body needs when you're lookin' to push your system above and beyond your "atmosphere," or "comfort zone." This unique combination of goodness is designed especially to give you a sustained, steady flow of energy over time, not a quick "fix," and a 'crash and fall back to earth' feeling later. 

The general consensus was a double thumbs up!  Here are our "official comments" - pluses mean we Munchkin liked it...


To learn more, check out the Rokit Fuel website, FB page and follow them on Twitter.

Want to win some Rokit Fuel?  For a chance to try the Spicy Cookie, Holy Pinole!, Pumpkin Chocolate, and Stud Muffin energy mixes: 

1.  Be a follower of this blog.

2.  For extra entries share this giveaway via FB, Twitter, 
link on your blog, etc.

Leave comment for each entry.  
Giveaway will end on 07/17/2011, 
winner to be chosen via and 
announced Monday the 18th!

Want more chances to win?
Kovas is giving away the same packet!

(Disclaimer: I was sent these products for free to review on my blog - courtesy of Rokit Fuel. I did not pay for the items, receive payment, or agree to give them a positive review. Aside from information gleaned from the company's website, the opinions are my own.)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits - Fun in the Sun

Lycopene-rich watermelon
Certain foods can turbocharge your sun protection.  A 2010 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology suggests, that the potent antioxidant lycopene found in foods such as watermelon, guava, pink grapefruit and tomatoes acts as a sunscreen from within.  Women whose diets included 16 milligrams of lycopene (the amount in about two cups of diced watermelon) daily for 12 weeks showed a reduction in damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays, including sunburns and cellular damage.  Of course this doesn’t mean you can skip the sunscreen.

Vitamin D strengthens your bones and immune system, reduces your risk for breast, colon, kidney, and ovarian cancers, and regulates at least a thousand different genes controlling virtually every tissue in your body.  The American Medical Association has recommended 10 minutes of direct sun (sans sunscreen) several times a week to get that dose of D, but the American Academy of Dermatology says no amount of unprotected sun exposure is OK.  AAD recommends getting 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D through diet and D3 supplements.

The SPF number on sunscreen doesn’t mean much.  Conventional wisdom suggests that SPF will give you twice the protection of SPF 15, and SPF 100 will offer twice the coverage of SPF 50.  If only.  The sky-high numbers are a marketing ploy.

Triad of doom at the beach
Skin cancer accounts for about half of all U.S. cancers - and you can get cancer on areas not exposed to the sun.  Check your birthday suit on your birthday, or more frequently. Wear protective clothing, stay out of midday sun and use sunscreen to increase your protection.
Facts from Women’s Health, Shape, OnHealth 

With watermelon, hats and rashguards packed, 
we're off to the beach! 

What are your fun plans for the week?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Run Happy - Brooks Ghost 4 Review

The Perfect Ride for Every Stride
Brooks Ghost 4

Now friendlier than ever, the Ghost 4 embodies the spirit of running. This super-balanced wonder is at the heart of our Neutral collection, making it the “go-to” shoe for a plethora of runners. Now with Brooks® DNA, the new and improved Ghost 4 adds customized cushioning to its already generous comfort arsenal, plus Omega flex grooves for extra flexibility. Take them for a spin and you’ll become a believer.

Traditional Ethylene Vinyl Acetate™ (EVA) midsoles can last up to 1,000 years in a landfill. BioMoGo’s microbial munch rate is 50 times faster, biodegrading nutrients into reusable byproducts. Over the course of, say, 20 to 25 years or so, Brooks alone can save 29.9 million pounds of landfill waste. For you pigskin fans out there, that equals 1,277 football fields covered one shoe deep!

I love running with these shoes - so light and comfy!  I have run with these shoes outside and on the treadmill for short and long runs (the only time I had any pain was after my treadmill runs, so attributing it to the mill, not the shoes).  They are a neutral shoe, but I have tried them with my custom orthotics (not sure what kind of shoe I end up with when I wear a neutral shoe with a custom orthotic?).  I like the idea of a biodegradable midsole (a non-toxic, natural additive to the MoGo compound that encourages anaerobic microbes to munch away once it hits an active enclosed landfill) and Brooks DNA which is their custom cushioning. 

I give these shoes two (toe) thumbs up!
Great video by Brooks - check out the cameo by ChrisK in his toga!

Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for review purposes, courtesy of Brooks via Maloney & Fox. I was not compensated in any other way for the review, was not obligated to give it a positive review, and all opinions are my own. Some information in this review was taken from the company website.

Happy 4th of July weekend!!
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