Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weekend Recap

Hoping for sun and some relaxing time on the beach, we headed up to Michigan for the long weekend.  Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, but nonetheless, we enjoyed our time away.

Thursday was cold and rainy.  K teleworked from the cottage while the kiddos and I hung out.  Despite the rain and cold, I went out for a nice run along the lake shore.  With the sound of the waves crashing, I was flooded by memories of the fun times I had here as a child.  When we were kids, my brothers and I came here every summer with my grandparents.  After endless hours of beach and waves, we played Uno, Life and Monopoly until it was time for bed.

No blue skies this weekend :(
As we got older, evenings were filled with kick the can and bloody murder.  In my college days, we'd come up with our friends on weekends to get some sun, and at night - bonfires and boozing on the beach.  This is even where K and I first hooked up.  Now with kids we're back to hours of beach and waves during the day and games in the evenings :).


Another bit of nostalgia, that evening we took the children to Timothy's (you can read K's curmudgeonly review here :) ), a fancy restaurant that K and I went to while we were still dating.  Fifteen years ago it was a hip place with great food.  I called to change our reservation to 6 (it was to be just the 2 of us, but because of the weather my aunt (our babysitter) decided to come up a day later), and to my pleasant surprise they told me they were child friendly and even had a children's menu.  It was nice but not how I remembered it - even less memorable for K - he didn't recall having gone:).  The food was good, but not great for the price, and the kids said they prefer The Road House which is our go to bar and grill around the corner from the cottage.

Gaigai (in her bikini) and Munchkin playing in the frigid lake

Next three days, more of the same.  Friday was overcast and cool, so we headed to the outlet mall and then to the beach to let the kids play in the sand.  Saturday was a bit warmer, but still threatening rain.  I went for a nice long run.  Upon my return little A bomb was down for his nap and K had made pancakes - doesn't get much better than that!  With the continuation of the cruddy weather, we decided to head home - no need to endure less than perfect weather - plenty of nice beach days to come!

Saturday's run along Lakeshore Road.

Sunday's storms cancelled Tazer's soccer game.  Finally on Monday - SUN, heat and humidity.  We went from about 40 degrees on Thursday to 90 on Monday.  Started the day again with a pleasant run, and to end the long weekend, we headed to my parent's house for a barbecue and some pool time.

Over all a nice relaxing weekend.  Kids are back to school for the final (hectic and no learning :)) week and a half of school.  We're all looking forward to summer vacation!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Road ID Winner!!


And the winner is....


Stephanie Anne from Running to Health with the comment:


Blogger Stephanie Anne said...

I would get the Road ID for my brother to wear for his first Marathon in Vermont in July.

Congratulations Stephanie Anne!!  
Thanks to all who entered my giveaway!  

For another chance at a Road ID, head over to Run for the Hills!

...sorry Kate :)


Couple other great giveaways I missed yesterday:

Auria headphones at Impossible is Nothing

Saucony running shoes at Online Shoes at SUAR


Have a great holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Road ID Giveaway and more...

Last day to enter Road ID giveaway here!




...and another chance for a Road ID at 
Run for the Hills ends May 31


Other bloggyland giveaways to check out:

Performance tank and Mesh Inset Capris at Running to Health 
ends today

Ice and compression Blitz Knee Sleeves at Studly Runner 
ends May 30






Autographed copy of Kara Goucher's Running for Women at Runninghood ends June 2








Best of Running Gear 
(tons of great stuff) at 
Run to the Finish ends June 10




So many great giveaways - sorry if I missed yours!


Good luck!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Tidbits - garlic, bedbugs and things to come

Some interesting tidbits...


Nearly 44 million Americans reported running outdoors last year (that's a 7% jump from the year before) - great news especially considering the obesity rate is rising in the U.S.






According to a new study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, women who ate the most alliums - such as garlic, onions, and leeks - had a lower risk for hip osteorarthritis.  Researchers believe that diallyl disulphide, the compound that gives the bulbs their bite, may help block the formation of cartilage-destroying enzymes.


Wearing red makes a man look sexier, says a new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.  “women take red as a signal of status and are turned on accordingly,” says Andrew Elliot, Ph.D., lead author of the study adding that men tend to view women dressed in red as sexually receptive.


Selling your house?  Spruce up the yard.  According to homegain.com, homeowners who spent an average of $540 on landscaping netted nearly $2000 more at sale.


And as if bedbugs are not disturbing enough, Canadian scientists detected drug-resistant staph bacteria (MRSA) in bedbugs from three hospital patients from a downtrodden Vancouver neighborhood.  Just in time for summer vacation travels :)




(from Shape, Kiplinger's and Whole Living, Chicago Sun-Times)


And a preview of things to come...
Munchkin wearing his new Ink N Burn tech shirt along with his Clone Trooper costume
over long pants with sandals and his popper gun :)  
Reviews:  
Ink n Burn tech shirts, 
Moving Comfort Juno Bra and Momentum Short, 
Patagonia Multi Use Skirt


Enter here to win a Road ID! 

Winner to be chosen by 
Random.org this Friday.  

Friday, May 20, 2011

Road ID Review and Giveaway



If you are a runner, cyclist, triathelete or just an active person, Road ID is for you. 
In the event of an accident, if you can't speak for yourself, your Road ID will. 
It's not just a piece of gear - it's peace of mind.


I think every active person should have a Road ID - that's why I was especially psyched to review and host this giveaway for Road ID. 


For my Road ID, I chose the Road ID Elite, Original version.   
The Wrist ID Elite just might be the sexiest ID in the Road ID lineup. With its rubberized band and watch-style buckle, this sleek ID has you covered on the bike, in the boardroom and everywhere in-between. It's perfect for all of your outdoor activities and knows how to play it cool at formal events. With the Elite, you get valuable peace of mind with a look that’s just right for everyday wear. Yes, we know, it's a bit more expensive. But, when you put it on, you'll know why you spent the extra money. Get yourWrist ID Elite today...your life may depend on it. Available in eight colors and both Original and Interactive versions. It's fully adjustable, so one size fits all.
My first inclination was to order one in black (boring), next thought was blue, but finally decided on purple because it's a bit flashier.  I went through the prompts on the ordering page and listed my name, birth year, city, state, country, K's and my father's phone numbers, allergies, blood type and for the last line - SUPER SEXY MAMA.  Pretty bold huh? Can you guess who suggested it?  The kids liked it also :).  Speaking of kids, we'll be ordering one for Tazer next.  He has shown us that he is responsible riding his bike and walking throughout the neighborhood either by himself or with friends (slowly pushing and expanding his boundaries).  I will forever worry, but a Road ID would provide a bit of assurance while he's out.  It's hard to let them go...




As for the fit, I cut the rubberized band to my wrist size.  It has a satin stainless watch-type closure for easy on/off.  I've worn it for a couple runs and while biking with no problems.  It's comfortable, and while an additional bracelet could have been too much, it wasn't.  When finished - a quick rinse and it's ready for my next adventure!    


It really does provide me (and my family) peace of mind wearing it, especially on my long runs and outside of our neighborhood.


...So for your chance at winning a Road ID:

You need to be a follower of my blog 
and any/all of the following will count for entries 
(please leave a separate comment for each):

1.  Like Road ID on Facebook,
2.  Follow Road ID on Twitter,
3.  Link/mention giveaway on your blog 
and/or tweet about it,
4.  Tell me what are you currently training for and/or
5.  Where would/will you use your Road ID this summer?

Winner will be chosen on Friday, May 27.

Good luck and have a great weekend!

Disclaimer:  I was sent this product for free to review on my blog, courtesy of Road ID, via Outside PR.  I did not pay for these items, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review.  Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Lady of the Marathon


Run Your First Marathon will empower runners with the courage to train, the willpower to persevere, and the tenacity to reach the finish line.
I have to admit, I read this book mostly because Grete Waitz wrote it.  As an accomplished runner, Grete uses her knowledge to create an informative reference filled with basic knowledge for the first time marathoner.  She stresses balance, rest days and listening to your body to avoid injury.  In the book you'll find a 16 week plan, tips on preparing physically and mentally, choosing equipment, advice on nutrition and more.   


About the authors:


Grete Waitz  is widely regarded as one of history's greatest marathoners.  She had not run a marathon before October 1978 but was invited to race the New York City Marathon as a “rabbit.”  Grete ended up winning the race and setting a world record.  In all she won the New York Marathon 9 times, a world championship gold medal and an Olympic silver.  In 2005 she was diagnosed with cancer and died on April 19, 2011 at the age of 57.  She was an inspiring athlete and incredible human being.

Gloria Averbuch is a runner and the author of numerous books, including New York Road Runners Complete Book of Running & Fitness.


At the moment I am not training for any event.  I use my running as a means to stay healthy and sane and to maintain balance.  Lucky for me I have a supportive hubby who understands and supports my needs - ACIU KOVAI!!

Why do you run?  Who is your support system?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fat Kid Tax

An Illinois lawmaker has come up with an amazingly clever idea to fight the American epidemic of childhood obesity:
The Fat Kid Tax.
"It's the parents' responsibility that have obese kids," said state Sen. Shane Cultra, R-Onarga, at a hearing earlier in the week, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Take the tax deduction away for parents that have obese kids."
Under this idea, parents with fat kids would lose their standard $2,000 tax deduction.
The loss of a hefty tax break might seem harsh. But then, it could also compel some moms and dads to stop little junior from scarfing down that entire bag of Double Stuff Oreos (taken from an article by John Kass in the Chicago Tribune).

Turns out Cultra was just joking about the Fat Kid Tax.  I think it's funny and can laugh because we wouldn't lose our tax deduction, but his comments created quite a stir.  


What do you think?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

BlisterShield Giveaway Winner!


And the winner is....
True Random Number Generator  24Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Amanda@runninghood with the comment of "I think I'll give my entry to Kate. :)"

What a great friend!  Amanda, if you'd like me to send it to Kate, please let me know :) Otherwise, send your address to womensendurancegear@gmail.com, and I'll get the BlisterShield out to you! 

Thanks to all who entered and be on the lookout for more reviews and giveaways.  
You still have a chance to win a second bag of BlisterShield at
Midwest Multisport Life through May 16.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Margaritas and Black Bean Brownies



No, not black bean burritos.  In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we had margaritas, taco salad and black bean brownies.  We eat pretty healthy - lots of fresh veggies, fruit and whole foods. Occasionally I'll "hide" veggies, or chop them finely, so they can't be picked out, but for the most part, the kids eat their veggies and other healthy foods without trickery or coercion.  But, if I can make a recipe more nutritious, and still enjoyable, I'm all for it.  


I love chocolate.  So when I saw the recipe for fudgy brownies in last month's Women's Running magazine, I had to try it.  Tazer, our oldest son, loves making "concoctions" in the kitchen, and so volunteered to make brownies with beans and hot pepper flakes (our addition to the recipe).  These were probably the healthiest brownies we've ever eaten and delicious to boot.  They call for 15 ounces of black beans and only 3 Tbs of flour.  The recipe says to refrigerate for 3 hours, but of course we couldn't wait.  




Here's the recipe from Women's Running magazine:

Non-stick cooking spray
15 oz. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. espresso powder
3/4 c. egg substitute (we used 3 whole eggs)
3 tbsp. whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 c. agave nectar
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 8x8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray.  Combine beans, cocoa powder, espresso powder, eggs and flour in a food processor.  Process until mixture is smooth - about 2 min.  Scrape down bowl and add agave, butter and vanilla.  Process until all combined - about 1 min.

Bake for 20 minutes, turning dish halfway through baking.  Then turn down temperature to 300 degrees and bake another 5-8 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with bits of batter clinging to it.  If it's clean, it's overcooked.

Let bars cool completely at room temp, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.  
Cut into 12 squares and serve.

Nutritional info per serving:  110 calories, 1.5 g fat, 24 g carbs, 
3 g fiber, 4 g protein, 103 g sodium


We made a couple substitutions and added slivered almonds and red pepper flakes.  The kids (and K) were skeptical, but once they tried them, they asked for more (except Munchkin because the pepper flakes made it too spicy for him).  With the fiber from the beans, only 3 Tbs of flour and agave to sweeten, this is definitely a recipe we'll try again.


Do you have any tweaked recipes that your family loves?

Happy Mother's Day!

2Toms BlisterShield giveaway ends Monday, enter here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

2Toms BlisterShield Review and Giveaway!


BlisterShield Skin Guard Protection for Feet

BlisterShield creates an almost frictionless surface on the foot, reducing heat build-up and blister formation. When applied to the foot, this remarkable powder repels moisture keeping skin dry and blister-free for lengthy periods of activity. BlisterShield significantly reduces discomfort and fatigue, resulting in increased performance and a more pleasurable exercise experience.

2Toms was established by Tom Lewis and Tom Judd; a scientist from M.I.T. and a business entrepreneur. Both loved to hike and took great pride in leading active, healthy lifestyles. The pair often found themselves wondering how to prevent odors, blisters and chafing. Through extensive research, their first product BlisterShield was born. This product addressed how to prevent blisters and was an instant success. In addition to great shoes and great socks, 2Toms BlisterShield is a must for preventing blisters.

I used this product on both short and long runs, in cooler and warmer conditions, and can honestly say I had no rubbing or signs of a blister.  This non-staining, non-toxic, non-greasy powder creates a water barrier that lasts under extreme conditions to keep feet dry.  The powder goes directly into your socks, immediately making your toes feel silky soft.  Throughout my runs my feet stayed dry and comfortable.  One caution, BlisterShield makes wood, tile and concrete floors very slippery!

*GIVEAWAY*

 Be a follower and leave a comment below for a chance to win some 2Toms BlisterShield!  
Mention/link giveaway on your blog and/or twitter for extra entries!  
Giveaway ends Monday, May 9th at midnight.

Also, enter the 2Toms Worst Blister Contest on FB  for a free BlisterShield sample and a chance to win a 6 month supply of 2Toms products (Kate - - you should enter your pics!).

Disclaimer:  I was sent this product for free to review on my blog, courtesy of Transmyt Marketing, via Kristin Vallacher.  I did not pay for these items, receive payment for this review, or agree to give a positive review.  Aside from information gleaned from the company website, the opinions are my own.)
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