December 9, 2013
*Disclaimer: The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. Although I was compensated for this review, all thoughts are honest and opinions are my own!
If you frequent the blog, you have probably noticed that I have a slight love affair with fitness apparel… especially shoes. When I got the opportunity to participate in a FitFluential campaign to review the latest and greatest running shoe from Mizuno, you better believe I hopped right on board!
I have seen the brand new Wave Rider 17 pop up on blogs and social media pages everywhere in the healthy living community, and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a pair of my own. (FYI: They were just released to the public December 5th!)
Ever since my visit to the running store back in Orlando to get myself a “big girl” pair of running shoes (to train in for long distance runs), Mizuno has for sure been my go-to long distance running brand. For the past two years, I have sworn by my Wave Enigma’s and put them on my feet any time I feel more than five miles coming on.
(You might have even seen them featured under my Amazon Favorites on the right hand sidebar if you’re an observant one!)
While I have never been able to try out the *award winning* Wave Rider 16 sneakers, the main difference in the new model is the weight. They feel unbelievably light and the company took that as well as few other factors into consideration from customer feedback when designing the new version.
• This is a neutral running sneaker, made for long distance runs. Of course, you could throw them on for a quick mile around the neighborhood, but it’s nice to know they would be a good fit for the six to eight or so miles I like to conquer at a time on the weekends.
• It’s made to feel super light. So light, that it only weighs 7.4 ounces!
• There’s an upgraded sock liner, made to provide more comfort than previous Wave Rider versions.
• Lateral forefoot sculpting for smooth touchdown and transition.
• Blown rubber forefront (outsole) with deep flex grooves for optimal flexibility and cushioning.
I received my box of fresh sneaks early this morning and couldn’t wait to test them out right away. I already had plans to take a body sculpting class at the gym, so I threw them on to end my workout for the day with a 5K on the treadmill.
I am kinda bummed I wasn’t able to fit in a longer run before submitting a review, but I plan to fight the cold weather and take them out on a 5+ mile run outside so I can share more thoughts with you later on this week.
For now, I can tell you I already love them. They feel much more supportive than the Wave Sayonaras I reviewed back in the summer, but just as light.
Earlier this afternoon I noticed a comment via Instagram to look out for changes in this model’s toebox. It is widened, and to me felt comfortable enough to wear for long distances without my toes feeling scrunched up. I ordered a size 7.5, where I normally wear a street shoe size of 7. It probably wouldn’t have hurt to go ahead and go up another half a size to feel more room at a size 8.
Overall, I was very happy with the fit of the Wave Rider 17 and didn’t have any issues with rubbing or blisters. The amount of cushioning felt just right in the middle too… not too firm, but supportive enough in the heel (where I like to feel it the most) to push me through a good run.
I love the new sleek design, which to me doesn’t scream “bulky running shoe” like some of my previous running shoes have. Be sure to check back in a week or so after a long distance run, but all in all I give the Wave Rider 17 Running Shoe two enthusiastic thumbs up!
See ya tomorrow bright and early!
December 9, 2013
Good morning! This weekend was a good one. While I didn’t have too much planned, it seemed to get busier and busier as it went on!
Seriously. Where does the time go?
I feel like it is the days I predict will be relaxed and filled with tasks and projects are the days that go by the fastest. It’s like no plans? Okay… I might as well do this and this and this and <BAM> Monday happens. My mind gets blown every time!
Reebok Custom Kicks Gift Card Giveaway Winner
As promised, I am starting today’s post with an exciting announcement…
A huge THANK YOU to all who entered the Reebok Custom Kicks Giveaway over the last week. It was really neat to read all of the different kinds of sneakers and color combinations you all would like to design on a custom sneaker! You guys are just awesome.
• Entry #717: Rebecca Monchecourt - you won by liking Reebok on Facebook!
Please email me at email@example.com with your mailing address to claim your gift card. You have 48 hours to do so, or I will be forced to pick another winner.
To keep the good times rolling, here is a recap of what took place in our lives over the weekend. Because looking back at it is something we can do to make Mondays a little more marvelous. (<- blogger link up with Katie!)
Scott and I had plans for a date night. We ended up going to a funeral beforehand, which understandably left us both in weird moods. I guess that is to be expected though. Instead of letting the night slip by, we decided a quiet dinner and a movie sounded perfect.
This time I got the Whole Grain Tuscan Linguine with broccoli, red bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, garlic, white wine, cream and parmesean.
We arrived at the movie with just enough time to get inside the theater and settled into our seats before the start of the previews for Catching Fire.
Umm, have you guys seen this flick yet? Although I haven’t read any of the books (I know, I know… I need to get on that…) I absolutely loved the first movie and have only heard great things about the second. For being 146 minutes long, it sure flew by and had both Scott and I on the edge of our seats the entire time. During the end of the final scene we both looked at each other confused, then took turns saying “that’s it?”
I really wasn’t ready for the ending. I guess we will just have to wait for the third movie of the trilogy series to come out!
I spent the morning and early afternoon at home getting chores done around the house. (<- Jealous?)
A little after 2 p.m. I needed to run some errands and found myself shopping all over the area. My first stop was at Petco. You know, “where the pets go.”
I filled my cart (which later I found out wasn’t even one from the store… whoops) with wet food, treats, and other necessities like an obnoxiously bright cat box. It’s a long story, and I will probably share the reason we need two in the house if my plan is successful.
As I proceeded to the check out line, I couldn’t help but swoon over the fluffy dog coats a few aisles over. Aren’t they adorable?
It took everything in me not to get one for Roadie. Scott has a hard enough time dealing with the one I got him last year, but these look so much warmer. I might just have to go back and get one!
On my way out to the car, I noticed there was a Michaels right next door which is always trouble.
I went in with a few items on my mind (scented pine cones, holiday ribbon, tall candlesticks, etc.) and was proud of myself for staying on track!
Eventually I made it over to the grocery store which was the reason I left the house in the first place. See anything interesting in there? I can name at least two things that are slightly embarrassing.
We’ll just keep moving…
I hurried home to get in the shower and get ready for dinner with Scott and one of my teammates at a new to all of us place in Downtown Birmingham. The restaurant was an Italian one called Bella Piatti and everything was amazinggg.
I might just have to do a separate highlight of this one another time because if I didn’t you would be scrolling through ten or so more photos. (You’re welcome.)
I loved this area of town and can’t wait to explore it more!
We went back to our place after to watch Elf, which I later found out was Scott’s first time seeing it. I couldn’t believe it, mainly because I quote it all the time and he acts like he knows exactly what I’m talking about.
He might be a cotton headed ninny muggins.
Sunday morning started later than anticipated. I guess the week caught up to me because I got up early, but allowed myself to drift back asleep for a few more hours and didn’t actually start anything productive until about 11 a.m. By then, I figured it was a perfect time to make “lunch”.
If you didn’t happen to catch this one via Instagram, on my plate was anything apple and cinnamony I could find:
- sliced apples and sprinkled cinnamon
Greek yogurt on any type of waffle never disappoints! I ended up working on the computer for the next hour or so and then went back upstairs to do laundry and get my game bag ready.
Our Pistons played the Miami Heat last night, and even though we didn’t score a win we did perform a Groovy 70′s themed halftime!
Yesterday kicked off another four games in seven days week for us. This week will be another busy one I’m sure!
After the game, Scott and I had plans to meet up with a few friends at another new-to-us place for dinner. This time it was right around the corner from us in Rochester, called The Hills Bar & Grille.
It was a neat and unique atmosphere. There were televisions decorating the walls, but the rest of the restaurant felt more on the fancier side. A fancy bar if you will.
Just like after most games, Scott came with a hungry appetite and we decided to treat ourselves. I started with a Peppermint Martini, which was actually a little too strong for my liking.
‘Tis the season, eh?
Chips and salsa followed as well as these delicious crab cakes.
By the time our entrees came, I was already getting full. I ordered a spicy chicken and shrimp dish with a side of asparagus and sweet potato fries which will always be a weakness of mine.
I am already looking forward to the leftovers!
Both the food and the company was great. I loved getting to catch up with Bri and her boyfriend Zack.
And just to throw out a fun fact I think most of you would find interesting to know, Bri is one of the few we trust to watch Roadie when we go out of town! He really is in love with her and freaks out every time she enters the house. They might be best friends.
(Singing karaoke into his steak knife, of course.)
Sorry ladies… he’s all mine.
<said in confidence with wide eyes and crunched eyebrows>
I hope to have made you smile at some point in this post today. Now go have a great start to your Monday!
Question of the Day
• What is your favorite holiday movie?
Ever since I can remember, I have watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with my family every Christmas Eve and can probably recite the entire thing. Growing up, I also loved A Charlie Brown Christmas, and of course Elf is now also a top contender!
December 7, 2013
Today I wanted to share the finale of this year’s Thanksgiving recipes with you, and I might have just saved the best for last!
As you know, I am more than smitten by anything pumpkin (especially when it involves baking!) and jumped at the chance to make spiced pumpkin bread when Scott’s step-mother mentioned she had a great recipe for it.
Like the last one, I did not alter the recipe or pull any “let’s trying to make it healthier” moves on this one. It’s actually a throwback recipe originally published in 2007. Cooking Club of America re-published it in 2010, and that is the exact recipe we went off of. Pretty legit, right?
If you’re like me, you might feel a bit intimidated when you get to the grated ginger and orange peel steps. Fret not, friends, it is a lot easier than it seems! Here’s a quick video to walk you through it.
If you don’t have that type of grater handy (like me), you can also use a peeler for this. Both ingredients are important to achieve that extra spark of fresh flavor to the spiced bread, so I hope this helps!
We put the bread out for dessert, and it certainly tastes like one with the frosted glaze on top. Plan to bake for dessert, a quick breakfast slice to grab on the go, and/or even to gift for others around the holidays… because it’s that good.
Spiced Pumpkin Bread (A Cooking Club Recipe)
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut up
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. grated orange peel
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp. milk
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. grated orange peel
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and baking powder in medium bowl.
2. Beat sugar and butter at medium-high speed 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin, eggs, ginger, and 2 tsp. orange peel; beat at medium speed until well-blended. (Batter my look curdled.) Slowly beat in flour mixture at low speed just until blended. Spoon batter into pan.
3. Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until edges pull away slightly from sides of pan and center springs back when lightly touched. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. (Bread can be made to this point 2 weeks ahead and frozen).
4. Whisk all glaze ingredients in small bowl. Pour into small resealable plastic bag; cut off small corner of bag. Drizzle glaze over bread; let stand until set.
servings: 1 loaf, 12 slices
Nutritional info (per slice): 280 calories, 9 g total fat (5 g saturated fat), 3 g protein, 48 g carbohydrate, 55 mg cholesterol, 325 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.
Oh, so delicious.
The zesty orange flavor adds such a unique and refreshing taste, even if the loaf isn’t freshly made that day.
I am really, really wishing I had more of it still around right about now…
Off to run some errands and have a productive and fun Saturday.
Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!
December 6, 2013
<BRRR!> The winter has certainly already shown it’s chilly self up here in our neck of the woods.
Since moving up north (well, technically the mid-west… but that still doesn’t seem accurate) to Michigan, I have been trying my best to invest in quality winter clothing and accessories. Last year we lucked out with somewhat of a “mild” winter and only a few snowfalls, and I admit to falling into the cheaper winter accessories and coats trap just get me through. This year, however, I sense the cold coming on quickly and have a feeling I might be in trouble if I don’t get prepared the right way this time.
Luckily, Under Armour teamed up with FitFluential just in time to give me an opportunity to review and share a handful of their warmest (and cutest!) pieces from their Women’s UA ColdGear® line.
Above I am wearing the Coffee Run Beanie, which has already found it’s way through the washing machine… twice. (Dang you, rain.) Having these accessories around has pushed me to suck it up and run in the cold, and I am very thankful to have the extra warmth of the ColdGear® lining during them!
As a native Floridian, I am drawn to anything warm and cozy when it’s cold out, but I love that Under Armour focuses on creating pieces made to be worn while being active.
While I have bought a small collection of hats and ear warmers since being up here, I only own one quality hat I can actually run in. You can imagine my excitement to see the start of my own little collection when my Women’s UA care package arrived!
The Infrared Alpinelite Beanie (right) is the type of style I adore, but would have been too afraid to purchase on my own. I’m so glad it was included because it has completely put me on board to knit hats with fun accessories like a poof ball on top. That’s right, I said poof ball.
The infrared lining is a soft, thermo-conductive inner coating that absorbs and retains your own body heat! I also love how it has an oversized fit, making it extra comfortable to wear all day long.
Oh, and that bag I am holding on the right? That’s their Define (Water-Resistent) Reversible Tote I am currently swooning over. Priced at $29.99, it’s really a great deal and a perfect gift for anyone in need of a new gym or fun and colorful tote bag (everyone).
While I am more than happy with everything in this shipment, my favorite accessory has to be the Mystique Knit Headband. It looks like it is currently sold out on the UA website, but you can still find it at Dick’s, Nordstrom, and other retailers that sell the brand.
Once again, having this at home pushed me out of my somewhat boring winter fashion ways and make a statement. I have already worn it several times this week and find it perfect for those days where I don’t feel like doing much to my hair.
If you have never tried an ear warmer style of headband, I highly recommend it. It keeps your ears nice and warm (hence the title of the style) and you hardly feel like you are wearing anything at all, making it an all-over win!
And that concludes my mini photoshoot with winter accessories for you guys. Ha! While I love any excuse to post an absorbent amount of selfies (<- totally joking), the point was to show off some great accessories to keep in mind when holiday shopping for that special someone, or even to add a few items to that wish list for yourself. Hey, I know I would be one happy camper if more (or all) of these were to show up under my tree again!
Don’t forget about stockings, either! Any item above would also make an excellent stocking stuffer and give you tons of bonus points. Stay tuned for more stocking stuffer ideas coming your way next week.
By the way, there’s still plenty of time to link up with this morning’s Friday Favorites if you haven’t done so already! Hope you all have a great weekend.
Stay warm out there!
*Disclaimer: I was provided with these products by Under Armour, free of charge, through my ambassadorship with FitFluential. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own!