product reviews

skincare favorites

It’s pretty laughable that I’m about to share some of my skincare favorites, considering about a month ago I was still washing my face with bar soap and moisturizing with Honest Co. body lotion.  But around the time I decided I wanted to up my skincare game (and clearly the bar was set pretty low) I was gifted with a few random pieces that I love and wanted to share.  Happily, these are all organic/non-gmo AND decently priced.  And I really do feel like since I’ve started using these that my skin feels better and looks brighter (which is great since I’m no-makeup most of the time).

derma e vitamin A retinyl palmitate creme

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I used this at a friend’s house and fell deeply in love.  It’s thick and super moisturizing, but doesn’t feel heavy or greasy.  I immediately came home and bought it and then encouraged Dave to use it, too.  He raved about it as well.  We’re sold.  It’s for all skin types but I’m especially loving it right now, when the weather is cold and my skin feels more dry.  But once it’s on it soaks in quickly and disappears, which will make it awesome for summer, too, when you want something lightweight and when your skin isn’t as dry.

amara organics vitamin c serum

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This was gifted to me but I LOVE it.  Bonus: I feel super fancy using a serum, like a real adult or something.  I put a couple drops in my palm an rub it on my face.  It soaks in quickly and makes my skin feel tighter (in a good way).  Then once it’s dry I put the derma e cream on top.  Amazon recently had this as a lightning deal, so I snatched up a bottle to have on hand when my current one runs out.

giovanni d:tox system purifying facial cleanser

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This was gifted as well and I’ve been really happy with it.  I love that it has activated charcoal in it.  It feels gentle and doesn’t leave my skin with that too-tight feeling that some cleansers create.

And as a bonus, another item Dave and I have both been digging.

uncle harry’s fluoride-free toothpaste, peppermint

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Recently my peri-oral dermatitis came back – basically a fancy word for saying eczema around my nose and mouth.  Yes, I am just as glamorous as you all imagined.  This has shown up before – namely during pregnancy – but this time showed up when I am decidedly NOT pregnant.  I did some research and found that fluoride in toothpaste can aggravate it.  Dave and I try to buy  non-fluoride toothpaste anyway, but I’d recently mixed up and bought a Tom’s of Maine tube that had fluoride.  Anyway, Dave found this gem on Amazon and we really love it.  It’s super super minty, a little goes a long way, and it leaves your mouth feeling really clean – no weird aftertaste or gritty feeling.  It doesn’t suds up like typical toothpaste, which has sometimes bothered me in the past, but for some reason hasn’t been an issue at all with this kind.  Highly recommend!

 

product reviews

swag reviews

Last week I went to the Mother Runner party with Kimberly and picked up some fun swag.  I’ve been using quite a few of the products and wanted to give my reviews of them!

picture stolen from Kimberly
picture stolen from Kimberly

Nuun: I’ve heard a lot about Nuun so I was excited to try it, although not really sure if my smaller workouts necessitated electrolyte refueling.  But Sunday night I didn’t eat much dinner (I wasn’t hungry) and I didn’t drink enough water during the day (we were moving around a lot).  Monday morning I got up and went for a run and when I came home I felt terrible.  I couldn’t cool down and every time I stood up I felt sick.  I quickly figured out that not eating dinner + dehydration was most likely the culprit.  I dropped a Nuun tablet in my waterbottle and chugged it.  The difference wasn’t immediate but I did feel better much quicker than I expected.  I’m sure just drinking some water helped but I think the electrolytes, etc. in Nuun probably helped expedite the process.  Plus it tasted really delicious.  And now I want to try all the other flavors, too!

SkinFare: We received a little sample tub of SkinFare products as well, which are coconut oil-based.  I’ve had a spot of eczema on my face since the beginning of pregnancy that I haven’t been able to cure, no matter what I put on it.  I decided to try SkinFare.  Within 2 days it was almost gone.  Seriously!  I was really really impressed and will definitely keep using it (and keep it around for other spots that might pop up!).

SofSole socks: I’m not really particular about running socks but I do like these.  They’re really soft but not hot and low-rise but don’t scrunch down and get lost in your shoes.

Nuttzo Seven Nut and Seed Butter: I actually have yet to try this but Dave is definitely loving it.  Leo, however, had a different take.  Dave gave him a small spoonful to try and Leo made a face and said, “poo!”  Not such a fan.  But in this case I’d say Dave’s opinion is probably much more reliable.

We also received some Hyland’s nighttime cough syrup, which I’m looking forward to trying (but not looking forward to the requisite cold).  We’re big fans of Hyland’s products (their teething tablets were awesome for Leo) and love that they’re natural.  And we got some GU and GU Chomps, both of which I like (although I like the texture of GU Chomps more).

What new products have you tried lately?

product reviews

review: Best Price Nutrition

Recently Best Price Nutrition asked me if they could send me some samples to review.  Some of their products sounded like things we would genuinely use, so I agreed.  About a week later (maybe less – it was fast!) they sent us Garden of Life Raw Protein Vanilla Spiced Chai powder from their plant-based protein products.  Dave actually uses Garden of Life protein powder in his smoothies in the morning, so he was excited to try this.

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Dave wasn’t too sure about the Vanilla Spiced Chai flavor but he ended up really liked it – said it was nice and subtle and blended well in smoothies.  While he’s probably more prone to buy vanilla or chocolate flavors, the vanilla chai was pretty good!  In general, Dave is a fan of the Garden of Life Raw Protein powders – finds then blend well in smoothies or with almond milk and have good flavor (not chalky or fake).

Best Price Nutrition also sent us probiotics.

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Unfortunately these had an expiration date of May 2012, so we didn’t test them and just threw them out.  We tend to get our cultures from kombucha (I have a post coming up sometime soon about making your own – my sister taught me and it’s really easy!) and raw apple cider vinegar.  We are big believers in active cultures though for healthy digestion and also keeping away sickness.  Dave and I both feel like we’ve been sick less often since we added live cultures to our diet.

So there you have it!

product reviews · running

sports bras

Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday!  This week is busy (as I’m sure you all are feeling, too)!

I recently bought a new sports bra.  I was pretty excited about it, because it got awesome reviews and because I really needed one.  My old sports bras have been notorious for chafing the heck out of me, especially during longer runs.  I had one spot that was a continuous scab for about a year.  It finally healed while I was pregnant and not able to run as much, but I still have a faint scar on my chest from it.  Crazy.

Anyhow, during the great post-Thanksgiving sales I picked up a new bra, the Moving Comfort Fiona.

It had gotten great reviews on Amazon and on the Moving Comfort website.  Plus, I’d seen some reviews of it on other blogs – all positive.  The first few runs went well.  But around the third or fourth run things fell apart.  I actually had to cut a run short because the chafing was so bad!  Since then, the bra hasn’t seen much action.  I wear it if I’m only doing 1 or 2 miles, but any more than that and it’s a no-go.  Waste of $25, unfortunately.  At least I didn’t pay full price.

Ironically, it’s my old sports bra that’s working for me.  Or rather, my old sports braS.  I’ve been layering my sports bras two at a time and it’s working perfectly!  I use two of the C9 by Champion sports bras (available at Target).  Bonus: they come in lots of fun colors and are cheap!  For the first time I’m not chafing at all.  It’s a beautiful feeling to get in the shower after a run and not feel like screaming!

Now that I’m using sports bras two at a time I definitely need to pick up a few more.  I own an embarassingly small amount of sports bras that I just wear multiple times before washing.  Kind of gross.  Even grosser now that I’m in the 100 day challenge and I’m running every day!

What sports bras have worked for you?  How many sports bras do you own?

Dave · guest blogger · product reviews

guest blog/product review: Dave Reviews Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil

I added another way to enter the favorite things giveaway – be sure to check it out and see if you can enter again!

I received this jar of coconut oil to review for the blog.  Because I don’t use coconut oil that much (except for popcorn – which I haven’t wanted much of lately – and on my face) I had Dave do the review.  He uses coconut oil on a daily basis in multiple ways..

While it’s hard to argue with FREE (we unexpectedly recieved this giant “sampler” for free in the mail one day), I must admit the taste of Tropical Traditions Virgin Coconut Oil is a bit of a letdown. It simply doesn’t compare with it’s organic competition. I wouldn’t have thought that that the organic thing would have made that big of a difference in taste. I was wrong.
     Tropical Traditions tastes like “Yum….eww, maybe not.”

     Nutiva tastes like “Wow…who needs a spoon?”

For the record, I don’t eat coconut oil straight up. I put it primarily in smoothies and on ice cream. However, if I were to do such a thing (akin to the way I demolish peanut butter), I would be much more friendly with Nutiva than with Tropical.

However, since I am not above free, I have been eating Tropical Traditions nevertheless. What? I put it in other stuff to mask the flavor. It’s not like I eat it straight up or anything. That would be gross…

giveaway · product reviews · running

review (and giveaway!): runningskirts.com

This giveaway is now closed.

I noticed recently that runningskirts.com has some new maternity running skirts, so I asked them if they would be willing to send me a skirt to try and review.  They were!  Today in the mail I received a bunch of awesome stuff to try out!

Obviously I can’t wear the stuff out for a run at the moment due to my recent hip issues, but I’m totally in love with all the pieces.  They fit really well and they’re super soft and comfortable.  The tank top will be AWESOME for hot summer runs (or walks) and the skirt is so cute I’d wear it just for running errands and hanging out!  Plus, the shorts underneath will be great to prevent chafing.  It’s also actually the first piece of maternity clothing I have that has the full-belly panel – which is really comfortable!  I started out today wearing a sundress but as soon as I got all these I put them on and I don’t plan on taking them off!  I can’t wait to wear them on a run (or walk… depending how hip issues shape up)!

I have had one skirt from runningskirts.com before and while I really liked it, it ended up being just a little too small and too short for me.  I gave the skirt to my sister since she has smaller hips and shorter legs.  But runningskirts.com now has athletic skirts that are a little longer, so if I would get a skirt post-baby I would probably opt for an athletic skirt for a little more coverage.

The sizing for runningskirts.com runs a little small, in my opinion.  The skirt I received is a large, for sizes 12-16, and fits me perfect.  All my maternity clothes that I’ve bought, however, would put me in the runningskirts.com size medium range.  I’d recommend going up a size in bottoms, at least for the maternity skirts.  If you’re buying a non-maternity running skirt I’d strongly recommend you go by the inch measurements NOT the pants size guide for a more reliable fit.  The tops sizing seem pretty accurate – the tank and long sleeve top are both mediums, for bust measurements of 35-36″, which is correct for me right now.

The even better news?  Runningskirts.com has offered to give away one maternity running skirt!  There are a couple ways you can enter:

  1. Go to runningskirts.com and tell me what skirt (maternity or non-maternity) you love the most (+1 entry).
  2. Become a follower of my blog and leave me a comment telling me – or leave me a comment if you already are a follower (+1 entry).
  3. Mention my giveaway with a link back here on your blog (+1 entry), twitter (+1 entry), or facebook (+1 entry).

Even if you’re not pregnant you could score a great skirt for a friend!

The winner will be randomly drawn from the comments and I’ll announce the winner Tuesday morning!

mosie · product reviews

the love glove

Last week we bought Mosie the love glove off Amazon.com.  Mosie sheds.  A lot.  Especially right now (spring, baby!).  She also hates the hairbrush we got her (haaaaates it).  The love glove had some promising reviews, so we decided to go for it.  $10 later…

Mosie loves it.  She purrs when we pet her and does this really fun flat-body thing underneath the glove.  After awhile she’ll also try to bite it, but she seems to love the love glove back.  Hooray!

Yesterday Dave and I pulled 3 love glove’s full of hair off her.  Gross.  But today we both noticed that she looked much better – her coat was shinier and there were less clumps of hair just sitting on  her back.  Excellent!  I think for now we’ll be trying to brush her about once a day.  Hopefully it will also cut back on all the shedding on the couch, our clothes, etc.!

In other news, the laundry drying rack has moved back outside!  Which means more of this to come!