Saturday, July 5, 2014

Darn Tough Vermont Socks Review

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July yesterday! Today I am thrilled to share my review of two pairs of socks from Darn Tough Vermont. "Darn tough?" you ask... "Are the socks actually that tough?" I am here to tell you YES! These socks are so tough that they have a lifetime guarantee! And if you want to learn more about what actually makes the socks so tough, look here.

Below are the two complimentary pairs I received: Mountaineering Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion and Solid 1/4 Sock Cushion.


The Mountaineering Over-the-Calf Extra Cushion Sock is great for hiking and biking on cool, early mornings. This sock is very versatile in that it kept me warm at the start of the morning, and then cool when the temperature heated up. This heavy duty sock is built to last while also being very comfortable. I love it!

The shorter Solid 1/4 Sock Cushion Sock was the perfect sock to bring with me on my backpacking trip in Ireland. I was able to alternate it with some other socks (since Merino Wool is naturally antimicrobial, repelling bacteria and odor) while it kept my feet cool and comfortable as I put in many miles walking, hiking, and exploring.

I highly recommend Darn Tough Vermont for your sock needs, especially if you're an active individual and want socks that are as tough as you. ;-)



Monday, June 30, 2014

Adventures Abroad!

Where have I been the past month? Not blogging, alas. I've been in the UK and Ireland! It was my first trip across the Atlantic, and I had a wonderful time meeting new people, learning about local history, and seeing some absolutely gorgeous places! I hope I can return some day and see everything I missed. :-) And I know this is short, but I'll have another post for you all soon!

Here are some pictures from my travels:







Tuesday, May 27, 2014

DeFeet Running and Cycling Socks Review

When running, cycling, or doing any other exercise, it's nice to give your feet a little TLC. They take a lot from us, especially with weight-bearing activities. Good socks with good shoes are a fantastic combination, and I am happy to introduce you all to DeFeet and their line of socks today. But don't think that's all they have! They have lots of other running and cycling gear too! And they were named Business of the Year (2011) in North Carolina!

I was sent a complimentary pair of the Aireator and D-Evo pictured below to review.


I loved the Aireator. It's so comfortable, lightweight, and breathable, not to mention stylish. It's a cycling sock built by cyclists for cyclists, and it was the first product that launched DeFeet and today its still the workhorse of the DeFeet line. I also love that this sock is made from COOLMAX® EcoMade, an eco-friendly polyester that comes from recycled plastic bottles.

I was equally impressed with the D-Evo! The extra cushion was fantastic. This sock is truly built for a runner with mid-foot support and sculpted forefoot and heel padding. There's even a soft, padded tab at the lower Achilles tendon. Like the Aireator, this sock is also made from recycled resources and certified COOLMAX® EcoMade to help wick moisture and keep feet dry, even during the most demanding conditions.

These socks are reliable, comfortable, and perfect for runners, cyclists, and more! You should definitely check them out.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

RAYGUN Shirt Review

Have you heard of RAYGUN? Do you live in the Iowa or the Midwest? If so, you need to know this company, and I am very happy to be able to tell you more about RAYGUN today. RAYGUN sells hilarious and unique t-shirts and other products. According to their website, "The company's goals remain unchained: create stuff that makes people laugh, save America from 10,000 years of darkness, and find a way to get out of this t-shirt thing and into something like pharmaceuticals or petroleum." Lol - I think those are great goals. ;-)

Originally from Iowa, I am especially fond of this company's many Iowa-themed products (don't worry, they've got other states covered too!).  I was sent the "Heaven" t-shirt to review, and it is pictured below.


I rate this shirt a 10 of 10. I love the design (If you haven't watched Field of Dreams, do yourself a favor and do) and the soft, comfortable fabric. I couldn't ask for more in a t-shirt.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Love My Schwinn

Winter is finally over here in Michigan, and I am making the most of the warm weather we have been enjoying recently. I’ve already taken my road bike (an older Schwinn) out for a couple 20 mile rides and love the feeling of speeding up (yes, this can be fun in moderation) and down hills with the *almost* summer sun beating down on me. Freedom never felt this good after such a long, cold winter. I am certainly not in prime cycling condition at the moment, but I think I will be back to where I was at the end of last summer in a month or so. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready for a few century rides this year after all.


What are you all doing to celebrate the end of winter? Starting new exercise regimes?


Sunday, March 30, 2014

U-Bake OATOMIC Energy Bar Review

Greetings my friends! April is almost here, and I am very much looking forward to heading outside more often and getting in some long bike rides. On my longer rides, I like to bring a snack to keep up my energy levels. I have recently found a new product that would work great for such a snack!

Lockhart Fine Foods has created a new product: the U-Bake OATOMIC™ Energy Bar. You purchase the dough (packaged in pre-portioned layers) and bake it at home. You can then easily bake a fresh, healthy snack at any time! Each 1.7 oz bar is loaded with oats, raisins, pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and ground flaxseed, and sweetened naturally with applesauce and evaporated cane juice. These tasty bars are high in Omega-3's, low in sodium and free of refined sugars and preservatives. What a cool concept!



9.5 of 10! These sweet oat bars are light and airy, yet quite satisfying. I loved the crunchy nuts and dried fruit pieces. I was surprised at how flavorful they were too! Yum! They are also super easy to make and taste even better warm out of the oven. I definitely recommend these to anyone who likes energy bars and wants to try something new. You won't be disappointed!

Feel free to check them out on Facebook too!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mexico!!

Where have I been lately? Well, I left winter and cold, snow-covered Michigan for Mexico. It was an awesome decision and an amazing experience. My first time outside of the U.S. and Canada, it was a truly eye-opening and enlightening experience. Everyone I met was very welcoming, and I loved being challenged to speak and listen to Spanish. Below are some pictures from the trip:






Sunday, February 23, 2014

Winter Recipes! Snow Ice Cream and Snow Smoothies!

I cannot believe I've only discovered these two ideas recently - one from the radio and one of my own making (though someone else has probably discovered it too).

The first idea was one mentioned on the radio: snow ice cream. Living in Michigan this winter, snow is something we have had in abundance for the last three months, so now I am finally making good use of it.

Snow Ice Cream is simple. You take 4 cups of clean, fresh snow, 1/4 c. sugar (or 1/8 c. stevia), 1/2 c. milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix together and enjoy. What a quick, tasty winter treat!


Snow Smoothies are simple too. The snow replaces ice cubes and serves to thicken the smoothie and make it cooler. I have used snow in my morning green smoothies a few times so far with great results. One example recipe is below.

1 c. spinach leaves
1 frozen, slightly thawed banana
1/2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. milk (soy, almond, etc.)
1 c. snow

Mix all in a blender and enjoy! Snow is so much better than ice cubes - it's easier on your blender and mixes so well without any little ice chunks leftover that your blender might have missed.

Monday, February 3, 2014

ePantry Household Products Review!

Greetings my fellow readers!

Today I am going to share my review of ePantry with you. ePantry is a new service that helps busy people get high-quality, sustainable cleaning products delivered to their door on a regular basis, for less than what the grocery store charges. Their goal is to give you more time to spend on important stuff, rather than worrying about running to the store for more laundry detergent.

They have a great selection of quality, environmentally friendly products to choose from, and you must admit that there are few things better than having what you need delivered to your door... especially in the middle of one of the harshest winters in years.

Below are the products I was sent for my complimentary first order. As you can see, they have quite the variety.


I was very happy with all of these products, but my favorite was the Mrs. Meyer's liquid hand soap (closely followed by the Mrs. Meyer's soy candle). This was a new-to-me product, and I think it seems like common sense to clean yourself with a product like this made of natural ingredients and essential oils. That's what I call self-care... and caring for the environment at the same time.

Drum roll please.... You're all in for a treat! Just use the code: foodfotosandfun when making your first order and you'll receive 20% off your 1st order AND free shipping until 2015. Why not give ePantry a try? It's hard to go wrong with a discount and free shipping on quality products.

Enjoy ePantry! They're "making it easy to keep your home, family and our world clean."

Monday, January 6, 2014

Coconut Secret Review!

Greetings! Do you like coconuts? Have you tried many coconut products? What about coconut flour? I've tried a few coconut products in the past but have never actually baked or cooked with coconut flour. That has now changed!

Coconut Secret "began with a heartfelt desire to create a low glycemic, gluten-free snack line for diabetics." I think they have done so much more! They provide quality coconut products for all to enjoy! Coconuts have so many health benefits for all, such as improving heart health, reducing sweet cravings and providing a quick energy boost.

Coconut Secret was kind enough to send me their coconut flour to review (picture below from their website). I was so happy with this product! It has been great to bake with so far and has helped me create some delicious gluten-free cookies that my gluten-free friends have loved! See below for the recipe. I definitely recommend this product! 


Gluten-free Sugar Cookies (Adapted from this recipe)

1 egg
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. sifted coconut flour

Directions

Combine egg, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and butter. Mix well. Stir in coconut flour. Let mixture rest for 5 mins to allow it to thicken. Form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on cookie sheet 1 inch apart. Flatten. Bake at 375 for 15 mins. Enjoy!