Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bondi Band and Sweaty Bands!

What to do with your hair while exercising??  Use a Bondi Band or Sweaty Band of course ;-).  I was lucky enough to be sent complimentary samples of both of these products to review on my blog.  First, I'll review the Bondi Band for you!

Some info. from Bondi Band's website:

Their goal is to "offer comfy, colorful, and creative headbands to fit every lifestyle and personality."  They have bands for men, women, kids, AND dogs!

"By using stretchy and breathable material, we allow Bondi Bands to fit virtually every head size comfortably and fashionably."

They even donate 10% of their pretax profits to charity!   For 2009 they chose the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Here are pics of the 2 Bondi Bands I was sent:

10 of 10.  These were super comfortable AND stylish!  Though I think I'd say "I eat so I can run"... but that just doesn't sound right, does it?!  These bands also stayed in place and kept my hair out of my eyes quite well.  They work especially great for biking.

Now for some info. about Sweaty Bands from their website:

These bands are "uniquely designed for women and girls who want to show their style, even when they sweat a while!"  They come in MANY colors and designs, as you can see here!

Here is the band I was sent:

10 of 10 too!  I loved the stylish design and was also impressed by how well the band stayed in place.  I have trouble making thin bands like this stay put on my head, but the Sweaty Band's design worked like a charm.  It also kept the sweat out of my eyes while I was running!

Now, how about some food! 

I finished the my last 2 Dr. Kracker boxes that I had been sent to sample :-(.  I'll have to keep an eye out for them when I'm out shopping (unfortunately the stores in my town don't carry them).  Here are my final reviews:

Klassic 3 Seed Flatbreads

9 of 10.  VERY seedy (as you can see!), thick, and hearty - hmmm.... I'm noticing a pattern ;-).  They were satisfying alone, but tasted best when topped with PB and jelly or hummus.  The flatbread is so big, it's just begging to be topped!

Pumpkin Seed Cheddar Flatbreads

9.5 of 10.  Pumpkin seeds and cheddar - who knew?!  It's a great combination, and I wouldn't recommend PB and jelly on this one ;-).  Hummus does work though... or cheese... or just plain!

And I'll end with some fresh lettuce from a neighbor's garden.  It is delish!

P.S. While I've never tried Holey Donuts myself, I have heard many good things about their tasty low fat and low calorie donuts.  Their "patented cooking process avoids deep frying, creating a light, fluffy donut with as little as 3-4 grams of fat and 150-250 calories."  They are "hand-made, flash frozen and delivered via express mail to arrive at your door, picture perfect and delicious!" (source)

If you'd like to try them for yourself, I suggest taking advantage of the upcoming sale they'll be having:

"Save a whopping 53% July 1st and 2nd only! How - Go to and select any 3 or more assortments in your cart (strict LIMIT of 4 assortments per order), enter the code BS53 in the coupon code box at checkout, click recalculate, and watch 53% come off your total!"


Saturday, June 26, 2010

EasyLunchbox System: An Eco-friendly Lunch Box

I was recently sent a free EasyLunchbox System to review on my blog.  I'd already seen it on a few other blogs, so I was excited to try it for myself!  Here are some bits of info. about the EasyLunchbox System (taken from their site):
  • They're BPA-free, SAFE and environmentally friendly, too! You'll find it easy to 'go green' by using EasyLunchboxes for a waste-free lunch.
  • It's the green, sack lunch alternative — sized just right for kids and adults.
  • No more messy (and environmentally unfriendly) plastic bags, good only for a single use.
  • These lunch boxes nest inside each other when not in use - taking up little space!
You can find many FAQs here!

Now for some pics I took of my EasyLunchbox System:

In the last picture, I used a different plastic container since I wanted a BIG salad - and it fit in the bag perfectly too!  You can see other great lunch ideas for these containers on the website here!

This bag is really the perfect size.  It may not be as fancy as other lunch boxes, but it is sleak and sturdy.  There are five bright colors to choose from too.  Overall I give the EasyLunchbox System a 10 of 10 because of the high quality construction, the BPA-free stackable containers, and the ease of use.  This system is even fairly economical!

AND.... EasyLunchboxes has offered to allow me to host a giveaway for a container set and one lunch bag to one of my readers!  That will be coming up soon, so stay tuned!

Have a wonderful Sunday :-).

AND... you may want to check out Gina's sweet giveaway for flax seed, Truvia, snack bars, and more here!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

CSN Review to come!

CSN Stores has generously offered me a $40 gift certificate to use towards a purchase (I can choose from lights, furniture, exercise equipment, cookware, and MUCH MORE!) at any of their 200 + websites!  I will then review my purchase on this blog for you all.   I wonder what I'll get....

Until then... how about some pictures of my family's new kitten!  I named her Elphaba (Elphie for short) from the musical Wicked!  Elphie is SOO fun to play with :-). 

I'll have a longer post in the next couple of days.  The weekend is almost here!


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Yantra Mat and Kettlebells

More new products!  First, I was sent a complimentary Yanta Mat to review from Yantra Mat USA.  The Yantra Mat has 8,820 to 14,616 acupressure points depending on the size of the mat!!  The webiste states:

"The healing art of acupressure has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. Scriptures written over 4,000 years ago describe "nail beds" that were used to heal the body and mind."

"Acupressure may even induce the release of endorphins and oxytocin, the body’s own pain-relieving and happiness hormones. And there is some evidence that it increases metabolism as well."

Now for some pictures so you can visualize what I'm talking about:

The website's FAQ section states:

"In minutes, you’ll feel warmth along the parts of your body touching the mat. That’s an increase in blood flow, a natural response to acupressure. More blood flow means improved circulation – and more nutrients throughout the body, including oxygen. This in turn lowers your blood pressure, producing a deep sense of relaxation.

The Yantra Mat also activates your body’s pain sensors, instructing the brain to release endorphins and oxytocin, your natural pain-relieving and “feel-good” hormones. Your anxieties dissipate. Relaxation deepens into peace and tranquility – making the mat especially suitable if you have trouble sleeping."

Well, I do get stressed out and sometimes I have trouble sleeping, so I figured this mat was worth a try.

First Time: I placed a thin towel over the spikes and then lay down on my back.  I didn't feel the spikes much though, so I decided to remove the towel - MUCH BETTER.  I stayed on the mat about 5min. and then got off since I didn't want to lay down too long for my first time.

Second Time: No thoughts of using a towel at all :-).  I lay down on my back again for about 6min.  This time I repeated some positive mantras in my head in order to better relax and keep my mind from wandering.

Both times I immediately felt the warm sensation along my back where I was lying on the mat.  I loved it!!  It was just a tad uncomfortable, but I know I'll get used to it soon.  I am definitely looking forward to longer sessions on the mat! 

I give The Yantra Mat a 10 of 10.  The mat is everything the website advertised, and I have enjoyed my experiences thus far.  I'll give an update later though after I've been using it for longer periods of time.


Another new product I recently tried is a 15lb kettlebell.  I've been wanting one for awhile, so I finally purchased one from a store and did my first workout with it today.  I used Fitness Magazine's "The Amazing 37-minute Workout".  It worked well, but I do think I should practice the techniques before doing a full workout (I guess I was a bit too enthusiastic)! 

Does anyone know of some good kettlebell techniques and workouts that I can find online??

Happy Hump Day!!


Monday, June 21, 2010

Iowa Farmland - my humble opinions

It's been a few too many days since my last post, but in my defense I've been busy!  In fact, I visited my grandparents to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary with my family this past weekend, which was lots of fun :-).

On the drive to their home, my parents and I drove through miles and miles of Iowa farmland.  At first I was struck by the beauty of the lush green fields, the rolling hills of beans and corn, and the streams running through the valleys. 

But then I started to reflect more deeply on the landscape around me.  We (humans) made all of this.  It used to be rolling hills of prairie with wild deer, pheasants, rabbits, and many other animals.  Oh, many of those animals are still here, yet it is much more common to come across grazing cattle and feedlots.  Hmmm, that doesn't seem right to me....

I was just thinking: What made us think we had the right to so thoroughly transform the land to suit our nutritional needs more efficiently?  Why do we tear up the land and spray it with harmful chemicals that end up in our streams and rivers?

Well, I suppose the above actions allow us to feed the U.S. and the world...  but wait, almost all of the corn in the fields of Iowa goes to feed cattle, not people.  But the cattle feed people, right?  Yes, but is that really the most efficient way to feed our population?  I've heard from multiple sources that it actually takes more energy to produce meat than vegetables.  For instance, it is said to take "5,000 gallons of water to produce a pound of California beef, compared to 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat."  There are other facts, including the former, on this website.

Now, I'm not vegetarian, although I defnitely respect vegetarians, vegans, etc.  I believe that meat really does have some great nutritional value, but I also think that most Americans eat too much meat.  I'd personally rather eat local farm fresh eggs or venison than meat or eggs from the store.  Unfortunately, sometimes that is unfeasible with my current budget and location. 

DISCLAIMER: I am no nutritionist or such, and I definitely have a lot more to learn about our food and agricultural system.  I simply wanted to share my current views and see what others have to say.  I love the blogger community for its wide range of opinions.  I've learned so much since entering the blog world!

Well, that's enough of my personal opinions for today's post.  I'd love to post more of my thoughts at a later date though, especially if you're interested (which you may or may not be!).

How about a recent recipe experiement?

I made my first homemade laraballs, as can be seen on other blogs such as Healthy Exposures here!

My mix included homemade nutbutter (walnuts, almonds, and coconut oil) and dates.  And no, I didn't measure this time... just threw everything together into my food processor.  I think I may have added too many dates and not enough nutbutter, but it was great for a first try.  Maybe I'll use a real recipe next time ;-).

Hmmmm, they may not look super tasty, but they were pretty good :-).

Hope you all had a great weekend.  I'm hoping to write a few extra posts this week... we'll see how that goes :-).


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Some new products!

First, I'm super excited to share that I finally bought myself a foam roller!  It's a 24in. Altus foam roller, and I tried it last night and loved it!  It perfectly complements my Yoga Tune Up balls :-).  I'm so happy to have joined all you other foam roller owning bloggers.

I was also recently sent a scale free of charge to review from My Weigh.  This site has SO many different types of scales - it's amazing!  They also happen to be the #1 selling brand of talking scales in the US and Canada (I don't think I'd like a talking scale though!).  I was actually sent the KD-8000.  Here are its specs:

  • Great for the home, office, laboratory, workshop, classroom & more!

  • Precise 1g/0.05oz readability

  • Reads in grams, ounces, kilograms, pounds & pounds: ounces

  • Programmable power-off feature

  • Optional AC Adaptor

  • Easy-to-read backlit 5-digit LCD display

  • Protective removable LCD cover

  • Runs on 3 AA batteries

  • Adjustable backlight feature

  • NEW! Baker's Math/Percentage Weighing
Here are a couple pictures:

My initial rating is a 10 of 10!  I'll continue to show this scale in future posts when I use it in recipes and other projects, and I'll let you know if I have any issues, but so far it's working great, and it's a fun scale to use!  The size is great, and it has a truly easy-to-read backlit display.  It's also very "professional" looking, and it has a lifetime 30-year warranty - you can't get much better than that!

I also finally got around to using my second free packet of PureVia sweetener that I was sent to review.  I decided to add it to some plain yogurt, and the result was fantastic!  Here's the yogurt I added the packet to:

10 of 10 for the PureVia!  It totally got rid of the plain yogurt's sour taste and replaced it with a wonderful sweetness.  It made me quite happy :-).  Usually I just add fruit to plain yogurt to sweeten it, but it was nice to try something new.

Here's a close-up picture of a Barberry Bush in my parents' yard after a heavy rain.  I just love rain droplets on leaves!

I hope you're all enjoying some nice weather and good eats!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Frodo and Sam

Now that I'm at home, I think I should share some pictures of my family's cats with you all.  We have two cats named Frodo and Sam (after The Lord of the Rings characters!).  They are both quite large and fluffy, but especially Sam!  Sam is pictured below.

And now for Frodo!

Aren't they adorable?! 

Now for some food reviews with more Newman's Own Organics and Dr. Kracker.

Newman's Own Organics Protein Pretzels

9 of 10.  They tasted like regular pretzels: very crispy, crunchy, and salty.  I did like how they had extra protein though.  My mom also liked them and said they tasted like your typical pretzel.

Dr. Kracker Seedlander Snackers

10 of 10!  No overpowering flavors, just a delicious seedy and grainy cracker!  I especially loved the pumpkin and poppy seeds - they look pretty too ;-).  These can be eaten with any topping or just plain.  I also enjoyed their hint of sweetness from molasses.

Seeded Spelt Snackers

9.5 of 10.  Very seedy and rich with a complex grainy flavor.  You can definitely pick out the sunflower seed flavor though, which is strong and quite tasty!  These were great with peanut butter and jelly, as pictured above :-).

Question of the Day:  Are you a cat or dog person?  I like both, but I like cats a wee bit more :-).


Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Newman's Own Organics!

It's time to share more reviews of the complimentary Newman's Own Organics products I recevied to review on my blog :-).

Fig Newmans (Great name if I say so myself!)

9 of 10.  Soft, chewy, and fresh with a great texture.  It definitely reminded me of a Fig Newton with the sweet gooey inside!  My family agreed that they tasted like Fig Newtons.

Hermits: Original

8.5 of 10.  I liked that these didn't have the sugar sprinkled on top.  Still, they were quite sweet with a strong, rich molasses flavor.  They were soft, fresh, and chewy and absolutely loaded with raisins - maybe too many, but that's just my opinion :-).

Now for Newman's Own Organics 2 versions of "crack" (at least for me!!)...

Barbeque Soy Crisps

9 of 10.  Yeah, they're like crack, but I still wasn't happy with the amount of sodium they contained :-(.  Otherwise they had a great BBQ flavor, were quite crispy and crunchy, and were slower to dissolve than the cheddar flavored ones.  And the protein's an added bonus!

Chocolate Newman-O's

10 of 10!!  Seriously, these were way too tasty - it has to be some sort of crime to make a cookie taste so good ;-).  These were rich with 2 crispy, crunchy chocolate cookies sandwiching a creamy, smooth, and sweet chocolate filling.  The 2 distinct chocolate flavors melded together to make a great combo that delighted my tastebuds! 

Most of these Newman-O's were consumed with homemade nutbutter (pictured below) on top... which made them even more sinfully delicious!

A pretty picture I took of a yellow rose in my parents' yard:

Have a fabulous Sunday!