Metaball Fitness System

A while back I was asked if I wanted to test out the new Metaball Fitness System. It looked like a pretty cool setup, so I agreed. This system is amazingly diverse, and sadly I barely scratched the surface of how to use it during my time with it.

Disclaimer: This system was sent to me so I could test it for the site. And then I sent it back. Holding it while standing in line at FedEx was a nice little workout itself!

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So the basic idea is that it is a compact set of weights and tools that is designed to replace a whole range of fitness equipment, giving the user a diverse home gym for a much cheaper overall price tag.

All the equipment a Metaball replaces

I admit that I was surprised at just how compact it was when it arrived. It’s all tucked neatly inside a small bag. The system is built extremely efficiently!

Metball bag, full of all the components.

It’s easy to use as well, everything just snaps together or apart the way it should. It even comes complete with several workout options on DVD and poster exercises too. The system is selling for “three easy payments of $69.95″ right now in its pre-sale period. Then in 2015 it will be released to the general public for its regular price. Pre-sale orders are guaranteed to arrive by the holidays.

The Metaball Fitness System is the brainchild of fitness expert Greg Plitt.  Greg has appeared on the covers of more than 200 fitness magazines and 25 romance novels in the last four years. That’s an awesome resume line! I had the opportunity to ask Greg a few questions and he was kind enough to answer them:

Why Metaball? What made you decide that this was the way to package a workout tool?
– Metaball Fitness System is the first exercise equipment I’ve actually put my name because I believe in it. Whether you’re working out at home, in the gym, in your backyard, on the beach or in a hotel room, it really travels with you which is an important factor for being able to stay in shape regardless of a busy lifestyle.

How did you come up with the concept? Did you have to go through a lot of versions to settle on this one?
– I wanted to take out the excuses a lot of people have for why they can’t get in shape — whether it’s time or money. Seven years in the making, the finished product meets my 100% approval.

What’s your favorite move to do with the Metaball?
– Wow-that’s hard to say since it can do so much but if I had to choose, I personally like using the Metaball for rotating push-ups; the Metaball breaks down in half to two rotating handles to really get that perfect push up in your work out.

How would you recommend a distance runner incorporate the Metaball into their training regimen?
– The Metaball is a perfect tool for someone adding weight or strength training to their regimen, especially for a runner. While you are going to get that great fat burning and cardio with running, Metaball will allow you to train targeted areas on your body to increase strength in your stride.

If you’re looking to stock a home gym in a small amount of space or for not that much money… or if you’re looking to supplement everything you’ve already got or replace some of that stuff, the Metaball Fitness System is a VERY cool option.

Armpocket Racer and Ultra i-35

I’ve mentioned on here that I upgraded my iPhone 5 to the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 is bigger… as such, I needed a new way to carry it. The timing of this is all so fortuitous… I was recently asked to be an ambassador for Armpocket armbands! I used my first Armpocket way way way back in 2009 or so and it’s something that I have purchased for myself. As part of my newly appointed ambassadorship (that sounds so formal, huh… I need a coronation ceremony!) I received some new Armpockets.

Armpocket i-30 and Racer both hold an iPhone6

Both the Racer and the Ultra i-35 are large enough to hold the new iPhone 6 (not the 6 Plus… I can’t imagine wanting to carry that one around ever. But if you do, they’ve got it covered… their Mega i-40 will do the job!)

The Armpocket Racer™ is an ultra-thin sport armband ideal for the minimalist.
The Armpocket Ultra i-35 is more in line with their typical designs.

Some of the standard features of the Armpocket family:

  • Water and sweat resistant, with a large storage compartment to carry what you need
  • Touch-through screen for “on the move” device operation
  • Available in 3 strap-lengths, as “one-size” does not fit all: Small for arm size 7″ – 11″, Medium
    for arm size 10″ – 15″ and Large for size 13″ -18″.
  • Audio ports—allows you to easily connect your headphones to your phone or device
  • Double pull zippers- allows easy “on the run” access – and “top-side” ear-bud wire access^
    (Racer has sport Velcro closure)
  • Durable, comfortable, and securely carries multiple items—does not bounce
  • Does not slip: ultra soft – padded with breathable memory foam” contours to your arm
  • Moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial, natural bamboo rayon back and vented strap- keeps you cool and dry
  • Eco-friendly – primary fabric is constructed from recycled plastic bottles (PET), and uses bamboo rayon
  • Versatile – great for running, hiking, hiking, running errands, traveling and more!

I may be the exact opposite of how these Armpockets are labeled. The Racer is more of an everyday, going running straight from my front door holder for me. It’s minimal and won’t hold much beyond my iPhone6. The top doesn’t use the zipper enclosure, instead it has a velcro flap. I’m not entirely sold on it, but I can see the point with the minimal design. It’s a tight fit on this one with my iPhone in a very slim case. Basically, I have to put the phone in the Armpocket Racer first, then strap it to my arm.

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On the flipside, the i-35 is bigger and will hold more. Which means if I’m going to a race, I can stash my car key in there, or a pre-packed face wipe for post race or some gels or… well, you get the picture. Basically, it’s more accommodating!

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Over the years, I’ve found that when the Armpockets are brand new, they tend to still be a little stiff. They need some wear time to really learn to contour to your arms. After several good sweat sessions, the memory form tends to start molding to the shape of your arm a little bit quicker and they become more and more comfortable over time.

I may be a little weird, but I don’t like to use the headphone port on the Armpocket armbands. Since Apple moved the headphone jack from the top to the bottom of the iPhone, I’ve been putting my iPhone in my Armpocket upside down. Plus with the larger Armpocket, like the i-30, if I do this I can easily unzip it, grab the phone for a quick photo without worrying about unplugging the headphones and/or rethreading it through the port on the go. But the thing is… they’re versatile enough to allow for this practice!

Currently they’ve got a free domestic shipping promo going on their site, so if you’re one of the many who have moved to larger phones over the past, check them out. It’s a way to carry your device (and more) without bulky waist packs. (Okay, it’s adding bulk to a different place, your arm… but it’s comfortable!)

You Need to #OpenYourEars

I have been harping on this for years now… Pay attention to your surroundings when you’re out on your run! (Or walk, or bike ride, or if you’re a high school kid walking across the street in front of parents who are picking their kids up from a nearby school and you just drift across streets without ever looking up from your phone while wearing giant headphones…) From recently talking about it…

… to years back when talking about my time coaching Team Challenge and how runners would be completely unaware of us coaches running up to talk with them until we’re right in their face. It really bothers me to see people being so cavalier about their own wellbeing.

So when Panasonic reached out to me to test and share their Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones and the #OpenYourEars campaign I was very excited. First, I’d never tried an ear-bone conduction headphone (I usually run with a single earbud) and was intrigued to see how it works. Second, obscuring your sense of hearing while running is my pet peeve. If I was a Mrs Running America pageant contestant this may be my platform issue.

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I wasted no time in opening the box, pulling out the headphones, plugging them into my iPhone and starting up a song. I heard the song just fine, so I asked my husband, “Can you hear my music?” And he looked at me and said, “It’s all in your head. There’s no music.” He’s a smart aleck. But it’s still kind of strange, to have your ears completely open and hearing the music just fine but nobody else can hear it. I loved that!

So I took the open-ear headphones out on a run. And then another, and another, and another. I really like them, they are quite comfortable and don’t bounce around at all. I have found that when you are listening to a podcast/audiobook/spoken word and a noisy vehicle drives by, you tend to miss some of the words as you really do hear the road noise more. So if that is something that really bothers you, try these anyway and keep your audio that needs close attention for other times!

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So how does the ear-bone conduction work? Basically, it transmits sound vibrations directly to the inner ear through your cheekbones. So without covering up any part of your ear canal, you still get the benefit of great sound. And your ears are open to hear cars, cyclists, other people, dogs, etc. that are around you.

They are lightweight and even though they are not adjustable to snug right up against the back of your head, they don’t move when on. They have reflective strips on the sides and back to help increase visibility in night/low-light conditions. They are water/sweat-resistant and can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

wearing the panasonic open-ear headphones

The only complaint I have about them is how long the cord seems, I feel like I could wear a calf strap to hold my phone, plug the headphones in clear down there and it would be fine. Well, that’s an exaggeration… but there is plenty of cord to go around here. Just jam it down your shirt, it will be fine.

Another thing that would be a “nice to have” feature is an inline remote. If I’m going to have all that cord, I might as well be able to control my tunes with it and take calls.

The headphones retail for $79.99.

In addition to the headphones, Panasonic was kind enough to send me a bag of schwag. Some of it is general precautionary things runners might need: GU, BodyGlide, sunscreen. But they also sent some items that are visibility-specific. Reflective headband, light-up armband, bright-reflective waist belt. All of it came bundled in a nice big Land’s End tote. Thank you Panasonic for sending me the headphones and all these goodies.

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Panasonic sent me the headphones for free to review, but it was in regard to a need that I feel particularly strong about and all opinions are my own.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Cancer Needs to be Extinct – Skechers Performance is Trying to Help

Pink ribbon shoes are awesome. Cancer sucks.

skechers breast cancer shoes

It’s just a crummy disease. I’ve known too many people who have had their lives turned upside down by the big C. My own mother has beaten breast cancer twice, my grandmother has had 3 occurrences. I honestly live with the thought of WHEN I get breast cancer, not IF I get cancer. That’s a kind of disturbing thought. I’d like it to be eradicated so I don’t have to have that fear.

So when I was asked if I wanted to participated in a campaign sponsored by Skechers Performance I agreed because I support this cause so much.  See, after my mom’s second breast cancer diagnosis we decided that we would do something BIG after she was better. And after batting around several ideas, none of which seemed like they were the right celebration, we finally landed on MARATHON. That’s big. It’s huge! And it just felt right.

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So we trained and did the PF Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Phoenix marathon in January 2008. It was an amazing experience and it has led both of us to do many more races together. This first marathon adventure is what made me a lifelong runner.

breast cancer awareness shoes

Skechers Performance is supporting the American Cancer Society by releasing a special line of shoes. The lineup consists of the GOrun3 Awareness, GOrun Sprint, GOfit Awareness and GOwalk2 Flash Awareness. Since I’m a runner, I received a pair of the GOrun shoes to test and review.

Designed for speed with innovative performance technologies to promote a midfoot strike, it fosters a barefoot running experience while offering cushioning and impact protection.

  • Improved breathability and flexibility
  • Roomy forefoot. 3 layer Power-prene mesh on front panel allows for support while offering ample room for toe splay
  • GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility and feedback for a responsive running experience
  • M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike
  • Custom Fit insole is removable for an even more minimal feel
  • 4mm Heel Drop to bring you closer to a natural barefoot experience
  • Resalyte™ Midsole – Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
  • Nearly seamless flexible mesh upper with lace up front

breast cancer awareness shoes for women

I really love how light the shoes are (a mere 5 oz!) and the upper is very comfortable. I do have to admit, the M-Strike Technology™ makes the shoe feel like it has a strange rocker in the middle of the shoe. It definitely promotes a midfoot strike! It feels kind of weird walking in them, running is far more comfortable. I do like that it comes with a removable insole so you can bring yourself a little closer to the ground or you can give yourself a little more cushion, depending upon personal preference or even needs that day. (Maybe I should call it an insertable insole, since it doesn’t come in the shoe by default!) And I felt ever so slightly like Kara Goucher when I put the shoes on, that’s a bonus, right? Actually, I kind of wondered if she and Meb had a learning curve to get their form right when they started in these shoes, because they absolutely feel different from any other shoe I’ve worn for running. Skechers are also one of the most affordable brands of running shoes out there, these ones retail for just $85!

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But even more important is how Skechers Performance Division is planning on helping the cause, right?

  1. Skechers is donating to the American Cancer Society. All of the apparel/shoes in their Awareness line will featured the ACS logo and messaging.
  2. Skechers is hosting the American Cancer Society San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, and will be donating a percentage of proceeds from the sales of Skechers shoes on-site that day.
  3. Skechers Retail stores are offering a gift with purchase for customers who purchase a pair of limited-edition Awareness shoes. The gift with purchase will be either a canvas awareness tote or a pink water bottle.
  4. Skechers is launching a register round-up program in Skechers Retail stores in which customers can round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar to benefit American Cancer Society for the entire month of October. If consumers donate $5 or more, they will also receive a 20% off discount for their next visit. This will offer anyone shopping for any item in a Skechers retailer store the opportunity to give back and support the cause.

And while breast cancer has hit my family particularly hard, I like that Skechers Performance is supporting the American Cancer Society in this endeavor… because ALL cancers suck and I like that the ACS is out to beat all forms of cancer. I am sure every single one of us has been affected by some kind of cancer in our lives… whether it is a family member, a friend or ourselves. I have a co-worker battling brain cancer right now and it makes me so angry that this disease is zapping so much from him.

So if you need to get running shoes anyway, you may as well get something that helps support a cause at the same time, right?

Thanks to Skechers for sponsoring today’s post!

breast cancer running shoes

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

ASICS Gel-Pursue [Shoe Review]

When I first started getting more serious about running and I went to a running store to buy shoes, I remember that the ASICS brand seemed to be what many of my new marathon-crazy friends wore. But when I went through the fit process, a pair of ASICS weren’t even brought out as an option, I tried shoes on,  I left with a different shoe, and I’ve never actually worn ASICS.

Until now… [Disclaimer: I was sent shoes in exchange for my honest review on the site.]

I was given the opportunity to try a new shoe, the Gel Pursue from ASICS, and I decided to give it a go. They didn’t fit the mold of the zero-drop shoes I’ve been running in of late, but they did receive the “Best Debut” honor from Runner’s World magazine in the September 2014 issue and I’m always open to experiment (for you, the sake of my readers!) with running products.

They’re attractive shoes, my 2-year-old was very impressed with the “purple running shoes” that arrived.

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In fact, she insisted that we wear our “match shoes” out on a walk together.

That kid is so damn clever and cute.

Putting the ASICS Gel-Pursue on, I felt taller in them, as if I was wearing heels. That’s probably due to the roughly 9mm heel-to-toe drop. But they also have a nice amount of cushioning to them and they’re SUPER comfortable. I haven’t gotten a lot of running miles in them due to a weird pain in my hip (I’m unwilling to say it’s due to product experimentation, just a circumstance of life.) but I’ve worn these shoes for a lot of walks too and they felt great for that.

Some details:

  • They’re pretty lightweight, 8.7 oz for the women’s shoe, 10.6 oz for the men’s version
  • Support level good for a wide-range of runners (from a more neutral foot to a mild-moderate pronator)
  • They look nice without being overly flashy. My husband HATES all the bright colors all over shoes these days, these would be a good option for someone like that.
  • Standard price point for quality running shoes: $110

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They’re comfy and well-made running shoes. They may not become my go-to, all-the-time running shoes, it still feels strange to me to have a heel/toe offset after 3ish years in pretty minimal shoes… but I’m also willing to rotate them in to my training cycle and give them a solid try. Or maybe if I ramp up for marathon training, I’ll want to revert back… I’ve never done a marathon in zero-drop! The cushioning definitely felt nice without feeling like a clown shoe and overall I liked these shoes quite a bit.

And remember, if you are running the 2014 NYC Marathon, visit ASICS Mini Marathoner site and get a statue version of yourself running!

One more… Check out the My ASICS website where you can build a training plan for any race distance. It’s kind of cool that you can set a date for a race way in the future and it will help you with a free plan. I think it’s kind of fun to play with, even if I would end up tweaking the schedule anyway. It’s just great to get new ideas.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Multi Flask

I was sent a Multi Flask by Precidio Design to test and review on the site. I was kind of intrigued by the description so I was willing to give it a go.

This newly, launched all-in-one system makes it easy to bring all kinds of healthy drinks on the go — without cluttering up the cabinets with eigth different bottles.

Simply enjoy your favorite drinks in one easy to carry bottle.

This complete drinking system allows you to create healthy, delicious fruit-infused drinks, power shakes and sports drinks, filtered drinks and all forms of hot & cold beverages in your best flavors. Equipped with a glass inner for hot beverages, a plastic inner that can be insulated or not for cool drinks, an infuser and a novel agitator cap for powder drinks, Multi Flask is the purest way to drink healthy.

The one-flask-six-functions system is dishwasher safe, making it easy to create drinks on the fly with minimal clean up.

One of the most exciting features of Multi Flask is that you can enjoy the benefits of glass safely with its patented inner glass design and protective, silicone shock-absorbing base. Enclosed in an indestructible Tritan outer shell, Multi Flask is the one bottle you need today.

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I unpacked it and was a little overwhelmed with all the parts. I had to go to the Multi Flask website to figure out what each one was and how they all worked together. It’s not often that I need instructions to figure out how to drink from a vessel.

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And after having it for a month, here’s what gets used regularly:

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That’s the Tritan Outer, the Agitator and the Sport lid. The agitator is useful for shaking up powdered drinks and helping them get mixed up well.

Odds are you would never use this bottle while running, unless you really don’t mind holding on to something. It would work fine for sitting at a desk or in the car or around home or even while using some kind of cardio machine and keeping it in the drink holder.

I suppose if I lived somewhere with more humidity and I had drinks that sweat a lot, I would use the Tritan inner and outer in combination more or when winter comes I would actually consider using the tea strainer/glass inner for hot drinks… but those haven’t been useful to me as of yet. And the idea of fruit-infused water sounds pleasant, but it also ends up being too much bother. I’ll just drink my water straight from the fridge dispenser. (Well, I’ll put it in a bottle or cup first, I’m not THAT uncivilized.)

And while the marketing-ese says it replaces 8 bottles cluttering the cabinets, you essentially end up with four bottles/bottle-ish-objects to store and some random littler pieces to stash… which is kind of harder to figure out where to put everything than if I had 8 different bottles.

So it still seems like a cool theory in concept, but I found that all the “features” aren’t really useful for me. It retails for $26.99 online.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Wahoo’s TICKR Run Heart Rate Monitor

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Wahoo Fitness has introduced TICKR Run and they sent me one to try! (Full disclosure, the device was given to me for free and the thoughts here are all my own.) TICKR Run is the first heart rate monitor with activity tracking that provides real-time analysis of a runner’s form, helping to improve efficiency and avoid injury rates. The device pairs with iOS and Android smartphones and other devices and retails for $79.99.

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Want the official lingo on how it works?

Using a triple axis motion sensor, TICKR Run contains an accelerometer that measures a runner’s form in three planes: vertically, side-to-side and front-to-back. Those sensors and Wahoo’s fitness app for iOS and Android (update to be released in the coming months) produce a measurement of each runner’s form called Running Smoothness. Developed exclusively by Wahoo, Running Smoothness is a sophisticated algorithm that assigns varying levels of importance to each axis and combines them into a single, easy-to-understand index. Using Running Smoothness, athletes can improve their form to avoid unnecessary body motion, which improves efficiency and reduces the risk of common running injuries. Using Wahoo’s app, runners can even track Running Smoothness through their workout history to see improvements over long periods of time.

The TICKR Run review in Jill-speak… It paired really easily with both my iPhone and my Garmin Forerunner 220 watch. Using it with the Forerunner alone you get a solid and consistent heart-rate reading, one of the most reliable I’ve ever used. Used with the app, you get the added benefit of Running Smoothness, which I don’t use all the time because I’m content with my Garmin, but when I’ve played with it I’ve been impressed. It usually has pretty comparable stats for stride rate as my Forerunner, but there’s also the added information about side-to-side motion and ground contact time. There is a treadmill mode as well, so you can use your connected device, TICKR Run and get all the same data.

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If you don’t want to use a new app for tracking, it pairs with over 50 of the most popular fitness apps out there (including Runkeeper, Strava, MapMyFitness, etc.)

An additional perk from Wahoo is they offer BURN & BURST heart rate training plans. The BURN plan is designed to optimize fat burn and the BURST works on your speed and performance. This is a nice benefit for those who want to use the power of tapping into their heart rate for training optimization but aren’t quite sure how to approach that.

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I’ve been impressed with the strap. It is comfortable and easy to put on, the closure is controlled by hooking on the sensor, so no reaching behind to blindly fiddle for a little hook closure. Once on and after it’s been paired, I’ve not once had a problem with it losing the connection or failing to recognize my heart rate.  Since it has the bonus of being able to pair with your phone and various apps, that frees you up to use it for a multitude of sports/fitness activities, which makes it a more universally appealing option.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

BE REAL Shoes (minimal shoe review)

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These BE REAL shoes were sent to me for the purpose of review. Opinions are my own. And also… I owe them a huge apology because I have been really slow in getting this posted!

Be Real Shoes collection

Photo from berealshoes.com

Minimal shoes aren’t as “hot” right now, there seems to be a maximum cushioning trend going on. But I also think that we are in a new era of running shoes, where we’ll have more options available to us. Several years ago (maybe 2009?) I got a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. And I liked how they felt. I would run a speedy one-mile loop around my neighborhood in them and they were great for strengthening my calves. I wore them during my pregnancy to walk the dog. But I tried them on again about 5 months after my daughter was born and they didn’t feel good anymore. While my feet didn’t drastically change, they did change in subtle ways. Yet another weird way you can be forever altered by having a kid!

When I tried on the BE REAL shoes, I felt that same connection to the ground that I got from the toe shoes, but there were a couple of really great differences:

  1. My feet didn’t feel squished/pinched/constricted
  2. They’re easy to put on.

I don’t run far in shoes this minimal. Just some strides up/down my street and walking the dog, things of that nature. They’re good for developing strength in that regard, but I don’t want to or intend to use them for distance.

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The shoes have an all-terrain sole and I have walked across rocks and it’s never bothered me. This gives them traction in a variety of conditions: trail, grass, wet, streets. Oh, and the sole is a patent-pending 100% recyclable sole. Interesting, huh? The company is committed to domestic and eco-friendly manufacturing.

But….

BUT…

BUT…

To be gentle, they’re not the most attractive shoes in the world. I know, we don’t pick our running shoes by how they look. (Well, not first and foremost. We should focus on fit/feel. But if looks come into play… that’s alright.) And when I wear them with running shorts I feel like they really stand out. It’s weird how I can feel self-conscious in these but not in neon orange/yellow shoes, huh? C’est la vie.

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Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

Apera Sling Tote

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I was sent an Apera bag for the purpose of review. All thoughts are my own.

Apera Bag - Sling Tote

To go to baby swim class with Alex, I usually just shoved swim stuff into the diaper bag. It worked alright, but it wasn’t ideal – especially once we had the wet stuff to bring home. So when I had a chance to try a new gear bag from Apera I was excited. The bag can easily be used for the gym, yoga/barre/pilates class, overnight trip or even in place of a diaper bag for day-to-day life!

The bag has a lot of pockets and I was able to easily fit my wallet, phone, diapers, wipes, swimsuits, towels, water bottle and baby clothes/shoes in the bag. (I’m going to admit, after swim class… we often leave with Alex in just a diaper and a shirt. She’s usually starving and ornery, wasting too much time getting completely dressed just prolongs her agony, thus prolonging mine!)

Apera Sling Tote - full of swim class gear

Apera bags are made with an antimicrobial protection inside and out, which makes it so the bag resists bacterial odor. Thus, they don’t stink! There are vented compartments, which allow the bag to breathe and you don’t trap in a funk if you put your sweaty running shoes in there. The linings are all wipeable for easy cleaning. You can keep wet and dry stuff in the bag separate and it won’t soak across barriers, including special padded sections for electronics.

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The bag feels kind of large on its own, but I think that as it gets used some of the initial stiffness will loosen up and it won’t feel quite so big.  Plus it just looks nice!

Another cool thing about the company? For every 3 bags they sell, they donate one to a Special Olympics athlete. And they don’t just donate bags, they also promise to share their time, energy and resources with local Special Olympics events.

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Apera Bags website
Apera Bags on Twitter
Apera Bags on Facebook

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.

SportRx – Prescription or Not!

SportRx - the best prescription eyewear

SportRx - the best prescription eyewearSportRx… whether or not you need prescription lenses, they’re a pretty awesome company. It’s run by optician athletes. Or athlete opticians. However they prefer it… According to their About page they are:

SportRx is a Southern California based company created by opticians who ride their bikes, run their races, push their jogging strollers and bomb down slopes. We love glasses and enjoying life and want to help you see better while doing the things you love.

I was given the opportunity to receive a pair of shades from the company for use during running. And even though I don’t wear prescription lenses anymore (PRK baby! One of the best decisions of my life. Elective surgery FTW!) but when I did always wore my contacts while I ran. I disliked/hated/loathed/despised wearing my regular spectacles while running. Plus they didn’t provide any sun protection and it’s bright out here in the desert! But also during this time my contacts were increasingly causes my problems and my eyes were constantly irritated. And getting salty sweat in the eyes with contacts is a big annoyance cause you can’t even rub your eyes as vigorously to try relieving the pain. But I wore the contacts and cheapo sport sunglasses for each run.

So when I chatted with on the phone with them, in addition to the casual banter about our kids, I learned some tips about shades and a pair of Oakleys was recommended for me. I knew that you wanted to make sure your sunglasses provided UV protection, but it was good to be reminded that you want the glasses to be dark enough to shield you but not so dark you lose the nuances of the world around you.

So once we narrowed down the frame, it was time to choose the color. My first inclination was to do like I always do… go as neutral, not funky as possible. But then I had a change of heart, I’m realizing more and more that life is too short to not have fun, even with your shades. So I chose a white frame with purple lenses!

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And I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They are so lightweight and feel great, but I’m also not really aware of them while I run. I guess I did have a moment of being aware about them when I first ran in them, simply because I kept noticing how much lighter they seemed on my face, how much more visible the world seemed and how they didn’t bounce around or slide off. They’re just great shades.

This recommendation all came by them chatting with me about where I live, what my primary sport is, when I’ll use the shades and in what conditions. They know their stuff, I was impressed!

If I still had to wear prescription lenses, knowing what I know now… I would probably not have suffered through the years of contact wearing and just bought a good pair of prescription shades. My mom bought a pair of prescription sport sunglasses from her eye doctor a few years ago and I think she was a little sticker-shocked at first, but now thinks they’re 100% worth it. Plus if you have money in flex accounts or something like that, it may be a good way to use that cash. Yes, SportRx works with that.

The website is easy to use, with ways to narrow down frames by sport/brand/gender/category. They have an analyzer tool that you can answer some questions and they will help you pick the right frame. And they have live chat on their site, if you need help. If you’re in San Diego, you can visit their showroom for help. I’m really impressed with the company and was glad to be introduced to them.

Disclaimer: All reviews are my own opinion, this product was provided free for the purpose of review.